Friday, July 27, 2007

At (My) World's End

Been so caught up in the advertisement craze that I nearly forgot about this.

On... let's see when this was... On Wednesday, my borrowed PSP brought me to the end of the world.

And, after I found myself there, I calmly made my way back to civilization. Without the PSP. Eh? Eh? How's that for explorer's blood?

But before I moved off for the urban jungle, the citizen journalist in me did not forget to snap pictures for you, so that you, yes you my blogger friends may catch a glimpse of what the end of the world is like. Frankly, I think it's over-hyped.

Ok no the truth was that I was playing the PSP all the way up to City Hall, and I only fell asleep into my usual in-transit nap after Redhill. With my stop at Dover, naturally I would oversleep my stop.

I've never gone to Boon Lay before. Not in my memory I haven't. To me Boon Lay is merely the name given to the fear deep sleepers experience everytime they feel a drowse steal over them... in their cozy corner seat... ...

Well to look at it brightly, if I wasn't so careless I would never have had any other reason to go past Jurong East Interchange. So yay PSP~!

1st lightsaber picture, 3rd Ad, and a video???

A lightsaber glow is easy to do, it's the fitting it into the specific picture that sux-ass.

If you find this picture oddly familiar, yes, it is the original shot of my avatar. I selected a rectangular approximation of the blade portion (I'm total shit at magnetic-lasso) and made a layer to superimpose on the original image. After clearing away extra bits and pieces with eraser, I bleached the image by dropping saturation and color to the lowest, and throwing lightness up to the highest. Then I created an outer glow of purple (I like what not happy ah wanna fight ah?), and a hint of inner glow to give the blade some depth and roundness. Flick the original image back on and there we go! Final touch-ups with the smudge tool to smoothen rough edges. Of course this isn't needed if you have enough talent or skill to cut it cleanly in the first place.

Ok no seriously, it's just so addictive! And that red glow from the text was what reminded me to do the saber-sword thingy above - been thinking about it for awhile now.

Finally, we've seen quite a number of advertisements, both hilarious as well as NSFW. :) I'm thinking about a video now. It's real simple. All you have to do is......

Well I'll give you the details when I'm done with the video. Which I have decided to film on the next occasion I'm home alone.

It's that crazy.

Not NSFW though.

Maybe in the sense that you might burst out screaming in laughter and attract your boss to your cube.

Oh speaking of NSFW, here's a blooper from my shot yesterday. I set my phone timer, and this was my very first shot. For some stupid reason, I looked at the camera expecting it to say "Ok I took it come and have a look".

And this is what happened. A groteseque parody of sluttiness. Eurgh... Ad - Meet Farinelli Again

Well my first ad was designed after Cris's. But DK got the ball rolling out of the box with his... his ad. So with nothing else to do while my aunt gets ready for work (she give me a... half a lift to school), I did another one. This one feels more like me.


The million-dollar question is what your reaction is when you get pinged. Scream shout froth kick... whatever! The only limit is your imagination. So do one now, and be sure to share it with the rest on Ping. Instructions can be found in my first ad, linked above. Advertisement - Meet Farinelli

[Following chunk taken from Cris's blog. See the original post.]

Try it out yourself!
How about you trying to create a advertisement to attract more users?

Your advertisement must meet these criterias:
Size: 600 X 450 pixels
Font: Microsoft Sans Serif, 36, Strong
Font Colour: White
Phrase: Meet XXX. He/She just got Pinged. Have you?

A logo must always be at the top your picture because you are helping to advertise

If you do not have the picture, you can right click and save image here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Messy Table

Following Daniel's post, I predicted to him that the I know would start doing the same thing. True enough, Wishbone made known her thoughts of possibly doing such a thing.

So I did mine.

I'm sooo sooo sorry for the low res... the only object missing from my table was my phone, and well that's because I was holding it. That's my digicam, and even though its 2 megapixels, Nokia's night-photo quality sucks so bad.

That said, I just realized I forgot to turn on the night mode. Whoops. Too late. And this is why.

There are so many things on my table, I thought I would note the more interesting items (or at least unusual). Click to enlarge. Or if you can read it off the picture, leave a note saying so and I'll consider worshipping you(r eyesight).

Now you beat this. :D

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Non-Blogger commenting enabled

NTT raised this point the other day, after we had finished our weekly podcast (see sidebar for link). That he could not comment on my blog because for some reason or the other he did not register for a Blogger account, and I selected the Registered Users Only option.

To block these valuable and lovely group of people out no more, I have decided to allow non-Blogger users to comment. Unfortunately, with the useful Other option on your identification details (Name and Website) comes the sorely hated Anonymous option. I don't understand why Blogger can't seperate the two of them though. I don't imagine it would be all that hard... Blogger you listening?

All the same, I restricted commenting because I absolutely despise anonymous comments, unless the conditions are such that subjects you to political danger. If you wish to seperate your online and RL personas use a nickname like I do, although admittedly mine is rather for show only. I didn't really make a concerted effort to hide my RL details.

So I am making it clear here and now, and I'm putting it in my comment box message as well, so there can be no excuse:
I have enabled the non-Blogger-member commenting function on my blog to accomodate my friends. Should anyone of you out there dare to take advantage of the Anonymous option, I will, I will and I WILL delete your comment, or else find the slightest excuse to shoot you down. Shouldn't be hard, really, since anonymous commentors are usually the idiots who make flaming comments.

Try me. I'm ready. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Echo of Memories; Past Becomes Present

I couldn't bear to leave it behind. It was in desperate need of feeding, and I knew that the best lip-smacking milk that humans usually consume just don't cut it for kitties. Even doing the Neck Pinch couldn't keep it quiet for long...

Whatever la. Words elude me now. The last thing I saw after I managed to bring myself to put it down and walk away was a cleaner saying "lai!", "C'mere" in Mandarin, and then another sound which I assumed meant that he bent down to pick the precious life up. At least someone else picked it up.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Editing the iPhone Video

Right, so, we went to Geek Terminal on Tuesday to see the iPhone. Specifically, the iPhone that Paddy Tan of BAK2u brought in to develop his anti-theft software. Here are some reviews or mentions of it by Kevin, NTT, and Kai Yi.

Today, after Daniel passed me the DVR, Kai Yi and I were to start editing the raw footage. Because of GT's blessed power strip, we didn't take as long as people usually do to plug all our plugs in and set up our ad-hoc workstation. Everything we needed was there, IEEE network card, firewire cable, laptop with good specs, and all we had to do was to... ...

Import the video from the DV tape.

In this aspect I realized Kai Yi was just as clueless as I was, because like the independent and resourceful big boy that I am I was expecting Daniel to rip the raw footage out to digital format and pass it to me. But he made a point that since he only had Windows Movie Maker, he could only record to WMV format, which can be restrictive. At least Adobe Premiere Pro (APP) records to AVI. Among other formats, anyway.

So we were kinda alternating between staring stupidly at the laptop and fiddling stupidly with the camera. Luckily Daniel over at NDP wasn't doing a very busy job today, so he could reply promptly over SMS to guide us. We didn't realize we were supposed to let the tape run, and let the Firewire live-feed it into the laptop and digitally record it from there, in real-time. Terribly memory-intensive stuff. We had recorded one loooong iPhone clip and one short intro clip. So when we were getting ready to move out and Kai Yi was transferring the files from his HD to my HD, we didn't really flinch at the 230MB file. Then when we checked out the long file...

It was 4.6GB. GIGABYTES.

Ah well, with high quality comes a high price.

We started to realize how inefficient we were at APP as soon as we got ourselves past editing the intro clip, which took us rather look considering it was like what, 30 seconds? Because I had to warm up after not touching APP for so long. It's a good thing that as far as the editing aesthetics were concerned, Kai Yi and I seem to be roughly of an equal mind. It eased my mental load (and my biological RAM was overclocking) without having to worry about whether this or that method was fine by him.

Or maybe he just didn't voice it out. :P

We didn't know how to make subclips out of the Great Wall of China that was our raw footage (assuming subclips = small portions of a larger clip. Dunno whether that's the APP definition). So to put segments together we had to keep dragging the whole damn clip down and trimming like 98% of it.

Someone please advise... -_-"

On another note the food at GT was great. I thought I made a mistake ordering Aglio Olio, especially after seeing Kai Yi's carbonara, but I asked for cheese to top, and holy shit the cheese was some powerful stinker! But a moderate dusting on top of my meant-to-be-plain dish made is sooooo delectable. I felt so much love for the cheese I took my own initiative to return it to the waiter at the bar myself, so he could put it back in the fridge. I was half afraid, probably because of the stink, that it would turn black and gooey and rot before my eyes. That's not the way you thank someone you know, by leaving them to rot in the searing heat.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dance Dance Evolution

I got the following video from the I Am Bored blog. If you need interesting stuff to put some color into your hopelessly dull place, be sure to subscribe to this blog. Fun crazy stupid funny stuff. All there. As for this video, we have to thank people like this man. For younger folks, it's 60 years of dance in 6 minutes. For older people, revision or nostalgia, take your pick. Enjoy.

I Am Different. I am different?

Back in 2003 or 2004 when I was still in Victoria School, I found myself to be the butt of alot of jokes. As if it wasn't enough that I was plump and behaved in a somewhat weird, gay-ish fashion, my chemistry teacher became the catalyst to bring me into the screeching world of opera. And unabashedly I would sing to myself soprano pieces as in transit between classes, along the corridors... actually, alot of coloratura soprano pieces, which for the everyman I suppose could be translated to 'advanced soprano', what with ridiculously high notes I was surprised I managed to hit without screaming the fuck out of myself, and trills and spills and all the crazy ornamentations and embellishments that simply spelt G-O-D-L-I-K-E.

Use your diaphrrragm, your diaphrrrragm!, they say.

As such, I was not at all surprised to have people make jokes and laugh at me in my face. In fact, I rather relished the fact that I was somewhat in a class of my own. In the student body there were less people who cared about opera than the fingers on my hands (maybe even one hand), and of these, there was only one other person who would actually sing opera like I did (he was quite a splendid tenor though... never had to use falsetto, unlike me who sang soprano because my tenor CMI), and that was my classmate and friend Bryan. I wouldn't really take the choir guys into consideration... anyway from what I heard from my classmate who was the choir chairman, the lower sec soprano boys were cringingly airy, unlike the rich voice I managed to at least fake (the things I did would have taken a true-trained opera singer a decade and a half to master).

And so thus the 5 or less of us with the common passion for the arts --song, literature, theatre-- would come together and meet out of school either for events, or simply just for a chat and some mindless fun. We would laugh and revel in the fact that we were different from all the rest of the school, that bunch of testosterone-driven violent brutes who knew nothing of the lofty heights of the fine arts. I was happy, at least.

When I came to SIM/UB, I vowed to myself to take full advantage of the fresh, new environment to not be such a misfit (the jokes and laughter do get tiring after awhile). And that I managed to do, sometimes at the expense of others. But now that two years have passed, I look at myself, and what do I find but a person terribly insecure about himself. Worrying if friends are pissed at me for something I don't know just because I don't hear from them for awhile, worried if I'm saying things that make me sound stupid, or selfish, or an asshole, worried about things I never thought about back then.

What's happened to me? Perhaps this is the real me, and back in VS my numbness to all that teasing made me feel alright about myself. Or maybe I just got so concerned about myself, how I look talk walk dress... maybe I lost my sense of self.

Well it's time to regain it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Goodness Gracious Me!

An old series, but a fantastic one nevertheless. Catch all 6 episodes of the first season (British la, you know...), the Christmas special, and bloopers on Youtube from this user.

I wonder though how the cast really feels. Some of the jokes can get quite mean. More importantly though, this series reflects how humans try to fit into society around them, often trying too hard to assimilate themselves into their environment. And how our Asian concept of face is in fact not as Asian as we thought, and how it just makes us all look a little more stupid.

Enjoy. I recorded the theme and made it my ringtone liao. Haha.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Joining 65bits

Hokay, as the more attentive on might have already noticed, I'm flooding my blog with new posts today. This is the seventh.


Like I told Daphne, this is what happens when you get lazy. About something you're... quite passionate about.

Moving swiftly along :), today marked a milestone for me, as it did for the event I participated in. 65bits reaches its 30th episode today, and I, Renhao aka Farinelli, did my first ever podcast with them!

I did think the exclamation was abit cheesy, but I thought it was still better than a full-stop that seemed to convey disinterest.

So it's great, guys, to be able to participate in this show. And I do believe it will grow into something substantial, if not outright big. I didn't join because of that reason though lol. It was more like an afterthought.

A pleasant one.

But like I said, I'm not all that informed about tech stuff as these guys are. I'm just (for now at least) like going with the flow haha... That's why I'm the one who always shoots a comment out of nowhere. Yup, hope to continue for a long long time with this show.

Even though the 30th episode was screwed up.

Yep this just in as I'm typing, it seems there was a problem that made the recording just skip over some parts. So fuck you to whichever demon went into the iPod to do this. You damn well better rejoice that I'm going to heaven, because if I somehow end up in hell, I will hunt you down and drown you in the lake of fire for all eternity. Biatch.

Luv ya 65bits! ^^

Rewatching Final Fantasy 7 - Advent Children

The last and first time I saw FF7 was when I got it from Graham, and he obtained it in some super obscure format that he had to use a DOS program to convert to AVI. I'm sure it was in some Lossless format or something, but whatever it is the converting ruined whatever notion of quality the subbers thought of maintaining by ripping it in a format from Jupiter.

This time however, I got it from Shinsen Subs, 1.4GB of high-quality goodness. I actually had it for a long time, I just wanted a time to be able to watch it when I'm home alone, so I can close the windows close the curtains and blast my speakers, but that never quite got around in light of my weekly anime flow as well as gaming, recently. So finally I watched it on my Aurvana and though the bass was no match for what would have come out of my subwoofer, the Surround-sound quality was deliciously apparent. At least I get to watch the fight scenes properly. As it is it's already so fast so furious so messy, and lowered quality doesn't help one bit. And for some reason Shinsen split it into two parts, probably for ease of burning to VCD, but I'm not watching it anywhere except a computer. Prefably my computer or some other machine with a good or better speaker system. Watching it on any lesser platform just doesn't do the film justice.

Well neither am I by downloading it from fansubbers... but... shut up. Lol. They did a good job of it at least.

Microsoft OneNote

I wonder how many eyes are rolling now and how many brains are yelling 'LAGGG!' silently, but Microsoft really surprised me with OneNote.

Seems that it didn't come with my previous 2003 installations, or else I never bothered to install it, but I discovered it when I accidentally screen-captured a PDF page into OneNote 2007. At that time I just closed it off irritably, since I was rushing to get work done. But when I chanced upon the user guide and opened it, my breath was taken away. The perfect organizer software (actually it's so much more than organizer) has been sitting under my big bulb of a nose for years and not once did I check it out, or even chance upon it.

For those of you who don't know, don't close this window. This could really change your life. OneNote simply put is the whole concept of a planner/organizer mapped onto a computer screen. You can have notebooks, and in the notebooks you can create tabs, and under these tabs you can create as many pages as you like, and even subpages. You'll find yourself fascinated by things such as the ability to type anywhere on the page, and the consequent ability to move your note portions freely around, or voice recording while typing, or the automatic calculator when you enter equations in a certain format. It's krypto-freaking-nite man, and a brightly glowing one at that.

The key attraction of OneNote lies in its versatility and compatibility, being readily exportable to Word and Powerpoint, and able to accept into its files anything from cutting-pasting a portion of a Word document, to screencapping a portion of a webpage and having page name and URL details automatically recorded for you below the screencap image.

The best part of it all is even with the million and one functions available to you, you don't have to think about saving, since everything is automatically captured the moment you type it in or take it out. This is something which one would yearn for in Word Excel and Powerpoint, except for the practical implications of such a function (forget to Save As... and you die, biatch).

Hopefully for me, OneNote isn't just another passing organizer phase for me, as it was with all my other planners, digital or otherwise. Gosh man you can run your whole bloody life on it.

Just be creative. And then that's where 80% fall. Haha you suck. Server Overload!

Old news, but then I can't remember the last time I was the first to post something up. I'm more reflective. And more lazy.

So sometime around beginning or midweek (see la I forgot already) kept breaking down. Especially the shoutbox. I think we were unwittingly at fault la. When the shoutbox started lagging, we naturally felt threatened at the prospect of having to suffer noPing-itis, so we start posting things trying to see our shout appear as confirmation that the server wasn't melting down at that moment. Like "Hello?" "Hullo?" "Yooohoooo lagging..." "Where's everyone?" "Where's everybody???!!!111" "HELLOOO?!?!?!"

Obviously we'd tip the server over the edge right? -.-"

And then once Uzyn rebooted the server, and we find everything ok again, we start flooding the shoutbox expressing immense relief at being connected to our dear fellow Pingsters again.


Like DK said though, we're all inwardly happy, as worried as we are for Ping's stability, because we know the website and its members are outgrowing the server. Again, heartfelt thanks to Uzyn for trying his blood-sweat-tears best to optimize here there and everywhere just to keep a free service to us all. You know, I was just talking to my friend and we were discussing that particular conference where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were interviewed together, and he said what struck him most was the obvious fact that these guys were successful solely because they loved with all their heart and soul what they were doing. And Ping being his baby after all, it's so obvious Uzyn treasures the community so much to try to keep it free. I mean at just one word from him (help?), we'd probably all chip in with enough donations (assuming we aren't given a target amount) for two servers. We (the regulars at least) all love Ping so much as well. But time and again Uzyn's refused to accept donations or open a Paypal account for

And that's how I know that Ping will go far. So will Uzyn, probably.

Summer (II) so far

After my blazing trail of glory in Summer(I), I'm doing everything I can not to start skipping classes. Two China lecturers, what the heck?

These courses are actually quite important lor... Mass Comm Theory and Public Relations. So I do want to slack but not like totally switch off man. That's suicide. Of course, that's what I say, but I'm not even attempting to listen in class unless I feel like it, like say after a very refreshing DotA game.

In class.

Thanks Graham.

First test is next Wednesday. Haven't even read through the book yet. Blogging's a real good excuse, student bloggers keep that in mind.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Was disappointing.

Although I dunno whether to blame the storywriters or not, since they are quite obviously under major pressure not to churn out a script for an 8-hour movie. It's just too much to shove down to two hours. Given the fans who are watching it, and how it would give storywriters a chance to leave more stuff in that would help smoothen plot progression, I wonder if Warner Brothers would have allowed another hour to the movie. Or was it the director who decided that? If it was then I think he should know better than to attempt the impossible. What happened to looking up to Cecil B. DeMille man? If you need 4.5 hours and 4 VCDs then 4.5 hours and 4 VCDs it is la! Why cut here cut there tuck here tuck there?

Of course if it was a profit-driven decision by WB, then well... fuck you, I guess.

Right, so as I said, the plot was rather choppy to me. But keep in mind here that I'm a fan (or ex-fan, just because I'm not queuing for the 7th book doesn't mean I don't care about the movie keeping true to the book). So my mind is totally aligned to the book, which I've roughly memorized already. Oh don't give that look. I can't recite the book to you. There are people who can. These are normally the ones who carry a replica of Harry's wand inside their shirt and get it broken when they try to do a Stunning spell to the neighbourhood bully making fun of them.

Anyways, I was amazed at the number of parts they chopped out. It was barely coherent to me. But I appreciated the special effects this time, at least it didn't have stupid 'wuing' sounds everytime a wand was used some way or the other. The final battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore was impressive, but really short. And as with all battle sequences nowadays, things just happen too fast for our eyes to handle. You just see blue flash red flash then Voldemort screams and all the glass around him shatters and you're like... what happened again?

Ah yes, another thing about cutting so many parts out - support characters are getting less and less time. We hardly saw Malfoy or McGonagall this time.

There were people saying that Daniel Radcliffe was quite awkward playing the dark angsty teen characteristic of OotP. I actually thought he did that quite well. What he looked like he had trouble playing was the confused, low-confidence boy who slowly realises and mulls over the implications of being remotely connected to Voldemort's mind.

So there you have a fan's report. I found Kenny/spaceactionhero's non-reader report rather good, so if you want to see both sides of the coin, check it out right there.

Dim Sum Dollies in the History of Singapore

So I went to watch it, last Sunday. It was all quite a rush before the show because I was serving in Children's Church that day and our debrief ended rather late. I rushed through my lunch at Marina Square foodcourt before we dashed down to the Esplanade (thank God it was just next to Marina). As it turned out we made it in excellent time.

One of the types of humor that gets me the most, and actually, probably a majority of people who actually know how to laugh, are those jokes that the comedian (comedienne) shoots out of NOWHERE at all. I think all great comedians, whether through instinct or learning, know just how to crack these jokes, and the exact timing needed to pull it off. Too fast and it's like part of the previous joke, which might confuse people if this off-timing joke is on a different subject as the previous one (I hope you're still following me... I can't believe I'm going into Theory of Humour). Too long a pause, and the connection to the previous joke is lost - for although the previous joke may be on a different subject, the two jokes usually share a thin thread of connection.

So Hossan Leong was an Indian chatting with Raju, who turned out to be a Moove cow. And as he was pulling Raju along the fields he was chatting about home, and Indians, and then as he was going off-stage he mentioned that it was time to go to Serangoon and meet his friends.

At the last moment, he inclined his head backwards and said to Raju, 'Sometimes we hold hands.'

That just totally smacked us all out of the blue, and we were lolling about our chairs breathless for awhile (lolling in the original sense, not haha-lol).

And if you multiply that and extrapolate it, you basically get the whole show. If you think Mr Brown's mee-siam-mai-hum or bak-chor-mee jokes were daring, you haven't seen Dim Sum Dollies yet. The way they whack PAP and governmental authorities is admirably phenomenal. You really wonder why they haven't been... educated. Yet.

Cheers. To freedom of speech, and to the Dim Sum Dollies for happily exercising it to bring laughter to us all. Steam the hell out of them man, you girls.

It's probably too late for you to catch their current run now, but even in this season they are still playing to packed houses, so look out for their next run. They have a CD actually, of their sinfully addictive songs. I want to get it!

Or you could be nice and get it for me. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My blog is not suitable for kids

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

When people like DK and tstar get PG, I get a straight fucking R (oop there I go again. ;P)?

Never mind. I take it as a compliment of my free expression.

Ok no la seriously, this thing is silly. lol.

Saturday, July 7, 2007's 1st Anniversary Party!

I was super late for the party, which was held at Geek Terminal. But as hem hem and haw haw said, I didn't miss much, since the blog awards were heyholalala~. Lol.

Kevin theorized (because Theory IsTheReason after all) that bloggers were generally talkative on the keyboard, and deathly quiet IRL. Well not among the shoutbox regulars! It was fantastic meeting all the guys again, as well as being able to match a couple more faces to nicks, namely Brennan (who knew me even though I don't recall seeing him in the shoutbox often...), Bernard, whom I knew simply because he's quite a regular on Kevin's blog, Chillycraps (though I didn't get to say hi, cos he's always surrounded by Bahasa girls right CC?), and indeed the Bahasa girls themselves Sylv(ia) and hg86. There were two Michaels I met too, and not to forget Daphne Maia. And probably a couple more faces I forgot at the moment. The food there my goodness was fantastic! I was sorely disappointed that the chicken choplets had disappeared by the time I went back for a second helping (and resisted shedding my etiquette by picking the last crumb of batter lying in the tray as consolation). Mingling around was abit awkward after awhile though, because we all seemed to join the wrong groups at the wrong time, so we were just listening and smiling without acquaintanceship (however you spell it. lazy~) to kickstart some conversations and introductions. But Rinaz was a great help in that area. I barely said 'I was hoping tedfox would come... the anime blogger' when she started bellowing, 'ANY ANIME BLOGGERS... COME HERE... FARINELLI WANTS TO MEET YOUUUU~'

Thanks darling. :S

The catch of the evening, however, was definitely Danny. He is a GODLIKE barista! Everything is made to one-shot-perfection. His iced latte reminded me very much of the first episode of Bartender, where the bartender made a simple mix of warimizu (whiskey and water with ice), but astounded the initially offended guest with his technique. Of course I wasn't offended, I mean I'm good with iced latte. But what immediately shot to mind when I took my first sip was the ice. Like the bartender, I suspected Danny's ice was chilled so cold that it did not melt easily. This allowed it to cool the drink to a fantastic temperature, as well as not melt and dilute the drink, robbing it of its originally brilliant flavors.

It was just fantastic. I've never came CLOSE to tasting iced latte like that. Usually by the time it comes the ice on top's melted to form a layer of water sitting atop the coffee. Darned turn-off it is. Later, Hendri Nicole and I decided to close our eyes and take whatever mad thing Danny came up with next, and boy were we rewarded. I won't say what it was because it would spoil the magic if you ever go to Geek Terminal, and it's simply not nice to Danny who let us in on his lil secret (boy are some of your mouths watering now ^^). But Nicole and Hendri and I were baffled at the ingredients until Danny revealed it to us. And then like I said, it was like experiencing the magic, and learning the trick behind the magic, and then watching Danny do it again for Estee knowing this time what goes on inside the hat, and watching Estee trying to figure out how he did it. He's unbelievable, Danny. Sick, as some of us call it.

I bid adieu to the gang who went on to the post-party hangout at Brewerks to get home early. But not before ECL seemed determined to torture Estee by toying aloud with the idea of ruining her reputation by blanco-ing some parts of what Estee said about Arzhou and herself to reinterpret it in a... not so PG way. Estee was major panicking. F33r 3C1's T3chn0r4t1 r4t1g5~!

Man I can't wait to see all you guys again.

Nearly got pwned by Pizza Hut

Met Ian today for some chillout and chat. It's great that he was regaling me with stories of people tapping helmets and then asking the sargeant 'Oh. Supposed to do head count ah?' Kinda makes me feel better and more relaxed about army.

We wasted quite abit of time feeling our way around Marina Square, and asking around where Pizza Hut was when we just came from that section a few minutes earlier. And we even stopped to ogle at the TV screen cos it looked like it was playing a trailer for a new anime (turned out to be an MV nahia). The freaking restaurant was just on the other side of that stretch.

We were rather hungry when we got to PH so we whacked garlic bread, crisscross fries (kickass lemon mayo), a large Pepperoni Lovers' Triple Stuffed Crust, and a Chic'cago (chicken and linguine in tangy Neapolitan). When the pizza came, I immediately knew I was in for it. Turns out I barely made it out of there without puking when Ian offered to eat the stuffed crust portion of my last share of pizza.


Lol well, thank God it's summer. I got cash. I actually wanted to splash somemore on another Bleach figurine, but there was only one left in the box, and I didn't want to risk it, since my best method of guessing was by feeling the relative weights. Obviously Hitsugaya with his three stars and ice wings would be heavier than whatshisname with just his short sword.

We made it nicely for the 2pm screening of Ocean's Thirteen, which was one hell of a show. Freaking funny stuff, and great chemistry between the actors too. Al Pacino did great as the bad guy (doesn't he always ^^). Something not too good though that some of the lines and exchanges were made and said so fast that it seemed that the audience didn't catch the joke.

I think I'll stop here. I'll put the 1st anniversary celebration in a seperate post.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Good Leader

Haha I have no idea how Yap will take this.

But just to put into writing what I've told a couple of coursemates already...

My PR lecturer split the class into 4 groups. My last group got 11 people, as compared to 12 for the other three groups. Of course we were given one less because we were presenting last, so we had the most time to prepare. Even then, I think its too much. I mistook one of the names on the register for another coursemate I knew who didn't contribute, and I actually thought, That's ok. Better one less than one more to add to the confusion.

I'd prefer a 5-man team, personally.

But further down the list, I saw Yap's name listed. And I immediately knew I could switch off this second half of the semester.

When I say switch off, I don't mean skive off and slack, as most of you probably are thinking as what I meant right now. In this context, switching off means being able to just do whatever part is assigned to me without having to worry about being unpleasantly surprised by messes, deadlines, incomplete reports and articles, etc.etc.etc.

That's because I've worked under Yap before, and well, actually I suppose the whole class has observed him from a distance or heard about him. And Yap is known to handle projects with efficiency so sharp that quite literally, it would slice you cleanly in half should you even slow down to think about going against it.

At least, in a classroom context. Though I'm sure he doesn't differ too much in the working world. Maybe he just has more frightful superiors to report to or something, I dunno. Lecturer, Major-General. Which one you want?

And as expected, at today's group meeting all we had to do was sit and wait for Yap, and when he came, everything had been mapped out and ready for deployment.

I'll be frank and say that at times, working with such people can be tiring, especially when you are passionate about the issue at hand, and want to be like a leader in the project, because yesterday in bed you dreamt up this ideal world where this is the way the project would turn out, and today you want to realize that dream.

And then sometimes, you're just too happy to switch off. Tooooo freaking happy.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Incompetence of CMPB

I wonder if anyone holds a record of more enlistment letters than me. I received my third two days ago.

And then there was that time some poor thing called me up to tell me to resubmit my deferment request. Why? They gave a pretty complicated excuse, something about MOE tape-matching, when I'd severed my ties with that zombie-churning organization like 2 years ago by deciding to attend SIM. All that could basically be summarized into "Well we lost your records because it got wiped out and we didn't have the sense to make a backup."

I snapped in the MRT. At least it was in the tunnel, with all the roaring, so people around me probably didn't think I was as loud as I was.

Now when I went to ask my dad about it (I'd left the letter on his desk earlier, that was all he needed to see), he said that he would handle it. And I feel abit guilty because he's got a million things to do with his simultaneous teaching assignments, and he's still got to handle this shit for me. And I'm also worried about his health because he's got quite a short fuse by nature, and CMPB in particular seems to ignite his fuse right at the end and make him go off almost immediately.

But if I do it, I wonder if I'll be assertive enough to get this nonsense settled once and for all. I think I tend to be pacified by promises. I let them say "Ok sir we will do this this this" and then the ball is theirs. I let up and hang up. Worst thing you could do.

Grow up la please CMPB. How the hell are parents supposed to feel secure about their child's safety with douchebags like you around?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Why I Don't Attend Ping Meetings and Why It's Difficult

Hmmm. Well let's not confuse this with visiting That was because I was constantly busy.

Why do I rarely attend Ping meetings, even though I'd gladly go for every one of them?

Because I couldn't bear to lie to my parents. And my parents are of the opinion that any friendship made over the Internet is destined to end up in rape or deception.

Sometimes... well actually most of the time, I hate and despise their utter ignorance, not to mention their lack of trust in me when I say 'It's ok. I know these people and anyway I'm careful about these things.' It's not just this issue too, there are others. But let's not bring things up unnecessarily.

But sometimes I can't help but be understanding to why they are like this. Slowly through talking to my relatives, and through their little slips of tongue, I'm beginning to discover that my parents have had quite a troubled past. I guess they can't be blamed for being paranoid and narrow at times. I'd like to put my trust in them when they say that they are trying to be open with me, as well as about new things too. But just like they don't seem to recognize my academic efforts, I don't really see them making an effort either.

I shade the truth many a time. And I lie when I'm pushed to a corner. With a straight face too. But lying to have fun and meet people. Or lying for personal gain. I guess that just stretching the values I've learnt as a child too far.

The Thrills of a Garang Driver

So I was in Ryan's car that day, going to his house. For Pingsters and anyone else who doesn't know, Ryan's my age, 19 (thereabout) and passed his driving test a month or two back.

We were cruising on Upper Bukit Timah Road when this cheebye kia swung into the middle lane we were in.

I'm actually surprised as Ryan's mild reaction. He just muttered 'Freak...' and swerved into the left lane without checking for cars. And I want to give credit to my God for that. It would have been unthinkable if a car or bus had been behind us. Divine protection ownz.

When someone is behind the wheel and driving, the car horn is like a private part (what? it is a part; it's private.) You don't touch it unless they allow you to, or unless the car is parked and there is reason to horn (like seeing a coursemate right Sam? Ryan?) Ryan was too preoccupied probably, doing the environment check that he did not have time to do earlier. So we missed the chance to slam the horn at this bugger. And you know the most blood-boiling part?

That motherfucker drove right beside us and gave us a du lan/guai lan look.

But well Ryan being Ryan (he's not pacifist he just can't be bothered), he returned an irritated look and then that guy probably disappeared from his mind already. I was ranting that if it were me I probably would have allowed my car to be damaged in the process just to get back at him. Like drive up to his side, horn the hell out of him, then accelerate, go in front and jam brake.

Or something equally stupid. It's probably good I won't learn driving till I'm in army.

Oh Jayne, on the off-chance that you are reading this, I'm trusting that you'll know never to mention this anywhere in a 5metre radius of Ryan's house. Unless you don't mind sacrificing Ryan to find out the meaning of pain, scorching, and suffering without having to go through it yourself. Remember to video it if you do. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Hey guys. I'm back.

For some reason this is feeling more emotional that I thought it would be. I'm not weeping as I'm typing this, but there are plenty of inexplicable feelings floating round in my chest right now.

First it was the lull of the holidays. No motivation to blog. As I tell everyone who asks, my schedule for the hols if it were to be printed out would be just 'ANIME UNLESS OTHERWISE SCHEDULED'. Come on la most of you can relate. Just change ANIME to KOREAN DRAMA or SLEEP or SIT STAND SQUAT.

Then after that, school started, and because it's summer, the homework and project trains came blasting down the tracks while we were still taking our time to cross it and hit us all smack in our c-... well. It hit us real hard. Even Andrea, except that she is The Greatest and had an impertubable aura of protection. Boy did the trains regret even trying to take her down later.

Anyway more on this semester later. Before your attention wanes and you close this window I want to talk about my impending blog shift. For my oldest and most loyal readers they'll know I've shifted from Fortissimo to DeN, here. I will be shifting to my own domain soon, given time and motivation (and webspace). I will post the link of course, on my final post here. As for Fortissimo and these two blogs, I'll just leave them as is. So you can see the various stages of my life in not just my posts but my layouts.

Abstract sophistication banzai~!

And I promise I will tag properly instead of trying to shove posts into neat categories.

Right so, back to this semester.

Here's the thing about life. When you think you ain't gonna learn anything new at this point or period of your life (I'm assuming my readers are intelligent enough to know that they learn stuff as they grow up), ho boy, the next thing you know, you're plunged into inexplicably deep shit, and you struggle and wade your way through, gnashing your teeth as you swallow liquidated excretion and screaming in pain as germs bacteria and viruses gleefully enter you through your open wounds.

What? I'm being descriptive.

And you think to yourself, 'Fuck. This isn't the way I'm going to die. This isn't the way I will be dragged down. I WILL SURVIVE!' And pa-dum-pum-pa! You gain that all-consuming energy born out of survival instincts, and you go turbo.

I think all of us spent a disproportionate amount of time on Malhotra's work. What was probably meant as a constant stream of work to keep our engines warm and running turned into everything short of living hell as the work was compressed into 1/3 of the usual time. But diamonds, as they say, are created under extreme pressure, and everyone knows diamonds are a girl's best friend (I'd like to know too if you can create diamonds under extreme pleasure). I've found areas of myself I never thought I possessed, and may I say, grown quite abit.

Now I agree with my dad when he advised me to live and learn from my mistakes, and not form any negative relationships that might prove itself problematic should we have to cooperate again later on in the corporate world. And I hold no grudge against my teammates. I have every right to, but after 19 years or calculation and pettiness, I just can't be bothered to anymore. Honestly you're killing no one but yourself. If you want to put it crudely, or are the sort who needs vulgarities to comprehend things, it's simply fuck it and fuck off.

But I want to be frank here. I'm not going to shade stuff and be nice just to protect relationships that might or might not even happen later on in life. Tomorrow can worry about its own troubles. Sufficient for today is its own trouble.

Profound? Straight from the Bible brother (sister).

As if the compressed workload wasn't enough to crush every soul except Andrea's and Celestine's (gods can't be crushed), my teammates did next to nothing. Many reasons were given, and I who can hardly bear to strike accepted it when it seemed legitimate. Now it all seems like excuses. Mere excuses. There were many times one teammate or the other excused himself or herself from work due to physical unfitness. I could have refused their reason with the fact that all I needed was a flick on the forehead to send me into comatose, that's how stretched I was. But as I've mentioned somewhere before, my gift/curse of compassion prevented me from doing that, and all I could do was heave a sigh and take the work from there.

Or was I just wimpy?

Let me just make it clear before I carry on that I didn't do 100% of the work of course. That's insane (well hey... maybe I could have. Just wasn't pushed to that corner thank God). My teammates did do work, and at times that amount small as it was saved me precious time. Compared to my friends however, it was just dismal. Dismal and frustrating.

And just when I broke down and went with my other teammate to complain about the third, and just when the third was beginning to show signs of improvement, the other teammate switched off her engine.

At the end I just gave up. Gave up and told the teacher of the situation. I've done my part, why the hell should I do theirs? Doesn't matter what people say about Malhotra. He may be a madman with 30 hours a day and who requires only an hour of sleep each day, but I've always found him to be rather fatherly. And he's very understanding. And thank God he especially values teamwork.

Also, I felt myself losing steam as well. A boost is a boost, not an everflowing stream of boundless energy.

One thing I've been contemplating from the second half of this half semester is whether I based my standards too high. See, my clique left me alone to lias with the gods in their thirst for power (and of course they were more or less fried in the process la the idiots). So I've been hanging around almost every weekday with Andrea and Celest since they were the master puppeteers of my dear friends. I just wonder whether basing myself on their insane levels was being considerate towards my teammates. There was once my teammate murmured something about 'Andrea is on another level la huh don't compare with them.' and it was on the brim of my lips to tell him to fuck off and start working. Despite my usually lazy level of working, I can cope with this amount of work, and nothing proves the point more than the fact that I survived this module with decent grades (as far as I can tell). But is it really fair for them who aren't used to this level of dedication to their work? (If I ought to be corrected, I'll be happy to be informed). I mean gee, one's known for skipping class, the other for not being a team player (except maybe in CS). If even my friends were suffering in research hell, what made me think that my teammates would be able to keep up?

Of course that puts me in even better light la. :D I managed to get close to the gods mostly on my own! Never got to their level... never expected to la. Also don't want the gods to feel threatened you know? Later they plot to exile me from Mount Researchia. Then I'll be just another useless DotA hero.

Summon Dark Research Lord

Feared for his potential abilities, the goddesses of Mount Researchia cast Farinelli out to ensure that they would suffer no usurps. Skilled in the fearfully revered art of research, centuries of sacrifice and experience gave rise to spells and magicks too horrifying to speak of. Bitterness and hatred caused Farinelli to turn to the darkness, exponentially multiplying his powers.

Strength - 17 + 1.1
Agility - 18 + 2.5
Intelligence - 30 + 3.8

Learns Encyclopedia, Research Aura, Dark Tome and Final Say.

Attack range of 400.
Movement speed of 250.


Stuns enemies with confusing facts.

Level 1 - Stun for 2 seconds.
Level 2 - Stun for 3 seconds.
Level 3 - Stun for 4 seconds.
Level 4 - Stun for 5 seconds.

Cooldown: 4 seconds.

Level 1: 80 mana.
Level 2: 90 mana.
Level 3: 95 mana.
Level 4: 100 mana.

Research Aura

Gives allies around Farinelli +7 Intelligence.

Level 1 - AoE of 75.
Level 2 - AoE of 130.
Level 3 - AoE of 200.
Level 4 - AoE of 250.


Dark Tome

Farinelli throws a tome saturated with the darkest of black magic at target enemy hero, dealing damage and sapping the same amount of mana.

Level 1 - Deals 100 damage and saps 100 mana.
Level 2 - Deals 220 damage and saps 220 mana.
Level 3 - Deals 360 damage and saps 360 mana.
Level 4 - Deals 485 damage and saps 485 mana.

Cooldown: 10 seconds.

Level 1: 100 mana.
Level 2: 175 mana.
Level 3: 250 mana.
Level 4: 300 mana.

Final Say

Calling upon Evil itself for protection, Farinelli returns any spell cast by enemy heroes back to themselves, multiplied manifold, killing them instantly. If that hero's ally or allies is/are within a range, they will be dealt damage equivalent to half of whatever life the killed hero had before he fell under Farinelli's spell.

Level 1 - AoE of 75.
Level 2 - AoE of 110.
Level 3 - AoE of 150.

Cooldown: 120/110/100 seconds.

Level 1: 500 mana; 120 seconds cooldown.
Level 2: 600 mana; 110 seconds cooldown.
Level 3: 650 mana; 100 seconds cooldown.

Okay maybe not that useless. Too gay to even consider probably.

ANYWAY, it was a great feeling to finally hit 90 on my last weekly homework assignment. What was even better that it was almost overwhelming was the congratulations that I got from Andrea and Ben, and the others whom I forgot, if I forgot (hey these two were the ones who raved on for 10 15min about my hidden powers hor don't complain if I left you out). It's not something I'd like to do for life, I did not find my calling please pleasepleasepleaseplease nooo never again, but well, finally I felt that I gained some respect for doing something totally out of expectations. And of course. Andrea herself conferred to me the title of Renhao The Greater (she already took The Greatest).

I hope I'm not sounding full of myself. I'm not, please don't misconstrue. I'm proud of myself I guess, but not to the point that I start blowing trumpets that aren't mine. Sorry if I sound like that. If I get enough feedback I'll edit this post to alter my tone, but let me assure you boasting is not my intention here.

So let me wrap up by thanking Team ChuaChuaLeong and Team CheongTangYeo. It was great, fascinating and amusing even, to get to look behind the scenes of Andrea's imba-ness. And thank you to all 6 of you who helped, in whatever degree, especially Andrea and Ryan. And thank you also to all those I ranted to - thanks for listening.

It's been an enlightening Summer (I).

Expect a regular flow of posts again. I should have more time now.

Well Kaiyan complained that I only included his slavedriver's name and not his. So ok lor KY. Your name's in now.

And I got A- for Marketing Research.