In Loving Memory Of...
Sunday, October 23, 2005

My 6510's had been with me through thick and thin, high and low, wet and dry, drunk and sober, sick and healthy... everything. They were tough, robust and reliable, despite having been subjected to extreme abuse.

The photo was taken just a few weeks back, but they both have now journeyed to the Land Where Consumer Electronics Are Eternally Blessed.

They will be sorely missed.
10X BonusLink Points!
Saturday, October 22, 2005
After our dinner near the old airport, we decided to drop by Parkson on the way home for a walk. And boy, 'reckon if we'd arrived later, we wouldn't have been able to find a parking bay! What could have made Parkson all crowded and abuzz with shoppers on a Friday night?

Right. That's what. Scores of families thronged Parkson just now because... why, it's the "Shoppers' Weekend", of course! It's amazing how this marketing strategy can really boost sales. Heck, we bought some stuff ourselves!

It doesn't matter if the item's abit pricey (btw, on top of that 10X BonusLink points offer, there was discount off original prices, too!), when you can always self-console by thinking, "Aiya, nvm la. At least we got 10X BonusLink Points~!". Brilliant!

If you still haven't heard about the "Shoppers' Weekend", well, what are you waiting for? It ends on Sunday! T-E-N times BL points wor...... ;). (Although I suspect this'll mostly interest housewives or the ladies in general...)

By the way...
Living Gem is One Year Old!
On October 22nd, last year, I dished out my first ever blog entry. Today is the day Living Gem celebrates its first birthday, and I certainly hope there'll be many more to come. Thanks to all who read me, I appreciate your visits as well as comments. I hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing.
You Don't Live Alone
Friday, October 14, 2005
Imagining yourself in someone else's shoes is a no-effort.

If you think you would have been offended, chances are you have indeed offended someone.

Observing from a different angle can sometimes be very rewarding.

Be considerate, it could have been you.

It is the most fundamental principle of any civilization.
My Baby, My Guitar
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I've been blogging for almost a year now, and how can I not feature my loyal companion, my baby? He has been with me through it all - In school, halls, ballrooms, on stages, backstages, in Malacca... everywhere!

Isn't it lovely? Before it came into my life, I had been using the popular Yamaha C40, which was priced around RM270 in 1998. The C40 was like what, the standard classical guitar used by most beginners? It is now with my friend, for almost 2 years already, I think (that's why I can't post pics of my C40 here).

As I progressed, my teacher advised me to get a better guitar to better suit my playing style, and further develop my skills. The entry-level Yamaha C40 had its limitations. And it was not made of solid wood.

My baby here, however, is indeed a better guitar. It's taken me to new heights! It's not an all-solid wood guitar (all-solid wood guitars can cost RM4000 and above!), only a solid-top (spruce) with laminated mahogany back and sides. Front or back, my baby reflects light pretty well. Heh.

It's a Made-in-Spain Almansa, and produces a very nice sound, good vibrations. Here's a tip: When buying a classical guitar, try to go for one with solid top. It's more expensive, but worth the money if you're serious about playing. One very easy way to tell if it's a solid-top (if your hearing is not sensitive enough to differentiate) is to feel the sound hole.

It should be rounded, and smooth. If it's a normal plywood (like the one on my C40 - sorry again, no pics here :P), you'll notice that it's not as smooth or rounded as a solid-top guitar.

I have very different set of nails on my left hand compared to my right. The length of fingernails should be kept as short as possible, to avoid difficulty when playing.

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On the other hand (literally), gotta keep a certain comfortable length for plucking. Too long isn't very comfortable, neither is too short. When I was in school, I had to keep an official Yamaha Music letter to exempt me from fingernail spotchecks. (Er, more like to avoid being screwed by the disciplinary board).

Nickel-plated machine heads...

I started playing at the age of 14, and went on to take the ABRSM Grade 4. Shortly after, when I was 16, I quitted Yamaha and switched to "full-time SPM" mode. Well, not exactly full-time, I played alotta sports still, but... y'know ;). Played gigs, had a band called "Milf", and did all sorts of crazy things related to music.

To protect my RM1300-odd baby (price when it was bought, in 1999), another RM300 (approx.) was thrown in for a hard-cover guitar case. It's got shoulder straps that I can carry it while I'm cycling! (I really did just that during some of our jamming sessions).

Never owned any electrics - only rented or borrowed my band member's. Classical may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it was how my musical inclinations began. After having quitted classes in Form 4, I've been playing less and less of classical music. More like, rock and pop now. Sigh.
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