Wednesday, December 24, 2014

long time

we used to blog once every week when we travel… now? last blog was 3 months ago.


well, have a blessed holiday.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Singapore sucide case due to child's university fee

I had a busy day and night yesterday and reached home about 1120pm. Thinking to have a quite time alone with a beer at the coffeeshop.

Time wasn't alone when I met 3 senior residents, in their early 50s and they chat about heroic deeds.

My conversation with one of them started about the 3 funerals in our estate and Mr S, shared with me about his sad story regarding one of his personal friend.

His friend in late 40s committed suicide by jumping off.

Owe debt of $40k due to gambling.

Why gamble? Because he wanted to get quick money to pay off daughter's university fee of more than $10000.00.

Mr S shared with me that they are a group of friends that are always willing to help one another. If his friend would come and talk to them about this issue, they would surely helped him out with this sum of money.

During the funeral, Mr S arranged about 40 of his friends to contribute $50 every month until she graduate. That exclude personal contribution to the funeral (white gold). This money is able to help the daughter to pay off the university fee and living allowance until she graduate.

I am so touched about these people, they are in their late 40s and early 50s, willingly reaching out to personal friends when in need.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Left Singapore

One of my army friends left Singapore, he was disappointed about what happened. He came back today and retrieve his CPF. Prior to ty to that, the authority sent him a letter to ask him to reconsider and remind him about what's yes and no about giving up citizenship.

I feel very bad that we are not able to attract them to stay back.

Have we not done enough?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ISA Certified Arborist? Review needed.

While I get to the car park this morning, i saw the tree work contractor getting ready to do some work. The manager whom i know from that contracting company talked to me. I was so happy that he had just certified as an arborist by ISA because it shows that he will be equipped with the basic tree knowledge. So I used my green laser printer to tell show him a topped branch and asked him to remind the foreign worker that is holding the chainsaw not to do such work. He replied : aiya, as long as no public complaints, the management is happy, our job is done.

We talked further about his other sites.

He was mentioning that he had suggested to do crowning and pollarding on one of the street trees. I further asked him to elaborate about the 2 methods mentioned.

Such methods are terribly not recognised and prohibited as a tree practitioner, especially when one is an ISA Certified Arborist. The idea of topping wasn't even drilled into him.

I am very disappointed with what the ISA  Certified Arborist program that was conducted by the training branch of a government agency.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Competition 2014 @ Cairns

Arboriculture Is About Continuous Learning.

Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!  That was what I heard from the crowd when I’m pushing my best for the 
Secured Footlock event. All spectators had their eye on me as I was the last competitor for the day. 

Before starting the event, I told the crowd that the objective for me was to break my own record because I had never touched that bell 15 meters above me. The journey seems endless when my heads up looking at the bell. All I can hear is the cheer and the support that kept me going when I was about to give up. ‘DING’, the entire crowd when crazy about it. I received hugs, applause and encouragement from the crowd when I came down and that was really good fun. It was my very first attempt to compete this event and it was done in less than one minute.

Weeks ago, I received an invitation from Singapore Arboriculture Society (SAS) if I am interested to participate in the Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Competition (APTCC) 2014 in Cairns, Australia. My reply was: why not?

Taking out time from my busy schedule, I start to go jogging, cut down on drinking, go for yoga classes, watching videos from previous competition, planning my gears and get guidance from experienced climber here in Singapore. It was a time juggle between training for skills and stamina, work, family and other regular commitment. The 3 weeks preparation did drove me to be discipline towards a set of fixed committed time.

The Singapore Team had our gears check when we arrived at the event site. While Rick was organizing with the judges, Lee and I ensured that all of our gears were in good working conditions and qualify the competition requirements.


The competition rules were set and reviewed constantly by ISA. In the 5 event stations, I gained different experiences.

During the Singapore Tree Climbing Competition 2013 (STCC), I have been ambitious on gaining points at the Throwline event but I received zero. After studying the scoring system, I made a strategy to score at least one confident target for APTCC, and I did! The biggest take back for this event was to remain calm and relax, but focus.

The APTCC organization made the Aerial Rescue event very realistic to factual work. Not realizing that if I were to borrow ropes and ascenders from other participants, it will not suit my climbing style and may cause accident instead of competition. I did not bring my usual ropes. The gear I had was not ready for this event and it had to be thought about when getting back to Singapore for work and improve on it.

Belayed Speed Climb event was one of the most entertaining stations. It relates stories from the elderly tree worker in Singapore when they said that they didn’t have any safety harness when they climb trees in the past. Again, it was also about cheering each other in this station and had made the event in high-spirited.
Be it fated, I was in the same group with the 2 times World Champion from New Zealand. This allows me to move in-group with him, witnessed his skills and get advice from him. Before starting the Work Climb event, both of us were on the tree and he advised me: be calm. Although the trees species in Cairns are not much of a difference with Singapore, I didn’t do better than my previous competition. I was looking out where the bell was during the competition instead of knowing where and how I should access to it before start. In the past, I strongly believed in: lets get up there and will know better what to do. This event proves me wrong.

The best 3 scored climbers from APTCC will enter a Masters’ Challenge. It had a different set of tasks to be completed. I was very honored able to witness the world-class climbers performing live. The champion will represent Asia Pacific region to compete in the International Tree Climbing Competition (ITCC).

As a novice climber, there was fear in me that I will not able to do it, I will lose face, I will make myself like a clown when I am not doing well. I fear because I am competing with world-class climber. I previously wanted to train and climb by myself until I am good, then enter the event. The purpose: to win. In fact, there is something so special with tree climbers is that everyone encouraged each other, giving pointers when one is competing, building comradeship, encouragement and willing to share knowledge. I put the fear aside, knowing that I participate this event for another reason. To learn, experience, have fun and make friends.



There was a good mix age of climbers from the region. I spotted the young climbers in their early 20s entering the industry and had passion with pride on what they are doing. The lady climbers absolutely convinced me that gender is not a barrier in the work but it’s the attitude.

Organizer for APTCC 2014 had showcased a well planned total event, integrating logistic such as set up, schedule, sponsors, industry out reach, volunteers, and networking opportunity.
Yes, I have done it, did it. After reading this, pick up a throw bag and do what a real arborist should be doing, with a right attitude.

I would like to thank Singapore Arboriculture Society and San Lim Transport & Construction Pte Ltd for the support and giving me this chance of my lifetime in this event. It parked a chapter of my life story for my grand children to read.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Singapore work culture. Why boss?

Today, branch of Angsana tree failed and damage part of a roof. The owner wants the landscape contractor to remove the branch from the roof immediately. I asked the foreign worker how are they going to do it. They say just use ladder and climb on top and use the harness (a very simple waist harness only for construction) to secure at an unknown metal structure. I told them it is impossible as they will sure slip on the tiles of the roof.

So, ask them to go for lunch, rushed to bring my climbing gear and came back. i put on my climbing harness, attach the rope at a good branch above the roof and even all my weight was on the rope, i was also slipping off the tiles on the roof. Can't imagine how they do it if they 'just climb'.

What curious me was: why the branch needs to be removed immediately as it was not endangering anyone. Because it will not look nice?

Because it will reduce complain by the public?

Because it will not be questioned by his boss?

Because his boss will not like it?

Why can't they remove it when the professional roof repairer comes with safety gear and can attach themselves properly to the roof?

Management, owners and government agencies must think twice before making any decision. A hush decision may leads to others injuring themselves.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Expensive medication

I had bad stomach for the past 4 days and tried to be my own doctor by taking traditional medication. The final straw was on friday night 8pm. My usual clinic was closed and i have to visit a 24hours clinic near my house. The consultation charge between 8-10pm was $30 which is very reasonable. The doctor tapped my stomach and asked if I have irregular meal. I said yes.  Then he said there are little acid in my stomach and it will cause stomach upset. In the end, the medication was over hundred dollars. With the consultation fee, it was about $140++++. I chosed to pay only the $30 consultation fee and did not collect the medicine.

Saturday afternoon 2pm, i went around Clementi and all the clinics (i walked to 6 clinics) operated until 1230pm and will only open on Monday.

I found one at blk 308 clementi Ave 4, Clementi Healthpoint Family Clinic. Medicine. Open on Sat night  and consultation plus medicine is $30. Doctor say is just some virus. Took antibiotics.  Next day I am well again.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My home

Singapore is really a very beautiful country.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

King Albert Park Mac Donald's new development is...

Certainly, there are good memories about King Albert Park for me.

I think belonged to the X/Y Generation.

There, you could witness the Ang-Mo-Bengs, the Bengs that wanna be, smoking, cursing in English and that would be their hang out place.

Our favorite hangout place after every Wednesday Band Practice in Ngee Ann Poly will consist of a walk to KAP. After I had my bike license, it seems that it is impossible for me to park the bike at the basement carpark, even there are lots for motorbike. Ending up having traffic fine for parking at the pavement.

I ever tried testing their ordering system and managed to break it, once.

Going there for studies seems impossible.

That is also the place where the nearby JC students would go.

Today, seeing many young couples going to take picture. I believe that is the place that they first meet, they date and these couples spend their time together.

They are closing at 1159pm and it is really crowded.

KAP is a place to hang out, bring communication and connection between friends closer. It is an activity place where we would remember.

We could see the happy crowd coming, they bring faces of smile. The frequency is there, not to collect debts but have a happy ending.


This hang out place has been sold $150 million.

we will have nothing for a few years, but looking at the Developer's website, there will be a basement+2 floors of commecial units. that include F&B. 40 restaurants, over 60 shops and a huge basement supermarket.

looking at the proposed plan, the ingress and egress route will be kept.

Also, there will be residences, from 1 bedroom to 5 bedroom.

sorry, I'm not selling anything here.

If you are the owner of this place, will you want to make this decision?

Monday, March 3, 2014

imported goods are better?

I am sick of the culture.

yes, culture, in work, in the society.

Esp in an asian country, when an organization engaged a white person, it means that the organization is well to do?

sorry, i am not agains the white, but I'm referring to the mental of the organization leadership.

i quote:

1st August 2010, Goh Mia Chun.


Do you understand what i mean?

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Scoopy and Fino Route in North Thailand. Day 1/7

The Scoopy and Fino Route


Samantha sent an email to all of our friends we met during our round the world trip for a Christmas greeting. Thor Anderson replied:

You look good in the Santa Clause hats.  Jerry and I will be at the HU meeting in Chiang Mai in January.  If that’s in your plans it would be nice to see you there.
Have a great 2014.

That email and sent a signal to the siren to activate the alarm in the house. We were so excited that Thor and Jerry will be coming to Chiang Mai this year for the biker’s meeting on 10 and 11th January.
During our round the world trip and we reached Chiang Mai, that’s where we first met Thor and Jerry.

We continued our trip, few months later we were in Germany and we met both of them again.
We continued our trip, few months later we were in San Francisco, staying with Thor!

2 amazing gentlemen that we have met and we would want to met again. Both of them are close to 80 and are still riding around, I mean tough off beaten track rides!
Ideas came into my mind on how to go Chiang Mai again meeting Thor and Jerry since we did it many times with our bike. We considered:

Taking Hope 2.0, that will lead us 8 days up and down the highway from home, repair and maintenance for such big rides, expenses for riding up and down the 8 days, risk of road usage for the 8 days and the same experience we are going through. Do we still want to have the kind of appraisal from the locals and friends saying: Wao, you rode a motorcycle from Singapore to Chiang Mai? 

Nope, that’s not our main objective.

Taking our truck up north: yes, that’s a brand new adventure but lots of red tape crossing the Singapore – Malaysia border. No thanks.
Flying to Chiang Mai? Do what? Just 2 nights to meet them and back? Shall we do something more worth while?


The research started off when we really decided to buy air tickets 1 week before leaving. Flight from Singapore to Chiang Mai cost RM825 per person, round trip and has limited flight dates. So we chose 5th January, Sunday morning and back on 11th January, Saturday evening. It was a little tight because Samantha had an important gathering on 12th January, Sunday morning.

We have 7 days and 6 nights to spend, look at google map on the border mountains between Myanmar and Thailand, making sure those towns were not mentioned in any of the travel guide, look at routes that were not along the main road, link the points together, calculate 4-5 hours of riding per day, look at bike rental pricing in Chiang Mai and decide on the best machine.

Day 1, Sunday.
Early flight, took a taxi to the airport, had a posh Hong Kong salty noodle with luncheon meat, took our record setting journey from Singapore to Chiang Mai with a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, took a local taxi at standard rate of RM15 to Coocase
We contacted Leslie, the Coocase distributor of Thailand and he had a few machine for rent and all of the machine comes with Coocase.

What so cool about Coocase? I didn’t realized it, and neither Leslie pay me to advertise for his product.

It comes with interchangeable top color, inner protection liner for your helmet, special locking system, USB charging system, remote lock and alarm for some selected models. We picked up 2 new bikes (less than 4000km mileage), automatic gear, 4 stokes and lots of compartment.
Honda Scoopy Prestige 110cc (AKA: The black one)
Yamaha Fino 115cc (AKA: The yellow one)

RM15 per day per bike rental fee.
RM3 per day for insurance against thief and accident (see their foot notes)
Located at: N18 48.164 E98 57.913
Lesson learnt: Bring your own helmets

Our route:

To the north, enjoy what the local is enjoying, see the least tourist polluted places before it gets polluted with recommendation from travel guide, ride slow so that we can see more things and enjoy the view, the moment and more photo opportunity. Hardly we would want to pay and enter any tribe villages to visit the tribe, it’s not so real as we feel like the same visiting a zoo. Not saying that they are animal but, its just not real! Can you imagine, after the visiting hours in those tribe village, they undress the tribe costume, go to the rear of the ticketing center, punch card, ride their motorcycle back to their home surfing internet? Maybe I’m a little imaginative.

We have not much issue with handling the black and yellow one on the highway @ 60-70km per hour, as there will not be much highway riding on this 7 days route.
This is the usual route to the Mae Hong Song, not for us this time. Anyway, Mae Hong Song is not the only place with 1864 curves.

Stop by this place:

N19 22.348 E98 56.900

Nice garden, good coffee.

After 90km, the fun starts! Nice scenery, comfortable turns.

Our aim for the day, to reach Piang Luang.

We didn’t know what to see in Piang Luang until we reached there, Chinese looking people start to appear,
We chose this place to visit because it is out of the touristy Mae Hong Song and it is near a border.

What is in Piang Luang and what is there to visit?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Preparation for new adventure.

Yes, we are setting off on 5th January 2014.

This is the GPS we brought along for RTW trip. now it is almost retired but we made good use of it.