Monthly Archives: October 2011

Curse of the Kop

Ever since I started playing Fantasy Football on Facebook, I have noticed a disturbing trend that has always put in an cryptic dilemma: Everytime I select a Liverpool player in FF land, he will sensationally flop; and when I release him, he will shine in real life! In summary, if I have a few Liverpool players on board in FF, the Liverpool in reality will flop as a team, and when I don’t have any Liverpool players on my FF team, the team will more often than not score wins in reality! Sigh.

So, in reality…while this would be good news for me (Liverpool not performing), it would be bad news for me in FF land…

This ‘curse’ took to a new level last year when I kept Steven Gerard on my team on and off for most parts of the season. During a particular stretch, not only was he not performing (in real life) , he succumb to a groin injury that kept him out for the rest of the season!

This year, I monitored Gerard as his price dropped in early season. He was only at 14.3M when I gleefully bought him, which I felt was a bargain. Furthermore, his return coincided with one of the softest stretches for Liverpool, starting with Norwich City. (See where this blog is going..) Since it was a home game, I installed Gerard as captain too!

Alas! The curse struck again when Liverpool could only manage a 1-1 draw with the Canaries. Gerard didn’t even score nor get a clean sheet! looks like I’m gonna have to revisit this dilemma all over again!

Do I keep Gerard so that Liverpool continue to drop points (for real!)? Or drop him completely so that my FF team would stand a better chance? Hmmmm…For now, I would simply just keep him only if to increase the value of my team. His price has rocketed beyond 15M already! 😀

Elsewhere, I am still dizzy reeling from the nightmare in Old Trafford last Sunday night. As a result, I have decided to ‘punish’ the poor display from my Man Utd boys by making a FF team for this coming weekend with ZERO Man Utd players. It would be a first in my career as FF Manager.

Not sure if I did the right thing, or did I not think straight when I made the trades, but I sincerely hope the ‘rest’ will do them good. I will probably buy them back after this weekend’s away clash at Goodison Park.

Here’s my tentative starting 11 for GameWeek 10 this weekend:

The Kitchen Musical: A Delicious Drama!

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Have you tasted, or seen rather, of the latest musical drama series on TV? Nope, it’s not the latest season of Glee. I’m talking about the new dish on the Asian TV menu – The Kitchen Musical!

It has a simple plot that revolves around a rich young girl by the name of Maddie (Karylle) who has recently graduated from a culinary school in France. She then gets a job as a sous chef at her father’s popular restaurant called The Avilon. This is where she meets Alex (Stephen Rahman Hughes), the executive chef, who is a perfectionist and barks at will at everyone. There is also Daniel (Christian Bautista), the other sous chef, who is a childhood friend of Maddie and apparently has hidden  feelings for her too. The other main characters of the show are Harry (Arthur Acuña), who is Avilon’s general manager, and Selena (Rosemary Vandenbroucke), who is some sort of a wine steward who also has an eye on Alex.

The drama basically has the crew work on various food dishes, which are very tasty looking too, if I may add. in addition, there are also minor character developments and romantic subplots involving the main characters Maddie, Alex, Daniel and Selena.

Now, the uniqueness of the show is the music. Every now and then, the show will shift into its musical gears and the cast will instinctively get into the song and dance mode and belt out cover versions of popular hits like BEP’s Boom, Boom Pow, Matchbox 20’s Unwell, or even classics like Doris Day’s Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps or Diana Ross’ You Can’t Hurry Love!

After watching 3 episodes thus far, I have to say overall I am truly impressed by the show. The song arrangements, in particular were very well done, and I could feel a certain refreshing twang when the cast started singing the songs. The dance routines were also quite well choreographed,complete with plentiful helpings of glitzy, colourful costumes! I can only imagine how much fun the cast had filming each episode. Hah!

The only weak point for me was the acting which was pretty ‘wooden’ for everyone. It just felt like a stage play at times.The dialogue was also seeming scripted in a cheesy or cheeky way to force-lead the flow into the next song. Quite predictable in that sense but I guess the main strength or focus of the show is its music, and that’s where it truly shines, so I am not going to complain much.

Not convinced? Check out the video clip from the first episode below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx1z29uTR4Y

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The Kitchen Musical! airs a new episode on nTV7 every Tuesday at 8.30pm and on AXN every Saturday at 8.00pm

City Uprising

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23 October 2011 will forever be remembered by the world. And more so in both the Red and Blue sections of Manchester, England.

It will be remembered as the day Manchester City made a bold (and loud) statement that they have arrived; that they are for real this time; that they are the TEAM to beat.

My poor Manchester United were clinically picked apart by a very organised City side; the dismissal of Evans notwithstanding. I was particularly impressed  with Silva who was truly mesmerising whenever he had the ball as he pull the strings creatively in midfield. That sadly, is one position Man United is sorely lacking – our closest player with a similar touch is Anderson, and he’s still pretty far behind what Silva is capable off. Probably only Mata or Modric plays quite close to Silva’s form at the moment.

I was extremely shocked at the lazy displays of our back four – main culprits being Rio Ferdinand, who seemed totally dis-interested in continuing on with the game; Evans, who played the entire match 2 paces slower than the City strikers; and Evra, who was regularly missing from his core task of defending the left flank. I lost count of the number of times Micah Richards was allowed to blaze down the left without contest.

It was also SAD to see our strikers Rooney and Welbeck doubling up to do defensive duties on so many occasions! Nani and Young were surprisingly stifled out the flanks which resulted in their near ineffectivness. If this was the wake up call Sir Alex Ferguson needed, it certainly was a noisy one.

Our neighbours have proven last night that they are not only noisy this season – they seem to have the goods to back it up…

It will be interesting to see how Man Utd will respond to this white (or blue, rather) wash…Come on you REDS!

Welcoming Noisy Neighbours

It’s Derby day again when our noisy neighbours come visiting Old Trafford tomorrow.

With both teams breathing a huge sigh of relief after coming through mid-week Champions League action with a win and no injuries, the stage is set for early bragging rights on who would be installed as favourites for the BPL title this season.

City have so far lived up to their pre-season hype – they have a solid defence that isn’t afraid to join in the attack, incredible depth in midfield that could light up the scoreboard on any given day, and an Argentinian scoring machine (yup, the non-whining one) leading an impressive strikeforce.

They also have stats to back up their strut. City currently top the league with 22 points (out of a possible 24). They have scored 27 goals in the BPL (rank 1st) and only leaked in 6 goals to-date. Their only blip was the choking performance vs a determined Fulham side who fought back to draw 2-2.

In comparison, Man United sit second in the table, just 2 points behind City. They have poured in 25 goals (rank 2nd) and also allowed 6 goals to-date. The two draws that cost us 4 points were an 1-1 away battle vs Stoke and last weekend’s strategic (ahem) 1-1 result vs Liverpool.

Both Man United and City are undefeated after 8 games into the season and Man United is still on a 4-game winning streak at Old Trafford. If we track Man Utd’s performance at home from last season, their impressive OT record currently stands at 33-5-0 in all competitions since a loss to Chelsea on 3 April 2010!

So, what sort of line up would SAF pick to unleash on the Citizens tomorrow? After a defensive looking line-up against Liverpool, which I sincerely believe had to be set up to prepare for the crucial mid-week UCL tie, we would revert back to the familiar young and exciting line-up vs City.

Although Vidic got a red card in Europe, SAF would go for experience to shore up the back line and pair up his trusted dynamic defensive duo of Vidic and Ferdinand. Evra would still be the obvious choice on the left whilst the speed of Jones would surely be needed on the right to handle Silva/Nasri/Milner or whoever comes down from that flank.

In midfield, Young should return to the left after getting a rest from midweek UCL action, as with Fletcher, whose dogged and relentless talent for chasing down balls is needed to contain the skillful City midfield. His tussles with Yaya Toure would be quite a battle. I would expect and Anderson to be used more offensively here, compared to a more defensive option of Carrick or Park in midfield. Nani would be a better bet on the right, after seeing the ‘form’ of Valencia for the past few matches.

As for strikers, Rooney is a shoo-in to start. Who would be picked as his strike partner is a good question. With Welback rested in mid-week, there’s a possiblity he could start although I feel SAF would want the ‘default’ pairing of Rooney-Chicarito to get more playing time together.

That’s my line-up pick to fight City tomorrow. My predictions? Man Utd 2 Man City 1, 2 reds, 8 yellows…

Another Papaya Passeth…

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Yeah, I know papaya trees come and go but seeing this one die was quite sad. Probably because it had been our best papaya performer thus far. I sure enjoyed the fruits it produced. And I’m sure so did the other garden rodents and snails and bats or any other things that it attracted. 😀

So, how did it die? I have absolutely no clue. Yup, I was one of those who forgot to sign up for Papayaism 101 in university…

Too little water? Couldn’t be. It had been pouring for weeks!

Too much water? Couldn’t be. When the sun did come out, it was scorching!

Too little fertilizer? Couldn’t be. I have dogs roaming in the garden that would have probably made the tree a personal toilet.

Hmmmm…perhaps I didn’t talk to it often enough. Heh.

Anyway, it is always uplifting to see new things bloom in my garden when one passes on….

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A new leaf emerges...

Purified

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With all the regular open burning in our neighbourhood, the more seasonal than ever haze, the increased air pollution, and persistent coughing from my kids, we decided to use our Citibank credit card points to redeem an air purifier, and like all previous redemptions, Citibank delivered remarkably.

The submission was completed within minutes, and the goods arrived in 3-4 days from the moment I clicked submit. Kudos again to Citibank’s redemption system.

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So, how did the new air purifier fare?

To be honest, I am one that don’t quite believe in air purifiers. Not of their existence, but of their effectiveness. And since the model we redeemed is what I would consider a pretty basic model, I actually can’t tell if it really works! Sure it comes with some nanoe feature which I cannot even understand how it works! Only good sign I can notice so far is that my kids have been coughing less…hmmmm.

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Anyway, I don’t think I should complain much. It’s sorta free anyway. Ha.

Do you have an air purifier in your house? Do you think it works? 😛

Cute and cool, huh? :-D

Messi vs the Snake

Benefits of keeping dogs as pets at home:

1. Furry friend to play with

2. No more food wastage as they will clear up all the leftovers

3. Additional sense of security against burglars

4. Poop with nutritional properties that helps the trees and plants in the garden to bloom!

5. Helps sniff out and wards snakes from the garden…

Yup, I found out about benefit #5 quite recently when a snake appeared in our back garden some nights ago. Messi was barking (at close range) at the snake without a hint of fear. Perhaps all that barking caused the snake to be extra cautious because it certainly didn’t move with the agility and flexibility I would have thought most snakes moved. :-p Anyway, during this entire commotion, Rotti couldn’t be bothered, walking here and there…hmmm

Not knowing whether it was a poisonous snake or not, we took no chances and quickly boiled some water and gave the reptile a faceful of it! It shrieked in pain and jolted up in the air for a split second before slithering away down our back wall.

Here is a night photo I took of the face-off between Messi and the snake:

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We had feared it could have been a garden or tree snake, which is known to be the poisonous kind. However, after looking at the photo I took, my wife said it looked more like a young python, which is not poisonous but it can kill its victims by coiling round them and then eating them whole. This might also explain the in-agility of the snake and it’s lack of ‘attack’ stance with fangs. Heh.

I quickly did some research with my buddy, Google to find out more about what we were up against. Here are some interesting tid bits about snakes:

  • Garden snakes will have a forked tongue, which they will hiss quite frequent.
  • The forked tongue has a name that is linked with the characteristics of the passion fruit vines. Hmmmm
  • The venom from garden snakes may not be toxic enough to kill humans but enough to kill smaller animals like birds and rodents.
  • Which means the existence of snakes will help to decrease rodent population!
  • Best ways to discourage snakes from coming into the garden is to keep the lawn mowed (hint hint), regular cleaning up of fruit droppings/compost, etc.
  • Apparently, passion fruit vines have been known to attract snakes too! Yikes!
  • Other deterrents are moth balls. Unfortunately, moth balls have been found to be toxic to dogs too. Sigh.
  • Another one are ropes. Strangely, it has been noted that snakes are unable to slither OVER a piece of rope. It will somehow entangle itself.
  • As with fishing nets…another tried and tested defence against snakes!
  • Not all breeds of dogs can be counted on to ‘fight’ snakes. Certainly explains Rotti’s ‘tidak apa’ attitude…
  • Cats on the other hand will be more effective when faced with snakes.
  • Unless of course you want to keep a pet mongoose…

Here’s a closer zoom into the eyes of the snake..I tried to Google search by images but I couldn’t confirm if it is a garden snake or a python or some other species. Hmmmm.

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Anyone with any other ideas of how to get rid of these slimy reptiles?