Genius Spotted!

ElifShafakJust finished reading another book by Elif Shafak.

Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Critics have named her as “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Turkish and world literature.” Her books have been published in more than 40 countries and she was awarded the honorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Shafak has published thirteen books, nine of which are novels. She writes fiction in both Turkish and English.

Besides writing fiction, Shafak is an active political commentator – she has a PhD in Political Science – columnist and public speaker. She is a regular contributor to major newspapers in Turkey and has been featured in major newspapers and periodicals, including the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Economist, etc.

It is rare to find such a genius like Shafak and I hope that she continues to be prolifically productive!

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Douche Bag Spotted!

SFG5180YSpotted on May 16th and 23rd – a white guy illegally parked outside Centrepoint at about 9.45am, (where no one is supposed to park), smoked a cigarette, threw the butt onto the road, then left the car to buy a coffee from Starbucks Orchard Point with total disregard for traffic rules or the safety of other drivers. He then drove off about 20 minutes later.

Security guards nearby were of course, all sleeping.

The next time I meet one, I’ll say “hello” to his intestines because most of these wannabe cops do have their heads up their asses.

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Stay Away from Me!

QuestionBeing 58 does not make me a venerable old sage.

More likely than not, it just makes me a grouchier old bastard.

Well, I suppose I’ve earned the right to be a grouchy old bastard, having eaten more salt than most people have rice.

But having survived till this age, and having lived and worked internationally, it does mean that I do have an innate sense about people.

All said, “chemistry” is critical. Without chemistry, you’re history.

My asshole antenna is always on and some people come through loud and clear.

If you show up and I have bad vibes about you, I – though I keep an open mind – will let you slowly hang yourself before I formulate any conclusion about you.

The thing is I am usually 100% right about people.

This means if I think you are a bottom feeding asshole, you ARE a bottom feeding asshole.

You may drive a fancy car, chain-smoke Havanas and quaff thousand-dollar wines, an asshole is an asshole no matter what you own or what you indulge in.

And don’t even try the “my dick is bigger than your dick” bullshit with me. Trust me, you won’t win – even if you own a private jet or have properties around the world.

If you want to make an egregious fool of yourself before everyone, it’s your choice, really.

Just remember, if you show up, loudmouth, boasting about your possessions and behaving like you own this country, I write you off mentally. That’s the first thing I do.

Then I keep an open mind and let you convince me that you are worth my time.

In the meantime, don’t blame me for being too quiet.

I’m no misophoniac.

I’m just cerebral.

I am not a trumpet.

Or an empty vessel.

You do know what they say about empty vessels, I hope.

I hate noisy people and I abhor those who talk shit. Yes, just don’t talk shit with me please. We don’t need to be reading to each other from the collected works of Shakespeare all the time but as Jorge Luis Borges once said, “Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.”

Why can’t more people just enjoy comfortable silence together? (That’s how my wife and I stay happily married for 30 years! Yes, that’s the secret to a successful marriage! We often hold hands and enjoy each other’s company in silence.) Indeed, spewing crap doesn’t do anything to make a person more lovably nice.

Anyway, Trevanian, (nom de plume of Rodney William Whitaker), once said, “Niceness is an overrated quality. Being nice is how a man pays his way into the party if he hasn’t the guts to be tough or the class to be brilliant.”

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Retarded Site

Click on the picture below to have a good look at LinkedIn‘s suggestion that I should apply for a job as a pastry chef:

LinkedInRecommendation

I paid an arm and a leg to be a premium account holder – S$1151.40 a year to be exact – and this is the crap I get.

Fantastic!

When I get robbed, its usually by someone with a gun, and hiding behind a mask.

LinkedIn just robs you blind openly.

I’ve come to the conclusion that LinkedIn, the Facebook wannabe, is an utter waste of time and money.

I’ve heard claims that people have found jobs by listing their profiles on LinkedIn.

Well, LinkedIn has done nothing for me despite the S$1151.40 I pay annually.

To me, LinkedIn has deteriorated to the extent where it is now just a CV cesspool abused by all kinds of charlatans and snake oil peddlers to embellish their pathetic under-achievements and to self-promote.

Perhaps I should ask for a refund, but then, robbers seldom return money they have stolen.

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Outraged

Head in HandsThis is my web log, (that’s what “blog” means right?) and not a public forum for discussion. That’s one reason why I don’t entertain comments. I mean, if you feel so insecure about yourself or need to defend your stupid actions to the extent that you have to write your own blog post to rebut me, that’s your own fucking business. I don’t care two hoots about your personal problems and any bullshit from you will just flow off me like water off a duck’s back. However, close friends who follow my rants here have responded to my two posts on resentment and one of them told me:

“I read your last two posts with great personal interest as I too have a little skin in that game.

“I totally agree that we all need to chill a bit more. And be more forgiving of one another; friends, family, and even strangers.

“I too have had more than my fair share of people walk out of my life. Many – like you – without having said a word. I have no respect for someone who doesn’t have the balls to just tell me face to face (or even by email) to fuck off.

“Too me it’s so cowardly to abandon a supposed friend without so much as a word. As for me, I hope their resentment eats a big fucking hole in their belly.

“That might be cruel but that’s how I feel about cowards.

“My feelings are, if I’ve done something to offend you, you have two and only two respectful choices. You can chose to ignore what I did, knowing that I would never deliberately do anything to offend you as a friend, family member, or stranger. Or two, if you are mature and still convinced that I did something deliberate to hurt you, then you need to come quietly as a man and call me out on my offense and give me a chance to apologize.”

Another friend read my post on being rear-ended and emailed me:

“Read your post…and feel very outraged by those people.

“Shameless people…including Singaporeans and even a government agency I know have stooped to this level to claim credit or write falsehoods as history.”

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Shaving in London

Only the barbers in London can give you a shave like no others. Every time I’m in London, I will go for a shave. This was on May 6th.

Prepped

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Singapore’s First and Only Female Pipe Maker

MsXAt the Chicago Pipe Show, I came to know of a camera-shy female pipe maker from Singapore.

She’s no pompous ass, nor is she a grouch though. This elegant and soft-spoken lady – we shall call her Ms X – learned her craft from luminaries in the pipe making world such as Michael Butera, Lee Von Erck, Rad Davis, Rex Poggenpohl, Jeff Gracik, etc.

Here’s a pipe she made; see how it evolved from a block of briar to finished product in two days:

Stage1

Stage2

Stage3

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The Collection is Complete

The gold is finally here!

GoldFinally

The black, the chrome and now the gold!

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A Pipe by Rex Poggenpohl

Won this at the silent auction held at the recent Chicago Pipe Show; the hand texturing was done by the famous American pipe maker Michael Butera:

Poggenpohl

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The Radiator Pipe

HekthorWiebeRadiatorOne of my purchases at this year’s Chicago Pipe Show – The Radiator Pipe!

The Radiator Pipe was created by Hekthor Wiebe of Canada and provides a cool dry smoke, thanks to a deep calabash-type chamber in the “Radiator” base. The removable bowl is made from Italian briar, the Radiator is anodized aluminum with a stainless steel shank fitted with a black ebonite stem/bit. All of that combines for a beautifully designed smoking machine.

This design breaks every rule of traditional pipe making. It consists primarily of metal components. The Radiator base is made out of anodized 6061 aluminium. The shank is made of 304 grade stainless steel. The bowl is turned from Italian briar and the stem is made of Italian ebonite. The flow has right angles which cause turbulence.

The concept behind this pipe is to harness the moisture condensing nature of cooled metal rather than avoid it. The moisture is collected in a reservoir below the flow of smoke – thus producing a gurgle-free, dry, and cool smoke. The bowl is removable via a threaded connection allowing you to smoke several mixtures in one pipe without ghosting -simply swap bowls. This also allows for future additions of a variety of bowl materials.

Once the bowl is removed, the rest of the pipe can be cleaned by running it under warm tap water and passing a pipe cleaner through the shank.

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