Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lucas's 4th birthday party

We celebrated Lucas's birthday last Saturday. Some of his friends were invited, plus a few of our relatives.

I have not gotten anything for him yet, but may get him a set of Bakugan as he have been asking for one. After the party in the afternoon, we went to a Christmas thingy with Suzanne and Andy. Edna and Lucas were running after each other the whole night...

More pics here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slow progress on the UcD

Progress is rather slow on the UcD. Took some time to put in the shield as it will not fit. The aluminum piece is a little too large. Had to round the corners off. Then, with the screw below, it is a little too high. Had to file off the top portion where the wiring is supposed to connect to the UcD modules. Then, one of the psu harness is too short. Had to route by the side... so much for consistency.

I hope to be able to start on the signal wiring when I have time. Now currently finding out more of Steve Millett's 6T10 Mighty Midget. Heard Tony's version of this 3 watter at NoiSing08 and was very impressed by it.

Just over the weekend, I heard it at William's place with the actual 300v PSU on his 9" field coil Feastrex. First up was the driver-tormenting Sheffield Lab Drum and Track Disc.

Silence(from me)... Wow(from me)... it was just incredible...

Field coil drivers aside, I've already ordered the Takman resistors for the 6T10. The GE tube and sockets for this baby will be arriving soon as well. Will be mono blocks and using 6X4 rectifier tubes and probably my stock of Mundorf M-lytic HV cap or a combination of a GE oil cap plus the Nippon Chemi-con cap that I got from HK.

Hmm... question is, with my backlog of projects, should I start on this first? Perhaps so... it satisfies my requirements of low wattage, and esoteric (I did consider building something like the Fi 421A).

What's up doc?

Lyra's starting to lift her head up for longer durations and attempting to crawl and flip around.

Have to barricade our bed when we leave her asleep on it.

Some pics here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Building the Multichannel UCD

The SMPS modules for the 180UCD HG modules arrived like a month or so ago. This is for the very nice chassis meant for a 6 channel UCD amplifier. Just did not have the mood nor time. Luckily the CDPRO2 put me into the mood of thinking about how I want to mount the UCDs onto the very nice chassis.

The aim is not to drill too many holes onto the chassis. I elected to get two aluminium plates. One to mount the UCD modules onto for additional heat-sinking, and the other to act as a shield against EMF/RFI emitting from the SMPS power supplies.

I did the measurement and drilling of the aluminium plates and also the bottom plate of the chassis, only to realise that I forgot to buy the M3 screws required to mount the modules.

Went to Poey Huat, intending to get those stainless steel button head allen key screws, but the guy went 2 trips and got me the normal allen key ones instead. Too paiseh to ask him to change, so I accepted whatever I was given.

Looks like wiring is next.

More pics here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hamtaro & Lyra

Picture of Hamtaro above.

Picture of Lyra above.

See any similarities? Was told that she looks like Hamtaro.

Some recent pics here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My CD haul from HK

Top 2 cds are from The Beat Records, a speciality shop selling pop, jazz, classical and audiophile cds, lps, blu ray discs, etc at No.53 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, near Mongkok MTR. Prices are about the same as those That CD shop in Singapore. Take the Takedake cd for example, i got it for around SGD40.

The other cds are really cheap. HKD50 each! The "Black Magic" cd on the lower left is HKD68. These are from a shop at the 2nd floor of 150 Apliu Street, near Sham Shui Po MTR. I also got the Nippon Chemi-con 220uF 450v capacitors there... This brand of caps are supposedly favored by Sakuma-san in his amps. The Elna 220uF 100v capacitors are from another shop along Apliu street. Do not jump in to purchase. I realised I got these at an additional HKD20 more per capacitor.

Apart from not being able to get the A08-s in kit form, my one free day there was quite fruitful. I met Timothy Yung, the founder of HK Tube Audio Club at he and his partner's shop in 28 Pottinger Street and listened to the Klangflim 203 with f2a output tubes in triode operation. He has a superbly restored EMT950 in the shop plus many other gems.

A must visit. ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lucas at HK Disneyland

San wanted to have a trip with just Lucas and ourselves to spend time with him especially after Lyra's birth. We went to Disneyland HK with Lucas, leaving Lyra in the care of my mother-in-law.

We spent the first 2 days at L'Hotel in Tsuen Wan. This seems to be a newly built hotel meant for conventions. The rooms are in a 95% complete state, with some unfinished parts, but I guess they have to turn in revenue as soon as they can, so they made the rooms ready for visitors. The hotel is a little out of the way. It took me around an hour to get to Central via the MTR.

I spent the 2nd day looking for the Yamamoto distributor. It was raining heavily and I spent the most part of the morning trying to locate the shop which is opposite Coach. When I found Coach, it is on the first floor and there are no visible shops selling amplifiers opposite it. I gave up and went on with my other places to visit. It was quite difficult to locate certain shops as the buildings are all so obscure.

In the end, I came to Vintage Sound. It's supposed to be open in 30mins, so I went to grab a quick bite at McDonalds and returned. When I was there, there were 3 guys in the shop listening to some amps. One of the person introduced what they were listening to in English. It was a Klangfilm 203 amplifier using F2a output tubes, giving 3W or power. It was quite nice sounding, able to drive the low db speakers in the shop with surprising bass and soundstage.

I chatted with the guy and he realized that I enquired about Yamamoto on the HK Tube Audio Club forums. Tim is a nice chap to chat with and he even offered to bring me to the Yamamoto dealer. Turned out that the dealer is none other than Reference Audio at Melbourne Plaza. However, they do not carry Yamamoto amps as kits. The A08-s is going for around SGD4k, which was over my budget. They also only have UX4 teflon sockets. I was supposed to get some other types for an echolofter... Too bad.

In the end, I only got 6 cds a pair of Nippon chemi con capacitors and Elna caps... So sad.

Subsequent 2 days were spent at Disneyland hotel and Disneyland itself. I think Lucas enjoyed himself. He liked the Buzzlightyear shooting game more than anything. The shows were beyond expectations (Lion King was great, The Mickeys was good as well), but the rides a bit short.

More pics of Lucas at Disney here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Santouka at Central

Went to Santouka again today. I can confirm that the ramen there is nothing without the Toroniku (pork cheek) meat. The added premium is around $3 over the normal ramen, but it is worth every dollar.

Be sure to be there during lunch only. The Toroniku will most likely be sold out by dinner.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What do infants dream of?

Makes you wonder... sometimes she has this smile when she had her milk and have been burped... just ready to fall asleep. Maybe it is just plain satisfaction.

A new toy

This handsome chassis came delivered to me... From Europe... The shipping alone is already 50 odd euros!

Wish it was mine, but I'm gonna fix up a 6 channel UcD180HG amplifier for a friend. There will be 2 blank channels for when he is ready to move to a 4 way setup. I'm sure even at 3 ways, it will sound fantastic... given that a Goto driver is somewhere in one of those channels. ;)

More pics here.

Updates on the CDPro2

Got the M3 tap and managed to tap some blind holes for reverse mounting of the display pcb. Problem is that I chosen a longer standoff instead as I was in between sizes. I got the 12mm ones instead of the 10mm ones. 12mm is too high, and when I was tightening one of them, it broke! I had to tap 2 other holes to secure the board instead.

This explains why there are 3 screws... supposed to be one on each side... Tightening of the screw has to be done with some prevision. Screwing in by 1/4 turns to ensure that best depression for all the buttons on the faceplate. I also got a push button power switch, but did not wire the AC there. It's more for show. There is a Power switch via remote control. This serves my purpose rather well. Anyways, I am not inclined to wire AC all the way to the front, I would rather keep the AC nearer to the power transformers.

NoiSing08 - More of that noise!

While most people flocked down to Parkroyal Hotel over the weekend for the ISSE 2008, there were a handful who went to Republic Polytechnic for NoiSing08. I was there to support the event, having been at most of the NoiSings. Last year's NoiSing was also at RP. Who could have forgotten the simply fantastic horns there. ;)

This year's event was organised yet again by Johari. It's in the plans since March 2008 or even earlier. Unfortunately I was not able to bring my Moskidos since they are not completed yet. I wanted to bring the CDPro2, but there were technical issues to iron out and was not in time for the event. Hopefully in the next NoiSing, the Moskidos can be there. I brought my DIYparadise Monica DAC. The early version. I had it running on a 12v SLA battery. There were so many DACs around that I decided not to take mine out of the bag.

It's a mostly tube turnout. Unfortunately Alberto's 812A transmitting amplifier was only working on one channel. It would have been a ear opener to listen to. If I'm not sure if it is based on Shishido-san's inverted interstage designs. We did listen to it on mono with the Coral Alpha 10 speaker.

More pics here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My first kit experience

I expected a DIY kit to have most things available, just add solder, and hey presto! The kit is done! Not so for my first audio kit. The PCB for the cd player is so misaligned with the holes on the chassis. If I align the toslink, the XLR and the BNC outputs would not match. Worse, even if I wanted to just align the toslink, the board will be blocked by one of the pillars of the chassis.

I know I will never use toslink... so I may just drill out the square opening and add another similair one for analog outputs direct from the cdpro2 unit. The BNC would be used for digital out, when an external DAC would be used.

The other thing that irks me is the mounting screw of the panel when mounting the cdpro2 to it. The mounting panel is meant for m4 counter sunk allen key head screws. Using a m3 here would seem out of place. Like those freebie Large size t shirts for a Medium frame person. However, the cdpro2 itself accept only m3 screws and would require the suspension to be screwed on as well. The look here is important as in future, whenever I place a CD, I will surely see this mismatch. Furthermore, Puay Huat, the shop that I go for screws, do not have counter sunk allen key head screws.

To get around this, I thought of drilling through the cdpro2 for a m4 size screw and just add a nut at the end instead of using the spring suspension. But this will be quite a chore. When I checked the mounting holes of the cdpro2, my 3.1mm drill bit fits in just nicely. I then have the ideal of tapping the holes for m4 screws instead. This is a perfect solution to the problem. But for a kit, it seems a bit drastic... should't it be all working and interconnecting?

Anyways, tap ahead I went. Just hand hold the transport in the left and tap with the right. I would not recommend this to first time users of a tap. You may want to practice a bit first. Use quality taps for good results. M4 taps are much easier to accomplish then m3 taps.

The mounted transport can be seen below.

Another thing is that the stand off posts are not included. I will have to tap blind m3s for mounting the display panel and buttons for the cdplayer. Much to my disappointment, I was not able to locate my m3 taps... Will have to buy one set soon.

Some pics here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Without records

Saw this on the web about an installation by experimental musicians Otomo Yoshihide and Yasutomo Aoyama using more than 100 turntables to explore the sound of disappearing technology.

Sigh... such a sad scene.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Philips CD Pro2 LF transport in the making

Here's the almost completed chassis. I need to drill some holes to reverse mount the display panel and the buttons, and also some holes for pcb mounting and for the power transformers from plitron.

At least it is underway... there are more screws than there are holes on the chassis, so that left me wondering if I missed out on some stuff... anyways, strangely, I think the allen key flat head screws are in inches and mm format. Looks like I need to get a set of allen key that are in inches soon.

Some pics here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Leaving the Dark side

I may be selling off my Thomas Scheu turntable tonight. Actually the intention to sell was due to having Lyra + Lucas, which equates to less time to maintain and run a turntable and cleaning records and keeping them in tip-top condition and finally listening to them.

Sigh... Plus the fact that I got my CDPro2 LF kit... So I may focus more on digital. Will still keep my LPs for the day when I return to the Dark side.

Let's see what happens tonight... the sound is definitely right, just have to see if the buyer is okay with my price. ;)

my system is Mint!

I cleaned 5-6 of my LPs at one go last night. Most are doubles. Was trying out the Mint LP solution that I got from Modular Audio.

There's a story about this... I only realised that I'm supposed to get some free Mint Stripe with every purchase of Mint LP solution, but I did not get this when I ran into the shop for this bottle. It was a couple of weeks ago, I was there with colleagues for lunch at the Korean restaurant at Amara Hotel. I went in just to get the solution and left. The lady there did not mention any freebie.

After checking out the instructions on the website on usage of the solution, I emailed Mint about the Stripe. They replied asking me to get them from Modular Audio. Then I got an email from Oyster (Modular Audio) asking if I'd like it shipped or to pick them up myself. Wow... talk about great service. Modular Audio scored one for GEMS.

Anyways, back to cleaning LPs... I did not use the Stripe, but did use the Mint. ;) I felt it was quite wasteful since I had to cover the surface with solution at the first go, only to vacuum it all off. Then followed by the actual solution and brushing. I also did not do the cleaning of the edges.

But the sound of the LP after cleaning was really quite good. Background noise is much lower, pops and ticks were non-issues during playback. And it was really good even at LOUD volumes on the Beta8. I listened to Kate Bush - Aerial (an LP that I got in HK some years back when it was released), Jazz at the Pawnshop (I played Take Five) and a Coltrane LP.

Btw, do you play your LPs loud? Well... I do... And I know of some who do too... And I love every moment of it!

Ps, you should check out the LPs at Modular Audio when you are in Tanjong Pagar area too. ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yamamoto A08s

I'm actually quite keen to get the Yamamoto A-08s when I am in Hong Kong early next month. However, the downside is that it is not available in mono-blocks. My room already has interconnect wiring concealed in the wall for preamp to amplifier. There is an outlet at each side for the left and right mono-block. This would enable me to use short runs of wires for connection from amplifier to speakers.

Someone who replied my query about this Yamamoto asking me why I did not consider DIYing one myself. Well... the first thing I thought of is the esoteric materials that Yamamoto use for the chassis, then the output transformer and the choke.

Well... maybe if the price is not what I am comfortable with, I may just DIY something... the Yamamoto circuit can be seen here. Not clear... Will need to squint a lot!

Portuguese with brown strap

Just got my straps from Bob of WACCEX. His prices are in USD and includes shipping. Response was quick, and delivery was around a week to Singapore.

I got a tabac and night blue.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Corals are here at last

Finally collected my Beta 8. The room is just crowded with speakers. I wanted to move the Diatone to the store, but am more worried that it may be damaged when other items in the store is being moved around. In the end, the Diatones are moved into a corner of the audio room.

In this position, I am not able to open some cupboard doors. Hahaha... May have to find a new home for it...

I listened briefly to the Beta 8. Played some tracks from Asian Roots - Take Dake with Neptune, Joanna Wang - Start from Here (SACD) and Keane - Hopes and Fear (Dual Disc).

Really liked the extension and fast bass. Not lumpy and does not suffer from resonance effects in my room. It can play loud. At least my whole 8-10 watts of single-ended tube power is more than enough loudness for my room. I really wonder how it will sound if i go with smaller wattage amplifier. The Yamamoto A-08s is on my shortlist. ;) Unfortunately, it is not a mono-block design.

At the same time, I collected my CD Pro2 LF kit! Yeah... gonna build my CD player!

More pics of the Corals here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

IWC 7 day automatic

I was first drawn to IWC by the GST Chronograph. That was about 7 to 8 years ago. The Portuguese, then, also caught my eye, but even the GST Chronograph was expensive, let alone the Portuguese. I got a Speedmaster instead and always longed for an IWC.

The Portuguese Automatic, with a 7-day power reserve is a stunner. With off white dial, blue arabic numerals and hands, I fell in love with the Portuguese once again. The movement is fully exhibited by the sapphire case back, showing how large the heart of the watch is.

This is really a dream come true.

More pics here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

F1, and I almost forgot...

Guess Lyra's birth does change the space time continuum for me. Somehow it felt like ages and it also seem to take more focus than other events. So much so that I've almost forgotten that the F1 was this week.

Since San is not able to attend, I asked my colleagues to join me on each weekend. It turned out that my Dad has 2 Padang Grandstand tickets between turns 9 and 10, and this is at row 2!. As close as you can get to the action. Since he has a golf flight to catch, he will pass me his tickets, and I passed my Sunday tickets to 2 other colleagues.

The ticket at Marina Bay Grandstand is not ideal. It is actually past the turn where the cars would go under. However, the sound from the exhaust there is thrilling. ;)

Padang Grandstand is just great. It was up close and personal with the cars. Super duper loud. Really like jets on wheels.

Some pics here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Resolution 2.1 and 2.2

Cryptic title referring to the suggestion to install grills at the fire hydrant parapet to prevent intruders into homes at Kovan Melody. We attended the first EGM (extra-ordinary meeting) convened yesterday for the first time in Kovan Melody.

This was the culmulation of many people's work to get Wing Tai and Knight Frank to look into the matter of the multiple burgalaries at Kovan Melody. It started with the petition from residents to Wing Tai. San drafted the letter and we got some of the residents to take certain blocks to help get the signatures on the petition.

After that, Wing Tai sent us a letter saying that in order for an EGM, we need to secure at least 30% approval from owners, not tenants, in Kovan Melody before they can convene an EGM. At this time, San is already too large to move around, so another resident took up the mantle of getting the required signatures.

She is assisted by some other residents. But based on our experience, it will be a tough job.

Anyway, at the EGM, when the Resolution was proposed, there was zero who opposed. This meant that there is not even a need to poll. If there is even one who opposed, we will need to secure 70% positive votes for the proposal before it can be effected. Both 2.1 and 2.2 were unanimously voted for. This shows that safety is truly a prime concern for residents here.

The grills will be installed over 5 weeks and will be completely borne by Wing Tai.

Yellow, yellow, dirty fellow

Yes, Lyra is having jaundice. 13.4 2 days ago and 14.1 yesterday. We were given 2 options, hospitalise her, meaning San will also have to be there as Lyra is breast-fed, or rent a light machine for treatment of jaundice.

We rented the PEP Bed. There is a local company in Kim Chuan that does the renting. The sales guy came over, gave us an overview of the machine, how it works, safety, etc. This is a 3 day rental and she is supposed to have 25hrs of exposure to the light.

However, it did not go as smoothly the first day, the moment we put her in (even when she is asleep), she will cry loudly. I was even contemplating removing the lights from the machine so that i can hang it over the cot ala aquarium lights. My mother in law figured that it was because the mattress in the machine is too hard, causing her to protest.

If all goes well, she should be free from jaundice on Thursday. Her review at the Singapore Baby and Child Clinic is this friday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spending time with Lucas

I went with Lucas to feed the fish at the pond downstairs, went swimming with him, went with him to buy fire sparklers and lighted them at the balcony. I even inflated the bicycle tyres, getting ready to ride around the neighbourhood when the time comes.

He does not seem to be showing much signs of anxiety, but he did say that San speaks to Lyra more politely then to him.

Anyways, more pics of them here.

Kids Tough Camera Review

A quick review of the Fisher-Price Kids Tough Digital Camera. I find that the indoors shots in low light, especially in the night, is quite disappointing. The flash is almost a complete white out. In the day, it performs ok. In the pool, it was quite good.

I would say that this is a good starter camera for the kids. Should survive falls, swims and baby pools with no difficulty. I'm not too sure about battery life though as I got those cheapo AAA batteries for the camera. The moment I put them in, the battery indicator will light up. Have not tried them with the better batteries yet.

Some pics here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Olive brown spotted tree lizard strap

This strap is something of a rarity. It's already discontinued and the skin apparently was from a blue spotted lizard. I got this from a paneristi.

Apparently there is some history to this strap. It was made as part of a special reptile skin edition and available in limited quantities. The lizard apparently will chase ladies with red toe nail polish, thinking that they are edible berries. Haha...

This is easily one of the very nice straps that I own. ;)

Some pics of the strap taken at Mount Alvernia here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A father to one more

The day finally came. Lyra is past her estimated date of delivery of 8 Sept. We are scheduled for induced labour on the morning of 11 Sept. This time round, I opted for epidural rather than wait till the last centimeter. On top of collecting the stem cord, we are collecting the placenta. Yup... harvesting some human tissue here... Who wants to bid for a placenta pill? Hahaha... Even the nurse found it odd that there is a medical company in Singapore processing placenta powder or pills for beauty purposes.

I went back home to get a insulator and some ice as there is no refrigeration facilities at Mount Alvernia for this purpose. Before I left, it was 6 cm. Returned with the stuff, hang around some more, and it was time to call the gynae. After 3 attempts at pushing, she did not emerge. It required a 4th attempt with assistance of a vacuum to coax her out at 12:17pm. She weighs 3.29 kg. Even heavier than Lucas! We were indeed surprised as San's tummy did not seem that large. Lucas was 3.27kg.

Newborns change in looks almost on a daily basis. It's just amazing how they will look like one parent, both, or none the next day. We were wondering the night before about how she will look and who she will take after. As of now, she seems to have a dimple on her left cheek, Lucas has one on his right. Her eyes are big and she kept looking with the left eye open, then slowly with both, and was always looking around. Not a lazy Year of the Rat baby. San was still commenting that being born in the afternoon, she may be lazy cos rats would be sleeping in the day.

I got a Fisher-Price Kids Tough Digital Camera for Lucas. It's supposed to be a gift from Lyra to him. This is the waterproof version, unlike the first generation that is being sold at Kiddy Place for SGD$199. He's quite good with photography... at least from the shots he takes with San's mobile. Will post a separate review of this camera when he has some pics to show.

In the meantime, more pics of Lyra here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 F1 tickets

Finally collected my F1 tickets from Marcomm. One pair spanning 3 days from 26 - 28 September 2008. 61 laps and 309km of tarmac and rubber burning to be done.

My memories of F1 are mainly filled with legends such as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell. I remember seeing them in their cars that go so fast, you can actually see the airflow around the edges of the rear wings.

On the rear of the race tickets, it was printed "Rain or Shine Event"... Well... rain or shine, I will be there to witness the first F1 race in Singapore... and the first F1 night race to boot.

More pics here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Edna at Kovan

Edna came over with her parents and 3-month old baby brother. Suzanna wanted to see how San is before she delivers. We had dinner opposite in New York New York at Heartland Mall. Both Edna and Lucas were so rowdy when put together. They made so much noise in the booth sitting that we were in.

After dinner, we had some very nice "ice-kachang" like desert from Taiwan. The ice was indeed very fine. And the desert was supposed to be fat-free.

We later we back for some fruits and some tv. They both looked real cute together.

Some pics here at our place.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

808 tubes

Have been collecting the 808 tubes on and off for a while. Wanted to build the Shishido 808 amplifier with the inverted interstage design. Most of the parts are here, just lacking of the power transformers. It's really a long term project. Something that I can slowly enjoy the build process with.

Anyways, here's some pics of the tubes. Anyone with spares to sell can contact me.

NDP2008 from home

Was watching the NDP2008 from home last week. Went to take-out some crab and other dishes and had dinner at home. We can see the planes flying past our area before they went to Marina. And can see them drawing the heart shape and other maneuvers from home.

Except that the fireworks are distanced and I'm sure lack the feel of the boom as seen on the spot.

What to do? One pregnant wife, one 3.5 yr old and the uncertainty of getting NDP tickets... It's a blessing in disguise as apparently, this was the first NDP that rained.

Some pics here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Denon DL-103R + AU-300LC

Above, the Denon DL-103R MC cartridge.

Above, the Denon AU-300LC step-up transformer.

Wow... a match made in heaven? Clarity was the very first impression when I heard this combination sang in my setup just a while ago.

Then came extension on both ends. Bass was deep and tightly controlled... I never heard this before... Sounds very cliche, but it is like day and night transformation... if this is indeed possible..

I've long heard of the raves regarding the 103R and have just swept it aside. But looking at the MC cartridge market, the prices for cartridges range from SGD300 to thousands of dollars. I just cannot imagine forking out this kind of money for a cartridge...

The Denon combination, although not exactly cheap, is really a bargain considering the sonic merits. I was previously using a Grado Blue, with my VSPS, RB250 tonearm and my Thomas Scheu turntable. The sound was ok, but what I heard with the Denon was really many leaps above.

If you are thinking of upgrading from a MM cartridge to a MC cartridge, I would encourage you to check out the Denon pair.

Let it hang loose

June, the lady boss of the shirting shop that I make my shirt at, told me that it's the trend now to wear their watch below the cuff. This was supposedly started by the French. Well... I'm not sure, but not all my shirts can be worn with the watch this way. The Black Seal with the Strap Works Ox Blood, is worn at the 3rd hole. I'm in-between holes on this strap. 2nd hole is a little tight, but 3rd is a little loose. But I do agree that it looks not too out of place. ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do you Sinn?

The Sinn U1 for The Hour Glass is a special run of 250 watches for the 2007 Hour Glass Tempus event. What is different from this edition and the normal U1 is the all black Tegimented process on the entire submarine steel watch and the orange dial accents.

The U1 did not appeal to me in pictures and the images I've seen at the various online sites. I've an ex-colleague who once commented that it would be cool to wear the "Sinn" brand. There's another colleague who was considering between the U1 and U2, but gave up after the price hike. Still, their interest did not pique my curiosity in the brand. It was only until last friday when I saw it in the flesh from a distance that I realized that it looked much better in than in pictures.

A lady was wearing the Sinn U1 at Raffles City, much like a bangle on her wrist. We were at the toy section of Robinsons. I was there with Lucas after dinner. The clean face, 4 o' clock crown position, rubber bracelet and the U1 buckle is unmistakable. I can only wonder how the Tempus version would look like. I immediately arranged to view the brand new in box Sinn U1. It was a hefty piece! But somehow, it did not look anywhere near the published 44mm diameter... maybe because of the colour. My Radiomir definitely looks much bigger than it. Being an automatic watch, I expected to feel the balance wheel in motion when the watch is shaken... like what I experience on my Speedmaster. However, it is devoid of any motion. This could be attributed to it's large mass. The butterfly clasp really takes some getting used to.

More details of the Tempus version can be found here, but I think there is one inaccuracy. The original U1 only has Tegiment treatment on the bezel, not the entire case. This is mentioned on Sinn's site above and also here. This also accounts of the difference in price between the original U1 and the Tempus U1.

Btw, I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but the german translation for Sinn in english is Sense.

More pics here.

Coral Bass Reflex in the making

I brought my Beta 8 drivers to Robert some time last week. He asked me to bring them over so that they can cut the hole for the cabinets, but when I was there, the cabinets were being redone. Only the cut marine plywood was there. I guess it would take around 2 weeks before it will be finished.

I'm not in a rush since our baby will be due in around 2 months' time... I will not have time to listen to the Beta 8s...

In the meantime, I'm looking to trade of sell my pair of Kanazawa vintage speakers The sale thread can be found here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Frustrations of a parent

he plays with his friends in the pool after his swimming lesson
this goes on for an hour, close to lunch
he cannot touch the bottom of the lap pool with his feet, but they venture into the deeper section, his friend towing him on a kick board
your mind goes thru the motion of a rescue..
remove wallet, jump in, but only when he is struggling under the water..
he has to learn from his lesson...

but instead, you warn them to turn back

you tell him that his 5 mins was up
he bargains with you for another 10

his other friends are ending their lesson and you fear that he will not leave the pool
you pack up and ask him to leave
he shouts and throw tantrums
he sprays you with his water gun
you get wet on your clothing, you reiterate that his play time is up
he sprays you again

he prepares to move further into the pool
you removed your slipper and in split-seconds stepped into the pool and yanked him out with one arm onto the deck
he was caught unawares, he throws tantrums, shouts and demands for mummy
his friends are probably stunned, but your attention is only on him
you instruct him to follow you back home, but he just wants mummy

you left him to cry, walking towards home
people at the pool are left talking about a father who over-reacted
they glance at him and you
you continue walking home, instructing him to follow
he continues crying for mummy

you try to reason with him again, but he keeps crying for mummy
you feel like closing the gate with him outside, but he rushes to it
you keep it open for him, he continues crying for mummy
you wait for the lift, he continues crying for mummy

in the lift, he continues crying for mummy
you raised your voice at him, telling him about the time, that he has played for so long, that he never listens
your voice gave him a shock, he continues crying for mummy
you tell him to shut up, he continues crying for mummy

he reaches home, finally
you are really fuming...
because he did not listen, because of what they thought, because of the way you reacted

you wonder if you are being a good parent...
you promised him to teach him to play a new psp game, but you feel he did not deserve it
you ground him from playing with friends after swimming lessons in future...
he looked sad, but did not reply

you wonder with the second one, how much worse could it be...
you have not gone on a real holiday since his birth, and would probably not go for one anytime soon
you long to go to japan to visit sakuma-san at the concord, to plough through piles of lps, to marvel at esteroic audio gear, to buy a yamamoto amplifier
even if you went, disney had to come first
you long to visit a beach resort to enjoy the beach, the pool, the spa, the massage
even if you went, it may not be child friendly
you want to visit the architecture of russia, experience the uniqueness of the place
even if you went, the long haul flight experience with children would have killed you first

you wonder when...
but it's only the beginning
you think of your parents and your nonsense they had put up with...
you only wonder how they did it

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Silence before the storm

Channel News Asia sent an SMS to my handset regarding the morning showers yesterday at 7:51am.

It read "Heavy rain with thunder and gusty winds expected over many areas between 7am and 10am. PUB warns flash floods may occur in low-lying areas".

It seemed serious. While ironing my shirt in the morning, I can see the weather changing quickly outside the balcony. The morning sun on the landed properties against the dark clouds was an interesting contrast. I ran for my camera just to capture this.

The above shot was taken using my Ricoh GX100, but the shot was actually over-exposed by the camera because of the multi-area mode. I had to lower the exposure a little to capture what I saw yesterday morning.

The heavy rain came and went quickly. By the time when I am on the way to the office, it was a slight drizzle.

The actual shot here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Panerais and cuff size

The one big downside to owning a Panerai is that it most probably would not be able to fit into the cuff of a shirt easily. My shirts are all done to accommodate my Omega Speedmaster. With a calf strap of around 4mm thickness and one of those large PAM buckles, it is not possible to wear the PAM nicely.

I got a shirt done just for this purpose... I opted for a slightly smaller diameter, but with the cutting of the cuff more pronounced so as to show the side of the strap and watch. At least it is a different style from my other shirts.

My tailor suggested that I bring back the other shirts and they will redo the cuff if they still have stock for the material. Perhaps I will take up their offer for some of the shirts... especially my favourite Thomas Mason fabric ones.

Some wrist shots here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not so great carnival

We went to the UTES Carnival 2008 at Fort Canning Park on Sunday. I did not have any expectations that it will be great or even matching our local Pasar Malam standards, and yes, I was not disappointed. There will not be another trip next year. hahaha...

It was a hot day to climb up the slope to Fort Canning Park, but we made it eventually. The inflatable bouncing "castle" was supposed to be the main draw for Lucas, but it turned out that the surface was so hot due to the sun that it was not possible to climb and jump all over it.

We then took a walk round the game stalls and also to the food area. Lucas was content with eating junk food such as pop-corn and bags of chips. We then went off the The Legends to finish the remainder of the pop-corn before going off to my in-laws's place.

When we went home that night, after "Batman Begins" on tv, Lucas told us he had a fun day... I guess junk food is all a kid is after. ;)

Some pics here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

At Amelia's

Nicky is Lucas's friend at home. It's a male mixed terrier. Amelia's the owner. ;)

We always see them since they are staying at the lift level on the ground floor. Nicky will always run out to the gate when he hears Lucas's voice.

More pics here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Strap Works

Got one Strap Works 1950 Ox Blood calf strap for the 183G. The website is quite slow, so patience is advised. Quality is good, but I seem to be between 2nd and 3rd strap holes. 2nd is too tight, and 3rd is slightly loose... sigh... 3rd hole works better for me in extended wear...

It's a real nice color. The strap is also quite thick.

Delivery and ordering process with Jonathan Kiu was a breeze. Email exchanges were at instant messaging speed.

More pics here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Radiomir Black Seal

The Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, PAM183G. Only 1500 pieces of G series produced, with the "Black Seal" wordings just above 6 o'clock, making it a little more collectible that the other later series.

More pics here.

Broken in

Not my audio components breaking in from a new state, but my home... yes... 14 levels off the ground and the perpetrator has the guts to do so in broad daylight... What kind of Singapore are we living in today?

And you would have imagined that a condominium managed by Knight Frank would provide adequate security for the residents.

The person climbed in via the fire hose parapet outside my unit, stepped onto the aircon compressor and onto the window ledge, leaving a few foot prints on my bermudas that I left to dry on the ledge.

I wore my Speedmaster and left my Panerai at home, my Macbook was lying in plain view in my audio room, the audio equipment and my LPs are at stake, my wife's jewelery are in the drawer, a mix of USD, GBP, SA Rand and Ringgit is in another drawer, my passport was in full view... but... nothing was stolen. Perhaps we were lucky that the intruder did not see anything worth stealing.

He rummaged thru the drawers and actually closed it before leaving... And he did not use the front door, preferring to climb out to the parapet that he came in from.

The whole floor from 17 till 3 had some footprints on the parapet, indicating that he may have tried his luck at the other floors of the units that were next to the fire hose.

We only knew of this when a neighbour from the 4th floor came up to inform us of the incident.

This happened during the afternoon of 30 June 2008. I made a police report the following day. The management is indifferent about this and is not going to alert the other residents about the incident.

I learnt last night that an opposite block also suffered the same fate.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's here...

the cream strap that is... except that the colour is not exactly what i hoped for. ;)

but nonetheless, it is still a unique strap of monster thickness... a real brusier when worn with the pam177. together with the titanium buckle, they are a match made in heaven. muahahaha...

another pic below.

and the mandatory wrist shot.

a night shot with revolution magazine. :)

more pics here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Straps and more straps...

GSD Whiskey strap

MF WW2 strap

Black crocodile strap from Jason

Dark brown crocodile strap

Still waiting for my white calf strap...