10 May 2008

I had dinner at the café at Prive on Keppel Island last night. The service staff was attentive but the place had minor process problems where the food came irregularly and Brian still hadn't gotten his dish when the rest of us had finished. My pasta dish was only so-so.

09 May 2008

Pulau Ubin XVIII

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Pulau Ubin XVII

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Hooverphonic has apparently left Song/BMG and is not without a label. Their new album, 'The President of the LSD Golf Club' is going for USD 51+ on Amazon!

It is going to be a problem securing this album at a reasonable cost. Pity.
It's Friday! YESYESYES!

I need focus.

I suppose the closure of the Singapore Network in Facebook is a good thing. It was distracting due to a variety of silly reasons.

08 May 2008

Pulau Ubin XVI

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Pulau Ubin XV

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Pulau Ubin XIV

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Likewise, I was quite surprised to bump into Kien Seng on the eve of Labour day. It had been years since I last saw him.
I was quite surprised to bump into good ol' Shoggoth (Corrinne) on the train on Tuesday night. I was on my way to Borders then.
Is a last throw of the dice going to avail when the rules have been changed?
A large number of people simply don't understand sunk costs. Sure, I don't like giving up or quitting. However, if the effort is futile and nothing more can be achieved, why continue to throw money or effort or time into it? It's a sunk cost. Lost.

06 May 2008

I realised that we aren't very good at remembering our past

Little Fish, a modern day incarnation of Horatio Nelson, uttered these immortal words* in a poignant post about remembrance. Little Fish had pontificated on the decommissioning of our older warships, the TNC-45 missile fast attack craft. His sentiments that as a people we were not good at remembering the past were quite similar to my thoughts when I was flipping through a newly purchased book, 'Over Singapore 50 Years ago: An aerial view of Singapore in the 1950s', a week or so ago. The book had featured black-and-white 1957-58 aerial photographs of an earlier Singapore. These wondrous images were, of course, of a different era, that of a overcrowded city in the heady days of rebuilding in a postwar world, amidst a crumbling colonial empire.

I bought this book when I spotted it on a shelf in the gift shop when I visited the Changi Chapel Museum on Sunday. A little earlier, I had sighted the Johore Battery for the first time ever. That clumsy reconstruction was tucked in a little road between wire fences in the midst of prison camps.

I envisioned the places I had visited in my childhood of the mid-seventies and thought of the transformation the urban landscape or mindscapes if you would, had undergone since the 1950s. I was, reminded of the changes that Bukit Timah Road, Orchard Road and Raffles Place had undergone since. I realised that the number of books of pictorials such as that depicting the cityscape of my childhood in the seventies and early eighties were far and few.

Are there no dedicated volumes depicting the sixties, seventies and eighties? Even as we race towards the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the nineties have largely receded into faint memories for most. Most of the young that I know would regard history as boring or irrelevant. I guess as a forward looking people, not bound by much ideology** besides that of realism or hindered by the baggage of history***, there is little urgency in understanding the past. Pity.

'Over Singapore 50 Years Ago: An Aerial View in the 1950s' assembled and written by Brenda Yeoh and Theresa Wong from the photos in the National Archives and published by Editions Didier Millet is recommended.

*Refer to the title.
** Now that is. Communism and socialism were, of course, huge in the interwar years to the sixties.
*** To be precise, we are actually very bound by history and circumstance but in practical terms the average person on the street can't care less. And they don't know either.
“I must reserve the right to question and to doubt. I will retain this skeptical bias as an obligation owed to my own rationality, my own integrity. I am prepared to follow the golden cord leading me out of the labyrinth, no matter how many twists and turns there are, because once I let go of that, my intellect is [no longer] my own.”

Quote from Daniel Robinson

04 May 2008

The warlord's men in Iron Man appeared to be using Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles. I remember seeing some variants too. For the US troops protrayed, I can't remember if I spotted M4s.