Friday, December 30, 2016

On to part 2! like i mentioned previously, this post will be more for thoughts and feelings regarding some (relatively) recent experiences. keywords are friends, car, judo, and not necessarily in that order.

starting with friends, there's this thing that says if you're friends with someone for 7 years or more, you'll be friends for life. i would like to strongly contest that. i have 2 examples...one of which is directly related to me. if you remember, i had 2 close friends from my class in JC. we went went to japan together for our grad trip 3 years ago. in the past few months, i'm starting to think that our friendship is all but gone. for one guy, it's because we had a disagreement, which was kind of indirectly caused by his ex. issues with her, to be precise. it was never really resolved, and the first time we met after that (which was about 9 months later, in late november or so), it was awkward. there's this distance now, and we're not as close as before. as for the other guy, he's good at heart, but sometimes the things he does and certain aspects of his character have me shaking my head in disbelief. he's almost every stereotype of the loud ugly cheapskate ignorant singaporean. i can handle him in small doses, but even that is proving a bit too much now. at present, i'm a bit ambivalent about these friendships. we definitely had good times...but that was in the past. as the years go by, i think that we're gradually having less and less in common. i guess i'll give it one last try. the previous try (aka. the last time we met) didn't go very well. i suppose i should try to catch them individually.

but even if i can't salvage it, i shouldn't feel too bad. after all, even friendships of up to 30 years can be destroyed if the conflict is serious enough. such was the case in the judo world. i'm not part of this, seeing as i've only been practising for 11 years. but yes, some of the elders who were friends are no longer on talking terms, because someone was power-hungry and stupid. that's a bad combination if there ever was one. while on the topic of judo, i firmly believe that there is no future for singapore judo. not with this administration (or any possible permutation of the people) in charge. compared to 3 years ago, the state of the sport is dismal. back then, we still had somewhat of an asian presence. these days...it's barely south-east asian. i'm no longer affiliated to the federation, so as long as i don't participate in any JUA-sanctioned events, they can't touch me. besides, what's the worst they can do to me? suspend me? ban me? NOT AFFILIATED, so i don't care. they can strip me of my qualifications, which is no big deal either. i resigned my referee license, am no longer actively coaching, so it's of no consequence. at worst, they can take my black belt away...my SJF black belt, that is. fortunately, i still have IJF and kodokan certification, which has not been awarded in singapore for a long time.

the other thing that makes me think that judo it's on its way to worldwide decline is the recent updating of the rules. the rules are now much more simple...perhaps too simple. i guess the IJF is trying to make it easier for casual spectators to watch and follow, but i think there's a point where simple becomes dumb. without going into the technical details, i'll just say that perhaps not refereeing any more is a good thing. so...what's left in judo for me? not much, frankly. it's literally the next thing on my priority list to go if need to drop anything. i think i have to make peace with the thought that i won't be getting high dan grades in this lifetime. if i can go to 5th by the time i'm 50, i'll be more than happy. for now, i guess it's dropping by the judo clubs whenever i'm free, or if/when they need me for something.

previously, i thought i'd already worked out the car issue. use the money to renew the COE, then drive this current car for another few years until it dies and has to be scrapped. my cousin told me it may not be that simple. quick background: when deciding on which car to buy, we generally go for lowest depreciation, which is calculated by (amount paid - amount returned to you at end of car lifespan)/number of years you drive the car. for this current car, that works out to about $8500/year, which is ridiculously good by singapore standards. if i were to renew it for the next 10 years, it would be about $6000/year over that time period. but my uncle said that cars will typically break down very seriously around year 12 or so. it may then not be feasible to send it for repairs, as buying a new car may be cheaper. a similar honda civic is depreciating at more than $10000/year these days. it doesn't seem economical. as such, i've expanded my scope a little. but before that, let me just quickly outline my 2 approaches. the first approach is to look for a car with 3-4 years to go, and drive it to the end of its life, similar to what i did with this one. the second approach is to look for an almost-new car, and drive that to the end. first instinct would probably be to ask, why choose an almost-new car over an older one? well, it depreciates less due to the longer time. for a car that's about 8 or 9 years old, the benefit is that it costs cheaper upfront. but the downside is that it can only be used for so long. if i could, i'd go with the almost-new route. problem there is that the upfront cost is staggering. if at all possible, i'd rather not take another loan.

putting the money issue aside first, i have to admit that i'm quite taken by the honda vezel (no it's not a typo of vessel). it's a hatchback/SUV type of car. quite newly introduced too, i think. earliest registration date i can find for a second-hand model is late 2014. though it looks tall, rugged and sporty, its engine capacity is surprisingly lower than that of my civic. i am quite intrigued by it, because most models feature keyless entry, push-button start, and bluetooth connectivity to the stereo and possibly car phone. not to mention it looks pretty good, too. however, if i change to something that's not a civic, i'll definitely miss the digital speedometer. and as a minor aesthetic thing, i like my single-row license plates. the other models all necessitate double rows. well, my current thought is this: try for civic first, then jazz, then vezel or other japanese cars, and finally continental cars. the vezel is actually plausible, depending on whether i can source for the required funding. but then, i should remind myself not to get in over my head. i'm paying several bills now, and if i want to include a loan for the car, i'll have to rework my budget. guess what i can do now is to do my homework and see if any good deals come up.

-random thought of the day: Going back to lab tomorrow.-

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