Monthly Archives: April 2015

Two squirrels and Two Otters

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(from the lesson held on 23 April 2015, Thursday, Lesson 2/12 of new series)

And finally, saw (two) otters in Bishan Park I today (27 April, Monday)!

otters on the canal bank (near Bishan Road) Bishan Park I, heading in the direction towards MacDonalds.

otters on the canal bank (near Bishan Road) Bishan Park I, heading in the direction towards MacDonalds.

Quite random to put the painting and photo together in this same post and yet, they seem somehow related! šŸ™‚

 

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WILD SINGAPORE!

Fascinating creatures that were spotted yesterday at Bishan Park I (where Macdonalds is located) and today (25 April 2015, Saturday) along the trail to the tree top walk from Venus Carpark (photos are taken just after the wooden fence at the t-junction where the damaged huge bamboos are found):

Common gliding lizard (Bishan Park 1) .. male species has the yellow flap to attract females :)

Common gliding lizard (Bishan Park 1) .. male species has the yellow flap to attract females šŸ™‚

Two cute scaly breasted munias found in the tall grasses in Bishan Park 1

Two cute scaly breasted munias found in the tall grasses in Bishan Park 1

Purple Heron on tree top (at top left hand corner is the Clover by the Park condo)

Purple Heron on tree top (at top left hand corner is the Clover by the Park condo)

Macaque on fallen bamboo, eating the beans from pod (venus car park to tree top walk trail)

Macaque on fallen branch, eating the beans from pod (venus car park to tree top walk trail)

Hammerhead worm on   a fallen tree trunk that had been sawn into many parts ... (likely due to the storm yesterday afternoon?) ... most definitely not a "baby snake" that I overheard some people say!

Hammerhead worm on a fallen tree trunk that had been sawn into many parts (likely due to the storm yesterday afternoon?) … most definitely not a “baby snake” that I overheard some people say!

Asian glossy starling ... notice its sore eyes!! this is the bird that gathers in  flocks in trees along Ghim Moh Road and makes a lot of noise!

Asian glossy starling … notice its sore eyes!! this is the bird that gathers in flocks in trees along Ghim Moh Road and makes a lot of noise!

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AGM season …

finally carved out some time last week to attend threeĀ company AGMs! And it has been quite an educational experience, going for the first one with CA, second one by myself, and the third with KH …

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The first AGM (Suntec Reit) was “a good AGM” according to CA, and after attending all three AGMs, I now know what he meansĀ … it is about the “quality” of the questions posed, especially with regards to the financial statements (i.e. resolution 1).

In contrast, the second AGM (Noble) was marked byĀ how the chair seemed to be rather “touchy” about certain questions raised (but to be honest, I did not find some questions to be particularly relevant, which was why the chairman did not want to address them e.g. why an email request for hardcopy of the Annual report did not get any response).

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Attending the Noble and Keppel Corp AGMs on the same day, I saw the same shareholders … turns out that these are the same “infamous” regularsĀ who raise questions on the AGM circuit over the years, as KH pointed out to me. And some of them provided quite a drama, which made the session quite interesting and entertaining for a first-timer like me, haha!! (e.g. this guy who spoke against giving funds to SIAS because they do not do anything for shareholders, or this lady who “scolded” Keppel Corp Board for the low price they offered to Keppel Land shareholders)

(it was alsoĀ nice to meet up with an ex-colleague, LH, as well as an ex-JC classmate SK, who raisedĀ a good question before Resolution 1 was passed during the Keppel Corp AGM) : )

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So, what did I learn from attending the AGMs?

First, a better sense of what these companies are about; second, a chance to see the Board ChairmanĀ and CEO, and directorsĀ in actionĀ (must say Lee Boon Yang was very steady, and Irene Lee was also very good with her response to herĀ “value-added” as director); third, how other people look at the financial statements and question it (probably the most important thing for a serious investor); fourth, how these AGMs are carried out (e.g. standard 15 s ruling for voting for a resolution, using a clicker device); and lastly, the kind of “freebies” provided (e.g. Suntec REIT gave a very nice Bento lunch set, Noble had pastries which quickly ran out, and Keppel Corp gave some NTUC vouchers).

HopeĀ to attend some more in the coming weeks! šŸ™‚

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If I were a carpenter …

The apprentice ...

The apprentice …

Must be an age thing, somehow thought of this title for this post, and its actually a song title (from don’t know how many centuries ago! :).

teak and walnut finish ...

teak and walnut finish …

Anyway, got an apprentice (SY) who was keen to do the varnish, and after 2 to 3 coats over two days, here’s the results:

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woohoo, the finished products!! the leftover 30 cm piece used to test the colours …

Pretty happy with what came out of the 4 pieces of wood!! Ā šŸ™‚

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One man’s trash is another man’s bench!

Somehow, nice pieces of wood (or paper) always brings out the “garang guni man” in me!

the only thing left of the 4 pieces ... 30 cm in length!

the only thing left of the 4 x 190 cm pieces … a 30 cm piece that can still be put to some use!

 

These 4 long pieces of pinewood (190 cm, part of a IKEA bed frame) were just placed against the big bin “near” my place as I was heading home from Bishan Park after a run on Sunday. I immediately thought of bringing them back to transformĀ them into “something” andĀ so, after dinner, wife and girls helped me bring it back (200 m up aĀ slope, thanks girls!! šŸ™‚ ).

The final products!! but not the end yet ... may stain them "teak" to match the teak swing ...

The final products!! but not the end yet … may stain them “teak” to match the teak swing …

After the first attempt (bench 120 cm long, height 30 cm) yesterday,

The first attempt ... OK for potted plants to sit on :)

The first attempt … OK for potted plants to sit on šŸ™‚

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first bench attempt, leg not very strong … OK to put potted plants but not very safe to sit on!!

first bench being put to other use ... supporting my just painted fan blades!

first bench being put to other use … supporting my just painted fan blades while it dries!

improved the leg design for greater stability for second bench (100 cm, height 25 cm, strong enough to sit two people I think), and remaining wood turned into a stool (can sit to do gardening or wear shoes) Ā šŸ™‚

second bench and stool both overturned to see leg design, ... both resting on the first bench

second bench and stool both overturned to see leg design, … both resting on the first bench

Am very glad the 4 pieces of wood found a new home and a new beginningĀ and

looking out for more pieces of “homeless” wood Ā šŸ™‚

 

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Lessons from fixing a noisy ceiling fan …

I never thought that Ā flaking fan blades can cause so much noise!!

You see, I have been having this very irritating “grinding” noise from my ceiling fan when the speed is set to “2”, and at “3” it sounds like the world is going to end because the ceiling is going to fall down anytime (seriously, it is that bad!); at “1”, it is quietĀ but useless for generating wind. So as always, I google “how to fix a noisy ceiling fan” and tons of videos and handyman repair tips came out, none of which worked for me as the “diagnosis” was not correct (anyway, it seems the most common is something loose, or an unbalanced fan which can be fixed by attaching weights at the right place on the blade).

Thinking that it was the motor or some bearings that were worn out, I considered replacing the entire fan … BUT, decided I ought to double check my hypothesis by removing the fan blades:

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Hmm, no grinding sound or end-of-the-world ceiling going to fall down sounds … maybe the problem is the “flakey” (and rusty) blades:

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they sure don’t make fan blades like they used to!! and so I used the good ol’ WD40 and sandpaper to clear the loose coatingĀ and remove the rust, put under the sun to tan them and rid it of the turpentineĀ (believing it would evaporate away better)

sun tanning the blades after wiping them clean of WD40 using turpentine ...

sun tanning the blades after wiping them clean of WD40 using turpentine …

and applied spray paint to it ..

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drying the newly spray painted fan blades on my new pine bench that I made 2 days ago (more of that in the next post..)

And, … TADA, it works beautifully now!!

The "new" fan !!! white blades restored, and very quiet now ... :)

The “new” fan !!! white blades restored, and very quiet now … šŸ™‚

So, it was really the fan blades after all, but NOT the balancing but the vibration due to the loose surface coating on the blades !!

Definitely glad I double-checked my assumption (about the motor or bearing being the cause of the noise)! but if possible, just go and get new blades which should cost much less than replacing the whole fan, and takes much less work than what I did … it is rather messy work to clear the rust thoroughly so that the new coat of paint will stick well. But forĀ me, I quite enjoy this type of “home”workĀ šŸ™‚

P.S. anyone knows where to get the fan blades??

 

 

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Ducks and rooster …

Call it coincidence but just as I start to “shoot birds” and learn to identify them, also happen to paint them …

from a painting class about 4 weeks ago ... quite interesting colours  used

from a painting class about 4 weeks ago … quite interesting colours used

this is also based on a class held recently, but using my own rooster ... (i.e. rocks and bougainvillaea based on teacher's demo)

this is also based on a class held recently, but using my own rooster … (i.e. rocks and bougainvillaea based on teacher’s demo)

this is my rendition of a photo of ducks and geese taken during our Taiwan trip in Dec 2013

this is my rendition of a photo of ducks and geese taken during our Taiwan trip in Dec 2013

based on a painting in the living room (but much smaller version)

based on a painting in the living room (but much smaller version)

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