Sunday, December 25, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is...

The festive joyous atmosphere makes the Christmas holidays Mr. Robotic's favorite time of the year. It is also the time of the year where one can have as much junk food like chocolate and cakes and shrugged it off that it can be resolved in the new year's resolution. Hehe...

Mr. Robotic is not a social butterfly and finds it awkward to show appreciation for his colleagues during the normal course of work. Thank goodness for Christmas where he can openly give thanks to his colleagues without coming across in the wrong way.

Now besides the Christmas gifts, food, lights and decoration, the most important aspect of Christmas is spending the time with your loved ones. So all Mr. Robotic wants for Christmas is for everyone to be happy and to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!

With that Mr. Robotic leaves you with this version of the Christmas song by Michael Buble. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Taking things for granted...

Taking things for granted is human nature. This rule applies to robots too.

1.5 weeks of being confined, Mr. Robotic is thankful for the following things which he took for granted...

Freedom - Donning the green uniform, Mr. Robotic has no freedom whatsoever in how he manages his life. He needs to follow instructions on the time to wake up, which location to be at, adhere to the training schedule, what kind of phones that he is allowed to bring, how short the hair should be etc. Without freedom, Mr. Robotic felt as if he lost his individuality. The 1.5 weeks actually felt like 1 month. Unbelieveable.

Safe and Sound - Having read the news of the poor little gal in China that got ran over by a vehicle, Mr. Robotic came to the realisation that there are many events that can just take away one's life so easily. Mr. Robotic is glad that he made it through the range safely with all the bullets flying by. Mr. Robotic appreciates the shelter over his head when there is a thunderstorm raging. Mr. Robotic counts his blessing that as reckless the bus driver is with hitting the front and rear of the bus at the steep slopes, he made it through the journey.

Peers - Mr. Robotic's peers help to keep Mr. Robotic grounded on his goals and offers a reality check for Mr. Robotic. Drawing from their experience and success in different fields, Mr. Robotic hopes to do the same as them. Good company!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Be hated...

Mr. Robotic came across the speech by Adrian Tan to the graduating class of 2008 at Ms. InquisitObserver's blog. There is one part which Mr. Robotic can relate to but finds it hard to execute.

The following is an extract of it:

"be hated.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.

One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong."

Interestingly, a highly successful person shared the same idea to Mr. Robotic recently, that is a good leader is not expected to be Mr. Popular or to be Mr. Nice. This is because often a times, a leader is expected to make unpopular decisions or communicate negative information for the greater good of the team.

Guess, Mr. Robotic has to get used to "be hated". Whahaha...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Simple things can be a blessing...

It had been a rough week for Mr. Robotic. Luckily, lady luck seemed to be smiling at Mr. Robotic today.

So the goods news at a glance:
- Received a letter informing Mr. Robotic of a rebate.
- Got a good haircut which somehow also cut away Mr. Robotic's troubles.
- Enjoyed retail therapy (good deals too at Pull & Bear and Bershka!).
- Liked the Calpsi and Mango drinks.
- Went for a 2.4 km jog and there was improvement in his timing.
- Explored the skyview from another block in his neighbourhood.

Some random photos from Taipei...

Mr. Robotic is rather lazy in maintaing his blog lately. Just some random photos from his past Taipei Trip.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sometimes the best of intentions but we may not get it right...

The lyrics of the Glee song "Get it right" echo Mr. Robotic feelings at the moment. Enjoy...

Get it right

What have I done? I wish I could run
Away from this ship goin' under
Just tryin' to help, hurt everyone else
Now I feel the weight of the world is
On my shoulders

What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow
But how many times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right
To get it right

Can I start again with my faith shaken?
'Cause I can't go back and undo this
I just have to stay and face my mistakes
But if I get stronger and wiser
I'll get through this

What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow
But how many times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right

So I throw up my fist
Throw a punch in the air
And accept the truth that sometimes life isn't fair
Yeah, I'll send down a wish
Yeah, I'll send up a prayer
And finally, someone will see
How much I care!

What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow
But how many it times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right
To get it right

Friday, April 29, 2011

Inspiring Uncle Courageous...

It has been 5 years and again Mr. Robotic's neighbourhood is in the spotlight. Sadly the place is usually depicted as one you wouldn't want to stay in. 

Though you may find it hard to believe, Mr. Robotic is not living in some run down neighbourhood. In fact, Uncle Courageous has been managing Mr. Robotic's neighbourhood very well for many, many years. However, outside dissenting voices continue to try reduce Uncle Courageous 's credibility by citing his "weaknesses". They pointed matter-of-factly that Uncle Courageous is frail and old and that being alone in the committee, he is not able to garner support for major funds to build beautiful facilities for the neighbourhood. 

Somehow, Mr. Robotic sees these very "weaknesses" as strengths instead. Through the challenges that Uncle Courageous faces year after year, he remains humble and demonstrates perseverance and passion for helping the people. How many of us after being critically ill is able to stand back on our feet and even inspire people in the process? Not many. Even rarer for those in managing neighbourhoods. But we see these qualities in Uncle Courageous.

Mr. Robotic remembered vividly the last Mid-autumn festival. Uncle Courageous who was then recovering from stroke could have easily excused himself from the neighbourhood event and no one would have blamed him. Yet, he made the point to be at the event to participate in the walk and interact with the people, even though he was painstakingly using a walker. Mr. Robotic is not sympathetic though. Instead, Mr. Robotic is full of awe and admiration of Uncle Courageous who perseveres despite adversities. 

As to managing the neighbourhood with measly funds, Uncle Courageous shows that he is frugal, practical and one who is able to work within the means to get the best for his neighbourhood. Given that he is able to manage the funds cost effectively, he should be tasked with more funds right?

While Uncle Courageous is moving on to another neighbourhood this year to take on more challenges, Mr. Robotic salutes Uncle Courageous for all that he had done for the neighbourhood and wishes him all the best. Hopefully, people sees these qualities that Uncle Courageous embodies. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Overdue post about Taipei...

Mr. Robotic went to Taipei for the new year countdown, end of December 2010 so yes he is awfully late with this post. The next few posts would cover the food, sightseeing and the new experiences in his 6 days Taipei trip.

Truth be told, Mr. Robotic had certain reservations prior to the trip. For instance, rubbing shoulders with another person at a crowded place ain't exactly Mr. Robotic's idea of fun. He was also afraid that the shops would be closed for the festive period which is a bummer for any holiday. Luckily, the reservations were uncalled for and Mr. Robotic enjoyed his trip much!

Food are most suited for Mr. Robotic's taste buds. Here are the food places that Mr. Robotic recommends...

There is one outlet near Mr. Robotic's hotel, at the Xi Men Ding area. Not sure why, but Mr. Robotic just loves the ham and cheese sandwiches here. The warm fruit tea and green jasmine tea, though a tad expensive, is very much appreciated in the cold Taipei nights. Believe it or not, even though Mr. Robotic is a tin can, he is afraid of chilling winds. Also worth mentioning is that this cafe opens till the wee hours of the night which is great if you just want a place to chit chat with friends.

Cute desserts on display at 85 degrees cafe!
The bear ain't spare from Mr. Robotic's group...

Mr. Robotic has few cravings for food. Xiao long bao or steamed pork dumplings that oozes hot delicious soup and a perfect match with vinegar and fresh ginger slices however has a special place in his tummy! He especially likes the ones at Din Tai Fung.
Now, before visiting the main Din Tai Fung which is located at Xinyi, Mr. Robotic thought that the standards should be the same as Singapore. Hence, he would rather use the opportunity to savour other cruisines not available in Singapore. Boy, was he glad that his friends insisted. The Xinyi main restaurant where the founder started his first restaurant is a must go place (even though the location is a bit out of the way) if you adore steamed pork dumplings!!
Besides the food, the Xinyi main restaurant is worth visiting because it is interestingly a few levels high and it sells Din Tai Fung merchandise like pens and key chains made in its mascot, Bao Zai's design that is not available in Singapore. And importantly, as a tourist, you can take photos with Bao Zai at the entrance in creative poses. For instance, you can attempt to steal the dumplings from Bao Zai's basket (see photo) or you can open your mouth wide to try and bite Bao Zai... :)

Mr. Robotic heard from Ms. Queen that the Kiki restaurants were started by the Taiwanese celebrity Lan Xi Mei and thus far the restaurants got good reviews for its sichuan cruisine (meaning spicy food). Ms. Queen who is missing her spicy hotpots is not ready to forgo this chance. Hence, the group visited the Yan Ji branch expecting good spicy food and hopefully run into a celebrity or two. 

While the group did not get to meet any celebrity, the food very much exceeded the group's expectations. The group selected two of the chef recommendation items which are 蒼蝇头(Heads of flies) which is stired fried minced pork with chinese chives and fermented black beans and 老皮嫩肉 (Old skin, tender meat) which is crispy deep fried tofu that is tender on the inside. Almost every other table chose these two dishes and it was understandable because these two dishes were really good, especially the former which just goes very nicely with plain rice. The names of the dishes are also very interesting and reflective of the quirky personality of the celebrity owner.

While the two dishes were midly spicy, the main purpose for Ms. Queen was still the spicy hotpot and the group decided on the one with pork slices. Spicy level for Mr. Robotic - extreme.

But it was through this that showed the good service of the staff. The waitress noted that the spicy hotpot was too much for Mr. Robotic to handle and actually got him a bucket of ice to add in his ice water. It was a very thoughtful gesture! Furthermore, the waitress asked if the group enjoyed the meal and recommended other suitable dining places. This place is surely worth re-visiting!
Entrance of the restaurant with the KiKi cat logo.

The spicy hotpot that made Mr. Robotic breaking
out in sweat, running nose and voluptuous lips,
meaning unglam!
12 slices of crispy yet tender tofu.
Seemingly simple yet very delicious!
A great photo by Ms. Long Boots with the
minced pork in the foreground.
Hu Xu Zhang (aka Formosa Zhang or 鬍鬚張)
Lu Rou Fan (minced pork rice) is a simple local dish. However, half of Mr. Robotic's group swore they need to have at least 3 servings for the whole trip. Well, the group only managed to try two places, one of them being the Hu Xu Zhang outlet at Wu Fen Pu area. You can recognise the place easily with the prominent logo of a big beard man of course! Mr. Robotic's verdict is the place is decent with a fairly competitive price. Mr. Robotic heard it is celebrity Xiao S's favorite place for minced pork rice!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Next Singapore Superstar...?

Coincidentally, one of Ms. Teacher's students was at the same KTV place where the group celebrated Ms. Sexy's birthday. Ms. Teacher was full of praise for her student's singing ability and asked if her student can sing a song in front of the group. Of course, the group agreed and gosh was the group treated to a spectacular performance. To think that the student chose to sing a 林志炫 song at KTV and even more unbelievable a song called "Surrender" that was originally sang by Celine Dion.

For those who have not heard the song before, check the following video:
As Randy would have said on American Idol, the student has mad vocals, dawg! And he is comparable to the singer considering his young age! A check with Ms. Teacher revealed that the student was actually under the famous Li Wei Song + Li Si Song music school. Wow, seems like there is a pool of singing talent in Singapore waiting to be groomed to be the next superstar!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ms. Sexy gonna born this way!

When the first digit of one's age jumps, it is as though it is a step into another stage in life. And this year, Mr. Robotic will be proceeding to step 3 in his life. *shudders*

Thankfully, Mr. Robotic has friends who will bravely venture into this new stage before him. One of them being Ms. Sexy. For her bravery, the group consisting of Mr. Trust Me, Mr. Robotic, Ms. Teacher and Ms. Gourmet, celebrated Ms. Sexy's birthday over KTV (most fitting way since its Ms. Sexy's favorite hobby).

Ms. Sexy had in the past KTV sessions belted out Lady Gaga's hits like "Bad Romance" (rah rah) and "Poker Face" (p-p-p-poker). And a crazy thought popped into Mr. Robotic's head, what if for Ms. Sexy's birthday, she embraced it like Lady Gaga at the Grammy's by breaking out of the egg and singing and dancing to "Born this way".

The song has simple but meaning lyrics...
"Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby, you were born this way"

Sexy way to celebrate one's birthday right? Ms. Sexy, please learn the song for your next birthday! :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mdm. Agaration goes on a holiday...

For the past week or so, Mdm. Agaration and Mr. Worry Too Much was on a holiday in Taiwan. Hence, Mr. Robotic, Mr. Songwriter Wannabe and Mr. Annoying Orange were left at home to fend for themselves. It's only these little getaways by Mdm. Agaration that Mr. Robotic realises how important she is. Maintaining a house is no easy feat and Mr. Robotic hereby salutes all the mothers out there, especially the working mums! However do you do it on a daily basis?!

Well, Mr.
Robotic and the gang did managed to survive the household chores. Thankfully! However, what really strikes a chord with Mr. Robotic is how he misses the little gestures of Mdm. Agaration when she is away. For instance, Mdm. Agaration will never fail each morning to wave at Mr. Robotic from the window while he is about to catch the bus to work. And for the past week, when Mr. Robotic looked up at the window, she ain't there and a wave of sentiments hit Mr. Robotic. To think, Mr. Robotic actually said to Mdm. Agaration that it is a silly gesture of hers that mimic Grumpy Gran. Guess, its the silliest things that are close to one's heart.

Now now, although Mdm. Agaration was not at home, Mr. Robotic still gets to have some home cooked meals. The following are some of the simple fare that
Mr. Robotic made for the past week...
Cha Soba (not sure why it ain't that green in the photo) and luncheon meat. Ms. Marble shared a good method of having "deep fried" luncheon meat less all the oil. That is to put the luncheon meat in the toaster oven. Mr. Robotic presumes that this is a healthier choice too.
From left, stirred fried Angel's hair, Potato Soup, Canned beans and Tomatoes with Eggs. Mr. Robotic is horrible when it comes to pasta. Tried different combinations but it just doesn't seem to work. As for the soup, thanks to the secret ingredient - packaged chicken stock, Mr. Annoying Orange thought the soup which contains potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and spring onion, to be pretty decent.
Mushroom soup that comes with meat, tofu, 2 kinds of mushrooms and vegetables. Mr. Robotic originally wanted to cook a few dishes after work. But it proved to be too ambitious. After spending more hours in the office then he had planned, he rushed home and decided on the quick recipe... dumped all the ingredients together with secret ingredient - chicken stock. Balanced and healthy dish? Mr. Songwriter Wannabe had two large bowls of the soup and was surprised that its good.

So if you are home alone, remember to stock up on canned food and chicken stock. :P

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mr. Robotic behind the steering wheel...

For those who had challenged Mr. Robotic to a race at the Daytona machines in the arcade, you would have known how "spectacular" a driver Mr. Robotic is. For the clueless, well... let's just say that Mr. Robotic usually carrying out defying stunts with the race car (e.g. 180 degrees turn). So for Mr. Robotic to take up driving and be behind the steering wheel of an actual car... road users beware!!

So how did the first lesson go?

There were loads of introduction on the different controls of the car. Supposedly, it is nothing new to Mr. Robotic as he had took the final theory test but somehow when it comes to practical, Mr. Robotic's mind just go into a blank. Does he need to look right, left, rear or in front? Does he depress the brake, the accelerator or turn on the signal? Information overload and Mr. Robotic's spatial awareness is almost zero. Thankfully, the instructor was besides Mr. Robotic all the way and helped to steer the car whenever Mr. Robotic is not doing it right. Sigh of relief~

Guess it will be sometime before Mr. Robotic can drive his dream car... well for both reasons, the driving license and the hefty price tag. Till then... a picture to look at.. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Belated Happy New Year 2011!!

Cheers to the new year 2011. It's been a busy start to the year for Mr. Robotic which explains for the late update in his blog... So what have Mr. Robotic been up to for the past few weeks?

For a start, Mr. Robotic has been getting physical! Lest your mind runs wild, Mr. Robotic has been starting on a gruelling exercise routine to squeeze some meat (5kg hopefully?... no results yet though) onto his tiny frame. The workout per week consists of one day of upper exercise, one day of lower exercise and two days of body conditioning. Each exercise day left Mr. Robotic so winded that there just isn't much energy to do anything else.

And of course to kick start the growing, Mr. Robotic got himself a blender and start mixing different items with the protein powder to make it more delicious. The above picture is a mix of blueberries and yogurt. Sweet!

Another goal which Mr. Robotic set for himself this year is to pass his driving. Yes, this is long overdue considering that Mr. Robotic passed his basic theory test like 5 years ago. But Mr. Robotic hates taking test as it
gives him the jitters, no matter what kind of tests. Even taking IPPT, Mr. Robotic will feel nervous. Maybe a little bit of anxiety is good... cause it keeps one on his or her toes. Mr. Robotic is glad that he passed his final theory test today on his first attempt. Mr. Robotic is keeping his fingers crossed that he can clear the driving test on the first attempt too so that he can keep the expenses low. Yeah, learning driving is expensive! A thing to note is our technology had advanced. 5 years ago, Mr. Robotic was still taking the basic theory test via sheets of question and answer paper. Now, the tests are taken using the computer terminals with sleek touchscreen monitors. The person besides Mr. Robotic has a unique way of "interacting" with the touchscreen i.e. flicking on the screen to choose his answers.

Lastly, one very important issue to follow up (especially given that Mr. Robotic is moving in to the big 3) is to plan for his retirement. Mr. Robotic had ran through his insurance plans and realised that he had duplicates in his plans which he had ridiculously paid for the past 2 years. Well, better realise now than later. More fine tuning for the insurance plans are in order and Mr. Robotic will be working on that area. Another area Mr. Robotic will need to schedule time to explore will be CPF and investment as part of the retirement package.
So there you go... the above 3 areas are and will continue to be the areas that will keep Mr. Robotic busy for year 2011. Wish him luck!