Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Drew Simpson...

Had fun with this... hehe. Get your own Simpsons Avatar at

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Choking in Golf - Take 2 (aka a letter to Sergio Garcia)

Golf is the most pressurizing individual sport that you can can play.

Unlike tennis, you can't shake off your nerves by hitting harder or by showing emotion or by taking a break on the sidelines. You don't even have the luxury of having your support team at the side of the court egging you on.

In golf, emotions run how you play the game.

I just watched Sergio Garcia lose in a playoff to Padraig Harrington in the 2007 British Open. Garcia definitely LOST the tournament, but Harrington WON the tournament. Anyone who can come back after that disaster on the 18th with hitting 2 horrible shots in the water and shooting double bogey deserves it in my book. Hats off to Harrington's wife for releasing his son on the 18th green and in turn released all the pressure on him.

Much as I would have loved to see Garcia win, I have to admit he didn't deserve it. Although others have done worse i.e. Jean Van de Velde in 1999, looking at Garcia's ball striking and putting over the first 3 days, it was his tournament to win. A par or a +1 for the day would have won him the tournament.

To Sergio, chin up man! You are one of my heroes in golf. No one else in the game looks like they enjoy the game. That's the key - enjoy your game, especially in the last round of a Major when all the pressures of the world seem to be on your shoulders.

My advice is not to work on your golf for a few days. Your ball striking at the British Open these last 4 days was fantastic. Don't second guess yourself. Trust your putter and your putting stroke, you should since you are rolling the ball beautifully. Don't take too long over the putt and trust your first look at the line. Reconsider your course strategy, although you can hit your irons a long way, your ball flight was too low and didn't hold the greens. Hitting a 3 wood into the 18th green would have taken pressure off your second shot e.g. instead of a 220 carry, you probably would have a shorter short onto the green.

More importantly, recover your fighting spirit. If you believe in yourself (we all do), you will win in the Majors. Take heart.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Singapore Duck Rice Awards

Recently, my wife and I completed our first "tour of duty" of duck rice places in Singapore. after much lip smacking and flossing (boy does duck meat stick to your teeth!), this is the final list of podium finishers:

  1. Sin Huat Duck Rice (Lor 35, Geylang) - lip smacking good. I would have no problem finishing off 2 plates of this rice which is consistently tasty each time i visit. unfortunately, i dont think they have noodles or kway chap.. scores=rice (9), duck (8), sauce (9), soup (7).

  2. Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Restaurant (38 South Buona Vista Road) - great sauce. i would rate the duck here as the most tasty. unfortunately, again no noodles and the tau gua isnt as tasty as the rest. quite expensive too. scores=rice (8), duck (9), sauce (9), soup (7).

  3. Rochor Duck Rice & Mutton Soup (327 Beach Road) - without doubt, the best choice of stuffs to accompany the duck. the rice is good, the noodles are fantastic and the kway chap isnt bad as well here. the best herby tasting soup of all. scores=rice/noodles (9), duck (7), sauce (6), soup (9).

  4. Newton Duck rice store (Newton Circus, facing the car park) - this is pretty much a run of the mill duck rice. the duck noodles are pretty good though, if a bit oily, of course, its the fried lard that makes it taste so good. will do to fill the stomach! scores=rice/noodles (7), duck (7), sauce (6), soup (6)

  5. Yu Kee Duck rice (many branches islandwide) - very much the run of the mill duck rice. average quality, saved by the chili which has ikan bilis bits in it. scores=rice/noodles (6), duck (6), sauce (6), soup (6)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVI mini review

This is the first "serious" watch that I have purchased for myself. To date, the only watches that I have bought and still keep today are my 18yr old G-Shock.. (amazingly, I have never changed the lithium battery on that watch and it is still keeping decent time), a couple of Swatches and a Seiko Black Monster I bought recently over Ebay.

Looking at the watch (its on my wrist as I am writing this), I feel that I am owning a slice of history. The International Watch Company or IWC is one of the watchmakers that has stayed true to its origins, mainly as a maker of classic dress watches that are slim and imminently wearable. I shot the picture to the right in B&W as the watch is black and white, it has a beautiful matt black dial with striking white hands.
It is a stainless steel watch equipped with an automatic mechanical Calibre 30110 movement with 42-hour power reserve. Apparently, it runs at 28,800 v.p.h. (this stands for vibration frequency, wiki it to find out what it means), convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and secure against drop in air pressure, water-resistant to 60 metres and most importantly, it has IWC's classic antimagnetic characteristics due to its soft iron core. For more specs, check out

The watch itself isnt too big - about 39mm and it feels very light on the wrist. Some people might say that this is the poor man's Big Pilot and they are right! The Big Pilot is too big for most people to wear as an everyday watch at a whopping 47mm!! The Mark XVI is nice & slim too, so it can fit well under long shirt sleeves. The crocodile strap that it comes with is the only slight disappointing thing about the watch - it is too thin and some of the stitching has started to come out! Besides that, it is a great watch and a piece of horology. How many people can boast of wearing a true "pilots watch"? Make sure you get a catalog when you buy the watch. It is a great read that describes IWC history and how their great watches came about. Hmm.. that Portugese 7 days on pg 170 looks quite appealing... haha!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Which metering to use on Nikon DSLRs

1. Matrix metering - I use it most of the time unless there are areas of high contrast in the picture. Might not work well when the image has mostly light or dark areas.

2. Center weighted metering - I understand what center weighted metering is (i.e. it takes the exposure reading from roughly 70% at the center of the scene) but I have never understood why it still exists in modern Nikon DSLRs. It seems like a legacy mode (pre-FA) before matrix metering existed. People suggest to use this for portraits or when the target is in the middle of the frame but Matrix metering isnt dumb anymore and wont give you those black faced/bright landscape shots often anymore. You should activate your fill-in flash in these situations anyway. One explanation when this mode still exists is to use it when the matrix meter tries to be too smart or is fooled to giving the wrong exposure you want. My solution is to use spot metering in these cases.

3. Spot metering - use it when you want to tell the camera which area of the scene you want to take a reading from. On most Nikons, this still relies on the center sensor. IMHO, this mode is the most important of all and all cameras should have it together with a manual exposure option. It should be possible to take all your shots using spot metering. You just have to select a target that is middle grey (18% grey) to get a balanced exposure. A good tip I use is to meter from the blue sky as often as possible.