Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back

Ok, so let's see..

1. I'm finally back to using a computer with a proper screen and keyboard, rather than on my tiny little phone. Blew 932 bucks on a desktop, cos I figured it'll be more value for money, since I can't exactly bring a notebook to work.

2. Just spent the last couple of days irritating myself with installing all the nonsense on the harddisk. Reason? My shiny new computer caught a bug, and being the stubborn me, I tried to fix it. Spending more than a day on it. Eventually, I still formatted it. *doh* So this comes from the 2nd installation of everything, and I'm still not done as of now.

3. I pulled out a highlighter, and highlighted away at the computer price list, overlooking some things. Important things. Things like, even though they cost the same, kiasu me went to get a 'higher series' of CPU. In the end, I landed up with a 64-Bit Processor and I didn't even know about it. Not until I tried to run my Linux LiveCd.

4. I've got a tonne of pictures that I'd love to upload here.. but it's so gonna take some time. I still have loads of nonsense to install, followed by ghosting an image of this installation, so I don't have to go through this headache again next time.

5. My notebook really can't be salvaged. I hooked it up to my monitor, and the image's all messed up. Think normal-looking-screen getting a zebra tattoo. *sigh* I shall have an official post to mourn the passing of Sattee.

6. I think my blog's another year older.. that's fast. =)

7. And of course, Merry Christmas everyone..! I think Christmas is losing it's magic. Either that, or I'm just getting old. Most probably both.. but still.. it's not as magical anymore. STILL, a Merry Christmas to all! Go get ur mistletoes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saddened

My comp died. It's beyond repair.. Well, technically. It powers up, but the screen won't wake. Leave it long enough and u hear windows in the background, but nothing on the screen.

The guy at the service centre said it's wear.. So it's most prob the motherboard, lcd screen, graphic card or a combination of the three. And because warranty's over, there's an additional 100 bucks if i just want him to check out exactly what's spoiled and give me a quotation. The estimated price he gave me was 500-600 bucks to fix it.

That's half the price of a new computer u can get today. Sigh..

I'm sad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A haunting reminder..

.. of the Anxiety, of the Fear, of the Pain, of the Failure.. and the fact that I have to do it all again.


Friday, November 13, 2009

FINALLY

So I finally got down to trying out the new Kubuntu 9.10 as mentioned here.. and I'm proud to say that this post comes from the penguin partition of my computer..

First thing that hits me is that the eye candies and everything still stays.. and of course, there's the big fix: Everything simply works out-of-the-box. The previous version of kubuntu (9.04) was merely a lame excuse. Everything from the wlan to file managers were broken. And the thing is, the fellas back there KNEW that it was broken.. they just decided to somehow release it anyway.

So with this new version, the eye candy that was there before still remains.. the awesomely straightforward interface still stays.. with the addition now that everything works by itself. Not so much of any tweaking needs to be done. Heck, I didn't even update any of the 34 'bug fixes' that they prompted me to.. the wlan connector works like a breeze, there's even a in-built firefox installer.. so you don't exactly need to open up the console and start unpacking the packages and 'apt-get' the stuffs..

Medias play fine now too.. perhaps it's the new update with VLC but if I'm not wrong, I'm using a slightly older version, cos I simply went to do a 'sudo apt-get install vlc'.. so I got a slightly older version; but still, it works.

Mounting of other partitions are a breeze too.. previously I recall having to go through the console just to mount my partitions, and so I ended up writing a script to automate the process.. but now, it's all straight forward. Just click on the partition in the file manager, and it auto-magically mounts the partition and shows u the content. As I'm typing this, I'm listening to music that's from my ntfs partition.. once you're done and wish to unmount it, again, just simply right-click and choose the 'unmount' function. Sweet.. =)

Perhaps the only downside to it is hotmail. Which technically goes back one big round and points the problem back to microsoft. You see.. apparently there's some nonsense stunt that micro$oft's trying to pull. They've added some codes such that when u're using firefox over a linux platform, hotmail will know abt it. And so they'll disable the 'Compose' function.

Sure, you'll get through to the Compose page.. you can fill in the address To and CC fields.. and the Subject too. But that's abt all you're gonna be able to do. The main body where ur text will be is greyed out. You can't seem to 'reach' it or 'enable' it.. so in short, you can't send any mails out.

So clever right? Sneaky bastards. They may claim that it's a firefox compatibility issue but really.. you own Hotmail, you create Internet Explorer and you started Windows.. and somehow, things don't work out when I don't use any of these 3 together.. isn't it obvious that u're trying to control the market?

So anyway after digging around the forums I managed to solve it with this nifty little firefox add-on known as User Agent Switcher. I'm not all too sure what it does and I honestly can't be bothered to find out.. I just know that it works probably by mimicking some background codes. So hotmail somehow 'thinks' it's on a windows platform, and allows everything to proceed as normal.

Well, other than this issue with the hotmail thing, which really isn't a linux problem.. this is by far the best distro I've used ever.. well done to the chaps behind Kubuntu.. *thumbs up*

Looks like my XP partition will be collecting dust for a looong while now.. =)



That's how the desktop looks..


and that's the typical multiple desktop eye-candy.. =)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missing Out

No, I’m not dead. Just busy. The past 3 weeks have been a back-to-back pileup of things that happened so fast, now that I look back, I can’t quite remember how it all started and what exactly happened.. it all feels so distant.. yet somehow still very vivid. The sights, the sounds, the pain, the raw emotions.

I’ve missed quite abit these past 3 weeks that I was away.. for one, I know I missed my furballs’ birthday.. so here’s a big Happy Birthday to the 2 of them. I promise I’ll try to find a giant sunflower seed for you both. Heh.

I’ve also missed out what’s been going on around the world.. I suddenly realized that I’ve not been reading the papers the past weeks and so I’m quite out-of-touch with the world. It isn’t exactly a bad thing per se.. just that it’s nice to be in the loop of what’s going on once in a while.

I have also yet to try out the new kubuntu.. maybe I will once I’m done with this post. Then I’ll def do an update here abt it, if it’s as good as they say it is.. and talking abt my blog.. I miss going around with my camera taking pictures and uploading them here.. kinda sucky when ur job doesn’t exactly allow u to bring a camera with you everywhere u go for those just-in-case situations where a Kodak-moment pops up..

So anyway, enough moaning and complaining.. blisters, heat-rash and aching shoulders aside.. the past week has been alright. Things could have turned out far worst.. but I’m thankful I manage to get thru it.. thank God.

Birthday’s coming and so is Christmas.. as usual, my fav season of the year.. so it probably isn’t gonna be that bad for the next month or so.. can’t wait for it. =) *cues carols to start playing*

Friday, October 30, 2009

Penguin Update

It’s finally here! The one that I can honestly say I’ve been waiting for.. a quick update on the penguin partition on my computer as of now will show that I’m happy with the fancy layout and eye-candy that kubuntu 9.04 comes with.. but somehow, at the expense of everything else, it just looks good.

Everything was broken, from the wifi connector to the desktop widgets and even the file manager/explorer was nonsense.. a poor excuse for an OS. So I was honestly waiting for 9.10 where hopefully things will get better.

And in the midst of the whole brouhaha nonsense of this past (worst) week (of my life), I suddenly realize tonight that 9.10 is out..! So as I type, 9.10 is slowly being downloaded and conceived in my harddisk.. shall update soon abt it.


Yes, the tech geek (omg!) in me is all excited. Hah.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obedience School

It’s a long story that I’ve played and re-played over and over in my head many times.. till the point that I’m actually tired of talking abt it. The final lesson on obedience and submission was the hardest to learn.

I dropped out from selections with just 2 days to the end. It’s so close I can almost feel it.. but yet, since the start of the week, I had an inclination that things will end early. I just never expected it to end this way.

Doctor says it might be a partial ligament tear, but he can’t confirm it. So I’m praying against it now.. it’s been one heck of a ride and yes, I’ll still give You the glory and I still choose to praise You no matter how difficult this is for me. I trust that You have a greater plan for me, one that I can never fathom, and that You’ll see it to pass.

Thank You for sending me to obedience school.. I pray I made You proud.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Natural Selection

Biologists or rather environmentalist and ecologists will tell you that the process of Natural Selection is crucial for the balance in life on this planet. Natural Selection speaks of how certain species will eventually triumph over other weaker species, thereby ensuring that only the best genes are maintained and selected for future generations to be spawned. And then the cycle continues, so it behaves like a never-ending fine-tuning process, meant to sift out the weak and allow nothing but the best to survive.

The same can be said abt any SF in the world.. the selections that they create are all but part of a process of eliminating the weak, and retaining the potential. It is a SPECIAL force after all.. and with a tag line that goes ‘A Special Breed of Men, A Cut Above the Rest’, how simple can an SF selections be.

Throughout my time in the army, I can honestly say that I’ve been true some nasty stuff that I never want to re-live again. Ever. Even in my dreams, I never want to ever encounter them.. these are experiences that have been thrown into the deepest recesses of my mind, never to be woken up for good. But yet, nothing that I’ve been through has prepared me for the past week.

We started 17-strong, and by the end of the 3rd day, we were down to a mere 9. As of today, we’re down to 6. And it’s only been just the 1st week. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this way if ever, and battered body and bruises aside, I pray that God will see me through the following week.

It all started with dreadful anticipation from the weeks that led up to day 1 of the selections.. there was this internal turmoil, on one hand knowing that I have not adequately prepared myself for this, but on the other hand, knowing that this is the only chance I’m gonna get at it. So definitely, a ridiculous amount of pressure started to mount as the phrase ‘Make it or Break it’ looms bigger and louder everyday.

But on the night of day 2, something special happened. My angel told me, that it’s no longer abt the selections anymore, but abt simple obedience. I no longer have to worry abt whether I make it through or not, because it doesn’t matter anymore.. the fact is, I’m going through it simply because He wants me to, and I’m simply just trusting and obeying. That turned everything around, and for the 1st time in weeks, I can honestly say that I’ve felt the burden been lifted off my shoulders.. I recognized more and more daily that it’s really not abt the selections anymore.. He has planned for me to be there for a reason and the fact is that I’m following and obeying what He wants me to do. So the outcome of the selections; whether I make it or fail it, really doesn’t bother me anymore.. cos I recognise that nothing can and will happen without first being filtered through Him. So I really have nothing to worry abt.

And with His grace, it has brought me thus far.. 50% of the way. The 2nd half is gonna get only crazier, and we all know it. There’s a whole load of crazy, ridiculous nonsense that will be done, but I’m not worried, cos I know that my heart is now in the right place.

I appreciate this rest and hope to recover as best as I can in anticipation for next week. I pray that I continue to do nothing short of what He has intended me to do/go through and at the end of the day, I recognise that all honour and glory goes to none other but Him.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2 more days..

2 more days to the selections. It's one of those things that if I'm totally honest with myself, I don't see myself completing it and lasting thru to the end.

It's also another story how the manpower side totally messed up and got the date wrong. It's someone's career you're talking abt, and yet just because u are leaving, you and ur bunch of mech warriors mess up the entire battalion with ur nonsense planning of duty forecasts and getting critical dates wrong. Selfish with a capital ASS.

We'll see what comes out of these 2 weeks.

For a start, I'll try to get thru the initial couple of days first..

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Staying Alive

Hi everyone, Happy Belated Children's Day.

Yes, I'm still alive, not dead yet. I know it's getting quiet around here, just that work has started and suddenly, I find myself out of free time to blog as much as I want to. Plus the fact that it's a communal internet terminal to be shared with a whole LOAD of other guys.

The downside of work is starting to show it's ugly head, with all the 'juvenile' politics (like who does the duty officer for the weekend; life will NEVER be fair) etc.. but I'm trying to work on it and take it in my stride.

By the looks of it, I probably won't be out till late October. I wonder how things will look like outside after a month.. orchard rd changes so fast.

Anyway, till then.. later!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Touched by an Angel

Work’s started and it’s been a helluva ride the past 5 days. From signing the contract to trying to settle in quick, even tho so many thing’s undone, and left hanging. For one, I still haven’t exactly figured out my appointment yet, so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. I just know that I’ve to report to work and take it from there.. Perhaps I’ll find out in due time..

The motive of this post probably isn’t exactly abt me whining and complaining that I’ve started work, or to share my sad story with the world. Everyone has one, and everyone’s probably tired of hearing another sad story.

Nope, my point this round is to mention, on the other hand, how fortunate I am, to have been touched by an angel. And since there’s no way of making this sound non-cheesy, I might as well serve it with an extra portion of mozzarella...

You’ve been my column of strength thru all these years, even though outwardly I may not show it, just like the steel foundations that work quietly on the inside to hold a skyscraper up, you’ve been my quiet refuge where I turn to for comfort and strength.

From the time we first met, u’ve never restricted me from being who I am, from doing the things that make me come alive. U’ve never cast a judging eye on the way I behave when I’m with you.. U’ve allowed me space to grow into who I am, and not try to make me someone I am not..

Through the time in the army, I had my fair share of laments and melancholy and I know it didn’t just affect me. It affected u too. It stretched you too. It weighed down on u, but yet, u were always there to welcome me with open arms, and a comforting hug. U were always there to encourage me and to believe in me, when even sometimes, I doubt my own abilities.

Throughout the countless exams, u were always there for me, to cheer me on, to surprise me at my door with the lovely cheesecakes and for comforting me especially on the sleepless nights before an examination. I have no idea how I would have done it without you..

And now, at yet another major crossroad in life, where changes are eminent and a fresh chapter begins, I would be more than lost, had it not been for your tender love and gentle comfort.. reinstating my believes in who I am, what I’ve done, and what I can accomplish.

They say that behind every successful man, there’s a women.. no, in my case, she’s an angel. Thus far in life, I look back and I dare say that I’ve been more than successful in my own terms. Blessings after blessings that I thank God for..

And so, over and above that, I also recognise that it’s not just any woman who’s supporting me, but a lovely angel sent from God to remind me how His love for me is like.

Thank you darling for always being there.. I love you.

My Angel

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Genesis Now

And so, the first step of the thousand-miled journey has finally been taken.. this marks a new milestone in life where things will change, things will be different and where I should expect the unexpected.

But all in, it should be good. It should all be for a good cause. I pray for the Lord to continue to guide me in His wisdom, fill me with His courage and empower me with His strength to do nothing short of what He has planned for me.. not for mine, but for His honour and glory.

Monday, August 31, 2009

WooHoo!

After 2 years.. and all the grey-matter ache.. I finally solved it. I’m not sure what took me so long to realize such a simple truth. Hah..

I FINALLY FINALLY managed to get the darn port forwarding to work on my net connection.

You see, it all started with me doing some simple maths 2 yrs ago when I finally graduated from the 56kbps class and joined the Broadband gang.. I figured it’s waaay cheaper to get a wired modem from Singnet, and then buy a wireless router to route the internet connection around my house..

The math tells me that if I had chosen Singnet’s wireless dsl modem+router combo device thingy, with the additional amount I pay every month, for the 2 year contract period, I’ll be paying an extra 150 bucks compared to using their wired (‘single user’) modem.. and since a wireless router only costs me 70. so technically, I can afford to buy another one, even if it breaks down.

And the pros of getting a separate router clearly outweighs getting a modem+router combo device. Cos even if I should choose to hop over to the Starhub Cable bandwagon in the future, I won’t need to much housekeeping or helping mum/dad/sis to sort out their connection issues. Just plug in the new modem to the old router and I’m good to go.

So anyway, all these while I’ve been blind-sighted by the router. I’ve followed all the procedures on countless port-forwarding website to the punctuation, but still, I can never get it to work. And therefore, I rarely get a decent download speed. And with the linux distros getting bigger and bigger, and available every 6 months, it’s quite irritating to keep waiting really.

Only now did it suddenly hit me that the modem that Singnet provides acts somewhat like a router too.. a ‘smart’ modem as they called it. Mine’s the Thomson SpeedTouch one. And so after hooking up straight into the modem, I get to enter the holy-grail which is the elusive modem’s setup page to forward the modem’s port.

So now, the modem’s port is forwarded to the router, which is then forwarded to my computer and everyone’s happy.

AWESOME.. .. but only after 2 years. Bummer..

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lunch@Area-X

Ok, so this post is abit out of nowhere.. but just for the sake of documenting it, I figured I’ll do it. And for reasons unknown, firefox has been acting up. My pictures won't show even though it says that they've been uploaded; only after a couple of days and an update then it FINALLY works. Bummer.. Hah..

So anyway over a couple of weeks (maybe more.. hmm..) back we headed out for lunch. The whole thing started with leon wanting a break.. so we decided to go for a walk. And so I thought, what’s a walk with a lunch right? So we might as well.. and with joel having some time to spare, I decided to rope him in as well..

Munrong couldn’t make it due to some mis-comm issues.. so in the end, I managed to drag in siwei, else there’ll be too much food. All thing’s good in the end.. food was good; chicken was awesome and prawns were excellant, company was good.. and the weather was nothing short of perfect. =)

BRILLIANT!

The lunch.. before and after.. =)

Left: leon, who eventually took a long nap on the hammock.
Right: me and joel


me and siwei

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Count the Blessings

Start small and inward, then slowly zoom out.. and see where it gets.

1. I’m healthy.. I don’t suffer from any physical/mental defects that impair me and what I do daily.

2. As above, all 5 (maybe even a 6th!) senses are working fine and I can enjoy the beauty around me. The lovely deep blue sky and beautiful sunsets, the birds that chirp and my favourite tunes, the awesome flavour of my bahkuteh and divine aroma of my black coffee and of course, the gentle touch of dar’s hand.



3. I don’t have alot, but what I have will suffice. I do not go hungry and I have a shelter over my head. Right now, I’m not stuck in the rain outside as I’m typing this.

4. I even have spares.. Spares to occasionally enjoy the pleasures of life. And as evidence, I’ve got the excess around my tummy to prove it.

5. I have even MORE than spares. I’m sitting here in the comfort of my own room.. on a cushioned chair with a lamp illuminating my notebook as I journal away.. while some other half of the population out there is sitting in dusty darkness, not knowing when the next meal will be, and are illiterate.

6. I’ve got a family to call my own.. yes, there are times when they drive me up the wall, and vice-versa. But at the end of the day, I know that I’ve got them, and the extended ones to turn to when I need someone.. anyone. I’m not as alone here as I feel sometimes.

7. Friends. No man is an island, yet how many have actually met some who have no one to talk to. No one to hold a conversation with. No companion to be with.. Not even a pet spider.



8. I’ve spent the last 18 years of my life studying. And not all these 18 years were done willingly. I remember grumbling my way to school and skipping classes for that measly extra hour of sleep. And yet, we all know that there are ppl in the world who would walk for hours daily, just to get to school.. to get a simple education.. all for the sake of attaining a better life.

9. My country. So many times I take the beauty of our country, the cleanliness, the safety, the peace, the just governance for granted. Opening my eyes to see our neighbours around and beyond, I am humbled by the environment that they live in. The standard of living that we have is beyond a gift.

10. Heaven. I know where I’m going when this phase ends. I know my place is secured. Yet, if Christ had chosen to come the day before I accepted Him, I would have missed out entirely. This is one blessing above all, that I still find it hard to swallow.

So you see, it’s not that we don’t know these things.. it’s just that we need a little reminder. This is one of the few posts (the Only if ever) that I honestly find it hard to write.

But yet, as I force myself to come up with these 10 Great Blessings.. I find myself asking why I deserve all these. I’m pretty sure there are ppl around the world who do not have these 10 at all.. not even 1 or 2. So the big question is Why Me? Why have I deserved all these blessings? And likewise, why have u deserved all these?

Over and above that, I believe the bigger and more important one is the What question. Now that we have recognised these facts, What are we gonna do abt it..? Can we allow ourselves to just sit there and not do anything abt it?

..just something to ponder abt perhaps..

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Inspiration

Crashed leon’s place on sat.. amongst the other stuff we attempted like sorting out the guitars and trying to find THAT lost capo, we managed to catch 2 shows and an awfully sinful supper.


the view from his place.. =)

The first was Cloverfield.. and that really sucked. Hah. It’s one of those 1st-person-movie things where the entire film was recorded on some camcorder-like perspective with the fella behind running around with it. I’m not one exactly who gets motion sickness; whether from the real deal or from playing 1st person games.. I actually love it. But for this, abt an hour or so into the show I really started to hate it and my temples started hurting abit.

All in, it’s one heck of a sickening show.. the ending was crap needless to say.. and from the reviews on wikipedia.. I’d think that there are some ppl who can really tolerate rubbish.. it’s really a bad excuse for a movie to me. =P

So anyway, all is not lost.. he mentioned some arty farty (or ‘artsy fartsy’ as he’d coin it) movie that left him all inspired. So I thot, what the heck. Should be good.. you see, that’s the nice thing abt having an artist-friend.. you get different recommendations and different view points from them.. not ur mainstream point-of-view. And add the fact that he’s got formal training in Theology, there’s just so much more that they see rather than what’s on the surface =)

So anyway, the next show we caught was Once. I’ve heard of Cloverfield before (maybe from friends who told me NOT to watch), but for Once, I’ve never heard of it. So it’s apparently some smaller budgeted film. But I have to say, this is waaaaay ahead and miles better than Cloverfield.

In a nutshell, it’s a movie abt music. And the music in the show’s really quite something. What got to me was that, most of the time, movies that revolve around music would probably be just one song, Music & Lyrics for example. Not to slam them but the usual case is that they’d market and over-hype the song.. and it all becomes ‘plastic’. And at the end of the day, it’s really just that ONE song the movie revolves around.

Whereas in this case, the songs are a significant ingredient to the movie. There’re not there just as decoration, but they are actually used in the movie to set the mood, to create a scene, to reveal the characters of the show.. it’s really quite amazing. Artsy fartsy as they’d call it.. but without overdoing it.

So it was really not difficult to see why such a show could really inspire the greats like Steven Spielberg.. if even I could draw inspirations from it, what more would the arty farty gather.

Haha.. so cheem right? Ya, I know.. see? Watch one movie and I turn out this way. Haha.. so you really should catch it. Go!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Great Exchange

One returns almost 2 and a half. A hundred will return 240. And so, the quest to be treated like a king for a day begins.. and it all starts right there.. ... in front of the money changer.. =) *cues comical sounds*

So despite the initial inertia.. I joined the happy couple into the land of Truly Asia to embark on our quest for good food, at an even better price.. and with such an awesome exchange rate, it’s a great way to begin.

meet sharolyn and joel.. the Happy Couple.

Took a bus from jurong east that led us past the 2nd link, all the way up north to some place they called Bukit Indah. And from there on, a short cab ride to a quiet (but HUGE) and awfully new mall which they called Sutera Mall.


one sure way of telling you’re no longer in Singapore.. =)

Funny names aside, we snooped around and eventually, and thanks to our lovely God-given instincts, we found the place without much hassle. Didn’t really get ‘lost’ as we’d expected. Thank God.. and so the feast began.

Aside from the typical à-la-carte buffet method of serving.. what really caught our attention was that after placing our initial orders, the waitress actually prompted us to order more. *ding* *cues comical sound again* that was a first. Or maybe it’s a ploy to get us to order so much food, so they can earn from the food-wastage surcharge. Hah. We’ll never know..

The presentation was also flawless.. experience from the local versions of these buffets has taught us that the first serving will always be the prettiest. Arranged nicely, and with generous amounts.. subsequent orders and their corresponding servings will eventually decline exponentially, both in terms of quality and quantity. But yet, serving after servings, the amount and presentation stayed the same. *another brownie point added* something that Ikoi and Minori can definitely learn a thing or 2 from..

FOOD! The sashimi here was the 3rd bowl we had.. still arranged with effort. ‘Got Pride!’

So after the lovely sashimi and the paddle-pop ice cream *YES* as dessert (which totally sealed the deal for me; I LOVE THIS PLACE), we headed back to the mall and ended up at secret recipe. Even more desserts.. hah.


some cheese cake thing.. some coffee thing.. and some chocolate thing.. HAH.

And then to wrap-up the great expedition, we 3 kings took a taxi to the City Square immigration checkpoint (REALLY GI-NORMOUS PLACE), and headed back to kranji mrt.

The best part of this trip? The price tag.. after counting and re-counting to make sure I got it right, the total amount spent today, inclusive of the grub and all the traveling into, around and back to Singapore, adds up to a hefty sum of all but SGD$25.10.. *cues cheers and applause*

Quite simply, the Great Exchange isn’t it?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Photos

Ok, so I couldn’t wait. I had wanted to collate all the photos I had regarding my graduation stuff, what with the convocation ceremony, grad dinner etc.. all together, then create an awesome huge post abt it.

Long story short, we went around school taking some pictures today. And it turned out so well, I couldn’t wait to sort the rest out..

So it started with a cloudy, rainy day, such that I had initially not want to get out of bed.. much less travel 2 hours all the way to school in the gloomy weather to take pictures. But all’s well at the end of the day.. just when we were abt done with a late lunch, the sun came up and the weather got better and better..

And like they all say.. the weather really DOES play a part in the way photos turn out. With a good weather, there hardly is a need for any tweaking in photoshop.. at least to my untrained eye la.. =) hah..


My Jump Shot! Now I've got one too!


Left: That's my 'pose'.. we all took turns standing.. hah.


Left: Me & Alwyn
Right: Alwyn and Shengqiao trying to do the Kappa thing.



My Favourite picture of the entire day..

My only regret is running out of the house and not turning back to take my tripod, thinking I won't need it. If i did.. I could have placed myself in that Favourite Shot.. darn.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seeing is Believing

National Day’s round the corner. And in light of recent events, I’ve learnt to just take in the moment and cherish whatever time I have. Figured that it’s quite a lesson I’m still learning, but if I can just understand and learn that if I just appreciate everything I’m doing at that point in time.. then that’s really what life’s abt.

So many times in life we do Task A, thinking of Task B, and Task B thinking of Task C.. and at the end of the day, we look back and find the day gone just like that, and we question why nothing significant happened.. a ‘boring’ day. Take time off and learn to appreciate the little wonders in life.. it’ll look a whole load better.

Ok, so anyway, like I was saying, NDP’s round the corner and I’m really looking forward to it. No tickets, so won’t be able to watch it live, bummer. But perhaps I should hang around the area and take in the aerial display and fireworks.. soak in the patriotic-ness that will fill the air.

This year’s NDP theme song’s quite interesting too.. but amidst the mix reviews abt the song, what got my attention was how Mr Brown actually managed to make a spoof of it. And a rather humorously good one at that. Enjoy! =)

The Original – What Do You See, by Electrico

video

The Parody - Le Kua Si Mi, by Mr Brown (and Electrician)
video


Happy National Day everyone! =)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Property of..

.. the SAF.

There’s probably no hiding it now.. I’m now ‘one of them’. It wasn’t exactly the start that I expected, since I still have to wait up to a month for them to officiate the documents.. but this is pretty much it. I’ve now a new sticker on my 11B.



I can already foresee the comments that will come streaming in.. brace urself alvin. Brace..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Acknowledgement

Today, it suddenly dawned on me that I’m gonna be convocating next week. And that I’ll actually be a university graduate. RIGHT.. I never thought of it this way.. and so I sit here and I suddenly feel humbled.

I thank God and acknowledge all that He has done the past 3 years with me/for me throughout my undergrad time in NTU. I acknowledge without a shadow of a doubt that I attain my grades not by my own might, my own brilliance or by my hard work, but purely by the grace and provision of Him.

Anyone who’s known me will definitely know that I’m not the academically sound kinda person. Far from it.. I prefer things that I can see/hear/touch/feel/do.. not books. So I’ve never excelled in school, I’ve never been the brains of the family nor have I ever been mr high-flyer-straight-Ace-boy. But as I look back now, from my PSLE, to the big Os, to my diploma and now my degree, I can safely say that I’m proud of my achievements.. and most importantly, I know full well that these are not by my own might.. but a gift.

And so, I acknowledge that it’s all His doing.. and I have to just continue to trust and believe that there’s a path out there that’s carved out for me.. all I have to do now, is to just follow it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zap!

Recently got into the Harry Potter hype.. but it’s got nothing to do with the new movie tho.. all credit goes to beeps. So it started with finding the movies for her cos she wanted them.. being the nice brother that I am *cough*.. so naturally, I watched it too.. and that was my first time watching Harry Potter.. yes, I know.. If u know me, I haven’t exactly much chance to watch movies.

So anyway, I started watching the 3rd installment first.. the one with the prisoner and the dementor thingies.. and I have to say.. it’s Good! Hah.. abit long for a movie.. but the story’s nicely written and the visual effects did it justice too.. so I’m happy. And of course, with my new set of speakers.. I’m not complaining.. =)

So I’ve since watched the first 2 of the series and they’re decent too.. and I now understand what all the hype with Daniel Radcliffe is abt. He’s really got that boyish charm and fresh-face thing going.. more so for the first film especially. But no, don’t worry, I’m still straight. Baah.



Ok, on a separate note.. I came across this article on the new issue of Popular Science.. abt some submersible science vessel that they aptly named.. well.. Alvin. =) hah.. quite shocked when I came across that article. It’s some 21-million dollar (woot!) deep-sea research tool that can apparently dive to 21,000 feet with 3 ppl on board (for the record, the RMS Titanic rests at 12,500 feet).. fully equipped with the latest techy stuffs like high-def cameras and such.. quite amazing.. hah.


Alvin can dive now too!! Haha..

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ARGH

Ok, here’s a quick update at what’s been going on for the past few days..

My computer started screwing up.. for starters, my anti-virus went to auto-update itself and then it starts detecting that some of my files were Trojan-infected.. files that have been sitting there and running with no issues prior. So after many failed attempts at trying to sort it out, I decided to do the unthinkable.. format my computer.

Any windows user will be familiar with the issue at hand. A computer when brand new behaves brand new.. nice and fast.. then over time.. by abt the 6th month.. things start to get screwy.. and almost every 6 months, you need to do a system overhaul to keep ur machine running efficiently. Yes, it’s one of the ‘joys’ that a mac user will never have to go through..

So I look through my archive and I realize that the last harddisk image I created was back in September 2007. That also meant that that was the last time I formatted my comp.. all thanks to my FYP that I kept pushing back the task of formatting it.. just in case I forgot to back up some stuff and jeopardize my project and grades and honours and blah blah..

So now, I’ve got a clean desktop, but that’s abt all.. I’ve to reinstall all my programs, games, drivers, and utilities that I’ve included since Sept 07 and worse.. I forgot to back up my ICC colour profile that I painstakingly created (as mentioned here). DARN. And at the end of the day, I realise that it's just the stupid anti-virus that's too 'sensitive'.. it isn't a trojan; the file isn't infected. Stupid boy.

So much for windows.. when will google’s new OS come.. pls hurry.

Alright, on a brighter note.. if u’ve been catching the adverts on tv lately, u’ll notice the trailers for the new season of Singapore Idol.. then they’ll show these clips of ppl ‘trying’ to make it. There this one that strikes me really hard.. like REALLY HARD. The lady who goes “I’m the next avril lavigne.. ASIA’S AVRIL LAVIGNE!” totally cracks me up.. sounded more like ‘ahhveel lavin’.. heh. So jokes aside, I decided to dig out some of her songs (yes I actually got them)..

and latest earwax? Avril Lavigne’s When You’re Gone.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chi Ba Boom!

.. that’s my attempt at spelling my interpretation of how an explosion sounded like when I was younger.. hah. Chi Ba Boom!

Right, so anyway, after what seemed like forever, I finally got down to getting me a set of 2.1 speakers.. =) yet another entry on my wishlist that I can strike out..!


Creative A300

Yesyes, I know, for the purists out there, I can already start hearing the mumblings and grumblings, either that it’s some low-end system, or that it’s a Creative, or that it’s a whatever-that’s-not-up-to-your-standard.. but sometimes in life, it’s all about being contented. You find happiness in being contented with what you have.. and being technically still unemployed, 49 bucks is as far as I’ll part for a pair of speakers..

And so I’ve learnt to be contented in the simpleR things in life.. I am contented therefore, I am happy. Hah.

Right.. so now I can blast (or Chi Ba Boom) away at the silly games I play, watch my movies with more oomph literally and my attend my favourite concerts as though they’re right in front of me, right here on my computer.. all thanks to my nice new set of ears.. brilliant!

Oh and yes, on a separate note, I can’t help but want to mention this.. u know how google has these little google-art thingies that changes with some event.. how they’ll decorate the word ‘GOOGLE’ on their webpage to fit whatever current event is happening.. so well, today I noticed a rather familiar icon while patronizing google..



that to me, looks awfully familiar and somewhat a comforting flashback/reminiscence of the poster I designed for my IA stuff.. ahh.. lovely memories. =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chrome

Took a while to decide what to blog abt today.. so while snooping around, I came across this article that was on my RSS feed on my desktop. It talks abt Google’s Chrome, which is supposedly their very own web-browser.. to me, honestly, it’s getting kinda saturated, with the likes of netscape (remember?) eventually dying off..

For starters, I’m glad that there already are open-source rivals to micro$oft’s Internet Explorer. I’m using Firefox myself, and I totally love it. The whole idea of a ‘tabbed’ browser (which I totally love) came from them anyway.. and with the newest versions, u get a fully enabled browser, without all the crashes and junk and security breaches that IE usually comes packaged with.

Anyway, the topic isn’t exactly on slamming microsoft’s product or anything like that, but instead it mentioned that Google plans to come up with their very own Operating System for the personal computer.. I'm thinking Android on steroids.. hah. And yup, it’s gonna be open source. *everyone goes yay*

So against all odds, I’m hoping that this will truly be the answer that I’ve been looking for.. as lamented here, it’s the tiny kinks and creases that mar the wonders of open source OSes, and hopefully, google will maintain their high level of standards and be the answer the open source world hopes for.. ultimately bringing one that can rival and *hopefully* topple microsoft.. *cough*

Oh, and on a separate note, while looking for inspiration, I looked out my window tonight and noticed mr moon. So after a few balancing acts with some of my tools, I finally managed to capture a decent shot of him.. one of the best shots of the moon I’ve ever made with my humble Powershot A520.


fly me to the moon anyone?

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Tribute

With all the hype and buzz surrounding his demise, I figured, what the heck, I might as well jump on this bandwagon..

And Yes, for the record, I recall a period of time where I wanted to be him; trying to imitate him and the way he danced.. hey, I was just a kid, being a kid. =P (u can stop laughing now)

video
The King of Pop.. it’s not difficult to see why he created such a stir.. sheer brilliance..

Sunday, July 5, 2009

They say..

..that life is short..

video

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy SAF Day

Yup, happy SAF day to one and all.. was just gonna hit the sack, then figured, I might as well put up a post here. Since it’s the first day of July anyway.. so might as well start the ball rolling. So for all those out there who will be promoted today, a big Congratulations to you. HOOAH!

Took a loong swim today, and something tells me I’m so gonna feel it tmr morning. Hah. And I added me some new entries into my playlist too.. amongst them I’ve added some Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty songs.. lovely kick to it.. somehow these types always appeal to me. Anyway I also think it’s time to do some house keeping, some of the songs that I don’t really fancy are starting to pile up..

Latest Earwax.. The Calling’s Wherever You Will Go. Ok, I wanted to keep this post short and sweet and unlike this one, I intend to actually do it this time. =)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Best Combat Unit 2009

Woot! Woke up this morning, stumbled around to get my coffee, flipped the papers and TaDaa! For the 23rd time, we won the title.. and that’s the 6th time in a row. Happiness. =)

Reading the articles, it mentioned that the structure of the test criteria was slowly changing, with added sequences of live-firing and stuff.. and perhaps it’s a good thing. Somehow, you’ll have to keep up with everything around you. Like everyone says, the battlefield’s evolving, so in a way, I guess the training’s gotta evolve along too.. so I’m happy that the unit’s managed to keep themselves up to speed and ‘make it a habit of winning’, as they put it.

Let’s hope it doesn’t stop here.. may there be a 24th, 25th, 26th time.. and so on.. maybe until they give us one of those long-term awards and bar us from taking part in future competitions.. hah.


Picture courtesy of The Straits Times.

Read the articles from Channel News Asia’s website here, and The Straits Times website here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Asian Youth Games 2009

Caught bits and pieces of the opening of the games earlier today on tv.. for some reason, the AYG didn’t really appeal to me. I’m not sure why. Somehow, I get the feeling that it’s not as well-publicised as other events.. and reading from the papers, with participants having to wait hours to check in to their hotel room and having to use public toilets to change out of their attire.. somehow, it leaves me the impression that it wasn’t very well coordinated.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it, I’m actually proud to be hosting the games, but having said that, I somehow feel that there’s just something missing. Like there’s no WOW factor in it.. maybe it’s just me being ignorant of what’s going on; in my own well, but it just doesn’t seem to cut it.

Somehow I expected a bigger grander thing altogether, but perhaps the resources are pulled thin, with NDP round the corner and the Youth Olympic Games next august.. perhaps they’re using this AYG to ‘test the water’ and see what should/should not be done for next year’s international event.

Anyhow, I also recall reading the papers that our northern friends have decided not to participate in the games.. reason cited was the flu bug. But honestly, to me, it sounds too convenient an excuse.. sounds to me like a boycott, plain and simple. No one will readily admit to it, but if you look at how childish their behaviour can be sometimes, then seeing that it’s just one big boycott doesn’t seem so impossible after all.. if anything at all, it makes their own marching contingent look rather sorry; with just 3 ppl.

While trying to dig around for other ppl who share my sentiments, I chanced across this other blog. Hover over the hyperlink and u’ll see the apt name of his blog which probably describes how he feels.. this one really caught my eye, if you talk abt someone being unhappy with the ‘gahmen’, this is one classic example. Hah.. this is one FED-UP person I tell you. Hah..

Well, on a side note.. I made dinner today and it turned out good. Attempted steaming a fish today and it turned out better than I had expected. It’s amazingly simple too, just put the fella in the kuali, turn up the heat and let it do it’s magic.. the ppl who started steaming their foods must be quite a genius to have thought of this method.. hah.. the simple things that intrigue me sometimes.. Amazing.


Omelette/Egg thing on the left, Fish on the right.. =)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

nada

Author’s note:
Ok, this makes for one of those posts where I started typing away before actually thinking abt what to write abt.. one of those ‘rambling’ posts if you will.. so don’t ask me what’s with the title of the post or the objective of it; I’ve got no idea myself.. here goes.


So it’s another lazy Sunday afternoon and this one’s abit rainy.. nice and cooling though, something I really appreciate. It sorta reminds me of the line from the song.. “..rainy days and Mondays always get me down..”

Well, not quite ‘get me down’ per se.. just that somehow it’s ringing in my head, and I figured one of the best ways to get a song that’s stuck between ur ears out, is to actually SING it out..

So this week’s been pretty slow.. still waiting for my notification and amidst the boredom, some of the highlights of the week include a mahjong session (what?!? Ya I know.. never figured myself to be a mahjong person either) at joel’s place and a meet-up with the IA folks..

Since I’m at it, I might as well mention abt it.. there’s this place at Liang Court, some jap food place they call Tampopo.



So the story goes that this place is apparently quite known for their pork cutlets and stuff, winning quite a few of those culinary awards. Apparently the source they get their pork from boasts of these black pigs being ‘stress-free’, so supposedly the meat’s nicer.. Supposedly.

For some strange reason, we sorta concluded that the pork was nothing fantastic, well, either that or my peasant tongue is unable to appreciate a royalty swine when it tastes one.. it’s actually a tad bit tough if u asked me. Well, either that, or the ppl at the restaurant were just unhappy with us for waiting 35 minutes before making an order.



Above: That's some Family Meal thing..
Below: That's the one I had.. some katsu-don thingy..


Oh and on the point abt food/restaurants.. here’s a tip, don’t wear a black Hard Rock Café polo to Brewerkz.. unless u want someone to start asking u for a glass of water, and another asking to bring the bill.. *snarl*

Alright, moving on, my latest read would be James Rollins’ Excavation.. borrowed it from beeps; my very own library at home =). I’m right abt halfway through it, and it’s building up pretty nicely.. it’s a typical my-kinda-book.. the kinda plots that I like..



Chanced upon an article on Channel News Asia’s site and it mentioned abt prosecutors seeking to put a 150 year jail sentence on Bernard Madoff.. the main fella behind the Wall Street mess with all the ponzi nonsense.. it’s quite silly if u’d ask me. Haha.. 150 years? The dude’s 71 this year and even with a prolonged life expectancy, you sentence him to 150 years in jail? Hah.. for some strange reason, when I read this article, I had comic pictures of a skeleton figure with his leg chained to those big boulder balls thingy.. slumped up against a brick wall, behind bars.. hah.

I’ve also finally gotten down to arranging my mini montage thing that I printed (which I blogged abt here). It’s really quite amazing.. those tiny little things make for a good montage cos their small enough that u can REALLY pack a tonne of those in a small area. I printed so many of them when I was toying around with the printer, and now that I’m done arranging them, there’s still space left over! So by the looks of it, I prob gotta print more.. of which I’m not complaining.. it’s quite therapeutic actually.. to snap ur own pictures and then have them printed out.. will get a shot of it up here when it’s completed.

Right, I better go before I irritate myself any further. There’s this bunch of juveniles at the adjacent block to my window kicking away at a soccer ball at the void deck. Occupying the space is fine by me, it’s a communal area for all to use. But not when there’s the constant burst of sound as the darned ball slams against the wall and the shouts of curses coming from the dimwits who own it. I’m this --><-- close to calling the police post..


Oh, and meet Omelette.. finally got a decent picture of her NOT sleeping..

By the time this post was finally published, the delinquents had left.. But not before I heard a loud kick of the ball, a loud crash, the sound of something smashing, followed by a “Quick! Run.. Run!”.

I’d tie them to a tree and whip them if they were my own kids.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Caught!

So it’s a cold day, and I sit by my window and enjoy the rare cool breeze that’s blowing by.. something starkly different and blissfully inviting apart from the dreadful heat this season..

And then I look out my window and something caught my eye.. …




It’s the little behaviours like these that ‘kill’ the reputation we’ve earned. Sometimes, we can try as hard as we can to do our bit to keep the place clean, need and tidy but it’s these ppl with these little behaviours, thinking that ‘it doesn’t matter’ that ultimately wreck everything we’ve done..

We can put up a million signs, one every hundred metre, telling u not to litter, not to spit, not to smoke at bus-stops, to keep to the left on the darned escalators, and to give up that corner seat to those who need it more, but ultimately, if our mindset doesn’t change, if we don’t mature as a society, if we continue to inculcate into our young that ‘it’s ok’, then there’s only so much that the authorities can do.. we are the ones responsible eventually.. and here we are complaining that our government is harsh.

Utter Nonsense.. or as how I’d bluntly put it.. BULLSHIT.