My Weekend Mornings

At the break of dawn, I crept out of bed while everyone else was sound asleep
I slippped into my jogging gear with nary a sound so I wouldn’t wake a single soul
Grabbed a quick bite with a big glass of water
My day began

I love mornings, and it doesn’t need to be high above ground
and I appreciate sun rise more after I became a mom

I love being with myself and I love being alone
Solitude takes on new meaning after kids came along

I always have my phone with me when I jog
I use them for music and I use them for pictures
When I am not too exhausted, I share them on facebook

And over the months, I found myself with quite a collection
A collection of day break and sun rise from my morning run

 


On some days, when I am early enough, I catch a glorious sun rise

 


Other days, when it gets hazy, a silhouette like this reminds me of Monet’s work

 


There are days when I wake up late and the blazing sun makes my run almost unbearable

 


Once in a while, I see a lone rider resting after a night of fishing (I guess)

 


or a couple of cleaners that makes an interesting frame

 


or a sight like this that beckons a shot

 


Occasionally a storm brews

 


and a sailor contemplates whether to set sail

 


Other days I am too fickle and can’t decide whether to shoot the jetty, the tree or the break of dawn

 


Once a very blue moon, a ball of bleeding red rises and bathes the shore in light

 


and I watch on as a bunch of athletes start their race

 

I love weekend mornings
What about you ?

 
 

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His Milky Way Pinball Machine

So my 8 year old managed to turn his Milky Way into a decent looking pinball machine
Doesn’t matter if it didn’t look half as grand as what he drew
It’s the lessons we hope that will stay with him

It was quite a bumpy ride
with a handful of hurdles to cross in a single night
Many features had to go because he couldn’t figure out how to make them work

First there was the type of balls to shoot
He chose a metal ball which was too heavy
and we skipped a couple of rubber balls which didn’t quite work
In the end, it was ping pong balls that could finally fit

However ping pong balls were too big for kitchen toilet roll
so instead of shooting pinballs into outer space through space tower
we tossed them freely using hands
which was how his little brother likes to play
turning the pinhole machine into some sort of a skee ball machine

Then there were the 2 launch pads for suspending balls in outer space
Dad had to do some tweaking before they could finally work

And there were the number of ramps
which was reduced from 5 to 1
He learned that ramps weren’t easy things to build
And we would probably remain clueless
if not for Handy Manny Dad

But because they were tricky to make
Many things that came with them had to go
Super Nova, Wormhole and the Trojan Asteroid
His Milky Way ended up with none of these
neither the Sun nor planet Jupiter

And his pinball machine was finally ready when the clock struck 12
It was a simple one with Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud scoring loop
5 points for each and 10 points for the Black Hole ramp
Complete with a Saturn V rocket which couldn’t fire
and a bunch of aluminium foil scrunchies that worked well as comets and asteroids

It was far from what he had on paper
Much higher was the ambition
Much lower was the final product

But it worked, and the kids had a blast fooling around with it
More importantly, I hope that he realizes that while great ideas are important
Being able to follow through and turn the ideas into reality
Is what really really counts

 

Here are the stories behind some other kids’ creation that day

Evelyn’s Get Creative With Cardboard

PC’s Cardboard Challenge

Jasmine’s Cardboard Challenge

Elisa’s In Memory of RSS SWECS

Sarah’s Foosball Dream

Dee Loh’s The Cardboard Challenge at Singapore Botanic Gardens

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Caine’s Arcade And The Cardboard Dreams

Have you heard of the Cardboard Dreams in Singapore ?
Bunch of mums, dozens of kids, and mountains of cardboards
Congregating under the morning sun
on Children’s Day 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden
building something out of cardboards and imagination
to celebrate creativity
in the name of play

All inspired by this little kid who goes by Caine
who lives in a little suburb town
near the big city of Los Angeles in the US of A

A boy who built himself an arcade centre during last summer vacation
with used cardboard lying around his dad’s used auto parts store
inspired by a basketball hoop on a pizza box

He had it all thought out
from ticketing, cashier, pricing to prizes and fun passes
but he didn’t know marketing
So, people walked past him and his arcade
oblivious to the greatness behind

No matter that people thought how silly he was to be making games out of used cardboards
He continued to work on his arcade, adding new machines by the day, making it bigger and better
No matter that people said no and walked away from his request to play
He continued to wait patiently in his little chair
For he believed that it was not a matter of if
but a matter of when he will get his first customer

And finally one day, his wish came true
His first customer, a down and out film maker
who came by the store in search of a door handle for his 1996 corolla
who saw extraordinary out of this ordinary boy’s arcade
and decided to make a Youtube video to tell and share the story
The video went viral

Some Harvard professor called him a genius
Some say that Caine will have a bright future as an engineer in MIT
Some say we should all learn creativity from him
Some tout him as the future of entrepreneurship

His name became synonomous with the often discussed
but even more often misunderstood concept of creativity

And in his name, they started Global Cardboard Challenge
and launched the Imagination Foundation

You don’t get a Youtube video that goes viral everyday, do you ?
and so, this sets me thinking

I saw not a genius, but a silly little boy
like so many silly little boys out there
With big dreams, big hearts but small hands
who yawned in boredom when interviewed by some intellectual academic

Was it about creativity?
Was it about having dreams?
Or was it about being able to turn dreams into reality?

About perseverance and staying the course even when the going gets tough
About mental discipline and the ability to grit your teeth and get it done
About doing what you believe and believing in what you do

So, my 8 year old has finally managed to pen down his design for the cardboard challenge
complete with comets, asteroids, the oort cloud and the kuiper belt
But like so many great ideas out there
they will probably remain just ideas…on paper

Because till now, I am still trying to teach
that extraordinary quality of Caine
of turning dreams into reality

 

Note : Hop over to Sarah’s site to read more about the Cardboard Dreams or RSVP here to join in the fun on 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden

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