Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chelsea 2-1 United

Another twist in the tail as Chelsea completed a just about deserved win at Stamford Bridge. Ronaldo and Fletcher had two efforts cleared off the line as they chased the game, but United ultimately paid the price for the slow start. More worryingly, Vidic was stretchered off with what looked like concussion with Barcelona beckoning.

Nani was his infuriatingly indecisive self. Where Ronaldo might have punished Chelsea for their clack defending, the 38-goal maestro was rested on the bench.

What this all means is that United must win their remaining two games to confirm the title. Failing which, Chelsea will be ready to pounce.

Northland Primary's dikir barat team of 2002

Wayang kulit

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dr Joyce Lim, dermatologist extraordinaire

Joyce Lim is a bit of a quack after all. After all the money I paid, she actually managed to misdiagnose my ringworm as eczema. Oh well, she wasn't the first to make that mistake; Dr Hia did too. Dr Leow Yung Hian of the NSC verified this with a skin scrape so I guess that's that. Starting a course of oral anti-fungal medication that may lead to a loss of sense of taste. I'll see him in late-May when the ringworm should've died out and the effects of steroid worn off.
16 Apr 2008, 1212hrs
Went on 14 Apr as I was on leave that day. Cost me $274 in all, and $100 just for talking to her. She sounded confident about making things better for me. I inormed her of my financial situation and she kindly agreed to refer me to an ex-colleague of hers at the National Skin Centre who could follow up on my case effectively. This way, I can use my CSC card so I don't need to pay a bomb every time.

The procedure is a little cumbersome and takes getting used to. Bath oils, steroid lotions, moisturising milk - you name it, I got it. Most intriguingly, a damp pyjama method that I've decided not to do, where you wear damp pyjamas after applying the creams, and then a dry pyjamas on top. This is supposed to help retain the moisture so everything can be absorbed more effectively. This one is a little too strange for me.
4 Mar 2008, 1712hrs
God has given me a sign! Rev David Brett, during this morning's sermon, mentioned the words 'doctor' and '$100' in the same breath. I'm gonna make that appointment. Supposed to restart steroids on 5 Mar 2008 but seems good enough to treat without Prednisalone.
Dr Joyce Lim
Tel: 68349159
Office: 11th floor, Paragon

29 Feb 2008, 1212hrs
My principal recommended a dermatologist, having seen herself and her son being treated by her. She was prety persuasive and even offered to call for me. When she mentioned that Dr Lim was based at Paragon, my heart sank. She said her fees were reasonable. I think she meant reasonable to her.

My fears were justified when Jasmine called Dr Lim's office and politely enquired the consultation fee. Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking a minimum three-figure sum, of which I can claim $10. What can Dr Lim possibly tell me that no other GP or National Skin Centre specialist has not told me for the bargain fee of $100+?

Should I stay, or should I go?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh sucky day...

I know I'm busy when I don't have the time to blog. Today was a classic case.

I had a medical appointment at the National Skin Centre at 0820hrs but ended up 15 minutes late. Ended up there all the way to 1100hrs thanks to about 30 minutes waiting time EACH before seeing the doctor, before treatment, seeing the doctor again and then finally to collect medicine. 2 hours of waiting spend cursing the fact that I hadn't thought of bringing a book along. I'd contemplated getting an MC but in the end I was left with no choice but to take it.

Went to IRAS in Novena thereafter to get tax returns printed out to give to HDB, only to discover that MOE had not submitted my income for 2006, resulting in IRAS not sending me my PIN, resulting in me not declaring my income at all. As far as IRAS is concerned, I had not worked that year, which I think might be tantamount to tax evasion! Anyhow, now I realise I had to get some sort of Form 8E to certify my income for 2006.

Alas! PaC@Gov, under the recent entity, only displays the previous year's income. As such, almost no one has access to records 2006 and earlier. I tried calling a contact in MOE, and after five referrals, finally found the blessed Ms Ang Ying Ying, who told me to mail her the income form for her to fill up. She even suggested I meet her on Saturday even though that was her weekend.

So there's hope on the horizon. Maybe we'll get everything to HDB on time, given they revised the deadline to an ambiguous "when available". Maybe I won't get apprehended for tax evasion. Maybe it was worth using my MC.

After all this, it would really make my day if United could give me a match to remember at the Nou Camp.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How irritating can S'poreans be?

The best part is that the cameraman probably thinks he's in the right. Buay tahan.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kevin Davies dislocates a finger

Kevin Davies stares in disbelief at his finger, which was dislocated soon after he scored for Bolton against West Ham.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What nerve!

I refer to Woo Jia Wei, Jayern's letter "Why just fine us but not give advice?" published on p22 pf The New Paper on 7 Apr 2008.

I read the letter in disbelief as Jayern contrived to view jaywalking advice as something the police officers were compelled to do. Going by his logic, police officers should stop every passer-by holding a drink can in case he litters. I've not heard such fanciful nonsense in quite a while.

He makes several assumptions:
Firstly, that the officer knew he was going to cross the road illegally. We are well aware of the adage "innocent until proven guilty". I have little idea why Jayern prefers to be proven guilty in the first place.
Secondly, he assumes he is not aware of jaywalking as an offence. If primary school children can raise their hands at zebra crossings without their parents, I think we can expect the same if not more of our dear jaywalker. It is common knowledge that you have to use a pedestrian crossing if you are within 50m of it. For him to claim ignorance is blatantly pretentious.
Thirdly, he claims that the officer was "merely concerned about noting down" his particulars and informing him "about the fine". Assuming that Jayern is longer a primary school student since he knows how to write a letter to the press, this represents the third time in this sorry issue that he has claimed that he needs hand-holding in crossing the road.

He claims he's not asking for leniency and that may be true. In writing this ill-advised letter though, I think he has contrived to make himself a veritable laughing stock.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Classified: Rich husband wanted!

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:
Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden, $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:
1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2) Which age group should I target?
3) Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys.
4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married.)

Ms. Pretty
Here's a reply from a Wall Street Financial guy:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believe that I'm not wasting time here.

From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain.

Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of 'beauty' and 'money': Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square.

However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later.

By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a 'trading position'. If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term. The same goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or 'leased'. Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advise that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy.

And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in 'leasing' services, do contact me.

J.P. Morgan

Moses is dead!

Old news perhaps, but not so. Charlton Heston, who portrayed Moses to such distinction in The Ten Commandments and made the words "Let my people go!" reverberate in history, has died at age 84.

Some quotes about women and marriage, tongue-in-cheek of course

Sacha Guitry
After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together.

Women inspire us to great things, and prevent us from achieving them.

Sigmund Freud
I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.

Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.

Sam Kinison
There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage.

James Holt McGavran
I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me, and the second one didn't.

Patrick Murray
Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming:
1. Whenever you're wrong, admit it.
2. Whenever you're right, shut up.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.

Henny Youngman
My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.

Rodney Dangerfield
A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: 'Wife wanted'. Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: 'You can have mine.'

First Guy (proudly): 'My wife's an angel!'
Second Guy: 'You're lucky, mine's still alive.'

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nicklas Bendtner clears off the line from Cesc Fabregas

A typo? Nope - the Dane just didn't get out of the way quick enough of the Spaniard's shot.

Linux Unhackable at TippingPoint Contest

The Linux fans will be thrilled to find out that their favorite operating system have proved the safest at the contest organized this week by the security firm TippingPoint.

The contest was in Vancouver, Canada and it had three phases: during the first day, only network attacks were allowed, but none of the laptops could be broken into remotely. In the second day, rules stated that the hacker could give instructions to a staff member. During the third day, the rules of the contest allow the installation of popular 3rd party client applications on the notebooks.

The prizes were $20,000 for those who would manage to break the security of the laptops in the first day, $10,000 on day two and only $5,000 on the third day.

Apple’s MacBook was first to be hacked and for the team led by Charlie Miller, an analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, two minutes were enough to break the notebook.

The team of Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff, and Mark Daniel from Independent Security Evaluators has successfully compromised the Apple MacBook Air by exploiting a brand new 0day vulnerability in Apple's Safari web browser.

In the third and final day Shane Macaulay from Security Objectives won the Fujitsu U810 laptop running Vista Ultimate SP1 after it was installed with the latest version of Adobe Flash.

In addition he won also $5,000, which he will probably share with the friends who helped him, Derek Callaway and Alexander Sotirov.

At the end of the third day, a Sony Vaio VGN-TZ37CN laptop running Ubuntu remained unhacked.

Source: eFluxMedia

Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More by Dennis Overbye of The New York Times

More fighting in Iraq. Somalia in chaos. People in this country can’t afford their mortgages and in some places now they can’t even afford rice.

None of this nor the rest of the grimness on the front page today will matter a bit, though, if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe.

Scientists say that is very unlikely — though they have done some checking just to make sure.

The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.

But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years — namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Continued here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Roma 0-2 United

Cops: 3rd-Graders Aimed to Hurt Teacher

A group of third-graders plotted to attack their teacher, bringing a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and other items for the job and assigning children tasks including covering the windows and cleaning up afterward, police said Tuesday.

The plot by as many as nine boys and girls at Center Elementary School in south Georgia was a serious threat, Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said.

"We did not hear anybody say they intended to kill her, but could they have accidentally killed her? Absolutely," Tanner said. "We feel like if they weren't interrupted, there would have been an attempt. Would they have been successful? We don't know."

The children, ages 8 and 9, were apparently mad at the teacher because she had scolded one of them for standing on a chair, Tanner said. A prosecutor said they are too young to be charged with a crime under Georgia law.

School officials alerted police Friday after a pupil tipped off a teacher that a girl had brought a weapon to school, Tanner said.

Police seized a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape, electrical and transparent tape, ribbons and a crystal paperweight from the students, who apparently intended to use them against the teacher, Tanner said.

Full story here.