Jackoatsmon's Blog

August 29, 2009

Of Crabs and Friends

Filed under: Pets — jackoatsmon @ 6:27 am

Bought a couple of hermit crabs a while back.  Had a really active one that would constantly climb up the plastic tree that was attached to the water bowl earning it the name ‘Tarzan’.  The other crab died and left Tarzan alone and soon Tarzan stopped climbing the tree and moving about.

I bought another hermit crab to replace the one that died.  I took care to get another active one.  Suddenly Tarzan has started moving again and climbing trees.  The new guy’s pretty active too and climbs as well.  Sometimes when I check, I find both of them huddled inside the little hut that was placed in the tank with them.

I suppose that even hermit crabs need friends as well. 🙂


August 24, 2009


Filed under: Depressed,Musings — jackoatsmon @ 2:51 pm

Truism – The only constant thing in life is change.

Is change good or bad.  Once again it is a matter of perspective.  For the person who is initiating the change and doing what he wants, it is likely to be good.  For the one who has change inflicted on him, not so good.

I have a colleague who has tendered his resignation.  Suddenly, there seems to be a lot of people around me who are talking about resigning as well.  Have to say that I wish I could join them but for some reason I feel stuck.  I have to ride out this latest round of change and adapt.  I have to tell myself that the changes may be for the better. . . Now if only I could believe myself. 😦

August 18, 2009


Filed under: Musings,Stories,Terry Pratchett — jackoatsmon @ 3:53 pm

Excerpt from “The Fifth Elephant” by Terry Pratchett (one of the best writers of fantasy humor I have ever read).

In this scene, the lead character, Commander Vimes, is having his first conversation with the King (to be) of the Dwarves.

‘In here is a record of every marriage, every birth, every death, every movement of a dwarf from one mine to another, the succession of the king of each mine, every dwarf’s progress through k’zakra, mining claims, the history of famous axes . . . and other matters of note,’ said a voice behind him. ‘And perhaps most importantly, every decision made under dwarf law for fifteen hundred years is written down in this room, look you.’

Vimes turned.  A dwarf, short even by dwarf standards, was standing behind him.  He seemed to be expecting a reply.

‘Er, every decision?’

‘Oh, yes.’

‘Er, were they all good?’ said Vimes.

‘The important thing is that they were all made.’ said the King.

This part of the story stuck me when I first read it and it still remains with me.  We are faced with decisions each and everyday of our lives.  From simple ones like what are we going to have for breakfast to major ones like whether to continue with our current job.  It would be nice if all the decisions that we make are good ones.  (I wish all of mine were.)  It would be nice if we had all the time in the world to deliberate and ponder before we make a decision but unfortunately, that is not possible either.  Many times, we try to put our decisions off on the basis that the problem will solve itself.  Sometimes that is true and I have to admit I do take this way out at times.  More often than not however, I feel that we have to face the reality before us and make the best decision we can based on the facts before us.  Perhaps it may be the wrong one but at least it was made which I feel is better than leaving things in limbo.

August 13, 2009

Work Description

Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 2:43 pm

I remember getting the guys that served under me in my secondary school band a plague that said something like the following when I graduated:

“We, the unknowing, led by the unwilling, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing”.

Looking back, it seems as though the saying applies to almost any committee that I have had to be in.  I would have said that this applies to working life as well but we can’t be called unwilling since we applied for the job and are getting paid for it. 🙂

August 11, 2009


Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 3:53 pm

Had one of those days that you just can’t seem to do anything.  Simply slept most of the day through.  The mind should be screaming about all the work that is not being done but the gears simply refuse to engage.  We all need our downtime to recharge so that we can push on with our work but what happens when we are unable to get it for some reason?  We all have different requirements for unwinding.  For some, it may be something extremely physical such as dancing in a crowd at a club or doing sports.  For some, it may be time spent with loved ones or friends.  Retail therapy seems to be a hot favorite as well.  For others, it may be needing time alone to unwind.  I used to think that it was crazy to spend money going somewhere to just lie around at a resort.  Why spend all that money to travel somewhere and do nothing.  Now that I am older, I can understand the need better.

What happens when we cannot get that unwind time?  Perhaps our workload is just too heavy to permit us to get away.  Perhaps we are the sort that cannot let go.  For some it may be that there is insufficient resources or that loved ones / friends are themselves too busy too help.  Perhaps there are too many responsibilities to fulfill both at work and at home.

What happens when we cannot get that unwind time?  Edvard Munch’s painting, “The Scream” comes to mind.



August 5, 2009

The Power of Music

Filed under: Musings,Singapore — jackoatsmon @ 1:09 pm

Singapore’s National Day is round the corner once more and all the national songs are being dug out again.  I recall a time when people would make jokes about how Singapore is the only country that needs to commission National songs.  These days, no one bats an eyelid about it (“There was a time when people said that Singapore won’t make it, but we did”).

Oft times, we are cynical about our country, government, etc (just ask any guy that has served NS).  Listening to the songs, however, reminds me that this is indeed my homeland and it is worth defending and sticking with when all is said and done.  The songs somehow possess the power to move hearts and minds and stir the kernel of patriotism that is buried deep within our cynical hearts.  Many countries rely on their national anthems to remind their people of this but I suppose it does not work for me as Singapore’s National Anthem is in malay and that is not a language which I can absorb and take into my heart.  Instead, I will have to rely on the songs commissioned each National Day to remind me that this is my homeland of which I am proud of.

August 2, 2009


Filed under: Funny,Singapore — jackoatsmon @ 3:34 pm

Just found a video clip on Youtube showing Hossan Leong.  The clip is two years old and I only saw it now!  It plays to the tune of Billy Joel’s ‘We didn’t start the fire’ and hits the highlights of Singapore history / culture.  Remember the Hello Kitty Craze at MacDonalds?

What strikes me is how he was able to note all the little cultural points and weave it together.  Wish I could be as creative

August 1, 2009

Communication – Who vs What and How

Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 12:41 am

Everyone says that communication is important and that is so true.  What strikes me is that sometimes it is not just the what and the how that is important but the who as well.  In one sense, it is respect for the person.  After all, you will not value the opinion of someone who is not respected.  Depending on the person, what is said can be considered as words of wisdom or utter drivel.  The respect the communicator has for the person receiving the communication plays a part as well.  Have you ever seen someone receive very curt or even incomplete messages because the communicator did not consider the person they are speaking to as being worth the time and effort to do the job properly?

Personal relationship plays a role as well.  Some things can only be said if you have a certain level of relations with each other.  A person may be able to accept being told that he/she is fat by a friend, or that their latest hairstyle does not look good on them and other items of a sensitive nature.  Such comments from a close enough friend are accepted and considered.  Try receiving the same comments from an acquaintance or stranger.  The things that are taken away can be vastly different.

Everyday, we have to communicate a lot.  I tend to ramble on and brush it off by making the excuse that I love the sound of my own voice.  I hope that majority of my communication gets through and does not fall under the categories of ‘drivel’ or ‘who are you to say such things to me’.

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