Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Interview with the Crazy Little Stockdale . . .

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 at 5:09 am

Dale Stockdale:   Do you like Singapore?

Crazy Little Stockdale:   No.

DS:   Why not?

CLS:   Because Sydney’s not here.

DS:   Is there anything you like about Singapore?

CLS:   No.

DS:   Why not?

CLS:    Because Alex and Avery isn’t here either.

DS:  Let me rephrase the question, is there ANYTHING you like in Singapore?

CLS:  Just the castles?

DS:  What castles?

CLS:  These castles (pointing out window) – these things we are in.

DS:   Do you like to ride in the taxis?

CLS:   Only the girl taxi?

DS:  Huh?

CLS:  Nothing else.  Can I go now?

I had hoped for a little more out of her.  That said, if this interview seems pointless and confusing, it was just as pointless and confusing for me.  Hence the reason she is called the ‘Crazy Little Stockdale.’  Maybe the other two will be a little more insightful ( or not ).

Am I a Tourist ? ? ?

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Saturday, Mrs. Stockdale and I were taken on a tour of the island by the relocation company that coordinated our move.  We really didn’t have high expectations for the whole endeavor.  We hoped it would be helpful, but also just thought it would be someone who drove us around and pointed out the post office, malls, and the grocery stores.   Gosh – golly were we wrong!

Valerie (the woman who lead our tour) was great!  She had lived in here years ago, then lived in various spots around the world, lived in Austin for a period of time, and was now back in Singapore.  We spent a little time seeing the basics ( grocery stores, shopping, etc. ) but the majority of the time was exploring the guts of Singapore and the numerous things to do just miles from our apartment.

Like a lot of folks, the Stockdales were guilty of being homebodies back in Kansas.  We had an easy life back there.  Great friends, great neighborhood, the country club, a yard to take care of , a minivan ( before it caught on fire ), and on and on.  However, there were countless things we never did that I regret.  I wish we would have caught a KU football game in Lawrence.  A few more Royals/Chiefs games would have been nice ( They remind me of the Reds and Bengals. ).  I never went to the NASCAR race.  We had the zoo pass, but only went a couple of times.   The Truman Museum, symphony, theatre, plays, concerts, even just varsity basketball games at the little Stockdale’s school.  The list goes on and on. 

In Singapore, I’m not sure we ever really understood what was here, even after our arrival.  We read a few books, but books never taught anyone anything.  ( That’s a fact, you can look it up. )  Over the last two months, the Stockdales haven’t been nearly as adventurous as we probably should have been.  Maybe you chalk this up to being new, the time it takes to get settled, or just laziness.   But, if you don’t start doing this at the beginning, when do you?   There were tons of things we should have done in Kansas and even Cincinnati for that matter.   Maybe if we would have been more active in the early days of KC, we would have gotten to more things on the list before we got tossed halfway around the world.

Whoever said you need to be a tourist in your own city was exactly right.   We moved to Singapore with the thought of travelling throughout Asia to see the sights.   However, after our tour, I’m not sure we need to.  There are plenty of sights here.  We couldn’t even come close to exhausting the list of restaurants, bars, shops, bike trails, beaches, brothels, bars, parks, bars, coffee shops or bars that we could visit without getting bored, diseased, or sober.  

The hardest part is trying to be a resident AND a tourist.  When you live someplace, you give up on exploring.  You assume you know where everything is and you stick to what you know.   The tourist is someone who is new.  Someone who likes to explore.  But, the tourist sticks out in his grey fleece and shorts in the middle of Winter.  No one really likes the tourist.   They are these temporary people who just get in the way of life for the locals ( who really know the place ). 

Maybe the lesson is that folks are all the same, wherever we go.  It’s easy to fall into what is convenient and comfortable.   To an extent the Stockdales have already fallen for this trap.  My primary goal has just been to keep us all ( me ) sane until school starts in August ( I’m playing golf today, not sure what the little Stockdales are doing, that is the Assistant’s issue. ).   I’m sure there are plenty of expats, and locals for that matter,  in Singapore that have really never ventured past their closest Starbucks or favorite ‘Fish Head Stew’ kiosk.   The Stockdales will hopefully do better.  Or, we could just sit here and eat more of the Assistant Stockdale’s mouth-watering biscuits.  Mmmmm, biscuits!

Wait, these aren’t . . .

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 7:40 am

So, I got all the way home and let the little Stockdales polish off half the can before we noticed they weren’t really Pringles.

Someone in the legal department at P&G must be asleep.  I’m sure Mister Potato Crisp would crumble in court.  At least that’s the way they were in the can.

Coincidence, I think not . . .

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

As many of you know, the little Stockdales and I have a favorite television show.  Without a doubt, the best show on Earth (I live in a foreign country, so I have the authority to make that judgement) is ‘Phineas and Ferb’ on The Disney Channel.  If you’ve never seen an episode, stop watching complete trash like ‘Breaking Bad’ and start watching some quality programming.  S.I.M.P!

Now, I’ve always wondered how they determined there are  ‘104 Days of Summer Vacation’?  Really, what kid gets 104 days of Summer vacation.  They get out in mid/late May (14 days), then all of June (30 days), then all of July (31 days), then a couple weeks in August (17 days).   

14+30+31+17 = 92 days of Summer vacation

Sure, there is some play in that number.  Maybe the kids go a little earlier or later in May, maybe they go the last week of August, but 104 is a long Summer vacation.  

Unless, you are the Stockdales!  We got to Singapore on May 3, that leaves 28 days.  When you add the 30 days in June and the 31 days in July and the 15 days in August (the little Stockdales start on August 16), it adds up to 104 of Summer Vacation!

With a putter, I’m a hole in one machine!

Post Cricket Nap . . .

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

This is one of the guys I played cricket with on Sunday.

Just like the great Natt Nurphy, he didn’t spill a drop.  He also didn’t get up for about 10 minutes.

Beerfest Asia . . .

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 1:20 am

Saturday night, Mrs. Stockdale and I went to ‘Beerfest Asia.’  No need to get a babysitter, we already had one.  Not sure what we’re doing, but we have a sitter for next weekend too.  We also have a sitter for right now and twenty minutes from now.  If I haven’t mentioned the sheer awesomeness of the ‘Assistant Stockdale’, let me tell you, she’s awesome!  If people think America is a country full of fat and lazy oafs, I can’t imagine what we’d be like if we all had helpers.  

The 8:00 am cricket game on Sunday was a little fuzzy, but I was on time and that was better than most.

On a side note, my attendance at ‘Beerfest Asia’ lit a fire under me to get ‘Mr. Beer’ going.  More on that later this week.

Try the Singapore Diet . . .

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

Since we arrived in Singapore, Mrs. Stockdale and I have each lost about 10 pounds.  ( It’s a different number if you convert it to kilograms, but I was told this country would have no math. )

Now, this weight loss isn’t due to the fabulous Asian diet of fresh seafood or lots of locally grown fruits and vegetables (nothing is grown on this island).   It also isn’t because we’ve been working out more.  Yes, I’m training for Ironman Arizona, but I gained weight training for my last big race.  ( If you ride a bike for six hours, the proper way to refuel is five beers and a pint of ice cream.  You’ve earned it! )

No, this weight loss is based on the ‘too cheap to eat’ diet.   When beer is $15 a six-pack, screw top wine is $20 a bottle, a bag of pretzels is $9, and chickens have extra parts, you find yourself altering  your nutritional habits.  Instead of snacking, I drink water.  Nothing fills up like a big glass of water when you’re really craving some chocolate chip cookies before bedtime.   What, no potato chips in the pantry?  Oooh look – water!  How about a Coors Light or a Warsteiner?  Nope!  Yum, water, the snack of the Gods.   Tomorrow night for dessert, maybe I’ll let the little Stockdales make ice.

Quality Television . . .

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:02 am

So, evening television in Singapore isn’t quite what it was back in the States.  If we were home on a random Tuesday night, we’d watch ‘Deadliest Catch’, Wednesday was ‘Mythbusters’, and so on.  Even if there was nothing on, there were enough random episodes of ‘Pawn Stars’, ‘American Pickers’, ‘Man versus Food’, and ‘Diners Drive-Ins and Dives’ recorded in the DVR to keep Mrs. Stockdale happy until she fell asleep on the couch at 8:40, if she even made it that late.

So far over here, I’ve yet to uncover any real rhyme or reason to what comes on day to day.  Even though we have cable with all/most of the western channels, it’s just the same pile of nothing every night.  At least in the States, there was a different pile of nothing every night. 

Yes, we have the Slingbox set up in Norwood, Ohio and it works great, but it is best for watching a specific show, not channel surfing.  At 7:00 am, I watch the Reds games, but to hunt around to see what is on in the evening, it isn’t much fun.

But, this isn’t the purpose of this post.  Really I just wanted to pass on a great show that I recommend you find back there.  Shortly after we got here and discovered the lack of quality evening entertainment, we bought the DVDs for ‘Breaking Bad’.  The basic premise is that a high school chemistry teacher gets lung cancer, so he starts selling meth to earn money to pay for his treatments and take care of his family.  It’s kind of a dark comedy, kind of a drama.  If you were a Sopranos fan, you’ll probably like this.  If you’d like to borrow the DVDs, just pop by and we’ll be happy to lend them out.

Extra chicken . . .

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 at 4:47 am

In Singapore, when you buy a whole chicken, you buy a whole chicken.

Baseball + Euchre = Cricket

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

For some reason, I’ve always wanted to play cricket.  The first time I saw a game was on Mrs. Stockdale and my honeymoon in Bermuda, which was years and years and years and years ago.  Ever since then, I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that should the opportunity every present itself, I’d like to give it a try.

Last week, while doing nothing around the apartment, (because the Assistant Stockdale was doing everything else) I decided to search out a way to play the game.  The first place I found was called ‘The Singapore Cricket Club.’  It is the second oldest club in Singapore and after Mrs. Stockdale asked around at the office about the group, I quickly learned that a schmoe like Dale Stockdale probably wouldn’t be permitted within 43.9 meters of the joint.  Even if they did let me in, I’d never have time to go because I’d have to return to work in order to afford it.

However, whoever informed Mrs. Stockdale that ‘The Singapore Cricket Club’ was a tad out of my league, told her about ANZA, which stands for ‘Australia and New Zealand Association’.   If ‘The Singapore Cricket Club’ is full of a bunch of upper crust bluebloods who drink single malt scotch and smoke cigars, ANZA is a bunch of guys who drink PBR at 8:00 in the morning.

Cricket is played like intramural softball over here and probably anywhere else in the world that has, or has had, a British influence.  There are various leagues for various players at various levels.  I contacted someone on the ANZA website who asked me to join them on Saturday afternoon for their weekly game.   I think they were short of people and desperate for a warm body.  On a good day, I qualify as just that.

Learning to play cricket is exactly like learning to play euchre.  Just when you think you’re starting to figure things out, everyone just throws in their cards for no apparent reason.  The ‘left Bauer’ and ‘right Bauer’ are replaced with the ‘wicket’ and the ‘over’.  Plus, don’t let the ball hit your legs and bowling the ball just looks like a controlled fall.  There are definitely some aspects of baseball in there.  Or maybe, more appropriately, there are some aspects of cricket in baseball.  My guess is that cricket is older, but we Americans have never been big on history, so who cares.

If you’ve ever taken anyone who is new to baseball to a game and they complain about it being slow, introduce them to cricket.  Baseball moves at the speed of light compared to cricket.  A regular old intramural game is scheduled to run 5 hours.  I don’t understand how, but they refer to professional cricket having ‘5 Day’ matches.  It’s really only slow half the time, but half of a lot is still a long time.  Basically, one team bats and the other team fields.  Once all 11 guys on the first team have gotten ‘out’, then you take a break, then the other team bats.  The second team to bat, then has to try to beat the score of the first team.  So, for half the game you sit there and wait for your turn to bat, and then for half the game you stand in the blistering sun and sweat in white polyester pants.

This probably goes without saying, but after the game is over, you go out for beer.

They invited me back to play again next Sunday morning.  I must have done a great job at that warm body thing.