Archive for 2008 年 01 月

Car Annual Awards

Bought a copy of the motoring mag and in it, the best of each class of vehicles are listed according to their editors preferences.

Thought their choices were not to me liking. I have always think that in magazines like Torque, motoring, the editors always prefer continental cars (ie BMW, Mercs, Audi etc) compared to those from Asia (ie Suzuki, Subaru, Hyundai etc).

So i shall have my own awards. These will be based on a hypothetical scenario that if i am to buy a car from that class, which one would it be? Assuming $$$ is not an issue of course.

So lets get going!

Hatchback – Suzuki SX-4

Do i need to explain my choice? For me, the SX-4 wins in the looks department. And it does not compromise on the space and comfort. Although the FC is poorer compared to Honda Jazz, i am not worrying about it yet. So SX-4 is clearly the winner.

Fiat Bravo is a good choice too.

Small Saloon – ???

For me, i would rather get a hatchback than a small saloon. The 3 boxed shape just don’t appeal to me when in small size.

Large Saloon – Honda Accord

Can’t explain. The Toyota Camry is supposed to be better since its out-selling Accord and i experienced first hand the comfort of Camry recently. Yet i just prefer the Accord.

Junior Executive – Lexus IS250

This class was made possible by BMW 3series. Yet today, i feel that the effort of Lexus in the form of IS has pipped the 3 series to the title. It just look and feel faster. The new Merc C-class looks fierce and close too.

Executive – Honda Legend

I am sure many will be puzzled to my choice. Won’t the 5-series, E-class or and A6 be better?

I am not too sure too, but if given a choice, i would take the Legend. Supposed to be the flagship of the Honda range, i am sure it has something special.

Large Executive – Lexus LS460

To me, it just look better and classier than 7-series or S-class. And looking classy is very important in this category.

Small/Medium SUV – Suzuki Grand Vitara

Supposed to drive like a car, supposed to retain its mud-ploughing abilities. What more can i ask for?

Large SUV – Mazda CX-7

Large SUV don’t have to be an all rounder. They basically are there to fulfill the need for space and CX-7 fits the bill while looking and drive fierce too.

MPV – ???

I will never buy a MPV. NEVER!

Coupe – Mazda RX-8 or Porsche Cayman S

If i need the extra 2 seats, i would take the RX-8. Otherwise the Cayman S will be nice.

Convertible – Mercedes SLK 55

Cute and powerful. Make sure those Evo-s and STIs cannot outrun me.

Supercar – Nissan GTR

No need to explain.

So this is the list of cars that i would like to own. It is not possible in my this lifetime, but its really nice to have fantasies like these, isn’t it?


A visit to the dentist

My reservist started today at Nee Soon camp where i am to undergo two days of medic refresher training before i go back to my camp.

After lunch, i felt a weird taste in my mouth. Its not the fried rice i had a while ago and i was trying hard to try to remember when i had felt this before.

I did. And its not a good thing. I was bleeding from my gums again.

Somewhere back in 2006 december, there was this nite where i suddenly had heavy bleeding in my gums. I didn’t know how i can stop the bleeding, so i tried using ice to apply to the bleeding area and it was helpless.

I went down to the nearest 24hr clinic nearby, about 3 bus stops away. The doctor on duty was a young chap. He seemed lost as to how he can help me. In the end, he asked me to go home with a few gauze in my hands.

The bleeding didn’t stop after i reached home. I simply could not sleep in this state so i went down to Tan Tock Seng hospital only to get rejected at the A&E because they have no dentist on duty. Another midnite cab ride to General Hospital.

Fortunately, there was a dentist on duty. It took almost 2 hours to get through the registering and triage before i was waiting outside the dentist’s room.

All this while, my mum was with me, from the 24hr clinic to SGH. I felt that i could do this alone but she insisted on accompanying me. Was afraid i would collapse bah.

The dentist on duty at SGH saw my condition and stuffed some small wire gauze into my gums to stop the bleeding. It worked and amazingly, i could not feel the wire gauze at all.

By the time the whole affair ended, its nearly 4am when i reached home.

The next morning, i went to a nearby dental clinic. The dentist with her horrible tools worked in my mouth to remove the plague that was causing the infection that led to the bleeding.

So when i felt the blood today, i knew a visit to the dentist is inevitable.

She commented that its been quite a while since i last came. 14 months don’t seem that long to me.

This time it was bad. It hurts like hell and i was trying my wholly best not to raise up my hand to beckon her to stop. It just went on and on although i knew that the scrapping tool will only go through my gums once only. That 15min felt like eternity.

When i finally get to rinse my mouth, i realised how much blood i lost. The whole basin was stained red, some of the blood had clotted up into bits and the scene really sucked.

My whole t-shirt was stained with whatever flew out of my mouth during the whole process and my face kenna too. It was all a mess when i am done.

I felt so emotionally strained when i came out of the room. The other patients saw my ghostly face and i thought i could see them gulping with fear. Hahaha…

So from today onwards, i must take better care of my teeth. And remember to visit the dentist in 6 months. If i remember.

The end of my last lobster

Just minutes ago, i woke up from my nap and was all awake when i saw my last lobster lying on its back at the bottom of the tank, motionless.

Its dead.

The two fish are still ok. But what could have happen?

Well, this afternoon, before i change water, the lobster was still its usual self. I replaced around 1/3 of the water with fresh tap water. Before i poured in the last pail, i put in the normal amount of sea salt to dissolve first.

I cannot understand what could have happen. If something is wrong with the water, the lobster should be the last to get affected since it can climb onto the ornaments inside the tank to “escape". The fish should be the first to go.

I took it out, put it inside a plastic bag and throw it into the chute. I am sad, yes, its the last of my 3 lobsters and the biggest. Yet i am not that very sad, removing and throwing away the dead lobster as if it was routine job.

It had been quite an experience to keep lobsters crayfish as pets.You can literally see their growth when they moult. You can understand their character from the way they fight with each other. Something you may not see if you keep dogs or cats.

Yet as time goes by, the novelty of keeping lobster as pets slowly wore on. I still like the three lobsters that i keep, cannot say the same for others.

I hoped i had gave them a good life while in my care.

Hong Kong to relax rules on foreign talents

Found this on yesterday papers.

Foreigners like me can now stay in Hong Kong without first securing a job. I can stay there as long as i can support myself and my dependents (if any). Also, i get higher admission points if i am bi-lingual in English and Chinese.

Why is HK doing all these?

Like Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul, HK is facing a greying population and dipping birth rates. To maintain their competitiveness, they have to attract more foreign talent.

Good news for me, though may not be useful. I always like HK. Good food, nice city, pretty girls and great sceneries are qualities that HK can boast over singapore. Although i can’t speak cantonese, i always enjoyed my trips to HK. I like how i can blend into the streets, eat food from the streetside stalls and shop till my wallet is dry.

But will it feel the same if i am to work and stay there?

I think maybe not. You can often hear tourists singing praises about singapore, how clean the streets are, how polite the people is, how nice the food and weather and blah blah. Yet how many singaporeans feel the same way?  Even my boss, who is a japanese, likes singapore for some of the things he don’t get in Japan. I think the fad will wear off after some time and soon, if he is really exposed to the local scene like us, singapore will just like me any other place, full of the ugly and bad things.

So in the end, HK will just be another nice place for vacation.

However, if i do really get the chance, i will want to get a taste of working and staying in Japan. That will be really nice.

Radical change to our public bus transport?

Was kinda surprised to read yesterday’s papers to see our Transport Minister announced the following changes to our public bus services.

1) higher frequency in bus dispatching. Bus will come in 10min or less during peak times compared to 15min now.

2) More commuters will complete their rides in an hour or less.

3) Trips by bus will on the whole take considerably shorter time than before to cut the difference compared to trips by car.

4) Gahmen will do the routes planning instead. (Yeah!!!)

5) More players into the bus services. (Yeah!!!!!!111)

6) More full time bus lanes at various locations/roads. Also, bus will get priority at junctions and while turning out to lanes. Thus, bus speed will be raised.

7) Fares will be based on distance travelled solely. This means that transferring between bus services will cost less.

I have always had a bad impression of the public transport system in singapore, especially bus services. Operated by two companies (who also owned the trains network), they have not been serving the public in the best way that i could have imagined. My previous post stated the various short-comings that i have personally experienced.

Now not all the above-mentioned will be implemented so soon, but what will they bring for heartlander commuters like me?

Firstly, i celebrate the decision to have the routes planned by the gahmen instead of the individual companies. I hope that with a centralised planning agency, routes will be based on the most direct and fastest, instead of the current ones which seek to pass through most places to get the most commuters to get the most profits while not taking the most direct route.

Also, the plan to allow more private companies to enter the market is a good one. This will directly raise the standards of the services through competition. SBS and SMRT can afford to be complacent because its either taxi or buy ur own car or them. Since they still work out to be the cheapest (but not the fastest), many people i believe still choose them unwillingly.

Thirdly, by increasing the frequency of services, the horrible waiting time currently experienced by many will be reduced. Many times one will find him/herself wasting valuable time on waiting for bus to arrive, only to find the one that came so crowded that it didn’t even stop. And this seems to happen on services where there should be double deckers.

I am not sure of what is the side effect of increasing the frequency. More buses will need to be stationed at the interchanges and the land allocated for the parking will need to increase since one cannot expect the bus to come back to interchanges on time. One of the problems i faced is when buses one the opposite route get jammed and unable to reach the interchange on time, therefore unable to set out on time for the route i am travelling. This translate into a disgusting experience of waiting 30min for a bus which is less than 10 stops from the interchange.

Perhaps the greatest effect i will be feeling is my decision to buy a car. If the transport system can be improved drastically through the changes planned, than going to work and home by buses or train won’t be so bad after all. By owning a car, i get my much needed private space while travelling but car ownership is still very costly to me, coupled with the rising fuel prices, this is becoming more of an illusion to me.

It remains to be seen how all these will turn out. I am reserved over how the gahmen can turn things around but at least something is done. SBS will not make any changes to improve their bus services at the expense of their profits. So now in the hands of gahmen, maybe the situation will improve?

And when things do, i won’t need to think about Jazz or SX-4 anymore.

My most expensive watch

Today my girlfriend bought me a SEIKO watch. To date, this is my most expensive watch and my very first SEIKO watch. It seems that i only like watches of Japanese brand. Casio, SEIKO. Used to fancy SWATCH and Tag Heuer but find Swatch too noisy (can hear the second hand moving at night) and Tags too expensive (given that their designs aren’t a big deal).

How do you find it? Nice?

Ingram move version

After that tiring business trip, its back to routine life for me this weekend before i go into my 2 weeks ICT.

So before chinatown gets too crowded for the new year, i went down to chinatown again to pick up my Ingram movie version.

The main street was closed at 2pm onwards today. Kinda made it rather difficult to get to the shop.

Posing and photo-taking immediately after reaching home.

One small problem with Revoltech figures is that sometimes, the figures are slightly distorted. When i took the Ingram out of the box, the upper torso was tilted to one side. I had to take it apart and use pliers to twist the connecting rod back. Luckily i didn’t break it.