My experience riding 8.5km home by electric kick scooter

Just got home from work riding my new kick scooter. My adrenaline is still rushing through me.

As I mentioned on my previous post, I just got myself an electric kick scooter. So I wanted to experience for myself where it’s practical to use and where it’s not.

From the onset, I pretty much think it wouldn’t be practical to be riding it to work 8.5km from my home, coz then I would have to take another shower when I get to work, which means I have to bring extra clothes and stuff, and that’s too much of a hassle for me.  Unlike jogging or cycling to work, at least the calories I burn could compensate for the hassle.

Since it’s a public holiday tomorrow, I decided to bring my kick scooter to office by cab and ride it home from work.

As a disclaimer, I do not have the best balance in the world. My balance may even be classified as less than average.

Hubby wasn’t so optimistic with riding home on a scooter so I decided to do it myself. He would go home by MRT, and I would go home by scooter and see our times.

It was a fun ride all in all. It took me 70 mins to complete 8.5Km. That comes out to about an average of 7.3Kph.  A seasoned runner would probably be faster than that.

There were a lot of waiting for traffic lights.   I mapped my ride so that I didnt have to cross the road so often.  But I think the side walk I chose was more populated. I probably should try the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road next time for comparison.    And there are some people who really don’t like to give way despite seeing oncoming traffic.  They just walk around in slow motion in the middle of the lane, looking at the stars, fixing their hair.  Well, that’s life.  Good for them.

I was wearing 2 inch heels. It didn’t really make a difference to me, except when I’m trying to stop myself from crashing or running after my scooter coz my stupid thumb wouldn’t let go of the accelerator.

I figured since I would be on the sidewalk running at the same speed as some joggers would that I didn’t need a helmet.  But I know now that on downhill roads, I have to really control the speed because the scooter could accelerate quite fast just from gravity and it’s easy to get it out of control.  If it gets out of control, then you’d wish you had a helmet or knee pads at least.

When I got to the part of the park connector where there weren’t so many joggers, I tried going all out for speed and my scooter reached a maximum of 22kph though the specs said 23-24kph max speed.  It was a good ride but it’s probably only good for isolated park connectors where the road is well paved, and there’s hardly any people.

I guess the regenerative braking is working too coz my battery level  is still the same as when I started.

So if you found yourself here because you saw a silly awkward woman riding an electric scooter along Yio Chu Kang road, that was me.  I think I almost crashed 3 times coz when I start to panic, I press on the accelerator instead of the brakes and I end up running after my scooter.  I hope looking silly doesn’t merit me getting stomped, though haha.

Am I going to do that again? Not routinely, I think.  I don’t think the wheels of the scooter can take the beating either.  This scooter is really a last mile solution – 2-4 km on normal sidewalks, longer on park connectors.

Review of the Zoom electric kick-scooter

Before we pre-ordered the Zoom, we were already contemplating on buying a MyWay e-scooter, the only thing holding us back though was the price.  But then our friend told us she saw another e-scooter on her facebook feed and so we checked it out.   It turned out to be Zoom.  That same night trying to find more information on the Zoom scooter, I saw a similar scooter  L Trott in France.  I basically based my decision to buy the Zoom on information I could find on the L Trott since being a new company, there wasn’t so much information about Zoom.

I didn’t even sign up for a test drive I just pre-ordered right away.  But James, the owner of Zoom, got in touch and encouraged us to test drive.  So test drive we did.  Before this, we have never tried a kick scooter before, but our son made it look super easy.  Ha! I couldn’t even ride it for more than two seconds the day of the test drive. I’m not that good at personal transport involving balance – like bicycles and scooters.  (I can’t skateboard either.)  That’s how bad my balance is.  But I still wanted to get the scooter and I figured I can practice, just like what I did with the bicycle.  (Though until now I still need more practice with the bike.)

After a month of anticipation, our Zoom e-scooters have finally arrived.  We spent the weekend giving it a spin and here’s how I find it so far:

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Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims

As of the time of writing this post, everyone would have heard of Typhoon Haiyan and the great tragedy and destruction it has left behind.

It’s so heart warming to see how everyone including the international community is responding with their help for the victims of the Typhoon.

I have personally, (I mention it not to grandstand but to hopefully inspire others to do the same.) given donations to the victims of Haiyan.  Before this I had also given donations to the victims of the recent earthquake in Cebu.  I figured, Christmas season is just around the corner and that  I can spend my Christmas bonus early.

I usually course my donations through World Vision Philippines since I already have a couple of sponsored students with them and I get updated with their other activities like relief efforts frequently through email.

During the another past typhoon calamity I cannot remember which one anymore, I personally asked people at my workplace for contributions which I coursed through the Philippine Red Cross.  And it’s nice to know that this time, since I was on business trip in Germany when Haiyan hit, somebody else initiated to ask for contributions – and since the company was matching a dollar for every dollar of contribution, sayang naman so I gave more contributions ulit.

While I was in Germany, I was contemplating on asking for donations but before my facebook feed even started getting flooded with Haiyan updates, I already got an update from World Vision that World Vision Germany were sending relief efforts to the Philippines.  I guess they were one of the earliest to respond.  So early, that they had trouble with our customs department – that’s another story.  So I ended up not asking for a couple reasons:  It was my first time to meet the colleagues there.  Had they offered I would have accepted, but I wasn’t sure what impression it would have given them asking for monetary contribution during the first meeting on a business sponsored trip.  Right or wrong, I am partly relieved that I ended not doing it because of the hassle the German relief volunteers had to go through.  - Again, another story.

Last year, we hosted our Christmas party and asked for contributions to sponsor Noche Buenas for World Vision sponsored families.  As Christmas presents, I also gave out Human Nature products to everyone I knew in support of the cause behind it.  I guess this year we know what the theme for our next Christmas gathering is.

What I’m trying to say is that everyone can help in their own little way.   Tragedy or no tragedy.   Just for info: in times where there are no calamities, I prefer to support causes that teach the poor to “fish” – like education, ergo World Vision.  But in times of tragedy, like this one, of course people need “fish”.  Every little effort counts.

For those in Singapore who are looking into how to help Typhoon Haiyan victims from Singapore, I have come across this Google doc page:  http://bit.ly/HXQTv9 .  It was compiled by somebody else and I saw it shared on my facebook feed.

Please click the link to check how you can help Typhoon Haiyan from Singapore.

We all have different motivations. For me, in times of trouble, I am always grateful that I am not on the receiving end.  So I give to show my gratitude and hopefully encourage the spirit of giving.

 

 

Remittance to the Philippines from the comfort of your home

Finally, an online remittance service from the Philippine National Bank (PNB).

It allows you to remit from your DBS, POSB, or UOB account to a variety of banks in the Philippines using PNB as the remittance service provider (much like iRemit).  In other words, you don’t need to remit to a PNB Bank account in the Philippines.  However, you need to have sent a remittance through PNB at least once and retained your Official Remittance Receipt.

To complete your online remittance you need:

1.  internet banking from DBS, POSB, UOB, activated.

2.  a 14-digit remittance number from PNB.  That’s a combination of 12-digit Remitter ID No that you can find from the Official Remittance Receipt you get after sending a remittance through PNB and the last 2 digits of your Beneficiary’s reference number (01,02, etc..)

.. and you are all set. Continue reading

Human Heart Nature in Singapore

I first got into paraben-free pampering when I got pregnant with my first baby. I used to buy my stuff from Amazon.com and ship them over – and they were not cheap! So you can only imagine my joy when I discovered that there was an affordable line of all-natural paraben free products closer to home in the form of Human Heart Nature.

If you reside in Singapore, you can become a member and avail member discounts and get to sample the different products to see which ones are best for you.

I have tried several of the products and I like a lot of them so much that my bathroom counter has become like a Human Heart Nature display shelf.

I use more products than I have posted here but here are just some of my favorites:

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Wawawa Bistro by the Reservoir

I recently met up with my friend who lives in Bedok.  Since I just wanted to relax and avoid the hustle of having dinner in the city, I tried to find a place we can have dinner that’s near her place.

My search led me to Wawawa Bistro by the Reservoir.   As its name suggests, the place is just by the Bedok reservoir.  We were there on a weekday night just after rainpour.  It wasn’t packed and so just right for the ambience that I was looking for. 

Before I share my experience, let me try to give you an idea of my taste for food.  In Singapore, I can’t really think of a place that serves western food that’s reasonable and fantastic at the same time.  I either find the good ones expensive or the reasonable ones a little bland or have a somewhat localized flavor.  If you have any recommendations, please let me know I would love to try it. 

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Sarangani Boneless Bangus

Good news for bangus lovers!

I love bangus but I feel that eating it with bones just makes me more hungry because I spend more effort sorting through the bones than getting fish meat out of it.

If you are like me, then fret no more. The best boneless bangus in the Philippines is now in Singapore!

No more bones. It’s just sweet bangus (milkfish) meat for your tummy’s pleasure.

Sarangani Boneless bangus comes in different varieties to suit your needs:

Seasoned bangus for easy to prepare meals – just fry and enjoy!
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Unseasoned boneless bangus for your Sinigang or if you have your own yummy recipe for daing!
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Smoked Bangus – great for sandwhiches, pair it with monggo, or add it to your pancit!

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And introducing Milkfish Embutido – pre cooked just slice and fry or toast!
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It is available at www.mySGTindahan.com
or
email infomysgtindahan.com

MBT shoes

For some time now, I have been feeling pain on my heel whenever I have to walk for a long time using flats or slippers – and that’s often since we don’t own a car.  I think it started since I gained a little weight and haven’t been in shape for some time now.  I suspect I have plantar fascitis. 

It’s funny though that I don’t think I feel this pain when I’m walking on heels.  But then that comes with another pain too.  The pain of calluses on my toes.

Some weeks ago, I’ve decided I don’t want to deal with that heel pain anymore because it’s very uncomfortable.  And then I remembered having seen these MBT shoes before.  I remember thinking they look kinda weird and not very aesthetically pleasing actually.  But I thought, hey if they work, then who cares, right?

So I tried to read around for reviews of the MBT shoes and so far the reviews I’ve come across are good.  I noticed too that a lot of the reviews I’ve read were from old ladies.   But anyway, I decided to give them a try. 

I bought the Kiburi model from the Suntec City Store. 

What I didn’t realize right away was that the shoes were horribly expensive.  But my quest to find the answer to my heel pain got the better of me.  So I bought it at the store for S$399.

And guess, what?  I saw it on Amazon for just $120!!!  That’s about S$150.00 – about half of what I paid for it!  Even with international shipping it would still come out way cheaper.  I knew it would be cheaper from the US.  But I didn’t imagine the price difference to be this much!

Anyways, that’s what I get for wanting instant gratification and not having the EQ. 

The bright side of it all, is that the shoe actually works! 

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The Tastings Room

Last month I saw this $29 for 4-Course Truffle Themed Set Meal at The Tastings Room in Marina Square (Worth $58). Additional Choice of Coffee or Tea and Two Pax Options Available. deal on Groupon.  Being a fan of truffle, I bought it and thought I would bring my mom along when she come visit me. 

The 4-course meal includes:

For starters: White Truffle Fries,
Soup: Truffle Mushroom Puree Soup,
Main Course: Truffle Cream Linguine with Wild Mushroom OR Rose Sauce Linguine with Parma Ham,
Dessert: Gateau au Fromage (cheesecake) OR Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s my review of the whole experience.

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Mama Mio Tummy Rub

I bought this recently for my sister-in-law who is expecting her 2nd baby.  When she was pregnant with her first child, she tried everything there was to avoid stretchmarks and none of the products she tried prevented her from getting those dreaded stretchmarks. 

So when I became pregnant with my first one, I was really scared that nothing would work.  And unlike my sister-in-law, I wasn’t the type that could consistently keep up with a daily regimen. 

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Review of Eco Gourmet Cafe

My friends and I tried the Eco Gourmet Cafe for the recent Restaurant Week. 

The restaurant is situated in Labrador Nature Reserve at 30 Labrador Villa Road.  It’s a 500m walk from the Labrador Park Station of the Circle line.  The signs leading to the place are quite small.  It’s not that far a walk though it would seem so on your first time when you don’t know where you are going. 

I liked the ambience since I like nature.  I would describe the ambience as eco-zen if there is such a word.  The sound of crickets is the ambient sound and I initially though it was recorded but later realized it was real. I also like the fact that their furniture, according to the lady there, are mostly made by indigenous people from Malaysia and Thailand. 

Ok now I go to the food. 

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Jessica Sanchez on American Idol

Every season of American Idol, there usually one or two Pinoys who stand out at least during the audition.  But for once, I really think Filipino, Jessica Sanchez, (or whatever mix she is) has a good chance to bag that American Idol title.  I am totally impressed with her! I would even dare say she’s better than past winners like Jordin Sparks. 

Her rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You made me teary eyed! That’s how good she is!

So good luck to you, Jessica!  Represent!

Review of Gumdrop Military Edition Droptech Series for iPad 2

I bought the Gumdrop Military Edition Droptech Series case for iPad 2 during the black friday sale at Amazon.com and had to wait a few weeks for this item because the seller had some problems with their inventory. I basically bought something that was out of stock so I had to wait for them to replenish their stock.

But I have to say that this case is worth the wait. Continue reading

Help victims of Typhoon Sendong from Singapore

As of 19 December 2011, the death toll for Typhoon Sendong has been placed at 823 surpassing that of Typhoon Ondoy.

photo credit not mine

Pinoys in Singapore, or anyone from Singapore for that matter can help victims of Typhoon Sendong in the Philippines.

Simply drop your donations at LBC AirCargo #04-077 Lucky Plaza, Orchard Road.

Alternatively, we can also send donations through:

Philippine Red Cross – They accept cash, check, credit card, G-Cash, or through SMS. Just click on the link for details.

‘Tis the season of giving and there’s no better time than now to share our blessings with the less fortunate victims of Typhoon Sendong who will be spending Christmas mourning for their loss. May God bless them and give them strength, and may God bless those who extend their helping hand.

Excel prints to pdf in Letter size despite A4 setting

I want to share the solution to this problem that has been bugging me for a while.  I have searched for the solution but it was not readily available so I hope I can help other people having the same problem. 

The Problem:  Despite making sure that my page settings in Excel is A4 and the printing preference in Acrobat is set to A4, my output pdf is still letter size.  This only happens with Excel but works fine in Word. 

It’s not really a critical problem but it’s one of those annoying problems that constantly pick on your subconscious.

The Solution:

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How to Help Japan

By now, we are all aware of what happened to Japan.  The recent series of events are eerily too similar to an over the top apocalypse movie.  First, was an earthquake of almost 9 magnitude – the strongest ever recorded to hit Japan.  Then it was followed by a huge tsunami that wiped out the coastal areas of Japan.  Now, there’s the nuclear reactor that’s in danger of a meltdown. 

All these, while people affected are still probably trying to get a grip of what’s happening, or trying to find their loved ones. 

As of the last news I’ve read some 4000 people have been declared as casualties and some 6000 more are missing. 

People are running out of food, warmth, electricity, fuel.  Japan’s economy is taking a dive and to top it all off, there are still warnings of possible strong after shocks. 

My heart goes out to everyone who are affected. 

I am just so grateful that me and my family are safe home.  These disasters can strike anywhere and I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if this happened to me. 

I sincerely want to help in whatever way I can.  I’m amazed to think that considering everything that has happened, there are no reports of chaos, or riots, or pilferage going on.   These things I would imagine are inevitable in situations like these.  That’s why it makes it even more surreal for me. 

I have seen a lot of posts on ways to help from other countries, but not much on how to help from Singapore.   

I think the best help right now besides prayers would be monetary donations to moblize trained groups go to Japan and do their calling.  And to maximize your donation, it’s best to make a donation to an organization that accepts your local currency.

Here are some of the ways one can make a donation through:

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Passport Renewal at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore

Last Sunday, I went to the embassy for renewal of passport.  But before I write about my experience, I want to write first about why I had to go for a renewal in the first place.

My passport is due to expire on Feb 2011 and I only realized this month that my passport was only valid for less than 6 months.   But we were scheduled to go to Manila on Jan 2011 and if my passport wasn’t more than 6 months valid I wouldn’t be able to exit Philippines.

FYI, if you had a passport that was valid for less than 6 months, you can still fly back to your home country but you won’t be able to fly out.

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The Happy Meal Art Project

Picture-3 Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101012/bs_yblog_upshot/mcdonalds-happy-meal-resists-decomposition-for-six-months

I keep seeing this topic in the newspapers and internet here in Singapore and honestly I don’t see what the fuzz is about.  Yes it’s interesting but wasn’t there a same experiment that was featured in the movie “Supersize Me” – a documentary released six years ago. 

So artwise, it’s not that original (unless it’s the same experiment – which I doubt because this one’s recent).  I’m surprised people are actually shocked to hear that their Happy Meal lasts forever.  I’ve always considered Mc Donald’s as junk food.  I still eat it though but I eat knowing I shouldn’t expect much nutrients from it.  It allows me to look forward to the high sodium and high fat content. :P

Addendum:
It seems it wasn’t from the movie Supersize Me that I encountered this experiment before but from this article instead.

One Pinoy's journey to adapting to life in the Lion City and make it a home away from home…