Christmas damage

I was back in Malaysia from Christmas Eve night till Sunday, 28 Dec. First damage was on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It was terrible. I just hope things can only get better. Just received news that points towards improvement.

Except for Christmas Eve night, I've stayed over at my sister's place in KL. We were at One U on Boxing Day and I was looking for a casual belt. Saw one but thought should look further because wasn't sure it was too broad or not for some of my pants. She helped me to get a short-sleeved shirt, a pair of cargo pants and a pair of jeans. I more or less chose a few pairs of casual and office socks myself. Typical conversation during the shopping process is as follows:

Sis: Kor, try this.
Me: Ok
(later...)
Sis: Wah, looks nice wor
Me: Ok, buy!

People who know me know that I'm lazy at shopping but I'm happy to let someone else to shop for me and I just pay for the goods hehe.

On Saturday night, I met up with Mr Skanky and 6 of his friends. As usual, Apollo and SK asked me to go shopping i.e. they shop for me, I pay lah. I said I'm looking for office shirts and casual belt. Unfortunately, only managed to get casual belt but I'm happy to get one finally. Ironically, my sister that night pointed out that it was the same belt we were looking at hehe.

Here are pictures of the main items bought during this trip. Want to guess which is the most damaging (to my wallet) after discount?

Belt

Shirt

Jeans

Cargo pants

Holistic

It was simply one of those days. There was something to do with respect virtually all aspects of my life today. Thankfully, only 1 posed serious problem.

Health
I had my initial consultation with a gastroenterologist at SGH in the morning, after being refered by my GP. From previous experience at that hospital, waiting time i.e. waiting to be called to the specialist's room after registered usually takes about 2 freaking hours. So, as per previous practice, besides the referral letter, I was armed with a bottle of water, newspapers and a book "History of the World", which I have already started reading (usually in transit between home and office).

Surprisingly, it took about only 40 mins before I was called. By then, I've already read the newspapers (but to be fair, I've already read some of it before I got there) and continued reading my book. The consultation was less than 10 mins. The specialist decided have me take blood test (full blood count, a liver test thingy, T4 and something lol) and undergo an endoscopy the next morning. I then queued for each of the following: (1) pay bill for the day and the blood test, (2) blood sample drawn and (3) information and forms for the endoscopy. The estimated fee for the anaestesia to be used during the procedure is about 6 bloody times of the total fee today.

When I was back at office later, to my great relief, I found out that endoscopy can be claimed under Hospitalisation & Surgical Benefits insurance, rather than outpatient specialist. If it was the latter, I would have busted the limit!

Wealth
Went straight for lunch after spending almost 2 hours at the hospital. After lunch, I've exchanged S$ into RM to bring home to pay my dad for stuff he bought for me. Rate was S$1=RM2.38, down from 2.4 just about 5 days ago or so.

Job
I was inundated with work once I was back at office. Sorry, I meant once my boss was back at office after lunch hour. A colleague is on leave until end of this week while another until next year. I'm already following up on the project of the latter (and yet to find time to seriously follow up!) but I was sucked into the work of the former because there was no one else to help my boss! In addition, I was also sucked into work handed over by my ex-manager to my boss. I myself have 2 urgent jobs of which one I have to prepare the draft report for my boss's review by today while the deadline for the other was...errr last week lol. I ended knocking off work 2.5 hours after than I usually do. Took taxi home. One of these clients is going to pay for it.

Social
Since I am going home on Christmast Eve until Sunday morning (company gave half day off for the eve, full day for Boxing Day and full day for the day after New Year), I won't be having any Christmas gathering with my friends here. Hence, I was organising dinner for tomorrow night. So sms was flying back and forth for quite a while before the matter was settled.

Personal grooming
I wanted to wait till after I'm back to have my monthly haircut but this morning I decided not to because it looks thick and definitely feels like it. I wanted to do it today but my hairstylist was booked the whole day. Alternative suggestion was given i.e. tomorrow after lunch but I then asked to postpone once I was informed that the enscopy is tomorrow just after noon. Also, there is that dinner being planned, and before dinner, I plan to collect my monthly supplements from Pharmanex. So fortunately after a couple of phone calls and him checking at his end, I managed to get a rather convenient slot. Phew!

Family
Something has been brewing at home for past few days. It was getting nastier and ridiculous by the day. To paraphrase a quote from a  loved one: "It's turning into a rather good drama series! I know it's not funny but sometimes you just gotta laugh." It seems to have escalated to whole new level today of which urgent call needed to be made to someone else to arrest its development. Due to timezone difference, it could only be done at night. It was short, shocking for the receiver but I was relieved I have delivered the message asap and the receiver agreed that this is getting out of hand and agreed to do something asap. Hopefully this matter could be prevented from taking the next new level. It will be a lousy Christmas for me since I would be involved in sorting this out while I'm back home but it would be worthwhile if it results in a much better situation in future

Christmas trees in Singapore

Actually I'm not even sure why I started this but somehow I thought it may be interesting to see how different Christmas tress are decorated here in Singapore.

Outside Suntec

This is outside Suntec Mall. And no, that seemingly white piece of blot is not inserted by me to censor anything. It is in fact a metal plate engraved with some words. My gimpy camphone couldn't capture that and likely due to position of the sun or something (fengshui? ;-))

Suntec convention centre

This is inside the Suntec Convention Centre, right at the entrance of the Food Republic foodcourt. It's a small tree and seems sparsely decorated. Incidentally, there is a Japanese restaurant on the left named Hamoru that serves delicious value-for-money set meals. Their ala cartes are equally yummy too, especially the salmon belly sashimi. *drool*

City Link

I hope I got this right. I believed this is in City Link, the underground mall connecting Raffles City and Suntec/Esplanade/Raffles Link. It's huge and it's underground! I quite like this. Pretty.

Office

This is at my office. Sorry for the bad positioning. It is actually nicely decorated. I wonder it's the same as previous years hehe. I should take photo of the tree in a year's time.

Outside Heeren

This is outside Heeren. See those rectangular shaped decorations? Those are actually replicas of Maybank platinum credit cards.

Outside Raffles City

This is outside Raffles City. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and it was taken near dusk time. Looks a bit plain to me. However, at night...

Outside Raffles City night

...it looks much nicer! It does look like there's fireworks at its top half, doesn't it?

Prudential Tower

Twin trees at Prudential Tower. I noticed that for corporate companies, my office has one of the best Christmas trees so far, not that I went to every office.

After 24 hours...

...the modem/router is still working well! Woohoo!

The problem has been solved last night.

Before that, as I've said in my earlier post, I've tried connecting my housemate's laptop directly to the modem via LAN cable. I've also tried the following without success:

(1) Connect the modem directly to the phone socket, instead via microfilter.
(2) Scanned housemate's laptop for virus.
(3) Scanned housemate's laptop for spyware.
(4) Installed a internet connection keeper in my laptop.
(5) Used another phone line.
(6) Used another LAN cable (for my laptop).

Mr Skanky labeled my case as an X-File case :-)

There were only 3 suspects I had: modem, ISP or housemate's laptop. So next, I e-mailed the modem vendor techincal support. First reply was to ask me to scan housemate's laptop for virus and spyware. Yup, done that already. Next reply was to ask me to bring the modem and my housemate's laptop to the service centre.

Now, that's a bit tricky because the opening hours for the centre is 9am - 7pm, which encompasses my office hour. Fortunately that day when I read the e-mail I was working from home. So a quick call to my housemate to get his password, I swiftly went off and took a bus, train and then a taxi to the centre, which is not at a convenient location.

Reached there about 15 mins to 7pm. The tech guy was quite funny and down to earth. Snippets of our conversation are as follows:

Me: So I guess you guys worked late, huh?
Tech guy: Yah lor. "Because of you..." (to the tune of Kelly Clarkson's song)
Me: *Laughed* Wei, not my fault what. Your opening hours mostly coincide with office hours and so this is the only time I can come mah.
Tech guy: Then it's my fault, is it?
Me: Of course not lah.

(After running some diagnostic, analysis and even go elsewhere to type and do stuff...)

Tech guy: Ok, I have 2 suggestions.
Me: What?
Tech guy: Either reset modem or upgrade firmware. But upgrade firmware has 50/50 chance of failure of which then the modem will spoil.
Me: Eeeek. Like that, I don't have a choice. Try reset first lor.

Tech guy: Wah, reset and still the stats look bad ar. This one should be 0 ideally and even after reset for problematic modems, normally should be between 1 to 5. Yours is 14!
Me: So how ar?
Tech guy: Only thing left is upgrade firmware. But got 50/50 chance ar.
Me: If spoil, then have to buy new modem, is it? How much?
Tech guy: S$300. Actually, you can buy other brand lah. Cost S$100+ only. So you wanna upgrade?
Me: Got temple nearby?
(Both he and his colleague laughed)

Tech guy: Ok, I already set up the upgrade. I'm not going to press it. You presss it lah.
Me: Huh? Don't lah. You can press for me.
Tech guy: No, no, no. I don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong.
Me: Haiz. Ok, ok. I press.

Me: So what's your name?
Tech guy: No need know my name lah. Skali if something wrong...
Me: *Laughed* You scared I report you, is it? I won't lah.
Tech guy: Just call me Tech Guy A
Me: *Laughed* Ok, thanks Tech Guy A

Tech guy: So how old are you?
Me: Oh, oh, you wanna guess?
Tech guy: Hmmm I'll say you're about 30.
Me: Wah, you so good ar. I'm 32. Nobody has ever guessed above 20+
Tech guy: I got experience mah.
Me: Why? People also guessed you're younger than you look meh?
Tech guy: No ar. I'm 25.
Me: Oh, that's ok what. You do look your age.

Tech guy: So if you have any problem, ask for YX, ok?
Me: Which is not you, rite? Your colleague, rite? *Pointing to his colleague, who smiled*
Tech guy: Yah, hehe.

(Later he did tell me his name)

Yes, it was fixed after spending at least 1 hour there. Thank goodness the gamble paid off and more importantly, thanks to the nice tech guy.

An attack

On Friday, while on the way to work, I experienced difficulty breathing, whether through mouth and nose, especially the latter. In addition, the lower half of my eye sockets near my nose bridge are tight/aching. I had to occassionally take in huge gulp of air. It was rather scary and so I went to see my regular doctor.

The nose part is easy: it's blocked nose. Would have just concluded it's onset of flu if not because of the difficulty breathing through my mouth too. Doctor said that I'm probably suffering from stress.

I was disappointed. If it's any other ailments, it can be cured easily. Stress? That's difficult.

Yes, it's been a stressful week but I do not think it warrants such bodily reaction. My boss, who I believed is under the same, if not more, level of stress is fine. He rarely fall ill in general.

At times like this I feel like a weakling. I exercise regularly, eat healthier than most people and yet this happens. Haiz.

Anti-internet connection aura?

Modem&router

This is the modem integrated router that I'm using. Since goodness knows when (but certainly after the warranty period), it has been going bonkers. It will either suddenly restart itself or just loses internet connection. It does this regularly each day. The frequency per day is sort of random though. The downtime period can range from merely 1 minute to 5 minutes at which point I would manually restart it.

My housemate was away for a few days last week including the weekend. Then a miracle occured: it was sane throughout the entire period! Every single minute for a few days it never once disconnected. As to how I can be sure to the exact minute, I may just elaborate another day.

I also realised that after my Australia trip, during the next one week before my housemate came back from his vacation, the modem also did not disconnect (although I couldn't be sure it was every minute though).

So what do I conclude? I thought perhaps for some odd reasons, the problem exists when my housemate is using the wireless connection. Even he did confirm that if I'm not using the internet and he uses it, it still does happen.

The strangest thing is this: the moment he came home a few days ago, within 10 minutes of arrival and without him even switching on his laptop, the problem occured again for the first time in days. What the hell was that?? It's like he has this evil aura that is affecting it!

I bought a LAN cable to hook up his laptop directly to the modem, based on a friend's suggestion. Didn't work. This is frustrating. Guess I either have to bring it for repair or get a new one but I loathe having to do the installation.

Coffee Prince


1st shop of coffee prince, originally uploaded by marj04.

I love this drama series.

"I'll say this just once so listen up. I like you, whether you're a man...or an alien. I just don't care anymore."

- Han-gyeol (main actor) to Eun-chan (main actress), whom he still thinks is a boy, in the Korean drama series Coffee Prince

And the show goes on

Yes, at 1am I'm still awake. Went to bed before 11pm. Didn't exactly have deep sleep but definitely woken up by gastric yet again. Took antacids and an omeprazole. Seems to work...for 15 mins and the rumbling began. Ate half slice of bread and now drinking warm milk.

Earlier yesterday, went to work super early. At about 5.30am, I was fed up trying to sleep and decided to prepare to go to office. Plan was to work until boss came in and asked his permission to work from home. He agreed. Packed up my laptop (so damn heavy!) and went to see doctor.

For the medicine geeks (hehe), he prescribed me omeprazole, librax (apo-chlorax) and domperidone. Upon clarfiying with me that my previous gastroscope was 9 years ago already, he advised that I go for another. I readily agreed since that was what I intended to do anyway.

There were many people at his clinic past 10am. I usually go there just when it opens at 9am. So by the time I checked out, it was already 11.30am. Bought lunch and took taxi home since I was lugging many things, including the heavy laptop and I was about to faint from no sleep.

Had 3 hours of nap. Worked until past 8pm, with break in between for dinner while watching Avatar.

I really wanna sleep...

(Acidic) Sleepless in Singapore

Yeah, it strikes again but slightly different from then.

This time, it isn't hunger. It's pure acid flowing for no other reasons than to deter me from sleeping well. What made it even worse is that it is still there although I tried sleeping recline. Hence, it's not merely an acid reflux issue. Eating bread didn't help, neither did antacid nor omeprazole.

It is only the second time I've had this. The first time, I visited my regular doctor (who is aware of my GERD problem) who then prescribed antacid, omeprazole and some stomach medicine thingy. Perhaps was the 3rd one that solved it then or likely it was all 3 of them.

Gah, I better see doctor tomorrow. There seem to be a spike in such visits during the last month or so but probably due to different reasons. I'm nervous because years ago, I used to take sick leave (not due to GERD though) so often that my boss spoke to me about it. It was then I made a huge effort to eat and live healthier e.g. fruit and mini exercise everyday, which actually worked.