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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006

Here are my 2 angels wishing you a very
Blessed Christmas
and a
Happy New Year.


Friday, December 15, 2006

More travelling - FY 2007

yup. Tokyo and Nagano for the first trip in mid Jan 2007.

it is going to be COLD.

gonna have borrow clothes again.

but will have to buy new boots... the old ones had already fallen apart and glued back twice. I dont think it will survive the Japan trip.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More travelling again

Oh great... i get notification of more travelling by receiving a copy of e-ticket in my mailbox again.

Suppose the siaming of travelling recently is back to haunt me. 3 cities in a 8 days.

20-12-06 SIN to HCM
21-12-06 HCM to BKK
23 or 24-12-06 BKK to SIN (thats freaking robbing my Christmas Eve with my family...)

27-12-06 SIN-KL-SIN
yup, day trips are good, no matter how early they start and how late they end. At least I get to lay in my own bed.

not a happy camper. Especially not faced with the mountains of preparation and reports required... argh...


Monday, December 11, 2006

Things I've learnt about driving

edited 13-Dec-06 to add stuff

So I've owned my car for slightly over a month now... and have hit almost 2000 km. insane

I've learnt:

- that i'm actually quite a competent reverse parker. :D (ok, so my small car helps :p )

- parking too close to the wall in a parallel lot is asking for trouble when coming out, cos you dont have enough room to reverse into before turning outwards.

- reverse sensors are just GUIDELINES, they dont sense the tyre blocks in the lot, just the wall... BOING!

- so far i've conquered parking lots in
* Far East Shopping Center
* Plaza Singapura
* Rendevous Hotel
* IRAS Buidling
* Compass Point
* Suntec
* Raffles City
* Jurong Point
* various HDB open and multi-story carparks

- Having a car changes your shopping habits. You feel like you HAVE to make your trip worthwhile by getting something since you're already paying and still paying by each pointless minute window shopping... and you will learn to strategise on parking in a central location if you need to run to a few places, to minimize carpark fees and having to look for available lots.

- Driving at the same road speed as everybody else on the road, at least in your lane, is the safest, regardless of speed limit. It is bunching and road hoggers that invites overtaking, and the latter invites recklessness in impatient drivers.

- there is NO SHAME in moving out of the 1st lane to make way for faster cars. After all, they can have the fines and demerit points.

- It is ok to make minor mistakes which doesnt leave scratches or carnage, just as long as you learn from them

- Checking blindspots before turning/ filtering/ overtaking, and periodic glances in all the mirrors is really necessary. There REALLY are blindspots.

- BE PREPARED. Study the map, visualise and remember the sequence of major road names and junctions, and plan lane changes early.

- It is important to LOOK FAR to anticipate problems and take early actions. Tho' this is easier said when done until one is comfortable driving and no longer consciously thinking about the pedals, signals, traffic lights and watching the lane markings.

- Don't TAILGATE. It shortens your view of the road and makes you vulnerable to mistakes made by the car in front.

- Use the horn when necessary (that reminds me, gotta change to a LOUDER horn *heh* )


All in all, driving imitates life, doesnt it?

Be prepared, plan (map), check (blindspots), anticipate (look far) and take necessary corrective actions (horn, change lane) are often the things you need to do in life to achieving your objectives (destination).

and the man who says that life is a journey, not a destination; may just be LOST.


Friday, December 08, 2006

SCSM 2006 - Aftermath

Aftermaths of SCSM 06

Read about the courageous lady with the tyre on her blog

My Recovery:
  1. Dried up blister measuring 4.5cm in length, 1.5cm in width in one end and 1cm in the other end, and a narrower width in the middle of 0.5cm. Kinda like a number 8 :D
  2. 2 days of walking stiffly and falling into chairs instead of sitting down properly, but all clear after a full body deep tissue massage :)
  3. Slightly twisted ankle needs some exercise. :(

My stand on how long the clock should tick for the marathon in this post

DO quoted an MR25 member's post in another forum

Good to see the results up so quick.At the start line they were saying how
wonderful that there were8,900 odd runners in the half.

Interesting to note that only 6159 finished the race. Only 70%turned up??? or are they still out there??7100 did the full and about 9000 the 10km.22,000 runners. Does that mean there were 8,000 in the kids dash?Or have the figures been inflated to make the organisers feel good.we were told 30,000 were running.

One thing is for sure. If they all turned up then it would have beenworse than hell trying to get through the slow moving marathon pack.Another interesting fact that in last years race the average timefor the marathon was 5 and a half hours and only 7% ran under 4hours. Not exactly something to brag about for a world class event.

Tis a comment fm a MR25's Ang MO abt te No Show SC Marathon Runners n te current situation... in tis instance, I have to agreed with... especially with further observation fm another SGrunner's own Ang Mo "at I saw of some very unfit runners being taken off to hospital after collapsing at the finish line the organizers may be trying to avoid any negative press to help keep the numbers growing for next year."

Must things must be done to correct te current situation..... hmmmm

Freddy @ Dec 4 2006, 02:44 PM

To consider a world class event, the marathon should not set at 12 hrs, a shorter time i.e 6 hrs should be considered. More runners should be encourage to run the 10km or 1/2. Marathon should not be consider as part of fun run.

yojanjan @ Dec 5 2006, 11:23 AM

ooohhh... do i smell elitism in the air?

the fact is Singapore still does not have a huge running culture, we dont have enough history behind us, we dont have enough races (only ONE a year), we dont even have supporters along the route, other than volunteers, family and friends - and we are already talking about exclusion?

A world class event is more than timing. It is heart.

could the lady with the tyre have "completed" if the clock was dismantled at 6 hours?

If you stop the clock at 6 hours, how many runners would have been prevented from the route of self-discovery by going the whole works, digging deep and finding their inner reservoir of strength and self-belief?

sure we have pp who run well and fast. that's great and kudos to them!

but i also salute the runner who came in last but who had finished. and i thank the organisers for waiting for the last runner to come in.

if you want world class timing for the entire field, hold a qualifying round to prevent the amatuers from "spoiling" the race.

oh wait. even Boston has wild card entries for pp who does not meet the timing to enjoy the race.

so the only way is go for the Games, the Asia Games, the Olympics, guarantee no "hell going through the slow moving pack".

ultraman @ Dec 5 2006, 12:35 PM

“Elitism”? Aiyo, this word has been greatly discouraged in Europe recently. It is a discrimination indeed, a segregation of status code, a drawing a line between top and bottom.

Anyone who can complete a marathon is an “elite” in that person!

Look at our "Realrunner", he has suffered from very bad cramps, was down and tormented for almost an hour with the pain and agony; for many lesser runners would have already given up and left, but he continued to complete the run even though he finished it over 5hours. That is the kind spirit and sportsmanship that we seldom get.

I would respect Realrunner more than those who have took the run lightly without much training/foundation and fainted on the actual day.

After all, its not a mere 10km or 21km......it is a 42.195km marathon.


yojanjan @ Dec 5 2006, 02:33 PM

i agree with you that a marathon journey is not one to be taken lightly, without preparation. The journey starts from the point a person decides to run one, then the training, getting to the start point and the running on the actual day.

One who runs a marathon without thinking and without training (i dont know which is worst) is a fool for not taking the opportunity to learn about himself, and a fool for putting himself in danger.

but lets not forget that even well trained and even experienced runners do fail to complete becos of inevitable problems during the run, and i applaud all who attempt the marathon journey, finisher or not. so in the same vein, lets do applaud those who had the courage to start, sub-6 finishers or sub-12 finishers.

embrace all.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

SCSM 2006 - Race Report

the short

- i finished the half in 3:12.24 gun time and 3:05.39 chip time.

- surprised that i did better than the 3:30 i had expected, but didnt break the sub-3 that i wanted...


The full report

It was almost shaping up to be the race i didnt run.

I had the flu for almost a week before the run, and a combination of Lemsip, flu medication and warm clothings helped. But i hadnt slept much the whole week from my blocked nose, body aches and looking after 2 very fretful kiddies (who were also down with cough and sniffles) in the night. PLUS it was the middle of the very inconvenient time of the month.. (#$^%@&)

Finally it was the night before the race. I was excited, if apprehensive.

I pinned my bib to my top (the red GE10k singlet which fit well, not the official SCSM singlet which i havent had time to wash :p), packed plasters, money, handphone, heat rub sample sachet, tissue paper, powergel into the various pockets of my raceready tights. Socks and socks liner.

ARGH. i left my shoes in my shoe bag in the car, will have to change in the morning and tie the chip in the car park....

i should try to sleep, but E was still packing his suitcase for his golf trip to Chiangmai on the same morning of the race. We had packed the kiddies to my in-laws for the night, so it was relatively quiet and i took the opportunity to tidy up the disaster zone with toys and books strewn all over.

I drank another Lemsip and felt better. Then by chance E channelled surf to live coverage from the Doha Games and the Singapore table tennis women were playing against North Korea, the defending champions who defeated China in the last Games.

1st match was won easily by Sun Beibei, the 2nd was won by Li Jiawei. The 3rd was lost by Zhang Xueling. The 4th should have been won by Li Jiawei but she succumbed and suddenly we were 2-2 against the North Koreans.

The 5th and final match was Sun Beibei again, a 22 year old in her first major outing. Alas, she lost the 1st 2 games, she cant lose again or it will be all over. YES! She took the next 2 games 11-8. Amazing, she took the lead in the last game, but oh-no. The North Korean caught up with her at 10-10. Is she going to earn glory and grow tremendously, or is she only to choke? She raced to take the next 2 points and Singapore is through to the semi-finals. The Singapore coach jumped over the barrier to bear-hug Sun as tears welled up in her eyes. What grit, what determination. If ony our lions were more like her...

Oh-oh, it was already 1:50am time to sleep. but swimming is up next. It was worth it as i caught Tao Li winning the bronze in the 50m backstroke. Alright. Really time to sleep! 2:30am!

Di-Di-Di-Di... it wasnt mine. It was E's at 3:40am for him to get ready to leave for airport at 4:00am. Have a good trip dear.

I slept abit more and woke up at 430am. Had breakfast of biskuit and coffee. started changing into my gear.

  1. Sportsbra - check

  2. Singlet - check

  3. plaster on feet - check

  4. Tie up hair - check

  5. Sports cap - check

  6. Raceready tights - errrmmm... whats this gooey stuff on the pants? ARGH! the powergel had leaked in the night and soaked through the pants!!! i quickly took out everything from all the pockets and stuffed them into a plastic bag, while quickly rinsing the pants out. Where's my other raceready shorts? oh-oh, in the car with my shoes. sigh.
  7. Socks liner + socks - check

5:10am Lets Go. LETS GO ALREADY.

I ran to the car park and when there i looked for my handphone. Not in the bag! I drove and parked the car at the foot of my block and ran up to look for my phone. Not at the sink, the kitchen table, the table where i laid out my gear. Had to call my self. No ringing! It must be in the car! I ran down and found the handphone in the plastic bag where i had shoved everything in, which is why i didnt feel it in the bag. duh!

I drove madly in the light traffic to Raffles City where i intended to park. In fact i drove so fast that i missed a turn to Lavender Road and went via a slightly longer route. I made it to Raffles City but there was a long queue of cars going into the car park. The car park indicators said ONE lot... i waited for awhile and it was already 6:00am. People were getting off the cars and letting their chauffeurs park the car while they walk to esplanade, I had no such luxury and decided to park at suntec, the walk from Padang to suntec after the run be damned.

Managed to find a lot and parked quickly, stealing a look around and seeing no people or cameras, i quickly changed into my raceready shorts in the car, stuffed everything into the pockets and then changed shoes.

I ran out of the car park and came right upon a toilet, yes, a godsend. and then I ran to the esplanade... eh? i dont remember it being that far from suntec to esplanade? When I finally reached esplanade, my way was blocked by central dividers too high to jump across like some other guys did. A policeman told me to turn around and use the underpass. I told him my race is starting NOW! he shrugged and waved me along.

I came to the starting pen and the gun had already gone off! oh shucks. NO CHIP NO TIME. my chip was still in my pocket. I tied it to my shoe quickly and joined the last of pen 4 people shuffling towards the start line. As i was about 10m away from start line, a tall sweaty chinese man who looked to be in his 20s nonchalently pushed me aside and moved ahead! He did this to other pp too but i was quite startled. But no time to rue over it as we came upon the start line. The adrenaline pumping and it was time to RUN!

The fact is despite the difficult registration, the mishaps of the morning and the recent illness, i've not felt this good in many days.

I felt alive and that the wind would carry me.

In fact I felt so good that it was a good half km before i realised that i had forgotten to start my stopwatch again... I estimated that i was off by a good 5 minutes and started my watch anyways.
We ran down Raffles quay, and Shenton way. The sound of pounding feet on quiet roads was magic as the sun rised. The weather was cool and a light breeze blowing, you couldnt ask for more perfect weather, at least until the sun comes up totally anyways. :)

And then we hit a left to go to Marina South, running down the familiar canel. At about 3km, my left instep started to feel raw but why since i had already taped it?! oh goodness, i had used a different brand of plaster, it was cheaper and i thought it wouldnt matter.... i hope it wont cost me too much.

We came upon the first water station. Trying to avoid the water retention and swelling last year, i only took a sip to rinse my mouth like Philip told me to, and used the rest to splash upon my face, neck, shoulders and arms. The drinks were served in paper cups but it was still prudent to not trip over any of them.

As we ran down Marina way, i had to stopped and slap another plaster over the blister which was throbbing. I could only hope that it didnt get worst and burst.

Just as I started running again, I came upon an old man with a shirt that says 台中.长青 and i was suddenly filled with respect with this spritely old man who flew all the way from Taiwan to Singapore to shuffle as well as he could. i gave him a thumbs-up and said "加油!" as i ran passed him. He looked startled but returned a smile.

The rest to the U-turn was uneventful but i had never known that there was a Marina Jetty at the end of civilisation in Marina South. The u-turn was thaaat far. The long route out made me think of a queue for a Disney attraction: you join a long snaking queue and as you come to the top of the queue, you realise that it continues snaking for another section and yet another.
After the U-turn, I ran passed the first of the full-marathoner. He was wearing a Reason To Run bib that said "not running 42km, conquering 1km 42 times". There were lots of other people who wore the RTR bib on their backs, including "Kick me", a pair of girls who had "Slower" and "Then Us!" respectively which made me wanting to kick THEM. Another trim young man had one that said "Becos I used to weigh 97kg". Two that had their RTR made into T-shirts said "I've procastinated long enough" and "To eat more cookies 'n cream" :D

We ran back the same way we came and at about 11km, i heard the sound of cans being dragged on the ground. Just like those tied to a wedding car in movies. I couldnt believe my eyes. It was a girl with a rope around her waist, dragging a tyre with a stylofoam box with plastic bottles and snack wrappers and cans around it. She had a message on the box "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". She smiled and talked to people who asked her the who-what-whys while continuing to run. It was tough enough running a full marathon, but being so burdened... Her commitment to the cause was admirable.

I came upon a man who had collapsed at shenton way, he was already being attended to by other runners and volunteers so i didnt linger. But when we were coming upon the bridge near Fullerton, a police bike stopped all of us and made the volunteers removed the central divider barrier to let a police escort and an ambulance through. I hope it wasnt the same guy i saw earlier at shenton way, and it was, the situation was not too serious or too late...

At about the 15km, the blister became full blown and stopped bothering me as it had became so large and water-filled that it was self-cushioning. Unfortunately, my left ankle had become slighted twisted from running so far while trying to accomodate it. But that was going to be the least of my problems as my muscles start getting tighter and tighter.

It was only near Republic Boulevard that i realised that there were volunteers dispensing heat rub near water stations. Another godsend! I gratefully took some and massaged them into my thighs, calves and shins. I stretched a little and was able to run again.

Unfortunately, it was yet another demoralising long way to a U-turn at nicoll highway that turned around at 17km. I was just glad that i wasnt running the full this time. As I headed back, i could see that i was ahead of a couple of hundreds of half-marathoners, even overtaking some, and that lightened my heart. And it was really funny when some of them asked "where is the u-turn" to familiar faces, and their so-called "friends" kept telling them "VERY FAR!".

As I came down Nicoll Highway onto Republic Boulevard, i saw the girl with the tyre again. This time she was in full concentration and with pain written all over her face, and there were 2 ladies helping to pull her load. I thought no less of her then when I first saw her, and could only hope that more people will become aware of her cause, and maybe help her along.

I had began to take some walking breaks, but always with a weary glance towards the darkening sky which at some point started to drizzle lightly.

But when i reached Saint Andrews i caught my second wind, and was about to run the last 200m to the finishing line. Like Alex said in the last marathon, "Look good for the cameras!"

I had crossed the finishing line at Gun time 3:12:24

I gave a call to Leng, who was supposed to pick me up and drive me home in my own car, and she was surprised that I was already done as I had told her to meet me at 1030, 4 hours after the start. LOL

While waiting for her, I ate a banana and some isotonic drinks and tried to stretch. Again, thankfully there were roving volunteers dispensing heat rub and that helped tremendously.

I called BigLady and asked how did she do. She finished her 10km in 1hr 54min. Her first race on bad knees! I was so proud of her.

There lots of other friends who ran well, including Philip who did a 4:37 and Brokie a 4:17 (and who came in 28th in her age group) in their full marathons, and Terence who did a 1:01 for his 10km, but I was the most proud of BigLady's achievements because of the obstacles she had to overcome. I just wish she'll be less hard on herself and savour the moment.

Finally met up with Leng and by then i had cramps in my bum from sitting too long, and the blister was threatening burst, and i couldnt bend my knees. She helped to get milk and food for me, and sent me home. Leaving only after I managed an ice-bath, feeding me, and ensuring that I was comfortable. Did i say that I'm blessed with great friends? yup. But i'll say it again. I'm Blessed With Great Friends.


So the Official Chip Time was up. Mine were:

Chip time 3:05:39
I almost wanted to cry when Mike broke down the stats and told me that if i had ran 15sec faster per km, i would have broken sub-3 :(

But nonetheless, it was an enjoyable race, all the memorable because it was a pretty good race despite my aboslute lack of talent.

My race results based on gun-time:
- 5471st amongst 6165 half-marathoners
- 1504th amongst 1814 lady half-marathoners
- 217th amongst 237 lady half-marathoners of my age-group.
---> i was ahead of 384 men half-marathoners!



Friday, December 01, 2006

World Aids Day 2006

1st December is World Aids Day

Do you still think that Aids is a disease that homosexuals get?

Do you still think that you are safe becos
- the girl is too young to have aids
- the guy looks clean?
- you've know your current mate for a long time?
- you won't get aids becos you won't be so unlucky?
- YOU are too young to get aids?
- you've always been healthy?


Aids is not a disease that only homosexuals get. True, male homosexuals as a group is over-represented in the people afflicted with HIV/ aids, but more heterosexuals are being afflicted, from casual affairs, from prostitutional encounters, between committed partners, between spouses, from mother to child.

Is absolute total abstinence the only way to prevent the spread? No. It is the preferred message from religion and morality groups, but to say that this is the only way is to ignore the reality of teen sex, premarital sex, casual sex.

And worst still, tarnishing all with a broad stroke that one has aids because of their personal choice in undesirable activities, what about pp who became infected because of tainted blooded, from blood transfusion by selling blood or receiving tainted blood in operations? Not every person with HIV/ Aids is a drug user or homosexual or a prostitute. And even these people do not deserve the judgement and bias against them.

Medical screening in reputable hospitals and blood centers have virtually reduced all the possibilities of being infected by giving/ receiving blood.

But people are still infected by having unprotected sex and tainted needles/ stringes. Am I advocating casual sex and drug use? NO. But you can't stop EVERYBODY from having casual sex or using drugs. Do you simply let them be infected, spread the virus ever more and let them all DIE?


Educate them.


A condom prevents 98% of all sexually transmitted diseases, including the HIV virus.

Thank goodness that the Singapore Government has, for the first time, came out with a clear message that acknowledges that the total abstinence message is the only way.

Ignorance Kills

It kills you if you do not know the facts, and it kills you if you have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive/ has Aids.

How is HIV transmitted?
- A person who has HIV carries the virus in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. The virus can be transmitted only if such HIV-infected fluids enter the bloodstream of another person. This kind of direct entry can occur (1) through the linings of the vagina, rectum, mouth, and the opening at the tip of the penis; (2) through intravenous injection with a syringe; or (3) through a break in the skin, such as a cut or sore. Usually, HIV is transmitted through:

1) Unprotected sexual intercourse (either vaginal or anal) with someone who has HIV. Women are at greater risk of HIV infection through vaginal sex than men, although the virus can also be transmitted from women to men. Anal sex (whether male-male or male-female) poses a high risk mainly to the receptive partner, because the lining of the anus and rectum is extremely thin and is filled with small blood vessels that can be easily injured during intercourse.

2) Unprotected oral sex with someone who has HIV .
There are far fewer cases of HIV transmission attributed to oral sex than to either vaginal or anal intercourse, but oral-genital contact poses a clear risk of HIV infection, particularly when ejaculation occurs in the mouth. This risk goes up when either partner has cuts or sores, such as those caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), recent tooth-brushing, or canker sores, which can allow the virus to enter the bloodstream.

- Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is HIV infected. Laboratory studies show that infectious HIV can survive in used syringes for a month or more. That's why people who inject drugs should
never reuse or share syringes, water, or drug preparation equipment. This includes needles or syringes used to inject illegal drugs such as heroin, as well as steroids. Other types of needles, such as those used for body piercing and tattoos, can also carry HIV.

- Infection during pregnancy, childbirth, or breast-feeding
(mother-to-infant transmission).
Any woman who is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and thinks she may have been exposed to HIV-even if the exposure occurred years ago-should seek testing and counseling. In the Singapore, it is now compulsory to test pregnant women for HIV. Those who test positive can get drugs to prevent HIV from being passed on to a fetus or infant, and they are counseled not to breast-feed

How is HIV NOT Transmitted?

- It is not transmitted through food or air (for instance, by coughing
or sneezing).
- There has never been a case where a person was infected by a household member, relative, co-worker, or friend through casual or everyday contact such as sharing eating utensils or bathroom facilities, or through hugging or kissing. (Most scientists agree that while HIV transmission through deep or prolonged "French" kissing may be possible, it would be extremely unlikely.)
- You cannot get HIV from giving blood at a blood bank or other established blood collection center.
- Sweat, tears, vomit, feces, and urine do contain HIV, but have not been
reported to transmit the disease (apart from two cases involving transmission from fecal matter via cut skin).
- Mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects do not transmit HIV.

Be kind. Be aware.

Go on, learn more about aids from the following links


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