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Today’s rich kids

May 10, 2007 2 comments

This is what I saw today at a MacDonald’s during lunch time.

A teenage boy made an order at the counter.  As he was leaving with his order, he dropped his change of 3 10-cents coins.  Being aware of his dropping the coins, he kicked them closer to the wall of the counter, and walked away.  He didn’t bother to pick up his change.  The 30-cents was nothing to him.

It just shows how some kids do not appreciate the value of money, nor how hard their parents have to work to earn the money.  It also shows how some parents are not educating their kids the right things in life.  Maybe one day he will learn the hard way.

So what happened to the 30-cents?  I picked them up after my meal, and put them into the Ronald MacDonald’s Children Charity box.  There are some kids who can benefit from them.

Miessence package has arrived!

May 4, 2007 1 comment

It took only 2 days! After I placed my order on their online shopping site, they sent me an email notifying me on the order placement. Today morning, they sent me another email informing that the package is on the way. Today afternoon, the UPS man arrived to my doorstep with my package. All without me stepping out of the house! After a month of leg work in trying to find safer alternatives to personal care products, this is just a bliss!

So now you know that shipping Miessence to Singapore has no problems. Oh, no GST too. 😉

Update: No GST if your package’s value is below S$400.

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From the pictures, you can see that the packaging is nicely done. Nuggets of foam is used to prevent the bottles from tumbling around. The bottles have a tape seal on top. If it’s broken, it means that it has been tampered with, or the contents might have been compromised. Nice touch.

Ok, initial fragrance test!

Extremely pleasant. Quite different from the usual products that we buy. The scents have an uplifting lint to it, which I find it very hard to describe. They are not over powering. I could sniff them repeatedly just to try to identify the scents. I’ll try my best here.

Mint Toothpaste – Wife prefers mint, so we got the mint! Minty and bright scent. The volume looks good enough to last for one month for 2 persons.

Lemon Myrtle Shampoo – Milky scent with a uplifting lint of lemon.

Shine Herbal Hair Conditioner – Flowery scent, like during a spring season.

Liquid Hand Soap – Flowery scent. Slightly more wholesome than the hair conditioner.

For the others, I wasn’t able to sniff it due to the dispenser design. I’ll probably know tomorrow. So far, it’s smelling good. 🙂

Update:

Shaving Cream – Woody scent.

Balancing Cleanser (facial) – Woody, with a hint of rosemary. English herbal kind of scent.

Organic daily personal care products

May 2, 2007 Leave a comment

Referring back to my earlier post on “Living a life of chemicals“, I would like to update everyone that I have found the safer alternative to personal care products!

The brand is called Miessence, manufactured by an Australian company named Organic and Natural Enterprise group. Their products are certified by “Australian Certified Organic” and “United States Department of Agriculture”.

Lots of information that you can read up at OneGroup’s site. Take a look at the toxins directory and compare against your personal care products that you use daily. I think it will freak you out.

You can have a look at their products too. Yeah, they are more expensive than your typical shopping malls’ products, but I think your health is worth paying for it. I have made some purchases and I’ll update you all on the outcome of the trials. 🙂

Incidentally, they have a business structure in which you can take part in if you are also looking for a business opportunity and want to ride on the wave of growing awareness in better health. I have hitched onto it because I believe we shouldn’t be victims to irresponsible manufacturers.

Buying a monitor in Sim Lim Square

February 8, 2007 Leave a comment

A few days ago, we were at Sim Lim Square shopping for a 20″ monitor. Here’s an example of how not to sell a product.

Most of the shops were displaying (still are) their range of monitors, connected to a single PC with the video signal distributed through a switch. Surely, you’ll know that this method is unable to support all the monitors in their native mode. If PC’s video is configured to support a 17″ monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution, then that same resolution will be used for a 20″ monitor with a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050. The result is that the 20″ monitor is displayed with thick and crude graphics, and not in its native mode.

So I asked if they could display the 20″ monitor in its native mode. ALL of them said no. The reason was that their PC could not support higher a resolution higher than 1024 x 768.

Alright then, how about if we bring our own laptops to test out the monitors?

So we brought our laptops down to try. Only 2 vendors were willing to let us try with our MacBooks, but the problem was both of them didn’t have a DVI cable. At least they managed to borrow one.

There was this young chap that I remembered who insisted that he didn’t have a DVI cable and went into a speech about how they cannot open up new boxes just with the intention to test the displayed monitors. “Like that how to sell the monitors with the opened boxes!”, he said. We didn’t ask him to do that, but mentioned that he could borrow it from somewhere else, like the rest did.

Kudos went to the young lady promoter for Philips monitor. She brought us to her display area and made all the arrangements for us to test out the Philips monitor. We almost bought the Philips monitor, until she brought us back to the dealer who can’t sell an opened box.

In the end, we bought a Dell 2007WFP monitor on the Internet. So far, I’m very pleased with it. The monitor has 3 USB, DVI, VGA, S-Video, Video and audio inputs. The display is bright and cripsy. My MacBook recognises it immediately, and the monitor responds to the MacBook. The monitor’s control buttons are nicely arranged on the bottom right of the screen, making it look quite professional.  Here’s a picture of it:

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Therefore, if anyone wants to sell something, put your heart into it.  Otherwise, don’t bother.

Categories: Chatter, Singapore

Man that writes chinese calligraphy with his foot

January 30, 2007 1 comment

I went down for a tea break today. Hungry and cold from the air conditioning, I couldn’t resist the rumblings of my tummy anymore.

After buying 2 baos (a chinese bun with fillings), I walked around to bask in the sun, and I stumbled upon a man performing chinese calligraphy by holding a brush with his toes!

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Didn’t I tell you that my office block’s vicinity is interesting? 🙂

Categories: Art, Chatter, Sightings, Singapore

Alternative to jogging

January 11, 2007 4 comments

For the past few days, I couldn’t go jogging in the morning due to the rain. So I skipped exercising.

Until today, when I thought that I couldn’t continue missing out on the exercise, lest my body back slides on its conditioning. So I slipped on the exercising gear again, and started my warm-ups even though the sky was grey. Alas, the sky decided to pour down its woes again.

That was when I realised the alternative to jogging. I did the stairs mastering! I found out that climbing stairs is a tougher exercise than jogging! After 5 floors, I was panting, my head was spinning and my legs were turning into jello. Climbing stairs seem to using a different group of muscles from jogging. Climbing down the stairs uses another different group. My legs didn’t feel so jello-like since I last climbed the Great Wall of China.

So there you have it. An alternative to jogging, which can cater to at least 75% of high-rise dwelling Singaporeans, come rain or shine. No more excuses! One day, Singaporeans’ butts will be able to rival the Brazilians!

Categories: Exercise, Singapore

Art of Cartier Sunday

October 5, 2006 Leave a comment

I writing something that I did on Sunday. It’s long overdue, but I didn’t have the time to write for the past few days.

With the intention to visit the Art of Cartier exhibition, I finally visited our Singapore National Museum after it went through renovations. The original building looked preserved, with the front lawn spruced up with new sculptures in place. The new wing was clean and modern. Very nicely done. I have some pictures.

SNM - Old and New

-In between the old and the new-

 

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-The elegant stone facade on the right-

 

 

The Art of Cartier exhibition was quite interesting. Unfortunately I do not have the pictures to show as photography is not allowed. A guide is available to walk you through each exhibit and introduce you to the history of Cartier and how each era’s designs were influenced by persons and cultures.

Not only fashionable, the innovations in the Mystery Clock were my favourites.

It’s free. 🙂 So if you like to know more about the work of Cartier, go for it!

When: 30 Sep – 17 Oct
Where: Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore

Categories: Chatter, Singapore

Critically lack of mass

September 27, 2006 Leave a comment

I am so glad that there might not be a 3rd season for Singapore Idol, for the reasons that there isn’t enough of good singers in Singapore.  We may not have to suffer through weeks of bad singing, feeble judging comments and classless hosting.  There isn’t even enough bad attempts during the auditions to make Singapore Idol interestingly funny.

Let’s face it.  In a country of 4 million, take away the senior people, the working class and the babies,  we have about less than 1 million people to make any mass critical enough to make something like Singapore Idol going on and on for years on.

There are a lot of other areas in which Singapore does not have the critical mass for.

Already proven is the failure to sustain more than 2 competing newspaper.  The Today paper won the battle against Streats.  Another proven failure was 2 competing TV broadcasting companies.  Mediacorp is the only standing broadcasting company now.

We have tried to create competition in the transport arena, in the telecommunication arena and in the power supply arena.  So far, telecommunications has some resemblence to competition, but this is due to the rapid developments in technology.  In transport, there’s more of a consortium than anything else.  All players raise price in the same amount at the same time.  In power supply, we haven’t seen other players yet.

We have to recognise that there are some areas that cannot sustain competition due to the shortfall of critical mass in Singapore, and that goes for reality TV.  We will probably do better to create an united environment to support the few talented.  That would be a better use of resources, than to waste resources  killing off our own.

Categories: Singapore

Due diligence in choosing your office location

September 19, 2006 Leave a comment

Today our office building’s old freaky lift broke down again. As far as I know, it is the 4th time in 9 months. To motivate everyone, I termed it Singapore Exercise Day (SED). So it’s SED today. We, IT engineers find this day a necessary day, as we need to exercise the legs and butt that has sat on a chair for too long. If you think that 12 flights of stairs is daunting, then it’s SED time.

But as masters of logic, events must be timely and predictive. If it’s SED today, we must be able to know that it is SED today. So that you as a human, has the ultimate choice to participate in a SED event, or decide to avoid the SED event by staying in bed.

Therefore, due diligence in finding out if the building has any quirks is required while you are sourcing for a location to situate your office. Check out if,

1. The aircon is fine. Not too cold, not too hot, and thermostat is working.

2. Air circulation is good.

3. Water systems (pipes and washrooms) are in good condition. No leaks.

4. Lift is in excellent working condition.

And so on. I suggest that each building submit an annual health report to the authorities, so that potential tenants can get a health report before deciding to sign on a contract that binds them for 2 years or more.

Lastly, the building that’s giving us so much SED time is 110, Robinson Road, Four Seasons Bank Building, managed by OCBC Properties. I hope this report helps you, as a seeker of office space, to decide on whether to base your office in our eventful building.

Categories: Singapore, That's life!

Hawker stall with a queue number

September 9, 2006 Leave a comment

This is the first time I have seen a hawker stall that comes equipped with a queue number display. Imagine, business can get so good that you need to get a queue number and get beeped when your order is ready.

This one is at the make-shift food center at Old Airport Road. Another funny is that it’s named Toa Payoh, but located in Kallang. It’s all to confuse the foreigners who come to Singapore in search of good food. This has to be a fun thing to do in Amazing Race.

Angmoh1: “Next clue, locate the Toa Payoh Rojak stall. There you have to make your own rojak and serve 10 customers. If a customer is not satisfied, he’s not counted. Once you have 10 satisfied customers, the boss will give you the next clue. Where’s this Toa Payoh Rojak stall?”

Angmoh2: “Let’s ask the locals.”

Singaporean1: “Aiyah, so simple. Clue already told you Toa Payoh, so it’s in Toa Payoh lah!”

Angmoh1: “Oh, ok. Taxi. Toa Payoh Lah please!”

Taxi Driver: “Toa Payoh lah? No Toa Payoh lah. Got Marikita. But National Day over already. You want Marikita, can go to nearest Primary School. But only in the early morning. You want to go primary school?”

Angmoh2: “Ok ok, just be fast! We are in a race!”

Taxi Driver drives them proudly to the nearest primary school. It is late evening. School has already closed. Angmoh1 and Angmoh2 camped outside school, wondering where the customers are. Next morning, the Disciplinary Master woke them up.

DM: “Wei! No camping at school premises!”

Angmoh1: “Curses! Did we miss the Marikita? We are in the Amazing Race, you know.”

DM: “Amazing Race? In Singapore? So what are you doing at a primary school? What? Show me the clue. Aiyah, you are supposed to go to Toa Payoh, a town in the middle of Singapore, and find this rojak stall. You are supposed to… blah blah.”

Angmoh2: “Enough enough! Singaporeans are way too helpful. Taxi! To Toa Payoh, please! Argh, you again!”

Taxi Driver: “Yah, I hanged around to see what happens next. So good, can be on Amazing Race. You see, I didn’t leave the meter running. So nice, right? I just want to help. So you actually want to go to Toa Payoh ah?”

Angmoh1: “What’s with the lah and ah?”

DM (thinking): “Wait till you hear the “hor”.”

Taxi Driver: “Har?”

Angmoh2: “Ok, ok, let’s go to Toa Payoh. You know the way right?”

Taxi Driver: “Yah yah, no problem. Singapore not very big.”

After driving around Toa Payoh for another 1 hour, and asking too many Singaporeans, they finally found one who obviously knew his food.

Singaporean2: “Toa Payoh Rojak? Not in Toa Payoh lah. I think they moved to Jurong. You go down by CTE hor, and then exit at … hor, then head towards … hor, then you see … at your left hor, turn left … hor. You see … hor, turn…”

Angmoh1: “How do you write hor?”

Angmoh2: “Ok, Mr. Taxi Driver, can you go to CTE hor…”

<News Flash!>

The latest segment of Amazing Race had come to a stand-still in Singapore. All teams did not reach their next checkpoint, and there are a few furious taxi drivers over the rental fees incurred by the teams. As the teams could not pay the taxi drivers and were hopelessly lost in Singapore, police were called in. They are now sitting in the police stations, pending mediation.

Toa Payoh Rojak stall owner, whose stall was the next checkpoint, said, “I waited and waited. I asked my customers to wait too. I told them today special day. Got Amazing Race coming. Got 10 teams. So I got 100 customers waiting. Everybody excited! So I also fix this queue counter, so that everything will be orderly. But in the end, no one came. All my customers are angry now. Now they don’t come. I don’t know what to do with these yellow letters.”

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I am not sure how to describe the food quality. My friend ate most of it when I went to get coffee. So I guess it’s so good that he threw friendship to the gastromatic gases. He owes me one more order of rojak.

Categories: Singapore