Thursday, January 02, 2014

Tiny charger

You know some people who carry "power banks" which are external battery packs for use when their cell phones are low on juice? This is the Fuel, the smallest in the family of such accessories. Purchased from Kickstarter, this pair was just delivered today, missing Christmas by a pinch of hairs.

While most other power banks sport fancy schmancy designs, Fuel has gone with a very utilitarian jerry-can look. Given the choice of red or green, the answer was obviously both.

Size-wise it's clearly larger than a 50-cent coin, but it's quite light and should still fit comfortable in a jeans pocket.

While it comes with a key-ring loop, it doesn't come with its own micro-USB cable, but since you're already charging your phone with one you don't really need the extra clutter of another one.

With the little rubber cap off you plug your phone in at the top. iPhone users will, of course, order a Lightning-compatible connector instead of the standard micro-USB one. Below, there are three LEDs that indicate charge status. There is also a nifty on/off switch to prevent the unit from discharging power when not in use.

A couple of small practical issues, though: you have to remove your phone cover to plug it in properly as the connector isn't long enough to accommodate the extra layer of silicone or plastic. Secondly, it fits into your phone cross-wise, so you don't want to have both devices connected to each other when you put them back in your pocket, unless you like your pockets lumpy for whatever reason.

Fuel is no substitute for your regular phone battery, but it is a handy emergency stand-by for a few minutes extra talk-time or sending a desperate slew of text messages out until you are able to charge your phone again.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Meh. Cardiologist raised some concerns over the treadmill test results. Tested positive for hypertensive response to vigorous activity, he says. Recommendation: pending further and more thorough investigation, keep physical exercise light; walk, don't run. So much for representing S'pore in the next track and field international.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Health screening with breakfast

One unexpected bonus from getting a full health screening at Abundant Health is this food voucher for an all-day breakfast at the cafe next door. It's very thoughtful of them as we had to fast 9-12 hours prior to the medical evaluation. Since insurance was heavily subsidizing the fees, we went whole hog with the exam and basically got everything looked at. I can now describe the prostate procedure, but suffice to say that you kinda' curl up in a fetal position on the table, then everything goes sideways from there.

Anyway, the Grande more than makes up for the fast, the evacuations, the extractions and the probes. Two eggs (poached would have been preferred but sunny-side up makes for a more colourful pix); toast, buttered, slightly salted; chunky, fat sausage; and real bacon! Loads of rocket tossed in the middle as a nod to healthy eating -- it's a cafe in a hospital, after all.

La Ristrettos offers a fully Italian menu in a cosy little nook between clinics. If indoor seating is full up, there are some al fresco tables in the garden area. The environment is warm and inviting; and probably great for quiet reading or chillin' out while pop classics play softly in the background. A hidden treasure, this place.

Because of a prior optical condition, I took an extra consultation with Dr Audra. Unexpected bonus #2: after nearly 30 years living under a medical injunction I've been green-lighted to run again. Though the old scars are still apparent, there has been no re-occurrence of that old injury and so I can live a normal life again -- as long as it doesn't involve bungee jumping, muay thai or MMA grudge matches... the fun stuff. Tomorrow: the dreaded treadmill.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


While May's out of town, we are tasked with changing Pebbles' litter. He's very protective of his stuff, so to avoid getting bitten or scratched when messing about with his precious litter box, one of us distracts him while the other works very quickly to get the job done. Here, I've got him occupied doing baby seal impressions.

Baby seal in a barrel o' crude.