Thursday, March 19, 2009

Joke: Payback In Vegas

A successful businessman flew to Vegas for the weekend to gamble. He lost the shirt off his back, and had nothing left but a quarter and the second half of his round trip ticket. If he could just get to the airport he could get himself home. So he went out to the front of the casino where there was a cab waiting.

He got in and explained his situation to the cabbie. He promised to send the driver money from home, he offered him his credit card numbers, his drivers license number, his address, etc. but to no avail. The cabbie said, "If you don't have fifteen dollars, get the hell out of my cab!" So the businessman was forced to hitch-hike to the airport and was barely in time to catch his flight.

One year later the businessman, having worked long and hard to regain his financial success, returned to Vegas and this time he won big. Feeling pretty good about himself, he went out to the front of the casino to get a cab ride back to the airport.

Well who should he see out there, at the end of a long line of cabs, but his old buddy who had refused to give him a ride when he was down on his luck. The businessman thought for a moment about how he could make the guy pay for his lack of charity, and he hit on a plan.

The businessman got in the first cab in the line. "How much for a ride to the airport?" he asked.

"Fifteen bucks," came the reply.

"And how much for you to give me a blowjob on the way?"

"What?! Get the hell out of my cab."

The businessman got into the back of each cab in the long line and asked the same questions, with the same result.

When he got to his old friend at the back of the line, he got in and asked, "How much for a ride to the airport?"

The cabbie replied, "Fifteen bucks."

The businessman said, "Ok" and off they went. Then, as they drove slowly past the long line of cabs, the businessman gave a big smile and thumbs up sign to each driver.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"All you need is a dollar and a dream"

That used to be one of the slogans for the New York State lottery.
And I like it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A leap of faith

I just visited a friend's blog. Glad to know that he's doing well. I am happy when the people around me are doing well.

For myself, I forsee many challenges in the year ahead. One of my goals this year will be to complete at least one research-type project which very few people have tried. A sudden thought came to me... "You need faith to walk this lonely path, my son."

Yes, faith will be the fuel that keeps me going into the unknown future.
Sally forth, Stephen! You do not have a choice.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ex-defence chief Ng Yat Chung joins Temasek

From http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_135992.html :

July 5, 2007
Ex-defence chief Ng Yat Chung joins Temasek
By Bryan Lee

FORMER defence chief Ng Yat Chung has joined the senior management of Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings.

Lieutenant-General Ng, 46, took up the position of portfolio management managing director on Sunday - a newly created role, The Straits Times understands.

Temasek confirmed the appointment on Tuesday but declined to provide further details.

The appointment comes less than four months after Lt-Gen Ng stepped down as Chief of Defence Force and handed the baton to then Major-General Desmond Kuek.

It mirrors similar movements of other military leaders to civilian positions. Lt-Gen Ng's predecessor, Lt-Gen Lim Chuan Poh, for example, is the chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

A career soldier since 1979, Lt-Gen Ng was awarded the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Scholarship in 1980 and has since held many key command and staff positions.

Before taking the helm of the SAF in 2003, he was Chief of Army. He has also served as director for joint operations and planning and Chief of Staff (Joint Staff).

During his four years at the head of the SAF, Lt-Gen Ng was credited with improving the SAF's operational readiness and steering it into the next generation.

Outside the military, he is a member of the board of trustees at the National University of Singapore, chairing its campus planning and development committee.

Lt-Gen Ng is a Cambridge University graduate, has an MBA from Stanford University and recently completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University.

What is this?!! An ex-army guy with zero war experience is now appointed portfolio management managing director. Oh well, from Temasek/GIC's long list of investment fiascos (in companies such as Citi Group, Merrill Lynch, UBS, ABC Learning, Shin Corp...etc), I already get the impression that they are mickey mouse investment fund houses. This news article confirms that they do hire senior management staff w/o relevant experience.

Here's a joke that I found from the ChannelNewsAsia forum:
During the interview...
hojin : show us the return of your investment for the past 3 years..
general : sure... *take out a stack of paper from his bag*.... nah.. this is my dbs fd, ocbc fd, uob fd... total returns for the past 3 years is about 2 + 2 + 2 = 6%
hojin : *turn to her secretary and whisper* how much we make for the past 3 years?
secretary : -35% and going down summore
hojin : *smile* very good - you are hired.

I should really brush up my resume and look for a job with our dear Temasek/GIC. If I get the job, I forsee many years of good returns... for my wallet... :D

Friday, February 13, 2009

Give me an apathetic SG guy over a gushy romantic Frenchman any day!


This was posted by Jamie Yeo on SPH Stomp's StarBlog.
Reproduced from http://starblog.stomp.com.sg/post.php?blogid=1092&cid=44019 as follows:




Are Singaporean men romantic?


How would I know? I've only been out with a handful. It's not like I've dated every single available local guy out there. If I've done so, (I'd be a tramp and) I'd be able to answer this week's topical question reasonably and fairly. Ladies, it's human nature to generalize so I'm not faulting you if you've sworn off local guys after just one bad experience with a "Wah lau eh"-spewing, stingy mummy's boy of a Singaporean dude.


On the flip side, let's talk about Frenchmen for a bit. Everyone says Frenchmen are the most romantic! They are quick to lavish compliments on you ("OooH La la! You are so beeauuooooooodifooool!), eager to wine and dine you, and apparently know quite a lot of moves in bed. I wouldn't know. The Frenchmen I've met know how to sweet talk alright...to almost everything in a short skirt. Yeah they might tell you they find your body sexy and your face exquisite, but I'm pretty sure they'd say the same thing to the next long-haired lass they meet. And maybe they do know the right buttons to push under the covers, but they only know all that because of their extensive wealth of hands-on experience!


Romance is subjective. Everyone has their own definition of it. We all need and want to be loved in different ways. To me, romance is the little effort put in here and there. Romance is a warm surprise hug from behind while I'm cooking. Romance is a "You're so hot baby" whispered breathily in my ear while we're out at a club. Romance is rubbing my tired feet after I've had a long day in my heels. Romance is hearing and asking what I want with the intent to meet it. Romance is finding me sexy even when I don't have any make-up on. Romance is deep long conversations into the night. True romance to me is also a healthy sex life. No relationship can be healthy without regular sex. Ask any marriage counsellor and they'll tell you the same thing.


Like I said at the start, I've only been out with a handful of Singaporean men. So I'm going to use my friends and my collective experience to best answer the question.


Singaporean men are alright. They aren't the most romantic I admit but they do try to make an effort. To be fair, a few local guys are extremely romantic, meeting the definition of "romance" in every way. (I know a girlfriend whose husband of 4 years still leaves little love notes on the pillow occasionally). However, most SG men aren't really and in the process cancel out the minority of die-hard romantics.



Still, I fully admit that I, along with the rest of the female population here, am too picky for my own good. My standards are too high. I should first take a long hard look at myself. Am I romantic? Do I make the effort? So what if I'm a girl, I can be the romancer too instead of being the passive "romancee"!


Oh, what am I saying? It's exactly because I'm a lady that I should be worth the effort. All throughout history, men have fought with each other, bled, frowned, wept, stressed and toiled over courting and romancing and pleasing women. History is sacred, gentlemen! Woe is he who tries to change its course. It is your duty to romance us, even if we're fussy, picky and annoying. For we are also beautiful, sexy, loving and endearing. And don't forget, you need us. We bear you children.


Jamie displays both beauty and brains with this playful yet intelligent post.
Women! Can't live with them, but we can't live without them either.

Motivational Story 03 (YOU ARE NOT ALONE)

This was posted on the Credit Counselling Singapore website. Reproduced from http://www.ccs.org.sg/alone.html as follows:

Story from Mr Ben (in his 40s):

This is my story:I am working as a Manager drawing a salary of S$6,000 per month. To many people I know, this is an upper salary bracket. However, to me this is the minimum sum required to keep my family survive. This amount do not include allowance for food. My wife has to work to help me make ends meet. And I only have one son who is in secondary school now. This is because three quarter of my salary is used to pay my credit card debts.


Sounds tough ... it was tougher two years ago when almost all the banks who had issued me with credit cards, magnified and spelled out the fine wordings stated in the terms and conditions that I had earlier signed; except I must add CITIBANK who was quick to equitably help me restructure my credit card debt to term loan. The same banks who had for many, many years loan me the money and treat me like VIP as a customer at the front counter had now transferred my acounts to their Collection Dept who termed me legally as debtor. The legal language switched from Banking Act to Bankruptcy Act. Many are armed with willing lawyers who had memorised the Bankruptcy Act by heart to prey on obviously unrepresented debtor. Some of the banks employed licenced 'Tai Long' who are fond of offending and breaching the debtor's privacy. It was a very tough period for me; psychologically.


I requested the help of The Association Bank of Singapore who directed me to Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS). The latter had helped me mitigate the situation by summarising my expenses and expenditure thereby showed me my financial strong and weak point. My financial situation was dire; I can easily submit to bankruptcy but I opt to be responsible for my debts. Now I am still struggling to pay back my debt but at least I can see the light. Four years more and I hope to be free of the credit card debts and bank loans of more than S$100k.

I now prefer Debit Card.


CCS is well recognised by the government, the banks and the courts. My advice is if you are having "credit card problems" talk to them first.


I particularly like the bolded statements.
Use your credit facilities wisely.

Motivational Story 02

Another motivational story to encourage everyone to press on during this tough time.

This was posted by Sharkula on ChannelNewsAsia's Market Talk forum on 12 Feb 2009. Reproduced as follows (link is not posted as CNA deletes threads frequently):

I lost $120,000 in 1997...I recovered everything by 1999 very cham man that time....got home also don't dare to go back (creditors chasing after me)....sleep in park....sleep until 4am...stupid heavy down pour....sleep under hdb void deck....residents call police....nbz.... no money to buy cigarettes....basket have to pick unfinished cigarettes from dustbins to smoke left with $1 in pocket dun dare to use....keep the money to make phonecalls....have to walk from Yishun to Bukit Timah to get money.