[cali 2018] part 3: san francisco & the bay

Finally on to the last part of our trip! We spent one night in San Francisco, then 3 nights at Mountain View for Google I/O. One day was just enough to cover the main tourist attractions – Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge, plus we dropped by the first Swensen’s store which had really good icecream!! We decided to skip Alcatraz island because we weren’t very interested in seeing a prison haha.

We reached SF around 5+pm and immediately drove to our hostel (Green Tortoise, was great and would recommend), checked in and dumped our luggage, and then rushed to do our module bidding which was at 6pm 😂😂 After that we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf to return the car and met some of our friends for dinner! Had yummy fish and chips at some restaurant overlooking Alcatraz island.

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The next day we started off with a walk to Coit Tower.

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I was amazed by how the roads are in a perfect grid! And some of them are so steep that the pedestrian walkway at the side is a looong flight of stairs.
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This is Coit tower! The windows at the top are the lookout level.

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[cali 2018] part 2: winding roads and giant trees

Oops, finishing up my trip posts has been on my to-do list for some time but the last few weeks have been busyyyy. But it’s recess week now and I’m super free so gonna write about the next part of our trip before I forget! We decided to go to Sequoia National Park over the more famous Yosemite mainly because Yosemite was a few hours further away, and from looking at the photos Joe and I concluded that Sequoia = giant trees while Yosemite = giant rocks. And we were more interested to see the trees so yup.

So we set off in the late morning from FJ’s place and drove northwards. Most of the way was on highways that seemed to go on forever, like gmaps would literally say “continue straight for 100km”. The journey was supposed to be a 3.5h drive I think but we ended up taking around 5h including lunch, toilet and petrol stops :/

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Once we entered the park from the Ash Mountain entrance it became windy mountain roads~

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There was some event celebrating native American culture which we didn’t have time to go see, but because of that the park’s entrance fees were waived that day! We didn’t even know there were entrance fees LOL but yay for free entry :D

Anyway, the park is named for its Sequoias which are the giant redwood trees. And they’re seriously hugeeee.

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[cali 2018] part 1: city of angels

I just spent my 2 week term break in California with Joe! For some reason (probably cheaper airfare) we only flew off on Wed morning, and had to come back for start of school so we actually only had 9 full days there. And we packed a lot into those 9 days – visited Los Angeles, Sequoia national park, San Francisco, and Mountain View for Google I/O – so it was a really fun, but tiring trip.

Day 1: Universal Studios Hollywood

Our flight left Singapore at 2am on 2nd May, but because of the 15h time difference, after an insanely long flight, we landed at LA at 6am on the same day. Luckily we were staying with FJ so she picked us up from the airport! We crashed at her apartment for an hour before taking an Uber to Universal.

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The first thing we did was the studio tour! Since unlike USS, USH is actually located at a real movie studio site, so the studio tour is a tram that goes around the sound stages and filming sites.

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An outdoor city scene:

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There was some cool jaws and king kong “4D” experiences too!

After the studio tour, we went to Harry Potter World aka the part I was looking forward to most!!

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It’s Hogsmeade!!

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so close yet so far

Haven’t posted in months lol. But I think I’ve been posting at least once every term and this term is ending soon so gotta keep up the streak xD

2 more weeks to term break!!

This term started out well (taking computer vision, graphics and visualisation, making maps, and capstone), with finally more interesting content. But omg I’m v sian now because each mod has a project and with each project comes a report + presentation in addition to developing the actual product. And all of the presentations are next week but our actual work isn’t even completed yet… so not looking forward to chionging everything next week :'( but I can’t wait for it to be over ahaha

In better news, I’m going to California during the 2 week break!! Super excited cos I’ve never travelled so far before, and it’s with joe and we’re going for google i/o (google’ s developer conference at their office in SF)! It honestly feels quite random- this trip is only happening because I took part in a Google codejam for women (an online programming competition) for fun, and turns out I scored in the top 150 so I won a free ticket to Google i/o plus 500usd travel reimbursement. And it was just nice during my holiday, so why not right? And joe managed to get a student ticket to the conference too! We’re going LA and SF mainly, and sequoia national park which has humongous trees that look really cool. Anyone got any tips/recommendations for things to do around there pls tell me :D

first foray into film [part 1]

I’ve always thought that all those old analog cameras look really cool. Like:

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A month or two ago, I randomly did some research and found out that film photography was actually still alive! So I decided to ask my grandfather about his old cameras and told him I was interested in trying film photography. He dug out a bunch of equipment from his dry box and ended up giving me his no-longer-used Canon A-1 and manual focusing 50mm f1.8 lens! I was amazed that he still had the camera’s battery (which, even more amazingly, still works) and user manual.

(Some background on the A-1: it was a very advanced SLR when it was first produced 40 years ago, eg. it’s the first SLR to have full program mode. And it’s better than the AE-1 pictured above but I guess more people like the AE-1 nowadays cos it looks more vintage.)

I went to Triple D, one of the last few film photography shops in sg, and bought two rolls of 35mm film – since I’m just trying out film photography for a bit and not sure how good my shots will turn out anyway, I chose the cheapest films. The first film that I loaded my dad helped me load into my camera is the $7 Kodak 200 Gold. It’s not expensive, but knowing that each shot costs money made me shoot very conservatively hahaha.

Ok enough backstory, here’s how my first roll of film turned out! (all photos were not edited after scanning)

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I can walk again!

This post is about a week overdue cos I actually started walking without crutches last weekend but yeah, just wanted to record down what happened in the past few weeks.

Basically I injured my left knee from playing for a frisbee comp (likely because I didn’t train enough previously then suddenly went to play & run intensely for a while day), then it was getting better already but on deepavali (~2 weeks after the comp) I was bending down to sit on the floor at benny’s house and my injured knee was suddenly super painful. After that I couldn’t straighten or put weight on it :( I went to see a GP first, who said it looks like a meniscus tear but have to go see an ortho specialist and do MRI to see how bad it is.

My dad booked an appointment at Mt Alvernia cos it was the earliest slot, for public hospitals need to wait like a few weeks x__x so yeah the doctor referred me to go for MRI scan. The scan was v boring, half an hour of lying there doing nothing and consciously trying not to move (which doesn’t really work LOL). Anyway here are some photos of my scans:

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The meniscus is the black parts around the middle of each image. Each knee has one lateral (outer) and one medial (inner) meniscus, each one is c-shaped and they’re basically shock absorbers. The left/top one shows my lateral meniscus, which is ok cos the 2 triangle-ish shapes are completely dark. The second one is my medial meniscus, which has faint white lines in both triangles – those are the tears :x

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burden knee is burden

The past week has been very eventful lol. I re-injured my knee from doing nothing T__T Immediately after that I tried to walk a bit but it was superr bad, my vision went white from the pain (at that time I didn’t know it was because of the pain so I was quite freaked out). Thanks benny and the rest of the guys for helping me get back home!! Anyway it’s a meniscus tear and I can’t straighten + put weight on my left leg now so I’ve been moving around with crutches the past few days. Going to see ortho doctor tmr though it’s getting better by itself too!

I just came back from a ideasinc startathon, it’s 2-day hackathon and we stayed there overnight to work on our prototype and pitch. It’s a damn good deal hahaha $10 for tshirt, access to tools and 4 very good meals (there was smoked salmon for dinner!!! but sadly no icecream like last time). Being baika was annoying cos everyone had to keep holding things for me D: but overall it was fun and I’m honestly quite proud of our prototype! Lazy to type out more details here but I think I’ll write a post on my new personal website soon.

Had a bunch of good conversations recently too, from skyping and talking nonsense with sean benny fan stanley benji to some HTHTs :’) Met tiff and dawn for supper at eusoff too! I bought wooden phone covers from taobao and laser engraved them, imo they turned out rly well yay!!

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In other news, it’s been a month! Thanks joe for taking care of me esp with my burden injuries heh :))