Are you awake or asleep?

My son likes to ask me very pragmatic questions during meal times like “Why does this fried rice at Han’s cost twice that of the hawker center version?” or “Why doesn’t the cook earn more than the cashier, according to this job advertisement?”

I explain to him as much as I can, covering the logic of high rentals and business survival, because I always believe that if I don’t tell him what he wants to know today, I might never get a chance tomorrow.

He and his sister still don’t believe that I could just die tomorrow from an unpredictable event, but they haven’t gone to many funeral wakes yet. I already exceeded my lifetime quota when I did crime news stories and put my old friend’s coffin into the ground when he was 29.

But sometimes, this whole train of thought also gets me thinking in a meta-sorta way – do we persistently think about the situations we face, or the situations that we are currently operating within? Why do many people accept their scenarios the way they are? Do they ask questions about the obvious things they see? Are we truly awake as we go to work or school every day?

Continue reading Are you awake or asleep?

Biker Bites : BMW R1200R, $6801 COE and a new tee.

Recently, I read this article “How To Make The Next Great Motorcycle Blog” by ex-motorcycle journalist Wes Siler and he’s right, it’s really difficult to find or to create good motorcycle content. And no, I don’t intend to do so because it’s more fun to ride my Ducati than to write about bikes.

But I do discuss motorcycles with my friends frequently, and the motorcycle world is one filled with technological wonders and non-stop advancements. Since the first motorcycle was invented, man has been finding every way to create a two-wheeler that will go faster, look sexier, growl louder, lean lower or all of the above.

Many bikers don’t bother about their bikes – they just ride it to work daily and let it rot in the hot sun. Then there are those of us who care about our works of art and science. It’s not just about cleaning and polishing the bike, but learning about the new models and classic vintages on the road that make it such a great experience of being part of the community.

So once in a while, when the mood strikes, or when I’m tired of the daily grind, I shall write about motorcycles in this journal format. It’s not going to be terribly technical or hopelessly vapid, just sharing some two-wheeled goodness. So here goes another attempt at consistent content (and apologies in advance, I’m just not good at that after 10 years of blogging here):

Continue reading Biker Bites : BMW R1200R, $6801 COE and a new tee.

On donation drives and the ACS spirit

I was looking forward to visiting the ACS Barker Carnival today with my family when I read the most distasteful story in the Straits Times titled “Carnival tickets: Students feel sales pressure“.

An upset housewife had uploaded the principal’s letter (original PDF here) to STOMP (no, I don’t link to hate-filled sites) and claimed that she couldn’t sleep over the letter as she felt that the students were being forced to donate.

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Fenix 3 is a better smartwatch than most

The Apple Watch is about to be launched this month and there isn’t much excitement in Singapore because the country is not in the first launch wave. Enthusiasm over Android Wear has waned with the lack of compelling new models and there have been no improvements in battery life.

In the meantime, most people don’t know that Garmin has actually launched a pretty good smartwatch in the form of the multisport Fenix 3.

It’s just a pity most people won’t know about the Fenix 3 because they think a smartwatch ought to look like an Apple Watch, Moto 360 or Pebble. And when you tell people this is a “fitness watch”, they may give you the leery look since they associate the term with hardcore fitness freaks.

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Kindle Voyage : A really short review

Has it been five years already, since I first started using a Kindle? Amazing how so many things have changed in this time frame. I had a USD259 Kindle 2 in Feb 2010, then upgraded to a much cheaper USD139 Kindle 3 later that year.

Both were very imperfect e-book readers, hampered by the technologies of 2010. To be honest, I haven’t used my Kindles much in the past few years as the iPad, and later the iPad mini took over the e-book reader function. What I really couldn’t tolerate was the low contrast, low resolution (167 ppi) and dull grey e-ink screen of those Kindles.

Continue reading Kindle Voyage : A really short review

How To Stay Alive Riding A Motorcycle In Singapore

It is true that Singapore has some of the worst drivers in the world. To be fair to the driving community, I would also add that we also have some of the worst motorcyclists too. I’ve been driving and riding for about 20 years and I still can’t help but get upset when I see so many instances of bad behavior on our roads.

Our island is a very small place, and yet we have almost a million vehicles (972,037 vehicles as of 2014, to be exact) jostling for space on our roads. With such congestion, it’s no wonder we constantly see cases of road rage, reckless driving and vehicle pile-ups on expressways.

As a motorcyclist, you’re the most vulnerable of all, and every ride you take does put your life at more risk than any other road user. So I decided to pen down all the lessons I’ve learned over the years for other bikers.

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The first steps to losing weight

I’ve written plenty on weight loss and weight management over the past two years but something still bugs me constantly – it is so difficult for most people to get started because their minds are filled with so many misconceptions or excuses.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen some friends or acquaintances actually lose weight effectively. No, not all of them read my free book “Anyone Can Lose Weight” but the book did come in handy for some. All these people did was to clean up their diet with healthier choices and a little exercising. No miracle cures involved.

So how can you fall into this camp of successful fat-busters, instead of wallowing in continued defeat and self-pity? After years of writing my blog posts and my book, and then listening to many people’s reactions to them and my current weight, I’ve come to a few key observations that I’ve penned below, and will add into the next edition of my book (goodness knows when I’ll update it).

I’ll make this post short so it’s easy to remember, and forgive me for being blunt, but I’m sure you’ll understand my point.

Continue reading The first steps to losing weight