Dec 27, 2014

Twenty Grammes @ North Bridge Road




Iced Mocha @ $6.50
The moment we stepped into Twenty Grammes, I was overwhelmed by the butterscotch smell, which I so badly wanted to soak in. :P

Prepare yourself to be served by the friendly staff over there. Some of their ice cream flavors are home made.

As the front yard of the cafe wasn't able to accommodate 5 of us, we're ushered to the back yard, where walls have no design but the cement-ish layout, which pretty much looks like nothing but a boom shelter, which is very near to the washrooms. But we're fine as long as we're not separated by different seats.






Christmas deco




Waffles w/ 2 scoops of ice cream @ $12.50
"Triple C" and Butterscotch (my favorite)


Mint Chocolate Cake @ $8.00


English Breakfast Tea @ $4.90
Obviously May spammed too much milk


Latte @ $5.00



Twenty Grammes
753 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198721
Tel: 6717 1733


Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Dec 11, 2014

阿桑 - 一直很安靜 (Cover by Yoke Ling & Javin Tham)


阿桑 passed away in 2009 from breast cancer. She's known for her famous song 葉子 which I have previously covered instrumentally using erhu and keyboard.

I learnt that THreshold has recruited a talented singer with the surname 葉 as well (ok this is super random), Yoke Ling, and I asked if I could do a cover with her. It was in May when she agreed, and because she was in Korea for summer school in June and I was in USA for conference in August and this and that, causing this thing to be pushed back to December. Well at least, we've made it!

And how deciding the song came about? Well, she even has a list of song requests from other people, and I noticed 一直很安靜 was one of those, and the song itself is known as the soundtrack of the Chinese drama series 仙劍奇俠傳, which we both have watched before.

The day we recorded this was the day we met for the first time and practiced for the first time - life is about spontaneousness and improvisation.
We did a lot of tries, and I have to say that she has a beautiful voice and precise pitch.

Something that bothered me a lot was the broken E♭5 key on the keyboard, and E♭ is the subdominant note for this song in the key of B♭ major. Trust me it was super irritating as you're trying hard to avoid this note when you're playing. Accompaniment which I could have played in the normal range has to be played an octave lower, that's not fun.

Unlike the usual "subscribe to" ending, I added a short footage of her showing a double peace during the recording. Enjoy!

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Dec 3, 2014

李佳薇 - 煎熬 (Cover by Gary Song & Javin Tham)


She prided us the Malaysian on her victory in 超級星光大道 7th Season. Jess Lee 李佳薇 had her album debuted with the hit song 煎熬 that poses the challenge that every female singer faces as they’re trying to reach the F#5 note in the chorus. What enthralling is how she sang it without using falsetto, which until today I never witness any of my friends able of pulling off.

It’s been 3 years since the release, but we still want to do it because it’s nice (no actually, it’s just because Gary said he wanted to do it, he’s a bit laggy in terms of knowing Mandopop). The MV is, however, ‘creative’.

We transposed 9 semitones down to B minor, and finding that it’s too exhausting in the chorus, Gary asked me to go down 2 semitones more to A minor. We did actually fully record one A minor version, but finding that it’s too low in the chorus, Gary said we should go back to B minor. Good job Gary…

Hope you’ll like it. :)

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Nov 29, 2014

Rice & Fries @ Changi Road


We reckoned that we needed mouthwashing desserts after the nauseating lunch at Oishii Halal Buffet.

Our only nearby choice was Rice & Fries, along Changi Road. Apologies but only desserts are featured in this blog post because we had lunch somewhere else.


Latte @ $5.80


Crème Brûlée @ $8.80


Caramelized Banana w vanilla ice cream @ $5.80


Dark Chocolate Lava Cake w ice cream @ $9.80

You might want to check out their Facebook page as well. If I’m not mistaken, the restaurant is run by a family and it’s interactive whereby there’s a certain degree of intimacy between the owners (the husband and wife) and the customers which you will see from the photos uploaded to their Facebook page. It makes Rice & Fries more than a restaurant but a big family.


LVE
This photo was taken by the wife while cuddling her baby on her left arm. :)
Besides offering to take us photos, she also friendly reminded us to tag them on Facebook.


Rice & Fries
484 Changi Road
Singapore 419896
Tel: 9738 6648


Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Oishii Halal Buffet @ Jalan Masjid



Oishii Halal Buffet
Having bought the deal from deal.com.sg (thanks to Boon Kiat), each $12 voucher entitles everyone with their so-called "Unlimited Authentic Shabu Shabu + Ala Carte Buffet At Oishii Japanese Restaurant - Over 40 Items Including Beef, Chicken, Prawns, Squids, Mussel, Lalas & Sliced Fresh Fish With Tomyam, Ramen, Chicken Or Miso Soup Base".

Jason drove the Bukit Panjang-rians and it too us a while to find a suitable parking at the Kembangan Plaza basement car park along that narrow Jalan Masjid. It didn't seem to us that there's any Japanese-looking restaurant along that district.

Walking to the junction, staring at the restaurant sign, for a jiffy we thought we came to the wrong place.
Look at the picture on the right, it's really self-explanatory.
There's no way anyone could associate that with the image we had in our mind. Yes, and it's halal, so forget about pork.

Well, the interior does look different from the exterior, with a conveyor belt that is not serving sushi but raw ingredients that you throw into the steamboat. Well done!



Drinks are obviously made from syrup and taste awful.

There were 7 of us and we chose the ramen soup base which was pretty tasty probably due to MSG. Whatever we're entitled to were those ingredients which are to be cooked in the pot, plus cabbages and noodles.


And where's our shabu-shabu? LOL... what about shabby-shabby?

Describing the eating experience in Oishii Halal Buffet as 'exotic' is courteous. Otherwise, 'horrible'.
Good luck to the next batch of customers who have bought the deals but have yet to visit.
* Thumbs down *


Oishii Halal Buffet
10 Jalan Masjid
Singapore 418930


Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Nov 21, 2014

4th Nuffnang Cashout



Requested on 20 September 2014, and it's been a while since my last cashout in June 2014.
I think I've also been trying to hold slightly longer prior to cashing out for a higher cashout to processing fee ratio (but seriously, how much higher can it be, LOL).

And also I'm definitely looking forward to more CPUV campaigns.

My Cashout History
1st: $73.21 (Sep 2012)
2nd: $110.93 (Mar 2014)
3rd: $127.32 (Jun 2014)
4th: $145.67 (Nov 2014)

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Oct 12, 2014

Bastille - Pompeii (Cover by Gary Song & Javin Tham)


And my goodness it's been one and a half year since my last cover was uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Pompeii, the name of the song we covered, which I totally have no idea at all what it means, is a name of a town in Italy (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), performed by Bastille, another English rock band which I've never heard of before (I was a little annoyed by the English accent when I was listening to the song).

The word "Pompeii" is not even mentioned anywhere in the lyrics, but by going through them, clearly the song's sketching the catastrophic event of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 in Pompeii, spewing a dark cloud of volcanic gas and stones. The volcano is still out there until today and it's regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its nearby population of 3 million people. Hmmm... I wonder what are they thinking...
Everything in Pompeii then was just a rubble and today Pompeii lies in ruins.


Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Gary and I only had one combined practice which was on the same day of recording this cover itself. It was indeed impromptu. We initially booked a studio for 2 hour to record our cover, without the knowledge of the availability of the recording equipment and software which the studio uses, so we're kind of like betting on that. I wasn't really putting too much hope actually, and it really turned out that the studio doesn't have a suitable recording equipment which I can use in line with the Adobe Audition CS6 from my laptop (well, the studio personnel was also unsure of a number of things about the recording equipment and method).

We ended up renting the studio for just an hour to practice and decided to get back to Temasek Hall (missing it so much!!) to get our cover recorded. Thanks to the one of the current band members, Niki who provided us with the band room key and thankfully I managed to install the mixer's driver on my laptop in the band room and everything worked as usual.

Inevitably we made mistakes and we had to re-record, and we forgave ourselves, we know we haven't been doing this for way too long.

Enjoy the cover! (Pardon my shirt, will get it ironed next time ^^)

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Aug 20, 2014

Yosemite, USA


19 Aug 2014 (Sat)

Lodging: Comfort Inn Yosemite Area, Oakhurst



4 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas Vegas Mammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles




Tioga Road
I once thought this place has got something to do with Japanese, as it sounds pretty Japanese in the first place.

Yosemite, a national park in Northern California, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, owing to its wondrous nature beauty, spreading across over 3,000 km² - it's darn huge.



Tuolumne Meadows



Tenaya Lake




Yosemite Valley

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Aug 19, 2014

Mammoth Lakes, USA


19 Aug 2014 (Sat)

Lodging: Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa



3 of 7, fortnight USA trip
ArizonaLas Vegas Mammoth LakesYosemiteSan FranciscoCoastal CaliforniaLos Angeles





Room 139, Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa
We've left Death Valley, ahead of us is a foresty town - Mammoth Lakes.

Make sure you fill your car with petrol or get enough food and water supply before you get to a less populous place like Mammoth Lakes or Yosemite. There's either limited sources of the supply you need or a very expensive one.

We didn't intend to visit Mammoth Lakes, it's just our lodging for our visit to Yosemite. We picked this resort out of the relative affordability because the location is far from Yosemite.

It seemed like we underestimated the distance and thought we could visit the east side of the Yosemite National Park, get back to Mammoth Lakes, and continue on the second day towards the west side. The chances are, we were only able to get back to the resort after late midnight. Thus, we decided to look around Mammoth Lakes and have a full Yosemite expedition the next day instead.






Notice how two lakes are connected thru a narrow channel

Lake Mary





People are camping at the lake when it was so shivering cold...

Horseshoe Lake

One of the most dispirited corners of the world I've seen...



Twin Falls





Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa
Sky turned dark pretty fast, thank goodness we didn't stick to our initial plan of visiting Yosemite and come back here. It was bone-chilling with the wind out there, it's neither warm indoor.

We got back to the resort and guess what, we met another group of GRDPs from Singapore who started their fortnight-long trip southwards from San Francisco while we're going in the opposite direction northwards.

Tiny little world, that we're even staying in the same resort without any of us knowing, it reminded me of bumping into a friend on a random street in Amsterdam 2 years ago.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Mammoth Lakes, USA on Facebook.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist