Saturday, April 24, 2010

Frogs in a Well

I am going to stop reading the comments on the ST Forum online page.

Many self-righteous narrow minded locals making silly self-righteous narrow-minded remarks makes for frustrating reading.

I have better things to do, thank you very much.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sewing 101

I bought myself a sewing machine! A Brother ES2400, to be exact.

There was a time where the words "aliendoc" and "sewing machine" would never have been uttered in the same sentence. But I have recently discovered the art of quilting and am now frantically trying to put together two quilting projects before the summer holidays arrive, as they are meant as gifts for loved ones.

My first project is a simple throw made up of batik-type sarong material. A mish mash of loud flowery designs with bold colors. You would never imagine that such different & seemingly clashing designs could go together so well in the finished product. I guess it's a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts (Aristotle. Ha! Another first for aliendoc....quoting an ancient Greek philosopher...who woulda thunk).

I never thought it could be so much fun!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


A friend sent me this link to a lovely photo journal blog that so beautifully captures a son's love for his father in pictures and in words.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Xin Ba Ke (aka Starbucks)

Am bored. Whiling my time away in a Starbucks waiting for my significant other as he chats with one of many headhunters who have been "hunting" him. Apparently a sign of improving economy as many MNC's are looking to expand into Asia.

And with many laying off their expats last year, they are now starting to "restock their pond" so to speak. It's good to be wanted.

La dee bored.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Impressions from China - Spring Awakening?

Confusion reigns on our coat rack. Here it is: a Levi's denim jacket hangs next to a Land's End fleece which hangs next to a hoodie, which hangs next to a North Face down. Jackets for all kinds of cool weather.

It's a sign of what has been happening with our weather here in Beijing. We had the heat turned off (yes, in China, they have this strange heating system that requires a maintenance guy to come turn it on or off, instead of a simple switch on the wall like we used to have when we lived in the good ol' US of A) when the weather hit the low 20's then suddenly the temperature dipped to less than 10.

But 'tis Spring (I think) outside.

Look at this...

...the white magnolia blossoms...

...and the apricot blooms...
...and it looks like it will be a bountiful fall with apricot jam galore again...

...the thorny rose bushes show sparks of life...

...and here come the rhododendrons (at least, I think that's what these are)...

But amidst of all this new life springing forth, the sad, still waters of our outdoor fish pond leaves a somber reminder of the harsh realities of the cycle of life. Our supposedly hardy outdoor carp have not survived the prolonged & frigid Winter.

We will restock our pond again. Once the weather feels more Spring-like.

In the meantime, back to woolly socks, down jackets & layered clothes.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Being a doctor is a tough business

ST Forum Wed April 7, 2010

"Being a doctor is a tough business

DR GARY Ang's reply ("More doctors may drive up costs", March 30) to Mr Choo Kay Wee's Forum Online letter ("More doctors, lower health bill?" March 25), suggesting that more practising doctors may drive up total medical costs, seems to fly in the face of conventional market wisdom.

Among other things, because we are now training three times as many doctors as in the 1970s and the doctor-to-patient ratio has dropped dramatically, doctors as a commodity have relatively depreciated in value and they command a lower asking price for their services. The increase in medical charges almost always is down to the escalating cost of medicine and other costs of doing business, with doctors' incomes stagnating.

That enterprising doctors create little niches for themselves to generate income is a sad but realistic reflection of how market forces have driven the practice of medicine to become a commercial trade.

Mr Choo delights in the prospect of having a trained doctor in every family, seeing this as a way of bringing down medical costs. A few years ago, the Government estimated the cost of training a doctor with a basic degree to be about $500,000. From a pecuniary point of view, Singapore would be far better off importing doctors of other nationalities; it would be far more cost effective and feasible than training a doctor in every family.

As it is, many patients have noticed that the medical staff in polyclinics and hospitals have turned into a veritable United Nations of sorts."

Let's see how long it will take before the snide comments come up in response to this letter to the ST Forum....

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Life Cycles

I hear of the passing of an ex-classmate & the birth of a new baby to another within days of each other.

Life & Death. Things which doctors deal with as part of their work. But somehow, in the way jadedness sets in with experience, it doesn't really hit you until it is in your face & affects someone in your life. It's a wake up call for you to smell the roses & other cliches like that.

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
- Abraham Lincoln

I think President Lincoln had it right. We need to make the most of what we have, live life to the fullest & be happy with our lot.

R.I.P. dear S.

And welcome to the world Baby E.