Monday, 9 November 2015

How do you decide the books to buy?

The cover? The title? The review? The author? A combination, perhaps?

For most, I think it would be a mixed combo: perhaps author and review.

I was browsing Borders for Henry Mintzberg's Strategy Safari today, failing any headway that I made haste to the fiction racks instead.

Who am I kidding: I haven't even read David Owen's Creative People Must Be Stopped which I bought a few weeks back.

Anyway, I made way to authors with the W surname and there it was: Sarah Winman's A Year of Marvelous Ways.

Having read Star's review on the book, my curiousity was piqued and (TQVM Borders for NOT plastic wrapping the novels) I flipped through the pages.

The writing was in fact enchanting.

They were poetic and yet flowing; and even though it wasn't something which would hook me to read cover to end in one sitting, I toyed with the idea of buying it.

The I saw the price: at RM69.90, A Year of Marvelous Ways was easily double the typical Stephen King's crap horror vintages which I would not hesitate to fork money out notwithstanding the literary critics review.

Was it the dreaded exchange rate at work? Will the comics be similarly jaw drooping expensive in the very near future?

Is reading going to be a snobbish, elite activity?

I dread.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Celebrating Coolness this Malaysia Day

Once upon a time, I took up Karate.

And no, I didn’t do so because I watched too many Bruce Lee’s movie.

Although the Korean Fighter in the Wind might have worked wonders; it’s highly stylized moves and all.

Nope; as is usually the case, I joined the College’s Karate Club since a female student I was attracted had signed up earlier.

I managed to get to the first rung (Green belt) and then decided that Karate was not for me.

And the female student had also given up anyway.

I managed to nonetheless participate – if you call losing in the first round as such – in an inter-Karate-club tournament and it was fun while it lasted.

And then, one of my friends convinced me to take up Silat instead.

I have always been cynical and have this vision that Silat equals Mantras equals I don’t wanna be there.

(Blame this on P Ramlee's "Pendekar Bujang Lapok." Heh.)

He said there was nothing of that kind of shit and the one he’s joining is all physical, typical martial arts type.

Against my better judgement, I joined.

Lo and behold, the “class” was held at night and in open field.

Coolness personified
While there was no Mantras – at least in the stage I went in – we did have lime juice eye drops to "clear our vision".

The way the class was conducted was also different in that while my Karate sessions are filled with exercises to strengthen your physicality, the Silat had a lot of repeat techniques with a Partner in tow.

Did I go far?

Nahh…. As before I quit half way and so did my friend.

Why? We found it so bleeping hard to score with the female exponents with mosquitos buzzing around even as we practice the moves.

These days?

I’m contended with reading about Matt "Daredevil" Murdock karate chopping the baddies and the occasional kungfu movies.

Selamat Hari Malaysia everyone. 

Let’s not Kuntau each other, shall we?

Remember, martial arts are for self defence and also, looking cool.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Hands Dirtying Act

And here we thought that Najib is on swell terms with Goldman Sachs.

Maybe there is a pouting moment here, what’s with the whole controversy swirling around 1MDB and Goldman Sachs' role.

Anyway, I digress.

This is in relation to the supposed reactivation of govt equity investment firm , Valuecap, “to shore up the country's stock market”.

The amount – while certainly more than, urm, RM2.6 b – is pretty small when compared to the money pumped by the Chinese government to “prop up (its) plunging stock market.”

Of, course China’s equity market have tumbled like an unstable pack of cards line atop each other to start with.

Didn’t do much help and the bigger fear would then what if the government then decides to stop hoarding and pull out.

Our stock market have seen better days, but as is forever the economic cycle, there will be bulls and there will be bears.

So why the RM20b injection?

And where is this fund coming from?

Why the selected stocks and who decides?

At what point which Valuecap stop, urm, propping and starts selling again to recoup?

Or is there going to be no recoup?

Can Najib simply, simply take RM20b from the national coffers to pump into the share market which is supposed to be market driven without the Parliament's okay?

RM20b is not exactly peanuts and last generations.

Why is the govt getting its hand dirty again with such a commercialized move? Doesn’t 1MDB provide any experience on the folly of doing so?

Or are we missing a bigger picture here?

Not us, of course.