All posts by kchangetheworld

=801= Ponder: Fizzle

Midnight Diner is a really good show. Episode 22, is an episode on a manga artist that put his best into drawing manga, but he cannot seem to succeed and come up with a good enough story.

The guy got the best newcomer award, but he wasn’t able to sustain. He had a change of manager and he feels that he cannot work with her. He complains to his old manager, eventually the old manager told him plainly that his story is boring.

It gets really depressing when his girlfriend couldn’t take him anymore. He got really jaded because Manga was all that he had.

When I watched this episode, I realised some things. Saying something is bad, but not giving any suggestions to improve it is toxic as heck. The new manager first reaction to his work was that she laughed because it was so ridiculous. It was so bitchy, she actually knew that he wasn’t trying to be serious.

I remember the time when I received my poly interim report comments from KL. His words were, “This is the point where I would throw the report out of the window”

Man, it hurt. Both my buddy and I got similar comments and we just got so frustrated. Then when he came down to visit us. He sat us down and told us page by page on how to improve the report. He spent so much time with us, I am so grateful to him. In the end, both my buddy and I did extremely well for our internship.

There is a difference when you give a harsh comment and leave it there for the person the handle himself. There is no guidance and direction and you expect the person to be able to get better?

It also doesn’t help if you only give the artist samples of stuff it should be like. You are only telling him his stuff is bad and he should copy. Having a person beside you, telling you why something doesn’t work. That is how he will know where to work on and where to target.

If a story is boring, you should use your brain a little, think why is it boring? Is it pacing? Is it lack of development why? Simply telling an artist that what he produces is boring is simply not helpful.

It is indeed not that great to be too obsessed in one area. I once read this statement: don’t force a kid to practice 4 hours a day in his childhood. For he will only learn the rigors of music but not the joys of it. What good will his skill be if there is nothing to write about?

Indeed, if one doesn’t have life with stories to tell, how can one write good stories?

If you get way too obsessed with your craft, you will run into a trap where you are good at it, but there is nothing interesting. One should learn to be practical. One should learn more than one skill in life, for life often need more than just one skill.

How do one not be lost in a forest? By going over the proper path only. Or by continually visiting and exploring the forest to know the forest inside out.

There is really many ways to do one thing. Let’s not get hung up on just one.


=800= Word: Time

It may just be me, but I see the trend of people not respecting other people’s time. So many people don’t have a hint of respect.

From where I come from, people are busy and people are constantly doing something. When someone makes time for you, it is just common courtesy to respect that time.

Whether you need more time or something cropped up is honestly irrelevant. How you treat someone when something like that happens shows how much you respect someone.

If you made plans but something came up last minute, you can either be quick to apologise or simply not acknowledge anything. One is polite. One is plain rude.

If you promised someone that you will get something out by a certain date but you are unable to deliver by then, you can either apologise and say you need more time or you can not update at all and wait for them to chase. One assures the other party that you are working at it. One makes the other party think that you are being irresponsible.

If you scheduled a meeting and need to reschedule, you can either apologise in person or ask someone to reschedule for you. One makes the other party feel valued. The other doesn’t.

Perhaps I am too sensitive. If you know me, you will know that I put in effort to maintain a friendship I value. Day to day things like waving hi to a friend takes effort too. It would just be nice for the other party to wave back. Instead of thinking, “why must I wave back?” Maybe just try thinking, “this guy is putting in effort to wave, let’s reciprocate.”

Do we really want to put our walls so high? Is the world really all about you and what you want to do? Life is hard enough, I think we should try to make it less hard by respecting each other a bit more.


=799= Ponder: Serve

Can a Prostitute serve God in a church?

“What do you do?”

“Oh, erm, I work in the entertainment industry.”

“Oh cool! What do you do?”

“I entertain men…”

“Wait what?!”

I wonder how would anyone from a church react to that? As in I am really curious. How do we as a community of Christian people react to a person that has the desire to serve God, but the inability to get out of sin?

Inability to get of sin. Sounds like all of us Lord. Will everyone cling on to you? Will everyone realise that they are not better?

I wonder how would God’s people react? Indeed life is not easy, life as a Christian is probably harder, but Lord, you are worth it. Showing grace with firmness that was how you treated every individual. Teach us how to balance grace with law. Teach me Father.


=798= Reflections: Circuit Breaker

Honestly if you asked me, I would tell you I feel really unproductive. If Covid did not happen, I would be doing quite a few different things.

First, I would be recording vocals for the songs we wrote for the musical. This would be really fun to record, edit, mix and master. We were supposed to release our CD. It would have been the first CD I ever produced. I am proud of the songs we wrote and produced. The tracks we did are musical and unique. We really pushed ourselves to make something special.

Next, I probably would meet up with people every week. I enjoy chatting and sharing a meal with people that mean a lot to me. I have a few people that I haven’t caught up with in a long time. It would be great to finally be able to trade stories.

I would be cleaning up the messy and dirty Jamband room. Having the role of JB Pres is pretty cool. Haha, I now have a whole CCA to handle. First course of action, clean up the room. I would be so delighted if the room is clean and have no unnecessary clutter. Service spoiled equipment. Doing up some publicity for Jamband.

Instead, I am stuck at home. HAHA.

I feel unproductive of course, but I look back and I realised that I actually did quite a few things.

I learned many new programs, GIMP, Inkscape, Darktable and Davinci. It was born out of not wanting to pay for software, but I have learned how to use some pretty powerful software. I had no idea that I would be so reliant on Inkscape.

I produced quite a few videos to teach audio. I had an idea to do up some short 1 minute videos to explain audio concepts. It is getting increasingly difficult to produce because some audio concepts are just difficult to explain in a minute.

I designed quite a few shirts. Did mockups that I think is pretty cool. Designing is difficult. Anything is possible and yet designs are seldom unique. To come up with something special and yet visually appealing is really challenging. Collecting useful feedback and trying to improve on your work can really be a challenge.

I practiced drums a whole lot more. I have been practicing everyday. I am pushing myself to practice different concepts and patterns everyday. I am still working on timing of course, but having new and fresh stuff to practice each day is just really fun. I am pushing myself in terms of speed and accuracy. Been working a whole lot more on linear drumming.

I have been teaching online and I have been experimenting with new ways to help kids learn and have fun. I came up with a nifty game for them to play while practicing. I glean a whole lot from the new content created for the purpose of online learning.

I started exercising regularly. Running everyday. Making myself fitter and healthier. Hope to gain back my army fitness. HAHA.

I made some plans for Jamband, trying to make Jamband a fun and enriching place to play music.

I mixed some old projects. Mainly projects that I collaborate with friends from church. It is interesting. I think so differently now. My mind is clear and have a direction on where and what I what to do for a project. I think working with the MDs really made me more confident with my production.

Sure, it probably isn’t the most productive that I can be, but I think it is pretty decent! 🙂 It is sad that I can’t go out to take photos. It is disappointing that I can’t mix the songs I want to mix, but at the end of the day, I think this CB has been quite interesting. It made me do things I never thought I would do.

Friends that have taken a hit because of Covid, don’t be too disappointed, having a break is really so rare in life. Rest. Enjoy it! This might become a period of time that you look back and miss.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with so much. Help me to continue to follow you, for it really is difficult. Help me to work hard for the cell. I feel inadequate to lead, but Father you are with me, help me to hold on to you. Help me have a proper relationship with you. Thank you Lord. -Amen-


=797= Word: Damage Control

I actually never thought that damage control was that important until recently. It is so essential.

I always reason with just don’t hurt anyone, but I was naive to think it was enough.

Just let us take a look at the Covid situation. It was impossible to prevent it from happening at the source, all we can do is damage control. This damage control is SOOOO important.

This damage control determines the death rate. This damage control determines the countries’ morale and trust in the authorities. This damage control separates the capable from the incompetent.

This goes further to life as well. When you hurt someone, what do you? When you accidentally spoiled or lost something, what will you do?

Just think of the responses that one could have. One could own up to the mistake made or one could deny any relation to the issue. One could blame another. One could take responsibility for another. Of course, some responses are more helpful than others.

There is honestly no need to blame anyone when a situation is too bad. Does it achieve anything? Does it help the situation when you push responsibility to someone else? Come on, man up, work your ass off and fix the problem!

Truly, I have underestimated the importance of damage control. Help em to be wise to know what to do if I ever was put in a situation where I have to do damage control.


=796= Word: Ghosts That Haunts Us

When we become adults, there are people that we avoid. Perhaps an ex, perhaps a family member, perhaps someone you haven’t had a proper conversation in 7 years. These people are people that haunt us.

When we see them, we try our very best to hide from them. A feeling grips you by the spine and almost on instinct, we run away. We hide behind someone. We look in another direction.

A few days ago, while lying in bed, I had a conversation with God. I chatted casually the way I would and I received 3 names to text. With much zealousness, I said ok I will text them in the morning. I accepted it well I think. Then as I continued to talk to God, I found myself getting more scared to do so. I went from, “Ok God, I will” to “God, why do I have to do it?”

Funny creatures aren’t we? We promise things before we are sure that we can deliver. We say things with faith in one moment and cower in fear in the next. Nevertheless, I did what I promised and texted them.

I honestly only expected one reply from the three. That was because we made up before and was on good terms. I asked a few good friends what they think if their ex just suddenly text them out of the blue. (I don’t have an ex btw, I was just curious) Many of them told me they would be uncomfortable and unsettled.

I really gave it some thought and I really thought that it could be quite nice. If two individuals that parted on bad terms, both matured to be better people, could have a proper conversation and just catch up with each other. It is honestly getting to know a new person again. You both went on to become very different people and now when we catch up, man I have so many years worth of content and stories to share with you.

I would love to see how you have changed as much as I would love for you to see how much I have changed.

When time has separated two individuals for such a long time, we often forget the conflict that led to the separation. Why did we fight? Why did we do the things we have done?

I know that if I was the man I am now, I would have handled the situation a lot better. I wouldn’t have said stuff that I regret. I would have paid more attention to important things.

Anyway, 2/3 replied. That was better than I could have hoped for. God, thank you for this blessing. I faced three ghosts that haunted me. I at least got a bit of response. Lord, help me to stop cringing at the mistakes I have made. Help me to learn to live life the way you want me to. I pray that I can reconnect and talk to people authentically. Help me Lord.

If you are one of the three reading this. I just want to say sorry for hurting you. I have grown to be a very different person. If you would like to reconnect, trust me, it is possible. I know because I have seen some relationships sour and restored before. Lets be good friends again.


=795= Word: Free Software

About one and a half years back, my Adobe License expired. A little context for you, I use:

  • Adobe Lightroom for photo editing
  • Adobe Photoshop for intricate photo editing and composition purposes. (Not to mention, some telegram stickers creation! HAHA)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro for Video Editing
  • Adobe Media Encoder to convert file formats
  • Adobe  Illustrator for logo design

When it expired, boy was it difficult to produce what I want to produce. Adobe Creative Cloud is by a subscription service. It collects a monthly fee for the software. It is usually S$69.72 per month for all the software or S$13.14 for the photography plan, which only includes Lightroom and Photoshop. Students have a special price of S$26.30 for all the software, which is honestly a pretty good deal! Except that, I wasn’t a student back then…

I was going to be a student, so I was wondering if it was possible to get a cheaper registration early. Just so I could complete my lyrics video for 离别的拥抱. I even tried IMovie. Which even for a free software, I think they cut out way too many essential capabilities. That honestly threw me off a little as I thought that I might purchase Final Cut Pro. Like Logic Pro X, it was a one time payment, so in the long term, it won’t incur additional charges. I like that about a program as I can count on that software all the time, not worrying how long my subscription would last.

Just when I thought that I would get the subscription plan as a student, I contacted my friend that is still in poly. I managed to get access to all the software again! WHOO! It was quite liberating as I could do everything I wanted to do. I could edit photos I took in Indonesia. I could finish my Lyric video. I could do so much! For the whole period, it was very comfortable having this software in my laptop for me to use. Then, recently, the Adobe License expired again. Hias….

This time was the real deal, I really had to either buy the software subscription or find some other software to replace my Adobe ones.

Some things changed from back then. I started studying in university. In uni, there is no software provided. ._. They actually taught us a lot of free source software. Software like Unity 3D was a lot of fun to play around with. I was really impressed with the community for Unity 3D. There are so many tutorials and instructions to help you build in Unity.

I also made a friend that is really good at video editing in hall. He told me that he uses Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve to edit videos. He even told me that Davinci is the future because it is free. That stuck in my brain, because I have never heard of this program and this is the future? Wow!

So when I needed to edit videos, my first course of action was to download Davinci Resolve and boy was I blown away. The free version is fantastic! I love the workflow, I love the tools and there is no need to render the edited video! It saved so much time! The colour editting tools is so good that I honestly kinda hate how bad I am at colour grading now. I actually thought that Davinci was better than Premiere. It did not crash at all throughout the three videos I edited.

When I experienced how great Davinci was, I can’t help but think there would be good free software to replace the software I use.

The software that I need the most is one to replace Lightroom. Lightroom is a photo editing software which helps with sorting photos and curating images. It has a photo library which really helps to filter out photos you want or batch edit photos. I first tried Rawtherapee. Rawtherapee doesn’t have a photo library which made photo editing quite clunky.

In photography, quite a lot of effort goes into curating. Everyone takes bad photos, even the best photographers, the only difference is that photographers curate the best photos to show people. Curating is EXTREMELY important. Hence, Rawtherapee failed in this aspect. Hence, I found Darktable. Darktable is awesome. HAHA. It has a photo library. The tools are plentiful, there is a favourites tab to customise with you favourite functions. There is a work around for batch editing. It definitely isn’t Lightroom, the work process is different, but it is just as powerful. It is just a matter of getting used to, so I decided to settle on Darktable as my replacement for Lightroom.

During the same period, I had a need to Photoshop some photos for a project in school. The replacement for Photoshop is GIMP. GIMP acts very differently from Photoshop. There is no Layer via Cut or Layer via Copy. That made life quite difficult for the first few times I used GIMP. The tools is really not too bad! Powerful tools, but it took a while to get used to. Now I have a proper work flow after using GIMP so many times.

I started a new project recently and I need graphics for it. You will be surprised at how difficult it is to find proper graphics for it. There is often a need to pay for graphics. For the free ones, there is a need to reference the source, which isn’t difficult, but just difficult to look exactly what I want. Hence I found Inkscape, a vector software. Inkscape is REALLY good. Give it a try if you are interested to go into vectors. It is really good. Interface and usability wise is really quite great! As of now, I have made 4 illustrations and it looks pretty decent! 🙂

That concludes my journey finding free software to replace my Adobe software. I am really pleased.

  • Davinci Resolve replaced Premiere Pro
  • Darktable replaced Lightroom
  • GIMP replaced Photoshop
  • Inkscape replaced Illustrator

I think that more attention should be given to free and open source programs. These are programs that are available to everyone. Having so many powerful software available, it empowers whoever that wants to learn to actually have access to professional grade software. Anyone can have access, this means collaborations will be easier. Free software will bring a revolution to the industry. Please do give these software a try, they are free and very powerful!


=794= Word: Friction

Friction is an amazing thing. Our lives won’t be able to function without friction. Think about it!

No running is possible. You won’t be able to even walk, you will slip and fall. You won’t be able to pick up anything. Nothing will ever stay still.

When it comes to collaborative works, friction is needed as well. If there are no disagreements, no one will try to improve what they have and the end product will be something mediocre. You may think that what you have did perfect, but many people will disagree with you.

Of course, there are times when too much friction causes more harm than good. Too much friction prevents you from moving. Too much friction in a creative project makes the process unbearable.

Having just the right amount of friction is key to working with each other. Just enough to refine the work. Just enough to push the person to strive for more. Just enough to make a good work without spoiling a perfectly good relationship. Indeed, managing this friction between people is such a valuable skill.

Lord, help me to learn how to manage this friction.


=793= Melancholic Reflections: Trauma

Funny isn’t it?

You can get so far doing something and something happens and you realise that nothing much really changed.

You are still that boy that messes up.

I really wonder. When will life change for the better?

Lord, will you please give me strength?

Holding on to you is honestly not the easiest thing to do.

Lord, it is honestly easier to go against what you say. It is easier to lie. It is easier to just go after whoever I want. It is easier to live however I want.

I sometimes wonder how different it would be if I decided to live life doing everything easier?

Lord, but I know that it is worth it. Keep my heart still. Help me hold on to you without any grievances. Father, your design is better than mine.

Lord, where does courage come from? Lord, only you would know. Courage comes from you. The courage to walk right into a trap that you know will kill you. The courage to die for the sheep you lead. The courage gathered by holding on to your Father. Lord, help me have that courage.

Life is not easy Lord. It truly isn’t. Help me. Help me to hold on to you.