Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Valentine's Cryptography 2014

This year I received a very special Valentine present from him.

A very sweet bear and vase (can't imagine is a vase) of roses.

And this mind-boggling message card.

Anyone can have a guess? 

(Tip: it's an Excel function)

Revive This Blog

I'm gonna to revive this blog. More to come, stay tuned!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Marina Run 2014

I just finished my first  half marathon in Marina Run 2014!

I enjoyed the run very much as it was in Marina Barrage, the surrounding was so scenic.

My tears actually welled up in my eyes as I was enduring great pain in my left knee for the last 5-6km *sob* However, luckily it was so windy that evening that it blew away my pain and sweat, and tear?.

Though I finished it at 2 hours 54 mins, which is 24 mins slower than my target, I still felt very proud the moment I crossed the finishing line.

I will still take part in 21km this year to improve my personal timing to 2.5 hours!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Standard Chartered Run 2013

After Great Eastern Run 2013, I planned to give myself the best shot in SC Run 2013. But who knows one week before the run, I was down with fever and coughing. The coughing was so bad that it even trigger my back bone pain. 

However, as quite a few friends joined this run, I still insisted to take part, even I knew I could not deliver myself good result. Running could be a very serious addiction. *grin*

SCSM 2013 was really a happening one, there were 40k++ participants! The whole Raffles are was so crowded. 

during the run
I enjoyed my run though I finished the run at 80 mins, 14 minutes slower than my GE Run. 

With friends happily on SC Run 2013 medal
Alvin also started to get addicted to running, we have signed up for Marina Run 2014 half marathon which falls on Feb 15! Gotta train for it! No target set yet, but I would try my best. 

Let's run for a reason~~~

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great Eastern Women's Run 2013

After two mediocre 10km marathons in 2012 Nov and 2013 Jan, I took part in my company 10km women's run again. Previously both run were done with about 90-95 mins.

But after my company's Live Great program on employee brisk walking every Wednesday few months ago, I was determined to improve my physical strength. I started jogging, elliptical training and climbing staircases. 

This time, I made it a quantum leap by finishing the run at 66 mins! I was so thrilled. 

Free picture from the running organizer... 
Hopefully for the coming Dec 1, 2013 Standard Chartered 10km marathon, I can at least keep up with this performance. Hope for a better one like 60-64 mins?  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

OCBC Cycle 2013

I conquered another challenge this year - 42KM cycling from Singapore F1 Building to East Coast Park, to and fro.

It was another event sponsored by the company. I did not have any cycling training beforehand due to the busy workload. However, after knowing that it would be excruciating painful riding on bikes for hours, I decided to get myself a bike short which I did not regret at the end (it was quite expensive). 

On April 28, 2013 early in the morning, I really mean early, it was as early as 3am, I took a cab with 2 colleagues to the site. The organizer decided to push forward the check-in procedure due to Boston marathon bombing few days before the event. Excitedly after checking in, we collected our rented bikes and started to get ourselves familiar with the bike function. =.= Yea, moment before the event, we only start to figure out which button is for which function. 

It was very crowded as ten thousands of participants took part in that morning. In the beginning, we kind of enjoying ourselves, we were chatting while cycling leisurely. We didn't find ourselves having any problem cycling up Nicoll Highway. Then slowly, we all cycled at our own pace. Throughout the journey, I was challenging myself to the boredom of cycling non-stop and the physical determination. Luckily, along the way, there were many attractions which we normally can pass through by car only and do not have the chance to take picture. However, on and off, I saw some accidents, like participants collided and fell down when having some turns. 

Finally after one hour of cycling, there came the first hydration stop. I quickly went in to get myself hydrated. After resting for few minutes, I found my butt reluctant to get on the bike as it was really painful to stick on the seat for an hour. But I was determined to finish the journey, so quickly I resumed cycling. I could not imagine if I did not get myself the bike short.

Soon, after an hour, I was back to Nicoll Highway. But this time, I no longer had the energy to cycle up. Both my legs went jelly the moment I came down to push my bike. @@ Indeed many participants also like me, pushed the bike up. I spent some time there to enjoy the scenery and also took some pictures.

There, gradually I reunited with some colleagues, and so we cycled together to finish the route! 

A taste of success with colleagues after 2.5 hours at the finishing line!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First 10 in 2013

Right after my ever first marathon since high school, I immediately looked for the marathon calender 2013 to participate in some more runs. And here it is. Early in the morning today, we took a cab to Keppel Road (Tg Pajor Old KTM Station) to kick start our run. The marathon event was rather a simple one and there were only 6000 runners from 6 categories. Everything was done in a quieter manner as the nearby residents complained and asked to stop this event before. This time round my friends and I (10 together) were taking part in this inaugural run. We all ran separately and just met at the finishing line. Overall, my performance did not improve nor deteriorate. But again, I had stomach cramp when I crossed over 1.5km. The pain subdued after like 10 minutes and I continued slow running and brisk walking. I am wondering if I am suitable for any marathon in the future.   

Here are some of the pictures after the finishing line.  

A finisher medal means a lot!

The first three (among 4 of us) to finish the run

Got a nice towel and medal after the run

After the run and shower, we pampered ourselves at Buffet Town.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 Resolutions Verdict

2012 has ended. Let's see how many targets I hit.

1. Read more books. Let's target 10. Without specifying a quantity, I afraid I might slack off.
Verdict: Failed! Only managed to read The Starbucks Experience, Building Wealth Through REITs and finish Eat Pray Love.

2. Pass the two exams remaining. Given the heavy workload currently, I might attempt only one this year.
Verdict: PASSED! I am officially free of actuarial exams! Woohoo, I do not need to purposely avoid vacation near May or Nov anymore! (Though much of the time I just went traveling without thinking much)

3. Reduce weight to 52kg.
Verdict: Failed and passed. I failed to reach 52kg, but my stamina grows stronger after frequenting gym for workout training. Think this is a better and long-run way to maintain a healthy body. 
Row machine
4. Grow more in career. I am not sure what are the other ways of having salary increment besides passing exam for an actuarial associate, but I will explore along the way. Perhaps recognition of hard work is not a bad idea too, except always talking about money.
Verdict: Passed. Received positive comments from supervisor and boss though was once screwed hard by boss too. Let's see how much is my annual increment in this coming April.  

5. To save an amount of money (God knows it) to renovate the house bought in my hometown. I have the amount quantified, but not going to reveal it here, for God's sake. *grin*
Verdict: Failed. I spent too much money on traveling and fitness. @@

6. To go traveling. I have bought tickets to Phuket and Kota Kinabalu. But I wish to bring my parents to somewhere this year. Let's see where they wish to go.
Verdict: Passed! I brought my mom to Shanghai in March, went to Phuket with friends in May, US West Coast in Nov and HK in Dec with family.

Besides, I made a short trip to Sibu, Sarawak too to attend my friend's wedding as well as sampled all the nice food around the town. Foochow cuisine is mouth-watering. Among all, I like zao cao the most (bottom left)!

7. Conquer Mount Kinabalu! 
Verdict: Passed unbelievably! Here is the recap of my Mount KK journey.

8. Make Online Books Recap earning USD2 per day. I am not greedy and ambitious I know!
Verdict: Failed. Gave up half way. No longer interested and determined to do it *cry*

What is beyond expectation in 2012:
1. I finished 10km marathon. It is a women's marathon held by my company in Singapore.
2. Started exploring stock market, more to REIT and dividend stocks.

All in all, I consider 2012 to be a pretty happening year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Phuket Trip Day 5

After 2 days of island tour, we almost visited all the famous islands near Phuket. Today, we had a different experience by going for elephant trekking and water rafting! 

After the breakfast of fried noodle, we had a 2-hour van ride to Khaolak Safari (aka Island Safari Adventure). Not sure if because of the ride or noodle, few of us suffered from stomach upset. 

Our first activity was elephant trekking. It was a new and good experience, but we kinda pity those elephants as they are trained to carry tourists even when they are pregnant. 

Could hear Yee Voon and Alicia scream when the
elephant started walking 
Friendship forever!

Practically the elephants are trained to wade through the river, walk the tourists one round before going back to the gathering point. 

During this trekking, we only realized that elephants are pretty clever. The hat of the our elephant crew dropped in the water accidentally, then elephant quickly used its nose (trunk) to suck it up and pass it to the crew! That really amazed us. 

We spent few minutes touching and caring the elephants too. 

Feel like skin of snake

After the trekking, we watched elephant show.

The most eye-opening one was this:

"Bird" massage!
Subsequently, it was monkey show. 

They are swift and smart as expected. 

Then it came the most exciting activity - water rafting! 

It was not as scary as I thought, perhaps because we took the novice level. 

Then we ended our trip with fruit sampling in a fruit garden. We were served with fresh guava, dragon fruit, papaya, rambutan and mango. Not to forget, we took the chance to taste the delicious tomyam soup, chicken curry and ondeh-ondeh as well. 

After back from the trip, we spent some time swimming and splashing water in the swimming pool on the hotel rooftop before we went for massage and dinner! I am grateful I can write all these out because Shane reminded me this and we jotted down the highlights of the trip before we went to sleep.

Early in the morning the next day, we made our way to the airport. 

This marks the end of our wonderful trip. It not only gives us fun but also enhances our friendship! Thanks Yee Voon again for organizing the trip! 

Phuket Trip Day 4

Day 4 was another fun day. At least there were no more hard boat bumping and salty water creeping into my eyes and mouth. 

Early in the morning, we were picked up when we were having our breakfast at hotel. We gathered at Ao Por Grand Mariana and cruised to Hong Island as our first destination. 

This time it was a big cruise, carrying food, canoes, and of course us! 

It was a long journey (around one hour plus). So we were served with carbonated drink and biscuits. 

While we were busy taking pictures,

Alicia and Yee Voon went for tattoo-ing.

Along the journey, we did not forget to enjoy the picturesque scenery around us as well. 

Our first destination was a mangrove swamp. We couldn't reach it but need to paddle canoes into the small cave and then went in. I screamed like hell the moment I walked down to the canoe, as the canoe kept shaking with me kept shaking the canoe hard. =.= After seconds of screaming, then only I calmed down a bit and was assisted by crew to paddle inside the mangrove swamp. 

We stopped our canoe at the entrance of a small cave and waded through the water to reach the mangrove swamp. 

It has nothing much there except the muddy mangrove swamp! We spent a few minutes there taking photos and made our way back to the canoe and cruise. 

This time I was less afraid and could paddle on our own without the crew's assistance.

After Hong Island, we made our way to Panak Island. It is an island full of serene lagoons and magnificent limestones. 

And the best limestone is James Bond 2 Island. 

Later you can judge if this looks similar to the real James Bond Island
comparing to the pictures below. 
Soon it was lunch time! We were served with succulent Thai cuisine onboard! 

At the same time, the cruise was propelling us towards James Bond Island. 

Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs when we reached James Bond Island. We sheltered ourselves few minutes and decided to take pictures eventually. 

The rain then started to subdue, but we had been soaked in rain! For your information, James Bond Island is famous because the movie James Bond was filmed there. Its other names are Khao Phing Kan and Ko Tapa. 

After James Bond Island, we headed to our last destination for the island tour that is Phang Nga Bay! We spent a quality time of 40 minutes there canoeing! Some other tourists were swimming. The crew even relaxed themselves playing among themselves in the water too. 

Alvin and Me

Shane and Yee Voon
This time we were totally enjoying being on the sea canoeing. We even canoed to a place slightly farther than the crew's sight control, and they yelled us back! 

Joyful time ended very soon. We paddled back to the cruise reluctantly. 

While on the way back to the quay, the crew performed an eye-opening "Lady Boy" show couple with lip-singing! 

Alvin was the most enjoying one!
All the tourists were enjoying a lot and made quite some cheers. 

After back to our hotel, we just filled up our stomach with Thai instant noodles and then were lying down to enjoy Thai massage just next to our hotel! 

The 2-day island tour was really my ever best island tour in my life so far! Until now, the every moment of joy is still etched in my heart.