The latest iPhone addiction is the game Draw Something. It's like Pictionary for iPhone. Some of the friends I play with are professional digital artists, and sometimes, you get drawings like these:
That's hardcore, Stan. You did this with your FINGERS? Daaaamn.
Here's another drawing by my friend Stan:
Here are some of my (weaker) efforts:
I guess I do like drawing too.
Another fellow who seems a little obsessive with Draw Something is this guy: http://saybobby.tumblr.com/. I have to say he really takes a LOT of trouble for some of the simplest words. But always a pleasure to view his art.
Youtube link: http://mrbrwn.co/AB4uGT
I guess this was Singapore taking the piss at Australia for their "So where the bloody hell are you?" tourism campaign.
Though I am pretty certain "get lost" means the same in Australia as the rest of the world.
And with our tiny size, I am not sure if it is possible to get lost here either.
This is my living room. My wife is reluctant to share this image because, in her view, our home is never neat enough for the public eye. I am the more bochup man of the household. As long as things are in neat piles, I am fine. We do have three children, a helper and ourselves living in this space. Expecting it to look like something out of Interior Designed Homes Most Folks Cannot Afford magazine, is not realistic.
We've been living in our present flat for more than 7 years now. While comfortable, the wife felt that the children needed more space to do their homework and play. That was basically code for "You will need to give up your Study room."
She also wanted me to do something about my bicycles.
I suggested that perhaps, in the interim, the children could study in the living room and we could carve out space for them and my bicycles. One of the challenges was to ensure that the living room was lighted adequately for the multi-purpose use we had in mind.
Our current living room lights kind of do the job for general lighting but not for what we had in mind.
Philips approached me and suggested a Home Lightover. They would help me re-do my living room with their lighting expertise to meet my new requirements.
I am a little apprehensive about renovations of any kind but it was either that or find a new home for my bicycles. With the Minister of Home Affairs (my wife) blessing, we agreed to be Lightovered.
I will keep you updated of the progress of this little enterprise in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Part 2: The Work Begins
Apple's new iPad is not called iPad 3 or iPad HD. Just… the New iPad. Somewhat like our Budget Terminal being named Budget Terminal, except that no one won a prize in the naming contest. Or like Marina Bay being renamed Marina Bay.
Will the next next iPad be called Even Newer iPad? Or iPad Baru Lagi? Or iPad Istimewa?
With a Retina display, 5mp camera & HD video, you'll still look like an moron taking photos & videos with your new iPad, but with higher quality.
But I have to say the 2048 by 1536 Retina display on the new iPad is very appealing. That's more pixels than my 1920 by 1080 27-inch monitor right now. Looking at my monitor now, I am so depressed. Maybe I need a 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt display.
Actually, I am more interested in the new 1080p Apple TV. I am already enjoying the current Apple TV a lot (requires US iTunes account) and watching Youtube and Vimeo on my big-screen tv is very shiok.
4G LTE on the new iPad will also be next to useless until Singapore gets decent (and affordable) 4G coverage.
In other news, my wife finally decided she wanted to try the Siri feature on her iPhone 4S. The UK version uses a male voice.
Wife: "I want to try Siri on my iPhone. Turn it on for me."
Me: "Don't bother. He didn't understand me."
Wife: "Maybe he will understand me better?"
My little tweet about the iPad 3 was picked up by Mashable. It was an honour but what was more thrilling was seeing the word "leh" in an American site.
I bet Americans were going, what's "leh"? Is it an iPad 2 feature we didn't know about?
The tweet, in case you missed it:
Me: "iPad 3 is coming in March. You know what that means…"
Wife: "You'll buy one for me?"
Me: "Better! You'll inherit my iPad 2! 64GB leh!"
Me (after paying some bills): *presses* Logout
AXS Machine: Join contest?
AXS: Sure? Can win Condo.
AXS: Ok. Instant Lucky dip?
Rage level: Hulk Smash
Update: Added additional responses from SL below:
A reader response to Tharman's $1k-a-month-can-buy-flat speech. Here is an excerpt of the SL's email to me:
"Normally I would not feel compelled to e-mail a personality, but I'm genuinely very, very offended by Mr. Tharman's remarks that a family could buy a flat with a household income of just S$1k. It is the situation my family is in at present, and I can assure you that it is completely insufficient, considering the rising costs of living and bleak employment outlook.
My father is 54 this year, and as a single parent, he is raising my older brother and I. He has no savings anymore. Our mother passed away some time ago. Both of us are in tertiary education, and we hope to graduate as soon as possible to alleviate the costs. He is earning approximately 800 per month, and works daily as a labourer. A large portion of his CPF savings have gone towards the cost of our very small flat (of which I am aware is not truly ours, much like those 99-year leases on condominiums). I'd like to describe our living conditions as such: We live on one meal per day, and often this meal comprises of Maggi, or any other cheap substitutes that make up our kitchen cabinet. We have perhaps a bottle of coffee, a few tins of Campbell's, but we don't have proper meals. We haven't repaired anything substantially because it costs too much. As undergraduates, we are trying our best to keep up. Even with a student concession, it is expensive to travel (consider the cost of student concession for two individuals, especially on an income of approximately 800).
At this point, the amount allocated for Education under my father's CPF account is left with absolutely nothing, and we have already received notices from our respective schools warning that we would not be able to register for the next semester because our fees have not been paid (and neither of us are enrolled in private education/external correspondence courses). On his pay, we have struggled to afford textbooks, and any materials that we might need for specific projects. Right now, we can't even seem to afford our education.
One might suggest that a scholarship might be an answer, but in this case, we have already declined to accept the ones that we have applied to because we both decided that we were not ready to commit to a career on the basis of our financial situation, as opposed to genuine interest. Even then, it is difficult to meet the conditions that require that your guarantors earn a specific amount in case you default on your agreement with the firm/ministry.
We're trying really hard to keep up with the times, but it is getting increasingly difficult to remain optimistic about our chances of surviving once we graduate…"
An additional response from SL in the comments:
I feel that I have to respond to some of the comments:
@Keef Li: We are both working part-time to alleviate the costs, and we have been paying for our own textbooks, but the cost of tuition fees, at one go, is something that's a little beyond us. We're hoping to be able to work it out over the rest of the semester. Also -we spoke to our father before we made our decision, we are not delusional.
Bursary-wise, it's a little hard for us to provide some proof of our father's income because he is an odd-job labourer and currently does not have CPF contributions. He is paid for odd jobs -we both don't really know how to document whatever it is he receives (800 is on a good month) when presenting the documents. We are both still planning to apply for bursaries available to help defray the costs; thank you for having linked us, regardless. To some extent both of us are trying not to trouble him unnecessarily.
All I'm trying to say is that Mr. Tharman's comments on flats being affordable to those in the low-income bracket fails to consider some other conditions when making the projection.
Another comment from SL:
One more point of clarification: @okgo is right, we were unable to meet the conditions stipulated by the ones we applied to simply because we could not find individuals willing to act as our guarantors in case we defaulted on our contracts. Even if we decided for these particular scholarships, we would not have been able to obtain it. It is only a point of consolation to us that we were not entirely interested in the offers.
We were not able to make a sufficiently competitive application to some others. My brother is also graduating relatively soon, and we are optimistic that it will ease burdens currently placed upon my father. Realise that the entry is an excerpt, and there were other reasons that I highlighted when I said that it was 'difficult to remain optimistic', and these were related to certain policies that I am positive most of us are aware of.
@alccheong: Thank you for highlighting the page, I will look at it.
Thank you to those who have offered some form of help and/or advice, but my issue is genuinely not with affording my education (there are always means and ways as long as we are willing, and my brother and I are working together towards it. I apologise if my phrasing seems to point otherwise) as it is with the impression the Minister seems to have that it is a sustainable lifestyle. There are families in worse conditions that require our attention, and who do not have similar access to higher education.
There are apparently nine students who got a perfect score of nine distinctions in the A-levels results released on Friday afternoon.
You know what that means, right? Yes, buy 9999 for 4D.
Good grief, nine distinctions. That's more subjects than I took at O-levels.
Of course, congratulations to the nine students are in order. Well done to all of them.
When I tweeted about Finance Minister Tharman saying low-income earners making $1000 a month can buy a flat, many people expressed surprise. Maybe we heard wrongly. Maybe Tharman meant to say something else. So began the hashtag #maybetharmanmeanttosay:
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) recently ran a series of ads to promote social workers.
I love social workers and what they do but come on, MCYS, people with disabilities are not hopeless.
This kind of message just perpetuates the idea that the disabled are liabilities who need rescuing and sympathy, rather than a valuable part of our society who are differently-abled.
As a father of a special needs child, I am deeply offended by this kind of messaging.
Not cool, MCYS. Not cool at all.
Here is the press release from MCYS for the entire campaign, that features the other ads with words like "Abandoned", "Future destroyed" and "Life Ruined".
Notice he never said buy flat in what country. Or how many years you have to take to pay off the loan.
Sure, buy flat on a $1k salary a month. Just don't renovate, don't furnish, don't eat, don't turn on the lights, don't flush the toilet, don't even take a shit.
Maybe Tharman meant to say, if you make $1k a month, you can buy a flat… screen tv.
Youtube link: http://mrbrwn.co/xv7Ef6
Link to HDB page on the subsidy scheme.