30 December 2012

Of the end of the future

Technologists who lament the 'end of the future' are denigrating the incremental advances that actually improve everyday life.

Virginia Postrel

28 December 2012

Great military man

"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man, I want you to know that."

Norman Schwarzkopf

Observations made during a run

Spotted when I went running the last two evenings, one basset hound, several white-breasted waterhens, joggers of various varieties, one prime minister, one prime minister's wife, three bodyguards, a couple of unidentified dogs, one monitor lizard, two squirrels, many tourists including Chinese ones, three wedding couples, three photographers and assistants.

27 December 2012

Simcity Social progress


My current objective is to build that Atlantean City and buy every single piece of land in the game. The quests? I will do them as they come.


Non-confirmists

Quoting my friend, Tom:

"It's like those groups of non-conformists. If they all have black nail polish, black trench coats, long dark black hair and wear mascara then aren't they really conformists? I like Escher too and think I had that hand-drawing-a-hand poster when I was 5 years old. Not very esoteric in my book either. It's like thinking Scarlett Johannson is hot - you ain't alone, buddy."

In the early 90s, when it was trendy to be a non-confirming rebel here in Singapore. All the rebels here wore rebel style clothing (bandannas, etc), listen to rebel music (trendy folk, indie music and jazz), read indie literature (Beats generation stuff), read 'indie' underground comics (Neil Gaiman/Sandman) and watch 'dark' movies (Tim Burton)! WOO HOO! How original is that? Extremely rebellious I should say.

Tom also said:

"It's like Doc Martens. They used to be used exclusively by punks in the U.K. and were badass. Then, before you knew it, there were sold at Urban Outfitters in the color Pink and every punk wannabe chick had a pair. The only thing that sucks more than conformity is non-conformity."


Same boring shit

Dreamworks = Disney = Pixar = Same old boring shit. Ever notice how they look exactly the same, with the same boring sitcom kind of jokes?

Of Queens Park Rangers and their plight

I can't wait to see Queen's Park Rangers spend more money. It should be entertaining to see them grasping at straws and get relegated! Haha!

Of people who like the work of M.C.Escher

The works of M.C. Escher are commonplace. They appear in calendars and these calendars are very popular. For some strange reason, a lot of friends that I know who like the work of Escher seem to think that they are the only unique person around who likes Escher. I find that strange because I have many such 'unique' friends.

End of football season

Bah. No season left. As early as one month or so ago, I said that the season was essentially Manure's. I think I am right. I will likely stop following this season except for the Champion's League. Nothing much left to watch.

26 December 2012

Dreary day.

A dream of industry

I had a curious dream last night. I dreamed that I was a waiter serving in a diplomatic dinner in a crumbling mansion in Italy. I dreamed that I had opened the windows and looked out at the expanse of the industrial town, the tall smokestacks, the dirty factories and warehouses.
"Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends."

Woody Allen

Beg for shit

All the fucking Christmas beggars from the different organisations are calling to beg for shit.

14 December 2012

Friday! Whee! A nice rainy week. I have been reading and doing a bit of drawing. Most of it all, I have been chatting with the little squirrel. Haha.

13 December 2012

"Religious belief is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you - who must, indeed, subject you - to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life - I say, of your life - before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? I've been to North Korea. It has a dead man as its president, Kim Jong-Il is only head of the party and head of the army. He's not head of the state. That office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il-Sung. It's a necrocracy, a thanatocracy. It's one short of a trinity I might add. The son is the reincarnation of the father. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved. But at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea!"

Christopher Hitchens

12 December 2012

Dreary day.

Pompous and pretentious

Pompous and pretentious. That was the impression I got from that 'death vibe' and the stereotypical love of certain imagery and music, for instance, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. It is trite and predictable. Then, there are the political cartoons, done in a school textbook style. And more proclamations of death and so forth. Has he ever looked at himself in a mirror? Has he ever really thought about things instead of adopting such a posture?

11 December 2012

I had a restful sleep last night, the most restful in a while. I feel wonderful today!

How was this effected? By sleeping half an hour earlier! I need to rein in my hours and get sufficient sleep.
A wonderful weekend. A dinner at Shaslik which bring back memories. A walk around Marina Bay.
It doesn't look like I will be travelling anywhere this year. Hong Kong is going to be expensive at the end of the year. I will probably go in January.

07 December 2012

I decided that I was not in the mood to draw with a crowd of forty-five other artists this evening. And there is the horrid loud music at the Red Dot Museum. I decided to give up my place for others.

I want to draw cities and spaceships and relax this evening.

A nice week. I ran twice this week, once on Wednesday and once on Thursday. I do need to start increasing my distances again.

Speed wise, I should be alright. I could be faster though. No doubt, I am not as fast as before.

And I need to start lifting weights again. And do crunches or sit-ups.


05 December 2012

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” 

― A.C. Grayling

03 December 2012

What a wonderful weekend. However, this weekend felt really short for a variety of reasons. I do need to get more sleep.

Romeo

He's on my restricted list now. All the girls have been warned. There is no need for any more action.

01 December 2012

"What is a totalitarian system if not one where the abject glorification of the perfect leader is matched by the surrender of all privacy and individuality, especially in matters sexual, and in denunciation and punishment — "for their own good" — of those who transgress?"

Christopher Hitchens

29 November 2012

The Hobbit

The Hobbit, one thin book, stretched to three films. It is obviously milking the audience.

I am not hopeful. I didn't particularly care for the previous Peter Jackson directed trilogy either.

The destruction of Army Group Centre


A few years ago, I read "Hitler's Greatest Defeat: The collapse of Army Group Centre, June 1944" by Paul Adair, fifteen or so years after I had bought it. I had read bits and pieces over it over the years but never cover to cover then. I had also read Steven Zaloga's 1996 study in 1996 or 1997 too.

A largely unknown battle in the west, overshadowed by the Normandy landings.

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28 November 2012

I slept at midnight last night. I finally managed to sleep early. A nice rest.

26 November 2012

Of an award in excellence and products

A lady named Kelly called to say that the company I worked at has won an excellence award in service and product award. And she went on to say that it was endorsed by the government and that the prizes would be given by the MP. She could barely speak English, speaking in some sort of horrid Singlish crap. Then, I asked why was the company giving this award? She said she would send email about it.

I wanted to know where can I find out about it and she she would send email about it and come over for an interview. There would be an awards dinner at the Marina Bay Sands and that two places would be allocated. I asked how much was it. She did not say and went on and on about the prize that is an A3 certificate, etc. I asked again, she finally said, 4.5K. Wow! I said I was not interested and she hung up with a thank you.

Wait a minute, what happened to that award? I guess suddenly the excellence in service is gone when I am not interested in paying 4.5K? Wow, 4.5K for the A3 piece of certificate?


Of Romeos and their antics

The Romeos who had been plaguing the women that I know on my wall on Facebook have been placed on a restricted list. No more, thank goodness.


The weekend was too short

I had a nice dinner with a few friends on Friday night. The dinner was rather costly for what it was. I would have to think the next time I visit Jones the Grocer for a meal.

The drawing session on Saturday night at Liang Court was reminiscent of earlier in the year when we had a massive group of people drawing and talking and jesting.

24 November 2012

Resistant to logic

" Some people are just so resistant to logic that they cannot realistically be helped at all though, sad fact of life.."

Wilson Tay

23 November 2012

The bearded artist who lost his beard

Maybe, it was a failed attempt. Perhaps, the idiot will try again. Growing his beard, that is.

Of artists and their beards

I once knew one who was good at growing a beard, not so much painting or drawing.

22 November 2012

Of the gullible

It is so blatant that it is appalling that people keep falling for it again and again. Promises and more promises.
"..we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive , and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols..."

Karl Popper

21 November 2012

Vickers Venom


I wonder what might have been if the Vickers Venom had been developed further. And if there were a proper radial engine, a higher-powered one available instead of the Aquila.
I need to sleep early too. I can't be staying up late and reading.

A break!

I need an extended break!

20 November 2012

Of AirMech, Rescue Raiders and Tower Defence


As I was learning to play AirMech last night, I was reminded of the old Rescue Raiders. If this class of games is considered Tower Defence, then Rescue Raiders must be one of the first, if not the pioneering game.


Facebook privacy

Most of my photo albums on Facebook are made public. I have done so so that you can see them.

There is much beauty in the world, in Singapore, in people, and there is also much ugliness.

19 November 2012

Hiding and blocking in Facebook

I have hidden many people in Facebook since there is little that they post or say that is of interest to me. I have nothing against them. The link is still there.

As for blocking, I block a number of people for a variety of reasons, like some strange woman who tried to chat me up. Bizarre. Some aspiring model wanted to meet me on the same night. Doh.

I don't block enemies. Haha.

17 November 2012

Hide +1

I hid another guy on Facebook. He usually only has the most boring things to say. Nothing that he writes or says or posts is interesting. Yes, that includes real life. Nice fellow though.

16 November 2012

Curious old house


I wonder who used to live here. And if it were not a dwelling, what did it house? What would be the future plans for this house? Will it remain or be torn down?

Affordable Art Fair

Nevertheless the Affordable Art Fair was fun though not particularly memorable. A worthwhile visit. I will give all my extra passes and ticket to my friends.

Bearded idiot

I spotted the bearded idiot at the Affordable Art Fair yesterday. Haha. He was just coming out of a closet of some sort.

I wouldn't paint a cent for any of the trash he paints. They are bland and without charm. Worse of all, without any semblance of skill, he can't draw nor really paint well.

Quite tragic really.

15 November 2012

I am heading down to the Affordable Art Fair later today. Should I bring a camera? Hmm..

Modern liberalism

'Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions. It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as oppressive. On the other hand, it expects governments to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother. Feminism has inherited these contradictions.'

Camille Paglia, 'Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990)'

12 November 2012

I started on two pieces this weekend and I did manage to finish one futuristic city from last week. Nothing completed over the weekend. Ugh. I need to focus. Perhaps tonight.

Drawing and ideas


I draw only when I feel like it. Urgency, I don't know. Let me see if I can express it. More often than not, I don't have the mood or I don't feel like drawing. So, I don't. That is one big reason why I won't turn pro and can't turn pro. I will starve. Besides, it is unrealistic. Drawing for myself is different from drawing for clients and customers. A world of difference. To make it there would also require more skills and digital ability. I won't fool myself.

When I meant mood, I do not mean that I haven't an idea or inspiration. I have more ideas than I can draw now. I just don't have the energy and mood to commit to them. In addition, I have far too many interests, too many other things that I want to do. Interests like history, architecture, military affairs, futurism, future history, neuroscience, philosophy, fortification, and much much more. Drawing and painting are just one..

I was lying in bed thinking that I could create a skytower of some sort and juxtaposition against a zeppelin-type ship but that is a bit generic but I was thinking of various details of the facades of that skytower and how I can create forms and textures to distinguish them and letting my mind roam. Does that make sense?

I was thinking of composition. From a vantage angle. From how, I can place a city, an urbanscape, within an environment. And where I can set ships. I was also thinking of the lighting, where I would give white space and where I would not. Shadows. However, I want a busy panorama that will overwhelm the eye with details. Not a single-focus.

I was also thinking of Harpers Ferry. That meandering stream and that island. I thought it was a good position where one can composed from. I was also thinking of other positions and points.

Then, I feel the need to commit the idea to paper. What do you think?

I was also looking industrial landscapes with Jerry And I was examing ancient Chinese architecture the other day. I was also thinking of river systems and more.

I am now deterred by my headache and tiredness. It is just to bad for me.

Another thing is that my feeling to draw comes usually late at night. 11 pm and after. I am a night person forced to live a day person's life. That is a problem.

9K33 Osa





The 9K33 Osa vehicle is surprisingly agile. It provides local air defence for a mobile column. It would appear that few armed forces invest in such defences anymore.

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Bribery

A year or so ago, a Chinese towkay tried offering me a bribe. I refused. A few weeks ago, he came to me bragging that he would never offer bribes and breaking the law unlike those other people in his line of business. Laughable.

He said I was one of those who 'just follow law', the same phrase used in that Jack Neo movie of some years ago.

11 November 2012

MT-LB


The MT-LB was mostly used by the rear echelon units of Warsaw Pact then. It was and is the workhorse of the Russians. It will be for a time to come.

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10 November 2012

Feathers everywhere

Mimi has killed another bird today. He proudly showed everyone his new kill. Feathers everywhere!

PT-76


The PT-76 was once prevalent on battlefields during the cold war. It is no longer in widespread use as a light tank. Today, the Chinese fields a variant with a 85mm gun.

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09 November 2012

Facebook album privacy levels

All my 180 albums on Facebook have their privacy levels tweaked. Next, I will need to add more people to the Restricted List. I added a few that came to mind, essentially, the Romeos.

The best!

Whoa! Singapore's best watercolourist has removed me on Facebook! Whoa! First, the fat actor, now the best of the best! Jaw-dropping pieces you know!

They must have compared, erm, notes.. you know!

In the name of tolerance

"We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal."

Karl Popper

08 November 2012

Blocked

I just blocked my banker on Whatsapp. He didn't know when to stop.

I won't forget you

If you wrong me, I won't forget you.

Back in SimCity


I was back in SimCity Social for a look. I increased my city's population to 200,000 some time back. I added another 1200 citizens. Heh. Another new promotion, new quests? Ugh.

The essence of an independent mind

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

07 November 2012

Obama

Obama's victory is just as expected. The large margin wasn't unexpected though it did appear close according to the polls and early results.

Goodbye Windows Live / MSN Messenger!

Goodbye MSN / Windows Live Messenger! It has been an excellent tool. Microsoft has announced that the service will terminate in 2013.

Centurion MBT





The Centurion Main Battle Tank, possibly the best tank in the world from the 1950s to the 1960s.

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06 November 2012

Jagdpanther

I bought the Jagdpanther of the Tanks Collection series from the newsstand at United Square last night. It's alright, not stupendous.

The next tank which is due in a fortnight will be the Leopard 2A5. That should be interesting!

A chessboard made of soapstone

He is now looking for a chessboard made of soapstone. He had found chessmen in China that were in the form of terracotta soldiers of the Qin emperor. His set had come with a silk-like cloth board.

I can't put it together!

The angmo in the warehouse just said, 'I can't put it together, I'm an idiot!' I could hear it from a long distance away!

Battlefield 3 down

Ugh. Battlefield 3 is not working. No, it wasn't working with Windows 7 before because of Punkbuster issues. Nothing related to Windows 8 Pro. Now, it is completely not working.

I uninstalled and did a re-install. Not working.

I think I will uninstall again and search the computer for all remnant files and delete them all.

Oh well.

Whining about not being included

Haha, I recall that fat actor whining about not being included a while back. Too funny. Who does he think he is? We were all talking about that. Heheh.

05 November 2012

Satellite photos

I was looking at satellite photos of Singapore. The photos on Google Maps seems rather outdated, at least a year or two old. Bing Maps, on the other hand, seems to be a few months old.
A nice quiet weekend. I barely drew. There was simply no time.

A chilly 26.5 degrees in the morning.

The surrender of all privacy and individuality

"What is a totalitarian system if not one where the abject glorification of the perfect leader is matched by the surrender of all privacy and individuality, especially in matters sexual, and in denunciation and punishment — "for their own good" — of those who transgress?"

Christopher Hitchens

04 November 2012

Windows 8 installed! YES! Whee!
Nature is a Darwinian spectacle of the eaters and the eaten. All phases of procreation are ruled by appetite: sexual intercourse, from kissing to penetration, consists of movements of barely controlled cruelty and consumption. The long pregnancy of the human female and the protracted childhood of her infant, who is not self-sustaining for seven years or more, have produced the agon of psychological dependency that burdens the male for a lifetime. Man justifiably fears being devoured by woman, who is nature’s proxy."

Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990)

T-55


The T-55, probably the most numerous of any tank typed manufactured, once the mainstay of the Warsaw Pact nations. Today, it still serves with many armed forces.

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03 November 2012

It looks like rain now. A storm.
Another weekend. There was barely any time to draw. What I can I say?

If only there were more time.
I want to visit Gardens by the Bay again. I was only there for a short time one night with little Amelia.

02 November 2012

Windows 8 Pro, Borderlands 2, Simcity Box, X-Com: Enemy Unknown, Guild Wars 2


I picked these up from Wilson at Epic Gear last night. Why waste time with bad Facebook games when I could be 'wasting' time with good ones?

I have done my backup. I will be installing Windows 8 Pro before installing these games.

The one that I look forward to is actually SimCity as I like building games.

I will also get Torchlight 2 soon.

The state of the art

I am out of touch with the current state of the art when it comes to military affairs. A few weeks ago, Jerry had shown me helmets and other technological marvels from current fighter aircraft. I had known of some of these helmet-mounted technologies but I had only known of them being deployed on Russian and Israeli fighters. Now, they exist on American ones.



So, last week, when I was at the Star Vista mall and the home of the New Creation Church at Buona Vista, I bought a stack of military magazines from an Allscript store. I had previously wanted to read at the library but some of these were not available.



The magazines that I bought were Combat & Survival, Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft Monthly, Special Weapons and Air International.



I bought Military Machines International after I visited Wilson at Epic Gear. The news stand vendor told me that sales had fallen greatly and they were in danger of closing.

I will read the magazines and see if they can be of use as references.
No new tank this week. I will see about next week. It should be a Jagdpanther from  the Tank Collection series.

FV433 Abbot SPG


The FV433 Abbot SPG was the mainstay of the self-propelled artillery units of the British army. It has since been replaced by the AS-90.

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01 November 2012

Combat Tanks Collection

For its price, I think the Combat Tanks Collection is pretty good. I have bought the Issue 1 with the Tiger I, Issue 2 with the M1A1 Abrams and Issue 3 with the T-55A.

I think they are great for modelling perspective when I draw. I would recommend it for any illustrator, especially military illustrators.

Wake

I went with Amelia and JF to Brian's father's wake on Sunday morning. The last time, Amelia and I went for his mother's wake at Yishun.

We had met at Yishun Library that morning before heading to the void deck where the wake was.

Amelia was saying that every time she went to Yishun, it was for a wake.
I can't wait to go out and draw during this weekend.

BRDM-2


The BRDM-2, an important Soviet reconaissance vehicle, still numerous in many armouries but less often seen in.

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31 October 2012

Consolidation

Disney buys Lucasfilm now. They have already about Pixar and Marvel. This is consolidation on a big scale.

It will be interesting to see which intellectual property gets a reprieve, a new lease of life and which ones die by the way side.

John Carter is dead and buried.

I wonder if such consolidation is good for the industry as a whole.
Heavy storm out there.
I am going to post photos of tanks. Those were meant to be up a few years ago and were lingering as drafts.
I may head to SLS this evening. I want to pick up Windows 8 and some games, namely, Borderlands 2, Guild Wars 2 and possibly one other.

Battlefield 3 statistics

From half a year ago. Heh.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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