Back in the old (not too old because…) days, when I was little or of toddler’s (I am not that old…60 is the new 30) age; when a baby cries, he is given Woodworth Gripe water to help calm him, numb him or knock him under. Now, I know why.

It is reported that this Gripe (and you may probably wonder why it is named as such) water has an alcohol content that would floor many of the sober, seasoned adult drinkers. And you wonder why homes are stocked, high; with this stuff, to the point of hoarding it. Parents must have been taking more than a swig of this, just to calm their nerves, so it seems. At least that is the excuse…er…reason given. I can only imagine what the people at the stores selling Gripe water were thinking. “These toddlers are topers”.

Today’s packing.

The orginal packing. The bottle was wrapped in a blue paper with labels. No box.

In the ’80s and ’90s of the last century and the early 2000s; the rubber stoppers became a “must have” and “don’t leave home without it (sounds like a tagline of a credit card, but that’s plastic) if you know what’s good for you and the community”. Yup… the sucker I am talking about is the “soother”.

The pacifier.

Officially known as the pacifier, the sucking pacifier was also known as the teethe or the “plug” (for obvious reasons). This “device” was so important that it was not unthinkable to have several spares lying around all over the house or in the car, etc. The moment the wailing starts; the most important device known to mankind (at that time) is whipped out faster that you can say, “ya-a-ber da-a-ber doo!”

The simple things in life just got more complicated.

Have you seen how this sucker is shoved in the mouths of those angelic babies? It sometimes looks like it is being ram-rodded in the mouth. Or a person having difficult with stick shift (known to Americans) or shifting gears from 1 to 2, in a car. With almost brute-like force, manage to get the gear into 2.

Parents of today will go into hyperdrive freak out if cleanliness or hygiene was compromised, even for a little bit. The sucker-shoving parents of those days will not give it a second thought if the sucker / soother / pacifier was to fall out of their child’s mouth, onto the ground. They just pick up this ingenious device and put it back into the mouth of their baby, not even bothering to clean it or worse still; sterilize it again.

“Wha-a-a-ayyy!” the toddler wails, at the top of his or her voice. leaving nothing to imagination. One wonders how the lungs of these “angels” manage to hold so much of wind power that helps them bellow for the longest of time. To add drama and special effects, these angels throw themselves on the floor, roll this way and that way (one can’t help but reminisce some of the Bollywood [1] movies with loads of drama and excitement) and employ chameleon-like colour changes.

These angels seem to be keeping abreast of times. Shove an iPad in their face and all peace will settle in.

1st generation Apple iPad

The ipad seems to be the answer to everyone’s prayers, even for those that don’t pray. It was a hit when it launched. The iPad reached out to people of all ages. The hundreds, if not thousands of games which have colourful graphics and exciting music and sounds on a big screen (about 10 inches) have gotten the attention of toddlers, and grown-ups; too. Yes, there are the grouchy, tantrum-throwers in their senior age, too.

There are the good and not so-good points of these electrical chopping boards. Since the iPad was introduced over a decade ago; the toddlers, who are now teenagers; have grown up with theses devices. During the same period; a slew of manufacturers have come out with their own tablets / tabs or big portable flatscreens, which have the capability of surfing the internet and being a smartphone. Parents are trying their best to detach these flatscreens from the faces of their children but seem to be fighting a losing battle. An idea that started out as good is now…not so good.

Steve Jobs, the developer of these well-known iPads and iPhones spoke about how he doesn’t let his children use them at all in their homes. “So your kids must love the iPad?” asked Nick Bilton, a New York Times reporter. “They haven’t used it,” replied Steve Jobs. (2)

From the original 10 inch size, the mini versions were introduced, too. Now, the trend is to compete with the 65inch to 85inch size LED tvs. The newly introduced models from Samsung and Apple are scorching the race track to come out with screen sizes past 20 inches.

Emotional support for who? The child? The parents?


  1. Bollywood Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of “Bombay” and “Hollywood“. The industry is related to Cinema of South India and other Indian film industries, making up Indian cinema – the world’s largest by number of feature films produced.
  2. 22 Mar, 2021. https://www.mathgenie.com/blog/steve-jobs-kids-didnt-have-an-ipad.-why-should-your-kids-have-one-1#:~:text=Steve%20Jobs%2C%20the%20developer%20of,it%2C%E2%80%9D%20replied%20Steve%20Jobs.

More than one use for the Apple iPad.


28 years ago (actually, a day to 28 years); on January 19th, 1994; I was in Subang Jaya and I called up this lady / girl / gal and told her I was nearby her office, just around the corner. Her office was then in MUI Plaza, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. As those of you who are familiar with Subang Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, know that the distance between them – definitely not a stone’s throw away. But heck, I wanted to get a date with this lady. I asked her out for lunch and she said, “yes”!

Now, I was in a bit of a fix. It was about an hour to her lunchtime and I had to maneuver through what Kuala Lumpur was notorious for: it’s massive traffic jams.

Somehow; this lady had magical powers

I Dream of Jeannie Bottle, Genie Bottle, Handpainted 1964 Jim Beam Bottle |  #310123100

as I managed to get to her office in time that was thinner than a strand of hair. No coincidence that her name was Jeannie. I don’t believe in coincidences.

By the way, lunch was at Macdonald’s at The Weld, which was the building just next door to MUI Plaza. We had prosperity burgers (Chinese New Year, ma! Got to throw in a few “ma”s and “meh”s to flavorize the sentences – Chinese style). I still remember the dress she wore that day.

Though I knew a lot about things at that time (I was a life insurance agent and was supposed to know just about everything. The truth is I didn’t, and still don’t. I am trying to figure out how an atom is formed [nah! At one time maybe, no longer now]); I didn’t know it was her birthday. And, she didn’t tell me until I found out several days later.

Jeannie and I started dating and the rest as “they” (not sure who they are) say, is history.

Here is Jeannie with me; my cousin, Richard Harding; Keith Ganesan and colleagues from the life insurance industry
On the white sandy beaches of Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.
Glamourous with Spongebob Squarepants style shades.

Laura’s Christening, two months after she was born.
Cake-cutting, celebrating Laura’s christening. Left to Right: Me; my cousin and Laura’s Godfather, Dato Seri Jeffrey Raymond; Laura’s Godmother, Datin Seri Joyce Raymond; Jeannie; the star – Laura, in Jeannie’s arms; my nieces Ashley and Alana Atkinson.
Jeannie with Laura
Laura’s third birthday. Alright, alright… I counted the candles.

As you can see, our lives are surrounded by family and the many celebrations like birthdays.

This was in Makati, Manila, The Philippines.
On one of our travels.

Jeannie has always had the Jeannie’s touch with people – with family and friends; with people from the world over. She is very approachable and adapts and assimilate with the cultures very easily.

As you may have guessed by now, it is Jeannie’s birthday 🎂 today. Laura video-called from the U.S., 3 minutes before midnight of today, to bring in and start the celebrations. She and I, together with our families; have been blessed with Jeannie in our lives. May Jeannie be blessed with God’s choicest blessings🙏 today and many, many more awe-inspiring years to come.


It was my brother, Terence’s birthday, yesterday – November 27th. He turned 60. I sent him a birthday greeting / best wishes on Whatsapp. I told him that he earned it, turning 60. He just did not glide or slide into it; he worked hard for each and everyday, both at work and at home for and with his family.

Terence and I have not been “best of buds” brothers but I know I can count on him being my wingman and vice versa in times of need. Our approach to things are different on many counts. But as our dad always used to tell us, we should “agree to disagree”. And that we have. By the way, when Terence commits to something, you can bet your last dollar that he will stick by it and won’t let you down.

Time is the most important commodity that each one of us has. The one second we have now is gone the next, never to come back again. Yet, we quite often hear people say, “We’ve got some time to kill”. Do they realise what they are saying?

In the late 1980s, I became a customer of Time System / Planner in Kuala Lumpur. There were weekly training seminars on how to maximize the effective use of this system. In one of the sessions; they displayed a slide which showed man at various stages of life from the time he is born to the time he dies of old age. Below that slide was a caption: “As soon as man is born, he begins to die”. So, how do we use time to our advantage?

Philofaxy: Guest Post by Tim Edwards PART 1 - Time management systems in  the 1980's
Time/ System
Time/ System Planner set

How do we harness time to the best of our advantage?

We have to learn to use our time to do the things we want to do. We are getting things which we planned for the future, done, for fear of not accomplishing them when time passes us by. There are many who like to reminisce on “the good old days”. As a Catholic Bishop once said, “These are some people living in the present but stuck in the past”.

And there are many of us are so caught up worrying about the Covid-19 situation that we are continuously looking towards the future for an end to this pandemic not realising that we have to live for the now, too.

Not enough time is spent in the present. We forget to live in the present. The future that we chase; arrives at our doorstep of life, this was the future that we had planned for, well, at least for some of us. But we don’t recognize it, or take enough time to enjoy this future that is our now, our present.

Do we? Do we recognise that our present now was our future before? Do we fail to realise this? Before it is too late. Before our future which has become our present, then becomes our past.

The present can be quite pleasant. It is here for the taking. Do we want it? Are we too afraid to be like a butterfly that flies all over the place but settles down to the quiet, the present. Because it recognises the present.

Create an Hourglass in Photoshop | Photoshop Tutorials
hour glass

What the future was for me when I was 17 years old became a reality at age of 61. I flew on board a Cessna twin-prop plane. My flight was from Decatur, Illinois; to Chicago O’Hare airport, Illinois. I got the seat just behind the co-pilot. We had to be weighed so that the airline support staff could place us in seats in order to balance the plane. The plane was so low-slung, that we were practically sitting on the tarmac. The thrill of the roaring props just near the window, causing a slight vibration, the racing down the runaway at near automobile top speeds, the steady flight throughout, the swaying from left to right as we were making our approach to land at O’Hare – thrilling. Now, my future that became my present is my past. I enjoyed it when it was my present; now, I reminisce about it as it is my past.

The Cessna 502. My flight from Decatur to Chicago in the state of Illinois, USA; though a short flight; was one the the best, if not the best; flight experiences I have ever had. August 24th, 2019.

Take time to smell the flowers. We will be going to Terence’s “by-the-hill resort” – (his house is by the hill) this evening for evening tea, but I will have coffee. 😁 It is the future about to become the present…