Tuesday, October 31, 2017

J’s bowling journey

Its approximately 4 months ago that we decided to sign J up for bowling. We are not those parents that send their kids to all sorts of classes. We just felt that he needed to get out of the house more than just watching TV or nonsense videos on his Youtube/iPad!

i approached one of my friends who I met in Singapore Bowling Federation’s bowling course and he agreed to take on J. A good thing about him is the fact that he watched J grow up. We used to bring J to bowling alleys all over Singapore and put him in a pram while we enjoyed our games.


The video above roughly gave an idea of his level prior to any proper coaching... it was really just fun and games for him and not too much discipline. While I held a level 1 coach qualifications (and failed level 2...), I disqualified myself from teaching him bowling least I lose my temper and throw him down the lanes! Lol~

So is the tedious and important process of putting him at the foul-line, going through drills and focusing on his finishing. Sometime after 1 month his coach decided to see whether he was ready for the introduction of 4-step finishing into his training...


I would say he wasn’t that bad, but I think it’s important that he get that finishing timing become so natural to him it will be easy to extend to 4/5-step approaches in the future. And so we went back to a couple of throws at the foul-line, and then extended periods working on his slide.


This after 2 months


After 3 months...


After 4 months...

I would say I’m very happy with his improvements. He’s only 6 and he’s only had 4 months of proper coaching for 1hour/week. And then today his coach told me he got a 2nd-hand 6lb ball from one of his other students!



For my part, I’ve also invested in a Ricoh Theta SC which I’ve just gotten during my business trip to Tokyo! It’s really a toy which I’ve always wanted to buy for our family trip to Kansai Japan next month. Now it’s a toy I can use to film his bowling journey~


I can't wait to see how much he will progress in the coming months!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

New Bowling Ball - Motiv Trident Quest

Finally gotten my hands on the new Motiv Trident Quest yesterday. This after reserving it for nearly a month, even before I've seen a video of the ball in action. I had so much fun with the original Trident, then the Jackal Ghost, that I just decided this ball will definitely be good.

As usual I head down to Eastern Pro Shop @ NSRCC as I've known the guy there since 1992 when he was at Katong Shopping (Wow I've been bowling for 25 years!).

My new Trident Quest, together Trident and Jackal Ghost (top to bottom)
I opt-ed for the same pin-down layout that is deployed on the Jackal Ghost. I find the pin-down has worked best for me after all the trial and (mostly errors). I cannot remember how many different balls and layouts I've tried in the past couple of years, not to mention the thousands of dollars in investments~

Meet the Motiv family~
After nearly 2 hours we finally completed all tasks there:
1) Drilled 2 Motiv Trident Quests (one for my wife as well)
2) Reconditioned my Motiv Jackal Ghost
3) Changed finger inserts for my wife and my Motiv Tridents

Meet the newest member of the family~ the Motiv Trident Quest
Unfortunately, by the time we were finished, we had to go home and had no time to try out the balls... but today we managed to get a lane while J was having his bowling practise @ Forte Bowl - Hougang.

Here is the Trident Quest...


And here is the "renewed" Jackal Ghost...



Comparatively, the Trident Quest gave me further length, and once the power is realised... Wow~ It was really something to behold! In fact, my very last strike today had a guy from the next lane clapping and giving me the thumbs-up~

The only half-embarrassed answer I could give was...

"It was the ball, it was the ball..."

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A day at the Singapore Zoo and River Safari!

Coming to the end of the September school holidays, we decided to bring J to the Singapore Zoological Gardens for a day.

One of the good things of working for my present is the access to the Corporate Friends of the Zoo card. I have no idea when they changed it o the Premium card, but I'm not complaining~ It meant we got to enjoy not just the Singapore Zoo, but also the River Safari attraction!


Now instead of me writing a long blog post about how the day went, I will let my kid J show you what the Singapore Zoo is all about~

The Singapore Zoo

The River Safari

Saturday, September 9, 2017

New Bowling Alley - Superbowl Tampines @ Tampines Safra - Singapore

Finally made our way to Superbowl Tampines, which is having a $3/game for the month of September 2017. We need no further invitation to play a few games this afternoon.


It occupies the exact area where Orchid Bowl Tampines used to occupy. The only change is that half the area has been converted to a karaoke called 7th Heaven KTV and cafe.... Maybe a time when one cannot get a lane that's going to be a good plan B...

The lanes looked no different but the lighting felt a bit dim to me. Seems like a signature of superbowl lanes whereby the approach area always have a dimmer feel?



In any case, it was time to test my new Hammer shoes. I couldn't get a good slide with the 8S but it was too slippery with the 10S. Eventually I decided to use the 8S with a bit of powder. I guess it will take a while before it gets seasoned and I get accustomed to the new shoes...


I'm happy the lanes are opened... its only a 5-10 minutes' drive from my place. Distance from carpark to lift is 10 metres and from carpark to lanes another 10 metres. It's perfect if I have a need a game at 9pm~ I'm so happy!


And here is my kid getting his time on the lanes. 2 months into his lessons, he's starting to get the basis. I'm not in a rush... he's not in a rush... He's only 6~





Thursday, September 7, 2017

My New Force Performance Hammer Bowling Shoes! *Update*

After a couple of years, my old pair of bowling shoes is starting to show cracks and tears. I don't think it will survive another month so I went out and start looking around for a new pair of shoes.

Talked to some people, did my research online and finally decided on Men's Force Performance Shoes from Hammer


Got it on Tuesday and unboxed it immediately to try it on~




Wanted to find a suitable bowling alley to try it out before tonight's league but my schedule didn't allow me... Also chanced upon the below link from thesmartlocal.com about cheap bowling options in Singapore.

But I can't wait to try out the latest Superbowl @ Tampines Safra. Can't wait!

*Update*

Tried on my new shoes for the first time at league last night. 1st game, 6 frames and I was languishing with just 80+ points?!?! Promptly took my old shoes out from the box and started from frame 7. Finished game 1 with a respectable 160+. Then on it was 238-180-239.


I probably made a mistake with the slide pad. Should have gone for the #8 white microfiber slide pad instead of the #10 grey felt slide pad. More training with the new shoes required!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet J and his Youtube Channel~

Now that J is 6-year-old, he's exposed to all the stuff on the internet. One of the greatest evil is Youtube... I cannot tell you how much effort we take to ensure he sticks to an outdoor regime and not sitting in front of the Youtube screen every hour he's home.

And recently he's started a new goal of getting a Youtube Play Button... that means getting at least 100,000 subscribers to our his channel - JayXOne / JayX1


Without further ado... here's an introduction of JayX1...


That means alot of time taking videos, editing and uploading of videos for me...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hokuriku Tour Part 4 - Tokyo!

Tokyo 1st day
Back to Tokyo... been to Tokyo too many times to feel excited about the places we were going to visit but to the 3 guys most of the places were new to them as they only ever got to visit where the tour bus would bring them. I figured the Tokyo Skytree would have been a great place to bring them since I've never been upstairs myself~






From the top everything looked pretty small and I was glad the weather was kind to us.
One could really see how urbanised Tokyo is yet there is a sense of neatness in how the buildings are actually lined up.

We opted for lunch below the Skytree, within the massive shopping centre which serves as the base of the tower. Cold udon was the choice of the day considering the summer weather~




After lunch we made our way to the train station to make our way to Asakusa. It is only one station from the Tobu Skytree station to the Asakusa station, and from there its a 10-minute walk to the Asakusa Kannon Template (Senso-ji 浅草寺)






For me, Asakusa is one of the most visited sites. Whenever I bring first-timers to Tokyo, Asakusa will more likely than not be in the itinerary. I guess its because it gives a sense of traditional Japan within the urban landscape which makes it such a treasure...

After Asakusa, my uncle told me he wanted a new electronic blood pressure monitor, and so I brought him to Akihabara. Where else can you find such a massive array of electronics and entertain shops in one area?


In the end we decided to visit Yodobashi Akiba (short for Akihabara 秋葉原). Massive building of electronics, gadgets, toys and restaurants. A techie-geek paradise. A disneyland for old kids...


After that I had to leave the 3 guys to their own exploration as I had a dinner appointment with Japanese colleagues. Its one of those yakitori shops under the train tracks along Shimbashi station. It was great having cheap and good Japanese good while enjoying great conversation with colleagues based in both Europe and Japan.






Tokyo 2nd day
Rise and shine~ senior citizens really wake up early.. most of them wake up by 6am and I feel a bit ashamed to sleep later than 7am as it felt like they are all just waiting for me to wake up before they can start their adventure for the day...

By 8am we were already at Ebisu. Unfortunately, by 8am most of the shops weren't even opened! I thought of having breakfast in one of the nice restaurants lining the streets of Ebisu but they weren't opening till 10-11am! A short walk around Ebisu and some photo-taking later we made our way to Omotesando 表参道.



Still too early but Omotesando offered nice tree-lined streets and nice buildings which offered the guys a chance to use their cameras. We settled for a quick breakfast before making our way towards Meiji Jingu Shrine.






JR Harajuku Station

The Meiji Shrine 明治神宮 is another one of those places in Tokyo which showcases the traditional Japan. Unlike the various temples and castles all over Japan, the history of this place isn't much of a story but the environment makes for a good break from urban Tokyo. The fact that it is right beside JR Harajuku station makes for a very convenient place to visit whenever one is in Tokyo. Unfortunately the place is too crowded with tourists thus a bit of the splendor of the place has been diminished by the shoutings and pushings....



Exiting Meiji Jingu, I brought the seniors to Harajuku Takeshita Dori. I know its not really a place for old men but... been there done that, next stop Shibuya!



We were in Shibuya basically for lunch and a photo opportunity with Hachiko. No trip to Shibuya will be complete without either i) taking a picture of/with Hachiko and ii) taking a picture of Shibuya crossing. Checked both off from the to-do list and we also managed to grab a bowl of ramen.







After lunch it was swiftly over to Shinjuku. Too early in the day but showed them Kabukicho 歌舞伎町. A quick visit in one of the few duty-free stores. And then we had cakes and coffee in one of the many cafes in Shinjuku~


Spot the Godzilla!!!

4 guys having afternoon tea... surrounded by Japanese tai-tais...
We had sometime before our dinner appointment so we roamed around Ginza and Nihonbashi area...



Dinner was at Isomaru Suisan 磯丸水産.  


Isomaru's sort of a chain restaurant. Instead of selling you fried chicken or burgers, it offers Japanese seafood~ I wasn't looking after the seniors' health but they weren't complaining. In fact they really looked forward to this meal as they had a pretty plain dinner the night before as they couldn't speak the language and settled for simple food.








They thoroughly enjoyed their last dinner of the trip as that also marked the end of a remarkable journey. The next morning we took the N'EX train which took us to Narita airport.


All in all, the trip was an interesting one for me. I cannot remember the last time I took a trip overseas with my uncle. And this time I had to play tour guide to him and 2 of his friends as well. Of course they left pretty much everything to me to decide so that made it alot easier for me. And they could walk way more than I could, so that made it easier (yet harder) for me as well...

Last I heard from my sister was they are talking about asking me to organize another trip to Japan again... I got to check if I can fit something into my schedule...

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