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Saturday, February 23, 2008

A bee on my keyboard

A bee on my keyboardA bee on my keyboardA bee on my keyboard

For some reason, this bee decided to rest on the side of my keyboard for most of the night. It had been buzzing around the lamp and banging into the wall for a while before settling on its current location.

After the pictures were taken, it crawled around on the keyboard, then the table... wobbily. And now it's fallen to the floor.

Its life is probably flashing before its compound eyes now...


Sunday, February 17, 2008 gathering at De Coder's Cafe

I met up with a few folks from at De Coder's Cafe at Balmoral Plaza. Though I arrived half an hour late, I found only four other people there: Uzyn, Sekling, Tian Hong and Chillycraps. Singapore time never ceases to amaze me!

We started with Blokus, where the other three teams (Uzyn and Sekling teamed up) started attacking one another from the start. Which left me alone to focus on building up my little corner. And then they started attacking me, but I managed to either block them off or expand into their territories. It helped that I got lucky twice too. In the end, it was I, the quiet and unaggressive one, who won. Am I boasting? Well, sure, why not? *maniacal laughter* Now if only real-life conflicts could be solved similarly.

Others arrived and we moved to a larger table. We tried playing "Right Turn, Left Turn", but it was too brainy for a Sunday afternoon. So we ended up playing this dinosaur card game, "Jurassic Jumble". It's somewhat similar to "Hard Attack", in that you're supposed to collect a set of nine cards of the same dinosaur by trading cards with the other players. The twist is that you also have to collect a "bone" as soon as someone takes one. Since there is always one more player than bones, the loser is the one without a bone.

My strategy was simple (and others can use it too, copyright-free): Let someone else win. Trade enough similar cards to ensure that someone will win. Why? Because you should always keep your eye on the bones. Those are what determine the loser, not the cards. As soon as one goes missing, grab a bone.

Like numerous other shops that have sprouted all over Singapore suddenly, De Coder's Cafe is a place to pay to play games, usually board games. It also serves food and has two Internet kiosks, but the main business driver is the games. Which makes me wonder about its business model. Why would people go there instead of the more popular Settler's Cafe? Even today, if not for us (and another small group), the place would be dead quiet. It doesn't help that it's located in the dingy basement too.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Chinese New Year dinner at Hua Song

Yu Sheng
The company held its annual Chinese New Year dinner at Hua Song this year. When we saw the venue, most of us went "huh???" We'd never heard of this place before, let alone know that there was even a restaurant inside Haw Par Villa!

And we found out that you could even drive inside, where there was a car park near the restaurant-cum-museum!

The private hall was freezing when I entered, but I acclimatised quickly enough. The hot Chinese tea and red wine helped. Some people started that new year tradition: gambling. Money exchanged hands, but mine stayed safely in my wallet.

As expected, people enjoyed tossing the yu sheng. At one table, half of the yu sheng ended up on the table instead! The food itself was average, nothing really spectacular... until the third-to-last dish. It was a dish of something covered in lime green cream. I looked at it with amazement. It was the greenest non-vegetable dish I had ever seen. It turned out to be a prawn dish, and the cream was made from diluted wasabi. Which actually made it quite delicious! Some people didn't like it, but my tastebuds enjoyed the tingling sensation.

Dinner ended early before 10pm. While others adjourned elsewhere, I decided to head home, as I was feeling tired.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chinese New Year parody song part 4

Another Chinese New Year, another addition to my CNY parody song. This time, I already knew at the end of last year what issue I wanted to bring up.

What I didn't realise was that I had composed a somewhat similar verse last year! Which means the situation has been around for about a full year already. Obviously, no one's listening to the grouses of the man on the street.

Here's the entire song, with the new verse 5.
I was sleeping on my bed,
Everyone thought I was dead.
Doctor brought a coffin in,
I jumped out and he jumped in.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.

It was such a peaceful night,
Vampire gave me a bite.
Sunrise made me feel so blue,
Now I want to bite you too.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.

Gave a diamond to my girl.
She said she would rock my world.
Speeding towards a night of fun.
Didn't see the tree in front.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.

GST went up again,
Gahmen welcome foreign t'lent.
Locals squeezed upside-and-down,
Turn my smile into a frown.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.

Prices up by more than half
Ang pow also not enough.
Gahmen say will give money
First they take some more from me.

Gong xi, gong xi, gong xi ni.
Previous entries: verse 2 in 2005, verse 3 in 2006, verse 4 in 2007.