640 days to go…

May 30, 2007

Went for another CGM today… here’s the synposis


Meeting and connecting with like-minded souls can give you a fresh injection of life. But, once school and college have been left behind, how do you find and attract new people, and lay down the foundations of friendship and love? Ever met someone you like and somehow the initial contact didn’t translate into a more lasting connection? Making new friends is challenging even for those with good social skills. Yet, the steps towards making new friends and establishing romantic relationships can be effectively mastered by anyone. There are codes to learn, nuances to observe and appropriate steps to be taken at appropriate times. Come for a wonderful night of friendly interaction where we will help each other to master the skills of making and sustaining connections.


Quite interesting a talk, pretty short though. A few takeaways:

1. align your verbal expression, body language and facial expression.
2. Show appreciation and smile
3. Appreciation – Show appreciation
Affliation – Find common ground
Elevation – Make the other person happy (?? – was busy talking…)
Enlightenment – Be socially generous

Was asked to do an activity. Write 2 truths and 1 untruth on an index card. I wrote
1. Loves Mountain Biking
2. Loves Photography
3. Teacher
For those who know me, it’s pretty obvious I’m a teacher who is pretty ditzy over photography. Not too sure why, but most people I asked thought that I was NOT a teacher. Was it the way I dressed? The gila way I reacted to things??? hmm…. food for thought….


More Shirt-Sleeve than Pin-Stripe

May 17, 2007

In a meeting you don’t have to worry about how you are coming across to your colleagues, because they are busy worring about how they are coming across to you.

Meetings are for those with not enough to do.

A meeting is a performance, an act to convince people of their own importance.

The real players don’t need to act out the meeting game.

They just roll up their sleeves and get on with the job.

If you must have a meeting, lose the chairs.


When  a client asked how much it would cost to get permission to photograph the Eiffel Tower for use in an advertisement, the bureucrats representing the city of Paris said 10,000 pounds. The client didn’t think taht was such a good idea anymore, so they didn’t use it.

I wanted it for a book, but I don’t think 10,000 pounds is such a good idea either. So I didn’t ask.

(Stolen from Whatever you think , think the opposite by Paul Arden)

At age 27:

May 14, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. dropped out from his job at General Electric to become a full-time writer.

Henry David Thoreau went off for two years to live alone in a cabin at Walden Pond.

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space.

Memphis millionaire Frederic W. Smith, whose father built the Greyhound bus system, founded Federal Express.

Scottish botanist David Douglas discovered the Douglas fir.

Ernest Hemingway published his first novel, The Sun Also Rises.

Boston dentist William Morton pioneered modern anaesthesiology after learning that inhalation of ether will cause a loss of consciousness.


Hmm… how I will look back on the 27th year of my life?


May 13, 2007







haha.. this is really cool… but hmm… think too many men would qualify, given my current standard? LOL…



Four dead in Taiwan fighter jet crash

May 13, 2007

God… they’re so young… 19 – 23… my first batch of students are 19 now… life is so fragile and so easily gone. One had just celebrated his 23rd birthday one day before, another is going into NUS Arts. Yet another is starting work soon. And now, 2 dead. 1 in SGH with 45% burns, another also in SGH with 50% burns. Another 7 with less severe injuries… Heartbreaking news… my sympathy goes out to them and their families…


Fri May 11, 2007 6:11AM EDT

TAIPEI (Reuters) – An ageing Taiwan fighter jet crashed on Friday during preparation for an exercise aimed at countering an attack by China, killing two Taiwanese pilots and two visiting Singaporean soldiers on the ground, officials said.

Nine Singaporean servicemen were injured, two seriously, when the two-seater F-5F jet crashed into a storeroom in a military base, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“Two SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) servicemen are injured and are being treated in hospital. Seven others have minor injuries. Two bodies have been found and their identities are being verified,” the ministry said.

The base was located in Hukou, Hsinchu County, which is about 50 km (30 miles) south of the capital Taipei.

Due to a lack of adequate space on the small island state for large-scale exercises, Singaporean troops have been coming to train in Taiwan as part of a cooperative agreement — code-named Operation Starlight — since 1975.

No reason for the crash had yet been determined, although local media highlighted the age of the F-5F fleet, which has been in service since the 1970s, as a possible factor.

Defense Minister Lee Jye told reporters that the jet, which crashed while attempting to pull out of a low-level attack run, could still be used, but the military was planning to replace them.

“Despite being old, the F-5Fs can still be used if they adequately meet standards. In the future we are planning to replace them with F-16C/D fighters,” said Lee.

Taiwan has requested around 60 F-16C/D fighters from the United States, but long delays by parliament in passing a budget for a prior arms package has strained ties and Washington has declined to approve the sale.

The Ministry of Defense has grounded all F-5F fighters, pending the outcome of an investigation into the accident.

The crash comes as Taiwan’s military prepares to hold the island’s annual Han Kuang live fire drills aimed at repelling an attack from China next week.

Taiwan’s Lee said the exercise would be unaffected by the accident.

China claims Taiwan as part of its own territory and has threatened war if the island was ever to declare formal independence.

The Singaporean soldiers were not taking part in the exercises, the Taiwan Defense ministry said.


Two S’porean SAF soldiers dead and 9 others injured in Taiwan fighter jet crash

Two of the injured are treated in hospital; the others have minor injuries, says Mindef.

Two Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) men died when a Taiwan Air Force F5F aircraft crashed into a storeroom at a Taiwanese military facility at 9.25 am today.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said today that the two were among some SAF personnel, including Full-Time National Servicemen (NSF), who were in the storeroom at that time.

“The servicemen were there in support of the SAF’s unilateral training in Taiwan,” said Mindef.

“Two SAF servicemen are injured and are being treated in hospital. Seven others have minor injuries. Two bodies have been found and their identities are being verified. The next of kin of the affected servicemen have been informed. The rest of the SAF personnel in Taiwan are safe and accounted for.

“Minister for Defence Mr Teo Chee Hean expressed his deep concern for the affected servicemen and their families, and said that Mindef and the SAF will do all they can to look after their well-being. He has also been in touch with the Taiwanese authorities who assured us that they will do their best to provide the necessary assistance to our personnel.

“Mindef and the SAF will be conducting an investigation.”


2 S’poreans killed in fighter jet crash in Taiwan

The two injured Singaporeans, said to be in critical condition, have been sent to the Taipei’s Tri-Service General Hospital. — TVBS

TAIPEI – A MILITARY exercise in northern Taiwan turned tragic when two Singaporean soldiers were killed and nine others were left injured.

The accident, which happened on Friday morning also left two Taiwanese fighter pilots dead.

According to Taiwan’s defence ministry, an F-5F jet crashed into a military compound in Hsinchun county during its annual ‘Han Kuang’ military exercise.

The two SAF servicemen who died in the crash are 19-year-old Corporal Isz Sazli Sapari and 22-year-old Private Fan Yao Jin.

The two-seat warplane crashed at 9.38am, 30 minutes after take-off from an air base in Taitong, south-east of the island during a simulation of a ground attack, according to the defence ministry.

The cause of the crash at the Hu-kou military base was not immediately known, the island?s defence ministry said in a statement.

But Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence spokesman, Rear-Admiral Wu Chi Fang said the pair killed were not taking part in Friday?s drill, adding that the cause of the crash was under investigation.

In a statement, Singapore’s defence ministry, Mindef, said that the Taiwan Air Force F-5F aircraft crashed into a storeroom which was gutted by a fire.

The servicemen, including Full-Time National Servicemen (NSF), were present at the storeroom at that time.

The bodies of the Corporal Isz Sazli and Private Fan were flown to a mortuary in Taoyuan, north of Taiwan, while the two injured Singaporeans, said to be in critical condition,have been sent to the Taipei’s Tri-Service General Hospital.

Reports say the two suffered 60 to 70 per cent burns on their bodies.

A team of five SAF doctors are now in Taiwan to help stabalise the conditions the two servicemen.

Meanwhile, the SAF and Mindef extended their condolences to the families of the pair who died and will fly them to Taiwan.

Singapore’s Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean has expressed his deep concern for affected servicemen and their families. He said that Mindef and the SAF will ‘do all they can to look after their well-being’.

Mr Teo, who is in touch with Taiwanese authorities, said Mindef and the SAF will be investigating the incident.

The two pilots who died in the crash were an instructor and intelligence officer.

All remaining F-5F fighters participating in the drill ? 60 or so ? were immediately grounded for safety inspections, together with all F-5Es in the fleet. The Air Force has also grounded F-Es for safety inspections.

Mr Lee however said the live-fire ?Han Kuang (Han Glory) 23? manoeuvres would go on as scheduled next week.

Taiwan prepares to showcase its military strength, beginning next Monday, in five days of exercises designed to test its defence capabilities. — Additional sources from AFP, AP

A Girl’s Guide to Geek Guys

May 9, 2007


By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat

So, your crush on the bass player from Vibrating Sandbox has finally died a whimpering death and you’re wondering where to go from here. All the sinister dudes are either dating a series of interchangeable high-school riot girls in baby doll dresses and an overdose of manic panic, or permanently shacked up with some bitter old lady who pays all the bills. Which will it be, a wifely prison or a humiliating one night stand? Into this void of potential mates comes a man you may not have considered before, a man of substance, quietude and stability, a cerebral creature with a culture all his own. In short, a geek.

Why Geek Dudes Rule

  • They are generally available.
  • Other women will tend not to steal them.
  • They can fix things.
  • Your parents will love them.
  • They’re smart.
  • Where The Geek Dude Lurks

    While they are often into alternative music, geek dudes tend not to go to shows too often. Instead you’ll find them hanging out with their friends, discussing the latest hardware revolution or perfecting their Bill Gates impressions. You know how some people wear t-shirts with their favorite bands on them, thus showing that they went to certain shows? Well, geek dudes wear t-shirts with the logos of different software companies on them, thus showing that they are up on the latest, um, releases. A small, though convivial, rivalry may be detected here amongst the geek dudes. Try wearing one yourself and see if he strikes up a conversation. Of course the best way to meet a geek dude is through the Internet. All geeks harbor a secret fantasy about meeting some girl in cyberspace, carrying on an e-mail romance in which he has the chance to combine an activity he is comfortable with, computing, with one he is very uncomfortable with, socializing. To many geek dudes, cyberdating is just an advanced form of some kind of video game, but they are frustrated by a lack of players. Their lack is your strength.


    You might notice that these men harbor some strange ideas about how the world works and some particularly strange ideas about women. There is a reason for this. Because they’ve had limited interpersonal experience, geek dudes must look elsewhere for behavior models. Lacking a real world social milieu, geeks often go through a transference stage with such narratives, and try to model their interactions on them. Thus, certain media images and themes come to have an overly cathected, metaphorized reality to them, while the rest of us view such programming as mere entertainment. Case in point, our next topic…

    The Trek factor

    If you’re not up on your Star Trek, you can forget about getting or keeping a geek dude. And I’m not just talking vintage-era Captain Kirk and Spock either. You’ve got to be up on your The Next Generation, your Deep Space Nine, your Babylon 5. Armed with your own knowledge of Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act. The sexual politics of Star Trek are pretty blunt: the men run the technology and the ship, and the women are caretakers (a doctor and a counselor). Note the sexual tensions on the bridge of the Enterprise: the women, in skin tight uniforms, and with luxuriant, flowing hair. The men, often balding, and sporting some sort of permanently attached computer auxiliary. This world metaphorizes the fantasies of the geek dude, who sees himself in the geeky-but-heroic male officers and who secretly desires a sexy, smart, Deanna or Bev to come along and deferentially accept him for who he is. If you are willing to accept that this is his starting point for reality, you are ready for a geek relationship.

    Once You’ve Nabbed Him

    Of course, catching that geek guy is only half the battle. Keeping him by your side is another story altogether. I was privileged to speak with Miss Victoria Maat, who not only got herself a geek guy but was also clever enough to marry him just a few short months ago. She interrupted her newlywed bliss to give us a few tips on the care and feeding of a geek man: Geeks are sensitive and caring lovers and husbands. If you can hang with the techno-lifestyle, they make the best mates. They are the most attractive people, not flashy or hunky, but the kind who get cuter and more alluring over time (I told you she was a newlywed). Definitely give geeks a chance.

    Geek Cuisine

    Geeks tend towards packaged, junk foods since they prefer to work and think and aren’t all that into cooking for themselves. Make sure that your geek understands that you are not merely a replicator, and provide him with home cooked food. A batch of chocolate chip cookies will let him know that you love him. You do have to monitor your geek for weight gain; however, remember that most of their days are spent sitting and staring at a monitor.

    Geek Lifestyle

    The geek dude has long work habits and tends to bring his work home with him. He seems permanently connected to his hard disk. You must at least appear interested in his work. Generally, a solid understanding of the computer is a must; if you cannot master this, you should at least be able to talk the talk. Remember most geeks are anal and they get stressed about details which appear insignificant. Be understanding, put on your best Deanna Troi face (see above) and empathize. To relax, geeks love to play the latest computer games. Let him play Myst or Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat for hours if he wants to. Act concerned if he’s stuck or has just been ambushed by three MiGs. My geek loves to try to help people on the Internet who say that they are stuck in Myst. He comes up with clever riddles instead of directing them point blank. Geeks also like to go to sci-fi and Japanese animated movies, again, a basically harmless vent for your man.

    Geek Buddies

    Many geeks extend their work friendships into what they jokingly refer to as RL (Real Life, also known as “that big room with the ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little lights”). The greatest thing about your geek’s buddies is that you can feel secure in setting them up with your girlfriends. They may feel awkward around females at first, so don’t overwhelm them. In time they will come out of their shell and realize that you are into the same things they are.

    Post-It Note

    I thank Victoria for the above advice. I must say that when she read my draft of the piece, before writing her section, she asked her husband which one he thought she was more like, Deanna or Beverly. Howard, the devil, immediately replied that he had always thought Victoria was actually most like Ensign Ro Laren, a cute character with a slight authority problem who is always had trouble (this is fairly apt). This exchange is interesting for several reasons:

    1. Howard had already thought about who she was most like.
    2. He could summon up characters from seasons past with ease.
    3. Victoria actually knew who he meant.
    4. Folks, I think this marriage will last.

    One Last Thing

    Because they have been so abused and ignored by society, many geeks have gone underground. You may actually know some and just haven’t noticed them. They often feel resentful, and misunderstood, and it is important to realize this as you grow closer to them. Don’t ever try to force the issue, or make crazy demands that he choose between his computer and you. Remember, his computer has been there for him his whole life; you are a new interloper he hasn’t quite grasped yet Geek dudes thrive on mystery and love challenges and intellectual puzzles. Don’t you consider yourself one? Wouldn’t you like a little intellectual stimulation or your own? We thought so.

    Charity Shows

    May 6, 2007

    Had stopped watching these shows for quite a lot of years… a perverted form of protest against life-threatening performances. I still remember the year Darren Lim “kissed” a cobra. The ambulance was driven into the studio in case some misfortune occurred. His wife was very pregnant at that time. She was crying throughout the performance. The question I asked then was, “Why are we treating the lives of artistes as dispensable (hence the cobra kissing, playing with fire, walking on ladders made of knives etc) while the patients’ lives are so precious?” The fundraisers were also turned into a lucky draw, with cars, condos and tens of thousands of dollars up for grabs. They pretty much turned into annual carnivals, with prizes and freak shows, sans the ferris wheels and rollercoaster rides though.

    Anyway, watched the Thye Hwa Kwan fundraising today. Partly ’cause I was going to be parked in front of the TV marking, partly ’cause my mum had said that this was a “no danger, no prizes” charity show.

    Well, if you gonna take away the frills and the thrills, you gotta admit it’s pretty “bland”. Mainly singing, dancing and one Hokkien operatic thingy. But, I must say, I enjoyed it a lot more. Most of it, anyway.

    * Grasshoppers was great, as usual. I still like the combination and their nifty dance steps. 草蜢 still rocks! Though they’re like close to 40 now, I think. Still find Remus (Choy Yat Kit) quite a looker (kekeke… ok, I’d admit it. I liked their songs, their dances and stuff back then, but… but but… I wasn’t a fan. Guess I never really found the time or money to hop into cabs and sleep at airports!)

    * Zhang Shao Han was pretty ok, like her voice.

    * The first and 2nd batch of superstars sang, drummers from superband put up a show too.

    * Tsai Chin also sang a few songs.

    * Some local artistes did an Arabic (belly) dance.

    * Tank sang a few lines from some classics.

    * Some residents from the THW home for the disabled did a dance. Some other beneficiaries  did a song.

    Overall, it’s decent Sunday night entertainment I guess. They raised the amount targeted with huge infusions from corporate donors. Even managed to raise money for NKF (I’d suspect they need the funds badly now) and Singapore Cancer Foundation.

    Anyway, think I’d better get back to working hard… another day and another couple of stacks gonna land on our laps. Haiz………… 😦