If anyone missed it, there's been lots of travel lately-- mostly involving Alli going off by herself-- visiting family, walking Paul's footsteps through Greece, and petting kangaroos and koalas in Australia (reportedly work was also conducted).  This has made a lot of time for me to be here by myself.  It's fun and different for about 2, maybe 3 days, but then the rest of the time is just kind of restless. Suddenly just hanging out is much less satisfying.

Anyway, have been meaning to say a few words about what all I did during Alli's leaves of absence.

First, I went fishing.

And I caught 2 fish. I'll just show you one picture...  I went with a few local friends from work to a stocked fish pond, where we fished from the hours of 8 a.m. until about noon.  on a Saturday.  That means I had to get up at 7.  on a Saturday.  And yea, it's a little bit like cheating to fish from a stocked pond, but it's not like swarming with fish.  I caught 2 (the first 2 of the day by the way), and nobody caught any more than that.
This was, by the way, probably the second time I've been fishing in my life.  They assure me next time we'll go deep sea fishing...

I went straight from my morning fishing trip to the iBrew challenge 2010 Singapore. This is a day to celebrate the homebrewing community of Singapore, a fledgling but growing community.  I believe there were about 150 people there, many kegs of free flow homebrewed beer - some vying for the title of best homebrewed beer (not me, not there yet)- some food to snack on, and, well, lots and lots of discussion about how to make a good beer in this hot country.  The event was scheduled 12-5, but did not actually end until about 8 p.m. Here's just one picture of the group enjoying beers in East Coast Park:
No Kyle pictured.

let's see, when I became bored, I did a little bit of shopping.  Came across a nice sale on a few shoes:
I tried to choose between colors, but they were quite cheap.. so I just decided to buy one of each (Alli got me the pair at far left for my birthday this year, already owned those).

Fresh off of the ibrew challenge, I had a couple of friends over to make my second Singaporean beer- a Sam Adams Summer Ale clone- though I could not find any grains of paradise here, and had to substitute coriander. Only one cellphone-snapped pic to mark that occasion:

But then-- things started to go wrong.  Here is a list of all of the accumulated things that went wrong while Alli was out of the country:
  1. I broke my hydrometer (that I use to measure the gravity of the beer, to tell whether it's done fermenting, how much alcohol has been made)
  2. our air conditioning went out.  I was awakened promptly at about 3 a.m. one night to the sound of sudden... silence.  that was our power going entirely out.  sleepily, I slowly determined that the cause was none other than our air conditioner.  If it was on, the power would not come back on.  Turning it on after power was on immediately tripped a circuit.  
  3. I sweated a lot.  see #2.
  4. I broke my french press.  That Alli bought me for my birthday... or maybe Christmas, about 2 years ago.
  5. On my way to work one morning, I gracefully leaped over a railing in the median of a road, in a crosswalk-- which forces you to zig-zag rather than taking a straight course across the road (I think the purpose is so that more people can fit during a busy rush hour)- just like I do many mornings when I catch the timing of the crossing light just right-- so that I can take the straight path rather than the unnecessary zig-zag and save myself that 15 seconds of Singapore sun.  Only, on this particular morning, I was tired.  I'm going to go ahead and say this was directly related back to #2.  So I didn't put quite as much up in my leap.  And see those shoes up above- the green ones? the toe is just a little longer than most of the shoes I wear.  Anyway, I ended up all but face planting.  it wasn't graceful at all.  There were a lot of people crossing at this moment.  I had my headphones on, so I am unable to report whether there was much pointing, laughter, and mockery.  I just got back up and pressed on.
  6. My MRT card stopped working.  Because it was tied to a credit card, which expired, and didn't allow for any easy way to update it.  
  7. My access card stopped working at my workplace.
  8. I became trapped in the garage at my workplace.  This is due to #7.  I went to work on a Sunday afternoon, taking my bike.  I parked it in the garage.  I got into the garage through the open garage door.  I called a lab mate to get me into lab, did some work, left the way I came.  Except the garage door was now closed.  And having no working staff card, I could not re-enter the building.  So I was trapped.  For about 30 minutes while I contacted various people to try and get them to let me back in (lab mates had already gone home).  finally got in touch with security and was freed.
  9. Reverted to my 'natural' sleep cycle.  i.e. stay up until 3 a.m. doing nothing whatsoever, then walk around like a zombie all day.
  10. well you know, just generally missed my wife.

I also spent a lot of time in lab:
(and let the facial hair grow a little)

well I guess there is a silver lining.  I made this discovery at a grocery store: pringles has taken it to a new level:
Hopefully you remember the entertaining flavors we've found previously. I'm thinking working on product development at pringles has to be a pretty good gig.  I feel certain there are drugs involved.

Of course, I should point out that Alli had to bring me strawberry peanut butter M&Ms all the way back from the US, so don't go calling those Asians crazy just yet.

Peculiar Pringles aside, it's good to be back in the same country at the same time, just enjoying our time.