Sunday, August 29, 2004

::Goodbye Olympics 2004 -Thank You Athens!

I have a lot of respect for sports men and women, I really do.

That is the reason why I have been glued to the TV almost daily for the Olympic 2004 - all for the best of reasons. Well, you see, I am emotional when it comes to sports. There are too many triumphs and the agony of defeats throughout this Olympics and there are simply too many to write.

Among other will be the rise of Asian underdogs (think Japan and China in Athletics and Swimming, Thailand and Indonesia in Weight-lifting), the loss of favourites (4X100 metres women relay's loss of USA, Radcliffe's defeat in women's marathon and 10,000 metres, Maurice Greene's Greatest Of All Times (GOAT) tattoo which we all know is false), and those world-record breaking events (think women's pole vault, 100 metres freestyle (women and men) and so on.

So, as a chapter to close my attachment of the 'Olympic-addicts' for the couple of weeks or so (since I am not working anyway), here is an olympic joke to enjoy and cherish...

A man is out shopping and discovers a new brand of Olympic condoms. Clearly impressed, he buys a pack. Upon getting home he announces to his wife the purchase he just made.
"Olympic condoms?", she asks, "What makes them so special?"
"There are three colors", he replies, "Gold, Silver and Bronze."
"What color are you going to wear tonight?", she asks cheekily.
"Gold of course", says the man proudly.
The wife responds, "Really, why don't you wear Silver, it would be nice if you came second for a change!

So, here's a toast - to the spirits of sportmanship and ever lasting friendship in the world over!

And remember, in the next Olympics in Beijing, China, we will all be 4 years older!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

:: JB oh JB ::

The only one thing that I have some 'connection' with our Northern neighbour of Malaysia is Johor Baru (or romanised Johore Bahru or glam name JB).

I am unfortunate by not having any relatives who are Malaysians, and was often envious when my school friends would 'balik kampong' or visit their relatives (who have wide open spaces and places to run, play ball, hide and seek in the villages) during the school holidays.

Now back to JB.

My old pal and now-neighbour - KC and I would often drive to JB in late hours for these two reasons:
1) Top-up petrol (who cares about 15% discount at Bukit Timah petrol stations, when the ones in JB are 50%)
2) Car wash (with internal vacuum, tyres waxes) for only RM$8.00 only - so very cheap hor....yeah, cheapskate me.

From where we are staying, it will only take about 15 minutes to clear the immigrations and customs in both sides (sans traffic and/or inefficient civil servants).

Other than that, we would contribute to JB's economy by eating good food at Tebrau, buy cigarettes (I don't like Singapore's ugly health covers..hee2), some chewing gums and other 'vices' which are not good for the intellectual property - you know I mean?

Anyhow, tonight, while waiting at the usual car wash, we decided to check out the pub which has already been a centre of curiosity for us. We saw many fashionably nice people going in to a particular pub for a couple of times already, and tonight...cannot 'tahan' to find out why.

::first to carwash, then to booze::

The pub's name is called "Orang-Orang" which means many people in Malay, and it reminded me of the old pub in Holland Village called Chaplin's. It was rather familiar - both in ambience and music. They have outdoor areas (with those water mists and fan combi machine) and indoor ones. The music played reminded me of Hard Rock Cafe with the usual rock and roll fares like (Mony Mony - Billy Idol, I Love Rock N Roll - Joan Jetts and the Heartbreakers, Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams) well, you get my drift. All TV sets were tuned to the sports channels - ESPN's EPL games, Astro Sport's Olympics, Star Sport's Bowlings, etc etc.

In other words, it was a nice pub for smokes, macho talks, girl watching and drinks. But there is ONE important thing that is special in this pub. You see, the waitresses are beautiful and elegant (well, at least 80% anyways). They wear stylish evening gowns, short skirts and mostly in their Julia-Roberts-high-boots-in-Pretty-Woman-outfit and they have a NUMBER TAG. is not a hostess club, or nightclub or KTV, but they have number tags? I asked 101 - a beautiful and trendy Malay girl called Wati from Kulai, JB, what the number tag is for? With her hands on my shoulder and my hand, she said that if I want her to serve me drinks, I just called for her number, and if I want to buy her drinks, she will sit with me until the drinks are finished.It's that simple, she said and her job is to make sure that we drink until we cannot 'tahan', she added...with a laugh.

That sound interesting, but then, it was the closing time. I did not realise that it was already 2.30 am. KC and I have decided that for the next boys' nite out, it will be this place. I will let you know about the number tag experience in about 2 weeks time ;-)

Maybe, I will do a business analysis of why most nite spots in Singapore sucks big time then.


Saturday, August 21, 2004

:: 7th month is here ::

my immediate neighbours are what i called 'hungry ghosts activists'.

every year, without fail, they will organise the hungry-ghost-appeasing ceremony in conjuction with the 7th month. sort of having sexy singing and dancing in what we locals called 'getai', i realised that it was more a 'religious' ceremony than a commercial one. anything that has to do with religious and cultural beliefs - i respect them at all times, so absolutely no complains! after all, i am used to the burning of hell notes and the smell of smoke, only once or twice a year what, so what's the big deal?

end in mind -> so i just close all windows at home for 3 hours and watch dvds - why worry, right?

Friday, August 20, 2004

:: BBQ with the Mats::

The term "Mat" is a short nick name for "Mat Rock" - which is used to describe Malay young men who are so influenced by the Rock and Roll lifestyle that they emulate everything - like learning to play the guitar (usually under the void deck), keeping long hairs, tight jeans and denim jackets, etc.

But of course, we all know that these are stereotypes.

I, for once, have never been labelled a 'Mat' - maybe because I was not drawn into the Malay rock music and fashion in the 80s, or for whatever other reason. Anyhow, I am proud to be a 'Mat' - so be it! I love Rock and Roll and can rival any head-bangers on a good concert - anytime. Rockers' attitude? count me in babe!

Anyhow, my very good friends since secondary schools, together with their friends from their soccer team and other friends we knew when we were all in the motorcycle craze period of 1994-1998 had a 'mini-reunion'. Someone had rented a chalet at Pasir Ris Downtown East (what crap name that is) and had organised a BBQ.

I am not the sort who like to BBQ, I would rather come fashionably late and just enjoy the food that has been prepared...but this time, it was different - slightly. For once in a long long time, I started the fires and I am proud to say that my scouting skills have been useful after all these years. The fires were beautiful and on time, but then, of course, I had some help ;)

Anyhow...after all the food, talks, drinks, etc....oh yeah, some come with their wives and kids too. And you know what was the highlight of the BBQ?

It was Playstation 2's Championship Eleven tournament. 8 'mats' battling it out on the game screen - many passer-bys came and stopped over. It was unlike the 'mats' we were once before - listening to the mini-compo, fingering some guitar riffs and playing stupid games in all attempt to be cool.

Guess if we can't play in a soccer league, at least we have sharpen our dribbling skills with the gamepads.

Instead of roaring our motorbikes in the highway, we drove silently home.

Things have changed.

::bye bye work, well, at least for now::

:: the place where my ass spend sometime most of the working day ::

when it comes to work, i am contented with just the notebook and a big bottle of water. i don't like to talk over the phone much, i would rather "dazzle and razzle 'em" face-to-face, it's better that way, i figured. i am good at body language and picking up visual clues - well, at least, most of the time.

today is my last day at work - but it is work as usual. i have spent the earlier part of the morning in meeting, doing some presentation and then, the 'exit process' with the human resources. i have returned all company properties, signed off one final email to say thanks and goodbye to all who had been supportive of me - bosses included, and headed off for the staff annual convention held at kallang theatre.

there, amidst the pre-event food and drinks, i meet more people, say my thanks and goodbyes before heading to the convention proper. it is a normal business talk - about performances, moving ahead, etc etc. it is weird because i am not going to be a part of the business plan and future because today is, well, my last day :)

convention ended - said more friendly farewells and headed off the newasia bar at swisshotel westin, with old friend claudine and hubby,soren - and their friends. told them about my last day at work and was suggested that we should all drink to that, on my tab obviously. well...why not?

couple of reds and champagne later, dance a little, another old friend/colleague-ex-colleague now, simon, joined us. we stayed on with more drinks (compliments of him) and we headed home soon after.

i realised that today, i have been very active for more than 18 hours, and it was my last day of work.

so long farewell, work - well, at least for another 10 days ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2004



what is typogenerator?
typoGenerator is a random generator for 'typoPosters'. a typoPoster is a poster, created from images and letters/text that doesn´t have any sense, just to look good

how does typogenerator work?
the user types some text; typoGenerator searches for the text and creates a background from the found images, using randomly chosen effects. then it places the text, using random effects too.

i typed "agentX rambles" and this was what I got...

Monday, August 16, 2004

:: Ipod casing by Dunhill

dunhill's tradition for inventiveness and exceptional design makes the Apple™ iPod™ case an obvious addition to dunhill's small leather goods.

Using dunhill's modern, sleek Sidecar and d-eight designs, dunhill has created ergonomic and luxurious cases for the original iPod™ (15, 20 and 40GB models) and the new mini iPod™


i can't imagine something as slick as ipod goes with something as 'leathery' as dunhill , luxury products gone wild! :)

PhysOrg: Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

PhysOrg: Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

Have you ever dream of 100 terabyte of data per 3.5-inch disk? New patented innovation nanotechnology from Michael E. Thomas, president of Colossal Storage Corporation, makes it real.

:: Abc... Whatever - The World's Longest Alphabetical Email Address ""

Abc... Whatever - The World's Longest Alphabetical Email Address

It is long, but easy to remember, don't u think?

via - J-Walk Blog

:: 2 weddings and a new dad ::

>-the chain gang-<

leslie dearest takes good photos and her email today to inform us that her pixs for yaz's weddding are now online.

and that reminded me with a lot of things.

i wanted to write all about the wedding which took place last month. i had even took pixs for the food-tasting at Tepak Sireh Restaurant 3 days before the event, more pixs during the solemnization in their comfy new home and lagi more pixs during the wedding dinner - with the historical kampong gelam palace as the backdrop for the beautiful evening.

there were so many things that i wanted to write. the venue (being a historical site of the palace of the malay empire before raffles), the mood, emotions, the pre-wedding dinner 'drinks' at mas' loft, the thou-shall-not-be-a-bitch-tonight-incident,etc, etc and of course MARIA (well, that's another story).

after all, yaz is one of my bestest friends.

but, after spending so much energies for the wedding, the post-wedding drinks after that and the work day the folowing day - i had lost the 'kick' to write them. it will not be the same,

But i guess, i had seen it all, and i believe that is enough. thanks for the pixs to remind me of that day.

it has been a hectic year for most of us in the gang - we had 2 weddings this year and a new dad. the same gang is the people that i had known since college in 1989, and i believe, they will be my friends for life.

cheers people!.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

::happy birthday maddie, er...esther::

<<this is how she is best remembered by me>>

blush, favourite pop idol since 12years old is 46 today!
may her kabaalah faith, her 2 kids and that guy richie fellow be happy and together always.

:: Bob's Inappropriate Toys for Children ::

Mr Dope Man, a great way to increase your knowledge of botany!

Kids make-believe play mimics what they see and hear around them. For today's kids, we have a plastic surgeon's kit with props for hours of creative play. $21.99

Bob's Inappropriate Toys for Children

Kids just want to have fun - maybe not always doing things we'd prefer them to do. Here's an unusual collection of toys to encourage the inquisitive, provocative and often mischievious children in your life.

With toys like these, who needs adults? :-)

Via Geisha asobi

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 favourite Japanese drama is now on TV::


This drama also known as "Power Ladies". The life of female office workers is given a comic slant in "ShomuNi" (The Second General Affairs Section/ The drama's central figure, played by Makiko Esumi, is an older "office lady" who refuses to be controlled by circumstances and destiny. She is pretty headstrong, but her fellow office workers also have their own idiosyncrasies.

The story of Shomuni is this is the department within a corporation that people don't want to work in. "The Department of Errands" is where people who get demoted for doing something wrong go to. But at this department, the six women of shomu-ni are the last people people want to piss off.

I am grateful to the good people of Channel 8 for showing the final installation of this series on Sundays at 11 pm - with good old English subtitles ;-)

More about this drama --> THE J!-ENT JAPANESE DRAMA DATABASE

quirky japan homepage

quirky japan homepage

Are you tired of shrines and temples, reconstructed ferro-concrete castles and tea ceremonies? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Would you like to meet Japanese people who do not meet the conformist stereotype? Japan, behind the conservative grey suits and formal bows, is a country quirkier than you can ever imagine. The Quirky Japan Homepage provides information about oddities such as the The Meguro Parasitalogical Museum, the Thousand Person Bathtub, love hotels, temple lodging, and the Yakiimo man (the ice cream man's evil twin).

I just love Japan!

Monday, August 09, 2004

:: hari kebangsaan 2004 ::

the english translation for the title above in malay is 'national day 2004'.
today marks the 39th birthday of Singapore. like it or not, i have always been a little bit sentimental about 9th of august.

i have watched the national day parade quite a number of times in my lifetime for both the 'preview' and the actual event, that i actually lost count. from a schoolboy, to a cop while serving the national service and to a NS-man after completing the national service - i have seen and participated in all. the parade (as a scout contigent during school day, to a police contingent during NS), the performances (as a school contigent) and concerts during the schools' celebrations.

so, the thrill of trying to try my luck to get the tickets for the event has worn out for me.

however, watching the parade (whether it is live or on TV) has always give me goosebumps. that is the only segment in the national day that i will never miss (except for twice which i went away for a short trip, like many kiasu singaporeans who will take advantage of a slightly long weekend)is the march-past of the parade contingent.

I remembered the 'chest-out-stomach-in' posture in full attention as a march past contigent, the shine of my boots, the stiffness of my no. 1 uniform and the pride that i have - all this while waiting for the instructions of the parade commander. even as a NS-man, i will saluting at the flying march past and singing the National Anthem - Majulah Singapura, all in the regal smartness of my a-little-tight-police uniform :).

so, be rest assured that i will be having these memories again, when i will be watching the parade 'live' on TV in 3 hours' away.

Majulah Singapura!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

:: so long, Eng Hwa....::

:: his work station, left it like it was when he was still around ::

it was the email from hr that shocked all of us at work. it informed us of the death of a colleague - he had collapsed yesterday while at a meeting with the customer. it also detailed a little of his career background and how he was well-liked and will be missed by all of us. a donation box for the funeral and the wake details were also listed in the email. it was brief but poignant, nevertheless.

i did not know how old lim eng hwa was. i did not know him personally, but i have seen him and exchange pleasantries in pantries and also during coffee and cigarette breaks. he was somebody i knew, who happened to be working in the same firm as i was. his working space was some distance adjacent from mine, and i took one last look of it today. the 'streats' newspaper that he read yesterday while still there, and so were his drinking mug. unfinished work, documents were all like it was - when he was still alive.

needless, to say, i am feeling sad about his demise. for someone like him who had given loyal service to the firm for 15 years, i wondered how many in the office that he can considered as 'friends' instead of 'colleagues'. i guess, i will never is too late to be his friend now, and rest in peace, eng hwa....