Flog it!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
  Boston - New York

The past week has been packed with activities.

We landed in Boston and was picked up by one of my in-laws friends, we were whisked to Marlborough to have lunch and a small nap.. and followed by dinner at the nearby city of Framingham. We headed back to the Boston and checked into the Onyx Hotel which was a cool boutique hotel.

The next day, my little family went on a little duck tour bus, which is an amphibious vehicle that could go on water. It took us all around Boston and its downtown area, showed us some tourist sites and told us some interesting historical information.

The following day, we checked out and took a Greyhound (bus) to New York. The trip took 4hrs with a break in-between.

New York was a massive city, we walked a few blocks to our hotel on the 34th Street (between 7th & 8th Avenue). The room was smaller than expected and I can tell you now, the cost of living is definitely as high as everyone made it out to be.

We did one of those double-decker open-top hop-on-hop-off bus tours and saw a few sights along the way.

The first day on tour, we saw Madison Square Gardens, NYC GPO (which opens 24hrs), Empire State Building, Broadway, 5th Avenue (North & South), Macys'* (department store), World Trade Centre construction site, Wall Street (Financial District), Statue of Liberty, China Town, various parts of Brooklyn (as well as crossing the Manhattan Bridge), United Nations, Astoria Waldorf (hotel where world leaders stays and learnt that the Vatican Pope was also staying there at the time), Rockefeller Centre, Radio City Hall and Times Square (at Toys'R'Us, we had to buy a stroller for Marcus, because the other was trashed around by the TSA and had to be replaced). Dinner was later at one of the restaurants in Hells Kitchen borough (not where they film Gordon Ramsay's TV show!).

I also caught up with a friend (who is living in NYC) that I've kept in touch with when I was over in Scotland, Kevin (and friend, Matt). It was great to see him and drining

The second day on tour, we actually went on the ferry to Liberty Island & Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty BIG! You can no longer climb up to the torch (not because of the 9/11 incident, but because it's a fire & safety hazard been only one stairwell with one set of staircases. We also went up to the 89th floor on the Empire State Building to view the city. It was freezing!

The final day of tour before catching an Amtrak train to Washington, we went Uptown (anything up Central Park), saw Dakota, Ghostbuster film location, parts of Harlem borough, Guggenheim Museum, and Grand Central.

  Days in Buffalo / Niagara Falls

It was a cold thrilling couple of days in Niagara Falls (US side).

We arrived on Thursday night, an hour before midnight. Had some midnight supper from the hotel restaurant and went to bed for a not-so-packed the next day.

We're glad to have slept in as the Maid of the Mist service would not run until May!  :( However it was still exciting to see the American Falls from the Observation Tower.  The Bridal Veil (Luna) Falls was not visible from the tower even if it was next to it. It was a misty/foggy morning to say the least.

Before midday, we decided to cross the Rainbow Bridge (by foot) to Canada. It was a nice walk but visibility of the Falls was next to zero! ziltch! nada! Arriving across the bridge, we were greeted by the Rainbow Carrilion which played all sorts of tunes!

Visibility is still zero after we passed the customary gate and got another stamp in the passport!  :)

Walked around for abit, up to Clifton Hill which was very touristy. It had all those museums (horror house, Guiness, Ripley's, etc...), even a look-a-like Millenium Wheel!

Took lunch at a pizza house before walking the shops looking for souvenirs and onwards to the Skylon Tower where most of Clifton Hill / Welland (CAN) / Lockport (US) / Buffalo can be seen. Not to mention, the Horseshoe Falls & Luna Falls! It was an awesome sight!

The late afternoon was getting rather cold, so back across to the US border and into the hotel. And as some would agree, once you're in... there's no going out again because it was all too tiring! :)

Had some dinner and called it the night, we can see bits of the illumination features of the falls while we packed up and got ready for Boston today!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
  The journey!

Well... am in LA now... more precisely San Gabriel...

The trip into Auckland then transit into flight NZ2 was rushed. We had 10 minutes to exit flight QF189, wait through security checks and then rush through the concourse to the departure lounge.... and we made it of course!

The long haul trip was quite OK I supposed if you consider having a 12kg toddler on your lap, tossing and turning, OK??

After arriving into LAX and going through US customs control, my father in-law had apparently just passed through the customs gate 3 hours before his actual arrival, so he was escorted into the customs office and questioned, whilst I could only find 4 of our 10 checked-in luggages, which I foresee losing since the Auckland transit was only 10 minutes!

My uncle in-law picked us up from LAX and brought us to his home in San Gabriel, and after freshing up, we headed out to get some dinner, which was nice.

The other luggages end up arriving at 10pm local time, so finally all is well!

Local time now is 11.45pm Monday 07 April 2008, I'm signing off and going for a quiet scroll around the neighbourhood of SG.

Monday, April 07, 2008
  Boarding soon...
Well... I'm just minutes away from boarding flight QF189 to Auckland, then connect to a flight to LAX for a 5weeks trip around the US of A.

It's getting excited every minute and all that excitement wasn't without some confusion at the airport... which I will write another time, as they have just call for boarding!!!

CYA soon!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
  Do you think you are a good person?

Thursday, February 28, 2008
  ummms and arrrs

I've been contemplating on doing this since Leukaemia Foundation sent me a letter probably 3 weeks ago...
So yesterday I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it!
Currently working out how I should raise more money than I did in the previous years.
But I guess every little bit counts, no matter how big or small the amount is.

You are more than welcome to sponsor me . And thank you in advance for your generous support!

Friday, December 07, 2007
  Netizens here complain: He's making S' pore look bad

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
  murphy's law
The formula to the law does exist!

I have to say it is pretty close with what I experienced this evening...

I was running slightly late for my chiropractic appointment to start therapy on my middle back. The traffic wasn't too bad.. so I was less than 10 minutes late (the appointment was at 6pm, I left work at 5.35pm).

However once I got there, there was at least 3 people in front of me waiting for their appointment!!! So by the time it was my turn, it was already 6.30pm!

The therapy usually starts shortly after they take you to the room, but it felt like I waited for 5-10 minutes before the massage therapist came to give me a 10 minute back therapy. It wasn't the first time I had to wait but it didn't end there!

The next thing that happens is the chiropractioner comes in and gives me the treatment which takes about 3 minutes! but of course, that didn't happened until 7.10pm!!! which was a pretty long wait!!! (I know, because I fell asleep on the massage therapy bed dribbling!!!)

I paid the fee and left as usual and been Tuesday, I usually go fill up the car using those fuel dockets (today's was Coles Express lucky day to get my money) near my place of residence.

I waited like everybody else did on a Tuesday night (7.15pm) for about 5 minutes before it was my turn. I pulled up next to an E10 (10% ethanol mixed) pump and started to fill up the Aurion (max 70 litres) with only a quarter tank full.

The process usually takes about 3-5 minutes to complete at the pump, but it was my lucky day!!! The guy behind me which finished filling his car, started the same time as I and had already paid for his fuel and ready to leave... started to wonder how big (the tank is) / long is going to take me...

10 minutes later, I was still at the pump (merely 19-20 litres in), the guy behind me got impatient and started to signal the car behind him to reverse, so he could leave. The next guy started to fill his car and question me about the same thing. I said I got a dud pump!

Anyway these fuel pump usually clicks off when it's near full but mine didn't!!! So I reckon I must have spill-over at least a couple of litres onto the tarmac!! Incidently the next guy just finished his fillup as well. So that was a good 20 minutes to fill up just over 40 litres!!! GAH!

Walked over to pay for the fuel with the docket, a bar of Strawberry KitKat and Mars Rock because it was 2 bars for $3, the flybuy incentive card and my credit card and complained about the pump's capability to get the job done properly.

Upon signing the invoice, the flybuy card snapped in half at the black stripe! Just my luck! Great~ what else could possibly go wrong... I checked the receipt and realised the KitKat and Mars bar was $2.20 each!!! I pointed that out to the guy behind the counter and he said, "It's two of the same for $3, not just because they've got 2 for $3 on them" BAH!!!!! I so wanted the day to end! but I was too tired, so I decided to just take it on the chin and walk away.

Upon leaving the service station, a trolley trailer decides to enter the station.. the wrong way and decide to block my exit out!!! Usually I could have been my usual self and bleep the horn and tell him to move it, but I remained composed and signal for him to move in alittle so I could get out of this horror. I looked at the time as I waited for the lights to turn for me to go... 7.50pm.

So, back to the Murphy's law formula... ((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)) was decided by a panel of experts.

In the calculation, five factors have to be assessed: urgency (U), complexity (C), importance (I), skill (S) and frequency (F) and each given a score between one and nine. A sixth, aggravation (A), was set at 0.7.

The equation has seven steps to forecasting a potential Murphy's Law moment, so you can work out which factors you need to change to avoid it.
  1. Rate the urgency, importance and complexity on a scale of one to nine and add the three figures together.
  2. Rate from one to nine how skilled you are at the task, then subtract this from 10.
  3. Multiply answers to 1 and 2 and divide by 20.
  4. Rate from one to nine how frequently you perform the task and divide this by 10.
  5. Rate the sine (or sin) of your answer to step 4 and subtract this from 1.
  6. Divide 1 by your answer to step 5.
  7. Multiply your answer to step 3 by 0.7 and multiply this by your answer to step 6, and that's your Murphy’s Law rating.

The closer to 10 it is, the higher your risk of falling victim. Equation source

Why am I telling you this? Because I need to vent! and lick my wounds. But seriously... thanks for listening (reading). So you reckon you can top that? I like to hear from you.

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Name: francis
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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