March, 2007

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Site tinkering

Visitors to the site may have noticed the frequent visual changes to our blog over the several days. Yep, that’s all me. Since I was done recovering whatever posts I could, I figured I might as well redo the theme of the site a bit. There’re thousands of WordPress themes out there from sites like this one. One will need some (very) simple knowledge of PhP to fully customize the blog layout, but if one’s less fussy, the default themes often look fantastic.

I was looking through the pre-blog and older versions of this web site from 1997 to 2000 and remembered there’s quite a mine of stories and reviews I wrote over the years. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting them in as entries into this blog too.:)

Gentle Giant

blog-2007-aquarium-PICT3216-giant-leopard.JPGOf all the different species of Corydoras we’ve tried keeping in our two aquariums at home, we’ve had the most luck with the Leopard Corys. They’ve been terrifically robust, gregarious, and very social to the other inhabitants in the tank. These are actually pretty small critters, and the four we’ve got in our large living room aquarium each measure just under an inch.

We’ve been keeping our eye open to see if we can get new companions for these four from Sea View Aquarium for several weeks, but no luck. Until over the last weekend, we went by Lam Hong and saw the largest Corydoras yet in Singapore, and Sterbai Cories according to the species ! These babies were going for $6 (about four times more expensive than the normal ones), and they each measured more than 2.5 inches from head to fin! Sterbais look very much like Leopards, though closer examination of the pectoral fins will show a difference of colors.

I don’t think these large Cories were bred here in the local farms, since I’ve not seen them at the other aquariums here; my guess is that these are possibly the ones that have been caught in the wild. The very large specimens are commonly found in the rivers of Latin America, and while this huge fellow and the little ones are technically the same species, they’re certainly not from the same source.In any case, we picked up this fellow, alongside eight Neon Tetras to join the current shoal. You can get an idea of the comparative sizes in the picture above. As with other new critters we pick up, the bag floats in the tank for a while so that the water temperatures can equalize.


It’s pretty funny to see the big fellow swim around in the tank now. He’s so big he looks like he could gulp any one of our Neon Tetras. But he’s really a gentle giant; so much so that Ling is determined to name him “GG” for Gentle Giant. The other fellows in the tank aren’t intimidated by GG at all, even though he does tend to create quite a bit of water turbulence when he swims around.

Here’re more information on this species: here and here.

The discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart…

2007-Rivervale-PICT3199-water-jasmine.jpgAs I was pondering over a quiet time passage dated 24th March from ‘My utmost for His highest’ by Oswald Chambers, God’s word came to me regarding a nagging issue which I had been struggling with.

I guess I didn’t really have to grapple with self-worth until quite recently. I can’t say whether I can now better emphatise with those who have this self-worth difficulty but I know it is terrible to feel inferior to other persons. I think I had allowed myself to make comparisons – a silly thing to do really, but the subconsciousness kept telling.

God came into my mind and reminded me a few things He mentioned in His Word before. These things are: “You are sufficient in Christ”, “His strength is made perfect in my weakness” & “He gives me His wisdom”. Upon further pondering, I realised that my place in life is to be thankful to God for the way I am (because He had made me so) and whatever inadequacies I have God made it that way so that His goodness can manifest through my life – that all men may see and be drawn to Him and bring Him praise and glory.

If the foolishness of God is wiser than men’s wisdom, I should give up the struggle to improve my own self-worth. Rather, let me pursue His wisdom.

So let all children of God rejoice in our weaknesses and imperfection for we will be filled with an abundant flow of His grace and miracles in our lives.


Our blog met with a bit of a disaster this afternoon. The entire blog database was lost from a terrific crash caused (apparently) by plug-in compatibility issues. I’m right now in the midst of piecing together what used to be hundreds of entries made over the last 8 years since 1999. It’s pretty unlikely all the entries will be returned though, and for certain all the comments from readers have been lost. Sorry.:(

Still, the best part of having to start anew is the opportunity to clean out all the old trash and little niggling issues that has accumulated over the years.:)

Breakfast at LJS

Breakfast @ Long John Silver’s

dining-154.jpgEven though the both of us are big fans of the Hotcake breakfast sets at Mcdonald’s, we decided a change was in order after morning service at Wesley last Sunday. So, we stopped by Rivervall Mall and checked out the breakfast sets at Long John Silver’s.

The prices for the breakfast sets were similarly priced to the offerings at Mcdonald’s – around $5ish, but the variety couldn’t be more different. LJS offers toast-based sets, and they certainly looked quite tempting. I chose the Chicken sausage set, and for $5.50, I got a two thick slices of bread with scrambled egg and a very yummy slice of chicken sausage sandwiched in between. There was a hashbrown too, similar to what Mcdonald’s includes for most of their breakfast sets, but LJ’s version seemed less tasty but less oily at the same time too. Finally, the cup of beverage – tea in my case – was smaller in volume, but fresh milk was supplied, which made a huge difference in taste.

So, on the overall, mixed feelings. Food wise, I’ll say it’s slightly more sumptuous than McD’s for equivalent prices. Then again, you get a freeflow of morning beverages, and – depending on outlet – the weekend papers too.

  • Food: 7.5 / 10
  • Value: 3.5 / 5
  • Overall: 3.7 / 5. Good enough to give McD’s a run for the money. Too bad LJS’ presence in Singapore isn’t nearly as prolific as Mcdonald’s.

Updates on the Herb Garden

blog-2007-Rivervale-PICT3157-basil-flowers.JPGEh…the laksa plant was gone, and so did the pandan and sweet basil. Sighs…All is not dismal though for the cinnamon basil blossomed recently! What lovely pink sprays of small and dainty flowers!

I have 2 options whenever my basil plants start to flower: 1) pluck off the flowers so that the plant will continue to grow. 2) Let it seed while the plant dies, collect the seeds and sow for the next season. It really depends on whether I want to continue harvesting the basil leaves for cooking and the weather (e.g. winter). Fortunately, with the all-year tropical climate in Singapore the two options are always there. So it is up to my fancy. Since I have been enjoying a good supply of basil plants after propagating them by stem cutting, I have decided to let just one plant go to seed and I will have the fun of sowing the seeds and watching them grow!

I have also sowed red chili and capsicum seeds recently. Watching them germinating now.

That’s my herb story for now :D Ta!