Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For the sake of sake

Went to Megumi at my place today for a meal with my colleagues...

Washed down the meal with sake....

They must be surprised that I was drinking with them...

Thank god, I experienced it all from the soju drinking session we had with my US Kakis in New York!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunscreen Nostalgia

I heard this song'Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen!' on the radio this morning while driving to work...



Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Floss.
Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Lengthy but pretty meaningful lyrics!!!! What an inspirational Monday morning!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Operation Hope Foundation Charity Dinner

Went to the Operation Hope Foundation Charity Dinner with the US kakis...

A gathering for a good cause indeed... this one was for fund raising for an orphanage in Cambodia.


With our friend setting up a bakery to teach the children some skills which they can use to earn a living, how can we not attend and show some support?

The buffet dinner was not bad too!

Not to mention the other stuff, like mooncakes, handmade bags, soap, baked goods, that was sold at the door to raise funds..






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Landing on the moon!

What other apt title can be used for this post?

Yes! The mooncakes are starting to come in!!!!

Scary when you see them coming in large numbers, different colours and flavours!

Got these 2 today:

This one in a nice looking box from Park Palace
It has an assortment of snow skin mooncakes... Tried the pink one which is supposed to by lychee martini as well as the green one which is bailey with mint! The black one seems to be black sesame!
Next is this box from Bakerzin, featuring prominent words 'Moonlight Magic'
The contents are individually wrapped black seasame snow skin mooncakes with the Japanese black bamboo charcoal powder used in the snowskin.
Also comes conveniently packed with little wet tissues as well as a small ice pack!

Make your first impression....

Whenever you are, wherever you are, people are constantly appraising your visual and behavioral appearance from head to toe. They observe your demeanor, mannerisms, and body language and even assess your grooming and accessories – watch, handbag, briefcase. Within only three seconds, you make an indelible impression. You may intrigue some and disenchant others.

Did you know that:

  • 84% of HR professionals agree that well-groomed employees climb the corporate ladder faster than those who are not well-groomed.
  • When it comes to first impressions, ninety percent of HR professionals place more importance on being well-groomed than even a firm handshake.

With the economy slowly recovering from the recession, the job market would be opening more positions. So before you head on down to your interview, check out Gillette Career Advantage , brought to you by Gillette, the same famous brand that are well known for their shavers and shaving accessories! Plenty of tips, tricks and expert advice from career expert, Mark Jeffries and GQ style correspondent, Brett Fahlgren! You never know when these will come in pretty handy!

You can also take the Gillette Career Quiz and read through the Hire Guide to see what HR professionals are thinking about, which will be absolutely useful when you need to decide what to say and what not to.

The Gillette Resource Center will enable you to get more information on the various kinds of Gillette products to suit your daily rituals! So time for some proper grooming to make that good first impression!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last Minute Trip

Had a last minute trip into Johor in the late evening to visit a colleague who was involved in a hit and run accident early morning....

It just doesnt get better when the hospital there does not do much to the wounds and that the police does not have a proper channel for accident reporting...

Anyway... off track a little... had nice kway chap there....







Monday, September 21, 2009

Mooncakes, I can't bear to eat!

I received this little box of "mooncakes" from Sammy today:

At first, they look like a normal box of mooncakes...
But upon opening....
Wow!!!
Bit sizes chocolates with Mid Autumn greetings!
Really interesting: Take notice of the centre piece... with Hari Raya greetings!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unique Foods?

Gosh... the war between Singapore and Malaysia is definitely heating up.. with some Datuk Seri claiming that Malaysian foods have been hijacked.


Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said there were many dishes synonymous with Malaysia’s identity but they had been “hijacked” by other countries.

“We cannot continue to let other countries hijack our food. Chilli crab is Malaysian. Hainanese chicken rice is Malaysian. We have to lay claim to our food,” she told reporters after launching the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival yesterday.

The festival, which runs throughout October, is part of the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia campaign. Novem-ber’s part of the campaign will centre around shopping mall food, while street and heritage food will be the highlight in December.

“In the three months, we will identify certain key dishes (to declare as Malaysian). We have identified laksa ... all types of laksa, nasi lemak and bak kut teh,” she said.

When asked how the ministry would go about labelling the dishes Malaysian after identifying them, Dr Ng said she would reveal her strategy at a later stage.

“That is Part Two. We cannot reveal it yet, but we will let you know soon,” she said.

Just how patented can a food product be?? Afterall, foods are composed mainly of other ingredients and are just merely a combination of ingredients. This just reminds me of the Coca Cola vs Pespi issue:

Back in the early 1930's, Coca-Cola and Pepsi (then, and now, known as "PepsiCo") battled it out in court over the name usage of "Cola" and the "recipe" for the "cola" being made by both companies. As you should also know, Coca-Cola Company goes back to the late 1800's and at the time of the "battle" between these companies, PepsiCo was a fairly new upstart company trying to slice away at some of Coca-Cola's "monopoly", as it were.

Suffice it to say, Coca-Cola lost the battle, fighting these issues all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Basically, the High Court agreed with the lower courts that the word "cola" was sufficiently "generic" (and also described the nut itself) that Coca-Cola could not trademark that portion of it's name; hence, there are many "colas" on the market, and Pepsi Cola is still with us today. As far as the "recipe" was concerned, the High Court, once again, dealt Coca-Cola a slap on the face by deciding, and again, agreeing with the lower courts, that the recipe itself was not subject to patent or copyright. Again, PepsiCo, along with many other "cola" companies, while trying their best to replicate the Coca-Cola flavor, are still with us, but have never been completely successful in replicating the taste of Coca-Cola, despite fervent efforts to do so.

So how can one ever say that Hainanese Chicken Rice or other foods are hijacked from Malaysia?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Foodie Friday...

I guess Friday is a day to relax slightly....

So started out Friday morning with Kolo Mee, which is from Sarawak!
It tastes so different from the version we have here in Singapore!
Also, managed to try this:
3 coloured milk tea...

As you can see from the picture above..

It really have 3 layers.. first layer at the bottom was liquid gula melaka (palm sugar), followed by evaporated milk, and tea!

I just reached KL!

Back dated post:

Reaching KL via Budget Air at night... My first flight via budget airline! Overall the trip was pretty ok... just that the leg space between seats was a little cramped.. and the lack of food and drinks served during the journey! But thank god, the journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur took only 40 minutes, so before I knew it, the plane had already touched down!

However, the journey from the airport in KL to the factory took nearly an hour!
Was hungry after looking at operations, so we were brought to this eating place near Puchong...
Bearing in mind that it was already 1AM in the morning, this little town does indeed have its own share of night life:

Ordered some local delicacies like claypot porridge:
Char Kuey Teow:
and Fried Ngoh Hiang Platter:
I was so tired after going back to the apartments.. and after a shower... it was time for some sleep...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sweet Little Treats...

Just gave myself some sweeet treat today in between a whole series of meetings:

Lobster bisque

and strawberry shortcake!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures can be deceiving!

The following pictures would probably give all my readers an impression that I am on a holiday today, with different forms of enjoyment...

But the truth lies further beyond this photos!

Had this strawberry shortcake after a food safety briefing at Raffles City Convention Centre...

And then made my way to Palawan Beach at Sentosa to meet up with other people:





So pictures, can be deceiving....

Far away from a day of destress!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cute Dog That Understands Cantonese

Just could not resist snapping these pictures of this dog when I was out at lunch...

Not only is it cute, but it understands Cantonese!!!!
It sat down when its owner asked it too in Cantonese.....

Changing Impressions...

My impression of this Hongkong cafe near my home, Cafe D Orient, is turning from bad to worst!!!!




Was there in the evening, for a slight discussion with some people... and when I asked for the couch seat, I could hear the waiter (who was from the BIG LAND)mumbling that we were here for drinks only, and indicated that it was a waste to occupy those tables..

So being considerate, we ordered some finger food as well as drinks to carry on with our discussion...

After the food was served, I was eating the chicken wings when I discovered that they were raw and pretty uncooked on the inside.. and when I pointed this out to the same waiter, he merely took back the whole plate of wings and sent them back to the kitchen without any explanation or whatsoever.

The same plate of wings was then returned to our table in a very unfriendly manner with a loud sound of dissatisfaction!

This just reminds me of the recent campaign on Are you Being Served? Our F&B outlets should actually spend more time to train these waiters (especially those from the big land) to handle such situation more efficiently, especially so if they are deemed to be the front line service staff!

I certainly would not be frequenting Cafe D Orient in the near future!

Friday, September 11, 2009

On the go meal...

Meal on the go....




Running some last minutes errands at Ikea Tampiness... and had this at Eatzi

Interesting Mooncakes

I guess many chefs are running out of ideas when it comes to making mooncakes..

With the Mid Autumn Festival just around the corner, I was sent this promotional material...




and this mooncake caught me eye:


Pure charcoal powder butter pastry skin mooncake....

How interesting!

Who said you must have diarrhoea before you can take charcoal?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Stress Relief...

Pretty much stressed zipping around the whole island today meeting up with different groups of people...

So when I had the chance to meet my friend for dinner at Jurong Point, it really came as a pleasant surprise..

We had ribs and chocolate fondue at Billy Bombers:



Actually, I can't believe how tired my eyes are today...
Anyway... its triple nine day today... 09/09/09... so may everything good last forever...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Advertlets Direct Banking for Singaporean Bloggers?

I got an email from Advertlets stating that they will be providing a free service of direct bank transfer for all Singaporeans bloggers... which should have been done, if you ask me, way back before all the bad publicity about the slow, or even no payment..

Now, I will be waiting to see how fast my payment will be coming in!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Are you being Served?

How well are you being served?
How good was that service?
Was the service standard worth the service charge?
Did the service crew go that extra mile?


These are perhaps some of the questions that many customers, like you and me, will be asking themselves after getting a product or service. Whether you would like to give the service provider a bouquet of flowers and a thank you note or a nudge to wake up their idea, here is a blog for you: Are You Being Served is a blog that investigates all service matters and engages in real life "missions".

There is a different mission every week, whereby the team will go undercover to unveil the good, the bad and the ugly of service providers in different industries! Their past missions have included restaurants, fast food outlets, shopping centers, customer service hotlines and more! Therefore, they are welcoming more contributions from the general public to take part in their activities, in hope, that this will lead the service industry onto the right track. You can even be a fan on Facebook!

Do take note, however , that the Service Squad reserves the right to remove flaming comments or brickbats which may prove harmful to establishments mentioned. Improvements, rather the prosecution, is what they are looking for there!

So if you have something strongly to share about Singapore Customer Service .. Share Your Story at "Are you being Served?" today! You can even suggest a mission for the team!

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Nostalgic moments

When I stepped into the shop, a sense of nostalgia overcame me...

It just felt that I was transported back into the 50's or 60's....

There I was rumaging through all the items, looking for items for my upcoming food photography session...

It is quite sad that these old stuff are discarded by people when they longer fit with the current trends... actually, I am quite guilty of throwing out 'obiang' (gawdy-looking) stuffs!

But the ironic thing is, I am back at the shop, looking at all these items in a different light....

Even dinner was nostalgic, as I had this plate of soya sauce chicken noodle at a store that I used to go to during my school days!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Therapy!

Sometimes, it really is good to take a break and be a "tourist" for a day to take a look at the lesser seen sights of Singapore!

That of course includes retail therapy!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Size does not matter

Got this small water melon over the weekend...


Just in case there is no size comparison, check out the regular apple next to it:


Once sliced open, the melon reveals an extremely red flesh that is so juicy!