Archive for the ‘30 before 30’ Category


Friday, November 25th, 2011

iFly Groupon Deal

I’ve been wanting to try skydiving, but there’s no space to skydive in Singapore, and the paranoid side of me is always thinking something might go wrong and whether the thrill really outweighs the risk. Then I saw this groupon voucher for ‘skydiving’ in Singapore. It’s basically a vertical wind tunnel that’s supposed to simulate dropping from 12,000ft to 3,000ft.

Singapore, the land of manufactured experiences. We have simulated skydiving @ iFly, Flow boarding/Body boarding with simulated waves @ the Wavehouse, and you can even fly a simulated plane at Flight Experience!

The voucher was only valid on weekdays, so we rushed down after work yesterday and ‘booked’ a flight! Their last flight is at 10pm, but you have to be there 1.5 hours prior for briefing and so on.

iFly - Simon
Simon went before me. He was pretty stable.

iFly - Justina
I was spinning in there! The key is to be symmetrical. But your brain may think you are symmetrical, whereas your body probably isn’t!

It was an interesting experience, though I wonder if it’s really anything like real skydiving. I thought there would be the feeling of free-fall, where your heart feels like it’s going to jump out of your throat, but I didn’t feel that at all. Maybe I should stick to roller-coasters. Haha.

Watching the video from our free DVD, me spinning and floating around somehow reminded me of the lyrics:

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
drifting through the wind wanting to start again?”

I think it would be more fun if I knew how to control going up and down on my own. Doubt I will ever find out, as it really isn’t a cheap sport!

Oh, and apparently, when you enter Sentosa by car during weeknights, it’s only $2 admission fee, and parking is only $1 per entry! Cheaper than parking at vivocity and taking the lrt over!

Sky Loft Premium Suites

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Ever since I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” some years ago, and learnt about assets (things you own that generates money) and liabilities (things you own that take away money), I’ve always wanted to get an investment property.

But with Singapore property prices being so high, and prices rising faster than one can save up the 20% down payment required, (40% now if you own a HDB with outstanding loan), it’s almost impossible to get an investment property unless you make a lot of money. Thus, the only viable alternative was to look across the causeway.

In the past decade, the land near the Tuas checkpoint have slowly and steadily been developed, and new townships created due to the ‘Iskandar factor‘. We first learn about this area because a friend of ours told us that Bukit Indah’s Aeon Shopping Centre had an A&W! Rootbeer Float! They served it in chill glass mugs when we first started visiting it, but later switched to paper cups. Maybe too many of their mugs got stolen. They still serve root beer floats in chilled glass mugs!

Anyway, as a result of our A&W urge, we learnt about the Bukit Indah area, and honestly comparing to “old JB”, near the woodlands checkpoint, this area is really well-developed and appears a lot safer. However, we still didn’t know how safe the properties were, even with it being gated and patrolled. Also, there weren’t any property available near the Mall.

And then Sky Executive Apartments came along. We missed that, but signed up to be informed of the launch of their next ‘luxury apartment’ launch – Sky Loft. The location is awesome – right next to the Mall, that has a new cinema currently under construction. Best of all, it’s super affordable if you compare it to Singapore.

Sky Loft (artist impression)

If all goes well, we’ll be proud owners of a unit here! It’s a 1516 sq feet freehold 3 bedroom apartment, which can be ‘converted’ into a 2 bedroom + studio, and comes with full condo facilities. And all this for the same price as our 99year 904 sq feet HDB flat – just RM$455/sqft!

Can’t wait for it’s completion! We will be on the 22nd floor. It will be rented out when completed, but possibly a future retirement home if Singapore gets too expensive!

WSQ After Effects

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Okay. Actually I wanted to take a course at a CC as part of my “30 before 30” list, but I guess this counts as well.

The Government has this Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) program, where they help “retrain Singaporeans” or help them “upgrade their skills” by subsidizing courses.

So I decided to sign up for a course to learn “After Effects”. In order to get the subsidy, I had to answer questions like the following:

– My current job title and description
– My motivation for taking up the course and how the skill/knowledge adds value to my current job
– Do I intend to stay in the Interactive Digital Media Industries for the next 3 to 5 years

After subsidy, I ended up paying only 30% of the total course fee! So it was $400+ instead of $1.4k! For 10 lessons over 2 weeks, 2.5 hours each, that’s about $40+ per lesson.

hello world

The course teaches the basics, and it’s kinda weird cause among all my course mates, none of them are editors. There was a IT guy, a student, some staff from ITE, weird mix of people.

After Effects is interesting, but unfortunately, what the course made me realize is that its almost impossible to master. Luckily there are tons of tutorials online. Google is your friend, if you need to find a tutorial to do a certain effect.

Also, After Effects requires other software to create materials – ie. you must have knowledge of other softwares like Photoshop, 3D modelling software etc.

Here are some cool After Effects site to surf:

– AE Tutorials
– Video Copilot

30 before 30

Monday, June 6th, 2011

This list was written some time back: before I turn 30, here’s a list of stuff I hope to do!

1. Learn how to ride a motorbike (01/11)
2. Learn how to drive a manual car (15/05/13)
3. Go Snowboarding in Korea
4. Go Skydiving (iFly 25/11/11)
5. Road trip to JB waterfall/springs
6. Try Kite Boarding or Wake Boarding (11/10)
7. Fly a kite at night
8. Bet on a horse race at Kranji (19/12/10)
9. Learn Cantonese/Hokkien
10. Go for F1 night race in Singapore
11. White a short story
12. Take a course at the Community Centre (WSQ After Effects Course 07/11)
13. Go NDP (08/2010)
14. Run 2.4km within 15 min
15. Have a kid
16. Visit the farms in Singapore
17. Shoot a gun
18. Buy an investment property (07/11)
19. Go back to Oklahoma for a visit (03/2011)
20. Visit my twin in California (03/2011)

Tour of the Region

21. Visit Laos
22. Visit Siem Reap & Phnom Pheh (Cambodia) – AngKor Wat/Killing Fields
23. Visit Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
24. Visit Pattaya (Thailand)
25. Visit Bangkok (Thailand)
26. Visit Krabi (Thailand) – Sun, Sand, Beach!
27. Visit Hong Kong
28. Visit Bali (Indonesia)
29. Visit Jakarta (Indonesia)
30. Visit Yangon (Myanmar)

Bike Lessons @ BBDC

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

As a kid I always loved cycling, especially when going down slope – not only do I not have to pedal, I get to feel the cool breeze brushing against my cheek, and dancing through my hair. Somehow it just made me feel free.

So it’s no surprise that as I grew older, I always wanted to learn how to ride a motorbike. Parental objection made it impossible, and back then, I didn’t have the money or time anyway, to ‘secretly learn’.

Then I met a colleague who rode a bike, and after saying I wanna learn to ride a bike for about 2 years, and having her tell me to just do it – one day I decided to just do it.

So now I’m 28, and equipped with a pair of Mizuno gloves and my own helmet, I’m ready. So on 8th Nov 2010, I enrolled at Bukit Batok Driving Center, and went for my first lesson the next day.

My bike for my first lesson – a Honda 160cc Megapro
I dropped the bike 5 times. Oops!

Left: There are 7 theory lessons in total
Right: There are 8 stages of practical lessons in total (each stage has 1-3 lessons)
Each stage has a different coloured vest. Feels kinda like the Taekwondo, only the last stage isn’t a black vest.

I think I’m about halfway through now. Just finished 4.02 for my practical, and onto 5.01. The lessons are actually quite fun, and you get a different instructor each lesson, so its a new lesson, new teaching style each time.

Can’t wait to get my license, and a bike. Weeeeee!

Oh and as for spousal objection, as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them“. So Simon just started learning too. Mwahahaha. At least now we can comment on random bikes together

Turf Club @ Kranji

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

We went to the Turf Club @ Kranji on 19 Dec, for what apparently was the last race day of 2010. I’ve always wanted to visit the Turf Club and bet on a race, just because I’ve never done so before, so when I saw a “Race Day Package” deal on Voucherwow, I jumped at it.

Basically the “package” consisted of:
* Admission to the Orchid Box
* Christmas buffet lunch
* Free flow of beer and soft drinks
* Parade ring tour
* Professional photo
* Gift to remember the day

As we were walking from the carpark to race track, Simon made an interesting observation – all the people walking with us were all middle-age males! There was like maybe one female, and she was middle-aged too. When we entered the Orchid Box, it was filled with younger people – exactly the kind who goes online looking for offers like this!

The Orchid Box is one of their private function rooms on the 4th floor of their grandstand. Essentially it guarantees a perfect view of the race and the finishing line!

Left: The stakes if your horse wins.
Right: The parade ring tour where punters observe the horses before betting.

Our first bets was on race 2, and both our horses won us $27 combined. Sadly, the house always wins, cause one never knows when to stop. By the time we left, we had lost -$13. Lol.

Left: Where the general public Q to place their bets.
Right: Where the VIP Q to place their bets (ie. no Q!)

Our ‘free photo’ included in the package

It was an interesting experience, and it’s unlikely we will return again. If you plan to visit though, remember to bring a pair of binoculars! If not the horses look like racing ants!


Monday, December 27th, 2010

Have always wanted to try out wakeboarding, but found it kinda expensive. Finally the opportunity came when in November, when VoucherWow had this offer of $139 for 2 hours. Still expensive, but cheaper.

left: The deal
right: Our boat & Larry, our instructor

left: This is mau’s 2nd wakeboarding session, so she’s good!
right: Simon learning what to do

Finally my turn! It looks a lot easier than it really is.
My knees hurt squatting there.

Managed to stand up on my 2nd attempt, and a few more times after,
but wasn’t able to stay up for long.

left: The pink board and shoes we used!
right: Larry let Mau drive the boat on the way back.

Simon enjoying the ride!

Apparently the boats used for wakeboarding are actually meant for fresh waters and
not sea water, and thus needs to be maintained more regularly.

Might or might not try it again, but I’m glad I got to try it at least once!