Saturday, August 27, 2005


It's time. This blog is moving to its own server at Please, please, please, please, please, please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds. Oh, and RSS feed for comments is also available. So cool, hor? Because I still support Blogger and how it got me started so easily, all entries before this post will remain here, though, but comments will be closed from now. (OK, yah lah, I can't be bothered to migrate everything over lah. I got a day job, ungderstang? Where got time?) At the new place, which is WordPress powered, you'll find categories like Ingterneck, Navel Gazing and Food & Beverage, and there's a nifty calendar thing as well as an assortment of things that will screw up my template. You'll find duplicate posts there from July to date, because I wanted to populate the site to see what it looked like, and now I can't be arsed to remove them. The other blogs I collaborate on will still be on Blogger: See you over at the new place! newblog This is what it looks like iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of How Can You Keep Moving from the album "Into the Purple Valley" by Ry Cooder

I waited and waited and waited

I waited and waited and waited ...and in the end, I had to open the door myself iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Red Slurpee from the album "Away With The Pixies" by Ben Lee

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Friday, August 26, 2005

A very engaging week ahead

For starters, there's the humongonimous class at 6pm at Bishan Sports Hall on Saturday which NEEDS MORE VOLUNTEERS! Thank you again, Threez! If you like working with kids, and you should, you might want to come down at 5.45pm Saturday and let me tell you what's required of you. From 6 - 7pm, you'll enjoy one of the most fulfilling hours of your week, working with special needs kids as they're put through their paces by our head coaches. Email me here, and I'll put your names down for the hour. Thank you. --- Then, if you don't already know, there's the Singapore Writers' Festival, which showcases some non-Singapore writers, and Xiaxue, mrbrown and myself. The three of us have been engaged to conduct a talk and workshop about 'How to create and maintain blogs' on Saturday, 3rd of September, at the National Library Black Box on the 5th floor, then we're off to Rouge for some networking night, and then we'll be conducting another talk about 'Creating online communities through blogging' with Cory Doctorow! Cory Doctorow leh! Earlier this evening however, I was informed by Linda Chia that our first talk and workshop has been sold out! Free one also can sold out leh! Special Olympics Special Olympics

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Copywriters from hell

Cafe Roma taxi ad Dangerous to drive behind taxis with stupid ads... will laugh until nearly accident Less of fat, less of you
Less of fat, less of you!
No, really, that was the tagline for Caffe Roma that was on the taxi bumper.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Help needed!

Above & Beyond This is the kind of news I like to make! Thank you Threez for the article in today's Straits Times' 'Mind Your Body' section. The phones have been ringing off the hook, and we've been taking names for our special needs gymnastics class on Saturday. Anyone who wants to volunteer to be a coach's assistant on Saturday at 6pm, please come to Bishan Sports Hall. But oh wait, emu me first:

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TODAY: When a company met angry blogger

TODAY: When a company met angry blogger Excerpt:
In the age of the Internet grapevine, know your stuff before tackling customer complaints on the Web IT HAS been said, and quite often by bloggers, that businesses ignore blogs and online discussion forums at their peril. (Try a Google search with the term “businesses ignore blogs at their peril”, and you will see what I mean). News sites abound with tales of companies which either ignore, or do not wake up to, the extent of customer dissatisfaction until it is too late. But what happens in the rare case — at least in the local experience — that a company actually responds to rumbles of consumer discontent online? Judging by the reaction when one company did so last week, is it a case of “damned if you don’t, damned if you do”? One apparently disgruntled customer of a company that provides protective wrapping for mobile phones, PDAs and other similar devices posted his complaint on a discussion forum. Now, what typically happens in an instance like this, is that other forum members might commiserate or disagree with a customer’s complaint, or share their own experiences. But what happened this time was that a representative of the company decided to respond to the allegations by emailing the original poster — with interesting results.
Read more here.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Monday macchiato nosso good

Scary Mechanical Tiger There's a scary looking mechanical tiger in United Square at Novena that has scary bloodshot eyes and wheels on its paws. Apparently the handlers of this tiger charge $5 for a ride on it. Siao! Then there were the staff of the Haagen Dazs cafe who said they couldn't serve me a double shot macchiato because it wasn't on the menu, even if a single macchiato was. Even after I explained that a double macchiato was like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of foamed milk to mark the espresso, making it a macchiato, because a macchiato in Italian means 'spotted'. I even offered to pay 50 cents for the spot of foamed milk. But, cannot, said the waiters. To their credit, the waiters told the cafe manager, who suggested I order a cappucino instead. I said, 'nair mind, I'll have a double espresso'. To his credit, the manager asked again what it was I really wanted, and I said 'double macchiatto, which is like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of milk to mark the espresso, and I'll pay 50 cents for the milk'. And the manager said 'ok', and instructed his waiters to make me a double macchiato with no extra charge for the spot of milk. Good job, manager of cafe! 100 points for effort. Zero for the waiters who served me a double macchiato with enough foamed milk to spot twenty espressos. Double Macchiato Dude, where's my coffee? iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of The Look Of Love from the album "Music To Watch Girls By (Disc 2)" by Dusty Springfield

Monday, August 22, 2005

When salespeople take the window out of window shopping

This coffee, it is the sucks Bad day, bad coffee, bad mood When you don't have much money, like me, you'd sometimes like to do a spot of window shopping, which I tried to do today. It wasn't a very good spot of window shopping, given the Sunday crowds and the rain which forced the Sunday crowds into the malls. Still, I managed a good coupla minutes looking at shop windows dressed to entice people to buy things. But only a couple of minutes. Because every shop contained shop assistants who'd spy me looking at their shop windows and then creep up on me outside and say something to the effect of 'Hi, would you like to take a look at some of our fine merchandise, like the one you're eyeing, as we're also having a special discount on these items', only, this being Singapore, sounds more like, 'Arh, we got terty pessand sales on slackted item, come inside and see more lah'. My responses were to the effect of 'Nabeh, scare me! Fuck off! Leemee lone!', but me being the polite gentleman that I am, sounded more like, 'Er, no tankew, just looking'. Vale, Hunter S. Thompson (again) iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair (Jaffa Remix) from the album "Verve Remixed 2" by Nina Simone

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Please don't flambée my backside, the food's quite good

I am thankful for a lot of things, really. Like having enough money to give myself a treat after a reasonably crappy day at work. And what treat did I have enough money to give myself, you may well ask? Well, I went and had dinner at that venerable Russo-Hainanese institution that serves the best borsch bar none: Shashlik Restaurant. If you've been there, you'd know the food's real good, and you'd immediately forgive the late 70s lighting, the late 70s furnishing, the late 70s crockery and the late 70s waiters. I've heard before about how rude and brusque the waiters at Shashlik were, and I'd like to clarify one thing: the waiters aren't rude, they're just Hainanese. They'll stand around the bar and talk loudly in Russian because they think they're the best Russian restaurant in town, and they'd be right. And one of the fabulous things about the brusque borsch serving waiters is that even when there's a bunch of them talking loudly in Russian at the bar, there's still a couple of them brusquely pushing borsch, shashlik, and all manner of flambé on squeaky trolleys around the restaurant. If you were to go there, on the 6th floor of the Far East Shopping Centre (not Far East Plaza, which is the cool and funky place with the funky clothes and the funky people selling funky clothes to funky people), I'd recommend you have the borsch to start with, then the shashlik beef/lamb, and then the flambéed banana/cherry/alaska for dessert, topped off with the best Hainanese Russian kopitiam coffee this side of Ya Kun's. I really think this is the best Russian restaurant in town, and I'm not saying this because I'm afraid the Hainanese waiters might flambée my backside if I said otherwise. Dinner was good enough for me to want to dine there again soon, which is significant in itself because before tonight, the last time I dined there must've been twenty years ago. Shashlik Got dress code one leh Shashlik Quite dark, until the flaming trolley comes by Shashlik Restaurant Then they take the stuff off the flaming trolley onto your table: Banana Flambé Shashlik Restaurant The coffee's nosso good if you're expecting espresso Shashlik Must be nice to the waiters, else they flambée your backside Surf stop: Majulah Singapura's Journal iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Smoke from the album "Whatever And Ever Amen" by Ben Folds Five

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It is Wednesday and the weather is gana sai

So my blains been boiling the past two days on account of the weather. It was also good to know I wasn't the only one. Overheard in the lift of my office building was this exchange:
"Gana sai" "Simi gana sai?" "Wedder lah" "Orh. The heat" "The heat is sibeh hot" "This morning got haze some more" "Got meh?" "Gort!"
It really, really isn't conducive for work, this weather. Or for decent conversation either. Or for blogging. The Imperial Cafe & Pub The Imperial Cafe & Pub, MacCallum Street. Hot place. No, really. Surf stop: iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of And So It Goes from the album "Greatest Hits Vol. III" by Billy Joel P.S. Yes, I know there was an earthquake in Miyagi.

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TODAY: All abuzz over no poll or no holiday?

TODAY: Chip off the blog 17 August 2005 Excerpt:
This week opinions and impressions of the Singapore Presidential candidates made up quite a few blog posts, with sites such as Newsintercom (www.newsin even creating a mock-up online polling system, complete with buttons and live results — albeit with only one candidate for readers to "vote" for.
Read more here.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Unfunny Tuesday

Don't have time to blog! Don't have time to blog! Life is so hard! But no matter, I still managed to squeeze lunch in with mrbrown, who was also in a jam with work. We talked 23 to the dozen about everything in a half hour, hoping for a coupla blog ideas to come up. Don't have! Don't have time to blog either! But maybe there's a funny somewhere in the groups of anti-terrorist policemen patrolling the CBD these days, carrying machine guns, and making their presence felt. 'There was one fat policeman in the group of four', said mrbrown, 'I think he's the designated grenade boy'. Grenade Boy, meaning, if there's a grenade, he tells his mates to run first, and then he saves everyone except himself, by jumping on the grenade. Funny leh. Laugh lah! Nabehcheebye! A Day in The Life One work day drags into another. How much more can a Koala Bear? Surf stop: Blog Timeline.SG iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Cuban Overture for orchestra from the album "Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue/Cuban Overture/Progy and Bess Suite/An American in Paris" by George Gershwin

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Monday, August 15, 2005

We are Singapore: Doing the Sub-Continental

It's always good to be able to wake up late at 1.30pm on Sunday. Especially if you've only gone to sleep at 8am on Sunday. But you have to wake up early enough on Sunday afternoon, because you'd waste your whole weekend if you slept in. So, cannot sleep in. So that can go out. So that can you can spend a whole hour deciding what to do while on the way out because you didn't decide what to do beforehand. Y'know? On the way out, I passed by the guardhouse outside some Cabinet Minister's house, and outside the guardhouse stood a Gurkha guard in his distinctive Gurkha hat and equally distinctive HK-MP5 sub-machinegun. (He had some clothes on of course, but they weren't that distinctive). I waved, but he didn't wave back, and I decided I'd go for some Nepalese food for lunch. I had previously driven past a Nepalese restaurant called 'The Yak & the Yeti' somewhere behind Race Course Road in Little India, so I thought that might be the place to go to, but alas, don't have. No more Yak, and the Yeti disappear liao. But there was a restaurant called 'Gurkha Palace', and the menu placed outside listed Nepalese as well as Indian fare. I ate myself to death. So much that I don't remember much of it except that I have savoured the bestest naan in the universe. Then I rolled across Race Course Road to Farrer Park, because from across Race Course Road, there looked like there were games of rugby and cricket going on in the park. If you don't already know, these are the two games played in heaven. Rugby in winter and Cricket in summer. I had previously read about migrant workers from the sub-continent using this patch of grass on Sundays for makeshift cricket games, and it was good to see that it was everything I expected: the dusty wicket, the quick bowlers wiping sweat from their brows before trundling in, the barefoot batsman swinging and missing, and the fielding team raising half-hearted appeals. It doesn't matter if you don't understand a single thing about cricket because to see this game is to see real sport. (EPL, Manchester United and S-League's not sport, it's business.) I don't know how many batsmen got out before me and my companion decided to go do something else, like having coffee in an air-conditioned place, like a shopping mall. Howzat? Cricket at Farrer ParkHowzat? Cricket at Farrer ParkHowzat? Cricket at Farrer Park Howzat? Cricket at Farrer Park We're Singapore, so must wear Ang Moh shirts We're Singapore, so must wear Ang Moh shirts Don't mind us looking like Ang Moh ok? We're Singapore, you know? Surf stop: Nibble & Scribble iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Locked Out from the album "Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House" by Crowded House

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Die die also must blog

By golly, there will be a blog post tonight. And here 'tis. Tankew. Got lah. Coming soon. 24hr Halal Spend enough time offline, sure got things to talk about one. iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Paper Thin from the album "Slow Turning" by John Hiatt

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dim Sum Dollies

I'm tired. But I did go and watch 'Dim Sum Dollies: Singapore's Most Wanted'. And it was good fun. The 'Food Court Aunties' item was worth the price of admission enough, although I didn't pay to watch it. OK. Thank you. Safest city in the world Make no mistake. This is the safest city in the world. iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of The Impression That I Get from the album "The Impression That I Get" by Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005


TODAY: What's your One Singapore Minute?

TODAY: Chip off the blog, 10th August 2005 Excerpt:
It is this sort of thing happening in the blogosphere that counters the other, blase attitude towards the celebration of National Day, which might best be summed up by blogger Mr Dew (www.beconfused. com). He writes: "National Day's great because it's a day we can all rest after working and getting the same pay after 10 years and realising that the chicken rice has magically increased from $2 to $3 over the 10 years ...
Read more here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I am honey bees. Not flies.

Just so you know. So that when you see me hovering around this fruit juice stall at Newton Hawker Centre, you won't tell your friend you're dining with, 'Yeee, this fruit juice stall got flies, so disgusting'.

I am honey bees. Make no mistake. Can?

I am honey bees. Not flies.
Originally uploaded by Mr Miyagi.

Friday, August 05, 2005

One Singapore Minute

I've gone and taken seven phonecam shots within a minute from 12.39 - 12.40pm for the One Singapore Minute meme. One Singapore Minute: Flypast Flypast See the other six photos here. See everyone's onesingaporeminute tagged flickr photos. iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Annie Waits from the album "Rockin' The Suburbs" by Ben Folds

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I heart Singapore and her peoples!

Got lah! Singapore got caring people one! I knew someone would offer their National Day Parade tickets to Madam How Cheon Mui. She's the almost-centenarian Samsui Woman who wanted to watch this year's parade at the Padang but couldn't get a ticket and all the King's men and all the King's horses couldn't do squat about it. And someone did. Bless yer heart, kind sir. Flags for sale I've always been tickled by the word 'bunting' iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Cigarettes Will Kill You from the album "Breathing Tornados" by Ben Lee

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Thursday, August 04, 2005


Control, this is Blue Leader, we are approaching the Padang for flypa... oops overshot, let's go arou.... oops, we're over Batam, going arou... oops, we're over Woodlands, turning agai.... shit, we're past Tuas... coming round to the Padang agai... shit! Changi liao!
Above all, noisier than all, thems fighter jets and choppers have been making circles all over the island practicing and practicing so that they can get it just right. I've missed half a dozen calls on my mobile because of the racket they've been making, and I've been shouting more than I usually do. At the coffee shop downstairs of my office, a taxi-driver on a coffee break looked up at the be-circling jets and said, WAH LAO SINGAPORE! ROAD JAM NOT ENOUGH MUST SKY JAM! Above all: Economy Rice to the rescue Economy Rice to the rescue. (Tsunami relief efforts, Jan 05) On a more serious note while my ears are still ringing, Serene Luo of the Straits Times called today to tell me of a 99 year old Samsui woman who wants to attend the National Day Parade, but who can't get a ticket. She says that she's tried calling everyone, but her pleas have fallen on deaf ears (see lah, fly aeroplane so often some more!) Serene writes:
She's Madam How Cheon Mui, a Cantonese woman from the Samsui province in Guangdong, China, came to Singapore in the 1930s, leaving her husband and children back home while she worked here. Distinguished by their navy blue outfits and bright red headgear, Mdm How was one of those women who helped build the DBS building in Shenton Way, and Changi Airport in the 1970s.

Her husband is long gone; the last time she went back to China was some 18 years ago. She now lives in Grace Lodge in the Sengkang area, after she took a nasty fall a few years ago.

A member of the public, Anthony, called up a colleague after she'd written an article last week about two samsui women in their 70s who will be taking part in the parade. Anthony is a distant relative of Mdm How's. He's appealing to us to help find an extra ticket to this year's parade for her. Because she's wheelchair-bound after the fall, he was hoping to get two or three tickets so his parents can take her to the parade, and explain it to her (she speaks Cantonese only). But if that's impossible, just one ticket will do, and Anthony will even pick her up from the home, take her to any meeting point and pick her up after.

If the ticket simply is an extra goodie bag for you, or if you really aren't a flag-waving, whistle-tooting, patriotic song-singing person, or if for whatever reason, you suddenly can't make the parade, please do try and make it a little different for someone else.

Dear Singaporeans, dear bloggers, I know you all don't like journalists very much. I also know it's a far shot, seeing that NDP tickets are highly sought after. But I'm hoping that perhaps from somewhere in your heart, if you might be able to help, please do!
Samsui city: These are the women that built Singapore I'd give up my NDP ticket to Madam How, wouldn't you? It would seem a little absurd that there are Samsui Women featured at the parade, but this one poor Samsui woman can't get a seat to watch it. How can? It's a blooming shame! Blooming copy writer What da heow? Who da blooming copy writer? iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of 沉睡的珊瑚礁 from the album "Pbylmount Jazz Of Shanghai (Disc 1)" by Shanghai Old Pbylmount Jazz Band

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

TODAY: Bloggers get a battering from mainstream media

IF you read the local newspapers over the weekend, you'd have seen many column inches devoted to blogs — how useless and inconsequential they are, and then how dangerous they are. A few bloggers' feathers were ruffled by one tabloid's investigative piece titled "Blogheads or what?", which drew a comparison of the contents of American and Singapore blogs. Blogger "Sheylara" ( retorted, "you can't help but sense the strong disparaging undertone just yelling out between the lines of this particular article … It is saying that Singaporean bloggers are second-rate compared to US bloggers". On top of that, there was the inimitable journalist Sumiko Tan weighing in on the Internet and blogs as well.
Read more here.

Orgasmic organic wholesome goodness

It was my grandmother who introduced me to organic foods. She used to live in a shophouse in Seremban where she kept livestock together with my uncles and aunts on the 2nd floor, and where she also planted all manner of herbs and spices in little pots on the balcony. There was also a papaya tree on the balcony that eventually crashed, pot and all into the back lane below, but that's another story. Once, when I misbehaved (to a greater degree than I usually did), she put me in the cage that held the fiercest live gobbledegooking turkey on the planet. Imagine, if you will, a snotty, grimy four year old, terrified out of his wits, grabbing at the chicken wire, screaming for forgiveness, getting snottier and grimier and, not to mention, soiled, on account of fear-induced defecation, and you'd imagine a four-year-old me, being attacked from head to foot by Thanksgivingosaurus Max. In a cage. Watched by Granny and Uncles and Aunts. Like a Gladiator. Not. And so, it was with that happy memory that I was re-introduced to organic foods on Sunday at Bunalun (Chip Bee Gardens, opp. Holland Village). I can't remember exactly what I ate, only that it was good. The wild rice wild something something went really well with the wild pita bread with wild avocado and nabeh-sibeh hot wild chili padi, as did the wild olive wild puree wild dip. Only the coffee was a little tame. A few minutes after brunch, I felt this almost overwhelming sensation of goodness in my tummy. I kid you not. Your body likes this organic food, and this organic food likes your body back. I felt so good I even managed to read theNew Paper on Sunday and Sumiko Tan's Fear & Loathing in Blog Vegas word for word. I have decided. When I get married, the wedding fare will be from Bunalun. Ten course meal of wild something something with wild something somethings for everyone! Bunalun Bunalun Bunalun Bunalun Surf stop: Sheylara Everyone Loves You When You're Down from the album "Everyone Loves You" by Naomi

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Special Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, I was reminded why I like working with my business partners. After our regular schedule of gymnastics classes, I was just about to pack up my things and head home when I was told, 'Dude, you're up for the Special Olympics class at 6pm'. My shoulders dropped and I think I started sulking, because I was really tired that day, and I was looking forward to a Saturday evening off. A Special Needs gymnastics class was almost definitely going to chuck that out. Then the kids and their parents arrived and we started the warm ups. Within a couple of minutes, the enthusiasm of these children, aged between six and twelve, rubbed off on everyone - coaches, parents and everyone else watching. The parents were smiling, and I found myself smiling most of the session (except for when we were on trampoline duty, watching three autistic kids - quite stressful). I was less tired for the rest of the evening. (But still too tired to attend a big party on a yacht I was supposed to attend). My business partners and I have been running this gymnastics for Special Needs kids for three Saturdays now, and I've been so busy with work that I've only just realised that it's been more than half a year since we started trying to put this together. Thank you Singapore Sports Council for assisting in procuring Bishan Sports Hall for our program. And thank you to the various organisations who've been passing word around to parents of special needs kids. All we need now is some way to recoup our cost of hiring coaches and assistants (we're currently doing this pro bono). If you're interested in volunteering your services at our special needs classes, please email me and I'll put you in touch with my partners. I tell you, it's a much better way of spending your time than say, reading the New Paper. Work @ Bishan Sports Hall Saturday arvo at work Surf stop: threezframe Blue Moon from the album "Music To Watch Girls By (Disc 2)" by Mel Torme

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