They say money doesn't bring you happiness...
I say neither does being broke...

- Anoymous


Whenever Ban's family organised a family dinner to celebrate, say, someone's birthday, I couldn't join because his stepdad didn't like the idea of Ban having a gay partner. I think there was only once I was invited to a family dinner with some of their relatives, probably due to Ban's grandpa's insistence. I don't know.

So to my surprise, this year Ban's mum invited me to join them for CNY eve dinner. Not only that, prior to that, I attended their family's dinner to celebrate Ban's brother's birthday. I was nervous during the latter but fortunately it went quite well.

I hope this heralds better things to come :)


The stick bobbed a little as Miss Level climbed onto it. She patted it invitingly.

"You're not frightened of heights, are you, dear?" she asked as Tiffany climbed on.

"No," said Tiffany.

"I shall drop in when I come up for the Witch Trials," said Miss Tick as Tiffany felt the stick rise gently under her. "Take care!"

It turned out that when Miss Level had asked Tiffany if she was scared of heights, it had been the wrong question. Tiffany was not afraid of heights at all. She could walk past tall frees without batting an eyelid. Looking up at huge towering mountains didn't bother her a bit.

What she was afraid of, although she hadn't reliazed it until this point, was depths. She was afraid of dropping such a long way out of the sky that she'd have time to run out breath screaming before hitting the rocks so had that she'd turn to a sort of jelly and all her bones would break into dust. She was, in fact, afraid of the ground. Miss Level should have thought before asking the question.

- "A Hat Full of Sky" by Terry Pratchett

Hahaha clever!

Overwatch: Mercy & Symmetra haters

To those haters:

Just cause you can aim doesn’t mean you’re good at the game
- Hoshizora

Sudden deterioration

After the rather good news during the latest consultation with Penang GH's oncologist, my dad complaint of back pain about 5 days later, with worsening bloatedness. He consulted his usual doctor at a government clinic and she recommended he went for a endoscopy.

Coincidentally, my sister was going for a follow-up appoint with a private specialist on her H.Pylori case and so my dad consulted him. Although previously told that there was no more slot for the scope on the day of my sister's follow-up appointment, the specialist arranged for one, presumably labeling my dad's case as urgent. He, however, stated that the bloatedness is unlikely causing the back pain. Instead, it can be due to
  • muscle pull
  • deterioration of bone as a result of chemo
  • possible worsening of cancer at pancreas or kidney bed
He also advised my dad to stop taking lactulose as it causes the bloatedness (hmmm) and to take Fibre instead to deal with his constipation.

The result of biopsy would be available in a few days time but the very next day, he started feeling pain in his leg again, despite taking oxycodone. It was emanating from the top of his left leg and down to the knee, occurring 2 to 3 times a day and lasting about half a minute each time. So we made an appointment to consult Dr D.  On the day before the appointment (in the afternoon, whereas the result of biopsy was in the morning), the pain worsened: it stretched to his shin and lasting nearly an hour, and so he needed to take the breakthrough dose.

On the day itself: no H.Pylori. Nothing was wrong with the stomach. Something about his "muscles" at fault. Huh? Unfortunately, neither my sister and I was with him and so we don't know what that was all about.

As for the session with Dr D,
  • she said it's normal for tumour marker to rise when not undergoing chemo
  • what to look out for is sudden increase in tumour marker e.g. from 50 to 120
  • she couldn't detect lumps on my dad and that the cause of back pain and stomachache were unlikely due to sudden growth in cancer
  • she believed that the backache was merely muscle ache and so taking paracetamol would be sufficient
  • since dad felt less "gassy" now that he was on Fibre (and off lactulose), she recommended that he continued with that
  • as for his leg pain, continue taking the breakthrough dose till such a time it doesn't help, at which point he should consult the GH's oncologist (on appointment date, ad hoc consultation, or via Emergency dept) and get x-ray and/or CT scan for possible radiotherapy for the leg

Heavy punishment?

Saw this at a playground:

PJ playground rules 1

The forbidden acts are:
(1) Vandalising plants
(2) Bringing dog
(3) Act of indecency
(4) Sunning laundry
(5) Vandalising public facilities
(6) Hawking
(7) Littering
(8) Cycling / Motorbiking

Ok, these sounds sensible except that personally I think (2) is not needed (this will need a separate post to explain, which I'm not going to do anyway). However, look at the possible punishment:

PJ playground rules 2

A fine not exceeding RM 2000 or jail for not more than 1 year or both. So the maximum possible punishment is RM 2000 plus 1 year of jail time.

Alright, which do you think is the most dangerous act among the 8 acts listed above? For me, it's motorbiking in the playground. Whatever you choose, do you think it deserves the maximum punishment? Even discounting the fine, does it deserve 1 year of jail time?

RM 2000 + 1 year in jail is disproportionately heavy for, say, merely motorbiking in a playground and not on the consequence of it. If the biker hit someone, surely there is a law that deals with that specifically?

So why such hefty punishment?

Remuneration wins

Some organisations have nice company values they promote internally and put on their website. But if remuneration drives behaviour that is at odds with those ­values, remuneration will win every time.
- Ian Laughlin