Eating a holiday away

Adrian, Cheng Puay and I met up for a chat recently. We headed to Pasir Panjang only to find the Indian restaurant, Rangooli, had shifted. Undaunted, we hunted them down in 505 West Coast Drive, and thankfully the food outdid the smell of new furniture.

Pasir Panjang Road sure is dirty!

We three last met during the Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk when we retired to Khamsana at Science Park Drive for a long and delightful lunch.

Cheng Puay was recently in Penang and gave up any thought of nature hikes there, responding instead to the call of the food. In Cebu, he tucked in to five meals a day. Although street children there kept him somewhat trim, he just headed up to Melaka for more meals.

Adrian’s Penang food adventures were so good during his recent trip, that he was thinking of his next meal by the time the present one was over!

Of course the conversation inevitably turned to the workouts that must follow. So hopefully when we next meet, we will finally be cycling!

Cats in the monsoon

Lekowala has been reminding me that our desktop blogging tool, MarsEdit, makes insertion of images from Flickr very easy.

To test it out, I decided to feature an ever favourite – photos of the boys, Mr Bats, Xylo and Tiger, cosy in the warmth of their abode during the monsoon unlike the poor stray cats out there. They disappear during the thunderstorms into the cupboards and venture out when its all over.




They are bored by the monotonous landscape indoors so its time to add a box to the mix.


Ducks at Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, New Zealand, 07 Dec 2011.

From troubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool,
Tails uppermost, or waddling
Sailor-like on the shores
Of ponds, or paddling
– Left! Right! – with fanlike feet
Which are for steady oars
When they (white galleys) float
Each bird a boat
Rippling at will the sweet
Wide waterway…

“Ducks” is a poem by Frank W Harvey, which I learnt in Secondary 2 – with such great fascination, I never forgot the lines. The complete poem is at

Is it time for you to enjoy a faster and cheaper hassle-free fibre connection?

Shortly after the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network termination point was installed at home, the Open Net webpage declared my “building is ready for Next Gen NBN services.”

My M1 cable broadband contract ran out as I had timed and I switched to M1’s fibre broadband. In both cases, I had opted for the 100mbps plan, I was happy to observe that the fibre broadband connection is both faster and cheaper. M1’s prices too appear to be cheaper than Starhub’s or Singtel’s, but I find the webpages of the latter two are confusing. M1 is very clear about their fibre broadband plans:

M1 Fibre Broadband

However, what you need to know is to wait for a roadshow promotion. In November, there was the Sitex deal of $39/month for 100mbps with free installation – that worked out to a $480 discount off the current price of $59/month. mrbrown, who had signed up a little earlier than I had is still euphoric over the price and simplicity of the plan. When he saw I was on fibre as well, he remarked about his experience, “No caps, no limits, no “free” gifts or any additional services you don’t need. Just $39 for 100mbps. So sweeeeet.” He and another friend, macaddict Ivor Khong say they signed up for the $39/month for 100mbps Sitex offer at an IDA Broadband Experience store in one of the MRT stations and Esplanade Xchange, AFTER Sitex.

They both advised to sign up during a promotions AFTER the computer shows as those will have long queues and installation schedules backed up to at least a month signing up. They both walked past a non-existent queue up to the roadshow booth, and got their installations setup in less than a month.

Right now this seems to be the offer:

Of course your NGNB Network termination point has to be installed in your home and activated. It is best to plan ahead, like I did, so your current plan terminates just in time to signup for a fibre broadband plan.

You must calendar your contract termination date and act on it, because once the 24-month period is over, they revert to normal charges without informing you. In the midst of a tough semester, I ignored my calendar warning about the termination of my 2-year cable broadband contract. The next month, I was shocked to my bill of more than $100 for my cable broadband! I was cursing M1 at that point.

The other thing to note is that the guy on the phone may tell you that your home is not fibre-ready, but rely on what the OpenNet webpage indicates instead. Twice M1 phone operators told me my building was not ready to activate fibre services. We signed up at roadshow instead – for some reason, not everyone is on the same page, so be prepared to insist.

In summary,

  1. Check OpenNet webpage about your NGNBN termination point installation date.
  2. Time your current broadband contract to terminate near or before the installation date.
  3. Sign up for fibre broadband services at a roadshow but avoid the hustle and bustle of a computer show.
  4. When in doubt, just check OpenNet about your point’s status and insist if they suggest otherwise.
  5. Finally enjoy your faster and cheaper fibre connection!