Showing posts from 2008

New Year's Eve at Pietrasanta

Had a great New Year's Eve dinner at Pietrasanta - here are the appetisers, including a great Tuscan seafood soup (Caciucco alla Livornese). Happy New Year one and all!

Mercury rising

Also, the news that Jeremy Piven may have gotten an overdose of mercury made me look up the FDA guidelines on mercury , including how much fish one can eat in a week. No more than 1 weekly serving of swordfish or shark, apparently. And perhaps not too much of "certain species of very large tuna". Not that anyone should be eating too much shark or tuna anyway, what with overfishing and all.

Kite flying

Spotted what seemed like a Brahimny kite flying outside my office window today. Really dazzling to watch it soar.

Making a List, and Checking It Twice

One of the things I was discussing with my friends in New York is how surreal, albeit gratifying, it is to see college friends actually in the news - whether because they've written books, made films, or analysed politics. Lo and behold, what should come in my inbox this week but a twofer. Congrats to Sugi for having Love Marriage be on the Washington Post's best fiction of 2008 list , and to Franklin for the writeup in Entertainment Weekly on the Black List .


Sometimes words that are perfectly useful seem to fall out of favour in English. Such as "fortnight" among Americans. Such is the case with " masher ", which I recalled when doing an old New York Times crossword that brought up the lovely phrase "mash note", and which refers, apparently, to "a man who thinks himself irresistible to the female sex but whose advances are often unwelcome" - I can't think of a good word that can be used as a synonym for that. All that comes to mind are phrases such as "would-be lothario". Or "quixotic Don Juan", which at least makes a double-Don literary reference. There should be a way to rescue and rehabilitate useful words that have inexplicably lost their standing as respectable members of the English vocabulary. Society for the Preservation of Words, or suchlike. (Aside: searching Google for "Society for the Preservation of Words", without the inverted commas/quote marks, broug

Eating through New York

Went over the weekend to Sylvia's for soul food... if I only had the capacity to eat both a plate of ribs and a plate of chicken & waffles. Will have to save the chicken & waffles for another day. But Sylvia Woods herself actually came into the restaurant. Haven't been to Harlem in a while - had read about the gentrification, but reading about it and actually seeing the Starbucks, H&M, and American Apparel on the street are quite different things. Favourite sales pitch: guy trying to get people into a cellphone store "we got G1, iPhone, Sidekick, Blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, Halle Barry..." And Obama paraphernalia up and down the wazoo. I wanted an Obama "HOPE" T-shirt, with the Shep Fairey design, but the smallest size they had was an L. Other food establishments sampled thus far on this trip: Mary Ann's (Mexican, Tribeca), Queen of Sheba (Ethiopian, Hell's Kitchen), Goodburger (burgers, Midtown East), Garage (Modern American, th

In New York

Ah, I do love to be back in New York. Now off to search for some soul food... Sylvia's is kind of cliched, but I do like it. More later.

Some readings on finance

Various points of view. And congrats to Paul Krugman, a deserving winner of the Nobel for economics. More Taleb, from Fortune , in 2007. Jeffrey Frankel of the K-school at Harvard, in 2005, on budget deficits . "But some day soon, the bond market will catch up with reality, and will fall substantially. Rising long-term interest rates (and slowing house prices) will send millions of American households into default on their mortgages -- especially those with interest-only or Adjustable Rate Mortgages..." Hussman commentary . "Four magic words will ease this crisis: 'We are providing capital."

My iPhone, 1 month on

Aka: do they text or listen to podcasts in Cupertino? All right, having had my iPhone 3G for just over a month now, here's what I have to report about it. One - it's still addictive. I use everything on it - the iPod, Safari, GPS - and I use it all intensively. And the simple, pure joy of being able to take a call while I'm listening to my iPod without the rigmarole of taking out the earphones and fumbling for my phone alone makes it worthwhile. That, and calling up recipes while I'm at the supermarket, checking for when the next bus is arriving (thanks, iSinGeo ), the ability to sync with Google Calendar so that I always have a means of figuring out where I'm supposed to be, looking up the historical background of Rome on Wikipanion while I'm watching Rome , c hecking the baseball scores while I'm out and about - it's a marvel, and it looks good to boot. Now, my list of annoyances and grievances. To be honest, before I got the phone I would have bet thi

Warren Buffett on Charlie Rose

Warren Buffett on the Charlie Rose show .

Linksfest:: What I'm Reading Online

Just a quick set of links: Margaret Thatcher's dotage The Wall Street Journal on the fall of the house of Lehman and how it created contagion Landmark Supreme Court decisions

Thought on watching the F1 race

So, a fuel hose is a weapon of Massa destruction? (rimshot)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Went to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona . Now that the show has come out in Singapore, time to note Woody Allen's "diary" of the shooting of the film . Always a fan of his writing. Review to come soon... but just some quick thoughts: Scarlett Johansson is a good muse for Woody, and it's good that here she's the free spirit - she was misused in Scoop and The Other Boleyn Girl , I think. Actually, everyone's well-cast: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall. And while there's no way that Allen knows the nuances of Barcelona enough to make this as much of a love letter to the city as Manhattan was to New York, it's still a beautiful, swooning paean to the charms of Catalonia.

F1 Singapore

Got tickets to the F1 race at the last minute from someone who couldn't be there (thanks!). To be honest, I wasn't that enthused, but the mood when I got there was infectious. Great stuff - it was so much fun just walking around the Esplanade / Marina Square area. And surprisingly, not many logistical hassles - the bus ride home was fairly empty. As for the race itself, I loved seeing the cars go down Singapore's streets (clearly ignoring the SLOW signs). And the Singapore night skyline looked magnificent for this race, both in real life and on the TV screens. Here's the view from Turn 7, at the Raffles Grandstand. Some cars clearly had more problems handling the turn than others. Man, my ears are still ringing.

I Need to Believe

Also, caught my friend Sunny Chyun's first ever exhibition, "I Need to Believe" , at the SG Private Banking gallery at the Alliance Francaise. I especially liked the use of T.S. Eliot references in her paintings' titles, but maybe that's my Prufrock obsession.

1990s Nostalgia

Watched Made of Honor last night, and it opened with a scene set in Halloween 1998, with Bill and Monica costumes. Which brought me back to college days. Add that to the '90s setting of Definitely Maybe , and I guess that means the '90s are fair game for nostalgia now. Gosh, that makes me feel old - I still think of the '90s as yesterday, for the most part.

Fooled by Randomness

Oh, and I'm reading Fooled by Randomness right now and Taleb, writing in 2004, describes the way people are taken in by rare events of great magnitude using the example of... mortgaged-backed securitisation. Pretty impressive.

Markets beat down

Michael Lewis, astute as always, has a short pithy commentary on the Lehman fallout . It's a big deal because this is the day that American financiers, from the point of view of the Asians who sit on top of the world's biggest pile of mobile capital, became a bad risk.

The Sokal hoax

Randomly, two things I was reading mentioned the famous Sokal hoax - Stanley Fish's blog and Fooled by Randomness (Taleb may have a great mind, but he needs a great web designer, although he does ask that people not write in with suggestions to improve his site). Still trying to make my mind up on it (see Simon Blackburn's review , or the New York Review of Books exchange ) 12 years later.

Plus Ones

Okkervil River's "Plus Ones" came into my iPod via the All Songs Considered podcast, and immediately ratcheted up Okkervil in my esteem. I own and listen to Black Sheep Boy, Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See , and Down the River of Golden Dreams , but nothing on any of those albums seemed as lyrically clever as "Plus Ones", which takes as its central conceit the idea of adding one to various songs with numbers in their titles ("96 Tears", "99 Luftballoons", "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" etc.). Will Sheff also manages to throw in more than a few other references - "Dry Your Eyes", "All Out of Love" (um, at least I'm guessing he meant to reference Air Supply), "What's New Pussycat", "Let's Get Lost" etc. Blogs are for Dogs breaks down the plethora of allusions, or at least the numerically-inclined ones. Ah, the feeling of being the extra one, the unwanted item that no o

On beta blockers and competition

The Atlantic has a fascinating article about beta blockers , and whether they should be used in sports that involve pressure, or to calm the nerves of, say, musicians and surgeons. Or, as the article asks, "Should we reward the shooter who can hit the target most accurately, or the one who can hit it most accurately under pressure in public?" Implicit in that, I feel, is the question of whether sports should be treated any differently from other areas of human endeavour. If a beta blocker helped a nervous surgeon or musician be top-class performers in their fields, I'm guessing that more people would feel comfortable with that than if a beta blocker helped an archer steady her nerves during a tournament. But why should that be the case? Are competitive endeavours inherently different?

The iPhone is digital crack

The iPhone is digital crack. Picked up my iPhone last Sunday when I received a surprise SMS from Singtel saying that I could pick it up earlier than my reservation... I actually had a reservation for Friday at 12 midnight, and went down, but decided that discretion, or at least sleep, was the better part of valour and went off at 2am, resigning myself to a late pickup and another long queue, but the Sunday-night (3rd day) queue was surprisingly short. And yes, it's addictive. And very useful, I have to say, to be able to check restaurant numbers on the go. And the keypad, despite its lack of tactile feedback, is surprisingly good at guessing what you really mean (e.g. I can type "girsd" and it comes out as "guess"). Seems like this would be useful for regular word-processing software... My only real gripe is that the earphones they give you have the standard Apple buds, which are totally not snug in the ear and keep letting sound in. So am attempting to buy nice

Bolt of Lightning

Usain Bolt - what an athlete. Just sheer dominance - I think the distance between Bolt and Thompson was greater than the distance between Thompson and the last finalist. And such fun - the tap on his chest, the dancing, the posing... I can't wait for the Jamaica 4x100 team. Seeing as there're no Singapore reps there, might as well support the country of my relatives. Although in terms of Singapore teams, I was on crazy tenterhooks following the Olympic table-tennis semis. Two words: Woo. Hoo.


Considering how long ago I joined Twitter , I've been really tardy about updating my blog to link in my status messages. But voila, up there, my current status. What I really need is not just microblogging, but a true way to integrate my stream of consciousness into Twitter when I want to. That's one way to clear the mind out of all the detritus that accumulates therein.

Death Cab for Cutie in Singapore

M anaged to finagle a solitary Death Cab for Cutie concert ticket, but I'm quite happy to go to concerts solo - a legacy, perhaps, of days where I reviewed concerts for the school paper . And it was worth it. To be honest, I was always a bigger Postal Service fan than a Death Cab one, if we're looking at the Ben Gibbard oeuvre. But Death Cab are a surprisingly muscular band live than they sound on their albums (or it could be that, as Adrianna was telling me, Narrow Stairs , which I've not had a chance to listen to enough of, is a much different sounding album). There were solid performances of "I Will Possess Your Heart" and "Styrofoam Plates", in all its bitter glory, and I noticed "Photobooth" and "Title and Registration" received raucous receptions, but as you might expect, " I Will Follow You Into the Dark " was the singalong favourite. Gibbard prefaced that with "Do you like love songs? Here's a love song&quo


Once is a small, perfectly formed film about some very big themes. Most obviously, it is about the power of music to connect - after all, it is a film about an Irish busker meeting a Czech immigrant in Dublin, and them making (very beautiful) music together. But it is also about the possibility of a brief, intense connection reverberating throughout one's life, something that is probably true for many people, but rarely depicted well in films - perhaps only the Before Sunrise / Before Sunset diptych do it properly. Musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova play the unnamed Guy and the Girl respectively, and their relationship, shot through a long lens, feels appropriately real rather than the stuff of film: lots of faltering words, awkward pauses, and missteps. There's no meet cute . No fireworks. Just the natural progression of two people coming together, trying to figure out the boundaries of their relationship, falling slowly . And natural is the right word. Once is pro

Singapore Garden Festival

One of my favourite entries from last week's Singapore Garden Festival. Does seem very Irish. (The free shoulder massage at the Clarins booth alone made the entry fee totally worthwhile.)

The Urban Verbs

I strongly recommend listening to the NPR recording of the Urban Verbs reunion . If only for the part in the middle where, 30 years later, Roddy Frantz (at least, I think it's Frantz) still clearly is bitter about Tom Carson's savage review of their album in Rolling Stone , and how that destroyed their career. It's hard to believe any one media outlet would have such an impact these days in music. Even Pitchfork... Also - I'm always intrigued by random connections to people in disparate fields. So: Roddy Frantz's brother Chris drummed for the Talking Heads, fronted of course by David Byrne. Who's cousin to John Byrne , editor of Business Week , which is as non-rock a publication as you can get this side of Golf Digest . I suppose I like finding out things like the fact that Gloria Steinem is Christian Bale's stepmother, and Eve Ensler is Dylan McDermott's (apparently Dylan, nee Mark, chose his name based on a name that Ensler would have given a child tha

Friday crossword

One of the nicest things about the International Herald Tribune in print, in Singapore, is that it represents not just a way to get the New York Times news - I read too often to really need that - but that I get the New York Times crossword, so I get to do them on newsprint. Somehow always seem much more appealing than the computer version, and this coming from someone who generally prefers to do everything online... Anyway, I just wanted to say that I finished the Friday crossword in double-quick time. A point of pride! Always like to be able to finish it without help from Rex or Google, essentially because I got JUMPIN JACK FLASH (7d: Rolling Stones hit just before "Honky Tonk Women") crossing with SOJOURNERS (30a: Visitors) straight out the bat...

Death Cab For Cutie

Scored a Death Cab For Cutie ticket. Woohoo! Caught my ear recently: Nada Surf , "See These Bones"; Amber Rubarth , "You Will Love This Song", and oddly, the Met Opera's production of The Barber of Seville . Big love for Girl Talk's Feed the Animals album, especially "In Step".

Away From Her

Less a real review of Away From Her , more a rave: Julie Christie is brilliant in the film. Not just brilliant in her acting - which she is - but brilliant as in luminiscent. Full of the vitality and life that makes you understand why her husband (played by Gordon Pinsent) never wants to be away from her, and that makes her decline from Alzheimer's all the more sad - and all the more puzzling. Sarah Polley directs with a spare touch that seems perfectly Canadian, and imperfectly wise beyond her years. Come to think of it, between Dr Zhivago , McCabe and Mrs Miller, Shampoo , Afterglow , and this, I've seen over 4 decades of Christie's work, and it is a fantastic, devastating combination of acting chops, beauty, and, well, brilliance.

New Facebook

Trying out New Facebook . I like the look, although one suspects the lack of ad space might not last too long.

The New Yorker Conference - Airports

Have been watching the New Yorker Conference on my iPod, and I thought Paco Underhill on "Deconstructing the Airport" (chaired by Malcolm Gladwell) was very interesting, for anyone who's been stuck in the misery of standing shoeless and beltless near a security checkpoint with all your carry-on items, all the the flotsam and jetsam of modern life, sprawled out on the cold metal stand at the end of the X-ray machine. There are very nice props given near the end to Singapore - Changi Airport's playground is mentioned to encapsulate how an airport can really do things well. It's the little things, I suppose. Just the fact that Changi provides little push-carts for carry-on luggage that allow me to ease my shoulder from the burden of laptop toting is great, compared to previous experiences with the otherwise highly-regarded Narita. (Of course, it does mean I'm much more likely to shop, since I don't have to lug things around, so the airport benefits too.)

Into the Wild

Into the Wild was incredibly affecting in a primal way. Chris McCandless' quest for meaning, his (very American) attempt to find that meaning in one's connection to the land, and his ultimate realisation of the importance of interpersonal relationships and of forgiveness - all that brought to mind the restlessness and angst of my teenage years. That, and Eddie Vedder's distinctive voice, of course, which was perfect for a film set in the early 1990s. Now I keep wanting to listen to songs that suggest to me longing, isolation, and the search for belief: "Angel From Montgomery" (which was sung in the film), "Only Living Boy in New York", "The Boxer", "Chicago"...

Violent and Crazy

The Violent Femmes cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" , in quasi-spaghetti Western style.

Word Play

Caught the documentary Word Play the other day, all about the New York Times crossword and the annual crossword competition in Stamford, CT, and it inspired me to try a Times crossword . Much more used to cryptics - used to do the New Yorker one weekly, back in the day when the New Yorker ran crosswords - which I think test a different part of one's mind. But anyway: came in at 15 minutes for a Thursday puzzle... reasonable, I suppose, for a novice, but nowhere near the blistering pace of those featured in the documentary. I suspect I'm hooked, though! Word Play , incidentally, has quite an impressive list of famous people willing to be interviewed about their crossword habit: Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Mike Mussina, Ken Burns. I think if you're well-known it's quite nice to be interviewed about something other than what you're well-known for.

New Job

Well, in case anyone was wondering about the long radio silence (crickets), I've been busy moving to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and just came back from a UN conference in Bonn. Have to say that the Bonn trip made me realise how rusty my German is, and has inspired me to revive my language skills. Anyone in Singapore have good suggestions on this? Should I just go to the Goethe Institut?

The legit Singapore iPhone

Finally, a nice SMS marketing message: "SingTel has announced that they have signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone to Singapore later this year" - with some directions to this site . Can't wait for the (rumoured) 3G iPhone...

Animal Tricks

Two sets of videos of unusual animal tricks. Rabbit showjumping and Goldfish football / hoops jumping


Just watched Akeelah and the Bee , which was really inspirational, and as tense in its finale as the best sports movies - having seen Spellbound , I was prepared to be on the edge of my seat, and I'm glad it lived up to my expectations. Anyway, this story about a mobster using $10 words in letters to his kid (offspring? scion?) reminded me of the film: Some of his letters from federal prison, which are being intercepted and scrutinized by authorities, are full of such words as "thespian," "flippant" and "sagacious," his lawyer said Thursday. A new form of gangland slang, or a coded message to fellow wise guys? No, attorney Ephraim Savitt said, just vocabulary Basciano wants the recipient -- his 7-year-old son -- to learn.

Longest Drive in Singapore

My friends in college used to be amused when I would say that a fellow Singaporean lived "across the country", meaning only about 30 km or so away. I guess that's what happens when you grow up in a tiny country. Anyway, this guy has compiled the longest possible drives according to Google Maps , and I tried to do the same for Singapore - thus far, my best is 60.4 km ( Tuas South Ave 9 to Nicoll Drive ). That's pretty piddly compared to the almost 12,000km routes recorded from America to Canada. Even Hong Kong has a 77.3km route . (Via

50 Best Restaurants

World's 50 best restaurants , as rated by Restaurant magazine, with, quelle surprise, has El Bulli ranked first. There's also a #51-100, which includes Iggy's here in Singapore. No Japanese restaurants, though, as the Economist notes , which seems odd.

Insomnia, the cost of food

A very interesting article in the Guardian puts forward the suggestion that the modern problem is not about not getting enough sleep, but about anxiety about getting enough sleep. It does seem a lot of contemporary issues centre around anxiety about getting things correct: getting enough vitamins and other nutritional aspects of one's diet, for one. Meanwhile, Newsweek explores food inflation and its sources: rising worldwide demand, droughts, rising energy costs, and speculation. Odd not to mention the diversion of cropland for biofuels, the impact of which people have varying opinions.

Books by friends

At a 30th birthday party last night, I was reflecting how many of my friends from college had had books published in recent month, and wondering what I'd done with my life. Oh well, "30 is the new 20", as someone chirpily said. But ennui over the passage of time and remembrance of things past aside, I should give props to those friends who had books published: V.V. Ganeshananthan (V.V.? I will always know her as Sugi) - Love Marriage Garrett Graff - The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web and the Race for the White House (with a glowing review from no less than Michiko Kakutani ) Jennifer 8. Lee - The Fortune Cookie Chronicles Fiction, politics, and food-as-cultural-anthropology - a nice diverse group. Met up with Sugi recently and showed her the wonders of Singapore hawker food. Congrats to all of them - lots of good reviews popping up.

Back from the Philippines

Back from Manila, where I caught the opening of the Little League Philippine Series with fellow Sox fanatic George. Great to see all the kids having fun playing baseball. Also met a Bill Bennett - hope I got the name right - who was an instructor for MLB, and proceeded to talk about Wally Moon and baseball at the L.A. Coliseum. Man, hadn't realised how starved I was for baseball talk. Anyway, the article by John Tierney on M. Keith Chen's challenges to cognitive dissonance research - saying in effect that a lot of the research's conclusions could suffer from the Monty Hall Problem - is a fascinating use of probability theory in an unexpected context. ( Link to Chen's original paper.) The Monty Hall Problem is such a counter-intuitive one.

The Thrilla in Manila

Am in Manila for the next few days for work, and the moment I checked in I went out foraging for Jollibee fried chicken. And boy it was even better than I remembered. The mall had Jollibee and Krispy Kremes... my arteries aren't gonna like it, but my taste buds are ecstatic.

Two years on the throne

This can't be real, can it? A woman sat on the loo for 2 years . Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital. Grown around the seat? Is that even medically possible? And it took her boyfriend 2 years before he said, "hmm, this needs to change"?

Sam Roi Yot National Park

So I suppose I should detail what we saw in Hua Hin and the surroundings, having thoroughly explored the area in a beat-up rented Vios (and later a Corolla Altis with even more miles on the engine). Since the beach gets all the attention, let's start with the park... Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park started as a marine park, and some of the sights are best seen from the water. After some haggling using my rudimentary Thai, we caught a couple of boats, one around the islands before landing ashore near the Phraya Nakhon cave, and another down the Kaeo Daeng river. If this park were in America, every peak would be named; every species of animal lovingly documented. Instead, it's a sleepy national park in Thailand, featuring some tremendous caves - Phraya Nakhon, which was discovered by a Thai king and features an entire throne inside the cave, is spectacular, once you brave the 430m climb to get in. (Our guide, a young woman, naturally hopped up the heights in surefooted mountain-g

Back from Thailand

After a nice loooong break in Thailand (including such demanding tasks as sitting in a pool and surfing the Net at the same time), it's back to Singapore, whereupon I launched straight into the human crowd surfing that was the IT Show and emerged with RAM, flash drives, and other geeky accoutrements... Street Fighter: the Later Years amused me on my iPod while I was on holiday, and brought back all those hours spent in the arcade. Ah, wasted youth. Meanwhile, the NY Times reviews May Pang's Instamatic Karma , a photographic record of the years Lennon spent with his non-Ono Asian love. (I just wrote that sentence to have a means of using the phrase "non-Ono". Which, punctuation aside, is spelt exactly the same way as "No, No, No", the great Dawn Penn reggae hit. Is there a word for two words/phrases that are spelt the same way but distinguished by punctuation? Such as the way "resign" and "re-sign" are very different words.)

Year of the Rat

When I was a kid, every Chinese New Year would mean my Dad pulling out this tape of traditional Chinese New Year songs sung in English, with pretty awful translations. The worst part of that is, now whenever I hear these songs at shopping centres and the like, I just immediately think of the English lyrics ("may the new year bring you all the things you want / and the best of health and wealth to you!"). Spent Day 2 at the zoo, which turned out to be the day Ah Meng died. Saw the orang utans up close, but the trainers didn't mention the death at all - heard it on the news. I suppose the only song lyric that even mentions orang utans that I can think of is Simon and Garfunkel's "At the Zoo" , appropriately enough, so I'll quote the lines: Orangutans are skeptical Of changes in their cages Happy Year of the Rat, y'all.

Past perfect

By the way, yes, I'm extremely gutted by the Patriots' loss in the Super Bowl. Still can't quite get over it.

Diet Soda

This NY Times article on metabolic syndrome being linked to diet soda intrigued me - in my quest to lead a healthier life, I've cut down drastically on my Pepsi/Coke consumption in favour of water, but I still need a caffeine fix that's sated occasionally by regular cola, and occasionally by diet, which I used to think tasted disgusting. So much for trying to drink diet... Why don't they sell Diet Coke with Splenda in Singapore, anyway? Aspartame really does leave an awful aftertaste.

Heath Ledger dead

RIP, Heath Ledger . Mortality is a strange thing to ponder: the more you think about it, the more of it you extinguish. Perhaps one of the most affecting sets of performances this decade, for me at least, was Ledger and Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain , which still sticks in my mind as an expression of regret and the ability of forces to work against emotion.

I want!

Went down to Wheelock Place to pick out Office 2008 for Mac and check out what the new Macbook Air prices would be like for Singapore. $2988 for the basic 1.6 GHz, versus the US price of US$1799 - so those travelling to the US can get a little discount shopping overseas, I guess. It looks really, really good. I just wish it would solve the aesthetic / convenience issue I have with my Macbook - not having a dock means, good as the Macbook by itself looks, you have to plug in 5 wires or so at a time, which doesn't look very clean.

New Year

For childhood friends, new friends, friends near and far away, a cup o' kindness: We twa hae run about the braes, and pou’d the gowans fine; But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit, sin’ auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl’d in the burn, frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar’d sin’ auld lang syne.