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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, February 21, 2004



Melvin's masterpiece! Some field names have been blurred for, ahem, security purposes.


Paul Bunyan: The Story of Paul Bunyan - this comes from the M$ Knowledge Base!

Technology seen in Minority Report that actually exists today: Heliodisplay/ Interactive Free-Space Display and Projection Keyboard.

Sent to me by a friend - Shaping elitist mindset - "What began as a jealous boy-girl dating complaint has developed into a full-blown Internet debate that highlights the divisive impact of Singapore's school ranking system." (from the Sunday Star, some Malaysian newspaper)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Q5. What position was most common for heterosexual copulation in ancient Greece?

A5. Like dogs - the "missionary" position was known but not favoured - at least not by the artists who painted pictures on ancient Greek vases.


Q5 - Early this [Ed: Last] century the Emperor of Ethiopia was impressed by American use of the electric chair for executing criminals, and bought one. What happened to it, and why?

A5. Dr. Bob's answer: There being no electricity in Ethiopia at the time, he used it as a throne. If this trend had been continued after electricity came in, it would have been a very convenient way of disposing of recalcitrant monarchs.


Q1. What proportion of UFO abductions are reported as happening in the USA??

A1. Dr. Bob's answer: 80% - Aliens obviously find Americans the most interesting specimens


Q5. How, or on what occasion, did Attila the Hun die?

Alternative answer: He isn't dead. I've seen him with Elvis in my local supermarket.


Q3 - In 1867 how many different kinds of hammer were being made in Birmingham (UK)?

A3. Dr. Bob's answer: 500


Q4 - What Pharaoh of ancient Egypt had the nickname "Horse Face"?

A4. Dr. Bob's answer: Akhnaten (congenital deformity; there are statues and carvings that show it)


Q1 - What proportion of American households buy no books?

A1. Dr Bob’s answer: 90%


Q1 - In a field of ripe wheat, how big a circle can one man flatten in 30 minutes with simple garden tools?

A1. Dr Bob’s answer: 20m diameter. As has been demonstrated by the Wessex Skeptics, who the following morning had to shoo away various gurus who kept turning up, pronouncing it genuine and waffling on about "No human being can possibly have done this", etc.


Q1 - What percentage of adults lose faith in their religion?

A1. Dr Bob’s answer: 38%


Q2 - If you see a polar bear coming charging towards you, which way should you jump?

A2. Dr Bob’s answer: Left! Left! Everybody knows that most bears are left-handed. Indeed the Inuit of Kalaallit Nunaat (ex Greenland Eskimos) objected to the official seal (sic) of the Royal Greenland Trading Company which depicts a bear extending its right paw. (Dr Bob would like to hear from someone in the area). The bear will swipe with its front left paw; therefore if you and the bear are facing, you wait till the last moment then jump to the bear’s right, which is your left.


Q4 - What European country exports the most hippopotamuses?

A4. Dr Bob’s answer: Hungary (it’s a terrible place, you can’t walk around on the Great Plain without having to bat herds of them off with a stick. The spotty pink ones are the worst - randy old buggers - yes I do believe I’ll have another slivovitch)


Q4 - What does the constellation Sagittarius spectacularly resemble?

A4. Dr Bob’s answer: A teapot. The ancients reckoned they could see a half man, half horse with a bow and arrow, but you can’t find those mushrooms any more. I am amazed and appalled that nobody got this right. Maybe nobody goes outside at night and looks up any more. Get some astronomical software so you can see, on your screens, what you would have seen if you went outside.


But this one seems wrong!

Q3 - A bucket of water, full to the brim, stands on bathroom scales which read exactly 40kg. A large block of wood weighing 5kg is dropped in, and it floats freely. What is the final reading on the scales?

A3. (By Andi Stevenson) - If that greek geezer was right, it would displace it's own mass, so it's still 40kg. But it was DROPPED in, and water would have splashed out - so make that 39kg..

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Finally got a new template - the first non-garish template by maystar that's not like all the others that I've seen.

As I told He Who Must Not Be Named when he accused me of being fickle,

"I last changed my template in august
prior to that, april
before that, december

so I'm overdue"
An animal protection group in Jerusalem, Israel, says in the last three months there have been 43 reported cases of people throwing cats out of cars, apparently in an attempt to abandon them to the streets. While most were tossed from cars "at low speed," at least one ended up hitting the windshield of another vehicle. The cat survived.


Babes Against Bush - "What could be more un-American than that election-hijacking, economy-wrecking, war-mongering chimp George W. Bush? What could be more All-American than thirteen beautiful young women, exercising their first amendment right to thumb their nose at our bozo president?... For only $11.00 (plus $1.95 shipping), you too can experience the thrill of thirteen socially-conscious, stunningly-attractive young women escorting you through the weeks and months until inauguration day in January, 2005 - when America finally gets a real president again. Educational, entertaining, and socially responsible without being politically correct...all for less than a dollar per month!"
Right.

Quotes from Either President of the United States George W. Bush or Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars Movies

Why do carbonated drinks seem to bubble more in plastic cups? - "The properties and characteristics of a particular member of the plastics family... causes carbonated drinks to bubble more in plastic cups."

"There's a difference between "trivia" and "obscure shit that no-one in their right mind would possibly know or find out without hours of research"."


Gah. My guestbook has been down for at least 2 weeks. Looks like I'll have to find a new one. Luckily I managed to retrieve the archives up till late January, but any entries (mostly spam, luckily!) since then have been lost.


Rossino Mantovano: Lirum Bililirum

Lirum bililirum, li-lirum, lirum, lirum.
Deh si soni la sordina.
Tu m'intendi ben, Pedrina,
Ma non già per il dovirum.
Lirum bililirum, li-lirum, lirum li
Deh, si soni la sordina,
Deh, si soni la sordina,
Le ses an che t'vo mi ben
E che t'son bon servidor,
Ma t'aspet che l'so ben
Ch'al fin sclopi per amor.
Deh, non da plu tat dolor,
Tu sa ben che dig il virum.

Madrigals are so charming.


Wth is Selma Boudovoir whatever?
I believe you're referring to the Jib-Jib, a creature indigenous to the Low Xamen area in Kakhabad. Jib-Jibs are essentially walking hairballs with a STAMINA of 1 and ear-shattering cries. To the best of my recall, they've surfaced in Sorcery! Book 1 and Fighting Fantasy Book 29: Midnight Rogue - in both instances as walking alarm systems who have to be killed in one Attack Round.

Insert gratuitous pop culture trivia: Jub Jub is the name of Selma Bouvier's giant iguana.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004



JubJubs are very shy creatures.

They aren't aggressive, but they can defend themselves when threatened with their deafening screech.


This is a "jubjub" from Neopets. In another era, jubjubs were creatures in the Old World (Khakabad) from the Fighting Fantasy Universe. Interestingly enough, they also defended themselves by emanating loud noises. Something's very fishy here.

Bah!


Dog Issued Credit Card. Owner Sends In Pre-Approved Application As Joke - Pre-approved cards by spammers actually get issued!

Women Over 40 Biggest Online Gamers - "Think teenagers are spending all night long playing online games on the computer? Wrong -- it's their mothers burning the midnight oil."

MIT student dances with robots

MAKE YOUR OWN PRUNO - "Pruno, a prison wine created from fruit, sugar and ketchup, is such a vile and despicable beast in the California state penal system that prisoners can't eat fresh fruit at lunch."

Escape from Neverland - Play Michael Jackson and snare boys escaping from your ranch. Let one escape and you get raided and go to jail. The part I found most amusing - it uses music and sound effects (the "Ow!") from the old Michael Jackson's Moonwalker game.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

relax we understand j00 - Making sense of 1337-speak

Wanted: personal social network coordinator - "Permanent full-time position for a personal social coordinator for a New York-based web designer. Your primary responsibility will be managing my accounts with various online social networking sites including, but not limited to, Friendster, LinkedIn, Tribe, Orkut, Ryze, Spoke, ZeroDegrees, Ecademy, RealContacts, Ringo, MySpace, Yafro, EveryonesConnected, Friendzy, FriendSurfer, Tickle, Evite, Plaxo, Squiby, and WhizSpark."

Why your Movable Type blog must die - "

In the past, blogging was an interesting pastime. Now, with the advent of the ridiculously popular weblog package Movable Type, the Web is in risk of drowning under a tidal wave of morons who throttle search engines with writing that has no purpose and such PageRank-destroying features as "TrackBack"."
But why lambast MT blogs only? Most points apply to many blogs around today.


Interview in the Sunday Times today:

"When we visited a Buddhist temple one day to have a meal, he said we'd have no problems because it was vegetarian. As it turned out, it was vegetarian, but all the dishes were made to taste like ham, beef, chicken and even a suckling pig. We couldn't eat."

What does vegetarian chicken have to do with it? And if they can't eat foods masquerading as pork, then vegetarian bacon bits, turkey ham, turkey bacon and the like are haram too, and MUIS should take away McDonald's Halal cert.


Every Sperm Is Sacred

Composers: David Howman & Andre Jacquemin
Authors: Michael Palin & Terry Jones
From the Movie 'The Meaning of Life'

DAD:
There are Jews in the world.
There are Buddhists.
There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
There are those that follow Mohammed, but
I've never been one of them.
I'm a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.
You don't have to be a six-footer.
You don't have to have a great brain.
You don't have to have any clothes on. You're
A Catholic the moment Dad came,
Because
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

GIRL:
Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can't be found.

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is wanted.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

MUM:
Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

MEN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.

WOMEN:
If a sperm is wasted,...

CHILDREN:
...God get quite irate.

PRIEST:
Every sperm is sacred.

BRIDE and GROOM:
Every sperm is good.

NANNIES:
Every sperm is needed...

CARDINALS:
...In your neighbourhood!

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is useful.
Every sperm is fine.

FUNERAL CORTEGE:
God needs everybody's.

MOURNER #1:
Mine!

MOURNER #2:
And mine!

CORPSE:
And mine!

NUN:
Let the Pagan spill theirs
O'er mountain, hill, and plain.

HOLY STATUES:
God shall strike them down for
Each sperm that's spilt in vain.

EVERYONE:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite iraaaaaate!
Comments attributed to Andy Rooney I was forwarded almost 2 weeks back which I've annotated (original version can be found here):


Andy Rooney said on 60 minutes a few weeks back: (for those of you
that don't know Andy Rooney, he is an 82 year old US TV commentator.)

I like big cars, big boats, big motorcycles, big houses and big campfires.
Good for you. What if I like big government unlike you? To each his own

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some
governmental stooge with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to
crack addicts for squirting out babies.
I'm sure that pouring the money into farm subsidies for filthy rich farmers so Third World peasants can't find a market for their crops is a much better use of your money. Taxes exist for a reason - to help the disadvantaged.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.
Weapons of mass destruction don't make you a killer either, but I don't see anyone advocating for all countries to exercise a divine right to hold them.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.
If you feel that Jews are big-nosed, skullcap wearing usurers and evil Zionist scum, that's not anti-Semitism, that's an opinion.

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything, except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America, and see what happens. Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.
So I assume others have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of you.

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70%
of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.
But the truth is - it's a disproportionate number who get arrested. The reason for the discrepancy lies elsewhere, not the Law of Probability.

I know what sex is, and there are not varying degrees of it. If I received
sex from one of my subordinates in my office, it wouldn't be a private matter or my personal business. I would be "FIRED" immediately!

I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should HAVE to speak English!
I'm not all that sure all the immigrants who made America great spoke English, so I guess we can discount their contributions.

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain, so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry self, if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in ENGLISH, see the above lines.
So I guess it's okay if you Americans get beaten up by Moroccan police after you accidentally outrage the modesty of some of their women by touching their hands to get their attention. Oh I forgot. Most of you have never been outside of your country.

I feel much safer letting a machine with no political affiliation recount votes when needed. I know what the definition of lying is.
Guess you haven't heard about all the screw ups plaguing the new machines, huh?

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.
At least they're helping the economy to *grow*, instead of sitting around sulking like Pennsylvania steel workers and whining for trade tariffs just because they can't make steel as efficiently as others.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.
Foreign countries did not come over and risk their lives in a war for your independence, so that centuries later you could call them "cheese eating surrender monkeys". And if labour and environmental standards can be imposed willy-nilly all over the third world on pain of sanctions, why not recognise that after 200 years, your constitution is as irrelevant if taken literally as Nostradamus?

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor. I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.

I believe a self-righteous liberal or conservative with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.
Funny, aren't you one?

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy that invented the Internet to help you.
I think the Japanese have every right to make cars that put Detroit to shame and even bankruptcy. And at least they don't run roughshod over their competitors with underhand tactics.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"
Unfortunately, a smack and a "no" is hardly the worst that happens.

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly, infected mouth as you serve me fries!

I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else. And if you don't like my point of view, tough.


NB: The above comments weren't actually made by Andy Rooney, and bear a striking resemblance to another piece attributed to George Carlin. See Snopes' investigation.

Andy Rooney himself said that:

"About a year ago, I became aware of a more serious theft of my name and it is so hurtful to my reputation that it calls for legal action against the thief. Hundreds of people have written asking if I really wrote the 20 detestable remarks made under my name that have had such wide circulation on the Internet.

[...]

Some of the remarks, which I will not repeat here, are viciously racist and the spirit of the whole thing is nasty, mean and totally inconsistent with my philosophy of life. It is apparent that the list of comments has been read by hundreds of thousands of Americans, many of whom must believe that it accurately represents opinions of mine that I don't dare express in my column or on television. It is seriously damaging to my reputation."

It just goes to show - "People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it first."


Civ 3's devilishly hard. Even at Chieftain (easiest), it wasn't a pushover and now I'm finding Warlord challenging.
Noise merchants take the rap with a dose of opera

A judge has come up with a novel way to punish those who play their car stereos too loudly — he sentences them to a night at the opera.

Offenders who agree to sit in Judge Jeffrey Swartz’s Miami chambers and listen to his favourite operas can have their cases dismissed, avoiding the $460 fine and court costs.

Mr Swartz gleefully doles out his punishment by opera every Monday at his courtroom overlooking the Washington Avenue nightclub strip. His philosophy is simple: "You impose your music on me, and I’m going to impose my music on you."

Most of those brought before him for noise violations are young men stopped with customised car stereos blasting out rap and hip-hop music from subwoofers. He decided how to deal with them after stopping at a red light next to a car playing music so loud that "my car windows were rattling, I could hear the bolts loosening in the engine well".

This week Mr Swartz had two volunteers for trial by opera. He told Gene Tary, 23: "You’re a lucky man, you’re going to be listening to La traviata."

"Never heard of it," said Tary, quickly adding: "But it sounds good."

Joseph Puerto, his companion in the punishment box, said that he was no opera buff, but La traviata had to be better than a $460 fine. "The only time I heard opera before was in a James Bond movie, and that was only for about two seconds," he said.

Mr Swartz, 54, does not choose his opera specifically to fit the crime, in which case he would surely prescribe doses of Nessun Dorma from Turandot for offenders who kept neighbours awake.

Instead he bases his choice on what is playing at the Florida Grand Opera. Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet opens on Wednesday and will debut shortly afterwards in the judge’s chambers.

It does not matter if the offenders enjoy the punishment or not, the judge says. "They either get to appreciate some culture, or it drives them up the wall. It’s a win-win situation," he said.

He does make exceptions. Verdi’s Macbeth is not on his playlist. "It’s too depressing. You need about five Prozacs to avoid suicide." He also refuses to play Bizet’s Carmen. "They’d take to that too easily"
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related:www.sammyboy.com - My content is related to that on Sammyboy? Wah.

hellokitty horoscopes

"women raping man" - I can only visualise one woman raping one man at the same time.

"naked pictures of powerpuff girls - The only thing more disturbing than the Powerpuff Girls - naked pictures of them!

names given to havasupai indian girls in the 1800s and their meanings

anorexia pictures sex free porn - Might as well look at skeletons

primary school sex pics academics

"men in bra"

"hentai allowed in islam" - No, sorry. I don't think so.

depilate men private part hair - Does this have something to do with scrotal infusions?

the origins of tentacle porn - I'd like to know too.

army medic ringtone - Maybe someone will transcribe Medics of the Field someday.

Future Tense Windows Media Neopets - This mades no sense.

jokes abou internal audit - Internal audits are worse than jokes.

hindu pushup technique - One-handed?

toenail dust fetish

rjc short skirt

"pictures of people playing pool "

scgs courage - They forgot sincerity, generosity and service

God's Billboards parody - It seems my page is first!

Anti-NS singapore - Well done. Spot on.

Hentai dos Power Rangers - Lost Galaxy - I don't think so. Whatever a "dos" is.

JHATKA METHOD OF SLAUGHTER - I also want to know what Jhatka is.

duck dodgers hentai - wth. Daffy Duck'd into Hental too these days?!

pictogram for bullshit

learn to vibrate breakdance - They can take lessons from Wo-Hen.

+review prettislim - How about "+review prettibosom"? I hear most of the programs give temporary enlargement only and use pumps, massages and creams. Just like Swedish made penis enlarger pumps.

local mother gets rape or fuck in s'pore

chio rjc blog

ancient baal worship pics - I don't think he has an illustrated handbook of rites.

dangers of electric toothbrush "masturbation" - Whoever you are, please don't get electricuted

acjc adidas - Rich, aren't they? :)

pics of teletubby in the smoke of trade towers - Now *that* is freaky.

chij sluts - I seem to have seen this before.
scgs porn - Ditto

wenshan nude in the public
Outfield Excursion

All the HQ medics were to be sent outfield to set up the BCS (Battalion Casualty Station) for 2 days and 2 nights, so we were told to report to the Medical Centre by 7pm. In the end, we left just after midnight - the SAF is truly wonderful and efficient.

After we'd set up the BCS, I found that due to it being a night setup (thus enclosed so no light could escape), it was extremely stuff and humid inside, and I felt light-headed - almost faint. And so when we finally got to sleep, instead of sleeping in the BCS tentage or our vehicles, I just opened up a stretcher and KO-ed outside the BCS.

It was already past 3 am, so I was hoping to snatch a precious few hours of uninterrupted rest, but alas, this was not to be. We were made to do guard duty in one hour shifts clad in webbing and helmet - which was even more pointless and obviously for show than it would have been, since we had no weapons. If this wasn't bad enough, through the haze of sleep, I dimly perceived our CO and friends running around, and even after they'd left, I couldn't get back to sleep, especially since the insects were beginning to get to me, so I moved back into the stuffy bronco and uncomfortably reposed.

Being in Armour, we were suitably stocked for our journeys, and while sipping some F&N "Cheeky" Cherryade, a flash of inspiration struck and I came up with one more alternate name for F&N's alliterative series of drinks. So now we have: Obiang Orange (?), Gross Grape, Sucky Strawberry, Freaky Fruitade, Cloying Cherryade, Zonking Zappel (?) and Lousy Lychee! (NB: Names with a question mark beside them are not confirmed as yet) I got some alternate suggestions (cheebye cherryade, fucking fruitade, lanjiao lychee) but somehow they don't have the same charm.

Somehow, we didn't get to draw any combat rations, so we subsisted on bread all the way. This was just as well, I suppose, for from what I saw, other people were eating the Muslim Combat Rations, which not only are hot but contain less pasta packets than the Non-Muslim ones. I discovered that Campbell's Chunky soup is good to have outfield, whether virgin or with bread. I think they should give it to us in our combat rations. It would probably be cheaper than what they currently give us (estimates of 1 24hr pack range from $25 to $50, and most of the cost should go to the SFI-produced meal packets, since the rest can be had commercially), especially in bulk, and sure as hell tastes a whole lot better.

Later in the Outfield Experience, I do not know what came over me, but I had a case of "combat stress reaction" - I broke down when my MO scolded me. I'd forgotten to bring some frozen food from the freezer in camp, cutting off one meal's supplies to widespread discontent. Then later, when we were engaging in casualty "play", I fumbled a few times, and got accused of faking blood pressure readings. I was then inconsolable for a while till I was dispatched back to camp to replenish the ice and make good on my forgetting to bring the frozen food.

Later in the fortnight, I was catching up with a week's backlog of work, and discovered an administrative lapse. The MOs questioned why this was so, and questioned the system, but circumstances inevitably made it seem that it was me taking the hit, and I started to crumble again, managing to get dismissed before I lost control completely.

On a detached level, I wonder why these events distressed me so, for I have little or no pride - indeed, I have no small measure of shame - in anything to do with the SAF. Even if I did, these are little things, and not worthy of worry or taking to heart. And - if I'm going to ORD with this sort of temperament, I think I better check myself into IMH.


Days in 42SAR

To commemorate Total Defense Day, we had a turnout just after 4am on Saturday. We'd heard rumours of a turnout, but it was finally confirmed by our Routine Orders, so we were prepared. I actually had woken up a while before the turnout started, after multiple ringing alarm clocks woke me (but unfortunately, not the ones who set them), though I was too lazy to turn them off, and was lying in bed when I heard the fire bell ringing. People got very excited, and more than one person was running up and down the corridor shouting "ORD Loh!". Groggily, we proceeded downstairs with a mess tin, fork and spoon to eat plain porridge with sweet potato chunks which just made us more hungry, listen to a talk and watch a Defense Watch video, the message of which probably sunk in more effectively due to our lowered resistance to brainwashing. I was actually eagerly anticipating us being asked: "What can we learn from this day?", for I had an answer prepared: "Even when defended by a motivated, well-equipped, well-trained, world class, professional army (the British in 1942), we will lose. So we have no hope with a demoralised, half-past six conscript army of slave soldiers."

I miss the days when all the vending machines in our camp sold Root Beer, and one day I spotted the F&N man topping up one of the machine. I asked him if he could put Root Beer in and he replied that his boss dictated what drinks were available, based on "market data". Bah.

We were made to go on a 5km route march in SBO, and as usual, I was in the Gabriel (ie the last) detail. Sometimes, I wonder why they bother.

During company runs and other physical activities, they like to play us weaker ones off against each other, with cries such as "Christopher is catching up!", or "Gabriel is in front of you. How can you let him beat you?". I, for one, am not swayed by these attempts to appeal to a non-existent part of my pride. In a related note, I am always being accused of "not puting in effort". One of these days, I shall put in no effort at all, stop moving and plonk myself down on the ground.

Our old CSM has returned from East Timor, and during a bunk inspection he allegedly proclaimed Wo-Hen Nankan "obiang" and swore at him, so I have been forced to move his pictures onto the inner door of my cupboard. In more uplifting news, though, I have re-telked (however you spell it) my documentation table, and put pictures of my 2 idols underneath it, to widespread disapproval.

42 is becoming more and more ririculous. Now enlistees are not allowed to wear the battalion baseball cap in camp.

We were chosen to participate in a grassroots leaders visit to Nee Soon camp one Sunday. Just as we didn't want to be there, I think the grassroots leaders didn't either. Anyhow, we were kiwing the tracks of our Broncos in preparation. Not only was this tedious and tiring, it was pointless too, for by the day of the visit, one could not tell how we'd slaved over the tracks.

One day when I booked out in No 4, the guard 2ic told me to put on my beret, but he himself wasn't wearing his. Bah.

Some reservists tried to hitchhike out of camp, and one of them was making the sign. So I'm not the only idiot who's tried!

Apparently people in HQ4SAB stay out on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Wah. [Update: A friend who's in there tells me this isn't true. Just goes to show - don't believe everything you hear in the SAF!]

My WITS team won the "Outstanding Commendable Effort" award. Now, if we could just figure out what that means...

Mandai Range

I got arrowed to cover my company's range at Mandai on Thursday and Friday, and consequently my sleep cycle is seriously disrupted - I woke at 5:10am on Thursday and slept at almost 1:30am, since people took their time shooting at the range. On Friday, I woke at 5:30am (about 4 hours of sleep) and slept just after 12 midnight. However, we had the Total Defence turnout (see above), so I got only about 4 hours of sleep for the second consecutive night.

I did manage to get some sleep at the range - more than the firers, at any rate, but in both quality and quantity it was less than sufficient, due to the rule that at range, no one is allowed to lie down. This rule puzzles me, actually. If the firers don't get to rest properly, they won't shoot properly, especially if it's the second or third day of a range, when insufficient sleep is already having an effect on the firers' performances. Maybe it's just a devious rule drawn up by the SAF to ensure fewer people get Marksman, and so it saves money.

The range itself was quite impressive, as ranges go. The canteen was large and looked like a proper canteen, even coming with a fish pond, public telephone and a dog, and the shooting chambers, toilet and training sheds were all numerous and large.

Medical Centre Musings

The 46SAR recruits are very ardent patrons of our after hours report sick service. It wouldn't be that bad, but for the fact that they come singly, such that sometimes the entire evening can be burnt sending them to see the duty MOs. They should make them wait for 2 hours, then have a tonner send 20 of them to Tengah to see the MO, or have an evening sick parade when they are asked if they want to report sick.

Our medical centre is a veritable rats' paradise. It started with the pantry - if one enters it, there's a good chance that one will see rats scurrying up pipes or scampering across the floor to their hiding places with unearthly speed and dexterity. Now, the infestation has spread. I am told that they now run across the sickbay floor at night, striking abject fear into the hearts of those warded for sore eyes, and they have even been spotted in the waiting area in the main building. I hope that the upcoming renovation will get rid of them once and for all.

After some time, you no longer care - you can no longer afford to. (Un)Fortunately, I haven't reached that stage.

General SAF Thoughts

SAF units always expend all unused rounds (live or blank) after ranges, live firing and exercises. I am told that this is because the paperwork to fill out for returning the rounds is too onerous. Perhaps to save costs, they should make it such that it is easier to return some rounds than expend them all - an incentive, even. Maybe 10% of the cost of returned rounds can be channeled towards the respective unit's welfare fund.

Some doctors interviewed on people who malinger to get fake MCs said that people who do manual, repetitive work and/or are unhappy in their jobs are the most likely to get MCs. This describes the problem the SAF has perfectly.

I wonder why many people are wont to postulate wildly implausible 'what if' scenarios, and then expect others to prepare for all of them, even if the expected benefit is dwarfed by the expected cost.

It's rich, how people can talk about Social Defense as a part of Total Defense, when some parts of the SAF - Armour and Signals, for example, are off limits to certain groups.

I am told in Maju camp, due to the cat infestation, they're getting a day off for each cat they kill. Maybe they should give us a day off for each dog that we kill.


"Fairness" in the SAF

The SAF concept of "fairness" is uniquely warped. Whenever one person manages to pull himself above the others in some small way, perhaps to improve the quality of his life infinitesimally, he will be pulled down promptly by his peers, egged on by the commanders, so that he, once again, is as miserable as they are, to a chorus of "it's not fair to the others". For example, if some people in a group are in the shade, they are told to move into the sun (even if the area of shade is sufficient to accommodate everyone). As a friend puts it, this is the "Crab Bucket Syndrome - a term coined by educational psychologists, describing the phenomena that crabs in a bucket will always pull down the lone crab who’s almost crawled out of the bucket. Prevalent mainly where large groups of oppressed/disempowered people gather hoping no one will rise above his/her station and make the rest of them look lazy. e.g. school, the workplace, the military).

One wonders why, instead of this "one suffer, all suffer" (sic) attitude, they cannot have a "one enjoy, all enjoy" (sic) attitude. Life, after all, is not a zero-sum game, and this mercantilist philosophy can only lead to greater aggregate suffering as the "equal misery principle" is applied. If not everyone can be happy, can not at least some people be less unhappy than the others?

I suspect that this mentality is deliberately encouraged both to play slaves off against each other in trivial matters such as these, such that they fall to petty squabbling and putting each other down and thus are distracted from greater things, and to reinforce the sense in everyone that National Slavery is a must - if one has had to do it, one will be less objecting to one's sons doing it ("I did it. So can/should/must/will you, son"), and will also strenuously object if, in the distant future, they come to their senses and decide to enslave a smaller proportion of the male population ("I had/have to do it. Why shouldn't they?").


"It is hard to think of any neo-conservative who has put on his country's uniforms other than in his dreams" (The Economist) - Deliciously wicked. I love it.

The funniest book I have read in a long while: "How to marry the man of your choice" (Margaret Kent, 1988). Particularly mirth-inducing sections are forthcoming, and I'm not the only one who thinks so as Publishers Weekly commented that "the author's detailed tips on male manipulation comprise a howling, humorous success". (Apparently the book sold for US$95 on initial publication!)

A certain friend of mine - let's call him "Melvin", to preserve his privacy - not too long ago made the mistake of agreeing to let the NKF suck a few dollars off him every month. Since that fateful day, he has changed his mind (or decided he was too lazy to give them his bank account number). He has been pestered by the NKF staff at least 3 times on his handphone, and they have now resorted to emailing him to try to wheedle his bank account number from him. It seems they don't get the message, while he is too shy to tell them the truth (maybe I need to answer the 4th call for him and forcefully turn them away with my holy charms). The NKF is really like the dialysis machines it buys, sucking blood endlessly. The only difference being most, or at least a good portion, of the blood disappears. I wonder where all the money goes to, anyway.
[Ed: Update as of 15/02/04 - They've sent something by snail mail to his house. I offered my services in rebuffing them but "Melvin" declined. For all we know, their overpaid staff will be knocking on his door next!]

Apparently Nokia phones cannot send pictures and ringtones to one another via IR. Evil!

I am told that My Little Pony slash exists, but I'm having finding it. Maybe I need to ask the Internet Search Wizard.


Quotes:

I have a feeling of impending doom.

Silly And Foolish. SAF stands for what. (That's what SAF stands for)

[On the grassroots leaders visit to Nee Soon camp] So are any of our friends' fathers grassroots leaders? Ask them to go. "Very good, very good"

[On safety and learning from mistakes] All wear black. CO killed by a flying baka pole. "Treat it as a learning experience"

[On a route march] I'm your bunk mate. I always take good care of you. Fuck you, walk faster lah!

[Someone: Signal platoon diam! Good morning Sir!] Go away, go away. [Someone: Permission to carry on Sir!] Carry on 20. [Someone: Thank you Sir! Signal platoon at ease!]

[On why there are so many school kids in Bishan] Everybody likes RI guys, so they come here to pick them up.

Once I came to 42, everything went down[hill]. Nothing surprises me anymore.

[On my being in 42SAR for almost 20 months] I don't know how you lasted here so long. You are truly strong.

[On 'How to marry the man of your choice'] This stupid book plants stupid ideas into stupid women.

[On the above] Are you going to write that down? Let me repeat it to you slowly. [Me: No need]

[On my listening to 96.8FM] What the hell are you doing? Do you want me to send you to PCC?

[On my troubles] They seems to have given up on you. Now they only make fun of you. Always seems to call your name. (seem)

[On safety during the airborne course] There ws one guy who was even more vicious. He hoped that ***'d land in a crocodile farm in Southern Thailand.

[Routine Orders] All personnel are reminded to consume porridge for breakfast on Saturday in collaboration to Total Defense Day (commemoration of)

[Me on the black meal: I hope it's not mat food] I think it's mat food. I heard the food today is funeral food.

Are we the only ones who clean the toilet? Sorry, I phrased it wrongly. Are we the only ones who are supposed to clean the toilet?

There's nothing much to do in the Treatment Room. I wonder what Toh Ah Beng does there all day. That's why he goes for so many details... His job is so much easier than mine.

[On my secret garden] Why is my name still there?... And stop forging my signature! [Me: It's not me. It was Melvin]
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