Monday, March 30, 2009

-Insert Interesting Title here-

ok, once again, I think I should re-iterate that the number of posts for that month will be in a startling congruence with the workload and amt of stress I feel.. hah. And so the title of this post would be somewhat of a reflection of the lack (or drainage) of creative juices..


I finally got down to getting my furballs a nicer place this weekend.. got Omelette a wheel, though she doesn’t really use it.. and Hamlette a house.. so now I won’t be so worried about my furballs getting out of shape.. even though Omelette’s like dead lazy.. I woke up on Sunday morning and saw her running on the wheel.. haha.. good girl. At least she’s TRYING.. and now Hamlette won’t be so restless with the wheel in there..

All that’s left now is just to make sure daddy don’t over feed them.. which happens to be the hard part. Hah..

above: wheels for everyone!!
below: finally got me a shot of Omelette.. and what else.. of her at her best.. heh.

Moving on, went to City Music on Friday and got me some strings before settling joel’s dinner thing this weekend.. City Music’s having an anniversary sale! 20%.. Hah. And they’re even giving away free picks.. Quite ridiculous.. I paid 4 bucks for a 5 dollar packet of strings and even got 3 free picks. Hah.. quite cool.. now I’m tempted to get like a box of 10 packets.. saves me the trouble of going to buy them each time I wanna change. Hah..

the pick on top glows in the dark!!

and today, I’m reminded of how close the exams are. Gosh.. it’s coming round the corner.. and I’m still here blogging?!? Hah.. well done alvin..

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Twip - Part II; Beautiful Day

.. when was the last time you woke up, looked out the window, smiled and thank God for the beautiful day? Well, I haven’t done that in a loong time.. in all the rush-rush of a typical S’pore student’s life, I’ve probably taken all that for granted for quite a while.

Arrived at perth slightly after midnight and even though everything was dark, it’s quite a welcome.. the air’s nice and cool and there’s a certain distinct scent in the air that reminds you you’re no longer in Singapore.. a typical ‘country’ scent.. a certain sweetness and refreshing freshness in the air greets you the moment you step out of the airport..

In the morning I’m awaken by Kevin at the patio of the house over at duncraig. The window was slightly opened so I could hear him and I woke to the words “Thank you Lord for making this wonderful day..”

Then it struck me that it’s actually been a while since I’ve taken time off to just enjoy what God created for his own pleasure.. so the next time you wake and look out of the window to see the beautiful day that lies ahead.. maybe you could take a second or two to just give thanks.. it does wonders to your mood and outlook for the rest of the day..

above: that’s the house that Joel kindly put us up in.. charmingly beautiful place.. a dreamhouse almost.. nice lovely kitchen, 2 halls, a patio (which is my fav part of the house) and a garage!! hah! my dream garage.. fits 2 cars and fully equipped with a work bench and all the tools! (refer to my wislist hah).. thanks to joel and steph for picking us up! =)
and that’s how dawn is like at the house.. how can anyone go to perth and simply not fall in love with it..

Coming back home.. it’s definitely changed some things in me.. for one, I’m probably a little more conscious of the little things I take for granted.. and I’m thankful for the timely reminder that there’s really more to life then just books and assignments.. =)

So remember.. do keep an eye out of the little things in life that pass you by.. from that little kid smiling at you in the MRT to the lovely blue sky overhead and be blessed by it. =)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Twip - Part I; Dawn of the Voyage

If I don’t start somewhere, I probably will never get started at all.. the journey of a thousand miles start with a first step. Well, I would guess likewise that a blog entry about my trip would have to start somewhere, somehow, else I’ll never get down to blogging about it.. so here goes.

The first thing that probably struck me hard was that I was in the airport, in the day.. as far as I can remember, I don’t exactly recall being around the airport in the day-time.. for some reason, even sending my friends off also were at night.. after dark at least.

So it’s really quite an experience roaming around the airport with all the shops still opened. Haha.. sounds quite corny but it’s a nice feeling to see the shops up and about. To see the attendants mind the shops and customers actually patronizing them. Then of course, catching a picture of the plane that I’m gonna board also feels quite different when it’s in the day.. perhaps you see more details.. or maybe it’s just the extra ambient light that makes the whole event of flying that much more cheerful..

one of the reasons why Changi comes in Tops amongst the airports of the world.. =)
Welcome onboard Jetstar flight JQ110..

Now before I rattle on and you start thinking I’m scared of daylight and haven’t been out in the sun for ages, hiding in my crypt all year round or something.. I should mention that the last time I flew overseas, on a day flight.. was more than 10 years ago.. 13 years to be exact.. since then, either 1) I’ve never really traveled on a plane, or 2) each of the four trips the army sent me overseas, were at night.. like seriously, in the dead of the night.. like maybe it’s cheaper that way perhaps. Haha..

So it’s honestly quite a refreshing experience to be boarding the plane in the daylight, to sit back and enjoy the entire take-off process (which happens to be the highlight of my plane rides, second only to jumping out of them heh..), while looking out of the window.. it’s like nothing on earth.. to feel the g-force push u into ur seat, hear the rumble of the engines, then there’s that sinking feeling as you get pushed down into ur seat just as the plane slowly begins to lift off.. miraculously, this huge big fat piece of metal somehow is able to fly.. hah. Technology. FWAH. Hah.. the little things that intrigue me sometimes.. =P

And then you stare out the window as the little cars disappear, and the buildings get tinier and the whole shoreline comes into view.. and before you know it, you’re above the clouds and there’s a certain serenity that fills the atmosphere.. it still never fails to amaze me..

And for the first time in a looooong while, I look out the window and see the wonderfully crafted pieces of art as they unfold before my eyes.. from the brilliant cloud formations below me, to the unobstructed view of the sunset cast upon the deep blue sky.. sometimes, I look at these sights and ask myself how anyone can actually behold such a work of art and tell themselves that there isn’t a Creator behind all these. It’s just unfathomable.. it’s majestic and brilliant and, in my opinion, to actually think that all these happened by chance and evolution would require more faith than believing that it was created by design.

the camera here (for once), did little justice to the immense beauty of the scene.. found out about the panoramic software a tad bit too late.. darn..

And so, that marks the awesome beginning of my trip.. a wonderful one at that.. in a couple more hours, I hit the beautiful place they call Perth. =) sweet..

Oh and what’s a twip you ask? It’s what a wabbit takes when he wides on a twain.. =P

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Ok, so that was a lousy attempt at making up a word.. anyway.. while sorting out the pictures from perth.. I was looking through some of the panorama pictures I tried to take last time and then painfully stitch them together using my antique Photoshop 5. hah..

Then after digging through and shaking the net, a whiff of wisdom came and I decided to ask dear Jon.. who’s everything in a photographer that I’d want to be but probably never will.. =) kudos to him for reminding me that the CD that came with my humble Canon Powershot has a stitching software in it..

And true to its word.. it’s totally idiot proof.. like SERIOUSLY. It’s amazing they actually give this program free.. I’ve sieved through sourceforge to get opensource stuff but the ‘better’ ones were grotesquely complicated..

Canon’s PhotoStitch was surprisingly idiot proof with a Capital I. So I decided to toy around with it.. and it’s amazing what used to take me almost an hour can now be done with a click of a button.. and with much better results at that..

randomly shot at the view outside my room.. didn’t want to load any perth pictures just yet.. =) all stitched together in under 15 seconds.


..sometimes you just wonder how they actually make it thus far as a university-level undergraduate.. it feels almost obscene and unthinkable to be reading this entry which was actually submitted (believe it or not) and yes, it’ll be graded.. it’s a gross indecency and I honestly wonder how they can think that such an entry can actually be appropriate to be submitted..


Task; Comment on the following passage: -
Dear PR manager,
I would like to express my gratitude for the catering services provided for our graduation dinner on March 10th 2009. The overall service was good but there is a minor problem that I would like to voice out.

As we have agreed, the $2000 fees paid includes set-up and clean-up services. However, we received the letter of complaint and a clean-up bill of S$300 from the hall office due to insufficient cleaning. I have conveyed this issue to one of your staff it was not taken seriously.

We have long been a customer of your services and up until now have always regarded you are an excellent caterer. I have every faith that you would like to mitigate this situation and my suggestion for you is to cover for the cost of S$300 required for the extra clean-up. I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to contact me at 91234567 for further clarifications.

Response from my group member (hold your breath): -
We are stand on the point of view of Ardon Cateres-the cater service company. Firstly, we receive a bad news message. The email is complained about our bad service, did not do a clean-up job. The opening of the message started with a buffer. The buffer is really polite and even too soft that it won’t let me pay attention on it. The word “gratitude” even made me think it is a praise-good message.

Secondly, the email stated the issues too briefly. Nothing wrong with the original contract, i.e $2000 for set-up and clean-up services. It seems that suddenly our company need to pay extra $300 for clean-up payment. And it did not mention about the virtual outcome of negotiation with our staff.

Thirdly, the email mentioned that one of our staff did not take seriously on the case. This causes contention. From real situation, one of our staff treated the chairperson rudely. Of course, it is not right to be rude. But if you put in another’s shoes, it just showed that our staff treated the case very seriously, otherwise why she/he was angry with the chairperson’s. Different point of view will lead a different conclusion. The chairperson might think it was rude to him/her. Most of time in real world, we seldom know the real situation from third party. (In this case, read from the question paper to know the truth)

Fourthly, the intention is very clear. i.e want our company pay the $300 clean-up bill. It is not be the best approach to solve the problem. The purpose of the message is to ask for the payment and everything will be settled afterwards.

Lastly, The message is not provided enough information for our company to take action. The chair person should give the details about the complaint from hall office. It will help us to analysis what the real situation was and what lead to it.

Above all, Our company will not take any action on the fee payment until further information is given/clarify.

Mention in passing, Use a little accounting knowledge, the amount of bill is $300 and the revenue of the service is $2000. $300/$2000=15%. It is not a minor issue at all in this single case. Probably no profit could be made if we just simply pay the bill base on the insufficient information given in the e mail.

What will we do:
Apploigized for the inconvenient first. The customer is god and is always right.
Asked for more details about the complain form hall office and details about the event, for example, was there night party after the dinner and that is the root cause to dirty the place.
We will find out who did the duty/job on that day and had a clarify conversion with him/her. Let the chairperson know the conversion outcome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Withdrawal Symptoms

..your head feels dizzy from the heat and humidity.. you wake from a nap thinking it’s evening when it’s only 1 in the afternoon.. you completely lose track of time.. you stumble around school trying to find your class and when you find it, you sit there and stare.. you feel detached from everyone else around you.. you ask yourself ‘what’s going on?’..

your mind’s everywhere, but with the lesson.. the songs you heard keep ringing in your head.. your mind drifts off to the scenic locations, the beautiful weather, the nice friendly people, the lovely roads, the great company in the house and the fantastic events..

..and you finally realize that you’re suffering from the withdrawal symptoms; not wanting to come home.

It’s only been 10 hours, and I miss Perth already..

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a Joke..

Ok, so the story goes that I managed to submit my FYP report draft waaaay before the deadline that is today.. it came back, made some changes and the 2nd draft was out by Saturday night.. so all thing’s in good timing. Thank God..

Today, I got a mail from the Associate Chair of EEE in NTU and here’s what it says:

“..The School has decided to extend the deadline for submission of final reports to supervisors and moderators to 24 April 2009.. … could also submit draft report at a later date (by 9 April) if you need more time. Supervisors and moderators have been informed about the above extension..”

and apparently, only the folks at EEE have it, checked with my friends from the other school, no such email.

I can’t help but laugh when I read the email. It’s just like saying, “Please don’t be too stressed, it’s only school work, we don’t need any more suicide cases..”. So apparently the word must have gotten around and now they’re probably hoping that by making this move, they’ll reduce the stress level of the students.. Haha.. tarnished reputation.. it probably just takes one more case of bad publicity and our president will prob quit his job or something.. even if he doesn’t, he probably won’t be able to climb any higher in his career.. poor chap..

Well, what they fail to realize is.. the exams start in mid April.. how the students are gonna manage BOTH the report and exams together, I’ve got no idea.. maybe they’ll push back the exams too! Heck.. just push everything back, make it a 6-year bachelor course while you’re at it.. hah.. it’s NTU anyway, anything’s possible..

NTU.. where big things happen.. =P

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hammie Update

Home Sweet Home..

Spent the bulk of last week up to my ears in my FYP report.. but also managed to squeeze some time off to make a new home for the furballs.. Got me an aquarium tank from across the road at 33 bucks.. then spent like God-knows how many hours, spread out over 2 days, trying to cut down a piece of acrylic I had, to use as a divider.. all that effort just to save 5 bucks.. hah.

Anyway, now they’ve got a new home, just right next to each other, and it’s more accessible to touch them both now.. just reach in and stroke them. =) all I need now is just to find some ingenious way to secure a wheel in there for them.. any ideas?

That's a closeup of hamlette.. i just realised that i haven't exactly got a good closeup of omelette.. she's prob camera shy.. haha, or just plain lazy. eat, sleep, eat, sleep, repeat.. haha..

Thursday, March 5, 2009

alvin wants..

to be a rock star..

just some randomness to get me through the night..

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time off

Decided to take some time off from my report and unwind here abit.. for a start, it’s been quite an eventful past 2 days, by now you would probably have already heard abt the stabbing incident in NTU.

I’ve never met nor had any encounters with the student, and neither have I ever been taught by prof chan, but as much as there’s this distance in-between.. I’m still saddened by the whole incident. Today’s papers reported that he recently lost his scholarship; abt 2 weeks ago and the whole thing might have just started spiraling down from there. It's sad when you think about how much he must have been going through, and keeping all that to himself. My deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of David.

I’m never one to really do exceedingly well at school. All my grades, good and bad, have all been a blessing, so I’m learning to count them. Keeping that in mind, perhaps that’s the reason why I never really took up the SAF scholarship in the past. Maybe it was His way of protecting me, to keep me sane and the pressure levels in check, even when my grades start going southwards.. ANYHOW, I’m sure there can be something to be learnt from this whole episode of me trying to find a job..

Well, on a lighter note, think I’ll put up the pictures of the chicken I had with Joel earlier this year while hiking.. and speaking of which, I didn’t realize I’ll be flying off so soon.. haha, Wedding Bells!!.. can’t wait, but right now, I just need to get done with my report. URGH.

Chicken soaked and marinated in honey.. roasted over an open fire.. GOOOOOD!! =)