Monthly Archives: April 2009

New watch

I’ve just got myself a Skagen watch from Tangs. Had felt rather crippled in the past few weeks without a wristwatch – it’s really quite unprofessional relying on your handphone to keep time during classes.

I’m really pleased with how much (or little) I paid for it – the regular retail price is $249, but there was an offer where a $68 discount was offered for bringing in an old watch for trade-in. So, armed with a free watch and $50 in vouchers I’d received for card referrals, I ended up paying just $130 for it – a pretty sweet deal!

I haven’t worn a watch for half a dozen years now, though. I suspect my wrist’s enjoyed being bare for far too long – wonder how long it’ll take me to get used to it again?


A trip to IKEA

(Post-dated entry because I’d just discovered these photos on my phone)

My brother wanted to bring us out for lunch today, so we decided to take a look at his new place before the meal. He’s managed to rent a 3-bedroom condominium from his fiancée’s uncle (who’s now living overseas) at a very low rate. Not exactly my ideal location, but it’s pretty near his workplace, and is extremely spacious – at less than $2000/month, I’m actually kind of envious!

Since we were near IKEA anyway, we decided to head there for lunch. It’s actually the first time I’ve eaten there (I haven’t been there in years) – it’s changed quite a bit, they’ve seriously expanded the childcare area (in my day it was just a little ball pit, although I really loved playing in it) into some fantasy playland. So I’m not too sure if the cafe’s always been around, but it’s relatively cheap and the meatballs are quite enjoyable – although I think what really impressed me were their fried chicken wings. They were so tasty, I didn’t even pause to take a photograph of them before they were gone.

Mmm. Chicken wings.

iPhone giveaway

I took part in‘s recent iPhone giveaway promotion, and apparently I’ve made it through to the final round – which means I currently have a 0.33% chance of winning it. I’m not too hopeful on winning (those are still pretty tough odds), but wow it’s slightly exciting to have got this far, huh? Haha.

Now it all depends on that chinchilla. C’mon, Pecan, pick me! Pick me!

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Solved: The Great ‘J’ Mystery

For the longest time, I’d assumed that ‘J’ was, for some reason, a replacement for the smiley emoticon that was for some reason quite common in the working world. Today someone asked me why our colleagues kept inserting ‘J’ into their emails – I offered him this theory, though he was somewhat dissatisfied with the explanation. I then proceeded to Google for an answer, and lo and behold! The ‘J’ is actually what Outlook inserts into the email instead of the standard smiley, since that’s what the letter J maps to in the Wingdings font. When the email is opened in a client other than Outlook, then, the smiley is converted into ‘J’.

In other words, ‘J’ started because Microsoft’s email program (which many companies seem to use) behaves idiotically, but apparently some people now manually type ‘J’ deliberately, which makes deducing this a whole lot less easy!

Educational blogging

Who’d have thought that all this blogging/internet experience would come in handy as a teacher? Well, I guess it’s obvious enough now, but it certainly wasn’t on my mind when I typed (penned?) my very first post on the internet! But now I’ve actually created some class blog portals for the classes I’m teaching English to (tying in with their own personal EL blogs they’d been instructed to set up earlier), which I’m pretty proud of! I’ve even got a RI blog of my very own (currently unused).