Archive | July, 2016

Such Dedication, Part 2

29 Jul

It was a late late night last night. M2 was furiously chasing time to complete her Geography assignment. It is not that she had been slacking on this but the point being the teacher in charge gave out the second part of the assignment late, thus leaving a less than desired timeframe for completion. While we were appalled and certainly not happy, what can we do at this point? 

So I sat with her to help in whatever way I could, be it moral support, bouncing ideas and basically keeping her company. She said there was once when she sat at the dining table alone doing her assignments, there were shadows and it freaked her out. Such imagination the child has…

By 1.30am I got hungry. It was a sin to even think about snacking at this late hour, what more to have a Maggi cup noodle but I did. However, I am not feeling remorseful about it. I needed fuel to keep her company and I certainly didn’t want the caffeine overload of Kit Kat and coffee that M2 had.

She finally got done by 3.00am and the paper will be handed up today; as for me, I feel like a semi-zombie.

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Such Dedication

28 Jul

With the national education system changed, the requirements to pass the big year-end Form 3 exam for M2 has evolved. Now she is required to submit a field research paper for Geography instead of the usual sit down written exam and I have never seen M2 so dedicated in preparing it. 

The past several nights she has been staying up way past her bedtime to complete her assignment which is due tomorrow. I was certainly never like that! And I don’t think hubby was like this as well. 

Well, I hope all this effort will yield good results.

Weakling No More

26 Jul

Last night, it was invigorating to improve my gym performance after a week of activities. I played three rounds of golf last week and yesterday during gym, the body wasn’t sluggish nor felt pushed to the max. In fact, I relished the routine set out by my trainer.

The four-pounder that felt so heavy last week didn’t feel heavy at all. In fact, I was so pumped I interspersed my routine with the four kilo weight that we affectionately call ‘The Birkin Bag’. Yes, a big leap from four pounds to four kilos but no problems whatsoever. I feel so proud I am a weakling no more.

I slept soundly too and don’t foresee the muscles and limbs crying the next day or two.

   

The 4kg ‘Birkin’

 

Tempted

25 Jul

King.com has a new game, Farm Heroes Super Saga and I am tempted. The last time they had a new game, Candy Crush Jelly, I tried it but later found it too time consuming, so I deleted the app.

As of now, I play five games only: Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda, Farm Heroes, Monster Busters and Monster Buster Hexa Blast and these are quite a handful already. Occasionally I still do Piano Tiles and Solitaire. With another Farm Heroes, it may be too much even though it is only one addition. Such difference a game can make.

I am tempted yet holding back.

So Annoying

22 Jul

Lately the iPad Mini has been acting up. It would quit unexpectedly especially in the midst of a Candy Crush Saga or Soda game, wasting a precious life. Aarghh… Why? So annoying.

I’ve had my iPad since November 2012, buying from a friend when we were in the US then and it has been working fine until the big OS update not too long ago. I noticed my device became unstable after that. I moved to OS9 from OS7, bypassing OS8. 

It crashed upon updating to OS9 and since then have failed me a few times. Currently it’s at OS9.3.2 and I feel it’s not any good. Could it be my iPad’s a first gen model and the latest OS only works better with newer models? 

I always suspect there is a conspiracy of sorts by the company to unleash updates that are not compatible with older models of their products, thus frustrating people like me to consider buying the newer models.

Sigh… I refuse to give in. For now.

And because of the crash (I lost everything on the iPad), I refuse to update my iPhone5S that is still on OS7.1.2 and it’s perfectly fine. 

Weakling

21 Jul

It is not a good idea to resume gym training after a month’s break and to follow that up the next day with a morning golf game. My goodness… The muscles were sore, the bones creaking and bending down was just unbearable. All movements had to slow down. Cringe…

It is usually the next day that the whole body aches and it worsens beyond belief the following day. I was a top notch sloth yesterday. The four-pounder dumb bell never felt heavier when on Monday, I felt I was pushed to the max. My limbs were so sore that night, I had to down an Ibuprofen to sleep!

Have I become a weakling? Horrors.

What Next?

19 Jul

I have another foot long balsa wood and am contemplating carving something else other than owls. Not that I don’t like owls, I think having choices would be challenging. 

It has to be something round without limbs sticking out and easy to recognize. Hmm. Life choices…

It’s a Zoo!

18 Jul

So I carved. And carved and carved over the weekend and created a mini zoo of sorts with my effort. In the process, I made a mess in the house with the wood flakes and dust flying everywhere. Can’t help it with the fan on at full blast as it was hot and humid.

The comments given were hilarious. I had a mention of a penguin, a frog and a Yoda for my owl carving attempts. I finally had some good results after the earlier efforts. It was literally five owls/hours later that I got it right.

I must say I had fun doing all these. In total I carved 11 pieces, four on the totem pole. Amazing where the burst of energy (and creativity) came from! Next step would be to stain them to look more complete. 

 

My little zoo

  

The first two: The Yoda and the penguin wannabes

  

Saturday’s troop looking more like owls

  

The last two. Gave ‘Elvis’ a tad of front hair. Heheh…

 

My New Tools!

15 Jul

I couldn’t wait for the weekend and left the office early yesterday to go back to the art store and bought the carving set, along with more balsa wood.

Debating between the cheap Made in China set and the expensive Sakura brand, I opted for the Japanese set which cost five times more but I think it’s a good investment. Last night, the carving has begun!

I think when the weekend is over, I should have a brood of owls and other animals done up. So exciting!

  

A Sketch and a Plan, Part 3

14 Jul

Art has always been my passion. Carving the balsa wood reminds me of the time when I tried carving wax dinosaur years ago. It was basically a do-it-yourself technique.

Back then it was hard to find the perfect block of wax. And to buy a big (and expensive) candle to carve, I think Mom and Dad would have balked at the idea. So I improvised. I made a mold using cardboard and then melted regular house candles into it to have that perfect block. It was more important to have the correct size rather than the right color. Burnt wax ended up looking black. Oh well.

Then the mess began. It was exhilarating. I must say wax carving is so much easier because the substance is soft and easy to manipulate or shape. If a mistake is made, I could just melt some wax to patch the mistake and redo the area without problems, unlike wood when once carved away, you cannot undo.

I carved several Smurf characters because I had those little blue figurine collectibles and they were an easy reference to start off. It worked out well and I still have the wax figurines after all these years. Although the trio collectively has a missing ear, half a foot gone and two limbs broken off, they still look good. I should fix them though.

Now balsa wood is different for obvious reasons. Harder than wax yet soft to carve, you cannot use too much strength else you’d end up cutting out parts unintentionally. I carved a pig several years back and after that one time, I did not pursue further. I don’t know why. I think I went on to painting.

But now, here I am, carving again. What more, did a totem pole of owls and contemplating more little single figurines to work on. This is much more satisfying than painting owls on the whiskey bottles that I did a while back. That was just time consuming whereas this, thinking in 3-D and seeing what the mind sees in all angles come true to life is much more satisfying. And therapeutic.

So the sketch and the plan will continue.