Friday, 30 November 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas* - Johnny Mathis

When we were in London, they lit up the Christmas lights at Regent's Street! The deco all over town are up. We even went to the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park!!!! =) 

Today was the first time i went to a local shopping mall for a very long time. And yes, the Christmas deco are up too!!! Interestingly, Pyramid had their deco based on the works of Gaudi!!!! 

Not too bad - quite unique, i must say. And since i just got back from Bacrcelona too, i really like it! Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

I hope that it will also *feel* like Christmas - as our eharts are touched by God's love to us by sending his son Jesus! 

*This version of this song was featured on Home Alone 2!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The power* - Snap!

There was a huge protest in Egypt earlier this week - it is reported that tens of thousands of people came out to protest against the act of their new President in giving himself power.

Pic obtained from BBC News Online
It is so ironic as Egypt faught hard to overthrow President Mubarak only just last year. The protestors are quoted to say that they do not want another dictatorship.

It is also ironic as President Mursi was seend last week taking a big role in brokering a ceasefire between Isreal and Palestine - although in my view, he seemed to be clearly anti-Israel at the start. I was in the UK and following the news closely daily. So there he was criticising others when he cannot handle his own country?

Some say that the power is necessary for him to protect the country - but the manner he has gone about doing it left much to be desired.

Here is a summary of the powers he gave himself (taken from BBC News Online) -
  • Reopen investigations into killings of protesters; retrials of those accused 
  • No appeals against constitutional decrees made since Mursi came to power 
  • President to appoint the public prosecutor (must be aged at least 40) 
  • Constituent assembly to get two months extra to draft new constitution 
  • No judicial authority can dissolve the constituent assembly or the upper house of parliament (Shura Council) 
  • President authorised to take any measures to preserve the revolution or safeguard national security 
 It does seem wide, doesn't it?

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why is it that so many huge decisions are left with just one person? At the end of the day, the power in a democratic country should lie in the hands of the people. The people have spoken - well, tens of thousands of them. Will they be heard?

*A huge international hit for this German music group.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Smooth* - Santana featuring Rob Thomas

In the span of less than 2 months, i have had the opportunity to sit in 4 long haul flights by MAS - twice in October via 747 and twice this month via the A380. I have to be honest and say that the flights left much to be desired.

To be fair, the first flight pretty good. Smooth. Maybe it's cuz it was a day flight? My memory of a 747 was that it was pretty cramped in the econ section. But it wasn't as bad as i remembered! So yes, it was pretty good. Moved about a bit, enjoyed the view - we managed to see the himalayan range and it was awesome!

However, the landingwas pretty bad. Bad weather? It was pretty bumpy and i felt sick. It was so bad that i continued feeling that way even after we landed and only recovered when we got onto the terminal building. Apparently, i turned quite green!

Just to illustrate how bad it was, when the plane touched down, it actually skidded *sideays*!!!! We were tossed to the left and right! Never before had i experienced that on a plane while it landed (yes, many times on a roller coaster tho).

The journey back home was worse! It was bumpy thru-out the flight. Ok, i exeggerate but not by much!

Maybe it was because the planes were old? The 747s just flew their last flight to and from London last week!

So i was pretty excited when we got the chance to fly by the A380 this month. 

Me in the A380!
I was disappointed. It was also a pretty bumpy ride!!!! The "best" part was whne it landed. No side skid this time round but the pilot just smashed the plane down onto the runway. It hit the ground so hard - so much so that many (if not all) around me screamed out in shock - and the there was nervous laughter after that!

Is this how they take care of their new planes?

Thakfully for MAS, they had one more chance to redeem themselves in my eyes - and they did. The flight back was pretty alright - not as smooth as the first 747 flight but not bad. As we were about to land, my wife was preparing herself for the "smash" landing again - and i whispered to her that i had confidence in this pilot. The landing was pretty smooth - not like butter but pretty good.

Now compare this with the 2 flights i took with EasyJet - both day time flights, both really smooth. Both were on Airbuses (320 and 319). The first flight was by a female pilot - and she put all the male MAS pilots to shame!!!! Maybe it was an easier plane to fly? But i was sufficiently impressed and happy with the budget airlines!

I wonder when will i ever get a chance to fly with Easyjet again...

To anyone from MAS who is reading this post, i am just sharing my honest views on what i experienced recently, that's all.

*Brilliant song! One of the few times in recent history that i agreed with the decision to award it 3 Grammys - song of the year, record of the year and best pop collaboration with vocals.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Don't give up on us* - David Soul

It has been a pretty crazy past few weeks! Been so busy...

I really hate seeing this blog neglected like this. =(

In any event, who even notices what goes on here? Who blogs anymore? I asked my students the other day if anyone keeps a blog and they gave me the "look"! It's like so last decade, isn't it?

Still, i dun blog for the sake of my "readers" - if there are still any left!!!! I do it for meself. An act of reflection.

But these days, that seems like a luxury. So little time to just sit and think and reflect. 

This is bad.

So i'm not gonna give up on this blog. Not yet. I still see the good in blogging. And although i am very much restricted these days with what i blog, that still should not prevent me from blogging at all.

Now if only i can find the time...

*His biggest - and some say his only - hit song!