Monday, June 23, 2008


I must admit that I thought it was a horrible song when I heard it on Mahatma's blog. It sounded off pace, the words didn't make perfect sense and some words sounded as though it was pronounced by someone who couldn't speak proper English. When I spoke of the song, I lauded the initiative and what it stood for but musically, I tore it apart.

I was in my car today amiss the heat of this tropical climate and the very same song was on air. Maybe the hot air and the many encounters I had in the morning suddenly caught up with me, but I was really digging the song this time. The weird words, while still sounding somewhat odd now sounded just right. Just right because out of the blue, it now sounded just like it should, just like it is - originally local. And those meanings I just didn't get, now was somehow crystallized.

I listened to the lyrics more closely and loved it this time. It made alot of sense and just as before. I was behind the message 100%. Maybe 110% now.

Over the weekend I privately laughed at a buddy who proclaimed that this country is where she wanted to live in. She wouldn't trade it for any place else because she was so comfortable here. Although I do wanna try my trade elsewhere, listening to the song, I suddenly felt somewhat the same. This is the place I've known all my life. The people right next to me are the people I grew up with. Friends, family and strangers alike. For a moment, I was emotional - almost teary even. This IS home.

I wanted to do this song for the upcoming performance with the band of misfits but its abit late. Ironically they demonstrated their less-than-liked attitude again today and replaced another song. I suggested this one but I don’t think they want to do it. Lack of punch it seems. I disagree – but I’m not an island.

There’s a lot more to this place but I'll save that for another day. For now, enjoy the song. Here's to the message, the music and fundamentally, the people.

Not 5 but 2

We stopped at a gas station to grab a quick bite as I didn’t have anything to eat back at the shack. We got some buns and saw this great deal, 3 chocolates for the price of 2 and a ½ - that’s 2 and half bucks. Great! I got busy selecting which ones I wanted. I liked more than 3.

While busy selecting my morning cheap snack up came an old man to the counter. He handed the cashier 5 bucks and mumbled something to her – sounded like he said 6. But he handed her 5 bucks I thought to myself. He clarified himself. Pump 6, 2 bucks fuel.

I froze up for a moment. I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what. With hindsight I could offer him a full tank of gas but he could have gotten insulted. I could have asked the cashier to make sure he got a full tank (I’d pay) after he left. But I didn’t do anything. I could have made a difference but I didn’t. I watched. Just watched.

Now imagine this: take a measly 5 bucks to buy something and ask for change. What could you buy? Not much. Even my buns and chocs were going to cost more than 5 bucks.

The fact that someone needed 3 bucks back from a 5 shows how valuable that 3 bucks was to him. Maybe that was lunch. Maybe dinner. Possibly both. Maybe for two.

I wish this kind of thing didn’t happen but it does. I hope the next time I see it, I’ll be able to react.

Maybe I can make a difference.

Maybe you can too.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Procrastination Part II

As I listened to Dr. Funny Voice talk about the many failed attempts of smokers wanting to kick the habit, my mind struck back to a post I had recently composed. Somewhere in between his half baked jokes and reasoning of failed quiting attempts he said something to the following tune:

"Smokers often try to quit and fail mostly because in reality they don't really want to quit. They often look for excuses which they call reasons to get back to their cigarettes."

In my first attempt to understand procrastination here I wrote about some of the possible reasons why we procrastinate. This smoking analogy strikes a chord in me because perhaps the reason I (or we) procrastinate simply stems from the fact that we don't wanna do the task. No thank you, I could do that but I don't want to.

Interesting but often, you've just got to do it and so it's done late. Sometimes half baked like Dr. Funny Voice's jokes. I didn't like the jokes all that much.

The doc also told the story of a man who stopped smoking for 3 months because his girlfriend had asked him to. Get picked up the habit again at the end of the period. Why? Because girlfriend was now wife. Motivation lost.

Maybe that's what I need - the right motivation. After all, smoking usually leads to a painful death.

I don't want that.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some call it flip flops, I call it lies

And stupidity.

When he first said it, he told me that it'd take 3 months before anything could happen. He told me that out of the kindness of his heart he'd let it be for now. After all, all was not well and he had what he needed to keep the peace. His aides followed soon and told my friends & family the same thing - status quo to remain.

As I and my loved ones were temporarily breathing a sighs of relief, he turned his back on us and made the change. The change came as a surprise as just hours earlier he assured us that it wouldn't change. But now, with no remorse he changed it. To me, this was lie no 1. The first strike. There were strikes before, but let's stay focused on this one.

I can understand the need for the change and in fact, I support it. I knew it was due and with the wisdom I carry, I knew that it was the right things to do. After all, I've been pampered all this while under the false pretense. Some whom I know are pampered more than I was. With strike one, I believe it's time to change.

What I couldn't deal with was the fact that he lied. He lied to my face. He said it wouldn't happen, it wouldn't change - but it did. And the way in happened has insulted me. And the others.

Along with lie no 1 came the assurance that from time to time this change would be reviewed. It would be reviewed to ensure that the real situation was depicted clearly form time to time. Every month he said. I was afraid but again, I understood - it needed to happen.

At this time, he also pledged to help those who needed some assistance to get by. What he failed to mention was that the assistance wouldn't last - you'd get it today and that's the end of it. His blatant failure to tell me this from the get go constitutes lie no. 2.

Not long after, he introduced lie no 3. He now said that we're not going to review the decision from time to time. Instead we'll do it in a few months.

I suppose he wasn't happy with his hat trick of lies. He just had to do more. He had to. I suppose he's so used to it by now that it was ingrained in his head to do it. Now he said he'd wait for the dawn of a new cycle. Then he'd change it. Maybe. But he'll decide in a few months. Lie no 4.

Ever had a friend who told you that she'd stick with you no matter what? Then at the first sign of trouble and she was gone? She lied to you. He's just like that.

But he's still around, making you promises and maybe, just maybe he'll lie again.

He's good at it.

Of risks and dangers

I always knew that I was at risk but I thought I'd be able to reduce that risk by doing the right things. Time does somehow take its toll on you and over time the definition of what was right and what was not somehow got massaged. Today I am faced with a rather interesting predicament.

I've known for awhile now that I needed to raise my game in this area. I knew the risks were creeping up on me and there have been signs - some rather blaring - that I should act. Today as I listened to the words of one who is wiser, I realised that I am at greater risk that I had imagined. He spoke of 9 risks: 3 that you're pretty much stuck with and can't do a thing in the sane world to change and 6 others which you can influence. My non-scientific method of considering all risks equal tell me that I have a risk ratio of 5:9. 5:9! That's over half a chance. A toss of a coin really.

I think it's all about balance. What goes up must come down, no? So what goes in should ultimately go out. And in the right ratios too. Too bad for me, it hasn't been quite right for a little while now.

Time to change. My choices must change.

But knowing that even if I do, it might hit me. And it might all end.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Why procrastinate?

I have been pondering upon this question for a long time now and over time I've come up with many different explanations and/or excuses to justify why one (or I) procrastinate.

One of the primary reasons I used to attribute to procrastination was environment. It was easy to blame the circumstances to which you are in to the lack of productivity. For instance if the environment was too noisy it was easy to deduce that it was difficult to concentrate. Or if one was not feeling well, every excuse in the book could be used to "get some rest" aka slack off. Or if the chair didn't give sufficient back support, back strain would prevent me from getting things done.

So when I found myself cruising the environment, I'd eventually takes steps to change the environment. I got a new chair, found more peaceful surroundings and the like. The initial positivity was great and some productivity followed suit. However as time grew, there were more problems with the environment. I missed the noise, the chair was still uncomfortable, and the list grew.

Now it doesn't take a PHD to figure out that what was attributed as justification for procrastinations were actually just excuses. This was a big realisation. Time came to now learn not to make excuses and find ways to get on with it. And I did.

However procrastination is just like that relative you have that refuses to leave you be. Or that kid in school who stalked you. Or that thing you did that time you wished nobody to know of. You could run and hide and for a while everything's OK - but somehow they find a way to creep up on you again.

So here I find myself somewhat procrastinating again. Don't misunderstand, I get what I need to get done but why can't I do it first time I get it? I have the time and most of the resources so no excuse there. Perhaps I don't feel that the task is challenging enough to warrant my immediate attention. Or maybe the fear that the problem too complex. Or perhaps I'm just not interested.

Some would categorise this as just being plain lazy but I disagree. Laziness is the action (or lack thereof). There's surely something deeper here. I don't get it yet, but I intend to find out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Energy Conservation

It was an interesting evening yesterday as news of the increase in energy prices for fuel and electricity broke. Not surprisingly, all fuel retail stations were flooded with cars and the like. I chose not to. Why? Well perhaps because I drive a compact and the ratio of impact to me might not be as great as the bloke trying to look cool in his SUV. Also maybe I didn't feel like queuing. I hate queueing. That's part of the reason I don't like going to certain "hip and happening" clubs. I don't queue.

Anyhow this energy price increase is sure to kick start a domino effect of rising goods and services prices. Instead of lamenting on end (which would really achieve nothing good), I'm choosing to embark on what I'd like to call a "Personal Energy Conservation Plan".

It's simple. All you need to do is write down half a dozen actions that you're going to take to conserve energy - be in fuel or electricity. Face it, this is the only thing you can actually DO that'll make a difference. This is your circle of influence. Here's my list. It's work in progress but better start with something.

1. Plan my journeys
If I've' got 5 things to do, plan it out and do it in one journey instead of 5. Also, plan the time to get out and about and the best route to take.

2. If the show sucks, turn it off
I will not watch E! for the 8th time in a day just to have the TV on.

3. Car pool
Now I'll have someone to chat with on the way to work. No more flipping stations finding the right junk to listen to.

4. Resit the urge to floor it
Now I know there's a speed demon in me. I know I'm a good driver and I can whip it out on the track. But the road is not the track so I'll drive by the rule, consuming less fuel and reducing the risk of a speeding ticket.

Ok, so I've got 4 things down already. When I have more, I'll put them up. If you've got an idea for me, this is a time to shout out.

I'm out.

Post numero uno

I decided to start blogging for 2 reasons:
1. I come up with alot of sutff - some great, others not so - but I've had nowhere to keep it all logged. So here I am.
2. I want an outlet. Ever felt some way but had no idea why? I do so I wanna have this page in place to scribble down my thoughts and hopefully when I'm done I'll be able to make better sense of it all.

The blog's gonna be called Illogical Extracts. The name stems from the fact that while I try to be logical, I may not be.

My first thought is this: If you want something done right the first time, do it yourself. If you want it done right thereafter, give good instructions.

Enough for now. Stay tuned.