Monthly Archives: October 2005

Singgah More

We are, we are, the waiting.

On the walk to the train restaurant, we cam-whored. Lower picture is the Woodlands Checkpoint. Rest assured I am not a fan of foreign objects spoiling the scenery (namely, us camwhores) so the other pictures will not have Jason, Jenifur or Cherrie in it. You want camwhores you go to their blog. Uh, after you’re done reading mine, that is.

Yes, we are on track, on time, GMT+0800 that is, no, not Malaysian time.

We walked to Tanjong Pagar MRT, and passed a HDB (High-Density Block) that Singapore is famous for. Note the lack of balconies. Aye, population control at its best.

We then hopped on the MRT to Eunos, to ex-colleague Juan‘s HDB, which, really, isn’t bad. It looked like a simple apartment.

This was the view from his window. (No he does not live in on mushroom(s) with the Cheshire Cat; both pictures were taken with the infrared filter.)

I hopped on a cab to City Hall. Funny thing with cabs here is that they actually let everybody else pass first. In Malaysia, it is the opposite, where taxi drivers are very skilled overtakers.

I headed to Peninsula Shopping Complex to check out the array of guitar shops. Spot the machine-gun-guitar and the Doraemon guitar! This was Davis Guitars. YK, JFK and I then went to Plaza Singapura where Swee Lee Guitars was supposed to be located. Turns out it was in Bras Basah Complex instead, but before heading all the way back there, we grabbed non-halal Burger King. The toilets there were decorated like a club! Unfortunately, the handicapped toilet was locked! :O

Can you walk on a straight line? Note the Tiger Beer truck. πŸ˜€

While at Peninsula Plaza, I also got a Circular Polarizer Filter for my camera; what it did was reduce glare and reflection from non-metallic surfaces. However, I’d need to turn the filter to focus it, and it would only work for one area. On the left, there is no reflection in the water; however the window is reflecting. On the right it is the opposite!

The Edge is very much like The Curve in Mutiara Damansara, Malaysia; they both have a shaded atrium. Spot the YK and the JFK!

Spot the edge on The Edge’s obviously-not-real-marble pillar.

I then headed to Orchard Road. The number of shopping malls, and the standard of each, was insane! I thought it was hard enough to achieve navigational mastery of Bintang Walk.

All this while, I used the MRT (left picture, going down their notably faster escalators, those kiasus). Top-right: They have metal guides for the blind! Therefore, blind people need not use their canes to scan for floor guides; they could just use metal detectors! πŸ˜€ Middle-right: The dignity of a walking signboard is salvaged with a box on his head. Bottom-right: The buses are cool; they have two compartments, or two floors!

Level One had a very appealing floor pattern. πŸ˜€

We then headed to Clarke Quay, like Bangsar with a seaside view, without the dingy mamak down the road.

There, they had the GMAX – bungee jumping in a seat.


We went back to Juan’s and found a suicidal lizard in the freezer.

Sunday morning was a mamak breakfast.

Whatcha gawking at?

The infrared filter also makes for a neutral density filter effect, slowing down motion.

Wave to the people!” “Hey will you put me down now?” “Sure, oh dear wife…

Are you weighted down by time?

I bought a 1.5 liter bottle of water at the KTM station in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore. It tasted normal… till I read the label. It sounded recycled. HAHA! Smart Johoreans, slowly poisoning Singaporeans. What happens when you expose it to sunlight?

So we took the train. To quote Petrina who I can’t link – “stim“!

Nah, of course, we didn’t take either train.

So this is what it looks like when I’m not on the waiting side.

Home, home sweet home. Okay, Johor isn’t home. Country, country sweet country.

Ollld man river.

You wouldn’t see a crane in Singapore city; I don’t see how it possibly could be more developed! There were no roadworks or construction activities going on.

I see tea. I can’t wait to say “hi city”. Man, bad punnery.

So yes, I liked Singapore. I’m all for the law and order, and the bombastic English (“do not stand on the parapet” was seen on the MRT; I didn’t know what a parapet was!)

Singapore is clean! You wouldn’t be able to spot a bit of paint blemish even. Hooray for competitiveness versus our nonchalance. Organization and integration versus the relaxed attitude to the law here. It was hard to find trashcans (perhaps the council needed to make it easier to fine litterbugs). Taxis and buses were fitted with LCD panels. Cars were boxier/angular-shaped (perhaps it was the in-thing to have a car look like the highway scenes in The Matrix Reloaded) and since Singapore didn’t have its own national car, I gawked at Toyotas, Hondas and Mitsubishis all day. Buildings too were boxy and rectangular, and it looked like they were sponsored by paint companies! Most buildings were painted gawdily with deeper pastel colors. It wasn’t until I headed out to the city, passing the bay, that I saw regular-colored skyscrapers.

The few that broke out of the 90 degree shapes was a church that had… 45 degree angles! Still, it was better than nothing.

The uniformity was good. I didn’t feel the anxiety of going to a new shopping complex; it had this safe, secure vibe, and it would be hard to find any stained, old walls. Only three times on the MRT and I was already feeling confident I knew how to get around, like I was an expert.

The only things I could be bitching about would be the price of food. Converted, it’s twice as much as you’d pay in Malaysia, though gadgets are about the same price. The camera salespeople had a different approach – they go “45 dollars. Uhhh you want cheaper? *punches calculator* I give you 25 lah, best price.” I didn’t even have to ask for a discount!

Oh, and during breakfast, a lady approached, asking for donations for single mothers. We then took a cab, and saw buses talking about single mothers. Well at least we know their society has decadence, too.

Singgah Sore

So I’m back from Singapore. Yes that’s right – Albert has never stepped a foot out of his beloved country before. I didn’t intend to tell many, in hopes somebody would call me and get charged a lot. πŸ˜€

My fellow Malaysians greeted my return by showing their wonderful side:
1) A money changer told me that Singaporean coins were at a different exchange rate. I thus lost 60 sen there.
2) A burger stall man did not give my change until I pointed out that it was a 50 sen and not a 20 sen coin I paid.
3) A man squashing up the queues to get on the bus reached into my front-left pocket and tickled me. Well, he didn’t reach behind, so we wasn’t trying to cop a feel. πŸ™ And no, he didn’t manage to pickpocket anything. His hand was tickling me for a rather long time, too. So beware pushers!

Bandwidth-eating pictures will come later.

Berfoya Dengan Hoya

Whee, more photographical geeking out!

I bought the Canon LA-DC52F lens adapter for my camera (the black tube). It allows me to attach a 52mm filter in front of my camera for special effects, like this Hoya 25A red filter, with two negative strips cut to fit the shape inside:

This was way better than my previous attempts at holding the negatives in front of the lens every time.

The red filter darkens skies and increases contrast (the red channel is more contrasty in most pictures). With the negatives behind it, I could make prettier infrared pictures (this was not color-adjusted):

I then bought the Hoya R72 infrared filter and put it in front of the lens adapter, followed by the red filter. (Putting the infrared filter in front of red filter would be redundant because there is nothing left for the red filter to uh… filter!)

(Picture courtesy of smashpOp‘s Panasonic FZ5 camera. I zoomed 12x on macro mode to make the lens look less big.)

This was a sunny morning, 7:45am.

For both, white balance was set to custom, pointed at the leaves.

I then did a bedroom lab experiment with a infrared-laden tungsten bulb:

For complete geeking out, click here to see a chart of filters in different combinations. 2RI, for example, means light passes through 2 black negatives, the red filter, then the infrared filter. The number below represents the shutter speed the camera used in P mode, ISO 50, manual focus, auto white balance. The reference picture above had a shutter speed of 0.005 seconds; thus, the red filter blocked 1.66 steps, 6.66 steps for anything with the 2 negatives (I didn’t know how to make sense of this), 6.33 steps with filters without negatives, and 5.33 steps for 1 negative. None of this made sense to me; however, it was obvious that 2 negatives gave a diffuse/fogging effect. Therefore, if you don’t mind the fogging effect, film negatives can safely be used instead of the expensive infrared filter. Also, stacking negatives with infrared filters was pointless as it did not affect the exposure.


Back when I took normal pictures without the powers of a manual-control digital camera like the Canon Powershot A520, I took pictures anybody could take, like:

Guess what car this is. Below is a sweet Mazda RX-8, though the carbon fibre hood spoils its sexiness.

A Chevy Corvette Z06! I wonder why the headlights are different, and the rear window slopes less in comparison to my Transformers Alternator Tracks.

Left: I’ve never seen a pussy lick itself. Also known as the Hartamas Square cat. Right: Square pizza at Roma, Avenue K. Nice, but a bit pricey. The decor was damn cool though; it had a small LCD screens, all showing CSI on mute (with subtitles though).

In order, left to right then top to bottom:

  • Man sitting down and reflecting.
  • Men climbing into a train I previously thought was dead at the Kepong KTM station.
  • An old ISO 50 EV +2 shot with my old camera.
  • The view from International Islamic University, Section 17.
  • Jasemaine‘s rose tea. It would be nicer if I could spell it as Jasmine for pun purposes, innit?
  • Empty Coca-cola bottles in shrink-wrap! How did Paul of Paul’s Place do that? He’s an inventor!
  • Rocket and I with crazy hair. Where is my Lord Of The Rings book you crazy woman?
  • Cow goes boing boing.

Same order of business:

  • Double-pedal massages! Alda laughs on in the background because he loves beer.
  • Where do you take your bus from?” “Bangkok Bank, Bang…
  • Trees on speed.
  • Sun’s up, lights out.
  • Light cannon.
  • The moon. (Yes it’s possible with a 1/1000 second shot. Picture was not even resized! It was just cropped. Who says you need an SLR to get the detail?)

P.S. I know I owe some people gig pictures, so there will be more normal pictures to clog up your bandwidth soon!


I was hanging out with Kevin and Choon How at A&W One Utama, having root beer (because stock of RM1 beer for Oktoberfest was finished early). We sat nearer to the mall, where we could watch chicks pass. A familiar face passed by. Melissa Maureen!

I waved at her. She was going to get a drink at A&W and hang out there. She was with her friend, some chick who was vaguely familiar.

Who was that chick ah?” Kevin asked.
Melissa Maureen? From Pond’s Table For Two and Gol & Gincu?
Oh my God! I know her!” (Kevin jumped out of his seat and ran to catch up with her at the queue)

Yes, Kevin and Choon How have trouble remembering faces.

Turns out they used to know each other from 7-8 years ago, and she used to play bass for him!

Well, at least Melissa recognized me (though she didn’t recognize Kevin initially…)

Then it struck me why the other chick was vaguely familiar. She was in Gol & Gincu too! So when we left A&W we passed by their table. Kevin told Melissa about his band. Meanwhile, I asked the vaguely familiar chick, “Heyyy you were in Gol & Gincu right?

Uh… I remember you were in it, but I can’t remember who you played…

Yes, Albert says stupid insensitive things often. He just does not blog about it often enough.

As we went downstairs, Kevin asked who the vaguely familiar chick was. “Oh don’t worry, we can Google her.” We had a good laugh.

It was only hours later, at home, that I realized why I couldn’t match her to any of the many futsal-playing girls in the movie. She wasn’t the tomboy, no… she wasn’t the one with domestic problems, she wasn’t the one with a disapproving boyfriend, no… she was… uh…

She was the lead actress!

Yes, I believe Kevin and Choon How’s blurness is contagious.

Oh man. Now I wonder what they must’ve talked about when we left. “How can he not remember me? I’m the star! The cheerleader-turned-futsal player! I got the most screentime!

Nur Fazura, if you are reading this, I would like to apologize. I wish I did have real beer to be used as an excuse for my absent-mindedness.

P.S. Gol & Gincu was a recent Malaysian teenybopper movie that amazed me in many ways, because it took a American teenage movie and turned it Malaysian. The film quality was all there! The sound was good, the lighting was good and not some TV1 drama, Putri’s room was bright and IKEA-like, and product placement was everywhere! I was damn proud that there was a Malaysian movie reaching such commercial-looking standards. While Nur Fazura’s initially bimbo-ish character sounded unnatural, she picked up soon; however, Rafidah (of 3R) had horribly long mini-lecture sentences that made it sound like she wasn’t fluent in Malay.

Analog Meets Digital: Capturing Raydiation

I’ve been out shooting, with the coolest, most distracting discovery of my photography interests. Sure, I started viewing the world in “ooh this would look nice if I set my shutter speed to 4 seconds” or “ooh if I did a F/2.6 on this one and focused on that…” when I got my Canon Powershot A520, but this discovery had me hankering over hot tungsten lightbulbs and sunny days, much longer than uh, my previous hankerings.

But first, the cool stuff.

Infrared photography, baby!

Left: infrared, right: normal. Trees glow and reflect glorious IR from the sun.

A small Ikea table lamp provides enough IR for macro shots, like the following:

Up close, IR can see through leaves…

It can also see through certain types of ink, like this tabsheet, printed with a Canon bubblejet printer, and written on with a Kilometrico ballpoint pen. The infrared picture was superimposed on the normal one, and I erased away to show the with/without effects.

Using flash, you can also place the filter on the flash and the lens for an ‘infrared’ flash!

You can tell which shops use tungsten bulbs and which use flourescent lights. Nope, the apparently Ah-Bengified shops are not flourescent! (This picture was Photoshopped from two pictures; one infrared, the other not.)

Combining pictures in Photoshop can be quite fun.

This here, boys and girls, is the key ingredient. The blackened end of a 35mm film negative. The purple part is more easily found, with the dark brown part being the more powerful filter. It filters out normal light, leaving infrared rays to pass through to your digital camera. Digicam CCDs can pick up a certain amount of IR (as compared to film cameras) but have a lens element which is coated to remove IR rays, otherwise giving a IR tint to normal pictures. Some digicams and webcams have a separate lens element just for IR filtering, even! The amount of IR that passes through depends on the digicam.

The spots on the purple part were caused by rainwater. While it could not wash off the layer, it did leave temporary blemishes. You could however use fingernails to scratch off any of the parts to find the original transparent, colorless cellulose film.

In case you’re wondering, I found the film in my mom’s 20-year old stash of negatives. You may not find such amateurish film processing (the machines will replace them all!) and may end up with a smaller purple portion.

Film negatives become transparent in infrared!

Left: One layer of film negative; right: two layers. I usually stack four (that makes it really dark) so I’d have to compensate by slowing the shutter speed about 250 times, or making the aperture larger (to say F/2.6). The more layers, the less natural light and color shows. The best time to get glowing trees is in the bright sun, when you set your camera to Program mode, and it tells you the shutter speed should be 1/250 or faster. Both pictures are unedited!

Fazri‘s Canon Powershot A95 was less sensitive to infrared radiation but had sharper, much more focused pictures than mine! Here, he uses his swivel screen to prop his camera at an angle. He also folded the negative strip so it would provide four layers of filters, then used a wire to fasten the layers.

The second picture, if you noticed, had green globs; that was the sun’s effect. There is also a slight white spot in the middle, caused by: 1) negative layers being slightly curved and not flat 2) zooming in 3) having an aperture that is too small (F/7.1 or so).

To focus, first focus on the subject without the negative, then place the negatives, and if possible, make your focus slightly shorter. If you’re lazy you could just set it to infinity like I do.

Now for some math: If you were in the sun, taking a picture of a field, and the camera says it wants to use a shutter speed of 1/1000, you may have to slow it down to 1/4. Your digicam would obviously show you white, but heck – press the focus, and while your digicam does its automatic focusing, you would see a darkened picture (for a split second).

How do you make a dark brown/purple negative anyway? Just pull out an unused film roll and leave it in light for 5 seconds to overexpose it. Send it for processing only. (Unless you like staring at completely white photos.) Total cost? 10% of a proper, commercial IR filter.

Sia-sia Sue

Xiaxue lovers are dumb.

No wait, Xiaxue lovers are not dumb.

People who fall madly in love with her incisive, bitchy writing, then later hate her for the same reason, are dumb.

People who say they loved her and now hated her look dumb eating their words, too.

I find it so amusing that there are bloggers who stumble upon her site, immediately worship the ground she blogs on, then get majorly offended when she rants about something they like. Then they say sheοΏ½s the scum of the universe.

I like her for what she is, which is for the fact that she may someday hate something I like.

The point is not about what she dislikes; the point in reading her blog is in the way she (perhaps politically-incorrectly) describes it.

The fans are those people who’d like to think they’re different and rebellious (“you go girl, you tell it like it is!“) and relating to her (later they call her “young and immature”, forgetting why they relate so well to her). No, it’s not because they look hot post-Photoshop.

I don’t like Maddox’s stand on certain things, but does that mean I stop reading? No. I read because it’s his snarky, sharp delivery that’s good!

Think of your real-life friends. Say you met this really gossippy girl, and you both know this other infamous girl, and you go on trading stories. (Yes, guys gossip too.) Are you going to tell her your secrets?

I didn’t have to tell my her secrets, and already she was telling stories of me and this other infamous girl.

Say you met a hot chick, and you hit it on pretty well, and damn fast too, say under a week. Someone calls but she keeps rejecting. “I’m not your girlfriend, dammit!“, she says. You admire her ability to pay full attention to you.

One month later, she’s rejecting your calls. Duh.

Or, if you prefer guys (well hey, my readership varies):

Say you met this hot guy, and you hit it on pretty well, and damn fast too, say under a week. Someone calls but he keeps rejecting. “I’m not your boyfriend, dammit!“, he says. You admire his ability to pay full attention to you.

One month later, he’s rejecting your calls. Duh.

So am I saying that if you click on her link and feel an impulse to bookmark her, should you deny that twitch? No.

P.S. I hope this blog entry brings me millions of hits and free T-shirts oh, wait, I already have a wardrobe made of free T-shirts.


I got tagged by Jamie.

Seven things I plan to do before I die:
1) Get dreadlocks
2) Dye my hair
3) Buy a car with my own self-earned money
4) Make myself so gentlemanly and naturally unawkward, nobody will believe I wasn’t before
5) Get on an airplane (the only time I’ve ever been on one was when I was a baby)
6) Step outside of Malaysia (yes I’ve never been out of here)
7) Have an orgy with female models and Baywatch babes

Yes, the last one was quite unprobable; if fate let me do all seven, it could also kill me! So if I finally get on a plane and it’s hijacked by terrorists, I’d have an orgy first.

Seven things I could do:
1) I can solve the Rubik’s cube in under one minute
2) I can sing guitar solos ala Jack Black
3) Walk from KLCC to Bintang Walk and meet friends without repulsing them with sweaty hugs (or I just have very polite friends)
4) I can seem to do math in my head fast. Try me!
5) I can code an entire blog (my blog is entirely my own code!) Dude, I’m not using WordPress.
6) I can sleep on any form of public transport and wake up one stop before my destination. Sometimes it’s the stop after.
7) I can show up, punctual, most of the time, if I have stated the time

Seven Celebrity crushes:
1) Kristin Kreuk
2) Lindsay Lohan
3) Shu Qi
4) Eva Longoria
5) Amanda Griffin
6) Jojo Struys
7) Minishorts! (Sorry, I don’t have a crush on you, but this was the best way to get you in a meme without directly passing it on to you, and I know you hate being called a celebrity bwahahaha.)

Seven often repeated words:
1) Dammit (with arm swooshing)
2) Yo (at the end of a sentence; I got this from some Livejournal users, yo.)
3) Ma-chow-hai (I swear in Cantonese while frustrated working on the computer to make up for my inability to otherwise converse in Cantonese.)
4) Proxy server! (Yes, calling it at the office will make it work.)
5) Wassap
6) Dude!
7) Yeah man.

Seven physical traits I look for in my partner:
1) Balance! Size does not matter, as long as she looks like she is going to fall forwards or backwards
2) Matching attributes on a face (type A eyes on type A face, type B eyes on type B face, not type A eyes on type B face unless there we see that often enough. I don’t like one look in particular, like how guys can swoon over the curvy Mazda RX-8, the muscle-solid Ford Mustang or the sleek Chevy Corvette despite all looking very different.)
3) Sloping hips (the part between the small of the back and the butt, but this is not necessary)
4) An ability to vary between sizzling hot, pretty, sweet and cute. Then again how many girls you know have really bad fashion sense?
5) Mess-up-able hair
6) Eyebags no bigger than mine (I know only one who has anything worse)
7) Some uh, cheek

Seven tags go to:
1) Someone who could’ve been pouring beer (yeah who says you can’t tag back?)
2) The unlinkable cutie whose computer I last fixed and is now sadly on some island
3) The kickass rocker who helped me get a 4x4x4 Rubik’s Cube (I don’t know which blog to link to anymore!)
4) Someone who recently lost her privacy so I can’t name her
5) Tech (in appreciation for tagging me!)
6) Fazri (in appreciation for tagging me!)
7) Warmpaw (in appreciation for tagging me!)

Seven is a big number.

P.S. Here’s a picture to compliment all that text.

Top-left: A regular ASTRO remote control has not one, but two infra-red bulbs! The human eye is unable to pick up this, but modern-day digital cameras can, albeit they’d be less than red. I then did a 15 second exposure and drew the star on the top-right picture.

Below is the beloved Toastmaster (yes, it is really called that). It’s back in action baby!

Exposed In 15 Seconds

Much can be done in 15 seconds. All pictures were made with one shot, long exposure, meaning no Photoshop was used to combine pictures. No color adjustments were made either.

I searched in my soul in order and fought myself.

Now all I need is a green suit.

Are my eyes open or closed?

I placed the portable flourescent light under a pillow to give minimal lighting.

Yes, I’ve never blogged with pictures showing anything below my neck. Or so I remember.