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! =)