30 June 2006

My World Cup Favourites

The teams I am rooting for?

1. Italy
2. Germany
3. France

The teams that I don't particularly care for?

1. Brazil
2. England

I am indifferent to the others. Realistically, this is Brazil's World Cup, they are unstoppable. And I suspect Argentina to be a close second. I think we'll see an Argentina-Brazil final where Brazil will triumph. Oh well. One can hope. Italy! Italy!
Spectrum 12
Spectrum 12 : The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Spectrum (Underwood Books)) (Paperback) by Cathy Fenner, Arnie Fenner is the latest in a long running series of books that showcases SF and fantasy illustrations and figurines found in books, comics, roleplaying games, computer game boxes and so forth.

This American-centric collection is not as imagination as the previous year's. It appears dull relatively, but it does incorporate great illustrations of a high technical level of various types in myriad mediums. Recommended.

Spectrum 1 has been reprinted. The earlier Spectrum books can be found at prices as high as US$200.00 at various online shops.

29 June 2006

I could beat you up with my martial arts

I told Kuoby that his statements weren't inane enough to warrant a posting on the blog. And he responded with:

AK says:
i could beat you up with my martial arts.

AK says:
how about that? inane enuogh?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
That's more like it.

AK says:
you lying son of a superman!?

AK says:
Superman Returns

After 154 minutes, the payoff? Superman has a son and Lex Luthor and Kitty were marooned on an island. Nevertheless, the audience applauded.

The cinema at Cathay was almost totally full.

28 June 2006

Minds like Empty Rooms

Most people today don't read. And if they do, it will be on tracts on how to make money, be successful, inspiration stuff and so forth. Practical and pragmatic stuff.

Harper Lee made a very rare print appearance recently and made a telling observation.

She tells O, The Oprah Magazine, that in her Depression-era Alabama village "youngsters had little to do but read".

The 80-year-old adds that in today's society "where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books".

Source: BBC news article.
Brazil 3 Ghana 0

I thought Ghana was desperately unlucky not to have scored a goal or two despite dominating possession and attacking for long periods. What a pity. I was rooting for an upset here. It would have been sensational.

The second Adriano goal was clearly offside.

27 June 2006

Snog 'Corporate Slave'

The winds will blow
The profits go down
I'm out of work
My daughter will drown
There's stress in my heart
Blood on your hands
Pushing uphill against the company man

Well, I'm just a hard working corporate slave
My mind should hate what my body does crave well

I'm just a humble corporate slave
Driving myself into a corporate grave

It's raining in corporate heaven
All the coffers are a singing

This Snog single is dedicated to all my corporate friends and all the wage slaves I have known.

Source: Snog's album 'Lies Inc.' (David Thrussell)
Australia 0 Italy 1

Phew! Italy got through! Whee!

Go Italy!

26 June 2006


In case I forget to celebrate, South Korea, the crap team is out! Yeah! I saw them play and it was ugly and futile.


As for Singaporeans bemoaning the fact that an Asian team is out, c'mon Pan-Asianism is just a silly invented notion. How much do Singaporeans share culturally with Koreans, let alone Iranians and Saudi Arabians? United Asia? You gotta be joking.
England 1 Ecuador 0

The English performance last night is unconvincing. Long balls down the middle for Rooney? Rooney is not an Inzaghi. He may be strong, penetrating and tenacious but he is surely not an opportunistic poacher like Inzaghi. Rooney runs at the defence, unsettling them, he can't wait and time for these long balls runs.

England laboured against the more dangerous Ecuador despite dominating possession.

England is certainly the most overrated team besides the overhyped and overrated USA team. Rated by the bookmakers as the number two team after Brazil, I can only suspect that they are rated so because of monetary reasons and not patriotism. According to a news report a week or two ago, the British bookmakers stand to make a lot if England were to lose, especially in the final hurdle.
The Mac Crashed!

Here's more from AK on the instant messenger last week:

AK says:
would you believe it. the mac crashed!

AK says:
bah. OS X, Steve jobs. can suck my balls.

24 June 2006

Headphones and Earphones

BlackRX was happily reviewing the different types of headphones at HMV a week ago. He happily noted the wide range available including the high-end ones costing several hundred dollars. He told me that he could never find these at the local store in the USA. He's somewhat of an audiophile. Of course high end audio equipment including the likes of high-end headphones are just not going to be easily available in every medium-sized city in the USA.

23 June 2006

Czech 0 Italy 2, Ghana 2 USA 1

The FIFA rankings has always been based on weightings and the number of matches won. A national team can play a lot of relatively unimportant matches and advance in the rankings, somewhat similar to playing a large number of small tournaments in tennis, achieving a number 1 ranking and yet not lifting a single Grand Slam.

The American team is ranked fifth and it was as high as fourth earlier this year. The second-ranked aging Czech team, despite a good showing at Euro 96 and others tournaments did self-destruct, having essentially lost when it lost to Ghana.

Now, the FIFA-ranked second and fifth teams are out. It is not a wonder. It is not unexpected anyway.

The Czech-Italian match was entertaining.
The Cosmopolitan

The old landmark of the Times House is no more, not that there is much to remember and not that anyone really cares. An ugly (not merely aesthetic) symbol of Singaporean media, the state-controlled newspapers. Ack. I don't think anyone is sorry to see the Times House go. Fittingly enough, in its place, the Cosmopolitan, a new condominium development at the junction of River Valley Road and Kim Seng Road, is now arising from the ashes of the ugly Times House.

The new condominium development.

22 June 2006


More from AK on MSN Messenger:

AK says:
have you ever been called a Jerk, MR Chuang?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Of course not, Kuoby.

AK says:

AK says:
there! you're no longer a jerk virgin

AK says:

Chuang Shyue Chou says:

21 June 2006

Stating the Obvious

More gems from the exchanges. Too bad I don't keep any records but the exchanges are pretty funny.

AK says:
revulsions over torture killings?

AK says:
heck. that's stating the obvious.

AK says:

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You always state the obvious.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Is that a birth defect?

AK says:
ho ho ho, you're funnie! you're torturing me to death! behead me oh SC! alluah akbar!
Martial Prowss of AK

Here is another exchange with AK, the sanitary pad ad man. In this one, he demonstrated his martial prowess by bragging that he could beat me up:

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Why were you running on the beach? Were you a Karate-Jackie Chan kid? That figures. You have the Jackie Chan hairstyle and you were always threatening that you could beat me up with your martial arts training..

AK says:
it's not a threat if it's a reality SC.

AK says:
wake up!

AK says:
wake up!

AK says:
wake up!

Opera 9

Opera 9 seems to be a lot faster than Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape.

Impressive. This marks my first time using Opera since v3.0.
More brilliance from our Sanitary Pad Ad Man

The pearls of wisdom from AK are not long in coming. More from AK. I wonder what I'll do without his 'wisdom'. Here are more stuff from MSN Messenger:

AK says:
one would think the yanks would have learned from vietname

AK says:
don't get captured by the kong

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
How does one learn not to be captured?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Are you proposing that the troops commit suicide or die in a glorious charge resisting capture?

AK says:
The Funny Guy

My friend AK is a funny guy, he creates ads for tampons. This is what he said on MSN Messenger just now:

"I was doing an ad for a sanitary pad the other day. and i thought of you."

AK, the Tampon Ad Man, often exhibits such wit. I can't wait for his next instalment.
A Run at Toa Payoh Stadium

Yesterday, I managed 2.4 km in 12:38 minutes at Toa Payoh Stadium. The temperature was perfect, it was a cool evening.

I ran at a comfortable pace with enough reserves to push at the final round. I haven't been running as much anymore though.

20 June 2006

Palais Renaissance

The Palais Renaissance is one of the most upscale malls in town. At night, these barriers are put up after closing time. Heh.

It's not a wonder why given the activities next door which often spilled over.

19 June 2006

Croatia 0 Japan 0

The Japs were mostly impotent in attack while the Croatian shooting was inaccurate. No goals. Oh well.
A Typical Shell Service Station in Singapore

Petrol station. Images taken at Thomson Road.

18 June 2006

Ice-Cream Stand

A stand selling Japanese ice-cream at the Bugis Junction. Image taken one night a few weeks back.

17 June 2006

Argentina 6 Serbia & Montenegro 0

A very highly impressive Argentinian performance. Messi is touted to be the new Maradona. I can see why (besides his built).

From what I see, either Brazil or Argentina will be the eventual champion this year. The strength and depth of their squads are amazing.

16 June 2006

Evening in Town

I met June and BlackRX in town and we had coffee at NYDC at the Heeren this evening. This is the first time I have seen Mister BlackRX in five years.

'Subkutan' De/Vision

De/Vision, long known for their excellent synthpop along the lines of Depeche Mode return with 'Subkutan'. People who miss classic Depeche Mode are generally amendable to De/Vision's compositions, especially their excellent first album 'World without End'. However, the new De/Vision album 'Subkutan' shares the new murky sound as the rather disappointing 'Void' album. Instead of soundwriting, 'Subkutan' relies a lot on sound effects. The album is a major disappointment as compared with the previous two which were fabulous due mainly to the songwriting and a strong electronic element. 'Subkutan' feels almost as tired as Depeche Mode during their horried 'Ultra' years. Oh well. One can hope.

1. Subtronic
2. The End
3. Star-Crossed Lovers
4. Addict
5. Obey Your Heart
6. No Tomorrow
7. Still Unknown
8. In Dir
9. E-Shock
10. My Own Worst Enemy
11. Not Made Of Gold
12. Summer Sun
13. Subtronic (Beat of Steel Mix)

However, I love the cover though. Heh.

15 June 2006

Faith & Disease 'Beauty and Bitterness'

1. Igloo
2. Ebb And Tide
3. Beauty And Bitterness
4. Emalee I
5. Emalee II
6. Glas-Glow World
7. Chandra's Lament
8. Intro: Voltaire' Vallerie
9. Crown Of Sorrow
10. Content Injuries
11. Metallic Cat
12. Louise

I was reminded of a track from this old CD during an exchange of emails regarding the Clan of Xymox with V recently. The noteworthy thing about this 1993 release from Faith & Disease is their cover of Clan of Xymox's classic goth track 'Louise' which preserved the spirit of the original. You could hear and feel the yearning.

An exerpt from the Projekt site:

"At first listen you might peg Seattle's Faith & Disease as similar to the lush sounds of Mazzy Star and This Mortal Coil. But wait, upon closer inspection (and that can be exhaustive as the band already has 6 CDs to their credit) one will find a versatile band that runs the gamut from brooding 4AD-ish guitar-synth-melancholia to surprisingly advanced eclectic instrumentation -- sometimes hinting at Celtic folk, other times experimenting with styles that might alarm the darkwave-ethereal crowd (like the use of a steel-pedal guitar on their criminally-underrated Insularia CD of 1998), yet still tie in with the bands overall "beautiful sadness" aesthetic."

Hmm.. I didn't know that they have moved over to Projekt. They were originally signed to Ivy Records.
Old Flats

These ugly old flats near the Sim Lim Square shopping complex, right at the junction of Prinsep Street, are slated for demolition. There is an art school being built nearby. These were early government flats, functional monolithic concrete structures, built for the booming population* in the fifties and sixties. It was a period where the majority of people were living in shophouses built around the turn of the century to the twenties and zinc-covered huts in muddy kampongs** in the jungle.

The programme of building subidised flats have been a roaring success over the decades in housing the expanding population then, as such, 80% of the people now live in government-built flats.

Public housing has come a long way. Public housing has evolved greatly then, with newer forms replacing the older ones. The new flats at the Sengkang area resembles condominiums and can be mistaken for them.

These old flats are an early slice of Singaporean history. They will be gone soon.

*I found in an old volume of the Guiness Book of Records that KK Hospital did record the most births then.
** Villages.

Bashir says John Howard should become a Muslim!

AK referred this 'hilarious' (in AK's words) article which appeared on an Australian news site.


"Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir says Prime Minister John Howard should become a Muslim if he wants to avoid going to hell."

More exerpts:

" "I think John Howard should convert to Islam," he said.
"If he wants to be saved from hell, he needs to convert to Islam and God willing, he will be forgiven by Allah." "

And a threat:

" Secondly, he warned Australians to never try fighting Muslims because they will definitely lose. "Maybe with God's permission, they can kill us, but they certainly can't beat Islam," he said. "

And lastly a warning to Australian journalists:

"He then warned Australian journalists not to twist his statement."

14 June 2006

A Study in Lumbering Immobility
Once the most fearsome striker in the world, Ronaldo terrorised and tormented defenders with his pace. Here is a quote from the New York Times of the Brazil-Croatia match last night:

"Its star striker, Ronaldo, who has scored 12 World Cup goals, the same number as Pelé, is clearly overweight. He was a study in lumbering immobility until he was replaced in the 69th minute by Robinho, a teammate at Real Madrid."

Source: New York Times

13 June 2006

Togo versus South Korea

South Koreans punting long balls into the penalty area? Rather silly against a taller team.

And it does not help their cause when they can't do accurate passes. That's why someone like David Beckham is worth his weight in gold to the team.
No more Robo-Crouch!

Quoting from a site devoted to football:

"Peter Crouch has decided to cancel his robotic dance routine in a bid to be to taken more seriously."

And he said:

"Being here in Germany is not about robotic dances and being a cult figure. It's about scoring goals and winning football matches."

Awww... I am disappointed! I was really hoping to see it!

" "If we win the World Cup maybe you'll see the whole team do the celebrations, but for the moment I don't think I will be doing it again." "

England win the World Cup? Doh. I think this is one of the most overrated England teams I have seen in years.
Hairstyles of the Japanese Footballers

One of my sisters made an observation during the highly entertaining Australia-Japan football match that the Japanese footballers appeared rather preoccupied with their hairstyles. Every single player had some kind of fashion statement to make via their hair. Orange-dyed hair, brown-dyed hair and so forth. The diversity was astonishing. There weren't any afro, mullet* or mohawks though.

There was even one guy spotting an ultraman hairstyle!** I was almost expecting him to do some death-beam poses!

*I have a friend who has a mullet. A real life mullet in this day and age. He works in advertising. Don't ask.
**It's not a mohawk. If you had seen him you would know what I mean.
Kissenger on Football

Kissenger is an avid football fan! And Roger Cohen from the New York Times spoke to him on the telephone. The conversation and thoughts are recorded in a blog entry on the New York Times.

Here is a fascinating quote from the great man:

“Football requires a total commitment to prevail consistently,” Kissinger said. “It’s a continuous battle.” A little like life, not to mention the pursuit of lasting geo-strategic advantage.

Kissenger was also a player in his early days.

Kissenger's predictions:

“My predictions are Argentina, Brazil or England to win. The English game is a lot more intricate these days.”

12 June 2006

Australia 3 Japan 1

What an amazing turn of events. Simply unbelievable. The drama!

I thought this image is interesting as there are literally hundreds of different items filling the composition. Topographical globe, tape, bottle of glue, chess clock, diskette storage box, telephone, 1-metre long wooden rule, hula hoop, badminton rackets, heliconia, tubes of shuttlecocks, bottle of raisins, bills, and more. Quite diverse.

Bungalow built in the seventies or early eighties

An undistinguished house built in the seventies or eighties. I snapped this as I walked by it one day.

11 June 2006


This is an ink sketch of jungle. The original drawing measures 21cm x 15cm. I drew this with Faber-Castell Pigment Pens. 0.2.

This was drawn off the top of my head while I watched the England Paraguay football match. I started at the kick-off and finished when the last whistle blew. Two hours. The only picture reference I had? A photo book with lots of trees. I needed authenticity.

I wanted to capture the chaotic nature of a jungle as opposed to a forest.

I should be quite productive during this World Cup period. While I watch football, I think I can draw quite a few pictures. However, I won't be staying up for the late matches.

I remember walking in the secondary jungles and remnants of jungles in Singapore when I was in the army and when I was in the army reserves. It was always a joy to walk alone there. When the section or platoon wasn't there and when there weren't that many mosquitoes. I recall that whenever we set up camp, I would pitch my groundsheet a considerable distance away on a hilltop and sleep alone. I don't know but I love the solitude one can find in the wilderness.

Illustration Friday theme: Jungle

10 June 2006

City of martyrs salutes Zarqawi



Quoting from the report:

He regards Zarqawi is a hero, a martyr who died in the name of Islam.

"He was a great leader - he fought for Islam," says Sheikh Kada, drawing nods of approval from the 10 men sitting in the circle.
"I'm happy that he is dead because he is now going to heaven."

Yet more Islamic terrorists. Even young ones.
Illustration Friday sketches

I used to contribute a lot more to those illustration Friday sketches but lately, I have been preoccupied mostly with reading history.

In time to come, I will put up more sketches. There are stacks all over the place which I should scan one day.

Impossible Landscape

A narrow path leading to a vast forest stretching as far as the eye can see. Just a fancy. A silly indulgent piece.

Small piece measuring about 14 cm x 21cm. Faber-Castell pigment pens.

09 June 2006

The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

I must say that I am impressed by the level of immersion I experienced in the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

The interface is highly intuitive. And there are few commands to remember. Yet the wealth of detail is there.

Wilson had highly recommended this one a few months back but I have not taken the time to give it a try out until last night.

These are actual screenshots and not silly cutscenes which are used to attract the gullible.

Source: Screenshots are from the Elder Scrolls website.

Pillbox at Ken Ridge Hill?

I stumbled upon this structure behind the National University Hospital (NUH) one day. Is this a pillbox dating from the last war or is this something far more mundane?

Given that this is beside an empty carpark on a hilltop, there is some possibility. I don't know.

08 June 2006

Book Hunt II: Thirty Years War

Now, the first two appear particularly interesting and I would purchase them if available. The third volume is available online but nothing beats a real book.

Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618-1635 (Contributions in Military Studies) (Hardcover)by William P. Guthrie
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Greenwood Press (October 30, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN: 0313320284

The Later Thirty Years War: From the Battle of Wittstock to the Treaty of Westphalia
(Hardcover)by William P. Guthrie
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Greenwood Press (February 28, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN: 0313324085

History Of The Thirty Years' War In Germany
(Paperback)by Friedrich Von Schiller
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing (June 30, 2004)
Language: Englisha..
ISBN: 1419124293
Book Hunt: Thirty Years War

The are the books I will be hunting for:

Cambridge Modern History
Title: The Cambridge Modern History, Volume IV, The Thirty Years' War
Editors: Ward, Sir A.W.; Prothero, Sir G.W.; Leathes, Sir Stanley KCB
Authors: Ward, Sir A.W.; Brown, Horatio F.; Leathes, Sir Stanley KCB; Reddaway, W.F.; Prothero, Sir G.W.; Lloyd, E.M.; Shaw, W.A.; Tanner, J.R.; Brown, P. Hume; Dunlop, R.; Firth, C.H.; Hume, Martin; Brosch, Moritz; Edmunson, George; Egerton, H.E.; Clutton-Brock, A.; Boutroux, Èmile
Publisher: The Cambridge University Press
ISBN: None
Print Status: Out of print

Asch, The Thirty Years War
Title: The Thirty Years War: The Holy Roman Empire and Europe, 1618-1648
Author: Asch, Ronald G.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, Inc.
ISBN: 0-312-16585-4 (paperback); 0-312-16584-6 (hardcover)
Print Status: In print

Lee, The Thirty Years’ War
Title: The Thirty Years' War
Author: Lee, Stephen J
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0-415-06027-3
Print Status: In print (2d ed.)

Pagès, The Thirty Years War
Title: The Thirty Years War: 1618-1648
Author: Pagès, Georges
Translators: Maland, David; Hooper, John
Publisher: Harper & Row
ISBN: 06-136034-1
Print Status: Out of print

Yes, I do have the Geoffrey Parker and C.V.Wedgwood volumes. And other related ones.

The Art of World of Warcraft by Brady Games

The character and racial concept sketches in the books are fascinating and like many many other art books of games and movies, it opens a door to the hidden process of creation which involved a lot of people. The rendered 3D images though pixellated are also depicted next to the sketches and a friend or two have expressed their disappointment at the poor quality of the captured images in the book.

However, the other captured images in the book do not disappoint and these include the breathtaking cut-scenes used in the game and best of all the images of the landscapes in the World of Warcraft.

The settings (including buildings, bridges, etc) and the landscapes of Warcraft are, in my opinion, one of the highlights and strongpoints of the game. The art book does not disappoint and it has both the concept sketches of the various landscapes and the final computer imagery.

Lastly, the binding of this particular volume can be abysmal. My book fell apart as soon as I opened the last page. Apparently, I was not the only person to have experienced that. A reviewer in Amazon also had the misfortune. So, before one were to purchase this volume, one should examine the binding carefully. The glue used was apparently lacking.

07 June 2006

Sim Tower

For the past two nights, I have been engrossed with building my tower. Maxis' old Sim Tower game has always been a favourite, yet, I have only played it a little throughout the years.

Last night, I finally built a 100-storey 5-star building with a cathedral on top. I could see a more efficient way of this tower the next time round. It's an intriguing puzzle in a way as one has to manage changes as they occur. One cannot adopt a top-down plan and expect things to fall into place as initially finances are very limited. And some infrastructure, once built, cannot be removed.

Now, I will embark on conquering a Napoleonic game.

Rain rain

What a contrast May and June is proving to be. Sunny days, blue skies and all. These were a series of images taken of the afternoons in April. Warehouses and factories under grey skies.
Lothlorien Forum

I have left the Lothlorien Forum for good. I can't agree with the tyrannical policies and double standards there. Good riddance.

From the last looks of it, the place is descending into some form of an anti-government forum with political agitation and more. Not far from what you see on the newsgroup soc.culture.singapore anyway. Common fare. If you enjoy vehement anti-government fare, anti-PAP tirades, this may just be the place for you.

Too bad that the original favour of the Lothlorien BBS is lost.
Outside The Heeren on a Saturday afternoon

Images taken from the camera on my mobile on a late Saturday afternoon.

It has been sunny lately.

Anyway, the large HMV store in the Heeren appears to be downsizing yet again. HMV did downsize the second floor unit a few years ago. Now, it looks as if HMV will be downsizing the first store frontage substantially.

It is quite a pity as HMV used to offer a great variety of music, movies, and magazines. The selection in the music section has shrank again and again over the years. It is quite a sorry sight now.

Meanwhile, Tower Records has downsized itself practically out of the market. There is only a tiny outlet left in Suntec City. Whatever happened to that large megastore in Scotts Road?

I guess downloads of mp3 files on bittorrent, Napster, AudioGalaxy happened.

06 June 2006

Mamluk: 13th Century Warfare in the Latin East

This expansion to the GMT Games' 'Devil's Horsemen' came in yesterday. The expansion features the battles of Mansourah where the Army of the Seventh Crusade (King [Saint] Louis IX) fought the Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt (Emir Fakr-ed-din) in Egypt, February 8, 1250 and the Second Battle of Homs where the previously invincible Mongols of the Ilkhan Horde (Mengu Tamar) fought the Mamluks (Sultan Qalawun) in Syria, October 29, 1281.

The contents of the pack includes:

140 Full-color counters
One 34"x22" full-color map
16-page Rule and Scenario Book

Pax Romana: The Ancient Mediterranean World

This game just came in the mail last night.

Quoting from the GMT Games website:

"PAX ROMANA covers the Europe from 300 BC through the end of the 1st century BC, when control of the Mediterranean was in a state of flux with four empires possible. And it does so with a scale and system that is filled with decision-making tension but also highly accessible and easy to play. The emphasis is on strategic operations, from raising armies to colonizing outlying areas, to fighting barbarian incursions, to maintaining political stability at home.
PAX uses a unique marker-oriented play sequence that provides surprise and opportunity, plus a deck of unusual cards that provide the historical background of events and calamities within which the players must operate.

Each turn represents 25 years, with the movement of forces and the shifting of power occurring at a proportionately very large scale. Combat takes place throughout the game, but they, too, represent ongoing conflict as much as individual battles. But even here, subtleties are built-in: force composition matters – armies overbalanced by cheap light infantry suffer penalties, while cavalry can single-handedly make the difference between winning and losing – and knowing when and where to make a stand and when to withdraw to safer places can literally decide the fate of a power for an entire generation."

The contents of the game includes:

Three 1/2 inch & one 5/8 inch Counter Sheets
55 Event Cards
One 22"x34" Mapsheet
2 Player Aid Cards (11"x17")
Standard Rules Book
Advanced Rules Book
2 Combat Ratio Cards
2 6-sided dice

This monster which can accommodate 2-4 players will take at least 10-15 hours to play per scenario.

Oooh, intriguing.

I bought an interesting Michael Grant book titled 'The Mediterranean World' a few weeks ago.
Napoleon at the Crossroads

OSG has announced that the cutoff for pre-orders of Napoleon at the Crossroads is due to end at the end of June 2006.


3.75 mi. per hex, 3 days per turn, 3,000 men per Strength Point.

COMPONENTS: One 22" x 34" map and 280 two-sided counters; 56 pages of rules including campaign analysis; 10 player aid cards, including French andCoalition March Tables showing the set-up positions in all 9 scenarios; Turn Record Card; Displays, Charts & Tables; Game box.

o Single-sitting Scenarios and Campaign Game in 2 sittings.
o Full color 22 x 34" map by Grünitz and Youst covers the whole theater including parts of Saxony, Silesia, Brandenburg and Poland at 1:375:000. Hexes represent 6 km of actual terrain.
o Each turn represents 3 days; 3,000 man Strength Points.
o Part of the "Campaigns of Napoleon System," 2X Series.
o March Tables show the set-up positions of all units and Leaders on 8 critical days.

Source: Newsletter from Kevin Zucker

05 June 2006

Burning Heels

I ran a brisk 2.6km at Toa Payoh Stadium this evening. I could feel my heels burning. The heat dissipation from this pair of Brooks running shoes is not superior to my previous New Balance ones.

Anyhow, my pace had increased as compared to my pace in April. I could feel the heat on my soles when I run now.
The better writer

I was having a conversation on MSN Messenger today when AK mentioned that he had finally read Colin's blog and he thought it was well-written. I told him that Colin has always been an excellent and witty writer* and is a better writer than AK. AK, being a top, highly-paid, award-winning copywriter, was scandalised by that comment and he was obviously displeased. After several more exchanges, with me having great fun, poking him about it, unleashing one broadside after another...

This was part of what transpired after:

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Seriously, I do think he is a better writer than you.
AK says:
well, you haven't read anything i have other than usual work.
AK says:
that's not a good comparison
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You claim to have better writing hidden somewhere?
Chuang Shyue Chou says:
AK says:
i don't have any, because i simply haven't written any.

*Colin's emails and forum posts are witty, well-written and entertaining. His blog is not very reflective of that.
God Module 'Empath'

01. Catalyst
02. Telekinetic
03. As The Night Falls
04. Entranced
05. Reverse Inversion
06. Curse
07. Levitation
08. Dear Dead Flesh
09. Ever After
10. Lunacy

Six months after I placed an order with Amazon, a note arriving informing me that this CD was not available. Well done Amazon! So, I did an eBay search and found this brand new item at half the cost. What can I say? I promptly bid and paid for it.
paternalism ( P )
n. A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.

adj : benevolent but sometimes intrusive

Source: Dictionary.com

We see censorship in the media. We see political correctness and self-imposed censorship. We see a system of rules regarding censorship. We see censorship everywhere.

Yet, when it comes down to it, people here do want censorship, consciously or unconsciously. And at the end of it all, they deserve the society they have built.
Metal Tragedy

Once upon a time, there was a Chinese kid whose parents saved a sum of money and then sent him to Singapore for his studies.

The boy appeared to be a decent, prim and proper kid. After he arrived, he came to live at this hostel pictured here.

He had a room with a large window (not pictured here) and he soon became quite a big fan of heavy metal and hard rock, growing his hair and stuff. He looked nothing like the Chinese boy who first came here.

One day, he started playing his guitar (or perhaps his air guitar) and jumped vigorously on his bed which was right next to the large window. Needless to say, while headbanging or rocking away, he flew off the bed and out of the window.

The heart-broken parents came and claimed his body within the week.

*This was reported in the Chinese papers and there were two photos of the boy. One with his hair intact and one with his heavy metal hairstyle. This tragedy happened some months ago.

04 June 2006

Armchair General

Paradigm Infinitium has began carrying the Armchair General magazine. It is S$7.10 a copy.

Terence first showed us an early issue about a year or two ago. The magazine does appear promising, especially for wargamers.
The Longhouse, Uncle Joe Western Grill

This is the Longhouse hawker centre at Upper Thomson Road. Uncle Joe Western Grill, located in the Longhouse, is, according to Lam, the best western food hawker stall in Singapore. And I believe he has tried many.

And I am inclined to agree with him. This stall serves the usual chicken chop, bolognaise spaghetti and sirloin steak. In addition, it serves sausages of different varieties in a sausage dish with mashed potato! A German-styled dish! Amazing.

03 June 2006


I will be in town later. So, if you want to join me for a coffee, do give me a call!


The Strategy & Tactics magazine

I have bought and read Strategy & Tactics on a regular basis for some years. When Borders first brought them in in the mid-nineties, it was a godsend. It became easily available. Previously, only the now defunct Leisurecraft at Orchard Point carried it.

Strategy & Tactics is a magazine dealing in military history and military affairs, often seen from the perspective of conflict modellers, and wargamers. It has its roots in commercial wargaming in the seventies. The magazine existed in two forms. The newsstand edition is the normal edition sold in bookstores while the hobbyist edition includes a wargame or conflict simulation which modelled an aspect of a battle or war featured. The hobbyist edition is three times the price of a newsstand edition.

The magazine brings back a lot of memories.

I recall eyeing them over twenty years ago. At that time, the price of an individual issue (hobbyist edition) was unaffordable for a teenager.

Of late, in my opinion, the writing has been inadequate and there are glaring mistakes. The topics covered have been rather uninteresting in my eyes, for instance, the First World War, American Civil War, American Revolution, the Wild West, etc.

The depth is basically alright for for most laypeople. Somehow, I have been reading far too much. As such, the material in the magazine has become redundant. I think I have bought my last issue. S&T is no longer adequate. The orders of battle is not detailed enough though it is interesting to an extent. The tables of organisation are also not enough.

Over the years, I have dropped 'Military History', 'Military History Quarterly' (MHQ) and 'Command'. I do pick up the occasional issue of World Air Power Journal or Warship.

It's too bad that industry magazines and journals such as Janes Defence Weekly, Aviation Week & Space Technology and the Franco-German Military Techology are not easily available and accessible. Pity.

I do heavily recommend the informative Strategy & Tactics to people with an interest in military affairs and history though I will be ceasing my purchase of them.

02 June 2006

Saint Etienne 'Nice Price'

1. Nothing Can Stop Us (alternative vocal)
2. 7 Ways 2 Love (Sarah vocal, original white label)
3. Who Do You Think You Are (original mix, Debsey vocal)
4. Hobart Paving (alternative single mix)
5. Like A Motorway (demo)
6. Former Lover (single mix)
7. Western Wind (demo)
8. Angel (original mix)
9. Burnt Out Car (original mix)
10. Sylvie (alternative single mix)
11. Madeleine (alternative mix)
12. Lose That Girl (demo)
13. Heart Failed (In The Back Of A Taxi) (demo)
14. How We Used To Live (Berlin rough mix)
15. Milk Bottle Symphony (alternative mix)
16. Goodnight (demo)

Good ol' Colin bought a few copies of this CD and gave me one! Woo! A limited Saint Etienne CD only given to fan club people.

The songs are not new but it's pretty good. I liked it more than the current album.
Apple goofs up yet again! Help! I am stuck in this MacLift!

First the flaming iBook. Now this, the malfunctioning elevator. Colin just sent this a short while ago. Hilarious!

The exerpt:

Not eight days after Apple's new flagship store was unveiled, Stevie J.'s fantastical glass elevator began acting a bit wonky, first opening and shutting its doors, then finally sealing in its passengers on the upper level. Apple store employees worked their hardest to release the bunch, but eventually the NYPD had to be called; the elevator's hydraulic system had to be drained, and the confined group was let out in the store's bowels (i.e. lower level).

Help! Help! The MacLift sucks! Save us! Save us!

Perhaps, if you got into a Linux lift instead! Hahahaha.


01 June 2006

More images of Upper Thomson Road

Taken with a 640x480 camera on a mobile phone. Not the clearest of images.

iBook going up in flames!

Hilarious! The new reports of an iBook going up in flames! WOO HOO! Hahahahah. Too funny.

From WCCO.Com:

"I mean, it was five minutes and (the computer) was in flames," Cindy Brown said. "The computer burst into flames. It doesn't seem real that you would have a fire in a computer. We all could have died, and the house could have burned down."

Source: http://wcco.com/consumer/local_story_148150249.html

From Daily Tech:

Quality control at Apple continues to go down hill

Reports are surfacing that laptop batteries have become a cause for concern. A report on CBS-affiliate WCCO talks about how a boy's Apple G4 iBook burst into flames. Dave Brown, an 11-year old boy left his iBook in the living room only to find that the carpet beneath the laptop had started to melt when he returned. In fear, his parents took the laptop outside only to find it in flames several minutes later. Other users on Apple's discussion boards have reported that their power adapters have caught on fire and even the FireWire ports on some units.

Source: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2607

And the best bit of all:

Apple has not responded to questions about its batteries or quality control issues. There was also no feedback on whether or not the organized call center flood actually achieved a tangible reaction from Apple.

Source: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2607
Typical hot sunny day in Singapore

Image taken at the Thomson Road area. The sunshine was blinding earlier.
Useful words to know

v. intr.To give forth a loud shrill cry or sound. Slang. To turn informer; betray an accomplice or secret.

n. One who tattles on others; an informer or talebearer.
adj. Revealing; telltale.

adj : having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride; "an arrogant official"; "arrogant claims"; "chesty as a peacock"

Source: Dictionary.com