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Month: May 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 2

I’ve shifted my Day 1 entry up to make the entire Taiwan trip a continuous series ‘cos I finally finished editing the photos so I’m sorta ready to blog now!

We booked a private taxi (according to online recommendations) for a day to take us to Keelung with the driver acting as our tour guide.
Continue reading

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Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 1

Visiting Taiwan is one out of three things I wanna do in 2012, and I’m so glad it happened with three steady pom pi pi girlfriends. Continue reading

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Casio Exilim ZR20: Test Shots

So, I’ve been holding the ZR20 for two weeks, and as promised in my first post, here are some shots that I’ve taken using her.

Macro

This is always the first thing that I test out on a new camera. I like looking at the focusing length, the details it captures, and the depth of field.

The ZR20 scored very well in macro mode.

It can go as near as 2cm to the subject.

HDR

A lot of people happily use the HDR mode without knowing what it means. Firstly, it stands for High Dynamic Range, and it is a imaging method used to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of a photo.

To put it very simply, a normal shot is taken at only one exposure level and this results in loss of detail. HDR solves the problem but traditional HDR is very tedious to do. You have to take multiple shots at different exposure levels (at least three) and then stitch them together manually using computer software to produce a photo that is representative in both dark and bright areas.

ZR20 automates the entire process with just a click.

Rollover the image to see the difference between a HDR shot and a normal shot.

HDR Art

For people (like me) who want their HDR photos dramatic, ZR20 offers the HDR Art mode.

Check out the amount of details it brings out.

Love the vibrancy!

You can even take a video in the HDR Art mode.

Multi SR Zoom

One of the most impressive features is the Multi Frame Super-Resolution Zoom. It is a kind of digital zoom that merges a burst of multiple images together to improve image resolution, unlike the normal digital zoom which simply stretches the pixels which deteriorates image quality.

The Multi SR Zoom for the ZR20 can go up to 16X.

Rollover image to see how far I was actually away from the very-fierce-cat-that-I-do-not-wish-to-go-near-to, or maybe you still don’t believe ‘cos I can always walk towards it.

Then how about this?

I can’t go up to the construction area right! (Same thing, rollover to see my actual distance before super zooming in.)

Slide Panorama

Just hold the camera upright, and as the name suggests, slide it across the scene while pressing the shutter button.

There you have, a panorama stitched automatically for you. No software required at all. (Click to enlarge.)

Art Shot

For the artsy fartsy and fun side of you. Here are three of the inbuilt effects available only on the ZR20.

Minature.

Toy Camera (literally).

Monochrome.

The rest of the effects includes Soft Focus, Sepia, Light Tone, and Pop.

Chio Bu Mode

Last but not least, the ZR20 will detect pretty babes and make them even prettier!

Don’t vomit, I’m kidding. But basically, there’s this make-up level you can select and the camera removes flaws and perfects complexions when capturing faces. I personally think that the ZR20 does this quite naturally because it only affects the face area and not blur the entire photo. Good for girls who want to cheat people’s feelings online HAHAHAH!

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Bad Shop Names

Saw this at Little India earlier on, and I couldn’t help but take a photo.

Then, I thought of a photo going viral in Facebook a while ago.

Indian cum HAHAHAHAHA. (Photo credit: Eileena Lee.)

Someone please cum forth and take action prease. Stop approving all these kind of sai names lei.

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To Sum Up Our Europe Trip

This video pretty much says it all. I’m surprised I managed to fit 10 days worth of travel videos into 8 minutes (even shorter than my 5-day Krabi trip video).

Anyhows, all in all, Europe 2012 was really a trip of a lifetime for my whole family. It was the best 10 days and the best (almost) $20K spent – having tremendous amount of family bonding, experiencing different cultures, being in awe every moment, overdosing on breads cheese hams and eggs, drinking expensive water, peeing in paid toilets, etc.

Gotta give it to the itinerary and service by Hong Thai travel. They really did a splendid job and for once, I actually enjoyed a package tour and I LOVE the fact that there wasn’t any visitation to those “tok tourists shops.” For those who are interested, the package we took was 12D Romantic Europe, but do note that 2 days are spent on flying so technically speaking, there is only 10 days of tour.

Regarding the safety issues and many terrifying Europe crime stories that we’ve heard, I guess personal alertness is the most important. Prolly joining a package tour also halved the risk, but it still boils down to individuals. If you are blur and flashy all the time, then serves you right if you are robbed / pickpocketed / kidnapped.

From the Same Trip

London 1 + Paris 2 / 3 / 4 + Geneva 5 + Bern + Lucerne 6 + Engelberg + Milan 7 + Venice 8 + Pisa + Florence 9 + Vatican City + Rome 10 + Video

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Home Alone

I’m currently staying at Loti’s house alone because his whole family went on a holiday (for two weeks!) and they have a fat cat to feed so I offered myself.

When I was single, I was quite keen on the idea of staying alone in the future. I don’t mind being #foreveralone if I have a nice house. But the hard truth is, this is only the fourth day and I’m getting a lil’ sick of it. Plus the cat isn’t helping. The cat has always been hostile to everybody except for Loti and his mum, and she hisses whenever I go near her. I was told that if I feed her, she wouldn’t do this to me, but sadly, NO. She hissed at me and even smacked me lightly this morning damnit. I shall starve her tmr morning and wait for her to succumb to me for food *evil laughs.

Anyways, here are some of my thoughts on living alone.

1. Boredom.

Luckily for me, I’ve recently gotten a contract job as a freelance designer for two months. That gives me something to do in the day but when I return home, I get quite lethargic and I don’t feel like doing anything. (I still have tons of photos from my Taiwan trip left untouched, plus my video for my Europe trip uncompleted with no motivation to carry on.) Having no human to talk to is killing me softly.


2. Freedom.

I can blast music, blast air-con, blast water, sleep naked (don’t imagine), throw a house party, bring random guys / girls home, smoke crack. I can, but I didn’t lah!


3. No more “too much rice” situations.

You can prepare and eat whatever you want. I love making breakfasts for myself in the morning, with the queer stares from a bitchy cat behind.


4. Location is extremely important.

Must have food to eat, groceries to buy, things to do, and no creepy neighbours in the vicinity. Loti’s place has them all and thank goodness it’s near my workplace too! (Even nearer than my own house lor.) There’s also a swimming complex just a few blocks away and I can walk down to swim and return home to bathe as if I stay in a condo except that I have to pay and the pool is not that nice la. The weather was finally friendly this morning and I did twenty laps in forty minutes. I think my timing is still quite okay considering that my last swim was like seven months ago on one of me and Loti’s dates before we officially got together. And that was the first time I didn’t complete my usual twenty laps ‘cos half the time we were staring at each other in swimwear (JUST KIDDING) Loti is plain lazy and dragged me into the water with him.


5. Constant fear for insects.

I keep looking out for creepy crawlies and I think I’ll go berserk if I see one. Let’s pray that I don’t come eye-to-eye with a roach for the remaining ten days.

LOTI WHERE ARE YOU! FASTER COME BACK!

People

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season!

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

– Author unknown

Thanks for being there for a reason.

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Casio Exilim ZR20: First Touch

When I first laid my hands on the ZR20, I didn’t think much of her. After all, it looks like just another compact packed with super high (16) megapixels and a wide angle (25mm) 8x zoom lens. But as I got to know her better, I can’t help but to fall uncontrollably in love.

The ‘Premium Auto PRO’ function is highly intelligent and accurate. Point the ZR20 at anything and it analyses the shooting conditions instantly – faces, macro, backlight, lowlight, white balance, etc. The AF (Automatic Focus) is the most precise I’ve experienced among point-and-shoots. As shown in the photo above, the focus frames automatically align themselves to the right upon detection of the subject.

Then, other than the ‘Premium Auto’ and ‘Premium Auto PRO’ modes, comes the ‘Best Shot.’

Loaded with 41 ready selection to capture the moment with optimal settings, my personal favourites so far are HDR, HDR Art, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Slide Panorama, and Multi SR Zoom.

I’ve yet to fully explore all the functions, but during these few days of fiddling around with the ZR20, I’m really bought over by its high speed. Start-up is approximately a second and shooting interval is an impressive 0.27 second – achieved by having dual CPUs to record and process the images concurrently.

Think I’m showing off? Chill, it’s your turn now.

Show off your photography skills and stand a chance to strut home with the awesome Casio EX-ZR20! Contest runs from now till 20 May, so hurry!

P.S. Thanks omy and Casio for the ZR20. I’ll be taking my new toy out soon to let her bask in full glory. Stay tuned for the upcoming shots 😉

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Coffee Can Be Surprising!

Went for Dolce Gusto’s event two weeks ago and boy, was I really surprised. (Photo credit: Dolce Gusto)

After having had the luxury of testing a Nespresso Pixie for two weeks, I got spoiled with the ability to enjoy quality coffee anytime from the comfort of my own home.

Then, you ask – what’s the difference between Nespresso and Dolce Gusto? Both brands, though from the same company (Nescafé), targets at different groups I would say. Nespresso products are more for the lifestyle connoisseurs whom really know their coffee, while Dolce Gusto is more for the everyday consumers whom are looking for convenience, variety, hassle-free beverages. (Notice I said beverages, and not just coffee. You’ll see why.)

Specially created to suit the needs of Singaporeans, the new Dolce Gusto Genio posesses an ‘Automatic Flow Stop’ feature so to make preparation much easier. The first generation of Dolce Gusto uses a manual start and stop lever.

And talk about variety! Dolce Gusto really won me over with its many exciting flavours like Green Tea Latte (my favourite!), Vanilla / Caramel Latte Macchiato, Mocha, Chococino, and the list goes on. Their patented technology even allows the making of cold beverages like Cappuccino Ice and Peach Tea.

The catch to such variety lies in the capsules. Conventional coffee machines dispense only espresso (from beans / powder / capsules), and you have to add in frothed milk yourself. Dolce Gusto is capable of dispensing both coffee and milk from pre-packed capsules so there isn’t a need for a separate milk frother.

Love this pop art photo collage that Dolce Gusto gave us!

The Genio is retailing at $259, the Circolo $339, and a box of 16 beverage capsules costs $10.90 in selected supermarkets and stores island-wide. Grab a cuppa fun today!

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CHAO ANG MOH CYCLIST

OK I AM BOILING WITH ANGER NOW AND I NEED TO GET IT OFF MY CHEST.

I was turning out into Lavender street from a small road this evening, like this:

One CHAO ANG MOH was cycling on the first lane while I was turning into the second lane, and probably I rode a little fast so he thought I was going to bang into him and he screamed like a bitch. He went, “AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you fucking idiot AAAHHHHHHHHH FUCKKKK YOUUUUU.” I pointed a middle finger at him (my first time using that finger on road) and continued riding. Unfortunately, I couldn’t turn right in time and had to stop at the traffic light. This is where shit began.

That bloody CHAO ANG MOH, cycled up next to me and SMACKED MY ARM WITH HIS BACKHAND. He didn’t tap, HE SMACKED ME, HARD. WTF. Then he started yelling, “You fucker are you blind why didn’t you fucking look out for me you almost got me fucking killed you are gonna cause a fucking accident.” I went blank at the moment and just nodded my head while rolling my eyes, giving him the whatever face. The CHAO ANG MOH continued, “You don’t fucking nod your head blah blah blah,” and even added, “YOU FUCKING DICKHEAD!” while cycling off.

Everything happened within one traffic light stop, and me, being slow to react in shitty situations (as usual), rode off regretting why the fuck did I not get even with him. He was wrong in every way because:

  1. In the first place, why would the CHAO ANG MOH cycle on the first lane when he was heading straight? The extreme right lane is for fast moving vehicles or vehicles turning right only, and by vehicles I mean cars, motorcycles, lorries, buses, vans, NOT BICYCLES. Get his traffic rules right or he’ll get ramped over by some ah beng car sooner or later.
  2. 君子动口不动手. The CHAO ANG MOH fucking smacked me in public what the hell? A man loser of his size hitting a female of my size ARE YOU SERIOUS? The most ridiculous part is, I was way farrrrr from colliding into him please. And even if we really do get into an accident, he still has no reason to lay any fingers on me!
  3. I’m not a fucking dickhead. I’m a fucking pussy okay.

Whoa I really hate myself for not being able to respond fast enough. I should have just kicked the CHAO ANG MOH in his miniature balls or chase after him in my bike scaring him shitless or bring him to the police for personal assault or at least hurl him back with hokkien vulgarities. How can I be so weak and just rolled my eyes omg I wanna die. Every time when I think of how to retaliate, the moment has already passed, and all I can do is write this post to let off my steam.

CHAOCHEEBAI ANG MOH. Come to Asian countries to bully Asians you think you very big ah? Think your cock white colour all the girls lining up to suck ah cockanathan. Think your moh (hair) ang sek (red colour) you very superior ah kanina.

Disclaimer: There are nice ang mohs around too but this just happened to be one of the many CHAO ANG MOHS!

Update:

Guess what? Apparently that CHAO ANG MOH goes around terrorising the roads and got STOMPed by a female driver (fireearth88) a few days after my incident. He also hurled lotsa F words at her (sorry he dunno how to scold kanina chaocheebai) and even banged his helmeted dickhead on the side window of her car after being warned by a honk. LOLWTF crazy fella. Here’s the link to his shitface: Foreign cyclist swears at female driver, hits car with helmet after he got honked at. Thanks Felicia for the link!

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