Monday, May 28, 2007

Midevil Teddy


That's what Tome has taken to calling me. That padded coat I'm wearing is called a gamberson, and I've added a padded coif/arming cap to protect my noggin. The whole effect makes me look a little pong-pong and huggable.

Note to self: Full-speed drills are awesome, stress training is even more awesome, and slowly discovering yourself as a swordsman is just rocking.

At What Price, Peace?

"Memorial Day orators will say that a G.I.'s life is priceless. Don't believe it. I know what value the U.S. government assigns to a soldier's life: I've been handed the check."

Andrew J. Bacevich is an anti-war writer who writes for the Washington Post. I do not claim in-depth knowledge of his other articles, but this article struck me as being particularly poignant - he lost his son in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq.

That line above, especially, reminds me of the recently reported incidents, where 3 young men serving out their National Service lost their lives in a freak accident, and another paralysed from waist down is forced to live on $500 a month for the rest of his life.

I understand the need for National Service, even though I dislike it intensely. I can even understand the necessity of creating one-sized-fits-all policies to at least create the illusion of equality.

What I cannot accept is how easy it is to justify sacrifices in the name of a greater good when the person making the justifications is not the person making the sacrifice.

If defense is something everyone in the country benefits from, why does half the population escape it? Why create distinctions in practice for "white horses" where none exist on paper? What practical reason can there be?

If globalisation is something all Singaporean's benefit from, why does the benefits of globalisation fall mostly on the top 10th percentile while the bottom 10th percentile are trapped in poverty with even fewer opportunities for social mobility? Why is it so easy for Parliament to say "Here's your $290, too bad"?

If a relationship is something that both people benefit from, why do I see so many couples with one person bearing most of the burdens while another deriving most of the benefits?

Why do we do this to each other? Are we truly that monstrous?

Friday, May 25, 2007


A buddy of mine recently met a girl online. The fact that they are attracted to each other is, of course, apparent even to the blind, deaf, dumb and intellectually disabled.

I have my misgivings. What do they know about each other, beyond a few shared IM conversations and emails? What if they are only attracted to each other's online persona's? How do I know she's not a Glenn Close wannabe?

Then Perspective made her presence felt, and reminded me that even I didn't know the people I've been with for a long time. Do we truly know the people we love? Does it even matter that we don't? In the end, is it not hope and faith that drive the first steps to love?

With that, I prayed for someone else for the first time in a while.

Today, God sent me a reminder that unselfish prayers tend to get listened to a lot more.

Go get 'em, Tiger. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finding Peace

"Somewhere along the way after doing what you have to do in your own way in your own time, not calling it healing and not scheduling it on a white board but just bulling your way through it with the uncomprehending determination that is sometimes called faith and sometimes called the instinct for survival and sometimes called a necessary belief in a nourishing fiction, you are going to be talking on the phone or eating or opening a window or just walking dully along and you are going to notice that he's not in your head anymore, he's not shadowing you, he's not pulling you down and you don't even care anymore about what happened or how he left, in fact you hardly notice he's gone except that it is notably quieter in the area of your heart."

- Cary Tennis, from, advising a mid-life crisis widow

Amen, brother, and thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, challenges himself to live on $21 a week.

Bravo, Mr Kulongoski. I'd like to see our Ministers live on SG$290 a month, or take a bus to work for a week.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Rules of the Game

Sadugudu is a cross between tag, hantam-bolah (but without the bolah) and wrestling. Two teams will take sides of a field, with a middle line marking the border between the two fields. The object of the game is to tag opponents out. The teams will take turns to tag opponents out. A team on offense tags someone out by touching the person in question and making it across to his field.

There are three complications.

Firstly, the team on offense may only send one representative across the field. The minute he cross the field, he must chant "Sadu-Gudugudugudugudu.....". If he stops chanting this while on the other team's field, HE is tagged out.

Secondly, the team on defense MUST hold hands in a line until any person on their team is tagged. From there on, it's a free-for-all.

Lastly, I did mention this is a full-contact game right? The team on defense may grab, tackle, wrestle or pin the hapless team member on offense until he can't keep the chant up anymore.

Here's an excerpt of our game on Sunday.

Round 1:

Anthony starts on offense. He crosses the field with 6 defenders. He tries a few test swipes, without effect. Suddenly, he darts left touches Andy on the extreme left and sprints back. No tackles. Andy is eliminated.

Round 4:

Anthony's team is on defense. Alvin is the representative from the other side. As Alvin approaches, Anthony's team starts surrounding him. Alvin touches the 93 kg, 175cm Aaron and ducks under his outstretched linked arm. Aaron is not fooled. He collapses on Alvin. Alvin is brought down. Aaron resists the urge to smack Alvin's behind and yell "Who's your daddy?!"

Round 7:

Greg and Dawn are left on the other team. Josh is the representative for ours. He darts across, touches Greg. Greg grabs his shirt, slowing him down enough so he can't run away quickly enough. Greg then switches his lock, hoists Josh off his feet until Josh runs out of breath.

Round 10:

Greg is left alone, facing 3 members of our team - me, big Aaron and even-bigger Chris. Greg takes a while to compose himself. Greg takes his time, picks Aaron and runs across the field. Greg is brought down about half-way by Chris and Aaron. Chris clamps down on his upper body while Aaron clings on to one leg. Amazingly, Greg drags himself a good 3 meters despite being pinned and barely taps his home field with his hand. Aaron is eliminated.


If you think what we did was violent, take a look at this. This is Kabbadi, the official sport which was derived from Sadu-gudu.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Word of the Day


(slang) A person who deliberately or inadvertently prevents a man from seducing someone.

I wanted to take this girl to my room, but her roommate was being too much of a c**kblock.


The force of synchronicity bids Dawn writes about the declining standards of English teachers in Singapore while Zach writes about a radical new method of teaching English via visual formatting.

In an effort to address a potential space-time rupture, I add a hasty effort to improve my readers' vocabulary, on a subject close to my heart.

I only pray my efforts are enough.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My New Toy

My New Ride

My Fuzzy Dice

Posing for driving

Monday, May 07, 2007

Place Holder

I have on me:

  • fuzzy dice
  • the Initial D soundtracks
  • a half-complete form
  • a handphone that just won't ring to bring me the good news

I'm psyched. I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Same Sex Marriage

By way of introduction, Andrew Sullivan is a prominent blogger in the United States. He is homosexual, Catholic and a conservative. What is most important about Mr Sullivan is that he is lucid and eloquent.

I cannot do better than to point my readerst to this post.

"I remember a story told by a friend during the plague years. He was visiting a dying friend in hospital and a couple of beds down the ward from his friend, the curtains were drawn around a patient. From behind the curtains, he could hear a man softly singing a show-tune. "Well, at least that guy's keeping his spirits up," my friend remarked. "Actually," his dying friend replied, "the man in that bed died this morning and was taken away by his family. That's his boyfriend. The family won't let him go to the funeral or ever see his spouse's body again. They've kicked him out of their apartment. It wasn't his name on the lease. So he's just sitting there, singing their favorite song to an empty bed. It's the last time he'll get that close to his husband. The nurses didn't have the heart to tell him to leave yet. He's been there for hours.""

Singapore's greatest flaw is not its inability to debate. It's greatest flaw is its inability to confront. We've lived too long in a city where the homeless are out of plain sight, religious and racial sensitivities get undiscussed but somehow acted upon, and a magic vacuum cleaner exists to santise our words, thoughts and deeds so no difficult questions ever have to be dealt with, merely discussed.

I wonder what I would do if I was there at the hospital. Don't you?

(Hat Tip to Zach for putting this link up on his blog, and for pointing out that Mr Sullivan is a conservative, not a Republican.)