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.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

I am sure many of us like to play football, and love to watch football as well. For me, I do occasionally bet on football as well. Mind you, I bet through legal channels! Anyway, from the way I see it, football betting is nothing new. As long as there are two teams playing against each other, bets are on the way.

Well, one way to bet on football is of course to go to the legal betting channels in your country. Another up and coming way is through the internet! I have never tried it before though. Anyway, in, they offer betting of football matches from many different leagues, including the ever popular English Premiership. In addition, Betfair allows you to bet right up till the full 90 minutes of the game! And to make the game more exciting, Betfair allows you to bet against other punters and you get to choose your own betting odds! Overall, Betfair claims to provide a fair betting system for everyone.

So, if you are interested in it, do check out their website. And of course, betting is fun if you practice responsible betting. Else, you will loss much more than just your bet. Take heed!

Friday, 28 March 2008

The day of greys and blues...

Despite finally having a rest day after 23 continuous days of work (including weekends), I'm not happy. Not that I'm a workaholic, but I just felt down. Even though I've been listening to the happy song over and over again throughout the day, I still couldn't help feeling down. Well... this could be due to either of these reasons, or all of them...

1. Feeling frustrated from planning my year end trip when my beloved Limin comes over this year end. Well, not really over the planning, but rather over the fact that we have not much money to spend on the trip and so got to plan carefully. And, the package for Fraser island will be expired come end of March, and they didn't put up the new package for the period starting from Apr 08. So, it's really hard for me to plan... Why plan so early? Well, it's something that I can look forward to amidst my mentally torturous PhD candidature.

2. Anna, our wedding planner, emailed us today saying that the Beaufort resort's villa cannot accommodate more than 30 guest for our ROM solemnization. Beaufort is my first choice for ROM venue... and this news really hit me hard. And I then I thought, I'm not going to have the solemnization inside the house of the villa, but rather at the poolside area. Couldn't that accommodate 50 guests? Why does things never turn out the way I want it? Gotta ask her to check again if the max 30 guest is for inside the house or by the poolside.

3. My housemate, JM, has been quite successful with his PhD candidature. Well, not to say that he didn't have his bad times, but he has finally managed to tide over it. And has thus far published a peer-reviewed article in Science, as well as having the tv crew to film and interview him. And he's going for conference in Paris soon - and he had just went for one in Barcelona last year! Well... not to say that I'm jealous of him or envious. In fact, I'm happy for him that he is finally seeing the light at the end of the PhD tunnel. But his success has somehow contrast out my miserable PhD candidature that I had so far... and I'm beginning to think if I will ever see that light just as what JM is going through now. The light of his success has brought to my attention how dark my PhD tunnel is, and I don't foresee myself seeing that light in my tunnel at all...

With light, darkness lurks.
And in darkness I seek,
for that remote glimpse of hope,
a flickering photon that ushers in the end.
The euphoric end, a paradisic land.
A well worth journey, I reckoned.
But where is my beam of light?
I fear for my blight.
Will I ever see it?

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Thursday, 27 March 2008

Happy song!

It has been a long time since I hear such a happy song!! And all thanks to a fellow blogger, Beverly, who has embedded the song in her website,that I'm able to enjoy such a wonderful, light-hearted, lively song. The title of the song is 'New Soul', by Yael Naim.

I have attached its MTV herein as well... hmm.. somehow, it remains me of some advertisement from Kodak or Fuji! LOL... and wow! her MTV on the youtube has more than 5 million views since Aug 07! Guess it's really popular huh! yeah.. I simply love it. lalalala...lala...I'm a young soul

Oh! Jus realised that this song was actually handpicked as a commerical theme song for MacBook Air! Cool!

Mortgage website

Mortgage payment nowadays is not easy, with all the increasing inflation rate, and interest rate hikes. Therefore people must definitely be on the look out for the best mortgage deals in town, and upon realizing so, must act fast. According to the website,, due to competition between mortgage providers, competitive mortgage deals may be pulled at a short notice. Thus, consumers have to be sharp and act fast. The consequence of not doing so might be that you will be so over burdened by your mortgage payments that you become physically ill and that is the worst situation that any one could be in. So to look out for the best deals, do pay a visit!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Day 3 of the Great Walkabout - Blue Mountains & Featherdale Wildlife Park

Well, for starters, having learn our lessons in the 2nd day of the Great walkabout, we woke up really early on the 3rd day and waited in front of Gemini Hotel like 10 minutes before the scheduled 6.45am pick-up time. And this time round, we managed to catch the pick-up coach, and it went round and round the city to pick up other passengers as well... After that we alighted at the Star City bus terminal to transfer to a coach that is setting out for the Blue Mountains. Yupe...Blue Mountains here we come!

And so we travelled westwards about 2 hours to a town, Leura, where we were allowed to take coffee breaks/snacks for about half an hour. Well, Leura did look like a sleepy deserted town, but then again we might just be seeing only one side of it. Anyway, there is a candy & choc shop in the Leura strand arcade, which is full of candies and chocolate! LOL... ok ok, of course it has to be full of candies and choc if it is a candy & choc shop huh!? LOL... Bought a packet of candy 'french fries' from the store, together with some chocolates as well... yum yum... Will definitely go back to the store again if I ever go to blue mountain again.

Now comes the part that really made us, as well as the rest of the passengers bewildered with anguish. After leaving Leura and travelled for another 10 minutes we reached the Scenic World, Blue Mountain, and that was where we were supposed to tour the Mountain and had our lunch! For some of the passengers, they just had their snacks/tea 10 minutes ago, and now they have to eat lunch! How could they fill so many food in their stomach? The driver should have known better, and told us that the Scenic World was like 10 minutes drive away and that we'll be having our lunch there. In this way, the passengers wouldn't eat so much during the break, and thus be able to truly enjoy their luncheon by the Blue Mountains. What was the driver even thinking?!

And so there we were in Scenic World. I had originally wanted to take all the 3 rides in the Scenic World to see the Blue Mountains, the skyway, cableway, and the railway. But, Limin was afraid that the queue would be long, and we wouldn't be back to the coach in time and so I had to give up the skyway, which I really wanna to be in! Argh... I'm gonna try the Skyway in future, that is if I ever go back to Blue Mountains.. =( But I must say, the railway is so cool!! It is on an extremely steep slope (in fact the steepest in the world according to the Scenic World) which made the ride seems so roller coaster-ish! Alas the ride only lasted about a minute, and by the time I grab hold tightly to my free-falling bags and overcome the initial shock of having free-falling kinda feeling from the ride, the ride came to a stop... argh... I guess this is something which I will definitely try again the next time round!

So, the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters. Basically these are the two main attractions - that the mountain ranges has a bluish hue to it, and three sharp peaks on one of the mountains respectively. Well, I personally thought that there is no big deal about the mountain and the three sisters after seeing it from the Scenic World. I mean, no matter how you look, it's just those three peaks. The first minute of your view would be the same as the what you would see, say ten minutes later. So I felt pretty bored of looking at the three sisters after a while..

But the scenic walkway is much more interesting, at least to me. I get to see the lush flora that grows on the mountain, and is quite an eye-opener. For instance, some of the trees have been hit by lightnings before, and one can observed that part of their bark/truck have turned into charcoal. And amazingly, these trees are still surviving despite the lightning strike! In another example, there are these two trees that grows very close to each other since juvenile. Therefore, their trucks are intertwined, and the portion of the bark/truck that touches each other become fused as they grow larger. This is so cool! Never know that such stuffs could happen. And so as you would have gathered by now, I enjoyed the scenic walk much better than the Three Sisters. =)

So, after Blue mountains, our next stop was Govett's Leap. Well, if I'm not wrong, legend has it that this guy called Govett leap over the gorge while on his horse, as he was pursue by the authorities for stolen some stuffs. Well.. who in the world would survive that fall? Well either the legend is fake, or the person died of a horrible death. But I must say that the scenery is amazing.

And finally, we visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park to mark the end of our trip for the day. The wildlife park was great - get to see lots of animals such as kangaroos and wallabies up close, and even get to feed them and pet them too! And of course, the famous kookaburra! And oh man, are those birds big!! Every time I see a picture of them on the web etc I would have thought that there are prolly like the size of a small crow, but I was wrong!! And it even amazes me to see a kookaburra that is albino as well! In fact, not only are the kookaburra albino, there are albino wallabies and peacock as well. Well, I think what they lack is an albino koala bear... LOL...=D Overall, time at the wildlife park was quite enjoyable, though it was pretty rush as we were given only an hour to browse through the park. Would have been much better if we are given at least half an hour more.

Oh well, that's how tours are. You get to see lotsa of attractions in a day, but you don't get to spend quality time in each attractions. And so, these concludes the day 3 of the Great Walkabout!

PS: The koala bears are so smelly!! Yuck!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Best web hosting

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Well, this person by the name of kaushal sheth faced the same problem as well. There was a server down incident which basically caused his entire site to be down. And thus, he went about reading and asking around for the best web hosting companies that are available in the market and came up with a 3 web hosting companies which he thought to be the best.

So, if you are looking for good web hosting companies as well, do go over to his site to take a look at his recommendations. You might just find what you need!

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This is just so wrong!

This article entitled "'Weak' poly students snubbed at NUS open house" really gets me standing on my feet! In particular, when a female lecturer/prof from the Life Science Dept told the poly student that poly students were the weaker ones! OMFG!

Fancy these type of statements came out from an educator's mouth! What is wrong with that lecturer? Foremost, even if that student is somehow weak, or stand little chance in gaining entry into NUS, that is no way to put down a student! It is extremely demoralising and will definitely have a negative impact on the student's passion or interest in pursuing the Life Science discipline. An educator is someone who is passionate about teaching, and dedicated as well - no matter how 'strong' or 'weak' the student is, as long as the student is willing to learn, the student should not be deprived of the chance or being snubbed at for wanting to learn. By simply saying that the student is too weak, is she also saying that weak students shouldn't be allowed further education? They should just give up learning? Isn't this then shadows of discrimination, where only the strong or clever ones are allow access to education? Is these what elitism is all about? Yes, maybe I have sidetracked too far off. It's just after all, a statement made by a NUS Life Science lecturer who know nuts about poly education, and still having that dinosaur mindset that poly graduates are low class students. Prolly she's a dinosaur too ya!?

Secondly, poly students are too weak?! Come on! Even good students i.e. with good O'level results are choosing to go through the poly route and they fare pretty well too! Gone were the days where poly are for weak people with poor O'level results! In fact, poly graduates are much more sought after as compared to a A'Level graduate! How do I know? Well, that is because two different lecturers/prof have actually commented on it - and yes, I was from NUS Life Science! Poly students comes with technical knowledge and practical experiences, something which JC students are so lacking these days! How do I know too? 'cos I was from poly before I went to NUS, and practical lessons are when poly students shines. And she said that poly students are 'weak'? If poly students are 'weak', I don't dare to think how feeble the JC graduates are! Granted that JC graduates are stronger when it comes to theory lessons, but that is by no means showing that poly students are weak! And I personally would like to think of JC and poly education as different niche, and hence how can she compare something so different? How can you compare an apple with an orange, and conclude that the orange is the tastier of the two?

And finally, if the student (a Ms Ong) happens to read this... just apply for the NUS Life Science anyway. No one should stop you from your quest in knowledge, much less a dinosaurian!

Foody post

Yupe... been a week since my last post. And so, tonight I decided to do a foody post. Went to my digital camera and saw that I had a number of pictures on food (not surprising! LOL), and thus my decision. =)

The pictures include the Heavenly choc truffle ice cream which is simply yummy, my dinner dish - green bean with mince pork, a picture of a beautiful egg yolk, and lastly, for my Limin who's been bugging me to take a picture of my home-made sandwich - tuna chedder cheese sandwich! Enjoy!!

Friday, 14 March 2008

5 years and going...

Somebody once said to me, that I should get a diamond ring with a small diamond (as small as possible) for my proposal to my girl. And I asked why? And the answer is simply that, as the years go by I can only 'upgrade' that diamond and not downgrade it. Oh well, of course I can downgrade it, but then my girl will then complain against it! Therefore, start out small, and slowly upgrade it, or start out big, and say goodbyes to all your savings sooner than later!

Tomorrow marks the end fifth year, and going into the 6th year of a relationship as a couple for Limin and I. As I'm not by her side most of the time, getting her a present to commemorate this day is really a headache at times. Last anniversary I made a video for her, and she was like crying and crying while watching it...and after watching it as well... LOL... and so what can I get her this year? It has to be something better than last year isn't it? And this is when I truly realise the story of the diamond ring. I can't 'downgrade' my present! And seriously, when it comes to giving presents, I'm totally clueless. Just a good meal will prolly do, if you ask me. But then, that will be too 'cheapo' and 'no heart' isn't it?

And there I was, wondering away as this day gets nearer and nearer, what can I can for Limin, from Australia? or Singapore? or anywhere around the world? And then, I realised that the answer is staring right at me, in facebook! Well, it is actually an advert in facebook. The moment I saw it, I knew there and then that it is the perfect gift for her on this special day.

A book! Not just any book, but one that I am the author of, and has sole copyright of! A book that I actively take part in selection and arrangement of the photographs to be printed on the book, as well as coming out with the written content of the book. In addition, I had to design the cover of the book and layout etc as well. Basically, it's very a book that is designed and authored by me. After which, I just need to sent the whole e-book to the publisher, and the publisher will print and sent it to Singapore for me! And mind you, it's not those poor quality book with brownish soft paper within ok! It is akin to those picture or travel books that you see the library or bookshops! So, for just around $100 Singapore dollars, it's pretty much worth it. Actually, it's the delivery that is costly - about 2-3 times as much as the book itself! Oh well... it's worth it.

And so, I submitted my e-book for ordering on the 6th of March, and waited eagerly for it to be printed and shipped. After checking back at the website every day, refreshing it here and then, they finally shipped it on the 11th March! And so, I was really getting excited by the hour - especially when I chose to use UPS which means that I'm able to track my package from origin to its destination. And so basically, refreshing the UPS tracking website was my favourite activity then! LOL...

And my package basically went from the Eindhoven in Netherlands, to Cologne in Germany, before it finally arrive in Singapore yesterday morning... and was finally delivered yesterday late afternoon...

Limin was like "OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! .... (five minutes later) OMG!.... (ten minutes later) OMG!" when she finally unwrapped the present and saw that it's a book specially made for her! LOL... And as usual, she cried...LOL... well, I'm just glad that she really like the present that I got her. And now, I'm going to be in deep trouble... I can't downgrade for the next year... I have to get something even better than this year's present for next year! OMG, what am I going to do!!! Helppp!!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Shouldn't we have a World PhD Day to celebrate the resilience of PhD students?

Yes. Why not? After about 17 years of education which includes 6 years primary, 4 years secondary, 3 years diploma, and 4 years undergraduate studies, I am very much still a student! A PhD student in fact. One as the very name suggest, with Permanent Head Damage. Alright, not really permanent yet, but almost. From all the stress generated from failed experiments, demanding and un-understanding supervisors (luckily mine is still passable), having to constantly worry about thesis deadlines, more failed experiments, not having enough stipend coverage especially for those overseas PhD students, and some more of those experiments that just doesn't seems to work and your very thesis depends on it!

Tell me, how can anyone cope under such duress? Physical torture? None at all. But mental torture? Loads of it. PhD student still manage to graduate at the end of the day, and 'live happily ever after'. Either they are damn lucky to have issues/experiments etc that work for them, or they just endure every bits of failure?!

Resilience, I say. Passion? Passion erodes away exponentially with every failure you 'achieved', and failure in PhD studies are dime a dozen. Commitment? Maybe, but that would mean forcing yourself to go through the whole aching 4 years and enduring every bits of it. Isn't this resilience then? PhD students all over the world has their share of failures, but somehow managed to pick themselves up again. Yet, they fall and tumble, and they pick themselves up again! Break their legs, and you see them crawling their way to finish up their PhD even if it takes them a decade. Resilience...

Shouldn't then there ought to be a day in this calendar of ours, to celebrate the resilience of these PhD students? It is through this very period of their education that their mentality truly matures and strengthened. A coming of age of the mind, through the failures, stress, and unhappiness, and all these wouldn't be possible without resilience. And so I say, lets all celebrate! A toast to all the PhD students out there in the world, a toast on your resilience of being a PhD student braving not only the toxic chemicals but extreme and constant mental duress, and lets all hope we will still be sane enough to graduate at the end of the day.

And so, why shouldn't there be a world PhD day?

Sunday, 9 March 2008

2 more kg to go...

Well.. I wanted to blog about the Syd-Melb trip that Limin and I took about a month ago... but just feel pretty slack and don't feel like doing anything at all. Prolly I've come to a stage where I grown tired of blogging? hmmm...

Anyway, Congrats to the Penang community as their voice have finally been heard - the opposition (DAP) won the state of Penang from the MCA in the election that was held yesterday (or still today by Malaysia's time zone). So, lets hope this change will bring better life to the folks up there.

On another note, I lost 3kg in two weeks!! Woohoo! Yeah... I'm so happy! I was around 65kg just before I left for Singapore, and when I came back to Sydney two weeks ago I weight 70kg! A whooping 5kg net gain while in Singapore! What to do? I was eating alot while I was in Singapore! LOL... And now, I'm around 67kg... two more kilograms to shed till my ideal weight of 65kg... =)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Classy Ritz-Carlton advert

I chanced upon this approximately 10 minute video advertisement by Ritz-Carlton, and I must say, it is very well produced and classy. Briefly, Sylvie has had a very bad week - break ups, lost luggage, delay flights etc, and at her lowest point, the staffs of Ritz-Carlton went out of their way to make her day brighter. Makes me wanna choose/consider Ritz-Carlton for my solemnization ceremony! See!? Their advertising strategy works!

And oh! Yup... Limin and I will be holding our solemnization ceremony in Sept 09! Yeah.. Can't wait...Any great venue to recommend? =P

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