Wednesday, September 23, 2009

At It Again

Days after I used a grass shear to trim this nest off, the stinging bugs (no, they haven't stung me yet) are back at it again at the same site. This time there were four of them and they didn't seem as docile as the other two I shot earlier.

Oddly I had been having less and less space available on my 2Gb card although I deleted all the images. I figure it's got something to do with the Apple/Microsoft Fat16 file formatting and I used Disk Utility to wipe the card clean. That was After.

However, before that, all I could muster was a Large image setting for Jpeg on the camera in Program mode with ISO800 instead of RAW. I was a little apprehensive about going near the insects as they might have gotten agitated and give me a sting or two. The nest is stuck on a sort of old phone cable and the breeze gives it a little sway from time to time, so that doesn't really help.

Makes me hanker for a SAL75300, so I've got to restrain myself. Maybe if there's a good sale going on...

In the meantime, the grass shears came out again and I snipped at the top and quickly went for cover. I'll have to watch this spot again soon as they're probably going to try building the nest at the same spot, and the next time, they might actually remember me...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Some pictures may be worth a thousand words, but in some cases a picture may lead to many questions. For example:
Is the baby a boy or a girl?
Is the baby asleep or awake?
How old is the baby?
What's the baby's name?
Does the baby have siblings?
Is the baby on formula or mother's milk or both?
Did the parents forget to trim the baby's fingernails?
Are there any birthmarks on the baby?
Who is caring for the baby? The mother, grandmother, a helper?

Images may mean different things to different people. The ones to cherish are those which need no words to describe. You just know and feel IT.

Ping your blog

Too Close For Comfort

If you're not into insects, then the sight of bees, wasps or hornets building a nest in the vicinity of your home might send a chill down your spine.

I had to go close in order to take this shot, with the sting of the lower wasp rather visible. I particularly like the detail on the yellow band on the bug.

Could have done better with a RAW shot and perhaps a SAL75300, but the latter translates into more investments to this very new Sony A330 dSLR which has been fantastic so far.

Needless to say our two friends here were evicted shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sony Alpha Basic Photography Workshop

Learned quite a bit on photography at the recent Sony Alpha Basic Photography Workshop held on 12th September 2009 at The Grand Continental Hotel, Jalan Raja Laut.

Traffic going into the city was pretty bad, with the Hari Raya holidays just next weekend, many were in town shopping and clogging up the roads.

Our trainer, John Shum, talked about all sort of photography tips and tools. It was interesting to know more about how to use the Shutter speed, Aperture settings, Manual mode, ISO, flash, exposure and so on. The attendance was at about 35 and there were 2 young lady models also present for practice shooting.

In addition, invited guest Ms. Denise Chan, who has been into photography for 2 years and shoots every weekend, shared her work with the participants.

I guess this is one of the advantages of being a Sony Alpha dSLR user. There will be another workshop on using Flash planned for 18th October 2009. The next lens I might look to get is the recommended SAL75300 which retails at RM899/US$257.

Did I mention the workshops are free?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Clicking Fun Is LaQ About?

It's a sort of building block cum puzzle kind of plaything. It's a little difficult to describe, but you can call it an Art & Hobby Construction Kit for fun creativity in the genre of 3D puzzles & Lego

LaQ does not come cheap, but after spending some time with it you will appreciate the Made-In-Japan quality of the material being used, as well as the brain juice that has gone into developing the system. The people at LaQ provide design sheets for various shapes like spectacles, birds (as pictured above), trains, crowns and so on.

Pressing the joints of these vibrantly-coloured pieces together make a clicking sound. Great for younger children for hours of clicking fun!

Available at Jigsaw Puzzle World stores.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Philips HTS 3366 Home Theater System

DVD Player

Side Speaker

The Tall Boy (I don't mean me)

Centre Speaker, where all the voices mainly come from.

The Philips HTS 3366 Home Theater System is an affordable out-of-the-box system with a 5.1 surround sound configuration for pleasurable listening. This model and the similar systems within it's range currently retails at approximately RM800/US$228 with the ability to play anything from DVDs and below. At this point, the most affordable Bluray player would still be the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3). In Malaysia, however, Bluray discs are generally too expensive to be for most consumers and DVDs would be the next best option.

I like the way the connectors are color-coded and easily designed for quick and simple setup.

The system looks sleek and attractive and for a first-time HTS owner, I've learned to appreciate the extra richness of the sound, especially coming from the subwoofer. Boom Boom Boom!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Noddy Idea For A Birthday Party Theme

The pleasure of seeing a little child at his 1st birthday party. Most of the time he/she would be too young to understand the fuss of a birthday, and that is why a well-themed birthday party and lots of pictures will allow one to appreciate the occasion at an older age.

I recently attended a Noddy cartoon character themed birthday party. The e-invitations had Noddy featuring prominently. At the venue, the backdrop made up of the words "Happy Birthday William" was also printed with Noddy-themed letters. And of course, the cake was a Noddy cake and a pretty one at that. A nice Noddy cake and the likes can be found at

Thanks for the invite, MG!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Alternative Cake

Most times one might be thinking about what type of cake to get for a birthday, anniversary, farewell or some occasion of that sort. Typically the mind wanders over the options of black forest, chocolate, banana chocolate, sponge, fruit, blueberry, cheese or even coffee flavoured cake.

A departure from the norm would come in the form of Jelly cakes. What? Jelly cakes? Well, why not? After the usual heavy meal and free-flow of drinks, most would not have much room for a rich and heavy slice of cake (or two) for dessert. A Jelly cake is simple, colourful, light and very much pleasing to the eye.

A friend of the family recently celebrated the daughter's full moon (one month old) and gave us a pretty jelly cake from Qjelly. More information about the establishment that produces this cake can be found at