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22 November 2012

Star Wars Glowing Lightsaber Ice Pop Maker


Spotted this nifty product idea on Thinkgeek.com and the addition of LED to the bottom to make the popsicle glow is sheer genius!

I am not sure if this is available in Singapore or if Thinkgeek.com accepts credit cards outside of the US AND delivers to Singapore. You guys will have to click around the site to find out.

Anyway, I spotted their TVC at the bottom of the page and thought it was hilarious.

So here it is above.

Enjoy.

Image Credit: http://www.thinkgeek.com
- Voxeros

21 November 2012

Goodbye Whatsapp, Hello WeChat


It was merely a couple of years ago or so when everyone was raving about Whatsapp. It came at a time where people were messaging more than they are talking on their mobile phones.

It was a time (and still is) when SMS, especially when roaming overseas, are exorbitant. Let's not even get into MMS which can be a bitch to set up.

Then came these messenger software that transmit, using minimal traffic, via mobile data at a fraction of the costs that the telcos are charging for their messaging services. Free, if you managed to get complimentary WIFI from various public places like McDonald's, Starbucks, airports, just to name a few.

Granted there are already instant messengers in the market long before like MSN, QQ and Gtalk, somehow the fact that you need to register a user account just bums everybody out. Unlike the instant messengers, mobile messengers like Whatsapp just need your mobile phone number and that's it. It will run through your phonebook and then create a list directory of your friends who are also on Whatsapp effortlessly. 

As fabulous as Whatsapp is, I am somewhat disappointed with them of late. Messages do not get delivered instantaneously. I often get messages that were sent as far back as 20 minutes ago (took an entire night on one instance as well). In this day and age of modern technology, this is simply unacceptable.

It was so bad that I actually had to follow their twitter account just so that I can receive notification when their servers are down. Again.

Anyway, I have decided that Whatsapp will no longer be my primary messenger.

Say hello to WeChat (微信).

It is a QQland-developed (the same people that came up with QQ) software and it is very fast.

I am particular impressed with the speed images and audio get sent through their network.

I only hope they have Whatsapp's "double tick" indicator which I like very much. First tick indicates that your message has gone out of your phone to their servers. Second tick indicates that the message has been delivered to the recipient's phone from their servers. While it does not mean that the recipient has read your message, I feel that notification of delivery is good enough for me. Messages, while required to be instant, are never urgent. Nothing beat picking up and dialing the phone as far as stuff that requires immediate attention is concerned.

Friend of mine said that their video chat feature is much better than Apple's own Facetime. While I agree that Facetime is not good enough for me, I can't say very much about WeChat's video chat feature until I have tried it myself.

Whatsapp supports Symbian, IOS, Android, Windows Mobile AND Blackberry while WeChat supports the same platforms BUT Blackberry, which in my opinion is not a big deal. Blackberry is going to die out very soon anyway.

My only concern right now is that WeChat is relatively unheard of outside of QQland but this is about to change very soon. Right now, they are aggressively marketing in Ta1wan and my friends in Singapore are starting to pick this software up. As far as my phone book is concerned, anyone on it that uses a smartphone, which is very prevalent now, uses WeChat.

Once more of my overseas and Singapore friends and family have WeChat, I won't need to suffer anymore Whatsapp grief.

Image Credits: http://macthemes.net; http://www.imandarin.net


- Voxeros

19 November 2012

Fahrenheit By Christian Dior


When I wrote the entry "The Scent Of Jay" back in 2008, I spoke about not repeating the same fragrance twice.

Then I toyed with the fact of settling down with just one but the fact that a shitload of people were still wearing the same, I shelved the idea.

Last week, I made a trip to Hong Kong to get a new bottle of fragrance. I needed a small bottle for my overnight bag as I traveled a lot.

On an impulse, or perhaps I was bored with all the lousy new fragrances out in the market, I broke tradition and got a bottle of Fahrenheit by Christian Dior which I last wore back in 1989.

At first whiff, all the memories of that era returned like it was just yesterday. It was as if I was back in love again.

I recalled reading up on Fahrenheit, a couple of years ago, on some "fragrance encyclopedia" where the author lamented this 5-star rated fragrance underwent a recipe modification, which I am guessing to cut costs. Unfortunately, I can't remember which book it was that I've read.

In any case, I couldn't tell the difference from the memory of this scent more than 20 years ago. I still like this current bottle very much.

And seeing that nobody remembers this bottle any more or rather I have not smelled this on anyone for more than 10 years, I think it is time to settle down for good.

Hello Fahrenheit. We meet again.


p.s. There was a subsequent spin-off called the Fahrenheit 32. It is pretty good too but I felt the original has more character and besides, there were many fond memories tied to the original. iOldSkool.

- Voxeros

17 November 2012

Memoirs Of A DJ: Life In Progress



Just finished reading the book by our own celebrity radio DJ, Vernetta Lopez and I have to say it was a good read. It was good in the sense that after reading the book, I got to know someone whom I have grown up with, albeit the fact that we have never met nor known each other.

Her book brought back a lot of memories for me:

  • Zoo 101.6 FM

    "Zoo one-o-one point siiiiiiiiix!!"

    I still remember that jingle till this very day.

    It was a time when radio programs end at 12 midnight, with the national anthem signalling closing shop followed by a wall of static silence.

    Then came Zoo 101.6 FM from Batam who were playing all the latest hit songs and if I remembered correctly, they were the first to play 24/7. I remembered all the DJs have animal names like Andy Lion and Joe Monkey. It was a fun station to listen to.

    The only relatively happening (I stress the word "relatively") local station back then was Radio One which is today known as Gold 90.5 FM. My fondest memories of that station was Saturday Spin. The Burger King sponsored radio show was hosted by the very talented Roger Kool every Saturday from 12 to 1 pm, of which I tuned in to religiously.

    Then came JC2 when Perfect Ten 98.7 FM was launched to rival that and take all the young Singaporean listeners back to the island. Singapore island (Ubin, Sentosa, Tekong, Brani, Sudong included). Not Batam island.


  • Black And White I

    Referring to the old colonial estates. They reminded me of two people.

    Sara. An old girlfriend of mine whom we are still in contact till this very day. In fact, we just whatsapped last week. You have to thank the tech gods for the internet. Really.

    I remembered fondly of her "Showers Of Blessing" which in actual fact was her wet spraying pffffttts... We were young and we didn't know much about being sanitary. :P

    I remembered being the guy with the nicest-smelling pencil pouch in the entire ACJC, courtesy of Beautiful by Estee Lauder. She has this tiny little sample bottle which she would put a drop from time to time into the pouch case. This girl had a strange way of showing her affection. :)

    I remembered her leaving to read her degree in Australia. It was a time of 25-cent aerogrammes and there was a cassette tape, in there somewhere, of me talking a lot of kok. It was the first ever podcast in the world.

    It was her birthday today. Happy birthday, Sara!


  • Black And White II

    Victor. My secondary school classmate from Sec 2 to 4. He is a Filipino and again thanks to the internet (Facebook to be exact this time), we are still in touch too.

    I remembered us going to the record store one day in 1987 where he bought his first ever vinyl single. It was Looking For A New Love by Jody Watley.

    I remember coz I still have that vinyl with me.

    The strange thing back then coz he did not own a turntable and so it baffled me as far as the purchase was concerned.

    He bought it and insisted that I take it home with me so that I can record it into a cassette tape for him.

    If I may remind you, it was a single. Not an album. In other words, he paid SGD 13.00 (SGD 3,495 in today's money) for one song to be recorded into a cassette tape.

    Rich boy. This one.

    Well, I still have the vinyl in my storeroom back in Singapore. If we even meet up again (he is back in the Philippines), I would be happy to return it to its rightful owner.


  • Turf Club @ Bukit Timah

    Once the turf club was relocated to Kranji, that huge carpark was the best make-out place on the island. That lasted for a while until the pesky second-hand car dealers moved in. :(

    I also recalled reading in the news that a horse broke out of the stables and went galloping along Eng Neo Avenue. That escapade was cut short when it ran into an oncoming BMW.

    I recalled people being more concerned about the damage done to the Beemer than the demise of the poor animal. *shrugs*

So anyway, the link above is the Kindle link to the book which I enjoyed very much. I finished it in one sitting. Go buy and read it if you know what Zoo 101.6, Roger Kool, vinyl singles, cassette tapes (auto-reverse ring a bell?) and aerogrammes are.


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

- Voxeros

16 November 2012

Gold Crass


Read this article and I went "WALAU EH!"

Can this get anymore crass?

Anyway, my main concern is how her neck is going to be strained with all that weight hanging around it.

She is after all not Mr T from the A-Team wor.

Eeeeeeek.

- Voxeros

13 November 2012

Farewell To The Capital

So this is it.

What originally was supposed to be a one-to-two-year tour of duty was prematurely ended after just 5 months.

I really hate to leave the Capital.

In a word, the place was happening.

I have made more friends in just these 5 months than I have made in South QQland over the last 12 years. I am going to miss them all.

I enjoyed the weekend football games at Paddy's where they serve Kilkenny.

I love the RMB 2.00 (SGD 0.40) ride on the subway to everywhere. There is no need for cars at all. Just need to avoid the human jam during peak periods.

I love the affordability of local food. A breakfast for 3 came up to just RMB 8.50 (SGD 1.70).

The only thing I won't miss is the pollution. The air quality is really bad. The PM 2.5 index in the Capital is around 240 µg/m3 while it's around 60 over here in South QQland. Singapore is about 20.

In a way, I was lucky to escape the harsh winter as I flew back the morning after the Capital's first winter snow.

- Voxeros

12 November 2012

Lamb Scorpion


No. I am not that brave to actually eat a scorpion but this dish is called 羊蝎子 which literally translates to Lamb Scorpion.

It is a lamb hotpot dish but I had to make sure coz in QQland, anything is possible when it come to eating animals.

The explanation was that this lamb hotpot dish uses the entire spine of the lamb where when you hang the entire skeleton up, with the tail hanging, it looks like a scorpion. Hence the name.

It was awesome weather to be eating this and what I love most was the richness of the soup. Made me think of our fabulous Sop Kambing back home.

Too bad, I didn't have bread to go with it.


 - Voxeros

09 November 2012

Conveyor Belt Hotpot


We all know of conveyor belt sushi but I was instantly intriqued when I learned about conveyor belt hotpot. So when a friend came visiting from Singapore, I dragged him there with me to try.

So we went to this restaurant that I picked randomly off the internet. It was an all-you-can-eat-except-meat buffet i.e. meat dishes are to be ordered and charged separately, which I thought was fair for a business like this to be sustainable.

So I order an order of beef while my friend took the lamb so that we can both share. The total bill that we have to pay up front was RMB 110.00 (SGD 22.00) for the two of us.

We were then led to our seats and the waitress proceeded to take our order of what soup base we wanted and then we went off to get our dip sauces and drinks.

So the meats served and the hotpot boiling, we are good to go. Everything from vegetables to meat balls to tofu to noodles are all chugging along as we pick them up with a pair of tongs given to every partron.

Great value.

- Voxeros

08 November 2012

18th NCCPC

The 18th NCCPC (this is like the QQland gahmen AGM) is slated to start on 08 Nov 2012 and security has been very tight since a few weeks leading up to the big event.

Earlier, I was told how train and plane passengers heading to the Capital were experiencing tighter security checks than normal.

It was also said that all the taxis' windows were wound up and deactivated if they were electric.

For manual windows, the rolling handle bars were simply removed.

Something about guarding against dissidents from hiring taxis and throwing anti-gahmen pamphlets out unto the streets while the congress is in session.

This sign on the right was spotted at the lobby of my hotel.

It said that new guests must have their luggage opened and inspected by the hotel staff before they can be checked-into the hotel.

Wow.

Despite all these actions making the whole place very tense, I actually felt safer.

- Voxeros

07 November 2012

Peak Hour In The Capital


This entry is specially written for Ashley for I braved the massive crowd to take pictures for the damsel.

If you think the massive jam at Circle Line was bad, you haven't seen it over here at the Capital yet.

I am at the tunnel where I was switching from Line 10 to Line 1 at 6pm which is when people finish work and heading home. All at the same time.

The tunnel I estimate to be less than 100m takes 20 minutes to get across as everyone inch slowly like lifeless zombies.

I was wearing thick clothing when I entered the station and ended up a puddle of sweat by the time I cleared the tunnel.

The train would be so packed, especially for the trains in Line 1, that you do not need to hold on to handrails or poles to maintain your balance. There is simply no space for you to fall over. Everybody is packed so tightly there I can't move my hands (to check if I still have my wallet). There would be the occasional pair boobs pasted snugly into your body. I tried apologising for the unfortunate circumstances but she just shrugged it off saying "习惯了".

Then there is other occasional of two pairs (one in front, the other at the back). I gave up apologising.

习惯了.

Or that ass backed into you like a Panzer tank with a stuck reverse gear. iBoner = iHongKan.


- Voxeros

06 November 2012

First Winter Snow In The Capital


This is what the morning looked like after the Capital has its first snow during the night before. Despite the fact that it was 4 degrees Celsius in the morning, you still get snow even though temperature is above zero.

Well, that explains the very wet floor at ground level and given how dirty and dusty the Capital is, the soggy floor was really yucky.

Still, the snow cap buildings and cars made a nice scenery to see in the morning.


- Voxeros

01 November 2012

Tomatoes In The Capital

It was again, cold this morning with the mercury at 10 degrees Celsius.

I decided to call it a day at the office as early as 10am as my toes were numbed from the cold.

Wearing my sweat shirt, jeans, ankle socks and sneakers (forgot my vest), I thought it would be wise to head back to the hotel and work from there instead.

As I was walking out to the bus stop, this bicycle-cart was chugging slowly ahead of me.

It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and bright sunshine so much so that I can really see where I was walking. The sun was THAT bright.

I noticed the tomatoes looked rather anaemic. I think the farmer harvested the tomatoes prematurely ahead of the approaching cold front heading our way.

Rumour has it that it may snow.

So that puts me in an awkward situation. It is going to get cold yet I don't want to spend money on winter clothing only to wear for a day or two since I am leaving the Capital on Sunday.

Urrgghh...!!

- Voxeros
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