Monday, July 30, 2007

Asking for assistance plus Manchester United

I am currently in the hospital library writing this blog since I am currently in the residency period of my paediatric clerkship, leaving me little time anywhere else. So don't be surprised to see that I don't blog that often or I don't post items such as pictures or links in my entries. I really question whether or not anybody reads my blog. I can just say something ridiculous like I really like Mary Ngan and I would love to date her but I know that won't happen sine every girl in the world just like handsome guys with great bodies, just like every guy in the world likes a beautiful girl with great breasts and a nice butt. I don't think anybody would notice.


I don't like asking for help. In the past few weeks, my brother and my friend have remarked on this characteristic of mine. I think it stems from my boarding school days. I found schoolwork easy to work out, so asking for help was very uncommon. When I entered medical school, work started to become more complicated. A combination of factors contributed my reluctance to ask for help. Firstly I don't have many friends that I could ask for help. Secondly when asking for help, I feel I am imposing on or disturbing their life. This seems weird considering I have no problems when people ask me for help - I am readily available to assist anybody, anytime and anywhere. I can hardly say no to someone and I hardly lie - which makes me a sap. Thirdly I am scared of taking rejection personally and becoming depressed, although this is less severe than the rejection I suffer from a potential girlfriend.

Usually when I eventually do ask for help, I am in mid-combustion and it is difficult to comment whether or not I need help at that point.

So how do I overcome this? Difficult to say... and it would be ironic if I asked anybody what they would think :)


For once, of one my previews of a Premier League team will be short. Firstly there is very little to talk about Manchester United and secondly I hate them, as with other football supporters around the United Kingdom.

Manchester United played brilliantly last season and rightly deserved to win the Premiership. They know it is going to be difficult to retain the trophy and they invested wisely. The only area that needs bolstering in the short term is the forward line-up, with Carlos Tevez being touted as coming into the Old Trafford dressing room in the next few days.

Will they win the Premier League this season? To me they are the favourites and I would rather have them as champions than Chelski. But I don't think that will satisfy the Glazer family, who will be gunning for European glory. Don't be surprised if they achieve both this season.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Old doesn't mean bad and Manchester City FC

There are some TV shows that I would watch over and over again. When people say they don't listen to old music, read old books or watch old movies or TV shows just because they are old, I certainly raise my eyebrows. Old doesn't necessarily mean bad. I can give you a few examples. Growing up in the 80s, I adored "The A-Team", "Knight Rider", "MacGyver" and "Quantum Leap". In the 90s, it was "The Simpsons" and "Have I Got News For You" (and still are) plus "Frasier" and "They Think It's All Over". This millenium I wish I could still see "The West Wing" on the TV.

One show that I do watch over and over again is "Top Gear". I know a lot of people think they are over-the-top and are no longer ratings cars. I tend to disagree, as they need to bring the programme to a broader audience and filling the show with segments like "A Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" is just another mixture of entertainment and automotive journalism. Another criticism is their lack of regard for speeding and the environment. The show is about cars - they need to test cars out to see how good they are and that means having to go at high speeds to rate the performance. Plus if you want to see a show about the environment, watch a nature documentary and stop tuning into show that you hate just so you can complain about them.

I am rather glad the local English TV channel ATV World are showing past episodes. I am even more glad Top Gear has show the Polar Special. It was a great show and the first time I considered Arctic exploration very difficult. There may have been documentaries and shows regarding people going to the North Pole but at least Top Gear showed it is very difficult for ordinary people.


The state of Manchester City has left me wondering whether or not it can be rescued. It had large debts and just recently sacked Stuart Pearce, even though he did a reasonable job under the circumstances. Even the recent purchase by former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (yes, I had to look that name up) and the appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson as manager may not be able to turn the club around. They still need a large investment into players, Eriksson has to prove himself with results on the pitch, Shinawatra should hope his past does not affect the club and the supporters need to be won over.

At least they have got the ball rolling with buying in some new players, some of which I have never heard. Another area that needs attending is the forward line-up. Last season they contrived to score nine goals at home - the worst record. It surely means most if not all will not start the season as the City of Manchester stadium.

City fans should be happy if they survive this season but in the long term, with this type of investment and manager, they should be expecting success sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Human or animal? Plus Fulham & Liverpool FC

I have lost faith with the human race. Let me explain what I mean about my last sentence. I believe human beings, with their vast intelligence, should act more differently than other animals. I hate to use the word 'better' but there is no other phrase I can use. The basic animal will protect its own kind and pass on its own genes. You will read this in any biology textbook. Animals don't have the intelligence to ponde whether or not there is more to responding to its genetic code.

I wish humans were not like that. I wish that vastly improving the race and kindness towards others were other options to the human race. I have to remind people that kindness is not a natural instinct. Greed is - you want to protect yourself more than anybody else. You look at animals and you won't see a lion, who has just eaten, spare a gazelle's life. That is why I expect people who sitting down in the MTR trains to give their seat up to the needy, for example a pregnant mother, the elderly or somebody with a disability which would help if they sat. It is still natural to be kind to your family and close friends but to be kind to casual acquaintances and complete strangers should be a human trait.

You see all the destruction in the world - religions fighting each other, the threat of nuclear war still hanging over us like a cloud, poverty in most countries when there is enough wealth to go around and global warming coming to the brink that it could end all life on earth - and wonder if human beings should be responsible for the planet we live on. Evidently not.


Since both Fulham and Liverpool are in Hong Kong to contest the Barclays Premier League Asia Cup (or whatever it is called), it would be right to preview their season ahead.

It was surprising (but not a total shock) to see Lawrie Sanchez get the managerial position at Fulham. He really should thank Rafa Benitez for the job. If Benitez didn't use a 'B' side during their match with Fulham last season after an exhaustive Champions' League semi-final with Chelsea, Fulham wouldn't have won. Those three points ensured Sanchez would remain in the job permanently.

Has he don't anything to justify his position. Apparently not. Claus Jensen left as he didn't want to play the long ball technique Sanchez favours whilst Queudrue will seem to follow suit. Sanchez brought in two right backs (Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird) when he already has two players more than capable to play in that position (Liam Rosenior and Moritz Volz). He mainly brought in players he knows from his days as Northern Ireland manager (Hughes, Baird, Steven Davis and David Healy). Yet at least he has signed some left sided options (Lee Cook, Paul Konchesky and Kamara).

I still don't think Fulham will do well this season. Fulham fans should be content for a relegation battle where they survive. It will take miracle for Sanchez to remain in his job.

The same cannot be said about Rafa Benitez. He is more secure in his job than he has ever been. He didn't win anything last season but there has been steady improvement. Now that he has new finances and brought in players that are world class, the pressure is even higher to win a league trophy for the first time in nearly eighteen years.

Bringing the likes of Babel, Benayoun and Torres should make Liverpool a potent attacking force. Benitez has got to force himself not to change players and use the rotation system, at least not until the back end of the season. The only weak area for Liverpool right now is the left back position. Fabio Aurelio looks out of his depth whilst Riise is more attacking in nature. Letting Warnock go could be a bad mistake.

You have to expect Liverpool to challenge for the title from the word 'Go!' If he doesn't finish in hte top two or doesn't reach the latter stages of the Champions' League, don't expect the Spaniard to be there much longer. With expectation should breed success.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter, being left out & Everton FC

I am finally glad that the last Harry Potter book is on sale. This phenomenon with this book series should finally end but there still remains the filming of the last two books. I have never really liked this phenomenon, partially due to the media attention devoted to it. For this reason and this reason only I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. Do not get me wrong - the Harry Potter books may have an excellent story - but sometimes I think most people read the books to be part of the Harry Potter phenomenon, so they won't be left out of the conversation with their friends or fellow peers. I remember watch the behind-the-scenes documentary for "Lord of the Rings" and the same thing happening. Even though the "Lord of the Rings" book trilogy was excellent, some people have taken the tales of Frodo and Aragon a bit too far with elaborate weddings and dressing up. It is just a book, as J.R.R. Tolkien said.

The media has played its part, oversaturating television, radio, newspapers, magazines and other types of media with Harry Potter, with the masses thinking if this book series has received this much attention it surely must be good. I thought so with "The Da Vinci Code" but to honest I thought that Dan Brown novel was very poor. I feel vindicated of my opinion when Stephen Fry (probably one of the cleverest men in the whole world) called "The Da Vinci Code", "loose stool water and arse gravy of the worst kind".

Maybe in a few years time, when the last movie has finally been shown on television and the media coverage has died down, I will to a bookstore and purchase the series to read. Maybe then I will do that for my children (if I have any) just to protect from the crap that is in this world.


At times I feel that the group I am attached to for Paediatrics is leaving me out of activities and conversation on purpose. Maybe it is my fault. I think I have come across as a blunt and sarcastic person which may not be to everybody's liking, especially to the American gal in my group. They don't engage me for conversation and just talk about stuff that I have no clue about. I know I should try to engage in conversation myself but I am very very shy plus I don't want to portrayed as intruding into what they are talking about. I just wished they tried to know me a bit more and engage me into activities more. I am not saying we should be good friends, just treat me with a bit more respect and regard me as invisible.

My view on Everton's manager, David Moyes, is very ambivalent. On one side he has picked players from obscurity like Joleon Lescott and Tim Cahill, brough the best out of them and helped Everton reach fourth and sixth, qualifying for European competition. On the other side Moyes has made Everton play very negatively with a 4-5-1 formation isolated very good players from the team, including Richard Wright, Andy Van der Meyde, James Beattie and James McFadden, with the rseult that Everton finish in the bottom half of the table.

Right now I am taking the later view on David Moyes. He has let good players such as Richard Wright and Gary Naysmith go and totally reinforced his central midfield with Phil Jaglieka and Steven Pienaar despite the fact that he already has a wealth of talent in this area. What he really needs is to reinforce his wide areas. He has not back up in either the wings or full back-positions. Like Bolton it seems that Everton will be packing their midfield and try to play negative football. All these tactics do win you points, they do not necessarily win you fans (although that is not a problem for Everton).

With the current squad Everton are incapable of maintaining a good Premier League campaign plus doing well in the UEFA Cup. They are more likely to finish in the top ten whilst doing reasonably well in Europe but there is still three to four weeks to go before the season starts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Underdogs: Derby County FC and Paul Potts

I'm now into week 5 out of 8 of my Paediatric clerkship and I am still very worried about how I am going to perform in my end-of-clerkship examination. My Cantonese is still very accented after nearly eight years in Hong Kong and I'm still encountering doctors who believe I should be practising more in the wards. What they don't realize is there is a limit to how good my Cantonese will be, just like some doctors' English will be accented no matter how much they use their English. When doctors talk about empathy and understanding how other people feel, this is one situation where they dramatically fall short.


Everybody loves an underdog story since most of the population aspire to this - beating the odds to become a success, overcoming all obstacles. We rarely get to see these stories in real life though, since most success just comes through cool hard cash. However there are two stories which I like to mention that could come into this category.

Derby County just got promoted into the Premier League two months ago and now face a difficult season. They played well enough to win the playoffs but the way they play might not work this time around. They built their campaign on a sturdy defence with nipping a quick goal on the break. However a good defence will not make you lose but a good strikeforce is required to make you win, which Derby do not have.

They have brought in Robbie Earnshaw who has Premier League experience but will require two more forwards to give Billy Davies options if Howard or Earnshaw becomes injured or suspended. They have invested well, bringing in Tyrone Mears and Andy Todd, but still require some experience in central midfield. They cannot solely rely on Matt Oakley and David Jones.

Let's just say that Derby County is everybody's favourite to be relegated but also everybody's second team since they will be relying entirely on grit and hard work to get their points, not cash and flamboyance. Yet grit and hard work will only get you so far.


I surf Youtube quite a lot, looking at pirated videos of "Mock the Week", "QI", "Have I Got News For You" and "Top Gear". When I was slightly bored, I looked at the all-time watched videos in UK and found this:

I was amazed by this voice. Paul Potts was just a mobile phone salesperson with some opera training but suddenly produces this performance to stun the judges of "Britain's Got Talent", including evil Simon Cowell. He's that underdog everybody wants to succeed. He's your average bloke with an amazing talent, who managed to beat some very talented performers to win "Britain's Got Talent" plus £100000 plus a recording contract with Simon Cowell. Not only has he become famous in Britain but, thanks to Youtube and the internet, is famous in USA. He has been asked to perform at the season two finale of "America's Got Talent". I really hope that he succeeds because he has gone through a lot of hardship in his life and he deserves what he's got.

It just goes to show that there are Cinderella stories in real life - it is just a matter of finding them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cream of the crop

I apologize for my rather abrupt ending of my last blog entry. I was finishing the entry before one of my classes and I didn't think of ending it properly. We all think that everything should end neatly in life but it is rarely so. Look at death - most of the time it comes unexpectedly and at that moment do you really think you have finished everything you want to do? Of course not. Hopefully this blog entry will not be like that, although I don't promise anything.


In my last blog entry I stated that I don't watch the local shows since of their poor quality, to put it midly. So if I don't watch anything from the local channels, what do I watch?

Recently I watch cooking shows on Discovery Travel and Living. Mainly I watch just to get ideas of what to cook. I can cook but getting ideas on exciting recipes is what sets me apart from the chefs who work in restaurants. I like Jamie Oliver as he makes food simple and not so artsy-fartsy like some other cooks, like Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsey.

I try not to watch dramas or any series, only because I know if I watch one episode I have to watch the whole series and that is too much of a commitment. That goes mainly for "24" but I'm waiting for my rotation to finish and am using my two week break to download "House" plus "Doctor Who". I cannot be bothered to wait each week for one episode, so I rather just download the whole series and watch it at my leisure. Probably in the future that will be what TV will be like. Instead of waiting each week to watch one episode, people will subscribe to shows where they can watch in their own time. The problem of advertisement still has to be resolved but I think some people would rather have than the current situation. Loads of people download shows off the internet, mainly episodes that have been screened a long time ago. I'm not in a rush to see that episode and talk about it around the water cooler.

My favourite kind of shows are British comedy panel shows. I constantly in hysterics while watching these shows. I could give a description of each show but Wikipedia and Youtube do a much better job than I could.

First up is "Have I Got News For You" which takes a comical look at the news. It has been going on for more than fifteen years, so it must have something going for it. The best moment is when then-host Angus Deayton had his private rummage with a prostitute revealed in the tabloids and the two team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, ridicule him during the next show. Enjoy the moment.

Another show is "QI" which is short for "Quite Interesting". You learn something but you crack up at the same time. The most classic moment was in series two's Christmas special when the host Stephen Fry swaps places with constant loser Alan Davies. Just watch and laugh.

Finally the last show I like to recommend is "Mock the Week". For those who know the show it is best described as a mixture of "Have I Got News For You" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" which is ironic since the creators of "Mock the Week" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" are one and the same. One of the best sketches is Rory Bremner, famed for his impersonations of famous people, performing as George Bush.

I know that the programmes in US and UK have better funding but that doesn't give Hong Kong an excuse to make piss poor TV series. Back in the 80s the TV shows and movies were of top quality. So where did that go? Hopefully Hong Kong people realize that there is much more out there and demand better TV from their local channels.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Turning your brain into mush

I don't watch much local television; primarily because I don't have time, having my head in my notes or textbooks. The main reason why I don't watch TVB Jade or ATV Home is that the quality of programming is not up to the standard I demand. In other words, the Chinese TV shows are shit.

Everybody thinks I am biased against anything from Hong Kong and favour everything from England - that's not true. I recognized that there are shit programmes from UK and USA. You just have to look at the soap operas on offer: "Eastenders" and "Coronation Street" from England; "As the World Turns" and "General Hospital" in USA. Yet those countries can seem to produce high quality television programmes as well, such as "Pride and Prejudice" (still worth watching despite being twelve years old) and my favourite TV show of all time, "The West Wing". It just seems that all of Hong Kong television is crap. I understand they have budget restrictions but at least they could try harder. The screenplay and plot are so predictable, I could become a clairvoyant. The acting is more wooden than the Amazon forest. The setting and technical stuff such as camera work and editing look like a twelve year old kid was behind the project. People tell me to watch local television to improve my Cantonese but if that pile of drivel is on the show, I rather have crap language skill thank you very much.

The news is about the same quality as the television programming. I don't blame the newsreaders or hosts - it is just the quality of news on offer that bugs me. Hong Kong news is the same as local news in USA or UK. It is just reporting on local crimes or incidents which will affect very little people. I rathe watch international news which will affect more people and is a little more dramatic. However I do not watch or read anything about Iraq or Israel anymore. Those problems are always going to be on our TV and won't change in the near future.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Chelsea FC - the antichrist

Before I forget, I was writing about the review/preview of the Premier League teams. As I remember, my club was Chelsea.

After Manchester United, Chelsea must be the most hated club in the Premier League. Roman Abramovich might have bought success to the club with his billions but the added weight includes having to hire the arrogant Jose Mourinho as manager plus the envy of other clubs and their supporters in the ability to dish out cash like water for other players.

However thanks to the boring horrible way Chelsea play under Mourinho, Abramovich has tightened his purse strings and so the club had to entice free agents rather than buy players from other clubs. Steven Sidwell, Tal Ben Haim and Claudio Pizarro have come to Chelsea on free transfers but on exorbitant wages.

Still this is a club which has won two titles in a row plus the FA Cup and League Cup. Chelsea are not a club to be discounted, especially with Mourinho at the helm. He's a prick but he's good at his job. Like Allardyce, he knows that it doesn't matter how you play just as long as you get three points at the end. So expect them to be back in the hunt for the title this coming season. They still need a couple of players - preferably a centre back plus a right back - plus they need to get rid of any rotten wood, such as Paulo Ferreira, Boulahrouz and Wright-Phillips but they should be Manchester United's main challengers to the title.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Captain's Log, Stardate 415687.2

I'm sick and tired of people mocking my accent, including close friends. I have been regarded by people to have a 'perfect British accent', similar to the newsreaders on BBC World, even at a British boarding school. Lately is has become a problem in bedside teaching. Twice I have pronounced 'eczema' the correct way, as in 'ecks-ma'. However people in Hong Kong with their crummy English pronounce 'eczema' as 'ex-see-ma'. So with their crummy hearing as well they think I am saying 'asthma'. Heck they even say that wrong, pronouncing 'asthma' as 'ass-see-ma' instead of 'ass-ma'. At times I really do hate ignorant people.


The 300 square foot flat I'm currently staying in with my mum has lately become crowded. Since my dad is away on conference, that means are rather large two golden retrievers will be living with us for about a week and half. They are getting use to the new environment but it has been quite a culture shock for them. They have been raised in the countryside and suddenly going to the city with its bright lights and traffic has them startled. It was more a problem for Nala, the younger female, since she will only pee on grass. With the lack of vegetation in Kennedy Town, it has lead to worries of damp floors at our flat. Hopefully that situation won't happen.


Live Earth has come and gone. There have been criticisms and positive responses but hopefully people should come away with the correct message. My brother got to go - lucky bastard.


I have spotted another Starbucks in a hospital. This time it is at Princess Margaret Hospital in Mei Foo. This is just the beginning. Soon Starbuck will completely rule the earth. You have been warned.


I constantly fall asleep in class - why is that? Even if I get a good night's sleep, I will doze off. My psychiatrist tell me it is due to lack of concentration plus I consider sleep as a way to escape from the harsh realities of the world. It still doesn't help me. I've tried many things such as coffee and getting sleep beforehand but sometime it works and sometime it doesn't. Hopefully it won't affect me much.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rated XXX

I think about sex too much of the time. From a TV advertisement it stated that men think about sex every seventeen seconds. I reckon that I think about sex more often than that. Thoughts of sexual acts pop in my mind every so often, ranging from the general sexual intercourse between a non-descriptive but nonetheless beautiful and sexy women & myself, to banging Keira Knightly or one of my friends or group peers. These thoughts can wander into my brain at any situation - in class, while I'm catching the bus or just when I'm bored studying.

Right now I like to clarify I'm not obsessive about sex - I can block out the thoughts and continue with my work and they tend to come when I'm bored and not occupied. I tend to worry that I'm too much of a pervert compared to the rest of the population. Yet I believe I am more open about sexuality than other people. Sex to me is completely natural - why be ashamed about it or try to hide it? That is why I cannot be a conservative - you try to hide too many things from one another, when putting it out in the open creates discussion and tolerance.

My belief is that my sexual pre-occupation is connected to my total lack of a significant partner and a sex life. The word 'desperate' comes to the forum when thinking about it. I have thought about rectifying the matter - words like 'prostituition' and 'rape' spring forth but thankfully my conscience beats that down before any more thoughts along those lines proceed.

I just wish that more people were similarly like-minded about sex.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ten years on (continued)

So where was I? When you last heard from me, I was dissing how Hong Kong was so crap. I know some people has loyalties to this place, considering they grew up here and consider Hong Kong their hometown. I grew up in England and I know I would defend that place. Yet I know what is wrong with England: Everything is so damn expensive; there is still a class system even if people don't admit it; the transportation and the health care system is a shambles and will collapse anytime soon, thanks to this Labour government. Why are we so loyal to our hometown or country when we know some things are wrong.

Take Hong Kong for example - not only can I point out things are wrong with the people but also the place:
  1. There are way too many buses, cars and taxis here: That is why the transportation system is so effective here. It is also the reason why Hong Kong has such a poor air pollution problem and why so many Hong Kong people are spoilt. They will not walk 10 metres for a bus stop but will wait for a bus to come to them.
  2. The air pollution is too much of a problem: Let's stop blaming the weather or the factories in China but blame ourselves for contributing to this mess. The thing that annoys me the most is that we don't do anything about it. The government always rattle on about the economic side whilst the population have no concept on what is environmentally friendly and don't want to.
  3. This has got to be the dirtiest place on earth: In terms of education and economy, we have got to be the dirtiest bastards on the earth. We don't pick up litter after ourselves and the toilets here are revolting. I still blame most of the Mainland Chinese people for this. Yes I know I am being prejudice and stereotyping people but I do really see this happening - Mainlanders throwing litter around and spread fluid everywhere in the lavatories.
  4. Anything 'Western' is expensive: If you live on Chinese or local stuff, that is fine and every is not expensive. If you want a can of baked beans, the price goes up.
Before I bore everyone to death, I know that this is my own opinion but remember that I have lived here for twelve long years, so I do know what I am talking about.