Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Divine Inspiration

Ok, I'll like to say upfront that I've got a tonne of things that I'd love to blog abt. It's been a great month, my favourite time of the year being christmas and with my birthday and all, met up with some really great pals, hung out, did what I'd like to do.. but really.. I haven't exactly the mood to blog abt them..

I have been and still am pretty bogged down abt my FYP. I'm pretty much stuck with my back against the wall at this point in time.. As with all things, I'm aware that I need to keep the faith that I'll be seen through this period, but it's getting increasingly hard.

I need some sort of a Divine Inspiration of sorts.. cos there's no way that I can single-handedly think of how to solve my problem to complete the project, it just seems too big. I pray it comes soon..

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ramblings on 221208

It’s been a while since I’ve left anything, and I figured that things are starting to collect dust around here.. but I don’t really have anything concrete to mention, so I figure I’ll just ramble off here. You’ve been warned, do proceed with caution..

Well, first thing’s first.. I thank God for the opportunity to meet up with Alvin, Eugene and Justin just earlier today. I’d say it’s pretty much my highlight of a rather eventful day. It’s been a good 2 years since we had four of us sit down and catch up.. so many thing’s changed, but yet, still so many things remain the same.

Everyone says that u put a bunch of guys together, and they’ll definitely start talking abt the army.. well.. in a sense it’s true.. but I’d say that it’s pretty different in this case. To begin with, it’s the very thing that brought us together in the first place, so really, you can’t expect much deviation from this ‘glue’.. and it’s sad to say, but sometimes, I do feel closer to them, as compared to friends whom I’ve spent more than 18 years growing up with..

In a short 5 months, or 2 years, we’ve been put against adversaries of different levels, so definitely, some sort of a bond develops there.. sad but true. But perhaps the vary life-and-death demands of the jobscope DOES require such high levels of camaraderie, which is probably why if you open ur ears on the train, bus or at Star Bucks, you’ll hear the typical ‘army talk’ float by eventually..

It’s quite a pity that not all 8 of us were gathered, but I’d say it’s a pretty good start, and one that’s worth every second of my time.

Moving on, the interview today was alright.. I would say that I’d like to have exercised a little more wisdom in answering some of the questions, but all in, I’ve given right about my best.. so I’ll leave Him to do the rest. I’ve learnt in the past weekend, from dar’s interview to the healing service, that He’s really in control. Some things are hard to explain in words and this is probably one of them.. even the interview itself was a miracle, being that I almost missed the information sent from the HR team right up till the last minute.. so like what the catch phrase says, God’s never failed me, but He’s sure scared me to death.. looking back now, I guess it was very much a simple test of faith, and one that I perhaps did not fare too well for..

Did I also mention that you should watch what you pray and ask God for? By now you would have known that I’m a proud daddy of 2 chubby (ok, they’re now fat) hammies, Hamlette and Omelette. Perhaps what I didn’t mention was that on the night of the 25th, one day before I came home finding the 2 hamsters on my table, I was praying and I asked God (for some reason, *what was I thinking*) to make me a ‘bigger’ person, in terms of being more responsible and teaching me how to handle more responsibilities.. to make me a more efficient and ‘useful’ person..

Lo and behold, I return the next day after my last exam paper to find myself in charge of 2 tiny little lives.. talk abt a lesson on responsibility.. but in a way that’s just how things are.. similar to what Morgan Freeman mentioned in the blockbuster Evan Almighty, ‘..when you ask God for faith, do you think He’ll just *snap fingers* and give you faith, or do you think He’ll put you through different situations to teach you faith..’ as much as we don’t like it, I guess we all know the answer to that question.. so perhaps I ought to be a little wiser in the future abt what I’m asking God for.. (not that I’m complaining or anything though..)

Monday, December 15, 2008


Ok, I’m not too sure what this post should encompass.. hah. It seems more like an outlet for me at this point in time. I’ve been stuck with my FYP and I honestly think the outcome’s starting to look gloomier and gloomier by the minute. If there’s such a thing as a good ‘time’ for a miracle.. it’s probably now.

Previously I wrote abt Combat Arms.. I have to say it’s really quite an interesting concept for a game and it’s fun. Bottom line, it’s fun. But as with most games, there’re hackers everywhere which really suck the fun out of the game.. so I’m sorta starting to dread it now.. unless of course it’s with friends whom I know.. are you into it too? Maybe you could start and we could have a ‘clean’ game without all them cheaters out there..

that’s not exactly my avatar.. since I can change it like everyday.. but still, one of the more interesting looks I’ve put together. =)

My hammies are growing fat too! Haha.. that’s what happens when you leave the food lying around and you have parents who always think that the hamsters are hungry just because they’re gnawing on the cage or stone or whateva. So how? Next time, if you’re gonna have hamsters, keep the food hidden away.. out of reach of ur ignorant parents.

Got me 2 hamster balls too, so now they’ll have something to climb into and explore the house with, without me having a bawl of a time trying to find them after..

Hamlette and Omelette.. Ham and Eggs.. haha..

The green one would be Hamlette’s ball.. had to put them in the stand, cos it’s kinda hard to get a shot with them rolling abt. Haha..

Latest Earwax, Richie Sambora’s Undiscovered Soul. Spent some time digging through my old cds the other day and found this jewel, still remember listening to it on the loooong bus rides to school during my poly days.. good stuff. =)

Richie Sambora - Undiscovered Soul

and yes, I seriously need a life..

Saturday, December 13, 2008

DIP Update V

Ok, so it’s been more than a year since the adventures with the DIP group, and I honestly thank God for that opportunity. Looking back now, I see it as a chance to get to know friends, true, honest, not-gonna-play-you-out type of friends in uni..

For that matter, had it not been for the Design and Innovation Project, I wouldn’t have gotten to know a good many friends, and I’ll prob be sitting along in lectures most of the time.. so in all honesty, I thank God for the experience.

Not so much to reminisce, but more as an update; that’s what this post is abt. Prof Handsome, as you know, has left for Curtin University, Australia and he’s been good. He’s also published a paper on our Z-Source Inverter and has thanked each of us by name in the paper.

It’s quite cool really, the first time that my name’ll be appearing in a technical paper! Haha.. but really, we all thank him for that, cos he really didn’t have to.. as with most profs he could have just well said a ‘thank you’ to NTU and the students (he’s no longer with us anymore anyway), but yet he bothered to mention us by name..

So here’s a big CHEERS to our prof Handsome.. you can download the paper here.

Monday, December 8, 2008


“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

-Romans 12:15

Attended a wake on Friday evening.. This evening, as I read his blog, I somehow miss my own grandpa.

Without knowing it, it’s been 10 years since he’s passed.. and I can only regret that I couldn’t be there beside him at the final few moments. I still remember I was at home when I got the news and the next few days going to school was hell. I miss him dearly, and perhaps the only source of comfort would come from the fact that I’ll be seeing him again soon.

Amongst the various regrets, perhaps I’d wish I had gotten to know him better. To know him not as a gum-ball machine where I’d shake and poke to get candies and nice treats from, but to know how things were like for him.. to converse and hear him tell me how it was like to come down all the way to singapore. To hear abt how life was like from the province he’s from. To actually CHAT with him..

As the youngest grandson of my generation, I guess I pretty much had it all.. it was only during dinner with Shirley 6 months ago that I realized there are actually loads of things that I didn’t get to know abt.

So perhaps, it’s a good thing for me to be living in my own bubble.. that way, memories remain sweeter, albeit at the expense of the above-mentioned.. I guess I just miss him dearly..

Which also makes my heart ache too, knowing that I haven’t seen granny in quite a bit.. and that I don’t see her as often and prob not as close as we were last time.. I miss the old times, where they were just a 5 min walk away. Now as much as I want to, I feel that there’s this geographic/physical/mental barrier in the way..

Then again, perhaps I’m just making up lame excuses for my own inadequacy.

I miss you..

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Thank God I managed to get what I wanted for my time-table earlier this morning. For a moment I didn’t get a particular slot I wanted, but thankfully after like 20 minutes, someone gave up a slot, so I took it. =)

Now just have to wait and see which elective I’ll get. Hopefully it’s the photography one.. sounds quite fun..

FYP’s beginning to be a real chore. I suddenly realized that there’s a tonne of things to do. Like suddenly, there isn’t enough time.. and it’s gonna be Christmas. For once, just once, in 24 years, I find myself not looking forward to Christmas. Cos that’ll mean that the hols are ending and that means FYP deadline’s round the corner.. help.

So anyway, maybe the holiday mood just hasn’t set in yet, but come to think of it, there doesn’t seem to be much of a holiday to begin with actually. Hah..

Thanks to Wilson, I’ve now got a new installation on my computer.. Combat Arms. Think Counter-Strike meets online RPG. Where you get to upgrade ur gear and ur rank and what not.. come to think of it, it’s pretty similar to COD4, except that here, your upgrades don’t last forever.. and u get points or ‘Gear Points’ with the experience level you get thru the games. These points can then be used to get a wide range of new upgrades ranging from a muffler for ur rifle, to a scope for ur pistol, to a red beret *ooh* for ur avatar. And the interesting thing is that, you can pop by to 7-11 and get one of those cards to ‘buy’ more points to use.. that’s if you have some how used up ur points or are lazy to level up.. but honestly.. I don’t see who will actually pay money.. real-life money for a game’s possession.. some things I’ll never get. =P

The surprising thing is that it isn’t laggy.. the initial round I played had some sound issues, but after that, all subsequent ones were quite fun.. perhaps it’ll be even better if it’s with ppl you know, so I’ll try my best to psych the DIP clan to get in on this.. =)

On a different note, it’s interesting to note how games are evolving.. with the rise of massive internet bandwidth, games are now available for free, charging only for augmented services within the games.. quite different from how it was last time..

Latest earwax, Jared Anderson.. something also tells me that I should be spending more time on my guitar; the PODxt Live’s collecting dust already.. Urgh. Great, a tonne of things to do, a dime of a time that I’ve got. Think I should pull up a to-do list soon..

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meet Hamlette and Omelette

HAH! Pleasantly surprised after returning home from my last paper.. Beep’s got me 2 hamsters!! Haha.. so much for a wish list..

Like what daddy says, it's like having a baby.. a TONNE of things to do..

Meet Hamlette.. =) Omelette was sleeping at the time of interview.

Thanks Beepo.. =)

Monday, November 24, 2008


The end’s in sight finally.. just one more uphill battle and I’ll be done! I think after 6 months of AI, I might have forgotten how to study.. then again, did I ever know how to? hmm…

A few things intrigue me while I’m writing this post:

1. I can’t seem to find a good Latin translator on the web. You’d think that google would have one, but it doesn’t do Latin.. can’t seem to find a good solid one.

2. I think I finally understand why and how ppl keep a wishlist on their blogs.. it’s so darn addictive and fun, not to mention therapeutic too.. and the thing is, the list seem to keep growing!

3. How an old game like Worms 2, can still bring so much fun.. unbelievable. It seems that the older games, like Starcraft for example, have a better product life-cycle then the newer ones which I get bored of easily.. then again, maybe it's a ploy to get u to buy more stuff.

Power Overwhelming..

4. Why didn’t I use Google Analytics earlier.. instead of relying on mybloglog.com to observe user traffic to my blog (yes, I’m watching you!), Google Analytics does a MUCH better job. You get everything you need to know, very in-depth, and best of all.. it’s FREE!

5. Google makes an AWESOME homepage to start with, but wait till u try Google Hacker.. geeky-fun makeover for the lovely, familiar search engine.

6. How so many, so many songs actually have the same chord progression. Ya, I know u knew that already.. but check out this youtube video (or download the song here; Norwegian Recycling – How Six Songs Collide).. talk about mashing things up.. musicians are all lazy.. heh. I borrow urs, u use mine.. =P

7. It seems that the amount of posts that I blog in a month has a direct relationship with the workload and busy-ness level that I experience.. hah.

8. How, what intended to be a really short post, turned out to be so looong.. goodness me. Right, back to work now.. … but maybe a nap first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Wish List

Okie, since it’s the happy season again and ppl have been asking.. I thot I might as well throw up a wish list. This is quite new really.. for one I’m never to really explicitly come up with a list of things I want.. but I have to say it’s quite fun. In time I’ll probably turn it into a Bucket List. =)

So in a bit to make it more noticeable.. I’m adding a new column to the layout on the right.. -->

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Charlie Mike

Midway between the papers..
Got bumped by the flu bug..
Looking forward to the end..

3 down, 3 more to go..

got bored of studying.. quite obviously

Thursday, November 13, 2008

T-2 Hours

When you’re sleeping, you snore so loud, you could wake the dead.
When you’re up and about, you make so much noise, I sometimes wish I was dead.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

2 hours to yet another head-long dive into the exams.. marked idyllically by my happy day. Will be looking forward to it.. =)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Measure of a Great Man

An hour ago, history was made.. For the first time in history (no, not in hollywood's), a Black Man's gonna be in the White House..

What stirs me though, is not how the whole voting process turned out, or what speech the new president made and what topics he mentioned, but instead, it was Senator McCain's concession speech that showed me what a man he was..

Have you heard it? If you haven't, perhaps you should. Despite all the 'wrongs' that the countless critics have mentioned about how he ran his campaign, his little speech that summed up the past 21 months of his work, showed to me what a leader does and how a leader truely reacts. To a certain degree, I feel as if I've wronged him..

To have that visionary goal, and to align people to it, that's what a leader ought to do. And even in his defeat, he remained true to it, calling on his fellow supporters to not just congratulate the new president, but to work with him.

To me, it's not how well you can speak, or what you do, but it's these small cues that you make that defines who you are, and That is the ultimately yardstick used against the measure of a man's greatness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Exam Goodie Bag

combo of Hall and EEE goodie bag

Loot includes Dove Shampoo, Coffee, Candies, Snacks, Instant Noodles, Stationeries, Vouchers and even eye-shadow/concealer!

Mea Culpa

I got an email today.. forwarded. Friend of a friend’s planning a trip to chiang mai to do some community service sorta stuff...

Now, I’m never one to be involved in such stuff, perhaps it’s because I never ran into any opportunities, or perhaps I have just never opened my eyes and heart to look for such opportunities..

So anyway, this short project revolves around building a pavement/road for the orphanage, Care Corner Orphanage.. of course, they’ll be other activities too during the 7 day period, like teaching and organizing activities for the children..

I’m not sure why but this somehow appeals to me quite abit and I’d really want to go. It’s something that I’ve never done before and I guess, after all the lectures from Michael Heng, it did burn the question of ‘How many lives have you changed?’ into my mind.. I guess I’m tired of just pledging to missions.. maybe it’s time I got out and did something worthwhile with my life.

With that said, it’s gonna cost $800 for the entire 7 days which is the only drawback that I’m facing, so it’s days like these that I wonder what would happen if I had better grades and did get through with my scholarship application.. and whether life would be any different from how it is now..

"Every day we make choices, and every night we must sleep with the consequences of those choices.."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Speed Star 3

Decided to take a break from the endless simulations.. something tells me I should be trying something different. Ok, so anyway, it’s been right about a week since I got me a new pair of shoes.. and inspired by smurf’s blog, I shall introduce my new pair of shoes..

asic’s Speed Star 3..

Meet my new asics.. SpeedStar 3. So the story starts with me wanting to get back the DS-Trainer series (being the typical me).. and since it’s served me so well, I figured I might as well continue with a line that I’m at least familiar with. The new DS-Trainer 13 comes in this white/black/green colour which doesn’t look too bad, and it has a variant which is nice and bright orange too.. either seemed fine really..

A trip down to Queensway and I soon realize that I they didn’t have my fit. See right, I’m a US size 8 (yes, Tiny-Feet I know, it’s not my fault) but the new cutting of the DS-Trainers are abit different, so I’d need an 8.5 according to all the reviews, but the biggest size they had was 8 which were too small, and being such a popular model, I really don’t think there’ll be stock in anytime soon, so after much persuasion I decided to try the Speed Star series..

The forefoot area is definitely not as snug as the DS-Trainer series.. I vaguely remember that the DS-Trainers have some ‘Biomorphic Fit’ thing, that helps to fit the shoes snugly to your fore foot over time, but it’s lacking in the Speed Stars.. so it leaves my fore foot quite ‘empty’.. sounds weird to say, but it just doesn’t feel so snug.. like there’s somehow still a good amount of room to squiggle ur toes in, no matter how much u try to tighten the front.

That aside, it’s just as light and the cushioning’s superb.. quite obviously, it’s definitely better then the modest New Balance that ah-gong provides u with.. so I’m really not complaining. And if like my previous pair, it will last me for the next 3 years then that’s 130 bucks well spent.. =)

Oh and I just realized that Poh got himself a yellow pair of shoes too! haha.. how interesting. Great Minds.. =)

Now I just need to work on that dreaded SBJ.. urgh.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tanjong Balai

Welcome to Tanjong Balai..

life crabs for dinner.. =)

unlike the durians you get around Singapore, these are not cultivated.. heard something abt the fella going around picking the durians.. but really good still.

Long Beach anyone? =P

that's dinner.. a whopping 8 course meal including some herbal chicken thing, sour/spicy fish, pork knuckle, lobster and claypot curry crab.. happening.

the cool thing is that mu jie (the chef; 3rd from the right) has got 3 woks. now I know this is probably common, but it's seldom that you get to go into the kitchen and watch the chef prepare your dinner, and then zip out immediately when its done to eat it. Nothing like that in Singapore.. =)

and that's brunch the next day.. really good assam fish..

Friday, October 17, 2008


Any student from NTU doing EEE would be familiar with the name: Michael Heng. At the brief mention of this name, students will flee and screams can be heard waaay over at changi point.

At some point of his life, an NTU EEE student would have chanced across the horrendous encounters that would be associated with this name, just like a Right-Of-Passage Week known to special forces around the world, no matter how innocent or lost the student may be, he’d eventually come to know it and would have to go through it.

I’m no different. For me I didn’t exactly hear of any horror stories, neither did I know much about this subject innocently entitled Human Resource Management. Even when I did eventually come to hear about it 6 months ago, I thot “what the heck.. it can’t be that bad”. So perhaps I was wrong..

Unlike any typical modules that I’ve taken and will take in the coming semester, this one is uniquely different. Right from the start we’re told that everything we know and once knew, will be changed. A ‘life-altering’ module as described in his very own words.. so I looked out for chances where I may start to see things differently.. I’m not sure if it’s his intention to make us have a paradigm shift purely in terms of the business models and stuff but for me, this whole Reality Learning took quite a turn early this week.

Zip by from the first lecture all the way till this past Tuesday.. and for me, I have indeed gotten a few valuable lessons.

My first lesson was that the true test of a person’s character is truly revealed in times of immense pressure and hardship. Sure this must be ur 461st time hearing this statement, but I’m telling you that it’s one thing to hear it, it’s another to watch it unravel before ur very eyes.

At 2330 hours, after 5 hours of trying to sort the report out, 3 folks out of the team of 5 decide that they should leave so they may catch the last train. Note that at this point in time, the report that was due in 10 hours’ time was barely 30% completed, neither was the presentation sorted out in any way.

Fine by me, I know where my priority lies and at this point, sleep is of the least. Fast forward 9.5 hours later, after only 2 hours of sleep, and 30 min away from the big presentation, I stroll into the computer lab and realise that the report wasn’t printed.

Instead of printing it, our dear ‘Team Leader’ was busily trying to amend the peer review to make it such that it reflected that everyone had an ‘equal’ amount of work done. It’s weird when you think about it, we have 30 minutes to sort out the presentation slides, which were at this point non-existent, and to print the report, and instead of doing any of these, the peer review and the individual marks that you get takes precedence.. I just don’t get it. Don’t mind me saying but it just speaks of what shallow character you have. To have the cheek to say that you will distribute equally then it’s ‘fair to everyone’.. I don’t know about you, but if your definition of fair means that you leave 2 team members to stay up to 5 in the morning to sort out a group report, then I rest my case about ur character. I'll just take the past 11 hours of work to be an exchange to find out who you are on the inside.. and to think you’re supposed to be the ‘leader’?

Which leads me to the next lesson that I’ve learnt, that an incompetent leadership can literally tear the entire team down. In the army it’s all about leadership and delegating work and ensuring that the work gets done etc.. any trooper who’s ever donned the green would be familiar with these terms. But much as the army has tried to inform me about what a good leadership is meant to do, it failed to let me see what an incompetent leadership will do to the team.

In the case of the army, if you screw up or show that you have a negative amount of leadership potential in you, the solution is simple. You get replaced. So those in the top always keep an eye and make sure that the day doesn’t come where you mess things up bad; before that happens, you get booted.

So for the last 10 weeks, I’ve taken a back seat, since the leader of the team was appointed by the nominal roll, I had nothing to say. And since the leader would typically get more credit if the team excels, it doesn’t make sense for me to be doing the job of the leader only to let him get all the credit. No, on the contrary, commandos are not all muscles and no brains.

And so as I looked back at that final 30 minutes where nothing was done, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I didn’t step in. No, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet or anything, it’s just that I rarely get THIS freaked out in school. It’s JUST school we’re talking abt, nothing life threatening, but for that minute when I realised what was going on, I got that cold shudder and the sudden feeling that we’re really not gonna make it this time.

In short, I really lost my cool for a bit there.. totally stunned, with a kangaroo-see-spotlight face.. And that’s where I realised that an incompetent leadership can really tear down all that hard-work and tens of hours of endless meetings and headaches. I thot all along that taking a back seat and just letting it ‘unfold’ won’t harm anyone/anything.. but I was so wrong..

So to me, that’s my Reality Learning take-away for this HRM project.. the semester hasn’t exactly ended yet, but I can safely tell you that I’ve learnt a pretty good deal of lessons and seen through some characters from this short span of 10 weeks than I ever did over the past 100. Something that perhaps I’ll take with me for some time to come.

..so what's your Reality Learning take away..?

Monday, October 6, 2008


..If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Read the above this morning and it’s pretty timely.. it was like a pre-cursor for me, a still small voice that reminded me to love no matter what.. no matter what would happen later on in the day.. and it started to get difficult the moment I stepped out of my room.

Honestly I feel it’s impossible to achieve the above. It’s not humanly possible at least.. but that’s just my flesh speaking, somehow it has to be done and it probably starts with the right mindset and the right heart.

How timely.. teach me to love.. for without love, I am nothing.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Oxymoron, n.
1. Rhetoric. A figure of speech in which a pair of opposed or markedly contradictory terms are placed in conjunction for emphasis.
2. More generally: a contradiction in terms.

That’s what oxford gave for the definition of the word. Another way to see it would be at this link.

So I came across this site (thanks to SQ and Sam for sharing) and it’s a Microsoft initiative to provide “Professional Developer and Designer tools for students at no charge”. See? Microsoft’s giving away FREE development kits.. Free Microsoft Products. Now that’s an oxymoron for you..

It sorta makes me wonder since when Microsoft started to align themselves to be lesser of a profit-making organization and to actually encourage students.. somehow, in the deepest darkest corners of my heart, even though I’d like to believe that they’re starting to be more community-minded, I still feel that perhaps they’re just losing too much of the market share to the open-source community and other penguin-friendly development kits and environments.. thus needing to create some awareness.. and who better than to target students.. once you hook them and they graduate, they’ll be suckers purchasing ur faulty, buggy and malfunctioning softwares.. haha..

So anyway, if you’re gonna use it, u better go download them quick.. not sure when they’ll stop providing this service.. =)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

when September ends..

Happy Children’s Day everyone; young-at-heart is more important.. =) Today marks the end of September and it’s quite scary honestly. Time’s zipping by at the speed of c and before I know it, it’s back to school this week after the seemingly transparent term break and I’m now 5 weeks to the exams. *scream*

Today’s also the day that I left safti 3 years ago.. still remember how we’d play the song over and over again in anticipation of 1st October and our dear parade.. especially so in Brunei.. bitter-sweet memories =)

So anyway, I’m thankful for a break from school today cos our dear muslim friends are celebrating Hari Raya; at least this break’ll help me run in and get the engine started after the term break.. back to school and the usual routine tmr.. yuck.

Decided to cook something this evening, since cooking usually makes me happy.. chicken chop this time.. didn’t turn out too bad. Quite happy with the way it turned out. =)

total cost, probably under 3 bucks =)

Oh and following up from the previous entry about my shiny new phone.. I got this cool new application that triangulates where you are, without the need for a GPS module.. check out this youtube video Gotta love google I tell you. They make life so much better that what they do is starting to get scary. Haha.. imagine life without google.. *gasp*

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Summer has come and passed,
the innocent can never last.
Wake me up when September ends

Like my fathers come to pass,
seven years has gone so fast.
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again,
falling from the stars.
Drenched in my pain again,
becoming who we are.

As my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost,
wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed,
the innocent can never last.
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again,
like we did when spring began.
Wake me up when September ends

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shiny New thing

TimeCheck: Week 7 just ended. It’s the start of the study break/autumn break/term break/7-days-to-catch-up-with-7-weeks-of-schoolwork break.. whatever you wanna call it, I’m glad that I’ve finally got a rest period. Just beginning to dread the whole school thing again..

Hall life’s getting quite mundane, beginning to treat the place like a hotel, go in after 10, sleep, wake up and leave before 10. hah.. well, not that I’m complaining, at least I got a hall. Hopefully I can move out to join hoongsheng too, always more convenient to put up with someone familiar.. I was just commenting the other day, 3 years I’ve been here.. and I’ve put up with 3 different room-mates in 3 different halls.. maybe He’s trying to teach me something.

On a brighter note, I’ve finally succumbed to the temptation again. My contract expires on Oct 5th, so had I want to make the switch over to Starhub (much more competitive prices), I’d have to wait till then.. but just last Sunday I was at PS doing my much dreaded HRM discussion (which took 7 hours, but I shall elaborate on it another day), and I saw a nokia roadshow.. the E51 caught my eye. For one, it’s almost as slim as the current Motorola I have, just a tad bit thicker at 12mm.. but still slim enough for me.. I’ve been waiting for my contract to expire since June, cos I’ve been eyeing on the Nokia 5310.. the music-phone thing.. probably liked it cos it’s really flat like my Motorola.. apparently, once you get a phone that flat, it’s hard to change back to the bulkier ones ever again.. haha. Life-changing they say.. =)

So anyway, I’m quite thankful that the 5310’s no longer around, apparently, a quick check 2 weeks back and all 3 telcos did not have that phone to offer any more.. maybe it’s a good thing, cos the e51 is capable of so much so much more than the 5310 can offer.. for one, it can access .doc/.ppt/.xls files (although I don’t really hope to ever have to use it on my phone), there’s also a pdf viewer.. basically an entire office suite within it. and the best part: it’s free.. =)

The Steal of the Day.. and being the typical alvin, I’m still digging through the user manual, will prob take a while before I start using the phone proper.. =)

Free as in, free beer’.. cos for the model without the 2 megapixel camera, it’s free for students and NSFs. If I wanted the model with the camera, it’ll be a hundred bucks.. still quite a steal I’d say.. but I figured that since I don’t really use the phone’s camera, and plus I bring my canon almost everywhere I go.. I won’t really need one. A hundred bucks is STILL a hundred bucks.. prob have better use for it elsewhere if not growing it in the bank..

A mindef and Encik-friendly phone.. heh..

My fav part of the phone is that it supports WLAN. Something not new to the market but it’s definitely something novel for me.. so now surfing/msn-ing/emailing on the go can be done without having to pay for the GPRS usage.. especially with the wireless@sg thing popping up everywhere. *cheers*

Nice way to start my term break I’d say. =)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Standard Obstacle Course

Ok, so after a rather eventful week with the hall situation, I’ve finally managed to settle in. Back in school again. With a change of room-mate, the new guy’s just moved all his gear from his previous hall, so everything’s everywhere now..

It’s a war-zone I tell you.. it’s like having to go through an obstacle course to get around the room. Hope he settles in soon and clears up the area, cos it’s getting mightily dusty with all that stuff lying around even though I just mopped the place and all the bugs he’s brought from the previous room isn't helping.

I miss having a room-mate who’s nice and tidy and not leave things all over the place and most importantly who DOESN’T SNORE.


Sunday, August 31, 2008


Comex 2008. Supposedly the biggest IT show/event since and I made my appearance today after yet another miserable encounter with SBS Transit.. =) So anyway, I got me a pair of earphones.. my previous one had a heart-attack 2-3 weeks ago. The left side just suddenly died.. one moment there was sound, the next, it was just quiet.. talk about heart-attacks.. I thot my ear popped or something..

And being the typical guy, I tried to fix it.. but gave up promptly since I didn’t really have to heart to fix it. So for the past 2 weeks I’ve been traversing to school and back daily singing songs in my head rather than really listening to them.. and if you’ve been an MRT person, you’d prob have notice the SonicGear Earpump advertisements.. I did and was contemplating buying them from the computer shop at school.. I needed a pair of ear phones after all, cos there’s no way I’m using the headphones for the Aviom system when playing for service.. utter discomfort.

Got a black one.. typical alvin choice. =) they have a whole range of colours tho, from metallic blue to pink to green and even red.. and of course, ipod-friendly white..

So anyways, thankfully I waited till Comex, cos they had some freebies.. well, just ONE actually.. extra pieces of silicon gel for the in-ear pieces.. not like I’ll really be changing them, but I guess the typical Singaporean in me rejoices at freebies.. =)

Freebie! Worth 5 bucks I think.. if you're reading this and you're one of those who use the Large-sized ones.. drop a comment k? I'm interested to meet ppl who actually use the Large ones.. can't imagine how big your ears have to be to fit them in.. =P

The verdict.. good sound for an exceptional price. I’m honestly surprised by the sound isolation and sound quality itself, I’d say it’s a miniaturized version of my Stanton headphones.. good stuff. =) For once, I can sit at the back of a bus and not have to adjust the volume cos the darn buses just make so much noise.. For only 30 bucks (29 to be exact), the standard pack comes with 3 sizes of ear pieces for the BIG to the small ear-ed friends.. and it even has a carry container which looks pretty stylish, so that means no more tangles.. *cheers*

Looking forward to using them.. especially at band prac this Wednesday! =) what is life without music.. hah!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Anyone who’s claimed to have gone to Taiwan before would be missing out totally if he didn’t try 3 things.. their 鸡扒, bubble tea and cup noodles. Yes.. you heard me right.. I said instant noodles.. well what so special about it? Allow me to try my best to account for the experience of my first bowl.. it was really quite something..

The scene takes place on a winter night.. not a snowy one, but one with a clear night sky.. I vaguely remember a full moon. Hmm.. that would be 4 years ago.. how time flies. A chilly winter wind was blowing, marking the start of a cold front making its approach toward the island archipelago. I’ve been walking for the past 12 hours with a load on my back that seemed to get heavier by the hour.. the combination of all that equipment with 72 hours of ration seem quite ridiculous.. but somehow we managed, as we always did.. Spirits were high.. we were on time and we weren’t lost. Sure.. there were some mistakes along the way but nothing too serious.. talk went from fun to serious, mimicking our superiors and getting really good at it, to personal subjects and then swaying back to fictitious characters and who’d we like to be.. we aptly nicknamed ourselves the “Special Elite Thunder Force”.. and kept cracking ourselves up (like how you’d prob be right now) each time we mentioned that name.. there were also colourful characters such as RadioMan and FrogMan.. and how each of us would be unique and special in that one way.. much like superheroes had their own special powers.. we too had our own ‘powers’ and specialty ..and so it was.. 4 ppl barely knowing each other well but yet pretty much in the same situation.. and wanting to make the best out of it..

It was getting late and we decided to find a place to settle in for the night.. this was when we chanced into a little town at the foot of a hill.. I’d never forget that place.. that little house which seemed to be vacant, illuminated a pale white by the moonlight.. that little street that was dead empty with white street lamps dotting the road every few hundred meters, so unlike the orange ones here which can be found every stone-throw away.. the temple with all the figurines and statues that glowed an eerie red in the dead of the night as we passed it.. And of course that car and that car porch where we hid in the dark as Staff and DemoMan trotted off to link up with a member from another group of four. Hiding in the shadows and elated to have finally taken that load off our backs, the remaining 2 of us sat on the curb, quietly waiting for their return..

“Psst!” .. and then out of the corner, a silhouette comes into shape as Staff approaches and hands us a bowl and a bottle each.. Don’t ask how he got it, just eat.. those were the words that came along with it.. Sure. Any form of food now, would be a treat.. he then disappears and reappears shortly with DemoMan and we 4 huddle together in the dark with our food..

The first whiff of hot soup immediately invites the salivary glands to start working and as the warm steam from the bowl rises and brushes against ur cold, wind-beaten face, you sorta know it’s gonna be a good night and it’s only the beginning.. that first slurp of noodles is just pure ecstasy.. hah. I’d give anything to relive that experience.. so halfway through the second mouthful, you realise tiny chunks that got into ur mouth together with the noodles.. NO WAY.. but after chewing you know it’s gotta be. Beef.. chunks and chunks of beef found in the bowl of noodles.. it just keeps getting better.. and so the excitement gets passed around as we each realized that there were chunks of meat in this special bowl of cup noodles.. finishing it with my bottle of what tasted like Sarsi.. I then concluded that the Taiwanese really know how to enjoy food.. and that the best meals always taste even better, when eating in secret.. =P

Well, so much for that account.. what about it you ask? It has been 4 years since that first encounter and I have spent much time trying to find that similar bowl of noodles.. almost every leisure trip to the supermarket, will end up with me taking a peek and longingly trying to hope to catch a glimpse of that familiar looking packaging.. scrutinizing every suspicious looking brand, shaking and trying to feel its weight, wondering if there’s a happy pouch of meat contained within.. and quite obviously, this always results in me being disappointed.. hah. Did I mention that I’ve also tried various alternatives..? I’ve tried adding a can of pork cubes to a bowl of noodles.. but well, it didn’t quite capture the flavour very much.. one of those things which came close but just lacked that something.

And so, 4 years on, I’m glad to present to you what I've been looking for all these while. After what seemed like an arduous journey, it has been found and there’s another brand that carries it. Ok, so it’s not EXACTLY the same brand that I took that fateful night, but it’s one of them.. one of those night snacks we sort after at the nearest 7-11 (which were surprisingly dime-a-dozen there) after the training period.. slurping away happily while watching Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers and being Mr. Critic at every non-tactical thing he did in the field..

I’m just glad that it has finally made its way into the Singapore market.. and I hope with all my heart and tummy that it’s here to stay.. =)

Bon Appétit!

Beef and Pork flavoured.. gonna stock pile this up as my midnight snack for a long time coming.. =)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Commencement

School’s in. HRM’s a real chore. I’ve barely started on any presentations for this much talked-about nightmare module and I’m already feeling the heat and pressure of it.. Put that coupled with FYP and the recruitment/handover-takeover of the club and you pretty much get a recipe for sleepless nights, headaches and a flu. So I decided to mark the start of school with an entry here..

Anyways, last week the DIP guys decided to have a dinner together to mark the first day of school.. Orchard Hotel.. in celebration of Singapore’s birthday, wear red and you get 43% discount. Quite happening.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Singapore Garden Festival 08

Went to the Singapore Garden Fest the previous weekend.. another of those happy experiences that I get to click and be trigger happy with my camera.. also went down to the Singapore Orchid thingy.. the whole thing’s all orchids from the tiny to the huge.. didn’t bring my tripod tho, so quite regret it.. had to kick myself for it.. hah.

But managed to capture a decent amount of shots.. and it also led me to confirm that Yes, I want another camera.. might get that Olympus SP570uz that I’ve been eyeing.. but then again, it’ll have to depend on the fundings.. haha.. student = no budget. Heh.. would you like to donate to the save-the-yap fund? =P

managed to take some 'arty farty' shots.. the Seeking Shangri-La exhibit was really nice, it had this aura of calm around it and they guys behind it were the winners of the previous competition, a pity I didn't manage to capture it properly..

this cottage thing is one of my favourites.. the mood of the whole scene also changes as the lights dim and come on, changing the whole atmosphere.. I think I just have a thing with cottages.. haha, gotta get me one of those next time! =)

Left: The Most Colourful Exhibit of the Singapore Orchid show/exhibit, by Naval Base Sec School.. kudos to you guys..
Right: Another one of my favourites, they managed to fuse the instruments and blend it into the whole scene very well.. nice!

tried some macro shots

they also had a little corner where they let kids make and design their own Ginger-Bread Man.. then they'd bake it.. along with the other interesting and very nice looking cupcakes/cookies..