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Book: Making the Rounds with Oscar

March 8, 2011

Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat
David Dosa
Amazon Product Link

From Publishers Weekly
Dosa, a geriatrician with a strong aversion to cats, tells the endearing story of Oscar the cat, the aloof resident at a nursing home who only spends time with people who are about to die. Despite hearing numerous stories about Oscar’s uncanny ability to predict when a patient’s time is nearing, Dosa, ever the scientist, remains skeptical. Slowly, he starts to concede that there may be something special about Oscar. Dosa starts to pay more attention to the cat’s decidedly odd behavior, noticing that Oscar seeks out the dying, snuggles with the patient and family members until the patient passes; with others, he smells the patient’s feet, sits outside a closed door until admitted, or refuses to leave a dying patient’s bed. Dosa discovers how powerfully Oscar’s mere presence reassures frightened or grieving family. Ultimately, the good doctor realizes that it doesn’t matter where Oscar’s gift comes from; it’s the comfort he brings that’s important. This touching and engaging book is a must-read for more than just cat lovers; anyone who enjoys a well-written and compelling story will find much to admire in its unlikely hero. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Quite an interesting book. Didn’t really focus too much on the cat Oscar, but the reader gets to learn about what the family has to face when a family member has dementia/Alzheimer’s. All those descriptions led me thinking of my Grandma and ultimately, of the hard time my Mom had when she had to deal with her. I remember by the end, I was reluctant to go visit my Grandma because she didn’t even know who I am anyway, and I thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference if I did not show up. Little did i know back then that who needed me most wasn’t Grandma but my very own Mom. So now I’m feeling a bit down because of that.

Overall a very interesting book, with a few typos inside, though I don’t know if it’s really a missed typo or the conversion to Kindle had some issues, but those were still minor errors.

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My Favorite Place to Drive

March 2, 2011

It's hard to answer this question when the city, including the outlying islands and "countryside" is just under 30KM square. And considering I hardly drive nowadays, plus there is just no "driving for pleasure" around here… I have to say… my favourite place to drive would be Coloanne Island (so-called countryside here) but then that being the countryside it would mean polluting there when I drive there… so I tend not to go there too often.

Besides, there's no traffic lights… virtually no traffic (yet!) over there…

Anyway, if this were a question of what type of car to drive… then I'd have to say a tall car. Doesn't have to be a large car, just the driver's seat a little higher, so I can see everything! And that means, my car 😀 Toyota Echo Verso (I think in USA it's the Toyota Yaris Echo… or the IST….)

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My First Drive

March 2, 2011

Vehicle… would a bicycle be considered a vehicle? I guess yes, but I'm assuming this prompt is more about cars or scooters. Anyway, I'll answer for both.

The first time I rode a bicycle – I don't even know when it was. I only remember I was a wild, wild, crazy kid and I was riding down slopes, biking up slopes, skidding and stuff. That was when my Dad had a restaurant in a… um… not country-side, but a rather out-of-city green & nature area. Nowadays if you give me a bike, I doubt I could ride it like I did before.

As for cars and scooters… so far I only have a car driving license. My very first drive was the "technical" lesson I had on driving with Mr. Afonso. My mom was in the car as well, and this Mr. Afonso was nagging me about the basics. I was learning how to drive stick.

"When you drive, you have to look far ahead, so you know what you should be doing already way way beforehand. Look to the front!" he would say, and then when we were passing by the then still-in-construction Venetian Macau (Cotai Strip) he would suddenly yell "LOOK at that! See how fast they are building that giant!"

My mom and I were flabbergasted… and well, let's just say I was torn between telling him "I have to look to the front, no?" and… well, I dunno. But this Afonso speaks Portuguese only, and my Portuguese was (and is) crap, so yeah… it was a weird time.

But I'm also happy to say that nothing happened on that first drive.

There's also first "public" driving after I got my license, and first driving my very own car. But I'll leave it at that for now.

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The Farthest I've Traveled from Home

March 2, 2011

By looking at the world map, it will seem to be Portugal… Harbin is just a 5-hour flight whereas Portugal is a whole +13-hour flight (If a direct flight were available). I've been to Portugal a couple of times – mostly when I was young so I don't remember much. My most recent trip to Portugal was some time 2001 or 2002, when I did my Internship there.

The flight there was excruciating! First, I had to fly from Macau to Taipei… that was already a 2-hour or so flight. Then I had to wait for another 2 hours for a connecting flight to Vienna, with a stopover in Bangkok. Must have been a 16-hour flight. I arrived Vienna at the crack of dawn… It was some 5am I guess.

From there, I had to wait 12 hours for a connecting flight to Lisbon… via Frankfurt. And so, I spent the 12 hours out in Vienna touring a bit.

There's a bit of info I should add though. I had this itinerary because it was cheaper that way, and there was actually no flights that flew directly to Lisbon, even from Hong Kong. I had family in Austria, so I decided to do this "nice" detour of sorts.

After my 2-month internship in a Travel Agency in Lisbon (was staying with family as well), I was on my merry way back to… Vienna, for 2 weeks. This time I had to go down to Styria and really spent some time with family.

So even though I've traveled away from "home", I was just practically going to my "other homes" XD

Given that, does that mean the farthest I've traveled from home is Harbin, China? Maybe…

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Plinky: The Farthest I’ve Traveled from Home

February 22, 2011

This was actually a Plinky post from a few days ago, but for some reason, it seems Plinky isn’t exporting my answer into here… the thing just says it’s “posting” and it just never stops “loading”, as it says… so… a copy and past job is here!

The Farthest I’ve Traveled from Home

By looking at the world map, it will seem to be Portugal… Harbin is just a 5-hour flight whereas Portugal is a whole +13-hour flight (If a direct flight were available). I’ve been to Portugal a couple of times – mostly when I was young so I don’t remember much. My most recent trip to Portugal was some time 2001 or 2002, when I did my Internship there.

The flight there was excruciating! First, I had to fly from Macau to Taipei… that was already a 2-hour or so flight. Then I had to wait for another 2 hours for a connecting flight to Vienna, with a stopover in Bangkok. Must have been a 16-hour flight. I arrived Vienna at the crack of dawn… It was some 5am I guess.

From there, I had to wait 12 hours for a connecting flight to Lisbon… via Frankfurt. And so, I spent the 12 hours out in Vienna touring a bit.

There’s a bit of info I should add though. I had this itinerary because it was cheaper that way, and there was actually no flights that flew directly to Lisbon, even from Hong Kong. I had family in Austria, so I decided to do this “nice” detour of sorts.

After my 2-month internship in a Travel Agency in Lisbon (was staying with family as well), I was on my merry way back to… Vienna, for 2 weeks. This time I had to go down to Styria and really spent some time with family.

So even though I’ve traveled away from “home”, I was just practically going to my “other homes” XD

Given that, does that mean the farthest I’ve traveled from home is Harbin, China? Maybe…

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Revival

February 14, 2011

I believe it’s about time I made an appearance again.

Life has been very boring.

I’ve been sick over the CNY and now thankfully I’m almost fully recovered. I hope I don’t get sick again in the foreseeable future. I’ve come to the conclusion that it sucks to be sick.

Actually I’ve known that for a long time, I just needed to be sick once to totally convince myself of the thought.

I’m trying to add a photo in this post but I have no idea how to do that on the WordPress app. Huh.

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And it’s the last day of January

January 31, 2011

Time sure does fly…

I just want to assure everyone that I’m working to get the Harbin photos up (well, in truth, I’ve been watching The Mentalist non-stop – I got the DVD – and been reading a crapload of books, as I’ve set a goal in Goodreads that “I shall read 20 books this year”… I’ve got 3 down already, and i hope to keep the 3 books a month pace.

Work has been work and I’m working on it 😛

The dogs continue to be lovely.

I have no travel plans for this year. Though, I am itching to hop off to Osaka for a week or 10-days some time in Autumn again, I’d like to proceed with my big plan to: 1) Travel alone, 2) Roam the areas around Osaka, such as Nara, Kobe, Himeji, Uji, Kyoto, and 3) well, there’s not really a third reason 😛

In any case, I’m working my ass off… you know, work hard, play hard! I’m enjoying life!