Monday, September 21, 2009

Past A Quarter of A Century Old

I celebrated my 26 year-old last week. A low-key affair, but with so much warmth that I felt so touched.

Brother A had always been a thrift person. On a pretext of going for his nightly exercise routine, he cycled out to get me a birthday cake from Crystal Jade. Yes, Crystal Jade bakery offered 40% discount after 8 pm. He was so proud of this buy. (Nope, I don’t mind it at all.)

Vesparado worked quite late that day, but also brought back noodles, fried rice and yam ring from our favourite zi char stall for the mini-celebration.

Half-eaten fried rice.

Colourful yam ring from a zi-char stall.

That day, I felt so contented as I realised that I have a lot of things.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya!

Wishing all Muslim readers - Selamat Hari Raya! See left, one of our neighbours sent us a box of delicious cakes and sweet stuff. Yummy~


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pigeon Flew Away This Morning!

Yup! As per the header, "Percy" the pigeon, who was wounded by the cat had finally recovered and flew away this morning. I did not get to see him go, but my dad saw him on the window still (instead of inside the box) and flew away moments later.

A satisfying ending, but somewhat disappointed as for the five days that he was with us, he was very afraid of human contact. I had a hard time putting medication on him.

I hope that he would live its life to the fullest and start a family even after this scary ordeal! Maybe in its limited memory, he would remembered that a strange being, maybe as terrifying as the cat, had captured it for five days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last Day of Hungry Ghost Month

Today was the last day of Lunar 7th Month which is also known as Hungry Ghost Month. Just like how people would pray on the start of the month, people will also pray on the last day of the month to send the spirits and demigods back.

Let's hope all will be well and that there will be blessing throughout the year for the family!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Fated Intervention – Took Home A Wounded Pigeon to Nurse

Not that I am Lim Dai Yu or I am relating an ancient story where the gentle (Not me definitely) female lead character took home a wounded animal to nurse on behalf of the male lead character, but I just took a wounded pigeon home (out of my own accord) to nurse. I believed it is all fated.

Was on my way to work this morning when suddenly I heard some rustling sound coming out from a nearby bush. Out of curiosity (what’s new…), I went to the source of the commotion to take a closer look.

It turned out that an adolescent orange-fur tabby cat managed caught a pigeon and was trying to tug it deeper into the bush to eat it. Luckily for the pigeon (and too bad for the cat), the cat was distracted by my presence and the pigeon took chance to hop off. Worried that the cat would pursue it, I shooed it off, hopping that the bird would have a chance to survive.

I went off hurriedly to work as the cat ran off, putting the incident behind me. I was only reminded of it as I was walking home in the evening. I saw a man squatting near a bird, cooing it. Something is wrong with the bird, I thought to myself. The sky is almost dark and it did not fly off with its friends…

As I walked closer, I noticed that it was a pigeon and that it could be the pigeon I saved this morning! Usually, I would struggle with thoughts on whether my mum would kill me if I bring it home , but strangely I did not even betted an eye lid this time round and told the uncle that it was wounded by a cat and that I am going to bring it home.

Honestly, I couldn’t really catch the pigeon even though it was wounded. My god, it could run really fast. Luckily, the uncle volunteer to catch it for me. I was a bit scare at first at the thought of holding the bird as it kept flapping one of the wings, but somehow I got hold of myself and just took over it from the Uncle nonchalantly. I remembered walk home at usual speed.

Mum was watching TV at the living room when I reached home. I hold the bird for her to see and told her the story. (Surprisingly) She did not scold me and even urged me to bring it to a vet. Not sure whether veterinary clinic would still operate at this hour, I decided to nurse it myself. Since it cannot fly, I conveniently put it into a cupboard box.

The pigeon was in good condition despite it cannot fly. The nasty cat took a big bite out of the bird’s breast. The wing was also slightly scratched by the claws. I applied some antiseptic cream on the wounds and even managed to feed it water. It could still drink by itself.

(Didn’t manage to take a picture as both of my hands were occupied)

I really hope that it would survive. Will try to feed it with some food tomorrow morning and see if the conditions improves.

I will update everyone about it again. :)

Ps: For easy remembrance sake, I have decided to name the pigeon – Percy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

German Zoo Keeper Drowned in 200 Pounds of Elephant Dung

This is a sad but freakly true story.

A German Zookeeper named Friedrich Riesfeldt wanted to help a constipated elephant named Stefan to relive himself, ended up dead in elephant dung.

Apparently, Zookeeper Friedrich fed the animal 22 doses of animal laxative and various concoction of fresh fruits, hoping that the animal could relive itself. Little did he expected that the animal would start reliving himself while he was standing directly behind it, trying to administer an olive oil enema.

I guessed the elephant had been suffering from constipation for quite some time as it excreted 200 pounds of dung that day. Without warning, Friedrich was pinned violently to the ground by the load. In course of action, he slammed his head against concrete floor and was knocked unconscious. Sadly, the elephant continued to excrete on him and Friedrich eventually suffocated beneath the dung.

Friedrich was discovered an hour later, dead.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hungry Ghost Festival

Every year’s 7th month of the lunar calendar is known to the Chinese as the “Ghost” month or 七月 in Chinese. Chinese believed that Hell will open its gate for the whole of the month to allow spirits and ghosts to roam the earth freely. According to legend, 7th month is an important month for hell’s spirits and ghosts as they were normally not allowed to eat, whatever that touched their mouth will become ashes. However during this special month, they were given concession to eat and to be fed.

The 15th day of the 7th month is known as the Hungry Ghost Festival 中原节 or 普渡. Some people would confuse this day with Qing Ming 清明节. Although both festivals honour and pray to the deceased, but they are different in nature. During Qing Ming, people prayed and make offerings to their ancestors in remembrance of their roots. However, in the case of Hungry Ghost Festival, people not only make offerings to their ancestors, they also make offerings to roaming spirits as well as demigods “working” in hell.

(Picture above shown offerings: Red Candles, Tea Leaves, Joss Sticks and Joss Papers)

Many of the roaming spirits do not have a “home” or decedents to pray for them, so in spirit of giving, people often prepared additional offerings for them. Chinese prayed to the demigods too as they believed that getting into “good books” of the demigods, they will be blessed for the year. This year’s Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 3rd of September. Our family, like many other families, make offerings too.

Joss papers came in various forms. Some of it has chants scripted on it, when you burnt them, it is like you are chanting “good” for them. While some others are more “mundane” things, money known as hell notes, colours papers which are supposed to symbolise cloth for making clothes.

Chinese steamed-cake. Chinese usually include one of these steamed-cake when praying as they symbolised prosperity.

Some of the joss papers have to be folded, a bit like origami, to look like gold ingots.

Unique to Hungry Ghost Festival, people would lay a table full of their daily food stuff as offerings to the spirits. It is also believed that people will be blessed eating those food that has been offered before.

More pious Chinese would even get whole roasted pig as offerings.

In order to invite spirits and demigods to come and feast on the offerings, one need to stick a joss stick and specially-made flags on every food items.

The offerings are left outside for a while, so that the spirits and demigods have “time” to feast on them…

看着烟袅袅的升起 它是否带着人们的祝福和期望到祂的耳边?

Have you all seen the above before? Always wondered why people did that? Scroll down for answer…

After praying, the folded joss papers are brought down to the streets to burn. Chinese believed that the deceased can only received them through burning them.

My mum said that burning joss papers in the chalked area meant that it is for a specific recipient usually for ancestors.

I did not manage to take photo of all joss papers. As you can see from this photo, there are many varieties.

Hell notes, one form of the joss paper, usually comes in big denominator i.e. millions. A TV drama once joked that hell has serious inflation problems due to people printing them in big denominators.

Of course in Singapore, we cannot anyhow burn joss papers as they constitute to littering as well. Often, town council would prepare metal bins for people to burn joss papers.

As I watched the joss paper engulfed in flames, I hope those who are in need would be able to receive them and blessed our family in return…

Friday, September 11, 2009

Problems Uploading Photos on Blogger? Read here for solutions!

Anyone got problems uploading photos on blogger? I did. In fact, weeks ago and the errors lasted for two weeks.

When I login in, the frames were missing. All the buttons became underline links.


The frames will be there, but when clicked on the picture button, the status bar will show error in the pop-up window.

I almost tear my hair out and I cannot blog for weeks. Also, I have no ways to contact Google/Blogger about it. They direct you to help forums or something.

I google about the problem and found this amazing blog! It actually listed errors which blogger had and how they can be resolved!

For those who are lazy to click on the link, but wanting to know how to start photos onto blogger, try this:

Depress "Control and F5" together to force the page to refresh. It turned out that Google had always been informed of any errors almost immediately and users only needed to reload their page to see the patched work.

Strangly, I tried clearing my cache earlier, but it did not work. I did "Control and F5" and the system was back to normal.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dedicating This Song to Aunty !

As per title, I dedicate this song to my aunt! ;)

Others: If you don't understand, never mind. Well, it is just a family joke.

*Poke Vesparado - LOL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thai Asparagus Looked Like This ?!

I was at NTUC yesterday. Had wanted to pick up some parsley when I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. See below. Did you spot the error?

Thai Asparagus looked weird, I thought… How can asparagus looked…leafy. Hmmm…

A second look confirmed that it is parsley…

Photosophize can now drive!

Did I mention this? I just got my driving license !

I hope to drive around Singapore soon !
La la la la...