Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is Google trying to be funny?

Then I remembered from a book that I read about Google's story, that it was founded in 1998. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOOGLE!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

No $$?? DIY Your Sedan into a Race Car

Auf Wiedersehen, Usui Yoshito 臼井儀人

Yoshito Usui was born in Shizuoka. He began his career in mangas in the mid-1980s, and was a collaborator of the magazine Action. His most famous serial is 'Crayon Shin-chan'. Initially published in Action from 1987, the first issue of the 'Crayon Shin-chan' comic book sold 25 million copies. The character is also featured in a large merchandise line. Other creations by Usui include 'Mix Connection', 'Scrambled Egg', 'Super Mix' and 'Unbalance Zone'.

Yoshito, 51, went missing on Sept. 11 after telling his family he was planning to climb a mountain in Gunnma prefecture, north of Tokyo, the Yomiuri said in its report. Usui may have fallen from a cliff after being found with wounds to his chest.

RIP man.

[source: Photobucket]

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Still remember my first Flash game - Burger Stack

Sorry, I realise there is something wrong with the previous link, so I upped this entry again, for those who are interested to play. You can play the game below immediately. Now also available in Android version. Those interested, can email me.

This game was built in 2005 using Flash MX, and Microsoft Paint, when being hired by Neopets was my dream. Now my dream is Google.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lai Lai Casual Eatery - service is pretty literal about it

I have been wondering whether Lai Lai Casual Eatery 来来红烧牛肉面 serves half-decent food, because I hadn't had an opportunity to do so, as everytime I am at Jurong Point, I am either rushing through, it's crowded (every Jurong Point eatery always is during meal times, else it's doomed), or someone else has decided what I must eat (which is never worth blogging about).

Finally I had the chance to, and the service sucks BIG TIME. We deliberately went there at about 5ish when it was less crowded (the best time to check the staff response). The four staff milling around all tried to ignore us and looked hopeful that their colleagues would help us instead.

I was vaguely annoyed but I was distracted by the Wolverine movie playing at the video shop opposite the eatery. I ordered Special Set A, which is beef noodles (I asked for soup version), braised intestines (at least 3 sides to choose from for every Special Set), and red milk tea. Since I was famished, I upsized the noodles to a medium (+S$1.50) and requested for half-meat-half-tendon (S$1). I find the latter option rather stupid, because you can see in the last photo that the noodles in the menu contains tendon and meat. And yet (1) the waiter still went to ask for the kitchen's permission to let me have that (2) frightfully obvious misrepresentation - attracting the customer with the more appealing picture and call it beef noodles in the menu. Is beef tendon not beef??? *haha* (3) charging me for that bloody misrepresentation.

B1 ordered another Special Set of small mee sua (he was grousing about how oysters should be offered in the menu as Lai Lai is obviously a Taiwanese wannabe eatery, and oyster mee sua is a damn proliferate in the Taiwanese eating culture. He ended up choosing chicken slices which turned out to be chicken slivers), a century egg tofu and red milk tea. Btw red milk tea is bubble tea containing milk, red tea and (in Lai Lai's case, half-cooked) sago pearls. Such sins committed by the kitchen!!! Half-cooked sago pearls make for a disgusting shock when you bite into them.

I would say that the braised intestines were the pièce de résistance for this meal. Served with fresh ginger slivers (cut correctly *nod nod*) and braised in a light soya sauce, they had a delightful creamy consistency yet savory sensation. Marvellous. The difference between the small noodles and medium noodles is quite significant, as evidenced by the different sizes in soup spoons. B1 was relieved by the small size of his mee sua, which also highlighted the fact that it probably wasn't that nice, and would be a even nastier memory if served in a larger portion. I had a taste, not particularly impressed.

My beef noodle soup was peppery and tasty with lots of slices of meat and tendon. Served with a scrumptious preserved veggie side to accompany the largely tasteless noodles in the spoon. Thank god the chef was more careful with the salt shaker for my noodles, though someone must have had a lot of fun playing with our kidneys using the very sweet bubble tea.

The century egg tofu concoction was disgusting. They topped the cold appetizer with bonito flakes (dude, you don't have to serve bonito flakes just because they are there). I cringe even now, just recalling the very saltiness of that dish.

The meal was bloody expensive, ~S$40 I think. I might go back there and buy the intestines as a takeaway, but the rest of the meal? You're better off getting it at a food court.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TGIF Specials 10: This little Piggie reaches for the Sky

I know that the stress levels are reaching new levels, when I can see an animal while swinging my legs at the bus stop seat, waiting for my bus to come?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Empire State - A Sad Clone

Tried the Empire State at IIuma. Btw did you know that there is a cute little Chinese girl selling even cuter bunny and bear pencil boxes, bags etc on the ground floor?

But I digress. Now we have another cafe doesn't even try very hard to differentiate. Empire State is a Cheap Knockoff of New York New York (which is already pretty bad in its own right), serving the same giant burger, for example. It's almost as if the owners were having dinner at New York² one day and decided there and then that they loved the concept and decided to copy the whole thing, right down to the orange puffball seats. They definitely didn't try very hard to use their imagination, as one can see from the name. And maybe add a cartoon gorilla or two. It wouldn't be more obvious than if they called it Statue of Liberty.

You know flattery is the best compliment? Not in this case. Food's terribly salty, the drinks horrifically sweet. But the quantity? A lot. I couldn't finish more than 5 squares of my teriyaki pizza. I estimate that other places usually only serve 6 squares. Kudos to Empire on that.

Culture Vulture strikes at SPH Gift Of Music Series: SSO Classics In The Park

Shots taken during the concert warm-up with Lim Yau at Botanical Gardens, Singapore.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday B1

A spin on the usual Birthday 长寿面线, which is traditionally cooked with pig kidney, liver, and egg. Check out my Abalone version. I placed the boiled noodles, cover them with thin slices of abalone, left over steamed broccoli and half-boiled egg, before pouring hot stock made with ikan bilis, ground garlic, ginger.

Knowing he is The One

Daily Mail's promotion article "How do you know he's THE ONE?" of Andrew G Marshall's The Single Trap on 6th Sept 2009

In films, when a couple meet, they just know that each has found that one special person, and that marriage, children and eternal bliss are just a heartbeat away.

Unfortunately, in the real world, it is much harder to work out whether a relationship has a future or not. Most of us don't have these blinding flashes - or, if we do, we have been let down by them in the past and no longer trust our own judgment.

So we follow the standard advice: get to know each other, go on dates, and ask friends to check him out.


However, there comes a point when you need to decide if this relationship is serious or wasting your time. Is he into you enough - and are you into him enough - to go all the way?

As a marital therapist who has spent 20 years sorting out love dilemmas, I've watched hundreds of couples trying to decide whether their relationship is worth pursuing further. They all approach the problem like a judge trying to weigh up the pros and cons.

But how do you balance present issues and past experience against an unknowable future?

Should 'but I love him' trump infuriating behaviour? No wonder these people find themselves swinging first one way and then the other. But it is possible, normally about six months in, to assess the prospects for your relationship and come to a realistic conclusion.

The secret is to approach it like a doctor, and diagnose its condition by putting it through a series of tests. If it passes them all, your relationship has a clean bill of health and every chance of a successful future.

Here are my seven essential tests...

1. How good are the good times?

Sometimes when people look back over their relationship, it was not as brilliant as they first thought. 'It seemed so good on paper - great restaurant, handsome guy - but I wonder how much my hopes created the spark,' said Alannah, 32, when she recalled her first dates with David, 36.

'Did my fantasies also inflate OK sex into great sex?' Take off the rose-coloured glasses: if the good times still seem good, your relationship passes the first test.


2. Are you more impressed by what he says rather than what he does?

This was the clincher for Alannah. 'He says that he loves me, he can see a future for us,' she explained, 'but he gets really vague when I want to plan something even a couple of months ahead.'

He had failed the test because although he talked about commitment, he did not act committed.

Conversely, for Miranda, 29, this test taught her to trust her new boyfriend. 'He had always been reticent with his feelings so I thought he didn't really care but then I was ill and he arrived at my home with a saucepan of home-made soup.' He passed with flying colours.

3. Is he genuinely interested in what you're doing?

'I would listen to all the intricacies of his latest business deals,' said Emily, 36, 'but he couldn't even remember my best friend's name.'

On her next date, she monitored how much time he talked about himself and his reaction when the conversation turned to her.

'What shocked me was how his eyes glazed over if I talked about something that interested me.'

Emily rightly concluded that he was not into her enough to make this a viable long-term relationship.


4. How does he make you feel about yourself?

The right partner can improve your self-respect, whereas the wrong one can gradually erode your self-belief. If you contradict him, does he make you feel stupid?

Julia, 48, ran her own successful small business but had left school at 16. Her boyfriend Mark, 49, had been to a leading university.

'If something intellectual comes up - some writer or composer - he has this habit of explaining who he is and what he's done. It makes me feel stupid.'

Julia found this especially hurtful when he did it in front of friends. But although a negative response to this question is a black mark against the relationship, there is still hope: see the next question.

5. Can you talk about anything and everything?

Julia talked to Mark about his intellectual name-dropping: 'I told him how belittled I felt by it, and to my surprise, he does it to include me in the conversation.'

They agreed he wouldn't do it any more unless Julia asked. The more subjects that can be discussed openly, the healthier the relationship will be.

Rebecca, another client, confronted this question and realised there was something her boyfriend refused to discuss: 'I knew he wanted to go back to Australia, but he would just evade the topic.'

So Rebecca ended the relationship - at which point her boyfriend admitted he had already booked a solo flight home. Six months into a relationship, you should be able to raise topics such as having children and whether your life ambitions match.


6. Do you both look forward to touching each other?

This one focuses on whether you are into him enough. 'My boyfriend is really nice, he treats me well and he's a good listener too,' said Alison, 28.

'But I have to admit there's no real chemistry.' She stopped for a moment.

'If we're alone for too long he can really get on my nerves.'

It turned out that Alison liked his family - especially his mother and sister - more than him. It is important to have good physical chemistry. Alison ended the relationship and she has not regretted her decision.

7. Is this relationship different from your past ones?

Look back at your last few boyfriends: do the relationships all follow a similar pattern? Do you always date nice boys but lust after bad ones?

Jodie, 43, would always go out with musicians, actors and models. 'They were all talented and had troubled pasts. I was always trying to motivate them or throwing away old pizza boxes from their living room.'

In effect, they had all made her feel like their mother rather than an equal partner. She fell for their potential rather than the reality.

Her current boyfriend was cut from the same cloth. Instead of trying to work on her boyfriend, she dumped him and worked on self-improvement instead.

She realised that there was a similarity between these bad men and her father, who had been a serial gambler. By understanding the past, she could stop herself from endlessly repeating the pattern.


Don't even start to consider him as a long-term prospect if you spot any of these traits:

• He gives unasked-for reassurance about his behaviour. He tells you 'I'd never cheat' or 'I don't drink as much as so-and-so' even though you've never brought up these subjects. STOP: it's his guilty conscience talking.

• He has a poor opinion of other women. Does he bad-mouth ex-girlfriends? Is he rude to waitresses? STOP: He has a black and white attitude towards women and it is easy to get on his wrong side.

• You find yourself making excuses for him. Do you feel the need to tell friends that he's 'not always like that' or 'he's had a tough upbringing'? Do you downplay bad behaviour? STOP: Your friends are worried about you.


• Something in his life doesn't add up. Does he disappear for a few days for no real reason? Have you repeatedly caught him lying to other people? STOP: No trust, no relationship.

• He always has to win. When you argue, will he stop at nothing - including cruel remarks - to get his own way? Does it seem that he doesn't really take your opinions seriously? STOP: Relationships need give and take.


• These tests should help cut through the fog that can obscure your view of the future.

Hopefully, your beau has passed with flying colours. If he has failed on a question, tell him how you are feeling.

Maybe you will get a pleasant surprise and he will fight for you; maybe he will agree that the relationship has no future.

Either way, you will have clarity. If you are still undecided, it's probably because in your heart you know the truth but are not ready to face it.


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