Its about ready. When the skin of the snake begins to peel off and even dry out and starts to disintegrate. Generally the diameter of the snake will shrink quite dramatically due to loss of moisture. The jerky will also darken as well and start to harden considerably.

I realise that many of you back home in Singapore will probably exclaim this is absolutely gross and five chili disgusting…but actually salt cured snake jerky is very delicious with congee.

Just try to get over the ichy ichy factor lah.

TIP: Never sun the dead snake without the skin intact. The skin is a protective membrane that protects the flesh from flies that lay eggs that will eventually hatch into maggots.

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‘Trust me. If the shit hits the fan and we have to go to war. YOU DEFINITELY WANT ME ON YOUR SIDE! You want me on your side because you need to shit well in combat and you cant possibly do that if you dont eat well and have to make do with chemical MRE food. You see in war. I make it a point to eat exceptionally well. Coming to think of it, i can literally survive in the jungle indefinitely and I can eat like a king single day….like I said, you want me on your side when the shit hits the fan….I am your best insurance policy for growing old and dying a natural death…trust me.’

But if the leader (hello is anyone at home?) has any cow sense. Surely he would realise that its a phyric victory.

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‘When they themselves make a bubu. They look around and pretend as if this was what and where they wanted to be. Thereafter they expect everyone to experience mass amnesia and move right on as if nothing has happened. But when its comes to others besides them…they beat the shit out of the dead horse as if by doing so it proves something….but what that thing actually is, no one knows. Not even them i suspect.’

The last planter

March 9, 2018

The classical planters way of life is dying. In some respects, he is an abberation that should not have even lasted this long. For one his methods are old and has hardly changed since the period of empire. As for another his patriachial philosophy of how he turns a buck hardly endears him to the modern banker who only cares about the bottom line…..but nonetheless it is a good life.

A simple, unassuming and good life where one wakes up well before day break and never ever ventures out when it is dark and turns in early…..it may be ending, but so long as it last….I am glad to be able to have the privilege to belong to it.

Snake jerky

March 8, 2018

Snake jerky is very easy to make. The most important thing is to start with fresh meat. The other is to have the full blast of the sun on your side. All i do is bung the dead snake in a bucket, fill it with water and loads of salt. The following day I let it hang in the sun.

It has to very strong sunlight. If it is anything less than this, best to throw it out as its unlikely to cure properly and should you eat it, it may make you very sick.

The whole idea is to replicate a dehydrator. Usually it takes about four good sun days to get it just right. Once its hard a board. You know you got it right, but not so hard that when you bite into it your chops cant handle it.

As a rule i dont add flavors like vinegar and spices to snake. My personal take is snake meat itself is naturally spicy and it has its own unique blend of oils that gives it a very unique and special flavor.

First blood

March 7, 2018

Plantation dogs are not like city dogs back home in Singapore. When a dog comes across a snake in Singapore it will rush to inform its owner. The owner will call the one shop solve all problems, the police shop and they in turn will rush to call AVA and they will rush to call the zoo.

But in a plantation. Even if a puppy sees a fully grown cobra. They will go all out. No quarter is ever given. It is to kill or be killed…as long as frontier men, plantations and their beloved dogs exist….this i suspect will be the way.

It all starts and ends with training, training and training.*

*when a puppy is young. A rubber hose is used to irritate it. Once it bites, the handler will struggle with it and after a while he will give in…thereafter the puppy is rewarded with a bite.

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‘Total defense is not something you buy into. It is actually a way of life. That is to say it is something that you integrate into your daily life. Like breathing, shitting or making sure you dont scratch your balls or dig your ass in public. Its not something that you just do only for it to eventually fizzle out just because everyone thinks its not important any longer. That’s a fad, but I am not talking about that. This may come across as very odd and perculiar, but I have observed this first hand in Israel, where ordinary citizens are not just passive watchers. They are actually stakeholders. That is to say, they elect to be in the whole defense equation. I am not saying they dont call the police, they do. Only they, the ordinary citizens seem to understand something very vital and jugular about the total defense equation…they seem to understand, they and only they alone are the first line of defense…the most important line that should never break..that is the point of interdiction….so they train, train and train and they train very realistically with the goal in mind. This i feel is a muscle memory that needs to be developed in Singapore simply because they are so many lazy people out there. It gives me no pleasure to say this, but it is simply the times that we live in that requires this sort of discipline.’

On test balloons

March 7, 2018

If you dont want people to suspect that you are releasing test balloons. Then dont behave as if you are releasing a big fat balloon into the atmosphere just to conduct a test.

Instead make an effort to take firm, clear and unequivocal position that is so crystal clear that everyone knows what is your intention.

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‘Not very long ago. I met a man who complained to me that it was exceedingly difficult to pair up with a decent girl. I asked him why? He said i always seem to get the message crossed. I asked further, please elaborate. He went on to explain that he is usually not sure. As when he test water, it seems what he suspects is rarely ever true. So i told him, why dont you just tell her instead of adding to confusion by testing. He cringed at the very thought and exclaim, no! I cant possibly do that!

I wondered to myself – why not?’

Growing fast

March 6, 2018

Someone wrote to me and asked. How do i stop my mind from growing wild…it seems like i am taken by a wave of emotions and this usually intensifies at night when I am alone with my thoughts.

I told this person she was already ahead of the game. As since she is able to depersonalise herself from the identity of her thought patterns. She realises her thoughts are not her…so this insight is a very good thing. As most people who are caught in this vicious cycle dont even have the benefit of this perspective and that is why they continue to suffer.

Then i went on to share with this person that it is impossible to stop the mind from thinking these wild things. Because these thoughts are like storms. They are very powerful and they have such reaerves of momentum and anything that stands in its way will just be overwhelmed.

I then suggested the only way to try to control these thoughts is to calm the mind by shifting the focus to stillness and this can be done by just focussing on your breathing….soon you will feel the violence of your thoughts subsiding and calming down.

Anyone can do this….you dont even have to be a great master. It is very easy and effective.

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‘Our thoughts cannot be controlled. Infact if you tell yourself not to think about what you dont want to think about…your thoughts can only intensify. Its akin to pouring petrol to try to put out a fire.

It is only when one depersonalises oneself from one’s thoughts that a private space is created between one’s thoughts and the awareness that one is not necessarily the sum of one’s thoughts.

I call this the transit zone….only because I am there and still aware of the thoughts that are tracing like meteorites across the canvass of my mind. But i am also at the same time acutely consciously that i dont ever need to invest any part of my consciousness into these thoughts…I can instead choose not to be part of the drama….that is to say I can just watch them screen before me quietly without feeling upset.

I happen to think anyone can do this….as it is merely an insight. And that is really how it is with the business of life.’

Peace

March 4, 2018

Peace does not imply that one is sitting quietly in a place where one wishes most to be…a paradise without noise, bother or the need to think.

What peace really means is the power to be in the midst of those things and people who we much rather not be with and still have the capacity to remain calm.

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‘Not only does the goal have to be crystal clear, but the means to the end needs to have the same clarity as well. The only reason why one strives to be peaceful and calm is not to dissociate oneself from the world. Rather the quest for mastery over the mind is needed, simply because one desires to interact completely with the world….this is important because if you come across someone who is genuinely in search of peace. You need to stop this person and ask – why are you doing this? If the answer is to run away and shut out the world. Then my feel is that goal is not only completely wrong, but futile as well. Because so long as one lives in whatever capacity. Even as some hermit that is reclused from the world surviving on sunflower seeds…its impossible to stop the world from knocking on your door.’

A man with a big ego

March 4, 2018

When a man has a big ego. His life can only be melodramatic all the time. This is because the ego has a insatiatiable apetitite that requires constant blood sacrifices….and since it is much easier for the ego filled man to put down others than to better them.

What he will end up doing is creating so much schism, divisiveness and friction that in the end he will destroy himself and those who are unfortunate enough to follow him.

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In my mind. The US simply cannot stand by and watch as the rest of the countries sign the TPP. The US cannot afford to do so, specifically their powerful farmer’s lobby will stand to lose so much exports revenue and market share to cheaper Canadian and Australian wheat and beef….at some point, the US will have to join the TPP just to stay in the game.

From my understanding the US being a member of the TPP is as good as a done deal.

On fake news – part 2

March 3, 2018

The most prolific and energetic producers of fake news are those who absolutely insist to everyone including themselves that they and they alone are the true purveyors of the truth. What is even more remarkable about this entire ecology of news being regularly embellished, half truthed and given the spin of the century is that those who are part of the apparatus of lying are actually very sincere and well intentioned…that is because they can no longer distinguish between lies and truth any longer. So they can only believe the lies they tell themselves and others.

This is true of all fake news institutions masquerading as the temple of the truth and nothing but the truth…they all seem to suffer from this one failing.

There are alot of kids and young people in Singapore jumping up and down to try to get food companies to switch their cooking oil to what they believe to be sustainable oil palm.

There is only one problem there…99% of the environmental based problems are actually generated by these so called ‘sustainable’ oil palm producers. As they are so uminaginably big that i will not even begin to recount how spatially big their plantations actually are….only my feel is make sense of what is good and bad palm oil…maybe the focus should shift from what is and is not sustainable to the whole question of scale and size…..you see when it comes to saving people and planet size matters.

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‘I’ve grown hard thru the years. I know I have. I must have. At times I can feel the hardness scrapping against my sense and sensibilities…its like sandpaper against granite. These days I much prefer to keep quiet even when I know that something needs to be set right. Once one has cultivated this bent, its easy to let things slide…one either pretends not to hear the question and if that doesnt work, all one has to do is shift the conversation by asking something like….does anyone know what was the score between Man united and Derby?

You act dumb….you stick to really shallow stuff like whether bubble tea gives you gas or spend really alot of time talking about the philosophy of playing Pokemon and why you believe it restores the human spirit….you do all these things passionately and meticolously….because deep down you’re so defeated by the sheer number of naive and stupid people who don’t seem to want to know the real problem. Why should they? How could they. When they can get it on the cheap from the fast and furious feed of Youtube where everyone goes around talking about their objects of interest as if they’re some rocket scientist sporting that seen it, done it T shirt. When the truth is they barely even scrached the surface….I dont even despise these people. No if anything. I pity them. I pity them all.’

Singapore’s total fertility rate has dropped to 1.16, making it the lowest figure since 1.15 in 2010 and the second lowest ever recorded. The only reason why Josephine Teo can speak so non chalantly about this lamentable turn of events is because firstly, her pay is not linked to performance i.e even if the baby rates go up or down, she gets the same bloody pay!

The second reason why no one is particularly alarmed by this turn of events is because there is attempt to correlate accounting for the total fertility rate with future defense cost. If anyone in government really did that they would be sweating bullets!

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‘There’s something terribly wrong with the picture. This is how i see it. If i hire a planter to manage my estate. I really only care about the yield. If for some reason after a full season and a bit, the yield deteriorates and gets from bad to worse, then i or anyone on the other side of the high and mighty table would most probably ask – do you have a strategy to reverse this slide? Can you share with us your plan?

So I am asking can you share with us your plan?

Do you even have one?

But that’s how one makes sense of problem solving in a plantation. In the case of our abysmal baby birth rates it doesn’t look bad only because there are no real metrics to measure or for matter scale out the losses. So lets be clear. Its not that its not bad…there is simply no means to make sense of the deficit. But if lets say i did an exponential calculation thru a period of time on how this would impact national defense. Then that would be a different matter entirely. Or if i sat with you in starbuck looked into your eyes and muttered as if i was simply thinking aloud – when people dont have kids any more it simply means they dont have faith in either themselves or the future and I dont really know why is worse…then maybe you would feel the weight of this deficit. Maybe you would…and that’s really my point.’

On this subject. I am crystal clear. There is fake news and of course…there is fake news.

If you genuinely want to know how Americans deal with reality. All you have to do is examine the underlying logic of their foreign policy. It begins with the prerequisite of pretense. Americans need to pretend they are eternally innocent no matter how many times they lose their innocence. They are virgins that can be perpetually fucked without breaking their hymen. This controlled state of mind guarantees, those who insist on the intactness of their innocence will believe anything and everything they choose to say or do is just…righteous…and most importantly right. This ability to suspend disbelief is what makes US foreign policy not just a very robust school of thought but state of mind as well. As since one is most insistent on being innocent even the in the face of guilt, that means one can only sincerely believe….even if it happens to be a lie.

Chinese domestic policy does not suffer from the same affectations of US foreign policy. For one it is too prosaic and that vantage by itself almost guarantees the need to come to terms with guilt and culpability, morality fortunately is optional in China, but indepth understanding of dark things is absolutely indispensible. So Chinese domestic policy first requires the repudiation of innocence and the acceptance of guilt as an elemental aspect of governance…it is this aspect of Chinese domestic policy that makes it so chilling and yet effective.