Monday, April 30, 2007

So glad the event is over! Glad coz it's the culmination of over 3 mths of planning. And glad coz I think it went on quite well. Gonna sleep first. Will blog abt it another day.

Shiokz. BEDTIME!

Friday, April 27, 2007

American Idol - COP OUT!

I'm really busy with some work but I can't help but log in to rant that this week's result show is such a COP OUT!

They keep announcing through the night that tonite's elimination will be a shocker. So we watch and wait and wait and watch. What happens at the end? NO ONE GETS SENT HOME!??!

Votes can rolled over to next week and they add up the votes for two weeks.

That's such a cop out!!! I am really disappointed at such a lousy conclusion.

I hope someone in America sues American Idol for this. Come on... you make people spend time and money to vote to support their favourite, then at the end, say, hey, it doesn't matter?!! Another way of looking at it could be, possibly, Haley was lowest and supposed to go back. But they don't want to let her go, so they say combine two weeks of votes instead. Come on man... Haley's fans noe she is in bottom and might call like siao next week. Where got fair?

Dunno why I'm so upset by this. Maybe work too sianz rite now. heh. okok... enough ranting. Back to work.

But before that, one more time... AMERICAN IDOL IS SUCH A COP OUT!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Rhythm of Kyushu!

It's almost here, so now I am gonna make some shameless advertising!

Sorry for the lack of updates the last few weeks. It's partly due to WoW, but it's also because the first major public event I am organizing is fast approaching!

Yepz, this Sunday, I'll actually be organizing a promotion fair for Kumamoto Prefectural Governement & Minamata City at Junction 8. You can see the poster below. It's been a really rough but enriching ride. Similar to the events I've organized in the past in RI but also very different coz of the scale and the target audience (this time being the public!).

The last two weeks has seen a build in the intensity of preparations. This week is pretty much when the proverbial s#!% hits the roof. :P. Quite normal I guess, since it's expected that there will be plenty of stuff to tie up as the event approaches. Two weeks ago, we started the Taiko Drum workshops and my arms were pretty much dead for the 3 days following the workshop. I don't think they've moved that much in a very long time. Last week saw the completion of the Japanese Calligraphy Competition.

It's quite fun getting busy again. Of course on one hand, there's this inertia after slacking for quite a while, but on the other hand, it's nice to feel the rush and anticipation of see an event coming together.

The event is this Sunday. There'll be the Taiko Drum finals (quite exciting I think) and other stuff happening. Take a look at the poster below. So, if you're free, come support me by dropping by Junction 8 from 12noon to 8pm... and oh yes, there's free Uzumaki ice cream too! (that's if you take part in some activities lar... nothing's really free you know. :P).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PC Frustrations Again

Had a horrible scare on Sunday evening.

I'd finally decided to get a new colour inkjet printer coz I needed to do colour prints for a project I'm handling. I'd been using my trusty Samsung laser printer for a couple of years coz I could do my colour prints in school previously.

Anyway, after some consideration, I went for the Canon Pixma IP4200. Nice little printer that isn't too expensive. Actually, I thought for the prints it produced, it was pretty reasonably priced. And what I liked were the separate ink tanks. So, I bought the printer and decided to rearrange my desk so that I could put the printer there as well. I happily unplugged all the connections from my CPU, cleaned up the table and wires and reconnected everything. Then I eagerly hit the power button on my CPU and..... nothing happened. SIANZ. I tried a couple of times, reconnected the cables, switched cables, etc, but the CPU refused to power up.

For those of you who have tinkered with your PCs, I think you know how frustrating it is when a PC dies. And troubleshooting is a painful and slow process coz a million things could have gone wrong. I remember once when I spent hours trying to get a router to work only to find that the only thing I did wrong was not upgrade the firmware. :S

So, yesterday (ie. Monday), I carried my PC to Sim Lim, found a little repair shop at the corner of the second floor and asked the repair guy desperately for help. After some poking around, he suggested that one obvious problem (which may or may not be the actual problem) is that I had a power supply which could not support my PC. Since I bought it 3 years ago, I had added RAM, a second harddisk and upgraded by graphics card. And my dell's power supply wasn't built to support the extra parts. So, this could be a possible problem. What to do? Change power supply lor. Ended up spending about 300 bucks for a new power supply. Tested everything, seemed to work. So I happily brought my PC home.

Bet you can guess what happened next.

I plugged in everything and happily hit the power switch. The PC powered up, but nothing came out on the screen. SIGH. I opened the casing, checked every connection I could see in case I had shaken it loose during the transportation. Then I closed it and hit the power switch. Nothing again. I opened the casing AGAIN. Hit the power switch. It worked! Yay! So I powered down. Closed the casing. Powered up. Nothing came on the screen and to make matters worse, the CPU's fan started going haywire! I was really gonna cry. This went on a couple more times, then finally, when I tried the power button, my PC started up properly.

I have no idea what went wrong and how the problem was solved.

My pc has been working find since yesterday and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll stay fine for a long time. Really not looking to buy a new motherboard/CPU anytime soon coz I'm pretty satisfied with the processing power of my current PC.

PCs. Sigh.

My new printer and my old power supply.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Irritations - Justifying Ministers' Pay Increase

Actually I had another irritation which I'd wanted to blog about for a while but I decided to leave that for another day and do this one since it's the hot topic right now in good ole SG.

Personally, I have no qualms about the need to pay for good people. I mean, after all, we are supposed to be a meritocratic society right? So basically, if you are an excellent worker, you deserve to be paid more based upon your merit. The thing that irritates me through the whole scenario is how the Ministers are the ones who are trying to justify their pay increase. Heh. It's like I'm the paymaster, and now I'm the one who wants to propose to myself that I want a pay increase. Cheez.

Go to almost any worker and ask if he/she is being paid enough for what they are doing and if they would like a pay increase. I'm pretty sure most, if not all, will say they deserve/want more money. Now, do you think their bosses will say 'Sure! You certainly deserve as much as your friend is being paid in ABC company. Since you suggested it, you'll get it!'. I don't think so. Do you think there will ever be a case where you ask the person if he/she is being paid enough and the reply is 'Oh no... I think I'm overpaid. Please pay me less!'.

So in a similar way, you have these ministers trying so hard to justify why they should get a pay increase. I mean, come on lar, will they ever come out and say that they are being paid too much? And i guess that's whats irritating me. I mean, if you're gonna implement a pay increase, give it an explanation (not a long drawn publicity blah) and do it lar.

The interesting question is, who can say no?

If the paymasters are the one implementing their own pay increase, they obviously won't say no to themselves. So... who says no? Of course, in the bigger picture, the citizens are the ones who 'employ' the ministers. So I guess, the only way we can ever say no is through the next elections. Since that is a couple of years away... our ministers would have pretty decent savings after the pay increases are implemented before the next elections.

Anyway, like I said, I'm not exactly against the pay increase. I admit I haven't thought much abou the ramnifications of the whole thing. The thing that irritates me is all the justifications being made right now. Yawn.


Ah.. it's so nice to have a decent sci-fi flick. Sunshine is a deceptively cheerful name for a fairly dark movie. Basic storyline: ship departs earth and travels to the sun in order to reignite it. Ship runs into an earlier ship which went MIA on the previous mission. Creepy things happen to ship. Bloodfest. Ship completes/fails her mission (heh, I wouldn't want to spoil your fun by telling you the ending.

The director, Danny Boyle, did other dark sci-fi-ish movies like '28 Days Later'. He handles this movie pretty well. Although it's not blockbuster material, the acting is credible and the sci-fi effects dun suck. I liked the design of the space craft and the huge sunshield thingy really feels... huge. Somewhere after abotu 2/3s into the movie, it starts to become somewhat of a survival flick. You know, the run-for-your-lives-type of movie. Of course, that's when you start guessing who is gonna live/die next.

Of course, being chinese, it's only natural to pay attention to the two asian actors in the movie. First is Hiroyuki Sanada acting as the Captain, Kaneda and second is the trying-so-hard-to-make-it-in-Hollywood Michelle Yeoh as a botanist. heh. yeah, a botanist. The two of them do a pretty good job. Hiroyuki does well as the leader of the team and Michelle Yeoh doesn't do any kicking or punching in this movie.

One way to have even more fun through this movie is to start by discussing with your friend who in the movie will live or die. Make a friendly bet and you might get a free dinner or lose one. heh.

I liked this movie and would consider going for it again. Give it a try if you are looking for a decent sci-fi movie (but dun expect big space battles and weird aliens with bulging eyes).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Number 23

Today, I used my VIP card for the first time! I kinda felt like a VIP as I handed my card over to the ticketing staff but that feeling quickly disappeared coz the girl appeared to not know what to do when my card appeared to get rejected by the computer. But oh well, they sorted it out and I was happily issued my first (of many) free ticket!

The Number 23 is a show that kinda tries too hard. When I saw the beginning credits, I saw that it was a Joel Schumacher movie - the same guy who did stuff like the previous Batman movies and Phone Booth (which wasn't too bad actually) - so I thought the show might not be too bad.

Jim Carey tries his hand at another serious role and this time, I think it was fairly believable. Of course I half expected some weird contorted facial expressions from him but I was pleasantly disappointed coz it never came.

The story revolved around the number 23 and how there are people in the world who are 'cursed' by the number. Everything in their lives (like Jim Carey's character) is ruled by the number 23. Like how he is born on February the 3rd (2-3) and how the letters in his name add up to the number 23 after doing some division, etc. It's an interesting take on the paranoia of these people but I thought the director just doesn't really exploit this enough. I never really felt sorry for the character and at times, felt kinda bored.

This was quite a ho-hum movie which I think could have been a pretty manic ride if the subject matter was handled with more intensity. Here, it ends up more like a thriller as Jim Carey tries to solve a murder which seems to be connected to the number 23.

An interesting bit of info... look at the ticket stub. I was in seat 18 in cinema 5.... 18+5=.....

I watched the 2.40pm show on 3 April 2007. 2 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 7 + 1 (1 person.. me) = ....23!!!