Historical Fictions.

Bernard Cornwell in his trilogy of Arthur (The Warlord Trilogy: The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur) touched on the possibility that the holy grail concept might have been the adoption of the local pagan tradition or legend of a magic cauldron—one of the twelve druids’ treasures that according to the legend, when the artifacts are gathered, the Old Gods could be evoked back to Earth.

Not so sure whether his idea is original. Didn't mean to question it, either.

What I find fascinating is the down-to-earth description about Arthur and his band of warriors or knights, but you better get rid the image of knights in shining armours as it's just plain impossible for that kind of era yet, metallurgy-wise. The book offers you a fresh and realistic theory about “the King who never was” and a lucid explanation why it is difficult to find a written record about Arthur's courageous exploit. (It’s got to do with the Christian growing influence against the local pagan practice and how he was not in good term with the Church. And with good reasons why).

With wonderful works of research, Cornwell has managed to weave a fiction that is admittedly inferior--romantically speaking--compared to Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. But the former’s work is absolutely more sensible. Your choice.

The Dan Brown Court

The legal action has recently been pursued against the author of “The Da Vinci Code” and the publisher Random House by two historians who wrote “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" (HBHG), a 1982 non-fiction book which the historians claimed that Brown had based his idea from.

The peculiar thing is that the third co-author of HBHG, Henry Lincoln did not jump the bandwagon to sue Brown. Now, what are the possible reasons? That Lincoln does not agree that Brown had illegally copied the idea? That he is not interested in wasting his time at the courtroom? Or that he wisely realizes that whatever the outcome would be, he himself is going to be the ultimate winner as 1) he is not part of the ‘bad-guys’ group to sue Brown and 2) the interest of HBHG has surely been stirred (now people are aware of the existence of HBHG and may likely be compelled to read it. A good publicity, right?). Without him having to be directly involved at all.

Tara transformed


is this Tara? the woman couldn't believe her eyes when she visits. i must say her new family has done an excellent job. her eyes are now a brilliant blue and she's all plumbed up with that gorgeous tail in full bloom. beautiful.

When a door is not a door.

Yeah, when? I did know this puzzle once when reading Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV) by Stephen King.

Anyway in my relentless search of the book in the library--coz while I knew about the question, I've forgotten about the answer--I managed to come across the hard cover edition of the book, printed by Donald M. Grant publisher, Inc. I browsed through and found the answer of the puzzle and its significance to the story. (How could I forget it? :-( And no, I wont’ state the answer and its significance here.)

I also realized that the illustrations were impressive and sort-of familiar. Checked the front page and I noticed that the artist was Dave McKean.

My exposure with Neil Gaiman’s the Sandman graphic novels has introduced me with the artworks of many gifted artists, one of which was McKean.

I wondered whether McKean was employed consistently for the whole Dark Tower series. So I took another Dark Tower book. Not the hardcover edition. Nope. There were no full-colour illustrations within.

I took another. This one by the same publisher. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah. There were 10 full-colour illustrations, not by McKean but by Darrel Anderson. Not bad. There were two in particular that I was impressed. The ones who used the shattered mirror effect (I’m not sure what the right term is. Imagine the artist is drawing on a piece of mirror and once it’s completed, you put a dynamite behind the mirror and explode it. Freeze the exploding splinters immediately after the explosion, just enough to have the whole drawing recognized but with a dynamic effect of separation).

Now I finally understand why certain people prefer collecting books of certain series by a particular publisher.

Are we the 101st?

YES. Finally the Carnival of the Cats comes to the animal family. And for the first time. We have over 50 submissions, amazing the support that this carnival gets.

Before I continue, I must stress that if this entry blows you away, it is all ME. Despite their promises to chip in, these guys have missed all their wake-up calls. Yes, I know it’s 3am in Singapore. No excuse, you slackers.


We kick the Carnival off with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Simba, who is 5 this week. Stay beautiful at All Things Jennifer!

Multiple Mentality discovers a software that claims to keep your cat from breaking your computer by typing on it. I’d like to put that to the test.

Baboon Pirates catches a cat that is none too happy to be stuck in an old Igloo container.

Brian J. Noggle shows us that all the cool cats are doing it. But just what are they doing??

Mommy's Little Helpers? Not. Rhett makes the simplest household chore impossible at No Deep Thoughts. But so much more fun too, like a cat would.

"I tawt I taw a puddy tat!" It’s Mélange’s Miss Scarlett watching birds watching her while Miss Clover discovers what happens to nosy cats.

See recumbent Mister Gato’s coffee-bean toes at enrevanche. Barry Campbell would also like to remind everyone, don’t leash your cat!

Diva Kitty takes a snooze on a rainy day.

What’s that lurking at Vacaville? Bothenook investigates at a geezer's corner, CSI-style.

Ferdinand T. Cat goes through excruciating human-devised hug practice at The Conservative Cat.

Call the cops! This cat molests blankets! The Stupid Shall Be Punished gives you the full licentious story.

It gets steamier. Huckleberry and Bagheera makes out at stereophile. Watch them at it.

Yet, nothing tops this. See the fetish for big panda on Begin Each Day As If It Were on Purpose.

Hanuka finds bliss between the calf and the thigh. Blog d’Elisson shows you the spot for cats the world over to claim for themselves.

Barney has other ideas for warmth at furry paws.

Duncan plays hide and seek at Texas Oasis. What pretty eyes you have!

i-pets.com tells us that Smoke loves his fishies. But I’m quite sure he’s not petting them.

More feline mayhem! MANX MNEWS reports on cat who struck gold. In her daddy’s underwear drawer. I don’t never get this kind of fun.

Is this Birman a couch potato or a mighty hunter? Aloysius makes a case for himself. Go judge at Catymology and let me know.

Sisu reflects on truth, honesty and college dalliance.

Grapevine's Ramblings tells us that it’s what Cali would want.

The McKitten boys display a rare heartfelt moment of brotherly love at Music and Cats.

The Divine Miss Marilyn thinks Video Catnip is QVC for cats over at Leslie's Omnibus.

Mensa Barbie Welcomes You to the world of high fashion as epitomized by the indelible Butterscotch.

A cat visits Watermark for the caged parakeets. so the warning sign is highly appropriate.

Gigolo Kitty give some sound love advice. I am certain to put it in practice!

A beautiful friendship in a small, midwestern town redeems both human and cat. Touching tale at composite drawlings.

Temporarily banished to an outbuilding, Church and Snowball finds themselves with nothing much to do. Give them a cheer at Josh's Weblog.

Carlos hijacks the puppy's firehose toy at maggies meanderings.

Tassles really are a cat’s best friend. Sabaki attests to that at Middle-Fork. More on Sabaki at Far Cartouche.

Millie demands your attention with her cuteness at cb.blog.

Kiri shows people who say that cats don’t like to be held upside down don’t know what they are talking about. Catch him at eatstuff.net.

Tinker and Harley are non too curious this week at Curiouser and Curiouser.

Maruschka looking rather secretive and eerie... Check her out at Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Catnip Tea anyone? Get the recipe at bigcatheads!

What Sabby doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Or would it? The Wide Awake Café gives you the full sordid details.

Val wonders if Eli and Tigger are up to something. Help her out at Val's Bien.

Her Ladyship and Missy share a discreet peck in the garden. Sweet. More cat pics at Elms in the Yard.

New Cat catches some rays by hanging out of a snowy cat cabin at Farmgirl Fare. And yes, that is his name.

Mouse and Butter are best enemies at CathColl.net. you know what they say about having enemies like these…

The Queens Of Their Catdoms never disappoint their adoring paparazzi. Sydney in particular really looks forward to this week’s Carnival.

(yes, yes, I am trying to beat the Central Time clock. panic stations.)

Mind of Mog catches major cat fever with a Thirty Three Pound Pussy, Wild Beasties and Big Brother. Sue also reminds us that cats enjoy the dirt, loves Fridays and we never fail to stop and smell… something.

The People's Republic of Seabrook is quite sure the thirty-three-pound-pussy is not a cat, but a sausage.

Catcall remembers Edloe fondly. Not quite thirty-three-pounder but certainly a giant amongst cats.

The elusive Annie makes an appearance on Lisa Violet’s Diary.

StrangeRanger has a nervous moment with Maddie whose claw has grown a little too long.

World, meet Fuzzy. Operation Domestication is complete. Wind In the Wire confirms that he is now a bonafide domestic house cat. Glad you have joined our illustrious ranks and non too soon.

Egoist says Tom and Jerry are next on cartoon wars!

A permanent chatroom for catwatching addicts? We can only wish! TBIFOC throws us a (fish)bone.

And there you have it. Sorry about the tardiness. Promise to do better.. next... time..... zzzz (so not used to hard work).


Next week, the Carnival of the Cats moves on to Catcall!

freefall goes awry

Is this a joke or what?!

Courtesy of Asiaone.com article. Full story: here.

Question: What should you do if you are not awarded the compensation of $50,000.00 that you think you deserve?

Answer: Gain popularity instead by claiming that it is ‘never about the money’ and that if the monetary compensation is rewarded to you, you would then donate it to the charity.

To other irresponsible owners who are thinking to let your dog pet to escape the gate of your house just because you are stupid enough (and/or inconsiderate) not to leash your pet: Try to make known the intention--to donate the money to the charity--publicly before you learn that the defender is fined to the maximum of only $1,000.00.

A Tribute to Karl May – Happy Birthday…Tomorrow!

I won’t claim myself to be a bibliophile. Sure, I love books. But to collect them? That, I’ll keep aside as a dream. One day, a library of my own with a proud display of books of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Bernard Cornwall, Terry Pratchett, and…Karl May.

Yup, Karl May was the author who was responsible in establishing my reading pattern. Very simple. I read a book by an author, called A. If I like that book, I’ll then try A's other writings.

I read the books by Karl May during my school holidays. A long holiday in a slow-moving city (Ah, the good old slow-moving city!). Didn’t have much to do and I wondered to a local library near my school.

Since the library didn’t have much collection of books, I was not having the luxury of choices. Thus when I came across the books written by Karl May, what I thought was “Well, this author is sure prolific. If I like one of his books, I might like the rest and then, I would have a lot to read.”

Simple thinking, eh? Well, that's me.

Anyway, I borrowed the book and I was disappointed when I read the content. It was in Bahasa Indonesia, but using the archaic mode of spelling. We have this so-called “Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan” whereby all the spellings are formalized for written purpose. True, the archaic mode was not really that difficult to understand. Just a bit troublesome.

So I started devouring the book without much difficulty and soon found myself addicted to the Wild West adventures of the characters Old Shatterhand, a greenhorn cowboy who soon found himself famous because of his punch and his use of a special riffle that allowed more bullets to be shot (seemed that it was still an experimental one and not widely available. Otherwise it’s going to be a Bloody and Messy West if all cowboys were to be trigger-happy with their own machine guns) and his blood brother Winnetou, an Indian of Apache tribe. Books after books. I could easily lose myself into their stories. Sigh.

Sad to say, though, Karl May’s books are not that popular in Singapore. Or not popular at all. :( I couldn’t find them in the libraries here.

M&M? M n M!

Magnanimous No More…yeah, that’s what I perceive concerning how Singapore--no, I'm not referring to the government--reacted to the Australia’s decision to “shut Singapore Airlines out of US routes”. (Read here)

Singapore government was very much disappointed, naturally and publicly expressed it. (Read here) Okay, acceptable. How else they should respond?

However when I was reading the poll conducted by Channel News Asia.com, I was dismayed at the impetuosity of how the choices are provided, in particular the third one: Lobby to limit Qantas’ activities out of Singapore?

Now, this is unnecessary, I’d say. Sure, the indication is clear. It’s a business world out there. Nothing’s personal. Just business. You know the mantra.

But to mention the seemingly inevitable retaliation in this manner? Just to aggravate the situation? Just to give the Down Under Government another excuse to take a detour and accusing Singapore of being petty instead of just using the precious time to handle the actual issue of the US routes?

Let’s just wait and see. Many will expect it to end as a lose-lose situation. But only time can tell whether it’s going to be so. And time is what the interested party, namely Qantas, needs. Profit optimization within the time constraint! Well done, Qantas.

new day

brokeback

the woman sustains something akin to an affliction. in a deep forgotten place stirs a furious yearning for something now irretrievably lost. time, youth, a violence of passion.

it infects me. in our collective memory is something splendid and noble we left a long time ago on the mountain.

i hate the movie. it leaves you broken and doesn't tell you how to fix it.

In the Quest of Dune.

A certain wise someone in the past once said something about how when you’re in the midst of difficulties, there is always something that can cheer you up.

In hindsight, I’m telling myself that I am not in such difficulty. I think I’ve successfully defragmented my badly clustered mind, no thanks to the virus called Confusion. Oh, the virus lies dormant, I guess. No one can tell whether the virus will one day spring to life to re-fragment my already well clustered mind. The likely event that can nudge the virus awake is what my friend coins as “extrospecting”.

Inject some trivia here: while “extrospective” does exist, “extrospecting” does not. Enough digressing, I was not in such difficulty. Ergo, I didn’t deserve anything that could cheer me up.

Still my mood was lifted yesterday by what some might have considered instead as an irritating incident.

I was at the entrance of the library checking with the machine that would display the list of books that one borrowed and their due dates once the bar code of my card was scanned.

There are two such machines side by side. I used one of them. I positioned my card so that the bar code could be read. Nil. I flashed my card. Up, down. Left, right. Repeatedly. Still nothing. The list of books that I borrowed and the due dates refused to appear.

I glanced at the machine beside me while persevering my futile routine of flashing the card to the machine in front of me. That other machine was used by this lady, who was doing exactly like what I did. Flashing her card desperately to the machine in front of her. Up, down. Left, right.

Something about the situation just tickled me; I couldn’t help but laughing & commenting to her “Let’s see whose data comes up first.”

Yes, the situation would likely turn sour if that lady threw a nasty look and/or replied “Don’t you know that opening a conversation with strangers in front of the library is punishable by having your membership revoked?”

But the thing is when it happened, I simply didn’t care how she’d respond.

That’s why I was not surprised either when she laughed back and answered gamely along this line: “Okay, you’re going to lose.”

We continued the ritual of card flashing. As my card was proven to be the eventual winner, I just left her with a grin & let her use the machine in front of me.

And things even turned much better when…I finally found the book “Dune”.

possible blood on our hands

oh no. one of the community cat feeders that the woman has befriended tells her her cats are sick and having diarrhea. as she is unemployed she asks if the woman has any medication on hand as she cannot afford to bring them to the vet. the woman gives her some kaolin.

the feeder is in her 50s and lives on her own in a top floor extended corner unit. before she was unemployed, she was a secretary. she has family at Upper Bukit Timah. her english is above average. the woman presumes she is temporarily down on her luck. and lonely. whenever they encounter each other, the feeder will be so happy for company that she will talk at length about her life and her cats.

then yesterday, she shows up at our door to ask for more medication. her gushing chatter turns into a monologue and then the most bizarre tirade. she says her ground floor neighbour is in cohorts with her top floor neighbour to humiliate her. she says her neighbour has drilled a hole into her living room to spy on her. she asks the woman to help her write her story to the press about the time when her neighbour's maid, a vampire, bit her but the police covered up all the evidence and put her in jail instead.

oh my god. they believe the feeder is having a schizophrenic episode. so now, the man and woman are not sure her cats are sick in the first place or she even have cats at all or dead cats (by now).

stupid. they should have gone to take a look in the first instance before giving away medicine. but typical Singaporean mentality - they didn't want to be too involved in their neighbour's life. their goodwill stops at hellos and inane banter.

the woman calls the Institute of Mental Health to see if they can send someone to check on whether the feeder is a hazard to herself. now that they know she is not right in the head, they are periodically observing her apartment from downstairs and see flickering candlelight in an otherwise dark apartment. IMH refers them to the police.

yesterday, the officer says they work closely with the Resident's Committee. they will check on her and if something is amiss, they will get a doctor in to assess her. today, they change their story. only if her conduct is considered a public nuisance will they send someone up to check on her. otherwise, she is her family's responsibility.

so suspect flickering candle not police responsibility. building burns down then it is police responsibility.

the woman's next avenue is Family Centre. hopefully she will get a more decent response. of course, the woman can always go check on the feeder herself but she doesn't have that kind of guts.

Everything is a Test?

Well, in that case I might have failed miserably. Doesn’t make sense to some of you. This article might indeed be the most nonsensical one I posted.

This has nothing to do with The Recruit movie, although I must say I enjoy its interview part. Heh.

Anyway, if everything is a test & I purposely flunk it because I refuse to play by the rule, I’m undecided whether to give a pat on my own back or to curse my stubbornness.

life goes back to normal


somewhat, as we wait for all available sets of bed linens to dry.

Bramblerose leaves


she finally goes away on an adoption trial and Suede has been sitting despondent at the door since, wondering where her new friend has gone.

bad boy!


"sorry for spraying the bed again."

Blessed are the ignoramuses,

…for their sleep won’t be disturbed.

Reading this article, titled “Police hunt gunman after businessman shot dead in Serangoon”, and I just have to express my disbelief about the way some people think.

Take this one for an example (quoted from the article):
“Early in the morning, I heard a loud bang like gunshots, I thought it was nothing, just someone quarrelling, it was just a while so I continued sleeping - that's all."

Immediate reporting to the police hotline 999 might have helped the gunman to be captured sooner. But nooo, why go through the trouble? If it’s really something serious, someone else would be calling the police, wouldn’t he?

Sigh. This kind of thinking that allows the murderer to make his escape.

Calling 999 for something that you think is worth reporting—even if it’s proven to be otherwise—won’t warrant you to be charged of making nuisance calls.

dear jack neo

as i reread my last post, it hits me that it could make the first cut of a powderful heartstring tugging heartland script for jack neo's next local blockbuster!

Dear Mr Neo,
c/o Raintree Pictures

Can you make a movie about us that will make everyone cry and the government recover its sense of humour?

Purringly Yours,
Tooty

our town sparkles

not.

drugs, contrabands, prostitution, violence, poverty. and we are just 5 minutes from sparkling orchard road, not exactly heartland. in the 2 years that the man and woman have stayed here, they have seen and heard some weird shit.

their cleaner friend finds drug needles on his cleaning rounds ever so often. we actually had a drug user come to our door once to borrow $400. all bleary eyed, he says it is for his sister's medical bills. he bargains down to $80, then $4, then leaves when he isn't getting anywhere with the man. he says his sister stays upstairs on the 12th floor. there's only 10 floors in this block.

the woman goes round to the neighbouring block again to look for Mummy. she takes the stairs up 3 floors, in case. every floor has ah long notices spray painted, repainted and spray painted again. more than one person is in some serious trouble.

(she does eventually find Mummy hanging out with what looks unmistakably like Bramblerose's Daddy. he has some balls on him so that marks him as next month's target.)

you wouldn't believe it but we have a police post right next door. but that doesn't stop this auntie from plying the streets with contraband cigarettes in a grocery push cart. and if you know where to look, the market rate for a romp here is $30 a pop. welcome to singapore.

so cats are the least of everyone's problems. for the ones who do care, namely the feeders that the woman has encountered, they are either the elderly living alone, unemployed or hanging on by the skin of their teeth. much respect to them that the cats here still get to enjoy meat and fish portions rain or shine. but talk about sterilisation, they say yeah great, can you help us ask _____ (substitute SPCA, Cat Welfare Society, AVA, Town Council, PAP) for money?

so the idea of rallying a resident cat sterilisation and management squad sounds almost like comedy. to the tune of Police Academy - ragtag underdog team of ah long, mee pok man, cleaner, grandmother, school dropout, saves day cat.

funny. and then we remember it's not that funny. the animal family is only one step removed from the sudden death russian roulette many around here play. chalk it to some poor human judgement.

Tara adopted

finally she can get the one-to-one attention she needs to get fully well.

Valentine’s Day…a VD for some?

Frankly, I have got nothing against this magical day. Well, I even refrained myself not to ridicule the event yesterday. Okay, except for one harmless comment in one of the frequently visited blogs whose owner, I believe, is currently busy coaxing his dear to write in his blog. Yes? That’s the case, no?

Anyway, to repeat…I am not against Valentine’s Day. I have nothing against those who celebrate it. Hey, those who celebrate, good for you! You have helped the economy. You have helped those entrepreneurial gift sellers to reap sterling gains for the day. And the utmost importance is you have helped to ensure that your loved one feels treasured in this generally-accepted wondrous day.

How about for those who do not have someone special to celebrate it?

So what? Just treat it as like “just another day” like what Ole’Wolvie commented in one of Shakespeareheroine’s articles. Now that’s a good advice, I’d admit.

There should not be any ill-effect of Valentine’s Day.
You should not feel depressed because you’re alone.

It’s just another day. Will you let yourself to feel down just because you’re alone in that other day?! Sure, it’s your choice. No one has the right to tell you how you should or should not feel.

But again, be happy if you celebrate the Day. Yet be okay, if you don’t.
And if you choose to be depressed? Goodness, aren't you the stubborn one! Alright, just be glad too that Valentine’s Day is but one day.

I am sure by this point, some will likely point out that while it’s true that Valentine’s Day is but one day, the couple should treat every day like Valentine’s Day.

To which I shall agree and will seriously start considering a career change to be one of those entrepreneurial gift sellers. *grin*

something's gonna give

as a resident cat of the animal family, i think i have been pretty cool about the craziness around here but there comes a point when a cat has to put her paw down and yell, get freaking organised or stop this insane crusade once and for all!

yes, i get that a lot of what's going on in this estate to do with stray cats is a grevious matter of life and death, what with its suspicious cat control tactics. i almost have no excuse to complain as i myself have stood to gain from this family's slapdash sentimentality. but we live in a box, all 56 sqm of it and when you guys moved in you never anticipated the animals and so this place is just not designed to fit so many of us in it all at once.

5 resident cats are about pushing it but lucky for you, we really like each other. but to foster every kitten that comes your way for weeks at a time? and in the meantime also pack wild, probably diseased, very likely flea-infested cats overnight in here too?

edgy Mummy who has not taken to us well from the start has been caterwauling. she has also started to chase and maul us, especially Suede. i have a lot of sympathy for you girl and could have understood if this is all to protect your little Bramblerose but its not. you just hate us so very sorry, you have to go.

maybe if we had just one more extra decent sized room in the apartment, we could do this right. someone suggests that all the crazy cat people get together to rent a place to properly foster and quarantine animals. the woman really likes the idea but no money no talk. as sterilisation remains a cornerstone to the saving of cat lives, they have to still pump whatever they have that way. still, quarantining cats is a real problem. the vet has been very kind to let the man and woman put up cats there overnight for free if they have space but they can't impose all the time so its the bathroom for those hapless suckers.

- because we don't have enough litter pans so it's easier to hose down when necessary.
- it's the only enclosed place in the apartment so it keeps our curiosity in check.
- it also provides little but valuable sound-proofing to keep neighbour's hostility in check.

this arrangement however, sets the man on edge because being sensitive to smell, he is often odorously menaced into taking his business to the nearby hawker centre public toilet.

it's not a question of stopping but a question of getting organised. ideal: renovate the apartment. form a cat management team. get more funds. educate through neighbourhood campaign. realistic to man and woman's capacity: reorganise the apartment, find at least one like-minded person in the neighbourhood. education through flyering. buy a few more litter boxes.

sadly last night the woman takes Mummy back to the neighbouring block where they found her. Mummy starts marking her territory on the columns and after sniffing around a little, disappears. the woman sticks around to see if Mummy would come back or call out. sometime through the night between Daniel and Hosea, an old man comes around to feed the community cats. there are more than 10 and the woman sees only 2 tipped ears. she spots a male white bushy tail and marks it for sterilisation. she sits with it till dawn before taking him back home in time for today's appointment. still no sign of Mummy.

Big Tom caught!

at last Tomcat walks right into our animal family trap and its bye bye testosterone tomorrow.

Tibby remains elusive. the snatch and grab operation the other day ended in bloodshed. the man's and woman's. and Tibby is still on the run.

finally she sleeps


Brambleblur



it is quite impossible to capture a good picture of Bramblerose. she just won't sit still. being the smallest kitten of the litter hasn't stopped her from taking on bigger cats like Suede and Bobby with a vengence even as the rest would hang back. hopefully her gregariousness will infect Tara who is starting to perk up a little.

Didn’t they watch “Kingdom of Heaven”?

I’ve decided to put aside the state of my mind being in mess and to take a look at what I have missed for the last few days.

One that caught my attention was about the cartoon protest rage. (Latest here)

I agree that it’s been a very foolish, insensitive act--and not to mention lack of study on the subject portrayed—for having Prophet Mohammed to be drawn.

It is blasphemy. You just have to acknowledge it if you have respect for others’ religions. You have respect, you’ll try to see from their point of view.

But I strongly feel the real culprits were the newspapers that published the cartoon and those who spread it over the Net.

Thus, the outrage.

On the other hand, I admit that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had a point when he commented about the situation.

"I understand the offence the cartoons have caused, we all regret that," he told a party meeting, "but nothing, I repeat nothing, can justify the violent retribution visited on innocent people or on embassies around the world or the glorifying of acts of terrorism."

Two wrongs do not make one right. Corny as it is. True it still is.

I somewhat draw the parallel with the movie “Kingdom of Heaven”. In the ending, when Jerusalem was recaptured by the Moslems army, there was a scene when Balian, the city defender asked Saladin, the leader of the conquering army.

Balian: What is Jerusalem worth?
Saladin: Nothing.
[walks away, smiles, turns back, and points to his forehead]
Saladin: Everything!
My impression? Saladin seemed to say that Jerusalem was just a concept in one’s mind; a sacred belief that ought to be fought on.

Perhaps, that’s what happens again.
The furore that may be about nothing, yet everything.

Annotation to Previous Article.

There are 3 possibilities of how the counter is going to perform tomorrow as how it is actually with the rest of the stocks: Higher, Lower, or Flat.

Okay, that's incorrect. (Am I still in mess as I didn't realize this earlier?). There's yet another possibility: the counter being "Suspended".

Cockroah Theory at work for Noble Group?

Investopedia.com put a definition of Cockroach Theory as “a market theory that states bad news tends to be released in bunches”.

Today, 09.02.06, Noble Group share price was closing at S$1.32, down 6.4% of previous day with a large volume of about 52 million shares. It was one of the top 20 (top 3 in fact) volume traded.

The selling down was likely triggered due to the news that “Noble Grp Suspends 2 Traders For Falsified Trades”. (Read here)

Yes, the article tries to reassure that “(Noble) has fully quantified the losses, adding that, after insurance claims, the losses should not be material to the company's total results for 2005.”

Its Chief Execute also stated that “…it was an isolated incident…”

Those who believe in a cockroach theory (no, I won’t say they’re paranoid) might have dumped their holdings of the counter.

Those who don’t, will think that people over-react and that fear clouds their judgement. Buy the counter, they say. It’s a good opportunity to accumulate it. Thus they become today buyers of Noble.

There are 3 possibilities of how the counter is going to perform tomorrow as how it is actually with the rest of the stocks: Higher, Lower, or Flat.

For me, I’m not interested in the company.
Or to be honest, I know nothing about it.

What I’m interested to follow is how Noble will fare for the next few days. Will there be more bad news in the offing? Or will the company quickly recover the confidence lost with a string of positive news?

rollercoaster week


it's pretty trying times at the animal family right now. if you ever wonder why crazy cat ladies look the way they do, well, it is because they just don't have the time or energy to comb their hair or coordinate their clothes. i know because i have one at home.

Tara is more feisty now and it is getting harder and harder to medicate her without her foaming at the mouth to get rid of the nasty taste. but finally, there is something for the woman to jump for joy about in her haphazard hairpins and stained t-shirt. Tara just had a long beautiful firm slightly moist dark brown perfect shit. yes, crazy human alert here.

Bobby, who has started spraying on our sofa and Mummy have both been sterilised. when the man and woman go to pick them up, the vet has another customer there picking up his sterilised male cat. the man asks if he could keep his cat's balls. the nurse replies, do you want them as is or preserved? i'd like someone to explain that to me.

Monster, Rex and Mungo go away on adoption trials yesterday. Monster and Rex to 2 sisters and Mungo to a family whose beloved cat died. however, Mungo will come back again today because their other 5-yr old cat went berserk and tried to kill him. Mungo will go on another adoption trial on friday. Bramble's potential adopter fell through due to family objections. more people are coming to see her in the next few days.

it is absolutely heartbreaking for Mummy. she has been calling for her missing kittens. she never ventures out of the utility room when she was nursing her 4 kittens but has started doing so in search of them. i hope adopters appreciate the pains of the mother when they leave with her kittens. hopefully they will value them all the more because of it.

gangsta boy

a malay family of 6 kids from the neighbouring block comes over to play with us cats. later, they bring their own cat over. it is the fattest meanest boy i have ever seen but the woman could not stop oohing and ahhing at the mutant blimp. thank goodness she has a mind not to let him loose in our house to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. according to the kids, he is the terror of their block. so happy to see his ear is tipped cause we sure don't want such a gene pool in our estate!

Tara with nice nurse

nice nurse at the Holland V Vet volunteers to take Tara home to give her periodic saline injections under the skin as the man and woman have no confidence they can do it right.

seems to be helping as the nurse says Tara has started eating voraciously. they will take her home tonight.

Not walking the talk.

Funny, isn’t it how one may advise something that sounds very right but in reality doing completely another thing?

Even funnier, if not pathetic, if that advice comes from your own self.

Yup, critical readers might have guessed that the use of ‘that friend of her’ in the previous article refers to me. And reading an exclusive reply from one of my friends (or shall I say ‘business partners? Btw, is there any way to post a link to someone's comment--thus, the borrowed usage of 'business partners' may then be understood. Heh), I come to agree that it is indeed cumbersome to use those lengthy ‘that friend of her’.

Now in an attempt to try to be coherent with the title of this article: previously I wrote how that I would advise that friend of her to just leave her alone.

That’s not what I did.

She was sick yesterday. I’ve decided to just do what feels right for me. And what feels right for me is to give her a visit and bring her some apples.

At the very least, that’s what a friend does, isn’t it?

Unless she does have a pool of friends who can’t value her. And such a thing (a simple visit) never occurs to her.

I cycled to her place.

I was surprised when I saw her in front of her block. She was going for her dinner. I passed the apples. Mumbled something about wishing her to get well and I left her stunned.

Yeah, very much that way as the last thing I want to do was to argue with a person who was not in good health about why she should just accept the apples.

So leave them with her, I told myself. And trust her to eat them (hopefully she was not into that Snow White story) or leave it to the cruel fact, if it’s her choice to throw the apples to the rubbish bin (poor, innocent apples).

I am in mess.

Introspecting is what I need to do, but I end up doing ‘extrospecting’ (can’t even be bothered to check whether that word does exist).

A Case of Poor Vocabulary Or...?

Imagine this scenario, a girl told her friend that he was the only guy who knows how to treat her nicest beside her father.

The girl told him (the friend, not the father) that the rest of her friends do not know how to value her.

Days passed and out of the blue, the girl wrote to that friend to stop being nice to her as it makes her feel bad.

If I were to analyze this objectively, I would say that it’s no wonder that the only friends left are those who do not know how to value her. As those who are nice to her are being pissed off by her narrow-mindedness.

Being nice = being sincere.
Being sincere means not expecting something in return.
Ikhlas alias kagak pamrih. Heh. Sorry, couldn’t resist to use the Indonesian terminology.

If that’s so hard to accept, I would advise to that friend of her to just leave her alone. If the kind of friends she wants is those who do not know how to value her, just respect her decision. However ridiculous it is.

That friend of her does not have any responsibility to set her thinking right.
People have the right to commit a mistake. Let them learn from their mistake.

Note to self: I suspect that one day I’ll look back at this article (no, not to edit it) and wonder how arrogant it sounds. Or of course like the title suggested, I may just not know the right definition of 'nice' or 'sincere'.

Comment, anyone? (Other comment beside "People have the right to commit a mistake+one or two interrobangs. Let them learn from their mistake+another one or two interrobangs. Then WTH do you write comments in others' blogs for+three question marks" *grin*)

one word can save lives

really cool posters by the Blue Cross of India, Madras.

curbing the tide

Tara is eating a little and there is more control of bowel movements. after the tide has dribbled to spurts, she is peeing normal although we have yet to see hard stools.

the man can't wait to reclaim the bathroom from the smell and has taken to doing his business with a mask drenched in lavender mist.

hang in there, Tara!

I’m back…

This title is so lame. But what the heck…anyway, experience during the last two weeks have forced me to change my perspective on certain issues.

Will continue writing once these are sorted out.
Wish me luck! :)

tar-a

meet Tara. the man picked her up last night from... you guessed it, our void deck. we have not seen any siamese mix here before so wonder where she came from.

she is named Tara because of the tar that keeps coming out of her ass. yes, pretty bad. she's skin and bones and very dyhydrated from it. after medication, she is doing a little better and her black diarrhea is starting to turn brown. we hope that is a good sign.

she had an interesting night. because the man found her on his way out she spent her friday night with them at bikini bar at sentosa. they also had interesting time when Tara leaked tar on man's shirt.

between a rock and a hard place

this little guy is doing a pretty good job of staying out of domestic affairs.

not surprising, these gorgeous ginger babies are quite a hit at the adoption website. so won't be long now...

almost time to leave mummy

whenever is it a good time? mummy still looks for her kittens when the man and woman take them away to socialise them with humans and us cats. she is also getting increasingly restless to get away when their antics get too much.

as the kittens are starting to eat solid food, guess its about time to find them new homes.

greetings from Skodaland


Skoda is growing up to be a really pretty girl. her mummy says she has exchanged her biting habit for kisses instead. when carried, she will tilt her head upwards, close her eyes and give quick, short kisses to her mummy. aww...

unlikely odd couple


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