Monday, February 26, 2007

Back' Again

I had an interesting short weekend which started with me hurting my back yet again, a wedding and two sunday masses.

A friend had a play (theatrical) at the KLPAC which is located at Sentul Park. I tell you... sentul does not look too shabby these days... The KLPAC building itself is a converted Railway Warehouse and office blocks and see how well it has been detailed i am guessing no cost was spared when picking the materials and finishes for the building. Even the exposed ducting system was nicely incoperated into the building. KLPAC is situated in an English lawn, a sprawling garden of sort. Did not have alot of time to look around and take photos... but i manage to shoot a few shots before going to the bistro with the rest and grab a quick drink.

When you enter the lobby there is a glassed room on the left where you can see the stage guys make their props for the shows.... i think thats a cool concept thats gives an accessible feeling between us normal folk and the theatre. They are mortal after all.

The play was called Six Characters Looking For An Author. The plays concept was very interesting but hey i am not into theater. The only thing i know was i was bored and the play was basically on the same topics as any other story. Who we are? Where are we going? How do we become what we what to be? (taken from a short description of the play) Who, Why, What, Where, When, How, Bah!!! i am hungry!!!

Lets now talk about what i like, Photography!.I would like to incorparate a few tips on photography in all my blog entries. As you know there is no flash photography allowed in the theater yet alone concerts and other stage perfomances. And i am sure for those who have a digital camera would know, that if you take a picture without flash you would almost always ruin the shot when there is movement because of motion blur. Of cos there are those who ignore this and just take the shots with flash anyway... without another thought. (Rude disgusting people). So how do you counter these problems? I mean, on the Non-Flash Photos and not the rude dunggoos. Well first thing you must understand is that photography is all about LIGHT. So like the saying goes ...Keep Your Friends Close But Keep Your Enemies Closer.... you mush keep a watch on LIGHT even more closer then your enemies because it is both your friend and your enemy....

(Automatic setting is 1/4 and aperture at F2.8 so i set it at 1/6 at F8.. nope not good; Dont worry about 'F' aperture. for now just play with shutter speed and let the camera decide on the aperture)

(1/13 sec F4 still not good.... then bammm!! at 1/30 sec F4 it was clear)

Stage lighting is more likely to be very bright.... so all you have to do is go to your camera settings where the shutter speed is very very fast. Either Sports mode or Shutter Priority (with a S symbol on the dial). You will notice that the camera will automatically set the shutter speed at between 1/4 to 1/16 of a second which is considerably slow. Motion blur will occur when people in the frame move or you move . This can look nice if u are lucky or if you know what you are doing ....but most of the time it will look like shit. If the stage lights are bright enough then set the shutter speed to between 1/20 to 1/100. Take a few test shots to test and view the results. Zoom into the frame and see if the picture is clear and sharp. Pick the best speed and then shoot away. Of cos if the lighting changes then you have to change the shutter speed also lah.

Ok now for the bad news... there is a high chance that you will still get motion blur so pick your shots carefully. You can also avoid motion blur by holding your hand steady. Rest it on a railing or fold your legs and use it to support your camera and practice pressing the shutter release button without moving the whole camera. Of co you could get a high speed camera or an SLR with a bigger aperture (lets not talk about aperture today) oh no... its going to be lunch and i am getting hungry... what to eat ah?

(I continued taking in the 1/30sec range and got some nice results but as you can see in the next photo there was still motion blur but that guy did run across the stage really really fast)

oh i better get to the how i hurt my back thing... I was taking the last shot of the play right at the end when I suddenly lost my footing over the edge of the platform where our seats were ..... but i was saved by the hand railing. I took this picture as i fell....;Not bad ah. a lucky shot that looks intentional but is not........ 1/30 seconds was good enough that there was no motion blur oso... Oh and i was also lucky that the railing caught my fall, otherwise i would have fallen 5 feet on my head. But my whole left side back area and my chest got bruised as I scraped on the railing and an old back injury started acting up... You see, I was backing up to the left to get a better shot before falling. ....Ahhh... the things i do to get that perfect shot. ...I once slipped on wet stone and slide down about 20 feet over a very small waterfall. I was ok but my old point and shoot camera got all wet and even after RM300 fixing it... it never worked the same again. kekeke... but thats not how i hurt my back....

You know those pictures you see on how to carry heavy things.... always follow them because i did not and my was rolling on the ground moaning in pain. This was about 3 years ago. I did not injure my back bone, i had pulled a nerve and a few muscles. The nerve which ran to the left of my waist (kidney area) down over my left butt around my left thigh over my leg down to my toe. I was walking around like a robot for 8 month after that. Ever since then, it acts up from time to time. A few weeks ago i had another episode and i was just recovering from that. Then i go jumping off platforms... i need to be more careful next time. Its very strange really...this back thing... i can do all kinds of heavy stuff and be ok... but then suddenly sneeze and my back would lockup... 'sigh' i am going to be an old man in a wheelchair...oh well.. as long westcoastcustoms pimp my wheelchair... it will be all good...

Oh yah one more thing, APM played for a wedding mass on Saturday and we played for the 6.45am and 11.15am mass on Sunday and just like that the weekend is over....



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How to make Demon Horns in 2 hours

STEP 1:- Cut out a piece of card board in the desired shape to make a stencil.

STEP 2 :- Draw 2 layouts using stencil on a piece of Red Cloth. In this case i used the sleeve of an old red shirt.
STEP 3 :- Leave at lease 5mm extra when cutting out the two pieces of cloth. Also make sure to leave about 15mm of extra at the base of one of the pieces of cloth.

STEP4 :- Since I did not have a sewing needle, i stapled the two pieces of cloth together following the shape of the horns. Remember the extra 15mm of cloth, fold it at the base as you staple it as seen in the picture with the coin. Please note that sewing is much easier then stapling and it also takes a lot of time and effort to do. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 to complete a set of horns.

STEP 5 :- Turn the stapled pieces of cloth inside out. Again, please note that this takes more effort when you staple. So by all means sew it together yah!
STEP 6 :- Stuff it with cotton till you are satisfied with its 'thickness'. Remember the 15mm of extra cloth at the base which we turned into a pocket'. You can use this bit to cover the mouth of the horn so to keep the cotton contain in the horn.
STEP 7 :- Fasten in on a piece of wire or hairband or anything else you think that might work, and hey presto' you have instant Devil's Horns' (ok maybe not so instant lah)

END - I will not be liable for any injury or damage caused from any person or party repeating any or all steps listed in this post.

Halloween In February

Happy Chinese New Year!!...
....apart from spending chinese new year in Kapar (my wife's uncle is chindian) for reunion dinner and breakfast the next day, my wife and i were also invited for sheev's birthday last sunday night. The party was put together by his girl girl and a few of their friends. She even had a theme for the party which was 'Devils and Angels'.
... being the Malaysians that we are... most did not come in costume or even makeup... some even came in Manure United jerseys... being the Malaysian that i am...I made devil horns for Rose two hours before the party... I didnt have time to make another one so i just put on some makeup. It was an excellent party Sheena! good work guys!

(B'day Boy and his Girl; Father Dono and the Angel in Disguise; A demon trying to redeem his Soul)
(Sweet Angel Sister with Devil Brother and B'day Boy; Scary Tick-Tack-Toe Joe)
(The boys clowning around doing the china mali' pose; The stabbing of the cake)
(Wolfman and the She-Devil; Some didnot need makeup to look scary; Demon King and the Camera girl from hell)


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bon Voyage Rach!

Another APMer going off to study abroad today... Bye Bye Rach... dont worry.. im sure you are going to love studying (and partying) in Australia.

We had a little going away party for her last week with some wonderful local food... like Nasi Lemak (My wife's mum makes the most awesome ikan bilis sambal... the fried ikan billis is also the best i have ever tasted) and some really good Satay i bought from Old Town PJ. ...yumm yumm... The dessert made by Rach was nice too... What was it called ah? All i know was it was made using SilverBird Brand Instant Mix.. as Rach put it they deserve some credit too...

We are going to miss you lots, Rach... sniff sniff :( ... we miss Veron too (her sister who is studying in UK) ... hey VERON!! how are you? APM is not the same without the both of you... dont worry ...we shall continue to do well at mass... as 'Budak Scout' says ..."We are the best" (perasan betul). Anyways take care and thank you both for your efforts in APM... oh and also thank you for singing at our wedding... you guys (APM) made it the best wedding ever (perasan betul). You guys rock!!!

(from Left- Tequila shot, Stop eating the salt MSG lover you; We had to make do with whatever glass we had cos we dont have shot glasses... mental note: buy shot glasses)

(from Left- The Girls and Ultraman in the background- thats what happens when you eat too much MSG; A little going away present)

( I'll have what ever Sheev's drinking)
(One for the road- Bon Voyage Rach.. take care and keep in touch)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

APM Dinner 07

Well... APM had this dinner almost half a month ago... so this entry is a little redundant lah...ok... Nyways... I was going thru some of the photos and thought i would blog about it... Well for one, there was way too much food ... ate like a pundi... and felt a little guilty cos there are people in flood stricken Johor who only have rations... ...oh well..... it was a pot luck dinner BTW and it was goooood.....

(left to right... The Food, The Sheevana's)

(left to right... some Hippitie Hop, and The Girls)

(left to right... 'G' showing his skills, Free Food & Free Counseling)

(left to right... The Not So Willing Hand, The Carpet that almost bit me, Our very own bollywood star & The not so willing hand cutting the highlight of the night... cheese cake...yummmm)

It was a good gathering (when there's food ofcos lah) and almost every APM member was there. Too bad i did not take a group picture.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Spore Thingys Identified

Thanks to reader Jeales for his information on these things that are 'growing' on my bumper. Apparently these are not spores but eggs from an insect called Lacewings. So, it did not grow on my bumper.

I have seen this insect in my garden and from what i have read, the Lacewings Larva also known as Aphid Lions eat all kinds of pest insects.... thats good! Whats interesting is that the lacewings layed these eggs exactly on the same spot as last year.... hmmm

Anyway more info on Lacewings can be found HERE and HERE . Time to get the camera out and try and take pictures of lacewings and its larvae


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Return of the Spore thingys'

Almost a year ago I found this ‘growing’ from the bumper of my car. I blogged about it last year as seen in the following link;

Its some kind of spore. Looks like there are more sprouts then last year….

What the hell is it??!!??


Monday, February 05, 2007

Smooth Ride

For those of you that have taken a ride in my car. You might have noticed that the ride was bumpy, rough and loud (pun not intended). Dont even mention potholes and speed bumps... terrible... just terrible. Then there was this squeaky noise coming from the right rear absorber.

Well check it out! I finally got new tyres and shock absobers ....... Smooth and quiet ride....nice!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Three killed in armed robbery

Yesterday my wife and i went shopping in Subang Parade and we decided to eat in Kenny Rogers Rosters which was at the LG floor... As we sat there staring at the menu deciding on what to eat... we suddenly heard a 'pop!' sound like fire crackers or something... and when we looked out of the shop, we could not believe what was unfolding before our eyes... its only when we heard people screaming that we realized that it was gun fire... and when i looked up at Poh Kong Jewellers at the ground floor, I saw a man shoot at point blank towards another man who was laying on the floor... he must have taken three shots at him then ran into 'Blook' ....then come out again and take another 3 or more shoots at whom im guessed was the security guard.

By then we were on the floor of kenny rogers'. we heard a guy shout stay down! stay down!... I cld not believe it... we where a mere 50 to 80 feet from the gun man... we all (the other people and us) hurdled behind a piller because the robbers where shooting all over the place... thats when i saw another robber behind a piller infront of Poh Kong.

The shutters of the restaurant began to close... thoughtfully brought down by the manager. All the other shops also began closing their shutters. We then all hurriedly when behind the counter and into the kicthen. This was defirnately a good idea just incase of stray bullets and what nots...

It was chaos... i did not know what was going on... besides the fact that Poh Kong was being robbed, the guards where laying on the floor dead or dying. How many were there? were there more of them? We heard more gun shots.... a few minutes later some one said it was ok to come out now... It was about 15 minutes from the time we heard the first shot... Not surprisingly the robbers escaped...

a crowd was gathering but the Subang Parade Security kept a perimeter... there were three people sprawler on the floor. We could not see two of them from the LG floor. We only cld see the one i saw get shot, who was nearer to the ledge of the ground floor near 'Blook'. Five minutes later i saw 'one' cop holding back the crowd... i am not sure if there were more policemen or not. we split the seen before the car park got jammed. As we reached the exit we saw troves of people rushing out into the car park..

.... for some reason i was not scared but calm. But as we were leaving i became more and more disturd of the thought of the robber shooting the guard over and over and over again...

As you might have read in the sunday paper, two guards were killed and one robber was shot dead by a security guard from the 'Tomei' shop. He was unfortunately hurt but i believe he is recovering.

Today i found out on Star'online' that they arrested seven people involved thru a hotel key they found on the dead robber..... thats good news indeed...

...and here i thought it was going to be another boring weekend.....


Friday, February 02, 2007

My 1965 Beetle

I just started a new blog, dedicated to vw beetles. This is to motivate me to work on the restoration of my 1965 vw beetle. the link is available in the side bar menu, or you may go

--------------vw forever------------