Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Read: Harlene Anderson's Conversation, language and possibilities



Title: Conversation, Language and Possibilities
Author: Harlene Anderson
Publisher: Basic Books (1997)


In this book, Harlene Anderson invites her readers to think about how a therapist can create the kind of relationship and conversation with a client that allows both parties to access their creativity and develop possibilities.

She calls for a philosophy of therapy and a way of being in client relationships that invite collaboration. For readers who are interested in the postmodern theory and collaborative clinical practice, this is the book to read.

In one of the chapters in this book, she expands on the concept of 'not-knowing' which is the key feature that distinguishes the collaborative approach from other therapies. "'Not-knowing' refers to a therapist's position - an attitude and belief - that a therapist can never fully understand another person, always needs to be in a state of being informed by the other, and always need to learn more about what has been said or may not have been said."

If I understood correctly, 'not-knowing' encompasses being willing to doubt, and to be uncertain. This meant being able to have an open mind and be open to the unexpected. It means being willing to risk, and let clients lead with their stories. Not-knowing as an attitude and belief means that the therapist must learn and attempt to understand what the client is telling. It means being humble. It demands the therapist learn the significance of what a client is saying, and how that makes sense to a client.

This may not be a straight-forward book to read, yet the honest writing makes it fairly accessible. I recommend this book to readers who are interested to learn about the collaborative clinical practice and postmodern theory. I think such a philosophy of therapy returns the power to the client and builds an experienced sense of trust between therapist and the client.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Places: Remembrance Sunday Service at Kranji War Cemetery ...

Some of my readers and friends are interested to find out about the upcoming Remembrance Sunday service to be held at the Kranji War Cemetery this year. Thanks to the event listing posted on AngloINFO Singapore, I have found out the details on this event.


Remembrance Sunday

Venue: Kranji War Cemetery, 9 Woodlands Road, Singapore.

Date: 9 Nov 2014 (Sun)

Time: 7.30 a.m. (Please arrive by 7.00 a.m.)

Admission: Free. All are welcome.



For directions to Kranji War Cemetery, you may refer to this post.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gourmet Pizza To Go



Recently, I came across a take-away pizza outlet, Gourmet Pizza To Go, when I was at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Coming across this pizza outlet reignited my desire to find delicious pizza in Singapore.

I greatly appreciate that at Gourmet Pizza To Go, I can simply order one slice of pizza to satisfy my occasional craving for delicious pizza. During such occasions of craving, it did not seem economical or efficient to gather a group of friends spontaneously to visit a pizza restaurant and share a family-size pizza together. It is also often not cost-effective and time-effective for me to make a pizza from the scratch to satisfy a momentary craving for pizza.

I have tried several take-away pizza outlets in Singapore. The challenge for most of these take-away pizza outlets is in my opinion serving take-away pizzas that are fast to serve and to eat, while ensuring that the texture of the pizza crust is satisfaction.

At Gourmet Pizza To Go, the pizza crust is well-fired and has a chewy and crispy texture. Even though the outlet at Ang Mo Kio MRT station serves take-away pizzas, care is taken to use effective processes and innovatively designed ovens to rebake the pizzas upon order so that they are fast to serve and good to eat. It is easy to tell from the taste of the pizza crust that quality dough base has been used.



In addition, I appreciate that Gourmet Pizza To Go uses quality pizza sauces. I particularly like the pesto that is used as the pizza sauce for the Pesto Primavera pizza. It is considered quite a novelty to find pesto being used as pizza sauces for take-away pizzas in Singapore. The traditional tomato pizza sauce used by Gourmet Pizza To Go taste wholesome too. What kept me going back for more pizzas from Gourmet Pizza To Go is the fact that the toppings are generous. Furthermore more, quality ingredients are used for the toppings.

Please do not ask me which choice of flavour is the best. I am very biased in my choice of flavour. I will usually order from the Vege Special selections since I prefer not to take too much meat.

Currently, an Ala-carte Slice-to-go costs $6.50. I think this is a value-for-money price for a slice of delicious Italian-style pizza. In fact, I would prefer to enjoy a take-away pizza from Gourmet Pizza To Go than to go to one of the pizza restaurant chain to get a regular pan-pizza. For the price of $6.50, I get a more delicious and palate-satisfying pizza. I hope Gourmet Pizza To Go will continue to engage qualified team members to serve quality fresh bake Italian-style pizza.

Admittedly, at $6.50 per slice of pizza, I will not eat Gourmet Pizza To Go's pizza on a daily basis. Yet, it is a delicious treat on those occasions when I need a value-for-money solution to attend to my pizza cravings.

Maybe Gourmet Pizza To Go can consider a special monthly subscription card for their loyal customers so that for a fixed one-month subscription fee, the customer can get up a selected number of free Ala-carte Slice-to-go for a month and an attractive discount for all other purchases at Gourmet Pizza To Go?

9" pizza-to-go are also available from Gourmet Pizza To Go. This is a good size of pizza for a nuclear family to share.

Gourmet Pizza To Go also serves a special Al Taglio Pizza with up to five choices of flavours at $65 each. Each Al Taglio Pizza measures 40 cm by 60 cm. This will be a great option for parties.


Gourmet Pizza To Go
Delivery Hotline: 6-222-1666
http://www.gourmetpizzatogo.com.sg

Outlets: 
- Ang Mo Kio MRT Station #01-02,
- UE Biz Hub, 6 Changi Business Park Ave 1, #01-23, Singapore 486018,
- Blk 537 Bedok North Street 3, #01-559, Singapore 460537
- Kallang Wave, #01-43
Operation hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

Friday, October 10, 2014

Read: Chris Guillebeau's the $100 Startup

Title: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future.
Author: Chris Guillebeau
Publisher: Crown Business

This is an inspiring book that distills into one book how to make a living, do what one loves, and create value for the new future. Chris, the author, illustrated a blueprint on practical steps to take to build a $100 startup that generates value.

One of the concepts discussed was that to start a business, three things are needed: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. Everything else is optional!

In this book, Chris defines 'value'as 'helping people'. For businesses to become successful, entrepreneurs found the key to doing so to be providing value.

Chris even created a step-by-step guide to creating an offer that no one can refuse. The templates that he offers in this book provide useful guides related to marketing for one's products and services.

What I like about this book is how it ends with its last chapter titled "But what if I fail?". Perhaps the learning point is that we can learn through failure. More so, failure is often overrated.

This is a book that I will add to my library as a reference if I decided to act and build my own startup.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Read: Switch

Title: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Author: Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Publisher: Broadway Books, New York, 2010.

In this book, the authors shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. In essence, for things to change, somebody somewhere has to start acting differently.

I like the analogy that each of us has an emotional Elephant side and a rational Rider side. The authors explained how in order to make a switch, it is essentially to reach both sides. It is also needed to shape the path.

So in a nutshell, I learnt that in order to make a switch, the three things to do are:
1) Direct the Rider:
- Follow the bright spots
- Script the critical moves
- Point to the destination

2) Motivate the Elephant
- Find the feeling
- Shrink the change
- Grow your people

3) Shape the Path
- Tweak the environment
- Build habits (e.g. using action triggers or using checklists)
- Rally the herd

This book is generally easy to read. This book offers useful ideas on the topic of facilitating changes.

The book's website also offer more resources:http://heathbrothers.com/resources/

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Read: Brand Mastery

Title: Brand Mastery: How you can build a winning brand and be #1 in your niche!
Authors: Ken Chee and Adam Wong
Published by Intellectural Marketing Pte Ltd (2011)

To learn a new topic, I read this book. This book is suitable especially for anyone who is interested to start a one-man-operation or run a small business. The book illustrates with clear examples and concepts how to use effective branding strategies to build a winning brand.

The section on discovering the soul of one's business is deep yet powerful.

Overall, this is a practical and insightful book to read.

For more information on Brand Mastery, you could refer to this URL:
http://instituteofbusinessmastery.com/business-programmes/brand-mastery/

Friday, August 22, 2014

Places: Singapore Night Festival 2014: Bold and Beautiful



This year's Singapore Night Festival is set to impress! Please find a write-up of my personal picks for the Singapore Night Festival here: Places: Singapore Night Festival 2014: Bold and Beautiful.



Singapore Night Festival 2014
22 and 23 Aug 2014
29 and 30 Aug 2014
8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Free admission
www.sgnightfest.sg

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Read: Pink's Drive

Title: Drive
Author: Daniel H. Pink
Publisher: Riverhead Books (New York, 2009)

I went to the library to borrow this book because this title was a recommended book to read.

Essentially, this book illustrates that when it comes to motivation, to harness the intrinsic motivation of people, it is necessary to look at three elements:
1) autonomy - the desire to direct our own lives
2) mastery - the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters
3) purpose - the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

The book includes what is called the 'Type I Toolkit' to guide readers to take the ideas in the book and put them into action. An interesting book to read. I took about a fortnight to read this book.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Read: Value Investing REITs

Title: Value Investing in REITs
Author: Attlee Hue
Publisher: Candid Creation Publishing (Reprinted in 2011)

This book was a recommended reading so I went to the library to borrow a copy to read. The author gives a clear introduction what makes REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) a way to invest in property without having to deal with down-payments, mortgage loans and expensive fees.

The terminologies related to investing in REITs are explained in a clear fashion. Perhaps I have yet to understand what has been shared between the lines, after my first reading, I am in the opinion that I have yet to fully understand how to go about doing a valuation of a REIT. Perhaps this is a sign to learn more about the subject matter?

This book is said to be the authoritative guide book in Singapore REITs. I suppose it was a blessing for me to have read this book as my first book on the subject of REITs.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Places: My Queenstown Heritage Trail: The charms of the Queenstown

Tanglin Halt.


On the last Sunday of the month of July, I took part in My Queenstown Heritage Trail to explore parts of Queenstown, Singapore's first satellite town. Looking at the various types of public housing found in Queenstown, I caught a glimpse of the evolution of public housing in Singapore.



Here's a blog I have written after attending the guided tour: Places: My Queenstown Heritage Trail: The charms of the Queenstown

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Places: An exclusive roof-top access during the Ramadan Trail 2014 at Sultan Mosque

This year, the Ramadan Trail at Sultan Mosque is one of the more meaningful tours I have participated in that has enhanced my appreciation of the significance of Ramadan. This year, the Ramadan Trail include an exclusive roof-top access. Find out more about my experiences of this year's Ramadan Trail here:

Places: An exclusive roof-top access during the Ramadan Trail 2014 at Sultan Mosque.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Places: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend

The refurbished Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Jul 2014.
This weekend, on 19 and 20 July 2014, the general public can look forward to free performances and guided tours at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Here's an account of a visit to the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall during the Open House Weekend: Places: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend.