On sale

“..that there’s nothing that a little black tape cannot fix… …and that when there’s really something that black tape cannot fix, you need to mark it with white tape”..

I am very chuffed about my first book being on sale from today “at major bookstores”. I don’t know how other authors do it, or what they do, walking into bookshops and seeing their own work on the shelves.

What I’m going to do, is go to Kino and Borders, find the shelf “In My Time” sits on, bring a couple of copies to the bestsellers’ shelves and put them there. You know? So that people think it’s a bestseller? And will also buy? It works you know?

From today’s Straits Times Life!:

Blogger Mr Miyagi pens NS book

From water parades to ‘elephants’ in rifles, Benjamin Lee’s comic book chronicles the ins and outs of national service

by Stephanie Yap, Arts Reporter

IN November 2005, blogger Benjamin Lee, better known as Mr Miyagi, wrote a series of posts about his experiences during a Singapore Armed Forces exercise in Queensland, Australia, which his national service (NS) unit was a part of.

He took the posts down from his popular blog at, however, after The Sunday Times asked the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) what its policy on blogging about military exercises was, leading the ministry to conduct an investigation.

In the end, Lee was given the go-ahead to blog about his national service (NS) experiences, though Mindef did ask him to refrain from re-posting one or two photographs due to security concerns.

Almost two years later, Lee has published a book about NS – with the full knowledge and support of Mindef.

In My Time, a 120-page comic book published by Marshall Cavendish with Mindef, presents NS in a humorous and nostalgic light. The title refers to how former NS men like to boast that things were much tougher back in their day.

The book, which has an initial print run of 2,000 copies, was launched at the Army Open House on Sept 1, and is available at major bookstores from today at $9.30 without GST.

“I enjoy telling army stories, and I thought it would be a good time to put a comic book of anecdotes together since it’s the 40th anniversary of NS,” says Lee, 37, who holds the rank of corporal and serves in the 433rd Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment.

Organised as a guide to common characters and situations that NS men encounter during their years of service, the book makes inside references to water parades, elephants in rifles and the various
“kings” that one finds in a platoon – keng, bobo and topo, given respectively to malingerers, poor shots and bad navigators.

The book’s copyright is held by Mindef, and Lee says that the ministry helped him by supplying military-related photographs, which he used to guide illustrator Chua Jon Depp, a Malaysian artist based in Kuala Lumpur who was recommended to Lee by Marshall Cavendish after no suitable local illustrator could be found.

“He was really helpful… he saved some panels by injecting his own humour and style into the scenes,” says the freelance writer.

Meanwhile, readers of Lee’s blog should not expect to see as much of his trademark irreverence and sarcasm on the printed page. Lee says that the decision to leave out the more negative aspects of
NS was a personal choice.

“I do have darker stories about NS, but I intended for this to be a commemorative book. There are other forums for other NS stories,” he says.

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Tremors II


OK, I got my sleep interrupted by a very long series of tremors, and we’ve just turned on the telly to watch CNA talk about last night’s quake, aftershocks and then this morning’s shaking news.
“Normally our building code is sufficient to build buildings of safety”, says the engineer/professor who’s a guest on CNA right now. So, how safe are we? When do we evacuate? When do we rush down the stairs and stand in the car park, within the shadows of our tall apartment blocks?

How sure are we that the buildings we live and work in haven’t been damaged by the tremors? What’s our building code? Does it specifically say that the building must be able to withstand sways of up to 1m? So many questions, so hard to type. Because I’m sleepy, and I would have swayed as I walked out to get my computer even if there wasn’t a quake anyway.

The engineer/professor also says that we should evacuate to where “only if there’s really open ground”. So, OK, we’ll just wait till the open ground eventuates before we do anything. Personally, I reckon the waves of en-bloc sales do more damage to old apartments here than quakes ever do.

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This just in. Naomi thought the cat was under the sofa rocking it, causing her to feel a little dizzy. Then we found the cat on his perch, and so she asked me to sit on the sofa to feel it swaying a bit.

“Why ah?”, she asked. Being the professional bullshitter that I am, I said, “I think the seat of the sofa sits on the base in an unstable way.”

I sat on the other sofa, which didn’t “sit on a base in an unstable way”, and said, “No, this one don’t have”, and then, “eh? Got”.

For confirmation, we stared at a glass of water on the coffee table, and saw ripples.

Oops, there it comes again!

There are no thundering sounds, so Jurassic Park III is ruled out, and I don’t think our neighbours have bought their 5:1 Dolby home theatre system yet.

Just switched on CNA on the telly, and they say there’s been a quake near Bengkulu, Sumatra at 7.9M.

USGS says its preliminary magnitude is 8.0 and a tsunami warning has been issued.

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Basket, kenah bluff

I just had a funny conversation on IM with a friend that went like this:

D: Hey, I ask you ah, the iPhone is it worth buying?
M: Of course, old technology, but looks beautiful.
D: Yay, I’m ordering one, and choosing the engraving on the back.
M: Order from where?
D: Apple site lah!
M: Got meh?
D: Got!
M: But I thought next year then got?
D: No! Order now, get September 28! Should I engrave my full name or just first name?
M: Wait, I go order also!
D: Yah! Fasterer!
M: Dude…
D: Yah?
M: Where got?
D: Got!!
M: That’s the iPod Touch.
D: Har?
M: It’s an iPhone without the phone.
D: Basket! My friend bluff me!
M: Hahahahahaha! It’s ok, I won’t tell anyone.
D: Wah lao! Nearly bought it!
M: And I nearly got bluffed by you also.
D: Stupid!
M: Uh huh!
D: OK, I’m going to drown my sorrows in Diet Coke.

 7 248 2041 2657 Store.Apple.Com Catalog Singapore Images Ipodtouch-Hero 7 248 2041 2657 Store.Apple.Com Catalog Regional Apac Touch Img Overview-Display

 7 248 2041 2657 Store.Apple.Com Catalog Regional Apac Touch Img Overview-Interface 7 248 2041 2657 Store.Apple.Com Catalog Regional Apac Touch Img Overview-Wifi 7 248 2041 2657 Store.Apple.Com Catalog Regional Apac Touch Img Overview-Downloads

I think there’d be people willing to forgo the phone part of the iPhone and shell out $498-698 for this little wi-fi enabled beaut. Hell I wouldn’t want to be making or taking calls if I had this to play with.

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