Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Seems like I'm getting busier..
Anyway yesterday I was shopping for laser printers. Brian had recently bought a monochrome Brother printer (HL-2040 I think) for the low low price of $218, and Key was telling me about it. It was really quite amazing to me, that laser printers have fallen so much in price. My mom's first reaction when I told her was, "I only trust HP!" Talk about brand loyalty! Brother this, brother that, you my brother issit?

But later I managed to convince her to consider: anyway I'm paying! Whereupon she's like, okay, but get a multi-function centre.

Owww... Anyway, multifunction, might as well get flatbed photocopy, fax, color scan, and monochrome laser print. Brother: $589. HP: $1140.
Sigh.. it'll take me a few months to save up man... :<

Over the weekend I went dragonboating with the Truehearts people and I'm aching even now! But while I was doing it I found myself thinking that I should do this more often.. hahaha.. stupid, you know? Now I'm just hurting. I'll stick to basketball... After that I went to Daniel's surprise party for Lisa. That was very cool in a lot of ways! Met a lot of old friends/acquaintances, including Billy and Weylin, Naomi, Esther and Weixiong.. And Daniel and Lisa telling the story from their respective sides of how Daniel proposed: that was just hilarious! I loved the part when Lisa was saying something like, "He put these earrings in the cushion beds to make it look like he was just giving me the ring, but they looked like confetti so I just shoved them out of the way and went straight for the ring."

And the whole thing about surprise parties is just cool..

Naomi was saying something about ORTV, which organizes concerts by christian chinese pop artistes around CNY.. sounds interesting. Apparently lasy year was Tao Ze, and this year is a particular famous local singer! Key was very interested when I told her.. :>

Munchie Monkey Anticipation

I love...
being on the train to vista, coming closer to you...
sitting with you at meetings, catching your eyes and your quick smiles...
always ordering calamari and an italian soda on the form first..
watching you order at the counter...
you rolling your eyes when you see me watching
playing with the kung fu men as they run around...
dodging their kicks and watching them dance...
watching you fork up your carbonara, twisting the strands so carelessly into your fork..

Hee.. can't wait for tonight!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Recipe for bittergourd

Yesterday nigth I was talking to my mom about the Taiwanese "God of Cooking" competition and how Singapore won with a non-bitter bittergourd dish. So I wanted to go find how they did it, which was reported in a article and was blogged (and later tomorrowed) at Unfortunately that particular news item has closed and is in archives! The most that other news articles mention is that they used another kind of "si gua" and "she shu", but I remembered the UND article had more details.. ah well. :<
Best part was, my initial searches in English kept turning up articles about the competition kicking off and about Southern Taiwan beating Beijing in the semi-final.. but virtually nothing about the final or Singapore winning. It's like, nobody's reporting it! Did the article even make it into ST? Isn't anybody celebrating the chefs?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Why tolerate the hate?

That's the title for an op-ed in the New York Times, talking about how the British are about to expel a hate-preaching cleric.

It's an old debate, and we're still working out the answers. In a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-racial world, the watchwords are harmony, tolerance, mutual respect. But as the author of the article Irshad Manji says, "Why tolerate violent bigotry? Where's the "mutual" in that version of mutual respect?"

Or to quote Thomas Jefferson, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." We need to be vigilant against the spreaders of hate and lies in all areas of society...
But let's not draw the line at terrorism. Why not bring it to racism as well?

And before you give a yes and amen to that, think about what it means. It means that when your friend makes a racist joke, you've got to scold him. And when your mom asks you if your Indian housemate at university stinks, you've got to scold her too!

Wait a minute, you say. I'm not going to condemn them for a thought, only for discriminatory action. Or you say, well, that's not that serious, and they probably didn't mean it anyway. They're really nice to Ahmad and Sanko, so they can't really be racist!

So where do you draw the line? I know I'm still working out my personal line, so don't expect me to help you there. But I do know that one of the big mistakes you can make is to assume that there's one single correct line for every person to obey, and expect to take action only when you can find that line. And the other mistake, in the other extreme, is to take no action at all, because well, you've got to respect that maybe that guy's line is in a different spot.

My position: You know where your line is, so act on it. If someone can prove you wrong, can show that your line's out of position, apologise, repent, make up for it, and then move the line to where it should be!

What do you think?

Good governance and national pride

I like what Fidel Ramos said in a Time interview published in the most recent issue.

In the global economy, anything that a country lacks, it can import and
outsource -- except for two items: good governance and national pride, which
must be homegrown.

Do we have those? I'd like to think so! And that's my fundamental opposition to the groups of weird people calling themselves the opposition in Singapore: that fundamentally, they don't seem to be able to produce good governance. When I read all the policy commentary, I find myself frequently outsmarted by all the pundits: they raise points which make me think, "Oh wow, I never thought of that!"So obviously I'm no brilliant policy analyst. But then, these clowns make policy statements that make me think "That's stupid!" So they are either sublimely intelligent, or extremely stupid. And so far I've yet to see any evidence for the formal. No one I've read or met, in print, online, or in person, can quite tell me with a straight face that their policies are worth more than the paper/electrons they are printed on.

When I was at Stanford, there were always people who were willing to discuss policy and politics. Republicans and Democrats, yes, but there were republicans who were arguing that certain Republican policies which were dumb, and democrats who.. you get the idea. And of course, there were a couple of libertarians running around saying that Big Government is all wrong.

So let me skip all the credible reasoning and propose a solution. Have kids (like Secondary school and up) discuss policies with civil servants. Let them ask the the silly questions and find out why the decision makers decided a certain way. And, when they've absorbed it, they'll have tons more questions like, "Why? Why not this way? Why not that way? You sure or not?" that will drive the civil servants insane and take years off their lives.

Why bother? Because we need kids to grow up with an interest in how this country is run! All the important things about having a civil society and transparent government, lie on having an intelligent, opinionated, and most of all interested electorate to ask the tough questions and reward the governments that have the best plan for the country.

Let me draw a soccer comparison for you. If you were a Man United fan, what would you have done when Malcolm Glazer bought the club? (1) Worry that his financing would drive the club under? (2) Wonder why the stupid English are making such a big fuss? (3) Rub your hands in anticipation that next season the odds for Man U wins might be just a little better for you to gamble?

stressed out

Argh. not by work though. Just feel like I've dropped the ball on the OSY program. It's totally screwing my mindset up for the day. Got. To. Get. Out. Of. This. Funk!

Welcome to the family

Yesterday at 3.50pm, we had a new addition to the family.. My sister gave birth to a little girl, Emily Seah, on the same day as my brother's birthday! Heh..really looking forward to next year, when he'll celebrate his 21st and she'll celebrate her first!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Santa Monica...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sometime last week the American President said something about teaching "intelligent design" in classes or something. So now there's a big uproar between people who think "intelligent design" is a way of sneaking God into classrooms as a "scientifically proven" theory and people who think "intelligent design" should belong up there beside evolution. I can't give an unbiased account of this because of my own beliefs, but I think a section from CS Lewis' Mere Christianity is helpful..

Ever since men were able to think they have been wondering what this universe really is and how it came to be there. And, very roughly, two views have been held. First, there is what is called the materialist view... (explanation follows)... The other view is the religious view... (explanation follows)... Please do not think that one of these views was held a long time ago and that the other has gradually taken its place. Wherever there have been thinking men both views turn up. And note this too. You cannot find out which view is the right one by science in the ordinary sense. Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave. Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, "I pointed
the telescope to such and such a part of the sky at 2.20 a.m on January 15th and saw so-and-so," or, "I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such-and-such a temperature and it did so-and-so." Do not think I am saying anything against science: I am only saying what its job is. And the more scientific a man is, the more (I believe) he would agree with me that this is the jobof science -- and a very useful and necessary job it is too. But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes -- something of a different kind -- this is not a scientific question....

Or if I were to vastly simplify, the simple question "Why?" defeats, has always defeated, and will always defeat learned men of all kinds, scientific, religious, or otherwise.

Monday, August 01, 2005

At 5pm, I thought today's post was going to be about my first day of work, and nearly falling asleep in front of the big boss at meeting, and meeting old sec school friends and their wives.

Well. In the end..

Today I died
a little death.

Straight from the sunshine
through the rotten foundation
plunged into the hollow dark
with ants and dirt to fill my mouth

pain for her on the inside
pain from her on the outside
Inside leading to outside leading back to inside.

Today I died.
Just a little
Just a bit.