Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Another set of wheels

Done it again. M2's getting to be 9 soon. Thought it a good idea to visit the Motor Show last weekend. Got a call today congratulating me on a successful COE bid.

That escalated quickly!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Old timer, meet new timepiece

Just arrived: my new wristpiece. As the box says, it's a Ticwatch with full Android Wear functionality.

Unboxing, the product bears a large display for which I am grateful. It has only one Home button on the left, but who needs more buttons when every other control you need is on the touchscreen?

The display is bright and clearly visible, and a relief as I am so used to squinting at my previous display, these eyes not being what they used to be. This model is the Ticwatch S, which means it comes with a lot of health apps, "S" being for "sports". One more thing to nag at me daily to get my 10K steps in. Other items in the box are a screen protector and a nifty pair of charging cables. I guess the future is here. If you see me talking to my wrist, I'm actually asking Google Assistant to take a note, make an appointment, direct me to a location, or text so-and-so.

Meantime, My old Pebble Time must have known he was soon to be replaced. Still perfectly functional, it really wasn't his time. But since his parent company got sold away, I needed to find a reliable replacement -- I just didn't expect the Ticwatch to be delivered so soon. Anyway, over the weekend, I suffered a careless misstep and fell head first into a parked bicycle. But most of the damage went to the old Pebble Time, with the now severely scratched faceplate. Guess it's his way of saying he will always be mine, now that I can't sell him off or give him away any more. I'll keep him paired with my old Note 5. Relics of yesteryear.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Making the switch to the Pixel 2 XL

Am now a happy user of the new Google Pixel 2 XL.

Straight out of the box, it's almost ready to use. Transitioning from my old phone was a breeze: all needed files, apps, and settings directly copied over via a data cable link between old and new phones. A quick re-login for social media apps on the new phone, and it's like I never left my old environment.

A quick tip for setting up the fingerprint security access: despite what the instructions say, tap your finger on the sensor. Each tap lights up a segment of a blue circle encircling the fingerprint icon. When all segments are fully blue, it's done. Now getting past the lockscreen is quick and accurate -- I haven't had my print misread even once yet.

Have yet to properly play around with the other features such as the new camera with 'portrait mode', though. My surroundings aren't all that inspiring to shoot. The 'blue shift' issue, well, I knew about it before I shelled out for it. The screen does turn perceptibly blue when viewed at an angle, but it's an imperfection I can overlook, literally.

Once again, thanks to my generous Uncle Moe for the annual provision!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fillings, nothing more than fillings

A fully-packed day of wall-to-wall consults I had to cancel.

I’d been living with what I thought was a cavity in my molar for months. It made me chew on my left side, but occasionally a bit of stray food would get lodged in there and cause an explosion of pain inside my skull. But I have a deft tongue, good for dislodging food particles from hard-to-reach recesses in my mouth, and so the pain doesn’t last more than a couple of seconds.

Yesterday, however, something went in and the pain stayed with me for the next few hours. Definitely time to stop putting off the inevitable.

Today, I squeezed in an appointment with my dentist and expected the worst. Turns out there was no decay, but my tooth had cracked. The damage was bad enough to cause a little chunk of tooth to come loose, but not so bad as to leave the rest irreparable.

I had the sliver of tooth removed along with an existing filling which had been put in place years ago — a metallic blight against my natural enamel. Sounds painful, but I didn’t realise that was happening until it was over. The new cavity got a new filling, this time in a more natural colour. Yay!

Dentist suspects the crack might have been caused by me grinding my teeth in my sleep. There are wear marks and my canines are flattened. Next visit, we review the new filling, and barring further complications, reinforce it with a composite. Then maybe we’ll discuss the need for a night guard to deal with my night grinding.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Had the fright of my life. It was our first ever extended family Nat Day feast. We were all anxious to sample the wife's newfound baking skills, and the BBQ that followed.

Cuz J brought around a bull terrier mix he had recently adopted -- actually saved from being put down by his previous owners. The maltipoo was on my lap when the bull came sniffing round. On catching sight of each other, the bull reared up and clamped his jaws on the 'poo, dragging her off my lap onto the ground. While the 'poo was screaming, I reacted, shoving what few fingers I could into the bull's mouth and tried to pull his jaws apart. J and son rushed over to help, the three of us tugging as hard as we could. In the back of my mind, I was wondering what damage the 'poo was suffering. She was still screaming. My forebrain kept focus on the immediate problem: open jaws, assess damage later. Somehow, the bull let go and we got a clean separation. He got an immediate time-out in the garden, while the 'poo went into the bedroom for a diagnosis. It could have been worse.The 'poo showed only bite marks on her right ear, bruised but not punctured. Lots of sympathy and comforting later and the trauma seems to have faded.

The bull will probably need more socialising to properly calibrate his IFF sensors. I'm guessing he saw the 'poo as prey -- like a large squirrel, or something -- and couldn't help himself. As for the 'poo and me, we're gonna be a bit more wary of strange dogs from now.

Monday, June 26, 2017


A month ago, I had what I thought was a sudden craving to spend lots of money. Turns out, a month later, it wasn't so much a craving than a premonition. All I wanted to spend on was a new (and almost totally unnecessary) monitor with an HDMI port. Everything else was unplanned expense including repairs to Mr L33t; car maintenance; new health insurance policies; membership and late charges for a credit card I hadn't been keeping track of since I never use it; vet expenses for the cat's UTI, wedding gifts; and various entertainment expenses for out-of-town visitors. All worthy causes, no doubt, but the wallet is severely fatigued from the frequent open-close reps.

Austerity drive until next payday... which is looking so far away, at the moment.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


The new monitor finally arrived, a day late and unannounced. Just so happened I was home. So now I have a huge-ass big-screen monitor sitting on my desk, with barely enough space for my keyboard which is partially hanging off the monitor's baseplate. I might have to rethink the desktop layout, though I hate moving things about, now that everything has been let to settle for years.

At least my games are a lot more immersive, taking up way more visual real estate than before. Yay!