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Saturday, November 22, 2003

Of Revenge

Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong, putteth the law out of office.

Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon. And Solomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory of a man, to pass by an offence. That which is past is gone, and irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do, with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labor in past matters. There is no man doth a wrong, for the wrong's sake; but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honor, or the like. Therefore why should I be angry with a man, for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and scratch, because they can do no other. The most tolerable sort of revenge, is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed, the revenge be such as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still before hand, and it is two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous, the party should know, whence it cometh. This is the more generous. For the delight seemeth to be, not so much in doing the hurt, as in making the party repent. But base and crafty cowards, are like the arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus, duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable; You shall read (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our enemies; but you never read, that we are commanded to forgive our friends. But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune: Shall we (saith he) take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also? And so of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal, and do well. Public revenges are for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Caesar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry the Third of France; and many more. But in private revenges, it is not so. Nay rather, vindictive persons live the life of witches; who, as they are mischievous, so end they infortunate.

--- Francis Bacon - The Essays

Currently struggling through a Penguin Classics edition of the above. This essay is one of the more understandable ones. Maybe I'll be able to comprehend the rest better in a few years.

On the Wheel of Time:

"Ugh, I hate this guy. Robert Jordan is the Britney Spears of hack fantasy novelists, whose greatest glories are his overhyped, masturbatory, enormously sloppy brick-sized tomes full of scrabbled-together ideas stolen from his betters, which he seems to be able to produce at the rate rabbits reproduce, and his apparent utter inability to know when to shut the fuck up. Will someone please send this greedy bastard to Mars before he writes any more? Jesus. //"
Perhaps only those not possessing archaic, anachronistic and outmoded morals will not find the act of selling inherently "degrading and contemptible", but are able to look beyond the holier-than-thou moralising to see it for what it is - a simple commercial transaction.

As is the selling of the mind.
Only if the act of "selling" is inherently "degrading and contemptible", or maybe the mind possesses certain characteristics which are not despoiled by commercial transactions, whereas the body does (or at least that's the common delusion). I'm sure there are many other flaws to your syllogism.

If the mind is higher than, and superior to the body, is not the selling of the mind an altogether more degrading and contemptible act than the selling of the body?

[Ed: A note to nitpickers - this is a mere thought, and does not mean that I hold the selling of the body to be degrading and contemptible.]

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Webmaster would like to clarify that his selection of quotes does not in any way reflect his personal opinions.

He would also like to state that not all quotes make sense, and despite that (or indeed, because of that), they are put up for the world to view.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I was outfield and monkeys were wreaking havoc. They were extremely numerous and daring, stealing our trash bag, the CSM's bread and a few packets of combat rations. That same day, some of the bread I'd brought along to eat got filched by many people for - of all things - bait for fish. Gah. Later in the day, Guohan unlocked the hidden potential of the SAF jack knife - I never knew it had a pair of tweezers inside. Further inspection revealed a toothpick as well.

The SAF likes to drone on and on about security, but I think that one big security threat of its own creation is its obsession with looking for contraband (so it can deter people from bringing in luxury items and punish those who do, thereby making them miserable) at the expense of searching for eal threats to security (eg plastic explosives). Contraband poses a negligible threat to security - for example CD-RWs are no use without CD-RW drives, and ditto for floppy discs. Hell, going by this logic, pen and paper should be illegal too, and we should all be subjected to mind wipes on booking out to erase classified information from our minds.

Instead of just ordering less food from the cookhouse, my CSM has devised an elaborate scheme to ensure that we all eat our food. We are all getting a meal card with our particulars which we will drop in a box at the cookhouse before each meal. The COS will tick our names off a list and the CSM will check the cards after each meal. She will then return the cards to our Platoon Sergeants, who will in turn return the cards to us before the next meal. Wonderful.

Due to my punishing all-week exercise routine, the delirious, semi-conscious states I enter during company runs seem to be coming on earlier. I wonder what level I'll degenerate to next.

I brought the Victoria's Secret catalogue (so risque, it's more explicit than all the local Men's Magazines) to camp since it was going to be thrown away. I put it at the reading materials area one night before I went outfield, intending to see if it'd disappear in a day. The next day, I found that the other medics had already spirited it away for their own viewing, presumably not wishing the patients to become more sick after seeing the catalogue.

Sometimes I really can't stand the bunk. Walking in most mornings, its oppressive air hits me like a hammer. It's so hot, humid and smelly, I wonder how anyone can sleep there. It's bad enough when I sleep on the table, so I don't understand how some people can sleep far away from the fans, cover themselves with blankets and leave the windows shut, and not die of heatstroke. Maybe they're masochists.

I've realised that to prolong the longevity of my uniforms, I can take several measures. Nowadays, I try to stay in the medical centre for as much of the time as possible, and when I walk out of it, I walk slowly and alone (others like to walk extremely quickly some reason). The results have been quite pleasing.

Some people brought in durians from outfield and gave me and Melvin one. They were small, but otherwise weren't bad actually.

Ban Xiong and I bought 2 pillows at Lot One for $12.85. Yeh. I've labelled mine and squirrelled it away. If it gets stolen regardless, may the black little heart of anyone who dares steal it be doomed to eternal hellfire!

A friend of mine got charged for sleeping and fined $100. Gee.

I've been trying to brainstorm new titles for our favourite Local Third Sergeant, so he can rival Duli Yang. So far, I've come up with: Our Poor Suffering Local Third Sergeant, soon to be a Poor Suffering Substantive Third Sergeant, the Self-Proclaimed "Master Of Office", the All-Knowing Holey Man, Top Bio Student in NJC In His Year, the Lord of the Chair, He-Who-Cackles-Evily-To-Himself, the Gatherer of Unspecified Friends - Tan Ban Xiong.

Melvin got a fly in his laksa at the cookhouse. So much for safe food.

Gee. Even the good ole SMM is on Friendster. Eek.

My parents have a penchant for watching gratingly bad chinese TV shows at night. Usually whenever I pop in, I get disgusted after a while and walk out. This probably explains why we don't talk much at night.

The forum letters where every line is a question, and which end off asking a relevant authority to clarify its stand or give more information on the relevant matter are damn irritating. Actually I think all those letters are sent in by the same person.

I wonder if I'm still capable of writing anything longer than a paragraph and still have it remain cogent and lucid, given my recent propensity for short, disconnected writings. A bottom up approach to writing may mean more bases are covered, but the end result will inevitably be more incoherent and disorganised. But then how else is it possible to chronicle stray thoughts and scattered vignettes with no apparent link between them?


[On the definition of subversion] A forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social or religious beliefs, attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas - sounds like the army.

Even those at night prowling, don't go one corner and sleep or just follow the dog and walk. (For those prowling at night)

[On a presentation] When it's time to clap, please help them to clap.

[Someone on a phone query: So how did you deal with the matter?] [Me: I made her giggle and put down.]

Monica Bellucci is a porn star lah... She's got more class, cos she's French (Italian)

[On a film name] 'Apartment Comma L Apostrephe'. French is such a cool language.

[Me: Hello, Medical Centre] I'm calling from the Ops Room. [Me: Which Ops Room are you from?] 42 Ops Room. [Me: Oh ok, what are you calling regarding?] Err. I'll call you back later.

If Shostakovich is playing Piano Concerto then I will go. (they are playing Shostakovich's)

[On an SCGS girl on the street] I take leave, can wear slippers out. Chee Bai, wear slippers with uniform. [Someone: Wah lan eh, SCGS] All the big boob girls are from here. [Someone: All the lesbians]

[On rich people] Wah fuck he got 4 cars. 2 of them are BMs... No curtains. Have sex never put curtains.

Next time when I make it big... limouisine, hundreds of bodyguards. [Someone: I'm gonna employ my own militia. All carry MP5.]

Who should I send for the 50 kilometer run?... Gabriel! It'll take you three days to finish walking it.

[To me] Please do not put your breasts on the table in front of me when I'm eating.

[Me: My friend's letter just got published in the Straits Times. There are so many issues nowadays - I don't know whether it's about oral sex or LKY.] Maybe it's thanking a taxi driver.

[On trying the reflex test on my elbow, then knee and failing due to his incompetence] You have no reflexes.
Mom Finds Out About Blog - I'm sure we can all relate to this.

The Book of Imaginary Beings

Celebrities with and without makeup

The Observer | Travel | Size 24 and too shy for an XXL bikini? Fat chance

Some Great Helpful Hints

1. Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hair spray and they will take a quick dive.

2. Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.

3. Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords in. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

4. For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.

5. Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes of with little effort (elbow grease that is!).

6. Remove permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) use rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

7. Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S. pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!

8. Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to the size of the jar and I give it a good twist and off pops the lid!

9. Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!

10. Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

11. Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.

12. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.

13. Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

14. To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

15. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

16. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you'll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.

17. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

18. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

19. Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.

20. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

21. To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.

22. Spray your Tupperware with non stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.

23. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

24. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."

25. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

26. Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking.

27. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it.

28. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness. (Works for carrots, too.)

29. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

30. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

31. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

32. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dish washing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

33. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

34. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

35. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. Borax acid powder also works if you spread a thin line in the crevices that are not visible within the cabinets. See for yourself.

36. Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

37. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotchtape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

38. Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.

39. Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or a cruet or coffee pot, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

40. Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

41. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary.)

42. Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

This is pathetic. Hits by day:

09 Nov, Sun 2
10 Nov, Mon 4
11 Nov, Tue 2
12 Nov, Wed 3
14 Nov, Fri 3
15 Nov, Sat 2

Suspect the counter is spoilt.

Quote of the Post:

[On the iMac 2] It's very phallic you know. Like a breast. - Brother in Law
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