iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? – Harry Connick Jr. – When My Heart Finds Christmas, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

You’re meant to make resolutions on New Year’s Eve for the new year. Last New Year’s Eve, I made the resolution that I would not make any resolutions any more, at least, not in public.

At the very least, though, I will make it a point not to forget Boxing Day, even if at the moment, I am feeling shitty about being an armchair aid-giver, and sitting here now still, doing what some may say is merely dissing local bigwigs for not doing enough. But as some say, at least they’re doing something.

ComfortDelgro, the transport giant, has very commendable employees and drivers who have donated $50,000 to the Red Cross fund, OCBC has ‘raised $487,000′; Hong Leong Foundation has ‘donated $200,000′ and will direct all proceeds from their purchase of Russel Wong’s exhibition’s opening night to the Red Cross fund.

And, ‘for SembCorp Environmental Management, it had valuable contacts with those in the karang guni trade. And so it mobilised its network of karang gunis to go house to house in HDB estates to collect clothes for the survivors. Quek Keng Kwang, General Manager, SembVISY Recycling MRF, said, “Most of them willingly donate all the clothing which have been collected and this is their hard earned money everyday.”‘

There are a lot of people and corporations who have helped, or tried to help, even if they’ve been a complete moron and donated a pair of high heel shoes (I read this somewhere but I can’t find the link). But as I was telling LMD, who was so alarmed at the sudden and uncharacteristic ‘righteous anger’ on this blog that she thought someone with a conscience had hacked into my Blogger account, I am not about to pat these people on the back and say well-done, especially when they can do a whole lot more. What some of these giant local corporations (quasi-corporations included) are doing right now is akin to someone witnessing a person getting seriously hurt in a car accident and then merely leaving a packet of tissue paper for the victim.

But New Year’s Eve is New Year’s Eve, and don’t let anyone begrudge you for going out and having a good time. Life has to go on, even in a disaster zone. But whatever you do, don’t forget Boxing Day 2004, raise awareness whenever you can.

P.S. Sim Mong Hoo, not only are your products ugly, your people are still flogging your iPod killer, while the iPod’s people have taken down the Christmas trimmings. (From atypical Singaporean)


Surf stop: (Warning: You may find this offensive) tony pierce + busblog 1 + 2

Over and above S$2 million: NTUC offers condolences

Some corporations, really big ones, like Pfizer,, Citigroup, Cisco Systems, Bristol-Myers Squibb, have rallied in response to the tsunami disaster by donating generously.

Over here, our very own very big quasi-corporation, NTUC, ‘expresses her deepest heartfelt condolences to the families of victims affected by last Sunday’s tsunami that struck many parts of Asia, following the earthquake off the coast of Aceh, Sumatra.

The Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF), on behalf of the labour movement, has made a S$20,000 donation to those affected in the region through the Red Cross.

Additionally, 5,000 food relief packages worth S$50,000 and weighing some 1.5-million tonnes have been sent to Colombo, Sri Lanka by NTUC Fairprice, which is working with Mercy Relief to raise up to S$100,000 for tsunami victims.

Staples will also be channelled to Aceh where the quake was hardest hit. On 1 Jan 2005, members of the public can also purchase Food Relief Packages at S$10 each from Fairprice supermarkets, which will then be sent to Aceh and other parts of India. Donation cans will also be placed at all Fairprice outlets from today’.

As some Singaporeans are wont to say, very big corporations here must have very good reason for not being as generous as say, Abbott Laboratories. But you know what? Right now I just feel like telling some large local corporation they’re a fcuking ntuc.

S$2 million and more coming

There were odd bits of humanitarian activity here amidst the end of year shopping madness. A couple of friends have been online urging people to drop off donations at collection centres around Singapore.

The government has sent a DART team, two Chinooks, with several Super Pumas on standby for Thailand and Indonesia, and has said that this is ‘over and above the $2 million assistance the government had announced to help affected countries’. It’s OK guys, no need to do PR damage control, just send help.

And the search for a platoon mate, who my reservist platoon thought had gone to Phuket for Christmas, ended with a phone call with him saying ‘wrong person lah. I never go Phuket, but I remember you and me talking to someone one night in the jungle, very dark, so cannot remember who it was. But he say he was going to Phuket with his wife’.

We’re still trying to figure out who it is.

Meantime, here’s a list (gleaned off BBC) of NGOs on the ground at the disaster sites:

Care International
International Red Cross
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Save The Children
UN World Food Programme
World Vision
Christian Aid
Islamic Relief

Click on to find out more about what they’re doing, and how they’re trying to get aid to the sites.

I’ve also heard that some of the stuff Singaporeans have been donating, like old clothes, blankets and towels, are not quite that high on the priority list, and that these items are:

1. Tents
2. Food (Pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meal packs)
3. Water Purification Tablets
4. Wheat Flour, rice, other staples
5. Drugs: Paracetamol, anti-biotics, wound
dressing, suture material, disposable syringes,
vitamins, and vaccinations for diarrhea, cholera
and malaria.
6. Intravenous infusion (saline and
7. Portable generators

So, don’t be in a hurry to dig out your old clothes from your cupboard yet.

Not good enough

As I write, the toll has climbed to over 50,000.

Cheh Zhai Meen says if you have DBS internet banking, you can make your contributions payable to RED CROSS TIDAL WAVES ASIA. Thanks for leaving that comment.

While it doesn’t seem appropriate to apportion blame in an event such as this, I’m of similar sentiment as Mr Brown when it comes to Singaporeans and their actions (if any) in attempting to ameliorate the suffering. Why so slow? Can’t we fly our vaunted medical team there first, then help evaluate what needs to be done? Surely there’ll be things to do as soon as you hit the ground, no? Maid agencies here can send sacked domestic helpers back to Indonesia faster than you can blink an eye, man! Not good enough, dudes!

(Update: RSAF C-130 with supplies despatched to Medan)

Also, you know when the people in Colorado discovered the massive earthquake, and measured it as a very big one under the sea off Indonesia, how come it didn’t occur to their expert brains that tsunamis would more likely than not, ensue? And if it did occur to them, it would’ve occurred to them that it would have ensued on such a devastating scale that would have prompted them to take ALL POSSIBLE MEANS to contact AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE in the region affected.

What do you mean by NO WARNING SYSTEM? Use your blain! Call the State Department, call consulates, you have internet? Google! Wah lao! You can put decimal places on the Richter scale and you cannot make a few simple phone calls?! It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before! Not bloody good enough, dudes!

(Update: From NYT (login required):

…The Pacific center, operated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, faced two problems in recognizing what was occurring in the Indian Ocean and alerting potential victims. There is no direct connection between an earthquake magnitude and a resulting tsunami. Not all quakes under the ocean lift the ocean floor to displace the water needed to create a tsunami….
…Dr. McCreery, the Honolulu center’s director, said the initial estimate of the earthquake’s magnitude, 8.0, would have been likely to generate a local tsunami….

My World Bank friend, who’s back in Washington tells me news coverage in the US of the disaster is appalling. It seems this is just some earthquake and big waves somewhere in Asia, and the only thing worth reporting is how many Americans have been victims of the disaster. Probably because holidaymakers in the region are predominantly European and not American, says my World Bank friend, who called me earlier very upset that her favourite beach in the world, Raily, is no more, and she doesn’t know what’s become of her friends who live there.

Humanitarian Assistance To The Victims of the Bay of Bengal Earthquake and Tidal Waves

If you want to help, here’s one of the ways you can. (And from Myrick, some more ways you might be able to help, at the Acorn).

Singapore Red Cross Press Release:

Humanitarian Assistance To The Victims of the Bay of Bengal Earthquake and Tidal Waves

The Singapore Red Cross Society in response to the call for international assistance by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is launching a public appeal to help the victims of the Bay of Bengal earthquake and tidal waves.

As an immediate response to the disaster, the Singapore Red Cross will be sending a sum of Singapore dollars, One hundred and fifty thousand (S$150,000) to Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India (through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). The Singapore Red Cross is also in touch with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the national societies of all affected countries to determine what assistance is required to assist the victims.

The Singapore Red Cross hopes to raise Singapore dollars, One Million (S$1,000,000) for this appeal.

The Singapore Red Cross calls on Singaporeans and other like-minded
organisations to come forward to contribute to this appeal and help the victims affected by the earthquake and tidal waves that swept across the India Ocean and affected Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

The Singapore Red Cross requests donation for the affected countries. The money donated to this emergency appeal will be used to fund purchases and direct delivery of emergency items like medicine and first aid, food parcels and other relief supplies for the displaced and homeless victims.

The public can send their donations:
1) By cheque to the “Singapore Red Cross Society”
Please indicate behind the cheque “Tidal Waves Asia”. Include name, address and telephone number at the back of the cheque as a receipt will be sent to you.
Post the Cheque to:
Singapore Red Cross, Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486
2) Donors may wish to come personally to make a donation at the Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane between 9.00am to 5.30pm on weekdays and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
For more information, please contact the following:
1. Mr Lim Theam Poh
Manager, International Services Division
Singapore Red Cross
Tel: 6 336-0269
2. Ms Carol Teo
Manager, Corporate Services Division
Singapore Red Cross
Tel: 6 336 0269 / Mobile: 9847 2024

What’s a Yule?

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: I Go To Extremes – Billy Joel – Greatest Hits Vol. III, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

So I spent Christmas Eve at home with the family. Then I went out.

Lat and his Lot (not their real names) had decided on a fun boys’ night out at Thumper at Goodwood Park Hotel. So I invited myself along. It’s always fun being out with Lat and his Lot. You’re almost guaranteed to drink a lot, and you get to have strength in numbers when ogling at women, and if you’re adequately inebriated, you get to have strength in numbers when trying to chat up the women you’ve ogled at.

To generate some pre-going out hype, I told Lat and his Lot a story I heard a couple of days ago about something that happened at Thumper. In the car park at Goodwood Park Hotel, to be precise.

The car park behind the hotel is quite brightly lit these days, and it was to my friend’s (who told me the story) shock that she saw a parked Porsche* carrying a man in the driver’s seat carrying a woman riding astride him moving up and down and down and up. All while people were making their way to their cars after a party at Thumper last Saturday. The friend who told me the story was just as shocked when I told her if I had a Porsche, I’d want to be the man in the driver’s seat with a woman riding astride me, and that I’d even roll down the window and stick my face out just so people making their way to their cars would know it’s me.

Neither me nor Lat or any of his Lot own a Porsche or anything that comes close, so our chances of pulling that trick weren’t very high. Still, we had our fun drinking enough to want to chat up some women, asking them if they’d ride astride any one of us if any one of us owned a Porsche that was parked outside. Unfortunately, the music playing was a bit loud, so the women couldn’t hear us very well.

Crystal Jade Hu Cui Shanghainese Restaurant
So full of Christmas spirit he’s about to throw up. Christmas Day Lunch, Hu Cui Shanghai Restaurant, Ngee Ann City.

*Any Porsche but the Cayenne. With the Cayenne, all you’ll get is Christopher Lee riding astride you asking if he can turn on the Fann.

Boxing Day Surf Stop: Sydney to Hobart 2004 (It’s a yacht race); Boxing Day Test (It’s a cricket match)

So this is Christmas and what have you done?

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? - Harry Connick Jr. – When My Heart Finds Christmas, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

A quick click on my archives, and I find that there’s not much difference from last Christmas. Only this year, reservist is before Christmas, and my friend Ryan’s got a girlfriend now and he’s gone on leave so he won’t call me to tell me what a miserable Christmas he’s having because the girl he likes doesn’t like him back that way.

I might have a guest over for Christmas Eve dinner with my family, depending on whether she’s patched up with her boyfriend or not. They always fight during this time of year. Then there are several Christmas and Boxing Day dinners to attend, and I might attend, depending on the make-up of the guests invited. By that I mean the number of married or attached guests. The coupled. At these dinners, you often witness the coupled being totally self-absorbed because it is after all the season that engenders such things, or you witness a big intra-couple blue brewing, and you just know that when they get home, they’re gonna be at each other’s throats because it is after all the season that engenders such things.

Then there is the danger of witnessing the non-coupled or recently uncoupled developing an imminent coupling. You know the sort. They go around the host’s house looking for the mistletoe, thinking no-one knows they’re doing that. (But Mr Miyagi, he see everything). I shudder at the thought that one day I might be one of the sort.

Not much middle ground there, and often too intense for my liking. I just like to eat the turkey stuffing with some cranberry sauce, can liao, and I can eat a whole can of that stuff. And I am thankful there will be food on my plate no matter what.

Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s to the underrated comfort of having more of the same stuff every year.

Christmas at home, 2002
Christmas 2002. The tree’s been shifted to the right of the picture this year.

Surf stop: Gulaman Life


iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: Starman – David Bowie – Best of David Bowie: 1969-1974, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.

I have one of those annoying eyelid twitching thing going on.

It means someone’s thinking of you, I’m told.

What the heow? If you’re thinking of me, call me, email me, send me a card. Don’t make my eyelid twitch like that! Fucking irritating!

I’m also told if you get a coughing or sneezing fit, someone’s thinking of you too. Thinking bad thoughts or good thoughts is another thing though, I’m told. But if you cough and cough, sneeze and sneeze, then fall down and break your neck, someone is in love with you, or something.

Meanwhile, my nephew’s Christmas wishlist is almost as expensive as mine. He wants the whole Thomas & Friends train and track layout collection:

Salty & Ocean Cars Three Pack

I haven’t spoken to Bad Luck Steve yet, and I don’t know if he’s back from Thailand or not. Wonder what he wants for Christmas. Definitely not a phone, I’m sure.

Speaking of phones, I received one of those late night phone calls last night. Y’know, from female friend in distress type of call? She wanted a place to crash, and asked if she could come over. I said sure. She said, so sorry to trouble you, I’ll call before coming over. I waited till 4am, and she never did turn up, and I only have this to say to her:

If you’re reading this and it’s you that’s thinking of me and making my eyelid twitch like that, STOP RIGHT NOW. IT’S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE!

Krispy Kreme Kat
Getting into the Christmas spirit, this cat was found stuffing himself into a box at River Valley.