Aston Martin in Dubai – HDR

Aston Martin, Dubai Showroom

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Walk You Home

This song came from the Thai movie “I Fine Thank You Love You”.  It makes me want to be beside the girl I’m hoping to be with for the rest of my life.

I will be visiting her this weekend in Dubai.  Finally after more than six months I will be able to see her again in person.

I miss her and because I miss her I’m planning to walk her home every end of our days together there in Dubai.

Dealing with Disappointments

I have been disappointed a lot in my life.  One disappointment came early last year.  The girl I was dating at the time broke my heart by telling me she does not like me because I am fat.  Yeah…brutal!

I dealt with that disappointment quite badly.  I went into almost a year long depression that led to me quitting my last job.  I was also constantly thinking about ending all of it.

In the end, I managed to get through that part of my life that was a VERY rough journey and because of that journey I managed to find my real friends especially one girl named Anna.  She’s one of those friends you can always depend on and I was lucky to have her as a friend.  Her husband is even luckier to have her as a wife.

I guess life is indeed meant to have disappointments because through them we become better.  The important thing is to learn to handle them that will not lead you to destruction like becoming a drug addict, alcoholic, or even to the point of committing suicide.

Iskina Cebu – Lechon in Singapore

I had this insatiable craving for lechon, or roasted pig.  Lechon is a Filipino dish that came from the Spanish influence in my country.  The pig’s innards are discarded and herbs and spices are placed inside the pig before the entire pig is roasted over an open flame.

I have been looking for a good lechon place here in Singapore and I think I found one that I’ll come back to one of these days.

The place is called Iskina Cebu.  The lechon is of the Cebu style of cooking lechon which is believed to be the best type of lechon in the Philippines.

Iskina Cebu is located at Paya Lebar right across the Paya Lebar MRT.  The exact address is:

Geylang East Industrial Estate, 1016 Geylang East Avenue 3 389731

Unfortunately, when I arrived there around 1pm, they have already ran out of their original Cebu lechon.  Only the spicy kind was left.  Since I didn’t want the day to be a waste I decided to try the spicy Cebu lechon.  It was S$10 worth.

Iskana Cebu Spicy Lechone Meal - S$10

Iskina Cebu Spicy Lechon Meal – S$10

I loved the taste of it.  In fact, I liked it more than the lechon I tasted from Zubuchon and CBT in Cebu.  The pig’s skin was crispy and so tasty.  The serving was also well worth the S$10 I gave for a meal in a hawker.

The only complaint I had was that the part of the pig I got was a bit too fatty.  After a few mins my plate was oily.  If you are watching your weight that is a big NO NO.  But I told myself, sometimes you just have to enjoy life and risk life at the same time – so what the heck I won’t eat it everyday anyway.

I highly recommend Iskina Cebu not only to my fellow countrymen but to Singaporeans and other expats in Singapore who love pork.  It’s cheaper than going back to the Philippines just to get a taste of lechon – one of the Pinoy delicacies that Anthony Bourdain loved.

Going Klean

The key to having a healthy life if you live in a hot and humid country like Singapore is to keep your self hydrated.  This is especially true for people like me who sweat a lot.  That is why it is important for me to find a good quality water bottle that I can bring along with me day in and day out.

I have been in the market for such a water bottle and sadly most have fell short of my expectations.  I generally base my expectations on some categories: quality, performance, maintenance, and, of course, looks.

I am happy to say that I think I have finally found the water bottle!  At least so far it is the water bottle for me.

Introducing the Klean Kanteen Insulated water bottle.  Note: Image from http://www.littleacornstomightyoaks.co.uk.

Klean Kanteen Insulated 20oz Stainless Steel Water Bottles

The one I purchased is the “Night Sky”.  It comes in different sizes and colors as you can see from the image above.  I got the 20oz (or almost 600ml) version because I wanted to have max water availability.

Quality

This water bottle is made from non-BPA stainless steel.  The construction of the bottle is solid, smooth, and sturdy to the touch.  Granted, I have only had my Klean Kanteen for a week and I have not managed to drop it yet but just by holding it you can feel that it was well built.  It also has a lifetime warranty but, according to the Klean Kanteen official website, will only apply if you purchased the water bottle from the official website.  That’s a little disappointing but the way I use i think this might last me a long time.

I just wanted to note that if you fill up the water bottle it will be heavy because of the double layer construction that allows for the insulation.

My fear with the bottle I got is the color might fade or chip away in the future.  In the company’s website they have explained that some of their products do have this defect and is covered by their warranty.  So far, no chipping of the paint.

Performance

For me performance is very important.  I always put cold beverages in my water bottles.  I am not usually an avid fan of hot drinks except for the occasional latte here and there.

Science will tell you that condensation can occur on the surface of an object if the temperature inside and outside are different.  That is what I have experienced with the other water bottles I have purchased before.

Before I bought this Klean Kanteen bottle I purchased a stainless steel one from All Deals Asia just because I was already fed up with the plastic water bottles.  It is similar to the Sigg water bottles.  Initially I thought “yeah this might work” and then when I put cold water inside the bottle there you go…condensation all over the bottle.

What does condensation mean to me?  Well, I bring my water bottle with me so I have in my bag.  If condensation happens then that will make everything it touches wet.  Because of the insulation that I mentioned earlier, this condensation does not happen with the Klean Kanteen.

The company has also published in their website that these insulated water bottles can keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks warm for 6 hours.  I have not really put this into a test especially for the hot drinks but so far what I have noticed with cold water and the bottle is that it does retain the cold temperature of the water longer than I have experienced with other water bottles.

Often I fill up my bottle in the morning around 9am before going to work.  I usually get to take my first sip from the bottle around 11am (that’s when my boss usually goes down to smoke so I can take a quick water break).  Normally my drink won’t be cold anymore with my old water bottles but with the insulated water bottle it does retain the coldness of the drink.

For those who might use the water bottle with hot drinks, be careful though.  Make sure you don’t seal that bottle when the drink is boiling hot.  The small piece of glossy paper that comes with the bottle says that you should let hot drinks cool down to a warm enough temperature that you can already drink before closing the bottle.  I guess if you don’t follow that instruction the pressure might build up inside and this is what you’ll probably get:

One thing I am not amused about the bottle though is the smell of metal.  Every time you take a sip you smell the metal.  Good thing though is that the metallic smell does not translate to a metallic taste for the beverage you are drinking.  The water doesn’t taste differently.

Maintenance

Clean-up is easy compared to other types of water bottles because of the wide mouth and the smooth design.  There are no nooks and crannies where water might be able to get stuck in which can cause mold growth on the bottle itself.  The lid, however, may have that problem but lids are easy to clean.

Other water bottles, especially those that follow the Sigg bottle design, have small mouths which are harder to clean with just a sponge.  You’ll need something smaller.

I also like the fact that the inside of the bottle doesn’t smell foul after washing.  It still smells like it did the first time I bought it.  Some water bottles I got smelled like a sock was left inside it after I cleaned it up.

The recommended method of cleaning a Klean Kanteen water bottle is sponge and soapy water.

Looks

To me simplicity is key.  It looks like the canister that held the mutagen that turned the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to mutants.  Simple design, nice color, that’s it.

I was actually thinking of purchasing the stainless steel one because of my fear that the paint might peel off but I am glad I chose the painted one.  It just looks nicer to me.

Although, I would like to see in the future designs like the ones in Sigg bottles.  Those artworks are great and cool looking.

Conclusion

As I said, I’ve had the bottle for only a week but to me that one week is enough to convince me that this might be worth the investment.  No real negative experience with the water bottle so far except for the smell of metal but what to do it is made of stainless steel.

Where to Buy in Singapore

I got mine from The Planet Traveller store at Changi Airport Terminal 3 here in Singapore for S$55.  The official distributor in Singapore for these water bottles is Kool Depot.  You can purchase the bottles from them but if you check the price I got my 20oz bottle from the airport for the price of a 16oz bottle from the Kool Depot website.

There are other distributors so just check the Klean Kanteen website.  I believe in the US they are selling the water bottles in combo packs – water bottle, default lid and coffee lid.  The coffee lid will allow you to drink from the bottle without removing the lid much like those coffee tumblers.

Fotodiox has Arrived

The FotodioX Adapter for Nikon G Lens to Sony NEX Mount I ordered from B&H has finally arrived a couple of days ago.  I have not really gotten a chance to use it the way I wanted to use it.

I have given it a little test drive of course just to check if the product is working.  The auto functions of the Nikon mount lenses really do disappear.  Everything is gone including aperture setting and auto focus.  You have to manually turn that blue ring to set the aperture and to manually focus the lens.

Here is my AF Nikkor 50mm 1.4D lens attached to the Sony A7 body using the adapter.

Below is a test shot using the lens and adapter with the Sony body.

The focus peaking feature of the camera helps with manual focusing especially since I am not good at doing that.  With the D90, I relied totally on auto focus.

I’ll be embarking on a small project soon so that I can at least try to master my new camera, its kit lens, and the adapter with my old lenses.

“Best” Way to Watermark Your Images

This is a good tip for photographers who are afraid that their images will get “borrowed” without their permission.

I like how it gives you control of the color you can give your watermark instead of just a translucent white shade which you normally get when you setup a preset in Lightroom.  The only thing I don’t like about it is you have to use Photoshop.  Photoshop is normally no longer part of my workflow when post processing images since Lightroom basically has all of the things I need.

I normally only go to Photoshop for those major changes (e.g., making people thinner, removing unwanted objects in pictures, etc.).

It is still something to consider though.  Now the only thing to do is to come up with a good logo. 🙂