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.

Ken leee, tulibu dibu douchoo

You’re a genius if you can figure out what this title means :) anyway, thanks to SilverIsle for sharing the phenomenal YouTube video, my eyeballs nearly fell out from that intense laughter than took me over as I watched her YouTube plug. I didn’t realise Ken Lee is one of the most watched videos for the past month, I feel so outdated!

Here you go, Ken Lee!

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQt-h753jHI[/video]

In case you’re craving for background information, the lady who sang Ken Lee (who insisted that she sang in English and the song is Ken Lee instead of Without You by Mariah Carey) is Valentina Hasan (Bulgarian: Валентина Хасан), a contestant auditioning for the Bulgarian show Music Idol in February 2008. The simple reason for the funny way she sang it:

Hasan explained to the Bulgarian media that she actually used to listen to the song “when she was 15,” using a cassette recorder, and “sang it the way she felt it.”

I’m not being rude, but I really had a good laugh.

My FIRST Driving Lesson!

Before I start, congratulations Ivy for releasing her new WordPress theme! :razz:

Nanyate.com Nanyate.com by Ivy
Ivy’s busy schedule didn’t keep her away from designing a Yukata-inspired WordPress theme for her blog. I must say that she had a excellent grasp of colour theory – she mixes pink and blue, the two unseemingly cooperative colours, so well in her new theme. She uses PNG alpha transparency to give her content and sidebar containers a unique transluscent texture over the dark background – and I love it! Although it doesn’t work well for people using IE6 or below, I believe she’s made the right choice. You should really just dump IE6 for something more performative like Firefox or Safari. Wake up!

I salute Ivy’s bid to make all her designs blind-friendly, XHTML and CSS 2.1 valid. Kudos for going that extra mile, Ivy!

My FIRST Driving Lesson!

Well, I can say that it’s a total nightmare! The driving instructor, a very nice lady, called up yesterday to say that she’ll coach me for two hours today. Just arrived at 3pm, picked me up from home and took me to a rather busy industrial area and taught me the basics of driving. This is probably when I start to hate manual cars – in the past, I only know that what sets manual and automatic cars apart is that one requires you to chnage gear when stepping on the clutch while the other does it for you automatically (well isn’t that obvious from it’s name).

Driving a manual car requires a long attention span, a whole lot more patience and a sturdy feet. You’ll need to step on the clutch real hard to change gear – the car I was being coached in was in a dire condition and I’ll need to step on the clutch real hard to change gear. Thus the car stalled twice when I didn’t muster enough strength for my weakly left foot. When you are about to start, you’ll have to step on the clutch (Step on it hard!!! I kept reminding myself), switch from whatever gear to the first, tap the accelerator slightly (for that cranky car the accelerator was out of it’s mind and upon the slightest touch the car was revving up like crazy), release clutch very very slowly (or the car will stall) and there you go.

The instructor kept her foot on my left foot because she said I’m not stepping hard enough. Well I should be more gentle with your car I thought. I screwed up the sequence at the first left turn and the car stalled again – I stepped on the brake too hard and when I was about to start again, I forgot to step on the clutch to switch back to gear one. Grrr. She told me the sequence and I repeated it to myself, doing it every single time I make a turn.

And then since it’s 4pm already, the nearby school has it’s classes all over and those short little primary school kids are running across the road like, what mom describes, monkeys on the loose. My hands immediately broke out in cold sweat for fear of running over an innocent, roaming seven-year-old even before completing my first ever driving lesson. And when I braked too hard, the car will stall again (because of the damn clutch!) and I’ll have to repeat the sequence to myself like a madman.

The lady instructor, albeit being a very patient and helpful lady, insisted that I should go try the expressway (I was like, WHAT?! It isn’t even 30 minutes into my FIRST time driving something that moves – besides my bicycle, that is). I couldn’t say no. I was so nervous to forgot to apply the brakes even when we approach those irritating, rough, and badly-placed road humps (the local town council gained notoriety for building too many road humps back then) and the car felt as if it’s going to freaking fall apart. Luckily it didn’t.

On the expressway, the cars behind me were either tailgating me dangerously (I wish I could brake, have them smash into the car and get them to pay my instructor to get a better car that has more foot-friendly clutch) or overtaking me and then staring back me at like I’m in a zoo exhibition container. Whatever. And when the instructor told me to change gear (because I was going over 40kmph at the third gear), she pusher her finger against my cheeck and said, Don’t look down, try changing gear without looking at it. I was so mentally-unprepared! Luckily she guided my hand with hers and the transition went on smoothly… until when we started to climb up this flyover when the engine starting coughing and the whole car started to jerk.

After the flyover she asked me to pullover at the road shoulder and found a loose wire in the engine. She fixed it but offered to drive me back, saying that it’s enough training already… and I was only an hour into the two hour course. Okay so before dropping me off at my gate she told me that the next lesson will be at 7.30am next Wednesday and I was like WHAT?! 7.30am?!

One good thing that came out of it – I’ve learnt to drive, a little :razz:

Note to self: I still owe Hendra a Photoshop tutorial! I’m sorry for being so late, but I’m busy lately. Give me a little more time yea?

Saturday Biking Trip

This post is about my Saturday’s biking trip around my township :) since there’s quite a lot of photos (and an exciting feature – so continue reading!), so I apologise for not being able to accomodate the needs of those who use slower Internet connection.

Here’s music plug before I start!
Title: Take Me Home, Country Road (album: Poems, Prayers and Promises)
By: John Denver

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I first listened to this song during my first music lesson in secondary school. My music teacher brought this John Denver CD to the class and started playing this song. I find this song rather sad, and I can relate to the lyrics pretty well because it was my first month in a foreign country and I having a great deal of homesickness. After the lesson, I ran after her and manage to borrow her CD for this song. It’ve been sitting in my laptop for 6 years! I particularly adore this line:

Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye.

Okay time to move on to the post. For this time, I’ve included something special – a marked Google map (made possible with this awesome Inline Google Map wordpress plugin) so that you’ll have a rough idea where the photos are taken – each marker represents the exact location where the particular photo is taken :) have fun!

Google Map that tracks my trip

*It might take a little while for the map to load, don’t worry! If you’re bored, start listening to the song I’ve plugged earlier.


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Let’s start with my biking trip!

You can always refer to the Google map if you need. Oh, and you can click on the thumbnails to view the original photo in the Lightbox!

Saturday Biking Trip - Sun's Rays! Photo #1 – Sun’s Rays! | Map »
My journey started with me cycling through the quiant neighbourhood I live in. With my camera hanging precariosuly to my right palm and using my left arm to steer my bicycle, I’m off the go for my first biking trip. I wanted to start somewhere close and familiar, not too far and devoid of the busy Saturday traffic (you know, at 10am in the morning not every driver is wide awake!). So I’ve decided to explore a little more of the township I live in. Currently having a population of approximate 1.1 million, it is one of the busiest township in the state. This is my first photo for my trip – the cloud caught my eye when it partially covered a sun, producing the so-called God’s rays, which are streaks of light filtering through the cloud.

Saturday Biking Trip - Pylons, the Towers of PowerPhoto #2 – Pylons, the Towers of Power | Map »
My neighbourhood is surrounded by a couple of electric pylons. Boy they’re surely tall! In Malaysia these pylons are doom-bringers – people see them as highly undesirable and believe that the strong electromagnetic radiation they give out is extremely detrimental to nearby residents. But I seem to find some beauty in them – when I was a kid I used to see them as kind giants who bring electricity to the people. Yea I know, I was very imaginative back then. Reminds me of the film Bridge to Terabithia. When I took this photo, I was actually crossing a bridge than spans the huge monsoon drain! Of course there’s a sturdy railing separating me and the fall to eternity, don’t worry.

Saturday Biking Trip - Huge Mansion Photo #3 – Huge Mansion | Map »
After crossing the monsoon drain, I took a right turn into a rather posh neigbhbourhood with an avenue lined with bungalows! Here is my favourite one with a really European-like arch over the entrace and having green plants in a neat lawn. How much I wish this mansion is mine! Sorry about the rather white-washed sky – I was more concerned of the guard chasing a curious photographer away than anything else.

Saturday Biking Trip - Graded Intersection Photo #4 – Graded Intersection | Map »
After cycling through a rather torturous uphill journey across the neighbourhood, I arrive at this awesome graded intersection at a traffic circle. It is now having the 4th level being added that brings motorist across the congested traffic circle. The traffic circle was constructed more than a decade back, designated just to handle small amount of traffic in the new township. Then as more new neighbourhoods are added to the township, the traffic volume increases exponentially without any corresponding improvement in the transportation system. So everyday you’ll get stuck in a nasty traffic jam when you go to and back from work. The town council relented when everyone was writing to the press about their lousy handling method, and they’ve got two new flyovers being built. And now they’re adding the third :razz: it’s getting very tall!

Saturday Biking Trip - Further up the road Photo #5 – Further up the road | Map »
Further up the road (I was cycling northwards), I turned around and took a photo of the viaduct. Instead of merging with the road one level below, the town council has decided to extend the viaduct to the federal highway further north. Maybe because there’s a horrible lack of space in this overdeveloped township, they’re forced to build a very long viaduct. I sympathise those who live very close to the viaduct – they’ll be literally eating dust and listening to noise if they continue to stay there. The roud shoulder is still under construction – I was planning to trespass into the area and get a good photo of the viaduct but the yellow mud put me off.

Saturday Biking Trip - Life Savers Photo #6 – Life Savers | Map »
This is the local hospital called the Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC). It has saved countless of lives since it opened in 1988 (well that’s two solid decades ago!). I went there countless of times – after a broken right hand, a stuck Lego piece in my nose, for a minor operation because of bacterial infection, constipation (don’t laugh!), brain concussion and etc. I was a hard kid to deal with – I had so many injuries and been through so many illness when I was young. SJMC was once my second home. And it brings back sweet memories as well – there’s this particularly sweet nurse who the kids call Aunt Shirley, she’s a veyr caring and compassionate person :razz: and yes she’s still working there!

Saturday Biking Trip - Sheraton Hotel Photo #7 – Sheraton Hotel | Map »
This hotel has been part of the township for at least 8 years. Being 15 stories high, it’s one of the notable landmarks in my low-density township. I can even see it from my mom’s bedroom :) the most memorable experience with this hotel is when my uncle’s family from Penang came to Kuala Lumpur for a night before heading off to Genting Highlands. I stayed over at their suite for the night, and my cousins and I fooled around in the huge but deserted swimming pool until the lifeguard chased us out at 10pm because the pool was closing. Hell yea it was fun!

Saturday Biking Trip - Designer Home, perhaps Photo #8 – Designer Home, perhaps… | Map »
The neigbourhood adjacent to the hospital is never lacking of gorgoues-looking designer homes, since the land there can be quite big and if you spent too much money eating junk food at home, you can always head for the hospital for a checkup whenever you like. Just joking. The bungalows here are pretty nice, I like their exterior facade which is very modern and minimalistic. Too bad they’ve got high walls and gates to fend off prying eyes like mine – I couldn’t get a good glimpse of the neatly-kept lawn inside. Anyway, shortly after taking this photo the two German shepards in the compound started barking wildly at me. Gee, time to run!

Saturday Biking Trip - Skyscrapers in my township Photo #9 – Skyscrapers in my township | Map »
Riding along a street in the neighbourhood, I’ve spotted this amazing sight of the skyscrapers in my township! Since I’m on top of a gentle slope, I’ve managed to get this magnificent view. As you can see, the storm clouds are starting to roll in, so I think it’s time for me to head home (but of course, grab a few more photos along my way back!). I love the way back because it’s a downhill journey so I didn’t really need to pedal a lot… that’s the good thing that came out of what you get for peddling rather insanely earlier on.

Saturday Biking Trip - Tomoe, a Japanese Restaurant Photo #10 – Tomoe, a Japanese Restaurant | Map »
About 4 years back, this unknown corner unit of a row of bland-looking shophouses got a total facelift, and I love the way they’ve used tainted glasses as part of their facade. Very beautiful, isn’t it? I find the facade to complement very well with the lush green natural surrounding. Oh, and I like it how they’ve used a fake 5th level to cover up the ugly looking water tanks. But what really strikes a cord with me is the name of the restaurant – Tomoe. If you’ve read the book Totto-chan, the little girl by the window, Tomoe is the name of the kindergarten where she grew up from a mischevious, talkative and irritating little girl to a caring and loving girl. I don’t know if the owner had this in mind when he was naming this restaurant though.

Saturday Biking Trip - Underneath the Viaduct Photo #11 – Underneath the Viaduct | Map »
If you would turn 180 degrees after taking the previous photo, you’ll see the road that’s nested beneath the viaduct. They’ve recently got the road resurfaced, thus the very dark grey colour of the fresh tarmac. Although the viaduct will bring untold misery to the owners of the properties adjacent to it, there’s something good that came out of it – motorists will get shielded from elements of the harsh tropical weather, be it the scorching afternoon sun or the raging thunderstorm. My dad’s boss once had a semi-detached house nearby, and the moment he heard the news regarding the construction of the viaduct, he immediately sold his $2.2m properly. I heard recently that the prices have slipped to about $1.5m… oh mans, I feel so sorry for the new owner.

Saturday Biking Trip - My heart cringes everytime I see it Photo #12 – My heart cringes everytime I see it | Map »
The sign reads: CANCER & RADIOSURGERY CENTRE. My heart cringes everytime I see this building – to many patients whose cancer is in its terminal stages, it means the deathbed. Or it can mean a lot of pain and suffering to those who’re undergoing chemotherapy. Personally, I’ve lost 2 close relative and friend to cancer – one being my cousin (he died at a tender age of 15) and the other being my parents’ best friend. The latter’s battle with breast, bone and lung cancer etched deeply in my memory – she was moaning in great pain when we visited her, and her husband refused to let us meet her after the first few rounds of chemo. It was really heart-breaking that she have to go through all that pain, travelling between home and the hospital wards, being force-fed with numerous pills after every meal. When she left us, we were relieved that she’s finally being released from mortal suffering and pain. I can imagine her playing with the angels, enjoying herself somewhere in heaven, a calm, peaceful, quiant, and picturesque place where all kind souls go.

Saturday Biking Trip - Under Construction Photo #13 – Under Construction | Map »
On my way back home, I’ve decided to go nearer to the flyover that is currently still under construction :D look at how grand it looks, with all the big machines and safety nets. I was initially reluctant to take this photo because that means I’ll have to trespass into a construction plot, plus having at least a dozen of construction workers passing off as curious onlookers. I’m sorry that the sky appears a little too white, I was too embarrassed at that time to find people staring at me and so I quickly pressed the shutter and cycled away.

Saturday Biking Trip - Expressway Photo #14 – Expressway | Map »
I cycled along the expressway on my way back. Known as the New Pantai Expressway (which roughly translates to New Beach Expressway – that’s weird, my township is at least 20km away from the nearest shore), this expressway was originally just a mud road that ends right in front of my neighbourhood, but after so many years of development it has gradually changed into a main throughfare and finally being upgraded into an 8-lane wide expressway in 1998. It is actually a turnpike in foreign terms, because drivers are charged when they use this expressway.

Saturday Biking Trip - Turning into my neighbourhood Photo #15 – Turning into my neighbourhood | Map »
The mud road which the expressway was once used to be a decade ago ends here. Things have surely changed a lot over the years! Anyway in case you’re wondering, the pedestrian bridge ahead is the place where I’ve done the Evening Photography set. I rested my camera above the green direction sign to stablilise it for longer exposure shots. If I do take a bus back from Kuala Lumpur after a day of outing in the city centre, I will alight at the busstop on the opposite side of the highway and cross this bridge to get home. One day I’ll just sneak out at night, get on the bridge and snap the magnificent night view! Just wait.

Saturday Biking Trip - Huge Advertisement Photo #16 – Huge Advertisement | Map »
They’ve built this huge advertisement board a few years back, and it elicited an extremely negative response from my neighbourhood residents, especially those who live almost directly underneath it. The property owners have problem selling their homes nearby there because the strong light that is emitted from the advertisement board will bounce off the board and get reflected on the homes underneath it. You’ll need a heavy curtain in the bedroom to block the lights out. Lucky I live 3 streets away from it, and so we don’t get affected a lot. Currently they have a Digi (one of the few Malaysian telcom companies) advertisement slapped on it. If you scrutinise carefully, the word LUAS is printed on it, which literally means WIDE in English.

The end!

I hope you like this post! :) so that’s all for my Saturday biking trip.

Don’t look outside the window

And when the sky is falling, don’t look outside the window.
- Or the sky’ll fall on your head, I presume.

Title: Change Your Mind (album: Move Along)
By: The All American Rejects

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I guess I’ve been really unlucky lately – it feels exactly like streching your neck out of a window for fresh air and you just realised the sky has fallen on your head. Ouch.

No, not the stray dogs!

I didn’t understand how on earth did I provoke their wrath. Normally when I cycle past them (at some distance, of course – I didn’t want to get bitten!) they’ll usually just stare at me. Then in two separate incidents with two different packs of dogs, I found myself in the centre of attention.

Two days ago I was cycling past a plant nursery when raging waters of the huge monsoon drain caught my attention. I walked on a bridge to stare at the scene with great awe when I suddenly heard a muffled bark. I ignored the first one but when the second and third came along, I turned around to see 2 meanacing dogs staring at me. Knowing that running away will provoke their animalistic instinct of hunting down fast-moving preys, I walked slowly towards my bike, hopped on and peddled away like a madman. They gave chase! I was sweating all over my palms I couldn’t really hold on to the handles well, but luckily they stopped after the second junction because of the heavy traffic (and I nearly got ran over by a van).

Then yesterday when I was navigating through a tight turn with my bike, 5 (yes, freaking five!!!) dogs started running towards me from the blind corner, one (I presume it’s the, urm, alpha male dog) tired to actaully leap onto my bike. I was so terrified! I felt the hair on my neck all stood up, and my leg going soft and feeling wobbly from fear. What if I get bitten? It’ll be nasty. I nearly went into imaging how it feels to have sharp canine teeth tearing and ripping through my meat. Yucks!

Braces don’t only cut your cheeks, sweetie

I know those wires jutting out from both ends of the braces will cut your cheeks, but I never thought they’ll cut your fingers like sharp edges of the paper as well. I was cleaning my braces yesterday night after dinner, starting from using my fingers to remove larger chunks of stuck veg and meat (well you’ll be grateful that I didn’t do it at the dining table, mom! I did it in the toilet…), when the sharp end of the wire cut through my index finger like paper. And yes it surely hurts, it felt exactly like a paper cut. Now I’m a little phobic about using my fingers now – I use a combination of two toothpicks to substitute for my fingers.

P.S. day two into the annual CSS Naked Day, I’m missing my stylesheet very badly!

Running Around Naked… Without CSS

CSS Naked Day \'08

No it’s not a late April Fool joke. It’s for real!

Just like how the world observed an hour of darkness without illumination from lightbulb (well, that’s Earth Hour if you’ve forgotten what it was), the web is taking on an annual festival – disabling your website’s CSS stylesheet for 48hours starting on April 9th. I just learnt about it from Brandy’s blog, it sounds really fun – and most importantly, it lets you appreciate how much wonder and magic Cascading Stylesheets has brought to bloggers, blog readers, website visitors and webdesigners alike.

teddY-risatioNâ„¢ will be naked without CSS for 48 hours. I’m not going to care how ugly this blog looks – what really matters to me is that I’ve shown my appreciation of CSS and its developers!

Of course you can join, no matter whether you’re a blogger or not.

Have some naked fun!

When: 9th of April, 2008
Where: Your website, your blog or anything of yours that relies on the all-mighty CSS! It’s basically an Internet phenomenon across the globe.
What: Remove any CSS stylesheets associated with your site. And that’s all! Short and sweet.

If you’re interested, don’t forget to check out the main page of CSS Naked Day. There is where you’ll get a whole load of information behind the meaningful event, and don’t forget to sign up (but promise that you’ll strip your blog bare on that day!).

There’s even a WordPress plugin for it! :razz:

Strip your blog bare, run naked around without CSS, laugh at how others’ (and my) blog look hilariously ugly without it. Drop a comment, give some love. Most importantly, be proud!

So what are you waiting for? Join in the fun! And if possible, help to spread the word!

Hello Easter Egg hunter! You've discovered the magic of the Konami Code!

Yea. You probably know what the Konami code is before getting to this page. So now what? Here is a randomised YouTube video on my favourites list... which includes Rickroll, if you're luck enough to get it.

You are currently watching The Real Group - Words. Loving it? You can even watch the video in its full screen glory :)

The Konami Code:
Konami Code sequence