29 September 2014

Seeds And Nuts 2.0

Just when I thought the last time I had "Bird Food" was just a while ago, it dawned on me that 3 years have already flown by.

Wow. How time passes!

So anyway, during my last trip back in June 2014, I decided to pack more seeds and nuts back to QQland.

This time round, my mix is:
  • Walnuts
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Wolfberries
I did away with black sesame seeds as they have a tendency to get stuck in between you teeth and really ugly when you smile. I added wolfberries for its health benefits and also the fact that there was a special offer.

No pine nuts nor sunflower seeds as there was no stock that day.

As usual, all of them are unsalted with the exception of the pumpkin seeds.

The wolfberries are quite nice but I made the mistake of buying too much which made the entire mix tasted off. It didn't help that they have a tendency to clump together and so you can imagine when I bit into a big chunk of it.

p.s. Yeah. It was the same tupperware, I used the last time round. Still good and tight sealed as ever.

- Voxeros

28 September 2014

Hong Kong Tennis Open 2014

By right, I should be featuring the match winning point above but Lisicki won that on account of Schiavone's double fault and so essentially, it wasn't a point worth my top billing. Instead, I put up Schiavone's save of the first match point.

I was in Hong Kong two weeks ago to watch the semi-final games but was too busy to update it on my blog until now.

Anyway, the other semi-final was between relatively unknown duo of Pliskova (Karolina) and Van Uytvanck.

Er.... who?

Anyway, it was a b-o-r-i-n-g match and kudos to the organisers for having the foresight to place them as the first semi-final of the day where at 3pm in the hot afternoon, the place was about 1/4 filled.

There were sparks of brilliance from time to time between these two ITF graduates but they have a long way to go as far as paying their dues is concerned before being able to be regarded as serious contenders in the big league.

The disparity in levels between Lisicki and Pliskova was evident in the final the next day as latter young padawan was schooled 7-5, 6-3.

Coming back to the semi-final between Lisicki and Schiavone, everyone was rooting for the underdog Italian as the 34 year-old put up a gutsy display against the German who is 9 years younger.

We were awed by her never-say-die attitude as she hunted down every stray ball covering every squared inch of the court.

Win or lose, as far as the point was concerned, was met with big applause from everyone. Perhaps it was everyone's way, including mine, giving her an "A" for effort.

Eventually, youthfulness triumphed as Lisicki takes the title 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

My thought next, goes to the tournament itself. The Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2014 is a tiny tournament where the winner goes home with just 280 ranking points. This compared to the Grand Slams (2000 points) and the WTA Premier Events e.g. the current ongoing Wuhan Open 2014 (900 points). The down side to this is that with fewer ranking points and smaller prize money, you aren't going to attract as many big names. In fact, for this particular tournament the top seed was eventual Sabine Lisicki and she was ranked back then as 28th. We won't be expecting the likes of Sharapova, Williams, Kvitova etc to grace the event.

The up side on the other hand is that smaller tournament means smaller venue, means we are up closer to the action. And yeah, cheaper ticket prices too.

p.s. My favourite day of the tournament is actually the quarter-finals where, IMHO, the ticket price gives you the best value for money. The price of the ticket grants you 4 matches to watch in a single sitting. Compare this to the more expensive semi-finals (2 matches) and most expensive ticket final (1 match). Earlier rounds can be boring as players hold back on the throttle to avoid peaking too early and so the quarter-finals is the turning point where players step up their gear in terms of play intensity as they are just a mere two steps from victory. 

Click Here To See --> The rest of the HK Open 2014 photos as well as the video of the match point between Pliskova (Karolina) and Van Uytvanck.

- Voxeros

09 September 2014

Talent Uncovered

This is a video of Faith's drawing. It is a time-lapsed video capture and so no. She didn't draw THAT fast.

We started noticing her interest in drawing anime characters and her obsession with creating stuff on Minecraft. For those who have fallen behind in terms of technology, it's a digital low-res version of lego or nanoblocks.

Anyway, when we first saw her drawings, we were like...

... this kid's got a bit of talent. What I initially thought was just a knack coupled with hours and hours spent glued to youtube tutorials (which kinda explained her plunging grades in P5).

After watching this video, I stand corrected.

I don't recall us sending her to any art classes after school. I believed she just happened to pick things up herself.

I am impressed.

Perhaps yellow brick road is laid down for her already. Let's send her to arts school. Yes?

Who knows she may even be in the CGI FX team for Star Wars IX. Who knows?

p.s. I can see the generation gap getting wider. Gone are the days where it is just a pencil/pen and paper.

p.p.s. Perhaps I should get her to meet Grasshopper?

Image Credit:

- Voxeros

09 August 2014

Happy National Day 2014

Happy National Day, Singapore!

Granted this song isn't going to be remembered a year from now (or even a month from now), it is nevertheless a commendable effort.

p.s. I would recommend turning on the captions to read the lyrics as the song runs along. Click on "cc" below the time line bar.

- Voxeros

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.


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.


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.


- 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

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