Archive | June, 2018

An Early Halloween?

29 Jun

It was a late night and we were out. Whilst waiting at the traffic light, something caught our eyes and I quickly took a picture of it!

The van in front of us had a hand sticking out from the vehicle and resting near the number plate! My goodness. Surely it cannot be Halloween now in June with such a morbid decoration. Or heaven forbid, a kidnapped person’s hand. But the hand was not waving frantically for attention, moreover the van had big clear windows and it would be darn obvious if situation was not okay.

Whoever was sitting in there was just placing the hand in a comfortable position for grip. Why can’t the person sit properly up front instead of in the boot?

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A Sudden Burst, Part 2

28 Jun

The carving is at a bullet train pace. The month of June is not even up yet and like a person possessed, I have carved up 26 new Citizens plus a Gnome and a Baby Whale for the township!

There is a reason behind this sudden burst…

A girlfriend was very impressed with my efforts and have ordered some from me. I was reluctant to sell them initially because I felt the storyline for Gigglesville is not perfected yet. I believe there’s still some nitty gritty that I have to iron out.

But she managed to convince me and after much thought to iron out certain details, I agreed. Hence the sudden burst to carve three dozen for delivery! I should remind myself from the perspective that my three dozen Citizens of Gigglesville are mass migrating like the rest who have left and as always spreading their love and giggles, much needed in this sometimes troubled world.

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They can’t fit the tray!

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From a different perspective

What Are the Girls Up To

26 Jun

The school holidays have ended and M2 is back in school. During the two weeks, we didn’t do much except for that two day-trip excursions. And although on break, M2 would still go to school for cheer practice when we went to the office. It became a routine albeit a short one and not too cumbersome.

As for M1, she has finished her Junior year at University and is now having her Summer holidays. She has opted not to come home though but to work for her Professor at the Lab on campus instead. It will be a good experience. Come Fall, M1 will start her Senior year and M2 will be in the final stages of preparation for the year-end big exam.

Dang… they grow up so fast.

It Must Be the Socks

25 Jun

So I played another game of golf on Sunday, this time participating in my Club’s Anniversary Cup. A tournament in other words. I felt that after the last game which was an improvement, I should be on the upward trend. And I am glad to say I was.

It must be the socks I concluded because I gave the Nike shoes another chance and wore thin socks this time. And everything worked. The shoes held up beautifully in the early morning sogginess – a result from rain the night before, and I did not have pruned toes at all after 18-holes. It felt great. The pair of spare socks that I thoughtfully brought along didn’t need to see any action.

And my golf… it was very encouraging. The tee offs were straight, the subsequent shots too and the shot game and putting all worked. Even crossing the water, something I have always feared especially on what I call my phobia holes, was not an issue! Needless to say I am pleased. Extremely pleased.

From here on, I must remember the socks are equally important, not just the shoes and other equipment. When comfort kicks in, a mentally stronger and confident approach to the game will follow.

Nothing Goes to Waste

22 Jun

Carving was in full swing two weeks ago. I created a record of sorts when on that Saturday, I carved up seven Citizens of Gigglesville in one seating. Yes, seven! Quite a feat I must say.

And when the tail end of the foot long balsa has an odd height to be a Citizen, it didn’t go to waste because a Gnome was carved out of it.

So after a couple of giant Gnomes, Gnome 13 stands the shortest among the lot. A cute little chappy.

Rock Bottom, Part 2

21 Jun

Golf is a funny game. Just when I thought I’d give up the game and just focus on carving, I play a decent game next. This time, it didn’t rain and I opted to wear my Footjoy after the last disastrous game wearing the new Nike shoes. The poor shoes, I should give it another chance.

During the latest game, my shots were good and my putting was impressive despite several near misses. Maybe there’s hope because I had already hit rock bottom the previous game and this game did not plunge any further.

Let’s hope the next game maintains the upward trend.

What a Day, Part 2

19 Jun

Such contrasting experiences for us for two different days of impromptu day trip excursions…

After the fun-filled Friday at Resorts World Genting, on Saturday we decided on another day trip excursion. This time, we managed to convince Mom to come along as it would be a shorter outing with less walking and more suited for her. Destination: Pulau Ketam or Crab Island.

Unfortunately things did not turn out as well as the day before…

The line for the ferry tickets was horrendously long. It was sardine-packed at the jetty. There was no proper queue, the crowd was loud, the weather hot and yes, it wasn’t pleasant. Finally when we got onto the ferry, there was some respite because it was air-conditioned. The half hour journey was pleasant enough to make up for the earlier discomfort.

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Packed, murky, strange, we saw it all at Pulau Ketam!

 

When we got to Pulau Ketam, it was even hotter and humid and I have forgotten to bring the sunblock, cap or the umbrella. Oops.

We decided to have lunch before exploring the little island. Unfortunately, the lunch experience left a bad taste in the mouth. While we understand it’s the weekend and a public holiday with packed crowds and long waiting time, the lady boss didn’t have to be rude replying us when we asked how come the table that came after us was served first? Was there a preference because they ordered crabs and fish, more expensive items on the menu compared to our choices? Hrmph.

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Expensive for a fish ball soup, steamed clams, mantis prawns and a veggie, all small portions

The thing that riled us even more after the meal was the exorbitant amount that she charged us! The audacity of her… it does not bode well to be rude to paying customers on top of the unethical business practice of over charging. Lady… the consequences can be far more damaging than that moment in time when you were questioned while stressed.

So people, if you ever visit Pulau Ketam, do avoid the restaurant on the left, next to a religious abode after passing the two-storey yellow fire station, you can’t miss it.

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The island village’s fire station with their ‘fire engines’

The mood was spoiled after that. We walked aimlessly towards the village. There were a lot of other open air restaurants and all were packed to the brim. Nothing caught our attention except for a couple of food stalls. There were some dried sea produce to buy like dried anchovies or dried shrimps and that’s it, not even local handicraft on display to admire or browse.

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Two different vendors selling the same thing, clam & oyster omelette

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From freezer to hot wok, this fried ice cream is crunchy on the outside, cold on the inside

The heat was getting to us and we decided to leave. The wait at the jetty was another horrid experience. The sardine-packed place was just a madhouse. There was no queue, no manners, no rule. Everyone was for themselves.

It was shoulder to shoulder and made worse when a group of cocky guys came shoving through rudely and jumped the haphazard queue that was eventually formed. The crowd wasn’t pleased and loudly told them off. They then back-tracked but laughed it off without any remorse. Eeesh. Then people disembarking from the speedboat was pushing and shoving to get out. It wasn’t the nicest experience.

Thank goodness, we managed to get on the 3.00pm speedboat in a somewhat orderly manner and left the island. What a contrast in experience compared to the day before. Oh well, at least I can now add this destination as another ‘been there, done that’ off my checklist. And I’m afraid it will be a long while before we’d consider coming back here again.

What a Day

18 Jun

Last Friday our road trip to ‘nowhere’ turned out to be the most fun and relaxed day! We decided to head to Resorts World Genting. Located in the highlands at 6,000 feet above sea level, the drive was unhurried and leisurely as traffic was clear. Within an hour from leaving home, we arrived, found parking and started our adventure. There was no time limit, no fixed plans and everything was just spontaneous.

We started off looking for food. Something light to get us going. The Congee and Wantan Mee (not very generous with the pieces of Char Siew) was very expensive but then again, when one is at a tourist spot, food prices are at their mercy. There was no lack in choices I must say. Plenty to eat and plenty to tempt your palate, the only thing holding one back is the tummy’s ability to eat everything.

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The food choices from the two different stalls

Wandering through the indoor mall, the sea of people was bearable. Crowded but not shoulder to shoulder, we just explored and simply enjoyed the mall’s deco, festive attractions and digital display.

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Lights, sights and sound to entertain and dazzle

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The Smurfs on display. Wasn’t quite sure what the red costumed folks were about…

 

The first stop we made was at the Jurassic Research Center. Having watched Jurassic World last week, we thought this would be fun. And it was. Although there were no thrilling rides or popping out dinosaurs to scare you, the docile animatronics giants were enough to make this experience very enjoyable.

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Our combo ticket included entry to Ripley’s Believe it or Not too. And this was just as enjoyable. By the time we finished these two attractions, it was 2.30pm already. So we looked for food again but we got lost going around in circles. The place was practically an intricate maze but nobody got mad or upset about it.

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Channeling my inner T-Rex but at the wrong attraction!

We ended up at a Parisian-themed cafe for high tea instead of lunch. This was quite an experience. Sugar laden from all the pastries presented in the elaborate setup, we had good black coffee to counter all that sweet intake. Our high tea indulgence lasted an hour and a half in total relaxation without a hurry in the world.

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It may not look much but believe me, it was quite a struggle towards the end for us

Pumped by all that sugar, we felt we had to do something more active to burn all those calories. The next stop, the amusement park and we played some silly arcade games – coin tossing, shooting, ball throwing and some serious driving with more shooting. Good workout it turned out. When the amusement park credits were all used up, we moved on with silly grins pasted on our faces.

By now, we decided to leave as it was getting very crowded. Thankfully, the weather outside was lovely and it was very refreshing to enjoy the cool temperature of the highlands. With the much needed short breather (we passed the 10,000 steps mark with so much walking), we felt revived and then made our way back into the indoor maze to try to get to the car park. It wasn’t the easiest because we got lost again.

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Finally the car was located and it was a new challenge to drive down six levels through haphazardly parked cars in the narrow multi-level car park. Eeesh. Driving into the abyss, we bade the highlands goodbye and headed to the Premium Outlet, a short distance away.

The Premium Outlet offered many international brands at attractive prices. Nothing caught our eye but we did buy some necessary items because it was a good deal. We had dinner here and the spicy and salty choices were a welcome taste to overcome the sweetness of the earlier afternoon tea.

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Taiwanese dry pork noodle, salty crispy chicken and spicy beef noodle… yum

By 9.30pm we decided to head home. What a day it has been! Tired and contented, I think this was one of our better escapade and we plan to visit again. It took an hour to arrive home and I clocked in 12,866 steps by the time I opened the front door to the house.

 

Road Trip!

15 Jun

It is a public holiday today and we decided to take a road trip to… nowhere!

We thought it’d be fun to drive out of the city in search of food and some adventure. Who knows what sort of traffic conditions we will face as most festive travellers would have started their journey yesterday.

We brace ourselves but keep an open mind to have an adventurous unplanned trip.

Rock Bottom

14 Jun

Last week I hit rock bottom as far as my golfing ability or rather inability is concerned. I have no words to describe. It didn’t even rain and the new Nike shoes which were supposed to help didn’t at all. In fact, it hurt more than helped.

The socks were too thick and caused the feet to hurt, and I couldn’t focus. And then my eyes hurt and I couldn’t focus. My shoulders were so stiff and I couldn’t swing properly. In short, everything did not work out during that game. The only consolation was a few tricky long putts that went in. I know there shouldn’t be any excuses but there were plenty.

Sigh… I can only hope with this rock bottom achievement I should move upwards next because there’s no more room to bottom out even further. If it does at this point, I may just give up golf because there’s no joy in this activity anymore. And carving is looking more appealing because there’s so much more joy to create, see my end results and feel the love when I give them away. There’s no love for the frustration of playing terrible golf.

Will I survive this moment of self-doubt and lack of conviction for the game?

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