See Pea Argh – #NationOfLifeSavers

In the most useful in-camp training yet, I successfully completed all requirements of the ‘Home Team First Aid with Basic Cardiac Life Support and CPR + Automated External Defibrillator’ course, together with about 40 other participants.

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Lifesaver

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Lifesaver

As part of certification, we had to do CPR on a high-tech dummy with an embedded metal structure simulating the human ribs. And my, it was tough. After just 5 cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths each, I had to wipe beads of perspiration off my forehead while catching my breath. This test, one of many, was conducted in a freezing cold room, by the way.

The AED training is useful. I finally had the opportunity to get acquainted with the machine that works hand in hand with CPR to increase victims’ chance of survival.

In Singaporean style, there is an acronym for everything (to help make sense of the world around us). Keep ‘DRSABC’ in mind, while you watch this CPR+AED video uploaded by SCDF.

D – Check for Danger
R – Check for Response – Tap victim’s shoulders firmly and seek a response
S – Shout – Get someone to call 995, and another to get an AED
A – Airway – Open the victim’s airway and…
B – Breathing – …check for signs of breathing and pulse
C – Compressions – If ‘B’ isn’t present, start CPR.

Go get yourself certified!


The worse nightmare has begun

Image / BIG_MOUSE / In megabytes

Image / BIG_MOUSE / In megabytes

At least storage is counted in megabytes and not megabits. Dropbox, Google Drive and all have stopped working. Final Cut Pro keeps prompting me to clear my render files. And sluggish is the word to describe my five-year-old Macbook Pro now.  As if it wasn’t sluggish enough.

Apple, please announce your new line-up of iMacs soon!

General Anaesthesia

Before I even start, I have to say this. Took a few days and some silly moments in the presence of doctors and nurses to correctly pronounce the following words – anaesthesia, anaesthetic, anaesthetist and anaesthetists.

*Waited in the induction (pre-operation) room for quite a while*

*Got asked multiple times by different doctors and nurses to read out my name, identification number, type of procedure to be done and body part to be operated on*

*Got an intravenous tube inserted into the back of my palm*

*Anaesthetist accessed me one more time*

*Surgeon came in to say hi and checked for the marking on my knee*

*Got a free shave at the knee*

*Waited for a while more*

*Stared at the ceiling*

*Wheeled me next door into the operating table*

*Small talk to get me comfortable*

*For the millionth time, I read out my name, identification number, type of procedure to be done and body part to be operated on*

*Rolled me onto the operating table*
*Took a quick glance around. The room was brightly lit, free of any scary looking medical instruments save for the unlit spotlights hanging from the centre of the room*

*A nurse plugged in heart rate monitors*

*Oxygen mask placed over my mouth and nose*

*Took my first deep breath as instructed*

*A doc started injecting something into the IV tube*

*Took my second and third deep breath*

*A doc said I’m doing well*


*Woke up in a waiting area. Automated blood pressure monitor in front of me*

*No pain. Just groggy to the max*

*A nurse came by to ask me if I’m doing alright*

*Wheeled to the ward after some waiting*

*side effects of the General Anaesthesia took effect there and then – giddiness plus a queasy stomach*

My first MRI – I expected worse

2015, I wanted to restart running, mainly to break through my weight loss plateau. Things were chugging along fine and I managed to complete a 2.4km run without stopping. A first in a long, long while.

About a month back, while stretching, I saw a lump at my right knee (see above picture). As there was no pain, I wasn’t too concerned and just took a mental note to monitor it.

A month later, the lump did not go away. Heeding advice to get it checked, I ended up in an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) room in a hospital.

The thought of voluntarily subjecting myself to torture (stuck in a cramped environment) – dread.

Long story short, it was not too bad. The doctors were professional and showed care and concern, explaining the steps along the way. No contrast agent was needed – phew, cause I would rather avoid any injection. They provided me with a pair of headphones to partially mask the MRI machine din – 30 minutes of machine gun fire, techno/ trance beats, and transformer-like sounds. I found myself making music. 🙂 

An even better news? The lump is a benign fluid cyst, which was partially drained the same day (extra $$$ required). On medication now. All excess fluid be gone!

My first purchase on LAZADA – Risks vs rewards

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Push Up Bars from LAZADA

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Push Up Bars from LAZADA

How can a techie not try out e/m-shopping.

Few months ago, after seeing a series of news articles on LAZADA, this #uncle could not resist checking out the eye-catching promotions. What caught his attention was the 10% MasterCard discount for shoppers on Mondays (and not so much on how this item will help alleviate wrist pain.)

However, he had a few misses with several e-commerce sites, including Qoo10 (happened quite a while back; giving them a try again. Details to come), and he did not know whether to trust LAZADA.

Anyhow, the 10% discount (+ free shipping) was too tempting, and he clicked BUY.

Long story short: his experience with LAZADA has been alright so far – ships pretty quickly, no duds, prices for the items I checked are competitive. The only thing lacking? Feedback. Buyers on LAZADA are not compelled nor encouraged to leave their comments. There is no crowdsourced feedback to refer to before making a purchase. Shoppers have no way of telling if the seller or item is genuine.

Risks versus rewards.

Lastly, if you wanna purchase the abovementioned item, click here –

Buying a fridge can be tough, till today

The subject sounds so optimistic. Too much. But anyhow, I’m writing this to help fridge seekers, as it is a desert out there when it comes to getting opinions on large home appliances.

The Hitachi R-VG690P3MS (I didn’t know Hitachi makes fridges actually) two-door fridge caught my eye with its dark tempered glass finish and large storage capacity, 544L all in all. It caught my eye as I walked through the electrical shop. An outstanding design that far outshines the fake stainless steel vernier variants. Just in time to keep packet drinks cold for Chinese New Year!

Our 15-year-old Fisher & Paykel served us really well, but the stubborn mould has overtaken its rubber seals. No pictures as I don’t want to spoil your appetite. Haha.


It was also one of the very few models that comes with three ticks for energy efficiency.

As the World Wide Web has no behind-the-door pictures of the Hitachi, here’s some for your viewing pleasure.



What I don’t really like about this fridge: The internal LED lights are quite dim and won’t light up the fridge as evenly. I think a number of LG models will do better in this.

Some other considerations you have to take note of:
1) The fridge is huge, like really big. It can’t fit into the usual designated pocket in the kitchen.
2) Measure the doorways, gates, etc to ensure the fridge can even get into your house. This Hitachi spent about 10 mins outside my place while we figured how to squeeze it in. 🙂

Noise levels: Reasonable.
When the dual fans are working to cool the fridge, there is a slight hum. Of course, there will be no noise when the fans aren’t working. When standing like really right beside the fridge, noise levels are at about 40dB. Ambient noise = ~ 32dB. Just for good measure, I measured the din my belt-less washing machine makes – ~ 43dB.


And no, I didn’t get the fridge free. 🙂 This is not an advertorial.

Lego-like but miniaturised


Let’s set the tone right. I’m a Lego fan. Lego Technics to be exact; tonnes of pieces, manly motors and gears, and just looks better than the normal Lego sets.

And then I came across Nanoblocks a while ago. While not made by Lego, think of Nanoblocks as miniaturised Lego with extremely small parts. All the parts needed to built the ‘Grand’ Piano can’t even compare to the size of a typical serving of rice. Even the fully assembled set is just only so much bigger than a microSD card – exaggeration but you get my point.

Costing ~$13.90 (fixed price it seems), I found Nanoblocks too expensive for its size. That is till I came across the Sentosa Cable Car Gift Shop. As I had Faber License (some membership), I got a20% discount off the usual price.

I bought it. In fact, I bought two – piano plus guitar. Woohoo.

Now to find time for the other.