Thursday, July 31, 2008


So when was the last time you dreamt?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We'd fight and never lose

So goes a song that I don't remember when I first heard. But it was immediately sad.

Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkin.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's a Mad Mad Mad World

Change Chairs With Anyone

Whoever played The Mad Magazine Game will find the above rather familiar.

And great misfortune will befall anyone whose name happens to be Alfred E. Neuman. Nevermind if you do not have a missing front tooth or jug ears.

"If your name is Alfred E. Neuman, collect $1,329,063. If not, lose a turn."

This special $1,329,063 bill can be found in the game and this note was included solely for this card. If a player's name is Alfred E. Neuman and "wins" this bill, he automatically wins.

So big deal? When you live in Mugabe's Zimbabwe where inflation is estimated to be 8.5 million percent (Yes, 8,500,000 percent since the start of 2008. Official released figures say 2.2 million percent), that note came out some time ago.

They just got a spanking new 100 Billion dollar note. Yes. 100 Billion. That's 100, 000, 000, 000 dollars. One followed by eleven zeros.

But it's worth one (1) US dollar based on prevailing exchange rate.

Hmm....I thought I wrote something about Robert Mugabe last year...

Timely to ask

NMP Sylvia asked very good questions at parliament.

About MHA being strained.

It's not just MHA. *hint hint*

Watched The Dark Knight last night. There was a "special appearance" by Scarecrow.
A lot of similarities between current state of "war on terror" in the movie.

Us? We are like the passengers in the passenger liner leaving Gotham.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Lobbying can be sinister. And when made public, can generate much social unrest.

ERP gantries are popping up everywhere. Expressways/roads are built with gantries in place. Even before traffic starts to throng through on the bitumen.

So when you get the National Family Council lobbying for a new holiday, the interest is high.
It's gonna happen on a Saturday. So silly I know. But for 5-day work week peeps like me (and the entire civil/governmental/pseudo-governmental/military/home team service), there should be a compulsory compensation somewhere.

It's tons better than the current "Eat With Your Family Day".

For "EWYFD", bosses can let slaves/serfs workers off earlier and encourage them to consume dinner with family.

The caveat is that ERP charges remain. So, the expressways will get jam, well, maybe not. Not very conducive. Social unrest....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

May Primary School Song

Knowledge lights my way
As I learn and play from day to day
And to build in me
Obedience to authority in school and country

May Primary is our pride
You'll guide us with your burning light
Through our teachers we will be
Productive to society

Knowledge lights my way
As I learn and play from day to day
And to build in me
Obedience to authority in school and country

~ J J de Souza

To think I sang this song, every school day, for 6 years of my life....."obedience to authority..." indeed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

alcohol-fuelled weekends

That started from Friday night at Brewerkz.
Then Zouk on Saturday night.
Cafe del Mar on Sunday afternoon (!).
stretching to Monday. Evening at Helipad.


*and did the walk from HortPark to Science Park on Saturday too....might have took a wrong turn somewhere...

Idling Mind

I was just thinking today....although it's not happened to me recently but I'm pretty sure you might have been at the receiving end of something similar....

Why is it that when I mention that I don't have a particular religion, there are those who will respond with an apologetic "Oh..". Followed by a pause, pregnant or not, it's clearly rehearsed to somewhat condescend, "So you are a free-thinker?"

Makes me want to ask if because of his/her religion, it makes him/her a "non-thinker" since s/he has so much faith and belief?

There is no logic in certain systems. No religion = immoral.
I am not immoral because I am not religious. Having a religion doesn't make you moral automatically. come only SAF seems to be going the way of "Unmanned" systems? The Home Team should find them relevant as well right? Although I think "unmanned" system can't replace negotiators. Sending an unmanned system into a hostage situation to negotiate just don't seem like a viable option.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When was the last time you thought about.....

I bought quite a number of plans (investment-linked, life, endowment, medical riders etc etc) and my monthly premiums come up to be almost $800. That's supposedly alot. Previously I thought I am well-covered. Now I am caught backpeddling because I kind of regretted not getting any medical health coverage before I was diagnosed with hypertension. Better get ready before I hit 30 years old. Premiums go up from then on.

Also the type of insurance. When I was younger, the life insurance was bought for my parents. The "in case I die, here's some $$$ for you to tide over the funeral expenses and whatever's left is to ameliorate your pain." that sorta thing. Then it went to the "shit, I better start saving $$ so that I can transit out of my career." which led to investment-linked and endowment plans. Recently it was the investing of $$ in as many different sectors/type/blah including my CPF monies to let my present $$ take care of my future. Now it's my worry about health care and medical fees. And it's come full circle because I am buying not just for myself but also thinking I should protect myself by buying for my parents. So that I don't have to burn big holes in my pocket if and when they do come down with any form of illness that require long time medical/health care.

Sports & Race.
Remember seeing your Indian classmate winning that 50m freestyle gold medal in your secondary school? No? Well, neither can I. I don't remember having many Indian schoolmates who swam competitively. Ditto for table-tennis. Basketball, which was almost 100% Chinese. On the global stage, same thing. No Indians in such sports. Certain races seem to excel only in certain sports.

Russians - Ballet (if there was such a sport but gymnastics will do)
Chinese - Badminton and table tennis. Gymnastics too. Maybe it's a communist thing.
Afro-Americans (Negroes) - Track and Field
Nigerians, Ethiopians - Long distance running
Indians - hockey, cricket.

Have you ever seen an Negro taking part in Diving (as in the jump off platform, spin spin, splash)? It's rare enough that Tiger Woods (golf) and Lewis Hamilton (F1) are competing at the top level of their sport, much less being champions.

Put a group of Malays in a basketball court and they will play football. Give a group of Indians a shuttlecock and a racket and they will play some version of cricket.

Question is this, are they good at their respective games because of genetic built? Culture or systemic factors eg. Government aid in the sport?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lost count of the Whammies!

My shipboard allowance will soon come to a stop.
Lunch is no longer catered by NTUC FoodFare.

It's a double whammy in monetary terms. My disposable income has decreased because the net income has fallen without the allowance. My expenses has gone up because my lunch is no longer free.

That's just the cost in monetary terms. There is actually the mental grind that some of you may be familiar with. Hands up, those of you who sometimes cannot decide what to eat when it's lunch time. You walk round and round, finally deciding on the stall you patronised yesterday.

And the day before.
And the day before that.

I actually like being surprised (sometimes unpleasantly) at the Cook House. It is not preferable to have choices. Weird huh? I have a colleague who will answer, "Surprise me." when asked what he would like to drink.

Another blow is the parking at this place.
Teachers get theirs for free. Soldiers, sailors and airmen get theirs for free too.
But not here. Not us.

Besides this injustice, it gets worse.

See the satellite pic above? Well, the tiny dark blue cross marks where my office is.

The light blue box at the top is where the Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP, also pronounced as MmmScape. ok, I jest.) Parking there costs $90 a month. But unless you are of a certain rank, you are not suppose to park at the first two levels. Talking about blows, here's a blow to "first come first served".

The parking within the green polygon is cheaper at $65. The prices seem familiar to you? Yah, you probably pay the same amount at a HDB carpark. Again, there is a section reserved for the deservingly so. The section nearer to the main building is meant for them. Cheers to that.

But it's all good. By segregating, there can be alot of conveniences. I shall not mention here.

The additional $25 will mean the following advantages: less likely to suffer from a mynah air-raid, so your car paint is preserved. bird poo is toxic and can do damage to your paintwork. As will tree sap, which is also absent. I say less likely because birds can still fly into a MSCP, right? Even less chance of falling branches denting your car. Unless it's a freak storm that carried a falling branch horizontally .... not likely. There is also the covered walkway that links the main building with the carpark. The MSCP is located right above the canteen. I don't know how that can be an advantage.

If the shoe fits

Lightspeed Champion and Voxtrot.

Lightspeed Champion is actually Devonte Hynes. Born in Texas, raised in Essex.
Frontman of Voxtrot is Ramesh Maclean Srivastava. Born in Texas, studied in Glasgow.

The thing is this:

The jangly pop sounds of early New Order, The Smiths and Belle And Sebastian have not sounded as fresh for a long long time.

And to think that Devonte is afro-american and Ramesh is, well, he's got indian blood in him. And they are from Texas!

Here's a treat:
Lightspeed Champion : Another Song About Being Alone
Voxtrot : Steven

If you have 6 minutes to spare, the songs will make you smile.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Southern Ridges

Had a traipse on Sunday along the Southern Ridges.

Actually, auntie and I only had energy for the portion from Harbourfront MRT to HortPark.

The number of colonial bungalows were really enough to make us wonder who lives there....and if this new NParks attraction made their lives more miserable judging from the number of visitors who walk across their front lawn....
We made a number of pit stops along the way.....first was near the summit of Mount Faber....nice views all round....And the weather was really quite good....not too sunny and the breezes were very much welcomed.....stopping at the Hill Bistro for overpriced beer and lemon tea.....WAY OVERPRICED!!!

Took a look around the summit before continuing on....

This is Henderson of the highlights....didn't stay long enough for the nightfall....the lights are supposedly good.

Then there is the treetop walk thing, quite nice too. Not as terrifying as the HSBC treetop walk but certain parts were still exhilarating..

Next feature was the Alexandra Arch......before getting to HortPark!

Which has this huge green lawn that on a nice weekend, can see alot of families and friends having fun, taking pictures, playing catch and just lazing around.

Will try and continue the rest of the walk soon!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A song a day 87

Steady your ears, steady your ears and read my lips
Poetry is not a luxury, it's how I break this home

And when I'm really ill, won't you cradle me?
Man is not a noble animal but maybe woman is....

A song a day 86

I will never live like you do
I, I will never love like you do

Random Poem #1

The Song Of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

W. B. Yeats

Silver Apples

Oscillations, oscillations
Electronic evocations of sound’s reality

Spinning, magnetic fluctuations, waves of wave configurations
That dance between the poles off sound and bind my world to soul.

I walk the streets of moment. Head down to the ground.
Cars are stars remotely far. My only world is sound.
Passersby are worlds that fly. Far from the dance of time.
Time whirls round from pole to pole and swirls within the sound… of

Oscillations, oscillations
Electronic evocations of sounds reality


The intermittent silences in conversations suggested a cause for concern. But they thought it was just a case of them settling. Perhaps it was only him.
Not shared by her.

By and by, these awkward silences did settle. It was no longer disquieting. They seemed better off. An inadvertent end. That was her.
Though she assumed the same for him.

They let things slip into routine. A comfortable routine with the absence of the other. They no longer remember the cause(s). They don't want the effect(s) to ruin their lives.
They carry on.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tom Purvis - Revisited

While reading my past blogs, I came across Tom Purvis...

I already own a set of his wonderful posters for London & North Eastern Railway - LNER called East Coast Joys by LNER.

I am itching to get the other series he has made for LNER which depicts the various seaside towns along the LNER line.


Nocturne IV - coming soon!

Between 17 Jul to 31 Aug 08, Nocturne IV - Lin Baoling's third solo and fourth in the series, will be on at Marina Mandarin.

Click here for the artist's blog.
Click here for a preview.
Click here for the exhibition pamphlet.

I've already collected my painting Nocturne 10073 from Nocturne III which was part of a group exhibition in Taitung, Taiwan.
Baoling hung it near the entrance (*see blue arrow) of the Artist-in-Residence studio in Marina Mandarin (he's in every Tues, Thurs and Saturday, 1 - 6pm). So if you were there previously, muahaha....that painting by the door is mine!

Last Saturday I was just telling him that it was in Marina Mandarin that I first saw his paintings. Then, back in Dec 2005 (when I mistakenly said Baoling was a girl - hence he has BOLD the word MALE in his flickr profile - I'm Male), I said he had "vividly captured the light and the energy within it set against the night".

I think that is still true.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Stop, Drop & Roll!

The madness up north.

The public had decided even before the ink of the headlines had dried. A conspiracy!

Who stands to gain the most in this debacle? Certainly not the ruling body.
If it was staged by the ruling government, yeah, they do deserve to be usurped.

So, again, who stands to gain the most. If this was a staged event, whose political agenda will be advanced the most (despite the temporal setback)?

Am I giving enough clues of what I think about this event?