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新加坡人!Pew! Pew! Pew!

Wife bought this funny Ultraman Toy for boy boy when we were at the night market today.  I just have to video this down as its so hilarious.

*For non Mandarin readers, the toy is speaking literally in Mandarin "Singaporean!" Wife had a good laugh to.  Bloody 69Baht for the toy (around $3 SGD)

Self Employed Again

It's been more than 2 weeks since I last posted.  I am back in Thailand and have been busy looking for a job at the local schools.  Bad news is that the law changed again (as expected from Thailand) and this time, the requirements for government school's ESL teacher is a pain in the ass to apply.  Why? Because you need to have an education diploma which needs to be apporved my the Ministry of Education.  What does this mean?  It means a lot of good ESL teachers currently in government schools will be kicked out of the country as they will not be liable to apply for a teaching position anytime soon.

So I guess its bad news for me too.  My back-up plan (B) is put into first gear for the past 2 weeks and I started to hunt for a location to start my own little tution center.  And yes, I have found a perfect location.  Just down the road from where I stay, a new school was built and there are a lot of new shophouses being built around the area.  Piyaporn is going to be a very busy little village.  The school is not new actually, it's old location was at the old market and because there is a population boom in Maesai, they need a bigger school compound for the increasing number of children in Maesai.   Which means a good opportunity for me. :)

I was actually a bit "dry" financially so I was lucky my mum could helped out a bit.  We took a corner unit and bought another unit just next to it so I have a much bigger space.  It makes sense to buy instead of renting as its a good investment in property too.  Time to diversfy some stocks to property.  Singapore cannot buy (too expensive) so buy in Thailand :P

Anyway, will post more once I'm free.  Still have some business plans need to draft out.  

GE 2011 - Afterthoughts

Just one more post on politics before going back to reality.  So the score card is 81 - 6.  So how did I feel?  Dissapointed.  Why?  I was actually hoping that more oppositions would be voted in.  My personal score card that I think is a passing mark is 15 to 20 seats in the parliament.  This, although could not form 1/3 of the parliament to block constitutional changes but at least it cuts a deep deep wound in PAP's ranks.  If we are able to cut that deep, the PAP would listen. (Less than 55% mandate)  I was actually hoping SDP would win the Holland BT seats (4), SPP Mr Chiam to ttake the Bishan-TP (5), WP in Ajunied (5),East Coast (5),  Hougang (1), Joochiat (1) and NSP in Mountbatten (1).  But I guess reality wasn't the case. :)

We need to cut deep as 61% to PAP is still a clear "strong" mandate.  They won't listen and precisely just after the elections, the PAP still insist GRC is a good system, increasing GDP policy is here to stay as a benchmark for progress and Ms Kate Spate is a correct judgment call for fielding her. Where's all the humble apologies and promises to listen to the people our Prime Minister has spoken of?( I think its thrown all the way back into the rubbish chute liao.)

Some friends consoled me that I can't be too greedy and expect a sudden change in the politcal landscape. Some also argued that such changes and rocking of the boat is not good. We need gradual change they say.

I'm sorry but I disagree on this as there is an old Chinese saying "If we are sick, we need to solve the root of the problem instead of just scraping the surface."  That's what I think we should have in 2011 GE.  ROCK the boat :).  And there's a few reasons why.

1) Economy is sound at the moment.  Osama was shot dead too so we are technically in a very stable situation for a change.

2) PAP made lots of blunder in the past 5 years.  Its a good platform to battle and the oppositions have enough ammo to argue why we need oppositions in the camp.

3) Poor selection of new candidates. *enough said

4) A lot of 1st time (virgin) voters who are politically apathetic and willing to vote to try something new.

5) Better selection of new opposition candidates *enough said oso

In short, we have the 天时,地利,人和。(Time, Resources and the people) to give the current Government a good wake up call.  But I guess Singaporeans just love to play safe and I have no choice but to respect their decision.

I am also dissapointed as I am 35 this year.  Which means I am over my prime (physical) and its going downhill from here onwards.  I might not have the chance to see radical changes to the electoral of Singapore.  Please don't kid yourself that PAP will scrap the GRC system.  They will retain it as its still the most powerful tool in winning elections as it has proven again on 7th May.  Almost 40% people voted against the PAP but only 6 seats are won by the opposition.  This proofs that the system is still workable and will be here to stay.  They would only consider changing it if they lost more than 2 or 3 GRCs.  Which means by that time, the people are already not afraid of losing a minister in the team.  So that's why I was very particular of winning more seats rather than the actual voting %.

I wrote on my facebook that this is one of the good excuse for me to be a real "quitter" and return back to Thailand.  Some friends question my loyalty and love for Singapore.  Well, I sincerely do love Singapore.  I was born here, I grew up here, I studied here, I served my NS here and I worked here.  All my relatives and friends are here too.  But sincerely, I am not a saint or a great person to induce change in my country.  Majority Singaporeans have spoken through their votes and they want Singapore to continue to be such a country I do not want to be part of, so what can I do?  I don't want to hurt it so my only choice is just to leave it as it is :)  For those who want to ask me what I want in Singapore, I think my friend's blog entry is exactly what I wanted.  Feel free to read it and be inspired :)

Of course I am not going to renounce my citizenship.  Its also near immposible for me to get a citizenship in Thailand.  I will most probably return once and a while to look here and there (and cast my vote every 5 yrs of course!).  But finding work and staying long term in Singapore is not an option for me anymore.  I did my part  this GE and I pledge that I will continue to do so until my vision of Singapore could be fullfilled in my lifetime, so this is not really farewell but a new beginning for me.  Thanks again for all the concerns and encouragement.  See you in Thailand! :)

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optics

Image taken from Lensbaby.comSkip politics for today as its the cooling off day.  So I was surprised this morning when I received my package from Mr Postman.  Yipee!  My new toy has arrived! When Lensbaby announced the Sweet 35 Optics with built in internal aperture (as like in normal manual lenses),  I knew I would get one as 

1) It is easier for me to change apertures when I shoot, the main frustration and constraints I have with using the other optics are the tedious aperture disc that could easily be mis-placed (I already lost 3 of them from the old set)

2) The wider 35mm focal length.  I prefer wider angle of 40mm rather than 50mm which is too tight for my taste in shooting (especially so in an APS-C size sensor).  So 35mm is pretty good as I could crop it a bit on FF.  And its around 50mm on a APS-C sensor.  

3) Closer min focusing distance at 7.5" (about 20cm) which means I can go real close to my subject.

I bought the Composer Pro bundled with Sweet 35 because its seems cheaper then getting the Optics alone.  And the Composer Pro is really good too!  The ball is metal and the build quality is much better then the previous plastic version! Focusing and tilting is more pin-point accurate then the original one.  Anyway, now I not sure what to do with my old Composer.. maybe sell it or keep it as back up :P

I ran some test shots immediately this afternoon around cityhall area and so far its quite positive.  Only problem is when the optic is focusing at infinity or furthur away, I have some issues trying to see what aperture I'm on as the optic retracts into the composer's body.  It's just a minor hassle but not a big con.  Here's 2 shots taken from my Nex-3 with adaptor.  Rest of the photos are on my facebook :)