Making Light of Things

March 2006 Archives

ATi and NVIDIA blokes square off each other

Reads like an MMORPG, but really is just a bunch of dweebs trying to get all physical.

Continue reading ATi and NVIDIA blokes square off each other »

PAP != Government

Goh Chok Tong threatens Potong Pasir residents with no upgrading should Chiam See Tong remain voted in.

I have lost all respect for this man and the ideology he represents.


Ceiling Redux

I’m partial to the familiar, but my last trip to the United States felt rather uuunnngghhh from a photographic point of view. Same old same old. I was going to SXSW for the second time, then to Tucson where I spent three and a half years, then to San Francisco which has been photographed to death, especially by the very capable dynamic duo of Heather and Derek Powazek.

I didn’t take too many photos this time round, but I’d like to think I took better photos because I know my subject better. I’ve yet to put many of them up.

So little time.

V for Vendetta

You know you want it.

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate.This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

Thanks Min, who always gets things done while the rest of us usually end up only thinking of doing things.

Common Wealth

They’re showing re-runs of Commonwealth Games table-tennis matches on the telly. After all the hulaballoo about our paddlers not being Singaporean by birth, it is interesting to note that the Commonwealth table-tennis tournament looked like a mini-Chinatown. Singapore isn’t the only one “importing” foreign talent when it comes to sports. The whole world is in on it.

Which brings me to question the idea of a birth-home, and whether it is fast becoming an obsolete idea.

Back a few hundred years you were likely to live and die in the place you were born. Then there were ships, and people migrated. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap. We weren’t that distant from the pre-travel era, and the idea of the birth-home was still a strong one.

Now in a time when air travel is almost as ubiquitous as that on land, people move all the time. You don’t even need a very compelling reason to move. My sister, who’s tired of Tucson, is thinking of moving to another city. Truth be told, if air travel were cheaper and immigration laws less a pain in the behind, many of us would have moved out of the country in which we live.

Being born in a place means nothing to me. It probably means nothing to you. My memories of Tucson are every bit as real and precious as my memories of my childhood in Singapore. You cannot tell me to stay in Singapore because I was born here, or because this is the place I grew up. You need to convince me, and the many like me, that Singapore is an idea I can believe in.

If you’re selling Singapore as a good place to stay because we can make money here, we’re out when the tide changes. This National Day, I hope for hope. I’m tired of being battered into submission. I’m still disgruntled about the government building two casinos despite most Singaporeans not wanting any, as if to spite us. I don’t want to be kept in the dark, or be thought of as too stupid to handle the truth. Why no one has given us an account of what’s happening with Temasek’s investment in Shin Corp is beyond me. I’m no economist, but I’m pretty sure the stock arrow is pointing south.

Like sports and the table-tennis tournament, citizenship and nationality is fast becoming a choice, not an involuntary birthright.

Tammy Campaign

Weeks after “Tammy NYP” became the most searched item in the web universe, the Singapore government decides to raise public awareness of what could be should you lose your phone.

Singapore Police Force's campaign to raise awareness on losing your privacy with your phone

No Brainer

Now standing on the other side of the fence, I realise that while clients pay vendors for their expertise, there are cases in which expert advice can be misconstrued. An experienced vendor may be able to point out ways to save costs and effort, sometimes steering clients away from what can be a blatantly stupid idea. I know, because there have been countless times I’ve asked clients to settle for the more efficient solution. I didn’t realise that some clients perceive such advice as the vendor trying to shirk away from hard work.

Though it is quite typically Singaporean to squeeze every drop of blood to get a good bargain, I must admit that I was totally oblivious to the possibility that sometimes all clients want is a work-horse.

Just do as we say, don’t question our decisions. Even if you were sure we couldn’t smash right through the brick wall, we’d like to see you break your head on it because we told you to.

Because to some of us, that’s value for money.


I looked at my gmail and saw

From: Faith

I smile for no reason. It just feels good to be on the same island as my beloved.

Alone Time

Dearest Faith and Anne,

during this time I have come to learn some things about myself.

Somewhere, somehow I have come to envy the glamourous jet-setting, high-flying executive lifestyle promoted by the world around us. And tonight, sitting here miles and miles away I realise that I do not seem to fit the mould I admire.

I had initially planned to visit Yosemite National Park with Serene and Min tomorrow, but we’re not going due to unforseen circumstances. Maybe it is because it might have snowed at Yosemite today and we are unaccustomed to driving in those conditions. Or that the time we have here in California is too short to give Yosemite the kind of attention she deserves. But to be perfectly honest, my enthusiasm wanes because the two of you are not with me. It is impossible for me to fathom seeing something beautiful and not being able to turn around to share it with you guys.

But I now know that there is nothing in nature more comforting and right than the simple act of smelling my daughter’s hair or putting my arm around my wife. No gradeur of the mountains or the lure of creating the most beautiful photographs can compare to the pure joy being with family brings. It is a feeling I can scarcely describe, and one I definitely cannot capture in the limited vocabulary of a single photograph.

Beloved Faith, thank you for giving me space to be by myself and mull things over. After the mulling I have discovered that I want no space to exist between the three of us; that if it were at all possible I’d hug us so tight we’d all become one. I cannot wait to come home to you both.

May God watch over you till we meet.

your husband, and your father.

Marvel Movie

My prediction:

Josh Holloway will eventually star in a Marvel movie as Thor.

Connect 2.0

There are those rare times you engage in a shouting conversation to be heard over the music and a zillion other conversations, and the words being shouted are so real and so intimate they ought to be a whisper. And yet despite the sledgehammer delivery, it is the meaning that connects the two of you.

That was Min Jung for me at last night’s Fray Cafe.

Cross-cultural Ocean Crossing

Feel free to disagree, but I believe if the breadth of human culture had extreme polar opposites, it would have to be the Mexican-American culture and the Japanese culture. For good measure, throw in a Chinese guy.

On my 25 hour flight from Singapore to Austin, I had the wonderful opportunity not only to traverse physical space, but also cultural space. I flew Japan Airlines from Singapore to San Francisco, then Continental from San Francisco to Austin, changing flights in Houston.

I checked in one backpack, carried a small camera bag, and another backpack with my computer and camera tripod strapped to its side.

The tripod and a petite Japanese girl would put my mathematical skills to the rack.

Continue reading Cross-cultural Ocean Crossing »


At the airport using the free internet. It’s 2 hours before boarding.

The keyboard’s really oily. See you guys on the other side.

My Reminder

“will love you, cherish you, keep you honour you, obey you…obey you?”

This part of the traditional Christian wedding vow never fails to elicit little semi-silent squeals of protests among the female portion of the congregation. It makes women feel “second class”, or lower than their male counterparts.

Faith spoke those words. Rather than feeling a self-satisfying lordship over her, like most female protestants (not speaking of the denomination here) among the congregation would imagine, at that point I felt the greatest responsibility placed upon my shoulders to protect the woman before me; my wife, the most beautiful and fragile of flowers, yet in whose heart held the most resilient sincerity.

Continue reading My Reminder »

Song and Dance

Nothing like a little Bossa Nova on the iPod to make the gargantuan workload dissipate a little faster.

Van’s already on the plane to the US and flying SIA too! I’ll be flying JAL early Thursday morning. Last I checked on their website, the onboard entertainment seemed rather dismal. I bought myself a battery pack for Eponine (my 5G iPod) and stocked up on Season 2 of Lost. Now I just need a 20-pack of AA batteries and hope I last the flight.

I’ll be working till really late till the night I fly. And Faith’s birthday is the day before I fly.

I miss you already.

Gadgets and Gadgetry

Over the last day and a half, I’ve been slaving away on my Apple. I emerge with great news.

Announcing the launch of, a place for the geek speak which brings about a hushed silence here in Tribolum. No longer will you be bored with entries of RSS feeds or my take on the deranged ramblings of godfather Zeldman. Tribolum will continue to contain the other stuff - mostly accounts (videos or otherwise) of adventures of amazing Anne, and how Faith and I try to keep up.

If you’ve any good tech-related news, feel free to contact us folks at websg. I am joined by the unnaturally effusive (it’s unnatural when she’s effusive) and internetologically brilliant Vantan.

We will be blogging live from SXSWi, bringing you the latest and greatest.

Coast to Coast

I think I just found a new hero.

Dusty Davis rode his motorcycle across the US and has amazing photos to document it.

I so want to go to Yellowstone.

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