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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Feb 26, 2010

Singapore Seah Clan Association - 59 Years Ago

The above photo of the Singapore Seah Clan Association (SSCA), 新加坡佘氏公会, was taken on 2 December, 1951, first anniversary 59 years ago. The inset photo is my late father, Seah Tian Yam (佘天炎).

The photo below was taken on 25 February, 2010, the premises of the SSCA at 51, Lorong 8, Geylang Road, Singapore, 399111.

The occasion is the official appointment and sworn-in of the 2010/2011 SSCA Executive Committee, followed by a celebration for the Lunar New Year 2010 get-together dinner.

2010/2011年度新加坡佘氏公会, 新旧理事就职与交卸仪式暨2010年新春团拜联欢宴会

The surname Seah (written variedly in English as Siah, Sia, etc) is "She" in Hanyu Pinyin as 佘 which is a fewer Singaporean Chinese with our family surname.

A majority of the pioneer SSCA executive committee members are still dedicated and active contributing their clan association.

Included are several of their younger generation children were developing the future of Singapore Seah Clan Association, regardless of age or gender.

It is heartening to note that Facebook, a social networking site, has been added the SEAH Group as shown in the website banner at:!/group.php?gid=23069357456

A photo of the "SEAH" Group Facebook members young and old.


Feb 18, 2010

Digital Video Camera

The "Digital Life" cover-story of The Straits Times, Wednesday, February 17, 2010 was featured "Pocket Movies - New camcorders: small in size and price but big on features"

One camcorder captured the imagination of point-and-shoot users when it was launched in the United States in 2008.

It was a cellphone-sized device that brought together high definition (HD) video, flash memory and MPEG-4 compression smarts in one package - and at just US$230 (S$326 then), or about a fifth of the price of similar high-end gizmos.

Today, there is no lack of rivals that are trying to out-flip the Flip.

Christopher Chute, a research manager at research firm IDC, said that the Flip and similar camcorders have "revolutionised the market".

"It has given millions of consumers who would otherwise never have bought a camcorder, the ability to shoot video in high definition."

The rise of YouTube and other social networking services have fuelled the demand for camcorders as they made it easy for people to share their high-quality video clips online.

Do not expect too much from the HD resolution though: The visuals on these devices rank somewhere between regular TV broadcasts and what a high-end HD camcorder can produce.

It is like comparing a basic compact digital camera to a digital SLR.

You do not get high-quality lenses, large imaging sensors or sophisticated electronics that make auto-focusing an instant process. Nor do you get the freedom to tweak most settings to your liking, such as manually tweaking the focus or zooming in from a dozen metres away.

That said, a $300 device that shoots precious moments in high definition is hard to beat.

"Digital Life" zooms in on five pocket-friendly camcorders.

Billy Teo is a freelance writer.

What a coincidence in the DL article that the "WiKi" Digital Video Camera was presented to me as a surprise gift from Vince and May.

How thoughtful of them. Thanks Vince, thanks May.

I love them - Vince, May and of course, my new "WiKi" techie toy.

O' Daddy plays with toys too, you know? Techie toys are my favorite fun. Thanks for my happy memories of the PDAs I used to play.

My needs nowadays are simple; not the complicated thingy which I have to use too much for oiling my brain...hahaha!

Lots of experiment for me to camcorder with a chance encounter and incidental shots for nice ones I did at my previous blog to share with my friends here.

"Simply Palm" like I did with the Treo 650 ; )


Feb 15, 2010

"Year of the Tiger" - 2010

Greetings from Master De Hui
"虎年吉祥" - "Year of the Tiger 2010".

There are unendless interesting blogs about creatures of big and small...tortoise, birds, elephant, then monkeys Derek Tait whatever happened in the Botanical Gardens and more to share their blog topics after the holiday seasons.

While we celebrate the Lunar New Year for a break until all our blogger friends next continue with birds, bees, animals and Martians, lets enjoy the traditional "Lo Hei" for all of us in the family here:

In the Year of the Tiger, every bite comes with a backstory. Find out the meaning behind each traditional feast to welcome in the Chinese New Year.


Yu sheng literally means ‘fish raw’ and is a homophone for ‘abundance’. It therefore symbolises a life of plenty, which in turn implies prosperity and luck. This raw fish salad is typically made up of over 25 ingredients, each signifying various routes to success. As you can guess, the list goes on, and it proves lots of luck for all of us.

May and Vincent arrived Friday, February 12, 2010 about 8:00 pm after travelling almost 16 hours home from UK.

On Saturday, February 13, 2010, its our traditional "Reunion Dinner" at home.

This "Year of the Tiger" 2010, its our simple, "Lo Hei" and once for the great get-together with Vincent to join us for this first wonderful family reunion dinner you know how it was like in the photos. Of course, especially Vincent who also enjoyed cleaning up the dish-washes with make it fun for us.

Lunar New Year Eve celebration for home-made music festivities for the family too!

Update CNY first day visits on 14 Feb, 2010 for family albums:


Feb 10, 2010

What Is An Elephant?

For the want of a better blog title, "What Is An Elephant?", this is a fable about a simple elephant story for the young children of many generations.

The recent "Taking Up The Challenge" blog by my friend Victor Koo are thought-provoking blog topics here   "A Little Bird Told Me":

The phrase has a somewhat contentious origin: some attribute it to Ecclesiastes 10:20 "for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter".

Another, a philosophy poem of a tortoise "Going Round In Circles", a meaningful stanza I really like:

"My movement may be slow
But Iet me decide where to go
Please treat me kindly
Though you can't set me free"

To be inspired by Victor's mimesis about other species of Mother Nature for this blog topic for the creatures of the small, I choose the creature of the huge, another pair of the Noah's Ark - the elephant.

Since the book "The Blind Men and the Elephant", retold by Karen Backstein and illustrated by Annie Mitra is out of print since 1992, I would like to share this adaptation to read the story for the first time, or refresh the same story again:

Long ago and far away, there lived six blind men.
Although these men could not see, they learned about the world in many ways.

They could hear the music of the flute with their ears.

They could feel the softness of silk with their fingers.

They could smell the scent of food cooking and taste its spicy flavor.

Together they took care of their home, and they were very happy.

Then one day, the blind men heard some exciting news. The prince had received a new elephant at his palace.

The blind men had heard of elephants, but they had never met one.

They did not know what an elephant was like.

"Let us go to the prince's palace," said one of the blind men. Then we can find out what the elephant is really like."

Off they went. It was a long walk to the palace. The blind men grew hot and thirsty.

But they did not stop. They could not wait to touch the elephant.

Finally they reached the palace. A guard came to greet them. The blind men told him why they had come.

"Of course you may touch the elephant" said the guard. "I am sure the prince will not mind."

The guard led the six men to the animal, which stood quietly in the garden.

The first blind man touched the elephant's side.

"It is strong and wide," he thought. "I think an elephant is like a wall."

The second man touched the elephant's long, round trunk. "Oh, it is just like a snake!" he decided.

The third man grabbed the elephant's smooth ivory tusk. "Why, an elephant is as sharp as a spear!"

The fourth man held the elephant's leg. He thought it was as round and firm as a tree.

The fifth blind man held the elephant's ear. The ear was very, very big. The elephant flapped it gently. The fifth man laughed. "It's just like a fan!"

The sixth blind man touched the animal's long, thin tail. "An elephant is like a rope," he thought.

By now, it was midday. The sun burned hot in the sky.

The guard took the six men over to a tall, shady tree.

"Why don't you rest here?" he said.

"I will bring you some water!"

While they waited, the six blind men talked about the elephant.

"No one told me that the elephant is like a wall," said the first man.

"A wall?" said the second man. Oh, no. It is like a snake."

The third man shook his head. "An elephant is clearly like a spear."

"What?" said the fourth man. An elephant is like a tree."

The fifth man started to shout. "A wall? A snake? A spear? A tree? You are all wrong. An elephant is like a fan."

"No! It is like a rope!" yelled the sixth blind man.

The sound of angry voices filled the garden.

It was the sound of the six blind men fighting about the elephant.

"A wall!" "A snake!" "A spear!" "A tree!" "A fan!" "A rope!"

All the noise woke the prince. He had been taking his midday nap. "Quiet!" he called. "I am trying to sleep!"

"We are sorry," said the first blind man. But we cannot agree on what an elephant is like. We each touched the same animal. But to each of us the animal is completely different."

The prince spoke gently.

"The elephant is a very large animal.
Its side is like a wall.
Its trunk is like a snake.
Its tusks are like spears.
Its legs are like trees.
Its ears are like fans.
And its tail is like a rope."

"So you are all right.
But you are all wrong, too.
For each of you touched only one part of the animal.

To know what an elephant is really like, you must put all those parts together."

The blind men thought about the prince's words. They realized that he was very wise.

"I will tell you something else about the elephant," said the prince. "It is very good to ride on. Now you will ride on it all the way home."

So they did.

And they all agreed that was the best part of all.

From Wikipedia, the story of "The Blind Men and An Elephant" is originated from India.

In various versions of the tale, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one touches a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes on what they felt, and learn they are in complete disagreement. The story is used to indicate that reality may be viewed differently depending upon one's perspective, suggesting that what seems an absolute truth may be relative due to the deceptive nature of half-truths.

The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

A wise man explains to them:

"All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.

This resolves the conflict, and is used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony with people who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different ways".

Like what Bugs Bunny will alway end every cartoon TV serial:

"Thats All, Folks"!


Feb 3, 2010

"Memories of HDB" - Mr Black Tan, Guest Blogger

Black Tan (left of photo)

With the "Year of the Tiger" in 2 weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to greet everyone "Best Wishes for A Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year with Good Health, Good Luck and Happiness".

This is a special blog to coincide with a verbal (not written) Guest Blog by Mr Black Tan with 33 years working at Housing & Development Board (HDB). How much apart can a person separate his life for over 3 decades from the same organisation until the day of his job fulfillment retirement in August 1995.

HDB celebrated its 50th Anniversary in February, 2010. Its a special tribute to HDB and the growth through the 5 decades of rapid changes for housing of people from attap squatters to HDB heartland housing estates to "The Pinnacle@Duxton", the tallest HDB public housing project in Singapore.

This blog is not about HDB per se, not about the corporate policies, the various concepts of methods, systems and machine required for the remaking of HDB over the decades, the adaptability to improve the building designs, computerisation, resource development. Most these historical and updated information are at HDB InfoWEB .

This blog is an exceptional unofficial interview for our guest blog specially for Black Tan. It is not a blog to express; not as a blog to brag for a personal showcase. Hundred and thousands of HDB men and women over the decades have contributed and dedicated themselves to HDB for the memories of HDB.

My fellow retired collegues of HDB are welcome to contribute as their blog guests and reminiscence for this topic blog. With due respect to their comments though.

Saim bin Kadir, my former colleague at HDB in 1970. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

With the consent of Black to share some snippets of their colleagues' experience, of old times, good times, bad times, 33 years time in a same employer all the through. By the way, this is not a biography of Black Tan or his personal or family privacy to blog here.

I just happened to know Black in person as my "newbie, young, fresh, innocent chicken" working as his subordinate, a Counter Cashier at the HDB Cash Office at Maxwell Road. Fumbling along on the job to learn and experience in my early twenties.

During our personal meetup last week in the evening, Black was initially reluctant to publicise what this thingy blog for? However, some happy memories of younger days in HDB. A majority of his fellow colleagues have retired, immigrated overseas or passed on.

After nudging him to share his interesting working experience while we could still remember them. After 73 years young, his brain is still not yet rusty. Not everything or faces of people could recognise them though.

Anyways, he prefer to have more pleasant selective memories, not bad ones or idle gossips to waste his times.

Fine. It is purposeless and meaningless to store memories for grievances and unpleasant things about the past. Buildings are now looking at HDB 50-storey flats now, but we could see how far we have gone from the SIT flats in some places of Singapore over 50 years ago! He has been there, done that...of the various types of HDB flats.

Black first started as a Cashier at 1962 at the HDB Princess House HQ at Alexandra Road. It was then transferred to Queenstown Area Office at Tanglin Halt for 2 years, various other Area Offices and then went to the Cash Office at Maxwell Road as the Finance Supervisor and whom I had the affinity to work with Black (call me "Black", he wanted no one to call him "Blackie", never to forget that....hahaha ;)

Queenstown Area Office in 1970 (above & below). Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Bukit Ho Swee Area Office in 1970. Source: National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

33 years in working for the same employer, an institution for an icon of a national housing development for 50 years this month. An organisation is with a evolutionary, revolutionary culture of its people to have to ever-changing to meet the needs of its internal and external customers, to learn and study, training and not static (motionless and changeless).

Black is a tough guy who thought his style was like John Wayne, but always to tell people that he is 5 feet 4 and a HALF inches in if that half inch made him that more taller in difference ; )

He was popular with Club HDB activities, staff family gathering events and almost everybody in HDB knows him..."Ah Orh" in Hokien. A joker with a contagious loud laughter, sense of humour and talk loudly.

Black sharing his thoughts or his feelings with others as a personality. He behaves like rugged and talk straight. Once many years ago showing the TV serial of "Justice Bao (包青天)", Black was his favorite. His tagline "Come on, lets rough it out" whether for working overtime or get a special assignment out of office hours done.

Was he a slave-master or a sadist? &nbspNot as a personality analysis, an impartial and objective personal judgement of his overall character. But he knew sometimes I felt that he had his command was like his military style and the staff are like stressful and emotional pressure. Whatever it is, he seldom take anything personal except for a job to get done. Its part of his role for a work performance, regardless of fairness (never mind if his complexion is dark, not fair ; ) He is compassion, reasonable in flexibility but no compromise for strict rules and regulations.

Whether it is argument or taking care of the staff welfare, the rational evaluation is always give every a person a right of reply to investigate for staff personnel matters.

Black admitted that about 10 years after retirement, he had matured and mellowed much after age, no longer hot-tempered, trying others to win and lose. It doesn't matter after all over.

After the competition to win score over past colleagues, we are all equal...we are same as retirees. Changes in our ages are no longer young, we are impermanent as mortals.

Blessed thanks God for going through 33 years of survival for past HDB.

Winston Churchill said: "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us".

Looking at the HDB flats...from SIT to HDB with 50 storey which are building higher and better amenities and designed for the demand of the people for 50 years, nothing will remain unchanged for an inevitable for the future.

Black's favorite song is Frank Sinatra's "My Way" characteristic of Black Tan.

Towards our chitchat near his bedtime, it was too late for us to prolong the talk.

Congratulation to the 50th Anniversary of HDB. Thanks to Black's Guest Blog to share his "Memories of HDB"!