Sunday, 14 October 2007

Believe it or Not, More Photos

Yes believe it or not I’m walking on air, Doup! Damn TV sitcom tunes just can’t get them outta my head, and that one relates to a show I haven’t seen in many many years, hang on a sec, I’ll just google the tune to find out what the show was called, something like “Greatest American Hero”, Woohoo the memory is not completely shot (yet), the show was called “The Greatest American Hero” and the theme song was believe it or not, “Believe it or Not” written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer and performed by Joey Scarbury, all relatively useless information (except if you’re a trivia freak). I found the shows opening including the theme song Believe it or Not on YouTube, even found the lyrics. I guess I must have too much time on my hands, well it is the weekend.

Anyhow back to the believe it or not comment, I’ve managed to add another series of photos to our site, yep I’m striking while the iron is hot, well medium warm. I’ve added photos from Christmas last year, don’t laugh Christmas this year hasn’t arrived yet though I’m guess the decoration will start going up soon. One thing I found amusing when living in the USA was holiday decorations, it seemed like the day after one lot came down the next lot went up. For example now in the states I would assume the stores have Halloween decos up, the day after Halloween they’ll disappear and Thanks Giving stuff will mysteriously appear, then the day after Thanks Giving all those decos will disappear and Christmas stuff will appear, but the elves help put up the Christmas decos so it not too much work for the poor shop staff. Mmmm Christmas lights, oh what fun one can have, get the back-up nuclear PowerStation ready to go! More power will be needed. Yes, Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation is one of my favourite movies, generally only to be consumed at Christmas time. I think I’ve watched it nearly every year since it was released. Yes some may consider me a sad soul.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Website Revamp Finished

Well I finally managed to revamp the website, I was partly forced to as I somehow managed to delete the majority of the website, you know when you hit delete and yes it just disappears. So I decided to try out some new software and rebuild the site from scratch, yes clean everything up, delete everything off the server, a fresh start, oh yes! After spending two days working on rebuilding the site I remembered that I have a back-up, yes it took me two days to remember I had a back-up. Now all you people laughing at my stupidity, ask yourself ‘do you back-up regularly’, ‘do you ever back-up’. If you answered no to either of these questions I would suggest now would be a good time to stop laughing and set about working on backing-up. Anyhow I (mostly) worked out the new software and build a site similar to the previous but with much less bulk, Woohoo so much more free space for more photo galleries (once I get my lazy bum around to adding them). There are some errors on the site but it seems to work okay in IE7 and firefox so I’m not worried. The only new aspects of the site are photo galleries of Isabella, yes I finally updated it to include photos from six to eighteen months, well seventeen months as she’s not reached eighteen months yet. Have a look at the site and let me know of any problems, you never know I might even be able to fix them, but don’t hold your breath.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

News, Drama, Entertain or Just a Waste of Our Time?

I can see why print news media is still the most trusted form of news and information. I spend much time reading different news website to see what’s happening in the world outside my door. I generally try to only read the sites that are connected with real print news paper. Being from Sydney I usually read the Sydney Morning Herald ( and its sister papers (The Age & Brisbane Times). I find the NY Time, UK Times online and Agence France-Presse (AFP) can be quite informative for a non Australian view point. I believe all news reporting has biases so you need to sample from different area. Some of you might be wondering where is train of thought came from, well watching the Australian news on cable this morning, there was this five minutes segment on the ‘controversial Tasmanian pulp mill’ that had just been approved. I figure about 4 ¾ minutes of this five minute report was a big waste of time. The mill has been approved, report finished, okay that’s only took about three seconds. The rest of the time was devoted to politicians and activist saying in reality nothing. For example the decision was based on scientific evidence and there are 24 tough environment conditions then the activist gets up and states the scientific evidence covers only one small area and then the news report turns the topic to whether the politicians involved will lose their seat and yet nothing was really said, what scientific evidence, what environment conditions, what’s not covered by the scientific evidence. I’ve felt for many years now that TV news is not news but just another drama series posturing as a relevant service to society. A classic example of this from a few years back was a factory explosion, the commercial TV channels had music and a specially added explosion soundtrack added to the video footage of the explosion and fire, according to the reporting hundreds were likely dead due to the explosions and ensuring blaze, the video made me think Rambo was behind the building laying waste to it. Then flicking over to a non-commercial channel and catching the same story, strangely there was no music or explosions just the slight cracking of the fire and the reporter was saying there were a few unaccounted for workers that have potentially perished in the fire, what no sensation, heck why would anyone watch non-commercial news, it’s just so lacklustre! The news paper the next morning sadly informed that one person had perished and several were injured, a far cry from the hundreds likely dead!

Yes I still watch the news on TV, what can I say I like the flashing lights, however internet news with its colour images and video is quickly filling the void and pushing flashy (often misleading) TV news out the back door. I just hope the online news sites get better editors to fix the grammar and stop reporting error.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Fun Day On Sentosa

Marika enjoyed her birthday. After a brief morning stint at work we all met up and headed down to Sentosa for lunch and dinner. We had a nice day wandering around. Bella (and Daddy) played in a water feature and on the beach, little miss wasn’t so sure about the waves but she meandered into the oceans water with a little help. On the way home we found four stray kittens near the monorail station, I’m guessing they were about seven weeks old as their eyes had mostly changed colour, playful little fur balls, they wanted to climb onto Isabella’s stroller and go for a ride. I think Marika wanted to adopt them, they were cute but a little too furry for my liking, mmmm all that cat hair would send my senses into full blown hay fever mode. It’s great to see that Isabella likes animals even though we don’t have any pets at home. We do have some local stray cats we see and feed most days so I guess that is almost like having pets at home.

For those who don’t know Sentosa is a small island just at the bottom of Singapore, which also happens to be a rather small island. Sentosa is mostly a tourism and leisure zone. There has been some residential development in recent years but mostly its resorts, marinas, golfing, amusements and beaches. The island is connected by bridge and cable car; this past year also saw the opening of a monorail which was our chosen mode of transport to the island.

Marika & Isabella On and Beside the Monorail

The monorail operates from Harbourfront and Singapore’s newest shopping centre Vivocity across the island to the beaches, with stops at Imbiah lookout and the former ferry terminal. It’s sad to see the classic old ferry terminal gone; it was a grand old building and looked to be in good shape (before the wrecking ball played with it).

Old Ferry Terminal and Gardens now Gone to makeway for IR

It had to go to make way for one of the new IR’s, that Singaporean for Integrated Resort, or in plan English a Casino and hotel. The government has tendered and approved the development of two IR’s, I think both are due to be completed by 2009 and they are very close together, I guess only a few kilometres apart and both are waterfront properties. Despite the fact they are casinos, they are going to be very interesting sites, fascinating building designs and a variety of tourism and leisure activities (other the gambling). I guess the IR’s are a way of combating the lowing appeal of shopping, yes it’s a sad story but Singapore is losing it’s shopping haven title as many cities in the region are offering bargain / cheaper shopping destinations. People here nip up to KL or Bangkok like someone in Sydney would duck off to Newcastle or Melbourne. Not that I’m implying Newcastle is a shopping mecca, it is great town, my hometown as such so I’m kind of biased. Caveat emptor, the nightlife / bars and clubs usually have a certain Neanderthal element, but then again bars and clubs all over the world seem to attract the Neanderthal element!