Friday, March 29, 2013

Cavalock and The Chicken Collagen Part Deux

I swear it wasn't intentional but once again, I found myself facing a bowl of chicken collagen for dinner. Well, this was actually a bowl of chicken broth ramen from Ramen Keisuke Tori King. Really, what's not to like about this? It's like having your dinner and facial at the same time!

So this Tori King outlet at Amara Hotel specializes in chicken based ramen while the other one at Orchid Hotel is all bout pork ramen. Had the Tori King Ramen with egg as I had forgotten that they actually provided free eggs at the table but they are the hard-boiled variety. Now the chicken leg was really nice and tender, comes off easily when you scrape it with your chopsticks. The broth tasty. You even get to choose the texture of your ramen, like how chewy you want it to be. And at S$13.90, a much cheaper collagen fix than at Plaza Singapura.

Here's the little basket of free eggs at the table. There's even a sign that says the brown ones contain less cholesterol than the white ones. Really? Speaking of cholesterol level, mine's 187mg and the guy took it said that's normal. Anything below 200mg is normal, according to him. So why am I saying it there? Nah it's just cos I wanna remember it. :P

If you know me, you'll know how much I enjoy playing boardgames. And this coming Saturday is the first International Tabletop (boardgaming) Day. Don't fret yourself if you have never heard of it. It's a purely commercial event not unlike Valentine's Day, dreamt up by fellow gaming geeks in the US.  Here's a pretty neat article from L.A. Times bout the event.

So here are just some of my favorite games that I own. I have lotsa other favorite boardgames but they belong to the rest of my boardgame group. Those games above are the ones I have and if anyone wants a game with me, I'll usually bring one of them along. They are very easy to play with simple rules.

From top, you got the classic Citadels.
Players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. Each character has a special ability, and the usefulness of any character depends upon your situation, and that of your opponents. The characters then carry out their actions in numerical order: the assassin eliminating another character for the round, the thief stealing all gold from another character, the wizard swapping building cards with another player, the warlord optionally destroys a building in play, and so on. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects her eighth building and the player with the highest score wins. 

Why I like it? The different roles let you screw with the players and there's nothing more fun than screwing your opponents. Plus it's one of the very few games I have that can play up to 7 players.

Elder Sign.
A fast-paced, cooperative dice game of supernatural intrigue set in 1920s for one to eight players. Players take the roles of investigators racing against time to stave off the imminent return of the Ancient One. Armed with tools, allies, and occult knowledge, investigators must put their sanity and stamina to the test as they adventure to locate Elder Signs, the eldritch symbols used to seal away the Ancient Ones and win the game.

Why I like it? I can play solo! It's after all a co-operative game and my group doesn't like that kinda game (we like beating the hell out of each other). Best of all, it's based on the stories by one of my favorite horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft.

Winner's Circle.
A lively game of horse racing where players bet on several of seven horses to try to gain the most money by the end of the game. Players bet on the horses before each race and so either co-operate or compete to get their horses over the line.  

Why I like it? Lotsa bluffing and screaming whenever we play this game. Just gets crazier every time we play it. This game has been out of print for years and I was really lucky to have found a mint copy for almost half the price earlier this month.

Garden Dice.
A strategy game that combines dice rolling, tile laying, and set collection. The game board depicts a garden as a 6x6 grid in which seed and vegetable tiles are placed using dice rolls as coordinates. Players take turns using the dice to plant, water, and harvest five different types of vegetables with differing point values, from the lowly squash to the mighty eggplant. The game's chaining mechanism allows players to water or harvest multiple tiles using a single action, enabling players to build upon each others' chains. Players can also use bird and rabbit tiles to eat other players' seed and veggie tiles, but not without paying a small penalty. Two other special tiles – the sundial and the scarecrow – allow players to modify dice rolls or protect their own tiles.

Why I like it? Fun theme and with some really attractive artwork. And lotsa dice to roll, tiles to place and sets to collect, it's three great gaming mechanics in one game.

Pure negotiation game that puts a different spin on the typical ocean catastrophe. There's been a boating accident, and a rag-tag group of six lifeboats is trying to make its way to one of several islands just over the horizon. However only one boat will make any forward progress in a given turn, so players try to convince everyone to vote for his particular favorite. To further complicate matters, the sailors can't seem to decide which boat they want to be in, so they're constantly jumping out of boats to swim to another one. As if all that wasn't enough, one of the boats springs a leak each turn. If the boat is at maximum occupancy when the leak occurs, then players vote to decide who to toss to the sharks.

Why I like it? No luck involved here. Just pure begging, threatening, yelling and backstabbing. Plenty of broken promises by the end of the night.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cavalock and The All-Collage Bird and Food Post

So I finally went for my first Restaurant Week event. I didn't make any plans for it and it was an invite from a local food blogger. I thought it was a good idea to take a break from my caregiving duties and so there I was at CHIJimes' Tatsu Sushi for the first time!

I thought it was pretty good deal for only S$35. You had a choice between a teppanyaki set or the sushi set and of cos I picked the sushi set! ;) No regrets there. The little joint wasn't that crowded and I think it's the western restaurants that are usually packed for Restaurant Week. I never really paid much attention to Restaurant Week cos I figured the meals are still quite expensive despite whatever discounts they offered. I'll definitely keep an eye out next year.

Well, as you can see, I'm trying out another FREE collage generator (Collagelt Free for Mac). Some more new bird pix from my 79-year-old Dad. He's getting older and gets tired more easily now when carrying all his heavy camera equipment around. These birds are out in the wild and not from the Bird Park or Zoo. Maybe one day I'll find a proper way to showcase more of his photos.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cavalock and The Return to The Mummy Museum

While rampaging through the old family home kitchen I found these little baking nuggets! These traditional 'kueh' cutters have been in the family for at least 50 years I think. Not sure if you can still find these shapes or designs in shops today, I suppose the heart-shaped one is quite common. They still look pretty much as good as new except for some tarnishing.

I also finally decided to bring these old made-in-UK tea cups and saucers back to my current home. Figured it's about time I had a proper tea set and no, I have not been watching Downton Abbey. I remember seeing the brown tea set since I was a kid so that's gotta be pretty old. Back then my family was rather serious bout tea breaks. I would have to stop whatever I was doing (reading comics, playing, napping, reading comics, watching TV, listening to the radio, reading comics) and have my biscuits, curry buns or chicken (yes, chicken or drumstick to be exact) at about 3pm almost everyday. I wouldn't drink tea since I was still little so it was usually milk or water, maybe Ribena. So can anyone recommend a good tea flavor? Thanks in advance!

And speaking of old stuff, here's a bit of good news and bad news of the archaeological sorts this week. Good news is the announcement that locals will get to enjoy yearlong free entry to all pubic museums in the country from May 18th. Bad news is the upcoming Mummies exhibition from the British Museum at the Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum ain't part of the free ride.

But odds are, I'll still pay to go see it even though I have already seen them while I was in London hence all these pix I took. According to the press release, there'll be more than 100 artifacts and six mummies which usually means just a little more than 100 artifacts if we are lucky. That's a mere fraction of I saw for FREE in London! The ticket price here had better be reasonable.

Now the public library copy of Tutankhamen's Curse that I got was such a great read that I have ordered my own hardcover copy from The Book Depository. For a book with the word 'Curse' in the title, there's hardly any mention of the infamous curse until halfway through the book. The non-fiction book traces the life and afterlife of the famous boy king, tons of information about the dig itself including the life of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb.

The hardcover book is just filled with so many interesting facts about the mummies, Ancient Egypt as well as life during early 20th century and how it got all wrapped up in the mummy craze. It's so easy to read and not heavy at all. Turning every page is like unwrapping a mummy bandage by bandage. It's such a great learning experience. I sooooo recommend this book for anyone who has even the slightest interest in Ancient Egypt or mummies.

Geez, after writing all that I realized two things. First is that I'm extremely blessed to have seen the Egyptian exhibit at the British Museum and secondly, all these pix I took make great promo for the coming exhibit!

Hey, if you like anything on this page, please leave a tick in any of the little boxes below! Or better yet, leave a comment. Thanks! <^;^>

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cavalock and The Smokin' Bus Incident

Winter is ... opps, I mean Easter is coming. So naturally there's gotta be some Easter goodies coming outta mah little ol' kitchen. Check out these chocolate with vanilla buttercream cupcakes! Made (not by me!) and given out for free too!

Once again, I had absolutely nothing to do with them except take a couple of shots of the cupcakes. I remember decades ago, as a kid bout six years old, my Dad would bring me to the kids' Easter Party at Mandarin Hotel in Orchard (it happened more than one Easter I think). I still have some vague memories of it. Got some goodie bags, painted Easter eggs, lotsa other screaming kids in a hotel ballroom, and some guy in a giant pink bunny suit. And yah, I kinda freaked out at all that and wailed my way home. So anyone else had any Easter nightmares as a kid?

Now just when you thought our public transport couldn't get any worse! Here's something that happened a few hours ago. Me and the guys were on our way to supper after our regular boardgame session. Our car stopped behind this bus at the traffic light junction opposite the Central Library. Naturally with four guys (and two lightsabers in the back seat. Really) in the car, we were trash-talking our guts out. That is until we noticed smoke emitting outta the backside of the bus right in front of us, then BANG! Alright, maybe it wasn't that loud but we did hear a 'bang!'. I was riding shotgun and did what came naturally. I ducked under my seat while whipping out my iPhone, raising it above my head, closed my eyes and started snapping like crazy. Yup, I took those pix and not someone else as some might claim online. Seconds later, passengers started alighting and strange thing was that the cops showed up almost immediately. No one's that fast so were they already following the bus or do you believe in coincidence?

So later while we were all having supper at the food court, we talked bout how close me and the driver were to getting our brains blown out if the back of the bus really exploded with flames and all. The shrapnel would have crashed through the windscreen and killed us in the front seats. We cracked lotsa gamer jokes like how we made our +2 saving rolls. Life is short cos you never can tell if the bus you are in is gonna go up in smoke. Like I said, years ago live fast, love hard and die with your mask on. ;)

4D UPDATE! Not surprisingly one of the guys (it wasn't me!) played the bus number 960, there's also the license plate with a partial 40. Well, the winning first prize 4D number on Wednesday was 5609. Not really that close but I'm sure there's a 5 in the license plate somewhere... ;)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Cavalock and The Overdue Martini Maneuver

I dare say this was the first wedding dinner I have attended in ages. Ever since I became a caregiver, the opportunities to indulge in "normal" activities have been so few that I sometimes wonder if I'm slowly losing my mind.

Although the rather traditional wedding dinner was fun, what was way more memorable was catching up with ex-colleagues and friends. Also finally stepped into Morton's for the first time for a little pre-wedding dinner martini with the best ice-cream maker in town. Glad that we got seated at the main restaurant bar instead of that little crowded and noisy circular bar. At least we could hear ourselves talk.

Check out what she got for me all the way from Japan, band-aids in the style of Japan's famous Shinkansen bullet trains! There are 10 plasters and they so cute you'll almost wanna got slash yourself! 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Cavalock and The Go Go Ninjago Bash

Well, we had the Iron Man cookies and Disney's Cars birthday cake coming out of my kitchen (but not by me), so this week it's Lego's Ninjago's turn! Was a vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream to be exact, and of course chocolate cupcakes.

Always a joy to such amazing handicraft take shape right before your eyes. Oh, and the cake itself is a multi-colored layered cake. I heard the kids and parents all had a pleasant surprise when they sliced the cake. :)

Well, being a caregiver really doesn't leave me much time or energy to do or rather indulge in the things I like. Some days I spent at the old family home, making like Storage Wars or American Pickers, here's a little something I found. Heh, I think most of you won't know what these are.

From the 1970s, these little thick cardboard stamps or tickets are from public weighing machines back in the day. The cards even say where the machines were found, like the now abandoned Capital Theatre next to Raffles City. On one side was some Hong Kong movie celebrity and the other side tells you the date and your weight. Plus random fortune cookie talk! Pretty neat huh?