Tuesday, January 31, 2006

new year greetings

i'm sure that somebody did wish me something along the lines of 身体健康 the other day, but here i am on the third day of chinese new year, home and sick. ah well... it's time off work :p

new year's eve was spent running a few errands, developing a headache in the afternoon that i tried to sleep off, and then dinner with some rellies where i felt somewhat caught in a generational no-man's land. went late to iggy's 21st, where the following clip [4:56 | 16.3MB] was recorded - some of his friends gave a special presentation of hip-hop and break dancing.

got home late, overslept in the morning and was nearly late for church, which has moved back to our previous location and morning service time. went out for lunch with some church folk, played a bit of mahjong, then some bball, and pretty much veged the rest of the night watching cricket. started developing a sore throat at work on monday, and things got worse after getting home. called in sick today, tried to sleep as much as possible but now it's too hot...

anyways, happy chinese new year - hope you're having a better time than me ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

that "numa numa" song

i recently received this forwarded email with a url pointing to a video clip of what looks to be an ad for 42below. had no idea who 42below is, and didn't really understand why the guys on the video were lip-synching/dancing to this song... anyways the company sells vodka, and the whole reason behind the video became clearer by the end of the clip, and after reading some background info on this whole "numa numa" craze - seems like i've been waaaay out of the loop on this one! talk about parodies and copycats galore... nevermind the back dormitory boys, every man and his dog seems to have their own take on this song/clip :o

anyways, as i listened to the audio in the clip, i couldn't help but be reminded of the same song being played during arpc's new year's eve dinner last month, where a variant of the chicken little dance (performed to this song) was on display - this for me is the definitive numa numa experience ;) maybe it's one of those you-had-to-be-there events, but every time i watch this clip it brings a smile to my face :) the guy dressing up as "chicken little" did the dance numerous times, but this is my favourite clip cos on this iteration they got the four pastors up on stage too to mimic the guy! please excuse me while i go giggle :p

[ arpc dance | 0:46 | 3.2MB ]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the qyc mythbusters

went to QYC on the weekend, not sure if i'll be back cos i'm no longer really fitting the Y part of the name :p it's always good to hear good bible teaching though, and peter lin served us well with 5 talks from the sermon on the mount in matthew's gospel. still chewing through some of the stuff from the talks, but in the meantime i've been playing with videos and have uploaded two clips from the "mythbusters" segments during the camp. don't know if i can get the file sizes much smaller (am just using a free converter i found online) so this is one for the broadband-enabled:

clip 1 | 5:54 | ~19.3MB

clip 2 | 5:04 | ~12.4MB

one note about the food during camp, and i don't really want to complain cos i should be content that i have food to eat, but it was somewhat on the sparse side. i guess i'm used to self-catered camps where there was always enough for seconds. not so here... the first serving portions never looked sufficient, and often seconds weren't available. here's a pic of j.s. posing for the camera to show his dissatisfaction about the amount of meat on his plate :p he did manage to get some seconds, by which time i had already eaten 4 pieces of bread to go with my first serve so i was feeling sufficiently sated. we talked a bit about photography during the weekend, as he's starting to get into it (more so than my pleb point-and-shoot methods), and he's posted up some nice pics taken during the weekend... check them out here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

D.I.Y. haircut

it came time tonight for me to try cutting my own hair - when i said "low maintenance" in the previous haircut-related post, i meant more in the sense of "wake up and go", no need to bother with combing/gelling type of low maintenance. i knew that keeping it at this length in a semi-tidy state requires more frequent trimming than with longer hair, which is why i ruled out a total shave from the get go - maintaining a bald head is even more work than maintaining short short hair. i'd budgeted for ~fortnightly trims, which is about twice as often as my usual haircut rate, and that timeframe was about due...

can't be *too* difficult, right? i thought to myself. 45 minutes later i had worked up a bit of a sweat - it's hot work in that bathroom of mine and i can definitely see the sense in paying to have your hair cut in an air-conditioned salon! i hope i get more efficient at this with a bit more practice at tricky manoeuvres like weilding the clippers with my left hand, behind my head, trying to steer it in a straight line/achieve an even cut... and the tapering of my short(er) back and sides was a struggle and a half i tell you, but i think i managed something not too shabby by the end.

in related news, i seem to have rather suddenly developed a habit of feeling my hair - patting, stroking etc. i wonder if it's just that the novelty hasn't worn off yet :p next time i might try a blade 2 across the top, or even make it blade 1 across the board to see how that feels :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

the weak evangelist

in an article titled "honest to God evangelism" from the latest issue of the briefing (#328, january 2006), author richard coekin sets up four boundaries/guidelines within which the task of evangelism should operate. #4 is accepting our own weakness - taking the example of the apostle paul, who underwent all manner of opposition and hardships in the course of his ministry, richard writes:
this contrast between the precious quality of the message and the poor weakness of the messengers is God's deliberate evangelistic strategy .... Their human and personal weaknesses only served to demonstrate God's power, in two ways.

Firstly, the results. Paul's personal weakness emphasised that the results of his ministry ... came not from his own powers of persuasion but from the power of the gospel. Nothing could explain the effect of Paul's ministry but the power of the message he taught. Secondly, the motivation. Costly and painful opposition to his ministry meant that he couldn't be motivated by anything but the truth. Since he derived no personal benefit from his evangelism, the only explanation for his determined perseverance was that his message was true.

This is important for us to understand. Many of us will be very aware of our personal inadequacy and weakness in evangelism. Of course, it remains helpful to be gifted and to work hard at explaining the truth plainly .... But our weakness is, by God's grace, a strength. Of course, poor planning, careless words and unwelcoming attitudes will always be damaging to our evangelism. But God chooses to work powerfully through the gospel message delivered by his ordinary messengers.


This is convincing power - to keep evangelising when it plainly costs us so much. God does this so that it is obvious to those he is saving that the only reason people believe this message must be because it is true (for there is no other selling point), and the only reason we do our evangelism is because it is true (for there is no benefit to us but only costly discomfort). So we must stop wishing that we had somebody famous, something advantageous, somewhere impressive before attempting to offer the gospel to our family, friends and colleagues. After all, the gospel does offer people Jesus, forgiveness and the kingdom of God!
(emphases are the author's / as printed)

Monday, January 16, 2006


supersized grape i found while at bongoboy's surprise party.

it's been another weekend involving lots of hanging out with various people, some of whom i haven't seen or talked to for far too long, and all of sudden i'm crossing paths with perhaps multiple times in the last fortnight! it's been nice, but i doubt it will last. still feels like a bit of a holiday mood - that's certainly a literal truth for those who are students, but even as a worker i'm not feeling as bogged down with the old monday to friday routine. maybe that's thanks to my secondment being a lot less busy than my normal work area, and perhaps too the recent pattern of my weekends involving sleeping in, being out for most of the rest of the day and night, and eating later meals than i would typically eat - quite reminiscent of how i spent my recent overseas holiday.

unfortunately the sunday sleeping in thing ends today - will be away at qyc next weekend, and the sunday after that our church service returns to our usual bat-time and bat-channel, ie sunday mornings 9:30am. ah well... i still have my saturdays :)

anyways, something struck me as being a bit odd. church is having a dinner thing in feb, to celebrate chinese new year and to have a reunion thing involving current and past members + friends. i've been semi-keen on going along, but wanted to try to organise a table to sit with my friends so that i wouldn't have to be a nige/sit with people i don't really know. sadly, the response has been rather poor. the odd thing is that this is my own church, where i'm sure to know many of the people who will be there (at least by face/name, if not necessarily all in person), but i'm still not all that willing to attend unless i know i'll be sitting with friends/people i know. yet on my last trip, i was quite happy to
  1. go to a wedding dinner where the only person i knew was the bride, and her i didn't actually meet in person till the day before the dinner. (and so i ended up sitting on a table where almost everyone else already knew each other from their uni days, and thus were having a mini-reunion of sorts)
  2. attend another dinner in a neighbouring country with some 1400 other people, where i knew (of) a few more people but was nevertheless seated at a table where the only person i knew i met earlier that day, and where we were the only two single people amongst married couples either with a baby, or expecting one. [above pic shows the panoramic view from the stage... 138 tables (including those on the upper level) of 10 people each - that's huuuge!]
so why, when it comes to a dinner in my home country, in my home church, with that many more people i would know/recognise... why do i seem so much more reluctant to go? i'm not sure if the attempted comparisons are valid, but it does seem kinda odd. and i'm not sure what that says/signifies.

anyhow, it's kinda a moot point. mum has been after a decision from me for the last week, and as of this afternoon i'm locked in to going because she said that another person who's going asked for me to go as well, and because it solves the problem of filling a vacant spot on some singing quartet item thing. so now not only am i going, i'm also supposed to perform... and i think i'll have a friend but i don't know if it's my sparkling personality and dinner conversation that they're after, or simply because they couldn't find anyone else to sing :p

i hope the food will be good! cue image of homer simpson-esque figure munching on a mouth full of food and mumbling "can't worry about being a nige - eating!" ;)

Friday, January 13, 2006

speaking of kintaro's feet...

following on from my previous post, here's another Q&A:

Q: how does a guy let a girl know that he is interested?
A: walk the length of her country!

that's what tyler macniven aka kintaro did, even making a movie titled 'kintaro walks japan'. ok granted the girl already knew he liked her, but still... it's a pretty cool thing to do and an interesting movie to watch :) you can either pay to buy a dvd, or watch it for free on google video.

on a less facetious note, and somewhat in response to the comment left by 'anonymous' on my previous post, when it comes to letting the girl know of your interest, there's a time for keeping quiet and a time for being direct. the tricky bit can sometimes be in knowing what/which time it is. eg. it may not generally be the most appropriate thing to say to a girl you first meet/hardly know that your intentions are to take her as your wife -- such a scenario would usually be the time to keep quiet (for the time being). conversely, with the fellow she mentioned who dragged three years without resolving the big question mark, the time for being direct sounds like it had long passed.

sometimes though, wisdom dictates that a dose of patience (and waiting on the Lord) is needed. it can be quite frustrating to not be able to freely say what you'd like to say. thus it may not be shyness or fear of rejection that holds someone back from opening their mouth in such a matter, rather the relative silence on the topic may be the result of the testing of one's obedience and trust. well, i'd hope so anyway!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

boundless answers

boundless has started up its Q&A column, alternating between answering his & hers questions. the inaugural post sets out to help guys deal with the question of: how can a guy know if a woman is "interested"? i'm not sure if the reply really answers the question, for it seems to basically say
  1. pray about it -- the only real/direct mention of God in the reply
  2. tell her you are (interested in her)
  3. ask if she is (interested in you)
which to my mind is somewhat stating the obvious -- wanna know the answer? just ask! :p

now if only obvious also meant easy and uncomplicated and free of the 1000 and 1 potentially confusing factors that typically arise when a guy poses such a question ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

letting my hair down

in a manner of speaking... after all, hair does tend to fall to the ground after encountering the fast moving blades of a set of wahl clippers! ;) the before and after shots:

the theory is that this should be ultra low maintenance. let's see if it holds up in practice!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

a couple of moves

today was a bit of a day of catching up with people. T&F are moving interstate in a few days' time, and they had a farewell afternoon tea at dome in town, a place that had a nice look, feel and ambience about it. i like their pocket menus too... nice touch, but funny how prices aren't printed on there. cafe prices are often too inflated in my opinion anyway :p

although i'm not one who tends to do the rounds and say hi to everyone at social events (usually just talk to those who are nearby) , it was good to see some old/familiar faces there... maybe because i feel like i've been away for a while too (which i have been, but only for two weekends!)

afterwards i went to visit the nenes at their new and not-quite-yet-moved-into house on my side of town. somehow when i see this pic it doesn't quite look real - more like one of those artist's impression drawings... anyways, it was good to see them too and to be able to lend a hand moving some stuff around. kinda made me wonder whether i'd ever want to set up a home for myself one day. oh well... that's probably a while away if ever. i came back home to find the new flooring dad had purchased to replace the carpet in the rumpus, and i'm already thinking what a hassle it's going to be to shift stuff around (esp. the entertainment unit and the piano!) to enable the replacement to happen... can we do just half a room?? hee...

later at night i saw noodlez and we watched the aardvark'd documentary i mentioned earlier (and subsequently decided to buy) - he's probably the only person i know who would (and was interested to) watch such a show :p

anyways, in keeping with the general topic matter of said earlier post, and a different meaning of the title of this one, check out these moves featured on the google video blog:
  • a guy, travelling around the world, who dances at each place he visits
  • a face off between an old lady and a guy driving a merc convertible - guess who wins!
that last one is too funny!

Friday, January 06, 2006

my mind of its own

pre-script: the photo below has no relevance to the text, other than a tenuous link via the word 'thoughts/thots' being the sole excuse for displaying a pic i took on my recent trip :p

how quickly the joys of a relatively relaxing holiday fade into the background, as a return to old habits of sleep deprivation snap back into place and the constant tiredness reclaims its stake.


to make things worse, i've been on training most of this week, as i'm on deployment to another business line for the next 3 months. when things are busy (as it has been for the past 6 months) i don't get a chance to switch my mind off during work and to feel the tiredness except for the involuntary yawns. sitting in training is a different matter... in the constant battle to stay awake and alert, i'm sure that half the information has either never made it into my ears, or has only passed through as a fleeting fog. i feel like i've retained so little, and can only look forward to struggling with incompetence and lack of understanding once i start answering queries.

tried to make up for it by taking an afternoon nap yesterday, which actually turned into a 3 hour sleep! not sure if it was that which made it difficult to sleep later that night (or should i say earlier this morning... :$) i tossed and turned, my mind being rather uncooperative in resting from the thoughts it was engrossed with pursuing.

then i overslept this morning, and rushed to get to work on time. felt reasonably ok in the morning, but by the afternoon session my mind had wandered a world away from what i was supposed to be learning. perhaps it was the recent reacquainting with a few tadashi maekawa poems i had read a few years back (a trip down memory lane courtesy of checking my sitemeter referral logs, which showed that someone had found my post by searching for the book in which i saw these translated poems), coupled with an old poem of mine i recently revisited, and the sleepless thoughts of the night before, which produced the rather unexpected situation of my drifting mind suddenly coming up with the rough draft of a new poem! thought i'd better get some of the words down on paper before it all drifts away, and work on refining it when my mind is more awake.

or perhaps it will come together more when i head for bed tonight :p

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

until the next flight...

i'm back... to work, my normal routine... forgive my lack of enthusiasm :p even before i came home from my latest trip i was already entertaining thoughts of my next getaway. is my normal life so worthy of escaping from?? haha. who knows whether such a flight will be sweet reverie or perhaps something to regret. hmmm...

perhaps i'm just too couped up, and bursting to do something crazy, or at least something out of the ordinary. i went out earlier for some dessert at barboo and decided to order the 'pork floss and mayonnaise crepe', which i had previously seen on the menu and thought ewww! about (and yet strangely drawn to! heh) and so, inspired by the flosss breadtalk product i tried in singapore a few days back, i wrapped my laughing gear around this here crepe shown below - can you see the floss in the second pic? :)

other atypical foodstuffs i tried during my recent overseas holiday:

lavender juice, ordered at a HK-style eatery in PJ. don't quite know how to describe the taste, except that it's rather distinctive. and this was a whole jar of the stuff... it was fairly sweet though, and actually not too bad to drink... :)

then there was a mug full of chiku juice i drank at a hawker stall in singapore. didn't take a picture of this... but i have two words: brown, and thick. the people i was with (local singaporeans all) were like 'what is this??' i guess not many people have tried chiku juice before, hehe. i had no idea what it would taste like cos although the name of the fruit sounded familiar, i couldn't really remember how it tasted. oh well... you only live once! ;)

finally this is a thai coconut. not nearly as exotic as the other entrants on this list, but i have a photo of it, and on that poor excuse for inclusion i'll leave more travel tales for another post.