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19 July 2015

RunForFunds For Nepal Update (July 2015)

Normally, our RunForFunds centered around the StanChart Marathon held every year in the month of December.

We had a break with tradition where we decided to have a RunForFunds run during the Sundown Marathon 2015 held earlier in July.

Adrian's 21km Half Marathon effort was a fruitful run and I am happy to report the reason below:



a. My Half Marathon Results

Thanks to your prayers and encouragement, I completed my comeback 21km run on 5th July in "a world record time" of 2hr 35 min without back pain or cramps.

Managed to finish 1859 out of 7195 participants.

Must admit I'm surprised with the ranking as many ah peks overtook me!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable run and, if you have not tried it, give it a shot!

Below are my results and pic taken at the 20km mark :-)




b. Your Overwhelming Support

Your support for RFF's initiative to rebuild 2 villages in Nepal is overwhelming.

The target was S$9,200.

As of 16th July 2015, we have pledges totaling S$12,775!

If we include the private fund-raising round in May of S$4,300, close to 50 RFF supporters contributed in excess of S$17,000!

This will make a significant direct impact to the 100+ families in Nepal (see updates below).

On behalf of these families, Bharat and I extend our thanks and gratitude.


c. Funds Deployed So Far

I have made 2 wire transfers.

S$4,300+ in May 2015 (private round - Phase 1a, equiv US$3,200 / 325,440 rupees) and S$9,200+ (RFF for Nepal round - Phase 1b, equiv US$6,800 / 687,820 rupees ) in July 2015.
See attached pic of the bank statements (need to blank out personal details).

I will hold the excess funds in the RFF account for future deployment - see paragraph (f) below.




d. Phase 1a (26-28 May 2015)

Click on link below for photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.321132038001372.79440.293969844050925&type=3

Since May, Bharat and his friends have been working tirelessly and resiliently to co-ordinate the purchase, delivery and distribution of zinc plates to his hometown Gorkha.

As there was a lot of uncertainly in zinc supply and availability of delivery trucks, Bharat had to remain patient and vigilant to secure the best deals expeditiously.

The supply route to Gorkha was perilous and fraught with problems, as the pics show, because the earthquake destroyed the roads.

Despite these obstacles, Bharat and his friends managed to navigate the route safely.

Bharat secured 61 zinc sheets which were not enough to supply to 100 families in Gorkha. He prioritized 52 families: 2 zinc sheets to 9 families (widowed, old couples and the disabled) and 1 zinc sheet to 43 families.

These new zinc sheets augment salvaged scraps.

Nothing goes to waste in their home rebuilding efforts.

The total expenses (prepared by Bharat) are shown in the table below.

As you can see, our S$4,300/US$3200/325,400 Rp transfer was insufficient. My friend Rina and her supporters provided additional funding to cover the deficit.

S/No
Descriptions Qty Rate Amount
1 Zinc (Size 7 ft HQ)(High Quality) 30 7,500 225,000
2 Zinc (Size 9 ft HQ) 18 8,000 144,000
3 Zinc (Size 7 ft MQ)(Medium Quality) 13 7,1000 92,300
4 Transportation Cost (Truck) 1 18,000 18,000
5 Transportation Cost (Jeep) 1 20,000 20,000
6 Food & Snack For Helper 11 250 2,750
7 Local Bus Fare For Villager 11 100 1,100
8 Rice @ Rs. 1,050 & Rs. 1,450 10 1,250 12,500
9 Mosquito Nets 25 450 11,250
10 Cooking Oil 3 1,120 3,360

Sub-Total

530,260

Money Received From Adrian

325,440

Due Amount to pay to Zinc shop/others US$ 2,049
204,820

Received Cash From Rina's Supporters

318,900

Now Cash Balance For Next Trip

(114,080)


e. Phase 1b (5-6 July)

Click on link below for photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.823874481060456.1073741828.293969844050925&type=3

This time, Bharat, having gained experience from phase 1a, managed to secure 100 zinc sheets at better quality/rates.

Now every family in Gorkha has at least one zinc sheet to rebuild their homes. But zinc supply was delayed due to muddy roads and a landslide because of heavy rains.

We thank God that Bharat and his team have been kept safe throughout.

The total expenses for this phase (again prepared by Bharat) are shown in the table below.


S/No Descriptions Qty Rate Amount Remarks
1 Zinc (Size 7 ft) 40 6,500 260,000

2 Zinc (Size 6 ft) 60 6,500 390,000
3 Transportation Cost (Tractor) 1 15,000 15,000
4 Transportation Cost (Jeep) 1 10,000 10,000
5 Food & Transportation For Helpers 5 700 3,500

Total Expenditure In This 2nd Trip (Rs.)

678,500







Previous Balance With Adrian (Rs.)

114,080 Extra Money Left From 1st Zinc Trip To Gorkha

Money Received From Adrian

687,820 Money Received On 05 Jul 2015

Total Money For Gorkha


801,900 Total Money Including Previous Balance

This Time Expenses (Rs.)

678,500
Money Received On 05 Jul 2015

Extra Money With Adrian (Rs.)

123,400 Money Received On 05 Jul 2015


f. What's Next?

With Gorkha settled, Bharat will extend the relief work to Sindhupalhowk. We will support this with the excess funds we've raised and Rina's friends will supplement this too. As the monsoon has started, zinc distribution is expected to be more complex and dangerous.

Please keep Bharat and his friends in your prayers as they continue their mission of mercy. I will update you as I receive more info.

Finally, thank you for your generosity. Without your support, none of these would have been possible.

Blessings,

Adrian



- Voxeros

08 July 2015

Sundown Marathon 2015


No BarRun this time round as I flew solo at this year's Sundown.

Timing wasn't fantastic and I thought I fared very badly this time round compared to last year's 62 mins. As it turned out I remembered wrongly. Last year's time was 64 mins, and so my 68 mins was worse off a lesser 3 mins 49 seconds.

Mai hiam buay pai lah.

The consolation was that ranking went up to 548th from 589th last year. Maybe the better runners all graduated to the 21km category liao. Haiz....


Prior to the race, we were treated to an awesome display of fireworks. It was just our good fortune that Sundown Marathon coincided with SG50 NDP rehearsal.


Well, now that Sundown 2015 is done and dusted, it is still not time to take a breather as I have the Asics City Relay just round the corner.

Pushing on!

- Voxeros

07 July 2015

The Banana Show


Oh look at the poor boy. He is totally shaken up and distraught like a wounded bambi.

Sorry but my gut feel says that it is all an act.

With all the cameras on him, now even with foreign media attention, it's show time!

The way I see it, this boy has too much smarts to run circles around our local Mickey Mouse Media and then counter-clockwise. Remember how he trolled them all the last time with the molest allegations and again even with time-release entries when he was in custody?

Let's face it, our local Mickey Mouse Media are a bunch of not-very-the-smart people. An mere ounce of BananaBoy's wit will probably see the reporters' all die of brain hemorrhage.

If there were a parallel-universe of stupid people, BananaBoy would have been one of the X-Men.

In any case, please go home, have a good night's sleep, take two bananas and call me in the morning.

Video Credit: Youtube - Straits Times

- Voxeros

06 July 2015

Standard Dropped


I am sure many of us have heard someone saying this at one point in time or another, or even said it ourselves.

This place or that store "standard dropped liao".

Standard Dropped is more often than not, referring to a certain food or food place where it no longer used to be as good. Or at the very least, since the last we remembered.

Few of the notable "standard dropped" places that I have heard of late:

  • Power Nasi Lemak
  • Punggol Nasi Lemak
  • Fong Seng Nasi Lemak

    Note: Sorry ah. I eat nasi lemak by the truckload one. So naturally, this particular item shows up on my radar more frequently.
  • Chatterbox Chicken Rice
  • Kay Lee Char Siew
  • Prego's
There are more that I have heard but at the time of writing this, these few were all that I was able to recall off-hand.

My question is this.

I only hear people say this standard drop. That standard drop.

Has anyone ever said a certain food or food place standard IMPROVED?

It seems that we are so focused on the negatives that we take good food for granted?

Good food don't fall from the sky. They are the result of hard work, passion and  dedication by the remaining people who pour their hearts out to make you that perfect hokkien mee, that awesome roti john, that divine char siew / siew yoke or even that sibeh steam chicken rice chilli sauce, or that bowl of kan hor jiak hei mee?

Allow me to say a big thank you to the folks who slave away day in, day out in front of the fire frying that wok-hei-ful char kway teow or stewing that sompah-best rendang or double boiling that 几够力  watercress pork rib soup.

These are the people who still believe that food should have a soul.

These are the people who need our encouragement.


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

- Voxeros

05 July 2015

Death Of The Ramen Fad


(Random Ramen Picture)

I accompanied my dad to Central Mall to get his RedMi phone fixed. Apparently, Gabe managed to somehow destroy the USB charging port of the phone.

Sidetrack: My dad quipped how short the queue was at the XiaoMi service center as compared to HTC. Perhaps the latter is more problematic?

So anyway, the XiaoMi staff said to come back to collect the phone after 2 hours. Repair charges, by the way, was waived. Thank you XiaoMi!

Looking at the watch, it was close to lunch time and we decided to just grab something to eat while we wait out the 2 hours.

At Central Mall, it was only natural we gravitated towards the ramen place.

We regretted it.

If I were to describe the ramen in one word, I would pick "lifeless". Seriously, I don't know what I was eating for SGD 14.00. The noodles was so boring that my tongue attempted suicide by jumping into the path of my chompers.

So now you know why I refrained from mentioning the name of the establishment. No difficult to guess. Happy sleuthing!

Then it got me thinking about this ramen hype where we pay 12 to 18 bucks for a meal in a soup bowl where back in Japan, it is an insert-coin-make-selection-ticket-to-counter-pick-up-noodles street food.

In the era of pre-Somerset ramen, there usual places were Liang Court and Central Mall. Now with big names like Ippudo coming into the saturated fray, it is getting kinda boring liao.

I tried Ippudo in Hong Kong. One word. Meh. I cannot fathom what the fuss was all about. It is just another glorified Ajisen.

In any case, allow me to be the first to sound the death knell of ramen fad in Singapore.

May it rest in peace with the rest of the fads like donuts, bubble tea and Portuguese egg tart.

p.s. llaollao froyo will be in the death notebook albeit slightly down the page.

Image Credit: http://thetastingbuds.com

- Voxeros

04 July 2015

Snorting Corn Starch


It was a horrific accident and my heart goes out to everyone who got hurt.

I can only imagine the horror at the scene of the accident. Chaos, pain, panic, fear, despair all mixed in the morbid fragrance of sio bak in the air.

I remember being at a fire scene many years ago. One cannot imagine how is it something as awesome as the fragrance of siew yoke be associated to something as tragically horrifying as a burn victim.

That sensory overload was something that I had a hard time dealing with.

Anyway, enough of that. I wish for the speedy recovery of the survivors. May they get well soonest.

Coming back to this colour run thingie, I felt that it was something really dumb to begin with.

Sure, the supposedly underlying message, methinks, is that at the end of the run after all that colour blasting, we are identically multi-coloured. We are all coloured the same. No one is a different colour from the next person i.e. let's all kick racism's ass. Yay!

Let's pause and think things over for a while, shall we?

First of all, you are doing a 5K run. Sure, it is not really that long a distance, but it is enough to get a person breathing heavily from all that cardio exertion. Now, spray a shitload of corn starch powder in the air for everyone to breathe them in heavily.

Can anyone not see something wrong with this?

Sure, the corn starch particles are not small enough (PM 2.5) to enter your bloodstream but these larger particles (PM 10.0?) going into your body where it is not supposed to cannot be healthy at all, right?

Yes, eventually, they will be expelled from your body via phlegm, mucus, coughing and even choking. This is how the body deals with foreign particles in your air tract.

Wouldn't it be easier to not put them into your body in the first place?

This is the exact reason why I don't bother with these color runs.

It is stupid.


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


- Voxeros
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