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Barley for Breakfast

Date: 2009-01-12 01:24
Subject: Bored minds filled with neediness
Security: Public
So after a supposedly aw-some season (supposedly because I didn't manage to catch any episode of it), many viewers are still disgruntled with the ending. Now there will even be a remake of the last episode! Gee, movies don't always end well and the protagonist dies sometimes. My advice to disgruntled viewers: cease stuffing your minds (and mouth) with nyonya kueh and do something more productive - if not for others, for yourself.
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Date: 2009-01-07 09:59
Subject: Progress
Security: Public
Real progress is made when you impress yourself, not others.
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Date: 2009-01-05 08:42
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
It's been awhile and 2008 has been somewhat a forgettable year for me. With looming retrenchments and topsy turvy in the financial world, 2009 should really be the year of the cat and not bull. Stray cats can survive in just about any situation. Act pitiful and they get food and at the same time they haven't forgotten their hunting skills.

Putting 2008 behind me, I have a simple philosophy for 2009 - to do what works and to influence people by purely results and less talk

Well it's no intellectual bombshell, but from experience, people do not get results because they've been clouded by pseudo science, pop science and whatever research that supports notions or methods that look good on paper and stay that way.

In the past year I've made a huge turnaround in terms of my health and fitness and thus my physical appearance as well - all without conventional 'scientific' aerobic methods. Just good old fashioned training and diet.

This gave me some purpose in 2009. It made me rethink many foundations and applicability of knowledge not just in terms of not just my passions but in my work, my hobbies and social life.

I've been a sports person since school days and when I hit varsity, many things went downhill from there. Picked up several nasty habits and the most detrimental was heavy drinking. Why did this happen? I realised that it was simply a lack of connection between my prior activity with my personal life.

Why was I even a sports person in the first place? I loved doing sports and it was what gave me some sense of achievement and purpose in college. I also enjoyed the social value that came along with it. Scoring trys and driving to the basket was exhilarating and you also became popular with friends as a result. However, I didn't feel that healthy or energetic during that time. I was constantly burnt out and ego driven gym training didn't help.

I was driven by fad diets, muscle mags and other ridiculous notions of sport and fitness found in magazines and the internet. Somehow as a human race, we have regressed as we have lost the essential skills which make us human. Photoshop and digital cameras have made many people passable professional photographers. Digital recording has also made 'musicians' overnight and commercial gyms have given people a false sense of fitness and mobility. We have become so dependent on our gear that we've become lost without it.

We don't need gyms, just some open space and a pull up bar, monkey bar or maybe a tree. We've forgotten how to move naturally using our own body weight. Take a look at gymnasts and you'll be surprised to find that their strength training revolves mainly around body weight. With just body weight you can develop a very mobile, strong and functional physique. Think firemen, Navy seals, and other special forces type personnel. These guys possess all round fitness - just by doing PT.

Our modern world is screwed up. We seem to have a ready excuse when we can't perform. It's cool to do something for the love of it but to use it to prove something is uncool. A prime e.g would be marathoners with bulging waistlines and wrapped knees. Something is clearly wrong here as an image like this does remotely suggest a high level of fitness. At the end it's poor understanding coupled with many a corporate guy's mentality of trying to prove something - 'I'm a high flying banker, so I can run the marathon too?'

So the question really is, why are we doing what we are doing? If its for health and fitness are we taking the right steps to do so? Or are we just following some fad to prove our greatness. Or maybe we're just bored.

I'm glad I'm past the fad phase. An activity doesn't do anything for anyone. Thinking about an activity intelligently and modifying it to fit into one's lifestyle is ultimately what is sustainable and effective. Enrolling in a fitness class today isn't necessarily going to make you fit. Enrolling in an art class isn't going to make you more artistic. Knowing the mechanics and understanding the bigger picture are 2 different things.

Let's stop being blind and artificially intellectual. Quoting guru's is only legitimate when its produced results for you. Why not at the same time, rely on educated experience, study and positive results to make effective decisions.
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Date: 2008-08-16 01:12
Subject: The Olympical Paradox of Citizenship
Security: Public
I love the idea of foreign talent, after all my ancestors were from China (supposedly) and that gives me hope of at least being a talent. So, who is regarded as foreign talent and who’s not? There’s foreign talent from the corporate world, the arts, sports and perhaps even government. Government, you say? Relax; we’ll throw in the punch line later. Over the years, the same issues have been reiterated ad nauseum about foreign talent. Superlatives like ‘overpaid’ and ‘underachieving’ have been commonly used against ‘them’ so let’s just use ‘them’ as a simple form of objectification. After all it’s better than labeling them as foreign talent right?

Let’s focus on Sport today since the Olympic fever has been eliciting nationalistic tendencies amongst our denizens - their loyalty unwavering in support of a particular superpower. ‘Them’ in Sports however skeptical the locals are of their abilities are readily accepted by governing bodies of their various sport. Singapore’s only natural resource is people, so we import them – brilliant. ‘Them’ would proclaim their loyalty and desire to fight and win for the country and suddenly, the same issues of trust and reliability don’t crop up when compared other forms of ‘them’.

So, why issues of trust and reliability are left unquestioned? When it comes to Sport anyway? A plausible explanation could be individual sporting excellence is simply regarded as unimportant in our lives. Or rather, the locals don’t need to be fitter, don’t need a culture of sport but we just need to get richer by having a sporting culture created by ‘them’. The MBA syndrome is at work here and it doesn’t matter how many fat slobs watch ‘them’ defeat S.Korea for we now have a culture of Sport and a sense of achievement - albeit bought. Purchasing is obviously easier than developing right?

If I weren’t so negative about it, let’s hope ‘them’ will serve as an impetus for inspiring younger talent to come forward and play. Eventually 'them' might become good coaches so who knows?

The real concern about foreign talent has always been about whether they are worth their tag (price?). Talent aside, what if someone is willing to die for you and protect your country? Would you give this person citizenship? I have a better name for such a person – a Gurkha, or mercenary as others would put it. Want to be a Singaporean though, be a sportsman. Once you don the national colours, the warm feeling of Majula Singapura will overwhelm you with emotion. Wait, while the anthem is played we need a Chinese translation and most other times an English one as well.
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Date: 2008-06-08 23:26
Subject: Good bye
Security: Public
Photobucket

Here's an old friend which I sold off recently - must have been desensitized by all the pet requests I've been getting on face book.

I didn't feel a thing about it when I sold it off on Sat. I don't use it anymore and there was a lack of space in my room. Thought it had to go and I think it was the right choice.

I don't have a habit of writing down stuff but I do have a pretty good memory of personal emotions, events etc. This is a guitar which I learnt not just how to play the electric guitar but also repairs on. It had been with me since 1996 and 'we' have been through 'a lot'. It seems ridiculous to even feel sad about it, but seeing it not in my room anymore makes me a little miserable.

Good bye old friend, or should I say resilient guinea pig. Hope your new owner uses you to play more rather than cut you up all the time.
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Date: 2008-04-03 01:00
Subject: Guangzhou find
Security: Public
Photobucket

Poor croc. It's going to be on someone's dinner table soon. I saw this in a supermarket and thought it was amazing to be able to find such game meat. In America, they would probably grind the skin to make McCroc burgers. :)
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Date: 2008-03-02 10:34
Subject: Warranty Void
Security: Public
#Myth one - To find the best leaders, they must be competitively and highly paid as compared to the rest of their peers.

#Myth two - Higher pay means better work ethic or security for the company

These 2 myths are predicated upon the fact some limp bastard was allowed escape. The question now is how?
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Date: 2008-02-27 22:51
Subject: Integrated Recalls
Security: Public
Integrated resorts are the rage now and now even the SAF wants to delve into hospitality. Here's why:

Dear Corporal (NS) Tan,

1. You are invited to attend the unit MOB briefing from XXXX to XXXX....

2. ...

3. ...

4. Kindly note that attendance is compulsory....

And I thought it was an invite? Where's the 21 gun salute.
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Date: 2008-02-24 20:50
Subject: Relationships
Security: Public
Friendship: Bond
Marriage: Deep Bond
Gay: James Bond
S&M: Bondage
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Date: 2008-02-04 00:35
Subject: Traffic solutions
Security: Public
I seem to be latching on a brilliant alternative to adding ERP gantries to solve our traffic woes.
Since more and more people are running marathons of late, those who've completed marathons and who are still competing will be given running shoe subsidies and knee replacement insurance. However, those who accept these forms of welfare will have to pay a higher COE and ERP fees if they own a car. Our island barely spans 42 Km: 41.8 km to be exact - piece of cake for most runners. Let them run while the rest of us take the bus, car and train. Sounds like a plan?
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Date: 2008-02-03 16:04
Subject: Now that it's raining more than ever...
Security: Public
A parody is now or never...

After being repeatedly numbed by Rihanna 'Umbrella' I've come out with a suitable reply called 'Stiletto'

Stiletto - by piRanha

You sniffed my butt
And we'll always be worlds apart
Methods like Byzantine’s
And you'll still be my scar
Baby cause in the dark
You can't see that far
And that's when I’ll strike you there
With you I'll always scare
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll blind each other
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a fiend
Took an oath I'm a stick it up in your ass
Now that I’m fuming more than ever
Know that we'll still kill each other
You can walk into my stiletto
You can walk into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto etto eh eh eh eh eh eh)

These ugly things, will always be in between
You're part of my nemesis, here since Genesis
When the war has took your part
When I’ve finally dealt your cards
when your mind is scarred, together we'll stab your heart
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll blind each other
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a fiend
Took an oath I'm a stick it up in your ass
Now that I’m groaning more than ever
Know that we'll still kill each other
You can walk into my stiletto
You can walk into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto etto eh eh eh eh eh eh)


You can’t run away from me
It's okay to be alarmed
Come here for me
There's no distance in between our hate
So go on and let the bane pour
It'll be all you need and more
Because

[Chorus]
When the sun shines, we’ll blind each other
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a fiend
Took an oath I'm a stick it up in your ass
Now that I’m moaning more than ever
Know that we'll still kill each other
You can walk into my stiletto
You can walk into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto Etto eh eh eh)
Into my stiletto
(Etto etto eh eh eh eh eh eh)

It's feigning
Ooh baby it's feigning
Baby come into me
Come into me
It's feigning
Oh baby it's feigning
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Date: 2008-01-31 01:31
Subject: Woe uh oh Parody...
Security: Public
Haha, no I'm not going to do a parody of the Beyond song, but to date I've done 3 parodies, the first 2 which were inspired by my bro:

1) Wind of Change -> Wind of Chang
2) Bohemian Rhapsody -> Dravidian Rhapsody
3) She will be loved -> She will be shoved

Here's 3) in it's entirety :)

She will be shoved (by Maroon-ed 5)

Booty queen of only eighteen
She caused some trouble for herself
He was always there to see her
She always belonged to those who pay

I rode for miles and miles
And wound up at your lawn
I've had you so many times but somehow
I want more

I’m outta mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with her broken life
Ask her if she wants to play awhile
And she will be shoved
She will be shoved (eventually)

Lean on my window lay on my floor
I want to make love feel beautiful
I know I tend to get up premature
It doesn't matter anymore

It's not always birdies and honey-bees
It's connection that moves us along, yeah
My heart is wild and my door's always open
You can come anytime you want

I’m outta mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken life
Ask her if she wants to play awhile
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved (eventually)

I’m sure that you hide
Alone in your car
Know all of the things that make you who you are
I know that last night means nothing at all
Comes back and haunts me to catch her every time she calls

Lean on my window lay on my floor
I want to make love feel beautiful

I’m outta mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken life
Ask her if she wants to play awhile
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved
And she will be shoved (eventually)
[in the background]
Please don't try so hard to say goodbye
Please don't try so hard to say goodbye

Yeah
[softly]
I’m outta mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain

Try so hard to say goodbye
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Date: 2008-01-01 21:33
Subject: New Year resolutions
Security: Public
Another year,
Have we gotten near?

Another year,
We'll up a gear

Another year,
Shall we volunteer?

Another year
Is it getting clear?

Another year
We'll have a beer

Regardless of year,
Beer is always dear
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Date: 2007-12-27 11:08
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
This year's Christmas was a quiet affair. No excessive drinking or eating for a change. And I'm still bugged by a flu which doesn't seem to go away.

Years ago, alchohol consumption seemed like a 'masculine' thing. Being exposed to the 'ah beng' style Chinese weddings as a kid certainly reinforced that notion. Some years down the road, it seemed that I could appear 'masculine' due to the number of beers I can down at one sitting.

However, 3 months after going into an exercise regime, I find that I can no longer drink like I used to. Perhaps, I'm becoming less 'masculine' albeit somewhat fitter these days :p
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Date: 2007-12-23 12:09
Subject: Jazzy Christmas Concert
Security: Public
Yesterday's Jazz Christmas concert featured Jeremy Monteiro, Paul Ponnudorai and Tuck&Patti. With such a lineup, top class musicianship is a given. However, it was just lovely to have these big hearted people share their music on stage. No egos, no excessive flash. I wouldn't know how to describe it, but it was not just sharing their music but also sharing their love for people. Tuck and Patti during the autograph session took every effort to sign and write a personal note for everyone. The sincerity and warmth really shows in their music.

Some pics from backstage:

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The whole band. Cam whoring is inevitable :)

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Sound check

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Sound check cont'd - took longer than expected due to a slow to react sound crew.

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A view of the concert hall I'll rarely get to experience.

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The show begins

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The day rounds off with Tuck and Patti jamming with Paul at Harry's. Just amazing. I hope they come back every year.
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Date: 2007-12-19 20:30
Subject: Shopping and dining in Singapore
Security: Public
Singapore is regarded by many as a shopping paradise. Perhaps, for the majority of people who want to look like every other person on the street, this is possibly true. My gripe however is, specialty shops do not carry specialty equipment in Singapore. You walk into Lonsdale, a boxing apparel and supply store and they don't carry wrist wraps!?? You go to billabong and they have no rash guards?!!! And to make matters worse, all the outlets don't seem to have it.

Let's see, running shoes are bought by couch potatoes and basketball shoes are bought by skateboarders? Beach volleyballers wear billabong? Is that what we have become? Or have brands become associated with other sub cultures which do not represent the original brand? Being a fashion accessory is one thing, but at least stock up accessories which represent your original brand for goodness sake.
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Date: 2007-12-06 11:03
Subject: Penang Part II
Security: Public
As I was only there for 2 days, I didn't have much time to savour all the good food there. One thing about the food there, they get the garlic right and don't rely solely on MSG to give flavour. Didn't take many photos of the city as I'm not really a city person and the shop houses are similar to what we see in Singapore. However, the greasy, old coffeeshops really have that charm that is lacking in Singapore these days. I saw another ideal pet at the snake farm. Its a monkey :) A trained one.

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It tugged my laces and bit my plastic bag and also knew how to shake hands. Amazingly its hands are so similar to our own, except hairier. Embarrassingly, this michievous creature reminded me of myself as a kid heh.
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Date: 2007-12-04 11:26
Subject: Penang Jazz Festival
Security: Public
Was at Penang over the weekend for the Jazz festival, and although some bits were disappointing, it was overall a nice show. As least the locals got to see some of their own M'sian heroes strutting their stuff on stage. It was tough to get around the island as there was no train service and I had to take a crash course in the bus routes over the 2 days. Cab drivers there are like tiger sharks lurking by the bay - well I exaggerate :), but you might get the picture. Here are some pics which I took in my short time there:

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A view from my hotel room. I stayed at Hotel Mingood, a little crummy but a spacious room and friendly staff.

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What I went there for - the Anke Helfrich trio was amazing. The highlight of the 2nd day.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Huge Burmese python at the snake farm. I wanna keep one!

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Another snake - a mangrove viper

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Another nice pet to have. Obedient and doesn't bite or drool :)

That's it for now, will follow up soon

KC
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Date: 2007-10-23 10:27
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Was in Shanghai last week for the first time and my, what a modern city. I was there to attend Music China as we sought out some potential suppliers. The everyday food that the locals ate wasn't much to shout about but my 2nd experience in China this year did challenge the stereotypes we have of Chinese nationals back in Singapore.

The highlight of the trip had to be the story of a tea ceremony experience by a German student who was staying at our hostel. We had a few drinks with him and another Israeli guy and he was telling us how nice the tea ceremony was. Some stranger approached him and took him for a 'tea ceremony' which he did enjoy however. It set him back 100 Euros and all of us stared at him in disbelief. I handed him my name card shortly after and told him , 'if you ever come to Singapore, I'll bring you for a tea ceremony too' :)
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Date: 2007-10-11 00:44
Subject: Sports blooper no.1
Security: Public
Michael Jordan right after his divorce went for a drink at a club. There he saw a cute brunette and walked over...

MJ: "hey baby, can I take you on a short flight around the court?"

Brunette: "yeah, only after you recover from that rebound"
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