Archive | May, 2019

A Drowned Caterpillar

31 May

These past few weeks, it has been raining just about every single evening or alternate evenings. It isn’t nice. For us, the rain disrupts a lot of afternoon or evening plans. We wouldn’t play golf in the afternoons because we know it will be a wash out, so only morning tee offs for us.

By three o’clock everyday, we can hear thunder and rumbling. Then it pours. And pours like crazy.

In the evenings if the rain came down too heavy, there would be traffic snarls to deal with, so any plans to go out had to be reconsidered. But of course if the rain wasn’t long and heavy, we will go ahead with whatever we plan. We had to cancel our movie date to watch John Wick 3: Parabellum the first time because of the rain as it was just too troublesome. We watched it three days later when the weather was better.

Last week, during the public holiday on Wednesday and we were home after the morning golf game, the skies opened up without fail. It rained so heavily that afternoon, the garden was flooded. And official pet number one was grumpy and terrified at the same time because of the wet condition, loud thunder and lightning.

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The poor caterpillar

After the rain stopped, hubby was out in the garden to inspect his plants and discovered a drowned caterpillar! It’s incredulous and terrible at the same time as we have never seen anything like this before.

The poor creature was exposed in the open and the pelting rain was too much for it to withstand thus, laid battered and drowned on the leaf. But amazingly, it stayed there and did not plunge to the ground. Rain affects not only us, even small creatures too are at risk.

On hindsight of this unfortunate incident, maybe it’s a good thing that there has not been many caterpillars on our lime trees lately, otherwise they could have also suffered the same fate as this fella.

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The Exploding Blundstone

30 May

Nice from the top but far from it underneath

My Blundstone Style 550 boots have exploded! My second pair, the replacement one. I am miffed because this new pair have not seen much action and it just died on me.

Last week, I thought of wearing it because it was raining and we were going out. I figured a pair of leather boots would be a better footwear choice to keep my feet dry over my Skechers because of a prior wet incident before this outing; it was raining (heavily too) and we were out.

We were parked at the curb side and as I opened the car door to get out, I had nowhere to alight without tripping, I stepped into a puddle and water seeped into the Skechers. On top of that, a stream of gushing water came right at my feet. There was no escape.

That night, my toes were pruned and cold at the pub, it wasn’t pleasant.

So this time, I thought best to be prepared. But little did I realize the Blundstone, which have been kept for so long, would have Hydrolysis happened to it too. As I was walking in the mall, I left bits and pieces of my boots along my path! It wasn’t a pretty sight. It’s either our Malaysian weather does not seem to be good for Australian boots or I shouldn’t have footwear and not wear them.

The damage when we got home. Sniffle…

I am contemplating whether I should write to the company again to highlight the problem. But this time, I don’t expect another box of replacement because this pair was the replacement of the first pair that had the Hydrolysis mishap too. And frankly, this pair is still so new, the soles can be fixed and the boots will be good again to be worn.

The first time when it caught me by surprise, I didn’t know what caused the soles of my boots to disintegrate. But I didn’t think it was due to inferior quality or poor workmanship. So I wrote to Blundstone to inquire about their brand reps here in Malaysia to repair the boots. They went above and beyond, sending me a replacement pair without questions!

I thought that was customer service at its best. Ever. And they also explained very thoroughly the reason behind the disintegration. Very impressed with their level of service to ensure customer satisfaction.

The next day, a closer look

But now that I know the reason for this latest mishap, it does not seem right to expect a replacement pair again. We’ll see… I have sent the boots off to the cobbler and should be getting them back soon, while I mull over whether to write or not.

A Game of Opposites

28 May

I often say golf is one funny game. The harder you try, the more it backfires and the harder it will be to gain in strokes or advantage. But when you don’t exert or make effort, you play better. It’s a game of opposites and I know this fact, yet I am always wanting to defy it. And suffer the consequences in confidence and ability in the process.

After the golf binge last week, that’s how it was for me during the game on Saturday. Something went totally awry; it was terrible as everything fell apart. I lost five balls, I lost focused in every department, and I even lost my swing! It was one of those days… my confidence was busted. Sigh…

The mode of play was Stableford and I came back with a meagre 25 points. Then when I played again yesterday morning – the postponed game from last Friday, it was a totally different story.

My swing came back, I was more focused and despite losing one ball less than Saturday, I played so much better. Maybe the masseur who focused on the shoulders more than the legs, knew my needs better than me.

In terms of Stableford points, I scored 33 points! Words fail me here. The flight mates are people I usually play with, the stakes are the same, the course too, so why such a contrasting outcome? Unexplainable this game of opposites, don’t you think so?

My next game is this Saturday because the intended game on Wednesday is now pushed to next Monday. Let’s hope I will manage well during the weekend’s outing and not be consistently inconsistent.

G-strings & Granny Undies

27 May

So I went for my massage on Sunday and to my surprise, my consultant at Philip Wain did not schedule my appointment despite telling me she had done so. On top of this, I found out she had left as well. Aiks! Young people these days, they don’t take their job seriously nor is there dedication. She was there only for just two months apparently.

I was mildly irritated thinking it was a wasted trip then for nothing. But the front desk girls were quick to find a replacement, assuring me the masseur was good. Although not the one I had requested (because she was off due to the boo-boo) I had no choice but to try the replacement out or leave without any massage done.

When people recommend something or someone, surely they would sing praises of their suggestion for they can’t say the choice is average, so-so or worse, right?

The petite masseur was all business, giving me a G-string to wear! Geez… all these while, it used to be puffy paper-based one-size-fits-all granny undies or even thongs when I go for full body massages but this time, a paper G-string which barely covered my modesty. Hmm…

I guess it makes sense with this minuscule of an attire because the posterior is exposed and therefore easier to work on without hindrance. Otherwise she would have to give me a wedgie to get to my… erm, cheeks.

Was the masseur good? I’d say average and could be better. She may have worked the kinks in the shoulders well–which were evident during my golf game on Saturday–but she focused too much on that area. So much so, the legs which were more in need of some relief were not attended enough. Put it this way, I did not feel not rejuvenated after the treatment. Sigh… 

After the session, I decided to schedule another massage, this time with another consultant assigned to me, in two weeks’ time but not sooner unfortunately. Maybe a different masseur might do the job better, and who knows… maybe thongs or the one-size-fits-all granny undies instead of a G-string again. We shall see…

Changing My Profession

24 May

It’s been an unusual week with more play than work. As many know, Malaysia has a lot of public holidays. In fact, too many. This week alone we had Monday and Wednesday off, so the masses took Tuesday off as well to maximize their long 5-days weekend to go out of town or abroad.

We did neither but just stayed put to play golf this whole week. So much golf, I think I should just change my profession to full-time golfer and part-time Graphic Designer instead of vice versa.

There were games on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and this Saturday as well. This morning I was supposed to have a game too but at the last minute, it was postponed to the coming Monday. With so many golf games, the 16/8 diet had to be temporarily halted because of timing. There’s simply no proper window to stick to a regime and regular menu.

But I figured it’s okay as there’s exercise and calories burnt during these outings, there won’t be any weight spike even after a hearty meal (after every game) to replenish the energy. In fact, today’s weigh-in more than recovered from last week’s minor setback as the numbers improved. And it’s even better than the target weight achievement two weeks ago. I am now 1.5lbs away from the new target weight. Yay!

Come Sunday, thank goodness I had scheduled ahead a full body massage knowing very well, the tired and battered body would need this deserving therapy to rejuvenate before going at this golf binge again next Monday, and possibly Wednesday and most definitely Saturday. Oh yeah, and sandwiched in between, I guess I should also work…

Fresh Supply, Part 2

23 May
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The various stages of carving a Whale

With so much Meranti wood, every evening I am kept busy! When the sun is up, I would be playing golf (especially this week) but when the sun goes down, I would be carving.

The process is simple, find two Meranti blocks that are about the same size to Elmer-glue together. Then clamp it down with the work bench for a day or so before carving. And although there’s a fixed set of measurements and angles to ensure every piece is standardised, there are still some variations. After all, it’s wood that I am dealing with and the carvings are all hand-made.

The chipping, carving and initial shaping does not take long. This is the fun but dusty and messy part. If I stay focused, I usually get one piece done a night depending on what time I start. It is after the carving that the process takes longer and sometimes tedious too because every step of the way requires time or even have to be repeated.

Details on the eyes and tail take time. The eyes are usually marked, carved out first before drilling to ensure it’s perfectly round and even. For the tail, it’s the curves and corners that I have to work on. Then the sanding and filing to shape the overall curves.

Putty work is next to patch ugly holes and the piece is then left to dry, taking time because this curing process cannot be hurried. When the piece is ready—usually a couple of hours or more depending on how much is applied—more sanding and filing, creating more dust and mess. Sometimes this step needs to be repeated if the patch work is insufficient to even out the holes properly.

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Putty work: before and after comparison

But when all patch work are completed, a coat of white gesso is applied and the piece is left to dry again for another day. The next step – more sanding to smoothen the surface before a second coat of gesso. By now it’s the fourth or fifth day from the first cut.

Once I am satisfied with the surface, on goes the acrylic paint, two coats over two days. Of all the colors I have, the new Glitter Blue color is most problematic because it requires more than two coats, several coats in fact to be even.

The last process is the gloss varnish, also two coats, before the final touches are added – the felt cloth on the base, the date and my signature and voila! The piece is finally complete.

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Before and after of the final touches with felt base, date and my signature!

With the fresh supply, I find myself repeating this routine every other night with several pieces overlapping each other in various stages of the process. Tedious, repetitive but enjoyable.

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Working on four pieces in various stages simultaneously

Fresh Supply

21 May

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I am in wood heaven! Two weeks ago, I received two boxes of freshly cut Meranti wood to continue with my carving. And carving I have been doing.

I realize now that carving Whales do not hurt my left wrist compared to Gnomes. It is the size – Gnomes are smaller than Whales, and how I grip the wood tightly (when carving a Gnome) causing a strain to the wrist. Add in the many angles of a Gnome, that’s why the tender area of the wrist would flare up if pressure and the repetitive action is applied constantly.

I have stopped carving Gnomes and Citizens of Gigglesville for the time being and just focusing on Whales which are much easier to handle. Anyway, the Gnomes and Citizens are decorative, cute and fun but the Whales are more than that, they are useful – being a smart phone holder.

The best part, I can still play golf without pain and the Whale population has been growing steadily. Yay.

1000 Days

20 May

Yesterday I reached the unimaginable – 1000 consecutive days collecting Candy Crush Soda’s Daily Bonus! I have been at this for so long, it’s crazy. Who does this besides me?

And what’s even more amazing despite a Daily Bonus mess up some time back, this milestone record was achieved on two devices — the iPad Mini and iPhone XR — on the same day.

1000 Days on the iPad

1000 Days on the iPhone XR

I guess I can stop now or should stop. After all, it was my intention to reach 1000 Days and I have done it.

Minor Setback

17 May

So it’s Friday again. And time for the weekly weigh-in. How fast time flies. After some gains the first two days of this week, I stared at the numbers on the bathroom scale this morning. Hmm… a minor setback – that little reprieve on Wednesday.

While I may have burnt some calories playing golf, it was the meal after the game that lasted beyond 9.30pm that caused this setback. The dinner went past into the window that I’m not supposed to eat. Oh well… friends and making-merry was more important and I chose to do it.

I shouldn’t obsess too much over this because past record has shown that I have fluctuated on my track to shed some pounds. And sometimes it’s not the food I ate but the timing of when I ate that is beyond my control. I should be fine by next week.

The Lazy Egg

16 May

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Over the weekend, I bought a new t-shirt and it’s not just any t-shirt, it’s a Gudetama t-shirt. I love it!

I wore it on Tuesday to the office because that was exactly how I felt… like a lazy egg. It was apt. I don’t normally wear t-shirts with graphics (cartoon characters or words) to work but it was an exception on that day.

Things are slow in the office again as projects that kept us busy were completed and new upcoming projects have yet to kick off because they are still in the planning stages.

It’s okay because this allows me to go play golf during the week, which I did yesterday. Unlike the marathon 36-holes last Friday, it was just a normal 18-holes followed by dinner, forsaking the 16/8 diet for a day.

But as I have reached my target goal weight last week, I thought a little reprieve to enjoy with friends this week on a weekday is allowed.