sis, sam, bbmm hh pokehunt

breakfastpizzahmvn

Met sis for breakfast at hmv. I had what they called a breakfast pizza: bacon, egg, spinach, tomato and hashbrown. We were the first customers and the food was obviously freshly made, came to the table piping hot. Large enough pizza for lunch.

The purpose of today was to go to the banks to deal with some of Papa’s stuff. Got one bank sorted. Gave documents to another bank and decided to leave the third bank for another day. Sis had to drop off a guitar, then we went to the yacht club for lunch. I had overcooked calves’ liver, a bit disappointing.

Waved sis off in a taxi and walked over to my hairdresser’s. They moved to a new place, much much nicer, more modern and roomier. I was there early enough so he could cut my hair, when mm came we had to wait for a couple of other customers. No big deal. Small (<10%) increase in price, he hadn’t increased our prices for about 10 years so it’s okay.

aburihh

Happy hour at an izakaya. We had beer, vegetable gyoza, grilled sausages, shiso leaf tempura (delicious!), grilled chicken soft bone (yummy). Either a set with beer or 1-for-1 beer. Didn’t hurry, just ordered a couple of skewers at a time like we should at an izakaya. Nice industrial design at the restaurant, using pipes, sockets and bits of wood.

Still early so we went to v-park where I spotted a few vulpixes earlier in the day. Ended the night with 7 of them, from zero. Looks like a new nest there.

1hr pokehunt

Mum had last minute dinner with her friends so I took the opportunity to take the shuttlebus to morse park for about an hour. I saw snorlax there earlier and lamented that I didn’t have a car, or wasn’t obsessed enough to hop into a taxi.

No snorlax while I was there. Kabuto as usual, a farfetch’d, a nidorqueen and just as I was leaving, an onix opposite the bus terminal. I had just about enough time to sprint there, catch it and sprint back to the shuttlebus stop.

bbmm happy hour, family dinner

Dinner with mm’s family. We met beforehand to go to a street food / farmers market near her place but were a little disappointed. Around 20 stalls. The street food was expensive and although interesting wasn’t appealing. The organic veg was also expensive.

Had some time to spare so we ended up at a happy hour place, I had wine and she had a prosecco. Nothing exciting.

Got her car, picked up her parents, had dinner at the usual place. Her dad had complained about everyone being on their phones so we all knew to keep them in our pockets. But he couldn’t stop us from talking about stuff on our phones. Her nephew sat next to me and we were comparing pokemons all night. Fun.

spaghetti meatballs

spagmeatballs

This is the first time I made spaghetti with meatballs. All right, actually it’s capellini because that’s what we had. Combined minced beef and minced pork (around 60:40, but that’s because it’s what I have) with 1 egg, some flour and seasoning.

Sautéed some garlic and onion in a pan, added the meatballs to brown. Added water, tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, herbs, s&p and simmered for about 45mins. Could do with longer, had to turn the heat up towards the end to reduce the sauce.

Pretty good. Definitely tasted homemade, better than spag bol.

dragonite near market

We needed veg so I went to the market, with a detour to supposedly a slowpoke nest. Walked a little around morse park, got the usual kabutos. The slowpoke nest is a canal / sewage channel that’s closed off for…sewage works. Saw one slowpoke, grrrr. Probably too early in the day. Walked to another park, nothing much happening there either. There was a gym that remained empty for 5 mins so I couldn’t help but occupy it.

dragonite

Slowly making my way back to do shopping and about to close the game. Took one last look at go radar and there it was, a dragonite with just over 6 mins to go. I had to look at the map and run down a couple of unfamiliar streets. Got there with 2 mins to spare. Definitely too early in the day, there were only about 10-20 people. Yes, CP only 46 but I got my first dragonite.

Icing on the cake, another slowpoke on the shuttlebus home.

bbmm computer and dinner

Went with mm after work to the computer centre to get her mbp repaired. Her hard disk is almost dead and last time at the genius bar it was taken out of the body completely. So the aim was to a) get the HD into an ext casing and see if it still works; b) install a new HD into the mbp. Got quotes from a couple of places and went to the first one. The technician was very helpful and knowledgeable, we wandered around the mall for an hour whilst they did the repair. I bought a new screencover for the iphone, the old cover had cracked.

As usual, mm had a million questions but the technician was very patient. Almost 8pm when we left. I was pretty tired and hungry by then.

thaidinner20160922

Went to a nearby building and first looked at a korean restaurant then decided to go to the thai place one floor down. Had beer, chicken wings, grilled squid, whole grey mullet, cabbage greens and roti. The squid, greens and roti were good, the chicken wings and fish less so.

Walked to a nearby gym and got our golds. Didn’t even know there is a park at that location.

utilities change name

Called up the utilities companies to change to my name. All different procedures.

Electricity customer service advised me to not change for another month. When the next bill arrives, call up to cancel the autopay and let the deposit pay for the bill. Then change name. I thought it was great advice.

Gas needed a fax or email with all sorts of certificates, include proof of relationship. Really? But then once I emailed it was done quickly.

Water took my details over the phone and that was it.

hunting driving

Drove out to an out of the way town that supposedly has nests of several pokemons. Ended up at toastbox and supermarket for 3hrs. By the time we ventured to the park and pier where the nests are, it was getting dark. And add to that, couldn’t find street parking.

Drove to another town, with a detour for petrol. Still no parking.

Ended up at the place near mm’s sis’ flat, where I saw 7 pikachus in just over an hour that time mum was at the clinic. And yes, there were pikachus a few others. We also teamed up to take turns sniping a gym. It’s getting a bit cooler now so it was nice to be at the park with an open view of the harbour.

Didn’t have dinner so was famished. Fast microwaved noodles at 7-eleven.

taekwondo exam

My niece had her taekwondo exam this evening at the sports centre in one of the parks I go running in. Difficult to get to for anyone not walking though. She’s at red-black level 1 or 2 dan, I’m not quite sure. I remember she had to wait till she’s 14 to take this exam.

There were lots of kids taking the exam. The masters split them into 4 groups and they went through the exercises. First was sparring then board kicking. Quite exciting to watch actually.

She passed, of course. So happy for her.

organise stuff

Most of the day was spent organising ebooks and backing up the mba. I decided i had too many folders for ebooks so streamlined a little.

Inadvertently deleted the iphotos folder(!). Luckily I’d just backed it up to one of the ext HDs. Took a few hours of copying back and forth.

bbmm tomahawk steak, signal hill

tomahawksteak05

Met mm for dinner. We’d bought a tomahawk steak voucher a while ago at 50% off. It’s a huge 1.2kg steak that the restaurant recommended for 3-4 people. We were like, really? We polished off 1kg steak at Hawksmoor and Bear just the two of us. A 1.2kg steak with bone yields may be 800g of meat, for 4 people that’s a measly 200g.

The steak came charred on the outside and pretty raw inside. They gave us a hot stone so we could cook it to our liking. Had to change the stone a couple of times because we took our time eating. The steak itself was okay. Quite a bit of sinew and inedible bits. Not bad in terms of taste. Came with chips, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and gravy. Everything got cold far too quickly. They charged us 10% of the full price for service, not the discounted voucher price. I guess the hot stone and cutting up the steak for us count as additional service.

Was quite tempted to take the bone home for stock but I mentally went through the pots and pans at home and decided I don’t have a pan big enough. Will need a saw to chop up the bone and it was too much trouble. Shame, because I can imagine how great the stock will be.

moonsignalhil

We had early dinner because we wanted to go to signal hill, a busy pokémon hotspot. Guess who we ran into? Our friend and fellow hunter D. He showed us all the local tricks, as he’s an old hand at signal hill. The top of the hill is reached by some very steep steps but very pretty, can see a long way. The moon was out too. Afterwards he took us to a nearby shopping mall with benches and seats for resting in air-conditioned comfort. Best thing, there were many plug and usb points for recharging our phones.

mid-autumn festival

It’s mid-autumn festival but tomorrow is the public holiday. Very thoughtful, people will stay out late to look at the moon and play with lanterns, so the day after is a holiday.

Thursday so office day. About 75% finished writing my paper, with just one or two sections to go. It’s over my 4 page target so there will be some cropping. Went to pick up my tenancy agreement and bought chicken sandwich for lunch. Happy hour with mm before going home. This place’s happy hour is normal priced drinks but $10 oysters. Good quality, sometimes cheap oysters are no good but this being a seafood restaurant seems to have gotten it right.

Mum was out with her friends but she came back for dinner. I cooked ribs and sweet potatoes yesterday already so she just needed to reheat it. Hahaha, she still managed to burn them, which is why I do the cooking.

mooncakeicecream

Our mooncakes were ice cream, sis gave me a haagen-dazs voucher for 4 mini ice cream mooncakes. Perfect.

shopping with pokehunting detour

Supposed to be a super typhoon coming, so I went to the market to get some fresh food.

Detoured to morse park, hahaha. In just 5 mins I caught a whole bunch of pokémons. In 10mins I caught poliwhirl, abra, beedrill, ghastly, jynx, paras, clefairy, weedle, caterpie, and a couple of kabutos.

aerodactyl

Checked goradar and saw an aerodactyl at the top end of the park. Only my second, the first one was hatched from a 10km egg.

Oh, market wasn’t too busy. Got some fruit, veg and frozen food. Took my cool bag with me so it was easy to carry. Managed to get on the shuttlebus with just one minute to go.

lazy monday

Mum had lunch plans so I had the flat to myself for half a day, yay. Did a couple of loads of laundry then lazed around. I did run out to the nearby pokegym when I saw there was an available slot to get my 10 gold. I can’t believe no one claimed it.

Too hot to do anything else. Turned on the tv and got engrossed in The Two Towers. It came out in 2002, and 14 years later the battle of Helm’s Deep is still as awe-inspiring as ever.

sunday

After church mum and I went for a quick lunch at a vietnamese place. Then to the market followed by collecting haagen-dazs ice cream moon cakes (sis gave me a coupon). It’s the middle of september and still 30ºC. Originally there were plans to meet up with mm and D for pokehunting but that didn’t happen. I stayed home and watched masterchef australia instead.

bbmm pokehunting

shatinunderbridge

Met mm in the afternoon for pokehunting at a hotspot our friend Dixon recommended to us. First order of business, the train station we met is a gym. She got there first and managed to sneak in for her 10 gold. She helped me get my 10 gold by weakening the defending trainers, what teamwork! Walked more than half an hour alongside the river path. Didn’t see pikachu or too many rare ones but steadily caught pidgeys and weedles. We didn’t always have our heads down staring at our phones, I spotted this really great shot underneath one of the road bridges crisscrossing the path. The reflection of the underside of the bridge on the water together with the supporting pillars was a picture perfect example of composition.

At the shopping centre that was our destination, we sat down for tea and a chat. Had cheesecake swiss roll, she had chocolate and I had a butterscotch flavoured one. Looked online to find where to go for dinner and decided on an outdoor daipaidong all-you-can-eat hotpot place. Ended up hopping on a taxi, and the driver gave us a good tip about another daipaidong nearby.

daipaidonghotpot

The restaurant was messy and definitely not fine dining. Lots of choices of food, laid out buffet style. The beef wasn’t the greatest but there were prawns, oysters and mussels. All fresh and delicious and well worth it. We basically focused on the seafood. Unlimited soft drinks too. Time limit 2hrs, we were full in well under that time. Worked it off by walking around looking for more pokemons.

Followed the radar and our friend’s tip and found ourselves in a small park. We joined dozens of people sitting at an outdoor stage area in the middle of 4 pokestops that were constantly lured. I got a blastoise, which I’m so chuffed about but poor mm, hers ran away. We stayed at the park until closing time. On the bus home we both caught onix so it was a good day.

getting the flat ready

pano052living

Long, busy, tiring but productive day.

The fridge delivery people called at 12pm asking if I’ll be there in 20mins. Even though the arranged time is 2-4pm. I said no, it’ll take me an hour to get there. The cheek.

Mum and I took a bunch of cleaning materials (I took a big bag already on wed) and today’s aim is to clean the flat until it’s as clean as we can get it. Mum tackled the bathroom and I got started in the kitchen. After I finished the kitchen I washed the windows inside and out and mopped the floor. The fridge people came at around 2pm and I’m liking the fridge I bought.

The dry cleaner rang the bell mid-afternoon too. I expected him to deliver the curtains tomorrow but bless him he got it done today. Perfect, this means I don’t have to come back tomorrow. We spent quite a bit of time getting the curtains back up.

By 5pm we’d been working non-stop for more than 3hrs. Everything was done except we needed to get a drain filter for the bathroom. Tired already but we persevered. Walked to the nearby hardware store. It was dinner time so we had noodles and treated ourselves to dessert at this 100+ year old dessert place. Mum had almond soup and I had sesame soup.

Walked back home, got the filters in and final cleaning. We did really, really well today. Thanks, Mum for helping!!

thursday

Second week of part time job. B was travelling so only us minions at the office. Read some more and wrote up some of the guidelines I was writing.

lipporeflection

Had dinner with mm’s family but first we went hunting a little and for a quick drink. More chatting. It’s been tough for us, with mm’s illness and my circumstances. We’re supporting and needing each other in different ways from before.

rent, bbmm hunting chatting

A long, long, long day but productive. Went to the agent’s office first thing to sign the offer letter. Then I was going up to the flat and he kindly offered to drive me since he has to go do the inventory list. I took down the curtains while he was doing that and he offered to drive me to the dry cleaner’s.

I made my way slowly down the escalator and was in M&S when the agent called again. Did I have a spare key so the tenant can drop a few bags there? Sure, I said. They were meeting at Starbucks nearby so I popped over. Met the tenant, an analyst with a fixed income trading house specialising in distressed loans. Young, smart guy. He gave me the security deposit in an envelope of cash. I had to rush to the bank straight after the meeting finished.

globeleatherjacket globecarrotcake

Met Sis for lunch at the Globe. I had grilled leatherjacket, a white fish not unlike sea bass. Carrot cake for dessert and a glass of pinot noir too. Needed the rest and food.
Nice to chat and some things she said made me reflect and think of what I’ve been feeling and what I can do to help myself.

Bus to Ikea to get shower curtain and a towel for the tenant. His serviced apartment finishes on saturday and his shipment doesn’t arrive till October. I’ve been in his shoes. He asked for a towel, and it wasn’t expensive.

Met mm and bought fridge. Spent a while at the shop dealing with the fridge. Also saw this fabulous Bosch food processor that had both of us tempted. We were strong and decided to think about it hahaha.

Late tea / early dinner at toast box. We chatted and chatted and when we turned around it was past 6pm. Thought we’d walk around but ended up looking at the map and going after a kadabra, then a lickitung. Camped out at a gym to sneak in to get the 10 gold. Quick dinner at a food court, more chatting. It was almost 10pm. Went to the gym again to make sure mm gets her 10 gold, that was more involved, I had to fight to weaken the incumbent before she could sneak in.

Got home at 11pm, having been out since 9.30am. Still lots more to do in terms of flat.

someone wants to rent my flat

Conference call this morning was quite long, two hours. Got quite a bit done and discussed, so it’s all good.

Got an email in the afternoon that someone is interested in renting my flat. Yay!! I looked at the offer letter and agreed to it quickly. The rent isn’t as high as I’d like (it never is) but it’s been empty and in the long run it works out.

The tenant is a single guy who recently relocated from LA and he doesn’t have too many requests. Provide fridge, provide shower curtain and do cleaning. So Mum and I went to the electrical shop to look at fridges. I had one in mind but the salesperson suggested another one. Marginally more expensive but much bigger. Seems reasonable. I’ll go get it after the offer letter is signed and I have the deposit. Shower curtain from Ikea is no problem. I called up a cleaning company and their quote is astronomical. Mum and I will probably go ourselves.

pikachu in the rain

pikachurain

Mum had an appointment at the family clinic. Normally it’s okay for her to go herself but I went with her. Not to go to the clinic but to visit this pikachu hotspot. Just over an hour I caught 5, one ran away and one was on the map but I never saw it. Also got a dratini, a hitmochan and a few others. A good haul. It was absolutely pelting down with rain and I got thoroughly soaked even with an umbrella. There were puddles everywhere so my shoes and socks got squeaky wet quickly. Backpack was dripping, bottom of jeans were dripping. But I had fun.

pokehunting

pokemon

Went out to morse park to walk around and pokéhunt. It’s a well known kabuto and jynx nest. Got a kabuto quickly and walked around for more other stuff. At the most crowded area outside the badminton courts where 3 pokéstops intersect, there were again a big crowd. Then someone shouted something and everyone started running. I heard something-dragon but didn’t know what it was. Followed them anyway. Everyone was running to the next park, about 7mins away. The destination was a basketball court but I couldn’t see what it was, probably missed by a few seconds. It was a dragonite, argh!

Luckily, on the way back I found a venusaur. Back at the park I hunted till my storage was full, so I caught 30-40 in just a couple of hours at my local-ish park.

Went to the market and supermarket to get fruit and veg. Shuttlebus home. Tired, it was an extremely hot and humid day, I was permanently soaked through and had to shower twice.

Before bed I used a lucky egg and power evolve for 30mins. I saved up pidgeys and weedles and worked out a plan of action based on pokémons and candies. Was able to evolve 62, so got at least 62,000 XP. More because some were new, which gives 2,000 XP.

sell old furniture

Some people came to look at our sofa set that we have been trying to sell for ages. These have been with the family for something like 40 years. Not exactly antique. We didn’t take them to the UK so they literally have been in the flat since they arrived. Parents took good care of them.

One three seater sofa, two armchairs, two side tables, one coffee table.

The people were buying for their new house, which is very damp so need to use these type of wood. They saw our dining table set and wanted it too. So we said yes. Price isn’t okay, I’m happy we got some money but I think Mum expected more. No one wants this type of furniture to be honest, you can’t pay me to take them.

start at bernie’s, bbmm pokehunting

I start today at my friend B’s law firm. One day a week. It’s a small firm, only B and one associate, plus mm who is there twice a week. Two support staff and another part time intern.

I’m obviously not a lawyer but B wanted me to help with writing some marketing materials on employment related issues for a start up business. Also templates for staff handbook. Then I can help with status reports for their clients. It’s pretty low level and not that well paid. It gets me out of the flat for a day, the change of scenery hopefully will do me good.

One of the support staff also started today so everyone went for lunch together. A new restaurant that doubles as live music bar at night. Set lunches only. The food is average, the service was pretty bad. There were 6 of us. First, 5 soups came plus one main course. Eventually the missing soup came. Main courses came out randomly. Two people had the same food and one mains we had to chase and chase and chase. Worse, the waiter gave us attitude. Not going back there.

After work, mm and I went pokßhunting at a new spot. Deliberately took a long bus and were rewarded when we saw pikachu. My first one! We had a super successful evening, catching 8-9 (we lost count) electabuzzes, lots of other medium rare pokémons. Plenty of walking too. It was getting late but we stopped at a dessert place for a breather. Then go radar said there was a lapras nearby. We ran, together with dozens of people, but missed by seconds. Drat.

We were walking towards the station when we spotted other things. Found dratini, arbok, machop nearby. Took several backwards and forward before we finally reached the station. 11.45pm when I got home. But feeling quite happy. Total probably around 90 caught

lunch with family

Met up with Uncle Yau and my aunt’s daughter for lunch. I think we realise that we need to see more family. I only recently learned that my aunt passed away in 2003, and I haven’t seen my cousin for decades. My aunt had 8 children and they are all older, the youngest two are a couple of years older than me.

Uncle Yau also told us that Uncle 2 passed away before my aunt, which surprisingly we didn’t know about. So Uncle Yau is the only one left of the 4 siblings. With his daugher in the UK he’s now on his own. I have to make sure we keep in touch.

a day of two burgers

burgerbeefliberty

Met sis to deal with Papa’s stuff. Lunch at Beef & Liberty’s. I had the bacon cheeseburger and substituted salad for fries. Sis had sweet potato fries so I grabbed a few. Really great burger. Ordered medium rare and it came nice and red inside. I don’t usually eat onions but the caramelised onion jam was the star of the dish. We felt like wine, which surprisingly went well with the burger.

burgerpokka

Met mm for early dinner and ended up at a Japanese café. Also had burger. Definitely a few notches below the lunchtime one. They didn’t ask how I’d like the burger cooked and it came dry and well done. The onion wasn’t caramelised so I gave them to mm. The potato chunks had no colour and no colour = no flavour. It filled me up, which was the only good thing. Just as well, we went pokéhunting at the nearby park and it was a couple of hours of walking and rushing from one side of the park to the other.

completed: 101 tasks in 1001 days

chiptr012finish

So I set out on 1 December 2013 on this 101.1001 challenge. I was determined to finish, having failed the last time in 2007 because I was actually doing 232 tasks.

The tasks varied between easy and more involved. I added 1001 posts to the website, 1001 pics on flickr and 1001 posts on instagram. I read a bunch of books, went to an art exhibition and saw a couple of musicals. Completed both nanos that coincided with the challenge, finally finished LL and designed its cover. Writing a short story was more difficult, but I got it done.

New countries, new US states, new World Heritage sites visited. New restaurants, new recipes and new whiskies too. Ate some insects. Ran and walked 1001 miles, then the 1779 miles of the Walk to Mordor challenge. Did some activities with family and mm, sorted out finances and achieved some other personal goals.

The one task that isn’t 100%, but I’ve checked it off as done, is go wall climbing. Because the courses are fully booked, I’m going in October. But I went and made the reservation and paid the fee before the end of this challenge, so I will definitely go.

Here for the final time, are the tasks with links to the posts corresponding to their completion:

101 tasks in 1001 days

mission: complete 101 preset tasks in 1001 days
criteria: tasks must be realistic and specific, requiring actual effort and with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined
rollover: incomplete tasks from original 2007 list are marked with **

start: Sunday 1 December 2013
end: Sunday 28 August 2016

    technology

  1. upgrade macOS at least once // done 01-feb-2016
  2. get a new idevice // done 31-mar-2014
  3. become proficient at Evernote // done 07-mar-2015
  4. complete an online course // done 05-aug-2014
  5. 1001 posts on website (start count=3,259) // done 25-may-2016
  6.  
    arts, media, books

  7. visit an art exhibition / museum** // done, chihuly garden & glass seattle 23-may-2014
  8. new musical // done 02-jul-2015
  9. old musical // done 13-jul-2016
  10. use my library card** // done 12-feb-2014
  11. read 101 books // done 26-sep-2014 (posted 08-oct-2014)
  12. finish a book in one day // done 20-jan-2014
  13. finish all the Harry Potter books** // done 10-jan-2014
  14. read Mythology for Dummies** // done 21-sep-2014
  15.  
    writing

  16. nano 2014 // done 12-nov-2014
  17. nano 2015 // done 20-nov-2015
  18. finish Lamplight (seriously, get this done, no excuse) // done 17-aug-2016
  19. outline book ideas // done 21-oct-2015
  20. design a book cover // done 16-aug-2016
  21. write a short story // done 20-aug-2016
  22.  
    photography

  23. 1001 instagram/vine/snapchat total (start count: instagram 452+vine 1 = 453) // done 03-mar-2015
  24. 20,001 flickr photos total (start count=18,555) // done 25-apr-2014
  25. complete a photo challenge using a photo app (was lomo)** // done 12-dec-2013
  26. complete an alphabet photo series // done 12-dec-2013
  27. try one of the challenges on photochallenge.org // done 18-feb-2014
  28. tues’ assignment: find colour in an unusual place** // done 26-dec-2015
  29.  
    travel

  30. make a list of 101 landmarks and notable places visited // done 06-feb-2014
  31. make a list of 101 places to visit // done 07-feb-2014
  32. 3 new countries**: 1. greece // done 23-feb-2014
  33. 2: israel // done 26-feb-2014
  34. 3: vietnam // done 16-mar-2016
  35. 3 new US states**: 1. washington // done 24-may-2014
  36. 2: alaska // done 30-may-2014
  37. 3:south dakota // done 20-jul-2014
  38. make a list of World Heritage sites visited // done 09-jan-2014
  39. 3 new World Heritage sites: 1. greece — archeological site of olympia (23-feb-2014) and acropolis athens (01-mar-2014) // done
  40. 2: israel — old city of jerusalem and its walls (26-feb-2014) and baha’i holy places in haifa and western galilee (27-feb-2014) // done
  41. 3: palestine — birthplace of Jesus church of the nativity and the pilgrimage route bethlehem (26-feb-2014) // done
  42. go on a cruise** // done 05-mar-2014
  43.  
    health/sports

  44. run/walk/bike 1001 miles // done 16-mar-2015
  45. complete the walk to mordor challenge — 1779 miles from Hobbiton to Mt Doom (bonus return trip 1625 miles from Minas Tirith to Bags End) // done 19-feb-2016
  46. break a running PR // done 14-mar-2016
  47. db bench PR // done 25-aug-2016
  48. 101 crunches // done 30-dec-2015
  49. 101 squats // done 06-sep-2014
  50. take a tai chi, yoga or martial arts class** // done 24-apr-2015
  51. go rock-climbing (real or wall)** // done 26-aug-2016
  52.  
    food & drink

  53. make a list and photoset of 101 bucket list foods already tried // done 09-jan-2015
  54. eat an insect // done 28-sep-2014
  55. 10 new recipes: 1. lebkuchen // done 16-dec-2013
  56. 2: chocolate log // done 24-dec-2013
  57. 3: baked cheesecake // done 23-jan-2014
  58. 4: roast belly pork // done 04-feb-2014
  59. 5: roasted cabbage // done 09-feb-2014
  60. 6: no-bake chocolate tart // done 19-apr-2014
  61. 7: key lime pie // done 15-aug-2014
  62. 8: chicken ballotine // done 27-aug-2014
  63. 9: rosemary flatbread // done 31-oct-2014
  64. 10: double chocolate tart // done 18-jan-2015
  65. make vanila extract // done 07-jan-2015
  66. open a cookbook to a random page and make whatever comes up // done 22-jun-2016
  67. plan, make and serve a three-course meal, with wine** // done 13-jul-2016
  68. make a cocktail // done 31-dec-2013
  69. go to a wine/beer/whisky tasting** // done 18-jul-2014
  70. 5 new whiskies (bonus if they are in 101 whiskies book): 1. auchentoshan three wood // done 22-dec-2013
  71. 2: laphroaig px cask // done 20-mar-2014
  72. 3: dalmore 18 // done 11-aut-2014
  73. 4: bunnahabhain cruach-mhona // done 13-jan-2015
  74. 5: arras // done 15-apr-2016
  75. 5 new restaurants in 5 cities**: 1. sapporo hanamaru // done 09-apr-2014
  76. 2: seattle five points café // done 22-may-2014
  77. 3: portland food carts // done 07-jul-2014
  78. 4: dublin bear // done 09-apr-2015
  79. 5: london dishoom // done 13-apr-2015
  80.  
    home & finance

  81. put away $10 (or equivalent) for each goal achieved // done 27-aug-2016
  82. set aside $1 for each goal achieved and donate to charity // done 27-aug-2016
  83. make a will** // done 30-jun-2016
  84. build net worth calculator // done 21-dec-2013
  85. money-free weekend // done 23-mar-2014
  86. invest in a kickstarter-type project // done drinkable book 24-jun-2014
  87.  
    family

  88. scan 101 family pictures // done 19-jan-2016
  89. 3 new places/activities with family: 1. gingerbread house // done 12-jan-2014
  90. 2: christmas bazaar & bbq // done 29-nov-2014
  91. 3: kayaking // done 06-aug-2015
  92. 3 new places/activities with mm: 1. easter sunset // done 20-apr-2014
  93. 2: day trip to tai o // done 02-aug-2014
  94. 3: jjimjibang korean spa // done 26-sep-2014
  95.  
    personal

  96. make a list of 101 things already achieved // done 08-jan-2015
  97. make a list and photoset of 101 favourite things // done 09-aug-2016
  98. make a 101 someday list // done 06-dec-2013
  99. leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find // done 03-dec-2015
  100. take pictures of all my hard rock café polo shirts** // done 13-dec-2013
  101. count how many swatches I have** // done 14-dec-2013
  102. make a font from my handwriting // done 04-jan-2014
  103. pack a go bag // done 05-jan-2015
  104.  
    7 things: this is another dayzero project — an alternative to boring new years’ resolutions

  105. learn how to…rocher (single spoon quenelle) // done 26-jan-2016
  106. start…drinking more water // done 22-sep-2014
  107. stop…using as much salt and substitute with herbs & spices // done 16-apr-2015
  108. take a vacation to…one of the 101 travel wishlist places (see #27) // done 19-apr-2015
  109. find…a race and train for it // done 11-oct-2015
  110. try…meditation // done 09-aug-2014
  111. be more…grateful and patient with family // done 25-mar-2016

Time to set a new challenge? Not sure. I can’t think of 101 new tasks to do, and repeating some of these ones is kinda boring-souding. I have started making a list of 101 things I never want to do, like bungee jumping, eat durian or do the iditarod. It’s an interesting list.

#74, #75 set aside money

moneyjar

Tasks #74 and 75 of 101.1001 are money related.

#74: put away $10 (or equivalent) for each goal achieved and #75: set aside $1 for each goal achieved and donate to charity. At first I started doing it, then I thought I’d just allocate a portion of my account at the end of the challenge for these. Interestingly I never thought about which currency. Local dollars? USD? AUD? Or even GBP / EUR?

Putting away $10 will give me $1010. I’m going to use this towards buying a new macbook later this year, when hopefully the new model comes out. I may get the new model or I may get a refurbished one year old model, depends on what’s available.

$101 for charity, but which charity? I have in mind two. Initially I thought of pAge drinking paper, which was #79 of this challenge. They’re no longer a non-profit and have set up a for profit company to distribute the book. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s still a very important cause, to make sure people in need get clean water.

I’ll probably end up giving to the charity mm helps out with, that deals with mental health issues. They are quite small scale and fairly new, so every little counts. She puts in a good deal of work so I want to show my support.

#46 wall climbing

wallclimbymca

Task #46 of 101.1001 is to go wall climbing. I have researched, and one of the best places to go is the YMCA. To begin with, everyone must go through an introductory course, which is great. Unfortunately they don’t accept bookings on the phone or online. It’s stupid. Anyway we were going pokéhunting in the area so I got off the bus one stop early and went up to the office.

They’re fully booked. The earliest available class is in October. There was a class of young kids when I was there and it looked like a lot of fun.

I’ll check it off, because it’s the last task. I’ll update after the class.

pokehunting, happy hour, steak dinner

hullet02night

Met up with mm to go pokéhunting. The shopping centre we went to didn’t have many good pokémons but it was nice to just sit and relax. Our friend D whatsapped us that he’s ready to hunt. We met up first at Hullet House, which used to be the marine police headquarters and now converted to a hotel. The colonial building has been restored and it looks very pretty, both during the day and at nightfall.

hullet04bar

The bar had happy hour which included local craft beers. Definitely a colonial atmosphere and a nice place to meet and chat.

steakdinner20160824

D took us to some hotspots: the back of ToysRUs, the far corner of a rooftop car park. Got a few draginis and a golduck. We had dinner at a casual Italian place. I had the wagyu beef set: scallop salad, pumpkin soup, A5 wagyu steak, petit fours. The steak was…okay. Very thin and not rare enough.

After dinner we walked to a place D said he found Pikachus but there weren’t any. It’s next to my bus stop home so it was at least convenient.

2016 olympics

2016olympics

The Olympics finished. Didn’t watch a lot because the tv channel only showed the big sports like swimming and athletics. Very happy and proud that Team GB finished second in the medals table. So many greats, Katherine Grainger, Mo Farah, Andy Murray, Nicola Adams, Giles Scott, Max Whitlock, Nick Skelton, the divers, the hockey team and the entire cycling team. 67 medals in total, 2 more than London 2012, an impressive achievement for an away games.

Another way of looking: 7th weighted medals by team size which is very good too.

Special shoutout to the 10 countries winning their first gold medals: Bahrain, Fiji, Ivory Coast, Kuwait (as Independent), Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan, Vietnam. It’s easy to focus on the big countries and big crowd-pleasing sports, the achievements of the smaller countries and smaller teams is proportionately even larger. And what about Sakshi Malik, who won India’s first ever medal, a silver in wrestling. Imagine the difficulty she’s had to overcome.

sportsmanship

There are no better embodiment of the Olympic spirit than Nikki Hamblin and Abbey d’Agostino, who were awarded the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal for fair play. One of the best moments of these Games.

lunch and dinner

jadelunch

Went with Mum to renew her teachers union subscription, had lunch at one of the restaurants opposite. The building has plenty of restaurants: korean chicken, japanese buffet. We thought we’d try crystal jade, a noodles and xiaolongbao specialist. Usually long queues but surprisingly quiet for a sunday lunchtime.

We had starters of pickled cucumber and crispy eels. It’s a clever way of presenting cucumbers, rolled up with almost all the middle tasteless part removed. Haven’t had eels for a long time, it’s good.

The xiaolongbao is supposed to be comparable to din tai fung and they were good. The noodles are handmade and also good but the portion too small. Overall, a good place for lunch.

clamsalad

Went to the market to buy fruit & veg. Bought some clams too, for dinner. Simple: clam salad.

#19 write a short story

moderator

Task #19 of 101.1001 is to write a short story. The idea came to me after seeing the call for submissions for a gcls fundraiser anthology.

Pretty standard romantic tale. For some reason I decided to write it like the narrator is telling the story back to the two MCs so second person pronouns are used. I don’t know if it works. I have no idea if I’ll even submit it because of possible conflict of interest.

2,871 words written between tuesday and saturday. That’s slow for my standard but I can’t compare with the writer!me of 10 years ago.

steamed egg with pork mince

steamedeggpork

Tried my hand at making steamed egg with minced pork. The ultimate comfort food. Goes very well with plain rice and supposedly one of those dishes that are easy to make yet hard to master.

Steamed the pork first, seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil and I chopped a few dried mushrooms in with the mixture. Poured in the egg and water mixture and steamed for 10mins.

Not quite as silky and smooth as it can be. The egg was overdone on the outside but undercooked in the middle. Apparently both the heat and egg:water ratio are important. I used 1:1 egg and water (measured in measuring cup) but next time will try 1:1.5. And use low heat.

office drinks

donutwine

Went over to the office for office drinks. Brought red bean doughnuts from the nearby bakery.

Strange office drinks. Everybody took their glass back to their desk and continued working. I was left sitting there waiting for pokemons to appear. Afterwards mm and I took a bus back and forth to visit more pokestops.

I thought we might have dinner together but I ended up sadly having noodles at place near the bus stop home. Seems like my company is not wanted.

#16: finish LL

llblur

Task #16 of 101.1001 is to finish LL. Actually finished a while ago, but still not 100% happy.

I have a deadline now. I need to get it ready and submit it by next summer. One of the best publishers I’ve ever met asked me. Face to face. There is no excuse.

There are parts in the middle that need to be expanded and better explained. Probably need more character growth too. I should stop tinkering with it and let good editors take a look so I can learn and improve.

#18: design a book cover

llcover

I have to start working on writing again. Task #18 of 101.1001 is to design a book cover. I had in mind to take some pics in NYC for LL. Not as many or as good potential as I wanted.

The background is of stock market quotes in a newspaper from flickr user andreas poike under cc by 2.0. If/when I get a chance to submit a cover myself I’ll get a copy of FT and substitute my own image, I just didn’t have any newspaper at hand.

The Wall Street street sign and SMELLS graffiti are my own, from the most recent trip. I have a couple of pics of the charging bull but there were so many tourists I had to borrow from someone, this from flickr user sam valadi also under cc by 2.0.

The play on the son of man is based on a pic of me taken at Carleen’s friend Tom’s costume shop last year. The apple is also my own image and the frame from a random google image search for free images. Photoshopped to make it blurry and more like a painting. It’s something that will be referenced in LL, which I’ll need to edit in.

Is it a good cover? A passable attempt I guess. Can be so much better in the hands of a professional.

papa birthday

It’s Papa’s birthday. We went to visit, and it started raining when we were there. Sis tells me about one of his pics showing up on her random screensaver (out of hundreds of pictures). I feel mostly numb today.

It’s also Grandma’s birthday so afterwards Mum and I went to get some flowers and visited my grandparents too. Grandma would have been 100.

Happy Birthday, Papa and Grandma.

masterchef australia

The weather will turn bad next week, so we went to the market and got plenty of veg. We have meat in the freezer and lots of fruit so we’re sorted for at least a week.

The new tv channels are activated, so I was going through them, looking at what’s available. Wow, Masterchef Australia. One of the best Masterchefs in the world, with as much emphasis on learning as competition. Weekend catch up of 5 episodes. It’s now at ep 25, with around 10-12 contestants, so around a third of the way through. Between this and MKR, our evenings will be busy in a good way.

off air

offair

I feel like I’m currently off air. I’m doing the minimum, routine stuff: posting on the website and instagramming food pics. My friend sent me cute cat pics and I haven’t responded. The most active whatsapp groups are on mute. I’m replying to emails that I have to, but ignoring the rest.

I just looked at my PMs and I have to apologise to the friends who sent kind messages when I was feeling down last week. I haven’t replied to a single one and I feel like such an idiot. So rude. All I can say is sorry again and thank you for being such good friends. They made me feel less alone and despondent when I needed it most.

There are things to do, fairly urgent things, before the end of the month. External things and people that do not care that I’m feeling depressed, or lack motivation, or the other three thousand excuses I come up with. And like buses, when they arrive, they arrive all at once.

Just let me get through the next couple of days, the urgency will make me shift gears because I have no choice.

pokehunting with friends

Going out for the third time in 3 days. Met mm and another old friend D to go pokehunting. He’s at level 23 or 24 and goes out every night hunting, so diligent. He has a lot of the high level pokemons. The funniest thing is that his son is already in college and has refused to play because his dad does, hahaha.

We met at a shopping centre, took a slow bus ride to the big shopping centre at ocean terminal. So close to the harbour and in one of the most crowded areas there were plenty of sightings. We couldn’t walk 10m without another fish or squid showing up. The two of them were deflinitely more keen on playing than me.

koreanbbq201608

D’s wife joined us for dinner at a popular authentic korean place. Good food and value for money even though it’s in the michelin guide. Four of us had a 2-3 person set and added ox tongue. We called our friend P who is having dinner with his family nearby and he joined us for ice cream.

Quite tired. Looking forward to staying home tomorrow.

sherry cocktail, vietnamese dinner

pasitococktail

Went over to the flat to get some stuff done. Had an hour or so to kill before dinner so I stopped at a tapas place offering $35 happy hour cocktails and bottle beers. Had a cocktail called pasito: pedro ximenez, triple sec, lime juice, mint. Not bad, can taste the sweetness of the sherry tempered by the lime, could do with a little more lime.

prawnsduckcurry

Dinner was with my old friend Dr W, we were in the same year at king’s and had lost touch. Reconnecting friends is one of the better things about social media. She lives near me so we met at the shopping centre nearby, at a new vietnamese place. Had 2 starters: sugar cane prawns and vietnamese spring rolls; mains were coconut duck curry and vegetables. The curry came with french bread and wasn’t too spicy. Very nice.

errands, tv channels

Did a bunch of errands with Mum. Bank, teachers union to look at fridges, renewed her cable subscription. The plan she had before isn’t available anymore and of course they now charge more. Then again, we can pick from 3 bundles and we now have more channels than before. After I’m able to cancel my subscription, the cost isn’t significantly higher. We now get all the National Geographic and Discovery channels as well as both BBC Lifestyle and BBC Earth (which I miss having). Food Network, E!, History channel. We now have almost all the entertainment channels that have series programs, not just one. Plus one that has oldies, I see they are showing X-files season 4 as well as, gasp, Golden Girls, Taxi, A-team, MacGyver.

And speaking of X-files. I need to watch them all again.

#88: 101 favourite things

It’s taken me almost to the end of the challenge to complete #88 of 101.1001: make a list of 101 favourite things that make me smile. I didn’t want to list a whole bunch of food or places visited, so I tried to be a little more casual. Had to get help.

aeronchair2015

  1. aeron chair
  2. air-conditoning in summer
  3. heating in winter
  4. alaska daily life / survival programs
  5.  

    daikiya05all

  6. all you can eat japanese buffet
  7. the amazing race
  8. autumn colours
  9. bag of clothes and stuff for charity
  10. basketball
  11. coedobeerflight2016

  12. beer flight
  13. goodfoodmag2014

  14. bbc good food magazine calendar
  15. bless the lord my soul at the end of mass
  16. bouncing on huge hotel beds
  17. checking things off lists, completing lists
  18. chicagosign

  19. “chicago” from licence plates I bought from my ex-landlady
  20. clean crisp sheets
  21. clear skies, no pollution
  22. clothes that just came out of the tumble-dryer
  23. cookery competition programs
  24. cycling along the lake
  25. darth maul double lightsaber I made at disney world
  26. driving
  27. duvet “fluffy” that mm bought for me
  28. eating an ice cream cone huddled together outside in the freezing wind
  29. avmarket20090916

  30. farmer’s markets
  31. fast internet
  32. fizz in soft drinks (was coke zero, now more likely to be soda water)
  33. cx1st04steak

  34. flying first class
  35. flying with entire empty row
  36. foam-rollering my back and hearing it crack back into place
  37. sg061seafood

  38. food that need all fingers to eat
  39. fresh herbs
  40. giant fruit — giant mangoes, giant peaches
  41. mini fruit — mini watermelon
  42. good investment return
  43. half my hair gone after haircut
  44. homemade jam & marmalade
  45. squashsoup03

  46. homemade butternut squash soup
  47. hot shower
  48. leaving/escaping the region, no matter how short
  49. maps on a road trip
  50. menthol crystals that have been in my family for decades
  51. mindfulness
  52. new restaurant
  53. no need to talk
  54. no plans is the best plan
  55. bwp5004

  56. noise isolating headphones on the plane
  57. o holy night
  58. oncoming runner who waves or smiles at me
  59. joz070spaoutdoor

  60. onsen in japan (hot springs)
  61. paddington recreation ground, maida vale
  62. panettone at christmas
  63. parking perfectly into a narrow space (“one hand wheel”)
  64. peace and quiet
  65. dub088guinness

  66. perfectly poured pint of beer
  67. pg tips
  68. photograph that just works
  69. photoshop magic
  70. playing old school games–scrabble, marble checkers, trivial pursuit
  71. playing with excel
  72. propping my knees with a pillow in bed
  73. rachmaninoff piano concerto #3
  74. rain after a hot day
  75. random kindness
  76. tinychoccake07all

  77. recipe successfully executed
  78. reading a new book, discovering a good author
  79. re-reading a favourite book
  80. flr033dining

  81. retreat houses and convent stays in italy
  82. running along the lake in chicago with snow still on the ground, in shorts
  83. running around hyde park in the pouring rain, water dripping down my cap and everything completely soaked
  84. running around reservoir park except at weekends when it gets crowded with baseball players
  85. chimarathon093finish

  86. running: completing a race
  87. saying thank you at 11:11 or 1:11
  88. seafood so fresh, you can taste the sea
  89. scented candles
  90. sharp knives
  91. skiing on fresh snow in the alps
  92. smell of baking in the kitchen
  93. smell of freshly mowed grass
  94. soft, fluffy, thick bathrobe
  95. sourdough starter
  96. ldnhawks043chateaubriand

  97. steak at hawksmoor with a glass of blanton’s
  98. steak from less popular cuts
  99. sunset over water
  100. surprise presents from abroad
  101. tech that follows me everywhere — iphone, ipad, mba
  102. travel research
  103. travelling — anywhere
  104. hrcshirtnewyork

  105. uniform of hard rock cafe polo shirt, jeans, sneakers
  106. vegetables I can’t get readily — kale, savoy cabbage, fennel, parsnips
  107. view of british hedgerows and farms from the plane
  108. wallpaper of queenstown nz at sunset, still not tired of looking at it
  109. warming my hands on the radiator
  110. watching bbc programs outside the uk
  111. watching cricket, wishing I can play
  112. nikka106tastebar

  113. whisky — japanese whisky from nikka distillery
  114. whisky — wee dram of highland park, doesn’t matter which year
  115. whisky hip flask
  116. whisky tasting and discovering a new good one
  117. wine all the time
  118. wine tasting at the winery