Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Horse meat was in the news recently. Four weeks ago when it was discovered that some supermarkets in the UK were selling horse meat burgers as beef burgers, sales of frozen burgers have plunged 43%, according to The Guardian. Now in the latest news, horse meatballs have been found in IKEA food outlets. IKEA Singapore has temporarily withdrawn all meatballs sold at their premises till tests have been done to verify that their meat products are beef and pork sourced from Australia. But apparently in France, horse burgers can be found on restaurant menus, and nobody would balk at eating equine meat.

In Australia, rabbit stew is enjoyed by many while in the US, eyes would roll in horror at the mention of any rabbit dishes. In Korea and China, dog meat is a much sought-after specialty, but elsewhere in Asia, dog lovers believe that it is scandalous to eat dog meat and purveyors of dog meat should be prosecuted.

All this goes to show that one man's meat is another man's poison. Thank goodness there is no such controversy regarding different kinds of vegetables or fruits!

Yes, I am an advocate of vegetarianism although I can only call myself a prescatarian working towards becoming a vegetarian. I still eat fish and prawns.

Most folks seem to think that vegetarians are weak and under-nourished because they survive only on vegetables, fruits and nuts. Well, nothing could be further from the truth judging from these pictures of celebrities who are vegetarians. They radiate glowing health.

Vegetarians who look pale, listless and skeletal are probably going it the wrong way, like removing all meat without replacing it with plant-based equivalents that are tasty, nutritious as well as nourishing. Just go to the cookbook section of any bookstore, and you will see the wide array of books with thousands of recipes for salads and vegetable dishes that would make you drool!

You would think twice about eating meat when you see how animals are tortured before they are slaughtered to become food on our tables.

Whether it's for health, religious or humane reasons, more people are switching to a vegetarian diet. It does make more sense. Why would doctors advise heart patients to reduce their intake of meat, especially red meat?

After a quadruple heart bypass in 2004, former US President Bill Clinton turned vegan. From a love for burgers, steaks and barbecues, he now avoids meat, dairy products and eggs. His new diet has also helped him lose weight. He looks great and is in much better shape than he has ever been.

For those who can't give up their satay, char-siew and beef rendang (above), but can't see themselves turning vegetarian for life, perhaps there is another option. Practice meat-free days and stick with it. Many people already do this for religious reasons. But one day a week isn't enough. Try eating meat only on weekends or on alternate days.

Once you get used to it, you might find it easier to switch to a full vegetarian diet, and later move on to a vegan diet if you want. Most vegetarians will tell you they don't miss eating meat. I have not had satay, fried chicken wings or sausage since June 2008. Do I hanker for a bite? Nope!

So, why not give vegetarianism a try? Say 'Yes' to one meatless day a week. That would be a good start.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Last week a friend posted on his Facebook page a video clip showing a maid tossing a 4-month old baby around while she was feeding and changing him. I viewed with horror and wondered what in the world would drive an otherwise sane young woman to commit such a despicable act? Especially as she is a young mother too? Did she take it out on the poor baby because she missed her two little children back in Indonesia? She had barely started work, and probably already feeling deep frustration and resentment at having to take care of someone else's children instead of her own.

The heinous act was committed on Feb 15. Sentencing was swift. Less than a week later on Feb 19, Yuliana, 23, was jailed for 20 years for attempted murder and child abuse. The baby could have suffered serious injuries and died from being tossed nine times.

Two years ago, a similar case took place at the Nightingale nursing home in Singapore. This time it involved an elderly resident of the home. Two staff members were caught on video manhandling an elderly woman, aged 77. When the case came up in court, the home was fined a total of S$64,500 for various offences, including failure to provide nursing care according to approved standard practice.

Both cases involved the very young and the very old who are unable to defend themselves. Reports of child abuse and elder abuse are on the rise. Child-minding and caring for the elderly requires a lot of patience, tolerance and dedication. It's a calling, and if you don't have it, you will end up inflicting harm on the very people you are supposed to look after. Below is a breakdown of confirmed perpetrators, sourced from the US National Centre on Elder Abuse.

As for Malaysia, there are no official figures available. There is no formal system of reporting of elder abuse in Malaysia. The country has the Domestic Violence Act 1994 and The Child Act 2001. Neither addresses the problem of elder abuse. Figures compiled by UNICEF Malaysia with data from the Social Welfare Department, show that the number of cases has been climbing steadily from 1999 in 2006 to 2,279 cases in 2007 and 2,780 cases in 2008. Based on the statistics, it is forecasted that there would be more than 10,000 cases in Malaysia over the next ten years. It's time to highlight this plight of the elderly, and put measures in place to curb.

Introducing a law to protect the elderly would be a good start.

Elder abuse can take many forms. Besides physical abuse, an elderly person may be subjected to emotional abuse as in threats and insults, financial abuse where family members exploit the elderly for money and property, and there is also neglect or abandonment of elderly parents.

In elder abuse, the guilty are just as likely to be family members as professional carers. Feeding and changing the diapers of an 80-year old is vastly different from performing the same tasks for a cute, bubbly 8-month old.

Caring for the elderly is stressful and exerts a heavy toll on the mental state of the carer. I would think twice about leaving an elderly loved one alone in the care of a full-time maid who is doing the job solely for the salary.

Related article

Elder Abuse - How Guilty Are We?

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Valentine's Day has come and gone, but another one is coming right up this Sunday.  That's Chap Goh Mei, the fifteenth and last day of the Lunar New Year festivities. It is also celebrated as the Chinese Valentine's Day. It's the day when Chinese lasses and lads go out hoping to meet the future love of their lives. They bring along oranges to throw in the river and pray that their wish for a good life partner would be granted by the celestial powers above.

Source: The Star

The modern day practice is to write your name and contact number on the orange before casting it into the waters. Just make sure you use permanent ink! For an interesting read on how this tradition started, click here for the Star article.

Still holding hands and looking out for each other.
Virtually all celebrations of love are targeted at young people. What about older folks? Expressions of love are not the exclusive domain of the young. It would be lovely for a change to see, for example, print ads for Valentine's Day targeted at this demographic.

There is no longer any social stigma attached to older people who want to date or marry. Thank God for that! But we have to make that first move - step out of that cocoon we have built around us. It may be a bit scary for those of us who have not dated for many years. Fear no more. There are plenty of articles on the internet that offer tips on the Do's and Don'ts of dating for seniors. Here are a couple that I have checked out.

Five Tips for Seniors Dating After a Divorce or Death

Online Dating Safety Tips for Senior Women 

Looking for friends online is very popular in the UK and in the US. Indeed, the over-50s is the fastest growing group of people using online dating services. A word of caution though. Be careful who you befriend on the internet. It's still safer to meet people through mutual friends.

For those of us who are blessed to have our spouse / partner still around, but would like to know how to rekindle that old romantic spark in the relationship, do check out these articles:

Healthy Ways to Bring Romance Back 

Secrets to Making Marriage Work

Source: STOMP (Straits Times)

(Above) One of the most poignant love stories ever. Danny Li, 83, and Yuan Dibao, 82, first fell in love in 1953. But they only got married in September 2010 after being separated for 56 years. How many couples would wait that long to be together? Read the beautiful story here.

Get your orange ready for this Sunday and make your wish. May you find someone who will grow old together with you.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Kudos to the National Heritage Board (NHB) of Singapore for preserving the nation's cultural heritage in apps, e-books and documentaries for the public to access. This will ensure that the old Singapore will be remembered by future generations. More similar projects are on the drawing board, and will be launched in the coming months.

One such project is the Heritage in Episodes. It is a series of short documentaries each featuring a dying trade in modern Singapore. Many of these traditional family businesses have fallen victim to the relentless onslaught of modernization and technology as Singapore moves into the 21st century. Included in the first season are the dying trades of a street barber and a rattan weaver which are posted here. For more, please click on this link Heritage in Episodes.

The second season which will be airing in April includes episodes on a knife sharpener and a second-hand bookshop.

Source: National Archives of Singapore

Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 60s will recall the itinerant tradesmen peddling their wares and services - the satay-seller, the street cobbler, the ting-tong man, the petition-writer, and many more. They were an integral part of the Singapore landscape, and also of Malaysia then.

Some nights I can almost hear the loud cries of " le...mak! Ka...ri...pap!" from the young Malay boy going from shophouse to shophouse with his rattan baskets of home-cooked delights. At night for supper, I would wait for the old red bean lady who would ambled along the main street swinging her two big pots on a pole across her shoulders. I swear her red bean porridge was the best in the world.

Source: Straits Times

Music that we danced to, songs that we sang, games that we played, fashion that we followed, places that we visited during our childhood days - all these wonderful memories of yesteryears can now be compiled and archived for posterity, thanks to the wonders of digital technology and social media. We will have a record of the past to leave as a legacy for our grandchildren. Isn't that great?

I am so glad I found this book 'Vintage Singapore' at a book sale some years ago. It's a treasure trove of old photos of Singapore and of life back then. I bought it specifically for my 86-year mother who has Alzheimer's. From the smile on her face as she turns each page, I know she still recognizes and remembers some of the images she sees. I hope they bring back poignant memories of a time when she was young, and carefree, and life was for her to enjoy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Thanks to our regular blog visitors, Seniorsaloud has compiled a huge collection of jokes and cartoons meant to tickle our funny bones and remind us that we shouldn't take life too seriously. Indeed, we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously too. A good dose of humour does wonders for our health and spirit. So hopefully these cartoons and jokes below will bring a smile to your face and brighten up your weekend! Enjoy!

(Do continue to send us your favorite jokes so we can share with others. Thanks! All credit for the images and jokes go to the original owners. A big thank you for cheering us up.)




Men Are Never Depressed…Why?

    Men Are Just Happier People --
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack...
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you,
He or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough..
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes..
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, even decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

Men Are Just Happier People

If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!
SO, send this to the women who have a sense of humor and can handle it .... and to the men who will enjoy reading it.



For all those men who say, Why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free. Here's an update for you: Nowadays, 80% of women are against marriage, WHY? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.

1. Men are like Laxatives. 
They irritate the crap out of you.

2 Men are likeBananas . 
The older they get, the less firm they are.

3.Men are like Weather . 
Nothing can be done to change them.

4.Men are like Blenders. 
You need one, but you're not quite sure why.

5. Men are like Chocolate Bars ... 
Sweet, smooth, & they usually head right for your hips.

6. Men are like Commercials . 
You can't believe a word they say.

7. Men are like Department Stores... 
Their clothes are always 1/2 off!

8.Men are like . Government Bonds .... 
They take soooooooo long to mature.

9. Men are like .. Mascara . 
They usually run at the first sign of emotion.

10.Men are like Popcorn . 
They satisfy you, but only for a little while.

11. Men are like Snowstorms . 
You never know when they're coming, how many inches you'll get 
or how long it will last.

12! . Men are likeLava Lamps . 
Fun to look at, but not very bright.

13. Men are like Parking Spots.
All the good ones are taken, the rest are handicapped.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Love is in the air and all around us today! Not celebrating? Not in a relationship? Who says Valentine's Day is exclusively for couples. It's a day when we express our love and appreciation for the people who matter in our lives. That means our family, friends, colleagues, hey, even our maid if she has been taking good care of us.

But of course, young romance sells better, and businesses love profits. So here we are, marking Valentine's Day as a day when young men buy flowers and chocolates for their lady love, and take her out for a romantic candlelight dinner. (Has it ever been the other way round?) If he is lucky and she appreciates his efforts, he will be duly rewarded after dinner.

So Valentine's Day is a day for florists and gift shops, How can they not love this day when their cash registers go 'ka-ching' all day long.

What about those not in a relationship? Surely there must be millions of them around the world. Throw a stone, and chances are it will hit someone who is single. Indeed, in Singapore, singles probably outnumber couples, married or otherwise. Ask the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. They have limited success trying to play match-maker, despite setting up the Social Development Network to promote opportunities for singles to meet and hopefully find a life partner. The island nation's birth rate continues to decline and this has long been a source of concern for the government.

Finding your soul-mate is not that easy. You just can't hurry love. Cupid takes his/her time to shoot the arrow so that it doesn't hit the wrong person.

Fortunately times have changed, so has society's perception of single people. Single ladies, especially older ones, no longer have to suffer the stigma of being labelled 'spinsters'. What an awful word!
All the single ladies I know, and that includes yours truly, are happy with their current status. We celebrate our independence daily. We may be single but none of us are desperate. We have absolutely no intention of getting into a relationship, unless of course, that Man above has other plans for us. Some of us are separated or divorced, others are widows, and still others have been single all their lives and have left a long trail of broken hearts behind them. These ladies choose to remain single.

If anyone is feeling sad and lonely today and wishing they had someone to love and who loved them back, it's probably the young men and women in their prime of life. Look on the bright side, the money you save today can go towards that Samsung Galaxy Note II you have been eyeing. Besides, there's always another Valentine Day ahead, and always someone waiting somewhere for you if it's meant to be.

So how will I be spending my Valentine's Day? With the people I love most of all in the world - my grandchildren! Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I just watched all 47 minutes of BBC's documentary on Warren Buffett. Absolutely fascinating. He's one of the world's richest men, yet he lives a very simple life. He still lives in the same house that he bought in 1958 for US$31,500. He still goes to the same barber for the same haircut, eats at the same restaurant and orders the same steak on the menu. No flashy, ostentatious show of his enormous wealth. No need to as the whole world already knows how much he is worth.

He has never lavished his money on his children. Indeed, his daughter Susan once asked him for a loan of US$30,000 for a kitchen extension. He turned her down. He has always impressed upon his three children not to expect to inherit his wealth. He has pledged to give away almost all his fortune of roughly US$47 billion, most of it through Melinda and Bill Gates' Foundation.

Do watch the documentary. There is much we can learn from the Oracle of Omaha, not only about investing, but more importantly, about life values. For in the end, it's not the money that counts, but what you do with the money. "You have gotta give it back to the people," he says.

Do you know what one Class A Hathaway Berkshire share is trading at today? A whopping US$147,125! OMG! No wonder early shareholders are now billionaires many times over.

But bless Buffett, in 2010 shareholders approved a 50-for-1 decision to split Class B shares (which were then trading at US$3500) into 'Baby B' shares. With the split, the company's Class B shares were made much more affordable to small investors. Now anyone who has some spare change can invest in a true blue chip company. Today Class B shares are valued at US$97.70, up from the initial US$69.90. Buffett's devoted fans will tell you that you just can't go wrong investing in Berkshire Hathaway companies.

Every year in May shareholders from all over the world make their pilgrimage to the holy shrine that is the meeting venue in Omaha, and they listen to every word uttered by the Guru and Oracle of Omaha, and by his vice-chairman Charlie Munger. It is a love-fest, and the shareholders have every reason to revere Buffett. He made them rich, didn't he? This year's annual shareholders' meeting is scheduled for 4 May. Know anyone going?