Sunday, October 31, 2010

A creative way to earn $$ effortlessly

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Came across this book in the library. Short and sweet.

We watched the Social Network

Yup. Thanks to some stupid crazy bitch who shook her son to death over Farmville, I am now reduced to a disheartening 4 hours on the computer by meine Eltern. Programming + Company of Heroes (mostly that) + Blogging + Google + TV== 4 hours a day.

Time to go underground. Or outside.

Well at least I now have 23 books to comfort my long and lonely computerless hours. I accept the challenge. Thanks to Zuckerberg and friends, after library and dinner, we watched "The Social Network" because we couldn't use my home network. It was either watching that or the two horror films showing at that hour. Couldn't figure out which was more horrible, but at least Zuckerberg and gang won't appear out from the shadows.

At this point, I concede a loss to B1. Yes the guy who acted as Sledgehammer in "The Pacific" is in "The Social Network". But I digress. I found the show pretty entertaining despite how super annoyed I am at Facebook right now. B1 said that the movie was probably something that Facebook haters like myself will enjoy. I don't think so. I think most people who are interested in Facebook or at least know that it exists (who doesn't) will want to watch the movie. Even meine Mutter brought up the movie to me this morning as I was sulking into my breakfast.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook reportedly went into damage control with the movie release by declaring Zuckerberg's US$100M donation to Newark schools. I personally thought that the people who should be more pissed at the movie should be Saverin and the Winklevoss twins. They painted Saverin as a trusting, naive best friend riding on his brilliant nerd friend's coattails and ended up getting screwed by said "impressionable" buddy and his new best friend. Cute but pretty gullible, nicht wahr? Interesting that the Straits Times reported today that he is acting as business angel to fledgling companies. Saverin should sue the show for making him look like an ignorant jackass. How can a CFO of a company who does not know his own product sell it to others? Let's not talk about coding or server administration or any backstage crap, but not even knowing how to use it as a end user is PATHETIC.

Winklevoss twins. Really good looking (like I said, the movie was very entertaining to me with its quick wit, and good looking cast). Gentlemen of Harvard. Let's not care about how real this movie is to the actual truth, but the part where the president of Harvard corrected the twins' "old school rich people privileged thinking" was the best part of "The Social Network".

As for Zuckerberg? He comes off as the asshole they keep calling him. But a clever one. He appears as someone who knows how to make use of people and discard of them when they have outlived their usability while harnessing his own capabilities to achieve more than any of them could. I would say, the movie actually flatters him.

How best to catch your laptop a technological STD

Aram Bartholl had a 'retro' grade and definitely not brilliant idea. In this day of Megaupload, Facebook (I hate u Facebook), bit torrent and other online means of file sharing, the man wants us to plug our USB enabled portable devices into walls....where his thumbs will be (not for long) there for you to share files with complete strangers. Of course this is only available in NY.

I don't know about you but this sounds even more disgusting than a mass orgy with drunk, high, STD-ridden, overpaid and underworked English footballers. Plugging your laptop in is knowingly opening yourself to DDOS, malware, BSOD and even a visit to NYD for downloading porn. Now to think of it, the poor saps who were literally Sexposed for downloading porn via bit torrent can consider this avenue of file transfer. haha.

Coriander Leaf - a culinary sample of hits and misses

I am seriously going broke. Maybe that American girl in Singapore has a point when she said that eating out here is expensive. Three consecutive Friday dinners of ~S$50-60 a head is doing me in.

This time I was out with Teletubby and Miss Piggy (no offence intended, the nickname was chosen for her love of the animal rather than any physical attribute). I remember this place because this was where the ex intellectual whore went for his corporate retreat. Teletubby suggested the place and I was not surprised to see the usual clientele of foreigners already there sipping wines, given its location.

We ordered the Southeast Asian and Moroccan samplers as our appetisers. They were not kidding when they describe them as samplers. each of us got barely a mouthful for each item. I did not care for the Beef Cigar (Moroccan) and felt that most of Southeast Asian dishes were dulled down to suit the foreign palate, especially the Tom Yum Soup.

I ordered the miso cod, Miss Piggy, the Fish Molee, and Teletubby, the lamb shank. The portion sizes were uneven. The lamb shank came with pita bread (more like chappati, I thought) and some vinegar vegetables. The fish molee served up a large slab of sea bass with butter rice. Mine? One miserable thin slice of cod, with kaki age and mashed potatoes. I question the choice of mashed potato, something so decidedly western against the two other Japanese items. Luckily my dinner companions were generous and shared with me their rice and bread.

Taste-wise, the cod tasted like the miso cod B1 and I had in Japan, when we stayed at the delightful Gasutohofu Ami in Nikko, Japan. brought back some lovely memories. Lamb shank was edible, I found its sides more memorable. I don't really like Sea bass but I found the sauce very tolerable and the flesh cooked just nice.

The bill scared my wallet, even without drinks or dessert.

In a nutshell:
Coriander Leaf
3A Merchant Court
#02-03A (definitely not wheelchair and baby carriage friendly with its stairs)
Taste: decent but not ambrosia
Price: gastronomical
Service: very efficient. They were eager to clear the table and appeared even more so to chase us off because we didn't order drinks.
Ambience: terrible. My headache came back after the cacophonous neighbouring table of Halloween revellers raised a lot of merry Hell. They behaved drunkenly even though there was no alcohol on the table.
The place is definitely more suitable for ostentatious people and Foreign talent with their expat salaries.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

安全地带 AnZenChiTai Concert 2010

A hardcore Maison Ikkoku fan, B1 treated me to the AnZenChiTai concert simply because we loved one of the songs they did for Maison Ikkoku, Suki Sa 好きさ. Yes, do not underestimate the purchasing power of a pair of otakus when it comes to anime.

The lead singer, Koji's attire (photo 2) reminded me of a certain Taiwanese singer, 高凌风 who sang the most endearing 火鸟. At the beginning of the concert I was staring slackjawed, like... where are the hot sexy dancers (who usually accompany 高凌风 ) *haha*.

One thing for sure, Koji did not lack enthusiasm right from the start to the end. Unfortunately he was so genki that he drowned out the supporting vocals from his band and even the accompanying music. It was only until much later that he became more mellow and the band came together to make some pretty awesome music.

Nonetheless the crowd was pretty whipped up and amazingly for a relatively small crowd consisting of mostly Singaporeans (I had predicted 70% Japanese 30% Chinese, turned out it was the other way around), they managed to sing some of the words loudly when Koji turned the mic over to the crowd. More impressively the reserved Japanese even stood at the front like young teenagers at a MTV mosh pit, singing and swaying along with the music.

It was certainly a very entertaining night, even though the band did not give any encores. One must remember they are not as spry as they used to be, even if Koji can gyrate like the best of the hoola hoop little girls. I was curious to see how they used to look like when they were young. Couldn't find any images but Youtube yielded an interesting result (from their 1987 concert, when they were most popular).

Monday, October 25, 2010

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Such a tempting title. I simply had to read the book, especially since it is about yum yums.

By Moira Hodgson, about her growing up post WWII years with a diplomat father (who turned out to be a MI6 spy) and gregarious mother in exotic locations with a wild smorgasbord of foods and adventures, and even a simpler but happy life with "Fletcherising" Ganga and Granny.

I guess the most memorable part of the book would be her memories of her grandparents. I loved how Ganga forced her and her friends to fletcherise her food 32 times at the dining table. I admired her Grandmother for being one of the first women to graduate from college and being a capable housemistress while teaching science in Sherborne.

It's like reading the Monsoon Diary all over again. I loved the growing up years, didn't really like the middle (especially when I found out she had a 7 year relationship with a married man!!!) then empathised with her at the end where she described the loss of her father. Despite his cheating and her strong, destructive reaction to it (and then ironically her own role as a third party, which really infuriated me), you could see that her father loved her and she, him very much, through his watching out for her and her desperate cooking at the end and plying him with his favourite foods in the hopes that if he ate, he could live longer. I can understand and relate to the sentiment.

My other peeve is that Moira never said what happened to Nanny. Like all the characters in her memories, Nanny's presence was significant but fleeting.

I hope she prints her Grandma George's 300-page recipe book, half of which is devoted to puddings. Justify Full

emulator: ERROR: the user data image is used by another emulator. aborting

A lot of people say the way to get rid of this problem "emulator: ERROR: the user data image is used by another emulator. aborting" is to go to ADB server and type the following line: adb kill-server && adb start-server (total noobs, this means you use command prompt then go to your android sdk folder then tools folder e.g. C:\Android...\tools \, and run that line).
Also there are people who advise (in Eclipse) going to Run Configurations-> Target (of the application you are trying to emulate) and click "Wipe User Data" option.
Actually I tried both. The only way it works for me, is to go to Task Manager and kill off the Emulator.exe process. Simple, isn't it? Haha.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Soprano - Ratatouile at an Italian Restaurant

It was my fault. I didn't book a table at Pietrasanta, that was how we ended up walking even longer down Whitchurch Road to Soprano, the other Italian restaurant. It was either that or Colbar (no air-con, in this lovely haze that we can thank Sumatra for, would be very suicidal to sit alfresco) or Laurent (couldn't countenance dessert for dinner). Well, I don't see how a restaurant that always looks half empty every time I go past, is somehow fully booked and so didn't feel the need to reserve a table.

By then, my friends and I were truly sweaty, having walked from our rendezvous point then across the railway track, up Woking Road then down Whitchurch Road (suffice to say, we got lost. But the road looks different when you are not driving *keke*)

We had a fun time looking through the endless menu of pasta, though some of the spellings escaped me. Pizze? Antipasties? Eh, what's wrong with pizza and antipasti? There was a eye-popping array of pasta, from filled pasta, minute pasta to extruded pasta. The guys and I decided we must have the filled pasta because as I pointed out, this is something we can't cook easily at home. So we all had Agnolotti with different fillings. Mine was Porcini, because I was seduced by the foreign books I read, which all promised merry autumnal sojourns into the forest for porcini, while my compatriots had cheese and spinach filling and salmon filling, I think. The stuffed pasta did not feature much meat, so I ordered my meal to be doused in Bolognese sauce. We also ordered a salmon carpaccio and funghi pizza (which had ham).

The pizza was soggy in the middle, crisp at the sides. We ended up rolling the pizza (yes, rolling) to stop the toppings from falling out. The salmon slices in the carpaccio stuck disturbingly together, making it very obvious that the carpaccio had been prepared very much ahead and just taken out upon order. What really annoyed me was that the porcini turned out to be button mushrooms. Don't fuck with me, seriously, canned button mushrooms == porcini? The restaurant must really turn a pretty penny.

But the pasta was not bad, boring but edible. However the pasta was not cooked thoroughly, that was how I could have one lukewarm bite and then scald myself in another bite of the same Agnolotti.

Nevertheless, we had fun chatting in the restaurant, and I even managed to convince one of the guys to take the Boys of a Feather test (will explain in another entry). Because we were lazy to walk in the haze, and just wanted to continue chilling in our seats, we ordered desserts as well. I was tempted to order the apple tart, but ended up with the Crostata della Nonna. Again because I read the word Nonna, and figured "hey something by Grandma, ok sure".

Well, Grandma you horrible Italian witch you, the crostata tasted incredibly floury. Bert was smarter, he chose the chocolate puffs, while Ernie had gelato. Amazingly there were still people braving the haze and the heat, preferring to sit in the dark.

Ever since I had a terrible time squinting at the menu in Indochine, I swore that I would never eat at a restaurant which only obvious light source was a stupid candle. Which made me even more glad, when I saw a small grey mouse scurrying across the restaurant floor. I was amazed that even at my exclamation and frantic gesticulating, the wait staff acted like they didn't see Ratatouile in the restaurant. Bert also saw the mouse, but being numbed by his Long Island tea, he merely smiled at the sight and confirmed he saw the mouse to Ernie who sat near the window and didn't see the mouse.

PS. I came from work, so there are no photos. Sigh. So the image is from Epicurative. I note with interest that at least he has some kind of amuse bouche with his bread. Our bread was accompanied by balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

In a nutshell:
7 Portsdown Road
Tel: 6472 2100
Food Quality: Not great. Won't be going back. Hot and Cold.
Price: Insane for the quality
Service: Good.
I won't be returning. I couldn't endure the thought of facing the mouse which had run out of the restaurant, in the washroom, and had a terrible time with the bladder walking along Portsdown Road later.

Total cost of meal including beverages : S$167 thereabouts for 3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to get Divorced by 30

The wicked B1 came across this book at the library and passed it to me. "Look, it teaches you how to get divorced by 30!"

Giving him the evil eye, I flipped it over. I read "How to get divorced by 30. My misguided attempt at a starter marriage". I borrowed it just to see what it was about and to be contrary . Now that I have read it and actually stopped half way through, I am even more pissed. I expected something painful yet bewilderingly funny due to these enticing words on the back cover "with wit, moxie and honesty". I don't know about you but I found a lot of honesty and definitely a lot of WHINING.

The most amusing part was the part where the author said that she did not like potheads yet she admitted that her most serious relationship was with this asshole doctor who is a pothead, then she married another pothead. I say amusing because, I agree with her. I have even lower tolerance than her when it comes to potheads (And people who continue to indulge in long suffering relationships with them). If I have to read about them (which I don't), I 'd rather read about Lindsay Lohan's antics in my fave gossip channels (and I don't). And then she proceeds to lament that people called her fat when she was a kid, somehow traumatising her into her yoyo dieting. And then she called her future husband fat.

Wtf. Dear Sascha, you are definitely messed up. Can't you go to a psychologist instead of venting it into a book and trapping readers with promises of a good, sardonic read? At the very least, read your damn diary. It could already tell you the bad signs so that you don't have to discover your errors in hindsight.

I am not being unsympathetic. I do know how it feels to be trapped in a loveless marriage or being single after divorce, but man, it is very hard to feel sympathetic towards her. Especially since she said that in subconscious retaliation, she deliberately sought another man's attention and cheated with him after discovering her first serious boyfriend's infatuation with a political refugee. And despite all her misgivings spewed in her diary, she persisted in marrying a commitment-shy pothead. Wow, what could go wrong? If you say that he or his love changed during marriage, I cannot know or understand your pain but at least I will understand why you are in pain. But don't give me the shit about you already knowing the signs then still continued to err. Dude seriously, hard to be empathetic.

Excel(lent) Programming Haha

Last Updated on 21 Oct 2010

Excel Color Palettes

How do you get a macro to run automatically?

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
Run "[type here object name].[type here procedure name]"
End Sub

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dim Sum at Swatow Seafood

I am easily conned by pretty pictures, esp that for Dim Sum with its cute little bunnies and goldfish (East Ocean will be one restaurant which does animal-shaped dim sum well *winks*).

Unfortunately I forget one thing. I don't eat prawns. Damn.

Dim Sum in Singapore restaurants always contain pork or chicken but they almost always feature prawns. Siew Mai, Ha Kau (duh, this one's name has prawns in it), even cute animals harbor minced prawns in its pretty shells. Very annoying. I am always forced to choose vegetarian options, just chicken or pork, which dishes usually look kinda ugly or very plain.

Same thing happens at this place. Its goldfish (only 1 cute dish) contains prawn and codfish, but Mutter grumbled that it tasted only of prawns *haha*. I find that the dim sum options are rather limited and the dessert the most expensive of the items ordered. The egg tarts are the kind that I make but with shortening cos I did not detect any butter taste, unlike the ones made by Crystal Jade which uses a flaky lard pastry. Please skip the xiaolongbao (not pictured). The skin is already torn when I picked it up and the meat has a very floury texture. Conclusion? Fill up my belly but not that fantastic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sho Teppan - Stiring fun!

Three times I came to this joint, and I finally have a camera, albeit the dark side iPhone camera (that's why quality is pretty shit). I must say that of all the restaurants owned by creativeeateries, this is the one I like most, though the Sentosa nightscene view from Shabuya is very nice.

It's cheap, it's fun. I could eat this all day long whenever I am at Ion. You can skip the sides like the sake sashimi (cut from defrosted salmon, I believe my portion was freezer burnt, see the darker tinge in the photo below. Talk about tasting "sublime" *haha*). I guess the winning part about this place is that you can cook the food yourself, or ask the waiters to do it for you. There's teppanyaki, sukiyaki or shabu shabu options. There is also a range of meats, of differing qualities, you can choose from. We ordered the Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork teppan (since B1 was around, might as well hit him up, haha. Otherwise I would have gone for the yaki udon, which I love too). However it's VERY OILY.

In a nutshell:
Sho Teppan
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #B3-19 (around the corner near BK)
Food Quality: Teppan and yaki udon are oily but delicious. Its Shabu shabu is ok (ate previously). Skip sides, freezer burn, also very small (their Chuka Lidako is very sad). Portions bearable, ok for teenagers and women, not for big eaters.
Price: Great!
Service: Not bad, quite pro. Not that friendly in the face, but what do you expect for the prices? At least they are very polite.
I will still go back, because it is fun, and I can't do it at my dining table without stinking up the house.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Anna Vasil'evna Chapman anyone?

I find NGC's Email Order Bride very fascinating. I wrote about the docile Vietnamese girl and had watched a local documentary on how Singaporean men pay large sums to see herds of Vietnamese girls being shepherded into dingy rooms for them to choose their brides from, before the chosen ones are sent to a clinic to determine their chastity (not sexual activity, virginity to be exact). In most cases, the most beautiful virgin of them all will be hastily married off within three days to the old or middle-aged man as he is usually on the "speed marriage tour" (travel to Vietnam with the matchmaking agency and the expressive interest of marriage).

NGC's version, the Russian bride. I am kind of surprised actually, though I have seen online ads touting Russian ladies to lonely men, but I thought these ads are just ignored like the "grow your penis like a tree trunk" ones. Thanks NGC, this documentary is much more interesting to me than your usual Hitler or natural disaster documentaries I watch *thumbs up*. My only wonder is if any Russian spies go overseas under the guise of marriage? I read somewhere that usually Russian spies are paired up as couples before they are installed in foreign countries, but then again there is Anna Chapman *Nice*. I actually visited A Volga Girl after watching the show, and note with interest that the girls featured there are above 21 years old, mostly 30s and 40s.

Personally I think if I had received the Russian dancing cow as a Christmas present, I will be very pleased too. (I had wanted to buy a toy cow from Mustafa that dances to an extremely loud Lambada). Also, like the Vietnamese girl, the reason given by the Russian girl on why she doesn't like the local men, is that they abuse alcohol (though I can relate better to the Russians' need to drink cos it is freaking cold there). And also intriguingly, the American men are looking for Russian girls because they supposedly have traditional values, just like the Singaporean men seeking Vietnamese women. NGC interviewed one of the Russian girls' boss, who has already lost an employee to a American husband and said with a sardonic smile, that he was not prejudiced and probably there is a lack of beautiful women in America.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A question on hearing and chivalry

Today, Teletubby and I were downstairs buying breakfast. I was busy "stoning" on what I should order, while waiting for this lady and her male colleagues to pick their choices from the steamed section. After the lady took two plates of buns out from the steamer, she passed me the tongs but I wanted to pass them to her colleagues.

The men let me go ahead so I happily took the last 2 siew mai which I had been staring at.

When we came upstairs, Teletubby pronounced smilingly "you're evil", I was like huh? He said that one of the two men behind were thinking aloud that he wanted the siew mai too. OOps. I was like, why didn't you tell me!!!

He replied, "I didn't want to expose you."


The sad bit of it all is that he thought it was my deliberation to take the siew mai. ZZZ, he didn't even tell me. He's even more evil. He was heckling saying that I always say I can multitask and didn't even hear, and now he is laughing that I have bad ju ju. My God, drama in the morning over two little bits of meat. Next time the poor man behind will not be in a hurry to give way to others already. Keke.

In case you are wondering what are siew mais, here's a pic from

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Fuck List - An Analysis of Female Horizontal Dynamics

Karen F Owens is a recent graduate who remains so very interested in education, that she actually did powerpoint slides to educate her friends on her perception and evaluation of the sexual prowess of thirteen men of the Duke University Lacrosse Team, also known as... the Fuck List.

What she should have taught her friends however, was discretion, because one of them helped spread her word on the Internet instead, virally educating millions of people online instead. I for example, had a fairly good impression of Duke, now my impression has been steered towards the XXX rated. I also note that this woman is quite biased, and her thesis is not sound. She is quite racist, likes it very violent and very big (as dourly observed by my colleagues) and she loves Canadians as much as Eric Cartman does. Nonetheless following this notoriety, one can only hope that she will learn that friends are only as trustworthy as her next enemy.

I hope you too will provide critical analysis of this presentation. Original Sources of this file are Gawker and Deadspin.


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