05 June 2010


The FV432 APC was the workhorse of the British army, the battletaxi that would transport troops to the battlefield.

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I didn't manage to draw much this evening. Oh well. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon.
I was at Gramophone at Cathay this evening and I hadn't expect to find anything. I was surprised to find William Orbit's 'Pieces in a Modern Style' there. I had meant to listen to this ten years ago when it was released but I kept putting it off till the CD was deleted. What a fortunate find. $4.95. Ten years no less!

I also found 'Infact your Mind', a compilation of ebm and futurepop. It is most unexpected. Frozen Plasma, Orange Sector, XP8 and more. Unbelievable.

04 June 2010

Brock and Kolla mysteries

The last time I read a fair amount of crime fiction was in the early eighties. Lately, Siu Hean had passed me a stack of Brock and Kolla mysteries by Barry Maitland, a professor of architecture. I have read most of the books he lent me. I am now reading the last one that he had lent to me, 'Spider Trap'.

  • The Marx Sisters (1994)
  • The Malcontenta (1995)
  • All My Enemies (1996)
  • The Chalon Heads (1999)
  • Silvermeadow (2000)
  • The Verge Practice (2003)
  • No Trace (2004)
  • Spider Trap (2006)

The police procedural series has been vastly entertaining, being intricately plotted with numerous suspects and motives in each. It has been a rush. After this, I will return to my usual pile.

An aspect of these novels that I enjoyed is the emphasis placed on scene and location. The shopping mall, the square with the artists village, the health spa and more. The scene can sometimes be described as the primary character in each volume. Locales matter. Characters do not come in second either as suspects are memorable, being not restricted to the non-police!

As for recommendations, I am not sure if I can recommend them to everyone. They are fairly easy to read, the prose being basic and functional. The wit is there if one can catch it. Likewise, the references to architecture and culture. I like the sarcasm and the characterisations. As I was stating earlier, the books are not difficult but it may just not be for everyone, perhaps, reading these is an acquired taste. However, I do think that there is no harm in giving one a try. The novels are entertaining.

Browsing at Borders

I browsed at Borders last night and sadly, the selection is limited. Borders had let its selection run down since it first opened in Singapore about twelve years ago.

I recall when the military section had about ten shelves. Today? Three or less. There are hardly any new Osprey titles now. Likewise, the history, science and other sections. Science fiction and fantasy is now filled with vampire romance porn, the modern substitute for Mills and Boons romances where hunky male vampires seduce innocent nerdy girls.

The music section is now close to nonexistent. They had brought in CDs from indie labels like Metropolis Records, Projekt Records, and more in the past. After HMV, Borders had the best classical music section then. Today, the music section is a neglected section with barely anything except for Lady Gaga and Madonna.

I do wish that Kinokuniya would have longer opening hours, say till 11 pm and lower prices. The prices there are easily the highest of any bookstore in Singapore.

03 June 2010

More harassment

A call this morning. This time, it is from some idiot from Sugieno or something representing AIA.

Ms Idiot: Hello, I am Ms Idiot calling from SG Sugieno (or something like that) representing AIA. Is it convenient to talk?

Me: I'm not interested. Bye!

I hung up. That was in the space of ten seconds or so. Heh. It looks like these idiots are going to continue to call until I give up. Don't they understand 'NO'?

"Foxconn is not a sweatshop," he told a conference in the US

Excerpt from an article in the BBC:

But Mr Jobs defended the conditions.

"You go in this place and it's a factory but, my gosh, they've got restaurants and movie theatres and hospitals and swimming pools. For a factory, it's pretty nice," he said.

Another excerpt from the same article:

The deaths have shone a spotlight on working conditions at the factory, where workers - often from rural China - work up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.

I can just imagine, my gosh, these workers at Foxconn, after their 12-hour day, swimming and eating in restaurants and watching movies in the theatres.

Here is another bit:

"Foxconn is not a sweatshop," he told a conference in the US.

And another bit from the same article:

The firm had previously said that it would offer a 20% pay increase to its Chinese workers, who earn 900 yuan (£90) per month at entry-level.

2S3 Akatsiya

The 2S3 Akatsiya was a component of the war plans of the Cold War where armoured spearheads, accompanied by mobile artillery would penetrate the Fulda Gap into Western Europe.

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02 June 2010

Yet another Idiot from Prudential

The idiots at Prudential just can't stop calling. Heh. Here is one call a few minutes ago.

Ms Idiot: Hello, this is Michelle calling from Prudential.
Me: Not interested. Bye.

And I hung up. It seems that their method now is to call until the caller gives up. Talk about irritating people and losing goodwill and all.

Biased BBC

The BBC's anti-Israeli stance is showing again. The reports are one-sided and odious. I can't see any attempt at balance at all. Terrible.

The way one of the reports went on to condemn the raid on the basis of wrong tactics while seemingly blind to the fact that the terrorists on board had attacked the soldiers was disingenuous. The report is seemingly blind to the fact that these provocateurs with a huge load of activists (What were they doing there except to want to confront?) were warned before sailing and that if they had been sincere about aid, they would docked at an Israeli port and have their cargo checked before proceeding on their way.

The hypocrisy is terrible.

01 June 2010

You proposed a solution costing thousands of dollars and when I ask that you mail a brochure costing less than a dollar...

Some lady from Synergistic or Synergidix Technologies or whatever called a week or two ago.

Ms Idiot: Hello, I am calling from Synergisetix Technologies and I have several IT solutions that can help your business.

Me: Ahh.

Ms Idiot: Do you have any deficiencies in your system that we can remedy?

Me: We don't have a requirement at this point.

Ms Idiot: Can I have your email so that I can send you some information?

Me: No. My junk filters will remove it anyway. Why don't you send me a brochure via normal mail?

Ms Idiot: Erm, thank you.

Me: Wait! You proposed a solution costing thousands of dollars and when I ask that you mail a brochure costing less than a dollar, you cannot do that?

Ms Idiot: Err, eer, thank you..

Me: Why is this so?

Ms Idiot: Errr eerr...

I hung up on Ms Idiot at this point. I had also asked the same question a few months ago when another IT solution provider called. Heh.