Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Zhu Zhu Pets . . .

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 2:23 am

You think this junk would be cheaper over here.

This is about $43.00 USD.  I think when the little Stockdales got this back in Kansas it was about $25.00.

First, how can 50 cents worth of plastic inside a 25 cent box, cost this much anywhere on Earth?  Second, how can it cost more in Singapore?  Third, the Zsu Zsu guy is a frickin’ GENIUS!

Newman ! ! !

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 2:04 am

There is no outgoing mail from our building.  The system in Singapore is only one way at residential addresses.   One reason I rarely see mail trucks, is because most residential mail is delivered by scooter.  Imagine a fancy moped with a giant box on the back.  That is how the mail arrives at our building.

When I need to send a letter or mail a bill, I have to find a mailbox.  Assuming Mrs. Stockdale is home, she passes one on her way to the office and does this for me.  However yesterday, I figured out why I can never find a mailbox.  Here’s a picture of one:

The key here is that this is a picture of ONE mailbox.  Not all the mailboxes look like this.  They are all painted differently to celebrate the Youth Olympic Games in August.  I probably walk by fifteen of these things a day and never know it. 

It was all part of some viral marketing campaign gone awry.  http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100106-189979.html  Then, after the graffiti debacle, they did this: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1045048/1/.html 

All I want to do is send a letter.  Does it really need to be this confusing?

Don’t trash the Nati . . .

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

In Cincinnati, we had:


In Singapore we have:

Click on the picture so you can read the story.  I saw this ad on the subway last week and tried to get a picture, but this cranky looking old woman was sitting right in front of it.  She would have made the picture much more interesting, but I couldn’t snap it without her knowing.

Chinese oil spill . . .

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

While you guys complain about BP, the Chinese just have folks clean up their spill bare-handed.


Come on America!

Good Luck ? ? ?

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 at 3:27 am

This morning I went for a run.  Halfway out, I got pooped on by a bird.

I don’t care if it’s good luck or not, either way, it was icky.

Shampoo is not funny . . .

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 12:20 am

The thing I miss the most from the US is humor.  Humor is everywhere in the States, in Asia, not so much.

During an hour of television, instead of going to the fridge for a delicious ice-cold glass of water, watch the commercials.  Almost every single one will have some type of irony, joke, or cheesiness as its centerpiece.  It could be an ad for breakfast cereal, guards to keep the leaves out of your gutters, or maybe even natural male enhancement.  You may not personally find any of these things funny or useful, but the purpose of the vast majority of advertisements is to entertain.  Just look at the Superbowl. 

In Singapore/Asia, the purpose of the ad is to inform.  ‘Didn’t get that promotion, use this shampoo and your ugly damaged hair will be soft and shiny.’  ‘Wear this watch and you’ll look cooler than your loser friends.’   ‘After your son goes to school 9 hours a day for 11 months a year and he gets home from piano and fencing lessons, send him to our math tutor service and he will grow up to be successful.’ 

Although ads on both sides of the Pacific are for products or services to better some important or pointless aspect of your life,  US advertisers use smiles to grab your wallet while you’re not looking.  Asian advertisers, use guilt to make your hand your cash over willingly.  Americans will blindly drink themselves silly in hopes of being like Spuds MacKenzie hanging out with the Swedish Bikini Team.  Asians listen to a guy pretending to be a dentist, telling them their breath stinks and they shouldn’t offend others on the subway.

It’s not just the television humor that I miss.  Laughter is everywhere in the US, be it at work, home, or school.  You can joke around with your friends, your boss, or the polite happy lady, diligently working behind the counter at Lowe’s who can’t get you a new tank of propane without paging the manager four times.  Maybe it’s America’s eternal optimism that keeps us happy, or perhaps our ability to always want to see the brighter side of life, or it could be a deep dark spitefullness that makes us mock others when they fail miserably because they lack talent and determination, or we could just be dumb.  Take your pick. 

Regardless, there is very little humor over here.  Try and quote Animal House, Old School, or the Hangover in a group of Asians or Europeans.  Even if they’ve seen the movie (doubtful), they would never understand why you would inject random lines from a twenty year old movie into a current conversation.  It’s almost a sport in America to see who can spout off the most random movie quote and slide it seamlessly into a conversation.   Just try to play a single round of golf without making or hearing a reference to Caddyshack or Happy Gilmore.

Even if we make the assumption ‘pop culture’ is something you have to be ‘local’ to understand, you’d think you’d still see Asians making other Asians laugh and Germans making other Germans laugh.  Instead, over here, it’s as if everyone carefully considers every word before they say it.  Or perhaps, if they do laugh, it is in the privacy of their own homes with their family and how fun is that?  You could argue this verbal openness is why most of the world thinks Americans are idiots.  I would say it makes us the only ones who are honest.

You would end up in jail if you tried this in Singapore:  http://www.armchaircommentary.com/2010/07/star-wars-on-a-subway-love-it.html

I do need to add, there are other cultures that value humor.  I’ve been spending a lot of time with Australians lately, both playing cricket and golf.  Those guys are pretty darn funny.  They enjoy throwing each other under the bus, backing the bus up, and running you over again – just like we do in the States.  The only difference is, the rest of the world likes Australia.  Somehow they get some magical, kangaroo induced free pass.  Maybe if we had kangaroos, the rest of the world would like us too.   Think about it.

Toasted Ravioli . . .

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

Today, I taught the assistant Stockdale how to make homemade toasted sweet potato ravioli.  We need to work a little on the presentation, but the taste is pretty darn good!

Too bad Mrs. Stockdale is away for another ten days.  When she gets back, maybe we’ll make her another batch?  Or, maybe we’ll make lima bean ravioli?   Only the assistant Stockdale and I will know the truth.

Nothing to see here, move along . . .

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2010 at 3:05 am

Boring few days for the Stockdales.  

Monday, we rented bikes and rode along the East Coast.  There is a pretty cool skate park the little Stockdales enjoyed.  In the US, you would need to sign twelve different forms to even look at this place.  In Singapore, you just let your kids climb down the ladder into the giant pit.

Mrs. Stockdale is back in the States for two and a half weeks.  I think it has something to do with work.  She didn’t say.  It really doesn’t matter to me, just as long as she gets all the stuff I asked for from Target.

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run ? ? ?

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2010 at 3:48 am

This morning I went for a quick jog and came across a poster for the ‘Yellow Ribbon Prison Run’.  I got home, checked out the website, and it was so bizarre, I just went ahead and signed Mrs. Stockdale and I up for the race.


Here’s the decription:

The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run is back with a new twist!  Show your support for ex-offenders who sincerely want to change by purchasing your Yellow Ribbon Shoelace at $2.00 when you register and help us set a record for the “Largest number of runners wearing yellow shoelaces!”. All proceeds will be donated to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

Featuring a unique run route, the signature event of the Yellow Ribbon Project, the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2010 sets a pace unlike any other run in Singapore. It will take runners past several historical sites in the Changi area including Johore Battery, Changi Chapel Museum and Old Changi Prison Wall. As runners approach the finish line, they will enter the conserved old Changi Prison Gatehouse which brings them inside the new Changi Prison Complex.

Themed “Beyond The Run”, the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run is all about giving ex-offenders a second chance to start afresh. By your participation, you are lending your voice collectively to a message of hope for all ex-offenders “to pick themselves up and to get back on track”.

So, in order to help ex-prisoners, we’re going to finish the race INSIDE the new prison.   If they had a sense of humor, which they don’t, the shirt would be the prison uniform.  But, this is the best race shirt ever:

Think of the Children

FYI – I did add the two bucks for the yellow ribbon.  Mrs. Stockdale and I are on a world record streak that can’t be broken.


Mrs. Stockdale does not approve . . .

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

Vending machine haircut for the big little Stockdale – CHECK.

Vending machine haircut for the middle little Stockdale – CHECK.

Horked off Mrs. Stockdale – CHECK.

For the record, Pat did a fine job, and if I had hair, Pat would cut it for me.