Moving Back to

By alvinology, November 15, 2013 10:04 pm

For the purpose of SEO and Google’s policy on classifying duplicated content low on search, I will not be posting regularly on this blog any more. Please visit for regular updates from now on.

Thank you for reading and supporting on both the original blog and this mirror blog for so long. See you over at the original blog. :)

Let’s Talk

By alvinology, September 3, 2013 12:10 am

Why do we talk?

Talking is something that is unique to human and we spend a lot of time doing it each day. It is the cause of many problems, but solves many others at the same time.

If we do not talk, the consequences from communication breakdowns can be equally dire – offices would not be able to function; transportation systems will fail; among other doomsday scenarios.

At the personal level, failure to talk may result in unnecessary mental stress, built from locked up frustrations and emotions over a long period.

I never had trouble opening up and I am grateful I have a few trusted friends whom I can confide in when I need to. Not all men are so forthcoming though. Many of us have inflated macho ego which we cannot let go, even when we really should be crying for help.

Recently, a friend of mine committed adultery in a moment of weakness. He was not happy. He felt guilty towards his wife and he knew there is no future in the relationship. The affair was affecting his work, family life and mental wellbeing. He could not bring himself to talk about it to anyone, but finally confided in me when I pointed out some obvious changes in his behavior (eg. sneaky and heavy use of his mobile phone when he hardly even text anyone previously; snappy and easily irritable attitude towards his wife).

I am glad I caught it early.

My friend told me he even contemplated suicide. SUICIDE.

Goodness, over something like this?

He has a wife who love him very much, a happy family and a good career. Suicide?


My friend and I had a few long chats after that. I try not to interfere too much into his life. Regardless if he choose to divorce his wife or break off the affair, it was his life, his choice.

I did advise him to break off the affair and try to rekindle the love with his wife when they first married. I do not know if he did what I told him, but when I last met him, he looks happier.

I think all he needed was an outlet to release all his pent up frustrations and stress.
The incident may seem trivia to outsiders, but to my friend, he viewed it as a matter of life-and-death.

Which brings me to the topic of death and life-threatening illnesses like AIDS and cancers – if people find it difficult to talk about adultery, these topics will be even harder to bring up.

As open as I am, I have difficulty visualising myself breaking something like that to my family and loved ones, especially when I know I am the key breadwinner and anchor support in the household. Would they feel betrayed? Would I be deemed as a burden?

Here’s an interesting flash mob video I came across, on the important topic of Cancer:

Having good emotional support from friends and family helps!

After watching this video, what are your thoughts?

Let’s talk.

Home-brewed goodness with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto

By alvinology, August 20, 2013 1:07 am

I got a NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Melody Automatic in my home a few months back. Other than gourmet coffee, the machine can also brewed a variety of 15 assorted beverages like lemon tea and peach tea.

It is also able to dispense drinks that are hot or cold!

The machine has integrated into my family life and routine. My two year son loves it the most.

Even though Asher is too young to drink tea or coffee, he loves to see the Dolce Gusto Melody Automatic at work. I taught him how to operate it and it has become his hobby to make coffee and tea for everyone who visit our house.

See how easy it works:

Every time someone visits, he will approach the guest and ask “你要喝茶吗 (Do you want tea)?”

Asher picking out which tea or coffee to serve to our guests
Asher picking out which tea or coffee to serve to our guests

Every morning when I wake up, he will ask me: “ 爸爸,你要喝咖啡吗 (Dad, do you want coffee)?”

Preparing iced peach tea for me
Preparing iced peach tea for me

In the afternoon or in the evening, he will ask me if I want tea.

A two-year-old can operate the Dolce Gusto Melody Automatic
A two-year-old can operate the Dolce Gusto Melody Automatic

Sometime, I will be “pressurized” by Asher to drink up to three cups of gourmet beverages a day!

Asher watching the machine
Asher watching the machine

I like the simplicity of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Melody Automatic. It is so easy to use that even a two year old boy can operate it (disclaimer: it doesn’t say so on the manual. Asher makes beverages with the machine under our supervision to ensure he do not get scalded or upset the machine).

Tada! The drink is ready!
Tada! The drink is ready!
Love the froth
Love the froth

The capsules used to be also available for sale at limited places, but they are now available at NTUC supermarket which makes it very convenient for replenishing. You can also order the capsules online.

On a hot day, I appreciate a frothy glass of iced peach tea or iced cappuccino:

On rainy days when I want to snuggle in at home with a hot cup of latte macchiato or mocha:

On mornings when I need to perk up, a shot of espresso will do the job.

The Nestle Dolce Gusto Melody Automatic is one machine with many functions, enriching our lives in so many ways. :)

All about the machine

The NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® stands above the competition as the only single-cup coffee machine which delivers a professional 15 bar pressure, guaranteeing a perfect cup and fine milk froth every time. It prepares each drink variety, Hot or Cold, in a matter of seconds. The NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® coffee machine comes complete with a 2-year warranty from KRUPS®.

This unique machine combines the expertise and history of NESCAFÉ® coffee making with innovative KRUPS® know-how, engineering and technical perfection.

All about the capsules

The innovative easy-to-use capsule system, exclusive to NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®, is specifically designed to ensure that each cup of coffee you make is fresh and contains only the best Arabica roasted coffee. The airtight capsules optimise the extraction pressure for each flavour variety, delivering the best coffee quality, texture and milk froth!
Capsules are avaliable at retailers near you or via their Online Shop.

Win the Volkswagen Sharan (for a week)!

By alvinology, August 19, 2013 12:34 am

Yes, you read correctly.

You can win the Volkswagen Sharan (for a week)!

I wrote about my experience cruising around in the 7-seat MPV with a 2.0 TSI engine for a week. Would you like to experience this for you and your loved ones too?

You can! Volkswagen Singapore is now running a #INeedASharan contest. Do visit the official website for more details.

To participate, simply post a picture (on instagram or on the #INeedASharan facebook app) showing why you need a Sharan, along with the hash tag #INeedASharan. For ideas and inspirations, you can read my previous blog post on my experience driving the Sharan for a week.

Me driving the Volkswagen Sharan
Me driving the Volkswagen Sharan
My son, Asher, enjoying his ride in the Sharan with his aunt
My son, Asher, enjoying his ride in the Sharan with his aunt

The top 10 most voted pictures will be selected and judged by a Volkswagen Singapore panel, and the top 5 will be selected winners. Yes, there are FIVE winners – not one, but FIVE.

The prize? A week drive with the Sharan!

Note that anyone is free to participate, but ultimately, the winners will have to be 24 and above and have a valid driving license for your own safety as well as the safety of other road users.

Hurry and send in your #INeedASharan entry now! Submission closes at 2359hrs, 13 September 2013.

Everything But The Brain – a pair of tickets to giveaway!

By alvinology, August 13, 2013 9:48 am

Over the Hari Raya and National Day long weekend, I attended the opening preview of Sight Lines Entertainment’s Everything But The Brain on Saturday evening:

Everything But The Brain is written by award-winning playwright, Jean Tay and directed by Derrick Chew, artistic director of Sight Lines Entertainment.

Everything But The Brain tells the story of Elaine, a Physics teacher who hatches a plan to turn back time and save her stroke-afflicted father from further deterioration. Along the way, she is egged on by a chorus of three bears, occasionally distracted by a dashing young surgeon and haunted by a particularly memorable train ride to Malacca.

The play first premiered in 2005 to critical acclaim. After two sold-out runs, it went on to win two awards at the 2006 Life! Theatre Awards including “Best Original Script” and “Best Actor” (Gerald Chew).

Recently, Everything But The Brain has been chosen to be an O Level Literature text.

The play is presented by Boehringer Ingelheim and in association with the Singapore National Stroke Association.

Stroke affects one in every 6 persons in their lifetime. Each of us will know of someone or will ourselves be affected by stroke. Every stroke survivor has a different story. This play chronicles the journey of a stroke patient and his caregiver. When I first read the script for the play, I was taken aback how true to life the story is.” Said Deidre De Silva, President, Singapore National Stroke Association.

Like the topic of death, stroke is not a topic which most of us would like to talk about. This play is a good initiative to raise awareness.

I did not watch the play in 2005 and this is the first time I am seeing Everything But The Brain and being exposed to Jean Tay’s witty and poignant writing.

I like how time travel and physics is weaved into the play, adding depth and dimensions to the theme of stroke and dementia.

The three bears seem awkward at first, but they are important plot devices to bring out the complex relationship between Elaine and her father. Without them, the play would have been stripped to a string of dialogues between two persons.

If you are interested to find out more about Everything But The Brain or to book tickets, do visit the official Sight Line Entertainment website. Ticket discounts are available for OCBC card holders and for school bookings.

If you are interested to win a pair of tickets to Everything But The Brain on 18 August (Sun), 8pm at DBS Arts Centre (worth S$110)simply like my Facebook page and Sight Line Entertainment Facebook page. After that, drop me an email by 15 August (Thurs) noon at with your name, contact number and NRIC/ passport number. I will select the winner by random draw on the same day and notify you by evening via email.

Everything But The Brain

10 – 21 August 2013
DBS Arts Centre, Home of SRT

Show Schedule:
10 – 11 August
16 – 21 August
Tues – Fri: 8pm
Sat & Sun: 3pm & 8pm

Gerald Chew, Koh Wan Ching,
Edward Choy, Faizal Abdullah,
Amanda Tee & Cassandra Sypkerman

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