Big Boss’ Rules


Read these first:-

When my son was a baby (a very cute one too), he occupies one third of the bed with me and my wife taking one third each. But as he grew up, I find myself sleeping on the floor as my son takes up half of the bed (and moves around in his sleep) and my wife the other half. Of course, this does not happen all the time as he usually sleeps on the ground floor with his grandmother although if given the chance, he rather opt to sleep on my large comfortable bed and with the air conditioner running on high speed (I don’t mind either – anything for the Boss, eh).

So one day when my brother got married and decided to moved, we saw a golden opportunity to take “ownership” of my brother’s room and give it to my son instead. It was meant for him anyway, one day. We got for him a cabinet and drawers for his clothes, books and toys, a bed and more importantly a table & chair for him to use when he does his revision and homework. His room has a small fan and has an attached bathroom.

He is a big man now (so we told him) and thus we were sure that he needs his space and privacy. Of course, it took some coaxing and words of encouragement before he braved himself to sleep in his own room (it gets worse if he had watched some horror movie before going to bed). Sometimes we allow him to sleep on our bed and when he had fallen asleep, I would carry him to his bed (a feat I could no longer do these days).

D3

One day when I entered his room to clean up, I noticed a hand-written “rules of the room” pasted on his cabinet. The boss must have worked on it when he was alone in his room the night before and when we had told him to do his homework (now I know why he took hours to finish up his homework).

The rules (not sure for who) states this:-

  • Do not jump on the bed
  • Ask permission to play carrom
  • Do not read any private books
  • Make your bed after you sleep
  • Ask permission to play Saidina
  • Do not read any books on the bed
  • Sit on the chair if you are to do homework and read any books
  • Do not jump on the chair
  • Do not sit on the table
  • Do not mess any clothes in the drawer
  • Do not use the gel without permission
  • Do not play with the yo-yo without permission
  • Do not use the room watch to do any alarms
  • Do not play with the tissue paper
  • Do not play with the badminton racquet
  • Use the bookmark to mark the book page

I read the rules of the room a couple of times and to tell you the truth, I was immensely proud – he somehow had took charge of his room with his own “rules” (one of course does not necessarily applies to the Boss).

One thing that the Boss does not take ownership is the cleanliness of his room. Pieces of papers all over the place, books not arranged properly, bed not done up and often his school bag & school books thrown on the bed. Despite my wife constantly reminding him to keep his room clean and use the dust-bin in his room, it simply fallen on deaf ears. We had to tasked ourself to organise major housekeeping operation whenever we enter his room to clean up. It takes me almost the whole day to clean up and organise things in his room.

D2

And recently a strange graffiti had appeared on the wall just behind where he sits.

I asked him – who “drew” on the wall. My son who was busy with his homework, turned around, looked at the wall for a moment and casually and with a straight face said that he did not know who drew on the wall. I wanted to laugh for I recognised his “handy work” on the wall anywhere, anytime. No one else enters his room other than me and my wife. There was only one suspect and he was sitting in front of me, pretending not knowing what is happening.

I asked him again and I got the same innocent answer – “I don’t know who did it”. No point forcing him, I already know who did it. I replied “ok” and told him that I hope that whoever did this, must not do it again and should be more careful to take care of the wall.

Well, my son must have thought that I am referring to someone else because a few days later, new graffiti appeared on the wall. After a while, I decided not to bring this up to the Boss because in a way the room belongs to him and he is free to “decorate” it as he sees it fit. Besides I had planned to repaint the whole wall one day and hopefully by then he had grown up to be more responsible.

And the Boss do have big plans for his room and one day, he did talk to me on his “future plans” – he wanted the room to be painted bright orange (yes all 4 walls) and to add a huge air-conditioner to his room. He also wanted a flat screen TV (for his Play station – whenever he takes his 5 minutes break from doing school work) and a computer with broadband internet (he argues that he will use it for school work and nothing more. Ya right!).

Maybe by then, the Boss would draw up new rules. I know he would…

“Professor” D


Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google appear

(Still remember Geordi La Forge from the famed Star Trek the Next Generations with his high-tech eye-wear? We may be seeing technology catching up on the low profile eye-wear with Google’s Glass Project and that could be start of things to come. Who knows, perhaps we can even replace our human eyes with its limitations with a high-tech robotic eyes? Image source: http://resourcemagonline.com)

This year could mark an important year in my son’s life – it is the year he started to wear a spectacle. It was something we did not expect to happen so soon but since he had complained that he could not see what is being written on the blackboard from the back of the class and thus missing to copy down some assignment, we knew we need to act fast. We had talked to his teacher and got him to sit in front but in the long run, it was not that helpful. It is either we play ignorant whilst he continue to fall back on his studies and his eye-sight get worse or get him to see a eye doctor and then a proper spectacles.

It was the same dilemma that probably faced my Dad when I said the same thing many, many years ago when I too had the same problem. But back in the 1980s, wearing a spectacle seemed to be a big taboo sort of. Perhaps it is due to the size of spectacles back then – it was not small, looked ugly and came without added technology such as multi-coating, high index and light sensitive lens. Contact lens was almost non-existence. And given the fact that no one in the family (and that included those at my uncles and aunties side) wears a spectacle, you were looked at like an alien when you wear one in front of them.

It took some sound advice from my class teacher to get my Dad to “see things from my point of view” and we were off to see an optician. Let’s just say that things gotten clearer since then. And my son remarked the same when he got his “stylist” spectacles. And things have changed too – instead of the usual weird looks from our relatives, it seemed more acceptable now for one to wear spectacles especially if you read a lot of books. One even remarked that my son now looks like a professor.

Perhaps there is another point on view on why we should not be wearing spectacles:-

The problem with glasses and contacts are that they are crutches. Just like using leg crutches to help you walk when you are recovering from a broken or injured leg, glasses give you the instant gratification of being able to suddenly see clearly with eyes that have lost the ability to focus well on their own.

Glasses are a quick fix indeed! However, they don’t address the root cause that allowed your eyes to get out of shape in the first place: deformation of the actual shape of the eye. Myopia (near-sightedness) is caused by elongation of the eye; hyperopia (far-sightedness) by the eye becoming shorter in length.

And just as one’s leg would never fully recover, but would actually become weaker, if you continued to use crutches indefinitely, the use of corrective lenses allows your eye to become progressively weaker — either more myopic or hyperopic, as the case may be. The use of laser surgery may seem to be the best of all fixes, by permanently re-sculpting the cornea. But the risks and complications can be significant, and continued bad vision habits can result in the need for repeat surgery.

(Source)

It does makes some sense but it takes a lot of practice and patience to maintain the “eyes exercise” and get on with daily activities without wearing any spectacles. Certainly it is not an easy thing to do. Otherwise many opticians would have gone out of business fast. But moving forward, things may change in the near future – we one day may not need to wear spectacles:-

Short-sightedness, or myopia, which makes distant objects appear blurred, often begins in childhood, and it appears to be growing in the UK – now affecting about one in three British adults. But a scientific breakthrough announced this week could start to reduce that number within a decade.

Scientists based in London have identified a gene that causes myopia and are confident that drugs could be developed to halt the distorted growth of the eye that brings about the condition. In about 10 years, short-sightedness could be cured through eye drops, says Dr Chris Hammond, who led the research at King’s College London.

(Source)

Coming back to my son wearing one, we do try to get him to be less dependant on his spectacles by getting him to do some basic eyes exercise and to use his eyes unaided if possible. Not that we have anything ugly against him wearing spectacles – we just worried that it will deter him from his usual active activities. But he proved us dead wrong the very next day – wearing a spectacle however did not deter him from his usual active activities – he still flies through his swimming practices on the weekends, setting faster pace every week and remains active in school as well. Of course, that causes us to constantly reminding him to be careful with his spectacles. He do forgets that he is wearing one especially when he high-jumps on the bed whenever he comes to our bedroom.

2013 – Expectations & Targets


book cabinet

(The overloaded book cabinet that is long due to get a “partner” – the sign was obvious when we started to see books all over the place. And we have targeted this year to get one and reorganise the area into a mini-library )

Happy New Year to all and welcome! So, what’s I am expecting in 2013?

We will have the big Boss’ 1st year birthday to celebrate this year and compared to the one we did for our son (the other Boss) many years ago (although we made it up for his 2nd birthday), we were thinking of doing it on a larger scale with friends and family and probably save the trouble of cooking for all by just engaging a proper caterer. The problem is to find the right place to have this celebrations – doing it in the house is the obvious option for now but it may not be enough to accommodate all if we are going to “formally” do this one (parking would be chaos too). And if we are going to do one for new Big Boss, we also need to do a similar one for the other big Boss, just to be fair (we might combine the two celebrations to cut cost & time and make it a lot easier for guests too). Anyway we still have a couple of months to decide and plan for this birthday bash – we just need to pull our resources to finalise them. I am sure we will get plenty of suggestions. And we can’t wait to share the new Boss’ experience of growing up in the same manner we had with our son (we still do and we are loving every moment of it).

My son has moved up into the “first class” this year and we are all well aware of the intense competition and high expectations (from the teachers) in that class for the top places. We are also well aware of the fact that if he did not do well this year, he will be moved out from the “first class” to other “lower class” next year. Actually we are not very concern with this “first class” – “lower class” issue. Education can come in all forms and manners and the status of class means nothing to any students who are hard-working, all rounders and well understands the subject matters. And we are more than happy if son gets good marks (to go to college) and the education that will be useful in his future. And we know that he can keep up with his friends in the same class if he wants to if he spends more on school books than on his comic books & games. So this year, a small change of strategy needed in making sure he spends more time on his writing, school books and homework and us spending more time to check on his school work and tutor him if we find any weaknesses.

For this year, we are also intending to add another book cabinet before end of the year and turn the small family area upstairs into a mini library (we already calling the existing book cabinet “the library” but it would be better if we can get the books more organised). My son has been stacking up more books in his room and because we don’t have enough space in our current book cabinet, it is taking up precious space at his cabinet where he is also keeping his school books. And it has come to a stage where we are now stacking up books in 2 rows and on top of each other in the book cabinet. So another book cabinet is a must before we have the 2013 Big Bad Wolf Book sales starts at end of the year (another event to look out for in 2013), otherwise my wife is going to see more books lying all over the place and I know how much she hates me making the house “dirty”. Creation of a mini library would also mean that we need to rearrange the prayer altar for the book cabinets & maybe a couple of soft sofas and work on better lighting to make the reading more pleasurable (to make it an ideal corner for reading).

prepper

(2012 may been the Mayan’s end of the calendar year which thankfully did not happen but hopefully this 2013 would be prepper’s year to be one notch better than last year. Picking up from the news report on last year’s doomsday excitement, it should not be the end of prepping and getting ready for disasters in the future)

2013 would also be my target year to be a complete prepper where I hoped that we will be self-sustaining on food, water and others (maybe with improvements on security as well) for at least couple of months. Think about it – we barely into 2013 and we already facing a serious disruption of water supply – a basic need for all living things and despite it has been raining cats & dogs for some of the days, there seems to be plenty of finger-pointing as to who to take the blame (in this case, the contention that Syabas should take the complete blame for poor maintenance of the pumps makes a lot of sense). I have a colleague who did not have running water in his housing area for the last 2 weeks and he has 2 school-going children to take care and things are not getting any better even now (the latest news reports states that this situation is going to last way in February – imagine the havoc on Chinese New Year celebrations and then we had warnings of typhoon Sonamu hitting the East Coast states with a possible spill-over to West Coast (so, another round of flash floods?). Anyone recall when was the last time we had major warning on the some tropical storms hitting our shores? And I am not talking about the yearly “musim tengkujuh” warning. Is it going to be sign of things to come? Would prepping be part and parcel of our normal routine in the coming months? With a constant threat of water disruption (and now the weather), perhaps we should start with prepping of water for a longer time period and that is what I am targeting for this year.

Oh yes, we will likely to see the general elections to be held this year and it will be interesting to see on whether Pakatan can still to hold on to the states of Selangor and Penang which BN lost back in 2008. After all, they have been pretty “busy” for the past years since 2008 campaigning Pakatan as a bad choice for Selangor instead working themselves to be better choice for the people. It will also be interesting to see whether BN can regain the lost two-third in the Parliament (a place where they have been kept on their toe by the increased and well coordinated oppositions). However the fact that the Selangor State Government resisted the implementation of AES in the state (with dumb politicians failing to see the bigger picture) is more than enough for me to turn to the dark side and vote for BN. The Pakatan fellows may have their merits in resisting the AES implementation but the longer they resist without a solution in sight meant lawlessness on Malaysian roads will continue with dire results. Whatever it is, we need to be prepared for face dirty politics as part of our daily life until and perhaps after the dust had settled after the general election (we saw the same thing in 2008 – remember the Perak fiasco? I hope you still remember it – it was a case of law of the jungle at the highest order).

One thing is certain at this point of time in 2013 – we will not be a developed country by 2020, not in the next short 7 years that we have (there are too many things to be undone and done and I don’t see the political will-power to take drastic actions), not when we don’t have broad minded politicians who can see the bigger picture (some still living in the Stone Age and insist on others to follow them too), not when we are still lack in areas of enforcement & management of resources and certainly not when we continue to segregate the people by race and religion (unless something drastic happens in this year). The ex-PM, Tun Dr M can go to his grave knowing that his vision 2020 remained as a vision and nothing more.

Counting down into the 8th year of blogging, it has been one a good way for me to relieve stress and provide a good mental exercise (another has been reading a good book). And speaking of stress, 2013 seems to be a good year to relook into the topic of health and well-being. It is something I started at the end of last year – eating less outside and bringing food from home. Since the birth of the baby and until the time is right for my wife to go back to work, (since she had to wake up in morning to make milk for the baby) she decided to prepare food for my daily lunch. Nothing special or difficult – last night leftovers and something simple & hot in the morning and with less oil, salt and carbohydrate and more protein. Money saved from daily lunch (and breakfast) is re-used to buy fresh vegetables and fish (which is not getting cheaper by the way), so in a way I am getting a bigger boost for health from the same amount of money. It is not about me going for dieting (it will not work) but rather eating more balanced, healthy food, something that sometimes is difficult to get in your local mamak stall. The other aspect of getting healthy is exercise and that is something I have not really planned on anything specific other than take up more time to play badminton with my son in the evening on weekends and do more housework (cleaning & painting the house).

Let’s see how things moving on as we proceed further in 2013…

A Chat with D


Read these first:-

An interesting chat with my son a couple nights ago…

(D doing the Assassin Creed + Gangsta + Rap Singer impression with winter clothes and seriously I do not know where he picked the style up)

I was watching TV a couple nights ago – my son was doing his homework which was weird because he usually got that done before I come back from work. I know he was kind of rushing to complete the homework when suddenly he stopped and seemed to think hard for a moment. I noticed this and I though he was thinking about his homework. I kind of ignored him and continued to watch the TV when I suddenly noticed him walking towards me.

D: Appa, can I ask you something?

Me: Yes, what is it? (I was thinking that it must be query on his homework)

D: Appa, can you send me to English school for Form 1?

Me: English school? (he spoke about it some time ago – he has been having some problem with the National Language especially in the subject of Science)

D: Yes, somewhere I can take the plane and oh yes, there must be snow too

Me: What about English school in Singapore? (me just throwing some names)

D: We can drive to Singapore! No, it must be some where we must take the plane.

Me: So, you want to America?

D: No, I want to go to US (perhaps not understanding that America & US is the same thing)

Me: Ok, sure – if Appa have enough money, I will sent you there, for sure

D: Thanks, hmmm (D going into a “thinking” motion)

D: Maybe I continue until Form 6 here and continue my college there

Me: As Appa said, if Appa have enough money, I will send you for sure but for now, you need to study hard for now. Form 1 is still long way to go

D: Ok

My son, with a face that indicates that he had accomplish an important mission, walks back and continue with his homework.

Now that conversation got me thinking – with the Government screwing up the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, perhaps it is not a bad idea to look for school that actually teaches that two crucial subjects in English – a language that universally been accepted as the main language of Science (and Mathematics). A point that my son implied to me, considering how he like to watch Science related documentaries on ASTRO all in ENGLISH!

I guess I have to start collecting – Form 1 to 6 in US is going to cost me alot

D, The Forgetful


Probably this worth writing down, in case “Big Boss” disputes it in future…

(Unfortunately we have one cute, lovable Mr Forgetful right here at home. Image source: http://plasmanc.blogspot.com/)

One of the problems that my son been having lately is losing his stuff at school occasionally. Sometimes he would lose a pencil, sometimes an eraser. Often, he don’t realize this until we do our usual weekly checking on his school inventories. Most of the time, he doesn’t have any idea as to how he can lose his things despite us constantly reminding him to check his things at all times and before he comes back home.  We suspect the culprits are his classmates who probably has not been taught that it is not right to take other’s things without permission. But then again, my son has his faults too – he hardly bothers to ask around until we ask for it.

Last weekend, I noticed my son seemed quite free and in between him watching his cartoons, he was also pestering me for my phone to play his favorite game, Angry Bird. I could have ignored his free time if not for my wife, shouting from the kitchen asking me to give him some homework. So, both of us (me and my son), lazily decided to follow the “instructions” from the HEO. I took out a book and started to go through the exercise and asked my son for his pencil. He took out his pencil box and laid it in front of me. There were about 2 very, very short pencils and 1 medium short pencil. All were not sharpen as usual. He also seems to have “misplaced” the longer pencil again. At this time, we decided to do something – we need to mark all his items with a bright, not-easy-to-remove tags so that in case anyone takes his items, it will be easy to find them again.

We drove to the nearest hypermarket and soon we got “lost” in shopping for new quality pencils, a better pencil sharpener, some color papers and more importantly, tags for his school items. We had a “good day” and once we returned home, we set on getting the tags all done whilst my son had his lunch and thereafter started on his home work. To tell you the truth, we are still experimenting with the tags. Hopefully brightly colored tags with his name rather prominent would ensure that we will not have missing school items and ensure my son have a way to get his things back.

So far, it seems like the plan is working (of course we backed this with constant reminders). Then yesterday as I was about to leave for home after pumping petrol for my car, I got a call from my wife. The Big Boss had forgotten something again – art block for his school work. So, I had to make another pit stop for the art block. And when I got back home, both my wife and my son was standing at the front door – my wife complaining that the need for an art block was already known since a week ago but some how, my son had forgotten about it. He had forgotten when we went shopping at the hypermarket on the weekends. He had forgotten as well in the morning when my wife took him to the shop for some items.

And I asked him about it rather sternly, all he “remembers” is to ask if I have updated the latest games into my phone. Sigh!

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Getting Down on Games


(The latest craze – the famed Angry Birds, now even comes in form of cakes. My son even got himself a stuff toy version of the Angry Birds last week. Image source: http://walyou.com)

Almost on daily basis, my wife had to charge her mobile phone battery despite hers is not a modern smart phone which uses a lot of battery power or she is not a heavy mobile phone user – she only uses to for calls and occasional SMSes.

The culprit of course, is none other than our son who often get too bored with his usual toys and had to content between him monopolizing the TV for his kiddies shows and we providing something new for his gaming needs. Before I got my Nokia N8, the most “sophisticated” phone other than the CSL’s Blueberry was my wife’s 2730 Nokia which can take in some good Java games. I managed to stuff as many new games it was possible without overwhelming the storage and “released” on the right moments when my son have already got bored with the older games and he had already reached the highest level there is.

When my N8 arrived, it was just too tempting for my son to explore all the gaming options there is and soon, he have gotten to be more expert than me. And for a young boy who often gets bored fast, one game seems to be holding back his interest for sometime now – Angry Birds and for Nokia platform, there have several releases todate – the basic Free version, Lite version, the Season version and the Rio version. He has “done” it all – most several times over as he wanted to win in best time and the most “stars”. And once he gets hold of my phone, he gets lost in a world of his own – he no longer need his TV for his entertainment shots but at the same, he does not able to hear us calling out his name. One needs to physically hold the mobile phone to grab his attention.

Of course, we are very particular as to when he can play games on our mobile phones. His homework must be done first and done properly and without mistakes. And there are times when he needs to do revisions and at that times, TV, games and other “non-education” related items are strictly forbidden. Only when he is free and we want him to sit at one place, in front of us and our mobile phone batteries fully charged, we will pass over phones (although getting them back from him can prove to be a challenge).

Frankly speaking, Angry Birds (and before that several other mobile games) is very, very addictive. It is very simple to play and you score more points if you read the structure dynamics well – you hit it at the right angle and you may get a domino effect. Whoever did this is simply brilliant. You can lose several hours, just tucking yourself away in a corner and not knowing what is happening on the outside. It is also useful when one have nothing to do whilst waiting for others to come in before a meeting can be started. Just click the sound off, put the mobile phone below the conference table and you will no longer be feeling bored. Something to kill time before the actual meeting starts.

Of course, mobile games can’t come close to computer games or video game consoles which run on more powerful processors and with better hardware specs and memory power. One of my favorites, Company of Heroes (the first one is still the best – the subsequent ones simply sucked) is still one of the games that blew me away with its fine storytelling, graphics and a chance to be Germans, winning World War 2 battles.

Until we get a more fun, attention grabbing mobile game, Angry Birds is here to stay, causing more strain on our batteries as we try to get better points from the last time.

Kojak Time


It is T minus 2 days…

(Still remember this show from the 80’s? Back then, we used to call anyone who is bald, Kojak! Image source: http://savalas.tv)

There are some prayers over the weekend for my son and we suppose to get him shave his head as a sign of “renewal” (or as a means of going through a purification ritual, so they say).

This should have been done when he was still a baby but somehow we have been procrastinating until now (ya, we hate to see sharp razor “sliding” on his head). Aware of his good looks, he initially refused to get his head shaved clean until my wife informed that I will shave my head as well (it happened so fast, I had time to react). My son who like to act and talk like me at certain times liked the idea of two of us going bald at the same time – he asked me and I decided “why not?”

I had my hair cut to the minimum length before but a complete shave of the head is something new. As it is for a good cause and for my son, I will do anything, so losing a couple of hair from the head is small thing.

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