Saturday, September 05, 2009

Feel the burn

Since I got myself a Wii Balance Board, I might as well try putting in about 30 minutes of fitness activity regularly from now on. By stating my intent here, I'm hoping it will be the motivation I need to keep me going if my commitment should waver.

According the the Wii Fit assessor, my Wii Fit age is still quite a few years below my actual age, so that's good news. But my BMI is high so I'll be working to reduce that figure to a more acceptable level.

There is quite a variety of exercises on the Wii Fit um, game, that work on balance, strength, aerobics and yoga. They are surprisingly intense (or maybe that's just my level of unhealthiness talking) and as we progress, more exercises get unlocked.

These aren't exactly the kind of exercises to build Arnold-grade mass, but they're non-threatening, with encouraging virtual instructors that praise and analyse performance on-the-spot.

As of today, my Wii Fit age is 36 years. Let's see if consistent daily workouts really do have any effect on my 2-month goal...

Friday, September 04, 2009


Got to see what life was like on the other side of the exhibition counter. I'm not usually the go-to guy for this sort of thing, but times being what they are...

Anyway, iLine needed a partner with wheels and a little muscle for the heavy lifting, and since Amy wasn't available, nor X, Y or Z, I was the next logical choice. So both iLine and I set up our booth at Cedar's career festival thingy to publicize our college as an option for the girls' next port-of-call on their way up the Education pyramid.

Our collaterals were the three standees we used as the backdrop, and our giveaways: our standard flyers, our custom bottles of distilled water, and our little bags of AAA-grade rice. It was the rice that was unusual enough to be the first item to disappear from our display. They made great conversation pieces 'cos the girls wanted to know wassup with the rice?

Truth be told, I'm not actually part of the crew that gets sent to these events, so I don't actually know the standard pitch that go with these materials. However, this was an opportunity to invent wild associations about how rice is a staple, it's nutritious, it's down-to-earth, and its triple-A grade is meant to symbolize the triple-A experience they will receive in our care, should they become our students next year. Oh, and it also reminds us of home and family, which as a college, is one of our more identifying and endearing features... if you like that kind of thing.

There were other more mundane questions as well, practical things like our cut-off, curricula and co-curricula programmes, success rates. The usual.

Not sure we made that great an impact in the end. We were only one out of many competing exhibitors, after all. I guess I'll only know when I see some familiar faces in my tutorials next year.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The lull

And now we have come to the final official test the class of 08 will be taking before their finals at the end of the year. I've taught them everything I know, I've consulted everyone that wanted consultation, and I can only sit back and watch reality put the endgame into gear for them.

This evening is one I'll enjoy sans guilt... before the grading begins again. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Night Safari, almost

Today will be known as the day we almost made it to visit the Night Safari. But this being a school night, and the fact that we still have work tomorrow morning, our collective weekend anticipation dried up as the day progressed. Thank reality for bringing us back to our senses.

Meantime, what used to be the North Pole is experiencing such drastic climate change that it has temporarily become the Sahara Desert. Yes, the air-conditioning has broken down again. :p

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rah rah for Sports Resort

The perfect Teachers' Day off is with "Wii Sports Resort" that comes with the much anticipated Wii Motion Plus attachment. All it takes is a quick update from the game disk, and we're good to go.

Sports Resort is the new Wii Sports, with more games to play and all set within a coherent theme: the resort island of... Wahu! Now, doesn't that sound like all-out fun? It is, with a tiny element of cute to boot -- I love tossing Frisbees for my little doggie to catch. He jumps somersaults to celebrate perfect catches.

The Motion Plus attachment really does add a dimension of fine motor control to the old remote controller. As I swing my controller, my sword in the fencing game moves exactly the same way, as does my table tennis bat with more precision and accuracy than before. Now, losing a game cannot be blamed on a dodgy controller, it's down to player skill alone.

I miss tennis and baseball from the previous incarnation but Sports Resort makes up for them with lots more games and challenges in so many varieties. Now to find a few more friends to play with...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Teachers' Day 09

X23 are always bright, cheery and enthusiastic, and here they are celebrating Teachers' Day with me. I appreciate their gift of a notebook (the paper type) with their personal messages written in the pages. I'll also thank x06 for thoughtfully feeding me with a tray of tarts, and for a little cactus plant that I promise to take good care of. Erm, my last cactus plant came from June, and it died within a month due to over-care. Think I watered it too often and it drowned. Will do my best not to let that happen again. Also x17 for the hand-made card with a group photo of them wearing H1N1 masks with big smiles drawn over them. I've had three great tutorials from this batch, quite a pleasure to teach and I will miss 'em when they graduate... too soon.

This is the campus think-tank. We got interviewed by campus news on our role and function since we are making a publicity push for our committee and our activities. Doubt we're in the brain-trust because we're particularly smart. It's more like telling the college that if we can think, then everyone else should have no problem. Something like that.

Wandered far afield for lunch to celebrate. The usual lunch party found out the hard way that Baba King was closed on Mondays. Activated Plan B: Big Eater (Upp Changi Rd) for seafood in the afternoon. Their specialty was the salted egg crab. Despite the dubious-sounding combination, it turned out pretty ok. Heh, as long as the crabmeat is firm and chunky, I'm giving it the thumbs up.

Cheers, everyone! And have a happy Teachers' Day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Laughing till it hurt

In the entire cinema hall, I was laughing the loudest at the antics of Bruno. Was I trying to prove to the rest of the audience (just a handful of us today) that I "got it?" -- every single prank, every single awkward moment, and laughter was my best way of covering up the embarrassment?

I dunno. As a movie, "Bruno" is genuinely situationally and absurdly funny, but at the same time playing a caricature along with real people who won't see the joke, let alone play along with it, it felt like SB Cohen was trying too hard to get the laughs. My laughs. And I guess I kinda' felt bad for him, and I did pay for two movie tix to watch him in action, so I felt obligated.

The Cohen formula is to piss people off by making them encounter the things they revile the most. And surprisingly, these people still respond to the silly Bruno with more restraint than we'd give them credit for. They still try to salvage some dignity from the inimaginable situations they find themselves in with him, and as far as possible still try to treat him with some measure of respect.

What results is that "Bruno" has to go to great lengths to sacrifice his own dignity to get some kind of reaction that at times I don't know if I'm laughing at the reactions or at Bruno himself. Whichever it is, it is funny, I am laughing, but the humour is painful. It's one of those cases where someone has worked so hard at something that you feel bad if you don't reward the effort.

Oh my red face and aching ribs.