Some Feb Thoughts

I spend so much time posting pictures, downloads or rants here, I sometimes forget this site is meant to be a personal homepage to store my “normal” sentiments! So here goes.

ON FATHERHOOD

I really feel like a father these days, because I come home every day and ask my son the same thing – “So what did you learn in school today?”. That’s because he’s finally in Primary One, a massive milestone for any human being growing up in Singapore.

Before this, I think I really treated my kids like they were my siblings. Now that they’re getting tested in school and all that nonsense, I have to actually behave like I have their future at heart 😀

It didn’t seem so long ago that I was in Primary One myself, scrawling big words on a jotter book.

ON GETTING SOME STUFF DONE

In other aspects of my life, I’m quite thankful for the recession because it meant a big cut in the budget if where I work and much reduced travel this year. So I’ve been able to do several things that were KIV-ed for the longest time

1. Finish my motorbike Class 2B course.

I got my army licence in 1996, and started my civilian course in 2007. I can’t believe it took two years for me to get to the test and that I managed to pass it on the first try.

Of the 90 students taking the test at BBDC that day in Nov, I was actually the 9th oldest guy. The rest of them were hooting young punks below 20, ready to become hell riders. Sigh, if only they’ve seen the kind of road accidents I’ve seen. There’s a reason why I hardly drive above the speed limit.

Now onto Class 2A in November!

2. Concentrate on my violin

After a 3 year hiatus starting from Isabel’s birth, I returned to my violin class. The past year has seen a lot of effort put into rebooting my basic foundation (which was weak, no thanks to a weak teacher from 2001 to 2004) and relearning a lot of things. About six months ago, my teacher taught me how to enable the vibrato and it really makes the playing sound more bearable 😀

But with every new piece, I keep learning about how weak my foundation is and it’s back to the drawing board again.

3. Begin golf lessons

With the completion of my Class 2B, I could finally find time to do something my team has been bugging me to do since 2007 – get onto the golf course. As a journo, I never had a need to learn golf and didn’t think much of it. But now that I’ve started lessons, I realize that it’s a really good sport to pick up.

Firstly, it requires a clear mind and good concentration. Plus a good effective swing requires one to be un-tense while being able to execute a clean stroke. I find this strangely therapeutic. Now I’m just frowning at all the extra, expensive gear I’ll have to buy soon.

I’m learning at JT Golf, which was in turn recommended by my colleague Joy. They’re a cool bunch of guys and are based at the Bishan golf driving range.

4. Reorganize this website

I did this a few weeks ago, and I’m most pleased with it. The new front page allows for very nice navigation and often throws up old posts randomly – stuff that I’ve long forgotten about. This was only possible because of the advancement in plug-ins and of WordPress software itself.

Sometimes I ask myself why do I keep updating this page. The answer is simple, really – it’s a way of archiving my thoughts and sharing with friends that I don’t get to meet up with so much. It’s also a barometer of how much I’m maturing (or not) over the years. Where I used to be so cynical and angsty, I think I’ve graduated to being just sour and bitter these days 😀

5. Writing The Book

I’ve been working on this for months, and I have a few draft chapters that are residing in the bowels of this site that I refuse to publish yet because I don’t think they’re ready to be public yet. For those who’ve been following my chapters, rest assured, it’s not a dead project. It just needs more thought and less random banging on the keyboard.

6. Reading the Bible

Yes, I know I need to do this more often, and I’m trying my best, God! Please know this may be the last entry here, but it’s not the lowest priority!

ON WRITING EMAILS

I’m sure all of us have sent out emails that we later regretted, right?

I find it amazing that after over 15 years of the Internet, there are some people who still don’t know the power of the written word. Since I started work, I’ve learnt that emails can cheer up, upset or disgust people with very little effort. And no matter what’s in the email, the minute it is penned down, it becomes a matter of record. Even if you lock the email, someone can always take a photo of it off the screen.

That’s why I don’t understand why many people exercise so little control over their emails and how they are written. Over the years, I’ve received some really nasty emails from certain folks (even people whom you’d think are mature or sophisticated enough not to write something like that), and they don’t realize I happen to archive everything because I have a poor memory.

As an ex-journo, I also tend to copy-edit nearly everything I write (yeah, even those seemingly hasty Facebook updates are written with much thought, believe it or not) with a fine-toothed comb.

What do you want people to think of you from the words you’ve written? What do you think is best not said or even implied? Who do you think this email might end up with? Personally, I have a very clear idea of the public persona that I want to project. It’s not very different from the real me, as my bros will attest (or make a joke out of). But that’s because I’ve been doing this in the media for a long time and it’s second nature.

But for everyone else, it’s worth thinking about the next time you intend to send out a strongly worded email. It’s not that I don’t send such stuff out, but I always think about the consequences and if I can afford to have any bridges burnt or people’s feelings hurt.

I guess we all want to be seen as nice people, so remember, hasty emails can do as much harm as a slip of the tongue.