Monday, July 31, 2006

Dragon Tiger Gate

Watched the movie with V today.

For fans of wuda films, this is quite a worthy watch. It's got Donnie Yen, who V thinks looks better and better with age. I have to agree.

Shawn Yue and Nicholas Tse provided more of the "must see" factor for some.

There were scenes where it actually does look like a hair shampoo ad. Or that it was some modelling effort by the three guys for some hair salon.

Panda Cigarettes

I have a box (empty) from a friend.

I was searching high and low (kinda) on the interweb for the picture of the cigarette box. Damn difficult to find. Actually, I found only the green pack version. Probably from yesteryears or for the local market.

the box my friend passed to me is the yellow varietal. when v saw the box last friday, she gave the same remark as Mrs Nixon when she was seated next to Premier Zhou En Lai in 1972.

the pandas on the box are so cute - it's a girl thing.

I'll post the picture of the box soon.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I was so bored that I keyed into the browser.

then I keyed in

something is indeed more interesting than nothing. hahahahaha....<===signs of boredom.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Was at the winebar last night with ys, v, wy and a host of other guy friends of ys from "the service'.

It's amazing how many people don't know where winebar is.
It's even more amazing that my friends, along with myself, assume that by the mere mention of "winebar", it should mean the cosy (sometimes warm, occasionally hot) bar at the side of Zouk.

Well, truth is, not everybody knows where the winebar is. And there are winebars and there is the winebar.

After a few drinks, wy and I were complaining how we are both being neglected by v cause now she has a concubine new gf. that means that v has got one bf *fingers crossed*, gf 1 and gf 2. So gf 1 is feeling threatened and complaining about the lack of "representation" on v's friendster. well, apparently gf 1 hasn't toured with v so accordingly she'll have less representation. Since we both - I am forming an alliance with wy here - have less time and energy to lavish on v, we are increasingly sidelined. =(
We are apparently found lacking in glibness as well (besides time and energy). I am patenting this phrase: "I don't think I can [insert activity here] but I really don't want to let you down." or something to that effect.

It's tough to share.

mental note: Eating frog leg porridge after 2 lychee martinis, 2 water-melon martinis, a screwdriver and a jug of vodka cranberry is not satisfying. Frog porridge does not mix well with alcohol.

If Mary Jane Thinks - what a lame title.

Nick Drake weaves magic.

I once wrote about Nick Drake. That must have been sometime back.

I picked up on Nick Drake cause supposedly, people who like Belle & Sebastian, Kings Of Convenience, Starsailor, Jeff Buckley and majority of the bands/singers belonging to the New Acoustics Movement, should find Nick Drake's music equally engaging.

Well, I'm not a top-notched fan of his music. But I must say that most of his stuff deserves more than a listen. It's easy to research on his music because it is not extensive. He only had three complete albums. But to estimate the extent of his influence, that would be very difficult. Jack Johnson listens to him. So does Graham Coxon (formerly of Blur). REM. Norah Jones, Beck. So any convergence? Not very likely. Duncan Sheik? (damn, I still can't get my hands on his latest White Limousine album)

Who is Mary Jane? And why is Nick interested in her thoughts? Mary Jane is a slang for marijuana no? Is this another song that makes reference to drugs? damn....again?

Maybe in a virtuous world, Mary Jane is that person whom you've always wanted to know completely yet do not. She has the laugh, the cry, the smile of everyman and she shows them but there are semblance of unknown deeper emotions that remain tethered, ravelled and trapped. And the magic of the song is that there is no suggested solution. No solution as to finding out what she is thinking of or why she is thinking of them. It doesn't sing as if it's something wrong. It is sung as a question. Who can know. Not should, would, must, will or may even.

But we do not live in a virtuous world. Quite the opposite. So this is a song with drug references.

Thoughts Of Mary Jane

Who can know
The thoughts of Mary Jane
Why she flies
Or goes out in the rain
Where she's been
And who she's seen
In her journey to the stars.

Who can know
The reasons for her smile
What are her dreams
When they've journeyed for a mile
The way she sings
And her brightly coloured rings
Make her the Princess of the sky.

Who can know
What happens in her mind
Did she come from a strange world
And leave her mind behind

Her long lost sighs
And her brightly coloured eyes
Tell her story to the wind.

Who can know
The thoughts of Mary Jane
Why she flies
Or goes out in the rain
Where she's been
And who she's seen
In her journey to the stars.

Nick Drake

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

And I leave you with a song

I was going to post the lyrics of Nick Drake's Thought Of Mary Jane but decided to do it only this weekend. It's because as I was about to craft this entry, I thought Nick's song deserves a little bit more ommph to it. Kinda.


These are the words to the song Have You Forgotten by the fantabulous Red House Painters. There was a time when I was younger, like before or during JC years, I was really looking at the 4AD stable of artists. There were the Thievery Corporation, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins and Red House Painters of course. At that time, there was this local magazine called ETC. I remember reading a glowing review of Mark Kozelek's album - Ocean Beach. Don't wanna dismiss the rest of the band but really it's Mark's show, usually. And that album was kinda his solo outing. But this song, Have You Forgotten (unfortunately picked up and used in the movie Vanilla Sky) and All Mixed Up are found in Songs For A Blue Guitar. He was actually in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous playing a small-ish role.

And the funniest thing is, I don't own a single Red House Painters' album. I have not watched Vanillan Sky. Not watched Almost Famous. But who cares really.

Have You Forgotten

I can't let you be
Cause your beauty won't allow me
Wrapped in white sheets
Like an angel from a bedtime story
Shut out what they say
Cause your friends are fucked up anyway
And when they come around
Somehow they feel up and you feel down

When we were kids
We hated things our parents did
We listened low
To Casey Kasem's radio show
That's when friends were nice
To think of them just makes you feel nice
The smell of grass in spring
And October leaves cover everything

Have you forgotten how to love yourself?

I can't believe all
The good things that you do for me
Sat back in a chair
Like a princess from a faraway place
Nobody's nice
When you're older your heart turns to ice
And shut out what they say
They're too dumb to mean it anyway

When we were kids
We hated things our sisters did
Backyard summer pools
And Christmases were beautiful
And the sentiment

Of coloured mirrored ornaments
And the open drapes
Look out on frozen farmhouse landscapes

Have you forgotten how to love yourself?

Red House Painters

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Half The World Away

I like the first verse of the song by Oasis.

I would like to leave this city
This old town don't smell too pretty and
I can feel the warning signs running around my mind
And when I leave this island I'll book myself into a soul asylum
And I can feel the warning signs running around my mind

What do we get after May is all these calls for price increase. Great timing. Inevitable, but sigh.... I must acknowledge that it's a tax that affects those who use it. But it's public transport lor. And there is no alternative. Oh, yes, bicycles and walking. Or just stay home more.

Now SMRT saying they are going to raise their prices too.
Yesterday the NEL broke down because "Investigations showed a wire which supplies traction power to the trains had come loose." I think that was the "initial" investigation. Cause a wire coming loose, to the laity, should mean tightening the said wire.

But it was close for the rest of the day. It should have been more than a loose wire.

Turns out it was a power line that had snapped. And the reason why it took soo long to recover.....Director of Rail Operations Alex Goei used the mother of all reasons. "Comprehensive tests would then have to be run to ensure the system was safe, he said." Nobody I know can argue with safety.

I reminded myself that I did economics in university so that I can learn about things like information asymmetry, George Akerlof and Kenneth Arrow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Garden Weddings were not invented in the tropics

Not unless you intend to be standing at the altar in nothing but a leaf wrapped around while your wife-to-be stands almost buck naked, with perhaps empty coconut husks for the top and a make-shift skirt weaved from palm fronds for the bottom.

Let down and hanging around

After not being able to buy any Jim O'Rourke or Duncan Sheik, I ended up buying the debut album by Thom Yorke (some guy from Radiohead) called The Eraser, the new Keane album - Under The Iron Sea and Retrospective - a compilation of Natalie Merchant's singles and since it was the limited edition set (yeah, set me back by $40 odd), it had the non-official releases and stuff.

The Eraser sucks. Sounds like a bastard off shoot of Idioteque from Kid A. Repeated over 9 tracks, as if allowing Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich masturbate into my ears. There are moments of brilliance but the brightest spark is repeated. So the brilliance is diminished. Perhaps I've been listening to too much "normal" and "radio-friendly" stuff, but unlike Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief, this album is like Thom Yorke's collection of "songs that did not make the cut", packaged and released to recover the massive amount of taxes he had to pay. Ok, I'm being extremely harsh here. I've given the album about 5 listens. Maybe it's a grower. Who knows.

Under The Iron Sea? I am a little irritated by how close this album sounds like the previous, Hopes And Fears. At least for me, Coldplay tried to move away from Parachutes, although still kept things safe. But Keane, stay along the straight and narrow. It's not bad. In fact, I may grow to like it. But I'm just complaining...

Natalie Merchant? There's nothing not to like about this collection.

I have also bought Stadium Arcadium but have not listened to it once. Damn....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pattaya - Healthland Spa

I was telling V about the two traditional thai massages that I had when I was in Pattaya. One of the super budget no frills offer with dubious shower facilities while the other is this new joint:

Healthland Spa

Had the 450baht traditional thai massage. Massage auntie made me learn a new thai word - jebb. As in "ebb" but with J sound in front.

Jeb in thai means pain.

I don't really have to say that word. Or "jeb mak mak" which translate to "much pain". I just scream.

That was what I was doing for a quarter of the time, wringling in pain. Half the time was laughing at my plight. And the rest of the time I was actually feeling sabai - another thai word meaning "feeling good".

Cancer Girl and Pisces Guy

Haha, I had an hour to spare so was watching Guess Guess Guess.

At the same time was googling for some match ups on the internet. Cause V is a cancer girl who celebrated her birthday last week so it was focussed on cancer girl and pisces guy.

It generated a lot alot of boring stuff like:

You and a Pisces Guy: Clingy and affectionate sweethearts. Without saying a word, you understand each other perfectly. He'll never let you out of his sight!

Like narbeh lor. Say I clingy. Actually that's what I detest. Makes me sound like some "big brother" - never let you out of his sight....duh.

Then there are more generic stuff:

Together, Cancer girl and Pisces boy ooze with mutual love and devotion. You both understand each other in ways that would perplex an outsider, and somehow, you always know the right thing to say when the chips are down. Nurture and honor this dating combo, because it could be a keeper.

I think the above is potentially troubling. In that we both understand each other so well and know the right thing to say but refuse to say it, in spite.

I'm a little undecided on this one:


The Pisces guy is an artist: creative, intuitive and expressive. His emotional radar is so sharp that he picks up every feeling of those around him. The most sensitive sign of the zodiac, he needs to retreat every now and then to process the things he absorbs, tune out outside influences and relax. His imagination is unparalleled, and his wit is over the top. This guy just "gets" people and the essence of the human game. He is spiritual, compassionate and visionary. On the flip side, he can be moody and withdrawn, since he escapes into his fantasies and dreams. Whatever you do, treat this guy with kid gloves and never, ever yell at him or confront him.


If you want a fabulous escape from reality, this is your guy.


Pisces will take you to places you've never been before! He is the master of fantasy and illusion, and he'll come up with some pretty spectacular variations on the usual between-the-sheets activity.


He has trouble with structure and boundaries. He could really use your help channeling his creative energies, in love, art or the like.

The first link (...places you've never been before!) links to a blurb on multiple orgasms, oral sex and tantric sex....the second link (....channeling his creative energies...) links to a site on being artistic. Those are very tall order...while being artistic is subjective, multiple orgasms, well, you either have it or you don't. Pisces guy or not. So funny wor hahaha.

Then there is this other one that actually gives some practical advice but makes Pisces guy to be rather self-centred (not denying):

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) The secret to catching this guy is to make him need you: Listen to him - he really needs that! - and show tenderness, since he is very, very sensitive to tenderness. He sees through Pisces-colored glasses a lot of the time, so your own perspective needs a firm base in fact, or else you'll be forever bobbing about on his latest mood swing. But he is kind and gentle, with the most inspiring qualities of spirituality, and a wise man inside him emerges at the oddest times. He is absent-minded and sometimes hopelessly impractical, and when he gets to feeling sorry for himself, you could kill him. But he will be a wonderful father, and he will stand by you through thick and thin, sometimes using his intuition to bring astounding good fortune into your life.

I would have thought listening is important. Pisces guy or not. I do think I am hopelessly impractical. And worthy of murder when I start feeling sorry for myself. Woe IS me.

But the one that I really really like is this one:

Read it yourself here.

A few choice lines that impressed me:

He's a dreamboat who lives for romance, and his hypnotic charisma will leave you weak at the knees and breathless.

Unfortunately, he's so in love with himself that you don't stand a chance.

The male Fish is the emotional black hole of the universe.

This guy learned at an appallingly young age how to weasel his way out of work and charm his way into bed. <=== I dunno about bed but I've been smiling my way out of sticky situations. Not that many actually, cause usually I would have taken early avoidance actions and not get into sticky situations. He's definitely sensual, sexy, and cute, in a debauched sort of way. <=== I love this one in particular but V says she is not into cute guys, so I'm not cute. I definitely not sexy. I dress conservatively. Debauchery! I like! =) The Fish can leave you full of his declarations of undying love, drive straight to his favourite watering hole, and pick up the first available body. <=== female body lah, I hope. And still warm. All bluff and no substance, Mr Fish is a cast of thousands and even he doesn't know what scene he'll play next. But since he does like role-playing, you could pretend you're the Lone Ranger and ride into the sunset. <=== Haha, V can attest to this. I can dream up movie plots (B-grade) on the fly. I could have been Ed Wood in my previous life.

At The Touch Of Love, Everyone Becomes A Poet

The title of this entry is a quote by Plato.

Weirdly, his name lends itself to a relationship devoid of physical desire.

However, we use it to decribe love between two person, not necessarily of different sex, that does not include physical intimacy. Viewed in this light, the laity is convinced that it is to be used to describe a relationship between friends. Pure and simple.

Which is weirder still. An intimacy that transcends physical states. Isn't this love existing on a higher plane than non-platonic love? One that is on a spiritual level, a love that links two person beyond the physical realm, intangible but does not require proximity to be expressed.

So while conventionally, we think that platonic relationships does not connote physical desires, it perhaps should be the level that relationships seek to attain. That which lies beyond the tangible. Not constraint by geography. Free from rules and laws of physics yet binds two person in a recondite manner.

On the contrary, platonic relationship, though pure, is not simple simple. It shouldn't be. It cannot be. Platonic relationships have spiritual love. Therein lies the pureness of platonic relationships. That is supposedly more desirable than physical love. So platonic relationships is simple in the sense that it is non-physical but spiritual in nature. But it is not simple in the sense that it is difficult to attain.

I think we all probably have the best chance of a platonic relationship when we were younger. The magic of puppy love is not knowing that it will end.

read this entry with this and this

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pattaya - Sin City

Pattaya is about 45 minutes drive away from Sattahip. It's the main city where alot of US armed forces servicemen go when they are on R and R. In Pattaya, it's mainly the 3 "S'. It's not the sand, sun and sangria associated with Spanish beaches, it's more like sleaze, sex and Singha beer. Pattaya is not one of those beach resorts where you can take your family to. Unless your family consists of your brothers in your army unit.

As much as they try to get away from their Sin City image, it's almost impossible to. The famed Walking Street, a pedestrianised row of shop houses that is closed to traffic from 7pm - 2am, bills itself as Asia's biggest adult playground. Along the street you'll find a-go-go bars, agogo bars and a-gogo bars. There are themes like "dolls", "classroom", "european" and actually, I'm sure you can ask for anything and with enough bahts, you can have it.

There is a strip of beach front but the quality of the beach cannot be compared to Phuket, Koh Samui or most of the other famous beach resort places in Thailand. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to go to Pattaya except for the sex industry.

So when I saw the numerous Chinese and Taiwanese tourists, bringing along their families, it occurred to me that with enough advertising, you can hoodwink anybody.

The many farangs or angmohs there, mainly from Australia, United States, Germany and England all have one thing in common. An ugly tan and a longhand dictionary in tow. What's a longhand dictionary? Well, it's one of those girls for rent that becomes your guide. But they do more than guiding them around Pattaya. Farang means guava in Thai actually. So the locals laugh when they spot a farang eating guava.

Getting around Pattaya is really easy. The modified pick ups allow anybody to hop on and off and can cost anything between 5-20 baht. The motorcycle rides are costlier but they zip around traffic that can build up anytime of the day really fast.

I made a suit in Pattaya. Tailor made for about SGD150. Cashmere wool. But seriously, I doubt if the material is really that fantastic. It's cheaper than a normal G2000 suit and it fits really well (there were two fittings). Apart from that, I basically spent most of the time on the road traveling between Bangkok Airport and Pattaya, Pattaya and Sattahip.

I don't know any Singaporean who go to Pattaya for a holiday. I have been to Pattaya 3 times. Once in 1998, another in 2002 and the most recent trip just days ago. Not once did I go on my own accord. But I would like to head to Phuket in the 9th Lunar month though. For the vegetarian festival.

Sattahip - Military City

I was out of town for 3 days. Some "duty visit" to Sattahip. There's a Royal Thai Navy base at the town's Chuk Samet Harbour. Actually, the Sattahip Commercial Port is owned by the Thai Navy. So it's not that "commercial" afterall. The U-Tapao International Airport (the only "international commercial" flight operating regularly to and from the U-Tapao - IATA Code: UTP would be the Korean Airways' flights from Incheon Airport) which is within the Chonburi Province, which Sattahip is in as well, is more a military airport than commercial. The US military uses it whenever there are exercise requirements. The Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was in Sattahip when I was there. He is a qualified military pilot (fixed and rotary wings) and was using the U-Tapao Airport. His picture was placed prominently along main junctions of the town. The town people, mainly military personnel and their family, are quite used to it. He flies rather frequently and goes to Sattahip quite regularly.

Some of the lesser known tourist attractions (if you wish to call them that) are the Silverlake Winery and the Khao Chi Chan Buddha Image. The former is a vineyard (yes, amazing) jointly developed by the Dutch as part experiment, part tourist attraction, part social policy.....encased by the rolling hills of Chonburi Province, you can almost picture a piece of Napa Valley in the area. Further down the road is the Khao Chi Chan Buddha Image. According to my host, it was supposed that someone rather important thought the face of the mountain was very suited for a carving of the Buddha. After tests were carried out, it was determined that the granite face was crumbling and not suited for extensive works to be done on it safely. Hence "lasering" was used to inlay "gold" on the mountain face. Well, that's where my host lost me. See for yourself.


That's about all of Sattahip.

Pattaya....well...perhaps a separate entry by itself.

What I'm driving at.

I really shouldn't be blogging about this.

The latest news that rocked the entire naval-warfighters' world surely would have been the news that the Iranian's Made in China land based C-802 hitting on a very well-regarded corvette sized IDF ship, the SAAR 5. It's the Yingji (or eagle strike) missile. Based very much on the French Exocet (MM40).

SAAR 5 doesn't have an A-gun. It's got a CIWS (close in weapon system) where it's A-gun should be. The rest of IDF ships which were doing shore bombardment using their A-guns were doing it rather close to shore. So the SAAR 5 was only about 10nm away from shore. That should have given the SAAR 5 less than a minute to react. Well, if one can remember the Falklands in 1982, HMS Sheffield was close to shore too. It was sunk by an Exocet. It was operating too close to shore (land smear problem) and the ESM (electronic warfaren support measures) was switched off in order to use the satellite transmission. The two systems had mutual interference.

The SAAR 5 has a 32 Barak Anti-missile missiles. In a typical anti-missile missile mode, it should be able to deploy a salvo of two missiles against incoming missile threats. But as it was protecting the rest of the IDF ships conducting bombardment, it was perhaps a little too close to shore.

There are lessons to be learnt here. Fighting near coast, deployment of capital ships, range of guns to be used for shore-bombardment, integration of systems. Naval warfare, as with warfare of all dimensions, is dependent on tactics, strategies, equipments suitability and systems integration. Then we can look at strategies like coastline bombardment from the air prior to deployment of capital assets near coast, longer-ranged naval gunfire support, datalinking in-theatre assets....

I think the sinking of the SAAR 5 will be a case study before the year is out.

Friday, July 21, 2006

An affair brewing

Maybe she's trying to tell me something.

...and now we must wave goodbye, wave goodbye....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blogging from Changi Airport

Ok, so I'm leaving in a little less than an hour's time.

And I'm still bloody blogging away.

Mental note: The 24 hour Food place at Terminal 2 has got Burger King, Subway and 7-Eleven. Don't bother with the rest of the food. Too touristy. It's like, all marked up. I had a bowl of ugly-tasting roast chicken noodles and a bottle of mineral water. It's like freaking $10.40!!!!!

Talk about valueless for money!

Stick with the fast food because they cost just about the same as you would have to pay if you were in town.

Lots of off-duty SQ girls too. So you will get your fill (mind, body and soul). Well, sorta.

Ok, duty calls. My luggage weighs 19.5kg while my superior's weigh 19.9kg. Amazing!


Playlist to bring me through the next three days

Deckchairs And Cigarettes - The Thrills
爱情正书 - Stephanie Sun
Half The World Away - Oasis
Manhattan Skyline - Kings Of Convenience
Tattoo - Joseph Arthur
Heartbeats - José González
Good Times - Jim O'Rourke
Look What You've Done - Jet
Sunset Soon Forgotten - Iron And Wine
Time of Your Life - Green Day
Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
Name - Goo Goo Dolls
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie
Who Let In The Rain - Cyndi Lauper
Thirteen - Wilco
爱情字典 - Stephanie Sun
天黑黑 - Stephanie Sun
Angels - Robbie Williams
Have You Forgotten - Red House Painters
For Me This Is Heaven - Jimmy Eat Word
Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
Wires - Athlete
Dong Feng Po - 周杰倫
Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part - Ryan Adams
真的 - 张韶涵
过敏 - 杨丞琳
暧昧 - 杨丞琳
左边 - 杨丞琳
可爱 - 杨丞琳
习惯 - 杨丞琳
珊瑚海 - 周杰倫
枫 - 周杰倫
那女孩对我说 - Yida


I was having dinner tonight at P.S. Cafe at Paragon by my lonesome self because V decided to meet her orientation mates for dinner within the same building.

I was flipping Juice magazine when I saw a Gnarls Barkley article. Danger Mouse was wearing a Vote For Pedro t-shirt. Damn, if you're one of those who've seen Napoleon Dynamite, you'd know how cool that t-shirt is. It was cooler than the MP(3) threadless I was wearing.

Jealousy filled my envious heart.

So while eating my tagliatelle, I sms fullscreamriot if he knew where to get a "Vote For Pedro" t-shirt.

He replied that there are shitloads online. But most are cheong, either wrong font, wrong font size, slightly dubious colour or that the collar and sleeves did not have navy blue trimmings. The navy blue trimmings are very important.

So I asked fullscreamriot if it was legal to wear the t-shirt. Like, will the police catch me and ask me who Pedro is, why am I asking people to vote for him. Or like the advert, surrounded by police who ask me to "把 Pedro 交出来!" (hand Pedro over!)

That would be terrible.

Fullscreamriot cryptically said he saw it being word in Bintan.

I tend applauded the tolerance and maturity shown by the world largest muslim democracy. The country's like a beacon to the muslim world!

But I had to do a double-take. Cause I wasn't sure if Bintan had a GRC.

Anyway, bought new album by Thom Yorke and the "best of" by natalie merchant to keep me company while I am in Pattaya and Sattahip. Think it's raining over there.

And HMV is rathe lousy. Wanted to look for the new album by Duncan Sheik. Don't have. Wanted to buy some Jim O'rourke. Also don't have.


Saw at Dicksons watches, they selling Qeelin stuff. Cool.

Sunday, July 16, 2006



teethering t'wards the edge


The First Good News In A Bloody Long Time

To err is human

I have friends who have jobs that are real tough. Tough bosses, bitchy bosses, incompetent bosses, micro-managing bosses, demanding bosses, direction-less bosses - L.O.U.S.Y. bosses. And then there are those with unfriendly colleagues, bitchy colleagues, skivving colleagues, incompetent but paid more colleagues, incompetent but being promoted colleagues. Then there are the customers/clients....[insert adjective here] customers/clients.

There was this guy whom my co wanted off his ship after the first meeting with the guys. Too much bad reviews. Need to cure the cancer by cutting off the infected parts. Cauterisation.

But sometimes you are just such a strong believer of your own character judgment that you persistently refuse your own boss, at the expense of your own credibility. Because you know that your guy is pretty much dependent on you. So he may break civilian laws. So he may break military laws. So he may be skivving because of dubious claims that he has marital problems. But you don't give up. Partly because you don't want to. Largely because there is no one else to replace him.

So there will be shouting sessions that could have resulted in fist fights if not for the working hierarchy, there will be closed door "sorting sessions" to thrash out his misdeeds and have him explain why the hell should I be spending my weekends typing report after report just to get him off the hook.

Then you set him on the straight path. But you know that with him walking on that path alone, he is susceptible to being waylaid. So you engage the rest of the department to keep him on the straight and narrow. If the department don't believe in him, I wouldn't have been able to make him the turn-around kid. It was to everybody's credit that he is able to lead the guys today. Amazing. I realise that my single effort can only do so much (which isn't much) but when everyone else around me starts to see things my way and starts believing it as well.....the road to "salvation" accelerates.

This is the kind of thing that gives me satisfaction in my job. Not some silly knowledge management crap. Not taking about causing 1st, 2nd order of effects. Not the knowledge of a military budget that doesn't decrease even if the economy isn't do too well. Not that I am in an industry that requires the personnel to see it as a higher calling. To me, it's just a job.

It takes months upon months to get the results that I was hoping for. Even my co thinks he's doing a great job now. His worst critics are now singing his praises. He listens to me and comes to me for help whenever he feels that he is not empowered sufficiently (other departments not cooperating). The ship is leaving for the exercise like a ship that has just completed yard phase. Credit to him for leading the guys.

But it is going to end all too soon because he will ord soon. I wish him all the best.

so when people ask me what i do where i am, my answer is always about sailing in south china sea, malacca straits, calling at foreign ports, visiting the prostitutes there, using squid for unorthodox uses, patroling our waters. it's so much easier to tell people what they want to hear.

Renewed Interest

I was trying to create a list of great duets (but won't really make it on any duet compilation)

Set The Fire To The Third Bar - Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol) with Martha Wainwright
Pills - Ola Klüft (of The Perishers) with Sarah Isaksson
Dolphins - Beth Orton with Terry Callier
The Power Of Orange Knickers - Tori Amos with Damien Rice
Somethin' Stupid - Frank and Nancy Sinatra
Miss Sarajevo - Bono (of U2) with Luciano Pavarotti
Where The Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave with Kylie Minogue
The Ballad Of Tom Jones - Thomas Scott (of Space) with Cerys Matthews (of Catatonia)
....Said Sadly - Nina Gordon (fomerly of Veruca Salt) with James I'ha (fomerly of Smashing Pumpkins)

Any song by Kings of Convenience haha!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Bought a bottle of Markus Molitor 2002 Kabinett Riesling Trocken.
This excellent Riesling is brought in be Cafe de Amigo and very very few bottles are left. They are having a sale now as Specialist Shopping Centre will be having a large scale renovation by the end of the year and John Little will be the first to vacate before the rest of the shops leave too....

It has a uniformed bright yellow colour and smells a little of oak, tobacco and warm tropical fruits. But the taste was acidic. Very fruity. Long finish with citrus fruits and apples.

Of course, I'm just lying.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

See what I mean?

Was saying that the big news following the World Cup will be about Ronaldo and Zidane's sending off.

In fact, I think it's bigger news in Europe than the rest of the world.

By the way, who won the World Cup again?


I haven't the lyrics for this song by Humpback Oak.

And I am pretty sure I made alot of mistakes....

never had an ambition
to take me far
back behind the scar
wish i had an image
of something to adore
what for, you ask me
so i tell you
the shade in my room
black and white
the story of my indecisive life
i live with my mother
i live with my ghostfather

to build them many of cages
to dig a hole
travel alone
to study the science of age
to live the stage
life can be so old and meaningless
the stain in my room,
scarred and stenched.
the story of my indecisive life
well i live with my mother
i live with my ghostfather.

never had a surface
to reveal
to interest the kind
i wish for the coming
of the dark
and i will hide and never come out
shade in my room
black and black
story of my indecisive life
I live with my mother
I life with my ghost father
with my mother
with my ghost father
with my mother
with my ghost father


The Singapore and Thai navies are conducting a bilateral naval exercise Singsiam from Tuesday till the 20th of this month.

The Defence Ministry says the exercise is the fourteenth in the series between the two navies.

It will have a sea phase and two shore phases to be conducted at Changi Naval Base and Sattahip Naval Base in Thailand.

Since it started in 1981, the biennial exercise has expanded in scope and complexity over the years, evolving from conventional naval warfare exercises to incorporating maritime security exercises.

This year's drill will also have maritime surveillance and tracking for the first time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Moment of Glory turns to Folly

So the dust has settled.

I finished this World Cup without seeing any match in its entirety.

Will Man U take back Ronaldo?

What did Materazzi say to Zidane?

But really. Who cares?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

maelstrom in a tea cup

Nothing makes me want to disappear
As when someone opens their mouth

It’s just my luck
I get hit by a car
While carrying a cake

Dripping cherries
Onto pavement
Bride and groom on my face

I’m not there like a ghost ship in a storm

It only figures
That I’d ride my bike
Into wet cement

And as I’m sinkin’
The last thing that I think
Is did I pay my rent

I ride through like a ghost ship in a storm

Maladjusted malevolent misanthropist


don't even need to ask.


things don't change.


your will against mine.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Last Night at Zouk

By "last night" I mean, yesterday night. Not that I am never going there anymore.

Got into velvet using the free entry promo from citi(shitty)bank.

We (some of the usual + ys) wanted to check if moet was having promo (like cheap + one-for-one). Nope. Wasn't.

(skip to the blue portion....this is a boring entry with no point)

We sorted decided to gather at members' bar instead. It was still pleasantly roomy when we were in there but soon the crowd grew....and somehow, some people in members', beautiful as they might be (surgically enhanced, cosmetically overloaded or *surprise surprise* natural), think that they are supremely important, more important than others and lose their civility and courtesy at the door. But, it's the same elsewhere in the club, members' bar notwithstanding.

met a number of VS guys. quite sizeable...ys, yf and i are vs. so was nelson who was amongst the crowd...met my no there, he is from there as well. actually, there are quite a number of vs guys in my ship. considering the officer corps, from CO, XO, Ops O, Comms O, WEO, WO and NO, there are 4 vs guys. what's with vs and the navy? there are another 3 more vs guys in the squadron. amazing. and we are all within the same 4 year band...sec 1-4. so....anyway...back to zouk.

Back at Zouk......

We were at members and saw this group of "very happy" men and "normal happy" men and a number of mediacorpses starlets/celebrities. very yawn actually. except ann kok. she is so petite and looks so shy while queueing up for the ladies. ken also join in the queue. and when ken returned, he had this to say. That ann kok entered the toilet v vacated which he used after. So exciting. So maybe I must scream that cynthia koh stubbed out her cigarettes in the ash tray in front of me (wow). Should have recovered the butt, put it up on ebay or yahoo auction. Oh and maybe I should say that she brushed past behind me (so exciting!) and was eyeing me the whole night! (what a lie!).

Anyway....the main reason I am blogging about this "sojourn" in members' bar at Zouk is this:

I bought a bottle of absolut vodka. Everybody knows it is from Sweden. Like lousy sven goran eriksson and flat packed ikea.

So before that the "supervisor" of bar no. 5 (members' bar) was telling ys and i about the three different price range for vodka. three categories: house pour, quality and premium. the premium varietal he mentioned was grey goose.

so i said, orh, the french one. supervisor said, actually it is from poland. I was bewildered. that is a very rare grey goose. maybe during winter, instead of flying south, it flew east. or fuck, this grey goose got it's bearings all wrong.

no point arguing. grey goose 100% from france, that's why it is so freaking regarded and expensive. but fucking seriously. vodka, as the name suggests (russian i think, voda), means water. because it looks like water, and there is minimal after taste. although it's high in alcohol content. the only thing polish about grey goose is the cap. it's a cork cap, just like chopin and belvedere, which are the actual premium vodka from poland.

to zouk: think it's time to educate your supervisors. especially at the members' bar. or hire me lah....

there is a little bit of story in vodka drinking over the last decade that is lost on many people who drink "premium" vodka. grey goose, belvedere, chopin were all introduced into North America in 1996/7. mainly because of the "sophistication, sex and stylish" factors being marketted by these vodka brands. the main culprit is grey goose. it's a marketting idea pushed forward by an american (cannot remember who) who wanted a "premum" vodka for the "hoodwinked".

If you can't tell your shiraz apart from your sauvignon, like me,'s worse when it comes to vodka. Any vodka is ok.

But Grey Goose is still from France. I hope they win the world cup. Not the goose. The cocks. les bleu coq. Or is it coq de bleu? whatever. facque.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fracticide - Blue on Blue

France - Les Bleus


Italy - Azzuris

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What do the 2006 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finalists have in common?

I was at Guardian with V on Sunday when it suddenly struck me, how queer the coincidence was.

The four countries remaining in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, well...Italy, Germany, France and Portugal, they all have a long history of......not football.....but.....Wines!

Italy, with the chianti made famous by Hannibal Lector. Germany with the crisp riesling, personal favourite amongst whites. France, well, no need to say....and Portugal, where port draws its name from. Port is a fortified wine. Which means that alcohol, usually brandy, is added to halt the fermentation.

Like really....drink wine. It's marvellous what wine can do for you!

Buy a bottle! Make it a big bottle today!

In order to attain Goal 2010, perhaps Singapore can start some hydroponics vineyard or something.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Superman Returns. Who cares?

After watching Superman Returns, I was not impressed. Maybe it should have come up 10 years ago.

The last installment was Superman IV: The Quest For Peace if I am not wrong. With this weird guy as Nuclear Man but the voice of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman).

Kevin Spacey was ok as Lex Luthor....ok is not good enough for Kevin Spacey. This is the man that breathed life into The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.

I left the cinema thinking why Superman needs to fly with his fists clenched. Wouldn't it be more aerodynamic if it was flat?

And lousy attention to details. Take this for instance. A guy was heard saying "We have a new unidentified bogey..."
Hello? What is the definition of bogey? An air contact which is unidentified but assumed to be enemy. (Not to be confused with "unknown.) So the unidentified status of a bogey is a given. Unnecessary communications on the net. A big no no. Another common communications mistake would be the use of "hostile enemy". Hello, if the enemy is not hostile, who cares?

And lastly, aliens have sex organs that fit into ours. Well, at least male aliens can fit into our females. Lois Lane will know that.

My Funeral - bring on the jukebox

I have been putting this off for sometime.

I figured I should just let this entry take shape overtime.

And to help me remember, I should just post it up and update it as and when.

Somewhat Off The Way - Dogs Die In Hot Cars
The Lake - Antony And The Johnsons
Strawberry Wine - Ryan Adams
Venus As A Boy - Bjork be continued

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Copy Cat - after go home give your mother slap

Father say, nevermind.
Mother say, GO AND DIE!


Okaaay! (hardo gay style)

Say say say say say! Hoo! (if you don't understand all this, you obviously haven't seen Hardo Gay and should be banished to the Planet Dojakrok to do corrective work)

Razor Ramon Sumitani! Hoo!



I was looking at radikaz blog about this nice car stereo system when I noticed something weird. See if you spot anything "out of place". Ignore the red circle. It's not meant to help you.

Eh, how come a car stereo with navigation system powered by a Mac OS?

Compare the icon with the Mac OS X Safari icon.

I placed them more or less side by side. Let you compare.
Separated at birth I tell you! How to tell them apart? Well, The "Navigator
looks like a badly cropped job of the Safari. For example, the little knob on the top of the Safari, it gone! And look at the Navigator, it's slightly flattened at the top. Damn it, looks like the red arrow, commonly associated with the direction North is pointing just about the same way. The colour scheme...

After this boring entry, I suggest you go take a youtube search for hard gay.



Sometimes the more you wonder why....the worse it seems to get

You know how it is.

It's not the right thing to feel but it somehow happens to the best of us.

Yes, I am talking about your favourite secret band/singer.

This seemingly unpopular, under-rated but oh-so-talented band/singer who has captured your imagination and every song from them just goes down well with you. And the best thing is, your friends don't know about it.

But this band/singer that you "discovered" soon gets good and gets uncovered by all the listeners of Perfect 10 pop-ish radio stations.


Suddenly because the object of your undivided attention, solely because it has to be shared, becomes lousy. A sell-out.

For me, Jeff Buckley was one. So was Massive Attack, Portishead, Coldplay and a few others. Snow Patrol being a recent example. But I wasn't aware of them from the start. Not until Final Straw and the excellent song called Run. Well, not exactly adored by Perfect 10 pop-ish radio stations' listeners but they just sort of cross over from the "underdogs" into the "winners" side of things.

Until now I still have Rufus Wainwright and Duncan Sheik.

I don't know how long more these two will remain so painfully under-rated and unappreciated. That doesn't matter. The important lesson here is this: The quality of a band/singer and in fact, just about everything, does not diminish just because it is popular. The converse is true. Popular stuff may not be bad as well. But if you suffer from some delusions or lack self-esteem and reckon that your identity is formed by your lack of common taste, can go on liking only the unknown, unpopular and under-rated.

Actually, I shouldn't have rumbled on so much. I just wanted to share the first Duncan Sheik song I heard. It was the title track from his self-titled debut album. The song is titled "She Runs Away". Duncan Sheik just released a new album. I think I will buy it.

Anyway, when I first heard it at the "trying area" in Music Power House (the defunct main branch at Stamford), the radio-friendliness was right in my face. I thought radio stations everywhere will play this track. And when he sings the second verse, everything in the world stops. Well, I'm exaggerating (lousy spelling, how the fuck do you spell exagerrate?). I was caught by the last line in the 2nd verse:

Sometimes the more you wonder why, the worse it seems to get

She Runs Away

You may not see the end of it
But luckily she comes around
It isn't what she talks about
It's just the way she is

(..and she says)
Ooh darlin' don't you know
The darkness comes and the darkness goes
(...and she says)
Ooh babe why don't you let it go?
Happiness ain't never how you think it should be so

I mystified the simple life
I covered up with consciousness
I saw myself and broke it down
'Til nothing more was left
She saw the symptoms right away
And spoke to me in poetry
"Sometimes the more you wonder why
The worse it seems to get"

(...and she says)
Ooh darlin don't you know
The darkness comes and the darkness goes
(...and she says)
Ooh babe why don't you let it go?
Happiness ain't never how you think it should be so
But she runs away
She runs away....

And then you know there comes a time
You need her more than anything
You may believe yours are the wounds
That only she can heal
Then everything will turn around
And she becomes so serious
What she choose to offer you
Was all that you could have

(...and she says)
Ooh darlin don't you know
The darkness comes and the darkness goes
(...and she says)
Ooh babe why don't you let it go?
Happiness ain't never how you think it should be so
But she runs away
She runs away...

Duncan Sheik