Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What happened to SAFETY FIRST?

In my years working in construction sites, waste treatment and petchem chem plants, SAFETY was always paramount. Safety helmets, vests, harness, boots, coveralls, glasses or goggles etc were the norm. SAFETY FIRST was the motto. But it seems that safety is not always highly regarded by others. Many a times, I would see workers working on a road in the dead of night with no high-visibility safety vests. Is it nonchalant attitude towards their own safety, ignorance or employer non-diligence?

Fulfillment Services

As more and more consumers turn to shopping online, many traditional retailers are finding the need to tap into the e-marketplace in order to maintain marketshare. In many cases, this has been the fastest growing sales channel for retailers. Many of these retailers find it highly advantageous to outsource their order fulfillments by engaging a fulfillment company. Generally, the fulfillment company would provide product storage, handle order processing, package and deliver the ordered item to the end-consumer on behalf of the retailer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

General Updates - 23 Nov 2009

Week Long Break!
Boys are having a week long break. And what does that mean??
Games. TV. Internet.
What else?
Originally, intended to either bring the boys to Yogjakarta or Singapore. H actually prefer that I go to Singapore. But with my 'cacat' neck/back/arm, decided to stay put to keep to my chiropractic schedules.
Besides, we are without passports....as our visa/permit needs extension.
Donno why sooooo many holidays one. And it'll only be another 3 weeks before they break for 3 weeks over Xmas/New Year.
Anyway, planning to take them to Waterbom on Wednesday....if it doesn't rain....RAINY season now...

CryBaby
Me. That is.
I find that my tear ducts are ULTRA sensitive these days. The more so, the older I get.
I cry at almost any movies.
I actually cried a few times watching 2012 yesterday!
H was very amused...
GILA or not??
BTW, thought that 2012 was quite a nice movie...

Neck/Back/Arm Pains...
Am better...but still not totally okay.
Despite of the pains, I adhered to my usual planned activities last week.... did went painting on Monday, scrapbooking on Tuesday, tour to Villa D'Equilibrium on Wed, gym on Thursday (though I reduced my time and extent). Friday...think I just lazed about after my chiropractic adjustment. Hee hee..
Went for a swim with the boys this evening...could feel that my right arm has minimal strength. Needed a noodle to help me afloat. Don't know when I would totally be okay... the chiropractor mentioned at least 36 sessions. My insurance policy generally covers up to 16 sessions only, and they would only approve more sessions with a medical resport. Yes. Will be getting the chiropractor to prepare a detail report. Will see how this goes...

New Painting
Yes! I've completed another painting. Actually, completed last Monday.
Check it out HERE.
You like?

What happened to my Baking???
Yup. Haven't baked for ages. And I mean ages!!!!
For one, I've been in pain....and also lazy. There are numerous Xmas bazaars around town that I could have had a stall selling my cupcakes. Boys' school had one on the 11th. And then the American school just last Saturday, and then there's another bazaar tomorrow...and another next week. But But But....PAIN and LAZINESS just does not allow me to commit. :-)
Plus, I wanted to finish off my paintings... going to participate in an art exhibition next month.
More details later...

New Maid
Two weeks. So far so good....and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll last longer than the rest! She's not really a cook, but as long as she can prepare and cut the ingredients, deep-fry stuff (I hate doing this), do simple stir-frys...should be okay lah. She made fish and chips today, which turned out alright. I can do the more complicated stuff, if required.
She's definitely neater than my last runaway maid. How can I tell?
You know those cleaning sponges and cloths that you normally keep under the sink? Where no one sees?
Well, the last maid basically THROWs everything intho the cabinet. Whereas this one actually folds the cloth, and nicely stack the sponges.
So. I'm hopeful....

Visit to the Sacred Source

Last Wednesday (18th Nov), my Explorer Group visited Villa D'Equilibrium. It's where EQUIL natural mineral water is bottled. At present, I'm told they've exported to Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Learnt quite a bit about what the term "natural" means, i.e. the water must NOT be treated at all, and bottled immediately at source.

We toured the bottling plant and even had a "water-tasting" session. Yes. We always hear about Wine-tasting...but water tastes different too. And Yes. The EQUIL did taste sweeter and smoother than a competitor's water.

I forgot to take a photo of the main Villa. How Silly!!! So, here is a nice one which I "borrowed" from their site.

Villa D'Equilibrium with Mount Salak in the background
The pine trees around the estate.
A cute deer


The source is believed to be sacred, and it was founded by a paranormal. In fact, the whole design of the property is based on advice from this paranormal.
View towards the Sacred Source
Closer View - The Sacred Source is enclosed in a Brick structure in the background
One can enter the Sacred area... but had to be done individually and in an anti-clockwise manner. Some feel peace. Others breathlessness, or heart palpitations. Me? Nothing. Perhaps too blurr??
Majority of the water from the sacred source is diverted to the bottling plant, and a small flow is allowed to emanated from here...

It is believed that two guardians stand guard of this source, and one can make a wish whilst drinking from here. With a 'cacat' (retarded) right arm, I was hesitant to sip directly from the spring... as you would have to support your body with your arms as you kneel down to sip. But after much persuasion, I had a go....
That's me...in RED

I was okay the first time I went down to have a sip. But when I tried to dip my face into the water (according to the staff, good for the face!!!), I could feel both my arms just gave way. No. I didn't fall in nor knock my head. Composed myself and pushed myself up. Apparently, the two guardians are males and would sometimes play tricks on females. Last week, at another explorers' tour, two ladies experienced the same thing...and one of them was very athletic and strong! Am told of another incident whereby a pregnant Singaporean lady started dancing a local dance after a sip of the water.
:-)
We then had lunch in the grounds under a tent. Didn't stay too long to chat as I had to rush off to catch my chiropractor's appointment. It was indeed an interesting trip!!
p/s In case you are wondering...I feel fine after drinking water straight from the ground!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Better Today....

After days of agony....and basically immobilized in bed, I finally felt better yesterday evening. I supposed it's because I am pumped full of painkillers, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxants...coupled with the few sessions of chiropractic treatments.

I was in so much pain on Friday that I went to see my regular GP. She looked at my XRays, recommended that I continue with my chiropractic care, and prescribed me with the above-said drugs.

I tell you... really "hou-chann" (good earning capabilities??) this chiropractor. I'm in and out of the clinic in 15 minutes flat. The nurse/ assistant will massage my back with those electronic handheld massagers for a few minutes to loosen up my muscles and tendons and what-nots. Then he comes in. I think he only lay his hands on me for 7 minutes or so. And you know how much that costs?? USD 60 !!!!
Really "fatt-tatt" ...don't you think?
Do I hear you say GO somewhere else?
Aiya. This place comes highly recommended. Plus the chiropractors are all foreigners. My chiropractor is a Californian chap. Don't think there are that many practicing chiropractors here.
What to do? Expensive also must pay ler...

You know what my silly H said?
"Ah? Like that only ah? And costs USD 60? I also can press press here. Twist twist there for you! Better still. I go and open one shop."
Aduh!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazeeeeeee Week!

Yes. This has indeed been a crazy week.
Power has been CUT sooooooo often that I am almost crazy.
Really GILA. I tell you.
I mean the first 3 years we were here, I think there were only like 2 or 3 power cuts, and they were like only for 2 hours or so.
But these last 5 months, the power cuts are like uncountable liow. And for such crazy duration like 5 to 6 hours!!!!
Just this last week, power cut for I don't know how long...as I took the boys out to the mall to have movie and dinner.
Then just this last Saturday (Yup, the day that my sister and family arrived. Greet them with NO power!), power was out from 8 AM to about 2 PM.
Then on Monday morning, from 1.30 AM to 6.30 AM.
Tuesday, from 1.30 PM to about 6.30 PM
And then yesterday, the power went out twice! Once for an hour in the morning, and I don't know for how long in the afternoon as we all went out to luxuriate in the air-conditioning of the malls.
I tell you really CRAZEEEEEEEE.

Why suddenly so many power cuts?? Well, apparently a power station caught fire sometime in September...and that caused havoc. As if that is not enough, some transformer went whacko earlier this month.
We are contemplating to install a generator.... perhaps to lease one.
If buying...we'll have problems disposing when we leave. Aiya donno lah.

As if the power cuts weren't enough.... woke up to find that I didn't have water on Monday morning.... as when the power went off, so did my groundwater pumps. Yeah. Most houses run on water pumped out from the ground. And thus, no water being pumped up from the ground to my tanks. ADUH! I almost pengsan! The maintenance guys did come and fix the problem in a jiffy....But even then, had to wait for the small positive-displacement pump to transfer the groundwater up to my tank. Even now..at this hour, I can still hear my pump working really hard...non-stop.

As if all these craziness is not enough... I took my sister and family up to the Safari Park. Made the mistake of going all the way to the top of the hill for breakfast, and got stuck coming downhill. The jam was really really crazy. As in it took 20 minutes to go up the hill from the point of the Safari Park, but OVER TWO hours to come down to the same point. Really really crazy. And then there was also heavy heavy traffic when we left the Safari Park.
Thank Goodness that the little kids did not complain as much as I expected.
Have to say they were quite good boys lah.

Despite the craziness of the last week, I did have a maid that came to work on Monday. She seems quite pleasant. So far so good lah. But then, today is only the third day. But my first impression was a good one. I actually had one that came for an interview on Friday. First look, I wasn't really keen...but Beggars Can't be Choosers so went ahead to talk to her. Couldn't really understand her. Driver kept explaining to me what she said...but I told him to stop as I needed understand her. Luckily she wasn't willing to handle pork. And I wasn't gonna give up eating pork because of a maid. So told her to go. No point discussing further.

On Sat, he told me there was another maid....and he told her to come on Monday. He said she'll be here at 9 AM. But according to my guard, she was already waiting outside of my house at 7 AM. Spoke to her...blah blah blah blah.. and then ask when she could start.
She actually already took all her clothes over!
So she started on Monday.
I only had a trickling of water in the house, so she cleaned whatever she could.
I told her mopping was most important....and went out with my sister.
I know. I know. So brave to leave a total stranger in the house.
But I couldn't be bothered to stay at home to babysit the maid lah. If really want to steal stuff...work 5 years or whatever, also can steal ler.
Anyway, we'll see how this one maid goes....

Agony!!!!!!!

That's where I am in now!
I am in so much pain that I also don't know why I am at the computer.
But one can't be sleeping all the time right??? That's the only time that I don't feel the pain.
I did have a 2 hour nap...Just got up actually. My S1 was adamant that I rest, and not go with him to their Chinese class. I usually drop them off and then I go off to the gym. But not today...

What is wrong with me??
Well, I thought it was a PULLED muscle.
As you know, my main RAN AWAY last wednesday.... and my sister and family were arriving in town on Saturday. So what do I do?
I cleaned the house on Friday. I thought I was SUPERWOMAN as I cleaned ALL the toilets, mopped the floors, even had a private painting class, did grocery shopping, etc etc. By the end of Friday, my neck was pretty stiff and in pain. But tolerable.
Monday, the pain had gone to around the shoulder blades...and by Tuesday, I could feel my right arm in pain too. By Wednesday, I was in tears.

I then got some referrals from friends for a chiropractor...and trott off to see him in the afternoon. There was this gadget that measures the alignment of the spine... I could see some deviations but the main bit that was kinda out was at the vertebrae at the base of my neck.
Saw the chiropractor (not bad looking chap ...heehee) and he sent me off to have Xrays taken at a hospital. Saw him again this morning... BOY! Is my spine CROOKED or what???
Aduh. I could see my spine bending to the LEFT and then to the RIGHT. And when he showed me the SIDE view of my neck area, it was waaaaay OFF normal! ADUH! He said that this condition did not arise overnight nor over months. It was built up over a long time. Just that four months ago, my body was giving me signs of troubles to come (remember my SUPPORT PILLOW which I went out to buy??), and here it is FULL BLOWN.

I was hoping that with today's visit, everything would be miraculously sorted. BUT BUT. Guess what?? I have to have intensive sessions like 3 TIMES a week for 8 Weeks, and then twice for another 6 Weeks. And that is just to correct my NECK. The other crooked bits? He said to try to use more of my left side, and he'll teach me some exercises to reduce the STIFFNESS of my mid-back which is starting to show signs of extra bone growth (as in cantonese "kuatt-chi"). Damn depressing lah. And to think that I am still soooooooooooooooooo YOUNG. Have been kidding myself, huh??

Next session is tomorrow. Wish me luck that my pain will be alleviated!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More about the maid...

...... Not that I am sour grapes because she doesn't want to work for me anymore. But I feel I must blog abit leh.
Driver went and ask some people and apparently, her grandmother had passed on yonks ago. Proof that she lied. She also borrowed some money from him, which she hasn't repaid. And she really did take stuff from my house... he will HUNT her down. As it is, he will seek her out for the loan repayment. He's quite upset with her as he is the one that recommended her to the job. Her deceased husband was his friend and obviously, he thought he was doing good. He said that she came in by the front door, and she should leave by the front door. Not sneakily through the back door (metaphorically speaking).

They (guards and driver) is sure that she is pregnant. She has been vomiting for like 3 weeks, and she only worked for me a month. Plus, my driver has seen her "boyfriend" previously.

Anyway, I did the unthinkable yesterday. I actually texted my old maid (the one who worked for me for over 2 years, but left in January when her son passed away) to ask her if she wanted to come back and work for me. I had assumed that she wanted to come back as she texted me in late September to send me wishes for my birthday, and to ask about the boys.
Well, I was wrong. She is now pregnant and residing in the village. Good for her lor. I sent her my best wishes with my broken bahasa.

Driver is going to help me look for another maid....and I will probably have her over either on Sunday or Monday. Yeah. Yeah. Easy to find maids. But good or not is another thing. Actually, it is quite a scary thing isn't it? Having a maid. You literally INVITE a stranger into your house....with all your belongings easily assessible. And if you have young children, stranger with your children! Mine are quite big monsters already, so at least not so scared. The most is steal some little things.
Errr...but don't want to think about GILA maids lah. One that suddenly go coo-coo and chase after you with chopping knife kind.... Eeeeeeks!
Better change topic...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Maids!!!!!

Well. Guess what?
I'm without a maid again.
I went to the Parent-Teacher conference this afternoon, when I came home, she was gone.... The guard said that she left just 5 minutes after I left giving some lame excuse about her grandma passing. She left me a note citing same reason...and that she took the garbage fee of US 10 for her 3 days salary.

It's definitely ALL BALONEY. I'm sure she wanted to leave waaaay before. I gave her the garbage money 2 days before, and she didn't pay the garbage man....and kept the money for herself. And how come so coincidence that she would get the call and to leave just 5 minutes after???

And S1 has just told me that his mobile phone is missing. I know my kids usually put their things all over the place...but I was sure that I saw it on his bedside table this morning....because he told me that his credits had expired etc etc. The guard did check her things...but she does have her own mobile. So I guessed he saw the mobile and assumed it belonged to her. Oh well...what to do?

Anyway, I wasn't too happy with her... but thought I could TRAIN her to do it MY way. As I mentioned before, she worked as a part-timer for me for about 4 months. She wasn't perfectly clean then. But I sorta shrug it off...thinking limited time to fully clean stuff, but she did manage to complete all the tasks in 4 hours. So when she said that she wanted the full-time job, I gave it to her although I had my reservations. I mean a FULL-timers responsibilities would be very different from a PART-timers. Also, with part-timers, my tolerance for not-so-perfect work is higher. I was afraid that she would have problems "adjusting" to my standards.

True enough....she was leaving things like how I did when I didn't have a FULL-time maid. When she worked for me as a part-timer, I made my own bed, and it wasn't as smooth as nice as I would have liked but being a busy bee with grocery shopping, painting, scrapbooking etc...I just make do. So when she became a Full-timer, she also made my bed in a not-so-perfect way. No improvement whatsoever. All my previous maids actually made my bed oh-so-smooooooth.

The other thing that I couldn't stand is her HALF-DONE work. When she was a Part-timer, she HAD to complete all the task given in the 4 hours and then she get paid. When she became a Full-Timer, she was delaying and dragging her feet on her chores. I would see plates and stuff from breakfast in the sink for the longest of time. Or pots washed but not kept till like waaaaaaaaay later. For example, the other day...I saw pots on the drainer at 9 am before I went out. When I came back at 3 pm, she was starting to put them away.
Or she would wash the kitchen cloths, take it out and leave it on the washing machine....and then only hang them out like an hour later. WHY? I don't know. It's not that she doesn't do it. She does but like waaaaaaaay later. She seems to like breaking a task into many sections so at any one time, there would be 3 or 4 incomplete half done task.

I am out almost everyday....and when I am home, I seldom call on her. And when I do, she is ALWAYS in her room. Not ironing. Not in the house tidying. Not in the garden. But in her room. Please don't get me wrong. I am not a slave driver. One can surely rest. BUT to have so many half done task staring in my face is just too much. I usually come downstairs at about 9 ish am. And what do I see? Carpets all rolled up. Yes. She has cleaned and mop the floors, but just couldn't bother to replace the carpets after the floors are dry. So it looks really untidy. I go into the kitchen. Pots are left in the sink unwashed. The washed kitchen cloths sitting on the washing machine. And where is she? In her room....doing what I don't know.

Always in her room. All my previous maids will run out to get my groceries with a honk from the car. This one? My driver will always have to call and call, or most of the time, carry my groceries into my kitchen for me. My driver says that she probably is trying to find new husband, "pak-tor" via phone....that's why always in her room.

Actually, I just got my driver to have a talk with her yesterday...cause I was getting tired of reminding her to do things....like washing the toilets everyday. I mean it's a simple task. Why wait till I see dirty toilet, get upset then only get on with the washing???
Why get the driver? Because he was the one that brought her in to work for me.
She is a widow, and her deceased husband used to work as a driver.
I kept her despite all my complaints. My friends were all urging me to get rid of her. But I thought... a bit "chamm" (kesihan. pitiful) to ask her to go if she has 2 daughters to feed back home.

But what do you know?? Apparently, she is pregnant!!!
According to my guard. That is. How true I don't know lah.

I should have known that she is abit dodgy the first couple of days as a full-timer....cause she was wearing her sleepwear in the morning...while working. As in making breakfast for my kids and mopping the floors. I then told her to CHANGE and wear appropriate clothes.

Oh well.... only loss is my S1's mobile. So far, that is.
Who knows?
I might discover some other lost items later...

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Must advertise my new blog abit lah....

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Updates.... 4th November 2009

Some boring updates....

S2's Residential
As usual, S2 had a ball of a time at his 3 days/2 nights Residential Trip....visited museum, had fun at a water park, stayed in a 5 * hotel room with his pals...and best of all, NO mommy NAGS for the duration!

Dubai?
H came home the other day and mentioned the possibility of Dubai on the cards...
I said "Huh? No driver wor...." and then H said "but people drive BMWs there...since no tax"
Me - "Okay. I want an X5!"
H - "X5? Got camel also thau-cheow already!!"
Hahhahah...
That's just all talk lah. I've learnt earlier on NOT to think and fret about where we are going next.... cause it's all talk and probably will not come into fruition. As H says "Sapp wakk ter mei yau yatt peet" (have to say in Cantonese lah).
Will cross the bridge when we come to the waters.... I just want to put this in as I thought H's comment about the CAMEL was rather funny. Heee

H Away
H is currently on his way to Europe for work. Took the midnight flight out from Singapore. The last time I spoke to him, he sounded rather stressed about work....lots of changes, it seems. I hope he is coping okay. He actually left for Singapore on Sunday....and will only be back next Sunday. Whilst he is away, S2 is keeping his side of the bed warm...which means either I have to be in bed early OR S2 goes to bed later than his usual bedtime. The plus thing is I could just kick him up... instead of getting up and then going to his room to wake him. Hhahaha. Yes. Lazy mommy.

No Baking ...
Yeah. I haven't baked for two weeks. Seems like a long time. I had some "missed" inquiries that was sent via email. My fault. Of course...
I was also too lazy to bake for the boys' class....despite repeated pleas. Don't know lah. Just have no mood to bake...although I did buy Martha Stewarts book with 175 cupcake recipes last weekend. :-D

Parent-Teacher Conference
My S1 has a student -led conference with the teachers today, which means I would have to take the long ride out to school. S1's home with me now. I think he is feeling kinda restless since no TV and Computer allowed. But he is good in the sense that he read his book and then practised his Sax. Both he and S2 managed to get the tunes for the HOUSE theme... as in you know the series Dr. House????
Anyway, will see what his teachers say about his performance at school later today....

Sis and Family
Yeah. 2nd sis and her family will be flying in from Singapore this Saturday for a short visit. Have been trying to see where to go. Water Park? Safari Park? Kidzania? Seaworld?
We have not decided yet as my boys only can accompany them over the weekend. We'll see how ler...

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