A busy week

Filed in Perfume 香水 (2005), TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

前晚可以看到 嘅 演唱會真開心。聽他唱就聽得出他很有心唱,很懷念哥哥。GREAT show!恭喜 Leo。

Instagram image

salutetoleslie

A busy week

Filed in Perfume 香水 (2005), TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

It was a busy week. I have been filming a television series 「隨時候命」 about the Hong Kong Government Flying Service (GFS) 政府飛行服務隊 and we actually get to sit in real helicopters like the one shown here. Even though I'm a senior pilot in the series, I don't actually get to fly. We filmed the flying scenes inside the GFS hangar using green backdrops for what we in the industry call chroma-key where they'll later replace the green background with actual sky. GFS's helicopters are incredibly nice pieces of engineering. The technology and materials used to build those copters is awe-inspiring.

(An interesting thing about the chroma-key: all of us with GFS roles have authentic GFS sweaters but we've never been able to wear them no matter how cold the weather became. Why? Because the sweaters are green!)

On location: An HKGFS helicopter pilot in TVB's 「隨時候命」

I spent two days at the GFS hangar this week, and two nights in the television studio filming the GFS offices. I spent another night on location out in a town called Tin Sui Wai filming for another television series called "Into thin air" 「人間蒸發」. That shoot didn't finish until 4am.

And finally, there was one night rehearsing for our new stage play "Perfume" 「香水」. With only twenty-something days remaining, we don't have a lot of time to perfect our performances but I think it'll be pretty good anyway.

The coming week should be slower. I'll be able to spend more time on the piano, improving my music abilities.

Whose dog barks louder?

Filed in Dogs of our Lives

Our little village has gone to the dogs; literally. Our up-door neighbours moved out several months ago because they couldn't handle being surrounded by dogs. Our own dogs bark but thankfully not incessantly but there are plenty of other dogs to make up for the silence.

The view from our village

In clock-face terminology, try to imagine this arrangement.

At 2 o'clock, a new neighbour has moved in and surprised us by laying claim to having not 3, not 5 but 13 dogs. Only four of them reside on the roof where we can see them. The other nine reside within their third-floor apartment. Three of the roof-residing dogs bark occasionally and who can blame them? Life on a walled-in roof can be pretty dull.

At 3 o'clock, our neighbour owns four or five dogs. We almost never hear them bark because the windows are almost always closed shut.

At 4 o'clock behind the 3 o'clock building is another building whose ground floor occupier owns four beautiful and extremely human-looking Afghan hounds. They spend much of their time standing on their hind legs leaning on the brick wall and watching the people and other dogs pass by below. They of course bark every time a dog goes past, and occasionally when people go past.

At 5 o'clock on the second floor, there are two small dogs. On the roof belonging to another person are another three, possibly four dogs. I'm not exactly sure how many because we've never seen them, just heard them fight and bark on occasion.

At 7 o'clock just behind us, there are another two or three dogs. They're pretty bored inside so they spend some of their time looking out the window and barking at us whenever we pass by. The alley-way between their building and ours makes an excellent amplifier so their barking is sometimes the loudest and one of the main reasons that our up-door neighbours moved away.

At 9 o'clock on the second floor is another dog. He spends almost all of his time on the balcony. He's not really allowed inside the apartment. As a result, he's the watchdog for our little row of buildings, barking at each and every man, woman and dog that passes by the back of our building. Our own dogs respond in kind to each of his alarm signals by barking and running outside. I wish I knew dog-talk because our dogs instantly know by his language whether the passer-by is a human, a dog, a monkey or a man pulling a small trolley and yelling at the top of his voice "buying old television sets, buying old air conditioners" (always in Cantonese of course; 收買電視機,收買冷氣機).

At 12 o'clock on the other side of a forest area are more dogs.

And in our home, there are ten dogs. They're wonderful members of the family and we love them all. Thankfully, they're not as noisy as they could have been and generally keep pretty quiet. The things that really rile them up to a full barking frenzy (and frenzy is exactly the right word to use here) are people walking their dogs past our gate (ie, an intrusion on their territory) and monkeys.

Some of our dogs watching the neighbours

But back to the question; whose dog barks louder? I would have to say that our dogs bark the loudest but it's not really a question of decibels as much as a question of responsibility. When other dogs bark, it's not my responsibility and I don't have to worry about them or the noise they're making. When our dogs bark, at some point I have a responsibility to quiet them down. There's a psychology angle to all of this and it has to do with the pressure of being a responsible neighbour. Consequently, our dogs bark the loudest, especially if they're barking at 8 or 9 in the morning when some neighbours might still be sleeping.

Thankfully though, our ten wonderful dogs are relatively quiet; except when the monkeys comes visiting but I'll tell you about them another time.

There is no random

Filed in General

There is no such thing as random. Rather, random is an ordered order, the order of which is beyond our comprehension.

Within the world, everything is the direct consequence of another action and this is true down to the very smallest of the physical and atomic and sub-atomic world. We think things happen randomly because we can't explain them. We use probability to calculate the chances that an outcome will occur but the outcome will in fact be a sure thing if we understand all of the factors involved.

Do people have free will? On the surface, yes. In reality, no. People are chemical and electrical machines. Our feelings are the results of the environment in which we live, combined with the chemical makeup of our bodies. Our thoughts are electrical and everything within our minds is a result of what we've seen or heard. We appear to have free will because we appear to have a choice. In reality, the choice was made before it was shown to us and our decision was never really a free decision.

In science fiction (and non-fiction) circles, people talk about parallel universes. The concept of parallel universes is based on the concept of random outcomes, that even every microscopic movement of air can lead to countless random outcomes. Consequently, all of those outcomes are actually occurring, all at the same time but in different zones of the 'space time continuum'. If random is a fallacy, then so is the notion of parallel universes.

Unfortunately, if random is a fallacy, then so is choice and decision. For many people, that would be the equivalent of fateism and that would in turn lead to apathy. In todays world, that wouldn't be a good thing so it's probably better that most people don't understand the truth about random.

The Anti-Christ nears?

Filed in Current Affairs, General, Hong Kong

Many many years ago when I was still a young person growing up in Australia, a New Zealand evangelist by the name of Barry Smith used to make the rounds of the churches preaching about the future of the world. In very basic terms, his message was the usual "repent or die with everyone else". Many people did convert and become Christians at the time but the end of the world didn't come. However, Barry's message was much more than simply that the world was coming to an end. He included many specifics, his (divine?) interpretation of the prophecies found within the bible. A few of his specifics may have been wrong but many were correct although they occurred much later than he had predicted. You can't fault him on that. Throughout history, many evangelists and foretellers of doom were very enthusiastic to see the end of the world sooner rather than later. Even now, we really can't be sure how close the end is, and if it will in fact actually occur.

In any case, some of Barry's specifics were correct. One in particular was that Europe would become the world power after unification. He also predicted according to the bible that a few more nations would join the E.U. He was much more specific than "a few" but I don't have his book on hand to refer to. In any case, the Euro is now worth far more than the USD which makes sense if you are aware that the U.S.A. is in fact in extreme debt and has been since the early 60's after people from the Bank of England were able to get into the U.S.A. and influence the way the Federal Reserve works. Extreme debt is probably not the best word to use. Broke would be the better word. But if a country is in debt or if it's broke, then someone owns it by virtue of the debts, so who owns the U.S.A.? The Bank of England and its owners. Come to think of it, the money part of this prose didn't come from Barry. It came from another book about the history of money. If anyone is interested, I could locate the book and publish its name for you.

Barry also predicted that governments would introduce money denominations in odd sizes and shapes to confuse their citizens. The ultimate goal was to introduce electronic money as soon as possible. In Australia, they introduced smallish one dollar coins, and even smaller two dollar coins. Some people might explain that this is a reflection to inflation but you can always dilute the metal content of a coin so the size shouldn't be a direct result of its metallic content. In Hong Kong, the government introduced a ten dollar coin to replace the ten dollar note only to re-introduce the ten dollar note again later. The ten dollar coin is smaller than a five dollar coin, and to add to the confusion, the government released new editions of paper denominations whose colors likened the colors of other nominations. The color of the twenty dollar bill is similar to the color of the original ten dollar bill. Confusion reigns supreme, especially in the dark when you're paying the taxi driver. (I once gave a taxi driver a five hundred bill instead of a one hundred bill by mistake and the driver happily accepted the four hundred dollar bonus without a single syllable of surprise or an attempt to pay back the correct change)

So where is this all going? There's a lot more that can be discussed and there are countless books out there that talk about various current and futuristic developments but my point today relates to the death of the Pope.

One of Barry's points discussed the Pope. According to the bible, the number of popes was counted, metaphorically of course. Near the end of the world (well actually at least a thousand years before the the destructive end of the world if you include the thousand years of Christ-reigned peace), a pope would die, another would take his place but not survive long. This pope in turn would be replaced by one who would turn out to be the anti-Christ. The question therefore is how long will the next pope last? I'll be watching even though he might last five or even ten years. In any case, if he dies prematurely; possibly by gunfire; it'll be a sure sign that the future is near, one filled at first with wonder and peace and then followed by world war, the last and the most real of the religious wars of all time.

People will be fooled by the anti-Christ because he'll introduce amazing cures and treatments for illnesses and ailments of all kinds (probably including AIDS), and he'll introduce world peace. That won't be difficult given that government agencies hold many technological secrets within their vaults, and given that the government agencies sponsor most of the war factions out there. One word from the true world leader and all these can be used to seemingly and miraculously bring peace and well-being to the world.

In any case, we'll have to wait and see. As I said before, people have always foretold that the end was near and it never happened. It might be another case of "the sky is falling" and only time will tell.

One other thing that Barry mentioned which is of particular importance in my part of the world refers to communism. Barry said that communism would only appear to go away. It would in fact go to sleep until a time at which it would awaken with more strength than ever more. The Chinese government is truly the subject of this foretelling. While pretending that it's becoming more and more open every day, and that democracy is a possibility, it will in fact always remain communist and it gets stronger by the day. It is however not communist in the true sense of the word. With true communism, every one shares in the profits of the community. With China communism, only party members share in the profits of the community.

For now though, I'll keep my eyes on the new pope.

Comments in Chinese?

Filed in General, Technology

今晚好開心同 @kayeepo 譚嘉儀 合唱歌。舊年喺YouTube 見到佢嘅時候估唔到我會有機會同呢個靚女 Superstar Youtuber 合作。

Instagram image

Comments in Chinese?

Filed in General, Technology

This is a heads up for those of you who might want to leave comments in Chinese. It's not a problem. I can comfortably read Chinese and even reply in Chinese if necessary.

Multitasking; ie, using the phone while driving.

Filed in Current Affairs, General, Hong Kong

There's a good article over at CNET News.com about Attention Deficiency Trait (ADT). I've seen similar symptoms in my own life. For example, I tend to work on multiple tasks at home; including home repairs; at the same time, moving from one task to the next until they're all finished. I have a hard time completely finishing one task before beginning with the next.

People claim they can talk on the phone while driving. I don't see it. I have tried it, even with hands-free accessories, and for me personally, it is simply not possible to perform both tasks as the same time and be aware of working on each task at the same time. If I focus on what the voice coming out of the phone is saying, my driving goes into auto-pilot mode. If I place extra focus on my driving, for example while driving through a round-about, then I don't really hear (as opposed to 'listen') what the voice on the phone is saying.

As Doctor Edward Hallowell says in the interview; You're brain literally can't multitask. You can't pay attention to two things simultaneously. You're switching back and forth between the two. So you're paying less concerted attention to either one. I particularly like the word concerted.

The message? Don't use the phone while you drive, and use an answering service or a secretary when possible so that you can complete the task at hand without interruption.