Jun 28, 2010

Isn't a Ball a Ball ??

... soccer simpleton speaks...  
Now I've heard everything... first it was about the roundest ball ever (when World Cup began) .. Which means the goalkeepers are having problems with a slipperier ball.

Now it appears there is something to it if the officials are agreeing, it supposedly now feels like one of those mass produced supermarket types...it's too light.. flies to fast etc etc..

So there's more to a ball and that particular ball has a name too.. Jambulani....
Read on if interested in ball engineering World cup soccer ball still lacking..

Doesn't the saying go... a bad workman blames his tools.. 

Which came first the skill or the ball ?

Jun 27, 2010

Caught a movie ...

Saturday - the last weekend of the June School Holidays.

I suggested a movie before I realised Toy Story 3 was showing. And I thought oh oh I would have to sit through 2 hours for their sake. I'm not that crazy about Toy Story but the kids are (which is OK). Then luckily there was an alternative which they thought was a better idea, Karate Kid..  yay for Jackie Chan and Kung Fu.
Why is that anyway, it's about Kung Fu but the title is Karate Kid ?...are they the same .. Chinese martial arts vs Japanese martial arts ... Jackie = Chinese...  Miyagi = Japanese..... ??.

Will Smith's son is a good looking skinny little kid (10 year old Jaden Smith), and I must say has his father's looks and he acts well too. It's a good movie for the kids, there is an underlying message for them to take away about the use of physical force and simple lessons about discipline, courage and determination in spite of pain and fear.

There were a few times during the movie that I thought he acts like Ar or Alr and how I act like Mrs Parker; Drey couldn't be bothered to hang up his jacket and his mother repeatedly reminded him, 'pick up your jacket'... very patiently persistent.. .so it's atypical.
Jackie Chan was good in his serious role (I think this Mr Miyagi was refreshing..) and of course we enjoyed the action and some fabulous scenes in China.

Jun 26, 2010

Couple of books to get by Maya Angelou.

I want to get at least a couple of books by this American autobiographer and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer",  I read one of her poems on another blogger's site and an excerpt of 'Letter to My Daughter' and knew I should get her books......

Below is one of her poems from her collection ..

Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Jun 25, 2010

Took the boys swimming

22 June
I was reminded that this is the last week of the school holidays. I am glad really, because it 's stressful, the house almost feels chaotic without the order of school timetables, and beside it's not like I get holidays too
So to cram in a little more play, on Tuesday I took a half day, prayed that it didn't rain, to let them have their swim. Actually it was mostly Ar who was pestering me about it, he wanted to practise his new found skills.
We went to Anchorvale, dad brought us, mum wanted some sun and so we all went.

I call it the mini Sunway lagoon, cos it's not just pool but slides and slides and waterfalls and water dumps here and there.
It was pretty crowded in the play area for a weekday. Alx had to go to school, commitments to meet.
It didn't rain..

Why is it, you don't want to entertain their every want (should not) but at the same time you feel you still need to give in to some things and go the extra mile ?  
Do you know what I'm talking about, never mind, ... neither do I ?.

Jun 24, 2010

My quote........

Motherhood is the full rosebush, sweet fragrance, gorgeous blooms and thorns 
- Helen

Dental visit - ever anyone ?

I made my first dental appointment a few weeks ago for the first time in 15 or 20 years. Why? Because  I'm sadistic.. no, because I thought and thought and thought (gum disease keeps appearing on the tv screens)  that it was about time to give that dreaded profession another chance at my mouth.
Many, many moons ago when I was still in school, I was taken to visit Dental Health (or something like that then) and they looked at my rabbit teeth and said there' s nothing to be done but consider pulling out and doing dentures. So naturally that was the end of that. Never gave it another thought for the next decade or two.

Save for taking Alx and Alr to the dentist which I see as my parental duty and because it matters (no matter how bloody costly it is to do) I, me and myself have never sought to go to a dentist for any other reason except pain some 15 or so years ago - to do a minor filling.

2 days ago, was the second appointment.. It's called root planing, it's another way to say drilling out everything that can't be removed by ordinary means. ughh ! ..(ok don't go there).
The moral is: brushing or flossing is NOT ENOUGH after years and years.
It wasn't as bad as expected, the dentist was quite informative and pleasant, definitely knowledgeable,  lots of numbing medication, antibiotics and I am done after 2 appointments and some $1,500 poorer. Call it making up for 15 years of check ups and cleaning.

Thank God that's done.

Jun 23, 2010

Flying a Kite

June Hols - Week 2 / week 3

Did I mention, the boys got their first successful thrill with a kite at the beach that camping day?

Rb, my fren's son, bought one, so ok I had to buy two... $8 each, er.. highway robbery !  Of course it's at the East Coast and no one else is selling any close by.. take it or leave it lah.  Anyway I digress.

Actually at first I bought one, but of course (how terribly forgetful of me) they would start to fight over it right.. ah but then, ok  I digress again. Did I mention my friend said and I thought it too 'lucky she has one only ' .. (giggle giggle).

They got a kick out of it, managed to get it flying... up up and away... for a little while at least. I believe it is their first sucessful attempt at kite flying [cos the last one we bought was just too heavy and would not take off, I think we killed it and buried it somewhere]. I had flown a kite many many moons ago, so it's a wonderful feeling really, there is that exciting something you feel when the wind picks it up, lifts it and it keeps flying while floating higher and higher.

The second attempt was not at the beach, it was near the Anchorvale Recreation Club. The huge open field seems to be popular for very successful kite enthusiasts. Well we were not so successful that day.

The 3rd weekend of the holidays, the boys were insistent on flying their kites. It was not a windy day, it was in fact quite a dreary day, very cloudy and grey, no sun but no rain (just a tiny drop here and there..like the weather couldn't quite make up it's mind !). Because of the lack of wind, it was quite tough to fly the kite, and enthusiasm turned to sour faces and temper tantrums. It was my fault that the weather was not perfect.

Well, we still have the kites in tact, we'll try again soon definitely, I'll just have to make an appointment with the Mother Wind.

[Kite Flying Carnival- competitions, kite clinic, demo etc at Anchorvale Fields July 4 from 10am-6pm.]

Jun 21, 2010

Father's Day

Sunday 20 Father's Day

It's Father's Day, so of course I asked Father what he would like for dinner. Since my sister already 'ruined' my seafood idea (by taking him out the day before), steaks should be next .... So there are a couple steak restaurants in Serangoon Gardens, why not , he's ok with it.
But nope - Mum says let's go out somewhere else, drive out further.. (meaning not close to home) go to the beach, maybe pizza ?? but I reminded her it's Father's day not kids' day. I think she was confusing taking the kids out for air with dinner for Father's day. So we (dad and me ) sigh, of course somehow we would have to go somewhere close to her 'imaginationings'.

So we ended up at the Marina-Esplanade area by the bay, all in all it was quite close to her 'imaginings' - cool breeze, open space, scenery, lights.. and well we managed to find steaks, rootbeer float and some interesting combination of food (satay, onion rings, soft shell crab, fish and chips, pasta)  at a place called the Sour Puss, a restaurant by the bay. Lovely ambience actually, there was a piano recital further down, with the music floating down to where we were.

The kids got a kick out of the search lights shining out from rooftop of the spanking new Marina Bay Sands... 'almost like in Batman'...

Turned out well, all round, lucky for ma,.. didn't like the expensive parking of $5.50 per entry at the Esplanade , but well nothing is perfect.

Happy Father's Day.

Jun 20, 2010

Setting up tent

June 2010 - school holiday- week 2.
I decided to finally try it and prepared the kids . If we could succeed to set it up, that huge tent , we would stay the night. If not we would just make it a day at the beach and go home for the night.

UNFORTUNATELY, while I remembered to pack almost everything, I forgot the camera. And being overly busy with the business of the camping forgot I could have used my phone cam for that special snapshot of a probably never-to-try again experience.

We managed to get it up and set, between Alx(no 1) and me. I had to hoist Alr (no 2) up some (no mean feat that) so he could attempt to to tie the top most center (where the 2 frames crisscrossed). The tent was tall. We anchored all the pegs to all corners and edges, tossed and installed the rainfly and 'presto' (not) it was done.  It was supposed to be a 6 man tent, unfortunately that did not include space for luggage!.

The first day right up to dinner was not too bad I have to say, the weather was not at it's usual roasting temperature but it sort of tittered on the edge of a really mild mild drizzle on and off. Then after that we had to huddle in the tent when the rain got heavier. Stayed that way through most of the early morning. We had a friend and her son join us for the day, so that would have made six of us in the tent. But sometime around 1am, they decided to leave for the sake of comfort all round and get back to the comfort of their own dry, soft bed at their own home which was not too far from the beach.
The rain stopped a while in the morning the next day, enough to let us walk to breakfast and back  - favourite Macs breakfast never fails to please and just after that, the weather went a little sour again.

We also had a rather noisy bunch of teenagers who set up 5 tents close to us later that first evening, they had the whole wide East Coast park area to select and they decided to park themselves so near us. They made noise for half the night and packed up by 9am the next morning.

But I think the kids had managed to pull out all the activity they could for that whole day that we were there. They managed to get into the water, ride a bicycle, get in a night walk looking at and catching baby crabs by torch light, picking shell and shale, all in all, I think it was a successful campaign attempt inspite of the weather. Using a torch light in the dark of night of course is another thrill for the kids.

In the morning when the rain started again, we all had had enough of huddling in the tent, we decided we would pack it up earlier than planned.  The wind had reduced the efficacy of the rainfly, so the sides of the tent were damp and we had little leaks at the side, but still not that bad.

Why do I say I will not repeat it again ever (I think), because the packing up of the canvasses was quite an exercise and then getting home, getting them (camp stuff) cleaned, sunned and packed again ... well that was the exercise for the week and my back.

Memorable indeed.

Jun 19, 2010

Cameron Highlands

1st week Dec 2009 -

We drove up to Camneron Highlands with dad, mum decided to forgo the challenging drive up the winding roads....... Tha last time I was up there was like 25 years ago or something like that.

We picked a 'practical' hotel in the heart of Brinchang, the town near the top. Just remember you don't always see everything on the internet. I think it was called Hua Gin, good rates, as basic as they go - beds, small cupboard space, space enough for 4 instead of 5, a couple of drawers and a little bathroom where the hot water shower actually worked.  BUT (of course there's a but) there's no such thing as a bell hop service.
Of course,  we were given the 'big' room on the 3rd floor which had NO LIFT . The expanded wing they called it. I had a huge luggage bag as befitting someone who packs for kids which had to be air lifted by 'moir'.
About the rest of the stay, I can't really complain, cos the kids did enough. They're so spoilt.! Of course there's no swimming in Cameron Highlands.   I think they enjoyed it somewhere along the way, they gave up on the idea of finding the beach and a game arcade.

We visited the tea plantation,  viewed  the bees and the honey making, enjoyed the strawberry picking,gorgeous flowers,
giaint roses,

(blame it on the camera)
spotted some strange and cute creatures, 

some shopping (of course what's a holiday without shopping) and experienced some winding travelling stomach churning drives.

I'm sure Ar forgot about finishing the whole tray of strawberries in the hotel room or the ferris wheel (how many rides was that ?).


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