Last night, the kids kept asking me if there was any news on the haze and school situation. You could tell they were very concerned about the environment. And also about whether school would be closed today on account on the haze reaching hazardous levels.
I even made a Facebook status update that said, "Thou shalt not raise children's hopes that school may close tomorrow. School isn't closed till the Fat Lady sings."
Moments later, the Fat Lady sang.
The MOE announced that 25th of Sept, Primary and Secondary schools will be closed on account of the worsening haze. Even Faith's special school would be closed.
And then we saw the. Fastest. News. Transmission. Ever.
I've never seen news travel this fast on social media and Whatsapp groups. Think of all the parent-support Whatsapp groups, kids talk-cock Whatsapp groups, and Facebook feed updates, all exploding at once.
The hardworking teachers of our children also emailed and called us.
So I broke the news to the kids at 10pm.
"OK, kids. Tomorrow confirmed no school."
"Yay!" the kids cheered.
"However, we are still setting you homework to do at home."
"Eeyur," said the kids.
You can run but you can't hide. What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long parental career. I will look for you, I will find you, and I will give you assessment books to do.
In case you are wondering, that hazy effect over Liam Neeson is actually from a photo I took of the haze outside my home at 6.55am this morning. My weather app stated the PSI reading at 334, which is pretty nasty.
-Charge Camera 1 battery
-Charge Camera 2 battery
-Charge Apple Watch
-Charge portable wifi router
-Charge iPhone 6 Plus
-Charge 12-inch MacBook
-Charge my Soul (prayer time)
-Charge Self (Sleep mode)
-Wake up at 3am and charge Camera 1 second battery
-Charge Camera 2 second battery
-Return to charging Self.
Good thing I travel with a five-way USB charger. And these days, a camera that can charge via USB as well.
[Photo taken at sundown, in Halsey, Oregon, where we stopped for gas, with miles to go before we slept.]
It is my last day in San Francisco and we decided to just relax after driving 66 hours in 12 days for more than 3000km up and down the West Coast. I'll share those hiking and road trip photos and stories soon.
No better way than to sit outside a coffee shop as the sun sets, watching hip cyclists go by at the Mission District.
We stumbled upon Four Barrels Coffee after visiting the Mission Workshop store at Valencia and 16th. So many nice cycling bags and clothes in that store.
I watched the vintage roasting machine chug away and asked, "Do you roast your own coffee here?"
"Yes," the man replied with a smile, "We roast for twenty hours a day here!"
I liked the coffee so much, I drank two cups. I am paying for it now because I cannot sleep and so, I am blogging this.
I am traipsing through the West Coast of the U.S. for two weeks and before I left, I realized I didn't have any more travel-sized toothpaste for for my 3-1-1 travel toiletries pouch and I ended up buying a Barbie Kids toothpaste.
That was all the pharmacy had. Not even Batman toothpaste was available.
It even tastes kiddy, a kind of berry flavour. Yucks.
I was at the Apple Event in San Francisco where Tim Cook and Co. launched a slew of new stuff to an generally responsive crowd (not unlike a Worker's Party rally). I have never seen so much enthusiasm for an Apple-invented Pencil that doesn't even have an eraser on top. I cannot wait for a new Apple Ruler.
We saw the big-assed iPad Pro, the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and a new Siri-controlled Apple TV.
You can watch my little videos below for a quick summary of what the iPhone 6S and iPad Pro are about.
Side note: I shot, edited and posted the videos with my iPhone 6 Plus. It always amazes me how much we can do with mobile devices these days.
I find it odd that the Pencil is charged by plugging into the iPad Pro itself. So do I have to charge my iPad Pro first, then charge my Pencil after that? Would I be able to charge the Pencil separately with another charger if I didn't want to drain my iPad Pro's battery?
Also not clear is whether the iPad Pro supports the ability to ignore your palm on the iPad Pro when you use the Pencil (a feature called Palm Rejection).
Still, the iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard is a compelling alternative to a 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro for on-the-move computing. It depends on what you do on your device, I think. The use cases will determine whether it's a iPad Pro or a MacBook you need.
I also learned that Singaporeans are not the only kiasu people. Tech journalists, from all over the world, bring new meaning to the words "Kiasu" and "Cheong ah!".
Back to the topic of new gadgets, the new 4K video and 12MP camera features on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are intriguing to the photographer and videographer in me.
I like that Apple didn't just up the megapixel count on their camera without doing something to improve the sensor's ability to capture more detail.
Now all we need a new battery tech to let us use all this mobile tech without needing an extra 10,000 mAh powerbank.
I liked the new Apple TV a lot. We have an Apple TV in every room at the moment, and the new one has a way better remote — Bluetooth and Siri-enabled instead of that older remote that was a pain to use.
Universal search on the new Apple TV is also welcome, since I already have Netflix and iTunes-bought content. I'm not too sure about gaming on the Apple TV though. Some of the games looked a little primitive. Except the Warhammer game. That looked intense.
OneRepublic performed as the closing act for the event. I didn't hear all the songs from their set because I was already in the queue for the hands-on area, with the rest of the kiasu gang by the second song.