take a walk around town with...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

well, let me write sort of a faq... or a basic set of answers.

some people (including myself) are concerned how the local insurance operations of aia would be affected, and just many more want to know what is happening. here's my analogy after piecing the internal and external news....

aig is the grandfather, and his children are spread all over the world - one of which is aia hong kong. aia singapore calls aia hong kong "daddy." because of the recent turmoil, it surfaced that an uncle in the states dealing with credit default swaps got himself into trouble. of course people of the world will say, "wah, the aig family got problem leh!" some will be irrational (when it comes to money, yes, humans ARE irrational at times) and have a knee-jerk reaction and make a run for their money, thinking it's the end of the world.

so steps in the federal reserve, which granted a us$85 billion lifeline to the aig grandfather to help the son, the one involved in the credit default swaps. yes, it's not nice news for the family, but hey, that's one of the grandfather's MANY children across the world. (that link only shows the children in america)

does it mean all the other children and grandchildren companies are all ready to close shop?

heck, no!


well... i'm not a politician, but out of respect, i'd thought i'd just note that jbj just passed away today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

i shared the following message with my girlfriend (not in exact words, the meaning's there still, though)...

"a woman is not sexy not just because of what she wears or how she looks (although it does affect the overall feeling), but it's the stuff in between the ears and how she carries herself that makes all the difference."

yes, my girl, you have my heart. and commitment.

just ploughed through a medley of four magazines since monday, and finished them yesterday afternoon - runner's world, triathlete, bicycling and mountain bike action. net result?

i think i started to re-realize why i did these sports in the beginning - to know the real me. and i suggested to her that it may help to help her to discover who she really was, too.

at all times, "losing weight/fat" should never be a top priority in participating in any sport. it's just a healthy "by-product" of the activities of choice.

i'm glad both of us embarked nearly six months ago on this journey based upon trust and open communication.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i'm baaaack!

i watched it the first time on the krisworld in-flight entertainment system from singapore towards osaka (2 sept), and another time from tokyo back to singapore (10 sept)... and i can't get enough of it. unfortunately it seems that it has ended its run in singapore, and i would need to get the dvd of it for my girl instead.

cyborg, she or alternatively, my girlfriend is a cyborg is one of those few movies to really captivate me. i might be a closet otaku for all i know (i'm not particularly nerdy/geeky)

just read a review from malaysia about the movie as well...

the above video was done by youtube user ricsriver, i think... and it's a fantastic compilation of the music and shorts from the show.

probably the underlying thing that captivated me from the show is how an unfeeling cyborg sacrifices itself to save the person whom it was entrusted to protect... from the future, and learns it has feelings too!

there are some storyline bits that could be further clarified, however i'm not a perfectionist on this. from my trip to japan, i learnt some things upon reflection...

# while on the super-long-duration train ride to narita airport, i was trying to take photos of the countryside... and it hit me that i could take photos from the front end of the train where i can see all the good and bad bits easily from the front where i can shoot to shoot or not, and still have reaction time, rather than being at the end of the train with no reaction time.

# my daytrip with asami (she's the most kawaii girl i met personally in hokkaido), natsuki and kae taught me that we shouldn't expect anything from friends (new-found or otherwise)... and enjoy the moment while it lasts. we basically met up over a daytrip to otaru after i secretly took photos of asami and i showed it to her after she incidentally got off the train at the same station as myself. in a way, it's damned bad of me to say she stole my heart... but she did, without even trying!

from an interior shot of the train...

i noticed a really pretty girl...

and it became a closeup...

she's a stunner, isn't she? i took this photo of asami while we were shopping together in otaru

we had wakiwaru taken...

we took this photo at the end of the day at jr sapporo

# trust the person you are with, trust your own gut instinct

some experiences i had there:

# akihabara, tokyo. i went to pinafore, a maid cafe there just to see what it's all about. erm, quite expensive, a glass of coca-cola cost 350 yen, two hotcakes with ice-cream another 800 yen. it's nothing fancy except the girls are wearing the french maid costumes. food's ok though - i took this more like a pit-stop when i was running all over tokyo.

# japanese schoolgirls' skirts are short. it seems as if they have a nationwide shortage of cloth to cover to the knees of the girls... however it seems they are wearing the skirts much higher to give the apparent look of longer legs.

# japanese girls seem to be wearing looooong socks, ending off just below, or even just above the knees!

# food prices are relatively more expensive in singapore, at about 480 yen for a basic beef bowl - i think it includes a small bowl of miso soup too. that's like 6 singapore dollars per meal!

# i tried out uni and ika ice-cream in otaru. for the uninitiated, that means sea urchin, and squid ink ice-cream respectively...

# the typical japanese on the street you meet will be the most helpful person you may come across. some will literally go out of their way just to show you the direction!

# there exists a lot of sushi - salmon, tako, maguro, ika... that i love to savour...

# your compass (mine was a silva expedition 4) failed me while i was in the jr shopping malls, as well as on the trains. my compass would swing over 30 degrees around at times while i was walking in a straight line, same thing on the trains. i concur that japanese are exposed to a high level of magnetic energy, because of the pervasiveness of the train systems and how much time they may spend travelling etc.

# print out your basic japanese phrasebook, as well as understanding how the japanese postal system works. it helps you to get around, find food, get to the places you want to go... i didn't print out my phrasebook, and i was having a tough time... not to forget the poor local lad/lass who was trying to comprehend my english handsigns...

# i can't drink much... as evidenced in this photo with serena.

# i can't look kawaii... yet! from left to right, you, me, miya and ayumi

# sapporo soup curry is nice!

# yodobashi allows you to handle a s$14,000 camera/lens kit without real supervision!

# here are the helpful girls at sapporo sport-kan who helped me to pick swimsuits for my girl! from left to right, oochi, minami and tsukada

# some foods are so nice to look at... i can't bear to eat!

# durians are sold... of all places, at shinjuku!

# people are hired to give out tissue paper freely. and they do it with a big smile and go "arigato gozaimazu!" too!

# raffles is big in japan. really!

# there exists adult superstores in japan... and they are literally big!

# you are encouraged with stickers on the train cabin walls, those rings you hang on to... to switch your mobile phone to silent and refrain from using the phones!

# if you thought singapore's mrt was bad, you're right. however the efficiency of japanese subways means that there's always a backup train line you can hop on to, if you really had to.