Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Junction between Sushi Avenue and Tempura Boulevard'

Ahhh....finally had a decent Japanese meal today on Sunday. Dropped by Liang Count for a haircut (yup, no more Gatsby mat) and the Kinokuniya sale (didn't find the mags I wanted). Oh, Audio House doesn't sell the Sony A200 camera that I wanted either. Strange.

Anyway, lunch was at the revamped Tampopo. It's no longer at the basement, it's now on the ground floor next to the information counter. A big plate of sashimi and a serving of inaniwa udon instead of my usual zaru soba.

But the thing that really caught my eye was the new conveyor belt.

It’s kinda like a personalized conveyor belt cos it’ll deliver your order as it travels down the belt, and makes a right turn through the slot and onto your table! It’ll stop at the opening and some kinda ‘lever’ would pop out of the black narrow slot and shove my order to my table. My sashimi order came that way but I forgot to snap a pix! :( According to the notice, it’s the first such conveyor belt outside Japan. And since you can also place orders on the video touchscreen next to your table, is this the beginning of the end for waiters?

See that? That's like the traffic light section for the junction between Sushi Avenue and Tempura Boulevard! Hah!
I believe as part of their opening celebration, Tampopo was giving out free boxes of Japanese green tea. They gave me 2 free boxes, each with 10 little packs of Japanese green tea, after I paid my bill.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

'Don't do exactly what I do'

I have been keeping myself busy with some photography stuff. My lightbox project went alright I guess… as in not as well as I hoped it would be. For starters, the box I got wasn’t as big as the example. And without the proper lights and a decent SLR camera, my shots still kinda lack that elusive ‘wow’ factor.

Here’s where I based my little handicraft on. If there’s anyone reading this and wanna do his own lightbox, please follow that example and don't do exactly what I do. Here's another link to an interesting piece on cheap homemade lighting. I was actually watching last week’s American Idol while cutting up the box with a pair of scissors. Use a penknife, it’s way easier on the finger!

I have since replaced the sides with a translucent material (the kind you find when you buy huge electronic products) instead of regular photocopy paper. It lets more light in. Here are the untouched, raw results. As you can tell the lighting isn't as good as it should be.

With only one light source, it's tough getting the right lighting conditions. Using the camera flash leads to overexposure and nasty shadows. Don't use the flash and the pix turns out looking dark and dim. Also the box is a little too small. There's not enough depth to it. I should have taken the A3 box instead of the A4 paper box.
So as you can see, I got my work cut out for me.
Oh, another thing. A week ago, there was a Friday when I was really free in the office and I spent almost the entire day reading up on digital SLR cameras online. Hah, I actually filled up 4 notebook pages worth of stuff on the subject. Was reading guides, forum discussions, etc. And today, I called up one of the recommended shops and they told me the price of the Sony A200 has dropped from S$1,099 to S$960. Better freebies too, instead of $100 voucher on lens, it's now an extra battery.

Monday, April 21, 2008

'One week (give or take couple more) in Sillypore 2'

Its been a kinda emotional draining couple of weeks for me but I’m still hanging on. Anyway, this whole blog was always meant to be bout happy stuff and things I like (so no sad talk), and I do realise that the people around me, my family want me to get back to doing the things I like, be happy and all. It’s all a mental thing.

Been going trigger-happy with my idiot-proof compact digital camera for the last couple of weeks. Besides that, I have been pretty busy too, finally constructed my DIY lightbox, more on that next time! And I have set my sights on the Sony Alpha 200 digital SLR. Probably get it at the next IT show in June. A new hobby might be a good thing. I have cancelled my World of Warcraft online account but have been playing the card game with the guys more.

Quite busy at work too. More late nites than usual cos been dealing with European clients/offices and they starting work is when regular folks here start going home.

On my way to the conference inside Raffles City that I mentioned in my last post, it’s like 7.15am in the morning. There's no else around and you can almost see the sunlight creeping in above the sunroof.

Found this little vodka collection I bought bout two Xmas ago from Ikea. Completely forgotten bout them. You know wat that means. More photo opportunities with my ladies later!

New Teppanyaki joint at Suntec City fountain area. Not bad. Had the prawn set.

Trying out the Sunset mode on my camera. …er….not working for me.

My new $20 flip phone from Sony (after trading in my old phone). I got the phone strap while in Osaka last year, from a little capsule machine. It’s a metal train ticket to Umeda.

Pepper and black soy sauce shakers. The kind you find on your local neighbourhood coffee shop table when ordering soft-boiled eggs.

When I’m not at my macbook in the living room, I’m next to my PC in the study. Up yonder is the Fossil Dragon next to two Idolmaster trading figures.

Giant colored balls. Whatever.
Fruits for dessert is always a good thing.

The newspaper delivery has been late rather frequent these days. I think its cos of this big condo that opened up down the road, so he’s got more deliveries to make or something. Anyway when I don’t have my morning papers to accompany my breakfast, I’ll turn on the TV to watch the Chinese morning breakfast show.Even though I can only understand like 20% of it, I rather watch it than the English breakfast show cos the latter is always bout serious biz reports, dreary world news etc. The Chinese morning show is more slice-of-life, down-to-earth stuff like visits to neighbourhood markets, schools, hobbies, breakfast meals etc.

Hair finally loooong and ‘messy’ enough to start using the Gatsby Moving Rubber Grudge Mat I got from Japan. This is really cute tiny little jar that you can’t find here in Singapore. First time using the Gatsby mat stuff and the only reason I got it cos of the neat little packaging.