Post-2016 thoughts.

The year’s been a rather vanilla but fulfilling one, if I might say so.

Fitness

I stuck to my goal of maintaining a consistent workout routine. We’re really close to the one-year milestone now! Pretty pleased at the commitment I’ve made, and I feel good. Obviously, seeing the results help. Have to admit, it’s been a little shitty at times, knowing I have to say no to lunch dates on workout days, and just play the part of an anti-social c*nt, but that’s what discipline boils down to. You don’t give yourself excuses, period.

Committing to gym, also meant I had to commit to nutrition. That in turn, meant a better focus on nutrition, meal prep and understanding the results eating different foods did to my body. Can’t say I’m a veteran at this, but definitely a big step forward.

2017 objective: keep this shit up.

Related: earlier gym post.

Friendships

Really glad to have reconnected with old friends, especially my RCY mate SP. Have to admit, he made an extra effort to catch up when he was down here in Melbourne, and we’ve met up a couple more times since, a rather difficult feat considering we’re a few time zones apart. Looking forward to keeping this up!

Other great moments include:

  • Attending Anita/Richard’s wedding
  • Catching up with Nash
  • Meeting my man Olgun at last! And all the chats we’ve had online, wouldn’t trade that for anything.
  • Basketball and suppers with the Ngee Ann/Changkat folks
  • Basketball with TX, after so many years. I sucked, but it’s still wonderful to be back on the court together with the man. I still remember our poly sessions fondly.
  • KTV sessions with the ladies. Yes, there’s only the ladies. That one group.

Also appreciated all the extra time all my friends have made to keep in touch, especially the ones in Singapore (Swim Team folks, my 1-Net people). Long may this tradition continue!

2017 objective: keep in touch with as many people as I can. This is going to be hard, harder than 2016 when it comes to Singapore.

Family

This year’s routine has actually been a bit of a shitfest, to be honest. We had to manage on our own without help, and having two kids at daycare full-time was a suicidal notion, financially speaking. We ended up working something else out, but it meant a nonstop rush every single day. It’s taken the two of us to cope; I’m glad it’s all over. Next year’ll be pretty similar, but the financial burden should be tremendously reduced at minimum, and itinerary easier.

Elly’s grown a lot this year, in confidence and articulating herself. Lenny’s development has definitely been slower, especially on the speaking front but we’ll get there. All it takes is patience and consistency. He’s not an idiot, just lazy to talk when it comes to getting what he wants. Laziness is unfortunately, a trait that seems to be passed down. I wonder who he got it from, hmm. /s

2017 objective: help Elly transition to her new school and routine, get Lenny talking like a madass mofo.

*I also had this idea of getting two paper notebooks, and filling them up with handwritten positive moments for the kiddos. BUT, I can see myself fucking it up very quickly so we’ll see.

Entertainment

Yes, this has been rather poor overall. I’ve barely touched my PS3/PS4 (played PS4 for the first time in July!), or played basketball much. It’s been TV series for the most part. Daredevil, The Flash, The Walking Dead, and holy crap, Breaking Bad at long last. So impressed with it, I’m a convert through and through. Bitch.

And anime too: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, Dragonball Super, and rewatches of Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny.

Also kept my reading up, thanks to the new Kindle Paperwhite (old Kindle destroyed thanks to Lenny). It has been sidetracked somewhat, thanks to anime binging.

2017 objective: actually play the PS3/PS4 without objection from the wife on pixelated violence being bad for the kids. Like, really. I grew up on this kind of stuff, it didn’t turn me into a homicidal maniac. And again, TRY TO PLAY MORE BASKETBALL DAMMIT.

Travel

Popped over to Singapore twice, sneaked in a side trip to Thailand, a day trip to Sydney, and that’s basically it. Next year should be looking better: a trip to the States (or two even!), another possible to China, and mayyyyyybe something local/interstate. NBA playoffs, here we come.

Work

It’s been an educational year, thanks to Jared’s constant stream of suggestions and answers, with half of them being self-discovery. Again, thanks to Jared for leaving me room to find answers out myself, rather than spoonfeed. The deluge of projects that got dumped on us this year was a little draining, to say the least. I’m just glad we’re done with it all, project management is most definitely not our forte, especially when our priority is to help the user out.

Have to admit, I was a little sad at losing Crystal on the team, she’s been a solid dependable rock. And also, not forgetting my mate Ravi for all the chats, support all the time, and to the boss Andy for always being the perfect manager. Lastly, for a great bunch of guys at the Melbourne office. Couldn’t ask for more, really.

PnR

I knew this year was going to be me stepping away and doing less, because I would’ve burnt out if I kept at the punishing pace I’d been working at the past couple of years. So far, it’s worked out decently. The bulk of my contribution have been either on quickie pieces, or video highlights. I still think we could’ve done a lot better, but it’s still been a decent body of work overall.

Notable milestones:

  1. We made a really solid push during the Olympics, and got our brand out there to the local audience. Responses from fans have been very, very positive.
  2. Re-partnered with Goalrilla Australia for a long term promotional deal. Looking to move our advertising to a digital agency, and improve ad revenue.
  3. Pushed past 66,000 fans on the Facebook page.
  4. Crossed 1,000 on both Instagram and YouTube.
  5. Grew our traffic by nearly 50%. The trick next year will be to maintain and exceed this number.
  6. Migrated to a new web host late last year, been smooth sailing ever since. Also switched to a new site theme.
  7. Less number-centric but equally important: team building. The quality of contributors coming on board have significantly improved, and that’s lifted our content quality.
  8. Content:
    1. I think we’ve picked up the pace on the NBL side thanks to an influx of energetic folks. But, I think we can be doing much better. For example, I’d prefer to see different storylines being explored, instead of a weekly column thing. Personally, not a fan of power rankings and roundtables; they’re an easy way to generate content but do not (again, IMO) generate the kind of interest columns would. For example, stat analysis, X’s and O’s breakdowns, interviews, features and so on. More effort needed, sure. But again, it’s the kind of thing a reader would want to read, and we should be putting our best foot forward.
    2. NBA dropped off due to various reasons: new contributors (some of whom were inconsistent), Jayme/Hayley’s new jobs, Luke’s work with other organisations, Winston’s workload, plus my order not to push unnecessary coverage on subpar games. But I’m confident we’ll pick the pace up next year as it gets into ASW and the playoffs after.
    3. I took the time to compare 2015’s analytics versus this year’s, and here’s my two takeaways: lists and list-style headlines work, and the Olympics were really good for us.
    4. This is a continual question hanging in my head: how do we get more people reading our work? I’m sure every other internet content marketer out there loses sleep over the same topic.

Something that finally happened this year, was the motion to incorporate and turn PnR into a company. We’re still working our way through some of the agreements, but it’s a big, big step. Somehow, it made me feel like this just transitioned from a hobby into something more serious, like how dating became marriage. I hate the extra pile of paperwork (hello ASIC, ATO, shareholder/director meeting notes, etc) that’s going to surface by the way. Hate, hate paperwork. It just feels like some unnecessary shit that’s taking me away from what I can be doing on the site itself, and I need to make sure the burden is shared equally, not me just being Atlas.

2017 objectives: Too many. Let’s just leave it at continued growth.


Less than an hour to 2017. Full steam ahead, y’all. The best is yet to be.

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A quest to keep the words alive.

The urge to write reared its head yesterday, and I was pretty surprised to realise that my blog had died a quiet death in the months of inactivity.

Observation #1: neither the front end, nor the backend were accessible. Shit.

Observation #2: FTP wasn’t working – for some reason, the connection was looping itself and refusing to list directory.

Observation #3: cPanel was up. In the worst case, I’d still be able to haul the data off.

And with that, it was time to figure out what the problem was. The excellent folks at Sucuri fixed #1 up overnight. My web host OTOH was largely apathetic, and not very helpful. Self-testing revealed my VPN as the cause of #2, so that was fixed quickly.

It’s a question that has merited debate, and I’ve thought about it last year. (And yes, why wasn’t this done last year? Indolence and pure stupidity, that’s why.)

Why am I maintaining a self-hosted blog that requires constant maintenance and updates on a paid Singapore-based shared host (paying in SGD is a constant PITA), with minimal content generation, at zero advertising revenue?

The obvious answer, was to move the blog to WordPress’ own infrastructure. Zero worries on backend, solid infrastructure, fuss-free maintenance.

And that was completed speedily this evening, along with a full download of all the sub-sites under the keinism.com domain. I have to map the domain name back to this site, but it’s an low-priority task at best, no pressure.

Most importantly? All of my thoughts and musings from 2003 – 2016, are intact. I’d be plenty annoyed at myself if everything was lost, and thankfully, all is well.

Onwards!

Post-2014 thoughts.

Ahh, good old 2014. It’s certainly been another year of new milestones and new surprises. Life being what it is though, has “trained” me to be at peace and roll with the punches. React, adapt, and survive.

Here we go with the recap once more.

  • Family:
    • The birth of our little boy Keilen obviously tops the list. It’s been fun (and tiring) having him on board. You don’t realise how much better a toddler is until a newborn comes along and you go ohfucknotthisagain. I’m still struggling to see the family resemblance (physically). He does however bear a few of my personality quirks. He’s quiet and pretty introspective. Has a seeming interest in books (holding ’em and staring at ’em, I don’t call this reading yet), stubborn, but likely has a wilder streak in him than I ever had in me.
    • Elly has been a real handful this year. For more than half the year, it was a real trial with tons of frustration and patience needed every single day, but I’m glad it’s all worked out. She eats her meals with minimal fuss. She goes to bed on time and sleeps without kicking up a fuss. We’ve weaned her off the need for bottled milk. To top it off, she’s toilet-trained in less than a month. I’ve definitely built a better bond with her this year, and I think we’ve done pretty well, all in all. She’s extroverted and an absolute dynamo. Articulates her thoughts well, and is a devious little bugger. Adorable as hell when she’s not crying up a storm. Can’t ask for much else!
    •  Thankful to mum for being around and helping us with the kids and house. We would have never been able to cope otherwise.
    • Not forgetting Stan, who’s gone on a journey to a new role and a new wardrobe, new fitness routine this year. Always good to have him around, and glad to see him growing. Much thanks to his help on PnR as well, when it comes to editing and prepping the newsletter on emergency duty. Unlike many other siblings out there, I know I can count on my brother when the going gets tough.
    • Lastly, the wife of course. Like every other couple out there, there are things I wish that could’ve been done better (and vice versa) but let’s talk about the positives. She’s been a pillar of endurance through the quirky sleep hours while juggling everything else, and gamely keeps up with whatever needs to be done without much complaint. It’s been a tough year without much rest, but we survived! She still doesn’t like to say it out, but love is still a part of the equation.
  • The Pick and Roll (PnR):
    • A year feels like ten years, when it comes to this topic. In its second season now, and slowly gaining traction. The main challenge as always, is getting and keeping committed people on board. Different priorities for different people, and we all have our own limits on time. I can understand how difficult it is for people to buy into a long-term vision, when there is no immediate benefit. Nevertheless, it’s all about moving on with what we have, and growing. Growing our content, growing our reach, and growing our relationships. Nothing is built in a day, it’s only with steady progress that we can get anywhere at all.
    • That being said, manning the site on all fronts (newsletter, Aussies in the NBA, article promos/general NBA content on Facebook page, editing, advertising, strategy, commercial, backend) has definitely taken a toll. I don’t see myself being able to take on any more without collapsing. The next phase of growth will have to be getting existing guys to commit and expand their roles, so to speak.
    • Once again, thankful for #TeamPnR’s existence, and especially the growth of our core. From Steve (and also Dean) manning the NBL, to Damian’s consistent work on NCAA and Europe, to Terry’s creative input and eye on the Twitter front, we also welcomed Olgun, who’s been an invaluable asset on various ends. Shout out to Darrel as well, who’s taken more on board and committed to attending the games despite having a newborn boy in the equation. Same to Alistar, who’s finally joined us and is making a difference to the video side of things. Same to the NBL team, new (e.g. Sam, Shay, Tom) and old. Of special note, S/O to Grant for consistent excellence. On the NBA team, having committed new guys like Daina, Winston alongside vets like Michael, Luke, Darrel has been great. It’s unfortunate that we lost guys like Craig and Josh H but nevertheless, thankful for their contributions.
    • Partners: We’ve really done well on this end, this year. Multiple new advertisers, some great partnerships especially with the NBA Store AU, the Melbourne Boomers and Melbourne United. More than revenue, it’s just about getting to know people in the industry and learning where we can help and help alike. As always, it’s all about who you know!
    • Backend: It’s been a race to jiggle with moving parts to see what works. Took Cloudflare out and used only CloudProxy. Reducing image sizes to improve loading time. Reducing the number of plugins has been a tough juggle between functionality and speed. Finding the right plugins and making them work right, each a quest in itself. Working with OpenGraph to make the metadata right has been a learning curve. Site/social analytics? Educational.
  • Work: Started work at ChannelAdvisor. Working in an international environment and learning to cope with time zones is a new experience, and so is the learning curve on Windows Server/Active Directory. This place is also the first real (culturally) Aussie workplace that I’m working at, and it’s been a really fun ride so far. Great people at the office, I have entertaining lunches with the guys (oi yer) and to top it off I have a fantastic manager who doesn’t micro-manage. Nothing much to complain about, really.
  • Travel:
    • New milestone, travelled to Shanghai on work. It was a real eye opener, seeing the stark contrasts between glitzy skyscrapers and aged housing. Reminds me of the effects rapid industrialisation has on society.
    • Outside of that, it’s been seemingly endless flights to Singapore. Once for Honda, and once for Yunlong. Wouldn’t have missed their big moments for anything else, and I’m glad I was there.
    • V and I also had a quick Christmas getaway at Olinda this year, which was great. We haven’t been spending a lot of time together due to everything else (read: own ventures and kids), so bonding time was definitely needed.
  • Basketball: Pretty bad. Been too tired to ball, so it’s only been the occasional Caulfield session on weekday nights. I’ve played a couple of games at MSAC as a sub for league night, but that’s been it. Will attribute main causes to 1. new kid and 2. PnR.
  • Gaming: I’ve played a grand total of one game on the PS4 after getting it as a present, which was Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Went back to the PS3 and got hooked on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Stopped after I ran out of time at night. The thing about gaming: you really need a sizable stretch of time to game hard, and I seldom get that luxury anymore with PnR sucking up the bulk of my free time. Another regretful sacrifice for the greater good, it seems.
  • Health: To be honest, this year has been shit. I’ve been ill more times than I’ve cared to count. I remember a ear infection, eye infection, and countless little niggly stuff that’s come and gone. Not to mention good old hay fever. Best of all, a long overdue tooth extraction on New Year’s Eve to top it off. Just looking forward to 2015 and a better run ahead.
  • Friends: A definite drop off this year.
    • We’ve been eating at home most of the time, it’s been a lot harder to get out to dinner with two kids in tow. Thanks to the usual guys for taking the effort to catch up though: Bill, Jasmine, Benny especially. Lester’s left and gone back, which is a shame.
    • It’s also been great catching up with friends in Singapore – well, whoever I managed to meet up with anyway. The trips were all really short, and I didn’t have much time to meet all the people I would’ve liked to meet.
    • Nanzhen and Meishan actually made it over to Melbourne this year! They certainly surprised me at the office, and it’s been great having them over here for a few days, and just enjoying their company over here for a change. Thanks too to Huijia for catching up in Melbourne – always great to see an old friend! And to Vale too for taking the time to KTV in Melbourne!
  • Tech: Learning new stuff like MDT on Windows Server, something I would’ve never bothered to learn if not for work. reddit is such an amazing resource. Continual learning on WordPress once more, it’s amazing how much motivation there is to get better on WP for PnR’s sake – I’ve never experimented so hard on WP on this site before. Not forgetting the field of study that is Facebook marketing. I’m pretty sure I can function as a semi-decent social media admin for a full-time job, if one exists.

Above all of these?

I’ve learnt to be more patient, and that sometimes, the fastest way forward is to take a deep breath, and take a step back. Learning to work beyond trivial issues, and focus on the desired outcome. The big picture matters more than the solution, at times.

I’ve also learnt that I can’t function on five hours of sleep indefinitely, and that I actually need more sleep as I get older. Which sucks. Why can’t I be like Tianxiang and function like the superman he is! Insanely jealous, damn you genes.

I’m also learning to love myself a little more when it comes to relationships, and spend my time wisely. From now on, it will only on an equal basis. I will only invest the time and effort that I get in return, nothing more. Like Vale said, need effort on both parts to maintain friendships – too true!

Resolutions for new year?

  • I want to spend more time with the kids, and
  • Secondly, get back into playing basketball.
  • I want to get out on another trip to the US.
  • I need to stop backing Kickstarter campaigns so much because they are hit-and-miss, and horribly slow.
  • Most importantly, I want to stay effing healthy. Health is wealth, period.

And lastly, always appreciative of every single day I spend in good old Melbourne. It’s been a fantastic journey ever since I got here, and I can only imagine how much more ordinary the road would have been, had I stayed on. Love the air, crazy weather, the people, the friends, everything here.

Hello 2015. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

Moment of idiocy.

So I opened the car door today, ducked into the car, and ended up slamming my head into it.

Pure brilliance.

Approximately eight hours later, my left temple still throbs. Moral of the story: do not be a smart arse. Open the door fully and get in, instead of trying to sprint into the car like a a thief trying to make a quick getaway.

Post-2013 thoughts.

2013, unlike 2012 has been more of a slower year. Still changes, just a little slower-paced. Here’s the good old recap:

  • Venture: Started The Pick and Roll. What began as a spitballing idea on Facebook between Steve, Jim and I, and an email conversation between Terry and myself, eventually coalesced into a full-blown effort into developing an Australian-oriented basketball site, which is currently steamrolling its way into Aussie coverage for European leagues, college and high school basketball, as well as the good old NBA staple. Thank you all for being there and chipping in, and deepest thanks to all the writers for your ceaseless contributions, especially stalwarts like Terry, Damian, Steve, Tommy, Dean, Michael T, the two Josh’s, Darrel and more, who have been gunning and keeping the site active. Very blessed to have you guys on board.
  • Celtics Down Under: Moving ahead to a tough season, glad to see everyone positive. Been great to have all of you guys around: Tommy, Justin, Dave, Michael, Hayley, Kaine, May etc. Go #AussieCeltics! Looking forward to our first ever gathering next month too.
  • Concert: Caught the Kings of Convenience in Melbourne, wonderful night.
  • Travel:
    • Went to the US again, this time with V. Great to be back in New York and Boston. First time travelling around California!
    • Also went back to SG for three weeks, caught up with a ton of friends, something I’m really grateful for.
  • Entered the TD Garden under a media pass and stepped into the Celtics locker room, up close with players like Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass et al, and to have been at the next table from people like Tommy Heinsohn, Mike Gorman and Danny Ainge who were talking about college prospects? Fantastic night. (Also entered the MSG under a media pass, which was amazing in its own way, but not as fantastic as being on my home team ground!)
  • Basketball: Picking balling at places like Monash Caulfield, Carlton Baths and MSAC. Organised Sunday training sessions at Carlton Baths for a while, which eventually petered out due to a lack of commitment. Also played in a couple of MSAC leagues as a filler, something that looks to continue this year.
  • Family: Second kid on the way! It took a little longer than when we tried for Elly, but the good old gonads did their work and our little boy will be out in a month or so.
  • Work: After a fruitless series of extensive interviews with another ISP and a black hole experience with every other online job application, finally got something up thanks to Jasmine. Got back into work, this time as a one-man IT support role in a call center. Not the easiest when you know that everything lies on your shoulders, but a job is a job. Bitching doesn’t get work done, get cracking instead. Have to say, the people here are great.
  • Wedding: Attended Joseph’s wedding here in Melbourne, enjoyed it despite having a pounding headache and a shit time with hay fever.
  • Friends: Very lucky to have caught up with primary school mates I haven’t seen in years, like Huiqing, Yuzhong, Zihui, Kenny and Jinwei.

Onwards to another exciting year, which I’m sure will involve more surprises.

Post-2012 thoughts.

2012 has been a pretty huge year with plenty of changes; some planned, and others that were sort of make-it-up-as-we-went-along. Regardless, I’m not kidding when I say it has been a very, very productive year – it felt like three years crammed into one. Frustrating at times, immensely exhausting, full of dumb mistakes and learning curves but still joyful nonetheless.

Here’s a recap (as far as I can tell, could have missed some stuff):

  • Venture: started StudentConn. It was supposed to be a Australian student-centric site, functioning both as a classified ads site plus blog. Sadly, I failed the sustainable effort test on this little project, leading to its eventual neglect (and likely demise).
  • Visa: Got my Australian permanent residency at long last. What a milestone, after years of hanging in the air on this topic.
  • Concerts: thoroughly enjoyed watching these first-class performers:
  • Housemoving: moved out from the city and into the burbs. Hello car! You just became my best friend. It’s great to have friends just around the corner, deeply thankful to have the Lim family so near, most especially on that crazy day when V was down with vertigo.
  • Quit my job to become a SAHD. Big change, just huge. Wrote a dozen parenting posts (read here, here, here and here). Spending time with Elly is exhausting, but priceless.
  • Sports journalism: Began writing on a slightly more serious note, both at US Sports Under and under my own venture, Celtics Down Under. Having fun on both ends because of all the like-minded folks, especially guys like Justin, Steve and Jim.
  • Basketball:
    • Quit Shohoku at the Doncaster league, probably something I should have done earlier. It was a good experience but I had to leave – personally too frustrating, and we were getting nowhere.
    • Enjoyed the early morning MSAC sessions with Dinesh, Denver and the rest.
    • Got started on Sunday league games thanks to Josh. Enjoying myself and slowly getting into the pace of things.
    • Almost had another year of injury-free ball until I tweaked that damn ankle in November.
  • Weddings: Attended two weddings in Singapore; both dear and old friends.
  • Travel: Found time for another trip back to Bangkok. A short one, but still had fun nonetheless. Love the FG for taking time out on this, and also to Marc for meeting us up.
  • Friends: met up with a few people I’d lost touch with over the years, good stuff! Referring to guys like LK, Qiuyan and Joseph. Also glad to have caught up with some of the usual people in Singapore. Thankful to the friends in Melbourne for the regular meetups too.
  • Habit: made a promise to myself on writing daily, keeping it up so far. Posts on tech, life improvement, parenthood and random blurps, take your pick.
  • Had a little fun writing about troubleshooting Wazapp on the Nokia N9, which blew the site visits up for a few weeks. Crazy how niche content drives site traffic.
  • Health: Was in pretty bad shape when I first took over childcare, but several months of sustained acupuncture and massages took care of that. Gotta be thankful for private health insurance really.

Woops, it’s past midnight already! Caught the fireworks going off, pretty lucky to be able to see them from our place. Happy 2013 everyone, may the new year be filled with joy, learning and discoveries of the pleasant kind.

Post-2010 and 2011 thoughts.

So.

I just sort of realised that I’d missed out the 2010 post. dayum.

So here goes an summary of 2010, not in chronological order.

  • The brother Stan came over to study and bunked in with us. Excellent addition, never complained about helping.
  • V bought her first car, the Honda Jazz Vibe. Expanded the amount of weekend travelling we did.
  • Got hailed on for the first time in my life, not fun. Experienced Melbourne flash floods for the first time too.
  • Cheered the Celtics on throughout the course of a gruelling season, and watched them lose to the Lakers in a heartwrenching series in the NBA finals.
  • Spent an entire week coding SpendTrack into existence, a big first.
  • Watched Jersey Boys again, this time with Stan. Which rocked.
  • Caught West Side Story, which sucked. It sucked so bad, I fell asleep.
  • Ordered my first ever MTM (made to measure) suit, which is a big milestone in a man’s life. Thanks to Adriano Carbone for assisting with this milestone.

  • Took a little weekend trip to Daylesford with V, where the possibility of marriage was brought up. Lost sleep, watched The ShawShank Redemption that night. Excellent classic, kept my mind off reality for a bit.

  • Bought the iRobot Roomba 560, awesome housecleaning gadget.
  • Bought my first smartphone, the HTC Desire. KOOL!
  • Decided to get married, so yes I bought a pretty little solitaire that cost a chunk and asked her the traditional ‘would thou hath me?’ at home. (I was paranoid about being mugged on the streets on a public proposal scenario.)

  • Began planning for the wedding in earnest, which was about seven months down the track.
  • Celebrated a lot of birthdays with friends, and had a great party for mine and Stan’s at a KTV session

  • Had an excellently prepared Christmas dinner at Andrew’s. My first time having turkey!

And 2011 has been a considerably more milestone-ey one.

  • Went over to the US of A in a legendary two-guy trip with Stan, catching NBA games across three cities (New York, Boston, Chicago), including witnessing the recordbreaking Ray Allen #2561 three pointer in a Celtics v Lakers game. I have to transcribe my travel notes from the trip onto this blog sometime soon.

  • Got married at the RBG, great day. Months of planning and guitar practice, kudos to everyone who attended. More especially the people who flew down. And most especially the guys who helped, you know who you are.

  • Formed a basketball team, joined a local league. Tough learning experience, not an easy road but we made it through. And got runner-up.

  • First time on a roadtrip up to Canberra with the family plus Lester. First time voting for the General Election at the Singapore embassy. Which turned out to be inconsequential since the votes were not counted pfft.

  • Went back to Singapore. Twice. Caught up with many friends, which was really great. Got fever on both trips on the last day, which sucked bad. Really, really bad.

  • My little girl Elly being born in December. Became a dad – dayum. 99% of the credit goes to V for pulling through like a trooper. It’s an amazing feeling being someone’s dad. Granted, not so amazing when she poops while I’m in the middle of changing nappies but.

Not forgetting my thanks to all the friends in Singapore who have stayed in touch, despite me being overseas for five years now. And to thank my friends over here in Melbourne for being around. And to my family for putting up with my random quirks. All of you are awesome.

And lastly, I would like to thank whoever’s up there for making every year a great one. I may have had minor hiccups like falling sick or getting pissed off over random bits in life, but the contentment and joy I receive from every day of my life in Melbourne is immeasurable, and for this I give thanks without reservations.

Here’s to 2012 beating 2011 hands down!