Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Where did all the shit go to?

Eu and I were digressing from studies onto the topic of making money, and somehow we (or maybe just the crude me) started contemplating on the one industry that I know not of its existence, but am slightly sure might just work in Singapore.

I am talking about the shit industry.

Do you know what’s the population of Singapore? 4,240,300. With a land area of 699km2, this brings our population density to 6066 per square km. (Ok, I googled all this off from

Point is, Singapore is a very very densely populated nation, filled with happily well-fed people. Coupled with the all-so-efficient sewage collection system (see the new Deep Tunnel Sewage System), one cannot but start to think of the possibility of collecting top grade excrements from the happily well-fed population for processing into top grade fertilizers.

With enough research and development in this industry, we might very well be able to grow into a regional hub for producing fertilizers, giving all our shit to our neighbouring countries.

Hmm... I’m already thinking of how the Malaysian tabloids will blow this out of proportions...
‘We give Singapore WATER, they give us SHIT.’ - tabloid
Haha, joking only. Don’t take my scholarship away please... =P

Back to studies.


Hmm... there's more than 585 pple in the world who scored <85 for minesweeper in expert mode....


Friday, April 22, 2005

Time-value of Money vs. Money-value of Time

During our networks/engine revision today at s15, we were digressing onto the subject of what we should do with our spare time next study-year (to work while studying, or to just slack the time away doing only our FYP), and this further digressed into the topic of 'Time-value of Money' (or power of compounding) where we noticed some quite interesting points on it.

Eu, being the money-savvy guy that he is, noted to me the financial paradigm that has held for centuries and will do so for many moons to come: a dollar saved today is 64 dollars, 30 years later. So that means if you skipped the 1-dollar ching teng @ Biz. Sch (You can get a bowl @ 70-cents at Science Canteen.) now, you can have 64 bowls of ching teng 30 years later. Or not buying that 1 pair of Tevas now will get you 64 pairs of Tevas, 30 years later. Or not buying that nice MP3 player you are eyeing now will get you... ok, you get the point. Delayed gratification is the essence here.

Granted that's not really true, if you add in inflation - maybe not 64 bowls of ching teng, but 35 bowls? I'm taking a wild stab in the dark here. But the advantage of delayed gratification still stands.

Point being that we should try to save some money (by working, or by scrimping, or by not going on holidays) while we are still young, to enjoy the fruits of our labour 30 years later, when we retire. That extra 34 bowls of ching teng may just come in handy 30 years later.

But what about the value of money now?

Sure, 1 ching teng (referred as CT from now on to save my typing efforts geometrically) may be 35 CT later, but is that 35 CT worth as much as the 1 CT now? Of course it is, materially, but I'm talking about what that 1 CT mean to you now - when you are still a student mugging your life away studying [and not blogging(?)], when nothing less than that CTs will satisfy your immediate needs (not even that goreng pisang!). Will 35 CT bring you that same amount of enjoyment, 30 years down the road? Is it really worth it to forgo the one CT that you value highly now, in exchange for 35 CTs later, when you're probably well off enough to dine at chinese restaurants without flinching too much?

If all thesevCTs are getting on your nerves – too bad. CT is my currency of choice, so let's move on.

If 30 years down the horizon seems to far out for your imagination, let’s shrink it down to 5 years down the road. Using the very conservative mathematical logic of doubling your savings every 5 years through wise investments, your CT now grow to be 2 CTs 5 years later. Looking at the poor starving scrimping student who sees CTs as a prized commodity in life that I am now, and imagining myself 5 years down the road in that spiffy suit, working that cushy job, driving that power car, sipping that $3.50 Coffee Bean Latte - 2 CTs wouldn’t seem to matter that much then. Well, even if the power car seems a bit far-fetched, the Coffee Bean Latte should still be quite within my means. And if you don’t think Coffee Bean’s latte doesn’t cost $3.50, it’s because I’m a poor starving scrimping student who doesn’t hang out at Coffee Bean’s.

If I were to trade in my latte then for a 70 cents kopi, that would mean a savings of $2.80, equivalent to slightly more than 4 CTs, double that what I would have saved from delaying that ching teng when I was a poor starving scrimping student in NUS. In essence, to keep myself within the good effects of compounding interests, I could delay my delaying of gratification to a later time, and enjoy higher values now (as compared to the later time)!

I’m not saying saving money is no good. It always is. Rather, it is whether the efforts at saving justify the value of savings. It really doesn’t make sense walking a mile to save a bus trip (unless you derive entertainment from it), saving on a CT, holding a pee to find a free-of-charge toilet... as etc, if it requires extensive efforts on your part to do that. If the cost-savings aren’t high enough, don’t bother. Flush that toilet if it smells (no need to save water).

All this being said, I don’t think I will be working next year during the semester, unless I get a fun job that I really enjoy. Assuming I get a $5/hr job, and comparing this to a $25/hr job when I graduate, 25 hours of my time spent working next semester will be equivalent to 5 hours of OT when I graduate. I would rather utilize that 25 hours pursuing something I enjoy now, and spend 5 hours doing OT later on. I like doing OT anyway.

Right now, I’m thinking of activities I have long delayed – archery, kayak, hiking, dance (from Sien), photography, and a bit of piano. =)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A yellow butterfly

Was studying late last night when a yellow butterfly fluttered around me, taunting me to end its meaningless life within the pages of my 'TCP/IP Illustrated Vol I'. It was pushing its luck, I tell you. The audacity to land on my book right under my nose while I was reading it... Grr...

An unaccomplished mugger is a dangerous person to play punk with.

And here's a poem I dedicate to it, for all its insolence:
A Yellow Butterfly

Twas but a butterfly that knows not where to go in the night -
a flittering pursuit.
It embraces what it sees,
but doesn't quite reach.

Against the glass door, for the love of the other side.

It's not a moth, blindly burning into the lights - It knows better of things it doesn't. Why the carefree flitter?

At me it flew close,
a fragile yet lovely creature.
For fear of its beauty I pulled away,
yet so longing for its soft caress.

Fearless in my presence,
it flutters around me:

I dare not move.
I will not startle it.

flutters away.
Not a touch on my vulgar self.

How I am jealous of the dirt wall it perches upon now.

痴心绝对 - 李圣杰

Song here

Damn... This guy's quite a crooner. I think I like him, damn steady leh. Anyone has his album? Borrow me.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

SessionSaver on Firefox!

Sessionsaver extension

Finally found it. To those using Firefox, this is an extension that adds save-session capabilities similar to that found in Opera. Very useful!


I'm thinking of a bike license after my 3A license. Not really a bike person, but I think it can be pretty cool to scoot around Singapore on one...

And a bike's the only automobile really within my expense range, other than a bicycle modded with a gasoline engine.

What's your take on it?


I think this guy's good. Has the 'fee1 lings3'.... :p

Get the song here


Sunday, April 17, 2005


Sometimes, I jump to conclusion too quickly. Most times I do things without understanding the consequences that follow. I never cease to look things at surface level, and I guess I'm just the type of shallow guy who doesn't pay much attention to details...

Trudging around S15 level 3 late last night (no. early this morning.) at 3am, trying to embed some knowledge on 'Embedded Systems' into my long 'closed-shop' brain, I got around to do some late 'business' in the toilet.

On finishing my business, I noticed that the guy in the other cubicle was either very discreet about his business (he made no noise at all) or that he didn't exist. Peeking through the silt at the side, I could only make out colors of the cubicle wall, thus proving the latter.

So I thought to myself that it must have been some prank made by a stressed SoCian (he must have thought himself pretty smart-ass in locking the door from the outside, I smart-assly thought.)

Being the perpetual dweller in S15, I felt some civic obligations to undo that prank and yup, I unlocked the door, before going back to 'Embedded Systems' (which still refused permanent citizenship in my brain till now).

It felt like bad karma boomeranging in consecutively when I woke up the next morning to find that someone had used that toilet without flushing, and it stunk worse than my Tevas left unwashed for 5 consecutive decades. Feeling pissed off again (I do get pissed off easily during exam times), I went for the flush button, ignoring whatever unknown liquified organic compounds on it. And then I know why the door was locked. The flush wasn't working. It was dead stuck, like your favourite bottle of pasta sauce will always be when you needed it. Mama sai.

Thinking to myself ('Frank, Frank, what have you done?' ['Am I the toilet's keeper?']), I scooted out of the toilet for better air, feeling all guilty about opening that cursed door the night before (no. This early morning.)

And I can almost hear God in the background, analoging this to how I've always been rebellious against the circumstances He put me into, without understanding the reasons why they were made so. It was always 'And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His Purpose- Romans 8:38'- but in my shortsightedness, I have always felt shortchanged. But this time round, I've come to see the consequences of my smart-ass actions, and I didn't feel too good about it.

What to do? There must be something I can do to make up for my idiotic actions, to redeem myself. God always leave an escape clause for His people what.... With this thought, I went up to level 5's toilet (for a quick poo, and to dismantle the water closet there, to understand how it works.) I have to fix it.

Hmm, not too complicated. So this.. presses this... and *flush*. Ahh... Wakaremas-ta. But what can be wrong with the water closet downstairs? *Dabble a bit more to understand how it works*

Finally, armed with the all-power-imbuing technical knowledge of the most-skilled plumber in Singapore, I went downstairs to level 3's toilet in full bravado, but not without taking a deep breath.

Ignoring the sight of a supper gone wrong (think milk and lactose-intolerence) and holding my breath, I took off the cover and examined the situation. Why is there no water in there????

Having breath-time to panic for 3 seconds only, I found the water valve to be shut. Under silent cursings, I turned it back. And the water gushes into the water closet. Fine. But why was the flush stuck? Flush the damn mess manually first, Frank... *flush flush flush*

Fiddling with the mechanism that connects the button to the water lever (I dunno the techy plumby terms) I found the displaced component, which only God knows why it was displaced in the first place. Putting it back into place and covering back the water closet, I tested it. *flush flush flush flush ok I'm wasting water*. So it works. I felt better. =)

Moral of the story:
Things happen with reasons behind them. Only change them when you have examined the reasons to be full bollocks. Don't be too smart-ass about things and look at them at face-value. And if everything goes wrong, there's still time to make things right. And don't mess with God too much, lest he puts you through sucky life situations to prove His point. And it's always good to have plumbing knowledge, but on the worth to actually spend time on learning this 7 days before your first exam paper.... it's debatable.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Yes, I lost both my beloved blue Nalgene and Green Nalgene.

But Green Nalgene has my email and phone number written on the underside of it, so I hope the cleaning auntie is e-savvy enough to tell me when she finds it.

To get my first class honours::

Assuming I get A- for my FYP,
for my remaining 6 modules, I need to get ::
2 A-, and
4 B+.


Friday, April 15, 2005

I am quite sure

that I won't be able to cough up the codes for the parallel bitonic mergesort. It's quite insane, I think.

There are too many conditions to catch and implement for. Sigh, low morale. I think I got the bit manipulation part right, but it's not working.... yet.

Cough cough.

And time's running out. Streeeess / Strain = Young's Modulus.


李偲菘 has a way with lyrics, I must say.
The only part that does not invoke any feelings/imagery is the 啦啦... part. (Which is quite obvious why so. But hmmm... with Stefanie singing it, even the 啦啦... sounds nice.)


Thursday, April 14, 2005

I'm very sure about the stylish part. It's obviously wrong (for my part)

Your dating personality profile:

Stylish - You do not lack for fashion sense. Style matters. You wouldn't want to be seen with someone who doesn't care about her appearance.
Romantic - You know exactly how to melt your date's heart. Romance comes naturally to you and is an important component of any relationship you have.
Big-Hearted - You are a kind and caring person. Your warmth is inviting, and your heart is a wellspring of love.
Your date match profile:

Shy - You are put off by people who are open books. You are drawn to someone who is a bit more mysterious. You want to draw her out of her shell and get to know what she is all about.
Stylish - You cannot put up with someone who is lacking in style. You want an original, someone with flare, someone with good taste.
Practical - You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living.
Your Top Ten Traits

1. Stylish
2. Romantic
3. Big-Hearted
4. Adventurous
5. Religious
6. Athletic
7. Wealthy/Ambitious
8. Outgoing
9. Funny
10. Liberal
Your Top Ten Match Traits

1. Shy
2. Stylish
3. Practical
4. Conservative
5. Religious
6. Big-Hearted
7. Adventurous
8. Romantic
9. Sensual
10. Funny

Take the Online Dating Personality Quiz at Dating Diversions






Sunday, April 10, 2005

Korean Ginseng

Brother went to South Korea for honeymoon and brought back ginseng! It's the best grade (天级一品,太极人参) and it costs a whooping SGD$700 for 600g. *sweat*. It's the creme a la crop a la yogurt of ginsengs.

Some educative stuff about ginseng::
American Ginseng (花旗参),
Chinese Ginseng (长白参),
Korean Ginseng (高丽人参)
the most potent being Korean Ginseng. In fact, only korean ginseng can be called 人参, as they are the most authentic/potent/yahDaYahDa ones. (The 参 word for korean ginseng [and only korean ginseng!] has a 草字头 to it, but it doesn't exist in the dictionary.) Korea lies between 36 and 38 northern lines of latitude, which is the best geographical location for raising ginseng. That's why they have the best ginseng. 长白参 is from the Mt of 长白, which is a Mt shared between China and North Korea. Korea's side of the Mt is called 白头山. Hmm. Too much useless info here.

American Ginseng is cooling.
Chinese Ginseng is similar to korean ginseng, but less potent.
Korean Ginseng is heaty if harvested in the first 5 years, but is neutral after that. That's why you would see labels on packagings saying that the ginsengs are harvested after more than 5 years.

There are a few grades of Ginseng, namely:
Heaven Grade (Best, highest in saponin [a sort of nutrient] levels)
Earth Grade (Still very good, and still very expensive)
Good Grade (Erm. Good grade.)
Cut Root (Cut into smaller size)
Sliced Root (even smaller size of a less nutritious part of the root)
Drinks and Candies (useless stuff. Only taste like Ginseng, but without the potency)

1000-year Ginseng?
Wild ginseng can indeed be grown for many moons, so you can start growing one (in the wild) for your descendants several generations off... but not cultivated ginsengs. In fact, cultivated ginsengs can only grow to a lifespan of 6 years, cos they start to rot after that.

for more information, can go It might be useful to know more about this nutritious roots, that you can impress your in-laws with this... =P

Koreans prize their Ginsengs a lot, so naturally there's a high export tax to it. The bestest ones are not for export. So, the next time you go Korea, you'd save some (no, a lot) money by buying some authentic ginseng home for your parents/friends/boss.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Naruto Test

You scored as Rock Lee. You are Rock Lee, the genius of hard work.
You believe that anything can be achieved through hard work. You can’t be the best at everything, so you have decided to master one skill better than anyone. Feeling constant need to prove yourself, you tend to be competitive and a little hard for yourself.

Rock Lee 100%

TenTen 75%

Neji 75%

Hinata 75%

Iruka 75%

Naruto 56%

Sasuke 56%

Genma 31%

Kakashi 25%

Shikamaru 19%

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Live like you were dying

He said I was in my early forties
with a lot of life before me
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
and I spent most of the next days
looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options
and talking bout sweet time
I asked him when it sank in
that this might really be the real end
how's it hit you when you get that kinda news
man what�d you do

and he said
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.

He said I was finally the husband
that most the time I wasn't
and I became a friend a friend would like to have
and all the sudden going fishin
wasn't such an imposition
and I went three times that year I lost my dad
well I finally read the good book
and I took a good long hard look
at what I'd do if I could do it all again

and then
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.

Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about
what'd you do with it what did you do with it
what did I do with it
what would I do with it?

Sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu
and then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I watched an eagle as it was flying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying

Thanks Janfy

for the Secret Garden CDs.

Ok, so there's some bad points

to staying over in school, I must agree:

1) No bathing. I'm ok with that (scout, what...), but not for those who are olfactory-sensitive. But it does help to lick yourself clean all over... (let's not go into that, shall we?)

2) Your Tevas starts to accumulate a film of dead skin cells, and people around you start being inquisitive about a certain unpleasant smell.

3) Pimples starts coming out in large numbers for a Pimple Convention. On your face.

4) You find the need to withdraw money from YIH for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and suppers.

5) You start losing your friends, who swear to not invite you for their birthday if you persist in being a 'CAO mugger'. It's the CAO that they mind.

6) Your out-SMSes increase.

7) You actually find out who the other 'cao muggers' of the school are. They normally come out of their hidding places (in a zombified manner) after midnight. And they treat you as one of them.

But it's not so bad though. I'm fine with any of the above, so long as I get my work done...

But do I get my work done? Haha, that's... debatable.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Teachers of the Law! Tell me this!

Is it legal to fart off obnoxious sounding farts (with the olfactory factor in the same magnitudal range) in the toilet? When you're actually using the urinal?!? EEEEEEWWWWwwwW! Can I sue??

And what about not flushing straightaway, when the crap's really bad, even though you're not really through with your business? It's criminal! Can I sue??

Can I sue? Can I sue? I'm in need of some quick cash... =P

I do enjoy

staying over in NUS (school). S15/16 (pinpointed building) is quite a place for me, when there are less people bunking over in desperate attempts to churn out programs/reports due the day before.

Yes, yes... many of you (including you and you!) shudder at the thoughts of any decent, sane human being even relishing the idea of it, and I'm not minutely surprised. Why would anyone give up the comforts of one's snuggly bed at home and prefer sleeping on benches in school?

Here's why.

I'd prefer to be a King of thieves than servant of royalties. Over at NUS, there's no one to nag my ears sore, or frustrate my senses. I can do whatever I want, and I'd much prefer it that way. When I'm tired of studying, I can just lie down and rest. Take a nap till kingdom comes. At night, I can take a walk around school, admiring the night sky, the stars, the surreal serenity of it all. I can walk over to SRC and do my exercises, before heading over to Dover market for dinner/supper. If I happen to meet any Med friends studying, I can go over to NUH for dinner as an alternative choice (though I'm not very agreeable with the quality of night food there...)

There's no television in school, and that's a boon for me. I'm a person with little discipline - if I'm at home, the television will be intermittently switched on (want to watch) and off (feel guilty about wasting time) the whole night, and it's really far from productive. Too much overheads involved, and nothing studied goes into my head. What about laptop? Isn't that a form of distraction? Heh, sadly, it is, but to a smaller extent. I mainly use it to check emails and blogs, and turn it off when not in use. As setting up me laptop is a tad bit too tedious, there's a higher impedence to switch it on again.

I'm quite a hermit, in the sense that I feel completely at ease with no one to talk to but God. In fact, I think only when there's no distraction around me then I start talking to Him. I am a seed sowed amongst weeds. There's more where that came from, but I'll leave that to the next millenium... Without anyone to talk to or any distractions, life takes on a simpler tone - all that I do is sort out my fuzzy thinkings, think of what's dinner, think of how great life can be (it's sorta like fishing, or sitting in a rattan chair in front of my provision shop watching the children play). With my main hobby (and allowable one) being drinking water and going to toilet, one can hardly be distracted into doing non-relevant stuff (relevant being study and sleeping and enjoying the quietness [of still waters?])

And is sleeping a problem? Not anymore. Sleeping on benches can be quite a healthy thing to do (it does wonders for your back!), when compared to sleeping on cushy cushions. I think everyone should try sleeping on floors(or tatami) for a short period of time just to see what I mean. If Little Dragon Lady can sleep on a tight rope, why can't I sleep on a bench? And I don't think you can get any fresher air than what I'm breathing every night. It's like being in the great outdoors. When I wasn't used to the cold morning before, I used to wake up feeling all cold and shivery, but I guessed I've built up my constitution in the past few months, and I'm no longer susceptible to that. However, the Yong Tau Foo soup every morning is still a treat for a cold and hungry stomach.

Let Eric have his Opera Garnier - I have my NUS SoC and I'm a contented man.

Those clever geniuses at Nestle...

are indeed smart ass to boots and pants.

Never did I know why they bothered to convert their 3-in-1 coffee mixes from sachet form into straw (well, something like straw...) form, but it's only today when I was lamenting how inconvenient it is to get some of that caffeinated powder from those unergonomical sachet-form packets into my SMALL bottleneck-ed Nalgene bottle, that pseudo-eureka hit me hard on the back of my head. *ouuuuch*

With those straw packets, I'm quite sure the efficiency of transfer of coffee powder into my trusty Nalgene has increased from 50% (I have psychomotor problem. Sue me) to 99.5% (whoops ass!)

Lee Weng Hong

Frank Lee Weng Hong:

My japanese name is 猿渡 Saruwatari (monkey on a crossing bridge) 大輝 Taiki (large radiance).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Hmm... this is not really flattering. I'm a monkey? And one on a crossing bridge? Sigh...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Paul Cardall

Paul Cardall's Miracles CD is playing in my MP3 player, and I think I'm hooked on him.

And he streams from the link above!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

View from my balcony Posted by Hello

1-star Kayak Course @ Changi SSC Posted by Hello


(But judging from this, I guess I won't be called back to give briefing to the next batch of SEP students... =P)


bells for my big bro rang on the 31st at Marriot Hotel, and everything went quite smoothly.

The day started off with some slight deviation from the timetable, but this was to the betterment of the situation, as this meant less time for the girls to toy with us at the bridal's door (asking for door money + making us do ludicrous/insane/tortuous stuff).

Wasabi kaya bread. Biting "I love Baoli" out of 7 apples. Eating raw egg (it would have been eggS, if not for the lack of time. =p). There are indeed some thought put into making things difficult for us....

I figure out the next time we need an easier entrance to the bride's house, we'd do better with
a) Huge locker cutter (just in case we get impatient)
b) A glutton who has no problem with eating anything organic.
c) A super fit gym instructor/PTI for any physical/gymnastic feats.
d) A spy who doesn't know the meaning of defection (definitely not my sis).
e) Some rather glib talkers to sweep 'em girls off their feet.
d) A lawyer to sue the girls for breach of contract (if they ask for a bigger ang pow after getting the first one).

I must say Evangel played a great part in organising the wedding dinner event, settling everything from the reception to MC to songs++. Never mind that no alcohol was to be served during the event (save $$!).

My main worry throughout Time for having severely lacking knowledge on who's who in the relatives list proved itself that night. The rather cushy job of usher proved to be somewhat awkard, with familiar faces of relatives coming up to me, speaking in cantonese 'Ah Hong ah!', and me having completely no inkling which part of the family tree they hang from. All I know is that they DO hang along some branch, nook or corner of that all-so-unfamiliar darwinian tree. I hope that none of them see through my poorly disguised happySmile to realise how baffled I was at that point of time. And those kids that oh-so-grow. I am an uncle to whom? Who's that? Who gave birth to what? This is really confusing. I derived greatest joy in excusing myself from them to dwell in cliche conversations with friends I know, and acting busy by walking to and fro like some patrolling security figure.

I must really make some effort to know who's who, or risk having nightmares for the next CNY/wedding-in-the-family (2 more!) Or I can find some way (job posting, holiday) to get myself away during those festive period of time.

Night time was spent dethorning roses and making bouquets, with roses salvaged from decorations during the dinner.