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Thursday, September 28, 2006

New toy - Keta i

In addition to a new phone line (which means I lost my treasured 8-number), I've also got a new toy. It's a Sony Ericsson K800i, which I've christened "Keta i". Besides buying it at a discounted price, I got it also because of its 3.2-megapixel camera. From the reviews I had read, it's apparently one of the best camera phones around.

Comparison of pictures from my old and new phone:
SEZKeta i
SEZKeta i

Haha, no fight there.

However, what I've found is that the image quality of highly dependent on lighting and/or distance of subject. I was surprised to find grainy pictures under slightly less than optimal lighting. On the other hand, close-up pictures look good with and without the flash.
With flashWithout flash
My beerMy beer (without flash)

As I had remarked to Jeffrey, in the end, it's not about the number of megapixels, but the lens (among other things) that separate camera phones from standalone digital cameras.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Meetings

When I was a Scout, we used to plan the weekly activities. I remember, for our very first meeting that year, we took two hours to figure out how to play water bomb! (Actually, one hour was spent debating over whether we should have someone in our Patrol Leaders Council... and the poor guy was present!)

The highlight of that year was planning for the annual campfire. We figured that we had learned enough from previous years to know that we would produce the best campfire ever. We got the firewood early, we had invitations sent out, we prepared the rest of the troop. Then our venue was shifted, because of a choir concert that night. And RSVPs were trickling in too slowly. And we nearly didn't have the obligatory guest of honour.

Somehow we pulled it off. Looking back, that remains the highlight of my scouting career. And looking back, sometimes, I laugh to myself and think: "We were boys thinking we were men."

...

Fifteen years later, when I attend meetings now, the same thought still crosses my mind... except that I'm thinking about the present.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Karaoke and Chinese

I joined a few folks for karaoke this evening. Before that, we had dinner together. When we had all arrived, we started chatting among one another. And for some reason, these people who would normally speak English chose to use Chinese. To the point where, at one moment, I asked in exasperation, "Why are you speaking in Chinese???"

Yes, I probably sounded like a good ol' "banana" at that point.

Karaoke -- invented by the Japanese, popularised by the Chinese, (seemingly) shunned by the Malays and Indians. Karaoke is so Chinese that it is a Chinese elite's dream come true (if it isn't already) -- a common location where Chinese customers are served by Chinese staff using Chinese language in a Chinese community and everyone sings Chinese songs in a Chinese-decorated environment.

Well, at least in Singapore anyway.

On another note, my repertoire of Chinese songs has expanded to include "老鼠爱大米" and "童话", of which the former elicited a "Yuhui is singing in Chinese??" remark from one person, ha.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

"Higher Ground" by Idde Schultz

Class 95 had its "All 80s Weekend" this past weekend. Usually, it's filled with the usual 80s rock music. But then, this little ditty came on:
"I just wanna know a secret
And find out if there is
A blue blue heaven for the bitter
Where we could fly and then land again
On higher ground"
This song is so rare that searching for it through the usual Google search yields nothing. But with a detour to Google Groups, I found out that it's "Högre mark" ("Higher Ground") by Idde Schultz, a Swedish singer, and apparently no one knew that there was an English version!

Oh well, another beautiful song, lost in the ether...

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