Friday, August 31, 2007

Comex Is Calling

It is that time again. Comex 2007 is here at Suntec City since Thursday and will end this Sunday.

I thought of going over to have a look-see and stock back up on the ink cartridges for my HP Photosmart 375, since my Mom has been asking me to print lots of photos we took when we go our outings together.

So, first priority will be to buy several packs of HP 95 Tricolor Print Cartridges... then contemplate on NAS drives for my home network.

Not that I desperately need it, but it will be a cool thing to keep everything in one central location where everyone in the family can share and retrieve, unlike when sharing on a PC's drive where the PC must be turned-on for access.

Yep! Another reason to buy a techno gadget which Wifey will ask "why do we need that?" which I will stumble for an answer... to spend my money.

Instead of going off straight to Suntec from work, I met Wifey at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station to look for a suitable Zen vase to complement our home furnishings.

At least the trip was not a total waste when we found the perfect one at Ovas in Park Mall after some legwork at Civic Plaza.

I forked out S$398.00 for a 3 feet modern-classic mango-wood vase instead of a 500 Gigabyte NAS drive. Sigh...

Now... for the next phase of home deco... a Zen room divider for the foyer tomorrow.

That will be "so interesting" as it will easily set me back anywhere between S$600.00 and S$1,000.00... and equivalent of 32 Inch Sharp LCD TV that would be great in the bedroom.

I am left with Sunday for Comex with no more money left to spend... then again, all for the comfort of home... Wifey-Zen or Techie-Me; house-proud indeed.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Moon Me Over

I got the scoop a day ago from Today's newspaper that there was a "red moon arising" over the evening sky today. Phenomenal! I love it.

The total eclipse of the moon was stated to start around 5:24pm but at an obscure angle of -8 Deg, so Singapore can only view the blood-red moon from 7:24pm to about 8:20pm... provided that the sky is clear.

Fat chance, but I left work at 5:45pm anyway to be home early enough to set the telescope and an opportunity to take some photos too, even though it has been raining every day and since morning today.

The newspaper recommended Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park as the best-viewing locations. One would still be able to see the total redness of the moon without the need for any viewing equipment.

With an hour's window to view, I took my chance and settled for the rooftop of the multi-storey carpark.

Fat chance indeed!

I did not set anything up because the sky did let up but stayed dull gray the whole day and night. Even the hardcores from Singapore Science Centre who organized a viewing night out could not get a glimpse of the "bloody moon."

I believe everyone on this island missed the stellar show, including my friends at work who were talking about it ever since they read the article.

They have another angle to the phenomenon. According to their Chinese legend, the moon appeared red because a deity's dog eat it! Yes, you read it right.

I laughed out loud spontaneously thinking it was a joke when a friend told me, until I saw his irritated expression as he asked me "what's so funny... there are other dogs than on earth..." with a serious tone. Okay....

Coming back to earth... I retreated to my fridge to eat a halal Polar Mooncake instead to soothe my disappointment, but it was not to be either. I missed that too when I learned that our son had devoured the seasonal and expensive, S$8.35 a piece "cupcake" all by himself.

Sigh... first the "heaven's dog," then the earthly boy. "Moon" was not a good word for me today.

On the bright side, the lunar eclipse will happen again in 6 months time and the heavily commercialized mooncake festival was not to start until the Chinese 7th Month or most popularly known as the Ghost Month is over... so we have another month to buy a few more mooncakes with different flavors inside.

Sister Celtic from Lopez Island Life had a better luck than me and get to take breathtaking photo I show here even though it was George's first time taking such photos. Bloody brilliant photos!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rain Or Shine

I have been busy at work and at home that I managed to squeeze a little time to spend some valuable time with the whole of my family at Pasir Ris Park this weekend.

It was organized by my niece for everyone, but was a tad too short-noticed that we could join but not stay overnight with the rest of the family.

It was nonetheless great and timely that my Son had just finished his PLSE Prelim Exams on Thursday, which enabled him to join everyone else and camped overnight with them at BBQ Pit 57 at Carpark E.

After pitching a tent for our Son, ate and drank sinful barbecued food... had lots of laughs and jokes, Wifey and I had to go back home at about 3:00am in the wee hours of the morning, to join them back again this afternoon... after our appointment with the curtains guy at home.

Thankfully, the long walk back to Carpark E was greeted with several awaiting cabs ready to take picnickers home. Apparently the cab drivers are aware of the demand for cabs in these hours on the weekends. That was just great for us.

Well, these days have been quite unpredictable, as the weatherman has been predicting cloudy to thunderstorms... but knowing my family, they braved out the storms at the beach, regardless.

So while, Wifey and I was sheltered and warm in our bed, they braved the wind and rain that intermittently came and went. They had the clothes on their back "air-dried" the whole two days!

Though tired and a tanned even with the sun behind the dark clouds, everyone was obviously happy how the weekend turned out.

I missed the overnight camping, but the last word out was that everyone is hoping for a December barbecue. Yes!

Will look forward to another big family reunion at the beach!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Through My Window

Friday, August 17, 2007

Apples & Oranges

It finally is Friday again. That soon has the week passed...

From a Customer's place, I left for home, but not before stopping by the NTUC supermarket at Tampines Mall.

Wifey asked to grab some apples and especially Mandarin oranges which we both love so much and can do without... the constipation.

And grab I did.

Armed with a trolley and with my favourite MP3 songs blasting through my earphones, I had an exceptional time shopping for groceries, surprisingly.

I picked 10 pieces of oranges which were sold "5 for S$1.85" and 5 pieces of "5 for $1.70" apples... among other foodstuff for breakfast and snacks for the weekend movies watching at home.

All this shopping was great and before the hour was up, I was done and already queuing at the check-out counter.

"You have 6 apples in here, Sir..." the cashier looked at me and said, "it's five for S$1.70."

I apologized and told her to take one out... smiling at her and thinking to myself how silly I was.... she must have thought that I was trying to sneak one out... the oldest trick in the book... nahhh!

The lady continued scanning the other groceries and...

"You have 11 oranges in here, Sir." She looked at me again and pointing to the plastic bag as she spread-out the oranges on the counter to let me count it for myself.

"I what!?" I said surprised... well, embarrassed more than anything else. "Sorry about that, my math is that bad." I said jokingly while trying to keep a smiley face.

She smiled back... thank god, and took the extra one out.

I guess by then she must have thought... and concluded that I was one of those cheapskate tricksters who was trying my luck to pull a fast one on her. In this case, two!

I did not dare to look at the other customers who were queuing behind me. I was totally embarrassed. I guess my face was flushed as red as apples I bought.

How careless can I be... duh! Strange things happen when you are having fun.

I paid and left the place as fast as I could... but because it is Friday, no big deal.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

NDP 2007 Fireworks

Armed with a mat, LED camping lights, my trusted Panasonic Lumix Fz10 digital camera with a tripod... and a whole lot of enthusiasm, the 3 of us headed to Marina Bay for the National Day Parade 2007 fireworks spectacle.

Stopped by EastPoint Mall for our dose of Tom Yam Seafood Noodle at Banquet for lunch, we were ready for some shopping to while the time.

Wifey wanted to look for curtains for our Hari Raya this October 13th, so we headed for Furniture Mall at Royal Plaza Hotel and found the ideal custom-made curtains for the whole house. The only not ideal was the cost of S$1,700.00 which I paid anyway.

Since the mall was near to Marina Bay, we took the MRT to City Hall... and once we got off the train, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of people there.

Mostly wearing red and white, Singapore's national colors, these late comers were all heading to the parade site just like us.

With all the road blocks everywhere, meandering through the sea of people was somewhat exhilarating than taxing. Like a large school of sea-bass moving in sync, often bottle-necked when we had to go down and up the escalators in the underground paths to cross the roads and onward to Marina Square.

Thousands more were already there; the best spots picked, leaving mostly standing room on top of Marina Square Shopping Centre's garden.

Wifey found a spot where she was able to lay our mat while I got another spot good enough to set-up my tripod for my photo-taking... standing room only.

We were finally settled-in at about 7:30pm while waiting for the fireworks that was to start during the finale at about 8:15pm.

When there were bursts of small fireworks during one of the performances, the smoke from the firework trailed towards our direction... which I immediately felt was not a good sign... not for photo-taking that is.

True enough, when the fireworks started, the first few bursts were brilliant and fantastic, but subsequent bursts were enveloped by the thick smoke from the previous one bursts from our angle. Dread!

Few glimpses of fireworks were great, but mostly we had a spot where the wind direction blocked us from seeing the dazzling fireworks behind a blanket of smoke. Double dread!

I think I enjoyed the picnic... eating packed dinner we bought from Kandahar Street while sitting on the mat on top of Marina Square garden, more than the fireworks itself.

Well, so much for a good spot. Knowing Singaporeans, one would have to go as early as 1:00pm to get and keep one's good spot for the 8:00pm fireworks... it is worth it?

At least there will be an encore telecast of the National Day Parade 2007 on TV this Sunday, which would at least give some satisfaction than live event itself.

Thousands came and then thousands were going home at the same time. Let me not start on the ordeal with the "fireworks revelers," we were like sea-bass then, we were like sardines in the MRT. Yikes!

So, either get tickets to watch the event life or stay home at get the best seats in the house with pop-corns and chips on a big screen TV. That works for me next year...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Singapore

Well, what do you know... this nation is 42 today. Happy Birthday Singapore!

I have applied for leave off work on Friday to relieve me off from all the going-ons of work-related stress, and reward myself with a long weekend.

Today, our planned to leave home early in the morning for a good camping spot at Changi Beach Park was interrupted by the sudden heavy downpour. Though it was unfortunate to our plan, everyone stayed in bed longer... just because it was comfortable to curl and cuddle up in bed in the cool morning.

It was that good that all of us woke up late instead; changed our plan for the obvious... to watch the fireworks at Marina Bay this evening at 8:00pm today. It was touted to be a big show-off this year at the new bay-view location.

Till then, we would go around shopping, take leisure walks by the waters and later have our dinner at a new-found restaurant Sfahi at Shaw Centre, a recommended place by my Sister.

From there we will be heading to Marina Bay for the fireworks and floats. Hopefully we get a good spot to set-up my camera and try to capture some good firework shots there.

Enjoy your National Day celebrations everyone.

Monday, August 06, 2007

TICKLE My Contentment?

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Friday, August 03, 2007

I Need Fridays

From time to time, I spill out my gut over the internet about my personal state of mind and then live another day to regret doing so... again.

I am talking about my last post Me Versus Monday. And like my posts of such nature, I am here again to explain myself for some cosmic reasons that are oblivious to me.

I know Mondays and any other days are days of the week and that I am the one to make the best of the day, whatever day of the week it is. In my case I blame Monday for something I cannot control. In this case, my clouded state of emotions, not the situation.

I cannot help but feel that as the days go by, so is my career in this place I call work. It is ticking and am I wasting away here. Am I?

All that positive thinking I have instilled in me, in my life seems like a superficial layer of the truth that I have to peel, face and eventually take actions for, as far as this situation is concern.

I cannot say I needed a sign. There have been too many out there shoved in front of my face, but I am not convinced if any of them is the right one.

Yes, my name is in the new organization chart... hurrah!

I guess, they figured I can still contribute. I guess it still is worth their while to keep me but I am not jumping for joy... though otherwise, I will not jump off the building either. Is it worth my while?

That lingering dilemma... Wifey thinks that I should hang-on as long as I can, because I told her I am working honestly as I am being paid to despite the working environment. The money is definitely good...

In the days that followed, many things happened at work. Nothing unusual... the good things, the bad as well. I did my best and addressed the issues at hand with some I have gladly resolved quickly and some before they got out of hand.

There are still this sense of achievement and the same sense of satisfaction I felt throughout the week. I felt I am still good at what I do and I got subtle praises from my superiors for doing a good job... but there is still something deeper that I just cannot finger it on.

This I have to figure it out for myself somehow...

Anyway, how bleak I look at it all this while, on way my to work on Friday, I was a little more than relieved when I saw a rainbow across the morning sky. The first I can remember seeing a rainbow so early in the morning. Nice sight!

The whole day was quiet and went smoothly, even when we had our first department meeting that should have been quite stressful.

Darn it! Is it all a state of mind? Or is it because it was Friday?

I guess I will know it come Monday.