30 November 2005


Horrid

'Hung Up'. What a horrid single. Gimme gimme gimme ABBA anytime.

Strange Building

I spotted this strange building in Chinatown. I wonder about its origins and age. It appears to be a restored building and could well be new.

In terms of architectural tradition, I can't place it. It appears to be a mish-mash of several styles. Weird.

Addendum

I did a little reading. This apartment building was designed and built in 1925 by Frank Wilim Brewer (1886-1971). The style is described as 'Chinese eclectic style with a dash of Charles Rennie Mackintosh thrown in for good measure.'* Brewer had apparently designed quite a number of buildings here.

I found the information in 'Black and White: The Singapore House 1898-1925' by Julian Davison. An excellent and fascinating volume.

*Direct quote from the book.

"Open the window
Jump on the roof
Danger can come
From everywhere
My skin is damp,
I'm shivering
Am I scared or am I cold
The tension rises"
'Commando Mix' Front 242
More about this Blog

The title of this blog is taken from the Jorge Luis Borges short story 'The Garden of Forking Paths'. The name on my email is taken from the title of Stanislaw Lem's masterpiece 'The Cyberiad', a playful novel of parables written in the seventies. Highly recommended.

As you can probably tell, I enjoy reading, hence all the references to book titles and so forth.

"You've got to survive
Stick it in your mind
It's your Leitmotiv"

'Commando Mix' Front 242

29 November 2005

A Moment of Lucidity

Finally, my head has cleared. Will I be granted a moment of lucidity? I was dizzy throughout the most of yesterday and last night. The cold medicine last week and the coughing were not assisting. Whoa! Time to wake up! Time to do things! Hurrah!

YES!
Nature

Standing small in the wilds. A piece created with mixed media. Watercolours, pigment markers and Copic markers.

Illustration Friday theme: Small

"As We Fall From The Sky
Our Lives Pass By
Emerging from This Vision
Life Is Stranger than Death
"
'This Faith' Front Line Assembly

28 November 2005


The Sword in the Anvil

There it was, a solitary sword, gleaming in the afternoon sun.

"Everyday
I'm on my knees to pray
Since I kissed you once
And I held you once
Things have never been the same"
'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

27 November 2005

Cold III

A very restful Sunday. I almost close to full recovery. Heheh.

"The lights are going out
One by one across the world
With faces turning down
The night will hide the sound
She comes to you"
'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

26 November 2005

The Tools I use

I use a variety of tools when I draw.

Here they are:

Drawing pens
Great pencils, more pencils and the humble pencils
Copic Markers
Colour pencils
Wacom interactive display

"There's nothing on TV,
He took her to a movie
But she's the one for me,
He took her to a movie
We're at number three,
He took her to a movie
But so did I"
'He took her to a movie' Ladytron

25 November 2005


Human League Remixes and Rarities

This new one has apparently been released. I will be looking for it.

1. Being Boiled (Travelogue Version) (Travelogue Album)
2. The Sound Of The Crowd (12” Versino - Complete) (12” Single)
3. Hard Times (Love Action B-Side) (3” CD Single)
4. Non-Stop (Open Your… B-Side) (12” Single)
5. Don't You Want Me (Extended Dance Mix) (12” Single)
6. Mirror Man (Extended Version) (12” Single)
7. You Remind Me Of Gold (Mirror Man B-Side) (12” Single)
8. (Keep Feeling) Fascination (Improvisation) (12” Single)
9. Total Panic (Fascination B-Side) (3” CD Single)
10. The Lebanon (Extended) (12” Single)
11. Life On Your Own (Extended) (12” Single)
12. Electric Dreams (Extended) (12” Single)
13. Human (Extended) (12” Single)
14. Heart Like A Wheel (Extended) (CD & 12” Single)

Now, if only Alphaville, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Camouflage were to release all their old remixes on one CD.

"I think she's been alone,
He took her to a movie
When they cut off the phone,
He took her to a movie
And when her cover's blown,
He took her to a movie
But so did I"
'He took her to a movie' Ladytron

An Art Decor Building along Prinsep Street

An intriguing remnant of an earlier era along Prinsep Street. The front door of the building is wooden with metal grates with a stylised motif. There are two flagpoles mounted on the upper stories and there is that linear motif adorning the front.

"As We Fall From The Sky
Our Lives Pass By
Emerging from This Vision
Life Is Stranger than Death
"
'This Faith' Front Line Assembly

24 November 2005

The Tomb

Death comes as a release for some.

Illustration Friday theme: Free

"Faces of a Thousand People
The Sickness in Their Mind Is Real
We Fight and Struggle to Survive
This Cultured Way of Suicide
This Faith Is Real
The Betrayal
"
'This Faith' Front Line Assembly


Greek Hoplite

An old ballpoint pen and markers sketch which was a delight to do.

The reference was from a book on ancient Greek warfare.

"He met her in the fall,
He took her to a movie
And when they'd done it all,
He took her to a movie
And from the hospital,
He took her to a movie
But so did I"

'He took her to a movie' Ladytron


A bore that I'm used to

There are apparently three covers for the forthcoming single, each featuring a member of Depeche Mode. Again, these covers are not the most inspiring of covers, being drab and unimaginative. Maybe, a white cover would have sufficed.

"And when her heart was sad,
He took her to a movie
He's all she's ever had,
He took her to a movie
And should their love turn bad,
He took her to a movie
But so did I"
'He took her to a movie' Ladytron

23 November 2005

Apartment Blocks

I have spoken of the ugly Esplanade and Supreme Court buildings previously.

Of course, not every new building in Singapore is a monstrosity. This is one of those new slender apartment blocks in the city area. It is visually striking. I marvel at the daring and I wonder about the floor layout.

"On to
On to The Mindfield
Into
Into The Hole
Chemical
Chemical Cauldron
Location Still Unknown"

'Surface Patterns' Front Line Assembly

22 November 2005

Cold II

Damnation! The cold has gotten worse. The burning sensation in my throat has subsided but I have a bad cough. I didn't sleep last night due to that cough.

Fountain

Just messing around. Another one in the same vein as the previous thin framed one.

"There's a painting on the wall
That wasn't there at all
Ten minutes ago
There's a girl who walks the line
She's with you all the time
She won't let go
And I can't see me with another girl
As everything slows down across the world"

'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

20 November 2005

Instant-Trees

I love sketching trees and forests. Unfortunately, there are few mature trees on the roadsides in Singapore. That instance in the photo above is, well, rare. What does one see on the streets? Instant-trees! Yep. Trees planted in nurseries and are then transplanted. Smooth small trees designed for maximum shade.

Thus, there are few old trees of character worth sketching around. What can I say?

19 November 2005

A Room with a View

I am experimenting with a few small sketches. Limited colours, ink and a limited 'long-ish' frame.

"Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown"

'Playgirl' Ladytron

18 November 2005


Forest Glade II

This is originally an electronic ink sketch. I printed the black and white piece using a HP printer. Afterwards, I used Copic markers to render the colours.

"And everyday no matter what I do
I'm more and more in love with you
I can't believe it's really true
You wouldn't really go"

'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark



The Clubhouse

There are some interesting buildings in Singapore which I would love to sketch. This is one of them. There is a very strong feel of the Old World.


Artificial 2.0

I received 'Artificial 2.0' last Friday. It's an artificial (as denoted by the album titled), violent, hard-hitting EBM album with harsh, treated and distorted vocals coupled with a furious bpm throughout. Splendid soundtrack for an afternoon or night of sketching forlorn landscapes.

"When the night becomes, automatic sequence joining the day,
Singing something new, someone else is sliding into your way.
When a menthol hit, hooks a spatial girl in her summer clothes,
Like a transmission, on an empty channel, all lines are closed."

'Evil' Ladytron

17 November 2005



Analogue

First impressions, the lead single off A-Ha's new album 'Analogue' is 'Celice', a great pop-rock affair. Good single. The album is basically rock, not unlike the two previous albums, the excellent 'Minor Earth Major Sky' and the decidedly ordinary 'Lifelines'. However, this album seems to lack the pop sensibilities and the intangible qualities of the 'Minor Earth Major Sky' with a feel resembling that of a jam session of rock musicians. Competent but not striking in any way.

Addendum

Standout tracks include 'Analogue', 'Cosy Prisons' and the outstanding 'Celice'.

"This is happening for your pleasure, at your leisure
Use your evil, when you want"

'Evil' Ladytron


My regular haunt

One Saturday afternoon. In the course of my weekly search for books, I'll drop by Borders and Sunny's bookstore.

"I wouldn't want it any other way
You wouldn't let me any way"
'Dangerous' Depeche Mode

16 November 2005

Demise of CD Singles

The singles format has been dead for years. It was evident as early as the eighties when vinyl singles were dominant and CD singles were just making in-roads.

By the early nineties, CD singles had become the dominant format but they were never as prevalent as the 7" vinyl singles were during the heydays of records in the sixties and seventies.

Then came Napster, Sound Galaxy and other means of electronic distribution. The day of the CD single was clearly limited and would probably see limited production in future, much like how small batches of records are manufactured.

The recent announcement by A Different Drum and Metropolis Records to cease issuing CD singles is a reflection of hard economic realities. The returns from the amount of sales generated often does not justify the initial capital outlay and the creation of the singles themselves.


Todd Durrant from A Different Drum noted that:

"But as the label has trudged onward through the last 10 years, it has become more and more apparent that singles are nothing but a cash drain. Maybe if I'd looked around and seen that other similar labels had already given up singles, and that even the major labels were releasing fewer singles, I would have caught on. But I enjoyed the fact that ADD was different-- we were keeping the maxi-single alive!

CD singles cost nearly as much to manufacture as the album, when it comes to material costs. When we're also paying for remixes, artwork design, etc. it starts to cost a lot of money. I'd justify the expense by clumping it in with the cost of the album production. By considering the single an appendage to album, I could just say that the extra $2500 spent on a single was just part of the album budget. But hey, that made for some very large album budgets for such a small scene. Realistically, so few people were buying the singles anymore, and so few DJ's were actually using them in the clubs, that it has finally hit me like a brick in the head that I have to give them up."

It is unfortunate that more and more niche players and specialists are bowing out. In the end, it is going to be major labels with their CD singles of sorry acts like Madonna, U2 and others. Tragic. Oh well. This is the end of an era.

'Foreign coin on a telephone box
A question mark on a calendar
An empty seat on the alpha line
A sorting code, an account number"
'Playgirl' Ladytron

Morning

Ink and markers sketch. I wanted to achieve a certain effect with light and this piece was just for that purpose. Nothing elaborate, just an experiment.


"Goddess of love
Goddess of love
She never slows down
And she can't get enough
The Goddess of love
The Goddess of love
She's holding her heart to the stars above"
'Goddess of Love' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
A Pain that I'm used to

The tracklisting of the various formats for the new Depeche Mode single due December. The choice of this single seems decent enough. I'm not particularly excited.

CD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To" (4:11)
"Newborn" (5:34)

CD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Remix]" (7:51)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Dub]" (8:00)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Goldfrapp Remix]" (4:39)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bitstream Spansule Mix]" (7:22)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Telex Remix]" (3:28)

DVD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Video]" (3:49)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Exclusive behind the scenes footage]"
"Newborn [Foster Remix by Kettel]" (5:26)

12": Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Remix]" (7:51)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Dub]" (8:00)

12": Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bitstream Threshold Mix]" (6:07)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bistream Spansule Mix]" (7:21)

7" Picture Disc (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Goldfrapp Remix]" (4:39)
"Newborn [Foster Remix by Kettel]" (5:26)

"Got to get you off my conscience by Friday,
On Saturday I'll be wide awake,
On Sunday I'm your new best friend,
On Monday learn it all again"

'Evil' Ladytron

15 November 2005


Witching Hour

I stumbled upon Ladytron's new album 'Witching Hour' at HMV at Citylink on Saturday night. I bought it and listened to it over the weekend. 'Witching Hour' is incredible fun and infectious, I could listen to all day, again and again...

And thus, that is precisely what I did when I played the great new 'Age of Empires III' real-time strategy (RTS) game.

If I had to choose between Goldfrapp and Ladytron, Ladytron would get chosen every time. Fischerspooner and Ladytron are still the defining bands of the electroclash movement.*

Addendum

I thought the previous Ladytron albums, '604' and 'Light & Magic', were fabulous too.

Singles released so far from the 'Witching Hour' album:
"Sugar"
"Destroy Everything You Touch"

I have 'Sugar' but I have not listened to the one remix on the CD single.

*I haven't heard the new Faint CD yet.

"When a menthol hit, hooks a spatial girl in her summer clothes,
Like a transmission, on an empty channel, all lines are closed.
Taking photographs, speaking slowly through the permanent waves
The taste in her mouth that she read about earlier today"
'Evil' Ladytron

The Italian Secretary

I bought this on impulse at Sans Bookstore at Funan Centre on Saturday night and read it on Sunday. I am almost always partial to Sherlock Holmes stories. This new one by Caleb Carr, a contributing editor of Military History Quarterly, is rather long-winded. Watson huffed and puffed throughout, moralising on every issue and was extremely contemptuous and critical of his companion. In other words, the narration is very tiresome and tedious. The plot is much ado over very little despite the hyperbole in the beginning of the narration. Watson and Holmes come across as extremely 'unlikeable' people.

At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Carr had originally meant to write a Holmes short story for a collection and had expanded it greatly when he found that he could not resist writing more. This is a very bad case of literary bloat and if an editor had trimmed it down to the length of a short story, then, perhaps...

"You Think you know Her
But you never really
Lived a life without her
Couldn't tell me
The things she said
The books she read
The way she walked when the morning came
The time of night that you held her tight
But you'll never forget the day she'll ran away"
'You think you know her' Cause and Effect
Embers

This is a wondrous book by Sandor Marai about friendship, 'Embers'. This blogpost is directed towards a friend. Towards you.

Do read it. It is an exposition on the nature of friendships.

"The lights are gong out
One by one
Across the world
The lights are going out
One by one
Across the world"
'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

14 November 2005


The Tower of the Queen Revisited

This is a coloured version of my original homage to Terry Gilliam's film 'The Brothers Grimm'. For this, I scanned the original image, following that, I printed a smaller version using a cheap Lexmark inkjet. I used Copic markers to ink the image.

"Your face is hidden and we're out of sight
And the road just leads to nowhere
The stranger in the door is the same as before
So the question answer's nowhere"
'New Life' Depeche Mode
The Door into the Secret Garden

She tried the door again but found that it was locked. The key would just not unlock the door. She knew in her heart that she may never visit the garden again.

"Even now, I'm in love with you
No matter what you put me through
There'll always be someone like you
Who lets me down again"
'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Locomotive

A swift pencil sketch. Drawn while I blasted the God Module CD 'Artificial 2.0'.

Illustration Friday theme: Strength

"And I've tried
God knows I've tried
But there's nothing left
In the world today
That's making sense in any way"

'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

13 November 2005



The Heart of the Forest

An electronic composition of my favourite theme.

"In a harbor safe from storm
She waits for darkened forms
She's seen you there
And time and time again
You hear her call your name
She calls for you"

'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

12 November 2005


Say Hello Wave Goodbye: In Memory of Meow

Meow. My little cat.

He's been gone for a week. I am quite certain that he was run over. Poor Meow. He visited my kitchen when he was a kitten. He was meowing loudly for food then and I fed him. In the days that followed, he would always be waiting eagerly for me when I got home for work. Running and meowing when I got back. He used to follow me around. Oh well. I shall miss Meow.

"Oh oh oh...Say hello, wave goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye
Say hello, wave goodbye
Goodbye"

'Say Hello, wave Goodbye' Marc Almond

Corridor

I'm just experimenting around with shadows and colours.

"Her skin is like velvet
So I went to her home
Her place like a palace
With things you can't own
Her skin is like velvet
And hear how she sings
Hear how she sings..."

'Velvet' A-Ha

11 November 2005


Moon Terrace

This sketch is based on a photo in a book of a location in the Chinese city of Nanjing (Nanking).

"The only life he's ever known {the empty world that he'd made his own}
but I don't believe I'm made of stone"
'King of Stone' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Wake up!

Woo! Hooverphonic's 'Wake Up' was released in late August. I didn't know. Obviously, no local distributor or store carried it as the market for CD singles today is dead. Sembawang Music has stopped carrying new singles (they are clearing out old stock), Gramaphone does not carry CD singles period. That leaves only Tower Records (which is not the most updated of places) and HMV.

There are a few small independent stores that carry a limited number of singles around town. ie Roxy Music, Music Hut (Toa Payoh).


"See these arms that were broken, how they held you so.
Never once did they fail you, they won't let you go."
'Wake up' Hooverphonic
No more sweet Music

Good news! Hooverphonic has released a new single, 'Wake Up'. That will be followed by a new album 'No More Sweet Music' on the 14th of November. That is just next Monday. Yes!

The last two albums were somewhat ordinary when compared with the fabulous first two albums 'Blue Wonder Power Milk' and
'A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular'.



"Over decades, now this romance has sustained us all.
Never questioned, only giving what it made us for."
'The Romance of the Telescope' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Memories of Park Mall

Today, Park Mall houses a shopping mall with a focus on house furnishings and offices in the upper floors. I have fond memories of this august structure when it was known by its previous moniker, Supreme House. I recall visiting DTS Computers with my mommy in 1982 or 1983 and buying our first Apple IIe computer with a wide Apple III monitor.

Supreme House also housed the well-known 'Silver Spoon' restaurant then. When the complex was renovated sometime in the nineties, it was given a new name, Park Mall. New tenants were brought into the complex to inject new life. New restaurant concepts and new franchises were set up. TGIF (or simply Friday's) the restaurant and the Jack in the Box fast food joint were once here during their short-lived forays into the Singapore gastronomical battlefield of eateries. Has it been a decade since Friday's left?

Such are memories...

"A darkened shadow hides my face
I hope I won't forget this place"
'Everything must perish' Front Line Assembly

10 November 2005


The Island of a Thousand Days

No one would understand. He saw that this was the perfect spot. A place for quiet contemplation. A place of solitude. A private place. A private world.

It was perfect.

An ink sketch done using Faber-Castell technical pens.

"We're just waiting looking skyward as the days come down
Someone promised there'd be answers, if we stayed around."
'The Romance of the Telescope' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Bright Spot in a rather Dismal Week

The only piece of good news in this rather dismal week is the announcement that the new Covenant single "Ritual Noise" will be released in January 2006. The single is from the band's upcoming album "Skyshaper".

In other news, it would appear that De/Vision has finished their new album "Subkutan". Let's hope it will be as electronic as the previous two.

The original information can be found at Sideline.

"Once again he's all alone
Here I am the king of stone"
'King of Stone' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Byzantine Cavalryman, 14th Century

An ink sketch of a dismounted Byzantine cavalryman with a torch at night.

Illustration Friday Theme: Night

"You see the new sensation,
I heard it call your name.
You're running 'round in circles,
You're making right again.
(The) telephone keeps ringing,
Your head is in the sand,
(The) future is unfolding,
But it's not what you had planned."
'Call my Name' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
After Action Report (05.11.2005): 'Sword of Rome'

I have waited a long time to play GMT Games' 'Sword of Rome'. The 'Sword of Rome' is a strategic level treatment of the struggle for supremacy on the Italian peninsula during Rome's early years. The wargame utilises a system that is similar to Avalon Hill's highly sought after classic 'Hannibal: Rome versus Carthage'.


Before commencing we tried a sample turn with 5 rounds. After which, we randomly decided who should represent which power.

The Greeks - Seow Buay
The Gauls - Wei Yi
The Romans - Chris
The Etruscans and Samnites - Shyue Chou

Turn 1
The game started with a Gallic onslaught. The Gauls (Wei Yi) plundered the Etruria. The Etruscans (Shyue Chou) deign to take the lands back and instead strengthened the support of their cities to 3.

Meanwhile, Chris activated the Carthaginians and engaged the Greeks (Seow Buay) in a few indecisive manoeuvres and battles in Sicily. Chris had three 'Neutral Power Activites' cards and he used them well. The Greeks (Seow Buay) were fully occupied in the south. I couldn't do much as most of my leaders require '2' and above cards to activate. I was holding too many '1' cards and I passed a few rounds. Then, the Etruscans (Shyue Chou) seized the Roman city of Capua which had a support value of '1'.

The Gauls (Wei Yi) then commenced besieging the Roman city of Narnia, capturing it. At that point, Wei Yi played a Desperate Times card and attempted to seize a first turn victory but was somehow unable to secure the needed VP.

Turn 2
The Etruscans (Shyue Chou) proposed an alliance with the Gauls (Wei Yi) who agreed after I pointed that the Gauls could plunder the Samnites (Shyue Chou) and Romans (Chris) while having clear lines of communication north to their bases (and also that the Etruscan lands are still independent and have not recovered from being plundered). Two Gallic armies began moving south. A Gallic army began plundering Roman and Samnite lands shortly after.

This provoked the Romans (Chris) who had just started beseiging Antium which belong to the Volsci and also attempting to take Narnia back through another siege. Subsequently, Chris activated the Transalpine Gauls who took a few of the Gauls' VP spots, thus sending the second Gallic army back north. Then, Chris ventured with another Roman army which proceeded to destroy the first Gallic army.

I had three 'Neutral Power Activates' cards but I waited for the Greeks (Seow Buay) to move west towards Lilybaeum. Following that instance, I played the 'Mamertines' card, and endeavoured to trap the Greeks a la Stalingrad, by turning the Greek city of Messana behind into an independent one while manoeuvring a Cathaginian army to offer battle. The Greeks (Seow Buay) managed to win a battle with both sides incurring casaulties and he rushed back to Messana to lay siege on it.

Towards the turn, the Etruscans (Shyue Chou) broke its alliance and attempted to seize two Gallic VP spots for an instant Turn 2 victory. I played a Desperate Times card but was thwarted by another card. Following which, the Gauls (Wei Yi) began guarding their lands with a Gallic army.

Turn 3
The Romans (Chris) managed to capture two cities and building another walled city. The Gauls (Wei Yi) and Romans (Chris) became allied. Weakened after the previous push, the Etruscans (Shyue Chou) began consolidating and grouping their two armies into one. The Gauls managed to re-capture their VP locations while preparing against the Transalpine Gallic army which was massing north.

The Greeks (Seow Buay) were re-building their support.

Towards the end of the turn, the Etruscans (Shyue Chou) began to attempt to seize Gallic VP spaces again. This time, the Romans (Chris) tried subjugating my tribal lands and also besieging the captured Roman city Capua and eventually capturing it. The attempt to intercept that army saw the loss of a minor Samnite (Shyue Chou) army. The preventive measure would have worked if not for the Desperate Measures card I was holding. I played one before Seow Buay's round and was denied. And I played one before Chris' round and was again denied. Finally, I played one at the end of the 5th action round and was able to occupy a few Gallic VP spaces for a 11 VP win.

Thoughts on Strategies for the Etruscan and Samnite player

"When silence comes in, and creeps underneath the skin
If the lost word is lost and the spent word is spent
This is the time, this is the place where the story ends
Where the story ends
Where the story ends"
'The Story ends' Clan of Xymox

09 November 2005

Sword of Rome: Thoughts on Strategies for the Etruscans and Samnites

From the game I have played, I realise that the Etruscans and Samnites are difficult to play since the Etruscans are sandwiched by the Romans and the Gauls and the Samnites are sandwiched between the Greeks and the Romans. With two cities, the Etruscans would have difficulty building a significant army. Similarly, the Samnites have three reinforcement areas. Here are my thoughts:

1. The Etruscans and Samnites must deny an alliance with the Romans in the early game. It does not mean that they should attack the Romans. Allying with the Romans in the early game would allow allow the Romans security to build up their cities, really a no-no. Numerous Roman walled cities in the long run are bad news. Besides, if there is a need to break alliances, the Etruscans and Samnites do not have many areas where they can reduce support (-3 support) and it would be dangerous to do so for the two Etruscan cities.

2. The Etruscans and Samnites must preserve a field army to force decisions. Other armies are always almost going to be larger and more numerous since the Etruscans and Samnites are two separate powers with half the strength of the Romans, Greeks or Gauls. Thus, it is imperative that they maintain a field army which can threaten and defend. If necessary, use the bribery ability or rough connection to avoid battles. Only engage if there is really a need or if there is an easy opportunity. (ie undefended Roman city, weak Roman army, etc)

3. Take the opportunity to seize a Roman city in the early game if possible. This can set the Romans back quick a bit.

4. Keep the Romans busy and don't let the Gauls keep you busy.

Session Report of 05.11.2005

"Strangelove
Strange highs and strange lows
Strangelove
That’s how my love goes"
'Strangelove' Depeche Mode
Meow is lost!

I am sad. Meow is lost. It has been four days since I have seen him. I called the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) this morning and asked if they had gone on a sweep for cats and dogs at my place. They told me that cats are not targeted. Phew.

He was a kitten when he first appeared in my kitchen one evening. I was reading a book in bed when I heard a 'meow' from the kitchen. I rushed downstairs and saw a little hungry kitten.

I fed him with leftovers. In time to come, he became part of the family and was affectionate. He would greet everyone with a 'meow'.

"When silence comes in, and creeps underneath the skin'
If the lost word is lost and the spent word is spent
This is the time, this is the place where the story ends
Where the story ends
Where the story ends"
'The Story ends' Clan of Xymox

The Cult of the Indulgent: Damien

This is the tribute to the Cult of the Indulgent. The obese. The numbers of the obese in Singapore has been multiplying. Fat little boys and girls now flood the streets. Hail to the new Every Man.


"Bought this guitar
At a shop called mars
But on the way back home
Strange things happened in my car
Started to play
All by itself"
'The Magnificient Tree' Hooverphonic

08 November 2005

His Last Command

I just finished reading it last night. Wow! A great piece of pulp fiction. Engaging, tension-filled with twists and turns. Great fun.


I can't wait to read 'Sabbat Worlds'.

"Here's where the story fails
How did it come this far?
Here's where the picture pales
Is this the way things are?"
'The story ends' Clan of Xymox

Cult of Neil

This is a tribute to the Cult of Neil. Neil Gaiman appears to be just about the most popular comic book writer around here. Every designer, young person and comics fan worship him. Thus, I have a little tribute to the local Cult of Neil. Simple ink sketch.

07 November 2005

The Awaiting Man

He stands waiting for the day.

A quite sketch. I am learning to use electronic ink markers on Painter IX. This could be better. Anyhow, it's an experiment.


"Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
Although we are men with mortal sins, angels never cry"
'Winterborn' The Cruxshadows

06 November 2005

Lone Tree on a Knoll

A lone tree atop a knoll. One sees a lone tree on a hill top in almost every cliched film or advertisement. Anyhow, this piece was done using electronic oils.

"This magnificent tree
Appeared in my mind
Even without leaves
It’s strength was divine"
'The Magnificient Tree' Hooverphonic

05 November 2005


My favourite Techno, Trance and Ambient Albums

Orbital - Insides
Orbital - Snivilisation
Orbital - Green album
Orbital - Brown album
Underworld - Second toughest in the infants
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Banco de Gaia - Heliopolis
Banco de Gaia - Last Train to Lhasa
Air - Moon Safari
C.J.Bolland - Electronic highway




The majority of them are from the 1994-1996 period. Of course there are a lot more but these are my favourites.



"Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
Although we are men with mortal sins, angels never cry"
'Winterborn' The Cruxshadows