Monday, November 28, 2011

Real or fake?

When coming to digital image manipulation, combined with powerful software and computer, the only limitation now is the imagination! I took the photo below ...
... during a late afternoon at a landscaping exhibition. The image above is no where near to being perfect: the trees are pale due to the strong sun and the image appears flat. To transform the same image, I need to enhance the colour and do something about the grass. Fortunately I have a few very nice looking grass ... and the end result is the following:
I would appreciate your opinion.
Click on any photo for a bigger image.

Tips: It is always better to overexpose a little than to underexpose your image. A little overexposed image has a lot more information than an underexposed image.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How long can your appliances last?

How long can our household appliances last, eg, fridge, cooker, washing machine, fan, etc? One thing I notice is that new appliances don't last long and started to give problem. For example, fan used to be made from steel, especially the blade. Now, everything is made from plastic and they just break apart.
I bought my fridge more than 30 years ago and it is still going strong, with just some repair and services once in a while.
My washing machine bought some 14 years ago gave some problem not long ago. The cold water inlet water valves didn't close any more. Then I found that I never use the hot water valve and it is literally new! So, I swap the cold water valve with the hot water valve and the washing machine is back to proper function.
One of the on/off valves of my 30 years old cooker suddenly didn't work well. Sometimes, it jammed up....
Since there are two rings which I never (seldom) use, I decided to open up the knob this morning to see what I can do. So, after removing two screws, the plunger (valve) were removed and replaced with the one which I seldom use. Bingo... the knob/valve is now working perfectly. Maybe, it will last for another 20 years!
Do you go out and shop for a new one because the towkay  told you that there is no spare? Next time, don't worry, the appliances usually came with "standby" which we just need to look for and use it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Piasau Bridge going strong!

In February, I posted about the new bridge across the Miri River linking Piasau peninsula and Miri mainland. This morning I went over to take a look as I heard that someone was complaining about the low bridge.
Actually, this new bridge has the same clearance as the old bridge. So, if you own a not-so-big boat, you still can't cross, as before.
The construction of the new bridge is going well and looks extremely solid. I hope that by year end, it will be open for public use.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How civic minded are we?

Our council finally realised that there is a need for special parking lot allocated to the disabled. So, we now see them at the various market in Miri...
... but see how the people abuse the facilities for the disabled! I always see these special lots being used by fully able bodies! Why can't the police go and give summon to all these traffic offenders?! We must respect the needs of the disabled.
In UK, any car without the "disable" sticker or pass are not allowed to park in these lots or they will be fined immediately.

Some Awards

Recently I won two consolation prizes on the Landscaping and Scenery category and Activities and Event category. I have to thanks our photography society chairman for insisting that I submit some photos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A tribute to my friend and ex-classmate

Chen Tai Huong was my primary school classmate in Sarikei. He passed away on Monday, 21-Nov-2011 at the age of 56. He was a successful lawyer in Sarikei and he used to commute between Sarikei and Sibu.
Ease Chen, a sister of my classmate has this to say:
Lawyer Chen Tai Huong, ex-Sarikei St. Anthony Secondary School teacher and Ex-Student Association's Chairman, had passed away on Mon (21st Nov 2011) He and his Alumni committee have tirelessly promoted School Alumni and at times, at their own expenses, organized various fund raising activities for Sarikei St. Anthony School's new hall. Anyone who wishes to pay last respect can attend his funeral on Wed (23th Nov) at Hospital Sarikei 730AM.
May his soul rest in peace. May the Lord give the living the strength and peace. Our deepest condolences to the family!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Your next step ...

UPSR (sixth year) results were released only yesterday and I saw many parents anxious to register their children  for their choice secondary school. I think they are driven by circumstances because the national education system is like a yoyo when deciding on the language to be used for the medium of education. I was told that it is now reverting back to English for science and maths subjects.
So what is your choice now? Riam Road Secondary School is now flooded with parents since Friday as their school is probably the only one who is firm on using English as the main medium.
Form 5 students just started their exam this week and I was approached by many students on what/where to study! I can safely say that if you intend to go overseas, and you know what you want to study, look for a university who is offering foundation. For example, Leeds University started their foundation in January and in September next year, you start university year one. In three years, you will be graduating at the age of 20/21! Amazing! Cost wise, I recommend UK as they are currently the cheapest. Don't believe me? Do your own arithmetic.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crocodile of Bulatan Park - clearer picture

My friend/ex-colleague finally got a clearer picture of the crocodile in Bulatan park. It appears at the same place. In fact, I saw the croc yesterday also but I manage to see only the nose and eyes only.
He saw it today from around 8-9AM. That was the time I saw the croc yesterday.
So, if you want to see the crocodile at Bulatan Park, it seems that it is no longer that difficult. Click here to see more pictures of the crocodile. He estimated the length of the croc to be about 3-4 feet, ie, about 1 metre. That was my estimate also.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crocodile at Bulatan Finally Spotted!

This morning I armed myself with my 200mm prime lens wanting to shoot the new signboard put up by the city council. The signboard actually face the lake, reminding the living thing in the water to beware of the crocodile spotted by many and yet not captured on a real camera!
 I think the positioning of the signboard is a brilliant idea as the croc is of no harm to human at the moment.
I joined my usual "walking friends" for the morning walk and they finally all left at 8:30AM.
During my final round, I thought my 20/20 long vision spotted two distinctive eyes above the water!
As I walked closer, I confirmed what I saw was indeed our friendly, now famous friend, the crocodile of Bulatan Park! The inset is a larger view. No, this is real and not a photoshop of some other crocodile.
As I walked closer, it quickly went under ... see the ripples. The above was taken today, 11-Nov-2011 at 8:33AM.

Extra Busy this month...

Many thought that after retirement, life will be easier and more relaxing. However, I experience the otherwise. So, what are the major differences?
1. More freedom to do what I want
2. Time is controlled by myself
3. As I am following my passion, I find that my time is now "sold" to my customers. So, in a way, this contradict the two above!

This month has been a very busy month for me. So busy that, I have no time to update my blog. There were 1000s of photos. Today, I have three functions to record. Although money return is small, I found a lot of satisfaction in doing things which I have always wanted to do.

Some pictures taken yesterday at Green Summit away day to lighten your day ...
 Mummies wrapping ... need to be able to dance ... etc!
 Bread eating competition ... anyone?
Somehow, men fancy to be dressed with huge busts! Lots of hilarious photos but no time to post.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Anything for sale...

We caught a very cute looking rhino beetle that other day. This fellow is double horned and according to Ah Jon, he thought that the single horn type is more rare. But whatever...
... Joshua thinks that anything is saleable and it all depend on salesmanship! He told us that he will sell this beetle for RM5! I thought that he was joking as no one will be interested in a beetle, what more for RM5! So, on Monday morning he packed it in a box and brought it to school. He not only sold it for RM5 he also got a deal to be the keeper for RM1 a day!
So, is there a better salesman out there who can beat him? He is not even 13. I think his next target is to catch nice grasshopper, which he think should be able to sell for 50 cents!