Archive for the Interesting Encounters Category

Besides dramas, YouTube is my next source of entertainment, particularly for music!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on November 14, 2017 by vincentloy

I am now not committed to any more TVB dramas (most probably) until the end of this month when the ‘Heart and Greed’ (third series in the popular ‘Heart of Greed’ series franchise) releases. And so what am I watching? Did you know that I must find something to watch especially when I’m having my meals? (Please don’t think something dirty…haha) Now, I’m used to randomly watching some old movies that I have collected over all these years in my hard disks. I think I have over 500 movies in my collection. Besides that, YouTube is my next favourite platform to watch some latest news on sports, politics, entertainment industry, architecture, music videos, game shows, etc.

Recently, I have been following on the singing competition called ‘The Voice: Singapore and Malaysia’. This ‘The Voice’ competition is originally from US and it was so popular that other countries started to organize similar one too. Malaysia have this sort of competitions in previous years; in the form of Astro Star Quest for young singers and Astro Classic Golden Melody Competition for veteran singers. I’m unsure whether the latter would still continue but it is almost certain that the Astro Star Quest (it has 20 years of history) is no longer happening this year to make way for this ‘The Voice’ competition. It is also a joint show with Singapore in finding the best Mandarin-speaking singers in this region.

I like the way that the organizer will upload most of their weekly episodes on YouTube on time for us to watch (especially for me who are not in Malaysia and not having access to Astro). I am amazed by the number of talented singers in Malaysia (as seen from many great Malaysian voices I have heard in that show). Here are some of the contestants’ performances that I enjoyed listening to (they are great…but at certain point, still not as exceptional as the fantastic competitors from China or US in their versions).

This contestant’s clip has the most views among all the other contestants in the blind audition stage. The reason is clear; he is delivering a nice song, with great skill and plenty of emotion. His performance here made all four judges to turn over.

I have to include this veteran female singer. Her voice reminds me immediately of the late Anita Mui.

This is a pair of contestants advancing from the blind audition stage to the battle stage. They now compete against each other in one song and are coming from the same judge that they have chosen to mentor them earlier.

Here are some other music videos from YouTube that I have been listening frequently to in recent weeks:

The ending theme song for the TVB drama ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’. This song had just won My Favourite Theme Song’ at Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards last month. This song titled ‘Forgetting Myself’ by Hana Kuk is beautiful.

This is a live recording of Sammi Cheng’s Touch Mi 2 concert in Hong Kong. She felt ill during that time and she lost her voice. Hence, you will notice that her performance is quite weak but I still love that. I love her spirit and her songs of course. She has been my most favourite singer for many years. I particularly like this song (called ‘The Last Time’) in recent weeks. I’m sure in weeks later, I will be switching to her other songs (she has over 100 songs to date). Many of her songs are classic too. That is why she still stands today as a Cantopop queen.

Now, this is really a very old and classic Mandarin song that exists for around 30 years already (I think so). It attaches to me a lot as I remember I have been hearing and liking it when I was just a small kid. When I listen to it again recently (happen to found it back on YouTube recently to my delight), there is a strong nostalgic feeling overpowering me. I wonder if you remember this song too if you are also growing up listening to Cantopop and Mandopop songs.

I don’t only listen to Chinese songs. I also listen to English songs. Who’s in my mind? Definitely Ed Sheeran. He is so popular now not only with his great songs but also with his distinctive look (his hair!). Here’s his latest music video for his song ‘Perfect’ (just released five days ago). The song is literally perfect too.

I seldom blog anything about music. But here it is. Enjoy the songs!

 

 

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The crucial one last week before submission.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on October 30, 2017 by vincentloy

Hey, everyone. You would have noticed that I have not been able to update my blog frequently in recent time. I was super busy on my thesis week as I have to submit it by next week. I guess I shall take a bit of my time off and return here to update on my current ‘state of life’.

I have been occupied with so many things to do. Since I have been designing a skyscraper (not even a single tower, but a complex of three tall towers) for my thesis design project (it’s a large scale work), there has been a huge amount of drawings that I need to produce. Now I start to feel slightly regret over my decision to choose ‘skyscraper’ although it is my favourite. Since there are so many drawings in the picture (quantity assured), I am worried of their qualities instead. I am not being very good in graphic editing of the drawings especially for my rendering. My rendering skill is mediocre and I cannot succeed in producing photo-realistic imageries.

I have only about 14 weeks (actually only about 10 weeks or less after deducting the time for compiling research and going for interim presentations) on the design work. Hence, I think my design is still not at the best as it has not been fully explored or tested yet. There is literally not enough time to do that (especially for a complex of three towers). All the things would be much more refined and better if we have one or two more extra weeks.

Now, what’s left to do are my sectional drawings, further post-production to my renderings, additional diagrams, physical model and report compiling. And I have only one week left for that. I guess I’m not going get enough sleep for this one whole week…and that is seriously bad for my health. Although I still will allocate some time for sleep, but I cannot sleep well too due to the pressure from the incomplete work.

Now, I wish I can finish all of them smoothly and right on time. God…wish me best of luck on this. I’m hoping to perform well in this one which is the last ever assignment before the completion of this postgraduate study (Master of Architecture). Previously, I have prepared a schedule on what task I shall do daily in these final two weeks. As expected, I couldn’t meet the target as some drawings take longer time than predicted. Fortunately, there is still one good news as I have completed the final assessment for the other unit for this semester. At least I have one burden off my head and I can fully concentrate on this thesis.

Alright. That’s it for my update to the blog. I have to immediately get back to my work. And it’s the end of the month and I take this opportunity to wish Happy Halloween to those who are celebrating!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Back to update my blog quickly. It’s almost end of September!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on September 23, 2017 by vincentloy

Hey, I’m back to update the blog after some time. I have been stressed by my thesis work lately and so I didn’t have the mood to concentrate on something else in this recent weeks. I have been doing a decent amount of work every week and shown in to the supervisor, and still, there is more work to be done. There are now less than 2 weeks to the interim presentation and 6 more weeks to the most crucial final submission and presentation. This is the most significant part of my study and hence I could not be updating my blog as frequently as I did in the past. 24 hours a day is already not enough for me (applies to all architecture students too).

If someone wish to study architecture, I would not recommend unless he or she really has a very high passion on it. It will takes up a lot of effort (variety of tasks), a lot of money (very costly fees and expenses for needed materials), a lot of time (expect many sleepless nights to work on the assignments), etc. It will also sacrifice your leisure time for hobby or entertainment and it will sacrifice your social life. My housemates have been asking me to join them for some outings, games or events, but I rejected most of them since I seriously do not have the time for it although I do need some relaxation. But architecture doesn’t allow me to do that. Now, my housemates no longer invites me for stuff and I’m left alone in the dark. I’m really getting very jealous of them and the courses they are taking because they are so free all the time. I’m getting over it and I hope that architecture will really rewards me a lot in the future, looking from all the sacrifices and effort I have placed in it.

Well, I would still allocate a short period of time daily for a bit of entertainment to get the pressure out of me. If you knew me well, you would know what action that is. It’s by going online (I love to watch YouTube videos recently and I shall eliminate that habit soon as my thesis deadlines is nearing) and watching movies (I didn’t watch many new films this year) and series. Yup, I’m still on Hong Kong series. After ‘The Unholy Alliance’ ended, I started watching ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’. Now, I’m done with its first 10 episodes. It looks not bad so far but I felt that it couldn’t live up to its successful predecessor (2014’s Line Walker). I will write more about it (and review) after I finished the whole drama somewhere in October. It is one of the six (or seven) anniversary dramas this year for TVB 50th birthday celebration. I do look forward to some of the other upcoming exciting anniversary dramas such as the ‘Heart of Greed 3’ (named ‘Heart and Greed’ now), and ‘Beyond The Realm Of Conscience 2’ (named ‘Deep In The Realm Of Conscience’ now).

Back in Malaysia, my dad recently told me that he got some tickets for the closing ceremony of the ASEAN Para Games 2017. The games is the multi-sport event for the disabled athletes in South East Asia region. It is organized after the end of SEA Games last month. The closing ceremony will be held tonight in Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is doing quite well in the medal tally although not topping it this time. We still made good result by becoming the second country with highest medal counts. I told my dad not to have high expectation on the closing ceremony as it will features not much of exciting performances but rather boring singing by some Malay artists (that is certainly not diversity!). Well, my dad will be attending mostly because he wants to bring his two grandsons (my two little nephews) to watch big event like this and the fireworks, and that the tickets they got are free. It would be nice if he obtained free tickets for the SEA Games opening ceremony last month. The opening ceremony for that is not bad and worth watching. Even if he got them, I couldn’t attend it as I’m now in Australia…for my thesis (again)!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Perth greeted me with extreme cold!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 31, 2017 by vincentloy

I safely landed on Perth early this morning! Went straight to home and have a nap till afternoon to recover on the sleepless night I had in the plane. Woke up and went immediately for a quick essential grocery shopping before going to the first class of the semester on 4pm. As soon as I landed on Perth, I felt the cold deep to my bones! It was a huge transition from the very hot climate in Malaysia to the wet winter in Australia now.

I’m back to this beautiful small city of Perth, Western Australia. (Picture above from: http://www.visitperthcity.com)

The highest temperature today is about 12 degree celsius. It may not sound very cold for you, but it is for me. My body is shaking and I can the air I breathe out in the evening. Continuous rain and strong wind for the whole day today makes it almost unbearable for me. If not for the class to attend, I would not want to step out of my house at all. The class is over after 2 hours, had a nice dinner and great catch-up with my classmates and now I’m back to my room with my heater on. That’s the most comfy thing ever for today. Ahh…also the hot shower I took just now too.

The first class was fun with great lecturers and classmates. It’s my first class of the semester on the last day of the month. It will be August tomorrow. A 2-hours workshop once every week (that’s the only class for us this semester) and some fun-looking assignments that will get us prepared to enter the working industry soon after we graduate. This unit is like a ‘side dish’ to the thesis (full meal) that will complete the semester as well as the whole course.

So, let the countdown begins. 4 more months for me to endure to finish this postgraduate study. 4 more months to end my journey in education. I have no plan to go for PhD which is not necessary unless you want to be a very theoretical-based professor/lecturer in the future. 4 more months before going to the full ‘working’ mode. 4 more months before I can no longer call myself as a student (to enjoy all the student benefits) eventhough many would still mistaken me as a young school kid. It will be my last critical mission of the year. Finish the course with hopefully good results.

Last day in Malaysia and semester starts tomorrow.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 30, 2017 by vincentloy

My holiday has officially come to an end. This mid-year break that last for about a month is over. Today is my last day in Malaysia before flying back to Australia tonight. My very final semester starts tomorrow with a class in the late afternoon. I only have a single class session for this semester but never ever think that I’m very free. Most of my time will be spent on the thesis and I think I will be very busy for the entire semester till the very completion and final presentation of my thesis.

I don’t know why but this time, I have a strong feeling of not wanting to leave Malaysia. I’m like a little kid who doesn’t want to go to school. Haha…it’s weird. This emotion is not that strong in the previous occasions. I think it may be due to this holiday being too short and I certainly have had not enough of it. On top of that, I’m also pre-occupied with many stuff to do during this break. I also couldn’t accomplish certain tasks that I promised to do during this break before it begins. What a failure…but whatever!

I didn’t expect there is an orientation session for final year student last Friday. I’m still in Malaysia and so I skipped that. I would get the information from my friends but I still think I may have missed certain crucial information. Once I’m back to Perth, I have only a short period of time to prepare the works required for my thesis’ progress. Stress arriving even in the first week of the semester already. What a life! Fortunately, I only have two units this semester; one is the thesis project and another one is the Professional Practice 2. Once I’m done with them, I’m officially done with this Master of Architecture programme! Can’t wait for that!

By the way, I noticed that I watched significantly lesser number of movies this year. I think that’s because I have to allocate more time on my final year of study and also that I don’t have the urge to watch more movies this year. However, I do watched more Hong Kong television series this year. Right now, I’m catching up to two series concurrently. Well, now I know the reason where my time goes to…not for concentration into my study as claimed before. Haha. They are considered my only way for entertainment during this coming period of time that is expected to be stressful. Alright…time to pack my luggage and get ready to the airport. Bye…

Wait…one week left for my holiday?

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Yes, it is. I can’t believe it. I will be heading to the airport this Sunday’s evening for flight back to Perth. Time flies. I have already spent a little over one month indulging in a total laziness mode. In this break, I went to Thailand for a trip during the Raya festival, I went to Genting Highlands for a short getaway to enjoy the colder air up on the mountain and I went to Ipoh for a family matter on the last weekend. And for the rest of the time, I’m just spending them at home; a lot of sleeping, a lot of time spent surfing the web, and a lot of time used on watching YouTube and Hong Kong dramas.

By the time I head back to Perth, it will be intense for me as I have to work really hard for my thesis. I should be doing some of the thesis during this holiday but I just couldn’t. Whenever I’m in my house, I felt that everything around me is making me to be not productive and not motivated to do any work. Well, I then promised myself that I will be really working intensely once I’m back to Perth. This will be my last ever break for my postgraduate study that will end this November and I will cherish every moment of it…and now I have less than one week of that.

I’m actually occupied with other stuff to do. I’m not entirely free during this break actually. I have to fetch my nephew from school everyday. I have to take care of them during every Saturday (it’s really tired to look after them and they occasionally find you to play with them…kids are full of energy and can play anywhere anytime even when my house have nothing for them to play). I have to settle my banking matter. I have to settle some university stuff. So many things to settle in my short time here in Malaysia.

For this break in Malaysia, I at least managed to visit the new MyTown shopping centre for the first time, took the MRT for the first time, saw the latest progress of construction of many new tall buildings in the KL city centre region, ate a lot of nice food that I long waited for when I was still in Perth, and met some of my relatives that I have long not seen. I wish to visit the annual ARCHIDEX exhibition held recently, but I was tired and felt lazy to go. I attended this exhibition for several years in the past and the reward  are the many free items I can get by visiting booths.

 

First time taking the MRT.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on July 21, 2017 by vincentloy

The whole Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh and Kajang Line is complete with the opening of Phase 2 few days ago. Phase 1 was opened end of last year but I didn’t get to take the MRT because that is not the area I want to go. Now, the Phase 2 is opened and riders will get 50% discount on rides up to 31st August 2017. The stations in this Phase 2 are more convenient to me as my house is considered near to them and that I can now use them to go to certain areas in Kuala Lumpur without the hassle of finding parking spots or paying expensive parking charges in the city.

I have heard and read many good feedback on this new MRT. Finally, yesterday was the day for me to try on taking the MRT for the first time. I still have to drive for about 10 to 15 minutes to reach the station nearer to my house. They should have MRT or at least having LRT (Ampang Line) extended to my area (Taman Muda or Taman Bukit Teratai) that has a huge population but lacks public transportation system. We took the MRT from Taman Mutiara station to Bukit Bintang station. Due to the 50% discount, the ride only costs RM1.50. That’s cheap.

Car park at the station is insufficient. The station is unnecessarily huge with plenty of empty spaces that can be used for setting up kiosks. The train is very new, spacious, clean and brightly lit. However, I felt extremely cold in the train. The air-conditioning is still very new and that’s why it is very cold inside. My destination is at Bukit Bintang station, an underground station that looks great with vibrant red colored reflective cladding. This MRT system is no doubt a great addition to the city and it will eventually help reduce traffic congestion in the city.

More areas should be covered in future addition or extension of train lines so that more people can rely on public transport in Klang Valley. This MRT Sungai Buloh and Kajang Line is only one of the steps to make it possible. Besides that, the integration of MRT with LRT, Monorail or other lines should be made as seamless as possible and the walking distance between their stations should be kept minimal. As for our Prime Minister’s comment that someone told him that our MRT is even better than those in New York, London or Hong Kong, I think he is being too proud of himself. Those were built much earlier and it is very usual for our country’s new MRT to be better looking to them.