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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Birthdays: keinday 2016

Despite having just returned from a long vacation (technically), I still took the day off. I was pretty sure I could clear work up in time by Friday, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

First off, thanks to Alana and the folks at work for the shared birthday cake – yum.

Onwards to the actual day. Got up as usual, took the kids off to the daycare and did a U-turn back home, sauntering right back into bed. Bliss.

Post-nap: I finally managed to catch up with Andrew, after a seeming eternity – always good hanging loose and just talking about everything and anything.

My plan to meet Jack up for coffee however, fell apart. And so it came to be, that I spent the better part of three hours at Melbourne Central by myself. Sprawled on a couch outside Party World – reading. I was doing a GRR (Great Re-read, borrowed from WoT fandom) on Piers Anthony’s Adept series, and it just felt so good to read, listen to the songs in the background, and take a break, only to realise I could keep on reading. Simple pleasures of life.

Dinner was with Warren, and taking a walk down to Hisense for the Boomers game that night, and heading back home for a cake with the family. Stan’s interstate this year, so it’ll be the first in years that he’ll actually be absent from our annual celebration. It’s interesting to see Keilen actually enjoying this little tradition – the singing and clapping probably gets him a little more excited, and let’s not forget the cake. The kids were absolutely slavering, I learnt yesterday chocolate is their fatal weakness.

Let’s move on to some thoughts on the year, since the last keinday.

Work

You wouldn’t think someone in my field travels a lot, but I managed another overseas trip last year – this time, over to our headquarters at North Carolina. Absolute fun to be able to meet a lot of the guys up close and in person, and huge thanks to Jared for being such a good host throughout the trip.

Outside of that, work hasn’t been too exciting. There’s a slow but definite increase in responsibilities, but that’s basically happening to everyone in the team, so I’m not too fussed.

Final S/O obviously, to the wonderful people at work. From my manager Andy, to the team (Jared, Crystal, Ravi, Tyler), and everyone at the Melbourne office, but special thanks to my mates at the sales team who always make me feel like I’m part of the gang – cheers Mono, Simon, Pete, Greg & Gibbo. Looking forward to many more great days ahead!

The Pick and Roll

Let’s talk about my favourite distraction after work. Relativity and all that applies here – a year feels like three, in PnR metrics.

Compared to twelve months back, I think the biggest visible improvement has been in the strength of the team. We’ve gotten some really good people on board, in no particular order: Alanna, Warren, Luke, Lachy and Matt. Having committed, passionate folks who know their stuff and can handle their own without micro-management, allows us to take another step forward in broadening and improving the quality of our coverage. I’ll elaborate a little here, to give credit where it’s due; it’s things like Alanna and Lachy’s knowledge/commitment on women’s basketball, Warren’s expertise and ceaseless effort in research, interviews and constructing storylines for feature pieces, and Luke’s prolific (almost effortless) writing on multiple areas, and Matt’s solid contribution on the FIBA end of things, that’s made the site take a big step forward.

I’m not forgetting our veterans of course; Jayme’s taken it upon himself to do not only writing, but also video/GIFs and graphics, whilst Winston and Hayley have continued to put forth the consistent effort and quality that’s made these guys so important to AITNBA. Warren’s presence here has given us a different voice; having both news cycle coverage and feature pieces visibly enriches the site’s content.

Our multimedia skills have also grown since last year. Alistar used to be the only one who did video, but we now have multiple folks (Warren, Jayme, myself) who can do video, and Winston’s also picked up the basics of nabbing a GIF. Our video skills in turn, have translated into growth on the YouTube channel. It’s not just our writing, but our videos provide another outlet for people to know us – they are embedded into pieces from other sites (including Basketball Australia for example), that gives us added exposure.

How about Instagram? It was an abandoned project that Darrel started initially, but Hayley’s taken complete ownership and grown it from ground zero. We’re closing in on our thousandth follow this year, and it’s Hayley who’s curated the mix of Aussie hoop snaps and videos (not forgetting hashtagging) that’s allowed us to gain notice.

Obviously, not forgetting Damo and Stevo, who have continued to steer the helm together, our third year running. There’s something to be said about knowing the unquestioned commitment all of us have, and reassurance in the fact that we’re all in this journey together, no matter what. And for that, I’m thankful.

OU left when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join Fox Sports Australia presented itself. Ironically, I was the one who made the recommendation. His departure scuttled our coverage somewhat, but life is full of choices like that – you can’t be selfish and deny lifechanging moments like these, just because it doesn’t benefit your end of the scale. I’m glad I was able to pull the string and get him onto a dream career, something he’s thoroughly enjoying these days, for obvious reasons.

It’s a blessing that things have gone the way they have. My time this year has been severely curtailed; two working parents with two kids and no help, calls for a lot of juggling and mad scrambling, especially in the mornings and evenings. I’ve honestly only managed to keep doing what I’m doing at PnR without burning out, because I know for a fact that these guys can be counted on.

The past months have cleared my vision considerably too; I came to terms with the talent drain. The end goal is still for us to grow into our own as a legitimate, big-time media organisation, but I now see us also as a springboard to grow budding journalists, and extend our own network that way. It’s also sharpened my desire to only invest time and effort into grooming people who are committed to us in turn.

Enough of this, let’s move on. But I’m excited as always, to see what the next twelve months bring.

Life

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, life is more of a mad scramble these days. I like to think that we’ve adapted our routine decently, the only real downside being a lack of personal time. I do my best not to head out on weekdays, because I know how tough it is getting the kids to bed alone. Basically: things you have to be mindful of, when you’re one half of a team. That’s limited my time to catch up with friends very severely, but I guess it is what it is – this year’s just tough.

V has been a champ throughout, and the kids are well, kids. Elly’s still got her diva/princessy moments, but she’s a trooper most days, just a cheery little beam of sunshine. Lenny on the other hand, is a typical mule-headed wrecking ball most days, and a savant of street smarts sometimes. He hasn’t quite learnt to speak yet, and I’m really curious to find out what his ceiling is, to borrow a term from NBA sports talk.

Holidays

The big three-week “vacation” we had in Singapore, was a masterclass in understanding I didn’t belong in Singapore’s climate anymore. Humidity + heat? No thanks, I’ll pass. Lenny didn’t take things very well either – the poor boy was having a heat rash most days, and would only exist in comfort when an air-conditioned room presented itself.

V and I managed to sneak a sidetrip to Thailand in between. A week of enjoying ourselves as a couple, and forgetting about being parents for a bit. We really needed it. And huge, huge thanks to Marc once more, who’s taken it upon himself to show us so many hidden gems. His hospitality and warmth is undoubtedly the highlight of every Bangkok holiday  I’ve ever had.

The other thing I enjoyed during this trip to Singapore, were the seemingly endless conversations and meetups I had with all the friends who took time out. A big thank you to everyone! I’m obviously not doing the conversations any justice with these one-liners, but here we go.

This includes:

  • Endless suppers with LS, a great pool session, shopping, and what could likely be my biggest achievement in 2016 – successfully taught her to cycle (again). I’m pretty sure she’ll remember it for good this time.
  • My old mate ahlong, where no topic is ever off limits. Just a couple of old geezers having fun over murtabak, and yakking our heads off.
  • the HOTL3 folks: Adri, Andrew, Aloy and CL, YB – so good to see everyone again, kids and all. Especially Aloy, whom I’ve not met in years. Like, many years.
  • ex-Melbourne folks Honda, Benson, Steph, catching up over good food at Bedok 85
  • Kenneth at Yoshinoya for lunch – thank you for coming all the way down!
  • my buddy from the NS days, WJ who’s still valiantly grinding along the road of entrepeneurship, life and romance.
  • Brian, another pal whom I’ve got along with brilliantly since that fateful BBQ in East Coast, love our talks about life in general. He’s just one of those guys I can talk with and not have to worry about words being taken the wrong way.
  • my basketball folks (Alan, ZY, JH, YL, Victor, CL, even JW’s unexpected appearance). It seems like we ended up eating more than we did basketball.
  • Winston of the PnR gang, who got me back down to Chomp Chomp after countless years of absence. And yes, I got the satay I was aiming for a year ago.
  • QL, who managed to squeeze a quick catchup at a void deck, while disembowelling a late lunch of chicken rice, before rushing back home
  • basketball with my man TX, and getting my wedding album at long last!
  • good old “Uncle” Lester, who came by for dinner and even took us to the airport on D-Day. Always nua, but never fails to deliver.
  • breakfast with WY and Pat at their lovely home, along with little Gracie. Thanks for getting breakfast together, and spending the morning with us 🙂
  • sporadic time with NZ, from basketball to the MRT to his place – just getting chats in whenever we can.
  • breakfast as usual with good old Nick – I love this guy.
  • catching up with my 1-Net guys: ZM, Alvin. Thanks for coming over, and especially to “breadpapa” ZM & “breadmama” XX for taking such good care of Elly at your place.
  • potluck at CT+Momo’s place with ZM, XX, Jack, Megane, Alvin. Riot with the kids trying their best to deep six themselves, with me as the only line of defense. Good seeing everyone again, and much thanks to CT/ZM/XX for helping with the kids especially on the way back 🙂
  • my brother and ex-steward now turned master leatherworker Lawrence, who gave some solid nuggets of wisdom on selling.
  • SJ jie, who came down and had so much fun with Elly,
  • LK, the only one of several poly mates who turned up in the end. All the best for the big journey ahead!
  • Bedok 85 (again – I ate there thrice in two weeks) with Erwin, XQ, Meng, ahlong and Nick. So good to see my buddy XQ, and it’s unnerving how quickly he grasps the finer threads of conversation – never doubted the guy’s intelligence, but damn is he a smart bugger.
  • my trusty KTV mates (SC, HY but especially HJ, who came through in the clutch and sang with me twice!)
  • and not forgetting my old RCY mate SP, who hosted us at his house with his wonderful kids.
  • lastly: I’m glad I got to see little QQ! congratulations again to NZ+MS on their third little bundle of joy.
  • Thanks to all the folks who sent us off at the airport too: Lester, ZM, XX, Meng, Nick 🙂 Really appreciate it!

Basketball

Abysmal failure. I’ve played on a few weekends, and twice in Singapore – that’s it. My shooting’s so bad, I could build the Three Little Pigs several mansions and have spare bricks to show for it. My stamina’s not as bad as I thought it’d be though – that’s a plus.

Gym

My crowning glory of 2016, obviously. And I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in half a year. I’ve written a crapload of words about this already, shall not go into excessive detail.

I went from 63kg and peaked at 72kg, before my trip. I then proceeded to lose 3kg by exercising minimally, and eating unhealthy, delicious food in an uncontrolled manner. Wait, what? I know right.

Anyway. I’m currently hanging at 69kg, and will slowly work my way back to the grand 70. the goal right now is to gain slow, gain muscle, and not get fat.

Personal

I haven’t been obviously aware of a perspective shift this year, but there’s the one mantra that I keep saying these days: managing expectations.

It’s all about setting expectations right, and making sure people aren’t disappointed/underwhelmed by what you’re promising. Communication is the key, and seriously, this applies to everything in life. The sooner you realise this, the better.

Presents

The brother dug through my wishlist and came up with a DVD box set for How I Met Your Mother, plus Liz Climo’s Lobster is the best medicine. Can’t complain!

Also got a bunch of Esprit T-shirts, courtesy of LS when I was in Singapore. Love my favourite shopper.

Cards

Elly made one at school, a yellow-hued, feathery-fronted creation that showcases an orange/black heart inside – my favourite colours, she says. At least I didn’t get a drawing of myself this time! I’m looking forward to next year’s card already.

And of course, there is the usual card, courtesy of LS. Late but never absent!

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“Yoz!

Was great having you back & around the last couple of weeks. Sorry your birthday card is late again Haha. Didn’t get around to doing it till now (your bday week) Hee! ^^

So glad to have you back! Got back my supper buddy, my swimming companion etc. It’s been a great 2 weeks span! Really had a great time catching up & doing all the various activities including cycling (albeit learning) Lolx.

Hope to see you again soon in Oct!

Counting down till the time comes… Till then Take Care!

Thank You for Always Being There ❤

Have a Blessed & Joyous Bday”

 

WhatsApp

LS: Happy bday to my dearest Fren!!
Hope u gonna have an awesome day ahead^^ 😘

Nick: Happy Birthday Bro ^^ hehe go have a good day (o ̄∇ ̄o)♪

Stan: Happy birthday kor. Hope this year will be better than the last, and that the DSL will continue its streak 🙂

SC: Have a great day ahead my fren. 🎂🎉🍾

Adri: Oh yes happy bdae to my jul babies 😘

Andrew: Happy birthday kein !

PR: Happy birthday, Kein!!! Stay fit and active!

ahlong: Happy 35th.. many happy returns..

NZ: Happy Keinday! Hope you had a good one! Didn’t get to hang out much with y when u were in SG. Sorry abt that.

Bill: Happy birthday brother

HJ: Happy Belated Birthday my fav K-partner!! :)) Hehe sorry this is late, kept meaning to message ytd but missed it still in the end 🙊  Hope you had a great one!

Facebook

Avi: Happy birthday my friend! God bless 🙂

Cousin Noelle: Happy birthday

Jim: Happy Birthday KM! I can’t believe you actually tried to slip this one by me. Like that would ever happen! Keep kickin’ ass and takin’ names Kein! You are the future!

Benny: Happy Birthday Lao Da !!!

Damo: Happy birthday mate!

Nash: Wish you many many happy returns of the day batman. Stay blessed

Lukas: Happy Birthday Kein Chua!

ZM: Happy Bird day Mr Kein

Estee: Happy birthday! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Jack: Happy Birthday!

Dad: 遲来的祝褔,兒子生日快乐,步步高升,心想事成 😙😙

Jas: Happy birthday IT guy!!!! Catch up soon drinks

Allanah: Happy Birthday Kein!

CP: Happy birthday!!

MS: Blessed birthday! Lovely photo!

Mum: 🎂 生口快樂!差点忘了!哈哈哈胡塗的娘

SJ jie: Happy birthday di! Woo hoo~ enjoy yourself!

Mono: Happy Birthday Keino! Have a cracking day 🙂

Kim: hey! your birthday was yesterday right? happy birthday!! 🙂 sorry it’s late!

Slack

Damo: Birthday shout-out to @kein !🎂

Hayley: Happy birthday @kein!!!

Winston: You stealthy sonofagun. Happy birthday boss man 🎉🎉

Warren: Happy birthday!

Thanks to Ravi for the well-wishes over email too 🙂 I didn’t forget you bro!

What’s ahead? I have no bloody idea, but I’m sure everything will turn out fine. After all, I’m the god of DSL (Dog Shit Luck aka 狗屎运) and fortune favours the bold. ONWARDS!

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.

Birthdays: keinday 2014, the Larry Legend year!

Guess what? I kept my promise made last year, and TOOK A DAY OFF! I’m amazing. 14 Jul 2015 is a Tuesday though, so I’m fcuked.


In a rather unusual departure from what a usual birthday should be, I took a day off. From the internet, the kids, and everyone else. It has been a bit of a grind recently. The daily commute, work, the ever expanding scope of The Pick and Roll that’s been taking a fair bit of time and energy, it was all eating away at my reserves. I needed to really get away from everything, and just do squat. No Facebook, no Twitter, no emails (hell yeah!) and no kids.

apartment_2014
Like a bawss.

I ended up spending Sunday night alone over at a nice little apartment in the city. Crazy? I loved it.

I’d honestly be happy to live in a pad like this long-term if I was a bachelor. Nice and cosy, just the right amount of room for a single fellow.

  • Caught a movie – 22 Jump Street’s hugely entertaining, and Grill’d had this promo with Hoyts that made it cheaper than buying the ticket by itself.
  • Checked into the apartment, and coughed up the $150 bond (WTF?), to be refunded upon checkout.
  • Idled around, caught a bit of TV (The First Sunday), and conked out for a couple of hours. Bliss.
  • The bowels decided it was time to empty everything and anything, so that was shit. Literally. Not the best feeling, but beats constipation any day.
  • Trudged all the way to Kokoro Ramen, tried their tonkutsu shio ramen with fried chicken. Ramen’s not too bad, soup’s a little thick but feels more homemade (ie not premixed shit.)
  • Bought some chow from Coles, walked back and watched some guys shooting hoops. Ended up playing 2on2 with two Chinese guys (big guy, little guy) and a Korean dude. My teammate (the Korean dude) was automatic from mid-range, and a deadly driver. Not to mention the fact that he was aggressive on D, and went over screens whenever I called them – great player. We killed the Chinese guys for two games straight, just from one single play: I set a screen, they switched on defense and he blew straight by the big guy for layups. They became smarter after that, and hedged really hard on the screen. It was a little slippery due to the drizzle though, so I didn’t bother playing slip screens. That being said, the little guy couldn’t really keep up with him, and my defender was helping really hard on defense, to the point of double teaming him.
  • Lost count of the thousands of times I was wide open from mid-range, my usual sweet spot. I was shit from everywhere all night long on shooting though, the only shots I could make were bank shots apparently. So I got pissed in the end and just banked my remaining shots – the end. I couldn’t do much when I had the ball, as my Korean buddy was camping all the way out at the wing all the time and almost never made cuts. It was either shoot, or pass to him, or drive in (least palatable option due to wet ground.) We had a few good possessions where I cut across the paint from right to left, drawing my big guy away for an instant, and the Korean took the chance to drive straight in for an open righty layup. It’s something good players recognise, and I used to love doing this with Ambrose, back when he was still here. Never had to mention it to him, but he was always on the lookout for opportunities like that.
  • The big guy who was defending me was making remarks to his teammate about me pushing him – he thought I didn’t speak Mandarin. Well, what can you do when the guy you’re guarding is twice your size? I wasn’t going to front him in the post all night long, too much effort for a lazy night. He was pretty good from long range though, I’ll give him that. Couldn’t be stuffed guarding him up close however, floor was too wet and I’d concede an open jumper over an easy layup. Result: we won, like 4 games to 3. Credit to the Korean teammate more than anything else though.
  • Caught Snatch on DVD – such a brilliantly executed movie. Love the characters, the story flow, the way the movie was filmed.
  • Went on to finish about half of The Bourne Identity before calling it a night. Rest, not movie marathon!
streetball_2014
Streetball.

It was a bit of a shock when I woke up to darkness, a king-sized bed and total quiet outside of the alarm. Totally disoriented, and was groggily wondering where the f I was, and then I remembered.

The actual birthday was, normal. Had a haircut, dropped the coins off at the bank, checked out the new Emporium mall, and had a really good lunch and catch up with Cherie. Caught up on emails and the kids at home, and had dumplings for dinner with the family outside. No birthday cake, yep. MILESTONE!


What I learnt from this year’s birthday..
Just being able to lounge on a sofa, kick back and watch DVDs with no regard for anything and everything, is a real luxury. I need more of this. MOAR! I miss having my own private space.

And if you want a birthday cake and celebration and shite, make sure you put the details together yourself. As always, never trust other people to get the job done.


Work
Also very thankful for my new job at CA. Every new role is always a journey of learning, and I’m glad to have an understanding manager, great colleagues and a peaceful environment that allows steady growth, in contrast to the pressure cooker environment that I’ve seen and heard about elsewhere.

On a sidenote, I found it ironic that the decision to found The Pick and Roll stemmed from immense frustration on not being able to write freely. I proceeded to create such an outlet, and then stopped writing anyway, because running the site took almost all of my time. I can only say, whoever’s up there controlling my destiny has a pretty twisted sense of humour.

More about The Pick and Roll. If only running a website was that easy! Register a domain, install a CMS and just write shit? Hardly.

  • Think about the dozens of people who believe in the site, and have come on board as team members. The consistent, ceaseless effort taken in promoting content, and posting informative, entertaining content.
  • The hundreds (or thousands) of people that read our articles, and get entertained by our social media feeds.
  • Our first advertiser even!
  • The technical challenges in keeping the site running (security, improving user experience for writers, improving UI for readers, loading speed, SEO, newsletter blah blah) is a study in itself, and managing relationships, even more so.
  • I’ve learnt so much about tempering the way I say things, and this has been in no small part thanks to Terry’s constant reminders.
  • Thanks once again, to Steve for being such a stellar hand at keeping the Aussie hoops section running without help. I can only say, I wish I was half as competent as he is right now, back when I was his age.
  • Damian too, for being a ceaseless champion of the college cause, and keeping things lively.
  • Our stalwart writers. Fantastic guys like Josh H and Josh L, prolific and capable people, folks I’m very pleased to be working with. The newer guys like Craig, Travis, Mika, Josh P, and of course Olgun, our U17 specialist who’s emerged from his pseudonym and is still rapidly growing from day to day. It’s my dream to one day, have everyone grow and be independent authors, but that goal is still some ways away. Onwards!
  • Editors like Darrel, who’s handled the panel topics with a deft touch, and is looking to have fun with media access in the coming days. Clifton, who has kept up with his job on vetting potential writers and executed with precision.

Life

On to thoughts about the past year. I guess the biggest lifechanger so far, has to be the birth of our little boy. Having a child is a blessing, and two? I call it being infinitely lucky. Another journey full of challenges in the years ahead. I can never fully express the level of appreciation I have for my mum on being around to help. Without her, things at home would come to a screeching halt.

Something that’s not often obvious, is the fact that my life with V is more often than not, a smoothly running stream. We seldom argue, and it’s only at times when I hear about arguments that happen with other couples, that I realise, and once again reaffirm my initial decision to be with her eight years ago. She allows me the space I need to grow into my own person, and peace of mind to focus on my other passions. For that alone, I’m very thankful.

Not forgetting the mother. Her cheerful demeanour and unselfish willingness to help out in every facet of the household from cooking, laundry to the kids, has been an immense boon, I honestly don’t know how we would’ve coped without her. Reckon I’ve got the easiest going mother in the world, and that in itself makes for a world of difference in easing things up at home.

How thankful should one be for having a sibling? Granted it was a biological process that was largely out of my control, but I’m glad that Stan’s been around all these years. For being the kind, understanding soul that he is, and for always doing the little things without complaint. Always the first to put his hand up, and just get the work done – that’s how he’s like. There’s nothing like family, and it’s hard to convey in a few words, how much I appreciate him helping with everything. But thank you.

Also, happy to still be able to able to keep in touch with some of my friends. Having the little boy around has meant much lesser dinners outside and catch up sessions, but I do what I can. Thanks to everyone for understanding, and still reaching out to say hi every now and then, be it via Facebook, WhatsApp etc. Thank you! This includes people like LH, Estee, Alvin among many others.

I reckon the best surprise I’ve had the past year, was the unexpected visit from NZ and MS last month. They literally bought tickets down to Melbourne, pretended “a friend” of theirs was coming by to pass over presents for the kids, and then promptly showed up at my office door, while sending texts in a nonchalant manner until I realised from the messages that they were quite literally, staring at my back. I can be quite dense at times. Love you guys for popping by! Thank you.

Deepest thanks to LS as well, who’s never forgotten about my birthday ever, and I’m looking forward to the gift, no matter what it may be! Much love for always keeping me in your mind all these years.

Not forgetting of course, my best mentor and buddy ZM, who’s always a ready listening ear and at the same time, a fellow ranter at the twisted world we work in 😉 I can say with total honesty that he’s been the greatest influence on my life as far as work ethics go, and that my perspectives would have been much changed, had he not picked “that guy” at the job fair in Tampines a long time ago.

Two other shitty milestones, lifetime firsts. My first ever traffic violation! An illegal left turn into a road that I vaguely remembered was illegal during certain hours, and getting flagged by cops. Well, at least I wasn’t alone. Also, my first accident with a car. Stupidly backed into someone else’s parked car in a lot. It was a rainy day, I let go of the brake while in reverse, and it went BOOM! straight into someone’s driver door. Went in and found the driver, owned up et cetera, looking to get hit with a hefty bill. Having a conscience and doing the right thing is an expensive act.

Holidays

Back to Singapore in December for Christmas, and that was it. 56 friends. 51 sessions. 21 days. Friends, family, food and catching up on the good old books at home.

Not the best performance to date, I’ll have to do better.

Basketball

Abysmal would be a nice word to start this off. There was a stretch when I played twice a week on average, but the play has always been inconsistent. In terms of personal growth, there hasn’t been much improvement. I’m slowly regressing to being jump shot happy more than anything else, which in term stems from a basic principle: make the defender pay for leaving you open. It’s only when the threat is established, that everything else goes.

Hoping for better ball time in the year ahead, but with sleep in short supply the way it is, I’m not optimistic.

Personal

Sometimes, it’s difficult to feel the gradual, and subtle changes that the self goes through in the course of a year. If I had to make a list though, it’ll be:

  • Patience in talking to people, and
  • Not having the patience in wasting time, but trying to get things done as quickly as possible. Or sorting out people’s problems in a similar manner. The rule of thumb is something like, “how can I solve your problem in the most efficient and time-saving way possible, so that you can go away ASAP and let me do my stuff?”
  • Slowing down pace of consuming content. I’ve always been a gamer who waited for the price to drop before getting them, and the same went for movies, electronics etc. Don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.

Present
FG: A pair of new earrings! Just what I needed, have been wearing the same pair (her Christmas present) for a few years now.

Card
FG: (It took me a while to notice that she’d actually painstakingly coloured the front of this card by hand, shit. Love this girl to bits for that extra bit of effort. Like seriously, who does this kind of thing nowadays? She’s hands down, the best giver of presents I’ll ever know.)

ls_card2014

To My Dearest Fren, Kein!

Bought this in Taiwan like eons ago… Finally remembered to use it. Haha. Hope you find it unique.
Hope this card & present reaches you in time. Well what else can I say… It’s Just amazing to have a friend like you in my life. Best thing that ever happened. You know how much I treasure our friendship yeah

Promise to try & find time to go over next year ok! Hee
Have a Beautiful Birthday!

Stan: (Over the hill, over the hill, and wheeeeeeeee rushing down the other way!)

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To: Kein

Thanks for being a great support in my life always. Happy Birthday and I hope things stay peaceful always. A quiet life is a peaceful life! May life continue to bless you with a smooth road ahead.


WhatsApp

*Screen captures because I couldn’t replicate emojis in text
Adri: Happy birthday in adv to july boys 😉
Nick:
nickwish
CL: Happy Birthday Kein!!! May all your wishes be fulfilled!! And enjoy ur day with your loved ones!!
ZM:
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Peiru: Happy birthday, Kein!!!
Andrew: Happy birthday kein!
Jasmine: Happy birthday it guy:))) whats on?
NZ: Happy Birthday mate! Have a good one!
Bill: Happy birthday man, have a good one bro
Clifton: Happy birthday bro. Have a great one and see you soon!
SJ jie: Hi di, Happy Birthday! Have fun! May you have many joyful days and stay healthy!
Lester: Hello boss. Happy birthday! Sorry a bit late. Just woke up. Heh.
HJ: Happy Birthday! 🙂
LK: Happy Birthday Bro! hope u had a blast. =)
Cherie:
cheriewish

Facebook PM
Steve: Btw happy birthday to the keinmiester. Hope your family spoils you, and you enjoy the day 😀
Jim: Yes yes, many happy returns Kein! Hope you knock their socks off in the next year!
Huijia: Happy birthday Kein! May all ur dreams cm true!
Wing: happy birthday kein
Alistar: Happy Birthday man hope you enjoy the day! You going to the wizards with pierce? Haha 😉

Facebook wall posts
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Email
Terry: Happy birthday if I don’t speak to you beforehand.

Twitter
Justin: A big Happy Birthday to @kein, my Brother from another Mother.

Twitter DM
Francis: Happy birthday K 🙂

SMS
ahlong: Happy 33rd.. you know it’s coming, thus revel the day and toast the achievements of yesteryear.. live long and prosper.


Here’s to another great year of continued good health, DSL (dog shit luck, it means something in Chinese) and continued life improvement. Hoping for life to get bigger and better as the years continue to go by, and for more fond memories in the days to come. May this ride continue for a while more, because I’m not ready to get off just yet.

Birthdays: keinday 2013

The fun of hindsight! There was this bit at the end of last year’s birthday post that read:

Next year (14 Jul 2013 is a SUNDAY), I am so gonna plan a getaway. Me time, period.

I’m typing this post at home, so you can tell how this idea worked out.


This was how keinday 2013 went:

  • Drove out at 0130hrs because Stan’s car broke down, and he needed a lift home.
  • Balled in the morning, thanks for the birthday wishes guys.
  • Had lunch with Stan and Clifton.
  • Drove Stan out to grab Lester’s car, which didn’t go so well because his car battery was flat.
  • Dinner at home.
  • Entertained my dear daughter: roughhousing
  • Put her to bed.
  • Work, work and work while composing this post.

Just another Sunday, in short. Not the best, could be tons better. Oh well. Here comes next year’s proclamation: next year is a Monday, I vow to take leave and get the eff away from work! (If I have a job.)

Got a birthday cake the next day thanks to Stan and V, yum.

2013 birthday cake

Not forgetting the birthday dinner on the 16th for Stan and me at T.G.I Fridays with V, Jasmine, Bill and Doris. Thanks for taking the time out, appreciate it!


As it is, another year has passed and it’s time for the annual birthday post. Every year brings new experiences, and this year has been no exception. Change, growth and learning, always a part of life these days.

What the hell has been going on this year?

Work
Since stopping full-time employment, work has been subdivided into three categories, SAHD work, the IT work kind of work, and the everything-else-that-I-do-for-fun-work.

Being a full-time dad has its own days in heaven and hell, and I have learnt a lot from being one. This has however, come to an end for now with mum being a full-time carer for her overactive grandchild. That being said, the entire family’s happiness level literally rides with little Elly. When she’s upset/crying/unwell, everyone gets thrown into Shitville.

The IT sort of work offers its own challenges. Working under my own freelance business, I had to learn to meet clients by myself, figure out requirements, do invoices, chase payment, a lot of which I hadn’t had to do previously. I’m very thankful for the exposure that I got during the Netbay years though, as it definitely helped prepare me better for this stage. Great eye-opener, meeting new people, very fun at times.

Everything else, which has mainly been writing. I worked with several places, most notably US Sports Down Under, which was instrumental in helping me with the experience of a lifetime: getting a media pass to a Boston Celtics game.

Writing at US Sports Down Under somehow led to my creation of Celtics Down Under, and I’m really pleased with the way everyone has come together and supported our growing brand, from writing articles to posting updates on the Facebook page, to having our own Celtics PS artwork done and shared for everyone’s enjoyment. Love the way this has taken off; it’s not a raving success, but rather a quiet little movement that’s slowly gaining traction.

One thing that’s not really work, but fun nonetheless: I was using a Nokia N9 last year, and my writings about the Nokia N9’s unofficial WhatsApp app (known as Wazapp) exploded like wildfire and drove pageviews way up, simply because no one else on the internet had properly documented fixes and patch downloads the way I did. Ahh, the power of the intarwebs.

Thanks to Chris, I also had the opportunity to work on content sourcing as a freelance assignment. It’s good experience, and I’m always happy to have a shot at trying new roles that are usually inaccessible.

And how about the latest venture I’ve been working on? Stay tuned, more details to be released. It’s secret for now 😉

The last bit: jobhunting has proved to be way harder than I thought it would be, and I’m getting a big fat zero for job applications so far. Zero, as in zero interviews. How exciting is that? Economy’s bad, guess there is a shitload of better qualified blokes out there working the lines for the same jobs. No shame, just gotta endure. Plus, it’s a learning experience too.

Life
One big event that sticks in my head – the time when V had vertigo. It was hell for her, it was hell for me too, especially when I had to juggle Elly and her while driving to a GP, then to the hospital, whilst looking for parking in between. Such a long, awful day. I’m just glad it’s all behind me.

My body wasn’t holding up so well in the second half of 2012 too, I suspect it came from accumulated fatigue and strain from having to carry Elly all the time. It got so bad, I was resorting to a standing desk experiment at one time. It took a few months of acupuncture and remedial massages before my back recovered. I thought I had problems with my rotator cuff and ulnar nerve at different times, things that healed by themselves – thankful.

Got to watch Mayday live in Melbourne once more, it was a great night. Not forgetting Kings of Convenience for the second time, love their carefree style of music. And my first ever concert watching Hanson, after rediscovering their music. Too many fangirls. The wait was bad, but the performance was well worth it.

Being so busy with random work stuff has sadly killed a couple of other pursuits I used to enjoy, namely PS3 gaming and photography. I still am keen on them, but the energy and time required is simply not there. As things stand now, happy to get time to maintain my reading habit.

Once more, very thankful to the friends who have stayed in touch. Also very thankful to have my family around. A mother who helps out without complaint plus a supportive brother, a wife who has always been a pillar of strength, and an amazingly smart daughter who’ll probably outfox me very soon. The older I get, the deeper the feeling of appreciation.

Holidays
Two (or three) trips, depending on how you look at it.

Flew back to Singapore in November and attended the weddings of two great friends, caught up with as many friends as I could during the rest of the free days I had.

While I was in Singapore, I also took the opportunity to go on a short getaway with the FG to Bangkok. Easy destination, and it was good to see Marc again. Likely the last holiday the two of us’ll ever take together. It was tough enough to get this trip done, and I’m happy that I had the chance to travel with my best friend once again before circumstances made it impossible.

The best trip? It’ll have to be my trip to the States with V. An awesome long haul flight courtesy of Air New Zealand (the best legroom ever), the best destinations ever (love New York and Boston, especially the burgers!), the NBA games (!!!), the opportunity to catch up with a couple of friends, especially HQ whom I hadn’t seen in years! Much thanks to her and Robert for their hospitality in putting us up during our stay in California. Glad to have had some couple time with V too, we had been taking turns to go on holidays ever since Cookie came into the picture. Also, this was a good long break away from the family, something the two of us needed badly – time, space, and sleep. I dubbed this trip the belated honeymoon, simply because we hadn’t had one after our wedding.

Basketball
Biggest bummer of the year: spraining my ankle in Singapore while blocking some guy’s layup. It’s healed, but it’s never going to be as strong as it was without extensive rehab. The answer? Taping my ankle before every session has become a necessary evil.

Recently, somehow found a way to shoot (and make the shot) consistently, much thanks to that morning session with Clifton at NMRC. The trick is in setting my feet, and releasing the shot in the most natural form (to me). Setting feet = half the battle won.

Also started playing without contact lenses as a way to save money, then realised I didn’t need them anyway. How do you spell win-win?

Stopped playing league on Sundays, largely due to monetary issues. A lack of income does bring you down somewhat. I was beginning to find stagnation in my role within the team though, it’s been largely reduced to “on offense: dribble the ball upcourt slow, pass it off to the wing and get ready to play transition D while committing minimal TOs”. Man, but do I feel like Dooling without a jumpshot.

Two new initiatives that I started this year, and am really happy with: a long-term booking at Caulfield, and another at Carlton. The Caulfield one has always been popular, and I’ve always had no problem finding guys to play. The Carlton session though, is another bag of tricks altogether. It was meant to be a training session, but the lack of numbers has made it relatively difficult to sustain. It’s degenerated into casual pickup ball at this point which improved the numbers somewhat, but the pricing is still something that needs to be worked out, or else.

Aim is to improve on my right hand’s finishing, and to develop a more aggressive mindset on offense.

Personal
I do feel older this year, and likely it’s because I’m effing 32 years old! It was funny when I went for an interview the other day and got mistaken for 22. It might have been possible a few years back, but I reckon I have aged a fair bit since.

One suggestion that I will do my best to work on this year, is to be more expressive of appreciation for work done.

Another thing that comes to mind, is to improve my focus on getting things done, and not get sidetracked from multitasking.


Presents
Number 1: As always, the brother is the first to kick this off. This year’s kickass Celtics present:
2013_present_stan

A book about the Celtics’ 2007/08 NBA championship run, and a DVD on Kevin Garnett – sweet. If he’d asked me about the book though, I would’ve told him that I’d bought the Kindle edition off Amazon last year and saved him some dough. Still, it’s a great book to keep. E-books are handy and all that, but a hardcopy has a different feel to it altogether. Thanks for the presents!

Number 2: In transit. Got a Star Wars Jedi bathrobe WOOOOOOOOOT! Mucho thanks to the FG for getting me this love it.

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Number 3: A $50 Amazon gift card from Nanzhen. Easy to use, easy to give. Like. Thanks so much brother!

Number 4: A Kevin Garnett swingman jersey in white/green, thanks so much to Bill and Doris!

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Number 5: A Stay Real T-shirt, also from the FG! Two words: love it. Already cost a bomb by itself, plus the expedited shipping, hell of a bomb. Love the gesture, the effort and of course the dough spent on me.

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Number 6: A book on the history and famous athletes in basketball, bound in basketball leather. Thank you Benny and Wing!

Number 7: An Iron Man Mark 42 Hero’s Edition figure. Cute! Thanks to breadpapa Neo for the belated present.

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=writininkeini-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00E4HW5EO&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr


Cards
Number 1: I got an e-card from the FG that reads:

Dearest Kein, Sorry for the cardless birthday this year! So here’s an ecard on behalf to wish you a joyful, eventful 32nd birthday… All the way from Singapore!!! Haha. As usual, glad to have you as my friend. The one that understands me the most! And stands by me no matter wat. Cheers to our friendship!!! Big hugs! P.S. your present is otw!! Only standard shipping choice so you gotta wait awhile!

ecard_ls

Number 2: The ACTUAL birthday card from the FG! One of the things I so look forward to every year, one of the things that I think of as a part of an unchanging tradition, always and always. One can always hope!

Dearest BFF, Sorry for the super duper late gift (2nd one) & birthday card. But like they say… Better Late Than Never!!! HaHa

Heee…
Sorry for the late birthday present… Well at least you received sth you wanted already! Kept you waiting for THIS; and I meant the card.
Although we don’t talk much these days, you would still be the person I would turn to & I know you will be there. Thank you for standing by me no matter where you are! So impt to me!
Alwayz so emotional when I write to you. Haha. Miss the good old days… Ohh speaking of which TQ for the keychain. Hope you like the 2nd gift too!
See you around soon I hope. Miss You!

2013-09-10 00.27.33


WhatsApp

  • Sharon: (assorted emoji: beer, party favour, smiley, camera, cake – I’m thinking that’s a birthday wish!)
  • Peiru: Happy birthday, Kein!
  • Lishi: Haha Happy birthday!!! Card coming with another surprise!
  • Nanzhen: Happy Birthday Kein
  • Nick: (a huge ASCII emoticon that I think is a birthday cake)
  • Erwin: Happy Bdae Kein!
  • Meishan: Nn n stuffy says happy birthday Uncle Kein!
  • Meng: No happy birthday Kein (I know he’s saying the opposite deep inside!)
  • Lester: Eh forgot to wish u happy birthday!
  • Zhiming: How can I forget … Happy Birthday my worst friend ever! Without you my life would never be complete! Hahaha Have a wonderful “new” year ahead & get a great job real soon 😉

Email
Shijie: Hi di, here’s wishing u a very happy birthday! All the best!


Skype
Fulin: happy bday man (^)


Twitter (new!)

  • Tommy: Birthday shoutout to @kein! Happy birthday bro!
  • Justin: Happy Birthday to @CelticsDownUnd creator and all around great guy @kein !! #MasterK
  • Matt: RT-ed Justin with “2nd”
  • Andrew: RT-ed Justin with “I second that. Happy b’day champ.”
  • Dave: RT-ed Justin with “All hail Master K!”

Facebook

(a lot of my Celtics Down Under folks with the birthday wishes, love them! Same to the other fantastic folks who dropped a line)

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That’s all for this year, time to look forward to the days ahead, stay positive and keep on grinding. You’ll notice I used the word thankful a lot, because that’s the one word that always sticks in my head every day. One can never have enough humility to overshadow our pride, and enough gratitude for the lives we lead every day. Stay healthy and happy everyone.

Birthdays: keinday 2012

So.

keinday yet again. The year simply flew by, far as I can tell. In contrast to the previous years, this year’s been full of changes. My first year with a kid in tow, moving to our very first (mortgaged) home, and a career change ahead. I suppose becoming a SAHD qualifies as a big career change; I can’t very well do a conf t into my daughter and apply shutdown on int Mouth0. Cisco joke heh, sorry guys I had to do it.

What else has been going on the past year?

Work
The usual stuff, nothing earthshaking. Firefighting network outages, hanging on the phone to explain for the Nth time that yes-this-is-a-problem-on-your-side without success, meeting new partners, honestly not a landmark year. Got started on virtualisation though, which has been a real eyeopener. The real landmark is the end of my employment with the company at the end of this month. It’s unreal how quickly four years have flown by. I’ll write a longer post on this later, but change is coming.

Life
Nothing much, unless you count having a daughter as a big deal. Oh right, it is kind of a disruption to my lifestyle, I hadn’t really realised that. Between that and the logistics involved in housemoving, it’s been a strain. It’s been a real blessing to have had my mum and my mother-in-law over in turns to help with childcare. Not to mention the tower of strength V has been with lack of sleep, having to work and holding up admirably under all the constant juggling. And the great help Stan has been; never discount the power of having a brother around.

Or the fact that we went up to Canberra for the first time, what a trip. And what a drive.

Ah yes. I applied for, and got my Australian residency this year – such a wonderful milestone.

And watching Frankie Valli up live, awesome. And A-Mei for the first time, what a performer! And Jacky Cheung again, moved me to no end.

And yes, the friends! Thankful to all of you for being around, and for staying in touch.

Holidays
Two trips to Singapore, not sure if they counted. One trip for family visiting, the other to attend to the passing of my father-in-law. Somber moment, but I still enjoyed the time spent catching up with my old friends.

Basketball
Began my foray into league basketball, a totally different game compared to pickup. For starters, there’s no time to warm up. Not to mention tacky ref calls, the importance of spacing in offense, and of course managing the moolah aspect of things. It has been a learning experience with ups and downs, much more ahead of me.

I love the Friday morning training sessions, although it’s always been a PITA to wake up that early and work on my game before work, but it’s all about passion! Thanks to Dinesh for all the sessions so far.

Looking ahead, I plan to hone my instincts with the “take what the defense gives you”, instead of going with a set plan. And to be a less hesitant passer, and a more decisive attacker.

Personal
Small adjustments here and there.

  • For example, I’m enforcing a habit to make eye contact (even strangers) wherever I go. Not for too long of course, that would be rude. But it’s a measure of respect and attention in conversation, and a chance to kick the good old subservient habit of looking at the floor.
  • Or my desire to maintain a straighter posture when seated; it takes but one day to breed a bad habit, but years to develop a healthy one.
  • Finding out what drives me. I believe in doing things for passion, not for money. I love to read about upcoming technology, I want to share interesting content with people. I want to write and develop my blog into a vehicle that represents the various facets of who I am. How do I turn all of these into something concrete? I’m still working on it.
  • Understanding what I excel at. I’m a horrible business person, an entrepeneur with an awful attention span. I get bored with routine. What I’m good at though, is focusing on implementation, most especially projects with defined constraints. I drill down to the requirements, focus on how it should get done, and chew away at the list in an incessant (and sometimes efficient) manner until the job gets done.

The day’s a quiet day far as I can tell. Overslept, we rushed down to the new place to meet the contractor up while Stan held the fort down.

Yumcha at Shark Fin House with the family in tow, followed by a good afternoon nap (slacked off on Bunnings and Aldi runs, thanks to V and Stan for letting me off) and a really excellent dining experience at Hotel Windsor with V.

So, the great tally begins afresh.

Presents
Numero uno! Got it on 16 Jul. Stan got me a Ray Allen genuine autographed game photo from our legendary trip to the States, and especially to Boston when we witnessed shot 2,561. Ray in mid-air, in perfect shooting form ready to give that effortless flick. You can see the crew on the sideline – Bradley, Harangody, PP, Semih, Nate and KG, along with the coaching staff. Rondo, having just fired that good old transition three pass, already watching in anticipation; Perk charging into the paint mid-stride. Von Wafer at the three line, watching. And most of all, the fans all ready to get to their feet and cheer, the suspense of the night simply overwhelming. It was a magical moment, and a great present. Thanks to the brother for this brilliant gift.

Nombor dua: Andy’s red packet. Thanks for the thought man, mucho appreciated.

Number three: V bought a ticket to Frankie Valli for me earlier this year – great show, loved it.

Number four: The somewhat exhorbitant present I requested: a Casio G-Shock GR8900A-7 watch. Solar powered, looks very cool, and it’s from the FG. What more can I ask for? She’s always the best at giving presents.


Cards
Card #1: Stan’s card, in an envelope that says For: The Celtics Basketball Fan of The House. The card itself say (Hip Hip) HOO RAY. No one else gets it, but this is an obvious pun to the headline we saw in Boston after Ray’s recordbreaker. I mean this headline heh heh:

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Inside, it says:

To: The Best Brother I Could Ask for
Thanks for sharing the passion (with a hand-drawn shamrock labelled 18)
Hopefully #18 is near!
More Celtics basketball years ahead!

(A hand-drawn basketball here) And thanks for this

2012 has been/is/will be a great year of new beginnings and change.
Here’s to many more years of awesomeness ahead! And as always thank you for everything.
Happy Birthday!

This gift was chosen to commerate (sic: his spelling, not mine) The Boston Trip.
Unfortunately, Ray left 😦

Stan
14/7/2012

(P.S. Chose this card to go with your gift. Pun intended.)
(P.P.S. The pen sucked. Had to switch)


Card #2: The one present I can count on every year, the FG Lishi’s card! It features a giraffe with a tiara, titled A Birthday question: What Do you BUY someone who has ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING?

Inside, it says:

Muahahaha….

You shall get nothing this birthday… ‘cept for this Bday card. Good enuff? Since you’ve got everything so you need NOTHING! Kidding lah… your present shall come later. Request came too late so not in tiem to hunt for what you want. Patience pls! 好的东西是值得等的!

Hope you receive this in time! Haha. Habit of sending out late. Better late than never anyway. I’m the only one left k. For you only!

Looking forward to Nov when you come back! Can’t wait! Movie & Swimming & hopefully BKK. Yeah.

Happy house-shifting for now! Bet it’s a handful with Ting Ting around. Can go to your new house next year.,.. If i’m going. Hehe. Will try to plan one next year.

Ending with something common. Thanks for being there; Though not physically but ermm, you know.. “There”.

Have a great birthday. Cheers!

My BFF!

Best rgds
FG


SMS

  • Benson: Happy birthday!!! How u gg to celebrate?
  • Nick: world is unfair but i hope u had a good n relaxing day today. along with all ur great memories, u will hv more greater moments ahead. Happy Birthday! (^o^)/
  • ahlong: Many happy wishes, good health and more successful layups n taiko 3pointers..

WhatsApp

  • Stan: Happy bday to you. Unfortunately your present gotta wait till Monday
  • Lishi: Btw, happy birthday!!! Just nice… Haha
  • Bill: Happy birthday man!!
  • Adri: Happy bdae dude! 30 and beyond! Cheers looking forward to meet up in Nov
  • Meishan: Dear friend, blessed bday!! Going anywhere to celeb? Stuffy n nn says happy birthday too!!
  • Lester: Hello boss happy birthday
  • Erwin: Kelvin: Happy Bdae 🙂 🙂 🙂
  • Sharon: (various emoticons that I can’t replicate here)

Skype
Weijie: hey man, jus realise it’s your birthday. Happy birthday! =)

Facebook/MSN
The traditional list of screencaps follows.

  • It was a fatal mistake to keep the browser’s zoom at 110% for Facebook. In short, the copy-and-paste job was torture.
  • And Timeline made things even more of a bitch, because events are scattered left and right instead of a straight line.
  • Not listed in sequential order because I did it, then redid it like three times over to add the belated wishes.
  • The total approximately halved this year, whew. Thanks again to the ones who posted!




(You can tell how important the damn 14th of July is, by the amount of effort I spend on doing this annual post. TBH, it’s approximately ten times the amount of time and energy I spend on an average blog post.)

What I learnt from this year’s birthday..
is that I should have taken a leaf from last year and did the same routine. Maybe watch a good movie alone, spend an afternoon hidden somewhere reading a book, then have a good dinner with friends and family. Well, that was what I would have planned if it fell on a weekday. Weekends are unfortunately splattered with random family commitments, especially with the house stuff going on.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the hours of conversation with V at dinner just now; it’s been ages since we had time to ourselves to talk without the interruption of the Internet. The day was just less enjoyable than I thought it would be, but ah well we live and learn.

Next year (14 Jul 2013 is a SUNDAY), I am so gonna plan a getaway. Me time, period.

Birthdays: keinday 2011, the 30 hath arrived!

Damn, 30 years old! Good thing I don’t feel old though, the years have certainly been kind.

So, what else has been going on in the last year?

Work: Time just whizzed by. There would be lull periods and then an occasional fault; I spent a great deal more time in the datacenter than I did last year. Got pissed off at things which hindered me from doing work which is nothing new. New projects on the way, more new things to learn for sure. Picked up pieces on integrating SOAP on Windows server environments, something I was forced to do through the incompetence of others. Revamped my LinkedIn profile, does this count? Used less of the formal language structuring, and reverted to a more colloquial style which I think represents my personality better. Continued to improve on social skills – this is something hard to quantify but I think I’m making progress. My ability to handle responsibility (and incidentally, stress) have levelled up considerably as well.

Holidays: Had an epic trip to the States with my brother Stan. Stuck at the airport, check. Watched NBA games up live and in person, check. Slipped on ice, check. Froze my balls off, check. Got sick of taking United flights, check. Enjoyed great shopping and fantastic chow, check. Unforgettable for years to come, check.

Basketball: Pretty much stagnated ever since the indoor sessions died down, but we are looking to join a basketball league this year and I’m looking forward to exciting days ahead! I’m looking to polish 1-on-1 skills at this point rather than team stuff. Improve driving and jumpshots for the most part, plus right-handed drives and post-up shots.

Photography: Very stagnant, have not been shooting too much. There is just that prevailing indolent attitude going on in this topic at this point of time. I certainly need to kick off this laziness and take the camera out more often.

Life: Spent a great deal of time thinking about it, but finally plonked a chunk of moolah on this shiny rock with a metal ring we know as an engagement ring and proposed last year. Killed a lot of brain cells and getting generally frustrated planning the wedding. Ranted non-stop about the roadblocks to anyone and everyone. Enjoyed the wedding and the process of getting married. Enjoyed the company of all the dear friends who came over. And the latest project: getting our first kid on the way, who is due in December this year.

Personal: Continued my usual thinking throughout the year, reflection on one’s actions is always an important part of self-improvement. I try to think more before I speak in diplomatic situations, to be honest with people I hold dear, to always enjoy every day of my life, and to be content in the moments of happiness that come by. I’m also happy that I have managed to keep in touch with most of the people important to me, and wish that I will be able to do this for all my beloved friends.


Onwards with the surprise birthday dinner! So we had this dinner at The Yar a week before the birthday and a cake was hauled out at the end of the buffet dinner when I was already stuffed – very surprised!

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Especially thankful to Jasmine for organising the whole deal (including the delicious cake) and also to Bill, Andy, Doris, Stan and V for going along with it.

So what else did I do on the birthday?

  • Applied for leave, visited the obstetrician with V in the morning. Everything’s good with the baby!
  • Had awful pseudo-Japanese food by Chinese folks at the Chadstone food court, really bad. Should make it a rule never to eat fake Japanese food in food courts ever ever
  • Watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 by myself at Hoyts Directors Suite – awesome seat, awesome ending to the Potter franchise.
    Well done guys you get a 4.9 from me, 0.1 deducted thanks to Harry breaking the Elder Wand (WTF moment) and the snipped dialogue from Ron to his kid at King’s Cross Station at the end. I like to think that the added screentime along with fantastic direction and visuals gave this film what it needed to present a glorious wrap.
  • Dinner with Clement, Clifton and the family at Ying Thai 2.

Present list!
From Lishi: an Esprit tee and an Esprit checkered shirt. My annual topup to the wardrobe, fits just right 😀 Thanks FG! I’m still waiting for my card :X

Card arrived 25th Jul! The card this year is one that says “29 FOREVER – I never lie…” on the cover. harhar. harhar.

Inside, it reads:

DEAREST KEIN

Hey there!

Sorry for the late birthday card (although you’ve got your bday gifts already). Hehe. Wanted to send from Krabi but it was a very quiet place, no have nice cards, only postcards so apologies for the latecoming!

Btw, i’m meeting up with Minghui at this very moment. Haha. He’s looking at me while i’m writing this up. Muahahaha.

Congrats on the coming new arrival to your newly set-up family. Help me convey my greetings to Ellen as well. I’ll try to go over n see my ‘godson’ next year!
Something to look forward to.

Alrite, I’ll end here. Hope you enjoy your birthday & Harry Potter! Try to come back this year leh!

P.S The card very adequate right?
Hehe.

Yours Sincerely,
Lishi aka FG

From V: a copy of Legends of Lone Wolf #12 – The Rotting Land. AT LAST! This book has been on my list for the longest time ever, thanks babe : )

From Stan: a black Angry Birds tee with the caption Flip The Bird.
And a card with a pair of faux tits (lol) that reads:

To: Kein aka my brother

2011 has been a year of BIGS:
– Boston Trip
– THE Wedding
– 30 years of existance

And not forgetting THE Baby!
Thank you for being a great role model, brother, friend and much more.
Looking fwd to many years more of awesomeness!
Happy Birthday!

Stan
13/7/11

From Bill & Andy: an infantino Breathe Vented Comfort baby carrier. Thanks for the gift guys! I really appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into it and it probably could come in handy (and here’s the part where I sound like an ungrateful bitch) but I was hoping to get something for me rather than something for my kid. After all it’s my birthday and it really feels very sad when even the day that marks my birth gets overshadowed by the impending arrival of my kid. Yes, I’m relatively egocentric.

To be honest I was quite glum about this the entire morning but I guess I should be grateful people are bothered enough to buy a present as it is; one should always learn to count one’s blessings.


Well-wishes: This year the list is a little long, much longer than I thought it would be. I’m a simple guy who’s easily contented and really, these messages make me very grateful to everyone who remembers, and bother enough to drop a message. Each message I read reminds me of the wonderful (or awful sometimes) days I have had with that person, and I feel happy thinking about the indelible memories we shared together. My Griffiths classmates, people from Ngee Ann (especially Swim Team as always), Temasek mates, RCY, NS, 1-Net, work, basketball (Changkat, Melbourne) and everywhere after. You guys are the best.

SMS:
Keith:
Happy birthday Kein , all the best this year!!!

ahlong:
Happy birthday bro..

Nanzhen:
Happy Birthday bro! Welcome to the 30 club… Haha. Enjoy ur day and ur movie!

Lishi:
My whatsapp got prob… Suddenly can’t connect. Will be home late leh. Btw happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WhatsApp:
Meishan:
Happy birthday, daddy-to-be!

Nick:
was waiting for 12 but ah? u are 2 hrs ahead…. haha

will the year ahead be ur most wonderful and loved ever. be happy and fill of joy to come, and have chance and luck along u always hehe U hit 30 liao hahaand i’m joining u real soon ^0^

Great Birthday!! Great Friend!!

Zhiming:
Happy Birthday PIG! May u get purple cloak n horse n wonderful things in life …. Hate u deeply …. ZM 🙂

Lester:
Yo Happy birthday

Sharon:
Happy belated burfday!! Sry I’m late:) was away on cruise:) hee

MSN:
XX says (11:50 PM):
halo…xx here… Happy Birthday 2u …

Zhongming says (12:37 PM):
hapi belated bdae~

Skype:
Wenqi (02:26 AM):
bro, happy birthday

Facebook:
Apologies if the alignment is out, the list was really too long so I mucked it up somewhat. And be warned, this list is very, very long.