The first week of June saw me going down to the little island called Singapore for the week. I had the opportunity to stay at the new Marina Bay Sands for the week. My room package came with breakfast and internet access. Everyone was raving about the sky park and infinity pool so obviously I was going to check it out.
My five nights there was a pleasant experience. Room service dinner was great and quick. I love it when you tell them that you have to leave at 10pm and your dinner has to arrive by nine and it’s now 8:45pm and they actually do it. My room was pretty spacious with a nice recliner that a friend of mine who popped in promptly fell asleep within a couple of minutes.
My second night was spent at the Club at the Skypark and I must say few bars ever have such an atmosphere and view. Breakfast and suppers spent at the Rise was also awesome. I must say a couple of things about the Rise at the Lobby of the MBS… it has awesome ice-cream to wrap up your night. I think I must have had like four jars of it. Yes, it comes with a jar and I kept forgetting to take a picture before digging in! The morning coffee is also pretty good. It’s tough to match specialized coffee places that really “love” coffee such as Highlander
which I also visited but the Barista’s at the Rise were able to pull decent shots of espresso for me. No more simple poured coffee that taste stale… breakfast at the Rise in MBS got me started on a couple of espresso shots.
The sky park and infinity pool was also an awesome experience. The somewhat hazy weather was the only dampener. Being the school holidays, it was also a bit more packed but it’s always a good end to a long day with a soak on the roof top pool. Reminded me somewhat of a quaint little hotel I was at in Spain that also had a little roof top pool.
The internet access was also pretty good. The wireless could do with some improvements but I was able to connect all my devices — and yes, I travel with lots of gear. I could viber my lovely wife back home on my iPhone, check email and get some work on via the wired network, catch up on Facebook with my iPad on the bed and video call home on Skype with my MacBook Pro… The wireless access extends to the convention center, shopping mall and the lobby areas so it’s pretty good overall. Speed needs some improvements though. Being Singapore, I expected much faster speeds than Malaysia but it was a bit disappointing to get what I get at home — speeds here averaged about 1mbps.
All in all, there are hotels with better “star” ratings with more luxury but the Marina Bay Sands is a comfortable place to stay with all the lovely amenities and facilities to keep me productive, entertained and relaxed. I think those are hard to match. The Ritz might be glitzier but I love starting my mornings with the iPad and an espresso shot in the sun basked Rise, get work done, and finally ending the day on the sky park pool with the Singapore skyline and a couple of drinks. It’s a pity it was only a week. — I’ll be back, soon.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the city view but it can be considered the “sea view” room!
Every couple of years, I somehow always reach a cross road in my life when I reach a birthday. Seems like deja vu again this year, 2011 of the last year. I suppose some decisions need to be made in the next couple of months but as the future’s still a bit unclear, it’s one day at the time for me. In the meantime, I just got the most wonderful birthday gift ever. Maybe that’s what trigger my life’s cross-road feeling but then again, this birthday has forever changed my life.
Presenting the newest addition to our EKML Visuals family… although more as a model (mandatory) than a photographer!
Another few years and life hits another cross-road. Options, paths and most of all decisions. Do wish I have a GPS for this journey of life. If I do, then how would I know how to rely on my master navigator, the Lord of my life, my God, my savior?
First off, apologies for the lack of entries for quite a while now. I’ve been busy with way too many things. Of course the last two weeks also bring a lot of changes for me personally.
One big event this week is Kodak’s retirement of Kodachrome. The thing about this is it tells everyone how old I am. It does show also when I got into photography… I didn’t use Kodachrome much due to limited labs processing them here in Malaysia but I tend to use it’s newer siblings, the Ektachrome series. There are some nice links here.
The other product I’m playing with right now and yes, it does have promise is DSLR Remote from OnOne software. Yes, I do think it needs to do AF but besides that, it’s pretty cool and I think I’ve got quite a few new uses for it once my Manfrotto camera clamps arrive! Canon really needs to drop the price of their Wi-Fi transceivers (more later)! And of course I’ll say it here again: OnOne software really needs to move their plugin suite to 64-bit. Like yesterday. 32-bit is so Windows XP 🙂
Anyways, back to topic:
Over last weekend’s Focus on the Family event, I found out for the first time that the Direct Print button on my 5D Mark II actually had a use. Of course finally Canon’s listening and the Direct print button doubles up to use as a toggle to get into HD Movie mode but prior Canon cameras don’t have luxury. I still think it should be fully programmable though. Anyways, printing direct from Camera is cool for once and it does streamline the workflow… Shoot, connect camera, select image, hit print, swap camera, shoot, repeat the process. Easy!
However, the problem now is that in public events, that’s not as sexy as a big widescreen monitor. I’ll probably try this approach with the orang asli trip next… instant prints. Everyone loves that! So the next day, I lugged my laptop with a 22″ wide-screen monitor along. Using the EOS Utility software, I ended up shooting tethered. The Capture Preview window was maximized on monitor 2 (external display) but the main display (laptop) was showing Adobe Bridge. Of course with Bridge CS4, you can have a second synchronized window so that can be toggled if the family wanted to preview the shots taken and select the best one for printing. Otherwise, the Capture preview was nice to show people what was the camera shooting at that time. So, short of having wireless USB, I think Canon ought to halve the price of the WFT-E4 transceiver! When I’ve more time this weekend, I’ll post a more detailed description of the work flow and software used.
For some reason, the last two days, traffic is terrible on the Federal highway. I know it rained this morning and that makes for a long commute. Still unpacking and tired from the move. Probably takes a couple of weeks to recover!
Well, haven’t really had time to catch up of sleep. Ten-years ago, I would have easily recovered from a month of 16-hour work days in 48 hours. Now it’s much tougher. I guess there’s a lot more responsibility on my shoulders now, from the burden at work (they don’t pay you to do nothing) and of course, my responsibility to my lovely wife but also not neglecting church ministries and family and friends too. Right now, our humble lil’ home is a construction zone and managing that as an extra responsibility doesn’t help. I really can’t wait to move out of our box in the sky to my new old home and have a pair of tail-wagging furry friends greet me when I pull into the driveway.
Edit: sorry, draft status prevented this from showing…