Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fame, Fortune, Happiness


Did you ever play that old board game, “Careers”?

This game was devised by a sociologist, James Cooke Brown, and was first made and sold by Parker Brothers in 1955.  At the start of the game, each player decides and writes down his victory target which consists of collect points for fame, fortune or happiness.   Assuming at least 100 points (the original game used 60),  a capitalist player may choose a victory formula of say “fame=15; fortune= 70; happiness= 15”.  A narcissistic player may choose “fame= 60; fortune= 30; happiness= 10” but the player with the inner hippie might want “fame= 15; fortune= 5; happiness= 80”.  They then roll the dice and make their way around the game track, making career and life choices that help them reach their winning formula.  Some may want to choose high earning jobs, others an education and still others aspire to be beach bums – whatever works for them.

If we were to just take a moment to reflect on this concept, what might we say was the winning formula that we have actually chosen for our real lives?  What has been our combination of the three?  Which one has had our emphasis and which one have we allowed to starve in the darkness?

How does one decide?  Won’t it be great if I could be rich, famous and happy?  Even Linus knows what I mean….

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If I am honest, I think I have always wanted a life formula of Fame= 20; Fortune= 30; Happiness= 50.

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Did you achieve your target or has happiness given way to fortune or has fame (like winning the Nobel Prize for Science) been elusive?

What was your formula for success and how have you fared? Curious squirrels want to know.

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Like in the Movies


Most of us like action movies.  The explosions, the guns blazing, the mayhem and usually the good guys win and they look cool doing it.  For a couple of hours we escape into a fantasy world of thrills without any bodily risks or consequences.

But as recent incidents around the world has demonstrated, it is completely awful when it happens in real life and impact real people.

This last couple of weeks, a couple of Hollywood type stories played out on the streets of my city, Kuala Lumpur; stories with drama, action, suspense and intrigue.

Abduction

Pastor Raymond Koh was driving his car on an errand to deliver a food gift to a friend who was about to travel abroad.  At least three black SUVs screeched in,  blocking off  the road and boxing in his car. Men with black balaclava masks poured out.  A couple of them stopped oncoming traffic and another was seen apparently filming the incident.  Pastor Raymond was forced into one of the SUVs and the three vehicles then sped away together.  He has been missing since the 13th of February.

Pastor Raymond is active in a number of Christian charities and was the founder of Harapan Kommuniti (Community Hope) which holds free tuition classes for children and English lessons for adults from low income groups.  In 2011 though, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), in a controversial move, raided a community thanksgiving and fundraising dinner at a church and accused Pastor Raymond’s organisation of proselytising Muslims.

There has been no ransom demand or any communication from the abductors and despite numerous eyewitnesses and CCTV footage, the police have not reported any progress in their investigation.

Many Malaysians (including me) have been praying daily for his safe return.

Assassination

Our international airport was the ground on which our tale of international intrigue and skullduggery occurred; real James Bond stuff.  A Korean man traveling under the name of Kim Choi was making his way across the airport concourse to catch his flight to Macao when two young women approached him from different directions and appear to reach from behind and cover his face with a chemically laced cloth.  They then left as quickly in opposite directions.  After seeking help,  the man collapses and dies shortly later.

It is now believed that Kim Choi is actually Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  The two women have been identified and arrested.  One is a Vietnamese national and the other an Indonesian.  The Indonesian woman claims she was approached by some men and paid to carry out what she had been told was a prank for a TV show.  Police have also arrested a Malaysian man and a North Korean man.  Interpol has been asked to help hunt down four other North Korean men who left the country the same day as the incident.   The North Korean government has also objected to the autopsy investigation.
Malaysia continues to be making the news for all the wrong reasons.  Come on 2017, start getting better.
I will keep praying for Pastor Raymond and for Malaysia.  However, I promise to nudge 2017 along in the right direction by having more positive posts in the next couple of weeks.

S for Shilpa, F for Fun


Well, there’s been a lot of bad news of late.  I think we are all overdue to have some FUN for a change and right on cue, famous Bollywood actress and celebrity, Shilpa Shetty, has come to our rescue. God bless her.

During an interview, she commented on the decision by Indian authorities to include Harry Potter books as part of the school syllabus.  She thought it was a great idea and threw in a suggestion or two of other books that would be a boon to young minds. (see picture below).

Image result for shetty animal farm

Inspired by her views on Little Women and Animal Farm, the internet wags have been a bit merciless in developing the theme of books that should be included in the reading programs of our children.  Here are some great suggestions;

Fifty Shades of Grey – an amazing colouring book. Children will  love it.

The Life of Pi – should be read by all children as it will enhance their mathematical skills.

Mein Kampf – is a nice guide on camping and other outdoor activities.

The Hobbit – is good.  All children should be encouraged to develop good hobbits.

Anyway, this squirrel pondered over the books in his library to see what books I might recommend too.  I came up with the following;

Gone with the Wind – learning about the fury of Nature and the power of tornados.

Stephen King’s IT – Never too young to start learning about computers.

The Maze Runner – sharpen your child’s mind with this giant book of crosswords, puzzles and mazes.

The Name of the Rose – introduce your child to the wonders of gardening and horticulture with this guide book to the hundreds of rose species.

V for Vendetta – the classic children’s alphabet book but with an updated and relevant twist. (A is for Apple Inc., B is for Brexit…….. Z is for Zika)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – teaching children about different career choices for when they grow up.

But  totally, totally NOT RECOMMENDED is Moby Dick.

Perhaps, dear readers, you have other books that you might suggest?

 

Resistance is Futile


Okay….. things are a bit slow here and I am having writer’s block.  So I sat here thinking about what to post about.  Thinking…..thinking…..and thinking…….and then some more thinking……. and NOTHING!

So in times like this, I am thankful for posts that I read, which I can sample.  Here is something I came across on someone’s Facebook.  Clearly, the lady has attained wisdom; enlightenment even.  I can only hope that you, dear readers, will follow in her footsteps.

squirrel rockyYes…..stop resisting.  Resistance is futile.

Here We Go Again….


So it is happening again.  First,  Anwar Ibrahim, the main opposition leader in Malaysia, has been in prison since February 2015 after being convicted on sodomy charges.  Many believe that the whole case was arbitrary and politically motivated and that was the conclusion too of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention .

Now, Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of the state of Penang, is being charged with corruption.  Specifically, he is being accused of buying a house from a Ms. Phang Li Khoon for USD 645,000 when the prosecution contends that the market value of the property should be in the region of USD 1,065,000.  It is alleged that this favorable transaction was tied to the Chief Minister asserting influence to have a different piece of land rezoned from agricultural to commercial use.  This is despite the fact that the State Council has said that no such land use conversion had been approved and in fact the application had been rejected.

Lim Guan Eng is another opposition leader.  He is well respected and many people credit him for reducing corruption in state government machinery which has resulted in a the state moving from a large deficit to becoming the most fiscally successful in the country.  So, many are unconvinced that there is a corruption case to be answered.

Many on social media have noted that the Attorney General was quick to bring charges in this case and to bring it to trial.  Yet, in January, the same Attorney General cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of wrong doing with regards to USD 12.5 billion debts accumulated by the state development fund 1MDB which he set up. This even while 1 MDB is being investigated in at least 5 countries for irregularities and  Swiss authorities have opened criminal proceedings related to 1MDB on “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering”.  The Attorney General also accepted that there was no wrong doing when about USD 650 million was paid in to the Prime Minister’s private bank account.

Anyway, an appeal was launched for donations of USD 2.50 each to be collected to pay the  approx. USD 250,000 bail for Lim Guan Eng.  Public support was evident as the target was reached in less than 24 hours.

And so, there is going to be more legal drama and political maneuvering in the near future and for many Malaysians, an extremely bitter taste in the mouth.

Choosing Sides


When I was young, I spent a lot of time reading comics.  And now, some of those same comics have made it onto the silver screen in a big or should I say, a MEGA way.  The Marvel-Disney stable of movies now account for four of the five movies with the biggest grossing opening weekends of all time.  The Marvel comics movie franchise has now earned more than Harry Potter, James Bond, the Hobbits or even Star Wars.

All of which merely underlines the fact that I had a wasted youth. If only I had studied my comics more diligently instead of wasting my precious time with trigonometry, science and history at school, perhaps today I would be enjoying my share of the Marvel bonanza. If only. Yes……a wasted youth is a sad, sad thing.

Anyway, I just came back from watching the latest Marvel movie, “Captain America: Civil War”. It was a great movie. I enjoyed it; my wife enjoyed it; my young nephews enjoyed it; someone I know who is really into comics really enjoyed it; someone I know who doesn’t read comics at all went to see it twice! So this means this squirrel gives it a 5 acorn rating.

But without letting the cat out of the bag (and us squirrels prefer the cat not to be running around loose), Captain America and Iron Man find themselves on opposing sides and the rest of the Avengers and superheros have to make a decision about who they support. All of this leads us to this most important and potentially divisive question being asked of all the fans, “Are you on Team Capt. America or Team Iron Man?”

When asked, Wally the Corgi said, “I’m Team Cap because he’s got a cool frisbee.” (Editor: a good enough reason!)

And what about us squirrels?  Well, actually we are great friends with Black Widow so whoever she sides with is just fine with us. Although, sometimes we can’t tell if she is on this side or the other as so often she is playing the double agent. All very confusing really.

squirrel girl black widow
Squirrel Girl hanging with good friend Black Widow and some weirdo.

So whose team are you?