Monday, March 29, 2010

Bah, humbug

I didn't join in Earth Hour, didn't turn off my non-essesntial lights for an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on March 27. Partly because all the non-essential lights and non-essential anything were already off anyway. This household practices Earth Year all round, and not just lip service for an hour once a year.

And why should I sit for an hour in the dark when the people who could have really done something about climate change sat around and did absolutely nothing in Copenhagen?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dogbert would make me feel better

The designer/layout artist assigned to work with me on a magazine project hasn't got InDesign loaded on her Mac. So we requisitioned it.

Then her Mac's memory wasn't enough for the program. So we asked for an upgrade.

But an upgrade to the OS would mean that it would be incompatible with another programme.

Bangs head.

Help me, I'm caught in a Dilbert warp.

Monday, March 22, 2010

As sure as there are fishes in the ocean

The fine print on the label of this bottle of cider (and isn't Pipsqeak such a cute name?) is: "Contains/produced with fish products"

So somebody please tell me where's the fish in apple juice?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ageing workforce

I know the government keeps harping on remaining in employment well beyond retirement age, contributing to the economy even in one's golden years and all that stuff.

But it's a helluva kick to my stomach when the cleaner clearing up after me in the food court is a bent-over grandma. When you go to the food court down the road from your house at an average of twice a week, the cleaners become familiar faces, and you start nodding at Aunty and Uncle, and try not to leave too much of a mess for them to clean. This particular grandma is a sprightly old thing, and I've seen her and the other aunties delightedly share the bounty of a plate of unsold food that a stallholder gave them. So yeah, they have a good time at work but really, I would challenge any minister who wags on about re-employment for the elderly to eat in a foodcourt and have someone older than his mother pick up his plate. It doesn't do much for the digestion.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good and bad gnus

The good bit is that the dog whom we once seriously considered to have a case of mental arrested development seems to be showing signs of cognition -- he saw at the window another dog passing outside, and he wanted to get at this dog (in a friendly way), so he ran to the door. In other words, he has finally worked out the difference between outside and inside (which he didn't use to, judging from his toilet habits) and also connected that the door was what took you outside.

The bad bit is that he slammed against the closed door. Twice. Two thumps. And whined. He hasn't yet realised that it's only an *open* door that can take you outside.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The face in the window

A goods van drove past Rupert and I when we were out for our walk, and turned into the multi-storey carpark. Being only knee-high, Roop missed the sight of a grey furry face riding shotgun beside the driver, a face whose ears picked up when it caught sight of Roop, a head that tilted as it looked questioningly at Roop. Yay, yet another Schnauzer in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What happened to holding up half the sky?

International Woman's Day (yesterday) was not a good time to read The Economist -- the cover story really made me sit up. It wasn't so much the topic -- gendercide -- or even the fact that China and India had abnormally high male sex ratios at birth. It was the fact that Singapore was also among the Asian (read paternalistic) countries with a skewed male sex ratio that was above the natural rate. At no point did it even imply that Singaporeans kill unwanted baby girls, it merely pointed out that distorted sex ratios are not confined to the poor, uneducated, illiterate agrarian societies because distorted sex ratios also exist in affluent societies such as Singapore. Now I'm stunned. Is there something happening in my backyard that I'm not aware of?

Monday, March 08, 2010

There's a reason why they're called killer whales

It's a horrible tragedy, the SeaWorld orca that drowned its trainer. Somewhere along the way, we've lost sight of orcas as hefty sentient beings with minds of their own and need to be respected in their own right. Which is why I feel weird visiting marine parks and didn't want to swim with dolphins in Hawaii. It must be a form of Disneyfication -- to think that dolphins are friendly, because they have smiley upturned jawlines; and sharks are nasty, because they have rows of sharp teeth.

I live with two dogs and I don't forget that they are really two wolves in my parlour -- even if they look so cute when snoring across the sofa that they're instantly forgiven. Which is why I disagree with L when he picks up and cuddles the one that looks like a teddy bear whenever the cuteness factor so impels him. If any pet owner hasn't been biten or scratched, it is because their dogs and cats have shown great restrain. Even a chihuahua is capable of taking off a finger, if it really wanted to. Maybe they should, everytime they're stuffed into a handbag. Teach us some respect.

Rupert's the sweetest natured dog I've ever had, but those teeth can do a lot of damage -- if it occurred to him.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tax dollars at work

A friend of mine (who should be unnamed for his/her protection) recently became a librarian at a public library. Which means that I'm technically paying his/her salary since he/she is now a public servant.

Well, I just found out that public servants who work at libraries get reimbursed for a tailored jacket every year. They also receive a S$100 shoe allowance every year because they must wear "covered shoes".

I pointed out that the shoes which I wear to work -- Converse sneakers -- are also covered shoes but apparently they are not considered to be the same class.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stepping out of line

There was a long queue for the two counters at the post office when I got in. You joined that one queue to be served at either counter when you reached the top of the queue. But the post office had a new policy -- if you were only buying postage stamps, you could cut the queue and go up to the one counter that was dedicated to that. Presumably, it took less time to serve a customer who was only buying stamps than someone who was paying bills (which must be the post office's main transaction these days -- who buys stamps any more let alone send snail mail?)

But the guy at the top of the queue who should have been served next didn't realise that, and asked the fellow who jumped queue to join the end of the line. The counter staff politely explained that he could cut the queue as he was only buying stamps, and it wouldn't take a minute to serve him. So Top Guy gave up, went back to the top of the queue and waited.

Which I suppose was very bad timing for me to pipe up from at the end of the queue to the staff: "I'm buying stamps AND paying for a bill -- so where do I queue?"

So they waved me to jump queue since I fulfilled the buying stamps requirement. Which meant that Top Guy got eclipsed by two people already. But he had the good humour to sigh and say maybe they should create a new queue policy just for people like me.

I knew it, I'm special.