Friday, November 04, 2005

Bowling practice at SAFRA Yishun.
6-game session.
Average: 156
High Game: 201

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Took June and JY shopping for 'blades at the place where I bought mine. But to our disappointment, the shop was closed for the public holiday. Looks like 'blade buying will be delayed till Saturday, then.

To make up for their disappointment, I introduced them to Island Creamery. Ice cream is always good for a pick-me-up.

Dropped JY off at J8 where she wanted to do some shoe shopping... while June and I headed for Great World City to look at the pet store there and to catch the afternoon screening of Doom.

I have been salivating over the prospect of catching one of my fave videogames on the big screen for the last couple of weeks, though I knew enough not to expect too much from it. The game never had much of a storyline, anyway, relying more on dim atmospherics; the suspense of what's-behind-door-number-five; and sudden nasty surprises springing out of the darkness to keep things interesting.

The movie did have something of a storyline, at least more than, "if it breathes, kill it." The monsters (not that there were a whole lot of them, though) have a reason for being, the protagonist (Reaper) carries around a tragedy that haunts his past, and there's a very simplistic parallel between Sarge's approach to containing the infection problem and the hawkish US approach to containing terrorism. If you can't tell who's been infected, kill everyone; if you can't tell who's a terrorist, invade Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Like I said, simplistic.

Most of the atmospherics have their origins in "Doom 3." The scenes and locations are dim and what can be seen is mostly only illuminated in the beams of the characters' unreliable flashlights. There's even a short segment of movie-time shot as a first-person-shooter with the same frenetic action of gunning down of whatever ugly thing pops into view. Thankfully, it's short.

Bit disappointed that the BFG9000 Sarge tots around doesn't seem as useful as it is in the game. For its firepower, its body count seems to be a Big, Fat, Geero, unless we count the accidental charring of Portman's body which happens to be in the line of fire the first time Sarge takes a pot shot with it.

Doom is ultimately a fan-boy's movie, unlikely to encourage any non-player to pick up the game. It's success will depend on the box-office. If takings are good, then maybe we'll see if Reaper and Sam return home to find "Hell on Earth."

After the movie, Chewie, who was supposed to join us 'blade shopping this morning, called me with info that Gallen Sports in Parkway Parade is offering Salomon 'blades in JY's and June's sizes for cheaper than usual. So that was how we rejoined JY in the evening, in search of that perfect pair of 'blades for the 2 girls. Unfortunately, the model Chewie got us excited about had already been sold out, so that was another fruitless shopping trip.

Amy joined us 3 for dinner at PastaMania, following which we got dessert from The Strudel House. There was a bit of a misunderstanding of our order and so the 4 of us got a slice of apple and a slice of strawberry strudel each, though we had intended to share only half that quantity amongst ourselves. Ate till bursting point, Amy and JY taking the leftovers home with them.

Took JY home after that. Long day.

My blog is worth $4,516.32.
How much is your blog worth?

Guess I won't be giving up my day job anytime soon!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Went gallivanting around the Queensway area with Amy and Anthony in the Swift. NBS, who was probably tired of Anthony pelting her with Amy's plushies, abandoned us after lunch for the ice rink. We were looking for the fishing pond apparently behind the McD's at Ridout Tea Garden but instead found ourselves at the Queens Townclub Driving Range, just around the corner from the remand prison. Interestingly enough, this location has a couple of quaint outdoor pubs, the Waikiki Spa, and a Chinese tea shop (fronted with a dramatic statue of a highly inspired T'ang poet) which, upon inquiry, informed us that the fishing pond had ceased operations long ago. Bah!

Plan B was to visit the Island Creamery in Serene Centre and sample their frozen desserts. There was an odd combination of flavours on offer today: soursop(?), Tiger sorbet, teh tarik, cookies & cream, reversO (cookies & chocolate, not vanilla cream), burnt caramel (my choice), and a few others I don't remember. The draw is that the ice cream is made on-site, the flavours are mostly local and authentic (Amy's teh tarik did really taste like teh tarik, right down to the bitter tea aftertaste), and they patiently offer generous samples to the fickle-minded.

In the evening, June, Q-tip and I were lucky enough to find the original Jerry's of Jalan Kayu. Thanks to Amy's excellent over-the-phone directions, we wound our way through Seletar Airbase to meet her and her friend, Michelle, for a light dinner, though we hadn't planned a meeting.

The place is now called Sunset Grill & Pub and is located somewhere near East Camp. The drive is along a stretch of narrow, winding, unlighted road (high-beams and fog-lights time!) leading towards the runway where we can actually watch planes taking-off while we eat. Cool.

The buffalo wings were crispy and the chilli flavour penetrated all the way into the white meat, making it hot through and through. And this was only "Level 1" hot. My half-dozen NZ mussels were wonderfully fresh, and almost completely covered with garlic and sliced onions. And white-wine sauce. Excellent. Dunno about June's fish 'n chips but because she removes the skin from anything she eats, the staff advised her to order the already skinned pan-fried fish instead next time.

Just getting there was already an adventure. Considering the menu, the service, and how dog-friendly it is, the trip was certainly worthwhile.

And below are another few pix of World Animal Day, this time from JY's cam. Keep scrolling down if you aren't tired of doggie pix yet!

Out in the sunshine. Posted by Picasa

We look like volunteers or staff at this event . Heh. Posted by Picasa

JY prepares to pounce on an unsuspecting retriever with a devastating hug attack! Posted by Picasa

Corgis at play. Posted by Picasa

JY lets Q-tip win the longest tongue contest. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Today begins with M2 being blocked in the parking lot by this truck. June locates the driver, who is busy with his coffee. "Horn and I'll come and move my truck, lah," he says. Obviously, we understand different forms of social etiquette. Posted by Picasa

Plain water or berry smoothie? Decisions, decisions. Posted by Picasa

Fur is such a faux pas at the beach. Posted by Picasa

Way overdressed for the beach. People who stopped to pet Q-tip ask us if we are locals. Doi. Posted by Picasa

This cute little doggie loves playing "fetch" with her tennis-ball-on-a-rope. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 31, 2005

One of my PW groups arranged to meet me for an OP rehearsal, but didn't show up at the appointed time. No word from the group to postpone or cancel, so maybe they forgot? Fortunately, there were other duties to perform on campus today, so I kept myself busy and made quite a productive day anyway.

Bowling training as usual in the evening with Vince and Amy. I did good tonight, posting a 5-game average of 158. My highest score was 195, a bit low for a Clean Game, but what more can you expect if you can't string strikes together? I had one awful game though, a paltry 124; but Amy just had to record her latest personal high, 150, beating both me and Vince soundly in that game.

Had dinner at Founder's Bak Kut Teh (the signboard on the side of the building says, "Bar Ku The Founder,") on Balestier. The walls are plastered over with blown-up pix of celebrities posing with the unsmiling Founder himself, who scarily looks a little like June's dad.

The pork bones are meaty and chunky; the soup is well-peppered, giving the stomach a warm feeling going down. Their xian cai (salted veg) is prepared with lots of garlic and is slightly sweet as well. Even their home-made barley water is sweet and cold, very refreshing. Will definitely go back again with June when we get the chance.

Oh, and as a service to Vince that he'll probably appreciate, let it be recorded herein that he, Vince, got to drive the Swift before Anthony. He drove us back from Founder's to collect our cars at the CSC. Thank you.

Amy sent me her photos from yesterday, so I'll just upload a couple of her best shots below:

Q-tip prepares for a lengthy modelling session. Posted by Picasa

JY warms up with Q-tip. She'll go find a golden retreiver to hug next. Posted by Picasa

"Are we going to walk some more, or are we just gonna stand here and take pictures all day?" Posted by Picasa

"We are not impressed." Q-tip is such a diva. Posted by Picasa

And before I forget, Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Am kicking myself for forgetting my digi-cam this morning. We woke up late and in the rush to deliver breakfast to Sunday service I left it lying on my desk. Doh.

We had Q-tip with us, so not really knowing our church's policy of having dogs in service with people, we did the prudent thing and deposited our sandwiches in the breakfast area, then took Q-tip out for our breakfast elsewhere. We tried our luck at the Cartel, Raffles City, and were indeed welcomed as long as we sat outside on the sidewalk, in the furthest corner possible from the outlet's doors. We had a decent continental-style breakfast and a free-flow of tea and coffee. Despite it looking like a blazing hot day, the corner we sat in was unexpectedly breezy and cool. Wonder if it's like that all the time?

Q-tip came with us to celebrate World Animal Day at Bishan Park -- our weekend hangout these days, it seems like. Which is why I missed having my digi-cam. So many photo-ops of dogs and their owners (well, mainly dogs), and nothing to show for it. Grrr. But Amy and JY both brought their cams and were happily snapping away at every cute canine walking by. JY promised to pass her shots to me later this week, so maybe a delayed upload in these pages over the next couple of days.

Knowing how fearful JY is of dogs, it was amazing how happy she was, getting up close and personal with some of the larger retrievers. I never pegged Amy as a dog person either, but she seemed pretty comfortable ambling amongst the crowd of 4-legged friends. June was, of course, right at home flitting from booth to booth, animal to animal, looking for causes to support or dogs to pet respectively.

Broke for lunch at... the Cartel again, this time in nearby Gardens. Guess if Q-tip gets accepted at one Cartel, she'll get accepted at another too, under the same conditions. Amy split after lunch and JY followed us back to Bishan for more 'blading practice. While she's practicing moving forward, I'm practicing moving backwards and I'm quite happy that today I managed to actually move backwards with intent, at least for a couple of steps. That's better than before when I couldn't move at all.

Meantime, June was persuaded to sign Q-tip up for the "slow dog" race, top prize going to the last dog to cross the finish-line. Q-tip was the fastest to finish, which meant she lost big time, but the sponsors were generous and gave spa vouchers (for human beings) as consolation prizes.

'blading over, JY and I rejoined June at the event tentage. They both got me to sign up for a 'poetry for strays' contest. So I penned quite a depressing few lines echoing a dogcatcher's thoughts while on-the-job. The judges thought it was quite good (we talked to them) but because the objective was to encourage people to adopt strays, my poem was so depressing it got disqualified. Oh, well.

It turns out the organizers were current student-teachers undergoing "service-learning," their version of CIP. Despite their anxiety that the programme wasn't turning out well, I'd say that considering that so many people and their pets showed up; that there was a brisk trade going on amongst the booths in the tentage; and that everyone and their pets enjoyed themselves under the trees and basically said, "hello," to each other, the event was quite a success. Well done, future teachers!