Cult Motivation

Was invited by a friend recently to attend a "Landmark" seminar.  Didn’t want to reject a friend outright as I would a telemarketer.  So I went to check out the website for more info.  The layout of the website looked professional enough but I couldn’t figure out what the heck were they offering.  It looked like another of those self-help / motivational course type of seminars (which I’m skeptical of) but everything was just so ambiguous.  So I did a search online regarding "Landmark Education" and good grief!  France has listed it as a group with cult-like traits.

Sure, there were positive reviews of the seminar and how it transformed lives – but those testimonials were found on Landmark’s website.  Not very impartial I would say.  Other websites and forums had scathing criticisms of it… and there were even some lawsuits initiated by people who suffered mental breakdown after attending the seminars (allegedly due to the brainwashing techniques used).

To be fair, I think those who sufferered mentally already had emotional issues to start with… and these issues were exacerbated by the verbal abuse participants are subjected to at the forum.  That said… why would anyone pay money to get scolded? 

Anyway, I rejected my friend’s invitation to attend a seminar.  I can just see myself having a cat fight with any course leader that tries to scold me on stage in front of all the participants.  Hmm… if anything, I may end up abusing the course leader till he/she cries.  That would be funny.  Hehe.  Maybe I should attend on one of those bad weeks where everything goes wrong and I need to vent my frustrations.  :P 

Talking about venting frustrations… my mood is most foul in the morning.  I am so not a morning person.  Waking up early, rushing to get ready for work, getting stuck behind slow coaches at the MRT station and jostling for space in a crowded train puts me in an absolutely pissed off mood.  However, a new toy I bought over the weekend has made packed morning train rides a lot more bearable.  Please give a round of applause to the Nintendo DS Lite! 

I bought a deep red DS Lite over the weekend.  Found the games a little too childish/girly at first… and didn’t really like the fact that most games had to be played with the stylus.  That’s till I got hooked on Space Invaders!  Yes!  The (I think) 30-year old game.  It’s sooooo captivating that when I was stuck at Cityhall MRT this morning due to a train fault, I wished the fault would last longer (despite being late for work).  Heh.  I think the DS Lite is a good motivational tool.  It makes me more cheery and forgiving in the morning.  I’ve been brainwashed by aliens.  Woohoo!

From Times Online – S’pore GP

This article is hilarious man!  I love the sarcasm…

Panic at the pumps for Ferrari and Felipe Massa adds fuel to Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of glory

Edward Gorman, Motor Racing Correspondent, Singapore

Apart from the floodlights, the burning blue exhausts, the sparks ricocheting off the tarmac, the breathtaking setting and the buzz of excitement as Formula One entered the brave new world of night racing, the enduring imagery of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix was the Keystone Cops pantomime put on by Ferrari.

In the days before seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher started his residency in Maranello in the late 1990s, the Scuderia had a reputation for pitlane comedy routines with mechanics standing around shouting and pointing at each other while cars stood in various states of undress in the pit box. With Schumacher gone and several of his key lieutenants also having moved on – among them Nigel Stepney, the disgraced former chief mechanic and discipline enforcer – it seems the old days are back.

In Singapore yesterday the team sabotaged the race of Felipe Massa, their championship contender, who had driven sublimely in qualifying on Saturday to secure pole by a country mile from Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren Mercedes. The ever-underestimated Massa produced one of the best launches of his career to streak away from Hamilton at the start and drove faultlessly in punishing heat and humidity before a safety car interruption on lap 15. This followed a heavy crash into the wall for Nelson Piquet Jr, the hapless Renualt rookie, which was to prove the key moment of the evening and which handed Fernando Alonso, Piquet’s team-mate, an unlikely race win from fifteenth on the grid.

As soon as the pitlane reopened during the safety-car period, ten drivers thirsty for fuel headed for the pits with Ferrari doing a “double-shuffle”. Massa was first and then came his team-mate, the reigning world champion and Ferrari “No2” this season, Kimi Raikkonen. The Italian team are alone on the grid in using an automated traffic light system suspended from a gantry and linked to the operation of the fuel hose, to release their drivers from pitstops, instead of a traditional lollipop. On this occasion, because of the number of cars in the pits, they chose to override the system manually but the mechanic with his finger on the button pushed it too early.

There then followed a dangerous comedy of errors as Massa drove away. His car ripped the fuel hose out of the re-supply tank, flipped the mechanic over who was operating it, almost collided with a passing Adrian Sutil in the Force India, before coming to a stop at the far end of the pitlane. After refuelling Raikkonen with the spare hose, eight mechanics then began running down the pitlane to try to save what was left of Massa’s race. When they got to his car it took them at least another 1 minutes to pull the fuel hose out as the Brazilian sat cursing his luck with his visor up and his race run.

Afterwards an embarrassed Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal, admitted that he is going to review the use of the lights after the latest in a series of pitlane disasters, among them the unsafe release of Massa at Valencia and an early attempt to leave the box by Raikkonen at the same race. However, there were signs last night that if the Scuderia do not get rid of the system, the FIA, the sport’s governing body will do it for them and ban it on safety grounds. As one source put it: “Either it works or it doesn’t” – heavily implying the latter.

The race turned with the safety car, which, through its always dramatic and often plainly unfair effect on track position, came as manna from heaven for Alonso who had pitted early after a light first stint. It also assisted David Coulthard in the Red Bull who, together with Mark Webber, his team-mate, was able to sneak in to refuel just before the interruption. For Hamilton the episode dropped him to as low as ninth at the start of a middle stint when he was held up by Coulthard.

If Ferrari handed him up to seven extra points on a plate with their errors, Hamilton and McLaren were sensible enough to take them. Although every fibre in his being was telling Hamilton to put the Scottish veteran to the sword, the McLaren pitwall were keeping him on a tight leash and reminding him on the radio that it is a world title he is after this year, not race wins. While others fell away behind and in front of him, Hamilton drove the percentage game keeping his nose out of trouble and eventually passing the Scot, a move that secured third. When the pass came it was still a heart-in-mouth moment – Coulthard has proved accident-prone under pressure in his final season – but Hamilton got through cleanly after Coulthard lost momentum encountering Alonso leaving the pits.

This race had everything and was a reminder that you do not always need rain in Formula One for a memorable day’s, or, in this case, evening’s sport. While Alonso, Nico Rosberg – who was second for Williams, benefiting from a delay in being penalised for illegally pitting – and Hamilton were the main beneficiaries, Sebastian Vettel followed up his excellent race win at Monza with a solid fifth place behind Timo Glock, of Toyota.

The big losers on the day apart from Massa were Raikkonen, who crashed three laps from the end and was classified last, Coulthard, who suffered a minor case of Ferrari’s pitlane malaise at his second stop and dropped to seventh, and Robert Kubica for BMW who was eleventh after being penalised for pitting under a red light. Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton’s team-mate, drove an anonymous race to finish tenth.

Result

(61 laps): 1, F Alonso (Sp, Renault) 1hr 57min 16.304sec; 2, N Rosberg (Ger, Williams Toyota) at 2.957sec behind; 3, L Hamilton (GB, McLaren Mercedes) 5.917; 4, T Glock (Ger, Toyota) 8.155; 5, S Vettel (Ger, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari) 10.268; 6, N Heidfeld (Ger, BMW Sauber) 11.101; 7, D Coulthard (GB, Red Bull Renault) 16.387; 8, K Nakajima (Japan, Williams Toyota) 18.489; 9, J Button (GB, Honda) 19.885; 10, H Kovalainen (Fin, McLaren Mercedes) 26.902; 11, R Kubica (Pol, BMW Sauber) 27.975; 12, S Bourdais (Fr, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari) 29.432; 13, F Massa (Br, Ferrari) 35.107; 14, G Fisichella (It, Force India Ferrari) 43.571; 15, K Raikkonen (Fin, Ferrari) 4 laps. Not classified: 16 J Trulli (It, Toyota) 50 laps completed; 17, A Sutil (Ger, Force India Ferrari) 49; 18, M Webber (Aus, Red Bull Renault) 29; 19, R Barrichello (Br, Honda) 14; 20, N Piquet (Br, Renault) 13.

Qualifying positions: 1, Massa 1min 44.801sec; 2, Hamilton 1:45.465; 3, Raikkonen 1:45.617; 4, Kubica 1:45.779; 5, Kovalainen 1:45.873; 6, Heidfeld 1:45.964; 7, Vettel 1:46.244; 8, Glock 1:46.328; 9, Rosberg 1:46.611; 10, Nakajima 1:47.547. Eliminated after second session: 11, Trulli 1:45.038; 12, Button 1:45.133; 13, Webber 1:45.212; 14, Coulthard 1:45.298; 15, Alonso no time. Eliminated after first session: 16, Piquet 1:46.037; 17, Bourdais 1:46.389; 18, Barrichello 1:46.583; 19, Sutil 1:47.940; 20, Fisichella no time.

Championship positions: Drivers:

1, Hamilton 84pts

2, Massa 77

3, Kubica 64

4, Raikkonen 57

5, Heidfeld 56

6, Kovalainen 51

7, Alonso 38

8, Vettel 27

9, Trulli 26

10, Glock 20

11, Webber 20

12, Rosberg 17

13, Piquet 13

14, Barrichello 11

15, Nakajima 9

16, Coulthard 8

17, Bourdais 4

18, Button 3

Constructors: 1, McLaren Mercedes 135; 2, Ferrari 134; 3, BMW Sauber 120; 4, Renault 51; 5, Toyota 46; 6, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari 31; 7, Red Bull Renault 28; 8, Williams Toyota 26; 9, Honda 14.

Grands Prix to come: Oct 12: Japanese GP (Fuji). Oct 19: Chinese GP (Shanghai). Nov 2: Brazilian GP (Interlagos).

Formula One 28 Sep 2008 – THE DAY!

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Ah Beng lambo parked at Fullerton

 

 

 

 

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There was a F1 drivers parade before the race started.  These are the cars the drivers went round the track in.

 

 

 

 

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Heat stroke in exchange for infamy.  Stupid.

 

 

 

 

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I didn’t manage to get a clear photo of Rosberg ‘cos some idiots in front of me kept raising their hands as I wanted to take a shot.  Grr…

 

 

 

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Massa… and the fuel hose he took out… hahahahaha.

 

 

 

 

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Kimi’s painful right tyre

 

 

 

 

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ROSBERG got #2!!!

 

 

 

 

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HAMMIE WAS #3!!!

 

 

 

 

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The car formerly raced in by Piquet

 

 

 

 

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The track (and the crowd)

 

 

 

 

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Anderson Bridge

 

 

 

 

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That’s a pic of me!  Yup.  That’s it.  I was at the first F1 night race. 

 

 

 

See you there next year!

Formula One 27 Sep 2008 – Practice Session & Qualifiers

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Nakajima again…

 

 

 

 

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Nico Rosberg captured on the big screen in front of our seats!

 

 

 

 

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Renault (Piquet)

 

 

 

 

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Force India (Sutil)

 

 

 

 

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Williams (Nico Rosberg).  Finally managed to get a clear shot of him.  It was sooooo difficult to take his picture!

 

 

 

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Ferrari (Massa)

 

 

 

 

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Ferrari (Kimi)

 

 

 

 

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McLaren (Hamilton).  I tried many many times… but couldn’t get a clear photo at all.  I’m going to blame it at the speed he was driving.

 

 

 

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No guesses regarding my theory why this is my clearest shot of a F1 car…

 

 

 

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Renault (I think this was Alonso)

 

 

 

 

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Panasonic Toyota (Not sure if it’s Trulli or Glock).

 

 

 

 

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Pit Grandstand (courtesy of Phiten!)

 

 

 

 

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And the garages… Hammie Hammie!

 

 

 

 

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Rosberg Rosberg!

 

 

 

 

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The rest…

 

 

 

 

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Ah!  Stupid girl taking photos again.  Terrible!

 

 

 

 

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*Cues song.. Desperado*

 

 

 

 

That’s all for Day 2.  🙂

Formula One 26 Sep 2008 – Practice Session

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Force India

 

 

 

 

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Panasonic Toyota

 

 

 

 

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Williams!  (Rosberg’s team mate, Nakajima).

 

 

 

 

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The beautiful Singapore skyline and an usher slacking off…

 

 

 

 

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Ok.  This is the stupid usher that really pissed me off.  She stopped everyone from taking photos from where she was standing, which was all right since people shouldn’t be blocking the entrance to the stairs… but how can she take photos herself after telling others not to take!!!  This is plain abuse of authority!  I’m going to post her pic on Stomp.  Hmph!  Bitch.

 

Anyway, that rounds up the first of the three day F1 weekend in Singapore.  🙂

Singapore Formula One (26 Sep 2008) – Pre-F1 Race

Iceman, Muah Chee & I have been waiting for this weekend since Feb.  The very first night race in F1 history.  Here’re some photos to mark the event!

 

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Map of the entire race area.

 

 

 

 

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Many local names set up shop at the race village – Old Chang Kee, Breadtalk, Din Tai Fung, etc.

 

 

 

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The race merchandise were expensive!  Iceman’s BMW t-shirt cost $100!  The BAD thing is… there were several merchandise booths around… and the one near City Hall MRT sold the same shirt for $130.  I think someone made a mistake somewhere ‘cos all the prices were handwritten on paper & stapled to the shirts.  Tsk tsk.

 

 

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Azure, Iceman and Booze Queen making their way toward our grandstand.

 

 

 

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There were other races held before the actual F1 event… Aston Martin, Porche and Formula BMW.  This is a BMW race car.  (Look like a vintage F1 car… haha).

 

 

 

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There were also a fringe performances (both live and DJ-spun) throughout the weekend.

 

 

 

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Booze Queen buying.. what else but booze?

 

 

 

 

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Lots and lots of tyres were used this weekend… haha.

 

 

 

 

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Advice for people going for future races?  Please wear sensible footwear.  There’re sections of ground that are uneven, muddy and gravelly.  Stilettos are really not advisable.  (You should’ve seen this girl struggle).

 

 

 

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If you haven’t notice already, the weather in Singapore is… HOT,  HUMID.  Leggings?  Duh…

 

 

 

 

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Bomb sniffer dog!

 

 

 

 

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Formula BMW car

 

 

 

 

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Another one…

 

 

 

 

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And another!

 

 

 

 

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A Porsche race car

 

 

 

 

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Another with the Singapore flag (I loved this!)

 

 

 

 

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Same car going out onto the track!  (Can you spot Iceman among the crowd?  Haha).

 

 

 

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Booze Queen, Azure and me at the grandstand!

 

 

 

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Aston Martin.  Realised I only have 1 pic of a Aston Martin!  Hahahaha.  My digicam was running moderately low batt on Fri so I tried to save the batt for the F1 practice session instead.  Heh.

 

 

 

Coming up next… the F1 practice session on Friday! 

Dumbfounded

By my title, I mean to say that "dumb" found me.

Client’s Stupid Clerk: I’ve been trying to send emails to you.  It keeps bouncing back.  This happens everytime!  Can you please clear your mailbox?

Me: Er, my mail’s pretty ok.  Perhaps it’s the size of the email you’re sending?  I think there are a few attachments right?

CSC: You asked for all the documents right?  Legal opinions, loan agreement…

Me: Yes.  Do you know what’s the size of all the attachments?  I think my email server has a 5MB restriction per email.

CSC:  I don’t know lah.  The loan agreement is about 20+ pages.

Me: *Dumbfounded*