The Little Princes

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Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 2007 / New Year's 2008

For the past 3 weeks, there was lots of binge-ing, gifts and chocolates! Now, we're reaching near the year end celebrations. In fact, its going to be a brand new year in about 30 minutes. So first of all, let me start of by wishing one and all a Happy Brand Spanking New 2008!

While some are with friends at countdown parties and others are chilling out at home with family, I'm here at my computer updating this blog. For the past few years, New Year's has been spent with Wifey. Today, its no different, just that Wifey has already gone to bed. :-D I guess its real tiring being pregnant + spending one whole day shopping!

I'm not much of a resolution maker so this year, its going to be simple, stay healthy and try to be a good dad in the latter part of the year ... hehe!

As for wishes for 2008:
1. Good health and happiness for my family and all my frens.
2. Healthy mom and baby in May 2008.
3. More great business deals and bonuses!

The countdown's starting soon, so CHEERS to a brand new year! *POP*

Monday, December 24, 2007

Greetz!

Mr and Mrs Koosh wishing all readers a ...


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nostalgia

My youngest brother has come back from Australia and is now helping to "clear up" Dad's place. The last visit I had to my Dad's I was quite shocked to see the amount of "rubbish" that they had dug up and was supposedly for disposal.

Anyway, they managed to find plenty of old stuff which I am still sifting through. Some of the interesting items which I have found so far are:

Queenstown Kindergarten Report Card (outside) Queenstown Kindergarten Report Card (inside)

My kindergarten Report Card from waaaaaay back in 1976 when I was only 5 years old!


Permaisura Primary School Report Book Margaret Drive Primary School Report Book

My Report Books from Permaisura Primary School and Margaret Drive Primary School. I was in Margaret Drive Primary school for only a few months in Primary 1, after which I was transferred to Permaisura. Reason was Margaret Drive was "too far" away from home and it took more than 1 hour for the school bus to bring me home after school.


Bus Pass (Full Time NS)

My bus pass when I was in Full Time NS!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Coconut Candy Blocks

Yummy! I have not seen traditional coconut candy blocks for a few years already, so imagine my surprise when I found them being sold at Glory Snack Shop at Lido Cineplex! They are one of my favourite childhood snacks.

Coconut candy blocks typically come in packs of 5 rectangular blocks in different colours; Green, Orange, Red, White and Dark Brown. Solid chunks of coconut and sugar, a super treat for the sweet tooth. They used to be pretty cheap but now its S$2.00 per pack.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New Maid

We finally picked up our FDW (Foreign Domestic Worker, aka Maid) from the employment agency last Thursday. We brought her directly to MIL's place as she will be permanently there (at least for now) taking care of MIL until later when Wifey delivers.

Anyway, she is pretty tall compared to other Indonesian maids. Hopefully it means more strength to support MIL when she needs to move around. The maid also has 6 years experience working in Singapore (although it was only for 1 family), and it shows. This also means paying a premium for her salary.
After reaching MIL's place and a bit of orientation, she got to work. Comparatively, I guess its easier for her to take care of 1 elderly (and 1 newborn soon) as compared to a family of 6 with 3 kids as with her previous employer.

FIL and us are currently monitoring her performance and so far so good. Keeping our fingers crossed ...

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Maid ...

The maid we selected apparently insisted on 2 days off per month which we could not afford. After negotiating with the agent, the agent decided to send her back.

As a result, we had to select another one. Last week, Wifey phone interviewed this other maid who is currently still in Indonesia and found her quite ok. So she will be on her way and should arrive in Singapore this week. Will be see her soon. Hope her attitude and personality is good ...

Surprise!

See anything NEW in this blog recently? :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Drive Recorder

Cool gadget, works like an aircraft black-box recorder, continuously recording the front view (or any view you choose depending on where you place the camera) in the vehicle. Can be used for recording accident evidence, dangerous/idiotic drivers etc.

Checked out the price and its approx. $650 including shipping from Japan to Singapore.

http://www.fujitsu-ten.co.jp/eclipse/product/drive/drec2000/index.html


Growing Old pains ...

Have you ever wondered what life will be like when you are living out your "golden years"? Will you and your spouse be healthy? Or will you need to take care of him/her? If so, can you cope? Will you put him/her in a home or will you be the one? How about your children, will they help out?

Still far away but real, something to really think about ...

Scary Maid no more ...

The "Scary Maid" living next door is no more. Recently, we saw a new maid in the household. At least this maid looks more busy/normal, and does not stare at us eerily through the yard window!

Talking about maids, we also went to an "employment agency" to look for a maid (domestic help) to look after MIL. We managed to interview a "soon to be transfer" Indonesian maid. Apparently she was employed to replace a Filipino maid to look after an old lady (cos the Filipino doesn't want to take care / clean up after the elderly). After a year or so of service, the old lady passed on. Now the Filipino called up her ex-employer's wife and wanted to come back, and as a result the employer agreed! So unluckily for the Indonesian maid, she is now going being sent back to the agent as a "transfer" maid. This means she will lose about 2 months of her pay to her agent for getting her redeployed. Tough luck.

We managed to interview her and talk to her current employer (which had pretty good feedback). So far so good. Her English is ok and she can even speak/understand a bit of Chinese. Now is to go through the pre-employment test and other procedures for employing her ...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hairy Crab!

Wifey has been wanting to eat this for some time now. After discovering a place which sells reasonably priced Hairy Crab, we went for it. The place was along Upper Cross Street, same stretch as the famous 油鸡 noodle places.

The restaurant was called Tam Kah's Sharkfin Pte Ltd and wasn't very crowded at the time we arrived. Big hairy crabs were going at S$28 a piece, XL ones were $38. We had the large. Other than the hairy crabs, we had noodles/vermicelli, roast chicken and vegetables. There was also complimentary ginger soup glutinous rice balls for dessert with the hairy crabs.

Personally, I think the crab meat tasted sweeter and better than normal large Sri Lankan crabs. However, the hairy crabs are much smaller, meaning more work to get out whatever little meat you can find, not really worth the effort for that little bit of meat. It was a great dinner nonetheless!

Oh yes, I was also surprised at the great service (at least from one of the staff). The lady staff showed us how to de-shell the hairy crab and where we could dig out bits of crab meat. After that, she continued to de-shell the entire hairy crab for my MIL as my MIL could not de-shell the crab cos she is not very dextrous anymore. She carefully removed bits of crab meat and put onto the spoon for my MIL. Spoon after spoon as MIL ate. I reckon she stood there digging out crab meat for at least 20 minutes!

Hairy Crab Price Ee Mian Roast Chicken Vegetables Hairy Crab Hairy Crab Hair Crab Exposed Hair Crab Leg Meat Hairy Crab Remnants Black Sesame Glutinous Riceball in Ginger Soup Black Sesame Glutinous Riceball Personal De-Shelling Service! Hair Crab Lover

More Teochew Porridge

Yet another trip to Chun Tin for Teochew porridge. Somehow it feels great to have it on Saturday or Sunday afternoon for lunch.

The Hae Bi Hiam is fantastic, I could just eat plain porridge with it and nothing else!

Teochew Porridge Hae Bi Hiam Vegatables Fried Assam Fish Potato and Vegetables

Ben and Jerry's


About a month ago, we bought a tub of Ben and Jerry's, after not having any in a looong while.

The flavour we bought was "Dave Matthew's Band MAGIC BROWNIES". Yum, I especially love the taste of the brownies blended into the Black Raspberry ice cream!

Anyway, that started off our craving for B&J's. Recently, there were quite a number of offers at various supermarkets selling B&J's at "2 for $XX.XX" ... so check out our latest collection!



Current B&J Collection

Fender Bender

Two weeks ago (10 Nov 2007), somewhere near Orchard Cineleisure, a Honda Civic decided to test how strong the rear of the Citroen C3 was ...

Dented Bumper

The impact sounded quite loud. Externally, the bumper didn't look too damaged. However, after careful inspection, it was found that the steel bumper re-inforcement bar (hidden behind the ABS plastic bumper) was totally bent out of shape!

The C3 was out of action for a few days while I drove around in a deep blue "uncley" Altis ...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Deepavali Holiday

Happy Deepavali to all Hindus!

Today is a public holiday and is also a great "Food and Entertainment" day. The past few weeks have been real busy working on a submission for a customer next week. As such, this weekend should also be pretty busy so I am taking this opportunity to have a quick break before the coming rush for submission.

Wifey and I decided to go for a nice lunch and a movie today. Here's what we did:

1200hrs: Lunch - Sun and Moon Restaurant at Wheelock Place

Sun and Moon Restaurant (Wheelock Place)

1330hrs: Movie - Stardust. A good, two-hour movie that is worth watching. (Based on the book by Neil Gaiman)



1615hrs: On the way driving home, Wifey decided that we should detour to Clementi to pack a nice dinner. In the end, we bought stuff from the popular Satay stall at Central and also the famous original "Bros" Rojak.

While buying dinner, we also happened to chance upon chef Sam Leong and QuanYi Feng filming for their new food show Good Food Fun Cook. They were cooking some sort of steamed crab claws. I was asked if I wanted to try Sam's cooking. Unfortunately, as it meant being "interviewed" in front of the camera by YiFeng (and in Chinese somemore), I politely declined ... :-P

Good Food Fun Cook

1900hrs: Had great Satay and Rojak!

Satay (Clementi) Brother Rojak (Clementi)

2000hrs: Working at home ...

2230hrs: Starship Troopers 2 on TV ...

Ok, its back to work tomorrow.
Looking forward to end of next week!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Caramel Apples

This stuff is rare and is usually only available in supermarkets like Cold Storage or Marketplace during Halloween. Haven't had this in a long while so I grabbed one when I saw it during grocery shopping last week. Yummy!

Caramel Apple Caramel Apple

Longbeans and Toufu

Have tried to recreate a dish which both wifey and myself have had since we were young. So far, we have not had this for any of the home-cooked meals over at my cousin's nor my in-law's place.

Anyway, turned out not bad but I think it can be improved by making it more spicy using sambal or a twist with some roast pork or bacon.

Ingredients:
- Long beans
- Toufu
- Chye Poh
- Roasted Peanuts
- Chilli


Long Beans with Toufu
Long Beans Roasted Peanuts and Chilli Ingredients for Long Beans with Toufu Stir Fry

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Post Op: Day #10

This week I am back at the office even though I am on MC. Have some work with hard deadline to meet.

Anyway, took off in the afternoon to go back to NUH to remove the staples. After a loooong wait, it is finally over. Staples removed, dressing changed, I am now officially metal free! (Sorry, no pics cos I didn't bring my camera)

The doc gave me an "open date" for the next appointment. What this means is that I do not need to go back to NUH Clinic B anymore, unless (touch wood) something goes wrong.

Total "downtime" is from 28/06/05 to 25/10/07, which works out to be 850 days or 2 years, 3 months and 28 days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Post Op: Day #3

Just came back from NUH after the first review. After they removed all the dressing, I realised that I was not totally free from all metal yet. They used staples instead of thread for the stitching. Cool, haven't seen staples up close. Too bad I didn't bring my camera.

Anyway, the staples are supposed to be removed only after 10 days, so the next time round I'll bring my cam.

After examination, they dressed up the wounds again, this time a much more simple affair, without too much gauze and cotton wool.

Now I am not using any crutches, I can walk again! (slowly ...)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Post Op: Day #2

Its approximately 60 hours since the operation now. Tomorrow there will be the first post-op review. As such, I will be going down to NUH tomorrow afternoon meetup with the orthopaedic surgeon.

Anyway, the pain is getting less now, it usually comes when I stand too long and when the leg starts getting swollen. I am down to 1 crutch today, and hopefully by weekend it will be no crutches. I have tried walking around without any crutches just now, was ok but can't do it for too long. Think I have to be patient. Will post an update tomorrow after the visit to the hospital.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weight Reduction Op: Day #0

It has been over 2 years since THIS happened to me and they had to fix it like THIS. The orthopaedic has finally given the thumbs up to remove my steel implants in my left Tib/Fib a couple of weeks ago and yesterday was the Operation.

Arrived at the NUH Day Surgery Centre (at the newer Kent Ridge wing) at 0715 but it was already pretty crowded. My number was #016 and they were only serving #005. It was almost an hour wait before my turn. After settling the registration, we (wifey and I) were asked to go inside a second waiting room where we waited for about 5 minutes. After that I was given a bed and explanation on the admin procedures. The staff were friendly and professional. They went through the checklist (i.e. my name, NRIC, what op I was doing) at least 5 times by different people at different stations.

Anyhow, I was assigned OR1 and had GA administered there probably around 0930. After that I was KO until when I was in the recovery room. By then, the op was done and it was about 1130 when they wheeled me from the recovery room back to the day surgery ward.

Check out the hardware that was removed. If you look closely, some of the parts still has bits of blood and bone stuck onto it. :-)

Steel Implants

I will be on MC for 14 days, resting/working at home. I am on 2 crutches now. The pain is not great but can be a bit uncomfortable if I move around too much. Will probably go back to office next week when its less painful to walk.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Overnight Laundry

Just came back from Newton catching up with old friends over drinks and some nibbles. Can't believe that we've known each other for 24 years already.

Anyway, after coming back, went to take a drink in the kitchen and realised that my neighbour (and maid) are still in the yard doing their laundry ... kinda creepy as its 1:30 am in the morning! eeeks!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cold Rock

Went out for lunch today at Holland Village at our favourite Ipoh Hor Fun place. After that, dessert was ice-cream at Cold Rock. It was raining and the weather was cool, perfect for eating ice cream! Basically, what the concept of Cold Rock is ice-cream with various kinds of "mix-ins". You can watch their video HERE.

Verdict: Nice but a bit pricey.

Domesticated

Went to Takashimaya yesterday intending to get one of those garment steamers, something like THIS. Anyway, there was a pretty helpful sales person there which introduced us to "system irons".

Basically, they are steam irons. The difference between a system iron and a garment steamer is that the steam from the system iron is pressurised while that of the garment steamer is not. Also, the difference between a system iron and a normal steam iron is that in the system iron, the water is stored in a seperate tank (not in the iron itself), and the iron is able to emit pressurised steam for normal ironing or vertical ironing (like a garment steamer). The demo done by the sales person was pretty convincing. The demo set was a model costing almost S$700, with fancy LCD panels and controls. We ended up buying the most basic set. Even so, the most basic set cost almost half of the expensive one, luckily, I got some Taka Gift Vouchers ... :-D

The model we bought was the Philips GC 6360 steam/system iron. It is able to emit steam at up to 4 bar pressure. Tested it out today and it really works. Cut down ironing time by more than half (according to wifey).

Can't find much info on the Internet in English, but it looks like this:



Also tried to look for a cordless vacuum or electric broom. The electric broom demo was disappointing and the cordless vacuums don't have sufficient power for cleaning the floor.

So end of the day, "uncle" Koosh only got the iron ...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hair Removal

I just discovered that an epilator is a torture device consisting of no less than 10 spinning tweezers looking to grab at any hair (or skin) that they come into contact with! Ouch!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Office

After months of planning (or not), we finally moved into our new office on October 1st 2007. The move wasn't the most organised, but still it went pretty smoothly.

By the looks of it, our new office is smaller. However, it is conveniently located on the first floor and parking is much less of a problem than our old office. But for those that don't drive, it may be slightly inconvenient as there isn't an MRT station within walking distance so many of them have to take buses.

We retained our old cubicles (to save cost) but they were laid out differently. Our cubicles have almost next to no partitioning (i.e. super low). In fact, it is more of a "space" rather than a "cubicle". Because of this, one can almost see the whole office while seated. From where I am seated, due to the direction I am facing and the 2-3 huge pillars in the room, I can only see less than 20% of the entire office (i.e. the entrance, meeting room doors, document/printing centre and 2 other cubicles). The rest of the cubicles are behind my back.

Wasn't really too used to this because you never know who is behind you as 80% of the office walks past/near you to reach the entrance or to the meeting rooms. There is a sense of lack of privacy and the unknown. Anyway, to "cure" this I have consulted some "feng shui" sites:

http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-1113.html
http://www.effectivemeetings.com/design/workplace/fengshui_part2.asp

For now, I have made up the following shopping list of essential items to put in my cubicle:

1. Mirror
2. Plants (odd number)
3. Picture of flowing water (waterfall or river)
4. Personal non-work related picture
5. ???

So far, I've got the mirror, will install it tomorrow and see if it works! Also, have printed out this picture of a waterfall as well as a personal photo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Travel Map

Some people put up a big world map at home and stick pins onto it to keep a record of where they have gone around the world.

This is the same, just that it is online, save on pins, paper and wall space, thanks to Trip Advisor.

My Travel Map

Monday, September 17, 2007

Denmark and Sweden Trip

There was supposed to be a family trip (my bro, SIL, dad and wifey) to Shanghai this week, but then wifey had a conference in Stockholm last week. So what happened was we postponed the family trip and I took this opportunity to tag along to Stockholm just "for fun".

Although it was just a week, it was pretty exhausting, but enjoyable. The weather in Stockholm and Copenhagen was cold (about 15 deg C in the daytime) but still ok. The weather was mostly cloudy and overcast, although we did get some sunshine and rain as well.

The itinerary:

Day 1+:
Singapore-Bangkok-Stockholm-Copenhagen (for wifey it was Singapore-Frankfurt-Stockholm-Copenhagen). Yes, we took different flights, cos she had to drop by Finland on the way back, and also not to mention her company paid Lufthansa tickets cost S$1K more than my Thai Airways tickets! However, because of the different flights, I arrived early in Stockholm and had to wait about 5 hours for her. I can tell you that Stockholm Terminal 5 is a very boring place to spend 5 hours!

Day 2:
By the time we got to Copenhagen, we were pretty tired. Only managed to visit some of the sights around the city centre (near the Central station) from 7pm onwards.

Day 3:
Visited Kronborg Castle (Hamlet Castle) in Elsinore (Danish: Helsingør) and also the original Carlsberg factory for tour and beer! After that, went to Dragor (small seaside town) for dinner.

Day 4:
Went to say Hi to the "Little Mermaid" (Den lille havfrue) early in the morning before our flight back to Stockholm. It was super cold and raining but yet we made it! Took flight to Stockholm and went out in the evening to walk around Gamla Stan. Had McDonalds for dinner.

Day 5:
Took a boat ride to a small town called Vaxholm, the "capital" of the Swedish archipelago. After that, we took a bus back and went straight for the Vasa Museum (Swedish: Vasamuseet) before it closed. The original 300 year old warship was impressive. It was sunk in the 1600s, survived 300 years in the brackish water, raised off the sea bed and restored in the 1950s!

Day 6:
Wifey had conference today, so I spent the day wandering around Gamla Stan taking photos. Managed to catch the change of guard ceremony at the Stockholm Palace (Swedish: Stockholms slott). Wasn't much to shop as the stuff were pretty expensive.

Day 7:
Wifey had conference today also. Idled in the hotel till noon before heading out to Sigtuna, one of the oldest towns in Sweden.

Day 8+:
Wifey headed off very early in the morning for Helsinki (Finland) for a meeting. Lucky me only need to catch a later flight in the afternoon. My trip back was via Stockholm-Bangkok-Singapore (for wifey it was Finland-Frankfurt-Singapore). As wifey's meeting in Finland was very short, she arrived back in Singapore only a couple of hours after me.


Anyway, that was how we spent last week. Now its back to work. :-(

Have not had time to add titles the photos but you can still check them out HERE!

IMG_0846

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Scandinavian Trip ...

Phew! Just came back from a week in Denmark and Sweden. Gonna do some packing first before sorting out the photos and posting more details in this blog. Stay tuned!

Stockholm Panorama - Gamla Stan

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Corny Cornichons ...

While wifey was away this evening enjoying S$400 "Buddha Jumps over the Wall" (佛跳墙) dinner with colleagues, I had this ...

IMG_0757

Easy to prepare, great taste, especially when playing FPS in front of the computer ...

Ingredients:
- 1 can of corn
- few pickled onions
- few pickles (cornichons)
- salt
- pepper
- herb butter
- Sin Sin Chilli Sauce
- garlic sausage (side dish)

Preparation (3 min):
- microwave the corn (1 min)
- microwave the garlic sausage (1 min)
- mix the rest in

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pastamania ...

Pasta in cheese and spinach cream sauce with Satay Sausage. Pasta so-so, Satay Sausage is surprisingly yummy. Bought from Sheng Siong (Ten Mile Junction).

Pasta in Cheese and Spinach sauce with Satay Sausage

Saturday, August 18, 2007

SE M600i

After having my Nokia 6021 die on me in USA, I've decided to get a new phone with PDA functionality that is smaller than my current Siemens SX66 (2nd phone) and has no camera. The phone that fit the bill was the Sony Ericsson M600i. Yes, its a pretty old model, but then it means its latest firmware will have most of the bugs fixed and will be cheap.

Managed to get one at MobileSquare. The M600i is small, simple, cheap (SGD328) and can run navigation apps like TomTom 6 and other UIQ3 applications. Screen is crisp with QVGA resolution (320x240).

IMG_0739 IMG_0742

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fei Chao Ren (肥超人)

Eh, saw this on Channel 8, the cartoon character looks uncannily like a food blogger I know ...

Fei Chao Ren