Would you like fries with that?

a green

Hopefully I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that the current regime to encourage the use of less harmful fuels either isn’t working, or doesn’t exist at all. Just look at the number of CNG refueling stations on the island. The NEA’s job seems to be to just “hope to create the critical mass of CNG vehicles needed for the CNG refueling infrastructure to be put in place early.”

There is also this thing called the GVR (Green Vehicle Rebate) which adds to the complexity that is the rocket science of vehicle purchasing.

According to my understanding, if not for the good people at the car dealers’ who’ll do the math for you, you’d have to whip out your calculator when you want to buy a car that is worth, say $10,000 and has an engine capacity of 1.6L:

So you pay:

$10,000 for the car

plus

COE of say $15,000 depending on the mysterious “open” bidding system,

subtotal so far: $25,000

plus

ARF (Additional Registration Fee) (110% x 10,000) = $11,100

subtotal so far: $36,100

plus

RF (Registration Fee) = $140

subtotal so far: $36,240

plus

Excise Duty (20% x 10,000) = $2,000

subtotal so far: $38,240

Got that so far? OK, now, we’re not going to add on road costs like road tax and insurance yet. But say for instance, you wanted to save the earth, and your car is an electric-petrol hybrid, and we know that electric hybrids are roughly 8 to 10% more expensive than their conventional counterparts. So that makes your car worth say, $11,000.

The LTA gives you a whopping discount of 40% off your car’s original value, or OMV, which you can use to offset the ARF payable.

So, if your baby is a green car:

$11,000 + 15,000 + 140 + (12,100 – 4,400 = 7,700) + 2,200 = $36,040.

Hmmm… $2,200 cheaper than a petrol car. Think I’ll go save the earth and buy a hybrid. Oh wait, that’s only less than 6% cheaper. WTF?! I get better deals at the Great Singapore Sale!

A big, big disclaimer here though – as my teachers would attest, my math could very likely be wrong, and I could have misled myself into thinking that it’s not worth the trouble getting a hybrid car and saving the earth. So, please, if you could correct me, let me know. Leave your workings and answers in the comments box.

Or if you prefer, work out a scheme where you get discounted meals at McDonald’s because you’ve used their used cooking oil as fuel.

Oh please I hope we don’t have to call Cassino Koh

Oh please don't let me call Cassino Koh

So, Loyal Reader Lincoln tells me about this “mobile porn shop” going around Singapore, and I have to ask, “is it legal?

He tells me he’s not sure, and says, “I’ll show you a picture”, and shows me a photo on his SE P1i, which clearly shows a car that has nothing to do with the porn business.

Mobile Pawn Shop!

“Is it legal?”, I ask again. And again, he’s not sure, but we both agree that the name “Cassino Koh” should be illegal.

Dr Evil to go to NTUMr Koh might not have that much business if some areas of the economy were as well-paying as academia.

Stuff entrepreneurerealrealsheep! The money’s in books!

Last we heard, Dr. Evil was giving up his nefarious schemes to embark on research at NTU for one meeellion dollarrssss, bwahahahahaha.

Gladiatorial drama

I don’t know what everyone else did on Saturday between 6 and 8pm, but we watched what was arguably the best rugby match since 2000.

I’m usually loathe to blog about sport and sporting events, but, my word, this match… the drama… the collisions… the tries… and I don’t care if I’m writing like some illiterate soccer fan that writes like that.

…And before I go over my limit of ellipses for the year, I’ll just sign off and leave you with the highlights package from the match:

Advertorial: Dove GoFresh

greenbottle_FPO

It’s a pity my stay-in reservist days are over (right, MINDEF?), because this Dove GoFresh Shower Gel would’ve come in real handy.

I might have mentioned in many Army story-tellings about how my reservist mates, when we’re done with field training, come back to barracks all muddied and sweaty and how we contemplate with great anticipation the luxury of a cold shower after we’re done cleaning our two dozen weapons that we’ve regretted firing so much ammunition from, because, as those in the know will tell you, the more you shoot, the dirtier the parts get and why can’t they invent a rifle that cleans itself dammit?

It is at this point that the reservists in the barrack bunk take out all manner of toiletries from their cupboards, and we start to discuss the merits of the different stuff we use because as gung-ho combat armoured troopers who are at our country’s beck and call, we need to smell nice and feel clean.

A typical conversation while we’re re-assembling our weapons might go like this:

M203 Grenadier / Citibank Personal Banker: “Eh, 你这个 shower gel 好用吗?

Section Automatic Weapon Gunner / Secondary School Teacher: “我用是好用啦。你 try 来看咯。“

M203 Grenadier / Citibank Personal Banker: “OK, thanks ah.”

Section Automatic Weapon Gunner / Secondary School Teacher : “你不要把他用到完 啊, 不然我把这个 five-piece rod 放在你的 backside!”

It’s a good thing I didn’t get that kind of threat from the nice people at Dove, who’ve very kindly given me a whole (small) bottle of Green Tea and Cucumber scented Dove GoFresh for me to 用到完 till my heart’s content.

I like nice-smelling things that make me clean at the same time. And while previously, like many of my reservist mates, I used to be a plain soap and water kinda guy, age and dry skin has pushed me to use slightly more delicate products, and while I’m not exactly a discerning fella when it comes to choosing these things, I do like soaps that moisturize slightly without making me feel as if I’ve accidentally washed myself with hair conditioner.

And as for singing in the shower, well, just like everyone else, the odd reservist does belt it out for the whole platoon to hear, only it’s not appreciated as much – and that’s understandable when there’s only 6 shower stalls to share between 50 guys, and there’s a queue of troopers in towels waiting their turn.

Instead of “Encore”, you’ll probably hear something like “Oi! One verse enough, no need to sing the chorus two times! Hurry up! 不然我放 five piece rod 在你的 backside!”

If you do need a more appreciative audience (apart from yourself or your loved one) when you sing in the shower, you might want to sign up for Dove’s gofresh ShowerOK! Competition, to be held from 31 July till 8 August at Vivo City.

Your audience can then vote for you on www.doveshowerok.com, where your recorded performances are uploaded, and they might win an iPod Touch for their efforts as well.

And if you sing and win, you stand a chance of winning a private yacht party “fit for a ShowerOK star!”

So get down there on those days between 12 and 8pm, and get your questions answered.

“What questions?”, you may well ask. Well, such as, “Am I really a good singer, or is my wife just humouring me?”, and, “Are they going to be totally nekkid at VivoCity in front of thousands of people?”

Contemplating potatoes

Heart potato
I wouldn’t have the heart to peel this potato. Photo by cuorhome

I had to peel 1kg of potatoes earlier tonight because we’re preparing a stew for dinner tomorrow for the family.

It doesn’t take that long, but it does give you enough time to wonder about things as you take one potato at a time out of the bag that says it contains 1kg of potatoes.

Things such as, “How do they make it exactly 1kg of potatoes?”

And then wondering if they have a person at the potato packing plant putting potatoes in the bag and putting the bag on a scale and going, “Damn! 0.995kg! Can you swap this potato for a slightly larger one? Just a little bit larger ok? How much larger? Use your brains! Just give me one that looks 5g heavier than this one, dammit!”

And then wondering if the 1kg bag is really 1kg.

And then wondering where besides Mustafa I can get weighing scales at this hour.

Biometric phone

Biometric Phone

No lah, it isn’t really. It’s just that the N78‘s shiny black surface collects a lot of smudges and fingerprints, and that if there were a bunch of N78’s lying around with their displays turned off, I’d still be able to pick mine out by the shape and size of my finger smudges.

As with every new device I get (this time, on loan from the kind people at Nokia), I spend a lot of time setting it up. People say I disconnect from the rest of the world just to stay connected. Pfffft.

I can now take geo-tagged pictures, which is what I’ve always wanted to do, except I had to upload them first before geo-tagging them. Now I can do it on the fly on the N78, as long as there’s a strong satellite signal for the GPS receiver, which means indoor shots are hardly ever going to be automagically geo-tagged.

Just wait till I get outdoors.

The Krups is back

The Krups is back

As if in deference to my birthday this week, the Krups was fixed and collected this week without much fanfare. It’s much quieter than before, and we’ve since had two espressos each without the thing breaking down.

Hooray.

Happy Birthday to me indeed

I think I’m pretty easy to please as far as birthday presents are concerned. Just buy a really expensive computer and accessories from the same brand, and voila, Naomi (and the rest of the world) doesn’t see me for a few days because I’m holed up “setting it up”:

My Birthday Present From NaomiMy Birthday Present From Naomi
iMac!… No, I Mac… The… Dog.

My Birthday Present From Naomi

My Birthday Present From Naomi

My Birthday Present From Naomi
Made in China but don’t you worry…

My Birthday Present From Naomi
No, srsly, where’s the rest of the keyboard?

My Birthday Present From NaomiMy Birthday Present From Naomi
Looks good even in its wrapping

If you must know, the present comprised this, this and this. Oh, and here’s a tip if you’re thinking of getting the same things – get them from Sim Lim.