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29 December 2011

Mini Eggs


Perhaps it is most unfortunate to have this entry position right above my earlier entry which is about turtles.

So before I begin, I would like to go on HTC Wildfire phone to give you a perspective of the eggs' size but somehow the picture just didn't tell a convincing story, even with a can of Coke next to it. *shrugs*

* Took another shot and hopefully shows the size better. (See right).

The eggs were bought out of curiosity due to their tiny size.

I have to use 6 of them to make a decent half-boiled egg breakfast. I was told that some of these eggs have two yolks in the already super cramped interior but I personally have not had to chance to see one myself.

In all, my verdict of my 6-egg breakfast is

Sibeh Waste Time.

Apparently, 6 eggs don't really enough "egg" in it to fulfill a decent egg's content.

I will try 8 eggs next time.


- Voxeros

28 December 2011

Turtle Centipede


It's winter time over at my side of the world and the mercury is now around somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius.

As gloomy as winter sounds, we have very nice sunshine during the day and it is no wonder that the turtles have all decided to come out of the water to catch the rays.

The picture was taken in my office where we have a fountain pond with turtles and fishes.

It was a day after lunch when I got back to the office when I see them in such an amusing formation.

Turtle Centipede!!!


- Voxeros

27 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Coffee


If I were to describe coffee in Taiwan, I can only say, Cannot Make It.

There typical coffee recipe in Taiwan is soooo stingy with the coffee that most of them just ended up being coffee-flavoured milk for their Cafe Au Lait, which is possibly the most common coffee there.

In one of earlier entries where I wrote about a stop-over just before heading to the LiuHe Night Market, I ordered a Kopi-O (Long Black) to drink while waiting for the rest of the folks to finish eating.

The coffee cup was HUGE and I was suitably delighted as I have been starved of decent coffee for days but a couple of sips was all I took before I pushed it away.

It was coffee-flavoured water. The coffee was so thin that I tasted more of the water than the coffee.

Bleugh!

- Voxeros

26 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Old Style Pachinko


As I had mentioned about gaming in the night markets, this retro pinball game (Pachinko 打弹珠) was one of my childhood favourites.

So when we came across a pachinko stall in another night market the following night, I shared with Faith the game which I am sure will be extinct eventually.

The game is very simple. Just flick the marble with the red stick through the launching tunnel on the right as with all pinball machines and watch the marble cascade down through the maze of nails and see which column the marble lands.

There are prizes for different combinations like getting a marble each in every column, getting 7 marbles in a single column, get a free game if you can get a marble into the column as indicated by the marker-drawn arrow, etc.

The prizes are pretty modest stuff, from candy, to chewing gum, to soda pop, etc.

Perhaps, it was beginner's luck for Faith but we ended up with a lot of prizes at the end of the night.

As Faith was engrossed watching the marbles rain down the maze, I spoke to the stall owner who has been manning the stall for the past 30 years in the same location. You can tell from his weathered look that he has been at it everyday come rain or shine, hot or cold.

The stall would eventually be wound up when he retires and the world will have a old style pachinko stall less for the folks to enjoy.

- Voxeros

24 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Night Markets


They say a visit to Taiwan is never complete until you have been to their famous night market (夜市). A typical night market comprises of 3 sections. The first is definitely food, glorious street food! The second is the gaming section where you have simple carnival types of games like shooting hoops, darts, air pistols, pachinko and my all time favourite, paper net goldfishing. Last but not least, a retail section selling anything and everything from shoes to clothes to knick knacks at very attractive low prices.

However, due to the growing popularity amongst the tourist, we have more and more night market catering to the tourist and thus featuring only street food.

LiuHe Night Market (六合夜市) is one such night market featuring only street food.

Here's the background story. My second aunt is a retired teacher after having taught at a local school nearby for over thirty years. For someone who has been teaching for such a long time, it is not unusual to have parents and kids taught by the same teacher and it just so happened that many hawkers there and their kids were once student of my aunt.

My aunt loves this night market as she is always happy to see familiar faces as they were to see her.

The only problem is that these stall owners never accepted her payment for all the foods which makes it awkward for her to come often for it may appear that she is there to free load off them.

So without further ado, let go whack the foods!


First stop was a restaurant about a stone's throw away from the night market. As one would have guessed, it belonged to one of her ex-students as well.

We stopped by for a light dinner but I chose to save my appetite for the good night market fare.

However, one item caught my eye and it was the Milk and Salted Egg ice cream. Salted egg ice cream?? As it turned out, it tasted like a typical snow skin moon cake with salted eggs yolk inside, except frozen.

I also took a bite of a Milk and Glutinous Rice Cake ice cream. That was sooooo wrong.

Below was a series of plurks that logged all the nonsense that I put into my tummy that evening. *pat pat*













Here is one thing that got my attention. Initially I thought they were curry pok, given my weakness for these heavenly delights. Upon closer look, I realise there were something else. They were oyster puffs!

First they get a bowl and lined the puff pastry skin inside, then they loaded it up with oysters and top it off with an egg in the middle, before wrapping it up and dunking it into the deep fryer.

I chickened out from this as I thought that was oyster overkill for me.

* Click to see the Oyster Puffs in greater detail.

In all, it was a fabulous gourmet treat but I was disappointed not to find the push-cart hawker beef steak stall. For NTD 199 (about SGD 8.50) you get a three-course steak dinner of cream of corn soup, a T-bone or sirloin steak (your choice) on a hotplate and a cup of black tea.

It used to be NTD 99 (about SGD 4.20) when I was a kid but alas with inflation over a 30-year span, it is now NTD 199 but still relatively cheap nevertheless.

My fondest memory of this steam is how they use a pair of pliers (the ones you normally find in a toolbox) to serve you the hotplate.

I like it for the generic and rusty charm of it all. No fancy smancy presentation when all you need is a pair of pliers to do the job.

- Voxeros

23 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - National Museum Of Marine Biology And Aquarium


On the second day of our KenTing trip, we decided to visit the National Museum Of Marine Biology And Aquarium (国立海洋生物博物馆), given that Faith is a super big fan of all things marine.

The above picture is a water feature that greeted us when we first stepped into the marine park. The first thought that came to my mind was.....

"Alamak! How come all the sculptures leaking water??!!"*

* Click here to see bigger picture

Yeah..... my mind works in pretty weird fashion sometimes....

My impression of the park was a mixed bag of pros and cons.

What I liked about the park:
  • The entire park is HUGE. I like the open spaces.
  • They have a pretty decent size aquarium where the viewing glass panel from one end to the other measures 16m.
  • There is a baby whale shark in there which is pretty damn big. I am guessing the baby shark is about what? 10m in length? The local guide explained that a full grown whale shark would be around 20m in length. We won't be able to see the entire shark if it were in the aquarium since like I said earlier, the glass panel is only 16m across.
  • There is also a viewing aquarium featuring two baby Beluga whales. They are so manjah!!!

What I didn't like about the park:
  • Given the vast space of the park, the number of exhibits in pathetically little, so much so that quite a number of exhibits were either 3D holograms or animation to "simulate" the marine exhibits. I felt cheated.


We still had a couple of hours of daylight when we finished visiting the marine park where we decided to travel to another part of town to get onto a glass-bottomed boat (yellow ships on the right).

Pretty much uneventful with nothing much to see except.....


Click here to see the rest of the Kenting photos.
- Voxeros

22 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Eluanbi Lighthouse


After we checked into the B&B, we decided to go sightseeing since there was still ample daylight left.

So another short drive of 10 mins (about 8km) further South, we reached the Eluanbi Lighthouse.

Eluanbi Lighthouse (鵝鑾鼻燈塔) is a definite destination to go if you are visiting the Kenting area. The special thing about this 130+ year-old lighthouse is its geographical significance, on top of the fact that it is also the most powerful lighthouse in Taiwan as far as luminosity is concerned..

The Eluanbi Lighthouse, built during the Qing Dynasty, is the southern-most landmark of the Taiwan island (see left).

As stand due-south, you see nothing but ocean, yet you know that at the other end of this body of water is land, otherwise known as the Philippines.


- Voxeros

21 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Kenting



After our lunch at Dong Gang, we continued our journey towards Kenting. The whole journey is relatively short. From my Aunt's place to Kenting itself is about 110km only. We had a lunch stopover since this is an own-time-own-target kind of road trip where we don't have any time schedule to keep.


It is winter when we are there which meant that it is the lull tourist season. Hardly anyone around which is just perfect for a quiet and serene getaway.



This is the B&B that we stayed at the recommendation of my cousin who is a friend of the owner. We got 2 rooms (2-Queen Beds & 1-Queen Bed) for 2 nights and the accommodation bill came up to only NTD 3500 which works to be about SGD 150.

Didn't think of taking any pictures of the room which I feel is pretty much the same with all other decent hotels.



This is the view from my balcony. Very nice.



The locals called this the Nixon Rock. Can anyone guess why?

All in all, it was a nice relaxing trip with pretty much nothing to do. There are a lot of sea activities but none when we were there. Like I said earlier, it was lull winter season.

Click here to see the rest of the Kenting photos.

- Voxeros

20 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Dong Gang Fish Market


Continuing from yesterday's entry, we set off for KenTing the day after for a family retreat.

En route, we decided to stop over at Dong Gang (东港) fish market for lunch.

It is essentially a fish wholesale center where you get the freshest catch of the day. Once you have bought your seafood, you bring it to the hawkers next door who will cook your seafood for you, for a nominal service charge.

It was a quiet day as it is winter and no longer the peak vacation season. A separate group of Hong Kong folks and us were the only tourist there that day.

The place as you would imagine is how a wet market should be. Wet, dim and stinks. Exactly how a fish market should be.

In return, we get the fresh seafood at the cheapest prices. No complains there!

I like the quiet and laid back charm of the place. Yes, it smells terribly like how all fishing ports should smell. Stray dogs patrolling the area just adds to the finishing touches to a rustic painting.






- Voxeros

19 December 2011

KaoHsiung 2011 - Mazda 7-Seater (MacGyver Edition)


I was in KaoHsiung two weeks ago for a short vacation and to meet up with the rest of the family who were travelling there as well.

For the uninitiated, I am half-Taiwanese. Not the half-father-mother type but the folk-are-Taiwanese-and-yours-truly-born-and-bred-in-Singapore type.

There I was visiting the rest of the clan (mother's side of the family) and the picture above is my cousin's Mazda Premacy. The Premacy is a strange model where it look like a Mazda2 hatchback but with more booty while at the same time not big enough to fit the third row of seats as in the Mazda5.

So we call this the Mazda3.5 ((2+5/2 = 3.5) ?

Obviously, my cousin don't get many visitors and so the sudden influx of tourists i.e. 6 of us presented a tricky logistical situation.

Have to hand it to my cousin for the solution of the 2 plastic chairs and voila! We have a 7-seater!

p.s. Yeah. Yeah.... some of you will be bitching about car safety blah blah blah.......

- Voxeros

08 December 2011

Cello Wars



Awesome performance!!!

Is it me or is Darth Vader a tad pudgy here?

If they are using light sabers as bows, won't the sabers saw the cellos into halves?

If Yo Yo Ma were to feature as well, would he get a Han Solo? (Geddit? Geddit? Geddit??)

- Voxeros

07 December 2011

The Ultimate Hamburger


I am so sending this video to my local burger shop.

Speaking of local burger shop, perhaps burger for dinner tonight?

- Voxeros

06 December 2011

Tiger Woods Wins Chevron World Challenge 2011




After 749 days, Tigers Woods is out of the woods (pun intended).

Since the spiral in form as a result of the scandal, Tiger is back to when he does best.

Golf.

In a way, I am glad sponsors like Nike, Pepsi and EA Sports to name a few, stuck by him during this dark Tiger period.

Would this be just a one-hit wonder? I certainly hope not as Tiger is still relatively young in the game of golf and is certain to secure a few more titles.

I hope Tiger return to his best form and flip the bird at fair-weather partners like Tag Heuer, Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and Gillette just to name a few.

Love the man for the golfer on the green. What Tiger does on his own free time, off the course, is his business.

None yours.

p.s. The other player that I wish to see getting back on track is John Daly but I doubt if it is ever going to happen until he straighten his life out, which is probably never.



Image Credits: http://i.dailymail.co.uk

- Voxeros

05 December 2011

Combs


I am sure everyone has a comb or two or more. Here's the question for everyone. How many of you actually clean the comb on a regular basis?

The comb is perhaps one of the most overlooked item on the dresser that we pick it up, comb our hairs and then put it down without even giving it a second thought.. Perhaps one should take the time to closely examine between the teeth of the comb and may just be surprised the amount of gunk accumulated over the months or even years.

Here's what I do to combat this problem and to ensure a relatively clean comb.

Firstly, let me explain that all my combs are from hotels on my trips. As I travel regularly, I will pick up the new comb from the hotel, whenever I check in and ditch the currently one. Rinse. Repeat.

As you can see from the picture, the comb below is the older one and is missing a few teeth. Partly because the comb isn't of good quality to begin with and also partly I haven't be travelling lately.

Anyway, glad I made the trip to Taiwan.

Hi new and clean comb!

- Voxeros

22 October 2011

Can CSM Do No Wrong?




Daphne's tweet got me thinking what I felt was a very good question.

The way I see it, as long as he remains in the limelight, he will continue to do good.

We have seen how the other politicians are where as soon as the spotlight is no longer on them, they slack off.

Over the last decade of two, our political apathy has given our incumbent politicians a free pass to 为非作歹. 一手遮天.

During the election period, when the media spotlight was on each and every one of them, you see how they are so on the ball doing this and that and this for the people.

Now that the media attention has faded, do you still see them as goodie as before?

For the case of Chen Show Mao, the media attention is still very much on him, not from the mainstream media but from his own updates on Facebook. Perhaps that is the very fuel that keeps him going and as far as I am concerned, I say he is doing a great job at it.

Keep it up and come the next election, he will get to keep his seat.

Well done, so far. :)


Image Credit: Facebook - Chen Show Mao
- Voxeros

17 October 2011

It Ended At 51



Called home yesterday only to find out from dad that Uncle Tay passed away.

This is a guy who lived his life to the fullest. An old chap with an effervescence personality.

He was 80 and married for 51 years.

Sad to see him go. Aunt Tay is going to be so lonely and the house so quiet after this. :(

Goodbye Uncle Tay.


- Voxeros

13 October 2011

Ladies Sitting Through The Ages


少女: 我要坐的矜持一點

少婦: 我要坐的成熟一點

老婦: 拎祖媽爽就好

Got this in an email from my cousin.

Funny shite!

hahah

Image Credit: http://www.mop.com

- Voxeros

12 October 2011

Bloop Bloop Bloop


This was so tragic that it was actually very funny.

Had they said that they were launching their new submarine, they then wouldn't need to scoop up such a big piece of disaster crap. If only they learn this from the Royal Malaysian Navy earlier.

At 17 million RMB for a ship that can't even float, one can't help but smell the reeks of cut corners and grey area accounting. A friend quipped that the officials should have been on board the ship when it launch so that they can all go down together.

Do watch the video. Very tragically funny. I hope nobody got hurt though.

I only have 2 words to describe this.

Gua gua...........






Image Credit: http://res.news.ifeng.com

- Voxeros

06 October 2011

Steven Paul Jobs 1955 - 2011


Though I am not a fan boy of Apple, one cannot deny the remarkable achievements that this man has contributed to modern consumer technology.

I have had a few Apple products in my time ranging from the Apple ][e to iPod and then the iPad.

I remember the era where we use to punch a hole on the opposite edge of the 5-1/4-inch floppy just so we can use the other side of the diskette.

Commands like PR#6 (boot from floppy), PR#3 (activate printer), PR#2 (active Software Automated Mouth (SAM)) seemed like it was only yesterday.

I remember my first use of the mouse on the Macintosh and how much grief it gave me as I run out of table top to move the mouse.

Ah. Memories.

It was a time when Apple was heading towards ruin when Steve Jobs single-handedly turned it around into one of the greatest company in modern history.

The Lisa, Apple III, Apple II GS all tanked and thank goodness for iMac (the very first of the "i" series) that turned the company around. It was a genius product where you just need to get the iFruit out of the box, plug in the power and the telephone socket and you are good to go.

Just.Like.That.

I remember one of the pet peeves of the iMac is that it eliminated the 3.5" floppy drive and introduced the LS-120 mb drive instead. That, in the end, was my impression of Steve Jobs and subsequent Apple products. Great idea of a product BUT there will be that one stark thing missing deliberately to self-sabotage what could have been the PERFECT product. One that would kill all competition in a single blow.

I remembered my first iPod (5th Gen). How I loved it and at the same time how it drove me nuts coz it does not come with a FM receiver.

I also remember how everyone was swooning over the first iPhone only to have to bitch about the lack of MMS and copy & paste.

Why? Why always stop a step short of reaching Gadget Nirvana? Why?

Still, life goes on when the bitching stops eventually.

Speaking of life going on. Steve Jobs' legacy will go on too hereon.

Rest In Peace
Steven Paul Jobs
24 February 1955 to 05 October 2011

Image Credit: http://cache.gawkerassets.com
- Voxeros

22 September 2011

MYP Award Ceremony 2011



Dear friends,

Yes, we are 8!

The 8th Maximize Your Potential (MYP) ceremony will be held on 24th September 2011 (Sat).

Venue: Geylang Methodist School (Primary), Level 4 AVA Room.

Time: 10 am.

Come, meet and encourage the students you have sponsored via the Run For Funds (RFF) movement.

You make a difference in the lives you touch. Please email, whataspp or SMS me to RSVP (for catering purposes). 

Click on this link to access the report of last year’s MYP award.

Thanks for your continued support of the RFF movement.

Cheers,

aL



JayWalk Says:

Yeah. We are 8 this year. It's has been a long journey thus far but how time flies when you are doing something without once looking back.

The projects are still going strong but unfortunately our legs aren't. I doubt if we are able to complete anymore marathons which ironically defeats the name of this project from which it all started.

Perhaps it is us not thinking the name far enough into the future that we did not have a continuity plan.

Still, it is just a name and it won't change our hearts when it comes to the projects that we have done, am doing and will continue to do.

Anyway, while the mail from aL invites only sponsors and well wishers, I hereby extend the invitation to all who is interested to find out more about this project. Drop me a note and I will send your RSVP onwards to aL. Cheers.

p.s. I am still thinking if there is a way to form a cooperation between RunForFunds and Willing Hearts?

- Voxeros

10 September 2011

Good Man Wen



I am known to gush shamelessly about the Chinese leader in my entries. This wikileak hardly come across as a scandal. On the contrary, I feel that it is more of a compliment than otherwise.


I am a bigger fan boy of Wen J1aBao even more now. *swoons*

- Voxeros

09 September 2011

230 of P230







I didn't start plurking about this until slightly later which explains why there aren't any plurks from 1 to 37 of P230.

It was a hare-brained idea hatched late last year. It was originally meant to be a countdown for my return to Singapore on Christmas Eve 2010 and I reckoned that I was going to be able to cleared 230km on the treadmill before I board the plane home.

Lo and behold, one disruption after another from business trips to work to unfavourable weather to travelling, I finally completed the Project of 230 km on 08 Sep 2011. Almost a year later.

During this one year (almost), I learned a few things from my past related plurks.


  • Cold weather running is more siong than warm humid weather conditions. The cold temperature really make your heart pump all that blood in order for you to maintain your body temperature. Initially, I thought the warm and humid weather is worse as it hinders proper breathing. I was wrong, the condition of the cardio takes precedence over your pulmonary.



  • My fitness need to be continuously maintained and I backslide to zero pretty quickly to the extent whenever there is a disruption that I sometimes feel that all my previous mileage didn't count for anything at all.



  • I "nearly died" twice. I am a 7% drama queen.
  • Polar Heart Rate monitor sucks monkey balls. Will never buy another one evar.

So there. 

It is done. 230 of P230. Finally. 


- Voxeros
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