Connected cleaners


If you’ve ever wondered if Singapore was really such a hi-tech connected country with hi-tech connected people, wonder no further.

On the Emerald Hill Group’s website’s “Work for us” section, there are openings for ‘Cleaners’ to work at their various outlets on Emerald Hill. So confident are they that people who usually seek employment as cleaners would have internet access and have the nous to look up job openings online.

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Lining the queue

Photo by Luangmai

Tonight after a work meeting, Naomi and I popped by the Holland Village Cold Storage because our fridge was bordering on empty. Because she was still suffering from the pain of two prolapsed discs in her lower back, we were hoping to make this a quick grocery run, but for some strange managerial reason, the supermarket closes all but one of their checkout counters at about 11pm, which also happens to be one of the busier hours.

There must’ve been 20 people in the queue, and I was more or less resigned to standing in line for a while. But Naomi, fresh from bargaining $10 off the price of our new laser printer yesterday, wouldn’t stand for it (hur hur), and went to ask one of the checkout cashiers very nicely if she could reopen at least one other counter.

Bless that cashier that took one look at the line and agreed to reopen her counter.

Pleased as punch, Naomi came back to my line to tell me, and the rest of the line, that another counter had been reopened. And this is when something really odd happened.

Only myself and two other people abandoned the snaking queue to pay at the new counter. The 17 others remained where they were, perhaps happy and very content with the fact that their queue was now 3 shorter.

Happy that she didn’t have to suffer at the supermarket that long, Naomi later went online to help me with my work, and found out the following bits of information that may constitute a possible explanation to what happened at the supermarket:

Singapore holds the world record for the longest human domino chain;

Singapore holds the world record for the most number of participants in line dancing at 11,967;

Singapore holds the world record for the biggest ever game of pass the parcel;

The world domino topple record was set in Singapore by a woman from China.

Yes. A lot to do with lining up.


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MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro!!!I know my wife loves me very much because she notices every little thing about me. Things that I sometimes keep to myself. Like eyeing and secretly yearning for a new computer to replace my Powerbook G4 12″.

Taking the trouble of crafting carefully placed questions like in a normal conversation, about Apple computers and how great they are, and about how ‘wow, the peripherals are something else too, just check out the new Airport Extreme base station with it’s ‘n’ speed, blazingly fast wi-fi, maaaan’, she put together my wish list of things and tallied them against her budget.

And then, she went out and bought me the computer I’m writing this blog on now:

Say hello to Ziggy (as I have always named my computers and hard drives), who’s a MacBook Pro 15″. It’s fantastic not just because it’s a Mac, and it’s fantastic not just because the keyboard lights up when the room gets dark. In fact, I’ve been deliberately working in the dark so the keyboard backlight gets lit automatically, just so I can marvel about it aloud to my wife.

I had marvelled about this to my techie brother too, but he simply said, “So? The fridge light also comes on when you open the door. Big deal”.

Yes, as I was saying, its fantastic not just because of all the features, but because my wife took so much trouble to surprise me, and to get me something I’d love and use. She even hid the stuff in places in the house, and made excuses for me to go to these places in the house and ‘discover’ thinly disguised packages – she needn’t have bothered with the disguises because I’m so thick I’d still wonder what a carton with the label ‘MBP 15″” contained.

We then went out and bought accessories from iShop, such as a keyboard protector and protective film for the surface of the notebook, because I’m such a messy person and take my meals while I work. If you were to turn my old Powerbook upside down and shake it, crumbs from a dozen types of pastry would fall out. So, you know, we don’t want that to happen again.

I have to plug iShop, because they’ve such attentive staff who let you play with everything on display, and give you really good recommendations about what to buy and what you don’t really need. Oh, and the fact that there’s a cafe that serves pretty decent coffee is a major reason for hanging out there.

Although it’s pretty easy to surprise me (because I’m so damn blur), you can’t imagine how touched I am that my darling wife took the trouble to run around town to get me my favourite work-toy.

I feel so loved.

Macs (and other Apple computers) I’ve owned:

Apple IIe
Macintosh Classic II
Macintosh Quadra 660AV
Powerbook Duo 210
Macintosh Powerbook G4 12″

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The Sea-Monkey Diaries, Part Nine

Even biggerWe are now proud, um, owners of parents of new baby sea-monkeys. And the mother sea-monkey is preggers again, and if this goes on – where she’s the only child-bearing sea-monkey, she’ll soon be the mother of all sea-monkeys! In our house. In their tank. Yes.

We don’t have a powerful enough camera to record pictures of the almost microscopic babies, and we’re not sure if they’ll survive the week. Stay tuned.

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