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Give Me One Reason
Tracy Chapman & Eric Clapton

Saint 2.0

Sunday, December 30, 2007
flat, BMW & Dubai | 11:57 PM

Some strange things happened today.

#1. I went flat hunting with my family today. At the very first unit, I met an ex-student who lives there. How coincidental is that?! The flat was sold after our viewing of the second unit. A Nice place really. Pity.

#2 Strange but it happened! After coming out of the showers, I returned to my locker to find a key pouch on my gym attire. It looked like it had been neatly placed there and you will not miss it when you stand facing the locker. The BMW log emblazoned across the head of the key cried out for attention. Is this a gift from some kind soul? Surely I am entitled a little wishful thinking? Haha. I gave the pouch to the security uncle of course. The owner must be worried sick or at least s/he will be when s/he discovers the key missing!

#3 amazing incident - 2 friends and I came together in desperation to plan and find acommodation for our Dubai lag of our big trip in Jan. We had been too busy with work and the holidays to meet to talk about the trip. A colleague saw my plight on MSN and suggested I contact an ex-student whose parents are working there. I was hesitant but decided to give it a try. The sheer blessing that we were met with was just overwhelming to 3-a-little-desperate souls who are trying to work out travel plans in the Middle East. We were offered to put up at the family's guest room and the student's mom also suggested an intinerary we could really follow in our short stay in Dubai!

What an unusual day indeed!

Saturday, December 29, 2007
Hall 8 | 9:29 PM

Took this shot of the back of Hall 8, Expo, on my way back to the vehicle after service. I like the heavy bluish tone of the picture.

Friday, December 28, 2007
untangle #4 | 5:57 PM

Eeeyouuuuuu! Cut up my precious earphones to shorten the wires? I don't mind doing that to those lousy ones which had promised wonderful X & Y sound effects but deliver dismal audio results - surely not those pricey ones!

In my opinion, the heartache of leaking `kaching' (money!) is definitely well captured by the very fast-paced music that induces the feeling of "ganjiong"-ness (Hokkien word meaning being super anxious), making it a very simple and effective clip indeed!


complicated solutions | 5:37 PM

From the great big world...

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Butto was assassinated yesterday. Worldwide leaders condemn killers.

Landslides and floods in Java leaves many homeless.

Schools set ablaze in Thai South while the country embrace uncertainty in the wake of election results.

Back home...

1,1000 flats go on sale in Punggol and Yishun
Projects ready by 2011, signal to the market that there is adequate supply

Nicholas H, you are quite right when you say that Linkin Park's "Shadow Of The Day" seems to be the appropriate theme for these uncertain times. Thus I applaud the group's brave and sensitive take on world issues in their songs (which is why I think their latest offering is one of the best albums of 2007!).

At this point, two thoughts come to mind:

1) What we focus on, that becomes our reality.
I heard this mentioned from the pulpit. How true it is indeed. While we do not live wrapped up in the comforts and safety of our cocoon, we should also not embrace the negativities of the world events around us so much so that we slip into cynicism.

2) I am thankful for Singapore's leaders and for being born into this amazing land that is not plagued by natural disasters or dissident groups. It may be just a little red dot and boring, albeit that I can wake up the next day without having to fear it will be my last.

stop! | 12:12 PM

No pictures please! I'm not the flashy type!

Thursday, December 27, 2007
E*J | 9:07 PM

Dinner with 2 of my first batch of SAS boys, 2003 - Erwyn & Jonathan. Guys, what I said about moving on with our lives - we will see when that reality sets in.

His dad actually helps him maintain his hair - or so he claims! Don't try this at home with your parents if you are below 17. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007
shadow of the day | 4:31 PM

Linkin Park

I know Christmas is around the corner and everyone, like always, is supposed to be in a celebratory mood. In view of the events of this year (yes, there's much gloom and doom to bemoan over), I would think that it is wise to be sombre and reflect on th state of things in our world, lest we forget them. While we let our hair down at countdown parties or choose to spend this evening or tomorrow in the quiet company of close friends and loved ones, let's remember that the first Christmas was also beset with political turmoil and even the masacre of the innocents.

For reconciliation with our familes, friends and those whom we have not heard from for the longest time and hope for the most dire circumstances, happy holidays!


Sunday, December 23, 2007
untangle #3 | 7:08 PM

This is Untangle Number 3. To be screened with "Don't Cha" by the Pussy Cat Dolls. Simply replace some bits of the lyrics at the chorus, e.g.

Don't cha wish your girlfriend (was hot) SWALLOWS WIRES like me?
Don't cha wish your girlfriend was raw like me?
Don't Cha?

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was (raw) SO WRONG like me?
Don't Cha?

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was (hot) DUMB like me?
Don't cha wish your girlfriend was A FREAK like me?
Don't Cha?

No offence, gals, but this blonde is just so....dumb!

A clip that rides on the Dumb Blonde stereotype with a twist!


IT Fair@Sim Lim Sq | 6:38 PM

NEVER never, I repeat, NEVER buy electronics from the major stores like BEST Denki, Challenger, COURTS etc. Some of you may already know this : they mark up prices to extreme obscenity!

I just got back from the Fair at Sim Lim Square. What started off as a scouting trip for the Panasonic FX33 digicam ended up with a purchase at a great bargain (at least I think it is).

Let me try to illustrate my point. BEST advertised the model at $549 with an extra 4GB SD card thrown in. When I walked around to compare prices at Sim Lim, 2 shops were offering the basic pakage at around $450 after taxes. That's almost a $90 difference. I do not suppose the 4GB SD card cost so much to justify the extra $90, but it does prove that freebies offered by these big stores are NOT truly free - the cost is factored in and bourne by the consumer! Or perhaps we are just paying more because of the high overheads and rentals at the big malls. How awesome is that?!! Imagine the retail price at these major stores when the items are not on offer!

I hope to visit the bookfair at Suntec later. But I am quite tired from the trip to Sim Lim and the drizzle outside just makes me feel like staying home. I am determined to head out regardless.

A last word. Do STAY CLEAR of this retail shop on the ground floor of Sim Lim called Hai Chew. I met this obnoxious salesman who quoted me the marked up brochure price of FX33, $549 with minimal freebies. After I told him that other shops are offering a much lower price, he gave me this disgusted look. It was as if I had discovered his dirty little secret - by the way, it is no secret that some retailers rip foreigners off by jacking up prices! I did not bother to stay another minute at the shop and left, making it a point to note down its name on my handphone to publish it on my blog later. Remember, Hai Chew, whose literal translation means Sea Pearl in Chinese, offers nasty service and the bargains are dubious! No apologies if they are related to any of you readers.

So check your prices at Sim Lim when you are shopping for electronics. Do not fall into the Consumer Ignorance trap! Kudos to Isaac Pung for bringing up that terminology to my attention through your brother a month ago!

space | 6:31 PM

I like La Salle's new space.

Imagine that blue canvas being your only space.

Onlookers staring like I'm some legendary one from outer space.

love is free | 12:06 AM

Sheryl Crow

Make way Britney! Go sit at the childcare centre. Sheryl's back with a new song! And I can't wait for her new release in January! Sure hoping that the CD will be out before I fly away for good! Eh ei! Woohoo!


Friday, December 21, 2007
untangle #2 | 11:26 PM

Here's the second clip in the series. Once again, do share your thoughts.


sunshine galore! | 1:05 PM

I took a short drive out and was blasted by glorious sunshine! ARGGHHH! Don't get me wrong. I love a nice sunny day. It is just that I have to stay in to catch up on sleep later and I would rather head to the beach to blade or bike or kayak (sigh, haven't done that in a long while indeed).
See the stump at one of the branches of the tree on the left of the picture? That branch broke off and blocked the entire road about 2 weeks ago on this super windy evening. So it sort of potong-ed itself there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007
untangle #1 | 11:11 PM

The Cat

"Someone call the SPCA!" was my first response on my first sitting of the clip. I may even be disowned by the numerous cat-lover friends of mine.

I have like at least 5 wired applicances and accessories tucked in this inner pocket in my new Nike 90 bag which I use to trolley my laptop around. I know the fuss when it comes to extracting messy wires (amongst others) and untangling it!

But why the cat??? I uncoiled out my comic streak and thought they would pimp up the cat to a mean music machine or something! Instead they have to floss its insides and have the ends of the earphones take a rollercoaster ride and pop out through the you-know-what. Ouch! It's hahaha-eh-eh...ehhhh erm, erm, excuse me, ouch! painfully funny. But hey, now we know we can save on the floss and double up those pesky wires to save on the expendables in this world of rising costs!

Why don't you watch the clip and tell me what you think about it at the comments link.


piece of me | 5:14 PM

Britney Spears

Okay, hate it or love it. This is not the original album version. After checking out both versions of the MTV, I actually think it is impossible to miss the sad refrain behind the glamour of fame and money for some misguided stars through the glitzy images. Still, it is a great tune!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007
cool offer! | 5:35 PM

Those of you who've played with my Samsung MP3 Player and wireless headset, you know how cool the gadgets are.

Here's an offer the company is extending me. You can use it too. Click on the link below to access the voucher. Let me know if you want a hands-on trial of the player.

Untangle your life with an exclusive offer.
Save 15% (up to $52.35 *) on Samsung MP3 Player: YP-T10

I've posted some trial users' comments at the comments link. Go check them out!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
esplanade by night | 11:53 PM

I happened to be catching "Lord Of The Flies" at the Esplanade Studio with a dear friend and we walked onto the lookout area during the intermission. Truly I am impressed by what my N73 can do on the night mode sequence.

N Level Results 2007 | 3:59 PM

My N Level students did well!

1) Sankar - A2
--> this is an incredible feat for him who has bordered between passing and failing all the while!
2) Ameer - A2
--> well done!

3) Keith Leng - B3
--> he could've gotten an A if he had been more regular and focused.

Thanks guys, for the early Christmas gift! :)

packing | 3:48 PM

I did a lot of packing this holidays. Thanks to a kind teacher who decided to do away with her 2 Ikea shelves, they are now keeping one wall in my room looking real tidy (for once!).

Monday, December 17, 2007
beating iPod Nano? | 11:16 PM

After an earlier game of badminton and then helping Ms Seah clean up her homeroom, the group of us chatted over dinner at MacDonalds. Zul, Isaac and Matthew, like many, were intrigued by my T10 and wireless headset.

my grownup christmas list | 11:03 PM

Amy Grant

I grew up listening to this Christmas song and this, in my opinion, is the best version I've come across. Listen closely to the lyrics.


Sunday, December 16, 2007
Su's big day | 10:45 PM


Paris In Jail | 11:38 AM


I came across this mock-MTV of Paris' song and her extremely short stint in prison while searching for another MTV I had meant to put up on this blog.

Have a good laugh but be warned of a visually bizarre experience ahead!


Friday, December 14, 2007
Buckeroo | 10:07 PM

After helping a former university friend shift into his new school, the rest of us got a treat at this nice eatery tucked away at the outback of Sembawang called "Buckeroo". The food is very tasty. You will need a vehicle to get to this ulu area of Singapore!

I would rate the onion rings dish second to that at Tony Ramas'.

The hot buffalo wings were just nice on the tongue. Ours stood at a 3 on the spicey grade scale of 1-10. Next to it was a plate of fried juicy mushroos. They remind me of the succulent Potemallow mushroms I had in New Zealand a few years back. :)....

After our meal, we drove into the woods, past an abandoned mosque (which my friend mentioned is rumoured to be haunted...hmmm, another potential site for future exploration) until we came to this resort-style restaurant which overlooks the sea facing Johor. I must eat there some day real soon!


Thursday, December 13, 2007
orchard glow | 9:47 PM

The alluring sights of Orchard at night.

Seriously edible?

sushi no more | 9:29 PM

After this buffet, I will swear off sushi for a few months. Even the sushi items on the rotary belt became an eye and stomach-sore.

Alastair dipping the cold sushi into hot green tea to soften it.

Another eagar participant for my Samsung toys.


42.195 | 10:39 AM

"Finisher of 42.195km." That makes my mileage on the threadmill this morning look real insignificant.
Now as I sit at Spinelli cafe after breakfast and relax awhile over coffee, with "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol playing over my headphones, I perceive this moment to be really timely.
The path to greatness begins with small steps. I cannot remember who said that - perhaps it was Walt Disney or someone else.
My target - run a marathon in 2008!

put your records on | 10:19 AM

Corrine Bailey Rae

The sun is up today! So much for cloudy and wet days. It is actually the perfect time to head to Ubin to bike and do some exploration. :)


Wednesday, December 12, 2007
no sync | 11:19 PM

I tried to sync my Nokia handphone and Acer laptop with my Samsung wireless headset but to no avail. Last Friday, it worked with Kevin's Korean handphone and probably it did not want to be ridiculed as an infidel among the Finns. With Acer, a driver is required but the headset did not come with any installation CD and the Taiwanese laptop perceived the device as a Nokia instead. Interesting...

blackout | 9:35 PM

Last time I walked into a CD shop, I walked out with about 10 items. That was in Guangzhou where each ORIGINAL costs between $6 to $8.

Opps! I did it again. I really should have known better.

The venue of my fall
THAT CD SHOP, Great World City. No puns intended.

The damage
Let's just say although the promotion price is the most attractive around town, I can get twice the number of discs in GZ for the same cost.

After sampling most of the discs on their listening booths (a very clever ploy!), my resistance fell by 70%. I just could not wait for a second trip to GZ to stock up my audio ammo. I need new tunes and I need it now - or then! Haha!

The culprits

1>Blackout - Britney
2>X - Kylie

>>>> move aside Indie music! Industrial groove is taking over the world! Madonna paved the way for the likes of Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado to gain mainstream.

3> Minutes To Midnight (SE Asian Tour versian with 3 Bonus Tracks) - Linkin Park 4> Corrine Bailey Rae (Special 2CD version) - CBR

>>>> don't you hate artistes who re-release their CD months after with extra booty???

5> The Best Of Andrea Bocelli/ Vivere - AB
6> Amore - Andrea Bocelli

>>>> Andrea who??? Yes, I swing from pure popular to high-brow neo-classical.

I like my music clean and simple -

> acoustic with good voice OR
> industrial with throbbing bass, slurry synthesisers and electronically-modified voice

That's 6 more to my more than quadriple towers collection. If you have been to my room, you will know what I mean. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
grad2007#1 | 9:04 PM

I bumped into this bunch at Potong Pasir Macs after my game of badminton.

(from my right) : Abel, Weijie, Bryant, Junjie.

I guess this begins the series of pictures with former boys I was in-charge of when I meet them on the streets.

Monday, December 10, 2007
need that armband! | 8:26 PM

I decided to take my T10 to the gym. After rigging it with my wired Creative earphones, I began my run on the threadmill. Despite making several efforts to keep the player in the pouch I had brought along, it kept slipping out with each tug I make on my run. This T10 seriously needs an arm band strap that Creative and Ipod sport. Maybe they do sell it in the shops.

I looked up at the TV screens above me and zoomed in to the set playing my favourite MTV channel. The Samsung advert hailing the new wireless MP3 players runs during every commercial break. Hey! I DO own a set myself! But I did not bring along the wireless headset for fear that my sweat will corrode my precious earpads. It's synthetic leather! That really should not happen! Anyhow, my T10 took nose dives and hung precariously at the end of my wired headphones a few times on the run. I pulled it up quickly from its bunge plunges, taking care that it did not swing and hit the sides of the threadmill. It's either the armband or I have to activate the wireless headset the next time I run!

I decided to hold it in my hand instead. The dancing dogs equaliser display (among others) is really funny! I will probably get used to and sick of it. I sure hope the cute-factor stays.

Sunday, December 9, 2007
truth and consequences | 7:36 PM

Heroes Season 2
Episode 10

humongous | 4:57 PM

I spent an hour or so rigging up a home theatre system (thanks Erwyn!) and a recently acquired BenQ projector (from the Sitex of course!). Gaming and watching movies on the big screen with hi-fi speakers in the cosiness of home is...priceless.

Need I mention what this game is?

The graphics of Xbox360 is amazing! While navigating the jungle terrain at the first scene which is blown up on the screen, I cannot help but stop and examine the vivid details at HD quality. Why didn't I do this earlier??? Come to think of it, someone who'd dyed his mohawk purple in the last 2 months kind of resembled the little creatures of the Flood! Hehe.

daughters | 12:27 PM

John Mayer

This song has awesome atomsphere that is surreal and dreamy. I should seriously pick up my guitar and learn serious grooves again.


Friday, December 7, 2007
junhao | 11:00 PM

Fresh from his CIP trip to Chenai, the excited Kevin came bearing photographs and stories of his adventures which he raved about and which he formerly dreaded. I told him the trip would change his perspective about life prior his departure.

Thanks for introducing the humongous American Burger meal at Raffles Hotel and showing me The Calrose near your place!

singapore design exhibtion | 9:53 PM

Came across this exhibition of Singapore Designers at the concourse of National Libaray (Brash Beseh) on Friday evening. Go check out the cool concepts put on display.


Thursday, December 6, 2007
new toys | 9:19 PM

I went down to the Ripplevox office to pick up my Samsung T10 mp3 player and wirelss bluetooth headset today! Here's the goods...

My first impression of the T10 box set : its design it a little gaudy. The box is not made of the typical card box material but a clear acrylic-like type - that you would find in the round Chinese New Year goodie boxes. One word says it all - it smacks a lack of sophistication.

On the other hand, the box set of the headset feels very much at home - itscardboard material and all. The design is straight forward and appealing (yes I think the T10 tries to be but falls flat on distracted flower power wanabe).

Here's the wireless headset on charge. It is actually quite light and I am contemplating bringing it along for my gym sessions. How cool! No wires!

The T10 as it looks on my laptop screen and at its actual size. I must say the appearance is gorgeous! If they could also shrink it to nano skinny thin, then the mp3 player would be perfect!

More about its functionality next when after they are fully charged!


bubbly | 9:10 PM

Colbie Caillat

Once in awhile, a song comes by and stirs up those feelings again...

Colbie has such lovely eyes and sports a great tan...all girls should look like that! :)


more rain... | 5:15 PM

I have not driven in this stormy conditions for a very long time.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007
och.1 | 8:42 PM

I make it a point to visit the old Changi Hospital yearly. The experience is like visiting an old friend again. You can check out more photos at my facebook album, "the forgotten".

Having just completed the first person shooter game, F.E.A.R., walking around the hallways and empty rooms of the old dame was a surreal experience akin to the gaming environment (yes, with the suspense element thrown in as well!). At one point, a bat actually flew right past me and gave me a little fright. Otherwise, all the spooks and goosebums you would get from the place are tarnished by the numerous grafitti on the walls.


We probably broke all superstition taboos while we were there.

My penchant for places old and historical is tied up with a tinge of sadness over the neglect places like the old Changi Hospital are in. Oh how we tend to toss out the old when the new comes. I want my students and children in future to see that there are nice old buildings to explore in Singapore - many of which have been torn down to make way for modernity.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
3+1+((stereo)) | 4:58 PM

3 jabs.
Two on 1 arm and the remaining on the other.

1 oral - 2 drops.

Here comes the crunchy part.
The following text is rated R(D) - R(Disgusting). You have been warned.

I woke up with a splitting ear-ache today. The left throat was sore and thoughts of doom and gloom (which kind of goes well with the weather we have lately) flooded my mind - am I falling sick finally? I have not been sick since I had quit as a teacher in end July 2006. Incredible, isn't it?

Well, the soreness happened to coincide with my left ear which had been blocked since last Tuesday after a swim. I decided to let nature run its course, recalling what I had learnt in O levels Biology - our body has a natural system of excreting ear wax.

Days passed and finally when my left ear began to hurt, I realised that nature sometimes do go haywire. Some kind friends told me that they know someone who had had insects like spiders/flies crawl into the black hole and decided to make themselves a home there. Or simply, they perish there because they got stuck. Thanks guys!

So I packed my sorry self to the benevolent presence of Dr. Cheong, who examined me and diagnosed the problem as simply stuck ear wax. It was sweet relief to hear that. I was given a bottle of liquid (which turned out to be the wonder olive oil) to drop into the blocked ear for the next 3 nights. Then I was to report dutifully to her clinic to have my ears flushed.

That fateful day came earlier because of the ear ache. Dr. Cheong, holding a pair of pincers next to my sore ear, joked that she would be delivering ear wax. I honestly appreciated that enlightenment.

It was a job well done. I did not experience pain or giddiness as forewarned by her. Perhaps the ear ache was so severe that any other irritations were negligible.

Thus I present to you the culprits that robbed me of my aural pleasure for the past one week or more...

The first big mac-piece came out without much fuss. When I whipped out my handphone to take a picture, Dr. Cheong actually said she will get her staff to put it in a clear container so I could keep it as a souvenir - I really like her sense of humour!

The former broke off leaving behind its stubborn evil twin which took awhile to flush out. Use my fingers to estimate how awesome their sizes are.

Are you hungry yet?

In case you are rejoicing over the possibility that I am dying of some strange disease (thus the jabs), I am sorry to disappoint you. I have a good 40 odd years ahead of me and I will be enjoying it like I have always been. To start off 2008, I will be away on a 3 country trip in January (yes, while most of you begin school). The jabs are heralding the beginning of my fun in the brand new year. :)


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