Tuesday, 30 December 2014


At the risk of being way too personal, but I've realised that living at home without your parents isn't all it's cut out to be.

If it was 12 year old or 16 year old me, I would be rejoicing! No one chasing me to go to bed? No one waking me up in the morning for school? No one controlling how long I spend playing Runescape?!

But now that I'm older it doesn't feel that exciting at all and I'm faced with endless chores to do. Laundry (Hang fold or iron?), feeding and cleaning after Snowie, boiling water, taking out the trash.

I guess that's how you realise that you're old. When you no longer think about woodcutting in Runescape or hidden skulls in Halo anymore but think about whether there will be good sun for the clothes instead.

I used to wish that I had a credit/debit card so I could buy games or subscriptions online, but now that I actually do have a credit/debit card, it doesn't seem that enticing anymore. There's your savings and living expenses to think about, not to mention your emergency fund, or your future career progression to consider.

It does make you appreciate how your parents have worked hard for you. So maybe next time when my kids are misbehaving I should take a week on holiday and leave them to themselves. (I am kidding please don't call Child Protective Services for my as yet non-existent kids)

Maybe that's why I got a skateboard for myself. To subconsciously feel young again hahahaha.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Ironing Bedsheets.

Yesterday I had a dream that I had woken up in the morning, and (as I always do when I wake up in the morning), I was headed for a shower. However, I decided in my dream state to bring a bedsheet and use it as a towel. And I further decided that a crumpled bedsheet simply would not do, and therefore decided to iron the bedsheet. So there I was dreaming about ironing my bedsheet, and finding it very difficult to iron the bedsheet because it was so large.

After much frustration I eventually finished ironing the bedsheet when I realised that I couldn't possibly use the bedsheet as a towel! So I picked out a towel and proceeded to go iron it when I woke up. This time I went for a shower with a towel that was never ironed.

My interpretation of the dream: Bedsheets take a long time to iron. Even if bedsheets are ironed properly, you can't use them effectively as a towel. So what are the bedsheets in my life that I am ironing when I should be ironing towels instead. Hahaha okay this doesn't make any sense.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

How to add a Clipping Mask in Photoshop.

1. Create the layer you want to make a clipping mask on.
2. Hover your mouse between the two layers (as shown in image above)
3. Whilst holding down the alt (or option) key, click.
4. Ta-dah clipping mask created.

Learned it from this website, and it took me a few attempts to actually figure out how to do it. When I finally got it, my initial reaction was: "Wah lau liddat in between the line click also can ah."

This will save me whole seconds whilst at work. Hahaha.

By the way if your alt/option key is spoilt, or you don't want to click between layers, you can always right-click and select add clipping mask (which is what I was always doing in the past, all my wasted seconds!). You can also just press Command-alt-G.

This should be a new section of posts called things I learnt at work today.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Why I take photos.

Recently my boss asked me why I wanted to be a photographer. And I guess I didn't really have an answer prepared other than "I studied photography in school, so I guess I should apply what I've learnt". Admittedly, it's kind of a cop out answer and isn't that strong.

Therefore, it got me thinking that I should probably define my own reasons for getting into photography. If only to serve as a personal reminder or a record of my thoughts at this point in time. Yes rambling and extrapolating on nonsensical unimportant tangents with intentionally verbose language is kind of how my brain seems to function all the time.

One of the best things about this blog for me is that I get to read my thoughts from the past. And I realised that this isn't actually a completely new topic that I've written about. It's been discussed in the past as well. See here & here. (So yes future self if you read this again I've collected some further readings for you to read. All written by yourself which makes it a bit narcissistic but then again it's your blog after all.)

So here is why I think I take photos, a.k.a. my photo-losophy. Hahaha I seem to be entertaining myself. And yes it is a long essay.

Friday, 26 September 2014

On Faith.

"And if they all, kneeling with poised palms,
millions, billions of them, ended together with their illusion?
I shall never agree. I will give them the crown.
The human mind is splendid; lips powerful,
and the summons so great it must open Paradise.”
Czeslaw Milosz

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Things no one told me about working.

I've started working as a photographer's assistant for about 2 months now, and it has been vaguely similar to my internship days, with a few exceptions.

1. It's exactly like school.
Everyone goes to work in the morning, goes out for lunch at noon, leaves work in the evening. It all feels vaguely similar to recess time in school where the canteens are packed for that hour or so but once everyone returns back to work the canteens are all empty again.

2. Lunch is expensive, depending on where you eat.
A plate of chicken rice costs $2.50 at the hawker centre, but costs $6.50 at the food court at ION. And no it's not some super delicious traditional home-made Hainanese secret recipe chicken rice. It's just average chicken rice that's not worth $6.50. Heng I'm not working in town all the time ah. And don't even try the $9.50 char siew rice.

3. Everyone drinks coffee or tea. Everyday.
Variations include kopi, teh, kopi c, teh c, kopi o, teh o, and so on.

4. CPF
Looking at my monthly CPF contributions, I can understand why some Singaporeans are upset about CPF. Haha but I'm not that bothered by it since I earn enough to get by.

5. Everyone talks about the weather.
I guess it's as common a topic as you can get. Such a hot morning, or such a hot day, or such heavy rain. Although Singapore is really only hot or cold so you can't really have interesting variations on the topic. Lately there is haze which is like our version of a yearly season. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Haze season.

6. I can never find the time to exercise anymore.
No more time to go swimming. Gah. Punggol Safra please open quickly so I can use your swimming pool.

7. There's nothing much to look forward to anymore.
This is depressing but the only thing you now look forward to are public holidays (or days which you applied leave). There's no more long school holidays, no more end of exams or changing of teachers/schools. Aside from maybe changing jobs or promotions, you're actually going to be working until you retire. And the retirement in Singapore is 62 - 65.

Soooo I guess it's hello to working for the next 43 years for me. :(

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Fulfilling Prophecy.

There was a young traveler who visited an ancient village on the outskirts of the city. As he was passing by the derelict, nearly forgotten houses, a door flung open and an old man leaped out at him.

"Hey! I am a prophet. Would you like me to receive a fulfilling prophecy?" The old man was almost shouting at the traveler.

"Er okay. But what does it entail?" The traveler said warily, thinking of tourist traps and kidnappings.

"Nothing nothing! You just need to stay at my house for dinner! Free!"

So the traveler decided to take a risk. After all, he was travelling, and you could not get a more authentic local meal than this.

The old man led the way into his home, showed the traveler to his seat, and immediately left for the kitchen. Soon enough, the old man came out with slices of freshly baked, warm bread and soft creamy butter.

"Eat! Eat! The prophecy will be fulfilled later!"

The young traveler had fleeting thoughts of food poisoning, but one whiff of the bread and all premonitions of danger were forgotten.

The old man disappeared back into his kitchen, and came out almost immediately with steaming bowls of clam chowder. Followed by a crisp salad, and fish, and chicken, and rice. The food was excellent, and seemed never to end. The young traveler was quickly full, but continued to eat out of politeness.

Finally, the old man reappeared from the kitchen empty handed. The table was laden with bowls upon bowls of half eaten food.

"Alright. That's it for the food. Now for the fulfilling prophecy!" The old man announced in a sudden deep, booming voice.

"Okay sure, what is it?"

"Would you say that, you are feeling full?" The old man asked hesitantly.

"Yes I would" The young man chuckled, feeling that full was a bit of an understatement.

"Well then, since you are feeling full, therefore you are full-feeling! Hence! The full-feeling prophecy!"

Sorry to everybody who wasted their time reading this.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What I learned in the Army.

In two years of National Service, I have:
  • Learned how to strip, assemble, fire an assault rifle. And don't forget clean. I definitely spent more time cleaning the stupid rifle than firing it.
  • Also earned how to strip, assemble, fire a light machine gun, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher.
  • Thrown a hand grenade, once.
  • Learned to wear a gas mask and experienced tear gas.
  • Experienced a turn-out at 1am for fun and games.
  • Walked for many many kilometres. About 600km accumulated in the two years.
  • Walked through graveyards at 3am. Graveyard with an s because we went from the Jewish/Hindu to the Christian to the Chinese to the Muslim graveyards. Multi-racial and multi-religious indeed.
  • Killed, skinned and ate a quail.
  • Learned to start a fire, and build a shelter, survive without food for 3 days.
  • Learned to read a compass and a map.
  • Bashed through the same stupid jungle on 3 separate occasions.
  • Rode in a Chinook, and got the seat closest to the door.
  • Swam through a muddy looking swimming pool with all our gear.
  • Learned to drive a jeep, through rivers and hills. Actually fell asleep when driving once but that's what happens when the speed limit is a paltry 50km/h.
  • Learned to ride a bike, through rivers and hills. Fell down many times on the stupid bike and was horrid at balancing but I still passed on my first attempt.
  • Learned how to strip, assemble, fire a general purpose machine gun. But I never got to fire it for real. :(
  • Threw many thunderflashes. Lit up a trip-flare which looks amazing at night.
  • Turned-out my men at 1am for some fun and games.
  • Learned how to call for artillery fire.
  • Learned how to apply bandages for a variety of wounds and fractures. And CPR too.
  • Administered intravenous fluids on others, twice. Was poked about 10 times though, life is not fair.
  • Tried flower arrangement once by collecting some wild flowers and putting them into my hand.

    Even came with a tiny snail.
  • Got bitten by sandflies. I never want to be bitten by sandflies again.
    Worst itch ever.
  • And I guess I made many close friends. Friends that make me sad to leave the army. But they are leaving too, which is the only consolation.
Looking back at the 2 years, I’ve certainly changed. But I can’t really define how I’ve changed. It’s impossible to define really. You can’t help but gain a new perspective on cleanliness after being soaked through with mud and rain and sweat time and time again. You define urgency differently after crawling on the ground with bullets flying above your head (they were a very safe distance overhead hah not so scary). You define discipline differently after being made to stand still for an hour as punishment. And you change that definition again when you have to demand that the guys in your charge do the same.
It’s been a long two years, do I regret it? No. Would I do it again? Yes. But I didn't feel this way when I was serving NS, only now when it's over haha.

Purana usnani - Singapore

Today I learned what insect makes this sound at all the nature reserves and army training areas in Singapore.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

On High Education.

(Yes I know it's been two years.)

Having recently ORD-ed (ORD LO) and left the army, I've decided to start working immediately and not pursue higher education. I would like to say that this decision was made after months of careful deliberation and much thought, but no it was not. I don't really know when I made the decision either.

The choice to start working with only a Poly Diploma though, was met with interesting reactions. Some people were quite surprised and insisted on me getting a degree, saying that in Singapore, it's impossible to survive without a degree. My parents though, are not some people therefore I can do what I want. Hah.

That being said, hearing about the start of the semester in University from almost all of my army buddies has set me thinking if my decision is the right one or not. Of the 12 of us recce sergeants, only 2 of us are working immediately with the rest securing a place in university (cause we are intelligence specialists so intelligent high 5). That's like less than 10% or something of us studying (I can't do the math cause no education eh hahaha).

But it has set me wondering about whether my decision to skip higher education was an *ahem* educated one. I don't really want to take up a degree in business or economics or sociology or whatever for the sake of taking it. But in Singapore everyone seems to think that a degree in STEM is the way to go, if not, a degree in general is a must to "survive" in the working world. But shouldn't people value experience as much as a piece of paper? Everyone is getting degrees to get the edge over everyone else, or to get a higher salary and more money.

Anyways, I'm grateful to be working in an industry where you don't need a piece of paper to get a job. Where people hire you based on the work you have done. Where I have exhausting 12 hour days, but also relaxed 7 hour days. Where if there's nothing to do I can do what I want. Including studying part-time for a degree if I wanted to. Which I most likely will do so in the future when I find something I want to study.

For now, I'm okay with working. Sure I don't get to apply to CCAs anymore, and there's no freshmen orientation or living in dorms. But there's still lunchtime. And many many canteens around my workplace.