Archive | September, 2018

Creepy Siri

28 Sep

Over the year, my iPhone5S has been acting weird when it comes to Siri. While this assistant may be a useful feature for most, Siri’s helpfulness for me is bordering on creepy.

First of all, I must say I never use it because Siri doesn’t quite understand my Asian accent. I left it as is because I was not aware or may have forgotten that I can disable this feature! How silly of me.

So every now and then in the office, in the quiet of the moment and out of the blue, Siri would trigger, asking me a question or telling me an answer! Creepy. How is this possible when I did not even interact with it, much less touch the phone?!

It’s even creepier in the past when I am in bed at night, there’s no sound or loud noises, Siri suddenly activated itself, a couple of times no less! Gulp.

I brushed those several creepy occurrences aside, but recently I mentioned to M2 and she told me I can disable the feature and proceeded to show me how to do it. Phew.

On top of this and with the phone recently updated to iOS12, I don’t foresee Siri behaving creepily ever again. Unless of course I reactivate it…

I’m Loving It

27 Sep

My latest tool, the wood plane is one awesome tool. I’m loving it! It worked beautifully to smoothen the surface of the latest piece that I am working on – a second home for the Gnomes.

I even used it on Gnome16 to smooth out the surface of its tall cap and I am very pleased with the end results.

The usage is only possible if the pieces are the Meranti wood and big in size, and certainly not practical on the soft balsa pieces of the Citizens (of Giggglesville) that are usually 26mm in height. It’s the beginning of new frontiers as far as carving and shaping is concerned.


The making of a Gnome home


Gnome16’s cap was planed beautifully

My Silly Dog

25 Sep

Official pet number one, Rooney, is one silly dog. Every time when I am set up at the garden terrace to do my carving, he would be my little vacuum cleaner. I know it’s bad for him but sometimes he gets to the wood shavings much faster than me!

Two weeks ago, over the three-day weekend when I was working on two pieces of Meranti simultaneously, the mess was everywhere on the floor and he just took the liberty to crawl under my workbench and helped himself. One silly dog indeed.


Hmm…. tit bits! I like….


Gosh… they taste soooooo good! Ohm nom nom…


Embracing Change

24 Sep

Recently Apple launched their new range of iPhones for 2018/2019. Cool babies I must say but pricey. As for me, I am still with my trusty iPhone5S, adamant not to upgrade or update.

It took me a long time to update from iOS7 in the past. And when I finally did, a whole new world opened for me as far as my phone’s usage was concerned and got me thinking that I should have done it earlier. Oh well.

Currently, my phone’s still on iOS10.3.3 as I held off updating to iOS11 because I didn’t like the new features then when M2 showed them to me on her iPad. Being a dinosaur, I must admit I don’t like change because it’s cumbersome to learn new things.

But now with iOS12 being available and somehow it’s pretty cool especially compared to iOS10.3.3, I don’t mind updating. With the iPhone5S included in the list for the update, I am convinced and decided to take the plunge.

One reason for making this decision is that my phone’s battery has been acting wonky of late. Maybe with the update, the battery drain problem can be stabilized? Nonetheless, the situation is making me wonder if the phone is showing signs that it may not last as long as I would like it to. Shudder…

So if I ever come to the point where I need to change my phone, obviously I’d like an upgrade to one of the new models that were launched. And it’d be good that the dinosaur in me is also prepared to deal with the new iOS12. But until then, let’s not jump the gun to wish for an early death for my faithful phone and just enjoy the new iOS on my current iPhone5S.

The Right Package

21 Sep

Right after I lamented about hubby’s box arriving ahead of mine, my parcel arrived and the size is about right for what I ordered. Usually my orders are little soft packs, unlike his, coming in boxes of various sizes.

This time the item I ordered has nothing to do with carving but more for well-being to play better golf. It’s a hand-held battery-powered Acupuncture Meridian Pen and I thought it’d be a good and useful device to treat the recurring nagging pain on the left wrist and thumb.

Let’s see how I feel after using it a few times.


Ball Room Dancing

20 Sep

I was pleasantly surprised when M1 told me she signed up for Ball Room Dancing as one of her classes this Fall. Ball Room Dancing?! How fun is that?

I don’t recall when I was in college that such classes existed. The most fun classes I had were Drawing 1 (Art 120) and Ancient Life (GLG 201, Geology in other words). I can still recall the drawing class during my first Fall semester – the whole class went on a little excursion one lovely day to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, just off the campus perimeter. We were all seated under the shady pine trees, chatting away, enjoying the breeze and sipping Coke while sketching the mansion. It was quite an experience, something I still remember until today dinosaur years later.

The highlight of the Geology class during my second Spring semester was a field trip to the Grand Canyon to look for trilobites in the terrain. It was pretty exciting as the whole class was behaving more like high school kids chatting away noisily in the bus on our way there. I think I did discover some trilobites. That’s about as much fun I had.

Now for M1, ball room dancing…. hmm, definitely something very different and certainly sounds very fun. Classes begin for the Senior this Thursday.

What?! Another Box of Plant?

18 Sep

Two weeks ago, I ‘secretly’ order something online. Heheh. Thinking I am now one up on hubby on the battle of the boxes, I was taken aback when I walked into the office last Thursday to find a box on the table that was too big to be my order! A box that measured 18” long by 8” wide and 9.5” deep. How could he? Another plant?! Geez.

When will my box arrive?


They arrive in all sorts of boxes

A Costly Mistake

17 Sep

The Golf Iron Challenge on Saturday morning was quite a fun outing at the Hills course. To my surprise, another girlfriend signed up at the very last minute to make our sole ladies flight a four-ball.

It was delightful indeed as some of the tee boxes were moved up and thus, psychologically it was friendlier because distances were cut short and certain ponds were taken out of play. Hubby, who played too, laughed at our first tee box at Hole 1 being moved forward akin to the Drop Zone, which we discovered was indeed the case for Hole 6’s Par 3. Aligned at the Drop Zone. Hahaha…


Tee off at the Red or the Drop Zone? Hehehe…

I held up well on the first nine because I took a painkiller prior to tee off to suppress the nagging pain on the left wrist and it helped..

Then upon the cross-over, drama unfolded. Drama always unfolds when the sun comes up and it becomes too hot.

Unlike last year, where fear got the better of me, this time it was just plain silly mistakes. Silly mistakes that became costly mistakes. The first three holes on the cross over, I three-putted, adding strokes unnecessarily in this stroke play tournament.

However, it didn’t bother me too much as I felt I could still recover. After all, the more difficult holes were completed without any problems.

Then came Hole 14. An unsuspecting hole. I never thought I could be bunkered by a sand bunker this time around as I always thought if I overcame the pond fear, I would be okay. Well, there’s alway a first for everything.

The 60 meters approach third shot shanked to the right and landed in the bunker. And what a horrible bunker it was because the sand was so compacted and hard, the setup wasn’t ideal. But somehow I was unperturbed and was very calm; there was no fear in me as I tried to get my ball out and onto the green. Unsuccessful of course…

And I kept trying and trying and trying.

I took nine strokes to come out from the darn bunker! Nine freaking strokes, another record of sorts for me (remember my six balls in the water last year?). A chip-in and a two-putt, I came back with 15 strokes on that Par 4, Hole 14. 15 strokes. Bunkered to the core, you could say.

Amazingly, I could still be jovial about it. Whatever was gained on the front nine especially was lost on this one hole, just like last year with Hole 18 at the Lakes course. But the difference this time, my mental wasn’t beaten to a pulp.

After the game and to my surprise, I was rewarded ‘1st place’ – an improvement from 2nd place last year, for my front nine’s effort of two-under for the nett score with three tubes of ball! I certainly did not expect this, better than all the men. What a morale booster! Now if only this reward could erase the costly mistake of the sand bunker…


What a lovely surprise!

There’s a lesson to learn from this year’s Iron Challenge – be wary of bunkers too, not just the water. I take pride that I managed to hold up well and did not have my mental strength beaten to a pulp this time. I also did not lose any balls, in fact I gained three new tubes and it’s just most unfortunate that one mistake became such a costly mistake. It’s one of those days I suppose. Sigh…

I certainly look forward to next year’s Challenge again.

The Day I Feared, Part 3

14 Sep

A few days later after the Iron Challenge tournament last year, I played the Lakes course again and when Hole 18 came around, I crossed on the third stroke (but with my 3-wood of course) and made bogey! Golf is one painful and mentally challenging game.

The day you fear, fear will get the better of you. One should not fear but be fearless then adversity will be overcomed. Having said that, I have been prepping my mind mentally to play the Iron Challenge tournament again this year.

Although the Challenge will be held at the Hills course which has less treacherous water to cross compared to the Lakes course, I must remember that golf is also a game of mental strength regardless of the challenge ahead.

The tournament was initially scheduled for February but was deferred to this coming Saturday and I am certainly looking forward to it without fear. Although my left wrist injury has recurred unfortunately, I am positive and taking extra precautions to deal with it for the tournament.

Our Frangipani Tree, Part 2

13 Sep

The last few days the garden was looking a bit messy with potted plants everywhere and air plants hanging at wherever possible. They had to be relocated when the gardener came to treat the Frangipani tree; we kept the branches intact but the poor tree’s looking pretty bald without any leaves.

During those few days out in the open, the poor plants were burnt by direct sunlight because no other parts of the garden have shades to protect them like the Frangipani tree.

So after the anti-fungal medication settled on the tree, it’s time to move the plants back to their original location and hubby had to improvise to create a temporary shade for the delicate air plants and bromeliads.

This is the end result. I think it works.