27 March 2010

Head First

First impressions, the new Goldfrapp album, 'Head First' is one of delight! Fun!

A vast improvement over the last one I must say. 'Rocket', the first single, was simply out of this world! I like this new direction that was taken.

Sabotage

I wonder if anyone knows anything about dummy CCTV cameras. I want to install one in the corridor outside the toilets. This morning, someone had sabotaged the ladies toilet in the warehouse by stuffing pieces of cardboard into the drainage points and the toilet bowls. How does one catch the culprit?

Chinese Warfare II


The reality is that the military of the Chinese Communists has been phenomenally successful whether the liberal democracies and their militaries in the West like it or otherwise. The record of success, despite being embellished undoubtedly by propaganda, is quite plain to see. In many operations of the 1948-1949 campaign, the communists were able to smash vast and American-equipped KMT armies. In the guerilla campaigns of Mao, Lin Biao and others, the communists were able to time and again, defy KMT offensives while maintaining support among the populace.

The communists had understood the political dimensions of warfare and that it could not be separated from military operations.

'Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience since 1949' by Mark A. Ryan, David M. Finkelstein, Michael A. McDevitt.



'The Armed Forces of China' by You Ji. A volume examing the modern People's Liberation Army.


'Chinese Military Theory' by Chen-Ya Tien. A theoretical volume.


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26 March 2010

We should not pay FIFA

We should not pay FIFA exorbitant amounts of money. No football coverage, too bad. Be sensible. I hope the shareholders of Singtel and Starhub will make it clear to the management that we should not be held hostage by FIFA. If the incredible amounts wanted does not make economic sense to the companies involved, the companies should not pay it.

Yes, I do like football and I watch some of the World Cup matches once every four years, giving in to them will only set a precedent.

Let us send a statement to FIFA that the likes of their predatory policies are not welcomed. If they want to erode the popularity of their sport, let me. They should bear in mind that there are many other competing spectator pastimes of which football (and sports) is but one of them.

Chinese Warfare I


Some years back, I explored Chinese warfare. Given a history and civilisation of about five thousand years, Chinese military history is nothing to scoff at. In reality, there is much about warfare in Chinese history that remains unknown and unstudied in the West. A lot of material is still not translated at this point.

Here are three studies of the more modern period in China's history:

'A Military History of Modern China: From the Manchu Conquest to Tia'nanmen Square' by Peter Worthing.


'The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century' by Dennis J. Blasko.



'Modern Chinese Warfare 1795-1989' by Bruce A. Elleman.


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25 March 2010

It divides utterly.

Lighthouse and windmill


Pigment ink sketch. Lighthouse and windmill by the sea. This was originally a pencil sketch. I decided to just swiftly render it in ink.

I will be doing another on the same theme and composition in ink later. A variation on the same theme but rendered differently. I want to explore this further.

24 March 2010

Watch for them!

More amusing blog posts coming up later tonight. Watch for them! Whee!

Reading Pohl

I am tempted to get a coffee at Spinelli's at Novena Square, but I have decided otherwise. I'm reading 'Platinum Pohl', a collection of short science fiction stories by Frederik Pohl.

Amusement

I must say that I am amused.

Ideas! Ideas!

I have ideas, many ideas of different landscapes. I also want to explore buildings, how I can render them. Hmm..

Wind-swept isle


Pigment ink sketch. This was originally a pencil sketch. I had little desire to render it fully into a full ink piece, the movement in the lines speak for itself.

23 March 2010

Raffles Place


A beehive of activity. The black and whites who control the monetary sector of an economy.



Towering monoliths, a testament to the power of huge financial institutions.



I sat and observed the proceedings. The hurried movements of the people. Everyone was in a hurry.


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The end comes early

A fortnight ago, I was looking at an obscure blog belonging to someone who I used to know. From the erratic entries, a thought came to mind. I thought that this disturbed person would eventually commit suicide. When? I would not know. I did want to bounce the thought off someone who also knew this person but I forgot about it completely until two days back when an old friend called from England. He had also read the occasional entries in the blog and he had independently without my raising of the issue said that this person would likely commit suicide. My old friend also said that there was cause based on circumstances and a series of studies.

Given the person's mental and physical state, I had also wondered about the person's life expectancy previously. It would not be long anyhow.

The Kingdom of Negativity

Someone I knew had always been self-righteous, antagonistic, extreme and hypocritical. For a year or so, I had not visited his blog and the forum he was running. Recently, I mentioned the existence of them to someone on Facebook and afterwards, I had decided to take a glance at both. Not unexpectedly, there appeared to be more hate-filled rants than before. He had clearly not changed, he was more extreme and angry than before. I exited the two sites in less than five minutes.

Whee!

Whee! I have finally gotten down to sketching. Swift pencil sketches. I should be putting more drawings up soon.

Vandalism

Someone kicked and broke a toilet cubicle door at the warehouse a few weeks ago. It seemed pointless. Who would know the motives of the vandal?

A few of the chains of the toilet flushes were ripped out too as were some other equipment. One could not install security cameras in the toilets. Proof would be hard to come by.

I had a single suspect based on heresay. This morning, I hinted to him that if and when I found the culprit, the police would be brought in.


Another Idiot from Prudential

Idiot from Prudential: Hello?

Me: Yes?

Idiot: My name is Lisa and I am calling from Prudential...

Me: I'm not interested, bye!

It is fruitless telling them to remove my name from their list. This has been their sixth or seventh call despite my replies that I have no interest in their products and my requests to be removed from their list. If they can't even give anybody any respect or consideration over basics, well, what I can expect from them when it comes to claims?

The Dales


Pigment ink sketch. This sketch is based on the scenes that I had seen in Yorkshire Dales while hiking alone. The ruggedness of some of the hills in the Dales and the stone walls that broke up the land were, to say the least, inspiring.

22 March 2010

A tree in the forest


Pigment ink sketch. This was originally a swift pencil sketch where I had wanted to explore the shape the canopies of trees and how light would form on the surface.

The pencil sketch was done very swiftly and there was a feel of energy about it. I was rather loathed to render it as I had liked the lines used in the rendering. Ultimately, I decided that I would use ink to capture the lines.