Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Chinese Fortune Telling

Someone posted this website to get your fortune from the details of your moment of birth.

Matt's
此命推来是不同
为人能干异凡庸
中年还有逍遥福
不比前时运未通

Sarah's
不需劳碌过平生
独自成家福不轻
早有福星常照命
任君行去百般成

Controlblade's
此命推来旺末年
妻荣子贵自怡然
平生原有滔滔福
可卜财源若水泉

Mine
平生衣禄苦中求
独自营谋事不休
离祖出门宜早计
晚求衣禄庶无忧

Now if anybody can translate all that for us, that'd be perfect!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Once more, with feeling

My attraction to unglamorous freak accidents continues:

- 1987: I literally ran into a Mercedes on the way to church. My loose tooth broke free at this moment, and resulting blood on my t-shirt caused a minor panic among the small crowd, who gather closered and deprived me of precious oxygen while I'm lying on the gorund. Merc driver, on the other hand, wanted to sue me for damages to his car, but relented when my neighbour (who just so happened to be his friend) stepped in. Divine intervention, I tell you.

- 1993: Chinese New Year Eve. Doing chin-ups after booking out from the army was already a daft thing, but to compound it, the paint on the door frame my chin-up bar was attached to started peeling off, so it fell and took me with it, knees first. For some reason my grandfather found it quite amusing, while my mother's reaction was quite the opposite. But pain or no pain, we dutifully had our reunion dinner first (customs can't be broken, you know!) before going to the hospital. Till this day I can't kneel properly.

- 2000: Visiting my uncle, I managed to cut my toe right under the nail on one of the door entrance tiles. Further inspection failed to uncover the offending sharp edge, but my toe was bleeding quite profusely anyhow. I had just joined my present company, where a business shirt and tie are mandatory, so it was extra silly to visit cusotmers wearing sandals while my bandaged toe healed.

- 2004 (or was it early this year?): While rummaging through the storeroom in the dark - again not the smartest thing to do - I heard something drop and experienced a sharp pain in my toe (thankfully not the same toe as the last episode). It turned out to be a rubber mallet that fell, and my toe decided to turn the same colour as the mallet in retribution. Although the pain continued for some time, it healed surprisingly quickly, even as the toenail expectedly came off. I derived a strange pleasure watching it grow back to its original length after that.

- Yesterday: You would think by now that I've stopped doing dumb things. We took the children to the playground in the evening, and like a real hero I have to start swinging on one of the mini monkey bars. I say 'mini' only in hindsight, because now I know that there isn't enough clearance between bar and platform for my swinging body to fit through, knees bent or not. And so I end up slamming the platform with my left shin, right under the knee. I don't think anything's seriously wrong, but I can't put pressure on my left leg for extended periods now. Ah, it will get better...

I am such a klutz.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A_o_tion

I frequent a fun and lively mother's forum, where people also write in with their problems. This particular thread was started by a woman who is pregnant with the baby of a man she took up with during a period of separation from her husband. She is also now seeking to be reconciled with her husband (who had cheated on her), and has made an appointment for an abortion although she is distraught at the thought of it.

I'm fighting tooth and nail against the replies telling her that she doesn't have much of a choice if she hopes to make up with her husband. People are saying that adoption is going to be difficult, that she won't be able to keep her affair and pregnancy a secret therefore, etc. etc., and somebody actually said that she knows what she must do except it's going to be hard, and that we will be there to hear her pour out her sorrows.

I wanted to throw a rock at my computer screen when I read that. I wonder if the poster was the devil surfaced from hell (posted under Guest), given that glib, apparently sympathetic but actually totally heartless reply completely designed to deceive her into making the greatest mistake of her life.

This issue has been discussed for a couple of days now, and I've many times exhorted the woman (anonymous poster) to consider adoption, and to seek help from ALife and Family Life Society's Pregnancy Crisis Centre. It is also greatly heartening to see other forum users speaking up and urging her to keep the baby.

My heart is sick at the thought of what this woman is going through, and the knowledge that in 4 days' time she may really go through with the killing of her baby.

Shakedown!


So here's the funny thing - we get cable primarily to watch F1, and realize that far more entertaining is the rally/travel/entertainment show, AXN Shakedown, hosted by DJ, VJ and comedian, Neil Cole.

This week covered the Acropolis Rally in Greece, which meant lots and lots of dust. I'm in constant awe of these guys who slide their 300hp cars around the loose surfaces at unbelievable velocities, but also shocked at the spectators who position themselves so close to the edge of the narrow tracks that they must surely act as human bowling pins should the cars step out of line even a little. I'm not sure who's braver.

Sebastien Loeb as usual made it look easy, while the rest of the field struggled with problems of all sorts. With a huge margin of 1:36 min, he wrapped up an unprecedented five consecutive wins (he would go on to six at Rally Argentina). A huge surprise was privateer Mikko Hirvonen in his Focus, who embarrassed many a works driver by winning 3 stages and finishing fifth.

But what made Shakedown so appealing, even to rally freshie like Lu, was the presentation of the programme, and the general lack of airs in the rally community itself. Squeezed into the one-hour show was Neil taking a tour of Athens' historical sites, finding the best place for Greek kebabs, tasting Greek coffee, playing Greek blues, getting a helicopter ride from Loeb, arranging a tug-of-war between the Ford and Subaru mechanics, playing scissors-paper-stone with junior drivers, as well as cajolling the drivers to put on their best philosopher expressions. And all this apart from the rally action. Whew.

When was the last time anyone saw F1 drivers talk, outside of scheduled press conferences?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cable-enabled

Just got ourselves out of tv suaku-land with the installation yesterday of an SCV box. This was done primarily so that on Grand Prix weekends I don't have to go pestering StarSports-ready friends, or worse, watch races from a 'live update' laptime computer screen. So far Nik has been forthcoming in extending his hospitality, but I'm not comfortable being away from the kiddies unnecessarily 19 Sunday nights a year. Besides, I always feel like I'm intruding on his ongoing 2 year honeymoon with his wife.

I've noticed that although we only subscribed to the basic group plus sports, we've got ALL the channels now - MTV, Zee Tv, Chinese channels, the lot. Colleagues tell me that happens for the first week or month, to tempt us into adding more groups, and money into Starhub's coffers. Nice strategy, but won't work with me!

Then again, I did vow that we'd never get cable... Now, which channel is Battlestar Galactica on again?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Rawa Revisited


If you'll check the August Destination link in the lefthand margin, yes, that's where we just went. Another anniversary of sorts - last year same days we took a short holiday there too. The place is as lovely as ever - white sands, blue waters, cosy chalet right on the beach front. The restaurant's newly done up, and the booking is organised differently this time - a full-board per person daily rate instead of separate room and meal charges. One of the kitchen staff plays very good piano during dinner!

We kayaked around the island this time, instead of just clawing around in the lagoon like last year. Quite exciting! The waters were choppy as we rounded the ends of the oval-shaped island, and dark and strong on the rocky cliff side that had no beach.