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The great outdoors
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Yes, I'm soooo sorry. I havn't been blogging for sooo long my backlog is not even funny! I've still got to write about what I did over christmas and new years eve last year, which happened a month ago already!

Butttttt .... I have a valid excuse. Some people may be wondering what it is I do in the army. Well, on most days, its actually rather mundane. I get up at 0630 in the morning, head off to camp and knock off at 1730. I handle mostly staff work, so its nothing exciting really. Progress reports, WITS projects, etc.

It all gets rather exciting however, when we go outfield for exercise. Now, when I was serving my NS back in the day, I went for a couple of these, thinking my days after disruption would be alot more relaxing.

I was wrong. Two months before I am due to ORD (Operationally Ready Date), I get called up by my Captain and asked "politely" if I am available to take part in the coming exercise.

On the spur of the moment, I thought to myself, "Hell, why not!!!???". I'd enjoyed myself previously with my 2IC, Captain Paul Neo (here he is today, third from left. now a major). We've since become really good friends, I lent him my car and drove him around on his wedding day. It was an honour and pleasure to help him out on his big day.

Anyway, my role in the exercise was to be a progress specialist. Esentially, the officers have alot of planning to do. Convoy plans, route plans, deployment plans, operation plans, monitoring charts, reports, the list is endless. Me and a good friend david puff were assigned to our Officer Commanding and 2IC to help them out. Truthfully, it was tough work. We laboured till the wee hours, and I was sick at one point of time.

Me and david would get up at 8 in the morning and work till 4 in the morning, tweaking every little detail of our powerpoint (A bit like an investment banking job, but without the perks of pay, takeout food, and a cab home to your bed at the end of it).

In case you're wondering how I managed to take so many photos, I was also tasked to be a photographer for the exercise (Something I really enjoy!).

In any case, there were fun times too lah. Such as when we went out one day on a recce. That's me and david in the recce vehicle, a good old trusty army landrover, I'm sure most of you are familiar with.

And lessons like these, in which the commanders are taught buddy aid, so we can pass down the wisdom. Yes, we did go overboard with this guy here. But hey, he seemed to enjoy it.

When you are out on exercise, there are two things that keep you alive and kicking in the field. One is preparation. I always stock up on the essentials. Like this little contraption here, an electronic mosquito repellant ... hey man embrace technology! It emits a ultrasonic sound that deafens the enemy.

My SBO (Standard Battle Order) too is packed with lots of non standard issue that I take great pains to stock up on, so my life outfield is that much better.

Check out my cool half leather gloves I bought from chatuchuk, to protect my hands from rocks and the like when I'm proned with my rifle. And my camo scarf, which besides being the latest fashion accessory is absoloutely essential to cover your face so the enemy does not bite you on your ears and nose and shit (I think you're seeing a trend here).

And of course there's contraband. Hey I'm not talking drugs or shit like that. I'm talking about the odd pack of Oreos here and there. Cause you don't really want to be eating rations. Trust me, the menu sounds really appealing, like Chicken Terriyaki Pasta. But you really don't want to be eating anything that comes out of that green packet (Although it's a tradition I always bring a pack home for my dad so he can reminisce his "good old days")

The second thing that keeps you going though, and this is going to sound a little gay, is the person next to you.

If he's working his ass off in the field, and you're not, you'd better. If he's busting his ass doing a crawl in the mud, you should. Cause trust me, if it was you crawling in the mud, or working your ass off, you'd want company.

Have you ever wondered? Why must we serve? Because we love our land, and we want it to be free to be free! HAHHH!


A different time, a different age
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I have a confession to make. Ever since I bought Jay Chou's latest album and heard the last song, Ju Hua Tai, I've been fantasising about going back in time and being a "wu xia jun zi"!

First a note on Jay Chou, the guy is nothing short of a genius. The way he mixes traditional influences of the Gu Zhen with the modern elements is nothing short of revolutionary. And then there are the lyrics, which flow like a tang poem, but still do not lose their contemporary relevancy.

Seriously, everytime I listen to this song, I imagine myself transported back in time, in a pavillion overlooking a lake with the reflection of a full moon glimmering off the surface. Hahahaha, just like in the chinese movies. Maybe it's a romanticized image, but a time where honour, courage and gallantry meant something ... ... ahhh ... what a fairytale.

In any case, my first ever video on this blog will be the MTV for Ju Hua Tai, which a friend, evelyn pointed out to me was wonderful (Thank you, thank you, it is).

Yes, one day I will have a palace filled with chrysanthenum flowers. Just for the hell of it. The biggest banquet on earth.

Qu : Zhou Jie Lun
Music: Jay Chou

Ci: Fang Wen Shan
Lyrics: Vincent Fang

Translation: Ling - www.jay-chou.net

妳 的淚光 柔弱中帶傷
ni de lei guang rou ruan zhong dai shang
Your tears glistens with weakness admist the pain

慘白的月彎彎 勾住過往
can bai de yue wan wan gou zhu guo wang
The ghostly white curved moon hooks onto the past

夜 太漫長 凝結成了霜
ye tai man chang ning jie cheng le shuang
The night is too long and has crystallised into frost

是誰在閣樓上 冰冷的絕望
shi shui zai ge lou shang bing leng de jue wang
Who is in the attic [filled with] cold hopelessness

雨 輕輕彈 朱紅色的窗
yu qing qing tan zhu hong se de chuang
Rain gently bounces off vermillon window

我一生在紙上 被風吹亂
wo yi sheng zai zhi shang bei feng chui luan
I have (written) my life story on paper (only to be) blown into a mess by the winds

夢 在遠方 化成一縷香
meng zai yuan fang hua cheng yi lv* xiang
The faraway dream has become really faint

隨風飄散 妳的模樣
sui feng piao shan ni de mo yang
The wind has dispersed the image of you

*this is romanized as lv, but pronounced as lu

*菊花殘 滿地傷 妳的笑容已泛黃
ju hua chan man di shang ni de xiao rong yi fan huang
Chrysanthemum destroyed A whole floor of pain your smile has become faintly yellow

 花落人斷腸 我心事靜靜躺
hua luo ren duan chang wo xin shi jin jin tang
People are heartbroken when the flower falls My thoughts lay quietly (aside)

 北風亂 夜未央 妳的影子剪不斷
bei feng luan ye wei yang ni de ying zi jian bu duan
The north wind is chaotic the night is still young your shadows can't be cut

 徒留我孤單 在湖面 成雙*
tu liu wo gu dan zai hu mian cheng shuang
Just leaving me lonely doubled (when I stand) by the lake

花 已向晚 飄落了燦爛
hua yi xiang wan piao luo le can lan
The flower has already come late, drifting down brillantly

凋謝的世道上 命運不堪
diao xie de shi dao shang ming yun bu kan
the wilted morals an unbearable fate

愁 莫渡江 秋心拆兩半
chou muo du jiang qiu xin chai liang ban
(If you are) sad don't cross the river worries* broken into two

怕妳上不了岸 一輩子搖晃
pa ni shang bu liao an yi bei zi yao huang
In fear that you can't get back on shore and will sway for a lifetime

*this literally means splitting the top and bottom of the word "chou" apart into two words "qiu" and "xin"

誰 的江山 馬蹄聲狂亂
shui de jiang shan ma ti sheng guang luan
Chaotic sounds of horse hoofs (in) whose territory?

我一身的戎裝 呼嘯滄桑
wo yi shen de wu zhuang hu xiao cang sang
My armory shouts out the wear of time

天 微微亮 妳輕聲的嘆
tian wei wei liang ni qing sheng de tan
The sky is starting to light up your voice is sighing

一夜惆悵 如此委婉
yi ye chou chang ru ci wei wan
A night of disappointment is (said) in such a roundabout way



Fast forward to the party!
Friday, January 05, 2007
I've been sooooo busy its not even funny. I'm going to just have to put up some photos of the champagne party so I can clear the backload. Got so much to blog about, but so little time to do it! I am a lazy blogger!

Anyway, here are some more photos of the preparation that went into the party. Many thanks to my able assistants in James, Stanley, Arya, and later, Ben. I lurpe you all! What would I do without you guys?

And also to those people who contributed spirits!

Yes, there's the cheeky girl, shan shan, who actually said she was going to Zouk Out instead of my party, cause there were hunks there ... ... :-(

The sound and lighting people think its funny too ...

Check it out! The lights on the celing of the porch ... bery nice ...

And the dance floor all set up!!! Now we're talking ... all we need are the people!

Truthfully, I was well worried. I had pitted myself against Zouk Out, and it was already 9pm (Invite stipulated 9) ... would all this prep go to waste?

HELL NO! ZOUK WHAT!!?? I can't hear you bitch!

We had a token ang moh (No james, not you) covered in ang kongs (tatoos) from New York. He said he was a cop down there ... somehow it was hard to believe ...

Don't ask me how ... but even a group of night cyclists turned up ... what they were thinking ... I have no idea ...

Being a host is not easy ... and all I drank that night ... a can of green tea ...

WHAT A NIGHT! See you at the next one!


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Ming. Co-founder of Nuffnang.com, Asia's First Blog Advertising Community. Welcome to my blog!

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> Fast forward to the party!

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