do you feel that?

About 6:30 Sunday evening I was sitting in the office and suddenly I felt the sensation that I was at the top of the Sears tower. The top of the Sears tower sways back and forth from the wind, it’s a very disconcerting feeling the first time you feel it. Kind of like being on a ship for the first time. This a bit more subtle but I defiantly felt like I was shaking back and forth. We half joked it was another earthquake around Sumatra. A few minutes later Reuters (story link []) confirmed that in fact it was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake off the West coast of Sumatra. You can find info on it from the USGS here [].

Singapore is fairly safe from earthquakes, but damn, that earthquake was 500 miles away and the buildings here were shaking. I slept through the past two big ones, the 9.5 in December and 8.7 in March. Between the earthquakes and the terrorist blowing shit up in Southeast Asia it would appear to be a good time to be somewhere else. Although you can’t really get away from things like earthquakes. Even C’ville—on the East coast has a little earth shakin’ now and then.

The first earthquake I felt was when I was about 7. It was in the summer and I was in the basement of a neighbor’s house with a bunch of other kids. I was bouncing up and down on one of those oversized playground balls with the big circular handle that were (kind of) popular when I was 7. The ground shook and I bounced funny, I guess more because I was shocked than anything else, but I bounced right into one of the solid steel poles and knocked myself out. I was only out for a second or two but got a concussion.


Completing the transformation

There was no house cleaning of old animal un-friendly products when I became a Vegetarian. No ritualistic ceremony to cleanse myself of all past wrongs committed against animals. No, I’m not an evangelizing vegetarian, I’m not an asshole about others lack of morals. I was much more subdued about becoming a vegetarian. It probably helped that most of my close friends and co-workers at the time were already or became vegetarians along with me at the time.

I did not cut all animal based products out of my life: I ate eggs and drank milk (and aside from a shot time when I drank Soya and ate no cheese or eggs I still partake of milk products and eggs. Because it is simply too hard not to unless you live across the street from a Whole Foods []—which I did for a time, but now I’m just making excuses,) I had leather good; gloves, a coat, wallet, etc. and over the year I have continued to accumulate leather goods. Both goods I purchased and goods that were given to me.

Last summer I re-read Animal Liberation []. It was the first time I have re-read the ‘book that started it all’ since I became a vegetarian. Just afterwards I read Fast Food Nation [] which may sound like it has nothing to do with animal rights, utilitarian ethics or being a vegetarian but if you suspect that I suspect you have not read Fast Food Nation. After reading these two books and thinking about it for a while I decided that I would make a concerted effort to replace all my leather goods (not ready to call a 100% moratorium on eggs and dairy yet—thought soy milk is easy to get over here so we’ll see, protein might be hard to come buy with out some dairy)

I started my long delayed house cleaning some time ago. I purchased a new totally synthetic wallet from The Wallet Shop [] here in Singapore where I also purchased a business card holder—now I just need to replace my passport/travel wallet anyone got any leads? I also went ahead and replaced my leather dress shoes and my Birkenstocks with new ones from Moo Shoes []. I replaced my light leather jacket (which I bought in Italy only a few years ago—bad, bad, vegetarian!) with a black PVC one from the Human Rights Campaign, and it only cost me $5.00! Non-leather goods tend to be cheaper that the ‘real’ thing.

I guess now I can count myself as a good vegetarian, thought not a vegan (still debating that egg and dairy thing.) I still have some leather in my possession—the handle on my otherwise nylon business bag is leather. So maybe the transformation is not yet totally complete but I’m much closer to being leather, and wool, free than I was a few months ago. Now if I could just convince my girlfriend to give up those high priced leather purses and handbags!


new layout for photos

I put together a new layout for the photos section of confusion. At this point all sections are now just different catagories in my blog. The main page contains the most recent three entries from all catagories. And all the other pages contain a list of the 5 most recent entries in that catagoy and links to the archives pages.


interesting read…

…even if you don’t ‘do the Apple thing,’ you should go read I, Cringely‘s [] column on the future of Apple: Dethroning King Gillette: Is iPod the Razor or the Blade? []. The concept of Steve Jobs [] standing up in a few years and saying ‘All your content are belong to Apple’ is quit amusing, even if the idea of Steve being the consumer media version of Bill [] and Larry [] is not so amusing… Watch out MPAA/RIAA or is that watch out consumer?


coming back to a pet store near you

I will return to life as a Siamese fighting fish []. That is if the Hindu or Buddhist idea of samsara[] and karma [] is correct.


Stasia told me so when I was managing the fish store. It went something like this: Siamese fighting fish, hereafter referred to by their more common name, betta fish, beat the living crap out of each other if they are in the same fish tank (at least the male ones do, they also tend to kill females after the whole mating and egg laying thing). So rather than let them beat the crap out of each other we kept them in cups next to the front counter. At any one time there were between 5 and 10 of them on the counter.

On day I was sitting behind the counter talking to Stasia about her, very nice, freshwater plant tank that she had been tending for about a year. All of the sudden one of the betta fish on the counter went all epileptic and jumped out of his container.

Stasia look down at her feet. I leaned over the counter to look down. There on the floor was this blue (I still remember the color!) betta fish flopping back and forth.

“Um,” I said, “hold that thought Stasia,” as I walked around the counter and attempted to grab the franticly flopping fish off of the carpet. When I got my hands on it—which took a few tries as it is slimy and was flopping back and forth—it was covered in dog hair. (We didn’t sell dogs or dog supplies, we just run a veterinary mobile app, but more of that later) I walked over to the nearest fish tank, a 60 gallon breeder that was one of the tanks we sold live plants out of. I then dunked my hand and the hairy fish into the tank and shook off all the dirt and grim—and hair.

After I plopped the betta fish back into it’s tiny cup on the counter I look up at Stasia, who had a completely blank expression on her face, and said “you were saying?”

“You’re going to come back to life as a betta fish. You’re going to start your life in some rice patty. Then someone is going to bag you up, in a tinny little bag, ship you across the world and put you on display in tinny cups for people to stare at all day. And, you’re going to flop out of that cup and suffocate to death on the filthy floor of some pet store.”

From that day on we kept all the betta fish in the regular 15 gallon tanks that lined the fresh water section. One per tank with the friendly fish.