Archive for June, 2008

Six months already?

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. It has been nearly six months since I’ve moved out here to Singapore. Amazing.

My company sends people out here on a regular basis from our parent company from San Francisco to train us and let us know about the latest tools and techniques that have been developed by the geniuses there. And they really are geniuses.

Anyhow, one of the guys they recently sent out here has reminded me about some of the little things here that are quite a bit different than in “The States”

1. What is the deal with all the little teeny tiny steps everywhere?
2. Who needs a knife when you have a fork and spoon?
3. Air-conditioning everywhere, but in the loo. 


1. What is the deal with all the little teeny tiny steps everywhere?
   This is the strangest thing to me. Anytime you walk over a threshold or through doorway, you need to pay attention to where you put your feet. Singapore architecture seems to require these little 2-3in steps that are virtually invisible be installed. The first month I was here I was continually tripping over all of these steps. I had a co-worker actually break his foot by tripping on one of these steps. Strangeness.

2. Who needs a knife when you have a fork and spoon?
    Not a lot of people know about this. A lot of south east asian countries eschew knifes and chopsticks as their utensils of choice. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are other countries that join in this tradition. Instead of a knife and fork, people use a fork and spoon. Instead of cutting your food up, people kinda pull it apart with a fork and spoon. Then you use both of the utensils together and push food onto your spoon with the fork to eat it. It doesn’t look awkward at all for the locals, but it is a skill that I have not mastered yet. I’m getting better, simply because knives aren’t always available, same as napkins.

3. Air-conditioning everywhere, but in the loo. 
   All the buildings here are air-conditioned. Singapore is known as the Air-con country for good reason. It’s usually frigid in the buildings. However… None of the bathrooms are air-conditioned. Which is weird and gross. It’s a bit of a shock to the system to be totally freezing, then walk into the bathroom and want to peel your jacket off because it’s 10-15 degrees hotter. Without the air-conditioning, the bathroom is quite humid as well. And, bathroom smells seem to get accentuated with the increase in temperature and humidity. Gross.
    I don’t even understand how these bathrooms aren’t cooler. They are in the center of a building that is air-conditioned. They obviously, aren’t vented. You would think that the temperatures would equalize somehow. I guess not. 

So you think you can dance.

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I really like this show. I feel that this season’s group of dancers is pretty damn good. Its hard to say that any one season’s group is better than any other since they are all so good. And I feel that the judges are pretty good at critiquing the dancers. In past seasons their responses were quite fair and balanced. This season it seems a little bit watered down though. 

I’m getting quite tired of all the judges saying that they love all the choreography and that the dancers weren’t able to execute it well enough if they didn’t like a number. I’m sorry, but some of the choreography isn’t good enough. The choreographer should make tough routines that either the dancer will look great doing or will show off their inadequacies because they couldn’t master the style of dance.


Come to Singapore!

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Japan Airlines is having a sale for the next few days.

Prices start at $915 R/T to go to Singapore or a number of different Asian countries. And for $100 more, you can have a layover in Japan.

Any takers? The sale ends on July 1st.


Monday, June 23rd, 2008

I just love the latest internet phenomena of “FAIL” Here’s one of my new favorites.


From http:/

Word of the day.

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Going with the current theme of the day. Today’s word of the day is a double, “uncles and aunties”

As with most asian cultures, the term “uncle or auntie” is a term of respect and or reverence. And in some situations, it’s a title that is expected. 

Our office has a few cleaning ladies or “aunties” They make sure that our work environment is neat and orderly. Their services are *GREATLY* appreciated. And as such, they deserve the respect that the title “auntie” bestows upon them.

When I run into a family in an elevator or on the MRT train and I joke with to the little children, the parents sometimes tell their children to say hi to “uncle” I appreciate this extra respect that they’ve imbued upon me. Though it is totally undeserved, it is a bit of an ice breaker and makes for easier conversations.

Now, taxi drivers are in a third category. They totally expect you to call them “uncle” sometimes it’s very deserved, other times you have to do it to get dropped off where you’d like. A taxi driver that is friendly and cordial to you that takes you from point A to point B deserves your respect. A driver that says he won’t take you to a place, because it’s out of his way and needs some extra coaxing (calling him uncle and trying to convince him to do his job) gets called “uncle” but doesn’t deserve this title.

I’ll explain the plight of taxi drivers in another post. <grin>

I’m an uncle.

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

As of 1:46PM PST June 21st, Connor Hieu Trang was born. He was a bit on the little size, at only 6lbs 3.6oz and 19 inches. It was a long 37 hour process. I’m so happy for my sister and brother-in-law. I suspect this will give me about 5-6 months of reprieve from my mom’s insistence that I find a girlfriend. I’m happy for me too. <grin>

Word of the day.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Today’s word is “queue”.

If there is something that defines Singapore, it’s queues. No one here waits in lines. They wait in “queues”.

Lines are what you draw on paper. “Queues” are a line of people or cars waiting for something. And in Singapore, there is lots to wait for.

They stand in queues for taxis.
They stand in queues for the ATM.
They stand in queues for restaurants.
They stand in queues for the elevators.
They stand in queues for movies.
They stand in queues for buses.

You get the point, there are a lot of queues here. If you ask an auntie or uncle where the line for something is, they’ll look at you with a blank stare. Be sure to ask where the queue is instead.

Crew Gear

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

My first official batch of crew gear has arrived! I’ve been in the visual effects industry for about 8 years now and I’ve never worked at a facility that offered crew gear for their artists… till now. I’ve always looked on with jealousy as other artists from other facilities walked around town wearing stuff from cool shows. Today I got the first batch of Indiana Jones T-shirts, Jackets and knick knacks I ordered. This stuff isn’t free. Heck, it isn’t even cheap. But, it’s cool to have.

My next batch is Iron Man gear. In a couple of years I’ll have a closet full of this stuff. <grin>

Be the change.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Born and raised in Vancouver, Severn Suzuki has been working on environmental and social justice issues since kindergarten. At age 9, she and some friends started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They traveled to 1992’s UN Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn gave this powerful speech that deeply affected (and silenced) some of the most prominent world leaders. The speech had such an impact that she has become a frequent invitee to many UN conferenc


No, I will not fix your computer.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
This is ooh soooooooo true..
The real reason your company’s computer guy doesn’t want to work on your personal PC.


I’m sorry, I don’t work on personal PC’s. It’s nothing personal, I promise”.

Have you ever heard these words come from the lips of your company’s in house IT guy? Have you ever asked and been rebuffed? Well don’t fret. Rest assured dear user, it really isn’t personal. A lot of us computer guys just don’t work on personal PC’s.