Monday, May 15, 2017

Happenings the past week

Eventful week since we returned from Hong Kong:

-- Master bedroom door lock was stuck in the locked position!!

Dismantling in process

It happened so quickly - as per her bedtime routine, yx went into the master bedroom and would push the door close. She always does this hastily without paying attention if her feet are in the way; so I always made it a point to follow her inside. And fortunately I did, cos the door slammed shut this time and could not be opened! The mechanical latch was stuck to the door frame and refused to budge. We called my dad over for help. After removing the knobs on both sides of the doors then we managed to inspect that the latch was sort of embedded in the wooden door frame. No choice but to call locksmith ($80 for response) who reached in 20 mins. Using a special tool, he reached in and removed the latch in as little as TWO SECONDS. As the former lock was dismantled beyond repair, we asked the locksmith to change the lockset ($30). Bye bye $110 for about an hour and a half of 'Escape Room' excitement.

Really really fortunate that there was an adult in the locked room with yx; can't imagine if she was by herself and would be crying out hysterically!!??

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-- Wifey lost her footing and twisted her ankle real bad


2 days MC and on crutches. Lesson learnt - Do not use the phone while walking or using the stairs!!!!

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-- Volunteered at a Home

Ukulele AIG. Entertaining them in the best manner I am familiar with.

This initiative began early this year. My ukulele AIG was like half dead and members were lacking enthusiasm. And I always wanted to contribute more to the society, therefore:

I have a ukulele,
I want to contribute to society;

Uhh!

Volunteering!


Just nice my employer had recently implemented a 1-day Volunteer Leave which came in handy. But play ukulele also cannot play 2 hours right? So I roped in other AIGs! To my pleasant surprise, the response was very well-received:


Balloon sculpting. Their final products are really cute!

Zumba AIG
A total of 27 colleagues turned up, not including a few others who helped behind the scenes but who could not turn up physically. Baking and Cooking AIGs also made and distributed amazing cupcakes, cakes and almond biscuits they made in their own spare time. The residents' faces were radiant the time we were there. I was surprised to see a number even getting on their feet, dancing and singing along with us!

At the end of the event the residents proactively came up to us and shook our hands, thanking us. A few I spoke to even asked if we are visiting next month. The office staff in-charge, Mr Foo, gave us the best testimonial. He praised us for our "very well organised and well planned" contribution, and shared that "this is the first time the residents stay put in their seats till the end of the performances". Overall, I'm really pleased and grateful we made a positive lasting impression in the old folks, on top of that all of us volunteers had an enjoyable time mingling with them!

The next week I bumped into D(CD&EP) along the corridor, he commended my effort for initiating this cause. I humbly and honestly mentioned that the credit belonged to the volunteers, I didn't do much except to send a few emails. Nonetheless he mentioned it was a wonderful job being the 'strategist'. Okay, I'll take that :)

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-- Yx turns 20-month young!

Posing like a natural??

How much a baby can grow in 20 months. Amazing things at her current stage:

- Counting 1 to 10 in both English and Chinese, without any prompting
- Able to identify many Chinese characters, for e.g. sit, run, ear, head, eye, cry, stand, dog, cat, flower, door.
- Wants to choose what videos/songs to play on Youtube/phone (not a good thing).

Alas, she is running a fever now (I believe due to growing tooth, for she has been biting her finger, sth she hasn't done for quite awhile) and is very whiny and clingy to mommy. Get well soon little one!

Her 2nd birthday is in 4 months??!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Hong Kong Hong Kong 和你在一起

A couple of 'firsts' from our daring trip out of Singapore:
- 1st trip out of Singapore less baby
- 1st time being away from baby for more than 2 days.

Not possible if my parents aren't amazing and willing primary caretakers! =)=)=)

Back in February I overheard my colleague mentioning Kris Flyer miles, and it made me realised I have a sizeable amount expiring soon? So I logged in and found it was indeed true! If I don't take any action within 2 months, I would lose about a few tens of dollars equivalent of Kris Flyer miles. Click click click - wow and tickets to HK were affordable, just $250 for a return ticket over a long weekend??! Redeemed all our miles (accumulated from CC promotions, payment of wedding banquet) and paid only... $6. If not shiok then what????!

Off we jetted! Couldn't be more happy to lounge in the plane seat and watch our movies without interruption! :D

Highly recommend Causeway Corner service apartment ($184/night). Direct express bus from the airport. Right smack outside Causeway Bay MTR and so many amenities and eateries along the same street. Room is big, clean and quiet. Powerful Grohe shower. Lift is fast and clean. COMES WITH HARBOUR VIEW!

How often do you get a scenic view from your HK hotel room? 

Had a list of eateries to check out - roast pigeon, cart noodles, roast goose, porridge, egg tart etc. But other than eating we ran out of activities to do haha. So we also went shopping and visited the HK history musuem.

Not forgetting my favourite pastime - riding on the ding dong tram!


Eating lots of my favourite street food...

Mixed beef innards (30 HKD)

And creamy scrambled eggs at Capital Cafe, dubbed the 'civilised' competitor to Australian Diary...

I personally thought Aust's scrambled eggs were better, minus the service

Eat so much must work it off right? And we went hiking at the famed Dragon's Back Trail! Only 1-hr up and 1-hr down, leisurely to me but wifey was complaining complaining along the way... D: Told her she walked 2-3 times further during our Europe honeymoon and that seemed to spur her on abit. =P

Stoked at the start of the trek (To Tei Wan)

On the last morning before we left for the airport, we were in a mad rush to find the glorious food we came here for. Stuffed in wanton mee, roast duck rice, egg tart, Cafe de Coral and yes, wifey's po lo yau!

Bye Hong Kong... see you in a few years...






Friday, April 28, 2017

Rehi to the USA

41 hours of flight. How did I survive it?!

On board NH2 - one of the few Star Wars themed planes!

So ANA was punctual, gave really sincere customer service, served good food (choice of Western or Japanese), offered a wide range of in-flight entertainment (enough for 41 hours, waddya think) – but I found the seats to be uncomfortable! Firstly, the width was quite narrow. Even for a skinny person my elbows rested naturally on the arm rests that divide the seats. My legs are rather long and I found the legroom to be barely sufficient when performing occasional stretches. In addition, I didn’t like that the cushion material felt rubbery and my butt suffered. Otherwise, ANA was fine. SQ still the best, imo. 

Finally we arrived!
Had some time to ourselves on our first day so we went to explore downtown. Beautiful weather! It was spring and the trees and foliage were springing out literally. I swear their leaves were so green they looked luminescent under sunlight!

Feeding the wild squirrels who roamed freely and had a spring in their steps. I mean, hops.


There is a saying in Rome that if one tosses a coin into the Trevi Fountain, one would be back in Rome again. I wonder if there is a similar saying for the reflection pool in Washington DC, for I found myself back here after exactly a decade! 

Washington Monument in the background
Mr Lincoln looking ever so pristine and respectable
Human memories are amazing – every monument and attraction were the same as I remembered them to be. It felt strangely familiar to be standing back on the same polished floor of the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, as well as the base of the Washington Monument; the latter of which I still recall comprised bricks of two different colours because the initial builder ran into financial problems! However, one stark difference is that 10 years ago it was scorching hot, whereas this time around it was spring and weather was very very comfortable! It made walking relaxing and enjoyable. In addition, during this trip I got to view the monuments and memorials after dawn and they resemble gold figurines under the night sky.

The original plane that the Wright Brothers made history with!
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Of course, there is work to be done. Headed 3 hours south towards Staunton City, who was a neighbour with Shenandoah National Park (where blue ridge mountains reside). The hotel we stayed at was a historic building and located in an area lined by many beautiful small shops selling quaint souvenirs, sustainable food, handicraft and homemade gelato. A pity most shops close at 5pm and we didn't have a chance to patronize many of them.

Testing in progress

Why I like ang moh weather - very blue skies, sunny day and cool temperature. Shiok!

Spotted a few sakura trees here and there

Factory Acceptance Test was concluded in a couple of days, successfully. We signed our names on the equipment to endorse the testing; more so to ensure that the product would be the same one being shipped and subsequently installed in our premise!

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On the 13h flight from DC to Narita, I groggily slid the window shade open and was stunned to see this breathtaking view:



I checked the flight map and noticed the plane was flying in far northern Canada. I believe this will be the closest to the North Pole I'll ever be! Unbelievable views. Apart from snowy mountains there were ice glaciers that covered miles and miles up to the horizons.

Transiting at Narita airport, we made sure to treat our tastebuds to the freshest sushi and sashimi . Mmmmm!!!

Japanese sushi to die for! Fish slices so huge they suffocate the rice!

It was my first time being away from yx for such a long period of time. Missed her very much and thankfully for internet I was able to receive videos and images of her! Kudos to wifey who held the fort and probably levelled up after independently caring for yx.



Monday, April 03, 2017

22 hour flight coming!

Peculiar that I have a trip coming up before Hong Kong, but I'm more looking forward to the latter than the former!

The feeling when one is travelling for work is indeed vastly different. But nonetheless - I'm excited about the flight to USA!


I love taking flights. My favourite pastime would be to snuggle up in my little window seat while watching movies, and everyone else is asleep or doing their own things - this is when time seems to stop and everything else doesn't matter (except when your bladder is screaming to let go).

So I'd be taking a Japanese airline for the first time! ANA (Air Nippon Airways) is hugely raved by online and friends' reviews, I'm looking forward to the immaculate customer service that the Japanese are well-known for. Also, I will be transiting in the land of sushi! In fact I have already bookmarked which restaurant to dine at during the 2 hr transit. =D

Time to pack!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

XD

Source: jinlovestoeat

Bye bye... Internet

The inevitable... is just around the corner.

Source: Google images

Sure, it will cause much inconvenience and hassle to some officers... maybe leading to decrease in productivity in some cases. But given how everything seems to be accessible online and in softcopy now, even leaving equipment and assets to be operated by automation and software; the recent hacking to Mindef database serves a timely reminder that cyber security is and will continue to be one of the most important defences we need to invest and faithfully partake in. The G has been educating the officers as well as devising work-arounds to the impending Internet Surfing Separation, with some officers even taking the lead to participate in the ISS trial - I have confidence we will get used to the separation sooner rather than later.

But whilst I still can access the internet using my office laptop, it really has been so much convenient, efficient and enjoyable. Printscreens, copy and paste, click on links, alt-tabs - come next week, these functions won't be as frequently used as before.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

X-23 vs No. 18

People commented that the latest Wolverine movie, Logan, was good, so wifey and I (being fans of Marvel movies as well) found time to watch it last week.

Wifey was really cheering on and applauding at Laura's (X-23) ability to defend herself. I too agree that she was brilliant at bringing the armed soldiers down like they were pieces of paper!

Laura's calm demeanour, sharp killing instinct and awesome fighting ability reminded me of Android No.18 from Dragonball.

Below photos are from google images.






Happenings the past week

Eventful week since we returned from Hong Kong: -- Master bedroom door lock was stuck in the locked position!! Dismantling in process...