Archive | February, 2019

A Lovely Surprise, Part 2

28 Feb

I am really loving my new iPhone XR. Why didn’t I change earlier and subjected myself to such aggravation with the battery issue of the old phone?

The best feature so far for me is the Face ID and swiping upwards to unlock the phone without having to fuss keying in the password. And I don’t miss the Home button, something I once dreaded I couldn’t do without.

Oh… and I don’t have to carry a power bank anymore! No more worrying about the phone dying on me as it can last almost three days after a full charge with my usage pattern. Three days! So cool.

As for the size of the phone, hmm… I am still adjusting to get used to it because this is a like/don’t like issue.

I like it for the big screen size because it makes reading easier. But being bigger, it’s cumbersome to hold. And bigger means heavier, it is not comfortable to keep in the pocket of the pants. And if I wear my Uniqlo jeans, it sits in the most awkward position in the front pocket, poking me in all positions. So most times I put the phone in the handbag but this then adds weight to the handbag. Sigh…

Also being bigger, the phone is now a two-hand operation device. I find myself preferring to use both hands instead of having the keyboard moved to one side to type. Seriously, some adjustments to get used to with this giant.

But generally, there’s more positives––the interface, the battery lifespan and other cool stuff––to this upgrade and I have embraced them well enough. In time, I will forget my old once-reliable iPhone5S which is now retired to the bedside.

I must admit though, there are some nights I find myself holding it out of nostalgia and wonder in amazement how did I managed with this minuscule thing and its screen for the past five years?

The Challenge Begins

26 Feb

Last Monday, we finally went back to gym after almost a month’s break. Thank goodness I did not feel sluggish after so long. The past month there were all these reasons to skip gym – valid reasons though – M2 leaving for Ireland, preparing for Chinese New Year, leaving town for the Reunion Dinner and all. But now, with all these out of the way, there’s no more reasons to miss gym anymore.

And last night we hit the gym again because last Friday, Saturday and Sunday was packed with dinner dates, making me guilty, so all the more not to skip.

The determination to want to lose that awful added weight made me rather pumped up. And like last week, I used one ten-pounder weight for some of my routines, a big jump from my usual two four-pounders.


My serious ten-pounder

Although gym session is only once a week, I think I am off to a good start on the challenge especially with the solid program that my trainer has drawn up. Besides working out with her, there’s also golf to burn some calories too. I just need to stay more disciplined with the food intake, after all there’s a whole list of things I avoid due to Endometriosis, then I will do fine. I hope…

Today I am sore to the core and it will be worse by tomorrow. The challenge is on.

Daily Bonus Mess Up

25 Feb

It was a usual morning must-do routine upon waking up yesterday. I would reach for my devices to launch Candy Crush Soda. The phone was picked up, the game launched and it showed ‘915 Days’ instead of ‘17 Days’!

Strange… Why is it showing this figure on the phone? Typically, not including the gold bar tally, all devices (the iPad Mini, iPhone XR and iPhone5S) are independent of each other for the Daily Bonus trek and rewards garnered.

Then I picked up the iPad to launch the app. There was no Daily Bonus showing! Oh no… It got messed up. Would it break the next day? I got worried even though there were many occasions I wanted to stop this silly addiction.

This morning, with a slight dread, I reached for the iPad first.

‘916 Days’ when I launched. Phew.

And the phone… ‘916 Days’ too! What a weird mess up.

What to Name Your Caterpillar

22 Feb

The more I researched about caterpillars, the more fascinating it became. I thought about giving my caterpillar a name and would you believe it, there’s such a topic on the internet – What to name your caterpillar! It’s amazing what people talk about out there.

From websites like Reddit, Yahoo and Answers, there’s even a write up on ‘Caterpillar names: the finalists’ on MSNBC.

So what am I naming my caterpillar?

Munch Pot. That’s the name of my caterpillar but sadly, Munch Pot met its untimely demise. I could not find it at its usual spot on the branch yesterday evening when we got home! Noooooo…


Some leaves are gone, so is Munch Pot!

It could have been discovered by the maid while she was watering the plants and squished it. So I checked with her and she said she didn’t even know Munch Pot existed. Or perhaps a bird came and swoop down on it? Now we will never know. So much for having it as a pet, a short-lived one.

New Pet?

21 Feb

I seem to have a new ‘pet’! It’s a caterpillar.

The inch long critter currently resides in the potted Calamansi Lime tree flanking the left side to the entrance of the house. Hubby discovered it three days ago as it was gnawing on a leaf. For all we know, it could have been there already given its size and stage of being a caterpillar.

Cute little fella. I should give it a name since I intend to keep it as a pet and chart its growth. Hmm…


And because I now have a new pet to monitor, I did some research on the internet about caterpillars and found some rather interesting facts.

Apparently, moths can remember their caterpillar days, remembering things they learnt when they were at this stage even after the process of metamorphosis turning their brains and bodies to soup! How smart. So, will my caterpillar turn into a moth or butterfly, smart as it is?

The word ‘caterpillar’ refers to the larval stage of butterflies and moths. The last three days, I cannot see its antennae properly – a tell tale characteristic to know the difference, only time can tell. A butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end whereas a moth’s are feathery or saw-edged.

Left hanging on this, I did some further research and by now, am convinced that my caterpillar belongs to the Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus malayanus) species. Lime Butterflies tend to favor citrus plants like the Calamansi Lime, so it makes sense finding a Lime Caterpillar amongst the leaves.

We bid our time for the next stage of its transformation.


Munching away on the leaves

The Chap Goh Meh Challenge

19 Feb

Today is Chap Goh Meh, the 15th and final day of the Lunar New Year. And as always, the family will have a big festive dinner to mark this occasion.

Then after this obligatory dinner, I have decided to do a bathroom scale challenge on myself. Instead of staying aghast with the recent bathroom scale horror, I will work on losing that 15lbs that was added on me. Forget about accepting the initial results with a pinch of salt or not trusting the device, I give myself three months to prove Newbie wrong.

With no more big festive meals lined up, the challenge will be more manageable but still a tough one because the New Year cookies are still aplenty to tempt. Losing 15lbs is a lot…

So stay tuned with me on this! Gotta stay focused and disciplined.

Killer Whales, Part 2

18 Feb

The big and the mini vise clamps

A week before Chinese New Year, I bought a bigger vise clamp and put it to good use immediately over the weekend purchase. And in the midst of working on two whales back-to-back, I injured myself. But on the left foot! Huh? Where’s the connection here?

Let me explain…

The vise clamp worked beautifully and held the block well; I was able to shape the block without exerting any strength on the left hand which was good. But in the midst of the carving action, I got up too fast and caught the edge of the table so hard with my left foot. Ouch hardly describes the excruciating agony.

The shooting pain was right on the Lateral Malleolus, the bone bump and it bruised beautifully. What a sight to behold…


Top (L): the day after, Top(R): after golf, a week later and Bottom: four days after the knock




Those cute whales are such killer whales I tell you. It was a good two and a half weeks before the bruise subsided. As for the pain, it is still there.

A Lovely Surprise

15 Feb

It was supposed to be my birthday present this year from hubby but my iPhone5S had other plans. It just didn’t want to cooperate and be good. The battery issue…

When we went back to hubby’s hometown for Chinese New Year, my internet connection was with the phone and data. There was no wifi at the in-laws’ place so this rendered the iPad useless without connection unless I sync it to the phone which was unnecessary.

So using just my phone, the battery problem spiked; I could feel the heat at the back of the phone if I use it too long. So much so, in a day I had to charge several times. I literally had to live with the lightning cable and power bank if I don’t stay put and have the power socket nearby.

My problem started when I updated to iOS12 last year. Prior to the update, when the phone was still on iOS10.3, it was fine. The battery could last a day without any issues or even longer with minimal usage. But after the update, the phone just couldn’t support the newer iOS. Even without usage, left idle after a full charge, the battery would drain to half. When things are not right, it escalates the problem. Sigh…

After holding out for so long, I finally replaced my once-reliable Apple iPhone5S. I must say, it was good while it lasted. Thanks for being such a wonderful device the past five years. But I have to retire it and move on because I cannot take the battery aggravation anymore. And it’s pointless to change the battery because the cost to do so is not worth it.

It’s been a week with me now joining the legion of oversized smart phone users with my spanking brand new iPhone XR. A lovely surprise indeed.


I Can’t Go Dutch

14 Feb

I love cheese I must admit and I miss eating cheese because of this darn Endometriosis. These days I avoid cheese if possible because I know I will get an instant bad reaction if I ate it. And the consequences from it is not pleasant, so why subject myself to suffering?

Prior to discovering my problem, I ate cheese on a daily basis for my breakfast. From Emmental, Gouda to Camembert and Brie, I had these choices to my fill, more than Mozzarella, Cheddar and others.

Recently, I was at the grocery store and I saw a pack of cheese which I have never tried before. The big print word “Dutch” caught my eyes more than the small sentence that followed below. Torn between risking a reaction and wanting to try out of curiosity, I bought the pack.

And suffered the consequences when I ate it several days later. Sigh… I can’t go Dutch, it hurts my tummy.


Killer Whales

12 Feb

Actually, carving on Meranti wood is not good for me. While it may be satisfying to channel my energy into it and then feel the joy whenever a lovely piece is completed, the choice of the wood is the culprit that adds to my Wrist Tendonitis woes.

I was carving a lot of Meranti whales in December and they are much bigger pieces than the Gnomes and Citizens, which unfortunately have not increase in their population count. And being bigger pieces, it magnified the Wrist Tendonitis on the left hand because I have been gripping the wood block too tightly, looking back at the situation now. Sigh.

Although I have a vise clamp albeit a mini one, it cannot clamp the block for me to work on. And I have not been using my workbench enough to ease the situation. It is not the repetitive motion that’s causing the flare up because the repetition is on the right hand, the carving hand, and not the left hand – the non-working but gripping hand.

If I am not carving daily, the situation can be contained because with ample rest, nothing gets aggravated and it’s fine. The therapy sessions, which concluded, helped but I must not overdo things that can cause a recurrence. That something obviously being carving, of course. And I guess I overdid it in December. Oops.

Then in January as we were busy preparing for M2 to leave, carving took a backseat. But after M2 left, I was back to carving whales full swing AND playing golf before Chinese New Year, double whammy you could say. I felt a teeny weeny set back. Uh oh.


The whales, cute as they may be, are really killer whales. And I’d better take care especially if I want to play more golf this year. Perhaps I should go back to balsa instead of Meranti or get a bigger vise clamp if setting up the workbench is too much? Something to seriously consider.