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Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Physical Activities

March 11, 2012 | Tags: , | Posted in Rants

I recall Siew Chee Hoong once asked me “Chyuan, you know any basketball courts that operate the flood lights past 10 pm?”, I said no as most of the courts in Kepong Baru dont. If there is one, you will be required to pay ‘rental’. I never did give much thought about the topic after that. I did ask why they play so late. Most of the guys finish work late. So they decided that the best time to play is on Friday nights. So one nice Friday nite around 11.30 pm, I was driving around the neighborhood and I passed by an old basketball court at Bukit Sri Bintang ( A place where I used to play everyday before I got injured), I saw those guys playing. I parked the car and got down. I sat down and chatted with them. All these years (3 years), I stayed off sports due the knee/shoulder injuries I had. But after watching them play for 5 minutes, I was called in to join in. Hesitant initially, I succumbed to the game. I moved slowly and carefully. The knee felt good. But the shoulder wasn’t. I feel pain each time whenever I did a big movement. The game ended around 1.30 am. I was happy coz I sweat a lot. I love physical activities. Yes. I honestly do. Went back home and slept well.

So the following week, I had to find a proper pair of shoes. Dad took over my Nike trainers and its was in a pretty sad state. My proper basketball shoes was peeling all over due to the storage. The only pair of shoes I have left was the New Balance shoes. Even that, the bottom soles were coming off. But at any rate, it suffice for the moment. The second game went well too. My confidence grew. No pain in the knee ma.. So two nights ago, I decided to give it a real test. I took the And1 shoes for repair and got ready for the game. Armed with a knee guard, I had it tight to minimize the joint movement. I moved a lot faster that night. But the shoulder pain was something I cant manage. So I had to limit above head shoulder movement. Nevertheless, I felt much better. I think I ll continue playing every week. Been lying dormant for quite sometime. Dont like it one bit. But jeez, I woke up with really sore legs on Sat. Hahahah. Lack of physical activities over the years. So there were a lot of muscle groups that got tuned that night. Even my arm muscles were aching the other day even thought the only thing I did was shoot and pass. The knee felt really good. I have to bear in mind though, it s not fully healed. The hole is still there in the bone. Its closing..But slow.. Looking forward to healthier life. Signing off. Cheers folks.

Gear Lust

January 8, 2012 | | Posted in Rants

A Happy New Year 2012 to all! Hope it has been a good new year for all. Sometime before Christmas, I was surfing eBay on my iPad and I kept searching for a good Rolleiflex deal. FYI Rolleiflex prices has gone sky high as it s a highly sought after camera nowadays. Read in the forums that wealthy buyers from China are buying up and driving up the prices on eBay. Be it Leica, Hasselblad and Rolleiflex, the prices has been driven up over the couple of years. If you are a true classic camera geek, the Rolleiflex is one of the ‘must have’ gear. The first Rolleiflex was introduced back in 1929. Up till now, the main film format used is the 120 mm format. Its also popularly known as the 6 x 6 or Medium Format.

So there was I ( in the middle of a workshop), I was actually concentrating on eBay 😛 I came across a couple of interesting auctions and Buy It Now Rolleiflexes. I tried bidding on a couple of auctions. But usually, the prices are not stable and I got to wake up in the middle of the night to monitor the bids. Buy It Now offer a hassle free method for buyers who can t be bothered with waiting 5 to 6 days for an auction to end. They simply BUY it now 🙂 Buy It Now items usually command a higher price. So..Here am I ..Looking at a couple of Buy It Now items. A particular Rolleiflex 3.5 F ad caught my eye. The item was described as MINT. Priced at USD1199.99 (excluding shipping). Unfortunately it says Will Not Ship to Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia. But I was keen to try my luck. I contacted the seller, Randy Smith of www.holgamods.com asking him if he can reconsider shipping the item to Malaysia. After a couple of emails the deal was sealed! I asked Randy to insured the package. I was not worried about Randy. I was worried about our local postal services. Once upon a time, some idiot decided to threw the parcel over the gates. Thank God it was not lenses.

Dealing with Randy was very pleasant. He kept me updated with tracking and mails. On my side, I updated Randy when the parcel touched down and cleared the customs. I was lucky that my office was near to Batu Caves PosLaju. I picked up the parcel the moment it arrived as the Batu Caves PosLaju. Hahahaha. Couldnt wait. I opened the package at the Mizi Shabu Shabu while having lunch with my dear wife. Randy gave me a modded Holga as well. Thank you Randy!~ The Rolleiflex was packed neatly with lotsa layers of bubble wrap. True to Randy’s eBay description. The Rolleiflex was in great condition. Despite a speck or two of paint loss, I didnt mind at all. Its a great looking TLR. I love it! Its a beautiful beautiful beautiful camera, I kept telling my wife. Hahahaha. As of this morning, I ran 3 rolls of film through the camera. The speed knob is abit tight, but will do. The screen is bright and snappy. Will update again once I dev the film. Do pay Randy’s site a visit. Lovely mods he done to the Holgas.

Rolleiflex 3.5 F

A TLR within a TLR

Precious Moments

July 30, 2011 | Tags: , , | Posted in Rants

Been spending a lot of time with the little one lately. On a long leave (almost 20 days),waiting for my university placement from University Malaya. As of today, status quo. Have to head back to work on Monday. Else I ll be wasting my leave away while waiting for an answer from UM. So what do I do these days? My body internal alarm still goes off every morning. I wake up around 630 am everyday without fail although yes..Sometimes I go back to sleep. But since I am at home and wifey leave for work early in the morning, my parents decided to pick the baby up later than the usual routine. Normally, they pick her up around 630 am in the morning. Since I am at home, they come over around 930-1030 am. I am left with the task of caring for the baby till they arrive. Its not easy as baby is more attached to my wife and parents. But as they always say..Time can build relationships. I have to admit. These precious time spent with my daughter has actually bonded us better. Actually..Its because she has no one to turn to..That s why she has to turn to me la! *evil laugh* Waking up to her “Pa!” calls are such a joy. I cant describe the feeling. It s a truly warm feeling in the heart. Little girls tend to be super cute. Its not an easy task caring for the baby. But I think I learnt a couple of new stuffs (yes…I know I should have known these stuffs earlier) these few days. I learnt to prepare the milk properly. I actually can gauge her better on when she wants her milk. I now know that when she sucks on her thumb, it means I am hungry. I now know she needs to fiddle with something using both her hands while drinking milk else she will loose her concentration. I also found out the easiest way to make her sleep. Not by singing to her. Not by rocking her. Its just simply standing under the fan and tap her buttocks gently. Or..I have to lie down on the chair or bed and place her over my round tummy *Grin* Yes..The extra fats serve as a cushioned bed. I love to photograph her when she is sleeping. Feels that she is very angelic when she is sleeping. Hehehe. iPhone works best. No need to use the huge a** DSLR for these moments. Also sometimes, I ll bring her down to the playground for a quick round of horse riding or swing before proceeding to the local newspaper stall for my daily dose of news. Best of all, two days ago..I managed to bath her and changed her clothing..Give her milk and cradled her to sleep. Job well done if you ask me. Cheers. Here are some photos taken during my ‘holiday’.

Little Princess waking up in the morningWaking up in the morning

On holiday. So have to jaga the baby. Just made her some milk. Drink up! Cheers! Milk milk time

Fast Asleep. Mission Accomplished. zzzzzzzzz

6 oz of milk- Checked! Bath/pampers- Checked!  Time to zzzz Wakes up again

Zzzzz Sleeps again

Bad Habit. How to ween her off the thumb and finger? Bad Habit?

Beautiful fingers? Details

Long toes. Hopefully she will grow tall. More details

Nathania: Turning One

July 19, 2011 | Tags: , | Posted in Rants

Woot! Happy Birthday to my little Nathania Ng En Qi. You are officially ONE year old now. Papa and Mama love you very much girl. Time really flies, the memories from one year ago are still fresh in our minds. Mama went through some serious labour pain to deliver you girl..Papa also lost some sleeping hours that day hehehe. But it s all good when you arrived. You have brought joy to the whole family. Mend broken relationships. Bring smiles to our faces every morning *except when you poo poo though*. I hope that you will grow up healthy and wise. We have noted that you have quite a bad temper. Easily agitated. Wanting everything your own way despite you were only 3 weeks old then, we have noted your determination is getting things your way. Both Pa and Ma hope it will go away eventually. We will try our best to bring you up with the best values. But somehow, you reminds us very much of Papa’s temper and Mama’s stubbornness. But hey, you are our little combination of X and X genes. I pray that God will shower you with lotsa love and blessings as well. May He sends out Angels from Heaven to look over you *silent prayers to Him*. Oh yeah, we hope you will grow some more hair too la. Haiyah..you look like a boy at the moment. Pa and Ma also hope you will drink more milk. Dont be so choosy. You know girl..Milk powder is sibeh expensive. Pa have to work very hard to buy those milk powder k? Every ounce you waste away is almost equivalent to every 30 mins of extra OT Pa have to put in. Monies aside, you are quite skinny and just hovering above the graph for ‘underweight’.  Look at cousin Adriel..He is so chubby-luscious lo. Pa and Ma dont mind sharing our food with you but kindly make it a point to drink more milk k? Lotsa Loves and Hugs. Looking forward to a simple dinner with Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Yang, Aunt Huey , Pa and Ma later tonite.

Nathania Ng

Nathania Ng

Singapore

April 16, 2011 | | Posted in Rants

Took a one day trip to Singapore last monday. It was a last minute decision. Johan was heading down to Singapore for a business trip and Nick was hitching a ride down. So I asked if I can tag along. See Meng also wanted to go too. To be honest, that was the 2nd time I set foot on Singapore’s soil. The virgin trip down was sometime in 2007 when I went together with Yee Woon and cousins. Cant really recall how I felt about Singapore back then. But I remembered I did blogged about it. Hang on..Let me check. Found it! Here is the blog post. Reason to head down to Singapore was simple. We were there to sapu the films. Yes. According to some rumor, the price of film will be increasing by 20-25%. We didnt want to take a bet on it. A few weeks back, Ruby’s shelves were practically emptied off.

First stop in Singapore, we had our quick tea (makan again la) at a local food court. Johan recommended one of the must have whenever he is down in Singapore, Bak Chor Mee. I can tell it is good. Why? The Q was so damn long. Its not an easy to prepare meal. According to them, its very manual. Hahahaha.  Anyway, the taste is pretty interesting. Although its called pork noodle mee, its different from the KL version. It tasted a bit sourish ( I think its the vinegar). The liver is cooked differently as well. Its not greyish like the one you see in KL. Apparently it s not fully cooked. What the chef did was..He poured the hot soup over the uncooked liver. Its like medium cooked. I took a piece only as I sorta outgrow livers. Quite a lot of ‘liew’ if you ask me. Its nice!~

The mission was simple, get to Johan’s place before 8 am as we were supposed to leave by 8 sharp. I left early and got there in time. See Meng was having sinus congestion and he was still 50-50 that morning. He was undecided on whether to make the trip or not. But while on my way to Johan’s place, he sms-ed and said he is on the way too. Johan’s grandma made some really nice Yee Mee for us. The hearty breakfast was complete with some really nice Xui Xian chinese tea, fruits and spicy hot chili padi for the Yee Mee. Many thanks to Grandma for the meal. Also met an interesting character at Johan’s place (my first time there), Johan’s Golden Retriever Max. Such an adorable companion. He greeted me like a long lost friend ( I found out why later.. He was kinda horny and he humped my leg a couple a time LOL).  No time to really play with Max. We had to get going. We need to reach Singapore by noon.

Fuel up

Fuel Up

The journey was really ok ( I am not a big fan of long journey ) as the ‘van’ (according to Singapore term) was really comfy and stable. We were going at a very decent speed. The thing with these better built cars, its pretty stable at high speed. It was like we were cruising at 100 km/hour? But in fact we were doing 160-170 km/hour? Some ‘healthy’ discussions were brought up during the journey making it very interesting. Topics ranged from iPad 2, Development time, X100, Leicas, Rolleiflex and films of course. We entered Singapore via the 2nd link. The first time I passed via 2nd link. Its better and nearer as we do need to pass by Johor Baru. The traffic was lesser here. Interesting that I saw at the Msia Immigration counter. I saw a sign ‘ Homemade Chocolate Cookie for Sale’ pasted on the glass of the booth. I can see why one would try to earn some extra money. But hey, Singaporeans drive past this checkpoint ok? Dont think its an appropriate to place an ad at the checkpoint counter. Next stop was the Singaporean immigration and Customs. Nick has some ‘issues’ with the custom officer. Hahahaha. Was queried why he wants to go to Singapore and etc. Anyhow we had a simple answer. We are here to stimulate Singapore’s economy *grins*  Ok. Here is a plus to Singapore’s Custom. They are so thorough. 3 officers checking the car. On a look out for contrabands Eg ciggie and gums.

Bak Chor Mee

Bak Chor Mee

Something interesting to share. Johan told me its ok to leave the bags in the car while we makan. Its pretty safe. But I cant say the same for KL. Hahahahaha. Another interesting fact to share with you all. The food court was really clean. We got there somewhere around before lunch time, just before the lunch crowd kicks in. The floor were really clean. No tissues paper. Of course when the lunch crowd came in, I can see some tissues on the floor. But generally speaking, its still cleaner compared to KL food court.  Noticed that two items were used commonly to ‘chup’ or reserve the empty tables. The umbrellas and the tissue packets. Hahahaha.

Leica

Leica Camera Asia

See Meng, Johan and me headed off to the Leica office to collect SM’s M7 while Nick went off to meet up with Phillip Tay to work on his Rolleiflex. After that we met up again at Penisular. Honestly, if I were to work in Singapore, I think it will be a new gear once a month. The analogue community is alive and well in Singapore. The amount of 2nd hand Leica gears reflect on the buying power of Singaporeans. Johan headed over to Konota to pau-ed the Fujifilm while we headed to Ruby. Developer, Fixer and of course FILMs were our targets. I got some Tri X, HP5, Ektar, Pan 400 and Pan 50. The Pan 400 came highly rated as it was cheaper and characteristically the same as HP5. Johan also managed to get some Fuji Superia 1600 (which was said to be almost similar to Natura 1600). Cant wait to test those out. It was not cheap. The Superia is retailing around $10.50. Nick got himself a 5 Reel Paterson. Now we know who to look for besides Johan when we want to do some major dev session.

For Sale

Leicas For Sale

After tapau-ing the film, we headed off to Funan, Adelphi and some other places. We had tea at some place ( I forgot the name). It was raining that day. So the weather was kinda cool and wet. Not much shots taken. I managed to finish one roll of Neopan 400 and took some shots with the NEX3. Have not check the shots out yet. But its kinda interesting in Singapore. Some points need to be taken:

  • I think Singapore is seriously a well planned city. The walkway are well shaded. The trees are well pruned and not chopped here and there. Its like a big garden in the city. Covered walkway enable us to walk around the city. The lights are well maintained and well lit. This is a big difference between KL and Singapore.
  • Nobody Speeds around Singapore. We were doing like 160-170 km/hour along NS expressway, but once we are in Singapore, we were doing 80 km/hour only (Yes! Even on the expressway). Motorcycles keep to the left lanes. Lorries keep to the left lanes too.  Drivers are very courteous. No tail gating and etc. I guess the enforcement were doing a very good job. I noticed there were a lot of automated cameras/Speed along the way. This is good as it cuts down corruption. I think this is where Malaysia has to learn. The Singaporeans have a very good demerit system. If you screw up, they will take your license away. Here..Repeating offenders can try and accumulate as many summons as they CAN!~
  • Clamping Zone

    Subject To GST Too!~

  • No..You dont see the police everywhere to maintain the level of law. Its just that the people in the city are very law abiding. No jay walking. No Stop by The Road and Wait. No price Haggling on Taxi. No Touts. It feels very organized. The underground passage between malls are just amazing. Clean and air conditioned. Ah..Something I noticed. No beggars on the streets.

Generally the feeling is, I feel Singapore is  really a nice place to visit and shop. Somehow, the inflation is lower in Singapore. I can still source a $2 plus/bowl mee. Shopping is comparatively cheaper compared to Malaysia. Electronic items are cheaper too. Hahahaha. How I wish I can shop some of the items there and bring back to KL. But I dont want to risk it by getting apprehended and taxed by the Malaysia Customs.

Camera Book Shop

Specialized Bookshop

We met up with George, Mabel and David for dinner before we headed back to KL. Nice place. Pizza, Sausages , Pork Knuckle and most importantly..German Beer ( I didnt drink la ). Its funny how photography brings people together. We are friends because of a common passion. We met Olivier/Oliver ( An Austrian, hence I am not too sure on how to spell his name) another photography enthusiast who was going for a beer but ended up having dinner with us. He owns a cool Leica M6 classic and a DR 50 mm Summicron. We took quite a lot of shots that night. But my film is still in the container waiting for its turn to be developed. We headed back to KL around 930 and got back real late. Hahahhaa. It was a good trip to Singapore. Fresh stock, good food and companionship. Looking forward to do this again. Many thanks to Jo for the ride down.