Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Don't buy pets on impulse!

If you have been following me on my twitter, you would have read that i recently got 2 hamsters! It's been quite a long time since i had pets at home. I think the last pet i had was fishes (which belongs to my dad technically. Anyway i think keeping fishes is a waste of electricity and water since they run 24/7...) Since young, i had quite a number of pets. I remember i had 2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, terrapins at different point of my life. Anyway, that's not the point of this post.

Actually I had no intention of blogging about my hamsters at first but after sharing the story on how i got them with my friends, a few of them suggested i blogged about them to sort of 'raise awareness' through my blog so here i'm blogging about these 2 cute creature! It was really tough taking photos of them because they are ALWAYS running around in the cage. Almost every photo turned out blur, i had to photoshop the clearer ones to get the few photos below, LOL

That day i came home, opened my main door and immediately spotted this cage at my balcony:

I was quite surprised to see hamsters because my family never thought about having pets for the time being.

My 2 little furry hamsters! Aren't they cute?

So far we haven't give them names because it's still quite difficult to differentiate them. Anyway, here's their story. My sis recently got a new job at a quite well known pet store (i'm not going to disclose the store name). So they sell different kinds of pets, accessories, their food, cages etc. You get an idea of how they operate. It's just like pet safari.

Apparently my sis got this customer, who is a mum that chose and bought these 2 hamsters for her daughter, complete with the food, cage, bedding, all the basics for the hamsters. HOWEVER, when she brought them home, apparently her daughter did not like the hamsters and the mum did not know what to do with them so can you guess what she did?

She went back to the store the next morning just before the store open and left everything at the entrance with a note. "I'm sorry but my daughters do not like the hamsters, please take them back." From what i heard from my sis, this is not unusual. Apparently quite a number of people who regretted buying pets and they just do the same thing -_-

Actually i'm quite glad they didn't throw or dump the hamsters away. That would be cruel.

I have no idea why they like to dig into the bedding and hide in there. Like a cute only, LOL

Continuing the story above. As a staff of the store, since everything is already paid for and the pets are "unwanted", the staff can choose to "adopt" them. Worse come to worse, i think they will just put the hamsters back into the tank and put them on sale again. So my sis decided to adopt them without consulting my mum and brought everything home!

Thank god my mum did not make a fuss or anything. In fact, she loved them

I was thinking since i have a blog, i would like to do my part to "raise awareness" on impulse buying of pets. Buy them ONLY if you are willing to commit. Don't buy them as presents or gifts thinking the other party will like it UNLESS you are very sure he/she will take good care of them. I'm not just talking about hamsters, it's the same for pets like dogs, rabbits, even terrapins. They deserve good owners who will take care of them for life until they leave for heaven :')

In return, they will add colours into your life. Honestly, i can sit infront of their cage and just watch them play. They seem to be forever so busy, don't know with what. The way they pluck the seed out of the sunflower seed, the way they run around the same area, climbing up to the second floor only to come down again. No idea go up for what. They are quite interesting to watch. When one uses the wheel, the other will squeeze in. If not, the wheel will be empty. LOL

Many questions popped up in my head when i watch them, it's like, "Will they be lonely if there's only one of them? Should we always buy hamsters in twos?" or "How do they communicate with each other when i don't even hear any noise?" or "Is there hamsters in the wild?" or "How do we know if they are happy?" and the list just goes on and on...

I got scolded by my sis for taking the hamster out to take this photo, apparently they are still young, LOL

I hope i did get my point about being committed when buying pets across in this post. Don't just enjoy the cute hamster photos above, help to spread awareness through your own ways. If you are thinking of getting a pet (you can choose to adopt instead of buying too!), i found this good guide online to help you decided if you are ready - CLICK HERE!

P.s: I realised hamsters store alot of food in their cheeks, LOL

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#SBA2012 E-interview!

If you are wondering how come the post is the same, scroll down! Updated e-interview below!:D

Yes, you read it correct! The Singapore Blog Awards is back again this year and guess what? I'm a finalist for not only one category, but two categories! *A round of applause thank you. I want to cry already, LOL* This year it really came as a surprise because for the past few years, my blog was never shortlisted. Well, I guess it's because of the strong competition. It's like so many blogs out there, chances of getting shortlisted for the 10 finalists... (Wait, i think i was short listed for this Y-bloggist thingy last year but i couldn't comply to the schedule so i have to give it up...) Boo.

I think some time last week, i got a call from Alvin from OMY telling me i'm a finalist for the "GMarket Best online shopping blog" and i was already quite excited because i get to do what i love to do, mainly blogging and shopping! Then the list of finalist came out and Joyce whatsapp me to tell me i'm one of the finalist for "Best Individual Blog" I was like, "YOU GOT SEE WRONGLY ANOT?" So i went online using my itouch, and i saw my face in the individual blog category.

I'm shortlisted for the "GMarket Best Online Shopping Blog" and "Best Individual Blog" this year!

This is where i need the help of you guys! I thought it's already quite pai seh to ask you guys to vote for me once for the Gmarket category then i realised now i have to ask everyone to vote for the individual category as well. Buay PS.

The thing is that you need to create an account in order to vote (which most people find it a hassle to do, but still!) Do register for an account if you don't have one, it takes less than a minute. Okay? Love you all deep deep. Especially those long time readers who has been following my blog for the past few years, but not forgetting the new ones too!

(click on the image to be linked to the category voting page)

"Individualistic blogs with strong character and free-wheeling content about daily lives and musings."

Don't have to do much for this category i guess. Just blog normally like i always do. But since you guys are making the effort to vote for me (i hope you are!) i shall make the effort to blog more often! Everyone say YAYYYYY! Zi high, LOL

This is one interesting category! I will be given $100 credits to spend on GMarket and will be sharing with you guys what are the things i will be getting! It's like Budget barbie except that i'm the guy version, aka "Ken" this time, LOL! I'm looking forward to exploring the site and try to get many bargains as i can get. I think i will have fun e-shopping! If possible, i might even get some interesting stuffs to giveaway to thank you guys Can't wait to start shopping!

By the way, by voting for me, you stand to win yourself prizes too!

Wei, don't think it's not possible to win hor. I remember few years back, i voted for my friend who was in this blog awards and after the awards, i got an sms from OMY telling me i won a camera and $100 worth of Japanese dining vouchers! *i swear i'm not lying* How lucky can i get? All i did was to vote to help my friend and i won the voter's prize!


After doing my previous blog post (which is now above...) about the Singapore Blog Awards 2012, i realised i'm supposed to do a blog post on the e-interview questions about my feelings on being a finalist for this year's Singapore Blog Awards! (Should have done it altogether in the same post -_-) Nevertheless, here's my answers to the questions:

1. How do you feel about being one of finalists in Singapore Blog Awards 2012?

Well, i'm definitely honored to be chosen out of so many blogs out there for not just one category, but two categories this year! Mainly for Best individual blog as well as the Gmarket Best Online Shopping Blog! *flicks hair* Oh, I would like to thank those who nominated my blog and i will try my best to make everyone proud! This totally feels like Channel 8's 红星大奖 (Star Awards) but it's the online version! I guess i should prepare a thank you speech just in case? LOL

2. When did you start blogging and what drew you to it? Where do you get inspiration for your blog content?

Hmm, i started my blog during Poly year 1, that's 4 years ago? That day I was really bored in class so i decided to go to and create a blog just to rant. As times goes by, i got really interested in blogging and started posting about my life, the places i go, the movies i watch etc. More and more people started reading my blog and the little nice comments they left made me motivated to continue blogging. Inspiration? My passion to write and my readers

3. How do you feel about the other Finalists in your category this year? How do you think you will fare compared to them?

I did looked through the other finalists in the individual category and i was like, "Damn, competition is tough!" No wonder the individual category description was - '
Individualistic blogs with strong character and free-wheeling content about daily lives and musings.' We have a body builder, we have a illustrator, we have a writer (Can i have one of your book please, Mr Lam? haha), a few pretty ladies and more. How do think i will fare? Since i'm chosen to be one of the 10 finalists, i guess there's definitely something in my blog that the judges are looking for! Let's just see shall we? (:

For the Gmarket category, i met the rest of the finalists during the briefing and everyone was so friendly! I really look forward to see what they are getting with the $100 credits we get! I guess i will do fairly well in this category as i'm trying to fully utilize my $100 VERY WELL and get items that 'integrate' into my daily life. Look forward to my buys!

4. Give a reason why readers should visit your blog and vote for you?

A REASON? Just one only?! I can give like 4325347879 different reasons please! Do visit my blog because... there's definitely something that interest you, be it my face, or my travelogues, or my videos etc! Do vote for me!


Monday, May 21, 2012

My new Baby - Lumix G2! ♥

Well, if you have been following me on twitter, you would have read that i recently sold away my beloved Samsung EX1 camera and bought another camera! Honestly speaking, the Samsung EX1 is one of the best camera that i ever had. It's easy to bring around, it has a fantastic swivel screen which is perfect for camwhoring with friends, almost every shot turns out brilliant (minimal editing required) and the list just goes on and on. Damn, i'm starting to miss it already :(

I even imported a leather case from Hong Kong, and bought a special transformers lens to zeng it. Now i sold it away. For just $300. Condition was 8/10, with an additional spare battery. Shall stop harping on it since i already sold it. To find a camera that is as good as the EX1 or even better was quite tough, until i came across the Panasonic Lumix G2.

There's a story behind every camera i got. For this Lumix, it first caught my eye when i was window shopping at Vivo. Best Denki was having a Mother Day's promotion (original price was $1099!) It caught my attention for its size but i never thought of getting it since i had a fantastic EX1. But out of curiosity, i went home to research about Lumix G2.

One important factor i was looking at was the Swivel screen. I'm so used to the swivel screen that my new camera MUST have it. There's quite limited choices in the market now, mainly the Canon 600D, 60D, G12 and a few others. But they are all either quite ugly, heavy or bulky. But this Lumix G2 is light and the size is actually smaller than a DSLR.

Not only that, it has a viewfinder that i always wanted (although it's an electronic one) and guess what? It's touch screen! One special feature is that you can even use the touch screen as the shutter button! Just tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo, easy for camwhore! The only downside i find is that one lens does not do everything. Because this camera is a micro 4/3, i have to get different lenses and they cost a bomb! The pancake lens for close/macro photography cost about $400+ (i think!) With that money, i can buy a compact camera le lor. Not buying for now!

Oh ya, the story is... That night after researching, i decided to upgrade to the Lumix G2. But first i had to make sure someone wanted to buy my EX1 so i can top up the remaining. Within minutes after i tweeted, i got a buyer. (I got a feeling i sold it too cheap -_-) The next morning, i called almost all the Best Denki outlets in Singapore to ask if they have stock for the Lumix G2. Because it's on offer, most of the stocks were sold. To name a few, Century Square, Parkway Parade, all sold out. The Compass point outlet opens 3o mins than most outlets so i waited and pray. Called them at 10.30am sharp and was told they have one more set left! So i reserved it and cabbed down to pick it up!

Well, i'm now a proud owner of the Lumix G2! (Although i haven't really learn how to use it yet, still using the auto function -_-) Hope i won't be lazy to bring it out since it's much bigger than my EX1. (I was already complaining about bringing out the EX1, LOL) FYI, my dream camera is still the Fujifilm X100 but it's still $1699 for now! So expensive lor :(

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Easy guide to photoshop-ing your photos!

You know how some bloggers complain or tweet about having to spend hours just to photoshop/ edit their photos for their blog posts? I admit, i'm one of the guilty ones. Most of you will be like thinking, "What are they editing? What is there to edit? Why can't they just post straight from the camera, wouldn't that be much faster?" WHY WHY WHY

Well, speaking up for myself, all i can say is that i just want my photos to look nice by editing the colour and contrast of the photos before i post it up online! Not forgetting to photoshop any flaws like pimples and such not only for myself, but also for my friends that appear on my blog. Don't you realised that everyone looks almost perfect in the photos?

I have to admit. There's a little bit of liquifying here and there to get that jaw line, smaller nose, bigger eyes, slimmer arms. Okay, it's getting abit exaggerating here. Just minor touch ups. So here's a simple guide on what i do to edit my photos! Basically it's the same few steps repeated for maybe 20 photos in row. Not very easy i would say though :|

Above we have a perfectly RAW photo direct from the camera. ZERO edits. Honestly, i'm really impressed with my Samsung EX1 for taking great shots after shots. It's definitely one of the best camera i've used so far. But i recently sold it away for another camera (It's time to upgrade!) Will blog more about it maybe in one of the next few posts! :D

Step #1: Adjust the image size (CTRL + ALT + I)

Since the photos are to be posted online, we don't actually have to edit based on the size the photo was taken, which can be as huge as 2592 x 1944 pixels for a 8 megapixel photo! It will take longer time to process your photos if the file size is big so i would suggest reducing it to your blog image size, in my case - 800 pixels. Much easier to work on.

Step #2: Auto ______.

Photoshop itself is a powerful photo editing tool so there's some idiot proof functions like the Auto tone, Auto contrast and Auto color. (Shortcuts as shown on the image) These 3 functions will most probably adjust your photo to look much better without you having to do anything. I tend to be abit fussy on the brightness and contrast so what i do is...

Step 3: Adjust Brightness and Contrast.

Ever since i started using Photoshop, there has never been a short cut to the Brightness and Contrast panel which i have no idea why and it's like one of the most important panel for me. Ok, i just went to google why and why i got is. Apparently noobs are the ones who use the B&C panel. The Pros just go straight to CTRL + M for the Curves panel -_-

Now you can see the colours in the above photo is much better!

Step 4: Remove the flaws.

See the flaws. Well, we are all human, just that you don't really see the flaws of my face on this blog. To remove a single or a few pimples, use the Spot healing brush (4th icon on the first column) if not, you can be as lazy as me and just use the Blur tool. Simple just use the tool and go over the flaws and blur them to the natural skin colour.

Piece of advice: Don't overdo the blur-ness. Everyone has flaws ;)

Step 5: Liquify. (SHIFT + CTRL + X)

Now that you got the colours of the photo settled, you removed the flaws on the humans, let's do some plastic surgery. Want slimmer face? Want to see that jawline? Eyes to be bigger? Hair to have more volume? This is the tool.

I'm editing the jawline in the above photo. Firstly choose your brush size by using the keyboard short cut "[" and "]" to adjust the size. After which, use the "+" in the center of the brush to "push" the jawline inwards until you feel satisfied. To make eyes bigger, use the "Bloat" tool and click at the iris to make the eyes bigger, adjust accordingly.

Additional Step #6: Add in contact lens.

This has got to be the easiest way to input contact lens into your eyes compared to all the complicated ways out there! I somehow "learnt it" myself through exploring. What you need is the colour of the lens, the brush tool and the opacity as shown above. Instead of describing how i do it, why not watch this 55 seconds (yes, it's that short and easy!) video which i did few years ago to share with my readers how to photoshop contact lens!

Seem quite easy right? Practice makes perfect! Try it!

Step 7: BURN.

The "Burn tool" helps to darken parts of the photos so you can randomly darken some of the background to give the photo more "depth" In this case, i darken the walls of the background to make the photo look more 3D.

Step 8: Smart Sharpen (Filter - Sharpen - Smart Sharpen)

This is the final step before saving the photo! Basically you "conclude" the photos by giving it a smart sharpen so that whatever is blur become clear, and whatever is clear becomes clearer. Remember i used the "Blur tool" on my face previously to cover those flaws? After smart sharpen, the smoothness of the face is not so obvious! *flicks hair*


Now let's put the before and after photo together:

The difference is really quite obvious right?

Well, basically that's what i do to edit my photos on this blog. If a blog post has 20 photos to edit and all the photos has at least one human in them, i will just repeat all the 8 steps for 20 times. If each photo takes about 4 mins to edit, 20 photos will take 80 mins. That's 1 hour and 20 mins! So now you get it why i take so long to edit my photos? LOL

Hope you enjoy this photoshop "tutorial"

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where in Singapore is this?

Found this place last weekend and was pretty impressed with the whole vintage setting! More photos soon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm on #Instagram!

If you have been following me on twitter, you should have read that i recently got myself the white iPod touch that i've always wanted. So now i have 2 iPod touch, one in black and one in white. I can't bring the white one to work because of the camera though. Well, there's not the point of this post. One of the main reasons i got the white iPod touch is because of its camera! Because of the built in camera, i get to play with a lot of the fascinating camera filter apps!
My favourite camera app currently would be Camera 360! There's really a HUGE varieties of filters for you to choose from, in fact so much that i don't really bother to use any other apps to take photos. LINE camera is also another app that got me hook onto recently! It enables one to edit the photos using the in built filters then edit them by adding super cute stamps and texts! Everytime i take a photo using Camera 360, i would import it over to LINE Camera to edit!
The 4 photos i edited recently! Cute right!!!

I was thinking where i should i upload these photos i edited to keep as well as to share with others to i decided to sign up for Instagram! I was playing around with the app and i'm really impressed by the photos at the "popular" tab, all very pretty and artistic! So from now onwards, i will be uploading my randomly edited photos to my instagram stream!