Category Archives: About Me

Making of Focus

Watching “behind the scenes”, or perhaps directors notes on dvds, makes appreciating a film more fun (although some think reading spoilers more so). The reasons for me writing about the making serves 2 purposes, one to document some of the technicalities used, and second to reflect what went wrong and could be improved. Or perhaps bring more depth to the story.

One of the questions most asked about this video is whether I did the blurring in post production. The answer is no and a reason is that it would create too much work. The video with a wide aperture (f/4), which means the lens is allowing more light in, creating “circle of confusion”, blurring objects not in focus. In general that’s called a shallow depth of field, and helps create the “bokeh effect”.

Frame of Focus
Framing.

In this still from the MJPEG, the focus is on the mirror frame, making the mirror image like a painting. Another question asked is whether someone shot the video. If you watch the last few seconds of the video, you would have an idea but this motion still tells the story.

Behind the scenes of Focus
Crew and equipment

Lastly, the usb cable connects the canon camera 40D to the PC, and recorded via EOS Camera Movie Record.

EOS Camera Movie Record
The software/hack which make the video possible.

What could have done better? The plot, being plain boring but it is the feeling when I got watching arts film in the past. The jerkiness, which leads me to find out about but not use the hardware solutions (eg. steadicam) and software approaches (eg. deshaker).

And without saying, one might question while watching, whether I’m in focus.

4 Things About Me

While something like writing 25 random facts about oneself seem to viral on facebook these days, I always shy away describing myself. Either I’m not honest about myself, or perhaps I like surprising others with a hidden side of the my multifacet self.

4 Things About Joshua

Instead here’s 4 short points on what I wrote about myself around 6 months ago working at iStorez. It comes with manipulated head on a baby’s body with a old school camera as seen on the blurbs @ iStorez’s Team page.

In case you’re wondering, iStorez‘s a startup with a unique shopping content and its unique technology helps collect and organize deals, promotions and discounts across retailers and stores. In the past 8 months, I’ve focused on building, deploying and maintaining partner integrations solutions, such as Yahoo Deals! Storewide Sales. I’ve used js, css for the frontend, java servlets and jsps, sometimes php mid-tier layers, and in the backend there’s management of tomcat, mysql, other linux services and servers, and yup some shell + python scripts and java apps for cron jobs too.

Of course, it doesn’t end there, and at times I do some analytics, some photographing, and some times maybe, entertainment. Considering this is the first post since I’ve been here for 8 months, make a guess how occupied I’m.

Oh, coming back to myself. I’ve just left a note on my domain, (finally) on what I’m currently occupied with.

JoshuaKoo.com

Blessed 22nd

Thank you,
to all who gave me birthday wishes.

Happy Birthday

Thank you,
my brother and sisters, dad and mom;
for buying this cake, for celebrating my birthday,
in the fashion of authentic tradition of our family.
22nd Birthday

Thank you,
my fellow brother and sisters in Christ,
for gathering in my school;
for the cakes and presents,
and the company over lunch.

Thank you,
friends from nusso,
for treat out to dinner,
for the walk along singapore river.
Clarke Quay

Thank you,
other individuals who have gave me presents;
Mr Jon Tan, Pei Juan,
and for all friendship and help I never repay.

Cool Gifts

Thank you,
to those who encouraged me;
in my difficult times in school,
and when you learn of my miserable test failures.
Maths Test Fail

Thank you,
for the encouragements in the Lord;
for Sock kwin for sharing your experiences in pain and failures,
and the lessons from Proverbs 3:5-6;
from another, an encouragement from Psalm 31:24,
to be Strong.
SK Present

Thank you,
all those who care and hope for me,
with unspoken words,
with unheard silence,
and long suffering;
2 of them, my earthly parents.

Thank you,
for those who are patiently reading this.

Thank you,
Dear Heavenly Father,
Light from above
despite my worthlessness and unfaithfulness,
thou hast shew me countless mercies in the 22 years of my life;

the glimpse you give of your goodness,
for family and friends; and the showers of love and warmth;

the chance you give to appreciate your greatness;
by the beauty of the world you give us as a temporary home.
Rainbow
Its a beautiful rainbow. Pardon the bad view and quality

Thank you!

About Me: Here lies the world’s sleepiest…

Decide to change the caption from the About section in the sidebar

Before

I floating here amist my dreams.
Whacha reading is my sleep talking.

Current

Here lies the world’s sleepiest animal, and NUS’s sleepiest creature.
In this blog, I write only as clearly as my dreams dreamy.

I’m not trying to be poetic but here’s the break down if it doesn’t sounds too sound. (Please excuse any accidentals puns)

Here lies- This sounds almost like an engraving on a tombstone “beneath lies” but no, its referring to the little photo.

world’s sleepiest animal- Thats the shy little animal in the photo, a koala, which sleeps up to 22 hours a day.

NUS’s sleepiest creature- That’s me. I’m in NUS now and I love to sleep. You might already guessed the reason for my nick Zz85.
1. Its a lazy nick (just 4 characters)
2. It means lots of “zZzZzzZZzZZz”s for sleeping.
Thats why I got http://zz85.is.dreaming.org to be linked here.

In the 2nd line, its just an excuse for my low quality of writing, nothing much more.

Since I mention about sleep again, this is a opportunity for you sleep-struck readers to find out a lesson about waking out when the clock alarms.

Notes From Myself For Myself (Part 1)

27 June 2007 Wednesday.

I separated from my campmates as we go on our separated ways home. My bus reached Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, and I took a walk into West Mall. A text came from a ORDed friend, saying he has a gift from Hong Kong for me. To stall time waiting for him to arrive home, I went into Bukit Batok Community Library and borrowed a few books quickly. 1 was copy writing, another resumes, a book for writing autobiography and one for writing journals.

[
Side story about my library fascination: My mum used to bring me to ang mo kio's library when I was young even though traveling time took at least 30 mins. (there was where I read about computer programming.) I was a librarian 3 years in my secondary school days. I spent countless time in Yishun library when it was built no more than 50m from my home! After O'levels while working, I made it a point to visit every branch of community library in Singapore - I believed covered almost everyone of them. NYP library was a place we inhabited during exams period, while some studied, some eyed for girls)

Trivial: Spelling and Languages are still one of my worst abilities! Some friends think I'm dyslexia.
]

The book that caught my attention, “Notes From Myself”, subtitled “A Guide to Creative Journal Writing” by “Anne Hazard Aldrich”.

My impressions reading the book, was it teaches you what is journal writing, the benefits and insights, and provides interesting notes and excerpts from other authors and journal writers. The book gives tips for writing, and also reasons to make you do so, and although journal writing would be a mile different with blogging, nevertheless its a read to make you reflect how you write.

Listening to the Morimur album while reading took my thoughts and feelings back and forth many places while I try to complete the book before the due date. Morimur album, btw, is recording done by Christoph Poppen and Hilliard Ensemble rendition of (a remixed) Bach’s Solo Violin Partita and Vocal Music. It has a modern idea, yet a very nice baroque, bach feel.

Back to the book, the last chapter made me reflect on the words of eleventh century scholastic Richard of St. Victor:

A man, who has not yet succeeded in seeing himself, raises his eyes in vain to see God. Let a man first understand the invisible things of himself before he presumes to stretch out to the invisible things of God…
for unless you can understand yourself, how can you try to understand those things which are above yourself.

My Cardio Report Is Out

I went to get the results for my heart tests and consultation today.

Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect or how to react, but thank God, I’m doing good (in health) even though I’m slightly different physically.

  • ECG: electrocardiogram, which they place lead probes on you to measure the heart’s activity
  • Echo: Transthoracic Echocardiogram, the use of Ultrasound to take 2d scans of the heart, like how they see the baby in the mother’s womb by using a probe after applying some aloe vera like stuff
  • Trans-esophageal Echo: This could be considered invasive as they insert the scope down the esophagus after giving some anesthesia. This would provide clearer images as the transducer to nearer to the heart, without the rib cages blocking.
  • Treadmill Exercise ECG Test: ECG is taken with varying paces on the treadmill.

I went for many different tests like the above mentioned, so at least its good that I get an opinion of my condition after being unclear for so long. Based on the results, my heart is functioning as well as a normal person. So I would think its like there are engine designed differently (like some engines has different numbers of valves or piston or combustion method, eg. a rotary engine vs four-stroke piston engine) and its okay I’m born with a slightly different configuration or mechanism. I thought if God had designed me like cpu chips, what was needed was a missing pin to give me the blue face of death. (To Darwin’s supporters: I don’t want to spark any war, but consider is that possible that humans have to die of different heart designs so man would evolve with the perfect heart?)

Anyway the results my heart is missing something that others has but it mild at this time for my age. I would jokingly tell others that this “thing” is the lack love and so I suffer from a broken heart.

Ultimately I know that my heart have to lay in the hands of God (actually even the King’s heart is, see Proverbs 21:1). And

God can heal if he wants (Psalm 147:3)

If I were to be able to run, its God’s merciful hand upon me (like on Elijah in 1 Kings 18:46).

The verse I know and have to hold on, Psalm 73:26
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

Welcome 2007, Goodbye 2006

The moments of time at the end of the year is usually brings me joy plus a little sadness as I step into a new year. I usually hold no regrets, but this time I felt a little different. Perhaps I was optimistic, naive or too carefree previously, but the end of 2006 felt a little disappointment, knowing that there were mistakes I’ve done, better decisions which I could made.

Nevertheless, 2006 is still a year to be remembered for me. Here are…

My Memorable Events and Achievements in 2006

Army
– Awarded SAFAC’s Best Soldier for Oct 2006
– Posted to DCC
– Hold appointments of Guard Commander, COS, Key Orderly, OA..
– Contributed, presented and won several WITS projects.
– Took part in NDP 2006

Family
– 1st tour trip to China

Personal
– 1st Wisdom Tooth extraction
– Completed Vertical Marathon
– Completed Half Marathon
– My 21st birthday and my party.

Resolutions? Yes I’ve considered a little. Though, new year resolutions always seemed
Meant to be broken“, and Diminish and forgotten as time goes by.

At least I did something different and smarter for 2006. I wrote them in as a draft titled “My 2006 Resolutions” in my blog (but like many of my posts-unpublished), so they won’t be forgotten. For some of these resolutions I gave expectations that they needed more than 1 year to complete, in a way I didn’t break my resolutions, and in another way I didn’t accomplish them.

Some of My Resolutions for the 2007?

Spend more time with God – Read the Bible & Pray!
Love my family – and my friends, and myself.
Keep running – Try duathlon, finish at least another half-marathon.
Improve survival – Learn cooking, housework chores, craftsmanship and other basic skills
Don’t be a loser – Be motivated! Accomplish more.

Be Renewed!

21st Birthday Gathering

is at 4th November 2006, coming Saturday.

If you need fetching, pickup spot is at Pasir Ris Interchange, 6pm.

TIBS Bus service is take is 403Q.

Venue:
Home Team NS @ Pasir Ris
125A-125H Pasir Ris Rd
Chalet B3

The event starts at 7pm.

Map

Please let me know if you are coming.
If not, just send the presents in.
(Just joking.. but I’ll come up with my wishlist later)

See My Wisdom Tooth

My 2 lower wisdom teeth.

Mentally prepared

???

To those who understand,
38- mesially impacted
48- partically erupted

okay, 38 and 48 refers lower left and right wisdom tooth repectively.
18 and 28 is for the top left and right. The first digit 1 is for the top left, 2 is for top right, 3 bottom left, 4 bottom right. 8 refers to the 8th teeth which is the wisdom tooth. Removing all 8s means removing all wisdom tooth.

Going for extraction in 2 days time.
Should be getting antibiotic pills for prophylaxis because of MVP. (Chances of baterical from the mouth attacking the heart is slim but deadly?)

Read more? These are not mine anyway. This x-ray seems to be taken with a machine which scans around the mouth (Not the painful old method). The removal process seems painful for me to write even before I extract them. Next time maybe.

The upper left (picture right) and upper right (picture left) wisdom tooth are distoangularly impacted. The lower left wisdom tooth is horizontally impacted. The lower right wisdom tooth is vertically impacted (unidentifiable in X-ray image).

Broken Cup

I broke my favorite cup today.

As in,
I have been using this cup for years
has Waltz Disney charaters on it
easily identified
given by my mom
and I have not be breaking cups for long time
not after it fell from the table.
*Carelessness*