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    30 most recent entries
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    6:34 pm


    And with that, it is done. Let's see if I really do end up staying within walking distance of Zouk.

    Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

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    Monday, May 16th, 2011
    10:39 am
    I'm really getting very annoyed living with people who think it's okay to move/shift/throw my things without asking me.  Really can't wait to get a place of my own where no one controls what goes where other than me.

    § current mood: annoyed
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    " Squawk 0912, you are Number 1 "


    Friday, April 15th, 2011
    12:21 pm » Why I will not buy an iPhone
    The other day, I was sleeping when my dad burst into my room asking me to help him.  Apparently, he had slipped and fallen into the fishpond.  His iPhone was in his pocket and while it was completely dead, it had short-circuited so the flash was on and it was starting to heat up.

    Now if this was any other phone, I could easy pull off the cover, remove the battery, and stabilise the situation.  But iPhones, as you know, don't allow you to access the battery at all.  So what I had in my hand was effectively a lit brick which was getting hotter and hotter.

    Now if you need emergency help with your phone, who should you call?  Apple right?  So I called the Apple helpline and told the guy the problem, emphasising that the iPhone was getting hot and asking what I should do.

    The first thing the Apple guy did: ask me for my details, like the phone number, phone serial number, the exact outlet I purchased it from, etc etc.

    I was like... dude, the phone is heating up.  It's starting to get almost too hot to touch, and you're asking me the phone serial number???  The best part was when I flipped it over to see if the serial number was imprinted on the back, the CSO told me that to get the serial number, I could press the home button and... it was at this point that I told him again: the phone is dead.  Luckily my dad kept the box so I could read the serial number off the sticker.  All this while, the phone is getting hotter and hotter and the flash is starting to flicker.

    After that, the Apple CSO tells me that the phone is still under warranty but the phone call-in service has expired, and also since it was accidental immersion, the warranty doesn't cover, so I will need to bring the phone back to SingTel.

    Then he pauses.  Then I pause.  Then I say: "THAT'S IT???"

    He says yes that's all, to which I remind him that dude, the phone is overheating, how do I switch it off?  I was so exasperated that I just blurt out, "If this was a Nokia, I could just remove the battery but I can't remove the battery in an iPhone...."  (I almost said "thermal runaway".)  Then he finally grasps the urgency of the situation, and then tells me to put it "in a safe place so that it will not catch fire" (I'm like, the phone itself is the heat source, so where can I put it that it won't spontaneously combust?) and he calls his tech support guy to talk to me.

    The tech support guy comes on the phone after about 2 minutes and asks me to press this and press that and to hard reset, but everything he tells me to do has no effect.  He then says, "The iPhone comes with a safety feature that automatically shuts down the phone when it gets too hot... but in this case, since it was dropped in water, the battery is grounded, that's why the flash is on."  (To which I wanted to say, "So that means your safety feature is not working what.")  And then he tells me: since the phone is not responding, I will have to bring it down to Comcentre to shut it down.

    I'm like... the phone could be melting in my hand and the only place I can bring it to is Comcentre???  And he says yes, nowhere else nearer can help me.  So my dad and I jump into the car and head down to Comcentre, with the aircon blowing at full blast at the phone to mitigate the heat.

    Guess what: before we even got there, the flash went off.  The battery must've run out. -_-


    The overall chain of events left me with an even worse impression of the iPhone.  It's good—when it works.  But when it screws up, its strict insistence of not allowing third-party interference is actually now counter-productive (I can't think of any other reason why they designed the phone such that the battery couldn't be accessed).  There was really no way to isolate the battery and prevent it from potentially melting the phone.  (In some way, it reminds me of the PAP, but that's another story for another day.)

    What I found more disappointing was that in spite of this design flaw, when I called Apple, they were more concerned with certifying the warranty-state of the phone and making sure that we were within the allowance for phone assistance rather than attending to an immediate time-critical problem (caused by their own design, I might add).  I really wonder what I could have done had the phone start to emit smoke or melt that day.  Thank God it didn't and I hope I will never know, because there's no way I'm buying an iPhone now.

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    § Location: Singapore

    § current mood: irritated
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    Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
    4:42 am » I must stop neglecting my LJ
    In Auckland now.  It was really fun meeting up with Jaq again, after so many years. I hope I managed to sufficiently entertain her and her bf (and that I didn't terrify him too much, haha!)

    Body clock is totally whacked now.  When I came here I was still on DEL time, now I seem to have acclimatised to AKL time.  Strange, since we're supposed to have more difficulty changing from West to East.  Oh well, we'll see what happens when I get back to SIN....

    Supposed to have blogged about my CCTS, my first nightstop, and more importantly, the new gf. ;)  But been just so busy lately!  So looks like FB will have to fill in the blanks (and even that, I'm behind).  Totally enjoying the nightstopping life so far.  MEL, SYD, PEK, DEL, now AKL.  Where will I go next?  Hmmmm....

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    § Location: AKL

    § current mood: sleepy
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    Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
    2:46 am » My Resolution for 2011
    Although I am not in the habit of resolutions, I have decided: my resolution for 2011 will be to write in my LJ more.  Less Facebooking, less tweeting, more LJing.

    It's time to rejoice in the written word and not let it be shackled to 140 characters.

    § current mood: determined
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    2:21 am » A New Low, ST
    I've been meaning to write about this for some time but keep procrastinating.

    I have always regarded journalism as one of the noble professions, especially because their purpose is to educate and enlighten people about what is happening in the world around them, to spread the truth and ignite ideas.

    So I found it rather repulsive the way the following ST article was morphed into the next one.
    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_615771.html

    Dec 20, 2010
    GIRL NEARLY DROWNS AT MARINA BAY SANDS
    Saved by guest not lifeguard
    By Hannah Koh

    A GIRL who almost drowned on Sunday afternoon in Marina Bay Sands' infinity pool was saved, not by a lifeguard but by a hotel guest, who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

    The incident was reported by STOMPer Eric on Singapore's leading citizen journalism portal STOMP. The contributor also posted photos of the scene online.

    The drowning girl, who wore a pink bathing suit and looked to be no more than ten years of age, was successfully pulled out from the pool.

    But 'the lifeguard on duty didn't seem to be able to perform CPR', wrote Eric which shocked by-standers.

    However, in an email reply to straitstimes.com, a Marina Bay Sands' spokesperson said, 'in a near-drowning incident, the first step is to ascertain if the airway is clear and in this case, the child was placed in a position to minimise any possible airway blockage. The lifeguard will determine if there is a pulse as CPR is only performed if there's no breathing or pulse.

    'At the time, one of our hotel guests identified himself as a doctor immediately and came forward to administer CPR. We thank him for his proactive assistance.'


    The spokesperson also said that all Marina Bay Sands lifeguards have received Lifeguarding Certificates and CPR Certificates.

    'We strongly encourage all guests to take the necessary precautions if they are not strong swimmers or if they are swimming with children or people with any pre-existing health conditions,' said the spokesperson.



    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_615951.html

    Dec 21, 2010
    SAVED BY GUEST NOT LIFEGUARD
    MBS denies claim
    By Kimberly Spykerman

    Marina Bay Sands' response
    When contacted, the Marina Bay Sands insisted that all its lifeguards are trained and certified to perform CPR. There are always between three and five lifeguards on duty when the pool is in operation, it said.

    'It is regrettable that the incident occurred and we hope that the child is recovering well... Safety is our No. 1 priority,' said a spokesman.

    A girl who almost drowned in Marina Bay Sands' infinity pool was saved by a hotel guest, who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) -- PHOTO: STOMP

    A NETIZEN has alleged that a lifeguard at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort was not able to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a little girl after she was pulled out of the infinity pool on Sunday evening.

    In a post on citizen journalism site Stomp on Monday, 'Eric' posted a picture of a girl clad in a pink swimsuit lying on her side, with a lifeguard beside her.

    He said he had been at the SkyPark, near the pool, when the girl encountered difficulty in the water and the lifeguard came to her aid.

    The netizen said that one of the hotel guests - a doctor - came forward and performed CPR on the girl.

    'Although the girl was successfully pulled out of water, the lifeguard on duty didn't seem to be able to perform CPR,' he wrote.

    Officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived at the scene around 6pm.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.
    If you read carefully, you will notice that the first article was changed into the second one after one day.  Notice in particular that the lines I highlighted in bold were removed.

    It may not seem like a big deal to you, but I found this utterly reprehensible because instead of spreading the truth and clearing the air, here you have ST deliberately perpetuating a piece of misinformation.

    It all started once again because of that website of collective national idiocy, STOMP.  Somebody saw the girl being pulled out of the pool and decided of his own accord that the lifeguard didn't seem to be able to perform CPR.  Note that when ST decided that this deserved a broadsheet airing on Dec 20, they had already contacted MBS who issued an official response clarifying that as the lifeguard was about to perform CPR, a hotel guest who was a doctor came forward and he administered CPR instead.

    This is perfectly logical: would you rather a doctor or a lifeguard attend to a drowning victim?  And this ties into what that Eric fellow saw—that it was a guest who performed the CPR—and having had to perform CPR for a no duff case before, I can tell you that save for medical professionals, there are always a few moments where the reality that you are called upon to help save someone's life sinks in before you get down to doing it.  Perhaps what happened to the MBS lifeguard was the same thing?

    In any case, if you read the second article, the tone changes, asserting that the lifeguard didn't seem to know what to do, was "not able to perform CPR", and the girl "was saved by a hotel guest, who performed CPR".  MBS's response was shortened to an insistence "that all its lifeguards are trained and certified to perform CPR", which sounds more like an excuse and an attempt to save face.

    Which of the 2 articles do you think gives the more complete picture?  Don't you think that the tone of the second article sounds more like shit-stirring once you have read the first one?

    Perhaps the full story was hidden beneath the subscription service link, but is this really the way to go?  To seemingly tell one story if you don't pay and another if you do?

    Coming on the heels of the low-down entrapment of the Beach Road aunty by the 2 TNP reporters, even the biased election reporting during GEs is not as despicable as this piece of shoddy reporting.

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    § current mood: disgusted
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    Sunday, November 28th, 2010
    7:35 pm » Base Check
    Cleared my first Base Check on the 777 today.

    No it's not really the first of the first, and yes, it's just one of the countless Base Checks I will have to take every 6 months from now till I'm forced to retire, but this is the first one on this type.  And so I guess that's significant somehow. :)

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    § Location: Singapore

    § current mood: pleased
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    Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
    2:39 am » Who's really to blame for the Ulu Pandan Bear
    I know this is an old topic but I thought I'd just say something about the whole ruckus surrounding Philips's Ulu Pandan Bear.  The police say they are investigating them for causing a public nuisance, and the Straits Times went so far in another article as to criticise them for wasting "time and energy"1 of the police and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, by uploading fake footage of a bear to STOMP.

    I have written about how imbecilic STOMP is many times, and one of the main problems with it is that what they call "citizen journalism" apparently allows anyone to write anything about anything—which is hardly my definition of the term 'journalism'.  But what undoubtedly made something already stupid become downright inane was when the main broadsheet itself started to pick out sensational postings to STOMP and featured them in the broadsheet itself as 'news'.  This is still forgiveable provided that someone from the broadsheet actually bothered to check and verify the STOMP posting before publishing it (a.k.a. journalistic integrity), but obviously that never happened, the Straits Times published the 'bear sighting' as news, and that set everyone from WRS to the Police to Ulu Pandan residents agog.  I don't know whether it was due to naivete that since there was a video it had to be real, or people were just too lazy to verify their sources, but somehow the lines between 'citizen journalism' and 'journalist journalism' got blurred.  And so cheshirefeline pointed out—and it really is blitheringly obvious, I might add—that the ones chiefly responsible for "causing alarm" are actually the Straits Times reporters themselves.  After all, the irony of it is that nobody else really trusts what people post on STOMP prima facie, but far too many Singaporeans accept what the newspapers say as truth.

    To put it bluntly, the Straits Times got punked, courtesy of Philips Singapore.

    The problem with a state-controlled press brought up on self-censorship against criticism of the state is that it can then use the same principles to self-censor any criticism against itself.  So unfortunately we'll never see any postings on STOMP or any letters published in the ST Forum explicitly criticising the Straits Times for this, or even drawing the connection.  This has been one of the best examples of why STOMP is actually detrimental to this country, but no one will point it out in the mainstream media.  There will be no red-faced ST journalists, being all too happy to have Philips being made the scapegoat instead.  And so while Philips, being the one who sparked off the entire mess, has all the fingers pointing at it, no one will ever point any fingers at the one who really led to the unnecessary alarm and waste of time and resources; causa latet, vis est notissima.
    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_590100.html

    Oct 13, 2010
    Bear on the prowl?
    By Bryan Huang

    Read more...Collapse )

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_590551.html

    Oct 14, 2010
    Philips sorry for ad stunt
    By Victoria Vaughan

    TIME and energy were wasted on Wednesday, all in the name of a new media marketing campaign for a shaver.

    Read more...Collapse )
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    § Location: Singapore

    § current mood: -_-
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    Sunday, October 10th, 2010
    10:10 pm » 10.10.10
    I've always found the actual day of your birthday itself very surreal, especially when you have no significant other at the moment to spend it with.  Before I go on, let me explain that I'm not saying that life sucks when you're single; I'm merely making the observation that when you're with someone, that someone is more or less obligated to make you feel as though the world, just for one day, revolves around you.  This usually takes the form of elaborate plans and surprises, or a getaway or staycation, or something like that.

    However, since no one comes into the world with a partner as a default, by default then birthdays are surreal affairs.  You see, compared to other celebratory events such as Christmas or New Year's or even Halloween or ZoukOut, when the day of your birthday rolls around, you more or less commemorate it alone.  Even if you spend the entire day surrounded by friends, unless one of them shares the same birth date as you, the feeling of mutual celebration isn't quite there, unlike, say, New Year's, when the year rolls around for everyone equally.

    So as a consequence, every year, the hype has always led up to my birthday itself, but when the actual day rolls around, it's always spent rather understated and anti-climactic, spent mostly just like every other day, except that once in a while I stare at my watch or my computer calendar, to see the date which appears only once a year and which means no more than any other day to everyone else: 10 Oct.

    Even this year, which is supposed to be some sort of jubilee or once-in-a-lifetime date, the magical 10.10.10, I remember building up the hype for this birthday as long ago as 2 years back, and then when it arrived, it came and now has almost went like a whimper.  Even the days coming up to it, I had a big party on Friday night at Timbré, then last night I went to Paulaner for Oktoberfest and the magical date arrived amidst copious amounts of Oktoberfest bier and Ein Prosit-ing.  And what did I do today?  I slept till the afternoon, then spent time in front of the computer replying to all the birthday greetings, went to church, went for dinner with my parents, and then updated my logbook and I'm going to do laundry later.  Most of the day was spent planning what I'm going to do on 11.10, 12.10, 15.10, and 16.10.  Somehow, it seemed as though the magic of the 10.10.10 evaporated the moment it actually arrived.

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    § Location: Singapore

    § current mood: pensive
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    Saturday, October 9th, 2010
    5:44 pm » The XXX Party
    And yes, last night the XXX Party finally happened. Timbré 1, the Friday before 10.10.10, with 53A in attendance.

    I had such a great time that I'm severely suffering from post-party withdrawal today. Not to mention the usual post-party head-spinning.

    I really wanted all my friends to come spend my party with me, but I was a bit worried that they wouldn't really get to mix around well. Fortunately, 3 bottles of champagne and more than a couple of pints of Guinness solved everything!

    Thank you all for coming:

    LJ friends
    cheshirefeline & burbur
    triciaseow & mfluder
    msbrightside & James
    auntyadele & joeaugustin
    marajaded & Jet & Kevin & Tein Hee (haha!)
    synapseman
    oiseauxbleu
    nuggiegirl

    SQ friends
    Eugene
    KC & Felicia
    Benedict
    hahabird
    Jim & Verlyn

    And of course, those who couldn't come; you were missed!
    angeliatay
    mappleleaf
    wanida
    mc_2
    ikepod
    Cheetat
    Byron
    Sue
    Jo

    And yes, I'm super happy that finally I got the Kung Hei Nei sung to me on my birthday!  Thanks 53A and Jet! :)

    Till 10 years' time, and the XXXX Party!


    If you're wondering why it's called the XXX Party, well, my actual birthday is on Oct 10, so this year that's 10.10.10 = XXX!

    Originally the plan was to book a whole venue and have a pornstar-themed party but since I haven't really taken off yet, I guess that idea will have to be postponed till XXXX?


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    § Location: Singapore

    § current mood: happy
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    Saturday, September 25th, 2010
    4:51 am » Why bus drivers are not captains
    Sep 23, 2010
    Can bus drivers tackle crisis?
    By Rachel Scully, Multimedia Journalist

    [...] Closer to home, a girl was pinned under the front of a bus last Wednesday, and the bus driver did nothing but sit in his seat in a state of shock.

    Bystanders in the vicinity rushed to help the 16-year-old who escaped with only minor injuries.

    From bus captains who are ill-equipped to handle emergencies, to maids who bend the rules, to restaurant managers who kick their customers out over a 50 cents packet drink.

    Where should the line be drawn—you decide.
    'Captain' is not merely a term to be bandied around, it's a title and a rank, and all ranks must be earned, carrying with them a certain heavy set of responsibilities, expectations and obligations.  Can you imagine what would happen if your aircraft had a complete electrical or hydraulic failure, and all your captain did was to freeze in his seat in a state of shock?  No, when any emergency of any magnitude occurs, the captain still has the basic responsibility for the lives of every single one on board, to put the aircraft down in a calm, collected, and procedural manner regardless of what happens up there—that is why captains and first officers are trained to be able to handle whatever emergencies might occur.  There is no such thing as simply pulling to the side or stopping wherever you are, switching on the hazard lights and waiting for help to arrive.

    I am not looking down upon bus drivers and the bus driving profession, but this is why I will never call a bus driver "captain".

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    Friday, September 10th, 2010
    4:22 am » London 2010
    Ah crap. :P  Posted this just after returning from London 2010 and I only just realised I forgot to toggle the security to Public so nobody could see it!

    Anyway, yeah so I actually did make it to each and every place I aimed to visit—The Amazing Race London, great success!

    I'll go through the 14GB (yes I shit you not) of photos I took and will post them on Facebook covering day by day.  Slowly lah.

    § current mood: accomplished
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    Friday, September 3rd, 2010
    8:18 pm » Finally, it's started
    After waiting for so long, after languishing on the ground for more than a year, it's finally started:

    1st Sept 0900 - Cockpit Procedure Training 01
    2nd Sept 0445 - CPT 02
    7 Sept 0445 - CPT 03
    10 Sept 1315 - CPT 04

    Bring it on! Can't wait to finish this and get to aircraft training!

    The bad news though is that from this date on, the concept of Public Holidays and weekends will disappear forever.... -_-

    Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

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    § current mood: eager
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    Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
    1:59 am » The Amazing Race London 2010
    I'm back!  And it was such a whirlwind trip that I wish I could just hop on a plane next week and go there all over again!

    For all you sceptics who thought I couldn't do it, yes I managed to reach each and every one of the places in my Amazing Race itinerary (plus a few more I added in after discovering them here!)  Photos will come soon but here's what was on the plan and what I actually did each day:

    Read more...Collapse )

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    Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
    2:00 am » London 2010
    I realise I haven't written about LON 2010 yet, so it's never too late to do that, and to share my ambitious itinerary (just in case bloody terrorists blow up the Tube with me in it, you'll at least know what I wanted to see there.... :P )


    My favourite place in the whole of London

    The last time I visited my favouritest city in the world was in July 2005 and it wasn't in the happiest of circumstances, so I've been dying to go back for a long time.  I considered using my first 'forced holiday' to go there last year, but because of my infamous procrastination (and monetarily critical state) I decided to use that trip to finally visit HKG for the first time (which I love greatly too).  So this year, I told myself I have to go back to London again.  Indeed although I have visited London more often than any city outside Malaysia and Thailand, I have never stayed in London for any longer than 2 straight days at a time; so this year I intend to remedy that, spending no less than 8 days in the capital of capitals.

    And what am I going to do there during those 8 days?  The last time I visited London, I had not discovered Wikipedia nor Google Earth, so this time, I decided to use both those resources to great effect, effectively planning out everything that interests me there.  As usual, since I'm travelling alone again this time, I conjured a very punishing itinerary that involves a lot of walking, a lot of Tubing (but I love love love the Tube anyway), and disciplined early mornings.

    In order to understand the gravity of why my London itinerary is planned like that, take a look at my Google Earth tags:



    Read more...Collapse )

    And what is my crazy itinerary that left both vixette7 and winstontlchow thinking I was nuts?

    Read more...Collapse )

    The theme for LON 2010 will be 'Been There, Seen That, Snapped The Photo', hence the rushing to cover and explore as much as possible.  Wish me luck!  Of course there will be time to stop and smell the English roses—that would be next year?  Haha!

    I will try to post photos when I come back, but seeing that sims start 2 days after I return, that might be... difficult. :)

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    § current mood: optimistic
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    Monday, August 2nd, 2010
    3:25 am » The Pupil
    I'm watching The Pupil, the Channel 5 drama series, and I quite like it.  Watching it, I wonder what would my life have been like had I made choices differently and ended up in Law instead.  Although Aviation and flying is the great love of my life, if I had to name a secondary passion, it would be Law.  A lot of you don't know that one of the biggest mistakes I felt I made in my life was not applying for Law when choosing faculties in university, because I was misled into believing that I had no chance of getting in (okay, I'm not saying that I would've definitely gotten in, but since I didn't apply, we won't know).  Throughout my uni days, my cross-faculty modules were all in Law, and one of the lecturers even quipped to me once that I should be doing Law instead.  I did apply to do a second degree in Law after graduation, and even considered taking my LL.B in the UK, but things went differently and here I am with a CPL/IR instead.

    I do wonder sometimes what it might have been if things have been different, a.k.a. the Sliding Doors effect.  Would I be having as good a time?  Would I enjoy what I was doing?  Would I think that I would have any regrets?  Would I look up into the sky every time an aircraft thunders overhead, would I peer out of the windows at the runway lights every time I fly abroad for meetings, holidays, or anything?  Perhaps, you might say, this was why I once thought that marrying a lawyer would be so interesting, because I would get to live vicariously through her, haha!

    I suppose like how I guffaw at airline movies and drama serials, the real legal arena is not like that at all.  We don't see the long, inflexible hours, the endless, mind-drudging work, the menial labouring over tomes of past legal precedents.  All we see are the jet black fitting suits [I like!], the witty exchanges, the courtroom broadsides, and the hot pupils like Rebecca Lim and Carmen Soo in said fitting suits (which I guess don't really happen in real life, of course!)

    So I guess although I will always wonder what it could've been like had I been a lawyer instead, I'm still glad that I am where I am.  After all, it would've been more improbable to have been a lawyer married to a pilot instead!  We do have jet black fitting suits (even though we don't wear them all the time) and on top of that, we have peak caps!  I may never feel the satisfaction of winning a tough case, but I would feel the adrenaline rush of having shot a difficult approach in shit weather.  So you win some, you lose some.

    It's times like this that I wish: if only we each had 2 lives to lead....

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    Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
    1:07 am » Change
    Women should realise that men cannot be changed.  This is not to say that men don't change, but any change must come from within.  Like they can be made to realise things that they have already know but just do not realise.  Because men are just thick that way.

    And Men should realise that whether they think they can change or not, they will never know until they try.  So shouldn't they at least make an effort to try?

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    Friday, July 16th, 2010
    4:53 am » The problem with SATC
    When SATC first started out, it was a funny, slightly irreverent show about single women in NYC.  I watched (I think) the first couple of episodes (along with a couple here and there in between) and found them funny, discussing the woes of 30-something single women looking for love.  The show advised women to take their own happiness in their stride instead of depending on men for it, and it did make a lot of sense to the feminist in me.

    But then I think it started to get off tangent, and moved from a theme of female empowerment to that of delusions of grandeur.  You know my benchmark for delusions of grandeur, so it caught my eye when I saw this Facebook profile where this girl listed her favourite quote as:

    "Each woman should always be treated like a princess."
    – Carrie Bradshaw –

    Am I the only person who sees the problem with idolising a quote like this?  Now of course every woman would love to be treated as a princess once in a while—and they should.  The problem arises when they start to think that this is an entitlement, and "each woman should always be treated like a princess".  We must remember that in the real world, how many real princesses are there, so why should each woman always be treated like a princess?  So should each man thus always be treated like a prince?

    It is testament to the power of pop media that unfortunately this mentality has taken root in countless girls who have started to really believe that they deserve to and are entitled to be treated, regarded, and behave like princesses.  It all starts from calling yourself 'princess', and then it grows insidiously from there.

    Then it is one thing for SATC to encourage women to take charge of their own romantic destiny, but while we're at it, we should pay closer attention to what it says about the men.  SATC likes to portray men as emotionally unstable and unreliable while at the same time portraying the few stable and reliable men as boring and unexciting.  It tells women that it's always better to think of the here and now than to look ahead at how it would affect the future (which is where you get quotes like "well, I'm done with great love; I'm back to great lovers"), not to mention some really bizarre takes on relationships and marriage that they try to portray and exhort as being perfectly normal and acceptable.  It advises women to hold out for the dashing unstable men in the (vain) hope that they will reform one day.  But not every bad boy is Mr Big, and some bad boys just remain bad forever.

    And not to forget, as a corollary with the princess theme, SATC is one giant fashion show of opulence, telling women that decking yourself in all these overpriced wares is an essential part of the path to happiness.  Can you imagine SATC without the gowns, the bags and the shoes?  But can you also see how this has influenced women into regarding these erstwhile luxuries as necessities?

    While I must admit that I did not follow the series very closely, and I may be able to glean more from a more conscientious viewing, it can indeed be rather entertaining, but we must make a distinction between entertainment and subliminal influences on our outlook.  As long as people can't do that, raving about a series like this is just going to fuck up some people's lives, and while I don't care if people fuck up their own lives, I feel sorry for those other lives that are fucked up as a consequence of this.

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    Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
    5:03 pm » Expensive Hobbies, Part II
    OK so last week I went back to Seletar to check out the Seletar Flying Club after having spoken to the Republic of Singapore Flying Club earlier.  And yes, they are marginally cheaper:
    One time joining fee: $1000
    Monthly membership: $80 (but 1 year is payable upfront at $960)
    Flying deposit (refundable): $1500

    Rental of Cessna 172 per hour: $275 (dual), $250 (solo)
    Every landing/touch-and-go: $2.20
    The usual processes apply: a flight with an instructor to get checked out for exit and rejoin procedures, and circuits to clear you solo.

    Alternatively, they have this visiting member thingie where you pay $100 for a month's membership and $325 per hour, but all duals, no solos.

    Sigh, should I or shouldn't I...?

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    Sunday, June 6th, 2010
    3:46 am » What makes a good landing?
    There's this old pilot joke that goes: "A good landing is any one that you can walk away from.  A great landing is one where you can still use the aeroplane again!"

    This joke was probably coined in the good/bad old days before ILS, fly-by-wire, radio altimeter, flight envelope protection, auto-callouts, autobraking, autothrottle, autoland, etc. etc.  In those days, people flew not knowing if they'd come back or not.  Your lives were really in the hands of the 2 jokers in front hand-flying the aircraft.  But with the advancement of aviation safety and of automation, people seem to have forgotten that most of these advancements were paid for with blood.  Now people not only expect to come back, they expect nothing more than an uneventful flight: smooth takeoff, comfortable cruise, soft landing.  The problem arises when these expectations also mean that anything out of the norm instantly becomes a magnet for criticism and/or paranoia.  Execute a go around, and instead of people thanking you for erring on the side of caution and safety, they start to ask questions about your competency and complain about having to land only on the second attempt.

    Just like many things in aviation, what seems to apparent to the SLF and the journalists isn't necessarily the case.  One of my favourite examples is the landing—many people think that a good landing is one that's so soft, you barely even realise the aircraft has touched the ground.  Well, Boeing engineers would scowl at that suggestion because it seems that Boeing aircraft are designed to be placed firmly on the ground.  In fact, if the runway surface is wet or contaminated, landing too softly may cause the aircraft to hydroplane, and bad things will happen.  Even if the runway is perfectly dry, the chances that you'll screw-up a greaser of a landing is higher than a firm landing, as the recent events in Mangalore seem to suggest.
    India to Pilots: Don't Aim for Comfortable Landings

    We all love those smooth plane landings. You know, when the aircraft glides onto the tarmac, with no jarring thud as the wheels touch ground, and then comes to a gradual and comfortable stop. Sometimes, we even applaud the captain. Well, it turns out that type of landing may actually be a dangerous stunt in some cases.

    In its first concrete step since the May 22 crash of an Air India Express jet in Mangalore, India's aviation regulator has issued a directive telling pilots not to aim for such "soft" landings because their aircraft might run out of room on a short runway.

    Pilots have been concerned about this issue, having felt pressure from their bosses at airlines to do fewer "hard" landings so as to please finicky passengers. In India's crowded and competitive commercial aviation market, it doesn't help to be known as the airline known that thrashes people onto the runway and leaves them with whiplash while bumping-and-grinding to a halt.

    But the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday that pilots should be aiming for a middle ground known as a "correct" landing. The agency didn't specifically mention the Air India crash—an investigation is still underway to determine its cause—but did say the directive is "due to the recent events in the aviation sector."

    The Mangalore airport where the crash occurred has a hilltop runway that's about 8,000 feet, relatively shorter than others in the country, and one that is surrounded by deep gorges on all sides.

    "Landings should be judged not by how soft the landing has been, but if it has been made at the correct speed and touchdown zone on the runway," the DGCA said in the statement. The agency said it has "asked all operators to ensure that 'correct' landings are aimed by pilots" rather than soft landings that "may compromise the runway stopping distance required."

    The statement went on: "A good landing is not one that the passengers perceive as a soft landing, but one that is made at the correct point on the runway with the correct flight parameters."

    In other words: safety should trump comfort.

    "It's about time," said Pradeep Deshpande, a pilot who is spokesperson for the Indian Pilots Guild, a union of aviators. He said pilots have been raising the issue for some time, but "it's been brought out aggressively in the last few weeks."

    "In training you're never taught to worry about the comfort of passengers in a landing—you're just taught to land firmly, land the right way," Capt. Deshpande said. "If you do that, it's not going to put a passenger at risk."
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    Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
    12:36 am » Expensive Hobbies
    Sigh, not happy today.

    I went to Seletar Airport today to check out the 2 flying clubs, Republic of Singapore Flying Club and Seletar Flying Club.  While the latter club was not open, I spoke to the 2 gentlemen of the RSFC about how I could get back in the air again behind the controls of a light aircraft, and this is what it entails:
    One time joining fee: $1500
    Monthly membership: $100
    Flying deposit (refundable): $1500

    Rental of Socota TB-9 per hour: $300+ (dual), $270 (solo)
    Generally to get to bring her up solo, I need to get checked out by an instructor on exit and rejoin procedures for WSSL, then another hour doing circuits to go solo.  Of course if I screw the circuits up, it will take more dual lessons before I'm cleared solo. -_-

    That... works out to be a lot of money!

    Yes, that's why I'm not happy.  Tomorrow I'm going to ask Seletar Flying Club.  Think they're marginally cheaper, plus they fly Cessna 172s, so it should be easier to assess the flare height and attitude, I hope!

    So in the meantime, anyone out there would like to contribute to the 'Get The J-thing Airborne Again Fund'?

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    Monday, May 24th, 2010
    1:44 am » A Woman's Voice
    A woman's voice is the most ethereal part of her presence.  It cannot be caught or captured—miss it and it's gone forever.  But catching its shadow as it swirls and flows out from the ear, and you'll find it ringing within you, resonating in your mind.  However, lest you believe that you have trapped it within you, no, rather it is you who has been captured instead.  It is the only thing in existence which captures you by trapping yourself around it.  And as long as it echoes within your heart, you know there is no escape.

    –11/05/10

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    Friday, May 21st, 2010
    1:34 am » Quiz Night!
    I was at Sunset Grill for drinks last evening when EL texted me to ask if I was free that night.  I was, and within an hour, I found myself whizzing down to Rochester Park for something I've been keen on for a long time: Quiz Night at Krish!


    I've never really attended a Quiz Night before, so I needed YQ and her friends to guide me through it.  We arrived just as the emcee, Shan Wee of 987 fame, was getting the ball rolling.  I didn't even have time to order a drink before the game started.

    There were altogether around 8 teams, and each team is allowed to have a maximum of 8 members; our team had 7 last night.  Most of the other teams were ang mohs, but there were 2 other predominantly local teams (YQ tells me this works to our advantage, because one of the categories can be 'Singapore', and all the expat ang mohs all blur liao).

    Each round has 10 questions.  The first round was 'Potluck', and I understood this to mean that the 10 questions could come from anywhere about anything.  I was pleased to prove my mettle in the first round by contributing the capital of Uruguay [Montevideo] and that the highest alcohol concentration beer, Sink The Bismarck, contains 41% abv [because the Bismarck was sunk in 1941].  When the results were announced, we were in the lead with 8 points!

    The next round was sports—which I flunked out.  Fortunately one of the other guys was able to take on sports and so we managed to scrape through that round still in the lead.  The third round was what killed us flat: music.  Shan would play 10 tracks and we were supposed to guess the titles.  The only problem was this week's theme was... hip-hop and gangsta rap, and our resident music guru, EL, was stumped.  We only scored a measly 2 out of 10. :(

    Fortunately we weren't the lowest scoring team, for they get to choose the next category out of 2 choices.  They picked Movies over Literature, so we gamely fought on, having 2 HBO staff with us.  We managed to do quite well for that round, answering questions that would have stumped me, though we still had some surprises (like we never would've guessed the 'L' in Samuel L. Jackson stood for 'LEROY'!)

    Second last round, the lowest team chose History over Music, and this was where I flexed my muscles.  I was very pleased to know MacDonald House and Black Monday off the cuff, and that the Japanese PM's name was Hatoyama (though I thought it was Fukio, not Yukio), but 2 answers really, really irritated me (which were also the 2 we got wrong).  I was pretty sure that the British Empire outlawed slavery very early, so between 1807, 1885 and 1912, I was inclined to choose 1807.  The others pointed out that it was the empire, so there could've been slaves in the British Raj and Ceylon till the 20th Century, so we chose 1912.  (For the record, if you're reading this Shan, the Slave Trade Act of 1807 only outlawed the slave trade, BUT the practice of slavery itself was only outlawed by the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833!)  The one that I kicked myself the most over was 'Who was the British PM at the outbreak of WWI?'  I immediately answered "David Lloyd George", but apparently that was the PM at the end—the correct answer was Herbert Asquith!!  AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!  I'm supposed to know this shit!!!

    So we were in joint first place going into the last round, which was the picture round.  Apparently the team had never found themselves in this situation before so adrenaline and excitement were running pretty high.  In the picture round, we are given a sheet of 10 pictures and we're supposed to identify them; today's theme was Logos.  And so how many of these 10 can you identify?


    We struggled and struggled but we could only get 7 out of 10.  And when Shan tallied the total results, it turns out that we lost by... ONE point!  ONE POINT!!  Aaaaaaaah!!

    There were so many questions where we could've made up that one point, but no point crying over spilt milk lah.  YQ was saying that at least this means that the team would bound up quickly in the overall standings, so we will come back to battle another day!

    Yes, needless to say, I'm hooked, and from now on you'll know where to find me every Wednesday night!  cheshirefeline, if we've got less than 8 for any night, I'll drop you a buzz!  It starts at 8.30 p.m.!

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    Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
    12:52 pm
    If you are listening to melancholic songs, you can always turn them off.  What do you do when they're on repeat mode inside your head?

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    Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    3:36 am » Love Is
    Was talking to a friend on MSN tonight and he made a quip about the essence of love which I have not realised before.  He simply said:

    "Love is giving someone the power to hurt you."

    And it is rather true, if you think about it.

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    Monday, May 3rd, 2010
    1:32 am » Men vs Women
    Wanted to blog this a while ago but keep forgetting to do so.

    A while back, one of my friends tweeted:
    "Bloody men are like bloody buses.  You wait for about a year, and as soon as one approaches your stop, two or three others appear."
    Well, what I say to that is:
    "Bloody women are like bloody taxis.  They keep appearing but are always taken, the available ones don't stop, and when you finally do get one, it takes you for an idiot, brings you on a wild goose chase, and cheats your money in the process."
    Really lor.

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    Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
    2:59 am » Goodbye Piano :'(
    I'm sorry that as much as I wanted to, I couldn't let you enjoy your last days the way you would have preferred.  Rest In Peace.  All cats go to heaven.



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    Monday, April 19th, 2010
    12:12 pm
    You know you've been tweeting too much & blogging too little when you try to use @ on LJ instead of lj tags. :P

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    12:10 pm
    One of the nicest things anyone ever said about me must have been when marajaded's mum asked her if my driving was safe when I send her home, and she says, "Mum, he's a pilot: what do you think?" :)  You the best!

    Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

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    Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
    2:38 am » What I think about this whole paedophilia issue
    I'm not attempting to justify or defend the horrible things those horrible priests did to their victims, but I think in this whole witchhunt, people seem to have lost track of context.  True, the things that happened were very shocking and I feel saddened that such incidents occurred and should never be allowed to happen again, but I feel that a lot of people are exploiting this issue to hit at the church instead.  A lot of anger is directed not at the paedophilic priests but at the church leaders who reacted to the issue by removing the priests from contact with boys instead of ratting them out to the authorities.  People seem to forget that this is a religion, one that preaches forgiveness and repentance.  What did you expect the church to do?  Summon another Papal Inquisition?  Supposing Buddhist monks in various temples were caught molesting children—what would you expect the Dalai Lama to do?  Forgive them or throw them in jail and rotan them?

    In fact, shifting the emphasis on the Catholic Church as a whole instead of the perpetrators directly is akin to blaming an entire community for the sins of a few.  Because of one Silviu Ionescu being still at large in Romania, are we then to say that the Romanian system is rotten to the core and we should arrest the Romanian President for wilfully allowing his citizen to continue to run from justice?

    You know people have gone really bonkers and have twisted the situation really out of proportion when they start to campaign to arrest the Pope to charge him for "crimes against humanity".  Isn't that term used to refer to crimes like ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and inhumane treatment of prisoners?  People should be asking questions about preventing the abusive priests from committing further crimes, but they are instead arguing that the Pope's diplomatic immunity as a head of state be disregarded because the Vatican "isn't a true state anyway" [it is, BTW].  And their basis for such an assertion is that the Vatican has "permanent observer status at the UN rather than full membership & voting rights".  So are they saying that before 2002 the Swiss president had no diplomatic immunity as well?  Since when was UN membership the sole criterion of whether a state was a "true state"?

    I may not be a very pious Christian but I still get very agitated when I see people targeting my church simply because it is the most established and most visible religion to target.

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