Friday, June 30, 2006

Day 179- Its Raining Its Pouring, Pennsylvania is Flooding

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Interestingly the sky has opened up non stop for the past few days, as a result, a deluge of rainfall was experienced. The 2 major rivers flowing through the state of PA, the Dalaware and Schuykill overflowed their banks and flooded most of the surrounding regions.

Just 1 of the many news stories

Fortunately where I live was not flooded and I had not much problems getting to work due to the flood, just that trains seem to be delayed more often.

Well, more rain is expected over this 4th Jul Long weekend... bleah..

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 172 to173 - 47/02 SOCC!!!!

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It was a gathering of old army friends, Siyang who was studying at CMU over the summer, decided he was bored and hated being stuck in Pittsburgh, so he dropped by Philadelphia to visit me and Gabriel Ng (who studies at UPenn). The 3 of us have known each other since army days back in OCS when we were trainees at the school of signal. NO COMMS NO REST!

Heck me and Siyang go even further back, we known each other since sec 1 being from The Chinese High School's NPCC(National Police Cadet Corp) unit.

I was pretty surprise when Siyang told me that he was craving for dim sum! why? Because Pittsburgh had NO china town! OMGBBQ!!! (yes I was that surprised) So we brought him to chinatown where we had our fill to dimsum at imperial inn.

After that, it was Philly Cheese Steak, after all you cannot say you been to philly if you never had 1 of these. Gab drove us down to Pat's King of Steak for some uber cheese steak. Now what makes a Philly cheese steak a Philly cheese steak and not some regular Cheese Steak? Cheese Whiz. Yup, Cheese wiz, 'Nuff said, period.

Then we had a good old KTV session where Siyang sang his heart out, Gab proved his voice is perfect, and I errrmmm kindda sang backup. Oh yar, Gab's friend Gabi also joined us.

Unfortunately Siyang still HAS NOT given me the photos so NO photos ><

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Day 170 - The Phaaaaaaaaaantom of the Opera and Serendipity

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Headed down to NY to watch Phantom of the Opera on broadway with deliang, peiling, cat and her bf alvin. This is the first time I am watching a musical LIVE, and right at broadway itself, cool yar?

Well before the show we stopped by this famous desert place called Serendipity 3 to try out the food. What can I say, it was good, not super fantastic though. Well we still had to wait 1 hr on a wednesday afternoon just to get in, speaks much for its popularity right? Anyway we also walked around NY central park to kill time(figuratively of cos), its really an oasis in the sprawling metropolis of Manhattan, it really is nice and calm.

Central Park on a wednesday

Peiling, Deliang, Cat, Alvin

Me Chillin' out

Serendipity 3!


My dish: Alamo- a black bean pattie burger


Trademark Desert: Frrrrrozen Hot Chocolate

Finally we got to watch Phantom, it was FANTASTIC!!! Its really hard to describe it, it has to be seen live to do it justice. Sadly, I was unable to obtain a copy of the phantom's mask (cos they did not sell, pity that would have been great merchandising). After the show it was a mad rush back to Chinatown to catch our bus. We boarded the bus totally exhausted from the running, but it was worth it :)

The errrmmm fallen chandelier

Day 166 to 167 - Poconos again

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Went to Poconos again, this time for WHITEWATER RAFTING!!! It was a pretty huge group, batch 6 + batch 7 + a few friends.

Unfortunately I got no photos or anything cos I did not want my camera to get wet.

Whitewater rafting was so fun! Although it did not rain the night before which would make the river flow faster, it was still great! I did get knocked out of the boat going over the rapids and had to hang onto to it and get dragged along for a while(till the rapids were cleared) before i could be pulled back up.

My boat consisted of Lawrence, Deliang, Wayne, Estee and Jessica(estee's friend). It was definitely a blast, had lots of fun navigation around rocks (me and law were at the back so we steered) with wayne and deliang yelling left and right. There were even moments to laze on the boat to suntan or jump into the river for a nice swim.

It was definitely great to get back into the great outdoors and enjoy sun, water and nature :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day 162 - How do you measure a year in a life?

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The 6th batch seniors had their graduation last night( was kindda tired so I started blogging this down only in the morning). Most of them have will be leaving Philly and returning back to Singapore at then end of this month(June).

Last Performance

The Seniors, batch 6

I was IT support for the event, but is just a glorified name for the person who sets up the projector(which Gean forgot to bring initially :p) and playing the graduation video. Speaking about the video, it was simply amazing, really. Pacey who made it is definitely talented in this aspect. The video was touching yet funny and the choices of songs were simply the best.

Guys Only

Gals Only

The event was really nice, lots of important guests, the seniors really dressed up for the occassion. All of them got a chance to give a speech, which they really gave from the heart, very touching. After all the speeches and stuff, we had a very fun photo taking session! But unfortunely my glasses got knocked off and stepped on so I had to get it repaired soon.

Batch 6 + 7

Well looking back at this 6mths, the 6th batch seniors really had alot of impact on my life. I still remember arriving lost and confused with the rest of batch 7. At the airport was Kaihong, Peiling to fetch us and showed us around on day 1. They took the day off and had to bring us around in the cold, really made us feel more at ease. Over this 5-6 months, I got to know all 18 of the seniors very well, hanging out with many of them. I can still remember the Florida Spring Break Trip, 5 jnrs + 5 snrs, it was a blast. They will certainly be missed when they return back to Singapore, the period without them would certainly feel different. One Chapter of their life is coming to an end, yet another will open when they return back to Singapore. As for me, I still have 6 more months to go, to learn, to experience.

I can still remember the first song that Pacey used in his video, it was from the Movie, Rent: Seasons of Love. There simply couldn't be a song more apt for this occasion.

Song: Seasons of Love
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

As I listened to the song, I wondered, when it comes to my turn to graduate, how will I look back at the entire year? How will I measure it? Can it even be measured? The things I did, the places I visited, the people I meet, how do I even measured how well it went? Maybe there really is no way to measure it, I can only look back and reminscent the good times, the bad times, the fun times and just smile, or cry. Well, I guess I will find out when the time comes, for now, I can only live life to the fullest.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Day 161 - Intellifit

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Today was an interesting day for EAS448.... Field Trip!!!!

On the Bus

We visited Intellifit, a company that deals with clothings, they have this really cool body scanner which takes your body measurements and will make recommandations for various retailers like Levis, American Eagle etc..etc...

At the Place

Once you get scanned and Intellifitted, with your data you can shop online with out worrying if the clothes do not fit!

Well most of us decided to give this body scan a try:

After scanning..........

The Results!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Recipe: Vodka Chocolate Cake beta version

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Well, there was to be a gathering for the seniors since they are going off soon. So for this going away party, i tried to make a Vodka Chocolate Cake. Why? Cos there was some vodka around, and I really had no idea on what to make on short notice (procastination rules!)

Ingrediants (for a single 9 inch round pan)

7/8 cup all purpose flour (1cup if you like, not much dif)
1 cup sugar (prefer it sweeter? add more)
3/8 cup cocoa powder (ditto to the above statement)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 veggie oil
1/4 water
1/4 Super Secret Ingrediant......... Vodka!

Step 0 Pre heat oven to 350 F
Step 1 Mix the flour, sugar, powder,soda and cocoa.
Step 2 Add in the remaining ingrediants, stir well
Step 3 Grease the 9 inch baking pan
Step 4 Bake for 50+ mins, use standard test to see if it is done

One thing I noticed is that alcohol related cakes seem to take longer to bake, hence do not panic or anything when the cake is still rather liquidy(is this even a word?!). Just wait a while longer. Personally I would have added less Vodka, cos I felt the flavor was overpowering the chocolate flavor. But some others liked it, so I guess it is a personal choice.

A recommanded step is to add chocolate syrup or frosting to the cake, it really makes it so so so much nicer (since I prefer the choc taste to be stronger).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Day 157 - Typhoon

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Went to watch an early release of the Korean Movie: Typhoon, its basically an action/thriller show. A group of 13 of us, including Gean, Cat, Rex, Kaihong, Eric, Wayne, Estee... etc etc (too many to name lah) showed up at the Ritz(the cinema). Gotta thank Estee for the free tics, so THANKS Estee!

Sypnosis(taken from the postcard):
Sin, a pirate who lives with hatred in his heart(for Korea), cos of what he saw as betrayal by the S. Korean govt when his family tried to defect from the North. He seeks revenge with a nuclear typhoon(gotta see the show to know why). Kang Se-Jong is an elite Korean Naval Officer who was investigating the hijacking of an american ship and as drawn into Sin's plan as he triest to stop him.

Personal Take:
Starting was confusing, but the ending was pretty nice, quite poetic in a way. But the development of the characters could use a bit more screen time as it did not feel that smooth.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Day 155 - Webcomics

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There was a time, not long ago, on the internet appeared a comic strip.
It was a small site, clean and simple, just the comic and some words.
Over time people read it, its popularity grew.
Readership doubled, triped, it just BOOMED.
The little comic had grown, it needed more bandwidth, it needed more money.
Soon there were ads, merchandise and donation boxes all over the site.
It was not longer a comic, it was a business.
Yet the passion, the humour still remained.
Hmm, sounds like a pretty crappy attempt at poetry yar?
I been reading webcomics for a pretty long time, i could not even remember when I started. I just remembered the first strip I saw was pvponline. Well just to clarify that webcomics are not just merely regular comics we see on the newspapers scanned onto the internet. It also consists of comics that are only found online. Most webcomics artist do it as a hobby or as a passion, few are able to do it as a real job, getting income via the comics. The most famous has gotta be penny arcade. They achieve a readership of 2 million each day! In fact they make so much money, the 2 guys who did PA, started a charity(child's play) to help kids. It has to help improve the image of gamers in general, after all we gamers are not about violence yar? Most of us are kind souls who would love to donate stuff to charity. They also can afford to hold their own convention!

Anyway here are the webcomics I am currently reading, they are from a mixture of genre, ranging from gamer humour (PA and PVP) to RPG humour (OOTS) to stuff that are pretty serious. The first 4 are my personal favs. Especially pvponline, with its daily updates and gotta love Kurtz for his strong opinions.
Well there was an article from pvponline that links to this article about the business of webcomics. Its pretty interesting how people are now able to make a living, and a pretty good one at that from humour on the internet! linky

Recipe: Cheese Cake ver 1.2 more fruits!

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Tzeling wanted to make a cake for her boss, so I agreed to help her out. The cake of choice was.... CHEESEcake again :p


1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened (about 3 blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese, THE cheese to use)
3/4 cup sugar
3-4 tsp. vanilla (liked it more sour)
3 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. ground lemon peel (can put more if you want)
4 eggs
2 tbs of flour ( It prevents breaking of the cheese batter during cooling)

The crust this time was premade from the store due to lack of time. I also baked it at a higher temp for time reasons, it turned out pretty good!

Preheat oven to 500F

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. Whisk(or use medium speed) add sugar gradually, then vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon peel(zest). Blend well.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat at medium speed for ten minutes, until fluffy. Pour into curst.

Put into over, drop the temp to 250F, total baking time was about 2hrs.

After baking, cool it for 20 min then slowly loosen the crust from the pan and Chill in fridge for 5hrs minimum.

Decorate with fruits! (thanks tzeling for cutting them!)


Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 153 - Singapore Idol ROFL

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Was just watching Singapore Idol. /ROFL @ the videos. Damn funny. This website has so many of the funny clips go see.

Singaporebeauty link

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Request for more comments

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Adrian would love to more comments, especially for recipes, after all I seek to learn more about recipes esp. baking! Interesting techniques, small tricks that help are things usually never mentioned in books and is passed on via word of mouth. So Comment more pls! Thanks :)

Recipe : The Farewell Tiramisu (ver1.1 tiramisu)

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Well I made this one as Weijia's farewell gift, a nice simple tiramisu which was my specialty before i left for philly.


1 pack of Marcarpone Cheese (8oz)
20 ladies fingers biscuits
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1 tsp of vanilla (which i forgot to add)
some Cocoa powder
half a cup of strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar


1) Mix the mascarpone Cheese with the sugar then add int the yolks 1 by 1 stirring well

2) Beat the egg whites till soft peaks then add 1-2 tbs sugar and beat till stiff peaks.

3) Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.

4) Coat the Ladies finger with the coffee, place 1 layer in the tray. Then dust some cocoa powder and pour the cheese mixture on.

5) Place a second layer of ladies finger, dust more cocoa then the remaining cheese mixture.

6) Plcae in fridge for 4 hrs minimum (cover the top with foil)

7) Dust the top with cocoa powder as garnishing.

The final pdt

The final gift

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 145 - Niagara Falls - The SPICE of Life

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Part 3: Spice

For dinner we decided to head down to Buffalo, NY for dinner. Now what could Buffalo be famous for? Perhaps it was BUFFALOs? WRONG!

BUFFALO wings? Yes you are absolutely correct! Although one should take note that Real life buffalos do not have wings, they cannot fly (yes yes..old and lame joke, often reused)

Our destination in Buffalo was the Anchor Bar, its the place where the famous buffalo wings originated (or so they claim). It was only 5pm and the place was already pretty packed ( I could tell as the parking lots were pretty filled up as well). No surprise to what majority of the people where eating.

So we sat down and ordered 50 wings, mixture of mild and medium (since deliang had chiliphobia). After eating several wings, I just felt it was too mild, too boring, I needed to SPICE up my life!!!

Calling the waitress over, I asked for the Spicest version they had, the Dreaded "Suicide Wings" *insert Darth Vader Theme here*.

When the wings finally arrived, I could tell it was really hot and spicy just from smelling it. Cat was kind enough to video the entire process of me downing a dozen of these Suicide wings.

So with out further ado.... here is "Surviving the Suicide" with a step by step first hand account.

Part 1

After a nice introduction by Cat, I was off to what seemed like a strong and steady start. My strategy was to slowly pace myself. After all I had no idea how spicy it could be at that point of time. Better to eat at a regular pace then stuff in all down my throat and get a backlash of spice overload.


Wing number 2 and already I could feel some of the heat from the wings. It seemed that the spice was the kind that stays around and gets stronger over time. I was taking slow and cautious bites, using blue cheese to counter the spice(not much effect, trust me)


I managed to convince Cat and Lawrence to taste a bit of the suicide sauce, after all its NOT that bad right? Well their expression and feedback later proved otherwise "ZOMG, i bwurnt my twunge"

Part 4

This was about more the halfway through, after my success of convincing (tricking) lawrence into tasting the sauce, i tried to convice the resident Chiliphobe,deliang to taste some, pretty obvious that he would not even try :p

Part 5

3/4 way through, and I am really feeling it now. The sauce is the kind where the heat and spiceness compounds up as you eat more and more. So the more wings i ate, the more heat i felt. By then i could already feel my lips and tongue burning. I shall conquer!!!!

Part 6

Alrighty, final wing.... they say the last stretch is always the hardest, how true... by then i was sweating profusely, my tongue felt numb, my brain felt like it was getting cooked, my nose was getting very runny, and there were signs of tears flowing from my eyes... DAMN it feels goooooood

Part 7

And the finishing bites to the Last of the dozen wings!

Anyway here is the before and after shot



It was certainly an experience eating so many wings at 1 sitting, in all i had 23 wings (11 regulars and 12 suicide). Well the aftermath was definitely not very fun. I felt very stoned and high at the same time, guess it was all that spice going to my head. I managed to stumble back to the car so we could go back to niagara, but not before i stopped by the gift shop and got my self...............

Survived Suicide Wings... FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Day 145 - Niagara Falls - The Power of the Falls

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Part 2: Power

The Niagara falls sure is nice and beautiful right? Well that is UNTIL you get up close and personal with the falls itself. Suddenly you will be wondering "Why am I wearing this stupid looking, thin and flimsy poncho that they provided, knowing that it does not provide much protection against the fury and force of the Niagara falls"

Encounter 1: Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the mist is a famous boat ride which will bring people up close and personal, right into the heart of the horseshoe falls. To show you, let me use my rather pathetic ASCII art skillz.

----- oooooo---------
----oo~~~ oo -------

- land
0 waterfall
xx maid of the mist

So we got up close, we got wet :) Simple yar?

Before boarding, joining us were 2 of lawrence's friends, ying ying and pearlene (did i get the spelling right? Law, if you do see this correct me k)

Guess who this is! (ans will be at the bottom of this post!)

Me looking rather wet now

At the gift shop, i decided to Captain the wheel

The Maid of the Mist was merely a warm up for what was to come next.

Cave of the Winds - Quest for the Uber Water:

This is where you truely get up close and personal with the Falls. Oh by the way I was on a mission. A VERY VERY important mission. I was to collect 2 bottles of Niagara water from the falls directly.


Cat and Jia

Little erm yellow riding hood?

Grp shot prior to the climb

As I ascended towards the rushing water, i was constantly bombarded as if the falls was telling me to stay away. But NO I shall reach the top and get my water!!!!

The falls we shall ascend, Bridal Veil Falls

Collecting some water midway

Collecting water close to the top, 1 more climb to.................

I got closer and closer to the final level, the Hurrican Deck. How Apt the name. I could really feel the water just rushing at me. Well no photos could be taken at the hurricane deck unless you truelly hated your camera. Raising my bottle up high, i calmly walked up to the falls. With my face and body being battered by a deluge of water, I let out a mighty warcry, " I Shall have your(refering to the Niagara Falls) water!!!" And I stood there, getting completely soaked until the bottle was quite full. All this was to the amusement of the people on the deck. I did finally succeed in my mission! WOooooo

View from the top, notice the people in their yellow ponchos?

Victory!!!! at the expense of my clothes

Quest was a success! 2 bottles obtained!

p.s Part 3 will be out soon, cake is done baking, decoration is completed, now its time for bed!
and the Ans to the qn: Deliang is the guy in wrapped in the blue poncho, no prizes though

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