Archive for December, 2004


Sunday, December 26th, 2004

I have been guilty lately of more or less completely ignoring my friends. I have received few emails from them, and the time distance means I don’t get calls—not to mention the fact that I am not positive I ever sent them my Singapore phone number. I can blame some of this on a number of things, like the amount of hours I have been working, or 13 hour time difference; in fact I don’t even talk to my mother very often because of that. But saying those things would not be the truth. In reality I have just been lazy about contacting people.

It’s easy to be lazy about calling or writing people. When I am at work I am often swamped by work and when I am not swamped by work I find myself too burnt to write letters to friends. I meant to send postcards to many people before Christmas, to say happy holidays to those who celebrate and to just say hello to those who don’t. To inform all of my friends wherever they are in the world that I do still think of them.

But I didn’t

I just didn’t get to it. I picked up post cards at a small shop the other day but thought; “I’ll get them on my way back out, I don’t want to carry the bag around all afternoon.” And that has been the extent of my apathy to writing postcards. This apathy has also extended to writing email of late. I have not send replies to the few emails I have gotten. I am totally out of touch.

It’s bad really. I don’t want to lose these people as friends; I don’t want to lose contact with them. I have been friends with them across great distances before so this is nothing new. I need to get myself back in control of my time. I have found someone to share much of my time with here but I need to put a little more structure in my time both at work and at fun. I will start today by sending those I have neglected a short message to say I am still alive. Consider this a sort of pre-new years resolution: I will make more of an effort to keep in touch with those close to me, I will not ignore the relationships that are important to me, be they near or far. I will be a good friend.

My behavior has been inexcusable.

Chinese fire drill

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

I just experienced what I can only be described as a ‘Chinese fire drill.’ I know that that might not be a PC term but that’s what it was. Apparently every building here needs to do regular fire drills because; Singapore is a nanny state.

So anyway, at 11 o’clock this morning the fire alarm goes off and none of us move—it goes off all the time and it’s not the most effective fire alarm. It’s like the boy who cried ‘wolf!’ We all ignore it now and it is ignorable because it’s not very loud like the one we have back in the US office which will drive you out of the building with it’s skull splitting squeal.

Since none of us had any plans to leave the not-so-burring building someone had to come through and remind us all that it is a regulation and we have to leave and oh, by the way, it is a planned fire drill not a malfunction in the alarm system this time. So we all march down the nine flights of stairs and walk around the front of the building and wow, it’s a party!

There were neat little numbers hanging up so everyone could congregate by which floor their office was on. They even provided drinks and there were people walking around with megaphones. And they provided entertainment, well sort of. They burned a bunch of trash in a bin and demonstrated how to use a fire extinguisher—over and over again.

After about thirty minutes—and just before it started to rain—they let us back in to the building. So of course it took another 20 minutes to get back to the office as the whole building was trying to take the lift at once. And now some fire marshal can go back and put a tic in the ‘Chinese fire drill’ box for our building and we can work for another year before they teach us to use a fire extinguisher again.

a thought half formed

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.


I don’t want to rush things, to move to fast, to jeopardize the long term. I understand the meaning of Confucius’ saying. But at the same time…

I have rushed into things before despite telling myself to slow down, to move deliberately and to think logically. Yet logic has little, if anything, to do with the most fundamental of life’s great mysteries. No, I can’t say that found that one greatest of things. I don’t know, I have only just met this person, I am just getting to know them but everything about them is just right.

Despite the best efforts to take time and do things right my logical mind finds itself yelling into the wind, along for the ride as the illogical parts of my being venture headlong into the unknown. It’s not a bad feeling; in fact it is a wonderful feeling. My logical mind working to make sure I do not mess things up by rushing too fast, helping to steer the course while my emotional mind believes nothing can go wrong and marches ever forward indifferent to any obstacles. The obstacles loom large but they can be dealt with and it is always easier to deal with great challenges with someone beside you than on your own.

the sun also rises

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Spent the whole weekend either on the phone with or out with someone. Not the someone who is mentioned below—never heard from them. But someone new. Someone interesting. Maybe I’ll speak more about it later, now it is enough to say I had a good weekend, and look forward to spend more time with this person. :)

copyright… or copyleft?

Saturday, December 11th, 2004
I have updated to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported [] license. The link(s) and text below are to the older 2.0 version.

The works on the site are released under the Creative Commons “Attribution 2.0” [ ] license (unless otherwise explicitly stated).


From the Creative Commons webisite []:

Attribution 2.0

You are free:

  • to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
  • to make derivative works
  • to make commercial use of the work

Under the following conditions:

  • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
  • Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.

Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license).


Because I’m a nice guy and because of things like this [ ]! I think copyright is a good thing in general. But the insatiable desires of the capitalist enterprises chasing the all mighty dollar (or Euro, or Yen, or Pound, or Renminbi, or whatever) has pushed copyright so far beyond what is reasonable that they are in fact destroying the vary basis of what makes free markets and capitalism work. I don’t agree with the Copyright Term Extension Act (aka the Sunny Bono Act or the Mickey Mouse Act) which extended copyright but neither will I resort to piracy of copyrighted material. I choose to fight the system from within the framework of the law. I do not believe that we have come to a point where breaking the law is the only effective way of changing the law [ ].


Monday, December 6th, 2004

I talked to Okie Chinco Chan [ ]the other day and we are going to try to plan a trip for China this spring. I looked for guided tour type trips but they cost upwards for $4000—without airfare! So we are reading up on our guidebooks and plotting an assult. Beijing to Hong Kong? Or Hong Kong to Beijing? You know it’s cold as crap in Beijing in March, and hot as hell in Hong Kong. How do you pack for something like that? Anyway, I also bought the Rosetta Stone [ ] Mandarin Chinese language course. We’ll see if I have the mental capacity and sanity to learn a little Chinese before I land there… I already got the important stuff down: Wô yào yī gè nǚ rén! (all kinds of funky chars there with strange accent marks and such… may not display correctly…) Means “I want a woman” though I met one the other night… we’ll see if she calls this Saturday. And lets see how many people jump on that line :)