Friday, August 30, 2013

If only I ...

I quote from Salma Hayek:
In my world, you have to be so beautiful, so skinny, so rich, so famous and I don't believe you really have to be any of those things. You simply have to be who you are. I do have thighs and a butt. I have cellulite. Don't be too impressed with me. Don't try to dress like me or wear your hair like mine. Find your own style. Don't spend your savings trying to be someone else. You're not more important, smarter, or prettier because you wear a designer dress. I get them free and I'm too lazy to go out and look for my own. I, a rich girl from Mexico, came here with designer clothes. And one day, when I was starving in an apartment in Los Angeles, I looked at my Chanel blouses and said, 'if only i could pay the rent with one of these.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Do not agree on reducing the board lot

Recently SGX has announced that they are intending to reduce the board lot (1000 shares) to 100 shares per lot. I disagree with reducing the board lot to 100 lots because the number one problem now is the expense ratio.

Currently not many brokerages charge per lot with no minimum charge. Just imagine paying $25 brokerage charge when you're getting 100 shares that cost $1. Your expense ratio is 25% excluding all the other charges. Not only that, brokerage may not be able to fully fill your order, which will further jack up your expense ratio.

However, if they are only providing this only as an additional option to the 1000 shares per lot, that would be great because it will allow those who wish to accumulate shares to have an option with lower expense ratio, and a higher possibility of accumulating the number of shares that they hope to get, while letting others to get into the game, albeit with a possibility of higher expense ratio.

If they really want to reduce the board lot, then they have to enforce that expense ratio so that it makes sense for the retail investors. Otherwise, you will see a fall of liquidity for all those illiquid shares because the expense will be just too high.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inflation is up 1.9%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2013:
January: 3.6%
February: 4.9%
March: 3.5%
April: 1.5%
May: 1.6%
June: 1.8%
July: 1.9%

Healthcare is once again leading the pack, rising by 4.0%, while Education & Stationery rose 2.9% respectively year on year.

Transport has reversed its downward trend, rising by 1.7% year on year, most probably because of the rise in COE premiums recently. As mentioned in the previous post, July's inflation's uptrend is more pronounced than June, with Transport and Clothing & Footwear jumping by the most.

This uptrend most probably will continue this month looking at the current trend. Looks like the inflation may tick up throughout the second half of this year.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Be truthful

I quote from  Marcus Valerius Martial:
Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.

This quote reminds me that every day of my life, I should always be truthful in whatever I do because if you start to conceal from your friends, colleagues or loved ones and they found out, they will think of all the wrong reasons why you're doing it and may not know your true intention, not to forget that you will also have to watch yourself from "giving away" the game.

Bottom line, be truthful.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Started to see trains without the entrance grab poles

I've recently seen more trains without the entrance grab poles and you should see how smooth the flow of traffic is now at the train doors. They should have done it ages ago. The "pole dancers" are now going further into the train to do their "dance" which is fine as they are not blocking anyone. The new grab poles are also designed in a way that doesn't promote congestion so for those who must hold onto a hand rail or pole, you will not be blocking the flow of traffic too much. Kudos to the designers.

However, so far I only see it deployed at the automated lines. I hope they quickly do it for all trains. Seriously, I can't believe the number of "pole dancers" and "people without backbone" in Singapore. They could also still do that even though the train is packed full.

What is happening to Singaporeans?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Apple should buy Blackberry

I hear bad news from Blackberry every quarter and seriously, I wanted to believe that they are on the mend. I even played around with the Blackberry z10 thinking that they might have something new up their sleeve. Unfortunately, I couldn't even figure out how to operate it properly.

The latest news got me thinking that maybe Apple should consider getting Blackberry. Blackberry used to have one of the leading technologies in the world and I still think that many still swears by the blackberry messaging and quick emails.

If Apple has the Blackberry technology and merge it with their Apple servers, think of the possibilities of both technologies being merged together. Emails and iMessage may become much faster and reliable, and who knows. The compression technology could spread beyond those 2 features.

Good idea?

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happiness is the key

I quote from Herman Cain:
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Often we lost track of what is true happiness while in the pursuit of it. Sometimes we need to sit back and understand what we truly want, and how to achieve it. Many have lost sight of happiness while in the pursuit of it, confusing the journey with the outcome.

Know what is important to you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wildlife of Chek Jawa

One of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Chek Jawa in Pulau Ubin is due to the abundance of wildlife. Some of the creatures that I could find here is unlike any of which I could find in mainland Singapore.

As I promised previously, I consolidated all the wildlife photos that I took at Chek Jawa into this post here. Enjoy...

Interesting crab peaking out from the mud soil

A "family" of fiddler crabs

The monitor lizard lazing around the mangroves

The lizard near the rocky shore, deciding where to go

What i presume is a family of leaf beetles sleeping on a leaf

Unsure what this is but it was annonying

A very big mud skipper

The only bird that I saw that flew out of the coastal hill forest

Heron walking around the mangroves when the tide was lower

Flying heron that was spooked by a group of noisy boys

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chek Jawa, the green lung of Singapore

Most people who are going to Pulau Ubin will not miss going to Chek Jawa, I would say one of the last untouched green lung of Singapore. Chek Jawa is made up of  6  interdependent  ecosystems; the Coastal Hill Forest,  Mangrove Forest,  Rocky Shore, Sandy Shore and Sand Bar, Seagrass in the Lagoon and the Coral Rubble. Within each of the above ecosystems there is an abundance of natural living creatures, plants and birds - local and migratory birds. You can find more information about getting to Chek Jawa here.

Chek Jawa is now split into 2 different main areas, the Mangrove broadwalk where you will go through the Mangrove forest and go up the Jejawi Tower which will let you see Pulau Ubin from a bird's eye view, and the Coastal broadwalk where you will walk nearer to the sea and see the other ecosystems. They are both linked so I would suggest you start with the Mangrove broadwalk.

Below are some pictures of the mangroves in Chek Jawa. I took the pictures when the tide was progressively getting lower so you are able to see the roots of the mangroves getting more exposed.

Below is a picture of part of the coastal broadwalk that is surrounding the Coastal Hill Forest. There are a number of birds within as I can heard their chirping. Unfortunately for me though, they choose to stay within it and did not venture out.

The 2 trees you see below are Perepat trees which are nearer to the visitor centre. The tide was progressively getting lower at this point in time. If you're lucky, you might see eagles flying in that area. I saw one of them, but they were too far unfortunately. :(

Below is a picture of the Sand Bar I presume, which is quite near the Seagrass lagoon which is only visible when the tide is low.

You might be asking where are the wildlife photos? Well, stay tuned for the next post. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Going to Pulau Ubin

After 10 years, I finally went back to Pulau Ubin and my, how it has changed since then. The only thing that hasn't changed is how do we get to Pulau Ubin.  In summary, to get to Pulau Ubin, you will need to take a bum boat via Changi Point Ferry Terminal. You can take a look at the map below.

View Larger Map

What you may not be able to see on the map is that the Changi Bus Interchange is just a few minutes walk away the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. In fact, the only thing that stops you from getting to the ferry terminal is the Changi Village Hawker Centre. Buses 2, 29, 59, and 109 route ends at the Changi Bus Interchange. Take any of these buses and you will not get lost, as long as you travel in the correct direction. :)

Personally, I think it is good if you have your lunch at the Changi Village Hawker Centre before you go to Pulau Ubin, reason being there is quite a lot of good food at that Hawker Centre, namely the Nasi Lemak, Ipoh Hor Fun, Beef Kway Teow, etc.

Enough said, you need to approach the Changi Point Ferry Terminal from the main entrance, which is near the car park. You will need to go down a flight of stairs and the departure for Pulau Ubin is to your right after getting down the stairs. The constraint about getting the bum boat to Pulau Ubin is that there is no fixed departure times. That boat will only leave if the boat is reasonably filled (maximum 12 passengers). You will need to pay $2.50 cash per person for the bum boat ride, one-way. Best if you get the exact change.

What's the best way to travel in Pulau Ubin? Bicycle of course, and you can see rows and rows of bicycle shops the moment you disembark.

Above is the picture of the start of the rows of bicycle shops.

I've seen a few drink shops like the above but they are all empty. In fact, it would be better if you follow the signs that says that there are drink stalls ahead. There is also a small little contraption that to me, looks like a toilet. :)

Does the above picture looks like a toilet? :)

Surprisingly, there is also interesting architecture in Pulau Ubin, one of which is the original Tudor style house, which doubles up as a visitor centre. This visitor centre is situated near the jetty next to Chek Jawa. There are some write-ups on the history of Pulau Ubin. There is also a vending machine situated within if you're thirsty.

Pulau Ubin has become much more structured compared to 10 years ago. The left side of the island, you will find the mountain bike trails while the right side of the island you will find Chek Jawa. Do note that there are many small little trails up and some of these trails have explicit signs that indicate that it is not meant to be ridden up. Do follow those signs as there is an obvious reasons why bicycles are not allowed. The outward bound school is to the north and centre of the island.

Below are a few pictures of the amazing nature scenery you can find at Pulau Ubin. Pretty nice right?

There will be a separate post on Chek Jawa and the amazing wildlife you can find there. However, some teasers below on the interesting birds I saw while roaming around the island.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Have Faith

I quote from Michelle:
When you come to the edge of the light that you know, and you are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of the two things will happen: there will be something to land on, or you will learn how to fly.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When will the train entrance grab poles be removed?

It has been some time since it has been announced that the train entrance grab poles are to be removed to facilitate passengers entering and leaving the train. If I recall correctly, it has been announced in March this year. However to date, I did not see any changes to the trains for all the lines.

During peak hours, I have observed many times that many people, regardless if they are Singaporeans or not, will always crowd around the train entrance grab poles regardless if they need to hold it or not. Personally, I call them the "pole dancers" because they seem to wrap themselves around the train entrance grab poles, as if they are doing pole dancing.

A handful who has "no backbone" will lean against it, thus occupying more space than necessary. This "clustering" caused issues for people who are entering or leaving the train as these people are oblivious to their surroundings.

It has been more than 3 months since the announcement and I hope changes will come soon. It is super irritating to see people blocking the train entrance with this kind of behaviour as it affects other people. How would you feel if you are affected by such people blocking you from entering or leaving the train?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Release your storage by configuring Preview

I have been into photography for the past few years and I realised that somehow, my Mac seems to be eating up a lot of storage for no particular reason. I did not particularly know the reason until I read somewhere that the Preview app which I used to resize my photos actually store a copy of the previous image whenever I resized it. No wonder my storage space has been eaten up gradually in a span of a year.

First, to prevent the Preview application from eating up the storage space, just do the following:
  1. Go to Spotlight, and run Terminal
  2. Type defaults write ApplePersistence -bool no

The above steps will tell the Preview application not to store a copy of image whenever you edit it.

Now, the question is how do you remove all those backups? Well, I did it in the quick and dirty way. The step below will remove all the backups that Mac has automatically stored into your Mac so take note that you will lose all your backup, including the automatic backups that have been created by your other applications. Just type in the same Terminal application, sudo rm -rf /.DocumentRevisions-V100/

You will need to type in the password of the account that you're currently logged in. I've done it a couple of times to release the storage and so far my Mac has been functioning quite well. However, please take note that as you're removing a hidden system directory, this may cause your Mac to malfunction so take extra care before doing the above step.

What's the other alternative? Well, when you launch Preview, do a left-click on the name of the file that you see in the top middle section of the Preview application. Press the Option button down and you should see the option Delete All Versions. You have to do this for each and every image.

I tried it, and I gave up after a few images. It was too tedious. :(

Hope this helps.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Don't be afraid to fail

I quote from Sara Blakely:
My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don't be afraid to fail.

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