Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A song that escaped your radar

Hamburg Song

I'd like to bring a little light
To shine a light on your life
To make you feel loved

No, don't wanna be the only one you know
I wanna be the place you call home

I lay myself down
To make it so, but you don't want to know
I give much more
Than I'd ever ask for

Three Years Ago....on this night

It was the day after Deepavali of 2003. Ministry of Manpower announced that following a counter-check with the Indian Almanac, there was a mistake in declaring the Hindu festival of light on Thursday 23 October 2003.

It was later revised to Friday 24 October 2003.

The Mac OS X Panther was released on this day.

I was at Zouk with the usual regular people. It was Juice Magazine's 5th Anniversary. I had just attended a Solemnisation Ceremony in which I was the emcee. A very lousy one.

I was thrown into the pool.
That was the Pan Pacific Hotel pool.
So I had to get home to get change.

I can't for the life of me remember who the DJ at Zouk on that night was..

But that doesn't matter.

Because the following day (it was past midnight), V and I got together.

The Prestige

A man's reach exceeds his grasp

So says Nikola Tesla, wonderfully played by David Bowie in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige.

It all starts with a question.

What is the price you're prepared to pay to get to where you want to be.

The Prestige seems to be saying something. That the world is made up of a people with varying amounts of style and substance. Christian Bale plays a magician with substance. Hugh Jackman is the one with style. However, in order to succeed, you need more than just style or substance.

You need alot of determination (the relentless pursuit of perfection - like a Lexus), like picking yourself up again and again, even though your wife died, you lose two of your digits, your opponent acquired a super new trick, your opponent getting more of the limelight....

You need alot of resolve (but not the type of resolve feebly repeated by George "dubya" Bush), like willing to kill yourself over and over again each night, chiselling off two of your digits, pretending to be a limp just so that you can hide a giant goldfish bowl in between your knees (you gotta watch the movie), living the rest of your life as a double of somebody else, forsaking your loved ones, sacrificing your loved ones, sacrificing yourself...

You need alot of support (not the underwire bra), like from family, twin brothers, your-duplicated-self, aging Englishmen (Michael Caine), mad scientists, jilted lovers....

And one must always know that the climb to the top is a lonely one. And often, those who are closest to you will get hurt the most...

A man's reach exceeds his imagination

While the rivalry between the two magicians may be fictional.....the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison was real. In fact, that American swine (Edison) cheated the poor Serb (Tesla) when the latter was working for about it here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

For Sale! Olympus 5060wz

Anybody interested in buying a second Olympus 5060w?

Bought in Sep 2004. Still in excellent condition with no visible wear and tear.
Comes with 32mb xD card, 1 original battery and 1 OEM battery, charger, camera strap, camera bag, battery charger, usb cable, cd-rom with Olympus software, original box.

Price was then SGD1499. Willing to part at your price. Be reasonable and we can negotiate!

The C-5060 Wide Zoom is a high performance 5.1-megapixel digital camera that features a 4x wide-angle zoom lens with 27mm to 110mm equivalent coverage. The C-5060 Wide Zoom is a compact camera with a rugged, black, magnesium alloy body that measures a mere (4.6" long x 3.4" high x 2.6" wide, and weighs just 15.2 ounces (without battery or media).

For photographers who want optimum results in a wide variety of settings, the easy-to-use Scene Programs on the mode dial provides fully automatic exposure adjustments for Night Scenes, Portrait, Landscape Portrait, Sports, and Landscape photography. Eight programmable "MyMode" settings enable users to assign frequently used settings for quick and easy access. The C-5060's hot-shoe allows an external flash to be connected without the need for cables.

It builds on the feature set of the popular C-5050 Zoom and adds a fully articulated color LCD and improved processing speed. The multi-position LCD for optimized image viewing allows photographers to swivel the LCD in multiple directions: upward from the camera body and swiveling right or left to shoot from the hip or to get the perfect over-the-head shot, or even set up a self- portrait. It also conveniently rotates to hide the LCD and protect it from getting damaged.

The camera takes two types of memory media - the xD-Picture Card or CompactFlash Type I or II including microdrives - and can hold both media cards simultaneously offering flexible storage options.

Read the reviews from dpreview, cnet, dcrp, imaging resource and Steve Digicams.

V's coming home! =) But I won't be around Y_Y

V's been traveling a whole lot this year. I can't really remember all of the trips but not all were pleasant. This one to Vietnam, I don't know. Perhaps it was so unpleasant that she didn't even bother telling me about it.

Previously when she came back from Hong Kong, I gave her U*SA*HA*NA. Blogged about this bunny from Sanrio here, here and here.

I also hinted some weeks ago about these suction cup angels thingamajik. They are such an angel aren't they? Duh....

I don't know why but I bought all the available designs. They were selling them at Takashimaya during the Teachers' Day period. V and I happened to walk past them and they caught her attention.This one above looks like s/he's sleeping on a banana....weird..

They were suppose to be given to her when she returns but since I'll be away, looks like these girls will have to wait even longer.

Knights of Cydonia - Muse

You wanna know what happens when Yuen Wo Ping collaborates with Quentin Tarantino to film a spaghetti western together. No, not Kill Bill. Think Stephen Chow, by way of Kung FU along with cowboy cliches and shaoline fist fights.

Come ride with me
Through the veins of history
I'll show you how god
Falls asleep on the job

And how can we win
When fools can be kings
Don't waste your time
Or time will waste you

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My List

It's been 5 weeks since the last phone call. The first month was easy. Easier than she'd thought.

"The first month is always easy dear, it gets worse from then on." cautioned her closest girlfriend.
"But that's also why you have friends like me." she continued.

They didn't actually have a breakup. There wasn't any tear-drenched scenes. Neither was there any screaming or shouting. It was a calm ebb of emotions brought about perhaps by time.

The past week had been terribly difficult to get through. Predictably so but still how does one actually prepare for such?

She has never imagined her wedding. In fact, she is bemused by the vividness of her girlfriends' descriptions of theirs. Halter necks, spaghetti straps and tubes. Square, sweetheart, scoop or v. Silk satin organza, duchess silk satin or silk chiffon. White, pearl white or ivory? That is just for the wedding dress. There is still the dinner gown and then some.

She wonders about the reasons. She hadn't even seen it coming.

"Sometimes there are no reasons. Maybe he just needs the space." chorused the girls who were with her two Fridays ago at a dinner to cheer her up.

She searched for his name on her mobile. The familiar sequence of buttons she had to press came to her almost like second nature. She was about to press the "CALL" button when she hesitated and pressed "CANCEL" instead.

Just as she was about to place her mobile down, she heard a familiar ringtone. One that was designated for him. The mobile screen displaying a name she had seen just seconds earlier. Experiencing a sudden surge of joy which was almost immediately overcome by an uncertain gloom which pervaded her.

She vacillated between answering and letting it continue.

Finally when she decided to answer, she allowed the mobile to ring one more time before picking it up.


"Hello, it's me...."

Why Do I Keep Counting

The haunting romance of a life unlived.

He breathes out billows of smoke after he takes another drag from the cigarette. His second in as many hours. He watches the smoke as it leaves the hot glow of the burning end. At first a steady stream that pillars upwards but as the smoke catches the wind, it breaks into a turbulent swirl.

He remembers his absent father. The promises broken mostly. Eagerly waiting on Sunday mornings for that promised made mid-week of a trip to the beach or the amusement park. He learnt to stop waiting by the time he turned 10.

He remembers the last girl he had been with. He had orchestrated the eventual break up to make it look like it was a case of irreconcilable differences while in actual fact he always had a problem with committment. Even though this was his own doing he does dream of settling down.

He changed jobs three times this year and is about to submit his resignation letter tomorrow. He was getting rather good at it. His first two letters were crafted carefully to explain his reluctance to stay not because of the boss, his job or the working environment. Instead he wrote of his intention of seeking greener pastures and getting as much exposure as possible while he was still young. The letter, his fourth, presently sitting calmly on his workdesk does not even occupy a page fully. The letterhead, formalities like "Dear Sir" and "Yours Sincerely" and set margins already dominated the greater part of the page.

He moves to light another cigarette. Clasping his lips firmly around the filter and sucking in slightly as he press down his thumb to ignite the lighter. He brings the flame to the cigarette and then his cheeks collapsed evidently as he inhaled. He blinked away a tear that had intractably welled up when he exhaled.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

NTU Lecturer shares survey comment

I find the comment "no grass on the busy road no hair on the clever head" extremely witty.

I cannot talk with my GF in your lecture. Shit!

Movie and Theatre - nothing to do with it

In Ass Tee Life! section today they're telling us who won the Young Artist Award.

Yo Shao Ann - was awarded for his technical work in theatre. Since 1993! But I'd always thought he was a teacher. Can't remember VJ or VS. The one time I saw his name credited was in Broadway Beng. But, really, I haven't been frequenting the theatre or performing arts scene.

Kelvin Tong - was awarded for his work in movie-making I'd guess. He's a Victorian too.

And why is it that even though the features of Devon Aoki, when viewed singly are so ugly but when they are put together as an ensemble on her face....they become beguilingly attractive. She's got this totally unique look on her. She's got a sad pout (I personally find that appealing), eyes that don't scream "public relations!".... maybe I just dig her the way Kate Moss must have when she apprenticed Devon.

And Scarlett Johansson.....haven't we been seeing her a tad too much these coming weeks. The Black Dahlia, Scoop and The Prestige.....ok, Hugh Jackman as well but don't really care about that. I think she's falling out of favour with me. Not that she or anyone cares. I can't stand having older men showing interest in her. Well, by older men I was being general. Specifically, Woody Allen.

I thought the conversation with her on stage for the first time was really Woody Allen's way of saying "I wanna fuck you." Woody tried to hide this (he is the director afterall) by making a parody out of that few lines, you'd know, if you'd watched the movie. The one that went about how he really loves her, how she is a fine example of her race blah blah. And when they were in the Indian restaurant talking about her being his daughter, man, that was so blatant. Woody Allen DID marry his own daughter.

Ok, it sickens amuses me to know that Ho Yeow Sun is from VJ. And so is Adam Khoo...

Sony Bravia Ads

The Bravia range of Sony TVs had to top their previous bouncing rubber balls video. For those who've yet to see this ad, you can watch it on youtube (now owned by google).

And they just up the ante with another zero special effects ad that only serves to show what great direction and dedication to craft is all about.

Oh, and the inclusion of a clown in suit running away....that's just hilarious! Too much! Even for a clown!

Read My Mind

Despite myself, my beliefs and my intentions, I am unable to get out of my daily funk.

I wear a frown to bed and snooze to the sound of alarm from the wonky speaker of my mobile. I climb up from the futon which has been my bed for the past months, refusing to sleep on my own bed so that I can feel more comfortably alienated. I believe the opposite of love isn't hate but apathy and strangely it is becoming a second nature. This apathy.

I splash the tepid water on my face to drain the weariness of that has begun to claim my shoulders as hosts. I peer cautiously, in quiet anticipation, at my reflection in the mirror. Everyday. I wished the day would go away.

So I drag my feet across the estate to my car pool with music plugged in. The short foot journey offering only sufficient time for two songs at most. My own 7 mins and 48 seconds. Or thereabouts. Until I get to his car.

Then the ride begins. With engaging dialogue to make myself appear normal. Ready. For the day. Different from the reflection I had seen earlier in the mirror.

I wear this mask and it doesn't come off until I wear another. And another until I get to be alone again. The masks keep changing but not until then the music keeps me company. It's easier to change than to explain.

My comely smile will disarm you. My nonchalance will put your guard down. My readings of all your minute gestures, your feeble attempts to hide your darting eyes, that lingering look which lasted just a little bit longer than normal, the dilation of your pupil - never shared; as I make assessments day after day, evaluating and re-evaluating.

I can fake an interest and you can't tell. I know when to have the appropriate nods, the occasional laugh and throwback of my head. I mimic your facial expression to gain your trust. I don't mean harm but I don't want any of you to feel slighted.

And when night falls, I don't hurry to sleep. It comes in to claim me. Like I don't really belong to my conscious state.

Then when I sleep, I secretly wish that I had slept earlier. And when I hear the first note from my mobile and stir from sleep, the frown comes back on.

Fraggle Rock - The Movie

I'm sure many remember Fraggle Rock!

Dance your cares away,
Worry's for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work your cares away,
Dancing's for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We're Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

Dance your cares away,
Worry's for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock!

They are gonna be made into a movie! From CNN: Link

Talking about such childhood memories....was telling you abou the Transformer movie some months back.

Watch the trailer of Transformers: The Movie here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


saw the following on a friend's msn tonight~

do not argue with an idiot
you will argue at the lowest level
and lose to them
because of their experience

so clever!

surf stopping

My sister's blog brought a smile to my face.

I like!


For Posterity - as intended

Playlist - 18

Deckchairs And Cigarettes The Thrills
爱情正书 Stephanie Sun
Half The World Away Oasis
Manhattan Skyline Kings Of Convenience
Tattoo Joseph Arthur
Heartbeats José González
Good Times Jim O'Rourke
Look What You've Done Jet
Sunset Soon Forgotten Iron And Wine
Time of Your Life Green Day
Iris ( Acoustic ) The Goo Goo Dolls
Name (Acoustic) Goo Goo Dolls
I Will Follow You Into The Dark Death Cab For Cutie
Who Let in the Rain Cyndi Lauper
Thirteen Wilco
爱情字典 Stephanie Sun
天黑黑 Stephanie Sun
Angels Robbie Williams
Have You Forgotten Red House Painters
For Me This Is Heaven Jimmy Eat Word
Boys Don't Cry (acoustic) The Cure
Wires Athlete
Dong Feng Po 周杰倫
Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part Ryan Adams
真的 张韶涵
过敏 杨丞琳
暧昧 杨丞琳
左边 杨丞琳
可爱 杨丞琳
习惯 杨丞琳
珊瑚海 周杰倫
枫 周杰倫
那女孩对我说 Yida
Collide Howie Day
Thoughts Of Mary Jane (Alternate Version) Nick Drake
Somewhat Off The Way Dogs Die In Hot Cars
蓝天 黄义达
A Place Aside Beth Orton
Natasha Rufus Wainwright
Goodbye My Lover James Blunt
Something Nice Stina Nordenstam
King Of Pain Alanis Morrissette
I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain Tim Buckley
Lover, You Should Have Come Over Jeff Buckley
Fade Into You Mazzy Star
The Fox in the Snow Belle & Sebastian
Beautiful Belle & Sebastian
Sand River Beth Gibbons & Rustin' Man
I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine Beth Orton
Dolphins (with Terry Callier) Beth Orton
No Distance Left To Run Blur
To The End Blur
Sweet Song Blur
Amie Damien Rice
The Shining Badly Drawn Boy
Newborn Elbow
Shining Light Ash
Silent Sigh Badly Drawn Boy
Switching Off Elbow
Nothing Precious At All Stereophonics
Exit Music (For a Film) Radiohead
Numb Sia
Set The Fire To The Third Bar Featuring Martha Wainwright Snow Patrol
Run Snow Patrol
She Just Wept Starsailor
White dove Starsailor
By The Sea Suede
The Wild Ones Suede
Kiss Goodbye Wang Lee Hom
Passenger Seat Death Cab For Cutie
The Lake Antony & The Johnsons
Wake Me Up When September Ends Green Day
Cripple And The Starfish Antony & The Johnsons
Sunset Soon Forgotten Iron And Wine
Such Great Heights Iron And Wine
Letter To Elise The Cure
Mad World Gary Jules
Blue Sky Blues Ryan Adams
What Else Is There Royksopp
The Dress Looks Nice On You Sufjan Stevens
Long Time Coming The Delays
Major Leagues Pavement
Ghost Ship In A Storm Jim O'Rourke
Roads Portishead
Misread Kings Of Convenience
Stone Unbelievable Truth
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses U2
Luv Travis
Your Cloud Tori Amos
I Don't Like Mondays Tori Amos
Galapogos Smashing Pumpkins
Thirty-Three Smashing Pumpkins
...Said Sadly Smashing Pumpkins
Last Song Smashing Pumpkins
My Blue Heaven Smashing Pumpkins
Rewind Stereophonics
Let It Die Feist
Pills The Perishers
My Funny Valentine Chet Baker
千里之外 周杰伦
Midnight In A Perfect World (Gift of the Gab Remix) DJ Shadow
夜的第七章 周杰伦
Chinese Translation M. Ward

Monday, October 16, 2006

Typically....I don't stay down for long

There was a time, older than the present, when the wrinkles around the corner of my eyes appear only when I smile. Now they disappear only when I'm aghast.

I've decided to clear my iPod nano of all these negative songs. Before I do that, I'll post all the songs inside this playlist named 18 on my blog. For posterity.

I'm gonna load the nano with stuff like the following:

Disco 2000 - Pulp
Park Life - Blur
We're Young - Supergrass
Near Wild Heaven - REM
A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton (love the piano, reminds me of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde)

Sappy Love Songs
Something Nice - Stina Nordenstam (and when I sometimes suddenly remember your smile)
Passenger Seat - Death Cab For Cutie ("do they collide?" I asked and you smiled)
Northen Sky - Nick Drake (but now you're here, brighten my northen sky)
My Blue Heaven - Smashing Pumpkins (just Molly and me, and baby makes three)
I Melt With You - Any version, Jason Mraz will do. Or Nouvelle Vague (making love to you was never second best!)

I think we all choose how we live. Those who can't. Well, they're sick. Mentally. Those who can, why should we choose to be miserable? Leave the misery to inspire the tortured artists. It's hard enough to get by so why make it worse?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

One Fine Day

When I feel that I need the peace and solitude that badly, I will head here.

Paradiso Village situated on Pulau Cubadak.

All the things I detest....I will not necessarily almost like

There are days when Juliet is tied down by work that she just cannot afford the time to send a text message. Guess what? A message as simple as "Busy." is enough to convey the thought behind. It's like the handwritten letters of yesterday. Ethan is of the opinion that a handwritten letter is such a precious commodity and it really don't need to be long. Because the time and effort put into writing the letter, sealing it in an envelop and sending it off to the address written in front with the stamp stuck on the top right corner is enough for me.

But these days, nobody writes letters anymore. When was the last time you placed a stamp on your tongue to get the glue going? Ethan can't remember.

It's so easy to take things for granted. Ethan has learnt to do that well. It makes disappointments easier to handle. It manages expectations. It bodes well for healthy living. It dilutes all the bad things. As well as the good.
In the same vein, Juliet has learnt to wear a smile to hide her weary face. To laugh at the appropriate moments as if she is being attentive. To appear preppy when in actual fact the passing of the day had already worn her patience thin. And left her nerves frayed.

I think everyone would have gone through those busy days.

When we woke up that morning
We had no way of knowing,
That in a matter of hours
We'd change the way we were going.
Where would I be now if we'd never met?
Would I be singing this song
To someone else instead?
I dunno
But like you said
Something changed.


Singapore's gonna become a giant hotspot next year under the Wireless@SG programme. During the first two years, the basic packages provided by iCell, QMax and Singtel will be free. Thereafter the companies have the option of continuing the free service should they choose to.

The targeted users of this wireless broadband network are broadly classified as "people on the move". Indeed...Anyway, I decided to think what are the likely news that will arise following the start of this programme.

I feel that it's totally unfair that Starhub and M1 are out of the market. Right now, VoIP is so huge and heavy internet users all have a Skype account. True to the site's motto, The Whole World CAN Talk For Free. Singtel will get a chunk of the market together with iCELL and QMax. As it is now, some phone owners are already replacing normal phones with VoIP-ready phones.

There oughta be a whole lot more public irritants as well.

Besides VoIP users using "Skype on the move", there will be those who will use the wireless broadband for "porn on the move" and start watching downloadable porn or surf porn sites on the move. It'll be "sexual harrasment on the move" as well cause imagine having to sit next to a group of smelly teens crowding around a laptop trying to catch a glimpse of some internet porn star. Then there might be those late night rides where the chee kor pek opposite shows some innocent girl what he was viewing on his PDA. Even when this is done in privacy, we should expect public toilets for males to have queues forming. Not a common sight.

Other irritating possible scenarios will be "video chat on the move" where people just start using webcam in the public and start chatting really loudly about how boring the train/bus ride is. Complaining how people around him are looking at him weirdly. Probably more laptop/pda robberies as well.

But still it'll be cool to have wireless broadband around the town centres in Singapore. So you can check product reviews, get information on where to eat, know the best prices for goods and

This one's on request

A couple of friends couldn't make it for Marc and Rachel's solemnisation yesterday.

It's a weird thing, this "solemnisation" business. Because after "solemnisation", you're officially married. But Chinese Singaporean couples may still have a wedding banquet after. Sometimes this banquet can take place a few years after. And also, the lamest way to propose or hint of a marriage proposal is to ask the wife-to-be if she would like to apply for a HDB flat together. These government flats are opened for balloting only to married couples or those over 35.

Not sure how Marc asked Rachel.

The dinner was at Boon Lay Raja Restaurant and the buffet lunch spread was fantastic. We (ah pui, fullscreamriot, yve and ben, me) all had second helpings. There was fried ee-foo noodles, black pepper chicken, pork ribs (pai ku wang), salmon salad, fish with celery, oat-coated deep fried prawns and for desserts there was fruit cocktail and yam paste. Didn't have room for dessert...

Ok, I tried taking some pictures but being at the back of the room meant that I couldn't get a good angle on most shots.

For example:

Marc and Rachel Solemnisation
Find Marc and Rachel.

Marc and Rachel Solemnisation
Finally! Marc's in a black suit, white pin-striped shirt and no tie. You can make out Rachel's pearly whites as well. She was smiling most of the time.
Marc and Rachel Solemnisation
After much jostling, with the chairs mostly, I got a better view of the lovely couple.
It was great getting to know Marc through V cause of his passion for clubbing. He's toned down a bit these months. As had everyone else. Maybe age is catching up?
Marc and Rachel Solemnisation
Marc and Rachel get off their seats and proceeded to sign the papers and do some sompa-ing. We got ready with some crackers so that we can pop them at the right moment.
Marc and Rachel Solemnisation
So who amongst these three will fall victim to the lure of holy matrimony next?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Home on Saturday

I'm watching Guess Guess Guess on Channel U because there's Rainie Yang on it. She's coming for the 933 music award show. There's a new hostess on Guess Guess Guess.

But Rainie Yang is still on the show. So it's still worth spending the hour or so watching it.


I remember chatting about this mindlessly on the way home in my colleague's car last Monday or Tuesday.

The above is an excerpt from an email that was meant for internal circulation within Morgan Stanley by Andy Xie which led to this Chief Economist from being "asked to leave" his job as well the jobs of two other employees who allegedly were the ones who leaked the email to the public. Now contrast it with an Australian news article that came out in July this year:

A corollary of Singapore's reluctance to sign an extradition treaty with Indonesia is its apparent lack of fussiness about the sources of the funds attracted to its banking sector.

Singaporean officials make all the right noises when it comes to monitoring illicit funds. But there is a perception that in practice Singapore is not fully meeting international expectations and obligations. One person involved in monitoring international money flows for a Western government told me last week that the results of Singapore's efforts to date were disappointing.

And a senior fund manager in the region had this to say: "Singapore has truly become the global centre for parking ill-gotten gains. The private banking teams are huge and in practice ask almost no questions (compared with the branches elsewhere, including Switzerland).

You know? Fuck that. If there's money to be made there, I hope I won't be in a dilemma. Oh and notice nobody actually sued the paper. Remember what our government said?

Bought a little something for FullScreamRiot

I was browsing around Funan IT Mall a month ago and chanced upon this nifty little gadget:

Not too sure what the German writing is on about. But I have an idea that it should say something like "Hands-Free Lights" or to similar effect.

Take a long hard look at the guy on the box.

Compare him with one of the Hartnoll brothers. (Phil and Paul Hartnoll forms the Orbital) He looks just like the Hartnolls! I suppose the Orbital, having decided to quit the music scene have succumbed to the pressures of modern living and hence are "endorsing" a product. Gotta pay for the taxes, feed the missus and chase the lassess. Ok, I'm joking. But they do look rather similar. The first person whom I thought might need this was fullscreamriot. After numerous "headlining" gigs where he provided the visuals, he together with Bento are now regular fixtures at the monthly Sirens nights at Zouk. He is just about the only friend I know who might need a "hand-free lights" device. So I'm gonna pass it to him tomorrow at Marc and Rachel's solemnisation lunch.

More pics!

I absolutely love the Stanley Yellow!

Check out the powerful beam of light! Yeah, well. Kind of powerful. I mean, I wouldn't advise staring at it for more than 5 secs otherwise you'll start to see crazy lights everywhere.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Faithfully Undecided

I just caught The Departed.

I was not expecting the movie to be any better than the original Hong Kong trilogy.

I was not disappointed.

Give me Tony Leung and Andy Lau anytime.

The storyline changed. By a little but i thoroughly hated the ending. Yes. Hated.

Just like how I so much more preferred the original cut of Infernal Affairs. Andy Lau got to walk off scot-free. The China market's "alternate" ending had Andy Lau being led away by the police. Personally I feel that the "evil person gets away" ending was better. It fits the chinese title much better.


It is from Buddhist scriptures and in it there are explanations for the various levels of hell where a soul has to go through. This place, the chinese title to the movie, refers to the worst place in hell where you will be in eternal damnation. And if Andy were to be led away by the police, he would have "paid his dues", so to speak. However if he were able get away, he will be tormented by his guilt and fear, perhaps for the rest of his life.

There is a religious skew in Martin Scorsese's Departed which I particularly liked. Matt Damon as a young altar boy in a Catholic upbringing and how the Catholic teachings are contrasted with the rhetorics of Jack Nicholson.

Right, Jack Nicholson. He stole the show didn't he? Unlike Eric Tsang who allowed room for Tony and Andy to hog the limelight, Jack Nicholson, in a typical Jack Nicholson manner, dominated the movie. To me, that's a shame. Mark Wahlberg was the only other actor who displayed some inspired thespian craft. Pity that his character (not in the original Hong Kong version) had to kill off Matt Damon. Left me wondering why the movie ended that way. Why did Mark Wahlberg kill Matt Damon? Because he realised that Matt Damon was the "rat"? Avenging his superior played by Martin Sheen? Or that he was also a under cover for Jack Nicholson who infiltrated the state police and was avenging Jack Nicholson's death? This is implausible because he would have ratted on Leonardo di Caprio. Or was he avenging Leonardo di Caprio? Hence the ending, a rather cheesey one, with a rat running across the balcony ledge against the Boston State House with the golden dome was, erm, rather cryptic.

All in, the movie was more than watchable. The plot was allowed more time to developed. Hence the reasons for mental stress on Leonardo di Caprio was more appreciable and obvious than Tony Leung's. But I found the original Hong Kong production a lot more sleek and better characterisation by the actors, especially Andy Lau and Tony Leung. The psychiatrist played by Kelly Chen was tonnes prettier than whoever was playing her role in The Departed. I liked how the psychiatrist in The Departed was written to have a three-way relationship with Matt Damon and Leonardo di Caprio.

I like the song Comfortably Numb (covered by Van Morrison original by Pink Floyd) which was used somewhere rather appropriately.

Princess Poofie liked the track I'm Shipping Up To Boston by the Dropkick Murphys. A Boston band with Celtic influence.

*edit* - Mark Wahlberg plays the role of Anthony Wong actually. Sort of....I just re-watched Infernal Affairs. The Martin Sheen character in The Departed died early in Infernal Affairs. The other who was at the interview session to recruit Tony Leung as a mole was Anthony Wong. But in Martin Scorsese's remake, Martin Sheen died the same way Anthony Wong died in Infernal Affairs; off the building. Confused? Then don't bother hahaha....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Creative Xmod - Review

I do not know if I should believe the store manager at the Creative Shop at Plaza Singapura.

Let me tell you a story.

A Story
So I was walking around Plaza Singapura after dinner when I decided to check out the Creative Shop. I had recently thought of buying the Creative Xmod which is this nifty little gadget that can supposedly boost the sound quality of even the palest of mp3. And if the audiophile or purist in you thought that by listening to compressed music from CDs is a compromised, well, the Xmod can help as well. Ok, I'm a sceptic when it comes to such claims. Better than studio quality? You sure?

So I had to get one.

I am still deciding whether or not I should believe the store manager at the Creative Shop at Plaza Singapura.

Like "that which cannot be named"
Because I couldn't find the Xmod in the shop, I decided to ask the store assistant. She looked left and to her right before telling me in a hushed tone that yes, she has heard of the Xmod. Cool. Now I feel like a criminal for asking her if the store had the Xmod cause I saw it online. The Xmod came across like some piece of porn. I must have outraged her modesty by asking if she carries it. I meant to ask if the store carries it. Oh well.

She directed me to her Store Manager. He looked around, checked his six and, again in hushed tones, whispered that he was due to set up the Xmod and get it ready tomorrow. The proper promotion was going to start only on 12 Oct 06. A Thursday. Like a typical movie. Premiering on a Thursday. And that was why non was on display.

He went to the store room and brought it out. I was asking him if it was as impressive as was boasted on the website. He decided to risk it all by trying out a set. Damn, evil people. The laptop he was working on was already plugged into one.

The Review
I just had to use it immediately right? So in a rather un-expert manner, I decided to test the Xmod out using DJ Shadow's GDMFSOB featuring Roots Manuva. Deep bass with crispy hi-hats mixed in with spacey bits and bloops.

The Product
Let's take a look at the packaging and contents:

Le Box

Le Box de Inside

Le Contents Part Un

Le Contents Part Deux
(L - R: bag, Xmod module, supplied earphones, USB cable, manual)

The Basics
There is a Line In as well as a Line Out which means that the output can go to a pair of speakers (albeit through a 35mm jack). There is also the headphones Line Out.

The magic is in the X-FI 24-bit Crystalizer which restores vital elements of sound of CD and mp3 quality music. IT does this by analyzing the audio, identifying the elements that are restricted, damaged or diminished during the compression process and re-masters them by selective audio enhancement. The X-Fi CMSS24-3D works by artifcially expanding the soundstage and thereby creating a virtual surround sound setting. Voices are centred and ambient sounds spread across a wider soundstage.

Working with speakers, it'll be as if you're in the middle of a 5.1 surround sound system (almost lah) and the difference can really be felt using simple earphones. These features are not likely to be a favoured enhancements because it gives no control over the fidelity. Well, limited anyways. But to novice like me, haha, it's like an external soundcard.

The Sound
I am not sure how it works, but it does. I am no expert here. The Crystalizer and CMSS-3D can be customised to a level you want but turning the knob. The bevel-edge silver and chrome knob feels so good to use. If not for the weight (it's very light!), it actually looks like a piece of professional recording/playback equipment. Or at least how I imagined professional equipment should look. DJ Shadow's GDMFSOB starts to sound really really different. In fact when I turn the Xmod off to compare, I realise that the bass was actually rather murky and the treble was going off tangent in all directions. With the Crystalizer turned on, bass became deeper and tighter. The hi-hats were crisp and sharper.

Overall, go get this piece of silver-knobbed magic if you want to boost your compressed music. And it's going for only SGD$139. According to the store manager, there will be promotional discounts for i-trigue and other Creative speakers when you purchase an Xmod.

I can't believe it! I might be the first public owner of this wonderful gadget. Well, at least in Singapore. So I choose to believe the store manager, haha, no big deal actually....

ZoukOut 06

Same Same

But Different

Ferry Corsten, Pippi, Jazzy Jeff...more to follow...

be very very scared - Google Buys Over Youtube: GooTube

Google has done it again!

I once blogged about their intent for world domination. Click here.

I wasn't lying.

Read about the 1.65 billion buy over (all in stocks!) from the official Google Press Center.

See how Chad and Steve reacted to the news and what they have to say about it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

After the comes a song

I read the news about Anna Politkovskaya. She's unlike the other famous Anna (Kournikova). She's unlike that former tennis star because 1) she's got more least in the journalistic sense 2) she doesn't have got as nice a body 3) she's dead.

Her death reminded me of Dr David Kelly's case in 2003. Dr Kelly is a member of the B'ahai faith. So if he has an I.D tag and he is a SAF serviceman, it will read SXXXXXXXX Blood Type BAH.

David Kelly's body was found at Harrowdown Hill. Which reminds me of a song by Thom Yorke sans The Radiohead. It is found in the album The ERASER. I said that the album sucks. But tracks like Harrowdown Hill and Cymbal Rush really stand very well on their own.

The video for Harrowdown Hill is full of symbolism. But you don't have to be So here is the video for Harrowdown Hill.

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
To make it all right
So dry your eyes

Monday, October 09, 2006

Something tells me....I need this

This is the Creative Xmod.

Don't know how the hell it works. But if it really is as effective as what is claimed on the website....there is NO REASON WHY ANYBODY DON'T NEED IT.

Ok. There are about 467,789 reasons I can think of
But there are 5,892,902 counter reasons that I can rattle off the tip of my tongue.

I'll rush out a short blog - North Korea Nuclear Test

So it's official. (well....kind of. based on North Korean official reports and seismic records)

As at 1:36am GMT or 9:36am Singapore Time, North Korea supposedly conducted a nuclear test somewhere near Hwaderi. I'm sure it'll be a site for the filming of Nuclear Winter Sonata. Perhaps become a hot (radioactively) holiday location for Singaporeans looking for an alternative to Namiseom Island, where Winter Sonata was filmed.

Just a few observations.

Japanese Reaction Important
Shinzo Abe, the newly minted Japanese Prime Minister, will be scrutinised closely. His reactions will be evaluated and this is important because it sets the stage with which Japanese foreign policies (at least against North Korea) will be viewed.

Countries around the world issued statements like "provocative actions", "brazen act" and other adjectives. Singapore is "deeply concerned" by "such a rash and dangerously provocative act".

No Precedence No Solution
This is not a repeat of the India vs Pakistan Nuclear Test in 1998. Nor the French test in Mururoa atoll in 1996. The previous test did not contravene the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty simply because France is a recognised nuclear-weapons state and India as well as Pakistan are not members of the treaty.

Resistance Is Futile
Military action is unlikely (even under the United Nations Security Council Chapter 7 - ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION) because.... nobody can afford it. Nobody really wants it. Not South Korea. Not Japan. Not China. US? I'll come to that later.

Economic sanctions? The combined effort of South Korea and Japan will have limited effect should any declared economic sanctions be enforced. Economic sanctions imposed by China will have a bigger effect. >50% of North Korea resources come from China. And that's just declared by China. China needs North Korea to be a "rogue" state. I'll come to that later.

China (as with most other countries around the world) will urge North Korea to return to the 6 nation talks. China will definitely veto against any military action against North Korea. South Korea and Japan will never fire the first salvo. There will not be any unilateral military action against North Korea. US will not be able to sustain any prolonged military action in North Korea. South Korea will be reluctant to host the campaign. The political climate here is just different from the Middle East.

Yet Another Chinese Puzzle
So why is US so concern? Well, China can use North Korea as the reason for increasing her military might. But can the Republican beast take a knock after the the mess that is Iraq? And history forbids the Republican war horse to gallop into the peninsula. Remember Korea 1950-53? My guess is....this is a Chinese puzzle. Similar to the Iranian Chinese puzzle. A variation. Taiwan and the trouble across the Formosa Strait may acquiescence within this decade. No better way than to have state sponsored engines for weaponry growth. And there's hardly a more assured method than to provide the engines and maintain them yourself.

Simplistic View
So when North Korea does have nuclear weapons, China will get more nuclear weapons. US will get more worried about her global dominance. Simple relationship. There are all directly related.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

how you feeling these days?

You're Unique!

just like everyone else.

i'm single for the next three weeks! pick me! pick me!

Wild Mood Swings

This is the saving grace and it is found tucked right at the end of the album, Wild Mood Swings by The Cure.

There are many ways to love Robert Smith and his merrymen. Be it the way they merry instruments and noise, the cryptic lyrics that make sense only to you, the joy of finding undiscovered gems aside from the many hits from their many albums....

Without this track, the album would have been an utter disgrace.

If you've got something left to say

You'd better say it now
Anything but "stay"
Just say it now
We know we've reached the end
We just don't know how
"well at least we'll still be friends"
Yeah one last useless vow...

"there are different ways to live"
Yeah I know that stuff
"other ways to give"
Yeah all that stuff
But holding onto used to be
Is not enough
Memory's not life
And it's not love

We should let it all go
It never stays the same
So why does it hurt me like this
When you say that I've changed?
When you say that I've aged?
Say I'm afraid...

And all the tears you cry
They're not tears for me
Regrets about your life
They're not regrets for me
It never turns out how you want
Why can't you see?
It all just slips away
It always slips away

So if you've got nothing left to say
Just say goodbye
Turn your face away
And say goodbye
You know we've reached the end
You just don't know why
And you know we can't pretend
After all this time

So just let it all go
Nothing ever stays the same
So why does it hurt me like this
To say that I've changed?
To say that I've aged?
Say I'm afraid...

But there are long long nights when I lay awake
And I think of what I've done
Of how I've thrown my sweetest dreams away
And what I've really become
And however hard I try
I will always feel regret
However hard I try
I will never forget

I will never forget

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dog Tags - betcha didn't know that

Something which majority of Singaporean males will have. The I.D. Tag. Derogatively also known as the dog tag as it looks exactly like one. Functions differ but not significantly.

US I.D tags have information like surname, given name, social security number, blood type and religion.

UK I.D tags have what is referred to as the Big 6 - surname, initials, service number, date of birth, blood type and religion.

The information on the I.D tag is really important. Especially when you are dead, seriously wounded, in a state of unconsciousness, unable to speak, berserk, you know I could go on, but you should have caught my drift.

The surname/name/initials is really important. So that when they cut a tombstone for you, they know what is to be engraved on it. Otherwise you'd be like a million other ANONs around the world. I've got a colleague who's initials are K I and his surname is NG. Cool huh? K I NG. Then there is the classic S A TAN. The religion information will determine where your body ought to rest, and in which manner your funeral service should be conducted. But frankly, in a war situation, bodies get jumbled up pretty easily. And when everything is reduced to just mush and doesn't really matter anymore.

So to prevent bodies from mixing up I.D tags are given in pairs. This way, during the exigencies of war, when your body may not be extracted from the war zone, at least one of it will stay with the carcass that was formerly you, while your buddy, who will hopefully stay alive to find his way back to base camp hangs onto the other piece and surrenders the tag to the manpower officer of something.

Other information like blood type, drug allergy and such allow the doctors to provide the correct medical care for you. But information like drug allergy can be dangerous if they fall onto the hands of your enemy. Imagine you have a allergy to grains and nuts. Your enemy can then feed you with an Uncle Toby's muesli bar and watch in glee as you convulse and die a painful death. No bullets wasted. Free show some more. Or if you're like me, allergic to Celine Dion, they can tie me up and play back the video of "My Heart Will Go On" and listen to my plea for a quick and easier death.

Singapore Armed Force I.D tags have three basic information. Identity number, blood type and religion. If you have drug allergy or G6PD deficient, I suppose they will engrave it on the tag. SAF tags are issued in pairs, one a circular piece the other a oval piece. It comes with a black nylon cord. The idea is to tie the circular tag first and have the oval piece looped in a separate knotted section so that in the event that your buddy gotta leave your body behind, he can snap the circular tag from the cord and keep the oval tag with the body.

Identity number is pretty straight forward - SXXXXXXXX or TXXXXXXXX (for those born in the new millennia). As is the blood type. A, B, O and AB. Rhesus (+ or -) is also included. What is interesting is the three letter acronym for religion. Let's go through them. They are pretty interesting.

No Religion - NIL
Ok, this one needs not explanation. Except maybe why "No Religion" is NIL and not NOR. Just being anal.

Islam - MUS
Thanks to the father, the son and the holy Goh, we Singaporeans can recognise that MUS probably mean that the guy/gal is a MUSlim. And not Master of the ,UniverSe. You see, National Education, Social Studies and the Civics and Moral Education crap did pay off!

Buddhism - BUD
Come every lunar first and fifteenth day, Buddhist will offer lotus flowers. Well maybe not. But now that I've said it, it seems believable that they do offer lotus right? Hence the botanically-influenced three letter acronym. It may be mistaken by Navy Seals for Basic Underwater Demolition though....Or mistaken for a tag to exchange for a crate of Budweiser.

Hinduism - HDU
Who would have guessed? Again, thanks to National Education etc etc, we can hazard a guess that HDU means Hindu. And not Hiding Down Under. But what happens if Hindus are not Hindus but Hindoos instead? They would it mean that we should change it to HDO?

Catholicism - CTH
It's just not intuitive. It just isn't.

Seventh-Day Adventist - 7DA
Finally! A digit! Ok, no Kelloggs and Cornflake Girl jokes. They have Sabbath on Saturdays. So special. So their I.D tag also special. Got digit in three letter acronym. Which means it's technically not a three letter acronym cause there are only two letters. And a digit.

Christianity - CHR
It's just not intuitive. It just isn't.

Jehovah Witness - JWH
It's just not intuitive. It just isn't. What's worse is this. Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in bearing arms for any nation. So....why would they need an I.D tag for? Seriously now.....

Taoism - TAO
It's just SO intuitive. It just is.

Baha'i - BAH

Sikhism - SIK
No jokes on this one. However you shorten it, it still sounds right.

Judaism - JUD
How come it's not JEW or something. Oh, yah, not all Judaists are Jews and vice versa. But JEW would have been sweet but hey, JUD (hahaha.....super lousy joke there) works to I guess.

Other Religion - OTH
Ok, so imagine Tom Cruise is a chao recruit and he collects his I.D tag. Instead of seeing a "SCI" for Scientology, he gets a OTH. It doesn't mean "Other Than Hell" or "OnTo Hell" for having a weird religion....It just mean Others. Like in your Identity Card, when you are not Chinese, Malay or Indian, you must be Others. Sounds like an episode of Lost to me.

Which led me to wonder.....there are nine official religions in Singapore:
Hindu, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Bahá'í.

So how come there isn't a unique three letter thingie for Zoroastrian? Like ZOR? Or ZRT?

the week that went on

it's terribly irritating to come home from a 3 day 3 night sea exercise where the sea state wasn't exactly excellent coupled with the shortened number of hours of poor quality sleep and have a text message telling you that you've got base duty the next day.

one of the plus point of being more than a hundred nautical miles from Singapore (and the rest of the region) is the haze problem is virtually non-existent. but the sea state wasn't too good. got better as the days go by, perhaps i'd gotten used to it.

ah! the price of nationhood.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sweets and Chocolates

Bought some strawberry chocolates for V. She'll be heading for vietnam soon. So thought I'll be nice and buy some stuff for her.

The strawberry chocolate is from Meiji.

Check out Okashi Land - Apollo Island!

Some silly pictures of the box of treats:There are five designs. So I got them all....they taste the same though.

I'm forcing a story out of the designs. I believed when put in a sequence, it tells a story.

In typical Japlish:

Little YARROW likes to paint! Mummy PINKO likes Strawberry. They Love one other. In the house they stay. Mummy PINKO says, "The air is fresh outside." Little YARROW replies, "Let's go find a brand new day!"

The fine day of such good weather let's enjoy in a relax way. Mummy PINKO push the pram in heart of the love. Little YARROW says, "This is FUN! Could you show me the way to the cherry blossom lane?" Mummy PINKO replies, "New born baby! Be FREE! Let's find happiness.

When anyone is living, everyday there are various happenings. A happy thing. A sad thing. A hard day comes in the time for the short. But, anyone is living one day very hard in time. Let's water the seeds of tommorro [sic]. Imagine is fun to do. We do it every day and today too.

I live cheerful life of the time in everyday. We are enjoying our pleasant life with vigour in the way. The stillness of now Flows eternally within our chrysalis dream in the world reality. Nature is my wonder in the world. Strange and not able for my guess. You guess is right and I am right.

Standing to the ovation for myself I stand. You are luck everyday if you are every luck thinking what you think. We see things in that hate and heart. I'm favourite of these times. To replace my heart does not want too frequent. Past times I like so I like the present and ahead time.

Makes me want to grow stuff.
And wear funny chocolate hats.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Best Break Up Songs In The World.......EVER!

in no particular order...........

1) no distance left to run - blur

Its over
I knew it would end this way
I hope you're with someone
Who makes you feel
That this life
Is a lie

video link

2) broken heart - spiritualised

And I'm crying all the time
I have to keep it covered up
With a smile
And I'll keep on moving on
For a while
But I have a broken heart...

3) last goodbye - jeff buckley

This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it's over
Just hear this and then I'll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you'll ever know

video link

4) a place aside - beth orton

I suppose it must be true
There will always be a place aside
For you...

5) empty - the cranberries

Say a prayer for me
Help me to feel the strength I did
My identity
Has it been taken
Is my heart breaking on me

video link

6) let it die - feist

And after all
It won't take long
To fall in love
Now I know
What I don't want
I learned that with you

video link

7) chinese translation - m. ward

What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart
And how can a man like me remain in the light
And if life is really as short as they say
Then why is the night so long

video link

8) how do you keep love alive - ryan adams & the cardinals

What, what are the words
They use when they know it's over
"We need to talk," or
"I'm confused, maybe later you can come over"

video link

9) letter to elise - the cure

And every time I try to pick it upLike falling sand
As fast as I pick it up
It runs away through my clutching hands
But there's nothing else I can really do

video link
I just have to include one more video link here

10) so cruel - u2

Desperation is a tender trap
It gets you every time
You put your lips to her lips
To stop the lie

video link