Monday, March 27


Recently this song has been airing on 933 rather frequently. Either that, or 丁志勇 & 林灵芝 like to play this song on their "就是万人迷" morning programme.

It's a good thing, cos both YP and I enjoy this number by 林志炫. She gives big points to 林志炫's emotional interpretation and flawless vocal performance, while I am particularly impressed by the very picturesque lyrics.

This song is somewhat different than most others in that it doesn't really have a portion that is catchy and/or repeated in a manner you'd normally associate with the chorus. Musically, it's like the entire composition is written in a rather linear and decidedly jointed way, one where there is no flashy 'chorus-like' bits that stand out from the other stanzas.

But yes, there is a chorus. This is where the lyricist 詹兆源 (who also composed the song) writes about the long and arduous journey taken before reaching the door to his lover's heart, only to discover that this is one entrance, which despite his best efforts, he never could pass through. As he turns around in silent defeat, he finds to his astonishment and dismay that the persistence expended during his journey has left the path back utterly and irrecoverably, destroyed. He is now trapped in a dilemma where neither advance nor retreat is possible.

I wonder how many unfortunate souls there might be who have been forced into such a precarious predicament. I thank my lucky stars I am spared of such a cruel fate.

I'm sure there are those die-hard romantics around who would unreservedly, go all out in their attempts to win over those whom their hearts yearn for. Their passions would be burning so deep and they would have invested so much of themselves in the pursuit that by the time they start to realise the absolute futility of their efforts, they would have already crossed the point of no return, in the journey of unrequited love. Sometimes, these might even lead to self-destructing consequences.

Phantom of the Opera comes to mind.

To these poor souls, Love would never be anything but a painful, never-ending torment.







Wednesday, March 22

"Food Glorious Food" Thread

This email thread started when Raymond broached the food topic during his initial days of his India trip.

2 Mar 2006 (11:32pm) - RAYMOND said :
Hello everyone! I survived the last 4 days in India! This place is hit by bird flu and there is no chicken and eggs or us. Even the locals do not eat them....everyday eat flour, vegetable and pototos. The food are oily and I am missing the hawker centres in Spore!

Alamak....talking about it now, I feel very hungry :( Hope I survive the next 2 got one colleague down by food poisoning...wondering who's next. :(

3 Mar 2006 (8:20am) - ANGIE said :

Hi Raymond,

Hope you remembered to pack some instant noodles in your luggage. i love Singapore style indian food but i cannot take the real indian food.

There was a Indian wedding dinner i attended many years ago in a temple. they served brayani-look-alike rice. i happily took a plate full and when i put the first spoonful into my mouth, i immediately had to spit it out. of course one of the main reasons is there was raisins in the rice. and i HATE, HATE, HATE raisins.

When you are back, let's have a gathering with everybody and eat at Geylang, how about that? I cannot forget the beef horfun which we ate with Terry, Pam, Bernard and Cedric. and of course i remembered pam had to put her legs on the chair although she was wearing a short skirt because there were quite a few cats hanging around, singing "Memory" in the alley.


3 Mar 2006 (10:59am) - JANICE said :

Yes, I told raymond to pack biscuits & instant noodles there...


Though I like raisins, but raisins with rice is kind of weird...

Guess we chinese not used to the taste...

3 Mar 2006 (12:34pm) - ANGIE said :

It seems like i am the only odd one out in the group who dislike raisins, chocolate and cheese cake.

Oh, my fellow hate-raisin friend is bernard.


p/s: give me raisins as bday present or Xmas present and i will stop friending you.

4 Mar 2006 (7:16pm) - YS said :

You are normal.. raisins in rice is a no go for me too

4 Mar 2006 (9:20pm) - RAYMOND said :

Greatings from Nashik...Raisins with rice is fine with me. I like them!

haha...guess I am the odd one out.

I will go with YP's suggestion for beef hor fun! Can't wait to come home.

Today we tasted chicken for the first time in the camp cook house. Guess the ban was lifted and SAF is eating chicken again. :)

6 Mar 2006 (8:45am) - SHU said :

Raisins in anything are neither *puke* nor *mama mia!* for me.

Absolutely neutral. And you'd get to keep my friendship if you give me raisins.

Glad that you're at least getting some decent food, Raymond. Chicken is good. Got snake to eat or not?

11 Mar 2006 (11:39am) - RAYMOND said :

Hello everyone. I am still alive.... The last 2 days were hell for me. I was doing the "Merlion" act (4 times a nite!) and the LS job every alternate 2 hours. The charcoal and vomitting pills work and finally I am back to a normal diet. Ask me what is not a normal diet (just imagine one day surviving on 1 packet of plain biscuits, crashed in warm water so that it was soft, in order to avoid gastric pain). A normal diet is roti prata and all sort of "curries". :(

I miss the beef horfun!

Other than the little mishap, work and everything fine. Can't wait to get home real soon.

15 Mar 2006 (9:21am) - CEDRIC said :

My dear friend,

That is a perfect trainning:

1) First, you "train" yourself to stay awake the night (vomiting and stomach pain) and stay awake during the day during the meeting. That will forge your body and your mind for night party and be able to work after a hard night...
2) You will slim fast with "merlion" works ;) and looks, as always, perfect!!!
3) And you will know how home is good :)


And do not forget to come to France in order to take some weight back ;)

No kisses today, only when you will feel better ;)

16 Mar 2006 (3:56pm) - RAYMOND said :

Thanks to all for the encouragement. Talking about losing weight, I think this is a failed mission. The food here is not only spicy but oily. I am hanging on here. 3 more days and I will be thru! See you real soon.

17 Mar 2006 (3:45pm) - CEDRIC said :

Come to my place, I will be dedicated to my honey and gorgeous food + wine;)

22 Mar 2006 (9:30am) - RAYMOND said :

Hello everybody. I am back! Today is first day in office after the long trip. Can't write much as there are tonnes of emails to clear. This weekend is packed with programmes. Suggest a meetup next weekend for beef hor fun?


22 Mar 2006 (9:51am) - PAM said :

We are definitely meeting next weekend coz all of you are invited to Xalicia's 1st birthday celebration on 2 Apr 2006(Sunday) at 6pm at our place. Sorry for the late notice...i'll check if we cld cater for Geyland Beef Hor Fun to be delivered to our place......: p

Tuesday, March 21

Sleepless in Ubi

Performing over-night standby duty at HQ right now.

It's my rostered rest time, but after lying down for a while, I know this is one of those nights that dreamland shall remain elusive to me.

Morpheus doesn't want me anywhere in his domain tonight. Sigh.

It must be the bed sheets or the pillow case that makes me feel this persistent itch and makes me toss and turn compulsively while on the bed. Forget it. No point insisting to fight a battle you are destined to lose.

To pass time, I could do some reading that I brought with me. Not in the mood to do any serious work stuff, though. So I searched the web to see if I could find anything about the dice game that Ced taught us some 3 years ago back when we were in the UK. After all, this is the game that gave me my virgin experience on what it is like to be stone drunk. After all, this is the game that became the namesake of this blog.

Wikipedia has this very comprensive entry on Liar's Dice, which contains information on many variants of the game, including this one called "Mexican", which sounds very much like Ced's Kinigu. Still, I thought the name Kinigu must have come from somewhere and if so there must be traces of this word that I ought to be able to find in vast cyberspace. True enough, I think I've found what I was looking for at this website :


Backwards it would read as Kiriku. It is instantly apparent how this Japanese-sounding name would confuse a Frenchman, such that he would later on articulate to his friends as "Kinigu".

I also note from the documented rules that our french friend had made the "5 6" combi a Kuriki (or Kinigu in our case), even though the original rules dictated that only the "1 2" combi would be deemed a Kinigu. Also, there's this other made-up rule that anyone scoring a Kinigu could appoint drinking penalty to any opponent he selects. Ced's customised rules serve well to ensure that we all ended up very very high after each game.

Ku-Riki, Quirikii, Ka Rickey, Carickey, Kuricki etc are the many names for this game, according to the site.

No matter.

A error in naming that is 3 years old ceases to be an error. Committed by a Frenchman makes this error all the more understandable and forgivable.

To us, Kinigu shall forever remain as Kinigu.

Till our next game. Kinigu !!!

Monday, March 20

Security vs Convenience

Yesterday morning when we went to Takashimaya and entered from the Tower A rear entrance, there was this security guard there at the counter who stopped us and asked where we were proceeding to.

Me : 18th storey.
Guard : 18th storey ah? Must sign in first. (My guess is that this would have been his response regardless what reply I had given)
Me : Sign in this book here? But we may not exit the building from this entrance, you know.
Guard : No, you have to leave from this entrance and sign out here. (Yah sure, like this is up to you)
Me (sacarstically) : Wah, your security here very good, huh?

As YP proceeded to sign in for the both of us, in came a middle-aged woman. Just as she was dashing to the elevator, the very on-the-ball security guard stopped her and threw the same question to her. Of course, whatever she replied, she was told to sign in before she could proceed.

Woman (very loudly and impatiently) : Aiyoh! Late already still have to sign in !!

The woman's reaction must have stirred up something within me. All of a sudden, I found myself on the side on the security guard. So I said, in an equally loud voice, "Security mah. This is good, what." She ignored me.

I think the woman must have simply scribbled some nonsense inside that log book, 'cos it only took her a very very short time to fill in those fields, which included name, NRIC number, contact number, location of visit, sign-in time and so on.

This single episode showed up two areas of shortcoming.

The first is in the security system itself. While the INTENTION to get people to sign-in and sign-out upon entry/exit is soundly grounded from a security perspective, the EXECUTION bit falls way short. This wasn't a single entry-exit point, so a sign-in-sign-out book would absolutely not work.

The second, and more worrying aspect, is the woman's (which I would say can be extrapolated to a good portion of the general public) attitude on and reaction towards security issues. Too many of us are overly complacent with regard to the threats that we as a nation face from terrorism. Many are not aware of the severity of the threat, and naively think that such things would never happen in our own back yard. Yet others who acknowledges the threat often think that the government is bound to be on top of the situation, and that they would know what to do to keep us all safe.

The most exasperating thing is that too many people here, while outwardly proclaiming to be pro-security, have their convictions totally fall apart when their patience is tested and their convenience compromised. Just like that woman, they'd complain how these security measures have (a) wasted their precious time, (b) wasted national resources, (c) made a mockery with the lack of realism, or (d) all of the above. The recent Exercise Northstar V remains a good example of just how good people are at complaining.

Cannot stand them. If they can do the job better, then for goodness sake, come and do it instead lah. Who doesn't know how to TALK?

I often think that the only thing that can turn things around is an actual act of terrorism being perpetrated here in our own soil. That'd shake things up a bit and wake people up from their false sense of comfort and safety. Sometimes extreme measures are what it would take to solve problems that are so deeply seated.

By the way, we left Takashimaya from another exit yesterday, and we did not sign out on that very lame excuse of a security book.

Monday, March 13


My back is killing me right now. The ache, which started last night, is attributed to the Hatha 2 class YP and I attended in the afternoon. The class was conducted by Arun, and focused on "the opening of the four main segments of our bodies" - the hip, the back, the hamstring and the last-part-that-I-do-not-recall. Looks like I need memory lessons more than yoga ones....

The Back Exercises are the best/worse, depending whether you are talking about the benefits reaped or the pain that I had to go through in the process. First Arun got the class to do some "warm ups" that "opens up the back". It's actually a seemingly simple exercise where the partner holds a strap to your waist, and you bend backwards while in a standing position. Arun walked over to me as I was doing the back bend. "More bend....come on....push yourself!". I did. This routine was repeated three times, with forward bends inserted in between the back bends.

Then came the upward bow pose, or Wheel pose, or like we used to call it in the Army, "Bridge". Army days aside, this is one pose I've never been able to perform. I've tried it many many times during previous yoga lessons, and failed. I simply could not get my body up past a certain point.

When everybody else in the class had done it, I was hoping that Arun would somehow forget, and skip me. I knew that he knew I was incapable of doing the Wheel, having attempted this during his previous Hatha lessons, so perhaps he would PANG CHAN and spare me from the embarrassment of being the only one in class to not be able to get into the pose.

Well, like I have said before, hope and reality seldom coincide, and there I was, attempting the Wheel with the entire class staring at me. What went through my mind then was to YI SU YI SU do what I can, and then slump down on my back, and perhaps throw back a meek apologetic look of defeat.

What then happened came as am absolute surprise to me.

I did it. I managed the Wheel pose.

Not very standard, not steady-poon-pee-pee, that's for sure, but nontheless, I did it. My head was off the ground, and Arun was quick to give encouragement by exclaiming "Very good! The first time!".

Many a times, we would tell ourselves that certain things are beyond our capacity. We keep reminding ourselves of what we THINK our potential is, and what we THINK are the limits to what we can achieve with our limited abilities. So much so that we become deeply convinced that we are less than what we really are.

Yes, my back is killing me now. But at the same time, I'm glad for yesterday's lesson, which showed me that Potential is something that needs effort to be unleashed. The process is sometimes a painful one, but as the old addage points out ever so succinctly - NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

Tuesday, March 7

"The 5 Crazy Men" Thread

This one came with nice pictures courtesy of WM!

On 27 Feb 06, WM said :


Your Monday blues must be bad enough..... must be bye-bye-Cedric-see-you-again-soon syndrome... hope the XXX below is much better than coffee or panadol...

On 27 Feb 06, SHU said :
Guess what? The XXX below are indeed better than coffee or panadol. Looking at them makes me smile and a smile on a blue Monday is worth a lot. So, thanks WM.

Btw, I've got to commend the excellent quick-shutter shots you've taken. Very nice. Can burn original image files on CD-ROM? I volunteer to compile all pics on single DVD for distribution to all. To do that all who have taken pics using your individual cameras must hand me your files. You are :

WM, Raymond and YS.


On 27 Feb 06, WM said :

U r welcome. I am just repeating the same trick Bernard used to make me reply emails previously.

CD is burnt. Speed post to you?

On 27 Feb 06, SHU said :

Well, I'd rather you hand over the CD to me in person at our next gathering leh.

Would that be too much to ask for, huh?

On 27 Feb 06, CEDRIC said :

Good point to you Shu... Sorry Whee Mein ;)

"The 5 Words" Thread

There has been quite an interesting exchange of emails recently and I thought it it worthwhile to chronicle these airing of views, rather than letting them dissappear in your email thrash bins. This one is extracted from the string of emails initiated with a forwarded mail titled "The 5 words" sent by Shu.


On 25 Feb 06, TERRY said :

Great stuffs.....

Just been through a long and tired week.... AA 2006 followed by real
ops activation for S Raja. Been away from my wife and children for many days...
just back... will be away again for exercise for another 4 days from Mon....feel so sorry for my family... but, what to do....Many thoughts... seen many people cried for him and many said good stuff of him...

Just realised this: when you walk till the last moment of live and there are people who will come all the way to pay their last respect, cried for you etc... you have changed and influenced someone's else lives... you have made a difference... and it is worth yr live....

think about it.... for sharing....

On 27 Feb 06, ANGIE said :

this is exactly the reason i love to teach. i think i can make a difference.

The starfish story may sound very cliche to some people, but that is what i truly believe.


On 27 Feb 06, SHU said :

I don't have any delusions of grandeur of changing, influencing, moulding (and what have you) people's lives. That's why I am not a teacher. I am a simple man. I just walk the Earth for the duration of my lifetime, and then hope that those whose lives I have touched in that process would not think badly of me when I pass on.

Plus, I don't believe that a life's worth is measured in terms of the number of people who comes over to cry, or say pleasantries upon a death. PLUS, I am really doubtful with regard as to the percentage of those who went to Raja's wake, who really knew him and his contributions to the nation, and who are not simply regurgitating out standard lines that are generically and universally applicable to almost anyone at his/her deathbed. Call me cynical, but what I heard on TV e.g. he is a good man....he is very friendly and approachable......he has no airs......can
be applied to almost anyone who is not some rapist or murderer, when they die. People tend to be kinder to dead people. I think the only unique thing that those of our generation and beyond can say about Raja is that he wrote the S'pore Pledge.

Apologies for rambling and being negative. I always get chided by YP for this. She says I always look at the cup and say that it is half empty. I guess she is right. And I guess that's how we complement each other - the Dreamer and the Cynic.

Forgive me for all these crap talk, my friends....It is a Monday morning and I am having a headache. Perhaps getting some cynicism out of my system if my way of coping with Life. So, thanks for listening......


PS : Terry, thought you have spoken to your boss earlier about 'lying low'? Appears not to have much effect....Well, I suppose that is the way things are in this world - what you want may not be what you get; dream and reality usually do not coincide.....

PPS : Ray, understand you are now in India, for 3 weeks. That is a long time to be away....Take care.....when you come back then we go out for drinks again...

On 27 Feb 06, ANGIE said :

Actually, the part about touching lives and making a difference applies
to work and to my future children.

The most fundamental principle I believe in, and i believe strongly in,
is to live life to the fullest and happiest, with no regrets. in short,
i want to die with a clear conscience. and when the people around me
pass on, i want to have a clear conscience to towards them too. it is
because of this belief that i do not fear death.

And for the same reason, i believe in forgive and forget. i think it is
meaningless to get even with one another, or think that some pain or
hurt that was inflicted on us is so unforgivable that you must go all
the way out to punish the other party for doing so. "when you are angry
with somebody, you are simply punishing yourself" is a wise line i came
arcoss when i was reading some buddist books. All we have to do,
sometimes, is just to let go of our pride and "self- centeredness". and
in this way, i think, the world is a much better place than you actually
think it is.

I came to realise this when i was having some disputes with Shu some
time ago. I was very angry with him over an incident and the "normal"
cycle would be: i dont talk to him--> he doesnt talk to me either --> i
become angrier because he is not talking to me --> he is also getting
angrier because i am angry and he doesnt know why i am angry --> i am
angry that he doesnt know why i angry --> i start to point my finger at
him --> he says angry words and gets defensive --> we fight --> fight
escalates --> i cry until i hypervantile -->.... by the time we patch
up, we were both exhausted. then one fine day, when i find myself at
stage one, i decided that i shall not do the normal cycle. just brush it
aside and start a conversation (like talk about the weather). and it
actually saved us all the heartache and drama.

All of us are given a certain amt of time to live to earth. if you
decide to get angry for one minute, you have one minute less to be
happy. so, to have a clear conscience is very important to me. if Shu
pass on before i do, i want to be able to look at him at his face and
say, with all the constraints i have, i have done my best to make you
happy. and if i were to pass on first, i will be able to bid him
farewell with a smile.

I am not trying to preach anything over here. I am just sharing with you
all what is important to me. and what is not.

YP the dreamer

p/s: actually i dont dream very much. :) i am quite a down to earth person with a lot of wild ideas.

On 27 Feb 06, WM said :

To the Ng-Ng couple,

Good that you share your inner thoughts with us. Singles like me should
also benefit from it, though I do not have much say on relational issues
as compared to married couples who truly experience the ups and downs of
a blissful marriage and the upbringing of the future generation.

I believe our creation and existence on tiny earth had been
pre-destined, and every human being born to this planet has a purpose to
live on despite how miserable the present state may be. Not living for
fame, wealth, status, luxury and definitely not living for pride, our
common enemy.

Yes, life will be meaningful if we realise that our walk on this earth
is short, like a roll of toilet paper, it will be used up faster towards
the end. Not that we have to accomplish everything we perceived as a
"must" before we breathe the last breath, but rather to treat our life
on earth as a journey immersed in a test ground through which our
character will be toughened and our love for each other strengthened.

The best use of life is to love.
The best expression of love is time.
The best time to love is now.

So much for now, ta-ta.

On 27 Feb 06, SHU said : very subtle leh, WM. First the mention of "Ng-Ng" and then followed by the toilet paper remark to tie-in with that earlier sound reference. Very clever hor....?

Anyway, I shall not dwell into philisophical discussion about the meaning of Life here. Only one comment :

Toilet paper does not get used up faster towards the end, 'cos the rate of usage of toilet paper theoretically should be a constant, regardless of how much paper is left in the roll. In other words, omega w (angular velocity) is a constant. Now since linear velocity = radius x angular velocity (v = rw), when the toilet paper roll is reaching the end (i.e. r is small), linear velocity v is proportionately small.

Therefore, the way I see it, the toilet roll analogy should be reversed (becos v is proportional to r). When one has the luxury of youth (lots of toilet paper), one should CHIONG, be adventurous and experimental. As age catches up (left a bit of toilet paper), one should slow the pace down, be more reflective and contemplative, and focus more on spending quality time with those who matter most.

How? Like dat say NGAM or not?

cc Bernard and YS - Hmmmm....maybe I should be the top student, not you two....

On 28 Feb 06, WM said :

Gee... thanks for the compliment, SH... but frankly speaking, it wasn't my intention to have the two phrases appearing in the same mail. I think it's just coincidental and you were witty enough to pick it up...

Hmm... your academic's theory dunno ngam anot but indeed very chim physics and philosophies...but one thing for sure is I will pull the toilet paper slowly towards the end to see how much is left and whether enough for use anot...

As for the CD, just name the date and place... perhaps can also dwell deeper into the toilet paper theory..

On 28 Feb 06, SHU said :

Ok....compliment already now comes the suan....

Orrrrrr.....WM dunno how to follow instructions! Cedric asked that we remove Ingrid's email address from the emailing list, but it still appeared in your reply below.

As for the gathering and follow-up discussion on "what to do when toilet paper not enough", we'll probably do it when Raymond comes back from his India assignment. Also then, Bn and YS should have completed their very taxing course, with one of them having emerged as top student.

For the time being, pls get ready your pictures on CDs (Yes, Pam, including your Marina and yusheng ones please thank you) and continue to live Life, walk the Earth, influence lives, laugh and cry.

Ced - I just combed my kitchen last night. Not one egg, not a single cent. For you, I'm just guessing here but could it be that your recent trip to Singapore was fully paid for by the earnings from selling eggs?