Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Sunday, November 25, 2007

iPod Touch

I have at last managed to get the time to come back and update my blog and thought that I might as well do a quick write up on my beautiful, sleek and down right sexy iPod touch. And yes that's pictures of the springboard below.

Now I know what your thinking, your iPod Touch doesn't look like that at all. And that would be correct. You see as soon as I got it I couldn't resist hacking it, and after a couple of months of careful searching managed to do just that. It's currently been updated to firmware version 1.1.2 as well.

That may mean nothing to a lot of people so I'll translate that into english. Apart from using my touch for music/video, it also holds my collection of ebooks, and when I get really bored I can use it as Game Boy Advance and play any GBA game on it.

Of course i'll be updating to the iPhone when it arrives here in Singapore, and hopefully by then I'll be able to hack that and use skype and save a fortune on phone bills.

And in the meantime, I'm going sit back and enjoy my ipod Touch.

Ban Christmas Carols

Strolling though the supermarket today I was treated to the nerve jangling sound of the looped tape of Christmas jingles & carols. Now I'm all for setting the mood and the spirit of Christmas, but ...

... how fucking dated is the crap that's being played. I mean its the same old rubbish every year, year after year after annoying year. If I hear Jingle bells one more time I swear I'm going to slash my wrists. I'm thinking of taking all the music and writing parodies of the songs cause I'm so sick of them.

And here in Singapore its even worse. Songs about snow falling and sitting by the fire roasting chestnuts are as out of place as a nun in a whore house. Not only that its played at least 2 months before the actual date and even (insanely so) played as background music in restaurants.

It's blatant discrimination too. I mean we don't hear Indian music 2 months before Deepavali, or the strains of Chinese Opera for 2 months before the lunar new year, festivals that are of equal importance to the communities that celebrate them. Hell no, but come Christmas the looped tape of dated music is switched on everywhere.

I think that what we need is a world wide ban so we don't have to suffer it any more.

As for me its earplugs in and iPod turned on from now on.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Singapore Radio Sucks

Over the last few nights I've been way too tired to remember to bring my iPod to bed and ended up trying to fall asleep while listening to the Radio instead. Huge Mistake!

Generally the choice of music is pretty good on most stations in Singapore but the problem is there's just not enough of it. I mean who the hell actually believes that an add on radio works, and how stupid are they. Radio adverts are just annoying and give people an excuse to change channel.

And what about the DJ's who like to talk between songs. For God's sake shut the fuck up already. Without exception they are boring,uninteresting and talk rubbish 99% of the time. By all means tell me what tracks are coming up but that's all I need to know. Please feel free to use the microphone to pleasure yourself afterwards if you want ..... just turn it off already.

And its even worse when there's more than one DJ as they just spend time trying to outdo each other and the music ends up getting a second seat. The number of times I've switched off my radio in frustration is unreal.

Radio, its just a poor substitute for real music, and in Singapore doubly so.

Now, where the hell did I leave my iPod!

Section 377A

In a recent interview with respect to the Singapore Governments stand on section 377A, a section aimed solely at criminalizing homosexuality, the prime minister Lee Hsien Loong was quoted as saying ... "Our view, as a government is, we will go with society. We will not push forward as society's views shift. We just follow along. As of today, my judgement is: the society is comfortable with our position. Leave the clause (alone). What people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply."

You have to admire the man's stupidity, as if by changing section 377A it implies that guys are going to start humping each other on the streets of Singapore, or that by implication the government or the man himself is even remotely aware of what society wants.

When a government openly and publicly discriminates against a minority section of its own people you have to wonder what message it is actual sending. To me the law has always been about what is right and fair, and changing it when it is obvious that it needs to be changed regardless of public opinion.

A government should lead its people, not follow along like some pet on a leash.

Heel boy, heel!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Trillium

The Trillium, a development that I am predicting will be plagued by problems all because of the fully sold sign below.

When I first saw the Trillium being launched I thought great, lets go take a look, and then promptly walked away because the asking price was ridiculous. Then a little later I saw the fully sold sign and did a double take, I mean who knew people could be that stupid as to thank God for profiting from material wealth. I mean I'm not religious but even I'm not stupid enough to smack God in the face so publicly.

The more I saw the sign the more annoying it became because its clear that the idiot responsible has no concept or appreciation for the spiritual side of life. Thanking God for turning a profit is totally tasteless, lets all stand on the steps and shout loudly people. Even Christian friends I showed this picture to were disgusted.

So I'm predicting all sorts of problems for this development as a result. Let's watch it together shall we.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Automactic Flush

Public toilets drive me crazy. The moment you walk into the cubicle you know you've made a huge mistake, but alas the call of nature can never be deterred. Gritting your teeth you wade though a carpet of toilet paper wondering why people are so messy only to find that its been used to wipe the foot prints from the toilet seat as you do likewise thinking at the same time how the hell anyone can anyone go in such an unnatural position.

Well its either that or some unthinking untrained son-of-a-bitch has decided to spray urine all over the place, I mean what is it with that. I can only put it down to the fact that some people have an incredibly small penis and it keeps slipping from their fingers.

Of course no sooner have you reluctantly sat down than the automatic flush kicks in spraying your arse with cold water before you've even had a chance to go, which of course totally destroys the moment. No choice but grin and bear it and of course sit absolutely still cause you know if you shift even slightly the damn thing is going to flush again.

Oh yeah, and always check there's enough toilet paper BEFORE you actually do anything. Annoying or what!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Zouk - Paul Van Dyk

Last nights Zouk guest DJ Paul Van Dyk totally sucked. He was suppose to be promoting his Inbetween album which is actually quiet good but lost the plot somewhere between touch down and reaching the club.

There were a couple of great moments but they were too few and far between and the last hour of his set was a disaster, even his mix of White Lies died a death, totally mangled. The premadonna, advertised to begin at midnight didn't even start the set on time. After the hype and build up it was a let down, and many people walked away unimpressed.

On top of that the management at Zouk need a few slaps as well. The club was way over crowded and their own people were absolutely crap at managing the crowd, a totally useless team of people who seemed to be more interested in looking pretty and waving flashlights rather than doing anything useful. I have to admit to feeling sorry for the crew in the orange t-shirts who had to fight their way through it all.

I'd love to know just exactly how many people were there and how many people Zouk are licensed to hold. Lets all pray for a police raid next time!

But last night sucked on many levels. The only time it picked up was when Paul Van Dyk actually stopped playing, after that it was what it should have been all night, a progressive trance shuffle heaven!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Great Singapore Ripoff

I've always been amazed at the hotels in Singapore, not only are they well kept and staffed, friendly and quite frankly ahead of anything the west has to offer, but I've always been under the impression that they are priced quite reasonably. In fact its one of the reasons that people travel to Singapore because its so affordable. Well, mostly true, you see ....

The problem with Singapore hotels is that although the set their prices at the start of the year for the year, if anything happens such as a convention then prices soar out of all proportion. With the inflated prices I'm surprised anyone bothers. Two times, three times the normal rate are not unheard off.

I'm surprised the government, big brother that it can be, hasn't stepped in and put some sort of a cap on price hikes. I mean these hikes have got to be damaging the tourist industry. It's blatant profiteering, in fact I'd almost go as far as to say its nothing short of theft. And while corporate pockets may be big they are not forgiving. And what about the poor tourist who comes at the wrong time, they are the ones that really suffer along with Singapore's reputation as a relatively inexpensive holiday destination.

Personally I think that once a hotel has set and published its rates for the year, that a cap of x% is imposed during any 3 month period. That way they can't just change it to what they want to charge any time they choose. The x% needs to be fair so that they can make a decent profit, I'm not a total dictator.

But seriously, it is soon going to become a deciding factor when companies hold events here and if it continues as is then tourism will dip and sooner rather than later the fat corporate wallet will become a thing of legend.

Monday, July 09, 2007

MRT Blues

After being totally let down by Singapore's taxi service which is the subject of a couple of rants already, I've been waking up that little bit earlier and after my early morning run (mentioned purely because of how torturous it is) I walk the 15 minutes to the MRT station listening to my iPod all the way. Needless to say by the time I get to the station I'm in a great mood which is just as well because it ....

.... all starts going wrong on the escalator down to the station.

There's always some complete and utter twat who insists on standing on the right even though the signs ask people to stand on the left. So those of us who like to walk down the bloody thing are trapped before we've even started the journey. I mean how stupid do people have to be to understand that they are in the way and move their sorry arse to the left.

Next thing to deal with is waiting at the doors of the train. There's always some plonker who arrives at the very last second as the train arrives and pushes their way by you to get on to the train even though you've been standing there patiently for the last 4 minutes for the damn thing to arrive, and take note so far women are the worst offenders.

So now you're on a packed train squeezed up against the doors even through there would be enough room if only people would move down the damn carriage. On the left you're fighting with the idiot who insists on using what little space there is around you to read the morning paper, to the right is the other idiot who leans against the bar so that those around him have nothing to hold on to. If front of you is the women who keeps adjusting her shoulder bag and smacking you in the nuts with it at every opportunity, while behind you is the person who can't spell deodorant. And then the doors open at the next station, and yes even though you couldn't squeeze a knat's arse in there is always one bastard who shoves their way on stepping on your feet in the process. If the fucker was blind deaf and dumb there'd be some excuse.

And then you arrive at your station and its as though the train having swallowed up all these people finds them not to its taste (understandable in some cases) and vomits them all out. Naturally you are now in the way of this stampede and either go with the flow or get trampled on.

So how was your Monday!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Straining It

Ok, a question to the masses. Why is it in a public toilet that you always end up in the cubicle next to the guy who's making the type of sounds that leave you to assume he's about to either crap a cannon ball, or explode?

I mean what is it with that? All that grunting and groaning and other sounds that for the life of me I haven't a clue how to type. It's as though there is an inbuilt need to announce to everyone in the immediate area that they're taking a dump, some sort of macho crapping ritual that I just don't get.

And lets not talk about the idiots who insist on having a conversation on their mobile phone at the same time. Not bad enough that everyone else has to listen but they call a friend as well.

Seriously one of these days I'm just not going to be able to restrain myself and burst into applause.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Singapore Waterspout

It has to be one of the most interesting sights to have been seen in Singapore recently, and one that had nearly everyone in our office where this picture was taken from with their faces pressed against the window to get a better look.

Waterspouts are not that rare, but seeing one so close and to have such an excellent view of it during an otherwise hot sunny day was fantastic. It really does make you take a step back when you see the power of mother nature if action.

Well .... it kept us entertained for a full 10 minutes!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fugly Croc-a-what!

When it comes to fashion I'm not one of these people who could be remotely described as a dedicated follower of the latest trend. Technical gadgets well now that's a different story, but not the subject of this little rant. I mean lets face it there are some fashion trends that are just down right absurd. Take those colorful plastic clog-like shoes as an example. They have got to be one of the ugliest things you could possibly wear.

There's nothing about them that's nice. They're lumpy clog-like and just simply hideous. You've got to question the IQ factor of anyone who owns a pair. They are almost anti-fashion they're so bad. I still find myself pointing and laughing when I see people wear them, although these days I tend not to laugh too loud after all one must be sympathetic to the mentally challenged.

But seriously, why would anyone wear them, apart from being ugly they make your feet look huge. OK, nothing wrong with big feet as long as you're a guy and everything is in proportion (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Of course they've made their inventor a million which is cool, but seriously can we get them out of the shops now as the trend is over and flogged to death already.

In the meantime, a couple of asprin and a pair of sunglasses wouldn't go amiss!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Minsters Pay Rise Piss Off Singaporeans

The salary of the prime minister of Singapore is more than three times that of U.S. President George Bush and about four times that of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But that is not enough. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong may soon be getting a hefty pay rise as part of a controversial ministerial salary hike that has infuriated many Singaporeans.

Lee, who is estimated to earn about S$2 million (US$1.32 million) per year, said last month that the salaries of Singapore ministers, top public officials and judges have fallen way below benchmark private sector salaries and may need to be doubled. "It is critical for us to keep these salaries competitive, so as to be able to bring in a continuing flow of able and successful people," Lee said in a speech in March. Lee said that Singapore ministers, who currently earn about S$1.2 million (US$800,000) a year, should be earning S$2.2 million (US$1.45 million). Details of the new ministerial salaries will be announced in parliament on April 9.

Since 1994, the salaries of Singapore ministers have been set at two-thirds the median pay of the 48 best-paid bankers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and executives in multi-nationals and manufacturing firms. But the latest salary hike, which comes at a time when income disparity in Singapore is wider than ever, has sparked an outpour of unusually blunt criticism from Singaporeans. What irks Singapore's opposition parties is that the million-dollar salaries are only accessible to members of Lee's ruling People's Action Party (how strange I hear you mumble)

Lee Kuan Yew -- modern Singapore's first prime minister, who is still the leading voice in his son's cabinet (read into that what you will) stated that it is "absurd" for Singaporeans to quarrel about ministerial pay and warning that Singapore would suffer if the government could not pay competitive salaries. "Your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people's countries," he said.

I wonder if that ranks as the most stupid thing he has ever said?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amazed by Technology

In a continuation from a previous post title "an apple a day" and after settling in and playing around with my MacBook with much enthusiasm, I decided to take my entertainment setup to a new level and "Macify" (a word I've just added to the English Dictionary) my home.

So I rushed over to my local technology center and purchased an Airport Extreme Wireless router together with an Apple TV. After a few false starts I managed to get everything working together and it worked like a charm.

A little while later as I was sat there watching an episode of Heroes (great show by the way) on my Plasma TV that was being streamed from my MacBooks hard disk through the Airport Extreme Router by the Apple TV it suddenly struck me how amazing technology has become. I mean it really is amazing when you step back and think about it. And not only amazing but accessible.

Not only can you use the Apple TV to watch movies or music that you have on your hard disk, but through itunes you can even watch previews of all the latest movies without leaving your home. I for one thought that was totally cool, and I haven't even mentioned the photo album options.

Of course now I intend to totally rip my DVD's and get back some cupboard space, a little project that's going to take me a couple of years I hasten to add. well that's what I get for living in the dark ages collecting DVD's!.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer, Singapore's answer to the London Eye, is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2008. When it opens it will become the worlds largest ferris wheel at 165 meters high (that's 42 stories) and 150 meters wide providing (supposedly) unparalleled panoramic views of Singapore, the straits of Malaysia and the islands of Indonesia.

People will take a leisurely 37 minutes for one vibration free revolution (or "flight" to use the correct term) of this massive ferris wheel and each air conditioned capsule (there will be 28 in total) is capable of holding 28-30 lucky fear factor individuals. The cost of this experience is expected to be as detailed below.

It is also linked to the Marina Integrated Resort scheduled to be opened in 2009, which given Singapore's strict laws on gambling is not actually being called a Casino even though that's exactly what it is. I think we can expect more people to pay that a visit when it opens since it's got a much higher novelty factor.

Of course rumors have it that the Singapore Government is going to place some restrictions on access to the Casino for its citizens as it is concerned that some may spend more than they can afford to and wants to take steps to ensure that that doesn't happen. How that's going to work I've got no idea, but watch this space.

In the meantime those of you with a head for heights (not to mention a decent camera) have something to look forward to. And if you can't wait why not pre-book your experience (or read more about it) at http://www.singaporeflyer.com.sg.

In the meantime I'm sure everyone involved has their fingers and toes crossed for a smog free 2008!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

An Apple a Day

I went out looking for a new laptop recently thinking that with the computer fair on here in Singapore it was probably the best time to buy. Special deals, discounts, freebies and all that. My old laptop had always been a little sluggish so it was time to upgrade.

So I fought my way through hordes of people, pushing, shoving and stepping on little children (who had no right to be there in the first place) intent on visiting each and every stall. I had an idea of what I wanted in my spanking new laptop and knew up front that Windows Vista wasn't on the list.

However, no matter what new model of laptop I looked at nearly every one of them came bundled with Vista installed. Upon asking I found that the majority had no Windows XP version available. No matter how many stalls I went to this response started to become the norm. I don't know if Windows Vista is good or not, the jury is still out on that one, but I didn't want it and I was pissed off to find that as a consumer a choice was being forced on me.

So I got to thinking (well it was either that or lie down on the floor kicking and screaming like a baby). Windows Vista is effectively a Mac clone (anyone who thinks otherwise need some serious medical attention, preferably in a padded cell with electrodes attached to specially shaved areas) so why not look at a Mac as an option.

The Mac OS is stable and has been for years. So as scary as it was I threw out all thoughts of getting a windows based laptop and purchased a Mac Book instead. Yes I have bungee jumped into the world of Apple.

So .... flipping two fingers on one hand to everyone in Microsoft, and two fingers on the other hand to the computer industry that tried to impose its choice on me .... I'm off to play with my new sexy sleek wonderfully black Mac!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

THE Kiss

Ok, I'm not just talking about any kiss here. This isn't the type of kiss that you would give a relation or even a close friend, and if by chance it is then I seriously worry about you. No, this is THE Kiss, totally and utterly pornographic in nature. It's a kiss that communicates sexual intent leaving no doubt in your mind that all your clothes are coming off.

This kiss is a language all onto itself. It not only communicates intent, but when perfected can even proclaim how long it will be before that intent is to be become a reality. It's the type of kiss that starts with the lips but somehow ends up involving the whole body as you lose yourself to its rhythm. And it has a rhythm of its own, one that rises and falls in perfect synchronicity to the breath of the individuals concerned.

It's the type of kiss that not only inflames passion, but that fuels it until the promise of the next inevitable step burns hotter than the midday sun. It is a kiss that will not be denied. You can try but you will never succeed because this is the type of kiss that accepts nothing short of total surrender and always achieves its goal. By its very nature it can do no less. It is a kiss that ultimately takes lustful intentions and makes them a reality in the most erotic way possible.

It is a prelude, it is the main event and can never be contained. It is the stuff of wet dreams and tinsel town legends that has only one inevitable inescapable conclusion, for once it has begun there can be no other outcome.

It is THE Kiss!

So ........ who wants one?

Friday, February 23, 2007

iWant an iPhone

Yes I admit it I'm a gadget lover (among other things), and like many I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on the new Apple iPhone. An mp3 player that doubles as a phone instead of the other way round, how novel is that!.

I use to be a huge Nokia fan, but they so totally lost the plot. Instead of making continuous improvements in their models and creating a phone that everyone would want to have, new phone upon new phone was released, many of them flawed in my opinion, in an attempt to saturate the market and cater to every possible taste. I got so pissed off with Nokia that I dumped my N80 and moved on, and I'm not looking back either!.

In fact Nokia Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo reportly told analysts that he doesn't think Nokia, the world's No. 1 handset maker, needs to change its business approach because of the iPhone. The word moran springs instantly to mind.

Anyway, back to the iPhone. It combines three products — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, maps, and searching — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone also introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting you control everything with just your fingers.

And if the iPhone has got your juices flowing, then just as sexy and just as sleek, is this little number from the partnership of LG and Prada which is already being referred to as an iPhone Rival. Lighther than the iPhone and with just as many features including an auto focus 2 Mega Pixel camera and touch screen technology this phone is set to turn a few heads .... and its Prada darlings!

Now everyone go .... aaaaahhhhhhhh, and wipe the drool from your chin. Oh, and if anyone out there in cyberland wants to get into my pants .... now you know the price .... one of the above would do nicely, thank you very much!.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Singapore Bans Madonna

It has just been announced that Singapore has banned the Madonna Confessions Tour DVD, specifically because of the cruxification scene. Apart from imposing their Christian values on society it appears that the censorship board cannot distinguish between religion and art, although I'm sure not many Singaporeans will be staggered by that revelation.

Even staunch Christian strongholds like Ireland haven't gone to this extreme so you have to wonder what message the censorship board is trying to get across, or indeed if this is simply bias on behalf of some Christian members within the censorship board itself.

I’d love to know who makes the decisions and on what basis, after all there seems to be no end of bums and tits on display on all the top shelves across the island.

Madonna, it appears that you may need to have a Janet Jackson moment!

The Disappearing Taxi

Getting a taxi in Singapore use to be easier despite the fact that there is now some 20,000+ taxi's on the streets. The problem is that when it rains (which it's apt to do now and again) they all seem to magically dissolve and disappear. And lets not talk about between the hours of 11pm and 12am when they seem to turn completely invisible or just totally ignore you while they wait for the midnight charge to kick in. Yes, you can be sure that When you need a taxi most in Singapore there's never one around.

The cost of taxi's has spiraled out of control as well. For example if you call a taxi in the morning that’s $4 extra, plus $1 CBD charge, plus $1 peak period charge, plus ERP $2 plus a minimum $2.40 before you even go anywhere. So before you've even started your journey the cost is $10+, totally crazy pricing!.

Of course many taxi drivers bemoan the fact that its hard to make a living driving a taxi in Singapore, after all the sun does shine more often than not (incidentally from the $10 above approximately $7.30 of that goes to the taxi driver). Which if you think about it probably explains why they sometimes pick and choose their passengers. Although why they all seem to change shifts at 5pm when people are just starting to finish work is totally beyond me.

And lets face it with pricing as it is the cab companies are not exactly encouraging people to make use of their services. That could be why fewer people want to drive taxi's and why certain cab companies have a surplus gathering rust.

On the plus side the public transport system in Singapore is excellent and getting better, so its only a matter of time before taxi's disappear altogether.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Anal Sex is ok in Singapore

Yes its true, believe it or not the Singapore government recently revoked an age old law that made it a criminal offence for people to engage in anal or oral sex, even if they were married. Of course it only revoked this law for hetrosexual couples. Homosexuality still remains a crime in Singapore. Discrimination I hear you cry .... 

.... not in Singapore. Appearantly the govenement is just protecting its people who aren't ready to deal with the issue of homosexuality yet.

Still its nice to know in such a civilised society that women can now legally enjoy a bit of bum fun with their spouses, and I'm sure they're totally trilled by the prospect. Of course one must wonder who advised the change in this particular law. Wouldn't you just love to be a fly on the wall in that household!.

Oh Yessssss minister!!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thank God for the Internet!

In the city-state of Singapore which has a thriving gay scene despite gay sex being outlawed, in a recent survey half of the 800 survey respondents aged 15-29 found homosexuality acceptable. Containing only one question on homosexuality, the survey respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with he statement, "I find homosexuality acceptable."

While these results show an increase in people's acceptance of homosexuality in Singapore what exactly does it mean? And the answer to that question is of course absolultely nothing other than the fact a survey took place. Homosexuality will still be illegal and "big brother" will still be anal about the whole thing.

So few Singaporeans are open about their sexuality, understandable from a cultural perspective, and even fewer are vocal about the blatant social and political discimination with respect to homosexuality that we can expect no changes to the status quo anytime soon.

At least its a sign that people's attitudes are moving in the right direction, so thank God for the internet!