Have a Roaring Good Year!

December 31, 2009 at 11:38 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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The place where Itchyfingers work had a special cafe opened few weeks ago. The first thing that caught Itchyfingers’ eyes were not the colourful chalkboard promo nor the Japanese Manga characters themed leaflets and stickers. Rather it was the unusual display of a big stuffed toy. Took a peep inside..and gosh…! It was another of those kinky cafes with girls dressed up as maids…goodness. Out of curiosity, my colleague wanted to check out the menu. They were not officially opened yet, so the ‘Maids’ were idling around, just standing there looking pretty. The first thing my colleague asked was, “What do you sell here?” I almost flipped…hahah…It just sounded weird to me to ask that question…I mean, do you expect gourmet dishes in this kinda cafe? :D? Anyway, all I could remember on their menu was some sort of cake that the ‘Maids’ said they would hand-decorate with cute designs or something like that, the rest of the items were kinda forgettable…anyway, Itchyfingers not really a foodie.. :p

Ok, back to that unusual window display that caught my eyes…It was a near life-sized White Tiger… :O

A White Tiger in Afro wig lying on an inflated banana…! Faint…

So everyday on the way to office, I would pass by the shop and look at the White Tiger. During the festive season, the White Tiger had a new look…

What’s with the stuffed toy bananas on the tree? Hahah…so funny…The
morning light was a bit harsh huh…alamak..can you see my shadow? :p
But that was the only time I could photograph before they open at noon…
wouldn’t want the ‘Maids’ to think I was taking their photos…hahah…
Let’s see how they will dress up the White Tiger during Chinese New Year…hahah…

Acutally come to think about it, the stuffed White Tiger was quite well done….

Compare with our Bengal White Tiger, Omar, from the zoo. White Tigers
are simply beautiful… 🙂

On this last day of 2009, Itchyfingers wish everyone a better and happier 2010! 8)


Close Encounter with An Otter

December 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | 1 Comment
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We were still complaining that it was such a quiet morning with no rare migrant birds as recently reported by fellow birdwatchers at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves when suddenly we saw it. Our friend had initially thought it was a small dog, as stray dogs were often seen there. But, it was no dog. Instead, right in front of our eye, playfully displaying himself on land, was a Smooth Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)!

There was already a family observing and taking photos of the Otter. When the visitor snapped a photo with flash, we were so worried that it might scare away the Otter. It did, for a moment, ran back to the water. But it ran back to land almost immediately, much to our surprise. This was the fourth times Itchyfingers were so lucky to see the Smooth Otter, and it was definitely the nearest and the easiest to photograph individual!

Since Tisu Boy was carrying his big lens, he couldn’t photograph the Otter at such a near distance and had to keep backing away in order to take a decent portrait of the Otter. Worried that the Otter would suddenly disappear into the water like our previous encounters, I took out my small camera, zoomed in all the way to take some record shots…

A still image from my video clip. So itchy….This Smooth Otter, or the
Smooth-coated Otter, was almost oblivious to all the stares and just carried
on rubbing himself on the ground and entertaining us with some acrobatic moves…

The Otter was simply too near that Tisu Boy could only take his portrait…
It has short muzzle and fur. The nose was covered with mud, and it kept
sticking out the tongue…so cute!

It liked to rub itself and lie down sticking the neck on the ground…so cute…
Otters have webbed feet and prominent claws…

It even gave us a yawn…!
8) Did you notice something?

It was missing a lower left canine tooth! :p The teeth were generally white
except one black spot that looked like dental filling in humans’ teeth…hahaha!
The underside of the tongue looked rough…reminded me of cat’s tongue… :p

While we were looking, two other photographers came from the other direction and joined in. The family left shortly.

With two more cameras clicking away, the Otter was still not the least bothered by us…We started to wonder about the reason for its tameness…was it because some visitors had been feeding them? But we have not heard of any reports of visitors feeding these mammals. Otters are fish eaters, not sure if they would take human food…? Those Small-clawed Otters in our zoo were fed fish and pellets though…The previous times we saw Otters, they were very wary of people, even when we were so quiet and quite a distance away…they would usually dive into the water and disappear. This time, it was so close to us, and seemed so used to people…This just didn’t feel good…especially when one of the other photographers started making sounds to attract its attention…

The comment and mimicking sounds were made by the photographer…notice the Otter
had a scar on his body…We were getting a bit uncomfortable that it behaved so tame…
more so when those photographers started firing their flashes 😦

Then to our surprise again, the Otter, which was already quite close to us,
ran straight towards Tisu Boy, who was further away, then stopped and
looked at the photographer at the left of the photo here, before making
a 180 degree turn back! Maybe he was trying to take a closer look at that
photographer’s flash? 😮

Maybe in his excitement, the same photographer who made the sounds earlier, stomped his foot and gave a clap for no reason. The Otter got startled and ran into the water….Seeing it disappeared, the photographers also left.

We stayed for a while longer to see if the Otter would be back, and yes..! The tame little fella came back again…

The wet look…tongue sticking out again... :p

This time he didn’t stay too long on land. Instead he ran across and into the other side of the water and soon disappeared…Otters can stay under water for six to eight minutes in one breadth!

We had such a close encounter with the Otter for at least eight minutes and it was definitely the highlight of the day! But we didn’t expect to see the Otter again! Could it be the same individual?

A still image from my video, this time it was much further in the water.
See the Otter swimming towards the Malayan Water Monitor Lizard?
This guy was huge, easily measuring two metres long!

The cute Otter just swam towards the Lizard to say hello before turning back
and then dived into the water again…

This was what Tisu Boy saw through his lens..He seemed to have one missing
lower canine tooth…

Then, on our way out, guess what…

We saw the Otter again! Could it be following us? Hahah…can’t see the tooth..
Interestingly, this guy was swimming near another Water Monitor Lizard.
Notice this lizard had strange patchy orange skin…maybe it was moulting?
Looked like sun-burnt skin to me…hahah 😀

He dived in and out a few more times before disappearing again. That was the last time we saw the Smooth Otter. Though there are more sightings of individual and family of Smooth Otters, it is still not very easy to see them as they are generally shy creatures. Certainly hope that our close and long encounter with the Otter was a rare one, as being so tame and used to humans may not be good for wild animals; and we definitely hope that our worry about visitors feeding Otters was unfounded, that this individual was just an exceptionally curious and bold one. Anyway, it was a great day to have met the Smooth Otter again!

Also see related posts:
> Star Appearance at the Wetland
> Smooth Sailors at the Wetland

Working out with a Pussy Cat – Useless Invention #2

December 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | 8 Comments
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I was browsing at a shopping centre in Bangkok when Tisu Boy came over and told me to go see something really cute….

When I saw it I couldn’t stop laughing, my eyes were glued on it and I fell in love with it instantly. I thought that was CUTE. Kawaii des ne! 😀

The cat on display…guess what was its posture for?

It was doing SIT-UPS! 😀 Yes! It does sit-ups when plugged into a USB port! Hahahaha…! 😀

Look at the name! Hillarious! 😀

Now check out its SIX PACKS! Hahahahaha! 😀

It was brilliant! What better way to perk up a boring afternoon in the office, and to bring a smile on everyone’s faces? 😀 I must get it!

Checked the price. I hesitated…430 Baht for a USB drive? That’s more than S$18…and the packaging did not indicate the capacity of the thumbdrive. I asked the sale person for help and was shocked to hear that it carried no memory but just a gadget for fun! :O My goodness! I was thinking, with S$18 I could easily purchase a reputable 4G or maybe 8G thumbdrive back home, so if this Cat has only a 1 or 2G memory, it may be a bit costly. Never did I expect that it was merely an object of pleasure with no practical use! :O

Plug the Cat into the USB port and have a good laugh… 😀

So comes the question – to buy or not to buy a S$18 cute Cat just doing sit-ups for the fun of it? I could almost picture the envious looks on friends’ and colleagues’ faces and their persistent queries on where did I get that cute Cat? :p

But S$18 seemed a bit expensive leh… 😦

We left without buying, but over the next four days I just couldn’t forget about the cute Cat. In the end, I succumbed to temptation…Just think about it as a toy that costs S$18. What is S$18 for a designer’s toy? Afterall, I do collect toys… :p

I chose this cat design…

I was happy with my purchase… :p

Until one fine day while shopping at a local IT mall I saw something familiar….

Crunching Cat….

Damn! They had brought it here! I checked the price…Damn! It was only slightly more expensive than the one I bought from Bangkok! And they also brought in the same product line featuring the Dog. Like Crunching Cat, the Dog also springs into action once it is plugged into a USB port. Guess what is the name of the Dog…?

Humping Dog….

What do you think it is doing? :p Check out here… 8)

It’s Christmas in a few days’ time. If you have not bought any pressies for loved ones, fret not. How about the Crunching Cat or the Humping Dog then? Hahhaha… 8)

Also see related posts:
> Useless Invention #1

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