Friday, March 18, 2005

At about 1am, there was a feline commotion in the square below my block. June and I went down to investigate and try our luck if the source was the One we were looking for. We couldn't believe our eyes when we found him -- he was indeed the Big One, the Ginger Tom, himself. Jackpot!

Of all the toms June wanted fixed, he was right at the top of the list. Overconfident, he didn't bother running from us so was he ever surprised when June picked him up and quickly stuffed him in the carry basket. Then he got upset. All the way home we had to physically hold the top of the basket down to prevent him from breaking free.

Once home we had a problem. We had to weigh the basket top down with something too heavy for him to push off. The container of rocks that June uses for rock painting wasn't heavy enough. We settled for the whole container of June's art materials and books and prayed real hard that the weight would hold him down and yet not be so heavy that it would eventually crush the basket, and him along with it.

So finally we had our 2 cats: Flirt in the bedroom toilet and Ginger Tom in the basket in the guest room. By 2am I was out like a light, but June had a sleepless night making sure that Flirt, who figured out how to open the bathroom door from the inside, didn't escape.

In the morning, after brekkie, we went to the hardware shop to get a packet of cable ties. We attached a tie to each corner of the basket and one on each side as well. Just as we had finished attaching the last tie we heard a "brrraaaakkk" from inside the basket. In his terror, the tom emptied his guts (from the smellier end, mind you), but thankfully somehow managed to avoid stepping all over the mess. There was a frenzied cutting of the ties we had just finished securing, a quick transfer to the stand-by basket, a re-securing with fresh ties, and a quick wash up of the 1st basket. Oh, man!

Drove to Dr Ling's clinic without incident. About time things went in our favour. We left them in Dr Chan's care then drove off to Causeway Point to restock up on cat litter. We dropped off our purchase at home then went to SAFRA's bowling pro shop to buy me a ball. An 11-pound blue-green orb with cosmic sparkles personally hand-picked off the cheapest shelf in the shop. That, plus carry bag for both ball and shoes set me back $145. No wonder people go pro.

No time to test my new ball. The lanes were all full and the cats were ready to be collected from the clinic. The clinic didn't fasten the tom's basket as tightly as we did, so the drive home was scary as he kept struggling in his little prison of at least half a day and I wondered what would happen if he had got loose while I was still driving. Fortunately, we got home in one piece and we released him back to his natural habitat where, Cat Auntie reported, she saw him asleep this evening. Trying to get over his trauma, no doubt.

To cowpat:
Thanks for inviting us to Blue Moo (what an interesting concept!), but after all the excitement of the day we decided to pass. Hope you had a good time, and let us know when BP's next show is on, ok?

Dinner at Marrybrown, a Malaysian chain of Southern-style fried chicken restaurants to rival KFC. Ok, lah. Quite sedap.

Boy, the M2's been running around quite a bit today.
Just a quick note 'cos it's late. Again.

Q-tip went for grooming and now she's a much smaller, lighter, more dog-shaped dog instead of a walking fluff-ball.

Flirt's kitten has found a new home! The bakery lao ban niang agreed to keep him as the 4th cat in her house. It's sad to see him go, but really the practicality of keeping him as our 4th pet was a bit much for us. Hope he can settle down quickly and have more fun with his new roomies who, hopefully, will treat him with more welcome than Belle and Momo did.

Much later in the evening, we went hunting and caught Flirt herself yet again. June is taking the day off so we can take her for spaying, and no excuses this time. We also intended to catch one of the neighbourhood toms to accompany Flirt and her "procedure," but they have so far been too smart for us. It seems they have all gone hiding as we scoured our immediate neighbourhood, but there was no trace of Bubbles, or Ginger Tom, or even Skull. Wonder who's been tipping them off?

Will try again early tomorrow morning then send off whomever we can to Dr Ling. Someone's gonna get fixed...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Whoa! Lost a day. Where have I been? Telos, Dxun, Onderon, all exotically named, but none of the drinks with the little umbrella that you keep hearing about. Over the last few days, I've been reacquainted with the word "overindulgence" resulting in VERY sleepless nights as I progress through KOTOR 2. Much improved gameplay from the original, a lot more options for customizing characters and barang-barang.

One major complaint I have, though: I've got serious graphics problems with polygons bleeding all over the place especially in areas that are wide open or if there's too much movement going on onscreen. It gets so bad, I can't see any bloody thing. The only way out is to quicksave then quickload again to restabilize the graphics and repeat ad infinitum until I reach an area that isn't so graphics intensive. Sucks there. I don't know if it's a problem with the game or my graphics card, but the forum pages aren't very helpful. Hope Lucasarts or ATI will release a patch soon, else I'll go postal.

Took a break this evening to take my nephew to the Disney on Ice "Princesses" special. I imagine that if NBS was there she'd be calling out all the moves the skaters executed, just as I would if I watched a 'live' wrestling match. Thankfully, my viewing partners were just June and nephew, bored little boy that he was. Too much romance, not enough villany to keep his attention for long. Still he managed to keep awake throughout without making too much a pest of himself. Observation of Singaporean audience: not generous with applause, very little encouragement for the performers. We still don't have a culture of audience participation, only vouyerism, which is sad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Obviously, it's late at night and I'm still up. I'm on vacation! ...but a working one at that. I can wake up late tomorrow 'cos work for me starts in the afternoon. So what have I been up to today?

Faxed over the Ministry's bowling tournament registration form for our foursome, me, Yee, Vince and Anthony. Stuck for a name to call our team I just improvised and called us "Gutter Boys", but with my kind of luck the organizers will misread and call us the "Glitter Boys" instead (handwritten, my "u" looks like "li"), giving quite the wrong impression of us to the other participants.

I made copies of the latest version of our Drama Night script for everyone. It cost me $10.80 at the college copy shop. A guy could go bankrupt like that. Then alternated between helping one of my ex-students with her application for a PSC scholarship -- she needed an essay written about her life outside official documentation -- and sitting through Drama Night rehearsal.

We're making progress though time is getting worryingly short. As the script is now being written on the fly, there's still the music to be composed and spliced in and choreography to be done as well. Less than 2 months, less than ideal conditions to create a musical extravaganza, but everyone's working hard, and can expect to work harder still in the coming weeks.

Had a practice bowl down at the Civil Service Club where the tournament games will be held. I can't find an 11 pounder to fit my fingers, they're all too loose. Think I'll have to go get a custom ball else I'll be competing with a perturbed mental state which won't help the team at all. Yee joined us for the first time today. He's easily our top scorer though on a good day, Anthony could challenge him. Today was Yee's bad day though. Hopefully, we'll all bowl better than today during our first game next Thursday. 'nuff said.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Took Q-tip to ECP for the pet fair organized by Straits Times classifieds. A festive gathering of pets and their owners, though we didn't meet anyone we knew. Q-tip was attracting attention wearing her red gi with Japanese text on it. Kids, adults, other friendly dogs came over to make her acquaintance. Q-tip, star that she is, just wanted to be left alone.

The fair was right next to the Lagoon food court so disregarding the "No Pets" signs we made our way inside to look for brunch. I found what I was looking for: Roxy Laksa, the authentic laksa from the now defunct Roxy Cinema. It's basically Katong Laksa but in a very lemak gravy; very mild chilli; and no ham (clams). OK, by definition this doesn't sound like much of a laksa but I think it's great. No OTT chilli to distract from the taste and no undercooked clams which are a health hazard. Cooled down with fresh sugar cane juice. Yums.

More food this evening. Celebrated Dad's birthday at the Grand Copthorne's Cafe Brio's. They're having an Irish themed buffet, the centrepiece of which is the roast beef cooked in Guinesss. The spread is full of things that I like: a range of fresh sashimi salmon, tuna; fresh salads; a range of cheeses and a variety of breads; 1/2-shell oysters...; fine, I have a limited focus on the virtual smaorgasbord of food, but at least I know what I want.

Ate too much and even as I type I feel the discomfort in my stomach, though I am feeling much better than I did just after dinner and during the family river walk. From where we were sitting the the Cafe Brio's we could observe the river and the occasional river taxi ploughing its way towards the pick-up platform on our side of the river. It's a very peaceful view, great for lazy afternoons to sit under the trees, soak up the afternoon tranquility and compose poetry if you so desire. Must remember this place and do that sometime.
We changed the kind of litter in the cats' litter box. Originally we used sand which was annoying because our whole flat became sandy as the sand grains stuck to paws and tracked all over the house. We changed the litter to one that was wood based instead. It supposedly smelled better, was more absorbent, and didn't track as much. Bad idea.

There was a cat revolt and they did their revolting things in the worst of places. We found pee on the comforter which we had washed the night before because "someone" had taken a crap on it, and we found crap on the beanbag and on the morning 'paper as well!!! Hope there aren't any hidden caches that we have yet to find... Ok, most normal people didn't need to know this but these are the hazards of living with animals.

We took their point and immediately changed their litter box back to the sand they're used to. Meantime, the washing machine's been working overtime today as we have to get everything washed and dried before we can sleep tonight. We only have that one comforter after all.

In the evening we wanted to drive out to Changi Village with our folks but were turned down on both sides. Our parents may be retired but they're still busy people. On our own, we drove to Chinatown instead for clay-pot rice, made the way it should be. As the rice actually cooks in the pot over a real charcoal fire, the wait can be very long. We waited for our order for about 25 minutes but it tasted wonderful. This stall in the Chinatown food court has been around since June was a kid so it's nice to see some heritage things have been preserved and are still thriving in Chinatown today.

Too crowded in town and too early to go home so we headed back north for dessert at Swensens, Northpoint (right, what were you expecting?). Also took the opportunity to browse Harvey Normans to see if they have KOTOR2 in stock. Apparently it's been out for weeks but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy. But there it was, hiding like a bashful virgin behind a stack of other lesser games. Duds, I now have KOTOR2, and I'm not afraid to play it before you! As soon as I can find the time, that is...

We intended to release Flirt's kitten back to his natural habitat so he could reunite with his mother and so that more people might see him and he'll have a better chance of being adopted by one of them. But he freaked out when he saw his old hangout and gang again, hissed at his brother and ran off to hide and generally be antisocial with everyone. So we caught him, put him back into his basket and brought him back home. Think we're going to have to get used to living with 3 cats. No more, please. Really.

Ended the day watching the SpongeBob Squarepants movie. SpongeBob is ok to watch in his half-hour cartoon show, but a feature-length movie? Guess that's asking a bit much. It is amusing in bits but the movie goes on too long to sustain the humour.