Wednesday, April 30, 2008

new SMRT Buses from may (finally)

the 1st wave will have 66 standard length omnibuses from Mercedes Benz (EvoBus). If SMRTB exercises their option, another 66 buses will join the fleet.

information from SGforums, photos from a person called "TIB1018B" and information from another person called "sv966". Present bus photos from another guy called "TIB1224Y" (sorry to use it without permission). Lots of funny names here, sorry.

this time round, a Malaysian based company (Gemilang) is providing the wheelchair-accessible bodywork for the Mercedes chassis. Gemilang also provided the chassis for SBS Transit's 500 units of Scania K230UB. So, expect the general design to be similar. Means, lesser seats compared to conventional buses.

due to regulatory requirements, the bus emission standard is Euro V. As mentioned, it is also wheelchair accessible (WAB), which is the first for SMRTB. However, even if SMRTB exercises their option to bring the total order to 132, it is still below the 40% WAB requirement mandated by LTA.

with the entry of 66 buses, i hope SMRTB will

1. increase the frequencies of key trunk services - 61, 67, 171, 190, 851, 960, 963, just to name a few

2. introduce more basic (read: not $3-4 express) services that serves the northern sector of SG

(photos courtesy of TIB1018B)

If SMRTB chooses the TIB registration plate, the range will be
TIB 1258 A to TIB 1323U if the order is followed

Yeah, just to contrast the front.

Looks like the current Volgren-SMRTB fleets

Yup, looks very close to SBS Transit's WAB

technical specifications (courtesy of sv966):

- Chassis: Mercedes Benz OC500LE

- Engine: OM 457/906 hLA, Euro V

- Airconditioning: Konvekta (Denmark)

- Electronic destination sign (EDS) system: LAWO/LLE (Denmark), orange LED

The previous batch of LAWO EDS used in bendy buses are going to unreadable soon - the top section was cut off, the flip dots were covered in dust. The bendy bus in the previous post uses Transit Media, much cleaner BUT the flip dots are laggy.

The 300 is cropped.

Both are not nice. Hope this batch will be sealed to prevent dust from accumulating.

- Minor stuff: classic rectangular cool air vents similar to the Habit bendy buses, red/black chairs, on-board and alighting voice announcements (imagine DOORS CLOSING. tu tu tu tu tu tu), no driver window, blah blah blah. The rest you can experience them in May.

once again, thanks to the various copyright holders. Hope you are generous enough to allow the usage of the photo(s), for the good of the public =p

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

exam - 1/4

wrote and wrote, in the end couldn't finish the last section (user manual writing) decently. Felt abit chui-ed. As for the proposal and business correspondence writing, i tried my best. Nothing to be sad of.

I hugged my pen for 2 hours...

dinner at Vivo

My friends had herbal chicken and Bi Bim Bap

I had spicy chickee soup!

Another 1 hour to get home..

had a long kopi session with the usual mates. Then i got AL to tell me more on driving expenses. Jaw drop... but will evaluate the costs fully. Actually, the ability will depend on my first paycheck. Or don't drive, better right. lol...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Being sad is a necessary part of life

this article appeared in Straits Times, 28 Apr 2008. On reading the first few lines, i think i wanted someone to read it. So it's here...

True happiness doesn't mean being happy all the time
By Jessica Lim

BOOKSTORE owners like to fill their shelves with cheery tomes on how to achieve happiness.

From self-help sections, books yell out ways to Create Your Own Happiness, urge you to be Happy For No Reason, and direct you on the right path with the Geography Of Happiness.

My personal favourite? Happiness For Dummies.

But at least one author thinks the path to joy is to embrace its counterpoint - sadness.

In Against Happiness, author Eric G. Wilson argues that the drive towards purging sadness is misguided, even destructive.

Urging readers to re-think their one-track pursuit of security and contentment, he writes: 'We realise that those committed to happiness at any cost and those bent on sadness no matter what are not very different from each other.

'Both are afraid of the wispy middle.'

I agree with Mr Wilson.

Sadness is a useful and enlightening part of human experience.

Unfortunately, for most youth, sadness does not factor into the formula for success.

From as early as our teen years, we are taught to define happiness using empirical fact: Stellar grades, university admission, a successful career.

Check, check, check.

But are we really happy?

Seven months after I graduated from college in May 2005, my father died of a heart attack.

Determined to prove to the world that I was okay, I showed up for my first day of work a week after he was buried.

I didn't want to be sad, and so I immersed myself in my great new job. I revelled in my success. I might have even happily remarked to myself: 'I am not thinking about it any more!'

But a year later, the truth hit home.

I saw my family's blue Honda pulling into the driveway. I thought Daddy was home and rushed out to greet him. I pulled up short when I saw my mother in the driver's seat.

That was when I realised that by rejecting sadness, I had not let myself believe my father had died.

Sorrow is neither a disease, nor a state to be avoided.

Facing my grief meant having to re-define what happiness means to me - not in good schools or fat pay cheques, but being aware of things inevitably passing, of mortality, of life.

And before long, happiness came to me when I finally saw again the world's beauty through my sadness.

Recently, when surveys found that nine in 10 Singaporeans felt overly stressed and needed more fun, we all rushed to find the country's happiest person.

But why this continuous push to be always happy?

Sadness is part of life's rich experience: Only with a clear eye on the valleys of life can youth begin to truly appreciate the view from the top.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

yet another day passes...

had quite an interesting encounter yesterday. Was having lunch in cwp foodcourt when a guy came, asked whether the table beside me is empty. So i said yes, and he sat down.

but he was lifting both his hands up like a doctor drying his hands. As i ate, he began to use his handphone aiming at me, the juice bar beside me, etc. So i kept looking elsewhere. Spoilt my lunch, and i think this phrase fit the guy best:

"er dao ban ming!!!"

then, had the 3rd apple pie in this week...


Where is this?

mouth was itchy for this, so after studying, i took mrt from airport to bedok. Yummy... called $4 plate. But had to wait for 20 minutes, cause' the uncle prepares the orders in 'batches'. Then bought the pineapple drink across the hawker. It's pure satisfaction....!

Friday, April 25, 2008

sichuan steamboat @ arts deck

went to school to mug today. Steve asked me what time i'd reach. So i told him 1.30pm. By the time i really reach the basement, it's 3.30pm =x

he understandably wasn't surprised, and was prepared to go on it alone. So my lateness really stinks... sigh. Ting Whye came by just before dinner.

dinner was the famous $5 steamboat at FASS deck. The last and first time i had it was during the CS3214 hell week, nov 6 2007. Based on the difference in pictures, the amount of meat, veggie, crab meat etc kinda dropped. So i mentioned to steve about it, and he felt it too. Both of us became.... sian 1/2. Ting Whye found it alright, because it was his first try.

The usual queue after 4pm


Magnify a bit, my phone camera sucks

THEN - Nov 2007

went back to study. Then, we got distracted and started talking about cars, about the high prices recently.

moses got his mazda 3 in 2006 at around $50k with extra accessories, now it's $10k more. The new Toyota altis is at $80k mark. So i decided, stick with honda jazz or fit. Difficulty will be to finance the car. Try to finance it myself, or share with my brother...

parents? Nono, leave their money alone. If i have to use their money, then i won't get a car in the first place...

Honda fit 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

mug a quickie

no, not that kind of quickie!!

progress was slow, but at least there's something. Went t3, my favourite place in Singapore. From mac, i can see planes touching down.

One mac staff gave me a sample of...

mocha frappe. Quite nice actually. But the one at HK wasn't.

so much for price discounts. The above was an application of what i learnt today.

it's still better to study in a small group. As in, a pair or trio. mn, we do that when school starts ok? =)...

a possible choice?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

exams looming

so hard to "k" books....

"stress pack" given by one of the Youth Club members

but i think i found the best motivator. Not the above though.

just now met sijie at my lift lobby; she was going to pass the stuff to my mum. Then we sat down at the kopitiam, i was going to dine and she was going to wait for her father. Interestingly, the kopi-sao i'm familiar with passed by, then something funny happened:

*whispering using lips* nu peng you ar?

*sweat, whisper back* bu shi bu shi x4!!

*nodding* shi la shi la!!

*noticed our silent communication, then face turned kanchiong* auntie, bu shi la!!

we all laughed... lolz. She's afraid of these stuff cause' she often dines with her Elvis there. I don't wish to get hacked for no reason too.

the zi char's boss saw me, then asked me about sat's dinner (no seats, had to take cabs to another place). I had quite a bad impression because of his reply to my father then, which i could roughly understand in cantonese. He apologized for the situation, so i was surprised. Then when his sis came over with my fried rice, she apologized too (!).

then we saw Anthony, Wenqun's bro. Friend, how come your brother's hairstyle looked rather odd? Anyway if he put on his uniform with 1x crab, i bet people will be shocked beyond words.

Monday, April 21, 2008

impact of actions on Chinese by the western countries

in the Olympic torch relay worldwide, we have heard or seen rather violent protests. One key incident was a wheelchair-bound female athelete Jin Jing who had to shield herself from pro-Tibet protesters, during the Paris leg.

the incident was sure to stoke nationalist sentiments in China's common people, and it did. Carrefour stores in China were boycotted, and in a particular store Chinese drivers moved their trucks to block the front entrance. In return, Carrefour's management told the people that their stores carry mostly MIC products, hinting that the Chinese is stepping on their own toes. This simple statement may hurt even more feelings.

i think they felt shamed and bullied. I'm a Singaporean Chinese, but i can roughly empathize their feelings.

my personal take is simple - heads of western countries should have been smarter to anticipate the repercussions of their criticism. It's somewhat similar to the incident when Australia protested to Japan regarding the killing of sharks - but they themselves were killing kangaroos for pleasure. Thus, as a Chinese being interviewed in a particular news channel, "no one is perfect". When France set out to condemn China's handling of Tibet, i don't think France is perfect to start with.

i'm concerned about the Chinese impression towards France. Will this hatred stay? We will know only in the near future...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

refreshing my mind...

had small talk with HK:

K said:
ur blog

K said:
i so sad

K said:

zhiming-san :) .home. said:
sian. i feeling emo

K said:
yah i feel

K said:
dun ta bao can liao

the last sentence is golden.

stayed home the whole day, doing nothing useful. Except for checking my financial health, which was in the red. Need to save $xxxx in order to be able to repay my OCBC tuition fee loan immediately on graduation, to avoid paying interest. It's possible, but i need to cancel the saving policy i just signed up. If i save $500 monthly, the figure will be back to my target in feb next year.

then, i have to save up another $yyyyy as downpayment for my set of wheels. Headache...

so i brought my popular $20 voucher i redeemed using UOB rewards, to Bugis. Nope, didn't have the book i wanted. Then took a bus down to Harris Suntec. A nice girl helped me pick up the book from the ceiling with a big ladder, and i used the voucher to pay up.

The book

took another bus to airport, where i practically just sat in mac and relaxed. And watching people (read: NUS, NTU, SMU, etc) study. Just so uncomfortable and a reminder that i got to do something.

additional stuff in my private area.

ps: 男人女人's lyrics here! Next song: Ti Amo by 炎亚纶 (i love you in Italian)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

family dinner

it's a dinner, not a celebration because my father was advised by my "gu ma" not to celebrate his birthday. It was on monday, but we decided to have it today instead.

my aunt and cousin+Johnny joined us too, i'm pleasantly surprised. I'd say a warming of relations, because of historical events. Hope that it'll remain this way.

initially we had problems looking for a table below my block, so we took 3 cabs to Blk 136. Then my father and i just ordered and ordered. A total of 9 dishes plus a big serving of ee mee. Our bill was so easy to recognise - the only bill that is overcrowded with pen markings.

Naughty nieces were there, nephew beside me

Johnny, 3rd aunt and my cousin

then back home, the women discussed about the younger days, which i can remember some:

- i cried lots; 1 infamous example was that i cried all the way through from the start of "wrapping" of zhong zi to the end. And my mum carried me to many mediums to ask what was wrong with me...

- cried too much that my father told my mum to tell me not to call him "papa", call him shu shu instead. Am i that bad..?

- i started talking later than others, which scared my mum. Years later, according to the school bus auntie, i was the most 'guai'. But i wished i was more chatty...

- my cousin JW is comparable to me in crying, but became quieter now. Quieter than FR. And the fact that they used to fight quite often.

- my mum accidentally poured a boiling bowl of pig stomach soup directly onto FR's forehead in malaysia, after giving birth to my sis. And goodness, my mum rubbed her forehead continuously after that, and my grandfather had to tell her to stop. I heard this for the first time, i'm sorry my cousin... =x

- other times in siglap, the very first home in singapore for my parents and aunt's family. Was rented from another person who owned the terrace house.

supposedly lots of these photos, but with my aunt. Would love to see them soon. Meanwhile, i just looked through the ones i had. Lots of memories set in. Maybe because i'm troubled these days, tears just dropped when i saw my 2nd aunt with my mum. She was a very bubbly aunt, and always reminded me of my favourite dish - pig organs soup that time. It's really unfortunate she had to go so quickly, before i had any chance to do my part. I miss her...

projects (almost) over

except a report, that is...

One of my assigned deliverable

for the GIS, i did the add/edit/delete of medical facilities. Then i took up some unexpected stuff, such as login, access control (using FormsAuthentication, a very neat feature in .net 2.0), feedback, etc.

luckily this time round, there were 2 sample projects for viewing. Modifications are always easier than creating from scratch, so development time was drastically reduced.

then went with Nelson for makan at Clementi. This marked the end of all classes; study week next.

was listening to 许茹芸 and
阿穆隆's duet - 男人女人. I tend to agree with this line -




Friday, April 18, 2008

1st week of poly term

my life has been undergoing time warps recently. The load of projects and assignments came after the 2nd math quiz, making me quite lethargic, ironically. I'm supposed to gather my energy and work on them right? Those who know me well... know that this is dead wrong. That's why Melvin calls me a slacker, for a reason. shh...

so, my 'mother school' and workplace was extremely busy for this week. On monday, there were 7 night classes on. Just now, there were 9 night classes. Going to faint for the next 15 weeks...

had new colleagues onboard, and as all army guys know - newbies have to suffer for a while. So Anthony (DIT05) had to man the 2nd helpdesk created for freshies, while the old birds take care of the main helpdesk. He's quite motivated, and i was like him, staying beyond my alloted working hours to finish up things. But i'm been at it for a loooooong time, so my pace is slowing down.

think carefully...
j text-ed me far away from singapore, at another place in Asia. He was apparently going to let go. My friend, if you're reading this entry, remember my words. We friends can advise you based on whatever we heard from you, but you cannot take our advice alone. In the r/s, there are only 2 people. The rest are outsiders. And try not to complicate matters by operating a ferry service. Don't break ba chiu's heart unless your mind is set... i'm sure my friend got my meanings. :)

i just received the video clip of myself giving the short talk (an assignment) 3 weeks ago. Not bad... lol.

Natural not??

the long talk just finished today. Zw asked steve a question for the latter's presentation, and steve decided to pay us back by asking 'harsh' questions. At least this 'harsh' word was defined by my evaluator, not me!! But well, we all know at the end of the day, no feelings will be hurt.

was working with Google Maps API for past 2 days, for my GIS project. Quite satisfied with the API references, thumbs up for Google.

my private blog is clocking up posts. I'm sorry if anyone felt offended by my actions, because i prefer to keep love matters closer to my heart. Friends who understand me well will better appreciate my rationale. If you want to read, just let me know.

oh yes, better log down these NEEDS for this summer holiday:

- get a pair of white plastic specs (eww)... or lasik?
- go for dental
- get a hairstylist.. wanna plant some gold strands in my hair

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

dreaming of you

by selena

Late at night when all the world is sleeping
I'd stay up and think of you
And I'd wish on a star
That somewhere you are thinking of me too

'cause I'm dreaming of you tonight
Till tomorrow, I'll be holding you tight
And there's no where in the world I'd rather be
Than here in my room,
Dreaming about you and me

Wonder if you ever see me
And I wonder if you know I'm there
(know I'm there?)
If you looked in my eyes
Would you see what's inside?
Would you even care?

I just wanna hold you close
But so far, all I have are dreams of you
So, I wait for the day and the courage to say
How much I love you(Yes, I do)

I'll be dreaming of you tonight
Till tomorrow, I'll be holding you tight
And there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be
Than here in my room,
Dreaming about you and me

No puedo dejar de pensar en ti
Como te necesito
Mi amor, como te extraoo

Late at night when all the world is sleeping
I stay up and think of you
And I still can't believe that you came up to me
And said, "I love you; I love you too

Now I'm dreaming with you tonight
Till tomorrow, and for all of my life
And there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be
And here in my room,
Dreaming with you endlessly...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

in grief...

(initial post replaced)

ah ger~ bao zhong shen ti... don't cry yourself to sleep again...

i really got lots of private stuff to say... put them in my private area instead..

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


this week is the last week before the poly term starts.

expectedly and unexpectedly, there had to be a "warm up" exercise for the heavier night shifts ahead. A student vandalised a piece of wall, so i decided to help the guys track the bugger down quickly. From my past experience, the longer such things are left to be, the lesser the chances of 'solving' the case is.

i find my night shifts to be extremely exciting since 2 years ago. There is always something memorable every year... lol..

[added]but on a more serious note, perhaps for this incident the club exco should deviate from using corporal punishments or shaming the culprit, but find out the reasons behind the vandalism (be it personal or club related). A forgiving yet firm response echoed out will set the record straight for those who think they can break the rules without getting caught. Without affecting the image of the leadership as well...

20 days to exam. Focus... focus...

Monday, April 7, 2008

IT day

sunday was an IT day.

My shrimps were working all over my tank, including the water surface..

went browsing at Funan, finally bought a decent hard disk casing with one touch button backup. My love remains with Sarotech for their Cutie line. Fitted my spare 60GB IBM Travelstar from my Thinkpad, then the IntelliStor software did the backup job quite well.

The box

For a decent price too, the package won me over

then gy called me to ask about laptops. Discussed with him about his selection, Dell XPS M1330 for an hour! Because i recommended him Sony Vaio SZ series, for about $300 more. Then we did lots of comparison between these 2 and a couple of brands. I think he will end up with the Dell, but i'd would prefer Sony (who don't, lol).

Dell is getting serious this time - 1.7kg XPS at $1999

It's a Sony - SZ series, 1.9kg. Price? $2499

If i have the moolah, i'm taking this - Sony TZ series, calling at $2999.
But the CPU is kinda underpowered...

Saturday, April 5, 2008


this week was a busy one. Because of the 2nd MA1312 math quiz. Topics covered were applications of differentiation (those cone, sphere or cylinder questions, you know, plus Rolle's Theorem, Mean Value Theorem, L'Hospital Rule) and integration (definite and indefinite integrals, integration by substitution).

Quiz I's helpsheet

don't know what i'm talking about? That's why my study life is paradoxically tough. I don't think my friends studying private degrees are studying calculus, so they don't have such headaches. Imagine trying to understand mathematics at 25 yo. My hair is dropping faster than it grows.

out of boredom at the helpdesk, i decided to create a facebook account. It's fun, great, and miles better than Friendster. The application integration is simply thumbs up. Having fun with 2 favourite applications, "Friends for Sale" and "fluff Friends". Buying up all the pretty girls... hehe.

today is a slow day at home. Hope to get things moving again tomorrow...

Finished my MNO1001's SSP weeks ago. Earned $3.80...

Bye, Clementi Cinema.