Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Google- The Best Place to Work

Recently, I attended the Corporate Leadership Seminar by Dr. A.R Bernard and I gained some insights into the corporate world.

One interesting subject he mentioned, was the corporate culture at Google. Besides being a renown search engine, Google has been awarded as "The Best Place to Work", by the "Great Place to work" Institute and by Fortune magazine.

According to the 20 year old research institute, a great place to work is one where employees "trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with".

It is the idea that a great workplace is measured by the quality of the three, interconnected relationships that exist there:
  • The relationship between employees and management.
  • The relationship between employees and their jobs/company.
  • The relationship between employees and other employees.

So, what does working at Google offer u?

In summary, these are some of the things that I picked up:

  • You can wear anything u want to work
  • Get Free food (11 gourmet kitchens in your office)
  • A Free fitness center
  • Get Free Massages at work
  • Pool tables in your office
  • A games room where u can play ping pong & video games
  • Additional Child leave for staff for up to 7 weeks
  • Flexible Working Hours / Part Time options
  • Funding to get a car
  • Free company doctor at your office
  • Free foreign language classes (French, German, Chinese...)
  • Free classes on presentation skills,business writing, etc.

And the list goes on....

But most importantly, Google creates an environment where the people are creative, loyal to the company, willing to work long nights, and a place where people basically LOVE THEIR JOB!

Isn't that different from the culture here!

P.S - I believe that working at Google is so fun, as the people there are really passionate about their work!

Actually, its kinda like my Job...I love it...and would never trade it for a job at Google!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Mummy's insight into the Daddy world

The guest blogger is in again!

Recently, I was talking with 4-5 other mummies at work, and we came to the topic of Daddies. We were sharing about what it's like with our toddlers now in school, and what it is like when Daddy goes to pick them up.

In no particular order, this was the conclusion.
Disclaimer: No names mentioned, so everything listed is factual, and not fictional.

1. Daddies really love their kids

One daddy was so excited to pick up his son, he carried him up, hugged and kissed him, took the son's bag and left the school.

Back home, it was mummy who realised and asked, "WHERE ARE HIS SHOES???"

Of course they were still sitting nicely on the shoe rack in school! The teacher told the mummy later that, she did guess it would be a daddy who left them behind!

2. Daddies are only concerned that their kids are in one piece, nothing else matters

One daddy fetched his daughter to school. She was in a pretty dress. After school, daddy picked her up.

Back home, it was mummy who realised and asked, "WHY IS SHE IN PANTS NOW???"

They found out later that the dress was dirtied during some water play, and the teacher changed her.

3. Daddies know that they pick up their kids AND their bag when they go home

One daddy picked up two bags and brought both home.

One daddy brought the wrong bag home.

One daddy had no bag to bring home.

One daddy brought the bag home, but forgot the water bottle.

4. Daddies are very busy

Two daddies have forgotten to pick up their kids. But remembered in time to make a u-turn.

One daddy times his pick up right to the dot. The kid is usually last to leave the school.

Having said all that, we realised that's what makes Daddies so special!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blogs - A voice to contend with

Blogs seem to be gaining a new voice, and becoming a new vehicle of communication for various industries.

In the light of this statement, I came across some startling news over the weekend.
In Singapore, U can't sell food via your blog anymore!

If u sell your cakes, tarts, brownies or any form of food over your blog, u can be fined up to $1000 by the National Environmental Agency (NEA).

As Singapore's 'Food Watchdog', it maintains hygiene standards in the food retail industry. Last year, it took action against 2 websites because of feedback from the public on how they were hawking their home cooked wares.

These days, unless you are a friend of the blogger, you will not be able to sink your teeth into the tempting home-baked food.

Food bloggers with home-baking business can only sell their cakes to 'friends only' and they also cannot put their price list online. Doing so, would suggest that the blogger is operating a large scale food business from home!

Can u imagine that! And the authorities are wondering why Singaporeans seem to lack an Entrepreneur Spirit!
Wonder if my favorite private cake shop, will still sell his lovely durain cake to me!

On the political front, blogs have been used a a vehicle for communication as well.

I have been following the American Debates over potential candidates for President. Came across this candidate which I have been following closely. His name is Mike Huckabee.

He used to be a Southern Baptist Pastor for more than 10 years, and he plays the bass guitar in his rock-and-roll band called Capital Offense.

Went to his site and they even had little widgets, that u can add to your blog - to show who u are supporting for the Presidenti. Wow! Quite different from over here in Singapore.

I attached some widgets, so that u know what I am talking about: - I Like Mike! - I Like Mike!

Anyway, besides the usage of the blogs, which is utilized by every political candidate, what i really like most, is the way that Mike has been answering questions about his religion.

I think that his answers are really very good.
He is able to make his stand, be assertive and friendly at the same time!
Check out the smiles on the faces of his fellow Presidential hopefuls, as they watch him defend his faith!
Let me know what u guys think!

Monday, January 21, 2008

City Harvest Church - Ps Kong Hee

Ps Kong preached a great sermon today about having Confidence in God.

This identity issue is a very important issue, and one where we need to have a Revelation. In fact, it is so important, that Jesus faced this issue, before He was officially launched out into His ministry. His confidence in God was tested as he faced the devil in Matt 4.

When tested, the devil quoted Scripture. Jesus therefore had to be confident in God, and in the modus operandi (the way to do things) that God had given to Him.
He could do things God's way or the devil's way.

It is just like what the Bible says, about seed sown on stony places. In Matt 13:20-21 it says:

20But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

If we want to face this world and become overcomers, we got to be "rooted in ourselves". We definitely got to be 'rooted' in God, and be confident about our identity in God.

As we go into 2008, let's be comfortable about the values we uphold:

We have the:

  • Great Commandment - where we put God first
  • Great Commission - where we go out and make disciples of all men
  • Culture Mandate - where we stay relevant to society and continue to be the light

We can't please everyone, but we got to stay true to what we need to achieve in our generation. Just like the example given to us by Jesus. He was so 'different' from the people of that time, that even John the Baptist asked whether He was the Messiah (Matt 11:3).

Jesus reply was to look at the fruits!

Although Jesus hung out prostitutes and ate with tax collectors, the miracles and the fruits of God followed Him.

With that John was convinced about the ministry of Jesus.

In Matt 11:18-19, Jesus goes on to say:

18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children."

In other words, let's not be focused on the outward appearances, but lets examine the fruits of the ministry.

By that wisdom is justified!

Before i go, let me leave u with a video of a women that I greatly admire!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Harry Potter - Should we run and hide?

Covered something really interesting in school the other day.
How should we treat the issue of Harry Potter?

When the adventures of Harry Potter were unleashed upon the world, some Christians preached against it.

Some arguments were that:
  • Harry Potter glorified witches and magic
  • After reading the book, our children will be heavily involved in Black Magic and the Arts
  • Evil Spirits might enter our children, as they follow the series.

This was my professor's take on this:

He said that when Harry Potter first came out, he brought all his kids to buy the book and they all went to watch the movie as well.

His argument was that we should not isolate ourselves!

Instead of fearing that our children will become 'witches', we should educate them.

We must make a distinction between:

  • Literal Magic (As in casting spells and magic)


  • Literary Magic (Magic talked about in books)

One is real and the other is Pure Entertainment!

If we are to run away from Harry Potter, Rock Music or the Movies, then people will just think that we are stupid and paranoid.

In fact, the Bible tells us to be a light to the world, and not be in a light in our own 'little world'.

Adding to the argument, my Prof talked about Charles Dickens.

Dickens was a professing Christian and known to be a 'Literary Giant'. His works are highly regarded in the literary world, and you may have read a few of them.

Some famous ones are "Oliver Twist", "Great Expectations", "A Tale of 2 Cities" and "A Christmas Carol". Expounding on the subject, Prof focused on the latter.

In the "A Christmas Carol", Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly man who does not have any friends. During the holiday season, he is visited by "The Ghost of the Christmas Past, Present, and Future - who bring him to a place of revelation that he needs to change his misery ways!"

The point here is this:

In this great literary work, Dickens talks about Ghosts.

If we want to crucify J.K. Rowling for being a witch and promoting wizardry and magic, then we should also crucify Charles Dickens for being a spiritualist and promoting contact with ghosts and spirits.

Where is the consistency in our theology, if today we revere Mr. Dickens, and stone J.K Rowling, in the same breath?

One must remember that Scrooge, Peter Pan, Fairy Godmother, Santa Claus, and Harry Potter are not role models, but Entertainment and part of the Hollywood Culture.

Teaching our children the difference between fiction and non-fiction, will make our next generation relevant to this world.

In closing, it says in

Job 3:25
25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
And what I dreaded has happened to me.

Let's not be fearful of Harry Potter, a bedtime story or a fairy tale. Let's not be paranoid and afraid that our children will become "pawns" of the warlock or a witch!

Instead, let's educate our children and prepare them for the real world!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My New Nokia N95 8GB

After starting my blog last year, I have been wanting to upgrade my mobile phone. I wanted something with a good camera, so that I could take nice pictures to post in my entries.

I finally did it last week!

Got the latest Nokia N95, with a 5 mega pixel Carl Zeiss Lens. Really like it, as it is also supposed to take videos with DVD quality.

I would like to thank some of the leaders and helpers who 'chipped' in with the Singtel Vouchers.

Many thanks to Bernice, Delphine, Suting, Jin Lian, Joanne, Stephanie, Garvin, Kailin, Shing and Amber. Not forgetting Gill Tan as well - she gave me $50 CapitalLand Vouchers!

Since then, I have been walking around town taking pictures - just like Gary Oldman in the Nokia commercial I've included below.

In fact, many of you would have seen this advertisement before and find it familiar!


After watching the official Nokia commercial, continue watching for the local spoof done by some Singaporeans!

The Hokkien parody will make you laugh! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apply for 8 Days of leave and get 37 days off

Attention all working adults!

As I was planning out my calendar for 2008, i was reminded about the many long weekends we can enjoy this year.

This tip will be extremely useful, if u are planning to go for a long holiday!

As certain public holidays fluctuate in accordance to their religious or lunar calendars, most of the public holidays in 2008 end up close to the weekends.

Therefore, if you take leave on a fri or a mon, u will be getting a 'SUPER LONG WEEKEND' as you will not need to go back to the office for 4 days!

The best possible scenario happens this Chinese New Year, where with careful planning, u can get a Super long break!

To briefly explain:

The upcoming Chinese New Year, falls on a Thursday and Friday (7-8 February) and therefore we will get 2 days off (The government gives us a holiday for both days)

Adding the Sat and Sun, this will mean a 4 day holiday break!

But wait, there's more!

If u apply leave from Mon to Wed (3-5 February), for a total of 3 days leave, u will be getting an even longer holiday:

All this is possible, if u work a 5 day work week.

How? Let me elaborate:

First, let's take into consideration the previous weekend.

If u are working a 5 day week, you would have stopped work on Friday, the 1st of February.

The Long Break will be as follows:

  • From the previous weekend, Sat and Sun (2, 3 Feb) is off (2 days)
  • Mon to Wed is off, as you applied for leave (3 Days)
  • Thur and Fri is Chinese New Year, therefore u get 2 public holidays (2 Days)
  • Then comes Sat and Sun, which is the weekend (2 days)

That is a 9 day break in total! Awesome Right!

Quite a good use of your leave, if you ask me!

If u add up all the possibilities for 2008, u will realise that it is possible to get 37 days off for 8 days of leave!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where is Nicole?

Last week, we decided to pick Nicole up from school early. With her current switch to the afternoon session, we thought that sending her home early, would be good for her, as it would mean that she could take an afternoon nap.

Reaching the school, we realised that the children were in the school yard playing. There were kids playing on the slides, and many children on bicycles 'zooming' around the yard as well.

As Weng, my wife and myself looked out of the car windows, we were busy scanning the yard. We were all so excited, wondering whether Nicole would be on the bicycle or the slide!

However, Nic was nowhere in sight!

As mummy walked into the school to look for Nic, she suddenly noticed a little girl sitting on the corner of the yard.

Walking closer, she saw little Nicole, happily sitting on a bench, swinging her legs, and stuffing herself with DONUTS!

Oh no! When everyone else is playing, My little girl has opted to EAT instead!
This is one little girl who loves her food! As u can see from the photo.

Hopefully, my prayer about making her a great athlete will be answered by God very soon!
Before i go, hope that u will enjoy this Simpson's video that I found!

Friday, January 11, 2008

No more Luncheon meat!

Have u guys heard of Maling luncheon meat?

Singaporeans seem to love their luncheon meat, and I am one of them! Recently, my domestic helper whipped out her usual fried rice, and it was very different!

There wasn't that salty MSG taste! No soft greasy meat, that just brings a smile to your face! First, there is a KFC shortage, and now it is LUNCHEON MEAT! What is this world coming to?

According to the government, Singapore has been importing on average some 4,500 tonnes of luncheon meat from countries such as China, Denmark and the US from 2002 to 2006. Last year, the figure was 4,473 tonnes.

Recently, The AVA (which deals with food safety issues), suspended 2 canned meat processing plants from exporting to Singapore, after detecting a banned antibiotic in their products during routine monitoring.

The ban has affected my favourite MALING luncheon meat!

But there are substitutes...

I tried all of them, and no other company seems to produce Luncheon meat like Maling. I just finished eating another plate of fried rice, served with luncheon meat from another company. Everything seems inferior to Maling!

Hawkers have also felt the repercussions! Fried Beehoon and Nasi Lemak hawkers say they plan to stop selling luncheon meat as a side dish after their supplies run out, due to escalating prices.

Writing about luncheon meat today, brings back Nostalgic Memories. This meat was an essential ingredient in my National Service survival, where we would squat over gas stoves and cook this 'heavenly meat'.

Ah...There was nothing like the sweet fatty smell of Maling in the jungles of Mandai!

8th Annual Weblog Awards

2 more days before the Nominations close.

Pls nominate this blog if u have not done so! (Click here to submit your nominations!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

KFC - Out of Chicken?

Today, as I was reading the newspapers, I came across a horrible piece of information.

KFC is out of chicken!

According to 'The Straits Times', the popular fast-food chain ran out of its white meat chicken parts, such as breasts and wings. Being a great chicken lover, this news certainly did not sit well with me!

KFC marketing director, explained that there had been a minor delay in shipment. KFC imports its chicken parts from various countries such as United States, Brazil, and Thailand. (Read a previous entry about Singapore getting chicken from Brazil - click here)

The paper reported that in an outlet in Toa Payoh, KFC was only offering thighs and drumsticks.

Isn't this a PR disaster? It's like going to eat McDonald's and they tell you that they are out of burgers!

The good news is that new stocks have just arrived, and that by tomorrow, supply will be back to normal.

But just to be safe, before u order your KFC this week, better check with the counter, "U guys got chicken anot?"

8th Annual Weblog Award

Nominations have started for the Weblog Awards. If u are a reader of my blog, do nominate me!

Nominations close this Sunday, and i will need to receive enough nominations to be a finalist. (I just heard about this competition)

Voting for each Finalists will commence on Jan 22 to Jan 31.

Each nomination form must contain votes for 3 blogs.

For example - these are my votes!
  • Best Asian Weblog - Edunloaded
  • Best New Weblog - Edunloaded (Each blog can be nominated for more than 1 category)
  • Best Teen Weblog - Shingology
  • Best Food Weblog - Klessis

I appreciate your support! Many Thanks in Advance!

(Click here to submit your nominations!)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Beauty World

Just the other day, both Jiahui and myself went to watch 'Beauty World'

It was one of our outings without the kids, and I was excited for her to watch the production. I first saw the musical in 1988, then, it was one of the most exciting things the Singapore Theatre Scene had to offer.

The story is about this simple girl called Ivy Chan Poh Choo, who goes to this 1960s night club to look for her long lost father. Besides the songs and the dance, the most fun part of the musical, are the the localised settings and jokes. This is where you will find certain characters singing songs in cantonese, and the ang mohs in the audience reading the subtitles on special screens!

If u have not watched much musicals or plays, this production is an entertaining way of easing yourself into the scene!

Watching it 20 years later

After watching the 1st production, I felt that nothing beats the original production. Of course, I am biased! How can a plot be exciting, when u roughly know what's going to happen next! However, i thought it was still very entertaining!

In closing, If u are tired of going to GV or Shaw, check out the production before it ends it run at the Esplanade theatres.
P.S - thought u might enjoy my fav. David Beckhem Ad. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

ET Zone Leaders' Thanksgiving

This entry took me the longest to write, as I wanted every word to reflect how I feel about the leaders. To get maximum effect of reading this entry, please scroll to the bottom of entry and play the video on You-Tube as you read.

Meeting at the Conrad Hotel Suite, the leaders in ET Zone were ready to party and enjoy themselves.

Getting our food from a highly recommended food blog (I eat-I shoot-I post), we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves eating our Western Fare.

We ordered our food from "Wow Wow West" at Bukit Merah View market. If u like places like "Botak Jones", this place is good value in comparison.

Although they don't serve those 'gigantic burgers', the stall 'scored' on its 'fish n chips', 'chicken maryland' and their foot long 'Pork cheese Sausages.' It only costs us $7 each to feed our group of about 21 leaders.
To kick off the night, we had 'ice-breakers' organised by Keith Ng. Must-say that, this is Keith's forte, as he has the ability to always come up with a creative twist to his party games.

The Awards

1. Destiny Award' - We recognised Joanne Toh for her for her 'tireless' contribution to the zone. She is blessed with a great eye for detail, and her administrative gift really helps us to function effectively. Thanks Joanne, once again for your great help!

2. Generous Award - Keith Ng won 'Hands Down' for this award. This is the guy who consistently blesses the people. Always keen to buy anyone breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper, he is also generous with his time. He took leave to help us with 'Camp Breakaway', and he is a really nice guy.

Like what the Bible says in Pro 17:8,

A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

3. Most Faithful Award - Jin Lian was the recipient of this award. She is the one who is disciplined enough to wake up every morning to make sure that the food gets to the youth when we were in camp. She is secure about her identity and does not do things for recognition. A great asset to us!

4. Transformer Award - Stephanie Chan has really stepped out in faith in 2007. Besides being awarded the Best Youth Preacher in Emerge 2007, she has also shown great willingness to help us in developing the next generation of worship leaders and preachers. She works hard and trains the 'new generation' up to the wee hours of the morning!

5. Garang Award - Amber Tan is the one who organises the most number of BBQs and Evangelistic Meetings. Always reaching out the 'Street Kids' in Jurong, she is quite famous around the estate. Rumors are rampant that even the hawkers in the Jurong St 91 area, know about her influence!

6. Servanthood Award - Delphine Tang won this award for being the most 'available'. Always willing to offer her time, this young lady serves with a great attitude! Besides carrying a pleasant personality and a great smile, Delphine epitomises Servanthood!

7. Fastest CG Growth Award (Adult) - Zhifu is a great believer in his people. He is always encouraging them, and is tireless in looking into the lives of his CG members. Besides carrying a great sense of humor, he attributes the secret to great CG growth to Prayer and Fasting! Praise God for answering our prayers!

8. Fastest CG Growth Award (Youth) - Jerblinn Lim is my very first CG leader. Being always available, she is one of the closest leaders to the family. In fact, she is like one of us, and that's why Nicole is also most comfortable with her. She has also been consistently 'multiplying' her group and is indispensable to the Tay Family.

9. People's Choice Award - Keith Ng and Stephanie Chan won this award. They are just such nice people, that they were the natural choice. Congratulations to both of YOU!

In closing I want to thank all the leaders for their hard work and sacrifices. U guys are not just my leaders, but my family and you guys have made this journey unforgettable.

Thank you once again for taking a step of faith to leave your comfort zones and to live God's dream together with me. It has truly been a great adventure, and I have no regrets about sowing my life, to serve God together with u!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Check it Out!

Check out this video!

My wife found it, when she went to Shing's blog today!

Edmund Tan is doing a visiation at a poly and is caught on Channel U's 'Campus Yummy Program!'

He gives good reviews, gave his 'killer' smile, and speaks with a taiwanese accent!

He comments in chinese that the food is good, but at the last moment, his chinese fails him and says that 'hai you ta de sauce hen tasty!'....

Hmmm...I wonder if the food will be just as tasty, when we meet him tomm at our leader's thanksgiving!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First Day at School

Today was the 1st day of school for both Nic and Daddy.

Nic just changed to the afternoon session, and both mummy and I were a bit apprehensive as she was going to a new class and geting a new form teacher as well.

Driving towards school, we got Nic to declare her faith. Our little schoolgirl was boldly proclaiming in the car,
"I am a brave girl!", "I will not cry in school!"

But we walked into school, and as we met her new form teacher, our brave Nicole turned into the "Cowardly Lion!"

It was quite funny, as when we asked Nic, "Who's a brave gal?"

Nicole, with tears rolling down the cheeks, was saying "I'm a brave gal! Nicole Tay is a brave girl!" Haha....But our brave littile warrior made it through her 1st day....

Today was also my first day at Trinity Theological College.

My first lecture today was on World Religion, covered by a Professor from the Methodist family.

It was really very interesting (did not need any sweets at all!)

4 main pillars of studying World religion are the 4 C's:
  1. Creed
  2. Code
  3. Ceremony
  4. Community

Just to summarise one of the main talking points:

According to Literary Hermeneutics (means the study of theology based on writings), one of the declarations of a Methodist minister (the CREED) is that he must abstain from alcohol. But when we study it further, the CODE of conduct of a minister only covers moderation from alcohol. In fact, the church as a whole (the COMMUNITY) also believes in moderation from alcohol.

Therefore, when one studies religion, one has to look not just at the CREED but also the CODE and how the COMMUNITY feels about it. This is called 'Social Hermeneutics.'

The lesson was very 'sociology' based - something which my wife would really enjoy as well!

Anyway, the whole course is exam based, so I'm believing that I will do well for the papers as well.

Just so that i don't bore u guys with my talk on hermeneutics (isn't that a real mouthful?), here's a real funny ad that i came across. Hope u guys like it!


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