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):
mischan

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):
mischan

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):
mischan

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.
Music

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.