Friday, 25 April 2014

フランフラン 閉じる Franc Franc: I am sad to see U go. 寂しい Lonely

Update 3:43pm 26 Apr Sat:  Taking back all positive comments regarding Franc Franc.

I was  just now changing my bed sheet & when I pat the mattress, white powder flies from it. Bro had previously told me that it's the memory foam or mattress top disintegrating into powder. Meaning their stock was old to begin with.

It has only been 1 year and 9 months ago. Although I didn't expect it to last long (since it's an unknown brand), I didn't expect it to disintegrate like this. Bro said their furniture is overpriced. I think it's better they close for selling such crap.

The bed is indeed very good & cooling, but it is turning into powder on top. 


I love their last sentence in their closing announcement at their store entrance:  There shall come a time where we will meet again.

It sounds a lot like a Japanese promise.  "Surely" きっと kitto they will return. Sounds a lot less lonely.  Not a goodbye. Comforting.  I like it very much. Tanoshimini 楽しみに (looking forward to it), although bro & I think that once a company leaves, it's unlikely to return. Many companies left in the past never came back.

The sentence also reminds me of Jack Sparrow... "There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.".

So far, no establishment has ever said it in this way. It's a very personal message. Not just customer and business. But a message from a friend.  T.T  Very touching in  a way.  "a time where we will meet again".

I also like the ending:

The management of Franc Franc,
casually and stylishly signing off.

Cool & "Betsuni". Like its no big deal. No disgrace.

In a plastic stand at the store entrance, the notice with red background says:

Dear Valued Customers,

Our Management regrets to inform you that we will be ceasing to operate in Singapore by May 2014.

Further reduction starts from 7th March through 31st May 2014 with JCube closing in April and VivoCity in May.

We would like to thank all customers for the generous
support given to us the past 2 years.

There shall come a time where we will meet again.

The Management of Francfranc,
casually and stylishly signing off.

(Final call additional 30% discount).

I bought my best ever bed from Franc Franc @ Vivocity. I blogged about it here. Has it been 2 years already? Lemme check my receipt... can't find it.  No, lemme check my date of post here... 07/07/2012.

Yeah, 2 years. Wow. My bed has a slight creak now, by the way, but it's still cooling & comfortable.

When Franc Franc first took over from Page One @ Vivo, I already knew it would not last long.

1) Too big floor area = very high rent
2) The things they are selling are luxury/ornament type of items. Furniture expensive. Although I really like their comfy sofas, it's just too expensive (& no space to put them).

Since their opening, the cashier has no queue, nobody seems to be buying anything. Bad sign.

Many months ago, even before their closure announcement, it was obvious they were not doing well.  Empty spaces meaning no stocking up and sloppy arrangement of the beds.  Previously (the time when I bought my bed), the 3 display beds were given pride of place but many months back, they were moved to a corner with things piled on top of them.

Jacqueline who patiently served me regarding the beds, had earlier on already left. I never saw her again after I purchased my bed.

This closure is no surprise, but still very sad. I hate seeing stores close down.  Yaohan, Daimaru, Carrefour, Page One...

Although the articles and the management don't say why Franc Franc is closing down, it's pretty obvious it's the high rent.

It's an embarrassment that Mapletree drove out our own homegrown bookstore Page One that now can only be found outside of Singapore.  What a disgrace. Is Mapletree owned by Singaporeans or foreigners?

According to that article, Habitat will be returning to Singapore.  Habitat.... Wow, I haven't heard that name since... ages. It's sounds so vague now.  I  remember mom used to go there. And I think we still have a piece of furniture bought from there?

While typing, I tell bro that Habitat is coming back.  Bro replies from his room, "Habitat last time open at Marina Square. At that time don't have Youtube. Marina Square... near the entrance. Near where Muji is.".  (bro is everything Youtube now ever since he discovered it & gets his education from there.).

"Are you sure????" I ask.  My bro's memory is amazing. If he says so, then it must be so. I totally don't remember.  And he is younger than me, so I should be remembering more since I was older at that time, but my memory is really crap.

"Are you sure it's Marina Square???" I ask.

"Of course." he says. "because I go there to look at their bulbs. Gui ah.". (Gui = expensive). "At that time, their bulbs were strange, their brand. Not Osram. I was very young, primary 5 or 6.".

*Shocked* "Then did we buy anything from Habitat?". I ask.

"Like bo leh..." he says.

Well, I am glad to hear a familiar name Habitat once again. Looking forward to seeing you again. They say it will be at the new Big Box @ Jurong East.

"Habitat closed due to poor sales, you know.". I say.

"Same lah. Franc Franc also bo lang go in." says bro. "I see Franc Franc I remember Habitat. Very vague idea lah, but I think it's Habitat.". 

(actually by my calculation... bro wasn't primary 5/6 at that time...his memory also not perfect.)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Kissing Causes Alzheimers (Parents Children Lovers Couples)

When I was young, my mom never kissed me on the lips. She said it's dirty for an adult to kiss a clean child. Germs can be passed that way. And adults are dirty. They eat all kinds of junk.  She always said a baby's breath is the cleanest & freshest.

She never let any one else kiss me either, and I was cute.

There was a prostitute who lived close by who always came over to carry me. I was a baby/toddler at the time. My mom was always afraid she would kiss me & I think she only succeeded in kissing my cheek which mom saw & didn't like. Henceforth, mom somehow prevented her from carrying me again.

Turned out mom was right. She said the Ang Mohs/westerners kiss their kids on their mouths, but it is very bad practice.
Most people get it as children," Itzhaki says. "It's in your saliva, and it can easily be passed along with a kiss from a family member." She says it's not really that puzzling that most people who carry the virus never show symptoms—as she puts it, not everyone who's infected with a microbe is necessarily affected by it. "It depends on the person harboring the virus," she says. "It's probably based on genetic factors."
How might a germ you could have contracted from, say, a grandparent potentially destroy your brain when you become a grandparent?

As usual, money is a bad thing. It has been causing problems in the search for cures.  Pharmaceutical companies are evil.  The cure for cancer was found a lot time ago but it was buried. The methods currently in use kill people and yet nothing is done to change anything because it would mean the loss of billions for the pharmaceutical & medical industries.  They want people to be dependent on their drugs & methods.

Doctors push for operations just to buy themselves another car or other personal purposes.

The Hippocratic Oath has long become the Hypocrite Oath.

I won't be surprised if this funding problem & dismissal attitudes in this case is due to some pharmaceutical company/companies attempting to squash the study.

Money shouldn't even be involved. The search for cures should be above money.  This is for the good & betterment of Humankind. In turn, without money, it can translate to our betterment towards other species. This is not the vision of the future, but something that can be done anytime.

Everything in society in our current situation is manmade. It can be remade in any number of different ways anytime we want.  Not happy with something? Change it.

Just for instance, due to consumers' preferences & awareness,  companies are forced to sell better food & products.  It is possible to steer things in the direction you want. Currently, consumers are calling for the removal of toxic petroleum-based ingredients in many products including those for babies.

On the last page of the article however, ... I think it's a bad idea to even hint that people can take preventive medication when pharmaceutical drugs can cause visible & unknown side-effects or illness over a short term or long term use.

Anyone of the researchers looked into whether & how much the disease affects the Japanese people?


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

I Miss Japan!!

(on the way home from ARC going into MRT after dinner @ MacD)

Me: I'm gonna go nuts if I don't go to Japan.

Bro:  That time you said you are going to go nuts if you stayed in Japan.

Me: Yeah. This time I promise I won't go nuts in Japan.

(Yes, I know their Narita Immigration Customs is rude & horrid but I can't help missing the part when I was in the country. T,T).

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Paik's Bibimbap Korean Food Vivocity Review

First time I eat something called Bibimbap. Bro says it sounds like a word we invented. 

When I told him this afternoon, that Wiki says the Koreans call it Bibimbap, he laughed. I said in the 19th century, they called it Bubuimbap.  He said "Tsk.".  (I was thinking Bibimbap is already an improvement.).

[When I read Wiki says they serve bibimbap on flights to Korea, I felt a little jolted that that was what I was going to have to eat if I fly to Korea.].

Recalling the Korean dramas, I said, "I think 'bap' means to eat, or food. And it's pronounced as 'pup'.".

In any case, Bro doesn't have any good impression of Korean food. Neither do I.

So, we have postponed visiting this Bibimbap outlet for a while since its opening at Vivocity.

Today, for lack of anything else to eat for lunch, I was pretty much going to try it.

First, I checked out someone's blog review. She went to the Bedok outlet & said it was good. $8.50.

Ok. That confirmed it.

We agreed to share first & see if it's nice before ordering for bro. I chose the Teriyaki Chicken Bibimbap ($8.50) & Steamed Egg ($3).

The bibimbap turned out to look less than expected, so I told Bro to get one for himself. He ordered the pork bibimbap.  (My bibimbap actually turned out to be more than it looked & I was unable to finish.).

1) Why is the soup so pathetically less than the volume of the container? (Update: it turns out that the volume of soup depends on who served it).

2) Why is the restaurant/Chef Paik so stingy that can't even afford to give customers paper napkins? Makes me think the Koreans are even stingier than the Japs (although there was a Korean neighbor in the past who was quite generous in a way.).

3) Why only 3 small cans of Korean drinks, green tea & mineral water to pick for beverages?

4) Why didn't inform customer to be careful of the very hot steamed egg ceramic pot?  My fingers jumped when I accidentally touched the pot.

Other than that, the soup was nice.   The steamed egg was surprisingly different, tasted homemade & better than Japanese Chawanmushi that I don't like.  The Teriyaki Chicken Bibimbap tasted a little like Popiah with the crispy flakes. Overall, quite nice, although the rice is quite dry & bland. Quite boring.

Bro says the pork bibimbap tasted better than my Teriyaki Chicken but he won't eat it a 2nd time.  He says the food would taste good if you're hungry.

There you have it. Our review.

I might be going back there tomorrow for a 2nd bibimbap... Or maybe not. See how. When I think of the dry rice with just those 3 rows of toppings... my appetite drops.  I think it's the arrangement of the food. The extra large bowl doesn't help.

At first, I thought the Teriyaki Chicken would come like a cutlet on top of the rice.  But it's actually minced & not quite noticeable when mixed with the rice. That's Ok and better in a way. But the presentation could do better. Not to mention... no serviettes.

While we sat & waited for our food, I looked at the poster thinking it looked like fried rice. Soon after, bro had the same idea.

When we got home, bro said "Just say it's Mee Poh Dry".  I thought a bit... Mee Poh Dry... stir it, mix up the sauces and ingredients. Yeah, that's also right.

I prefer Takana Rice @ Ippudo Westgate. Chunks of mayo-ed Chashu & giam chye (pickled vegetable). Salty but nice & memorable. Lovely Japanese rice.

Update Thurs 24 Apr 9:54pm:  We have so far eaten here 3 days in a row because we are bored of everything else at Vivo.  Bro ate the Pork Bibimbap again tonight because he said "nothing else to eat".

Tonight, I tried the Soy Sauce noodles. Very nice & better than the rice meals. Supposed to be dry but I added a little soup.  The noodles very smooth & tasty. No soy sauce taste but everything is nicely balanced.

So far, the Kimchi has been nice. Not too sour. Just nice.  But the rice not very lasting (get hungry again quite soon even though finish everything).

The amount of soup depends on the counter person who puts it in the bowl. If it's the woman, it's little. Last night, the man was generous (gave about half of the container of soup).

Update Friday 25 April 7:56pm: 4th time tonight. I tried the Anchovy Soup noodles. Excellent. Bro ate the Soy Sauce noodles for the 1st time & said it's nice.

This is the best noodles I have ever tasted in my life. Even better than Japanese Soba.
Update Tues 17 June 12:36pm: After a very short while,  you'll get bored of only these few items & the small place with so inconvenient sitting positions.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Dear Prima Taste Instant Noodles Laksa/Fish/Chilli Crab SG (Review)

Dear Prima Taste,

How come your instant noodles become so frothy every time I boil in water? What you use to make the noodles?  Vinegar? Soap?

So frothy until it froths out of my saucepan and spills over even though I attend to it with a fork.

Why when I leave some Chilli Crab noodles on my plate for the whole day on the sink, no ants want to eat it? And the leftover noodles look the same from morning to night?

Chilli Crab noodles not spicy and is a little sweet. But no ants want to touch.

Your Fish Soup noodles is also very lousy compared to the one selling at hawker centers. Completely tasteless.

Your Curry La Mian only slightly better than your Fish Soup noodles but also lousy.

Your Laksa... some years back, I ate before. But felt there was something strange about it, so didn't buy anymore after the first time.

By the way,  I still remember the PrimaDeli fiasco. But that one was at Keppel factory.  Prima Taste instant noodles made at Senoko factory, that's why I buy your instant noodles thinking it should be Ok. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Gmarket Scinic All Day Fine Pore Clay Mask & Pore Mask Cleanser & Galactomyces 14-day Review

I don't know why women buy Korean products from Qoo10 & ibuybeauti when Gmarket is so much better, faster & cheaper (apart from no samples).   I seem to recall Gmarket putting samples into the packages in the past, but they don't anymore.

Qoo10 customers are always complaining about how slow the sellers are & problem with manufacture/expiry dates. ibuybeauti is exceptionally expensive. I've never purchased from both websites.

It's a very hot day @ 4:18 pm & I have other things demanding to be done. So, I will just do a quick review of  the products first & leave Gmarket review for another time.

Product reviews:  I already confirmed receipt of the stuff & gave my reviews in exchange for 2 Gstamps @ Gmarket.

I also wrote a "premium review" based on reading that they would be giving 2 Gstamps or more for the "premium", but they didn't give any. No further Gstamps after I posted the normal reviews first.

I took videos of the products but didn't put them in my Gmarket reviews, intending to post them here.

Short Review: These 2 products don't do anything. They are cheap as a set (unlike Qoo10 that sells separately & just the cleanser costs $23.90 & $30) but ... really don't need to buy them.  

As a set, they cost only 18,900 won (US$18.45) @ Gmarket with discount coupons that can easily be gotten for the month from members area.

The mask & cleanser can't clean white & blackheads. Recommend Shills Whitening Soften Toner instead. 

The mask seems able to tighten the skin. Not much different from using Skin & Lab Glacial Clay Facial Mask that also does nothing much.

What's great is that the manufacture dates are very recent.  

These products do contain petroleum-based ingredients.  PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil in the pore mask & Butylene Glycol in the cleanser.  Compared to other products, such ingredients are already kept to a minimum.  But best to avoid.   Was unable to find any reviews with their ingredients list,  so I bought them to see for myself. 

Update 16 April Wed: The Clay Mask causes my cheeks to turn red every time I use & rinse off.  The redness stays. This is the first time I have a problem with a face mask.  This is a poor product.  One of the ingredients is an irritant or the proportion of it is too much. Could be more than one ingredient causing it.   Update Wed 30 Apr: Leaving it on the face for a shorter amount of time, there is no redness, although the mask hasn't completely dried.

I paid in USD with Paypal since that 3D secure card thing is troublesome when I don't have a phone.  The difference between paying USD & SGD is only a little more.

First, the All Day Fine Pore Clay Mask 100g: manufacture date 20 Aug 2013 (7 months ago, less than 1 year).

Texture is bouncy, airy, fluffy, soft. Spreads easily & well.  Spread it thinly & it will dry faster & be easier to wash off.

When washing off, use your hands only. Do not use any face cloth, otherwise the abrasion/injury will make the face red. (It doesn't happen when I use cloth with other mud/clay masks though. Don't know what's up with this Scinic one.).

The fluffy texture you see below is only at the start. As you use, it just becomes one clump in the container & not like this:

Here's the video:

If you do it like this woman in their ad, it will be very difficult to wash off.  A thicker application will also dry Very tightly against the skin.  Nice music though.

Next is the Scinic All Day Fine Pore Mask Cleanser 100ml:  manufacture date 3 March 2014 (just a month ago!!)

Fun to use.  Shaving cream texture. Bouncy, soft, smooth to apply.  Not drying. But it does nothing for the pores.  I have not tested it on makeup but it is supposed to clean away.    

(Update 15 June Sun 8:06pm:  For lack of a cleanser, I've been grabbing this. So far, the foam canister is very convenient & easy to use without very little or no shaking required. I just weakly sway a bit left and right before squirting it out.  Just a little is more than enough. So that's good. Very foamy, thick spread.

The cleanser does temporarily reduce pore size, tighten & soften the skin, & squeaky clean very well. Since I don't use make up, I don't know how effective it is for make up.).

Shake first.  This in the video is not what it should come out as.  ^_^;

The correct structure should look like this after a little shaking: 

I also bought the Galactomyces 100% 14-day Angel's Liquid.  Doesn't seem to do anything either.  Watery & easily absorbed. Not sticky at all.

I bought it as a substitute to Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin which Gmarket does not have.  I have since given up on buying this, even though it is possible to get it using other ways.

I bought this one below, to test it. I read in a blog that someone had a bad reaction to Galactomyces. So, I wanted to test this before getting Manyo Factory's version that would cost a lot more to get.   As mentioned, I am no longer interested in getting any more Galactomyces. My target has now changed.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 Adultery Site SG

Ashley Madison.  2 April Wed 11+ pm.

I don't know why, but I am bored already just looking at this site.  Before now, I hadn't even heard of it, or even knew such a site existed.

I was just now at Yahoo news, ... lemme think what was I reading... something about Japan...

Ah.   Adultery site big in Japan where marriage Reigns.

Mm hm. Not surprising. The more oppression/suppression people apply unto themselves, the worse they will feel.  It has already been researched that religious people are actually more into porn than normal people. So religion has nothing to do with morals or anything upright (it has in the instance of porn).

The more you suppress, the worse.

Japanese people or any people should think first before getting married.  Don't get married. No point.

Banning this Ashley Madison website in SG is just ... preventing the expansion of something that already exists. Not that Singaporeans are so honestly prim and proper. Just as the Japanese, appearances matter to Singaporeans.  Things are at stake. Men & women are cowardly.

There are married & unmarried couples looking for third persons for sex.  This is a fact.  They might be looking for more if possible.

Whether Ashley Madison (interesting name, by the way)  is bad for Singapore society is actually not much of a point, considering the bigger issues at hand.  Foreigner problem, housing given to foreigners, places in school occupied by foreign kids.  Even Africans are living in our HDBs.

The value of our educational certificates declining due to all kinds of undeserving foreigners getting them to flaunt around.

Your kids may not be able to find work or housing in Singapore in the near future. Consider that before you decide to get married & reproduce.  You are giving birth for them to suffer. Very selfish & unfair.

Looking at the site, it's no different from a massage site. Same thing. Fill up your profile, they match you up.  Boring.

Filling up a form is always boring.  I am also not interested in matching, because nobody, particularly persons in such a site, can match up to me.  Not arrogance but a fact.

Predictable people all gathered in 1 site, are boring.  It's no secret what they are there for & what they want.  Therefore, boring.

The site is not available under Google search. It is "banned" in SG (I am in SG by the way). But here it is:  you figure out how to get there.

I am not sure which to pick.  Such limitations in the main menu... Female seeking females? Single female seeking males?  Hmm.... boring.  Let's pick Single female seeking males.  Click "See Your Matches".

Ta da. Form filling.  Ah, super boring. Right about now, I just hang there, staring at the screen.  I really don't want to fill out the boxes.  And look at those profiles behind. Yeah, I think should be able to choose Asian/Singapore profiles, but just a look at what's available...  It's no different than gay websites that I have already explored and got bored with.  

See the profile that says "Hello Want to chat?! :)".  No, I don't want to chat. So boring. Don't you have something to do? And he's already 38. Wasting your time at 38 asking "want to chat?".

Hmm... *sighs* What I need is money.  And Japan.