Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Signing Off -- For now anyway..

These 'not so' daily ramblings about my life posts are slowly slowing to a halt.

I think I've lost the original reason behind why I started blogging in the first place.

Part of it was to vent about my relationship problems -- Which has now ended.

The rest was about work and life in general -- Which is probably the main reason behind why I have stopped blogging.

Last night I was stuck at work until 10pm. I guess when you are starring at a computer screen for more than 15 hrs a day, the last thing you want to be doing is to stare at it a bit longer to blog on a new post.

I'm not sure if I do want to keep this going. For a while I really wanted to start something that just contains posts from my cooking adventures.

What ever I end up deciding... I just want to say... Thanks for all the love.. :) Siyonara !!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

36hrs Straight

Things I learnt from having to work 36 hrs straight in my office:

  • In an 'green' environmentally friendly office, when all the lights go off finally for the last time, you can't turn them back on.
  • This includes the lights in the toilets
  • A mobile phone light is not enough to illuminate a toilet cubical
  • I don't know how to bring Coffee machines out of standby mode. However, I do know the genius that programmed it, set it to go on standby from the hours of 12am-5am
  • The same genius probably figured out that since the coffee machine can automatically grind coffee beans, they don't need to stock any Instant coffee.
  • 12am - 5am are the hours people would need coffee the most, if they were pulling an all-nighter
  • Lights out is at 7pm - after this the lights are activated by sensors. At least until 12am. (see point 1).
  • Sensor activated lights do not detect a person typing away at a their desk or when they are talking on their phone.
  • They will however detect something, if that person starts frantically waving a sheet of A4 paper in the air.
  • Aircon shuts off at 7pm and does not go back on until 5am.
I do know once thing for sure though, the next time I'm looking at pulling another all-nighter, I'll be pulling out this post, and asking if all of the above have been resolved. Else I'm going to go and work on it from home.

Gdnite all.. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There was once a time when I told a friend of mine that she was wasting a good bottle of Nobel One (a really yummy bottle of sweet wine), because she was using it as a cooking wine.

I actually told her I would have never brought her that bottle if I knew she was going to cook with it.

Good wine is for drinking not cooking.

-- I get like that with alcohol sometimes --

I used to anyway. Yesterday, I flavored my cardamom mushroom cream sauce with a couple of tablespoons of Hennessy VSOP Cognac.

Funny how somethings change over time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Customised Ringtone for iPhone 3G

The iPhone is great. Its more than just a phone, its an iPod with a some-what-ok camera and a game console all in one. But the real downside I found with the iPhone is the ability to set your own customised ringtone.

The 20 odd or so, that comes with the phone really doesn't do much for me. $0.99 a ringtone isn't expensive. But if I wanted to set a funky Cantonese pop song on it, I haven't seen any available.

So here is how I've been able to add customised ring tones via iTunes (without having to download some 3rd party app).

This is for a iPhone 3G on iTunes

  1. Go to iTunes
  2. Go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Importing -- Make sure 'Import Using' is set to AAC Encoder.
  3. Select the song you want to make into a ringtone
  4. Right click on the song list, and select 'get info' -> Options
  5. Under Options, input a start time and stop time with an interval of 30secs.
  6. Click on ok to close the tab
  7. Right click on the file again, and select 'Convert Selection to AAC'. (this creates a 30sec clip)
  8. Sort the songs list by Time (click on the column header). And your new song should appear with a time of 0:30.
  9. Right click on the song list with 0:30 and select 'Show in Windows Explorer'
  10. The song clip should appear in .m4a format.
  11. Rename the file to .m4r (note: icon should still be the iTunes icon)
  12. In iTunes delete the song list referring to the 0:30 sound clip. Make sure you remove the reference link only and not the file.
  13. Close iTunes
  14. Connect iPhone
  15. Double click on the .m4r file. This should open iTunes and show the file in the 'ringtone' section if your iPhone is connected.
  16. Sync iPhone
  17. New Ringtone will appear under the 'Custom' Heading in Settings -> Sounds.

Important Notes:

Point 3 - You don't have to start at 0:00. But your ringtone clip cannot be more than 30 secs

I'm not the first one to come up with these instructions (I believe many have done so before me). This is what I put together after a couple of google searches and playing around on the iPhone at home. This is works for me on my version of iTunes on the iPhone 3G.

Surprisingly most of the links that came up in my initial search on Google for ways to get free ringtones on the iPhone is for the pre-3G version. Most also put updates in their posts that it no longer works with the later patches that apple have rolled out.

For now, this does still seem to work for me and I guess they will until the next updated patch when Apple decides to fix this.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things I must have when I travel

I've been doing quite a bit of traveling around lately. Every time I have to jet off somewhere the next day, I usually leave my packing till about a couple of hours before I have to make my way to the airport (don't ask.. i don't know why i don't do it earlier). So it usually ends up to be a bit of a last minute frenzy and in most cases I almost always have left something behind. The last time, we were 1/2 way to the airport, before I told Pete to turn around as I had forgotten something.

I could almost still hear the groaning. "Arghh ?! Not again...%*#@"

Its a good thing I only live 10 mins away from the airport. :)

Pete requested I come up with a list of things I must pack (and made sure that I have packed it) before we leave the apartment.

So here is my list (and reasons why):
  • My Toothbrush and Colgate Toothpaste - There is a good reason for this. They aren't available at most hotels. The last time I forgotten mine, I had to fork out $25 for a new toothbrush and toothpaste at some $#@%@ hotel's lobby shop.
  • My Ceramic Hair Straightener - Most people don't know this, but I have natural curls. In a bad way. My hair gets so curly and frizzy its practically out of control. This is what I made Pete drive back home for the last time. I could probably survive 2-3 days without it, but not 2-3 weeks.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner - Ok. There are only a couple of shampoo & conditioners that work for me, and a lot which don't work for me. My curls are sensitive and have a mind of their own (see above). Lets just leave it at that.
  • Thongs - I mean 'feet wear' thongs. I used to come back with a new pair of slippers or thongs after every trip. I'm not good on heels if I have to walk in them for over 4 hrs a day. I usually just give up, pop into the first footwear shop I can find, and buy a new pair of thongs and wear them around instead. Instant relief for my flat feet. On last count I have 5 pairs of thongs which I've to store away because I don't wear them anymore (And so Bunny doesn't start chewing on them). Therefore, to prevent further additions to my collection, I have to remember to bring a pair along.
  • DS + Charger - Nintendo DS ~~! I can't survive a 30 min train ride without my DS, so there is no way I could survive a 13+ hr flight without it by my side. On one of my last flights back home, the entertainment system died, which meant no movies. There is no way I'm even going to risk it.
  • Phone Charger - I have accumulated 4 phone changers at home, one in the office and another one at home with a 'Singaporean' plug. See the last sentence on my note about Thongs above.
  • Cold & Flu Tablets - Preferably something that contains Pseudoethedrine. I couldn't get my hands on any of this stuff at Walgreen in the States (was actually told it was illegal ?!).. BTW, I actually did have the flu. And I had no idea what it was in Japanese when I was in Japan with the flu again.
Thats about all I can come up with. Everything else, I believe I could buy (at a reasonable price). Anybody able to think of any other must-need-to-pack necessities ?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

hey web dude..

Its sad how I can relate to everything in this video..

But its the funniest thing I've seen for ages. Even if it is scripted. Enjoy ~ ! :)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yummy Potato & Leek Soup

Last night, I found some leek (possibly about 1+ weeks old) and potatoes (god knows how long) left over in my fridge. I usually only find time to go grocery shopping once every fortnight. So my fridge tends to be stocked with rather old veggies most the time.

It was however, enough to make my fav Potato & Leek soup. Perfect for these freezing winter nights. Here is the recipe. . .

Potato & Leek Soup

4 large potatos (peeled, sliced thinly)
1 leek (washed, white and light green parts sliced thinly - discard the rest)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 peice of bacon (sliced & chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (smashed and chopped finely)
2 Cups of Chicken Stock (just enough to cover the potatoes)
1/2 Cup of Thickening Cream
Fresh Herbs (Optional - But I had some chives leftover)
Butter & Olive Oil
Cayenne Pepper (for seasoning)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In a soup pot, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. Add Garlic, Bacon, Onions then Leeks. Sauté until onions are soft and starting to brown. Be careful not to over cook the leeks.

2. Add the potatoes and pour in enough stock to cover the potatoes. Add water if necessary. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes become transparent and soft. Use a potato masher to break up the potatoes slices.

3. Remove half the contents of the pot to a blender and process until desired consistency. Reduce to low heat.

4. Add the processed contents back into the pot and mix together. Add Cream and stir.

5. Stir in Chives and add salt & pepper to taste.

6. Serve soup and season with some cayenne pepper.

Enjoy ~ !

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

coffee coffee ...

Having refused to enter the first Starbucks shop I encountered, I moved on to find a real cafe. Real coffee.

I ended up spending the next two hours in the Mall hunting around for cafe. Nothing. Not one shop in the food court made coffee.

I ended up going back to Starbucks. *sigh.

Coffee shops are everywhere back home. I guess I've just taken it for granted that I can get coffee everywhere. And good coffee as well. From 3 cups a day, now I'm down to about 1 cup of really bad coffee a day. *sigh

I found this while googling for some coffee places around my area (yes.. I am that desperate)...

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me productive in wee hours:
It leadeth me beyond the yawing masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks®:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the House of Juan Valdez forever.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

hotel living

There is something about staying in a hotel for an extended period of time. Don't get me wrong, I've stayed in hotels for long periods of time while overseas on holiday. But this time its different. This time I'm in the middle of nowhere.

I'm stuck in Sunnyvale, CA for the next 2 weeks or so for work. And when I mean stuck. I do mean stuck. There isn't much around here (apart from a lot of IT companies). And since I don't drive much in Sydney, I didn't think I should drive in the US. (wrong side of the road etc...)

Here are some things I have encountered during my hotel stay so far:

  • When there is a spider the size of a door knob in your bathroom, screaming does not make it go away.
    -- 5 mins later I see a commercial for RIDDEX on the tv (a pest control device)..!??!

  • It costs $2.93 USD (pre-tax & pre-tip) to send 1 piece of my underwear to the hotel laundry.
  • It cost less than $10 USD to buy a set of 3 new panties.
  • Eating alone is really quite boring.
  • Star Trek Voyager is on from 10pm, followed by DS9
  • The closest Walgreen is nearly 3 miles away -- its not walking distance. (therefore no detergent).
Somehow the idea of having someone else wash your underwear really isn't that appealing.

Looks like I'm going to have to get some new underwear soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The expiry date on my SPF15+ moisturiser says 03/2007....