30 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - What It Means To Pam

 Pam has been a long time friend of both Adrian and I since our Uni days. After graduation, Pam moved to Japan and then to the UK but we have all along, thanks to modern technology, been keeping in touch with each other.

Granted that Pam is thousands of miles away, she remained a steadfast supporter of the RunForFunds project both on account of our long standing friendships as well as the fact that we all share a common vision towards what this project is all about.

Like me, who is based far away from home, it may be our regret that we weren't able to participate directly in this project, we nonetheless are just as active as we find alternative ways to help out.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you. Dr Pam.

Dr Pam says....

Wow, I got an IM from my very good friend JayWalk out of the blue (ok, I exaggerate, but I’ve not heard from him for a few days now, and that is a long time!), and after a couple of minutes of catching up, he asked if I’d contribute a guest blog about RunForFunds. I thought for a second and decided that I would do it (after all, I’m in the company of an esteemed crowd!).

I am a big supporter of all things charitable. When I lived in Singapore, I used to drop money into the cans on Saturdays; when I was at university, I was part of Rag and Flag and did bits for charity. I gave free tuition to the ‘less-fortunate’ (as they were labelled) as part of a charity foundation. When I lived in Tokyo, we collected money for the ST Pocket Money Fund during one of the Christmas dinners organised by the Singapore Association. 

Since coming to the UK, I volunteer weekly at the local Cancer Research charity shop, where people shop there for good second-hand clothing and some brand new stuff too (like greeting cards, toys, china etc) and money goes towards cancer research labs, cancer awareness etc. My job as a volunteer is varied – I may man the cash register some days, I might sort through old clothing another day, and I really enjoy it. This job is so different from my regular job! There’s a sense of achievement which sometimes you don’t often see in regular work (well, I don’t anyway!). Our oldest volunteer is 78 years old, and she’s been doing this for at least 10 years. 

But…back to the point of RunForFunds and why it’s so small, yet so special; so informal, yet so necessary. I don’t know much about the charities in Singapore, but I do feel that there are plenty of charitable cases out there that for whichever reason do not ‘qualify’ for charity. When I first came to the UK, I was proud of the fact that Singapore was not a welfare state (I still am to a certain extent). However, I soon realised that when the welfare state system is not being abused and taken advantage of by crooks and ne’er-do-goods, it is actually a very sound system. It supports the genuine hardship cases – such as people who have lost their jobs through no fault of theirs and need to support their families; older folk who have contributed to the pension schemes all through their lives and need support now, children whose families can’t take care of them, and so on. There are many small charities out here which run with the help and generosity of volunteers, and without whom they would not be able to exist. Recently, the BBC ran a ‘Children In Need’ fundraising event ( where celebrities and ordinary people across the UK held events to raise money for children in need. There were people who shaved their tresses (women included), men who had their legs waxed (ouch!), children who held bake sales in school, schools holding public concerts, schools having a ‘pyjama day’ where everyone (incl. the headmaster!) comes to school in their PJs, to raise money for children in need. Their beneficiaries were numerous – there was one that was catered to children with incurable diseases, where the money is used to help to give respite to the families once a month so that the families can be ‘normal’. 

If one is to look at Singapore’s economic system, it appears that most people are fairly well-off, or at least able to survive. From what I’ve been told and from what I know, there is still a section of society in Singapore which aren’t being looked at (for whatever reason). I think it’s time to put our cynicism aside and ask, even if the Government or powers that be don’t appear to be listening, what can you and I do to help? It could be a few hours a week at an old-people’s home, it could be helping out at the local school with your skills and knowledge, it could be buying an older/destitute person a meal at the hawker centre. 

 And I think that’s what RunForFunds is trying to do, it’s about trying to make a difference where the difference means a lot. 

I don’t necessarily count myself as a Superfriend – by virtue of the fact that I don’t live in Singapore now and any support I can give is remote, or cash, when I see Adrian, but I do support it wholeheartedly, and it is really the case of ‘every little helps’. 

Thank you for reading thus far, and I hope that you will be inspired by the good that Adrian and his Superfriends are doing and start to do your little bit to help others gain a lot. 

One book I would strongly recommend anyone to read is The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, where he talks about how people can start their own ‘positive epidemics’, where you can create a change with limited resources. 

Read it, and be inspired.
Dr Pam 

- Voxeros

29 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - What It Means To Dicta

 Unlike me, who only know how to wave pom pom and do my own version of the marathon via the keyboard, Dicta, in contrast, is one of the true blue Superfriends. One who runs the marathons. One who was present to personally hand over the aid to the kids and also now, one who writes eloquently for the RunForFunds week.

This superhero has no kryptonite.

Still, similar to Clark Kent, he is a lawyer in disguise by day. We passed him by everyday without realising the Orange RFF shirt hidden behind that pair of glasses, immaculately pressed shirt and the attorney-oozing tie (What about Orange underwear?).

Singapore, meet RunForFunds Man.

So without further ado, up, up and away.

RunForFunds With Me
By Dicta

The RunForFunds movement means this to me: That every effort given, is every effort received, multiplied by the number of willing souls. 

In short, [RFF = (S$ + sweat) x soul].

Yes, the Singapore Gahmen is an initiator of sorts. And it has to her credit initiated and grown several charities, some to the mammoth of the NKF which we saw skinned alive on national TV back in 2005. And because charities need proper management, they deem paying for management out of the receivables as justified as the existence of the charity. Hence, corroborating the axiom, ‘Nothing is For Free’.

But I dare say we have been misled. 

 For charity really is love. And the act of giving is the result of that love for the needy. And over the years, I have discovered the true axiom to be this: “True giving is giving until it hurts”. 

What is a mere S$ note dropped into a collecting can or bag held by school kids in town every odd Saturday? Sometimes, I dare say (and I have been guilty of the same) that it could have been simply a means of emptying one’s pocket of change. While it might mean a lot to some, to most Singaporeans, it truly is peanuts (no pun intended). 

So if it does not pain us to give, then giving it is not.

The RunForFunds movement is different. It causes us to painfully give to another’s need. Or to put it another way, it has a peculiar way of turning us masochistic for the sake of others. And to painfully give, is to realize that there is no need for repayment, reward or return; no need to pay for management or administration; no need for praises. The only need is probably accountability to one another. Accountability that all that is given is being received, for instance, by the kids in Geylang whom we have met. Then multiply this equation by the power of willing souls, and let the flight begin.

Still, allow me to say that there is really nothing intentionally revolutionary about the RunForFunds movement, nor is there anything remotely subtle about it. For me, it draws inspiration from the true meaning of giving - the true meaning of charity.

So you see, anyone can Perform charity. And so also, anyone can perform Charity. For there is charity, and then, there is Charity

Come run for funds with me
The best is yet to be

- Voxeros

28 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - What It Means To Adrian

Today we feature Adrian, Founder of the RunForFunds Project. A person we are all familiar with if we have heard of RunForFunds to begin with and as such needs no further introduction.

 I don't want to save the world.
I can't.

The statements above are true, especially for someone coming from a kia-su, kia-see, "no time to do social work" Singapore.

On one starry night in Egypt in Feb 2002, I was contemplating the meaning of life.

I struggled to define my role in society and the legacy I wanted to leave behind.

Mega bucks in my bank account, lofty ideals, self gratifying material needs flooded my mind.

It dawned on me that I came into this world with nothing, I will leave with nothing.

It was then that I decided that I will leave my legacy in the lives of people.

I can't save the world.
Maybe I can do something small.

I realized I could start by helping make lives of some people (who really need help) better and giving some them hope in an otherwise cold and materialistic society like Singapore.
But where do I start? So many people need help.

I can't save the world
But helping one person is better than none.

These thoughts form the fundamentals that initiated the Run For Funds (RFF) movement in 2002.

In the past 5 years, friends and family have supported RFF by pledging donations for me and my Superfriends who run the annual Standard Chartered Race (10, 21, 42km).

Note: We do not raise funds from the general public ie. people we don't know.

My Superfriends and I do not aim to save the world.
We assist within our means via a targeted approach.

The RFF funds are used to help people who really need assistance, when they need assistance.

Assistance can come in the form of groceries, bursaries, beds for old folks, pocket money for hungry school children etc.

The Government's plugs most (big) gaps in our social welfare system.

RFF aims to plug the small gaps that may be below the Government's radar or are created by the Government's red tape.

Take ZZ's (pri 5 boy) predicament for example.

ZZ's mother left him and his sister when they were babies and their father is an unskilled worker.

When applying for state assistance, the authorities asked ZZ's father for his IR8A form (income tax return) to prove that he earns less than $1,500 per month to qualify for grants.

Here is a man who earns his keep doing odd jobs, earning bit and pieces from all over the place and still not making ends meet (earning $600-700 per month).

Where is he going to get his IR8A form?

The authorities' stand is clear.

No IR8A, no help from Government.

While waiting for the school to appeal on ZZ's behalf, RFF moved in to help ZZ pay for his books and school fees.  

He was also given pocket money from RFF until the state assistance was granted.

It is worthwhile to note that the school ZZ attends is not on the Straits Times Pocket Money scheme.

I'm not sure how ST chooses the schools it supports.

Hence RFF started a pocket money fund for ZZ's school in Geylang.

Our Government can't save the world.
We can help plug inadequacies in the social welfare system.

The ZZ's example is just one of many, many case of how RFF is plugging small gaps in our social welfare system.

It works to complement what our Government has already set up.

Some may point out that our Government can do more.

True, but hey, no system is perfect.

Rather than whining and complaining, why not do something about it ourselves?

RFF is a movement where every $ raised goes directly to the people in need.

No admin fees, no corporate overheads, no golden taps.

RFF exercises discretion in funds disbursement.

There are a lot of crooks out there, waiting to sponge and exploit sympathetic givers.

Money will be spent when it can be justified, not because funds are available.

Details can be found in the November update of RFF @

What RFF means to me?

It's a movement started by the non-elite, man in the street to help those in need.

It not a political statement to the Government showboating that RFF can do a better job helping the poor.

It is a reminder that no social welfare system is perfect and each of us can plug a small gap and make someone's life better (provided the Government continues to work hard for the people).

You can't save the world.
But you can make a difference to someone's life.
Why not start something with your friends today?

A fund raising mahjong marathon amongst friends or a 100km walk around the island, maybe?

- Voxeros

1. spinnee left...
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 4:25 pm ::
when will anyone donate me some money, say 100k?
*wait long long*

2. akk left...
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 5:58 pm
the 100km walk may be a good idea as an alternative to the standard chartered run.

3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 9:21 pm :: 
Spinnee: Aiyoh. You don't need people to donate 100k to you lah.

Akk: 100km walk sounds like fun and something that I would survive compared to a marathon.

4. Pam left...
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 11:15 pm
and if people cannot do the 100k, you can do smaller versions, like 10k. the husband is part of this running club where they have regular running events, and they have small fun runs, and longer runs for the more serious runner.

5. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 12:21 am :: 
Pam: Ah but you just can't sukah sukah organised an impromptu walk and start to raise funds.

You need something with a critical mass, a platform with a general audience i.e. you need an event.

6. Pam left...
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 7:31 pm
well, i think at this rate, we'll need to start small-small. don't you think?

7. JayWalk left...
Friday, 1 December 2006 1:06 am :: 
Pam: Yes and No. Yes, we need to start small as far as managing headcount, finances and logistics. No, we need to latch onto a big event for leverage.

27 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - What It Means To JayWalk

 Are Singaporeans a compassionate bunch?
Judging from the people's response to recent tragedies like the Indonesian tsunami, the MRT suicides, the murder of Huang Na as well as our consistent pouring of contributions during the NKF Show, Ren Ci Charity Show and The President's Star Charity over the years, I would have to say...

 .... yes and no.

Singapore Charities are very fortunate to be in a country where the society is relatively affluent. Problem is that it seems that money is all we are giving. Face it, since our country's independence, our Gahmen has done an excellent job bringing prosperity to this little island that was once totally dependent on our northern brothers for survival. Ask any Ah Peks, who were around to witness Singapore grow from her infancy, what they thought of the Gahmen and they will most definitely give you the thumbs up both from the hands and their feet.

In fact, Singapore has been so well taken care of all these years, that the people take it for granted that  there will always be that "somebody else" to settle whatever problem that may arise. All it takes to locate this particular "somebody else" is money.

Fresh drinking water? We pay our PUB bills and we have it. Garbage disposal? We pay our utilities bills and they will mysteriously disappear after going down the chute. Same goes with our attitude towards our fellow brothers and sisters, who are under less fortunate circumstances. Kidney problem? Donate money and everything will be all taken care of. Orphans? Donate money and a roof of shelter will magically appear over their heads.

Question is, how do we really know if our money flows to the correct places via the correct channels? Worse, do we bother to find out? Worst, are we even remotely interested to want to bother to find out?

Can you see where I am going with this?

Perhaps one of our society's biggest problem is apathy. Bor chup in local speak. We end up with people going asking...

"Why me?"
"Can't someone else do it?"
"I got donate money what?!"

The sad part about this is that money, that was originally meant to be tokens of kindness to help others, has been transformed into a currency that allow us to buy our way out of guilt.

Now, before I start to get hate-mails and death threats, let me say this. NOT ALL Singaporeans are like that. I have personally known friends and family who are actively doing something for our community. Active blood donors, bone marrow drive campaigners, volunteers in various children projects, church ministries etc. And let us not forget our Superfriends in the RunForFunds project as well.

What I am saying is that, there aren't enough of us giving back to society and the rest of us most certainly aren't doing enough.

It is time to get up and do something about it.

RunForFunds is 5 years old already and this would be my 3rd year with this project albeit missing a huge chunk of it in the first year due to miscommunication.

I have been active in community service since young. I was in St John Ambulance Brigade from school right through to my army days, providing First Aid coverage for the school and the community that required our services. After graduating from secondary school, I stayed on to teach my St John juniors from my alma matta as well as other schools in the district. I could have continued further had it not been the fact that my Uni class schedule clashed with their timetables.

As pretty a picture I may have painted earlier, I am not without sin. I too was one of those who donate money to lessen my guilt of not doing enough for the community in my later years.

It is time to get up and do something about it.

Of late, the grumbles against the Gahmen for not doing enough for the people have been getting louder and louder. Seriously, I question if the people seriously think that our Gahmen is doing a bad job? 34% of the population seems to think so.

My question to them, is if there is a better alternative? The way I see it, the way forward for this country is to have the people work hand-in-hand with the Gahmen. Wherever the Gahmen falls short, the people should find a way to pick up the slack and that includes yanking down poor performers in our Gahmen and giving him/her a slap upside the head.

From my perspective, RunForFunds is not us going "Hey! Look at us! We are here to expose the Gahmen's incompetency by plugging hole that the Gahmen couldn't." Instead, our message to everybody is "Hey! Look at us! The Gahmen is covering the big holes and we are covering the smaller ones."

The people and the Gahmen should work in tandem.

Problem is that there are people in the Gahmen right now whose head is so high up in the clouds that they are disconnected with the ground. Minor problem if you ask me. It is only a matter of time before the people exercise their powers and replace them with candidates more worthy of representing us.

Remember. The Gahmen works for us. Not the other way round.

And speaking of working in tandem, it's the old cliché of "taking two hands to clap". On one hand, we have people that need help. On the other hand, you need to ask if they are helping themselves in the first place?

WSM's blast on the "slackers" are not without truth entirely. Her only and critical error was to blanket all of them to be lazy slackers when in fact some of them were genuinely in need of our assistance.

As many people who are in need of help that I have met, I have unfortunately, also met an equal number of able-bodied people who just sit around expecting a free handout. The analogy would be that of the emergency ward in a hospital where they are the ones who are running up and down the corridors, screaming the loudest.

In my line of work when I was in Singapore, I've worked with people of the lower income bracket. Majid was a family of 5, surviving on two 3-figure salary. Papa and Mama worked, while aging Grandma took care of the 2 kids. It really broke my heart when my storeman came to me one day many years back that he had to choose between paying overdue PUB bills or his kids' textbook for the new school year. I did lend him the money to tide him over. It wasn't a lot but I handed the money only after I got him to lay out his plan of repayment in front of me.

Majid and I worked out a repayment plan and I scheduled more overtime assignments for him to bring in more cash. It took him 9 months to repay my money in full. The sum? A modest $900.00

Call me a businessman for I will not give anything for zero return. There must be some benefit arising from my investment even if I may not be the beneficiary at the end of the day. Bottom line is some good must come out from it.

Coming back to RunForFunds, I do recognise that we are a very very small entity and that our achievements (if you can call it that) are really insignificant relative to the total number of problems out there facing us and needing help.

Let me quote NBA star Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I don't think one guy can do what needs to be done, but I think one guy can help."
"It takes a collective effort."

That pretty much sums up what RunForFunds is all about. Our efforts are two pronged. One is to help, within our resources, those who need our assistance. The other is to hope to inspire other people to start their own projects and be part of this "collective effort".
It is time to get up and do something about it.

- Voxeros

1. Pam left...
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 11:16 pm
it is time to get off our backsides and do something. i think one problem with some Singaporeans in Singapore is that they feel 'pai seh' to do something... maybe? actually ah, it's not just a Singaporean thing... most people will feel 'embarrassed' (pai seh, as opposed to 'malu')...but hey, that feeling only lasts like 5 minutes?!

2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 12:19 am :: 
Pam: I believe feeling embarrassed is just a small part of it. As I have said earlier, I think the bigger stumbling block is that of inertia, self-centeredness and materialistic distraction.

26 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - RFF Week Prelude

As some of you are aware, I am about to embark on a RunForFunds Week tomorrow. This year's theme will be a series of what this project meant to some of us.

A request to my friends, supporters and well wishers. If it is not too much trouble, perhaps if I may humble ask for our week's write up to be mirrored on your blog as well? The main reason for this is to create as many points of access as possible, in our efforts to create awareness.

Let me know who you are if you are agreeable, so that I can thank you personally.


- Voxeros 

Run For Funds 2006 - Closing Accounts For 2006

Before I kick off the RunForFunds week proper, I would like to mirror this update on my blog

RFF Update (Nov 06): Closing accounts for 2006

aL <> Sun, Nov 26, 2006 at 7:44 PM

Hi all, (click here to access blogsite:

In my previous update, I shared that Run For Funds (RFF) will not be raising funds from the 2006 Standard Chartered  Marathon.

The purpose of this email is to:

  • Explain the reasons why RFF is not raising funds this year.
  • Close the accounts for 2006
  • Bring great news: EDB RFF chapter has spun off and raised >$45k for 2 welfare homes.
  • Share what's new in 2007

1. Why RFF is not raising funds in 2006

Let's remind ourselves of the basis of funds disbursement.

RFF funds are released to help the needy:

a.  When the need is assessed to be genuine after due diligence.

b.  When it has been confirmed that the welfare system in Singapore is not able to assist (or further assist) the person / family / organisation in need.

c.  At the point of need and is backed up by receipts / verified expense statements.

In 2006, Julian (the co-ordinator of the EDB RFF chapter) and I spoke with various welfare and non-profit organisations.
We explored how RFF can assist them to better help those in need.

For each case, we required the organisation to give us a written justification on why there was a need, how the funds will be used and provide at least 3 quotations from vendors if they were procuring items.

While we were greeted warmly each time, the follow-up from the people in charge was at best tardy which subsequently degenerated to non-response.

It is ludicrous for a donor to be chasing the recipient organisation for documents to support the donation, don't you think?
If they were really in need, wouldn't they have gone all out to give the info we needed?

This fails criterion (a)

My gut feel is that, with the NKF fall-out, Singaporeans are donating the "ex-NKF funds" to other welfare organisations.

With an unexpected surge of income, perhaps these welfare organisations don't see the need to work as hard to raise funds.

I had also planned to fund the medical expenses of 2 children: Tory (baby with hole in the heart who needed approx. $20k) and SL Ee (8 yr old with leukemia who needed approx. $20k).

Ee died from complications in Sept 06 before his bone marrow transplant.

His family was distraught.

Finding a bone donor match outside the family is like finding a needle in a haystack.

But it came too late.

My prayers are with this family in Geylang.

As for baby Tory, I decided to cancel my plans for RFF assistance for his surgery in end 2006 (delayed from July 2006 due to medical procedural matters).  

I am not able to ascertain whether the case is genuine after 3 months of due diligence.

The baby's condition is real and his uncle (Ong) seemed like a genuine guy.

However, each time I requested to visit Tory's home in Batam, my request was turned down.

Ong became extremely evasive.

It reached a point that I threatened to report Ong to the police for being a hoax, raising public sympathy for personal gains.

Ong finally admitted that the reason why Tory's parents didn't want me to visit their home was because "they didn't want to be seen begging for money and didn't want to be disturbed."

My take is simple.

If I'm a parent and I don't have money to save my son's life, I will go down on my knees and beg.

Tory's parents obviously had other ideas or could raise money via other means.

Circumstances became dubious.

Hence failed criterion (a)

There were other cases like Tory that I came across this year.

Hence no funds were disbursed for these people.

These are the black sheep but I can assure you that there are many genuine cases out there that need our help.

My conclusion is that we just need to be more discerning when it comes to providing financial assistance.

As a result, we will be carrying over S$53k of funds to 2007.

In 2007, monies will go to:

a. Funding Maximise Your Potential Programmes and Pocket Money Funds at Geylang Methodist Primary and Secondary Schools and possibility other schools.

b.  Cases of families, welfare organisations in REAL need.

2.  Closing accounts

Funds in
Carryover from 2005: S$ 7439.95 ………… (a)
Funds raised by RFF Superfriends from SC Marathon 2005: S$ 23,976.00 ….. (b)
Funds raised by RFF EDB Chapter from SC Marathon 2005: S$ 16,160.59 ….. (c)
Extra tax credits from RFF donations in 2004: S$1,851 …… **(d)
Tax credits from RFF donations in 2005: S$4,732……….. (e)

TOTAL IN: sum of (a) to (e) = S$54,159.54 ………. (f)

**(d): An estimate of $1,800 was used for tax credits received for RFF donations to public institutions in 2004.   The final confirmed credit is 3,651.   Hence $1,851 is added back to RFF funds this year.

Funds out
Expenses in 2006: S$1056.43 …………. (g)

Carry over to 2007: (f) – (g) = S$53,103.11

If you have queries on how the numbers are derived, pls give me a call or drop me an email.

3.  Standard Chartered Marathon on 3 rd Dec 2006

The EDB chapter of RFF has been spun off.

This year, the EDB RFF Superfriends started their own social concern movement.

With the support of EDB Society (Alumni), the EDB runners will be raising in excess of $45k for 2 welfare homes from this year's run. (They are now autonomous from RFF and will be in charge of funds raised in 2006).

This is SUPERB !!

This is in line with RFF's vision of creating awareness so others start something new to help those in need.

While the RFF Superfriends numbers have dwindled this year (esp when 2 have sustained shin stress fractures), we will be running for FUN, not FUNDS.

4.  What's new  in 2007

In 2007, my friends and I plan to structure assistance to the needy beyond their financial needs.

I've registered a new website www.leaving   …. ahem …. before President Nathan coined the phrase in his speech recently.

The portal will be used to share info on how people can help by providing a listening ear to an old folk and single parents, mentoring kids on the fringe and helping bright but needy kids excel via tuitions schemes.

I'll have to give this more thought before it is executed.

5.  Final thoughts

I thank you for your support for RFF in the past 5 years.

I look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary with you all.

Oh, those of you who have received your RFF t-shirts, pls wear them on 3rd Dec and encourage your friends to start a social movement of their own.

Lagi better, wear the t-shirt, come to the end point @ City Hall to meet me lah….
I should be there at 11.20am (after 5h 20 min) sun-burnt from my slow 42km run.

 - Voxeros

24 November 2006

Run For Funds 2006 - November Update

Well, it's the time of the year again where I will be blogging the whole week (starting 27 Nov 2006) about the RunForFunds Project leading up to the grand finale i.e. the Standard Chartered Marathon.

We will be going low key as far as fund raising is concerned since we still have money to last us for another year from last year's bumper. It goes further to show that we only raise money that we need and not have a fund raiser just for the sake of raising funds.

Anyway, our objective for this coming week is just to create awareness of this project and as usual, we hope that our work would inspire others to start their own projects.

So let me kick off this week with the November update and then we will go on to share our thoughts of what the RunForFunds Project mean to us.


Hi folks,

The Standard Chartered Marathon takes place on 3rd Dec (Sunday).

Unlike past years, my Superfriends and I will not be raising funds this year.
We have sufficient funds to roll over to 2007.
I will provide the reasons and the closing accounts for 2006 in a separate email.

This year, my friends and I will be running publicity in the blogsphere to raise awareness that each of us can make a difference to the under privileged.
Details will follow.

3rd Dec also marks the 5th anniversary of the Run For Funds (RFF) movement. 

To celebrate and thank Superfriends as well as sponsors for your support in the past 5 years, you'll be receiving your eye-catching, one-of-a-kind, bright orange (!)  RFF t-shirt.

Note 1: The monies for these t-shirts did not come from RFF funds as they are sponsored.

Note 2: I'd like to thank Patrick Lee for designing the t-shirt and Mark Sum for printing the t-shirts @ cost.

I hope the RFF t-shirts will serve as reminders that we all can do our own small part to effect positive changes in the lives of others.

I will leave you with this thought: How can you make a difference to someone in your life today?



- Voxeros

1. Pam left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 6:14 pm
have any of you read 'the tipping point' by Malcolm Gladwell? You should - it talks about how the many can make a difference.

2. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 25 November 2006 2:12 am ::
Pam: I am aware of this book but haven't gotten round to it. I've got quite a backlog of reading to cover but I will get to this book eventually. :(

3. akk left...
Saturday, 25 November 2006 9:44 am
tommorrowed liao....

4. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 25 November 2006 1:59 pm ::
Akk: Oh good. Let's hope we can get the message out to as many people as we can.
Perhaps now is the time we stop expecting the Gahmen to do everything for us. It's time to take matters into our own hands and do them. By the next election, whichever candidate that we have collectively made redundant, it would be time for them to leave and let someone else more useful step up to the plate.

5. Paddy Tan left...
Sunday, 26 November 2006 1:10 pm ::
Hey man, saw your this post being 'tomorrowed'. You are doing good on this deed! :)
I hope it is not too late, but can post your link to Runs by a few of us spuggers too.

6. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 26 November 2006 8:46 pm :
Hi Paddy: Thanks for the support!
"Post your link" --> Do you mean for me to post an ad over at your place to publicise RFF? What do I need to do?

23 November 2006

Good Service vs Great Service

Saw this article in TodayOnline and the news of our lowly ranking as far as Customer Service is concerned doesn't surprise me. While it has to be said that the "Ugly Singaporean" customer too have to shoulder a portion of this predicament, the main bulk of it nevertheless, still fall on the side of the service provider.

That is not to say that our customer service standard is really that bad but merely more of a fact that we can do better when we have the potential but we have not done so.

A big part of it is due to the lack of empowerment that top management entrust to the front line. Front line customer service provider only serves up to what is required of them but never above and beyond. Hence, back to my earlier topic of The Sitting Duck vs The Soaring Eagle. There are 2 rationale for this. First, the "don't-be-a-hero" mentality prevails heavily in their mind. The fear of repercussion as a result of being looked upon by management as being a "smart alec" or "geh kiang" in local speak. The second is the fear of taking up "unnecessary" responsibility. How often do we encounter customer service personnel getting all defensive and clammed up when all we did were merely just asking for their names?

Following this train of thought and it eventually led me to thinking about Singapore Airlines vs Cathay Pacific. Both are excellent airlines but instead of doing the patriotic thing and support my own national carrier, my heart goes to Cathay Pacific.

There is a difference between good service and great service.

On the whole, I can't fault Singapore Airlines for they are an excellent carrier, collection top accolades year in, year out. The service staff are very professional and of very high standards. But behind that smile, I couldn't help but feel the coldness behind the facade. It seemed fake and plastic. It is really sad that when you are at the receiving end of a service with a smile, you doubt if that genuinely came from the heart?

With Cathay Pacific, there's never a doubt. You feel happy just to come aboard. The warmth of the friendliness transcends throughout the cabin regardless if you are in First, Business or cattle class. Sure there will be those who would totally disagree with me but it is nonetheless how I feel all these years of traveling.


As a Singaporean, I do wish for Singapore Airlines to do our country proud. However, unless we can turn on the warmth inside the Singapore Girl, we shall unfortunately remain only a good airline. Not a great one.

Image Credit:;

- Voxeros

1. sunflower left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 1:45 pm
I am surprise LSS said tat! ha =.=""

2. akk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 2:49 pm
*snigger* yup, go warm up the S1ngapore G1rl.....

3. Pam left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 6:51 pm
I don't think it's specific to singaporean customer service providers to be fair, but since we're talking about singapore in this context, then I'll have to agree with you. Having said that, when you talk to SIA customer services on land-side in the UK, they are usually fine (then again, they tend to be the 'locals', ie, the 'angmohs/non singaporeans'). I've not flown SIA for a while now, mostly because I've not been home - the last few flights I've taken have been European carriers, and I must say, they are really improving.

4. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 6:58 pm ::
Sunflower: It's hard to ignore it when it is stark in front of you. Deny it would have made him look foolish.

AKK: Nah... I think I'll pass. Not too thrilled with the idea of having melted plastic on my skin.

5. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 7:02 pm ::
Pam: In my context, I refer to the local Singapore staff that render the various services. Again, I would have to say that not all are bad, I have come across certain gems along the way. Equally, I have also encountered some of the worst customer services in countries that were supposedly known to have high customer service standards.

6. Sheena left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 1:57 am
I agree that Cathay Pacific is much better service-wise. Food-wise, Singapore Airlines wins hands down though. But for the level of service Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Thai Airways top my list. I'd take these 3 any day over SG Airlines.

7. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 9:01 am ::
Sheena: Personally, I don't care about airline food coz with the pressurized cabin, your taste buds are pretty much shot anyway. Just as long as they are not rubber bands served in the guise of yee foo noodles, by Ch1na Airlines can already.

Even if SQ and CX are identically on par with each other, I would still choose CX for the prior is just too expensive.

8. Meepoktah Maihiam left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 2:22 pm
I'm coming to the rescue of SQ. Guys, SQ service is good. I've flown all airlines whether in economy or biz class and have also found SQ to be tops. 2 things I'd take note if I were SQ CEO to ward off competition:

1. Service of other airlines catching up fast. Really fast. Asiana (Korean) for instance is solid.

2. SQ gals getter shorter and uglier. Asiana's Korean stewardesses are model grade. Damn friendly some more.

Today, If I don't follow the directions of my loins (which means I'll choose Asiana anytime), my loyalties are still with SQ. Gimme 5 years, the converse may be true.

9. Meepoktah Maihiam left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 2:24 pm
Forgot to add. I don't care if SQ smiles are genuine or fake. Just give me my gin and tonic fast, smiling.

10. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 November 2006 5:10 pm :: 
Meepok: You can afford to be loyal to SQ because your air ticket charge to Ah Gong siao one. 

Folks like me are always on the lookout for best value for money of which SQ is not, unfortunately.

22 November 2006

The Amazing Vietnam Motorbikes

Got these in an email from cousin Nick. There are pictures of motorbikes in Vietnam and their various uses. Having been to Vietnam myself, I can personally vouch that the pictures are very real in Vietnamese everyday life.

My own personal experience was seeing a motorbike delivering a full sized fridge balanced precariously in pillion. That one really ultimate. Too bad, I didn't have my digital camera with me back then or my picture would have trumped all of the following below.
Nevertheless, still a very amusing set of photos.


- Voxeros

1. v_icks left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 7:58 pm ::
The pipe one looked a lot like a battering ram... Haha great pictures!

2. sunflower left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 12:17 am
Hubby said he oso saw something like tat in Vietnam too!

3. ris left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 12:05 pm
wah, how do they even balance?! the ducks look kinda confused though

4. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 3:50 pm ::
V_icks: Yah man... you won't find me messing with this guy!

sunflower: Really wasted, I didn't take picture of the motorbike balancing the full size fridge when I was there in Oct 2005.

RIS: Balance carefully lor, Left side weight equal right side weight lor. I heart pain the suspension system though. Confirm spoil liao.

21 November 2006

Goo Goo Gaa Gaa Gabriel

First, we have Gabe taking his first step and now he is climbing all over the place. We are eagerly waiting for him to utter his first word, which we think is very soon now.

He has started to develop the ability to express his anger and frustration, From the usual "WAH WAH WAH" to frantically rubbing his head like the Three Stooges, to trying to beat you with his fists and finally the ultimate See Gao Nuah Ter*, rolling all over the floor. A bit like Homer Simpson lah.

* (狗烂猪)  

Anyway, I was thinking that once Gabe can speak, I will teach him some of the classic phrases.

Below are my top 5 favourite things to teach Gabe to speak.

No.5 - Papa & Mama (of course).
No.4 - Thank you & Please.
No.3 - 小姐,一个人啊?要不要做朋友?
No.2 - Chiobu! Ai giah stay-dee mai?

and the No.1 thing I will teach Gabe is....

*drum roll*

Press Ctrl-A to highlight the answer....
 大。。。。 象。。      大。。。。 象。。
 - Voxeros

1. Sheena left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 1:52 am
Wah lau what kind of a daddy are you? You forgot to teach him "Ai zo wo eh siao-eh mai?"!!!
Anyway, he's grown so big and cute! And to think the last time I saw him he was a lil' 3-month old baby. Damn... time flies. He looks a lot like his mommy. Though on first glance my first thought was that he looks exactly like you, but the more I look at him the more he looks like your wifey.

2. sunflower left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 9:01 am
Ha, I tht F*ck, NB, KNN, etc should be in you list, No?
Anyway, I think otherwise from Sheena.
I think he looks like you. Maybe she is right, since I only have pic impression of you and your wifey. So I think Gabriel looks like you.
But for sure, he dont have baby look liao. I suspect, tat will be his look in the future. And I think he is already very handsome. A potential woman killer in the future.

3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 9:17 am ::
Sheena: Harlow, "ai zo wah eh siao-eh mai?" is for girl one lah.... How can guy use this phrase? You call a girl siao-eh, confirm tio mao one.

Sunflower: Those words too easy lah... he can go learn on his won. My No.5 and No.4 is compulsory learning. The rest are the classics ok! Next time Gabe hor, grow up to be Cultured Beng to hoot the Elite Scholars ok!

4. Jaslyn left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 11:51 am ::
Gabe soo cute! I wonder why u wanna teach him how to say da-xiang.. Hhahaha... Must teach him singing and dancing, next time become idol! Hahahah

5. Sheena left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 5:55 pm
Hah? For girl only ah? Nabeh I even sought advice from the Ah Seng of all Ah Sengs, Andy. He told me this was THE Ah Beng phrase.

6. Jaschocolate left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 9:38 am
I am at loss with your number 1 choice... Teach him the cockroach song lah.. easier to memorise.. kan zhe zhang lan wo bu pai bu pai la.. :p

7. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 10:10 am :: 
Jaschocolate: What can be more difficult than 大象.... 大象... ?

8. spinnee left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 10:14 am ::
hahahaha u want to make your gab into XIAOXIN? :)
yandao kia leh. :)

9. Meepoktah Maihiam left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 12:39 pm
Jay - I think you should teach Gabe to say "Eh, ai gar wa steady mai?"

10. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 12:42 pm :: 
Meepoktah: I'm way ahead of you on this one. That's my No.2.

11. ris left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 6:01 pm
gabriel looks so handsome! but why teach him 大。。。。 象?

12. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 8:03 pm ::
RIS: Before I answer that, I need to know if you have ever watched the cartoon 蜡笔小新?

13. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 9:31 am :: 
RIS: Here's an episode of 蜡笔小新. Hope that will shed some light. /watch?v=IsgqnHejP7E

14. ris left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 11:55 am
HAHAHAHA! ok, i get it now xD wait next time he kenna arrested for indecent exposure ah!

15. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 November 2006 8:37 pm ::
RIS: Hur hur hur...... do a search for it on youtube. There are many episodes available online.

20 November 2006

Allo! Allo!

Mornings are my busiest time of the day and a big chunk of it is spent on the phone, be it my mobile or my Skype. Morning is the time where I can catch the US West Coast folks before they go home for the day, US East Coast folks before they go to bed and Australia before they go for lunch. That is on top of the fact that it is the start of the day back here.

It can be so busy that I may end up with people on both lines at the same time. It is extremely frustrating to have a phone ringing incessantly while you are on Skype and vice versa. Throw in my desk phone and we have a real circus going on. Don't even get me started with people coming into my office asking for this, asking for that. *Throws arms in the air*

As some of you are aware, it has been a crazy period of time for me right now. Severe bottlenecks causing a huge backlog of work for me. Be it quotations, submissions, sample productions, pre-production cutting, costing, etc. I have fallen behind in every aspect. The volume of work is just too overwhelming. There is nothing I can do but just keep plugging at it one at a time until the last one is taken care of.

I think I should be able to have everything sewn up by the first week of December. Hopefully by then, I would be ready to go home for a well deserved rest.

Anyway just this morning, in the midst of my numerous phone calls, I picked up my mobile phone and dial a customer in Spitland.

I could see from the screen of my mobile phone that the call went through. Strangely, I didn't hear any ring tone.

"Hello?" I spoke, thinking that customer must have had picked up the phone at the first ring and as such, no ring tone on my side.


"Hello?" I asked again. Still no response and the screen on the phone indicated that the call ended.

Hmm.... maybe it was a bad connection and I didn't suspect anything amiss initially given that it is a very common thing in Spitland.

The whole scenario must be replayed itself a few more times before I thought perhaps it was my bluetooth connection between the phone and the earpiece acting up. So I went ahead and did the usual troubleshooting of disconnecting and reconnecting, un-pairing and re-pairing.

I tried again and still the same thing.

I was getting myself very flustered until I saw a little blue light flashing at the corner of my desk.

It was my bluetooth earpiece. I had the wrong earpiece (the Skype one) in my ear all this while...
...Silly me.

- Voxeros

1. heather left...
Monday, 20 November 2006 4:15 pm ::
ahahaha, you very goondu leh!! :P

2. Gary left...
Monday, 20 November 2006 7:04 pm
jay.. this topic seem very related when you talk to me using Skype.. lol.. your voice so american-ish.. too bad i dont have mic.. if not i would have lol through your ears..

3. JayWalk left...
Monday, 20 November 2006 9:35 pm :: 
Heather: Aiyah... busy up to eyeballs mah....

Gary: Well, all my customers are Americans and I guess some of their accent rubbed off on me.

4. Everton left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 8:45 am
Gumbatte! Jia You! Hard work will eventually pay off! I am rooting for you from Southern Texas. P.S. I like the photos of Faith and Gabriel.

5. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 9:53 am :: 
Everton: Thanks for the pom pom wave. It is damn tough right now.

17 November 2006

Sunflower's Hor Kai Siao

 I was chatting with Sunflower earlier when she mentioned that Yahoo Messenger now got a chat (as in IRC type chatroom) feature. It was something that I was unaware of, given that I am a Trillian Pro user to chat with friends on Yahoo & MSN and as such, not really in tune with the bells and whistles that the present version of Yahoo has to offer. I guessed much has changed from the early versions of Yahoo to what it is now.

Essentially, what this chat feature does is to allow you, with the same exisiting account log in, to access IRC-like chat rooms.

Anyway, Sunflower was saying how people in there were so desperate and I simply assumed she was referring to all the guys in there seeking young maiden prey.

It's been ages since I last touched IRC (10 years?). Feeling a pang of nostalgia and I decided to go in and check out the present scene.

Here's some background information to describe how IRC was in the early days, in order for you to see the contrast with my encounter today. I was a regular in channel #Singapore on GalaxyNet back then. In #Singapore,  there will always be people in there busy chatting in the open area. On weekend nights, it can have as many as 40 people chatting together. To join in is quite simple. Just get in, read the ongoing conversation for a few minutes to figure what's going on and then jump in. Easier if you are a recognised regular there.

Anyway, as I entered this Yahoo chatroom for the first time, I naturally made a beeline for the room that says "Singapore Global Chat" and pick the one with the biggest number of people in it. Thinking that it would still be like how I left it years ago, I was wrong.

There was nothing in there. Not even a squeak.

It was quiet like a library, closed on public holiday.
Just when I was about to log off, a small window popped up. It was a private chat with a "Hi!" and "ASL, please."

"ASL"? Simi lai eh?

Not wanting to appear like a bladdy swakoo, I quickly jumped over the wikipedia and check.

ASL =  Age, Sex, Location.

Orhhh...... aiyah.... say earlier mah.... basket. I thought what.
Not wanting to chat since I was on the way out, I put "35, Male, Ch1na", thinking if my age don't turn them away, my location would. After all, in IRC era, anything above 30 is past expiry date liao and Ch1namen aren't exactly getting very good press back home.

As I was drafting a polite exit farewell to click send, she typed again.

"Do you know Hindi?"

I was like "WHAT???", in my mind when I typed, "Er.... you mean Tamil?"

"No, Hindi is different from Tamil." She typed.

"Not to me." I replied.

A few more lines were exchanged and I noticed that her English wasn't very good. Ah Lian standard also win her type and I asked for her ASL (staydee lah... I also know how to say ASL!)

"24, Female, India"

No wonder. English funny funny.

"Would you like to start friendship with me?" She asked.

To me that the equivalent of my "小姐, 要不要做朋友?" when I kachow my female friends. Karma came knocking today and it was 报应 at the door.

I was like "errrr......... ahhhh........ errrrrr........ ahhhhh........" when she typed again.

"Let me call you.", referring to the voice chat function of Yahoo Messenger.

Aiyoh..... lim peh panic liao!!!

"Wait. Wait. Let me reboot my computer." and I hastily logged off.

iShy lah.

 IRC and messengers used to be separate entities but this Yahoo thing has integrated both together. So after my exit from the chat room, I remained online as I screaming bladdy panic at LittleDowager*.

Guess what?

I keep getting messages from her on my Yahoo Messenger, despite the fact that I am no longer in the chat room.

Apparently both Yahoo Chat and Yahoo Messenger uses the same userid and she could simply message me by just sending to me userid.


I ignored the message and put her on "Block". 5 minutes later, another message popped up. She used a another account to message me since I blocked her previous one. So I "Block" again.

Another 5 minutes later, another message from another account.  In a span of an hour, I blocked 5 accounts from the same person. Wah lau eh... Lim peh tio scared!!

Well, then messages have subsided for now.

Time to lay low over the next few days. I shall put myself on invisible for a week to let the smoke blow over. Message me on MSN instead or just try your luck sending me a message while I am on invisible mode.

Thanks ah! Sunflower. Hor kai siao..... -_-"

p.s. Eh Deek, what was the phrase that you used that tickled the Indian carpark auntie so much? Tan-Kar-Chi? 

Image Credit:;
- Voxeros

1. sunflower left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 12:54 am
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.....
Good man, i make you so ATTRACTIVE, young and feel wanted again, not good.
Nowsaday, ppl in chatroom so desperate.... everyone is looking for no spring relationship..... very KNS....
Anyway, Jay, isnt it is a good experience..... back to the old days.....
*laugh till tears come out from my eye*

2. sunflower left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 1:00 am
oh ya, who ask you to "bully" the xmm...this is one of your karma...

3. hiaoaunty left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 1:39 am
jaywalk kena stalked by hindi girl liao!!!! wah very fun!!!! i wan to try yahoo chat too...

4. akk left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 8:41 am
perhaps she is anti-vice/anti-pedophile group trying to weed out the bad guys....ur 35/M/ch1na is too good to pass up for inspection.

5. JayWalk left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 9:10 am ::
sunflower: Sheesh.... it's a pity to see how a friendly chat platform and degenerated into a sleazy pickup joint.
Eh. You like having a LOT of fun at my expense hor? >.<
tmd..... Grrrr.... -.-

hiaoaunty: Can you see me running for my life around the coconut tree??
Take my word for it. Don't go there. You are playing with fire. Confirm tio burn one. Chatting with me would be a safer option for ya.

6. yanzzz left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 9:34 am
wahaha , not bad at ur CURRENT age still got gals wann STALK u ..feel proud ba.. but oso not bad.. INTERNATIONAL leh .. even hindi oso su ka .. sunflower , u forgotten the long distance run at the beach ~ not just coconut le~ .. o ya background DANCERS too..

7. sunflower left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 11:17 am
Jay, i swear, tat wasn't my intention to make fun of you. But well, I guess 35-40 man is very very attractive to woman. ha... as what AKK said, you have passed the inspection!!! hooray!!!
Yanzzz, ya i cant imagine Jay running around coconut tree and on the beach with dancers on the background!!! woooo tat will be interesting isn't it!!!

8. hitomi left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 11:20 am
HAHAHAHA!!! can imagine u panicking like siao...

9. JayWalk left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 11:50 am ::
Akk: Paedophile your head lah!!! That char bor is 24 liao hor!

Yanzzz: Simi CURRENT age??!!! *BISH*
Ask anyone of the people here. I is 25 ok!
Shit man.... that bladdy visual of the beach, trees and dancers..... arrrggghhh.....

Sunflower: I supposed you are right about the appeal of a guy in his 30s, though targeting a different segment, I supposed.

10. yanZzz left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 3:38 pm
woo hooo!! the dancing coconut and the beach dancers .. need any Hawaii gals ? althougth its out of the picture..
guys 33 - 40 more "man smell" but think u got too much hindi smell tat attract her... and the blocking .. =p

11. Pam left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 8:07 pm
oh dear....... i'm not sure whether it's a laugh or cry situation dude...:))

12. JayWalk left...
Friday, 17 November 2006 8:28 pm ::
Yanzzz: Harlow! Bollywood mana Hawaiian girls? Sigh, this one geography fail one.....
Hindi smell your head lah. I smell very good ok!

Pam: How about laugh until cry? T_T

13. heather left...
Saturday, 18 November 2006 1:31 am
LOL!! why not? make friend lah! muahahaha..

14. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 18 November 2006 9:36 am ::
Heather: iShy. You should have been there when the chat was going on. Damn aggressively hiong man... like 2 weeks never eat. Piangz. iScared.

15. Deek left...
Saturday, 18 November 2006 7:19 pm

16. spinnee left...
Saturday, 18 November 2006 11:39 pm
I also thought IRC has been phased out, but it became worse, i heard.
apparently it's all about cyber-sXX.... ;)
it's for losers ANYWAYsssssssssss
hi from TW!

17. kelawarkilat left...
Sunday, 19 November 2006 3:28 am
I think this kind of thing only happen to you leh... wakakakakaka...

18. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 19 November 2006 10:08 am ::
Deek: Wah raoz.... no FBI lah..... *shudders*

Spinnee: I think IRC is still around except that it no longer popular when there are instant messengers, forums, etc...
How's TW?

Kelawar: I am glad I am the source of your entertainment... grrr.... >.<

19. V_icks left...
Sunday, 19 November 2006 2:23 pm ::
haha wah jaywalk tio harass.. go to to see all the IRC quotes. Super funny.

20. nadnut left...
Monday, 20 November 2006 9:36 am
ASL pls.

21. JayWalk left...
Monday, 20 November 2006 12:33 pm ::
V_icks: Yeah, I've been to quite a number of times. Quite funny. You dun laugh at me so soon. Your turn will come one...

Nadnut: The funny thing was the at first I thot she asking if I was on ADSL. I was about to reply if she was using "Cable Modem"? Fortunately, I saved myself from geeky embarrassment in the nick of time.