A follow up for "Charity starts at home?!"

A rather belated one; to continue from this article .

It's not a conscious effort from my side to hunt for the info. I just accidentally came across this link "Help victims of the Indonesia earthquake", when I visited MSN.com.

An effective advertisement. It's of the same font & size with the rest of links but employs a different colour. It's also positioned below a completely unrelated ad of a certain computer brand. The contrast just couldn't fail to attract attention.

The following screenshots are from the above link. May be of interest for those who wonder whether their countries have any relevant organizations to drive the relief effort.

"My Life, My Thoughts, My Say"

See that one-page ad in the Straits Times today? I don't even know what it is all about. Not until I check it on the Net. Apparently it's got to do with the first free Chinese Newspaper by SPH. (Full story)

A catchy tagline, isn't it? "My Life, My Thoughts, My Say". What may come next? "My Blog"?

Now I just realize one thing after meeting for a dinner with a friend. It's much easier to read someone's problem written in a blog than to listen to the person telling it. And I thought I had always been a thorough listener. Boy, am I wrong! :(

So to that friend, if I failed to make myself clear yesterday. Let me re-emphasize it: it's your own life--with your own thoughts and your own say.

You have the right to make your own mistake. You have the right to decide if it is indeed a mistake. Hey, it may seem a mistake at first but if all parties involved are willing to work on it, perhaps it's just another road-less-travelled to your true happiness.

Nobody can tell.

Only you can decide yourself. If only Life is like a giant book of "Choose your own adventure" where you can re-read & choose other options if you dislike the ending of certain choices.

new encounters III

Blackie enjoys too much of a good thing

young cats unite

it's time for the man and woman to seriously think about what they are going to do with Macky and Blackie. they are thinking about boarding them somewhere nearby so that there can be regular visiting. possibly, 23 will go with them as a threesome as she has formed a strong attachment to Macky.

Suede will miss her young cat friends. i will miss playtime mostly. Fruity doesn't much care whether they stay or go. but our older counterparts are getting finicky about their personal space. and Bobby has become almost desperate for the man and woman's attention.

so the man and woman toys with the idea of an animal family II, to cater to the growing numbers of unwanted animals as well as the quarantining of strays for sterilisation. this is to keep us from going from family to shelter. we started out as an animal family, we want to keep it that way.

new encounters II

the kittens get several hours of playtime with us everyday now. its nice to have other things to chase around the house besides the bugs (cheshire grin).

we love them. nothing like a couple of kitties to liven things up around here.

Fruity and Leafty rediscovers the utility room and each other.


Hit by a disaster. To repeat the story would be redundant. Aid for the quake victims have poured in from all over the countries. (Full story) God bless them. The donors & the victims.

Meanwhile, let the following song "Yogyakarta" by KLA Project presents an alternative picture of the city. A city of tragedy, albeit in a much smaller scale.
Pulang ke kotamu
Ada setangkup haru dalam rindu
Masih seperti dulu
Tiap sudut menyapaku bersahabat, penuh selaksa makna
Terhanyut aku akan nostalgi
Saat kita sering luangkan waktu
Nikmati bersama
Suasana Jogja

Di persimpangan langkahku terhenti
Ramai kaki lima
Menjajakan sajian khas berselera
Orang duduk bersila
Musisi jalanan mulai beraksi
Seiring laraku kehilanganmu
Merintih sendiri
Ditelan deru kotamu...

Walau kini kau t’lah tiada tak kembali
Namun kotamu hadirkan senyummu abadi
Ijinkanlah aku untuk s’lalu pulang lagi
Bila hati mulai sepi tanpa terobati

And my attempt in translating the lyrics in English. (No effort put into getting the right rhymes, mind you. More into the syllables of each line.)
Return to your city,
A handful of sadness mingled with longing.
Still unchanged – just like before.
The friendly corners of the city; they all greet me friendly. So meaningful.
Like a flood, nostalgia swept me
To the shore of those days when we spent our time.
Together enjoying
The city’s ambience.

At the crossroad, my steps are suddenly stopped.
What a crowded junction!
Humble peddlers and their humble merchandises,
They just sit on the floor.
Buskers play their songs,
As I begin to miss you. Damn...how it hurts!
Silently I whimper
Without muffling the city’s noise.

So you have left me alone. You won’t return to me.
But your city as always welcomes me with your sweet smiles.
Oh, please let me again pay a visit to this city.
Whenever to cure my lonely heart still aching for you.

Remark: the last line is so poorly worded. Just because I need to get 14 syllables for that line. Not satisfied. Suggestions are welcomed. Feel free to provide other alternative translations. Skipping a lunch for this may not be a good idea, though.

feeding frenzy

the woman is down for the count after a stint in bintan over the weekend. must be the day-old sardines. humans are dumb. cats know exactly when food goes bad and stay the heck away.

we have been really good on our own, onekell will attest to that. nothing broken, nothing soiled. thanks onekell, for keeping our food and water trays filled!

Solar Bear

Definition: Self explanatory. Duh.

Rumour has it that Solar Bear (SB) is an offspring of Typhon, but for some reason, SB doesn't enjoy the same fame as his other siblings like: Cerberus, Chimera and Sphinx do. Some may also argue that it's due to lack of a fancy name, the beast is not welcomed into the World of Myth.

Touch-up keywords: negative, gamma, brightness/contrast.

Icy Dark Phoenix

Touch-up keywords: negative, blur effects: fragment & sharpen

Definition: A legendary Arctic bird said to periodically freeze itself to death and emerge from the frost as a new phoenix; according to most versions only one phoenix lived at a time and it renewed itself every 500 years. (Blogger's Note: most of the wordings are from WordWeb. Edited a few words here & there).

Above: an image believed on how the bird is reborn; by shattering the ice with repetitive molecular vibrations.

PS. The original design can be found from the Net. (Click here)

Charity starts at home?!

Possibly. That’s what they say. But I just can't imagine politics & charity come hand in hand.

Given the following scenarios, which would you prefer donating to?
1) The victims of Indonesia quake at Yogyakarta, Central Java (more than 3,300 people were killed & 200,000 left homeless.)
2) The legal defence fund for SDP's Chee Siok Chin (nobody was killed & nobody left homeless.)

One may even point out for option no.1 that there is not yet any public appeal for donation. So how to donate? Good question. (This is where readers’ comment would be appreciated if they could share the relevant homepage(s) to where to contribute for the quake victims.)

Does that mean those good-hearted, charitable people of Singapore ought to rush to donate for the choice no.2?

Well, it is up to each individual. Surely you don’t expect me to tell you what to do with your own hard-earned cash, do you? Just because it seems there are only two selections available, it doesn’t mean one should immediately feel constrained and adopt a simplistic “if not (a), then (b)”.

There would always be option (c), (d) & so on & so forth. Heard about “OnLine Donation Portal”? Now you have 106 additional options. Check out the lists. They are systematically categorized under “Our Charities” link.

The problem, though, could be that the Portal is not widely known & thus the latest novel idea of an opposition member appealing for donation would easily hog the spotlight & may even convince good-hearted, charitable people of Singapore to donate.

To repeat, it is your own money. Go ahead & do what you like. But if to donate is what you plan, please try & give more thought into it. There are many options of charity organizations that your money could be channeled for good. Have you considered them?

250506 - Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler

The past week article: here.

The last night episode was unique as the title "Lost" was given a caption "Revelation". It's more a recap of what has happened in the Island for both surviving groups--those in the fuselage section of the plane & those in the tail part. No flashback scenes on any characters.

Some scenes from Season 1 were shown. Boring? Nah, that's a good thing of not watching all the episodes of that season. There were still something new to see. For instance, the scene in the airport where Sayid first met Shannon. He asked her to watch over his luggages for a while to which she replied a curt, "Yeah, whatever." And the scene inside the plane where Rose mentioned that his husband, Bernard was inside the restroom. (Blogger's note: this answers why they were separated into two different groups in the Island). Also that part at the night before Sawyer left with the raft together with Michael, Walt & Jin. He was standing in front of a bonfire with Kate at the opposite side. She asked him why he insisted of going (with the raft). What did he try to prove? He answered her that he didn't have any reason to stay in the Island. (Blogger's note: this might be a hint of possible romance between them?). And the part in the morning just before the raft left. A brief talk between Jin & Sun which Jin advised her to stay with Jack as he would keep her safe. (Blogger's note: this fills the gap as I always thought Jin left with the raft still feeling anger toward his wife for 'lying' to him. Lying as in he was surprised that Sun never told him that she could speak in English).

But majority of the "compiled" scenes were from those of Season 2. So there, nothing much to write. I already posted them.

Here's a picture, instead. The original design could easily be found from the Net. As usual, the photo below was edited using Serif PhotoPlus 5.5.

Touch-up keywords: grey, negative, brightness/contrast. (oh, and 'crop' too.)

new encounters

The Last Guy

A screen shot from "The Last Guy".

When a fantasy is best left as it is.

It would be difficult to comment without revealing the plot. But to put it very generally, it is one of the shows with a "What-If" theme. What if you were the last guy on earth? What about it? See how the film offers you one possible outcome. ;)

PS. Click the title of the article to view it.

unusual pairings

Suede & Fruity

Papa & 23

a fitter papa

when Papa first came to the animal family, we were all amazed. this cat can't climb.

other than Leafty, we all take our meals on the dining table and most of us have no problems getting there in one leap. it is obvious from the start that Papa is never going to eat if he didn't get a little help, so the woman positions a storage box and chair as intermittent steps for him to lug his sizeable girth onto the table.

he does this with great effort at the start. it is comical and at the same time painful to watch. sometimes, the other cats race him and he picks up speed to catch them, only to lose balance and slide to a dull thud back on the floor. but the woman is relentless in her crusade to put the cat back into Papa.

glad to report that Papa can now take the steps in one breath, sometimes beating even me to his big reward of super-sized helpings. he walks around more and can even be counted on to hustle when necessary for tag team bug cornering action.

Papa, you are finally a cat.

Encore: "The Call of the Wild"

Artwork © Meiklejohn (left); touched up by a_x (center & right)

No, not another Blue Gold 'merchandise', like previously shown in this article. Just think that the original image is cool (can almost hear the howling, huh?) & wonder how it looks like under different shades. Keywords for the center image: grey, brightness/contrast, gamma. The right one: negative, gamma.

PS. Click the title to read Jack London's "The Call of the Wild" ebook. Brought to you by Project Gutenberg.


Or caulrophobia or clownophobia or simply, fear of clowns.

No thanks to Samuraybunny's comment in this particular article of Jadeite. (Warning: Disturbing Image - Sort of) Well, actually thanks to the katana-wielding young rabbit because I was reminded about one of many memorable books of Stephen King, titled "It".

Also made into a TV miniseries which I didn't watch. No big loss. Almost all of the films adapted from King's works are a dismal flop. Of course, with the exception of "Shawshank Redemption", but that is hardly horror and "Storm of the Century"--this one should not count as it was originally written for the TV.

Now I wonder whether there is a specific word for "fear of having your favourite books adapted for the silver screen".

Enough digressing. Ehm. Clowns. Hunting for some info on the Net, I come across this page "Clown History". Except for one single reference to a kid, it seems clowns are more intended for amusement to adults. Hey, just read their job scope & skill requirements from that article! Ain't so easy being a clown. It's a serious profession.

In addition of those demanding prerequisites, a clown is required to smile while he/she works. They say it takes less facial muscles to smile than those to frown. But to smile continuously all those time? It is gonna be tiring, mister!

So how to stop this clownphobia, you may ask.

How should I know?

Maybe, just maybe. We can eliminate the fear of clowns by stopping to expose our children to clowns. (Yeah, stop dragging them to a certain type of fast food restaurant chains. Instead, bring them to other healthier eating places. Heh.) Bear in mind that clowns may not be an appropriate form of amusement for children. Just because you were amused by clowns when you were young, it doesn't mean that your kid is going to feel the same.

day in the life of 23




9.02pm "come on, working a can opener is not rocket science."


Hang ‘Im High, But Spare Us The Poem!

I’d prefer watching Hang ‘Em High to reading about the outcome of this particular trial. (Full story) True, I do like the court drama. From the humorous style of John Cage (Peter MacNicol) in Ally McBeal to the no-nonsense-and-persist-to-inject-some-doubt-to-the-case approach of Bobby Donnel (Dylan McDermott) in The Practice. But to have the real life court having a judge who closed his judgement with a poem? That is unprecedented!

This truly is a sad riddle
How could one savagely strangle
And so unfeelingly mangle
The woman one had just cuddled?

By Justice Tay YK

The above is a well-written poem, isn’t it? It rhymes & the content is relevant. However to use it in the court? The judge is trying to be witty by introducing a literal meaning of ‘poetic justice’?! Sheesh.

One may even wonder whether the usage of poem in the end of the verdict—especially when it is a death penalty—could be considered as ‘contempt of court’. Then again, by definition it won’t. At least according to Wikipedia.

180506 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler

The past week article: here.

“I see a horse…” Nah, hardly an eerie line, unlike “I see dead people...” in the Sixth Sense. But still yesterday episode was haunting with its guest star of a pitch dark, handsome horse.

Part 1. Flashback on Kate

Late at night, Kate is waiting for her father, Wayne to come home. He is drunk & she helps him go to bed. A grab from him, a leer & a question of why she’s not taking off his pants first & an angry glare from Kate suggest something of a dark secret of the family.

She departs with her motorcycle and in the background, the night begins to brighten with her house exploding.

She meets her mother in a coffee shop; the latter works there. Kate asks how her mum’s injured wrist is. The mother replies with a lie. Kate’s curt answer implies that she knows about physical abuses that her mother suffers from Wayne.

Kate gives her the insurance policy of the house, a farewell hug & a big question in her mother’s mind.

In the bus station, a marshal eventually catches Kate.

The handcuffed Kate is in the car with the marshal driving. He is casually asking why it is now that she decides to kill Wayne. The marshal leads audience to learn that Kate’s parents divorce & that her mother then marries Wayne. Even as the latter abuses her. The marshal speculates that Wayne may have been abusing Kate too. Something about knocking Kate’s door at night, to which Kate vehemently denies.

All of sudden, the black horse gallops in front of the car. The car is swerved, out of the road & hits a pole. The marshal is unconscious, Kate steals a key to unlock her handcuff. The marshal gains consciousness. A little struggle & Kate makes her escape with the car.

Kate meets her ‘real’ father, a military man in his working place. He warns her that police are looking for her. A pursuing conversation reveals that Wayne is not her stepfather. He is the real father as Kate’s mother is having an affair with Wayne when the military man is out of the country. It is also apparent that despite this, the military man does love Kate as he tries to take her with him when she is 5 years old, but the mother doesn’t let him.

Kate gives his ‘daddy’ a hug & asks him for an hour before he calls the police.

Part 2. The Island

Kate has been tending to Sawyer for the past 24 hours & she leaves her patient to climb a tree to pick up some apples. The same black horse is suddenly seen.

She returns to the Hatch. Jack reminds her about the computer as the rest of the group will be going to Shannon’s funeral.

Sawyer mumbles something incomprehensible. Kate leans on trying to hear what he says & Sawyer grabs her yelling—this time, very comprehensible--“Why did you kill me? Why did you kill me!”

It is not shown how but Kate manages to free herself & leaves Sawyer on the floor. The alarm is activated. It is a near-miss. The time is almost running out & Locke frantically keys in the numbers to reset the counter. Phew. Jack realizes that Kate is not in the Hatch.

Meanwhile Kate goes in the jungle & Charlie joins her. She asks him whether he has seen any horses in the Island. Charlie remarks that so far he has only seen polar bears (in Season 1. One of the few episodes that I watched. Actually only one of such an animal) & that he has heard monsters in the jungle.

She goes deeper in the jungle alone.

Jack manages to catch up with her & in a perplexing outburst of emotion she wails that she is sorry she is not as perfect or good as Jack. Jack goes blank. Likely makes a quick diagnose whether this is due to sleep deprivation or something about her ‘time of the month’ thing. Kate walks away. Jack grabs her. She pulls away. He hugs her & she starts to cry. And guess what? She then kisses him passionately before pulling away & looking embarrassed, she leaves him).

She goes to Shannon’s grave. Meets Sayid there, she asks whether Sayid believes in ghosts. Sayid only comments that he sees Walt before Shannon is shot.

Kate returns to the Hatch. Sun Kwon is taking care Sawyer. She asks Kate to watch him & leaves.

Sawyer is still unconscious, but Kate starts talking to him addressing him as Wayne. She tells Sawyer/Wayne why she kills him (Wayne). She confesses that she knows Wayne is her real father but she hates him because he is part of her & because of that, she would never be good. I reckon Kate is buying the crap that evil is hereditary and if her father is bad, so is she.

She also reveals that when she sees Sawyer and (get this right) when she starts feeling for him, she is reminded about Wayne. Sawyer wakes up. He’s been listening & tells Kate that it is the sweetest thing he’s ever heard. Even if he doesn’t understand why Kate addresses him as Wayne earlier.

Kate shows him around the Hatch. Sawyer starts to think that they are already rescued until Kate brings him outside the Hatch. Which is when Sawyer sees the black horse that Kate once sees in the jungle earlier & in the car with the marshal in the Flashback. This time, Kate approaches the horse & pats it.

Another tour around the Hatch is done earlier. With Locke as a guide to Michael & Mr. Eko. They are shown the Orientation Disc (remember this?) and Mr. Eko comments that they have come across a similar Hatch in the other side of the Island and shows the bible that he found there to Locke (mentioned once here). The bible is hollowed & has a roll of film stored there. The film is the ‘censored’ part of the Orientation Disc.

Note: Prior to telling about the bible, Mr. Eko has a rather unique way of starting the story by telling Locke about a period before Christ when a king wants to rebuild a temple because it is in ruin & people worship false idols/gods. "Huh???" would be a common reaction among audience.

Anyway, not to digress, the king assigns his “project manager” to distribute enough fund (read: gold) to the all parties involved (vendors, workers, subcontractors, etc.) so that the project can be completed in timely manner. Okay, the jargon is not exactly the same. But you catch my drift. Heh.

Suffice to say, instead of gold, the project manager uses an ancient book that he finds (Mr. Eko refers that as the Book of Law aka the Old Testament). The story has it that with the Book, the reconstruction of the temple is eventually completed.

And with that, Mr. Eko continues to relate with his group finding that hollowed bible.

Locke & Mr. Eko splice the film together with the Orientation Disc & replay it. The missing part emphasizes about the importance of not using the computer to enter other data beside those series of numbers every 108 minutes. Or else…the “incident” will happen again.

In the meantime, Michael is looking around the computer to see how the hardware works. He hears a beep in the computer & sees a message in the screen.

“Hello?” it says.

Michael types an echo of “Hello?”

The screen shows, “Who is this?”

Michael replies with, “This is Michael. Who is this?”

He is answered with, “Dad?” and…

…To be continued.

kittens let loose

the kittens have recovered from their flu. i can see their eyes at last, not stumbling around with eyes glued shut by mucus.

gingin, as victor tabbycat predicts, is the first to get adopted. his adopter will be picking him up tomorrow. the rest of you, buck up and put on your best doe face!

blackie is still very tiny for being the last to recover. but he is a speedy one and dashes for the heavens every time the man and woman opens the utility room door. keep your germs behind the yellow line, buddy.

“There is no such thing as a weird human being.

It’s just that some people require more understanding than others,” said Tom Robbins (1936 - ?), an American novelist.

Right. Very obvious. Anyway, jadeite tagged me to continue the cycle of confessing six things about oneself that understanding may slip past through them.

Okay here they are, six ‘weird’ things about me:
1. I believe all God’s creations are beautiful. I pity those with a mistaken idea of being humble by claiming that they are not beautiful. It’s a slap to God’s cheek when they insist of thinking that way. However, I do believe people are entitled to have their own kind of principle. I don’t see any need to force my belief to them. Anyway, it’s not my cheek that is slapped. ;)

2. I reply questions with answers, not with questions. I don’t need to know the reasons why people ask me certain questions and I don’t have patience to hear those people apologetically trying to explain why they ask me those questions. :(

3. I suspect the existence of multiverses where there are myriad versions of myself living their own lives stemmed from those choices that I in this particular universe don’t take. I wish them good luck. :|

4. I can re-read the same books many times and re-ignite the excitement that I feel when I first read them. I can’t do the same for movies, though. ;)

5. I am capable of finding my own mistakes & rectifying them. Explains the ‘regular’ editing of my articles, huh? :|

6. I have difficulty to start trusting people and to stop trusting them. :(

Not weird? Gosh, aren’t you the understanding one! Heh. I shall now tag kairinu, ole’wolvie & shakespeareheroine.

The Joy of Reading...An Introduction

You can learn more about the author. Take "Violent Cases" for example. In the introduction, the author admitted that the title was suggested by someone else because it's already in the text (Not until you comb the story, you'll find the reference: "Gangsters had tommy-guns, which they kept in violent cases..."). I like the way Gaiman gave proper recognition to those who had helped him. Like this 'someone else', his name is mentioned (he is Garry Kilworth) and if this entry of Gaiman's journal were to be believed, "Violent Cases" is probably the best title of his works.

Agree or disagree, but for sure the title is aptly chosen. Catering for the context, with a few meanings; two are highlighted below. And this is just about "cases". Likewise for "violent" which conveys either "(of colours or sounds) intensely vivid or loud" or "characterized by violence or bloodshed".

Click the snapshot for better visibility

Violent Cases

Touch-up keyword: negative

Recognized as the first collaborative work by the author, Neil Gaiman & the artist, Dave McKean--two prominent figures of The Sandman, ehm, classic--this graphic novella, "Violent Cases" is likely to be read by their fans out of loyalty.

The storyline is disappointing. I can't decide whether it's too simple or too complicated. The end of the story urges me to visually check whether there are torn pages. Nope. It's just stopped that way. Not even a little caption of "to be continued". Not making any sense, huh? Wait till you read it yourself.

Sure, the art is a treat. Could always rely on McKean to give his best. But still, there is a limit of what the artist can do to salvage the situation. Especially for graphic novels which the emphasis ought to be on their plot. The illustration comes later.

23 makes herself indispensable

Gomez: a hero, a zero, or both?

What I dislike about the thrilling minorities certificate saga is the irony of how a supposedly champion of workers treated a staff.

Of course the drama was further complicated with the incumbent ruling party pounced at the very opportunity to question the character of the joker person in the spotlight, James Gomez. I can see their point. Afterall, for one who is holding an honours degree in political science from National University of Singapore & an M.A. in Politics from University of Essex, and not to mention an editor for a few well-written books such as "Publish and Perish: The Censorship of Opposition Party Publications in Singapore" (Available in the library), it is difficult to picture Gomez as one absent-minded person easily distracted by his busy schedules to the extent that he forgot to submit his application form.

Anyway, let’s recap what happened. Flashback on Gomez (Darn! This is getting to sound like a Lost summary).

24 April
Worker’s Party candidate Gomez & the party chairman Ms. Sylvia Lim visited the Elections Dept. A copy of the application form for a minority certificate was ask, given & filled in. But not returned to the officer in charge. Gomez put the form, instead, into his bag & left. [1]

26 April
Gomez returned to the Dept to collect his minority certificate. No application form. No certificate. Gomez with his “Not my fault” & “You know what's the implication?” were hardly sympathetic.

Later, over the phone, the resourceful officer told Gomez that footage from a security camera showed that he had put his application form in his bag and left the department without submitting it.

27 April
Mr Inderjit Singh, a PAP candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC had a chat with Gomez--in short & a bit of rephrasing--asking why he screwed up with his application form again (Blogger’s note: in the previous election, Gomez also made a mistake with his paperwork).

The whole thing was a "wayang" (the Malay word for "putting on a show") was his reply.

29 April
During the party's rally, Gomez admitted he did not submit form to Elections Dept.
"I have a statement to read. I refer to my claim for the submission of my application for a minority certificate at Elections Department on 26 April 2006. I wish to confirm I did not submit the said application on 24 April 2006 due to distractions caused by the busy schedule leading up to Nomination Day. Please accept my sincere apologies if my actions on 26 April 2006 caused any distress or confusion to the staff or the Elections Department. I thank you." [2]

6 May
Polling Day. At the battlefield: Aljunied where Gomez was one of the WP candidates, PAP won 56.08%. Arguably ‘decisive margin’ as PM Mr. Lee pointed, but the gap between PAP & the Opposition was the narrowest there. [3]

The Elections Department filed a complaint against Gomez.

7 May
Gomez was questioned by police for the first…

9 May

10 May
…and the third time.

12 May
The verdict: guilty of verbally threatening a public servant. Gomez was given a stern warning.

13 May
Epilogue. I hope.

Gomez said he did not plan to sue Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew despite the repeated accusation that he (Gomez) being a liar and dishonest.
“I've also been brought up with values where my parents told me to be gracious and kind and that's the way I am. And as far as the party is concerned, we're not the suing type. So I don't think l have anything more to add. I have moved on.” [4]

[1]. It puzzled me that the staff didn't ask the form to be returned immediately on 24 April. Unnecessary tension just because the staff failed to properly follow up? One may feel that way.

[2]. Wait a minute! He didn't even know what's the staff's names? Because they were of little importance? And he called that 'sincere'? It would sound much better if he made an effort to personally address the apology to the staff. By mentioning their names.

[3]. Could WP have been the winner there or could they have lost more if Gomez didn’t start the whole drama? Who knows? Gomez: A hero, a zero, or both?

[4]. "Gracious" & "kind"?! What, he is capable of being sarcastic towards himself? Impressive, Gomez! Do recall that when you treat your staff next time.

animal family hierarchy

it does seem, to the public eye, that the animal family residents live in blissful uncommon feline harmony. that is almost true because 95% of the time, we do resemble the peachy dynamics on 123 Sesame Street.

as an insider, i can attest that this kind of gaiety is not a given and certainly not attained by sheer luck nor human intervention.

the other 5% of the time in the family is less picturesque. like it or not, it is about making sure everyone knows their rightful place. and our alpha queen does that. Rosie. some of you may be very surprised. she came to us as a regular pokemon but she has very much evolved with time and age.

what hasn't changed is that she is still all maternal to Suede, Bobby, me and now 23. but cross her, and we get a menacing screech and a smack on the head. thankfully for us, she is a forgiving and loving matron and lets us back into her good books very soon after if we sneak up to her with head down and all sheepish-eyed. she will then give us a lick to signify the end of our social ostracism.

most of us are smart enough to know our way around the system and get the most out of it. Rosie loves by organisation so all we have to do is to let her be the boss and then sit back and enjoy the benefits. but there are among us two that are slow on the uptake - Papa and Fruity. they cower in fear of the almight queen and run if she so much as looks at them.

so Rosie has executive power over the animal family hierarchy.

yet corporate success is never built on the back of one person, however large his or her personality. while i am no more than a minion like everyone else around here, i must say my influence in the animal family is no less, though in widely complementary ways.

i am the one that lends a listening ear, mediates conflicts, soothes ruffled feathers and buys everyone a round of drinks on special occasions. so one of us rules by exclusion, the other by inclusion. essentially in a successful group dynamic, you need the two kinds of leadership.

i say this because i know Rosie never reads this blog. sometimes true leadership is never to admit that you are one (wink).


Click the snapshot for better visibility

As what I wrote earlier in this article, I am not into horror movies. But I might give this one, titled "Voice" a try. (View the trailer: here)

Firstly, it is because "Voice" was supposed to be showed as part of the 19th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) ended last month. The image above is extracted from its official homepage.

Secondly, the review in the local newspaper last Wednesday gave the show a rating 2 out of 5 stars. Now, isn't it conflicting! On the one hand, "Voice" was considered worth screening for the Festival (albeit, cancelled due to "unavailability of the print"). While on the other, the show was poorly rated. Who is right then?

Thirdly, one review in the Net commented that the show is more a mystery than a horror. And I like mysteries.

So yeah, I will likely be watching this show. To determine which has a better judgment: the SIFF organizers or the local reviewer & to check whether "Voice" is indeed a mystery.

110506 – Lost (Season 2) Summary / Spoiler

The past week article: here.

Part 1. Flashback on Ana-Lucia

The episode starts with her practicing in a firing range, follows with her session with a therapist. The doctor decides that she’s ready to be back to her duty as a cop.

She reports to her captain who is also her mother. At first, Ana-Lucia is assigned to do some paperwork which she refuses as she wants to do patrol. After a brief argument in which she petulantly asks in Spanish (?) whether her boss is doing this because of her being the captain or her being the mother, Ana-Lucia is allowed to patrol.

She & her partner are handling a domestic disturbance case where a man is seen taking a TV out from an apartment with a woman--a crying baby in her arms--tries to prevent him. The way Ana-Lucia looks at the baby makes me wonder as it immediately follows with her taking a gun out & orders the man to get down on the ground. Not a standard procedure, I guess, because her partner looks startled.

The significance of the baby is answered in the next few scenes. The man who shoots Ana-Lucia is shown captured & she is asked to identify him. Despite the man’s confession, she refuses to acknowledge him as the culprit. The man is released. And one night, Ana-Lucia follows him out of a bar & confronts him in an empty parking lot.

That is the part when she tells him that she is pregnant when the guy shoots him. And with that, she shoots him three times from a distance & as the guy falls, she shoots him another three times in a closer range.

Part 2. The Island

After recovering from his shock that Shannon is dead, Sayid takes a gun out but the agile Mr. Eko fights him. The opportunistic Ana-Lucia hits Sayid’s head & renders him unconscious.

She asks Mr. Eko to tie Sayid. Mr. Eko refuses. Ana-Lucia instructs Libby to bind Sayid using vines from the stretcher. Michael protests, as the stretcher is still needed to carry Sawyer. (Ah, so Sawyer is still around!) Libby reminds Ana-Lucia that Sawyer is dying, but she goes tying Sayid, nevertheless.

Mr. Eko leaves the group, carrying Sawyer on his back. Telling Ana-Lucia that he is doing that not for Sawyer, but for himself. (I’m really looking forward for the episode where the flashback shall focus on Mr. Eko. Who is he? A priest? An idealist? A humanist?)

Meanwhile, Kate, Hurley & Charlie are shown together. Kate plays golf. Hurley is losing a bet against Kate who demonstrates how far she can send the ball flying. Jake enters the picture telling that golf is about accuracy.

Kate challenges Jack golfing. Jack hits the ball way off the target (so much for accuracy, eh, Jack? Especially to compare with how close to the target, Kate sends the ball). They go to retrieve the ball & they encounter Mr. Eko with the unconscious Sawyer.

The constrained-to-the-tree Sayid points out that Ana-Lucia doesn’t have any plan. Only the gun and the guilt, he sneers. It sets her thinking about a plan to stay on her own & demands Michael to go to the camp & gets her some stuff like a blanket, a medicine, and mostly ammunition for the gun.

At first, Michael refuses to leave the group, but Jin lets him know (in Korean) that Jin will ensure that nothing bad shall happen to Sayid.

Michael runs & meets the surprised Sun Kwon. He tells her that Jin is alright & asks her to bring him to Jack.

In the meantime, Jack & Kate bring Sawyer to the hatch. They put him in the shower to cool down his fever & try to make him swallow a medicine. Jack’s attempt fails & Kate tenderly whispers to Sawyer asking him to take the medicine. Is it jealousy speaking when Jack tells her that he never learns the whole whisper-in-the-ear thing in the school? Hard to say.

Michael & Sun Kwon enters the hatch. Explaining the situation (that Shannon is killed & Sayid is held captive), Jack decides to arm himself & Michael & to ask him to bring him to where Sayid is tied.

Mr. Eko prevents him & tries to explain that it’s an accident. Ana-Lucia’s name is mentioned & Jack looks nonplussed. (Blogger’s note: this could explain the few opening scene in the airport where Jack & Ana-Lucia are introducing themselves.)

Back to Ana-Lucia.

After letting Bernard, Libby & Jin leave for the other group’s camp, Ana-Lucia is left with Sayid. A little heart-to-heart chat where she asks Sayid whether he has any kids, Sayid tells her that about 40 days ago he also ties a man to a tree & tortures him (Season 1 episode? Didn’t watch it), she reveals herself to be a cop & that she’s shot down once & almost died. Sayid asks her what happens to the shooter. Insert the appropriate flashback scene. You know which one. In her answer, she lies to Sayid. Telling him that the guy has never been found. (Blogger’s note: the point that she’s pregnant & losing her baby when she’s shot is not explicitly told to Sayid, either.)

She releases Sayid & giving him her knife & gun, she tells Sayid to take his revenge because she “deserves it”. Making a right decision, Sayid chooses to pick Shannon’s body instead.

Mr. Eko & Jack come to the scene. Recognizing her, Jack gives a surprised look to Ana-Lucia and vice versa.

Despite the focus of Ana-Lucia’s personal tragedy, the episode ends with a happy note where Bernard, Libby & Jin meet the other group on the beach. Bernard reunites with his wife, Rose. Jin with Sun Kwon. And Michael? With his son’s dog.

To be continued…

back to slack

don't we look like angels when we are not hunting?

the hunt ends

Final Destination X

This article could make practical physic questions. Employing basic kinematic (why do I see it as 'cinematic'? *groan*) principles & there you'll find the answers.

Q: What is the maximum distance from the ground that the passengers would reach if both cables are--for some reason--not functional? Assumption: Acceleration of gravity, g is 9.8 meters per second per second. At the height of 60 meters, the speed is exactly 200 kilometers per hour.

A: 217.47 meters.

Q: What is the colliding speed--victims vs. the ground?

A: 65.29 meters per second or 235.03 kilometers per hour.

Q: How long would the free-fall be?

A: 6.66 seconds.

PS. The above image is edited using Serif PhotoPlus 5.5. Keywords: negative, contrast & gamma.

Show me the Teamwork!

Touch-up keywords: greyscale, contrast

Teamwork. Which I find lacking in the Mission: Impossible movies. Yes, at least the latest M:I has introduced a few team members. What I would expect is the same group would be featured again in the next sequel.

To give a credit, the latest M:I has in some extent used the same formula like that in the M:I TV series. The sequel now has the Team Leader, the Techno-Wizard, the Strongman, the Master of Disguise, and the Femme Fatale. But guess, to whom the spotlight is still directed?

Wonder how they word the contract. Something like this? "Your mission role, should you choose to accept it is to play as the main character in the movie and to do all the dangerous--not to mention, impossible--tasks while your team members provide some amusement in the background."

secret seven

Not that I’m going to watch it…

…because I prefer reading to watching a show adapted from a book.

Still it is interesting to read that The Board of Film Censors (BFC) has rated the film 'The Da Vinci Code' NC16. Quoted from the article:

The film has a "mature content" advice and no children below the age of 16 will be able to watch it at the cinemas in Singapore.

The majority of members (of Film Consultative Panel) came to the conclusion that the film should be viewed as a thriller and a piece of fiction.

Members agreed that the film can be shown, but at a higher rating as only a mature audience will be able to discern and differentiate between fact and fiction. - CNA/ch

Re: “a piece of fiction”, I can’t resist grinning & inwardly yelling, “I told you so!”. Heh.

Mature audiences would have to thank BFC for keeping an open mind about the film. Anyway, if the book is widely available, it is pointless to completely ban the movie. Unless they want to encourage more people to read, that is, then yes, disallow the movie to be screened here & create more interest in the book. But do bear in mind, it is a fiction.

Let us not repeat the skirmish of words like in this particular forum. (Blogger's Note: The link to the forum is not included for sensitivity's sake as a few participants there refused to admit that the book is a fiction. Instead, they argued by introducing irrelevant & insensitive references about two major religions.)

Then again, perhaps many of them are merely children below the age of 16. Who knows? If that's the case, it is understandable that they can't enjoy the book as it is. As a fiction & nothing more.

Not to blame them completely. After all, there is no 'rating' applied for books. To think aloud, would we one day see such a 'rating' system? So that certain books could only be bought & read by suitable readers? But ought to relook at the acronym of BBC (The Board of Book Censors).

who says cats are solitary animals?

like everyone else, we appreciate good company.

We need more of such a politician.

By “we”, it should be interpreted in international context. Not narrow-mindedly limited within Singapore boundary. There is no intention whatsoever--implied or not--that the above title is to say that Singapore has very few politicians of SM Goh’s caliber. Got it? Enough with terms & conditions.

The followings are quoted from an Asiaone.com article. About what SM Mr. Goh Chok Tong commented on the election result.

The opposition, too, won because it succeeded in improving its margins in the two wards (Blogger’s note: the two wards are Hougang & Potong Pasir) and fielding better-quality candidates, especially in the case of the Workers' Party.

As for voters, especially those in the two opposition wards, they displayed loyalty and character by choosing hardworking incumbents over multi-million-dollar goodies dangled by the PAP.

During the nine-day campaign, the ruling party's candidates had whipped out $180 million plans in total to renew the two ageing estates, but to no success.

Said Mr Goh: 'This attribute to me is a very good characteristic of Singaporeans. Better that than for them to be chasing after every goodie which we offer them...

I am impressed. The election was carried out "smoothly" (no riot, no demonstration, or other destructive behaviours which only scare away potential investors & no court to declare afterwards that the election is unconstitutional). In addition, the Ruling Party fairly acknowledged how well the Opposition performed. Even praised those who didn’t vote for them.

And that is a right direction towards a more mature process. A process whereby there would be:
- no personal attack during the campaign (Just stick with the issues that matter to the people, why don't you?).

- no demand of public apology from others (It's getting too predictable, isn't it? Especially if it comes with a string of 'or-else-see-you-in-court').

- no blunder concerning paper work. Elections Dept to continually review their existing procedures & to assess any potential loopholes where people can deliberately or accidentally use to gain instant fame.

maximum capacity

no one has called up for neo23 yet. maybe it's the age, 5 mths, and the colour. same as Mummy. thankfully she is saved from going the way of Mummy. but she deserves better than to be another number in the ever growing animal family. we all do.

the man and woman is reconsidering plans for a cat mezzanine to increase the capacity of our apartment. don't know, man, don't know if that is the way to go.

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