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 30, 2006

Repondez sil vous plait

After attending a few wedding dinners recently, I have been noting the pros and cons of each function, just in case I am put in the position as host, though it is not so soon. As the Cantonese saying goes, ‘sap phit, tu mou yat phit’ or literally, ‘out of 10 strokes of the brush, not even one stroke yet’. I like to imagine myself as an event manager rather than playing host myself. If possible, a virtual one.

Now, karaoke sessions during dinners, are relegated to more ‘chinaman’ types, or more likely, to be found in smaller towns and villages. However, a good host in a city venue can still have it with taste by careful selection of singers and songs, and not ‘free for all’. Basically, it is good to have a limited number of suitable songs and the sound system must be good to the extent that it can be clear yet not too loud.

Live bands might be interesting to youngsters but too noisy to most, older folks, unless they play ‘unplugged’. Jazz bands and traditional Chinese musicians are getting popular. Some even opt for classical singers.

Well, it is difficult to cater for all, so complaints are unavoidable. Unless decision is clearly left to either the parents or the bride or groom, disputes are likely in terms of the selection of music and how it should be organized.

In the case of parents who happen to be ex-entertainers, there is also the question of whether he or she should perform at the son’s or daughter’s wedding dinner. Well, in my opinion, as I have always felt, life is like acting out different roles in different situations. They are already in their special roles as hosts, so any popular demand for a performance, should just be one short and sweet number and leave the guests wanting for more! It should not outshine the event itself. But one thing, for sure, the generation gap is very real indeed. What the old man thinks is suitable is likely to be not, to the young man.

These days, unless restaurants are booked well in advance (as early as one year), some opted for wedding lunch instead. This is because of the insistence on having a particular restaurant’s good food. There is also the argument as to whether the venue or the food, which is more important. Some people prefer the ambience or the classy setup in a club or hotel banquet hall, knowing full well that the food is more costly yet unlikely to be as good as a specialist restaurant. They quite rightly put it that it is the occasion, which demands a good setting. Delicious food can be had on other occasions. I know of someone who insisted that food is paramount, whatever the occasion!

In some cases, both families decide to host at the same venue. Just the other day, someone commented that it is not advisable as there is always the possibility of angpows given to the wrong host! How to get it back?

I have attended one with two caterers, one from Batu Gajah and the other from Tronoh. The better one obviously catered for the host family and relatives and closer friends. If you happened to be in the other group, it is difficult not to feel slighted!

It is disappointing indeed to hear of complaints that catering staff of clubs and hotel restaurants are found to be dishonest in that they steal expensive alcoholic drinks. I have personally come across waiters who were slow in serving yet as soon as the dinner was over, they were quick to announce that all the drinks were finished! To overcome this problem, management should allow hosts the option to serve their own drinks. What good is company policy when they cannot ensure proper security?

One easy way out is to do what someone in Batu Gajah did, and that is to toast with champagne for the host table only! The guests were either provided with soft drinks and Chinese tea only, while alcoholic drinks had to be purchased individually from the hotel F&B ala British receptions, which is also the norm in hotel functions. Face-saving hosts would take the trouble to arrange for alcoholic drinks to be provided. Chinese usually have the mindset that if you want to play host, do it properly and not skimp.

One point, which most people agree on, is that the dinner function should be limited in size. Of course, politicians and businessmen, are known to host exceptionally big number of tables – a hundred or more! It is quite meaningless when the size of it means the host families cannot attend to each and everyone in toasting. One solution is to let the groom invite his friends while the parents invite only close relatives.

But then again, even close relatives are relative in terms of relationship. I have come across siblings not inviting each other for any occasion. Therefore, the old mentality of having to invite all relatives across the board seems irrelevant these days. My father believed that such occasions are best to keep in touch with relatives who were out of touch for years. But even my generation will think: if there were nothing in common, why bother?

If we consider the comments relating to angpows, then we should invite only those who are really sincere in wanting to attend. Much as we can state that there is no need for angpows, just come, ‘face’ will ensure the practice to continue for years to come. I really cannot stand certain people who said that angpows are like ‘saman’ yet would complain to friends that they looked down on him for not inviting.

Some better-organized dinners have prior seating arrangements and unless it is well backed up by efficient persons, it is likely to be unnecessary hassle and waste of time. Even with the best of intentions, the hosts cannot possibly think of who shall seat with who, in every case.

A relation’s wedding dinner was held at a better hotel in Ipoh. A local State Assemblyman was arranged to seat with other Pusing folks. Then when he noticed some MCA colleagues, he naturally asked to be seated with them instead. At another function, an amang factory owner told his host that they would seat according to their own arrangement because two of their fellow association members would rather be seated far apart!

There was once when someone in Batu Gajah had the dinner a hotel in Ipoh. To make it convenient for the guests, he arranged for chartered buses but made the big mistake of having the guests to pay for the fare!

After all that, I am none the wiser as there is no clear-cut formula to organizing a wedding function. Hopefully, when the time comes, my children will remain realistic and make do with minimum fuss, low cost and convenient to everybody. It depends also on their partners and their families!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Da Honeymoon Code

A newlywed couple returned to their apartment after being on their honeymoon.

"Care to go upstairs and do it?" the husband asked.

"Shh!" said the bride "All the neighbors will know what we're about to do. These walls are paper thin. In the future, we'll have to ask each other in code. For example, how about asking, 'Have you left the washing machine door open' instead?"

So, the following night, the husband asks, "I don't suppose you left the washing machine door open, did you?"

"No, I definitely shut it," replied the wife who rolled over and fell asleep.

When she woke up however, she was feeling a little frisky herself and she nudged her husband and said, "I think I did leave the washing machine door open after all. Would you like to do some washing?"

"No, thanks," said the husband. "It was only a small load so I did it by hand."

Back to basic alphabets

Original idea of the name Google?

Go-ogle

Alzheimer's disease?

Two guys, one old and one young, are pushing their carts around Home Depot when they collide.

The old guy says to the young guy, "Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."

The young guy says, "That's OK. It's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting desperate."

The old guy says, "Well, maybe we can help each other. What does your wife look like?"

The young guys says, "Well, she is 27 yrs. old, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, big boobs, and she's wearing tight white shorts. What does your wife look like?"

The old guy says, "Doesn't matter.....let's look for yours."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Is Malaysia ready for bicycle lifts?

How does a government encourage cycling when the roads are hilly and are difficult to climb? A Nordic country has the answer based on an amazingly simple physics principle. Not only does it aid cyclists, the system helps the older folks up the hill and can be used for other purposes too.

BH sent some pictures with the following comment:

Now, why can't we think of something practical like this for Malaysia? Our local authorities spend hundreds of thousands of ringgit for overseas educational tours and come back with nothing!





My comment: Judging from how pedestrians are being forced by shopkeepers and stalls to walk on the road, we should be lucky if our government can provide and enforce a dedicated cycling lane to encourage cyclists instead of motorists.

If any contraption is to be introduced it has to be more hightech and can be made to appear very expensive to make it worthwhile for politicians to consider.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Warren Buffet (second richest person in the world)

He behaves like an unassuming millionaire next door, though he is worth billions in US dollars. He stands out by being the most humble billionaire. I think no one would be jealous of his huge success.

1) He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!
(just wondering if he started a year earlier, whether he could have been the richest)

2) He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.
(cannot imagine today's kids doing the paper rounds, especially with their different time zones)

3) He still lives in the same small 3 bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
(now we know why some Chinese millionaires refused to move from their first house)

4) He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
(wonder what car he drives)

5) He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.
(Malaysia should welcome him instead of Soros, especially to give talks to our politicians)

6) His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
(so video conferencing is unnecessary)

7) He has given his CEO's only two rules. Rule number 1: do not lose any of your share holder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.
(ie. his money because he is the largest shareholder)

8) He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.
(how to make money from him?)

9) Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.

10) Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.
(no wonder Bill Gates thought he has nothing in common with him, apart from his wealth)

11) His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself.
( I agree, I just found out that an outstanding balance of 1.52 incurs penalty of 5.00 and if the cardholder is overseas, it accumulates. They would rather no action is being taken)

Goes to show how little our needs are, if only we lead a simple life.
But there is a belief that when one is in luck, one cannot even stop the force of money coming in!

Religious dog



"Our father who art in heaven, hello, what is your name..."

What a coincidence! The dog in the picture resembles ours, but influenced by the Muslim early morning Azan prayers. Every morning she howls trying to imitate. Pity she did not know how badly it turns out... like some karaoke singers!

South Indian Boy on his First Day at school in USA

It was the first day of school in America, and a new student named Chandrashekhar Subrahmanyam entered the fourth grade.

The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American History. Who said 'Give me Liberty , or give me Death'?" She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrashekhar, who had his hand up: "Patrick Henry, 1775" he said.

"Very good. Who said 'Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth'?"

Again, no response except from Chandrashekhar: "Abraham Lincoln, 1863" said Chandrashekhar.

The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrashekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about its history than you do."

She heard a loud whisper: "F**k the Indians."

"Who said that?" she demanded. Chandrashekhar put his hand up: "General Custer, 1862."

At that point, a student in the back said, "I'm gonna puke."

The teacher glares around and asks "All right! Now, who said that?" Again, Chandrashekhar says, "George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991."

Now furious, another student yells, "Oh yeah? S*ck this!" Chandrashekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, "Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"

Now with almost a mob hysteria someone said "You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you."

Chandrashekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, "Gary Condit to Chandra Levy, 2001."

The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, "Oh shit, we're f**ked!"

And Chandrashekhar said quietly, "George Bush, Iraq , 2005."

Forget about gender equality

Men and women are, by nature, just too different.

1. NAMES
If Jane , Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Jane , Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.
If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

2. EATING OUT
When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

3. MONEY
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

4. BATHROOMS
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

5. ARGUMENTS
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

6. CATS
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

7. FUTURE
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

8. SUCCESS
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

9. MARRIAGE
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.

10. DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

11. NATURAL
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

12. OFFSPRING - Ah, children.
A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

13. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The simplest of pleasures really are the best...

It's been a long while since I last felt good weather in Malaysia. But then again, one would expect, warm, gentle winds after more than two months of continuous Monsoon rain. It was during work when I decided to step outside of the cafe. Strangely enough, the wind that blew that day wasn't a violent gust of wind, which was usually a sign of a coming storm. Instead, the winds that passed through the area was no more than a whisper; something that could be heard, but still not strong or loud enough to put you off. I was so relaxed with the feeling of the wind, that my boss came out and asked me, "John, what are you doing?"

I looked at my boss, pondering the question before answering:

"I don't really know actually. I believe that I'm merely enjoying what little joy this world can offer me, lest I take it for granted."

I guess the old saying is true: "The simplest of pleasures really are the best pleasures in life". But I wonder, does it really apply to other people? Do people really take things for granted, or are most of us just looking at the wrong people and things at the wrong time?

John

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Taking my freedom a bit too far...


Britney Spears


Beat me, Spears!

Is it too short or too long?

Reality toys

A Lady goes to Toys R Us to buy a Barbie doll.

She tells the clerk that she needs to buy a Barbie but doesn't know what's available or price.

The clerk replies "We have Tennis Barbie and she's $28"

Lady asks "Well, anything else?"

"We have an equestrian Barbie, and she's $28".

Lady asks "Anything else?"

"Well, we have divorced Barbie and she's $250"

The lady replies "I don't understand why divorced Barbie is so expensive. The others were only $28. What is so special about divorced Barbie?"

The clerk replied "Simple, she comes with Ken's car, his house, and all his other stuff."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Report from Prague (Praha, Ceska Republika)

After two sunny but zero-temperature days, today in Prague is all clouds. Just as I was getting hopeful!

Prague is heaving with tourists this time of the year (maybe it's an all-year thing?). Many Americans, English, Italians, French, Germans and Japanese. Quite a few Aussies too. You get all sorts - teenage backpackers, middle-age tour groups, to thirty-something stag night blokes. I am glad that I stuck to my relatively isolated boathouse hostel by the River Vltava. It's 20 minutes by tram from the centre but I am enjoying the daily tram commute. It's quiet this time of the year (apparently it gets busy as the temperature rises) so I got a whole room to myself for the price of one bed! *wink*

The city is really pretty and rich in history, culture and art. I spent some time at the Prague Baroque and Mannerism (neo-Renaissance) Gallery, which exhibits paintings and sculptures collected by the eccentric and art-loving Habsburg King (who is also King of Bohemia), Rudolf II. It puts a lot of Prague's architecture in their respective context, e.g. a Baroque church reconstructed during the Counter-Reformation years compared to a Gothic church built a century earlier. By the way, the Catholics here won the war against the Protestants, although now, Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries in Europe.

I booked myself a ticket to a short ballet sketch before my trip. While cultural performances are relatively cheap here, I know of my less 'cultured' character that will prevent me from enjoying a full length opera, concert or ballet *wink*. So, I purposely selected a one-hour performance at the delightful 18th century Estates Theatre, where Mozart happened to premier his famous Don Giovanni opera.

Czechs on the streets have been friendly. Less so those who are actually in the service sector, maybe all these pesky tourists are starting to annoy them, hehe. There is a big Christmas market in the middle of the old town square. Like Germans, they like their pork sausages and beer a lot. Generally, prices here are not as cheap as they used to be (I call this 'Westernisation') although it is still cheap when compared with other West European capital/tourist cities. E.g. you get a grilled sausage and bun on the street for 1 euro, pay two euros extra and you get a warm meal in a cafeteria.

There are many crystal shops here, apparently Bohemian glass and crystal are world renowned. Garnets too, (at exorbitant tourist prices!). Slavonic souvenirs like matrioshka (nesting dolls) and Kafka-related memorabilia make up the standard souvenir shop.

Predictably, I brought a Kafka novel with me (The Trial). Halfway through, I am wondering if a full length Kafka novel is stretching the surreal context and mundane descriptions a bit. I've read shorter works of his that were enjoyable at that length. We will see...

Plans for today? Well, I have covered the main attractions: the castle and surrounding area, and old town plus the old Jewish Quarter. I will probably walk along the river today, take an extended tram ride around the city before going for my film at 5pm. Fortunately, films here are not dubbed like in Germany while cinema tickets are half the price of those in Luxembourg. Then it's back to my hostel to retrieve my big backpack before leaving for my Budapest bus at 10.30pm. I should arrive tomorrow morning at 6am.

Alright, that is all for now. Take care and will write soon.

lots of love
cheng

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Value the Present

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day today. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as
lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!

The clock is running. Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

Treasure every moment that you have!
Remember, time waits for no one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Update and Greetings from Luxembourg

Dearest!

Can't believe that it has been more than three months since my arrival at Differdange, a sleepy steel town in Luxembourg. Student life is a lot more demanding than before, but it has kept me motivated (if not more) in the research field of social policy. Perhaps, it was a true blessing in disguise to be located here instead of a bustling university campus or a big city *wink*. The research institute environment + sleepy town combination worked well to keep one focused on the course!

Anyhow, most of next term (February till April) will take place at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. I've just confirmed my dissertation topic, which deals mainly, with the 'coverage gap' of social protection in Western European countries. Personally, the research method itself is as interesting as the topic, so I do see myself focusing on quantitative (statistical) research for a while. Good news is, funding and work/study opportunities favour such research *grin* but of course, I would have to keep myself busy with applications as early as January next year.

My course-mates are an eclectic bunch, although there is a slight over-representation of Central and Eastern Europeans (Czech, Romanians, Bulgarians, Hungarian) and Italians (three out of 17). The rest are from Belgium, Vietnam, America, Turkey, China, Ecuador, and Kyrgyztan. Our common work and social space is at the 5th floor of the research institute. With that plus six hours of classes Monday to Friday, it's a surprise that we have not started getting on each other's nerves and launched World War III! ;P

For a visual inspection of a student's life in Luxembourg, visit: impalla0607.multiply.com
It gives a decent summary of what this term has been like, minus those sleepless nights working on a report, or mundane hours reading on applied data analysis. =.)

Before I rush off for my Christmas hols (starting on Thursday night when I board that Eurolines bus), I would like to wish you the *warmest* greetings for Christmas and the New Year wherever you will be... Have a great 2007!!!

Take care and keep in touch!

Lots of love from tiny Luxembourg,
Cheng

Monsoon Cup - Pic 2



From Malaysia Today... redirected...

Monsoon Cup - Pic 1



Lull before the storm?

No. Just Cambridge puntings.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why certain words are in English

In case we wonder why in Putrajaya, the Justice building is known as Palace of Justice instead of Istana Keadilan. It is a definite no-no, as it will glorify the opposition party.

Why Malaysian Government insists on using English for math and science?
This is because the whole world uses the language as an information and/or technology language. How dangerous it will be if we try to use Bahasa, especially in school. See example below:

Hardware = barangkeras
Software = baranglembut
Joystick = batang gembira
Plug and Play = cucuk dan main
Port = lubang
Server = pelayan
Client = pelanggan

Try to translate this into ENGLISH:

That server gives a plug and play service to the client using either hardware or software joystick. The joystick goes into the port of the client.

Now in BAHASA:

Pelayan itu memberi pelanggannya layanan cucuk dan main dengan menggunakan batang gembira jenis keras atau lembut. Batang gembira itu dimasukkan ke dalam lubang pelanggan.

Now you know...WHY.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dress code

A fleeing Al Qaeda guerilla, desperate for water, was plodding through the desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he walked toward the object, only to find a little old Jewish man at a small stand selling neckties.

The Arab asked, "Do you have water?"

The Jewish man replied, "I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5."

The Arab shouted, "Idiot Jew! Israel should not exist! I do not need an overpriced tie. I need water! I should kill you, but I must find water first."

"OK," said the old Jew, "it does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am bigger than that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a lovely restaurant. It has all the water you need. Shalom."

Muttering, the Arab staggered away over the hill.

Several hours later he staggered back, near collapse. "Your brother won't let me in without a tie."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cohones de Toro... (sometimes the bull wins...)

A big Texan cowboy stopped at a local restaurant following a day of drinking and roaming around in Mexico. While sipping his tequila, he noticed a sizzling, scrumptious looking platter being served at the next table.

Not only did it look good, the smell was wonderful. He asked the waiter, "What is that you just served?"

The waiter replied, "Ah senor, you have excellent taste! Those are bull's testicles from the bull fight this morning. A delicacy!"

The cowboy, though momentarily daunted, said, "What the heck, I'm on vacation down here! Bring me an order!"

The waiter replied, "I am so sorry senor. There is only one serving per day because there is only one bull fight each morning. If you come early tomorrow and place your order, we will be sure to save you this delicacy!"

The next morning, the cowboy returned, placed his order, and then that evening he was served the one and only special delicacy of the day.

After a few bites, and inspecting the contents of his platter, he called to the waiter and said, "These are delicious, but they are much, much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday!"

The waiter shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Si, Senor. Sometimes the bull wins."

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Tortoise and the Hare ...continue their race...

We all know this story don't we? Well, there is more to it.

The moral- "Slow and steady wins the race". This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with." THE STORY DOESN'T END HERE

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral - "Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady ". It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable. THE STORY DOESN'T END HERE

The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there's no way it can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. It thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed.

They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometres on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral - " First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit." THE STORY STILL HASN'T ENDED

Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could.

The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank.

There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier.

The moral - "It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well".

In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better. To sum up the story of the hare and tortoise has much to say:

Chief among them are that fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; and finally, compete against the situation - not against a rival.

(Perhaps this is a hint to our political leaders?)

Apartment To Let

A businessman met a beautiful girl and agreed to spend the afternoon with her for $500. They did their thing, and, before he left, he told her that he did not have any cash with him, but he would have his secretary write a cheque and mail it to her, calling the payment "RENT FOR APARTMENT"

On the way to the office, he regretted what he had done, realizing that the whole event had not been worth the price. So he had his secretary send a cheque for $250 and enclose the following typed note:

Dear Madam:
Enclosed please find a cheque for $250 for rent of your apartment. I am not sending the amount agreed upon, because when I rented the place, I was under the impression that:
#1 - it had never been occupied;
#2 - there was plenty of heat; and
#3 - it was small enough to make me feel cosy and at home.

However, I found out that it had been previously occupied, that there wasn't any heat, and that it was entirely too large."
Upon receipt of the note, the girl immediately returned the cheque for $250 with the following note:

Dear Sir:
First, I cannot understand how you could expect a beautiful apartment to remain unoccupied indefinitely. As for the heat, there is plenty of it, if you know how to turn it on. Regarding the space, the apartment is indeed of regular size, but if you don't have enough furniture to fill it, please do not blame the management.

Please send the rent in full or we will be forced to contact your present landlady.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

RIGHT? WRONG? DUNNO???

All through my life, my parents have always told me the same thing: "Life isn't easy...You have to work hard in order to obtain whatever it is you want....If you cut open a coin, you can see all the blood, sweat and tears that people put in it...".

Yeah....that kind of thing. It's not that I don't want to listen to the advice. I merely have different principles in the heresays of my daily activities. Like many people, I do what I think is right, not what the other person perceives to be right, as well as condemning my choice of actions. But then again, that age old question seems to pop up: What is right, and what is wrong? Not a very easy question to answer, eh? Heh......Such a simple question, yet such philosophical value it holds, doesn't it?

Anyway...

Recently I have manage to procure a full-time job for myself (at least until I get back into my term. You see, I'm actually a student) at a cafe/restaurant located within the suburbs of an area called Damansara Perdana. Never have I seen anything so posh; Two story condo units, garden equipped, a nursery....the whole works. "This is definitely the holy land for those rich bastards..." I thought to myself. But I digress.

I've only been there for a little over a week, and the Head Chef has been more than kind enough to teach me the tricks of the trade. One day, as I was serving a customer, this group of three walks in. As the place was short-handed, I was charged to see that every customer was to be served. As I ushered them to their seats, another member of their party comes just in the nick of time. And wouldn't you know it, it was a woman I knew. Even better, we had gone past third base some 4 months back! The conversation had gone a little something like this:

N: John!..........Where have you been?

Me: I work here. I'm a waiter here........

*Just then, one of the two guys in the group came up smiling at both me and her. Nice chap, introduced himself.*

H: Hey honey. You just got here?

N: Hey.....*kisses him*....yeah, I just got here. I was just talking to an old fla-friend.

Me: Hi. How do you do? I'm John. I'll be your waiter tonight. So....Um.....You are.......

N: John....This is H....he's my fiance.

Me: Oh.....alright. That's great. So...uh....how long you two been engaged?

H: Oh. About 5 months, going on 6 now. We tie the knot next February (he says this with the biggest smile I've ever seen)

At this point, my whole face went pale, and my body just shifted into a phase between torpor and shock. 5 months? I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it to some degree: I slept with an engaged woman! The only words that ran through my head was "Oh Dear God.....". Not wanting to make a scene, I quickly ushered them to their seats and served them accordingly. When they were leaving, she turned her head back as she walked off, arms around her fiance's, she silently moved her lips to form those words I hoped never to hear from her: "I'm sorry..."


I'm not the type to cry over something like this. However, I actually thought of some things. Was it wrong of me to actually act as though there was nothing wrong throughout the whole time I was serving them? Was it wrong of her to NOT tell me that she was engaged? Was it wrong of her to say sorry to me as she left? Then again, the more important question would be: Was it wrong of ME to have slept with an engaged woman?

John

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fanagrams

When you rearrange the following words:-

PRESBYTERIAN: BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER: MOON STARER

THE EYES: THEY SEE

THE MORSE CODE: HERE COME DOTS

SLOT MACHINES: CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY: IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

A DECIMAL POINT: IM A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES: THAT QUEER SHAKE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO: TWELVE PLUS ONE

and finally:

MOTHER-IN-LAW: WOMAN HITLER

Yep! Useless information from someone with nothing better to do!!

In Hokien: Cheah Pah Siu Eng.

Pennywise, pound foolish?

There was a small boy who, when walking down the street one
day, found a bright copper penny. He was so excited that he
found money and it didn't cost him anything. This experience
led him to spend the rest of his days walking with his head
down, eyes wide open, looking for treasure.

During his lifetime he found 296 pennies, 48 nickels, 19
dimes, 16 quarters, 2 half dollars and one crinkled dollar
bill. For a total of $13.96.

He got money for nothing. Except that he missed the
breathless beauty of 31,369 sunsets, the colorful splendor
of 157 rainbows, the fiery beauty of hundreds of maples
nipped by autumn's frost. He never saw white clouds drifting
across blue skies, shifting into various wondrous formations.
Birds flying, sun shining, and the smiles of a thousand
passing people are not a part of his memory.

Who do you know that is living like this? Head is bent
down, burdened with trivial things, afraid of pain and
criticism and fear of things that never happen hoping to
find that copper penny...for nothing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Value in our 1 sen (cent) coins?

A couple of weeks ago I was unfortunate enough to get stung by both a bee and hornet while working in the garden. My arm swelled up so off to the doctor I went. The clinic gave me cream and an antihistamine.

The next day the swelling was getting progressively worse so off to my regular doctor I went. Infected arm - needed an antibiotic. What was interesting is what the Dr. told me.

The next time you get stung put a penny on the bite for 15 minutes. I thought, wow, next time (if there ever is one) I will try it.

I was helping my wife deadhead her flowers in the back yard and guess what, I got bitten again, two times by hornets on my left hand. I was ticked. I thought,
here I go again, off to the doctor for yet another antibiotic.

I then recalled what the doctors said and went into the house, got my money out, and taped two pennies to the bites on my hand and sat and sulked for 15
minutes.

Guess what! The penny took the sting out of the bite immediately. I still wasn't sure what was going to happen.

The next morning I would only see the spot where he had got me. No redness, no swelling.

I just wanted to share this marvellous information in case any of you experience the same problem at your home. The Dr. said the copper in the penny somehow counteracts the bite.

I would never have believed it but it definitely does work for me.


~ from Beng

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blind dwarf?



Q. What are the small bumps around a woman's nipples for?

This blind dwarf seems to be in the process of finding out.

A: It's Braille for "suck here".

I beg your pardon?



This reminds me of this Teochew woman in Jalan Ipoh, KL, who actually asks for Rm1!This happened 12 years ago.

Then there was this man who saw my change (a few Rm1 and coins) on the table while I was at the same location (hawker site next to playground at 3rd mile, Jalan Ipoh) who told me that he could have taken them instead of asking!

Recently, in Pusing, Perak, I was most amused when this woman who used to beg with her son (still do, even though he is now almost an adult), came with a cute looking pedigree dog (looks like, but bigger than a Chihuahua). The coffee-shop proprietor told me that she paid Rm500 for it! He added that when her son was a baby, her collections in KL, ran into thousands a month!

Anyway, these days, most people refuse to give any because of the bad publicity, especially those who collect big portions of commission for charity and those who pretend to be monks or nuns. There are those who feel good after giving, in which case, it suits both giver and taker!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dilbert on Albert

After getting even with Steven, it is now Albert’s turn. My good friend used to be called by that name…

Boss: “Dilbert, meet Albert. He’s old. But I like to call him experienced.”
“I’m trying to win an award for being one of the best places to work if you have one foot in the grave.”

Albert: “I’m only 54. I ran a marathon yesterday.”

Boss: “I asked the cafeteria to stock up on food that’s easy to gum.”

Boss: “Asok. This is Albert. He’s old but we need to call him mature.”
“Explain to him what the computers are. But don’t let him touch anything. The elderly like to fiddle.”

Albert: “I was chip designer in my last job.”

Boss: “Really? Chocolate or poker?”

An advertisement in the Atlanta Journal attracts...

"SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant.

I'm a very goodlooking girl who LOVES to play. I love taking long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying in front of the fireplace. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand.

I'll be at the front door when you come home from work; wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy. I'll be waiting....."

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old black Labrador Retriever.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wake me up before you go - go ...

There was a man named George who got a new job. His fellow employees always met for a round of golf every Saturday. They asked George to meet them at 10:00 Saturday morning. George replied that he would love to meet them, but he may be 6 minutes late.

On Saturday morning George was there at exactly 10:00. He golfed right handed and won the round.

Following Saturday rolls around, and George says that he will be there, but he may be 6 minutes late again. He shows up right on time, golf's left handed, and wins the round.

This continues for the next few weeks, with George always saying that he may be 6 minutes late, and then always winning the round golfing, either left or right handed. The other employees are getting tired of this, and decided to ask him what the deal was.

They said, "George, every Saturday you say you may be six minutes late. You never are. Then you show up and golf with either right handed or left handed, and always win. What is up with that?"

George replies, "Well, I am a very superstitious kind of guy. Every Saturday when I wake up, I look over at my wife. If she is sleeping on her left side, I golf left handed. If she is sleeping on her right side, I golf right handed."

"Well," one of the employees questioned, "What happens if she is laying on her back?"

George replies, "Then I am 6 minutes late."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Suggested design for hand luggage?



Guaranteed to delay your flight!

Binary logic

A female secretary was helping her new boss set up his computer and asked him what word he would like to use as a password to log in with.

Wanting to embarrass his new secretary a bit and let her know where they stood, he smugly told her to enter 'penis.'

Without blinking or saying a word, she entered the password.

She then almost died laughing at the computer's response:

PASSWORD REJECTED. NOT LONG ENOUGH!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

True love?

A man had two great tickets for the Football Cup final.

As he sits down, another man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him. "No", he says, "the seat is empty".

"This is incredible!" said the man, "who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the FA cup final, the biggest sporting event in the year, and not use it?"

He says, "well, actually, the seat belongs to me. My wife was supposed to come with me, but she passed away. This is the first Cup Final we haven't been together since we got married".

"Oh ... I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. I guess you couldn't find someone else, a friend or relative or even a neighbour to take the seat?"


The man shakes his head... "No. They're all at her funeral".

Monday, November 13, 2006

Denial of the power of prayer?

The story is told of a man who got a permit to open the first tavern in a small town. The members of a local church were strongly opposed to the bar, so they began to pray that God would intervene.

A few days before the tavern was scheduled to open, lightning hit the structure and it burned to the ground. The people of the church were surprised but pleased- until they received notice that the would-be tavern owner was suing them.

He contended that their prayers were responsible for the burning of the building. They denied the charge.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the judge wryly remarked:

"At this point I don't know what my decision will be, but it seems that the tavern owner believes in the power of prayer and these church people don't."

Sign of the time



A suggested sign for JKR instead of the smiling cartoon figures used at North-South Expressway.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Prisoner in my own house

Gone are the days when I can just open the door and walk out to the garden or to open the gate to drive out a car.

Now I am being closely watched by canine and recently, feline police.

Our dogs look forward to their sugar-coated cream crackers every morning. In a way, it is easy for us to lead them to the next house compound through a little gate before I drive out the car.

With the addition of two new kittens, I have to deal with them in the right order ie. get the dogs over to the next door before giving some food or milk to the kittens. Animals get jealous easily over attention and food. No matter how close they are, they tend to fight over food.

Every morning, as I walk down the wooden steps, I can see the dogs and kittens waiting eagerly for me to open the door. They are so impatient that I have to get the food ready in the right order without having to go back into the house for it. After the dogs and cats, I will feed the fishes, which are relatively undemanding. Still, I can sense their anticipation when I go near the aquarium or the big oval-shaped clay container.

I noticed the kittens would wait at a corner of the house where they can see both the side door and the kitchen window for my action. They can reach the back door before I can count to 5 because of the short-cuts under the cupboards and cabinets outside the house.

I told my wife, it is like having to pay tolls just to get out of the house! But in a way, it is nice to feel we are wanted too, though it is more for the food than anything! The male kitten, which used to be overly scared of me, is now the more affectionate one. He will play with my feet or sometimes, just stretch himself on the floor, expecting me to touch him. My wife thinks he is more intelligent as he knows the boundary when we are in the house with the door open. Whereas, the female kitten will just rush in given the slightest chance.

I have just added 5 little local koi (carp) measuring about 3 inches each, which I bought for Rm10. I have asked the pet-shop man and he thinks I can have them in the big “harmtan kong” without a pump and filter. With this type of fish, we have to think of the size they get to after a few months. If I can rear them so easily, then it really took me a number of years experimenting with different types like gold fish, before I realized it! Without great expense, I get to enjoy a few koi swimming in the container. It makes no difference to me whether they are the expensive kind.

Before this, I was contented with some swordfish and guppies, which require minimum attention. I was telling myself that I get to enjoy fishes swimming though on a much smaller scale.

In our rat race, I think those who spend time to enjoy what they have, lead a more meaningful life than those who spend time acquiring wealth but have no time to stop and enjoy what they have.

Three of our neighbours rear chickens in their backyards and we would be telling a lie if we say we are happy about it, with the bird flu and so on. They are being selfish in the sense that they built a fence within their backyards putting the chickens away from their own houses. The chickens are nearer us than them! Our kitchen is only ten feet away from the chickens but fortunately, we are a level higher.

I am used to the cockcrows at all times of the day, not necessarily only in the morning. But it was when my remisier and other friends told me about the crows that I realized I cannot pretend to be living in a classy location!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

London: The Melting Pot

Traveling around the city of London on a particular Saturday afternoon, one realizes the difficulties of finding an appropriate parking space. There are an abundance of lots available, but which average working class income earner would consider £1 for 15 minutes? The obvious question would then come into play, how long would a group of travelers consider staying within the limits of central London with their car considering you can have a day pass for £4.90 per person which virtually offers you a selection of the entire underground network as well as the buses all that come under the authority of the Transport for London. Makes more sense?

Under this system one can see the monopoly that the TfL has created through its Oyster Card. Currently there are talks of increasing the prices of single travel from £3 to £4 so as to increase the usage of Oyster Cards but the darker side of the topic would be the long term effect of more TfL staff being ousted from their jobs as the system becomes fully automated? Currently with the opening of entry from citizens of East Europe to the UK, London has undergone another round of transformation with increase in unemployment and social economic drawbacks.

Previously employees in any of the Chinese restaurants across London would easily earn something close to £300/week on average, but with the inclusion of a new pocket of fresh, eager and willing to work for much less, employees, there has been somewhat a backlash on the earning power. Now some of the employees of the above mentioned restaurants still work their lives away at 60+ hours per week for a measly £180/week.

With the influx of workforce so has there been a huge increase in demand for accommodation throughout Central and many parts of Greater London. Yet there still seems to be stories sold throughout the population in Malaysia about how much a better life one can expect coming to work in the UK. No doubt the pound has strengthened much against the RM but does it justify the logic of transporting oneself into the melting pot? If the government of UK were to be believed, new countries whose citizens will be accepted into the workforce would face lengthy procedures or qualification checks before being allowed into the country. If that happens, then what of those who travel from Malaysia?

Even being here in the country, after a lot of hassle, how would one open a bank account? Without a bank account, one’s existence in the UK is equivalent to one without a right arm. To be qualified to open a bank account, one needs proof of address, which most likely means a bill of council tax, electricity or water bills and even BT telecom bill with the applicants name on it. And along with a passport with permit to entry into the UK which obviously is the main failure once one decides to jump the plane?.

Failing these procedures, one would be without a bank account and then where would that person store his/her hard earned £? With all the effects of staff being laid off, entry of cheap labour from the Eastern European cousins and illegal immigrants being squeezed by both sides of their terrible predicament, one can imagine how much change London would be facing in terms of the social and economic welfare of its residents.

It is without doubt that London is becoming a melting pot.

Beng

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What a relief!



Sorry folks. With strong protest from owner of the earlier picture, I had to take it out and replace with this, which seems apt for the title too.

It reminds me of my brother-in-law whose Chinese name means 'sui harng' or 'forceful water'!

Luxembourg: "So small yet so difficult"

It is a long weekend once again. While half the group are in Paris or back in their home countries, I took the initiative to plan another group trip to the north of Luxembourg.

This time it was Esch-sur-Sûre, a tiny village along River Sûre with a castle ruin atop the hill. The Haute Sûre national park was next door and resplendent with autumn colours and dark green pine trees.

Getting there was problematic with irregular buses (which ran from 2 to 4 hours apart from one another) from the nearest train stations. Worst still, there was a lot of confusion and ignorance on the bus schedule from the people who should know, e.g. bus drivers themselves.

Anyway, the six of us were in an adventurous mood by the time we got to Esch. After seeking some useful directions from the tourist information office, we set off for a 7km walk along the river and reservoir to a village named Insenborn. Exhausted, but satisfied with our hike, we had some drinks in a local pub, leisurely expecting to catch the last bus at 6.50pm to the train station. It did not come, after all.

Apparently, they have discontinued the service and none of us had enough French proficiency to read the notice on the bus stop. Without much options (the train station was 25 km away), we kindly asked the pub owner to call a taxi for us. Each 15 Euros poorer and one hour later than scheduled, we finally arrived at Differdange at 10pm.

Claudiu from Romania aptly described tonight's lesson as, "Luxembourg, so small yet so difficult".

Report from Cheng

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My visit to Parliament House revisited

I was reading Malaysiakini’s letters dated Oct 26, which included one titled, ‘Income tax department too much’ by MSY. At the bottom were some letters relating to income tax matters. I thought one looked familiar, ‘Income tax laws archaic’, clicked, and was pleasantly surprised that it was my letter dated Oct 7, 2003!

It not only brought back memories of my one and only visit to Parliament House, a guided tour by YB Fong Po Kuan, but reminded me of a subject, ‘Hark Sing’ which I meant to post.

‘Hark Sing’ in Cantonese literally means ‘black star’ and I was wondering if my visit then meant I was one to some people. It refers to someone who brings bad luck to people he meets or something to that effect. The power that I wield!

The tour involved sitting by myself in the public gallery, away from a group of students and some other individuals, while YB Fong was taking part in the parliamentary session.

During lunch break, I joined her at the canteen where I met YB Theresa Kok. Then I was introduced to YB Wong Kam Hoong who was having lunch with YB Sothinathan, to discuss another matter which I complained about: the compulsory course for company directors, which was under Wong’s ministry then. He assured me that they would not take action against those who did not attend.

Before the afternoon session started, Po Kuan took me to the library. On the way, we saw YB Thong Fah Chong, at one of the sitting area along the corridor. He was then MP for Ipoh Timur (YB Lim Kit Siang is the present MP). She introduced to me, not directly but within hearing distance, that he is the MP for Ipoh Timur. He was obviously not particularly keen to know me as he actually turned and walked back towards the sofa!

In the library, while I was reading a book, in walked a lady whom I recognized as YB Tan Yee Kew. She sat a table away, facing me.

I could not remember at which point in time she took me to the Opposition’s Operations Centre and generally introduced me as a visitor from Batu Gajah. Call me sensitive if you like, as I was sitting on a sofa, facing the entrance to the Opposition Leader’s room, I sensed the door facing me being closed, obviously I was not supposed to be privy to some discussions which the then Opposition leader, YB Hadi Awang was seen in the room with a few others.

Honestly, I could not remember the sequence of events but out of the few people I met or had close encounter with on that day, both Thong Fah Chong and Hadi Awang lost in the general elections, MIC’s Sothinathan was suspended for openly criticizing a government policy, and MCA’s Tan Yee Kew was also suspended over showing a tape on sensitive party matters!

This is just one of my reflections over the coincidences. I got to know Po Kuan, AFTER she was suspended for six months, when I wrote a letter to express my appreciation for the principled stand she took and to offer encouragement and moral support.

However, I would like to think my letter to Malaysiakini in 2003 was one of the inputs, after Po Kuan’s raising of the matter, which resulted in the separate tax returns for husband and wife that we get since 2004! No booing please. I need some encouragement too!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Optical illusion or freedom of expression?


A couple of days ago, a friend sent me some pictures titled ‘body-art’.

At the Sunday market, I found a vcd on Woodstock 1999. Some of the topless women were painted in a similar fashion. What a coincidence.

I found clips of some of the women and men who were topless and bottomless amusing and the whites were used to them. But I still could not get over the last performance in the vcd showing a blonde male guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, stark naked with only his guitar over his private part. When they finished the song, it was shown clearly that he was in fact naked! Fast forward to now, I wonder what else to shock the audience.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Can cold water really clean dishes?

This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Georgia. After spending a great evening chatting the night away, John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. However, John noticed a filmlike substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, "Are these plates clean?"

His grandfather replied, "They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!"

For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, "Are you sure these plates are clean?"

Without looking up the old man said, "I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get em. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear 'nother word about it!"

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass. John yelled, "Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car".

Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted, "COLDWATER, GO LAY DOWN!!!!"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lesson from the animal kingdom

A lion woke up one morning feeling really rowdy and mean. He went out and cornered a small monkey and roared,"Who is mightiest of all jungle animals?"

The trembling monkey says, "You are, mighty lion! Later, the lion confronts a ox and fiercely bellows,"Who is the mightiest of all jungle animals?"

The terrified ox stammers, "Oh great lion, you are the mightiest animal in the jungle!"

On a roll now, the lion swaggers up to an elephant and roars,"Who is mightiest of all jungle animals?"

Fast as lightning, the elephant snatches up the lion with his trunk, slams him against a tree half a dozen times leaving the lion feeling like it'd been run over by a safari wagon. The elephant then stomps on the lion till it looks like a corn tortilla and ambles away.

The lion lets out a moan of pain, lifts his head weakly and hollers after the elephant -"Just because you don't know the answer, you don't have to get so upset about it!"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Malaysian apathy

A lady medical GP was walking from Ipoh’s famous white coffee shop to her house somewhere opposite Casuarina Hotel. She walked on a slippery 5-footway (not properly cleaned by a night hawker), slipped and fell backwards. To prevent her head from hitting the ground, she bruised her palms. She felt giddy and tried to get help. It was too early in the morning.

She walked across the road to Maybank. A Chinese man came out after using ATM, ignored her request to use his handphone. A Malay couple came out also ignored her. She went into the building and asked the security guard who pointed her to a public phone nearby. She gave him Rm1 and got 60 sen in coins to make a call to her husband.

In retrospect, she thought it must be because of the way she was dressed for morning walk which included a hat and sleeves to cover her hands. But still, it showed how much our society lacks in offering help, especially to a lady in distress. But then again, could it be because those three just came out from using ATM and are generally suspicious of anyone nearby?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Letter from Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri

A taxpayer called up the LHDN (Inland Revenue Board) in Terengganu, and asked for Form B.

The LHDN clerk who answered the call asked for the address to send the form to.

The conversation goes:

LHDN Clerk: "Boleh bagi alamat encik?" (Can you give me your address?)

Taxpayer: "Hantar ke Ranhill Worley." (Send to Ranhill Worley)

LHDN Clerk: "Ranhill... eja macam mana?" (err... How to spell Ranhill?)

Taxpayer: "R.. for Rumah... A for Ayam.. N for Nangka... H for Holland... I for itik... L for lain-lain...." (spelling)

LHDN Clerk: "Ok.. nanti kami hantar ke alamat tu" (OK, we will send to that address...)

After waiting for a week, the form arrived - and the address on the envelope shows:-

EN. ADLI BIN ISMAIL
RANHILL - Rumah Ayam N.Holland Itek Lain Worley Sdn. Bhd.
10A, Tkt 1, Bangunan Permint
Bandar Baru Seri Kerteh
24300 KERTEH, TRG.

Friday, October 06, 2006

He goes or cat goes

Self-righteous lawyer

A very wealthy man, old and desperately ill, summons to his bedside his three closest advisors: his doctor, his priest, and his lawyer.

'I know,' he says, 'they say 'you can't take it with you.' But who knows? Suppose they're mistaken. I'd like to have something with me, just in case. So I am giving each of you an envelope containing one hundred thousand dollars and I would be grateful if at my funeral you would put the envelopes in my coffin, so that if it turns out that it's useful, I'll have something.'

They each agree to carry out his wish.

Sure enough, after just a few weeks, the old man passes away. At his funeral, each of the three advisors is seen slipping something into the coffin.

After the burial, as the three are walking away together, the doctor turns to the other two and says, 'Friends, I have a confession to make. As you know, at the hospital we are desperate because of the cutbacks in funding. Our CAT SCAN machine broke down and we haven't been able to get a new one. So, I took $20, 000 of our friend's money for a new CAT SCAN and put the rest in the coffin as he asked.'

At this the priest says, 'I, too have a confession to make. As you know, our church is simply overwhelmed by the problem of the homeless. The needs keep increasing and we have nowhere to turn. So I took $50, 000 from the envelope for our homeless fund and put the rest in the coffin as our friend requested.'

Fixing the other two in his gaze, the lawyer says 'I am astonished and deeply disappointed that you would treat so casually our solemn undertaking to our friend. I want you to know that I placed in his coffin my personal cheque for the full one hundred thousand dollars.'

Consult-ants' Time & Motion study

A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization.

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well, "he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Add-a-sen Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we could save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent.

I asked, "After you get it out, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Refined lady from the South

Two nicely dressed ladies happen to start up a conversation during an endless wait in the LAX airport. The first lady was an arrogant California woman married to a wealthy man. The second was a well-mannered elderly woman from the South.

When the conversation centered on whether they had any children the California woman started by saying, "When my first child was born, my husband built a beautiful mansion for me."

The lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"

The first woman continued, "When my second child was born, my husband bought me a beautiful Mercedes-Benz."

Again, the lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"

The first woman continued boasting, "Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet."

And again, the Southern lady commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"

The first woman then asked the Southern lady, "What did your husband buy for you when you had your first child?"

"My husband sent me to charm school," declared the Southern lady.

"Oh my God! What on earth for?", asked the first woman.

The Southern lady responded, "Well for example, instead of saying "Who gives a sh*t?" I learned to say, "Well, isn't that precious?"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fast forward 20 years


Our jam session might look like this.

By the way, the picture shows BB King in Luxembourg recently.

Reality menu

From cartoon strip “Bizarro” by Dan Piraro:

Man in office going through fast food he bought:-

“Heart attack with extra cheese, heart attack with bacon, double bypass no pickles, ---hey! Where’s my diabetes and large stroke?”

I can imagine Kosongcafe will live up to its name if I design the menu as such!

“Could you pass the blood pressure booster please?”

Friday, September 29, 2006

Vow of Silence … relatively speaking

There's a monastery where the monks have taken a vow of silence.

But at a special dinner every year, one monk is allowed to say one thing.

So one year at this dinner, one monk stood up and said, "I really enjoy the mashed potatoes they serve here at the monastery." And he sat down.

At the following year's dinner, another monk stood up and said, "I hate the mashed potatoes they serve here at the monastery." And he sat down.

The next year after that, the head monk stood up and said, "I'm sick and tired of the constant bickering."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Everything happens for a reason...

Dear Husband,

I'm writing you this letter to tell you that I'm leaving you for good.

I've been a good woman to you for seven years and I have nothing to show for it.

These last two weeks have been hell. Your boss called to tell me that you had quit your job today and that was the last straw.

Last week, you came home and didn't notice that I had gotten my hair and nails done, cooked your favorite meal and even wore a brand new negligee. You came home and ate in two minutes, and went straight to sleep after watching the game.

You don't tell me you love me anymore, you don't touch me or anything. Either you're cheating or you don't love me anymore, whatever the case is, I'm gone.

Signed Your Ex-Wife

P.S. If you're trying to find me, don't. Your brother and I are moving away to West Virginia together! Have a great life!


Dear Ex-Wife

Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter.

It's true that you and I have been married for seven years, although a good woman is a far cry from what you've been.

I watch sports so much to try to drown out your constant nagging. Too bad that doesn't work.

I did notice when you cut off all of your hair last week, the first thing that came to mind was "You look just like a man!" My mother raised me not to say anything if you can't say anything nice.

When you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with MY BROTHER, because I stopped eating pork seven years ago.

I went to sleep on you when you had on that new negligee because the price tag was still on it. I prayed that it was a coincidence that my brother had just borrowed fifty dollars from me that morning and your negligee was $49.99.

After all of this, I still loved you and felt that we could work it out. So when I discovered that I had hit the lotto for ten million dollars, I quit my job and bought us two tickets to Jamaica. But when I got home you were gone.

Everything happens for a reason I guess. I hope you have the fulfilling life you always wanted.

My lawyer said with your letter that you wrote, you won't get a dime from me. So take care.

Signed Rich as Hell and Free

P.S. I don't know if I ever told you this but Carl, my brother, was born Carla. I hope that's not a problem.

Double-speak

A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a reward was offered for his capture, and an enterprising Texas ranger decided to track him down.

After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, and said, "You're under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I'll blow your brains out."

But the bandit didn't speak English, and the Ranger didn't speak Spanish. Fortunately, a bilingual lawyer was in the saloon and translated the Ranger's message. The terrified bandit blurted out, in Spanish, that the loot was buried under the oak tree in back of the cantina.

"What did he say?" asked the Ranger.

The lawyer answered, "He said 'Get lost, you turkey. You wouldn't dare shoot me.'"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fai Wah

In Hong Kong, “fai wah” means useless, redundant or unnecessary talk.

Examples are: when you come home and your wife said, "you're back."; when you are eating and a friend came along and said, "having breakfast?"; when you are jacking up your car and someone came along and asked, "tyre puncture?"; when you are obviously fat and a friend said, "you are fat now." and so on. The following are from the internet:-

1. People who point at their wrist while asking for the time.... I know where my watch is pal, where the hell is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?

2 People who are willing to get off their ass to search the entire room for the T.V. remote because they refuse to walk to the T.V. and change the channel manually.

3 When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". Damn right! What good is cake if you can't eat it?

4 When people say "it's always the last place you look". Of course it is. Why the hell would you keep looking after you've found it? Do people do this? Who and where are they? Gonna Kick their asses!

5 When people say while watching a film "did you see that?". No Loser, I paid $12 to come to the cinema and stare at the damn floor.

6 People who ask, "Can I ask you a question?".... Didn't really give me a choice there, did you sunshine?

7. When something is 'new and improved!'. Which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it, couldn't be new.

8 When people say "life is short". What the hell?? Life is the longest damn thing anyone ever does!! What can you do that's longer?

9 When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks "Has the bus come yet?". If the bus came would I be standing here, dumb ass?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mexican red herring

Juan comes up to the Mexican border on his bicycle. He's got two large bags over his shoulders. The guard stops him and says, "What's in the bags?"

"Sand," answers Juan.

The guard says, "We'll just see about that ~ get off the bike." The guard takes the bags and rips them apart; he empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains Juan overnight and has the sand analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags.

The guard releases Juan, puts the sand into new bags, hefts them onto the man's shoulders, and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The guard asks, "What have you got?"

"Sand," says Juan.

The guard does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to Juan, who crosses the border on his bicycle.

This sequence of events was repeated every week for three years. Finally, Juan doesn't show up one day and the guard meets him in a cantina in Mexico.

"Hey, Buddy," says the guard, "I know you are smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. It's all I think about. I can't sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?"

Juan sips his beer and says, "Bicycles."

Friday, September 22, 2006

In the hospital ward, the head nurse rules...

When you're hospitalized, it pays to be nice to your nurse, even when you're feeling miserable.

A bossy businessman learned the hard way after ordering his nurses around as if they were his employees. But the head nurse stood up to him.

One morning she entered his room and announced, "I have to take your temperature."

After complaining for several minutes, he finally settled down, crossed his arms and opened his mouth.

"No, I'm sorry, the nurse stated, "but for this reading, I can't use an oral thermometer."

This started another round of complaining, but eventually he rolled over and bared his bottom. After feeling the nurse insert the thermometer, he heard her announce, "I have to get something. Now you stay just like that until I get back!"

She left the door to his room open on her way out, and he cursed under his breath as he heard people walking past his door laughing.

After almost an hour, the man's doctor came into the room. "What's going on here?" asked the doctor.

Angrily, the man answered, "What's the matter, Doc? Haven't you ever seen someone having their temperature taken?"

"Yes," said the doctor. "But never with a carnation."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lament of an unemployable...

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn’t have any patience.

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn’t concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn’t hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn’t suited for it – mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

Next, I tried to be a chef – figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn’t have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard.


Next was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn’t fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn’t live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

So then I got a job in a workout centre, but they said I wasn’t fit for the job.

My best job was as a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian – until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, I tried retirement and found that I’m perfect for the job.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Today is the best day

We sat on the swing enjoying the warm summer air, truly without a care in the world. Cody, my 6-year-old nephew laughed, as he swung higher than me. His laugh made me smile.

Afterwards, we went for a walk, looking at the gardens. As we were walking, Cody looked up at me and said, "Today is the best day!" I smiled at him and replied, "Yes, it is a great day."

I then started thinking about what had we done that day? We didn't really do anything special; there was nothing that we did that cost any money. It was a simple day...one where we talked, went for walks, and swung on the swing. So often, we wait for our "best days" without realizing that "today is our best day". Or we say, "when I get this", or, "if only this", or, "when I have more money, I will", and we forget to live every day, enjoying today.

We should be more like children; they truly live in the moment! They don't need expensive things to make them happy; they don't use the phrase, "if only", or, "when I get this",or, "when I have more money".

There is a saying, "Carpe Diem" which means, "Seize the Day". As we get older, we need to remember this saying and enjoy each and every day. Keep your child like attitude of "living each moment to its fullest"!

Monday, September 18, 2006

You are only as old as you feel

A rubber smallholder heard about replanting grants by RISDA obtained by a friend. Not to be left out, he asked another friend to take him to Kuala Kangsar office to enquire.

The lady officer checked his file and said that his land had been given twice already. To be eligible, he needs to wait another three years.

He replied that in that case, he would come back three years’ time. The lady noticed that he is not young and asked how old is he.

He replied 85!

My mother-in-law is 87, and she still insists on making decisions on acquiring small estates! She still comes to the factory almost every working day and sits on a high chair with wheels, overseeing the workers operating the machines!

One day, a visitor came looking for her son and asked for the boss. She overheard the accounts clerk telling him that the boss has gone out. She told us, how could she say that when I am the boss and I was sitting there! When people asked her where she is working, doesn’t she say she is working for me?

So it is not surprising that our ex-PM, only 81, is not about to let go of what is happening in Malaysia.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

ABS or Amish Braking System

An Amish lady is in her horse buggy, trotting down the road when she is pulled over by a cop.

Ma'am, I'm not going to ticket you, but I do have to issue you a warning. You have a broken reflector on your buggy.

Oh, I'll let my husband know as soon as I get home.

That's fine. Another thing, ma'am, I don't like the way that one rein loops across the horse's back and around one of his balls. I consider that animal abuse. That's cruelty to animals. Have your husband take care of that right away!

Later that day, the lady is home telling her husband about her encounter with the cop.

Well, dear, what exactly did he say?

He said the reflector is broken. I can fix that in two minutes. What else?

I'm not sure, Jacob ... something about the emergency brake...

Interesting facts a.k.a. useless information

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)

The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace.


"Obsession" is the most popular boat name requested by boat owners.

Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were invented by women.

Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.

Father's Day is the day which has more collect calls than any other day of the year.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.