I haven’t been blogging a lot lately simply because the web provider that my blog is hosted on is also hosting some malicious web codes (according to Google anyway if you use their Chrome web browser).
Anyway, I though that the problem could be with my website so I tried to upgrade my WordPress engine to the latest one. Lo and behold, I realized that I was really sitting in the docks while the versions rolled on by! The latest incarnation was the slick WordPress 2.7 while I was still running on a really arcane version.
Googling around, I found this very interesting site that will be very helpful in case of future upgrades. It contains a little plugin that you can access from your admin Dashboard that will automatically do the upgrade for you.
I filezilla’ed the small plug in over and the followed the steps. The upgrade was completed in less than 5 minutes.
What are you waiting for? Head on down to Luke Gedeon’s site
We stayed in Mong Kok, a former seedy enclave of prostitute dens and gambling joints which has been transformed recently with urban renewal projects like the Langham Place (which we stayed in). The gleaming towers of Langham Place pierced through the skyline of crowded apartments and equally crowded street markets like a beacon of 21st century urbanity in an area that hasn’t seen much new development due to its proximity to the old airport. City zoning laws then didn’t permit the building of gleaming skyscrapers until recently and the Langham Place took that new liberalization with great stride.
The Hotel was a homely luxury, filled with a smell that is more European than Asian, perhaps projecting the uniqueness of this city island state in its embrace of Western modernity in the rise of Asian, particularly the Chinese ascent, in the new global equilibrium of trade and military power. Perhaps it is a foreboding of how China will transform itself in this century as it becomes more integrated into the world economy. As China embraces economic liberalization, so too will its cities. And like Hong Kong, its buildings, people and way of life will be infused with an intoxicating mix of Westernisation while retaining its unique Asian roots. Sort of like drinking French wine with Sprite or mixing expensive XO Cognac with ice and green tea.
I enjoy this paradoxical mix. I find it refreshing perhaps of my Chinese roots. Growing up, I grapple with how my Chinese heritage would co-exist with my seemingly Western outlook and thinking. While I embraced values like individual freedom, I am often reminded by my peers about the way how Chinese empires were build to last thousands of years on draconian and often repressive means.
Maybe, this is the way forward for Asian countries.
Asian countries will just have to build modernity upon the foundations of the old. Perhaps then, can a new Asian renaissance be dawned. In what form that takes remains to be seen. But if it is anything like Langham Place, I think that we are in for a pretty good ride.
It has been a while since I had used a PC for my hobby (I use a Windows notebook everyday for work, but that’s different). However, the applications that I used heavily for photo workflow management are the same across platforms (Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop). But I do miss the iLife suite of applications, especially iPhoto. In place, I had installed the free Google Picasa.
As much as Microsoft is positioning Vista as the advance leap for Windows, I’m really disappointed with the overall compatibility of the OS. Until today, I am still facing intermittent wireless networking problems caused by device drivers. My Belkin PCI Wireless G card had never worked properly since the first day it was installed. Ironically, to get the drivers for the card to work, one has to install the new driver and then (this is sooo funny) roll back the driver. This will work as long as you do not switch off your PC. If you do, you have to repeat the whole thing over again.
Anyway, back to the photos.
For this batch, I’ve decided to try a different look and to play up the mood and emotions of the photos. I’ve experimented with sepia and color isolation and I’m pretty happy with the results. Some of them were taken from the inside of the bus so the color is not really great in the first place.
A lot of work went in to prepare this photo introducing this post, Sensoji. I had to digitally remove some hanging power cables and tweak the clouds to be darker so that they complement the umbrella carrying people of the photos.
Mt. Fuji from Mt. Komagatake, originally uploaded by CeeKay’s Pix.
When I first downloaded the photos into my notebook, I was very disappointed because all of them were tainted with dust and lint, especially shots against a single color backdrop like skyscape.
Japan Tourism Office, originally uploaded by . CeeKay’s Pix
This buzz is nothing more than the gigahertztic pulses of information that course through both the wired and wireless veins of the city. While this information travels quietly as digital bits, zipping across the city, hopping from senders to recipients, Tokyo is generally a city where its people do not casually hangout in public places to chatter or share a laugh.
Perhaps technology is the underlying thing that makes Tokyo sane. It probably has been a force of liberation to its people after thousands of years of introverted self restraint on public displays of emotions. Ultimately, it may have fulfilled the need for the Japanese people to connect to one another meaningfully while maintaining stoic normalcy in their perception of the real world.
This can be seen everyday as Tokyo inhabitants safely navigate through seas of people in the crowded streets while their faces are buried deep in their widescreen mobile phones playing a game or texting with their friends. It can also be felt through the efforts that Tokyo put into replacing tedious manual labour through the use of machines to sell everything from water to food coupons but proudly reserves its highest technological showcase to robots that mimics the inefficiency of the human form.
Yes, Tokyo is a city of contradiction and conformity. A city where ying lives peacefully with yang.
Anyway, after the sumptuous meal of kaya toasts, half boiled eggs and belacan fried tung fun, the rain stopped and the grey skies parted to reveal a beautiful blue hue that is rarely seen in cloudy and hazy KL.
I snapped away and got some pretty interesting shots of the city. The photos I got contained no ET but I wasn’t disappointed.