Support me in the Ride for Rainbows

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I love cycling.

And I’ve been on many rides.

I have cycled all over Singapore and overseas too.

I have benefited from all the rides: better health, great scenery, fantastic food and lovely people.

So, I figured that I can ride to benefit others too.

I signed up for Ride for Rainbows, organised by Club Rainbow.

Club Rainbow supports kids who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses – and their families – providing emotional, informational, educational, social and financial assistance.

To take part in the 150 km night ride – that will cover the whole of our little island – on 9-10 October this year, I will have to raise at least $1,500.

I am very sure that you can help me do this.

Please support me with a donation (by 31 August)!

I will write the names my backers on my arm sleeves (the yellow ones in the photo above), to acknowledge and remind me of your fantastic support.

Cycling gives me great joy, and I hope to share a little of that joy by helping the kids of Club Rainbow.

Thank you! 😀

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Emma

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You gave us an almighty scare last week, when we found out that your growth had slowed tremendously over the past month.

Every day, we were thankful for every kick and movement because that meant you were still getting air and food.

Before the placenta shut down, you decided (and this is me, projecting), “That’s it, I’m out of here.”

And so, your mum’s water broke yesterday.

We rushed to the hospital. The doctor ordered a steroid jab to kickstart your lungs because he would have to deliver you the next day, when you were still a few weeks from term.

This morning, I sat in the operating theatre and watched as you emerged.

You looked blue and lifeless.

But almost immediately, you started crying on your own accord.

Thank God.

Now, grow, little one.

March Mania

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I had was supposed to have a sports event every weekend of March:

  • Sun 1 March – Men’s Health Urbanathlon
    Kallang Practice Track. Running + obstacles, 14 km.
    Completed: 2h 45m 58s (nett time). Runkeeper.
  • Sun 8 March – NTU Bike Rally
    F1 Pit Building. Cycling, 168 km.
    DNF: Stopped at 119 km, 5h 46m 42s (time on the move). Runkeeper.
  • Sun 15 March – Metasprint Duathlon
    F1 Pit Building. Running + Cycling + Running, 3 km + 20 km + 3 km.
    Completed: 1h 34m 19.17s. Run 1 – 17m 17s, Cycle – 50m 56s, Run 2 – 21m 59s. Runkeeper.
  • Sat 21 March – (Re)Cycle 350
    Sports Hub. Cycling, 16 km.
    DNS – I was ill.
  • Sat 29 March – 2XU Compression Run
    F1 Pit Building. Running, 21 km.
    Postponed due to LKY’s Funeral.

Urbanathlon

This was my first time participating. I didn’t know what to expect. Overall, the obstacles were doable. I heard lots of chatter that the organisers made things easier this year, compared to 2014. Well, I’m glad they did! The final “surprise” obstacle proved to be slightly unsafe. The drop from height must have caused a few injuries. They doubled up on the safety matress just before I reached it. Thank goodness they did!

NTU Bike Rally

This year’s edition consisted of two distances – 88 km and 168 km. I opted for 168 km. Siva, Say Lin, Aaron and Edward were with me at various points throughout the ride. It was a hot, hot, hot day. Sad to say, none of us completed 168 km! Siva’s shoulder hurt too much. Say Lin was spent. They stopped at Woodlands Waterfront. Aaron ended up on the 88 km route! After all the hard bits, my foldie gave out after Punggol Waterfront. The handlebar came loose, and there was no way to remedy on the spot. Brother-in-law Edward continued on but not for long. He stopped just before the Pasir Ris Drive 3 slope leading to Loyang Avenue. I was very disappointed. My small consolation is that I did not stop while cycling up Nanyang Avenue. 🙂

Duathlon

Another first for me. Run 3 km, bike 20 km, run 3 km. My foldie was at the shop, so I used my MTB. I was slow in the first run, couldn’t keep up with the road and tri-bikes during the bike phase and I was even slower in the second run. It was interesting, but man was I tired the rest of the day. I might do it again though.

Lack of photos

I don’t have a lot of photos from the three events.

Anticipating a surprise water obstacle, my phone was wrapped in a ziplock bag for the Urbanathlon. It was quite inconvenient to take photos. After the race, I realised that I had plenty of time to take photos – lots waiting time before the obstacles!

Bike Rally photos are here. It was a hard slog on a hot day. Photos were not foremost on my mind.

The Duathlon was the most “race” event I’ve taken part in. No time to get distracted. I did snap one or two pics while on a straight with my bike.

Myanmar schools Singapore

The record books will show that Singapore beat Myanmar 4-2.

But off the pitch, Myanmar taught us a couple of things.

Cheering

I read in a report that Myanmar’s support was vociferous.

That’s an understatement.

Under the covered dome of our new National Stadium, you would have been hard pressed to say that Singapore was the home team.

The Myanmar fans raised the roof.

Their sang their national anthem with gusto. Damn power, siah.

Majulah Singapura was nary a mumbled whimper.

They sang and cheered. We used “eye power”.

Yes, their fans were concentrated in the away section whereas ours were spread throughout the rest of the stadium*.

I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if we were all seated together.

What is clear is that the Myanmar fans were there to lift their team.

3-0 down? No problem.

In contrast, Singaporeans were there to be entertained.

We went to the stadium to see our Lions score, to see our Lions win.

Hariss Harun knew it. I could see it in his eyes. He ran to the South Stand after his second goal, pleading with fans spectators to raise the volume.

“I scored, so cheer more for us,” he seemed to say with his eyes and arms.

His gestures fell on blind eyes.

Other than the die-hard fans seated together, we have three main cheers, which are demanding, insulting and cheap support respectively.

  1. We want goal!
    An easy cheer, especially at set pieces. We came to the stadium, now you must score.
  2. The clapping or air horn that ends with b***h. (Often supplemented with shouts of referee kayu!)
    This one is for the ref, when we don’t agree with his decisions. Or an opposition player who is constantly fouling ours.
  3. Olé, olé, olé, olé, olé, olé. (Repeat a few times.)
    Generally heard after a goal. Or when we are utterly dominant. Sing when we are winning, eh?

And that’s about the sum of our cheers. In between, silence or the occasional polite applause at a good move.

I know this is not new.

Why haven’t we progressed?

Cleaning up

The Myanmar fans cleaned up after themselves.

We didn’t. Otherwise, it would have been in the news too.

To think that Myanmar fans caused trouble at an AFF game between our countries a decade ago. (My goodness, I blogged about it.)

Myanmar’s fans have grown. Our National Stadium has had a makeover.

But Singapore fans, by and large, are still stuck in the dark ages.

Reflecting on this, I need to bring a trash bag to the next game against Malaysia.

* Our fault for not filling the stadium too. I don’t buy the argument that tickets are expensive. The same people spend probably $60 a month on EPL and European Champions League, and they probably buy expensive jerseys of other clubs and countries.

Going on the Lighthouse Trail!

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Tomorrow morning, I’ll be going on the Lighthouse Trail, which is part of HeritageFest 2014.

We will be swinging by Sultan Shoal Lighthouse. The lighthouse is between Tuas Extension and Jurong Island. Both are products of reclamation.

We will then visit Raffles Lighthouse, located on the southern-most island of Singapore. I am looking forward to this in particular as my one and only visit to the island was on 22 November 1986.

I remember the date because on 20 Nov, the late Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at the old National Stadium. My family was fortunate to get seats just on the edge of the covered part of the grandstand. It rained, and most people got wet.

21 Nov is my birthday. The meat in this date sandwich.

The next day, my family took a bumboat to Raffles Lighthouse on Pulau Satumu.

I am not sure how we got to go. I think one of my uncles is related to someone who worked there. Security was definitely not so tight back then.

In the 80s, film was precious, so I don’t have much evidence of being on the island.

There are a couple of photos (below), but they don’t prove anything. One shows my relatives and me on the bumboat. The other shows my mum and sis on the porch of the lighthouse. The background doesn’t show the lighthouse though! You’ll have to take my word for it.

Tomorrow, we’re not allowed to take photos on approaching and while on the island. So, even though I have the ability to take as many photos as I want, I can’t.

Still, I’m looking forward to this!

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Anatomy of a phishing attempt (or how not to get conned into giving away your login/financial information)

Lately, some clowns have been trying to get me to divulge my Apple ID and my credit card information.

Let’s look at the email.

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How to tell if an email is a phishing attempt? There are several tell-tale signs.

  1. The sender’s email address. This will not be from the domain that it should be from. The one in the example above – not so smart. Some phishing emails try to come up with a very similar email address which involves the company name which they are purportedly from. There are several ways of doing this.
    1. Misspell the name. e.g. store@appl.com
    2. Use a sub-domain. e.g. store@apple.somedomain.com (the domain is just before .com)
  2. There will be a dubious link. The whole idea is to get you to give away your login details and/or your credit card information. So, there will be a link. Look at the example above. It all looks quite legitimate. In fact, there are valid links such as the support link for iTunes (bottom left).

    The one link that matters – the one that attempts to get your information – will not be from the company it claims to be from. In the email above, the initial link is a shortened link. This should set off alarm bells. I clicked just to see the actual URL. In this case it was not even a proper domain, just an IP address.

    One more thing – the URL that is displayed may not be the URL that it leads to. Always mouseover the link to show the actual destination.

There are other signs, but these tend to be specific to the company. If you have legitimate receipts or authentic automated emails of a similar nature, you can use these to compare.

What to do if you have received a phishing attempt?

  1. Do not divulge your information! Obvious, but must be stated.
  2. Report the phishing attempt. Don’t let others fall into this trap. You can report the email to your email service provider. Most email service providers give you a method to report phishing attempts. In this case, I also reported it to Google’s Report Phishing page*. This is because the phisher used a Google shortlink. Google should know about it so that they can sever the redirection.

Stay safe on the Internet!

* Hmm… the link for reporting phishing looks phishy! But the advice above should help you to decide if it is a phishing attempt or otherwise.

Saint Anthony’s Boys School, 6B (a.m.) 1989

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Time to reminisce.

Tomorrow, I will be attending Cakap Heritage: Schooldays in Bras Basah, an event organised by the Singapore Heritage Society. More immediately, I’ll meet classmates and teachers from St. Anthony’s tonight, some of whom I’ve not met since leaving primary school.

My classmates’ private Facebook page has been inundated with memories of school days. I took the opportunity to go through some old blog posts and photos.

I’ve added the links here more for my reference, but you are more than welcome to read them. They are listed in chronological order.

Miss Tan, Teacher Extraordinaire
My Primary 5 and 6 form teacher is one of the most influential people in my life. I think she touched the lives of everyone she taught. Sadly, she passed away more than ten years ago. This post is about my reaction to finding out about her passing and my memories of her.

Visit to old St Anthony’s
In an ever-changing landscape, it is a minor miracle that the decrepit old school building at Victoria Street still stands. I would have thought they would have razed it to the ground and made more profitable use of the space. This Flickr set contains photos of the building, which was then an adult education school. I am thankful to the people who ran the place for allowing me in to take the photos.

Heritage Tree Nomination
The cutting down of the Braddell Road Angsana prompted me to try and protect the Angsana at old St. Anthony’s Boys’ School. I nominated the tree as a Heritage Tree.

Primary School at Victoria Street
My classmate, Edwin Kheng, prompted this post. It’s just a short one, brought about by old photos. We didn’t seem to have many photos of our primary school days.

Heritage Tree Nomination Update
The previous post reminded me to check on the Heritage Tree Nomination. Sadly, it was not to be.

School Annual
Another post prompted by Edwin. He passed his school annual to me for scanning. It took me the duration of a primary school education – six years – to get that done. I am returning the school annual at the gathering tonight.

P.S. Photo above was our Primary 3 class photo.