7th anniversary

I was so busy on the day my dad discharged from hospital (recuperating at Ban's place) that for the first time ever I forgot Ban's and my anniversary until late at night @@.

Since Ban had family dinner celebration the next night, I planned to have a more-expensive-than-usual dinner to celebrate two nights later but was concerned about my dad's condition. Fortunately, my dad was fine with our plan and in fact both my parents encouraged us to go out to celebrate by ourselves. For that, I'm grateful :)

We had a wonderful time dining at Kinpachi. Besides the usual salmon sushi and amaebi sushi, I also had fried soft-shell crab (with an unusual mild spicy taste) and salmon handroll. All were great but I probably wouldn't order amaebi sushi again (if I can remember!) because of its small size and so it's better to order salmon sushi which is cheaper. We chit-chatted about a variety of topics, taking our time with our dinner.

We used Garmin to get home but we took a wrong turning (damn multi-storeyed roads :P) and so took a little longer. I wanted to have chendol at Aman Suria's Lotus Curry House but they ran out of it. So thought of trying it for the first time at Original Kayu but they didn't have chendol (or ran out). Ended buying Pearl Milk Tea from Chatime hehehe.

I love you Ban! May we celebrate many more anniversaries together :)

Well on the way

I visited my dad the day after his surgery during lunch time. Although he sounded weak, my mum and sister said he looked better than the night before. However, he was briefly alert when telling me about a powerful Pokemon he caught lol.

There is this device that helps patient to exercise his lungs. The goal is to blow hard enough to float all 3 plastic balls to the top. At that time, my dad claimed that he could only support 2 balls but about 5 mins later, he managed to get all 3 balls up :)

In the late afternoon during my second visit, yet again he looked so much better. I had high hope that he could be discharged earlier than norm. My only concern was that he felt a little stressed staying in hospital, because of pain (28 staples!!!), bloated stomach, constipation and a bed that caused pain at his lower back (apparently experienced by a few other patients too).

Doctors who attended him generally agreed that his pace of recovery was faster than norm. In fact, the head of the doctors' delegation (the big boss!) joked that my dad must be a mechanical engineer and somehow manipulated the balls lol. Hence, he was discharged 5 days after his surgery and now recuperating at Ban's place.

Next step is to remove the staples 9 days after discharge. I hope it would be as painless as possible.

Long wait in the dark

On the day of my dad's surgery, I arrived at hospital at 12.15pm and discovered that my dad was wheeled into the operating theater at noon. Earlier, we were told that the operation would take about 3 hours. Given what happened to my mum, my dad wanted me to stay within the hospital compound during the duration of the operation. I was in the ward, reading a book and snoozing.

At about 4pm, I was a little worried because no one told me anything. I figured that if I didn't receive any emergency call, that meant there was no problem. However, at 5.30pm, I asked a nurse in the ward for status update on my date, pointing out that it had been 5.5 hours since my dad left the ward. In short, she didn't know the actual status but she did say that sometimes patient is left in OT to rest before sent back to ward. Also, she spotted a doctor involved in the surgery and surmised that the operation was already over.

About 3 hours later, I again asked for news. This time, they told me that my dad would only be moved back to ward once they receive a call from the OT. That still told me nothing about my dad's surgery status. My mum wanted to stay on until my dad was back. Since only 1 person was allowed to stay on past visiting hours, the rest of us went home and waited for my mum's call. When I left, it was a total of 8 hours of stay in the hospital and yet my dad wasn't out. More importantly no one updated us anything.

My mum called at about 10.30pm and said that my dad was back at ward. It appears that they waited for my dad to wake up before sending him back to the ward.

I agree with my sister that it was inconsiderate of the hospital staff not to provide any update at all to family members who were worried sick about the patient. At the very least, once the surgery was over, shouldn't we be informed? I would be contented with news as basic as "surgery is over and he's resting".


In a past Actuaries Digital issue, Geoff Dunsford wrote to the editor giving his opinion "on feedback the Institute provided to the Government on its March Discussion Paper on the Objective of Superannuation."

Among the things he said were:

" The Actuaries Institute letter suggested that one of the objectives of superannuation should be “To supplement the Age Pension in order to provide a combined level of income that allows Australians to live a dignified retirement”.

This statement suggests that the Age Pension is a fixed (universal) amount, whereas for most people on retirement, and for many years after, it will only be a part pension they receive. This is provided in accordance with the Means Test rules then current and there are no guarantees how these might change from time to time –  for then existing pensioners as well as new ones. To suggest that a part pension is the primary element in the superannuation system is arguably misleading. "

Andrew Boal, Convenor of the Institute's Superannuation Practice Committee (SPC), replied and among the things he said were:

" I can confirm that the Actuaries Institute statement does not suggest the Age Pension is a fixed (universal) amount as we clearly understand and agree that for most people on retirement, they will only be eligible for a part pension. Also, the Actuaries Institute has not suggested that the part pension will be the primary element in the superannuation system. "

I believed Andrew is missing the point. Yes, the institute didn't explicitly say that part pension will be the primary element but the usage of the word "supplement" implies so.

Conventionally, supplements means to add to something bigger or more important. For example, income from my actuarial services supplements my rental income since the latter is the primary source of income. Incidentally, this does not violate dictionary's definitions but merely a subset of them.

Yes, by strict definition, the institute is correct to use it as above without inferring the difference in size between superannuation and Age Pension. However, remember that this concerns all working Australians and usually people in general will adopt conventional definition. So given how all actuaries are trained to consider the various stakeholders involved in an issue and that we must consider perception as well, I am surprised the choice of word the institute has chosen.

Maybe a better word is "complement" or reword the objective entirely and use the word "add" or "in addition to".

I am also surprised at the rather defensive tone the convenor had taken in his response.

Surgery and after-care

My dad is scheduled for a surgery to remove a cyst very soon in PJ. As a standard procedure, there will be a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after discharged.

After staying at Ban's place for a night, he finally accepted my suggestion for him to recuperate here. He didn't want to because, understandably, he's more comfortable at his own home but ever since he discovered there are many Pokemons here...@@.

So the plan is for my parents to stay at Ban's place and I'll be there until bedtime to take care of him. Ban and I will then sleep at his brother's place and return to Ban's place as early as possible in the morning the next day. After 2 weeks, I'll bring him to the follow-up appointment. The plan after that will depend on how well he recovers.

I hope his surgery goes well. My mum had a near-death experience while undergoing a simple surgery and also during recovery and so it took us (my family) sometime to calm my dad's anxiety.

I also hope he recovers well as he cherishes mobility. Hope everything goes well for all involved.

Colour of My Love

One of my favourite songs, especially its lyrics.

I'll paint my mood in shades of blue
Paint my soul to be with you
I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones
Draw your mouth to my own

I'll draw your arms around my waist
Then all doubt I shall erase
I'll paint the rain that softly lands on your wind-blown hair

I'll trace a hand to wipe out your tears
A look to calm your fears
A silhouette of dark and light
While we hold each other oh so tight

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Swearing that we'll never part
That's the colour of my love

I'll paint the truth
Show how I feel
Try to make you completely real
I'll use a brush so light and fine
To draw you close and make you mine

I'll paint the truth
Show how I feel
Try to make you completely real
I'll use a brush so light and fine
To draw you close and make you mine

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Swearing that we'll never part
That's the colour of my love

I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn so much to try

And with this ring our lives will start
Swearing that we'll never part
I offer what you cannot buy
Devoted love until we die

Under one roof

I mentioned in the passing that Ban and I went to Butterworth. We stayed at my sister's place. More importantly, my parents were there too. Yes, it was the first time we stayed together with my parents after I came out to them

I believed the 2-week stay went quite well, although Ban said it was quite "challenging" because of the new experience. My dad even took the trouble to remember what food Ban couldn't eat and what he didn't like to eat. My mum made the effort to converse with him. Ban himself made the effort to chit-chat with them.

We both read bedtime story books to my nephew at night. My niece was so attached to Ban that on the day we left, she pleaded with him not to "go home" and then later cried wanting to go with us. Poor girl.

My parents stayed a night at Ban's place (Ban and I stayed over at his brother's unit) and the next day had lunch with us as well as Ban's mum and brother. It went well...except that twice my dad played Pokemon during lunch and the second time he excused himself to go to toilet and didn't come back for a while. Haiz. My mum and I reprimanded him.