take a walk around town with...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

yippee! i cleared all except one climb in bt! i'm so glad!

on hindsight... i'll fasten the chainring bolts tighter the next time round. three of the four granny chainring bolts of mine, all dropped off my cranks... thankfully after riding bt two loops! phew...

went for the november brunch ride route recce with baddabing after lunch, and the route is... nah, i shan't divulge it. that's what makes it fun!

anyway, the dining-in last night went all well, at least i got to see the candid sides of senior officers within my formation; and i do really miss my national service days, where i know i fit into one section of a puzzle that has probably 325,000 pieces...

before i forget... the information to steve vai's real illusions: reflections...

Friday, October 28, 2005

the dinner at dotty caribbean at keppel marina was pretty good... but only the first chilli crab gave the best kicks.

finally the bukit chandu visit is over, though i didn't do good enough a job of it, at least it went through smooth. i couldn't help but to shed a tear when datuk abbas' interview was shown late in the presentation. got some group shots at kent ridge park too.

i'm really looking forward to the in-camp training. sounds odd? i'd say, no. one, the people do really get things moving around when they want to; two, it's a break from facing work at school. but on the downside, that means less time for riding offroad. gee. tradeoffs...

will cover for terry for the work tomorrow; since practically the remainder of the division media team is all whacked out sick rushing the anniversary video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

a few things to do.

1. friday's itinery for the trip out
2. the p5 photo cd!
3. photos for learning synopsium next monday.
4. photo printouts for the noticeboard, latest due by next wednesday.

God help me, save me from the mental anguish i come across daily at work. show me the signs to find out if i'm supposed to stay or go in this line.

ever since working in this school, i guess it's really better for me not to have a child, and add a burden to the already complex world. last time, i would have thought not to have a child, to save the child from the complex world. gee. what a change of thought... but all these are in naught - since when did i get a girlfriend within the last four to five years? so what if i love children, in general? i find it hard to love every single child i come across in school. yes, i know those who we least to love much, are those who need the love most. but i feel it saps you of more strength and energy to deal with them.

people said it strikes you when you least expect it. at least i think that happened to heitor. saw him last week (or was it the previous one?), and he already has a child! that's pretty fast...

feeling unnaturally fatigued this morning, though i didn't do anything of particular exhaustion. back was sore this morning even before i woke up. even thought of seeing dr koh, since i hadn't had a sore back like this since july 18th.

i must learn and strive to separate my personality, and my working personality. no need to get emotionally involved with any trouble from the students. things such as telling primary 6 students to tuck in their uniform - some just display a can't-be-bothered-and-don't-you-bother-me attitude.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

it's totally incredible.

i prayed for patience this morning, but a lot of things tested me to my limits.

first class to go to - 2c, for invigilating their sa2 papers. still went on without much of a hitch, but a lot of the boys didn't seem to bother to check their papers.

next up, 2d. gave them work to do, but the usual suspects were continually playing the fool, running around, playing around. no cajoling of them to revise really seemed to work. had most of them to stay back during recess to finish up, but most only started doing the work when it was nearing halfway through recess. punishment? nope. i don't believe in punishing children by taking away recess. they were given the work with at least 45 minutes on the clock, but see how many of them were really doing the work - that is only right that they do what they should be able to do in the same span of time.

then to 3b. one bloke who wrote something disturbing about another person - and he was reading computer gaming world instead of revising for his mathematics. this was the second time i've come across the same disturbing kind of message from him. same for most of his classmates - most had the book on the tables, but far from looking at it. then over to 3a. not much difference from 3b. but definitely less misbehaving children.

i wonder how i'm supposed to endure this kind of agony for the next few days.

and to top it off - i forgot my strepsils that i paid for in the afternoon around home - left the chinese medical hall after collecting the change. argh!

frankly, i cannot foresee how i will carry on with this "career". so what if the teaching staff goes through 1,001 courses? how are they going to be ready to face 40 different personalities, 40 different families and 40 different kind of upbringing at one go? remembering my older days when i was trying to do network marketing, there's one phrase i remember quite well. the most important person, is yourself. whatever career choices, decisions, they all affect yourself.

teaching is a noble job, some say. to an extent, it really is. i see it from a different viewpoint - contending with the triad of 40s i mentioned earlier, is more than noble enough. trying to suppress misbehaviour because it puts the well-behaved ones at disadvantage, is a hard job to do. and because i don't have my strepsils that i absent-mindedly left at the store, i'll be able to feel the effects of it soon enough. there are not much days to put up with the daily frustrations from work, but oddly enough the journey seems tougher than earlier in the year.

can't wait for friday, for my first reservist callup. at least that gives me a sense of being a team player, and i feel better knowing that whatever i do can contribute to our unit's cohesion.

Monday, October 24, 2005

well knowing that canon has been rolling out new models of cameras like well, a production line (what else could i liken them to?), they roll out all sorts of fancy new cameras a year. here's the latest i got the scoop about from some letter i received via great eastern life...

wow... retro, 7 pixel camera...

speaking of which, at yesterday's cps event, i was rather pleased to have a hands on try with the eos-1d mk ii n, though i didn't bring a compactflash card due to an oversight. and there were four surprises for me... first being, when the hordes of "pro photographers" rushed off to the beach for the model/catwalk shoot, i was having a good slow time gazing at the 1200/5.6 monster. astounding closeup images even without a teleconvertor! second, i got to get my hands on the 1d mk ii n, as expected. at least i know how to use it, easy enough. third, i cajoled old chum edwin to let me try handhold the 400/4 do lens with a 20d. it was so lightweight! last but not least... when i was walking round bored because i hate shooting catwalk stuff, i picked up a two-dollar bill just a stone's throw from the catwalk!

the look of the supposedly "pro photographers" having a field day shooting the models tells how "pro" they really are. i was looking forward to try out shooting stuff on the coastline behind rasa sentosa, since i did a beachwalk there before, but too bad, it was high tide. gee. i wonder what other tourists were thinking, seeing one bunch of photogs all cluster-f'ing in front of the stage for shots that won't be much different from each other's. *shrugs*

professionals? posefessionals, i'd say.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

had a ball of a day together with "elder brother" handbag and his tdm900... and we were zipping all over the place for the photomarathon. happened to meet amongst many people - joanna from 97s35 (aka bikini girl with dog at the triathlon, who suddenly blurted "you look familiar" when i asked permission to take a photo of her jack russell), e-vonne from 96c62 (working for apple, who told me i looked familiar too, when i happened to be assigned to go to the downloading station she was working at), valerie 96a5x (who i recognized first...), nizz (not hard to recognize, last met at the saca mtb nationals), and beat this - ian krempl too! of course lina was there too... and joan and hubby, along with kenneth76 were all there... didn't know joan and hubby know kenneth76 until they all came in and queued behind me during registration!

these were my entries for yesterday:

theme: world in motion

shot on location at east coast park, at the corporate triathlon

theme: child's play

shot on location at dempsey road area

theme: fashion in action

shot on location at chinatown

i didn't get any prize, but as with all participants, i got my canon photovest, which came in handy as i had quite a bundle of stuff to carry. managed to sneak over to hup leong and two wheel action, where i managed to purchase a set of powergrips pedal straps, and another pair of defeet kicking arse socks at the latter. handbag was tempted to get this scott racing-something frame for $350, which i thought was a fabulous deal.

i had a particular bad experience with a bike mechanic this afternoon. the x9 trigger shifter set that i bought from another forum member, was apparently opened by this same bike mech some time ago. i went to the store today, to find out why it was opened (former owner said the clamshell was opened up to replace the cables) and to find out if it was possible to close it back as original.

to my chargin, this bike mech kept on asking me back, if i knew how to change the cables. that wasn't what i was asking for - and i thought i was patient enough to deal with his insolence. that's not all. when i asked if the shifter could be closed up in the same way when brand new, he told me to go seek the sram factory. when i asked about the possibility to replace the mauled-up cable replacement cover on the shifter unit, he asked me to go ahead and ask sram.

what kind of attitude is this? kommissar already knows which shop that is already; i don't need to say more. but i'll not go back there to get stuff again.

just switched over to the fsa chainrings on my crankset. now my bike looks a little more... bling bling.

my bike as of right now...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

went for the brunch ride this morning, got to meet a few riders, majority of whom i couldn't catch their online monikers. but we did have a fairly interesting ride... all over the place. seems like alcohol swabs are just as useful for cleaning disc rotors as well as for using during first aid.

met up with sophia at parkway builders... and we had a conversation that was useful to help me get out of a long stretch of not attending church.

and good news - my mountain bike is back!

my bde rsm is correct. like a piece of white paper with small black spots, i should notice the majority - the 90+% of the good things and boys in the school, not the minority troublemakers.

after a marathon 12++ hour effort, we finally came up with a flash presentation of how the ceremony at the dining-in event would take place. i've got plenty more to learn... time is precious!

tracks to re-encode in itunes
warm regards - steve vai

and some good articles to read - http://www.roadbikerider.com/articles.htm and nanopage.

Friday, October 14, 2005

there was the sports taping class last night - it was pretty fun, but i regretted not bringing my camera along. i'll atone for that and bring along my camera for next tuesday's class for sure! later in the night, i met up with a whole lot of pals... fabian was around, and we went off with daryl to tiong hin for some bike stuff shopping. josh was there, blazer, andy, monkeygod81 and fengjie were all there. it was like an unplanned gathering...

tonight's the night for the commemorative booklet. i can't wait to get my hands on it!

still have the second-hand sram x0 rear derailleur coming up this weekend. hope it's in good condition!

of interesting note, black eyed peas' anxiety and elmo's free free free starts off with the same drum groove. i thought my nano went nuts and repeated the song again, and intially gave me a surprise.

surprise, surprise. some of the kids that i meet, one of them from a primary 4 class, has a severe attitude problem. i told him to tuck in his shirt, yet he did not ensure he did so. asked him to come out, and he was beside me with his eyes shut. asked him to open the eyes, then he said that the sun was shining in his eyes, when in reality is was shining from behind him. it remains to be seen in due time how he will get his due when he enlists, with this kind of outright insolence and defiance.

there was the sports taping class last night - it was pretty fun, but i regretted not bringing my camera along. i'll atone for that and bring along my camera for next tuesday's class for sure! later in the night, i met up with a whole lot of pals... fabian was around, and we went off with daryl to tiong hin for some bike stuff shopping. josh was there, blazer, andy, monkeygod81 and fengjie were all there. it was like an unplanned gathering...

tonight's the night for the commemorative booklet. i can't wait to get my hands on it!

still have the second-hand sram x0 rear derailleur coming up this weekend. hope it's in good condition!

of interesting note, black eyed peas' anxiety and elmo's free free free starts off with the same drum groove. i thought my nano went nuts and repeated the song again, and intially gave me a surprise.

surprise, surprise. some of the kids that i meet, one of them from a primary 4 class, has a severe attitude problem. i told him to tuck in his shirt, yet he did not ensure he did so. asked him to come out, and he was beside me with his eyes shut. asked him to open the eyes, then he said that the sun was shining in his eyes, when in reality is was shining from behind him. it remains to be seen in due time how he will get his due when he enlists, with this kind of outright insolence and defiance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

first time in a long long time, i could probably od on crayfish, pepper crabs, prawns (herbal soup based and sweet-sour)... shiok!

looking forward to the slideshow on friday evening... should be fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

a few things to linger on my mind for the next couple of days...

1. the math p2 performance assessment.
2. flash presentation for my brigade, regarding the dining-in.
3. flash presentation for the change of command slated for january.
4. the bukit chandu trip itinery.
5. picking up the sram x9 trigger shifters.
6. picking up the sram x0 rear d.
7. the ndp photo slideshow on this friday.

like bde rsm said to me, "you make a difference".

this is on this friday... don't miss it!

Monday, October 10, 2005

the customer is always right? think again.

i went to do relief for one p4 class today, that was supposed to end at 1:30pm. nearing that time, i noticed one boy with a seriously messy backpack, so i asked him to sort his things in the bag. since he told me he wasn't going back by school bus, and was supposed to stay back for remedial... and his form teacher wasn't around, i thought it would be fine to stay with him for a while to clear up that mess he carries around. i don't know what's wrong with him, but he took over 20 minutes, and he wasn't even halfway done with clearing the mess. mind you, he's already in primary 4, and this was a tad too long.

after clearing up, i talked to him and figured out a few simple things about him:
1) he doesn't care about his classmates.
2) a fair number of classmates would disturb him
3) he likes reading... ONLY fiction books
4) he has atrocious handwriting - both english AND chinese
5) forgets things easily
6) gets picked on easily - he has had a few mechanical pencils stolen from him in less than a week each
7) he wants to be an inventor when he grows up

he did say he wanted to be an inventor, so i asked him if he knows of the 3m company. horrors, he didn't know! and that's when he's a fairly well-read person! i brought him to my office cubicle and showed him the 3m products i happened to have - the postit pads, as well as magic tape. i then asked him to call up his mother so i could apologize to her personally for holding him up. she accepted my explanation. she raised a point of concern regarding the theft of the mechanical pencils - and i told her i can forward the message, but there's limited things that could be done feasibly. i mean, there's no way there could be a foolproof method since there are two non-concurrent recesses for the boys. she said if nothing was done to stop it, she'd raise the issue with the principal instead. to let her know, it is impossible to control the movement and honesty of children that we have in the school, no matter how much soft approach or hard ones we employ. she said she understood, and we ended the conversation. i then sent the boy to the canteen, to await being picked up by the family maid. and i thought that was about it. or so i thought.

surprisingly, she called me back about 20 minutes later and told me off that i shouldn't have retained her son when there was no remedial, since this week was examination week (i told her i don't view oral examinations as an examination personally, since it's spoken and can't be prepared beforehand but she was adamant about getting it her right way) and thus i shouldn't have done so. i apologized, since what's done has already been done. she agreed it was a good thing to teach her son how to arrange his bag, but it was done at the wrong time ("during exam week", in her own words). i apologized for the lack of further thought on my side, but that's all that i could do anyway, since what's done has been done; only thing i could do was to prevent from doing it again should i pop by the class for relief in the near future. but she had to repeat the same thing quite a few times. then she harped on the fact that her son had nothing to eat in that hour, and i told her matter-of-factly that i sent the son down to the canteen, and added that i was sure he could take care of himself and get some food. what is this? are we going to expect a future generation of singaporeans who are "excused brains" in the army? guess if there are more of this kind of parents, that joke would become reality. if a person is hungry, it's his own responsibilty to get food... no money? ask for it! speaking of which, xavier still owes me my $2... all the way back from may, before the midyear vacation.

my own mother was overprotective, and i hated to be sheltered, but now there exist children who need everything to be taken care for them. i would have loved to, really, just to save myself from the agony of listening to an overbearing/overprotective parent and slam down on the phone on her. but knowing i have two more years left in the bond, i'd rather go through everything as smooth sailing. but think about this. if she's so concerned with her son, why would his handwriting be that messy, and carrying around a schoolbag that seems to carry kiam chye instead of academic material around? one word - why?

i once talked about teachers being scaredy-cats who are stuck permanently to a fixed monthly salary; which isn't the best thing (and i'm guilty of being one too), but why would i want to work in a line where you'd have to deal with all sorts of children? the good ones, i enjoy working with them, but those problematic ones are a real turn-off. especially problematic parents like the one i just mentioned. i was doing her and her son a favour, only to get a complaint back for it? hello?!? if i weren't asked to step into the class for relief, i would rather choose to stay out of that room! talk about ingrates...

teaching is not enjoyable. try to change me sublimally; we'll see if it works. dear friends who are considering to be teachers, please think not once, twice or thrice, think infinitely many times if you can. maybe it's me, but i don't know how the other colleagues can take it calmly. surprisingly, i can remain calm when others are flurried, and i do the opposite too. why?

i don't know.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

the area around where the former colbar used to stand

i miss the past. time flies. it didn't seem too long ago, that i was having my course at oeti... latest, it was mid-2001 even... but ever since the construction of the new road started, i have yet to wander around there again. i remember those fun memories, when we were supposed to book in camp by 0730 in the mornings, so we'd have two ways to take a shortcut through the area and get there. one would be to walk our way to the hang jebat mosque, passing by colbar... the other that could get us into trouble was to drop one stop earlier, cut our way by the side of temasek club... but now, that very route has been covered up and obliterated with the advent of portsdown avenue.

the trip to reflections at bukit chandu was most humbling. soldiers fighting till the end, though their formation was only "experimental". yes, the south-western part of singapore is highly historic. never has there been anything that can move me as much, as the short immersion experience in the binaural show at the building on the hilltop.

had a walk to kent ridge park thereafter, and it was nostalgia as i couldn't recall how long ago i was actually running there in the evening with some of the mr25 runners, doing our hill repeats. that was about 1998 or 1999. definitely during my polytechnic days, i'm sure. i was at my very fittest when i did the hill running training there. same old nostalgia, missing the initial days at oeti.

if for a young citizen of my age, if i can sense the sentimental loss when places change, then how about the older generations? how do they really feel?

a painting by a war survivor who witnessed his family being massacred

i went for the thomson ride this morning - surprisingly, victoria was there too!

generally it seems, after the hub overhaul, it's a lot (yes, a lot!) easier to attain higher speeds... but now the engine needs to get upgraded... i must thank ah cheng who helped me to do the front hub overhaul, and using what i observed, i did the same for the rear hub myself. yippee! something new i learnt... probably coming up soon, a set of cone wrenches!

got to know a girl called sophia staying nearby through wholivesnearyou, and it seems that she was from my senior batch back when i was in vjc, albeit from a different ct (95s24 -> 45). walking in bt without lights, anyone? speaking of which, bless those who are taking part in next weekend's ace adventure night adventure race... and i sure hope my fox will have the stanchions intact after it!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

chin kai was right about one thing for portraits - a camera doesn't make people happy or pose, it's the man behind the camera!

met lina at the canon/digital life photomarathon photography seminar that chin kai did this afternoon. actually, she spotted me first.

made my way to orchard, since i was supposed to meet kevinox73 5pm at borders to pick up the fox racing shox jersey made by fox racing inc. as i was about to proceed into wheelock place, perq jon was smack there, right in front of the building! seems that our friend has been shoot for the new s.n.a.g. magazine!

just after bidding him goodbye, i spotted jumiati, who said she was on her way to do up her eyebrows! or was it eyelashes? hmm. i went down to borders to browse through the magazine. nothing bores me to death waiting for a person doing nothing. just as i had picked up the new issue of mountain bike action and sportmag (with two of my photos in it and elangovan on the cover page, no less), adrian mok was there right at the shelf too! he finished the 168km run event last week... how did he pull it off?!?! bade him goodbye as i went over to pay for the magazines.

while waiting for kevinox73 to appearn, nizz came along... and soon after, it was jackson pang! quite a lot already, i thought. or so i thought. finally kevinox73 appeared, and we went over to starbucks as we had a long chat session. we proceeded together towards takashimaya to look for muji items, only to learn that seiyu was the stockist for it. oops. anyway we had our takopachi as a light meal, and we proceeded to look through gramaphone at specialist's shopping centre, only to find out the store was closed for renovation. great timing...

the next location to search was gramaphone at the designers' centre. i must say, aikawa nanase's id album is quite hard to find! as i got through the turnstiles at somerset station, i bumped into kenneth (vikki's bf)! since we were going different places, it was just a bye-bye. got out of city hall mrt, met kelvin of cathay photo, exchanged greetings... reached gramaphone, but still no luck. argh. backtrack!

going through the mrt station, this time it was khairil from sajs whom i met... didn't stop for long, and just 50 meters away, it was kenny from velvet peddar who i met! apparently he still has the demo tape done back in 1996... phew!

when i popped into hmv citylink, there was my sec 1 & 2 classmate frederick testing a cd! a short conversation ensued; but i had to move on to find the cd... still no luck! argh! popped out of hmv... and bam! fuzzybear was there passing by! introduced the two bikers to each other... and then we moved on. and about 30 meters on... one canoepolo player whom i believe is from the national team noticed me just as he was about to pass me by and miss noticing me! we exchanged smiles, and went on our ways. less than 150 meters on, it was surya from the gurkha contingent i spotted! first time seeing him in jeans instead of triathlon gear...

kevinox73 said that he couldn't believe my rate of spotting old friends... and to his amazement... it was soon eng siang and his girl as we got out of citylink! things got even more impossible, as i met henry woo from the ccs days!

a crazy day indeed. meeting so many friends today, just because of one album. and to top it off... i also met hafid (? from pess) in the adidas concept store.

what a day!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

the 1e boys were really too much today. wanted to share things about nature with them, but in vain. there were quite a handful of jokers who knew very well how to pretend to be in urge to go to the loo; boys screaming about; throwing rubbish around.

of all classes in the entire school, this is the worst class in my opinion. not the fault of the form teacher, but rather the boys. they would scream and shout at whim and fancy; and being patient with them is a real testing time.

if anyone were to say it can't be that hard to manage a class of about 30 primary 1 students - go ahead, try it out. some parents can't control even one child, let alone a class.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

happened to meet huiyi just in front of my block, she's having her 'a' levels soon. finally meeting neighbour number 2 from wholivesnearyou. the rest of my neighbours are... in hiding!

i went to the soccer match between young lions and home united at yishun stadium with jayamani - young lions lost out 3-2 at full time. it was so funny... she became a true blue soccer fan after half-time!

had a chat with microviola later when i got back home, got to find a little about her recent athletics foray. i didn't expect her comeback to be with one that set a new national record, which was a great pleasant surprise!

also, bde rsm gave me a task... to figure out more about reflections at bukit chandu as we're going there later this month for pre-exercise cohesion. i've got homework to do soon!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the chicken rice store at this blk 682 coffeeshop at hougang avenue 8, has the most unappetizing dish i've ever seen. one big scoop of rice, accompanied with an anaemic amount of dry, dead-tissue chicken meat... it was so bad, and the rice was so oily, that i gave up after trying a few grains. it sucks having to eat such crap when

1) it's my birthday
2) i'm rushing to have dinner before the three hour long course at nyp

and to top it off, i had one chinese student who called a malay classmate, "babi". and he's adamantly about not apologizing.

some days go by smoothly, but encountering such kinds of people is what exactly puts me off teaching. i mean, i'm not fantastic, nor am i particularly efficient, but i don't want to have students who bring their personal problems to school and lash out at other innocent classmates.

i thought i had the day going smoothly, until this ruined the mood, by taking the cake of all tastelessness.

yes, i'm 26 now, but i don't feel 1% different from any other day. i still feel like sleeping in...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

yesterday was one of those remarkable days when i got into a buying frenzy. not because of some sale going on at some store, but rather because i was a kid in a candy shop when i went into hmv looking for cd's that i have a couple of mp3's of... so at the end of the day, i ended up with:

steve vai's real illusions: reflections,
joe satriani's is there love in space?,
black eyed peas' elephunk and
extreme's the collection

and i just topped it off today with black eyed peas' monkey business. but i must share something with everyone here - the so-called "asian special edition" of elephunk is "ph"ucked up. why? because it doesn't carry "let's get started", only the original "let's get retarded". as if that wasn't bad enough, the so-called bonus cd that comes along with it, has only vhs-quality mtvs' of shut up and where is the love. worth the money? NO GO, AMIGO!