Tuesday, 19 September 2017

nonchalant in a boat on a stormy sea

Note : The preposition in the topic is wrong.
            It should be "being non-chalant, on a boat at a stormy sea"
            But then I just leave it like that without edit.




Sukhoi Su-33 and Mig-29K on board the Admiral Kuznetsov in stormy seas
Photo source : FB page Aircraft of the Cold War




Just now I read this.



I followed these guys for years now, from their start in social media, writing and book publishing.

One small thing which I dislike about these guys is about the "menganjing" or "trolling", but then they always write interesting stuff.

And after years, they fought among themselves.




A writer I liked, publicly post in his FB about cannabis, butterscotch cookies, it pains my heart, simply because my childhood friends, and relatives are victims of drug abuse.


It is a bit like diabetes. During the early years, you joke about it, take lightly of the doctors advise.

Then suddenly, shit happens.

For drug abusers, usually something happened drastically, the same like diabetes patient.




A relative of mine had "psychosis", he heard voices.

The problem with us Malays is that we believe in spirits, "jinns", and spent time and effort focusing on that, forgetting that this is actually psychosis that stems from drug abuse.

What I meant by being "non-chalant on a boat at a stormy sea" is, the same feeling of a father, whom found out that his son had this drug abuse problem, but the problem is so severe, the police had come into the picture and took action,
which at that moment of time, the father can't do anything.


All he can do, is just to watch events happen, unfolding in front of his eyes.

The look on his face, is that "one thousand yard stare" type of look.


And truly, all he did, was just to stare non-chalantly in his sinking boat on a stormy sea, accepting whatever fate.


Looking at that writer, and the article by Pipiyapong there, made me feel the same way like that father of the drug abuser.


Monday, 18 September 2017

why I didn't bother to comment about the recent Tahfiz school fire case?

PT-91M Pendekar, photo source : https://www.facebook.com/tanksbeingtanks/


The answer to the question posted in this entry's topic is : bandwagon

Since I had worked in the fire fighting industry previously, I had friends who shared their opinions on the issue, and I learnt then to keep my mouth shut until the authorities finished their investigation.

By the time it occured, so much noise in the social media screwing the Tahfiz schools, pointing mismanagement, so much bla bla. Suddenly everybody is concerned. Suddenly everybody criticise. There's a newspaper which did a study and showed that more than 200 fire cases involving tahfiz schools, with the effect of indirectly implying poor safety. 

Everybody with their chicken noises. Bandwagon.

And somehow people started checking out fire extinguishers price. Some did buy. But some of them, after knowing the price, I realised that their intention was "hey the fire extinguishers are so damn cheap, why didn't the Tahfiz schools bla bla bla....".

I thought due to this Tahfiz case, the people will suddenly realise and had this awareness of fire safety.

But I was wrong. It was just in their lips. Nothing deep really. The tahfiz case, the fire safety are just something to talk about in their idle time.

When the investigation concluded that it was an arson case, those who criticise like a concerned fire safety activist, most of them didn't apologise but still talk, FB post, and tweets about fire safety in tahfiz schools.

Do they really care?

I think actually most people are just following the bandwagons. By few weeks people will just forget and return to the same old shit again. It is just hype and trendy.

To those who really thought of installing fire extinguishers at their home, here are some contacts of KL fire fighting equipment suppliers.

Unique Fire Industry - 03 5131 2731

SRI (Steel Recon Industries) - 03 8023 2323

Eversafe - 03 8024 9898

Fedapi - 03 3344 6482

Fire Fighter Industry Sdn. Bhd - 03 7962 9999


Just my opinion. Whenever you read the latest news about something, try to exercise some prudence. Try to keep your mouth shut and observe. You think it's clever to be critical.

But then, at the end of the day, you are just hyped by what you read or watch on TV. You are indirectly affected actually. Somehow, it will burn your emotion and you feel unhappy.

So relax, just don't get affected. Sometimes it is best to let few days went by and see what happens.

By this, hopefully you can discern the truth from the fictional reality created by the media and the society's "chicken noises".



Crisis feeds the lunacy
All fear the new machine
Consumed democracy returns a socialist regime

It's laid to rest without contest
All hail the new incompetence
Making you see what to believe
A drone in the world of anarchy

Treachery, mysery, violence, insanity
Scavengers closing in
Covering the truth again
Castrate society
Fictional reality

Insecurity afraid of things you cannot see
Words become the image of the enemy
You cannot dissect what is correct
Vengeance based on how things are said
Can't see your side - conflicts with mine
Frustrations lead to complete demise

Treachery, mysery, violence, insanity
Scavengers closing in
Covering the truth again
Every trial conspiracy
Compassion is the enemy
Paralyse, criticize
Breaking through the wall of lies

Suicidal hierarchy racing in reverse
Everything that's done today will be tomorrow's curse

Screams in my head preceed your death
Can't hold the rage when the truth is shed
Blind lead the blind line after line
In a world too shallow to defy

Treachery, mysery, violence, insanity
Scavengers closing in
Covering the truth again
Castrate society





Saturday, 16 September 2017

i thought i knew it all

Artist: Megadeth
Album: Youthanasia
Song: I thought I knew it all

Transcribed by: Christopher Heer & David Corrales (solo)
Source: http://www.nebula.on.ca/heer/fivemagics/index.html
              http://megadeth.rockmetal.art.pl
Eb Tuning

 
Intro
-------------------
-------------------
-------------------
-4--------3--------
-4--------3--------
-2--------1--------

 
Verse
--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------
-------4/5-------7----3--------7/8--------7----5--
-0--0--2/3-0--0--5----1--0--0--5/6--0--0--5----3--

In verse sing:

Somewhere there's a reason
Why things go like they do
Somewhere there's a reason
Why somethings just fall through
We don't always see them
For what they really are
But I know there's a reason,
Just can't see it from this far




Pre-Chorus
-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
---2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0-----2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0---
-0-----0-----0-----0-----------------------------------------
-------------------------------1-----1-----1-----1-----------
-------------------------------------------------------------
   May ~be     I        don't             like it,            but          I             have   no choice,
 
-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
---2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0-----2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0---
-------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------0------0-----0-----0-----------
-3-----3-----3-----3-----------------------------------------

   I             know     there's      somewhere        someone  hears     my          voice
 
-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
---2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0-----2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0---
-0-----0-----0-----0-----------------------------------------
-------------------------------1-----1-----1-----1-----------
-------------------------------------------------------------

May ~be     I        don't             like it,            but          I             have   no choice, 

-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
---2p0---2p0---2p0---2h3p2p0-----2p0---2p0---0---2p0--2p0--0-
-------------------------------------------------------------
-2-----2-----2-----2-----------3-----3-----3---4----4-----4--
-------------------------------------------------------------

   I             know      that         somewhere,        someone   hears     my     voice


Chorus
----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------
----------------5--------2----------------7---------
-2--------------5--------2----------------7---9-----
-2--------------3--------0----------------5---6-----
-0--------------------------------------------------
 
   I thought I knew it all
                                                            I thought I had it made
  How could it end this way?
                                                             I thought I knew


Then this lyric in the 2nd verse:-

Somewhere there's a reason
Why things don't go my way
Somewhere there's a reason
That I cannot explain
Just like the change of season,
Just may not be my turn
But I know there's a reason,
The lesson's mine to learn  

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Action not words






Dialogue :

[Eve's room. House busts in.]

HOUSE: You gotta tell me what happened.

EVE: You don't really wanna hear.

HOUSE: [undoing her binds] Sure I do.

EVE: You're lying.

HOUSE: Doesn't have to destroy your life.

EVE: I know.

HOUSE: Doesn't mean anything about you. Wasn't your fault.

EVE: I know.

HOUSE: You did nothing wrong. Some jerk hurt you, that's all.

EVE: [sitting up] I know.

HOUSE: You're worried that you can never trust men again.

EVE: [shaking her head] No.

HOUSE: Statistically, there was always a chance this could happen. The fact that it did happen doesn't change anything. World doesn't suck anymore today than it did yesterday.

EVE: I know all that.

HOUSE: [no idea what to say] Then what do you want me to tell you?

EVE: Nothing. I just want to talk.

HOUSE: About nothing.

[She nods.]

HOUSE: We talk about nothing, nothing will change.

EVE: It might.

HOUSE: How?

EVE: Time. Time changes everything.

HOUSE: [trying to shrug it off] It's what people say. It's not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things,... leaves things exactly as they were.

[She looks at him tearfully.]


I received a message from my mom that my stepfather had a stroke.

So I rushed to Gleanagles Ampang.

Turns out, he didn't ate his diabetes medication for two months or so. And during the holidays of Aidil Adha, while visiting relatives at Sentul, suddenly his speech went slurry, he was unable to find words. They rushed to Gleanagles Ampang right away.

The sugar reading was high, that the hospital stabilised him first with insulin and saline. They did MRI. it seems that a nerve around the neck is seen as "swollen". I do not know how to correctly describe it, so I just write here at best.

My mom only info-ed me some days later. And when I arrived, he was able to speak, not only that, he was eating quite "heavily" for someone who had just suffered stroke.

I was there in the room, with my stepdad and my mom, when the BBC news on the hospital's TV, aired the news about Rohingya.

Then my stepdad, spoke and spoke about his opinion on Rohingya.
It felt endless. The speech. As my mom was tired, and I myself was tired too. My wife is still in her working shift so she wasn't in the room.

At first I wanted to correct my stepdad about his thoughts on Rohingya, but, slowly, my rationale sinks deep in my head, it is quite stupid to argue with someone about Rohingya.

What's more if that person just stabilised from his stroke days ago, wasn't it?

Even if I successfully "converted" my stepdad to the good cause, it's not that he will do something good actively for the Rohingyas right away..he just suffered a stroke don't you see?
And not that he will donate or do some active thing to help. Most probably he'll sleep that night feeling tired after the talk, the speech, and worried more about his sugar reading waking up the morning after.

I felt it's a futile exercise, some more after I heard about his logic on "foreigners" in Pasar Borong Selayang. Isn't it that it was actually the locals, looking for quick bucks, that actually rented their "wet-market-lots" to these foreigners in the first place? And now the locals are made screeching noises about it without realising that they're the ones who rented out to this folks?

Then my step-dad got bored, when outside for a puff. Cigarette smoking of course.
My mom just obliged to accompany him, as I was actually going back home then.

While waiting for my wife's shift to end, I went to nearest Cybercafe, and looked at FB.
The first 10 minutes was beautiful as it was full of photos of my nieces, my friend's sons and daughters happy faces.

Then I read some people I followed. Oh, only then I realised there was this noises online about Rohingya's and about Malaysians who disliked them.

What I felt is, the people who made most critics and most noises, are just like the above character who just suffered from the stroke. It's far more different than the people, involved in the NGO's who were actively helping the Rohingya's with effort. Those who did the actual work, their words have more logic, explained by historical facts. The one's hating, just repeat the stereotype, without nothing to learn. The only logic offered is, "oh try to have Rohingya sleep in your home then"?

Did they actually let Rohingya's slept at their home then, to say like that?
I think they just repeat what others said about what others said about what others think and said about Pasar Borong Selayang.

But in the end, no matter what, nothing happens. Just noises. The Rohingya's are still like what they are, the people commenting fell asleep as usual and the world keeps turning.

Actually for me, there's a "hikmah" (lesson learned), it's not every year when Malaysia National Day, Arafah Day (the Islamic day when Muslims are taught they are equal) are celebrated quite close, that the people's beliefs are challenged patriotically, nationally and religiously in the Rohingya's issue.

Another thing I learned, is the word "stroke".

For a third party who heard the word "stroke", it is scary as hell. For a third party, there's no comprehension of mini stroke, TIA (transient ischemic attack, where a part of brain experience temporary lack of blood flow), dysphasia (unable to speak), mild stroke, severe stroke. For loved ones, a stroke is heard as scary as hell.

Even though the one who experience it can be normal days after.

http://www.healthline.com/health/stroke/signs-symptoms-tia-mini-stroke#risk-factors5


Third world countries starved of nutrition. 
Look to the west to end their starvation. 
Skeleton framed figures of what was children. 
Real relief for the sickly

C/:
That's right push your tea tray away from you before you spew up 
It's a fact real life is much more horrible than fiction

That's right turn the switch elsewhere on your telly 
Wasn't it disgusting to view such bloated bellies 
Writhing tortured bodies ant like on the ground 
That's right turn the volume button down

Inhumanities free westerners still know exists 
Do nowt to help the underprivileged 
Action not words are needed to help 
But all they will say is that someone must pay

Third world countries starved of nutrition 
Look to the west to end their starvation 
Skeleton framed figures of what was children 
Real relief for the sickly

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Much ado about nothing / Aspirations




1. Much Ado about Nothing.

My previous blog entry is quite boring and repetitive in some way. Hence this post is to explain the reason behind it.

"Much Ado about Nothing" is a comedic play from Shakespeare which I suggest for you to have a look at.

I've had few Internet friends, and those popular people in Social Media I observed.

A lot of people, gives their commentaries in FB on most events and tragedies that happened in Malaysia. There will be many "Likes" and incoming comments, debates, etc.

But some of them that I knew personally, actually are worse off in real life, some economically, some with their own damned problems of their own.

I'm sorry I wrote this, but my point is, we spent too much time on this Social Media, giving good impression of our appearance and self image based on ideas, words, talks, images, Instagrams, and for what?

For what?, since in real life we are struggling with our own damned problems.

Some wrote about politics, had their writings copied from blogs to blogs, but have to ask for money-loans from friends.

I remembered the time from earliest days of this blog, year 2013, when I had to travel 50kilometers from Kajang to Klang and back forth, daily basis, on my 100cc motorcycle, sometimes enduring rain during the journey.

And I had to work in construction business then which itself is a tiring and stressful job.

And during that time, there were emails, letters, chats from people everywhere, but deep down I was humbled by real life struggles.

And now, being married and committed, I do felt silly when looking back at what I wrote before. I felt it was too "noisy" and if only I could spend time and effort at improving real life things. Only if.

But then, we humans make mistakes, and it is from our mistakes that we learn, which become our solid foundations later on.

Swooning of Hero in the Church scene,  Alfred Elmore, 1846.
Source : Wikipedia

2. Women

There was this talk about men, polygamy and their obsession with women.

For me, personally, I'm 35 now, in 5 years time I'll be 40, hopefully with good health, God helps.

I have dreams and ambitions of my own, to have my own company, and to become a Mechanical IR.

And I'm yet to have kids.

So for me, if there's "opportunity" of whatsoever to have "illegitimate scandals" or legitimate relationship with another woman, I'll be personally honest, it will just ruin me mentally and financially.

For me, it's not worth it. There are other things in life that are bigger than that.
And I'm not gifted with good looks anyway.

But then for other men, that is their own personal choice and their own risk.

As you get  older, be it whether you are male or female, there will be other people who look more charming or beautiful than yourself or your spouse.

As you get older, as time flows. There will be cuter ladies, more charming men.

Somehow, there are greater things in life.


3. Greater things in life

Even though our independence ain't as bloody as other countries, (but there are blood spilled along the way), it is realised upon efforts driven by ambitions and aspirations.

The communist killed because they thought it was a fight against the British. Those who are against the  communist do it for the peace. Everybody believe and everybody fought for it.

Spilled blood and sweat upon the muddy fields of our country, rather than be keyboard warriors and slamming each other, it is better to be thankful and to heed great lessons.

Aspirations drives people. And it built nations.

Malaysia, Happy Independence Day / Happy Malaysia Day.


Into the eighth offensive
Frontline reformed
Artillery that never ceased
In overtures of war

...When cannons fade

Now the guns are silenced
End of hell storm
The final argument of kings
All earth transformed

...When cannons fade

As the silence grows
Steadily replacing
The resonance of thunder
Deep in the soul

Conscience still remains
Horror - amongst the flames
Ashes keep on falling

I close my eyes
And even now
The distant memory remains
Of the last laments
To be played

Discovery Channel's - Surviving the Cut - US Marine Recon

Marines are pushed to unconsciousness in the pool, wrestle 90-pound packs in the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean.
 It's a man-breaking, all-out endurance test that forges top soldiers with unparalleled skills. 
One in three don't survive the cut.

Monday, 28 August 2017

A wigwam for a goose's bridle


Soleirolia soleirolii

One of the things I did last week was to un-install Facebook from my smartphone.

One morning, looking at my FB is the first thing I did when I woke up, and upon realisation, I felt that I'm addicted to this FB, that I need to cut it out.

My other idle mind cheated me, telling me it's no serious matter, so I told myself, if it's not so serious, then un-installing it and to go the whole day offline, should be no problem.

And that whole day was filled with the urge to go online. Then I realised, I am addicted to this, and there's a need to control.


US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven, conquers his day with this one small task in the morning

If you watched the above video, I would like to add.

Not only small things in life matter, it's the small things in real life that matters much.

I was guilty of making noises with own opinions, but then I learned enough to keep quiet even though there was an urge to speak, but deep down, I knew speaking up only spoils things up.

There were many famous Internet people out there, commenting here and there, now and then, but if you knew the real life of them, you'd  be surprised.

You'll felt cheated someway. Because you were attracted to read the famous writing of these people, like my self.

They are actually mundane guys like you and me. It's only because of famous, and in addition what they write seems interesting.

Interesting points about elections, things in social media and life, addicts you and me, but ask yourself,

1. Is this thing going to make your life any better?
2. If I were to cut off this from my life, will my life change for the better?


As I emphasised in this blog quite often, there are things enforced into you, and there are choices you can choose.

You can choose to disconnect and to surge in the real life forward.

There's no need to get emotional over viral things in Net, or over words spoken or written, because, you can choose to switch off the Internet and focus on the real life issues.


Summary points:
1. Make your bed 
2. Find people to paddle with you 
3. Measure the size of heart, not flippers 
4. Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward 
5. Don't be afraid of the circuses 
6. Sometimes you have to slide down obstacles head first 
7. Don't back down from the sharks 
8. You must be your very best in the darkest moments 
9. Start singing when you're up to your neck in mud. Hope for everyone 
10. Don't ever, ever ring the bell


https://news.utexas.edu/2014/05/16/mcraven-urges-graduates-to-find-courage-to-change-the-world

President Powers, Provost Fenves, Deans, members of the faculty, family and friends and most importantly, the class of 2014. Congratulations on your achievement.

It's been almost 37 years to the day that I graduated from UT. I remember a lot of things about that day. I remember I had throbbing headache from a party the night before. I remember I had a serious girlfriend, whom I later married — that's important to remember by the way — and I remember that I was getting commissioned in the Navy that day.

But of all the things I remember, I don't have a clue who the commencement speaker was that evening, and I certainly don't remember anything they said. So, acknowledging that fact, if I can't make this commencement speech memorable, I will at least try to make it short.

The University's slogan is, "What starts here changes the world." I have to admit — I kinda like it. "What starts here changes the world."

Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT. That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com, says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime. That's a lot of folks. But, if every one of you changed the lives of just 10 people — and each one of those folks changed the lives of another 10 people — just 10 — then in five generations — 125 years — the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.

800 million people — think of it — over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world — eight billion people.

If you think it's hard to change the lives of 10 people — change their lives forever — you're wrong. I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan: A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the 10 soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush. In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn't right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500-pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.

But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn were also saved. And their children's children were saved. Generations were saved by one decision, by one person.

But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it. So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is — what will the world look like after you change it?

Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better. But if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world. And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform. It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation or your social status.

Our struggles in this world are similar, and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward — changing ourselves and the world around us — will apply equally to all.

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California. Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable. It is six months of being constantly harrassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships. To me basic SEAL training was a lifetime of challenges crammed into six months.


So, here are the 10 lessons I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that's Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students — three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy. Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surfzone and paddle several miles down the coast. In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in. Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.

For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle. You can't change the world alone — you will need some help — and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.

If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class, which started with 150 men, was down to just 35. There were now six boat crews of seven men each. I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the the little guys — the munchkin crew we called them — no one was over about five-foot-five.

The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the midwest. They out-paddled, out-ran and out-swam all the other boat crews. The big men in the other boat crews would always make good-natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim. But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the nation and the world, always had the last laugh — swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.

SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.

If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough. Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges. But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle — it just wasn't good enough. The instructors would find "something" wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand. The effect was known as a "sugar cookie." You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day — cold, wet and sandy.

There were many a student who just couldn't accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right, it was unappreciated. Those students didn't make it through training. Those students didn't understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie. It's just the way life is sometimes.

If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events — long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics — something designed to test your mettle. Every event had standards — times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list, and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to a "circus." A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.

No one wanted a circus.

A circus meant that for that day you didn't measure up. A circus meant more fatigue — and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult — and more circuses were likely. But at some time during SEAL training, everyone — everyone — made the circus list.

But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students — who did two hours of extra calisthenics — got stronger and stronger. The pain of the circuses built inner strength, built physical resiliency.

Life is filled with circuses. You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.

But if you want to change the world, don't be afraid of the circuses.

At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net and a barbed wire crawl, to name a few. But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three-level 30-foot tower at one end and a one-level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot-long rope. You had to climb the three-tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.

The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977. The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life head first. Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.

It was a dangerous move — seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training. Without hesitation the student slid down the rope perilously fast. Instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.

If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego. The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim.

Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente. They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark — at least not recently. But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position — stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid. And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you — then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout, and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.

So, if you want to change the world, don't back down from the sharks.

As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training. The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles — underwater — using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface, there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you. But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight, it blocks the surrounding street lamps, it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel — the centerline and the deepest part of the ship. This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship — where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship's machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission, is the time when you must be calm, composed — when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

The ninth week of training is referred to as "Hell Week." It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment, and one special day at the Mud Flats. The Mud Flats are area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slues, a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors. As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some "egregious infraction of the rules" was ordered into the mud.

The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit — just five men — and we could get out of the oppressive cold. Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up — eight more hours of bone-chilling cold.

The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything. And then, one voice began to echo through the night, one voice raised in song. The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm. One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing. We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.

The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singingbut the singing persisted. And somehow the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person — Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala — one person can change the world by giving people hope.

So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you're up to your neck in mud.

Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o'clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.

If you want to change the world don't ever, ever ring the bell.

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away from starting to change the world — for the better. It will not be easy.

But, YOU are the class of 2014, the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.

Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.

And what started here will indeed have changed the world — for the better.

Thank you very much. Hook 'em horns.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

walk away

 photo source : https://lightslant.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/the-philosophers-walk/


photo source : http://jamieluy.blogspot.my/2014/08/summer-in-kyoto.html



photo source : https://randomwire.com/walking-the-path-of-philosophy/

Just now, as we came back from work, we had our dinner at nearest Mamak food stall, then straight back home to cuddle with each other in front of TV.

Guess what? There was no ASTRO signal reception, which was quite surprising, since there was no rain and the sky was clear.

Further check with ASTRO customer service, and after few technical checkups, I was convinced that the ASTRO dish, or the wiring was damaged.

The suspect?

We felt angry and screwed, and went to sleep in anger and bitching about the bloody neighbourhood.

That's why, if you followed my blog, I kinda hate Islamic preaching. Because most mis-happenings in my life are due to Muslims. You can call them Malay or what.

I remembered on my last project, where the main contractor's and consultant's engineers, sometimes keep asking for favours, either asking for meal or dinner dining, sometimes asking monetary favours, which did fall under bribery, but then, as subcons, we had no choice but to oblige,as suddenly then our work or approval to do something is made "difficult".

All of those "shitholes" are Muslims.

That's why, for me, religious is personal kinda thing, because people are abusing it and are "abused" themselves. You keep harping about Islamic beauty and all, but then you are not helped by what you see.

So I walk away from these people. 

I go to my surau and prayed, but then, I don't hope much for the Muslim as there are times my slippers got stolen and I had to walk back from the surau to my house barefooted.

I do feel like being in a crisis of faith, like understanding the atheist view, the Epicurus, the agnostics, and in the same time you see all this shit Muslims. 

But then, there are good ones.

There are good people.

There are good Muslims.

 And there is goodness and the only thing to go on, in this life, is to move forward, walk away and focus of the good ones, while trying to footdance in the pathway to avoid those little shits in the walkway.



Tuesday, 8 August 2017

August the 8th



THE POLICE - EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

Tuning: standart(EADGBe)


[Intro]

    Aadd9
E|-----------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------|
G|-----------6---------------6-------|
D|-------9-----9---9-----9-----9---9-|
A|-----7---7-----7-----7---7-----7---|
E|---5---------------5---------------|

    F#madd9
E|--------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------|
G|--------2---------------2-------|
D|----6-----6---6-----6-----6---6-|
A|--4---4-----4-----4---4-----4---|
E|2---------------2---------------|

    Dadd9    D        Eadd9      E
E|----------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------|
G|----9---7-----------11---9--------|
D|--7---7---7---7---9----9---9---9--|
A|5-----------5---7------------7----|
E|----------------------------------|

    Aadd9
E|-----------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------|
G|-----------6---------------6-------|
D|-------9-----9---9-----9-----9---9-|
A|-----7---7-----7-----7---7-----7---|
E|---5---------------5---------------|


[VERSE 1]

                 Aadd9(x2)               F#madd9(x2)
Every breath you take and every move you make
                 Dadd9               Eadd9                F#madd9(x2)
Every bond you break every step you take I'll be watching you
             Aadd9(x2)              F#madd9(x2)
Every single day and every word you say
               Dadd9               Eadd9                Aadd9(x2)
Every game you play every night you stay I'll be watching you


[CHORUS]

              Dadd9             Cadd9
E|-------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------9---7-------------7---5---------------|
D|---------------7---7---7---7-----5---5---5---5---------|
A|-------------5-----------5-----3-----------3-----------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------|
..Oh can't you seeeeeee             you beloong  to

    Aadd9
E|---------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------6---------------6-----------------------|
D|-------9-----9---9-----9-----9---9-----------------|
A|-----7---7-----7-----7---7-----7-------------------|
E|---5---------------5-------------------------------|
   meeee                       how my poooor heart

      Badd9
E|-------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------|
G|-------------8---------------8-------------|
D|---------11----11--11----11----11--11------|
A|-------9---9-----9-----9---9-----9---------|
E|-----7---------------7---------------------|
    aaaaaches                with every steeep you

     Eadd9                 Eadd9
E|---------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|--------11--9-----------11--9-----9----------|
D|------9---9---9---9---9---9---9--------------|
A|----7-----------7---7-----------7------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   take


[Verse 2]

                  Aadd9
  Every move you make,
                  F#madd9
  Every vow you break,
                  Dadd9
  Every smile you fake
                  Eadd9
  Every claim you stake,
                  F#madd9
  I\\\'ll be watching you.


[Puente]

  Eb
  Since you've been gone, I've been lost without a trace,
  F
  I dream at night I can only see your face,
  Eb
  I look around but it's you I can't replace,
  F
  I feel so cold and I long for your embrace,
  Eb                             G
  I keep crying baby, baby please.


[Instrumental]

 Aadd9    x2
 F#madd9  x2
 Dadd9    x1
 Eadd9    x1
F#madd9   x2

 Aadd9    x2
 F#madd9  x2
 Dadd9    x1
 Eadd9    x1
 Aadd9    x2


[Coro]

              Dadd9             Cadd9
E|-------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------9---7-------------7---5---------------|
D|---------------7---7---7---7-----5---5---5---5---------|
A|-------------5-----------5-----3-----------3-----------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------|
..Oh can't you seeeeee              you beloong  to

    Aadd9
E|---------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------6---------------6-----------------------|
D|-------9-----9---9-----9-----9---9-----------------|
A|-----7---7-----7-----7---7-----7-------------------|
E|---5---------------5-------------------------------|
   meee                       how my poor heart

      Badd9
E|-------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------|
G|-------------8---------------8-------------|
D|---------11----11--11----11----11--11------|
A|-------9---9-----9-----9---9-----9---------|
E|-----7---------------7---------------------|
    aaaches                with every steeep you

     Eadd9                 Eadd9
E|---------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|--------11--9-----------11--9-----9----------|
D|------9---9---9---9---9---9---9--------------|
A|----7-----------7---7-----------7------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   take


[Verso 3]

                    Aadd9(x2)
  Every move you make,
                    F#madd9(x2)
  Every vow you break,
                    Dadd9
  Every smile you fake
                    Eadd9
  Every claim you stake,
                         F#madd9(x2)
  I\\\'ll be watching you.
                    Dadd9
  Every move you make,
                    Eadd9
  Every step you take
                     F#madd9(x4)
  I'll be watching you
                     Aadd9(x2) F#madd9 Dadd9
  I'll be watching you




Yesterday night, I woke up in the middle of the night and watched my wife sleeping.
And I remembered, 8th August 2015, 2 years ago I got engaged to this lovely silly snoring angel.

Before I did the tahajjud yesterday and all, actually I took my guitar and played this tune, while watching her snoring in content.

However it was quite awful that today I searched for the correct tab.

Anyhow I wished her today in FB and attached Come Undone by Duran Duran instead.


"We'll try to stay blind
To the hope and fear outside,
Hey child, 
stay wilder than the wind
And blow me into cry"

Friday, 4 August 2017

Our own worst enemy


Just writing some stuff here in my mother-tongue.

A story of Malays in my neighbourhood.

Awal tahun ni, aku pernah tulis di sini, tentang masalah peribadi-perumahan.

Belakang rumah aku ada badminton court, masalahnya budak2 Melayu selalu main bola di situ hingga kerap cermin tingkap pecah. Budak2 berumur 16-18 tahun.

Bila cermin pecah, tak ada ganti rugi, masing2 buat diam.

Tika aku menyuarakan suara aku kepada budak2 tu, aku ditempik. Malahan ada sedikit pergelutan akibat panas hati.

Aku dah mengadu ke maintenance management, no action taken.

Nak tak nak, terpaksa juga keluarkan duit untuk buat besi penghadang ke kebanyakan cermin tingkap untuk elak pecah.

Paling sakit hati, ada satu dua kali, aku dengar budak2 tu menjerit sindir, "siapa yang nak cabar kami berhenti main bola ha?".

Apa boleh buat? Sabar dan doa banyak2.

Akhir Syawal baru ini, aku ada buat rumah terbuka dan ada jiran2 sekeliling yang datang.

Aku terkejut dengar apa yang diceritakan.

Awal tahun ini, MRT Fasa 1 siap,  di mana area rumah aku Subang, kini ada bas RM1 untuk ke MRT terdekat. Dan Julai lepas, MRT siap sepenuhnya sampai ke Kajang.

The catch?

Harga sewa rumah apartment aku meningkat dari RM500 kepada RM1,000 sebulan.

Rumah aku tingkat bawah corner lot,  harga sekitar RM110,000 tahun 2015. Aku bernasib baik beli dengan harga jauh lebih murah dari itu.

Jiran di lot depan rumah aku berpindah akibat tak tahan peningkatan sewa, beritahu aku harga jualan rumah yang ditawarkan tuan rumah, RM300,000.

Kini lot rumah itu kosong tanpa penyewa. Tapi harga sewaan tak turun.

Aku perhatikan agar ramai penyewa Melayu berpindah dari kawasan apartment, termasuklah beberapa keluarga yang anak2nya main bola di badminton court rumah aku itu.

Masih ada budak2 Melayu bermain bola lagi lepas Syawal baru2 ni, tetapi sudah tak seramai dan seganas dulu.

Kini, lebih ramai penghuni bangsa asing, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar yang menghuni kawasan apartment, kerana mereka tinggal beramai-ramai dalam satu rumah, maka mereka mampu dengan kos sewa RM1000 sebulan.

Satu perkara bagus ialah Surau area rumah aku kini lebih ramai pengunjung.
Subuh pun boleh dapat 2 saf, (2 saf = two lines of people praying)
Maghrib dan Isyak dapat 4-5 saf.

My thoughts on this

Aku rasa, walaupun ramai Melayu menyalahkan PM Najib atas kesempitan hidup sekarang, tapi mungkin, we should blame ourselves.

Kalau nak kata ekonomi teruk, ramai juga watak seperti Datuk Vida dan Datuk Aliff Syukri tu ketika ekonomi agak teruk sekarang.

Aku rasa kebanyakan Melayu "mungkin" hilang keberkatan hidup.

Social media

Angkara media sosial mungkin satu punca hilang berkat hidup.

Keluarga artis yang bergaduh pasal karaoke, semua masuk komen dan mengecam.
Isu anak zina, banyak komentar sosial itu dan ini. Berdebat-debat tak sudah.
Tak campur lagi budak2 muda yang suka troll dan joke bodoh bagai.
Tentang filem Dunkirk pun orang ramai sibuk nak mengecam artis itu dan ini.

Komen, pendapat dan berdebat-debat.
But for what?
The feeling of becoming the next literary great?

Aku kini memilih untuk tak ambil tahu banyak berita semasa, apatah lagi nak keluarkan opinion bagai.

Religion

Melayu agak sensitif dengan agama.

Tapi, kalau benar-benar diperhati, kebanyakan orang Melayu ini alim-kah? Atau setakat "sembang-deras".

Kawasan apartment mak aku tiada surau, tapi di kawasan flat bersebelahan, ada satu surau.
Flat tersebut, majoriti Melayu Islam yang "middle-income", berpendapatan sederhana ke bawah.
Yang pergi ke surau, 5 orang. (Yang ini aku sendiri perhati sejak dulu).

Kawasan flat PPR ayah dan ibu mertua aku di Cheras, majoriti Melayu Islam yang berpendapatan sederhana ke bawah. Melayu Islam yang pergi ke surau waktu Ramadan tahun ini, 6-7 lelaki dewasa dan 5 lelaki remaja. 20 orang yang lain, Bangladesh.

Sedangkan di satu area elit di Damansara (berdekatan tempat kerja lama aku), RAMAI ke surau. Kereta-kereta jenama mewah memenuhi masjid tersebut hampir setiap malam Ramadan.

Media bodoh di TV selalu menggambarkan sebaliknya, tetapi itu lah yang aku perhatikan.

Summary.

Kurangkan pendapat, tingkatkan pendapatan. Walk the talk.



Played out, wide off the mark,
Mania develops,
Akin to fiction,
More than to a word of fact.

My own worst enemy.
Life's foul treachery.

Dams of emotion build
A dull and turbid screen,
Cloudlike veils of black
In jungles of hopes oppressed.

So many times,
For no reason.
So many promised punches,
For what reason?

Ceaseless decay,
Parallel obscene and flagrant.
Ceaseless decay,
Restrained my mind coils.







The full speech
Cardigan's Commencement Address by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

Transcript
http://time.com/4845150/chief-justice-john-roberts-commencement-speech-transcript/


The full speech transcript
Thank you very much.

Rain, somebody said, is like confetti from heaven. So even the heavens are celebrating this morning, joining the rest of us at this wonderful commencement ceremony. 

Before we go any further, graduates, you have an important task to perform because behind you are your parents and guardians. 

Two or three or four years ago, they drove into Cardigan, dropped you off, helped you get settled and then turned around and drove back out the gates. It was an extraordinary sacrifice for them. They drove down the trail of tears back to an emptier and lonelier house. 

They did that because the decision about your education, they knew, was about you. It was not about them. 


That sacrifice and others they made have brought you to this point. But this morning is not just about you. It is also about them, so I hope you will stand up and turn around and give them a great round of applause. Please.



Now when somebody asks me how the remarks at Cardigan went, I will be able to say they were interrupted by applause. 

Congratulations, class of 2017. You’ve reached an important milestone. An important stage of your life is behind you. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you it is the easiest stage of your life, but it is in the books. 


While you’ve been at Cardigan, you have all been a part of an important international community as well. And I think that needs to be particularly recognized.



[Roberts gave brief remarks in other languages.]


Now around the country today at colleges, high schools, middle schools, commencement speakers are standing before impatient graduates. And they are almost always saying the same things. 

They will say that today is a commencement exercise. ‘It is a beginning, not an end. You should look forward.’ And I think that is true enough, however, I think if you’re going to look forward to figure out where you’re going, it’s good to know where you’ve been and to look back as well. 

And I think if you look back to your first afternoon here at Cardigan, perhaps you will recall that you were lonely. Perhaps you will recall that you were a little scared, a little anxious. 

And now look at you. You are surrounded by friends that you call brothers, and you are confident in facing the next step in your education.

It is worth trying to think why that is so. And when you do, I think you may appreciate that it was because of the support of your classmates in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the dorms. 

And as far as the confidence goes, I think you will appreciate that it is not because you succeeded at everything you did, but because with the help of your friends, you were not afraid to fail. And if you did fail, you got up and tried again. 


And if you failed again, you got up and tried again. And if you failed again, it might be time to think about doing something else. But it was not just success, but not being afraid to fail that brought you to this point.



Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you.

I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. 

From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. 

I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. 

Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. 

I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. 

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. 

I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. 


Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.



Now commencement speakers are also expected to give some advice. They give grand advice, and they give some useful tips. 

The most common grand advice they give is for you to be yourself. It is an odd piece of advice to give people dressed identically, but you should — you should be yourself. But you should understand what that means. Unless you are perfect, it does not mean don’t make any changes. 

In a certain sense, you should not be yourself. You should try to become something better. 


People say ‘be yourself’ because they want you to resist the impulse to conform to what others want you to be. But you can’t be yourself if you don't learn who you are, and you can’t learn who you are unless you think about it.



The Greek philosopher Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ And while ‘just do it’ might be a good motto for some things, it’s not a good motto when it’s trying to figure out how to live your life that is before you. 


And one important clue to living a good life is to not to try to live the good life. The best way to lose the values that are central to who you are is frankly not to think about them at all.



So that’s the deep advice. Now some tips as you get ready to go to your new school. Other the last couple of years, I have gotten to know many of you young men pretty well, and I know you are good guys. But you are also privileged young men

And if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you are privileged now because you have been here. My advice is: Don’t act like it.




When you get to your new school, walk up and introduce yourself to the person who is raking the leaves, shoveling the snow or emptying the trash. Learn their name and call them by their name during your time at the school. 

Another piece of advice: When you pass by people you don’t recognize on the walks, smile, look them in the eye and say hello. The worst thing that will happen is that you will become known as the young man who smiles and says hello, and that is not a bad thing to start with.

You’ve been at a school with just boys. Most of you will be going to a school with girls. I have no advice for you.

The last bit of advice I’ll give you is very simple, but I think it could make a big difference in your life. 

Once a week, you should write a note to someone. Not an email. A note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes. 

Talk to an adult, let them tell you what a stamp is. You can put the stamp on the envelope. 

Again, 10 minutes, once a week. I will help you, right now. I will dictate to you the first note you should write. It will say, ‘Dear [fill in the name of a teacher at Cardigan Mountain School].’ Say: ‘I have started at this new school. We are reading [blank] in English. Football or soccer practice is hard, but I’m enjoying it. Thank you for teaching me.’ 

Put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it. It will mean a great deal to people who — for reasons most of us cannot contemplate — have dedicated themselves to teaching middle school boys. As I said, that will take you exactly 10 minutes a week. 

By the end of the school year, you will have sent notes to 40 people. Forty people will feel a little more special because you did, and they will think you are very special because of what you did. No one else is going to carry that dividend during your time at school.

Enough advice. I would like to end by reading some important lyrics. I cited the Greek philosopher Socrates earlier. These lyrics are from the great American philosopher, Bob Dylan. They’re almost 50 years old. He wrote them for his son, Jesse, who he was missing while he was on tour. 

It lists the hopes that a parent might have for a son and for a daughter. They’re also good goals for a son and a daughter. The wishes are beautiful, they’re timeless. They’re universal. They’re good and true, except for one: It is the wish that gives the song its title and its refrain. That wish is a parent’s lament. It’s not a good wish. So these are the lyrics from Forever Young by Bob Dylan:

May God bless you and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Thank you.