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Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Henry David Thoreau

public II - Saturday, July 31, 2010 @ 8:00 PM
My take on the video of the woman who beat her dog with a bundled bunch of canes. (See video below or click here.)

I had played the video to show my primary school students a few days after the incident went on its rounds online. My purpose was to highlight to them the importance of treating animals with the respect they deserve. When the audio was played over my speakers, Sprite, my Jack Russell Terrier, actually barked repeatedly after hearing the yelps made by the victim in the video. Her reaction surprised all of us. Nevertheless, it speaks volumes of her awareness of the plight of her fellow canine. Instinctively, she knew that something was wrong with the cries. EVEN A DOG KNEW BETTER!


I truly wonder what went through the woman's mind when she hit her pet dog with a bunch of canes - the ones that some Asian parents who believe in corporal punishment may use to discipline their young children. She hit the dog NOT ONCE, but several times. Keep in mind that the idea of caning or even lifting your hand to hit a human child would cause public outrage in most Western countries where it is disallowed by law and considered a form of child abuse. This pet owner caned the poor thing because it had chewed up some precious pillow. COME ON! I do discipline Sprite when she misbehaves. If it is a repeated offence, I would smack her once at her bottom to send home the message. Yes, I am believer in corporal discipline too. But to cane a dog repeatedly for chewing up a pillow??? That is really too extremely.

Nonetheless, the video upset many local netizens. SPCA responded by appealing for information on the woman while the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) launched a nine-day investigation into the animal abuse allegations.

So who on earth filmed the woman in action? The cameraman apparently came forward and "admitted his involvement" in the video but AVA "declined to identify" him in the end. Word from the grapevine has it that the culprit is the accused's husband. I mean, what was he thinking? Who was he planning to show his short film to? Just what kind of a sick man would commit such an atrocity?


Do indulge me in the following scenarios :

1) Perhaps he is the sentimenal guy and therefore a member of the growing population of SNAGs - the Sensitive New Age Guys. Women love him because he is in touch with his feelings. Unlike the jerk of a jock who is an emotionless wreck, the SNAG actually scores with the ladies in modern times and he even helps out with domestic chores.

Moreover, he sweeps the wifey off her feet with the offer of a tissue when she tears over a weeper movie. Thereafter, he cries a bucket which in turn, is a big turn-on (read fore-play) for her. So our anonymous SNAG had filmed the video of his more garang feminist wife in action (afterall, she did wack him with her offensive weapon at the start of the clip) - of her beating the dog. Weeping all the way through, he just had to capture the sob sob scene which he thinks would make a fantastic weeper which he can watch with his beloved again and again years down the road, when both are officiated into the greying population, just to capture the Yesterday Once More.

2) He could be the poster husband for the emerging group of MBNBTYJP (Married But No Babies Thank You Just Pets) couples like those from the pressure cooker of modern Japan. Overwhelmed by the burgeoning demands at the ratrace, the MBNBTYJP guy returns home too tired to have dinner, let alone pick up the flirtatious signals from his desperate housewife to heed the calls of MMBD (Make More Babies Department) to rescue the plunging birth rate of Singapore. Over time, no amount of work can drown out the primal calls of the parental vacuum in his soul. Pets became the perfect solution.

Having finally found the missing piece of the puzzle in his life, the MBNBTYJP guy misses not a milestone in the existence of his precious canine - childbirth by a surrogate bitch, baptism by the (D)Hog Wash Religious Sect high priest, its first chow into a chocolate free birthday cake and now the teething rite of passage by pillow destruction. What he did not realise is, his pet-child has chewed up the very pillow which the desperate missus had spent months assembling to make up for the lack of attention from her ever busy MBNBTYJP guy. All else said, the good parent-bad parent ying-yang balance must be maintained at all cost to keep up the perfect-couple facade in failure intolerant Singapore! So she disciplines the child with the bunch of canes in the kitchen while he coos at the pet-child behind the lenses to capture yet another precious moment of the growing up years. Unwittingly, he uploads the video online to show off his beloved to other MBNBTYJP mates. He even adds subtitles to capture every nuances in the drama. After several torrential uploads and downloads, he ends up at the wrong side of the law.

3) Finally, he could be just the DAG (Dumb Ass Guy) who thinks that he is god's gift to womanhood and canine-kind. He makes a joke out of every nook and cranny in life.

He laughs at his attempt to heat up the wife's fondue in the microwave which ended up a nuclear aftermath. When customers were stealing iPad sets which had floated away from a shop in Lucky Plaza when the floods hit Orchard Road, he ROFTL - Rolled Onto The Floor Laughing. Upon hearing that some foreign construction workers had died after the open lorry they were travelling in crashed into the divider on the expressway, he called together his DAG buddies and laughed the night away over beer. Nothing in life seems to dampen his mood. In fact, even neighbours who have been complaining about the lack of proper maintainence in their estate envy the DAG's eternal glass half-full perspective in life. So when the pet did the unthinkable, he reaches for the camcoder to film the greatest circus show at his HDB point block. He had considered sending in the clip to the local television station, in the hope it would be featured on an episode of The Noose. He knew that the dumb ass reporters would lap it up like he did. One fateful day, he asked a fellow DAG over to catch the finals of the World Cup. While trying to leech onto a neighbour's wireless because the signals from the monopolistic internet service provider were lagging behind by several seconds and therefore doing the greatest game on earth the gravest disservice, the buddy stumbled upon the video recording on DAG's laptop. At that moment, DAG's buddy knew he had found the elixir to the millionth hit on YouTube, thus enabling him to become the NEXT BIG THING discovered on the internet. So the dude did the unthinkable and what happened thereafter is history.

Jokes aside. In all seriousness, if the couple was "convicted of animal cruelty", they "can be fined up to $10,000 and/or be imprisoned for up to 12 months."

So what was the outcome of the saga? On 23 July, the local papers, Straits Times, reported that the duo was let off with a stern warning:

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), which conducted a nine-day investigation into animal abuse allegations, said it found the dog 'healthy and in good condition', and that its owners had 'no ill intention to hurt their pet dog while attempting to discipline it'.
It said this case was different from one of animal cruelty, which involves deliberate intent to inflict harm and severe pain on an animal.
It noted that the dog's owners had voluntarily submitted themselves to the investigation, and that despite the beating, the dog, named Butters, was seen 'relating positively' to them.

Naturally, the folks at SPCA were displeased with the verdict :

Ms Dierdre Moss of the SPCA said the society had recommended that a fine be imposed and the dog be put through a mandatory obedience course, which will also teach its owners how to handle their pet.

She said: 'We are extremely disappointed with the outcome and will be appealing to the AVA to review its decision.'

AVA's final word on the matter?
...it will conduct as many follow-up visits as needed to check on the dog.
Right. If the dog was a human child, would the cameraman be in his right mind to film the abuse, put it up on YouTube, and then voluntarily turn himself in 3 days after SPCA had put out the appeal? Would the "beast" of a woman (affectionately labelled so by many outraged netizens) still employ the bundled bunch of soft canes to punish a human child of her own flesh and blood when it chews up her replacement pillow? Are they let off perhaps because Singapore society in general is just less tolerant of canines who would otherwise love their human friends unconditionally? I will save that thought for another day.

To the couple, I have this to say to them :

Next time, pick someone your own size.

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Public I - @ 3:32 PM
Remember the 14 July 2010 incident involving a Singaporean woman whacking her dog and that which was put on YouTube?

For those of you not familiar with this public outrage, please watch the clip below.



I will share my opinions on this in awhile. Stay tuned.

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greatness - Friday, July 30, 2010 @ 10:12 PM

“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed: and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.”

~ Tom Hopkins

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rainy - @ 11:08 AM


Lovin' rainy days.

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frozen - @ 7:48 AM
It goes away - the feeling; that feeling that you have right now. today? That feeling like you can do anything; that clarity? - it goes away. And you go right back to being the coward who can't tell the person you love how you feel.

Meredith, Grey's Anatomy 4.6

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Save The Peak - Thursday, July 29, 2010 @ 7:30 PM
This should look familiar.

Maybe your memory needs to be jolted by a more nostalgic reference?


Sometime in the earlier part of this year, real estate developers had wanted to build houses around the Hollywood sign.

One architect jumped into the bandwagon by offering the above design to lure the well-heeled seeking the ultimate luxury home. Actually, I kind of like the concept. Fancy nesting just behind the HOLLYWOOD sign!

This sparked the Save The Peak bonanza to save what is touted as "the last private, undeveloped promontory ridge in Los Angeles." (LAist.com)

Environmentalists who had wanted to stop the bulldozers from ravaging the land came up with various cover-ups for the Hollywood sign.


These green evangelists toiled night and day...


...to draw the public's attention to their cause.


Some famous celebrities also chipped in their efforts to raise money to buy over the prime property from a Chicago-based developer.

I like Ellen's take on the whole saga.

This is as close as I can get to her script during that particular episode :

We don't need to take up every available space and put houses on it. Leave some nature. Leave some space for the animals! The area is "home to animals (and) birds, (including) the coyote too. The donkey from Shrek lives there! (However,) Dory can't afford to live there. Shrek lives up there too!

Well, just three days before the deadline for the land purchase, the organisers were still short ofUS$900,000. Guess who stepped in to save the day?

Yes, the person who donated the money is none other than Huge Hefner, (the owner of Playboy mansion.)

We know that he watches my show. He likes nature. He likes
bunnies. We know that. He likes peaks. And we also know that too.

Oh, he made a little request. It's not a big change at all.

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wind on my face - @ 8:20 AM
I saw this bike while I was waiting for my car to be repaired at a workshop last week.

Years ago, on my virgin solo backpacking trip to Thailand, some Brits were supposed to teach me how to ride one at some island. Well, that did not materialise because of our conflicting schedules.

Call me paranoid but if I had a kid, I would seriously not allow him or her to ride a motorbike. I have just seen too many accidents on the roads - most of them involving biker deaths. No matter how careful you are, anyone can end up a road statistic due to the other motorist's slight misjudgement.

Well, would that stop me from learning to bike when I get the chance again overseas? Hmmm....

Oh, I have just watched a hilarious segment on the building of homes around the Hollywood sign on some talk show. I will put that up later in the day!

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WTF - Wednesday, July 28, 2010 @ 7:30 AM
I never realised that after Monday and Tuesday, the calendar says W T F!!

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kueh - @ 4:45 AM
my dessert for the past few days - kueh lapis (courtesy of my sister-in-law and trust me, they are better than those sold in the bakery) with yam ice cream...

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How it affects YOU! - Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @ 10:03 PM
I'm still trying to digest the following article from PC World with regards to implications on the consumer, especially the controversy surrounding jailbreaking the iPhone. Read on.


What New DMCA Copyright Loopholes Mean to You

Emily Price, PC World

Jul 27, 2010 6:09 am

The Library of Congress added five new exemptions to its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Monday, a copyright law that criminalizes attempts to bypass digital copyrights. Originally passed in 1998, the act is revisited every three years, with new exceptions added based on changing technology.

While the legalization of jailbreaking mobile phones is certainly getting the most press, exemptions were also added to the DMCA that allow people to legally break through the copyright protections on video games, e-books, and DVDs as well as bypass external security measures on some computers.

Phones

What New DMCA Copyright Loopholes Mean to YouThe biggest news today was the legalization of jailbreaking. Users can now legally break through copyright protection on their mobile phones in order to "execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications." Users are also now able to unlock firmware that ties a mobile phone to a particular wireless network. Both exemptions are big news for iPhone owners, who have battled for some time over the ability to add non-Apple approved software to their phones, as well as take those phones to different carriers.

DVDs: No Ripping/Copying.. But..

College professors and students, documentary filmmakers, and those making noncommercial videos, are now able to circumvent the copyright protection on DVDs in order to use short clips from those DVDs in new works "for the purpose of criticism or comment." The exemption was previously in place for professors, but has now been expanded to include students and filmmakers. The exception does not allow for users to copy whole works, or for individuals to create backups of DVDs they personally own, an issue brought up last year in the RealDVD case.

E-Books

What New DMCA Copyright Loopholes Mean to YouA new exception to the DMCA allows users to break through copyright protection on e-books in order to enable text-to-speech functionality. You may remember the text-to-speech functionality of the Kindle was a huge issue between Amazon and the Authors Guild last year, the Authors Guild feeling that it took away from potential audio book sales. With that in mind, today's exception is only legal when "all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format." Bottom Line: If a publisher offers an option for an audio version, even if it is twice the price, you can't legally bypass the book's DRM.

Video Games

What New DMCA Copyright Loopholes Mean to YouUsers can now break through the copyright protection on video games "when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, for investigating or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities." Information obtained from the security testing has to be used "used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and...used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law." This addition was added specifically for research in the area of SecuROM and SafeDisc.

Computers

Computer programs that are protected by dongles that are now broken or malfunctioning are now "considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace."

Do you see yourself using any of the new exceptions? What would you have liked to see added to this list?

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jailbreak - @ 9:02 AM
Have you heard?

The world's largest monopoly now faces SERIOUS competition, thanks to the latest federal law at work:

WASHINGTON — Owners of the iPhone will be able to legally unlock their devices so they can run software applications that haven't been approved by Apple Inc., according to new government rules announced Monday.
~ Huffintonpost
WOOHOO!!! The empire strikes back! Downloading apps from Apple's iTune's store may be a thing of the past now! Come on, Apple! Take a leaf from Google's Android phones which let users download stuff from beyond the Android market.

Opps! Did you just fall off the branch finally???

Wait a minute, I don't even own an iPhone yet!!

More later.

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forgotten #1 - @ 5:03 AM
22 July 2010
car workshop @ Sim Min industrial estate

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WOW! - Monday, July 26, 2010 @ 12:21 AM
I was more attracted to the MV than the song initially. It's literally art coming to life! Soon enough, I grew to like the song rather quickly.

It's time I pick up those brushes again!



Official music video of 70 Millions by Hold Your Horses !
An entertaining and cheeky music video for 70 Million, hit song by Franco-American band, Hold Your Horses!, offers a wink at art history as band members playfully reconstruct famous paintings in an off the wall lyrical interpretation all their own.


Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


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Inca - Sunday, July 25, 2010 @ 7:12 AM

The expectant beginning...

and the glorious end!

Everything in between was a blurry adrenalin surge of rainy plods, some sleepless nights, diahorrea, loss of appetite (the symptoms of high altitude sickness) and countless overwhelming views!

Inca Trail, Machu Pichu, Peru
21 - 21 Nov 2009

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Hanging - Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 7:31 AM
21 July. I took a day trip to check out another potential adoptee at SPCA.

I was well aware that parking at the compound is very limited, so I decided to leave my vehicle at 1 of the 2 empty spaces outside SPCA. As I was reversing VERY SLOWLY into the space, I heard what was the deep grinding of metal against concrete. My heart sank. I cursed myself for playing music TOO LOUDLY in the car. My immediate instinct? Drive Black Beauty forward and pray like mad. Another round of unthinkable stomach wrenching grinds. I looked into the side mirror at the driver's side and what I saw really made me speak in tongues I never knew existed.

The usual denial persisted for awhile - this is not fair! I was careful! What rotten luck! What the #$$#!

Sprite, who was beside me in the passenger seat, pranced around excitedly in the cabin, expecting to be let out as the engine had cesased.

When I moved in to examine the carnage, I was truly quite calm. I reminded myself that I was there to try to find a sibling for Sprite and that the shitty damage was the result of sheer bad luck. Not that I believe in luck at all. Shit happens.

Then came the slot machine of monetary figures spinning in my mind The rear skirting at the right corner was hanging like a gaping wound. I noticed that the tip of the metal piece where the catch to keep it screwed to the body of the car was broken. The numbers escalated into the 3-figure realm. I took a deep breath and walked away. I would deal with that later.

The denial set in when I got home. Perhaps the damage would all go away when I woke up the next day. Yes, it was all just a very bad dream. I am a good driver. Some lady bumped into me while my vehicle was stationary at a junction last weekend. I chided her because she had a kid in the passenger seat. She should have been more careful. I am a good person. I don't deserve this shit - this expensive consequence due to some misalignment of the cosmic bodies.

I lamented on Facebook. Some kind souls recommended some repair places for Black Beauty. One of them was a former student leader - thanks man!

I decided to sleep on it for another day. The miracle might need another day to materialise.

Two rainy days later, I decided that the denial had to end. Dad accompanied me to a workshop where a friend of his works. He assured me that the damage was insignificant and the repair should not cost much. I was not so hopeful.

Block 12, #163. Sim Min estate. The damage could be rectified within the day. Great. I would not suffer loss of use over the weekend. I felt so relieved.

The miracle did come to pass. The cost of the repair amounted to just S$20 instead of the hundreds I had expected as there was no need to replace the skirting.

I even got some lessons in interpreting the statistics on my 17" wheel!

Relieved and thankful.

Well, here's Sprite and Blackjack, a male Jack Russell Terrier, hanging around the play garden at SPCA on that fateful morning. The counsellor on duty concluded that Blackjack's very mild temperament was just not compatible with Sprite's.

So the search continues...minus the shit.

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Press - Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 3:14 PM
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breathe - @ 7:19 AM
Machu Pichu Trek, Peru
21-27 Nov 2009

The weekends are here again...

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Antennagate - Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 5:01 PM
16 July 2010, Friday, USA time - the day Steve jobs took full responsibility for the recently coined phenomenon, Antennagate! Or did he?

Now, I do not personally own any Apple products. But like anyone who has not been living in a cave, I do follow Apple news as would any fan whose psyche has been revolutionized the day the forbidden fruit was dropped on our shores. We are mesmerized even by the dramatic weight loss of the man behind Apple and most would pray daily that Steve Jobs' apparently deteriorating condition would not lead to the demise of a branding that so many have worshipped on their hands and knees and that which has sold gadgets in meteoric proportions.

Enough said. Then came the antenna glitch of iPhone4 and disgruntled consumers in the US went berserk.

Plagued into a tight corner by his latest insanely popular communication device, what is a man to do?

So Jobs held a conference to discuss the problems.

Apart from displaying his sexyback moves - perhaps to silence critics regarding his alleged ailing health, he played the nasty card by firing salvos at competition. Bilton of The New York Times, wrote :

As Mr. Jobs paced back and forth on stage, he tried to paint a picture of a world of smartphones that are all rife with antenna problems. He showed videos of signal drops on BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung phones.

Apple's competitors did not take the accusations lying down. In fact, they lashed back and claimed that his accusations were untrue. A maker of Blackberry phones mentioned that the debacle was just Apple's "deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation."

So was Jobs trying to skirt around the antenna problem?

Well, some candid folks in the following video actually tried to take ownership of the situation.


In the next 2.53-minute video featuring highlights from the conference (I'm sure the session lasted some gazillion minutes longer), Jobs tried to appease iPhone4 owners, present and future, with a new OS 4.01 update which he claim would fix the antenna glitch.



He also threw in cosmetics to sweeten the deal.

Dare I mention silicon? Yes, you heard me right - SILICON! Maybe it is just hardened plastics. Anyway, now iPhone4 comes with free external bumper casings. Hopefully this will solve the death grip problem and silence the voices of discontentment for now.

Just how much will this solution cost Apple? Brace yourself for US$175 million. Actually, this is peanuts compared to what one analyst had estimated at a whopping US$1.5 billion, should the company carry out a full hardware recall.

Do Asian fans get free bumper casings with their purchase? Afterall, having already sold more than 1 million units of iPhone4 in the US alone, Jobs is nowhere poorer after giving away the freebies if you consider Apple's insane profits from the sales!

One question remains : Will I still take a bite on the forbidden fruit when it goes on sale in Singapore? For all the controversy Antennagate has generated (and probably causing Jobs to edge closer to his grave), Apple folks end up laughing all the way to the bank. Would I still want to buy an overly priced gadget and contribute to their burgeoning coffers? You must be kidding right?

Sources :

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iPhone4 - @ 8:13 AM
I'm reading up Gate's service recovery attempt over the iPhone4 reception glitches. Despite its ubiquitous presence, I have not bitten into any single Apple product so far. But I must admit, it is high on my MUCH DESIRED list.

More later.

picture source : The Huffinton Post

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dreams - @ 6:58 AM
At some point, maybe we accept that the dream has become a nightmare. We convince ourselves it's better than we never dream at all. But the strongest of us, the most determined of us, we hold on to the dream. Or we find ourselves face with a fresh dream we never considered. We awake to find outselbes against all odds, feeling hopeful. And if we're lucky, we realise in the face of everything, in the face of life, the true dream is being able to dream at all.

Grey's Anatomy 3.23


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Flood Singapore #2 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 @ 4:44 PM
Flash floods caused by a heavy downpour hit first-world Singapore recently, submerging low-lying areas such as Orchard Road and Bukit Timah while clogging car parks and basement floors elsewhere.

Local educators expounding years of indoctrination and discipline would be proud should they witness this scene of an orderly line executed by ordinary Singaporeans wading through flood waters.

Oh Hermes has come up with a promotion to beat the blues by offering FREE FLOW of teh-tareh (a local Malay word tea) for every $44,444.44 purchase!!! Help yourselves to the cold beverage at its doorstep!

Away in the lush and quiet corner of Bukit Timah, the rich in their fancy 8888 cars and homes have their watery field day when the floods hit - not once, not twice but thrice???

This is truly the irony of life. You pay for the quiet high life but end up in a swampy low life.

Thankfully I live and work on the 4th level - #04-04 :P

Note :
In the Chinese language, the number 8 symbolizes prosperity while 4 means death.
Pictures from XINMSN, STOMP & Google Sg

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Slim Shady - @ 7:46 AM
Just how far we've come...

Or should that be shady Slim?

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Darling Ripper! - Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 5:34 PM
Here's the story...

Given that most of my mornings are free now, I decided to shoot pictures with my very old Panasonic semi-DSLR. Note - VERY OLD. But I needed new batteries because the current 2 I have die real quickly. I had set out to search for them a few times 2-3 years ago at Sim Lim Square, the hub of electronic stuff. They were out of stock. I was even told that they might be discontinued.

Imagine my excitement when I found that the above dubious shop carries an upgraded version of the battery. A very young salesman quoted S$46-50 for a single battery.

I went over next door to my usual haunt, Alan Photo, to ask for a second opinion. They did not carry the battery model anymore. The usual salesman I buy my camera gear from told me that it should not cost more than S$20-25.

That's almost half the price I was quoted earlier! So I went to another shop nearby and found that they had the exact model. I was upfront with the more elderly salesman I met there. I shared with him my disgust with some dubious darling. He chuckled and mentioned that the first salesman probably thought I was a tourist. Rip off a tourist at almost double the price??? Anyway, this salesman quoted me a reasonable price which I went back to Alan Photo to verify again.

In the end, I got my 2 batteries.

I went home with a determination to expose the dishonesty and did this only about a month later.

Lesson learnt - always shop around for prices, especially at Sim Lim Square. If you are a tourist or look like one (do I???), be upfront and report any dubious salesperson. Well, I did. Here. :)

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