Thursday, June 30, 2005


Had a sumptuous lunch and dinner today, and I didn't have to pay a cent.

Dim sum ala carte buffet at Dragon Date Restaurant at HarbourFront Centre
55 portions for 8 people!
Didn't beat last year when we had 76 portions for 10 people. *burp*

Bacon and mushroom aglio olio linguini, Kashmiri naan, and peach melba with vanilla ice-cream at Tanglin Club's the Tavern

Lifestyle Survey - Project Blackjack II: Earn $40!

Hi Guys/Gals,

Please note that this invitation is also open to people you know.
Interviews will be conducted at Acorn's main office in Field Department 4th Floor, 241, River Valley Road. The interview is expected to take 30min.

Take note: There are THREE criteria for this interview:
2. You are above 21 YEARS OLD.
3. You must play any local gambling related game on a regular basis (including 4D, Toto, Soccer, Horse Racing etc)

Incentive: $10-40

If you fulfil the above criteria (or know someone who does), email me your NAME and CONTACT NUMBER and you can expect to receive a call from us soon. You can then arrange a convenient time between 1100 and 2130hrs to meet us.

Feel free to refer friends or relatives interested in this survey. It's an easy way to make a quick, legal buck.

Look forward to hear from you soon! Please note that registration closes 11 July!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Credit Card Focus Group - Project Quality: Earn $100

Hi Guys/Gals,
Please note that this invitation is also open to people you know.
The focus group will be conducted at Acorn's main office in Field Department 4th Floor, 241, River Valley Road. The focus group is expected to take 1.5 - 2.5 hrs.

Take note: There are THREE criteria for this interview:
1. You go to ZOUK regularly.
3. You are between 28-40 YEARS OLD.

Incentive: $100.

If you fulfil the above criteria (or know someone who does), email me your NAME, CONTACT NUMBER, AGE and GENDER and you can expect to receive a call from us soon. You can then arrange a convenient time and place to meet us.

Feel free to refer friends or relatives interested in this survey. It's an easy way to make a quick, legal buck.

Look forward to hear from you soon!


Gluttonous Dinner

Escargots a la Bourguignonne (Burgundy-style) (1/2 dozen): $11
Borschch Soup (a richer minestrone): $7
Steak Garlic (medium-rare): $24
at Shashlik Restaurant at Far East Shopping Centre

Keep It Simple Stupid

"Do not utilise utilise. Use use."

Dai dee king

Played daidee yeaterday with Jasmine and Angela. I won the first 10 straight games before Jas broke their duck. But then I won the next game so we stopped there.

Watched Wimbledon, Confed Cup, 6 Michael Jackson MTVs back-to-back, 2 American sitcoms.

Re Michael Jackson: You can say what you want about the King of Pop but his dance steps still gives me the chills. No wonder I idolised him as a kid. =]

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Had a relaxing day at Sentosa with the youth. Did not take part and was there primarily as bag-nanny. Had fun reading newspaper and playing frisbee, had a fantactic shower, then went to play Xbox. I'm exhausted!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Medical Update II

Hi there!

Remember the Downgrading Private Aaron campaign? Well, it is almost at an end. Started in November 2003 to get me out of 1 SIR 'C' Coy, it has now progressed to the point where I've been put up to the Medical Board for permanent excuse uniform and PES E9L9. Also my excuse Duty Clerk has been extended to 13 Oct 05.

All these would not have been possible without your prayers. Thanks God. =]

The Strength of Solitude

Learning to be with God in solitude allows us to be Godly in community
by Ruth Haley Barton

One night I began to see a glimmer of something new and good for others emerging from my experiences in solitude. It was a beautiful summer evening, the windows and doors were all open, and our home and yard were full of the kind of energy that only a group of lively junior high-schoolers could bring. No matter that it was getting late, I was trying to meet a writing deadline and tomorrow was a full day of work; on this night our daughter Bethany and about twenty of her closest friends had come together for an evening of spontaneous "hanging out" at our home. Some were in the backyard playing volleyball, others were on the street shooting hoops, another contingency played pool in the basement, and always there was someone traipsing past my office for a drink or a snack.

My initial reaction to this scenario was irritation. Couldn't I just get a break here? Couldn't I get a little peace and quiet so I could get something done? This was not a new feeling for me; it is who I am when left to myself. All too often, I have responded to my life in the company of others with this kind of frustration, bent on getting my own way and shaping my environment to my own wants and needs. In fact, the awareness of my self-centeredness was one of the things that had sent me on the quest for deeper levels of transformation in the first place.

But on this night I found myself finally ready to ask a different kind of question. Rather than asking how I could manipulate my environment to get what I wanted, the question came, Is there anything from my experiences of fullness in God these days that I can bring to this moment, to these children? I wasn't asking the question out of the "guilty mom" place. I was asking it because everything in me ached to give some good gift to these teenagers. But how?

I remembered Julian of Norwich's wonderful statement about being present to God when in the company of others: "I look at God, I look at you, and I keep looking at God." Although I had often prayed for others in this way during times of solitude, on that night I decided to try it in the midst of a very ordinary moment of my life as a busy mom in a houseful of kids, facing deadlines and long workdays, a moment that is repeated over and over again these days. I thought, If my experiences in solitude and silence don't make a difference in this real life moment, then I'm not sure any of this is worth much.

So I looked at God. Sitting in front of my computer trying to bang out an article, tired, kids coming and going from every door … I turned inward to that place of quiet where I had grown accustomed to meeting God and asked him to give me sacred eyes-set-apart eyes to see and feel and know spiritual reality in this moment.

Then as I turned my eyes to the children, I began to see and feel things that were a bit uncharacteristic for me. Rather than being frustrated by the desire to be alone so I could write, I was filled with gratitude that these young people had chosen to be in a home where parents are present, expending their youthful energy in life-affirming ways. Rather than wishing my home were quiet, I began experiencing the noise and activity as the energy of youthful spirit, and I was drawn to it, filled by it. Rather than experiencing their comings and goings and curious questions as interruptions, I started noticing how beautiful and distinct each one was, and I was enlivened by the privilege of interacting with them.

After looking with sacred eyes at these children, I looked back at God, and I sensed his love for them filling my own heart. A deep, beyond-words kind of prayer welled up, a prayer that somehow they would be blessed by the bits and pieces of our togetherness.

Rather than the tiredness of one more evening of parental responsibility, being present to God in this moment somehow graced my heart with love and renewed energy and wonder. I touched a spiritual dynamic that was beyond my own ability to produce. In the midst of external noise and chaos, I was present to God in the company of others, and I was changed by it.

I had not moved beyond solitude; rather, by God's grace I brought the quietness of my solitude right into the present moment. I was learning, through experience and experimentation, that solitude does not consist only in creating perfect conditions outside myself in a retreat center, a church or a devotional corner; the quietness of solitude and silence was becoming an inner condition within which I was able to recognize and respond to the stirrings, the voice, the very Presence of God himself.

And so the practices of solitude and silence do, in time, bring us full circle—back into life in the human community. Whether we have been away for a half an hour of solitude, had an extended retreat time or have dropped completely out of sight for a while, God, in his time, does eventually bring us back to the life he has given us. Perhaps nothing in our external circumstances has changed, but we have changed, and that's what our world needs more than anything.

Without pressing or pushing or trying to do a great altruistic deed, we discover that much that happens in solitude and silence ends up being "for others"—as paradoxical as that may seem. Our speech patterns are refined by the discipline of silence, because growing self-awareness enables us to choose more truly the words we say. Rather than speech that issues from subconscious needs to impress, to put others in their place, to compete, to control and manipulate, to repay hurt with hurt, we now notice our inner dynamics and choose to speak from a different place, a place of love, trust and true wisdom that God is cultivating within us. Over time we become safer for other seeking souls, because we are able to be with them and the issues they are dealing with without being hooked by our own anxieties and fears. We are comfortable with our humanity, because we have experienced God's love and compassion in that place, and so it becomes very natural for us to extend love and compassion to others in their humanity.

For all of our piety and activity, we Christians are not always known for our kindness. Sometimes we are downright mean and judgmental. But most, if not all, of our meanness comes out of the places within us that have been unattended and untouched by God's love. Every broken place that has not been healed and transformed in God's presence is a hard edge of our personality that slices and dices other people when they bump up against it.

No wonder Bonhoeffer makes the startling and counterintuitive statement, "Let him who cannot be alone beware of community." Without solitude we are dangerous in the human community and in the Christian community, because we are at the mercy of our compulsions, compelled by our inner emptiness into a self-oriented, anxious search for fullness in the next round of activities, accomplishments or relationships. When we are not finding ourselves loved by God in solitude, in the company of others we are always on the prowl for ways they can fill our emptiness. We enter life in community trying to grab and grasp from others what only God can give.

On the other hand, when we are experiencing ourselves as the beloved of God, accepted and cherished by him in all of our beauty and brokenness, our hard, rough edges start to soften. We begin to see others as beloved as well, and that is what gets reflected back to them when they look into our eyes. Not only does the love of God come to us in solitude, the love of God begins to pour through us to others. This is a very different kind of productivity, and only God can bring it forth.

Taken from Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. ©2004 by Ruth Haley Barton. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

A Tribute to 2WO Teh Kok Lian

This is a tribute to 2WO Teh Kok Lian, who passed away in the line of duty on the morning of 22 June 2005 at Jurong Camp


I didn't know you well, but you struck me as someone different from other Warrant Officers. Somehow you hid whatever bitterness you must have collected to reach where you did in the SAF.

The only time I met you was when you helped us move our outgoing commander's belongings to his new unit. You didn't have to do it, but you did. And I know it wasn't the only time you've helped our office. You certainly helped cheer up my Mdm when she felt down and I know she considered you one of her closer friends. You guys were even supposed to catch a movie later that fateful day. But it was not to be.

How ironic that you should pass away while doing something that showed your commitment to the organisation. You were supposed to be on leave that day but you decided to come back for the Life Run. As I mentioned to 2LT Hafiz the other day, you never know which decision will be your last.

We are all devastated but none more so than your young family. I pray people will be there for them the way you've been there for others.

Ironically the one thing I associate you with is your Toyota MPV with the sliding door. I remember being so suaku when I first saw it.

I believe you were someone who put yourself before others. Belatedly, thanks again for helping us move the stuff.

God bless you, CPL Aaron Wong

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Teacher's survival kit

Contained: To help you survive teaching

Toothpick - to help you "pick" out the good qualities in others and yourself
Crayon - to color you day bright and cheerful
Hugs and Kisses - for when you need a hug
Candle - when you're up late grading papers
Eraser - to remind you everyone makes mistakes
Rubber band - to remind you to be flexible and try to work on "win-win" situations
String - to ties things together when everything falls apart
Pencil - to "write your wrongs"
Marbles - to replace the ones you've lost (we enclosed extra, you'll need them later)
Lifesaver candy - you are a lifesaver to many of your students
Paperclip - to hold it all together
Jewel - because you are as valuable as any precious stone
and a Prayer for you to say at the start of each day

Monday, June 20, 2005

Words of wisdom

1. Common sense is most uncommon.

2. Parents afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.

3. Promises are like babies: easy to make but hard to deliver.

Engineers vs. Management

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 6 degrees west longitude."

"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.

"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is, technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip."

The woman below responded, "You must be in management."

"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."

Great quotes

"Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance. How will history remember you?"
- William Hundert, in The Emperor's Club

"What you are is God's gift to you; what you make of yourself is your gift to God."
- Carly Fiorina, ex-Hewlett Packard CEO

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Camp anecdotes

A few gems from Rev Kevin Forlong about our dear tone-deaf Duncan:

You are so skinny, your striped pyjamas have only one stripe.

You are so skinny, you have to run around in the shower to get wet.

A few words of truth:

Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.

Tithing is curse insurance.

The Return of the King

Nah, it's just me. Just needed a title to catch ya eye.

I had a wonderfully fantastic time at Church Camp this year. To allt hose who didn't go, you really mised out on a lot.

Revisiting Awana Kijal was a masterstroke, as familiarity meant we did not need to reexplore the campsite for fun things to do. We already knew the hotspots: beach soccer, beach volleyball, table-tennis, pool, other people's rooms, bridge/dai dee table etc.

Most importantly, the camp theme of 'The Abundant Living' is such a promise of blessing and abundance in our lives and Agape. Speaker Kevin Forlong (brother of the recent co-winner of the Golden Boot) was really on top form as God anointed him to prophesy over certain church members and over our church also. I'm really excited over how God wants to use our church to reach out to all kinds of people, esp the mariginalised and young people.

On the last morning, we had an anointing service where Rev Kevin anointed our pastors with oil, then the pastors did likewise to the leaders, before the leaders anointed the members. I had the opportunity to pray for Jianliang, Jackson, Samuel and Stanley. I believe God has great things in store for our ALG and I really want the good things that happened during camp to be commonplace in Agape.

We had durians on Tuesday and Thursday; I only indulged in the bitter on Thurs. THursday night also saw Tony Leung (Stanley) and Li Nanxing (the real deal!) singing us a couple of songs! Yes! Li Nanxing is in my church! He really is a down-to-earth fellow and I know the opportunity will open up for God to use him in Agape. Maybe he can be the auntie-drawer for our Chinese service. =]

Allen challenged the Worship Team at camp to serve all possible sessions, and this is to be extended to normal Sundays. I believe putting God first should come above personal convenience, and I pray He gives us the strength to persevere. Personally, I played till my left hand and right arm was about to drop off! =] But seriously, Allen's on the right track.

I had much fun playing sports that I hadn't touched since last year's church camp. Beach volleyball and soccer was on the menu as I played without breaking much sweat and hence did not break out in much rash. Thursday afternoon was particularly memorable as we played soccer on casuarina-lined carpet grass. Shoik ah! I know my doctor said to wear dark long-sleeved shirts and a cap when out in the sun, but seriously. =]

Nighttime brought me, Jasmine, Zikai, Teckseng and Yili out to a table outside in the corridor where we played bridge and dai dee to our heart's content. I've never been so gelak of dai dee, not even when i played 100+ sets on the PC!

Speaking of Zikai and Teckseng, Rev Kevin had words of prophesy on them both and how God would use them. I know I'm in the company of God's anointed, and I'm proud to be serving with them in the trenches of God's battlefield.

I believe God has breakthrough planned for Agape, and I wanna be right there when it happens.

Be ready, for the Return of the King is nigh.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Woodchucking woodchucks

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He could chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Church Camp in Trengganu (Part Deux)

Ok I'm going on monday morning. Need anything urgently, call my parents at 63861055. No roaming and email on my side. Aaron, out.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Elementary Mathematics

Romance Mathematics:

Smart man + Smart woman = romance
Smart man + Dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + Smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + Dumb woman = pregnancy

Office Arithmetic:

Smart Boss + Smart Employee = Profit
Smart Boss + Dumb Employee = Production
Dumb Boss + Smart Employee = Promotion
Dumb Boss + Dumb Employee = Overtime

Shopping Sums:

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn't need.

"Look honey, 2003 calendars are at 80% off!"

General Equations:

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

Five Levels of Intimacy with God (John 15:4-5)

1. Aloof (convenient, disobedient)
2. Acquainted (can profit)
3. Associated (performance-based)
4. Affectionate (emotional, situational)
5. Abiding (pruning, trusting, dependent, fruitful)

Friday, June 10, 2005


Important Announcement:

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).
In the first year, 's' will be used instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard 'c' will be replaced with 'k.' Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced by 'f'. This will make words like 'fotograf' 20 per sent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' by 'z' and 'w' by 'v'. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou', and similar changes vud of kors; be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.
After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil b no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru. Ja mein Fuhrer!

I am a mother pheasant plucker!

I am a mother pheasant plucker,
I pluck mother pheasants.
I am the
best mother pheasant plucker,
that ever plucked a mother pheasant!

Try this tongue twister without letting anything slip out! Courtesy of Jesz

Thursday, June 09, 2005

"Your suffering is my enjoyment"

So we have a new HQ CSM, whose name is 2WO Chee. Some of my esteemed colleagues would add a suitable suffix to form a Hokkien expletive, but that's another story. His infamous quote on the first day proved me right, when I told Kimjin that "this roll call will set the tone for the rest of his reign". He then said the ill-dated sentence: "Your suffering is my enjoyment." He also proceeded to tell us how us being good, obedient soldiers would make him sad as he wouldn't have the chance to f**k us all.
Someone needs to check this fella before he kills us all. Anyway he's this imposing fella with a bald pate who's quite work-shy. And he's always saying anyone with hair longer than his needs a cut. It might be funnt the first time, but not the twentieth. Bleah.

Army Fitness System

My Comd now has me on board this exciting new initiative to evaluate and improve army fitness through optimal effort. Just sat through a three-hour meeting but emerged enthralled and perhaps rejuvenated that there perhaps is still some initiative and pro-activeness left in me. Perhaps it all boils down to the significance of what I am doing now and the fact that he trusts me to accomplish things working hand-in-hand with him. I respect him for his ideologies in getting work done and how he analyses problems and picks out the crux of the matter. I can learn problem identifying and solving from him. Perhaps the last four months of my NS liability will turn out to be the most productive. I appreciate the effort some people are putting in making the SAF a more efficient organisation, and not jsut working because it pays the bills. The motivation for the work you do is just as important as the tools you employ to achieve your goal. I hope to glean as much from him as I can in the little time I have left. All the same, I hope he doesn't stay back too late. =]


Theis website shows you a collage of 20 images and you're supposed to guess the word you can "google" to obtain those 20 images. Pretty fun, and actually needs brains to play. =]

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Church Camp in Trengganu

I won't be around next week as I'll be in sunny Trengganu NOT soaking up the sun for my Church Camp. Contrary to all expectations I managed to take leave to go and I'm really excited. Really looking forward to it and also revisiting a scene of great memories *wink*
I really hope I recover enough to play beach soccer and volleyball there. I want to play by faith to prove that God can give me the Quality of Life even though I have eczema.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pastor Koo's sermon on 5 June: Living a Balanced Life

How to Grow in Physical Stature:
1. Get enough rest.
2. Make time for exercise.
3. eat healthy.
4. Avoid harmful habits and abusive practices.
5. Manage and reduce stress.

Practical wisdom
= Knowledge + Understanding
= Information + Transformation

Two Kinds of Wisdom:
1. Earthly, unspiritual, devilish
2. Heavenly, spiritual, divine

How to Get Wisdom:
1. Study the Scripture.
2. Read instead of watching TV or videos.
3. Read wholesome material.
4. Hang out with wise people.
5. Act on what you learn.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Dr Seuss of Technical Support

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?
What a shame sir!
We'll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!


What do you call a Malay guy who bungee-jumps?

Mat yo-yo.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Wow it's a 2nd or 3rd off day in my NSF career! I have to go to two medical establishments later:
First, the National Skin Centre, and I forgot to bring my 11B. I hope they allow me to process my transaction even in the absence of my physical 11B. If not I have to do a medical claim which will take up to a month. I do believe today's bill will hit three figures. :p
Second, Dr Hia. He is a GP recommended by Pastor Nettie and he really seems to know what he's doing. His "two weeks on, two weeks off" Prednisalone (steroid) treatment seems to be working as I am improving. He also doesn't rush in his consultation and makes sure he has a full understanding of your symptoms and medical history before dignosis and medication, hence the long queues. I'm seeing him again later and I'll present my arsenal of creams and tablets from the Skin Centre. Among them is Elidel, a 25g tube of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cream that corrects immune system dysfunctions. The cost? A cool $50, unless they've raised the price. Of course MINDEF's paying. I really do have to recover before ORD huh? I trust God that I will. =]