On the 28th of June 2008, I was at Urbanscapes 2008. Yes they were exactly a year ago, so here we go!
Camwhoring time, clockwise from top-left, with Shazeea, Liyana, Khai-Lee and friend, Ayu!
Diane, Ling, Kristyn, CP in clockwise order from the top-left.
Yes, I was trying to be consistent in pictures once, with the Kermit pose.
Top to bottom: Yin, Emily, Zain HD of RandomActs, and his flash mob looking for Adrian.
Muid Latif meets my Vivitar 24mm F2.0 DIY tilt-shift lens.
Sarah meets my Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon DDR 35mm F2.4 M42 lens.
Left: pinkpau asks, “Why do you have this tendency of taking unflattering candid pictures of me, Albert?”
Right: “Why do you STILL have this tendency of taking unflattering candid pictures of me, Albert?”
(I swear, she’d look alright, but the moment I press the shutter she’d have an unflattering expression.)
And yes, the picture on the right is from the 27th of June 2009 – Urbanscapes 2009! So yes, that is how backdated I am. 🙁
Was I a fan? If you consider somebody who taped the full version of Ghost (as well as the making of) and played it repeatedly many times, as a fan, yeah I guess so. Yes I was a VHS tape recorder junkie. I also remember one of my mom’s greatest hits cassettes being played on repeat.
One of the more recent songs that got stuck in my head was the hard-rocking They Don’t Care About Us. I would not say I am a big fan of R&B and I thought I didn’t like New Jack Swing but Michael’s R&B and disco-funk stuff from the Off The Wall album, remind me of a time when my dad would bring us to Cheras Leisure Mall, for some reason. Maybe I liked his brand of New Jack Swing because it was far more rocky, varied and filled with progression. Even if Thriller just has a simple repeated programmed beat, it didn’t bother me at all. That’s how great his voice was, it overrode the relative repetitiveness of the beat. Though, that was one heck of a catchy beat!
I was listening to what MIX fm was playing all day – some curious mixes of Michael Jackson covers, as well as his older stuff and Jackson 5 stuff. Yeah, Ben was a classic. I remember the TV show which identified Ben as a rat.
98 Degrees and Josh Groban both covered She’s Out Of My Life, but neither could touch the intensity that Michael sang it with – apparently, he could not sing it without crying at the end. I thought it must’ve been an intensely personal song, the mark of a powerful ballad. Heck I think I’d cry trying to sing this song! *
Interestingly though, he didn’t write the song. Tom Bahler wrote this when Karen Carpenter (of The Carpenters) broke up with him (and wanted Michael to sing it). Karen died of anorexia nervosa, bringing the disorder to public knowledge.
Michael meanwhile, brought vitiligo to public knowledge! As it turns out vitiligo is relatively common, and you’ve probably seen it before on some people. Explains why Michael sometimes appears to have a brighter mouth area.
* the only other song I could get to me emotionally is probably Stevie Wonder – Lately. He sounds like he is going to cry, too!
Of his collaborations, I’d say I most love the ones he did with Paul McCartney. There was such great chemistry in their call-and-response (listen to Say Say Say, Paul gets the R&B groove, Michael’s verses bring on the funk, and in between there’s a blues harp.) Michael then bought The Beatles’ music catalogue so whoever it is willed to, is going to make a fair bit out of Rock Band: The Beatles! (Ironically, Paul introduced the idea to Michael, then Michael bought his band’s music LOL.)
An interesting music video:
Eddie Murphy & Michael Jackson – Whatzupwitu
Interestingly, I’m not sure why, but this music video makes it obvious that either Janet Jackson learnt some dance moves from Michael, or Michael learnt some dance moves from Janet Jackson.
If you were ever too scared to watch the Thriller video, you can watch an easier Lego version:
“Thriller”… with Legos
This is too awesome.
And let’s see how many artistes can you spot and name!
USA For Africa – We Are The World
However late I am in posting this, I still am earlier than most newspapers. 😀
Optimus Prime, in Transformers (2007), I could say, “Yeah, you’ve become a lot more badass.”
Now, in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, I don’t know what to say. It’s not the noble you, it’s not the righteous you. You say lines I never would expect you to say. In a way, you broke my heart.
Michael Bay, you ass, you did it because you could and wanted to make people cry. But we sat there and both YK and me knew very well what was coming on. Probably the most predictable part of the movie. “Hey wait a minute, this seems all too familiar…”
Before Transformers (1986) such a… “plot device” did not happen. Then filmmakers learned from the outlash from this, so they made “plot devices which turn optimistic“. So now many years later it would seem all too predictable and cliche for the “plot device which turns optimistic” to be used again. Maybe this is Michael’s way of saying, “see, I wasn’t such an ass after all!”
There’s no more need to “wipe out the old toy line for the new toy line” – Hasbro as of the 90’s discovered “recolors”, far more than the movie ever had.
Devastator wasn’t all that cool. Though it was nice to have a few brothers in the hood who didn’t get hit or taken to pieces like in the first one.
Frank Welker does Soundwave’s voice, as it was in the cartoon, but it sure doesn’t sound like him! If anything, the Decepticons who had lines in the cartoon, always had very distinctive voices and characters. Even more so for the Autobots – you could always identify an Autobot by their accent and what they said even if you weren’t looking at the screen.
So when the bigwigs stated in interviews that the cartoon movie killed off the characters to make new toys, I wonder if they realized how relatively fleshed-out each Transformer really was!
Watch this parody:
Heavy Metal Fight
Here you can see how strongly each character was defined, that they could make fun of each character. Each voice is pretty much spot on! Ironhide, Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave are supposed to sound like that! Now they are generic macho male voices. We didn’t even get to hear much of Mike Patton (my favorite metal voice ever – heard of Faith No More?)
At least, Skids and Wheelie were voiced by Tom Kenny a.k.a. Spongebob Squarepants. And interestingly, Frank Welker, the original classic Megatron voice, is the voice in Transformers: The Game (based on the live-action movie) but Hugo Weaving does Megatron in the live-action movies.
I didn’t like that they conveniently stole sci-fi capabilities from Stargate: SG-1 and X-Men – the Transformers universe as we knew it, didn’t have such things as robots made of spherical little General Grevious-es and robots that can be pimped faster than they can even transform! Some parts felt ridiculous in the way X-Men Origins: Wolverine did.
Oh, and there’s nothing at the end of the credits. I stayed so that the world would know!
Rewind to Moonshine: A Homemade Acoustic Show, 21st February 2009, in The Apartment Downtown, KLCC! Here’s Isaac Entry with some blinkers on.
He got the gritty juke joint blues.
Paolo Delfino, long time no see!
He is joined by Ian Foo.
Ian brought a whistle which makes more than whistling sounds. I don’t know where I’ve heard this effect before but it’s very cartoony!
Erin the attention-paying audience member.
Meanwhile, behind the stage, sat a big crowd of Nuffnang members and staff, in apparently an important meeting. I had never seen a blogger meet, so quiet!
Sadly, after that, they spread out and starting camwhoring. I tried to usher the crowd away from standing right behind the performers! Now this might’ve been okay if it was an electric, loud gig, but this was a passionate acoustic gig where people play delicate songs…
…for example, Paolo was playing an acoustic, passionate version of Britney Spears – Womanizer.
Yes, she likes to overtake heads in pictures. I remember when she was still at Blogspot and LiveJournal!
Fast-forward to Moonshine: A Homemade Acoustic Show, 19th April 2009, with the funky soulful fresh Zalila Lee.
I would’ve loved to see her perform again with Nisha Tham… but that was an unforgettable performance I haven’t blogged about yet. That night however she did a cover of James Morrison – You Make It Real (not as cool as the other cover she did with Nisha…)
Najwa, prancing her fingers on the keyboard doing soul. She also did a little cover of Lady Gaga – Poker Face!
Her brother Farhan joins her for a little melody and to play the rap-o-phile.
Sarah F., gig regular for as long as she’d been in Malaysia, and her Coke bottle. Happy travelling, and avoid the flu!
Over at the bar.
It seems that this particular table tends to seat loud crowds – these ladies were laughing loudly throughout most of the performance!
Speaking of which, I am on Twitter! If you can tell what my default username is from the screenshot, you can Follow MeTM. That’s one way you’ll know when I’ve updated my blog.
Now, I really am not a fan of knowing where and what you had for lunch so I might not follow some of you back (with the exception of hot chicks.)
I am also not a fan of posting the content I produce – text, pictures and images, all over – that is why I do not really post any pictures in Flickr or Facebook. I hate having my works in a site, that could be closed down or become totally unpopular and uncool.
Remember Friendster? I used to write these awesome testimonials for friends. Then spammers and viruses infected the network and you won’t find a real testimonial on anybody’s testimonial page anymore. I still keep the testimonials I write for friends in a separate text file in my hard disk!
It’s like, you own it, but you are not guaranteed access to it, or you will eventually find it a lot harder to find what you’ve posted before.
Do you seriously think Facebook will be around forever? Some other site is going to supersede it eventually… but that site might drop some features that Facebook had. Or, Facebook reinvents itself, and you join the “I hate the new Facebook!” page.
And that, my dear friends, is why I post pictures on my blog mostly.
So, in that belief, I will re-tweet my only exclusive content Twitter tweets, here, in case Twitter gets rehauled someday into something we don’t recognize:
I’ll have the Guinness Record of having the shortest gastrointestinal tract. Yes I’m reporting live!
2:31 PM Jun 16th from mobile web
4:33 PM Apr 29th from web
It’s always the right cheek. The left cheek just means that I wanted to, uh, adjust myself.
4:12 PM Apr 24th from web
Ever seen those awards on Flickr? There are a load of very easily impressed people.
10:41 AM Apr 21st from web
I hate that my digestive system has the capacity of a 850cc Kancil.
10:55 PM Apr 19th from web
I joined Twitter today for the sole purpose of coding so websites will have updates automatically shown on Twitter.
4:55 PM Mar 24th from web
Yes, my original Twitter posts are 50% about my tummy. I have six-pack abs but a small capacity stomach. I have a chiselled Greek nose but a sinus-prone nasal tract. You win some, you lose some.
The Sony is fatter but somewhat lighter. It comes with the standard black lens cap (not the cheap plastic cap that comes with the Alpha 330 with kit lens package!)
Note that the Minolta has a built-in retractable lens hood which is so short that it’s quite useless. The Sony however has no built-in retractable lens hood; what you see, is two tubes when extending out to focus closer. It seems that the lens simply does not have any provision for a bayonet-mount lens hood; however you can buy a third-party screw-on hood.
Bokeh is nice at F1.8, and the lens is rather contrasty even at F1.8! Note that the depth of field is shallow with a F1.8 lens, and so her nose is already out-of-focus in the picture.
The lens can focus to 34cm close (measured from the sensor plane.) This makes for an impressive maximum magnification of 1:5x!
Another close-up shot at F1.8!
Again, at F1.8 – the collar is in focus but his shirt is not.
So how does it look like on the A900, on full-frame? Normally, the A900 would automatically enable APS-C crop mode and not allow you to disable it. Unless, of course, you press the lens release button to trick the camera, and shoot in M mode to let the A900 shoot despite it not detecting a lens.
Vignetting really isn’t that bad, amazingly… many suspect that this is a full-frame lens made into APS-C format.
Vignetting only shows when you focus at further distances – here, the lens is focused at infinity. The corners get dark real quick.
The 50mm F1.8 (again, on full-frame hack mode) exhibits very good out-of-focus disc rendition; no harsh bright-line bokeh. It is also contrasty wide open, in fact a bit more than I’d have liked!
This is my Minolta 50mm F1.4 Original. Pardon the person blocking my view. Depending on the background lights I could get a lot of bright-line bokeh from this lens. (The Minolta 50mm F1.7 also has this.) Also note the classic lower contrast at F1.4.