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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Playing for Service, Saturday and Sunday


Worship leading with Freda's team. Saturday night at Grace Assembly of God, Tanglin Road, Level 3 hall. Johan was leading the worship.


Service closing, people praying.


Sunday morning at the main chapel. Pastor was leading and playing accoustic guitar. Charles on electric guitar, Freda on 1st keys, myself on 2nd keys, Jeremy on Bass and Jonathan on Drums.


Pre-service, when people were slowly filling up...

Service starting, people standing up...


Closing, when Pastor Calvin Lee was praying
Its been almost a year since I last played in church. Last one was a live worship recording serviec for Grace Assembly's very own original worship album, More Like You (I think).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Moving My Workspace


I've finally decided to move my workspace from a make-shift ironing board (yes you heard right!), to a proper desk, where I used to work before I went to London in 2011, when my desktop computer was still working.

So here is a comparison.
Before:

After:

The move was in response to my wife urging me to get my stuff off her ironing board. (I was using it since early December, so that makes 2 months). Each time she needed to use the ironing board, I would have to shut down the externally powered hard-disk and my laptop, disconnect my cables, take away everything from the board. Then I would move the board out from against the wall, plug in the iron to the wall socket for her, so she can use it.

Johnson's getting married in 2 weeks time and Peter (Jamie's husband) and I are supposed to play for worship. With 2 instruments, it probably isn't going to be the most immersive worship (technically speaking, not spiritually speaking, if you know what I mean). So I was thinking of blessing him with the back-up of a full band. ie, working overtime like crazy and churning out about 3-4 worship songs.

The things that can go wrong, ranking according to the seriousness of consequential extent, are:
1) they (the couple) decide to change the song, after I am halfway into the sequencing
2) they decide to change the sequence to the song (we want 2 choruses at the end instead of 1)
3) they decide to change the key to the song (techincally this can be quickly fixed by an unelegant
 transpose to the notes)

I will go by faith and hope it works out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Few Articles on Christian Music from ChristianityToday.com




I was searching for contemporary composition and found this article on christiantoday.com: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/june/varietyreligious.html (Lawrence R Mumford, 22-Jun-2011)

This article talks about the Christian music / contemporary Christian music or Worship songs of today.

In the article, there are 3 more links to music and songs in worship. I have not had the time to read these, but I will get around to doing that.

ChristianityToday.com - What Happened to Amazing Grace (Robert T. Coote, 8-Mar-2011)
ChristianityToday.com - Pop Goes the Worship (Mark Moring, 9-Mar-2011)

ChristianityToday.com - The Trajectory of Worship  (John Koessler, 11-Mar-2011)

ChristianityToday.com - The End of Worship Wars (Mark Galli, 11-Mar-2011)

This is the first time I've visited this Christian portal. This is certainly of interest to me, since I have been playing and exposed to worship music for about 15 years. I'll definitely check back on this site now and then!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Image acquired from the web. Original site here: http://webclipart.about.com/od/building/ss/2012-Year-Of-The-Dragon.htm

For all the Chinese people out there, have a very happy year of the dragon this year!

I am born in the year of the dragon myself, and this is the third cycle for me. So you can guess my age. Haha :)

If you are unfamiliar with the significance and cultural meaning of the Chinese New Year for the Chinese culture, you can go to the wikipedia page here to have a read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_new_year

At work on Friday 20-01-2012 my head of 3D and HR came along to give out red packets (with chocolate coins inside) and 2 Chinese oranges. They went around wishing people prosperity, health and soaring career.

My colleague cheekily told me "They (the management) cannot control our health, but they can control the part about the soaring career and prosperity (amount of money we get). Since they can control it, why do they have to wish us all that? Just give us a title raise and a pay raise!" :)

Happy Lunar New Year!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Like Talking to the Wall

My colleague in the London office told me today:

J: The guy sitting beside me smells so bad, I had to enjoy my breakfast in the (company) kitchen.

Me: So what does he smell like? Did you not tell him about his smell? Didn't the people sitting on his other side tell him?

J: Today it's a different smell. This time it's sweat. And, he's sitting next to the wall.

Me: Well ask the wall to tell him!

J: I would, but it's like talking to the wall.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Busy Hands Make Idle Minds

"Busy hands make idle minds". I hope I heard it right.

This is one of the phrases my colleague said to me this morning. He happened to see an origami book on my desk. Darryl gave it to me during Christmas.

It looks like an idiom so I tried to look it up online. I got only 1 result from this blog post: http://stressdom.blogspot.com/2005/02/busy-hands-make-idle-minds.html

From www.idiomsite.com that say: "Idle hands are the devil's workshop". Other sites say "Idle hands are the devil's tools".  The definition from idiomsite.com for that phrase: we are more likely to get into trouble if we have nothing to do. :)

Thus, "busy hands make idles minds", I think, means that if we just exercise our hands doing brainless stuff that do not engage the brain, we may be wasting our time day-dreaming and not fully utilising our minds? Haha!

Sounds a bit too literal doesn't it? Anybody's got a better suggestion on the meaning of "busy hands make idle minds"?

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Coffee Shop at Holland Village

Just now after work my wife came over to look for me, and we decided to have dinner at Holland Village.
Got this picture off Google Maps' photos. Copyright belongs to the original photographer
We went to the Holland Village Food Court for dinner. Christina had Hor Fun. We had beer and pizza friday at work just before I met up with her. I was pretty stuffed after 2.5 slices of pizza, so I did not want to have a heavy meal. 


Deciding to get some chicken wings, I went to the western food stall and ordered 4 chicken wings. Each cost $1.50. 


I went to stand at the stall for 3 minutes. The stall was empty. I waited and nobody came around. After a while I felt I could do without eating anything, and so I returned to my table. The minute I returned to my table I saw the stall keeper walk to the stall. I was a bit annoyed that the timing was so bad. Almost seemed like the guy waited for me to walk off before going to his stall, but that was just probably me.


The man tending to the stall was a man slightly sized above average, about 50 years old with a moustache. His eyes were a bit unfocused. I could not tell his ethnicity. He looked a bit Indian but could be Chinese as well. 


As soon as I gave the orders to the man at the stall, he did not say anything, and his fingers made a pinching motion that told me he wanted the money now. It was not a very polite gesture. And it had a feeling of urgency, that he needed it fast, needed it now. He would probably have taken it if I could produce it right there and then, before going to process my order. 


There was a Malay guy before me, and he received the same treatment. He gave the payment, followed by me. 


I got my wings on the spot because they were already barbecued waiting to be served. After I took the wings I emptied some chilli sauce from a bottled dispenser. This was the same kind of sauce that is served with local chicken rice. The chilli sauce was very watery and liquid. I was growing increasingly annoyed at the service and quality of the stall. I did not remember it being like that the last time ate here.


When I went to my table with the chicken wings, I realised that I had forgotten to take utensils to tear the wings. I went back to the stall and grabbed 2 sets of forks, spoons and knives. These were disposable utensils. I was already quite displeased with the whole policy of the stall, the low-quality service and the watered down chilli sauce. Now I see they were just using plastics utensils. What happened to people who order steak and chicken wings? The plastics utensils probably have a high chance of breaking when force is applied during cutting and tearing. I  had the irrational impulse to take a few more pieces just to spite the stall keeper. 


The man was serving another customer when I was doing that. As soon as I took the 6 pieces of utensils the stall keeper told me "boss, you need spoons? If don't need don't take la. Actually you only need forks to eat chicken wings right?" His tone managed to be accusing and whining at the same time.


I was quite surprised he was actually paying attention to how many I pieces of utensils I was taking, how many forks, how many spoons and how many knives. He managed that while serving another customer. That drove me quite mad. 


Raising the utensils in my hand, I showed them to him and I told him, "Boss, how little do these cost? Why do you want to be stingy with them?" He said something in defence about not wasting something we don't need." 


His food prices are not the cheapest and still he was so stingy with his supplies. I saw other customers who ordered a main dish for their meals get a set of utensils plus 2 packets of chilli sauce and a piece of paper napkin. I did not even have a piece of napkin for my 4 pieces of chicken wings. 4 chicken wings totaled up to $6 which is even more expensive than some of the main items they sell. 


He told me that chicken wings only need forks to eat. Why should he dictate how I eat my chicken wings? Why do I not need spoons? What if I have a small kid I need to feed the chicken to with a spoon?


There was something about this food court that borders on getting on my nerves -- the music was blasting to the point I had to raise my voice when talking, in order to be heard by my wife sitting across the standard-sized coffee shop table. I cannot be sure if this was already the case when I last ate at the place.


It definitely did not help my mood and maybe it darkened his mood and made him treat customers the way he did too. Maybe they are trying to deter customers from having a long meal with a slow chat after. This would free up the tables and seats for more new customers. That's just my wild guess.


After the incident I remembered another encounter with this same man just a week ago at his stall. I was planning to order some calamari rings to take away to a new year party at a church mate's house. I asked if he had calamari rings. He told "Look at the menu. If you see I have, then I have.". Again that was hardly the proper way to do business. 


A polite "Sorry I don't do calamari" would be much more polite, direct, economical with words and efficiently get the message across, than saying what he said. I just don't understand him. 


He is definitely not happy with his job. Maybe he is not even the owner of the stall. Maybe it's his character to be always grumpy and rude. 


In any case, I would think twice buying from this stall again.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Dreaming of Sponge!

Last night my wife burst out laughing in the middle of her sleep.



She dreamt that I was showing her something on my laptop. It was a row of blocks of sponge in different colours (complete with the green abrasive layer).

I was somehow making them lie down, stand up, and turning them left and right (interactive animation?). I also asked her if we owned a particular colour of sponge at home.

Yes it is weird. When she burst out laughing it got me worried for a moment. I was sitting up in my bed reading my ebook on my phone.