Showing posts from 2010

Christmas in Washington

It was cold and windy, but at least the snowstorm passed us by.  Merry Christmas to one and all.  I'm off to celebrate American innovation.  In other words, I'm looking to buy a XBox and Kinect.

Memberships in DC

Kiwicam at the Smithsonian National Zoo. I'm a member. Somehow I always feel like the membership deals are a good idea, which has led me to become a member of the National Aquarium, the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery, and Mount Vernon. But the baby kiwi is so cute. On an unrelated note, this is a link to a news article .

Fenway Park

And I love that dirty water / Boston, you're my home...

APN conflicts

Got a new US iPhone, which kept claiming I had no cellular data plan. Which of course turned the iPhone into a glorified iTouch, since I couldn't get data. Finally, on a stroke of inspiration, I figured out that since I also had a non-US iPhone synced to my computer, it must have somehow screwed with the APN of the new iPhone. Apple's online support on this wasn't much help, since while it helped me verify that I might indeed have figured out the source of the problem, "editing the Cellular Data Network settings is only available on authorized unlocked iPhones or with carriers that allow modifying the APN details" i.e. not on a locked AT&T iPhone. But I managed to edit the APN settings anyway. I wonder if Apple/AT&T would consider it wrong that I did so, just in order to get the cellular data service that I was paying for?

DC Restaurant Week

It's the middle of DC restaurant week, and although I put in late reservations I still managed to get a few good places. Morton's last night. All Morton's steakhouses kind of look the same - that old oak wood clubby feel - but that's all right when all Morton's steaks taste the same - delicious. Looking forward to the rest of the week!

Mad Men Season 4, Episode 2

"Mad Men" is the only show I actually have a reminder in my calendar for. I'll leave the excellent Heather Havrilesky to sum up the episode .  Television Without Pity usually has great recaps too.  But here's some thoughts, just on Lee Garner Jr.'s line on receiving his present: "Reminds me of when I was a kid. Remember that, you'd ask for something and you'd get it? Made you happy", and why I love this show. The writers pack so much into this one line: the idea that Lee's a person of privilege who always got what he wanted; the idea that he should be able to find happiness; and the wistfulness for a much simpler chain of causality: you know what will make you happy, you ask for it, you get it, and it makes you happy. Lee at best only has a good idea of what will make him happy. I don't get the sense that, outside of the Sal incident, he's tried to ask for it much. (Although reasonable people might disagree.) And I don't

Been hot so long it looks like cool to me

Hot town, summer in the city.

The World Cup, or 1710 all over again

So I see the Kingdom of Spain has dispatched the Prussians and the Kingdom of Portugal, and will now face the Dutch... it's the War of Spanish Succession redux. Spain has dispatched the Prussians and the Kingdom of Portugal, and now face the Dutch? It's the War of Spanish Succession redux Spain has dispatched the Prussians and the Kingdom of Portugal, and now face the Dutch? It's the War of Spanish Succession red.

The Washington Life

I am now living in Washington DC for work. It seems almost surreal to be back here in the US, even if I've been coming back on a fairly regular basis. But at the same time it's nice to get back into the swing of American life - had a Krispy Kreme on my way to work this morning, and have had lots of Southern food since I've arrived. Mmm, shrimp and grits. Those of you who know me, say hi if you're ever in town!

STPI's Blockbuster Show

I strolled into the Singapore Tyler Print Institute yesterday, on a day off, and caught their 25 Years of Parkett show . Amazing stuff. When do you ever get to see in Singapore works by - and I admit, I'm just naming favourites here - Gerhard Richter, Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman, Ellsworth Kelly, Sam Taylor-Wood (and yes, there's a Warhol, a Koons, a Hirst and lots of other names)...  Strange that there wasn't much of a crowd, or in fact, hardly any at all.  A brilliant free exhibition.

I'm Awesome

I love Spose's "I'm Awesome" .  Especially the "I talk to myself on my Facebook wall" line.

Speeding up the iPhone

So my iPhone 3G was starting to feel very sluggish - I could literally start counting the seconds off between clicking on the Safari or iPod icons and when I could actually do anything in either app. Didn't remember it being this slow, but I thought it might be just me justifying to myself why I needed a 3GS, especially since neither powering off and restarting nor clearing the Safari cache didn't speed it up. But then I tried loading and force-quitting all the apps I use with any regularity, particularly Safari/iPod/Mail, and it has dramatically sped up the loading of each of these apps (based on the time-honoured method of counting off "one-Mississippi" between load times).    I wonder if that means the iPhone apps could be hogging some resources, even if they don't seem to be running? Well, whatever works.

View from the Mimolette carpark.

There was something about how wild this landscape seemed, right in the middle of Singapore. That, and the dramatic leave-lorn tree.

Oscar thoughts

I watched The Hurt Locker last night. A deserving Best Picture. Bigelow is a great action director. You always have a sense of space, where all the action is taking place, and where all the known threats could come from. The pendulum of the film's rhythm swings between tension and release, much, one supposes, like the work and life of the protagonists. Kathryn Bigelow, incidentally, turns 59 this year. James Cameron does seem to fall for strong, capable women. Staying with them - not his forte, apparently. Single transferable voting was used for the Best Pic decision. Hendrik Hertzberg over at the New Yorker predicted it would bode well for The Hurt Locker . Probably spot on in his analysis. Was this used for the other categories? Much has been made of the fact that there were 10 Best Picture nominees this year, but I can't get too worked up over that. There are 10 actors nominated, split by gender; 10 supporting actors nominated, again split by gender; and 10 screenpl

Toby and Amber

The li'l bunnies. Toby's the shy one on the left. Amber's the impish one on the right. Okay, not that impish in this shot, but the number of wires she's bitten through is a veritable trail of destruction.

Blogger removing FTP support

All right, this might not be of interest to anyone but fellow Blogger users, but Blogger basically is pulling the plug on FTP support , which this blog has hitherto been publishing with. And asking us to use Google Custom Domains. Which is all fine and dandy, since they made a Migration Tool for it. Except - wonder of wonders - the Migration Tool pretty much is crap if you're publishing on www. Groan. The long and short of it: tell me if any files appear missing!

Location-Based Services

I love GPS, and I love Google Maps, and I'm the first to think that there could be more done with location-based services in Singapore. (Aside: Some day I'll do my own Google Maps mashup to find out where I can take my recycling. In the meantime, I managed to get the number of the local karang guni man.) I like the idea of using something as non-geographical as the Internet to promote hyperlocal things, such as figuring out restaurants near you and the like, and I like the idea that my phone can help me do that. But even so, I don't get Foursquare or Google Buzz for Mobile, which I played around with for a while. Via sparklette , I found "Please Rob Me" , which figures out who's not at home using foursquare. (Technically, since it tells you where people aren't, not where they are, it should be "please burglarise me", but I guess that's not as catchy a name.) It may be facetious, but it helps make a good point - why do you want to broadcast yo

Salinger remembered

Lillian Ross on her friendship with J. D. Salinger in the New Yorker . A lovely portrait of the man as man, not recluse. Also some photos .

Chinese New Year

In honour of the tradition of not using scissors on Chinese New Year, I will eschew cutting. I will only copy and paste.


If the iPad comes to this region, will we see an iPad Thai?

Happy birthday, Mum

I pass by the current Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy building once in a while. It's gone through many incarnations in its life, starting as the University of Singapore. But to me it will always be the IE building, i.e. (ha) the Institute of Education Building, because that's what my Mum called it when she worked there, in a branch of the Ministry of Education, working on the "Helping Underachievers Programme". My Mum worked almost all her life, once she got her A-levels and finished Teachers Training College. She taught in Balestier Mixed School, where she met my Dad. She taught in Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), up until her retirement in 2005. And in between there were various schools and stints at MOE. So, occasionally, after Primary School finished, when I wasn't parked at the National Library waiting for her (the family didn't have babysitting), I would go to her office in the IE Building, and get parked in the library there. I discovered the lovely

Movies of the Decade

My top 10 movies of the 2000s, inspired by Chris Wisniewski's writeup on Before Sunset on Reverse Shot: Before Sunset Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Y Tu Mama Tambien City of God Brokeback Mountain In the Mood for Love Far From Heaven Almost Famous High Fidelity Memento Honourable mentions: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Children of Men; The Wrestler; The Squid and the Whale; Juno; Up; State of Play; The Bourne Ultimatum, Once.