terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by Terz.

Here now, at the end of everything.

Just spent most of the afternoon at the Chinatown Complex where tenants are seeing to the last days of business in this building and to the packing of their stores and their lives.

Many will move to the temporary holding area at Pearl Centre; many will not - the rent's too expensive, and the location's not as accessible. So for the next one-and-a-half years while the Complex gets a cosmetic facelift, some of them will be doing nothing at all.

Some upgrade, huh?

I'll be back there again tomorrow.

(Rest of the photo set is up already - here. Changed on 30 June to only Friends and Family can view them.)

Good to be back doing photography for myself again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ep 2 Out

Today. Flash 8 still required (though I'll probably need an upgrade or something, because my computer isn't refreshing beyond what's been released so far).

Also, now we also femes already.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

End Result

End Result
Originally uploaded by Terz.

So, after two days, 27 locations, countless coffees and cigarettes, 337.5 kilometres (give or take 8 km when I went out to get stuff to cook for the BBQ on Saturday), and almost three quarters of the tank later: recce's done.

Now to wait for aforementioned fucktards to get back to us whether or not we'd be doing more (for free) before we start the actual shoot.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


They can build and 'upgrade' flats to have the lifts stop at every floor, but they also build multi-storey car parks in these estates that still make people climb up to a maximum of 5 floors to get to their cars.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Er, whatever...

I don't know what you're trying to prove by speeding down the PIE, trying to outrun a cab, but if you, Mr SBU 867 G, think you're oh-so-cool to be driving a chick car like the Miata, you may have bigger issues...

Miata Man
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Friday, June 16, 2006

"Things You Wouldn't Think Would've Been Allowed..."

... on international television; the commentator quipping that "Dwight Yorke got the full weight of the shot right in his Michael Ballacks."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Got Meh?

Got teamwork meh?

Delivery guy from the World Cup sponsor arrived in the middle of the Spain-Ukraine match, rang the doorbell, then pounded on the door when it wasn't opened immediately. Plus he took so long with the handing over of the food, Spain scored two goals before I got back to the couch.

Wah lau.

And to top it off:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Guess it's my fault for not wanting pizza (really bad stuff these days) or fried chicken (because the last three times I ordered the stuff, I fell sick).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

F*cktards in Power

No, let me rephrase that: Fucktards Paymasters.

I just got a call telling me that a three-day recce of 27 locations has just been reduced to just two days.

Two days.

It was already difficult enough having just three days for 27 locations... But no, two (TWO!) fuckin' days.

You know what? Anyone who's going to be placed on the board of directors for any company, especially quasi-government ones, ought to be made to go through the following before they get confirmed:

1. Undergo some training as an Army scout. Preferably where they get to enjoy everything wonderful about the POW course. If they don't survive, they're probably not meant to be on the board of directors in the first place.

2. Then, when they've recovered from their stay in hospital, they should be made to go on a few of these recce sessions with a photographer, carrying all his shit for him, and seeing what happens on a fucking recce for themselves.

Do they think we just go around, look at the sights, maybe pick up a chick or two? Do they think we fucking do this to enjoy the weather? It's 27 locations, you morons! That makes it twelve locations per day. Think about it: travelling time (driving in Singapore? Damn), time spent looking at all the angles at each place, getting a vibe of the place to see if it fits into the intent of the shot. Hell, it takes me three days to get a feel of a foreign country before I even start shooting. And I'm a fucking holiday!

Goddamn. Two days?

What the hell are they expecting?

And just because they fucking balked at having to pay for three days' recce. Maybe if they could pay for some R&D into transporter technology, maybe that'll make it possible.


Sigh. There goes sleep.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Huh? 'Olio Horse'? Simi lai eh?"

For anyone who's been watching the World Cup on the PPV channels (that's 27 and 28) you'll probably have come across the really horrendous ads paid for by Audio House where the-monotonous-guy-who-is-every-Oral-Examiner's-nightmare rattles off a whole list of words (I don't even deign to call them sentences because there doesn't seem to be any punctuation at all) and seems to be selling 'brandedJapaneseLCDTVonly999' or something and something else 'forfreeifyourteamwinstheWorldCup'.

(Which works if you're stellou, but seriously, if your enunciation isn't your best trait, then you can pretty much fuggedabaddit.)

And hey, why make one when we can make two - squeeze two ads into the thirty-second slot and we save even more money. Which might explain why the guy was speaking so fast.

This is why we still need ad agencies. Because when people get it in their heads that doing something like this in-house would save them a lot of money, this is the result.

Call me a snob. I'll admit to it. There's something in the artistry of a good ad. And this ain't it.


Saturday, June 10, 2006


The only saving grace from the match tonight involving the team 'who could win it this year', 'the best players since 1966' in the most god-awful show of football so far:

CtC: "Wah, the black Puma sweater worn by the Paraguayians very nice hor? All black, got the word 'Paraguay' on the back. And the thing on the front, like a cheetah or a leopard..."

Me: "Uh, could it be a... puma?"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Survey Time

This has been sitting in my email saved messages for a while now. And seeing that I haven't had new material lately, here it is:

Thank you for purchasing a McDonnell Douglas military aircraft.

[_] Mr.
[_] Mrs.
[_] Ms.
[_] Miss
[_] Lt.
[_] Gen.
[_] Comrade
[_] Classified
[_] Other

First Name: .....................................................
Initial: ........
Last Name......................................................
Password: .............................. (max. 8 char)
Code Name: ......................................................
Latitude-Longitude-Altitude: ........... ...........

2. Which model of aircraft did you purchase?
[_] F-14 Tomcat
[_] F-15 Eagle
[_] F-16 Falcon
[_] F-117A Stealth
[_] Classified

3. Date of purchase (Year/Month/Day): 19....... /......./......

4. Serial Number:

5. Please indicate where this product was purchased:
[_] Received as gift / aid package
[_] Catalogue / showroom
[_] Independent arms broker
[_] Mail order
[_] Discount store
[_] Government surplus
[_] Classified

6. Please indicate how you became aware of the McDonnell Douglas product you have just purchased:
[_] Heard loud noise, looked up
[_] Store display
[_] Espionage
[_] Recommended by friend / relative / ally
[_] Political lobbying by manufacturer
[_] Was attacked by one

7. Please indicate the three (3) factors that most influenced your decision to purchase this McDonnell Douglas product:
[_] Style / appearance
[_] Speed / manoeuvrability
[_] Price / value
[_] Comfort / convenience
[_] Kickback / bribe
[_] Recommended by salesperson
[_] McDonnell Douglas reputation
[_] Advanced Weapons Systems
[_] Backroom politics
[_] Negative experience opposing one in combat

8. Please indicate the location(s) where this product will be used:
[_] North America
[_] Iraq
[_] Iraq
[_] Aircraft carrier
[_] Iraq
[_] Europe
[_] Iraq
[_] Middle East (not Iraq)
[_] Iraq
[_] Africa
[_] Iraq
[_] Asia / Far East
[_] Iraq
[_] Misc. Third World countries
[_] Iraq
[_] Classified
[_] Iraq

9. Please indicate the products that you currently own or intend to purchase in the near future:
[_] Colour TV
[_] VCR
[_] ICBM
[_] Killer Satellite
[_] CD Player
[_] Air-to-Air Missiles
[_] Space Shuttle
[_] Home Computer
[_] Nuclear Weapon

10. How would you describe yourself or your organisation? (Indicate all that apply)
[_] Communist / Socialist
[_] Terrorist
[_] Crazed
[_] Neutral
[_] Democratic
[_] Dictatorship
[_] Corrupt
[_] Primitive / Tribal

11. How did you pay for your McDonnell Douglas product?
[_] Deficit spending
[_] Cash
[_] Suitcases of cocaine
[_] Oil revenues
[_] Personal cheque
[_] Credit card
[_] Ransom money
[_] Traveller's cheque

12. Your occupation:
[_] Homemaker
[_] Sales / marketing
[_] Revolutionary
[_] Clerical
[_] Mercenary
[_] Tyrant
[_] Middle management
[_] Eccentric billionaire
[_] Defence Minister / General
[_] Retired
[_] Student

13. To help us better understand our customers, please indicate the interests and activities in which you and your spouse enjoy participating on a regular basis:
[_] Golf
[_] Boating / sailing
[_] Sabotage
[_] Running / jogging
[_] Propaganda / misinformation
[_] Destabilisation / overthrow
[_] Default on loans
[_] Gardening
[_] Crafts
[_] Black market / smuggling
[_] Collectibles / collections
[_] Watching sports on TV
[_] Wines
[_] Interrogation / torture
[_] Household pets
[_] Crushing rebellions
[_] Espionage / reconnaissance
[_] Fashion clothing
[_] Border disputes
[_] Mutually Assured Destruction

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire. Your answers will be used in market studies that will help McDonnell Douglas serve you better in the future - as well as allowing you to receive mailings and special offers from other companies, governments, extremist groups, and mysterious consortia. As a bonus for responding to this survey, you will be registered to win a brand new F-117A in our Desert Thunder Sweepstakes!

Comments or suggestions about our fighter planes? Please write to: McDONNELL DOUGLAS CORPORATION Marketing Department Military, Aerospace Division.

Apparently this was a real thing that got circulated to some customers. An investigation was carried but the dude who did this was never caught (as far as I know).


Thursday, June 08, 2006

More Highlights

(Or everything I'd forgotten for the previous post on Japan)

Meguro Ramen Lady:

We were looking for a place to have dinner near Meguro when we came across this hole-in-the-wall ramen place nearby. There was just one customer, an old man, and the owner of the shop, a woman in her mid- to late-forties (maybe older - we all know how well-preserved the Japanese can be).

We sit down, Marie orders for us because she's got a better grasp of the language, though it was rather easy for me to order the char siew ramen and the biru. I take in the atmosphere for as long as she takes to cook up the noodles and the karaage for Marie. Then Marie tells the lady we're from Singapore. She tells us she's from Taiwan.


Then it was another 45 minutes of conversations in Hokkien and Mandarin.

Japan HDB flats:

Walking back to Kumiko's place in Meguro, I walked by one district that looked like it was completely transplanted from Tiong Bahru. Completely surreal.

Vending machines:

For everything. Canned and bottled drinks. Cigarettes. Used undies worn by AV stars. And the best one, those you find around Akihabara, where you stand a chance to win a PSP or even an XBox 360. And the consolation prize of a classic Game and Watch ain't half bad either.

Can't remember more at the moment, but I'm sure it'll come back to me.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

This Close

This Close
Originally uploaded by Terz.

... to committing WoW-icide.


Because it's not fun for me any more. Hitting Level 60 for the Night Elf Hunter wasn't all it's cut out to be. Most quests require that you have a group of people helping you, making you beholden to them to be successful on the first try, otherwise people get resentful that they have to send their equipment for repair for no reason at all. And that's just talking about guildies.

If you can get guildies to help out in the first place that is...

So, I have a full quest log with quests that are nowhere near completion, guildies that are not helping, a world economy that's top-heavy and really, not the time or inclination to deal with shit like this on something that's supposed to be a game. And fun.

So if it's not fun anymore, why spend the monthly money to be on it?

So, so long Night Elf Hunter. For now anyways. It was fun while it lasted. Now, I just need to do something else. Maybe I'll come back when I feel the itch.

But don't count on it to be soon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Top Ten Highlights From The Trip

Don't think I'd be able to write about this trip the way I do whenever I'm on assignment in a disaster zone. But at least I have highlights to crow about:

# 10:

Cute Femalefolk. What can I say? The ratio is amazing. It's eye-candy land and it's all I could do not to leer at every person in a skirt that walked by. After a while, X and I needed bibs to keep ourselves decent looking.

# 9:

Getting Picked Up By Someone.

Er, yeah... cute woman near where I was staying stops me and then asks something in nihon-go. I say I don't understand and then she speaks in English: Are you wearing perfume?

Uh, yes.

It's a very nice smell. What is it called?

Polo. Ralph Lauren.

Very nice smell.

Er, thank you.

You stay here?

Just for a while. I'm visiting.

Oh, that's too bad. Maybe you visit again soon?

(Er, hell yeah!)

And that, as they say, was that.

# 8:

Drinking at Izakaya Meals.

There's very little bad to be said about going to a restaurant, ordering finger foods (deep fried chicken cartilage) and then having all the drinks you can have for 2 hours. Kiwi shochu, grapefruit shochu, sake bombers (shot of sake dropped into a half mug of beer and drunk at one go - very lethal combination).

# 7:

The Weather.

16 to 23 degrees the whole time. No perspiration, no sweat stink, no problem.

Sigh. I come back here, I feel completely unhygienic.

# 6:

Toy Shops at Akihabara.

Multiple buildings. 6-7 storeys of geek! fun. And all following the same floor layout:

Ground floor - All things Gundam.

2nd Storey - Model kits. Accessories. Paint. Painting accessories.

3rd Storey - Remote control cars. Including enough electronics for someone to make a bomb out of their old army mosquito repellant, some wires and their mother's old make-up kits.

4th Storey - Train modelling kits. Yeah, I know, yawn.

5th Storey - Replica firearms. Yep. For the inner Rambo in all of us. Replica firearms all the way from the M1 Garands, M14 carbines and MP40s from WW2 to the latest stuff, including that 50-cal sniper rifle. Uniforms from all over the world (including the USMC digital pattern desert camo fatigues), boots, accessories. That's right, accesories. So if anyone wants to soup up their personal rifles or other mundane equipment with laser scopes, torchlight holders, straps to engage in their most S&M fantasies, during their next in-camp, this would be the place to go.

Anime Heaven
Originally uploaded by Terz.

6th Storey - All things anime. Full-sized, scantily-clad anime chicks; quoth I, "Hmm. I don't remember this from the series."

# 5:

Museums Galore.

For Art. For Western Art. For Design. For Scandinavian Design. For a former Samurai family. For Photography. Cheapest ways to spend an afternoon. And most of them located in huge, serene parks. Speaking of which...

# 4:

The Parks.

Most of them attached to a shrine or temple of some sort. Most of them not as crowded as the more popular tourist places. And with the kind of weather we had while we were there, always good places to hang out, catch some sun, people watch and take a break from all the walking I'd been doing.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Singapore prides itself as being clean and green. No contest man. We're talking about Japan, about Tokyo. Population density alone would outrank us. Yet, someone made a conscious effort to keep all these parks in the city. Something to think about, when all we see are more and more concrete structures coming up where open spaces with grass and trees used to be.

# 3:


Fresh. Huge slabs. For 100 yen per dish that comes with two pieces. For all dishes. Uni for 100 yen? I'd take it.

# 2:

Great Ramen.

Case in point, consider this:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

This is the Kyushu Jangara special. The zen ramen - one with everything. A healthy dollop of noodles, in a pork stock soup, tons of ingredients, especially the meat. It had the usual slabs of char siew and two chunks of what I'll call bwee bak (fatty meat).

And all for 980 yen.

Come to think of it, all the food I had was great. For the budget I had, that is. Probably would have died and gone to heaven if I'd chosen to eat out a little more and try any of the more expensive looking restaurants.

On that note: these are the nachos served at TGIF in Roppongi. I'd say rip off, much.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Four measly chips. For 650 yen. Ouch!

# 1:

Shrines and Temples.

You know it's going to be a spiritual sort of visit when the moment you step into a shrine in Ueno Park in the morning, and the crows in the overlapping tree branches above your head take up the chorus of, "Oh! Oh! O-hayo!"

Sigh. Things like this that give you the good kind of goosebumps don't happen nearly often enough anywhere.

Coming in close at #11 would have been the mistake we made on our first day in Tokyo. Was supposed to catch the Keisei Limited Express from the airport to Tokyo, but we boarded the wrong train. Got onto a bullet train instead, one that would have cost us 2940 yen instead of the 1000 yen we paid, but we got away with it. Conductor came on and I made a show of getting up and trying to find my ticket in my hand carry. Dude just walked away.

So, yeah... there's the funny story.

The other one I promised, about the thruster hoshii-desuka, ask me in person.

Thursday, June 01, 2006



years as a short story


days of production


gigabtyes worth of memory on each card used


different members of the gaffer crew


episodes originally planned for the web


months of planning and fund-raising


being the average number of takes per shot


bruised fingers and the realisation that I had too much love


kick-ass leads


full-length feature

See it here (Flash 8 required). Website launched on 1 June 2006, 1700 hours (GMT +8).