Not another one!

October 31, 2006 at 11:15 p10 (Red & White Matters, Singapore)

Another man was killed by MRT at the Clementi station, reported by Yahoo here. Only about a few weeks ago, one out-of-luck unemployed Tan Jee Suan committed suicide by jumping onto an incoming train. The public donated a cool $500,000 to his widow and son.

God, please dont let this be another copy cat suicide. In a supposedly developed country like little dot, it is indeed tragic and sad to hear a loss of life due to hardship.

Isn’t it eerie the MRT that is used by many suddenly become a suicide tool of choice for the destitute?

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how red is your red packet?

October 17, 2006 at 11:15 p10 (Gathering, Red & White Matters)

just got a call after lunch from an ex-colleague – was invited to melissa (not his real name) son’s full moon party this weekend.  gift and ang pau/hong bao (red packet) time! what to buy and how much to give? headache……

i usually dont give present for red occasion. it is just silly to convert $$ into something bulky in nice wrapper when eons ago our ancestors discovered money as a legal tender so we dont have to carry big stones around as currency.

 while doing away with the headache of getting the suitable gift with my reasoning, there is never a get away from the tough decision of how much to give.

too little, paiseh (shame); too much, ouch! (heart ache)

I worked out the following….

CAT1: acquientance, not-to-close fren…. market rate

CAT2: close friends & relatives… market rate + $100~$200

CAT3: very close friends & relatives… market rate + $200~$400

well, the above also depends on the size of my entourage…

i will have no problem sorting out the red packet for this one invitation.  melissa had once save me from a potentially career wreaking project which i suspect was politically motivated and directed in my direction. she came back to the office during her maternity confinement leave for a week to sort out the mess in this project for me. i am just glad she gave me a chance to repay her in kind.

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My 911

September 11, 2006 at 11:15 p09 (Red & White Matters)

I put down $10,000 into a fund called “Dynamic Growth Protective Capital Fund” a few days before 911 and I will earn my $29 profit when my fund expires at the end of this month. But my opportunity cost is a cumulative 20% in interest on that principal, if I had left it in my Central Provident Fund (CPF). On hindsight, I am still happy because I probably had assisted this one particular fund manager to get that brand new Lexus 300. We can’t win all the time, right?

I still cannot fathom how the fund can rake in so little consider that it closed a few days after 911 and there was a boom for the last twelve months in the stock market. I asked the agent that sold me the fund on the reason for the poor performance and he said the fund manager put the money in the bond market to protect my capital. Bond market, isn’t this like fixed deposit with the additional risk of bond default? Niamah, only if I had known better!

Well, this is the one and only time I let other manage my fund and I am none the wiser for it. I learned 2 lessons here. If you want your capital to be protected, don’t invest in fund. Put it directly into a plain vanilla fixed deposit. At least you will save on management fee that goes into helping someone acquires that brand new Lexus. If you still wanna dabble in stocks, try blue chips and in companies that you know… telecom, properties, bank, shipyards, etc.

911 will forever etch in my memory for the terrible disaster that befallen World Trade Centre in New York and its occupants. On this day, I would like to count my blessing. My loss compares to those victims and their families of World Trade Centre incident in 11 September 2001 is pale in insignificance.

May the souls of those perished in 911 rest in peace…

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Happy Bird-Day, Cocka!!

August 22, 2006 at 11:15 p08 (Red & White Matters)

 217559098_af7f9627bc_m1.jpgbackbum.jpg

My friend, Cocka is celebrating his 60s birthday soon and i had a problem thinking of the right present for him. After raiding his blog archive, i found that he has serious problem with his focus and framing skill with his current camera. Just take a look at the “feetless and headless” shots above taken by the man. It is time i get him an idiot-proof infrared camera that can “see” in the dark.

After combing Chinatown last weekend i found the right camera that suits his incompetency needs and my modest budget. It is a Sony and hope you like it!

The Sony camera is supposed to be idiot-proof and I took a sample photograph with my eyes closed just for a try out. Hei! the end product i would  say, is quite excellent. See for yourself at the end of this post

… for good measure a guide is also included for him.

Happy Birthday, COCKA!

THE HUMSUP GUIDE TO ACHIEVE SHARP DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS

The reasons for the lack of sharpness in your digital photos can be attributed to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Camera movement.
  • Lack of proper focus.
  • Using a “soft” camera setting

Camera movement (or camera shake) usually comes from hand-holding your camera while using a slow shutter speed. To minimize camera movement while using slow shutter speeds of 1/25th of a second or lower you should use a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod with you, try placing the camera on a flat surface and using the camera’s self timer (obviously, this works best when there is not much movement in the scene). Sometimes, if the lighting conditions are marginal where your shutter speed is right at 1/25th of a second, if you have a very steady hand, you can try holding your breath briefly as you snap the shutter. You can also try manually increasing the shutter speed at the expense of using a wider aperture (lower f-stop). Generally, a higher shutter speed decreases the effect of camera movement, but the lower f-stop decreases the depth of field and requires more careful focusing.

Lack of proper focus is another cause for lack of sharp photographs. Fortunately, most digital cameras today comes with autofocus capabilities. In a few fixed lens cameras and in almost any digital SLR, the autofocus can be disabled allowing you to focus the lens manually. Greater care must be exercised to make sure the object that you wish to be the center of attention in the photo is sharply focused.In more inexpensive cameras, the only focus adjustment may be a normal and macro mode. The normal mode is usually represented by a mountain icon and the macro mode is usually represented by a flower icon. If your camera only supports these two modes, make sure it is in the proper mode before you snap the shutter to achieve the sharpest photos.

Poor lighting conditions may cause your photos to lack definition and contrast. You may notice that even when you use a tripod and with your camera handling the autofocus, your photographs may not appear as sharp as you might wish. This is especially true for available light photographs where you do not wish to use a flash. The fault for this lies not with your camera but with the scene itself. In cases like this, try increasing the available light shining directly on the subject. This can improve the photograph by allowing the edges to be more sharply defined against the background.

In camera sharpening can also affect the sharpness of an image. Some higher end cameras offer a sharpness adjustment that usually ranges from +2 or +3 to -2 or -3 with zero in the center. Increasing the sharpness can give you crisper looking images, and decreasing it will give a more “soft focus” effect. Some photographers like to use a soft-focus effect when taking potraits, especially of women, because it tends to smooth out the appearance of the skin. Increasing the sharpness will not compensate for camera shake or lack of proper focus. Many photographers choose to leave the sharpness setting at zero and perform any sharpening in the post-processing stage.

Hope you will take many pictures of the girls when you party & post it in your blog for our enjoyment!

Many happy return of the day!!

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Valentine … the journey

February 13, 2006 at 11:15 p02 (Red & White Matters)

Despite the numerous politically correct answers “Celebration is not important but the thought thats count” on the radio on the VD yesterday the huge traffic jam on the road on a mid-week working day would tell you that there was still a group large enough to rush to downtown for the celebration to cause such a huge jam. VD celebration was turning into a Very Delayed celebration for a lot of people. Of course there will be some collateral damage as those poor fellows who lives in Town will also be caught in the jam. Sorry to these fella!! Convenience comes at a price$$.

I think the traffic police would not be too happy with us drivers yesterday as we turned the roads and highways into parking lots yesterday. However, the taxmen and petrol station operators would not complain too much with current state of the oil tax and prices. A normal drive of 15 min turned into 1 hr 30 min, not the kind of travelling duration drivers are accustomed to in Singapore.

Anticipating a long journey i had purposely dropped our favourite italian singer into the car CD player earlier in the morning. The long journey had provided a good activity-less one and a half hour of talking and communication between See and i. With soothing italian music in the background, it was the perfect opportunity to ease our mind into the VD mood that we had not felt during our courtship days. With a little early planning, the journey with the anticipated jam had been turned into an integral part of the celebration…

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Another Birthday?

February 10, 2006 at 11:15 p02 (Red & White Matters)

Today just felt like another day of CNY with so much festivities around and my visiting bro family still in SG. However, Bro is flying off today and there is a tinge of sadness in the air with the impending departure. Hence, my BD elation is somewhat tempered this year. With VD just 2 weeks away and wifey’s slightly further away, it seems like there is a lot to celebrate in the span of 45 days. I opted for a simple dinner at Sushi Tei and a slow walk along Orchard to catch the rehearsal Chingay 2006 – Parade of Dreams.


Another BD… Yes!! No big deal? No!!
Another BlesseD year… thats how i look at it!!
I am looking forward to the next and the next and the next….

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CNY 2006!

February 10, 2006 at 11:15 p02 (Red & White Matters)

Chinese New Year is here again! After the mad rush to tidy up last minute work and getting the preparation done for CNY, finally can sit down and “wait” for the CNY to come. The theme for this year is “SIMPLE”. Out are yesteryear stuff that really drained our energy and spirit which we are not ready to tackle this year. My “OUT” list

OUT list

Home-cooked re-union dinner, replaced with Crystal Jade Pun Chooi which is not bad!! Chief cook (my mum) had retired and we are buying time to do up the kitchen and training the replacement cook…

Heavy “Spring” Cleaning, replaced with close monitoring of cluttering in the household whole year round and weekly cleaning. We are replacing Sprint Cleaning with Marathon Cleaning…

Elaborate decoration, replaced with simple and easy to take off decoration.

Chinese New Year is always an enjoyable occasion but good time really fly… before you know it CNY is coming to an end. officially this Sunday at 12 Feb. CNY is never complete with a tour of China Town but this year we just viewed the festivities from our car. Too tired to walk…

This CNY is really special as this is the first time the two families (my bro and i) are celebrating together… and playing bowling together. For the record, my team was thrashed by big bro. average score 136 ag 86.

“Hei! there is a lot of Milo here for $2…” my niece from HK on her first encounter with the SG Milo Dinosaur at our local sarabat stall

Ipoh ACS83 Gathering on the 2nd day at Tuck Kee at Pasir Pinji. First time see a decent pic taken by the serving waitor. 17 came, see and sapu ….

YC played host this year for the SG leg of ACS gathering. Our usual pot luck arrangment had upgraded to a very much grander affair with YC’s wife mini buffet line. The mini buffet line was special with is special dishes like fusion fried spaghetti, beef rendang etc.

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1st Wedding Anniversary

December 20, 2005 at 11:15 p12 (Red & White Matters)

19 December 2004…
Our wedding lunch with the ACS bunch in Taiping

19 December 2005…
Dinner at “Capella” at the quiet CHIJMES… we had passed our 1st year “peacefully” with no 3rd party.

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