Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm going to sing and record Bengawan Solo. FOR YOU!


o.0 ???

Oh come on don't look so surprised. Geez you're making me blush.

Yes I'm going to do a home recording of Indonesia's classic. And while I may marr the song for all I care, I really hope I do justice to the lyrics by pronouncing them right.

Don't worry I've got like 5 Indonesian artiste recordings I can refer to. I'll make a decent effort, really.

I shall be recording it with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Hopefully, guitarists don't get your hopes up, HOPEFULLY I'll come up with a simple solo. The idea is there but I'm not too good on the frets yet.

Why the sudden announcement? I dunno, but let's blame it on uzyn. We were dicussing all things Indonesian in the shoutbox last night when I was mentioning Bengawan Solo and an oldies singer, Hetty koes Endang (probably the equivalent of Teresa Teng). Suddenly uzyn piped up from nowhere, 'fari is singing bengawan solo at the next meetup!'

Of course I said no. Of course la! My voice crack how?! Super paiseh leh! At least at home koyak still can re-record.

Then after uzyn's declaration I was stuck onto Bengawan Solo. I figured out the chords before I went to bed. And then there's this strum pattern that's been needing a song to pair with. I put it with Rhythm of the Rain, but Bengawan Solo is an even better fit, since it's a very latin classic strumming style.

So there. Gonna record it. After exams. = next week.

Meanwhile, here are two of my 8 versions (don't ask la, just don't). The first is by the abovementioned Hetty koes Endang, a more calm, serenely flowing feel to it, just like, indeed, a river. The second one is by Black Wings, and has a classic rock feel to it, so I like it. I realize that by posting these up I have high standards to live up to with my own recording, but well, people have to know, let's just put it that way. :D


Takes time to load though. But it's worth it.

I made this MySpace MP3 Player at

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mediacorp Ripper-offs

New Chinese Mediacorp site totally ripped off the popular Youtube video of the Japanese flash mobs (embedded below) in their TV ads. SEQUENCE FOR SEQUENCE!

Come on. This is a new low for Mediacorp. Or as my friend said, 'hitting rock bottom and digging'. If they did not get rights from the TV station to recreate this, it's fucking copyright infringement. And even if they did get the rights, are they so dry of ideas that they have to copy wholesale? Flash mobbing is such an open idea, there are so many ways you can do it. Countless ways. See? Even a CHURCH YOUTH MINISTRY can do better.

And you have to do it that way.

Shame on you Mediacorp. Home of your favourites my arse.

21 April 2007 Photos - Pens and Fans

I just realised that all the photos taken from Flickr are not hyperlinked to the photo page, but the image file. How the heck do you want me to change every single one? I'll take forever. *cries* I'm sorry my readers! I'm sorry for not being dedicated enough!! Don cry for meee Singapuraaaaa~

No but really. There's gotta be an easier way.

Today I finally had a chance to wake up at my own time, not to the incessant beeping of the alarm clock that can't be found, or the mad yelling growl of the metal song I set as my handphone's alarm tone. As I walked out expecting, and indeed seeing, my breakfast on the table, I saw a pen lying on the table. I asked my aunt, who's returned from Hong Kong and will be staying with us till our condo apartments are ready (I'll blog more on that soon), 'Who's pen is this?' because, you know, it was nice, and I'm a sucker and an itchy hand for metal-cased and chio-looking pens.

So she said, 'Mine.' and then the answer I was hoping for. 'Take la. I got too many pens.'

I uncapped it and wrote my name in cursive on a piece of paper lying nearby. Smooth, but as with all classy pens, the ink blot (blot as in spreading out from its line, not one big ugly drop from a leak) makes the writing unsightly. At this point I examined the clip of the pen cap, and saw with a pleasant surprise that it was a Pierre Cardin pen (now then you see??? yes. lol. I'm not all that brand-conscious. Some things matter more. The fact it's a PC is a lovely little bonus that's all). So I brought it back with me to my room.

What I noticed first before my own pens was this huge one on my brother's table (but the computer in the picture is mine). I saw that it was fully functional, ballpoint nib and all. But how are you writing with that thing??? Crazy man the things he gets.

So back to my metal pens, this is the current metal pen I'm using, or was using until this morning - a Waterman. I like its striking black color. It's a great color for a guy to use. But if you look closely you'll see the pockmarks of the outer coat peeling. Must be my sharp tweezers in my pencil case. As to why I have tweezers in my pencil case, and what uses it serves, let's just say it's come in REAL handy on many occasions already. So in my pencil case it's staying.

This is the new Pierre Cardin. It's nice that gold is used as a complimentary color, instead of dipping the whole darn thing in it. That's... hard to look really nice.

So I was unsatisfied with the ink, right? I opened the pen up and took one look at the ink cartridge, and I noticed something familiar about it. So I took my Waterman opened it and extracted the G-2 ink cartridge inside. Yes, Pilot G-2. The best modern ink I've come across yet, as I'm sure many would agree. So I fitted it with the Pierre Cardin.

It went perfectly. And that sealed it. My new metal pen. The Waterman can retire/kena retrench/golden handshake/whatever.

Now that my aunt is back, and she's taking the bed opposite mine, my parents bought her a tabletop fan so that we wouldn't have to shift the floor fan in from the living room like we used to.

With the table top fan and my floor fan working together at night, the room gets more moving air. It used to get horribly warm even with number 3 fan speed last time with just my fan.

Just now my aunt called us to Raffles City's Sushi Tei to have dinner. Not bad. But we adjourned to Cedele at the basement for dessert, and I made a damn right choice with chocolate truffle cake. I mean look at this.

Madness la! I think I gasped when I took my first mouthful.

And finally, on a totally related note, blog posts relating to DK's Face meme have muscled their way into the daily top 10 charts on Ping. Certainly not a majority as in more than 5, but a sure majority if we go by subject.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The DK Face-on-something Meme

Earlier I posted a copy picture of dk's (in)famous avatar.

Later yesterday night/early this morning, inspired by nicole's daring act, we all started doing our own face-on-something-else pictures. This is mine...

And the whole list of jokers who participated (no meh?) can be found here. Have fun.

Friday, April 20, 2007

20 April 2007 Photos - See what see!

If you think you have a better name or format for naming my photoblog posts, please tell me. I'm very open one. Lol.

Hokay. What did my camera immortalize today?

Following the DK-FaceOnTheTable craze on started by Marina, I took time out in the midst of rushing my Nutrition lab worksheet at 2:30am to give myself a smile by doing my own.

And the meme about the picture can be found here on DK's blog.

As I was returning home in bus number 65, I sat myself at the back and noticed that the 65 placard was faced inwards.

Slipped my mind to brighten it first, but what the heck its just to illustrate the story. Illustration also must make nice nice then people understand better what, ya la shuddup. Lol.

So being the usual itchy hand that my mother utterly failed to discourage me from being, I pulled the placard out from it's slot.

If it had not been for my itchy hand, I wouldn't have caught this gem.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that vandalism is wrong, and I'm definitely not encouraging it. But come on admit it. These people have some untapped sense of humor. Like this one too.

Image taken from The Humor Archives

Real pity.

Right, lastly, I finally made it to the top 10 list on!

I know it's no big shit, and I don't know whether to feel guilty or not that it got it only because I discussed the Virginia Tech shooting - what the others made of it. But hey, as someone said, 'We start with the small steps; we end with giant crushers.'

Nah I just made it up.

Stay tuned.

I Left My Heart... in Singshot

Those of you outside of Kevin's class probably wouldn't know Singshot, the self-proclaimed 'online singing community'. Though not as big as Youtube, one can see that it is slowly but steadily increasing in membership.

As with any user-generated content, there are quality stuff, good stuff, bad stuff, and plain ear-shattering stuff. And another thing is people on Singshot are nice. Awfully overly nice. I've heard recordings where the singer spans no more than half an octave throughout the entire song (non-music people read: Atrocious) and people can actually give comments like 'WHOA!! Right on da dot, dude! 5 stars man you're so going onto my favourites list! Keep it up!'

What the hell man??! Being encouraging is one thing. All this over-niceness makes you feel that 1) they are being nice to you so you'll be nice back to them and boost their ratings, and 2) you can't really trust someone's praise in there. Praise is suffering hyperinflation there, in other words. Hyperinflation and hyperdevaulation. Uwahhh big words sia...

But Singshot makes it very easy to record (alot of initiative on the users' part if they want their recordings to sound nice... in-ear monitoring, computer mixer, proper mics plugged up, compressor etc.etc.), as well as create contests of all sorts. I just saw one labelled 'Are you better than Sanjaya?'

Probably everyone's a winner on that one.

Nah nah trust me there are people who make Sanjaya sound like Pavarotti.

So! Here are two of my recordings that I'm more confident of. Listen to the others at your own risk. If you choose to sign up and sing your heart away do comment on my song pages, or if not, I wouldn't mind and in fact would appreciate comments here as well.

Enjoy! I hope.

Oh by the way, it's completely legal. If I'm not wrong in fact, Singshot is actually owned by Wordpress.

About Virginia Tech - Part I: The Others

I was quite disappointed to see how carelessly my father took this whole incident when the following happened. We were all eating dinner when my mother was commending me on how I had behaved myself with the phone bills, save for one global SMS, which she excused because she couldn't remember if she'd asked me to SMS my aunt in Hong Kong (coming back today, incidentally). The really funny thing is that that SMS was for the Twitter phone verification. Hahaha!

So anyway, I replied that well, none of my friends SMS me, that's all. Then my mom went 'Why, don't like you ah?' and out of mild irritation to their constant superficial comments, I went 'Yeah. I'm depressed, and lonely, and sad.'

To which my dad said, 'Sad ah? Get a gun lah.'

Immediately I stopped eating, dropped my spoon and stared at him outraged. My mom quickly chastised him by saying 'Hei! Don't say this kind of things!'

Would have been ideal if she'd said it in reaction to my expression.

Moving out, look what a quick search on revealed! Our Singaporean bloggers have been working hard...

Ridz's How Could Anyone Do This?
Kevin's news alert
Gulagula's Virginia Tech shooting
bleongcw's If Everyone Cared
Sylv's About the Virginia Tech thingy......
piper2308's Don't Blame Video Games (YEAH!)
felix's 30 April: One Day Blog Silence
Kineda's Stab-Proof Hoodies

Remember this is just a cursory search. For readers, there's so much more out there, and it's Yahoo or Google's job to find it for you, not mine. For bloggers, I searched this up in a rush (a sleepy rush, actually) so apologies if your name isn't here but you were higher ranked or something.

Coming up, my personal views on this incident.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ScreenStuck Banner

ScreenStuck banner, originally uploaded by FarinelliR.

Well here's my first Flickr-to-blog post! Just thought I'd show my anime blog's banner. It's technically on the WWW but I don't feel it's ready for public viewing which is why I didn't announce it here or register it on yet.

The 'Screenstuck' font is called Showtime, and just to make things clear I had to make the reel portion black by layering it, it's not auto-black. The 'by' font is standard Brush Script MT.

As for the background picture, my co-blogger suggested it. I'll just say that if you know which series that picture comes from, you'll probably enjoy our blog alot more.

Today in Farinelli's Life - Borat Sr. and the new SMRT train

I know it shouldn't be a problem for most of you bloggers to dig my real name up if you really want to. If you're techie enough to know about Ping, you should be techie enough to do that I think. I'm just trying to develop this online persona, getting myself used to referring to myself as Farinelli online, and getting readers used to seeing me as Farinelli.

It's a nice name. No really.

So here are today's photos.

Hmm I'm too used to clicking the Blogger's image upload icon. Must get used to Flickr. I'll probably get the desktop uploader.

First up I was walking towards Tampines MRT when I saw this guy. Apart from allowing me to take full body, this vertical shot also allowed me to snipe him better (take his photo more discreetly, whichever phrase drives your gears). Even so, I was hoping to take a full face, so this profile disappointed me. But it's sufficient for my question. My question being...


Age Borat a decade and he will probably look like this. Poor thing must have endured alot of stares and in-the-face snapshots when the movie came out.

Moving right along, I was surprised as I walked into the MRT today. I thought it was some design gimmick like the pimped Nokia buses (damn I was sure I blogged about it. Dunno where it went, can't search it up).

UPDATE: keropokman pointed out what slipped my mind to include. I wondered for how long have these refurbished trains been out, and he mentioned to me that it's been a few weeks.

It seems that they nipped and tucked the interior to give significantly more standing room. I used to get the slightest feeling of claustrophobia looking at the old trains' standing space. Also they've kept the 3-prong holding bars. But check out their new glass panel designs. Presumably the downcurve at the top is for friends to lean over and talk to the one sitting at the corner seat.

Nahh... I don't really know. Aesthetically nice though.

Lovely seats too, and yes, it's broader! Doesn't feel as broad as the NEL ones, but yeah it's an improvement, and a bit of a relief for my plus sized rear.

The handlebars are, again, aesthetically pleasing, but I don't see any practical use of it. Why the red plastic connecting wrap? Why the S-bend at the right hand? I'm not questioning its use nor implying its uselessness, I'm just wondering if there's a practical reason for its design. No matter if there isn't. I'm an aesthetics person, it's ok.

Next. Sometime ago I took pictures to log SIM's construction of escalators (looks like it can be finished in two more months), but I never blogged it. So here it is. A couple of months ago...

And now!

As you can see it's improved quite abit. They've coated the concrete walls with cement so it looks neater now. As you walk past the board-ups along the corridor you can sometimes see little peeps of the sparkling new escalator, but I didn't catch that. Neither do I think my phone cam is likely to be able to do so adequately.

And finally.

Today being our last lesson, and Kevin having been an excellent lecturer, my alternative clique in the picture arrested him for photos, as did a few others. I as usual shamelessly slid myself in, then got my friend to Bluetooth this to me.

So yay Kevin! Lol.

Tech Crash! My Birthday Wishlist

Someone's trying to be funny with me. All my gadgets are crashing one by one. My handphone's been having an increasing frequency of failed SIM card registrations, my earphones died as you might know, my Zen Micro is giving all sorts of funny hanging problems, and I dunno whether it's cos the battery life is ending or I dropped it one too many times (it survived 3 waist-level falls already lol). And my computer is... it looks like it's trying its best to keep up with my frankly insane navigation speed, but it's going going too.


And my fancy ideas of asking my parents for an early birthday present in the form of a new MP3 player was dashed because they didn't buy anything for my brother's birthday, intending to pay for the dinner at Triple 3, when my cousin discreetly made a preemptive strike. So there, now to be fair I don't have a present either.

So here, for your kind reference(s), is my birthday wishlist. items clumped together represents an either/or option. It's extravagant, but you know, no one's obliged at all to get it.

Pleeeeeaseee??? I need all of these things! :'(

Farinelli/Renhao's Birthday Wishlist! v1.0
- Classical guitar
- Acoustic guitar
- Electric guitar
I'm a left-hander so all guitars has to be LH lol. Classical guitars can be RH and then 'flipped', if it's symmetrical.
- Plenty of strings sets
I need a good set of strings, light gauge and bright sound.

- Creative Zen Aurvana premium in-ear noise-isolation earphones
- In-ear noise isolation earphones
Any other (better ;P) brand's fine.

- A new desktop computer
This is a high call, so if you're on a budget, I've got an acceptable screen already, so just the CPU will do. But of course, if you think I need a new LCD screen, by all means man. By all means.
- Macbook (White)
- MacBook Pro (Silver)
- Laptop
As long as it can run smoothly, I'm happy.

- Creative x-Fi ExtremeAudio sound card (or higher)

- A Creative MP3 Player
I'm trying to give alot of leeway because hey, it's a request after all not a customer order. But I'd like to ask that for this particular item, can it be at least 4GB capacity?...

- Trilok Gurtu signature drumsticks

- Polo Spirit gun (black) metal watch
Gee I dunno how hard this is to find. It's about $245 if I remember? And I think it was at Vincent Watch that I saw it.

- Nokia N80 (Black)
- Nokia N91 8GB (should be only one color black)

Of course, if I have anything new to add, I'll be sure to update it on another blog post.

I know I know. It's ridiculously extravagant. But it's a wishlist! That should mean it's a list where I put down my wishes right, if I read it correctly? I think I did. And these are my most pressing wants now. Since no one is insisting that they buy me something, I don't have to, and neither do I want to be pretentiously polite.

Um... well then, A Lego T-Rex model please?

For what sia. Waste time only.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lotsa shit but I MUST CARRY ON!

No I'm not willing my ass through difficult times. I have had difficult times these past few days, as you will all see in awhile, but really, my Christian faith has kept me buoyant as the Titanic.

Well, Superstar Virgo. More accurate + support local (or near-local) products.

Going for Campus Ministry, or rather Arrow Ministry youth service at my church on Saturday, I arrived at 1pm to setup up the sound equipment, coincidentally along with my audio engineering shifu Clement, brought in from main church to mentor us campus/arrow sound ministry peeps (ie. junior sound ministry). So immediately I went into the storeroom and dismantled the flight case covers before wheeling the mixer out. Brought the backup singers' and guitar mikes up to the stage for the logistics to setup, then went back to the mixer to setup the wireless mikes.

My pastor uses a earhook piece, I dunno what you call that type of mike but we call it the Countryman, it's brand name. As I gently extracted the $1000+ infant from its case, I noticed...

The mike's filter sponge was missing.

Immediately after I'd confirmed that it did not fall into the casing or on the floor as I extracted it, he made calls to his sound ministry head, and then to my cluster leader (SIM SMU & Private Education cluster leader), who probably happens to be in sound logistics or I dunno what la, to inform them of the situation. After he got off the hook, he looked at me heavily and said, 'One filter costs $20.'

That bloody sponge can't be bigger than anyone's last fingernail. Those who leave that nail to grow to... er... interesting lengths don't count. But as he said, for us at New Creation (frankly speaking), money isn't a problem. Hell, our pastor even said that if all the admin and proposals pass, a building of our own, just for the youth ministry, is easily affordable financially to the church. But little things like these hinder the smoothness of the operation, having to add another item on your list, call the distributor, order, collect, pay, etc.etc.etc. Just not worth it, time-wise.

Then after that I carelessly took the two standby wireless mikes that we were borrowing (not youth ministry property) and left it among the other mikes, one of which was an identical model. My eyes could very well tell the difference between the fresh colors of the borrowed mikes' grills, and the duller one of the usual one, but I still got a verbal hiding from my shifu. Because not everyone else could. He insisted for the signals to be tallied with the receivers to distinguish the mikes.

As expected, some extra work had to be done to compensate for the loss of the Countryman filter. Shifu had to EQ the mike to de-emphasize the pickup of spitting sounds, namely 'P' sounds, and stuff like that. If it had been us, we probably would have been distracted from a good mix with the EQ at the back of our heads. At the back of our heads and desperately trying to push its way forth.

After I got back from church I discussed with Ryan on MSN whether we should shift our anime blog to a server of our own, or to Blogger. I got terribly disillusioned with's templates, because they leave very little space for creativity.

Also, the whole site just looks so cold to me.

Members from confirmed, both through private emails and shoutbox chats, that, the blogging software for your own server, is the one that everyone's yelling about. Not, the online service. If Blogger offers a downloadable client, that would totally seal the blogging market's fate I think. But maybe not, now that they're under Google.

So anyway, Ryan (as usual la actually) came down rather hard on me by raining questions as to the benefits of having our own site. Because no matter how little we're paying for server space ($24/year for 1GB), there's still no need to waste money if there aren't returns. And basically, there isn't any, really, because I merely thought of taking this opportunity of a new blog to try out newer blog utilities, such as Technorati, Akismet, MyBlogLog, Flickr, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc. And as I pointed out in our convo, what benefits are there to project when you're trying stuff for the first time? Except for 'might bring us more readership'. And that's not even a benefit, that's like, a guess.

But I didn't give in or give up and let him win the debate, because it is our joint blog after all, and the least I could do is satisfy his questions as a partner. And since he has a desire to learn more about blog administration, it wouldn't do to 1) blast ahead with my geeky fantasies and leaving him choking in the dust or 2) tell him to blog and leave the rest to me. Even if I tried to do that, he wouldn't allow me anyway. Haha.

So our discussion ended at 1am, with me flatlined (what's new right) and asking him to pray for me to wake up in time because I was serving the next day on Sunday, and I had to be at Suntec Convention Centre by 730am. Before I slept, I also said a short prayer to give me good rest and strength to wake up in time.

I woke up at 8 o'clock.

The cab fare was quite a blow on my finances, considering... well never mind the point is that there were other things to settle financially and it's gone abit tight this week.

And I was tired the whole day, on Sunday. Usually while other people complain of the side effects of exhaustion of serving in Children's Church, I'm quite fine with it. After the 4th service at the main church ended, however, I told my fellow Children's Church server that I definitely could not miss the complimentary CD given on my next date of service. Because nothing went in. I was so tired I spilt the communion Ribena on my lap as I dozed off while closing my eyes in prayer can you believe it.

Whatever. Lookin' forward to a good week!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spoiler o ye Spoiler

If you haven't watched Death Note ep25, don't read this. It contains a huge ass spoiler you don't want to know if you're the least bit interested in the show.

No really. Don't.

So I was walking up towards the computer labs from the canteen, after a good lunch, with Graham. And because he was telling me to watch Death Note the other day, I caught up with it, having finished Ouran High School Host Club, which I basically dropped just about everything else for. It's that good.

Once again, hereon are the spoilers. You have been warned.

Renhao: Oh I caught up with Death Note.
Graham: Good right!
R: Ya man, ep 23 was DAMN tense!
G: Yeah yeah... you watched until where already?
R: 24, I just saw 25 come out yesterday.
G: 26.
R: Huh no. 25. And only one subber did it. C1.
G: Oh I saw 26. At 3am.
R: Ah ok.

G: What happened in 25 ah?
R: I...
G: Oh yaa. L died.

R: 0.0
R: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

G: Oh shit! Hahahaha!
G: What!! You said you watched 25!

It was a novel feeling on my face. All expression just slid away from me and I was left with my jaws yawning open. All trains of thought just crashed into abruptly materialized walls and all buildings were powdered and floored. SIAN JI PUA was chiselled on my face.

My poor, poor face.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Careless Calluses

This sucks.

Yesterday I was practicing my guitar... practise until damn shiok. Also practise until my calluses were sliced off can you believe it (no didn't hurt).

And then today.

Pain~ T_T"

On closer examination of my fingers I was surprised to find that I was fretting with fresh tender skin. I was like what the hell? Weren't they fine yesterday? I knew I'd played some skin off but I didn't think it was all of it. If it was logically I would have felt it yesterday already.

On a related note, I was impressed by KT Tunstall's method of looping. It's not easy to achieve in live performances, and usually only the pros of the pros (Satriani, Vai, et al.) would even attempt to do it. And so I wanted to try that out with Hotel California, because I obviously can't play more than one part at a time (well ok, I do that, but obviously not the simultaneous portions). So I remembered that the Korg ToneWorks Ax1G Multi-Effects Pedal that Graham gave to me had sampling capabilities and so I decided to try it. I'd lost the manual, so I looked it up on the Net.

Specify sample time 1-30. 1= 0.26sec, 30=1.8 sec. 1-15 = hi-fi, 16-30 = lo-fi.


What the HELL can 1.8sec record???

Il Gufo

Well. I woke up from a 5pm-10pm nap (power nap my ass...) and I'm still sleepy as hell. If the next time I wake up is at 7 tomorrow morning, I'll know that I was officially sleep-deprived.

Yeah. I've been stoning at this point of the post wondering what to say. Then I realized I had nothing.

Well ok. I was just about to setup the anime blog on Wordpress when I was suddenly just held back, thinking maybe Blogger's better after all. More easily customized and friendlier templates. Wordpress will take sometime to knock up. Then suddenly there are so many other issues. Do we want our own domain, should we do our own graphics (cos a custom heading is 1337. lol), etc. And when I want to ask these questions, the techie is offline. And my co-blogger is offline.

I've got to write more informative things. All this personal diary stuff is fine, but I'm not getting anywhere like I wanted to with it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Anime Blog to be

I'm setting up an anime blog tomorrow morning with a friend, Ryan mentioned in the Jing Cheong Chinaman post. Watch out for it.

Jing Cheong Chinaman

It's not really nice to make fun of people's names, and that's not what I'm doing, I hope. It just happened to be a sad coincidence.

I have this lecturer who shows an atrocious ignorance for the format of Chinese/English names, meaning names with [surname/last name][Chinese name][given name/first name]. And this module, Nutrition in Practice (yes it's silly. and tough), is a distant learning course, with local dieticians teaching here, so we can't even tell her. Or we just couldn't be bothered to. Easier to complain lol.

My poor friend's name got massacred. His name is Ryan, which would make the official name Cheong Jing Xiang, Ryan. A normal Western name would go Cruise, Tom. Or Jackson, Janet Damita, right?

That woman named my friend...

Jing Cheong.

There is a FREAKING English name there for you to pick but no you pick the name that comes immediately after the last name because that's what you usually do. Jing Cheong sounds terribly like that derogatory term for Chinese, ching chong. As in ching chong Chinaman. That's what Ryan is now. A Jing Cheong Chinaman. Lol. Oh, and she named me Rehao Wong.


I used to treat the sight of Westerners on the street like spotting Mickey Mouse landing in a UFO. Now I know I was just young and stupid.

Productivity: Neil

Okay so isn't this great? I go to school for a one and an half hour lesson which consists of two presentations totally irrelevant to me and probably the rest of the class and somewhere at the start of the second one after decoding about half a paragraph of discursive runes (more on that later) I give up and walk out to find a much more interesting and arguably more educative discussion.

On ghost stories.

I mean come on don't we all love it? Long hair white dress red pinhole eyes silently screaming nabeicheebye when they stare into your own terrified pair.

For those of you who are not from SIM-UB, Neil is the name of my instructor. Thus the pun.

Hahar. Witty.

It's not that the presentations are totally irrelevant but dammit when he keeps interrupting the presenters and talking at 0.7x human speed, how interesting can you imagine it to be? I think after awhile they all got so tired of him interrupting their mini-conversations at the back with his 'gang-gang' thing that's why they went out. And Graham and Hans didn't even show up today. Hans... nothing new la you know LOL but Graham... totally bo sia no news - quite unusual of him.

I opened a (the phrase slipped my mind and for some stupid reason 'time bomb' keeps insisting on being chosen) time capsule of sorts when I browsed through one of my books the other day. You know those How Things Work books you had as a kid, those with pretty colored cutaway diagrams that you tirelessly pore over even if and when you don't understand shit at all, and with huge ass hardcover bindings and thick pages making the book a potential murder weapon? Apparently I slipped one of my old essays in there, at the back.

Except the essays are in codes. Fonts like symbol or musical fonts or rune-like fonts.

Thinking back, with the huge clue of bubblejet printing (quite obvious from the characteristic mini-splotches), I was brought back in time to my aunt's condo, where I in my quest for aesthetic beauty wrote two page long essays to print in mystical fonts.

Ok la I didn't write essays just for that. The essay was just a convenient body of words I used to print and admire the mess of foreign alphabets.

It was Sec 2, ok?! I was weird, so slap me.

Ironically, I managed to decipher the rune-like font pretty easily. Of course it help that it bore some semblance to English letters, and those lazy people just made English alphabets in a rough, rugged sort of font for capital letters. So yeah anyway, here's how it looks like.

And obviously having no soft copy, I have to decode it.

Which I don't mind, it's fun. I'm two paragraphs into the essay and so far, I'm writing well, if a little bit stiffly.

Keep you updated! Finally, something to post in Mezzo-Sforzato!

Actually I have alot la, but they are all cheesy.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Vitas - Onepa #2

Onepa #2 is my newest ringtone. Cut it to start at the wailing chorus.

This is the live recording, which I like better than the studio/standard one cos it's got the groovy snarework at the front too, instead of in the bridge in the standard version.

And this is a sidesplitting parody of Vitas's eccentric moves by a user lip-syncing to the song, presumably East European as well from the way the woman in the background dresses.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bonus Mission #2: Just a Game?

Second Life is not a game. It never was.

Second Life is an ‘Internet-based virtual world’ (‘Second Life’, 2007), designed, indeed, to let users live their second lives there. Granted, there are several elements as yet unachievable in real life, particularly flying and being able to cross swords and exchange gunfire without getting permanently hurt. But these were user-created functions and activities, much like the same way people set up companies specializing in tactical sports and war games.

With Second Life’s unique customizability, objects of any size from a shoe to a 20-storey building can be created with its user-friendly graphics tools. As such, virtually any place or event in the world can be recreated. Already in other games such as World of Warcraft, there was an instance of guild members holding a funeral or mourning session in-game to mark the real life passing of one of their members (Levy, 2007). If such events can be conducted in a fantasy-themed environment geared towards slaying monsters and warring with other guilds, what more in Second Life, which was designed specifically to simulate real life?

Agendas can also be carried out in Second Life. Just as how Joseph DeLappe ‘has turned “America’s Army” into a war protest and a memorial to dead soldiers’ (Clarren, 2006) by logging into the game and doing nothing but periodically typing in ‘the name of each service person killed in Iraq’ (Clarren, 2006), or how World of Warcraft is famed for its ‘intricately planned raids on dungeons’ (Levy, 2007), Second Life Residents can, with abit of organization, gather at a particular place to protest against or rally for any issue, or in fact, do just about anything as a collective body. A stark example of this was in mid-January of this year, 2007, when a group who called themselves the Second Life Left Unity bought land next to the controversial Front National party’s virtual headquarters and started rallying protests with the aim of eventually driving the Front National out of Second Life (Burkeman, 2007).

Finally, ‘games’ characteristically require some form of suspension of disbelief, of imagination and fantasy. Games provide a form of escape from the dull world we live in, which is why to players, it is fine to kill, steal, and rape in Grand Theft Auto, and it is nothing unusual to launch yourself 30ft in the air by controlling an invisible Force, and throwing lightsabers at surprised opponents. As mentioned earlier, there are a few aspects of Second Life that are fantasy, but a great majority of norms, beliefs, and values are identical to that of the real world. Vandalism, cyber-rape, and harassment are frowned upon. Helping new players find their way around and answering any queries they might have are considered magnanimous and helpful actions. We are reminded of the reality of our physical world while playing in Second Life, something that, I believe, makes the game so popular.

For the most part, after all, Second Life is merely a slightly different parallel universe, modified to allow us a little more freedom that nature denies us here on planet Earth. I wouldn’t just call such liberty ‘a game’.


(2007, April 6). ‘Second Life’. Retrieved April 7 from the Wikipedia website at

Levy, S. (2007). World of Warcraft: Is It a Game? Retrieved April 7 from the website at

Clarren, R. (2006, September 16). Virtually dead in Iraq. Retrieved April 7 from the website at

Burkeman, O. (2007, January 20). Exploding pigs and volleys of gunfire as Le Pen opens HQ in virtual world. Retrieved April 7 from the Guardian Unlimited Network website at,,1994882,00.html

Senbonzakura Animation

I still have yet to find a CGI-rendered version of Bleach's Kuchiki Byakuya's Senbonzakura effect, the way people do their own lightsaber videos.

Will I be the first?

The Wind of Change

I was just burning a couple of CDs just now when I realized how little RAM the burner was taking up.

I commented to Kaiyan how I remembered I had to drop every other task on the computer and stare at the screen in silence when I was burning a CD on my old computer, because everything just becomes unusable with the lag, and also because of the fear of corrupting the data should your actions interfere with the memory buffer.

Now, even with this stupid computer, this 512RAM computer that behaves more like a 256RAM computer, burning is what it should have been all along - a background process. While something as simple as opening too many Internet Explorer tabs can bring the computer to a grinding halt, I could navigate without the slightest bit of lag while the CDs were burning.


My Brother's Himbotic Moments

My brother can be a real bitch, but there are times when the questions he asks makes you wonder why he got into Hwa Chong Institution. This is the most recent of those priceless moments.

Renjie: [looking at leather belt pics] ... what is ker-mel?
Renhao: ...? [looks over]
Renjie: Oh! Camel!

The Walao Pong~ News

I don't think any of you missed it, since COM242 has the whole BAC population present I think. So unless you were sick or couldn't be bothered to come for class, you wouldn't have missed Eunice's/Lirong's birthday video.

For those who do not yet know, I did this video using Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0. I bragged about it in the credits for the whole damn world to see, partly because I had to get over the initial barrier of Adobe's characteristic user-unfriendliness. Or rather, it's a very exclusive friendship. Those who can figure the Adobe siblings out and get closer to them have just about the whole world in their hands. So after I managed to do it, I was pretty proud of myself.

Um so ya ANYWAY, here's the video. If you want to watch it again, or whatever. I kinda think of Youtube as 1) showcasing (my first showcase then, since the rest of the vids are raw phone-cam footage), and 2) archival. It may not be the best, I'll probably put it on Veoh if i want quality, but you know, it's not unwatchable either.

Gah my hands are itching towards

Singapore's Bitch-clown Cab Drivers

Inspired by Kevin's post about Singapore's profit-minded cab drivers, here's my story.

Oh no. Stories.

First there was that time in secondary school, where some East-ers including me were looking for a cab to share around the Little India area at around 10, close to 11.

We waved and shouted at the many that passed by. Mason, my then-class monitor, saw one with a FREE sign in blazing green LEDs, and flagged it frantically, as it came near and showed no signs of stopping, he shouted OI, and when it breezed right past us, he yelled, 'YOU HAVE NO MOTHER!!!'

At least that made us forget our plight for five minutes, while we were trying very hard not to keel on the ground from laughing so hard.

And then there was that time in 2005, after the BBQ organized by the first student council when I earned that stupid nickname Wong Tai-tai with my precision 5-minutes-digital-watch-countdown stingray cooking. Ben's father gave Hans and I a lift to Bugis station. I called my dad to inform him that I was on my way back, and he made a retrospectively unnecessary fuss about 'missing the last train'. In the end I walked quite abit to find a taxi, only to give up and call a cab in the end.

And yes both incidences were related to Comfort Cabs.

Regarding Kevin's suggestion of launching a probe, I think it's high time we did that. While it is most clearly manifested at night, the daytime also sees some selective blindness from cab drivers going for lunch. And then they give excuses about wah we all wait at shopping malls no one come ah, wahh hungry ah, wahhh you all wait at wrong spot ah.

Then what the hell are you driving around Singapore for?

Is It Correct?

I was reading fleck33's post on his blog Kopi Siu Tai, Don't Look Down on 5 Cents, referred from In it, he/she described how his/her Good Friday was ruined when a kopi stall auntie advised him/her not to give so many 5 cent coins next time - maximum 2. The number of 5c coins he gave?


I would really make noise if I was paid 10 5c coins and above, but 4 is a perfectly countable amount for goodness' sake. Unless the auntie's suggesting that counting to 4 is difficult for her.

In contrast, I'd just finished a beef yakiniku meal at the school canteen about a week ago, and I was going to get my mandatory Coke Lime when Hans tompanged me to get a Coke for him as well. Being Hans, he gave me a combo of about 7 20c and 10c coins to make up a dollar. And being the typical nice guy, I did the same for my dollar. As the auntie set the two cans in front of me, I started to feel abit guilty as I let the coins ring into her hand, so I said in Chinese, 'Um... is it correct?' and I lingered around till she confirmed that I had given the right amount.

The funny thing is that the moment I walked away from the drinks stall, I started smiling, then started laughing as my eyes made contact with Hans's. Sliding his Coke to him across the table, I said, 'You could see the words printed all across her face.'

'SIAN JI PUA!' we said together, then started laughing hysterically.

I must say, it's fun to have a hidden devil in you sometimes.

Friday, April 6, 2007

QotW10: Samurai Estates

So I finally got the heck out of Orientation Island. After visiting Lion City for abit, I headed for the one island that's been on my mind ever since it was mentioned by Kevin.

Samurai Island.

Those who know me well enough probably won't find it much of a surprise, given my fascination (obsession?) with Japanese anime. And if going around slashing people with katanas is forbidden in my first life, I'm quite happy it's perfectly catered to in my second life.

Unfortunately with my superbly advanced computer and flawless Internet connection, half the textures could not load, and this was the best I could get on snapshots. Pretty neat though, having a house built solely for a photo op (as far as I could surmise).

Basically because of the lag and all I didn't really know where I was going. I was basically flying, landing, walk in, walk out, flying, etc. I thought this steaming/smoking thing in the centre was nice though. Cool lotus sculpture. At least it looks like one.

On top of the waterfall, somewhere around the Bait Shop.

It was here that I noticed that being connected in one straight line, I'd unknowingly ventured into Samurai Tokyo.

Splendidly built bridge!

Right. Me.

My first name is my standard alias, Farinelli. For my last name I decided to find an Italian name starting with R... for Renhao. And so I ended up with Robbiani.

Ciao, signore e signora. Io son Farinelli. Farinelli Robbiani.

Eh eh... not bad right?

Even though I took an Italian name, I went for a Chinese look. That's me in Lion City by the way. You can obviously see that I didn't do the eyes too well. I look so stereotypical. As for likeness to self, it's totally like me - my ideal self. I hope to look like that someday. I also hope to get cracking soon. The hair, by the way, is abit out of my reach... I have naturally curly and rather thin hair, so rebonding will make me look more gay than... I dunno, Sanjaya or Paul Twohill. Other than that, the rest of my avatar's look is... achievable. Clothing included.

That's me at Lion City's Centopath (hope I got that right). It was done very well. When you fly close to it you can see that the texture is amazing.

A little more about Samurai Regional Estates. Samurai Regional Estates consists of three vertically interlinked islands, comprising, from top to bottom, Samurai Tokyo, Samurai Island and Samurai Edo. Samurai Island allows users to either rent shops to sell katanas or to buy katanas from these sellers. Samurai Edo is the actual fighting grounds.

Samurai Island's House of Blade Mall rules are rather strict, disallowing particles, listeners, timers, spinning/rotating objects, autoplay/running sounds, lights, 3D vendor machines, etc. etc. etc. This is probably to ensure that the overseer, going by the name KatanaBlade Anubis, can handle daily operations easily, and also to maximize shopping pleasure for users. As it is written on the site, 'it is a fact people do not like to shop in laggy malls'.

As for Samurai Edo, I could not access it because it was members-only, but there were people outside sparring, and one member was so kind as to show me a few moves with her spear.


Nice avatar, praticing too

Jane Kit showing her moves for me

Standing around looking cool

I should make Samurai Island my home. Heh.


"KatanaBlade Anubis" (2006, July). Samurai Regional Estates - Mall Rules. Retrieved April 6, 2007, from

Relac sial

Yesterday, Thursday, was the first time in like two months that Graham, Hans and I managed to find time to go play pool at our favourite haunt, Mambo Billiards at Bukit Timah Plaza, during the especially long 4-hour break in between lessons (fantastic scheduling right... lucky we got BTP and KAP and Beauty World nearby). The Thursdays of the past 5 weeks have been plagued with the frantic rushing out of research paper drafts, or something equally deplorable. I mean it's really our fault for not having done it earlier, but let's not take that into consideration.

Table 24 worked its magic and ensured that both of us lost to Hans. Except that one time, Hans must have burnt one less human sacrifice and the table responded by allowing him to clear the table then dragging the cue ball in along with the black ball. That's why I don't dabble in occult - you forget something and the spirit totally embarrasses you.

After that we three hungry young men decided to go crazy with a feast at Pizza Hut, since they had changed their menu, according to Hans. Looks like they refurbished the whole place too, with comfy booths and those half-round booths that make you feel like you're in that beer ad (forgot Carlsberg or Heineken) where the semicircle sofa turned around to face the live football match.

So we ordered:-
1 regular Hollywood Beef Pan Pizza to share
Me: Chicken Royale Baked Pasta
Graham: Traditional Bolognese, Hut Salad with chicken with thousand island
Hans: Cream of Chicken, something or the other with tomato sauce lol
Pepsis all round

For meat lovers and those people who just like sauces exploding in their mouths, the Hollywood Beef is a must-try. The Chicken Royale, however, is only so-so for me. The cream filling wasn't that nice. As for salad, I won't make a judgment because I'm irredeemably biased towards Caesar's Salad, which, horrors, they didn't have there.

The whole thing came up to $71+. Pretty extravagant.

Well, that's why we call it a treat.

The Islandwide Lucky Draw Winners Database Agency

While eating a first-class lunch of Maggi Mee just now I realised my phone was ringing in my room. I got up and dashed towards my room.

As an aside, it's like some cruel electronic joke when you press the pick-up button and the other side puts down. So close yet so far.

I kept trying to call back the unfamiliar number, only to be rejected with 'number busy' messages/tones. Finally I got through, and said to the sweet 'Hello?' I got from the other end, 'Hello, did someone call Renhao?'

It was a typically call-back question, typically harmless. But as I've learnt, 'typically' can well be the mistake of your life.

'Renhao? What's your number sir I check for you?'

And... so I gave my mobile number. Yes I was about to type my number out when I thought the better of it.

'Ok sir did you remember filling in any lucky draw forms at any shopping centre, restaurants or petrol kiosks last year?'
'Um... no.'
'... you don't?'
'Ok sir because we are an agency who collects information of lucky draw winners, and you're one of them!'
'Yes. And you'll get a total of three items - a silver designer's watch, you can choose male or female, a spa treatment voucher, and a stay at a 5-star hotel in Yunnan for two valid for one year. No need to buy anything or whatever, just bring your IC down for verification. So sir just to check with you ah are you studying or working or what?'
'No wait wait wait... which... company is this from? Which petrol kiosk or whatever?'
'Oh ok sir because it was an islandwide collection from all places, and the girl forgot to enter where it was from...'
'I see...'

And that's as far as she got because I cut the line.

No really. How much more obvious can you get? No information on the company this came from, no details about the prizes (Yunnan very big can?), dunno my name, dunno my age, a combination of three prize items... I know I'm not very streetsmart when it comes to conning and trickery, so if even I can sense something wrong here, who else will fall for it, other than confused old uncles and aunties?

This is not the first time it's happened to me. The last two incidents (this is the third as far as my memory goes) were a couple of years back, when a girl, dunno if it's the same one, put on a pretty convincing Thai accent and told me to go to Bangkok to collect my prize. After abit of probing she said in an obviously disgruntled Singaporean accent, 'Ok nevermind.' and put down.

What do you think guys? Should I report the number to the police?

I'm finally out!

... of Orientation Island.

At first I didn't know we were to complete the four 'entrance' tutorials, or 'big star' tutorials, to get the Mainland Passport, and then when I did, it was at school, where teleporting logs you out of SL. -.-"

So yep. To Lion City!

... ok. This is live. I've just been logged out of SL.


Dohh this is ridiculous, just when I thought everything was solved and that it was a problem with the connection at school...

I don't think it's gotta do with the latest version, which I'm only behind I think. Or something like that. So I don't think it's a major update. But if minor minor updates like these cause problems like that then well... you suck... :S

Ok, teleporting again...

Once again this is live. If you're just joining us here at DeN-TV, we are experiencing retarded problems with Second Life teleportation.

And yes it's confirmed I'm logged out again.


Sunday, April 1, 2007


One of my worst weekends ever. It would have been perfect if it was the holidays, because I ate slept and found means of entertaining myself. Considering though that exams are in a month and I have a whole load of presentations and projects to finish in the coming week or two, this weekend was an utter nightmare. I got nothing done. Kept checking Twitter and Ping (not blaming you la... I love you guys), furtively watching anime away from my parents' eyes, putting videos together. There was zero motivation.

Just zero.

Technologically April Fools' - How'd it Turn Out?

Related posts:
Technologically April Fools'
Technologically April Fools' - Trap Set!

My brother reacted spectacularly.

Spectacularly mildly.

I got back from buying lunch, and he went 'Eh gor ah, now my mouse is screwed up leh. Left button is right button and right button is left button.'

Then he went on eating his Macdonald's wedges.

Update later regarding the double-click speed...

Technologically April Fools' - Trap Set!

Related post: Technologically April Fools'

Sixniner reminded me of the trick I was supposed to pull on my brother. Luckily he was still asleep, so I set the trick up. Just flipped the mouse button orientation from right-handed to left-handed. And actually, the instructions said that for additional fun, "slow down the double-click speed". Well I dunno if it's because my brother's using an old system or what, but slowing the double-click speed only made things easier. So I maxed out the speed instead. Took me the kind of speed only gamers (or people with too little life who play with their mouse buttons) would know to open that tester jack-in-the-box.

And now we wait...