Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So bowled over

Nearing the end of the year, construction work on site is moving into overdrive. However, off-site, things are ramping up as well.

If you happened to be walking past the bowling alley in Marina Square after work on Sep 16, I hope you were not shocked by the screams emanating from the group of over 80 Universal Studios Singapore Park Ops personnel having a game or two of bowling there.

Yup, they were feisty, they were loud and they were definitely screaming themselves hoarse. And all these were part of having fun of course.

Two buses were chartered for this first team building event, organized by the FUN Committee.

The participants, mostly garbed in the bright orange tees of Universal Studios Singapore vPark Ops, descended upon the quiet Marina Square on a cool drizzly night and turned it riotous. Starting from 7pm, for two hours, they bowled, howled (probably more than they bowled!) and had a blast.

Universal Studios Singapore's Park Ops' John Hallenback giving his speech

The captive audience

"When will his long lecture end?"

The event kicked off with some words of wisdom from John Hallenbeck, the USS Park Ops Director.

Not to be outdone, Nelson Chan (below), the event organizer, followed up with instructions on the flow of the night’s events.

Ater this, the group helped themselves to the buffet while the bowling lanes were opened for some trial throws. The event proper commenced at around 7:20pm and the screams didn’t subside until nearly two hours later.

The mad rush for food

Da Boss shows who's boss

Meanwhile the award for the team with the highest aggregate score went to team 17 comprising of Fu Shiqi, Paul Yuen, Chan Chee Wah, Huang Huimin and William Ang. They won a set of Vivocity shopping vouchers.

She bowled us over with her prowess..

The most-likely-to-improve awards went to Andrea Ng for her individual score and team 5, comprising of Joey Guo, Tan Qiuhua, Fey Cho, Joshua Nathaniel and Iffah Suhaila. They won the encouragement prizes: The Cruise to Nowhere AKA Float for Miss Andrea and Exotic Dinner AKA instant noodles for the team.

The winners of the 'exotic' dinner prize

She can't bowl, but now can float!

We are expecting great things from them the next time round!

Everyone gathered for a final round of photo-taking and there were, not surprisingly, more screams.

With more people coming on board as the time nears opening, future events would undoubtedly become larger in scale. And you can be sure they will definitely be ear-shatteringly loud indeed.

So pooped

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who is Jimmy Sho?

Jimmy has been with RWS since October 2007. He joined the Projects team that is currently busy completing construction of the IR, specifically dealing with one of the attraction in the Universal Studios theme park.

The idea was to see what goes into the process of getting an attraction from the drawing boards all the way into reality.

His interest lies in a multitude of disciplines. His main and probably first long-lasting interest is in the written word. For the longest time since he could possibly remember, he loves to read: he prefers fiction but any well written (read: not dry) non-fiction works just fine.

He's currently especially interested in books on alternate history, psychology and morality. But he’s ready to pick up books from any genre: thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, adventure, romance, life, current issues, technical, self-help, magazines, reviews etcetera.

In fact if you have something to recommend, he would really love to hear them.

He also likes to share his thoughts but seldom professes to have much to share. At least that’s what he thinks. And that’s also the reason he gives for his constantly un-updated blogs – yes he has a few, though he should probably consolidate them all into one. Unfortunately (or rather perhaps fortunately since he seldom updates), he is probably only rambling about inane stuff. But he digresses...

When he’s not reading, he enjoys his computer games. He used to go on a gaming spree for up to 48 hours at a go. His friends reportedly mentioned that Jimmy once slept for 36 hours at a go. He refuses to validate or deny that statement.

He loves his RPG – role-playing games. But he’s always ready to play any games, as long as they are fun, has great gameplay, good storyline, excellent user interface. He doesn’t care much about graphics, music or sound effects – as long as they are good enough to bring across the message or mood; visceral and aural stimulation is secondary to the vast worlds his imagination allows him to visit.

He prefers games on the PC – nothing beats the control the mouse and keyboard gives, especially when matched against the clumsy controllers on the consoles (sorry, he remains thoroughly unconvinced that FPS – first person shooters – are worth playing on the consoles). Unfortunately, he has less and less time nowadays to commit himself to this passion of his.

That’s because...

Jimmy’s too busy indulging in two of his most recent ‘hobbies’: in-line skating and running. He dabbled with roller blades when he was still a young ‘un. It was only in December 2007 did he buy his first pair of in-line skates, the K2 Exo Alu, and he went nuts with them.

He went skating every Saturday and Sunday; he makes time if he couldn’t find time. He was so crazy about it he even tried skating after work on Fridays. Now that didn’t work out too well; the paths were a little too dark for his liking.

His favourite haunt was, and still is, the relatively straight and flat paths along East Coast Park. Distance and speed are his mainstay workout as he’s not yet limber or agile enough to perform the tricks of aggressive skating.

He took a break from skating, literally, after a bad fall in which he fractured his left humerus in May 2008. But that didn’t deter him and he’s back to it after a near 6-months hiatus. And still loving it.

You can usually find him breezing along East Coast Park on both weekends, unless he was taking a trip or running his legs jelly in a race in some other part of Singapore; sometimes you may even find him running a race at ECP.

So what was that about running?

After his 'failed experiment' skating after work on weekdays, he wondered if he could do something else. Something like... running! You just need a pair of good shoes, some lighting, a running path relatively free from vehicular access and you can run your heart out.

He started running sometime in February 2008 after being influenced by his friend to sign up for the Sundown Marathon 2008. Now perhaps you may think he’s crazy to sign up for such an extreme distance after 20 over years of near sedentary lifestyle and you are absolutely right, he was nuts!

Little did he know the pain people put themselves through running a marathon but ‘luckily’ for him, the accident with the skates put him off any physical activities for at least 3 months. As the marathon was slated for end of May 2008, that was definitely a no go.

Not feeling grateful that he missed out on his serving of pain, he signed up again for Sundown Marathon 2009. This time he ran, he wept, he walked, he limped and he practically crawled his way past the finish line.

And not merely content with the pain he suffered (and upset with his timing) he promptly signed up for the next marathon in town – the Standard Chartered Marathon 2009, held annually on the first Sunday in December.

In between marathons, he trains 3 times a week. Recently he has been participating in a multitude of ‘shorter’ distances races aka the 10-kms and 10-milers. He’s been trying to get in more long runs in between the hectic race schedules and also having enough rest so that he does not get himself injured.

Jimmy is now looking forward to his latest project: unloading his mundane ramblings weekly. Hopefully the masses wouldn’t just disappear like the dodo bird when his mind starts wandering and his fingers start dancing.