Friday, April 08, 2005

Updatine this blog may become sporradic over the next couple of weeks. Rehearsals for Drama Night are about to go into nightly mode and I'll be coming home later and later as we approach production. Too late to write or even think about writing as the brain breaks down into incoherence.

Oops, fell asleep typing this entry. It's now a couple of hours since I started writing. Must... finish... entry... There. Good night...!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The saga of my poor M2 continues. Must thank Vince, Anthony, Weng and Amy for their advice and assistance yesterday in getting me on the next step after a bang-up.

From Vince, I learned about the Independent Damage Assessment Centre (IDAC) at which the inspection of the damage to the accident vehicle seems quite thorough. The closest centre to the College was at Braddell so I drove over with Weng accompanying me.

There, the inspector wrote up a long list of problems that had to be repaired. Looks like the back gate and the bumper have to be replaced, amongst other things, so the damage was worse than I thought. It was bad enough to make my back door unopenable.

On the admin side I had to make a report on how the accident occurred and I was judged to be not at fault. My insurance is with NTUC, as was the errant truck driver's. NTUC's position in such a case is that since I was not at fault, I could claim for the damage under my own policy without affecting my premiums in subsequent years.

IDAC appointed a mechanic early today so I drove back to IDAC Braddell and left the M2 there. Poor thing, being hospitalized already. This time, Anthony drove with me so he could give me a lift to Tampines Mall where I received my courtesy car (it was either this or a transport claim worth up to $50 per day) from NTUC Income.

So I still have wheels while the M2 stays in the workshop. It's an old auto-drive Toyota Soluna, a saloon model so I have to get used to the length when parking. It may be old, but it's quite well-maintained by an attendant who seems to take great pride in keeping his rental cars spotlessly clean.

The Soluna drives quite well, considering its age. The brakes and the accelerator feel a bit stiff and the engine is noisy -- something else I need to get used to -- but I think it still has some power to spare though I haven't exactly been testing its performance today. It feels retro-mechanical compared to the M2 but it should be ok for my needs until my baby comes home.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

This week is getting dramatic. I just had my first traffic accident way early in the morning. At the T-junction of Yishun Avenue 1 and Avenue 4 my instinct was to follow the rules of traffic signals instead of common sense. On 'amber' I stepped on the brakes (a bit hard, mind you), but the truck driver behind me thought I was going to clear the 'amber' and continued his forward trajectory hoping to clear it with me. The inevitable happened and now the M2 has a big, beautiful dent on his backside. Fortunately, that's all that happened.

Now I get to investigate accident reporting procedures, as well as the process of going through insurance claims and the machinations of the car workshop. First person to call (I hope he'll be awake) will be Chew to get his advice on what to do next. I'm sure I'll be getting lots of advice from Anthony & Co too.

I'm not sure what to make of this event. On 'amber' do I stop or go? I guess that if there's still speed to bleed off by the time you reach the lights, it's better to continue because it isn't 'red' yet. Also, it's good to check the rear-view mirror and not assume the guy behind you is just as law-abiding. >___<


Monday, April 04, 2005

Flirt has been laid to rest under a tree in the open field in front of our block. Cat Auntie and the Malay cleaner saw to it that she had a proper burial. This is one instance of inefficiency by the environment ministry that we can be thankful for. At least for Flirt, we have closure.

What's more worrying is that this evening another kitten died. This little black stray had moved into the Square a month or so ago and sort of insinuated itself with Flirt's brood. It developed symptoms of diarrhea and lately refused to eat regardless of what we tried to feed it. As it looked particularly weak today, June decided to bring it to see Dr Casey. Sad to say, the kitten died enroute in the taxi.

Dr Casey said that it could be an epidemic that's spreading amongst our younger strays. These symptoms are similar to those observed in Flirt herself, as well as one of her other kittens (who has since dropped out of sight, worryingly enough). June could only pay for the black kitten's cremation.

As far as I can tell, there are now no more kittens in the Square. Hopefully this will be the firebreak that will stop the spread of the disease (or whatever it is) to the other kittens in the neighbourhood. Wish there was a 'quarantine' sign we could put up that cats can understand.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

2004-2005 Posted by Hello

Very sad day. Flirt had been missing for a few days and Cat Auntie, Lau Ban Niang and June have been worried about her disappearance. This was after we had returned her to her family in the Square after her spaying. Spaying, for some reason, makes cats who have given birth before not want to live where they raised their young. As her mother before her, Flirt moved out of the Square but, unlike her mother, she moved across the street and made the drain her home. The drain isn't the best home for a cat.

Today, we went back to the drain where we had last seen her a few days ago, and there she was under the grille though it was just her body. Her spirit had moved on. June was in tears and I was numbed. The cause of her untimely demise is unknown, though I suspect she must have been caught in the drain sometime during the last couple of days that we'd been experiencing torrential rains.

Though she was a stray, she was a part of our extended "family." Good bye, Flirt. We miss you.
I am now thoroughly disappointed with KOTOR2. Though I said I didn't have time to play anymore, I couldn't stand not having a working game on my hard drive. So I tried various graphics settings and reloaded my older video drivers to no avail. Now places that didn't give me problems before are giving problems now. This sucks! Good thing I have already finished the game once through. Now, where can I go to get my money back?