Monthly Archives: March 2007

Customs Woes

I was overjoyed this morning to get the SMS stating that a card detailing the items for delivery has arrived. While not my most favourite method of getting my items delivered (it’s being sent to the Muara’s post office because there’s the only place that do customs clearance on items) but it means one of two items that I’m eagerly awaiting has arrived, either my Mospeada Legioss kit or my Umbrella + Stand lighting kit.

Knowing that, I finished up what needed to be done at work and figured I’d take the chance to go early off work and head to the post office. Called up the post office (which I had gotten from them from my past dealings with them) and asked if they’re available during lunch. To my dismay, not only are they closing up shop at 11.30am (normal laziness on their part), but they are not operating in the afternoons, due to some fuck-stupid reason; closing accounts.

So if you guys are wondering where the hell your items are during the transit, chances are they are sitting in Muara’s post office, either forgotten they were supposed to be sent out, or due to utter laziness and stupidity, it’s tangled up in some weird red tape.

Matadoe

Went to Matadoe at Mata-Mata, Gadong last night as a favor for this special person. Been meaning to treat her to dinner for a long time but hadn’t had the chance until last night. Nice ambience, secluded place, nice food, it’s a wonder I hadn’t found this place sooner, as I always frequent another establishment in the general area.

Upon the recommendation by AnakBrunei, I chose the Spicy Fried Rice and Spicy Chicken Wings. And she chose Chocolate Fondue. How spicy was my food? I’ve always had a suspicion that the roots of my hair has scoville detectors, because as soon as spicy food gets onto my tongue, my hair roots will go on fire. And it was ‘ablaze’ last night, as there was nowhere my tongue can run away, as the Spicy Fried Rice and Spicy Chicken Wings did their one-two punch.

In all, I like the place, gives another alternative to the Gadong, Kiulap traffic jam conundrum. And as we will move our operations across the street from that area, I think it will become my favourite hang out place soon.

Now onto the pictures!

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And Now, For Something Completely Different

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Taking the 50mm f/1.4 for a spin.

There’s this little gem of a place tucked away in the serenity of the new Batu Bersurat area that serves a great duck platter. Had a craving for the Crispy Skinned Duck, but turned out only the Herbal Duck was available.

Give them a call to book your Crispy Skinned Duck at Four Sea Hut at the number 2456222. It’s right next to Bag Stori. I assure you, it’s something entirely different.

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Fujifilm Finepix S5Pro DSLR

Do want.

In other news, my order arrived from QQestore today. Well yesterday actually, but the prick Michael forgot to update the fricking system and that in turn failed to SMS me about the items arrival. I almost blew it when the cute chick there kinda made me not want to. So all is well, bought the filters and the batteries and went back to the office immediately to test the stuff out.

Can you guess what I just bought?

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WIRELESS FLASH TRIGGERING YO! As ably illustrated by my friend here.

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Wedding Bells

I’m not gonna start covering weddings anytime soon, but it’s nice to expand my horizons a bit. And you wouldn’t know which photog you gonna meet there, so it’s a bit of a surprise.

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300

Beautiful to behold, but ugly in nature. Epic in proportions, of struggle of a few. Brutal in its depiction, yet delicate in its presentation. Ancient in setting, but current a subject matter.

Before viewing this film, I have put myself on an embargo on all information regarding this movie, preferring to know as little of the movie as possible. I spied on trailers but quickly look away, not wanting to know every little morsel of goodness that might come out of this movie. It involves a small contingent of Spartans, 300 of them, against an army far outnumbering them in the hundreds of thousands, that far I know.

From the get go, the audience is introduced to the Spartans, a proud race of warriors in ancient Greek. The boys of Sparta are trained to fight from their early childhood, creating, in effect, a military state in ancient Greek.

Scottish born Gerard Butler played King Leonidas, the King of Sparta, a character portrayed as a gruff, battle hardened warrior king. A proud Spartan, that some might consider… well… a bit mad. Mad because he provoked Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro, by throwing Xerxes’ envoys into a bottomless pit. Envoys bearing the severed heads of other rulers of the Greek’s states and demanded Leonidas to ‘submit’ his people under Xerxes’ rule.

Thus began Leonidas’ march towards the coast, meeting the force assembled from all four corners of Xerxes’ rule, with 300 of his finely, finely sculpted men, whose sole occupation was war. Along the way, they see what the Persians can do to the Greek civilians, that the Spartans become more determined to defeat their foe. Joined by their one time enemy, the Thebans, now both groups march together to defeat a common foe.

The combat disciplined Spartans are no match for the first few waves of the attacking Persians, as there were much slash and gore played out in slow motion, the Persians clearly outclassed. They were no match for even the Thebans, as they could only watch as the Spartans make mince meat of the marauders.

The more the Persians throw at them, the more the Spartans relish the challenge, which consider dying a beautiful death in battle as the most satisfying death. Even after Xerxes unleash his hideous monsters plucked from all over his empire, the Spartans stood ground to defend their position, still disciplined and determined as before.

But, ultimately, what led to Leonidas’ men’s demise is betrayal. Betrayal by the council back at Sparta, and betrayal by one of his citizens which he considered unfit to join the elite 300.

A beautiful movie, which some say a true rendition of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, even much more so than Sin City ever was. The film noir, the grain, the stylings of the action, the emotion, all of it contributed to the graphic novel look. Even if you’re not thinking of watching this movie, I suggest that you do. The first movie event of 2007. 9 out of 10.

Indonesia plane crash kills dozens; 2 Bruneians safe

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: At least 49 people died but scores escaped after an Indonesian passenger jet overshot the runway and burst into flames on landing in the cultural capital of Yogyakarta on Wednesday.

Dozens of passengers leapt from the plane’s emergency exists into surrounding rice paddy fields to escape the inferno, which reduced the plane to a smouldering wreck of twisted metal.

Pujobroto, chief spokesman for national carrier Garuda, said flight GA 200 was a Boeing 737-400 plane carrying 133 passengers and seven crew when it crashed at around 7 a.m. after a scheduled flight from Jakarta.

One survivor told Reuters that passengers had been warned the flight would be turbulent and that most reacted calmly and orderly under the circumstances.

“As we approached the ground and I could see roofs from our window, the plane was still swaying and shaking,” said Ruth Meigi Panggabean, who works for the aid group World Vision.

“Then the plane was slammed to the ground and skidded forward and slammed once again before it come to a stop,” she said.

Provincial Secretary Bambang Susanto told Reuters that 48 bodies were recovered from the crash scene and one other person had died at the city’s main medical centre.

The flight was carrying a large group of Australian diplomats, government officials and journalists who had been accompanying Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who was not aboard, on an official visit to Indonesia.

Downer said nine Australians were on board the plane. Five were injured and four were unaccounted for — an air force liaison staffer, an Australian Federal Police officer, an embassy staffer and a journalist.

Garuda’s media office said the plane carried just eight Australians, as well as two Japanese, two Brunei nationals and seven other foreigners.

Downer and Prime Minister John Howard of Australia said they had received no information that would suggest terrorism or sabotage was a factor in the disaster.

The crash came a day after two powerful earthquakes hit the neighbouring Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing 72 people according to the country’s disaster management agency.

Crash survivor Din Syamsudin, the head of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, told Elshinta news radio of his lucky escape.

“Some passengers wanted to get their hand luggage. I cried to them, ‘Get out, get out’,” he said.

“The plane was full of smoke. I just jumped from two meters high and landed in a rice field.” He said the plane burst into flames soon after he escaped.

World Vision’s Panggabean said under the circumstances, “the passengers were fairly calm and the evacuation process was quite orderly”.

Survivors were taken to a number of area hospitals.

“We are treating 10 to 15 passengers. They are all fine. An 8-months-pregnant woman is o.k., and so is her baby,” said Constantine, a nurse at Panti Rapih Hospital.

Robert Heath, an aviation disaster expert, said aircraft speed might have been a factor in the crash.

“From what I can see so far the aircraft appeared to land intact and that may point to excess speed being a factor,” said Heath, a professor at the University of South Australia.

“The fire may have been caused by the nose wheel hitting things as it ran off the runway or engine destruction.”

Indonesia has suffered from a string of transport accidents in recent months, including an Adam Air plane that disappeared in January with 102 passengers and crew on board, and a ferry sinking in late December in which hundreds died.

The series of accidents had sparked the government to set up special commissions to look at the state of transportation safety in the sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands.

Editor’s Note: Early reports that the two Bruneians are safe, and only one of them suffered a fractured bone.

Link: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/07/asia/web-0307crash.php

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/03/06/indonesia.plane/index.html

http://english.sabah.com.tr/4A1880AD9B8C4266BB14ED50140CEDB1.html

It’s Over: Apple Unveils New Product-Unveiling Product

SAN FRANCISCO-At a highly anticipated media event Tuesday at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new Apple product he said would “revolutionize” the process of unveiling new products throughout the world.

“In 1984, Apple introduced the Mac,” Jobs said to an overflowing crowd as an image of the first Macintosh computer was displayed on a giant screen behind him. “We changed the face of the music industry with the first iPod in 2001. And in January, we showed off the revolutionary new iPhone. Today, Apple is releasing a piece of innovative new technology that will forever change the way innovative new technology is released.”

The iLaunch, as the new product is called, was then raised up from below the stage, prompting the audience of technology journalists, developers, and self-professed “Apple fanatics” to burst into a five-minute standing ovation.

Read the rest at: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/59345

Nikon D40x

The release of the consumer-friendly D40 four months ago is followed up by it’s replacement D40x a few days ago ahead of the PMA. The D3 announcement however, was nowhere to be heard leading up to the PMA event.

This D40 version however, has the 10 megapixel CCD sensor lifted from the D80 and also has the improved burst rate up from 2.5fps in the D40 to 3fps in the D40x. The base ISO is up (down rather) to 100 as well.

From the Flickr groups I frequent, most D40 owners are kinda miffed about this, understandably, but us D80 owners need not worry though. It’s still has much more features than the D40x. Unless, they decide to release a D80x, which will be met with much more cries of foul I’m sure.

But in any case, this is looking much better to become a second body which we just connect an AF-S or AF-I (lenses with motor drives) on it than the D70 line, D50 or even the plain vanilla D40x.

I’m still kinda hoping for the announcement of that D3 line though. 18.7 megapixels is overkill I’m sure, but at least we can one-up the announcement of the Canon 1D Mark III and it’s 10fps burst shot.

Read More:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/nikond40x/

http://nikonimaging.com/global/news/2007/0306_01.htm

http://www.europe-nikon.com/product/en_GB/products/broad/1379/overview.html

Thank God!

My hard drive was revived!

I can access all my pictures!

I should back up when I get home!

Here, have some picture!

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Notice the last picture is a direct rip-off from my friend, Pixels-n-Grains?