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Like I want to...

I went to apply for my Visa again this morning. This time I did not have a pleasant experience. The lady who took my application questioned me why I kept on applying for Tourist Visa if I was visiting my daughter. I told her I am not married and it seems thats the only option to me. She proceeded to give me the "look" and warn (more like threatening) me about if I applied too much Tourist Visa I may be denied. And in the end asked (more like telling) me to get married so as to get a 'O' Visa.

Why do people just like to pass judgment to a person by only looking or by just a few exchanges of words? I could go on and explain all my issues to her and "clear" my name but for what? Like if I tell her my predicament she might have a solution for me. The system is broken and I am in that loop. Like I want to keep on applying a "Tourist Visa". If I could get married and my child has a Thai citizenship, I would be the first in line to get married and get out of Singapore.

Anyway, I will be collecting my passport tomorrow and if its denied. Think I need to throw my entire story at the officer in charge again.

Our greatest flaw

This is going to be a heavy and long one. So just a warning if long post bores you, you better get out fast!!!

I have a lot of friends and acquaintance that are divorced. Some are quite subtle and shy about their experience. Whenever this subject was brought up in our conversation, they tend to try to evade anything to do with their ex-partner. Some are shockingly dramatic (like watch TV series). And one actually came out okay after their annulment and later got remarried again (super rare sia).

Anyway, recently another good friend of mine is going through the long process of annulment and it seems each time a major decision was made. He hits a big wall. I will not mention too much as its his privacy but basically, he's in a dilemma now as his ex wants to cancel the whole issue about annulment and my friend is a bit emotionally attached to the whole incident.

Emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness and etc are a bane to us sometimes when we need to do something. Anger causes us to be irrational about the things we say and normally hurt the person receiving all the vocal abuse (I am very guilty of this). Happiness also causes us to relax ourselves to a point that we could be easily taken advantage of by a person with evil intentions (theft, cheat). Sadness if without good mental support may cause depressions and other mental illness.

In short, human emotions clouds our judgment and thinking process. But ITs this unique form of emotions that sets us apart from machines like computers. If we could use our mind to channel proper emotions for different purposes, I think it could be our greatest ally.

But its easier to be said then done. To me, the best way is to fell into the extremes of these emotions and get a feeling of them. Its hard to describe but actually, if one survives all these experiences. I think he would become a stronger character at the end of the day.

I was once very very angry during my secondary school days. Not sure why but angry about everything, (I still am today :P. Just that normally I keep it to myself.) I can tell you that I don't have a lot of friends during that period of time. Somehow, I managed to use this anger in me to put things into motion. I actually use this emotion on myself. In short I am constantly angry about how I perform in school, especially academically. So it was no surprised that I worked hard on my studies and in the end, turn out the top student in the whole school (I am not bluffing, can see my report card if you want :P).

How about being sad? Well, I can say the most sad feeling I had was when my father suffered from cancer and was unable to walk. Its even worst when we got the news he only have a few more months to live. I never got around to it. (even to this day). I am still trying hard to learn a way to channel this feeling into something useful but I think this is the only exceptional one from the rest of the human emotions.

I have nothing much to say when people approached me when they feel down. The best way is I listen and if I could, give some advice but most of the time, these people who seek my advice has already make up their mind about how to handle their situation. They just needed some assurance. Those who do not even want to talk about it are in danger of drifting into an endless pit.

Some say "Time will heal". We all knew that answer but the toughest to answer is "How Long???"

*This post is dedicated to my Tu Di (徒弟)

Testing my new camera

Originally uploaded by leejiing
I am still testing my new camera. I just got a chance to shoot a commercial event 2 days ago and found that I really need a vertical grip for my camera. (My hands are too used to a longer grip. Anyway, lucky me, the Vertical grip for my Sony a700 arrived just on the same day (evening)so managed to get one finally.

Today, after my class, I went out with my students for a shoot along Ophir Road and Mount Emily Park. I want to fully test my camera's high ISO capabilities (how it handle noise issues) so I shoot mostly at 1250, 640 and 400. The picture on the left is shot at 1250. Pretty impressive. hehehe. Anyway, click here to see more photos taken today. Overall, very very happy with the purchase. Think SONY is really up to something.

Fastest STripper

Nah beh, last time if I know this technique in NS. No need to worry about Change parade liao....

CNY 1996 Group photo

CNY 1996 Group photo
Originally uploaded by leejiing
I was digging some old photos and found this group shot taken many many years back.. Posting here to share some memories. You could click on the photo to see some notes on each person in the photo. Apologies to some of them if I can't remember your name. :) Actually, there is more people in our club that was not in the picture, Mei Feng, Han Ming, Johnny, Miao Ying, Janet, Qi Ye, De Yuan, Hong Yan, Chee Peng, Tok Kiang, Kim Kok and etc etc etc...

Holiday for wife and baby

Wife and girl girl is going back Keng Tung to visit Grandpa. Since now Myanmar already stabilised, I agreed to it. So they will be gone for 5 days. The housekeeper (i dun like to use maid) will be accompanying for the trip too. So more or less I am not so worried liao.

Now girl girl quite fun as she is in the "learning how to speak" phase. Will say "halo" when she pick up the phone and "papa" hehehe. Oso know how to say "Xie Xie" (Thank you in Chinese) and "bye bye". Want to go pee pee say "Zu zu". Want to drink water say "Nammmm" (thai for water, she like to drag the mmmm). Want to eat say "Mam Mam" or "Mum Mum". Want to eat Ice cube say "Kaeng" (thai for ice is Nam Kaeng) or "Bing" (Chinese for Ice).

hehe.. Bilingual baby liao :P

Hui Hui in Black and White

My Vista drivers for my Microtek i900 finally arrived(Well, I still need to download it.)

Anyway, I started taking film again during my last stay. Took a roll of Black and White Kodak Tmax 400 and pushed it to 800. I even challenged myself by sticking to one lens only. So all these shots are taken with a 50mm 1.4 prime. Enjoy the slide show :P

My new camera - Sony a700

Just last year in Sep 2006, Konica Minolta(my camera brand) sold off its entire camera and lens division to Sony. Wat lau, that time really shocked by the news. Amid all those uncertainties, I did not change system (dun want to go back to Canon leh). Reason behind this is that Sony did promised to continue the use of A-mount (Minolta's AF mount) and Carl Zeiss Optics. The latter reason is the main reason for me to stay as CZ are just wonderful lens. But the bad thing is of course the price. Sony's marketing is as good as Canon which means their product will also be expensive. Nevertheless, after a year's wait, Sony came out an advance amateur model. Which is in fact a replacement of the KM's Dynax 7D, the Sony Alpha 700 or a700 for short.

The Specs and Features
There are many improvements from 7D to a700 besides more Megapixels. First, there's a new interface. I still prefer 7D's compensation dial but the new interface also ok. Much like my old 800si. So not much of a problem for me. The infrared AF assist beam is back which is a blessing as the 7D does not have it. Which means I can focus well even in low light condition (up to 7m). Good enough as its pretty essential for events or weddings using flash. Another thing to note is the beautiful 3in LCD. Shiok man, can see whether photos are sharp anot by just zooming to 13x.
The shutter sound is also more pleasing and quieter. There's also a Dynamic Range Optimizer(DRO) but I don't think I will be using it as most probably I will shoot in cRaw. The autofocus motor is much faster and more accurate then the 7D. AF-C really works well now. Could track moving objects accurately.
Overall a lot of good improvement in the specifications and features.

Image Quality
Sony sensors are infamous for their noise issues on high iso. This time the switch to CMOS seems to be better. Noise control is good up to 800. 1600 and 3200 is usable too in bright scenes. Low ambient light will suffer a bit though. But overall still an improvement from 7D. Raw and cRaw (compressed raw) are outstanding. But the in build jpeg kinds of sucks. Even at the highest setting at XFine. Seems not as sharp as 7D. I knew about this from the other online reviews and so dun feel so bad. But its a setback as I normally shoot in Jpeg. 7D's direct out of camera jpeg is one of the main reason I switched from Canon to KM. Now kind of return to Square one liao. Lucky nowadays Photoshop CS3 got a better Raw to jpeg image processor. So I just have to get used to the new workflow. Hopefully Sony will come up with a firmware update to improve on the jpeg quality.

Surprisingly, the price is ok. Consider the package includes a remote control and more important, body built in anti-shake(another main reason for the switch from Canon to KM). Sony renamed it to Super Steady Shot (SSS) liao. Basically its the same thing. So all my lens got some Image Stabilizer, unlike Canon or Nikon users who need to buy IS or VR lenses.

Good upgrade and Sony did pulled this off quite well. Now just hope their price for their lenses will drop and maybe more people will join the Alpha camp.

Now most of the Minolta users are waiting for Sony's flagship A900. Speculated to be a Fullframe camera.

Lucky day!

I have not wrote anything for the past 7 days as I have been busy running around. My photography lessons have started and I have met up with some friends and clients on possible future prospects in Thailand. Particularly my RT friend who introduced me to some security products that I could help him distribute in Thailand.

Anyway, today is my lucky day! heheh. First, I participated in a MO (Mass Order) in a local photography column. There were 22 people interested in the new camera(will write about that later) and I was the lucky joker who was the last on the list (no. 16). The rest need to wait for another 2 weeks before the new shipment arrived.

Collected my camera today and reached home to get another good news. My lens that I ordered from another Lobang (cheap oso) has arrived!! Whheeee.. can test with new camera liao. Even better, my UOB debit card has arrived in my letterbox. Remember this incident? Yup, I created another bank account with UOB and applied for a VISA debit card.

So happy that just now went to have a jog. Not bad leh, I'm improving a lot. Finished 5km in just 30mins (maybe good mood). And I already went swimming this afternoon. Now really adrenaline rush. hehehe... so now waiting for my camera battery to full charge and start to have some fun :P

Btw, baby and wife all ok. Three days ago still want me to carry her in Skype.. but now a bit bo chap liao. Wife hired a new maid (more like a companion lah) and she busy playing liao.

Withdrawal Symptom

I think those who follow my blog will know that I always feel awful for the first 2 to 3 weeks whenever I return to Singapore. Read here

Anyway, the usual depressing bout returned again this afternoon. I was Skyping with wife and baby in the afternoon. Girl girl saw me on the monitor and stretch both her arms out crying, wanting me to carry her... jia lat... nearly want to cry... keep on explaining to her over the headphone that papa not physically around, cannot hug or carry you for 2 bloody months....

anyway, she kept on trying for a few times and wife quickly hugged her lor.... so I told her if she thinks of me, go hug mummy lah... hehe

as it was after lunch, she felt sleepy(her nappy time) so I sang her some song to sleep. This little incident really spoils my day.... later in the evening joined my friend for a gym session. Tried to work out and forget about the incident but it seems still lodged in my head....

sainz.... very bad mood now...

我喜欢的华文流行歌。(Chinese Pop Song that I like)

朋友莫名其妙的送我陈绮贞的CD。 听了觉得没有设么特别。旋律是不错,不过歌声不是我喜欢的类型(不喜欢小女声式的声音)。 我比较喜欢的华文流行歌大多数是摇滚或豪迈形式的。

比如说凡人二重唱,张宇,齐豫等等。最近我又发现了另一位自创自作的马来西亚歌手,非常的有才华。他的名字叫明志,或namewee. 他在台湾走红是他写了这首“麻坡得华语”。他在亚州大红(尤其马来西亚)是这首改谝马来西亚国歌的“我爱我的国家Negarakuku”。红是应为马来西亚政府要通缉他对国歌不敬。 不过我最喜欢的是这首比较早期的“我的朋友Kawanku”,尤其是他在唱他对新加坡的感想,我感到非常的贴切, 而且他用了六种语言来唱这首歌。


Project Weight Loss. TARGET 84kg

Today is the first day of my RT. I was glad to find 2 former RT mates in the same batch as me!! Yeah... Not so boring liao. Also met my Sec schoolmates. Mu Shun (aka Red Rooster)and Weili. Anyway, first day as usual, all talk no action. So later in the evening took my first 5km run in Singapore. Think after 2 days rest and maybe better paved roads. I finished my routine in less than an hour.

Currently, I managed to shed from 94kg to 89kg in Thailand. Weighed myself just now after my dinner and run, still at 89. So I plan to reduce it furthur by 5kg to 84. (I always stuck at 89 and no improvement). This time, I really plan to stick a a very strict diet. So as to control my energy intake and burn more fats.

For the first week, I plan to really reduce the amount of fatty food I eat. (slowly lah). Starting this week. Plan to have nothing more than a total of 4 fast food meal or heavy fat food (such as Chicken rice, Roast pork, etc etc). That's like about half of the week. Think I can easily achieve this goal. Will be noting down all the food I eat everyday.

The second and third week, the heavy fat food will reduce to 3 or even 2 (if I can achieve less on the first week). I also plan to eat more meals in smaller portions rather than 3 heavy meals. So my plan is to have snacks and bites about 3 hours to 4 hours and choices will be fruits,nuts(baked), soup, whole grain products and stay away from meat, fat and other sweet stuff.

The fourth week and above, heavy fat food will be reduced to 1 and I will start to reduce my intake on carbohydrates (rice, noodle and bread).

The diet should continue till I return to Thailand in late November. Of course, besides the diet, I will be exercising also.

Workout plan is. Sunday RT. Monday Rest. Tuesday RT again. Wednesday Gym or Swimming. Thursday Jog 5km (later RT in phase 2). Friday Swimming or Jogging. Saturday Brisk Walk.

Sounds siong but I am not going to overwork myself. Most probably will moderate my pace. Like if RT very siong, next day will still do but at a much reduce pace and effort. But everyday should at least exercise for 30min (thats the healthy lifestyle)

Working out and a good diet are the essential ingredients to weight loss. Won't be taking diet pills but might take some supplements for energy boost and joints recovery (will write about them next time).


Yesterday, I drove to the airport using my neighbour's car. The nice Uncle have difficulties with his eyesight in the dark (we took off at 6am). So I drove there while Uncle will drive back himself (by that time should be bright enough).

Reached Singapore around 5pm... It was supposed to be 3pm but the flight back from Bangkok to Singapore was delayed. The announcement was "due to technical issues". With the recent One-2-Go crash in phuket, I thought it was wiser to ask what really is happening. The Airasia staff very helpful. She told me that the tires need replacement, that's the reason for the delay. Later on the plane, the Captain apologised and made the same announcement. Its great that they inform us rather than giving us other excuses. Anyway, the flight was smooth and managed to finish Evan Almighty on my Zen.

Later in the evening met up with my friend at Parkway to have dinner (supper for me as Mum already cooked). Quite a decent meal but like a bit expensive leh. Too used to the food price in Thailand. Well, have to get used to it for the next 2 months. Last night girl girl cried at night and do not want to sleep (drag till 12am leh). Looking for me liao .... Jia lat. Anyway, managed to soothe her down through Skype. THANKS for the INTERNET.

2 more days...

I will be flying back to Singapore on the 5th Oct. This time will be the same, stay for 2 months to complete my current year RT and then hopefully can be back in Thailand by December.

Anyway, wife's youngest sister came with her 2 kids and hubby. They came to get some paperwork done. Seems like they are offering the half citizenship again here in Measai (same type as wife's)

Anyway, have to keep things short... still got things to settle and here's some photo of them playing...

btw.. Picassa rocks with this flash preview!!!

Interesting game....

I think its human nature that people like to gamble. Over here, legal and illegal gambling are easily found. Cross over to Tachilek Myanmar and you could head to a very grand Casino (heard from wife that its pretty big) just around the corner (Many Thais crossed over to get to high roll in that Casino). Wife was helping her cousin looking for a job and found him one. Bloody hell, as a runner(seller) for a bookie. The game they play is not lottery or 3D(they have it here same as Malaysia). Not sure exactly the name of the game. The Burmese play it too and they called it simply Sam Sip Hok (36). The Thais called it Pat Thong Si.

Basically, the game involves the picture shown on the right (click on it to see a bigger version). You could see a man wearing a costume with lots of animals on it. Total of 36 animals. And then beside the picture is a chart which kinds of say which animal is a partner of the other. Example, 1(monkey) is a partner of 18 (Gold fish). The chart is sometime important and I will explain later.

To play, the bookie or boss will pick a number at his house in a secret room. No one even his own wife knows about it. He will come out of the room and tell a story to his runners, normally about 4 to 6 sentences. This story is actually a clue to what number is going to open today. So the runners get the story and spread it to his audience. Who would place their bets from the runner. The odds is actually 1:30. So if you buy 10baht, you will 300baht. The min bet is 1baht and no limits on the max (heard some hardcore buy few thousand baht per day). So everyday there is 2 bets, one in the day and one at night. First results is revealed in the evening at 4pm, while the second at 10pm.

Wife got lucky a few times and managed win a few hundred. hehehe... So far I asked for the translation for the story and found out that the sentences are not that direct, it could mean more than 10 animals sometimes(which means if you buy all 10, even if you strike, the returns might not be that great). Some are quite obvious until you are scared to make the bet. So its a psychological game from the bookies also. The chart I mentioned before is sometime important and the story might have clues like "friends" "wife" "partner" and etc..

By the way, you can see Chinese characters in the picture as the bookie is a bloody Thai Chinese :P. And a lot of Chinese are playing. And of course, this is illegal in Thailand but seems like the bookie got some real good "connections". Heard that his best friend is the Police Chief of Chiang Rai Province.