Saturday, May 17, 2014

Present from the Bloke

My agreement with the Bloke for a painting of Mr Bear were books on painting flowers in acrylic and mixing colors. The latter arrived, but the former went missing between the two of us, so the Bloke said he would send again.

This time I received a card from the post office to collect the parcel for missed delivery. I was already puzzled why the expected book was so thick it couldn't be stuffed through the mail, so when I saw the actual box, I dropped jaw.

It was massive.

Opening it, I was very surprised to find the following items after I opened the box from the back (the front was too secured).

the book

It came with a disc.
There were pretty stickers and paint brushes! I especially like the flat brushes!
Bloke even got me a box of paints. How thoughtful!
But of course the piece de resistance was....
Grumpy Fynn! "Why did you stuff me in ze box?!
Here is Grumpy Fynn next to his older brother Blond German Fynn
The Bloke explained in a letter that he got me the other stuff because of the disappointment over the previously missed delivery. Wasn't it fantastic of him to go to this unnecessary but totally awesome expense? :D

Friday, May 9, 2014

How to deploy MBSA on offline computers

(1) Follow the instructions on Microsoft website on how to download offline copies of, WUA (see below), and (click to download). You need all 4 to fix the stupid error "cannot load security CAB file".

(2) run the MBSA, then press abort. This will create the offline folder under C:\documents and settings\(local username)\Local settings\application data\microsoft\mbsa [for windows 2003] or %SystemDrive%\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MBSA\Cache [for windows 2008 and up]. Do not create the folder yourself.

(3) Put in the 4 cab files into the folder.

(4) Make sure that the following options are not selected, and then click Start scan.
  • Check for Windows administrative vulnerabilities
  • Check for weak passwords
  • Check for IIS administrative vulnerabilities
  • Check for SQL administrative vulnerabilities
Error # 1: "Computer has an older version of the client and security database demands a newer version. Current version is and minimum required version is ..."
This was a solution I read: the checkbox in the MBSA interface titled, "Configure computers for Microsoft Update and scanning prerequisites" needs to be checked for MBSA to automatically update the Windows Update Agent on the target machine (even if it's the local machine).
How I resolved? I used wsuoffline and updated everything. Then run the MBSA again. 

Personally I feel that WSUS Offline and MBSA are a solid pairing. WSUS Offline will help to expedite patch deployment on offline machines (as a Germanophile, I am delighted to say that this is a german-made freeware. I think the only German-made software I hate is SAP). MBSA will help to check for missing patches. The WSUS Offline is not fool-proof. You can keep running the software from the DVD after you burn the ISO but it doesn't patch completely sometimes. The best remedy is to copy the entire disc contents to the local drive, and run it for a more complete job.

Note: you only have to download MBSA once (unless there is a new version) but you should download and replace the wsusscn2 every month for the scan.

To download the 4:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

*sobs* Art Friends Takashimaya branch closed down

I really think I am jinxed. I moved to my new place thinking it would bring me more conveniences, only to experience what could be accessible places disappear on me. Now Art Friends Takashimaya bite the dust, ostensibly because Ngee Ann City wanted to renovate the floor (Bullshit the Art Friends uncle fed me). I noticed the other shops on the same floor didn't move or close down.

Worse still, the other accessible branch at Buona Vista also closed down. Instead its replacement was now at Clementi. Who the F is going to go that far to buy paint and canvases? Luckily I had enough to tide me by. I asked my two favorite uncles where were they going, they both said they were heading to the Clementi branch. I asked the Chinese uncle if he was coming back to the new promised Orchard branch, he laughed bitterly and said "if I am not replaced by younger people". I certainly hope not. How many staffers do you know can know the lay of a huge branch so well they can tell you where is a certain item located?

Nonetheless the branch had a "sort of" friendly deal where you get larger discounts depending on your expenditure until Apr 20. Since we happened to be celebrating Miss Bear's birthday at Sun & Moon, I called Mrs Bear who is very into decoupage now, to go to Art Friends and maximize the discount.  In the end, three of us spent more than S$150 (shockingly but thankfully Mrs Bear spent more than me to make up the total, as Miss Bear only bought S$15 of materials) to get a S$30 discount.

My inspiration
Inspired by a wooden picture that I saw on a travel blog, I bought some pieces of wood, wooden letters and some ready made wooden animals to make my own version.

I decided against using the colored letters after conferring with Misses Bears and my English friend (let's call him the Bloke). Majority voted against letters, though I think the ladies wanted to know why was my artwork so kiddy.

There is a branch at Plaza Singapura now! Just take the super long escalator to B1 if you are coming in from the MRT underpass.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Reaping the benefits of Friendship - Miss Bear delivers little Doses of Singapore and Germany

During one of our lazy Sundays spent swimming at her brother's condo, Miss Bear brought up that she would be going to Austria for a business trip the next week. Two pieces of info enthralled me (1) she would be doing a stopover in Frankfurt (2) Singapore Airlines can allow up to 30 kg in luggage.

Being a tight pussy, I seized the opportunity to ask if she could help me pass some things to Onkel und Tante HM in Frankfurt, especially since she would be spending half a day in Frankfurt. She said ok! For once, I was glad I was a lazy cow, because I had already bought some foodstuffs that I was planning to send to Germany by post. Miss Bear's trip was going to spare some massive $$ at Singapore Post. I also tend to look out for and buy birthday presents throughout the year, so I was able to rally all the outstanding stuff I was going to buy within days. Thanks to Miss Bear, I saved postage for at least 2 occasions, i.e. the easter package, and the birthday parcels. *Insert success kid meme here*

Not only did Miss Bear bring my presents over to Frankfurt, she also carted back a bewildering load of 7 items from Onkel and Tante HM!!! Onkel HM whatsapped me and told me that they tried to stuff her luggage upon arrival, but seeing that the parcel was about 4kg and she was going to extend her trip to travel around Austria and Germany, they took mercy on her and arranged to meet her again on her way back to Singapore.

Since we had this golden goose of an opportunity, Onkel and Tante HM asked me what did I want? I wanted this:
Frühstück at Pension Gerlinde
I swear that breakfast at Gerlinde has set an awfully high benchmark for continental breakfast (which I actually dislike as I feel that most hotels, especially business hotels, try to get away with providing a good breakfast buffet with what they call "continental breakfast".) Gerlinde serves blueberry tarts for breakfast, such decadence! & Champagne on Sunday mornings (which Bobo and I stupidly did not partake). Till now, I dream of that breakfast roll...

Here are the goodies in Onkel und Tante's latest little dose of Germany! All 4 Kg worth...

Goodie 1 - Käsespätzle
I love Käsespätzle. Miss Bear asked me to describe it... I called it German version of Mac and Cheese hahaha.
What I find annoying is the fact that the package insists that it is a portion for 2 persons, and I can barely feed myself. The one reason why I liked the USA trip was that the meal portions in USA made me feel like a delicate flower hahahahaha.

Goodie 2 - Volkornbrot (rye bread)
The one on the left contains sunflower seeds.
Even though Onkel und Tante HM couldn't send me volkornbrötchen, and Miss Bear didn't step into a bakery during her trip, I was comforted to find three packages of volkornbrot. When Miss Bear passed the bread to me, she asked me if it was cake. When I told her it was bread, and offered to let her try, she demurred. :D Oh well, more for me then *haha*

 Goodie 3 - Honig

Two things I learned in Germany. Eat cereal with yoghurt and volkornbread with honey... As part of recreating my elusive breakfast, I asked for German honey too!

Goodie 4 - Konfitüre (Jam)
Blueberry Jam
A mixture of Jams
 Goodie 5 - Knackwurst
Thank god not leberwurst *hehe*

Goodie 6 - Warsteiner Bier
Did I also mention I have an obsession with KoenigLudwig Bier Käse? Which reminds me, we went to the Kaltenburg Ritterturnier organized by the brewery during our trip to Germany. I must blog about it one of these days.

The super atas version of NTUC (think it was called 360 or something) carried it for a while, but like everything I like, it had to close down Gottdemmit.

When Miss Bear whatsapped me to Onkel HM to lessen their parcel by half, I wanted to tell him to remove the beer *smirking at Bobo*. The night I lugged the parcel back from Miss Bear, one of the cans immediately disappeared down his throat, the lush.

Goodie 7 - Rabe!
New books about the little black raven. Now when I think about it, I wonder if Onkel HM is trying to play a secret joke with me (I always grumble about the bloody black winged pests in my garden) when he buys this series?

Looking at the massive parcel, I must treat Miss Bear for helping me lug the stuff back from Germany + help me buy a Longchamp for my Mutter. When I was younger, I noticed that my mother liked the Longchamp bag very much, except we were very poor and she could only afford the 海盗牌.Personally as a tight pussy, it goes against my veins to buy any brands. But my mother deserves a nice bag now and then :)

The bag is folded. This was the version and color my mother likes. It's dark purple, not that anyone can see clearly in the pic.
PS. Ok, I caved. I thought about getting a brightly colored version for myself, but they didn't have the size I wanted so fuck it :D. Better luck next time. Too bad it didn't cross my mind to buy Longchamp myself when I was passing through Frankfurt the other time.

[backdated post] NYE @ Arteastiq

Mr Bär and I came across Arteastiq a few times before on our way to Jones the Grocer or somewhere else in Mandarin Gallery. We were always attracted to the art room where people would be painstakingly drawing or applying paint to blank canvases, and swore to go there at least once, but always forgot... 
Anyway Mr Bär and I went to a nearby cafe for breakfast (name escapes me now, but it wasn't great). But we again passed by Arteastiq, and this time we swore we would be back in a few days time, for this year's NYE celebration.

On the actual day, we went to Arteastiq for brunch, only to find out that they only cater brunch on weekends. On weekdays, it was breakfast. haha.

Ante Meridiem
We arrived really early because we were the only table there, and ordered drinks first before we had our munchies. I couldn't remember what we ordered but what was great about the tea sets were that they all came with a little cookie on the side. I didn't like my cookie, but I liked my drink which was a floral tea served with a dollop of ice-cream.
Ordered by our little Miss Bear

Ordered by yours truly. I remembered it was floral tea with a dollop of ice-cream

Hot chocolate
Think it was tea latte
The younger bears ordered the Ante Meridiem which essentially comprised of a generous slab of pan-fried salmon lying across potato salad. I ordered First Blush which was a mix of savory and sweet with pancakes and smoked salmon, while Mr Bär ordered, Prime Dawn (sausage, egg and bacon - strange because he doesn't eat bacon, and sausage - no worries he has me to help him polish them off).
First Blush
Prime Dawn
The portions for all the food were pretty good, and filling. I liked my eclectic mix of savory and sweet like the cheesy tomato with the sweet pancakes. Miss Bear wanted to try the desserts so we ordered two to share. An orange cake and a ATAS prata. Both dishes came with ice-cream. I remembered two of the dollops were durian (YUMMY). Another was Earl Grey (ok), the last one was coconut or something...

Perhaps I was already too stuffed but I didn't enjoy the rest of the desserts as much. The prata was obviously from a ready-made packet, and the cake was a bit heavy. Nonetheless the ice-cream provided an ambrosial after note for the celebratory meal. I would definitely come back again.

Ready made prata served upmarket

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Shawn, get it together

This little girl tells it like it is, and is probably much wiser than many grown women today when it comes to matters of the heart. :D


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