Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cutie Caterpillar

19th Nov ~ While walking along Orchard Road on one Thursday morning, from the corner of my eyes, I caught a striking sparkling colored tiny object moving on top of a dustbin. Went for a closer look & OMG! What's the furry little cutie thing crawling towards the ashtray?!? It's a Caterpillar! I sounded like a country bumpkin... no, correction... a city girl who had never see such a sight, but I really haven't seen such colorful pretty caterpillar before! All I'd seen are those fat green, yellow or brown ones, some with polka dots, some hairy, but nothing this fascinating! Its back looks like it's carrying 4 stacks of bright orange furs with black strips in between, looking like a bumble bee. There are even 2 eyes-like projections protruding from those stacks. Its head is a bright purplish-red with 2 black furry feelers nodding forward & backward when it crawls. The tail end is a grey blueish-green with black & red dots. All over its body are covered with fine long white silky strands of hairs. Isn't it cute? xD

Cutie Caterpillar on a dustbin top

Seems nice to touch, like a plush toy, no? NO! I might be a silly city girl, but I knew that in nature, especially with insects, reptiles, amphibians or certain marine creatures, anything that colorful or showy are the most dangerous & poisonous! I believe this caterpillar's bumble bee-looking back with false eyes is a bluff, a defense against predator & it's bright fanciful colors, a kind of warning sign. No way this little Hamster is gonna touch that little guy! =P
As it looked so lost on that dustbin, so my friend, using a leaf, carried it & put it on a bush nearby.

Caterpillar Leafy Highway

It doesn't seem to like it, so it was transferred to a tree which we thought it might had fallen from. This suited it better as it happily crawled up the trunk. We said good bye to it & went on our way.

Bye-bye Cutie Caterpillar! xD

Spent about 20mins trying to take good pics of this little guy with my cellphone camera as I didn't had my usual camera with me. Those above pics are the best ones. What a pity, coming across such beauty without my camera!
Even took a video of this little guy. The way it moved with its nodding feelers was really cute. You just gotta check it out. xD

Video of Cutie Caterpillar:

Was wondering what kind of caterpillar is it that looked so cute & beautiful. Thought to myself that it might morph into some brilliantly colored butterfly. Got home & search online for it. To my utter surprise, I was wrong. It's an Ugly Duckling story, in reverse! LOL! xD
It's a caterpillar of a dull Tussock Moth.

But I'm correct on 1 thing. These little critters are very poisonous.
Introduction to Tussock moth caterpillar poisoning:
A hairy, bright-colored caterpillar which can cause skin symptoms on contact with the hair. Inhalation of the hairs can cause respiratory symptoms and eye exposure can also result in symptoms. Patients with pre-existing asthma or atopic allergies may suffer more severe symptoms.

Symptoms of Tussock Moth caterpillar poisoning, mentioned from various sources, includes the 10 symptoms listed below:
* Urticaria
* Skin rash
* Conjunctivitis
* Wheezing
* Bronchospasm
* Itchy skin
* Red skin
* Skin swelling
* Respiratory problems
* Blistered skin

Now, that's scary. Cute & pretty, but deadly! So, unless you are very knowledgeable, please do not touch or handle anything that's cute, pretty or colorful in nature, especially of insects, reptiles, amphibians & some marine creatures. The prettier they look, the more dangerous & very poisonous they will be. Sounds like some females of the human species too eh? Get the drift? LOL! =P

Have a Great Weekend. xD


Friday, November 20, 2009

Leonid Meteor Shower

18th November ~ 3am on a cold Wednesday night, I eagerly went down to a park nearby. The park was quite brightly lighted & I wished for a darker place, but it will have to do. On the other hand, the sky was quite clear of clouds. Am I crazy or what? No, there was a reason for my crazy behaviors. First off, I'd a bodyguard with me & secondly, I'm sexcited with anticipation. I'm watching for the Leonid Meteor Shower.
Info about Leonid Meteor Shower: Link 1, Link 2.

Since young, I have a fascination of watching the sky, especially at night. I love star gazing! When in primary school, most children opts for Zoology Club as an ECA(Extra Curriculum Activity). Me & a very few others joined the Astronomy Club. This interest of sky gazing have stay with me till today. However, I am no hobbyist astronomer. I can name a few stars, planets & constellations. That's all to my knowledge of the sky. Anything with too much scientific or technological details, my mind will freeze & eyes graze over. I'd seen the Milky Way at Tioman & that magnificent sight overwhelmed me so much so that I am scare of it even! Without much profound knowledge, I'm just a little hamster who love to watch the sky. =P

In a bright city, it's not easy to see shooting star, but I'd managed to see a few colorful ones. My first encounter with meteor shower was also the Leonid Meteor Shower. It was in 1999, a little young schoolgirl with a few friends went to East Coast Park to watch the night show. That night, I counted 13 hairline streaks. When I saw on the news a few days ago that Leonid Meteor Shower will be visiting Earth again, I was pretty sexcited about it. That's why I was up on a cold morning at 3am, in a park clanking my head looking up at the night sky. In spite of being in a place much brighter than my first encounter with Leonid Meteor Shower, it was actually a more spectacular experience.
I counted 7, much less than my first time, BUT they were fantastic! From my first experience, I expected only hairline streaks. This time, what I saw wasn't anything I'm expecting! At 3.30am, when I sighted the first one, it was like a thick long blueish-green laser beam flashing across the sky! I wasn't expecting that! OMG! It was so UNBELIEVABLE! I was so shocked that I screamed so loud I might had frighten all the frogs, toads & crickets in the field! LOL! xD

My little point-and-shoot camera is not up to the task of photographing shooting star, hence the following image used was taken by Alan Holmes of Santa Barbara Instrument Group.

Leonid Meteor Shower Fire in the sky

What an awesome experience it was, watching the display given by Leonid Meteor Shower. I love shooting star & hope to see more of them. Oh... I always make a wish whenever I saw one & hope all my wishes come true. =P
Here for the record, shooting stars I had sighted so far:
1999 ~ Leonid Meteor Shower @East Coast Park. Counted 13 hairline streaks.
2004 ~ Green shooting star sighted at Pasir Ris Park traveling towards the North.
2006 ~ Slow moving orange fireball sighted at Bedok North Ave. 4, Blk. 85 hawker centre.
2008 ~ Blue shooting star sighted at Circuit Road hawker centre.
2009, 18 Nov ~ Leonid Meteor Shower @brightly lighted park near MacPherson. Counted 7 big bright ones.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum

27th October, Tuesday ~ This is an out-of-sequence entry. I'd meant to blog about this earlier, but other events took priority, like The French Stall official opening & Halloween which are previous entries in my blog. Nevertheless, I make up for this late entry with lots of fotos! xD

If you like aircraft, I mean military aircraft, not airliner, where would you go? You can station yourself near an airbase with camera at ready. Nowadays, that might not be a good idea. Most probably you will be arrested on suspicion as a spy or a terrorist. Haha... well, you can always wait for an air show to come by, but what if there isn't any at long period of time? The best course is to visit an air museum, like one which I went recently, the RSAF Museum or known as the Air Force Museum in Singapore.

Air Force Museum

I knew about the Air Force Museum for some time now, but couldn't find the time to visit it. Now, I can & frankly speaking, I'm sexcited! I love military aircraft! Ya, ya, ya... I know I am a weird girl. Many people thought so too! I love military stuffs, guns, tanks & best of all, those Big Bad Mean Warbirds! Not that I love war, but those tough fighting machines... something very macho about them, turns me on. I'm nuts! LOL! xD

Big Bad Mean Warbirds

The problem with me is I am not good at identifying them, except for a few types, like my favorite, the attack copter, awesome Apache. So every time I sees a military aircraft in the sky, I will go at my soulmate like 'What is that?" or "What does it do?" Luckily, my soulmate is quite the expert at ID-ing military aircraft. He is so good that he can ID an aircraft from just a glimpse of it's silhouette or from just its tail, wing or some other parts. He had tried to teach me, but I'm so lost with aircraft terminology. Therefore, the ID of aircraft in my pics are all by him.

Upon our arrival at the Air Force Museum, we were greeted by the marvelous sight of 2 aircraft in the air supported by pillar. WOW!

A-4S Skyhawk & Hawker Hunter

Look at all those fabulous warbirds! I can even walk up to many aircraft at the museum & touch them! Weeeeee... this is WILD! =P
And there's a BIG missile on display. My soulmate told me that's a SAM(Surface-to-Air Missile) used by ground force to knock down enemy aircraft. It's a Bloodhound & it's so very cool! Hanging from the ceiling are some small cute aircraft. I like to pilot those! Haha... but my aircraft guru said those are UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drones, flown by remote control, no pilot needed. Alright, alright... let me get my itchy little hands on those jet fighters! Correction, many of those are actually fighter-bombers or trainers as according to him! Grrr... let me have those copters there! xD

Jets & Props

Fixed wings & rotary wing

BAC Bloodhound

Ceiling display

After looking at the planes, my aircraft expert stated that quite a few of those aircraft were from the Vietnam War era. These are what he listed of aircraft currently displayed at the Air Force Museum:
Hawker Hunter F.74S
McDonnell Douglas A-4S Skyhawk
McDonnell Douglas TA-4SU Super Skyhawk
BAC Strikemaster Mk.84
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star
Aermacchi SF.260
Aermacchi S-211
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Bell UH-1B Iroquois or commonly known as the 'Huey'.
Aerospatiale SA 316B Alouette III
Eurocopter AS350
RQ-2 Pioneer UAV
together with 2 other UAVs or drones & of course the BAC Bloodhound missile.

Ok, lets get the technicality over with! I wanna play with those beautiful warbirds! LOL! xD

Hamster Crew Chief! =P

First, lets try out the choppers. Rewind back to Nam... watch out Charlie! Here comes Ride of The Valkyries! Gung Ho Hamster Air Cavalry ready to rock & roll! Birddog confirmed target. Gunships clear the field! This is a Free Fire Zone! Call in the air strike! I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Smells like victory! LOL! xD

Air Cavalry

Apocalypse Now!


And here comes the jets...

My Eagle Flights

HATO = Hamster Assisted Take Off xD

Time to bug out of Nam, Hamster! Get the hell back to The World. You have got a plane to catch. Props coming in. Props? Oh... propeller-driven aircraft are called 'props'.

To Catch a Flight! =P

Sigh... what an experience! With images of dogfights & firefights still fresh in my mind, I wandered around in a daze admiring strange items. What's this? A bomb, a missile? No, that's a fuel tank & that's a rocket pod. Over there hanging under a pylon is an air-to-air missile, a AIM-9 Sidewinder & stop grabbing the guns, silly girl!

Fire hydrant, engine trouble & my fat tank! =P

Lock on!


What are those funny markings on the aircraft? Those are national insignia to identify friend or foe. Some are either nose art or squadron insignia or warning signs.

National Insignias, past to present

Nose Art Girl! =P

On the day we were there, a group of NCC Air cadets were also visiting the museum. I wonder what they thought of the silly girl who was running around those hardwares posing for pics like crazy. xD

National Cadet Corps group pic

Above the hangar, on the 2nd level, there's an indoor gallery.


At the indoor gallery, rows of uniforms & suits are on display. Displays include terrain maps, air control boards, ordnance & some other gizmo too technical for my Hamster brain. However, I do get an idea on how an air force operates & my training for fighter pilot started there. xD

First, the uniforms...

From office wear to flight suit

Learn the call-signs, use the radar & always check your 6!

Air control, there's something on my tail! =P

Get acquaintance with the ejection seat & training in a simulator.

Eject the pilot trainee! xD

After my training, my Flight Commander gave me my very first mission.

My First Mission! =P

Flight Commander told me to go to the hangar, salute those veteran warbirds, don't twitch their tail or they will kiss your ass goodbye! Well... I'm a stubborn Hamster & I put those oldies to the test!

Salute, Tail Twitched & Butt Kissed! xD

Oh manz, those old machines really kick ass! Not much of them around now, but it's nice seeing them. Old soldier don't die. They just quietly fade away. Hopefully, some might end their glorious days as display for the younger generations to admire, like this little Hamster for one. Really enjoyed the experience! I didn't say goodbye to them, but instead, I bid them farewell. Fare you well, my friends. You will stay in my memory for a long long time. May your glory last forever! Au revoir!

Operational Check

Note: More and bigger pics in my Flickr album.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween 2009

31st Oct, Saturday ~ On the evening of Saturday, a She-devil whispered to my friend Felicia, "Lets be naughty. Go Halloween!" With cheeky eyes lighted up, she grabbed the She-devil & off we went to Halloween! xD

Felicia with She-devil

With some pretty companions, we went down to terrorize or spread sweet temptation at Clarke Quay, whichever works. xD

Halloween @Clarke Quay

Before we can do any mischief, we were arrested by the Bacardi team. Oh well, the more girls, the merrier! =P

Halloween Bacardi Girls! xD

After our release, we hit right off with many horrors or fancies of the night. Moo moo cows, screaming box-man, hunk of Viking & Hercules, angels, devils, ghouls, zombie, witches, belly-dancers, pharaohs, pirates, cowboys, geishas, street-fighters & even Michael Jackson was sighted! The night came creepy alive with burning eyes, terrible fangs, evil laughters, dripping blood & banshee screams... Oh, de HORRORS! xD

Sweet Halloween Characters

Fanciful Horrors

We hit the night spots, terrorizing Le Noir early in the evening.

Revelers @Le Noir

With Friends @Le Noir

The Macabre of Le Noir

Later, we went over to Attica. It was super crowded. Even the VIP room which I managed to get in was no better. It was barely moveable inside with only standing space. Party like sardines! LOL! xD

Party Animals

I left Attica after a while, escaped from Felicia & went to meet my former classmates at SOHO(Social House). =P

Gory former classmates

Less crowded at SOHO, but less costumes. Perhaps due to the much younger crowd there. They might not know what Halloween is anyway. xD
That thought crossed my mind coz earlier, we had a guy with us. He's near 30 of age, timid, never been to a club before & a complete virgin to Halloween. That night, he had sort of a culture shock. Wide-eyes bewilderedly staring at all those costumes around him, especially the girls! Apparently, after a while, he can't take it anymore, gave a lame excuse that he have to work the next day & left in a hurry. When I reached home after 4am, he's still on MSN, not asleep, giving doubt to his claim of needing to work in the morning. When I chatted with him online the next day, he put up an effort to covered up his lost of face/ego on the night of Halloween, acted pompous, trying to sound experience & knowledgeable, imposing his foolish ideals on me. I promptly shut him out of my life. What a wimpy pretentious geek he is! Good riddance to bad rubbish keyboard warrior!

Anyway, back to Halloween night...

Halloween Party @SOHO

With friends @SOHO

Nath came after finishing work & joined us @SOHO.

She-devil & Terror Schoolgirl

About 4 am, tired out, we called it a night. Enjoyed myself thoroughly & cya next Halloween! Btw, how do you like my costume? =P

Note: More and bigger pics in my Flickr album.