Sunday, 23 April 2017

Week 16, 2017

As I type this, I'm waiting for the guys to finish wallpaper-ing some of the rooms here at work (tad too disruptive to do over the work week cos you need to move furniture around). I suppose this beats me hanging around at home sweating it out, here at least I can leave the AC running for everyone's comfort. 

Forgot that it's a long weekend (tomorrow being the holiday to celebrate the new Agong's installation). Was wondering  why roads are still busy-ish when there's a long weekend happening. And next weekend is also another long weekend... erm, yay I guess? This just means my work week just got cut short as it's also the end of the month. 
  • Took Food Network long enough to (kinda) revive the Iron Chef brand with their new competition show Iron Chef Gauntlet. I just think after years of not getting to eat the food on Iron Chef America all those years, AB is now the "Chairman" so he gets to eat at least some of the time now, haha. 
  • The Alphabet Press up the road from the office is having their pre-renovation sale this past weekend (and the next). Got some postcards on Saturday and made off with the last of these, which I wanted for the longest time. 
  • Aaron Kwok finally got married... on a Tuesday. Even if it's about the fengshui, it's still a cheapskate move. 
  • Finally received replacement Liquid Paper from Newell Rubbermaid (I returned them by courier back in January). 
  • Swapped more empty sanitary pad packaging for pantiliners (so far I've got 4, 5 of them?). This time the promoters had people write their names and numbers down now haha. 
  • Uniqlo was giving away free Airism pieces at their ground event in the second home. The piece I got wasn't something I would normally wear (camisole) or wear on its own (you can't wear Airism on their own), so I gave it to Mum. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Week 15, 2017 - Easter Sunday

  • Local publisher of titles like Doraemon and Detective Conan is shuttering and having their closing clearance sale in their offices in Puchong. The catch is that they're only posting the sale hours on their FB. 
  • Valiram warehouse sale was a letdown. Don't get me started on the renovation work going on at the Marriott and how I didn't figure out walking through Starhill until I was about to leave. Cis.
  • Because it's Easter weekend, several malls decided to have their bazaars this weekend.
  • More Rock Corner outlets having closing sales. Went to the Bangsar Village outlet and made off with a couple of CDs going for 30% off. I'm probably gonna regret it when it goes down to 50% and 70% off later down the road. That said, I now have a reason to go to Subang Parade in the near future. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Bobby Compact - Review

Bought a Bobby Compact during one of Lazada's flash sales last month. It's supposedly the smaller version of the original Bobby, which made a lot of (crowdfunding) news headlines when it was on Kickstarter. It has a built in rain cover (in a pocket under the bag) and a packable tote bag (which I never opened, let alone use). 

The verification alone took a long time and after I called customer support to ask what happened and told them I want to use it for a trip, I only received the bag literally the day before the trip. I don't know if me calling them sped things up or not. A bit hard to road test something if the test subject is not available to test.

It came in a huge box and also had air bags in it to keep it from getting flat. Didn't take too many pictures of the thing when I got it, but for all intents and purposes, appears to be a legit bag. 

I didn't try to slash the bag (it's cut-proof), has plenty of hidden pockets (but never used or tried all of them), etc. There's no visible zips and openings on the outside as a theft-proof feature (it's all hidden, covered by your back; Singapore is probably not the best place to try that feature out), built in USB charging feature (slow if you're used to fast charging, ok in a pinch), horizontal luggage strap on the back (really handy, especially when you attach it to the extended luggage handle). I'm not a huge fan of the colourful front being made of PU leather. 

As much as I like the concept and the idea of this bag, I can't justify keeping it because it would take up a lot of space if I'm not using it and I wasn't planning on daily or even regular use. If I were to really buy this for keeps, I would probably get a different colour - I was paranoid about getting this bag dirty on the road test (especially as I was ambivalent about keeping it). 

Luckily I hadn't cut the tags off (which made it a tad awkward on the road test, but what the heck) and still had the packaging, so I made my first Lazada return ever. Fortunately I also just got my money back, so no harm no foul. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Week 14, 2017

  • Some people have lamented the lack of public holidays in April, they finally announced one for the 24th, in conjunction with the current Agong's installation. Dunno whether to laugh or cry that employers who don't give their employees the day off get a huge fine for that. 
  • Saw PCK and Friends comedy show for free Friday night. 
  • RIP, Don Rickles.
  • Criminal Minds renewed for another season. 
  • Finally claimed warranty on desk fan, but it'll be another couple of weeks before I get it back. In the meantime, I have to deal with my bro's noisy ass 16" desk fan which gives me vibration headaches. 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Phua Chu Kang and Friends Comedy Show

Was comped (FB contest) last minute tickets to see the one-night only Phua Chu Kang (PCK, a way funnier Larry the Cable Guy, IMO) and Friends show at HGH Convention Centre in Sentul. I drove myself there (ran out of kaki at my age... 😔) and was relieved to have gotten the mid range tickets, which are about RM200 each. I would say that is beh pai and also beggars can't be choosers.. but the balcony seating SUCKS BALLS.

The only good thing about going there alone is that I can do what I want - within reason. Being pretty far behind, I got away with being online (yes, there's free WiFi) some of the time when my attention was slipping. I could also move seats because the show didn't sell out. 

Because Somersby is a sponsor, the promoters were giving out cider samples all night long. I wasn't too shy about refilling the sample cup 😂. There's also a free flow of popcorn (I don't know if it had anything to do with the producing company being called Popcorn Studios) - I had about 3 cups full myself but had to stop because it was aggravating my throat. 

Literally between two of the most expensive seating
Kael and the Gangster Squad was the musical act of the evening, playing mostly covers with ONE Kael original (in Malay). 

If anyone came to the show expecting PCK to do standup, they're sadly mistaken: Gurmit is staying in his lane with the extended emcee/hosting duties, all while still dressed as PCK. He was mostly doing crowd work, getting people to participate in games and giving stuff away (one of the more prominent prizes was a carton of COWA RTD coconut water (also a sponsor, with samplings going on outside). He also broke character and brought Gurmit back during the charity bit of the show after intermission. But the fler was tears down the face funny lah, so no complaints. He also sang Manilow's "Mandy", which is hilarious after what happened this past week and also the Ronan Keating classic "When You Say Nothing At All". It's not easy watching the man sing with the PCK getup.

The ventriloquist Joseph Then is a damn hoot. His puppets are named (I shit you not) Ah Beng, Fried Chicken (yep, a chicken dummy) and Master Wong. 

Fakkah Fuzz was the last act. In a comedy show, he would be a headlining act. As usual, his act does involve saying things that would offend/poke fun at every one every other punchline. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Changing the ez-link card

How was the rest of the time in Singapore? As usual, me trying to squeeze in too much in too little time left me exhausted. 

Before I could do anything else (like leave the airport), I had to change my expired ez-link card. The one year I never go Singapore is when the damn thing expires... ish. Was told to go to the ticket office, basically just a glass booth away from the ticket gantries. I missed the free exchange time window. It cost me S$3 (deducted from the balance in the card) to change it. Luckily the balance on the old card wasn't all forfeited, so finding out I had almost S$20 (after a S$10 top up) was a nice surprise. 

Nicer surprise was the design I got (they've been releasing a lot of cartoon designs for ez-link cards lately)... Batgirl/Batwoman/Babs Gordon.

At least I won't need to hide it with a card sticker for the next 5 years... perhaps that's why the cartoony designs in recent years (at the moment, it's the Sanrio characters). Maybe they also want to discourage the card sticker market as well...? 😒

Anyhow, better than the generic ugly ones that the card sticker market was for, haha.

PS. I wish there's a way to check transactions online as a non-Singaporean, but I can't register without Singaporean ID. Let's just hope I don't misplace the card in the mean time...

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Rucksack Inn @ Mackenzie

I've reached a point in my life where the only way you get my money is you have to be (literally) a stone's throw from an MRT station. Especially in Singapore. I also have other requirements, but that's for another day.

Booked a single, windowless room at this property (fka Soluxe Inn) back in December while I still could (read: still had money) on Agoda. Rucksack is a known backpacker's hostel chain in Singapore, but this property is for the flashpacking crowd. I remember walking past this place (past management) when I was at Hangout@Mount Emily and I was like, "Shit, I should stick to some place less steep"

Location: It's literally a walk across a parking lot (and a street junction) from the Little India MRT station (Exit A - Mackenzie Rd). If you're coming from Changi, you would have to change lines (from green to blue) at Bugis MRT. If you're like me who doesn't relish the walk back after a long day out, this is bearable.

Reception: 5th floor by escalator. When I checked in around 4 p.m. (weather-related flight delay and long immigration lines at Changi), I got upgraded to a superior twin room on the 4th floor, which I appreciated. 

Because of the proximity to Rex Cinema, the hotel is Hollywood and movie themed. Which you might say is cheesy, but why not get into it. They also have luggage storage if you need it.

There's a bunch of these SG-themed cushions around the reception

Complimentary hot drinks and snacks. The muruku was a nice touch.
I should mention that while the 5th floor is public access, but the other floors are only accessible by guest key card in the lift that you have to tap before you can press the floor number. It's a safety feature one can appreciate. 

Room: The room I got was at the end of the hall away from the lift and I had to remember not to stomp down the hallway like an elephant especially late at night. There's an ensuite bathroom, complimentary bottled water with drink making facilities, closet, safe and mini fridge (the latter I only found out about later as I was winding down to sleep in the middle of the night). Clean and basic. There's a two-in-one head and body soap in the bathroom, but I brought my own toiletries to use up.

Something I don't see often - bibles

Sleep: I was a little worried about the light and noise (as it was facing the Rex Cinema), but I had nothing to worry about and I slept fine, even if it's for a few hours. Even the light strewing into the bathroom in the morning was tolerable (wooden blinds on the bathroom windows) as the curtains blocked most of the sun out.

View from my room

Guess the movie
Would I recommend it? Heartily.