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30 April 2012

iBooks Sucks

Being in Taobaoland means getting my hands on English publications is near impossible.

I initially thought going over to Hong Kong would solve my problem but the selection over there isn't any better if you are looking for those not in the current best-selling lists.

I used to order via Amazon.com and have them deliver to a US address since I used to travel to the US 4 to 6 times a year.

Now that my travelling days are behind me, I am grateful to modern technology for coming up with a tablet just in time. Something that is portable and durable in terms of battery life.

My trusty iPad 1 is my current ebook reader and I have to say that Apple's own iBooks software sucks monkey balls to the max.

I have since ordered 2 books which I regretted via iBooks and both gave me rendering errors in between the pages.

Not wanting to give up a fight to see my money go down the drain, I scour the intarwebs for solutions and lo and behold. I am not the only one with this problem. There is a shit bucket of unfortunate souls out there with the same predicament.

One of the solution, found, was to upgrade to version 1.5 and everything would be sweet and peachy every after.

WRONG!

I am already on version 2.1.1 and I am still having the same friggin' problem. Oh wait. The webpage with the solution was dated 2011 (that's like the 1900s in internet years). 

Here is my solution which I will break it down into two parts.

  1. How to resolve the current page rendering error so that you don't see your $9.99 go down the toilet?

    Close and open the bladdy program, close and open, close and open until by some miracle, your tireless persistence tugged the heartstrings of the Gods of Technology, that they felt pity and grant you the power to restore every page, that you've paid, back to you.

    In short, bulldoze or in local speak Choot Goo Lat

  2. How to prevent encountering the same page rendering error with your next book purchase, thereby risking your dollars again?

    Don't ever buy another book from iBooks.

    I am now a happy customer with Kindle by Amazon. Nook by Barnes & Noble is also a worthy consideration but I stayed put with Kindle since it has everything more or less that Nook carries anyway and so I do not see the need for redundancy. Besides, I am already an existing customer and hence don't really want the hassle to sign up for a new account.

    Stanza? A pretty useless reader in my humble opinion. Save your disk space for better things like Fruit Ninja.
Image Credit: http://blog.isthereaproblemhere.com

- Voxeros

26 April 2012

Death By Testicles

Was on a flight from Beijing back to Guangzhou when I spotted this article in the local newspaper, Global Times.

"Kena Squeeze Balls" has now a brand new meaning.

As I read, I felt the pain or at the very least a very weird feeling downstairs, perhaps due to the sudden descent as a result of turbulence.

Who knows?

In these times of digital media, it was most unfortunate not to have a video clip of the incident as I would almost guarantee it to go absolutely viral.

Everybody loves a tragic comedy.

Yes, it is most awful to laugh at someone else's misfortune and perhaps even breaching the line of tastelessness.

Still, I couldn't help but stifled a laughter when I spotted this article.

I am so sorry.

But.

Buahahaahahahaahaha!

Again.

Sorry.

I hope this never happen to anyone else ever.

p.s. Perhaps it's time to invest in any company that manufactures ball-guards?

Image Credit: Global Times (25 Apr 2012)

- Voxeros

22 April 2012

Egg Tuna Mayo Sunday


I love Sunday mornings. My bio-clock doesn't allow me to wake up late (unless of course got cheong session the night before *coughcough*). When the sun is up, I am up which explains why I sleep with the curtains opened.

Sunday morning is a time where the whole place is quiet. People sleeping in on their day of rest. No cars on the street meaning no traffic, meaning no blaring horns that the trigger-happy Taobaolanders are so fond of. Factories are done for the week and so are the construction going on in the neighbourhood.

So anyway, I decided to whip up something from the kitchen for a kick-back style breakfast. Egg tuna mayo on toast and a couple of half-boiled eggs.

As I slowly eat, my laptop is playing an episode of 楚留香 drama circa 1979. I have been chasing these old Hong Kong serials of late. Perhaps, it is a way for me to catch up on missed childhood as I wasn't allowed to watch TV during my Primary and Secondary School days. I still remember the agony of listening to my classmates talked about the shows the night before and I haven't a clue.

So anyway, I am 6 episodes away from completing this serial which I supposed will be done by today.

Next on my To-Watch list. 银剑杀手沈胜衣. Also circa 1979.

- Voxeros

11 April 2012

Singlish 21: Speak Proper Singlish Campaign



While many who watched the above video laughed at the hilarity, it resonated with me at a deeper level. There were some thought-provoking points in there.

The way I see it, either these kids are damn smart or their script-writer, whom I am assuming are their parent(s), is(are) damn tokong.


"So Angmo is not looking down at us, then who is looking down at us?"

I agree with this point. I traveled around the globe and has met many people. Those who knows where Singapore is (no, we are not part of China, that's Hong Kong), are familiar with our Singlish.

Many are tickled with amusement but that's just it. Nothing condescending. Nothing disrespectful. Simply amused. They agreed that it is just part of the culture from another part of the world, just like ghetto speak (yo dawg!) and Aussie speak (what's that sheila doing at the barbie?).

In my opinion, those who have issue with Singlish are those who are overly self-conscious. I say it's inferiority complex at play.


"SBC. Singapore Banana Chinese."


I would say most of them are posers. Their overly-enthusiasm to beat down Singlish is just over-compensating for they think is their own cultural embarrassment.

So Singlish is not a problem with it comes to being competitive in the global markets?

Yes and No.

Singlish WILL BE a problem ONLY if there is the only form of English one knows. That is like your mono-lingual 8-year PSLE course in a world where multilingual is very common.


"Code switch"

You need to know more than one language or more than one form of the same language to be able to code switch.

The function of code switching is to speak in the language or form of language that the recipient can best receive. In short, it's optimising the efficiency of communication. Perhaps speak English with a Southern draw when in the Carolinas or speak Mandarin with a Cantonese accent when in Guangdong. The whole idea is to get your message across in the best and fastest understood way.

That is, my friends, Code Switch.

- Voxeros

10 April 2012

Sugar Butter Toast


I first discovered this in the tuck shop of my school when I was in Primary 4.

It was simple fare. Charcoal toasted bread, slathered with Planta margarine and the last and most important ingredient - White Sugar.

Lotsa lotsa lotsa white sugar for that crunchy texture.

Life's simple pleasures. :)

- Voxeros

09 April 2012

Hainanese Chicken Fried Rice


This recipe was taught to me by my ex-colleague's father who used to run a Hainanese chicken rice stall at Tiong Bahru Market.

On a typical day, Uncle Phua would cook the rice in the morning and then store the cooked rice in the plastic thermal bucket. As his stall was small, he didn't have the luxury of having one of those huge rice cooker to keep the rice warm.

With the rice sitting in the bucket over a period of time, oil from the rice will start seeping to the bottom, rendering the rice too oily to be sold.

Not wanting to waste food, Uncle Phua will take the unsaleable rice and fry them. The oil in the rice itself is enough and so there is nothing more to add to the fried rice except your condiments of choice.

I did a batch over the weekend for 6 people but only 4-1/2 people showed up. That 1/2 being a girl who eats like a sparrow.

Fortunately, the fried rice proved yummy enough that the entire pan was emptied at the end of the meal. :)

- Voxeros

07 April 2012

Sian XMM Sunny Side Up


My housemate came home one day with the above purchase thinking that it would be a new weapon to sian more xmms.

Aiyoh.... so cute, can?

And so I decided to give it a test drive to see how it goes.


It looked promising when I first put the egg in. An important tip here is to crack the egg into a bowl first before pouring the content into the frying pan.

Cracking the egg directly into the pan not only risk having bits of egg shell falling in but also not giving you the chance to burst any air bubbles that may be already inside the egg, thus ruining a perfectly beautiful egg.

Also, with the egg in the bowl first, it would allow you to have a better chance of getting the yolk smack in the middle, which as you can see in the above attempt, I ish bobo shooter.

Verdict?

Fail.

First off, our gas cooker is too big or rather the pan is too small, that even the fire at the lowest setting is too high for the egg. Coupled with the fact that the flower is small (thus the frying pan is deep), the top part of the egg cannot be cooked without the bottom getting burnt.

Flipping the egg over-easy isn't possible either and so it's an egg that is burnt on one side and undercooked on the other.

Actually, this isn't something new as I showed him the way I do my Sian XMM Sunny Side Up.

Ideally, bell pepper would have been best coz of the petal cross-sectional shape but at the time when we were messing around with the frying pan, the onion was the closest I could find in our fridge.

The tip here is to get a big onion, as big as you can find. Get the ring at the equator so that you do not have to have a ring that would be too thick i.e. too deep that you end up in the same situation as the flower frying pan where the bottom is burnt and the top undercooked.

Why thickness is important, one may ask? Well, you need enough volume space inside the ring to content the egg, thus avoiding a spill. A cheat would be to scrape off the excess outside the ring should the egg spill over.

The good thing about using bell pepper or onion or even hollowed-out tomato is that you are working this on a frying pan i.e. extra space allowing you to flip the egg, for an easy-over, if it so happened that your ring is too small and too deep.

One thing to note is NOT to move the ring/egg when you flip over as it will break the yolk and ruin the flower pattern. Let it cook for a while before thinking of sliding your spatula under.

And that.

Is how JayWalk does it.

- Voxeros

01 April 2012

Happy April's Fool 2012

Heh heh..... This entry was drafted 19 May 2009 on Jesuafreak's birthday. This would least expected to show up again on 01 Apr 2012. Think again!

Muahahahahahahahaahaha

I AM SO GOING TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Voxeros
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