Archive for July, 2008

Motor cowboys

July 21, 2008

These images says it all :
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Within 3 mins, I counted 12 bikers pulling that kind of stunt.
Everytime these cowboys get into an accident, they blame other drivers for:
1. not looking out for them because they are small compared to other vehicles
2. don’t show them any respect because they are on two wheels
These are lame excuses. How to respect them if they themselves don’t even respect their own lives?
And why should other drivers constantly look out for them if they ride recklessly?


July 11, 2008

Yesterday while on the way to work, I saw a van at the traffic junction which caught my attention. I wanted to take a photo of that van but it moved off before I can take my camera out of my bag. The van was painted with an advertisement for BiC pen. When I was a kid in school back in the 60s, BiC was the only ballpoint pen we used. I didn’t know the company still exists after all these years. Here is a sketch of the humble BiC ball point pen which I and a lot of kids used back then in the 60s:
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A quick check on the BiC website :
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The BIC boy is one of the most well-known corporate images in the world. He was first designed in 1961 by the world-famous, French graphic designer, Monsieur Raymond Savignac for an advertisement. The original advertisement showed a French schoolboy in uniform, with a BIC® pen held behind his back. The schoolboy’s head represented the pens’ new tungsten carbide ball. The image was later stylized to become part of the BIC logo. Although he retains most of his original design, the BIC boy logo has had a major makeover, even appearing as an active 3-D image on some packages.

When I was a primary school student, I have only one pen. Today kids have wide variety of ball point pens to choose from : Red Leaf, Stabilo, Pilot, etc..
Here are some of the pens my daughter have :
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She is really spoiled for choice.

The other type of pen which I and my brothers often used are fountain pens. The first fountain pen my parents gave us when we first started off using pens are Hero brand fountain pens. They are cheap. To fill the pen with ink, first we need to remove the body. Inside is a rubber bulb. Dip the tip of the pen into a bottle of ink, usually Pelikan or Hero, press the rubber bulb, remove the pen and wipe the tip with toilet paper.
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Some pens uses a piston to fill the ink, just dip the tip into the bottle of ink and turn the end knob.

SMRT’s new bus

July 9, 2008

Finally managed to photograph this SMRT new bus last Saturday since it first went into service on 29 June 2008:
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Here is the rear view :
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It is a long time since SMRT purchased new buses since they took over TIBS.
What so special about this bus?
1st new bus purchased by SMRT
1st Mercedes Benz OC500LE model in Singapore
1st bus with Gemilang bodywork from Malaysia
1st bus with registration prefix SMB. No more TIB.
1st bus in South East Asia to meet Euro V emission standard
1st SMRT wheel chair accessable bus
SMRT will be putting more of these buses on the roads soon.
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bus terrorist

July 8, 2008

Sad to hear this story. Sounds familiar to many local bus enthusiasts. It seems that nowadays, anyone armed with a camera is considered dangerous. Maybe the law should classify cameras under the same category as WMDs – weapons of mass destruction. Anyone found with one will be apprehended immediately.
Here is an article taken from one of the bus enthusiasts forums :

Bus spotter forced to give up 40-year hobby after being labelled terrorist and paedophile
By Daily Mail Reporter
23rd June 2008

A bus spotter has decided to give up his lifelong hobby of photographing buses because people fear he is a terrorist and even a paedophile.
Rob McCaffrey – who calls himself an omniboligist – has been taking pictures of buses all over the world for forty years but has only ever faced problems in Britain.
Over the time the 50-year-old has amassed a collection of 30,000 photos of buses, trams and coaches.
Rob McCaffrey has been forced to hang up his camera after more than 40 years – because he keeps being mistaken for a terrorist and paedophile
But Rob says that in politically correct Britain he is finding it increasingly difficult to continue his beloved hobby because of the fear and suspicion he causes among onlookers.
In the last year he has been questioned twice by the police and had to give all his personal details after people who saw him innocently snapping buses on public roads reported him.
Rob, from Robinswood, Gloucester, explains: ‘Since the 9/11 attacks there has been a crackdown on security and it seems everyone with a camera is now regarded as a potential criminal.’
Distraught Rob, pictured with wife Jay, has been fascinated by buses, trams and coaches since he was a schoolboy
“The past two years have absolutely been the worst. I have had the most appalling abuse from the public, drivers and police over-exercising their authority.
‘People like me just want to enjoy our hobby without harassment but it is impossible now.’
Rob says his love affair with buses has taken him all over Europe but authorities in Britain have treated him the worst.
The credit controller says his first brush with the law was in Pontypridd, South Wales, last September.
A bus driver took exception to being photographed and called the police, who demanded to see what Rob had on his camera.
A second incident in Monmouth saw a Police Community Support Officer approach Rob and run his name and address through police computers after a member of the public complained he had been acting strangely.
While Rob admits the image of a bespectacled, mac-wearing trainspotter taking down train numbers does apply to some extreme bus and train enthusiasts, the vast majority are normal everyday people, like himself.
Rob’s wife Jay, 46, agrees: ‘My brother drives a bus in London, and says if he had a pound for every time a tourist took a picture, he’d be a millionaire.’
‘It happens every day. The spotters are just an easy target.’
Under the law, t is not illegal to take photos in a public place, but under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, police officers may randomly stop someone without reasonable suspicion, if the area is a likely target for an attack.
The issue was brought up in the House of Commons by MP and amateur snapper Austin Mitchell about photographers’ rights after he was stopped twice himself.
But Rob is now fed up of the accusations, and says police need to stop using their authority to the extreme.
‘I can deal with the fact someone might think I’m a terrorist, but when they start saying you’re a paedophile it really hurts,’ he said.
‘We don’t want to support people doing something illegal, but while the police are wasting their time with me a terrorist could be planning his next atrocity.’
A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said: ‘If a member of the public becomes suspicious of an individual taking photos in public and makes a complaint to a police officer, the officer will first discuss the matter with the photographer.
‘Normally the individual is more than happy to disperse any suspicion by showing an officer their photos and one of the benefits of digital cameras is that this can be done on the spot.
‘However, if the officer remains suspicious as to the content of the images or the photographers intentions they have the authority, under the Police and Criminal Evident Act, to seize the camera and arrest the individual.”

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Just the other day, I was standing near a bus stop to photograph some of SBST’s new buses. I normally put my camera in my bag and took it out when the bus of interest approaches. There was this guy who saw me putting my hand into my bag and in the process of taking out my camera, he stare and stare. After he walk pass me he still turn around to look at me. What is there to stare at?
Want to call the police? Bloody moron!!!

I guess this is what they taught to the trainees nowadays :

Version 1, terrorist training camp
Multiple choice question, choose the correct answer(s) :
Q : What is the terrorist choice of material(s) for committing terrorist acts :
(a) urea or fertilisers
(b) timer
(c) nails and ball bearings
(d) camera
terrorist trainee’s answer : (a), (b), and (c)

Version 2, Home Team Security personnel training school
Multiple choice question, choose the correct answer(s) :
Q : What is the terrorist choice of material(s) for committing terrorist acts :
(a) urea or fertilisers
(b) timer
(c) nails and ball bearings
(d) camera
Security trainee’s answer : (d) camera

Old bus terminus – Ulu Pandan

July 7, 2008

Ulu Pandan Road opposite former Mowbray Camp (now used by police) used to have a bus terminus. All that remians is just a bus stop. Here is a photo of the place :
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Part of the parking bay can still be seen on the stretch further up the bus stop blocked off by some curbs (indicated by blue arrow):
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The houses at the background is Clementi HDB block 340.
Bus services which used to terminate here are 61, 64, 94 and 191.
Here is a view from the opposite side of the road:
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Here is a old map of the terminus :
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Yutong buses

July 1, 2008

I had the opportunity to ride on a new Yutong ZK6100HB bus last week. The bus belongs to Million Bus Company. This bus is powered by Cummins ISBe4-250B. Gear is manual. The registration number is PA4000D. This number is recylced by the company. The previous bus belonging to the same company is a Scania K94IB4X2. Here is the near side view :
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The off side and the rear :
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The bus has plug doors at the front and center. This is the front door. The first step is shown by the arrow (not very clear). The first step automatically retracts when the doors are closed:
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This is the view from the last row :
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Seats are installed with seat belts :
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There are two roof emergency hatches :
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This is the aircon vent and lights :
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Overall ride is so-so. The suspension is rather stiff although the company information state that it has air bellows (more like spring leaf type). The body rattles when the bus goes over uneven roads.
Noise from the last row of seats is rather loud, poor sound insulation.