Sunday, May 29, 2005

David Beckham coming to Singapore

According to the news, David Beckham, together with Tony Blair, Prime Ministery of United Kingdom will make an appearance in Singapore to support the bid of London to host the Olympic Games in 2012. I have volunteer in the 117th OIC session too. But since I will volunteer only for a day, guess the chance to even see the shape of him is pretty slim.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Scary Dream

I made a scary dream yesterday, just before waking up. The dream was about I was in the car, at the unknown deserted place. Suddenly there were few people walked towards the car and opened the door, and tried to grab me. I woke up after this. This is the first time I have such a vivid dream. Previously I almost couldn't remembered any details after I woke up. If not, most likely I couldn't determined if it's a dream, or it's just some wild thinking of mine during half sleep.

GapBuster reduces payment again

From June onwards, GapBuster reduces the reimbursement for McDonald's Singapore assignment from SGD $8.50 to SGD $6.10. I don't know how they come to the amount. But it mean that most likely I have to pay more by myself if I don't want to drink coke, easily the cheapest drink on McDonald's menu.

Few months ago, GapBuster also reduced the shopper fee for Cold Storage related assignments from SGD $8.00 to SGD $6.00. Yet after the reduction, all assignments still been grabbed almost immediately after been released. So I guess there must be too much 'hungry' shoppers in Singapore.

Different Google Search Results

Google must be built with a massive amount of networks of servers. I searched at my home, and all my 3 blogs have been updated with information of backlinks. However, when I went to my office and did a search, the backlinks information was not available. So most likely I was connected to 2 different Google servers, and 1 had updated with the blogs links information, and the other not yet. It's interesting to know how Google handling such a vast amount of information.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Complain the Budget Airlines

According to The New Paper, there were a total of 45 complaints against Budget Airlines (or Low Cost Carriers) so far. There were some ridiculous complaints, like promotion gimmicks, unable to log on to the websites during promotion, and even unable to get the advertised promotion air fares! It's best that their complaints can leads to all fares are low fares anytime to anywhere. :)

One thing is out of 45, 32 were against Tiger Airways, mostly involved over-charging the customers. I wonder why Tiger Airways can let this kind of things happened. I used to buy Tiger Airways tickets, but no problem at all. Anyway I feel that Tiger Airways website is the most not intuitive and attractive among 4 budget airlines in Singapore, other been AirAsia, ValuAir and JetStar Asia. Beside, it's also the only online booking system that can easily identified they're using Amelia from InteliSys Aviation System.

Blogger Really Sucks with Errors

Today I had been hit with technical glitches and errors of Blogger. My Nothern Vietnam Travelogue is the only one that been hit. Firstly, the blog was unavailable. All link to it been redirected to Blogger: 404 - Page not found. This is very bad. Then whenever I wanted to publish a post, index page or entire blog, I will be getting a few error message with fail status.

001 EOF while reading from control connection

550 Could not open: No such file or directoryblog/44/59/8/northernvietnam/archives/2005_05_25_northernvietnam_archive.html550

Could not open: No such file or directoryblog/44/59/8/northernvietnam/atom.xml

I am getting very frustuated with Blogger, although it's first time I encountered it. Before that I used to read about the problems faced by other Blogger users, but I just thought that it wouldn't happen to me. Now it happens, and I can feel how others felt. Blogger really sucks!

Update (17 March 2006): For those who comes to here because Blogger issue, check out Blogger Status, which stated that some blogs may having problems. So just be patient.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Volunteer for 117th IOC Session

Yesterday I attended volunteer briefing for 117th International Olympic Council session which will be held in Singapore from 2nd to 9th July 2005. I volunteered at the Functions and Ceremonies committee, which basically involves only 1 day on opening ceremony at Esplanade and reception at Singapore Istana on 5th July 2005. Other committee need commitment of at least a week to few weeks, which is impossible to me to absent from works for so long.

I also volunteered to be section leader at Esplanade, and thus not allowed to join the reception session at the Istana. Beside, to my surprise, volunteers need to go for the trial run too on 4th July 2005, and additional day for section leader on 20th June 2005, as it's not mentioned before. Anyway that shouldn't be problem for me.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

EZ-Link Mess

Just now saw a innocent girl been over-charged again by EZ-Link system that implemented on public transport in Singapore. She encountered error when alighting, so she went to the driver, who asked to tap on the "Entry" sensor again. The driver then asked the girl to tap on the "Exit" sensor at the alighting door, but the girl just didn't understand. So the girl had either over-charged for the rest of the trip that she didn't take (the EZ-Link system works in such a way that maximum fare will be deducted when boarding the bus, and the change will be refunded when alighting the bus, provided you remember to tap your EZ-Link card to the sensor), or even worse, be double over-charged for the trip.

I think EZ-Link is the only system in the world that can legitimately over-charge consumers, without being penalized. Thanks to the blame on consumers, and the fact that it's only launched in obedient Singapore society

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Just watched last part of Star Wars prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, courtesy of Mr Goh, General Manager of my company and his wife Rosemary, at Golden Village cinema Great World City. Personally I am not a fan of Star Wars, but my another colleague is a enthusiasm of Star Wars movie. He kept reminded us that when "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." appears at the beginning of the movie, we should clapped. Indeed a lot of people clapped. This was the first time I encountered such a strange situation. Applause given even before watching the movie (I don't watch other Star Wars movie in cinema).

I personally felt the Star Wars: The Return of the Sith is just okay only. It's a very interesting movie, with all those special effects and awesome fighting scenes. But I felt that the movie moved too fast, and tried to squeeze too many stories into it. The turning of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side is not very convincing to me, so does his love to Padmé Amidala. The film simply does not portray his feeling and thought deep enough.

The movie runs for about 140 minutes. And I saved some taxi money as Mr Goh and wife were so kind again to give me a ride. Anyway, watch the movie, to be part of the history.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith movie poster

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

How many "Next" will you click in Search Engine?

It's interesting to see how's the traffic comes to my blogs, especially from search engine. Frankly speaking, I seldom browse thru few pages of results from any search engine. But I did noticed a few of the traffics comes after tens of pages in search results. Here I listed a few examples.

Tale and Story of My Life: [at Page 10]

Egypt and Jordan Travelogue: [at Page 97!] [at Page 12] [at Page 8]

Northern Vietnam Travelogue:

All found within 1st or 2nd page of search engine's results. Seems like my keywords are quite strong for this blog.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Open Directory and Technorati

Since one of my blogs listed in Open Directory Project, there are some very few traffic that came from the directory. Not much, but the main objective to get my travelogue listed was for it to be able to be indexed by Google, the premier search engine in the world now.

To my surprise is even Technorati did send some hits to the blog. Technorati is basically a search engine for the blogs. With so many blogs listed there, and majority of net surfers utilize Google for information searching, the few hits seemed very valuable.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Am I going to lose $36,000?

It looks like I am simply too naive or trust her too much. Jacqueline's mum just called me and said want to convert our boutique business from retail to distributorship. She never mentioned about money, but Jacqueline did ask more from me few days ago by sms. I think that's enough, and what's more, I cannot afford to lose more money. I now really believe she is getting rid of me.

Story began about a year ago when Jacqueline, my ex-colleague found me and wanted to start a boutique business together. The catch is, I invest all the capital and she will put in all her effort. Things worked well in the beginning, but she started to ask for more money in November, despite kept telling me that business is okay.

I have wanted to give up, but the dilemma now is how not to lose money, or if really have to lose, how to lose as less as possible. I wanted to take up the business all by myself, but I don't have time to run it. Beside, as she runs everything, she can simply tell me that the boutique is not making money, so I might lose everything. Anyway, I have decided to not spend a single cent more. Others really on how much she going to pay back the trust I put on her. God bless!

Traffic from Google and Yahoo

One good news is my blogs are starting to get hits and traffics from Google and Yahoo search engines. It's not much, sometimes even in single digit each day, but nevertheless it's a great start.

The MSN search engine is a failure. Neither did I managed to get my blogs listed permanently or MSN spider found my blogs, even though my Egypt and Jordan Travelogue listed on Open Directory Project. Initially all my blogs have been found and indexed, but lately they're all been dropped from MSN, for no reason.

Back from Hanoi Vietnam

Arrived yesterday night in Singapore from Hanoi Viet Nam, by Tiger Airways. The plane arrived at about 11 pm. MRT to the city had departed although the MRT train between Changi Airport and Tanah Merah station still running. But there was no more connecting MRT train towards Boon Lay station. So I had to catch bus 36 that runs directly to the city. Luckily the bus driver drove the bus pretty fast, and I was still able to catch another bus home in the city. It was a pleasant journey, although now my skin is quite painful due to severe sun burnt. You can read my stories here.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Depart for VietNam

I will go to the Changi Airport shortly to board Tiger Airways to Vietnam. Hopefully the trip will be wonderful.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Valuair Giveaway Free Air Tickets

Valuair turns 1 this month. They're having 1st anniversary promotion at Caltex House at Raffles Place and giveaway some freebies and air tickets in lucky dip and games. They are also having promotion of 1-for-1 deal, that's mean buy 1 air ticket and get another for free. Unbelievable is if you used to travel Valuair before, just bring the ticket and get a air ticket for free, although it's limited to 50 tickets only. After queued up for about half an hour, I won $100 cash voucher in the lucky dip. Most likely will sell it, if possible.

Finally in the Google

Finally my 2 new blogs Northern Vietnam Travelogue and this one appear in Google. I never submitted these 2 blogs to "Add URL" of Google, so they must be picked up by Google through links to them somewhere somehow. What I did was basically posted them in signature of Blogger Forum, submitted them to Travel-Library and Best Blogs in Asia directory. I also submitted the blogs to BlogShares industries. All blogs also link to each other, and so after a few weeks, Google automatically picks them up and index them.

The main problem now I faced is so called Search Engine Optimization. So far, only main index page is indexed. And Google seems to crawl just once and never returns. I will try to add more fresh contents to make Google spider comes back more often. Hope that it works.

Monday, May 02, 2005

MSN Search Engine Observation

MSN picked up all my 3 currently active blogs all once on 27th April 2005. Of these, I had submitted 1 of them to MSN Search Engine URL Submission. Yet I really could not understand why all of them been indexed and cached by MSN on the same day. Anyway, I did submit all of the RSS to My MSN.

Istana Open House

Istana (mean 'palace' in Malay) Singapore is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore. Every year, on Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day, the Istana will be opened to the public fro 8.30 am to 6.00 pm.

This year Labour Day Istana Open House has been scheduled at 2nd May 2005. I was unaware of it but I was there because I have volunteered for President's Challenge 2005 Launch Ceremony that also held in Istana. Since I was not for the Istana Open House, I did not walked around too much, and even did not bring my camera. However, I still took some shoots with my camera phone.

If you're early, or at the right timing, you will able to meet with the President (currently President Nathan) close up.

Bouvelard in Istana after the entrance.

Performance for visitors.

Google Search Engine Update

It has been a week or two my 2 new blogs, including this one, into my Blogger Forum signature, yet they still haven't been noticed by Google yet, although Google has indexed some of the forum web pages that link to my blogs, yet my blogs not been included into index yet.

What puzzle me more is I also put Northern Vietnam Travelogue into same travel directory with my Egypt and Jordan Travelogue, yet it's not yet been noticed by Google. It seems like may be the "Add URL" in Google is actually working, since I had submitted the later blog to Google. Anyway, Google supposes to do a deep crawl every month, I think I wait for a while to see whether Google can find my 2 new blogs or not.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

David Tao 陶喆 太平盛世 音乐会

Thanks for courtesy of Jennifer Kuah, I been to David Tao 陶喆 太平盛世 音乐会, held at Singapore Expo Hall 1. A bit far from city and even from Expo MRT had to walk quite a distance, but the mini concert was enjoyable.

Songs List:

1. Susan说
2. 就是爱你
3. 爱我还是他
4. 月亮代表我的心
5. 爱,很简单

Before David Tao appeared, all female band Wild from London, England performed 2 of their songs. Their songs not bad too.

Photo from David Tao 陶喆 太平盛世 音乐会

The David Tao Mini Concert Stage. Due to late entry, the angle was bad.

Wild from London, England

All female 5-member Wild. They performed before David Tao.

Finally, David Tao

Closer to the corner

David Tao with Yes 933 DJs

David Tao when singing 就是爱你

Played games with David Tao

A head blocked the view

Another gesture when David Tao sang

Shout it!

Faced the corner again

Whenever he sang, this is the most common gesture.

陶喆 David Tao running all over stage towards end of the concert.

Asked the audiences to sing along when sang 爱很简单

Thanks his supporters.