Thursday, December 26, 2013

Night Safari 2013 - Unmystical

somehow, we ended up spending silent night at Night Safari. =P

maybe we are subconsciously getting ready for all the family friendly places we are going to have to go in the future.

and we were well-prepared! cos we went to buy mosquito repellant patches! except we probably shouldn't have bought the house-brand cos almost half of it won't stick to our clothes.

it was quite dark (duh) so which makes photography quite challenging, hence whenever there are lights, we made the most of it

went on the tram ride, which was boring. i almost fell asleep.
the show was better, and this bear thing with a big tail was crawling directly over my head!

on the walking trail, we managed to see a lot more animals, most of which i had never seen before, or even heard of.

this is a mousedeer(i think). cos it looks like a deer, but it's as small as a mouse.
i imagine a mouse and a deer decided to do it 1 day and gave birth to this! =)

this next thing is sooooo cute. we were walking past it and it just crawled onto the branch closest to the glass and started acting cute.

it is damn tiny, smaller than the size of my palm.
i call it an ant polar bear. cos it looks like a polar bear, but it is tiny like an ant.

there was this Mystica event going on, except it wasn't on the night we were there. only Fridays and Saturdays. which is probably why there wasn't a lot of people there, so that's just as well.

they did leave a photo booth open with props though. not quite sure how it is supposed to work, but pretty sure we are doing it wrong.

in my defence, someone said that it is a wine glass, and that black part is a straw.
but on hindsight, it looks more like a bottle of champagne, cos no one drinks wine using a straw.

as my christmas present to you, i shall end this with a nicer photo of 2 pretty girls. =)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(all other photos from this set can be found on my flickr)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Still Learning

a continuation from the previous post.

when the officer called me and said that photo is not good enough, my first reaction was (in a loud booming God-like voice)


but common sense prevailed and i didn't.

i listened grudgingly and take note of what he wanted.
4 submissions later, i sent him this.

in the end, i had to admit i actually prefer this to the first photo cos it showed the 2 different courses and it isn't as messy as the first photo. plus, i used Paint to paste the company logo at the top, which i thought looked quite professional. =P

anyway, it was quite a fun experience, cos it was like my first photography job.
dealing with the requests and deadlines of a client, learning how to position "models", reshooting 4, 5 times until the client is finally satisfied.
at 1 point, i wondered if the client thinks my only job is to take photographs for him as he would call me at 9am and ask me to submit another set of photos to him before lunch time.

=) now, anyone willing to pay me to do this full time?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

porfessional fotolaughter

i was supposed to take a photo of this training centre i helped set up.

i brought my camera, i got everyone in position to pose for the shot. then i took a few shots and they looked alright.

then i moved them around a bit, took a couple more photos and decided i had what i wanted.
until i realised i didn't put in my SD card. -.-

embarrassed, i slot in my SD card and got them to go back again.
took the same few photos. then thanked them.

then it hit me that i haven't yet changed the setting to save the photos on the SD card.
so i had to apologise profusely and get them back again, before i finally took some photos that my non-CF compatible laptop can download.

although while i am writing this, it did hit me that i could have used the camera to transfer the photos from the CF to the SD.

oh well. 1 shoots and learns. =P

quite happy with my end product tho.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A new chapter begins!

someone reminded me that some of my loyal readers might not be friends on my facebook and hence unaware of what has been announced.


sorry about that oversight, but better late than never.. so here goess....


2 lines means she's pregnant.
just to update, this photo was taken in early october so she's currently 14 weeks pregnant!! =)

for the start of such this new chapter of our lives, i've started a new blog at

so drop by regularly to see updates on my step into fatherhood!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My final experience with Dell

first off, i just want to say i've been a supporter of dell for the past many years. sitting in the comfort of my desk, customising every tiny detail and having it delivered within days, what's not to like.

but this time, the experience was just so utterly disappointing i cannot see myself buying a dell again, especially with so many alternatives around.

this is what happened:

on 18/11/2013, i ordered a desktop and a monitor through their website.
hours later, i figured i should try my luck and asked if they can change CPU to windows 7 instead of windows 8. reason being this is meant for my mother, and i don't want to teach her how to use a new OS.

this is what i wrote in my request to them
I just realised the order comes with Windows 8. Can I change it to Windows 7 instead? This is because the computer is meant for my mother, and it is terribly hard trying to teach older folks new OS. I nearly died familiarising her to Windows 7, so please don't put me through it again. I won't mind topping up any amount. 

on the same day, i received a reply, saying that the issue has been forward to the sales department.
then nothing.

21/11/2013 i sent them another email, asking if there are any updates.

25/11/2013 i gave up on emails, and called their customer hotline. and after giving the customer service person the order details, she said she would get someone to get back to me.

nothing for 2 days.
my assumption was that since i heard nothing, it probably means they can't change the OS, they would just go ahead and deliver the pc to me with windows 8 on 28/11/2013 as stated at the beginning.

27/11/2013 i finally received a call from Dell, informing me that my PC order has been cancelled a while back.
i was shocked. how can they cancel my order without informing me? and the reason they gave was that they could not meet my request, hence they felt they should cancel it and refund me the money.

i told them in my email i didn't say that i want to cancel the order if the change cannot be made, so how can they make that assumption?
shouldn't they ask me if i still want the PC with windows 8?

and if that's too much, shouldn't they at least inform me once the order has been cancelled?
but i received no emails from them!!

they said there's nothing they can do about it. and i need to go online to make a fresh order if i still want the PC with windows 8. except that i would have to wait another week or so because the PC needs to be assembled.

what a load of bullcrap. i told them in no uncertain terms that this is just unacceptable.
why would i put myself through this shit again when they can admit that they screwed up but still refused to do anything to right their mistake.

but they insisted they cannot do anything.

i sent a strongly worded email to Dell, explaining the whole situation as I am doing now, stating that if i don't get a satisfactory reply by 28/11/2013 on their plans for corrective actions, it would be the last time i order anything from them.

then i got home and saw that they have delivered the monitor to me.


so this morning, i called them up.
i told them to send someone to pick the monitor up and refund me the money. i don't want anything to do with Dell anymore.

that dude had the balls to tell me that they would have to charge me for the courier service to pick up the monitor.

i told him, no, it is your mistake to cancel the CPU to begin with. so common sense dictates that i want a complete working PC when i placed the order.
if you are going to cancel the CPU, you should cancel the monitor as well.

he went on and on about company policy, and about how CPUs need time to be assembled and monitors can be sent off the shelf.
i told him this is not my problem.
i ordered a complete working PC, hence i am only accepting it if the whole PC is delivered to me.

again, he said there is nothing he can do. so i asked to speak with his supervisor. and he actually told me the supervisor would tell me the same thing.
this went on for awhile until i lost it and said "i don't want to talk to you anymore, please transfer me to your supervisor."

finally he budged and said "ok, if you want to try your luck."
except that he placed me on hold till the line got cut off.

i thought now would be a good time to scream bloody murder, but i was actually quite calm.
and i called back the Dell hotline.
thankfully, i got his name the previous time around so he apologised for cutting me off.

again, he insisted that his supervisor would say the same thing, and again, i told him i am not interested in talking to him.
i was so freaking pissed i would pay the courier to take back a smashed monitor just to show how angry i am.

eventually, he said, "ok i would put you on hold to talk to my supervisor"

a few minutes later, he said that he doesn't want to argue anymore, so they will waive the courier fees and refund me my full amount.
so he got my details and i hung up.

honestly, i don't think i'm being excessively demanding or unreasonable.
at a point in time, i actually asked him if they were recording this conversation cos i want a copy to show people how ridiculous Dell was being.

why on earth do companies have to piss people off before giving them what they want?
Mio was the same, a friend told me you have to scream at them before they make things happen.

we have reached a stage where nice people would just get pushed around by establishments while loud and rude people reap all the benefits.
shouldn't it be the other way round, for companies to reward their good and nice customers instead of customers who are constantly screaming at them?

in any case, i went down to PC fair and bought a PC with similar specs for a lower price. with windows 7.
they will not just deliver it for free, but also set it up for me by Monday. a total response time of 4 days.

so tell me again, what does Dell have to offer now that other competition can't?
they are not cheaper (cost),
they are not faster (time),
they are not better (quality).

Michael Dell should quickly get back and do a Steve Jobs before there's nothing left to rescue.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Business Class!

ok this is long overdue. plus i need to revive this blog.

so we took business class flight back from London on the A380, and being suaku, i took photos on my iphone!

there are 2 "modes" to the seat. you can either sit up straight, for take offs and landings,

recline the seat, for meals and for light reading,

or you can pull a lever and make a flat bed for sleeping

(notice how we were so safety conscious we even belted up while we were sleeping.)

the food was not bad, considering we were in midair. but the impressive part has to be the effort they put in to make everything look atas.

that snowman-like thingy is a salt and pepper shaker, with a flower shaped butter, a glass of water and some white wine the stewardess recommended to go with the starter.

yup. there are starters to go with every meal.

then main course.

ok i can blame my iphone camera for being lousy, but fact is i'm not a big fan of taking photos of food. =P

anyway the food is really very edible.

for desserts there is a selection of ice-cream, cakes, fruits, cheese (yucks) and chocolates.

ohoh, and for a meal, there was satay!!

and also some very horrible chicken noodles

between meals, if the stewardesses see that you are not sleeping, they would offer random food, drinks and snacks, so that was quite cool.

i think this was some mango chicken sandwich.

it was really very comfortable, to be reading and having someone bring a packet of chips to your bedside. almost feels like home.

all in all, not a bad experience to have, once or twice in a lifetime. =)
afterall, what good is money if not spent.

rather i spend it on my own business class flight than to give to some one else for his family's, right?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Credit where credit is due

she is an only child, and currently looking for a job.

her father suffers from Parkinson's Disease and has been in the hospital for the past 2 months.
thankfully, he has some savings "stuck" in the CPF which was used to pay the substantially subsidized hospital bill.

and turns out, he has CPF Life, so he will be entitled to monthly payouts for life.

additionally, social workers were extremely pro-active in looking for possible solutions for the family, and eventually found a nursing home for the father because he now requires constant care and attention that the family can no longer provide.

the monthly bill was subsidized, again by the govt, from $1,800 a month, to a much more affordable $600 due to her circumstances.

i don't know about other nursing homes, but this nursing home houses 300 people.
and assuming an average subsidy of around $1,000, that would cost the government S$300,000 a month.
for this 1 nursing home alone.

we like to complain about authorities not doing their jobs. not caring about the poor, the needy. only caring about their fat pay checks. and when we hear stories like these, we treat it with skepticism and keep it to ourselves, or think that the govt is only doing what they are supposed to be doing.

or maybe the problem is that we just love nitpicking so we can either complain and/or feel sorry for ourselves.