Kev (abr. Kevin)
Irish, Gaelic orgin. Caoimhin.
1. adorable. 2. gentle one

Walkabout (walk-a-bout)
1 (in Oz) - a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time. 2 (chiefly British) - an informal stroll among a crowd conducted by an important visitor e.g. a monarch. 3 a walking trip.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Food that I miss! =(

Food, glorious food! LOL… If you asked me (which Cat had) what do I miss most about Singapore, I would ….. yup food!!! Can faint right? LOL… not home, not family members, but food! What to do? Home or love ones are still contactable while I’m Australia – through phone and webcam etc. But food is another matter altogether! I can’t cook well, and neither do I know where to get all the ingredients together! So, food is definitely something which I miss the most. Therefore, I’m going to make a list of food that I’m going eat when I’m back in Singapore! I’m going to eat till rounded before going back to Australia again! LOL…

1. KFC (Australia KFC is neither crispy enough not spicy)
2. Macdonald
3. Hershey Sundae Pie from Burger King
4. Fried Kuay Teow (炒粿條)
5. Fried hokkien noodles (福建面)
6. Peanut pancake
7. Oneh Oneh
8. Mince pork noodle
9. Ah-nam noodle
10. Chicken rice
11. Nasi lemak
12. Fried carrot cake
13. Rojak
14. Duck rice
15. Tu-tu cake
16. Dumplings (粽子)
17. Ban Mian
18. Ice kachang
19. Chendol
20. Tau Suan
21. Honeydew sago
22. 叉烧 rice
23. Curry puff
24. Sushi
25. Food from Kim Gary
26. 豆花
27. Laksa
28. Oysters Omelet
29. Popiah
30. Goreng Pisang
31. Roti Prata
32. Satay
33. 鱼生
34. 油条
35. 釀豆腐
36. 卤面
37. 虾面
38. Sesame ball
39. Otak
40. 扬州炒饭
41. Nyonya kueh
42. 粿汁

Oh man! Already so many… the list can still go on and on!! How to finish them all in the one month period when I’ll be back in Singapore!!! Argh!!!!!!! I want to eat them all!!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Strange vegetable

Wow, this world is sure strange!! You will be amazed at how much interesting stuffs you can find in a supermarket here in Australia! First it was the patty pan or commonly known as button squash which looks like those spinning tops that children used to play back in the kampong days. Now, the vegetable that I chanced upon in Coles looks so much like some musical instrument or those urinal containers back in the olden China days! Gross! LOL…

I’m amazed every time I looked at it – it has such a big round bottom! LOL. I don’t believe I have eaten it before, and I certainly don’t remember seeing it in our Asian dishes. Can the whole thing be eaten?? Anyway, this strange vegetable thing is called fennel. LOL… sounds like ‘funnel’! And you look at the leaves of the fennel, it looks like some aquatic plants as well. The overall look of it already puts me off, so don’t expect me to eat it!

According to Wikipedia, fennel is a highly aromatic herb! For instance, dried fennel seeds are actually a type of spice! No wonder they look so familiar – must have seen the seed when I was buying spices sometime back. In addition, fennel seeds together with Szechuan pepper, star anise, cassia, and cloves forms the five-spice powder (五香粉) as well! Interesting! Besides food, fennel is also used as a flavoring in toothpaste! Oh gosh, wonder how it tastes like! Imagine having spicy taste after brushing your teeth! LOL…

Well, I guess seeds are alright. Just don’t ask me to eat the whole vegetable!

Maths tutoring

Maths is a subject that will either make or break a child. Indeed it is often heard by my little cousins etc that it is one of the most difficult subjects! In SCORE! Education Centers, Maths tutors are available to help a child to understand and solve maths problems. Better still, Maths tutors tailor their tutoring to suit the needs of a child to maximaize his potential in tackling difficult questions. With such tailor-made tutoring services, I'm think my child will have no problems with Maths.

This post is proudly brought to you by SCORE! Education Centers.

Research is 90% failure and 10% success

Haiz... thing hasn't really been going well - I'm talking about my experiments. I have been trying and trying, with different variations to the experimental setup but still futile attempt. Why can't the fragging protein just bind onto the fragging DNA promoter!!?? Is it my buffer? Is it my protein?? What is wrong with my experimental set up!! Well, that is the cons about trying to go into something new - a new field for me; something which I have totally no experiences in. On the lighter side, I will learnt a great deal if I can manage to make it work! But I fear that it's going to take a very very long route before I see the light at the end of the tunnel... haiz...

That's the thing with research. 5-10 years ago, there has been so much hype about Life science, and people just rush into the life science field thinking that they will be great scientist someday. I'm proud to say to I ain't those people. I've always wanted to be a scientist since young, to be a paleontologist to be exact. Never to be a researcher in a lab. LOL... somehow I realised that there is no paleontologist in Singapore and there isn't much ground in Singapore to dig with LOL... And so I side tracked to life sciences since I like biology. Argh.. I digressed. Anyway, to those life science wannabe out there, life is hard in life sciences - so pls don't be con by the government or your relatives. Beside the meritocracy issue where only the best is accepted and recognised by the government or companies, where do you think you will stand amount the hundreds of graduates that pour out into the market every year. Singapore is just too small to accommodate them all! Furthermore, to do research isn't your typical secondary or even JC's science project! A phrase that I always like to use - "Research is 90% failure and 10% success". So you see, unless you are really prepared for it, prepared to be demoralised and thrown back to square one nine out of the ten times! That is exactly what I'm experiencing now.

Sometimes I really question myself why I choose to do a PhD in research. In fact, TJ asked me the very same question just now. Come to think of it, I am doing work to torture myself mentally. Is that 90% of failure justifiable with that 10% of success? Maybe my mental resilience is low - something which I'm not denying. Back to the question of why I choose PhD. A few months back, I see it as a natural progression - to better job security, satisfaction and to do the only thing that I'm good at (or at least that was what I thought!).

I really admire the scientist in the past centuries. They did science purely out of curiosity and interest, and not for a living.

This is what science and research should be all about.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Score your child's reading

Reading is an essential part of our life – we need to read messages to understand what people are trying to communicate to us. So it is essential for one to start reading at a young age. In SCORE! Education Centre, a child will be provided tutoring and motivation in learning to read, with fun! Recognizing that every child is unique, reading tutors from SCORE customs their teaching to each child – maximizing their reading ability and make them better readers. Therefore I would gladly bring my child to SCORE to learn some reading skills!

This post is proudly brought to you by SCORE!


Well... I was jus surfing around and found another site that is similar to PPP. Basically you need to register yourself, and thereafter they will send you opps for you to do. Of cos, you need to have a blog to begin with! LOL... So after you finish the opps and posted it into your blog, you can send the link of your opp post to blogsvertise, and then they will review it! So once they are ok with it, and you will be paid thru paypal after 30 days! Nice! I've joined it, and lets hope that there's alot of opps!

Bread and love

I saw this post on bread and love in this blog, and hence will like to reply with my view here...

Sad to say, money is more important than love. However it shouldn't be over-emphasized. Foremost, I think that without the daily bread, love can never continue for far. Imagine 2 person hugging each other in a cold cold night, and feeling hungry. If I'm the guy and truely love the gal, I would have optted for the bread so that my gal/family will not need to suffer! To love someone is to let someone be happy and have a comfortable life.

However, the issue of bread will take a second place once life is manageable e.g. bills are paid, food on the table etc... Then, I think love is much more important than the bread. Without love then, life is akin to being meaningless. No one to share the joy or sorrow with. Probably using bread to exchange for love is an option then, but what if one day your bread runs out? Does your love also run out on you?

Some gals of cos will definitely want more bread to go along with their love, which is what we termed as 'high maintenance'. Well, if one can afford it then go for it. Else, just leave them alone, as I think that they are the market spoliers.

So is bread or love more important? It really depends on the phases you are in currently. As the saying goes - there's a time of everything!

A (somewhat) tribute to Aya

I was feeling a bit bored. Wanted to play some computer games, but ended up watching youtube instead. And somehow I typed in '1 litres of tears' into the search box, and there I am looking at clips of the show again.

Everytime I see the clip, or the show, I feel a sense of bitter sweetness (especially in this time of the night), lots of sadness, and at the same time admiration for resilence for the main character, Aya - which is based on a real-life character. She has something which alot of us could learn from - including myself. Her main theme/motto throughout her life is how to make use of whatever time she has life to do something useful to the rest of the people. Even when she's critically ill in her hospital bed, the only thing in her mind was weather she can be a useful person to the society. And she will be very happy even if she managed to make just one person happy. (I'm watching the clip again and again at the sidebar of this blog. LOL).

Even though she's ill, she firmly believe that she's unabled, and not disabled. She will do her best not to burden her friends and family. Another thing to mention is her dad's initial refusal to apply for government subsidy for her illness, firmly believing that they should not rely and burden the government. They are still capable to coping and hence need no help. To have citizens of such mindset is truely a country's fortune.

I definitely have alot to learn from Aya and her family.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Pictures and commentory of my walkabout in Sydney

Getting ready for my walkabout once again!

Took the 10.40am bus (372) to Central Station. Was hoping that it reach there before 11.29am, as the train departs at that time.

The interior of the bus service number 372

Inside the Central Station. Besides trains to other suburbs, one can take interstate (e.g. to Melbourne) trains here too!

One of the interstate state train, I think!

Entrance into the passenger-only area. This is only one of the many entrance within the station. There's an underground entrance as well, as some train platforms are underground e.g. the one I'm going to take!

So, I need to go to Platform 25 as I'm taking the Illawara line.

This is the type of train that I took. Didn't manage to take a picture of it, so have to use this image from the Cityrail webby instead. Anyway, it's a T-model set with 8 carriages. The train departed at around 11.29am and reached Gymea Station at around 12.12pm. The whole journey was quite pleasing, except that the train is not well maintained - some the leather seats are torn, and dried up sugared drinks are on a portion of the floor, making it sticky to walk on. Well, I must say, I miss Singapore's MRT train! So much cleaner. However, one thing that unique in Sydney's train is that it is double-decked! Definitely something new for me!

On my way, walking to Rick's place. Follow my planned routed.

Typical scene along the way.

Rick's Place is way up there. The slope is so steep - must have been at a 50-60 degrees angle!

OMG, can't imagine what will happen if I roll down!

View from the balcony in Rick's place. Nice!

Chit-chatting, and waiting for the rest to arrive. From left, Oliver, Sohail's wife, Tim, Tim's wife Toni (hope I get the name right), and Sabine (Oops Sabine looks like she's having a big tummy! =D, jus a joke!).

More people chilling out. From left: Lily's BF whose looking very smart-looking (Leighton or something like that? I'm very very bad with names, pardon me), Lily, Mark?, and Matt (our proud lotus owner).

Nibbles before the main kill. Oops, lunch I meant!

Let's dig in! Wow... quite a spread I must say - heard from Rick it's a mixture of Italian, Turkish, some Australian fine dinning! My first time going to an Australian's home and eating 'Australian' food. Pretty delicious. I took a portion of each, and ended up pretty full!! Don't underestimate the food - looks like pastry etc and you think 'I wouldn't be full with it'. You will regret it if you take too many, as it can really fill you tummy! Of 'cos, Cat's stomach is another matter altogether LOL...

Not enough seats... even the host had to sit on the floor! But they are looking quite comfortable on the floor! From left: Rick, Mark, Toni

Of course, the lucky ones will have a sit at the comfy royal couch. From left: Sabine, Cat, HuiFen. Don't be fool by HuiFen into thinking that she's drinking beer! It's just sparkling apple juice! LOL... The cat's out of the bag! Oops, no pun intended.

From left: Tim, Davide, Oliver, Toni, and Sohail's son. What can I say? Sohail's son is very knowledgeable! But I guess Tim is the Grandmaster!

Wow, Sabine and Charmaine (on the right) looks like they are having a very serious discussion.

Rick has lots of such Indigenous stuffs, e.g. boomerang, spears etc. And do you know that boomerang come in two general forms? One form (non-symmetrical ones e.g. on the wall all the way back) is also called hunting boomerang. These are thrown at the prey and its never meant to be returned. The symmetrical ones (beside the spears) are meant to be returned when thrown. Some are very large, and are purely ceremonial. Learnt a lot from Rick on Indigenous stuffs. Very educating.

Sohail's son giving a public lecture on Roman civilisation and many more!

Let's do some exercise after the heavy lunch. Getting ready to go for a hike, as Rick's place is right next to a national park

One of the houses along Hovea Place, while taking the hike. See how big the house is? It will cost a bomb to own this in Singapore!

Me with the National Park in the background.

Where the river flows. Aim of the hike is to go upstream of these river.

A small stream is not going to stop us!

Following the trail. It's pretty rough at some point, gotta climb over rocks etc.

Exposed river bed 'cos the weather is good and hasn't been raining. Else I guess we wouldn't be walking on it now! Might be rolling a boat or something.

A very common tree in Australia. Can't remember the name. I'm very very poor with names as you might already have guessed.

Up the rocks... and finally!

Picture of the day. Highlight of the hike.

Everybody is feeling a sense of achievement. After hiking for about 20 minutes, we have reached a very nice waterfall.

Matt and me beside the waterfall.

Well, the two 'sisters'. LOL... Cat and HuiFen.

This is on top of the water fall. See how relaxing Davide is??

View down the waterfall from the top.

A plant holding on firmly by the bank against the mighty flow of water.

Life is so resilient.

Me on top of the waterfall. After spending like 20 minutes on the top, we headed back, chit-chatted some more, and finally make our way home at around 5.30pm.

Thanks Rick & family for their wonderful hospitality, and delicious luncheons!

The way back home from Rick's place is a 'woo-ahh' event! LOL. I didn't need to go back by public transport. Rather I hitched a ride back to Randwick in Matt's green lotus (somewhat like that one shown in the picture). Cool right!! The car is so low, that getting into the seat requires technique. And when it accelerates,you can feel the power and speed of the car. You are sorta thrown back to your seat (maybe too exaggerated, but you get the idea). Of cos, the lotus can go from 0 - 60 mph (or 0 - 97 km/h) in ~4.5 seconds!

Alright, this is going to be yucky. After reaching home, I took off my socks and I realised that I'm actually bleeding! I was like - how? when? why? I have no answers to this and it will always be a mystery... My educated guess is that I hurt myself during the hike. But I did not feel any pain at all! And you know what? It just keeps on bleeding - non-stop. It's bleed when I walk, bathe and even...

after I put on a plaster on it. Quite shocking I must say. Then I took a tissue paper and press on the wound, and continue to apply pressure for a good 20 minutes before it finally stops. Luckily it stopped, else it might look as though I try to commit suicide by cutting myself on the heel!!?? LOL.

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