Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Second Amendment

After the tragic event that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, the question that is often used by us non-US ignorant people is this: "Why do you Americans still hang on to this rule?"

I know the US Constitution is sacred amongst the American people. I don't want to trash it or give any disrespect for it. But can one person come and explain to the rest of the world, after the killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School or even after the numerous shootings that have occurred over the past years, why the American people don't stop this.

I really wish to have an educated debate on this, so lets go back to the original text:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The overall gist I get from the Second Amendment is the US founding fathers wanted people to have the right to protect themselves in no matter way. I have no problem with this issue. I don't think Jefferson or Washington wanted their citizens to go out and kill people just for the sake of it. They wanted normal Americans to be able to defend themselves and be self reliant. I don't like animal hunting but in this context, I can understand why people have hunting rifles for this hobby - that is a legitimate claim.

But would the likes of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin could foresee that arms, including firearms, could get more sophisticated? Could they imagine that firearms could be have faster reloading mechanism or quicker firing rates that they no longer became a way to protect oneself but became an avenue of destruction and mayhem? As one anti-assault-weapon protester said during an interview outside the White House, weapons such as machine guns and assault rifles have no place in common society.

"But it's in our Constitution!" I hear Americans cry. I know its the establishment for your law and order in your country. Yet amendments have been added over the history of your nation. Could it be possible to have amendments altered or even deleted? The Eighteenth Amendment was the prohibition of alcohol, but was repealed by the Twenty First Amendment, which regulated the sale of alcohol. So there is a precedent. I'm just raising this possibility and I would like to have an informed person state why this cannot be so.

Even then, there are a lot of sacred texts that people pick and choose. Does that seem familiar to all you Christians out there? That's another debate for another date.

I know the pro-gun lobby, mainly in the form of the National Rifle Association, would oppose any further control. But can any member of the NRA go up to a parent, especially one from Newtown, Connecticut and state that, despite that most of the weapons used in gun shootings are legally bought, what they are doing is right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Automatic headlights

They don't work. They just don't work.

What am I talking about? Automatic headlights.

I'm not disputing the "headlights" part. They function just fine. In fact, that is a whole other blog entry to write about, how headlights have become TOO powerful. What I'm ranting about is the "automatic" side of things.

The whole point of automatic headlights is when the visibility becomes too low, such as when it becomes dark or there is adverse weather conditions such as mist or heavy rain, the lights will turn on to aid vision. It is designed for the lazy or ignorant driver who are far too busy to concern themselves with road safety. They are doing other things such as using their mobile phones to talk to people when it is illegal or smoking a fag.

However the sensitivity of the detector is a bit too touchy when it comes to detecting anything resembling light. They don't really work in some conditions of rain, such as a light drizzle. They don't work when it is cloudy - it is still fine not to use those lights but they turn on and blind the driver in front. They switch on when I'm driving in tunnels, even when the tunnel is well lit

I've had to resort to switching the bloody thing off and relying on a thing called my brain to know when to switch on or off headlights. People use to do this back in the old days, so why the need for automatic headlights now? Perhaps car companies should include an additional option to adjust the sensitivity of the automatic headlights. They may have already done, but now on my Volkswagen Golf.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


I know I'm not going to get a lot of exposure or sponsorship for what I'm doing, but the other aspect of the event is to raise awarenesss...

What am I talking about? Growing a moustache this month. It's all in the aid of "Movember", to highlight men's health and especially prostate cancer. Guys are suppose to grow moustaches only but I'm breaking the rule by also growing a beard. I might shave the beard halfway in if it looks bad.

If you want to check my progress, go to my MoBro page.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

I know all sports people don't consider this the ultimate prize of their career or even this year. But I do like a list with the analysis which goes into the thought process.

This list has been updated from the previous list to acknowledge the accomplishments of Team GB Paralympic team plus other recent victories. It was difficult to whittle the list down to ten nominees, with so many British men and women performing spectacularly this year.

Again the order is in how I would place them.

1. Andy Murray (tennis)

  • First British men's singles champion in a Grand Slam for 76 years by winning the 2012 US Open
  • First British men’s singles finalist at Wimbledon for 74 years
  • Olympic men’s singles gold medallist
  • Olympic mixed doubles silver medallist
  • Men's world No.3 (at time of writing)
Giving Andy Murray the slight edge is four major accomplishments (US Open winner, Wimbledon finalist, Olympic gold and silver medallist). He also still has the change to win the ATP World Tours Finals in London in November and finish the year as number one, although the latter is less likely.

Probably going against him would be that he's Scottish. I'm not being racist, is just most of the voters in Sports Personality of the Year will be English. Also his portrayed dour personality is something against him, which is contrary to actual fact. Watch the episode of Andy Murray appearing on Mock the Week just after he lost at Wimbledon and you'll see his real personality.

2. Bradley Wiggins (cycling)
  • First British winner of the Tour de France
  • Olympic time trial gold medallist
  • Joint most decorated British Olympian
Although Britain has more than its fair share of sporting heroes this year, Wiggins stands above the rest with his Tour de France win. Achieving something no other Brit has done pushes Wiggo up the rank. Winning both the Tour de France and an Olympic gold medal, something the great Miguel Indurain didn't even do, pushes him up even further. His mod style helps Wiggins to have an unique  personality. Yet his achievements might be forgotten in December, especially if other people do other amazing things.

3. Sarah Storey (cycling)
  • Paralympic women's individual pursuit C5 gold medallist
  • Paralympic women's 500 m time trial C4-5gold medallist
  • Paralympic women's time trial C5 gold medallist
  • Paralympic women's road race C4-5 gold medallist
  • Most decorated British Paralympian in terms of number of medals
  • Joint second most decorated British Paralympian in terms of number of gold medals
It will be a tragedy if only a few women or Paralympians get nominated. Sarah Storey fulfils both criteria, not that I or anyone should be counting. Her list of achievements justify her inclusion, winning four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics. Not only can she dominate the field in Paralympic cycling in both track and road events, she has proven she can compete with able-bodied cyclists by winning the British national championship in the 3 km pursuit. To make her achievements even more remarkable, she only switched to cycling after being a decorate Paralympic swimmer.

4. David Weir (athletics)
  • Paralympic men's 800 m T54 gold medallist
  • Paralympic men's 1500 m T54 gold medallist
  • Paralympic men's 5000 m T54 gold medallist
  • Paralympic men's marathon T54 gold medallist
To establish yourself as a champion in one event is difficulty. To make yourself a champion in four events with a vast range of distances is almost impossible. Not that this would stop "The Weirwolf". He's been acclaimed as the best wheelchair athlete and quite rightly so.

5. Jessica Ennis (athletics)
  • Olympic heptathlon champion
Jessica Ennis had completely dominated the London 2012 heptathlon, she could have cruised the final event - the 800 metres - and still would have won comfortably. But she gave the stadium crowd what they wanted, winning by 300 points and setting a new British record. She is so good, she even broke the British record in the 110 metres hurdles and the high jump, despite being a heptathlete.

6. Mo Farah (athletics)
  • Olympic 5000m and 10000m champion
  • European 5000m champion
Mo Farah became only the 7th athlete to win 5000 metres and 10000 metres at the same Olympics, joining the likes of Zatopek and Viren in history. His back story of escaping Somalia and arriving in Britain without being able to speak a word of English helps portrays his rags to riches story as a fairytale dream with an ideal ending. Plus his "Mobot" stance has been copied by many others, including Usain Bolt.

7. Eleanor Simmonds (swimming)
  • Paralympic women's 400 m freestyle S6 gold medallist 
  • Paralympic women's 200 m individual medley SM6 gold medallist
  • Paralympic women's 100 m freestyle S6 silver medallist
  • Paralympic women's 50 m freestyle S6 bronze medallist
Ellie Simmonds may not have won as many gold medals as other Olympians or Paralympians. But she is a repeat winner, having performed at the same level four years earlier in Beijing. Plus she has an adorable demeanour about her, despite being a young age of 17 years old.

8. Rory McIlroy (golf)
  • Won his 2nd major, the US PGA by a record eight strokes
  • At the time of writing, World No. 1, European No. 1, PGA Tour No. 1
By winning his 2nd major with the US PGA, McIlroy became the 6th youngest multiple major winner and the youngest since the great Seve Ballesteros. And he's only 23 years old. It will be difficult for the Northern Ireland golfer to make himself prominent in an Olympic/Paralympic dominant field. He can still achieve more in the remainder of the year, by finishing the year as No. 1 in three different tours and helping the European Ryder Cup team to a win in USA. Let's hope he'll bring Carolina Wozniacki to the awards.

9. Ben Ainslie (sailing)
  • Olympic Finn sailing champion
  • World Finn sailing champion
Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, winning his fourth consecutive gold medal and fifth consecutive medal. This nomination is more for his lifetime achievement rather than this year's Olympic victory, which was his hardest.

10. Lee Pearson (equestrian)
  • Paralympic mixed team championship gold medallist
  • Paralympic individual championship test grade Ib silver medallist
  • Paralympic freestyle dressage bronze medallist
Another athlete who's lifetime achievement should give him a more focussed spotlight. Although he didn't pass Tanni Grey-Thompson in the number of Paralympic gold medals, he has tied with Grey-Thompson, Sarah Storey and David Roberts in second in number of Paralympic gold medals.

Honourable mentions

Sophie Christiansen (equestrian)
Natasha Baker (equestrian)
Charlotte Dujardin (equestian)
Sir Chris Hoy (cycling)
Laura Trott (cycling)
Jason Kenny (cycling)
Hannah Cockcroft (athletics)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

BBC's Sports Team of the Year guesses

My guesses for BBC's Sports Personality of the Year, Team of the Year:

1. Team GB Olympic cycling team
- Won one fifth of the medals on offer
- Only team to win more than one gold medal
- Won medals in 9 out of 10 events (7 of them gold) on the track

2. Team GB Paralympic equestrian team
- Won one third of the medals on offer
- Won nearly half of the gold medals on offer
- Won a medal in each of the events on offer
- Every member of the team won a medal in the individual events and every member won a gold medal

3. Team GB Olympic rowing team
- Won over one fifth of the medals on offer
- Women won 3 out of 6 gold medals on offer

4. Team GB Paralympic cycling team
- Won one sixth of the medals on offer
- Won one sixth of the gold medals on offer
- Pursuit team never finished lower than 4th

5. Chelsea football team
- Won the UEFA Champions' League, despite being totally crap
- Made John Terry more of a c*nt, which takes some doing

Monday, August 13, 2012

Early contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

In order of how I would put them

1. Andy Murray
First British men’s singles finalist at Wimbledon for 74 years
Olympic men’s singles champion and mixed doubles silver medallist
Men's world No.4 (at time of writing)
Shows he has a sense of humour by going on "Mock the Week"

2. Bradley Wiggins
First British winner of the Tour de France
Olympic time trial champion
Joint most decorated British Olympian
Only cyclist to have won the Tour de France and an Olympic gold medal in the same year
Also won Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie & Criiterium du Dauphine (just to prove he wasn't just focussing on the Tour de France)
The coolest mod around

3. Jessica Ennis
Olympic heptathlon champion
World indoor heptathlon silver medallist
Broke personal best and British records for indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon
Broke British record for 100m hurdles & high jump (despite being a heptathlete)
Does all this while looking very good

4. Mo Farah
Olympic 5000m & 10000m champion
European 5000m champion
7th athlete to win 5000m & 10000m at the same Olympics
Arsenal fan - say nothing more

5. Laura Trott
Olympic Omnium and team pursuit champion
World Omnium & team pursuit champion
Only one of four British women to win double gold in the same Olympics
Does all this after being born with a collapsed lung and having asthma
Replacing Victoria Pendleton as the next babe in British sport

6. Sir Chris Hoy
Olympic keirin and team sprint champion
World keirin champion
Joint most decorated British Olympian
Most successful British Olympian in terms of gold medals
Trained barista

7. Ben Ainslie
Olympic Finn sailing champion
World Finn sailing champion
Most successful Olympic sailor of all time, winning his fourth consecutive gold medal & fifth consecutive medal
Unfortunately supports Chelsea, which is probably why he is lower down on this list (just kidding!)

8. Charlotte Dujardin
Olympic team & individual dressage champion
Only one of four British women to win double gold in the same Olympics
Shows equestrian is not just for people with trust funds: went to a comprehensive school and her mother had to buy and sell ponies for a living to help fund her daughter's training 

9. Rory McIlroy
Won his 2nd major, the US PGA by a record eight strokes
6th youngest multiple major winner
At the time of writing, World No. 1, European No. 1, PGA Tour No. 2
Another lucky git, dating Carolina Wozniacki

10. Jason Kenny
Olympic individual sprint and team sprint gold medallist
Heir apparent to Chris Hoy
Dating Laura Trott, which makes him a lucky bastard

Honourable mention: Victoria Pendleton
Olympic keirin champion
Olympic sprint silver medallist
World sprint champion
Still the sexiest lady in sports by a mile

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Overview of Arsenal squad

Wojciech Szczęsny - keep
Łukasz Fabiański - maybe, if he can accept being the reserve goalkeeper to Szczesny
Vito Mannone - sell
Manuel Almunia - already gone

Right back
Bacary Sagna - keep
Carl Jenkinson - keep

Centre back
Thomas Vermalaen - keep
Laurent Koscielny - keep
Per Mertesacker - keep
Johan Djourou - maybe
Sébastien Squillaci - sell
Ignasi Miquel - send out on loan

Left back
Kieran Gibbs - keep
Andre Santos - keep

Central midfielders
Tomáš Rosický - keep
Mikel Arteta - keep
Aaron Ramsey - keep
Alex Song - keep
Jack Wilshere - keep
Abou Diaby - keep (we have got to give him a chance to recover from injury)
Emmanuel Frimpong - send out on loan
Francis Coquelin - send out on loan
Craig Eastmond - send out on loan
Nico Yennaris - send out on loan
Henri Lansbury - sell (let's face the fact, he's not going to get into the team with at least five players ahead of him)
Andrei Arshavin - sell (he wants to go since he is not being played in his preferred role)
Denilson - sell

Theo Walcott - keep
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - keep
Gervinho - keep (give him one more season)

Robin Van Persie - keep (as far as possible, even it means breaking the bank in terms of wages and signing new players)
Lukas Podolski - keep
Park Ju-Young - maybe (I would like to give him one more season to prove himself)
Marouane Chamakh - sell
Nicklas Bendtner - sell
Carlos Vela - sell
Ryo Miyaichi - send out on loan

What Arsenal need
Centre back x 1
Winger x 1
Forwards x 2
Defensive midfielder x 1

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The advantages of online shopping

A few weeks ago, I had to find gifts for my friend's baby shower. The ordeal was not easy. Whenever I am out, I am browsing around baby stores looking for gifts. I looked in all kind of stores, from the deluge of baby shops which to seem to infest all shopping malls to the chain stores such as Toys 'R Us and Mothercare, to look for suitable presents.

Like most males of the human race, I am not a happy bunny when the matter comes to this type of shopping. Us men just don't have the same appetite as women for browsing stores or window shopping. Guys will have in mind what they want, find what they want and get the hell out, just like sex. Women will want to take their time, try everything on offer and not give the goods in the end, again just like sex.

Another reason why I don't like to go out to shop is being approached by store staff whenever they try to help me. Having grown up in the UK, I'm not use to customer service of any kind. I like to go in the shop, browse around, find what I want, pay for the items and leave. My situation means stores don't really need staff to man the aisles, all they need is proper self checkouts to work properly - something which is troubling shoppers at UK supermarkets I hear (or read to be more accurate).

The only time I need the assistance of shop staff is to find something I can't see on the shelves or to ask information about a product. When that scenario arises and only if that scenario arises, then I will find a member of staff to help and not before. Please shop staff, don't cry out "Welcome to [insert generic shop name here]!" every time a customers enter the front door. Please shop staff, stop coming up to every browser within talking distance of you to ask "Do you need any help?" when clearly all that person wants to do is to browse. If he or she requires any help at all, they would be capable of asking you when that situation arises. Please shop staff, don't try to intimidate people into buying stuff they don't want - it just makes me want to leave the shop right away and never shop in that establishment again.

Which is why I have resorted more to online shopping. There are a great deal of advantages of using the internet to buy whatever you want.

1. The variety will be much greater. The shop, even chain stores, will not have every item in stock. I have the whole of the internet to find what I want.
2. I can find much more thorough information of the product I want. Not all staff are knowledgeable regarding all the items in their store. With the web, I can find more information and use other tools, such price and product comparison.
3. The hassle is less. Most companies now have free or low cost delivery. Even if it costs a few bob to deliver, you have consider the money you would spend to go out to buy the product, either in public transport or driving your car with added costs in fuel and parking. Also consider the time saved as well.

With that said (or written), this only applies to countries with good online shopping, such as North America, Western Europe and Australasia. The quality of Hong Kong online shopping is not on par, at least in the English speaking side. This is something you wouldn't envisage a developed city.

That is my first problem. Even though sole speaking English people are a minority, I would like to think we have the wallet size to attract businesses to put up a decent English website. That is not the case. The English version of Hong Kong eBay and Yahoo! Auctions are not existent. Same with Broadway electronics, even though it is one of the major electronic/electrical stores in Hong Kong.  Thankfully Fortress electronics have a decent online store, although the variety is not that great.

At least the major supermarkets, Wellcome and Park N' Shop, have decent online shopping and delivery. I think any major country should have decent online supermarkets, since grocery shopping is a major part of most people's lives. 

From there, the drop is quite steep. I cannot comment on all fields, since I don't have interest in clothes and I haven't got around to buying furniture online. Let's just say I found it really difficult to buy anything online regarding baby gifts. There is a decent amount on basic baby products but when you want to find some specialised baby products, there are few online stores.

The same is with electronic products. I have had to search items individually to find if they are stocked in Hong Kong. I would expect Hong Kong to have a more decent market regarding buying electronic goods online, given that the Hong Kong people are so technologically driven with changing their phones every year. There are a few decent sites in Hong Kong, so people don't have to despair.

The online book buying is decent but not as great as in UK or US. The two major bookstores in Hong Kong - Dymocks and Page One - don't even have an online store. At least have an inventory or a contact details so we can enquire if you have book in store, which Dymocks does to save it from being totally lambasted by me. Even if you don't have an online store, please put a catalogue up so customers can have a browse to see if you stock that product

The last swipe is online digital music. The HMV Hong Kong store is appalling, only being able to download very obscure music. iTunes music doesn't even have a Hong Kong store. I do want to buy singles and not buy albums as I am not an avid music fan, only albums just to get the song I want on it.

Perhaps I'm being harsh. Hong Kong people shop differently compared to US or UK people. Perhaps there are decent online stores in Hong Kong, which I haven't found or are just in Chinese. If anybody has any suggestions, please contact me so I can order as much stuff as I want in the comfort of my pyjamas.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Writing blog entries

For some reason, I spend a lot of my time thinking of what I should write in my blog. This phenomenon is usually confined to idle moments such as driving to and from work, in the midst of a lecture or when I'm out jogging. It's not particularly productive but it just happens. I have no real logical explanation why I do it. Perhaps I just want to articulate my thoughts to the world better, so people who read this will have a better understanding of whom I am. I want my blog entry to flow naturally, from sentence to sentence like if I was speaking to you or if you were watch a great riveting drama. I want readers to feel once they finished reading one particular blog entry, that topic has been extensively covered and there is no need to revisit the issue in the future, barring any change or any dramatic events in my life or something new has popped up.

In reality, despite all the time I spend idly planning my blog, that is never the case. I tend to write as I think without reading back what I have typed or revising what I have written. I don't want to spend too much time writing this blog, since I DO want to live a life. Inevitably not everything is covered in that entry about that topic. I loathe to revise any entry, especially if the passage has already been published on the internet and where everybody from random strangers to my closest friends have already read what I have to say on the subject and have given insight of their own on that subject. Like some lame horror movie sequel killer, I will always return to the same subject in the future with what seems like a new approach but actually is the same drivel dressed up in a different way.

Perhaps I try to give myself too much pressure in trying to produce too many blog entries in a certain period or trying to write the perfect article about that subject. I should take my time in writing these entries before posting them. I know my command of the English language is nothing compared to the likes of columnist I admire and read (such as David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Mark Steel) but I want something that is representative of me and will get people to like what I have written, or at least think it is not written by some maniac. 

So I resolved to setting myself some basic rules on writing my blog:
1. Give myself a topic within a certain time period to write about and set myself a deadline to finish the topic off. This should give me time to think of new angles about that particular topic.
2. Don't immediately post the blog up, even when I think I finished typing it. Let it simmer for a few days before going back to it to see if any new ideas have popped up.
3. Actually read back through what I have written. I actually notice I do have a lot of grammatical errors scattered throughout my blog, so I should be a good writer and actually draft what I write.

Hopefully these new rules should lead to a more flowing blog which will be more understandable and more representative of my thoughts. However these rules haven't solved the problem of thinking of some witty and concise way to finish the blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

and dieting

As some of you may well know, I have been exercise and dieting extensively for the past two months. Thankfully it has paid dividends with a drop of three kilos within this time limit. However I'm still obese (by Asian standards) and still got a long way to go - actually eight more kilos before I'm consider "OK".

Apart from running / walking in excessive heat after work everyday, I have resorted to dieting. This has been a dramatic turnaround for me. I do love to cook and I do love my desserts, so having to cut out both means I can identify with smokers and alcoholics trying to give up their vices. I tried cutting out breakfast but by about half way through my morning clinic sessions, I'm embarrassing myself in front of patients with steadying growling noise coming from my stomach area. So instead of being addicted to desserts now, I'm addicted to Kellogg's Special K (other breakfast cereals are available, as the BBC would say). Apart from Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, this is the only cereal I like. I can actually eat Special K for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if social circumstances allowed me to.

Unfortunately I still have to go out for lunch, since all the other doctors in my clinic do. So I still have to eat unhealthy stuff whenever I go out. Everybody knows if you cook for yourself or cook at home, you have some measure of control what crap goes into your body. If you go out to eat, you don't know how much preservatives / salt / sugar they put into your food.

One of the disadvantages of going out to eat is the portions. I hate to waste food and so cringe inwardly whenever anybody leaves a substantial portion of their meal on the plate. I have to cringe at myself now, since I leave all the rice / potatoes on the plate since I've started the Atkins diet. This carries on to dinner since I have asked my parents to cut out the rice for me at dinner.

So what other extremes have I gone to lose weight? Only drinking diet Coke / Pepsi and now using artificial sweeteners in all my tea / coffees. Yes, I'm very serious about losing weight but only if it makes me look better and gives me a better chance of attracting the opposite sex.

Now to give myself a break, I need to have that tiramisu my dad made...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Down in the doldrums.... again

I have been accused by an anonymous reader of being too negative in my blog. Unfortunately he/she didn't leave an email address for me to reply to say that is the whole point of my blog. This is suppose to be an avenue for my depression to dissipate itself to the wider world instead of ruminating in my mind, causing more havoc. If you don't like what you see, then don't read it - simple as that.

I'm going to further disappoint that anonymous reader as this blog entry is going to be another depressing read. For the past few weeks a low mood has been creeping up on me. I shouldn't have this problem anymore. I take my anti-depressants regularly and attend my follow-ups as scheduled. I work in an respectable profession, helping sick people to their ailments. I get paid quite handsomely enough to live comfortably, since I don't have to pay rent, not in debt or don't have to support anybody since my parents are financially well off. I stay in contact with my friends but don't get to meet them as often as I like.

And that's where it starts - trying to look at the bad sides of things. Before long I'm back looking at all the standard stuff when I'm depressed: I'm 31, single, still a virgin (interpret yourself if that is a good or bad thing), still living with my parents and still have depression which requires anti-depressants (and quite a high dose as it is).

Yet there are things which have contribute to my low mood. There are little triggers which accumulate to eventually break the camel's back. Annoying drivers who do not indicate with their lights when they are going to change lanes or take a turn. Demanding patients who ask about four different problems in a consultation that is supposed to last seven minutes. Acquaintances on Facebook putting up hundreds of photos of their babies in the same position.

And what was the final straw? Learning that one of my good friends is pregnant. I should be happy for her and her husband, and I am, but I'm also sad for myself. That's what you get when you're a depressive. You don't care about everybody else and their problems, you get selfish and care for yourself. Forget about all the poverty, disasters and deaths in the world, you only care that you don't have a girlfriend in your life. Forget that other friends older, better looking and more intelligent than you are still single, you only care about yourself. And I hate myself for think about that way.

As the usual disclaimer, I don't expect people to pay attention. Actually it is better that you don't pay attention, since it feeds my depression more. I don't expect anybody to help either since it is my own internal problem. I just wish for better drivers in Hong Kong and for people to stop putting so many photos into the albums without even sorting them out. Then I can stop whining about that stuff.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

My relationship with music

I have to state that I'm not a big fan of music. Unlike my friends, I have a modest collection which mainly deals with pop start from the 1990s to early 2000s. Since mid 2000s, I have become less interested in music, instead listening to podcasts and radio programmes.

This was evident a few days ago when I made the few excursions for shopping. I decided to patron the new HMV in Central. Whilst looking through the entire music section, there was only two albums I bought: The best of Whitney Houston and the best of The Who. I am one of these bad people who only buys "The Best of" albums from artists. Usually that means waiting for the artist to die or retire, or for the band to break up. The only other album in my radar is "The Best of S Club 7" (I know that I have bad taste in music).

Perhaps I am more of a singles man. I tend to love individual songs rather than a whole album. I have to like enough of the songs on an album to persuade me to buy the CD, hence only buying "The Best of" albums. Unfortunately Hong Kong doesn't have a very good download music market. Most of the download music here is Cantopop (or I can't read Cantonese well enough to understand their download sites). I can't access iTunes to download music here in Hong Kong.

Anyway I must get back to listening "The Who" and finding ways to download music legitimately in Hong Kong.

Friday, March 30, 2012


For those who know me, I've been trying to lose weight by dieting and exercise. I may dress up my motives by stating I want to be fitter and more healthy. Ultimately I want to attract women more and I know I won't get my foot in the front door if I keep looking like Kim Jong-Un's half brother. (Seriously how can North Korea's new dictator can look so pudgy and have the rest of his nation starve to death?)

I initially started my campaign against the bulge by doing some stretching exercises at home and it was a wake up call. You know you don't move your muscles much when stooping down to pick up something strains a back muscle. Actually my so called wake up call was when I was approached by a sales person of a gym chain trying to sell me a gym membership. During this demeaning procedure when one of their personal trainers was telling me everything I was doing wrong with my life, I had to do some sit ups. Every time I came up, my whole body was shaking due to the underdevelopment of my rectus abdominis muscles (yeah, I still remember some anatomy from my medical school days). Fortunately my willpower is a little bit more formed than my muscles and I didn't sign up to their gym, despite the glare the personal trainer gave me.

Anyway now that I spend most of my free time stretching, even when I'm surfing the Net, my muscles have started to become looser and if I were a cow I would deem edible now. But that's not the point. The next stage was actually getting me down from the fatty Kobe beef to a better lean steak. That meant some aerobic exercise. I started off cycling around the neighbourhood I live in and have gradually increased my workload over the past few weeks.

What I lack is motivation and a definite schedule. I think I have to go join a gym and start losing the pounds. I think I would be more motivated if I put a little money into this project. Thankfully there is a gym nearby to where I live, so I don't have to travel far after work. Hopefully I will have some willpower to join a gym in the first place.

Next time, I will be writing about dieting and crankiness...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hypes and fads

Years ago I remember many of my university peers where reading the Harry Potter books at the height of their popularity. Even though I watched the movies, I never got into the book hype and got round to reading the series. I truly believe the reason why a lot of people read their books was because it was the fashion and they didn't want to left out when talking with their friends.

Another fad that has gotten the whole world, and especially basketball fans in Asia, is the rise of Jeremy Lin, the point guard for the New York Knicks. Out of nowhere, he has been scoring points and dishing out dimes as if he was an All-Star player. More importantly he was getting the Knicks winning again and back into the playoffs. Thankfully the commotion has died down, especially since opponents have become aware of him and started to defend against him better. Nowadays his numbers are down and the New York Knicks are back to losing.

So why all the fuss about Jeremy Lin? There have been other player like him before, who come out of the blue to surprise everybody. So what makes him different. Is it because he is Oriental (I didn't use the word "Asian" as it means different things to different countries. In the UK, if you say Asian you mean anything pertaining to the Indian subcontinent whilst in USA you mainly mean anything looking Oriental)? This maybe the main reason since there have been few Asians making a big impact in the NBA. On the flipside, he's of Taiwanese of origin only - he was born and brought up in California. He's upbringing and style of play have not been influenced by his ethnicity

Is it because he's undrafted? This is unlikely to be major factor, since there has been many players how have been undrafted who have gotten to better things. One case is Ben Wallace, formerly of the Detroit Pistons who was Defensive Player of the Year many times and actually has won a NBA championship ring.

Is it because he's an unconventional player in his origins - a non-white player from a Ivy League school. This maybe a contributing factor since not many Ivy League graduates become great players. The last player from the Ivy League was Chris Dudley (who?) from the Portland Trail Blazers in 2002-3. There have been great Ivy League NBA players such as Bill Bradley and Geoff Petrie but that's about it.

Anyway the Knicks are back to losing again and Lin is still doing too many turnovers to become a great player. Let's just see how it goes.

Hypes and fads come and go, so don't always catch the wave and surf it to the end otherwise you might crash onto the rocks

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Professional hatred (part 5)

Anything to do with finance

I mentioned I don't like accountants / bankers / stockbrokers in a previous entry of my blog. Yet with the economic crisis as it is around the world and what has happen since I last wrote that entry, I think I should elaborate more.

I, with about 99% of the world's population, don't know a single fact about high level finance. I just about cope with managing my bank accounts and credit cards. I know there is a complicated network out there to generate money but I'm just as ignorant about it as I am ignorant about quantum physics and art. Yet I can get by just managing my bank account, probably because my job pays well and I live cost free at home.

I don't really like anything with stocks or bonds. One of the reason's why I don't like anything to do with the stock market, apart from knowing next to nothing about it, is if your job's sole purpose is to make money, then you have to look at what you really contribute society. I judge people's occupation by how much it gives back to the community. If the world had to start again (for example after a nuclear war has wiped all technology on Earth or an alien invasion has decimated the planet), which jobs would be most useful. At the bottom of the pile are the jobs I hate (see any of my previous entries for details).

I'm sure that most of the bankers and stockbrokers are nice people in real life - I have one as a younger brother. Yet there are some, a minority, that just take things over the edge and screw up people's lives. Yet we value these people enough to given one million pound bonuses despite their bank being still in the red. That says more about our society than those people, on second thoughts

Let's just say this: I'm not against rich people. I'm more about distributing the wealth (yes, my socialist rantings are beginning to surface). It is just not me saying it. Even the wealthiest French people were saying they should be taxed more back in August last year. There are wealthy people who are willing to have their taxes raised to help society, in USA and around the world.

If we want these people's jobs to become poisoned chalices, shouldn't we do a little bit more like not be friends with them, throwing stuff at them when the walk in the street or just not pay for their services? The unfortunate problem is we do need banks. These people have become a necessity rather than an option

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Round and round we go

Since I've been driving regularly for two and half years, I have become more incensed with other drivers. I have gotten past the stage where I think only BMW and Mercedes Benz drivers are bad; now I know most people behind a steering wheel in Hong Kong don't respect any kind of traffic or moral laws.

One thing I cannot get is how people don't know how to use roundabouts. It should be easy. Let's assume we are driving on the left hand side of the road (i.e. British, Japanese), the roundabout has two lanes and you know which exit to take. If you are taking the first exit (i.e. immediately turning left), you should stay on the inside lane (i.e. the left lane). If you are taking any other exit, you should go on the outside lane (i.e. the right lane). This assignment should avoid any collisions. The only problem is if you don't know which exit to take. If you are such a cretin (no offence), then take the inside lane (the left lane) and drive until you know which exit to take.

Oh, and remember to indicate which I will be writing about later when I stopped steaming through my ears after typing this entry.