Monday, December 31, 2007

Thank You 2007

Before I frolick off to celebrate the New Year in style (somewhat), I thought I had better complete this post first, which has been sitting on my To Blog list for the past couple of weeks, as with approximately 8 other topics which I sincerely hope will be struck off soon.

2007 would be hard for me to describe as a good year. I laughed alot, but I also cried alot. Arguably I got my heart broken in a most unique situation. But 2007 was a very interesting year. Every bit of it. And here are my thanks to the people who made it interesting, laughed with me through interesting times, and sat by me while I cried through interesting times.


Dear ol' Jesus. This year has been a heartbreaking year for our relationship. We started off well, and You were there to support me whenever I was down, from the tiniest misunderstanding between my parents and myself that made me moody, to the ultimate heartsmash (yes. Why can't there be heartsmash? And then there's heartcrack too, below heartbreak. Imagine, people.). But I? I broke Your heart so many times. Too many times. Only You, who died to set me free, could have the strength and crazy love, to follow behind me and run after me even when I turned from You, so that when I was hurt from the front, You would be ever ready to embrace me from behind. Jesus, help me know You more. Help me hear You more. Help me seek You more. Let your everlasting love, hope, and glory, shine through me, that the world may come to know You.

I love you Jesus. And I'm so, so, grateful that You love me, more than I can ever think of loving You.

Dearest sister, you are a God-send, you know that? You have always been there to support me and edify me, ready to reveal the word of God at the slightest expression of doubt or uncertainty from me. Like what I hope to be, you are a shining star my dear, a testament of Jesus' glory. And may He continue to shine brighter and brighter in your life. Thank you sis.

You, on the other hand, are a quiet testament to the Lord's glory. Quiet, but terrifyingly powerful. :) Your ever-present smile, and the joy that just radiates from your being, is more than enough to show the world what a great God we serve. May you experience more than ever before the double portion of serving, and get ever closer to Him. Thank you sis.

You too! Just your saying 'hi' can brighten up a lesson (and the three of you usually say hi all in a row lor, can you imagine). I look forward to seeing you continue to grow in the Lord. Who knows you may spread the love in Batam? Thank you sis.

No not the singer. That one seems nice, but I never really could get over hating his face... Eube's bro! We hardly exchange more than a knuckle punch, or even raised eyebrows, but our conversations have had great impact on me. Brother the power of the Lord bursts through you and your words, and so be not afraid to speak forth through the promptings of the Spirit. It will bring you to great places. Thank you bro.

You mad boy you. :) Thank you for showing me the ropes in sound (or the notes, hur). But more importantly, thank you for sharing the Word of God. You know, sometimes I'm envious of your superglue relationship with the Lord, despite your failings that ou are not afraid to acknowledge. Ishio-ni gambatte ne! Thank you bro.

Quietly making every service an aural success. Thank you for teaching me how to operate the Mothership. I really hope to learn much more from you in the coming year. Thank you bro.

You are scary. HAHA to people who don't know you that is. You have taught me so much... about sound and about the philosophy of serving the Lord. I can't wait to meet you again. Thank you bro.

You know, just watching you serve by running the Arrow AV ministry teaches me alot. There are times when things seem to go wrong and we see you get terribly stressed out, but your faith shines through even then, and that's wonderful and edifying to see. Thank you sister.

You hooked me into Tech65 (;P) and what has become of me now? I feel like someone with a purpose, rather than just float around watching anime. The visions you have shared with me for Tech65 - goals, hopes or even fantasies (maybe Revision3 will buy us) - are wonderful, and just thinking about it coming to pass is such a faith booster. Thank you bro.

It is actually quite hard to find someone of such similar, or at least complementing, interests as mine. Ever ready with an opinion, you make a fantastic philosophical buddy anytime. Not about to forget that time you were there and ready to quell my doubts about myself. I look forward to an even stronger friendship in the coming year. Cheers mate. And thank you, brother.

I KEEL YOU! Nawwww how could I? You who fed me loads of Chemical 9. And if you don't know what's Chemical 9, you are not deserving of xkcd. There that should be clue enough for you. Thank you. :)

Kai Yi
Man, your madness (and arguably twisted sense of humor sometimes) is welcome in my life anytime. Thank you.

Right, so much for procrastination... This is exhausting to do all in one shot...

You, my friend, have been there through everything, everyday. Through my good moods bad moods mad moods sad moods. And that's enough for me. Thank you.

You ah? Ahhh whatever la.

How could I right? Thanks for being there everyday too. For teaching me all about metal and music, (and for the music too...). I see you rising really rapidly, so don't you lose steam now! Become a great big star, so I can leech off you next time. :D Rock on Serberuz Hammerfrost. \m/ Thank you.

Thank you for the endless car rides! Your smile and sense of humor is something to be wary of... They say too much endorphins early in the morning isn't good.

I lie. It is. Thank you.

We don't have time to talk much nowadays, but I'm really grateful that you are always ready to watch out for me, to warn me of trouble ahead. Thank you sis.

Thank you for simply being there and being encouraging when I need it most. Thank you.

All those crazy outings, crazy movies (and not so crazy suckass shits...), crazy concerts, crazy pool, crazy time together. How to describe? I'll miss them when I move (not as soon as I expected though yay). For just being such a great friend, thank you my dear bro.

Chong Yi
After all these years, I'm glad we can still click so easily (somemore got girlfriend liao hor lol). Thank you for always being there.

The Community
Man, if I addressed each of you individually, I would never complete this by 0000 1st Jan 08 even if I locked myself in my room and applied an electric shock whenever I stop typing for more than 5 seconds. You guys make Ping such an addictive place to be, and you're all a right riot on the shoutbox, not to mention the crazy gatherings as well. For all your fantastic posts, and your "NSFW I Got Raped By My Cat" posts, thank you all so much.

You think I missed you out? Why would I? How could I? :) Save the best for last I say.

Interesting, isn't it, life? How it can bring you to the greatest heights, show you the world and beyond, only to wink at you and Piledrive your stupid naive head 3 feet into the concrete. Just like how you say I am to you, you are a very unique friend to me. Able to answer questions others would squirm at the mere thought of. Able to reason with emotion. Seen and done things people have only dreamed of doing. Everyone should have a friend like that, I always say, but then too bad I choped you already so no one else can benefit from your imbaness, hoho. It is my sincerest hope that whatever we will choose in life's fucked up game, we will always be available for each other.

Even with money and time-sucking biatches at our side and biatchspawn.

Thank you Ben. Thank you so much.


If you've read this far without CTRL-Fing your name (which you all did anyway, I know, don't even thinking about protesting in the comments), thank you all once again. Just so you know the people here are grouped by brethren, Tech65, SIM, contacts, dotcomrades. So please please don't take how far down you are as an indication of what you mean to me. Some of you may have jumped to mind before others, but you all made a difference one way or another, and are all equally meaningful to me.

Happy happy blessed New Year, all of you. :) The best is yet to come.

-Took 2 hours to complete this post. You all in this list owe me a drink. Ulterior motive revealed!-

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seiko Ignition SBHS001

SBHS001? Looks like this is an older model than I thought it would be.

For the past few days since I returned from Hokkaido, I've been making my mother's money worth (she bought this with a storm on her face) by showing it off to everyone I know. With cousins and friends we coo over its sleek elegance. With Pingsters and geeks we geek out on its relatively l33t features.

The Seiko Ignition Solar Radio Wave Control Watch. SBHS001.

Here are the features I pulled off an eBay page with its Engrish cleaned up.

  • Seiko Ignition Solar Radio Wave Control Watch SBHS001 (Japan Domestic Market Version)
  • Solar Power Movement Caliber : 7B22
  • Pure Titanium Case
  • Shockproof Structure
  • Curved Sapphire-coated Scratchproof Glass
  • 10 Bar Water Resistance
  • Fully Automatic Calendar
  • Radio Wave Correction Function
  • 2 Wave Reception Modes (Auto/Manual)
  • Wave Reception Display
  • Time Difference Correction Function
  • Power Save Function
  • Screw-Lock Crown
  • Noctilucence/Lumibright
  • Solar Power Life : 6 months (Power Save Mode : 18 months)
  • Case Diameter/total weight : 40mm/89g
  • Case Thickness : 11.2mm
  • Accuracy : ±15 seconds per year
  • MSRP in Japan : 63,000 Yen (apprx. $ 555 USD)

63k Yen is worth about 850SGD. And I paid 30k Yen, or 400SGD for it. Very cheap. But still relatively expensive.

So yes, the fully solar-charged battery can dish out power for 6 months at full steam. This watch however, has unoptional power saving, so it'll last up to 18 months. But that's all theoretical. Even if WW3 comes and we all have to go underground, if you have enough light to read the time, you have enough light to charge the battery.

Now this Radio Wave Control. Something we aren't too familiar about here. Japan utilizes two time signal radio stations to broadcast the JJY signal. Radio Wave Control watches work like RSS feeds, where they receive information from the signal, and adjust themselves accordingly, automatically. For this watch, one can manually get the watch to check and set itself (good for initial use). If not, or after the initial setup, from 2am to 4am everyday, the watch will communicate with the radio wave signal and automatically adjust itself while we're drooling in the other room.

Not that new a technology, but to the suaku geeks here in Singapore, it's totally h4ck0rz.

Why did I buy this watch? I've wasted a good portion of money on a technology I'll not use for the next 10 years, if not for my entire life. But I've always liked gun/black metal strap watches, and this piece totally caught my eye. It's simple on the surface, but beneath the imperturbable ticking is a powerful cumulation of technologies brought together to uphold Seiko's brand image of producing hardy and long-lasting products. Certainly one of the material treasures in my life.

Strip Generator

The Rest of It 1: Gimme some BJ
Ah. The fun of life. The joy of living.

Was linked to this site from NTT's blog sometime back when he made a strip about a Tech65 joke.

I've always wanted to go into comics, especially after seeing and enjoying the success of the likes of 8bit Theatre and Ctrl-Alt-Del. I don't have the patience to piece stuff together without actually having to draw, like in 8bitT, much less draw like in CAD. provides a simple solution for aspiring artists like me, with content but no skill. With simple solutions however, restriction is inevitable. I am often irritated by the lack of customizability. It's more like a humungous selection of images and templates to use, rather than how you can tweak these things. You can't even, for example, select what text to bold, italicize, or boldly italicize. Format one, format all. Still, I would say get your ball rolling and your practice going here. Once your engine's spinning smoothly, you can move away towards your own innovative solution.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa said to say hi, and Merry Christmas to you

'Tis the season to be jolly, and for me, 'tis also the season to catch up with my blogging backlog.

There are so many things I could tell you guys about, but lack of time and lack of motivation to induce muscular movement, as well as an apparent campaign by my body to aggressively earn back lost sleep, has set this site away as lower priority. Well now that I've nothing better to do, I guess I'll grudgingly grant you some content.

Actually no, I do have better things to do. More like, now that I've nothing better that I want to do. Like packing or tidying or housekeeping.

On this snowy Christmas (not here, elsewhere), I went to my cousin Celina's house for a fantabulistic Christmas lunch, consisting of Ikea's Swedish meatballs and salmon, turkey (+ stuffing), ham, pork knuckle, and KFC mashed potatoes. The last item was to make up for the lack of carb (or excess of meat, whichever you please), but received rather poor attention. Only three of the five tubs bought were opened. On the other hand, that brown, diarrhoea-istic meatball sauce from Ikea appears to be Mr I-can-complement-anything-you-lob-me-on. Turkey, meatball, salmon, pork knuckle, whatever meat we had on the table was elevated from excellent to zomg-heaven. The only reason I didn't splat it on the mash was 1) it already has everyone's favorite they-say-its-what's-left-of-the-chicken-frying-oil gravy, and 2) it was running out, and every Asian child has been smacked into being considerate to others.

My cousin had two medium sized dogs, a cutely overweight Corgi the length of a skateboard and the width of A4 paper, and another smaller, fitter... something else. They positively barrelled themselves into us when they were let out of their barriers, and only after they'd calmed down an hour later could we use them as wuffing, licking, furry bolsters.

The last attraction, which at the worst times the dogs would get in the way of, is everyone's favorite Nintendo Wii. My cousin had bought it as a Christmas present for her husband, my cousin-in-law, and we battled it out with tennis and boxing from Wii Sports, gymnastics, table tennis, swimming, shooting, fencing, and running from Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, racing in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (ohhh my arm...), and retarded fun in Smooth Moves. I'm starting to think if I had a 20min session of each of the games in Wii Sports everyday, I just might slim down.

I accept belated Christmas presents. Belated any-occasion presents. Early any-occasion presents. And just as you're about to do your super duper hyper galactic final finisher move, one of the dogs will jump up and give you a humongrelous slurp on your hand, causing you to jump and smack the ball right out of court.

Ok la. The other subjects deserve a post of their own. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Music Generalist

I started musing about this courtesy of Jerrick, when he insisted that because I listen to opera and metal, sometimes concurrently, I am a music generalist.

I've always prided myself on not being like "the other shallower folks", whoever they may be, who make their musical choices based on what's in. As a result their library is a bloody mess of singles.

"Oh is this good? Do you like it? Well I'll buy it then. Is that good? Me? Why should I buy it when you don't like it? How silly my dear."


But after what Jerrick said I can't help but ponder if it was true. If you listen to more than one genre of music, you're a generalist? If so 95% of the world's population are music generalists. And 3.5 of the remaining 5% are tribal folks who've never heard any other notion of music than their own hooting and beating.

Going along with that then, let's make a distinction. Fine, we're mostly generalists. But there are two types - popularists and picturists.

Popularists, or what I'd like to more derogatorily call poppies, listen to music just to own an iPod. A pink one. And if they don't like the Shuffle, they will buy the model of their choice then varnish it pink.

Alright, no they don't do that, not all of them anyway. But poppies treat music like scented tissue paper. Because it's nice. Whatever their friends have, they also must have. Because otherwise they'd run out of topics to talk about. As mentioned earlier they hardly bother listening to the whole album, and only go for the songs that are MTV hits, that everyone is talking about. As a result they miss out on hidden gems in albums simply because it was never made into a soft porn music video.

Picturists, as you might have guessed by now (unless you're a poppy), also listen to music as entertainment, but they also treat music as a revered art. Picturists explore albums, discographies, other projects that members of their favourite bands engage in. In the music they listen to they look out for motifs or leitmotifs, and having identified them relish every single instant it is unleashed on their hungry appreciative ears. Their ears perk up at the sound of an unusual fill, or rhythm, or solo, either something simply unique or technical. Picturists live for the details. They live for the canvas painting. They live for the brilliant red tree amidst a lush emerald forest. Picturists listen to music because they love it, not because their friends do. And quite obviously, as author of this article and despiser of poppies, I count myself as a picturist.

What are you? Wait! Don't answer that. You'll probably disgust me. Pestilent poppies.

Moofee Review: Pirates of the Carribean 3 - At World's End

K this is abit late, but I just watched it. And now I wonder why I was in the least bit surprised at the graphics in Enchanted.

I see PotC as Disney's attempt to appeal to the older crowd, be it youths or young adults. Because I just can't see how falling off the edge of the world or having to look for a beating heart and stab it or battling while getting sucked into a huge-ass whirlpool or for that matter Davey Jones's face would capture a kid's imagination. As with Enchanted (multiplied by 20, actually), graphics were seamless and looked really......real.

It was 3 hours long though, goodness. And it got off to a very slow start. So slow that I watched it forever, then paused it to heat up my lunch, and oh my God only one hour passed??? And I wonder whether the changing allegiances were believable or not. Of course I understand that some of that were silent nods to bigger trickier plans, but scorning a woman and making her captain of the ship when you're dying a minute later? Weird.

Get the HD home theatre disc. But then make sure your home theatre is 7.1 Surround equipped, echo-padded and tube-amplified. And your HDTV should be, oh I dunno, 40inches across?

That's the only way to enjoy this movie.

Moofee Review: Death at a Funeral

I watched this film solely based on the fact that it was labelled comedy. Yes people do that.

I was presently surprised. Death at a Funeral started off abit slow, but as it picked up pace, I realised that it was just the type of comedy I liked. Eccentric British humor. It's the same reason why I loved Keeping Mum so much. Apart from the characteristic dry humor that tickles the acquired funnybone, both movies have a perfect plot that, quite simply, leads to one screw-up after another, each one bigger than the last.

While Rowan Atkinson excelled in his classic "bumbling idiot" character in Keeping Mum, I have to say Alan Tudyk was in grave danger of outshining lead Matthew Macfayden with his stellar act of a normally sensible lawyer falling prey to accidentally administered hallucinogenic drugs. Also took him some balls, literally, to do half, if not more, of his screentime stark naked. And alot of ingenuity in the videography too, to keep it NC16. There have been comments that the drug joke went on too long. Well it's true that occupies quite a good bit of screentime, but to me they did it really well. Timing, gag, whatever. Perfect.

As they say, this show certainly puts the F U in funeral. Go watch it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Moofee Review: Enchanted

For some reason, my friends refused to watch Enchanted. When I ask them why not they threw the question back at me "What's so good about Enchanted?"

I wouldn't know! That's what we're supposed to find out right?!

I could tell them what I thought was good, but I look at animation from a geeky perspective, so I decided that gold-fishing my mouth was a better option. For Enchanted, I was excited to check it out because a well-done fusion of cartoon and real-life acting was something I haven't seen in a long while, quite possibly since the last time I viewed Roger Rabbit. With no one interested, I finally got the movie by... other means, and even though the quality was nothing short of dismal, Disney's magic still shone forth.

It is really heartening to find a company who takes the effort to deal with mature issues of "the real and cruel world" and "relationship complications" without having to resort to gory scenes of human luncheon meat or gunshots and some serious name-calling. Then again, it would be thoroughly un-Disney to have the remotest implication of "muthafuckin' whore!".

And then there's the digital effects. Oh my God I never would have thought that Disney would splash so extravagantly on SFX. As is often the case in digital effects, to the trained eye, the little things count the most. Apart from textural rendering, like the chipmunk's fur detail, or the reflection in the shiny poisoned apple, I really enjoyed the seamless transition where the evil queen (cartoon) sent three poisoned apples to her lackey (RL) through a soup pot. As the queen was musing she took the apple (RL) floating in the water back (cartoon) to admire it, then let it float back up again (RL). Really really impressive. Also, when she was snapping to her lackey in his vodka, her cartoon gestures affected the two olives floating in the drink. Gee, "how the hell did they do that" doesn't even begin to scratch the tip of the iceberg.

And then there is the Happy Working Song. I can't even describe it, you just have to take a moment here and see it for yourself.

At some point I lost track of which animal could be real and which was probably digital. The last time that happened was in the Matrix Reloaded's (in)famous highway car chase. The evil queen's transformation into a dragon was perfect, not to mention the stunning reality and detail of the dragon while retaining the facial flexibility of a human and the powerfully evil aura of the evil queen.

The last point is that I kinda felt that Disney was making a statement here, saying that they've grown up in some ways. As the movie progressed it became clear that while Giselle was warming up to the harsh reality and endless questions of this world, Robert was starting to accept that there may be happily ever afters after all. And I thought that was quite a powerful statement from Disney, as if they were saying "We know the shit you go through. But never, never let your dreams and fantasies go."

While kids will be entertained by colorful dance sequences and extravagant (and I use this word mildly) song numbers, adults may choke in laughter and tearful reminiscence of classic Disney references, most of which are in the opening sequence and the working song. I highly recommend you to catch it before it ends its run in theatres, and I look forward to buying the home theatre version of it in the future.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Being There

Doesn't life bring oddly amusing moments right in the midst of sadness? A couple of days ago my best friend in SIM told me that his girlfriend dropped the bombshell on him. It's been quite awhile since I was that shocked, although it felt more like puzzlement as to how the hell things could have turned out this way. I didn't exactly think it was a match made in heaven, but from all I'd observed I had thought, like him, that it would work well.

The next day I went to meet him as he took his things from her place. As the cab started driving and the rains started pouring (some would say the gods were crying; others that they were laughing), I learnt that not 6 hours after he had told me of his breakup, another friend of mine, though not as close, called him to cry that her boyfriend of sorts, our coursemate and mutual friend, had called off the relationship as well.

I don't treat this as a secret revelation shared among my BFFs. In fact I probably blogged and explained about it before. To my inner circle of friends (good friend, best friend, unbreakable), I feel a huge love for them. Nothing special, nothing hormonal, but I feel that as someone who is privy to that certain amount of trust, I have an odd responsibility to care for them in times of need, and just love them out of their misery.

But for all the pride I take in myself - being a comms student, a people person, an emotionally-tuned person - I feel terrible as a friend to have in times of need. If I don't say the wrong thing, it only means that I'm not even saying anything because I don't know what to say. For all the love I pride myself in being capable of giving, I still don't trust myself in hugging people freely, telling them that I care so much for them and want to be there for them. At the end of the day, as I'm on my way home, I ask myself "What have you done to make him or her feel better?", and what do I hear but silence, or else lousy answers. Can I really be there for them? Telling parents that I'm studying like hell when I'm playing mahjong just to keep them company? Having to leave by 9.30 or face the wrath of my parents for coming home after 11? Trying to balance between exams and this? So many questions I've asked myself since.

I want to do all I can for my friends. I'll probably be stupid enough to die unnecessarily for them. But do I have what it takes in the first place?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Askin' for it

After 65bits's 49th recording and abit of lounging around at the ever-dependable GT, I followed NTT down to library@orchard to say hi to Ridzuan and Jean. After which NTT led me down to the basement to... to do what!

To try brownies la. Don't read my blog if you're horny.

So he brought me to the Brownie Factory, promising the best brownies ever, his treat! Now I'm quite skeptical when the words "best" and "brownie" are put side by side, because 80% of the "best brownies" I've tried are really just dark brown chunks of chocolate flour. And so now I'm disillusioned. The Brownie Factory, however, delivered, and I bit into a chocosymphony of gooey chocolate centres and slightly less saturated sandwiches of chocolatey dough. With great taste however, comes great fat. My paper bag was soaked through by the time I was done.

I commented to a nodding NTT that usually chocolate leaves your mouth sandy and dry, but the choc in the brownie runs down your throat like it should. Nevertheless, I didn't want to risk having a choco-mouth all the way back to Tampines, so we went back down to Wisma to look for water. Now all this time I kept getting little static shocks from NTT, and since he said it wasn't him, well I concur it's me then. We were debating who it was as we went up the escalator, so on a whim I looked at my index finger, and at his right hand resting on his leg, and I poked his hand. UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, his left hand was gripping the escalator, as well as brushing against the metal underside. The result was a splendiferous crack that made me nearly fall off the escalator, and also nearly made me yell out a huge bubbly FUCK for all of Orchard Road to hear.

So remember boys and girls. Then next time you're really itching to try and see if you're charged up, that is the one time you damn well keep your hands to yourself before you fry yourself up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ugly Betty Season 2

After a somewhat confusing cliffhanger last season quite a few months ago, Ugly Betty is back, presently 8 episodes into its second season. So far I've only watched like two and a half, and I must say, for a start at least, the series is a fantastic kicker. The cliched twists needed to move the story's ass along were put along side subtle, totally unexpected twists, making the show much more powerful. I can't say much without throwing major spoilers into your unappreciative face, so I'll just highly recommend this series.

For now.

Days Like These

Initially disgruntled for being dragged halfway across Singapore to pee into a cute small bottle and dip a stick of 5 patches in it while the medic watches with somewhat gleeful scrutiny, this morning turned out to be the sort of morning I wish I had everyday.

The story is that two weeks ago, I went for my NS medical checkup. Yes, the drop-pants-turn-cough medical checkup. And at the very first task of the day, urine test, ...

"'kay, Ren...hao? I will need you to drink lots and lots of water. You'll have to redo the test later because you appear to have traces of blood in your urine."

"... ... ... ... okaay."

An hour later, it was still there. I knew straight on that something wasn't right after I examined the strip in the toilet and found the last patch turning blue.

And so an official summons was printed for two weeks later, today, to come back and redo the test. The good thing about today was that an alert medical officer spotted me holding my summons in the queue, and after reading it, told me to get out of the queue and get straight to it.

After I got outta there 10min later, I decided that I wasn't going to dash straight home, and clearly remembered the dismay I experienced two weeks ago when, barely 10 seconds after the taxi I hailed to get to school accelerated, I zipped right past the unmistakable Botak Jones sign. I was left with my head cranked 90degrees to the right and jaws slacking open. Back to today, I figured that Botak wouldn't be open so early at 830am, and I was right, and that in any case there would be other stalls open for the breakfast crowd, and I was right. As I sat enjoying my nasi lemak while watching Ugly Betty S2 on my ZEN (more on that in the next post), I felt the light smile that my parents say used to cling stubbornly to my face when I was young fading back. And as I drank kopi o (what's their problem are they trying to clear sugar stock or what? Sheesh man.), I thought to myself, "what a wonderful world. This is the way life's meant to be." Taking your time and not wolfing your food down (although rush or no rush I still eat fast anyway... bad habit), not having to think about anything or plan in advance for later events, at least till late afternoon. Just able to go walkin' around, lookin' around. I briefly toyed with the idea of going to town for a stroll, since 175 brought me to so many prime stops in town, but decided against it in the end, and good thing I did, because as I was walking back from Tampines Interchange, my dad called to ask me where I was. Turns out that he was leaving the house early. As it happens I lost my key again (dunno whether I really lost it or they keeping it - sure are making things hard for themselves, but whatever. My back pockets are all very deep), and they couldn't leave the house for fear of locking me out.

Come back, play DotA, watch anime, watch Ugly Betty... If only everyday could be like this.

If only.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

CEO Match @ Global Entrepolis Singapore 2007

I've always wondered how far my business skills would go. While none of them involved major finances, I've been easily fleeced many times. Thank God I'm abit more sensible now, but it remained to be seen how far I could go in dollars and sense. With that in mind I grouped with Ben, Jonathan and Andrea to participate in CEO Match 2007, joined later by John. We played at a booth at the Global Entrepolis Singapore exhibition.

Some interesting sponsors there...

and photos of me and Andrea trying our best to look cool in formal wear and holding a WSJ. Not cheap sia that small newspaper... I thought well, if I couldn't conduct the business, at least I could try my hand at observation - seeing...

I'm sorry I got to pause here. I'm listening to the 1812 Overture that Jerrick sent and it's super absorbing.

Ok, sorry. ... - seeing the reactions from people's faces and their body language, gauging what sort of shit or heaven they are in. But I never expected the game to run at such a speed. It was Monopoly on crack I tell you. And in the end all I had time to do was listen to Ben and Jon bickering behind me then telling me what to do.

In the finals, we judged the game wrongly, and ended up last. Each round we were earning barely 15k nett. When we decided before the beginning of the 5th and final "fiscal year" that well, we're dead, no point crying. Let's take a loan and have some fun.

We earned 50k in 30min. And I learnt more from that last round that I ever learnt in the game.

At the end of the day, the world is just a huge casino, and we are gambling when we do business. Gambling involves risks, and if we do not have the confidence and courage to close our eyes and say "Hit me!" when we already have 18 in our hand, we will never hit the blackjack. Sure you have luck, but Lady Luck is unfaithful. She flits around faster than you can gasp, and you bet your ass you'll die out if you just depend on her.

Here's a rare photo of the game in action. I mostly didn't even think about pulling my phone out because I was so worried about how the hell we were going to survive with 8 fucking thousand in the bank balance. You can see the teams in the process of bidding to sell at the lowest price, tapping away on their PDAs. The wooden board in front of us were a physical representation of what we had. Raw materials, machines, laborers, trucks, finished products... the list runs on. In the centre, and the spinning table denotes the world and its respective markets by continent. The Malay team on the left came all the way down from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (I think that's how you spell it), and the team beside them was the SIM team that won the competition in the end.

It was a really fierce competition, and I'm glad I joined. I learnt many things I never would have learnt otherwise.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Difference in e

Today after our MGM presentation, Graham suggested we took 151e, the express cousin of the usual bus we take, where I drop halfway and he carries on to his place. Now I was naturally dubious of the e, because... well it's an express innit? Bound to skip plenty of stops. But after Graham said it passed by my bus stop at Macpherson Road, I boarded the bus with him.

We got off at Hougang Avenue 3.

"Well I was right, though. It did pass your bus stops, it just didn't stop there."

I should have bitchslapped and sat on him.

We ended up at Heartland Mall getting distracted by a million things, especially that Comics Connection store. But we both had dinner waiting, and so he showed me to the bus stop/MRT station. And guess who we met there? Wei Yang, whom we just did a presentation with an hour earlier.

And he laughed at my plight. :(

In the end I just took the NEL to Punggol then 34 back. It would definitely have been faster than if I took the direct 81 all the way back.

Paid 40c more to sight-see abit of Singapore. Thanks.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


When I finally take action to do my bit for a fellow Pingster, it's abit too late. Nevertheless, here's my contribution to Rinaz's 2007 Weblog Awards voting campaign.

It's quite plain-looking compared to the usual Uncle Sam posters, but whatever. Uncle Sam himself gets the message across. What are you waiting for? Voting closes this evening, vote NOW!!

Eating My Maths

Three days ago I met up with Mr Fong of eatyourmaths for... something at Holland V. Just to meet and chat, you know, since we were so near to each other anyway (I at SIM and he at ACS(I)). We decided on Coffee Club, when it hit me that I never tried it before, as far as my memory stretches. Being the typical deprived late adolescent that I was I zoomed in on the Ice Tiramisu Latte, made with coffee, milk, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dash (or more) of... oh, some liquor or the other. Mr Fong decided to have his dinner there. Not that I had a problem with that really, because we seemed to be able to talk and talk and talk without running dry (for long anyway).

And so after like an hour and a half of complaints, I decided to become an English tutor!

No la I'm not weird. Well some insist I'm eccentric, but not in this sense I assure you. Tutoring has been at the back of my mind for quite long now, just that I never quite bothered to put my name and particulars down in tuition agencies. They behave just like or even worse than the already unbelievably niao Singaporean parents (if anyone foreign is reading this, niao = picky). But I could do with some extra money, since all my tastes and wants seem to be going up the dollar ladder.

We shall see. Meanwhile, I look forward to meeting Mr Fong, and in fact the rest of the Ping community really soon!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Link between emotional scenes and Cheers

When two concepts that aren't usually linked to each other are baked together, the result could either be dangerously disastrous or fabulously fantastic. In the case of Thailand's Cheers beer, it was the latter.

Great innit? Could win some awards there.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Sylvia from twittered about I dunno how new this site is, can't be bothered to check now that I've closed the window. But in short Pzizz offers you customizable audio to relax and energize you with their Energizer module, or bring you peaceful sleep with their Sleep module. Pzizz combines New Age-y music, the usual soothing stuff, and a relaxing voice to accompany you to sleep. And these change with every play, ensuring that you'll never get tired, nor will your body be too accustomed to the musical sequence for Pzizz to lose its effectiveness. Sequence durations and audio levels are customizable to suit your preference. In other words, it fills in the energy limits of humans. I don't think you'd last 20min accompanying and soothing your child or loved one to sleep. You'll wake up screaming crying and drooling at 7am the next morning with three stacks of work undone and half an hour to get your arse to the office.

As a trial, Pzizz offers download of their software, individually or as a bundle, as well as a 15min sample track of each module. I played the sleep sample track. And after 30 seconds I was so frightened of knocking out right in front of my computer that I turned the track off. I'll load it into my MP3 and try it out later. I do need some uninterrupted sleep badly, if that's what this software touts.

Check it out and lemme know! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You Dropped Your Pad

Yesterday I was honored to be invited to Daphne's 21st birthday party. We were at The Mussel Guys at Vivo City, and we had a really great time with well, not funkilicious, but at least good seafood (if you consider fish and chips seafood, that's what I ate). The fish was soft, and at times that became a fault because you couldn't dip your chunk of fish into tartar sauce without leaving it behind as you lift your fork up. The tartar and fries, however, were good. As we finally left for the... oh what's that place called... Rooftop Gardens? for a few final pictures, John motioned to the welcoming waitress outside the restaurant. The filter sponge of her earpiece had fallen off as she removed it, and she hadn't noticed it. Ben and I noticed him stopping, and we turned to see what happened. As John explained, Ben comprehended and filled in with, "Ohhhh the pad issit?"

"Yeah yeah."
"And you told her that she dropped her pad."
"No let's... don't go there."
"I'm not going there!"

So all the girls saw at first were three guys screaming and laughing and bent over and walking like drunkards. I could barely explain it to them over my laughing fit. Oh gosh, it was so funny.

"Excuse me ma'am, you dropped your pad." Nice.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Should I Join the Petition to repeal 377A?

A friend of mine invited me to a Facebook group, or rather the Facebook group for, to petition the Singapore government to consider repealing the (in)famous Section 377A, presently criminalizing gay sex even between consenting partners. As I was about to click the Join button, a powerful force on the inside of me swelled and set off alarm bells. My subconscious was hesitant. I had a dilemma on hand.

As a person with, at the very least, an average intellect, I'm neither ashamed nor afraid to say that I recognise the need for Singapore's society, especially the older generations, to be more open-minded. Things are changing rapidly, very rapidly, and if you don't agree with it, you'll just be left in the dust. If you don't agree with it as a nation, you'll be left in the dust as an entire nation, dragging younger generations like us who wish to see Singapore becoming a more intellectually modern place. That said, 377A is, to me, a rather rare stepping stone to voice our concern in this area. The contents are certainly controversial, but how many chances like this do liberals get to voice their stand on an open society?

On the other side, I am Christian, and I firmly believe that fornication between two men is not natural and is not God-ordained (whether it gives pleasure is another thing. But it's not right).

Just today, my junior sent me the link to, the "nemi-site" of

Once before I commented during the last Singapore General Elections that while we all weren't exactly overjoyed with the PAP, there wasn't enough strength and faith in the opposition to vote for them. So I said I would have nullified my vote. To which my cousin gently corrected me, saying that since I've been giving the choice, I should exercise it to the best of my ability, and not waste it when others don't even have the chance to make their opinion counted.

Today, I feel that I have been given a chance to vote. For or against liberty, and for or against the inevitable spread of homosexuality should this section be approved. And after all I've just wrote, I've come to a conclusion. That's right, thanks to blogging, I've made up my mind. And it is this.

No matter how rare opportunities will come by, we are a rapidly evolving society. You can try to resist it, but soon it will overwhelm you. I believe, and in fact hope for more chances like this to show my support for liberalism in this society, without having to deal with thorny issues such as the spread of homosexualism. For now, faith and rational morals will take the throne. I will put my name down in

What is your stand today?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

One of those weird dreams

So I was woozy in front of my computer right? As always my sleep cycle wasn't complete before I woke up, and I'm dozing off to make up for it. I just never learn. Images of an excited email from my podcast's head honcho Daniel shrieking that we have another PR email flashed around my mind. I tried to open it and the only thing I can remember now was a 5-letter email conversation (thank you so much Gmail) and someone from the PR firm starting off with Dear Renhao.

A couple of minutes later I woke out of Twilight Zone, and I'm in that part of waking up when you recover from sleep? Like when batteries get over-charged and they're trying to deal with it? Yeah, and I'm doing the cover-one-eye-and-frown thingy and thinking What was that all about?

Then I saw my Gmail Notifier was blue.

Then I opened it up and saw a press release email from Olympus announcing the E-3 DSLR, successor to the 7-year-old E-1 (thanks to the Engadget community).

Ok so it wasn't an excited letter from Daniel. But it's still a press release! How the tech did Olympus get my/our email? I dunno, but I find it kinda presumptous to add media to the press list without first notifying them innit? Cos this was directly from Olympus, not even from a PR middleman (middleperson).

The mystery lives on...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Tsukasa-chan's through to the next round of Saimoe '07!


Tsukasa's victory however, also means that San-chan from Seto no Hanayome has been booted from the competition. And I'm not gleeful to see her go because she's one fine gal, with alot of chivalry to boot. But nevertheless I'm more happy for Tsukasa.


You know you're too obsessed when you rejoice over your favorite cartoon girl getting through a competition.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Free webhosting and domain. Why not?

Ok, well, since I thought of blogging about something or the other anyway, I decided to join unclesha's free webhosting and domain contest.

I deserve to win the 1 year free blog hosting and web domain sponsored by ‘We Host You’ because I've been wanting for the longest time to have my own site. I love Blogger because it's just so straightforward, and it offers more horizontal room than I would ask for. But, and this is not Blogger's fault in any way, I don't get vertical freedom.

What the hell you talking about? Well especially with a sort of user interface for layout editing, Blogger's brought the ability to customize your blogs to the masses like never before, when previously to do so you had to learn HTML. I know, because I did. But anyways, layout editing. That's what I mean by horizontal space. Short of having the theoretical ability to make your blog into an interactive site with CGI fairies and THX-certified surround sound, Blogger's got it all laid out for you. But what if you wanted to create a survey page? Or a special page for a special something, say a page dedicated to the situation in Burma now, showing your support for the monks. Or a mash of your Web 2.0 stuff - Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc.etc. Or a page that doesn't have the usual characteristics of a blog page. Now it's not Blogger's fault they don't offer something like this to you, because they are a blogging site after all, hello?

Having your own site offers that flexibility and more. I've got so many ideas waiting to be launched, that are either not feasible on Blogger or a chore to do. I'd rather just wait than work my ass out to make something half-past-six on Blogger when I can do it so easily on my own site.

So yeah. I deserve to win. Really.

Discman VS MP3 Player

There was a week's gap between the time I returned the review ZEN unit and yesterday when I collected my very own unit. To fill in the void of a portable music player, I burnt a few CDs and went back in time to use my Discman.

It was a disgusting experience.

What an irony that CDs which were supposed to be far more superior than painfully compressed digital audio files sounded like a mere shadow of the latter. But in all fairness, these weren't original CDs but burnt CDs converted from MP3 files. I always wonder what they do... expand it back to its original space? Well wouldn't that just make things worse?

Guess I answered my own question.

And these past two days I've had the Aurvana X-Fi headphones with me to play around with. For those of you still not in the know about X-Fi technology, X-Fi aims to accomplish two goals of audio resurrection and relative spatial reproduction. In English, to attempt to replace what has been lost through compression, and to reconstruct an accurate stereo stage for a more wholesome listening experience.

And even the X-Fi could only do so much with the crappy CDs. The sound quality was average at best. And the volume, oh my goodness. At MAXIMUM volume, the CD player was outputting to the headphones at my normal listening volume (65%). I thought well, maybe the headphones required power to run properly.

Then I got my ZEN today! Excitedly I dashed back and loaded songs in and played.

I only had to crank up to 75% volume to have a fantastic (nevertheless ear-spoiling) listening experience. But the ZEN I've always felt, I thought, had a higher output power.

And then as I'm typing now, I'm listening to my brother's spoilt iPod Shuffle (dunno how he can throw here and there until the USB internal data cable snapped. No hope). Still has battery though, so I'm taking the chance to try it out. Very surprisingly, I estimate that I've turned the volume to about 80% or at most 85%. And it's already blasting into my ears.

Well that's that then. CD players, you disappoint me. Be thee casted into techological oblivion forever, and may ye not just burneth there, but melteth there.

How many of you got that joke now?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reviewin' the Creative Aurvana X-Fi Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Ok so I attended the launch event right?

Well my audiophile friends, the review unit is here. And guess what.

I'm ROCKIN' OUT ON IT BIG TIME! \m/ It's a freaking aurgasm powered on my computer (too soft on portable devices - standard problem for otherwise rocking headphones). I'm listening to classic guitar tunes (not classical, classic) like Hotel California, Cemetery Gates, Sultans of Swing, Master of Puppets, Sweet Child O' Mine, and I'm thinking to myself "I can die happy."

Well ok I do have one regret. It's not that snug that I can do some serious headbanging. If I do that, give another minute and I'll start banging my head for headbanging $500 onto the floor. In pieces.

Many pieces.

Watch out for NTT and my extensive review of it on Tech65 soon.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Day Bad Day? I Can't Decide!

So I had set my alarm for 1030, thinking that that would be late enough, and yet give me enough time to do my usual computer routine before leaving for Creative's Aurvana X-Fi Headphones press event at 2pm. Magically I woke up wondering why my alarm wasn't ringing yet, and I saw that it was 1027. Lovely. Might as well switch my alarm off and sleep in abit. It's still early innit... and it's raining, too... ...

I woke up at 1.11pm.

With a big fat curse I greeted my day, and flicked my computer on while I took my clothes out and packed my bag. When I opened Gmail I saw that NTT was online, and the first thing I did was swear again and let him know I would be coming by cab. By the time I left the house it was almost 1.30, and I was carrying my nasi lemak my dad bought for me (free lunch what why not?). It took until 1.40pm to get a cab at the forsaken bend that my estate faced. And with the rain and all, I only managed to reach Wheelock Place at 2.10pm.

Now let me say something about the cab driver. (Obviously you have not much choice over whether I say it or not, it's just for smooth transition's sake.) This guy drives up to Wheelock, by the side. This is good for me because the office lifts were just upfront. But this idiot stopped on the second lane, because he didn't squeeze into the first lane when he could. And as I was still waiting for him to slide in so I could get out safely for goodness' sake, he looked at me and I looked at him and he flicked his head.

"Here lor," he said in Mandarin.

Quite obviously I was already in a bad mood for his less-than-swift driving, but I had a press conference to attend and couldn't be bothered arguing with him. After I paid him 13 bucks I threw the door open then gathered up my things, and fuck you if a crazy speeding vehicle took the door off its handle. You deserve it damn you.

Zipped up to the 9th floor to find that they were still expecting quite a few people. While in the cab I had already prepared my name cards, and sure enough these came in really useful 90% of the time a handshake occurred.

After the official presentation NTT and I went to spend more time with the X-Fi and the Live! headphones. He had to dash first, so with the kind help of the peeps at August Consulting and Creative's product presenter Eugene, I filmed an episode of Channel65. The tape was playing back as the cameraman for the day passed the camera back to me, and I found it to be good and shut it off. Later I remembered to take some close ups of both babies, and the hell I did.

Right over the previous footage.

So now there's a little patch in the video where I'm standing in my hallway looking embarrassed and filling the missing content in.

Sat down on a ledge to eat my nasi lemak, then took a stroll through Borders before deciding to settle down at Coffee Bean to go through the press kit documents. Remember what I said about a free lunch? That earned me a Banana Chocolate from Coffee Bean. For artificial flavouring, it's not too bad.

What I thought would be a simple stroll to the nearest bus stop to take 65 home turned out to be a bloody hike through town. I was on the Wheelock-Ngee Ann City side of the road, and I surprise turned to frustration as I walked neverendingly, searching for a bus stop on this side of the road. I met several bus stops and NONE OF THEM was on 65's route, what the hell. All the way up to DFS Galleria and I gave up and walked backwards. I was on the other side of the road now, and as I walked I saw a 65 roll past.

Going to Tampines.

If you don't already get it, it means I could have crossed the road anytime to take a bus home. But whatever I was too sianed to swear already, plus I might get arrested and sent to Woodbridge. I took the bus home, and since I returned the ZEN review unit earlier, I only had my CD player with me. And the bus. I was sitting right at the back of the double decker, and I swear the air-con must have been lower than 16 degrees. Even with my hoodie on I was freezing, and had to zip up and jam my hands in my hoodie's pockets to make myself the least uncomfortable.

Good day bad day? I dunno. Sounds like a bad day with good bits. But whatever. It's over and I'm still alive, so who's complaining? Good night.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

1st SIM Inter Collegiate Soccer Tournament Finals - UB vs UOL

Well, UOL won.
That's not the point I guess. But then I also guess we wouldn't really be thinking of saying that if we had won. To think I had had so much faith in UB (read: Akash).

I hope you don't misconstrue, I'm not expressing disappointment in Team Buffalo. Nor the goalie, nor Akash, nor whoever missed that last penalty shot (Leon? Dunno, don't care). If anything it's probably lack of battlefield experience. I don't see how anyone can blame any player or goalie for missing or not catching during shootouts. The pressure is immense to perform, and as we all have experienced in some form of another, that's prime formula for a spectacular fuck-up. It's a vicious cycle.

The real thing I took away from yesterday's match? Camaraderie. All coming together, watching together, cheering laughing wailing together. It transported me right back to my days in VS, where we'd yell the hell out of ourselves, and one guy would start a cheer and we'd all follow and recite the rest of it by heart. Any VS boy would tell you that sense of pride we felt when people asked which school we were from. We'd reply VS, and they'd laugh and go "Oho. The cheering bumblebees." Priceless.

We all watch world-class matches, World Cup and Euro, so we all expect lightning passes and triple combo hyper kung fu goals. Honestly, even S-League matches can only interest me for so long. And yesterday, obviously there were times when the whole damn game seemed so pointless, people plopping the ball around here and there, out of court, all that. But when the whole UB was screaming the hell out of themselves, I felt back home in VS again. And with girls this time. Loud girls.

Hans. What can I say? A few solos, some embarrassing, but where the Buffalos needed it most, this guy was no compromise. See how Celest and Ryan are leaning away from our direction? They apparently find Hans's drumming too loud. I chided Ryan and told him to go listen to more loud music. But when Hans turned back and yelled at the crowd to shout louder, even I winced. His drumming (poor tom-tom. The skin was terribly abused by the time the match was over) was responsible for starting like 75% of the cheers. Jane Anna and gang on top, some big lungs there. and Melissa and company one row lower with the pom-poms. Human loudhailers haha.

If there was one thing that I took away from my 4 years in VS, it was not to jeer. So I was obviously abit uncomfortable when they started poking UOL. SPEAKING OF WHICH! Shame on you UOL supporters! Leaving halfway during the match, what kind of supporters are you? Only ONE FUCKING LINE of supporters to celebrate their victory with them at the end of the game. That is sadness epitomized.

Ain't the end Buffalos. It was a fantastic match, with or without the crazy crowd, and you proved your dedication to the sport and to excelling. We'll sure as hell be there next year.

Because we rock. Horns up Buffalos. \m/ My hair looks like shit.

Friday, September 21, 2007 T-Shirt Design

Well, decided to contribute to's T-shirt contest. So here it is.

The brief for the contest and the shirt requirements are taken off Uzyn's forum post, linked at the bottom of the brief.

Anyone fancy a T-shirt?
The one which we will wear proudly proclaiming ourselves as a proud member of this community? The one we would be wearing together when we attend any event as a group?

This idea has been surfaced and not taken off a few times since the launch of 1 year ago. One of the main reasons are due to lack of good T-shirt designs that I managed to find.

This time, let's get it done!

Instead of myself scouting for private designers on my own, which may not even know exactly what about, why don't we do it the community way this time. do have quite a few of good designers among us, aren't we?

I say, let's start a T-shirt Design contest!

The winning entry will be getting SGD 100 from It's not a lot, but it is some money I can offer that I have made from (through advertising) minus the costly Singapore hosting fees. Most importantly, you will gain the recognition and respect among's community as the official T-Shirt designer, and you can be proud seeing your design worn by local bloggers.

Some requirements:
1. It is a t-shirt, so, yeah the t-shirt has to have's logo.
2.'s URL - We don't want ourselves to be mistaken for promoting for a golf equipment company.
3. Nothing else. Feel free to be creative.

Closing Date: 1st October 2007

Do submit your entry right here at this forum, embedded using BBCode for all of us to see. :)

Church VS Family

Some mega churches affect students adversely

"I READ with deep interest the article, 'Drawing the line between Caesar and God' (ST, Aug 2). The objection of one of the large independent churches in Singapore to complying with provisions in the draft code of governance for charities would logically provoke concern about its financial transparency. This is especially so as these are 'rich' churches, judging by their well-equipped premises and set-up. These circumstances bring to light another concern. Some of these 'mega churches' have relentless recruitment activities in many schools and junior colleges. My friends and I have loved ones whose lives and attitude have changed after they joined these churches. They lose interest in schoolwork to the point of academic failure. Family time is curtailed drastically, and they stop attending family functions. Parental objections are ignored, family squabbles ensue and family harmony is disrupted. It's heartbreaking. It is like we have lost our children. I write this not to impugn any religion, but to warn against the abuse of religion. Having had such traumatic experiences, I cannot remain silent. I hope this letter will serve as a warning to parents regarding such youth activities that may destroy their personal lives and family harmony."

Dr Lee Bee Wah


I found this on pubed's blog. Thank God for, really. I couldn't care less last time, and now I can actually feel disconnected from the world if I don't get to read the feed.

NOW, let me be clear that I mean Dr Lee no personal disdain or... snubbery, or whatever the word may be. I understand how she (I'm assuming she's a she, I'm terribly sorry if she's a he) feels from an, for lack of a better word, outsiders' perspective, and will be discussing the issues she has raised. However, I must also raise the flag that the tone of the letter, while not angry or fiery in any way, can very easily evoke emotions and specifically fear. My concern is that this would in turn lead to parents unreasonably restricting their children from freedom of religion. This problem is already unsettlingly prevalent in Singapore, and doesn't need to be worsened any further. Since Dr Lee is well aware of the fact that such a letter could raise discontent, she should check and re-check her letter to be very very sure that it has minimal or no possibility of invoking unexpected repercussions such as these. I believe that that's the least any intellectual Singaporean should do, given our unique stance on multicultural coexistence.

Now, on to the issues she raised. The following answers apply to all parents going through the same problem, so don't think that I'm directing my words at her person alone.

The "large independent church" who objected to "complying with provisions in the draft code of governance for charities" is my church by the way, New Creation. No harm in saying this since it was published in the papers anyway, and our church even said their little piece at service the next day. I, quite obviously, agree with my church, but well I'm no financial analyst nor law maker, so I shall refrain from commenting on that.

Some of these 'mega churches' have relentless recruitment activities in many schools and junior colleges.

I'm appalled at this. But only if they go to secular institutions. If you complain that a church goes to Saint Something School to "recruit", I lose hope in all philosophical doctors. But secular institutions, I cannot agree. I have always believed that religion and religious institutions of ANY SORT are there for people to go to them to seek solace and refuge. They don't have to come to you and smile and take you by the hand to drag you to their place. As far as I know I'm not aware of New Creation doing this. Probably good, because if they did and I knew they did I would probably be biased towards them.

My friends and I have loved ones whose lives and attitude have changed after they joined these churches. They lose interest in schoolwork to the point of academic failure. Family time is curtailed drastically, and they stop attending family functions. Parental objections are ignored, family squabbles ensue and family harmony is disrupted. It's heartbreaking. It is like we have lost our children.

This is disheartening. Really sad. Church is supposed to instill family love and, well, good values, right? Although I wonder exactly how much of this result is the kid's fault, how much the church's fault, and to what extent the church influenced the child wrongly.

The problems as described above may be the kids' over-enthusiasm for church. A good majority of church members feel the desire to serve after being in a church for some time, myself included. So I know from personal experience that depending on the ministry you choose to be in, a huge amount of time can be spent at church. For these kids, they are just getting their priorities wrong, just like going out too much with other friends or spending too much time on the computer (bordering on guilty here) or gaming consoles.

To affect academics however, I don't quite get. Firstly, they should know, and it is the parents' job first and foremost to establish this, that their education is of utmost importance. Two, God didn't bring them to church to abandon studies, he brought them back to glorify Him by speaking of His grace and mercy in their studies. Do what you KNOW in your heart is your rightful part, and let God do His rightful part. Studies, career, relationships, health. It applies everywhere. And if any church ever has the audacity to say "Screw studies, love God", that church should be taught a hard lesson in Jesus' name. God can quench your thirst by making a well appear next to you, supernaturally drawing the bucket and tipping the water into your mouth, but if you don't swallow the water, you'll still die of thirst anyway. Just maybe with a cleaner face from all the water that ran over it.

Same with family. Kids old enough to participate in church activities should be old enough to know their priorities and limits, and if they don't they should be taught so by their parents pronto. In fact, churches should also stress this fact. My ministry leader is quick to dismiss us with her full blessing if we have academic or family-related matters to attend to. And that's the way it should be. If you have tried every form of talking to your child about how you feel with his over-involvement in church (that includes talking to him nicely and patiently, by the way), and he or she is still resistant, then well you just did not teach your child correctly. That is not to say you have failed as a parent. You simply made a mistake, as all humans do. In fact, I go so far as to say it simply slipped your mind. Being a parent involves educating your child about the million and one ways of the world, and thank God if you remembered to teach him everything, but it's only natural if you happened to miss a few here and there. Here's a suggestion. It's not 100% morally right, but do some espionage and find out your child's leader at church, any leader, and alert the leader to this problem that you have. If the leader says it's none of my business, at least have the faith that God will either change the leader or bring your child to another church where it matters to leaders what happens to their sheep out of church, and not just in church.

My friends, if you know any peers going through the same problems as Dr Lee, or if you know that you are in any position to reach these troubled parents, I hope what I have taken the pains to write will help them or you in some way. And if you are the child of this situation, look into your heart. Look straight to the Holy Spirit and question the heck out of Him. He loves you and He will not smite you with cancer or acne just because you have a few questions. Ask ask and ask Him where your place in His kingdom is, and make very sure you are at peace where you are. I don't care how deeply rooted you are in your church and it's activities. If you KNOW right at the bottom of your heart and deep in your mind that you are not comfortable where you are, get out. Uproot yourself and get out of there. Ask God to lead you to where you belong, where you will be guided and nurtured to rise as one of the many bright stars of God's kingdom, and shine for Him. Church is not about going where your friends are. Church is not even following your parents blindly. Church is the incubator where you are kept blazing and on fire, week after week, for God. And where you are ultimately destined to be in this world is between you and God alone. No one else can interfere. Not the devil, not family, not church. And no one else should.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Rambling Post

Hey. So I just wanted to blog today, but when I got to my Blogger Dashboard I just stared blankly at the "Create New Post" button, with nothing to write about.

So today, or tonight, I'm gonna ramble. That's one of the ways I work too. Push the stone wheel off the top of the hill, and let it pick up the pace from there.

I watched Ratatouille yesterday. It was a great film. I walked away thinking, "That would give critics of any sort something to think about". Yeah, you go stand in a corner and think about what you've done, you child of a coffin you (can you believe our grandmas used to use that kind of language on your parents? That should explain the sunken look some of them have). Then I realised, shit, aren't we all critics after all? You come up to me and tell me you haven't been critical of anyone or anything before, and I will shake your hand and tell you how nice you are. Then I'll give you a tightslap you bloody liar.

Now go stand in a corner think about what you've done. You child of a coffin, you.

We are all critics. All the time, we flick a disdainful eye at someone, pfft at someone under our breath. That's being critical, for your information.

Blah, he can't play for shit. Look at the way he's holding the pick it's like the opposite way what the hell. Look at his fretting fingers they're 28degrees off position.

Pfft. He can't golf for shit. Look at the way his cap's slanted the wrong way, now he's got a 32% higher chance of having a horny bird fly smack into his cheek. And speaking of cheeks look at the way he's clenching his ass. Left side tighter than the right. Gonna be responsible for an extra putt or two.

Ahhh look at that stupid beetle. Keeps knocking into the lightshade as if he's gonna break through. Hey, hey dude. Dude, look here when I'm talking. How - hey listen here - how small are you? How bloody big and thick is that plastic pane? Hey beetard do you even know it's called plastic? Stop it for goodness' sake you're irritating the heck out of me. If you ever get exhausted and land on my clean mopped floor I'll bust your buzzing ass you hear me bitch? I got this cup here, this mini sampling cup I took because it's cute, and because I can use it to cup over idiots like you, see? I will trap you, and I will shake you around until you think I'm YO MOMMA YOU DIG ME BITCH? Oh don't you come flying at me threatening me now I will - UWAHHHHHH!! FUCK! Get the fuck back here you son of a beetle bitch I will tear your feelers and wings and legs out one by one you hear?! No one gets away with dissing my head. Oh yeah, that's right come on right here I'll - HA! GOT YER ASS BEEAAATCH. I pWnZ0rx j00 j00 g3t my dr1f7 j00 b1tch 455 c10wN? Now you sit in this fuckin' corner and think about what you've done. Shame on you, you beetle child of a coffin, you.

See? Critical creatures, we are. Mmm.

So, after 4 orbits around Earth, back to the topic. Ratatouille. Good movie, go watch it if you're a critic, we're all critics, therefore watch it.

While waiting for my friend to arrive at Tampines to watch Ratatouille, being an anime fan, I browsed Hobby Point, very smartly located next to Century Cineplex. People who are familiar with anime figurines will know that the latest, or should I say second latest set of bleach figurines had a uber duper chio Ichigo, holding his sword in bankai form. And then there's the real clincher, Ichigo with his Hollow mask on. The problem is these money-making bastards randomize the characters so you never know who you'll get. The last and only time I bought I got lucky and got an acceptable character, 3rd squad Vice Captain Kira Izuru with his square-hook sword, Wabisuke. Now if I have the money I don't mind buying the complete set, like retailers like to pimp it. But there are characters in there that I don't like. I like characters with long swords, and there's this one figurine with a frigging toothpick for his weapon.

What caught my eye in Hobby Point however were new Bleach figurines! Labelled the Bleach Character Stylings series, it features Ichigo, Hitsugaya, Matsumoto, Rukia and Renji in school uniform, and Grimmjow (yeah, the Espada) in standard arrancar uniform, complete with a hole somewhere at the top of his abs. I wasn't too impressed with the pictures of the set displayed on the sides of the boxes. I felt that the details weren't reproduced faithfully enough. Hair shape and mask and stuff like that. I was grooving silently to music on my player, and I could only see the shopkeeper smiling and handing me a complete, still-wrapped set.

With a price tag of $56.

Wait a minute, I thought. If they are 8 bucks each, and there are 6 figurines......

What is this a joke? The price of 7 figurines for assurance of a complete set of 6 figurines?

After enquiring about the previous set, which will possibly come in tomorrow, I hopped over to Comics Connection, and was thrilled to see the whole set taken out to display on their shelves. It was much better than it looked on the pictures. But there were two problems. 1) It seems there was some misalignment with Ichigo's under-eye detail, making him look like he was recovering from a punch and didn't have good sleep for a week. 2) Grimmjow's sword is FUCKIN' MISALIGNED. Just had to screw that one point up didn't you? Ruin an otherwise fantastic figurine series.

Well, ComiConn was selling it for $48 at least. I'm considering, and this leads me to my next point.

I got my dad to pay for my incoming Creative ZEN player! Awhile ago I was absolutely nuts over a Polo Spirit watch (still am, actually. It's luv, baby, know what I'm sayin'?) And the other day he was like, I thought at one point you were crazy over watches?

You said don't need to waste money what since I got a watch already.
Ahhh... can lah... How much?
$269. I think.
Can la, I buy for you.
Actually, don't need la. Just pay for my Creative.
I thought you paying for it with Mummy Kathy's money?
Well, I could use that money for other things.
How much?
Mmmm ok la. Just tell me when you need the money.

Whee. You hear me? Whee. So now I got 200 to spend.


Please? Lord? Wisely.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Having accepted the tasks of both editing the Pfingo video as well as post-production for the latest episode of 65bits, I found my circumstances suddenly spiralling severely out of control. I was torn between putting these two episodes online as soon as possible, and satisfying my parents' demands to study more. Of course, there wasn't really anything to study, but even I felt that I was on the computer working on either of these things incessantly. From the moment I bathed and finished the usual routines of reading my RSS feeds and clearing my email, to late at night, when I was either too tired, drawn away by something more important, or distracted away from the task.

More importantly though, I was worrying constantly about these two episodes. Not when they will come out, that is a concern but not my primary one, but just that they kept dwelling on my mind, one after another, one after the other. It didn't help that (1) my computer's a bloody crawler (although I think as a human in a fast-paced society, even a fast computer won't last too long before my task speed surpasses its abilities. Human adaptability, you know) and (2) I kept making mistakes, resulting in unnecessary actions such as having to re-upload an episode three times because of one factor or the other.

I'm a Christian, and I proudly subscribe to my church's beliefs on worrying (ie. not worrying at all [Matt 6:25] why worry about things beyond your control?). Still, a good number of well-taught Christians would tell you that the simplest truths in the Bible are the dead hardest to habitualize. Why? Precisely because they are so simple. The truth is simple, but it's flipside may well be simpler to fall into. I wasted all my time worrying when I could have spent the time to rest and seek joy. For me, it is seeking rest and joy in my Lord. For you, it may be a million other things. Why did I need to worry? I was going to only reach home at this time anyway. My computer is this slow anyway. I can only do so much in one night anyway.

Hakuna matata.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

audacity (n.) slapping the referee threateningly

The finals of SIM Student Week happened just last Friday(I think that's the event la). Someone or the other set up a really small Cage and organized multiple mini sports tournaments. Certainly our Buffalo soccer team joined the soccer league. Their performance was nothing short of amazing. They as a team dwarved all the other teams big time with scores like 5-2 not at all uncommon. On the individual level, Akash was Godlike, imba, t3h 0wnZ, whatever you want to call him, scoring like 65% of all Team UB's goals. He won top scorer with probably twice the number of goals as the third player. One of our other players followed close behind in second place.

So it was the quarter finals. I forgot what the name of the team that we were up against was. Probably a good thing, since I really wouldn't hesitate to write it down if I knew. Since it seemed to be an all-Viet team, with huge support from Viets along the entire stretch of one whole sideline, some of my coursemates who were there guessed it was RMIT we were up against. Now let me get this straight before mindless flamers start pouring in. Firstly, it's not a racist thing - it's a simple known fact that the RMIT courses in SIM have alot of Viets in attendance. Secondly, I'm in no way accusing RMIT of being arseholes. I'm just speculating where the team was from. And lastly, assuming the Viet speculation was fact, I'm not saying all Viets are hot-headed mofos. The impression I get of Viets from my friends and coursemates is in fact quite the opposite. But that doesn't make the team competing against the Buffalos any less aggressive.

Now here's what I think. The Cage was too small, everyone knew that. But I do think that because of that, the normal levels of energy expended by soccer players on a standard playing field were impeded. Severely impeded. As a result, most of the players channeled it to the next available outlet.


Plus, from a practical point of view, you do have to be fast and aggressive on a field where it's wholly possible for a goalkeeper to smash-kick a scorcher into the other goal directly. That's where the other teams didn't see the Buffalos coming. Just Start!-BANG-Gooooaaaaallll!

So the first time, one of the opponents, we'll call him Slap won't we, kicked Akash in the calf. The referee noticed it, and gave him a verbal warning before awarding the Buffalos a penalty. And already Slap put up some resistance to that decision. My friends said they saw the referee looking like his patience was being harshly tested. It had been a full day and the previous match was just violent madness a couple notches short of a gladiator deathmatch.

Now let me just stop here for a moment and rave about Akash. This guy is the craziest meat bag I've ever seen in my life. People can tackle him, body check him, and do everything short of committing a foul by ramming him, and he can just stand there, magically absorb the impact, do a half spin with the ball and fire it into the goal. I've already seen him holding a single banana twice. Maybe that's his secret.

So anyhoos, we played on. The second time, the ball flew to Akash and Slap, and he headed into Akash.

For what right? Might as well hit it into a cannon mouth. Barely see it disappear and next thing you know the cannon fires and the ball's up your ass. Akash was like half rubbing the back of his head and half tugging on his hair.

The referee blew the whistle. And right there in front of me, and others on my side, he lifted his shirt, untucked the red card, and held it high in the air.

I regretted not taking Graham's suggestion up to film the entire thing. I wanted to capture still shots of Akash's bicycle kick. Why am I so stupid. It would have been an epic video. On our side, mostly sideline assistants and minders, the reaction was raised mutterings, and a few WHA???s from people like me. On the other side however, there was an uproar. The Viets raised their voices in disbelief, while the Buffalo cheerers started clapping loudly and going 'YEAH! ALRIGHT!'.

Slap also exhibited disbelief at the judgement, squatting on the floor. The referee went around setting the field up for another penalty, ushering players here and there, and things started heating up at an alarming rate from then. The referee once again stared at Slap and waved his hand toward the parting in the net - the "door" of the Cage. Still he refused to move. And when the referee became firm, Slap stood up, and said something inaudible to the referee, while waving his indexing finger, typical beng style. Then he walked up right to the referee's face and gave him three hard cracks on the cheek. Everyone was being quiet, and the cold sound of hand hitting flesh was uncomfortably clear to me. And thus Slap single-handedly (hurhur) shocked the whole field into utter silence.

You know, our juniors, now sophomores actually, remind me very much of Victoria School and her Victorians. There's a certain electric feeling when you experience VS camaraderie, and I kinda felt it again, that day at the matches. It was something I haven't felt in awhile, and it was good.

I'm surprised the referee didn't drop his whistle and knee the fucker in the balls. Instead he calmly reached out and grabbed Slap's shoulder, turning him back to face himself, and from what I gather, threatened to call security. Slap was of course beyond boiling point now, and roared for the whole court to hear, "CALL SECURITY?! HERE GOT SECURITY?!" And stalked out of the court, removing his identifying jersey and flinging it on the ground. Intermittently, there were hollers from our supporters like "GET OUT" or "APOLOGISE LA".

By this time I was so incensed about the whole thing I had kept my camera phone and was watching the whole spectacle with arms folded.

The captain of the team kicked the ball in frustration. And there the referee snapped and called him over, offering his ultimatum. Apologise for your teammate, or it's a walkover. Almost immediately, our guys, bless them, started going "YEAH! YAH! WALK-O-VER! WALK-O-VER!"

In all fairness that team was starting to break past the Buffalos' tactics. I was getting worried about them winning, another reason why I kept my camera. Because of such an unnecessary development, they lost to the Buffalos 4-2.

Now what is this guys? How small is this tournament? Not even every average person knows about SIM here in Singapore. What, are you gonna break the guy's neck in the World Cup or what, with the country's soccer reputation at stake? You're aggressive by nature? Well then don't play, simple. If you have such a passion for soccer, then you damned well check yourself or ask someone to be ready to pour cold water on you if you ever get out of hand like that. And the captain. Setting the wrong example for your team mate? Even after the whole Zidane saga? Venting your anger on a ball after your team mate got red-carded, what is this?

And then the supporters too. Fine, cheer all you want. Jeering? Booing when Akash missed a bicycle kick in front of you? What are you 9?

Grow up.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

How does half a tube of Mentos falling 5-storeys feel on your head?

I'd actually like to know the answer, but I'm not about to ask the poor girl I dropped it on. I accidentally dropped it on.

I was at SIM's 5th level, overlooking the activities at the Atrium on level 2. We, meaning Hans Graham and me, musicians audiophiles or otherwise just people who are fussy with sound, were extremely irritated by the atrocious sound coming from the Atrium. Those idiots KNOW the severe limitations of that sort of acoustic build (effectively a huge square-based rectangle). They KNOW that the echo would, and I really have no other word for this, fuck up the audio so damn badly, and yet they still crank the volume up so high. For goodness' sake la your main audience is on that floor. You could do with lowering the volume. Down to 3/4 level AT THE VERY LEAST.

So I was gesturing to Graham how they had two mixers on opposite ends of the stage (for fuck?). And well, as usual, I waved my half-flimsy tube of Mentos around, and it slipped out of my hand.

My problem is that I don't react fast enough. In a fight that may be another case, since I'm prepared. I'm happy to say that I have not been thus tested as yet. But when I'm not prepared, I do the worst possible thing.

Freeze in shock.

Graham and I could only stare in mute horror as the half-tube pirouetted downwards. Smack onto the girl who was standing dead below the tube's freefall. Needless to say, we backed off from the parapet immediately upon impact. Who the hell would accidentally drop something, see it hit someone's head, and continue looking over the parapet, grinning and waving and mouthing "I'M SORRY :D"?

Later Graham said, "Luckily you didn't call out to her. She would have looked up and had the Mentos land on her face."

Which made me laugh so hard I nearly keeled over on my knees. It's very bad, but that doesn't really make it any less funnier.

If the girl whom I unintentionally assaulted today is reading this, I'm sooo sooo sorry. It was an accident, and I will be careful never to stick droppable things over the parapet in the future.

RIPIRIP Creative Zen Micro

I'm not sleepy. RIPIRIP stands for Rest In Peace In Really Intense Pain.

No of course you can't do that. But that's my point.

My Zen Micro died on me.

Perhaps it was rashness on my part. You know how rash actions sometimes end up in murder or rape? (If you found this post by searching for "purple rape" or something, get lost. Now.)

I wanted to load a new album I acquired into the Micro. But somehow Creative Mediasource didn't detect the player's connection, so I went through the data storage method. After that I downloaded the latest firmwares and drivers from Creative, and tried to re-install the firmwares. Problem? The firmware installer could not detect the bloody player!

With less than half an hour left before it was time to leave for school, I made a rash decision to run recovery mode and delete the firmware from the player.

And nothing could be loaded in, whichever computer I tried to do it with.

As far as my mental eye can see, this is the end for my Micro. It's been great using you my dear, but I guess you thought yourself unworthy of welcoming my new wife. Or maybe you were so pissed and jealous you committed suicide.

Either way, I can use your black pouch for my new girl now. Cheers darlin' ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Le Cinematographie Fantastique de TPCMM

Reading jayden's blog post brought to my attention these Temasek Polytechnic Communication and Media Management (TPCMM) students who filmed the following lipdub of Umbrella.

Apart from being professional about it, being sexy and all that, I was downright impressed at their continuous-shot concept. It looks like there were final three takes, from the jerks in the screen. Couldn't really tell for sure, but I'd be happy to be corrected that it was indeed one single shot. That would have been just awesome. Amazing. Brilliante.

The planning for the sequence was immaculate, and the cameraperson is superb. The "pass-ons" were slip-slide smooth. And let me be clear for the benefit of those not that in-tune with this field. Just because the camera wasn't steady throughout the video doesn't mean that they didn't film well. Shaky is fine. What matters is transitioning from scene to scene, and wowee they must have practiced like hell. Or if they didn't, I fall on my knees in awe and worship.

Whoever said Poly was second-grade can lick the cast's shoes. All of 'em. Good job guys!

Fine Print

Ever were so bored you started exploring weird things? Thanks to that, I bring you today's revelation against banks and their loaning antics.

I was on bus 74 when I saw the the print ad for StanChart's... something or the other. Smack in the centre of the poster was 6.50%p.a.*. Notice that asterix there?

Having been oft warned by my parents (mostly mother) of unscrupulous bank practices in their global quest to bankrupt you, I was interested (given the circumstances of my boredom) to find out what the fine print said. Now the 6.50 was slightly below my eye level, and when I bent to look at the fine print, I actually winced from my back hurting slightly. That's how low it was.

What matters to me, as far as this post is concerned, isn't the content. They sure make things rather clear in the fine print. The thing is the font size proportion.

Taking the figure 6, I tried to estimate and calculate its area. I didn't have a ruler with me (and I mean not even in my bag. If it was in my bag I would have pulled it out to measure, fuck the stares). I tried to imagine unrolling the 6, (7cm), and it's width looked like 1cm.

The first letter of the fine print however, F, I estimated to be 0.5x0.25cm.

Meaning? Meaning that in the figure 6 alone, you can stuff in almost 60 of those Fs.
Tell me now, I was squinting a little at the fine print. How are middle-aged people whom these ads are targeted at going to read it? Or bother reading it?

Ah but then, that's the plan isn't it? ;)