outside gear

A few outdoors gear spotted at outside recently.


I’m still looking for a backpack. While I’ll happily get another one of my current samsonite, I’ve been saving reviews when I come across them. Top of the list is wirecutter‘s recommended LL Bean quad. But this group of daypacks is also worth noting, especially since many of them are cheaper. The outlander is only US$20, can’t really beat the price.



The post is about boat shoes, but they all look really nice. The adidas is yet another adidas I’d wear, but the one that caught my eye was the nrs vibe. Never heard of the company before, they seem to be quite a specialist company that make watersports shoes for kayakers. This one is made from technical material, is tough and has good grip. It also drains and dries quickly, which is more important to kayakers but will be useful in rainy weather. I like it because, in the words of outside magazine, of:

the skate-shoe aesthetic

whisky tumblers


I’m not usually the one for single use items, so read this post with sceptism. Sometimes when mm and I go out, we’d take some whisky for picnic. We’d carefully pack two glencairn glasses in tissue paper–i have the small ones I picked up in Scotland, they use them in distilleries for tasting. The small tumblers have lids and are insulated to keep the liquid cold. Useful for cocktails. The testers say that none of the tumblers tested changed the flavour of the whiskey (spelled with an ‘e’ because they were using bulleit, I’m not as fanatical as some people think I am).

The one they liked is by klean kanteen. I’m a bit turned off by names like that, too cartoonish. And at around US$16 each I wonder if it’s worth it. May be I’ll stick with the carefully packed glencairns.

microwavable notebook


My dear friend A sent me a moleskine notebook, which I love love love. She sent me a Washington DC one the year the conference was there too, so thoughtful.

I alternate between being neat and using notebooks and using a stack of scrap paper folded to A5 size. I’ve always been tempted by the moleskine evernote notebook but my attention has turned to rocketbook notebooks. The Wave was originally on indiegogo a couple of years ago, the idea is: write in the notebook, fill the pages, scan using their app and send to services like dropbox, microwave the notebook and start again.

Yes, microwave the notebook.

The trick is the pilot frixion pens. I’ve seen and used erasable pens before, so it’s nothing new. They usually come with a plastic knob at the end that is used like a rubber on mechanical pencils. I haven’t quite noticed that the ink disappears when microwaved. The Wave is $27 and $42 as a bundle with the pens.

There’s a newer notebook, the Everlast. Same principle but the pages can be wiped clean using a damp cloth. Still need to use those pilot frixion pens though. For the fun factor, I may get this for my niece. Sis doesn’t microwave so the Wave won’t be useful.

writers tears label


A friend wanted the label from the bottle of writers tears I opened, um, less than a fortnight ago. I decanted most of it to a flask so the bottle is empty. At first I thought it’d be straightforward, just soak in water. But soaking overnight in a bucket of water didn’t work. Google to the rescue, wikihow gives 4 methods for removing a wine label intact: soak in hot water for 10-15mins, heat the bottle in the oven at 250ºC for 10mins, fill bottle with boiling water or use chemical means like goo gone.

Didn’t want to use chemicals or set the oven that high so tried the simplest method of filling the bottle with hot water. Didn’t work, those labels sure are sticky. What I ended up having to do was to heat the bottle in a large pot for 20mins, I could see the label bubbled as the glue melted. Here’s the trick, let the label dry then remove it carefully using a paper blade while the bottle is still hot. When I tried to take the back label off whilst it was still wet, the paper fell apart. At least the front label is intact. There’s still glue on the reverse sides so I’ve placed them on greaseproof paper to dry and for storage. If I open another bottle I’ll save the labels too, in case someone else wants them.

I felt guilty that I was using a 8l pot. The water couldn’t be reused because it had bits of paper and glue. The only use I could think of was to [tmi]flush the loo[/tmi].

looking at backpacks

I’m looking at backpacks. I usually use fairly standard ones as long as they have what I want: padded laptop pocket, more than one compartment, space for pens, keys and small items, preferably mesh outside pocket for water bottle. My current one is from samsonite I bought at a discount.

The easiest place to get one is a department store, sports shop or the markets. Or wait for one of those sports and discount events that happen once in a while. I was idly looking on kickstarter and indiegogo and there are a few that caught my eye.


nomatic $179 — a large weekender that opens up all the way round

what i like: large capacity, zip that goes all the way round, useful laundry bag, hidden pockets, top pocket, laptop compartment inside back flap

what i like less: looks bulky and heavy, probably okay as a weekend bag but too big for day-to-day use, water bottle holder is buried somewhere inside


tgo tom $159 — another weekender

like: large capacity, opens all the way round, expands, dividers like a camera bag, comes with accessories that go on the straps and around the waist, lots of small hidden pockets

dislike: bulky, doesn’t look elegant, too many additional pockets adds to the weight and shape, shoebag that hangs outside the main bag is unsightly


lifepack $269 — backpack that includes solar powered powerbank battery/speaker

like: looks cosmopolitan, small enough for day-to-day use, external battery charges phones etc, clever idea to have it solar powered, hidden pockets, small accessories included (bottle opener, lock and cable)

dislike: expensive, what happens if battery stops working or backpack breaks, i have no use for speakers, only one main compartment

I like the first one, the nomatic, because it’s functional but it doesn’t scream out to me to get it. There seems to be an endless stream of travel bags offered on kickstarter and indiegogo so I’m not in any hurry. LIke a lot of crowdfunding projects they are priced a little too high for my liking. I get it, they’re not mass production prices. The problem is that I can get a not as fancy backpack for 1/3, 1/4 the price.


The one project I’ll do more research on and likely to back is operation refugee child. They distribute backpacks to refugee children and families in Greece. Basic necessities like first aid kit, soap, toothpaste. Underwear, socks, blanket. Toys, crayons and stationery. Protein bar. From their website:

it’s not just a backpack, it’s everything they have

$10 gets a backpack and $45 gets a filled backpack delivered to a child or mother in need.

new glasses


I have new glasses. I got the last pair over 3 years ago, after the sunglasses attachment of an earlier pair fell off in the middle of Chicago marathon, I was so annoyed I immediately switched to photochromic glasses.

These look innocuous, but they are superduper glasses. Super light, super thin lenses, photochromic and, because I can no longer live in Egypt, varifocal. Luckily there isn’t the telltale split of traditional bifocal lenses, these are progressive.

Apparently it takes from a few hours to 2 weeks to get used to new glasses, especially those with a varifocal element. They seem fine, I’m getting used to where to focus when I’m reading and when I’m switching from short to long distances I need to blink once to refocus, that’s it.

the end of an era

I’m vindicated. There’s science behind why this 100% introvert doesn’t like speaking, can never come up with a witty repartee and generally has lousy comic timing (or any sort of interaction timing). Another thing I hate is phone calls. The stupid phone rings, and we’re expected to drop everything and respond immediately, without knowing what the other party wants. At least with caller display, we know who is calling.

I don’t do voicemail. Even when I was at work. I had to be subtle about it, but I managed.


I was the first one in my family to ditch my landline. In London I was forced to sign up for a landline because BT bundles it with internet. I hardly ever answer the phone anyway, so landlines are useless to me. When I was in the mood and bored, I remember having a grand time winding up this PPI scammer who called, so much so that he hung up on me. Victory!

It’s truly the end of an era when this week, my parents cancelled their landline. Generally the older generations tend to hold onto older technologies because they are used to them. But as my dad said, when almost 100% of calls on the landline are telemarketers or estate agents, then it’s a waste of money to keep it.

My dad is a very very late adoptor of technology and even he has a mobile now, albeit an old nokia non-smartphone. I notice they still have the Pavlovian response to phone calls, mum gets all upset and uptight at missed calls, whereas my iphone is permanently on DND. Anyone who wants to reach me can whatsapp (no one uses text anymore). Even email is passé.

There a small tinge of sadness. We’ve had our parents’ number for over 40 years. Phone numbers used to be 6-digit, then 7, then 8. It’s a good number, but it’s time to let it go.

Now if only the government will pass legislation restricting telemarketing calls on mobiles, the world will be a better place.



My old wallet was falling apart, so badly that it was embarrassing to use it. I thought I had a new one in my drawer but it wasn’t suitable. I went to the department store yesterday and couldn’t find a good one. I told mm and she suggested that I look at brands online and ask her brother to get one for me as he is currently in Paris. Ack, I don’t want a designer wallet, I just want a vertical one with enough slots and a clear compartment for ID and licences.

I had to go out today to get my small camera fixed (more about that in a future post). On the way home I walked through the touristy market and got a fake Boss wallet for £10 equivalent. Perfect.

interesting stuff on my feedly recently

Now that we’re back from the road trip and I have a week in chicago I’m catching up on reading. Some random odds and ends on my feedly over the past fortnight.


For most of the trip I was the navigator and had a grand old time looking at the thick pile of AAA maps. Yes, I’d rather play with one of those impossible to refold maps than play with GPS. Since my mind is still on maps, here are 19 US maps that will blow your mind. They are a combination of interesting trivia (19 state names end with a and none end with z) and random animation.


We had trouble a couple of nights finding a hotel because they were all booked with other tourists or for some event. Perhaps next time we’d tow this bike camper with sleeping compartment behind the car. Made by Dutch artist artist Bas Srakel the tricycle is meant for homeless people and urban nomads but could work for roadtrippers without hotel rooms.

We ate far too much fast food but had a few nice meals. Sometimes we’d get bread, cheese and cold meats from the supermarket and make sandwiches. Two people in an SUV meant there was room to pack lots of stuff, including suitcases, soft drinks, food, snacks, stuff for the conference, souvenirs and a cooler. By bbmm travelling standards, Carleen and I packed a lot, but we did not reach the levels required for Victorian camping:

Axe (in cover). Axle-grease. Bacon. Barometer (pocket). Bean-pot. Beans (in bag). Beef (dried). Beeswax. Bible. Blacking and brush. Blankets. Boxes. Bread for lunch. Brogans (oiled). Broom. Butter-dish and cover. Canned goods. Chalk. Cheese. Clothes-brush. Cod-line. Coffee and pot. Comb. Compass. Condensed milk. Cups. Currycomb. Dates. Dippers. Dishes. Dish-towels. Drawers. Dried fruits. Dutch oven. Envelopes. Figs. Firkin. Fishing-tackle. Flour (prepared). Frying-pan. Guide-book. Half-barrel. Halter. Hammer. Hard-bread. Harness (examine!). Hatchet. Haversack. Ink (portable bottle). Knives (sheath, table, pocket and butcher). Lemons. Liniment. Lunch for day or two. Maps. Matches and safe. Marline. Meal (in bag). Meal-bag. Medicines. Milk-can. Molasses. Money (“change”). Monkey-wrench. Mosquito-bar. Mustard and pot. Nails. Neat’s-foot oil. Night-shirt. Oatmeal. Oil-can. Opera-glass. Overcoat. Padlock and key. Pails. Paper. Paper collars. Pens. Pepper. Pickles. Pins. Portfolio. Postage stamps. Postal cards. Rope. Rubber blanket. Rubber coat. Rubber boots. Sail-needle. Salt. Salt fish. Salt pork. Salve. Saw. Shingles (for plates). Shirts. Shoes and strings. Slippers. Soap. Song-book. Spade. Spoons. Stove (utensils in bags). Sugar. Tea. Tents. Tent poles. Tent pins. Tooth-brush. Towels. Twine. Vinegar. Watch and key.


Every year when I leave the conference I get motivated to write and I tell myself to finish LL. This year, I did finish it and I sent it to people for comments. So may be one of these days I don’t have to admonish myself for procrastinating. The whole publishing process is quite daunting and unknown to me. One of the things I want to explore doing myself is the book cover. Here’s something different, vintage book posters that feature books in books. My favourite I also find a little creepy.

iphonepenguin holmeswatson

Book posters don’t appeal? How about 18 quirky literary items available on etsy. I like the Penguin iphone covers and wish they would make the Holmes & Watson earrings into cufflinks.

bowtieperiodic bowtietardis

Speaking of etsy, I also came across speicher bow ties. Several friends like to wear bow ties at the conference, during social events and at the awards ceremony. My favourite is the periodic table one, they also have physics, tardis and star trek bow ties amongst others.

And finally, a SMH funny-but-not-really incident, of appalling tactics by comcast when an ex-customer tried to cancel. Talk about persistent, annoying and condescending. The actual recording is cringe-inducing so for the faint of heart there is also a transcript.

curvit shower curtain hooks

I hate shower curtains. They get icky and grimy and wet. They flow inwards and cling to my arms when the shower is on (there must be some physics that explains this). Anyway, I hate shower curtains.

In the absence of shower doors, because installing it will involve $$$ and a workman, I wanted to get a curved shower rod which gives more space in the shower. Problem is my shower rail is L-shaped, and I have yet to see an L-shaped curved shower rod.

Then I saw this idea on indiegogo, of shower curtain rings that pushes the curtain outwards to give more space. $35 for a set and $55 for two. Comparable to the curved shower rod with the advantage that existing shower rods can be used.

The project isn’t very well funded right now, less than 5% with 15 days to go. I wish there were more funders, then I’m more comfortable at putting my contribution in. Thinking about it.

#92: count swatches

Task #92 in 101 task in 1001 days challenge: count how many swatches I have.

I was a bit of a collector when I was younger. Stationery, coins, stamps, stickers, matchboxes, pencils all had their place. My first watch was a seiko that my grandparents gave me; when I started college I started wearing swatches and then I started buying some more. I wouldn’t say I’m a hardcore collector, I just buy the ones I like the look of. It’s been a while since I last bought a swatch though, so my collection isn’t likely to grow by a lot. Currently it stands at 158, with the majority unused and still in their original box.

This video was taken on my coffee table, 6 separate instagram videos edited together in imovie. The music is a piece called the syncopated clock by leroy anderson performed by markus staab. I picked it because of the watch/clock theme, and also because syncopated is a new word for me. In musical terms it means off-beat, which can also be applied to this quirky collection and typically wonky instagram video.


old persil


Mum decided to clean out her place. It’ll be a gargantuan task because I don’t think she’s ever thrown anything away. She started with the storeroom and uncovered loads of clothes, decorations and stuff that needed to be trashed. There was also a box that appear to contain my stuff. Wow, things I wasn’t able to take with me to Chicago and have forgotten about — mostly small electronics like kettle, iron, stick blender. Plus a 3-pack of Persil. Yes, washing powder. Since the packaging is in German, it must have been from Switzerland, which means it dates back to 2001. Yes, 12 year old washing powder that my old-old company paid to ship across continents and sitting in a box at my parents’ place for 5 years.

It’s not money or action figures but hey, I was just running out and needed to get washing powder next time I’m at the supermarket so I save a buck or two.

kidrobot swatch


Yes, I’m trying to declutter my life and not buy anymore stuff, but I’ve been coveting these kidrobot for swatch collection since they came out a month ago. I was at the kidrobot store 2 weeks after launch and they’d already sold out, so I was happy to spot a few at John Lewis. They didn’t have the full collection so I couldn’t get the black one or the pink one. This grey bengali tiger by Joe Ledbetter is super dope and I’m very pleased with it.

electric kettle

kettle1 kettle2

There’s an interesting question on the kitchn about whether to buy an electric kettle. You can hear the double take from everywhere that is not the US.

The first time I visited Chicago, I was astounded that people in the US don’t use kettles. Those that do, use stove top ones. The rest boil water in the microwave. For everyone in the UK, most of Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and the rest of the world, a kettle is the most basic equipment in the kitchen, before microwave and toaster. And it’s almost 100% electric. Cordless too. In Asia, it’s the hot water dispenser that prevails. I mean, permanent hot water available, who doesn’t want it. When I gave mine to my downstairs neighbour, she was ever so pleased. I lived for a while without one, boiling water in a saucepan. As soon as I could, I got a basic cordless stainless steel one from Kenwood. Again, basic.

one person’s junk…

I had stuff leftover from the garage sale, plus more stuff that ended up in the “give to charity” pile. I was going to take it to my local charity, but wasn’t sure if they wanted everything — I had kitchen stuff, clothes, stationery, dvds, video tapes and other misc junk. In the end, I took them all to work and gave them to my colleague, who will take them to her local christmas sharing program. They take all sorts of things, and support families in need, some of whom are refugees who arrive with just the clothes on their back. It’s the least I can do to help them.

I have too much stuff

zenhabits via bb, 9 questions to identify whether something is junk or not:

  1. does it work? if not, then throw away
  2. would I replace it if it were broken or lost? if not, then I don’t need it
  3. does it seem potentially useful, but has never been used? applies to far too many gadgets bought, especially kitchen gadgets
  4. was I saving it? then use it, otherwise it’ll go bad
  5. does it serve its purpose well? if it isn’t that useful, chuck it
  6. has it been replaced by a better model? do I have that better model? if yes, throw away the old version
  7. is it nicely put away in an out-of-the-way place? where I’ll never find it, get it out and get rid of it, it’s taking up useless space
  8. does this memento actually prompt any memories? most souvenirs only succeed in taking up room
  9. have I ever used this thing? most likely not

If I can focus, I can probably get rid of at least half my possessions and I won’t miss them. I should make myself do that.

garage sale

The neighbourhood residents group organised a community garage sale today. For $10 they handle the permits, printed maps and distributed balloons for marketing. Coincidentally, my immediate neighbour is also participating, and another neighbour brought her stuff over so we had a 3 family-2 garage sale. Convenient for shoppers.

I have a lot of junk. It wasn’t difficult to get 10+ boxes of stuff I want to sell — stationery, kitchen stuff, games. I’d prepped over the week, sticking prices and set up the tables yesterday. People came in waves. The early birds looked like professionals! Then there were the families having a nice time. I didn’t have many problems, one old lady paid me $1 in loose change, including 20 pennies. I was tempted to not sell to her. Then this guy came with his dog and I didn’t let the dog inside the garage and he left in a huff. Did I care that I may have lost his business? Not one single bit. I asked all dog owners to leave their dogs outside. Dog owners need to learn to respect other people’s wishes and property. The sense of entitlement and arrogance is astounding.

I didn’t sell everything. What I really wanted to sell, my glassware, didn’t attract any buyers. It was the same with my neighbour, people just weren’t interested in glassware. Ah well. All in all, I made $172.50. Subtracting the $10 fee and $5 for labels, quite a nice profit.


cablebox01before cablebox02after

Sooner or later, with all the gadgets we own, we end up with a mess of wires everywhere. There are plenty of cable organisers around. I bought 3 of these cableboxes for: a) their aesthetics — they’re well designed, almost Swiss; and b) their capacity. I was able to fit a wide surge protector, the mbp adaptor, the airport, stiff cable wires, adaptor for the modem and usb charger for the iPhone/iPod into the box. Impressive.

space01before space02after
While I was on their website, I ordered a spacestation to replace the usb hub and other wires for the mbp. This one isn’t as useful as I thought, and since I already have a coolsink, the “prop the end of the laptop for cooling” bit is less relevant. Still, looks nice.

life hack upgrade

Jason Kottke was talking about upgrading your life by buying and using better quality items of every day stuff.

I rarely buy anything anymore but the things I do buy are usually better versions of things I already have. As things break or wear out, we’ve been replacing them with items that are nicer to use/wear/whatever and will last a whole lot longer than the cheaper stuff.

It’s the usual argument. Get cheap and cheerful stuff that don’t last, or more expensive higher quality stuff that may last longer. I find that when I was younger and just starting out in “life” I could only afford the smaller, cheaper things. Now I’m at a point where I don’t need to buy new stuff, so I’ve been upgrading my life, so to speak. Here are some of my upgrades:

  • aeron chair — I’ve had the aeron chair for over 2 years and considering the amount of time I spend sitting in it, it’s money well, well, well spent
  • dual monitors — especially at work when I need to work constantly with multiple spreadsheets
  • camera lens — it’s universally acknowledged that the kit lens that come with the camera body are no better than plastic toys but it took me a while before I finally got new lens
  • earphones — to be upgraded. i’m still using the apple earphones that come with the nano, although i bought a nike sports earphone for running. The plan is to get one of those Shure noise cancelling earphones — the reason I hadn’t gotten them yet is because they’re much more expensive than the US here
  • pillow — those tempur pillows really make a difference. I spend hours sleeping, so all the more reason for quality pillows
  • mattress — the Simmons I have are over 10 years old, it’s a good mattress. But time to get a new one, can’t decide whether to get it now or in Chicago though
  • knives — i have a set of le Creuset knives from London. When I bought them they were one of the high quality ones although now they’ve been taken over by carbon fibre Japanese knives. I sharpen them and keep them in good care, I think there’s a few years left in them. I pretty much only use 3 knives — a chef’s knife, a smaller chef’s knife and a small serrated one
  • pots and pans — i have 3 le creuset pans I use: an everyday pan with sprout, a large stockpot for soup and the grill-it. Additionally I have a daily use aluminium pan that is fantastic. I’ll probably gradually upgrade to lightweight Berndes
  • salt — kosher, salt, fleur de sel…good cooks know the secret of good salt. I use good with everything salt i get from lakeland, it’s sea salt plus a bunch of herbs, pepper and lavendar, i swear by it

Some people over at the ask mefi thread said macs, which is like, duh!

day 15: swiss clock


I bought this small desktop clock in a tiny curio / antique shop in Switzerland. Was probably in Zurich itself but could be any of the towns, can’t really remember. I couldn’t exactly not have a Swiss-made clock at home now could I. What caught my eye was the overall design of the clock, but also the intricate patterns on the face. The needles are actually pretty fragile, and there’s no glass or anything to protect them.

This is the macro view from above. I know I should be playing around with the macro setting more often, may be I’ll start a study of small things at home. hmm.

#71 throw away 101 clutter items

Did a little clean up today. I have too much stuff — intended presents and just general junk. Threw a bunch of them in a big plastic bag to give to Sis. Apparently my niece’s school will be holding a jumble sale soon so these will be handy. Some of them are still in their original wrapping so hopefully people will buy them.

Here’s 30 of the jumble sale items. Altogether there’s 40 items in the batch.


In the basket is an olive oil jar, 3 small rugby balls, a neck cushion, a pig photo frame. There’s also some tapes of very old sitcoms, a candle set, tiny Paris pictures, toy car, snoopy puzzle, Nigel Slater’s Appetite (which is a duplicate), a portfolio, a couple of umbrellas, a poster, Monty Python rude sayings keychains and a couple of stamp albums I found in my mailbox unexpectedly one day (that’s a story idea). Nice stuff, not rubbish. But still, cluttering up my home.

Also threw away my old scanner, about 50 tapes and other junk that aren’t sellable. Put some old clothes in a bag for Sis’ helper. Total is definitely over 101 items.

handy calendar

calendar strip

We had this at OldJob last year and it proved very useful. via lifehacker, a great little strip calendar from marlie’s creative universe. Doesn’t fit on the mbp or the flat screen monitors at work but I will be pinning them on the bottom of the monitor stand or the top of the keyboard. It’s very convenient. There are two versions to fit different sized paper: letter, which is okay on A4 paper too; and legal for a longer strip.

women can take their diamonds; I’ll have a gold-plated mbp please

I watched as a small object tumbled out of my colleague’s hand and into the dark murky sewers the other day. I couldn’t see what it was but she said it was a diamond earring. Yikes.

So why would anyone want to put bits of stone all over their bodies — that are prone to being lost or stolen and cost a whole lot more than their size would suggest? Here’s what I think of diamonds. They’re pretty, sparkly and um a form of carbon. I mean, yes they’re expensive because they’re rare — or are they rare because they’re expensive? Like most of the Earth’s supply of carbon is as graphite or silica, it must be elitist to be one of those rare carbon atom that makes it into a diamond.

diamond graphite

Alright. I’ll stop it with the science geek mode. So really, why do women love diamonds? The answer, apparently, is History, Hollywood and Hope:

  • History — revered from ancient times, it’s an appreciation of the effort and expertise needed to get it from a rough rock to the dazzling white light form.
  • Hollywood — represents all that is glamorous about owning a diamond. I’ve yet to meet someone who wears a large diamond and not want to show it off. It’s a status symbol, as well as a sign that someone somewhere treats the wearer (okay, I’m gonna be gender-vague from now on) is loved and worthy. It’s like saying, “How much am I worth? Look at the price tag” but a little more subtly.
  • Hope — people normally want to be wanted; and possession of such an object of desire may be a way of vicariously living through that desire.

I get it; but I don’t really get it.

Now, I’m far to prone to be attracted to gadget-y stuff. So imagine my reaction when I saw the gold-plated macbook pro on engadget. Slobber slobber drool drool. To be honest I’m not entirely convinced about the gold-plating but the diamond encrusted apple logo sure catches the eye.

gold mbp

Luxury laptops are nothing new, nor is putting diamonds on all sorts of gadgets — like swiss army knives, iPod shuffles, Nokia N95, even a mouse. Diamonds are diamonds. Not even the suave leather bound thinkpad reserve is as nice as the mbp.

gold mbp

So while women like diamonds as rings or necklaces or somehow displaying on their bodies, I want it on my mbp. Let’s not mention that laptops have a habit of becoming outdated when new ones are released; and I’m not sure how we can open the casing up to add RAM. Hee.

ETA: and the blinging continues with the 24-carat gold iPhone.

new glasses

mm got me new glasses for my birthday. Nothing particularly wrong with the old ones, just that I’ve been wearing them for 3 years and the lenses are pretty scratched. My prescription hadn’t changed in more than 5 years.

These new ones have thick black plastic frames that mm says make me look studious and…brash? cheeky? It’s a new look anyway, not too bad.

I looked the model up, they’re ck Calvin Klein 5110 001 — the 5110 is the model number and 001 is the colour. I also got custom-made clip-on sunglasses, no need to specially find glasses with sunglasses attachment anymore because they can be fitted to any model nowadays.


elbow grease

I found an old tub of Body Shop Hemp Chanvre elbow grease, which is perfect for the dry prickly skin on my elbows. I’m not sure if they sell this range anymore, I can’t find any “elbow grease” on their website anyway; I remember the furore about the “hemp” name when it came out.

The cream itself is very greasy and sticky. But I’m hoping it works anyway.

big baggage

Over the last 18 months I travelled a lot, I think Sept and Oct are the first time that I’ve been home for two consecutive months without needing to pack my bag. It starts again in Nov though.

Whether I’m gone for 3 days or 3 weeks, no matter what flight class I’m travelling in, I take the same bags — my big wheelie bag, a bit like this one, except mine’s blue canvas and $30 from Costco.


I only take my backpack as carry-on, I can put it under the seat in front and it doesn’t fight for overhead space with those bulky boring trolley bags that proliferate everywhere. Talking about cabin bags, I read about the fidobag, which are a humorous take on cabin luggage. It’s shaped like a dog, with a detachable “head” for small items and is made from soft leather. Comes in blue, black, brown or white, all with retro piping finish.

fidobag4  fidobag2

Of course the reason they caught my eye is the second picture, aptly titled breeding.html. Snicker. However cute, I don’t think I want so spend $180 on it though.

I did a google search on fidobag and came across something amusing. Apparently last year gizmodo broke a story about a furry suitcase manufactured by samsung-italia that will respond to the voice of its owner and come at their command, even wagging its tail in the process. Also, if someone tries to steal the bag, it will bark at an intensity of 197.5 decibels, thereby drawing attention to the thief.

This was exposed as a hoax or joke. First, Samsung makes electronics, not luggage. Second, it needs to pack a hell of a voice recognition system to pick out the voice of its owner in a busy airport. Third, 197.5db? That’s louder than standing next to the Shuttle when it launches — human eardrums break at 150db. Fourth, even if it was above board, who wants to be seen traipsing around airports dragging a furry, tail-wagging suitcase?

fidobagfur  fidobagdude

As an aside, doing a google image search for fidobag also gets the Fido Dido backpack. Actually, out of the three, I prefer that one, dude.

Here’s a poll. Pick your favorite.

  1. The retro breeding doggie fidobag
  2. The furry tailwagging eardrum splitting fidobag
  3. The cool dude sk8er fidobag

When I get round to it, I’ll install a polling script so next time it’ll be a proper poll with radio buttons and graphical results. But this time, just put your vote in the Comments. It’ll be fun to see if anyone responds.

birthday presents

I’m the world’s worst person when it comes to presents and being romantic etc. Like the jigsaw chain fiasco, when I moaned about Swarowski not giving us 2 boxes to keep our necklaces in, when the whole idea is supposed to be all romantic and keeping them together as a pair. Heehee, she had a good laugh at me for that.

Our birthdays are coming up. She’s planning a holiday for us, so far I’ve done nothing, she’s made all the enquiries and bookings. So lovely!

I asked her what she wants for her birthday present, cos I can’t think of anything interesting. Digital camera? iPod? She already has. Jewelry? Clothing? I have no idea. A book? Does she have time to read? Argh!

I thought about what I want. Originally I thought of aeron chairs I have in the office. But I made enquiries and the supplier doesn’t give corporate discount for personal purchases and these chairs are extremely expensive. Sigh.

healthier teeth

I was thinking, it’s the second day of new year and I’ve run out of things to say already??? We’ve kind of decided not to go out today either, I mean I have to go back to my place eventually tonight, and the supermarket before that. But it’s still the afternoon so there’s time. She’s better today, the proof is she’s busy tidying up. And then she gave me my Christmas present — an electric toothbrush. Something I’ve been thinking of buying for a while but not got round doing it. I gave her a couple of DVDs. I know, we’re too practical.

But healty teeth, is worthwhile in the long run. So when I’m old she doesn’t have to worry about my teeth falling out. Heehee.

not with time

It’s completely unlike me, my watch strap broke on saturday and, being on a trip, I only brought one watch.

So watch strap broke, so?

I’ve been not wearing a watch for the last week or so, naturally I know what the time is in the office but other than that I haven’t paid attention to what time it is. And it’s a departure from the punctual, time-obsessed me. Not that I’ve been late, timekeeping has never been a problem.

I even passed by the swatch shop today and didn’t even go in. I know eventually I’ll have to get a replacement (actually I bought a couple of spare ones in Australia last time, so I’m actually well prepared).

More of the general “not caring” lethargy?