Category Archives: Wisdom

Guppies

Just bought three Guppies from a local pet store. Two female (red) and one male (blue). The legion of platies my colleague gave me have all passed away. The very first fish we introduced into the tank, the six Zebra Danios, have sadly all passed away as well, after a year and a half. Looking back now, actually quite a lot had happened during the two years we have been keeping pet fish, without us really noticing. I think it is good to spend some time to memory jog a little bit every now and again to remind ourselves what we had done and what happened. Feels good. Anywa, my favourite fish in the tank are the Albino catfish (am very glad that I keep this blog, as I just realised that it was almost exactly a year ago I bought the first two catfish!:)) Hope the Guppies settle well in the tank and start giving birth to little Guppies!

McDonald’s to run UK delivery fleet on its own used cooking oil

This makes very good sense, if it’s practical to recycle the used cooking oil. It’s greener to use bio-diesel than petroleum-based diesel a fuel source, as burning bio-diesel apparently produces less net carbon dioxide. It’s definitely an option as an alternative fuel source. However once the production of bio-diesel involves clearing more land, particularly the rainforests which serve as major carbon dioxide sink, then it’s probably not that green anymore. The best way is still to cut down energy consumption and recycle whenever possible.

Lucy: Teen transsexual

This has got to be one of the most disturbing programme I’ve ever watched. Narrow-minded or what, it is still incredibly difficult for me to watch male undergoing surgical operation to get breast implants, have their penis removed and, most of all, get a vagina! This is all too much, way way too much for me, possibly because I’m always very scared of surgical operation. I have to say that I’m incredibly proud of his mum, for being so composed, supportive and loving.I can imagine that it must be daunting to go through such an operation. The fact that it didn’t put him off shows how badly he wants to become a girl. I’ve been told by people of various religions that these gay people are viewed as having some kind of sickness, and the right thing for them to do is to receive therapy. But I always have doubts in my mind about treating them as sicked. The way I see is we should accept ourselves for what we are born with, whether we are ugly looking, disabled or poor. We can be happy regardless of these kind of conditions. However for people who are born to identify themselves as the opposite gender, happiness just seems that bit less straightforward to attain. You see, they are comfortable being the opposite gender, and so are happy being the opposite gender. Yet religions have us believe that it is wrong for them to act that way. And people generally feels weird to see people of the same sex getting too friendly.Now that there are options for people to “correct” their physicals, is it then the right thing to do, should they feel uncomfortable with their existing package? Whatever their decision, I’m just glad that I don’t have the same baggage as they have. And I sincerely hope that Lucy is now finally happy, and people can accept who “she” really is, despite what some people think of her as not a “real” woman.

Let it snow, let it snow

This is definitely the heaviest snowfall I’ve seen in the UK, in almost 10 years I’ve been here! We have experienced one of the warmest month in January not that long ago. And today we have heavy snowfall all around the UK. Isn’t it interesting how global warming is affecting the weather pattern?

Snow Reading
This was taken using my new camera phone outside my flat before I head off work at around 08:45. Very pleased with the Sony Ericsson K800i phone so far, very handy.
Snow River Kennet
This is River Kennet, when I was on my way to work, where I also scared off a heron 🙂
Cycle path
This is a stretch of the cycle path that was still pretty untouched with snow. Really quite an experience cycling through fresh thick snows.

Recycling

“Do we have to recycle?”, a friend asked my friends, who separate out rubbish into two different bags, one for the usual trash and the other for recycling, in the kitchen. Surely no one is legally obliged to recycle. But to actually ask such a question just shows that there are some people who cannot relate the environment to themselves, and how things interdependent. Do people think that human is center to the universe?Considering the blanket coverage by the media about global warming almost everyday, you’d have thought that civilised people should all be aware of how they play a part in this environment. But I suppose awareness alone is just not good enough. I’ve been taught 10 years ago in school about the importance of protecting the environment, so are most people who attended school I assume. However it’s only until about a year or two ago before I started doing some serious recycling, when W found out that the red bin outside our house is for recyclable stuff.Compared to countries like Germany and Austria, UK is really far behind in terms of their commitment to recycling waste. It’s all so evident. Everywhere you go in these countries, there are always recycling bins alongside the rubbish bin. And the bins are clearly labelled. This just makes it so easy for people to recycle, and so little reason not to!I suppose until there is a convenient and obvious way for people to recycle, it is very unlikely this activity will be adopted by the mass.

Selflessness and selfishness

There was a time I sort of concluded, after some discussions with my friends, that all human are selfish. Selfish in the sense that when people are under extreme circumstances, e.g life-death situation, whichever way they choose, it is going to be a selfish decision, assuming that a choice is possible. Why would I think that way? Say there is a situation where somebody has to die, e.g. a crashing plane full of passengers with only a few parachutes, a sinking ship with a small life boat. Anyone with any self-worth will want to get hold of one of those life saving kit to survive, regardless of whether or not they will be called selfish. This should be the right spirit, as it means they know that their life is worth living, at the very least. People who did not consider, never cross their mind, of surviving at all has got pretty much the same mentality as people committing suicide, don’t you think?Desperately fighting for my chance of survival just because I want to be with your loved one, family and friends is selfish, I thought. So is giving up my chance of survival to someone else, as I’m selfish in the sense that I’m letting my loved one, family and friends down. It will seem like I don’t love them, or care about their feelings a great deal.But I suppose selflessness is more about not bringing in emotional attachments when making decisions in life. Needless to say, this is always going to be a challenge, for we will always have attachments to various things, in whatever form they may be, particularly ourselves and family members. So it’s probably about acknowledging and understanding these attachments, and train ourselves not to let them affect our judgement endlessly. Afterall, it only takes time to perfect the skill to become selfless, not cutting ties with families and friends, as I once feared.

Freedom of speech

Do people realise that if freedom of speech means total freedom to speak, that they can speak their mind out, speak about anything without restraint whenever and wherever they want to, they should really spend some time to find out why this is bad. Take for example some natural laws, which many people take for granted, like gravitational force. Without the strong enough gravitational force on Earth, people could well be floating around, like on a moon. It’s probably no big deal, to be floating around. But by keeping our feet on the ground, the gravitation force helps smooth our day-to-day activities, like walking, drinking, making our lives less chaotic, so to speak.In much the same way, but taking to the extremes, if people are allowed to speak without restraint in such a way that even incitement of murder is not an issue, the world can become a rather chaotic place to live in, don’t you think?Okay, the extreme example is just to illustrate the point, as it is unlikely normal, or majority, people will want to incite murder. In this society, the way the community works is people tend not to insult or attack others without good reasons. Not because they can’t do that. It’s just more pleasant to be with people that sound logical. So long as we have something valid to say, we should not refrain from contributing, despite some people are more sensitive than others. It is through practice we learn to grasp the timing, the skill to speak with maximum impact. However, people should realise that not speaking out is also an option and that it is not against the spirit of freedom of speech. Politicians like Jack Straw should know that very well… (on minority Muslims women wearing veils as a threat to social cohesion).

Wine drinking

Have been really into the mood of having some wine to go with meals at home lately, particulary Italian dishes that tend to have a lot of cream and cheese. But a bottle between the two of us on a weekday is too much. We only want the wine to accompany the meal, not to get pissed. So it’s always a waste to see a good bottle of wine turns sour after a day and we eventually have to pour down the sink.Recently I came up with a plan, that was to buy a 3-litre box of wine that come with a tap. Apparently the quality of the wine in such box can be maintained for up to 6 weeks. Wonderful, couldn’t believe that I came across this alternative packaging of wine only as recently as 3 months ago, when my brother in Malaysia opened a box gifted by his aussie friend.

But what I hadn’t realised was, I was told by my French colleague that there’s such thing known as a vacuum wine pump and stopper! Like what’s said on the label, you can extracts the air from the opened bottle using the vacuum pump and reseals it with a special reusable rubber stopper. Doing so slows down the oxidation process, allowing you to enjoy the wine for a longer period, up to a week or two. Brilliant isn’t it.So looks like our tolerance of alcohol is not in question. This is further confirmed when I had the dinner of my life, so far, in Paris with my work partners few days ago. There were six of us, three French, and we didn’t even finish 2 bottles of wine. But we did however start with Champagne, and finished off with Armagnac to settle the stomach though 🙂 (Have to admit that the French really do take their food and wine seriously.)

Expectation

LFC Watched Liverpool kicked start their season this afternoon. It was a disappointing afternoon. Against a newly promoted team, Sheffield United, Liverpool, although not with their best eleven, should have enough quality to have won the game. The first half was awful. Before the match, I was all excited, and so looking forward to the start of the season, as I genuinely, despite the setback today, believe that Liverpool finally have the squad to win the title this year, after surrendering the crown for 16 years. But the team was playing so poorly in the first half that my emotions slowly swung from excitement to anger, angry at a team I’ve supported half my life and which I’m so passionate about.Such is the danger of having expectation of anything, especially high expectation. Actually, football game is a bad example to talk about expectation (but I am going to do that anyway). In this modern time, football is a crazy game, too much money is involved. Fans have to pay ridiculous amount of money to watch a game at the stadium and players are earning a lot of money, from ticket sales, merchandising, sponsorship etc. There you go, I pay to watch, you perform, that’s the mentality most fans have. That’s hardly surprising really, as we are all brought up to expect certain level of service from things we pay for, from the electronics we buy with warranty to the service we can expect to get from eating in McDonalds.Take away the money, and you can see that it becomes difficult for fans to have the same level of expectation from the team. As with all competitive game, the players want their team to win, which is the goal of the game, to win. If they try to play it differently, then they are not playing the game. Ok, without the money, some fans still have a lot of expectation from their team, particulary one with an illustrious tradition of winning trophies like Liverpool 🙂 Now what? Think I’ll continue later, gotta go out 🙂