She sells sea shells on the E-Bay not too far from the sea shore

E-Bay has launched its Singapore portal. So I suppose that means I’ll rummage through my room to see what I can sell that people who have lost their marbles will buy. (Replacement marbles, maybe).

When online trading first appeared (online), I went on a rampage, putting things up for sale left, right and centre. And sold all of them too. DIY books (how to make your own kayak, woodworking encyclopaedia, how to make your own fishing lures), racquets, hunting bows, home-made fishing lures. You name it, I’ve bought it – things I never really needed – and I’ve sold it, to people who, while online, suddenly decide they need DIY books, racquets, hunting bows and home made lures. It was great. I had a trading account of good standing on this site called GoFish (Australia), it had nothing to do with fishing, all to do with online selling, and unfortunately for them, not much to do with profit. My infatuation with selling trivial miscellany online died with the company some time in 1999.

My entrepreneurial streak was overshadowed by my brother’s far greater tech know-how at that time. He had, I swear, one of the world’s first CD burners, and together with a part-time DJ part time drag queen friend of his, compiled audio CDs of Madonna’s greatest hits, and sold them online to Americans who shelled out US$25 for each pirated CD! He made so much money he bought a 4X CD burner, which he used to make more CDs faster.

Unfortunately for my brother, his was one of the many stories of success leading to greed leading to unsound business decision leading to end of success.

Instead of sticking with the tried and tested market favourites, he decided to ‘make’ and sell pirated serial VCDs of every episode of every Star Trek television series ever made. Apart from tapping the (to him) surprisingly small nerd market, he couldn’t make enough to put towards his enormous capital outlay of renting from the video shop every single videotape of every Star Trek episode ever made.

He and his friend never partnered on another (pirate) venture. His friend was last seen behind the clerk’s counter at the local Ezy Video library at Katoomba. Whether or not he’s a drag pirate still, I don’t know. I haven’t heard any reports of whether he’s been added to the Three Sisters either.

A friend who caught the online selling wave and has been surfing it ever since is the greatest exemplar of how one can make a tidy sum selling to idiots. She can sell any damned thing and turn in a profit. If I remember correctly, she last sold one of her used pair of sneakers. She’s also bought things from me and sold them for a profit. Like my car for instance.

It has just dawned on me that the secret of her success is that she buys things from idiots first.

Subduction

That’s when the earth’s tectonic plates slide under the crust in a sort of large scale recycling, and which is why the sea doesn’t get saltier. Or something. I read this in Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I am most likely wrong. I’m just hazarding a guess where my brain cells, in particular, those that are responsible for memory, logic and generally getting a grip on reality, went.

I can’t remember most of what I’ve read from that book, though I’m thoroughly enjoying it each time I pick it up. I suppose that means I could re-read it from time to time and still enjoy it. Good thing I bought the hardcover.

The blunders I’ve made at work this month are kicking me in the arse everyday, and it would’ve been worse if not for the fact I have business partners with a semblance of a sense of humour. I’m still waiting for the day they give up and say ‘what the fuck is wrong with you?!’, though.

Tomorrow (or rather, this) morning, the electrician comes to my house to replace the power switch board that has served our household for the last 22 years, but has recently had more outages than a Malaysian state. There’ll be no power for the whole day, he reckons. No power. No aircon. No television. No fridge. No internet. How like that?

The power better come back on by the time I’m home. Else I might have to go out all of Saturday night! Catch a movie or something. Wouldn’t that be radical?

Perfect timing

Someone or some group called the ‘Yellow Red Organization’ says they will conduct some serious terrorist activity from 20th – 30th April at some interesting places in eight countries including Singapore. (Note also that our Channur News Ayzure has conspicuously omitted our nation’s name from the headline. Scared share prices plummet again.)

Fear not, me and my fellow troopers from the 433rd Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment, will be keeping you safe. The Marder Cheebye terrorists always pick our mobilisation manning period to zho luan!

(Jokes aside, I am keeping fingers and toes crossed nothing happens. Would-be terrorists note: I will be really angry if you cause me to be recalled next week. So angry I will really want to kill you).

And I can’t remember what my recall codeword is. Flying Oyster Omelette or something. As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about. Work has been hell because of the number of mistakes I’ve been making. It’s hard when you’re your own supervisor.

The conversation at dinner tonight might have shed some light on why I am so absent-minded. Mum was comparing my nephew’s upbringing with me and my sibling’s 3rd world one. Apparently, I had a nanny (we were quite well to do, by 3rd world standards) who happened to be an opium addict, and who would lock herself in the room, with me, aged 1.5, and languidly chase the dragon.

I said maybe that’s why I’ve such an active imagination (read: collection of phobias). Mum countered with, ‘No lah. Your nanny and Kenny’s (my brother) nanny locked up the house and took you all to Haw Par Villa to see all the demons and sculptures of disembowelled sinners’.

Solved. In one fell swoop. Why I am absent minded and have a heightened sense of guilt.

Asia’s Leading News Network

I came home from beer (again) and promptly fell asleep in front of the telly, which was on CNA (Channur News Ashia), which was on repeat mode cos being CNA, they don’t do ‘live’ feeds from disaster sites.

Big mistake. I got increasingly irritated in my sleep as I kept hearing the awful, awful voices of Diana Sur, Haseenah Koyakutty and Glenda Chong.

Diana has what I call the ‘rolling hills syndrome’ of speaking. She’s afflicted by the tendency to over-compensate for her Chinese As A First Language manner of speech. Very sad.

Haseenah sppeeeaaaks ssssoooo ssssslowwwwly sssshee baaarrrreely saayyyyys thrrrreeee worrrrdsss innnn onnnne minnnnnutte.

Glenda over enunciates. It’s alright to want to speak clearly, but not to the point where your lips look like they’re gonna flap over your cheeks.

I also have to remind myself not to tune in to CNA in the arvos, cos that’s when my favourite newscaster with the porn star name comes on. And she is awful! Pauses in the wrong places so often I’m surprised she doesn’t cock up with the teleprompter by reading ‘the accused was charged with Man’s Laughter’.

Enough CNA bashing. CNN has a newscaster called Christie Lou Stout (very pretty, not stout at all) who jerks her head when she wishes to emphasize something. Cool trick, that.

Anyway, I was irritated enough to wake up, get out of bed, feel hungry, and drive out to Adam Road to buy mee goreng, come back, eat, and write this here blog.

There are a million things to do workwise, and with them a million attendant things to worry about. But there are also a million different ways to kiss the ground, and maybe blogging is one of them.