Birthdays: keinday 2017, the Smart year!

Hello hello! Amazing how I’m 36 already, this shit is nuts. And I’m going with Marcus Smart for this year. LEGGO C’S! I’m stoked we got Hayward this summer, it’s amazing.

Starting this post off at the crack of midnight, I’ll get on with the usual thanks in due time.

First off: very thankful to be in good health, and hopefully better health as I experiment and learn more about how my body reacts to different inputs (exercise, food, sleep).

I feel like I have plenty to learn, but my interests have moved away from the external environment, and I’m dwelling more on the self more than anything else.

And I can’t believe, I forgot about fucking taking the day off. In a year when my birthday actually fucking lands on a Friday. I’m an idiot.

I went to work as usual, had lunch with the guys (because Samurai Friday) and got smacked with a China support request before I could scoot on the dot. Dammit. Ended up being the last guy at the office, at 5 past 5.

Grabbed some Lord of the Fries at Flinders St station while waiting for the train, had dinner and we did our birthday cake routine with the kids, V and Cookie. Peppermint and chocolate aren’t my favourite flavours, but the thought counts!

Andddd yes. That was all.

Work

Two trips on the books this year, if everything goes to plan. China in Q3, the US in Q4. Frequent flyer miles, HERE I COME!

I got passed over earlier in the year (depending on how you look at it) for a promotion to a senior role, but not fussed. Can’t control stuff like that, and my life remains unaffected. All is well.

Outside of that, work has been largely stable, if a little heavy when it comes to the quarterly goals. Also: I’ve never been a fan of team assignments since my school days, and going into the workforce hasn’t changed that sentiment much. We’ll leave it at that. Huge thanks to Jared and Ravi for being the pals they are, and to Andy for always being supportive. I still miss Crystal’s departure from the team, looking forward to seeing her when I finally get my ass back to the US.

People have come and go at the office, and I think I’m just getting used to the constant, ceaseless flow of people moving in/out. Sometimes, you feel like it’s hard building lasting relationships when things happen. Regardless, S/O to the folks at the office: Simon K, and also the folks I lunch with these days: Alan, Dave, Greg, Dom, Pete T, Jackson, you people are excellent.

The Pick and Roll

So much to say. As usual, I lose track of time when it comes to this project. What was it like last year? I can’t recall, and usually have to backtrack and read my past entries.

The team expanded in preparation for expanded NBA coverage, but it ended up not working; I had to drop guys. It’s the same old story. People come on board, write for a bit, then start to fade out with poor communication. If I wrote down every single story I’ve been told since inception, it wouldn’t be too far off to say that writing is a tragic profession for aspiring writers. I had to lay “the talk” down and that’s where it ended. It sounds selfish and unfeeling but it is what it is. If the site is to work, I have to get a firm idea on everyone’s commitment. If you’re planning to contribute once a month, that’s probably not what we need over here.

Overall, content has been slow in the past season, especially at AITNBA. Half of it has been me not producing as much, and taking time on to focus my energy on myself. That might have contributed to a poorer internal culture. It’s also a mix of the veterans getting full-time jobs; Hayley with the AFLW, Jayme and Winston getting their respective gigs, and Warren being busy at work all the time.

Having said that, Ben has been an star. He’s been a go-getter, driven to reach his goal, and pushes himself hard. He’s attended ASW and is at the Summer League now, and I’m sure these networking events will open doors for him somewhere down the track.

We also transitioned from a sole owner business (me) to a company structure, and had some interesting adventures with a law firm along the way.

Instagram growth has weaned off a bit, I’m still thinking about whether the lack of hashtags in recent posts have contributed to the slow down.

YouTube feels like a dead end and doesn’t lead to anything. No ROI essentially, unless we produce our own content. I’ve been talking to the guys about possibly producing our own videos, but that’s some ways down the timeline. We don’t have a location to work with, and equipment is a question mark as well. Writing isn’t the long-term answer, and all the big media companies have essentially come to the same conclusion. It’s only inevitable that we understand the reality and start moving too.

Site advertising, partnering with a certain digital agency, turned out to be a poor experience. Turns out asking for transparency and chasing payment isn’t something we should be doing! It’s amazing. I’m working on overhauling our AdSense setup, I feel like we can equal and easily better the revenue the digital agency was getting for us.

Setting up more ad units, including in-article units, I’m aiming for two. This should help to better our AdSense revenue.

I’m hoping to produce more content myself consistently, anything from 2-4 articles a day, depending on storyline availability. Like I told Steve, this should boost our average to something in the neighbourhood of 5,000 a day, and push us to 150,000 monthly, which would be a nice climb from what looked like 45,000 a month.

Life

Things have been an even crazier scramble this year, because two things changed: Elly’s school, and V’s workplace. The commute got really tough.

First off: Elly’s school ends at 6pm, period. We get charged by the minute if we’re late, and the commute home is insane at times, especially when V left her workplace late and city traffic flat out murdered us.

There was also this phase when V had to work overtime for days on end, it was really, really rough. I was on the verge of falling sick, constantly feeling tired, and even took a week off work to rest.

Things are better now, so I’m happy.

Elly’s settling well into her new school, I’m amazed at some of the things she talks about sometimes, and the concepts she can grasp. I’m pretty damn sure I was as close to being a drooling idiot at 5 years old in my day, she seems to be better by leaps and bounds. Lunches are a constant challenge, but overall, I’m pretty proud of her. She whinges a bit too much at times, but I’m constantly reminding myself that she’s five, and she’s done really well so far.

Lenny like me, has been slow on the uptake when it comes to talking, but is slowly making progress. We can actually hold a semblance of conversation these days, which is pretty amazing in my books. It’s just magical to me, how I’m used to having one-sided convos with the lad, and he now responds with stuff I can actually understand and go, “hey, he actually gets me. He knows what he wants/does not want. This is pretty cool!” Having said that, he’s coming into his delayed terrible twos phase, which means his favourite word these days is no. I’m going by the principle that me saying no too often, leads to him saying no more. So I’m trying different tacks to get the same outcome, be it distraction, offering two choices, talking about what he wants etc. It’s always a learning process for both sides.

It’s pretty funny whenever I ask him, “It’s time to?” He’d go “SLEEP!” And then say: “Time to NO!” He finds it ridiculously funny, and it’s becoming a bedtime ritual of sorts.

Kids. You think you’re teaching, but you’re always learning at the same time.

Holidays

Not really a holiday, but I flew over to Singapore for MH’s wedding late last year. If I have to be honest about this, it felt like the only wedding I kind of regretted flying for.

It somehow felt like the wedding wasn’t the highlight, but rather all the people I managed to catch up with, including:

  • Estee: my favourite LYDD, whom I haven’t caught up with in ages!
  • ahlong: ma boy! kopi sessions are always good, and he came around for breakfast one day too.
  • my basketball kakis (you guys: Alan, YL, JH, ZY, Victor)
  • Adri: haven’t had a proper meal with her alone in ages, it was wonderful.
  • my KTV gang (HJ, HY, SC)
  • LS: dinner, and a swim. Checked all the boxes once again. Thank you for taking leave to indulge in something like swimming with me!
  • NZ, MS, SC: didn’t quite count as a catch up since it was just at the wedding, but it was still good.
  • SP: quick meal at Peninsula, loved the talk and thank you for letting me tag along while guitar shopping.
  • ZM, Alvin, CT, MM: quick catchup, it’s just good to see everyone 🙂
  • Nick: always the champ who makes it for breakfast without fail.
  • Clement: thanks for the drive and meal, enjoyed our banter
  • WJ: probably the only guy I catch up with regularly from army days, I’m constantly amazed by his drive to learn and succeed
  • Lester: one of my best mates ever, it’s a shame I don’t see him often enough.
  • LH: good food, good conversation. Thanks for sharing bits of your life and for listening too.

Thanks to Stan for driving me over to the airport, that was a huge help.

Our last “holiday”, a weekend trip in the city, involved 50% of our time in the hotel, with V working out of her laptop. That kinda sucked. We had fun trying out a list of cafes and restaurants I’d shortlisted though, so that was good. Food, is good.

The family trip we took in January was really good. Beach holidays are amazing, I think we need to make it an annual affair, and everyone in the fam seems to be on board with the idea. There’s no Chinese New Year thingo over here, but hey, we can make up our own traditions I guess.

I’m hoping to be able to make it down to Boston for season opener this year, and for the playoffs next year. Fingers crossed!

Basketball

Nada. I played a couple of times when I was in Singapore with the guys, but that’s it. I’m a disgrace of a basketballer.

Gym

Following last year’s update, I actually managed to bulk up to 75kg. Had a good run with Tyson as my trainer for about 8-9 months, learnt more about supersets and how I could combine different exercises to target muscle groups.

I was getting fat more than anything else at one point, especially at the waist and that was really annoying when I looked at the rest of my body looking fine. Got more serious about measuring my macros, and cut 5kg within 3 weeks. Since that cut, I’ve been hovering between 68-69kg. Not really in a hurry to bulk up.

I started Jordan Yeoh’s Iron Mastery, and gradually added tweaks to the sets. Right now, I have this formula that seems to work well for myself.

It looks like this (sample set DB bench press), with 1 minute rest intervals:

  • Warmup set – 15 reps, 8kg
  • Set 1, 2, 3, 4 – 12 reps, 14kg
  • Set 5 – 25 reps, drop weights by 4kg to 10kg.

The fifth set basically murders the muscle group, and in my case, almost guarantees DOMS. Takes a bit of time to complete though.

I’m adding in chinups and dips again, hoping to get back to weighted stuff. I moved away from these while I was training with Tyson, hoping to get these basic movements back in. There’s good in training specific muscle parts, and also concerns in not involving compound movements, or natural movements. The last thing I want is imbalance, which could lead to injury.

Personal

I guess the biggest thing that’s happened, would be the fact that I got a vasectomy. It sounds huge, but the actual operation was quick and painless. The waiting took longer than the actual procedure, to be honest. Minimal swelling, nothing in the way of lasting pain, just a vague soreness that gradually wore off. (Full details here.)

My personal perspective on life hasn’t shifted too much over the past year, it’s more on getting things done, moving forward with the overall life plan. This includes sorting out remaining Singapore-based shit like the Prudential insurance products I had, moving towards Australian citizenship, getting our finances in order, possibly moving house, and so on. Just nitty gritty things.

Presents

First off, a couple of PS4 games from the brother: Nioh and Witcher 3. Looks like I’m gonna have to game even harder to clear my backlog of games.

Cards

A card from the brother! Love it.

A punny birthday card for the brother who enjoys puns! It’s hard for me to express how much of a friend, brother, and father figure you have been for the past 29/30 years. You’ve done an amazing job as a father & husband, and I’m sure V + the kids appreciate you for everything you have done. I wish you good health to continue to pursue your ideal way of life, and the good luck to breeze through the obstacles in life. Thank you for being you, and here’s to many more years ahead.”

And the FG’s card arrived pretty late this year, two weeks late 😦 Better late than never but she needs to work on the punctuality thing lol, it’s turning into a habit. Still, a heartfelt thank you for the one who never forgets this little gesture, after all these years.

It’s the time of the year again!

Happy Birthday!

N once again, sorry it’s gg to reach you late. But well, better late than never, they say.

Cannot express how glad & awesome it has been these past years with you, although hundreds of miles away but always there ^^

Thank you for deciding to get a ticket & flying down this Nov. So touched… and doing it all for me! Not forgetting our Mayday concert date in Dec – can’t wait! It’s been ages since we last attended one together but I need to brush up on my knowledge of the new songs.

Owe you your birthday gift till you come back again in Dec. Lunch/Dinner & shopping on me! Miss Ya & Cya soon Mate ^^

To: Greatest fried (oops) I could ever have, Kein! <- (she inserted an “n” into the fried afterwards. imma fried yo.)

Love,

FG

Lishi ’17

WhatsApp

  • PR: Happy birthday to you tmr!!!! Wish u hv a great day! 🎂🎁🎉
  • LS:  Happy birthday to my dearest fren!!! Hugz! 🤓 Have an awesome day ahead!
  • Bill: Brother, happy birthday 🎉. Hope you have a blast today 👯
  • Jas: Happy birthday Mr!!
  • ahlong: Happy birthday bro.. have a great day and an even better weekend. Cheers..  🎉🍵
  • SC: Hows the burf boi tdy? 🙂
  • SJ: Di~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY~ over the half of 30s liao! Wish you have a wonderful and fulfilling year ahead with the increased life experience. ;p
  • Lester: Eh dey Happy birthday Hope the kids treated you well today
  • NZ: Happy Eat a Cake Day!
  • Erwin: 
  • Benny: Happy birthday lao da
  • Sylvester: Hey Bro! Hope it’s not too late! Happy birthday and God bless always 🙂

Facebook

  • Stan: It’s midnight now. Happy birthday to you!
  • Mum: 兒子,生日快樂!
  • Dad: 生日快乐 隨心合意 步步高升
  • Alvin: Happy Birthday to You!!
  • Wing: happy birthday good papa !
  • ZM: Happy Birthday to the person I hate most! Stay happy, healthy and live longer so that we can keep on debating on various aspect on life till the end of time!
  • Daryl: Happy birthday old friend. More good times ahead!
  • XY: Happy Birthday Kein!
  • Dave: Thought you were setting us up for more Dad jokes! Happy birthday bro, enjoy your night with your family!
  • Jas: Happy hapoy birthday:))
  • Tai: Nawwwww so cute! Happy birthday!
  • WX: Happy birthday Kein!
  • XX: Happy birthday Kein!
  • Estee: Happy Birthday!! LYDDDDDDDDD!
  • Muz: Happy birthday Kein looks like u had a fun time celebrating 😉
  • Jenny: Happy Bday!!! Save us some cake!
  • MS: Blessed birthday! 🎂🍻
  • Helen: Kein! I saw you today and didn’t realise it’s your birthday! Happy birthday! I wish you all the very best, always!
  • Andrew C: Happy Birthday !
  • Isabel: Happy birthday Kein! I wish u and your family in good health and happiness!! 🎂🎉🥂
  • Shihui: Happy birthday! 
  • Meihui: Happy birthday!
  • Bhawana: Such a cute moment Kein and captured beautifully….Happy birthday man. Stay Blessed and enjoy.
  • Uncle Loh: Happy Birthday Kein!
  • LY: Happy belated bday Kein!
  • Lukas:  Happy Birthday Kein!!!
  • Davina: Happy birthday Kein 🎂🍻

Special thanks to Dom for recording that lovely birthday song with Nico 🙂 Loved it. And to Ashish, Dec, Alan, Simon K, Alana, Dave & Raf for the wishes earlier at the office.

 

 

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二十年后的事

“以前在二十岁的时候,觉得自己永远不会,永远不会活到四十岁的那一天。有那种感觉。然后不知不觉,然后我们就到这天了,而且好像一切都还不错嘛。”

听到阿信在演唱会说这番话,感触很深。自己十六岁时候,也从来没办法想象二十年后的事,满脑子只顾着打篮球。虽然说不上什么辉煌史,但还是很满足现状,特别在墨尔本的这些点点滴滴。不知不觉,这家已经待了十年。

十六岁时的自己,看到现在的我,应该会觉得还不错吧?

This really made my day.

It really does. I got this message from my brother earlier in the day today.

“But honestly, I have to thank you for being the role model.

I probably won’t learn to listen and be neutral about negative situations, if it wasn’t for you. And I wouldn’t even be bothered to think about why she thought of it this way. This experience has made me a better person.”

I’m so proud of this dude.

All I can say is, I’m glad he’s my brother. Almost thirty years, and we’re still tight. Advice doesn’t matter if there’s no receptive ear, and like I’ve said before – he listens, if nothing else. And that is the first step in growing and maturing as a person.

Birthdays: keinday 2015, the Truth year!

Tuesday isn’t the best day for taking a day off, and so it came to be that I spent the keinday at the office.

The actual day

The actual day wasn’t too bad. We’d gotten a shared birthday cake for the June/July folks last week, and that was great.

The morning was pretty prosaic, but I got a ramen lunch treat from David at Momotaro! Sam also popped by the office for birthday wishes before that, which was really cool of him. And of course, a birthday cake this year – YES!

2015_cake

This was the same cake from Le Petit Gateau V got for me back in 2008 when some of the guys were around, fond memories.

The site got smacked!

This was the not-so-fun side event to the keinday. My morning began with a text from LS, pointing out my site (yes, this site) was down. Tested it on my phone and yep, this was what I saw.

Warning: Unknown: failed to open stream: Permission denied in Unknown on line 0

Fatal error: Unknown: Failed opening required (REDACTED) (include_path=REDACTED) in Unknown on line 0

Waking up to an outage (admittedly, a non-critical one) was annoying. Plonked myself down at the computer, and after a bit of digging, realised the permissions on the index.php file were set to 00. That was fishy, and it made sense. Obviously the browser error began at line 0, because read permission was being denied. Replacing the index.php with a fresh copy fixed things, but that in turn triggered the question – why was this happening? Figured it might be a security measure from the webhost, so an email was fired off to them.

Apparently, my site was compromised and was being used as a spam relay. Hey webhosting guys, thanks for locking my site down and not letting me know, I really appreciate the support. I guess I sort of deserved that for using a grandfathered (and likely vulnerable) theme. I really liked Hemingway, and had hacked away to keep it usable throughout the years.

Step 1: Change theme.

Step 2: Signing up with Sucuri, and getting them to clean the site up. This was painful, as it involved an annual fee of $200. Great value, but it was a bit of a hit when paid upfront.

Step 3: Go through the usual post-hack measures. Limit permissions, change passwords, remove users, delete unused plugins, regenerate salts, the lot.

The Sucuri signup had a good ending though! Being an affiliate from the earlier days, Sucuri very kindly offered a free account after some discussion, so that really saved a heap. Thanks guys! Sucuri and MaxCDN have some of the best customer service that you can ever find.


Work

The past year hasn’t been too bad overall, and I got a trip to Shanghai last year, which certainly was an eye opener. It wasn’t all pretty though; the workplace went through a pretty severe round of retrenchments a few months back. I survived, but it was a quite a blow to everyone, myself included. Crushing to see friends leave, but things have to go on. Had to pick up the slack left behind, and the extra work resulted in some good karma. Put in the work and get things done, get the recognition, and the rewards will come.

It’s really great to see all the positive feedback from folks around the office, getting the recent office award, and even from the directors on recognition on all the grunt work, definitely made my week.

The Pick and Roll

As far as PnR is concerned, we’ve been slowly but surely getting our feet under us. Improved frequency of coverage, positive partnerships (especially with Basketball Australia and Eurosport), and culling general NBA coverage have been some of the major milestones. The idea to remove general NBA coverage made a lot of sense. There’s fierce competition in that broad topic, it’s hard to gain differentiation/recognition. On top of that: the site is already Australian basketball-centric anyway, so why not focus the NBA towards that niche too?

Let’s not even start talking about the herculean efforts it has been, trying to ensure consistent coverage with a huge team that needed a lot of motivation to keep writing. The strain I faced on pushing topics out, encouraging writers, editing, publishing and promoting was enormous.

I was so burnt out at the end of the playoffs, but have recovered and am getting back on track, no small thanks to the fantastic work from Alistar, Hayley, Winston and Jayme that’s helped so greatly with Aussies in NBA coverage. Streamlining the team has helped keep me sane.

Our core (Steve, Damo, OU) have been nothing but solid, something I’m sure a lot of other sites lack. Big props goes out to guys like Brendan, Grant and Dean for their work as well, and also to people like Tom Read for all the encouraging comments.

The year has been mostly good. I’m writing faster than ever, coverage pieces are shorter and I’m slowly tuning my game. The knowledge part of it is still the biggest gap, and I’m glad the internet is there as an invaluable reference – writing with nothing but my noggin would have been tough at times.

The biggest milestone for me on the PnR end, was being able to interview Dante Exum – what an experience! Ask me about the possibility of that a few years back, and I would’ve laughed and gone nah, that’s crazy.

Life

Not much to say here, except that life has been peaceful and pleasant, much the same as it was last year. Once again, much thanks to the family for working around me for times when I zone out and go into one of my get-things-done mode, and blithely ignore everything else.

There was this fun (not so fun) episode early in the year, when almost everyone in the house had food poisoning, and all the adults (except me – I had milder symptoms) were just limp and comatose in bed for the better part of a day. Lots of Hydralyte helped, but that was a scary thing.

And oh, I had a molar yanked. It sounded like a frightening prospect at first, but I don’t even notice the gap anymore. Much thanks to Dr Pippa Robinson for handling it painlessly, been good since.

Elly has been very good for the most part, until she gets into one of her raging crying fits. And then she’s a horrible bundle to deal with. It’s as much a learning process for her as it is for us however, and knowing her quirks helps minimise these episodes.

Keilen (I think I’ll call him Lenny in future) is firmly attached at the hip to mum these days. Overattachment is a bad thing, and we’ll have to slowly sort it out as things go along. He hasn’t been quite as firmly disciplined as Elly was in her younger days, which is part of the fun of being a grandparent – you get to spoil the kid! But when he’s in his fun bubbly mood, he’s an absolute pleasure. Adventurous, stubborn as hell, and a constance menace, Lenny is going to be a walking disaster in the days ahead.

Again, I have been quite remiss with the catch up sessions. Time is absurdly compressed these days; it’s hard to get out on weekdays because I have to charge home and grab Elly from daycare, and Saturday mornings are usually major snooze times. That effectively leaves Sundays and maybe Saturday arvo at best. Things will get better as the kids grow up and leave their naps behind, but for now it’s in a sort of holding pattern.

I’m glad I didn’t miss some of the big stuff, like Bill’s buck night, ahlong’s wedding, seeing WY, QL and ZL’s kids, getting out for KTV time with my singing buddies Vale, HY, Sharon! (Yes, KTV is important.) And all the friends I managed to meet over the past year whenever I got back to SG, like the Swim Team folks, LH and WJ, among others. And also to the other folks, my ex-Netbay people and also Andrew/Gen for catching up, very thankful for that!

Life with the boys Sam, Roland and David and the funny-as-hell work lunches have been an amazingly enjoyable period of my life, and I’ll always remember the lunch gang fondly.

Holidays

No international trips (those endless flights to Singapore didn’t count), but V and I actually managed quite a few getaways, huge thanks to the mother and Stan for helping out with the kids.

We headed out to the Dandenongs for Christmas, and went over to Daylesford for the wedding anniversary. And of course, the birthday weekend.

The birthday weekend

I had a pretty good weekend with V! It’s been ages since we’ve had an extended romp in the city, and this was more or less what I’ve always been wanting to do. A couple of nights away from the kids, having time to ourselves. A stay at a classy hotel, good solid conversations, couple of soaks in the jacuzzi, man. Life is perfect. V also enjoyed the stay a lot. The first night we were there, she just sat at the couch and went, it’s so good to sit there and enjoy the peace without having something always going on in the background.

Let’s not forget about brunch at The Hardware Société (pork belly, yum) and The Grain Store in one weekend, that’s a first for sure.

Catching movies at the theatre, really good too. Thoroughly entertained by Ted 2, and Jurassic World was underwhelming. Of course, it might’ve been that Gold Class seats were too comfortable to begin with, which in turn resulted in me getting some early shuteye.

Basketball

I’m pretty sure I haven’t been near a basketball court in three months or more, so yes I am in a rather depressing situation. The closest I’ve come to sinking baskets these days are popping balls into wastepaper bins – gotta keep working on my shooting stroke!

Will have to find the energy to get up in the weekend mornings and play ball. Soon.

Personal

I haven’t noticed much changes this year. Perhaps it’s been more a constant journey to improve the way I talk, the way I think, and the way I present myself to others.

Perhaps the one biggest perspective shift, would be the rather clinical view I take on content (TV, online) these days. Everything is seen as a pitch, and it’s all about giving a tailored presentation that appeals to the target audience. The best presented pitch wins, period.


Presents

What do you get when you cross Back To The Future with Transformers? This.

11754704_10152939421421994_1604847484_o

Marty McPrime apparently. Pretty rad T-shirt from the brother!

ZM and XX sent the latest issue of Dear Boys Act 3 over, along with a card. Love it! Thank you both so much for the thought.

zmxx

亲爱的KEIN-SAN!

祝你身体健康,心想事成!!

生日快乐!

明明&香香
4th JULY 2015

Secret present from LS! A Memobottle that can easily fit into a bag, begone y’all cylindrical bottles. (Just kidding. The car’s drink holder is still unfortunately circular. I still need one other one at least!)

memobottle

Cards

The card arrives once again! Courtesy of LS.

11768608_10152952576971994_2058397459_o

On this special day, I’ll like to thank you for being there for me; a special light in my life.
Throughout the ups & downs, you were always just a tinkle away.

You have a way of making the good times better & the less-than-good times bearable.
Thank you for making a difference, not just in my life but I’m sure in the lives of many of your other frens!

Dearest old fren,
Kein

Simple card for a Simple Man! Happy Birthday ^^

The world is a brighter place because of you!

Love from
LS

And here’s my first ever birthday card from Elly. This is probably what I look like to her, complete with sarcastic smirk:

ellycard


WhatsApp

ahlong: Before the day is through and the flurry of well-wishes descends upon thy.. Happiest Birthday, good health and blessings of a fortuitous nature to you bro..

Stan: Happy bday to you, another year wiser now

Bill: Happy birthday brother!!!

SJ jie: Hi di, happy birthday to you! Things look like they going well for you, so I wish you good health, great energy for running after your kids (reserved for your kids not basketball! ;p), and that everything will be 顺顺for you. 🙂 All the best!

LS: 👍 👍 👍 Happy birthday!!!

ZM: Omg! Today is your birday ! Happy Birthday my most hated friend in this universe … may you continue to be my most hated friend till the end of time 😂

HJ: Happy birthday!! Have a great one :))

Jianhao: Happy birthday bro…. 🙂

CL: Hey hey, Happy Birthday !!!

Cherie: Happy birthday, Mr. Chua 🎈🎊🎉🍰🎂

Estee: Happy Birthday!!!! Hope one day you don’t need to work for sleep hahaha

PR: Happy birthday, Kein!!!

Dinesh: Happy birthday bro! Long time no see but friendship doesn’t fade! Wishing you even more luck and happiness in the future. Oh and satay. I wish you lots of satay

Sharon: hope im not too late=) may u enjoy ur burf with ur dear ones tdy happyburfffffffff

Facebook

LS: Happy birthday to my dearest fren ( AU time). Though we rarely meet, I treasure the random chats we have! Belated card otw! ^^ Awesome bday once again!!!

Dad: 生日快乐,心想事成,步步高升………

Law: Happy birthday to you (and me), Kein.

Jen: Happy birthday Kein, I hope you have a wonderful day

Roz: you’re old mate. hbd bruh.

Cousin Noelle: Happy Birthday Kein..

Yen Shuet: Another year older, another year wiser.. Happy Birthday!!

Greg: Happy Birthday KC !!!

Meishan: Blessed birthday, dear friend. 🙂 The song says it all.

Mat: Happy birthday mate

Momo: Happy birthday Kein!

XX: Happy Birthday Kein!

Happy birthday! 😄

Weizhong: Happy bday bro ☺ have a great one ☺

CP: Happy birthday, frd!

Uncle Loh: Happy Birthday Kein!

Daryl: Vaguely remember it’s sometime in mid Jul. So now jump on the bandwagon and wish you happy birthday + many happy returns.

Ashley: Happy Birthday… enjoy ur special day with lotsa smiles n laughters

Jack: Happy Birthday Kein!

Albin: Happy Birthday Kein Chua

HQ: Happy Birthday!

Meihui: Happy birthday!

Mandy: Happy birthday have a great day ☺️

Julian: Happy Birthday Brother! We ball soon!

Kenneth: Happy birthday Kein! Have a good one!

Weiliang: Happy birthday!

Eugene: Happy birthday!

Kenrick: Happy birthday Kein! ☺️

Benny: Happy birthday !!! good health and happy days!

Nash: Wish you many many happy returns of the day superman

Lukas: Happy Birthday Kein!!!

Cousin Wenjun: happy birthday^^
wish you all the best^^

Dave: Happy birthday brother! Have a great one!

Mike: Happy birthday Kein!

Murray: Happy birthday mate. Hope you had an awesome day

Joyce: happy birthday!!

WY: Happy Birthday!!! May all ur wishes blossom true on this special day! *wink* *wink* 😉😘

NZ: Happy Birthday! mmm… hows it going so far? keinday 2015

From my winning folks in the AITNBA team:

Winston: eh?! Early happy birthday then! Enjoy your day Kein!

Alistar: Champaign showers at 12

Jayme: Happy Birthday Kein! Same day as Dante, something in that.

Hayley: Happy birthday Kein!

And here are two of my favourite people:

Steve: How was your birthday weekend away KM? Happy Birthday big fella! Hope you had a great day ☺

Jim: Damn, I missed your Bday! Rock on Keinmeister! You are the standard that everyone should subscribe to! Wait a minute it’s still Tuesday! Happy Birthday Mate! Damn alzheimers!

And belated wishes as well, including ones from people at the office like Ashish and Simon, love ’em all:

Shuxian: Happy birthday!

Zhiwei: Happy birthday to you!! ☺

Adele: Happy blessed birthday!🍦🍭🎁🎂🎉🎊🍰


What will the year ahead bring? Hopefully good health, and good strides made in everything else from family to work. (And hopefully a longer holiday to somewhere else.) And satay. Very important.

Little bits of positivity in 2014.

This was about two weeks ago, when I sent a little something to cheer a friend up.

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My dear friend… Thank you for the beautiful roses! So sweet of you to send them 🙂 Miss the good old times. Sorry I’ve been busy… But thank you for always saying hello so that I’m reminded to take a break. Big hug!

And this other message I got the day before, was unexpected. In a good way. Seeing this in the morning really brought a smile to my face.

I’m so glad I’ve always had u along the way… Through all the stumbles and falls. Just suddenly grateful and thankful for having u around! Forever my SOS!

I’m really glad to have been able to make a difference in their lives. It really is true, that thing about how your life’s impact is felt by the number of people whom you made a difference to. And of course, I’ll keep doing silly little things and be there for them, simply because it feels like the right thing to do.

Of the most beautiful phase

A lot of people speak of a woman’s wedding day as the the time when she looked her best. It could be true, but I’m inclined to disagree.

In all honesty, my wife wasn’t at her best on our wedding day. She was tired from staying up the night before. Getting an early start with all the make up, hair and so on was a grind. Add the fact that she was dressed in a wedding gown, trying to tahan the chills of that morning and looking forward to GTFO (if I might put it crudely), didn’t do any wonders for her disposition. Nevertheless, she looked fine in the photographs, and that’s all that matters when memories fade eh?

To me, V was always at her most beautiful during the later phase of pregnancy. The radiance of impending motherhood puts an indescribable hue onto her countenance.

Well of course, there is that Neanderthal feeling of satisfaction I get (“THAT THUNG GROWING INSIDE HER? I HAD A PART OF IT! RAWWRRR GRUNT OOMPH *THUMPS CHEST*) on a job well done, but that’s not it.

I love the feel of her growing belly, feeling the skin move with new life beneath. Those might not be Upton-esque curves, but there is just that indefinable glow that seems to shine forth. The way she gently pats her swollen belly, as if reassuring the little boy within, holds a sense of calm about it.

I’m not going to lie about the bad parts of it (throwing up, inability to sleep through the night, waddling with all that extra weight), but the thought that she’s willing to bear it all for the sake of bringing a new life —our new life– into this world, makes her that much more beautiful in my eyes.

So the little one is due in less than a month, and we’re all waiting. Just for now though, I’d like to dedicate this day to the woman who’s shared the past eight years of her life with me, and years to come.

Happy Valentine’s Day V. I’m not the best writer out there, but this is all I’ve can come up with. Love you, and thank you for being with me all this time.

Where the memories are, and doing what feels right.

One of the things I miss most about Singapore, is being able to cycle around the neighbourhood, feeling the cool breeze and enjoying the peace of the night.

On my way home just now, taking a detour to take in more of the neighbourhood sounded like a good idea, and before I knew it, I was back at my old block. So many memories. Of learning to cycle at the void deck. Playing catching after taekwondo class at the nearby block. Pushing through the bushes underneath the overhead bridge, and imagining it to be a secret base of ours. Snacks from the Indian mama shop right behind. The countless times of cycling around the place, every turn and slope was deeply ingrained; I was operating on instincts.

I smiled when I got to this cycling path that used to be a really steep slope (but has been revamped into a gentle one now), because a certain daredevil (or brainless idiot, depending on how you look at it) at the invincible age of 11, decided it would be an absolutely brilliant feat to cycle down that precarious slope at top speed – without hands. Needless to say, I ended up losing control and sprawled in a heap on the floor, fortunately getting out easy with only a scraped knee.

This was home for almost fifteen years, and I still miss it.

Onwards, to the place that held so many cherished memories amidst mindless drudgery: Ngee Ann Secondary School. It’s funny how a building can evoke an aching, almost painful yearning in the heart for days that are long past. The basketball court that I spent countless hours at, rain or shine. Walking down the same old path to school five, six days a week. Frantic copying of homework before morning assembly. Magic: The Gathering sessions in the canteen. Spraining my wrist on the same damn court because I tripped on the edge of the court (idiot.)

Remembering the days back then. Swimming training was three days a week, Red Cross took Saturdays away. Between those two ECAs, school and homework, the days just whizzed by. The best part was probably the Swim Camps, when all of us had so much fun. The endless blackjack sessions. The morning training. The insomnia. The barbeque sessions. The Emil Chau songs. The night walk to Changi Airport. The performances. The nights when we would sneak out of school and grab a bite (and Jolly Shandy) at Tampines Mart.

To this day, I still kick myself for some of the juvenile, tactless and supremely stupid things from back then, but the fondness of fun times outweigh the dumb moments of course. If only, there was some way I could revisit some of those days.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a nostalgic who reminiscences about past days too much. There are just too many memories for me here to ever move away from the place. I’m pretty sure if I’d continued to stay in Singapore, I would’ve eventually just gotten a place right here, rather than follow the inevitable trend of moving to Sengkang/Punggol, as many of my generation have done. Then again, we’ll never know, since it hasn’t happened. It sounds like an fascinating alternate reality though.

While many people would label me as a planner, it is interesting to note that my personality actually swings in the other direction. Over the years, I’ve led my life largely on faith and trusted my instincts, going by what I felt was right, much more than pragmatic decision-making like weighing the scales, noting the facts and numbers and coming up with a practical decision.

For example, what kind of flaming idiot would actually quit his job, get a loan, leave the comforts of a wonderfully familiar environment behind and fly to Australia, having only the “plan” (if you could even call it that) to finish a final university semester and then literally wing it and find some way to stay on, simply because it “felt like the right time” to do so? Utterly un-Singaporean-like, if I might say so.

Or for that matter, quitting a stable full-time job to be a domestic dad for nine months? I’m glad V has been supportive on (most of) my decisions, although you could imagine the kind of grousing that went on in her head.

Looking back now, I’m really glad everything worked out, but had I actually paused to contemplate the enormity of that decision to move to Australia back then, it would have probably made next to zero sense. Could it possibly have stopped me in my tracks though? Nah.

Fortune favours the bold, and I like to think it looks kindly on lucky fools like me as well. There’s good, and there’s lucky; I’d pick lucky over good any day. I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact that destiny has its plan for me, and that I am walking in the forest of life, sauntering along a path that has been waiting for me all along, and is revealing itself to me, a few steps at a time. All I have to do, is to trust myself and pick the right trail when the crossroads come along.

Keep walking, keep trusting. Happy New Year’s Eve, 2013.