24 February 2007

Meow!

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Today, Jonathan and I discussed plans for an hike in the central catchment area. In 1981, I spotted the ruins of the Shinto Temple during a 'circumnavigation' of the reservoir. I didn't know what it was until 1999 when there was a newspaper report about it.

23 February 2007

AK's Scorched Earth Policy reduced to Insults

AK's frustration in Tribal Wars shows up in a MSN thread. His village is getting reduced. His resistance seems ineffective.

AK Silverune says:
getting killed

AK Silverune says:
i change my village name to go screw yourself in turkish
Against the World

While at dinner last night, H. P. Lovecraft was mentioned. Siu Hean was fascinated by the stuffed Cthulhu toy that he recently saw and was surprised to learn that Eunuch* had owned one for quite a while. A stuffed toy with tentacles! When we were at Carrefour later, Anne spotted 'H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life' by Michel Houellebecq and she passed it to me. It was only a couple of bucks. So, I picked it up.

*A name Anne had christened on one of our friends. It's already quite a flattering name for him. He's usually called worse.
FRIDAY!!! Can you believe it? It's Friday!

Borders has a 40% off coupon for books. I will head down this evening!
I have finally got a real plumber. Heh. 250 bucks.

22 February 2007

Dinner at Outback with Anne and Siu Hean

I was at Outback for dinner this evening with Anne and Siu Hean. Wei Yi did not make it. He was busy conducting affairs of the state. Literally.

Anne and I looked for a book on football for her but was unable to find one. Apparently, she plays the role of a defender and gets shouted at by the goalkeeper all the time.

Siu Hean has finally created his three dimensional deck of cards. Four suites, four colours. And colours will matter if used in a game of 3D Bridge or Poker. The permutations are scary...

We were at Carrefour later. Interesting place.
That Fool

AK describes a situation where his village is attacked by a more powerful neighbour. His defence is hopeless and he is conducting a scorched earth policy now. Inflicting maximum casualties and frustrating his opponent, Amorphia, a Turkish player.

AK IMG Silverune says:
that fool is attacking me again

AK IMG Silverune says:
i'm going to send my troops away at the last minute.

AK IMG Silverune says:
he'll get nothing. probably a few of his will die

AK IMG Silverune says:
looking for a turkish swear word to chage my village name to

AK IMG Silverune says:
ok changed my village name to pussy in turkish
Damn. Some taps in the building have low water pressure. Despite turning the mains off and on and regulating the flow, something is still choked.

PUB had changed the meter earlier last week and the problem had started soon after.
Ken Macleod

I read 'Learning the World' last year and finished 'Newton's Wake' a week ago despite starting the novel sometime last year.

The premises of both were intriguing. One was that of a first contact between a generation colony ship and a civilisation just reaching the atomic age and the proceedings after.

The other was about several 'post-human' societies facing awakening war machines from a previous civilisation.

I can't say I find the convoluted stories to be of interest. The stories seem to lack a certain 'dynamism' and protagonists stumble and wander throughout. Plotting weakness? Well, the prose is competent enough, way better than the likes of Niven or Asimov.

I had force myself to finish the two Macleod novels. I won't be reading any Macleod in the near future.

Incidentally, some have claimed that Macleod has embedded his novels with a strident brand of communism. While I did not find the communist elements to be overpowering, I think Macleod's discussion of socialism and communism in his weblog is far more fascinating than his books.
I need to re-gain my old fitness. My fitness level has fallen quite a bit over the past few years. I have been lax.

Obesity may be a sign of indiscipline unless the inevitable genetic disposition rules otherwise. And obesity is ugly in more ways than just the physical appearance.
What a nice break! And the weekend is within striking distance. Whee!
Have you ever worked in an organisation where the director and her deputies have top of the line machines with LCDs on their huge desks while the hired Indian programmers who were brought in to do the real hacking work were using early Pentium machines with dim monitors?

I have observed this in the late nineties and it amused me to no end then. In any case, if you were wondering, this is not a commercial, profit-making entity we are talking about.
Embittered People

In my dealings it would appear that many people I have met in this society are neurotic and monomaniac. That has detered me from engaging in many local online forums at length or having deeper discourses with individuals on instant messenging services. It ends in grief when these repressed, touchy individuals loses control and responds emotionally, they cannot handle bluntless. Online conversations here can be unpleasant whereas in my many exchanges with people from other societies, I would form firm friendships, exchange notes, review novelettes, view game designs, banter, joke, discuss things at length and more. What is it about this society where people are repressive and embittered? Why are they unable to think and not rely on emotion? Why this unthinking response? The unfocused anger of these people?

I read some of the things on the local blogosphere and I can't say that I am tempted to participate. There was some inspirational guru or self-help type that once mentioned something about avoiding negative people and I didn't subscribe to that view. I generally don't avoid negative people because I have often lent an sympathetic ear, they are people too. Recently, something tells me that I am wasting my time. A lot of these repressed, angry people are searching for an avenue to vent and lash out. It doesn't matter who.
727 emails in the Inbox at work. Only 1 relevant mail. The others? Junk mail. Heh.

21 February 2007

20 February 2007

Central II


Huge anonymous glass structure. Standard fare really. I have been there once. I will drop by again once it has been completed. I am curious if the developers could manage to differentiate this from the hordes of other riverside developments.




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Central (Formerly known as SOHO @ Central) I





SOHO @ Central is one of those overpriced apartment-cum-office and shopping complexes, packaged with as much hype as that from the mouth of Steve Jobs.

The apartments-cum-home offices, being of leasehold (99 years), was being sold at about S$1000 psf. Crazy. And it's a Far East Organisation project too! Ugh.

For those who don't know, the Singapore River do stink to high heaven at low tide. Not as much as in the past, but it still does. This will be an interesting development. There is already a large Starbucks joint there.

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19 February 2007

M103A2



The M103A2 was an American heavy tank developed during the early Cold War. During that era following the end of the Second World War, tanks were still genereally still divided into light, medium and heavy, the concept of a main battle tank was yet to arrive. Like its contemporaries, the formidable Soviet JS-3 and the British Conqueror, the M103A2 proved not to be very practical given its weight and size. Mounting a massive 120mm gun and over 178mm of frontal armour, the M103 was underpowered and had limited mobility and operational radius. Two hundred examples were ordered for the US Army which shortly handed them over to the US Marine Corps!

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18 February 2007

The Gothenborg at Vivocity




This recreation of a Swedish spice Indianmen was moored near Vivocity one weekend when Wilson and I were there.



Sadly, she was not open to visitors that day.


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FV102 Striker




The FV102 Striker replaces the FV438 ATGW vehicle in the British army. The FV102 Stiker is described as 'Tank Hunter of the family, the Striker is a CVR(T) with a primary role to destroy enemy armour.'
The Striker mounts five launch bins on top of the vehicle, carrying 10 letha BAe Swingfire anti-tank missiles, each with a range of up to 4,000 m and a penetration of 800mm or more of armour. Five of these missiles are carried in launch bins on top of the vehicle. The missile is tracked by the controller using a direct optical or thermal sight mounted on the vehicle, or a separate optical sight that can be deployed up to 100 m away, with the Striker in cover. The Swingfire is a SACLOS missile with a 7.0kg hollow charge warhead. The Striker is based on the Scorpion chassis.
Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006

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