Friday, June 04, 2010

No eat, no work

Not eating before a workout burns more fat, says this Belgian study. Maybe so, but my personal experience says if you want to spend your time collapsed on the fitness centre floor than actually exercising, then go ahead and not eat. Wonder how much fat that kind of inactivity burns?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The great cover-up

The staff room is beginning to look like a refugee centre. Most of our workstations are under shrouds made from plastic garbage bags, and a tent-city now occupies what used to be the English Dept. Occasionally, a camel-train passes by, bearing trade goods to History and beyond.

This is what happens when there are more staff than room. With the new arrivals facing the prospect of sitting two to a desk, it was finally decided that it was time for expansion. So tomorrow, the far wall is due for demolition and that will open a new space for us in what was once tutorial room 03-26.

And tent-city will protect most of our stuff from construction dust and toxic fallout while the contractors do their thing. Great excuse to stay home over the next couple of weeks! :D

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The places you'll go in a Polo

Rode Amy's new Polo to the PUS where we heard the PM speak in his usual measured, careful, practical, matter-of-fact manner. His basic message was, as always, there will be storms ahead but we'll weather them as long as we work together regardless of who we are or where we hail from. It's kinda' sad he has to keep harping on this theme because it shows we, as a people, are still not quite there yet.

You can tell from the myriad questions he fielded that people were still drawing lines of division rather than envisioning synergies between us. Our young people are more interested in asking their questions (sometimes I'm not even sure they're their questions) and going back to their seats than listening to the responses for an opportunity to dialogue.

But we were hungry and couldn't engage in dialogue anyway. There was a great lunch deal at Grill-out, Sunset Way. 2 set lunches for the price of $23. There were five of us, Amy, B-lo, HP, Josh and me, an odd number, but they gave us all the special price anyway. I was very happy with my beef short ribs. Not overcooked, very juicy with the meat cleaving neatly off the bone. I especially enjoyed the slightly chewy texture with the pleasant beefy flavour going around my mouth. Some days, I am a total carnivore.

Dessert at The Daily Scoop. My fave flavour combo: Simply Chocolate and Honey Vanilla. How conventional. But the more exotic flavours have the consistency of sorbet. Hmph. I like my ice-cream the traditional way.

Was looking forward to riding the new Polo. My first impressions are that it is a safe, reliable vehicle. Its 1.4l engine makes it economical to run, and it has the VW quality stamped firmly on it. The chrome trim on the dashboard panels give it a slightly retro appearance. I love the display panel with its combination analog speedometer and RPM meter and digital time/temperature/fuel readouts in large fonts -- lots of useful info at a glance. Looks like a fun car to drive, but in terms of its personality, I have yet to identify it as an Amy car. Think they'll need time to grow into each other.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Don't fight the dog

I must be showing my age. My views are with the establishment over the Gaza flotilla incident, and even over the recent insanity in BKK. In both events it was a contest of civilians versus the military. Yes, sure, everyone roots for the underdog, those poor unarmed civvies collectively shaking their ineffectual fists at the tyrannical military machine. So brave, so bold, so noble to stand up for "what's right" against such odds. The same kind of courage as someone who pulls down their pants to moon a snarling doberman.

I was more upset that Central World in BKK got torched than about the protester casualties at the hands of the soldiery. To me, the protesters were spoiled children, destroying their own toys in a tantrum when they couldn't get their way. And now with everybody calling in to condemn the "disproportionate" response of the Israeli commandos' storming the humanitarian aid flotilla, I think everybody's overreacting.

If you have a problem with someone, the stupidest thing to do is to challenge his dog. The dog isn't there to be reasoned with, the dog is there to follow orders, to guard and woe betide anyone who crosses the line. It's pointless to cry and complain if you get bitten in the a** when you provoked the dog in the first place. So it is with the military. They have the guns and they will use them. End of story.

In BKK, the protesters were threatening the economy, the stability, the infrastructure and up to a point the residents of the centres they were occupying. What did they expect the military to do when it's the job of the military to protect the country against threats? In Gaza, there's a military blockade. Nobody goes in, nobody comes out without being shot at. What? They'll let through a convoy just because it says it's unarmed? Fat chance.

Yes, there are injustices to be righted. But could you guys go to the agency that can help, please? Here's a clue: the military isn't the right agency for this sort of thing. If you get your butt kicked, don't expect any sympathy from me.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prince of Blendwell

For a movie based on an amalgamation of other popular movies, Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time (PoP) still turns out to be quite a thrill. The main characters are veritable carbon copies of Star Wars (Ep. 4-6); the plot sequencing is basically Back to the Future; and the set is from the Mummy franchise but with fewer ruins.

I've read bad reviews of PoP, so I was a little leery of going to watch it at first. Then I realised the reviewers I'd been reading were players of the PoP game and were finding it difficult to reconcile the linear movie storyline with their previous gaming experience. But because I have never played PoP before, I could enjoy the movie for what it did offer: energetic fight sequences with varied mix of weaponry, silly chases and races, selfless sacrifices, devious betrayals, and the inevitable countdown to prevent the end of the world.

PoP: a decent appetizer for this year's crop of summer blockbusters to come. Erm... they ARE coming, aren't they?