Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true ** probably true

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.
sometimes you just gotta stop and say 'wuh?'

In other news, I've no idea what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Be a good father, sure. Be a good husband and son.

But also I think somewhere I'm also supposed to be happy, and have a personal purpose beyond familial duty.

I'm good at what I do (when I'm allowed to do it); contrary to what you might believe from reading this blog, I'm a good writer and can translate that into marketable copy. I know retail intimately, and customer service, and actually enjoy retail and customer service when I am allowed the latitude to make it work the way it's supposed to.

That's really enough for me, from a professional aspect. I just hate it that my talent and experience is constantly second-guessed and belittled, and when I turn out to be right, the Powers That Be conveniently forget the fact that I told them so.

So anyway, yeah. Wuh?

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Pink Tyranny Is Over...

But the wounds will take time to heal. I apologize to those who were blinded/emotionally scarred. I can only say that it will never, never happen again.

Xiaxue I am not.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bad, bad idea

I thought it would be funny to change my template to pretty pretty pink, sort of a continuation of the joke about having to be more like xiaxue to become a editor. Ha ha.

Now I'm nauseous and my eyes have begun to bleed.


Went to Funan today and now have wireless! Of course the signal doesn't actually travel far enough to get to my home office, but at least I can slack on the couch while I blog. Before now I had to cram myself in a tiny corner next to the television, and had to lean to the left if anyone wanted to change the channel.

Connecting was needlessly complex, though, and eventually required me calling Starhub... is it just me, or do they write those manuals specificaly to frustrate the end user?

In other news, dubya seems to be having a hard time of it back in the US (cue false sympathy). According to Yahoo news, his approval rating has been below 50% for weeks. Gee, some buyer's remorse going on? Too late now, Red States. You rode the elephant, now you get to scoop the poop.

As the war in Iraq drags on and American soldiers continue to get killed for a cause that was controversial from day one, I guarantee his approval rating will continue to slide. The problem is, he doesn't care. He doesn't have any more elections to win, now does he?

The best that can happen is that any proposal he tries to push through gets stalled in Congress. It's about damage control, now. Bush doesn't have to worry about re-election, but thankfully the house and senate do. And since only 15% of Americans believe that Congress is doing anything that directly benefits the American people, maybe it's finally time for American government to start shaking off the bush 'compassionate conservatism' pall.

Oh, and where the hell is Osama?

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by

Which just goes to show you, no matter how hemsem angus and I are, pink is just not our color.

Saturday. I remember when Saturdays were about sleeping late, eating sugary cereals, walking around the house in my boxers and watching sci-fi movies till about three, then going out to the bookstore, having a late late lunch, watching a movie, going home, taking a nap, then going out to a club.

What a slacker.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why I can't be a editor

Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.

jim said...
"you'd need to be an "award-winning" blogger and also probably a photo of yourself decked up in pink on the top of your every other page.

plus probably coz she was one of the people who was at the meeting/drink session which spawned off the tomorrow idea."

Well, jimmy, never say never. Pretty pink picture, check. Now must bribe some organization to award me with something asian. Next, must invent time machine or else drug and brainwash all attendees of tomorrow conception orgy-- uh, meeting/drink session.

This is not a dig a xiaxue...

...but why is xiaxue an editor at To my knowledge she has never posted anything there. Ever. Like, ever.

Technically speaking, I deserve to be an editor at more than she does (d'you hear that, powers-that-be?). No only have I contributed my own witty witty stuff, I have upon occasion (okay twice I think) even submitted (gasp) someone else's post. Someones who were almost as witty as yours truly.

Also I am kind, loyal, thrifty, good with babies and dogs, and have a better-than-indifferent hygiene record.

What more could ya want?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Take this job and...

So I haven’t posted in a while because I’m getting hammered at work. To make a long story short, the MercerMachine is ready for a change. So if anybody wants to hire a kwai ang mo marketing manager with rather good copywriting skills and a cheerful disposition, just drop me a line. Pay is no issue; will work for dignity.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Sunday Morning News

Latest Headlines:

SPG talks to TNP, but I don't know what she said 'cause I haven't left the house to pick up the paper yet.

Bugis Junction: Former Japanese red-light district. By way of a nice article from the Japan Times Online. So when you go to eat at Billy Bombers, think of the Karayuki-san.

Don't touch the girlies in S'pore, says the New York Daily News. At least not in a business meeting. Wait 'till later that night at Orchard Towers. Then, ask them if they've had their dinner first.


Special Feature Re-revisited: Another S'pore expat. The Screwy Skeptic resides in Chicago, is called Ang Moh Zha Bo by her Singaporean relatives, wonders whether she should come back to the Lion City, and apparently has access to a hookah. Well, Screwy, if you do, take my advice and leave the hookah in Chicago.

Abuse the Machine: Last call. Due to the underwhealming response to the 'Abuse the Machine' Contest, this will be the last week. Currently Little Miss Drinkalot and Cap'n Intrepid are tied for first place, and may well have to share the prize. How they work out who gets to wear the t-shirt on what day may be problematic.

Advice Column: SomethingSticky has a new advice columnist. So don't be shy, just leave your questions in the comment field. You'll soon be receiving timely advice.

That is all.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The triumphant return of Blogdog!

Blogdog returns
Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.
Back by popular demand, Blogdog (aka Angus) has chosen to share his canine wit and wisdom with a needy blogosphere.

So, without further ado, I present to you the first installment of 'Ask Blogdog' (but since no one knew about it, I've had to make the questions up myself).

Dear Blogdog,

I have never gotten along well with my parents, but lately they have been very nice to me, talking about buying me a car for my graduation, etc, etc. What's going on? Should I trust them?


Suspicious in Shenton Way

Dear Suspicious,

When the hairless hind-walkers offer you a treat to go into the bathroom, don't trust them! You will soon be wet and smelling like a bad imitation of jasmine or lavender, rather than your normal wholesome just-rolled-in-something-rotting odor.

If they do manage to trick you, be sure to bolt out of the room at the first opportunity and roll yourself dry on their beds. And don't let them forget the treat.

Dear Blogdog;

I'm going the the Bloggers.SG convention next month, where I will finally meet BloggerX face to face. We've had sort of a flirty relationship for months now, and while I'm excited to meet him, I'm also afraid. What if he's ugly, or creepy?

Signed Toa Payoh Trepidation

Dear Trepidation;

When first meeting anyone, bury your nose right in their crotch. That will tell you everything you need to know.

Dear Blogdog- I work so hard and yet all I ever get is complaints. No one seems to appreciate all the effort I go to at work, at home, even at the parent teacher association. What should I do?

Frustrated in Farrer Park

Dear Frustrated,

Who can say why they hover around waiting for you to poop, only to scoop it up in a plastic bag and throw it away? The main thing is you got to poop on the grass instead of having an accident on the carpet, and nobody can take that away from you.

Got a question for Blogdog? Don't be shy, just leave a comment below.

Friday, June 17, 2005

JOURNALISM SHOCKER: TNP fails to cite blogger source

So in Thursday’s edition of the new paper, on the front page, top left corner:

"The S’pore cabby who cares. He’ll give 50% discount if…" and then it says to turn to page 10. I’m thinking to myself, ‘gee, this sounds familiar’. I turn to page 10. And ta-da, a two page article on the CAREBBY. Here’s a quote:

"You can call this cabby Mr Discount. And he’s a celebrity of sorts in the Internet world. Cabby Tony Eyo is a hit in local online forums and blogs."

And that’s it. No citing of sources. No mention that Hang Yong was the first to write about it, or that was the first to pick the story up via Lancerlord on June 11th; five full days before TNP. To my mind that runs pretty close to plagiarism. If you agree, you can address your comments (civil ones, please) to the journalist responsible, Esther Au Yong (

If the story is newsworthy enough to be picked up by a print publication, then the originator of the story deserves the simple respect of a citation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hot fresh interview, straight from the oven

Without further ado, I give you the long awaited interview of the Facetious Cap'n Intrepid!

The Official Interview Game Rules1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.”2. I will respond by asking you five questions — each person’s will be different.3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1) You have been chosen to participate in the next season of the reality TV show 'Survivor'. What is your strategy? How many people will you outwit, outlast and outplay?

2) Sarong Party Girl and xiaxue are in a baby oil wrestling match. Who would you bet money on? Who would you like to see more skin from?

3) If you could be one fictional character, who would it be? If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

4) Who has been the greatest personal influence in your life and why?

5) Boxers or briefs? Alternately, corset or teddy?

Bonus Round: Is there an Intrepidette in your life? If so, what attracted you to her? If not, would you consider doing as Sandralicious and triple period have done and advertise on your blog to win a date with the Cap'n?

Saturday, June 11, 2005


This is for the three people living in Outer Mongolia that haven't heard about Sarong Party Girl posting nude photos on her blog. To sum up the debacle in a couple rambling sentences, urbanmalebitch writes about it, cowboycaleb posts it on, and a few vociferous cretins complain. Anonymously, of course, as in addition to being cretins, they're also cowards.

Here's the deal: Michelangelo carves nude statue of David, we call it art. Davinci sketches the nude male form, we call it art. Botticelli paints bare breasted, voluptuous maidens, we call it art. We celebrate these and thousands of other works of art dealing with the unadorned human form; we consider them treasures of our species.

SPG posts a very tasteful, professional black and white nude photo of herself, one that was obviously carefully planned, lighted, art-directed with thougtful consideration to composition and form, and it gets called pornography.

So what is it, then? Is it that only dead white men can create nude art, or is it that SPG prefers living white men?

Grow up, vociferous anonymous cowardly cretins. Nobody made you click on the link. You weren't coldly, calculatingly stalked by a nude photo of an attractive female. It didn't leap on you out of the bushes, a puffy-nippled ambusher, catching you unawares. No, you went looking to be insulted, shocked, outraged, so that you could indulge in that most Singaporean of pastimes: Complaining.

The world is a big, big place, and Singapore is terribly small. Almost as small as your minds. The fact that SPG unabashedly shows her body and talks openly about her sexual preferences (knowing where she resides and what sort of reception she will get from narrow-minded, bigoted creatures such as yourselves) only serves to point out that not all Singaporeans are content to, sheeplike, blindly accept this society's rather haphazard mores.

You hate that, don't you?

Well, that's too goddamn bad. And here's another thing to keep you up nights, you dumb SOBs: under our clothes, we're all nekkid. EVEN YOU. You came into the world naked, you dolts. Nudity is only 'dirty' if/because we choose to make it so.

And as for sexual preference, the truth is you dislike SPG not because she wants to sleep with white men, but because she doesn't want to sleep with YOU.

Now go play in traffic, and stop bothering those of us who have two wits to rub together.

The Saturday Morning News

The Morning After
Originally uploaded by

Latest Headlines: MachineBoy and Big Bird and an empty bottle. The shame.

News News: The New Paper forgot to use the word 'SHOCKER' on their front page today. How are we to know whether there are any lurid stories in this edition? So irresponsible.

Special Feature 1:
Sarong Party Girl says 'size does matter. I've never seen a 2.4 inch dildo.' Also, SPG bares all (again).

Special feature 2: Expat at Large is back, after Lycos
hijacked his website. That'll teach him to buy American.

Special Feature Recap:
Elyrie added to the list of young female Singaporean expats. She's in Washington, D.C. Sadly, no mention of promiscuous roomates, but read anyway as she has rather more than two thoughts to rub together.

Advice column: Hie thee to a nunnery!

Health: Reason #93728 why Little Miss Drinkalot cannot lose weight.

Opinion Forum: God, I miss real Tex-Mex. If one more person tells me that Taco Bell is Tex-Mex, I will tie them to a chair and force feed them moo goo gai pan, chortling all the while and repeating 'It's Chinese food, you know?'

Random Horrific Link: Barb Jump

Friday, June 10, 2005


The Seething Masses
Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.
Apparently there is a band called Energy. Apparently they are from Taiwan. Apparently they are freally freaking popular.

Apparently I am oblivious.

Anyway, they're at HarbourFront Centre tonight signing autographs for their new album 'Final Fantasy'. Hey, isn't that title sort of, uh, taken? Never mind, they're a BOY BAND!

The photo shows only one fifth of the should-be-seething-but-actually
-patient masses.

I'm getting old.

In other news, I mourn the death of all that is noble, intelligent and meaningful. As usual. When did we settle for mediocrity? Yes, I have been listening to Leonard Cohen again. 'Everybody Knows' to be precise.

'Everybody knows that the dice are loaded/everybody rolls with their fingers crossed/Everybody knows that the war is over/everybody knows that the good guys lost...'

Aargh. Who'd have thought that seeing teenagers waiting for what I suspect are talentless hacks, their adoration palpable, would bring on this existential hum? Tonight I feel that somehow as a race we are diminishing ourselves, generation by generation. From Beethoven to the Backstreet Boys. From Michelangelo to Mondrian (and worse). From Shakespeare to, oh, god, pick your talentless hack. Hell, close your eyes and run down the new fiction aisle at Borders, knocking books off the shelf as you go. Please.

Bah, humbug.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Give a maid 4 days off a month? 'Unthinkable' says real bitch.

Tonight on Channel five, they featured emails from people weighing in on whether to give maids four days off a month. Someone named 'Fisty' opined that it would be unthinkable, as maids might run around and make friends with males.

Please, God, let karma be a real force in the universe.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Little Miss Drinkalot: Interview with the MercerMachine

The own-self sabo own-self interview, which the lovely, talented, perspicacious Little Miss Drinkalot was kind enough to put to yours truly:

At 7:15 PM, Little Miss Drinkalot said...

Ok, I am going to jump queue, cuz MM easy to ask questions. :)

MercerMachine, here are your questions:

1) You mentioned "horrible flipper-like appendages". I take offence. Why are flippers horrible? Flippers are cute. You know, like Flipper the dolphin.

2) You claim Singlish is a Frankenstein's monster. Please name the corresponding body parts for the following phrases - a) "Wah lao eh!!!" b) "Ah bu den??" c) "You see here got, got. You see here no got, no got."

3) I forgive you for not wanting to give your mom a mammogram. But name 5 people whom you would like to give a mammogram to. Why? (And Mrs Machine does not count, ok?)

4) You're in marketing. I need advice. Should I buy chicken eggs or a slab of pork?

5) You talk about racism in Singapore. I think the fact that there is tolerance here in Singapore is far better than shooting each other's guts out. What is the worst example of racism you've witnessed in your life?

 Okay, here goes:

1) You mentioned "horrible flipper-like appendages". I take offence. Why are flippers horrible? Flippers are cute. You know, like Flipper the dolphin.

I thought his name was flubber. Or am I getting my Disney franchises mixed up? Nothing is wrong with flippers per se, unless you like, wanna open a door or use a keyboard, or pick yer nose. Especially that last one. I would really miss mining for the green gold.

2) You claim Singlish is a Frankenstein's monster. Please name the corresponding body parts for the following phrases - a) "Wah lao eh!!!" b) "Ah bu den??" c) "You see here got, got. You see here no got, no got."

a) Wah lao eh (exclamation points optional) obviously dug up from a Laotian graveyard. From it's forceful nature and according to my Taber's Medical Encyclopedia of Quackery, wah lao eh is either a hemorrhoid or ear hair, as this is what you say when you find out you've got it/them and realize you've suddenly become an old bastard overnight.

b) Ah bu den (question marks required) According to the guy in the guard shack downstairs, this is the body part you invite people you are not fond of to kiss.

c)you see here got, got. you see here no got, no got. This would either be the presence or absence of breast enhancements (thus the double got/no got).

3) I forgive you for not wanting to give your mom a mammogram. But name 5 people whom you would like to give a mammogram to. Why? (And [redacted] does not count, ok?)

Unofficially, 1. Milla Jovovich, because while she's hot, there isn't much there and so my job would be quite easy and I'm a lazy sob.

2. Neil Humphreys, because guys get breast cancer too, and who knows, maybe he's been nice enough to develop it for me, thus leaving me as the heir apparent of ang mo singapore satirism, and, uh, three other people. Next question!

4) You're in marketing. I need advice. Should I buy chicken eggs or a slab of pork?

Listen, in the long run sure you cold buy one other the other, and be mildly satisfied. But for a truly 'wow' breaking of your fast, might I suggest you buy both? Consider it an investment in your future gastronomical happiness. In fact, for only a little more, I can put you into the latest model of *toast*. Now this is a craze that's sweeping the nation, I tell ya. You put a little butter on it, you put a little jam or jelly--oh, but here, let's make it easy. We'll just get this shopping cart here and go aisle by aisle. You brought your wallet, right? Good. Have you heard of yoghurt? I've got a friend who...

5) You talk about racism in Singapore. I think the fact that there is tolerance here in Singapore is far better than shooting each other's guts out. What is the worst example of racism you've witnessed in your life?

On a serious note, I have been personally touched by violent racism. My aunt was killed by a black man who, when caught, told the police that he'd just decided to kill the next white person he saw. That'll teach my auntie to go to the corner store to buy a carton of milk.

I would never claim that America is in any way superior to Singapore when it comes to race relations. I would say that I don't understand how some Singaporeans can be so casual about racism.  Someone referred to my son as a 'tsap sing' (sorry about the spelling) He didn't see anything wrong with, in essence, referring to MachineBoy as a half-breed bastard.

As I've said in other places, I don't understand how anyone can be casual about racism, because when I was growing up, my generation in the US was the first to benefit from a real concerted effort to reach kids with the message that we're all equal, whatever the color of our skin. In the US, racism certainly exists, but I don't think anyone thinks of it in a casual manner, be they racists or anti-racists.

Well, they're pulling the microphone away from me now. Thanks for the interview!

The Official Interview Game Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions — each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

From a real poet

(Shamelessly lifted from mr brown, this poem describes perfectly what it was like for me when MachineBoy was first born, and he and MrsMachine were both lying there exhausted in the hospital bed)

The Saviour

I will draw heavy wagons around you tonight.
I will station large men in high towers.
I will call God to hurl down thunder and lightning.

I will speak slowly in a calm voice.

I will build large sirens at the gate to our city.
I will surround us with barbed wire.
I will shine torches in the faces of all who pass by.

My eyes will not blink.

I will listen carefully to stories concerning the activities of heroes.
I will dig deep trenches in firm clay.
I will wear armour removed from the shoulders of beetles.

My back will be held straight.

I will collect wood to be used in the lighting of fires.
I will paint bold signs in red paint.
I will loose fast dogs to hunt in long grass for intruders.

I will ask you not to be afraid.

Glenn Colquhoun From Playing God

Random shut up and write link: Zoetrope Virtual Studios

Saturday, June 04, 2005


And the rain waits, gravid and still
For crumbling leaves and cicada shrill
To tempt it down out of its leaden gown.
Another day.

Porch lights burn through the night
Yellow, rancid, offering empty welcome
Moth flick, dusty wings circumscribing heavy air.
Another night.

Hovers the rain, coy, scenting this slice of August,
A rolling bruise on the sky. The asphalt heat haze,
The tar incense, the flaking paint and crazed mud cracks
A thousand desperate letters, o my love please come back-

Another day.

Random intensely personal, sometimes painfully poetic blog link: the world through apricots, like he said

The Saturday Morning News

Originally uploaded by littlejennifer.

Latest headlines: MachineBoy is still cute, wonky tong is actually a porn star, and little miss drinkalot is now a editor at large.

All is right with the world.

Special feature: 'Singaporean girls in faraway lands'.
fool of a took resides in the land down under (along with her rather frightening, rather promiscuous roommate), flyingfaeries muses randomly in london, and wonky tong finally breaks it off with her own (rather frightening, rather promiscuous) roommate in canada.

Advice column: Don't eat the yellow snow, experts agree; never play cards with a man named Doc; and never go to bed with someone who's got more problems than you.

Random horrific link:
Chainsaw the Children

Thursday, June 02, 2005

sgblogconspiracy: you've only begun to worry

So SHINE, a teeny-tiny tentacle of the Cthuluesque government is going to provide refreshments for the Singapore bloggers convention. The conspiracy theories are rampant. Surveillance cameras, positive identification, blah blah blah. It all misses the point.

The point, dear stickyites, is that they are providing REFRESHMENTS. THINGS YOU PUT IN YOUR BODY. FOR FREE. They know that no self-respecting Singaporean will turn down free food/drink. Diabolically clever, they are.

You see, once the attending bloggers have consumed the fruit punch and mini-chocolate chip cookies, the least of our worries will be nano-tracking devices. In actuality, ingesting these ‘tasty treats’ could lead to far, far more frightening scenarios:

Frightening Scenario #1
We all wake up in a blogging re-education camp. Six months later, when we are returned to the world, all our posts revolve around themes such as, "The Government and you: Forever" or "Questioning and/or mocking authority is for the diseased of mind"

Frightening Scenario #2
Some weeks after the convention, all attendees suffer a frightening metamorphosis in which both hands become horrible flipper-like appendages. All our posts look like this: "v.nnloavdsjfnkjvds nk dmjhgfddf rt f yuuyi hrdesxr"

Frightening Scenario #3
Much like the movie ‘The Stuff’, bloggers cannot get enough of said tasty treats, and will do literally anything for more, making them incredibly pliant to the demands of SHINE.

Sure, go ahead and laugh. But I’ll be bringing my own snacks, thank you very much.


After careful consideration, I’ve realized that some of my dear readers believe that I’m too mean, harsh, and/or too much of an asshat. Which is fine. But some have intimated that (gasp) I might not be funny! This strikes me to the core. (See this post)

Therefore I am calling for all and sundry to abuse moi—that’s right, take your best shot. BUT: You must do so in an amusing fashion. You funny, me laugh. You not funny, me cry and call a guy I know named Guido who does things to kneecaps.

The meanest/funniest entry wins a t-shirt emblazoned with the following:


(or an alternate slogan of appropriate villainy. Open to suggestions.)

This masochistic contest will run until the day before the boggercon. I reserve the right to have impartial judges make the final decision as to who wins (anyone interested, please contact me)

The prize will be awarded at next month’s bloggercon, with appropriate kowtowing by yours truly, right before we are all rounded up and put into a blogger re-education camp.

Let the flying barbs of wit commence!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.
How bad ads are born, part 2:

Client: we sell at $8 each. I want to get people to buy many at once, though.
Copywriter: Okay, we can offer them a volume discount.
Client: No, the price is $8 each.
Copywriter: So no volume discount.
Client: Right. But I want to get people to buy many at once.
Copywriter: …
Client: You’re the advertising genius, right? You figure it out.
Copywriter: Okay… I have one idea. Maybe they won’t do the math….

bad graphic designer. go to your room!

How bad ads are born:

Client: I want to use the tagline ‘have a head for maths’. Make the visuals fit that, okay?
Designer: Okay.
Client: also, your quote is too high. I can only pay half that.
Designer: (sighs, mentally checks his savings account. Sighs again) Okay…
Client: also, I need this for the magazine by three o’clock today.
Designer: (trying to decide where to hide the body) Okay.