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29 July 2014

BarRun 2015 - Prelude


It's been two months since the Sundown Marathon where I completed the 10K with fellow Barflies. It was great fun and my decent timing improvement over last year was the cherry on top.

I enjoyed the run. Not so much about the timing but rather the fact that a few good friends are running together and who can say no to supper thereafter?

That brings me to looking forward to next year. Assuming my work dates don't clash with the event, I am torn between running 10K again or going up the next rung to 21K.

The 2014 Sundown saw the 10K event had an earlier start than the 21K Half and 42K Full Marathon, where the latter starts after the 10K has finished.

If I were to take up the 21K challenge, it would very much mean flying (or in this case running) solo. It won't be as fun as starting off together and going for supper there after.

And if I were to take up the 10K again, it would mean missing out on the chance to challenge myself further and this opportunity diminishes with every year I grow older.

So how?

- Voxeros

11 July 2014

In Defence Of NCPG "Boo Boo"


Singapore's NCPG, acronym for National Council for Problem Gambling, recently has an ad which picked Germany to be supposedly the wrong team to bet on.

In gambling, as you all would know, is a problem only if you lose. In this particular case, Germany kept winning.

Oops.

Perhaps Germany was picked because in the entire history of World Cup, no European team has ever won on the soil of the Americas i.e both North and South America. Goldman Sachs predicted a Brazil-Argentina final and so we can imagine the shock when Brazil got handed a 7-1 spanking by the Germans.

Yes, the ad and the irony of it all is funny. We make jokes of the ad but perhaps we should step back and think for a while the message that was originally intended.

Jimmy Fallon ridiculed the ad saying how much savings does a 8-year old child have? $17.25? But think about it from another angle. If the father has to dip his fingers into the kid's piggy bank, what does it say about the rest of the money in the household?

Not so funny now, huh?

The way I see it, our fellow ministers may have jumped on the wrong bandwagon joining the netizen mob in poking fun at the ad. Sure, it's funny and fun for now but bear in mind, there is still one more game to play.

For those who has dabbled in a punt or two, you know how it is like to be on a streak. You feel invincible. This string of victories gives you sense of false bravado and the final wager this coming Sunday/Monday may just be the undoing of every win leading up to this match.

Sure. Germany looks like they have God-status mode turned on right now when they trashed super powerhouse Brazil not by the odd goal or two but freaking 7-1. Mind you, while Germany was indeed the better team that day, they won only because Brazil imploded. The Brazilian team this year is probably the worst team ever assembled for the World Cup. Without Neymar and Captain Silva, they are nothing. People have been singing praises of David Luiz throughout this tournament but I reiterate my stance this lazy fella has been a cancer cell in the Chelsea squad. He is not that good as people made him out to be.

Also, if you look at Argentina-Germany's last 8 international head-to-heads (friendlies included), Argentina has won 7 of them.

Bookies are making Germany to be the favourite here and I am sure majority of the punts will go in favour of them.

Odds always favour the house and so I am thinking bookies will clean everybody out when Argentina lift the trophy come Sunday/Monday.

So. Perhaps it is too early to ridicule the NCPG ad?

I may be wrong with my prediction but the message intended behind the NCPG ad is definitely right.

Think deeper. Don't be so shallow.

-Voxeros

05 June 2014

BarRun 2014 - Sundown Marathon 2014


Yup, this year is still the Fantastic Four of us doing the BarRun. Word has it that Airpork no longer run and we are in the midst of recruiting new people for next year's.

This run this year was much better, the change the running route and we were running clockwise this year instead.

Our 10K run was also flagged off earlier at 22:30 so that we finish before 0:00 for the actual Marathon and half marathon to start at 01:30 and 00:30 respectively.

Result? No bottlenecks! Good. For some strange reason, we found ourselves near the front of the starting pack and that turned out to be a blessing as well. No start-off traffic jam too.


My time this year at 64:15 was an awesome improvement from last year where I came in at 78:14. From 2699th to a whopping 589th! By interpolation, I am estimating that I improved from 1933th to 310th in the Male category and 337th to 50th in the Male 40-49 Age Group category.

Perhaps the only disappointment is the missing infographic analyst of your run that usually comes with the official release of your results. They had it last year and I believe the year before too. It was loads of fun to read.



I have always liked Sundown Marathon's tank top as the material is really comfortable. This year's look better than last although I fear the back decals may start to peel after a few washes.


Special mention goes out to my Wahoo BlueHR Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Monitor which again, worked flawlessly. Guess what? It is still on its first battery since I bought it in Apr 2013 and it's not like I haven't been using it regularly. I have over 50 runs amounting to over 40 hours of running and it's still going on strong.

Kudos!

- Voxeros

02 June 2014

Coca Cola Second Lives


Coca Cola has lotsa of novel initiatives that deserve our applause as far as creativity and the somewhat greater good that it promotes. Ranging from the Hug-A-Coke-Machine for a Coke or a "Thank You" Coke via air drones to the construction workers for building our city's skyscrapers or a payment via Coke bottle caps for a phone call home.

But this.

This one takes first prize as far as I am concern. Putting Coke bottle into reuse with a series of utility caps ranging from the fun water guns to the more domestically useful spray bottle, condiment shaker etc.

Question is, what did Coca Cola do, if at all, such that the caps fit only Coca Cola bottles and not other brands?

It seems awfully unfair for Coca Cola to spend all the time, resources and effort to do a good thing only for other brands like Pepsi to achieve the same utility putting these innovative caps onto their bottles?

Or am I just being too petty?

- Voxeros

30 May 2014

MYP Award Ceremony 2014 - Part 2



Time really flies and before you know it, we are into our eleventh year.

Wow. Eleven.

Anyway, here's the report of the Maximise Your Potential Award Ceremony held 6 weeks ago with a brief statement of accounts of our current finances.

--> Click Here To Go To The RunForFunds page. Like Us!



REPORT: 11th Maximize Your Potential Award Ceremony (12th April 2014)

The 11th Maximize Your Potential (MYP) award ceremony was held on 12th April, 10 am @ Geylang Methodist School (Primary).

Present were 21 MYP award recipients (11 of them are prefects!), their parents/guardians, supporters of Run For Funds and GMSP teachers-in-charge.

(Note: To date, 86 students have received the MYP award)

Mrs Rina Liang, Principal GMSP, kicked off proceedings with a welcome message. She told the parents and students that they should be very proud of their achievement thus far. The recipients were selected for MYP based on their academic performance and good behavior.

Amongst the supporters who attended, there were 2 SuperFriends (who have run to raise funds for MYP).

Meng Hwei, a pioneer SuperFriend, ran a full 42km marathon in 2003.

Byron, our newest SuperFriend, ran 21km in December 2013 and raised $2,061 for MYP.

In his address to the recipients, Byron shared that we are created with unique talents and we must put these talents to good use i.e. help others and contribute to society. He also shared, like running, the students need to persevere when the going gets tough and never give up.

Adrian shared with the students the importance and joys of giving. He encouraged the students to make a difference to people around them with acts of kindness, peer tutoring etc. The simplest way is to give others a smile to brighten their day. Adrian also reminded the students that they, like their predecessors, have the right foundations to succeed in the future. He profiled success stories of MYP recipients who have qualified for tertiary studies in law, actuary, accountancy, hospitality. He urged the students to aim high, work hard and don't give up.

The MYP Awards were then presented to the students by Rina, Henry Tan (pioneering RFF supporter) and Byron.

Event ended with a tea reception + group photo taking.

Accounts
$21,000 was donated in March 2013 to GMSP to fund MYP award for another 3 years (2013-2015).

As per past practice, I donated the money from the stand-alone RFF bank account using a cheque in my name.

As a result, I received a tax credit for making a donation to the school.

I'm recycling back the tax benefit of $10,500 in my recent tax assessment (from making the $21,000 donation) back to RFF account.

RFF account as of 29th May 2014 = $18.076.19 + $10,500 =$28,576.19


Special Thanks
Special thanks go out to the following people:

Theresa Thong and Jessie Soh – Your labour of love and persistence over the past 11 years has impacted 86 young lives and their families.

Rina and the staff of GMSP – Thank you for making a difference to the lives of students @ GMSP. The commitment and dedication of your staff in a demographically challenged Geylang district will leave an indelible mark in these young lives.

RFF supporters – As always, thanks for your support, prayers and contributions all these years.

Blessings,

Adrian

Winners of MYP award 2014 with their proud parents/guardians and teachers-in-charge
Winners of MYP award 2014 with their proud parents/guardians and teachers-in-charge

--> Click Here To See The Rest Of The Album (Not as many pictures this year as there was a slight "mishap" with the digital camera. We were fortunate to be able to salvage whatever is left. Oh well. We'd be more careful next year. Onward to the 12th!

--> Click Here To Go To The RunForFunds page. Like Us! 



- Voxeros

08 May 2014

A Cola For The Migrant Workers


A gesture for gratitude for the migrant workers who toiled under the sun and in the rain to build us beautiful skyscrapers.

Coca Cola and the Singapore Kindness Movement showed their appreciation delivering over 2700 cans of Coca Cola to them as a way of saying Thank You.

Thank you.

On a side note, there has been talks about rezoning a parcel of land to relocate all the migrant workers there. It could be just me but isn't that also otherwise known as segregation?

Racism, anyone?



- Voxeros

25 April 2014

Philippine Independence Day In Singapore


There has been quite a big ruckus kicked up over the Philippine Independence Day celebration in the heart of Singapore's shopping belt recently.

Some people were quite upset why they couldn't do it on their own turf and have to have it here.

Er.... because it is too costly to fly everyone back to celebrate and then return here again? Duh.....

I also beg the question. What is wrong with celebrating in Singapore? It is afterall a joyous occasion and what better than to share the joy with others?

What is with the hostility?

My friends and I had a discussion recently on this issue and here is my take.

As much as I welcome them to hold their celebrations here, I would hope that one day, we can also have a Singapore day in Manila and share our joy too!

I think it is an awesome idea to bring some colour to the place and also an excellent opportunity to learn about another culture. After all, Singapore is a melting pot of races and nationalities from all over the world. No?

Besides, it is only for a day. How much inconvenience and/or grief, if at all, can one day of celebration bring? We tolerated, every year, an entire week of inconveniences e.g. road blocks, road diversions, squeezy public transport, loud deafening noise, otherwise known as the Formula One race. No?

Then there is the bigot who claimed that such an event is an act of war on us. Really? War? What is this guy smoking?

Anyway, I hope the authorities will haul this idiot's ass up in court for inciting unwarranted hatred. Should lock this guy up for a couple of weeks to let him cool off. Time out corner you go, spoilt little brat!

The way I see it, the good people of The Philippines are welcome to hold their event in Orchard Road. Just make sure all licensing, permits and the relevant laws and regulations are adhered to. Would appreciate the extra hand to clean up when the event is over.

Other than that?

Happy Independence Day, Philippines!

Mabuhay!

Image Credit: http://singaporenewsalternative.blogspot.com

- Voxeros

15 April 2014

Microwave Poached Egg - The Second Attempt


Following the first disastrous attempt, I decided to give it another shot after reading and studying the comments on my facebook entry (of the same topic) what could have gone wrong.

So here's what I did on my second try.

I continued to use room temperature water as I still think "cold water" in any recipe refers to unheated water. Otherwise, they would have specified refrigerated water or spell out the temperature to which the water should be, which I find is a tad overboard.

It's a cooking recipe. Not a science laboratory experiment, mind you.

And no. I am not going to use a pipette or burette to get the mug (not measuring beaker) to fill up to 1/3.

Next, I pop the mug with the egg (unbroken yolk) into the NukeBox on high for 60 seconds.

I started the countdown as I nervously watched the mug spun nonchalantly on the carousel.

50 seconds, just a tad short of the full minute, there was a loud POP!

I was thinking "oh great!", we have another eggplosion (term courtesy of Desiree).

I was suprised to see that the microwave was clean with no mess. I picked up to see the mug, half expecting to see nothing (and thus begin the mystery of the disappearing egg).

But no.

There it was, sitting nicely and almost pretty.

It wasn't completely cooked as there is still about 10 to 15% of the albumen still in its uncooked transparent form.

I let it sit for another minute to let it cooked in the heated water. I don't want to pop it back in again, lest I risked the real eggplosion.

Skimmed off the uncooked portion of the egg, throw it on a toast, leaf of lettuce, sauce as a "glue" to prevent the egg from sliding all over the place, a dash of mushrooms in truffle oil, sliced tomato for garnishing, take a photo et voila! Hipster meal!

- Voxeros

11 April 2014

Microwave Poached Egg - The First Try


It all started with the above facebook post from Ellen.

Having my fair share of *ahem* experimenting with the microwave oven, I have come to learn never to put an egg in the microwave without first poking a hole in the yolk.

Hence, I got curious with this recipe that specifically says to keep the yolk intact.


So. Step 1. I got ready the slice of bread and lather it with a layer of mayo. Didn't have lettuce in my crisper and so I guess the end product would turn out slightly different. *shrugs*


Step 2. Egg. Checked. Mug with 1/3 full of water. Checked.


Step 3: Break egg carefully into cup WITHOUT breaking the yolk. Checked.


Step 4: Into the microwave on high for 1 minute. By the way, that's my Vietnamese coffee brewing on top.


Eh. How come the picture in the recipe is a Jupiter planet, mine is Saturn? Here's the problem. The transparent liquid in the middle is water or uncooked egg white?

Well, the recipe DID say that it is permissible to pop it back into the microwave to nuke it for an additional 10 secs to have it a little bit more cooked.

I was thinking heck lah..... a bit more cooked better lah. What is another 10 extra seconds on top of that 10 extra seconds?


And to quote my dear friend Ellen.....

dibabom.

The egg flew out of the cup and the egg white was plastered everywhere.


So Ellen, buy that air ticket and fly over. The microwave oven is not going to clean itself.



Afternote: Undeterred, I am going to give it another try this weekend. Perhaps with a hand on the power knob the next time round.

- Voxeros

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