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A delicate taste of dumplings. 5/29/2006

It is tradition in the chinese community, that in the 5th lunar month, the dumpling festival is celebrated. Dumplings are typically made by those in the coastal and riverine communities, but in this country, everyone gets into the act.

The legend behind it is that a poet in old China named Qu Yuan, of the Chu kingdom, was framed by other court officials in a fit of professional jealousy. This goes to show you that back stabbing in the office is a time honoured practice. Anyway, after being slandered, Qu Yuan was banished from the court, and he went off, possibly going on the talk show circuit, and perhaps writing a best seller. After a few years, the Chu kingdom started to decline, because they no longer had good poetry to listen to.

When Qu Yuan heard of this, he became depressed, Prozac being unknown in those days. And since castration was practised in the Imperial Court for all court officials, Qu Yuan couldn’t even count on a blow job to lift his spirits. Qu Yuan decided that this was the end, and jumped into a river to end it all. The fishermen living along the river heard this, and went looking for his body. All those gold rings and jewelry would fetch a good price in the local pawn shop.

Despite trawling the river, they couldn’t find the body, in spite of many hours of doing so. In a fit of pique, one of the fishermen saw the lunch his wife had packed for him, which was glutinous rice wrapped in leaves. He opened it up, thinking that he might as well have a bite. As he bit into it, he realised his mistake, because he married his wife for another reason, not because she was a good cook. As to what that reason was, let’s just say pre-marital sex is not a modern invention.

So the fisherman threw the dumpling into the river. The other fishermen saw this, and thought, “Hey!, Let’s start a new tradition! And we can use it for merchandising and making people buy seasonal food stuff at inflated prices.

So last night, I got a delivery of dumplings. Home made. With a stuffing of yellow beans, pork, mushrooms, and scallops. It tasted great. And will send my diet into orbit .

I’m a tiger. 5/26/2006

I was performing an inspection early this morning, with a vendor. This vendor happens to be an engineer, an is married with 2 kids. She’s young and keen, and this is her first time being engineer in charge of a project, so she’s very eager to please.

We were walking down the main corridor, heading towards one of the departments, and we were engaging in idle chit-chat. Most everyone in this project knows about me and the bikes. A bit hard to miss, when you see a row of scooters and step throughs parked in the parking lot, and then you suddenly see this black machine with panniers and a top box breaking up the symmetry.

She was asking me about bikes, and biking, and happened to ask about where we go on the bikes.

“So, where do you guys usually go?”

“It depends. Sometimes it’s a day trip for lunch somewhere, or a quick blast through the canyons and up the hills. Other times, especially on long weekends, we run to the border.”

“Do you go to the border often?”

“Most usually. Things are cheap there, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.”

She thought about this statement for a minute, and then asked,

“So what do you guys do at the border?”

“The usual things bikers do. Drink beer, head out to the local swimming hole, hit the shooting range, take in a tiger show or two.”

“A tiger show?”

“Yeah, a tiger show.”

She went a little quiet at this, and I thought I had offended her by mentioning the fact that I occassionally go to a strip club. Her next question had me tripping over my feet, and almost stabbing myself in the eye with the aerial of my walkie-talkie…
“So what does the tiger do in the show?”

Girl Friday.

Obituary. 5/23/2006

Last weekend, the club buried a brother. Easyrider_sg, a.k.a. Ken, was killed riding in Thailand. He had an accident about 100 kms out of Hadyai on the 15th of May, and died on the spot. Ken leaves behind his wife, and parents.

Some pictures from the funeral, posted by Alan Swee.

Ken was a member of the SG chapter of our club, and I met him once at our Annual Family Day. He will be missed by us all. Ride in peace mate.

CQB.*

Today’s ride in was a bit adrenaline pumping. For some reason, the drivers on the road this morning were clueless about the road rules during morning rush hour. These road rules are something all the morning road users, cars and bikes alike, take for granted, although they are unwritten.

The basic way it works is this. Cars stay in their lane. And cars will leave sufficient space for bikes to lane split. In return, bikes will occassionally “hold up” traffic, to allow cars on a stuck lane to merge. A symbiotic relationship, which lets everyone come out smiling. During morning rush hour, all drivers change lanes at their own risk, especially if they don’t use mirrors properly. Quick and sharp lane changes, ala Formula One grid takeoffs, are not tolerated. A bike lane splitting can cause an inordinate amount of damage to a car, not to mention what it will do to the rider.

So, in the interests of survival, and everyone getting to work on time, all the road users abide by a certain, well, for want of a better word, code of behaviour. Except that are certain drivers who think that they own the road. Like a certain cretin this morning, who excuted a sharp lane change, with no turn signals, while playing with his mobile phone. I braked hard to avoid running into his arse, and honked loud and long. And the bastard just ignored me. So I came up alongside, and thumped on his window, which got his attention.

He looked at me with a dumb fucked look on his face, and I gestured that he should use his mirrors and signals in the future. And he flipped me the bird. So I cut him, in the middle of rush hour, and parked my bike in front of him. Road rage? Not quite. What I knew, and he didn’t, was that there was a traffic cop on a bike, several car lengths behind. As the cop came up, he naturally pulled to stop alongside me, and asked me what was happening. So I told him this idiot was using his mobile phone, which is against the law here, and driving without due care and attention.

The cop was about to tell me to ignore this guy, and ride off, when I pulled off my helmet. He took one look at my face, pulled his bike over, and asked the driver to move over to the side, while taking out his citation book. The driver’s dumb fucked look got even more dumb fucked, and he had no choice but to follow the cop’s instructions.

Satisfied, I shouted a “thanks” to the officer, and he gestured at me with a “drinking” motion. I nodded, and yelled that I would catch up with him at a later date.

It’s nice when people remember you from the old days, and do you favours.

* CQB is an acronym for “Close Quarters Battle”. This is the combat, usually performed by Special Forces or special teams within the police force, for clearing out an urban environment, i.e. houses and buildings. Sometimes, but not always, a hostage situation, CQB is much glamourised by Hollywood, because it is fast paced, and lots of things happen in a very short space of time. It might make for good television (the Iranian Embassy in 1980 is a good example), but 99% of professionals will tell you that CQB sucks donkey balls, big time. Because you have an almost even chance of getting your head blown off. Too many variables and surprises in urban combat. So to all the wannabes out there, who fantasise about carrying a H&K MP10, and being in CQB, all I can say is, come try it for real. Paintball doesn’t even come close. You know why? Because you don’t die.

I see. 5/22/2006

I see.

I see you sometimes, in the elevator, with her.

I see you sometimes, driving her out in your car.

I see you walking through the parking lot, and down the driveway, holding her hand.

I see you, last weekend, bring her into emergency staircase.

I see you pull her skirt up, and place your hand between her legs.

I see you do this to your daughter.

I see.

Balls.

A man boards an airliner, takes his seat, and is surprised to find a large purple parrot in the seat next to him. The aircraft takes off and a pretty flight attendant walks down the aisle past the man and his seat mate.

“Hey, bitch,” says the parrot, “bring me a whiskey and soda, and make it snappy!”

The FA looks annoyed, but walks on. A minute later, she walks back up the aisle, and the parrot pipes up again:

“Goddammit, you lazy whore, where’s my whiskey? Hurry it up!”

Visibly flustered, the FA hurries up the aisle and returns quickly with the parrot’s drink. Impressed with the parrot’s technique, the man decides to get some quick service for himself.

“Hey, slut,” says the man, “get me a dry martini. And don’t drag your sorry ass - I want it right now!”

The FA turns red with anger and runs to the front of the plane. In a moment she returns with the First Officer and two burly male flight attendants. The crewmen seize the passenger and the parrot, jerk open the emergency door, and hurl them both out of the airplane at 20,000 feet.

As the two hurtle out the door, the parrot says to the man, “Ya know, for someone who can’t fly, you got a lotta balls.”

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