Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

I shall disappear for just a little while

The exams are really around the corner. My world will start to boil should I not start to toil now. I’m in my sophomore year and yet I’m still having pre-exam jitters – on some nights, I’d find myself spacing out starting at the ceiling and talking to myself – how am I supposed to survive this? We’ve got so little time and yet so many things to cover – I’m expecting killer MCQ papers because multiple-choice, multiple-answer questions (yea, you read it – there may be more than one correct answer per question) will spell the death of me.

A trip back home

I went home two weeks ago – for some final adjustment to my braces before I take them off just in time for two wedding dinners and Christmas, and to catch a breather. On that weekend my parents brought us out for lunch at this Thai restaurant – we were there early so we picked the seat we wanted (kind of boisterous hah) and plopped our asses down.

We had Thai food for lunch!

We had Thai food for lunch!

My family seemed to get accustomed to my photographer instincts – they didn’t touch the food until all of our dishes arrived. Very patiently, they waited for me to get some photos taken while they occupy themselves with some mindless chatter :P I ordered their green curry chicken laksa1 – I picked that because it didn’t have a “spicy warning”. It turned out to be gazillion spicer than food that I would expect without the warning – a little too much for me to handle and I hastily guzzled the can of coke I’ve ordered. Looks like I still need to get some spicy tolerance training done.

Green curry chicken.

Green curry chicken.

They served dad’s coffee towards the end of the meal, complete with a tiny jug of condensed milk. How adorable!

Sugar and milk?

Sugar and milk?

Of dropped data packets

For the past two days I’ve been trying desperately trying to connect to my site through my hostel’s network but it seems that my site was filtered out and data packets were dropped every single time I request for this blog’s address. It’s kind of irritating because all the other sites are readily accessible and a quick check with Down for everyone or just me? revealed that the culprit most probably lies with the hostel server instead of the one hosting my site. I tried contacting the campus IT department and the best effort they could muster was to send me a huge chunk of information which I had already gotten online – ipconfig /release, ipconfig bla bla bla, ipconfig yadda yadda yadda. I’ve all done that. It’s still not working. Firewalls? Check. Virus scanner? Check. Reboot? Check. Latest Vista updates? Check.

It’s still not loading. I’m now blogging from the School of Art, Media and Design across my block (thank goodness I live nearby), in their minimalist and brutalist library. Loving the atmosphere!

Embracing CSS3

Warning. Leet CSS geek speak ahead.

I’ve finally given up trying, by hook or by crook, making my site CSS2.1 valid. It’s not worthwhile for us to keep dwelling on old, expired standards (even if so many review sites strictly upholds the if you’re not XHTML and CSS valid you’re screwed for good judging criteria). I’m expecting to see tomatoes, pies and rotten eggs fly.

Anyway, validation aside, CSS3 does make things a lot more interesting. Now I have added some subtle improvements to contrast of the design to make reading a tad bit easier (check out the 1px text shadows on the byline, as well as on the post, footer and comment headers). A not-so-subtle drop-shadow effects were also added for the sake of exploiting the newfound freedom with CSS3. I’m not going to border-radius anything yet (I prefer rectangular shapes), no worries. I promise I won’t overdo it – although it seems that I’m almost at the verge of overdoing shadows already heh.

Have a great weekend!

  1. Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from Peranakan culture also known as Baba and Nyonya, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia – Wikipedia

SG Tidbits 365 Mini Blog Contest

I’ve got an interesting thing to share today – I’ve been selected to host a mini blog contest alongside with the ongoing online competition organised by the S’pore Discovery Centre, under the initiative named SG Tidbits 365. Read up for more details on both competitions.

This giveaway contest has expired on the 22nd of November at 2359 hours. Thank you all for your active participation! Hang on for the results!

SG Tidbits 365 & Online Competition

SG Tidbits 365 is a S’pore Discovery Centre initiative and they are currently running an online contest (ending on the 31st of December 2009) where one can win prizes like an Apple iPhone 3GS by submitting a photo or video with bite sized captions to showcase an interesting or fun fact about Singapore.

What you will need to do is to submit photos and write a short caption – and you’re done! Alternatively, you may submit a YouTube video as well. Do check out the main site for more details and for the terms and conditions.

Mini Blog Contest

Besides the photography competition above, there’s a mini blog contest to give away prizes as well!

Don’t forget to read up on the Terms and Conditions of this mini blog contest. For eligibility, it’s a piece of cake – as long as you are able to turn up in person to collect the prize, then you’re in!

I’m honoured to be invited to be one of the five Singapore bloggers to organize a contest, in conjuction with SG Tidbits 365, of which you will stand a chance to win a Holga camera1. To suit the colour scheme of my blog, the organizers were very kind to provide me with a blue Holga camera to give you. I promise, no gimmicks, no tricky registrations, no purchases, no marketing.

Giveaway - Blue Holga camera

Giveaway - Blue Holga camera

In case you’re wondering what a Holga camera is, it is actually an inexpensive camera that was famous (or rather, infamous) in churning on distorted, discoloured images. But, hang on a second. That’s what makes Holga cameras so endearing, so do their photos. Here’s a few photos I’ve picked off Flickr, taken using the Holga camera just to give you an idea that all the distortions are not actually a bad thing, afterall.

Holga from 17 Stories The Holga Of Whoosh all the fun of holga Holga NYC

God's Holga rays... From Mexico... Holga-Swingin' hello Holga holga 008

holga. valencia. ca. 1997. 05980006 - Holga Holga lines holga, mojave phone booth. 2000.

The contest on this blog will run from the 9th of November to the 22nd of the same month. To participate in the contest, simply try to guess the locations where were the two following photos taken, and then type in the locations in the Google Form here (alongside with some of your personal particulars so that the organizers and I will be able to contact you if you’ve won). The clues to the location of the places in the photos are found in the caption underneath each photo:

Location A - Clue: Where Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is located.

Location A - Clue: Where Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is located.

Location B - Clue: One of the oldest HDB estates in Singapore.

Location B - Clue: One of the oldest HDB estates in Singapore.

You should check out the photo gallery at the SG Tidbits 365 website for the answers – the photos are actually entries submitted by competitors running for the online competition (as mentioned in the earlier part). If you have any idea where Location A and B are, quickly make your way to the Google Form and respond to the questions.

Of course, common sense dictates that you shouldn’t be leaving the answers in the comments section – afterall, you would want to have less people going after the Holga camera, right?

Winners will be contacted between 24th and 30th November. The Blue Holga camera has to leave in one way or another, so what you need to do is just to make sure that you’re the one who’ll be laying your hands on it :)

Next up, the terms and conditions of the competitions. Do read through the list carefully before jumping right in. I’ve decided to use a normal font size instead of rendering it in fine print *laughs* so, here you go!

Terms and Conditions

  1. All submissions have to be submitted by 2359 on 22 Nov 2009 using the Google Form found in this blog post.
  2. Each participant may submit up to three entries but only one entry with both correctly identified locations will stand a chance to win.
  3. The winner will be determined via lucky draw from all participants with correct entries.
  4. Each winner is only eligible to win ONE prize from this contest.
  5. The winner has to collect the prize in person on the stipulated date, time and venue, which will be revealed in the winning notification email.
  6. The prize cannot be transferred, negotiated nor exchanged. Only the prizewinner and not any other person or agent, may claim the prize. 24seven, and its partners for this contest, reserves the right to use the winner’s name, picture and information for publicity purposes, including but not limited to print, broadcast and online media.
  1. The Holga’s cheap construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera’s quality problems have become a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography – Wikipedia

Bookmarked: The dreamy spaces of Facebook HQ

The dreamy spaces of Facebook HQ

After stumbling upon this website showcasing the works of design firm Studio O+A, I am so going to make myself get hired by Facebook to work in their headquarters in the future *drools* I wouldn’t say that it looks as awesome as Google HQ, but it aint’ half bad! Of course, there are more photos available at the site which I’ve linked. You should really check it out!

Facebook Headquarters by Studio O+A

Facebook Headquarters by Studio O+A

I WILL FAIL YOU!!!!

Oh, looks like we have driven our egoistic, bigoted lecturer (let’s call him L then) up the wall. Here’s the email he sent out, in it’s entirely, to the inboxes of those unfortunate students like me who were forced to take up this core subject.

From: L** **** ****
Sent: Sat 10/31/2009 12:25 PM
To: “BS***-LEC-09S1″
Subject: Another WARNING from ** L**: BS***-LEC-09S1

If you have nothing better to do, PLEASE DO NOT email me with panicky messages like “Oh my god!!! Does that mean i do not have a mark for CA? cry …”

WARNING: If I get any of these STUPID emails again, I will REALLY REALLY FAIL whoever sends me these emails that DRIVE ME UP THE WALL!!!!!

I regretted sending the email about possible uploading problems if your file contains non-alphabetic characters like “-” as in “BS***-xxx” There is ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with this filenaming convention.

FOR THE LAST TIME, if the system acknowledges that it has received your upload, then THAT IS IT!!!!! If I have not received your assignment file after the deadline (over now), I will SOON BE CONTACTING you. If you don’t hear from me, you are OK.

SO PLEASE DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT email me further with STUPID, STUPID, KIASI, KIASI EMAILS asking me to check your uploads.

WARNING WARNING WARNING – IF I EVER RECEIVE ANOTHER SUCH STUPID EMAIL FROM ANYONE FROM HEREON, I WILL NOT BE NICE ANYMORE AND WILL FAIL (READ CAREFULLY) I WILL FAIL YOU!!!!

This email made my day. I just feel very, very, very obliged to dedicate a post to his email. Wow, and all-caps sentence? Groundbreaking.

Moral of the story – if you have a cohort of almost 400 students, ask them to hand in their research paper in hardcopy. And don’t whine about the technicians, L. They’re innocent. You have trampled on their dignity like a mad bull on a beautiful lawn, and mama karma is now on her way back giving a good kick to your butt.

Off to Old Turf City!

My club, Photo and Videographic Society of NTU organized yet another photo outing to Old Turf City. This time I roped in Chankeet (I felt so evil for enticing him to get the Sony 50mm f/1.8 lens, and I’ll call him Chunks from now on) and his friend Darrick. I like it that the committee I’m working with didn’t make photo outings exclusively available to members of the club or students from our university – so, if you’re in Singapore and would love to join us in one of our many other outings, feel free to leave me a note.

We gathered at Clementi Bus Interchange early in the morning. I can’t believe I actually managed to pull myself out of the bed again despite being severely deprived for proper sleep in the week before – that just tells you how excited I am of outings! Oh, and as a comparison, I almost always run 5-10 minutes late for morning lectures *weak smiles*

At Sixth Avenue, on our way to Old Turf City.

At Sixth Avenue, on our way to Old Turf City.

Took bus 156 from the interchange and alighted at Sixth Avenue. Oh boy this place holds so much memories – before I entered university, I’ve spent 6 years of my life in middle, high school and junior college. My boarding school happens to be a mere 15-minute walk away from the place and they have really great food! Plus, one thing I love about Bukit Timah (aka Tin Hill) the area around Sixth Avenue) is that they have all the nifty shops catered to niche customer bases – from wine shops to small cafes serving exquisite cuisines, and Sixth Avenue had a restaurant serving the best Indian cuisine you could ever find and not to forget, an ice cream parlour called Venezia.

Breakfast time!

We chose to have outings very early in the morning because we need to play the “waiting game” afterall, and still ambitiously wanted to beat the late morning sun and heat. That meant that many of us were yet to have breakfast, so we settled for breakfast at an Indian cafe. My attempts to locate the McDonalds joint I went a couple of years ago failed because it was closed down. What a shame – all of us were desperate for a short relief from the blistering heat of a Saturday morning in an air-conditioned fastfood joint.

Mr. Darrick!

Mr. Darrick!

So that’s Darrick! The cute and chubby friend of Chunks. He was a little quiet when I met him at Clementi Bus Interchange but when Chunks, our mutual friend turned up he started chatting away like there’s no tomorrow, hah. Poor Darrick suffered from a sprained ankle before we even managed to make it to Turf City – damn the uneven road.

Chunks. He's always making funny faces at the camera.

Chunks. He's always making funny faces at the camera.

And that’s Chunks. ‘Nuff said *laughs*

Most of the other photos are tucked behind the jump, so do explore the rest of the entry if you have time :) thanks!

Continue reading “Off to Old Turf City!”

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