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Sungei Tampines, coming ovah.
Friday, July 25, 2008

Part 1

Woke up early this Saturday morning, having to cover the opening of the adoption of Sungei Tampines for TPJCLink, a river that doesn't even run through Tampines. :/ Went all the way to the MRT station only to realise I had forgotten my SD card for my camera, despite remembering to bring two batteries. Luckily it was next to Downtown East and hence next to a friend's house, so he offered to follow me and snap some shots with his DSLR about $3000 in total including fish eye lens.

I was kinda out of place though, as everyone there were in groups of 10 for the amazing race game that they had to explore for the 'immersion' into the biodiversity and appreciation stuff. The morning was humid, and we left shortly before the end, too bored. I salted a slug somewhere at the open air hall, and I swear never to do it again. The oozed out mucus and shrivelling was telling me something about karma. Uh oh.

Not too many words, cause the post is gonna be a long one, so here're the pictures..

We TPJCians love trees. Heh. Hong Xiang, the classmate who followed me around with his professional rig. Saved my bored and guilty skin cuz I wouldn't be able to take anything, and neither put up anything on the school's magazine..

Macro tree trunk, always wanted to take this kind of shot. The colours are all contrasted and saturated by me already, giving it a more European than Asian tree feel.

If only the skies were darker, or a thick shade of blue, with nimbus clouds hung.

Don't give me some lame thought like paedophile. Kids having fun is the best source of picture perfect in people shots :d

Snapped this hornet with the really long lens, so you don't have to risk getting stung. Can you see it? The other shots had it's wings fluttering about, this one's perfect with 'em still.

Here's a perfect example of how rich the editing of pictures can be. Above, the before, below, the after. They look like from different climatic zones.

I'd think winter, the bottom, autumn.

An upclose of a fallen log, but my camera would've captured it better than the DSLR, though the ones above have their due credit from the DSLR.

And this concludes the pictures of nature. Had some of the various TPJCians at the event, but honestly, too, my camera seems better at taking people shots. Maybe it's a bias, but it's definitely got more features that can make the people stand out. I bet Zheng Wen loved part 1. Heh.

Part 2

The anticapation of Friday gets bigger and bigger with each passing week. The recent one this week could wait though, because the next week sees to two tests, meaning this weekend'll have to be crammed studying. I already wasted a Saturday today. Good going.

Just a random photo while I was sifting through my things on thursday night. I've changed alot eh? My most recent shot'll be the very last of this blog update. Changed for the better or for the worse, lol, don't want to hear the comments on that one. I think I was still in St. Michaels School (primary 1-3) when this shot was taken..

Cheryl and Sabrina came over on Friday about an hour after school, due to lessons or tennis for the three of us. First ones to my place. I've gotten used to the bus system here, in fact it's more convenient than at Lagoon View, 'cept not towards Parkway, but to anywhere in the further east or town. More frequent and more combinations of bus routes ensuring my punctuality nowadays.

After some hesitation, we jumped into the pool. Spent like an hour or so in there, with me freezing. It was a matter of getting used to simply, since I jumped in today and the water seemed not as icy as the day before. This picture has an effect I can't remove, making them much redder than normal. :S

Don't know why this picture won't rotate no matter how I turn it in the folder before uploading. Anywas, more for archiving purposes than posting. As it is my laptop has only 400MB of space left, not even good enough for installing any game nowadays. Need to get a seperate hard drive for the huge load of accumulated pictures.

We tried some jump shots, but my shutter speed is too slow to capture them well, or is it another function that I'm mistaken for? Either way, pity they're blurry.

After a shower and change, dusk started to set in. This shot's against my bed, if you remember my room layout from the last update.

Mark and Ben came over today after thier PW project, with the convenience of a straight bus home after staying till around 11. Had dinner nearby at TableTop with reasonable prices, but the rude service left much to be desired. I'd have inserted something of a vulgarity there to show my huge disgust for their shoddy repulsive service, but I think this'll do fine. Anyways, maybe Yi Chen and Xaiver can come over sometime soon too, among other people. Shermaine! lol..

PFT 5 stations, physics and econs tests up next week. Imma have to oil this rusty hunk-a-junk into intensive revision and exercise. See ya.

penned by joel at 8:51 PM


hectic past few days its been
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My >week long blog rot has ended, about time. This week has been really busy with the moving of house, stupid EoM and other miscellaneous small stuff. Found out lots of shocking news this week too, the exceptional ones; one that's within my family and one of a bloody long grudge I'll hold against someone.

I couldn't remember the start of things last weekend, but one of the days had tennis in it, so here are some shots that'll make up for my forgetting of content for last week.

TPJC tennis courts, for Joseph cuz he doesn't remember what they look like. But these are more for angles than the full court itself.

(not me :/ )

Facing the 'titanic', coined for it's bow-like structure where the stand lies.

Played King of the court, but the sweltering weather and persperation in my eyes kept me from playing well, along with the fact that I didn't play for a while since. Played in between a long break, hence the uniform not sports attire.. Candid by the way, but pretty nicely taken at an angle. Don't know who took my cam and snapped it, but kudos.

Returning to Damai to collect the SGC on the same day. I didn't take many pictures, and the school was pretty dead by 3pm, when we went over. 3rd degree. Somewhere on an older post, I had the same tree-etch, much to Zheng Wen's repulse. Should put that and this side by side in another post or something.

So finally moving on to the move. Sometimes I find it unnessecary to repeat what Joseph has already covered, but in short, it was really tiring and hectic. There, simple, succint. The change has been an eye opener more and more each day, until someday soon it will become the norm and climbing the flight of stairs doesn't seem as unusual. Have got to try the pool again though, but I haven't a picture of it, plus I'm too lazy to take one now as I've already uploaded all the pictures.

Maybe whoever you are would be close enough a friend to be invited over someday anyways. Heh.

My room, desk and cabinet in wenge wood, a dark tone that I love for it's simplicity. A bit messy though, and not as cheery as Joseph's. His wood's of a lighter tone, so's the paint and all, hence his looks literally cooler.

The sun setting, from the third storey deck. Man, the clouds look magnificent.

My parents planned for this link between their bedroom and study to be brilliantly designed. Antique chairs and a marble table juxtaposed against the cold concrete and granite of modern minimalistic designs.

My parents bedroom, a new king sized bed and dark brown curtains.

The flight of stairs up, with this arty lamp that gives a radiant glow in the night.

So there are some of the rooms and stuff, sorry I'm too lazy to take more. Monday came, with the start of a new route to school from different bus services. It actually is faster to school from here, though geographically not, but in relation to bus routes, it is. Saves me barely 10mins though.

Took this during Tuesday's PW, one of my group members, Kenneth, happy go lucky most of the time. He joined canoeing and has since improved in his pull ups by about 6+ if I'm not wrong.

Ok so now's the more or less real update, the TPJC Road Run this morning. What a shame I didn't stay a week earlier at Lagoon View, or not I could've woken up minutes before reporting time and crossed the underpass simply. Met Kristy, Su An and Danny at Kristy's bus stop, late and rushed, but thankfully Danny's GP teacher offered us a lift and we were spared the long walk from the connector.

Rain poured as soon as we got to the Lagoon hawker centre, however, and the road run was delayed. Much worse, when it finally began, the 5km competitive run was shortened to 3km. Those who should've fallen back due to poor endurance didn't, and I ended up getting 66th place among 180+ students who participated. Expectations were higher, but then again the machine of the canoeing team was pretty much the Kenya of any marathon. So realistically? I don't mind 66th, being second in my class.

Dad has encouraged me to go for the Standard Chartered half marathon end of the year, and I think I'll be going for it. No use trying out another 10km, might as well advance and push limits. I took some shots before the run, partly cuz I was assigned to cover the road run under the college publications for the newsletter, and also cuz there should be plenty of photo ops at such a large gathering, plus there's the beach. Here're a few.

To emphasize on the limitations of a wet weather, the students are huddled in shelter, occupying nearly the whole of the food centre. Like a school outing with no wet weather programme. Oh wait, it is.

Myself, Shermaine and Cheryl. Shermaine left early thinking the rain wouldn't let up and the event would be postponed. Can't blame her, we all also thought it was futile waiting, but lucky it wasn't postponed. Wouldn't want a wasted day having to wake up so early from the start. Cheryl's hair seems to be getting browner and browner. Lotsa people think we swim since there's noticable brown.

These two, were experimental shots initially, and after much patience I managed to capture the first, with raindrops splashing off the drip tip. The Ixus 75 has its limitations when it comes to extremely quick shutter speeds. That's only for SLRs and the professional ones, but I think this does a good enough job.

The black background was done using flash up close, until the point that any little void between the camera and past this leaf would result in darkness, from the proximity of the flash unto the leaf itself only. Dunno if that makes sense to you.

My class, luckily happening to be in Falcon, the house that has two of the college's famous runners, one a hi bye friend of mine, Muhammad Alsyaari. Won in all events he participated in in sports day, if I'm not wrong. Amazingly fast. The other, Shawn Wee. I wouldn't be too sure about his house but Kenneth said so. A national runner. For the first time, the house I'm in isn't the last few.

Raindrops falling off the sheeting over the benches.

Cheryl's and Sabrina's shoes, after the run, en route to parkway for lunch.

Went home without any plans after lunch. Could've chosen to go over to someone's place, but the lack of anything to do there and other factors made me decide to go home instead. Played a lil of Battlefield 2, wathced Iron Man online for aome much needed entertainment, then I think I'll be getting down to econs just after this post.

Hope there're no more unpleasant surprises for the rest of the week. This saturday I've got to cover the opening of Sungei Tampines, a river that doens't seem to go by Tampines at all, for the second article I'm assigned to for TPJC link. Wonder if it'll be dry. Need to go out and shop or something..

penned by joel at 4:29 PM


Water colours and others
Saturday, July 12, 2008

Left home at 8.15am to meet Su-An at the bus stop before heading to school for training. Water-colours (TPJC open house theme) seemed eventful, and nearly every CCA (including CCAs I didn't know existed) had booths. Tennis, though, hadn't any. Su-An said it's probably cuz we don't need any as, if there were talent, such a specialisation like tennis would seek out the CCA already without needed the assurance of a well laid booth. Logical..

Some teammates were already there, so played straightaway without remembering to 'slap on' sunblock like Danny said. Now the sunburn is stinging me, jeez the tan line is like a marker, so distinct. No calamine lotion or however you spell it. Fun training, and we piled our rackets together after that to form something kinda intricate, couldn't yank yours out without lifing everyone else's.

Got about $1500 worth of rackets there. Our team has three [K]Blades, one [K] 90, two [K] 95s and three Pro Kennex's of which model I don't know. Kinda united :D Above, a suspended [K]Blade. Oh man, tennis lessons tomorrow would've meant three days of tennis in a row, I'm really tired..

The NDP rehearsals, and the Chinook (correct spg?) flys by often. Had a better pic but I accidentally deleted it. I love my Digital Ixus 75. What a patriotic picture. Wouldn't care that foreigners may think we're a dictated state, things could be worse.

I was bored and decided to take the liberty and edit these two shots from the paintball match last year. My paintball is not the equivalent o Joseph's, I just tweak the colours and saturation, hues, nothing superimposed in a sense. In both pics I'm the one squatting down. Darn those skinny arms. And the rest that comes with it.

Goodnight y'all.

penned by joel at 10:03 PM


crane that neck
Friday, July 11, 2008

Look up at the skies after a sun rain! :D A rainbow that went across the sky, not arching into it, but parabolic to the sky. Is that correct terminology? It's not a vivid one, but it sure was beautiful while I was at TPJC tennis courts playing today..

I've got into college publications, dealing with the newsletters soon, dunno which story I'll be assigned to cover, but I'm looking forward to that tiny exposure. Wanna do my own photography for my article too.

Saw this quote recently, All music is folk music, I ain't never heard no horse sing a song.' -Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. Pretty quirky.

An awesome work by the Beatles. Listen to the Across the Universe version too, the lead actor's British accent is cool, goes well with the song. It's short, and yes, sweet.

So's this update.

penned by joel at 10:54 PM


Pre U sem outing, skies.
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finally, Youth day was settled on for the SG outing. After much deciding and deliberation, we arranged to meet up at Plaza Singapura. Coincidentally, Sabrina went there for her SG outing on the same day and time too, pity we didn't run into each other.

Only 9 of us turned up for the outing, initially a disappointment but later on it was just perfect. We crossed over to The Glass House, Fish and Co. for dinner. I wasn't too keen on the spending, but I didn't wanna let it confound the dinner plans. The tele hung on the wall was showing a re-run, so as and when I wasn't talking to anyone, I'd stare up and watch the Wimbeldon Finals.

The Sunday before, I took a bus down to Kristy's place to watch Wimbeldon at 9.30pm, just one stop down at Siglap, while Su-An was out so I couldn't walk down the road conveniently to catch it. My dad's getting cable when we move, so till now I had to contend with no cable, but no huge loss.

I bought a six pack of Jolly Shandy over since I didn't wanna go over empty handed, and Kristy hadn't tried it before. So, watching and drinking, with her two older sisters and parents, all fans of tennis but not ardent players. At about 12, into the third set, rain set in and play was suspended. I looked at my watch, but was reluctant to leave till I saw the results. Rooting for Federer all the way, a real pity he broke his 5 year standing. Finally at 1am, with no sign of a let up, I didn't wanna impose on Kristy, and headed home. She offered me a stayover, but without the parents consent, (asleep by then) and the awkward-ness of it (since I'm not that close to her), I declined hesistantly and walked through the eeriely silent night.

Fed's racket here, I bought it at $235 without knowing it was his, what a shame since I don't conform to the standard. I love it though, but I shouldn't be handling such a racket at my level of proficiency, i.e. intermediate.

So anyways, back to the SG outing. I sidetracked by several paragraphs.. Initially we planned for an evening out, but the lack of people who could come, left options at just dinner, when the poly people would be free.

Here's a shot, clockwise from top-left, Esti, Felicia, Evonnie and Nicole. There were three birthdays going on when we went there for dinner..

Went out for a shot at the iconic LOVE sign, but I forgot to switch off the colour swap function, so some pictures that you'd see later on have all the blue colours rendered to yellow. Really silly. Felicia, Esti, Evonnie, Shaiful, Ivan, Yu Jie and I. Thanks to Gareth for taking this shot. He's in the shot below, right most, with the correct facing of the LOVE sign.

He was hilarously high after dinner, there must've been some spiking in his drink..

I love the effect the light under the seat gives. This is outside Cathay :d
Shaiful's shoes look darn classy, I won't be able to carry it off.

Nicole left after dinner so it was down to the three of 'em. I love the lights outside the Cathay, gives it a touch of the building's own identity.

Neanderthals :D Had some other shots, but these were the best few. Thanks to Evonnie and Gareth for helping out in the messy planning, can't wait for our next! Lets get a huge chalet! :D

The clouds had an amazing display throughout the day today, I wonder how often people my age take the time to stare up at the seamless sky. In the twilight or during the day. Watch the gittering stars twinkle back, or feel the Earth move as the cottony clouds roll by. It's breathless, honestly.

Look more often at the skies and you'd catch something so amazing as this shot. From outside my bedroom window. I'll miss the view from this apartment when I move. A galloping stallion above the clouds, it's stunning. A minute later and it was sheared beyond similarity.
Sometimes you'll see the stretching jetstream across the vast expanse, or the brightest of stars. Lift your head up every once in a while, you may catch something you'd have never expected.

penned by joel at 4:00 PM