Thursday, March 15, 2018

Funny! - entry drafted on 9th Mar 18 #lateposting#

The graduating cohort's stepping down.

Just 2 days ago, I peeped into her bag of pressie for her juniors.

And I saw one with a card and a Yupi sweet. Yah! It was that pathetic!! I thought it was so .... hurtful... I can imagine how I'd feel if it's my daughter who is at the receiving end of such pathetic sweet. So, I asked her if she could pack something small for her. And then she tells me she doesn't like that girl.

After she got into the car, the first thing I asked her was how did the girl feel for getting the smallest present, asked if she was sad. She started giggling and said : "No mummy. Infact she was so happy because i was the only one who gave her something because I feel bad for her. The rests didn't."

我的教导有用. Always asked the girls to try to accept everyone.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Marie Kondo vs Alejandra Costello vs Lily Ann Teo - my views - entry drafted on 30th Sep 17 #lateposting

Can't believe this entry has been in my Drafts since 30th Sep 17. Late posting again.

This post is about these two organizers I've heard so far and my views 

Alejandra Costello
I've heard of her around two years ago and was so mesmerized with the way she organizes her house. All the nice containers, jars that fits nicely into the cabinets without an inch left on the sides.  Either she must have found the perfect containers size to fit into her cabinets or she tailored made her cabinets to fit the sizes of the containers. For an OCD freak me, it's certainly very pleasing to the eyes. 

I watched her home video where she shows you how she organizes her house


Pantry 
Woah! A bit like a mini mini mini mart like that lor...... cans of baked beans arranged neatly, canned soups etc.. Very wow! Nice but not practical here, unless I've got an army to feed daily. Plus, there are so many grocers; supermarkets within our radius. Do I need to stock up so much? 
Pantry is useful for those days when you just don't want to be caught when you have nothing in the house to eat. However I live in a small flat, with a kitchen space that is smaller than their toilet, as it is I don't have space on the counter top so many of my appliances are in the cabinet. The cabinets are little for a family for 4. But.... for someone like me who don't have to cook 3 meals 3 dishes daily, it's a little easier for me to maintain a minimum stock of items in the house. 

A walk through her whole house after that, My initial thought was "wow! That's a lot of stuffs for her to keep." I managed to keep certain stuffs into boxes & into the cabinets, I don't need a specific room for that.  



Kitchen

That's alot of crockeries she's got in there. When we moved over, I left some in the old house and brought over the good ones bought from Takashimaya years before. I was so ready not to have any more and how often do we have guests over right? I thought maybe I could use disposable plates and bowls then? However, for 2 years we had my in-laws and family over at our place during CNY so I had to get another 8 sets of small plates, bowls, ladles for steamboat. Actually should have bought like 12 sets of each but .... I’m also worried if the plate stacker organizer that I bought might collapse under the weight.  
Thanks to Alejandra where I saw how she stacked up her plates with some stacker. It certainly helped me as our each cabinet space has only two compartments, with quite a tall height. 


Craft and Office Room
She has nice stash of papers and files in rainbow colours in her craft and office room. It looks beautiful, if I were to look at the myriad of colours daily, I'd definitely be cheerful. But really! She has too many things in that room. Who keeps wrapping papers macam like bookstore? I have kids who attends more birthday parties than her and I don't even keep that many rolls of wrapping papers. At the most I only have 1 roll or nothing at all. But then again, our wrapping papers don't come in gigantic size like theirs. I used to buy a huge roll of paper during Christmas to wrap up the presents and I finish the whole roll. Whatever extras I have, I'll just junk them coz' I don't like to repeat same wrapping paper the next year. Anyway, the kids' friends parties seemed to stop. The easiest for me is to give angpow. 

She has ribbons hanging on the wall panel. She has some good ideas but OMG! the first thing I thought to myself was - dust collection!! Does she even clean up every rolls? With such a big house, I don't think she does thorough cleaning daily unless she's more superwoman than me.


Checklist? 
Checklist for chores? Exercise? Stickers to indicate that she's done particular stuff. I thought it was so funny - stickers. Once I get my errands done, I don't even bother about the list. Even this muddle -headed brained me only needs two A4 monthly calendar and I put them on the fridge. I note down the kids' tuitions and extra informations (eg. staying back in school later or early dismissal), so I can remember when to pick them up. The other piece is mainly for menu planning. As both my kitchen and fridge is small, I don't keep alot of groceries. I plan what to cook and then try to finish up the ingredients as quickly as possible. Like if I know I need to get big onions for sukiyaki pork, I'll plan for another dish that uses big onions as well. Once the month is over, I junk the paper and put in new month. Oh well, just like what she said 'choose a system that suits you'. I choose to have errands listed in my handphone, so once it's done for me I'll just delete it away. Simple!   



Ha! The only thing she can't beat me is the number of pens and stationeries my girls own. My girls have octopus hands lah! But yet, those are kept in their respective study table drawer so the amount does look spread out. 

I do have extra stationeries (eg. stapler bullets, post-it-pad, glue dot refills,tabs, exercise books, ready-size book wrapper covers, flat files etc..) and I stash them in two small transparent boxes which I kept in lil' one's wardrobe. (I don't have the amount of space and drawers like she does) Those are what I call my "Mini Popular Bookstore" coz there were occasions where we were caught off guard when they ran out of stuffs, situations where che-che suddenly needs a coloured flat file for school the next day. So after I got a little smarter by keeping a little extras, we don't have to worry so much. Sometimes we even rescue 1 or 2 of her classmates. Although, there's a Popular Bookstore in a nearby mall but I don't have the time to run out there whenever we need something. There comes a time when both of them don't attend school and don't need those stationeries, will deal with that later. Or perhaps with only one kid left in school (lil' one. Che would have started working) I don't even need to stock up anymore, she'll get them when she needs it. Mummy is not her errand lady anymore.    


Magazines - at any time she keeps only 12 magazines in the house 

I'm not too sure if I have more or less than her. I throw magazines away after reading them. The only magazines that are in our coffee table drawer : 1) Ikea catalogue 2) Motoring magazine bought by the man (which I'm going to junk soon). But if I were to include the Readers Digest that che-che kept in her room... yah... we have more magazines than her. Speaking of which, I don't understand why che-che likes to keep RDigest. I do subscribe to BBC Earth. Very interesting read but seems like che-che has lost interest in this, so I'm the only one reading it. Anyway, I have stopped the subscription. I will resort to digital subscription. There's so many interesting magazines - History, Wildlife, Economist. Che-che has been asking me to subscribe to US edition of RDigest, well I shall see how. I don't want to deal with so many rubbish at home.  


Closet 

She has too many clothes! I have less than 12 tops! I mean, even though I don't need to wear any warm clothes since Singapore has only one season - HOT! Even if I were to bring out my winter tops and thermal wear from underbed storage, I still have lesser clothes than her. And mine are organized in boxes and vaccumed packed 

The thing I like is her organized special drawer for her jewelleries. I don't have a drawer, I put my jewelleries in a jewellery box or in the small safe. That's because I don't change my jewelleries daily and infact I don't wear any except earrings. I always shower and run out of the house, wet dripping wet and put on lipstick in the car at traffic lights. Where got time to 打扮自己?

The snap on the hanger is a nice idea but not practical in my case. Her idea of having snaps is to identify which is a top; dress etc.. Which is not applicable to me as I only hang up outside tops. My home clothes and jeans are folded and tucked into a drawer. And since whatever goes from the wardrobe goes to drying rack, having snaps will be so troublesome. But we do have different colour hangers. Hubby and I uses a white hanger, che-che uses a pink hanger, lil' one uses her old wooden hanger for children. She's small size so can't use the same one as we do. Hopefully, one day I can clear those away and let her use the same hangers as us. Oh! Just in case you're wondering why I had different hangers... in the old house my girls like to throw their hangers around and when probed they both deny it's their doing. Oh yah! like it's the ghost who threw hangers around. So it's used to identify which kid left their hanger around the house, something which I've been asking them not to do. I'll make sure that guilty person keeps it back to proper place. They can't deny it's not them.   



Most of my clothes are folded and "filed" in. It's much easier and won't create a mess when I take them out. I learnt this from her! I don't keep alot of clothes anyway, my walk-in cabinet drawers are small so I can only keep to 7-8 pieces of home clothes top, 5-6 shorts.

  
Bathroom
I keep my extra bathroom clutters in transparent Toyogo boxes (I use these around the house), labelled them and put them in the cabinet below sink. She hides them behind shower curtain. Good idea.. but not practical for us coz' we have shower screens at home and the last thing I want to see is untidy visible mess in the toilet. Preferably is to have none at all, but it's quite impossible when you have a family of 4 living together, everyone has their own toothbrush; own comb; own stuffs - they all add up. 
   
She moved and in another house - Her Office
I would have chucked the rubbish mails into the bins; tore up my statements on the way up to my house and bin it the moment I step into the house; no need anymore slips of papers coz' most payment are by GIRO or I can do internet banking, which I'll snapshot on my phone and then put a memo to my calendar for "TO DO" and get it done in the night after I'm free. She even shows people she has 3 bins for "recycle, shred and trash". She has small bins for used batteries. Wah piang eh. Ok, so I'm not an environmentally friendly person. Even for the girls' school matters, I only put the ultra important ones infront of my study table, the rests I just snap a picture and keep it in phone photo album folders. I'll die if I ever lose my phone or memory data. 


Conclusion : She's probably the 没事要找事做 . In my opinion there were too many redundant ways of keeping stuffs.  Not that I'm freaking jealous of her big house but .... I think I'll keep the rooms for the children, guest. And I'm still wondering how she cleans her house, or does she not clean them regularly? 



I am proud to say, despite having small spaces in my house. I still have empty wardrobe space.  


Marie Kondo

Early last year(2016) , my friend talked about this lady Marie Kondo. I first thought it's no surprise that a Japanese start with organizing homes as houses in Japan are small. They need to compact everything. But wait! While she has runs a consulting company in Tokyo, my Japanese girlfriend residing in Fukuoka gave me a big blur look when I asked if Marie Kondo is famous in Japan. My girlfriend's reply "Who is she? I've never heard of such person."



Anyway, this sparks my curiosity about this person and her ideas. I began a search on her on the internet and realized she wrote books. Her first book seems to be very popular thus I had to make a reservation for it. Within days I received notification that the book was ready for collection.  

Quote : - 
In Kondo’s worldview, “When you’ve finished tidying your home, your life will change dramatically.” Your relationships will improve! 
I'm not sure if I should agree with her views coz' while in the process of upkeeping the tidy home (the kids come home and throw things about; the man leaves the remote controls around etc..), I nag and scold. In the end, this spoils my relationship with my family.  

Interesting read : 
https://www.google.com.sg/amp/www.gq.com/story/marie-kondo-purge-diary/amp


Just by reading 2 chapters of the book I must admit this is not really a book for me as this is what I had been doing. (I'm slow in writing a book myself!)

This book will be suitable for hoarders and I'm not (tho the man will say likewise). I declutter and I'm able to discard things away with two eyes closed and without giving thanks. But how can I maintain the whole house so neat like some people's house? When u have kids, it's so different. I'm sure if I lived alone, I will be able to. I mean....I'm able to survive with only 7 undergarments and 8-9 home clothes. I've tried but I can't say for my family members you know. So what if I have 8-9 home clothes when their "clothes outnumber mine by many times"? The best solution is to throw their clothes away when they're not in. 😬 Only when the girls are older, then we are able to throw/giveaway all the books.
So, I hope there is nothing 'new' coming into the house even before I have the time to get it 'out' of the house.

Does it spark joy? While she has the belief that every item has like a life and you gotta give thanks before throwing it away. I just don't have the time to hold every piece of item. I simply close my eyes and throw. How much time do I even have? I gotta do the household chores, in between the cooking and picking girls up from school. Honestly, not much time left to hug and sweet talk the non-living thing.   

Kon Marie says to declutter by items not place. And suppose to bring it from all over the house and put in one big heap and sort it out from there. I don't want to follow her, it's not practical. I do it by place because I would have known where I've decluttered. Moreover I keep all the items at one designated place/ box when we moved in, so there you go..... I'm already organized even before I read her book. I don't have the luxury of piling a mountain up in the middle of my living room unless I'm super free at home the whole day.  But sometimes feel that the girls mess up faster than me!! After all there are 3 pairs of hands while I only have one pair of hands to keep the rests. I get really mad with them.  

Clear your desk, clear your mind. Sigh...... their study table is a .....No wonder their brain all clogged up, just like their study table. Che-che's room is an eyesore, she has books and ... I just tidy what I need to tidy, then leave the rest of the mess to her. I tidied up her study table and the books once, she couldn't find her things and was mad at me. She said it's not messy to her at all. (signs of ADD?). 
I remember once the man said our table is messy. My things are there. My things meaning the pens; penknife (to kill someone) in the drawer, printer. Printer?!?!? Oi! He works in an office, if he wants to print something, he can 偷偷 print in the office. I'm not working leh! Plus it's not MY PRINTER!! Though I'm the one paying for it, the girls also use it when they need to print something for their school work etc..


In an interview, Marie was asked if there's any gender difference in their approach to tidying.
She claimed " in general they're pretty much the same. Men collect things and there are more things that they  can't just let go of. BINGO! He still dare to say I'm a hoarder. Whose the hoarder? I ever asked the man before what he needs (even before we made the move) and don't need, so I can clear and tidy the place. He told me he needed everything. Oh my! I see his clothes - since we were dating - 21 yrs ago. Still can wear or not? Why keeping on to them? Tell me, does this make a good excuse for me to secretly throw his things away? 

“There’s no need to let your family know the details of what you throw out or donate,” she writes, although she advises against secretly disposing of other people’s things. “You can leave communal spaces to the end. The first step is to confront your own stuff.” What own stuff? I've settled mine long time ago, it's their stuffs that are too many and taking up space in the house; not mine! For this, I disagree with her. If I were to ask them what they want to let go or keep, 100% they'll keep everything. Then I'll not get any job done. 

The things I can't wait to get rid of are the books. Unfortunately, they will have to keep until they complete that level. Once lil' one completes her PSLE, primary level stuffs will be gone but I still need to keep the secondary level for her, until the day she finishes Uni and goes to work, all school materials will be gone from our house forever!   



My First Major Declutter - though in previous house and now i declutter every 6 mths or so, there were occasions when I tend to be more sentimental and decide to keep items that I don't even use but i can't bear to throw them away. So the move to current place was ruthless! There were hairbows which I spent my time making for my girls which I gave them away. That's the time my ruthless self came out. I realised that I was able to get rid of items and was grateful that it did served my girls at one point in their life. Certain items just had to be cleared out in phases. But I must admit, at some point in time I would have forgotten that I used to possess certain items. Decluttering makes you feel so good. It's just like after a haircut, my whole head feels so much lighter and I feel livier  


Kondo says she has been obsessed with tidying since she was five, opting to arrange shoes and pencils while other kids played outside. She began communing with her belongings in high school and, after years of work at a Shinto shrine, realised her calling as a professional consultant on attaining the joy of minimalism.
“The inside of a house or apartment after decluttering has much in common with a Shinto shrine ... a place where there are no unnecessary things, and our thoughts become clear,” she says.“It is the place where we appreciate all the things that support us. It is where we review and rethink about ourselves.” 
Sometimes I wonder the truth in all these testimonies. Since she was five?! You sure or not? I don't remember what happened when I was five. Or maybe because I'm a blur sotong. At 5, I was probably still messing the house. I was a fairly disorganized; messy and forgetful person. I only knew how to tidy up when I was flying. Yup! In the hotels, I learnt to keep my things tidy and in one place. And I don't bring out everything from my bag.    
Tip # 8: "Storage experts are hoarders. A "clever" storage solution never really solves anything. A new box or organizer won't make you tidy. Pursue ultimate simplicity." Ahh.... I do agree with her on this. Which kind of sound like ... the above Alejandra

I can't believe that Marie Kondo is making money and normal people like you and me can even attend a Consultant Seminar and be a step closer becoming a Certified KonMari Consultant. As it's written in her tagline - Register today to help people “Organize the World” and lead lives that spark joy. Hmm..... food for thought... sounds abit like YL essential oil business like that hor? Soon, everyone is a KM Consultant and then nobody needs to hire somebody else.  

Anyway, do grab this book when you have the time. 
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up : The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Me
So am i a perfectionsist?? Do I live in a designer looking house where there's practically no "human belonging"? Not really, I just try my best to keep them to the minimum.  
So do I need to hire them to help me?? I don't need to spend the money coz' it's something that I've been doing.

Hmmm...... change of strategy? 
Recently, I thought about Alejandra and went into her youtube videos. Suddenly she has this SimpLESSity?? Almost the same idea as Marie Kondo. Hmm...... just like Shichida and then Glenn Doman and some other people who claims they were studying on the brain development etc..
So who is the originator?? Shall we compare their age and then try to find out who copied who? All I know is they will have their own home organization programme to follow for these few years, after that it's no longer new and they'll have to find other areas to start a different programme. And then the followers will religiously follow them to the ends of the earth



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Landform - entry drafted on 16th Feb 18 #lateposting#

Check this out! Zhanye Danxia in China

When I saw this on the movie The Great Wall, it reminds me of Death Valley. At first, I thought it was in some hidden spot where we didn't go.So was surprised that this movie was actually filmed in China. I LOVE THE COLOURS! Even more colourful than Artist Palette in Death Valley. 

I'm sure there are many more landforms that I do not know exists in whichever part of China. We're from the same planet where earth's crust moves and with all the geological changes, I'm sure the sights are equally splendid.    
Why do I have to travel that far to USA to see Grand Canyon ? When Dadu River Jinkou Gorge 大渡河金口大峡谷 is closer. 
" Dadu River Jinkou Grand Canyon is the longest, most dangerous, narrowest, deepest, most powerful, most homogeneous and most secluded Grand Canyon in Sichuan Province, 542 meters deeper than 2133 meters depth of the world-famous Colorado Grand Canyon of the United States , only 10 meters at its narrowest point, narrower than 20 meters width of the previously known world’s narrowest Grand Canyon – Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is truly an incredible adventure, tourist attraction." 

Actually it's the country that speaks for itself! Though we'll be able to travel like emperor and princess in China, I guess the adventure of shopping out in nice clean supermarkets wins us over more than the smelly and loud people pushing their way. We've been to their tea plantation in China where they have trams for tourists. But ..... the.... rough locals cutting queues; shouting impatiently and not forgetting the dust gathered on the seats.  Bumpy roads. Yeeks!
I wonder too how well maintained their National Parks are. With people spitting and throwing rubbish. No matter how nice the place is, they probably won't be able to bring in that many overseas tourists.      

Maybe that's why I get put off when I think about going holiday in China though there are places I've never been before. 

My fussy eaters & their breakfast - entry drafted on 12th Jan #lateposting#

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it influences how we perform physically and mentally. Always wanted to do my motherly duty to give my girls the best. But DAMN! I've got the fussiest kids around. And please my dear readers, don't say things like "my kids are also fussy" etc.. coz your kids aren't as bad as mine. I'll gladly trade my kids with you for a day. Yup! I'm that confident, you can't tolerate anything longer than that. 

With girls like them, makes me don't even want to prepare breakfast for them. Should let them starve right? 

So I was really surprised that they love American breakfast. After eating in Denny's where they were given American breakfast, that changed their attitude a little. And to get that response from them "I didn't know it tastes that good."Oh man! If only my eyes can KILL. There are so many things in this world you haven't tried. 
And please don't pass a comment "that's coz you (me) didn't try hard enough." coz i did and it's not easy. I don't understand why God has to give me such stubborn girls!

Fussy Eaters
> Scrambled eggs - che che likes it after eating in Denny's. OMG! I did prepare that for her before and she didn't even want to "touch that yucky yellow thing". 
> Pancakes - I used to prepare in bulk coz' I used a premixed japanese brand fluffy pancake. Hello Kitty pancakes; Anpanman pancakes; bear pancakes. Still..... they eat once or twice and didn't want it anymore. Still, I prefer to prepare something fresh for them, too much of prepared food is not good. 
Ha! They can even complain that they have nothing to eat "so sick of bread". OMG! Want to give them bun, today they'll like it the following day they don't want anymore (just what am I going to do with the remaining 4 buns?? And che-che likes the plain leaf bun;mei-mei likes yam. Nobody likes char-siu or lotus or chilli crab bun.
Honestly, growing up in Singapore,we have the best of all the world kind of food. For example :
1) Soft-boiled egg + kaya toast. My girls? One like fried egg; the other hard boil egg. Selective over the kind of kaya spread.
2) Prepared roti prata - I airfry them but ...... they don't like it.
3) chee cheong fun, chwee kueh, yam cake etc...  - they never even tried before and claims it's not nice. ?!?!?! 
4) Yoghurt - Refuse to try
5) Cereals - sigh..... this is a big struggle. Both have difference tastes and they don't eat their cereal dunked in a bowl of milk. 
6) Fruits - aiyoh! I have to knock them unconscious first before I can put it into their mouth

Denny's Breakfast 
The girls' liked these
  Peanut Butter Pancake 
Delicious! The thick generous peanut butter tastes so fresh. 
Chocolate chips and white chocolate chips cooked inside two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and topped with peanut butter cream and chopped nuts. Served with two sunny-side up eggs* and hash browns, plus your choice of two strips of bacon or two sausage links

Moons Over My Hammy
Our classic ham and scrambled egg sandwich with Swiss and American cheeses on grilled sourdough. Served with hash browns.

I like this Bourbon Chicken in skillet 
Two grilled seasoned chicken breasts covered with a delicious sweet bourbon glaze, topped with mushrooms and fire-roasted bell peppers and onions, all atop broccoli and seasoned red-skinned potatoes.

***************************************************************************************************************
Since then, Jan 2018 - with a brand new year I embarked on a somewhat "a little more portioned" breakfast for them. Heat up the prepared pancakes or waffles, add scramble eggs. Milk and their vitamins. Sometimes would add hash brown or sausage. And they gobbled up. Not a very big portion, but they're eating more than usual. Of course there are lazy days when I just want to give them a swiss roll or bread from Breadtalk. It's not joke,cleaning up the kitchen and floor after cooking every meal.  

Not forgetting this. Sometimes in mid day, che-che would drink a cup of Hot chocolate, topped up with whipped cream. Tried to replicate what she's eaten. And to think, she refused to drink hot chocolate before. 

Oh my! When will my girls learn to eat everything? For the time being, I don't want to shorten my lifespan by getting stressed up / worried over them. Anyway, still can grow so don't really want to bother much about their fusiness.

 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Example of a shitty question- drafted on 10th Feb 18 #lateposting#

For those whose kids are still toddling around or about to graduate from Uni (22years old?) , this is one example of the kind of shitty Math question Primary kids are solving. Thank goodness we're getting out of the shit primary school system this year. 

"Sandy is reading her favourite novel. After a week, the number of pages she read was 1/5 of the number of pages she had not read. After another week, she managed to read another 35 pages and was left with 3/5 of the book unread. How many pages are there in the book?" 

I thought my daughter is correct in the manner she solves her problem using ratio method. And so I messaged the tutor. Of course I'm wrong!! He told me it's wrong and I re-looked into the question again and again. The 3rd time - eureka!! 
Oh my! It’s not a bloody Math question, it’s a English question!!
Can you spot it? Can you solve this question?

Wait! This is still not the bad....there are even tougher questions out there and in a span of 4 years, I see slight difference in trend of questions. Why do exams get harder and harder. This is something MOE really need to address. What's the point of having good results, when the kids are not EQ or IQ or SQ smart?  





Will tuition harm a child or help a child? - entry drafted on 11th Feb 18 #lateposting#

There's a debate about this tuition hype that all asian parents put their kids in. Why tuition?

As if one pressure cooker (school) is not enough, they need to be double boiled (tuition). My conclusion is  - YES! TUITION IS REQUIRED AS IT WILL HELP A CHILD. Well....... I don't mind saving the money if my girls are geniuses. Unfortunately they are dumb like dunno what, so it's necessary in my case.

Just the other way, I was sifting through che-che's Milestone worksheets (extra worksheets given by the school for those ridiculous questions). And guess what? Corrections not done. Corrections not marked. Re-corrections not corrected. It doesn't help when the mother is equally clueless! I have a higher Math ability child then, where I don't sift through her school work when I don't even know how to solve them myself. Of course my daughter is also to blame for not being responsible enough. But .... the teacher didn't even bother to complain to me?? One bloody year!

EL tutor asked, why I only noticed it now? I explained that I paid more attention to my assigned work trusting that the school teacher will be doing her job (although I was rather unhappy that she used the supp time for discussing debate) 

Debate shit
I asked che-che not to go since the teacher is wasting the students' time for this. The teacher's excuse is "to help you all relax before the big exams". TMD. I had to waste my parking fees somewhere just because I had to wait for her when we all could have gone home immediately after school. But no....... my girl is scared she'd get scolding from the teacher. And this is the same teacher who blamed the retained students in (2014) "see! coz you didn't want to stay back during supp classes." Pushing the blame to the kids. In che-che's class she has a different approach coz the class are filled with high fliers. Majority of the 250 and above students came from her class. But my daughter not high ability leh! I'd rather she spend the time clarifying work.  

And right after her PSLE, I asked her to pack her stuffs into boxes while I (finally) got busy with lil' one's P2 stuffs, which is of course chicken feet. I haven't touched anything until this year. 

Then che-che told me that the teacher didn't teach much. Her class standard? Half the class went top schools - except my daughter, must be the last few position in her class of smarty pants.

I bumped into che-che's classmate outside and was relating this to her mother. Her classmate commented that she didn't even teach at all. 

Which finally comes to the conclusion that the classmates in che-che's primary school including my girl didn't get their good results from the school, but from their tuition teachers or if not, they're already little geniuses. 

I wrote this in August last year. Click here. And since then her grades for Math has been going up. It wouldn't be possible without tuition. This year, she's very close to getting full marks again. As long as she don't deviate and come up with her working solutions coz' the teachers here aint professors - they obediently follow the marking rubics. Even her tutor also agree with me.      





Editing F.U.N - entry drafted on 8th Jan 18 #lateposting

I'm having so much fun with the new iphone apps I had downloaded for photo editing, adding on to the PicPhotoCollage and Rakuga I had. My bestie, W, once commented that I should edit my photos (of people) so that I will look "brighter" and better when I commented that I hated posting pictures of myself in FB. Why I prefer to post natural 'nose-diggin' unglam shots is coz I want to scare the hell out of people reading my posts. Always believed it’s good to be Au naturel 自然美.

I've heard about Meitu but never used it. And so I was so free during the holiday that I downloaded and tried it. Wow! It made a load of difference coz' during the trip, my skin flared and was so dry and red like a snake going to shed its skin (I didn't even want to take any pictured), with Meitu I (took a selfie to try out) looked so 美美 just like a 模特儿. *vomit*

Infact, I was more interested in post-editing for my landscape and hopefully astro shots. I was really desperate to getting some "dots" in my pictures. So much so that I forgot which direction I took the photos. Haiyah! Don't care already, got dots better than not have any at all. Next time I will be better prepared, anyway with the Astro apps I downloaded I believe I should be able to do better.   
I learnt new things in the Astrophotography group in FB, I've learnt what is taking pictures RAW. What is stacking of photos etc... I've also learnt that many photographers also use Lightroom. 

Lightroom
With LR, I was able to bring out the stars for some shots. *dancing*  Thankful that I was quite 不甘愿 and decided to do some blank shots. So please don't ask me what constellation or planet or satellite is that.  

In Death Valley at 9.32pm on 21st Dec. During the night, I kept opening the door out to the "golf course". Yah, the back door leads to a golf course which I didn't know, I thought it was some big patch of land for us to stargaze until I saw two golfers playing golf (in the daytime) the next day. At some point, around 2+am, I saw some small streaks across the sky. I think that's Ursids ?? I believe the view would be even more spectacular out of Furnace Creek. 

Amazing how LR brought out the stars right? I have more shots in my iphone, I'll need to take some time to slowly edit the rests 

This is interesting. There's a online calibration software that helps you identify the constellation that you took. And apparently, this is what I saw that night.  
And while I was scruntinising the above original picture (the one with my watermark), I noticed something. What I've circled on this pink part is the tail end of Perseus. For a moment, I wondered if that was a nebula. And so I did a search on the star - Atik. 

extracted from :  https://www.universeguide.com/star/atik
Atik (Omicron Persei) is a blue rotating giant star that can be located in the constellation of Perseus. The star can be seen with the naked eye, that is, you don't need a telescope/binoculars to see it.

Wow! Cool........ 

Brightened up the picture to bring out the "blue"


Las Vegas on 17th Dec 2017



Any difference?  


Restoran Asli in JB on 20th Jan 2018, looking towards Singapore

First editing. Overzealous and I created an ominous picture. A storm is approaching!!

Second edit. Much better but I feel it looks fake. ?! 

Original pic

From greyish to purple-lish. Must figure out how to adjust it to look natural

More fun. School work hasn't piled up yet so I have the time. Relax a little first.... 

Santa Monica on 15th Dec 2017

Edited. Hmm....maybe it's too fake, I need to tone down. But you can see that twilight has changed just by moving the buttons from left to right 
Hmm.... makes me wonder how much of editing photographers really do. In that case, any Tom Dick or Harry also can be a photographer right? 

Jupiter on 6th Feb - entry drafted on 7th Feb 18 #lateposting#

Okay, more about this planets and what nots.

Sometime on 4th Feb, che-che pointed to me Jupiter just as we were leaving the house for school. I had to send them to school so couldn't do anything. And so, on the 6th Feb the man has returned from his biz trip and sent the girls to school. I took the opportunity to snap a photo using my 250mm. Not a very good picture but just some (probably) worthy to look at next time when I'm old. 

Mars is suppose to be close to Jupiter but it's nowhere to be found. Maybe it was eaten up by some chocolate fans. (Ahh...... no wonder ....... I did a check on planets visibility in Singapore. Jupiter - fairly good visibility. Mars - average visibility) 

After taking the picture, I went back into the house ready for my nap before I start my shift work. I viewed my shots. Not a good one, I was lazy to take out the telescope. In truth, I was rather embarrassed if the neighbours start looking at what I was doing since my PES is facing a high human traffic path. I zoomed in the few pictures I took and one of them caught my attention (the picture below and to the right). Are those the moons of Jupiter?? Lo, Europa, Callista and Ganymede? 


Woah! This is so fun!! 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Mr Moon

28th Feb : Final full moon of winter. Haha! Not like we have winter here. Just for namesake, agree with me.


2nd Mar : First full moon after the Spring Festival. Yup! Today is 元宵节

Always loved to look at the navel of moon. Don't you think it resembles an orange's navel? Anyway, the proper name for this is Tycho - a crater 

taken from wikipedia
is a prominent lunar impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601).

extracted from : http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/full-moon-is-tycho-time/
Tycho stands out because it's still fresh with an estimated age of 108 million years, far younger than the 3.9 billion years for many large lunar craters. We know its date of birth because the Apollo 17 astronauts bagged a sample from one of the rays and returned it to Earth for study in 1972.
  


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Too many latepostings

Too many late postings. Too many drafts in my blog Drafts Folder. Gotta find the time to write slowly. Meanwhile, hang on. I'm trying my best to clear whatever I can. 

*I'm laughing away*
Coz' 10 years later and I've not completed our NZ holidays photo album. 

Congratulations to myself. This is my 2075th blog entry. A round of applause please. 


The brightest stars ... - entry drafted on 31st Jan 18 #lateposting#

Sirius - the brightest star in the sky. And is part of the Canis Major (woof woof) constellation

Once you spot Sirius, it's so easy to find the constellation Orion - the hunter. Orion is easily spotted even in our highly light-polluted Singapore. And you know the advantage of living in the equator (we're like 1.something deg North)  is that we can view constellations of both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Yay! Though left disappointed all the time coz we can't have that nice view here unless we go up somewhere really dark (like where??)  

Che-che took these and a few more. And she was all so excited that she could see the blobs of - bacteria. Haha! Don't you agree they look like bacteria on a petri dish?
These are taken just on my camera at 250mm zoomed and later cropped to enlarge the photo here.

She was excited too when she looked into the telescope and tried to snap a photo on her phone via the eyepiece. Sorry gal, it's not that easy. I'm still figuring out how and what to adjust on my camera when I mount my DSLR on the eyepiece. Got to adjust the aperture and shutter speed and what nots on the DSLR, so how is it possible to take a picture on her iphone (tho' must admit it was the iphone that caught the stars pics for me in GC and DV)

You didn't read wrongly, I bought a telescope which I will write about it later as this post is about the bacteria stars.