We had our annual big bash on the island of Sentosa on 06Nov09 with some 320 attendees. Child performers from ChildAid concert (video link) were well received. In Dec09, we take a break from all activities and start afresh in Jan10. There is already request to conduct a repeat on Qigong. We have a bundle of activities lined up for 2010 and look forward to your participation. Stay tuned.
2nd Charity Ride
Fifty cyclists took part in the Charity Ride on 12Sep09, staggered in 3 groups. It was a gorgeous day and some were sun burnt. A few adventurers went MIA, riding ahead of group leaders, and other speedsters took convoluted routes. We had a hearty breakfast, covered 30km and ended with a few bruised butts. In all, we collected $32,800 and awaiting another $3,100 from Tote Board. At the HPA dinner, we raise another $1,000 from auctioning 2 Pirelli calendars. Thanks to all generous donors, some under-privileged kids have pocket money at school.
Time telling vs clock making
Recently, I obliged a friend to attend an ICT federation inaugural breakfast talk. Understandably, every ICT vendor in town touts their latest, fastest, sexiest gizmos at every opportunity. Two CTOs, as part od APEC bandwagon, and 1 President (who resides in Singapore) were in town to offer insights.
The first CTO works for a CEO with the world’s largest yacht. His presentation material, impressive tech-talk, is about 60 slides. It was a marathon session and cloud computing surfaced as flavour of the month. The 2nd speaker, the President for AP, whose Chairman retired to do good, delivered his stuff succinctly; augmented by his APJ IT Director in 16 slides. It centres on today’s key drivers of productivity, innovation and cost control.
The final speaker, a CTO AP with a beer belly, talks about virtualization as is now and transforming into cloud computing. He covered 20 heavy duty slides. All his slides had this footer that read: ‘XXX Confidential-Internal Use Only’. By the end of the presentation, I don’t know if it was water vapour, cloud or haze!
When it was all over, I went over to the President of AP, thank him profusely for telling time. As for clocks, I get new fangled ones thrown at me every other week in the ICT space.
Your voice matters
Some things in life are free including being a member of National Library (another benefit if you are a citizen!). These days, you let your fingers do the walking on the Internet, to check book availability, reserve and yes recommend books!
I highly recommend this book if you have teenagers. Ben-Shahar’s first book is equally readable. The world is small. He was a friend of late Singaporean Bonnie Hicks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonny_Hicks)
Heart at work on the western front
Photo extracted from NParks Buzz Nov09
My pedaling gang decided to test ride the Western Adventure Park Connector Network on the same evening after it was officially opened by Minister Gan early on in the day. Seven of us, including a road biker, embarked on this 23km journey. We started from carpark at junction of Bt Timah Rd and Dairy Farm Rd; thanks to NParks for this spacious, free parking open lot.
After crossing Bt Timah Rd, we headed towards Hillview Rd. We noticed some freshly painted courtesy slogans on tarmac that reads: ‘Giveway to pedestrians’. Soon, it was an uphill climb narrowly passing under the railway tracks above, then down hill followed by a sharp left turn onto Hillview Avenue. Safety comes first and it’s good to note that blind spot is mitigated with a convex mirror.
The ride along Hillview Ave is pleasant, save for a narrow strip, where it cuts across rear of a bus stop and a blind stair exit. Minutes later, we turn right into the heartlands of Bt Batok East, meandering pass a mosque and then cruise alongside Little Guilin Lake. There was obvious tarmac improvement behind Bt Gombak MRT station and as we turn right towards it, our path cuts
across a bus stop and the MRT exit. Human traffic increases calling for a dismount and push. Once we passed that choke point, it was a breeze riding under the MRT track towards Brickland PCN. This uninterrupted 1km stretch is occasion to go full throttle and before long, we are into the heartlands of Choa Chu Kang, meandering left, right, left again towards CCK Park.
Simplicity always works. Those directional PCN signs on tarmac at cross junctions are most effective. However, I was fatigued out with many pole signs in an already congested concrete jungle. Do I really need to be told to ‘watch out for traffic’ in the heart of a housing estate? Distance markers on tarmac are good motivators. It tells you distance to key points. However, presentation should be more consistent. We have 1200m, 0.2km and at least two that reads 0km to specific locations. I don’t get purpose of 0km readings. Paint colours include white, yellow and now an introduction of light brown. Yellow is the best for safety purpose. That’s why airports use a lot of yellow.
After CCK Park, we rode across flyover, then baffled by having to cross a traffic light, a zebra crossing, 2 more traffic lights before heading towards Pang Sua PCN. In this vicinity, I think we ran out of paint! There was no PCN directional ‘bread crumb’ on tarmac. Still, we found our way.
A more logical route requires only 1 traffic light crossing. I suspect this convolution is perhaps resulting from inter-agency territory squabble. Once on Pang Sua PCN next to canal, it was time to rev up, shuffle in double quick time. Before long, we are onto Bt Panjang Road next to Ten Mile junction, heading towards Bt Panjang Park. This stretch does require maintenance attention. We whistled through the Park and onto Bt Panjang PCN. This is a pleasant, straight stretch and saving the best for last, we entered Zheng Hua Park. This undulating portion of Western Loop is the ultimate for cardio workout. There are parts of circuit that your lungs will be screaming for air and your legs will turn jelly. There are several narrow twists and turns and shouting ‘ooiao’ ahead of blind bends is recommended. One buddy, on his inaugural ride, fell off his bike as he avoided a child who suddenly moves into his path. He suffered a minor bruise and gave all of us a fright. We thought he had a heart attack, looking paled and perspiration all over his face. Apparently, he is diabetic and his blood sugar level went way low.
Upon exiting Zheng Hua, the temptation is to continue onto the bike trail across Chestnut Avenue. On our urban foldable bikes, it would be most unwise.