Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Goodbye Uncle Bentong

I was saddened to receive a text message 2 days ago about the death of a good church member, 87 year old uncle Bentong as he was affectionately referred to by many younger church members, relatives and friends. The honor of being so addressed belong to someone who has impacted the lives of those he associated with, from his early days as a teacher, headmaster, then upon joining the same church we belong to, rose to take up important positions that reflected his spiritual maturity and impartiality. He was freely offering good feedbacks and advices to church leaders on how to care for the elderly members for by nature he was a caring and concerned person, which explains his involvement in social work for the handicapped people in Negeri Sembilan.

When I was the chairman of the church executive committee and uncle Bentong was an honorary steward (he was then past 70 years of age) he contributed at all meetings he attended. He was a strong advocate for running the church with compassion and would make sure the pastors know about this. For his wisdom and love for the church he earned the respect of many people, I myself included, for I give respect sparingly and only to those who deserve it, and uncle Bentong is one such person.

Uncle Bentong's health started deteriorating some 3-4 years ago and began attending church less and less regularly. BUT he made sure every first Sunday of the month he would faithfully show up with his dear wife with his only son, Stephen, making sure his parents are comfortably seated near the rear end of the main sanctuary. And should I be at the entrance at the time of his arrival I'd greet him and hold his arm to help him walk to his seat. Uncle Bentong would always smile which was such a reward, as he appreciate tiny gestures, and he did, for he was someone who see small actions with great importance.

I have the privilege and joy to interview uncle Bentong in December 2009 in his home for publication in the Christmas edition of the church's newsletter, the Journey. I remember his great joy of waiting expectantly for my arrival and welcoming me and another church member Michael Goh into his simple but warm home in Taman England, Seremban. Over a simple afternoon tea prepared and served by his dear wife and companion uncle Bentong shared with us his past and his close walk with God. Before we end I asked for some pictures to be taken for remembrance and he gladly agreed. Uncle Bentong passed away on October 29 and was cremated today, October 31. The wake and funeral services were well attended by well-wishers. I'm sure if uncle Bentong can see from heaven he'll be pleased to know we all loved and missed him very much.









The 2 Tales of Forced Airport Closures

Recently the Kota Kinabalu Airport was shut down for almost 3 days due to failure of the runway landing lights which closed the airport for night landings. All flights were resumed on October 27. In this case the airport was closed due to human failures. KK airport is relatively small and its closures affected only some 6000 passengers on 51 flights.


Photo credit: http://tzywen.com

Soon after this incident the Hurricane Sandy struck the NE coast of the United States shutting down several major international airports, including the JFK and LaGuardia in Long Island, NY, Newark in New Jersey and Philadelphia international airport, with cancellation of over 10,000 flights and affecting hundreds of thousands of air travelers both domestic and international, disrupting travel plans and costing millions of unscheduled expenditures. These closures were caused by natural disaster and are of a scale a few hundred fold larger than the KK airport closure of similar duration.

These major airports are now scheduled to be reopened after the hurricane has swept by and heading northward into Canada.

There will certainly be an international uproar if the runway lights at JFK or LaGuardia have failed due to human failures and insurance compensations will be high. In this case the airport authorities are helpless and can be seem to do their best to bring order back to their flight operations. Aside from the inconvenience caused to the travelers the airlines will surely suffer major losses too.


Photo credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk


Photo credit: http://www.thefloridanewsjournal.com


Photo credit: http://www.nycaviation.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interested in Pinterest

It was a chance discovery that I started trying out Pinterest last week. The developer described their project as a virtual pinboard which allows user to organize and share all the beautiful things he/she finds on the web. You can browse boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

My Pinterest is listed in this blog. Check out the right panel. Hope you find it interesting and maybe you start one too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Over-Planning Parenthood

THIS is an interesting article written by a Singaporean girl on her thoughts about getting ready for marriage and starting a family, the preparations she and her husband-to-be must go through and have in place before saying 'I Do'. At the pace the cost of living outrace the dual income expected the chance of a marriage materialising appears dim. The problem is over managing a biological event and the cause of it is we no longer feel safe for our future. Perhaps we have become convinced that we must master our future in order to be successful and it comes with proper planning and results to show. I believe this approach is wrong and cause endless problems.

Firstly, we must admit that we are alive so we can procreate to keep the human race going. For the first time in our history we are now beginning to see population decline in the civilized and developed world. Better health care, lower infant mortality and higher standards of living assure longer life span while at the same time people wants to sacrifice less and enjoy more. In the equation of birth-life-death, people live longer and takes longer to die. Couples no longer see it is their responsibilities to have children, many are quite content to leave their wealth to foundations or charities after they go. For them, children are a choice and they may not need to rely upon them when they are old. Friendship can be found among their peers in nursing homes and dying is in the hands of paid professionals who are experts in burying the dead with an honorable homegoing party.

However, for a large segment of the human race, having children is almost mandatory, so like this writer, she wasn't discounting not having children, but having them later and fewer. To me it isn't the right decision. Just like waiting for Mr. Right to come along when you aren't sure who he is. So when is the right time to marry and have children?

Unless circumstances prevent you from marrying early, my advice is get married not later than 30, ideally between 25-28, and the men should be of the same age or a year or two older.

Assuming you marry at 26/28 (girl/boy) and start having children within 2 years, then you will become parents at 28/30. By the time you reach 50/52 your eldest child will be 22 and just about to enter the workplace, and you preparing for retirement in a few years. By then, your eldest child will be in courtship and also planning marriage. If you are lucky when you retire you will be elevated to grandparenthood and experience the joy of having babies to watch over. Admit it we all love to have grandchildren. I know of many friends my age and older without grandchildren now feeling loneliness. Either they marry late or their children don't plan to get married or marry in their mid to late 30s.

Many young people don't (or can't) marry because they keep looking for Mr. or Ms. Right and for every lost year the choices narrow tremendously. Some like this writer wants to be ready financially, but this is the wrong pathway. Financial readiness is a shifting post and the longer you defer settling down the more your body gets used to singlehood and then your brain starts telling you that getting married is going to be troublesome. If you have already spent 35 years living alone, why decide to spend another 35 with somebody? It may be a huge risk. As we get older I dare say we also get less romantic but more practical. Many bachelors and spinsters I know are happy where they are.

When you fall in love, don't wait for signs and approval. When you want to have babies, don't count your savings and think of education and climbing career ladders. When you hesitate and wait you allow yourself to be dictated by the unknowns and hence lose out the joy and challenges of become parents. There is no such thing as being ready to become (successful) parents. It is an illusion young people should avoid.



Picture credit: http://www.motherhood-cafe.com

Friday, October 26, 2012

Casio CTK 6000

Last weekend the family took a look at several electronic keyboards to buy one for Grace, our second granddaughter who at 5 years has just started her music course at the Yamaha Music School nearby our homes. Grace was particularly excited and the new keyboard was to complement the 33 year old upright piano which I bought for her mother to play. We have come a full circle and history is repeating.

We dropped by the Do Re Mi music shop in town and spoke with the proprietor, Michael, who knows us. After reviewing a few Casio models we settled on the CTK 6000 which has 61 keys (5 octave) but with the key responses similar to playing a piano but softer and lighter which is better suited to small fingers.

A few days ago I set up the Casio upon a computer table inside a room, making sure that the height is similar to that of the piano. Although the Casio comes with a free stand we decide not to use it yet as Grace little brother Andrew love to bump things all over the hall and we don't want the Casio to be hurt in any way.

Here's our latest member of the musical family.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bob Fitts Comes to Town

Last month on the 29th while worshipping at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church I spotted the announcement in the bulletin that Bob Fitts is coming to the church for the WorshipGod 2012 celebration in the church and that he will perform in a free concert on the evening of October 26. The name Bob Fitts triggered my memory to the 80s when I was touched by his spiritual songs and bought one of his cassettes which contained the song, Sacrifice, which is available on Youtube. Be blessed as you listen to Bob's smooth and kind voice.



My wife and I will make this trip to Petaling Jaya to experience the presence of God in the worship concert and service on October 28 in which Bob will lead in the praise session.

Post Concert Note:
About 1500 worshippers thronged the auditorium to watch Bob sing and take part in the worship experience. We went early with dinner packed to eat in the cafeteria so we can get good seats (we did). Bob was supported by a back up team comprising his wife, 3 worship leaders from the church and its band. Throughout the entire 90 minutes of praise singing, Bob sang of developing a faith relationship with God and asked us to sing to God to bless Malaysia and America. The audience was very responsive and spiritually high as we lifted hands to praise our Lord Jesus. The night was an uplifting experience. I was hoping Bob would singing one of my favorites, Sacrifice, but he didn't. Perhaps the song didn't fit in to the worship theme.

iPad 4 Didn't Roar

I was surprised that Apple decided to launch the upgraded iPad 4 2 days ago (just 7 months after the 3rd generation iPad more popularly called iPad 3) together with its new but expected iPad Mini. I am not particularly peeved by the iPad 4 which only boast of a faster processor and the new Lightning connector. Apple's website has this to say:

The new A6X chip inside iPad is up to twice as fast as the previous-generation A5X chip, and it delivers up to twice the graphics performance, without sacrificing battery life.

Part of every new iPad is the all-new Lightning connector. It’s 80 percent smaller than the 30-pin connector. And it features an all-digital, eight-signal design that’s significantly more durable. Another brilliant feature of Lightning: It’s reversible. Which means there’s no wrong way to plug in the cable.


As it stands both features are of no particular concern to me now, maybe only in 2 years time, as my iPad 3 is doing very well. My wishlist is to ask Apple, in the new iPad 5 or 6 to have the video recording to include a pause feature AND added button to capture still shots while simultaneously video recording an important moment. Recently at my grand daughter's kindergarten concert I was torn between taking a video or a still shot. Currently iPad 3 cannot do both. And it will be wonderfully great if both video and camera shooting can include zoom in features. Will it be too much to also ask for flash too? These will definitely make the new iPad roar when it is launched.

I'm happy to note that in iPad 4 using the Lightning connector the edge is less bevelled than iPad 3 which makes the connector easier to insert especially in the dark.



Compare to the iPad 3 30-pin connector here.



The iPad Mini was designed to try to capture a slice of the lucrative small tablet market share dominated by Samsung and Google. Here is a comparison of how the Mini stands up against the Nexus.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Search for the Perfect Health

It is natural to worry about health in our 60s. That's when symptoms of ill health start to show. To some they become evident at a younger age, which may means they stand to die younger or suffer more years before they go. It is too late to search for the elixir of perfect health, if there is one, at a senior age. We have damaged our bodies enough to make them unsuited for perfect health. Perhaps a better approach is to maximize whatever health we already have and live as long and fruitful life as we can. In response to a friend's enquiry on how to live a healthy life, although there are thousands of advices and resources on the Net, I've come up with my own list.

1. Accept that life is for living. Think positive. Nobody and no body is perfect, accept that yours is as best as you get with all its imperfections.
2. Help others, do good. Surprisingly research have shown those who help the poor and disadvantaged by offering financial and professional aids and serve as volunteers in charitable organizations are happier, more satisfied with life and have a greater sense of purpose and well being.
3. Smile and laugh more. In fact talking more is good as it means you are socializing more. People who are sociable tend to have a healthier outlook and expectation towards living. If one is bored then it will negatively affect one's health since he is likely to be idle and wasting his time.
4. Move a lot. Stand and walk as often as possible. We are created to stand more than sit. In fact we develop pouches because we sit too much. This is aggravated when we eat while sitting which make us eat more than necessary.
5. Eat slowly and chew your food. This is one of the most easily applied health tip that controls over eating. Research have shown people die faster from eating too much than too little, and most diseases are caused by over satisfying our desire for food. And eat a balanced diet. Forget about a meat-free or total vegetarian diet. We are created to be omnivorous.
6. Manage stress. Lucky if you have no stress. But if you have it, which covers 99% of the human race, you are not alone. Learn to control stress instead of letting it control you. Stress is mostly created through wrong or unreasonable expectations of self, spouse, colleagues or society in general. It is the devil that causes unhappiness, jealousy and quarrelsome relationship. Cultivate contentment and isolate from the temptation to compete and compare. Take frequent breaks, like going for holidays, to balance out stress and enjoy creation. Maybe to see how fortunate you are after all when you visit less developed societies than yours.
7. Be spiritually alive. The Bible says that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. This is because we are spiritual beings. When we are spiritually healthy we are giving our physical bodies the strong foundation to build our physical health. Our bodies will one day decay but our spirits live forever.
8. Live moderately. Eat anything and everything but not excessively. Our bodies are not machines that take punishment of over indulgence of too much fatty food, carbohydrate, even protein. Minimize synthetic food, eat and drink natural. Enjoy all things and be thankful to God for our state of health. Even in pain or inconvenience realize that we are finite beings here on earth and that perfect health exist only in the spiritual realms.
9. Don't be a health freak. Obsessive attention to special diet, designer lifestyle and over physical exertion can make living miserable and even stressful. Some of us are born with good genes, blessed with nice jobs in stress free environments and good families and stand a better chance to grow old healthily. Others struggle. In the end we all come to the same place, reclined and still. Accept what you are, don't envy or compare but be grateful that there are more people suffering from ill health below you than those above.

Some people live very long life, not by choice but by circumstances. In the following video clip note that these villagers live a near monastic life, in isolation from civilization but in healthy and natural environment. Their lives are very physical, there are no comforts, no sedentary work. Their bodies are always on the move, and their diet often basic and bland. They live long, very long. But you may want to ask the question at the end of the video, is longevity a desired goal to pursue? Or better to live a happy but healthy (but shorter) life and die without major illness and in your sleep?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unemployable Graduates

Getting a university degree usually symbolizes the completion of a successful education to a young adult who is eager and ready to claim financial independence and realize his dream to be the career person he wants to become. After spending between 15-17 years burying in books, burning midnight oil, sacrificing time out with friends, and to some, putting their parents in debt or financial strain, saying goodbye to academic studies and welcoming in freedom to plan and make vital decisions must be momentous and easily the greatest joy to experience. So how would you feel if your dreams are shattered when, months or even years after you've graduated, and the euphoria of getting a job soon thereafter descended into a struggle, and sometime, panic when interview after interview you are rejected? Or worst, not even called for interviews? How low can your confidence and self esteem survive when you start doubting the value of the education you received? Suddenly the pride of being a graduate, especially if you have tried so hard, or coming from a poor family become a shame when you find a fresh graduate filling the vacancy you think should be rightly yours just because you graduated earlier.

The big question is - were you under-prepared for the job market and why?

Recently THIS survey generated much responses from readers.

My initial reactions are these:

1. Too many graduates chasing after too few jobs.
2. Too many graduates unqualified to fit the vacancies due to mismatched course of studies and language deficiency with actual industry requirements.
3. Too many universities offering programs that are too academic and don't fit industry needs.
4. Young graduates putting too high a value on their academic qualifications.
5. Flawed education curriculum and approach.

Something is terribly wrong with the ways the government is managing our children's future and this is likely to ignite growing discontent against it. As parents we can blame it on the education policy (to which we have no say or control) that stress too much on academics and not enough on preparing the students to face the real world. And continual denial that English is a superior language for mass communication kills the opportunities our children need to survive in the globalized world where employers can choose candidates of any nationality with the right education and aptitude. In other word our education system failed to achieve world class or competitive standard to give our graduates employability both local and international. The best have been plucked by other nations offering better prospects and work environment.

Bickering, internal politicking, short sighted outlook, ego-centred policy changes and denial of the acute reality that we are slipping away from the list of choice destinations for investment and recruitment is making us uncompetitive.

We have a poor record of developing resourceful and resilient graduates capable to accept hard work, patience and willingness to learn new knowledge and skills. And many of these graduates started off life without basic philosophy of inquisitive learning but by rote and plagiarising other's works. This resulted in they being unsuited to work where a high degree and expectation is required for the successful candidates to identify problems and find solutions and have a good social skill to work as a team. This is where our education approach failed and this resulted in delivering inferior quality graduates that businesses reject as unsuitable. Businesses are not charities; their survival depends upon employees who can deliver results and profits.

Both government and universities are not listening to what's happening around the nation and the world and therefore not responding with appropriate curriculum. They are not talking with the trade associations in assessing their skill requirements. It is not surprising that we keep producing graduates of the wrong discipline. Many of them cannot even be called graduates due to their low level of knowledge acquisition, inability to transfer whatever they learned into real life practical situations. In other words they are educated for the sake of acquiring knowledge and not to apply them.

Dysfunctional government policies and inability to excite investors to set up more and new businesses to create more vacancies to match larger graduate output contribute to the present dismal outlook. Plus extending retirement age reduces the vacancies available to fresh graduates. Encouraging entrepreneurship is not a sustainable solution as the consumer market size is very small. Furthermore there is no guarantee without the right attitude and aptitude, these fresh graduates without the experience can succeed on their own. Continual pampering through training and financial aids will not work in the long run. The solution lie in producing graduates who are tough minded and world wise, with a keen sense to survive without any form of support and to be a proud person with confidence to succeed on his own.

And now, the soon-to-be enforced minimum wage regulation has started to see retrenchments in labour intensive industries that are going for automation. Read HERE. Retrenched workers, unemployed graduates, rising cost of living, stagnant wages - these are hotspots for rising discontent and the potential making of a Malaysian Spring. The fundamental reason being a nation that worries that the government has lost control of their future.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Beatles, Bond and Bean

The Brits have a fondness for their Bs which have become their exports to the world. Allow me to share.

I grew up understanding that beer is a nice drink because my grandfather and my father drank quite a bit, but not to the state of drunkedness. My grandfather's favorite was Guiness Stout, and I believe it was a Brit alcoholic malt drink. Anything that taste bitter must be healthy so I learned to enjoy Guiness Stout for its goodness. Maybe I'll drink it more regularly as a nightcap, which was how my grandfather enjoyed it, with a little soda biscuit crumbs sprinkled over the foam to settle it. My father gave up the stout for Carlsberg, a Danish beer, and introduced me to enjoying beer so I'm not a wallflower in the company of friends who love to lift up their glasses. But I learned to hold my limit and, in the family tradition, keep away from drunkedness.

I discovered biscuits in the sundry shop next door to where I grew up. They were square shaped and called soda biscuits. I wonder why, unless soda was used which would make it highly unhealthy. Biscuits are definitely British because we were also governed by their food culture, to which I must also add Butter. The Chinese thinks biscuits are heaty and over eating add on weight. I've taking cognizance of this from my sinseh (Chinese traditional doctor) and consume it occasionally. But eating biscuits is surely a memory trip I shan't forget. You can even say I grew up on Cow & Gate full cream milk and Jacob biscuit.

The mop heads, that's how the Chinese media described the Beatles, beat the light of the youths with their wild and loud songs and moppy hairdo in the 60s. Although they didn't made it to my idol list I love many of their songs. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were gifted composers and, like the Wesley brothers who gave the world hundreds of beautiful Christian hymns (in case you wonder, John and Charles Wesley were Brits too) they gave the world songs that are immortal and loved even today. My favorite Beatles compositions - Michelle, Here There and Everywhere, And I Love Her. You'd notice they are slow and romantic.

I was a Bond fan in the late 60s and I thank Ian Fleming, the creator of this very British secret agent, for helping me to love reading. My first Bond book was Moonraker and I still have it. James Bond made his entry into the big screen with Sean Connery the first debonair agent. Later several actors replaced him, among whom I rate Roger Moore the most worthy successor. I may even add that RM was a better Bond than SC.

And who can say he doesn't know Mr Bean? He may be making a fool of himself on screen but over many hundreds of TV episodes, movies and animated cartoon series, Rowan Atkinson the inimitable Mr Bean, has become a household name all over the world. And he is a Brit. And may one day be Sir Bean. My family enjoy Mr Bean although his antics may not be good examples for children to follow.

May I end with the ubiquitous British B&B. I first experience it during our holiday in the UK in 1985. Rather than staying in hotels we chose the simple British homes and tried the rich and grand British breakfast. Whenever possible I'd like to enjoy the same again. Like all the other Bs that are synonymous to Britain, each one of them brings back fond memory of the good old days. For once, Bs are better than As.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Amazing Andrew



This is Andrew, my amazing grandson. He did something astounding for his age that I'll never forget. Andrew is 2 years, 8 months and 2 weeks old today. What he did was the first sign of maturity that older kids and even adults were not as sensitive enough to do. Andrew first displayed his love to help when about a month ago he started to ask to bring rice plates from the kitchen to the dining table. We let him and at the same time worry he might tilt and spill the rice. He didn't so we allow him to help at dinner time. Soon he started to bring out the spoons and forks and we taught him to lay them in pairs on each plate. He is still learning. The fact that he is willing to pick up skills is a healthy sign. Maybe he'll make a really good husband one day performing chores cheerfully and unasked.

This evening at past 6pm I went out of the house to pull out some weeds in the garden. Andrew was with me. I wasn't wearing any protective gloves. A little while later he disappeared and came out of the house, stood behind me, and called to me, 'Gung, gung'. He sound so affectionate each time he called me that way. What took my breath away, when I looked back to acknowledge him, was the sight of a piece of blue nitrile glove on his right hand. My first thought was his po po (grandma) gave the glove to him to hand to me to wear. Upon asking my wife she said no, Andrew went directly into the bathroom, found the glove and brought it out to me, on his own initiative. She thought he had gone in to play with water but he was actually looking for a glove which I believe he remembered seeing there before. I thought, 'wow!' how would he know that I need a glove? I didn't ask him to get one but I sure appreciate this fine gesture which suggest his ability to empathize with the needs of others. It showed an inborn quality that any parent, and grandparent, would be proud of. What he did was therefore amazingly cool for a kid his age. Perhaps there are other kids younger who are as or more responsible but this act of care and concern from my grandson makes me ooze with pride. If you have similar examples please do share.

Andrew may be mischievous and rough sometimes to his older sister but he is just a robust growing boy who want someone his age to play with, so his behaviour is excusable although we have to condition and train him to be kinder and gentler, especially to girls. We worry he may find himself in some trouble next year when he enters nursery, but his helpfulness will surely score high and make him popular with teachers and classmates alike. Way to go, Andrew.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Back to School

Last Friday I brought my grand daughter Grace for her first music lesson at the Yamaha Music School at Seremban 2. It was a deja vu experience as I recalled 31 years ago I did the same for her mother. As I sat in with her with another 5 girls around her age, all chaperoned by their mothers and grandmother, I felt both jurassic and out of place since I was the only male there but I felt proud to help her develop her musical talents. The young lady who taught the class was both sweet and refreshingly pretty, making me feel the 'job' was worth it. She taught well and made the girls feel at ease.

Class started at 6pm and ended an hour later. The pupils were taught basic clapping rhythms, finger numbers and where the high and low notes are on the keyboard. Mummy attended the same Junior Music Course or JMC at the Yamaha School in Petaling Jaya in 1981. JMC is designed for 4-5 year old kids and help them cultivate their musical abilities through fun enjoyment of interaction with the teacher and group singing and playing the Electone keyboard organ provided to each child.

Grace was excited to learn music. The same piano her mummy played on now sits in my living room and she is able to open up the lid and practise on it. Her older cousin Victoria has started music lesson 2 years ago so both of them will enjoy music together as they grow older. There is plan to get Grace a portable Casio electronic keyboard as it is easier on smaller fingers and less frustrating to practise.

Monday, October 01, 2012

iOS 6.0 Issue

I was dismayed when all the dates in my journal entries disappeared when they are opened after I upgraded to iOS 6.0. The trouble is greater than losing the use of Google Maps and YouTube whereby roundabout methods can be found to access them from my iPad. My data corruption is very personal as losing the dates is akin to wiping away memory of time from an event you can recall but no longer know when it took place. Of course I can reconstruct as accurately as I can when the events took place but the efforts will take up much of my time. In the seething anger against the developer of iOS 6.0 for obviously introducing very major changes to the systems that force the app developers marketing their products on the App Store to come up with quick updates of their products to be compatible with the new system, causing major inconveniences and disconnection to the users with the services they purchased, I believe Tim Cook the Apple CEO owe us more apologies for launching a flawed product.

I can accept there is no perfect product or service and users are aware that there are risks involved. Unfortunately in iOS 6.0 case I don't believe sufficient due diligence and beta testing has been done to minimize user inconvenience.

Don't try to go for the latest because it may not be the best or most suitable. In this context I urge Apple to allow users to roll back to the older iOS if they are unhappy with the newer version installed.

I Am My Father's Son

I am 64 and when my dad was at this age I was 41, so he had me when he was 23 years old. In his time getting married young was common but nowadays it is not unusual to find marriage coming much later, in many cases in the early to mid 30s. I married slightly later than my father when I was 25. So when friends envied me for my grandfather status I wonder if they did their arithmetic or planned as I did.

I often compare myself to my father, knowing that I have his genes. So when I was a teenager and scrawny in physique I wasn't worried I'll grow old that way. My dad was thin too with sunken cheekbones like those of Frank Sinatra. But as he grew in age he started putting on weight. So did I but I outdid him as I believe I am bigger size than him. Maybe I ate better or I lived in better times.

Once in awhile when I was brushing my teeth I'd look at myself and saw my father instead. I saw the resemblance of our hair and our facial expressions. I startled myself to discover I even sound a lot like my father and in the way I speak to my grandchildren. Even my daughter exclaimed one day that was how her grandfather, my father, sounded. And I am not disbelieving because I am my father's son and I am proud to be resembling him as I age.

How will I be looking when I am very old? Here is a picture of my late father with my mother about two years before he passed. He got back his sunken cheek because he was very ill, but he carried the smile that contain traces of sufferings and pain because he was labouring under the strain of an enlarged and weakening heart. My father is always my beloved and cherished dad in whom I am honoured to bear good resemblance.



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