When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, June 14, 2003

Got a hit from this url: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RJC22nd/message/1009. Don't tell me that they're still after me!

Less than a year to ORD!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

10-minute non-study period (1839hrs - 1849 hrs)

I know what i want to do after exams! Watch arthouse flicks!
Nowhere in africa
Whale Rider
Balzac and the little chinese seamstress (i'm sure the title in mandarin isn't as icky as the translation)
the 25th hour
The crime of padre amaro
Mrs. Caldicot's Cabbage War
Russian Ark (G - 96m) ( Russian History/Fantasy)
gabriel you might like this one if it ever comes to singapore (film fest?) it's a fantasy-documentary on 300 yrs of russian history

Habla Con Ella (Talk to Her) (MA - 113m)(Spanish Drama)

The Quiet American (M - 101m) (Drama )

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

He Who Must Not Be Named:

"i have praised your merits as the owner of the largest private gamebook collection in SE Asia to a lot of people"


Seems Kairen's intel is wrong. Lu Rui En was actually from Commerce. Oh well.

Gah! My third letter to the forum (on the ridiculousness of current copyright laws) didn't get published. I think I shall desist from further exercises in futility.

Shawn Ban quoting someone else (whom I'm not sure wants to be linked):

Something that struck me quite a while ago, but which I've never really gotten around to recording. Anyone who's read 1984 (the novel of the last century, if BBC is to be believed) may recall that one of the propaganda techniques used by the regime in the book was the perpetual state of war. Constant mobilisation against threat fuels nationalism, encourages people to rally behind the leadership, and makes the general population more receptive to restrictions on their liberties.

While actual military campaigns are obviously effective for this purpose, their financial and political expense (those are our boys out there, after all) do place limits on their use. What you really need is something that will bubble merrily just under the surface of the national consciousness for a protracted period of time. What you want is a sustained sense of urgency, an enemy no one can take issue with fighting, a danger that manages to consistently distort society's sense of normality.

War on terrorism, anyone? Or SARS?

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Our Senior Medic isn't going for a course after all, so poor Ban Xiong's promotion to Local/3rd Sergeant was all in vain. All the runs at 5:45 am. Being favoured by the CSM. The arrows and saikang. The grumbles of the enlistees. The good mannered jibes. And no extra pay too. At least he hasn't had to pay for the using the facilities of the "wonderful" Midlink Mess, can conduct warmups and doesn't need to march.

I was sent outfield again this week, and we had only Muslim field rations (even though we've no Muslims!), but this time I was more prepared than the previous times. The day before I left, I went on a little shopping expedition to stock up, so in the end I ended up bringing outfield: an insulator of ice (for safety reasons, naturally), a jumbo loaf of bread, a small tin of Pork and Goose Pate (I'm probably one of a handful who have brought such food outfield), a can of luncheon meat, a can of tuna, a can of pork sausages (unconsumed), 2 chocolate bars (1 unconsumed), 4 cans of soft drinks (assorted) and assorted sweets. Bob suggested having chilled wine outfield, but I'm a teetotaller, so :) One officer's verdict: "Si beh well prepared". I still found it hard to summon up the mood to read when I was being bathed in dust, dying of the heat and assailed by hordes of mosquitoes, though.

I bought a $1 fly swatter (Made In China, naturally) in the shape of a frog for use in the Documentation Room. Apparently they've killed 2 flies so far.

I brought some Earl Gray teabags to camp. Mmm. I like Early Gray tea. Its flavour is so exotic, a level above ordinary teas'.

I put some popsicles in the pantry freezer and just under half got stolen. Bah! :(

We were looking at pets in Jurong Point one day, and I got the chance to examine luohan closely. The splotches on their scales are more detailed than I thought they were, but I still can't figure out what (if any) chinese words are supposed to be spelt out on the Luohans' bodies. I suppose it's like the Rorschach test, where you see what you -want- to see. Later, we went to look at pussies. All were lazy (most were sleeping) and arrogant, though, as cats are wont to be, but since the ones we saw were probably pedigree, they were much nicer to look at, with their soft, silky fur, than the strays my sister and brother in law customarily flirt with. Now -these- pussies you want to stroke, not those which scamper around rubbish dumps at night. I still prefer the doggies though. They were mostl lively and glad to see all of us.

I finished my second reading of Raymond E Feist's Silverthorn (joy!) recently, and am on Darkness at Sethanon now. It is sweet intoxication to tread upon familiar, intimate, well loved ground. At the same time, I get the nagging feeling that I should be looking at new material as well. Oh well, one can never finish reading everything, and what is the value of reading things that everyone else has read? As the anecdote one of those Chinese sages related went (and as I read in an AsiaPac Chinese Wisdom comic series), this scholar was walking around with one of those backpack book holder contraptions, and he was berated by an old man, who pointed out that what had been published was already known, so he should instead go out into the world and discover new ideas, whereupon he dumped his books and ran into the forest screaming in enlightenment. Or something like that.

Fabled Lands 6 - Lords of the Rising Sun was on auction at ebay, but the price was ridiculous (21 pounds or so 3 days before it ended). I'd have bid for it if one of the following were true: FL 5 was on offer too, it wasn't eventually going to be offered free online, the price wasn't so darn high and I hadn't lost much of my interest in gamebooks. At least I still have 1-4, bought at Popular Orchard MRT. I doubt they ever shipped 5 and 6 to Singapore. Pity 7-12 were never published.

There won't be Pork satay at the new Satay Club. Pity. Pork satay's the most succulent, fragrant and enticing of the lot.

Professor James Aho, Professor of Sociology at Idaho State University: "Every major world religion has people who have appropriated the label of their religion in order to legitimize their violence". That's not really true. How about Buddhism and Chinese traditional religions?

At this year's PUS (Pre-University Seminar), the students were instructed not to talk to the press "to allow organisers to balance the need to ensure that the activities at the event and interviewees' schedule are not unduly disrupted with the need to facilitate the media in covering the event and interviewing participants". Right. For some reason, though, getting a press officer to be around when the students are interviewed does not "disrupt" the schedule or activities, so their lie rings hollow. I am not very surprised, but I don't think they've ever been this compulsive about white washing their image before - they want to manage the event even down to that level, even though students, when interviewed at this manner of events, usually offer the usual boring platitudes. At least it's not as bad as Aceh, where you can't even quote GAM spokesman, so their "lies" won't cause confusion (as if spreading TNI's lies are any better).

Of the $15 billion that Dubya recently budgeted for the prevention of AIDS worldwide, a third of the money scheduled for prevention is to be channeled into promoting abstinence. What a wonderful way to prevent AIDS. In the same vein, I suggest that America combat Islamic Terrorism by shuttling money to Islamic Charities of dubitable repute to appease them. While they're at it, they might as well slash the defence budget drastically - unilaterally - to proclaim America's peaceful intentions so people won't feel threatened by the USA and will slash their own defence budgets. I am hard pressed to think of a more naive idea. Then again, these are the people who wanted to drill in the Artic National Wildlife Reserve.

ASEAN's response to the latest stunts of Burma's State "Peace" and "Development" Council is characteristically disappointing. "Internally we have to talk to our Myanmar colleague and find out what is going on" - Asean Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong (PM's former Press Secretary). A wonderful line, one that can be used in almost any situation. If the price of Black Market Burmese diamonds suddenly spikes, we'd also "have to talk to our Myanmar colleague and find out what is going on". So, as usual, we must "Bear in mind Myanmar is our member... you cannot go in and tell your family member you cannot do this, you cannot do that." I suppose we should keep mum if our family member rapes her (Ed: not a typo) six year old son, or if our family member beats her husband to a pulp daily, or if our family member murders someone. After all, it's his business, and we have no business interfering in his internal affairs. Perhaps people don't like exposing other's flaws because they fear that their own will come out into view as well.

Engagement is often trumpeted, but too often, it is but a cover for collusion. Even if engagement is tried, it seldom works and the target reaps all the benefits without having to keep up his side of the deal - just look how Kim Jong Il finagled everyone into providing him financial and food aid, while continuing work on his nuclear bombs. For more than a decade, ASEAN has tried "engaging" Myanmar, all to no avail. Because of "engagement" by China and ASEAN, EU and US trade sanctions aren't having much effect, and Than Shwe and friends can enjoy all their luxury goods.


[On fantasy books] My tastes are simple. [Me: Then you'll probably like David Eddings.] No, that one is too simple. The story has no depth at all. They just fight, fight, fight.

I can go outfield. 3 days, 2 nights. No problem. As long as it's not [with the] SAF.

Where are the officers? They're upstairs watching Miss Universe.

[On if I stand in as Senior Medic 2i/c] Then you [can] plan duty for both of us. One weekday [each].

[Me loudly: Ooi!] Why don't you just say "kannina"?

We have no First Sergeants in QM branch because they all either AWOL or go to DB before they become First Sergeants.
Frivolous thoughts on 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days':

This is a very good show to watch for girls to learn how to be screwed up. Geraldine should go and watch it, then she can drive Yechao mad. Love fern!

Unlike her mother, Kate Hudson doesn't seem to have a penchant for plastic surgery, since she obviously hasn't undergone the second most popular form of cosmetic surgery in America, which would be the most obvious sort that she would go for. Then again, she's half her mother's age, so. Despite not having undergone that form of surgery, though, it was very obvious she wasn't wearing nipple stickers for the grand ball. Sometimes I wonder why I notice these things.

Usually, in romantic comedies, the guy is the one who professes his stupidity at the end. Refreshingly, the girl did it this time. The guy still had to do the grand end-of-movie-chase, though. How tiresome and sexist.

Is the trailer for Ju On very funny? It's supposed to be a horror show, so how come everyone in the cinema laughed at the start of, and just after the trailer? I guess Singaporeans are inured to horror shows by now.

Is there this one guy in the USA whose job is to provide voiceovers for movie trailers? He seems to have a monopoly of the market.

Ooh. Very... unexpected flash.

What a dumb pussy cat

Asian Prince might not be looking for a princess anymore, but he still keeps a diary!

Ooo I remember this!

Title: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
Author: Sega

"Magic: Go Figure. Well it�s his game, let him do what he wants. As long as you hold down the �Magic� button, Michael will spin, and knock back enemies near him. When you release the button, he will throw his hat, which will go out a certain distance, and come back like a boomerang. If his hat hits an enemy, they blow up (WTF!? It�s just a hat). The only enemy I�ve encountered that didn�t blow up is the zombie (Yeah, there are zombies). If you hold the �Magic� button long enough, Michael will break into dance, along with all the enemies on screen (Now I know why I found this game enjoyable). At the end of the dance, Michael strikes a pose, and yells out �OWWW!� and all the enemies die. He must be a damn good dancer. I know that doesn�t happen when I dance."

Ahh, the joy of all those (few) console games I played in Primary School at other's houses. Modern console games just don't have this kind of quaint charm, and have fallen prey to the same tendencies that have ensnared PC game developers.
Blogger seemed to have recovered from its outage and locking me out while I was watching the DVD rip of Bridget Jones's Diary.

Stuff from Thursday in Reverse Chronological Order:

Acne Be Gone - a gross and funny zit popping web game

I've been migrated to Dano. And it seems all my old posts have been deleted. Wth?!

I was pissed off with Blogger, so I went to support an RJ alumna by watching a certain Channel 5 drama.

Following in the grand tradition of Channel 5 dramas, it is bad. Only it's so bad, it's funny. There is a campy feel to much of the show, which feels deliberate (as does its bad quality). The extras have wooden acting. Actually, so do the 2 leads, but it's forgivable - indeed to be encouraged, even, since the characters have supposedly switched bodies. I suspect this is all an attempt to capitalise on the traditional 'strengths' of Channel 5 dramas!

I'm rather pissed off that I missed the first two episodes - the first because of my screwy VCR, and the second as Channel 5 inexplicably switched the time slot, so I know neither the premise of the show, nor how they ended up switching bodies (which is a pretty interesting concept for a local drama, actually).
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