Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A blast from the LoanSolutions past: MARRIOTT!!!!!!!!


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So first off, ANNOUNCEMENT: there will be NO BLOG until Monday, 2 May. Why, you ask? Well, because after multiple failed attempts, Team Taylor is finally en route to their first (of four) destination in...wait for it...wait for it...THAILAND, BABY!!!!! Phuket here we come!

I realize that I owe everyone K-L part 2, and I'll also owe folks the Phuket highlights. However, as it's just after 2 in the morning, I simply don't have the energy tonight.

In exercise news, the Bull logged 25KM on the bike in ~50 minutes, and it felt good. Monday night, however, was GREAT, as I ran with the A Group again at track practice! It was actually my strongest practice to date, and I was really pleased with how it went (downward pace pyramid from 500 on 30 second intervals for 100's - good stuff). But fret not - the Dunlap is still intact and solid (literally).

As to the highlight of the evening, it has been a LONG time in the making. So a bit of back story here (T-Rowe - tell me this isn't a stroll down memory lane) - waaaaaaaay back in my consulting days ("I wouldn't say I've actually been MISSING work, Bob") we met a lovely and talented Long Island girl named Candace Marriott. Well, despite the rewarding 12 hour days of script development and software testing, Candace decided that she'd had enough of consulting and set to work on achieving her dream (Candace - not sure if it's still the goal or not:-)) - becoming Chair of the Fed (that's right, folks - she's pretty smart...). And now, 7 years later, she's Dr. Marriott, Ph.D in Economics (I actually think it's Applied Econometrics and Actuarial Sciences or something - I just know know it sounds REALLY complicated), working for one of the Big 4.

Anyhoo, we'd missed her during her visit to London (we were away on vacation when she was there - shocking, right?), but as fate would have it, she was connecting through Singapore at the mid-point of her moneymoon, and so we met up for a drink at their hotel!

Granted, getting a cab from Robertson Walk was a NIGHTMARE (P Dawg - you weren't kidding, the wait was DONKEY TRASH), but we did finally make their hotel (the Crown Plaza - Nashua style, Route 3), where we kicked back in "Bar 75" on the second floor and spent the night catching up and have MANY laughs about their honeymoon mishaps and adventures. We also got to meet her new husband Marc, who's retelling of the "Ryan Air" experience AND the "Adventures in Male airport" were both AWESOME.

Guys, it was SO GREAT catching up with you - just too quick! NYC next year - it's gonna happen. Bring on Sushi Samba, Brother Jimmy's, and Barcade!

And btw - Rice - I am thinking Tripp. Just sayin'...SO AWESOME MAN!!!!!!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat Monday. Happy Labor Day (in Asia, anyway!)!


Sam and Jenny

Monday, 25 April 2011

K-L part 1: Bombs over Baghdad (nights)...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Team Taylor is back from an EXCELLENT trip to the northern rival capital of Kuala Lumpur, and I must say that I was impressed with the city. We'll just give you 1/2 of the weekend tonight, but let's go ahead and kick it off.
So for starters - the best way to K-L from the Harbourfront office is to go by bus. The bus company, Aeroline, is GREAT, and they depart from RIGHT OUTSIDE THE OFFICE. Seriously - it was about 100 steps from my cube to the Bus Bay.
Once you board, you're chillin' in reclining business class seats, served a meal, and even shown movies on the journey. Unfortunately, the movies selected for us were "Salt," also known as "Female Double Donkey Trash Version of Jason Bourne" and "Step Up Part 3." Seriously - they made enough money on "Step Up" Parts 1 & 2 that it was financially viable to MAKE that P.o.S.? Wow - what happened to the good ole' days of Spaceballs and UHF (mom - that was for you). But seriously - give me Stanley Spudowski's Club House ANY DAY OF THE WEEK over that foolishness.
And on a random note - here's a fun game for all the boys out there. How many of the 12 characters from Street Figher 2: The World Warrior can you name? I need names and countries here - the 8 characters and the 4 bosses. I was a failure and only got 10 of 12, but I am CONVINCED that a geek out there (read: JAY POWELL) can top me on this.
So anyhoo - we did have the usual border crossing foolishness, but NO SEVEN YEAR OLD BESTED ME THIS TIME, baby. But believe me, 1 tried. He didn't ask, "can I go?" - he just simply tried the end around. Well, at first I stepped in front of him. Then, when he tried to push me aside, I BODY CHECKED his 40 pound ass into the wall. And THEN, he tried to THROW HIS PASSPORT to the guard when I was walking up. I was SO CLOSE to catching it, finding a cigarette lighter, and burning it, but I thought that might be going a step too far. Good times.
We arrived at 12:15 AM, catching an overpriced taxi to the hotel. But there was almost disaster when, as we stepped into the car, Jenny asked, "Where's our bag?" Yeah....you see Husband Bear's ONLY JOB was to secure the suitcase that the porter would remove upon stopping the coach. I, however, was only focused on Tiger Beer, and so I forgot my 1 task. Luckily it was still sitting on the sidewalk. However, that would NOT have been a good start to the trip.
The Renaissance was IMMACULATE. Things are pretty cheap in KL, and a true 5 star hotel was only $120 USD a night, complete with a MASSIVE pool, blackout curtains, and a COMFY king size bed. We passed out at 1 AM, ready for a busy day ahead.
On Friday we woke up at 9...and then snoozed until 10. We were out and about by 11, at which point we rocked up to the most famous landmark in Malaysia - the Petronas Towers. These towers, the HQ for the national gas company and the largest twin towers on earth (even before 9/11 this was a true statement) are the 3rd highest buildings on the planet (but were #1 until Taipei 101 was built - Burj Dubai has since eclipsed that one). However, you can't go to the top - only the Skybridge that featured so prominently in the movie "Entrapment." They were VERY impressive, but the tickets were gone for the day when we arrived. You see, you apparently have to be in line at 7 AM to get tickets, as the counter opens at 8:30 and closes QUICK. But since that didn't really fit in with the Team Taylor theme of PACK EVERYTHING IN THE CITY INTO A WEEKEND, we just admired the view from the outside.
I will say that being outside the towers was a VERY cool experience, as we stepped out at 1:14 to look at them, and I said, "The Call to Prayer should be starting soon." Literally THIRTY SECONDS LATER Sting's apprentice burst out, and it was AWESOME - a very cool experience.
We did have lunch at the "Little Penang Cafe," where we had some tasty food and coffee. When then wandered around a park outside the towers before wandering over to the Central Market. This area, the old food market from the colonial days, was cute, and Muffin Puffin was OUT OF CONTROL shopping. Seriously - Christmas came EARLY FOR JENNY. Cotton pants, running shirts, sarongs, scarves - YOU NAME IT. I was simply an accessory, and that accessory was called "the wallet."
After that it was over to Merdeka Square, where Malaysian independence was declared in 1957 and the site of the world's highest free-standing flagpole (seriously - I can't make this shit up). However, the flag pole wasn't NEARLY as impressive as the MASSIVE jumbotron in the square. And what, pray tell, was on the telly? THE BIG 10 NETWORK'S COVERAGE OF THE MEN'S GYMNASTICS CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS. Seriously - how did that happen? Can a brother get a sanity check over here?
After that it was over to Lake Park, where we saw the national monument, a tribute to those who gave their lives in defense against communism. I'm sure there are a lot of smart ass comments being made right about now, including "Sam, didn't it bother you to see your comrades in arms defeated like that," but I will just say that the cool part about the statue was the fact that it was designed by the same fella who did the Iwo Jima memorial in DC (as you no doubt can tell by the pic).
After that we walked through Lake Park but were EXHAUSTED. So we caught the tram (look - it's a 92 acre park - cut us some slack), and the guy let us out at the National Mosque. That, ladies and gentlemen, was GREAT.
First off, this place was only open for another 30 minutes when we arrived. Secondly, EVERYONE HAD TO WEAR A FULL ROBE. And since I had my backpack underneath it, Jenny told me that I looked like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle walking around the complex. But seriously - look at this photo and tell me that I don't look like something from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. And better yet check out all the cats walking around. I mean, I felt like I was a Jedi walking amongst the Padawans. I just wanted to say: "Fear lead to anger. Anger to hate. Hate to suffering." However, again, I didn't think that would go over all that well.
We then wandered into Chinatown, DESPERATE to find Jenny's Burberry bag. However, it's now SO last season, and so I fear she'll have to deal with the fake Prada for now. Then again, we are going away this weekend...
After Chinatown we did what any expat should do to reward the days exertions - FIND A BEER. Jenny was in TOP form on this one, discovering the Brussels Beer Cafe. Consequently, we popped in for a pint of Leffe which, after all the walking and lack of water, hit us like a ton of BRICKS. We then walked into Little Arabia for dinner, and that was where a first happened.
We were in the mood for Middle Eastern cuisine, and so you can imagine our excitement when we found "Baghdad Nights Cafe." We rolled up, and the server greeted us warmly, allowing us to select whichever table we wanted. He instantly waited on us, and we placed the order for our water and some hummous. Then he casually said, "You from England!" And I said, "Nope, were from the US."
The server asked again: "You from where?" And so I repeated, a little louder for his benefit: "The United States."
The smile was gone. The body language changed. And I knew we had a problem brewing.
He came back and took our order, at which point we reminded him of the water (sitting in a cooler we could see about 5 feet from us). 10 minutes later he came out and said that they were out of everything that we'd ordered (so, hummous, foul (beans), lamb, rice, and chicken - kind of hard to run a Middle Eastern Restaurant without those staples), so we pointed to a few more dishes (and reminded him about the water). 20 minutes later, no water, no food, no nothing (there was only 1 other table with customers in the joint), I could take it no longer. 4 guys and a chef - NONE of them serving us. The folks who'd come in after us, however, were chawin' down. We stood up adn left, and no one said a word. In fact, none of them even MOVED. It was, upon reflection, the first time I've ever been refused service. But the good news? We had some AMAZING Indian just down the way and ate like kings. We then sauntered back to the hotel, where we PASSED OUT.
Incidentally, as blogger continues to crash on me, I'm now noticing diminished picture quality. If it's just my PC, GREAT - but will someone shoot me a note and tell me if they're noticing it as well?
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Dinner or Tampons - YOU make the call...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So first off, ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be NO BLOG until Monday, 25 April. Why, do you ask? Because Team Taylor is breaking away from the Sing and headin' 5 hours north to it's Peninsular rival city - Kuala-Lumpur, baby!!!! Bring on the flamin' curry and the Petronas Towers. I mean, seriously - where better to spend Easter than in a Muslim country. I am ALL ABOUT culture.
So I realize that I look like a tool in this photo. In fact, I realize that I look like the entire Craftsman collection in this photo. However, sports fans, THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES TO DO 12.5 MILES ON THE EQUATOR. Seriously - you're looking at:
1. A camelback with 1.5 liters of water
2. A hydration belt with 16 oz. of water and 16 oz. of Gatorade
3. 3 salt tablets (I only used 2)
4. A packet of goo (vanilla - so guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud...peppy cheekies)
5. $10 in case I give up and need a) food, b) more liquid, or c) a ride home
Check out the diagram - it pretty much says it all (Tise - I'm thinking of the "If you're Vin Diesel, yell really loud" Airtoon - don't ask me why...)
I ran for 1 hour and 56 minutes tonight, my longest run in 25 months. The good news is that, with the new camelback, I had PLENTY of water, meaning I could pour the water in the bottles on my head. This kept me much cooler, and I had a good sweat the entire time.
And whilst I should probably be a bit disappointed that I did walk a few times (shut it, Miller) - 4 different stretches of 6, 5, 5, and 4 minutes - I honestly have no complaints, as I feel MUCH better than I did after the 11.5 mile run AND I certainly have the confidence that I can finish the race (even if it might not be the time I'm after). One of the old war wounds is currently acting up (the left calf - a recurring pain spot during the marathoning days), but no complaints. After all, it's nothing a 4 day break and some Advil can't fix!
I even "bumped" into Muffin Puffin on the way home, and we ran the last stretch back together. And speaking of Muffin Puffin, that's where the blog title comes in tonight.
So here's the deal - tonight Jenny is shopping at the Japanese place that Money and Dan introduced us to, as we'd decided on sushi for dinner (after all, it's the best thing for an exhausted, touchy, weak stomach after a HUGE run). Well, she grabs 4 things of sushi (we are talking high class stuff), and the price? $9.80 SGD. As she's picking up a few other bits and bobs, she goes down the "health and grooming aisle," where her jaw HITS THE FLOOR. She sees a ten pack of tampons (now granted, I don't know much about this stuff, but 10 doesn't seem like very many), and the price? $9.80 SGD! That's right, folks - dinner or Tampons. If you've only got a tenner, you have a tough choice ahead of you. Incidentally, a 36 pack? $30 SGD!!!! Granted, I didn't know that was bad until JT said "That's like $4-6 bucks back in the states." HOLY MOLY!!!!
Oh, and last but not least, an anecdote dedicated to T-Rowe and Hitman: so last night the Singapore Government announced that the upcoming elections were to be considered a National Public Holiday, which of course means that everyone is off. The best part? The elections are on SATURDAY, MAY 7th, meaning that EVERYONE IN SINGAPORE IS ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL FLOATING VACATION DAY. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, thanks to an election that I can't vote in and won't be on the island for that takes places ON A WEEKEND when no one is at work anyway, Sammy the Bull now has YET ANOTHER long weekend to plan. Good times...
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat Monday!
Sam and Jenny

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Introducing Singapore's next great tutor - Jennifer Elaine Tacy Taylor!!!

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. It was a rough one at work today, but the Bull and his band of merry rogues continue to soldier on. T-Bone, as it says on the back of our Clearwater Marathon shirts: "We will not tire. We will not falter. We WILL NOT FAIL!" Okay, that was a little overdramatic.
And speaking of marathons, I must offer a big WELL DONE to el Burro Jefe Gigante, Matt Miller, for a STELLAR performance in the South Park Half Marathon. MattPa turned in a 1:37:01, which is exceptional given the hills around there. Make no mistake - I still hate the guy. But I must tip my cap when it's due...NTAC.
In exercise news, the Bull logged 45 minutes on the bike tonight, recording 24 KM at a decent clip. Muffin Puffin, however, took a (much deserved) night off to do something she's been wanting to do for a LONG time - volunteer with kids!
So Muffin Puffin is part of a new volunteer group called "MBrace," which seeks to promote reading within Singapore's youth. Tonight was Jenny's first night, and she had 2 eager 8 year old's to work with. The story of choice, "Mouse, Mole, and the Falling Star" is sure to be the next addition to the NY times best seller list (it's actually the 4th installment in the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series...okay not so much), and Muffin and I spent lunch (at Subway, I'm sure you noticed - EAT FRESH!) marking up the answer keys for the evening (the kids had 4 worksheets that they had to complete). For the record - if you haven't done word jumbles and crosswords since 4th grade, I can confirm they are NO JOKE. However, between the pair of us, Team Taylor prevailed.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and The Cat in the Hat

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Bushido Buzzcut...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So today was a good one, as Muffin Puffin and I scarfed down some grub at Pastamania (incidentally, this place has totally RIPPED OFF the logo of Fazoli's, but GIVE ME THOSE FRESH BREAD STICKS COVERED IN GARLIC AND BUTTER, BABY - seriously - West End Morristown, right across from Applebee's and beside Buddy B-B-Q - just Heaven...) and had productive days across the board. We rolled out about 6:30, making it to the track on time and hitting it HARD. The good news for the Bull? I finally, finally, FINALLY ran with the A Group, baby!!!
We did a half mile warm-up, followed by 4 1K runs at a 4 minute pace (with a 1 minute break). I definitely fell off the pace after the first 2 (translation - I got DROPPED in the last half), but I still finished with the A Group and was really pleased with the effort. Miller - it's not exactly 567 800's or whatever you did the other week, but I was pleased. Muffin Puffin was an animal as well, and we celebrated with our second straight AFD. Again - if this had been London, it would have been a 7 pint Sunday, followed by a pub dinner on the Monday (and another 3 Heinekens) - instead we're running to the point of our lungs bursting and then coming home to eat Dragon fruit. Owain - I need you to come and save me...
So whilst sitting down to do the bliggy blog tonight, it occurred to me that I never related a GREAT story from Saturday. Now some of you might have noticed that I got my hair cut, which means you know that I endured my own personal hell by shelling out THIRTY BUCKS FOR A DAMN TRIM. However, if there ever was a cut worth 30 bucks, THIS was it.
So I selected some Japanese place for my haircut, and, shockingly enough, I was the ONLY Ang Mo in the joint. For that matter, I was the only cat speaking English in the joint. How do I know this? I know this because of my first conversation with the "stylist" - let's call her The Last Samurai.
The Last Samurai (TLS): "HOW YOU CUT!?!?!?"
Sammy the Bull (StB): "I want a 4 on top..." (cut off and dismissed by waving of hands by TLS)
TLS: (walks away and comes back with a card of different hair styles on ninjas) "YOU POINT!"
StB: (points and hope she doesn't call her cousin Shinobi to AXE MY FACE)
TLS then proceeds to WRAP ME IN 4 BUNDLES of cloth. Seriously - I am so covered that I start sweating BULLETS, and I can barely breathe from how tightly she's wrapped this thing around my neck. I start hearing the theme from Ninja Gaiden in my head, and then I start thinking about Raz Algul saying "Death does not WAIT for you to get a haircut!"
So TLS does, in fact, get out the clippers, but only to make to VERY MINOR buzzing motions through my hair. You see, I guess the code of Ronin doesn't allow for you to use electricity - or perhaps it just throws off the chi of all the patrons present. Either way, TLS goes "hero in the half shell" and begins WHIPPING THROUGH MY HAIR, pulling out about half as much as she cuts. And when she's done and I say "shorter," she vanishes for about 5 minutes, during which time I'm pretty sure I'm about to be on the set of a Jackie Chan film.
She then comes back out and TRIPLES HER SPEED. Seriously - you would have had to have seen it to believe it. Hair is FLYING EVERYWHERE, and my face is COVERED IN IT. But since I'm practically STRAPPED TO THE CHAIR AND THERE'S A BLADE FLYING AROUND MY HEAD, I just grin and bare it. But soon enough she's done, at which point SHE TAKES OUT A RAZOR AND STARTS SHAVING AROUND MY EARS. At least she brought over warm foam - it's nice that they kill you with kindness.
The finishing touch was a "massage" whereby 2 things happen:
1. She rubs your head until your hair follicles are bleeding and begging for mercy.
2. She gives you a "back massage" which consists of her SLAPPING THE @#$# out of your shoulders - not a whole lot of rubbing goes on.
She then marches you to the counter (after she unbundles you, of course), at which point you pay whilst she brushes you off. I didn't even get a chance to bow to Piston Honda, as she'd already gone to throw ninja stars (shruiken - there, I said it) at the next customer.
All in all, it was an AWESOME experience. I'm already looking forward to June or July.
Okay, those are all the Ninja references I've got (oh, wait - Michael Dudikoff - American Ninja, baby!!!) and all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Tsang Tsung and Sonja (FINISH HIM!!!!!!)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

As island fever sets in, the Taylors begin selecting CRAZY weekend activities...

And a good Sunday afternoon to you all from across the globe in the midst of a GREAT DAY in the Lion City. The last 24 hours have been a very productive one for Team Taylor, beginning with leav
ing the flat for lunch after we last spoke. What started out as a disaster ended up working out GREAT, and things just got better from there.
Given that I'd had 7 miles already crossed off the to-do list and that both Muffin and I are used to brekkie now, we were STARVING once I finished chatting with you. Consequently, we made the logical conclusion for Team Taylor - GO EAT A HUGE ENGLISH BREAKFAST. Where oh where could we find one of those, you ask? Well, HOG'S BREATH, OF COURSE! Only there was one teeeeeny weeeeeensy problem with that plan - HOG'S BREATH HAS JUST GONE OUT OF BUSINESS.
Seriously - we JUST WENT THERE a week ago, and there was NO SIGN of the place doing anything other than a thriving business. I couldn't believe it. I mean, WHERE AM I GOING TO GET MY $5 TIGER MUGS?!?!?!?!? Serenity now!!!!!!!!!!!! And what's worse? It's been replaced by A WINE BAR that will be called "Sketches." That's right - not only did we not get a sports cafe with chicken wings in there, but we got a bloody WINE BAR that you KNOW won't be able to compete with Wine Connection. Oh, make no mistake about it - I will have my vengeance...
But every closed bar has a silver lining, and thanks to this little hiccup, we actually discovered a new (and even better) place for brekkie - Boomerang, baby! That's right - we settled down for some GUUUUUUUUUD eatin', complete with a nice iced coffee for Pumpkin (she's become a real fan out here) and 2 flat whites for the Bull. I will say that Flat Whites over here are WAAAAAAY better than in London - I can tasty the velvety milk....so guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud (peppy cheekies). For those Americans out there - Flat White is basically coffee with milk, but it's prepared "Aussie style," where they whip the milk somehow and then pour it with a flower design on top (check out the pic). I'm not totally sure how it's different, but it does make it tasty.
After lunch, Muffin went into TRAVEL BOOKING OVERDRIVE. Seriously - to all those who laugh at the number of vacations we take and how much we spent on travel (so basically...EVERYONE WHO READS THE BLOG), you would have MARVELED at Muffin's epic performance. We booked 4 trips in about 90 minutes, even making time to clear off fraudulent activity, check weather forecasts, and even amend the now famous "Team Taylor Travel Calendar" (it's even got formulas now thanks to Muffin Puffin - insert OSC and Des-X saying, "Well OBVIOUSLY thanks to Jenny - it's not like you could have done it, Taylor...").
The evening was a lot of fun, as we rolled down to Wine Connection and met Sarah for some cheese, ham, and olives (even though I ordered the basalmic onions first - details...but seriously, if the section of the menu is entitled "Olives" and you notice that there are SIX different olive dishes listed, wouldn't you assume that the TOP LISTING, which features a food item starting with "o", would be an olive? Just sayin'...
After some guuuuuuuuuuuuuud eatin', Team Taylor crossed off a new item for Singapore - the Tanjong Beach Club in Sentosa. We went there for an event called "Internations," which is basically a monthly gathering of expats, where they can meet each other, network, and see a different venue in Singapore. We'd never been to this spot on Sentosa before, and I gotta say - it was niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.
There was a very cool pool, it was right on the water, and the lights from the ships out to see were very cool. We found a recliner right on the water (that's the first shot on the blog up top), and we just took it easy for the better part of 3 hours. We did meet 3 new peeps, but I spent most of the evening hanging out with the Angels and taking it easy (it was a "cool" night, but the jeans I was wearing did get a bit toasty).
The funniest part of the night was when, OUT OF NOWHERE, this little gal from the group next to us just runs over and says, "Can I have my picture with you?" I thought she was just kidding, and THEN I thought she wanted me to take a photo of the group since I was already standing up and holding a camera. But OH NO - because of a dare, she needed a photo with Whitey. But since turnabout's fair play, Sarah said, "Now you should go and get a photo with all of them." And sure enough - check me out with 7 of my new best friends...
On the way home we did what any proper Americans would do - PICKED UP MICKEY D'S, BABY!!!! The fries were hot and excellent. The fat filled, bizarrely sauced Teryaki chicken McGrill, however, was....well, intriguing...
Today has been a good one as well, with Team Taylor sleeping until noon. In truth, I was sleeping like a BABY until 9 AM this morning, when suddently 59,000 DECIBELS OF DRUMS BEGAN BEATING ON THE STREET RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW. Seriously - if I'd been in a warzone I would have slept better. It was CRAZY. The drumming (and I can only believe some chanting and a Lion Dance) went on for TWO HOURS - good thing I didn't have a shotgun.
Other than that, we had a nice brunch at Epicurious, and I also rocked over to Novena to buy a camelbak and some more goo for the upcoming long runs. Muffin, however, has become an ANIMAL and is currently BACK at Sentosa, doing a 5K run followed by a 1 hour open water swim! That girl just signed up for an Open Water swim in July - she's an animal!!!
Truly, I find it remarkable to compare the activities of a Sunday in London with a Sunday here. In London, we'd have 7 pints each, consume a MASSIVE curry at the Doot, watch some TV, and then pass out. Here we spend 2 hours exercising, have an AFD, get up earlier, and don't even know the TV is in the condo. It's AMAZING the difference.
Part of it very well could be "island fever," as you do find yourself constantly looking for ways to stay busy and active. Couple that with the price of everything, and sporting activities suddenly become a very cheap proposition. Case in point, I'm actually planning on signing up for a 1/2 marathon trail run as well - something I would never have even entertained in the US or Britain.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

Friday, 15 April 2011

A great night out - and a TOTAL BONK...

And a good Saturday morning to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. IT'S THE WEEKEND!!!! It's just before 9 AM here, and the Bull has completed a (rather disappointing) 7 mile run. You see, today was supposed to be the normal "Saturday morning Rainforest Romp" - the 11 km run around Mcritchie that I do with the Shufflers. The morning started out as planned - a 6:10 wake up, followed by filling the water bottles and suiting up in the "Livestrong" outfit (T-Rowe's favorite). So far, so good....but then I went to book a taxi.
After an 8 minute wait, I was told (at 6:30 AM) that no cabs were available. No big deal, I thought - I'll just hail one on the street. Well, I step outside and what do you know - THERE'S A CAB!!!! I flag him down, he stops, looks at me, and then WAVES ME OFF AND DRIVES AWAY. I politely say a few thing about his mother and then wander up the road, where taxi #2 appears.
I flag this homeboy down, and SAME STORY: acknowledge, slow, stop, evaluate, dismiss, floor it. Needless to say I was LESS than pleased. So I rock back into the condo, where I call again - STILL NO TAXI's, and another 10 minutes of standing outside yielded NOTHING. However, in retrospect, I honestly believe that this was God trying to tell me something, as I went for a 7 miler around the Marina instead (the usual route), and it was a DISASTER. I only made it 35 minutes before I had to walk for 6, and then I logged another 15 before a 5 minute walk. I actually started to feel better toward the end, but after 1 hour and 10 minutes in the heat, I was DONEZO.
It's so odd to have had 3 straight GREAT runs this week, only to come up short today. However, I feel 2 things led to my demise:
1. THREE HOURS OF SLEEP. Why did I get 3 hours of sleep, you ask? See point #2.
2. INDIAN FOOD AT 10 PM THE NIGHT BEFORE A RUN. Seriously - I woke up at 3 AM with what could only be described as a BRICK sitting in my stomach, so I laid there for 3 hours until I finally got out of bed 1 minute before the alarm. Good times...
However, I have no complaints, as we found a GREAT new restaurant in Little India called, appropriately enough, "Delhi" (yes - VERY creative). Also, we did hit Red Dot for a pint. Steve - the Green Monster was back on!!!! Next time, brother - next time...
Okay, Muffin Puffin is officially up and at 'em, and so it's time to take the day. That's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

Thursday, 14 April 2011

FINALLY - the old feeling comes back...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after a sixth straight day of TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS in the Lion City. Dry season my ass - it might as well be a scene from the opening of Split Second over here (that's right - I just referenced a RUTGER HAUER movie - don't hate...).
So seriously - Wild Card or ANY of the blogging public, please tell the Bull how he can "upgrade" to the new publisher and editor. I still have the old version, and the new Windows Vista upgrade has BROKEN THE STYLE SHEET. I can't even publish on the normal screen - I now have to go to a different page to avoid the dreaded "javascript:void(0)" error (whatever the @#$# that means). Also, no mater what I do with my spacing, it now just rams EVERYTHING together, which is driving me CRAZY. I AM A WRITER, DAMN IT! I need my spacing to emphasize certain points and provide breaks in thought! Oh, the humanity...That being said, when I mentioned this to Muffin after the last 5 or so posts, her response was, "Wait, the spacing is different now?" So CLEARLY it's not that big of an issue...
Today was a really good day, as we had a GREAT presentation AND we slayed a HUGE dragon in the form of sending a big file off that we've been working on for 2 months. I would say more about it, but I fear I might break down crying, and well, Jenny's heard enough about it at this point. Suffice it today say that, after the monthly risk review tomorrow, this guy will be ready for some "chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night..."
So tonight I logged 4 miles on the treadmill in 31:40 (I wanted to bike, but I sat down on the bike in the condo gym only to find out that ALL OF THEM WERE SHUT DOWN AND THEIR POWER CORDS WERE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND - details...). This, coupled with last night, is significant to me personally, as on both occasions a)I really didn't want to run, and b) I actually turned in some of my best times all year at those distances. Tonight, for the first time in a LONG time, when I was on an 8:30 pace, I felt like I was cruising and could run at that tempo forever. THAT hasn't happened in a LONG time (since Charlotte in 2008 I'd guess), and it really makes me feel like I'm getting the "mojo" back. Now granted, when I sat on the exercise ball to do situps and watched my flabby belly pudge out every time I crunched, I was less than impressed. But hey, nuthin' wrong with a little Dunlap action.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Somebody feed me a damn pineapple...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So first off, let me just say a note about the new windows "upgrade" for their browser. It would be impressive - IF IT WERE DESIGNED BY A THREE YEAR OLD. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? This is THE BEST you sorry donkeys could come up with? Not only did you ELIMINATE the Google Tool bar, but you also broke the style sheet on blogger (which is, of course, linked to Google). Hey Gates - DON'T HATE. You're worse than those folks who bash Tiger. Okay, to quote Deets: "That was cathartic."
And speaking of the Wild Card - big day, brother. Fingers crossed.
As to the title of the blog, this is a new record for Team Taylor inactivity. Seriously - I can't even say, "I worked late and ate a pineapple." I did work until 8 PM (WENT 2 FOR 2 ON CHANGE REQUEST APPROVAL, BABY!!!), but then I came home and went for a jog (10K in 52 - I was pleased, but thank goodness it was a "cooler" night) before just playing cupboard clean-up and eating anything not bolted to the ground. I was desperate to drop in a "lost in translation" moment or funny quip from the day, but I am truly at a loss. This is where I need Hitman eating fish flavored air (and telling the waitress how much he loves it), Wild Card with chop sticks held like a Fu Manchu mustache, and Fizzy on a table belting out Def Lepperd. Instead, I have the Bull finishing Doritos (Spicy Nacho, baby), Muffin Puffin catching up in her journal, and the most exciting thing that we can report from today was that we managed to unclog the drain in the shower. Yeah, life's pretty intense over here in Southeast Asia...
Okay, that's (REALLY) all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Another first (and most likely last) for the Bull - a Body Combat class in Asia...

Family, And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City, where de la Vega is enjoying a nice Amarula nightcap as he blogs. The Bull got up fairly early today, as he had a chat with Lovely Lori and did not want to be late. The consequence of rising a bit earlier, however, was that I didn't get brekkie. Consequently, when noon rolled around after 3 straight hours of meetings, Four Leaf was STARVING. So we rolled over to Seah Im (the Hawker Center), at which point I entered a new level of fatness - I ORDERED 2 MEALS. Tiny little Asian people were running for their lives in all directions, fearing that, if provoked, I might eat them as well. The funniest moment was the lady at the second stall when I showed up with a plate already. You could tell that she just had no idea what to do, as she'd never had to make space on a tray before for TWO plates. It was classic. And check out the sugar cane juice - it's better than ever, baby!!!! I know that I've explained Hawker stalls before, but I also realize that I've never shown you a picture of the center. From our vantage point today, we didn't have a good view, but as you can see from the pic, it's basically stall after stall of food, with each group specializing in something different (Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, you name it). For me, there is nothing better than pork rice, but JT is Pakistani chicken rice all the way. Brother Issssshhhhhhh - you'd be so proud. In the evening, I rolled back to Fitness First, where, due to a COMPLETE LOSS OF BRAIN FUNCTION, I decided to take the plunge and try one of Jenny's "recommendations" - BODY COMBAT. After my first class, all I can say is SHOOT ME IN THE FACE WITH AN ELEPHANT GUN. Let me recap it for you: 1. I show up and have NO IDEA what I'm supposed to do. There's an Asian Richard Simmons stretching in front of the room, and he's got ALL MANNER OF TORTURE DEVICES in front of him. 2. There are about 50 Asian cats and 4 Ang Mo's in the room. We huddle in the center for protection, as we're not sure if this is going to turn into some Jujitsu riot. 3. Jenny always told me to "get in quick so you can reserve a space." She neglected to mention the part where you "RUN LIKE A RABID BANSHEE TO THE WEIGHT STATION, THE STEP STATION, THE WEIGHT BAR STATION, AND THE MAT STATION" to get all of your equipment. Seriously - some people were kitted out like they were going to Everest - I've seen less gear on Congo expeditions. 4. Asian Richard Simmons (ARS) talks, sings (off key), yells, and laughs THE ENTIRE HOUR. And by laugh I mean "suck air in and out as though you're a hyena on speed who's hyperventilating." The most interesting part? He was, I THINK, telling jokes constantly. The 4 Ang mo's in the middle never smiled, as we had NO IDEA what he was saying. The rest of the class? CACKLING WITH RECKLESS ABANDON. I now have the feeling he was talking about us... 5. The music throughout was HARD CORE rap, but when we get to the cool down? JOSH GROBAN, BABY. And did that keep him from singing? Nope. Not so much. So there you have it - I can't raise my arms. I can't bend over. Showering is almost as painful as being shot with a riot gun. I told Jenny that, if she really wanted me dead, she should have just encouraged me to run the full Sundown Marathon vs. the half, strapped with 80 tons of weights in my back. Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Love, Sam and Jenny

Monday, 11 April 2011

And the Bull terrifies the office with his white legs...

Family, And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So first and foremost, Team Taylor's thoughts are with the Wild Card, as today he goes for his final Scan. Big D - we're thinking about you, brother - I'm lookin' forward to a photo of you crackin' open a Fat Tire to celebrate. Keep us posted. Secondly, to the Hitman, Old School Cool, Hairless, and MattPa - please don't be a hater. For those of you who might have just glanced over the images from Sibu, I should note that the Hitman contemplated gouging his eyes out over the mosquito net photo. When I protested my case, saying "You can't hide sexy," Hairless came back with a GREAT line: "Perhaps, no, but you can cover it up." QUALITY. It reminds me of Ray's comment back in 2010: "I think I speak for all of us when I say, MAN, I wish you could hide sexy sometimes." And OSC - I was supposed to get a haircut last weekend, but $30 is too steep to do it more than once a decade. As far as the work day, it was, well, another adventure in the office, made worse by about 471 trips to the bathroom. I think sushi 4 times in 9 days was a mistake - so does my colon. Note to self - hit Subway on a regular basis going forward. Tonight was track practice, and on the way out I started a) Evelyn (who might never recover) and b) MY BOSS as I ran back into the office right quick to drop off a bag. Martin is still blind from the reflection, and I'm pretty sure Evelyn's gonna sue me for emotional damage. All I can say is: be glad I wasn't in actual running shorts - just sayin'... The track workout was good. We did a 5K of speedwork, including a tough pyramid and some fahrtlich (sans umlaut) training. I was NOT at top speed tonight, but I got through at about 80-85%, and that was definitely enough to get a good lung burn going. I realize this is another "I worked late and ate a pineapple" evening, but hey - at least there are no photos of me naked! It's really all about small victories... Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Love, Sam and Jenny

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Pulau Sibu - miles away from ordinary...

Family, And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So I know that I've been a bit delinquent on catching everyone up with last weekend's festivities. However, we obviously had peeps in town, and I didn't want to lose out any time with them. But they flew to Bali last night, which means I've now got all the time in the world to crank away. And so, without further ado, I present the recap of Team Taylor's first jaunt into Malaysia - Pulau Sibu. And yes - I realize that this photo should have come later in the blog, but with the title and the Corona's in hand, I just couldn't resist - I've ALWAYS WANTED to do one of those shots! So the trip started at 6 PM, leaving from Orchard Road. They company was VERY explicit - be there by 5:50, because if you are one second past 6 PM - WE WILL LEAVE YOU. And whilst that might normally be SOP, at 6:25 on this Friday night, my happy ass was downing $2 sushi in the back of a van whilst 3 SCREAMING American children argued over who was going to get a turn on the Nintendo DS first. All the same, we eventually got going, and about 1 hour later we arrived at something OUT OF THE MACHINE CITY IN THE MATRIX - The Woodlands Checkpoint. So here's the deal - Singapore doesn't really like Malaysia. Malaysia doesn't really like Singapore. But Malaysia needs the Singapore cash, and Singapore needs the Malaysian workforce. The result is a border that makes the US-Mexico border look like a slumber party. But the highlight of the crossing was the signs on the Sing side informing all drivers that they MUST have at least half a tank of gas in their tanks when crossing the border or they'll receive A $500 FINE!!! That's right - everything is so much cheaper in Malaysia that the Singapore authorities actually stop EVERY SINGLE CAR en route and make sure that they won't be filling up in the northern neighbor. CLASSIC. So you get in line at the Singapore checkpoint, and this was where I had my first run in with "the expat wife." You know the type, right? Blonde, a little augmented perhaps, pleasant enough for the first few minutes, has 3 children who have ZERO discipline, has tons of money, no idea where it comes from, no idea that there IS a tax on cars, and no possible inkling that the rest of the world just might not live like her. So when a little 7 year old Malaysia kid cuts us off in the customs line (like a lot of kids on the border, he goes to school in the Sing because the schools are so much better and goes home on the weekend), she is not upset at the fact that we've been outsmarted by a 1st grader - she just can't understand where the parents are. She actually started calling out and asking "Chinese looking people" if they spoke Chinese so they could ask the kid where his parents where. I got a kick out of the fact that, yes, the kid could speak Chinese - but only because it was HIS THIRD LANGUAGE. Simply excellent. So Friday night traffic on the border is, well, AWFUL. But finally, after 4.5 hours of being a sardine in a van, we finally arrived at the jetty servicing the archipelago for Pulau Sibu. Life vests were compulsory, so we rocked them old school. And Webbster - check out the Ducks visor - still going strong! We arrived about 11 PM, where complimentary cocktails awaited us. I must say that the place really was EXTRA AWESOME, and since there are no locks on any doors, you have to lock all of your valuables in the office safe. That included the blackberry for me, which meant I really was checked out for the weekend (insert Big Cat saying "How is that different from any OTHER weekend?"). After a few drinks, we rolled over to our lodging, which was a "rustic" A-frame house right by the water (literally 20 steps from the ocean). It was a cute little thing, but it was BASIC to say the least. Hot water? Not so much. A shower? Again, not really. Instead, all you had was a house that you just BLASTED all over the bathroom, which was really just some porcelain and plumbing. Price - this pretty much would have been your own personal Hell. I've got to believe that Green Harbor is a bit nicer than this - and it has Dickles to boot. The highlight of the hut, however, was DEFINITELY the mosquito net - not so much because it was decorative, but because IT REALLY KEPT THOSE BASTARDS AT BAY. Seriously - it was BAKED with Deet, and there were dead bugs ALL OVER OUR BED. Yeah, pretty much any concept of this being a "romantic weekend" vanished right there. Actually, even worse was the fact that with Sammy's "excite-a-bladder," I had to find my way out of that thing 9 TIMES on both nights to find the toilet - always fun...at least we had a fan BLASTING down air on us. Meals were included at this place, and whilst Saturday brekkie wasn't great, the lunches and dinners were MOST EXCELLENT. Seriously - we ate like KINGS, mixing food with sitting on the beach, playing in the ocean, soaking up the sun, and knocking back a few Tigers. Saturday was just a PERFECT day of relaxation, and I was SO chill when it was all said and done. Seriously - I took my blood pressure after 2 days on this island: my pulse was back down to 51, and my reading was 133/55 - the lowest it's EVER been in my memory. Must have been the DEET.

Seriously - the extend of our physical activity was walking to the water, save for a DEATH MATCH battle of Bacchi ball. It was hilarious - we played for about 45 minutes, using a busted tennis ball as the jack. All in all, a very good time.

We stayed on the beach until about 6:30ish, at which point we "showered" before wandering over to the bar for a few drinks (and cards) before dinner. I learned how to play backgammon, and I'm looking forward to trying it out with Muffin Puffin at some point. Granted, I only know the basic rules, but it looks fun. On Sunday we got up about the same time, but this day we actually got our lazy asses in gear and did a 2 hour walk around the island. This was really a highlight, as the other side was even more picturesque, complete with calm harbors, lots of colorful local houses and fishing villages, and mangrove trees floating in the water.

The walk gave us a chance to wander along the rocky shores as well as the sandy beaches, and you realize that this place has quite a varied topography. All in all, we were quite impressed (and VERY sweaty by the time it was all said and done).

After that, it was back to the camp (the Sea Gypsy Village), where we packed up our stuff (read: "2 backpacks) before saying goodbye to Money and Dan (they had one more night) and then making the trek back through the jungle and over to the vans, at which point we rolled home, with the trip taking a hour less than the drive up.

This place really was BEAUTIFUL - perhaps a touch overpriced for what you got, but really no complaints
from Team Taylor. And whilst I don't think we'll go back, we will definitely hit Tioman and most likely Rawa as well, which are 2 other islands in the archipela

Okay, that's our first trip to Malaysia and all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Friday, 8 April 2011

Finally visiting an icon - The Long Bar of Raffles...

Family, And a good Saturday afternoon to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. IT'S THE WEEKEND!!!!! So Team Taylor is back after a GREAT lunch with Big D and Money at the Epicurious Cafe, where we DOGGED some salmon bagels, bacon, chorizo, eggs, and flat white coffees. All in all, so guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud (peppy cheekies). So last night the Fearsome Foursome tackled, quite possibly, the most iconic building and experience in Singapore - the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. This spot, made famous in the early 20th century as THE PARAGON of luxury and opulence in the Far East, was one of the first buildings Samuel Raffles built in Singapore, and it absolutely DRIPS of colonial heritage. Honestly, I can't IMAGINE a first experience being better than seeing it with a pair of Brits. :-) The hotel itself is GORGEOUS - old world money, the dude out front still in the turban and the military outfit, and unparalleled service everywhere you go (everyone is SUPER friendly). This comes with a price tag, of course, as rooms are somewhere between $600-$800 a night! But we weren't rockin' a night's stay - we were just there for the most famous section of the hotel - the Long Bar. So the hotel has so much history that pretty much every room has a plaque explaining something famous that took place there. Even the BATHROOM is cool, as its got an old newspaper from 1919 advertising "local cinema and music on the terrace at 6:15 for guests." For the record - the chicks bathroom apparently wasn't as impressive (old world colonialism AND sexism - it really doesn't get any better). The Long Bar is particularly historic, as this is the place where the Singapore Sling was first mixed. We'd had one at the Screening Room (rooftop bar) on our first night in the Sing, but OBVIOUSLY we had to rock this one - after all, this is history, baby! The bar itself is AWESOME - so much more chill than you'd think. There are peanut shells all over the floor (dad, you'd have been in HEAVEN - this is like Sagebrush on STERIOIDS - both in price AND in volume of peanuts), and we sat there with our Slings just munching away and taking in the scenery and the people watching. True, it's a total tourist trap, but there's no denying the history of the place, plus the Slings were tasty to boot. And best of all, Lisa and Dan picked it up as a thank you! Well, Lisa tried to pick it up first on her own, but since she couldn't remember her PIN # (translation - she's a SHADY girl who stole that credit card off some poor 95 year old Chinese lady), they dipped into their cash instead. Seriously - thanks, guys! After the Slings, we took the 5 minute cab right to Arab Street (we're nothing if not politically correct here) for an AMAZING culinary experience - some GREAT Middle Eastern joint near CBD. Seriously - this place was DELICIOUS, and the experience was VERY cool, as it was located in 2 floors of a pair of old world colonial buildings that actually looked a bit "gritty" (translation - they weren't white washed 5 times a day and completely devoid of bugs and dirt like the rest of the city). Puma - it would have still been a little too clean for you, but we LOVED it.
After a BIG dinner of mezzes, we adjourned to lounge, where we ROCKED the Shisha pipe for about 40 minutes. Seriously - Dan and Lisa are PRO's at this - it was AWESOME to watch them in action. I, on the other hand, was an absolute TRAIN WRECK. Seriously - despite my best efforts, all I succeeded in doing was scorching my throat and watering my eyes. Muffin Puffin, however, was AWESOME. Honestly, it felt like water skiing all over again. I tried and floundered - Pumpkin was an instant pro and looked like she was born and raised in Cairo. Such is life - I am doomed to choke on water whilst being dragged by a speed boat and choking on smoke, whilst Jenny looks like a staff member at SeaWorld and an Emirate with her hooka pipe. Good times... For the record - I have a GREAT video of Jenny showcasing her skills, but she won't allow it to be shown. But parents, fret not - there's NO TOBACCO in the pipe - it's just coal, molasses, and water. We are still very healthy and well behaved children. Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Love, Sam and Jenny

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A discovery for the ages - $2 BOXES OF SUSHI, BABY!!!!

Family, And a good evening to you from across the Globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Okay, so a few things first: 1. MAD PROPS to the Hairless Wonder, as last weekend he made the jump from Cat 4 to Cat 3 cycling. For the record - I still maintain he's only 1 year away from Cat 2. I mean, come one - with legs that trim and fresh supplies of Gillette Fusion blades to keep those pesky legs hairs away (since they make SUCH A DIFFERENCE in speed), that guy is Vuelta materail. Seriously - Full marks, T-Rowe. 2. I know I'm late, but CONGRATS TO TEAM BROTHERNIDES ON THE NEW EDITION!!!! SUCH GREAT NEWS!!!! 3. Even later, but CONGRATS TO TO KNOCKOUT on the delivery of Lenke and Sandor! TOO CUTE! 4. Just as late - CONGRATS, VA, ON THE BIG INTERNSHIP IN THE SMOKE! You simply HAVE TO MEET my peeps. Yazz - VA is a fan of "sweet, sweet" wine, so I think you'll hit it off just fine... 5. And I simply must highlight the taunting comment from the Wild Card on last night's blog. True, I do not have the followership of Brother Dan. True, I have not changed lives with my prose like he has over the past 6 months. But last night Deets swings below the belt and drops: "Congrats, Sammy - #23 - one more follower on the Blog." You can't fool me, blogging nemesis - I know that was just salt in the wound. I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE!!!! Actually - juuuuuuuust kidding, and thanks for pointing it out! I hadn't noticed! So today was a good day at work, but I was a bit concerned because I could feel a slight pain where the stress fracture was last year. However, I ran a 5K tonight in 23:30 and felt no pain, so all in all I'm still feeling good. I will probably be lazy tomorrow, and then Saturday and Sunday I'll be back in the groove. After all, we're in the wheelhouse now, and staying healthy is as important as continuing to train. Paula - I thought you might like to know that, after I ordered my sandwich at Subway today, the guy beside me turned to me and asked, "You sound American. Are you from Wisconsin?" THAT'S RIGHT, BABY! He couldn't tell our accents apart. And the funniest thing? HE WAS FROM ONTARIO. Seriously - Carly, you need to smack around some of your people. I'm not saying I could differentiate the Alberta accent (Megs style) from Ontario (Muise style), but COME ON - hook a brutha up. As for din din, I must give MAD PROPS to Big D and Money, as they discovered this AMAZING deal in the Japanese Supermarket next door (let's keep any inappropriate comments to a minimum, shall we). Long story short, you can buy a BOATLOAD OF SUSHI (seriously - we're talking 20 pieces of maki) for $2.50!!!! YOU CAN'T BEAT THAT ANYWHERE. Consequently, I've eaten enough raw (and hopefully safe) tuna in the last week to feed the Persian army before they were decimated by the Spartans. And mum - before you panic - I'm just kidding about the fish. It's caught locally (we checked), so it's totally safe. :-) In other news, Jenny the Striker was AN ANIMAL booking flights, and we've now got...wait for it...wait for it...CHANG MAI on the docket in October!!!! YEAH, BABY!!!! True, I still need to ask for the days off, but details. Hitman - think of this as the next stage of the evolution - booking holiday without approval. You knew it was only a matter of time. And seriously - NICE RIDE. Okay lah, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomrorow! Love, Sam and Jenny

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

From Red Dot to Tawandang - the Typhoon Taylor brewery tour of Singapore...

Family, And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So I'm sorry about no blog last night, but it was a late night with peeps, and I didn't want to send out a blog with more fragments than complete sentences. True, I'd only had 3 pints, but that actually ties our biggest consumption night SO FAR IN SINGAPORE. Hitman - go ahead and tell me how disappointed you are right now. For the record, I did train hard and prep for your victory - only to be abandoned at the last moment. Just sayin'... So last night was GREAT - Team Taylor met up with Money, Big D, and my buddy Steve (work mate) for a night at Red Dot, which started as a small scale DISASTER but ended up solid. So long story short - I had been talking up the "Green Monster" beer (the one we had for St. Patty's Day) for a solid month, and EVERYONE was primed for it. Well, because I'm lazy and left work at 6:45, I was the first person at the bar at 7:15. I pulled up to the bar and ordered a Green Monster. Here was the conversation: Thirsty Sammy (TS): "Can I get a Green Monster, please." Bartender Whom I Now Hate (BWINH): "No." TS: "I'm sorry? Pint of Green Monster, please." BWINH: "No. Is gone. Is no green beer." TS: (HORROR in his face) "What the hell do you mean there is no green beer?" BWINH: "Is gone. Is not here today." TS: (IN SHOCK) "You only have FIVE BEERS on offer. How are you missing this one?" BWINH: (smiling because she doesn't realize I'm about to rip her throat out) "I sorry, sir." (chuckles - that @#$@#$@#$@#$!!!!!) "It is gone today. Was here yesterday. Will be here tomorrow. Is no here today." TS: "You know I could kill you and they'd never identify your body, right?" Okay, just kidding - I didn't say that - I ordered an English Ale instead... But despite that hiccup, it was a great night. We were there for about 3 hours, just chillin', laughing, eating, and having a GREAT time. All in all, it was an absolute BLAST. And best of all, we now have a GREAT Steve McArthur story...just sayin'... Tonight was great as well, as we rolled up to Dempsey Hill and visited the Tawandang brewery. We were treated like ROYALTY tonight, as a) they constantly checked in on us and refilled our beer, b) put us right under a fan at a GREAT table on the porch (you could hear the music, but you could still chat), c) served us some AMAZING food (that squid with chili and lime - LIFE CHANGING), and d) constantly brought us frosted mugs to keep our brewskis cold. It should be said that Dan was QUITE excited about the beer tower (as evidence by the photo - good times). We ate like kings, and now we're back at the flat, looking at pics and preparing for two more nights of immortality before they ship off. In other news, I finished "Nothing to Lose" tonight, which is my second AND LAST Jack Reacher "thriller." Simply put - those books are UTTER DONKEY TRASH. Seriously - Lee, HOW ON EARTH have you managed to rattle off 13 of those books? It's just rubbish, man - I have no other words. I'm glad you've been successful, but you'll never get a penny out of me. And yes, in case anyone's scoring - the Bull was lazy AGAIN today, but I'm definitely in the mix tomorrow. I'm thinking it's a 3-4 mile run, but nothing more (as my legs are STILL dead). Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Love, Sam and Jenny

Monday, 4 April 2011

11 in the books - with a much needed day of rest tomorrow...

Family, And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. Okay, so first off - the Malaysia blog will have to wait, as a) it's late, b) we've got company and I don't want to be rude, and c) we'll have plenty going this week to keep you entertained. Plus, given that Team Taylor is actually IN the Sing this weekend, I figure that will give me time to devote to it properly. Today was a good day at work, with Muffin Puffin and the Bull hitting up Barcelo's for lunch. I needed the fuel, because tonight I embarked on the next phase of the return to running - the double digit training run. Tonight I logged 11 miles, and I gotta tell ya - I am SO glad that it's over. First off, the good news: I was able to run the entire time, I was still sweating when it ended, and the cramps were (for the most part) still at bay. As a bonus, I discovered this great area down by the water, which had the added benefits of being a) a REALLY neat spot to run, b) new territory (which is always easier than old trails), and c) had a nice breeze (which kept me VERY nice and cool for the better part of half an hour). That being said, the first 1 hour and 12 minutes was fine, but then it turned south IN A HURRY. I was truly exhausted when I finished, and whilst I was perking up and getting a second wind toward the finish, I honestly don't think I had 2 more miles running left in me. But mum - I am happy to report that I felt fine as a fiddle the entire time, and I'm even better now that I've showered and eaten. And speaking of eaten, Four Leaf at like a KING tonight. Money and Dan brought in sushi, and there was about a third of the ocean left over for me to get into. Consequently, I absolutely DESTROYED 20 pounds worth of rice, seaweed, and raw fish - it was pretty Much T-Rowe's own personal hell. But hey - at least I got some Doritos to wash it all down! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. Oh, and did I mention the ice cream? Yeah, I had some of that, too... Other than that, not a whole lot else to report. Muffin Puffin has just finished "Too Big to Fail," making her the 4th person who's read that copy - you can't say we haven't gotten our money's worth out of that! Full marks, Mr. Sorkin. Here's hoping you never have to worry about the sequel. Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow! Love, Sam and Jenny