30 December 2007

I spent most of the day reading 'The Siege of Mecca'. I would recommend this account of that fateful siege in 1979. A forgotten event.
I usually don't care for the eight course wedding dinners. However, I had the best wedding dinner I had ever had in my life on Saturday evening at the Intercontinental Hotel. He was so nice and he had a menu just for me! Stupendous!

27 December 2007


A swift ballpoint pen doodle done during work. Illustration Friday theme: Horizon
It's Thursday! I have another wedding to attend over the weekend. Oh well. There goes the weekend.

26 December 2007

State of Progress: Mobile Weapon Battle Stations PvP Rankings

My PvP rankings. Most of my kills were made over a short two week period about a month ago.
State of Progress:Mobile Weapon: Battle Stations

My current level is 50. This is the state of my ship, which is a level 35 Obsidian Destroyer before I re-configured it. I had two battering rams, a bolter cluster and shield armour mounted.

Siu Hean is level 51. Kuoby is stubbornly clinging onto level 49 when he can be 50. Right now, the universal problem is the shortage of plasma rocks. Plasma rocks for a level 50 or level 55 ship. Plasma rocks for weapons. Plasma rocks for just about everything.

Brian and Dillon have just started out. Brian is already level 18 and he has been sinking quite a number of ships.

24 December 2007

Tree - Unfinished

Ballpoint pen doodle. Unfinished. Heh.


A ballpoint pen doodle. This one, like the others, is small in size.
Pelikan Stick ballpoint pen. A German ballpoint. I applied a 'light sharpness' filter to the image.

23 December 2007

Hand - Unfinished

Another ballpoint pen doodle. This was another which I drew while manning the cash register. I will probably finish it soon.

I haven't been posting my drawings and doodles but I will do so soon enough.

A simple ballpoint pen doodle. Business has been rather slow these few days. I drew this with a ballpoint pen as I man the cash register. It was inspired by the two ruined pillars of Nan Chiau School which I saw one rainy Saturday afternoon at Kim Yam Street.

21 December 2007

Borders Coupon

Buy any 3 full-priced books and get 30% off. Cardholders get an additional 10%.

Buy any 4 full-priced books and get 40% off. Cardholders get an additional 10%.

Offer ends on 24.12.2007. Click here.
Obesity kills and more

Fat? Yeah, fat people have short life spans.

Likewise, short people are not any better off.

19 December 2007

I visited Shangri La hotel for the first time in years last night and was surprised at the changes.

18 December 2007

Strangely enough, I had a problem with a thick local accent when I was looking for a Doraemon fluffy toy at the Mini Toons store at Junction 8 yesterday. A salesgirl came up and spoke in Mandarin or Singlish. I could not make out what she was saying as her speech was marked with a heavy inflection and slur. No, I didn't think that she was mainland Chinese, rather, I thought that she was local but she was simply lazy in pronouncing individual words. I could not make out the individual words as she slurred. ARRRGH! I felt like a stranger in my country! ARRRGH!

15 December 2007

Slow morning. Glorious sunshine and all. Here I am, in the office, in front of a screen. Boo!

14 December 2007

Borders Discounts

The discounts will last until the 18th of December which is a Tuesday.

30% off for a full-priced book. Click here for the coupon.

Spend over $50.00 and get 40% off one full-priced book. Click here.

As in all cases, cardholders get a further 10% off.
Oh well, the problem with the computer is intermittent. It is working now. I shall leave it.

13 December 2007

My worse fears, well not really, had come true. I called Wei Yi for a second opinion. The motherboard was dying, hence, the intermittent problems.
Hmm.. the problem is not as straight-forward as I thought. Not HDD apparently. Not CPU or power supply fan either.
Installing a new HDD. Phew!

12 December 2007

Oh dear. What a disaster! A HDD on an important computer has died. No backups.

11 December 2007

Quote of the Year

The quote coming from Kuoby was a classic:

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (1:38 PM):
quite different from pushing products to people who don't need them

Yes, he was in the advertising industry.
A Scalzi Duo

I finished 'The Ghost Brigades' early last week after a blaze of furious reading. In my opinion, 'The Ghost Brigades' was a loose but unnecessary sequel to 'Old Man's War' but it was fun with its Byzantine plotting and swift pacing. This military space opera was somewhat self-indulgent with lots of name-dropping tributes in the form of clone names. And was this a form of referential fandom? I would not know. Surprisingly, the novel had ended with a James Bond-type ending with the master villain explaining everything a la Dr.Evil. I felt that the Heinlein-esque elements found in the previous novel had somewhat disappeared and whether this was a good thing would really depend on the reader at hand. All in all, a swift, escapist read.

Meanwhile, John Scalzi had written an interesting blog post on Heinlein a few days back. For the record, I liked Heinlein and thought that he was far superior to other Golden Age SF writers, say Asimov or Herbert.

'The Android's Dream' was a humourous romp through the galaxy with elements of espionage, dynastic struggles, relentless chases, and clever detective work. The title, of course, offered a very obvious tip of the hat to Philip K. Dick as did the text within. The described computer hacking exploits were, of course, loosely reminiscent of the war-diallers, rootkits and so forth found in descriptions of hacking exploits. Scalzi had done his research. I thought that the over-the-top action sequences with its lovingly-described violence and the gruesome deaths did seem to detract somewhat from the absurdist feel and black humour.

Scalzi's works had been enjoyable being lightweight escapades. What I had liked about Scalzi was his sense of self-awareness and that had come through in his writing, both fiction and blog posts. 'The Android's Dream' would be my penultimate Scalzi title. There was so much out there to read and explore and I would not want to confine myself or devote too much time to a single author.

*Fortunately, I had managed to re-create most of my blog post through memory.
When one does want this fucked up software to save, it saves continuously. And when one needs its autosave feature, it doesn't do it. Screwed!
Blogger is fucked up. I lost another long post which I had spent quite a while composing. Fustrating!

10 December 2007

A slow rainy afternoon. Oh well.
Oh well. I did not get to swim yesterday. It was raining all day and the pool was likely closed due to potential lightning strikes.

08 December 2007

Facebookers facing books

I met with a few Facebookers from the Singapore Network last night. Marcus had wanted to meet up to buy a few books at Borders. Then, since Shalom was going to browse and Wendy wanted a book too, we arranged to meet at 6:15 pm.

Ultimately, Marcus got what he wanted and he rushed off. Wendy also managed to find her book too.

I bought a tome on Chinese military history and one on the business history of Starbucks. Are the two correlated? Heh.
I thought I would never say this but the smashed pea and bean soup at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Forum Galleria is excellent!

06 December 2007

Heavens heavens! It's Thursday.
Surrender all your rights!

John Scalzi has a good article on why one should not submit one's fiction to Dragon magazine. Quoting from his Blog Whatever:

"Note to aspiring fantasy writers out there: avoid Dragon magazine, which has apparently re-opened to fiction submissions. The pay is on the low side of adequate for the genre (three to six cents a word), but the kicker is that for that royal sum, you are expected to give up all rights to your work. Says so right there on the submissions page — in fact, it says it twice, in rapid succession: “In the event we buy your manuscript, you must assign your rights to us. That means that once your contract is signed, we’ll own all rights in your submission.”"

Who is really surprised? It's Dragon magazine.

05 December 2007

State of Progress: Mobile Weapon Battle Stations

I'm currently at level 42.

The game has been highly engrossing. Kuoby, Siu Hean and I would discuss ship armaments and choices. Different strategies and so forth. Siu Hean, Anthony, Kuoby, Yen Lyn, Alex, Matas, Zak (Jackson, Turner) are active and are doing well. Siu Hean is at level 46!

A few days ago, I started ship killing again and racked up over 80 kills. I previously had about 15 kills or so.

"You have: 104 wins, 3 losses = 97.2% Wins"

Evil Anthony has killed my ship twice with his four impact cannons!


Kuoby revealed a secret, his ship stats:

Level: 42 (Exp: 1,938,724/1,976,650)
Craft: 1
Gunnery: 90
Navigation: 98
Stats Points: 0
HP: 0/5050
Capacity: 1790/2000
Speed: 223 (+98)

An exchange on Windows Live about this a few minutes ago:

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:41 AM):
You have spare capacity.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:41 AM):
Why don't you mount a crest or something for more hp?

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
that capacity is my NPC attacker config

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
in defensive mode, i only have like 30 capacity spare

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:42 AM):

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
that's with my shield armour on

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
shield armour, 2 rams and gun buster, that's all i have space for

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:42 AM):
ahh... I thought you were dumb.

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:43 AM):
dumb is how your ass feels after a ramming.

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:43 AM):
oops, i mean, numb, sorry you numbskull

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:44 AM):

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:44 AM):
do i make your blog? do i? do i?

04 December 2007

Personal Favourites - December 2007

Front Line Assembly - Fallout
Clan of Xymox - Heroes
Rotersand - 1023
Edge of Dawn - Enjoy the Fall
Assemblage 23 - Meta
Funker Vogt - Aviator
God Module - Let's go dark
Covenant - In Transit
Mind in a Box - Crossroads
Red Flag - Born Again
Information Society - Synthesizer
Pet Shop Boys - Disco 4
Duran Duran - Red Carpet Massacre
Marc Almond - Stardom Road

This is my current playlist* at the moment. What is your playlist? ie in your CD player, mp3 player, computer, etc? Do share!

*excluding classical music.

03 December 2007

A dreary Monday. Slow slow.
Astounding! Activision is merging with Blizzard in a new entity Activision Blizzard!

According to a BBC report"

"As part of the merger plan, Blizzard will invest $2bn in the new company, while Activision is putting up $1bn.

The merged business will be called Activision Blizzard and its chief executive will be Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick. Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.

Jean-Bernard Levy, Vivendi chief executive, said: "This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector."

02 December 2007

I was at the Doc Green's Gourmet Salad and Grill last night. I enjoyed the salad. However, something was very long as it took them forever to serve their dishes. Salads and sandwiches for heaven's sake. I think they had only ONE chef. Until the service is improved, I doubt if I would be returning.

I swam my usual twenty laps this morning. The waters was cool and refreshing. I spent a lot of time writing my diary and reading 'The Ghost Brigades' today.

01 December 2007

Last night, I was at the City Hall which used to house the Public Service Commission (PSC). It brought back some memories. I wondered if it was still housed there. Heh.

The design event was filled with many people in black clothing. Heh. Tight pants too.

30 November 2007

The discounts keep coming!

Another Borders discount. 30% off for a full-priced book. Another 10% off for card holders. The coupon is found here.

Offer ends on the 13th of December.

Splendid! WOO!
Friday! YESYESYES! Wheeeee!

29 November 2007

Singapore Open Gaming XXII

Ken announces the next Singapore Open Gaming session:
Time: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Date: 15.12.2007, Saturday
Venue: Queen's Road, RC Room
All are welcome! Boardgames! A lot of us will be bringing games. So, even if you have no games, it's alright. We are willing to teach.
Goodness! It's already Thursday!
Yet more books

I was at Borders last night and I picked up three volumes.

The Naked Brain: How the Emerging Neurosociety is Changing How We Live, Work, and Love by Richard Restak

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi

Late last night, I was racing through 'The Ghost Brigades'. Heh. Great fun.

28 November 2007

27 November 2007

Scrabulous: Lim-Trashing!

I just got Lim-trashed! In my last turn, I managed a 64 point lay overhauling her but the Lim Champ nonchalantly went and do a 26-point lay, thus winning the game! Her Lim-Prowess is amazing!

Me 324
Benita 353

I had one V tile left. DEV or VOX was available if Lim Champ hadn't completed BISE, IDE, SOX.

After seeing a doctor today, I had chicken cutlet (breaded chicken) at the Ritz Apple Strudel & Pastry at Upper Thomson Road. The chicken seemed undercooked and somewhat rubbery. The staff kindly cooked it again.
'Old Man's War' - John Scalzi

Kelvin and I were browsing at Page One at Vivocity a few weeks ago and discussing SF depictions of future war when he recommended 'Old Man's War'. We shared our admiration of Robert Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers' and Joe Haldemann's 'The Forever War', but I was disappointed with most bestselling military SF books which were essentially war stories or westerns in minimal SF trappings. Honour in outerspace? Doh...

On Saturday night, I had bought 'Old Man's War' at Borders. After I read Sam Harris' eloquent 'Letter to a Christian Nation' on Sunday, I started this riveting read that night and subsequently finished it last night.

John Scalzi's 'Old Man's War' is a Heinlein-esque, wide-eyed view of future war with different approaches of waging war being taken with regard to different aliens. As Kelvin had observed, the work was reminiscent of 'The Forever War' and 'Starship Troopers' and there was a lengthly exposition of the technology involving and the methods of war-making. It was an imaginative extrapolation of what war could be like rather than merely the usual honourable men with ray guns against honourable aliens with ray guns.

War was essentially genocidal in nature in Scalzi's future and it was plausible and consistent within his framework. No honourable aliens (ie Indians, Japanese or mysterious 'other'). Phew!

I would be picking up 'Ghost Brigades' later this week at Borders.

26 November 2007

More Books

I bought quite a few more books on Saturday. I picked up the following at Borders:

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 by Richard Preston (Editor), Tim Folger (Series Editor)

Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

and this volume at the Big Bookshop:

The New Brain: How the Modern Age Is Rewiring Your Mind by Richard Restak

I started and finished 'Letter to a Christian Nation' on Sunday. Splendid volume. I would highly recommend it to everyone.

I had also started on 'Old Man's War'. Kelvin had recommended it some time back.

25 November 2007

Bolton 1 Manchester United 0

This is a great weekend for football! Manchester United lost! Yeah! England out! Splendid! Sunderland hammered for 7! HURRAH!

From the BBC report, Roy Keane had this comment to make:

"It's hard to take, but we lose as a team and I picked the team and sorted the tactics so I have no problem taking responsibility for what happened."

Hahahaha! Take responsibility indeed. He's beginning to sound like McClown.

Meanwhile, all England has to do is to appoint Alan Shearer for manager! Hahahaha. Hopefully, the Football Association won't make that mistake. English football needs an experienced disciplinarian and tactician as a manager, not Alan Shearer.
Sadly, the game session hadn't come to pass. Dillon had to look after his Dillonling. I had dinner at Stew Haus last night. Delicious stuff and reasonably priced. I would love to go back there again. Wei Yi gave me a poster of a saluting Benito Mussolini last night. He suggested that I imitated that raised arm salute. Hahaha!

This morning, I swam an hour earlier than my normal hour. The pool was almost deserted when I started my twenty laps.

I started and finished 'Letter to a Christian Nation' by Sam Harris this afternoon. I would recommend this volume to everyone, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists...

24 November 2007

Crazy Ang Mo

I had dinner at the Crazy Ang Mo stall at Bishan Street 24 last night. The stall, run by the jolly 'Crazy Ang Mo', was situated near the Bishan North Shopping Mall.

His jovial demeanour was quite a contrast to the many sullen people I saw around the mall. Weird. There wasn't a queue and the food came swiftly. I had the sausage dish while my friend had the fish and chips. I thought that the chips (or French fries) which was salted was much better than those salt-coated rock-hard French fries from McDonald's.

The food was not bad, certainly much better than the run-of-the-mill western food stalls in food courts and hawker centres. In my opinion, it was certainly better than the usual Cafe Cartel, Swensons, Hans or Jack's Place. Decent at a reasonable price.

I picked up the three volumes at Borders last night after dinner at the Crazy Ang Moh stall at Bishan. With a 35% discount coupon and a card, the discounts amounted to 41.5%. It was a great time to stock up on books.

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006 (The Best American Series) by Brian Greene (Editor), Tim Folger (Series Editor)

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker

I had read a few science volumes over the last few years and had found it much more intriguing and thought-provoking than the many bad mass-market SF novels which suffered from a poverty of imagination.

How many space westerns or war stories in SF trappings do we need?

23 November 2007

Wow! According to a Times report, Martin O'Neill has ruled himself out. This is indeed getting very interesting.

22 November 2007


Another funny thread. Benita is bored.

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (3:13 PM):
psle results are out

Chuang Shyue Chou says (3:13 PM):
Oh? How did you do?

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (3:13 PM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (3:13 PM):
i'm not taking my psle

Chuang Shyue Chou says (3:14 PM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (3:14 PM):
You set yourself up.

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (3:15 PM):
i thought you were dumb

Chuang Shyue Chou says (3:15 PM):
The Secret Origins of Kuoby!

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):
Wait till you turn into a tubby penguin when you hit 39!

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
stuck in the past

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
nah, that's kuoby

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
do you know the game Kirby?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):
You could be Ms Penguin!

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
i thought you took reference from there

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:56 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
to call kuoby a kuoby

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:56 AM):
lemme show you

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:57 AM):
Well, he's a kuoby.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:57 AM):
Kuoby is the best funny combo.

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:57 AM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:57 AM):
After lots and lots of permutations.

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:57 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
is almos tthe epitome of kuoby

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):
Hahahaah! Too funny!

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):
It's almost like Kuoby!

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
fat, rotund, rubicund

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
sans the cute factor

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):
Hahaaha. Yeah. Grumpy!

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
which is WHY i thought you took reference to call Kuoby something Kirbyish!

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
do it!

Beni † ♪ Achtung! says (11:58 AM):
blog about it!

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):
Ugly too.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (11:58 AM):
England 2 Croatia 3: McClown gets the Sack!

After receiving a reprieve when Israel beat Russia, England should have at least gotten a draw against Croatia which had already qualified for the Euro 2008. However, under McClown's leadership, England faltered. Even then, McClown was still resisting resignation, insisting that he would stay on. I guess there was a clause with a couple of million pounds if he were to be forced to leave.

At least, there is a bright spot to all this. McClown is finally getting the sack according to the Sun. YESYESYES!

21 November 2007

I went for a short 3 km run yesterday evening. Given the impending rain, the temperature was an ideal 27.5 degrees Centigrade.

I should really run more often.

20 November 2007

Hmm... My connection is quite wonky today. Facebook, Windows Live, and a few other sites are highly unreliable today. Weird.

19 November 2007

Mannin University

Mannin University was supposedly in Dublin, Ireland according to reports. I did a check on Google with a simple search. The recent furore over credentials as reported in the Straits Times and Asia One had sent many in search of that higher institute of education on search engines.

Google did yield a result of a person from the Maldives who had an honorary doctorate from Mannin in Dublin. Heh. I wouldn't purchase insurance from him. Another search yielded something from Bulgaria, a Thai fitness thing. I tried a few permutations.

From the search results, there were apparently people with Sports Science, Marine Biology and Engineering Ph.D. from Mannin University. Oh yes, there was also one with a Ph. D. in Musical Arts in Bassoon Performance. A nice variety.

I did a Yahoo search too. A Wikipedia search yielded nothing too. Nada. Zilch.

Later, I checked 'Mannin' on Google. More promising but nothing that pertained to an educational establishment. I would be doing a few more searches on using education-based keywords later. Would that be yielding something?


I also did a search on http://www.google.ie/ , the Irish Google. Again, it was fruitless. Mysterious.

Addendum II

Another search in the Google directory for education in Dublin, Ireland returned a list of schools, universities and institutes. No mention of the mysterious Mannin University. I did a few more searches with 'Ireland University', 'Dublin Ireland University' and a few more permutations. They were all fruitless.

16 November 2007

Bookstores: Why I keep returning to Borders

I guess it is the atmosphere after all. Borders has light-coloured wooden furniture and wide aisles, allowing for a lightness about the place that is uplifting. Kinokuniya, on the other hand, has always felt to me like a clean sanitised toilet of sorts, a sterile, severe classroom, a tea room for aunties. The sombre dark tiles on the flooring, the sterile feel of the shelves and the narrowness of the aisles. The overall feel. To me, Times and MPH feel anonymous, more of a place that peddles books on an incidental basis. I will speak of PageOne, Sunny, Sans, Basheer, Select and a few others when I feel like it one of these days.

Surprisingly, I find that Siu Hean's opinions regarding Borders and Kinokuniya echo mine.
Metal Lattices

A few days ago, I dreamt of the metal lattices of the base of the Eiffel tower being lifted and then lowered in place by unseen cranes. It was just the last in a series of fantastical images whirling in my mind before I woke up. I had vague impressions before these fleeting images vanished, lost utterly into the recesses of my mind.
Wake up!

Another amusing MSN/Windows Live exchange with Kuoby:

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (9:41 AM):
wake up shit for brains

Chuang Shyue Chou says (9:41 AM):
Good morning!

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (9:53 AM):
as they say in french

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (9:53 AM):
f*ck you

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (9:53 AM):

Chuang Shyue Chou says (9:55 AM):
Hmm.. What's with the potty mouth so early this morning?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (9:58 AM):
Were you bullied at work?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:02 AM):
Are you okay?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:05 AM):
Did you fall in a man-hole?

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:15 AM):
it was a mischan

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:15 AM):
It was? You sounded so innocent. It must be true then.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:19 AM):
What are you up to on this fine day?

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:22 AM):
doing mail outs of information updates

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:23 AM):
You deliver mail now?

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:24 AM):
shut up, don't talk about things you don't understand

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:24 AM):

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:25 AM):
i mean, why, no, dear SC. I'm sending out information updates to our mailing list. preparing them etc.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:25 AM):
You are delivering mail.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:25 AM):
Info updates to mailing list is an euphemism for delivering mail.

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:26 AM):
what do you know, shithead

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:26 AM):

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:26 AM):
i mean, why you're in error, dear SC.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:27 AM):
You were a copywriter with a top-end media firm in Singapore and now you were delivering mail.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:28 AM):
Dress it up. Call it updates to mailing list but

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:28 AM):
you were delivering mail. Isn't going postal an ambition of yours?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:28 AM):
Going postal with your long knives and Glock 17?
Huge Borders Discounts!

Whoa! This current discount is even greater than the previous. It starts now and will end on the 29th of November.

Buy any three full-priced books and receive 35% off. Cardholders receive another 10% off. That works out to be 41.5%! WOW! The coupon is here.

30% off one full-priced VCD or DVD. The coupon is here.

15 November 2007

I had diagnosed the printer problem correctly. It was a cartridge with a faulty print head. The Canon repairman came just now, he changed the cartridge and everything was fine! Excellent!

Brilliant! Thank you Canon for the service.
I am still reading Stephen Oppenheimer's 'Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World'. Intriguing. The early people of South-East Asia and East Asia.
A slow Thursday. It would be a day more before the weekend. The week had certainly flown by. I spent last night reading something on the Centurion MBT and also the Yamato class battleships.

I also read Orhan Pamuk's 'My Name is Red'.

14 November 2007

Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek)

Spellbinding! This short, evocative thirty-minute film of children and demons amidst a haunting deserted metropolis took my breath away. Wow! This would definitely beat anything coming out of Pixar easily.

Thanks to Kelvin who first showed me the backgrounds and later lent the DVD to me. Without his direction, I would not have known of the existence of this little gem.
I was very impressed. A few hours after I left feedback at the Canon website, a lady from the Canon servicing department called. Responsive.

Very impressive.

Anyway, I suspected it was a cartridge problem. I tested the slot with another cartridge of a different colour and it was fine. I would be heading down to Sim Lim Square this evening nevertheless to pick up a new cartridge as a stop-gap.

Once I quoted my serial number and warranty card to Canon, they would be sending a technician over.
Marc Almond 'Stardom Road'

'Stardom Road' is my last Marc Almond CD for the foreseeable future. In my opinion, like Erasure's dismal 'Other People's Songs', this self-indulgent release has little to recommend, beyond the artiste performing his favourite songs. In this deadly-dull, vocal-driven tribute of 'classic' covers, Almond and guests sing with gusto but with minimal instrumentation. Boring.

1. I Have Lived
2. I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten
3. Besitter Images
4. The London Boys
5. Strangers In The Night
6. The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men
7. Stardom Road
8. Kitsch
9. Backstage (I'm Lonely)
10. Dream Lover
11. Happy Heart
12. Redeem
13. The Curtain Falls
Time to take action. No point in waiting and hoping for a response. I will have to go to Sim Lim Square to purchase a new Canon 8Y cartridge which may or may not solve the problem.
I just sent a nice polite query to Canon Singapore about this.

Let's see how they respond. It should be interesting.
A Canon Problem

This Canon PIXMA iP3300 printer is a piece of crap. It is suffering from a constant ink tank recognition problem. And these are the original cartridges that came with the printer too.

I have used many printers over the years. I haven't encountered something as flawed and unreliable as this Canon rubbish. Now, there is going to be a loss of work hours and more likely work days devoted to getting this sent to a service centre and so forth.

To think that Canon, supposedly a respected maker of printers came out with this.

I am frustrated. AVOID this piece of junk like the plague.

P.S. And yes, it is securely affixed. The contacts appear clean and I have not touched them.

A Lim Champ Trashing

Announcing Lim Champ's tremendous Scrabulous victory over me again! 468 to 355 points! Oh no! Crushed again!

13 November 2007

Spring cleaning is great. This year, I have cleaned out quite a bit more. Less encumbrance.

It's not worth it.
Venturing for Food

Generally, I would have my lunch in the office, that was, in the cavernous warehouse and I had been doing so for the last three years. Today, on one of those rare occasions, I made an excursion out of the confines of the musty place and ventured to the colourful Junction 8 mall with its ever present and attendant school kiddies.

I had the black pepper spaghetti ($7.20), crinkle fries ($3.50) and ice blended mocha ($4.50) at Cafe Galilee at the Bishan Library. Pricey! Not terribly impressive food, it's cafe food, so I wasn't expecting much anyway. I did, however, order too much food.
Dave Gahan 'Saw Something / Deeper and Deeper'

The second single is a double A-side with 'Saw Something' and 'Deeper and Deeper', the next two stronger tracks in 'Hour Glass'. With the release of 'Kingdom' as the first single, that is pretty much all the best tracks in that album. Nothing much left in my opinion.
The new Hooverphonic album, 'The President Of The LSD Golf Club', has been released in Belgium and Holland with an accompanying single 'Expedition Impossible'. I can't wait for them to make our shores. I don't expect the single but the album should hopefully be available.

12 November 2007

Things are very fine indeed!
Year 2007. Minus 3. It is strange how things turn out sometimes.
Poor Anne. I spoke to her on the telephone on Saturday afternoon. She would not be playing football ever again after tearing some ligaments. It sounded very painful from her description.

This weekend, I picked up more CDs than I had done in a while. I picked up 'Rachmaninoff: Complete Works for Piano & Orchestra' (performed by Abbey Simon and the St. Louis Orchestra), 'Debussy: Préludes I & II' (performed by Walter Gieseking), 'Crossroads' by mind.in.a.box at Borders and 'Stardom Road' by Marc Almond and 'Disco 4' by the Pet Shop Boys at HMV.

The two classical titles were wondrous. I played them over the weekend while I was dozing in bed. The mind.in.a.box CD was pretty much what I had expected, not groundbreaking but interesting nevertheless. Electronic bliss.

I had yet to listen to the Marc Almond and Pet Shop Boys titles.
A nice wet rainy Monday morning. Yesterday, I did twenty laps at the pool in the afternoon instead of the morning. I had difficulty staying awake in the morning then and had opted for an afternoon swim. Well, bad mistake. The pool was crowded with children having their swimming lessons! Heh. The water was choppy.

10 November 2007

I had dinner with Kelvin at Fig & Olive at Vivocity last night. I had a Beef Kebab sandwich and Kelvin had the corn beef sandwich. My sandwich was remarkably unremarkable, likewise the chicken soup. Water was charged too and they came in tiny mineral water bottles.

I doubt if I would ever return to this place again.

09 November 2007

My Canon iP3300 Pixma printer is an infernal piece of crap. Now, there is a sheet of paper jammed! Feed problems! First, oil tank recognition problems, then, front feeder and top feeder recognition problems. Absolutely not recommended. Avoid!

The older and cheaper Lexmark Z-25 and Z-35 printers were way way more reliable. This Canon contraption is over-engineered.
It's Friday! Whee! I'm going to meet up with Kelvin for dinner at Vivocity this evening. I wonder if Amelia is going to be around town this weekend. I want to pass her some VCDs. I need to pass Wei Yi some Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 books too.

I don't think I can make it to Sim Lim Square this weekend after all. I do need a new keyboard and a 8-port switch. Heh.
The Singaporean Army and Society: Perspectives from Major Robert E. Lee Jr., Green Berets, US Army

This was an interesting perspective offered by a major in the Green Berets. It was, of course, at odds with what the bitter, navel-gazing opposition in Singapore had to say.

Needless to say, it had offered an outsider's perspective.

"Major Lee had conducted training missions all over Asia: South Korea, Singapore, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines... He judged cultures and political systems by what he saw of their armies, which wasn't a bad idea. At least it was ground truth rather than abstractions. Armies are usually accurate cultural barometers. America had among the best non-commissioned officer corps in history because the U.S. was the epitome of a mass middle-class society. Poorly led corrupt third world countries tend to have militaries in which weapons and other equipment were not maintained. Maintenance - a dull, unpleasant, and yet necessary task - is an indication of discipline, espirit de corps, and faith in the future, because you maintain only what you plan to use for the long term.
Lee, barely audible above the loud typhoon rain, spoke of each Asian army he had helped train, with the memory of it lingering in his eyes. He was most impressed with Singapore's. "They had a state-of-the-art shoot house. Whenever a soldier got hurt in training, there was an investigation and a detailed explanation given to the family. Life wasn't cheap there. It was valued. Officially, Singapore's a dictatorship, and people in Washington and New York disparage it. Unofficially, it's a civil society.

"Their non-commissioned officer corps is real good," he went on. "Singapore's a meritocracy; lots of future officers are identified out of the ranks in basic training. Chinese, Malays, Indians, they're all mixed together in units. I went there with the idea of Big Brother. But you just cross the border into Malaysia or especially Indonesia from Singapore, and you'll see hordes of beggars and people defecating in the streets and you'll realise why Singapore has those strict rules. You can walk into a movie theatre in Singapore without your feet sticking to the floor. Going into Malaysia and Indonesia puts things into perspective for me. After those countries, the Big Brotherisms don't bother you much. Anyway, the people in Singapore get around the rules. It's not as bad as people write about. You just have to be there."

Quote from "Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond" by Robert D. Kaplan

08 November 2007

I just got back from a run at the Botanic Gardens. The place was parked! The car parks were full.
Asian Militaries: From the perspective of a U.S. Special Forces sergeant

An interesting perspective of the capabilities of the Singapore fighting men as well as other Asian militaries from the perspective of a special forces sergeant who had trained with all of them.

"I liked this Special Forces sergeant from California's San Joaquin Valley. He missed no detail. He had served all over Asia, and had taken time off from military service to work as a bounty hunter back in the U.S. I asked him his assessment of the Philippine military.
"Weak noncoms, badly trained, underpaid," he huffed. "They steal bullets to feed their families. The Thai army is better, and the Koreans and Singaporeans are just plain damn good soldiers. Even with their booze, I found Mongolian troops are superior to the Fils. The Fils are like the Panamanians I've worked with. They need basics, not NODs."

Quote from "Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond" Robert D. Kaplan

05 November 2007


Over the weekend, I picked up quite a few volumes at Borders:

  • The City in History - Lewis Mumford

  • 1814: The Campaign for France - F. G. Hourtoulle

  • Flesh and Machines: How Robots will change us - Rodney A. Brooks

  • The City Reader - Edited byRichard T. LeGates and Frederic Scott

  • Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea 1854-1904 - Antony Preston and John Major

  • Japanese Fortified Temples and Monasteries AD 710-1602 - Stephen Turnbull and Peter Dennis

  • Blackwater: The Rise of the World's most powerful Mercenary Army - Jeremy Scahill

  • Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond - Robert D. Kaplan

  • The Best American Science Writing 2007 (Best American Science Writing) - Gina Kolata and Jesse Cohen

  • The Best American Science & Nature Writing 2005 (Best American) - Jonathan Weiner and Tim Folger

  • The Best of Technology Writing 2007 (Best of Technology Writing) - Steven Levy

Monday afternoon. How time flies.

04 November 2007

I swam twenty laps at the pool this morning. Phew. Not much sun. I did get darker though despite the application of sunblock with a spf of 30+.

02 November 2007


The Borders sale that everyone is waiting for is here!

30% off a full-priced book. Card-wielding members get a further 10% off, making it 37%. The coupon can be found here.

3 CDs for the price of 2 CDs. Coupon here.

01 November 2007

I just ran about three kilometres earlier. Phew!
Now the Canon Pixma iP3300 inkjet is giving feeding problems. The old cheap Lexmark Z-25 was a lot more reliable than the much more expensive HP and Canon printers.


Not merely feeding problems, ink tank recognition problems!
The office HP3820 series inkjet printer is full of software problems. It's an absolute nightmare. I had an alright opinion of HP until this printer came along.

The next office printer will definitely not be an HP inkjet.
Good Heavens! It's already Thursday!
I realised that I have no inclination to logon to 'Duels' anymore. The game feels dead. Time to move on I guess. 'Hellgate London' beckons.
Crude oil is now at US$94.63 per barrel. Ghastly!

The expectation is that it will hit US$100.00 per barrel by the end of the year.

31 October 2007

I just heard something. I am going to laugh. It's simply too funny.
Mobile Weapon: Battle Stations!

Captain: Oggg
Ship: Ark of Oggg (Frigate)
Level: 24 (Exp: 212,439/232,350)
Craft: 0
Gunnery: 0
Navigation: 84
Stats Points: 0
HP: 0/2158
Capacity: 950/1800
Speed: 194 (+84)
This was earlier this week. Great fun.
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:09pm
Zim's Airship (irken voot cruiser) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:07pm
Cornelius the Curmudgeon's Airship (Perpetual) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:05pm
Jan Sparrot's Airship (Candy Mayhem) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:04pm
Mangix's Airship (DragonLord) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:02pm
Jan Sparrot's Airship (Candy Mayhem) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 8:01pm
Billy Cheung's Airship (Billys ship) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
Chuang is OWNING on BATTLE STATIONS!!! 7:59pm
Jan Sparrot's Airship (Candy Mayhem) has been SUNK by Oggg's Airship (Ark of Oggg)!
7 sinkings. Not too bad for a couple of minutes.
I got sunk a couple of times too.
Fun fun. I find that the fun bit isn't simply levelling fast. I want to build a powerful ship with the right equipment. I will be slowing my levelling and earning gold and resources first.
Meanwhile, Siu Hean and Kuoby are doing really well too. The former is level 33 or 34. Kuoby is a couple of levels lower. Nose has overtaken me.

Banksy caught in the act while putting up a piece!

Astounding. Someone has managed to take an image of him with her mobile phone. It was probably only a matter of time.

Ironically, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and others have paid thousands for his works but in a report in the Times:

"Banksy has let it be known what he thinks of the high prices his works fetch, writing on his website: “I can’t believe you morons buy this s***.” "

Simply too funny. Personally I am not a fan of Banksy but I am amused by the entire affair, the value attached to his graffiti work, the publicity that his antics generated and more.

Banksy does have a great sense of humour though.

30 October 2007

War Art

I just saw a fascinating set of paintings done by an artist, James Hart Dyke on the current wars. What was striking was the 'every day' feel of the images, which was, needless to say, at odds with the images protrayed in many Hollywood movies.

29 October 2007

Books I am reading

I just finished reading 'Istanbul: Memories of a City' by the Nobel Prize-winning Orhan Pamuk, 'Modesty Blaise' by Peter O'Donnell and 'Football and Gangsters: How organised crime controls the beautiful game' by Graham Johnson.

I had bought 'Istanbul' in 2005 before he won the Nobel Prize. Before I had managed to get around to reading the book, the pages had turned yellow with spots! Books would not survive well in the humidity here, acid-free paper or otherwise. A pity.

I had previously read on the history of the Byzantines, the power structures and history of the Ottomans and more.

I am currently reading 'My Name is Red' by Orhan Pamuk, 'Ancient Rome' (a compiled and edited volume) and 'Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World' by Stephen Oppenheimer. I have Pamuk's 'The White Castle' lying around somewhere. I have been meaning to read 'Captain Alatriste' by Arturo Perez-Reverte soon.

What are you reading? I guess it is a perennial question that I ask my friends.

'No money no hamburgers!' What a delightful piece of animation! Gorgeous and evocative backgrounds. Eccentric character designs like no other that I had seen. Hilarious! Cabaret singers, gangsters, Tour de France, the imaginery metropolis of Belleville! Wow!

I had wanted to watch it when it first came out in 2003 or 2004 but I had missed it. I finally picked up a region 3 edition for S$9.95 at HMV. I watched this little piece last night

And the characters. The music. Unforgettable.

Dave Gahan - 'Kingdom'

1. Saw Something
2. Kingdom
3. Deeper And Deeper
4. 21 Days
5. Miracles
6. Use You
7. Insoluble
8. Endless
9. A Little Lie
10. Down

I picked the new Dave Gahan album 'Hourglass' when I visited HMV on Saturday afternoon. I had finally managed to listen through it a few times. The first three tracks were electronically driven pieces with merit with 'Kingdom' being the lead single. Strong powerful lead off. However, the album began to trail off after the third track. 'Use you' had potential but the chorus was extremely annoying and repetitive. 'We have each other, you're my brother..' Nooooooooooo!

Given Gahan and his companion's splendid songwriting in 'Playing the Angel', I would have thought that this effort would be a stronger one than their first album. Sadly, it was not so.
I just wrote three letters to three debtors. The debts had been there for years. Hopefully, they would pay at least a partial amount this time round.
What a way to begin a morning, a headache!

Oh well. Such is life. To work to work!

28 October 2007

I was reading 'Football and Gangsters: How organised crime controls the beautiful game' by Graham Johnson after my swim today. It was a fascinating read. I had bought the book at HMV yesterday. I would be finishing the book sometime tonight.

I swam twenty laps again this morning. My eyes had adjusted to the chlorine in the water and was no longer red after an hour in the pool. Meanwhile, my skin was a golden bronze. Instead of turning red, I got dark easily when I was under the sun.
I had always wondered about the old Art Decor building perched high up overlooking Tanglin Road. I had wondered about the occupants. One could not access it via Nassim Road or Nassim Hill. It was also impossible to access it via Seton Close. I finally found the entrance at St Martin's Drive. It was housing the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar!

I also noted that the old Sheraton/ANA Hotel was finally being demolished.
I bought the new Dave Gahan album 'Hourglass' at HMV last night for S$18.95. First impressions were that the first three tracks were great electronic pieces.

The first single was apparently 'Kingdom'.

27 October 2007

The Accidental Browser

Last night was a night of accidental meetings with old acquaintances and colleagues. I was browsing at Borders after a hunt for books at PageOne earlier when I bumped into Serene. Then, I bumped into the person formerly known as Cynthia. She was now Victoria. Well, they looked pretty much the same as when I knew them about seven to eight years back.
Cold Food in a Grill (and it's not salad)

I stumbled upon Hog's Breath at Vivocity last night. I found it tucked in a secluded corner on the third floor when I was dodging a crowd of dizzy, screaming teenagers which had gathered to gawk at the Rock, a some time wrestler and thespian wannabe who presumably was set up to be the Arnie of the 21st Century, albeit, lacking Arnie's screen presence, which really wasn't saying much.

I ordered the Tex-Mex Combo which came cold! The steak was rubbery and cold. The chicken wrap thingie was cold as were the fries and rice. The mushroom soup was watery and had something weird inside. This little adventure reminded me of the period just before the demise of Denny's, Chilli's, Planet Hollywood and TGIF franchise in Singapore when the quality of the food served deteriorated alarmingly. They were clearly on their last legs then. I would be sticking to Outback, Black Angus and Hard Rock Cafe when it came to food of this kind.

The two concessions? The service was good. The view from the bar counter overlooked the bridge adjoining Sentosa. Magical!

26 October 2007

Aviation Art

Peter Dennis, an illustrator whose work had graced the covers of some of the Osprey titles, shared his technique in an blog entry. He provided a step-by-step narrative of how he was given a sketch by the author of the volume. There, he would prepare sketches and acquire the necessary models. The whole process was quite instructive.

I was grateful for his generosity in sharing this.
A possible Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq

The denial of the Armenian genocide in the early 1900s, is indicative that the Turkish majority has not still not come to terms with the myriad minority groups within the country.

From the an article in the Independent:

"It is no longer an irrelevant relic of its failed bid to lead the 15 million Turkish Kurds to independence which collapsed after its military defeat in the 1990s and the capture of its leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999."


"But the strength of the PKK position has less to do with geography and more to do with the politics of the region. Since it was founded in 1978 the PKK has always benefited from Ankara's refusal to recognise that there is a Kurdish minority and the stifling of all means of constitutional protest. It still does."

Will Turkey now send its army into northern Iraq?
It's finally Friday. I was browsing at Borders for a short while last night. I will probably head down to Page One at Vivocity this evening.

25 October 2007

Success! The Canon PIXMA iP3300 is printing now. Weird. I can't for the life of me figure out why it was just not printing earlier.
High Castle

Watercolour, pigment ink and pencils.

I have an ASUS GigaX1008B 8-port Fast Ethernet switch setup. The other computer is ready for use. I will have to setup an email account for that.
The Canon Pixma iP3300 is proving to be a pain. The paper is refusing to feed. Ack. Why? Why?
Industrial-strength deterence in the form of an IBM Aptiva

I am frustrated. I have an old IBM Aptiva which houses an ancient Pentium 200. The old Aptiva is housed in an industrial-strength chassis. Heavy, impenetratable, and likely to withstand hits from RPGs. Try as I may, I just cannot not prise the solid metal covers from the casing. I need the information in the hard disk inside the casing.

24 October 2007

F-15 versus Su-30MKI: A South-East Asian perspective?

The USAF is considering upgrading the radars of its fleet of F-15C fighters to an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array). The consistent defeat of F-15s by Su-30MKI in simulations was a major factor.

Quoting from the Defence Industry Daily:

"With cruise missile defense rising in importance, and longer-range detection of threats desired, upgrades are necessary. They may also correct a known air-air weakness that can reputedly be exploited by aircraft like Russia's SU-30 family. Thus far, 18 USAF F-15Cs have been modified to carry APG-63v2 radars – a misnomer, since the upgrade uses a revolutionary new technology that bears little resemblance to its predecessor."

In recent years, the Indonesian and Malaysian procurement of the Su-30MKI had brought a new dimension in terms of long range strike capability for this region. The replacement of the Singaporean A-4SU Super Skyhawks by the F-15SG with its AESA radar would provide Singapore with an equivalent strike and air defence capability to its neighbours.

Quoting from the Defence Industry Daily:

"The F-15SG will be an advanced version of the U.S. Air Force's F-15E Strike Eagle, with minor customization to Singapore's specifications and the most up-to-date avionics available. The higher-thrust GE F110 engine will be used in place the Pratt & Whitney F100 engines that power some F-16s and most F-15s. AN/APG-63v3 AESA radars will be included, and there are rumors that a number of Israeli electronics and self-defense systems will be part of the F-15SG as well. Sniper XR surveillance & ground targeting pods, and IRST systems built in for air-air engagements, will also be added to Singapore's standard equipment list."

The recent Thai announcement of their purchase of the JAS-39 Gripen had signalled a general modernisation of the regional air forces.

Image source: Boeing
Grumman TBF Avenger

Sketch and watercolour with pigment ink of the Grumman TBF Avenger. Marie's Watercolours, Chung Hwa Pencils, Faber-Castell Pigment Ink.

The Grumman TBF Avenger (and also TBM as built by Eastern Motors, a GM subsidiary) was one of the great aircraft that assisted in turning the tide against the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1942.
Lexmark Z25, an inkjet forgotten by Lexmark!

Oh no! My old trusty and thirsty (for cartridges that is!) Lexmark Z25 Inkjet is not supported on Windows Vista. Lexmark does not seem to be updating their drivers. This is annoying. I will have to find a means to print.

I will really prefer not to have to purchase a new printer just for Windows Vista.

I guess this means that this will be my last Lexmark product too.

23 October 2007

I went for a 5 km run this evening. I was focused and kept a steady pace.
Douglas TBD Devastator

Sketch and watercolour with pigment ink of the Douglas TBD Devastator. Marie's watercolours, Chung Hwa pencils, Faber-Castell pigment ink. Simple sketch.

The Devastator torpedo bombers valiently attacked the Imperial Japanese Navy at Midway, sacrificing themselves in an attempt to sink the Japanese aircraft carriers. After that action where the majority of the aircraft were wiped out, the Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers became the mainstay of the US Navy.

This little sketch is a tribute to those brave men who defied the Imperial Japanese Navy and paving the way to eventual victory.

22 October 2007

Douglas SBD Dauntless

A sketch of two Douglas SBD Dauntless divebombers. Diverbombers of this type were instrumental in smashing the aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy at Midway in June 1942, thus saving civilisation as we know it.

Watercolour, pencils, pigment ink sketch. Faber-Castell pigment ink pens, 0.1, 0.2, Maries' Water Colours and Chung Hwa pencils.

Simply sensational! I didn't want Hamilton or Alonso to win. And they didn't!

What drama!
We stop only for a big pile of cash

I had thought that those vacant taxis circling around nightspots were deliberately waiting for telephone calls for increased revenue while refusing to pick passengers up. However, I learned from a Sunday Times report that apparently, they were actually violating their taxi contract, in a way, touting. They were on the prowl for the ignorant and the naive as to charge them fixed rates of $20.00 to $35.00 per trip. These taxi drivers had this practice for ages. They had also been playing a cat and mouse game with the taxi company inspectors and could easily recognise those inspectors by sight. They also maintained lists of fellow errant drivers as to provide some sort of an early warning system. One of the drivers as quoted in the report was said to have a list of over 130 names.

This really explained quite a bit why we often see empty vacant taxis circling around Clarke Quay and refusing to stop when one tried flagging them down.

Anyway, I take buses and trains.
This is quite a bad week in sports for England. First, the loss to Russia in the Euro qualifiers. Then, the lost Rugby World Cup final. Finally, the Hamilton loss in Brazil.

I am still reeling from the F1 Grand Prix result. Staggering! At least, the two tainted drivers from McLaren didn't win.

21 October 2007

I swam 20 laps this morning. This has become a regular thing. Good. I need to run more often and I need to increase my running distance too.

20 October 2007

I bought an Eddings Profipen 0.1 pigment ink pen and a Copic Multi Liner 0.03 pigment ink pen. 0.03 from Artmark at Bras Barsa Complex this evening! Wow! That is really tiny. I had used a 0.05 previously.
I was at Seah Street Deli earlier today for the first time in a while. The menu has changed. The prices have increased drastically. Eleven bucks for a milkshake? Their milkshakes were not earthshaking in the first place. Even then, hotel drink prices? I had macaroni and cheese there and well, let's just say I have had way better ones at Kenny Rogers. I won't be back there.

19 October 2007


A doodle done at work. Ballpoint pen sketch. Illustration Friday theme: Extremes

18 October 2007

Sketches of Buildings

Pigment ink sketches made over a period of two years or so. Faber-Castell pens 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, Pilot pens 0.8.
Vought SB2U Vindicator

Pigment ink sketch of the Vought SB2U Vindicator divebomber. I will be painting this with water colours soon.
Thailand to purchase twelve JAS-39 Gripens

Astounding! Thailand is purchasing twelve JAS-39 Gripens. Operating this aircraft is a lot more practical than the Su-30MKI fighters that Malaysia and Indonesia have procured. Of course, given the foreign policies of these two 'Islamic' states and that the JAS-39 multi-role fighters mount American engines (hence spare parts are going to be dependent on the USA), it is obvious why the Su-30MKI was chosen.

Thailand will also be purchasing two Saab S-1000 Erieye Airborne Early Warning aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Swedes must be really elated as it was reported in an Australian paper that a Thai officer had said that they had preferred F-16Cs and F-16Ds but the Americans were not allowed to sell arms to governments that had been ousted by coups.

Go Thai military junta go! WOO!

I bet the Burmese military junta are drooling.