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30 December 2010

CowBoyBar Entering 2011

I confess.

It's true.

We, the Barflies are a bunch of lousy people.

We say stuff then too humji to admit when confronted face-to-face. We stab you in the back. We are hypocrites who say nice things in front of you, then diss you when you turn your back.

Yes. We, the CowBoyBar, are all that and more.

So?

As far as I am concerned, this is the CowBoyBar that I have grown to love. It is an eclectic melting pot of many people and equal as many personalities.

I have come to learn to love them and accept them all. Sure there are some pretty difficult ones but we just stay out of each other's way to maintain the peace in the bar.

It's true. We can't be very gum with each and everyone of them. Some more, some less. But at the very least, we always try our very best to accommodate and in the worst case scenario, siam one side lor.

The CowBoyBar, to borrow a cliche, is a hotel where people come in, people stay and people leave.

It's just part of the day in the CowBoyBar.

All I can say about the CowBoyBar is that it is not for everybody.

So it is pretty normal to have people come in, realise it's not their cuppa tea and then leave.

I won't say that those who leave are too good for the CowBoyBar but neither would I say that their are not good enough to be accepted.

I'd just say that the CowBoyBar is not suitable for the said person.

My only beef is that when one wishes to leave the group, don't make a big hoohah about you and how the CowBoyBar has wrong you.

If you want to leave, just leave.

I wish you well and will say a friendly and SINCERE hello should we meet on the streets.

Perhaps it was our mistake to open the doors just so easily. I remembered I have to show my banana just to be bestowed a Gunslinger.

Going into 2011, I say we close the door back again.

Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

JayWalk
Sherriff, CowBoyBar
- Voxeros

20 December 2010

RunForFunds 2010 - December Update

The 2010 StanChart Marathon just passed us by earlier this month and Adrian has finally ran his swansong marathon. Age is catching up and perhaps it is time for him to call it a day to the 42km challenge. 21km from now on?

Bear in mind that we are still in our thirties (dammit, not much time to call ourselves 30s already), we still have a lot of years ahead of us and as such, it is time to start pacing ourselves to ensure we have enough legs to walk to our respective graves by ourselves. Besides, I look very unglam in a walker and I can't pull off the suave gait of  Johnnie Walker with his walking stick.

Anyway, the theme of our project is RunForFunds where it was originally intended to tie the marathon to us. Now that all the aging Super Friends, with Adrian being the last, are no longer gunning for the full 42km, what would be the future for RunForFunds?

Granted that we'd probably be running the shorter 21km at the next StanChart Marathon (technically still a marathon event), I can't help but feel a little bit of the spirit is lost there.

Sigh.

How ah? Can we have new blood and fresh legs to carrying the torch?




You'd recall 7 days before the marathon on 5th December (Sunday), I was down with fever and a badly infected throat.

Under normal circumstances, this would have been a knock-out punch for a marathon runner preparing for a race.

It would be dangerous to run even if one has a slight flu, much less an infection with fever. But with the wonders of antibiotics, adequate rest and (I believe) divine intervention, I made a full recovery 48 hours before the run.

To be honest, I wasn't feeling "top of the world" on Friday but because of my extensive training for the past 4 months, I knew I could finish the race (somehow).

But just in case my ego got the better of me and to assure my family that there would be no heroics, I consulted my family doc on Saturday who gave me an all clear.

This year's race had a new route which started at Orchard Road 19,000 runners started the 42km run at 0500h, only 15,000 completed it.

I wasn't surprised by the attrition rate.

People signed up but didn't train for it.

At 3km, I could see some folks walking and panting with hands on their hips.

I also saw couples walking hand-in-hand, sauntering down East Coast parkway at their 13km mark (and I, a slow runner, had already covered 28 km!)

These people had no intent to finish the race.

The start of my run wasn't great.

I was directed to the wrong starting pen and was caught up with the straddlers.

For the 1st 10 km, I was running more sideways than forward.

On any other day, I would have been extremely flustered.

But since it was my final marathon, I decided I should take it easy and soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the sites along the way (also took note of restaurants along Amoy Street…… a lot of Korean makan).

This year's race was exceptionally tough because for a long stretch (29-36km), runners had to go round Marina reclaimed areas, on tracks beside construction sites.

There wasn't shade in these areas and the sun was blazing down on me and yes, I got sun burnt.

Morale of runners sunk to greater depths when occasional ambulances whizzed by with casualties of heat exhaustion (probably).

Thigh cramps also set in at this stage of the race.

It was quite a struggle but I could manage the pain.

I also received a lot of encouragement from fellow runners.

Must be because of my race tag........






At the 36 km mark, I turned into the AYE, opposite Marina Bay Sands, heading towards East Coast.

I looked up and saw a steep 2 km uphill run ahead of me (new route).

I was shocked and the shock waves obviously travelled from my head to my calves.

I've never experienced such massive calf muscle seizures before.

I stood rooted to the spot, not able to lift my foot at all.

With a huge stroke of luck, a medical staff happened to walk by.

I asked for help and he sat me down and massaged my rock-solid calves for 10 minutes (For the 1st minute, he was actually punching my calves to loosen the muscles).

I rested another 10 minutes before I could lift my foot an inch off the ground.

The medic asked if I wanted the ambulance to pick me up and I declined.

I told him I wanted to finish the race.

I've come too far to give up.

Besides, I could still force a smile for the cameraman ...........




It took me close to 2 hours to shuffle my feet 6 – 12 inches at a time to complete the last 6 km.

My average speed for the last 12 km was 5.4km/hr.

Any ah pek could have overtaken me comfortably….. really !!
(This year, the ah peks win).




Slowly but surely, I shuffled my way past the finished line.

From the pic, the pain is evident ??? :)

I've always told myself when I started running marathons in 2003 that if I took more than 6 hours to complete the race, I'd give it up.

This year, perhaps a self fulfilling prophesy, my finish time was 6h 16 min and 33 secs.




Amongst the finishers, I was 55th percentile.

As the results show, it is time to call it quits.

I'm happy with my 7 finisher's medals

However, it doesn't mean I'll stop running.

I love my pork lard (with meepok) too much give up exercise.

Next year, I'm signing up for the 21km run and will be aiming for a sub-2hr timing.

Maybe you can join me next year?


aL


- Voxeros

16 December 2010

Single Digit Weather



The signs were all there the night before.

A rain in the evening after many weeks of dry weather that led to traffic gridlocks all over the place. We were rooted to our spot on the road for 45 minutes before anyone gets to moved an inch. What originally was a 30-minute car ride, was blown into almost an hour-and-a-half.

By midnight, the rain escalated into a storm complete with the occasional lightning.

It was all quiet by morning. So quiet that I was awakened by the silence at 5am in the morning. Perhaps the cold lulled everyone into hibernating deep sleep.

The air was clean and crisp when I stepped out of the house. A rare occasion in this smog-filled land of TaoBao. The outdoor temperature was 7 degrees Celsius but factoring wind chill, it was 1 degree.

A big change from a comfy 21 degrees just the day earlier.

Not exactly my favourite temperature right now as it means I'd be forced to put on a jacket. My comfort zone is between 15 to 25 where I can continue to wear my short-sleeves and stay dry all the time.

The temperature is expecting rise up to 10 degrees Celsius (RealFeel: 5 degrees) and I wonder how I am going to go for my P230 run in this climate. I may have to switch to t-shirt instead of my usual tanktop. Running Shorts still? Definitely, I wouldn't trade it for trackpants. They are going to be way too hot when you get into the zone.

Glad this cold snap is temporary as temperature is expected to hit 16 degrees tomorrow and return to the 20s by Sunday.

- Voxeros

03 December 2010

My iPad - What I Have

Now that we have gone through what I like and what I don't about the iPad. Let's move on to what I have installed inside.

Here's my Top 10 apps in my iPad.

1 ) Free Memory (USD 0.99)

Remember I spoke about the memory leak problem as a result of multi-tasking function?

Running this little app not only allows you to see what has been eating into your memory, clicking "refresh" also let the app take a swipe of the memory and get back those that were out there in oblivion.

One of the dumb thing about it, is that you may have to swipe the memory a few times before getting all the hogged memory back, albeit not 100%. There will be times where you really have no choice but to do a shut-down and a restart when the leaked memory is just to stubborn to be recovered.

Free Memory is somewhat like a shoeshine sponge. You may be able to bring some sheen back to the shoe very quickly but once in a while, you will still need to give that pair of shoes a good old brush polishing.

Unlike the name of the app, this utility is unfortunately, not free. I damn buay song paying for a solution to a product flaw. Apple should foot bill for this. Bad Jobs!! Bad!!!

Note: This is an iPhone app but it works just as fine on the iPad. 


2) VLC Player (Free)


If you play videos on the iPad, then VLC media player is a must-have.

This little fella plays every damn format available (well almost every one of them sans the odd weird encoding).

Loading videos into the iPad is also a breeze. Just connect your iPad to your computer > fire up your iTunes > go to your iPad > click the App tab > scroll down to File Sharing > click to highlight VLC > then pick out the videos that you wish to transfer to the iPad. > that's it.

By the way, did I mention that I think that iTunes is a piece of crap software? Sluggish like nobody business. The only consolation is that the speed of the file transfer is very fast but that probably has nothing to do with iTunes anyway.


3) TuneIn Radio (USD 1.99)

Now that we have covered video, let's move on the audio. I got this just that I can listen to radio stations back home. Class 95FM, Gold 90.5, Lush 99.9 just to name a few. In case you haven't spotted then trend, they are all Mediacorp stations.


Sadly, Power 98 isn't on the list or I would have enjoyed tuning in to Power Cruising on weekday evenings.

A nifty feature is the alarm clock where it starts playing the broadcast at the time that you've set. It sorta becomes my radio clock belting out songs, banter from the trio of The Flying Dutchman, Vernetta Lopez and Glenn Ong every morning at 6am.

With the radio waves slowly nudging me awake, I sometimes mistook myself to be waking up in Singapore.

Afternote (14 Jul 2012): When starting up TuneIn radio, the app needs to access their server to get the playlist. Unfortunately, the Great Firewall of Ch1na (GFW) had in recent months blocked the access, rendering this app unusable without a bypass solution. I have since switched to LeonRadio (USD 1.99) which worked beautifully in Ch1na. The only downside albeit minor, is the absence of a wake-up alarm that TuneIn has.

4) iCab Mobile (USD 1.99)

I personally do not like the Safari browser that comes with the iPad as the default browser.

I find it sluggish. It is like the Windows equivalent of the Internet Explorer.

iCab Mobile is slightly faster in my opinion (it may be a placebo effect) but the one feature it has that trumps Safari is the multiple tabbed browsing capabilty.



5) Plurkid (USD 1.99)

I am a heavy Plurker and granted that I can just as easily plurk using any browser, those who have done so this way would have realised that while the screen is bigger with the iPad (yay!), the dialogue box for keying in your responses is stupidly tiny (boo!). It is only big enough to fit 3 or 4 words and you probably have to remember what you typed as it scroll into the abyss on the left.

Dumb.

Plurkid addresses this critical problem for a small fee. If you can live with the tiny dialogue box and don't plurk as fervently as I, don't spend the money.


6) Accuweather (Free)

It may not be useful to the non-traveling Singaporean whose home weather is nothing but Sunny With Chances of Shower, temperature ranging from 24 to 32 Celsius year-round.

It is however something that I need on a daily basis as I travel extensively in temperate regions.

I also need to monitor the weather of all my offices and Accuweather's interface does exactly this as it give you a one-glance-see-all layout.

I switched over from The Weather Channel where the latter has more bells and whistles like video weather reports etc, but that's overkill for me and I don't think I want to waste my time and bandwidth going into such detail.


7) XE Currency (Free)

Importing from other countries is a big part of my job here and monitoring currency rates on a daily basis is a daily routine for me.

Like Accuweather, XE Currency also have a one-glance-see-all layout for me to see how the USD relates to the HKD, relates to the CNY, relates to the SGD, relates to the NTD, relates to the THB. All in a single glance.

Point to note is that the rates on it are Inter-bank rates i.e. you may have to pad a few points to get the rates that you will be negotiating with the banks on that day.


8) FileApp (Free)

I mentioned in my earlier entry where I brought my iPad on my business trip instead of the usual laptop since I only need my documents on a read-only basis.

FileApp here does exactly that as it supports Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint formats. Adobe Acrobat PDF is supported too.

Loading it into the iPad is easy via the same way as VLC (see above) or wirelessly via the internet e.g. Dropbox or straight from web mail.


9) Galaxy On Fire 2 (USD 6.99)

Once in a while, one should kick back and slot in a bit of recreation.

I am not big on gaming but I bought this as it reminded my of the good old days of the Wing Commander series which I loved.

Come to think of it, given that there is there element of trading in there, I would say that this is closer to that of the Privateer series which is a spin-off of the actual Wing Commander series.

I remembered how I needed to souped up my 486 to have a whopping 8mb RAM (whoa!) and a Diamond Stealth 32 graphics card just to be able to load the game.

Oh how far technology has come along where a little oversize PDA by the name of iPad can now render the same game (well sort of) with better graphics and audio.


10) South China Morning Post (Free for now)

I am a subscriber to this Hong Kong broadsheet and I am paying a whopping RMB 4000 per year to have the papers delivered to me Monday to Friday (Saturday & Sunday gets lumped together with Monday's delivery).

Right now, it is on a trial basis as the iPad version of this newspaper has not been officially launched. Once it is up, subscription is expected to be around HKD 900 annually which is a gigantic discount for me.

However, I am not liking what I have been seeing so far as the app does not have an auto-download feature where I was hoping my iPad could download while I sleep and be available first thing in the morning.

Manual download was terrible and it took ages to complete. Hopefully when the app is finalised, this problem gets resolved. Otherwise, I may have to continue to pay RMB 4000 to get my daily news fix.

One more thing, I may need to adjust to not having my newspaper in non-paper form. Still resisting the temptation to bring the iPad into the bathroom.

Afternote (14 Jul 2012): I have since ditched South China Morning Post in favour of another Hong Kong broadsheet. The Standard is a free app although the content is not quite as good as the incumbent.

Image Credits: http://www.iphonefaq.org; http://a4.mzstatic.com; http://www.tapscape.com http://a1.phobos.apple.com; http://www.ipad-application-reviews.com; http://wpcdn.padgadget.com; http://appstorehq-production.s3.amazonaws.com; http://image.17173.com

- Voxeros

02 December 2010

My iPad - What I Dislike


Ok, we did what I liked about the iPad. Here's what I don't like about the iPad or parts for it that I feel is dumb.

  1. Weight

    Compared to the laptop, it is much lighter. However, as a device that you are considering to carry around with you all day, this is actually very heavy and even more so as the day dragged on. I was attending an event last Sunday and I carry this with me and by the end of the day, my arm was about to drop off.

    For those who still remember the TV series Las Vegas, the character restaurant hostess, Delinda, is often spotted carrying a tablet to manage her tables. That alone for those, who know their tech, is purely fiction both in the weight as well as battery juice department. Now that iPad is lighter and packs more juice, it is sadly still fictionally feasible.

  2. Memory Leak

    With iOS4 comes multi-tasking and with multi-tasking comes memory leak. In case any one hadn't noticed, iPhone/iPad apps does not come with an OFF button i.e. you can't shut down an application. pre-iOS4 models is fine with it as single-tasking means closing of the app whenever you hit the home button.

    However, now that you have multi-tasking, hitting the home button only brings it to the background and still running and hogging a chunk of resources. As you open more and more applications, the dwindling memory will eventually jam up the entire machine forcing you to either task kill the apps individually or do a reboot to start afresh.

    Dumb.

  3. 3G Connectivity

    I have the 3G model where I took the sim card, from my China Unicom WCDMA USB Mobile Broadband Stick, and inserted it into the iPad.

    Sad to say, the 3G speed on the iPad is significantly more sluggish than the originally USB stick.

  4. Apple Store

    One thing I hate about Apple is telling you what you can do, and what you can't. Over here, it tells you that you can't download Apps from other places except their store. Android Market is just as guilty but at the very least it doesn't totally prevent you from visiting alternative apk sites.

  5. Peripheral Support

    Still on the what-you-can-do,-what-you-can't-do department, the iPad does not allow you to connect to peripherals. You can't plug in a USB drive to gain access to external storage nor plug-in a USB mouse. Everything is proprietary which will cost you your liver and a kidney.

  6. Touchscreen Keyboard

    If there is one word to describe the touchscreen keyboard, it's retarded. The response is unable to keep up with my typing. Then again, could it be due to the fact than sensitivity is somewhat impeded by the presence of the screen protector layer?

    Also, keyboard should be 5 rows not 4, dammit!!

    Granted I understand that on the iPhone, 4 rows is deployed as a result of real estate constrains but now that we have iPad big screen, we need the buttons to be so big for what? I'd rather put in the numeric top row like a good Qwerty keyboard should be.
- Voxeros

01 December 2010

My iPad - What I Like


The iPad is something that I have wanted for many years now. Not the actual Apple product per se but a light and straight forward device (Instant ON, Palm OS-like One Touch Access) for some simple computing, checking email, browsing web and instant messaging as well as a battery life that allows you to leave the charger at the hotel room for the day.

From the Psion, to the Palm, to the Visor Platinum, to the Sony Clie, to the WinCE notebook. I've tried them all but none could give me the perfect fit to my requirement.

I was ahead of my time. By a decade.

Now comes the iPad which fulfills all of the above and below are a few points of what I like I about it.

  1. Weight

    I recently went on a business trip to Shanghai where I left my laptop behind and brought the iPad along to see if I can survive with it alone.

    It passed with flying colours. It is light and portable, making going through the airport security somewhat less clumsy. With everything (wallet, phones, coins, etc in the carry-on bag), it's just a bag, an iPad and me. Going through security was actually easier.

    I remember the early days where every available minute on the road is spent preparing spreadsheet after spreadsheet, presentation slide after presentation slide, pdf quotations after pdf quotations. A full fledged laptop was required. But now that I am at the stage (for quite some time already) where I have amassed my personal army within the organisation to do all that for me, I just needed something that fulfill the function of a read-only device. I have paid my dues churning out stuff for my bosses to look good in front of the board. Now it's my turn to be pampered.

    I use FileApp (Free) to fulfill this function.
     
  2. Instant On

    Back to the good old days of the Palm OS where we don't have to endure the dumbass boot-up eternity of Windows. For fellow Windows users, a way to get around this is not to shut-down the laptop. I never do. Instead, I put it to sleep whenever I go offline. With the laptop so intertwined with our daily lives, it is only a matter of a couple of hours before the laptop is opened up again to see the light of day. So why bother to shut down?
     
  3. Big Touch-Screen

    My last laptop was the IBM Thinkpad X40 Tablet and my present one is the HP Touchsmart TM2. Both are big touchscreens. Size does matter which is why I resisted moving to the iPhone from my trusty Nokia E90, even though the latter is not touch-screen. Granted that the iPhone has a rather generous screen for a mobile phone but mind you, once the on-screen keyboard comes up, there is very little real estate left.
     
  4. Battery Life

    At one point in time, I did consider the Fujitsu P-series as my choice for a laptop simply because you can swap out the DVD drive and put in a second battery to give you a total of 11 hours of juice, on top of the fact that it has a touch-screen.

    Problem is that batteries are not light. As if one is not heavy enough, you now have 2. That would certainly put the laptop over 2kg. Bad for the shoulders especially carrying them for prolonged periods of time.

    Point to note, your laptop weight must include the accessories that you intend to carry with you. The second battery, the external DVD drive, the mouse and of course the super heavy power brick that you can't survive beyond 4 hours without.

    With the iPad battery life rated at 10 hours, you can leave the power brick, albeit a tiny one back at the hotel or check-in luggage. There is no second battery and hardly any peripherals, the total weight is as close to the iPad weight as possible sans perhaps the protective carry cover.
As much as I gushed about the iPad, there are some parts of it that I am unhappy with. Stay tuned for the next entry where I shall talk about them in greater detail.

- Voxeros

24 November 2010

Fat Burn Vs Carbohydrate Burn



So I got another Polar FT40 heart rate monitor about a month ago and started to use it regularly with my runs.

One of the additional feature of this watch is that it tracks a person's fat burn.

As you can see, right from the start, it says Fat Burn. This appears during the initial stages when my heart rate hasn't picked up yet. What I noticed was that once I entered the zone starting from 122 bpm (see above), the phrase "FAT BURN" will change into "FITNESS" and my understanding is that this is when I start burning carbohydrates for fuel.

This completely overthrow what I used to understand.

My impression has always been that a body burns the following items, for fuel, in the following order:
  1. Alcohol
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Protein
  4. Fats
So from there I learned that:
  1. Drinkers get fat cause the alcohol gets in front of carbohydrates when burning fuel, that results in unused carbohydrates being converted and store as fats.

  2. Easy to get fat but hard to lose them is explained here. Fats, as you can see in the list, is the last to burn. Since most of us are eating adequately, we hardly get the chance to dip into our reserves to burn that stored fat. Over time, what happens is that your fats accumulate as more and more unused carbohydrates are being converted and stored.

  3. The Atkins Diet works on this principle where it restricts you from taking alcohol, oily fried (fats) and carbohydrates but you are free to go crazy with meat (protein). As for fruits and vegetables, fruits is not permissible due to its sugar content while vegetables are allowed due to their relative lack of sugar (carbohydrates).

    So the theory is that now that alcohol, fats and carbohydrates are eliminated from your diet, all you have left to burn for fuel is your protein intake. However, protein yields very little fuel which means that you would finish burning your protein intake pretty quickly. Once that is out of the way too, you have only fats to burn and therefore, you will start to lose the fats i.e. this is when the diet starts to take effect.
So here's my problem which I am now totally confused.

My interpretation, according to what I read from the watch, is that you are burning fats for energy as long as you keep your heart rate under the zone? And that once you hit the zone and higher, your body switches over the carbohydrates?


Here's the screen shot after an 8k run. So I burned 1169 calories in that 1 hour run of which, 10% of that 1169 calories (116.9 calories) is fat burn.

It is very confusing in the sense that here I am running like mad only to find out that a leisurely stroll i.e. keeping the heart rate low, who have been the easier way to lose fat?

No logic right?


I am totally confused.

Would appreciate any running experts to provide some enlightenment.

- Voxeros

21 November 2010

Joe Wong - Ch1na's Answer To Russell Peters



I am sure most of us are familiar with Canadian-Indian comedian Russell Peters who is a hit all over the world.

Now we have a US-Chinese answer to the funny man. Joe Wong.

We often think comedian as clueless clowns and brainless jesters but these folks are actually very smart people. Like Rowan "Mr Bean" Atkinson, who has a Masters In Engineering Science, Joe has a Ph.D in Mollecular-Biology.

Impressed yet?

Between Russell and Joe, I like Joe better as his range of topics, which includes current affairs and politics, is much wider.

I like his impeccable timing with strategic pauses for the maximum punch as well as his Captain Obvious one-liners peppered all over the place. Can you say "duh.........."?

"...I spend 10 years during the last decade....."

The only thing I feel is a bit short is that his script is quite repetitive. I scour for clips all over Youtube and it seems that his materials are very environmental friendly. A lot of recycling.

On a side note, I like the Americans ability to take a joke at their own expense. The pinnacle of humility.

Try that in Singapore and you would be assured that you will never be invited again ever or worse, a million-dollar defamation suit when you take a jab at the Guest-Of-Honour.


I hope to see more new materials soon.

- Voxeros

20 November 2010

Taiwanese Self-Filtration Coffee Innovation


Got a batch of coffee from Ta1wan.

While Ta1wanese coffee may be relatively unheard of back home in Singapore, the coffee produce by the indigenous folks (原住民) is something worth checking out.

Despite myself being a loyal Vietnamese coffee fanboy, I have to say that Ta1wan coffee is actually quite good too.

Anyway, it is this batch of coffee that caught my attention. Not such much about the coffee itself but the innovative filter bag that comes with it.

I do have to add that the coffee inside are not indigenous Ta1wanese coffee unfortunately. According to the outer bag, it is a mix roast of Indonesian (I am guessing Java) and Brazilian (I am guessing Arabica Robusta).

The beauty of the self-filtration system is the elimination the need for a coffee maker as well as the relief of the indignation of drinking *gasp!* instant coffee.

So here's how it works:

In the bag are the individual sachets of coffee filter bags where you tear open one per serving and fish out the filter bag inside.


Then you rip off the top of the filter bag to create the opening for the hot water to be pour in the coffee ground. Grab the wing on each side of the filter bag and straddle the entire apparatus across the cup. (Pardon the use of beer glasses to drink coffee, it was a MacGyver moment then)


Pour in the hot water and let the water work its way through the coffee filter down into the cup.


After that, you just let the whole bag soak in the cup. Strength of the coffee will depend on the duration you leave the bag in the cup.

It is a balancing act of getting a coffee strong enough versus getting a coffee hot enough. It is very much up to the individual preference.

Thereafter, just pick up the filter bag and throw away. No mess!

Click here to see the instruction printed on the back of the bag.

In all, I think the whole straddle bag this is a very smart innovation. Kudos!

- Voxeros

19 November 2010

Bath Foam Vs Shower Gel


This pair of bottles is from the same hotel where I stay in Xiamen as per my previous entry.

I like the Braille dots at the tip end of the bottles. Nice touch. Blind folks shower and shampoo too!

However, it is actually the bottle of foam bath that got me thinking and writing this blog.

If I recall correctly back in the day before shower gel was invented, we had soap bars in the hotel.

Yet, the bottle of foam bath exist then too! The only difference is that back then, the foam bath is actually use for the bath tub for that soothing bubble bath that all char bors are so fond of (check out Minnieve's profile photo).


Today, at many hotels, foam bath and shower gels are used interchangeably which I find it weird. If it was not meant to be used as a showering agent (agent?) back then, then how is it now that it is accepted as one?

Things that make you go hmm..........

- Voxeros

18 November 2010

Lost In Translation X


Saw this stuck to the outside of the glass shower cubicle when I was in Xiamen last week.

Ok, I got the first one. Use the non-slip mat so that you don't end up having a very very unglam accident where the entire ambulance crew will be snickering all the way to the hospital. No sir. Don't want that to happen definitely!

It's the second one that has me all baffled.

This one means you need to carry a tuning fork into the shower with you and once the shower hits the right note (Concert B-flat?), GET DA HELL OUT OF THE SHOWER!!!

Welcome to QQland. This is most weird.

- Voxeros

17 November 2010

Tokyo Mini House



If you think Hong Kong's "Transformer Apartment" is ingenius, this Tokyo's Mini House is even more tok kong.

Got parking garage downstairs some more ok!!

Don't play play!!

But personally, I think as a bachelor's pad, it's fine. But to have to share a bedroom with your mom is just too much for me.

- Voxeros

14 November 2010

Hotel Built In 6 Days



Even if the time taken for foundation piling and clearing of the land was excluded, putting together a building, albeit pre-fabricated, in 6 days was just darn impressive.

The article claims that this building can withstand a Level-9 earthquake but after the scandal of "tofu construction" so tragically exposed during the SzeChuan earthquake (12 May 2008), I am not so confident if this building could actually live up to its claim.

Let's hope we do not ever have to find out.

- Voxeros

12 November 2010

Dumbass Of The Week XVI


This news has been making the rounds all over QQLand forums about a rich kid who went onto the streets pretending to be a beggar, all in the name of looking for novel fun.

What an arsehole!!!

Read and/or see more pictures here: 移动Labs (05 Nov 2010) - 富二代为寻刺激 街头扮乞丐乞讨

Image Credit:  http://news.xinhuanet.com/

- Voxeros

11 November 2010

Kancheong Spider Girl - Sibeh Cute



This four-and-a-half year old girl is all over the internet here in QQLand, otherwise known as "失控姐" for her frequent kancheong panic attacks.

She kancheong until damn cute can? Damn funny.

Here's another one where she role play as a Flight Attendant. Check out her explanation why the flight does not provide water for the passengers. Hilarious!!!

Enjoy.




- Voxeros

01 November 2010

Project 230


I have embarked on a new project now that I have finally signed up for gym.

I am going to clock 230 km on the treadmill before I head home for Christmas.

That way, I would by then, made enough capacity to stuff my face silly with all the home food when I get back. :P

These past 8 months have been brutal to my body as I was all work, drink, eat, sleep.

I ballooned to a horrify weight breaching 70kg!

I feel more lethargic as a result which is an evil cycle causing me to want to move even less.

Now that plans for me here have more or less been settled (I am not going to be based in Shanghai after all and will be staying put in ShenZhen in the long run), I finally plonked down the moolah for gym access.

Yesterday marked the completion of 30km of Project 230. 200 more to go before Christmas Eve.

Oh that reminds me, it's time to put back the countdown clock on the right column. :)

p.s. I am down to 68.something. 5 more kg to lose! Gambatte me!

- Voxeros

29 October 2010

Ah Seng Passes The Buck

" ... 这次李显龙宣布这么多的升迁当中,其实最主要就是把黄根成从内长那个位子换下来,其他都是烟雾


把黄根成从这个火烧屁股的位置拉下,就是为了避免反对党在竞选期间数黄根成在内长期间的许多不是,到时只要说内长另有其人,就一了百了了。..."

- The Temasek Review (29 Oct 2010) 
 - 黄部长通过换位来卸责
(By Lee Chong)


This article on the The Temasek Review was penned in response to the news of a cabinet shuffle where the main focus was the transfer of Wong Kan Seng out of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which in recent years has been consistently screwing up.


I agree with the author's sentiment that perhaps the main move was that of transferring Wong Kan Seng out of the hot zone. Every other appointments are merely smokescreen to deflect attention.

Think about it, if the cabinet shuffle were to be just that one transfer, it would be too obvious and we would all know EXACTLY what the reason is, wouldn't it?

Seriously, from Mas Selamat's escape to father using son's passport to exit, to attempted escapes right outside the doorstep of the subordinate courts to the awful handing of Dr Chee & Co.'s attempted march towards Parliament Building during the IMF Meet (See Youtube - Speakers Cornered below).

It is now more or less an open secret that the elections is right around the corner (I would think probably right after Chinese New Year) and come election rallying, Wong Kan Seng's report card is sure to be taken out for review, especially by the Opposition Parties to justify the his candidacy.

It will be ugly as each past screw up cited could be a potential fatal face-plant for the incumbent.

Perhaps they are thinking, which I felt is a tad naive, that by removing him from the MHA, he no longer has to account for the past foul ups and just pass everything to the successor. On the same token, the successor can easily just deny accountability citing that those unfortunate events occur before his time.

See how this ding dong game is being played?

As far as I am concerned, Wong Kan Seng will not have my vote regardless of what portfolio he holds nor whichever ward he will be running if he is not staying on in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

It is ironic that Wong Kan Seng is also doing a Mas Selamat here.

Mas Selamat was caught in the end. Right?




Image Credit: http://www.sgpolitics.net

- Voxeros

25 October 2010

Dumbass Of The Week XV


I stumbled onto this when I was updating my links during my blog migration to JayWalk Online.

They say imitation is the best form of flattery.

Well, I am not flattered nor amused when I found my entry being lifted wholesale and pasted as somebody's own.

That's just fucking plagiarism.

I am ok if someone uses my content as part of their entry but at least have the common decency to credit the author rightfully.

This is the entry in question and the Alfred fella's is here (http://alfredtheinstructor.blogspot.com/2008/05/jackass.html). No active link back to his blog. No way.

Click here of the image on the right for my screen capture in case it gets deleted.

As you can see, I left a comment on his blog voicing my displeasure as captured below.

It is unlikely I am going to get a response from this as the blog appears to be abandoned.

Nevertheless, he is still going to be my Dumbass Of The Week XV.

@$#%$^%^#$%@@!!!

- Voxeros

21 October 2010

Bird Brain Inc.


I kid you not. 

This IS for real. There is a company really called Bird Brain Inc.

Found this at the office directory at the lift lobby of my sales office.

I bet you when they get to IPO (if they get to IPO), confirm sure under-subscribe one.

I wonder why?

- Voxeros

20 October 2010

Rape Fondant


Saw this at the supermarket when I was in Hong Kong last week.

Perhaps a most unfortunate name for a product.

I am almost afraid to know the production process of the cheese, imagining some guy humping a vat of churned milk.

Or worse, since this is a mass production facility, a massive line of guys humping a massive line of vats of churned milk, possibly in synchronisation and 8 eight hours a day?

And so if you smell something funky in the cheese, is it really cheese?

Ewww....... even I am grossed out by my own warped imagination.

- Voxeros

18 October 2010

Hello Kitty Car Fail





Spotted this outside my sales office yesterday on my way back from lunch.

FAIL.


- Voxeros

13 October 2010

Sian XMM Episode XX



So there we were after dinner back at the H0llyw00d Baby Bar for more drinks and chilling.


One of the barmaids showed up with dice and ask us to play. Initially, we were just playing where the loser drinks.


It wasn't long before Cowboy The Cheekopek Caleb started to have other ideas.



CowboyCaleb: Eh. 玩输的人喝酒不够刺激啦. 我们换别的.
* Yes. CowBoy The Cunning Linguist Caleb can speak mandarin quite well nowadays. Dun play play.

Barmaid: 好啊. 那我们玩什么?

CowboyCaleb: 我们玩输的人弹一下牙齿.

Barmaid: 变态!!

CowboyCaleb: 那我们玩输的人捏奶头. 你输了我就捏你奶头.

Barmaid: 不要!!

JayWalk: 听错了啦. 是捏下家的.

Barmaid: 哦. 好的. 可以!

*5-second delay*

Barmaid: OOOI!!! 不可以!!!!!

Dynamic Duo: WAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH

Image Credit: http://img.funnyanimatedgifs.net; http://rlv.zcache.com

-Voxeros

12 October 2010

Why CowboyCaleb And I No More Brudder

So on the rare occasion, CowboyCaleb decides to grace his appearance in my part of town, I bring him go eat Indian food only to have him order, 1order of roti, 2 orders naans (lucky I canceled his 1 more order of paratha) and get this....

... ONE curry dish and one order of samosa.

Walau... this fella know Indian food one or not???!!! ONE curry dish with 4 orders of bread!!!

This fella siao one!!!

In the end, we had to order two more dishes only to have ourselves stuffed silly.

So we decided to take a walk back to H0llywood Baby Bar coz I left my gym bag behind earlier.

En route we have to walk through a pub street and we came to this particular Japanese bar where there were two girls standing outside to invite guests in.


JayWalk: Eh... check out the two charbors.... the grey one on the left chio leh!! I rike!!

CowboyCaleb: Alamak... WE CANNOT BE BRUDDERS ANYMORE LIAO!!!!

JayWalk: hahahahaha..... we must plurk this.

CowboyCaleb: Yah! Yah!


It's great to hang out again after so long.

Stay tuned to the next entry where CowboyCaleb and I conjured the next Sian xmm Episode. The dynamic duo strikes again!!!

- Voxeros

11 October 2010

RunForFunds 2010 - October Update

Dear friends,

I trust this email finds you in good health and high spirits.

I’ve filed a report on the Maximize Your Potential (MYP) Ceremony held on 21st Aug 2010.

From the report, you’d see that 2 inaugural MYP award winners (there were 7 in 2004) came back to speak to this year’s award recipients.

You’d also be pleased to learn that MYP has supported 53 students since its inception.

I’ve registered a new website to host Run For Funds (RFF) info.

Please click on www.icareandshare.com to view the full report and pictures taken during the event.

For those of you who have been asking, my back problem is sorted.
Am now training for my 7th full marathon on 5th Dec 2010.

Closer to the date of the run, I will be sending out an appeal to raise funds. 

Reason: With the release of $21,750 to Geylang Methodist School (Primary) to run the MYP program for another 3 years, there is $6,956.23 (as of 10/10/2010) left in the RFF fund.


Blessings,
aL




Maximize Your Potential Ceremony (21 August 2010)

The 7th Maximize Your Potential (MYP) ceremony was held on Saturday 21st Aug 2010.  The event was graced by Geylang Methodist School (Primary) GMSP Principal Mrs. Rina Yap and Vice-Principal Mrs. Molly Soong.



19 MYP recipients ( seven Primary 4, six Primary 5, six Primary 6 students) and their parents started filling up the venue at 0930h. The event started promptly at 1000h with introductions from Mrs Jessie Soh (who has been instrumental in the success of the program since its inception in 2004) and an opening prayer by school Chaplin Reverend Nga Mee Hee.

Mrs. Rina Yap

Next, Mrs Yap addressed the students. She congratulated them on being selected for the award that was based on academic results, CCA participation as well as exemplary behaviour in school.  She encouraged them to keep up their good work.

Adrian shared with parents the intent of the MYP award that was raised by the Run For Funds (RFF) movement:
To help their children develop their potential by exposing them to developmental activities that would otherwise be financially out of reach.  He also shared that RFF will be sponsoring a further $21,750 to run the MYP program at GMSP for another 3 years.

This year, we managed to get 2 of the first batch of MYP recipients (in 2004) to speak to the students.

Alfie Lim

Alfie Lim is a JC 1 student at Nanyang Junior College. He told the students that each family faces different difficulties and challenges.  They cannot change this reality. He urged them not to be discouraged by their immediate circumstances and continue to work hard and don't give up.  He encouraged them to continually seek knowledge and improve themselves.

Tan Zhiwei

Tan Zhi Wei is now in secondary 4 in Hwa Chong's integrated program. He shared how the MYP award helped him pursue his interest in art.  He also shared how he developed interest in software programming although it is not part of school syllabus.  Like Alfie, Zhiwei encouraged the students to make full use of their time to try new things and discover latent potential which may be useful later in life. 

The awards were handed out to the 19 deserving students. Below are pictures of Mrs. Yap (left pic) and Rev Nga presenting awards.


Jee Hui (left) and Joyce on
their recorders, with Mrs Jessie Soh holding the musical scores


Then Teng Jee Hui and Joyce Chim entertained all participants an instrumental piece (recorder).


Mrs. Soong presented Adrian with a token of appreciation and Teng Jee Hui presented "thank you cards" prepared by MYP recipients to RFF supporters.

 Mrs. Molly Soong (left) and Jee Hui
presenting token of appreciation to Adrian


The ceremony ended with a group photo session followed by light snacks for all involved.


MYP 2010 Group Photo
I'd like to thank GMPS for their continued support of the MYP program.

Special thanks to Mrs. Jessie Soh and Miss Theresa Tong for 7 years of dedication to the MYP program.


- Voxeros
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