take a walk around town with...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

just covered my school's staff dinner at the swissotel merchant court hotel. the host for the night, elvan (did i spell his name right?) was a blast! he reminds me so much of our dear siva g, who cracks jokes right off the cuff! if you want to look for a born joker (in the good sense, of course!) you've gotta look for either of them!


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

yesterday was the day when i started to feel ill, yet again. how many days of medical leave can i clock up in a month? not that facing 2d was a bad idea, since they were finally (yes! finally!) quiet during pe yesterday. incredible, even i was going "wow? am i dreaming or am i narc'ed?" in my head as we were at the volleyball court. one of the regular misbehaving boys, i ignored him as he happily wandered around in the volleyball court - so long as he doesn't do anything to injure himself or his classmates, i'm fine with that.

from the first time that i went back into the staff room in the morning, i could feel that i was feeling cold and stepping into a walk-in freezer. something's not right there. i would usually welcome the cooler air to bring my core temperature down somewhat. but not yesterday. oh great. was it the loss of body heat because i was wearing essentially, wet clothing for hours yesterday? was it insufficient rest from saturday's offroad ride? i don't know. could be a combination of everything, i suppose.

i had an odd dream. i dreamt that there was some maintenance vehicle that came up to the fourth storey of my block (no roads, remember that!) and was driving off, and somehow left a big can of half-empty weldtite tf2 on my ledge just below my window. and another neighbor dropped something similar on my other window ledge - and i wanted to get both of them, since i could put them to use on my bikes. yes, this is part of my dream! the weird gets weirder still...

i dreamt that, for some unknown reason, i was placed smack in some military exhibition/fair, where there were military personnel going around, moving warheads, missiles all over; doing their shopping and ordering. and when i started to walk around, i realized that it was nee soon driclad centre! some place had a sign that mistakenly named the place as nee soon disabled centre, and i was peeved about that. odd thing was, i somehow had my slr with me, and i just took it out to take photos. as i meandered through the exhibits, i thought of visiting my home unit, and just as i was walking, i realized that i lost my way in the camp that i used to call home! there was this section where i had to cross using some very large vehicle that acted like a bridge. then when i got to the other side, i got to see a rallycar race, right smack in the campsite! now, when did my camp become so big? that's not to forget that mud tracks were used for the rallycar race!

familiar people finally appeared, and staff see was in an armoured vehicle centre workshop, and showed me some things about the vehicles. but wait! he taught me stuff about non-tracked vehicles in real-life! something's really odd here...

and best of all, can you imagine a 18-storey high walk-up condominium? i sure can't, but i do remember that i was there supposedly to either catch a ghost, or to find out some sinister spirit that housed itself in the building.

what got into my head for such stuff? i can imagine that the rallycar thing got into my head because of the autotrail at marina earlier in the month... but i didn't even go to shoot it! so where would the idea really come from?...

there's something probably wrong in my head now...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

the shoot today wasn't fantastic, not the fault of beivied, the organizer, nor the models. the equipment was fine, too. the problem was only with myself, since i've not been diving nor using scuba gear since march 2004, my buoyancy was crap! went up and down, up and down... and up till now, my right ear is still feeling some discomfort. hope it all wears off tonight...

the first shot i got for the day, not bad, surprisingly! but later
shots were pooped because i didn't know how to meter underwater...

yun in her first uw modelling shoot...

and elise in her second...

my metering went the way of the dodo, and i was relying on auto program mode to get most of the shots. oops... nevertheless, it was fun to meet up with fastshot, airforce1, beivied, siaoon, elise_ng and yun for this one day trial. can't wait till round two on 18th september!...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

went out for a offroad ride this afternoon with seow. i guess both of us were rusty, i did feel that my handling really went down the drain - knowing that it wasn't good to begin with all along... anyway, tomorrow's the underwater shoot. i'm still clueless for poses! argh!...

bcd, weights, releases, air, carry on... *bubbles*

Friday, August 26, 2005

in what seems the case, there has been a twist to the curious/anxious snail mail that i finally opened up yesterday.

i just called up iras, and spoke at a staff regarding the letter. i told her that i was not working last year - that's as far as i know, and probably with the only exception of national service putting a little money into my account each month, i don't recall any other sources of income for the fiscal year of march 2004 to march 2005. i think there was a small income somewhen in decemeber or something, about 600 dollars or so, which i diverted to the mountain bike. but honestly, i can't remember! argh...

i could probably be saving on the amount for the composition fine, that seems, when i fill in the b1 form that comes through guess what... snail mail, in a few days' time. i still need a polar speed and cadence sensor!...

oh bummer. i was just clearing through some backdated snail mail, and i came across this one from iras that said that i didn't file in my assessment for 2004/05, and hence i'd need to pay $100 in "composition fees". in other words, fine la! if not settled in 14 days, a summons would be issued, then a court order etc etc... lucky thing was, i just checked it just now (26th aug) when the issuing date was 18th aug... that gives me only 8 days to clear it up! argh!

urgh! that money, i could save to buy two new sram pc990 chains! grr... but what to do, i just dug out the form with the pin number etc, but it's all as good as useless. guess tomorrow evening's the time to go to novena house, and then settle this silly payment, and go get some new magazines, i suppose. and flash77's ordering the sportsshooter bucket hats that i asked him to, that should take up about s$83.485, depending on current exchange rates... guess this month's definitely not a good month to save money!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

if only teaching was a line of work, where after 5pm each day, you could kick back and relax, and recharge yourself mentally for the next day.

if only teaching gave you the luxury of having generically speaking, well-behaved students.

if only teaching gives you enough time and physical energy to do what you wish to do after hours, such as attending courses you want to attend.

if only teaching was a paperless effort, it'd be ideal.

alas, but things are not to be. there are many mistakes i made before, and this is probably the gravest one i've made.

one of my colleagues just spoke to me about the issue, and i appreciate her questions that made me think hard for a moment. is it teaching itself, or the environment? maybe it's the environment. i remember, to modify teaching and learning of sports, there can only be three factors that can affect it:

1. the skills involved (teaching per se)
2. the skills already possessed by the person in question (my [in]capability to teach)
3. the environment

but when i ask myself, if i have been responsible to myself for my upcoming finances, i can't say anything. i spend a lot, and i mean, a lot. i have the notion that most (i didn't say, all) teaching staff are folks who are the type who would be oh-don't-take-away-my-job-because-i-sordidly-need-the-money. i admit i need and want the money, but then i'm not prepared to sell my soul to the ministry, no matter how benevolent the mission is. i need to live a life, have time to have quiet introspection, time to ride, time to interact with myself. i don't want to be a guinea pig or hamster that keeps on running in the wheel in the cage, going faster, but not going anywhere. at least i'm convinced, if i eke out a career out of photography, i'm sure i can do something... it just remains how much this something is. i'm not saying, in the remaining two years and change, i'll do slip-shod work and just vanish; but i'd opt to do constructive work where i can in my capacity. right now, it seems that my photography is gradually gaining critical mass, and i believe i have the capacity to cover photographic assignments. i don't have the creative eye, but i think i could work on that and grow on it. like what the head honcho james phang said, there are three dares a person should undertake...

dare to dream
dare to try
dare to fail

surprisingly, with an online search, he's still around!

with all due homage to robert frost, who wrote the following

The Road Less Travelled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

i know that by staking my future on this entire apparently whimsical decision is never going to make out, but unless i take the plunge, who knows what lies ahead? i can't remember who said this, but he was quoted to advise, "cut your bridges." that way, you don't keep an escape route for yourself, and will push yourself through no matter how, somehow.

right now, i have a problem identifying what i wish to live on for. i'm not suicidal, no way. but i don't see something that leads me and gives me a sense of intrinsic motivation. maybe i was born to be a lone ranger type, i guess. yes, i know, no man is an island. so?... i'm not in dire need of human company, there are problems associated with it. i know my bike has transmission problems, but those are definitely soluble, given time and experience.

i need to go ride my bike. i need to unwind. murky-hot smoky exhausts, the greasy taste on the lips during riding in the rains, cold wind, hot sun, i need all of you on my face. i need to connect to myself. i need to cut off this ebb of power from my mental side. now thinking back, i'm not that surprised after all why i didn't get drafted for the commandoes. but i do know very well why i respect them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

for the school staff/parents who think i'm malingering...

had a sudden bout of hives on monday evening - and since dr koh's should be closed by then, i opted to see her yesterday morning. from her diagnosis, it seems that i got some allergen kickstarting the whole thing - but the whole day, i only had oreo biscuits and my regular serving of chicken rice - so what's the allergen?...

puzzling indeed...

Monday, August 22, 2005

don't blame me for cussing and swearing here now.

on my way back this evening, as i was picking up speed on my bicycle (yes, bicycle, not motorbike) along yio chu kang road along the downslope section, there was this arsehole of a taxi driver who decided to turn out directly to the second slowest lane of the road, on which i was accelerating. he had a major blind spot since he was blocked by some other vehicles turning into the road he was coming out from, and if i got hit, i'll make sure he'll never hope to have a driving licence again. mind you, i avoided the slowest lane because i knew of the blind spot... only to come about a meter from impact. luckily my reaction was fast.

don't expect me to shower the driver who could have cost my life and/or limb with love. most don't have a damned conscience anyway. may the driver go rot in hell...

there's a limit to what you can do, as a person. like a bird that has its wings clipped, it can't fly. but it's so said to be free, because it has wings. i like two things mulder said from the x-files... "the truth is out there" and especially "never trust anyone". curiously, a few days ago, the term, "gag order" came across my mind, can't remember why it came to me just like that though.

other than that form that i had to fill in for national service, there's many other ways that people keep tabs on you. i don't mind military folks or civil servants in isd or the secret service keeping tabs on me, since i have done nothing wrong or brings shame to my nation; but at work, it's another matter altogether.

28 more months. looking forward to change of career then. now i'm doing my homework. at least dealing in a line of work and entirely with adults is better because there's no way anyone can say, "but my maid didn't do it for me!" and pass off. the only concern is income.

i gotta find a way where i can work and earn a living via photography. i can't sit still at one place for long. heck, i wouldn't mind too much to be a delivery man either... so long as i'm on the move. tired at the end of the day? just hit the sack.

the course commences tomorrow at nanyang polytechnic. wondering which bike i should ride there with...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

went around for some amount of shooting that i haven't done for quite a long time. covered some canoepolo action at the pesta sukan event yesterday and today, while the singapore - korea tabletennis friendly placed me in close proximity with some pretty nifty players.

H.J. Moon of the Samsung Korean team, concentrates as she plays against
Zhang Xueling on the evening of 20th August 2005, in a tabletennis
friendly match to commemorate 30 years of bilateral ties between Korea
and Singapore. The Korean won the match.

was at the pesta sukan canoepolo games yesterday for the afternoon. sunshine was there, so was kb from clubsnap/pn; and surprisingly, mr alex chan from the sports council - he was there taking photos!

went over for the table tennis friendly between korea and singapore, and i must say the korean players were really like machine guns, even more than li jia wei...

Friday, August 19, 2005

just took a shot of majority of my bike tools and bike-related gears... here's the photo!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

girls in victoria school? no way amigo! sign this online petition!

speaking of girls, old chum hui ling took part in the nus triathlon and placed 11th! see results here maybe fishy knows her too, since they're all cedarians...

and speaking of cedarians, jureeeeeea is also one...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

just came back from the exco appreciation dinner, where i had a ball of a time with the fellow photogs. looking forward to ndp 06!...

speaking about work, my heart further deviates from teaching. incredible, isn't it? before going in, it's probably the ideal work - but when work starts, it's far from being ideal at all!

in the meanwhile, i'm looking forward to the two different coloured bucket hats from sportsshooter.com... and i'll probably start off a wave of photogs who will clamour for that hat!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

there's one big lesson that i learnt yesterday, carried over to today (yes, at the wee hours!)

should people ever tell you that you have a "hot butt", please seriously reconsider it. i made the grave mistake of having hokkien prawn mee with chilli paste, as well as chilli stingray early saturday morning that blazer prepared. on the taste front, it was pretty good, but i forgot in my half-awake stupor that...

1. i can't stomach hot (spicy) stuff well
2. i have a race the next morning (sunday)
3. what doesn't taste that spicy in the mouth may come out different.

the word, "capsicum" was continually dancing in my head yesterday evening onwrds because of the mistake. 5 times in the loo, with a HOT HOT BURNING ARSE... ouch!

feeling of having watery pee-poop coming out of the arse that flames and burns the arsecheeks as it comes out, is priceless. must remember not to try it again!...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

how early does your favourite bikeshop operate till?

i was there at my regular hangout last night, from about 7pm onwards, till about 5am this morning. no kidding! met jj the new frm rider, and a few more folks who are gonna try the nus tri tomorrow as well; over the number of hours we were there.

a new droolsome frame just came in last night - the titus modena frame. no prizes for guessing why it has a name like this, and a bright crimson paintjob for the aluminium lugs over the carbon fiber tubes...

had a brief chat with pantera over the topic of girls and relationships. what he said echoes what most people say - just when you least expect it, and desire it, someone will pop into your life and be that special someone. actually auntie tan has said it before to me - that i know a lot of girls, and i should actually already have a steady girlfriend since i'm not too shabby a chap. hmm. this isn't directly related, but my room is in a total wreck...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

aren't you glad it's finally over?

from left - justina, yingda, myself

the entire event has finally finished without a hitch - and thinking back, it has been another two and a half months since i got myself involved for this year. in a way, i'm glad everything went on safely, clearances were obtained, i collected more passes than last year... and i got images that i couldn't have taken last year since my role this year was somewhat different from last year's - partially as a civillian photographer instead of nsf photographer. met new photographer friends, got to see free concerts up close, free music, free greasy/tasteless (or word of your choice) kfc dinners, wading through a bit of mud, got decent fireworks photos... and shot ministers. uh, i mean, take photos of ministers. hey, that's not bad considering all these were crammed into this quarter of a year. no reefwalks for quite a while, had a quick revision of how to use my camera (it goes away somewhat when you don't use the skills often, like +/- ev).

it's a huge sigh of relief, as i now look forward again to weekend of cycling... but for this week, it's the nus triathlon (subzero27 just let the cat out of the bag to the other tri guys that i'm taking part).

right now, i've got a few things on my mind:
14 aug (sun) - nus tri
16 aug (tue) - ndp exco appreciation function
18 aug (thu) - cdf appreciation function PLUS nyp course briefing
26 aug (fri) - minister for defence/post ndp dinner
11 sep (sun) - army half marathon. sure die. no mileage. urgh!

some dates not confirmed though. urgh.

got the tubulars all glued up today, using the "express" method. should work fine, this being my second time fixing on tubulars. tested it out on a neighbourhood ride, it is indeed a lot easier to pick up speed just by spinning alone! tomorrow, i'll post up a photo of the done-up bike...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

i just tried out the "prone position" shooting style that i learnt in national service for fireworks. it worked! 5 seconds exposure, no shaking at all!

had the chance to meet up with kulit77 from clubsnap... didn't know we had a mutual friend until last night!

see you at the yishun celebrations later!

Monday, August 08, 2005

saturday was fun. met up with sfhuang, and set off to maxwell food centre, where we met up with the rest of the folks for lunch. we then moved off to the carnival@marina, and took a look around, followed with a naval fcu ride. saw the new rss formidable, which is rumoured to be followed up with another new frigate, the rss invisible...

it was special to see the pcg, ndu and air force doing a combined display with precision entrance/exit timings. fantastic!

had the carnival opening by president nathan, and then it was the fireworks festival's opening show, as well as the live concert where natural q (a very interesting folksy one-guy, one-girl group from taiwan, debut album c'est la vive is out in the stores), mayday and emil chau performed! the working photographers had the best seats of all - we all had a working area cordoned off for us, no 3-minute nor 3-song limitation... free dry and clean seating... what else could we ask for?...

mayday with emil singing bob dylan's
knocking on heaven's door

looking forward to the following artistes performing tonight at the show!

# Tanya Chua
# 183 Club
# K-One
# Nicky Lee
# Taufik and Rui En
# Dylan Kuo
# Wendy Koh
# Joi Chua
# F.I.R

don't know who all of them are, but what the heck... just shoot first, talk later! just remember to bring along the earplugs for safety during work... speaking of which, i met fellow photogs kelvin chng from the new paper as well as yanyan from wanbao. got to talk to maye-e from the straits times as well, after seeing her all over the place last year... more detailed information about the performers at the carnival available at this ndp webpage; full program listing at marina is available here...

sunday was a lazy morning - it was as if i was run down by a bus; woke up past 12:30pm. got myself a zipp valve extender (long version) from a friend staying in sengkang; met khim, who happened to be a former campmate of mavic. i did up his cables for him at tiong hin, and incidentally happened to "surprise and captivate" a few riders when i fixed up a new set of derailleur cables, his second hand xtr shifters that he bought from foeszz and tuning it all at the shop. probably they didn't expect a rider to be able to do the mech's work, i suppose. fixed up his seized right side pedal later at my place, but wasn't able to do anything for the seized manitou mars super fork he had. anyway, the small boy who was using deore lx parts on the urata has changed so much on his bike, his urata became a gt something; he changed from lx cranks to xtr03 cranks today. *faints* and he asked ah cheng if his lx cranks were of poor quality...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

went to soon watt to pick up the tubulars. just the juniores 21mm tires, one set. plus one topeak valve extension - that proved to be too short later in the night - as well as one tube of vittoria mastic.

met up with fishy for the friday prata hangout...

but i must say, the science lesson with 5b for the topic of wheel axle went fairly well. used my bondhus allen key set to go ahead against the park tool pw-4 pedal wrench to take out my time alium pedal. great show demonstrating!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

got yesterday's incident all settled today.

argh. gotta visit soon watt to get my tubular tires again, i guess! a weekend of stretching and sticking awaits...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

had a run-in with shirley today. she was pissed that i didn't settle the photos from the p5 camp held back in february, while i hardly even had time to sieve through my entire photo archive to dig shots out for my own portfolio. she said that she was miffed because i raised my voice at her today. my stand? i don't believe in delivering a screwed up piece of work and handing it to parents. i believe in trying to package it; so that they may be impressed. so long as the sons don't transfer school, they'll get the photo disc for sure. better late than never. better carefully thought out than screwed up.

one of her last sentences to me today - "i'll tell the principal that i can't work with you because you raised your voice at me". go ahead, i would welcome a change. guess who was the one who originally requested me to shoot one mugshot for all the nearly 190 students at the camp? guess whose camera was supposed to be used for that effort? thankfully that "plan" never went through, but not without being bossed around to consistently shoot photos of the students on the high elements. please try to treat the photographer with a decent little dose of respect; you are not the one to fret over quality. you're not the one to lug along at least a 3 to 4kg camerabag all over the campsite/nature reserve. i'm not a trigger-whore and produce two billion photos like a machine gun. i need time to sieve through all the photos and do some postprocessing. i still owe my dad money for the camera gear, and the total gear cost around s$9k. i pay for my own camera servicing. you want to tell me to do this, do that? either we cooperate, or we don't at all. the ministry doesn't pay me a single puny cent to take photos. i'm doing a volunteer service, take note of that!

try explaining to a non-photographer or people who don't apparently appreciate effort put in to shoot, it's really hard to let them see that what photos that appear appealing to me may not be appealing to them. why do i say this? she asked for "a few nice shots" for the newsletter article. uh. i'm not an artist, nor am i good with picking out shots. as the article on sportsshooter.com says, a photographer is his worst editor. she asked me to help her out on a last ditch effort to get in the article for the p5 camp. she already had more than two weeks. one day before deadline, she asks for help? and i did the draft for her? without a single word of thanks? hello?

actually, i'll be more grateful if i don't work with her again. i reach school at 640am typical so that i can go for the morning stairclimbing thing with the taf boys on time each day, she'd come down much later (even if she comes down at all) - what's the use? i might as well do everything myself. i know she has appointments etc, but at least verbalize how they eat time up. i'll try to understand that; only if asked. if people in church were to be like her, i'll opt never to return to church. heck, i'll probably enjoy more free time to ride around. i need time to unwind. i need time to chart my future, my personal welfare. i need to live a life; my own life.

28 more months before r.o.d. from the service. can't wait till the day.

happened to meet alano at city hall mrt while he was going to the station when i was getting out of the station, on my way to victoria theatre to watch my schoolboys in a chinese opera performance.

happened to meet koon hua there - he and blader girl got married! that's good news!