Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SP Days

Windmill Competition at field opp Park Mall - October 1992.

Price - 1 KLM ticket to Holland.

Our windmill in the studio.

Back view.

1. Bridge - cardboard & toothpicks
2. Tulips - colored crepe paper
3. River - homemade glue
4. Trees - sponge

Another team's futuristic windmill.

Hitachi Tower model.

Blown up detail of the glass facade.

Me rushing to meet the deadline - 22 Mar 1993.

Interview again

Yesterday I went to yet another well respected and trusted company for interview as a Project Planning Specialist. Sounds big deal eh?

The JD was everything about PMO and project management related functions. Perfect match but one of the pre-requisites that the candidate must have is good web programming, strong financial numerical skills & enjoys working with numbers.

I told the agency that I have absolute no hands-on experience on web programming and do not have financial numerical skills although I do not mind working with numbers despite my number disorder.

According to the agency, they relayed the message to the recruiting company but they still requested for an interview.

During the interview, I also made it clear to the interviewers that I have no web programming and financial numerical skills. At one point, one of the interviewers mentioned that I wrote something in my resume that I have web programming skills.

I mean, if you are hyperopic please put on your reading glasses else please read my resume clearly and come prepared for the interview. Oh did I mention that he was late?

No questions were asked regarding my PMO or project management skills cos he sees that I have no problem in those areas. As for financial numerical skills, as long as the candidate has no adverse reaction to figures, he is acceptable.

Their priority is to find a web programmer; who hopefully at the same time can do other superman function. It is also to fill their headcount for the year before head office issue instruction to freeze headcount cos the group didn’t make but lose money in the recent financial report.

Crap. Web programmer is a Project Planning Specialist? I fail to see the linkage.

They have no issue with my expected salary and even mentioned that the agency will charge them double the figure that I quote. Than why go through the agency? Uncle continued mumbling about his objective for this recruitment exercise and didn’t answer to my question.

Apparently I was the number 13 candidate that they have interviewed and there will be more. They will shortlist candidates next week and if selected, will have to go through 2nd interview with his bosses.

Back tracking...

The previous job (2nd interview) offer fell through. The manager who interviewed me accepted my asking but his higher management suddenly decided that they should exercise year end headcount freeze!

I was really shocked and mad about their unprofessional way of handling this.

To begin with, they realized they should freeze headcount immediately to mitigate further monetary losses after spending time and resources to conduct the interviews.

Afterwards, it took them 2 weeks (I was informed on 22 Oct) to break the news to me. Well, according to the agency, the manager was trying to fight for his headcount & recruitment.

How is it possible that a well respected and trusted company imposed headcount freeze out of a sudden? I mean, there should be budgeted headcount for the whole year. And yet that manager can still tell me that there are plenty of jobs available in his shop?

Looking it from another angle, the credibility & authority of the manager is questionable. His is a VP and head of the shop; he can't even fight for a headcount?

Maybe this is all but a lame excuse to reject me.

Both the manager and the agency were very apologetic but what the hack, the entire episode was so dramatic.

Ms Ronald

I sat with Mr Ronald on his bench outside his little take away outlet at Tampines bus interchange waiting for ta jie for tea break yesterday… before my interview.

One Malay girl even mistook me as Ms Ronald. She brushed her hand over my leg while walking pass and later realized the feel wasn’t right. She turned to check on Ronald and was shocked to see me smiling at her instead.

A beaming Ronald.

What big feet you have, Ronald.


Corn, carrot, radish and chicken soup.


Prawn Roll.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Bah Kut Teh.

Deep fried bread sticks - you tiao (油条).

Cut chili with dark soy sauce.

Stir fry veg with garlic.

Kneadless bread

I followed the recipe to this Kneadless bread and it turned out fantastic despite the 12+ hour (overall) process of making it.

2006 Deepavali - Fireworks

2006 Deepavali - Fireworks at Race Course Road.

Lunch @ Hougang Plaza Kopitiam

I had lunch with SGN at Hougang Plaza Kopitiam, teochew porridge again.

4 dishes + 2 porridge = $7+.

Dinner @ SK Banquet

Carrot Cake @ Banquet

Carrot Cake (Crispy White) @ $4.

- Egg & onion prata @ $2 each
- Plain prata @ $0.80 each

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lunch @ Hougang Plaza Kopitiam

Total - $8.30.


Pork that taste like deer meat.

Long beans.

Chicken wing in soy sauce.

The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work

Kneadless bread in The New York Times.

- 3 cups bread flour, and more for dusting
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1½ cups water, at room temperature
- ½ cup coarse wheat bran*

1. Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
2. Pour in the water and with your fingers or a spoon, mix for about 30 seconds until a rough wet dough forms and all the flour has been absorbed.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about 18 hours. (You can leave it for longer or shorter, up to just 8 hours. The longer the rise, the better the texture of the bread. But past 24 hours, the dough will begin to collapse, which is not what you want).
4. Heavily flour your work surface. Invert the bowl over the surface. It will spread like a formless blob.
5. Dust the dough with flour and stretch it into a rough square, about 25cm per side.
6. Fold the square into thirds to make a puffy strip about 10 cm wide and 25 cm long.
7. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes
8. Meanwhile, spread the dish towel on a flat surface. Rub a generous amount of flour into one half of the towel, and sprinkle a few tablespoons of bran over the flour. This prevents the dough from sticking to the towel.
9. Fold the dough in thirds again, beginning at one of the short ends of the strip. You should have a dough that’s shaped like a rough cube.
10. Gently lift the dough with both hands onto the floured half of the dish cloth that you prepared earlier.
11. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little flour and bran. Cover with the other half of the towel or with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours.
12. When an hour has passed, place your casserole and its cover in the oven. Set the temperature to its highest setting, probably about 220 degrees to 240 degrees.
13. When another hour has passed, open the oven and remove the casserole cover. Bring the loaf to the casserole and up-end it into the casserole. Shake the casserole sideways if the loaf needs to be neatened.
14. Cover the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.
15. Uncover the casserole and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the loaf is a lovely golden to dark brown. Remove and let it cool on a rack until barely warm to the touch.
16. This bread is best eaten when it has almost cooled completely.

*Wheat bran or bran flakes can be purchased at organic or health food stores like Nature’s Farm.

T3 Preview Visit

Ms Ang gave me 4 tickets to the T3 Preview Visit on 27-28 Oct 07.

I gave 2 to my parents and had wanted to go with James today but he was wasn’t too enthusiastic about it… plus he hasn’t had enough sleep due to heavy work schedule.

Anyway, Huimin told us there is nothing much to see and none of the shops are opened yet. She commented that the T3 was badly designed and also mentioned about the ill fitting handicap toilet. Well, even MM Lee wasn’t too happy about the product.

I just hope that the high maintenance chairs and indoor trees are still there when it’s officially opened.

Hindu Festival

The Hindus were celebrating some festival (James insisted that it was the harvest festival) at the driveway beneath a HDB along Hoy Fatt Road.

Mr Baey Yam Keng MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC was the guest of honor.