Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Transformer fanatics

Guys just have different passions about these stuffs than gals. I can't imagine a girl would spend time doing such......

Monday, December 29, 2008

When I feel that I'm old

While I'm still in the middle of my vacation and won't be back to work till beginning next year, I spend a lot of time with my baby son. Taking him to the park is almost the daily routine. Man, just playing with him, watching him with so much energy, I'm feeling old. What can I say? it is an undeniable feeling. Just can't help but the time that I spend with him just keep reminding me that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Just went to see this movie this afternoon with my wife. It's been a while since we went to see a movie together, works and family do take a lot of time. Anyway, my wife thinks that this movie is so-so, cos she is just not that into sci-fi stuff and for her, they all looks the same. When the movie ended, her comment was: "is that it? that's the end?" Of course, I said "yes".
Do I like it? I think it is ok. Cos, I didn't go to see it with very high expectation after all the criticism that I've heard. So, it helps. To be fair, for movie of such theme, about life and death of our earth, what more can u do? Good guys die, but some don't, that make sense. Bad guys die too, but some don't, that's equally acceptable. You want a bit of sci-fi jargon, u got it. U want special effects, u got it. U want some relationship stuff, it has but thank god...not much, u got it. So, what else do u want? Did it give me deep thoughts about our earth? Emmm.....not much, cos other movies have done that or better. Do I find that entertaining? Well, it has its moment, it is decent! I think it is not as cheesy as Armageddon, but not as good as Deep Impact. Not as stupid but exciting as Transformer, but at least better than Wars of the World.
In terms of acting.....emmm.....let's not get into that, cos it has none. Keanu is playing himself, can't find anyone do better, Jennifer Connelly, emm....kind a waste, much more so that she was in the Hulk. The kid? I would rather watch the girl in The Sign, at least she got the funny line of water is contaminated!
So, here u go... I still think it is worth going to see this movie. Just to chill and think nothing for one and half hour of non-thinking visual entertainments.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Photo Session


The economy is bad, so $ has to be saved whenever possible, especially for high expenses or 'non-essential' ones. I'm having my annual leave now, one of the things that my wife and I plan to do is to take our kid to have a baby photo session. Yes, it costs $, yes, it is not really essential, but time can't never be stopped or saved. So, our son is growing, just try to capture some images of him in a professional way is not something totally out of our reach. As such, we did it today. Thank goodness, it didn't cost too much, and both of us are happy with the results, particularly my wife. She just delighted to have looked at those photos. They just light up her face!

For me, out of the 50 photos that we selected, only one has me in, cos I just don't look good in any of them. I'm just tired and still recovering from light fever yesterday. The key is that, I'm just not photogenic person. I did't know how unpleasant to be filmed till I saw myself in those photos today. So, it is wise for me to take a pass. My wife is better looking than I'm, way better.

Anyway, I think overall, I've a good family day today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How I spend my limited personal free time these days

It is always nice to have a reflection of our life every now and then. Usually, we do that because 1. we have time.
2. we need to (usually after something bad happened)

I think I'm doing that for the first reason.

My daily life is considered to be quite routine and should be 'boring' to many folks. I've white collar job with fixed office hours (+ voluntary/necessary OT). That takes up most of my waking hours. Besides the mandatory personal daily tasks, like brushing teeth, bathing, changing clothes, 3 meals, spending time to play with my kid a little bit and listening (more) / talking (less) to my wife also occupy a bit of time before bed. The only so-called personal free time that I had travelling back and forth from office, breaks during office hours and a bit of TV news watching time before bed. I don't know how others live, but I really cherish the limited personal time that I have each day.

First of all, I'm not complaining about the responsibilities and tasks that I need to take on outside my personal time, cos they are needed and I do enjoy some of them. I'm just saying that how to make the most of it from my limited personal time is very important to me and I'm trying to perfect my skill of squeezing every drop of it.

'Getting inform' is my hobby. So, my mind needs to be fed. That's why I like to read and listen. For reading, in view of the short span of personal time that I've, reading anything long is almost out of question. I've not read any novel for a long time. Even for books, I only read one or two books this year, and they are books in chapters with content that can be read and put down for a long time before picking up again without and problem. Therefore, I like reading articles from newspaper and the web. That's why I use my mobile to read newsfeeds everyday. Surfing web is a must. I love to be informed of what's going on in the world on different aspects.

'Watching' is another form of visual information gathering. Watching news is a must to be if possible. TV shows and movies are luxury, cos slots of my time are in 'half-hours' at most. I can push it to 45mins for an episode of Heroes, but movies take too much time. That's why I've not see a movie at home for long while. With my kid, going to cinema became a very infrequent event.

Listening is good too. Music is a passion. I still listen to music very often with my ipod. Definitely every week day on my way to and from work. However, I also divide those times, may be half or more on listening to podcasts. Thanks for these feature, I can listen to what I want any time. Yes, some of those podcasts are news, when I listen to them, they are old news. But, as long as I've not heard them before, they are news to me. Most important is that those news podcasts are more in depth then just regular TV news. So, to me those podcasts are more 'to-know-more' kind of cases. I try to listen to as many as possible, as I always get new episode every time I hook my Ipod up to my PC. I always have a backlog of them to be cleared.
As you can see how I spend my limited personal free time, you can pretty much tell, how busy I am and what would be my best gift. Da Da...an Iphone! That could help me to do most of the above. However, I'm still stuck with my old phone contract, so I don't think I will get my Iphone till next May or June. So, I just have to wait till then as I don't wanna pay any penalty for getting out of contract. Still, I'm still quite in touch with the features and news of Iphone, not just from reading those news websites about Iphone, but also playing with my wife's Iphone. Hopefully, by the time I buy an Iphone next year, the Iphone will be improved upon to meet more of my needs and desires.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time of the year again

Well, it’s almost the time of the year, when people are gathering for various religious, and holiday festivities. Personally, I’m gonna take 2 weeks off for my overdue long vacation for this working year. Well, I’m planning to get to do some personal things that I wanna do for a long time, but just got put off due to various reasons. Certainly, I still need to take care of my son. Glad that my wife is gonna take time off as well. So, we can do some family outings as well. I’m sure 2 weeks are gonna flied, but I will try to make the best out of it.

It is a bit early to talk about New Year resolution. Personally, unlike most people, I don’t really put much thought on those conventions that…well because today is so and so, we have to do this or that. If I feel like I need to change, I just change. If I need to plan, I just plan. January 1st is not necessary a new beginning for me, if I need to begin to do something, once my mind is set. Then, just do it, that’s it! So, when folks are planning to do that so-called New Year countdown, I’m just not into it. Still, I will take my son to go to see those Christmas decorations and related stuff. Though, I’m not that into those festivity spirits, I’m not gonna to deny my son’s chance to explore and enjoy those things himself. He is too young to know what’s going on, but I think he will enjoy them, and that’s what matter the most. I’m looking forward to have a good time with my wife and my son in these coming holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of my favorite Artists of all times - M.C. Escher

I always like M.C. Escher. The pictures that I select here are 'inspired' by his scretches and drawing. Folks just somehow 'try' to make them into more 'modern' day 3D real life stuff. Lego is an obvious choice, but my favorite one got to be the car!











Monday, December 15, 2008

Some thoughts on parenting a 15 months old

Being a dad of a more or less 15 months old boy is joyful as well as tiring. He will always find something to surprise you and do something to crack me up. On the other hand, with the seems to be unlimited energy that he has, I can't help but think that 'man, I'm old!'
Watching him, spending time with him can't help to make me think that a lot of things that we take it for granted are not really easy. Do we remember when did we take our first step, learn to walk, learn to run, go to certain place the first time, learn to feed ourselves, our first words, etc. All these must be learned and explored to gain experience then become essential part of ourselves. It also makes me think that nothing is easy, how we human equips to deal with all the challenges that we have. Also, it makes me really admire our parents who raised more than one kid, we all turn out ok, not great, but ok. How can they do that? Certainly, environment has changed, but there are still things that don't change. Our parents didn't know a lot more than us (that's perhaps), certainly they are not as resourceful as us in terms of material things. Just think about washing diapers, that task alone would enough to put most current day parents off from having babies. Just how could our parents able to do all that?
Well, I don't have all the answers, but one thing is for sure. It is the love and sacrafice that we've on our kids that make us to do the difficults, if not the impossible. I love my kid and glad that my wife is helping and we hire a maid to take care of the 'dirty' works. In view of the current economic condition, I hope and pray for things to stay stable. Challenges are always around, just don't want more unwanted. Touch wood!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dream on Dec 8, 2008


Well, I enjoy dreaming, cos I think that they are entertaining, considering my daily life is kinda routine and bored. So, I would love to catch my dreams and just for the heck of it. Last night, I don't remember a lot about my dreams, I only remember that I was in a strange bathroom that with 2 huge tubs. The walls are white, the wall of the bath tubs are with white porcelain. Somewhat like those old fashion public bath place or like to hot springs in Japan. I was by myself. The tubs are deeper than issue, just sit that water are up to my chin. I remember that I had to soak myself in one tub for few minutes and then come up and hop into the other one. The only difference is that, one is very hot, the other one is cold. I remember that I was told to do so for skin beautification, to tighten my skin or so. I don't know why I've such dream and go through the same treatment as what I would do before cooking chicken wings (i.e.boiled them for few minutes and dump them in icy water, but not repeatedly) .
Well, just a dream!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fortunate Telling - 三世書 (Book of three lives?)





三世書 - "Book of Three Lives" (not sure if the translation is correct or not), it is a book widely believed by Chinese as a reference in fortune telling. The most basic premise of this book is based on your name, birthday and time, to tell what kind of person you are in your 'past' life, how your current life is gonna be, and what your 'next' life will be. Certainly, it is not gonna be acceptable for people who doesn't believe in this sort of things and people who doesn't accept the concept of reincarnation, i.e. most Christians. For more information, for those who can read Chinese, please refer to this good article for further details.

I thought about the concept of knowing our past life and next life to be quite ridiculous. I do believe in reincarnation, but the thing is that we can change who we were in our past life regardless who or what we are. If we did good things, we may benefit from them due to karma and vice versa. We just have to accept them, knowing that doesn't help. Like some folks lost their limbs, if they find out the reason is because they chopped someone else's limbs, what can they do this life? If they already lost their limbs, that's it! If they've not, then they should be careful like everyone else. There is a belief that we should do good this life, so we can:

1. Compensate/offset the sins from past lives and current life
2. To accumulate good deeds, so we will be better off next life

I believe that just doing good can make us feel good, that's already good enough to motivate us to continue. Thinking too much about the above just make us too 'calculative'. That may take away the fun or good feelings for doing good deeds.

On the other hand, knowing what will be in next life is also stupid. First, if we believe in karma, things have not been finalized or all set unless we are gonna kill ourselves in next minute. So, there are still plenty of opportunity for changes one way or the other. So, telling you something so definite for next life, like you will be a beggar, a policeman, etc. It is just plain stupid! Cos, just in our current life, we change jobs all the time. Even in the Chinese history, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty had been a monk, a beggar, a thief before end up became an emperor. So, how do we know what stage our life the book is telling?

I do think that consulting fortune-tellers or involve in such activities are very tempting. I did that myself once before. However, I think we should get a grib of our life in our own hands and make the best out of it in our current life. The old lesson of not doing warm to oneself and the others should be a good enough life-long motto. Just try our best and there shouldn't be much regret. That's what I believe in.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why men dress themselves ugly when they get old

I'm not talking about others, cos I don't know what other men's stories are. I'm talking about myself. Well, I'm not yet forty, but I think I'm kinda give up myself in terms of making myself look good with clothes.

Well, I do buy clothes, but most of them are for work. Cos, I still have to look decent to go to work. I'm not a salesperson, I still have to visit clients every now and then. Also, I couldn't dress too bad in my working environment.

However, for after hours, I really giving up in terms of dressing up or for occasions. Perhaps, there is not much 'occasions' that I need to dress up. I don't think I need to dress up to go grocery shopping, or just dine out in neighborhood eateries. As such, I just put on my old clothes.

As I was poor when I was a kid, I didn't have the money to buy nice clothes, just new clothes would make me happy. Brand name stuffs were largely off limit. As I grow up, I learn more about economy and business, knowing that large share of money that we pay on brand names stuff are for the 'name' rather than the clothes itself. Also, learning that fashion is not evil, but just not my cup of tea. I do buy brand name clothes every now and then, for their quality when they are on serious sales or just for going to work purpose. Mostly, I don't really have the 'urge' to buy clothes to dress up, to make myself look good, or like most women claim: make themselves more confident.

For men, as we get older, we just have seen too much and know enough that we don't need the clothes to make us confident. We know that if we have money, we will be confident. Or, if we are a knowledgeable person, we will have confident. Clothes can help, but it is more like the 'garnish' decoration on the dishes, like those roses that made of carrots. No matter how fresh and tasty the carrots are, not matter how beautiful that rose is, if the main dish tastes bad, the dish sucks! it fails, that's it. So, we would rather devote our time and resources on other things that make us more confident.

Also, if we have family, especially with kid(s), the expenses will be high. As we only have only so much 'ammunition', personal clothing usually is low in priority. Unless, the men is very into clothing, or like designs, or kinda artistic, etc. I think most grown men just don't put much thought in their own clothes.

On my personal level, I don't have a big closet, as more space has been provided to my wife to put her own clothes. I just don't have the urge or incentive or simply 'space' to buy new clothes. Yes, I can throw old clothes away, or like my wife said, 'retire' them. However, I'm just brought up in a frugal lifestyle. When I know there are so many people in the world that doesn't have decent clothes, and clothing industry is just an environmental unfriendly industry, I just don't want to 'retire' my clothes if they still fit and clean. So, their 'retirement' age have been pushed back, and the 'immigration' into my closet has been really slow. Only, those that are 'job-related' have faster entries.

Don't know if that's the same or similar case for other grown men......

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Magic Crocodile

A nice magic! Enjoy!

Some recent observations and thoughts...

Economy is bad.

People are being laid off. Those who have jobs scare of losing them.
Merchants want cash badly, they dump their inventories, especially those of luxury fashionable goods.

Big sales everywhere, and crowds just swamp in stores and buy things that they don't really need. They bought them because they have stayed in line for too long to leave with empty hands.

Many shops will close down in future months. Brand names, familiar names will become history.

Investment markets is too stormy for the ordinary folks, they were engulfed and stripped. Only the braves and the insane remain.

People that can keep jobs feel lucky for a moment, and just work.

Some people will put off the idea of getting marry, having kids for financial reason.

It is a bad time to graduate from college, a worse time without a degree, and the worst time to retire.

Bad news will be norms, people will become desensitized to them.

Suicide and homicide rate will go up. Crime rate will go up as well.

It is good time to make good comedy movies, if they can get financed. It is a bad time to make bad movies, if they are lucky to get financed.

We don't need tragedy or horror movies. Cos, we just need to look around.

Religious activities, attendance to temples and churches will rise.

Self-help books will be hits, how to get rich books will be in bargain sections, like 'Dow at 40,0000'.

People will spend more time at home with family and watch TV, or serving net. Those, with a crowded family, small home, only 1 TV, and one PC will have more fights and arguments at home.

Lastly.....things will get worse before turning better. That's a thing that I'm sure. Cos, things are in cycle. Things will change and keep changing. Only Change is forever!

Peace!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stranger in a household

I've hired a domestic helper from overseas to help us to take care of our baby. She arrived our home a month before my wife gave birth to our son. Things took time to adjust with a stranger staying with us. We lost some privacy, and our living habits had to change a bit as well. Certainly, there are pros and cons with a live-in helper. She is taking care of a lot of stuff that I don't wanna deal with and had to do before her arrival, like washing and cleaning. The biggest of adjustment that I think is that we need to watching out for her moves closely. It is quite stressful and frustrated some times. Also, we need to make sure we lock our doors and keep an eye of our personal documents and valuables, cos we have heard enough stories about what they can do with our stuffs.

She is not a hardworking person by nature, so her motivation to work, the quality of her works need monitoring. Sometimes, we thought if we treat her better, would she improve? However, I think it is a downward spiral right now: the worse she perform, the worse we treat her, and then she performs even worse. Her contract will due later next year. Decision has not yet finalized about her continuation with us, but I do have sometime on my mind.

Certainly, I don't think we treat her really badly, no abuse or that sort of things, also, we can't really treat her too bad, as she does spend some times alone with our son who has not yet learn to talk. There are enough news about how those domestic helpers abuse kids, we do worry about that, though I think she hasn't done that sort of things to our son. We both know that she doesn't treat our son as good as she can. We know that he is not her son, but she can pretend to treat him better than she does now. Glad that she is not a good actress that we can tell if she is mad or upset. So, there is less mind games that we have to play with her. However, if a baby doesn't like a person, he will not hide, and we know that.

We heard that many folks who hire a domestic helper do buy a safe to lock valuable stuff. I did contemplated that before but gave up that idea. Anyway, lock our stuff and watch out her moves in our room is something we do that everyday. Thank God that my wife is a more detail-oriented person that I am. So far, things are okay, but it is stressful sometimes.

I don't know about other people, I will always to treat her as a stranger in my home, from day one till her last day in my home. I only know that if my guard is down, I will only invite trouble for visit. If we want to get something, it won't be free lunch, everything has a price.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If I just learn that I’ve only 24 hours to live

Lately, I came across a Japanese movie based on a graphic novel about death. Certainly, the Japanese ‘Jack the Reaper’ is handsome and loving, doesn’t want to bring his targets to death and all that. Just reading articles about that make me think about the idea of …what will I do if I just learn that I’ve only 24 hours to live….

Assuming that it happens on a weekday, the first thing I will do is to leave office immediately, and send an email to my boss later. Then, I will call my wife to take emergency leave and then pick her up and go home.

The rest of things that I will do include:
Use my camcorder to record words that I wanna tell my son when he grows up. Most likely will be by topics, like a section about attitude to learn, another about dealing with girl/woman and on marriage, etc. Then, I guess I will record my will as well, so that all monetary issues are settled.

I will order all the foods that I wanna eat, like crabs, sushi, pizza, ribs, all sorts of fruits, desserts, etc.

I will pass the passwords and accounts of all my stuff to my love ones.

I will call my immediate family to be with me and my wife + my son, then spend the rest of the day with them.

I may listen to few songs that I like.

Of course, I need to comfort my family and love ones emotionally to make sure they are ok after my departure. I don’t want to see them cry.

By the time that all these are done, I think there is not much time left. I guess I will just say “I love you and Goodbye” to all of them. Then, close my eyes with a smile.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A brief shopping spree


In such bad bad economic environment, my personal belief has always been save, save and save! On the contrary, I've been doing quite a bit of shopping lately. The prices of the items that I bought, thank God, they are largely lower than it had been, but still, it is $$$ I'm talking about.

I bought a fridge last week out of urgency, as my old one was broken, the motor just didn't work.

I bought 2 pieces of suit last week as well. Why? because I just found out my old suits do fit anymore. The victums of my lack of excercise and over-eating. What can't I say? Yes, I'm going to start doing some excercises (the fact is I've not started yet), but I need clothes to go to work! and the weather is getting chilly lately.

I went shopping with my wife over the weekend for clothes. I've not done that for a long time....since we became parents. She needs work clothes, so we spent $$$!

Also, I bought a wallet for her as present lately.

Comparing with others, I don't think we spent out of control, we did most of them pretty much based on 'needs' rather than 'desire'. Though, my wife has been affected by the sweep of 'SALES' that are going on lately under this global financial tsunami, we still can manage our spendings reasonably well. Thanks to our busy schedule with works and kid, when u don't have time, u just don't go out of your way to spend. That's something that I always believe in.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A picture replaces thousands of words

This is how I feel today, triggered by an incident at work, and get me thinking about other things......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change? Change what?

Just came across an interesting article that put a spin on the hype of 'change' that Obama is gonna bring to the States. I think it would be a nice one to put some weights on the people who are lifted up in the sky by the Obama balloons:

Conned Again?
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

If the change President-elect Obama has promised includes a halt to America’s wars of aggression and an end to the rip-off of taxpayers by powerful financial interests, what explains Obama’s choice of foreign and economic policy advisors? Indeed, Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obama’s election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces.

Rahm Emanuel is a supporter of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Emanuel rose to prominence in the Democratic Party as a result of his fundraising connections to AIPAC. A strong supporter of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, he comes from a terrorist family. His father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that used violence to drive the British and Palestinians out of Palestine in order to create the Jewish state. During the 1991 Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was a member of the Freddie Mac board of directors and received $231,655 in directors fees in 2001. According to Wikipedia, “during the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.”

In “Hail to the Chief of Staff,” Alexander Cockburn describes Emanuel as “a super-Likudnik hawk,” who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 “made great efforts to knock out antiwar Democratic candidates.”
My despondent friends in the Israeli peace movement ask, “What is this man doing in Obama’s administration?”

Obama’s election was necessary as the only means Americans had to hold the Republicans accountable for their crimes against the Constitution and human rights, for their violations of US and international laws, for their lies and deceptions, and for their financial chicanery. As an editorial in Pravda put it, “Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Therefore it could be argued that the new administration in the USA could never be worse than the one which divorced the hearts and minds of Americans from their brothers in the international community, which appalled the rest of the world with shock and awe tactics that included concentration camps, torture, mass murder and utter disrespect for international law.”

But Obama’s advisers are drawn from the same gang of Washington thugs and Wall Street banksters as Bush’s. Richard Holbrooke, was an assistant secretary of state and ambassador in the Clinton administration. He implemented the policy to enlarge NATO and to place the military alliance on Russia’s border in contravention of Reagan’s promise to Gorbachev. Holbrooke is also associated with the Clinton administration’s illegal bombing of Serbia, a war crime that killed civilians and Chinese diplomats. If not a neocon himself, Holbrooke is closely allied with them.

Madeline Albright is the Clinton era secretary of state who told Leslie Stahl (60 Minutes) that the US policy of Iraq sanctions, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, had goals important enough to justify the children’s deaths. Albright’s infamous words: “we think the price is worth it.” Wikipedia reports that this immoralist served on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange at the time of Dick Grasso’s $187.5 million compensation scandal.

Dennis Ross has long associations with the Israeli-Palestinian “peace negotiations.” A member of his Clinton era team, Aaron David Miller, wrote that during 1999-2000 the US negotiating team led by Ross acted as Israel’s lawyer: “we had to run everything by Israel first.” This “stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking. If we couldn't put proposals on the table without checking with the Israelis first, and refused to push back when they said no, how effective could our mediation be?” According to Wikipedia, Ross is “chairman of a new Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, funded and founded by the Jewish Agency.”

Clearly, this is not a group of advisors that is going to halt America’s wars against Israel’s enemies or force the Israeli government to accept the necessary conditions for a real peace in the Middle East.

Ralph Nader predicted as much. In his “Open Letter to Barack Obama (November 3, 2008), Nader pointed out to Obama that his “transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights . . . to a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby” puts Obama at odds with “a majority of Jewish-Americans” and “64 per cent of Israelis.” Nader quotes the Israeli writer and peace advocate Uri Avnery’s description of Obama’s appearance before AIPAC as an appearance that “broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning.” Nader damns Obama for his “utter lack of political courage [for] surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention.” Carter, who achieved the only meaningful peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs, has been demonized by the powerful AIPAC lobby for criticizing Israel’s policy of apartheid toward the Palestinians whose territory Israel forcibly occupies.

Obama’s economic team is just as bad. Its star is Robert Rubin, the bankster who was secretary of the treasury in the Clinton administration. Rubin has responsibility for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and, thereby, responsibility for the current financial crisis. In his letter to Obama, Nader points out that Obama received unprecedented campaign contributions from corporate and Wall Street interests. “Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart.”

Obama’s victory speech was magnificent. The TV cameras scanning faces in the audience showed the hope and belief that propelled Obama into the presidency. But Obama cannot bring change to Washington. There is no one in the Washington crowd that he can appoint who is capable of bringing change. If Obama were to reach outside the usual crowd, anyone suspected of being a bringer of change could not get confirmed by the Senate. Powerful interest groups--AIPAC, the military-security complex, Wall Street--use their political influence to block unacceptable appointments.

As Alexander Cockburn said of Obama in a pre-eection column, column “never has the dead hand of the past had a ‘reform’ candidate so firmly by the windpipe.” Obama confirmed Cockburn’s verdict in his first press conference as president-elect. Disregarding the unanimous US National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Iran stopped working on nuclear weapons five years ago, and ignoring the continued certification by the International Atomic Energy Agency that none of the nuclear material for Iran’s civilian nuclear reactor has been diverted to weapons use, Obama sallied forth with the Israel Lobby’s propaganda and accused Iran of “development of a nuclear weapon” and vowing “to prevent that from happening.”

The change that is coming to America has nothing to do with Obama. Change is coming from the financial crisis brought on by Wall Street greed and irresponsibility, from the eroding role of the US dollar as reserve currency, from countless mortgage foreclosures, from the offshoring of millions of America’s best jobs, from a deepening recession, from pillars of American manufacturing--Ford and GM--begging the government for taxpayers’ money to stay alive, and from budget and trade deficits that are too large to be closed by normal means.

Traditionally, the government relies on monetary and fiscal policy to lift the economy out of recession. But easy money is not working. Interest rates are already low and monetary growth is already high, yet unemployment is rising. The budget deficit is already huge--a world record--and the red ink is not stimulating the economy. Can even lower interest rates and even higher budget deficits help an economy that has moved offshore, leaving behind jobless consumers overburdened with debt?

How much more can the government borrow? America’s foreign creditors are asking this question. An official organ of the Chinese ruling party recently called for Asian and European countries to “banish the US dollar from their direct trade relations, relying only on their own currencies.”

“Why,” asks another Chinese publication, “should China help the US to issue debt without end in the belief that the national credit of the US can expand without limit?”

The world has tired of American hegemony and had its fill of American arrogance. America’s reputation is in tatters: the financial debacle, endless red ink, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, rendition, torture, illegal wars based on lies and deception, disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries, war crimes, disregard for international law and the Geneva Conventions, the assault on habeas corpus and the separation of powers, a domestic police state, constant interference in the internal affairs of other countries, boundless hypocrisy.

The change that is coming is the end of American empire. The hegemon has run out of money and influence. Obama as “America’s First Black President” will lift hopes and, thus, allow the act to be carried on a little longer. But the New American Century is already over.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

倪匡 - One of greatest Chinese writers

No he is not dead yet. Just happen to come across an article about him here. So, I just wanna share with others. (sorry this article is in Chinese). Here we go....

倪匡与李敖同岁,这两个人绕了四轮“十二生肖”之后,1983年的一批人便诞生了——我即是此批之一,都属“猪”,今年乃是本命年。在性格上,我们有着极大的相似之处,但在道路选择上又富含歧见。其相同的特点,大致可以归纳出:工作狂的倾向,不要命的倾向,“一根经”的倾向,“一竿插到底”的倾向,笔力强劲恣肆的倾向。倪匡无限地挖掘自己的潜能,在政治取向上走的是“爱国必须反共,反共才是爱国”的道路;李敖的选择已经趋于投机、献媚和盲从,与金庸、黄霑一样“晚节不保”,成为统战之棋,却未有丝毫警醒觉悟。倪匡与李敖,两者都属高产作家。前者乃全世界之最,手写速度是每小时2,500字~4,500字之间,1996年使用“声控电脑”后,写作速度反而变慢;而口才亦属一流,讲话速度比写作速度还快,一旦慢下来就要“打结”。李敖从《老年人与棒子》开始,写了46年,速度亦属惊人,想当年半夜三更起床写作,搞连续数年的“通宵达旦”,这种锻炼历程比我还要早几十年。两者都是“数千万字”的作家,但李敖不可与倪匡相比之处,在于其原创有限、范畴有限、文体有限,而倪匡一生居然从来没有抄袭过自己,可谓思源开阔、源源不断的作家典型。 在

1985年8月出版的《倪匡传奇》之最末,曾有这样一段话:“从江南到内蒙到东北,倪匡早年的生活,由血与泪、生存与死亡、战栗与痛苦交织而成。”确实,倪匡曾经投身“共产党革命事业”六年,想当年大小是个“基层干部”,然而其自由理念在当时政治环境之下饱受批判、批斗,到后期更是发展到可能承受“十年监禁”的沉重打击。而其具体“法律纠纷”,竟仅仅是因为取些木材来烤火以及一条狗将大队长咬伤而已,如此就成了“反革命”、“对共产党员恨之入骨”之类重罪。1957年,倪匡逃亡,自内蒙古逃到大连,又由大连逃至上海、广州,最终成功偷渡至香港,躲过“反右”、“文革”等严重浩劫。这一年,倪匡年仅22岁。那是刻骨铭心的记忆,也震撼了一大批的倪匡读者。当时的倪匡,身上没有多少钱(到大连后,身上的钱只够买票到青岛),饿得又厉害,硬着头皮逃到上海后,连亲人也不敢接待之,就如躲瘟疫、躲疯狗一般惟恐避之不及。自上海到香港,倪匡乃以老鼠、蚂蚁、棉花充饥,以伪刻图章与路条来解决即时危险。如此活脱脱的“流浪汉”,整整两个月的逃亡,自中国最北部逃至中国最南部,痛苦至极地“千里走单骑”,风餐露宿,挨饥受饿,诸位可以想象当时倪匡内心之愤怒、绝望与决断。

这个原名倪亦明、倪聪的人,自此以后,在中国大陆的足迹消失了整整50年。50年以来,倪匡的大量书籍只能停留于一般的地摊或出租书店,被当作“反动分子”、“反动书籍”对待。直到网络开放,倪匡一生之奋斗才逐渐为人所知——我已看到收录“倪匡全集”、“倪匡作品集”、“倪学”的大量网站,点击量巨大,粉丝活跃。几代香港人及非香港人,都是看着倪匡的书长大的。其间,环环相扣的描写,惊险神秘的探寻,英雄主义的倡扬,反对独裁的决心,牵连广阔,气势磅礴,天马行空,这一切都已深深地刻在了人们的心里。在香港,倪匡、金庸、黄霑、蔡澜并列为“四大才子”,亦有“小说三大高手”的说法,指的是攻科幻的倪匡、攻武侠的金庸、攻言情的亦舒。其中,亦舒就是倪匡的亲妹妹——倪亦舒。这是一个彻头彻尾的“莫谈国事”者,专为中产阶层的职业女性而作,重气质,重品位,穿着破牛仔裤、烂t恤,头发剪得如男童,化装品是一罐凡士林,闲时拖凉鞋,夹香烟去骑单车,奔公园,看法国小电影……。这个人,就是被视为“超越台湾琼瑶”的香港言情作家倪亦舒。

倪匡的一生,极富戏剧性。在香港这个地方,在连续反了50年共产党的人之中,他是最显眼的一个。但如果切开他的家族、家庭与朋友,便更能感到他的孤独与寂寞。倪匡的大哥叫倪亦方,现在辽宁省鞍山市化工二厂就任厂长,是共产党员、工程师,曾经遭受“反右”、“文革”磨难,蒙受20余年不白之冤。1985年7月1日,《鞍山日报》曾刊出报道《倪亦方——理想是巨大的精神力量》,此文惨不忍“读”,简直是赤裸裸的精神洗脑,假以“爱国”之名义,忽视倪亦方所受之沉重打击。面对倪亦方这位大哥,倪匡情何以堪?倪匡之子,乃在电影、电视、电台、唱片、书籍等方面皆有展示的倪震,曾与李嘉欣、陈法蓉恋爱,又与周慧敏同居17年。此子有才,善于拓展,但远不如其父之远见,亦与政治无染。亲人如此,朋友则更不必说,似有“人在江湖,身不由己”的苦衷,或曰精明。2005年,倪匡在离开香港13年之后,从美国返回香港,当时林渊曾经发出一则报道,内有如下内容:“倪匡的两位好友查良镛和黄霑,晚年如何由反共转向媚共,对中共政权完全丧失批判能力,甘心沦为统战工具,查、黄二人那种晚节不保,才教众多香港人感到痛心和失望。”林渊为什么这样讲?

我们来看几则资料。在已公开的《倪匡百问》之中,倪匡说:“我最推崇的小说家分别是金庸、古龙、琼瑶、亦舒、高阳、夏树静子、爱伦坡;最推崇的散文家是柏杨与李敖。”其自认的“至交好友”,分别是古龙、金庸、黄霑、张系国、沈西城、叶李华。另一则资料,则来自《维基百科》:“倪匡自夸是金庸的好友,但金庸从不承认这点。”黄霑也是风向一转,让倪匡大大失望。张系国乃是同类文友(科幻作家)之切磋,沈西城、叶李华乃是倪匡的顶极粉丝。在其“至交好友”之中,若要讲真性情、真豪杰,可能唯有已逝的古龙一人而已。至于琼瑶、亦舒、高阳、夏树静子、爱伦坡,皆与倪匡非一路人。而李敖本身,更是过气人物,近年举动令人心痛,若再追究其发迹历史,更感到问题严重,十足卑鄙。在我看来,真正值得倪匡敬重者,也值得公众信服者,可能唯有古龙、柏杨二人而已。论胆魄,论资历,论才华,论远见,到最后恐怕一个“至交好友”也不会留下。因为在我看来,古龙过分超越现实,柏杨也只看到东方文化禁锢之一面,未有大气,只成批判巨将。若论真正跳出小格局,进入大格局,连倪匡本人也成为问题焦点。但至今为止,论出色、论坚持、论勤奋、论罕见,我仍认准倪匡一人,其启示可谓无处不在。

其一,倪匡的高产。
我是职业作家,但算不得高产,倪匡却能做到。他的办法,是高度认同“职业性”,说得不文雅一些,就象妓女上床,不能讲愿不愿意,或者有没有过量。职业作家,就是铁定了要吃这碗饭,不能耍什么高贵、娇弱、派气,你是干这一行的,那么就要把这一行干到底,干绝,干出自己的极限来。这需要解决诸多难题:时间如何安排?人际如何抽离?领域涉猎到哪些?怎样面对资源短缺的问题?实际上,倪匡抛弃了大量毫无意义的交际与应酬,极力地拿出时间来拼命写作,而题材之广泛,完全是基于各种媒体、各种境遇、各种夜梦。这个人的性格十分古怪,其实反过来看,又十分单纯。在卫斯理、原振侠、浪子高达、神探高斯、亚洲之鹰罗开、非人协会、女黑侠木兰花、年轻人与公主、神仙手高飞、侠盗影子等系列中,都可以看出倪匡的出色本领在于“异想天开”,也就是他自己所说的“多多胡思乱想”。想人之所不想,思人之所不思,越离奇、越怪异、越紧张、越惊险、越有趣、越语出惊人,那么就“越好看”,越“让读者废寝忘食”。这是对思维的训练,整个写作过程就象是做实验,越冒险越上劲,因此这种写作非常上手,动力十足,魅力无穷,绝对是“不写白不写,写了还想写”,永远意犹未尽,永远不知疲倦。想象力的无限扩散,是不可能有何极限的。当然,这当中并不包含多少科学成分,准确地说,应该叫“幻想”,而非“科学幻想”。

其二,倪匡的作品。
我想说,仅科幻小说一类,倪匡的眼界已绝非科幻而已,太多内涵已经超越科幻本身;而且,其商业性写作的主题,却能达到如此严肃,实为罕见。限于篇幅,我只能极简单地介绍。《丛林之神》,表达人拥有预知能力后的一种深刻的悲哀;《透明光》,表达隐形后的人的恐惧与悲哀;《创造》,表达对控制思想进行尖锐的批判;《眼睛》,关注人类邪恶的起源;《奇门》,描写失去家园的情感;《报应》,揭露强权压倒一切,独裁与专政代替了民主与自由,外星人审判地球人之罪;《拼命》,揭示中国人只是顺民,在统治者的残酷压迫下,只想生存在“做稳了奴隶的时代”里;《算帐》,对政治大加批判与揭露,揭示极权统治的后遗症,甚多隐喻指向现实的同时,亦批判独裁与专制;《瘟神》,传达出对地球人口急剧增长的忧虑与关注;《头发》,代表着倪匡作品的最高思想境界,最荡气回肠的是作者以“舌战群儒”之势,指责四大教祖,分析其虚伪、自私和不负责任,那是真正的自由思想,其思想境界丝毫不逊于西方著名科幻作家;《风水》,乃是将文革场面写得最荒诞、最可笑的一部小说;《规律》,控诉冷战年代的苏联;《地心洪炉》,粉碎妄图统治世界的科学狂人之贪欲;还有《游戏》、《蓝血人》亦颇精彩,后者曾入选“二十世纪中文小说百强”,得第94名,是两岸三地唯一入选的科幻作品。纵观倪匡之全部历史,乃由早期极强娱乐、商业成份的作品,剧变为处处流露对极权和人类劣根性批判的正气之作,这种努力,不是投降于权力与市场的作家所敢于付诸的。

其三,倪匡的领域。
倪匡的最突出成就,在于科幻小说之想象力和惊险魅力,以及贯穿其中的民主自由思想,在科幻小说界已成权威之一。2001年,国立交通大学、《中国时报》人间副刊联手,设立“倪匡科幻奖”,提倡中文科幻小说创作与欣赏。自第四届起,又与国科会“科普奖”合办。但倪匡的领域绝非仅此而已,更包括武侠、奇情、侦探、神怪、推理、色情、文艺等各类型的小说,以及政论、杂文、散文、评论、专栏、剧本等。其历练过的文体,除了广告词与歌词之外,其余皆在手下。小说已超过300种,剧本已超过400种。单是电影剧本,自1967年写到1988年,乃是世界第一的产量,其代表作包括《独臂刀》、《唐山大兄》、《精武门》、《马永贞》、《洪熙官》、《楚留香》、《功夫小子》、《银姑》等名作,而倪匡亦曾因独具的才华,担任邵氏电影公司编剧。周润发、钱小豪、李小龙、甄子丹、李连杰、刘德华等人,皆从中受益。至于武侠小说,倪匡自认业绩一般,“但这是与金庸、古龙相较而论”。他的文字变化多端,简练写意,看罢他写的《我看金庸》系列,竟感到居然在文风上亦可与金庸如此接近。想当年,倪匡更是在金庸出国期间为金庸“代刀写作”《天龙八部》部分章节,了无痕迹,浑然天成。倪匡亦曾为古龙、卧龙生、诸葛青云等一代“文侠”代笔,可见其手段之高。这与演员属性相近,学什么象什么。直到晚年,倪匡更感到自己居然还有当演员的天份。其实足不为奇,倪匡的文体演练,已经注定了他对各种复杂性格与表现方式的深刻掌握,而这恰恰就是演员的本事。

其四,倪匡的极限。
面对当道,作家之选择是各式各样的,即使已取得成就的诸多文人,到最后不是被权力、名利、荣誉等外在所累,就是被内在的才思枯竭、走火入魔的心灵灾难所累。但在倪匡身上,这一切似乎都不是问题,根本不值得半点考虑。这毕竟是一个颇有才华的人,所读书籍在少年时期即已相当繁杂,性情自由,精力旺盛,敢言敢行,意志顽强,这一切都构成了他此后事业的基础。他没有接受过正规的大学教育,只在当时的“华东人民革命大学”受训三个月,此后的身份便是军人、警察。所有写作潜能,几乎全在后期的自学、演练之中猛烈地爆发出来。他这个人,极其刻苦,而且职业道德一流,即使同时为12家报纸写连载,也能做到不拖稿、欠稿。若换作是我,绝对无力办到——我的最大极限是,曾同时为三家媒体写政论专栏,时至今日最为残酷的拼命,也不过日产三篇,一万字而已。倪匡的稿酬加版税,一年最高曾超过200万港币,乃是香港以文致富的佼佼者。我之写作,关注现存实际问题与重大问题居多,小说已经停写六年之久。这种在文体和题材上的不同取向,迫使我必须花更多时间来关注现实的具体问题,因而不是以想象力(甚至狂想力)来支撑思想,而是以分析力和整合力来推动当道。倪匡的选择,是在“易写”领域之中做到出色,而我则是在“难写”领域之中求得突破,两种不同取向,就成了两种不同结果。

其五,倪匡的自由。
这个自由不是指对外在世界的争取,而是指内在的自由程度。昨天我在《世界周刊》看到曾慧燕对诺贝尔文学奖得主高行健的采访,高行健对“文以载道”不以为然,反对文学为政治服务,只为个人而书写。这与刘宾雁、马建等作家的“入世”之态截然不同。起初不知究竟,但通篇读后,再对比倪匡,我明白了“为个人而书写”之中极大的可取之处,恰恰就在于“以一体之心升华世界”。两种写作态度看似截然不同,其实纯属殊途同归,没有什么可争辩的。入世与出世,只是所观照的对象不同而已,而最终目的皆在自由。在一个处处受禁的世界,要保持内在自由,倪匡的个人性格就对此予以了解读。这个极端情绪化、常常糊里糊涂的人,“不喜欢受约束,不爱争胜负,不喜欢正经八百,也绝不会道貌岸然”,为人率性放任、热情爽朗、慷慨侠情,这种内在自由是超越自我的关键。请注意,“正经八百”、“道貌岸然”这八个字,乃是不少人的特色,包括我本人在内,皆属此类。太多人的言论四平八稳,坚固如山,仿似宣讲《圣经》。能够打破这一常规的人,在追逐民主与自由的知名作家之中,我只看到余樟法等少数人有此境界。倪匡毕竟身在香港,那是一个极其多元的文化地域。香港式的言论自由,就是于道统之中加些嘻哈玩闹的佐料,既有幽默的调侃,又有严肃的批判,正道而又不失风趣,刚烈而又不失顽皮,没有那种高山扬止、巍峨崇高的影响力人物。黄霑就属香港式,一方面是传统流行音乐之父,一方面又大谈特谈男女色情,色而不淫。倪匡当年也是色情心颇重,却不曾视之为重大问题。若是在中国大陆,黄霑、倪匡必遭道德群伐,身败名裂。由此可见,外压施于内在何其沉重,“身”对“心”的压抑又何其明显。

其六,倪匡的超越。
有一种常识是,当你所处的社会环境极其恶劣,大多数人处于弱势地位,而强者愈强、横行无忌之时,你站出来呐喊、反抗、争斗,你可以成为“人物”,而且也能或多或少地推动时代的变迁、潮流的翻滚。但是,倘若这个恶劣背景被撤除,整个社会走向良性循环之时,那么你“对外”的呐喊、反抗与争斗就不再具有重大意义。相反,对内的审视才更具份量。这是李敖与龙应台的区别所在。但倪匡显然又有另一层努力,他对内在的努力不是审视,而是创造。在他看来,人的内在潜能是无限的,这种无限随着对未知世界的逐步认识而持续增长,所以,他的想象力并非与生俱来,可视为超越自我的努力。超越,就意味着对循规蹈矩的反抗,鄙视陈规旧俗,释放内在能量。我曾看过一些有关“愤怒”话题的书籍,颇有心得。暴力者可分为外暴力与内暴力,外暴力易于理解,内暴力则不同,后者往往是在无数次表面微笑的背后,一点点地蓄积着巨大的愤怒力量,最终做出远远超于前者的恐怖举动。而在此之前,无人不知此人乃是一个循规蹈矩的守法者、好人、模范。倪匡的思维要得以延伸,就必须解决这个内在愤怒的郁积问题,他不能只站在“倪匡”这个角度来看待万事万物,而必须抛弃掉“倪匡”,才有可能有极丰富的构思,才能不被愤怒的郁积而击垮。从这一点,我们来看大陆的知名摇滚音乐人窦唯,他那么有才、低调、沉默的一个人,到最后居然去猛然烧车。同样的,诗人海子自杀,歌手筠子自杀,作家张爱玲自杀,演员张国荣自杀……。这批人是怎么回事?忧郁,长期不得释放内在,最终就这样自毁了。倪匡没有那样逼迫自己、挤压自己,相反却是延伸自己、扩展自己,这就是超越。

其七,倪匡的政见。
我们现在所看到的倪匡,乃是一个72岁的老头,下厨、种花、养鱼,闲云野鹤,壶中日月,但千万不要忘记,这是一个内心火热的紧跟时事的人物。我所能看到的敏感信息,他同样能够毫无保留地看到。从他近年来接受采访的言论中,我了解到,实际上倪匡比相当多的大陆人还要了解大陆状态,他曾经细致地看过《中国农民调查》,了解过北京“上访村”,以重大的同情来看待威权统治下的底层群体——当然,也包括已遭渗透的香港。我可以作出这样的判断,作为一个奋斗数十年的作家,倪匡对香港最热衷的刊物,一定不是其它,乃是《开放》、《争鸣》、《动向》、《前哨》一类。或者,有些大言不惭地说,我知道倪匡,倪匡也未必不知道我。虽然我们之间隔了48年的年龄差异,但在诸多地方肯定是“anger management”(以怒对怒,气味相投)。我看过诸多有关倪匡的评论,有的惋惜倪匡泄私人之愤,有的希望倪匡抛弃前嫌,有的则十分同情倪匡的早年遭遇,有的则是“当代红卫兵”式地辱骂:“倪匡,你连自己的祖国都不要了,你叫我如何崇拜你?”更有糊涂到家的人,说出这样的话:“没有毛泽东的中国,大使馆可以被人炸,飞机在家门口可以被撞,南沙可以被瓜分,邪教可以在中南海静坐示威”,以此奉劝倪匡对共产党充满敬意,此种“国即是党、党即是党主”的逻辑与判断,与皇权意识无异,简直有辱国人基本智商。倪匡之政见,不唯独是当年所论,乃是紧跟信息所得,绝非意气用事,更不必以“非党即非国”来简单定论。

其八,倪匡的胆魄。
很多人假设倪匡如果身在中国大陆,估计在“反右”、“文革”之中早已自杀。倪匡曾以大陆敢言作家张贤亮受难为例,对“反右”之惨,无比心痛和震惊。今年“六四”纪念日,香港《苹果日报》曾刊出倪匡政治访谈:“现在一点社会主义的影子也没有,权利与资本掌握在极少部分人的手里,他们掠夺财富的程度,比满清入关跑马圈地还厉害”,对共产党,倪匡可谓恨之入骨。这个“过去反共、现在反共、将来还要反共”的作家,从来不隐瞒自己的真实意见。1992年,他离开香港,对香港回归之后的前景不抱希望。2005年,他因为太太在美国感到不适,回到香港时更感惭愧。其实,倪匡的这种坚持,已没有任何危险可言,即使其书籍在中国大陆遭到禁止出版,但事实上已经流传十余年(但倪匡一分钱都没拿过,全是盗版),读者遍地。这一点与李敖类似,但又不尽类似。李敖的书籍在大陆亦曾受挫,但后来得以逐渐展露,此人便对大陆当局感恩待德,实在算不得什么铁打的傲骨。倪匡的遗憾,在最近实有表露,言语之中念国心切。他之爱国,与一般的党国主义者大不相同,因恨之而爱之,因其落后、愚昧与专制而痛心疾首。倪匡虽然性情豪放,但却有极细腻的悲悯体会,成为基督徒之后更与以往劣根尽相割断,渐渐进入省思状态。倪匡毕竟已是72岁的人了,对太多问题看得太透,太孤独,太沉重,而其作品又太铺散、太广泛、太奇特。他应当获得本届“中国自由文化奖”之“小说奖”,作为提议者,我甚感自豪。

其九,倪匡的背景。
在香港这片天空之下,称倪匡为“科幻鼻祖”实不为过,其“一个人的战斗”曾经持续数年,直到黄易出现,才算是“两分天下”。科幻这种非主流文学,在香港一直远次于武侠。在倪匡出现以前,一直是以“科幻译著”为主,如《基地》、《火星之沙》、《双星》、《无时世界》等。真正完成“本土化”过程的,只有倪匡一个人。基于他的奋斗,科幻小说已经普及至社会各个不同阶层。至于崛起的黄易,实在是难得的大才,同样拥有恣意汪洋的想象力,同样高产,其《超级战士》、《幽灵船》、《大剑师传奇》、《星际浪子》、《寻秦记》等,再次深入人心。真正对科幻小说在理论上予以总结的,是杜渐、李伟才、黄景亨、潘昭强、李逆熵这些人。而真正的原创高手,则有些曲高和寡,在台湾倒有一个,那就是倪匡的“至交好友”之一——张系国,也就是《棋王》的作者。《棋王》这部作品,乃是香港高级程度会考之“中国语文”和“文化”科当中的“选择读物”,在香港成长的绝大多数高中生都曾感受过张系国的劲笔。张系国被科幻界称为“正统派”的代表,而倪匡、黄易则属“通俗派”。进入“战国时代”般的群雄逐鹿的科幻黄金时期者,乃是倪匡、黄易之后的宇无名、谭剑、乔靖夫、周显、苏文星、武藏野、萧志勇、毕华流等辈。到如今这个“速食时代”,则是科幻漫画超越科幻小说的时代,《超神》、《武神》、《龙虎五世》、《龙神》等漫画的销量,已经远远大于任何科幻小说。倪匡当初那个独挡一面的时代,已经一去不复返,而且后来的科幻作家也再无他那样入骨的专制批判。

其十,倪匡的影响。
倪匡被誉为“东方艾西莫夫”,亦即“华文科幻之帝”的意思。与艾萨克·艾西莫夫(isaac asimov)并列的,据我所知,还有阿瑟·克拉克(arthur c. clarke)、安森·海因莱因(robert a. heinlein),此三人被称为“科幻小说三巨头”。艾西莫夫乃是本世纪最顶尖的科幻小说家之一,曾获代表科幻界最高荣誉的“雨果奖”和星云终身成就的“大师奖”。以艾西莫夫命名的《艾西莫夫科幻杂志》,乃是美国当今数一数二的科幻文学重镇。倪匡被誉为“东方艾西莫夫”的理由甚多,诸如同样俯仰万年,同样宏观的视野,同样讨论人性与政冶、经济、军事等文明要素产生的互动影响,同样闪动着关怀人类未来的笔触,同样超越一般科幻的局限。倪匡将大量重大问题投入于隐喻之中,其情节波澜壮阔,其内容辐射辽广,其语言干净利落,其人物潇洒自由。掩卷之后,大感非仅“猎奇”而已,乃有极深刻之倾诉。既如此,则其作品又何限归类?何限地域?何限历史?写到此处,猛然想到一则快事。2006年3月~2007年2月,大陆《红袖添香网》与香港中华书局共同举办“2006新武侠小说大赛”。在此活动之中,上网阅读的倪匡竟于不经意间发现一流参赛作品——周翔的《放纵剑魂》。倪匡随即致信周翔:“大有可能是出自古龙英灵的指引,因为你作品极出色,相信古龙若在生,也会觉得高兴。你已经掌握了写小说最重要的诀窍,就是有极好的想象力和通顺的文笔,掌握悬疑也恰到好处。我现在逢人便说你的小说好看,近日会和金庸见面,就会告诉他。并希望可以找到肯出版的出版社。”果不其然,《放纵剑魂》获得新武侠大赛七月之“月冠军”。此种洞见,可见倪匡之眼力与感召。

Friday, November 7, 2008

What about "Change"?

The theme of 'Change' has been Obama's campaign for the past 21 months. Sure, he is elected, it means that he needs to deliver whatever changes he has promised.


From my personal side, I don't need to do what Obama did, trying to sell 'Changes' to others to get buy-in and all that. However, I do see different challenges.


The idea of wanting to change at a personal level is because I'm not satisfy with certain things at their current stage and want to carry out the changes to make things better. I'm sure there are tons of self-help books out there that can help, though I deem that most of them are simply telling us what we should have already known. So, I'm just gonna list out what I think that will work for me here.


Step 1 - Self-realization - finding what I don't like about.


Step 2 - Investigation - finding out what are the root causes of those shortcomings or defects.


Step 3 - Diagnosis - finding out what actions can be done to get rid of those shortcomings or defects.


Step 4 - Planning - schedule and arrange the procedure to carry out those actions


Step 5 - Self-motivation - make myself to carry out the plan


Step 6 - Execution - actually carry out the plan and certainly review and amend the plan as it goes.


Step 7 - Plan completion and maintenance - when the actions are completed, some of them may become a new habit that will be ongoing......


Step 8 - Review - learn what was done right and wrong for future reference.


I think each step has its own challenges. Depends on what my goals are, it could see problem on all steps. As I'm not talking about a job, or something coming from outside, I'm talking about something inside our head. For me, self-motivation is the difficult, particularly when I'm occupied by other responsibilities, it is so easy for me to tell myself to do it later. So, many of my ideas on self- improvement and changes are simply ideas or plans without start dates. Just make me sad to think about that. Use an analogy, I think it is true that we won't go the restroom in the middle of the night, if we can 'hold'! Though, we all know that if you wake up because if you feel like you need to piss, you won't go bad to sleep unless you piss. Keep on fighting to hold is not gonna work. I guess I'm not that 'full' yet, that's why I'm still holding and not going to the bathroom. Maybe I'm just too dumb to do that....


Not sure if others have the same problem or not. What step would they found most difficult?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton 1942 - 2008


On Nov 4, besides the U.S. Presidential election which took up most of the space in news media, a great author died on the same day. He is got to be my all-time favorite American author in terms of number of books that I read from the same author. I still vivid remember that I told my friends that the movie version of Jurassic Park sucks comparing with the book. Cos, I read the book first, also so as the Lost World and Rising Sun. As some critics had said, Michael Crichton didn't write novels, he wrote movie script. I think that is so true. His novel chapters, scene by scene are exactly like movie images running in my head. Also, he did a lot of researches to prepare for his works, not just ideas alone. Though, later on I was busy with many other things that I stop reading his novels. I thought I will pick up his books again in future when I have time. With his passing, I think we lost a great author in modern time. Yes, there are many great authors out there, but sorry, I don't know them well. I think Michael's novels should be able to test against time. Yes, there are always new technology there, but the characters in his movies are more or less timeless, they all reflect different aspect of human nature while wrapping in intriguing storyline and hi-tech concepts. Thanks him for providing us excellent entertainments through his words, and his body of works will live on for years to come!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama

(EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Well, as predicted, Barack Hussein Obama will become the 44th President of the United States starting from Jan 20, 2009.

Yes, it is historic, it gives some people hope, colored kids to look up to, and a lot of things to talk about in the coming 'days'. However, I think he is more than being the 'Tiger Woods' of the U.S. politic. With the problems he is facing, if he can politically survive, it will already be a triumph. As I believe, there is only so much a person can do. Surely, there will be tons of wise guys to help him, both inside and outside his administration. But the people, the States is facing are something very much fundamental and deep rooted.

For examples, financially, American need to change their attitude towards borrowing, spending, and investing. Educationally, you need to make kids feel learning is cool, geeks should be idols, not jocks. Medically, how to reform the whole system to make medicines affordable in the long term. These challenges are enormous. Also, payback to interest groups and the really power in various committees in the Government that tied in with big corps in defense and energy, as well as foreign powers. U think that's easy? I don't think so...

Anyway, Mr. Obama will begin his honeymoon today and the public is going to pound on him very soon. It is because America has got used to the comfortable way of life for so long, they would rather take painkiller than real bitter treatments to get well. That's my thought in spite of the hope that I have on him from the other side of my personality.

God bless him and America!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How American sees the world...








Yes, today the great country of the United States will elect a new president. Yes, it is claimed to be the most important election in many people's lifetime, cos it will not only affect regular Americans, but whoever the president will be will also affect the world. Everybody (almost) thinks Obama, the champaign of 'Change' will win. Will he also change how American see the world?

The pics in the blog is extracted from Google Image. Thx!

Friday, October 31, 2008

U.S. Presidential Election 2008....just some thoughts...

Well, unless you are living in a cave without TV or internet, you should have been bombarded by the U.S. presidential campaign in the past few months and it has been intensified in recent weeks as Nov 4 is approaching. With many people are worrying about their financial well-being these days, looking for silver-lining of this financial black hole has become a national pastime for some people. Yes, there are other things going on: the Word Series, Halloween shopping and decoration, etc, but the election as an once every four year event has a special meaning this time. Regardless you are far away or not, in spite of the declining of the U.S. as the world hegemony, it IS STILL the World’s only superpower. So, who will become the leader of this country in the next four years still matters in many aspects. With the wars and recession that are going on, many average Joes and Janes do want to have someone to look up to for guidance or comfort in such difficult time.

For me, by playing the role of devil’s advocate, I don’t think it really matter who will be elected. Cos, what they have said won’t be translated into actions that can produce significant effects anyway. The U.S. political system is not perfect, but it works somehow for centuries. However, in these days, in particular, politicians, most of them, are somewhat like the CEOs of many companies. They only care about the quarterly return and stock prices, so they can remain in power and get their fat checks. For politicians, they only care about their voters and special interest groups, particularly the latter that got them in office. Do they care about the long-term well-being of their district or the country as a whole? Well, they sure will say they do, but actually you want see that from their actions when there are conflicts in choosing what is good for them and what is good for the country. Presidents are no different, just the interest groups that can tilt the election one way or the other are just bigger and more powerful. So, whoever got elected, it is payback time! Also, there are many committees behind that really pull the strings. Those are the people who really rule the U.S. which in turn affect the life of millions around the world. You think American troops would in Iraq just because Bush wanted it? If you do, go back to watch Oprah and SNL then.

Therefore, President Obama will provide some freshness to the national media and to the public. We will know what will be the first pet, Obama’s favorite tunes, cuisine, movies, etc. Same thing for the first lady, first family, etc. But, to the lives of regular folks, same o same o. The Medicare and Medicaid reform, Social Security problem, national debts, trade deficits, war on terror, war on drugs, etc, they won’t go away. The problems of this country are just too big to be solved by a new president with his new cabinet. Spin docs can spin all they want, the depth of those problems are not going away. The President will keep talk and talk with rheorics, liking campaigning all the time, but he will keep his eyes on 2012. If he is eating his lunch, he will try to stay for dinner, regardless, he will say thank you very much, and the bill will stay behind for the next. Yes, he will take on W.’s humungous bill, he may trim a bit every now and then. He will put those numbers back up and up during the payback time. U know what I mean?

So, what can be done? If I know, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing then. I just want to say that President MaCain or President Obama can’t solve the problems the U.S. is facing. You can turn on as many lights as you can, but you can’t help the day is getting dark. Should we be pessimistic? No, we as bolts and screws of the social machine, are too small to make significant difference. Not that we shouldn’t try and shoulder our social responsibilities. At the end of the day, who our children and our family members rely on the most is NOT the President, the government, or any public figures, but us. So, just cherish our freedom to say what we can and do what we should to protect our family and our livelihood, if we can do that, we are already doing our job and we should proud of that.

As an extension of what JFK said: “Don’t ask what the Government can do for you, ask what you can do for the Government”, I would say the latter should be: “ask what you can for yourself and your family.” Nough said. Peace! And God bless us all!




Thursday, October 30, 2008

EQ in Financial Tsunami

When I tried to find a picture about EQ in Google Image Search. The picture above was shown. It stroked me with an 'Ah HA' right the way. It is so true about the relationship of EQ and IQ. Everyone has EQ and IQ, it is just a matter of high or low which is also a matter or relativity. Surely, they can be objectively measured if you believe in those methods. What make a person or I should say how a person is being perceived by others has a lot to do with what a person does and says. IQ can add a lot of 'meats' to that, but how those actions and words being delivered has a lot to do with the person's EQ.

In the recent Financial Tsunami, does IQ matter any more? Sure, it always matter. However, many people's behavior really demonstrate their EQs, especially those public figures: opinion leaders, government officials, CEOs of the financial institution's, regular investors, etc. You can see that all sorts of dumb things that they said in the media which showed what kinds of person they really are. You can tell whether some folk's personal interests are being affected or not easily when they talk, cos they can lie with their high IQ in normal days, but their EQ which is relatively hard to control do make their inner beasts come out to the light. During normal days, many folks can use their IQs to wrap themselves up before presenting to the world, but EQ does have its day to shine. No wonder leader recently claimed that 'logical discussion on a public issue has been hijacked by public emotional appeal of the issue'. The ironic thing is that such statement is coming out of the mouth of a leader who is famous for bad temper and low EQ!...
Certainly, there are people who demonstrate their sincerity and affection to others including strangers too. The recent economic environment is really a very good opportunity to learn about human behaviors, psychology, social behavior, etc. I'm sure there are still lots more to be seen and heard, cos I believe that the current rough environment is still searching for its peak, we still have long way to go before we can see the tsunami really retreats.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My View on 'Ghost'


Halloween is coming. The Ghost season is getting popular year by year for commercial reasons. For the background of Halloween, certainly here will provide more information than I could possible write, what I want to talk about is my then and current views on ‘ghost’ .

Human beings have general curiosity for things that we don’t know. When I was a kid, certainly ghost is one of them. What we heard from adults or peers was that the livings have body and soul. When they died, souls still exist without the body, and they are defined as Ghosts! We were told that ghosts are supposed to go somewhere – hell, heaven, reincarnation. If they stick around because they can’t go elsewhere, they just don’t wanna leave, then they usually are not good spirits. I.e. they want to take revenge of someone who hurt them when they were alive, or wanna make someone die to become their ‘replacement’, so they can leave. With our fear of the pain that we may suffer when we are going to die, and so much unknown after death, certainly we were scare when we were kids. Many ghosts were described as scare beings with amazing abilities, like they can fly; go through walls, possessing bodies, etc. When we were kids, we just don’t want to see them by any chance, so any religious things or practices that can repel spirits were learned and heard. Such as holy cross (but later on we thought that it is more for dispel vampires), biblical texts, Buddhism hymns, holy water, etc.

Also, any thing that related to ghost were found scary by kids, like cemetery, funeral, even just dark places. I remember that with our kids, we would ran into some places which were perfectly fine during the day, but it would be very dark at night. We might hold an electric torch and ran there to ‘explore’. When someone in the front suddenly shout ‘Ghost’ (though he didn’t see anything, just wanna scare younger kids behind them), we would just turn our back, ran and scream at the same time. It was very silly but we did feel scare at that time. Some kids may even fall on the ground and those ran the slowest will even cried hysterically.

Then, there were ghost stories, supposed to be ‘real’ life ghost encounter stories, ghostly places, urban legends, ghost movies, etc. All became things that were fascinating and became part of our youth culture. Of course, nothing is scarier than ghostly matters that are close to home, like the death of our love ones or even neighbors. The worst were occurrences of murders or suicides near our homes, thank God that didn’t happen. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to deal with. You know, back then, there were no social workers or shrinks to help kids to deal with post-dramatic symptoms that were caused by those kinds of death. Even if they were available, it would still be tough on kids.

Well, as I grow and learn more things, I found that many things that the livings do are hundred times scary than ghosts. Also, while accepting the concept of karma, I believe that if I did something back in my past life, then I will need to pay back somehow, whether seeing a ghost, having to deal with a ghost or else, that will come if it supposes to happen. There are more important real-life things that need to be taken care of. So, ghosts became more a pastime as a topic in conversation, or just one of the paranormal matters that I’m still interested in, but just no time for.

Would I be scare to see a ghost? I’ve never seen one for real myself, I think I would be a bit scare and anxious the first time, it will depend on the environment, but I wouldn’t be too concern about that. I think I would simply take it easy as if I see a stranger on the street. The only different thing is that the ghost was human before, so he/she will know what we are capable and going through as human, we can’t claim the same thing. So, they have their own way to live, so do we. Something likes that…..

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Window shopping at Prada

What you see is what you get......



It looks like this is the place.....


Friday, October 24, 2008

Illusions 2























Just wanna share with everyone second batch of funky pictures that I got! Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple is so smart!


Apple is so smart, Steve Jobs is such a visionary. Sure, technology development and market does play important roles in the development and success of iPhone. But I can't appraise enough of Apple and Steve Jobs on their intuition of development of iPhone- what a genius product!

First of all, I own an iPhone....my wife does...well I pay for hers. Anyway, so I can speak from first person on the usage of it. This is not what I want to say in this post. What I'm trying to say is that Apple is so right on what consumers want from their mobile phones. i.e. the relationship of human and mobile phone; how we communicate through and live with our Mobile phone; how mobile phone be part of our digital life.
First of all, what a mobile phone can offer?
Answer: Visual info, audio info, and 2 way communication.
For visual, that includes movie, tv, text, info in web, pictures, podcasts and games.
For audio, that includes music, audio books, and podcasts.
For 2 way communication, that includes upload/download of info on web, interactive games, phone call, video call, etc.

So, most of the services and functions above are more or less covered by iPhone. Certainly, iPhone does better in some areas, but still have plenty of rooms to improve in the others. I don't think iPhone will do outrageous thing, like becoming a bottle-opener or something. Surely, they will continue to improve in other 'peripheral' or 'supporting' hardware that can make the performance better, such as storage capacity, better lens, better battery life, etc. Cos, just the areas above would be enough to get their hand full in coming decade.

In terms of mobile phone development, Apple is so right on about the importance of software. They just know that software makes the phone. Hardware matters, but up to this stage, I doubt hardware will really make or break the success of a mobile phone. Certainly, there are quantum leap in hardware development in past decade or so. From just numeric display to monochrome screen, then to color screen and touchscreen, from just keypad to keyboard, adding a camera, plus blue tooth, etc. All that are nice, unless you want to make the mobile phone into a Swiss army knife. There are not much you can add to a mobile phone continuously in future to produce ''wow' but 'practical' effect. Therefore, after Apple went through years of design which is they are very good at, they kinda finalize what the hardware of a perfect phone should be. Like, the size, the thickness, screen size, buttons location, etc. Yes, they still twit the marginal things like rounding the corners and edges, multicolor, metal or plastic, that kind of minor stuff. But, I believe that 90% of what a perfect mobile should be has already been finalized.

So, what's left? The cream of the cake is software! The make or break factor of mobile. Apple owns and controls its OS platform. Is it bad? They integrate their software and hardware just like they did a quarter century ago in the case of Mac vs IBM. Well, we all know what happened then. However, it is different this time. They are going for market share with speedy improvement of its strategy, and leveraging from their success in iPod. The spread of iTunes to PC users is a breakthrough, and the release of their SDK is another milestone. With the App store, Apple completes its own ecosystem that live and breathe really well. Apple folks are smart, but the SDK+App store catches all the talents in the world to make programs for iPhone, and Apple is make reasonable money (30%) on it. It is just a genius move. Yes, Google and RIM are working on similar stuff, but the problem for them is... Google doesn't dictate the hardware development. Nokia, Samsung, LG, they want to do different things on their hardware, yes, Andriod is what matter inside, but still, for consumers, that still cause confusion among them when it works via the hardware design. Blackberry is nice, but I think iPhone can cover most of their functions. Few more years of development on the corporate users' side. Blackberry may run its course in history....well, just a wild guess. Therefore, with Apple still speeding its development and doesn't even look at how its competitors are catching up, Apple will continue to strive in the mobile market as a trendsetter and benchmark maker. That's my current take of Apple and its cash cow - iPhone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Health-conscious

Well, my medical test results are out. Things are so far so good, though there are things that I need to be a bit conscious, it is that I need to eat a bit healthy than what I've been doing. So, many foods that I love, I don't need to stop eating them completely, but a bit conscious to cut them down in portion and frequency is necessary for long term health sake. Thank God that I'm not very picky in food, veggies for me are more than fine. I don't eat internal organs anyway. Just need to cut down on fat, or high cholesterals food a bit. So, seafoods, egg yolks, fried foods, etc......yummy! but no..no..
When I told my wife and my family about my test results, they all told me to eat oat meal for breakfast. Man, that's not my favorite at all, but I wouldn't turn down trying that. Cos, it is not only healthy, but cheap as well. I will take on that after my cereals are all eaten. Also, I need to begin doing some light excercise as well. I've not done much workout for long time, but doing something easy and quick frequently should be a good habit to pick up.
Well, these are still just 'ideas' until I carry them out. Well, let's see how things will work out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Babel in 21st Century

Nakheel Tower
Location: Dubai
Completion Year: 2020
Stories: 1,000-plus
Height: 3,281 ft.-plus

Came across an interest article in BusinessWeek today. I'm amazed by the aggressiveness of some businessmen on developing those hyper-skyscrapers all over the world, particularly those in China and Dubai, actually most of them are there. I just think that do we need to build buildings that higher up? Especially in countries or cities that have some much land? Then, it makes me think about the statement....'Just because we can do it, it doesn't mean we should!'.....That reminds me of.....BABEL!....Hmmmm........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My View on 'Death' (Part II)


Death is critical point of human life. If you believe in karma. It is when your good deeds and sins got waited to determine when will you go. For the livings, Death is a natural process that a person has run its course.


I think for most folks, these are what people think if we ask them the question: What do you think or your feeling about Death?

- People scare, because they don't know what is going to happen afterwards.

- People scare, because of their religious belief that, some bad things may happen to them.

- People scare, because what usually lead to death are painful, like accidents, diseases, etc.

- People feel sad, because they can't let go what they have: materials stuff, relationships, fame, etc.

- People feel sad, because they don't want to miss what they are going to get.

- People feel uncertain, not just because what will happen next, but also don't know how they will die? and how people will remember them? what happen to his/her possessions?


As nobody can really answer those questions or they can prove their answers are correct and make them acceptable to everyone, so I think the mystery, fascination, and horror of Death will remain with human beings for foreseeable future.

For the livings, just need to accept the reality that, with every day passing, we are one day closer to our death. That's not pessimistic or sarcastic, just telling the truth. I think we should thank God for letting us to stay alive each day and try our best to make the best of it each morning when we open our eyes for that day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My View on 'Death' (Part I)

Death, according to Wiki, is the termination of the biological functions that define living organisms. It refers both to a specific event and to a condition, the true nature of which it has for millennia been a central concern of the world's religious traditions and philosophers to penetrate; in particular, the possibility or otherwise of what is known as life after death.

Death can be one of the recurring topics in my blogs, similar to others like 'Time' and 'Dreams', Death is part of life. The ironic part of that Death is cutoff point of Life, so whether it is 'part' of life, then it is up for debate. The important thing is that Death is something no living being can escape from, and Death itself is still full of mystery. That's why it is a fascinating topic that can be talked over and over again especially when we get older with more life experience and knowledge.

Death is always considered as an 'end' or 'conclusion' or life. Though it is inevitable, the time of occurrence is usually unknown unless you kill yourself or you are suffering from a long-term fatal illness. Therefore, people usually views their own death as either in a passive way just to let it happens when it is due, or prepare for it ahead.

For most people when they are young and healthy, death is usually not on their mind, they will think about marriage, entertainment activities, works, fame, family, etc. So, the only thing that they will do about their own death is buying insurance, so their surviving love ones can have some financial supports upon their death. One more step would be drafting their own will, so other materials belongings will be distributed peacefully in most cases. However, they rarely think about what kind of 'legacy' that they are planning to leave behind. Forget about the death as a result of committing suicide of which I blogged before. For God sake, if you die in an accident, first not talking about what you have regretted of not getting certain things done, what sort of things you want your love ones to remember you for. Cos, money left behind is the least memorable items though most 'useful' and 'practical', other material things if they are not for sale, their values are for people to remember you when they see and touch them. But what do they remember you for? I'm sure nobody want to remember for the bad and sad things that they did. Unless someone like to 'mentally self-abuse' themselves, otherwise, their memories are inclined to remember the happy and good things about the departed ones.

So, if you want to be remembered, using the logic above of 'reversal thinking', we better do more goods and express our love to the people around us when we are alive, also, that should be done continuously and persistently. Cos, good deeds need to be accumulated to generate good feelings, and that takes time. As we don't know when we will die, so it is better to do that everyday. Without mentioning the Death part, is that what we teach our kids what to do and what we learned when we were young at school or from adults? What make it such a discovery by someone us that need to read those 'life-inspirational' books or pay to attend those lectures to recall such simple wisdom?

Of course, some people said they don't give a **** on what the livings remember them for. They just choose they way they wanna live. To be a bit responsible, they may financially pre-arrange their own affairs on how to take care of their dead body, funeral, burials, etc. That's fine to some extents. It is only a matter of how you view your life. Someone may not agree with that, but I think everybody wants to be loved, those who claim the opposite are usually because they are not loved.....well, it can be another blogging topic.....





When we look at history, usually the death of important people are remembered and recorded. for regular folks like most of us, we usually only remembered by our immediate family members. After 2 generations, then our death will usually mean 'names' in our family history. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I still believe that trying to make more big positive impacts to the love ones when we are alive would be a right thing to do.