Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Oct 31, 2010

Scattered Pockets of Blog Topics

Calling for "Singapore Memories" friends who contributed your related memory articles and content with whatever media channels or languages. Come share our collective memories little by little, bit by bit from Singapore memories.

Please pass on these Singapore memories to younger generations of Singaporeans born now and those to be born in future in this place called home.

How often do we experience and encounter the difficulty searching for everything at the tips of our fingers and sources from the same place?

Obviously not every blog topic could be found everywhere with the help of tagged labels at the blog sites. These blog topics are scattered pockets of blogs which are not necessarily found from Google or other website for search engines.

Moreover, there are related topics which are not published online at certain specific theme-related blogs.

To keep the story short and avoid beating around the bush, the following example is the "life!.mailbag" from Straits Times Oct 23, 2010. The published story "Memories of Great old World" reproduced below:
I read with great anticipation, the article about the upcoming movie on the past of Great World City (Great New World, Life!, Oct 13). My grandmother used to operate a makeshift stall outside the Globe cinema selling sweets. Globe cinema screened re-runs of English movies, whereas Sky cinema screened the latest Shaw Brothers Chinese movies.

I helped my grandmother at her stall during my school holidays and took my naps in a little compartment below the sweets display trays.

That was in the 1960s, when I studied in one of the primary schools on the other side of Great World City. I have seen Great World City change from a vibrant entertainment centre in the 1960s to one which opened only once a year, during Chinese New Year, in the late 1970s.

Theresa Ho

I used to live near Great World amusement park and I visited it very often because there were few recreation places then.

I am in my 60s now. Here are a few things I remember about Great World. There was a cinema called Atlantic which screened mostly Mandarin films. The cinema was not air-conditioned and one of the memorable films screened there was The Kingdom And The Beauty starring the late Lin Dai, the Elizabeth Taylor of the East.

There was also a cabaret where dance hostesses sat around the dance fall. Patrons would buy tickets - $1 for three tickets, if I remember correctly. There was also a live band.

When the music started, patron rushed to their favourite dance hostesses, handed over the tickets (one dance per ticket) and slid onto the dance floor. You could expect to see some jostling and elbowing when patrons fought over the popular hostesses.

Tan Sar Bar
Straits Times readers Ms Theresa Ho and Mr Tan Sar Bah who contributed this mailbag are our Singapore Memories friends we are looking to share these collective memories blogs to share.

An earlier blog on Great Great World which these contributions from the "life! mailbag" will add to the "Memories of Great old World".

Looking for friends to help enhance this blog topic about Great World.

Lets share our collective memories to enjoy our walk down our nostalgic memories. Same places with different fond memories and perspectives. Never the same childhood stories to share...

Thanks in advance to everyone to send comments to this blog for Ms Theresa Ho and Mr Tan Sar Bah when contacted. Much appreciated.


Oct 27, 2010

Special Date 4D Century

I've just received a SMS from my friend Raymond and it troubles me.

Last week, I had invited him to check out the blog topic "201020102010 On-the-Dot" at the "Blog to Express" blog.

He wrote:

Yes, James, I would like to tell you this: when my son, N (name not disclosed for privacy and confidential reasons), told me about this special day of the century, 20.10.2010, I instantly headed to the nearest 4D outlet to place my bet on the 4D reflecting this special day, confident I would strike. Very sadly, I lost.

And to make up for my loss I ate only porridge with kiam chye for the rest of the week. Thank you, James, for the infor. I will not bet again. Raymond.

I replied:

My dear Raymond. Every Singaporeans bought 2010 and someone was told a king 4D punter in Beauty World area bought all this hot number and sold out!!! Are you the one? Alamak, I didn't have the chance to bet...including the Singapore Pools outlets all over Singapore.

The same thing happened when MM's wife passed away recently, the combination of her age did not strike any 4D so far. Some said its because Mrs Lee did not like Singaporeans to gamble. Lots of people got to run around without pants (thng kor)...sad case.

Moral of the story: Buy your special number which Lady Luck give you a dream...and keep it a secret. Good Luck and Cheers!

I am sorry, Raymond. In hindsight, a disclaimer should have included: "Any special 4D numbers included in the blog are not recommended to guarantee sure win. You bet at your own risk and not the responsibility of this blogger for anyone the loss "to eat only porridge with kiam chye for the rest of the week.

This blog posted just for fun. Cheers!

Sent by Treo 680 wirelessly.


Oct 24, 2010

Caravan at Si-Rusa Inn, Port Dickson

With Chun See's "Good Morning Yesterday " blog about his first packaged tour in 1970, it reminds me of a last minute trip with former colleagues sometime in the 1970s to Port Dickson to fill up a vacant seat on the chartered tour bus.

On a Saturday afternoon about 40 years ago, my former colleague, Ronald Lam, invited me to join him and about 10 other of his friend to visit Port Dickson in Malaysia. One of his friends had made a last minute cancellation of his booking for the group tour.

It was sort of an impromptu arrangement for me and I was not quite prepared for the trip.

Anyway it was a getaway just for the weekend, so I agreed to fill the vacancy in a mini-bus which fetched us directly from our office in Robinson Road at about 1 pm.

The mini-bus was driven by an elderly, seasoned driver who was speeding like nobody's business the moment we crossed the causeway and cleared the Johor Bahru immigration checkpoint.

After travelling for like 5 hours non-stop, we had still not reached our destination. The winding road in some hilly areas was pitch dark. And the driver was speeding like hell...

It was almost midnight when we arrived safely at Port Dickson and got into a caravan with double-decker beds. I was so tired at the end of the journey and slept like a log.

When I woke up early in the morning, I thought it was raining heavily outside the caravan.

It was only when I opened the window of the caravan that I discovered that it was a bright sunny morning; and the splashing sound was caused by the waves lapping onto the beach; so close to where our caravan was parked....

The scene which met my eyes was beautiful. It was wonderful to be so close to the sea.

This photo above shows me reading a book in the caravan. It was my first trip to Port Dickson. Unforgettable!

The space in the caravan is very small, so we spent most of our time at the beach where we had our meals picnic-style. The mini-bus driver whom we call 'Uncle', helped us to buy food from the Port Dickson market.

The caravans are permanently stationed at the compound of the Si-Rusa Inn, Jalan Pantai 11.2 km, Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson has a long stretch of lovely sandy beach.

However, there was no proper sewerage system; and the exposed drain flows from Si-Rusa Inn to the open sea. It was an eye-sore which marred the beauty of the beach.

We rented 3 caravans for our group at RM100.00 for each caravan from Si-Rusa Inn for only one day. Checked out at about 2 pm and took the mini-bus to tour the marketplace in Port Dickson on our way back to Singapore.

It was an interesting getaway for the weekend on a shoe-string budget.

Si-Rusa Inn is no longer in business.

The doors of the caravan were opened during the day, with a make-shift wooden staircase placed under the lower platform, as shown in this photo.

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Oct 21, 2010

201020102010 On-the-Dot Facebook

The photo above is the Treo 680 Smartphone launched by Singtel in Dec 2006.

This used set was sold to me a Singapore Palm User Group (SPUG) member at $150 in late 2009. Reason for selling: Bought an iPhone.

This Treo 680 is outdated and slow with 2GB limited storage, but still in good working condition. Everyone in the world is asking me to get an iPhone...but I'm stuck with Palm. Please find out why at the last part of this blog. The Treo 680 is only a component (albeit an important one) of the blog and had moved it to the end.

The main blog topic (or appropriately referred to as "faceblog") focused here is about Facebook and the "202020202020 On-the Dot" Group on Facebook as a testbed of my learning experience.

The series of 12 digits ( 2010 x 3 ) appears to be a puzzling mathematical formula for this blog topic.

This represents the special date/month/year/hour/minute meaning 20th October, 2010 at 20 hour 10 minute. Interesting, isn't it?

This date/time for a special day in a once-in-a-lifetime moment this century.

The Facebook message photo seen above is the result of the experimental project.

Start Date: 17 November, 2009 at 6:26 am.
End Date : 20 October, 2010 at 8:10 pm.

This mission accomplished when the message was transmitted via Facebook for Palm.

Thanks to 40 members of the "201020102010 On-the-Dot" Group on Facebook.

The following photo is a screen capture of the Facebook group with Basic Information . Please click on the photo to enlarge the image.

My blogger friend Yew Ghee pointed out his Facebook comment below:

YG reminded me that I had a window of just one minute or less to complete the task to hit the dot at 201020102010 and the next moment would be past in a split of seconds. I felt pressured as it could be done only during my work break to use the mobile Facebook. Phew...

Another blogger friend Chun See tagged me a Facebook photo with the date taken on 20 October, 2010 with the message:

"Do you think this is the sun or moon? What time do you think this photo was taken?

Ans. Around 8 am in the morning. The haze was terrible this morning".

Thanks Chun See for his quiz contribution and ideas@work !!!

Thanks to my Norwegian friends Matias Johannessen and Jan-Petter Janssen for helping out a creative and unique way with the following photos with this Facebook experiment. Thanks for a great help guys!

Matias hitting the dot on time with his mobile phone.

Peter here with just as fast...just a moment to get it!

The following is an extract of an obsolete article about an "outdated" Palm user:
Palm user James Seah shares his experiences using a venerable Palm IIIxe in Singapore.

Mike Rohde, Editor of the now defunct Palm Tipsheet.

By late 2002, Mike needed to expand his writing horizons to more than handhelds. He sold the Palm Tipsheet.

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes about design, sketchnotes, sketching, mobile computing, technology, travel, cycling, books, music, film and more

The archived article from Palm Tipsheet 34 - September 2002 below:

Tipsheet Interview: James Seah

This month's Tipsheet interview features Singaporean Palm user James Seah and his workhorse Palm IIIxe.

James uses his Palm to manage his work schedule as a finance supervisor, sync and read his outlook email and daily news each morning on the train and to capture his thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

*PT: James, thanks for taking the time to share your Palm experience with the Palm Tipsheet.

It's a pleasure. Thank you for granting me the interview, Mike.

*PT: You live in Singapore -- I'm curious to know how popular Palm handhelds are there. Have they been gaining popularity recently, or have you noticed them being used by people for a long time?

Singapore is a cosmopolitan city and well-linked to the global e-community. All sorts of electronic gadgets sold elsewhere will eventually find a market in Singapore, sometimes within days of the product launch in other parts of the world. Singaporeans are among the top early adopters of the latest trendy gadgets, including Palm-branded and Palm-powered devices.

The current craze in Singapore is the mobile-phone, not PDAs.

The earlier Palm III models were pricey and there were few users -- among them techies and marketing executives -- busy people who need an effective and reliable electronic device to help them keep their day organized.

Lately, there's a visible increase in the number of Palm handheld users since the launch of the IIIx, Vx and IIIc. With fierce competition from other Palm-powered devices like the Sony Clié, it's a buyers' market and customers are spoilt for choice on which brand and model suits their needs. With the release of the M515, a 16MB color device with expansion slot for stamp-sized MultiMedia Cards and SD Cards, Palm Inc. is indeed giving the Pocket PC device manufacturers a run for their money.

*PT: Which language is the OS on your Palm? Is there a version of Graffiti which allows you to write special characters on your Palm, or must you use other methods to enter them?

Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-lingual society -- with English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil as the four official languages. Most Singaporeans are bi-lingual (i.e English and their Mother-tongue).

I use the CHOS (Chinese OS) from Waterworld in Hong Kong, for reading my emails from Taiwan friends and for Chinese input. The 'Simplified Chinese' or 'Hanyu Pinyin' is commonly used in Mainland China and Singapore, while the "Traditional Chinese" or 'Fanti' is the Taiwanese native version.

I am also a pioneer user of the Fitaly Stamp which is a great alternative Palm input system compared to Graffiti. A review I wrote on the Fitaly Stamp is located at PDABuzz:

*PT: When you are using your Palm, what kinds of reactions do you see from people? Are they intrigued by your Palm? Do you have opportunities to 'evangelize' the Palm with them?

I have become immune to the stares of curious onlookers in public places where I use the Palm. I am no longer shy or self-conscious because its kinda like using the Filofax to jot down something whenever it strikes your mind and you want to note it down before the thought slips away.

With the increasing number of Palm handheld users, the novelty of the Palm 'toy' will gradually wear off. It will become as commonplace as the mobile phone. Among the youngsters who play with 'Game Boy' wherever they go, they will grow up to become Palm handheld users... it's a natural progression!

I do not consciously go overboard to 'evangelise' the Palm handheld. I have made a few friends among strangers who also use the Palm though. We chat up, exchange notes and share our 'palming' experiences or beam business cards.

Once there was this schoolboy I met on the train who wanted me to recommend some Palm-related websites to him. I happen to have a list of these sites in my Memo record and just beamed it to him. He emailed me an acknowledgement of thanks to say that the list had saved him the amount of time he would otherwise have to spend searching for the sites on the Internet.

*PT: How does the Palm help you in your everyday life?

In many ways. The Palm has become an appendix to my everyday life, whether it's for work or recreation. It has replaced my Filofax organizer and the scraps of paper I used to jot down things I need to remember.

*PT: Are there any programs which you use daily and couldn't live without?

*Password Store:
*MultiMail Pro:

[NOTE: The application software of Palm Operating System listed above are out of production. The websites are no longer linked.]

Games are not my forte, but the following Palm games are my favorites to kill time while waiting in queues for buses to arrive or when I am attending Chinese dinners, (which seldom start on time as a traditional practice) and those sitting at the same table are people I do not know. ;)

*Pocket Chess:


*PT: Are there any hardware or software items that you plan to buy in the near future? What functions will you use these for?

I am basically a practical, down-to-earth guy who hardly go for things just because they are new or in fashion. (You guessed it... I am old-fashioned)... rarely an early adopter for stuff which are trendy. So I think my IIIxe would be able to serve my needs for quite a while.

I plan to buy a Handspring Treo 180g which will replace both my IIIxe and Nokia 7110 mobile-phone.

*PT: Would you share a funny story that relates to your Palm with us? :-)

When attending a training workshop with about 20 people, I was seated at the back of the classroom. Suddenly my Palm alarm (with phone ringing tone) went off rather loudly. The lecturer, who was right in front of the classroom shouted, "Hey there, whose hand-phone is that? Don't you know you're supposed to switch your hand-phone to silent or vibration mode when you're in the class? It's highlighted in your
instruction handouts!"

I held up my Palm handheld and explained, "Sir, it's not my hand-phone. It's my Palm!"

Thinking that I was trying to be funny, he retorted "I don't care whether its a hand-phone or palm-phone, just switch off the damn thing! (He probably could not see the Palm clearly from a distance, and some mobilephones are about the same size). The class burst into laughter when they heard his remarks. :)

*PT: Thank you for taking time to share your Palm using experience in Singapore with the Palm Tipsheet. Are there any final comments you'd like to share with the readers?

Thank you, Mike, for offering me this opportunity to share my thoughts with fellow readers and join the international contributors for the Palm Tipsheet interview series.

Yes, I would like to encourage Palm handheld users to join the vibrant virtual community in newsgroups such as alt.comp.sys.palmtops.pilot or on mailing lists such as as well as the Palm Tipsheet. All of these provide an excellent platform for interaction among Palm handheld users allowing them to keep in touch and share their valuable experiences and knowledge.

Many newbies became gurus in this way; and the gurus will then pass on their knowledge to the newbies who came after them. Thus the learning cycle evolves and new things are learnt everyday because the Palm OS is a dynamic platform. New versions of Palm application software are frequently updated... so are the more innovative hardware with multi-purpose features.


Oct 18, 2010

Goodwood Park Hotel - 110 Anniversary

Unedited photo of Goodwood Park Hotel taken today with a red arc ray of blessing on bottom right of the photo. Click to enlarge image.

Goodwood Park Hotel Celebrating 110 Years Of Timeless Elegance.

On 21 September 2010, this grande dame celebrated her 110th anniversary.

The Teutonia Club in 1900
The Teutonia Club postcard dated 14/1/1907

Goodwood Park Hotel, formerly the Teutonia club, was built in 1900, fashioned after the castle on the Rhine in Germany.

In the 1890s, Swan and Maclaren, the first architectural firm established in Singapore, was commissioned by the German community to build the club on a small hill in Scotts Road at the cost of 20,000 Straits Dollars.

The street scene outside the Teutonia Club in the late 19th century was very different from what it is today. Scotts Road, in those early years, was a favourite haunt of tigers from Peninsula Malaysia. The Scotts and Orchard Road area was also the home of flourishing pepper, nutmeg and fruit plantations, prompting the name "Orchard Road".

A pepper plantation in the vicinity of Orchard and Scotts Roads in the 1890s.

Scotts Road is named after Captain William Scott, Harbour Master and Post Master of Singapore in the 1830s. He lived in "Hurricane Cottage" on his fruit and cocoa plantation at the junction of Scotts and Orchard Roads.

Between 1900 and 1914, the Teutonia Club held many fashionable cultural and social gatherings. The German community gathered at the Club to play tennis, sing German songs and enjoy the music of Bach, Beethoven and Handel.

All this ended with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The Teutonia Club was taken over by the British Custodian of Enemy Property.

Entrance to Teutonia Club in 1899.

After the War, the Teutonia Club was purchased by the Manasseh brothers (Morris, Ezekiel and Ellis). The Club was renamed Goodwood Hall, after the English residence of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon because Mrs Ezekiel Manasseh's family name was Gordon. Hence the sentimental tie with the "Goodwood" of England.

Sir John Anderson, Governor of Singapore from 1904 to 1911, at the Teutonia Club.

Between the 1918 and 1929, the Hall was used as a restaurant and reception hall for weddings and entertainment. In 1922, Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina, made her Singapore debut at Goodwood Hall.

In April 1929, the Manasseh brothers turned Goodwood Hall into a hotel, renaming it the Goodwood Park Hotel. By the end of the 1930s, it became one of the best known hotels in Singapore, patronised by such notables as the late Duke of
Windsor, and renowned playwright, Noel Coward.

During the Second World War, the hotel was used as a residence for Japanese officers (1942-1945).

In 1947, Goodwood Park Hotel was eventually returned to the two surviving Manasseh brothers and Mr Vivian Bath, stepson of the deceased Ezekiel Manasseh. Subsequently, Mr Bath bought over the shares of the Manasseh brothers for S$600,000.

In 1963, Mr Khoo Teck Puat, a local businessman bought the hotel. Since then, he has added various wings to the six hectare property. In 1978, he restored the Tower and the entire wing to its original glory.


Standing in ten acres of grounds, within easy reach of the business and shopping centres of the city, it is an ideal hotel for visitors and tourists.

Single and double rooms, and private suites.

Every room has a bathroom and verandah.

Modern sanitation throughout.

GARAGE accomodation for 30 cars.

Fourteen tennis cours.

RESTAURANT.....Table d'hote and a la carte.

You may pay higher prices but you cannot obtain more perfect service, better cuisine, finer wines or more comfortable rooms. Yet you can have bedroom, bath and all meals from $6 per day.

HIGH CLASS RESTAURANT under European Supervision.

Unravelled facilities for private entertainments.

English - Dutch - French - German spoken.
Source: Publicity information board placed in the porch of Goodwood Park Hotel.

Further resources on Goodwood Park Hotel linked to Wikipedia here .


Singapore Seah Clan Association - 60th Anniversary

Singapore Seah Clan Association 60th Anniversary Celebration
Date: 16 October, 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 47 Hill Street, Singapore

日期: 二零壹零年十月十六日 (星期六)

舞狮 - 玄德龙狮学院

会务顾问致词 - 文民宗亲

会长致欢迎词 - 金鸿宗亲

名誉会长致祠 (汕头)- 桂鍚宗亲

总务致谢词 - 仰波宗亲

司仪开场 - 美萍宗亲,明珠宗亲



歌曲:草原之夜 (通俗民歌)- 陈树欽老师