Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It feels so good...

It's the holidaez again, and yes... it feels so good...

It's great not having to wake up and go to school every morning. It's great not to be bugged by the thoughts of marking CTs, projects, assignments. It's great to just take things easier.

I think if not for the holidaez, many more teachers would lose their minds. I really think so.

The holidaez have been off on a pretty good start. Managed to finish some materials which I had to prepare over the weekend. Managed to start catching up on some DVDs which I had bought but never had the time to watch. Managed to start watching movies in the cinema again... sigh.. how i missed that.

Term 2 has been particularly tiring. Somehow, things don't seem to get any easier. It's my 5th year here and my 3rd year as PM. Yet, I would be lying if I said I found things getting easier to do. The last term was busy busy busy. FW, CTs, FD, OH, etc.... Next term is not gonna be any better. So, I think I shall enjoy whatever holidaez I have rite now.

Started with watching the new CGI Appleseed movie. It was fantastic! It had this fantastic CGI backgrounds with more traditional 2D characters. The action was really cool and the story wasn't anime-type-weird. It did have a decent story line. But the whole package was really good. That was one DVD I'm glad I bought!

Next, watched House of Fury, this chinese show which was pretty much a Spy-Kids copy cat except that the Kids were more teens. It had some decent CGI fighting scene and the story was ok. I just felt that the director had trouble deciding if he wanted to film a comedy, drama or adventure. It was just a mish-mesh of everything, in an incoherent manner. But ultimately, still watchable.

I'm looking forward to starting on my Astroboy and Rahxephon Series. Maybe I'll start tomorrow!

Today, I caught Madagascar. I was a little disappointed by it. There were funny moments here and there, but overall, it wasn't very good. The story was quite 'blah'... Sure, the lemurs were funny and the penguins were cool but I just didn't care much for the lion, the zebra, the hippo and the giraffe. Digital cinema was cool though.. as always!

So... what next.... I hope to catch Star Wars III in a digital cinema, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monster-in-law before leaving for Japan with the Expo tour. There's a class party on Thursday which is sounding fun and I've also got a new toy to play.... more on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm watching this Channel U show on tv rite now where they go around taking polaroids of people. Anyway, I realize that I really find Fiona Xie very irritating. Some people say she is the next Kym Ng, but I dunno, her mannerisms & voice just irritates the hell out of me.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

xbox360 = pseudo-PC?

Hmm, the more I look at it, the more the xbox360 just looks like a PC. While I don't think the PS3's design is fantastic (I like the slim PS2's design better), at least the PS3 looks like something I would place next to my DVD player, sound system, etc. THe xbox360 looks like it belongs next to my printer and PC monitor.

Meaningless activities

Found another totally meaningless site. There's this funny superhero-type character that dances to this totally irritating ringtone.

I think these westerners (looks like Americans) really have nothing better to do. But then again, it's also quite amazing how they are willing to just let go and do silly stuff like this.

Click here to take a look.

Actually, one of the things which I found interesting was the idea of flash mobbing. It's where people receive smses or emails which tell them to go do something somewhere at a designated time. The example that comes to mind is the M1 advert where peopl receive smses and turn up to do that chicken dance together. As long as it doesn't cause a public nuisance, I think the idea of flash mobbing is quite interesting. It's just a group of people spontaneously coming together to do something together. One example is as follows:

"The latest flash mob incident occurred at 6:01 p.m. on Friday in Berlin, where about 40 people in the middle of a busy street took out their mobile phones and shouted, "yes, yes!" and then applauded, according to The New York Times. "

Something silly, but i dunno.. quite fun too. BUt i think the chances of it happening in Singapore are pretty low, coz we're simply too self-conscious. Anyone out there want to try organising one?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Saga ends

Went to watch Star Wars III today. It was something which I was really looking forward to. The trailers have been impressive and the reviews have been decent. After two not-too-exciting episodes, this was supposed to be the BIG one to end the trilogy and link it to the classic episodes IV, V and VI.

Went to GV Bishan to watvh the 7.10pm show. Now, for all you GV-goers, we know how famous GV is with the 20 to 30 min long advertisements and trailers. With a movie like Star Wars III, I had expected at least 30 mins of advertisements. Imagine my surprise when I entered the cinema at 7.15pm to find that I had missed the starting scenes of the movie!!! So to all of you who are thinking of watching SWIII at GV, you might want to try being on time.

On the whole, I think that SWIII is a pretty satisfying movie. Let me break it down a little.

Effects: Totally mind-blowing. From the opening scenes to the conclusion, you will be in for a visual treat. I must admit that Industrial Light and Magic has outdone themsleves. You can just sit and gawk and the battle scenes and enjoy every minute of it. The battleships, droids, creatures, are all just wonderful to look at. Be prepared to enjoy the effects.

Story: I think George Lucas did a decent episode to link the Episodes I and II to Episodes IV, V and VI. I guess he was able to show how Anakin finally turned to the dark side and how the emperor got rid of the jedi. I loved the little references to Episode IV. From the Wookies, to Chewbacca to Ambassador Organa, etc, etc, it was fun trying to catch the references.

Acting: I guess all the talk about Anakin being a little wooden and the acting being a little stiff is still quite true here. But I guess, you won't go to SWIII hoping to watch Academy-winning performances. Towards the end, I think Anakin's turning to the dark side was acted out reasonably well.

Directing: One thing that irritated me a little was how spaceships could leave one planet and suddenly, in the flash of an eye, appear at another planet. I never thought that light-speed was equivalent to instantaneous travelling. Throughout the movie, this happened pretty frequently and I found it just a little irritating. I also felt that George Lucas really doesn't know how to turn on the drama-quotient. Some scenes could have been really tear-jerkers, but in the end, turned out to be just mildy emotional. I thought it was a bit of a waste.

Conclusion: This is certainly a movie which I am going to watch again. The next time, I hope to catch it in a digital cinema to see how different it is compared to the normal film cinema. If you are any bit interested in Star Wars, make sure you catch this episode, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Just take a look at this gorgeous new Gameboy Advance! It's basically the same as the old one with a smaller but supposedly much better screen. This year's E3 is really turning out to be full of goodies!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hmm, the news are really coming out fast. E3 is so exciting. Well, here's an unconfirmed pic of the new Nintendo Revolution. Looks like a normal CD-ROM drive! Not very exciting. Nintendo will be holding their press conference tomorrow, so we'll finally have a confirmed pic of their new console.... hopefully!
Here's a pic of the xbox360 with controller. So, which do you think looks better? PS3 or xbox360?
Here's a pic of the PS3 with the new controller. THe controller looks a little huge. But then again, Sony has always had a good reaon for designing things the way they are.
Here's a view of the PS3 on it's side.
Wow...here's the new Playstation 3! It looks pretty good. I think it's definitely more sleek and cool then the xbox360. Sony designers still beat Microsoft handsdown!
Hmm... I can't decide if this is a scary pic or wat... The lights around the power-up button of the xbox 360 is quite cool. But Bill Gates has a very sinister look. Now I'm quite tempted to buy the Time magazine just to have a read. Maybe I'll go see it in HML instead!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Photoalbum Updated

Uploaded some pics of RIPB's Bowling Outing using my trusty 6670.
Yep.. Star Wars fever starts! Bought this M&M dispenser a couple of days ago. It doesn't look too good, but hey, the other options were even worse! They had this awful looking deathstar and a really scary looking Yoda. Yah, yah, I know it's a real waste of money, but, hey, that's what movie merchandising is all about, right? Now to get the Burger King Star Wars cup....

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Jogathon today started off not very well. The morning did initially look bright and cheery, but the dark cloud rolled in at around 7.45am and before anyone knew anything, the rain came crashing down. Quite funny. People were apparently calling the Jogathon a 'walk-to-the-canteen'. lolz.

Business at our booth was not too bad. It was great to see so many board members helping out in selling the drinks & jellies to raise fund. Selling stuff can be pretty fun. Hmm, maybe I can seriously consider going into a retail business. Might be something interesting to try out. By 2pm, the crowd had pretty much cleared off so we closed shop as well.

Food at the food fair was of incredibly different standards. My faves were the Mee Siam at the RPA stall. Really quite yummy! I mean it has to be since I ended up eating two bowls. The fishballs at the stall nearest to the track were also very good. Ate 3 sticks if I remember correctly. I wonder what it is about fishballs that make them so d*** delicious. I mean it's just mashed up fish meat after all. It's probably the levels of MSG they put into it. Ate some satay from RICO (so-so) and some kachang puteh from NPCC. I'm sorry, but I must say that the kacang puteh was not very good. :-P Maybe it's coz the CCAL was too busy taking care of his 'cousin'.. heh.

Well, that means swimming carnival, house carnival and jogathon are over. Two more major events to go before the end of term.

Exciting exciting exciting!

So many things coming up!


1. Star Wars III
Yeah, I know it's the one show where we all know the ending. Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader! Whoa... must be the world's worst kept secret. I'm really looking forward to catching the movie next week when it opens. The trailers are awesome and even if the movie is utter crap, I'm sure it'll make a truckload of money around the whole world.

2. E3
To the uninitiated, E3 is this huge expo which is held in the US around this time every year. It's at this expo where the latest consoles, games, entertainment technology are announced. It's my dream to go and attend E3 someday. This year's E3 is all the more exciting as news about the next generation of consoles will be released. Microsoft has already revealed how the new xbox360 is gonna look. The specs are very impressive. Sony and Gamecube have been very very quiet about the PS3 and Gamecube-successor. All will be revealed in less than 3 days! The gamer in me is going totally ecstatic!

3. World Expo, Aichi, Japan
I'm really looking forward to visiting the World Expo. In less than a month, I'll be in Aichi with some teachers and students, visiting the expo. It really looks very amazing. Hope it won't be a let-down. But then again, Tokyo is always an exciting place to be... how can it ever be a disappointment!

4. Harry Potter
Sorry, I know some of you might puke at this, but I am really looking forward to the next book in the Harry Potter series. All the major bookstores are already putting up countdown charts. If I'm not wrong, it's probably 10 weeks to the release of the book. For the last two books, I've made it a habit to reread the entire series from start to end before reading the new book. Maybe I'd better get started!
Wow, I didn't even realise it's been almost 5 days since I last posted anything. My last entry seemed as if it was made just yesterday! I know it sounds cliche, but time in RI really flies by.

So many things happened this week. Some not too pleasant at all. But it does seem that the hot topic on many people's minds is this idea of the privacy of blogs. From the incidents involving the scholars to things happening in our own school, there seems to be this atmosphere of paranoia filling the air. Then there's this hue and cry over how blogs are private space and that we should be allowed to say whatever we want on the blogs. To those people who hold on this delusion of blogs being private space, I just want to say, if you want it to be private, keep a good old diary under lock and key. The minute you post your blog online, it really pretty much becomes public domain. I mean, why on earth do you blog in the first place? It's pretty much the chance to let others know how you feel about things. Where's the privacy in that? So, the minute we post something on a blog, we're making our thoughts and feelings available to the whole internet community. When I last checked, I think it includes everyone who has an internet connection, friends, strangers, relatives, parents, teachers, etc, etc.

The other thing is, just as you might have the 'freedom' to air your thoughts, people who read your blog will pretty much have the 'freedom' to act on what they have read. You can't deny that freedom to others.

The thing is, I get a sense that there are basically two responses that are coming from two groups of people. The first group are those who simply blog about their thoughts about things, funny anecdotes, interesting observations, etc. People who maintain these blogs aren't really bothered by what has been happening and their blogs are alive and well. The second group are those who blog to complain about life, about people and include plenty of stuff that they would never in their life say to another person, face to face. It's this group of people who are crying foul over how their 'privacy' has been invaded. Like I said earlier, maybe this group needs to realize that blogs are open to the public. They want privacy, start a pen and paper diary.

In the end (I was saying this to someone else) I think the term 'private blog' is an oxymoron. So if you can't deal with it, find some other ways to capture your private thoughts.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Yep..here it is! The new xbox was finaaly revealed in the US. It's officially called the xbox 360. Unfortunately, I think it looks too much like a PC. I know Bill Gates is trying hard to do this all-in-one media box thing, but I think the xbox 360 just doesn't look like a console. Nevermind, I guess the most important things are (1) price and (2) games. E3 is happening in US in about 9 days time. Can't wait to see the PS3 and find out more about the new Nintendo machine! Such exciting times!
Yep, marking for CTs finally over. Firstly, quite proud of myself that I managed to finish it all by Sunday evening. Quite a challenge coz I actually have up to Wednesday to finish so there was a strong temptation to procrastinate until then. But nope! I was strong!

Last Friday, some guys came over and we had another round of karting on the gamecube. You have to give it to Nintendo. Despite the fact that there are so few good games on the gamecube, Nintendo never fails to release games which are great for groups. Mario Kart, Mario Party, Bomberman, etc, etc. Most played tracks in Mario Kart must be Baby Park, DK Island and Daisy Cruiser. Someone tried really hard to regain his kingship of Baby Park, but alas, it was never meant to be. There were glimpses of hope occasionally as he tried to ascend through the ranks but unfortunately, it was just that, hope. Until our next race...

The weekend was pretty much spent holed-up in my room marking. I don't think I'm gonna talk about the marking. Guys concerned... you'll know how it went very very soon.

When I finally finished marking late Sunday afternoon/early Sunday evening, I decided to go down to Ang Mo Kio Central. It's there when I finally got my first bite of Rotiboy. Now, there is a certain blog which extols the wonder that is the Rotiboy, but I have never found the urge to try it. Well, on Sunday, I finally decided to give it a shot. Was it good? I must say the crispy crust was very tasteful. And the soft centres... mmm... very nice.. not too sweet, yet soft and moist. On the whole, I must agree that the Rotiboy is really quite yummy. At least this was a much better recommendation than a certain Nutella cake which really didn't live up to its recommendation. But the thing about the Rotiboy is, I didn't really feel the urge to have another one. I think this is really just a fad. Give it another month or two and I think the interest level will start to drop off.

Which brings me to today. Went for Board outing with the prefects. It didn't start too well coz the food (although pretty good) was not in abundance. Hence, I pretty much just had two plates of bee hoon, one piece of fried fish (which I had sneaked much earlier), remnants of lasagne filling, two shreds of chicken.. yeah.. that's pretty much what I got for $8. After lunch, we went over for bowling. It's been almost 2 years since I last bowled. Used to enjoy bowling quite frequently last time. In the previous school which I taught, bowling/pool/skating, were pretty common. Went almost every week with the students and it was reallyquite fun. In this school, such things really are rare. I guess it's just different kinds of students/different kinds of school life. Anywaez, I bowled 4 games today and I tell you, my right hand is probably premanently damaged from the ball throwing. I had stopped after the 3rd game, but due to my weak spirit, I gave in to a 4th game... boy, was it a mistake! Each roll was like TORTURE! I never felt happier to finish a game!! But on the whole, it was really fun to bowl again. Maybe can get some others to go bowling too, then next time no need to suffer so much!

Well, tomorrow, Post CT starts. Got plenty of stuff to look into. It's gonna be an exciting two weeks!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Calm before the Storm

Yep, the last couple of days have been fairly calm. Of course, for the students, I'm guessing it's been anything but calm. CTs/Exams, call it whatever you want, but I guess in the end, a week of intense tests simply means high levels of stress for all. Well, as the students slog away on their paper, it's just a matter of hours for me before I start slogging over the marking. That's just how the wheel turns. You slog I slack, you slack I slog... and the the world goes on. Well good luck to all the tests-takers. A couple of days more to go!