Saturday, October 31, 2009

Body Worlds

What is Body Worlds Exhibition? Simply put, it is an exhibition of dead bodies in a tasteful manner. The bodies have been preserved and put into different lively postures.

Dead bodies inevitably will make people feel uneasy. The exhibition organizer has done it in such a way that they mostly portrait the beauty of human body, with special emphasis on human muscles. The bodies are preserved in such a fashion that as if they were still alive. You can 'feel' the movement of their muscles in various situations, such as playing basketball, dancing, doing gymnastics.

Another portion of the exhibition emphasize the importance of taking good care of our own body. There is a display of two lungs, one from a non-smoker, another one from a smoker. The constrast is obvious and shocking. The smoker's lung is black as tar.

Singapore Science Center hired some Exhibit GUIDEs and they are available in the exhibition to answer visitors' questions. The guides performance varies quite drastically. I saw a total of 3 guides. One guy was enjoying the exhibition himself, waling from one exhibit to another, looking curiously at the exhibits. One girl was just walking around, and didn't see her much. The last one was the best one. It is his first day on this job, and I think he is from some medical-related studies. He patiently explained to the keen visitors the mechanisms in the body. The artery, the veins, the nerves, the muscles, etc. He made the dead exhibits lively, and the exhibition a lot more interesting than just looking at the captions and guess on your own.

The exhibition is on till March 2010. You can find your details at

It is an exhibition worth visiting if you are not in the medical profession. The exhibition came to Singapore once back in 2003/2004, but I didn't have the guts to pay it a visit alone. I missed that chance, but now I have the chance to make up. It is one of the sources of my many sore points, setbacks, upsets. Now I have the chance to face up the source, and I will get up from where I fell down. Thanks to the exhibitor who has brought this exhibition back to Singapore!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wong Kok, Again

Ended up having lunch at Wong Kok Char Chan Teng at JB City Square again. I used the coupons that we got the last time. For October, we got a free set of French Toast.

The French Toast came simmering in butter, looks really greasy. Inside, the filling is peanut butter, so much better. Smells good, tastes not bad too, just a bit too unhealthy.

For drinks, I ordered almond tea with egg. A fresh egg is poured into the hot almond tea. It looks not bad, but the almond is really bitter. I have to add in suger to soften the bitterness.

Main course for me was baked rice. Baked rice seems to always come with lots of cheese. The rice always tastes a bit strange. Anyway, not too bad to fill a hungry stomach.

Maybe it is time for me to move on to some other eateries to try out some other stuff.

Ez-Link Reload

Last year and before, I used the Citibank SMRT credit card which doubled as an ez-link card. If offered the auto-topup facility (at a price of $0.25 per auto topup) and the credit card gave you a 1.7% rebate on the total topup amount.

All was well until somebody wanted to make more money and forced everybody to change to the new card. That's when my nightmare started.

For some reason, my SMRT card was replaced. The new card came with an auto topup amount of only S$30. It makes no financial sense for me to have that topup amount. I will have more number of topups and pay more convenience fee. I called up Translink to tell them I wanted to change the topup amount. They happily informed me that they couldn't do that because they were going through the ezlink card replacement exercise. I had to wait from March to July, then I could change the topup amount. When July came, they told me September. Finally when September came and the credit card company issued me a cepas compliant credit cum ezlink card, Translink asked me to contact ezlink to settle that, not their business. When I contacted ezlink, they asked me to deactivate it and reapply through their website after 7 working days. I did exactly that, and 2 days ago, I found out my application was rejected!

What the f**k! I again called them up, the lady there happily informed me that I reapplied earlier than the 7 working days as required. I could only reapply after 19 Oct. Hello, when I called them, it was already 24 Oct! And I was very sure that I reapplied only after 7 WORKING days! I wrote to their feedback unit.

This morning, I received an email notification saying my application has been approved. In the afternoon, an email from their customer service saying my application had been approved. Sorry for the inconvenience. SOP replies.

What is very unacceptable to me is their manner of treating their customers. I called them up, I was put on hold as all operators were engaged at the time. Fine, I can hold, I can even hold for an hour, 2 hours, no problem. Guess what, after some time, the automatic answering machine told me to leave a message, and then hung up the phone!

I am really frustrated with ezlink, and I has just written my feedback to LTA. I don't know how useful my feedback will be, but then at least I have voiced my opinion. Ezlink's current service standard is below standard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dairy Farm Nature Park & Singapore Quarry

Went for a nature walk in the morning with Lu J in Dairy Farm Nature Park yesterday. This park was opened just very recently.

I am sure the review of this park will be quite different from different people. Some will say there is nothing to see. True enough. There is no great scenary in sight at all in this park. What you see is just roads, trails, and lots of green, trees, bushes, etc.

Some may say this park is great. There are lots of insects, birds hiding deep in the greens, and you can hear their music in the morning. There are also many different typical tropical plants, producing fresh O2 for the visitors. It is such a natural oxygen bar, free of charge, all natural, no chemicals involved. It is really nice.

Singapore Quarry is one highlight in the nature park. You can still steep cliffs, peaceful quarry lake, and the colorful visitors and inhabitants of the nature - birds, fishes, and many more.

See this big a*s lens and the big a*s tripod from our bird lovers. It seems like Singapore Quarry is one popular spot for our local bird lovers. It is quite understandable. For the short time that I spent there, I saw some really nice and colorful birds fly by, resting on trees.

In Chinese paintings, you frequently see a bird resting on a lone stick by the water. Only today then I realised where the painters got their idea. It is all natural. I saw it with my own eyes today.

Tebrau City, JB

This is my third visit to Tebrau City, JB, but the very first time that I spent some time there to take a closer look at the shops.

It is a bit disappointing. The shops are very similar to the shops in other shopping centers in Malaysia or Singapore. They have a Harris Bookstore there. A new bookstore huh? Actually it is just another brand name under the Popular Bookstore group. Oh, at least they are selling books that are different from what they sell at Popular.

The anchor tenant in Tebrau City is of course Jusco Departmental Store, which is more well-known than Tebrau City. Jusco occupies many levels of the building, lots of stuff for you to shop till you drop. Price-wise, I don't really see any bargains worth spending my money there yet.

Very few shops are having any kind of sales right now. I ended up coming home empty handed. I couldn't find any bargains. They are all expensive, similar price to those in Singapore.

Level 4 is where all the eating places are. Many restaurants. Next time, I would like to try out that sizzling stonegrills. It looks nice, price seems to be cheaper, but I have not really checked it out yet.

On the way back to JB custom, we took a taxi at Tebrau City. The other cab drivers all asked for RM20.00 minimum, then one Chinese lady cab driver offered to fetch us for RM18.00. It seems like the cost of parking at Tebrau City is RM1.00, the meter fare is about RM15-16.00 (not sure whether the meter has been tampered), so RM18.00 is not that bad. By bus, it is RM2.50.

Tang Shifu @ Tebrau City, JB

Found this small little restaurant at Tebrau City, JB yesterday. It is part of a Chinese medicine shop selling Chinese tonics such as Bird's nest. They leverage on the Chinese tonics and provide customers with Chinese dishes that are cooked with Chinese tonics as ingredients, which are called 'Yao Shan' (药膳).

We were there around 4pm, not really a good time for dinner, so we only ordered some side dishes. My order was Snow Jelly with Ginkgo. The dish was served with a standard white soup bowl. The taste is not very strong, a bit tasteless I must say, while it is supposed to be a bit more sweet. My friends ordered LuoHanGuo Herbal Jelly (罗汉果龟苓膏). Their feedback was also that it was a bit lack of taste. However, their tea eggs were not too bad.

Next time, if I go there again, I will like to try their main dishes and set meals. They look pretty nice. One thing about YaoShan in Malaysia and Singapore is that they are getting a bit 'high class'. 'High class' I mean the dining environment is very good, the utensils are clean and clear, the soup is more health conscious so there is much less salt, much less sugar, sometimes it ends up to be completely tasteless. And to cater to the local taste, many dishes are served cold (they chill it before serving, not left-over). Once chilled, the taste is getting even less obvious.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pedometer at Work

I put my new toy, the Omron-005 pedometer to work today. First, I went for a walk in the Dairy Farm trail. Total number of steps is only around 8000+. Followed by a short walk at Upper Pierce Reservoire, another 2000+ steps. Voila, I achieved my minimum daily quota already.

Afternoon, it was another kind of walk. Walking in the shopping centers. First stop was JB's City Square, then Jusco at Tehbrau City. We walked around 4 out of the 5 floors in the shopping complex. Somehow I find it more tiring walking in shopping centers. I get tired easily, but not in the nature walk case. I figure it must be the air. Some merchandises in the shopping malls have some very unpleasant smells, especially those plastic stuff.

Back to our topic. After one whole day's walk, my grand total is 23,366 steps! Wow, what a great 'achievement'. I finished two day's work in 1 day! :P Does this mean I can spend the whole day idling in bed tomorrow? :D

Omron HJ005 Pedometer

Haha... Got myself a new gadget on Friday night. It is an Omron HJ-005 pedometer. Yes, it is that small little device that will count the number of steps you have walked.

There are two models available, one is the HJ-005, the other is HJ-113. HJ-005 is a simple model, it does nothing more than counting your steps, and steps only. It does not offer any data management, or total fat burnt, etc, which HJ-113 has. Price-wise, HJ-005 is only S$19.25, while HJ-113 is S$40. Never mind, I don't really care how much fat has been burnt, I just need to know how many steps I have walked.

Once I got the pedometer, I put it to the test. As recommended by the user manual, I carried the pedometer and walked 100 steps, then checked the pedometer reading. For the first time, the reading was 114 steps, a bit on the high side. I adjusted the adjustment knob, and did the trial again. Ok, this time, the reading was 102 steps, within the +/-5 steps expected error.

It is recommended that everybody should walk at least 10,000 steps everyday to keep a healthy heart and to burn fat. It is important for me, as I don't seem to be able to get rid of my tummy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not So "First Class' First Class Mails

I bought something from eBay USA. The seller sent out the item promptly on 7 Oct via 'First Class' mail by US postal service. I waited and waited for 2 weeks, and the item still had not arrived. I got worried, so I droped the seller a message. He came back to say 2 weeks is not that long, maybe to wait for another week. And he gave me the US postal service's website.

I took a look at the US postal service website. It turns out their 'First Class' mail is something like the 'Normal' stream in our Singapore's education system. 'First Class' is actually not so first class. It is basically at the bottom of US postal service hierarchy. For 'Priority Mail' service, which is one notch up than 'First Class' mail, it takes 6-10 days to get delivered. I understood then why it takes so long for my 'First Class' mail to arrive.

Ok, anyway, luckily the item arrived safely today at my mail box. It took a total of 16 calender days. Next time you order something from the US, be prepared for the wait :P

Protective Stops

It is very important to have protective stop orders in place to protect yourself from large drawdowns. I don't have any automatic protective stops in place, so I am looking around for options.

DBS Vickers is one lousy broker. When I called them up to enquire about such a feature, the guy answering the phone just bluntly said no such feature, even if I am willing to pay for such feature, there is none. DBS Vickers has been in business for such a long time, yet they don't have something so vital to their customers. Or they simply don't understand the business? Another possible reason is they want to benefit their own remisiers. They want their remisiers to be that 'protective order'. Mmmh, I don't know.

Philips Security offers protective order through a paid service called 'pro trader'. The cost is S$80.00 per quarter (3 months). I think comparing with the potential loss, the S$80 is really nothing. However, their protective order is not fool-proof. You may still end up with big losses.

As I understand from my friend who uses ProTrader, the stop-limit order works this way. For example, if you have sell stop-limit order, the stop price is set to S$0.70, and the limit order is set to S$0.65. If the price drops below S$0.70, the order will be triggered, and your shares will be sold to a price that is higher or equal to S$0.65. If the market price drops below S$0.65, your order will NOT be executed. Philips limits your limit order to be maximum 7 ticks below the last done price. In this case, if your share's price goes into a free fall, say gap down from S$0.72 the previous close, to S$0.55, then you still face a huge loss.

Another disadvantage is you must set your stop-limit orders everyday. It is very inconvenient when you go traveling and don't have internet access through your own computer! ProTrader requires you to download an application to your own notebook computer to work.

CMC Markets has a much more advanced order system. Their orders more or less covers almost all your needs. Then the bad thing is they are not dealing with 'real' stocks, rather they are more in the derivatives business.

Conclusion? Close all your positions before you go for a tour! You can enjoy your life more and you will not risk yourself coming back home to face a huge financial loss.

Mobile One - Follow-up

As planned, I disposed of my M1 shares today at S$1.79. I made a loss on this trade. I am lucky that the risk is controlled and limited. It didn't balloon out of control.

As I checked the price today for Starhub. OMG, there is another bloodshed there. The price has gone down from ~S$2.00 to S$1.90 in 2 days. Again I feel very lucky that I did stick to my plan and cut my loss on Starhub when the news of Starhub lost its EPL rights to rival Singtel. The loss was bigger than I had planned for, but if I didn't cut my loss then, I would be facing an even bigger loss now. I would have been a lot more upset by now.

These two cases are good examples of cutting your losses short, and never argue with Mr. Market. If Mr. Markets says you are wrong, then you are wrong, admit it and quickly get out of your positions. Count yourself lucky if you can get out breakeven, or a small profit. A stubborn trader/investor will only be rewarded for more losses.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mobile One

I bought some shares of M1 on 14 Oct, acting on a breakout signal from my systems, and also from the chart formation of an ascending triangle. All my technical indicators showed it was not bad.

A few days later, I received an ad newsletter from ChartNexus. The example they used to show the effectiveness of technical analysis is M1! And they are drawing a conclusion which was directly opposite to mine! M1 is their prime candidate for shorting. They also explained their reasons, using patterns on the technical indicators. I hesitated, but M1's price droped a couple of cents, but remained relatively stable.

Today, just after the pre-close, the price droped sharply to below my stop-loss level. As the market has already closed, I can only act tomorrow.

One market guru used to teach us: Always be humble in the market, no matter how successful you are. When you are in the market, you are competing with the best brains this world may have ever produced.

Through this incident, I learnt a new way of looking at my technical indicators. A lesson learnt. Lucky thing is I control my risk tight. As long as tomorrow the price does not go free fall, I shall have no more than my expected loss at entry. Wish myself good luck.

Get Up From Where You Fell Down

KT always said what you're most afraid of, will keep coming back to haunt you. I developed a sore spot about 10 years ago when I was studying down under. In general, I do quite ok in exams and tests, all kinds. Looking back at my past performance, I have never failed any major exams or tests. But then I have this sore spot, I simply couldn't get a feel of it. The shadow of this sore spot keeps a lot of fear in myself, hinders me to move forward. It is like a glass ceiling, I push outwards, but always get bounced back.

I avoided this sore spot for 10 years, 10 full years. I thought I could get through it, without having to face it again in my life. However, it proves to be wrong. This sore spot is definitely considered to be a basic skill in modern life. Without it, you may find you are being stranded in a place of nowhere.

10 years ago, of course, money was a big problem. No income, all expenses and living off savings. Now money is no longer such a big problem. I think I have to pick myself up and face the problem, tackle it directly. I should overcome the phobia, instead of letting the phobia overwhelm me. The process may be long, it takes at least a couple of months to get there.

I must keep fighting, until that phobia is gone, forever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Red FM

Red FM, what do you guess it to be? Haha... Not some communist stuff lah. It is actually an English language Malaysia radio station that I just discovered yesterday.

I found this station when I was playing around with the old old radio that SYK left. Somehow I like this station, they sound better than the Singapore ones. I can't tell why, somehow their DJs seem to have pretty nice voice, or maybe the songs they play are older :P You will hear something like Everything I Do, I Do It For You. Very old song heh...

And then they are promoting a special party - A school uniform party in Port Dickson. Sounds weird, isn't it? Guess what is the most common color of school uniforms in Malaysia?

Anyway, I always find it a pity that Singapore and Malaysia don't integrate their services and have some synergy. Guess how much more business activities will be if there is a high-speed train link between Singapore and Kuala Lumper. The two cities can have the same day travel just like Taipei & Kaosiong. Too bad, we don't have it now, and won't have any such high-speed links in the near future.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Super Trader

Title: Super Trader
Author: Van Tharp

This is Dr. Van Tharp's latest book on investment, hot from the shelf. It is a small book which has only 200+ pages.

It serves as a skeleton of all of Van Tharp's work on trading, with special emphasis on trading psychology and position sizing.

Reading this book won't make you a super trader, but if you can follow his advice, you may become one. However, as the material in this book is just a summary of Dr Tharp's work, if you really want to follow his advice, you need to get some of his other works. For example, to really work effectively on psychology, in my opinion, you should get his Peak Performance course.

Dr Tharp's advice is both simple and difficult. Simple as you just need to have the right psychology, and good position sizing, then voila, you are on your way to great trading success. Difficult in the sense that we all have that small little devil in ourselves. We will have fear, greed, and emotions, which are all enemies to your own success.

I highly recommend this book to all who want to be successful in investing.

Soaring Temperature

Today is a hot summer day! Around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the temperature in my room was 32 degree C! Oh my, my room's temperature usually hovers around 30C, but today it was 32C! The seemingly small 2C makes a huge difference. It was hot. Even the wind blowing in from my lovely window carried hot air, instead of a breeze.

For people who still argues whether there is really a global warming happening, they should come over to have a feel.

L & L's Wedding

Lau TS and Lin CB finally got married yesterday. Lau was in a silver-colored suit. The first time I saw him wearing a suit. His close to 1.9m figure fits really well with that suit. The bride was wearing a red-colored night gown, with an 'umbrella' bottom. Ok, I don't know what is the proper word for it, but that's the type you see those queens and noble ladies wearing in the older days in Europe.

The dinner was at Bukit Batok's Civil Service Club's Crystal Ballroom. The club has a very nice setting. The buildings are built on a small hill, among lots of greens. It gives you this jungle feel. Quite fascinating that in a concrete jungle, you have this 'real' jungle. Chandlers were hanging down from the high ceilings of the ballroom. The entire atmosphere was perfect for a wedding.

Food-wise, nothing fancy, but quite ok.

1. Ping Pan
2. Sharp's fin soup
3. roast chicken
4. Fish
5. Fo bo piao xian (Yam)
6. cereal prawn
7. abalone
8. noodle
9. dessert

Standard menu. I like the roast chicken in particular. Usually roast chicken is a bit too dry, the taste is like chewing rubber. In this case, the skin was crispy, but the meat is still very tender and juicy.

Another dish worth mentioning is the noodle. They use the yellow-type of noodle, which has very strong bitter taste. My standard procedure is to leave the noodle alone, I don't like it. But yesterday's noodle was not bad. Very tender, and didn't have the bitter taste!

Ok, so many comments. Anyway, wish our L & L live together ever after and have many children :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Delicacies Poisons

We had a company lunch today at Vivo's No Sign Board Seafood. The dishes were not bad. Just to name a few, we had lobster salad, shark's fin soup, steamed sea bass, drunken prawn, white pepper crab, chili crab.

I don't know whether it is because I am getting old, or whatever, I am increasingly feeling it is more of a pain than a joy to eat all those stuff. Yeah, they are no doubt delicacies, but if you eat too much, then it might do more harm than good to your body.

To make things worse, I had been having high calorie lunches for about 3 days this week, all thanks to the visit of our American customers.

Our lunch ended around 3.30pm. I didn't have dinner today. Still feeling too full to have any appetite for anything.

Nowadays, plain rice plus some vegies are what I prefer more. Occasionally I will also crave for meat, that usually happens after a good work out; otherwise, I would rather stick with vegies, maybe some small portions of meat or fish.

To get rid of all the excess, went for a jog in the neighbourhood. It feels good to sweat and make my muscles work. It helps my body to remove all the toxins, and shed all the stress.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Personality and Life

三岁定终身,听起来有点不可思议。 其实嘛, 也就是说人的性格决定人的一生。 有的性格就是不适合某种工作。 要和客户打交道的人,就一定要懂如何讨客户的欢心,让人觉得满意。这不是光靠技术,还要靠技巧,软功夫。 我就做不来这种工作。 估计我特别适合做皇帝,独裁者之类的不用讨好人的工作,可能还要是那种有‘暴君’恶名的那一种。

为了糊口,一天到晚要带着假面具,阿谀奉承,拍马屁的事,要我去做,不如叫我去死。 这样的钱,赚来了,会开心么? 这世间会有一种工作是可以凭自己的真诚, 努力,和技艺而成功的么?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shopping Spree

I am in general not a shopping guy. Great Singapore Sales usually have nothing to do with me. Can't be bothered to rub shoulders with all the aunties. However, recently I find myself start to shop more and more.

If you pay a little bit of attention, you might find some good bargains. We are still in a recession, shops want to get rid of their older stocks and recover as much as possible their capital. Never before can you see some items are going for 50-70% discount.

There is this sports apparel shop in Suntec, where I bought two pairs of speedo swimming trunks for less than S$5.00. In another occasion, I got a PUMA flight bag for less than S$40, at a deep discount of 50%.

Last week, Surfer's Paradise dry-fit t-shirt was going for S$15.00, while the original price is S$29.90 at John Little.

When the economy is good, usually I tend to refrain from going shopping. Everybody is rich during boom times. They can pay. Money is not a problem. At the end, everybody are being overcharged. When recession comes, every single cent matters, and the price for the same good goes down. I like be a shopholic! If I can get twice the amounts of goods for the same amount of money, why not?


An Italian colleague's wallet was stolen yesterday around Sim Lim Square area. When we heard the news this morning in the office, some were quite surprised. As pick-pockes are rare in low-crime Singapore.

For my many years stay in Singapore, I had only heard of one such incident previously. My FYP partner's wallet was stolen in a crowded supermart just before Chinese New Year. Ever since then, today's case is the 2nd one that I have heard of from people I actually know.

Then a Singaporean colleague said his mother's wallet was also stolen a few months ago in Chinatown area.

Mmmh, it does not really sound good. Does this mean our low-crime rate is going north now? This also reminds me of one video clip showing a woman stealing another woman's handbag in a hawker center/food court.

As the police say, LOW CRIME DOES NOT MEAN NO CRIME. We should never be complacent. We are still in a recession, some guys may want to get some quick bucks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Hike in Bukit Timah Hill

Went for a leisure hike in the Bukit Timah Hill this morning. It has been quite a number of years since I last visited this nice nature reserve in Singapore.

I must say I am a bit annoyed by the fact that more and more luxuary condos are being built right at the foot of the hill. They are so close to the surviving natural forest. I am not sure whether one day I will wake up and find our lovely hill becomes a hill of concrete jungles.

That aside, it took me around 15 mins to go all the way to the summit. Great! That's my 'normal' speed of reaching the peak following the main road. The first 100m or so is the most tough, as the slope is steep, but after that, everything is easy.

I didn't want to spend 2 hours traveling on bus to/fro Bukit Timah Hill just for this 15 min hike, so I decided to take on some side treks on the way down. Without obvious reason, I took the track to Dairy Farm Hut, which is on the north side of the reserve, and at an altitude of ~60m, and right at the boundary of the reserve. You see, if you have the instrument but not using it, it is as good as you don't have it. I didn't use the altitude meter or the digital compass on my watch, just simply walked. I descended from the summit of 163m, down to 60m. Finding no way back to the visitor centre, I took the North View Hut track and ascended from 60m back to 140m!

On the ascend to the North View Hut, I was like going to die. The steps were endless, I was out of breath. If I continue, I felt a lot of pain; if I stop, I still felt a lot of pain. My lung was craving for oxygen, lots lots of it. I knew if I could walk on a levelled track for a while, I should be fine, but I was stuck in a small 2m by 2m platform, and must choose to continue to ascend, or start to descend, or stay put. I decided to continue my ascend, slowly. And then I finally got to North View Hut, but disappointingly there is not much 'view' to talk about. At this moment, I started to use my altimeter, 140m! I was like, my gosh, 40 mins walk and I only descended like 25m? I didn't know I actually descended from 165m to 60m, and back up to 140m! After North View Hut, I soon found my way back to the main road, and everything from there was smooth and easy.

Bukit Timah Hill is one nice place to trek, and you will see some interesting people. I saw one Malay guy in his 30s?, he was walking very fast, and he was carry a baby on his back! Power, man! And then you see many people obviously came here to do their conditioning for mountain trekking overseas. They wear nice hiking boots, with big backpacks, some even with trekking poles.

Ok, after today's experience, I think I will need to do more conditioning before the trip to Nepal in Dec. I was trekking at an altitude of 160m only, yet I was panting like hell, how do you expect to trek at the high of 2-3000 meters?

Proper trekking attire and gears are needed too. I wore my hiking sandals today. It provided good cushion to my feet, but not my ankles, especially during descend. The impact on my knees is not something to be sneezed at, either. Clothes that can dry quickly are essential too. I was sweating like hell this morning. My dry fit T-shirt became wet-fit, sticking to my body like nobody's business.

Feeling very tired today, but very happy too. So refreshed after shedding all that sweat, together with whatever toxic stuff that came out with your sweat. The body feels so much lighter.

You can find more information about Bukit Timah Nature Reserve here

Protrek Altmeter - Continued

This is a follow-up of this entry. Formerly all my altitude meter readings were compared with my gut feelings about the actual altitude, I couldn't decisively say whether the Casio Protrek's altimeter is actually correct.

So, what can I do? Of course compare it with a known altitude lor. Where can you find a place with a known altitude? Bukit Timah Hill lor, there is a stone with the altitude of the peak of Bukit Timah Hill ingraved.

I went all the way to this 'sacred' stone here. The height is stated as 163.63m. I took a reading on my Protrek 80, guess what the number came out? 165m! OMG, it is really accurate, just within the +/-5m accuracy as stated by the watch's manufacturer.

With this, I get a lot more confident about the altimeter's readings. Mmmh, this is before I bring this watch to the office, which is badly polluted by all the electromagnetic fields, from handphones, to computers, and the deadly magnets used in HDD.

Anyway, I am a lot more happier now :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Protrek PRG80 - Altitude Meter

This is a follow-up entry of this entry. I further tested the altitude meter of this Protrek PRG80. The reading seems to vary quite a lot, depending on the weather conditions.

What I did was I put the watch at exactly the same location, which is atop my bookshelf and near the window. I took a number of readings over the day. Below are the results.

1. Temp=28C, Alt=35m
2. Temp=30C, Alt=55m
3. Temp=31C, Alt=70m
4. Temp=30.8C, Alt=65m

It seems like the altmeter reading varies. Of course, in this experiment, the watch was left on the shelf, instead of being worn on a wrist. According to the user manual, to get accurate altmeter reading, you should wear it on your wrist so as to minimize any temperature fluctuation. On the other hand, if you want to get an accurate temperature reading, you should remove your watch from your wrist to minimize the influence of your body temperature.

And then you are not supposed to wear this watch near electronic gadgets such as computers, TV sets, etc. That's quite a pain.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

但愿人长久 千里共婵娟

Today is Mid-Autumn festival in China, Korea & Japan, all the ancient Chinese-influenced countries. This is the time for the family to have a union dinner, with the whole family sharing the joy of being together. It is something very Asian. For the westerners, maybe it is something they don't bother. They seek solitary life, living alone, and try to spread that disease to the east.

As it is such an important day, I will just dedicate this song by Teresa Teng, and the lyrics were written by the famous Song Dynasty poet Su Dong-po, to all the people who celebrate this festival, and wish everybody a happy family, happy family union and a happy life :)

Xmen Origins: Wolverine

This is the 'pre' episode of all the X-Men movies, and it is obvious centred around Wolverine. It explains how he got those metal blades, why he has no memory of the past, he isn't sure who he is, blah blah blah.

The dialogue to action ratio is about 50:50. Sometimes the dialogues drag too long, too boring.

Story-wise it is interesting, as least I can't predict the ending and the process right at the beginning. It manages to draw your attention to the movie, not other things :)

My rating: 3/5

Protrek PRG-80L-3V

Finally got my dream Casio Protrek 80L 3V watch. Yes, it is great. It has a digital compass, a thermometer, a barometer and an altitude meter, a world time, and the standard functions such as stop watch, alarm, etc. This watch runs on solar energy, so there is no need to replace battery (theoretically only).

I check out the digital compass function, more or less the same data as my magnetic compass. The thermometer reading is similar to my stand-alone thermometer reading. Not too bad. Barometer reading, I have no idea :P The altitude meter reading is a bit interesting. When I stand on the group floor, the altitude is still 55m above sea level. I wonder where the sea level is, Singapore is this high in altitude meh? Mmmh, need to check it out one day. Must go to the seaside and then take the reading.

Everything looks great on this watch except the followings:

1. Size. Size matters, and the size is really big for this watch. The watch face is bigger than my wrist.

2. Complicated functions and controls. There are not that many buttons for you to press, but there are many different sequences for you to remember. I don't think I can remember all the functions. Luckily the basic functions, such as the altitude meter reading, etc, are easy, just a one button press and voila, you get what you want. The other functions are a lot more sophisticated, and the time pressed on a button counts too.

Ok, other than these two, I have no other complaints. The size maybe is actually an advantage if you are in some harsh natural environment.

I got my watch at the Bencoolen, May-May watch at S$226.00. This is cheaper than what the shop at AMK Hub offered (S$278.00). The same model in eBay goes somewhere between S$217 to S$240.

I don't know why this version (with leather strap) is cheaper, but the other version (with metalic bracelet), it is actually more expensive (S$320 vs AMK Hub's S$310).

I didn't know the difference between the 1V, 2V, and 3V models, but I figure they are referring to different colors, and there is a price difference (although small).

The warranty is 12 months by Casio.

I am quite excited with this watch. For those who have not already known, all those barometer, altimeter, etc in the watch are using semiconductor sensors. It is the MEMS technology. Can you imagine they actually build a mechanical system in that tiny piece of sand? Does this prove what Buddha said "one sand one world" is correct? :P

You can find the review on this watch after my field trip here.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Yesterday was PRC's 60th anniversary. Dedicate this Song by Lisa Wang to a country that went through unimaginable sufferings in the past century, a country that managed to get up, dust off and catch up with the rest of world.

我们一定要坚强。 认定了目标,就要全力以赴, 勇敢地走下去。 路途可能很远,可能很崎岖。 一路上也不可能总是风和日丽, 也会有狂风暴雨,但只要我们每天都向前走,那么我们每天就离我们的目标近一点。弯路也是会有的,不进反退也是会有的,但只要目标明确了,它就会像夜空中的星辰,大海中的灯塔,指引我们前进。 我们一定要意志坚强,勇敢前行。。。

东西丢了,那就丢了吧。 没有必要为倒了的牛奶而懊悔。 只要人还在,我们就可以创造出更好的,钱财毕竟是身外物,生不带来,死不带去,快乐人生才是人间正道。

September: A Bad Month for Stocks?

Some research says that in general, September and October are the worst months in the year for stocks. For that reason, I told myself to stay away from the market for these two whole months. Then, I was influenced by someone, and changed my mind.

As a result? You can expect. Heavy loss! Yesterday came the biggest blow. Starhub lost its exclusive rights to televise Barclays Premier League, and ESPN Star sports channels to its rival SingTel. Starhub's price plunged from S$2.17 the previous close, to close at S$2.03, with 39 million shares changed hands. Then today, at a low of S$1.94, I dumped all mine, total damage is over a thousand dollars.

With this, my total loss for September amounts to well over S$1000, wiping out a significant portion of my small profits of the year.

The Starhub episode serves as a good lesson for me.

1. I didn't do my homework properly. Didn't pay attention to the date on the BPL bidding, although I was aware Starhub had this issue hanging above its head. And I didn't expect it to lose the rights.

2. I didn't react quick enough to cut my losses. When I noticed a sharp drop in Starhub price, and came to know that they lost the rights, I still hesitated and dragged until today to dump all my shares.

3. I deviated from my original plan of staying away from the market for the whole of September and October.

The medicine is bitter, but if it can cure your illness, you have to swallow it. Looking for good health ahead. :)