Saturday, October 24, 2020

Cavalock and The One with The Breakfast Otter

When we first saw the Nespresso advent calendar on sale, we kinda knew we had to have it even though the Baker-at-Home and I were never big fans of advent calendars. Gawd knows I resisted getting a Lego advent calendar for years. I figured I would most likely ruin the experience by opening everything within a day of getting it. Know what I mean? Growing up, I was more of a Christmas cracker kid. Fond memories of pulling them in the old family home on Christmas mornings. Funny thing is as I got older I found out that not many folks here have heard bout the grand ol' tradition of pulling crackers. Anyway we brought the Nespresso advent calendar without even trying to find out what the ... er... main or finale gift is. Well, a quick glance at the base told us we can expect (SPOILER ALERT!!!) .... 2 Pixie Espresso cups. Not a bad deal if that's what's in the S$40 (member price) box. Right now, we are trying to decide who gets to drink what on which day. She said I gotta drink it even if it turns out to be a sucky flavour that I never liked. Hah! 

Me Dad took these pix one early morning couple weeks back at Seletar. He actually snapped enough shots to make a mini-stop motion movie of the otter enjoying its breakfast.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Cavalock and The Cupcake Carrier Catastrophe

Not something I would wish on me worst enemy. Our home order delivery arrived and only one cupcake made it out unscathed as the other three had all toppled over as well as had their frostings reduced to sludge. After the pick-up, it took over half hour for our delivery to arrive as I believed he made another drop first hence the melted frosting. The Baker-at-Home said she's pretty sure he dropped the box too. Oh well, they did refund us for the cupcakes but not for the no-longer-hot coffee that came with it. 

This may be the a very auntie thing to say but I live for this sorta unexpected shopping moments. The sheer joy of stumbling onto a bargain item like this. The first day of the Kinokuniya sale and I spotted this magazine on the rack. The only remaining copy of Miniatures Wargames that came with 12 free dwarf miniatures! Of cos, they are on a couple of sprues and you gotta glue them together, and paint (the fun part!) them later. I already downloaded the free PDF copy bout a month ago and forgot bout it. But never expected to find a copy here at only S$12.50 after discount. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Cavalock and Doing What's Best for Business

Got me long overdue haircut and took the opportunity to grab lunch at a sushi joint that I had long wanted to visit but the Baker-at-Home has long resisted. Why? I have no idea. Really. The last time we went to a conveyer belt sushi joint was our regular one at the now defunct Liang Court basement. Anyway, "left to my own devices" that late morning, I fast walked to Shaw House after my haircut and joined the queue at Sushiro Isetan Scotts. One of the perks of dining alone is I didn't have to wait long for a seat. Had some yellowtail and some tuna, and the verdict? The sushi sashimi were a little too "stiff and rigid" and I'm guessing its cos they were flown-in frozen? All that for $26 was alright I guess. Not the first place I would go again if I had another craving for sushi but at least I tried.

Am also grateful that me and some of the guys got a chance to meet up for a Warhammer gaming session this week. So good to be finally moving and manoeuvring those miniatures on the battlefield once more. The five of us even found time to chill later with some ice-cream and talk bout all kinda stuff from superhero movies to Among Us to The Social Dilemma to the US elections. It's not everyday I get into deep conversations with folks who possess an in-depth understanding of US politics. And we all sorta agree that a certain candidate winning is good for business, the other guy winning not so good for business. Cos we all know it's always better to do what's best for business. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cavalock and Yet Another No Vacation Post

So we found ourselves back again at Osaka Yakiniku Don Don. The last time together was in August and then I bought my friends dinner there last month. It has now become the Baker-at-Home's go-to joint for beef. Slices of Waygu ribeye and tenderloin are our stable and being the sake connoisseur that the Baker-at-Home is now, it's always time for a little booze. Man, I gotta say Tanjong Pagar in the evening is as crazy-ass crowded as Chinatown on the eve of Chinese New Year. 

My journey back to journaling has brought me to Kinokuniya and Tokyo Hands hunting for new and innovative Japanese stationery. It's something I always do whenever I'm back in Tokyo but since ... y'know, 2020... I been doing it locally. Unfortunately there are a lot of cool stationery that will never reach our shores. But if anyone wants to sew or make a mask, there are plenty of D.I.Y. options on the magazine racks at Kinokuniya! Hah!

Been while since I shared them so here are more local bird pix taken by me 87-year-old Dad couple weeks ago. Took me almost two hours on public transport to get to the other side of the island to snap these shots of a kite being harassed by a crow.


Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Cavalock and The No Vacation Post

So exactly a year ago, we got back from Tokyo and even started making plans to return to the city but who knew? Not having travelled for a year isn't as bad as it sounds. Back when I was taking care of me late Mom and Aunt, I don't think we left the country for a pretty long while too. Which got me thinking bout the folks who would pay for the SQ home meal delivery. It's at least 300 bucks and way I see it, there are better dining options out there at that price tag. For those who can easily afford it, chances are you have already experienced the real deal and I really don't think you would wanna pay that amount to have it (again) in your home. But maybe that's just me. I suppose if you are a young dating couple, you would wanna do something like that to impress someone? 

Anyway, looking at some of the vacation pix I took last year, Japan should be in a Halloween mood right about now. I don't think I wrote bout this in any previous Japan post but we found the Echire Boutique near our hotel at Marunouchi during our holiday there. They are the producers of the gourmet butter from the village of Echire in western France and it's frequently used in fancy joints round the world. Their famous croissants were sold out when we there in the evening so we got a bag of heavenly madelines and financiers instead. And that last pix of Tokyo Station platforms, it's from our room at Marunouchi Hotel.

Sometimes I do wish I was to all kinds of hijinks like before, so I got stuff or 'content' to blog about but we can't always have what we want or eat what we want, hence the lack of any food related posts for awhile now. Well, that's not entirely true, last week I had a wonderful dinner at a friends's place and where I had my very first taste of banh mi, the popular Vietnamese sandwich. Yes, I have never had one before, it just never appealed to me for whatever reason. Well, the homemade one I had that night was great. with generous grilled chicken in every bite. After dinner we got into some boardgames like camel racing game Camel Up, In Front of the Elevators where we queue and joust for positions in front of elevators, and ended the night with the hippie game of Aquarius. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Cavalock and The Shake Shack Sanctuary

Never dropped by their first outlet here at Jewel and come to think of it, I have never ever even stepped into Jewel itself! Am I a rare breed or what? Anyway, me and the Baker-at-Home found ourselves at Shake Shack's latest outlet at Liat Towers earlier this week. In case you are wondering, the queue along sidewalk is the takeaway queue and it's not indicative of how crowded it is inside the restaurant. Cos when we were there, there was a queue outside but it wasn't packed at all inside. I had the same thing I usually have when I'm at their overseas outlets, their mushroom Shroom Burger. I still remember the first time at it at JFK Airport, I thought it was a mushroom burger with mushrooms and beef patty instead of what it really was, a giant but rather delicious mushroom patty.  The Baker-at-Home enjoyed her Shack Stack, first time having that. The Pandan Shake was meh. We miss the Black Sesame Shake from their Tokyo Marunouchi outlet so much.

Check this out! One of the many retro nuggets I just found at me Dad's house. Yah, been awhile since I did one of these retro posts. It belonged to me late Mom and it dates all the way back to 1963. It's still in damn good condition. Now I can imagine all them classy ladies opening up this here booklet in the salon back in the 60s and pointing to one them pages. Speaking of the 1960s, I'm finally catching up on Umbrella Academy Season 2. So far, so good. I just hope the ending doesn't suck and it makes sense. Having said that, I can live with a cliffhanger. As of this here typing, ah believe ah am in episode six.

Wow, this really made me reminisce bout me living with me aunts and uncles back when I was a kid. We always had Motown, country or even the occasional classical music playing somewhere in that old house. I reckon it's time to open me YouTube mix starting with The Four Tops. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Cavalock and The Carpe Diem Rallyng Cry

Weekend breakfasts at Starter Lab is starting to be our thing now. The Baker-at-Home likes their menu and I like spending lazy mornings having breakfast outside the apartment with her. Their honeyed mascarpone with walnuts on toast is my go-to breakfast meal. Always liked something extra sweet to start off the day. All that followed by a leisurely saunter to Tiong Bahru to grab some fresh produce before heading home. You know you are old when you just can't wait to be back home even on the weekends. 

Speaking of old, me 86-year-old Dad recently traded in his Nikon D500 camera for a Sony mirrorless A9. Here are some of his first shots with his new toy.

Well, me Dad wasn't the Dad wasn't the only one in the family who went on a shopping spree last week. Check out my Amazon haul! Boardgames that I have eyeing for awhile and was fortunate to grab them when they went on sale on Amazon. From top to bottom, there's the Barbarian Hordes expansion to Empires of the North, Carpe Diem and Rurik: Dawn of Kiev. 

I have read many glowing reviews of Carpe Diem (Seize The Day) and after playing the game several times, I am glad to say that the hype is real and it has become one of my favourite games of all time. Plus I got it at almost half price from Singapore Amazon! Delivery the next freakin' day! This is a tile-laying game where players are rich patricians in Ancient Rome and we are all trying to build a lucrative city district by grabbing tiles in the centre of the board and laying in your area. Tiles would represent various parts of the city such as bakery, fountain or sections of a villa, vineyard or even a chicken coop. 

The rules are extremely simple, you can only move left or right, choose a tile and then decide exactly where do you want to place it. Where you place and how you connect the tiles would determine how many points you score at the end of the game. It's so simple yet deep. With multiple ways to score, I love how it tickles the brain as you try maximise your points. 

Yes, I'm trying my darnest to slip in the Carpe Diem theme into this entire post. Argh....

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cavalock and The Home Tourist Incongruity

So me and the guys decided to do the local tourist thing and ended up in Changi Point for an hour-long morning walk along the coast. Fortunately the weather was on our side, sunny and breezy just the way we like it. It was a good walk, more like a lazy stroll actually. Took our time to breathe in the fresh air, snap some pictures, one of the guys even shot a little go-pro movie of our morning. 

That's the thing, I can get behind all this local tourist nature trips but what I don't get are staycations. I don't get the appeal of it especially if you already have your own apartment. Me and the Baker-at-Home did the staycation thingy back when we were young (and restless) and didn't have our own place yet. But after we moved in, a staycation is the last thing on our minds. Pay a little more and you can probably turn that staycation into a proper vacation. Alright, I guess if you have kids a staycation is something they would enjoy. Cos I remember after me and my folks moved out of the old family home, this was when I was still in primary school, I would look forward to the rare weekends when I would or could stay over with my aunts and uncles, and wake up in my old room. 

Anyway in these coming Endtimes, I'm also not sure if it's prudent to spend on something like a staycation in the first place. Now, free nature walks around the island, that's something I wholeheartedly support.

Spotted this at Isetan supermarket. Really? Can anyone tell the difference between Espresso ice-cream, coffee ice-cream and now cold brew coffee ice-cream? 

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Cavalock and The Earth, Wind & Fire September Birthday Post

I was gonna do a collage of my dinner at Esora but reducing all them food pix into tiny little pix just ain't gonna do them justice. The Baker-at-Home and me got in at the tail-end of their Summer menu season, just a week before they switched to their Autumn menu. The last time I was there was back in June of last year. This is another amazing three-hour dinning experience that we both missed immensely  for over a year. We actually made reservations for early this year but the Lockdown started and, well, you know the rest.

That evening we decided to forgo the sake and wine tasting menu and went for a full bottle of sake instead. I'm not kidding when I say the Baker-at-Home has become sort of an amateur sake connoisseur. When we were at Mustard Seed a couple weeks ago, she went for the sake tasting menu while I nursed a cold Japanese beer instead. Anyway, with social distancing at Esora, that meant less patrons but looking at how busy the staff already were that night, it's hard to imagine how much busier they would be with more folks to serve. It's an 8-course meal sprinkled with insightful conversation nuggets with the talented staff, and that's all coming from the Baker-at-Home. I'm the introvert one in the relationship. Hah! 

Grilled Hamaguri - Chiba kujo negi, hanaho

Kue - Nagasaki eggplant, wasabina

Omi Wagyu - Okaki Farm akazu, manganji pepper

Akamutsu Donabe - Fukuoka watercress

Wasanbon Caramel ice-cream, honey truffle, sweet potato

Now no matter what folks are saying bout how beneficial it is to be working out at home, it just can't beat the gym. Yah, I'm back at the gym for bout a month now and after my first gym session, my limbs were aching and sore once again even though I have been climbing 28 floors every other day before that, lifting teeny weeny dumbbells and stretching in my tiny little apartment. All them news articles on how easy it is to be working out at home? Yah sure, it's definitely better than nothing but I think I just can't do without the equipment in the gym. Is that a bad thing? I dunno. I know it's bad for me wallet.

Yes, of cos I'm listening to this classic while I'm blogging this here article. My birthday month ain't without playing this little MTV gem.