Search Stefan's Blog for Stuff

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Old passion - new frustration

My old passion just sparked up again: Motorbikes.
Cars cost a fortune here and are so useless it is unbelievable. Hence, a small motorbike (filmtip here: The fastest indian of the Planet, starring Anthony Hopkins!!) will be the remedy for all our problems. Going to work will be easier, the trip to the gym a breeze and a visit to KL without the hassle of the bus.

Alright, so off we go. Needless to say that the official Yamaha dealer does "not know"where the nearest second hand shop is. Well, I might have to go back and tell him it is right behind his shop. New bikes lack the crashes, if anything is faulty then it is your fault. However, in a land with a strange taxation system a pre-owned vehicle may make sense.

I have seen 4 bike shops on Saturday. 3 looked like junk yards (Wie hiess doch der Motorrad-Schrotter hinter Lauenau???). Wrecks cost 5,000 $, total wrecks change hands for 4,000$...
A new one is not much more expensive.

Here is the best part: There are no 500 cc bikes. As there are 2 types of licenses, those with the open one opt for the big superbikes. Sure, makes complete sense to me to have a bike with 140 BHP and tyres that glue you to the corners, something that does 260 Km/h... Especially in a country where the highest mountain is 140 meters high and the most windy road is a loooooong sweeping curve towards the airport. You need that kind of power when traveling in a city and where the longest day trip will take 26 minutes. Make sure you pump petrol before you start your journey.

One thing is for sure: I will NOT, NEVER, under NO circumstances buy a scooter! Object of desire at the moment is a CB400... Smoke'm!!!

PS: NONE of the websites of the 4 major Japanese manufactorers have a function to locate a licensed dealer in Singapore... If you trust Pink Pong Motors then go fo it! Business made difficult!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a week!

After a busy week, running our own seminar in Singapore, next week is a short one. Wednesday to Friday I will take time off. One of my plans is to visit a local motorcycle shop. Soon I will be re-joining the two wheeled community... We may go to Pulau Ubin for some cycling.

Also, Nicole will start her new job on October 1st. She will be joining a publishing company with a number of publications, handling a magazine dealing with economics...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pitfalls of communication

The idea for this post is sparked by a conversation Kevin (Harper) and I had over a lunch in the University mensa...

You know the feeling: You receive an SMS and it all sounds like Greek to you (or chinese if you are Greek). There is this gibberish text that you need to decipher first. 2n9t for tonight, C u for See you soon and take good care etc.

Some may argue that this is the end of well spoken languages, the downfall of English.
To others (like me) it just signifies the creativity of people. Why do kids SMS like that to begin with? Because initially the message was limited to few characters only. Nowadays you can have some hundret characters in an SMS, enough to write complete sentences and words. Yet, the new SMS language prevails. To me, this is an evolution of language. This whole issue is particular interesting to me as a non-native speaker. I would argue that one needs to fully comprehend a language in it's correct form first before you could use and understand the SMS language. Same as humor. If you don't get the fine nuances of language, the best joke is lost on you.

Trouble starts if you don't speak SMS.

What will be next? Contracts signed in SMS in short? Advertising using SMS lingo?

NB: I just so hate the term SMS-Message... Why? Well, check it out

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Great, just great


Friday, September 7, 2007

Dogenstein's Monster?

Right...Wondering why Spike always makes a massive mess when he is eating or drinking, we had a closer look. The Internet ( reveals and confirmes what the vet stated: "your dog has a deformed mouth!"

With his lower jaw being shorter than his upper one, half the intake of water drips out and he drops half the foot he tries to eat (well, that will keep him busy). Anyway, for the next 12 years we better have the mop handy. Or maye... how about some cosmetic surgery. We could make the upper jaw shorter to match the lower one.