Hey...that's ME in the picture!
Posted by Hello

I am rounding off the proposal story and moving on...

So why was there no direct proposal to the Singapore girl? As I had mentioned, I need to elaborate further on cultural matters and provide more details about our courtship. Asian culture then and maybe lesser now is that one to one casual dating is not a common practice. The sentiment tended to be that if you took a girl out more than once, it is not just a casual date but the beginnings of a courtship in which marriage is expected. I think even today some of this sentiment still exists which explains why a man is often afraid to take a girl out. There is a lot of "losing face" or embarrassment if a dating couple breaks up so why start it? Neither is there a practice for the girl to go out with more than one guy at a time if she has already got a steady date. 

What a drawback for women over here compared to an American housewife who told me once that while she was dating her husband, she was going out with 7 or 8 others! In her view, she was wanting to marry the best man! An Asian man would be turned off by that. In my situation, I am more open minded and because of the Church influence I believe the Singapore girl had been brought out for dates like to Church socials and dances etc. I wouldn't have minded casual dating the Singapore girl even if she had a few suitors after her if I lived in Singapore. 

Since I was from a long distance away, after the first 'together' activity in visiting the Lim's residence and a short group social with other single adults of the church, it would be a difficult thing to do. I returned home with a strong interest in her. I therefore wrote a very direct letter to her. I think she may still have the letter with her somewhere so I might get into trouble for saying what I wrote. Heck, I've got good insurance coverage so here goes. 

It was basically a very honest and direct letter about my feelings. I remember that it was a letter that basically stated that I wanted to get to know her better and that I wanted her to know the real me in a way different from the conventional dates. I explained that I didn't want to act like a hypocrite in a date where you are at your best, perfume and everything but that I wish she could read some of my journals and thoughts to know the kind of person I truly am in totality. I think I did say I had written my personal journals to be read by my future wife one day. I believe that I did say if she was interested to pursue a relationship with me, she should write to me. 

The story goes that she did write a letter to me before mine was received by her but hers never did get to me. I was therefore despondent when no mail came to me. Then on one Sunday morning, her Singaporean friend Jessie was on a visit to KL and at Church asked me if I had received her letter to which I replied no. Hurray! The Singapore girl is interested in me and I think we caught up with each other either by mail or telephone to arrange for her to join me in a round country trip. She was escorted by her father by train to KL and he flew back as my mother and friend took over as chaperones in our journey described earlier. 

The point is therefore that our relationship had started off with a serious note from the beginning and I believe she was notified that I am seriously looking for a partner for life. It was then left for her to decide if she would be interested in me. Another major reason why there was no direct proposal from me is that my mother passed away about 3 months after the time we first got together. According to Chinese custom, if that happens, a couple dating had to either marry within 3 months of the death date or wait for 3 years! I think neither of us wanted to wait that long and we started to make our plans for a wedding in which we were civilly married on 22nd Dec 1982

We're Safe

It's the day after Easter. Another earth quake. I can't help but to think of the previous quake that happened the day after Christmas. We've already received an email this morning from my nephew, asking us if we're ok. Yes, we're ok. We didn't feel the tremor in our home. Thank you for your love and concern, all of our family and friends out there!

This is in the front page news of the paper today.  Posted by Hello

Dad and Mom

Here's Dad, multi-tasking as usual

...and Mom, with a hairstyle to fit the year of the Rooster

Easter Sunday, the Beginning of the Story.....

Today is Easter Sunday and we had a beautiful program at Church of words and music. It seemed like the whole branch got to participate in one way or another and it was inspiring. Shuan(12) got to give his first talk on the pulpit as a young man. Mom got to sing a duet with Sister Miller with Han(14) playing the clarinet and Michael Cragun as the pianist. Dad got to join the priesthood brethren to sing "He has Risen" and it sounded really good. Ern and Ray got to join the primary in their song presentation.

The family, after lunch, just finished watching the church DVD "Faith in Christ". We are about to watch a DVD that I bought at the Ampang Point shopping mall nearby our home, entitled "The Work and the Glory". Imagine, the history of the Church is now portrayed in the movies and other public media that one could buy from a public mall. We did watch the story of Elder Groberg's mission experience entitled "The Other Side of Heaven" in the cinema located in the mall of our Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers some time ago.

The Story of Christ, of his life and resurrection, is now widely known in the world. The Story of the restoration of his Church in these modern times is just starting to be known in the world. As the world talks about the "End Times" or time of the second coming of Christ being close because of the many disasters in the world such as the Tsunami wave in Asia, I think the spread of the restoration story is also a clear sign of the second coming of Christ drawing closer. Who could have imagined that a church that faced all kinds of opposition and ridicule in the past can today begin to show signs of becoming recognized as a mainstream religion and to be taken seriously?

I have a story to share too and perhaps this could be the appropriate time to publish it. Not in a movie or DVD media but simply in this blog that shares my personal thoughts, experiences and many things that are in my heart. It is a story of how I was called home to share the story of the restoration, to serve a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ. It is a true story that I cannot deny but rather has inspired me all these years to be faithful to Christ. I have kept it to myself for many years, only sharing parts of it with members of the church and family members when the spirit motivates and when time permits. From today onwards, I will release a detailed account of my story for I have logged it all in my personal handwritten journal. It contains true incidents of personal revelation, pure miracles and manifestations of the spirit interspaced between events that have become historic in the history of The Church in Malaysia.

Before I do that, however, I must complete the story of my courtship with the Singapore Girl! I will do it today and the forthcoming postings will contain my conversion story, the story of how I was called on a mission and the experience itself. I am not sure how long it will take to share it all and I will do it in parts as time permits.

Now back to the story of the proposal I think I made. Yes, I did use the words "I think". I am usually quite precise with the words I use in verbal or written communication. That is why I sometimes end up having a "block" in my mind, trying to get the right word out. Ok here is how the proposal went. We had a rest stop in Penang Island where there were lots of interesting places to visit. One of them was the Botanical Gardens where the beautiful gardens with flowing streams created a very romantic place. We stopped by a quiet place which looked like a wishing well and so I just took up some coins and made a verbal wish before tossing the coins. I wished that one day, we both could be sealed in the Temple!

Now I have to elaborate further about the culture then as well as some things I had told the Singapore girl right before I even started to really spend serious time with her in our courtship. This is necessary so that one would have a complete picture of why it happened that way and I guess why I think that was the moment of a proposal! I love this blogging method of writing your past now as I know the Singapore Girl would read this and make her comments. This way history can be corrected and if desirable, the writer could be chastised for errors...ouch! Guess that is another good reason to elaborate on the proposal issue as risk insurance huh? More on the proposal later!

Post-dated event (In this bracket I'm adding another post-dated event later than 18 July 2018)
18 July 2018 in Penang following the trails of the past

Ang Huah, a friend of my oldest brother in Penang is an active guide who has been keeping in touch with me through Facebook messenger. He knew I had come to Penang with my brother and wife where we had first met shared in this video of a previous trip.

He invited me to join a group to hike up some hills from the Botanical Gardens to Moon Gate station 5 as it is called.

Ang Huah with a red cloth over his shoulder talking to one of the foreign hikers.

A group photo about halfway to Station 5. Ang Huah is seen with a red cloth over his shoulder squatting at the front

Close on our hike to Station 5, I saw the number 7 marker on a tree. See how my Story of 7 started!

Finally, we reached MoonGate station 5 that has a flag flying on a mast

MoonGate station 5 was a sophisticated rest station with a kitchen, dining hallway...

.....with an outdoor gym to further work out after the hike!

Here is a plaque of its opening

After a good rest, we started our hike back down to the Botanical Gardens car park.

At the car park, I saw two birds and took a photo of them. Seeing the two birds right in front of me gave me goosebumps as it felt coincidental that I was heading to the Botanic Gardens close  by to retrace the steps of 2 lovers who once came here in 1982 and here were like two love birds in front of me.

Something made me turn on the video in my camera to record a unique action of the two birds seen below:

After seeing these two playful birds, I was sure I was getting inspired to visit the Botanical Gardens nearby to find the trail where my wife and I first walked described above in my original writing when I first started this post in the Easter Sunday of 2005.
I started to walk the path I felt I had taken years ago in 1982. In a way, it was similar in a trip back to Geelong Australia that I made in 2013 where I walked back in a trail through a park that I first walked from memory in 1979 as recorded in this post.

This looked like the bench we set down to have a rest under the shade of the trees.

I remembered this small bridge where I could find a stream below...

...and I followed a path near the bridge that would lead me down to the stream.

Yes, this was the place where it was the upper part of the stream with less running water...

...and we could walk closer to a part of the stream where there was a pool of water. I had called it a wishing well. I would quote what I had written above years ago:"We stopped by a quiet place which looked like a wishing well and so I just took up some coins and made a verbal wish before tossing the coins. I wished that one day, we both could be sealed in the Temple!"

The 3 "Wise" Men of the family...Me, Shuan and Dad

The Value of Humor

I was at a meeting last night where the speaker was President of the National Speakers Association in the USA named Scott Friedman.(https://scottfriedman.net/) He touched upon the point of using humor in public speaking and how it helps to connect to the audience quickly. He further made the point that self-effacing humor can create a bond with the audience. Now I was thinking about our family and how much we enjoy humor to the extent of telling jokes to each other!! For example, just the other day Ernie(9) shared the joke on the dialogue of a Malaysian with poor English who bumped into an Englishman and said "Sori." Now the Englishman quickly replied, "I am sorry too". Now the Malaysian thought this was some kind of challenge and responded, "I am sori 3" in which the Englishman responded, "Oh??..what are you sorry for??"

But how about the real humor found in our own lives that we can smile or laugh about. Why it was a humorous moment when I first noticed mom in the first place. (Sat 26 April 1980) She had just turned 18 with pigtails in high school. I, therefore, didn't notice her much in a group of singles who went out for dinner at the famous Newton Circus in Singapore after the Saturday session of District Conference at Church. I was then twenty-one, having just graduated from Australia and was in Singapore for their Church activities as I was preparing to serve on a mission. Who couldn't help notice mom when she suddenly screamed in the middle of having our dinner at the food centre of Newton Circus? In an instant, she was seen jumping up on her chair looking frightened as hell! All this was just because of a leaf that fell onto her table from the canopy of trees above us and she thought it was a cockroach, one of her greatest fears in life!

I think the way that led to our courtship came about was funny too. Well, close to a year on my mission which I served mainly in Malaysia, on 22nd July 1981, I was down in Singapore where the mission office was and where I got to notice mom again! My missionary companion then, Paul Sng, used to be in the same single adult group and choir with mom and he got invited to dinner at her home which I had to tag along. By now she was 20 and her happy disposition with frequent cute smiles must have made me note her phone number down...secretly.

A month later, on Monday 31st Aug 1981 which is Malaysia's national day, Paul Sng's close friend John Lee joined us for dinner. John was active in the Choir too and Single Adult activities. He was preparing to join the Singapore mission. After dinner, Elder Sng decided that we would follow John who was going to the Commonwealth area to attend a family home evening at Thong Geok Lee's home as we had someone to teach nearby named George Thong, a BYU applicant. We ended up having refreshments at Geok Lee's home. So since my pre-mission time to the current date, I have met her casually for 3 times already.

After my missionary service, I decided to follow up with this Singapore girl. Now going on a date one to one just isn't the kind of thing we were used to in those days and while back home in KL, I had to figure out how I could invite her out. I remember helping my parents paint the family house and while painting non-stop for several days, I would be imagining my approach to her. Yes, I had figured out the way and it was simply to go down to Singapore again to call her home with the excuse that I needed her to guide me to the home of John and Doreen Lim. I knew they were close friends to her as he was the choir director and had given her free piano lessons. John was an architect with a beautiful home and I used that as an excuse for her to take me there to view it! Sounds simple enough right? Well, not true!

Here I was on the telephone on Sat 11 June 1982 and introduced myself to her again and was glad she remembered me. So I mentioned to her about wanting to visit the home of John and Doreen but she started off by giving me detailed instructions on how to get there. She kept on and on describing the route to take while I stood there, on the other end of the line, wondering what I should say next! Well, I just gave an honest response, as I wasn't really listening deeply, that it seemed too complicated to follow her directions and wondered if she could take me there! This she agreed to and I was soooooo relieved!

From this first break of good fortune, our courtship accelerated, first with an exchange of letters and then telephone conversations. I invited her to join me on a driving tour of the country with my mom and her friend as chaperones. We would start from KL along the west coast northward to Penang island and take the new east-west highway along the Malaysian Thai border to visit the town of Kuantan where my brother lived. We would then drive south along the East Coast of the peninsular to finally arrive back to her home in Singapore.

I can think of a few humorous events on that trip. Our two chaperones sitting in the back seat were having a great time chatting away. They would laugh as I maneuvered along the windy roads in those days which caused them to sway and sometimes knock each other. Then there was the roller coaster effect of going over a hump too quickly which caused their heads to knock on the ceiling..ouch..but that didn't stop them from chatting or laughing! We made it to the east coast which passed through the conservative Moslem states of Kelantan and Terengganu. They have beautiful beaches on the east coast where you can find soft sandy beaches with turtles in the right season. We stopped at a particular roadside sign which we thought was appropriate. It identified the name of the beach which was Pantai Cinta Berahi translated to mean The Beach of Passionate Love. Now we know the Muslim states had become even more conservative over the years as the beach was later renamed as Pantai Cahaya Bulan or Beach of the Moon Ray. How unromantic!

Oh, I need to back up a little to the Island of Penang on the west coast which is where I think I made a proposal to Mom!

Let's start at the very beginning.....with do-re-mi...(Julie Andrew's song in The Sound of Music)

Wow. Ideas are flowing and the blog is probably a good place to write them down before they disappear. This whole thing really started from my curiosity to experiment the blogging experience after seeing how fervently our oldest daughter first and later our oldest son are caught on into it, just like chatting on the internet. I must say that both Fei Min and Woon Han must have been influenced by their father who was one of the pioneers in spreading the personal computer technology in the country as early as 1985. Our first child was born a year before/ It started from the days of the Apple computer with their Visicalc and Word Star programs and migrating later to the IBM PC world of Lotus 123 and Word Perfect.

Then Bill Gates introduced Windows and took over with his Excel and Word as the Internet World began to take shape to bring us to where we are today. Yes Boys and Girls! Your Mom and Dad lived throughout that era where 6 of you were born, luckily not all at the same time. Mom was with me when we first figured out the complexities of using the word processor Word Star and the spreadsheet Visicalc. 

When we got our first breakthrough in selling the first batch of over 20 PCs to FIMA Metal Box Berhad, Mom helped me by giving the large group of users training and support. The company was an established local company who came out with a loan & pay deduction scheme to help their staff to purchase PCs for themselves. We remember working with its Sales Manager George who initiated this program under his leadership. I wonder where George is as we ran into him years later to find that he was working for a New Zealand dairy company but have since lost contact with each other. Other key personalities in the company are his staff such as Doris whom we also helped to become computer literate. If not, at least be able to play the many computer games that were already coming into the market. Ha Ha Ha! 

Oh yes, mom and I had spent many late nights together trying to beat the previous highest score on the computer game, sounds familiar? All that stopped when you kids started arriving! Ever heard of Jump Jets on the Apple II???? We are that ancient huh?? Well so much for a little history there as it is not about the flowing ideas that comes to my mind at this day and time that started me off with this blog. Guess here is where you will see the trait of me again, for better or for worse, starting off with an objective, then allowing myself to dwell with nostalgia and many sweet memories as my mind fluidly flows, but always never forgetting to come back to the objective again. 

When I heard that the blog had no limits of space, I thought this is even better than the websites that I have been building to express myself which has limitation of space depending on your budget. Well, we all think of money as the limitation and then of course there is the physical space itself but don't forget there is always the limitation of time! 

I've improved tremendously in my communication skills after joining the Toastmasters Club for I learnt quickly there that you get only limited time for your speech assignment and I've often been caught starting off great to find that I didn't even have enough time to get to the key points of the subject, let alone trying to give a summary when the time keeper is already flashing the red light and ringing the bell!!! 

It happened to me at Church too in a recent District Conference meeting where I was to speak about Family History Work. So many gave me a raving compliment later of how great the talk was to the extent that I was requested by the outward bound branch in Malacca to repeat the topic in my recent District Councilor's visit! But do you know something? I was running out of time there too but luckily the spirit guided me to end the talk quickly with Joseph Smith's revelation in D&C 128:25 on baptism for the dead which reads, " Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time. I am as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend, JOSEPH SMITH." 

I think many were just impressed how timely and appropriate the scripture was used and I just have to thank Heavenly Father for that! Yes time is the real limiting factor as even the world's richest man shares the same hours and minutes with us. I've always been conscious of that and have always tried not to allow things of value to me to be sacrificed for things that are of lesser value. So where is the beginning guys? It is the do re mi of life. I shall begin not by chronological order in my blog but from the values that I feel will make a difference to us in our lives and that of others too who are influenced by us if not dependent on us. 

Hmmmm... the Do Re Mi of life! How about the Body, Mind and Spirit of Life? I think the blog will help me clarify and strengthen my own values and like a well prepared talk, I hope to be able to present these to the public with greater clarity in a shorter time using the technology available to us today. All this is in hope that it will benefit someone or some family unit or even a business unit. As a management consultant and an up & coming executive coach, I will design Fastlane.info to be the communication portal for the commercial world. 

Familylane.info will be the portal for improving human relationships especially for families who are being heavily attacked today. I will later hope to create another portal for those seeking more spirituality in their lives. So thanks to blogging, I can foresee that it will help me moderate the development of these intended portals to share it with an international community of real people in real situations of real life contributing to make the world a better place. If anything, it will help me to be a more optimal person than before. Last but not least, I hope this blog will help families such as ours become closer as distances, preoccupations and effects of rapid change tend to separate us!

It is noted that Fei Min started blogging in January of the year 2004 as the pioneer in our family!

Postdated 2021:  www.AbacusToCloud.com

Our latest family photo with all of us together! 

Post-dated :

Below would be the latest of Christmas 2003 that Su Min had mentioned in her comments. Her links to the pics don't work anymore as she had completed her studies in BYU and hence no longer has access to the web server she was using as a student.

The beginning of the blogging experience

(Note that some links to click may not work in this post or may be redirected wrongly due to updating work by the author during the year 2022 to keep up with technological changes.)

It was Fei Min our oldest girl who started blogging and soon our oldest boy Woon Han followed suit. Guess its daddy's turn now to include a blogging site or link in his new familylane.info website. How's this for a few minutes' effort to set up a blog and try out its look and feel. Let's see how far it goes as Daddy is not a student with lots of time but a Family man, a Management Consultant and a Churchman with responsibilities in all areas!

(Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan (Pyra Labs) launched blogger.com in August 1999 (purchased by Google in February 2003)
Blogging combined the personal web page with tools to make linking to other pages easier — specifically permalinks, blogrolls and TrackBacks. This, together with weblog search engines enabled bloggers to track the threads that connected them to others with similar interests. Reference)

(Robert Boyle's podcast mentioned the use of blogs as a solution for a broadcaster contact to write on in 2003)

Post-dated Development
Captain's log Startdate : 8 Feb 2018

Star Trek Before and After 

I have come back in my Consciousness to this first post of the date of 23 Mar 2005 as per my blogger record when this post was started at 7.17 PM to be precise! I came back to note that at that time, there were no smartphones to provide a view of webpages so the original content of our familylane.info website was only designed for PC view previously In later years, I started learning how to program a family webpage that can work for both PCs and smartphones and this has been created at familylane.info/photolinks where the old website has been redirected to this new photolink content page. In the interest of saving time needed to re-code my old PC view only webpages to be able to be viewed on smartphones as well, I did not attempt to re-code them myself. I did try 3rd party software that would do an auto conversion if viewed on a smartphone but it rearranges all the contents in a messy way, though viewable which is the reason why I finally migrated everything to the photolink pages in www.familylane.info

Below is a sample of the future that is already today in My Consciousness. Stories from the "Abacus to the Cloud", a metaphor for the era my stories will cover as contents of my first book to be published in 2018, or maybe the year after or who knows when? I've just collected so much content in my focused research in the last few years and I need to organize them all as well as maintain the flow of my writing. 

I have managed to come this far because I was inspired by my oldest child Fei to write journals using blogger to be named a 'Chronicler' today! Social media technology allows me to embed my Facebook posts full of photos and videos in my blog journals. This saved me time to use it for researching and working on my book. See how I managed to still do 4 quarters of my blogger journals last year by clicking here and do some time travel like in this journal post today!

Now a Time-Travel experience for me to go backwards from 23 March 2005 which I started in this post and will go backwards further in time starting with significant events of my life that would influence My Consciousness today in the year 2018.

I have covered significant events in my life recording my life's experiences and thoughts from 2005 to the present start of the year of 2018.....

To be continued.....

......we have travelled today from 2018 to the year 2020. It's the COVID-19 pandemic era of the world. Fortunately just before it hit the world spreading to Malaysia, I had set up my new project office with details found at www.BlueBoyMansion.com

From the link above, one can tell my record keeping habit with continuous education and usage of technology to support my interactions in life has not stopped. My books and documents are intact and as the paperless world has not become a full reality yet, my cabinet and shelf space in my new project office has not been done away with yet despite having sufficient Information Technology available.