26 December 2015

I will try to get more drawing done today. I will also read.
A customer came to collect his item and paid. Wow!
A quiet morning at work. I suspect there will be no customers this morning.

A Dream of School

I dreamed of being with Sweetie in an American campus. I dreamed that we were looking for a meal at an eatery in the institution. I was then waiting for her at a rail station after.

11 December 2015

Somehow someone had slipped me a 1-euro coin instead of a Singapore dollar in a transaction sometime in the week. Haha!

08 December 2015

Dreaming of you

I dreamed that Sweetie and I were in a campus in America a few weeks ago. Last night, I dreamed that Sweetie and I were in a place in Britain. My memory of the dream is hazy now after a long meeting.

02 December 2015

Time to get things done! The year has gone by fast.

The weekend was a whirlwind. Suddenly, it was over and a new week beckons.

26 November 2015

Norm Augustine's Law Number XXII:

"If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice."
I thought drinking a mocha frappe would awaken me. Instead, I am more lethargic than ever. The horrible feeling of fullness. Lesson learned? Maybe.

Spam accounts

There are some dummy accounts emanating from a few countries in Indo-China. These accounts are used to post porn and porn links in some of the history Facebook groups that I moderate. I have extinguished the group membership of those accounts assiduously over the past year.

This is odd.

23 November 2015

The weekend flew by just like that. I did not draw nor read much. I wonder where the weekend went.

17 November 2015

Space Harrier



I was decent at Space Harrier. In the 80s, I was generally poor at arcade games, usually only lasting three levels but I could go for a distance in Space Harrier. Everytime I had played it then, I would have a small audience behind me. I think part of it was my ability to think spatially and that had assisted in the game a fair bit. This game had brought me great joy then and I had almost forgotten of its existence. Having said that, I have probably only played it less than ten times. It was around during the games ban period in Singapore, it was not available. I was in the US then and this game was not available there.
I miss Sweetie.

12 November 2015

I ran 5.2 km yesterday. I had to hop over a monitor lizard that was blocking the narrow path.

I ran 5.2 km the day before yesterday as well. I will run 5.2 km today if the weather permits.

29 October 2015

Wasteland 2

I slept too late last night, spending a fair bit of time amending the xml save file for Wasteland 2.

I found the original game far too frustrating and hard. I spent too much time pixel-hunting and also getting hit by exploding plants, poison gas and all that. Not fun at all.

After amending the file, the game became a lot more playable and smoother.

The League Cup

It seems to me that the top teams are competing to get out of the League Cup, and they are blatant about it, losing to much lower tier opponents. That is the reality of football right there.

22 October 2015

I have been sleeping later and later. I need to get my hours right again. Last night, I managed to sleep about an hour earlier. I am sleepy now despite having slept earlier.

01 October 2015

29 September 2015

28 September 2015

I miss Sweetie.
The haze level today is 134. Oh dear. Over the weekend, it had appeared that things would be better.

I will take any opportunity to run when it drops under 100 from now on.
I met Alex and his daughter, Catlin, at Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City yesterday. They were on a visit from Australia. Ironically, we went to Jones the Grocer at the Mandarin Gallery for drinks.

I met his wife, Karen, and their other daughter later.

25 September 2015

23 September 2015

Last night, I managed to finish Torchlight 2 years after I had started on it. I think this instalment is only average, there is a distinct lack of flavour in the worldbuilding and monsters for some reason.
Air pollution. 138. Unhealthy. Heh.
It was supposed to be a simple day but it is shaping up to be complicated and messy. Oh well.

15 September 2015

Air pollution is at 126 now after the rain. I guess it will peak towards evening, I don't think it would be wise to go run today.

The old in new guises

There are several new releases and new scheduled releases that I am considering.

New Order - Complete
A-Ha - Cast in Steel
Duran Duran - Paper Gods

And an older 2001 release that I have missed for some reason.

OneTwo - Instead



The first New Order album in some years, 'Complete', is without Peter Hook's input which may or may not be a good thing, New Order seems to be a spent entity, a faded musical force in the last decade or so though they do occasionally release the odd good single.

The new album from New Order has 'Restless' as its lead single, it is a decent song, not particularly memorable, I had heard it earlier but I could not remember a thing. I am not excited. I had decided against buying the previous album 'Lost Sirens'. I will want to hear the other songs in the album before deciding on a purchase. I have also not bought the Peter Hook album whereas I had all the Revenge and Monaco releases.


I heard the first single, 'Under the Makeup', from A-Ha's 'Cast in Steel' album. It sounded tired. I think I will wait and see. I will listen to more tracks first.



Duran Duran's 'Paper Gods' marks a new musical direction for them. I heard the first single 'Pressure Off' and I thought it was the worst single that I have heard from them. I have also heard a few other tracks in the album. This may just be the worst album that they have ever released. There is a high chance that I will not be purchasing this album. I had earlier decided against the last Erasure and Depeche Mode albums.

The 'Paper Gods' album cover is one of the worst that I have seen it years.



'Instead' by OneTwo is a collaboration between Propaganda's Claudia Brücken and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Paul Humphreys. I heard the first single, 'Cloud Nine', and it was pleasant in the AOR (adult-oriented radio) sort of way, I will have to hear the other album tracks to consider, it does not bode well when the lead single is like that.

13 September 2015

I am finally taking a look at Torchlight II, not particularly compelling for some reason.

12 September 2015

That's it for tonight, what a disappointment Starhub is. I cannot get a consistent connection to any of the Battlefield 4 servers, fibre optic? Hopeless.
psi 124 tonight. I was at the library and borrowed a volume on botanical gardens and another on Chinese bridges.

10 September 2015

207 tonight! I was in the library at Somerset Road for 15 minutes before it closed. Oh well.
The air quality is poor today. 147 now. When I ran yesterday, it was about 86 at this hour.
The psi is 126 today. The haze is quite visible. The air is polluted today.

03 September 2015

I will sleep earlier tonight.

The air quality was 106 psi this afternoon. I may not want to run.

23 August 2015

Sadness

I slept in the afternoon and woke up covered in sweat just now, a hot afternoon. I had dreamed that I was a prisoner of an enemy army of occupation, I was shut in a cell after being found in a destroyed field of vehicles.

I was allowed out for a while and I met Sweetie at a café outside to talk. That night, we had a dinner to attend but I was to return to the prisoner of war camp, I could not go with Sweetie. I was very sad.

Sweetie was then dancing gracefully.. I woke up after. A sad and beautiful dream.


21 August 2015

Located! This is only the first step.
Another pressing task has emerged a few days ago, I need to locate a 1997 document for my lawyer. I found only two sheets from thirteen, where are the other eleven?

Of CD singles and remixes

I stopped buying CD singles some years ago. The trend since the nineties would be for the remixer to deconstruct a song and then reassemble it with little resemblance to the original. In this way, it misses the point, the essence of the song structure, the melody, the hook and even the vocals are lost, only the song component is left.

20 August 2015

Yes! A pressing task has been settled yesterday, I am relieved. I haven't taken a vacation since 2011, I will start thinking of one soon, a short one.

Setting limits

I have also limited my play of Battlefield 4 to only the weekends if possible. No matter how compelling, the game is time-consuming and there are lots that I want to do.

19 August 2015

Games games games

I enjoy Battlefield 4 tremendously. I play it a fair bit but I have limited my play of Battlefield 4 to about an hour or so now for each session. It is easy to find that hours would fly if I were to play it.

My play seem to differ greatly from that of Battlefield 3. I had made a comparison of the weapons used. For the previous game, I had used a lot of grenade launchers and assault rifles. For the new iteration, I had used employed the Counter Defilade Engagement System or XM-25 weapon and the LMG (light machine gun) a fair bit more. The Ares LMG is my weapon of choice.

However, it seems that players are somewhat more canny now, I am unable to rack up kills as swiftly as previously.

For Ingress, I had previous unfinished business in gaining levels. The end is finally in sight, I had planned to end at level 7 but I had made all the way to level 13. I am at level 13 now, and level 14 would be my end point. In any case, I am in semi-retirement for the game. The chasm to cross to reach 15 is impossible, I am unwilling to commit that kind of time and I don't enjoy it anyway, it's tedious. There is really little point left.

For some, the game is about meeting friends and playing with the community, for me, it isn't, it is about territory, optimisation and geography, abstract concepts. In any case, I have exhausted what I came for in Ingress finally.


It looks like I may be able to settle an issue today and I will be done with it. Hurrah!
I would need to sleep earlier. I have been sleeping later and later.

18 August 2015

I slept too late last night. I will not go running today.

A debacle at Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 last night was a disaster. I was roundly trashed and I spent far too much time attempting to rectify that dismal run of results. I should have read the papers instead.

I had instead not thought out a different approach and thus suffered for it.
I had a slight sore throat last week but I seemed to have fought it off. I am alright now, I need to go run this evening.
It may be a trying week ahead, at least, it seems to be shaping up to be one.

17 August 2015

Dreaming of you

I bounced out of bed as I woke up this morning with happiness in my heart. I had dreamed that I was with Sweetie at an outdoor café in an old part of town, sipping cocktails and spirits, and talking the night away. Wall-mounted lamps had coated the weathered brick walls of the courtyard in amber, while deep shadows cast by the yellow hues had provided a contrast.

15 August 2015

Uninstalling Evernote

I uninstalled Evernote from my mobile. It came pre-installed in the mobile. I didn't find a need for the application. When the one year free subscription is up, I removed it.

Most of the pre-installed applications on my mobile are useless to me.

06 August 2015

Battlefield 4 and Windows 10 Pro

Battlefield 4 is up and running after the installation of Windows 10 Pro. It has about a year since I have played. I am back in the game. I did average. Oh well. It could be better.

Windows 8 was mediocre. Windows 10 had remedied many of the interface weaknesses of Windows 8 but not quite. A reversion to the interface of Windows 7 would be ideal.


05 August 2015

The focus on BBC

I have been listening to the BBC a fair bit more than usual. It seems that that the focus of the BBC is almost entirely on Africa and India, almost as if it were the African and Indian Broadcasting Corporation.

I wonder why. I can guess.

01 August 2015

A lost dream

A few mornings ago, I dreamt that I was at the beach at night and small lapping waves were coming

In the moonlight, I could see other illuminated figures...

The waters eventually rose to knee level, soaking

I dreamt later of visiting a hillside where there was a McDonald's fast food joint. The place was quaint and old, giving an air of an outlet rooted in the past, where everything had gone by it, evoking a sense of a faded photograph.

This morning, I dreamt of visiting a secret waterfall in a forgotten hill in Singapore.

This was a post that I had written in 2014 but had forgotten to post for some reason.

Endless Space


Endless Space had seemed daunting initially. After two hours, the fog lifted and the gameplay became clear.

When I wrote this post, it was in July 2014. I never did continue after funnily enough.

I will look into it again.

Of fanaticism and Ingress

When I had played Ingress, it was optimised around my grocery buying trips. I had rarely ever made any special provision for it, like a day trip just to capture portals. I was a casual player despite claims otherwise.

The portals I had captured were around the supermarket, the bakeries and the cafés where I had coffee. Was it so hard to understand? I guessed the hardcore players lived in another world. I would not have been astonished to if I were to find that some were aghast to find that I had remained at the same level for half a year or more. Baffling for them? It would not surprise me. The fanaticism they had exhibited were something to behold. You would think that the fanaticism akin to that of the Kamikazes were in the distant past, not so.

Hyper Fighters and Naval Warfare

I tried Hyper Fighters and Naval Warfare which I had bought for about two dollars each on Steam. The former was dismal while the latter had interesting ideas but the polish on the interface was lacking.

The interesting aspects of Naval Warfare were that it was set in science fictional Victorian world and also the design ironclad and aircraft.

There is nothing positive to be said about Hyper Fighters, from gameplay to graphics to interface. Avoid at all costs.

Battle Group 2

I found a game on Steam that I got for under two dollars. Battle Group 2. It was a simple arcade shoot 'em up. It was relaxing and fun. I played it for a few hours over three days and finished it.

It is mindless but fun. Recommended.

Of inactivity and Ingress

In the meantime, I have wound down my play of Ingress. I find that I had exceeded my data plan two months ago and slightly exceeded it this month. The game has been a distraction. I am back to my other activities.

Let someone else hold Novena and other parts of the territories which I used to hold. The medals can come later, as can the levels, I am not competing with anyone. I don't care. I am mostly retired from the game anyway.

Power struggle

Politics is everywhere. Whenever and wherever there is a group, there is almost surely politics. I was to be dragged into one despite my clear declaration of not wanting to be involved. The person involved refused to take my stance into consideration. To my dismay, in deposing the leader, one of the persons who were involved had used my name, saying that I had supported every bit of that putsch. That is diabolical.

What part of "no" do these power hungry folks not understand? The power struggles will drag people in what is a game that is supposedly fun. Drama, politics, and power have intruded in a big way.

I had left the groups as I had not wanted to be associated in any way anymore. That was a week ago. Since then, I had listened to different points of views from various sympathetic people from various factions. They understood.

Home territory

I realised some time back that most players only play in their own backyards, meaning their home and work areas. One should not expect reinforcements in the former of higher level resonators and shields. It is to be expected. That is realistic. To disguise the true situation in the form of positive talk reeks of rank hypocrisy.

A few other players have confirmed this state of affairs to me privately.

Attempting to point out the lack of clothes in the emperor would only bring out ugly, defensive anger.

As for fanatical players, they will be everywhere from midnight till dawn. They can also be found outside their home and work areas too.

31 July 2015

Waiting.

Waiting and waiting. Contractors. Engineer.
Things are not particularly smooth. I am a bit frustrated. Hopefully, my contractors can come up with the solution fast.

27 July 2015

A sweet dream

I dreamt of Sweetie, holding onto her hand tightly as we raced out happily from a building. Then, I woke up, smiling away, from ear to ear.

Snoozing away

I woke up in the middle of the night to find Mimi, my little affectionate cat, curled up at my feet, snoozing away. Heheheh.

13 July 2015

New music

New music that I am looking forward to listening:

Fotonovela - A ton of love
Beborn Beton - A worthy compensation
Ashbury Heights - The looking glass society
Motor - Man Made Machine

Beborn Beton finally returns with a new album. Let's hope it is as good as 'Nightfall.

Ashbury Heights is back, at first, it would appear that the band would disappear.

I first of Motor's Man Made Machine about four years or so ago. I never did find it or hear about it since. Today, I found it on Amazon. And I heard a snippet, it sounded dark and evil, perfect...

Fotonovela is electronic and melodic, just the way I like it.

08 July 2015

A Comme Amour by Richard Clayderman





I remember this very well. I remember hearing it a lot when I was browsing in Times bookstore at the basement when I was 15 at Specialist Centre where the current Orchard Gateway is.

I really like this tune.

26 June 2015

Heart rate

I played a bit of Age of Empires 2 HD last night. I was very relaxed. That game has that effect. My heart rate was down to 56 last night. That wasn't too bad.

I don't think I can attain the heart rate of 40s at rest again unless I start running like I did in 2001 or 2002.

24 June 2015

Of music and bands

My current favourites are:

Kiethevez
Ladytron
Marnie
Marsheaux
Hooverphonic
John Foxx
Namnambulu
Frozen Plasma
Voice Industrie
VNV Nation

Just a few years ago, they were:

In Strict Confidence
Imperative Reaction
Front Line Assembly
Covenant
Assemblage 23
Clan of Xymox
Elegant Machinery
Neuroactive
Negative Format
Rational Youth

I seldom listen to eighties music, at least not for the last decade or two.

Of bands from the eighties

This new Duran Duran single 'Pressure Off' is a major disappointment, I hope the rest of the album will not have this sound. Oh well.

The last Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and Depeche Mode albums were major disappointments too.

The new New Order album does sound promising.


23 June 2015

Concord Publications

The books from Concord Publications stopped coming to our shores some years ago when a local distributor disappeared.

Then, the website vanished. Now, the website is back up. I wonder if new publications will continue. I certainly hope so.

Power outage

The neighbourhood was hit by a power fault last night. Two phases of the three-phase power had disappeared. The Singapore Power Grid guys came. Hours later, everything was restored.

Age of Empires II HD

I played Age of Empires 2 HD on Sunday evening. It has brought back memories of 1999 when Age of Empires 2 was a favourite. I played three games and that was enough, great fun but well, I had other things to do.


Apparently, there is a new expansion now, the first in over ten years, The Forgotten. I may consider it if the price were to drop.

19 June 2015

Jurassic World

Jurassic World does not look interesting but I may go watch it anyway. It may yet surprise.

Gmail

Gmail is now slow with multiple tabs. The very attraction of gmail then was in its very simplicity. It is now as cluttered as the other myriad email services out there.


11 June 2015

I think I will go watch Avengers : Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road tomorrow. I may do a movie marathon. The usual summer blockbusters.
What a hot boring day. I shall go run later.

Dinosaurs

I am probably the only person who draws who has never drawn a dinosaur. I don't particularly care to draw animals too.

I was told that artists love dinosaurs, and animals too.

It seems to become a true artist one should learn to love drawing dinosaurs and animals. 

04 June 2015

I seem to be quite alright now. I will have to start running this evening.

26 May 2015

Prediction for relegation candidates 2015-2016

My prediction for relegation candidates 2015-2016 are:

Aston Villa
Sunderland
Norwich City (Newly promoted)

Relegation 2014-2015

My prediction for relegation candidates 2014-2015 were: Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Burnley. This time, I got two out of three correct. Queens Park Rangers and Burnley are down. Hull also went down and Crystal Palace was safe.

09 May 2015

I am clumsy today. I dropped my glasses and a cap for my glass.

Sweet memories

I remember one happy sunny day in May two years ago when Sweetie went with me to the navy open house at Changi. We had to queue for a fairly long time at the Expo then, I was grumpy but it was a pleasure being with Sweetie, she had brightened my life. Sweetie was very funny that day. Duck tour!


04 May 2015

Some observations on Ingress

Some observations on Ingress based on my experience. It will be different for everyone.

1. It helps to play where there are many people from your side. It helps if they live in the same area.

2. When there are substantially more opponents in the game, it is difficult. The number of Resistance players in Singapore clearly outnumber the enlightened. There are almost no level 8 Enlightened Portals near where I live. I have only seen it less than ten times. Maybe, three or four times at best. I see Resistance level 8 portals frequently, daily in fact.

3. People generally only reinforce their friends when they play, at least on the Enlightened side. They don't look to a larger overall purpose.

4. Home portals. If one has a portal or two within reach from one's home or office, it is substantial. It helps a fair bit.

5. Routes. If one's daily route does pass through portals, well, it helps a lot as well.

6. Many players, especially the diehard ones, use multiple accounts. I don't but I observe many do. They use a second one as a mule to store items, as a reinforcement to deploy shields quickly and more. And some have third accounts.

7. It seems that a number of players also use third party programmes that violate the terms of use too.

Oh well. I was not expecting a level playing field anyway.

Time to quietly fade away. In any case, I won't be noticed. I was a quiet low level player.

Onto new things! No more Ingress


I fell sick. Because of that, I missed a day on my Ingress hacking medal, thus, I would not be able to get a gold medal after 60 days, I would not make a level.

This is a signal to myself that I should be retiring for the third time. I can't see myself hacking for another 60 days for this. Enough of the game. I was playing casually anyway. I will maintain a guardian portal or two at best now, my only link to the game.

The passing few months have seen the departure of two regular Novena players. Now, the portals in Novena are low-level and frequently changing hands. There is no reinforcement and little point in seizing and deploying. I cannot not get the same level of xmp bursters and resonators from these ones anyway.

Onto new things!
I miss Sweetie.
The past week has seemed like a hazy period of a burning throat, medication and sleep, it is almost over now. Five days have disappeared just like that.
I have been out of sorts for a bit, down with a cold, out of commission for a few days.

22 April 2015

A carton of books

A week ago, I had dreamed that I had received two big cartons of books in the mail. Sadly, just as I opened the first carton, I woke up for work.
I need to focus.
I ran 9:13 for the first 1.79 km and 31:20 for 5.2 km. I didn't want to push hard as I need to conserve a bit of energy for the next two 5.2 km runs. The timing were decent,

The temperature was a cool 26 degrees after a storm. The last week has seen a sweltering 34 degrees in the evenings.

14 April 2015

A lost land in the mountains

I had a dream a fortnight ago where I had been in the mountains and found myself in a world akin to that depicted in Lost Horizon, a veritable Shangri-La.

There was a firefight preceding that flight to that peaceful land, little of which I could recollect. I had remembered rolling plains and fields, surrounded by tall, snow-capped mountains thrusting into the sky.

There was a friendly Chinese farmer who had appeared to come from the same world that I had come from. He had been trapped here for years but he was happy here and showed me around the lost land.

I had then travelled afar to the boundaries of the lost land. The vestiges faded as I woke up.

I had another dream of time travel to a past, an alternate timeline a week later. The images had faded when I woke up and travelled to work.

10 April 2015

I ran 9:30 for the first 1.79 km and around 32:00 for 5.2 km. I slowed considerably. I was tired. I had pushed the previous two days.

09 April 2015

I ran 8:20 for the first 1.79 km. Then I finished at 30:20 for 5.2 km. This is slower than the last time.

The temperatures has been around 33.5 to 34 degrees even in the evenings.

The runs have been not easy. There was one evening where the temperature was 27 degrees and it was a nice run.

08 April 2015

I need to focus.

Speed

I ran 1.79 km in 7:48 last week. After that run, I heard an interview on the BBC where this person was doing a kilometre in 3 minutes. That is extremely fast. I doubt if I can make or sustain that when I was still in national service.

Yesterday, I ran 1.79 km in 8:20 and 5.2 km in 30:30. Not fast enough.

27 March 2015

21 March 2015

Wheeeeeeeeeee!
As someone who draws (I don't call myself an artist, other people may be but I am probably not), I guess I have this perfectionist streak (nothing as severe as those great artists), or at least a need to for good work. Bad stuff leaves me vacant.

I spoiled two pieces last night. I have not had such disasters in a while. Oh well. I spent part of last night trying to salvage them. Perhaps, I should start with a clean piece of paper and forget them.

I am probably just unhappy with bad work. It bothers me.

12 March 2015

I will sleep at midnight tonight. I need more sleep.
A good run yesterday. The temperature was 25.5 degrees. I was faster.

I will go run again today.

11 March 2015

Saint Etienne - Method of Modern Love





I heard this wonderful song in concert in Singapore a few years ago.
I bought coffee when I was at Bishan today. I think I will need it.

I hope to run 5.2 km this evening if the weather holds up.

24 February 2015

When politics intrude

I hate it when a Facebook group becomes politicised. Now, a military group that I created is now becoming very politicised due to a China apologist and Putin fan.

It is annoying.

29 January 2015

I have been reading a fair bit. A bit less drawing but I am drawing more now.


21 January 2015

I miss Sweetie.

The end

When I last stopped Ingress, I had some unfinished business. There were some goals that I had wanted to reach.

I had reached them. I managed level 10 over the weekend.

Both my guardian portals were stopped at day 49 which is today.

This time, there is little left to do, I shall stop. The next level is a gulf too far to bridge. I don't want to be looking at my mobile screen when I am outside.

Time to stop. New things await.

17 January 2015

It has been tremendously hot for the last week. I wonder if the rainy season is finally over.
I was at Woodlands library yesterday, it was a pleasant surprise as I was able to borrow five volumes which I had been seeking.
100,000 AP more to level 10. Then, I will stop playing Ingress. I will still watch it for about 20 seconds a day for the next month or two. I want to get the Guardian badge.