Sunday, December 30, 2007
Irritating as hell, no? Definitely doesn't make me feel like joining the navy.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Today I saw a notification that said (random) person had accepted the notification - we met randomly. Is that apt or what? I think I'll go clarify with said person. :>
2) I think motorbikes are dangerous for riders regardless of skill.
3) I think that a bike license will inevitably lead to bike-riding.
4) I also believe that I should not impose my desires on others - they should have free choice.
5) I've told KeY my thoughts about bike-riding.
6) She still seemed keen.
7) I was conflicted and unhappy. I told her about point 4 as well, and my internal conflict.
8) She promised not to.
Did I violate point 4? How does point 4 work when other people's actions can have severe effects on my own happiness? Am I just scared of having to go through life alone?
Sunday, December 09, 2007
RoboRally - crazy crazy mechanical shoot each other up fun! Definitely not a serious game.. very party, because it's (i) 8 players; (ii) encourages chaos and destruction, (iii) very luck-based! Storyline - bored robots racing around a factory. Win either by getting all the rally flags or by killing everyone else.
Mr. Jack - one-on-one game (though we split into two teams to play this), kind of like Fury in the sense that one player is trying to deduce and the other player is trying to hide. An inspector is trying to find Jack the Ripper in London 1888 - but it's complicated because he's hidden himself among one of 8 people. Most of the players felt the game was quite skewed in favour of the inspector, but I don't think overly so. Well, I'll find out in a bit if I buy this.
Bang - like Mafia! One sheriff, some deputies, outlaws, and renegades, trying to kill each other off. I thought this was really fun! Definitely a party game, it apparently plays up to 8, and like Cash n Guns, banging people is real fun!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Former Justice Sandra
Day O’Connor’s husband, suffering from Alzheimer’s
disease, has a romance with another woman, and the former justice is
thrilled — even visits with the new couple while they hold hands on the porch
swing — because it is a relief to see her husband of 55 years so content.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It's an engaging theme but a little too simplified I think - and the simplifications required to make the argument work in the end make me more distrustful of the conclusion. Okay to read, kind of dry, and seriously - much of this stuff is old news.
I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now
Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Instead of the huge shopping centres of Orchard Road you have two rows of boutiques running along the road, set back at a short distance from a narrow tramway. On the one hand the feeling is just much less manufactured than in Singapore - somehow more intimate and nice. Yet, I can't help but think of the Orchard Road population set into this tiny street. Yeowch.
And the biggest difference - KeY isn't here to let me know when what I'm picking out is just downright ugly. And to pick out nice clothes I wouldn't normally even look twice at.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Things I like about this kind of job?
- Helping person A to meet person B, who can help person A out.
- Throwing parties!
- Getting paid to throw parties!
- Meeting and keeping in touch with "hip, cool" people.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
B**t*** cab driver - probably took any ride who was willing to pay the call charge.
A**h*** passenger - stealing someone else's ride.
Going to lodge a complaint. And not call NTUC cabs again. They should require cabs to verify that they've picked up the correct passenger - and should compensate passengers if the cabs don't come.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Basic argument - science operates on the basis of induction - that conditions of type C have always been followed by events of type E in the observed past, therefore conditions of type C will always be followed by events of type E in the future. But the inductive leap from part 1 of the argument to part 2 of the argument is based on a premise that, in layman's terms, the future will be the same as the past. And we can't prove that that inductive leap works - because we can only extrapolate based on the past, that the past futures have always been like past pasts.
Enter cause and effect - We use cause and effect theories to justify belief in / knowledge of induction arguments above. So C (dropping your pen) is clearly not the cause of E (baby born somewhere in the world) even though E always follows C, there's no causal link. Instead, C(sticking the car key in the ignition) is clearly (one of) the (long chain of) causes leading to the car starting.
In the end - there's no normatively justifiable reason for us to believe that there is cause and effect. Even though we need it to function, we should just accept that cause and effect is not provable.
Ok, first disclaimer - I think the argument doesn't debunk cause and effect so much as it debunks empiricism - and that one reason philosophers might be in love with this argument is that it proves that those scientists doing their material experiments can claim no superiority over the philosophers doing thought experiments in their head, because induction is flawed and therefore science is flawed. And just like all those people caught by Socrates' arguments, I can't come up with good arguments against the implications of that statement on the fly. But after a good night's sleep, my brain is churning out lots of good thoughts (I think).
1) There is a continuum of being wrong. Just because empiricism / induction is flawed / wrong in some way does not make it a useless belief/system, it may be less wrong than other systems. For instance, the belief that the world is round (it's not perfectly round!) is not as wrong as the belief that the world is flat.
2) Some statements may be true, but not be provable - ie, Godel.
3) Science / Empiricism is not based on knowing absolutely - instead, as the future becomes the present new knowledge is incorporated. Experiments disprove certain hypotheses, scientists have to come up with new explanations, new models, and that's the whole point of science. While it is true that the past may not be perfectly extrapolat-able to the future, that's fine. When we get to the future and find that "something has changed", empiricism will work it in then.
So to me, it's okay to believe almost anything as a starting point - even beliefs that to me are irrational. However, as evidence comes up that makes it more and more unlikely, you should work that into your belief model and review your beliefs accordingly. And that's the whole point of empiricism right?
On a side note, I do believe that cause is an illusion that's linked to our forward view of time. If time ran backward, we would see that the moving ball striking the cue causes the pool cue to move, not that other way around.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Words confined to the left as corralled animals had passed into general use and, with them, ideas.Funny thing is, you do see people writing like that - especially people who are trying to impress. I remember reading KeY's social work academic texts and thinking that the writing was awfully bombastic. And you sometimes see it in civil service writing too. Never associated it with communism though. Got to find someone from that era and ask...
Anyway, KeY's first thought was that the right-side of the brain was not the creative side. Is it because she thought I was right-brained?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
So what to do? Even though the amount for half an hour is quite small, was quite peeved - By the time I see the rate I can't reverse anymore, and there's no indication that there's no grace period. And when I went to the customer service in Taka, I was redirected to the security post, which redirected me to the car park management office on L7, where the guard at first told me there was no manager but later connected me to an operations executive.
In summary - the exec did *some* service recovery (gave me a parking coupon for 1 hour's value, but which I'm dubious I'll use within its expiry date), and I'm not angry with him. What I am angry with is this very unreasonable policy where
(a) by the time you see the signage you basically have to park unless you want to cause havoc in the run-up to the car park
(b) no grace period
(c) no indication that there's no grace period
(d) no refund policy. As in "no refund" policy.
So I'm going to write in. Only thing is, I don't think they'll change their policy. I've been told I'm not the only complainant in the xx years that the car park has been in operation - but doesn't that indicate that the problem is quite pervasive? Anyway, since the operations exec has told me that they will definitely reply to my feedback (and I have his namecard), I'll write in first, and see what they reply. After that, as necessary, may forward to CASE? Lol... it seems small, but it's just the principle of the matter. I mean, I spent half an hour chasing this down, whereas I'm sure in most situations I would just have let it go and let them earn the dollar off me. It's not worth my time, or anyone's time, to settle just one case, but just not happy to let it go!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
For most consumers, wine-buying is an emotional issue. The restaurant industry has a longstanding belief that the lowest-priced wine on the list will never sell. Nobody wants to be seen as cheap. But the second-lowest-priced wine, that’s the one people will gobble up.
Buying retail is a slightly different experience. Most people don’t feel as if their retail purchases are windows into their ignorant, miserly souls, the way they do in restaurants, and so are less inhibited.
And go for Portugese wine?
Our No. 1 wine, the 2002 Padre Pedro from Casa Cadaval in the Ribatejo region of Portugal, is a case in point. This wine indeed had personality, with cherry fruit, spice and smoke flavors and enough tannin to give it structure. Alas, the Padre Pedro may be hard to find now, because Casa Cadaval has changed importers since this vintage. But in general Portugal is an excellent source for good, inexpensive wines, especially those from the Douro and those, like the Padre Pedro, from the Ribatejo region.Go to the site to see the rest of the wines selected!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Before Yom Kippur every year, Shaul the bartender and I and a few other people go sit on Dizengoff Street and we drink beer and eat hummus, and as people come by - if we know them and, as we get progressively drunker, even if we don't know them - we stop them and say, 'If I did something wrong to offend you this year, I apologize. Please, forgive me.' It's great fun and people smile and laugh and say, 'Yeah, me too, brother. Forgive me, too,' and they just walk along.
Want to try this in general...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
McArdle makes a good point about the two concerns which are often tangled up in all kinds of conversations about transfers, that is
In discussing the morality of a single-payer system, those efficiency considerations are irrelevant. In discussing the morality, one thing matters1: who is made better off, and who worse off, by the system?Basically, rather than caring about whether the problem is solved, the morality aspect looks at whether we should (normatively, morally) task the people subsidising the system to pay for those being subsidised. And in my personal capacity I think it's useful to consider, for all kinds of government-mandated transfers... including particular annuity payments.
I liked three particular points:
1. Anecdotes are pointless
A gigantic single-payer system is a pretty blunt instrument; it transfers money from one group, the young and healthy, to another group, the old and sick. It does not distinguish much more finely than that between the deserving and undeserving within that class. This is why discussions of particularly deserving or undeserving people within the larger class, such as your fine old Uncle Bob who served his country in two wars before becoming a minister, are irrelevant; as with the surfers and taxi drivers, almost any class we can specify will contain some very worthy members who deserve more from society than they have gotten. What we need to know is whether the class of old and sick people as a whole are much more deserving than the class of young and healthy people; whether our transfers do more good than harm.
Anecdotal arguments are just so... ew. Both sides will be able to point to their favourite anecdotes, ignore the other's point, and come out with a moral victory and no agreement.
2) Risk pooling is a morality argument (and not an efficiency one)
She quoted someone else:
If you're healthy, a world in which Giuliani's plan was law would be a world in which it was economically foolish of you to purchase high quality, comprehensive coverage. And that would be fine -- for the healthy individual. But insurance works based on risk pooling. If our hypothetical 23-year-old only uses $10 of health care a year, but is now paying $80 rather than $100 for his plan, that's less money that can subsidize someone with a chronic illness.So what's the problem with not pooling? It seems that the problem is that someone else is not being subsidised, not that risk pooling makes the system more efficient...
3) How do we determine if those being subsidised deserve to be subsidised by the paying group?
1. They are needy. The class we propose to benefit has greater need for the money than the class from whom we propose to take.
2. It's not fair. The class we propose to benefit has been unluckier than the class from whom we propose to take.
3. They are responsible. The class from whom we propose to take has in some way contributed to the problems we are trying to rectify.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
For instance, when I was at work in Jogjakarta this week, there was an social event where we needed to sing a song and I quickly went online to download the song lyrics. I'm shuddering to think what the bill would be because it's overseas access to GPRS. Hopefully not too much...
Nonetheless, in the end I decided not to buy a wi-fi pda. And frankly, I'm not going to use wi-fi in public places much because a laptop is just too heavy to lug around.
That's why this article at Wired about how plans to have wi-fi in cities around the world are failing, is quite striking to me. High setup costs and low demand - a killer for most commercial apps, basically. There's a separate commentary over at Communities Dominate Blogs as well. Which makes me glad that somehow we managed to force ourself past that barrier here.
But I guess even though that's the case, people would still want to play because people can't actually comprehend the best play to make on their own.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Instead, it's more like life itself - all the little bits don't naturally seem to fit together into a huge congruent whole where every line makes sense at the end, but despite that everything is significant because of its context - a day in the year of the life of this highly dysfunctional "family". It's filled with a thousand little snatches of beauty, and a thousand little deaths and tragedies. And some of those are both beautiful and tragic and the same time....
So when I caught the musical, the song that caught my mind was "Seasons of Love". But after the movie, the song that sticks in my head is "No Day But Today".
There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today....
There's only here
There's only now
Give in to love, or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today...
Sort of a poignant, sad, lyrical end-of-your-life version of "Carpe Diem"..
Monday, August 27, 2007
1. (the person who tagged you is) -Lari
2. (your relationship with him/her is) - Friend from NYF
3. (5 impressions you have of him/her) - chirpy, like a chipmunk / deeply sad in a nice way, like autumn days / different /cute, also like a chipmunk / onz!
4. (the most memorable thing he/she has done for you) - Eh.. help out an old man with a bad memory here....
5. (the most memorable words he/she has said to you) -
“life goes on,
despite all fatigue and sadness
much better if we strive
to find smiles with song" - well, not exactly said, but....
6. (if he/she becomes your lover, you will) - eh.. ah... oh.... be a pedophile?
7. (if he/she becomes your lover, things he/she has to improve on will be) - have more free time to chill, not just busy all the time!
8. (if he/she becomes your enemy, you will) - ignore her and curse her very name?
9. (if he/she becomes your enemy, the reason will be) - cheat me?
10. (the most desirable thing you want to do for him/her now is) - give her a reassuring hug...
11. (your overall impression of him/her is) - very nice lady, but too depressive. Needs a really good friend who stays near enough that he/she can just walk over and give her a hug when necessary. Either that, or a really good bear...
12. (how you think people around you will feel about you) - that gawky/awkward chap who thinks waaaaay too much, and who never seems to realise that nobody actually wants advice!
13. (the characteristic you love about yourself is) - i’m rational.
14. (the characteristic you hate about yourself is) - too competitive... just can't lose well, you know?
15. (the most ideal person you want to be is) - eh.. can't answer that --- little bits of so many people in my life, and I refuse to cheat my way out of this question with a divine being.
16. (for people that care and like you, say something to them) - I love you too... I'm sorry I don't always have time and that I'm so short-tempered...
17. (pass this quiz to 10 people that you wish to know how they feel about you)
(who is no.6 having a relationship with?) - Bliss
(Is no.9 a male or female?) - Male.
(If no.7 and 10 are together, will it be a good thing?) - Lol... we were talking about this recently...
(What is no.2 studying?) - Supposed to be philosophy... which means he's slacking in a very cheem kind of way?
(When was the last time you had a chat with no.3?) - yesterday. At Key's party
(What kind of music does no.8 like?) - oh gosh - I dunno! C-Pop? let me know if I'm wrong...
(Does no.1 has any siblings?) - Yes. An older brother.
(Will you woo no.3?) - never. He's a guy. On a funnier note, he's got too much of a tummy. But other than those two things, possibly.
(How about no.7?) - Why are all these things slotted on guys?!!!
(Is no.4 single?) - No! Though probably some people passing her on the street might hope so?
(What’s the surname of no.5?) - Liaw
(What’s the hobby of no.4?) - er. my turn to ask you back? Other than paintball?
(Do no.5 and 9 get along well?) - They don’t know each other.
(Where is no.2 studying at?) - In Florida, sunny Florida. Isn't that nice?
(Say something casual about no.1) - She's got the most heart of anyone I know.
(Have you tried developing feelings for no.8?) - (Finally, a female!) No... just wrong!
(Where does no.9 live?) - Sengkang.
(What colour does no.4 like?) - i don’t know either!
(Are no.5 and 1 best friends?) - No, but they've played golf together!
(Does no.7 like no.2?) - they don’t know each other. But I think they would get along well!
(How did you get to know no.2?) - Schoolmate in secondary school... ran in the same geeky circles, the ones that laugh knowingly when someone says something like "You can't measure wisdom in points"
(Does no.1 have any pets?) - Yes, two adorable little pigs
(Is no.7 the sexiest person in the world?) - I get the impression that the 7th person is supposed to be of the opposite sex...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The show's sold out, I think. But do catch it next time if you can. Turns out my mom is catching the show the next weekend as well... Anyway, the website's really cool.. Love the way the links drag towards your mouse, pulled by invisible strings...
Friday, August 24, 2007
Beef steak, medium rare, at the Dolphin Restaurant at 81 Genting Lane, Everich Industrial Building. At about $30++ for 300gms of New York Steak, it's not cheap, just about the same price as Hogsbreath or Prime Society... And this despite the setting, which is the 7th floor of an industrial building out at Macpherson area.
Nonetheless, the beef is decent - at least they didn't overcook it and the meat is tender enough to be still worth eating. A decent choice on a Friday or Saturday night when all the town outlets are packed.. though it's closed on Sundays....
Thursday, August 23, 2007
every grain in place
A wall rising imperceptibly
Can you see the house we're building?
Can you feel the story we're writing?
Though every day is a fragment of a single character
Still, the story goes ever on.
Even the spaces serve their role
between the sand, between the words.
Still we're ever moving onward
Rest your heart, and let us keep on.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Bad news? 354 flats, 8273 applicants and counting... Well done!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
But the place doesn't take itself too seriously. Your placemats are these diagrams, ostensibly showing the cuts of beef, pork, fish, and artichokes.. take a closer look (click on the photos and zoom in!) and you'll see that a lot of the comments are pretty silly!
It's a good thing they have different types of mats to keep you entertained, because service is a little slow. We ordered three starters - prime caesar, portobello mushrooms, and calamari. All the dishes were pretty good. I liked the calamari because the squid was fresh and was springy without being chewy.. though Zeal felt the breading was not crispy enough. The portobello mushrooms are pictured here- somewhat after we started eating because I forgot to take a picture!
Here's my ribeye steak! At $36, very pricey, but excellent, fantastic taste. Today I found out the difference in taste between filet mignon and ribeye - which is that mignon is more juicy but also has a strange powdery aftertaste, which can be covered by the sauce to some degree (in this case my sister ordered bearnaise sauce). However, for me, I definitely prefer the ribeye, especially because I like to taste the beef itself without any sauce other than its own juices... And look at where I cut the beef, it's done medium rare really well!
Some more, other than the beef, the carrots, cucumber, mushrooms and potatoes are all very well cooked! The carrots, for instance, were crispy and maintained their taste well, while the seasoning on the fries was just perfect. I wiped out all the veggies - except the eggplant which honestly tasted and felt weird...
Definitely a place to go to eat beef. Try it!
Definitely a good place to eat! Go there for some
Sunday, August 05, 2007
By the way, this was where I popped the question... does the background look familiar?
Starter - bacon wrappen in chicken - I think! (My memory fails me - not surprising a month after having this meal!) I remember the skin was super crispy and the meat extremely tender, a fantastic combination.
My second course centred on a piece of egg tofu...
And the main course - three mini-steaks, complete with pumpkin sauce. The steaks' natural juices were already fantastic, savoury and full of the flavour of charcoal and beef. Then when you eat it with the pumpkin sauce, the flavour changes entirely and you're enjoying the beef texture with the sweetness of the pumpkin.
And you can see, medium rare really was medium rare - not like some other steakhouse I recently ate at. (But duh, pay peanuts get monkeys!)
Dessert - I honestly forgot what this was!
And here's our party of four with the boss, Mr Oliver Schreiber. Because Georg helped us book a table, he came over to chat with us, made a wine recommendation, and also talked with us about some of his personal life - like how he'd considered setting up a restaurant in Singapore at an earlier time. Sigh -- definitely our loss!
All in all, a really fantastic meal! Expensive too.. inclusive of a bottle of good white wine, we spent about $400 for four persons. But I thought it was definitely worth it!
Saturday, August 04, 2007
One recurrent theme between Snow Crash and The Diamond Age is the idea that stories have power - a theme that is shared with American Gods (Neil Gaiman). In particular, I liked the concept, that in the stories told by our ancestors, cleverness and technology are often linked to the same "gods" - Coyote, Brer Rabbit, Enki, Athena, Loki / Odin among others. The Diamond Age added to this, when in one section, a Chinese character, Dr X, says that:
When our society was based upon planting, it could trul be said, as the Master [Confucius] did, 'Virtue is the root; wealth is the result.' But under the Western ti, wealth comes not from virtue but from cleverness.
The implication is that the root Chinese society emphasises virtue over cleverness. Looking back at our chinese myths, the question then is, who are our deities of cunning and cleverness. To me, it seems that we should look at Sun Wukong and Zhuge Liang - one, an almost certainly mythical character, the other, probably a real person translated into myth in the same way as Homer translated the Greek heroes into the Iliad. In the case of the Monkey God, his cunning is related in his monkey origins, playful nature, transformative magic; whereas in Zhuge Liang's case, his is the strategic vision, the tactical prowess, the military technology. And in both cases, we have a clear case of virtue trumping cunning.
In Sun Wukong's case, first he is quelled by Buddha. Then he is restrained by his golden circlet, controlled by the meditations of his monk master Tripitaka. And lastly, there is the Journey to the West itself, to regain the scriptures, a quest where he finally acknowledges his duty to Tripitaka and is elevated to godhood. In Zhuge Liang's case, we first see the success of his strategems when working for Liu Bei, and later, the undermining of his brilliance by his steadfast loyalty to Liu Bei's son, the "hun jun" Ah Dou.
Yet in each case both virtue and cleverness are necessary ingredients for success. To quote, out of context, the protagonist of the story:
Both ways are simple-minded - they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.
If I could teach my children one thing, it would be how to deal/resolve/cope with contradiction and ambiguity...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Normally for this kind of place I would not expect too much - confluence of high rental and "low" price usually results in not-very-good food. But the pasta was of a decent quality and the chicken pieces were quite succulent. Not too bad, would definitely give the restaurant another shot.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Well .. maybe not this view. More like these...
As with any nice place with a decent airport, it's very touristy - but that isn't always a bad thing. For example, they really cater to you, for example with nifty little notices like these...
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
As part of the Wired feature, they've also shown the vehicle and tech that one company uses to do this mapping, and a page featuring people's picks for best shots. One of those shots seems to show the Google imaging van too!
Damn, this is good stuff. Feeling a bit happier...
Connected via fiber optics to a remote operator station and a command-and-control center, each machine gun-mounted station serves as a type of robotic sniper, capable of enforcing a nearly 1,500-meter-deep no-go zone.
Sounds like sci-fi? Read about it at Wired. Definitely fits my mood.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
is like holding my breath
The thumping of my heart
in the silence
marking each painful second
The darkness creeping in at the edges of my sight
and my mind wondering
Can I hold out
Till breath and life returns?
My body anticipating
that sweet moment
when breath and life returns.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
1) Motorcycles not allowed on the highways
2) Dial 110 for the police
3) 6 year old kids have cellphones
4) Rock bands in food courts
5) S-2006 security for hotels all-year-round
6) Highway built on mangrove swamp, caution, floods! In which case, passengers to airport get to go via truck.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Things that caught my eye:
1) "An investor who bought the Nasdaq index in 1973 and sold in 2002 would have earned an average yearly return of 9.6 percent. But the typical investor in Nasdaq earned only 4.3 percent over this period."Which gives me two numbers on expected returns from investment. And..
2) "Peter Lynch always said the advertised returns of his funds were always considerably better than those realized by the investors of the funds. Investors buy what has been hot recently and then sell when they under perform."
This was the duck, which was really quite well done - very tasty and tender! Generally most of the dishes were done in a savoury, high-flavour, probably unhealthy but two thumbs up manner... such as the pork dish here...
Of course, some healthy greens are needed too! Cooked very well too, the firm-ness of the broccoli was just nice.
I didn't enjoy the chicken much, probably because I prefer my meat de-boned...
Here's the fish - wasn't fantastic, I normally prefer the sweet soya sauce gravy for the flavour, and this was lacking..
After the rave reviews I read earlier, the kway teow was a disappointment - tough and rubbery. I don't think it's as good as advertised!
Overall - meal was about $30 per head and food was decent. Service was normal for chinese restaurants (ie non-existent) and parking difficult.. Overall, was a little disappointed, but would not mind going for another try at a later date.
To recap, here's the contact details:
540-542 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368223 - tel number 67445009
Thursday, May 03, 2007
And that solo guy sitting at the table for four - I hope you choked on it...
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Basically, it seems like the bullet hit the point in the centre, squeezed all the blood out in the surrounding veins till it burst the vessels, or even burst the skin in its bid to escape.. sigh... Ouch!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The book is written in a more or less spoofy manner - the tone is deliberately over-the-top, and while an entertaining read, does not seem to me to really introduce any new ideas. The premise of the book is (what seems to me to be) a libertariansystem - the Government's role has shrunk to enforcement of the laws protecting persons from violence, and Government itself has become a corporation only able to pursue cases where there is an interested party willing to pay for investigations. Beyond that, the large corporations have generally "taken over" and most people are defined by their employment to a ridiculous degree - Jennifer Government is so named because Jennifer is employed by the Government. And so Hack Nike, Buy Mitsui, Billy NRA are all employed by those corporations.
The problem is, Max Barry takes such a tongue-in-cheek look at the premise that it seems to me that he's making fun of the whole idea rather than placing us in a hypothetical future. In that way, it's quite a lot more like Headcrash (Bethke) than Snow Crash (Stephenson). So it's an entertaining read but no brain activity going on, you know?
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Warrior Knights, on the other hand, is this huge, high-thinking, backstabbing, strategy game - projected to run 2-4 hours...ie a whole day for newbies.
Here's a preview of a trial run game in progress..
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Peiling's recommendation, a Teochew restaurant. The reviews look really good... lol. Here's one by a food blog, and another by a blogger. The dishes look really delectable - and I'm looking forward to crab, calamari, broccoli and kway teow!
I'm considering one of two options:
a) Putting in for one of the Bi-Monthly Sale of 4-room & Bigger Flats in my area. Of course this would mean I've to get married pretty much within the next 3 months...
b) Putting in for one of the Build To Order flats in Punggol... which means I'd have to prepare to move in in about 4 years..
(See, that's one reason to rent rather than buy - pure flexibility!)
of course, there's always
c) Wait ...
which could also arise from
d) Apply but get unlucky at ballot.
Anyway, before that.
What can I afford? I must admit I have little idea about this, but there's this HDB MoneySense Guide which helps a bit. I'm gonna open a Google Spreadsheet and try to follow this.
A few information blocks along the way:
The first thing I should find out - am I eligible for a HDB loan at concessionary interest rate? This HDB article covers it. And, yes I am!
Generally, this means that I get an interest rate of 2.6% on my loan - presumably better than bank loans but I have no idea. Got to keep my eyes peeled for promotions as I walk around.
Then if I take a loan at 90% of the flat value, I can estimate my instalment payments here.
Keying it into the spreadsheet, I find:
a) For a flat worth $250k, I end up paying about $1020 in instalment payments, of which $120 must come from my cash. Not too bad!
b) For a flat worth $350k, I end up paying $1400 in instalment payments, of which $400 must come from cash - much tougher...
I've published the mug-ugly version 1 of the spreadsheet here.
Still need to
1) Figure out how HDB calculates the monthly payment based on
a) Loan amount
b) Per annum interest
c) Years to repay
So if you know this, let me know, okay?
2) Figure out the renovation loan interest rate and work out how renovation impacts the sheet
3) Add in calculations to reflect property tax, fire insurance, mortgage insurance, conservancy charges, maintenance costs, as the MoneySense guide advises.
Problem is, after having read all those useful personal finance blogs, I realize that I haven't found one that's based in a Singapore context. And the world is totally different! For one thing, the best interest rate you can get on a savings account in Singapore (for someone with my funds) appears to be StanChart's 1.8% - whereas that guy at The Simple Dollar is always raving about the HSBC account with 4% interest rates... For another, the whole thing about buying homes using CPF and stuff is just so bloody confusing.
So now, I've got a few tasks ...
1) Figure how much I can afford for the HDB flat - or indeed, whether I should be renting instead (heaven forbid I buy a condo at this point!);
2) Find out how I can maximize my investment from this place where interest rates on all kinds of deposit accounts seems abysmally low;
3) Think through how much insurance I need, and get that amount!
4) Appropriately for the number 4, make my CPF declaration and draw up my last will and testament.
Of course, I'm ridiculously blur about this and still finding my way around.. So I might as well make a journey of it and a) entertain some people, b) share the experience, and c) seek inputs from anyone who happens onto the site.
So... let's start!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Here's how the basic meal looks like at lunch - nothing special yet other than the overwhelming portion size.
and then, when you cut the beef (which you should have asked for medium rare), it's like this - juicy and delectable! It's not the Tavern, but it's pretty good!
and then finally - there's decent dessert too!
Well worth the price, try it out, near the Daiso in Vivo City.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
There was another article at Communities Dominate Blogs about phones targeted at kids. It mentions the same kinds of features - bright colours, child-toy shapes and robustness, cutesy interfaces. But it comes with additional features!
It has a built-in alarm. One that is viciously loud. But better than that - when that alarm is sounded, the phone camera takes a picture ! Yes, that is why the flash, because the target may be attempting to bully (or rob) the child in a dark alleyway. And yes - the best part - when the alarm goes off, the childrens' phone - and KDDI - immediately send a picture message to the parent. If the child is in trouble, just take out the phone, sound the alarm, point the camera at the bully, and your PARENTS immediately see who is attempting to bully the child.
Lol.. they should put these features on every phone, not just the children's ones. But ask you a question, how would you like it if your kid got antsy while you were out and pressed the alarm for fun?
Saturday, March 31, 2007
If you've been to Central, you would already have seen the Japanese floor - the one with Waraku, Tom Ton, Kyomomoyama, and also the upcoming Sun with Moon. One huge row of Japanese restaurants.
So I was eating in a large group at Kyomomoyama. First time into the place, which has a rather unimposing facade. The interior is done in an understated style that reminds me of Tatsuya.. see the central displays with the huge bottles of Sake?
The dishes are expensive though - the set lunches range from $12 to almost $30, and the individual dishes (other than the sobas and udons, which cost about $9) are generally in the $20+ range.
Some of my colleagues' set lunches - this is the tori karaage...
and the pacific saury. It looks really interesting, no? There was also a tonkatsu dish which tasted okay, but not spectacular.
For myself, I ordered a non-set dish. Normally the first dish I try is tonkatsu, but it just seemed kind of boring, know what I mean? So I ordered a hitsumabushi - grilled eel and egg ($21+++).
Not a complimentary picture, heh. The grilled eel tasted quite good, and the rice was fine. But the best part of the dish was the egg! It was just fantastic - a little bit juicy, and a little bit sweet, and a whole lot of tasty and delectable. It was cooked into this ultra-thin, delicate layer spread evenly all over the rice, and from my first bite I was pretty much hooked. I don't know if the dish was worth $20, but it was darn good!
(Note though: this dish comes with soup and chawanmushi, but the chawanmushi did not taste very good at all. Kind of stale tasting and powdery, somehow)
Overall, quite a nice place to eat, but pricey! Not as bad as Tatsuya though, definitely.