30 October 2007

Caffeine Contents

I thought this might be interesting to the many 24hr-caffeinated people I have in my network of friends; many of whom you will find getting their fix in the local Starbucks or Coffee Bean. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a nifty chart of the caffeine content in popular coffees, home brew, instant, soft drinks, desserts and illicit drugs.

I presume this is on the Center for Science in the Public Interest for 2 reasons: 1) it's in the caffeine-addicted public's best interest to know where to get their caffeine when in deprivation and 2) It's in the public's best interest not to deprive the caffeine-addicted of their caffeine. Overall, it makes the world a happier place for everyone; hence science in the public interest.

The other great website is Coffee Science which among other things, alerts us to the many health benefits we'd be missing out if we missed our morning cup of coffee. Apart from relieving headaches, and sparing your colleagues from the Mr. Hyde side of you, it also crushes gallstones and prevents cancer. Need I say more?

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29 October 2007

Ethan at play

Our church creche has a lovely skylight to let in the morning sun and nice pillows and a red carpet to give it color. Couldn't resist taking a few shots of Ethan at play. There he is trying to put a shoe in his mouth.
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24 October 2007

Stedfastness displayed

I am incredibly proud to say the least.

Saturday last, the little one started to purge and didn't stop. We counted at least 16 times in a day. Then his temperature soared to a blazing 39.6C. While we were frantically trying to put out his fire by sponging and suppositories, he started vomiting. With the volume he was putting out we were sure he had lost half his body weight.

He couldn't take anything orally. He was miserable. He wailed madly as we sponged him incessantly.

We prayed hard. We lost sleep. We were frayed and exhausted.

But to our amazement he turned the corner really fast. By Monday, as soon as the temperature started dropping, his mood started picking up and he was back to his usual self. Yesterday evening he decided to prove to his fretful guardians that he was OK and proceeded to stand on his own two feet, unsupported, for the very first time!

Ain't gonna let no AGE (acute gastroenteritis) keep me down. No No No. His indomitable spirit has us awe-struck.

He's got something to teach us about getting the tough going when the going gets tough.

Ethan, the stedfast one... because the One is Stedfast.

There Is No Fence!

Sometimes I envy those who are pastors, counselors, writers and all other kinds of full-time Christian ministry. It's odd that I should feel this way because I often chide fellow Christians for asking that annoying question: 'I wonder if I should go into full-time ministry'.

Not that I have the slightest objection to Christian ministry and being paid by the church for it. It's just the dichotomy and exclusivity that kind of question comes from that I don't agree with. My stock answer is: We're all full time Christians, and everything we do under the sun is service and worship to God. The difference is technical - a matter of who issues your paycheck. After, all our salaries come from the one God who Provides, and every Christian has a mutually inclusive responsibility both to the world and to the church. The world is God's creation we are appointed caretakers of, and the church is the gathering of His redeemed. Full-time, part-time, or no-time our calling is the same.

So I'm annoyed at myself for looking over the fence jealously, coveting the greener pasture of undistracted gospel-teaching and spiritual-nurturing.

The problem, I guess, lies with the atmosphere that surrounds what we do: the work that isn't church-related is all about making money, tainted with all the unbridled ambition, self-realisation/self-assertion/self-exaltation in the world; and church-related work is all about self-sacrifice, humble service, and oh-so-holy. This is again a false dichotomy and I just have to dismantle this wrong perception and baggage that comes with role-stereotyping. When we cast our roles in almost dark vs light and good vs evil tones, we encourage endless hand-wringing and agonising over our every life choice.

My job at the hospital and university can and should be a sacrificial expression of servanthood and holy - set apart for God. Church-related work is not impervious to selfish motives. and ugly ambition. But both are important, and constitute one life under one God.

So,.. stop looking over the fence, I tell myself. THERE IS NO FENCE, for God's sakes (pun intended). It's all one pasture under God, and how green it looks depends on what I make of it and how I look at it.

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09 October 2007


Medicine Malaysia alerted that a particular cord blood banking company in Malaysia is facing serious allegations of malpractice. I'm wondering if any serious investigation is being undertaken or if this is just an internet hoax or company war.

Ethan's cord blood is being stored at one of these companies (though not the one alleged). If one of these companies (supposedly the pioneer and most reputable one) is guilty of such horrific practices (read 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Co. X) one has to wonder if any of these companies are properly accredited.

Another reason to stand up against corruption wherever it is found. Bangladeshis are trapped by the thousands, flyover bridges collapse over your head, murders go on unsolved, and tainted cord blood is stored for future reinfection?! God have mercy on us all.

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06 October 2007

In the cool of the evening

I quit my Saturday afternoon locum job. I decided that the extra cash wasn't worth it. I've been telling myself I wanted to stop for months, worn out every Saturday evening and having hardly anything for a weekend. TODAY, today, I celebrate my first Saturday OFF. And what a Saturday.

I came home and heroically took over the care of Ethan. To reward his amazingly sacrificial father, he decided to clam his mouth shut, tighter than prison cell bars whenever I tried to feed him. He wouldn't sleep, and he wouldn't be put down. It was an afternoon of all out war. By the time I was done with him, the dining floor was splattered with broth and milk all over. Tiring, but helluva fun.

After a good bath and diaper change, I took him out for a walk. The air was biting and cool, a slow breeze tossed the trees around, birds were
 chirping, squirrels were scurrying to get out of the way. It was a perfect evening for a walk, father and son. Saturdays were made for this.