Thursday, December 24, 2009

Driving Forces

Even if you can identify the driving forces of change, most of the time, they cannot be estimated or measured. This makes risk management notoriously complex.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not Sunkist. It's Sonkiss

I have been buying these at the 'Shop n Save' not knowing that they aren't Sunkists until a newspaper article printed a story on the Chinese imitation 'Sunkist'. I had thought the supermarket mixed the Chinese ones with Sunkist because it had wanted to price them the same.

Actually these Sonkiss oranges are quite good. They could really pass off as Sunkists. I know what you are thinking. No, they are not fake oranges.

Mitch Albom, "Have a Little Faith"

The Christians has left a big vaccum, and the Lord seems to have used a Jew, married to a Christian to write, "Have a Little Faith".

Some highlights:

"At I Am My Brother's Keeper, there were no dues, no drives, no singles nights. Membership grew the old-fashioned way: a desperate need for God"

"Why still serve God?" He smiled weakly. "What else can I do? It's like when everyone was turning away, and Jesus asked the apostles, 'Will you go, too?' And Peter said, 'Where can I go Lord'

I remember this one very well. An important bit missing here, which goes, " have the words of eternal life'. How many times facing the pressure to choose right over wrong, I have prayed this.

"No." He sook his head. "You can't work your way into heaven. Anytime you try and justify yourself with works, you disqualify yourself with works. What I do here, every day, for the rest of my life, is only my way of saying, 'Lord, regardless of what eternity holds for me, let me give something back to you. I know it don't even no scorecard. But let me make something of my life before I go..'"

Not possible to keep and balance a ledger with God. The only appropriate response is worship.

Each of us must find and leave room for faith. Taking your life into your own hands is no way to live. You will never be happy. Such people are not ready for heaven.

Judging Others

God's grace, always mysterious is at work. We do not judge unless we presume to understand how his grace works. At best, we can only get the direction right but never the distance or the network effects that he has created. What we need is to have faith.

As we approach Christmas, we celebrate that Amazing Grace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Comparing Christmas

Good to spend Christmas in Singapore. Last year we were in Dubai and Christmas there was meaningless. Even during Eid, it wasn't as bright, colorful and joyous as our Hari Raya Puasa.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 21, 2009


Oops! The USD strengthen with stocks. A reversal of the pattern since Lehman fell. Wonder if the market is signaling confidence in the Fed ability to withdraw liquidity. Concomitant bonds prices are softening.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taylor Swift?

Just discovered who she is. Got the lead in from a friend's child on Facebook. Discovered that my niece is also a fan. Went to look at a couple of her musical videos on YouTube. Not bad. Now I am wondering were her songs used in the Twilight series?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why you need NaviMap

In Chapter 5, The Curse and Cost of Complexity, Stephen Leeb book, "Game Over" begins with (I didn't print it here, many copies of it can be found on the Web)

Pythagorean theorem: 24 words

The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words

Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words

The 10 Commandments: 179 words

The Gettysburg Address: 286 words

The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words

U.S. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26911 words

The point: Well the chapter title says it all; our world has become too complex.

Recently Straits Times interviewed Alvin and Heidi Toffler. They complained of the same.

Perversely people are going about their lives blithely ignoring the complexity. Americans want their sound bites, not knowing this is doing them nothing good. We need something like NaviMap and also get comfortable with it like we hae with the alphabet and numerals; failing which, we are going to serially do dumb things.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Free Grace

All that is free would be taken for granted unless the receiver understand that it was infinitely costly in the first place.

If it was so costly, only God could have paid for it. What else is costlier than his life?

Therefore if we do not treasure him we cannot but cheapen his grace. We end up getting his gifts but rejecting his person. And in this life he allows it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Conflict of Interest

ST Front page today is an article about SGX revising its rules for listed companies. Reminded me of the article you shared earlier on S-chips. All these were inevitable when you give the then regulator business responsibilities. This has been going on across the Singapore governance landscape. Usually the man in the street becomes the final sucker. That is why it is important not to trust blindly. Always verify especially when investing money. In real life we only have so much time, energy and knowledge and we are forced to stick with the familiar because there is so much cheating going on out there.

The market system has brought us many benefits but it is also going into a "limits of growth" situation where the ill effects start to outweigh the benefits. Just as the thermometer measures our disease risk, the shortening of pay back does the same for measuring the health of the market system.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Philippians 2:21

All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ...Philippians 2:21

Was reading Philippians 2 with the children tonight and we came across this. That was what the Apostle Paul said about the people with him. By the way, he was in prison in Rome then.

What was true then, is still true today.

I hope I am laying the foundation for very young people to eventually recognize the Big Pearl better and that this Pearl grows. We shall get closer to that in chapter 3 in a week's time.

New Fridge

Our Panasonic fridge with ice maker arrives today. The trusty old Mitsubishi which we had since December 1990 makes way. It had moved from Pine Grove to here.

Climate change meeting at Copenhagen

From the ST today. See the highlighted below. What does it tells you? Commercial and political interest of course. Terribly irresponsible. No lack of such people in the world today. From those who passed off fake infant formula to such miscreants here.

Ahead of the summit too, another battle has risen: between scientists and climate change deniers who accuse the former of suppressing findings that fail to support their claim that planet Earth is headed for droughts, rising seas and other calamities because of fumes from factories, vehicles and other human activity.

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hit back at the sceptics, saying it stood by its findings. These have been questioned following a row over the reliability of data from the University of East Anglia.

Hacked e-mail exchanges from the university's Climatic Research Unit, a world leader in the field, have prompted the sceptics, from United States congressmen to Saudi officials, to claim that the IPCC's warnings were essentially hot air.

Adding to the furore, a British newspaper has reported that there had been attempts to break into the offices of climate scientist Andrew Weaver, a contributor to the IPCC's work.

An old computer was stolen on one occasion, while on others, some people tried to impersonate technicians in a bid to access data from the Canadian scientist's office, The Observer said yesterday.

Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chairman of the IPCC, claimed unnamed conspirators could have paid Russian hackers to break into the university computers to steal the e-mails.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Future Grace

Bought this book in 2007 but was making really slow progress with it until I also paid for the Kindle version. Completed reading it today. Wonderful book, but not always easy to read especially when you want to do so quickly.