Monday, December 25, 2006

Funny where you see old friends

Was just surfing around when I saw Kenneth, Huiqin, Weiyan, and Norman in a photo here...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Miharu Ramen

I fell in love with Miharu Ramen (76 Robertson Quay, Gallery Hotel ground floor) the very first time I went with my sister.. At the time, it was a sunday lunchtime and we waited 45 min to be seated, which my sister told me was already shorter than the usual 1 hour wait on weekday lunches.

There's good reason too. The food's really good! A quick search on the internet quickly yields links to Travelling Hungryboy's review (one of several) (and he totally dissed tampopo as I mentioned before), Ringisei's review, and even a CNA special.

A lot of cool things about this place:
1) The philosophy is just cool. All over the place there are posters talking about how the noodles are all imported from Hokkaido where they are made with the well-water there, about how the eggs are made, how the chef thinks ramen should be eaten in 10 minutes so as to be fresh...

Of course, we totally broke that rule, hogging the place for a ridiculously longtime, first holding seats and later chatting after dinner... *sheepish*

2) The eggs are fantastic!!

Okay, maybe the photo don't look so hot, but the eggs are just nice - the yolk's still kind of liquid, just a little bit, whereas the white is just a little sweet with the soya sauce.
3) The ramen itself is very good value for money - smooth noodles, just-nice broth, and lots of meat and ingredients for just about $12.

So, go try this out!

Spizza for Friends

Spizza at 29 Club Street was first recommended to me just about when I started work, but I've not gone a huge number of times, mostly because of its pricy nature. I think the standard for a basic meal there is about $20 per head...

Anyway, Spizza is pizza with a difference. The standard pizza in Singapore (Pizza Hut and Domino's) is a thick, cheesy kind of pizza, whereas Spizza serves a wickedly thin, generally un-cheesed pizza cooked in a traditional wood-fired-oven style. So you can really taste that Parma Ham. For additional flavour, every pizza combination they serve is named with a different female name starting with one of 25 letters of the alphabet (all except X).

Here's an example.

Overall? It's decent for a small gathering (if pricy), but you might run into some of these conflicts:
1) Your group doesn't enjoy this type of pizza
2) If they do, a small group of you won't be able to order all the pizzas you would like to taste over 1 gathering
3) The Club Street outlet doesn't sit large groups well. It's kind of a narrow space so you have to sit all in one row - which tends to limit conversation to within 1 table's reach (2 persons each direction).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Shashlik was featured on CNA. I love this restaurant, and that's not because I'm Hainanese. Just love the Baked Alaska there... *drool*....

Serene Huang says:

Lavished with flaming rum before your eyes, the ice-cream cake continued to flicker blue flames for a good five seconds or so, before it shed the fiery cloak. The result: An innocuous-looking mount of whipped cream flambéed, yet so addictively decadent from the salient taste of the alcohol.

Where: Far East Shopping Centre, 545 Orchard Road, #06-19
Telephone: 6732 6401, 6734 3090
Opening hours: 12pm to 3pm (Lunch); 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Dinner); daily

Good stuff, try it out.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Small brothers are watching you...

A CNA article on televised sting operations, run by the media, in India

India's feisty television news channels have tapped a seam of public disgust by using revolutionary sting operations to expose official corruption and social ills that have made some lawmakers so nervous they are trying to limit media power.

"The media is reflecting public anger," said CNN-IBN senior editor and anchor Sagarika Ghose.

It's an interesting concept - reminiscent of someone pretending to represent an extremely rich person and approaching a prominent football coach to tap him to coach that rich person's football team.

Anyway - it's part of the conundrum. On the one hand, the idea that someone could be watching your every action leads you to be very careful that what you're doing is not wrong - not illegal, not embarrassing, etc. But on the other hand, who's to determine what's wrong? In the CNA article, it mentions a lawyer who's defending a (presumably) reviled man in a murder court case, who's being questioned on TV. It is probably ethically wrong to murder, and it might be that the majority of people in any society would think that it is ethically wrong to defend that murderer in court - but that does not in itself make the action wrong. To people who care about the legal system, any man is entitled to a defence, including the most heinous war criminals.

So let's take it closer to home. Suppose you're an ordinary Singaporean who deals with ugly Singaporeans every day. (well, if you in Tokyo, say you deal with ugly Tokyites everyday - I believe Singaporeans aren't uglier than other countries' citizens, we just have an idealism gap). You can't get on the trains because people don't move to the centre, once you're on you see lots of elderly and pregnant women standing around, and you always miss your stop because some stupid idiots are standing right in front of the entrance trying to squeeze their way on and you can't get out. Or you're a driver, and always curse at people who road hog in the fast lane (or even better, both lanes!), change lanes without signalling, or occupy that yellow box that is supposed to allow you to turn into the main road.

One day, you and every other irritated Singaporean decide to use those flashy camera-phones to good effect, and snap pictures of all the offenders. Mugshots, car plates, etc. Post them onto a website where you can rant with everyone else. There's a wave of publicity, and suddenly everyone is more polite. See an ugly Singaporean? Whip out a camera and the person shies away and hides his face. Feels good, no?

Then one day you log on and see your face, featured. Or, you're doing your own thing, and someone points a camera your way. How do you feel? Slightly self-conscious? And if it seems that people are condemning what you do, would you alter your actions?

Did one of your gadgets die recently?

An interesting post on Wired, called "Gadgets built to fail".

Kris Wagner says:

Of course, no R&D department would ever admit to creating products that are intended to crash and burn. But I believe that, like humans, the PDA holding your business contacts and favorite songs has a preordained lifespan. It's simply a matter of when it will die.

Let's call it the buy-die-buy theory: Manufacturers design technology to fail so you're forced to upgrade regularly.

Eh ... I thought it was pretty obvious... People don't make money by selling you something that lasts forever. They make money by selling you stuff that is (a) addictive and (b) requires constant flow. Like drugs.

Or put it this way. If your current MP3 player, about the size of say your primary school eraser(you know, the ones with country flags that we used to play eraser wrestling with) , could last forever. Would you pay $150 to replace it with an MP3 player that's 2/3 of the size and holds twice the songs? (and presumably lasts forever too)

Well, maybe you might, because it's "cool". But that's the consumer myth, innit?


I'm a sucker for both sci-fi and fantasy, so you would imagine that Shadowrun is my favourite RPG world setting (that is, if you knew what Shadowrun was - it's rather little known by mundanes.)

And now I find that there's a Shadowrun shooter coming out for Xbox 360 and Windows. Well, I'm not going to buy the 360 - I already feel awfully backstabbed by Microsoft over the lack of games for Xbox. So, that just means that I have another reason to buy a new system soon....

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Simple Dollar: The Road to Financial Armageddon

I recently found the Simple Dollar website through the author's article on the 30 best freeware, which was rather widely featured on several sites. So now I'm reading its RSS feed and finding many rather interesting articles.

This particular series, "The Road to Financial Armageddon", is particularly good - do read it! I've linked to #8 in the series of 10 articles.

I experienced a similar (but smaller scale) problem with credit card debt when I was in the UK - ran myself into a credit card hole and spent three months digging myself out. I can tell you, the feeling of being in debt is entirely awful and till today, it makes me very careful about my credit card spending.

Of course, I'm still a rather profligate spender - Nekki says that I "spend money like water". And it's true - I don't have the discipline to put money away at a serious rate. But I keep reminding myself, I gotta save, invest, plan for the future. If you already have a plan for the future, good for you. If not - whether you're young or old, it's never too early to start practicing some financial discipline.

Nation States

This is pretty cool: Nation States seems like a pretty lightweight, low-commitment online game.

So far, I've created a nation and decided my first issue - "Should democracy be compulsory?"

Trust me, I was tempted to base that nation on Singapore, but where's the fun in that? I'm sure there's already someone out there trying it out, anyway. For myself, I'm gonna take my own path.

Drop me a telegram if you create one too!

The Ultimate Alliance can't be found

Been running around trying to find Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the Xbox. Key and I, we saw this game in November, and thought to ourselves:
1) There haven't been Xbox games out lately
2) This would be fantastic for after Key's exams, since it's four player and seems kind of a good replacement for the Xmen Legends series. We had *a lot* of fun with that, playing four controllers with both gangs of gamers...

So, her exams are over, and I can't find the game anymore! Every single shop in Sim Lim and Funan, every single Comics Connection and other shop, seems to have sold out!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tampopo Ramen

My office people go to Tampopo Ramen every now and then, since it's quite nearby, just over at Liang Court. Liang Court as a shopping centre is pretty focused on Japanese tastes, with a Japanese supermarket (Meidi-Ya), A Kinokuniya which stocks Japanese books, and many many ramen stalls in the basement. I guess it's a historical thing, since I remember Daimaru used to be there as well - for the longest time I referred to that place simply as Daimaru, long after it was no longer accurate.

There's a ton of notices outside - food reviews and stuff, so the place seems to be pretty good. (Later on, while trying to find the website for this stall I come across Travelling Hungryboy's post saying it ain't so, but I didn't know that)

So here's the ramen. Mine isn't the expensive Jangara ramen mentioned in the article - but I find it's adequately good. The sauce is extremely salty! So next time I won't go for "shio", maybe "miso".

The pork is supposed to be special black pig. For the record, it's not bad, but there wasn't really lots of it... actually, it was quite little...

Still, it's not terribly expensive, I think I paid $14 for my meal.

So.. a nice place to go in town, but not extremely fantastic...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sun with Moon

Today's dinner: Sun with Moon Japanese Dining and Cafe
Came here because Key's buddy Raymond had recommended the place..

The place was beautiful! Nice mood lighting, and because we had reserved seats, we were led to this area with cushions and nice screens...

food-wise, we were a bit thrown at first, since I'd done almost zero reading up, and I'd forgotten wwhat I'd read too. It turns out the place doesn't have the usual don kind of dishes which we were familiar with. I had kind of expected the price, though. Samsies had mentioned it was 'bout thirty per head.

Funny thing was, Key wanted rice, so we should have ordered the kamameshi, but in the menu they looked like noodles...

Still, we dove in and ordered three dishes:

1) Chicken Teriyaki - just chicken and some vegetables at the side. Was good but not fantastic.

2) Pork Yakisoba - this was pork and noodles. Noodles tasted great, and had a very smooth, easy-to-bite texture. Pork was chewy...
3) Kani Tomago Toji - which was crabstick, spinach and egg in a bit of broth. This was the best main dish. The crabstick tasted like real crab and had very good texture, spinach tasted great, and the egg complemented it perfectly.
As a side note, we ordered rice to accompany and the rice was just ordinary...

Afterwards we moved on to dessert, and this was where the restaurant really stood out.

This was the tofu cheesecake. It tasted fantastic, especially the texture of the tofu and the taste of cheese.. and the portion was just nice, too. This was of course compared to the ...
Green tea tiramisu, which at first tasted great - a clean kind of taste, very understated - but I got sick of it about halfway through simply because it was too creamy.

Final verdict:
Very impressed with the dessert, main courses so-so. This is probably a good place to come out and hang out after the main meal somewhere else. Tofu cheesecake is a must, we packed two pieces back home for Key's dad and bro...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A second life

This is interesting me. Hmm..

Do you cook if you are sleeping...

Or is this the ultimate alarm?

Article on Wired: "Say Hello to the Goodbye Weapon"

The crowd is getting ugly. Soldiers roll up in a Hummer. Suddenly, the whole right half of your body is screaming in agony. You feel like you've been dipped in molten lava. You almost faint from shock and pain, but instead you stumble backwards -- and then start running. To your surprise, everyone else is running too. In a few seconds, the street is completely empty.

You've just been hit with a new nonlethal weapon that has been certified for use in Iraq -- even though critics argue there may be unforeseen effects.

Man oh man.. this is a scary weapon. Nonlethal, perhaps, but the pain is supposed to be excruciating.. Could this be the next torture weapon?

Microsoft just gave me an excuse not to work...

Microsoft Security Advisory (929433)

Microsoft is investigating a new report of limited “zero-day” attacks using a vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word Viewer 2003, Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, and Microsoft Word 2004 v. X for Mac, as well as Microsoft Works 2004, 2005, and 2006.

In order for this attack to be carried out, a user must first open a malicious Word file attached to an e-mail or otherwise provided to them by an attacker.

Microsoft has tested the following workarounds. While these workarounds will not correct the underlying vulnerability, they help block known attack vectors. When a workaround reduces functionality, it is identified in the following section.

Do not open or save Word files that you receive from un-trusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources. This vulnerability could be exploited when a user opens a specially crafted Word file.

seen at Channel 9

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Breaking the Sound Barrier

This links to an interesting video, about overcoming deafness in Singapore. It's not perfect, but I think it's at least decently done. And... it's got a good message.


An interesting blogpost about open-source software for the computer. Some of the software looks useful now, and some will be useful in future when I buy my next comp and don't want to spend on getting all the extra software. Keeping in mind..

Monday, December 04, 2006

Graphical multiplication

A new way to multiply!, spotted from Greg Mankiw's blog. Is cool!

RSS Google Reader

After some quick browsing to get up to speed on RSS, I decided to take the easy way out and use Google Reader.

So far not too bad - I'm anticipating using it more. But it seems to freeze up lots, which is not good...

Freezes up like this:

Probably cos it's still beta...

finally got around to getting a account. Started to port bookmarks there, but thought of something suddenly - which is:

see, Google sorts your websites by counting who you link to and who you're linked by right?

So... like if I move my anime links off to, then my relevance to all anime searches would drop?

Well, I guess, my aim is not to get noticed, to it's fine. But something to keep in mind if I finally decide to do an "expert" blog.

For now, I'm just going to tidy my links.

One down.. next: RSS, Picasaweb, Gspace. Time to get my weblife in order.

Review a book, win a prize

NLB is
giving away prizes for reviews at High Browse Online.

Way I see if, if the voucher is a book voucher, that's like 50% off a paperback!