Saturday, December 06, 2008
4 singing christians, 3 movie tickets, 2 cups of coffee and a cup of $6.20 ice-cream~

4 There was a performance in the evening, debuting Jessica and a few local Christian singers singing their self-composed musics. Among the 4 of them, Jessica's appeared to have the most meaningful and touching lyrics, making it touch the hearts of the listeners. Knowing that both she and Esther had prepared a lot for this performance, it would be a waste seeing them going empty handed. So, being a chivalrous person, I rushed over to a nearby flower shop and bought a stalk of sunflower for each of the girls for their hard efforts~ and it was worth it, comparing with the other performers

3 Earlier, I brought my brother to the cinema to watch the disney animation Bolt. Initially, we were destined to watch Madagascar, but after browsing through the reviews on and noticing the poorer rating than Bolt, I went about convincing my brother about the movie and off we went to watch the show.
Overall, the show was pretty good, though maybe a bit too kiddy for a 20.96 year old kid to watch.

2 Starbucks was giving out free coffee in conjunction with donations of Salvation Army. It was a good deal for $4 coffee for 2~

1 To make it a point that we are pigging the whole day, Plin and I had a cup of $6.20 ice-cream at the shop located at city-link. It was pretty cool to see a mix of shortcake, chocolate topping and strawberry meshed up over a cold pan. Perhaps the extra cost came from there~

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
12:50 AM.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Long long ago

Ok.. there are a few reasons as to why my blog died momentarily.. partly is due to the mad rush of assignments and there are the tests.. but oh well..

Things are going smoothly.. Juz completed my ID 1321 paper and it turned out to be fine. Was amazed at how my hand has survived the ordeal, though it was about to give up around the last minute..

Think it will take some time to recuperate :P

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
7:09 PM.

Sunday, October 12, 2008
The Punggol End Experience

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time, with me
And I know that you would find, love
I will possess your heart.

Back to basics was the name of our little field trip out in the opens. Planned by Jeff who misses the outdoor life and cooking of the Swiss Alps, we decided to hold a mini retreat for the church kids to celebrate the end of their exams. Together with Plin, we went about buying food and planning games for the big day to come.

Punggol End was indeed a quiet deserted area with sparse trees around the area, painting a calm and gentle scenery in the background. At the other end, Lalangs grow abundantly, portraying a wild side of the side of Singapore. The shore beats the white sandy shore with a peaceful sounds, and the Alfa Romeo is parked at a little clearing for the 2 tents brought by us.

We started a day with groups of 2; the red team and the white team. We later named ourselves the Roasted and Paper Plates respectively. As Jeff was leading the Roasted team to their 1st game, the Paper plate team was stuck in camp. It was pretty humourous to see the youngsters camping inside the tent, roasting themselves alive under the scorching heat of the sun. I, on the other hand, went around to take a breather before reminscing the lighting of the fire, just like back in the old days in scouts. There was a very nice dead log beside our tent, and in a matter of minutes, everything came back to me and the fire was up and burning. Later, Stanley erected a pole and hung a paper plate and soon it became our team's altar.

When it came to our turn, we were led into the fields. Basically, we were to catch "flower pokemons". By walking near the flowers, the gym leader(which is Jeff) would ring a sensor indicating that the pokemon is near and upon capture, our team would have to play mini games to win the round. Being the younger team with more youngster unlike the auntie, i mean, roasted team, we beat them to the games by 10 minutes. Although the winning team would have noodles and the losing team, bread, we ended up sharing food.

We spent the remaining time cooking the meals and the food that we have prepared. It was kinda saddening to see some of the kids leaving the site. Perhaps they find it too boring or the condition out in the open too harsh. Kids nowadays are unable to appreciate what the outdoors provide them. Cocooning in their homes with their electronic devices, I wouldnt be surpised when that day comes when they cant even light a match by themelves.

With the remaining so peeps at the campsite, PA and AI came over with a bunch of soft drinks and more food. By then, the majority of the people were playing by the sand and chilling out, Andreas was attempting to sink the ants with his sand digging. When all of the sudden...

I spotted dark clouds bringing shower of rains. And it was heading to us across the horizon.

"HEY!!! GUYS!! ITS GOING TO RAIN!" The reaction I got from the crowd stunned me.

"Rain? orh.. okay.." and they continued to play with the sand.

Nevertheless, when the first few splashes of water became to splatter, there was a mad rush to the tents. I was glad it was over in a matter of minutes, and Thank God for washing my car as well! When the sky cleared, we continued to cook our food, with PA as the main chef. The food we brought in were fantastics. There were Shitake Mushrooms, hotdogs, Pineapple rice and potatoes.

We ended the day with smiles on our faces and filled stomaches. The only problem was whether if we can turn up for church tomorrow or whether our stomach can handle the digestion properly. Apparently, it did. :P

The crazy people in the tent

Nice Fire~!

Chucking potatoes in ember will get them roasted nicely!

Mushrooms and hotdogs!

Me and my pineapple

Murdering the pineapple

Traditional pot vs more modern pot

Campfire fading.. campfire fading...

Team Roasted

Team Paper Plate

Cup noodles, anyone?

Photoshot of the scene when it rained.. pretty artistic huh?

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
11:45 PM.

Thursday, October 09, 2008
The Ultimate Breakfast Combination!

Obama looks friendlier~

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
3:31 PM.

Thursday, October 02, 2008
Buttons Mania

Our next assignment was to investigate the use of buttons. The buttons that we are referring to are those operating buttons of machinery/equipment, and the interesting thing to note about them is that these buttons comprises of pressing, pushing, pulling, rotating, flipping etc. So at the end of the day, how one of my tutors put it across quite clearly, what is a button?

Initially, our team had selected the piano key as one of our buttons. It was interesting to note that different piano keys create a different tune when being pressed. However, we were dismayed when our tutor rejected it as a lever instead of a button. So going back to the drawing board, a brilliant idea of using the PEZ sweet was created. In fact, it was way more interesting to work with than the piano keys. We set about selecting it as our model to work on.

Preparations were made before the presentation day. HK and Sean went out to find the actual PEZ sweet. Surprisingly, the sweet has declined in its popularity, making it available only at Toys-R-Us. Other preparations were made as well, such as the sketching of the exploded view of the toy, the discovery of the ergonomic (mechanical function) and the sourcing of pictures to xrepresent the looks of it. I was solely in charge of the layout and presentation of the project.

It was an impressive piece.. Perhaps too impressive for the likings of the tutors. The background was mainly eye distracting, pushing the focus away from the people looking at it. Too much of everything good sometimes would result in something bad.

In the end, I had to redo the layout, making it simpler and easier to read. At the end of it, space management was a lot better and it was
clearer to read.

Lesson learnt : Do not be too elaborate with the background. A simple background should do the trick, and let the content speak for itself

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
10:52 AM.

Monday, September 29, 2008
The Roaring of The World's Fastest Cars

View from the grandstand.. the blur on the right of the photo is a Toyota Car :X

Alas F1 has hit the shores of the buzzling crowd of Singapore, and the government has slammed the world with an impressive show yet to be done by anyone. Being the 1st country to hold their race in the night, in the middle of the CBD area, Singapore has set out to be the most ambitious country, other than China who held the Beijing Olympic. Everything looked good on the outside. The flyer was up and ready. The circuit with its Italian Nightlights was newly constructed. And seats all over the 5km circuit were ready for visitors for the past 3 days. This can be regarded as one of best money-making schemes Singapore has ever offered.

It was certainly an honour for me to be an usher for the Singtel Singapore Formula 1 GrandPrix. Being able to usher important VVIP guests was quite an experience, and at the same time, being close to the Racing cars. Working with a few of my church friend, our reporting venue was at the Grandstand down at the flyer. The construction they did was astounding. In less than 2 months, Singapore was able to erect multi-storied viewing galleries with laterns, stall, stages and a sweet grandprix ready for the cars to get on. As we were ushering guest into the suite, we were able to peep into the room to see the glamour and poshness of the layout of the room. The view was simply breath-taking. It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be up there, "acting" like a VVIP yourself

During the ushering, the going wasnt really smooth-sailing. As the big word on the back of our t-shirt read "USHER", we were like magnets attracting nails to ourselves. Questions came flying from all directions, like where is their seats, where is the female toilet ( which was hidden behind the males toilet), where to get earplugs etc. Level 1 suffered the whole blunt of it. However, Level 3 was a lot more peaceful, with only managing the guests that were upstairs.

As the race started proper, I couldnt really watch the race, since I had to be at my position, which was being blocked by the rooms. Nevertheless, I was able to catch a few glimpse of the race through the small flat screen TV in the executive suites once the tinted glass doors opened for food and people to come in and out. It was quite disasterous for Ferrari in this race. Indeed, the Singapore race circuit proved to be an exciting and unexpected race with Alonso being 15th for the qualifying race clinching champion. There were plenty of actions, such as Rakkionien and Pique crashing which brought forth the safety car.

Overall, the experience was worth-while. The money was not too bad either. The next time Singapore has their F1, i would be the one spectating instead ;)

Nice view from the top~

Incredible view from the top

Proud to present you the usher team (wifout jeff :X)

Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
10:57 PM.

Monday, September 15, 2008
Constructing the wizard tower

A total of 3 weeks was taken to build a tower that stands at 2.2m. On top of the rest of the assignments,we were to discuss on the tower selected, generating 3 panels, build a prototype and build the actual tower. It was group work.

Initially, our tower selection ranged between Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Mine was for Ravenclaw, portraying a eagle hugging over the inner tower, hence coming out with the concept of "a tower within another tower" (Credits goes to Pastor for inspiring me with this idea). While my group members had their own ideas of what our tower should be, we have finally settled on working with Slytherin, working on my idea of the concept.

When that was settled, churning out 3 different designs for the tower was little difficulty. We allocated each other with job scopes. One of us were to do a panel each and a exploration of the model. Out of the 4 of us, the 1 guy would do our final decision of the tower. Sadly, none of the panels were up to standard for that day's presentation, and I have to admit that it was slightly sloppy and disorganised. The good thing was that we had an ingenious idea of how the tower should look like after the presentation. Credit goes to Farah for constructing a pop out tower with neat folds and joints. It had the gothic and authorative look suitable for the tower. There were other issues at hand, such as how the outer tower should be constructed, and that caused disagreements between the group. On one side of the table, there was talk about how flaps and a straight inner tower should be constructed so as to show the authorative figure of the tower. On the other hand, I was thinking of creating a spiral twirl up to the top of the tower, so as to break the angular shape of the tower and to promote the use of paper.

Although the situation wasn't resolved on the spot, construction of the inner tower began on Wednesday. KC and I spent roughtly about the whole day forming a super big piece of paper. We found most of these paper as scrap paper from Scalebar, the printing shop in SDE. After spray-gluing the papers together, we started measuring the dimensions of the inner tower. One of the problems we faced is the angular shape of the inner tower, and the slanted edge of the tower such that it looked like a pyramid from the Andes. We resolved that easily by folding the paper inside, such that we can achieved a nice smooth line. By the end of the day, we were able to probe it up, such that it was standing by itself. That by itself took a whole lot of effort constructing, studying the nature of the paper, and the pyramid was an achievement.

No work was done for the outer tower though, as the design for the tower was not finalised. This was delayed till Sunday when action finally took place. Sadly, there was little which I could do to help the situation on the weekend. People have their lives and commitment. We just have to make do with the circumstances.

I managed to come back to the studio at 8pm that Sunday night. Things didnt look too good. Apparently, the inner tower had flopped into a deflated piece of paper. What that looked like the construction of the outer tower looked like a wrecked car from an accident. Team members remain demoralised at this point of time, wondering how they could reconstruct the flaps. (In the end, the flaps idea was selected.) What that needed attention was the strengthening of the inner tower. Thank God I had some background in construction due to my involvement in Scouts. In about an hour, I was able to reconstructed a pioneering structure of what we used back in NPC, in a scaled down size. Satisfied with how firm the inner structure stand, we fitted the initial inner tower around the skeleton structure, almost like as if we were adding skin to our tower. With that, the inner tower was completed.

There was another round of discussion on how the flaps can be reconstructed. It was close to impossible for such a construction to be done on a big scale. When all things became desperate, we finally used the "spiral" concept. It isn't really a spiral as there wasnt a continuous chain twirling around the tower. It resembled more of chains, and in a certain way, scales of a snake. Tedious planning, measuring, drawing of circles and cutting was done to the new template. When it was up, however, there were some inaccuracies in the measurement. And since it was 4am, there was no way to redo the piece again.

Sometimes, I feel that more time should have been invested on the execution aspect. Although planning itself is important, if one is unable to understand the nature of the paper and how it would affect the outcome, the design by itself is a failure.

With 2 hours of sleep, we had our crit session with our teacher. While the rest of the group had been commented for their designs and purpose, ours was perhaps heavily criticised for its accuracies and worksmanship. It was pretty sad to see this happening before my eyes. It was afterall a very good concept which no one had ever thought of. However, due to the input of many different ideas, and the lack of foresight, it was not executed to its perfection. The end result was a shoddy piece of work.

I would regard this exercise as a failure. But it is from this failure that lessons can drawn out of this.
1. There must be an ample amount of effort on the execution phase. This is so as to be able to react to unforeseen circumstances that may not be seen during the planning phase, whereby necessary action can take place.
2. There should be a project leader in anything which we do. When 2 people give conflicting ideas of how a design should look, the design itself will lose its efficiency. However, the project leader should also accept feedback from the group members.
3. There should be constructive feedback. This means it should not be a personal attack on the design, but an improvement or a fault to the design aspect.
4. Fighting for your ideas means putting in effort in putting forth what you want to show. Whether if it is to show your idea through a model, or suggesting the change of idea at the right time, if you feel strongly for an idea, knowing that it would work under constrains, then its worth fighting for.

I would glady redo my tower again if given a chance. Sometimes, when things dont go according to plan, you fall from the experience, and you learn how to pick yourself up again.

Initial concept of tower in another tower
Exploring of different ways to fold paper!

Prototype of the building
Shape of the inner tower

Overall shape of the tower done by Collin, Fara, KC and me

Ravenclaw tower done by Kenny, Nancy, Jestine, Huiwen and Tercia
Hufflepuff Tower done by HK, Sean, Moon and Jessica

Hufflepuff Tower done by Si Ru, Step, Joanne and Angela
Slytherin Tower done by Ruth, Silvia, Doreen, Christina
Structural layer of Griffindor Tower done by Clement, Eileen, Bernice and Geena


Up, up and away says Super Pioneer Daron.
10:56 AM.