Friday, 30 September 2016

Fled!

It was a bad catch day for me yesterday.

The rares seemed to run away from me all the time after at least a berry and one ultra ball. 
 
The loss was especially keenly felt with Blastoise.
I was just thinking that Blastoise was the only Pokemon that I had not seen in the wild but each time it appeared, it was a 15-minute run for me which I wouldn't risk my life in doing.

At twelve midnight last night, it finally came to the private housing area about 12-minute away.

I ran to it and captured it on my screen within the last minute.

But it fled after a berry and a ball!

Strangely, Blastoise returned today, a few blocks and a street away!
 
But my ecstasy was short-lived. The cp was ridiculously low.
 
 
Following that, William Whatsapped me to tell me that he tried catching a Snorlax for me but it fled.
 
Immediately I realised I was soft-banned!

When I turned the Pokestops, no balls or potions appeared.

I quickly turned the Pokestops 40 times before the ban was lifted. Of course, I cautioned William never to log into my account ever again.

As you can see, I seem to have many Pokemons running away from me these few days. Not sure if it was because I had tried the trick William taught me - setting the clock back by 20 minutes for the Incense to last longer. Usually I play by the rules but after hearing all types of hacks tried by others, I decided to try one of the most harmless ones. 

But it seems the trying is not worth the trouble. In fact, I am getting more than what I have bargained for.

Sigh. Honesty is the best policy, even in Pokemon Go.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Cold

My prolonged cold has been diagnosed as 'sinus infection/inflammation' by the second doctor.

He prescribed a nasal spray, antibiotics and flu pills, and taught me how to use the nasal spray.

On seeing that I was flabbergasted to be prescribed a nasal spray and resistant to its use, he 'threatened' that pill-popping could only achieve 40% healing effect while a nasal spray would help the healing by 90%. He even reminded me a few times to use the nasal spray for at least three weeks, even when I 'feel' recovered. Yikes!

I am not a sleeper so the flu medicine does its magic yesterday to get me a 45-minute nap and a close-to-six-hour sleep at night.

Amy Cheung wrote that 'a lonely person's cold lasts longer (than an average person's) because she herself doesn't wish to recover 寂寞的人,感冒会拖得特别的久,因为她自己也不想痊愈'.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Alone

It's close to midnight.

Am cutting a lonesome figure at a somewhat desolate bus-stop, taking a rest after a ten-minute jog to a similarly lonely Snorlax who was out standing in a far, wide field, whose only company were the Poke hunters.
 
Like what they say, loneliness is not a physical state. It's a state of being. 

I long for the day when I no longer feel alone.

Will that day ever come?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Virtual Location

My youngest sister was Whatsapping me about how her colleague had shown her a home advertisement on PropertyGuru website. It listed Pokestops as one of the features of the apartment.

I mused,"Then my ad will look like this: 3 pokestops in the living room. Frequent lures. Visited by Dragonite, Snorlax, Lapras, Porygon and other rare Pokemons. A stone's throw away from a virtual gym. Owner's Pokedex was filled up without venturing out to other areas."

"Or: Are Pikachu, Chansey, Kabuto, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee rare mons to you? This apartment has all that you need. Play to believe!"
 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

What I Can't, Cold Can

 
This morning, I tipped the scale at the above number. 

A few days of cold, fever and incessant perspiring were probably the ones that made this possible.

My diet has been porridge and soup as I don't have the appetite to eat the more oily stuff like chicken rice and fried food. 

What I couldn't achieve, a cold did!

I am feeling much better now. Strong enough to run after a Dragonite which finally came to my neighbourhood again!
 
Found him!
 
On the road - a tough one to catch. 
 
The fellow Dragonite chasers

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Beauty of the Game

 
As I was walking along the canal where Lapras had appeared half an hour ago, I lifted my eyes and saw the mellow evening sky above the murky water.

Pokemon Go players are called 'zombies' in Singapore for the typical behaviour of staring intently at their handphones as they walk. I like to think that we are better than that. Oftentimes, the ones who walk distractedly are not the Pokemon Go players. I have encountered my fair share of idiots who deliberately walked into my path just to prove that I was distracted by my game!

One of the beauties of this game is that it encourages players to get out of their house to explore the surroundings. Because of this game, I am more aware of the sculptures, statues and buildings in Singapore that I would otherwise never have noticed.
 
It brought me out to the secluded beach I can't find a good reason to go.
 
And in turn, nature beckoned me to check an unusual tree out.
 
What curious flower this is!

No. We are not zombies, or phombies.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Non-Working Benefit

When I woke up in the morning, I got a nasty shock: my voice turned hoarse.

My cough intensified.

I had wanted to skip the doctor's visit - to skip taking medicine, but it looked like it was impossible.

So off to the doctor's I went.

As my medicine was dispensed, it dawned on me that a proper rest would never have been possible if I were working. 

I would be given one pathetic day of MC and would have to continue to work like a dog even when I am unwell.

Because I am on leave, I don't have to worry about colleagues gossiping behind my back, speculating that I am feigning ill to escape work.

Because I am on leave, I don't have to be pressured to 'will myself' to get well quickly.

Because I am on leave, I don't have to skip my medication to avoid being drowsy at work.

Because I am on leave, I am able to make sure I rest whenever I need to or feel like.

I foresee myself struggling with the finances in the months ahead but what luxury it is to be on no-pay leave!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Books that Tug at My Heartstrings

 
I haven't come across children's books that tug at my heartstrings in a long time!

 
I could so identify with Brian, the invisible boy.

He often felt unattended to by the teacher who was too busy managing the difficult children and tending to the vocal ones.

He felt out of place sitting in the midst of chatty classmates who talked about the party he was not invited to.

 
Until Justin, a Korean boy, joined the class. The friendly boy was laughed at over the name of his packed lunch but Justin quietly wrote a note telling him his food looked tasty.

In return, Justin befriended Brian and invited him to join him in a group project.

As Brian felt noticed and included, he started to have colours on him.

Eventually, Brian became a part of his class like the rest of the children.

I showed the book to Baby as she had told me she went for recess alone. 

I told her I liked the book because I felt like Brian sometimes, and I asked her if she ever felt like him too.

She said yes, especially during recess.

Oh, I feel so sorry for Baby. Apparently, an unkind girl had asked other girls not to be Baby's friends.

I encouraged her to befriend other girls but she said that she had tried to and she did not like to hang out with 'boring friends'.

A tricky problem I see there.

 
Last Stop On Market Street tells of a story about kindness.

Grandma would take CJ to a soup kitchen, a charitable organisation which prepared food for the needy, every week after church.
 
Whenever CJ asked a question, Grandma always had a wise and beautiful answer to it.
 
Coco had done CIP (community involvement project) at a soup kitchen locally. She felt exhausted just washing vegetables for hours. I thought it interesting that soup kitchen is a borderless organisation that helps the poor.

 
The last book, Sumi's First Day Of School Ever, is about Sumi's fears on her first day at school.

She was worried that the teacher and friends would be unkind.

But as she interacted with the teacher and friends, she realised things were not as bad as she had imagined. 

And she started to enjoy school.

The book reveals the inner world of children whose fears should not be dismissed. It would be apt for children who are going to school for the first time, or even Primary One.

All in all, these three books are highly sincere children's literature that aim to identify with children's vulnerable feelings, especially The Invisible Boy and Sumi's First Day Of School Ever. A good read anytime!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Cold

I fell sick to a cold, coupled with cough. Not a bad one, but for someone who falls sick once a year under non-stressful (read: non-working) condition, physical misery was at its zenith.

At night, the temperature rose. I didn't use a thermometer but I knew I had a fever because I felt cold.

Then sore throat set in :( Must be the hot Milo that I have been drinking these two days.

I hope it's a coincidence that I caught a cold a day right after the acupuncture. Tried googling for information on possibility of fever as a side-effect of acupuncture but found none. Either that or I had caught the virus from my friend's repeated sneezing in an air-conditioned theatre.

Monday, 19 September 2016

An Acupuncture Experience

 

Ignore the pig's trotters!

Under my friend's recommendation, I decided to go to a Chinese medical hall for consultation for my painful left knee. 

I am not exactly sure what caused the pain. It could be the frequent running around in slippers in my pursuit of the Pokemons, or the trip-over I had when my gaze was overly fixed on the Machamp on the map, or it could be a combination of both.

The wait for the consultation took an hour. A female physician.

I have met many impatient female doctors but this physician was pleasant. 

This was my second time receiving an acupuncture treatment. The first time was not painful so I had expected this not to be either. However, the moment she stuck the needle in, I jolted a little because of the pain.

Then she proceeded to stick two other needles into my legs.

An intense, sore sensation travelled all the way from my calf to my foot!

I felt miserable and told the physician the feeling I was going through.

It seemed she adjusted the position of the needle and it was fine after that.

After the acupuncture, I was thankful that I was immediately relieved from the gait that I had been walking with for about a week.

Before I left, the physician advised me to wear long pants so that my knees would be protected from the cold air. She also reminded me not to bathe within two hours of acupuncture. She assured me that I would get well, just that it may take a longer time to recover depending on how much I had strained my knee after I had injured it.

I left after settling my bill of $16.

Am I glad I came!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

哀,莫大于心不死

From 张世媛's Facebook:

林心如的妈妈在离婚的时候说了对她说了一句:“一辈子太长了”

        这几天林心如这段话被转疯了:她说:爸妈离婚,就因为爸爸向妈妈养的兰花盆里弹烟灰……
        我妈妈是那种下楼倒垃圾也要穿戴整齐的精致女人,在我12岁时,她和爸爸离婚了,就因为爸爸往她养的兰花盆里弹烟灰、扔烟头,多次劝阻无效……
        亲友来规劝,她只有一句话“他人很好,只是过不到一块去”。外婆气愤的骂她 “你就是书读太多,事儿就多了”。
        在外婆眼里,她的女婿高大英俊,能赚钱,孝顺顾家,反而是女儿任性自私,不考虑孩子和父母的感受。她也很难理解妈妈痛诉爸爸的那些如不爱洗澡、衣服袜子乱扔、吃饭狼吞虎咽、没空陪她、记不住她生日、纪念日,……哪能算是毛病,男人不都是这样的?
        我至今记得妈妈带我离开曾经的家时,流着眼泪对我说“希望你能理解妈妈,一辈子太长了”。
        我16岁时,继父出现了,他个子不高,相貌平平,但整个人看起来干净清爽,笑起来很温和,我竟对他没有排斥感。
        他会为妈妈的花花草草换上漂亮的花盆,给妈妈新买的淡绿格子桌布配上了新的盘子碗筷,为她的红色连衣裙选一双乳白的方跟的皮鞋,给我用铁环勾着的几把钥匙换个漂亮的钥匙扣。
        他会拉着她的手一起去江边散步,看夕阳和日出,去湿地公园拍摄花鸟,告诉她每一种植物的名字和故事,带回几根掉落的树枝,回家后插在古朴的花瓶里,摆在我的书桌上。
        妈妈热爱研究菜谱,每次她隆重的推出新菜时,继父会拉我一起漱好口、衣着整齐的端坐在餐桌前,模仿美食家一样在妈妈期待的眼神中从色香味上开始点评,逗的妈妈咯咯直笑。
         继父还是个过节狂,他说生活就该有年有节,有时有令,这样岁月才有层次感,不同的节日他有不同的礼物和庆祝方式,他会带我和妈妈在季节时令交换时到大自然里走一走,看看时光的交替……
        有一次妈妈生病住院,我去医院时看到妈妈的床头放着一束百合,水果切成了小块放在干净的淡绿色瓷碗里。继父坐在床边,为妈妈旁若无人的读着书。旁边病床的阿姨侧着头羡慕的看看这一幕,我忽然鼻子一酸,终于理解了妈妈的那一句“一辈子太长了”……确实一辈子太长了,不要将就……
        假如一个人和另一个人在一起,只是为了生活,而生活中没有节日,没有惊喜,没有感动,没有浪漫的话,那就叫做搭伙过日子吧?

***          ***          ***          ***

太多时候,我也想就这样子过一辈子吧?搭伙度日。十年却像永远,没有止境。没有止境的流泪,没有止境的讨厌自己,没有止境的鄙视自己,没有止境的遐想“如果当初...” ...

昨天午夜12点45分,在公共场所对我大吼后,他把我遗留在一个无人的巴士站里,自己搭德士回家。

我的心已经死了。

这样的话剧已经上演无数次了。

一个接近不惑的男人,却还学不会成熟。喜欢上演话剧让一大堆不相干的人看笑话。

我真的累了。

已经走不下去了。

人的心会慢慢死掉,有时,你不愿意死心,你就得花很多很多的时间让心一点一点地死去。

你会死心得就算一辈子要自己过,也不要再继续下去了 ... 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Exposed

I was in a cab driving past Thomson area when I spotted a virtual gym with a seat in it. Delighted, I placed my highest-CP Snorlax in it before the cab was too far from it.

Night came. Coco enquired if I was at Thomson Road at 7.30pm earlier. 

I was shocked. Immediately, I asked how she knew I was there.

She said her friends knew my nick for the game and had taken a screenshot of my avatar and sent it to her,"Hey dude, your mum is dominating the gym here!"

Wow! It was mind-blowing! It occurred to me that one's whereabouts could be given away without one realising it!

And I don't even know her friends!
 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Affinity, Finally!

 
I finally caught my first Aerodactyle and registered it to my Pokedex as the 141st Pokemon for the local finds!

After missing it twice at my place, I have been wondering when it would ever visit my estate again. As it was the last local Pokemon for my Pokedex, I have been looking high and low (on the map) to check where it frequents. Recently, I observed that it has been visiting Fort Canning Park and the museums around it. I was toying with the idea of parking myself at Fort Canning Park to hopefully snag an Aerodactyle.

Anyway, back to my panting journey of how I caught it:

I was cooking a pot of barley water when I was looking through the map to see if there was anything catch-worthy around my block when I noted that there was an Aerodactyle in the estate next to mine.

I was hoping that the Aerodactyle could come to my estate next, and hopefully jump into my lap so that I could catch it.

Then I saw it.

It was a 15-minute run but I saw the timer was left with 13 minutes.

And I was cooking barley!

Sigh. I whatsapped my sister living within a 10-minute quick walk there and asked if she could go catch it but she said she was too lazy to even buy a bread.

Sigh two.

Then I received a Tweeter notification from sgpokemap that an Aerodactyle was spotted at the same spot!

I checked the map again, and indeed, the timer had restarted at 15 minutes!

This time, I turned off the stove, put on my track shoes and dashed out of the door!

I didn't stop to check the time as I felt that the most such checking would do for me was to demoralise me and slow me down. If I would not catch it, no amount of checking would help. If I would catch it, it would probably be because I didn't check the timer and was disillusioned that I still had time.

However, my shoelace came loose due to the vigorous brisk walk coupled with a bit of running.

I had to stop to give it a quick tie before resuming my brisk walk cum run.

Nearing the school where the flying beast was found, I checked the timer: I had more than 4 minutes left! Great! I see hope!

I started running. I was not going to lose the beast when I was so close to it!

'The back of the school ... The back of the school ...'

My darned shoelace came loose again! But no, I was not going to lose time re-tying it! 

What? A slope? No. Before I detoured to avoid the slope, I checked if the slope was gentle enough for me to glide down, even if it looked like one-storey high!

Yes! As if by some divine help, the slope, for the first time, looked surmountable!

And I kept on running. *pant* *pant*

And there it was!

I was left with about 1 minute and 50 seconds. I sprang into action immediately.

It took a few tries before the menacing looking dino-bird was caught! I was starting to worry that it might get away. Fortunately, it didn't.

 
With that, my left knee started to ache.

I'll have to tone down on my chasing from now on. 


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Unlikely Cook

I have never quite fancied pasta.

I often see pasta as 'the ang moh instant noodles'.

But last Friday, after I took the girls to visit an old friend, my buddy's great cooking completely changes the way I look at pasta.

She cooked a small pan of fusilli for us, and I have never tasted such great pasta! I actually wished I could have more!

She showed me how she cooked it and gave me the list of ingredients she used. I improvised the recipe a little by adding in chicken bits.

 
Serving: two

Ingredients:
1.5 cup of fusilli
Half of boneless chicken thigh (diced)
5 to 6 florets of broccoli (diced)
4 brown button mushroom (diced)
Butter or margarine to oil the pan
3 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of corn flour or plain flour
A packet of cooking cream (as below) from NTUC or Cold Storage (placed in the yogurt section)
 
Preparing the fusilli
1) Boil water with a teaspoon of salt.
2) Cook the fusilli for 10 minutes when water is boiled
3) Drain the water and set the fusilli aside

Preparing the chicken
1) Before dicing, immerse the chicken thigh in a bowl of water with a teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.
2) Dice the chicken thigh.
3) Boil a small pot of water and immerse the diced chicken thigh in it till half-cooked.
(This is also to get rid of the chicken smell.)
4) Drain the water and set the diced chicken thigh aside.

Preparing the sauce
1) Pour the cooking cream into a bowl.
2) Add 1 tablespoon of flour to the packet of cooking cream and stir till the flour is dissolved.

Steps:
1) Using medium fire, oil the frying pan with margarine or butter.
2) Pour the diced mushrooms and broccoli into the frying pan and fry them till cooked.
3) Add the diced chicken thigh in and fry for a while.
4) Add 2/3 of the sauce into the pan.
5) Add fusilli in.
6) When the sauce boils, add in 2 teaspoons of salt.
7) Stir to mix everything in.
8) Add in the remaining sauce and 1 teaspoon of salt.
9) When the sauce boils, turn off the stove and serve the pasta hot.

Quite an easy recipe for an amateur like me!

At first I didn't get it right. The girls said that the pasta was too hard (I didn't boil it for 10 minutes), the taste was too bland (not enough salt) and the pasta was not creamy (I didn't add the flour or there was too little flour).

I only got it right at the third attempt. While I usually don't eat or eat little of what I cook, I loved it and indulged in it this time!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Highest Form Of Playing

I was in an area with four lure stations alongside a canal with numerous Pokestops catching Pokemons tonight.

While catching the Pokemons that appeared on my screen, I saw Hitmonchan on the map across the road.
 
"Hey, wanna fight?"

So I walked over and caught him. (Yes, it's a he!)

As I was walking back to the lure stations, a crowd of players were moving in the direction I was going back from.

I assumed they were going for Hitmonchan but could not resist stopping a guy in his track and asked, just in case I missed something,"Where are you going? What are you going for?"

The guy readily replied,"Dunno. Just follow blindly."

Wah ... the highest form of Pokemon Go playing!

Crowd-moving happened again after that episode. I asked a few players what they were going for, and each time, they said,"I also dunno. Just follow."

I later realised, from the map, that it was a Dragonair across the canal.

Now, that was a valid reason to follow the crowd!
 
An elegant ice queen to behold!

Monday, 12 September 2016

A Different Kind Of Props

I have been asking Baby and Coco to pose with the Pokemons I am about to catch, but Baby is with me most of the time so here's sharing some of her pictures with the unusual props:
 
A different facade 
 
"I want the cute Eevee to stand on my shoulder!"
 
Squirtle is hungry.
 
Onix sitting on a macaron
 
How can I miss the shot with Pikachu?
 
Stop moving, Jolteon!
 
Eeks! A pitcher plant!
 
"I didn't know I was taking a picture with the Seel!"
 
She was the one who alerted me to the Snorlax in the vicinity.
"I love Dratini!"
 
Have a seat, Kakuna!
 
Meowth is a tiny cat
 
Wartortle looks hostile, so do I!
 
Be careful of Pigeotto!
 
Horsea can't stay calm in her palm!
 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A Waterfront Experience

I made a trip down to Woodlands Waterfront today by bus to see if I could catch a Lapras and/or Dratini.

Almost on a daily basis, I have seen Lapras and Dratini appearing on this northern end of Singapore on the virtual map so I went with the hope that I could get lucky today.

I was nastily surprised that it was awfully crowded!
 
The carpark was fully occupied. It was so bad that cars parked illegally at the side of the road as can be seen on the left side of the picture!
My parents live near there and I have been there once or twice. While the playground has always been occupied by frolicking children, Baby and Coco did not have a problem waiting their turns to play on the swing or climbing structures, but I would not have asked Baby to play at the playground today! I even spotted foreign workers playing with the playground equipment meant for children!
At one point, I saw the crowd moving towards the jetty.

I briefly stopped a girl pushing her bike and asked what the crowd was going for and she replied she didn't know. Apparently, she was just taking a walk there, with her Pokemon Go app turned on.
 
As I neared the restaurant on the jetty, a Dratini appeared on the sightings window and it was then clear to me that people were going for this beauty!
 
Now I understand why some Pokemons look like they are in or on the water on the virtual map. I am walking on water too!

In less than an hour, I caught a Dratini and a few other Pokemons. It was not a wasted trip after all. Besides, shortly after, I caught another Lickitung and Squirtle near my parents' place when my sister picked me up in her car.

We met up with William and the girls to have dinner at Causeway Point Mall not knowing that a pleasant surprise awaited us half an hour after our meal.
 
My sister caught her first Snorlax. She lamented at the super-low CP of the rare Pokemon but I laughed and told her she had the privilege of telling others that her Snorlax was indeed a rare one as it only had a CP of 40!