Sunday, April 30, 2006

City Of Glass

I finally watched City Of Glass last night. Starring Leon Lai and Shu Qi. New performer then, Daniel Wu (V must have watch this before) and Nicola Cheung supported.
It was shown on TCS 8 after 1998's A True Mob Story with Andy Lau, Gigi Leung and Suki Kwan.
Both were fantastic shows at that time. But I only managed to catch them now. I remember watching A True Mob Story at the ending. Because I didn't expect it then. So it was the only memorable scene for me. But that's not cause the movie wasn't any good. It's just not memorable.
But I have never caught City Of Glass. Those who have, well, you will know the story. Boy meets girl, falls in love. Boy goes overseas, drifted apart, met up again 20 years on, both married with a kid, rekindle love flame, secret affair, accident in London, respective kids claim bodies, piece back the love story of that their parents shared along the way fall in love as well. Ah sweet. Oh, there is the added bonus of including the major political events of the time in Hong Kong eg. Diaoyutai claims by Japan, 1997 handover of Hong Kong.

The movie featured Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Which is a song that I always wanted to figure out.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale
We skipped the light fandango.
And turned cartwheels across the floor
I was feeling kind of sea sick,
but the crowd called out for more.
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away.
When we called out for another drink,
the waiter brought a tray.
And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale.
That her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale
She said, "There is no reason,
and the truth is pain to see."
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be.
One of sixteen vestal vergins
who were leaving for the coast.
And although my eyes were open,
They might just have well been closed.
And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale.
That her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale.
And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale.
That her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

3M - Innovation, to the eye of the beholder.

3M is a revolutionary company. The company, started in 1902 in Minnesota, USA was then known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. It's such an innovative company as evidenced by the many unique products that have made our lives so much easier to live. Post-It, Scotch-Tape, Scotch-Brite and Thinsulate, all by them.

Command Adhesive is this temporary hook that utilises a strong sticky take that will stick to your wall and the largest hook in this range can hold up to 3.4 kilos. It is such a popular product that it has its own website on how to use and new products are constantly introduced. They've recently released a new line of Command Adhesive hooks. They are called Sweetie Hooks.

They look real cool. Like the cat series.

So sweet. Baby blue and baby pink.

For those with ailurophobia or just not feline friendly, there's the happy bear and grouchy frog.

What's that you say? The Sweetie Hooks require an NC16 rating?

Why? The yellow teddy seems proud of what he is using to hang your towels, keys and other knick-knacks. In fact, with his out-stretched arms, he seems to welcome anyone to hang anything. frog on the other hand, grouchy, perhaps no princess was willing to kiss his hook so that he can turn into a handsome prince. Or perhaps he cannot really take the weight of things hanging on his hook.

The danger of Mission Command - another boring entry

It's report in Reuters that an Army Colonel will be charged in the Abu Ghraib scandal. It's the scandal involving Private First Class Lynndie England, who has since been found guilty. If you've not seen the various pictures associated with the scandal, well, you're probably not interested in this entry.

It's well-known, amongst the interested, that no high-ranking officers were implicated in the scandal. Lots of noise here and there, demanding that the punishment should be meted to those higher up in the hierarchy. well, now a Lt. Col is being charged.

There is this military term called "Mission Command" which forms the backbone of both the US and British Armed Forces. What "Mission Command" entails, which is captured in both armed forces' doctrine include (drawn from here) :

A philosophy of command that has three enduring tenets:

  1. timely decision making
  2. the importance of understanding a superior commander’s intention, and
  3. a clear responsibility to fulfil that intention

In order to achieve these aims, decentralised command, freedom and speed of action, and initiative is very much favoured. Enabling the achievement of these aims, a Commander give his orders in a manner that ensures his subordinates understand his intentions, their own missions and the context of those missions. Subordinates are told what effect they are to achieve and the reason why it needs to be achieved. Subordinates are allocated the appropriate resources to carry out their missions. A Commander uses a minimum of control measures so as not to limit unnecessarily the freedom of action of his subordinates. Subordinates then decide within their delegated freedom of action how best to achieve their missions.

The doctrine of "Mission Command" requires delegation of authority and the freedom to carry out actions consistent with the intent of the Commander. As a philosophy, "Mission Command attempts to maximise human creativity, initiative and diligence.

Well, is Abu Ghraib an extreme example of "Mission Command" and the application of the doctrine with the overarching philosophy of understanding and fulfilling intentions of Commanders in a speedy, efficient and responsible manner? Or is the maltreatment of detainees (not prisoners of war) an expected outcome that is tacitly accepted? Is "Mission Command", as espoused by Lord Nelson, only practicable when soldiers and sailors (no airmen then) were right honourable gentlemen (arguable).

Local Politics

I mean "local" as in within the locale, erm, as in within a constituency. Not "local" as in within Singapore.

And that is the state of politics in Singapore. The General Elections that happen every few years since I can remember always provided a stage for issues like "supporting the effort in reconstruction of Iraq", "extending compulsory education to Secondary education", "privatising retirement funds" or "managing rising medical costs".

But it almost always ends up as a political fight promising things like upgrading of estates so that they don't lose out and look like a relic from the 1950s, covered walkways, universal access for the handicapped/disabled, ramps, lifts stopping on every floor, fresh coat of paint, gardens, brightly lit walkways, the list goes on.

However much the local (Singapore) political scene tries to lift itself up, there is always a dearth of one important factor: quality opposition.

There is so much talk about First World this and Third World that. Well, I believe that MM Lee is definitely right that the government is First World. I am judging from the way the adminstration runs, how the public hospitals are managed, how the public transport works, how the education system is effective in making citizens literate, I stop myself from using the word "educated". To have a high literacy rate isn't much to short about. Vietnam is about the same as Singapore. We are world-renowned for having super maths and science standards. We have no Nobel prize winners but a higher percentage of us know the answer to 7 x 8 than the rest of the world. So the government and how the country is run, that's pretty much First World. But why use such lousy terms to describe the government and opposition?

Opposition, Third World? I suppose it's unfair to say that. You can really say they are Second World because First World and Third World, when they were first coined was to describe developed and undeveloped countries respectively. First World - capitalist, industrial developed, western. Third World - poverty, developing (varying degrees of success), dependence.

Second World is the industrial-communist bloc. Then USSR, China...The term is a little archaic now. So, no, can't describe the Opposition as Second World.

The local government, well, certainly runs like a well-oiled machine. Much credit to the ruling party behind it. The opposition, well, needs to tighten a number of nuts, replace worn-out chains and ball-bearings and run the machine consistently, not a start-stop wind-up toy.

If we take Third World to mean a lower standard instead of a different standard and if the state of Opposition is Third World, well, the competition is fought on Third World issues constantly then.

But that's what electioneering is about. Issues fought on are limited to those that matters immediately when the competition is sparse and we are comfortable. We don't have to move to issues like whether or not we should continue to wage a war in someone else's land, we don't throw chairs in parliament while screaming hokkien profanities about whether or not to maintain status quo with neighbours across the straits.

It's credit to the ruling party as well, in a sense, that the competition remains sparse and issues about covered walkways and a fresh coat of paint thrives.

'What does that tells us? All politics are in the end local isn't it? You got to deal with local issues,'

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'll pay for my right to vote.

The eligible voters in my family have all received the official of notification. The Polling Card has arrived in the mailbox and my name wasn't on it.

The last General Elections was in 2001. It's been 5 years since and the incumbents in Jalan Besar GRC is again being challenged.

The elections in 2001, I was away studying. The few of us were rather excited because there were news that we could actually vote from overseas. How exciting. But it was not to be, it was only this year that overseas voting will actually happen. The only weird thing is that only about 1 thousand of them registered to vote.

From the time of the last elections to this current elections, I had no idea that I have already relinquished my voting rights because I did not vote in the last elections. Since I was away and the selective periods amnesia that my mum seems to be suffering from at the most inoppportune moments (increasing in frequency and annoyance). Oh well, it was 5 years ago. An elephant might be forgiven about the details as well. No, I'm not saying my mum's an elephant. I'm saying it's likely for anyone to forget such details.

So I can't vote this elections.


I don't care. I have already filled up my APPLICATION FOR THE RESTORATION OF NAME TO THE REGISTER OF ELECTORS. The troubling thing is this. They asked for the reason why I was "AWAY". That's easy. I was studying abroad (not studying a broad). Then they asked for the period I was away. In a MM/DD/YYYY format. Wah lau. That was bloody 7 years ago!

In any case, I really do hope they will restore my name. I feel so unrepresented. I am not political, but I am definitely not one of those "youths" or "young Singaporeans" who are collectively said to be apathetic (not a pathetic). The fine is $5 if they do not agree with my reason for not voting the last time round. I don't understand the fine. But if that's the amount of money I need to pay before I get to vote, that's really cheap.

The $5 will come from my Progress Package.

The NUH Cardiac Centre

I was served by a lovely lady named Esther Tan this morning at the Cardiac Centre at NUH. I was there to have a Spacelab 90207 attached to me for 24 hours so that my blood pressure can be monitored over a 24 hour period at 15 minutes intervals.

She first set out to test the monitor.

"Ok, I will have to make sure this is working first."

"If it shows high, it's working."

Proceeds to record reading on the monitor.

"Ok, now I will use the manual ones to verify."


Proceeds to inflate the cuff and listen to my pulse with the stethoscope.

"Ya, this monitor is working. Your pressure really is high."

"Erm, yah, that's why I'm here."

Both laughs.

"Hmm, I'll use another one."


Proceeds to change to another old school manual pressure gauge.

"Yup, all the equipment is working."


"You're a bit too young to have hypertension hor?"

Haha, I mean, she was really nice and tried to make me comfortable, some idle banter. She then fixed the ambulatory blood pressure monitor. The Spacelab 90207.

This is how it looks like on me:

Cool huh? I was joking with jade that I can go trick or treatin', albeit a little early for Halloween. I can trying entering myself for Mister Singapore. I'm sure I can win Mr Marine Parade, with out without the pressure monitor. I'm part-man part-machine. muahahaha...

It's ridiculously hot to wear that. Imagine having to wear Navy No.3 with that contraption underneath. I am wondering how come I didn't set metal detectors off. I could have been stopped at any MRT station, suspected of carrying a home-made explosive device. Suicide bomber type. I'll be looking forward to the promised 72 vestal virgins. Females please! By the way. I do not know any good suicide bombers , cause if they are any good, they're dead. It's like a kamikaze pilot. You are not one till you crash right? And what are the chances of you surviving a kamikaze mission? Well, I don't know. If you don't end up being famous as a glorified dumbass war hero, you'll be famous as the kamikaze pilot who kamikazed and lived to tell the tale. Like published in Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

I digress.

Back to the ambulatory blood pressure monitor.

It's not water proof.

"So I can't shower?"



So what will any intelligent person do? Wait for the pressure to be taken, then realise that you have 15 mintues before the next reading is due, quickly get a shower in between.

The monitor wouldn't even notice you were missing from its cuff.

I'm gonna see Esther again. Can't wait. *squirms in excitement*

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Question: What is the plural of Viscus?

Answer: Viscera.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Top Ten Album Covers (that I own)

I was asked another question recently. This time it is a much more tricky question. Previously I had a blog entry about Best Covers, as in song covers. This time it's actual album covers. And I have decided to preclude any by Peter Saville because I really don't want to have it in the list. It renders the list common. I will not include any by the Beatles as well. Having excluded so many usual top ranking album art, I decided that I shall scope this blog entry by deciding on the Top Ten Album Covers (that I own). So although I have all the songs by Joy Division (lovely boxset given to me by the generous Pixel:P aka fullscreamriot), I cannot choose classic Best Album Cover nominees like Joy Division's Closer or Unknown Pleasures. Simply because I don't own them. There won't be any by Beatles because of the same reason. Local free mag, Juice, recently listed their version of Greatest Album Covers. I cannot really remember what was in their list. I must give a warning that this is a very long and boring entry. Only for those who are really into me (hahaha) or into music (me again).

Here's mine: (again, it is in this particular order)

"Tigermilk" - Belle And Sebastian

If you stare hard enough at the top left hand corner of the album cover, you will notice that there are some watermarks. This was entirely due to great 2000 flood in York. During my uni years, I brought along all my CDs, close to 200 I think, and the cd liner notes. And I placed them near the window sill. So during the great flood, when I was away in Paris, the rainwater came in and soaked a few of my precious liner notes. The reason why this cover turn up in this list is the sheer humourous, almost literal manner in which the group presented the album. The band is fun like that. In a Belle And Sebastian album, you can get songs that depict really weird situations, like your brother announcing he is gay at your wedding when he turns up with his sailor friend and also pairing really depressing lyrics set to an uptempo beat. And you often find irony in their songs. So this album cover totally says alot about the band and their music. By the way, the soft toy that is being suckled looks like Tigger.

"Temperamental" - Everything But The Girl

I really started listening and getting into Everything But The Girl from their Walking Wounded album. Before that I knew them as a rather acoustic sounding band with hits like Love Is Strange. There is also that single remixed by Todd Terry, Missing. And if anyone did notice, they are one of very few bands that really transitted well from folksy music to more electronic music. In fact, I don't know any other band that has done that. But their songs never lost its quality in the transition. Tracey Thorn's voice still comforting, production is still lush but in a different manner. I still enjoy their music tremendously, even with Tracey Thorn lending voice to Massive Attack (Protection) or Ben Watt mixing house as part of his Lazy Dog project. I like this album cover because the sketch reflects the songs in the album very well. It's urban, a wee bit of paranoia, cool, "leave me alone" type of music.

"Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness" - The Smashing Pumpkins

I must admit, I didn't get to hear Today and Disarm until about fours years after I bought Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. Neither did I get the wordplay on Mellon Collie (melancholy) until a friend pointed it out to me. But still I was bowled over by the entire album. The Smashing Pumpkins sounded majestic from the get-go. When Tonight, Tonight came on, with the strings and orchestration, the whole "concept" of the album just gelled. I was such a fanboy then that I saved up money to buy the Aeroplane Flies High limited edition box set. I like this album cover because it suggests alot of stuff and that the entire liner note is filled with similar illustrations. The lady in the picture is looking wistfully skywards although she is already popping out from a star. Her right hand in half clutch, perhaps soothing her aching heart. The best part is her left hand, as if she is ready she say, "Yo, what's up my nigga?" And the whole universe is infinite thing with a sad looking girl...sort of complete the album.

"Dummy" - Portishead

Some album covers feature really beautiful pictures. Some have really unforgettable illustration. Some feature only the singer or band members. I realise that non of the albums covers in my list has got any of those. But they all seem to match the sounds from the album really well. It's not as if the album cover will scream "BUY ME"! But they kind of just make me appreciate the album more. Like this Portishead album. I have not heard many albums that have such a killer opening track, Mysterons. Mysterons is the soundtrack to the album cover.

"Dog Man Star" - Suede

The reason why this appears on my list is because I can identify with the cover. I'd probably lie in that position when I'm feeling like how the songs inside is on about. The cover features a naked body but there is no sensuality. The body seems to be sleeping yet you know it is not having a restful sleep. Not really sure why the room don't seem very cosy, maybe it's the height of the window. And what is that on the top left? A mirror or a frame with nothing in it? Dog Man Star asks more questions than it answers. (ok, here I am, pretending as if I know this album oh-so-well.)

"Aqualung" - Aqualung

This goes against all the others in the list. Except maybe Everything But The Girl (if you think that the drawing is of Tracey Thorn). In fact, they are both very similar. I am not sure if the drawing is of Matt Hales. If it is, then this is the only cover in this list that features the singer. The drawing is pretty cool. If you look at it long enough, you will see the guy swaying his head.

You didn't really believe me did you?

"Almost Here" - Unbelievable Truth

This looks like a scene from the London Underground or any urban subway (MRT). The couple could be high on drugs, alcohol perhaps. You cannot really tell if they are lesbian, gay or bisexuals or boring heterosexuals. The photo is grainy and lacking in much detail but they seemed to be disenchanted youths who have discovered that they are happier with only the bare essentials of life and each other. There is a sense of detachment (whatever that means), forlorn and mournful silence that fills the space between you and them. Fits the songs in the album really well.

"3..6..9 Seconds Of Light" - Belle And Sebastian

An over-exposed picture of a young adolescent couple at the beach. Feels summery but the monochramatic scheme subdued the youthful exuberance somewhat. Puppy love, seen in the way the girl is looking at the guy. Total bliss and a slightly cocky "I've got a great looking bird hanging on my shoulders" kind of smugness on the guy. I don't know if the title refers to the number of seconds the film was left exposed, hence the look of the photo. This is not a proper album but an EP instead. Again, with Belle And Sebastian, you never know what you're gonna get. I just love the vibe that is coming out from this cover.

"13" - Blur

Apprentice (1996) by Graham Coxon. 107cm x 46cm.

Prints available at £245.
Limited edition of 300
Individually signed and numbered by Graham Coxon.
Printed lithographically on 250gsm textured art board.

Print Size 100cm x 70cm
Price includes VAT+UK delivery

"Pink Moon" - Nick Drake

The album art for the last album of Nick Drake, I can't decide if it is Dali-esque or Bosch-esque. I am not even sure if it has a meaning. I suppose that is what intrigues me. As does the meaning of Nick's songs. In surrealism, symbols are very meaningful. So who did the album cover? Who choose it? Sigh....questions....I would really like a copy of Duncan Sheik and Gerry Leonard's live rendition of this album though. I scanned both the front and back of the liner notes in by the way.

So here they are, my top ten album covers (that I own).

Puma (and I'm glad they are enjoying a revival)

Not many know this. Well, maybe I'm wrong.

Rudolf Dassler and Adolf Dassler started Puma and Adidas brands respectively. If you suspect that their shared surname suggests some bloodline kinship, you're right. They are actually brothers. It was in 1948, after the business split, that they founded their sporting brands.

I wasn't born then, but in 1970, Pele, then wearing Puma soccer boots, requested from the referee, just prior to the kickoff whistle to tie his shoelaces. He knew, as well as the Puma publicity engine, that the cameras will be zooming in on him tying his shoelaces. And the Puma signature silhouette will be beamed across the entire globe, straight into the homes of millions of viewers.

Puma has increasingly been engaging in many interesting and exciting collaborations with designers. Stella McCartney, Phillip Starck, Alexander McQueen, Mihara and Christy Turlington's Yoga line - Mahanuala.

Interesting to note, in a recent survey by Singapore Sports Council, Singaporeans are more sporty today than 5 years ago. Not surprising if we note that a number of "serious" sporting brands have set up more shops here or have more pronounced presence. Serious brands like Saucony (Plaza Singapura), New Balance (various location), Asics (various location) and Mizuno (various locations). Of course previously you can find their shoes in Singapore but now they have their own shop fronts.

Anyhow, bought myself a Puma Polo T recently. I thought the tag that comes along with it was a really good laugh. Shall share it.

I like the fact that they made the labels interesting for the people who actually read them. I'm one of the 4% that regularly read these stuff. Pathetic I know.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Should it be pronounced as Ro-chest-ter or Roche-ster?

Conversations and Retributions

I recently bought some Hello Panda biscuits. These were not the usual red box ones. These were the less usual yellow box ones. If you do not know what Hello Panda biscuits are, not to worry, there is a wikipedia entry on them. Yes. They are that famous. Most children around the world would have seen them before seeing a real Panda. As to why they share the same name as another world famous cat (or kitty), it's up to conspirators to come up with something novel. I can't get my creative juices flowing fast enough.

The wikipedia shows two species of Hello Panda. The Red Panda which features the shortbread with chocolate cream fillings and the Pink Panda (same genetic deviation as the pink dolphins) which is exactly the same as the Red Panda on the exterior but oozes out pink coloured strawberry flavoured cream when punctured. Mine's the Yellow Panda. Rarer, perhaps newer genus which I suspect split from the mixture of the Red with the Pink plus some original Chinese Panda bastardisation. Chinese genes being superior gave it the name Yellow Panda however the mixture of colours led the Yellow Panda to appear brown instead of Yellow. Bah. Darwins.'s a little story about them:

One fine day, Hello Panda 1 was walking along merrily minding her own business.
Hello Panda 1: tra la la, it's a fine day and i am being merry and minding my own business

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Hello Panda 2 jumps out from behind a bush and stood in front of Hello Panda 1, stopping her in her merry, own-business-minding walk on a fine day.

Hello Panda 2: I just jumped out from behind a bush unexpectedly muahahaha.

So Hello Panda 2 wanted to know Hello Panda 1's name.

(story 1)
Hello Panda 2: Hello, what is your name?
Hello Panda 1: Hello.
Hello Panda 2: Erm, yes, hello. What is your name?
Hello Panda 1: Erm. Hello?
Hello Panda 2: Yes! I said hello already! What is your name?!?!!?!?
Hello Panda 1: HELLO!
Hello Panda 2: *growls* (and whatever angry noise that a panda is capable of making)

(story 2)

Hello Panda 2: Hi, what is your name?
Hello Panda 1: Hello.
Hello Panda 2: Erm, yes, hello. What is your name?
Hello Panda 1: Erm. Hello?
Hello Panda 2: Yes! I said hello already! What is your name?!?!!?!?
Hello Panda 1: HELLO!
Hello Panda 2: *growls* (and whatever angry noise that a panda is capable of making)

(story 3)

Hello Panda 2: Hello, what is your name?
Hello Panda 1: That's my name.
Hello Panda 2: Erm. What is your name?
Hello Panda 1: Erm. Hello?
Hello Panda 2: Yes! What is your name?!?!!?!?
Hello Panda 1: HELLO! You just say it!
Hello Panda 2: *growls* (and whatever angry noise that a panda is capable of making)

Soon they grew angrier and angrier! It wasn't too long before Hello Panda 1 turned aggressive and threatened to draw first blood!
Hello Panda 1: <<<ROAR!!!>>>

Not wanting to be outdone by the femme fatale, Hello Panda 2 mustered all his anger and let roar his anger!


Hello Panda 2: <<<ROAR!!!>>> right back at ya!

(scene deleted by net-nanny. graphics deleted depicts Hello Panda 2 gobbling up Hello Panda 1 - scene was found objectional by net-nanny)

Well, enough of the fun. I tried one of the pack. So tore Hello Panda 1 open.
Hello Panda 2 was gleefully pointed at Hello Panda 1 while laughing about her sorry end. So I did the honourable thing and tore up Hello Panda 2 too.

In this cruel world, Pandas never get the final laugh.

The chocolate biscuits look like this:

Those who are familiar with Hello Panda biscuits will notice that the printed faces of the panda is not found on the biscuits. NO, I did not simply turn them over. Don't be silly. Another interesting feature of the Yellow Panda, besides the brown appearance, is that not all feature the panda shape. Some are just weird pillow shaped biscuits and bear no resemblance at all with the panda shaped ones. I took a bite.
Eh, never ooze out. No chocolate cream oozing out. Just some solid looking non-oozy stuff.

Chey! That's not how it was advertised!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Some funny thoughts

There is this t-shirt that I know.

the thought of it then was "rather cool" if tired and tested. Yes. Tired.

so there is an organisation called nalcom. so the people decided to design a t-shirt to bolster identity, etc etc and other poly-syllabi words.

they wanted to keep it simple. yet reflective of the then hip/cool trend of being "IT" savvy, connected, etc and more poly-syllabi words.

the t-shirt colour was navy blue.

and at the back, where the yoke of a shirt normally is, it says:

imagine if NUS decides to follow.

it'll be @nus.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Karaoke KTVs and KTV Lounges

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is a difference between the 2.

For example, the two leading family oriented karaoke businesses would be Partyworld and KBox right? You know what do they call themselves? PartyWorld and KBox KTV.

But what about those that promise more than just karaoke. Like what was heard in the movie 12 Storeys by Eric Khoo, "You karaoke, they karaoke you!" Those located along Joo Chiat, Balestier Road, Geylang, just like the "spas" and "health centres" located all over Singapore. If you are looking for a weekend of massages, saunas and aromatheraphy, you will be in for a shock.

The "special" karaokes usually have odd sounding names and end with a "KTV LOUNGE". It's deliberately mispronounced as KTV LAUNCH. For example: BAMBOO GREEN KTV LOUNGE, GOLDEN VIEW KTV LOUNGE.

So it was no wonder that yf asked incredulously when I told him I was at a KTV with V. KBox lah bro.

But the point of this blog is that it was the first time I have ever sang at KBox. And I have decided that I can forget about a career in singing. I croak more than I sing. And my limited range cannot handle most songs. Except maybe so Eminem raps but even then, I have got no rhythm. Damn.

V on the other hand, is a singer. Her speaking voice is so different from her singing voice! Her voice is normally lower when speaking to me but she was belting out number after number of songs by Gigi Leung, Fish Leong, Rainie Yang and all these lovely mandarin ballads. So while I was fumbling around the menu, scrolling for the songs I thought I can try singing, V just impressed me.

She's good. Next time I shall smuggle in my iPod recorder and then send the recording to some record company.

Another mental note. Next time at the KTV, I should not attempt another 4 hour marathon. When choosing songs, try as much as possible to stick to original MTVs because karaoke videos of English songs usually feature a red lipstick girl, with lightly permed hair, strolling in heavily shoulderpadded dresses that seemed to come from the set of What A Feeling! The location will feature either a beach, an unknown European town or a garden. A key accesory would be a scarf that can flutter in the wind that is constantly blowing (works well for the beach). Forlorn looks, pursed lips and doleful eyes are a must.

You should always shoot twice.

If you own a firearm and you have a aggressor with hostile intent, charging at you with a weapon, what would you do?


I would fire at him (whether to disable or kill him depends on my aim) first.


Followed by another fired into the air.

Two rounds expended. One will account for the warning shot and the other, the disabling shot.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ministry of Sound, In Search of Sunrise 5, Tiesto, aggression

You see, unlike some people who can never see how the study of a society, the demographics, the decisons it makes, the tendencies for certain outcomes, patterns, behaviours and the myriad of conclusions that can be drawn from the statistics present, is a science, I am a firm believer.

Statistics, is analogous to a bikini. What it reveals is often interesting. But what it hides is very much intriguing. None more so than the co-relation found by authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, of the book Freakonomics. Well, using econometrics, they kinda prove that it was the legalisation of abortion in America in 1970s that truly led to a nationwide fall in crime rate in the 1990s. Not better policing, not better laws, not tougher stance against crimes. Abortion. Because lesser children were born into poor families that will be more likely to grow into criminals; robbers, muggers, burglars, murderers. Well...that was a very coarse summary.

But it's a known statistical fact that a nation with a large population of young males who are jobless will see more riots, violent acts etc.

......a sizeable surplus of young, unmarried adult males in a population poses a potential threat to security.....If over 20 percent of a country's population is comprised of young people, this 'youth bulge' supposedly makes it more vulnerable to political instability.....

And so it is with the crowd at Ministry of Sound.

I don't fancy violence. I don't fancy complex coordination when it comes to clubbing. To me, clubbing is essentially the departure of complexities. Just the music and the movement. No aggression. No disrespect. As Grandmaster Flash would have put it nicely in his seminal dance track, it's all about Peace. Love. And Unity. P.L.U.
Grandmaster Flash knew it since 1986 cause that's when P.L.U. came out in the album The Source.

How is it that so many punters can get in. I don't want to know. How is it that people can get so aggressive. I don't want to know. How is it that people can become so territorial and uncivic. I don't want to know. What I do know is, I want out.

It doesn't really matter who the DJ is. He could be playing some disco house and still, with the alcohol fuelled young males, temper flares will occur.

It's either I am really getting old or I am getting intolerant. But I do know I am getting sure of what I like and what I don't. Clearly, the shenanigans going on behind me wasn't about clubbing. It was about the unkindness of humans. The selfishness. The ugliness. And I am amazed that you can see it manifest in that manner. Refusing other clubbers to pass, fights, shouts, accusations. I had to stop an ah beng from turning his aggro on this ang moh kia squeezing in through with me. Nobody can help pushing because the crowd has taken a life of its own. ang moh kia thanked me.

The crowd at MOS is weird. It's like Zouk in early 2000s or late 1990s. Lots of young people, fights breaking out. These days, you don't see much of that happening.

Maybe it's the lousy design in MOS. The space between the bar and the tables that surrounds the dancefloor is like a valley fo death. The club may have huge international standing, it may be the biggest MOS in the world but hyell, if the design of the place sucks, it sucks. And when it's packed with so many people. Not only does it suck worse, it's absolutely a blackhole of sucks.

I must make a mental note that the club is not for me.

And fucker, if you are being territorial and not letting people go across, you can either earn enough to own your club or fuck off elsewhere. I am not your mate, your brother or your pal. So get your greasy hands off my shoulders. I could have knocked your chin with my shoulders had I wanted to you short fuck. If not for the fact that you look like you have yet to pay taxes.

I must remind myself I have got high blood pressure and all these stimulations are bad for me.

Friday, April 14, 2006

DJ SAYEM - World Of Flowers

regarding L'amour collection by Nokia

This is the latest from the web.

Things that made me laugh today again and again

Okay, so we have all read about the three silliporeans lost in Japan.

But they have freaking found the martial arts expert that were seeking.


See, mum was right. Perseverance pays. Shit. I mean, Patience pays dividends.

But the jap guy don't want to show them leh. Maybe he got that secret manual when he was younger, at 50Yen. Like the Stephen Chow Kung Fu movie.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fox in the snow, girl in the snow, boy on a bike

Belle and Sebastian released their first album on 6th of June 1996. That day was my mum's birthday. Not that it matters much. Not that it matters anyway. The title was Tigermilk. But that was not the album from which I started listening to them. How I started listening to this multi-member band from Scotland (Glasgow to be exact) was such a wonderful memory that I have decided to share it. With you. You lucky thing, you!

I started on Belle and Sebastian (B&S) in 1997, sometime near my A levels. Or maybe after. It was from the second album, If You're Feeling Sinister, that got me off to this quaint little band that obviously was from the East of the Atlantic. The album was released late 1996. But again, I never heard of them until around the time of my A levels. I remember so well because Belle and Sebastian and Bjork were the only two CDs I was listening to at that time, when I was preparing my A levels. If You're Feeling Sinister and Homogenic. One of the track in Homogenic called Unravel was by Guy Sigsworth who eventually collaborated with a lass named Imogen Heap to form Frou Frou. Again, Frou Frou is another story.

I remember before HMV, there was Tower Records. And before that there was Dada Records and Supreme. I cannot remember if there was Sembawang. Tower Records was where I discovered Portishead. It's the Tower Records formerly at Pacific Plaza. What's taken over the space now, I cannot remember.

So anyway, HMV was where I first heard of B&S. There was a period when I was quite busy preparing for my A levels yet I am the sort who can stay still for long and so when HMV was opened in 1997, I resisted going there (I so didn't want to risk liking HMV and forsaking Tower Records) but finally found myself going there a couple of times in a week being fascinated by the gargantuan floor area and the number of listening posts.

So there was this memorable afternoon, not exactly feeling perky, when I walked into HMV. At that time, there were so many issues that were unresolved leading up to my A levels that eventually led to break ups and fuck ups that will remain as my past. I walked into HMV in the midst of a song. ".....Girl in the snow, where will you go to find someone that will do, to tell someone all the truth before it kills you...."

I remember it was an IMPORT disc and so it was like SGD30 odd. But I bought the album solely on the strength on that one song and discovered an entire album of gems. Roughhewn but heartfelt. Lilting but poignant.

Fox In The Snow
Fox in the snow, where do you go

To find something you can eat?

Cause the word out on the street is you are starving

Don't let yourself grow hungry now

Don't let yourself grow cold

Fox in the snow
Girl in the snow, where will you go
To find someone that will do?

To tell someone all the truth before it kills you

They listen to your crazy laugh

Before you hang a right
And disappear from sight

What do they know anyway?

You'll read it in a book

What do they know anyway?

You'll read it in a book tonight

Boy on the bike, what are you like

As you cycle round the town?

You're going up, you're going down

You're going nowhere It's not as if they're paying you
It's not as if it's fun
At least not anymore
When your legs are black and blue
It's time to take a break
When your legs are black and blue
It's time to take a holiday
Kid in the snow, way to go
It only happens once a year

It only happens once a lifetime
Make the most of it

Second just to being born

Second to dying to

What else could you do?
Belle And Sebastian

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Things that made me laugh today

Besides the Reuters news about three sillyporeans that were rescued from a Japanese mountain... What do you mean you don't know about this?

Three sillyporeans were found safe after getting lost on what they said was a mission to find a legendary karate expert on a snowy mountainside in Japan.

This was what they had to say:

Japan looked so small on the world map that we thought we would be able to find him straight away

that they had come to Japan after his dying father, a martial arts expert, had ordered them to seek out the karate teacher
And the best part was that the Japanese were rather serious about their words. But...

"Neither police nor local people know of anyone running karate classes in this area," the spokesman added.
This is so not true. But it wasn't published on April's Fool. Maybe it's a Japanese calendar. The story sounds like some wuxia film. Dying fathers, looking for martial arts expert on snowy mountains. All that is needed is the reason for wanting to learn from this martial arts expert on snowy mountains. And that is to seek revenge. Somebody might have killed the father. So in traditional wuxia honour, the eldest son gotta seek revenge.

Other stuff that made me laugh included this list of 100 facts relating to Chuck Norris. If you don't know who Chuck Norris is, don't read on. But you're missing out on something. This man once had a cartoon series and toy figures made for him. Don't believe me?

Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris - Man of action.

Check out the toy figure!
Feel those abs. They are made of the same material as his balls - steel.

There is this list like I said earlier. And I'd just like to list ten of my favourite. They are all true by the way. Because everything that Chuck Norris says it goes straight into the bible.

10: Jesus owns and wears a bracelet that reads, "WWCND?"

9: Chuck Norris doesn't have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel.

8: The most effective form of suicide known to man is to type "Chuck Norris" into Google and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky!".

7: Chuck Norris was sending an email one day, when he realized that it would be faster to run.

6: Jeeves asks Chuck Norris. (you gotta know about

5: Chuck Norris once visited the Virgin Islands. They are now The Islands.

4: Chuck Norris can speak braille.

3: Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

2: Chuck Norris puts the "laughter" in "manslaughter".

and finally the one that can set any child with a Chuck Norris toy figure at ease at night is this:

1: When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

They even made him read his own facts.

Silly producers. Of course he knows about them. Why make him read it. I mean, if your balls are made of steel, you oughta know right?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's the weekend

This week has been rather rough and looking ahead it seems gloomier.
I wonder sometimes why do things have to change. And then I remember certain truths in life.

The only things that are certain in life are death and taxes.
The only uncertainty is uncertainty.

Well, well. No love. That's not certain.
And being uncertain is certain.

Change is not always welcomed. I don't get particularly excited about it. Especially when one of my favourite bands decides to change their style.

I stumbled upon kittystar's xanga blog recently because s/he/it (supposedly female) was linked to my review of Kings of Convenience concert. Fancy her calling me a freaker fan than she is. Grrr....

She listens to all these stuff that I listen to as well and I used to think that it's serendipitous to have another person listen to the same songs as I do. Until I discover that people who listen to Smashing Pumpkins are more likely to like Tori Amos as well (personal observation), you wouldn't think very highly of Coldplay if you've heard of Jeff Buckley. Your personal wishlist of singers that should stop by Singapore does not include perennial snobs like U2 (who will NEVER come) but will have singer-songwriters like Rufus Wainwright, Goldfrapp, Ryan Adams, Beth Orton.

Anyhow, noticed that she was listening to Sia, Feist and Belle and Sebastian so was just asking if she liked the current B&S album. Personally, I like the older stuff, especially from Tigermilk and If You Are Feeling Sinister. Over the next few days, I dropped further comments about Feist and Sia. And since Wednesday, I stopped. She asked a question that I will take sometime to answer.

So what is my favourite B&S album and song?

Man: I am getting a divorce
Mistress: Oh, Frank. Finally.
Man: Yes. Finally.
Mistress: Does your wife know?
Man: ???

Friday, April 07, 2006

SendStation Pocket Dock!

It's here!

I got it from Club 21 ishop at Cineleisure.

This is how I am happier. But still not a happy boy.

So I have gotten the SendStation Pocket Dock and the Etymotic earphones.

What the pocket dock does is to provide a convenient USB female end when you are bringing your iPod around but not the cable. The pocket dock will connect to any normal USB cable (those used with printers and scanners) and so replace the need for bringing extra cables all the time. Another big plus (which was the main reason why I bought it anyway) is that there is a Line Out jack. Which means that without lugging my dock around, I can have higher fidelity output from the iPod. This is really fantastic because after I moved on from a 3G iPod to a iPod 4G aka iPod Photo, my dock couldn't be used anymore. 4G is thicker and it doesn't come with a dock of it's own. So when I connect external speakers to my iPod, like when I bring them out to the beach or on holiday with V, the sound is feeble. It wasn't always like this. When I used to have the dock, it was really good.

Now with the pocket dock, quality sounds is mine again! But do take note. The output from the Line Out is not suitable for earphone usage. It'll definitely be too loud for your ears. If you find that with the audio being fed into your ear through the Line Out and you still can't hear properly, it's either you are already deaf or it's some equipment failure.

And I've got another bugbear about my etymotic earphones. The soundstage (which is the apparent angle where the sound is coming from when using earphones) is quite tight. It's not like some of the other commercial earphones or headphones that really is fun to listen with when enjoying music with sounds that appear to be running all over.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Leopards leaped through Windows in the Boot Camp looking for an Apple

Boot Camp is the public beta software enabling intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. The non-beta version of Boot Camp will be a feature of the next Mac OS: Leopard.

How many more cats are there in the family?

Mac OS X v10.0 (Cheetah)
Mac OS X v10.1 (Puma)
Mac OS X v10.2 (Jaguar)
Mac OS X v10.3 (Panther)
Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger)
Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard)

Mac already registered for rights to Lynx and Cougar.

What comes after?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen.....

Be jealous.

Be very jealous!


my threadless are here!

Came home just now and mum said there was a package from me.

Finally! My PRECIOUS Threadless!

The giveaway:
threadlessOk, plus the fact that I was expecting it around now. I sent the order form in on 22 Mar and got an email telling me it was shipped on 29 Mar. And now, on 4 Apr, they're here!


First is Till Death Do Us Part
Followed by Doodlebug

Yippee ai ai Yippee Yippee ai!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Long boring entry

Horrorscope for the day. Horror indeed.

A female visitor who needs a little tea and sympathy could come to your door today. She'll probably have some problems that she'll want advice on, dear Pisces, but she could also bring some information, possibly involving new scientific or metaphysical studies, that you should find fascinating and which you'll want to pass on to others. This information could trigger insights of your own. Write down your ideas, as you'll want to remember them.

I have this feeling that the female visitor is myself. Well, not that I am becoming a transgender but I think I am the one needing a little tea and sympathy. I recently met Emen who was also from York while attending my course in SAFTI. We were reminiscing about the carefree university life in York. While we had problems and challenges, but there was always a friendly listening ear and really, nothing cannot be solved over a nice cup of tea and some scones with butter. Well, maybe some things. But a problem shared is a problem halved.

Life used to be a whole lot simpler. Boundaries, no-go areas, benchmarks, milestones, major examinations masquerading as stepping stones to an objective that was always going to be amorphous.

So when it came to streaming in primary 3, you made sure you got into the best class. And during that year, you'd be tested if you were "gifted". You may be gifted in drawing, sports, dance, playing hopperti (playing tag while hopping on a single leg) or four/five stones but nobody will really give a flying fuck cause you got to be able to do abstract maths problems algebraically or solve some IQ puzzle. And you may get through the first round, only to find out that you are just one in about 3,348 and there is a second round to weed out the flukes and wannabes and reduce it to 739 or something. So you tasted failure but you don't give a flying fuck either cause you're better off playing hopperti and pepsi-cola 1-2-3.

Then came PSLE. You thought you did well enough. And "well enough' don't mean normal. You had to be in the Express stream. Which meant 4 years in the "top autonomous boy school" at that time. There was only 1 autonomous boy school at that time by the way. You also realise that although you were in the top ten in your neighbourhood primary school, you soon realise that you feature somewhere in the bottom ten of your secondary school class. Oh, and they were better at hopperti too. And they had girlfriends. But you weren't too interested in them yet.

Secondary school have streaming too. And the top guys get to choose "sexy" subjects like biology and be in the "triple science" class. And you "only" manage to read physics and chemistry. So not being so self-assured anymore, you decide to become an engineer cause that's what the country needs and everybody you read about seems to be an engineer of sorts. Maybe that's my generation. Subsequently it was IT/computer related, and now the current life sciences that are being offered (better get at least Ph.D otherwise only fit to wash testtubes). Maybe next will be designing computer games and CGI, or maybe hospitality management to support out integrated resorts. Or maybe they will open a school for Multi-Level Marketing. Who knows rally? But back then, the best way to become an engineer was through the Polytechnics. And you stupidly thought that having Design and Technology (or Technical during lower sec) as one of my "O" level subjects will hold me in good stead. Instead, you went back into the mainstream. It was off to the Junior College, after another milestone: the "O" Levels administered by Cambridge University.

When you decide to get back into the mainstream, you might be hesitant but having only two years to ponder, it zipped by without you noticing. "A" levels defined your life and you try to get grades good enough to get into the local universities.

Then army came for all Singapore males and that was when you took a slight detour from the mainstream again, opting to get a training award from the country's premier organisation for developing leaders. It was off to the university for you. And that was what you have to do well too.

But that's when boundaries/no-go areas/benchmarks/milestones end. It ends when you complete your universitiy education. Education tore your decisions because you are saturated with options. And you realise that non of these options were for you. You take comfort in not having a choice because you determine that benefits do outweigh the costs.

That perhaps is why the quarter-life crisis sets in. The absence of definite benchmarks, milestones to guide ourselves by. To know how well we are doing. Lacking, perhaps, role models or maybe the opposite ie. too many role models to choose from. The conflict of material gains versus the pursuit of this nebulous entity call happiness. being unsure of the next step because it may not have been tried and tested. Not wanting to go the tried and tested way because you will never be ahead down that path. Life can be safe but only for how long? And when reality hits you squarely in the face, you learn to set boundaries for yourself. You think it restricts you but you concede that you cannot do without it.

So what defines me now? I have another 2.5 years to go before my bond is up. I have moved away from the mainstream yet again. Some say I did it by choice, some say I did it on purpose, some say I did it "for what!?". My take? Well, It was definitely my choice, and if you cannot exercise that part of your inherent right, you are a sad person. It was definitely on purpose, in that it was a purposeful, calculated move in which I took many factors into consideration. For what? Well, it was meant to be, choice I made with a purpose. While I may regret later, I know that it was a move that will hopefully inch myself nearer to this hazy state of being called happiness.

I am not perturbed by my choice at all. Neither am I apologetic. If people think that eating duck rice three days in a row, if they think that they have a family history of high blood pressure, if they think that can drink heavily for days before their medical review, deprive themselves of sleep for three days, smoke enough cigarettes to carbonise their lungs, well, to that I say, good for you. You do it to excuse yourself from some physical fitness test? well, at least you were being honest about it. And to those who think that they have a problem with the pressure as well? The base medical centre is always open. And to those who view me with jaundiced eyes now, I can't help you see things my way. But neither can I see things your way.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

You hate to admit this

Hands up those who listen to country music!

There is a stigma attached to the admission isn't there?

Some think it's alright if it's a laugh, like, "oh, yeah, dolly parton's great, she made a comeback with the song from Transamerica." or "haha, achy breaky heart was such a fun song! What ever happened to billy ray cyrus?"

Even americans don't readily admit to liking country. people who like country in singapore are probably those into line-dancing. folks in their 50s and 60s, wearing jeans, stetsons, huge ass buckles, preppy shirts and scarfs tied around their necks. dancing every weekend or weeknights in their local community halls, at far east square and wearing a constant happy grin like line dancing is the way to eternal happiness.

So anyway, people do not readily admit to liking country music.

But these days, with shania twain and dixie chicks and so many "neo-western" singers, the line between pop and country isn't as distinct anymore. sure, you probably won't have songs with weird titles, which is a trademark of country music eg. Man, I feel like a woman and All the guys that turn me on turn me down...He Went To Sleep and The Hogs Ate Him (Now Claude's Gone Forever) <- what the fuck?

And then there is Ryan Adams. Alt-country or whatever way you wanna classify him.

And it so happened that on Saturday night after Concave Scream's gig, I met a friend whom I haven't met for some time. Knew her since 2000 through the queerest of ways. Won't elaborate here, yet. So we were catching up in between copthorne and zouk on the pavement along the road. She tried to tell me to catch elizabethtown when it was showing, quite sure that I would like the soundtrack at least. But it was during a rather hectic period of time so I couldn't really find the time.

Ryan Adams pop into our conversation and we both agreed that to admit a liking for country music is not a good way of being "hip and happening".

Ok, so I like Ryan Adams and he is country. There, I said it. Now give me my stetsons partner, and ride with me into the sunset. yee ha!

ConcaveScream April 1st Launch Gig at Zouk

Desperate to get my hands on the tickets to the launch gig, I decided to play it safe and arrived outside Zouk at 8:15pm. Wasn't long before I found familiar faces. Mark Ow was there as well and was later introduced to his friends; Cheryl (or Sheryl?) and Spencer. Pin, under the impression that he could get himself in free (yay!) found out that the event needed club members to pay (boo!). Mark's fren was super kiasu and went straight between the barricades to queue. Which caused a little panic as the crowd, paitence bated by the waiting, wanted to get into the club.

The band played a set that went on for slightly more than an hour or so I thought. And comparing this gig to the Baybeats free concert, the band certainly delivered more tracks. Simple mathematics would show that each song was worth more than $1 as the tickets were $15 each.

The concave scream still sounds the same all these years. much as they want to say they have changed, they have this trademark sound that despite all the changes in the line up in terms of the bassist and drummer, pann and sean were the anchor and continue to drive a sound that sounds like early U2, some Echo and the Bunnymen, a smatter of Cocteau Twins...Sean doesn't have the best of voices but it works for the songs. The sound in Zouk probably could be better engineered because they definitely sounded better in the open air compounds of the amphitheatre outside esplanade. Their songs probably fitted better in a bigger compound. Some bands were just built for the outdoors.

They went through a number of track from their new album Horizons, before a rewind to earlier songs from Erratic. Midway through, they played Fiction from Three as well. One of the best received songs was Driven which was a hit in the local airwaves. They closed with the title track of their latest album, which was the same closing song for the Baybeats gig.

They did return for encore of course.

Spotted amongst the crowd were the members of the observatory. Victor, current bassist for the obs was from concave scream originally. andy yang, current bassist for concave scream is the designer of the obs' second album as well as the current concave scream album, horizons. Sujin Thomas was around somewhere as well.

When everything ended, you could see the band keeping their equipment. To which, Spencer remarked, was really unglam. Oh well, local bands, don't have a huge team of roadies yet.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Some kind of April Fool

Tonight's the launch gig for Concaves Scream's new album, Horizons. You can find publicity everywhere. Their blog, their band site, and on Zouk's site as well because that's where it'll be held.
It's 1st April and that's the date of the launch gig.

April's Fool.

Maybe that can explain why the timing for the launch gig is not really confirmed.

From their blog, the publicity poster says 8:30pm.

And when you go over to their band websitem you get this:

Finally you got to the Zouk site and you get this:

And the worse thing is this, being the procrastinator that I am, I completely forgot about buying the tickets. So thanks to Zouk who will be selling more tickets at the door (no prices indicated), I can still get them. I just don't know what time to start queueing GDI!