Thursday, July 14, 2005

Durian season in Geylang Republic...

Coming from work one drizzly night, I felt the urge to buy some fruits for the wife and the kids from one of the fruit stalls along Sims Avenue. A full ten-minute walk from our house, these fruit stalls sell a wide range of fruits ranging from Thai mangos, papayas, coconuts, lanzones, mangosteens, jackfruits, rambutans,honeydews, rock melons, and - easily, the most-sought - durians. In fact, right along the sidewalk are rows of tables where the usual ah bengs, white-collar folks, the aunties and uncles, kids even, folks from all walks of life gather to partake of the legendary (olfactory arousal, notwithstanding) king of fruits.

After paying for my hoard - one mega-watermelon, a kilo each of lanzones and mangosteen, and four ripe mangoes, I caught sight of this mother-and-son duo who were trying to haggle with one durian vendor. Apparently, they are Malaysians who were in town for a short visit (hush, the ever nosey me, kaypoh in localspeak, hehehe) and were trying to catch a late durian binge. And boy, was I surprised with the durian price! Mura na! After this picture was taken, I noticed the vendor splitting a couple of durians and passing these over to his now-drooling-with-anticipation customers.

I didn't buy any durians this time. Last time I noshed up on durians, I had a pong of a fart for days! =)

Friday, July 08, 2005

My son, the student...

Buto'y first day in school, the whole story, in pictures...

Still sleepy... zzzz... Me, "C'mon get your ass up at maligo na tayo!" Butoy, "Daddy, tapos ng Courage the (Cowardly) Dog!" Tsk, not a good start it seems.

Look Ma, I'm ready for school! After much prodding, we were able to bathe the imp, feed him (roti prata with maple syrup, one of his paboritos), and put on the stuff his mommy prepared before she left for work, Butoy is ready for his rite of passage. Wohooo!

Best friends... That's me and my son. The paternal bond between us seems to grow stronger by the day. Especially when we are both playing our favorite computer games or when we are having a blast at the arcade playing Marvel vs. Capcom. But then, nagiging makulit na rin siya lalo na pag nag-aagawan kami ng remote ng TV. So after my turn at the shower and prepared my stuff (after finishing off his prata leftovers), off to the Chen Li Kindergarten we went, together with Tita Ria.

Butoy was apprehensive at first. He wouldn't let me leave kahit panay pa suhol ko ("Okay, I'm buying the toy you want..."). Good thing Shing Shing (opppsss Benedict pala) was there to help him settle down. You see them in the picture seated beside each other.

Ahhh, my son, the student. He's learning fast. He's going to be a smart (aleck?) kid. He better be, namulubi ako sa binayad ko sa school nya ha!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London: After the joy, sorrow...

Just caught sight of the news report about the London bombings from the 9:30 PM CNA newscast. Forty five people were reportedly killed and scores injured by a series explosions (four according to the latest report) which occurred during the early morning rush hour.

Three of the four blasts took place in the city's subways. A double-decker bus was the target of one other blast. Twisted metals, blood splattered pavements, victims bags, shoes and other personal belongings paint a grisly picture straight out of a Dali painting.

A little while ago, London was chosen to be the host city of the 2012 Olympics during the IOC session in Singapore. The city was abuzz with this news and the Londoners were generally in a cheerful mood. Then, out of the blue, the terrorist attacks happened.

I have cousins living in London. Friends. Classmates. Ex-colleagues. I hope they are all safe.

My heart goes out to the victims. My prayers too.

Olympics 2012: It's London over Paris...

In one hotly contested race, London one-upped Paris to gain the prestigious distinction of hosting the 2012 Olympics. The victory, however, was never by a long chalk. Winning by a mere 4 votes (54-50) last night, London becomes the first three-time Olympics host city having hosted the games in 1908 and 1948.

Tony Blair was in town for a few days before flying off for the G-8 summint in Scotland. Together with some well-known English sportsmen (Beckham was here with Posh in tow, middle distance runner Seb Coe, to name a few), the British PM was at the epitome of a quintessential English salesman brimming with youthful exuberance and enthusiasm. It's 1-0 for Blair vs. (Jacques) Chirac. =)

The Olympic contest further fanned the mounting tension between Blair and Chirac, who have previously clashed over the war in Iraq and European Union farm subsidies. Chirac was even quoted this week as trashing Britain's "bad food" and remarking derisively about mad cow disease.

But Gentleman Tony was unruffled and was quoted as saying, "Britain must be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat." Harharhar, methinks deep inside, he is bloody laughing his arse off.

Anyhow, the IOC excercise brought to town a number of world-reknowned personalities. Hillary was here together with the Greatest -- Ali, Ian Thorpe, Nadia Comaneci, Tony Parker (minus Eva Longoria?), sino pa ba?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bill Gates, Sim Wong Hoo : Men of vision...

The Suntec City Convention Centre was jampacked with around 8,000 IT professionals, teachers, students, and representatives from the government sector during the Bill Gates Live Forum held last week (July 1). It was basically a geek jamboree bannered by the Bill himself and home-grown radical geek Sim Wong Hoo, he of the Soundblaster fame.

Microsoft's Chief Software Architect talked about speech recognition in computing going mainstream in a few years. Bill also highlighted Microsoft's greatest challenge at present, internet security, and how the Redmond giant is spending around 6 billion greenbucks in R & D to find ways to circumvent ways to address current and emerging threats.

What's a Bill Gates forum without a mention of open-source? MS hating open-source? "We're certainly not against open source," Bill said. "But it is important to recognize that when you take an IT budget, your real goal is to get things done. And packaged software, whether ours or open source, the key thing you want to look at is whether it lets you buy inexpensive hardware, reduce your communications cost and, most importantly, reduce personnel cost development and operational functions." Furthermore he opined that companies will see that Microsoft offers a better "value equation" if they keep "an open mind." Getthefacts? You tell me. No FUD here heh. =)

WH Sim for his part talked about his crusade against the guys from Cupertino and his company's thrust of bringing cutting-edge technology to everyone's living room. His NUTS (No U-Turn Syndrome) and CHEAT (Create Huge Excessive Advantage Tactics) jibes were hilariously spot-on. And his take on kiasu-ism, Singapore's most iconic trait, and how he used this to leverage Creative's famed quality control, was, simply put, a genius' touch. The 50-year old bachelor even showed the next Creative Portable Media Centre (PMC) model which looked very sleek and trendy. It's one of a geek's gotta-haves I would say.

But the real show-stealer was Howard Shan Lo, the guy in the Eye for a Guy 2 show who was dissed by Denise Keller for that Wolfgang bloke. Witty and articulate, he was a welcome fare to Colin Png's rather hyper and melodramatic talk.