Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Story: Awakening the Dinosaur

The Guidebook ' Adding Life To Years - Happy, Healthy, Active Seniors ' is divided into 8 sections.
1. Foreward
2. Introduction
3. My Work
4. My Savings
5. My Health
6. My Lifestyle
7. The Law & Seniors
8. Conclusion
The story of how I taught myself the computer and other IT skills and my initial foray into the new world of blogging, has been covered quite extensively in many of my previous posts and in media reports as well.
This latest article ' My Story: Awakening The Dinosaur ' was written by Contributing writer Eleanor Yap, who came all the way to my home to conduct an in-depth interview with me. The article is on page 37 of the book under the section 'My Lifestyle'.The photo shooting session was under the very expert hands of a real Pro shooter...Luke Bartholomew Tan. His many one-liners, while he was right behind the camera set-up about to film, made me burst into
uncontrollable laughter!
Unk Dicko is a very observant person about most things...and so I confess I really learnt something by observing the way he handled me....the subject. A real Pro at work!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adding Life To Years!

Two copies of the book 'Adding Life To Years!' were sent to my home on Saturday. When I opened up the envelope...what a huge surprise I got! I was staring at myself and my cute little grandson on the cover of the book.
This is the Front cover of the Guidebook.

A bigger surprise was on the inside page, with a covering letter from Minister Lim Boon Heng.
Mr Lim is the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing and is also a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

In his letter to me, he said..." I have signed and dedicated a copy of the book to you...for your personal collection."
He thanked unk Dicko for my invaluable contribution.


The inside page autographed by Minister Lim Boon Heng.

The covering letter to me
The Guidebook will be available from today at all Community Centres/Clubs and Libraries. You can get your free copies from these places or you could also download the copy online from the MCYS website.
The link to that website is in my previous post highlighted in blue.
The book is well-prepared, with lots of updates on our government's initiatives, inspiring stories and useful tips for all seniors and active agers.
[ Unk Dicko's story is on page 37 ]
The book is printed in English. Copies in the other languages may be out later.

Guide book on active ageing

Straits Times online news

Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
March 26, 2009
Guide book on active ageing

The book puts together a list of schemes that Singaporeans can practise for a balanced and healthy life in their silver years.
WANT to be happy, healthy and active in your senior years, but not sure how?
Help is on the way.
The government has released a guide book to help Singaporeans better prepare for old age.
Called Adding Life to Years - Happy, Healthy & Active Seniors, it puts together a list of schemes that Singaporeans can practise for a balanced and healthy life in their silver years.
The book includes information on work, savings, health, lifestyle and legal issues all relevant to seniors.
Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing, said: 'Through this publication, we hope to motivate Singaporeans to prepare early... We want to build a Singapore that enables older people to participate, contribute and be supported in the place where they live.'
Singapore is facing an ageing population. One in 12 residents is 65 years and above. By 2030, one in five residents in Singapore will be 65 and above - like in Japan today.
Members of the public can obtain a free copy of the book at community centres and public libraries from March 30.
It can also be downloaded from www.mcys.gov.sg/addinglifetoyears.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Singapore's 1st FULL Lady Minister!

So, the day has finally arrived! All you women out there should shout," Hurray!" It has been a long time in coming. We talk and talk about gender equality across the board. We not only accept the principle and logic behind it all but support it wholeheartedly. However in practice, we are still found wanting as a nation.

No more! This is a good start. Time to awaken to the fact that women are as good leaders as men if given the chance to shine. And if there are no artificial societal or gender barriers placed in their way, women should be able to assume whatever role they aspire to be.
The promotion of Mrs Lim Hwee Hua to full Minister in the cabinet signals a major landmark shift in thinking and practice by the government.
More able women may be encouraged to step forward after this.
My Warmest Congratulations to Mrs Lim.
Unk Dicko
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
March 26, 2009
PM renews Cabinet

Mr Teo Chee Hean
will be appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence. Mrs Lim Hwee Hua will be appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and concurrently appointed as Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport. ST PHOTOS: BRYAN VAN DER BEEK, WONG KWAI CHOW

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong has reshuffled his Cabinet, making several changes and appointments as part of continuing leadership renewal.
The changes are also to test out younger office holders for broader responsibilities, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday.

The changes will take effect from April 1.
Changes in ministerial appointments Mr Teo Chee Hean will be appointed as Deputy Prime Minister. He will be the Acting Prime Minister in the absence of the Prime Minister. He will continue as Minister for Defence.
Professor S Jayakumar will relinquish his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister. He will be appointed as Senior Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and will continue as Co-ordinating Minister for National Security. He will also continue to oversee foreign policy matters which cut across different ministries and take charge of foreign policy issues which involve legal negotiation or international adjudication. He continues to chair the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.
Mr Gan Kim Yong will be appointed as Minister for Manpower.
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua will be appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. She will be concurrently appointed as Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport.
Mr Lui Tuck Yew
, Senior Minister of State, will relinquish his appointment in Education and will be appointed as Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.
Dr Lee Boon Yang will relinquish his appointment as Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and retire from the Government.
Since being appointed a Parliamentary Secretary in 1985, Dr Lee has served in many portfolios including Environment, Trade and Industry, Finance, Home Affairs, National Development, Defence, and Manpower, before becoming Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts in 2003. The Prime Minister thanks Dr Lee for his many years of service and contributions to the Government and the nation.

Changes in appointment of Ministers of State
Mr S Iswaran will be appointed as Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, concurrent with his present appointment of Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Mr Lee Yi Shyan will be appointed as Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower, concurrent with his present appointment of Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
New appointment of Parliamentary Secretary Mr Sam Tan will be appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and concurrently in the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. His appointment takes effect on 1 July 2009.
Other appointments
Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed will relinquish his appointment of Mayor, North East Community Development Council when his current 3-year term ends on 30 May 2009. He will continue as Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Teo Ser Luck will be appointed as Mayor, North East Community Development Council with effect from 31 May 2009. This will be concurrent with his appointment as Senior Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and in the Ministry of Transport.
Source: Straits Times Online, Breaking News March 26 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Championship CAT Show...part 3

Those fortunate people who turned up at The SERANGOON for the Cat Show were a satisfied lot. There were activities a-plenty to keep everyone interested and involved. From what I had seen the event was a huge success and credit must be given to the group of hardworking organisers and volunteers who did a marvellous job.

Sharing some light moments with the key people....The Show Manager and Mr Chua.

This lady is one of the very Top and highest qualified of cat judges in the world. She hails from Australia.
Cheryl Uren started her judging career in 1965!
Today, she is one of the most sought after judge for international Cat competitions.
She told me that, " Singapore is just like my home. I have been here 5 times already! "

Unk Dicko had promised her that I will be blogging about the show and she was obviously delighted.
I asked her what she thought about the standard of the organisation and the quality of participants.
She had nothing but high praise as response...telling me that unlike when she first came, the present owners of the participating cats know how to project their cats, how to walk, how to best show the qualities desired.
Standards and knowhow of the organisers have improved tremendously. Great! I thank her

for contributing to our cause.
Ms Kayoko Koizumi is a top cat judge from Japan. Back home in Yokohama, she is also a known top breeder of Persians. And she has bred 51 Grand Champions!
She can speak a little English...so unk Dicko said, " I have been to Yokohama and I love that place!" She was very pleased to hear that.
" You come again?", she asked.
" Yes, but I'll be going back to Hokkaido first..in June this year. I have many friends there."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Championship CAT Show...part 2

Mr Chua Kah Soon, the ever-smiling boss of Goodwill Birds Trading with a proud owner and her delightful cat. Chatting with the various cat owners, I asked for the cat's name ( all have names given by their owners ) and where they came from.
Some are imported directly from overseas while others are bred locally...even the exquisite ones.


This is Roszanah Packer Mohamed, the President and Show manager of the event. She was so proud and happy to show me her exotic cat. And I was as happy to get a chance to hold such a beauty gently in my hands.


Have you ever seen such a cat before?
Honestly, I have no idea such a cat existed..until I was led to it by Mr Chua.
It is the "hairless" cat! I don't really know how to describe this cat as it looks so vastly different from the cats we know.
It has the "out of this world" look about it.
However it is described, it does look very intelligent.
The owners have put a vest on the cat not to dress up its nakedness but because the hall has air-con and could get chilly.


Have you heard of Liverpool's Star Striker...Fernando TORRES?
Well, he was at the Cat Show!
May I introduce you to Torres the cat.
Yes, this really is Torres!
No need to ask who his proud owner admire among the EPL star soccer players...right?
Notice that Torres has almond green eyes.


Looking at this majestic cat conjures images of ancient Egypt and the pyramids, wouldn't you agree?
To the ancient Egyptians and the Pharaohs ,the cat is a highly venerated animal.
This cat is truly magnificent as a specimen. It has gorgeous red eyes and a very silky, sleek body.
Truly a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eagle Pack Championship CAT Show

On Sunday 22 March 2009 I dropped in at The SERANGOON to see for myself what a Championship Cat Show is all about. I have been to Dog Shows before but this was the 1st time unk Dicko visited such a show. Bringing along my Digital camera, I was first met by Mr Chua Kah Soon, a key organiser. He happens to be the Boss of Goodwill Birds Trading...a leading pet shop business that specialises in birds.
Mr Chua was kind enough to introduce me to the many key people involved in the event and went out of the way to get me to meet the owners of the various participating cats.
There were so many types and variety of cats around that I never knew existed. It was a real eye-opener for me. And those that I saw must certainly be some of the best if not the very Best of cats in Singapore.
They come from all corners of our globe...from the cold of Siberia to Canada, the USA, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, China and Japan.
And yes, our own world famous brand of cats called the Singapura ...were among the displays.
Walking around and chatting with these cat lovers gave me a good insight into the world of these felines.
The love, passion and devotion demonstrated by their proud owners are clearly in evidence.
I was visibly impressed. With their permission, I captured snapshots of their objects of love...which I shall share here.
For those of you who are truly cat lovers, you can visit my other blogsite
" Serangoon Our Kampong" and from there click on the "Serangoon Multiply Com" link on the left column. There are 300 photos, many super-duper ones, in there.
You are looking at the Grand Champion cat! Best of the Best! With me in the pic is Ms Koyoko Koizumi ( International Judge from Japan) and the owner.

Here, There and Everywhere !...part 3.

This photo was sent to me yesterday by a good friend William who is a Pro Photographer. He happened to be passing along either Yio Chu Kang Road or Hougang area....he stopped and captured this snapshot.
This kind of permanent billboard structure can be found along most of our major roads and occasionally along smaller roads too, where heavy human traffic can be expected.
Latest Updates on sightings of this poster:
1. Chinatown
2. Orchard Road
3. Havelock Road
4. Bukit Timah Road
5. 6th Avenue
6. Holland Road
7. Farrer Road
8. Lornie Road
9. Adam Road
10. Braddel Road
11. Lorong Chuan
12. Yio chu Kang Road
13. Serangoon Road
14. Upper Serangoon Road
15. Tampines Road
16. Ponggol Road
17. Changi Road
Latest update from info received from former students, friends, family etc....
18. Clementi Road
19 Toh Tuck Road
20 West Coast Road

Monday, March 23, 2009


They knew that Man Utd and Chelsea had wobbled over the weekend. And if they win this match against Aston Villa they would come within a point of the Red Devils. And who would dare bet against this from happening after watching how they had demolished and humiliated mighty Real Madrid 4-0 and Mighty Man Utd 4-1, in the space of a week!
Unk Dicko watched this very encounter intently and enjoyed the sheer majesty of Liverpool's movements on the field. It reminded me of the Liverpool of old in the heydays of Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish and Souness.
Their passing and control was precise and all the players played with such verve and supreme confidence that it was a sheer joy to watch.
The goals were a bonus especially that spectacular 2nd goal by Reira!
Pepe Reina had collected the ball and saw what must have been a gap in the last line of Villa's defence. He kicked a long, high ball for striker Reira to chase. With only defender Reo-Coker to beat, Reira timed it so perfectly that the ball only bounced once before he connected with a volleying dip over the GK for the 2nd goal. FLAWLESS! And that overall is my impression of Liverpool's play over the last 2 weeks

A lot of the increased confidence among the players is due to the way Gerard and Torres has clicked..with an able supporting cast of solid midfielders and solid defending.
Gerard showing 3 fingers for the hattrick he scored.

Reira volleying that spectacular 2nd goal created by GK Reina.

GK Brad Freidel given the Red card for bringing down his nemesis.

It was a comprehensive victory for Liverpool and a nightmare defeat for Villa. But Villa should feel no shame as mightier teams like R Madrid and Man Utd, with their big name stars have been humbled and bundled out of the way.
Can Liverpool sustain their chilli-padi form for the remaining 8 games in the EPL? If they win all their remaining matches and Man Utd lose another one or two more, the Title would be at Anfield after 19 long years. Unk Dicko would not bet against that from happening.
The weeks ahead look very exciting for those watching the unfolding end drama.

Dr Pesi B Chacha...my orthopaedic Surgeon

At 3.30 pm on Saturday 21 Mar 09, a heavy thunderstorm hit many parts of our island causing problems such as the story shown on the front page of Sunday Times 22 Mar 09. This is the home of Dr P B Chacha at Kheam Hock Road. The good doctor can be seen in the picture pointing to the damage caused by the fury of that storm.

At that same time, unk Dicko was driving in my 3 week old Toyota WISH heading for Holland V via Farrer Road when we caught in a long jam there. Traffic was moving at snail's pace because the mid section of that stretch was the lowest point in gradient and it was FLOODED ! Water level was about 1 foot with more waters swirling from the higher grounds and drains around. One unfortunate vehicle was caught "dead" in the fast lane and some workers were helping to push it away. With my grand sons inside and wifey and all I made a safe dash across the flooded stretch.
Prof Dr Chacha was not so fortunate...his bungalow suffering some damage.
I knew him 31 years ago when he was Head of the Research Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery of NUS. It was he who diagnosed my chondromalacia patella syndrome and recommended surgery as a way out after labouring for 3 years with traditional Chinese Sinseh treatments which was unfruitful. I made the decision to go ahead with the major surgery after meeting his full team of consulting senior surgeons which included Dr Ong Leong Boon ( an ex-MP ) and a few other well-known surgeons. But the main thing was I had full trust and faith in this good Prof. Under his care for several months, I found him a very nice person, gentle and careful in his assessment. He was also frank and projected optimism. All that won me over and subsequently I was his very 1st Surgical Knee Lift patient that was performed in Singapore. It was videotaped with my permission.
The operation was a complete success and I went on to do many more things that was not possible for anyone with such a problem.
All thanks to this good doctor!

I have an earlier post about him here.

EPL...Spurs beat CHELSEA !

On the same night that Fulham hammered the Red Devils 2-0 and caused a major panic among Man Utd fans, Tottenham Hotspurs took on mighty Chelsea at home. The home team showed no fear of their rivals as the 1st half was played to a goaless draw. They came close to scoring a few times and only the quality of Peter Cezc in goal saved Chelsea the blushes.
During the interval, in the dressing room, Guus Hiddink discussed the 2nd half tactics with his players and what to expect. They expected that Spurs would come out firing all cylinders for the initial 10 minutes

and they would defend before subjecting them to a torrid half hour spell that should produce something. Yes, something was produced and it was an absolute beauty. And no, it was not by Chelsea but by an upcoming Spurs superstar... Luka Modric! In one swift attacking move, Aaron

Lennon down on the right flank sent in a cross deliberately between Cole and another Chelsea defender. Robbie Keane could have taken the first shot but wisely let the ball run on. In came dimunitive Modric with the angelic look to strike a shot that went in at an acute angle of the corner. Gk dived but could not save. It was the perfect shot!
Tottenham 1, Chelsea 0.
It remained that way as the game ended.
Manager Harry Rednapp has again successfully weaved his magic on to his players. It is all about self-belief.
And when you have that in abundance you'll have no trouble taking care of so-called "mighty" teams like the poor Blues or Arsenal or even the current leader Man Utd.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Red Devils LOSE Again !

Is Manchester United losing the plot? After having been walloped 4-1 by Liverpool last week, Alex Ferguson has warned they will come to their senses and come back strongly against Fulham in the match played today. Senior players like Rio Ferdinand and others also joined in the psychological warfare saying they will have "their revenge" over the host Fulham for that dismal home showing against Liverpool. Betting houses and football pundits seem to agree too...that the Red Devils will bounce back strongly.

Unk Dicko feel very sorry for all those who pinned their betting hopes on such unpredictable predictions. As the saying goes ...the ball is round and anything can happen in a football match, even the most unlikely of things.
Take for example this very match.
Man Utd has beaten Fulham 4-0 and 2-0 in earlier games. And Man Utd has not lost 2 matches in a row in the League since the mid 60's. So a stroll in the park may not be the expected thing but most thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion in United's favour...after all they are still the current World Club Champion! The Best of the best in the world!
Unfortunately for all those who lost money, Man Utd is suffering from a crisis of confidence. Their play lack sharpness and imagination and cohesion. Fulham took full advantage of this and attacked strongly. It paid off...in the 17th minute of play. Paul Scholes parried the ball with both hands as it was going into goal. Suicidal! Referee P Dowd showed him the Red card and Danny Murphy converted the penalty. 1-0 to Fulham.
Man U had their chances to equalise or even go ahead but an inspired display by the GK kept things safe. In the 87th minute Wayne Rooney "the Looney" acted that way. He threw the ball in anger in the direction of the referee and was given his marching orders. Reduced to nine men, they had no hope of survival.
Zoltan Gera half-volleyed in the 2nd goal for the homeside soon after this sending-off.
Fulham 2, Man Utd 0.
This result will make the EPL title challenge more interesting, more intriguing and more gripping in the coming weeks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Singers of Kg Kembangan

Yesterday, I picked up "young" Mr Tan Thoo Yang from his home and ferried him and myself to Kg Kembangan CC. Despite being busy at times, I try my very best to reschedule my activities or commitments in order to join them at their regular Sing along session.
The members of the singing group were alert when I walked in carrying my guitarlee and as usual my ukulele.
They asked straight away what instrument that is.
Photo: Thoo Yang holding my guitarlee which is a "baby" guitar. It produces a mixed sound of both the guitar and the ukulele.
When I started playing on it, they said afterwards,that they like the sound of it. This Yamaha guitarlee was a birthday gift from my wifey nearly 2 decades ago. It has gone on some overseas journey with me. At last count yesterday,the 5 new persons have joined in.

Here, There and Everywhere ! ...part 2.

Another Active Ager Winner of 2008 being featured on posters all over Singapore is Mr "Rollerblade", Tang Wing Kee. I captured this poster at the major bus stop at MacRitchie reservoir.
Like myself, he is a happy grandfather too.
Like myself, he too was in the education service.
Unlike myself, he has taught only in one school all his working life...St Joseph Institution where he is somewhat of a legend.

Legend? Why not?
Among those whom he has taught are several Ministers like Mr Teo Chee Hean, present Defence Minister and former Education Minister and others.

He only took up the sport of rollerblading after he retired while in his 60's...proving that age is definitely no barrier to acquire new skills...even skills that require much mobility, speed, control and balance.

Wing Kee and unk Dicko appeared on the 93.8 radio programme "In The Living Room" which was aired "Live. That was in early October last year. You can read about it here; http://uncledicko.blogspot.com/search/label/93.8%20LIVE%20interview%20today._

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wang Yihan...All England Women's Champion!

All England Badminton Championships 2009

This is a good report which I came across a few days ago featuring the newly-crowned All England Ladies" Singles Champion...Wang Yihan. Source: Sunday Times 15 Mar 2009 issue.
I believe we will not only hear more about this excitingly new talent but will get to see her in action in more major tournaments as well.
It does appear that former world Number 1 Xie Xinfang has slowly faded away, likely owing to the many injuries she has incurred.

Wang Yihan seems a little different from the other few "senior" players in the Chinese team whom I have observed in action the last few years.

One major difference is probably Yihan's mental strength. She did not display any nervousness or fear when she was behind nor brazenly wasteful when she's ahead on points.
Playing in a manner and style that was way beyond her maturity...was a huge factor in her recent success.

Here, There and Everywhere !

In the late evening yesterday, I received an SMS from "Owlet" my former student and a self-professed disciple of unk Dicko's philosophy and thinking. He said he saw me on a bill board at Chinatown, Kreta Ayer Road area....and he was impressed and like what he had seen. Me? I had absolutely no idea what he saw as I was preoccupied the whole day. A while later, more SMS from my daughters D3 and D4 that my super"big" picture was at bus stops in the Holland Village area. A good friend Dean, had even captured and tagged it onto his Facebook homepage. More SMS followed, telling me the same thing....unk Dicko you are here and you are there,along Adam Road, Lornie Road etc. I was wondering what they were all so excited about as I was still in the dark. During the night, I sat in at 2 powerpoint presentations about the new government initiative called the "SCP or Seniors Connect Programme" for seniors age 50 and above in the community. Unk Dicko is the newly appointed Adviser to this Committee for Sg Gardens.
When I got home close to 11 pm, wifey D2 blurted out," Have you heard ? You have been seen in Holland V and elsewhere."
Me..." Yes, heard but have no idea what it is."

So, she suggested to go for a leisurely night drive as she too was piqued by curiosity.
The pictures show what we saw.
This was the result of the photoshoot I had at the top of our National Library recently[ see my recent posts ]. The poster is part of the advance publicity for the coming Active Ageing Festival 2009...a major programme on the C3A's calendar.
As an Active Ageing Ambassador for the C3A, unk Dicko is happy to do his part to promote and enhance the lifestyle of seniors and retirees within our Singapore community.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of seniors age above 50 in Singapore. Many who have retired or not working stay at home. Most have no clear and concrete plans to occupy their time with fulfilling activities. As we grow older, we lose more contact with childhood friends. That's why many older people feel lonely.
But it is so easy to change the situation. Just get involved in some activities of the many senior groups and re-connect with other seniors...of similar interests. Make new friends. Widen your circle of social inter-action. Enrich your life by helping others.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

FLAGS of all VISITORS...automatically displayed and counted here!

Hi to one and all visitors from yours truly...Unk Dicko!
A short while ago, I came across a website that promotes a free Flag counter for bloggers like myself.
Since young, I have always been fascinated by the flags as shown on many stamps from around the world.
I don't know about you, but I once was very passionate about stamp collecting as a serious hobby. It was the first serious hobby that I took up as a primary school kid back in the 50's. Part of my original stamp collection which is more than half a century old is still with me today! I learnt much about geography, history, people, culture and countries by researching further with my stamp encyclopaedia back then.
It was most fascinating indeed.
My love for flags and for countries near and far have grown over the years. I remain as fascinated today as I was fifty odd years ago...but with a big difference.
When I was young I only read about these far away ,never dreaming that I would one day be visiting and seeing these countries, states and famous places for myself. Yes, I have travelled far and wide...even to way beyond the ARCTIC CIRCLE ! I have encountered experiences and overcome many challenges few have been blessed with. And it is only right that I should share these stories in this Blog of mine.
As for you the visitor...WELCOME!
Every new person who visits this Blog increases the FLAG Count for his or her country!
The counting starts today from the moment I installed the Flag counter.
It seemed like so much fun and that's why I installed it for the sheer fun of seeing "this Flag Race"!
By the way...this site has received many visitors from all corners of our globe and Unk Dicko
would like to thank all those who have visited.
Do continue to drop in.
I have a " ton" of things that I have not blogged about yet.
Some will shock you.
Most will engage you.
And there will be more in-depth blogs on education, sports, travels, music, ukulele, guitar, fishing, history, people and places, ageing gracefully, real life experiences and other interesting things.

Unk Dicko

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

RIP-OFF at Newton Hawker Centre!

Everyday without fail, I will read much of the news online at several websites, both local and foreign. As I read and digest the various roll-out of news from all corners of the world..I keep much of what I feel about what I am reading to myself. From time to time, I may share my thoughts with some others in my circle of friends and within the community. But by and large, I generally keep my feelings in "archive" mode...until the day I may speak out or shout it out loudly! That does not happen very often and it is not out of fear that I do not join in the unending forums on the net on various topics and issues. Once in a while, I come across something that literally "makes my blood boil" and after after some reflection, I am still agitated and disturbed. The feelings just won't go away.

This incident as reported in the Asia One online news and Soshiok website cannot just be archived away!

Something has to be done to these
"daylight robbers". Something has also to be done for all those victims of such robbery as these 6 innocent visitors to our shore from America.
Over the years, you and I have come across numerous such incidents particularly at our famous Newton Hawker Centre. Occasionally, I read the culprits were fined small sums and given demerit points. Some had their license suspended for a week, 2 weeks etc.
But did they learn their lessons after the penalties? Apparently NO! Not from the spate of recurring incidents every year! And mind you, many cheated victims are FEARFUL of reporting the guilty stallholders involved. WHY?
Read the actual report of the latest incident in the link provided below.
The stallholder used," 4 beefy sized men" to INTIMIDATE the 6 Americans into paying up.
Who are these 4 samsengs? Are other stalls also doing similar things...BULLYING innocent tourists and even locals into paying wharever amount they ask for?
Just imagine 8 Tiger prawns for $ 239 !!!
Industry sources said it should not be more than $ 52.
Their total bill came to $ 491. They paid $500 and guessed what...the stall owner just slipped the notes into his pocket and no change were given to the poor victims.
What would any of you have done in similar circumstances?
Apparently, 99 % just pay up and promise themselves never to go there again.
No wonder these dastardly scumbags continue to brazenly rip-off one and all.
They fear no reprisal from the diners. It is in fact the other way around as can be deemed
from the complainants in this case!
Unk Dicko will always be part of the 1% in such circumstances.

And in the weeks and months to come, I will find the time to share not only my experiences with
such BULLIES that came in ALL forms, all quarters...but more importantly, how I dealt with them, almost all the time singlehandedly and most successfully...and without resorting to violence or any unsavoury means.

Perhaps, it is time the Law is revised to adequately curtail this criminal activity once and for all.
For starters I suggest:
1. A permanent suspension to operate any foodstall for such guilty parties.
2. A penalty of a FINE which is 20 times the amount overcharged. The amount should be given
to the victims as compensation for their injured feelings, fear, and spoilt vacation. Locals are
included too.
3. The "samsengs" are not stall assistants, dishwashers etc. They are likely people with secret
society connections or are purely acting the part to scare potential challengers of their crime.
They need to be reined in by the Law too.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The great JOHN DENVER !

Since the late 60's and early 70's, D2 and I have been huge fans of John Denver. I had his LP record and much later tapes,CDs, etc of all his top hits. We were not the only ones who love his songs and especially his singing. John Denver had such a unique voice quality that will be remembered and that will live on long in many people's hearts.
Whenever, we got into our car, his CD is one of the most played over many, many years. I still have the collection. And who can forget his John Denver TV specials " An Evening with John Denver " and all those special " John Denver and the MUPPETS !" He was such a huge world star, a truly gifted one of a kind born to sing singer.
Then in 1994, it was announced that he was embarking on an Asian Tour that included Singapore! He was scheduled to perform on 16 April 1994 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium at 8 pm. D2 and I bought our tickets through Sistic and considered ourselves most fortunate to have been able to see him perform in person. He sounded even better "Live".
The ticket stub for that John Denver " Heart to Heart Asia Tour" is pasted on page 59 of my special Songbook ( see photo ). I have the lyrics as well as chords of his top songs within too. I remember that performance well. It was the one and only time we got to see him "live". A few years late, the world was shocked when news broke that John Denver had died in a plane crash...flying alone in his new plane, off Monterey Bay, Los Angeles. The date was 12 October 1997. No more "live".... Country Road, Rocky Mountain High, Starwood in Aspen, Leaving on a Jetplane, Sunshine on my Shoulder, Annie's Song, You fill up my senses, Back Home Again...etc.

Did you know that he was probably the only Country Star that could sing in Mandarin? He surprised everyone while on a tour to China ( He had been there numerous times as he was very close to many of the top leaders, including former PM Zhou Enlai, who ordered 500 of his "Take Me Home Country Road" tapes) he sang this very hauntingly beautiful song," In A Far Away Land"...in Chinese! I was amazed then! Over the years, I had forgotten this episode until recently a friend sent me a timely reminder! It is on Youtube!
So, unk Dicko is putting it here that all you readers will be as mesmerised as many and I were listening to the incomparable John Denver singing one of the best loved songs written by Wang Luobin in 1939. It is about a young man longing to be with a nomadic girl in a far away land.

I Am A Song
I Live To Be Sung
I Sing With All My Heart

In memory of John Denver.....
unk Dicko

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shocker at Old Trafford !

Manchester United vs Liverpool, EPL...the Big one!
This was the match everyone was dying to see. In Singapore, the match was covered "Live" at Clarke Quay by Joe Morrison, with Peter Reid and Nigel as guests. I was out shopping but returned just in the nick of time to catch it at home.

Man Utd started brightly when Park JS was brought down by keeper Reina midway through the 1st half. Referee Alan Wiley pointed to the spot and
Ronaldo converted the spotkick. Other than this, the home team were terrible in their passing and lack of imagination. Almost everyone was guilty of this,especially so were Rooney, O'Shea, Anderson and Carrick.
Towards the end of the half, a long punt of the ball upfield found Torres and Vidic chasing for it. Vidic trying to be clever tried to control with his chest but Torres upstaged him and ran on to sidefoot home. Score 1-1.

A few minutes later, it became worse for United as Steven Gerard was hauled down by Patrick Evra in the box. Gerard cooly slotted home the penalty. 2-1 Liverpool!

Photo: Gerard brought down.

Gerard converting the penalty.
The 2nd half was a nightmare for United as they were chasing shadows. They had their chances but Liverpool were more resolute in defence. Giggs, Scholes and Berbatov were brought in in one swoop in the 70th minutebut it was a little too late as Vidic again hauled down Gerard outside the box.

The Ref, thinking he was the last defender, gave him a Red card! From the freekick taken by Aurellio, it went in beautifully at the top corner. Keeper Van Der Sar did not even move! Score: 1-3 Liverpool.

In the dying seconds of the game, Dossena lobbed over Van Der Sar for the 4th goal.
Final score: Man utd 1, Liverpool 4.
Effectively, this result has brightened up Pool's chances for a late title challenge. They are now 4 points behind the leader.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

High Noon in Rome...Arsenal vs Roma!

European Champions' League.

Roma vs Arsenal
This was that 2nd game which I had watched "Live" on TV. Arsenal took with them a 1 goal advantage in their 2nd leg match against Roma at the Stadium Olimpico in Rome.
Roma had to score or be out of the race. And score they did...in the 10th minute of the 1st half when poor defensive action by Gallas and Toure allowed Juan to slot home the only goal of the match. That tied the overall score 1-1...and extra time was played to a scoreless draw. Penalty Kicks followed! I am uncertain how Roma picked their penalty takers but for Arsenal, the kickers were selected by Arsene Wenger himself, all 7 of them. The 8th kicker Diaby volunteered himself when it went into sudden death. The 8th kicker for Roma was Max Tonetto.

Here was how it went as I saw it.
In goal for Arsenal was Almunia and for Roma it was Doni.
Arsenal first, followed by Roma.

1. Eduardo...kick saved by Doni !
Pizzaro scored
2. Van Persie..kicked left and scored.
Vucinic...kicked at centre. Saved by Almunia!
So it was 1-1 upto this point.
3. Theo Walcott...kicked left. Doni nearly saved!
J Baptista...scored, top left corner.
4. Nasri...scored, right corner.
Montella...scored, left corner.
5. Denilson...scored, to centre.
Totti...scored, top right corner.
6. Toure...scored, right corner.
Aquilani...scored, right corner.
7. Sagna...scored, right corner.
Arne Risse...scored, right corner
Upto this point, it was 6-6 converted for each side.
8. Diaby...scored, right corner
Max Tonetto...missed completely! He kicked the ball
high over the bar. And Arsenal players and fans went wild in celebration as though they have won the World Cup!


While Arsenal celebrated, poor Tonetto # 22 walked off solemnly and sadly. He missed his penalty kick and with that went his and his team's dream of progressing further.
Toure hugging Almunia, Denilson, Walcott and Nasri in jubiliant mood.


The whole team feeling on top of the world.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Manchester Utd vs Inter Milan...at Old Trafford.

Earlier this morning, 2 "Live" matches were telecast. I caught all the action while having a "teh alia" and prata at my usual House of Prata rendezvous. Some familiar faces whom I've previously met were there too.
Photo: Ronaldo heading in the 2nd goal!
It was quite enjoyable watching a "Live" match with other like-minded fans and hearing all the "oohs and the arhs". I looked around me and was not surprised to see some of our foreign workers among the crowd.

Man United vs Inter Milan
The 1st leg played in Milan homeground ended in a scoreless draw. As the game started, I settled down comfortably with my teh alia in hand. Inter started strongly. But their defenders must still have been asleep when Man Utd had their 1st corner and magician Ryan Giggs sent the cross in. Patrick Viera, who was guarding Nemanja Vidic closely, allowed him to move off and connect with a beautiful powerful header which went into the left corner. Goal!
The time read 4 minutes plus!

The 1st half was actually dominated by Inter with Man Utd under constant threat. But they just could not score! Photo: Vidic celebrating the opening goal!
After the break, Inter came on with renewed hunger, throwing men forward in the 1st wave of attack. Even defender Walter Samuel vacated his post and joined in the menacing forays up front. They fell into the trap which Man Utd is famous for...the swift counter-attack! In one lightning fast move, the ball ended with Wayne Rooney on the left who dribbled and then crossed. The lurking and ever alert Ronaldo outjumped the defenders to head home powerfully. The time read 49th minute of play or 4 minutes after the restart. Both the goals came from headers and both in the 4th minute of play in each half. Uncanny and strange!
United 2- Inter Milan 0.

Liverpool and Chelsea win !

European Soccer

Liverpool vs Real Madrid
Liverpool hosted once 'mighty' Real Madrid managed by Juan Ramos, the sacked manager of Tottenham Hotspurs. The Reds were playing as if they were possessed...that good! And R Madrid? Well, from what I saw they lacked so many things that were clearly displayed by the Reds...fighting spirit, pace, imagination, leadership both on and off the field, speed, self-belief and match fitness.
In the end they were hammered by a whopping 4-0 scoreline which could have been more.
The whole Liverpool team played well especially so was Gerard and Torres, who both scored.
Photo: Gerard scoring !

Both of these games were telecast "Live" at the same time early on Wednesday. I watched them simultaneously at home.
Juventus vs Chelsea
The game was played in Turin ( unk Dicko has been there ), home of Juventus. Chelsea carried a one goal advantage into this 2nd leg. The Final score was a 2-2 draw. Overall it was 3-2 to Chelsea who are through to the next round.

Photo: Didier Drogba slotting home against legendary keeper Buffon.
After the loss, Claudio Raineri the Manager of Juventus and ex-Chelsea manager said he hoped the remaining 2 Italian teams...Roma and Inter Milan win their matches against Arsenal and Manchester Utd on Thursday ( Spore time).