Thursday, March 22, 2018


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I’ve never “always” been a kiasu person, but became such due to years of wrong choices, taking things for granted and general self-fraught arrogance due to not knowing but pretending to ... Case in point, a mini comic digest I had drawn, inked and completed in the early-90’s, ready to be printed (in black and white), but was stalled and stopped at the printing stage, the reason being that there had been a “change of focus”, and publishing/printing this digest was no longer a priority then (Or so I remembered being told such...).

To be utterly fair, I had already been paid in full my page rates, on time and without fuss, but the thing was, I was so ignorant that I had given all the original artwork to the client, even without making even a full photocopy for myself (*if memory serves*!), thinking I was going to use the printed book as my “portfolio” lor!


(EDITED: But I'd actually DID take a few photocopies of select pages, featured below :p)

I've never been that disillusioned about the "quality" of my work - then til now - but at the very least, it would have been a step towards my (then) dream of drawing comics for a living! But alas, I did not have the tenacity to persevere, and instead let other avenues distract and engage my attention - like interior design and media design LOL

And this video is the only a “record” of what I had done - a roughly cobbled up sole issue I did to gauge the page layout and page count - of something that no one this side of my peeps, 2 decades plus later, would ever get to “see”, much less know about its existence ... :p ... so I could only count myself as a #neverbeen and be a whiney biatch decades later lol


Of course being “kiasi” was after surviving my Stroke lah, but that a WHOLE other story lor hahahaha


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Popped Tiles, Dislodged Living Conditions (Part 2)

Beyond the hallway path, today I decided to "do up" the entrance area, doing away with the "dislodged tiles", and alas finding the damage way more pervasive that initially thought (having a lot of stuff stacked up around the area did conceal the cracks, alas).

This time I had used magazines to lay, instead of rolled/folded-up newspapers before, and the result is much more stable and palatable, and provides a much more "even" spread. And thank goodness for the large screen TV carton box I "saved" from my flat's rubbish bin area (as I lugged it into the lift lol), for a much "cleaner" carton box surface (instead of printed text and logos etc). I've also saved a big patch for the hallway corridor, sorting it out before Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner - happening in a couple of days time too! Cutting it close, I know, but I'd rather have less footprints on it lah .... even though this is a temporary patch-up, I'd still want it to look nice-nice lor :p

Might have to work on my bedroom doorway after the new year period ... I can't even close my bedroom door because the popped tiles are right in the middle of its path! Which essentially means I cannot close my door to record audio for my youtube videos, without the sound of Pasir Ris in the background lol

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Popped Tiles, Dislodged Living Conditions

So one cold night at 4am in the morning (January 15th), we (mum, sis and myself) were awoken by a starkly loud series of cracking sounds - which I had initially thought to be bubble-wrap popping! Well, a whole LOT of bubble wraps!

At first it sounded as if it was just outside of the living room windows, but upon closer look, it was actually our tiles floors in the living room area!

DATED: JAN 15.2018

Having seen reports on television and in the newspaper, we had recognised it to be the "popping tiles" folks have been reported to be affected by, from their home's floor tiles "dislodging" (the official title is "Dislodged Tiles", which I felt akin somewhat to the term "Ponding"...).

Needless to say, that circumstance provided a well round of fear (for the safety of everyone) and discomfort. It's one thing to see it on the telly, but another to feel it ourselves. And while it did not sound like "firecrackers exploding" (*But then again, I've never heard live firecrackers popping before, city-kid that I was :p), it sure AF sounded horrible at 4AM in the frickin' morning!

The next day I called HDB and inquired about the situation, and was referred to my neighbourhood HDB rep (in the East area), to which the officer came down later in the afternoon, to access the damage, and take pictures. Essentially the situation was such;

We've read/heard that HDB will replace the damaged floor tiles.

In reality, we were told that there was a 15 year warranty on the tiles, and that they would cover the cost of damage and renovations IF the floor tiles damaged were the same tiles they had handed over to the flat owner. If you renovated after and changed the floor ties into your own selection? Unfortunate. Although I did not ask specifically of HDB would still replace them, but the point was moot to our circumstance.

We/my family had been in this current house for over 20 years, so that leaves us out of the replacement option. We would have to replace the "dislodged tiles" at our own expense, and efforts.

And yes, we changed the entire floor tiles of the flat after we took over the flat twenty-plus years ago too (except for kitchen and toilets - which thankfully were not affected in this situation).

Upon asking, what HDB does is that they would provide you three renovation contractor contacts - whom are all apart of HDB's "Registered Contractors". It does not mean HDB "recommends" these contractors, they just provide you contacts, which you can choose to utilise, or use your own.

At this juncture, I would like to say the response from HDB has been cordial and helpful - from the telephone operator who provided advice, to the officer who visited our flat, and hand-delivered an official HDB letter the following day - so thank you.

DATED: JAN 22.2018

At this point of time, we are, and have been asking for quotations from different contractors, as we needed to see the different options of how to sort out this issue.

In the short term front, nobody is able to react as their schedules are tied all the way to Chinese New Year, and more likely it would be in March or even mid-April before they begin work.

And just as we are scratching our heads in "cost" and "logistics" (of storage options, and optimal living situations as the renovation takes 2-3 weeks to do), AND waiting for contractors to get back to us (*harder than people realise actually) ... came a second round of popping tiles.

This happened one late afternoon on Wednesday, as both my mum and I watched the tiles popping "live", seeing it stretch from the existing center(ish) part of the living room, through to the front door area. And while I cannot see it visually (as we currently have hoards of boxes stacked up in that area - hence the need for "storage options" as mentioned earlier), mum swore she hear popping from "that area" too, which I would not suspect otherwise, as it looks to be two entire parallel stretches across the house.

Fcuked if I'm not worried the flat's structure is compromised. I might not be an architect or structural engineer, but this is hella worrying.

(FYI: You can purchase the floor lan to your own house online via HDB, for a cost of SG$5 emailed to you as a PDF, for choose printout mailed to you at a higher cost. A contractor taught us that LOL)

With everyone attributing the tiles popping to the extra cold weather Singapore had been experiencing (which I had no doubt is one of the causes), news reports came in overdrive attributing this to "bad workmanship" by contractors that did not last through the years (which I have no doubt is also one of the causes), and that this occurrence is rampant in Singapore.

The first tile popping happened barely a couple of days before the weather turned for the warmer in Singapore, and now the second popping continues where the first ones were, in the heat of the afternoon sun.

And while I've posted still images last week, I reckon it'll be "easier to understand" the situation of the tile-cracks/tile-pops via video, for folks who are wondering (No, this is not an excuse to do a Vlog, don't be stupid :p). The first cracks/pops happened at the tail-end of the cold-period in Singapore (last week), ironically a couple of days before the frickin sun came out and we begun again to sweat. The second round of pops happened yesterday afternoon (Jan 31st), which were more severe and stretched cross the (side) middle of the living room through to the entrance doorway area. And while smaller cracks of the tiles exist, they cannot be compared to the massive cracks and tile-upheavals seen in new reports on TV and newspapers. Essentially, HDB has a warranty of up to 15 years, where they will replace the tiles - at their expense - only if the tiles affected are the same tiles they provided to the flat, when it was handed over to the new owners/you. HDB has come and snapped pictures, as well as provided us with a trio of contractors to contact for quotes, as we so please. Alas we have been here for over 20 years, so yeah, we will be paying for the expenses via our own pockets. So far we have been sourcing for contractors and quotes for renovation. As well looking out for alternative living conditions (as reno happens for 2-3 weeks), and as well storage options. Besides the logistics required (feels like being back in the Art Dept for film projects again dammit), there is also the financial requirements. As a "self-employed" person - which essentially equals "non-employed", as what I earn from Adsense cannot even pay fully for my monthly medicine bill - the situation is not cool, at all. Not much can happen before Chinese New Year too tho, so life still continues as best as we can, as there are more important things and situations happening more than the comfort we are used to ... but the again, "safety" is hella important too. #henglifesg

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Regardless the reason(s), the tiles needed to be fixed and quick, as I cannot and could not continue to bear the fear of mum slipping and falling and cutting herself. And without much irony, the popped tiles might be able to take the weight of mum and sis, but they sure as heck would crumble under my weight!

Most everyone recommends putting carton/cardboard over the damaged area (even a contractor advised so), which makes sense for easier moving over, but our tiles only "dislodged" and edged up, and not exactly cracked/popped up as folks have seen reports on TV, so putting cardboard over it only leads eventually to further cracked tiles.

We've tried to walk around the for the past couple weeks, but alas the cracks are showing, and the cardboard is not exactly taped down to the ground.

So today, I'd decided to toss some dislodged tiles, and decided to buffer the gaps with rolled up newspaper (irony being we chucked a whole stack away not too long ago). Saved four tiles (which scarily could just be removed without incident), and used up the red gaffer tape I bought at the neighbourhood shops earlier in the afternoon.

Not the best of circumstances, but hopefully this'll last through the coming Chinese New Year in mid-February, with everyone safe and healthy.

Today is just the middle(side of the house), as I've two more areas to take are of (A) in front of my bedroom (I cannot close my bedroom door!), and (B) The entrance area (which is a bad crack). I think I need more tape and newspapers...


And while I've had zero issues with the "art" aspect of media - having worked a large chunk of my adult professional life in designing for tv and art direction/production design for featured films (in my "previous life"), I've been sorely lacking in the technical aspects, ie: cinematography, lighting, sound, and specifically "editing".

And while I know what I want and when I want it - pointing them out to my editors that Ive sat beside, no doubt being the irritant editors abhor (:p), but having to achieve it, by myself, is another thing altogether. My earliest tries have been on iMovie in the G3 era, and frankly have had tons of fun then! But the current iMovie is always a challenge - A happy challenge, I have to say! But a challenge and struggle nevertheless ...

Editing a toy slideshow video on a Sunday morning is not exactly something I'd like to do, but is something I want to do, to somehow improve and better myself in doing. Whatever I know now, is gleaned from looking at how my various editors worked (on tv), and predominately self-taught, which truthfully is not a whole lot (no doubt peeps edit the way they want to without me hovering over their shoulders lol) ... but better scraps than "none" at all, I always say. Without a firm foundation and knowledge, might as well be editing blind+deaf, innit?

I've always placed emphasis on editing to the beat, the rhythm, the pace of the visuals, the story et al ... but when editing by myself? It is currently a mess, a "happy accidental mess", I admit LOL

I've always envied my (former) students - from LaSalle to ITE - where they get to learn and experience the full spectrum of the craft - including cinematography, sound, editing etc ... but in truth, I am not longer as "stressed" about my lack, as I am no longer plying my trade in the industry, and do not forsee "branching out" into any other trade within the industry too .... just that I am editing my own youtube videos now, and I'd really like to do a much better job of it LOL