How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

So near yet so far

On Wednesday night, my daughter and I came back from Ipoh and saw a familiar figure at the Indian temple’s multi-purpose hall. She thought he is her ex-classmate’s father. I went to ask him, “Excuse me, are you with the CID?” He nodded his head. I continued, “Do you know Yamini?” He smiled and nodded his head again and said, “She is my daughter!”

I quickly waved and gestured to my daughter to come over. After the usual introduction and exchange of pleasantries, we got down to asking where is so and so. The good thing about being in a small town is that, everybody we asked about, he or his wife knew where they are or what course they are taking and so on.

A surprise was that another good friend of my daughter, Tenmala, who had lost contact with her since they left school, is a roommate of Yam in Ukraine. One of their school teachers, Mr. Toh, has a daughter also studying medicine in the same university. Since the recent announcement of non-recognition of its medical degree by the government, it is unlikely that any more Malaysian student will be enrolling at the University of Crimea. Such a pity.

Coming back to my topic. From the information we gathered from the couple, the biggest surprise was that an ex-classmate, Bhuvan, who got married just 2 days ago, had actually hosted the wedding dinner at the same hall! My daughter and I actually got back from KL on Monday, around 7.30pm and noticed many cars parked outside the hall, along the lane leading to our house. How could she have guessed that her ex-classmate was actually all dressed up in her bridal gown in the hall? Similarly, how could Bhuvan have guessed that her ex-classmate had just got back from UK and was hardly 30 ft away?

I used to joke that each time the temple hall is being used to host a wedding dinner, we should be invited as a matter of course! Now, it is more like, we should look and check out who is getting married in case we miss something so unexpected.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Fun with figures

1456 seems normal enough to one of my relatives, until one day, he overheard someone commented that it sounds like “yat sai ng lou” in Cantonese, which translates into “whole life do not want to do business”. The next thing he did was he sold the car!

Recently, in Johore, the successful tender for the registration number “JJJ 1” was over Rm150,000! It seems the record was much higher for a Selangor plate “BBB 8888” many years ago.

To others not into numerology, these people who tendered exceptionally high prices for just some car numbers must be crazy. Personally, I would have more respect for those who are more willing to donate to deserving charities. Even with charitable organizations, there are problems of people taking advantage of the donations. So we have to be careful when donating too.

I used to own a car with registration numbers 967 and I have seen people laughing over it. If car numbers are potent forces, then would girls feel more secure going into a new friend’s car with registration “5967”?

I think it is more to do with the mind more than anything else. If we are aware of certain things and if we can help it, we would rather avoid anything that sounds bad and go for anything that sounds good.

I have seen a friend’s husband who chose all the nice numbers, like No.9 for his house, 8668 and later 6363 for his cars, and other nice numbers for their telephone numbers. Yet he is on the run from loan sharks and she had to register as a single mum to be eligible for state help.

There is also a commercial reason for choosing propitious numbers. Even though we do not care about what sounds good or bad, when it comes to selling our house or car, it matters!

If Chinese, in general, do not like numbers “4” or “44” and so on, on our house or car, then we are in effect, limiting our market to those who do not mind. In some cases, that could well be the deciding factor to buy the house or car! Similarly, with numbers “8” or “88” and so on, the seller has the advantage over another person without such numbers.

Fortunately, most town or city councils are sympathetic to house-owners who wish to change their house numbers. For example, number “4” can be changed to “2A”.

The police have been complaining about traffic jams whenever there are car accidents. It seems most cars slowed down to see what was happening. Some actually wanted to see the car registration numbers so that they can buy “Empat Ekor”. To overcome this type of traffic congestion, the Penang bridge had a high divider made!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hello! Goodbye! Hello! Hello!

These days travel by air is like taking a bus in yesteryears.

On Sunday, Joe left for UK. On Monday, my daughter came back from UK. On Tuesday, Joe came back from UK because he was not allowed to re-enter.

It was like before I could finish the song Jambalaya, "Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me-yo my-yo..." and he was back! I told him it was because he didn't say goodbye to me and he replied that was why he didn't as he was going half-heartedly.

The good news (at least to me) is that we can have more jamming sessions. Anyway, he is likely to be performing in pubs.

My other daughter will be back in a few days time. Then some guests to her cousin's wedding will be arriving from UK too. So KLIA will be visited very often.

Though I have been to KLIA a few times,but far between each time, I got into trouble on Monday. I missed carpark B and C and went into D which is for season card holders only. All 3 lanes were for them. There was no attendant around and I was helpless for about 10 minutes. To reverse out could have been dangerous as most cars came in very fast. Luckily, I found a sign "Public only" but only at the second attempt did I found a small sliproad that leads to Block C! What a relief for me.

The difference between now and then, in terms of sending and receiving travellers, is that, for instance, I was the only one to receive my daughter. During my time, my first trip overseas saw some twenty family members sending me off! The same with meeting me on my arrival.

I shall be relating how I miss the old-fashioned relationships in another post.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What is your favourite song?

I am sure many people will take a while before they can come up with a definite answer.

Personally, I have problem deciding which one, as it depends very much on my mood at any particular time.

The other day I bought a CD of oldies called Sweet Memories 3.

First song, Over the rainbow by Judy Garland really brought back memories of when I was a kid. Nothing like the original singer and music accompaniment to evoke the memories.

Next, Evergreen tree by Cliff Richard brought back memories of my teenage years learning 3-chord songs.

When I fall in love by Nat King Cole is another classic which I can never get fed up of. Portrait of my love by Matt Monro reminds me of the time when I tried to sing like him! Honey by Bobby Goldsboro is a sad one which really touches my heart.
California dreaming by The Mamas & The Papas is a typical song of flower people era of the 60s.What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong in his unique voice which many have tried to imitate.

It is a pity songs like My way (Karaoke anthem) and Smoke gets in your eyes got over-exposed by some wannabees.

Catchy songs like Jambalaya (I like the version by Gerry and the Pacemakers) and Red River Valley by Marty Robbin are songs that I would not request but would enjoy whenever it is played.

The power of songs or tunes in bringing back memories is very strong indeed. A friend described it very aptly that when he listens to Los Indios, he could almost smell the fragrance of perfume because it reminded him of dancing (or lumsing to the Cantonese) to those tunes at parties, some 30 years ago!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Philosopher or fool?

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely known for his wisdom.

One day, an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student, let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you're uncertain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter – the filter of USEFULNESS. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really..."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is not TRUE nor GOOD nor even USEFUL, why tell it to me at all?"

The man felt ashamed.

This is why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why he never found out that Plato was sleeping with his wife!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The end justifies the means

Once there was an old book-keeper in an accounts department. He is well respected for his well kept and balanced accounts. Any accounts staff who was not sure which account to post a certain entry would ask for his help.

Somehow, the rest of the staff realized that whenever a question had to do with whether to debit or credit, he would open one of his drawers and looked in.

Unable to control their curiosity, one of them peeked into his drawer when he went to the washroom. He found an old piece of paper written: Debit: where the door is. Credit: where the window is.

In spite of his years of experience, the book-keeper had problem remembering which side was debit or credit.

It may seem hard to believe but it is true that some people have problems over remembering basic left or right.

We knew a man from Hong Kong who had a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He failed the UK driving tests a few times mainly because he took the wrong turn when the examiner gave instruction to turn!

Some musicians learned the music notes the old-fashioned way. Old-timers will know the OK songbooks using 123 to signify do-re-mi.

Recently, I have seen a man in his fifties playing bass. He was Chinese educated and plays mainly Chinese songs. But his familiarity with the scales on the frets of the guitar was impressive. He has reached a stage where so long as he knows the tune, he can play the bass that goes with it, not necessarily by the book.

In other words, we can learn anything by any method that suits us. He might not be suitable for an orchestra but he impresses whenever he performs in a band playing popular tunes. In fact he could easily adapt and play popular tunes for an orchestra so long as the conductor is not particular, which happens sometimes and can be entertaining as one-off event.

I can still remember how one band member mentioned “Words” by the Bee Gees and after hearing a few notes, he said, “Oh! Smile” because he remembered the lyrics start with “Smile…”

For jamming purposes, it is better to have someone who can adapt than another with music credentials but unwilling to play any other way but according to song pieces.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I can see clearly now

After a few gaffes, I have decided that it is best not to tell anyone directly who he or she looks like.

Women, especially, are generally vain and like to think of themselves as prettier than what others would normally think of them.

Once, I mentioned to a lady that she looks like a teacher we know. “Do I look like her?” she said, visibly disappointed. Later, I realized she meant, “surely I look prettier than her!”

It is even worse, for example, to say someone looks like his or her daddy or mummy, when in fact, he or she was adopted!

With DNA tests these days, some dark secrets are bound to come out sooner or later. Some people have dominant genes and their features are likely to be carried by their offsprings. For such cases, even without tests, people would be talking behind their back. That is, if they have any dark secrets!

Midwife asked young woman in maternity ward if she would like her husband to be present at the birth.

" I'm afraid I don't have a husband" she replies.

"O.K. Do you have a boyfriend?" asks the Midwife.

"No, no boyfriend either."

"Do you have a partner then?"

"No, I'm not attached, I'll be having my baby on my own."

After the birth the midwife again speaks to the young woman,
"You have a healthy bouncing baby girl, but I must warn you before you see her that the baby is black."

"Well," replies the girl, "I was very down on my luck, with no money and nowhere to live, and so I accepted a job in a porn film. The lead man was black."

"Oh, I'm very sorry," says the midwife, "that's really none of my business and I'm sorry that I have to ask you these awkward questions but I must also tell you that the baby has blonde hair."

"Well yes," the girl again replies, "you see the co-star in the movie was this Swedish guy."

"Oh, I'm sorry," the midwife repeats, "that's really none of my business either and I hate to pry further but your baby also has slanted eyes."

"Yes," continues the girl, "there was a little Chinese man also in the movie, I really had no choice."

At this, the midwife again apologizes, collects the baby and present her to the girl, and immediately proceeds to give the baby a slap on the butt.

The baby starts crying and the mother exclaims, "Thank god for that!"

"What do you mean?" says the midwife, shocked.

"Well," says the girl extremely relieved, "I had this horrible feeling that she was going to bark!”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

So far yet so near

We have been used to the telephone, and lately, the invaluable mobile phone, which enable us to contact someone almost anywhere in the world.

The internet, via the telecommunication system, has shown the power of web publishers and writers in influencing public opinions, much to the annoyance of dictatorial regimes.

Anyway, this blog is not into serious stuff, so I will stay away from heavy material.

Phew! What an introduction for what I actually want to write about!

Though there is so-called freedom of expression, especially in one’s own blog, is there real freedom to write? I would say, “NO!”

I have to exercise some caution and try to think ahead as to who else will be reading my blog. At the moment, it is still in its infancy. It is read by my children and a few friends.

But being a small world, and the ease of forwarding emails, one can never tell who could be reading it. My children have already shown my blog to their friends. Joe forwarded one of my earlier postings to Yap and now we are in contact and will most probably meet in KL or Ipoh.

I go for breakfast with two retirees on a daily basis, except Sunday or when one of us could not make it. One of them has a son who is an executive and shareholder of Google. Can I write anything about him without running the danger of his son reading about it? It is a very, very remote chance, but still possible.

It depends on what they have in place, if any, monitoring new postings in their blogsites. The mere mention of Google may actually activate someone somewhere in charge of it. Then the person might casually remark to his colleagues who are Malaysians, “Hey, look what I’ve got here!”

Of course, they are not small in number nor in a small office. They are so huge now that they are in the league of Microsoft in terms of market capitalization.

So my imaginary conversation, if triggered, could well take place between San Francisco and Seattle, via video conferencing!

Will let you know if anything happens at all. It also need someone who would make an effort to comment. A friend just sms-ed me, "Visited ur blog. Read ur stories, any more?" My reaction: "Samy, yanah?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Destiny's child

One day, while discussing with his friends on opportunities in UK, my son checked out British High Commission and/or British Council website.

Apparently, being born in UK, he has the “right of abode” in UK. All he needs to do is bring along his British birth certificate and Malaysian passport to British High Commission and his passport will be stamped, indicating his right to entry into UK and stay and work, without requiring work permit. His friends were really envious and surprised that he did not think of it earlier. They commented that people “jumped plane”, paid dubious agents or got testimonials from local restaurants, just to get into UK to work.

Back in 1999, we told him to study in UK for his “A” levels and degree, because we believed he is entitled to certain benefits like lower education fees and so on. But peer pressure got the better of him, and he studied in Sydney instead.

With this option, he is looking forward to trying out in UK and if possible, study for an MBA.

Maybe, like me, his future wife is waiting in UK for just this move. This is my prediction anyway.

Looks like for a short period, all our three children will be in UK and if we pay them a visit then, our whole family too! A family re-union, where it all began. Pleasant thought indeed.

Now back to reality: where is that other pillow? I need it to prop up my head to dream on.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Manglish and communication gap

“Double-storey bungalow”, “Three-storey bungalow” or even “Semi-detached bungalow”, are common descriptions which we can find daily in newspaper advertisements.

I found out the correct meaning of “bungalow” one evening, after dinner in an English friend’s house in Leeds. I took a book on building which was lying nearby and read a few lines. I asked him, a Chartered Surveyor, “Why is the cost of building a bungalow lower than a double-storey terrace house?” He replied, “Of course, a bungalow is only one-storey!”

Imagine the following conversation between an Englishman and a local builder:-

Malcolm: Chu Kang, I want to build a bungalow on my piece of land in Sungei Buloh. Could you give me a quotation please?

Chu Kang: How many storeys you want? I can build one, two or three storey bungalows!


The word “supersede” has been so frequently spelled incorrectly as “supercede” that I am sure many people were swayed into thinking the latter spelling is correct. Even newspaper editors sometimes failed to notice the error, let alone the reading public.

Once I asked an English colleague, who was a graduate trainee, how he would spell “supersede” and he spelt it with a “c”. When I pointed out to him the word in a dictionary, he said, “Honestly, I didn’t think it was incorrect and wouldn’t even bother to look up the dictionary!”


In conversational English, we often come across someone who would ask, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

Many Malaysians are likely to answer, “Yes.” As in “Yes (go ahead)” very obligingly as is common with our hospitality towards guests or foreigners.

The Englishman is likely to be startled and say, “You mean to say, you actually mind that I smoke?”


In Malaysia, I have come across a few people actually claiming that they speak fluent English. Yet, upon listening carefully, their sentences consist of a mixture of English, Malay and Cantonese or Hokien! Surely, any English-speaking foreigner, including Chinese from Hong Kong, cannot understand fully.

Malaysian: “This lighter yoursah? Myswan cannot work onelah. Can borrow yourswanah?”
English: "Is this your lighter? Mine doesn't work. Mind if I borrow yours?"
Malaysian: “I stay in a kampong datswhy I don’t like city one.” “My son very pandai one you know?”
English: "I live in a village and I dislike city life. My son is a bright one. Do you know?"

The following sentences sound correct, but not grammatically:-

“You can go to KL, isn’t it?” "You can go to KL, can't you?"
“You are 22 years old, isn’t it?” "You are 22 years old, aren't you?"
“All of us are going, isn’t it?” "All of us are going, aren't we?"

I can safely say nobody can claim to know perfect English. In fact, there is no perfect English, it being a living language and each year, there are new words being coined as well as foreign words being added on.

But in Malaysia, the level of English has dropped so much that even some university graduates cannot converse in English.

A former classmate, who speaks so-called “fluent English”, lamented that his English is better than his son! Fortunately, his son is currently studying in Australia and hopefully, he will be back speaking a much improved English to challenge his dad!

We must bear in mind that some native English can speak the language but are practically illiterate, just like some Malaysians in the south, speaking Mandarin like a dialect, but not necessarily able to read or write it. It is also easier to read than be able to write, as the former involves recognizing and not necessarily understanding, while the latter involves the ability to make sentences to describe and so on.

In case there are any English teachers reading this posting, I am like a “sek siew siew, parn toi pew” or translated as “know a little, pretending to be a representative”. After all, to quote William Hung, “I have no professional training!”

Monday, December 05, 2005

Upclose with HK stars

On Saturday, my son was promoting his boss's company products in Ipoh Parade. An associate company, involved in entertainment, brought in 4 HK stars: Myolie Wu, Raymond Lum Foong, Sonija Kwok and Ron Ng, which coincided with the event. In fact, it should be the other way round!

The fans were trying to get close to the stars and he had to act as security personnel to help hold them back.

On Sunday, there was a show at the Esplanade in Penang. After his work was done, he had a chance to join his boss and family at the VIP section. Later, he joined them for dinner. But since he has gone past the stage of trying to take pictures of the stars as well as with the stars, he finds the antics of the fans strange. Like following the vehicles in their bikes and waving, waiting for long just to get a glimpse of them or to take pictures of them and so on.

Sometimes an opportunity presents itself but one missed it.

Few years ago, we happened to be at a shopping mall in Penang. The then not well known Back Street Boys were there. My youngest, daughter, was then too young to appreciate them. Later, she became a fan and insisted on buying only their genuine CDs! I kept reminding her of her missed opportunity!

Will my son regret not having a picture taken with the HK stars later?

Gem from corporate lessons revisited

A priest offered a lift to a nun. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"

The priest apologized, "Sorry sister but the flesh is weak."

Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129.

It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Building walls instead of bridges

It seems common to have problems with our immediate neighbours. Sad but true.

Our problem started when our neighbour’s daughter threw a piece of wrapper into our compound as seen by my wife. She told her to bring a plastic bag and collect all the rubbish which they have thrown over – wrappers, empty plastic bottles, beer bottle crown corks, and even clumps of long human hair which one of them conveniently dropped them instead of taking the trouble to dispose of it properly.

Anyway, since then we never talk to each other. Perceived loss of face I suppose, when the parents knew about it. When we built the fence-wall at the time we built the house, it was on our side of the property, not really a common wall. So it is really annoying when they continue to hang dripping car mats and carpets over the wall to dry, causing paint to become mouldy in no time.

Recently, one of my regular breakfast companions had a window pane broken by his neighbour’s grasscutter while I was waiting with him for another friend. We found the missile that caused it was an old piece of metal the size of a cheap blade, the type that can be folded in. It is anyone’s guess what could have happened if it hit one of us instead. I estimated it travelled some 30 ft. and broke the glass. Anyway, he complained to the grasscutter while the owner remained seated on his garden chair, back facing him, ignoring his comments, while
smoking.

That was a couple of months ago. Last week, the grasscutter came and used the same type of motorized cutter. It created a mess in my friend’s compound as a result of the flying cut grass and soil. The last straw was when his wife commented that some soil or dirt actually went into their room. He complained to his neighbour about it.

Neighbour said, “You are always complaining.”

He retorted, “I have tolerated all this for the past 30 years, and you said I am always complaining.”

Neighbour: “I’m going to put up a wall to replace the chain-link fence.”

Today, I could see a pile of sand and some workers working on it. Pride can be expensive!

While Berlin Wall came down, we are putting up walls against our neighbours. Walls to avoid seeing each other.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just jam Joe

Joe was supposed to meet me to exchange his sterling for some ringgit. He has not been to my place. He promised to jam at my place before but could not make it, so he said he will make it this time.

Yesterday, afternoon he sms-ed me to arrange with my neighbour, Dr. Lim. I forwarded his message and Dr replied that he is still in KL but will be back at night. Joe contacted another friend, Steven, who lives in Pusing.

Problem with our house location is that though it is just behind a good landmark, a famous local Indian temple, the access to it is complicated to explain to someone who has not been.

Joe called for a general description of the way. He sms-ed me to call Steven to give direction. He then called to say he is now at Caltex station. Though only about 150 ft away from the main road, but now blocked by a new multi-purpose hall owned by the temple, I had to give directions to Joe while walking along the road towards him. Met him, got into his car and waited for Steven at BP station. In fact, this problem of giving direction has led me to inform anyone who is sending anything to me by courier, to send by Poslaju, as they have no problem with our address. I do not own any shares in Pos Holdings nor get paid for doing so.

Dr. Lim earlier called to decline my invitation to jam with us. Then I told him to at least meet some new friends with similar interest. As expected, he enjoyed the jamming part, especially with a bass player to give the oomph. We went through my collection of oldies and also managed a Mandarin number which Steven knew the lyrics by heart. By 10.30pm, Dr Lim said we had better stop so as not to upset the neighbours. He was tired after driving back from KL and did not join us for a drink at the mamak shop.

Though it seems a lot of trouble for a simple jam, it was worth the effort. Through a session like this, we can really tell whether we are comfortable with each other. Looks like we can expect more of the same but Joe will be back in UK for another few months.

Joe related to us how once he met someone looking for guitar strings in a stationery shop. He told him where to get them and started chatting. One thing led to another and ended up in his place jamming until 2.00 am. When his wife asked him who was he, he replied I just knew him today!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Birds of a feather

At Derrick’s wedding dinner last Sunday night, we were seated among Joe’s friends who are musicians. Jeffrey, who is being retained as a singer at a pub, said he will be at work from 10 pm. He said his boss recently bought a drums kit, electric guitar and bass guitar for jam sessions during their breaks.. Boss’s son plays the drums, so it is like giving him exposure (lucky fella).

Here I am, aged 55, still thinking of a jam café set-up while that young man has everything set-up for him.

In my late teens, because of my interest in drums, I bought a used set with a broken bass drum (where the legs were) from a schoolmate. I got complaints from a brother, terrace house neighbours and private school across the road. This still haunts me whenever I play, always imagining I am upsetting people.

To give an idea of how professionals became what they are, Lewis Pragasam, our best known drummer, once mentioned to my daughter during an interview for her college newsletter, that when he started at the age of 16, he used to practise over an 18-hour stretch! Roger Wang, classical guitarist known for his improvisation of old tunes, of Double Take fame, mentioned in an article on him, that he used to practise when others go dating! So it all boils down to passion for it as well as inherent talent. Most of us are destined to be admirers and wannabees only.

Anyway, since I have not been to that pub before, I suggested to those present to jam after dinner. Seng, a lead guitarist, and Peter, guitarist cum singer, agreed.

At the pub, we listened to Jeffrey and his partners, Dominic and wife, Jo, performed a few numbers before we got the chance to jam. It was like expected that the boss’s son plays the drums, until he could not play a rhumba beat for a Los Indios number, that Jeffrey asked me to try. Well, I could manage something like it, so it sounds slightly better than a totally different beat, rock, for instance.

With my present networking with a few bands, a jam café will not be short of sessionists. Now, how to deal with my procrastination?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another example of a small world

Last night, I attended a Tamil wedding dinner of my good friend's daughter. In fact, Ramakrishnan used to be my wife's childhood friend. I knew him when he accompanied my brother-in-law to KL on my wedding day about 30 years ago.

We were shown to a table and Rama introduced me to two persons at the table. He said these two should click with you and introduced me as "a drummer" and one of them as "guitarist" and the other as "singer". Well, being in a smaller city, the guitarist, whom I knew as Leong, used to play lead at Leong Association. He specializes in Shadows' classic tunes. I was more surprised to meet Peter Goon, the singer, because I just met him the night before at a band practice.

Tonight, I will be going to Joe Ong's for a buffet dinner. This is actually a common practice here, the night before a wedding day. Not Joe, but one of his twin sons, Derrick, is getting married. I will be looking out for more surprises in this small world of ours.

Wrong timing and Miscommunication

I was wondering if I should cancel breakfast appointment when my friend called to say he could not make it. That left me plenty of time to make it for a press conference in Ipoh with the police over the "saman ekor" at 11.30am.

Thought I knew the police station well. Parked in front of Tabung Haji building, but after asking a few policemen, I had to walk out again and round the perimeter of the station to get in, opposite the mosque. The entrance where I parked is only for police to get in and out, just to show how unfriendly the place is. I had bad memories of our encounter with this station which I wrote to Malaysiakini under Carlost Santana, a few years ago.

Because of the delay, I saw YB Fong Po Kuan and her colleagues were already in discussion with some police officers. I waited with the press reporters outside the officer's room. After it was over, Po Kuan exclaimed, "I did not know you were here! You should have knocked the door and went in. I want you to hear out how they explained to us. Pity I left my handphone with my companion just now. Never mind, you join the press now when they field their questions."

After the press conference was over, Po Kuan said she did not have breakfast (it was already 1.00 pm) and they are going to Sin Yoon Loong (famous for white coffee). I told her I will meet them there thinking I knew the place and it was walkable from where I parked. I put in more coins and reached the place within 5 minutes.

I asked the boss for a big table but the place is always crowded so I stood and waited. After waiting for 10 minutes, I called PK again and she said "I am in the shop, where are you?"

I said, "I am in the shop too, where are you?"

She replied, "You went to the old place! I am in Jalan Bendahara. Miscommunication again."

I said, "Forget it. Never mind, next time."

Good job I did not wait at an empty table while others were looking for places to sit!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's a small, small world

I had supper with Joe Ong last night, after watching a band practice. Both of us are very keen on music (not necessarily talented in my case) and given the chance, we could watch till they finish.

Both of us take such opportunities to learn (bass for him and bass and drums for me). He can be considered a semi-professional because he had played at functions before while I am still amateurish at drums and new to bass.

This post is directed at BH Yap, almost my one and only commentator. It is a small world. In one of the emails Joe sent to me, I noticed Bayibhyap which seemed familiar. I asked Joe last night and he confirmed he knows him and told me the story how they got to know each other.

As usual, when I want to look for the email address, I could not find it. When I clicked on his hypertexted name, I could not locate his blogsite. So the best I can do is to post this and hope he will read it and give his comments.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

One man's wife is another man's desire

While driving back from Ipoh, I told my wife one of my breakfast topics. A friend mentioned about the case of a ex-TV presenter having lost her defamation case against a magazine's publishers.

Please bear in mind, the conversation was among three retirees with selective loss of memories, and therefore, there is no guarantee of accuracy of facts as reported.

Anyway, one retiree said he read news before that the magazine's article mentioned that the TV presenter’s ex-husband was paid Rm3 million for their divorce. She must have sued the magazine publishers.

The other retiree, aged 65, innocently said that he would be satisfied if paid Rm1 million for his wife! As soon as my wife heard this part of my story, she could not help laughing. Simply because, she was thinking the retiree’s wife must be around 60, and yet he has the gumption to think someone would offer Rm1 million for her!

Anyway, jokes aside, we touched on the morality of it which is quite similar to indecent proposal. Basically, it means no wife is safe from such predators.

Sunday market or thieves' outlet

My wife and I are regulars at the Ipoh Sunday market along Jalan Horley. My friend nick-named it “thieves outlet” as he reckons most of the goods are stolen. To a certain extent, I agree, especially those used shoes and sandals which are likely to be stolen from people’s porch. Then the handbags and handphones are likely to be items of snatch victims.

My wife is more interested in chinaware and porcelain. Occasionally, she managed to get really good stuff for a song. The history of such items are usually things left behind when people move from one place to another. Well, one man’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Those fellow collectors out there would agree that almost everything is collectible.

The other day, I was surprised to see a friend (trader becomes friend after such frequent visits) who sold a lowly old bottle-opener marked with logo of CocaCola for Rm18 to a young man, who obviously knew what he was buying. Other brands were going for only Rm5 or so. Almost all the items which remind me of my childhood: tricycles, pedal cars, metal calendar pictures of Hong Kong film stars, and so on, are now sought after.

I personally go for music CDs or VCDs which are normally sold for Rm1 each, 2 for Rm3 or 3 for Rm5, depending on singer or group, condition or trader. It does not matter to me whether they are pirated or stolen. Sometimes I get new ones at that price. These are likely to be someone’s slow-moving stock, “fell off the back of the lorry” or confiscated by police but somehow found their way out. In other words, they were practically free which was why they can sell at such low prices.

With the availability of such cheap CDs, I am exposed to and able to enjoy and learn more songs which otherwise I would not be able to afford.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rat rights

As in human rights, do rats have rights… just to live? It may seem silly, but some Buddhists even feel it repugnant to kill those blood-sucking disease-spreading mosquitoes!

I have had incessant problems with rats. Their favourite hideouts are the two Sunbeam Alpines which have been off the road for many years. They treat the two cars as their nests and leave a heavy stench of urine and excreta, together with leftovers of their meals like bones, mango stones, palm fruit sans skins and so on.

I have tried using rat poison, with some success. But there is the problem of putting up with a day or two of stench of dead rat somewhere before it was found. Most of the time, it is hidden somewhere and it requires the efficient smell sense of the housefly to locate it. Then I have the unpleasant task of taking the smelly corpse for burial. I was the unofficial hunter, killer and undertaker!

Recently, my wife bought a tin of glue specially for trapping rats. I put off using it for a few weeks because it was messy to apply. She had enough of the rats because her new Xtrail’s air-conditioning system failed because it was clogged with palm fruits! The car had to be left overnight at the service center because it required dismantling the dashboard. It was costly because of the time-consuming work and the addition of an extra filter to trap any of such rubbish before it gets into the system.

I applied the glue on to a chipboard leaving the centre for bait. I knew the rats like my fish food. It was really effective, as the next morning, I found a huge rat stuck to the board. Though expected, it is still awful to think of a rat still alive stuck to it. To avoid the unpleasant task of killing it by force, I left it for a few hours. By the time I dug a hole in the ground outside the compound, the rat was still alive! Well, I took the board with the rat stuck on it, and literally buried it alive. Do I have a choice? I have seen rats caught in a cage being left to die under the hot sun. I don’t really know what is the most humane way to rid of such pests.

My really old BMW was not spared. Even though I use it on alternate days for going out with fellow retirees for breakfast, its air filter was chock-a-block with palm fruit pieces! It was a wonder the car could start!

I was conned by a Sunday market trader into buying 3 packets of coloured powder. In retrospect, it was such an easy con-trick. On the packet, it was printed Rm10 and it was being sold at 3 for Rm10. The chap promised rats, lizards and insects will be so repelled by the powder that they won't be back for up to 6 months! It seems to be effective for up to 20 feet in all directions. The best selling point was that we do not have to put up with dead rats as in the use of poison, or having to kill trapped rats. Well, when I tried on the lizards, they were clucking away as if thumbing their noses at me!

Well, education is a life long process. Maybe I should go back to TAR College!

Earth-shattering facts, but in this blog, only those that do not matter

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
(recipe for kosong cafe)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Some terrorists are still at it.)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
(Imagine when a person is angry!)

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death!
(I have yet to see a headless one causing trouble, and I still can’t get over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour
(No use if you want to lose weight.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
(Male mantis: “A kiss is not a kiss, a sigh is not a sighhhh….ugh”)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.
(Should it be spelt “flee” instead?)
(30 minutes..lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(Who took the trouble to count them and what could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
(I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(I always wonder what it would be like. Anything to do with reflexology?)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
(The frog has proven to us)

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.
(Being ambidextrous, I have the advantage of four years, 182 days and 12 hours.)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(Isn’t it obvious?)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
( A black light? Against black, everything seems to glow.)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some politicians like that.)

Starfish have no brains.
(I know some politicians like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer?)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
(Hey! What about that pig??)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Men, being intelligent, never listen

On a flight to Chicago, a gentleman had made several attempts to get into the men's restroom, but it had always been occupied. The flight attendant noticed his predicament.

"Sir," she said, "you may use the ladies room if you promise not to touch any of the buttons on the wall."

He did what he needed to, and as he sat there, he noticed the buttons he had promised not to touch.

Each button was identified by letters! : WW, WA, PP, and a red one labeled ATR.

Who would know if he touched them? He couldn't resist. He pushed WW.
Warm water was sprayed gently upon his bottom. What a nice feeling, he thought. Men's restrooms don't have nice things like this.

Anticipating greater pleasure, he pushed the WA button.
Warm air replaced the warm water, gently drying his underside.

When this stopped, he pushed the PP button. A large powder puff caressed his bottom adding a fragile scent of spring flowers to this unbelievable pleasure.
The ladies restroom was more than a restroom, it is tender loving pleasure.
When the powder puff completed its programmed function, he couldn't wait to push the ATR button which he thought would be supreme ecstasy.

Next thing he knew he was in a hospital. As soon as he opened his eyes, a nurse was staring down at him with a smirk on her face.
"What happened?" he exclaimed.
"You pushed one too many buttons," replied the nurse.
"The last button marked ATR was an Automatic Tampon Remover.
Your penis is in a bottle on your bedside table."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rolls Royce's attention to detail

A boy was admiring a Rolls Royce, which he had the chance to see closely for the first time.

He walked round the gleaming car excitedly and asked the owner whether it is alright for him to take a peek inside.

Owner: “Certainly, young man, get in and feel it”

The boy got onto the driving seat and imagined himself, driving the luxurious car. Then he realized he sat on a small item and immediately took it out from under him.

He asked the owner: “What’s this?”

Owner: “That’s a tee.”

Boy: “What’s it for?”

Owner: “You rest your ball on it before you drive off”

Boy: “Blimey! Rolls Royce sure thinks of everything!”

Mamadona

In answer to the question: “Who is the greatest, Pele or Maradona?”

Maradona: “I won’t say I’m the greatest. But like everybody, I too believe my mother. And she says I’m the greatest.”

Friday, November 18, 2005

Different wavelengths

A number of my friends, (out of curiosity or concern? or are they plain nosey parkers?) used to ask me how I spend my time. Out of their goodness from the bottom of their hearts, they cannot understand how anybody could spend so much time (mostly at home) practically “doing nothing”. I could list out activities, that are useful to the family and house, which take up most of my time. But I do not see the reason nor need to answer all those queries.

Anyway, I called up an old friend to say hello. She is business-minded and very successful in managing her husband’s medical practice, and many other “useful and gainful activities”. She asked me what I have been doing. When I replied my usual “Nothing really”, she began to give me all sorts of advice as to how to make use of my time “working” as she cannot stand a man not working. She suggested, “Why not help your wife in her family’s busy businesses?” Getting tired of this line of questioning,

I replied: “What to do? She won’t let me do what I am good at.”

She replied: “Then you do it yourself”

I said: “Now I know why they call it MASTER BEDROOM”

She did not get it at first and I had to repeat it slowly before she realized what I am getting at. (Sigh)

(In my mind: a man has got to do what a man has got to do: NOTHING!)

Blue suede shoes

Two senior ladies met for the first time since they graduated from the university.

One asked the other: “You were always so organized. How did you manage to live such a well-planned life?”

“Well,” said her friend, “my first marriage was to a millionaire; my second was to an actor; my third was to a preacher, and now, I am married to an undertaker.”

The friend asked: “What do marriages have to do with a well-planned life?”

The other replied, “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go!”

To musicians or those who know this tune: please imagine the bass line that goes with the song.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fun with names

WEE KEN FATT, screams a sign on one side of the road. SOH KEN WEE seems like a reply across the road. This much quoted joke, gets distorted along the way, but it does not lose its hilarity. Now I wonder if it was actually true or cooked up.

But I know this is true. Years ago, along 3rd mile Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, there used to be a vacant land, which is now a building occupied by Public Bank. It was occupied by a used car company by the name of FU SOON SDN BHD.

Recently, we were in Teluk Intan looking for a particular biscuit shop. While driving about in the town, I saw a shop with SEONG FART. I am sure in Cantonese, it was supposed to mean “always prosper” but somehow it got mispelt or the owner has no choice because there must have been too many SEONG FATT already registered.

If my memory serves me right, a SOON GOH FATT along Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur, managed to get a mention in That’s Life in UK, hosted by Esther Rantzen.

Auspicious business signs for restaurants signifying good business, seem to suggest the lack of ideas. TIEN TIEN LAI and YAT YAT TOU means the same (everyday come), though the former is in Mandarin and the latter in Cantonese.

The Chinese favourite, usually one of two or three characters of a business name, FOOK means “good luck” in Cantonese. But if it is used in Yorkshire, England, it sounds obscene!

I realized this, years ago, when my roommate tried to explain the many different dialects of Chinese people to a Yemeni post-graduate student. He was in Leeds long enough. He told him, “For example, I am Hakka, and he, pointing at me, is Fookin." Jamal burst out laughing! If my friend had used "Hokien instead of Fookin", it would not have been so hilarious.

There is a coffeeshop in the town where I live now, with the name, MOK YEW. If FOOK YEW, I bet a tourist from Yorkshire will take a picture to show his friends back home.

By the way, my blog name KOSONG means “empty” in Malay. I am trying to dispel the Chinese superstitution relating to names, by making sure my blog is far from empty. In fact, I hope to open a jam café by that name too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Foot in the mouth

Son brought his girlfriend to meet his parents.

After the initial greetings and pleasantries, they settled down to conversation and getting to know each other.

Father asked the girl, “What does your father do?”

Girl: “chou teen” in Cantonese (meaning to do with electricity)

Father thought she meant he works as an electrician, thinking along the lines of installing light fittings and general electrical repairs, commented: “kei hou keh, wan tou leong charn” (literally meaning “quite good really, can earn two meals a day”).

As preparations for the wedding started, the father began to feel more and more uncomfortable and embarrassed as a result of his earlier comment, as events unfolded.

The bridal car used was their own BMW, wedding dinner given by the bride’s family was held in a restaurant within a hotel and they live in a three-level mansion with a putting green!

Moral of the story: just like guessing the age of a woman (better to understate), it is better to assume someone is doing better than what you think he is.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Credit where credit is due

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ, the following chain of events are put into motion:-

The woman buys the food.
She makes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.
She prepares the meat for cooking.
She places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill -- beer in hand.

Where skill is vital: THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.

The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.

He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Another skilful act: THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.

The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

After everyone has finished eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And finally ...

Everyone PRAISES the man and THANKS him for his cooking efforts.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Quirks of examinations

Years ago, while marking answer scripts of a professional audit examination in UK, an examiner must have been tickled to point out the following quoted by a student:-

“an auditor’s role is that of a watchdog, and not a bloody greyhound”.

The student was trying to quote the Kingston Cotton Mills case in which the judge quoted, “an auditor’s role is that of a watchdog, and not a blood hound”.

It would be interesting to see if there would be any wrong answers if both quotes were given in an objective test.

I was told by a retired teacher in Malaysia that there was once a directive from the Education Ministry to the examiners of a certain level school examination. They were told to set objective questions with say, multiple choice given from (a) to (e) each, which must have an even spread (if this is the right term). In other words, in total, there must be 20% each of (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of correct answers.

Word got round, and even the worst students could get 20% marks by just marking one pattern. For instance, only (a), for the whole paper!

Apology

My sincere apology to Bayibhyap who was misled by the very very short story which I highlighted in a different colour and appeared like a title to a story. It is not a hypertext to a link.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Short story

A college class was told they had to write a short story in as few words as possible.

The short story had to involve the following three topics: -
(1) Religion (2) Sexuality (3) and Mystery.

There was only one A+ paper in the entire class.
Below is the A+ short story:

Good God, I'm pregnant! I wonder who did it.

Don't prejudge a person

If you knew a woman who was pregnant and she had 8 kids already. Three of them were deaf, two were blind and one mentally retarded. And she had syphilis.

Would you recommend that she should have an abortion?

If you were the doctor and your answer was “yes”, you would have killed Beethoven.

Most embarrassing first date

This was on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Jay went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had.

Marilyn said it was midwinter...snowing and quite cold...and the guy had taken her skiing … to Lake Arrowhead. It was a day trip.

They were strangers, after all, and truly had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon. They were driving back down the mountain when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte.

They were about an hour away from anywhere with a restroom and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while.

Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her pee beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car.

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. Unfortunately, in the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the
situation.

Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to pump handles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor she answered her date's concern about "what was taking so long" with a reply that indeed, she was "freezing her butt off and needed some assistance!"

He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing.

She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma.

Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal.

Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free. So, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As for the Tonight Show... she took the prize hands down ...or perhaps that should be "pants down."

And you thought your first date was embarrassing!

This gives a whole new meaning to being "pissed off".

Oh, and how did the first date turn out? He became her husband and was sitting next to her on the Leno show!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The farmer's watch

There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him.

After searching high and low among the hay for a long while, he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of kids playing outside the barn. He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded with five dollars.

Hearing this, the group of kids hurried inside the barn, flipped through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance.

The farmer looked at him and thought, "Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough." So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand!

The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.

The boy replied, "I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction."

Very often, we allow the noise of the world to drown out our inner voices, our intuition, the language of our hearts.

So learn to listen to our inner voice, for it will point us in the right direction to find true joy, love and peace.

Friday, November 11, 2005

God created children

( AND IN THE PROCESS GRANDCHILDREN )

To those of us who have children in our lives, whether they are our own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students...here is something to make you chuckle.

Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was "DON'T!"

"Don't what?" Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve... we have forbidden fruit!!!!!"

Eve: "No Way!"

Adam: "Yes way!"

"DO NOT eat the fruit!" said God.

"Why"

"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants. A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was furious! "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?" said the Father.

"I don't know," said Eve.

"She started it!" Adam said

Eve: "Did not!"

Adam: "Did too!"

Eve: "DID NOT!"

Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY! If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!

1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

ADVICE FOR THE DAY: Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.

AND FINALLY: IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A HEADACHE, DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN BOTTLE: "TAKE TWO ASPIRIN" AND "KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN"!!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Old Lady vs Young Police officer

An older lady gets pulled over for speeding...

Older Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?

Officer: Ma'am, you were speeding.

Older Woman: Oh, I see.

Officer: Can I see your licence please?

Older Woman: I'd give it to you but I don't have one.

Officer: Don't have one?

Older Woman: Lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving.

Officer: I see...Can I see your vehicle registration papers please.

Older Woman: I can't do that.

Officer: Why not?

Older Woman: I stole this car.

Officer: Stole it?

Older Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.

Officer: You what?

Older Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see

The Officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car. A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half drawn gun.

Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please! The woman steps out of her vehicle.

Older woman: Is there a problem sir?

Officer 2: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.

Older Woman: Murdered the owner?

Officer 2: Yes, could you please open the trunk
of your car, please.

The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.

Officer 2: Is this your car, ma'am?

Older Woman: Yes, here are the registration papers.
The officer is quite stunned.

Officer 2: One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving licence

The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer.

The officer examines the licence. He looks quite puzzled.

Officer 2: Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a licence, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.

Older Woman: Bet the liar told you I was speeding, too.

Prediction came true

Last September 9, I wrote the following letter to an online newspublisher but was unpublished:-

Dear Sir,

I expect Bank Negara will be inundated with fake Rm1 coins by December 7, 2005.

Coffee-shop talk in Perak alone had it that there were 2 cases of syndicates minting those coins in small industrial estates.

It seems they used a light industrial premises which outwardly appeared to be a genuine business. Behind closed doors, they were minting Rm1 coins with the help of immigrant labourers.

Some small traders were approached outright to exchange Rm600 for Rm1,000 fakes. One bright spark even used an ingenious way by offering the traders small change service but actually gave them Rm600 in 50-, 20- and 10-sen coins and Rm400 in fake Rm1 coins.

There was a case where a good Samaritan thought a factory was on fire and called the fire brigade. When the fire brigade came, the culprits fled. It must have been a crude way of melting metal by using primitive furnace which gave a huge glow which appeared like the building was on fire.

Anyway, it is not important whether the stories were true, but the fact was that fake coins have been in circulation for some years. The security features, if any, must have been useless if ordinary folks can produce them. Bank Negara should have nibbed the problem in the bud instead of waiting until now to recall the coins.

When it was first rumoured, then confirmed by press statements, that the coins will be taken out of circulation, traders and customers alike have been avoiding them like the plague. Then there were stories of different treatment by different banks. Some bank staff arbitrarily confirmed certain coins were fakes and confiscated them as part of official policy to take them out of circulation. Those affected could not help wondering if they were taken for a ride.

Since the complaints were highlighted, Bank Negara announced that all coins will be accepted until December 7. I believe there are people out there who will take this opportunity to print more fakes to take advantage of this policy. The dateline should be brought forward to prevent opportunists from doing so.

I, for one, will be interested to know how much of the coins collected by them are fakes. Bank Negara owes us a duty to inform us later.

Yours faithfully,

Layman

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Case of a pregnant lady

A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus.

She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her.

She immediately moved to another seat.

This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again.

The man seemed more amused.

When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.

The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself.

The man replied,

"Well your Honour, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition.
She sat under a sweets sign that said , "The Double Mint Twins are Coming," and I grinned.
Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, "Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling", and I had to smile.
Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, "William's Big Stick Did the Trick", and I could hardly contain myself.
BUT, your Honour, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, "Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident" ... I just lost it."

Case dismissed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Potty English

In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEPLADDER YESTERDAY
PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN

Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Notice in a field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES

On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING.
(PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T WORK)

Anonymous fame?

This is probably an oxymoron. Can anyone actually get famous anonymously?

This morning, instead of my usual marathon breakfast with 2 other retirees, I was alone in a local Indian restaurant, having a glass of “basmal teh” or “fresh cow’s milk tea” while reading The Star.

When I opened the centre pages, I started reading Mary Schneider’s column with the day’s heading, “Karaoke Craze”. Then the title “Bravo, Househusbands!” of Chong Sheau Ching's column, which is on the left of the centre pages, caught my eyes. I started reading it, wondering what’s new, knowing her fame for ehomemakers. What a pleasant surprise it was when one of the three so-called brave men she described happens to be me!

I cannot remember when I wrote to her, probably 3 years ago. I am indeed honoured that she kept it for so long and actually quoted me, though anonymously, in her article.

This morning, before I went for my tea, I visited this blog, and was thrilled to get a first comment on my earlier postings. Well, it is a start, like the journey of a thousand steps.

Monday, November 07, 2005

An unpublished letter to editor

This unpublished letter, though dated and irrelevant after the visit, carries a message to our leaders.



Dear Sir,

Cherie Blair’s forthcoming private visit to Malaysia has been criticized for her financial motive though it is no business of ours.

The details of her financial affairs in the Sunday Mail have in fact proven to us that the British leaders are more transparent in their dealings, something our leaders should emulate. So what if her law lecture commands a high fee and her presence in the re-launching of Starhill will be rewarded one way or another? At least it is proof that her husband’s position as Prime Minister of Britain and allegedly the world’s second most powerful person in the world, does not involve big scale corruption as is common among some Asian countries.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh has been known to be consummate in his dealings with top world national leaders and this is no exception. Most of us are just jealous of his success in his public relations.

Cherie, welcome to Bolehland, where our PM lives in a palace with man-made lakes and beautiful bridges. You don’t know what you are missing!

Yours faithfully,

Ex-PR of UK

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Entries for dumbest quotes?

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."-- Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."-- A U.S. congressional candidate in Texas.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."-- Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky Basketball Forward

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"-- Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss U.S.A. contest

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Doctor vs Lawyer

Doctor being cross-examined by Lawyer:-

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for blood pressure?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for breathing?

A: No.

Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began
the autopsy?

A: No.

Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law
somewhere.

Old Wit vs Young Twit

An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall.

A teenager sat down next to him. He had spiked hair that was red,
orange, yellow, green, blue & violet.

The old man stared.

Whenever the teen looked, the old man was staring.

Finally, the teenager said sarcastically : "What's the matter, old boy,
never done anything wild in your life?"

Without missing a beat the old man replied :"Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. Just wondering if you were my son."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Auditor vs Lawyer

This is a Malaysian joke passed round in the internet and by just changing the destination, it appears to fit the description of a couple who I know very well.

An auditor and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from KL to Kuching. The lawyer asks if the auditor would like to play a fun game?

The auditor, tired, just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.
She explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vice versa."

Again, he declines and tries to get some sleep.

The lawyer, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.00."

This catches the auditor's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless he plays, agrees to the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the Earth to the moon?"

The auditor doesn't say a word, reaches into his purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer.

"Okay", says the lawyer, "your turn."

He asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"

The lawyer, puzzled, takes out her laptop computer and searches all her references, no answer.
She taps into the air phone with her modem and searches the net and the library, no answer. Frustrated, she sends Emails to all her friends and co-workers, to no avail.

After an hour, she wakes the auditor, and hands $500.00. The auditor says, "Thank you," and turns back to get some more sleep.

The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the auditor and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"

Without a word, the auditor reaches into his purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Careless whisper

Think before we speak.

There is a Chinese saying: "A speech will either prosper or ruin a nation."

Many relationships soured because of careless speech. When a couple is too close with each other, they always forget mutual respect and courtesy. One may say something without considering if it would hurt the other.

A lady and her rich husband visited their construction site.

A worker who wore a helmet saw her and shouted, "Hi, Rosie! Remember me? We used to date in school."

On the way home, her husband teased her, "You are fortunate to have married me. Otherwise you will be the wife of a construction worker."

She answered, "You should be grateful you married me! Otherwise, he would have been the millionaire and not you."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Secret

Someone once said that secret is something we tell one person at a time. I wish to share this secret but with today's technology, it is more an open secret:-

One day, one friend asked another, "How is it that you are always so happy? You have so much energy, and you never seem to get down."

With her eyes smiling, she said, "I know the Secret. I'll tell you all about it, but you have to promise to share the Secret with others."

"The Secret is this: All I do is live a simple life, have some really good friends, a happy family and enjoy nature. I have learned most of the time I don't need half of what I think I do. With the above thoughts, I learned the 'Secret' to a happy life."

The questioner's first thought was, "That's too simple!" But upon reflecting over her own life, she recalled how she thought a bigger house would make her happy, but it didn't. She thought a better paying job would make her happy, but it hadn't. When did she realize her greatest happiness? Sitting on the floor with her nephews and nieces, playing games, eating pizza or reading them a story.

Now you know it too! And now I pass the Secret on to you. Once you get it, what will you do?
Please tell someone the Secret too.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm Back


My son managed to help me figure out how to get this going again... He is typing this btw. And this is a photo of my two daughters in UK. I am learning how to post photos. You learn a new thing everyday!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Old Dog learning new tricks

Hi. I am a retiree trying to set up my own blog.

KoSong Cafe (first mistake: this is supposed to be my blog name)

*Where talk is cheap and empty vessels make the most noise;

*Where music jamming are by those scraped from the bottom of the barrel and errors and omissions are accepted;

*Where the news and views do not matter;

Guiding principle in life:-
“You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power; maybe not in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing.” - Mahatma Gandhi.