I never knew you
But it still hurts just the same
When you go away



While Onitsuka Tiger shoes (by Asics) have been around for a long time, I only started taking an interest in them recently.

During my research to find retailers and compare prices (and designs), I found an online seller who was selling them at nearly a third of the prices found in stores.

While checking out his/her page, I saw a pair which I particularly liked. However, as I was not entirely sure of the reliability of the seller and the authenticity of the goods, I checked out the comments section and found that there were others who had similar questions.

The seller’s response to earlier queries about authenticity is as follows:

…basically our shoes are from OEM factories located in Fujian and Qingdao, China. We can say those are the genuine in function and design but there could be difference with distribution channel.”

It wasn’t very convincing, so I turned to the physical retail stores instead. After going to couple of locations, it turned out that the pair I wanted was an older model and had been discontinued.

While at the official retailer, I bought a pair that looked great, but was different than what I saw online.

Against my better judgement, I decided to buy from the online store as well, as I really liked the one I saw. After I got both, I took the opportunity to make some comparisons between the one I bought at the store, and the one I bought online (I saw another post about how to tell the difference between a genuine Onitsuka Tiger and a fake one, but it wasn’t very comprehensive…and there’s nothing like checking it out for yourself).

Here are my findings. For ease of reference (and obvious reasons), I shall refer to them as “White” and “Brown”. I shall leave you to make your own conclusions.

(Note: Unless otherwise specified, “Brown” is always on the left or top of the diptychs, and “White” is on the right or bottom.)

Usually, the first step in determining authenticity is to look at the logo. My first stop was the heel flap, to look at the Tiger wording. For “Brown”, the letters were embossed, while the ones on “White” seemed printed on, and had a raised texture.

heel flap

Next, I looked at the logo on the tongue. For “Brown”, the logo was embossed on leather, while the one for “White” was embroidered on fabric before they were both sewn onto the tongue of the shoe.


I turned the shoes around to look at the logo on the soles, to find that there were subtle differences…


…and also discovered that “Brown” had both logos pointing outwards (in different directions), while “White” had its logos pointing in the same direction.


Next, I looked at the logo printed on both insoles. The fonts for the word Onitsuka are slightly different.


Other differences include: the design of the soles…

sole_left shoe

…the texture of the rubber part in front…


…and also inconsistencies in the way the stripes meet the sole/toe cap.



Other differences I noticed…the size and manufacturing information was stuck on as a sticker under the tongue of “Brown”…


…while “White” had the information sewn onto the side of the tongue.


And the pièce de résistance…the insole for “Brown” could be removed! I tried to remove the insole for “White”, but I don’t think I could have done so without damaging the shoe.


More photos below to show the differences…






Can you tell which is the one bought online, and which is the one bought at the official retailer?

The strangest thoughts can hit you at the weirdest moment.

For some of you, it may be just before bedtime. For others, when you are commuting. There are yet others who do their most profound thinking while seated on the toilet.

Me? I do my thinking when I am in the shower. Of course, the problem begins when you have terrible short-term memory (I attribute it to an overactive imagination and a mind that thinks too far ahead of itself), and cannot find paper and pencil in the shower to jot down notes.

I think my thought processes can be likened to when you surf the web for something and then get distracted by one interesting hyperlink after another…and soon, you are so deep in the “web” that you can’t find your way back out. My teachers in school (and certain others) would beg to differ. To them, I am just plain distracted, or did not think things through, or cannot articulate myself well enough. I like to think that I think things through too thoroughly, thus ending up with many different possible endings / possibilities / scenarios, and need time to get my thoughts unraveled. Like a crazy mind-map that has gone off the page. Problem is, I either get too tired to think after a while, or too lazy. Unfortunately, the unraveling often happens JUST before bedtime. Like now. Doesn’t help either, that I usually shower just before bedtime. But enough about my nightly ablutions.

Anyway, where was I? (see what I mean??!?!)

Oh yeah…so this time while in the shower, I was thinking about the whole social media thing because i was thinking about some books on social media marketing that i have been reading, and what it’s uses were for marketing purposes (it’s got to do with part of my work). Along the way, I got to thinking about Facebook, and how some people seem to think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread that is smothered in garlic butter and lightly toasted till crisp and golden brown (it happened again!), while others vilify it and seem to think it comes from the devil himself. I haven’t seen the movie “The Social Network”, but from what i heard, it portrays Mark Zuckerberg as the devil incarnate (another hijacked thought!!)

So why was I saying all this?

Oh yes…Facebook. It’s a really great way to keep in touch and all, and when it first came on the scene, some people used to take pride in the number of friends they had on Facebook. Just like how some people boast about the number of people they have in their Skype or MSN Messenger accounts, and ICQ before that. Pathetic, really.

I got to thinking how many people on one’s Facebook account (or any other social networking platform for that matter) can actually be really called one’s true friends. I guess it depends on how one defines true friends. I am not knocking anyone here, but one thing that really irks me is how people get reminded it is someone’s birthday only when Facebook reminds them, and then the birthday wishes start pouring in for the person.

I’m thinking, if someone is really a close friend, you would remember their birthdays and wouldn’t need Facebook to remind you. Conversely, true friends will remember your birthday and wouldn’t need Facebook to remind them. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t put my birth date on Facebook (the other being for privacy reasons). Don’t bother looking. It’s not there.

My reasoning is this. The people who matter most to me wouldn’t need it, and it doesn’t matter to me whether anybody else remembers.

So if you really want to know who your true friends are, remove your birth date off of Facebook. Of course, I am aware that there are many out there who will disagree and may possibly even take offense…feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway…why did I start this post again?

Oh well…I give up.

Good night.


If you are a fan of the hilarious, clever, and totally irreverent hit TV cartoon series ‘Futurama’, you would’ve recognised that line as one of Bender’s pet phrases.

(You’ll also probably know what the last word is)

‘Futurama’ is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening (The Simpsons) and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who, after being unwittingly cryogenically frozen for a thousand years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the retrofuturistic 31st-century. (Wikipedia)

I never caught the original airings because I don’t think they were broadcast in Singapore back then. When the show was eventually brought to Singapore television, they were usually not at the primetime slot. Anyhow, I got hooked after borrowing a DVD of Season 1 from a friend some years back. One thing led to another, and I ended up borrowing all four seasons. 15 discs, 72 episodes, and many weekends later, I was hooked.

All this time, I had contemplated getting my own collection. However, the price of one season of the show was pretty prohibitive. I searched trusty Amazon, but never really felt compelled to go ahead and order it.

Until now.

I happened to chance on this collector’s edition of the complete series last December while searching for something else. To make the deal even sweeter, it came with four full-length ‘Futurama’ movies that would have had to be purchased separately. Best of all, the discs are stored in a replica of Bender’s head (and it comes in a box mimicking the “talking head” jars in the series). And the price for this was half of what I would’ve paid if I were to get everything separately. Go do the math…

I did, and I ordered it in a snap (as a Christmas present for myself). It was even cheaper to ship to Singapore, than to ship it to the address I was staying at when I was in NY (because of the tax in NY).

Anyhow, it arrived in mid-January and I have finally finished admiring it. I foresee many more wasted weekends.

Talk about a head case…

It even comes with a letter that is worded in the spirit of the show! The item I ordered is #1888 of 25500…not as limited edition as I’d initially thought.

This is what the letter says. You better get out your reading glasses…


It’s a SG$2.00 (about US$1.50) iPad stand, that’s what…

Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a photo stand although it looks suspiciously like one. I suppose you could use it to hold up a photo frame or a decorative plate. But no, it is an iPad stand, and that’s what it is…

Not the sleekest iPad stand you’ll ever see, but hey, it’s two bucks (and I didn’t have to spend hours making it myself this time!)…and it’s probably the cheapest. If you find one cheaper than this, let me know. Best part is, you can even use it as a dock!

Look around the home…you may just have an iPad stand lying around…






It even works when the iPad is on its side too!

Some of you know I went to New York last December for a vacation.

Well, here’s the fruit of the two weeks spent there (what?! Two weeks there and this is all you have?!) It’s not as professional or as comprehensive as others, but hey, it’s a start…


Incidentally, this is the second book I have “published”…here’s the first one.

Wow…the guy who started it all dropped by this little blog and left the following comment!

“Wow, your final product looks great! I’ve been meaning to clean up my original as the pages have been coming undone and the rubber cement ended up picking up a lot of dust. Maybe I’ll do a 2.0 with better tools, or I’ll be lazy and clean up the first one for a version 1.5. Yours looks extremely clean, well done!”

Thanks Ben!

Was going through my old emails when I came across something funny that was sent by a friend. The musicians/bassists amongst you should get it…

(and yes, I used to play the bass)


The History of the Bass – The Life and Art of Bass Playing
by Tony Levin

In the beginning there was a bass. It was a Fender, probably a Precision, but it could have been a Jazz – nobody knows. Anyway, it was very old … definitely pre-C.B.S. And God looked down upon it and saw that it was good. He saw that it was very good in fact, and couldn’t be improved on at all (though men would later try.) And so He let it be and He created a man to play the bass.

And lo the man looked upon the bass, which was a beautiful ‘sunburst’ red, and he loved it. He played upon the open E string and the note rang through the earth and reverberated throughout the firmaments (thus reverb came to be.) And it was good. And God heard that it was good and He smiled at his handiwork. Then in the course of time, the man came to slap upon the bass. And lo it was funky. And God heard this funkiness and He said, “Go man, go.” And it was good.

And more time passed, and, having little else to do, the man came to practice upon the bass. And lo, the man came to have upon him a great set of chops. And he did play faster and faster until the notes rippled like a breeze through the heavens. And God heard this sound which sounded something like the wind, which He had created earlier. It also sounded something like the movement of furniture, which He hadn’t even created yet, and He was not so pleased. And He spoke to the man, saying “Don’t do that!”

Now the man heard the voice of God, but he was so excited about his new ability that he slapped upon the bass a blizzard of funky notes. And the heavens shook with the sound, and the Angels ran about in confusion. (Some of the Angels started to dance, but that’s another story.) And God heard this – how could He miss it – and lo He became Bugged. And He spoke to the man, and He said, “Listen man, if I wanted Jimi Hendrix I would have created the guitar. Stick to the bass parts.”

And the man heard the voice of God, and he knew not to mess with it. But now he had upon him a passion for playing fast and high. The man took the frets off of the bass which God had created. And the man did slide his fingers upon the fretless fingerboard and play melodies high upon the neck. And, in his excitement, the man did forget the commandment of the Lord, and he played a frenzy of high melodies and blindingly fast licks. And the heavens rocked with the assault and the earth shook, rattled and rolled.

Now God’s wrath was great. And His voice was thunder as He spoke to the man. And He said, “O.K. for you, pal. You have not heeded My word. Lo, I shall create a soprano saxophone and it shall play higher than you can even think of.” “And from out of the chaos I shall bring forth the drums. And they shall play so many notes thine head shall ache, and I shall make you to always stand next to the drummer.” “You think you’re loud? I shall create a stack of Marshall guitar amps to make thine ears bleed. And I shall send down upon the earth other instruments, and lo, they shall all be able to play higher and faster than the bass.”

“And for all the days of man, your curse shall be this; that all the other musicians shall look to you, the bass player, for the low notes. And if you play too high or fast all the other musicians shall say “Wow” but really they shall hate it. And they shall tell you you’re ready for your solo career, and find other bass players for their bands. And for all your days if you want to play your fancy licks you shall have to sneak them in like a thief in the night.” “And if you finally do get to play a solo, everyone shall leave the bandstand and go to the bar for a drink.” And it was so.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was not too happy with the first iPad booksafe that I made. Being the perfectionist that I am, I decided to take all the lessons I learnt in making the first two (my original, and another for the wife) and make a third one for myself.

Without going into too much detail, I learnt that I needed a book that was thick enough, and with the right dimensions. I also learnt that to get the pages to align properly, one would need to cut them individually.

Without further ado, I present the “iBook” version 3.0

As you can see, I added a ribbon “bookmark” for good measure…which also helps remove the iPad from the case.

Lesson #1: Cut it deep enough (slightly more than half-inch deep), such that it would fit the iPad (even with the piece of felt)

I smoothened the inside edges of the hollow by CAREFULLY cutting off any bits that stuck out, and used sandpaper finish it (after gluing the pages together, of course)…also stuck foam pads at the inside corners to hold the iPad snugly.

Finally, I think I am done…must say that I am really pleased with this final one.


A couple of weeks after making this, I also ordered a Pad & Quill case (Vol. 3). As any girl would know, you need a different handbag for different occasions. Right? Right. The same goes for iPad cases.

I researched similar cases (Dodocase and Treegloo) before deciding on the Pad & Quill, and have been really happy with it. Why Pad & Quill and not the others? For one, the others use paper linings. Have read in forums that these wear out and tear pretty easily. I also found a review comparing the Dodocase to the Pad & Quill…seems like the Pad & Quill is more sturdy and robust.

Here’s a quick review of the Pad & Quill case (Vol. 3)

According to the website, it’s made with bound leather and birch. The Vol. 3 is also lighter and thinner than the Vol. 2 (and comes with an elastic moleskine-like strap which I am a sucker for).

Best part is the service. You get really excellent and personalised service from the folks at Pad & Quill. I initially ordered the Vol. 2, but when the Vol. 3 was released, Brian Holmes (the president of the company) allowed me to change the order without any problems (even though my initial order was already processed). Also, how often do you get personalised service from the president of a company? How cool is that?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’m really happy with the Pad & Quill case. If you are in the market for a moleskine-type case, and are still undecided, I would strongly recommend getting it from the guys at Pad & Quill.

In the Biblical context, beasts are often described as being fearsome creatures with multiple heads (and horns), iron teeth, sharp claws, wings, etc. Generally, one would not think of an encounter with a beast as anything remotely pleasant. In fact, the general advice for anyone coming face-to-face with one (biblical or otherwise) would be to turn and run…fast.

Just two days ago, I came into contact with a beast…and instead of it hunting me down, I was the one doing the hunting. For a really long time in fact. However, instead of a scaly skin and sharp claws, it had a smooth, cold, brushed metal skin (that was actually plastic).

You see, my old 250GB external hard disk was just about running out of space. Who would’ve thunk? Especially since 250GB seemed a LOT in those days (and cost as much too). To make matters worse, the drive and the casing was IDE…which for those in the know, gives you an idea how old it is.

Anyhow, then came the process of deciding whether to get an internal IDE drive to use with the casing, or to get one right-off-the-shelf. Problem was, the off-the-shelf types were all usually USB 2.0 (and more recently, e-SATA). The FireWire 400 drives were increasingly hard to find, not to mention the 800 variety. What’s more, the biggest capacity for IDE internal drives was 500GB…which I probably would have to replace really soon anyway. I was looking for one with at least a 2TB capacity, with FireWire 400/800 ports, and looked good (hey, it’s all about aesthetics).

The thing was, I knew Iomega had such a creature, but I never really trusted them. After all, they still listed the 3.5-inch floppy and ZIP disk/drive (anyone remember these?) on their website as current products…

I had also vaguely remembered seeing a Western Digital equivalent somewhere in the wild. But the sighting was so quick and fleeting that I wondered if I was imagining things…

Thus, armed only with my wits (oh, shut up) and a vague idea of what I was looking for, I scoured the tech-equivalent of Mordor — Sim Lim Square — where orcs disguised as salespeople try to devour you and then spit out your bones. However, that day, the orcs seemed rather tame…and the place was less chaotic. Oh right…it was day two of SITEX 2010.

I went about my business in relative peace, and explored a number of shops…but the elusive creature was nowhere to be found. There were a lot of imposters though. Finally, being tired, weary, and hungry, I decided to go back to my trusted source of all things Mac…the tech-equivalent of Gandalf. The wise oracle consulted her crystal ball, tea-leaves, the I-Ching and other what-not.

After a moment of suspense, she proclaimed that The Beast did indeed exist…and added that she could help me order one if I wanted.

Apparently, The Beast came in three sizes…The not-so-beastly Beast, The Beast, and The Super-Ultimate-Mother-Of-All-Beasts…

I kind of felt like Goldilocks making a decision which bowl of porridge to have, or which bed to lie in.

The “mini” Beast was only 1TB (and not all that fearsome), while the SUMOAB (an awe-inspiring 4TB) was too expensive. So, just like Goldilocks — and civil servants deciding which quote to select on GeBiz — I chose the middle option. However, The Beast was not immediately available, and the oracle would have to wait for her supplier.

Fast-forward to two days ago…I got a call from the oracle saying that The Beast had arrived. Since I was on leave, I went down to pick it up…and when I took it out of the box, that was when it struck me that it was really a beast. It is bigger than any other external hard disk I had ever seen…and just looked awesome, especially with the FireWire 800 ports behind. The only thing that can probably better it is the 4TB one…

The Beast within its confines

The Beast…unleashed

the back of The Beast

a closer look…

front view

it’s alive!

…and even as I type, The Beast sits on my desk and breathes…its front LED panel glowing in the semi-darkness.

Update 1 — apparently, there’s a bug which causes the Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II to unmount automatically and eject itself randomly…when used with FireWire and a Mac. You’ve been warned.

Update 2 — the day after I hooked up The Beast, my Maxtor One Touch Plus 750GB decided to die in shame. Nice.