Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 27 2002

I caused a bit of a panic today by sending out a c…

I caused a bit of a panic today by sending out a company-wide email with a link to this website, which calculates the odds of a particular flight going down. If you play around a bit with it, you’ll find that, while flying from Taipei to Indonesia on Cathay Pacific nets you a 1 in 1,267,323 chance of not surviving, and 1 in 1,837,138 of the same on Singapore Airlines, if you fly on China Airlines it’s a much more worrisome 1 in 183,761 chance of not making it to your destination alive. When I got back from lunch today the head of our PR department asked me if I had sold all of my China Airlines stock. I said I figured my co-workers were on a need-to-know standing, and they need to know, especially since all of our company trip destinations, with the exception of one, are on China Airlines. This is in spite of the fact that that particular airlines is conspicuously missing from our parent group’s list of airlines we can use.

It all comes down to money, of course. If the mucky-mucks can save a few NT$ by putting employees’ lives at risk, they won’t hesitate to do so. They’d be glad to hear that many of my friends have said I should take my chances just to see Bali, which is reported to be a pretty wonderful place. We’ll see. I should invite said friends along for the ride, if just for the chance for one of us to turn to the other, be it as we exit the plane in Bali or at 35,000 feet, and say “See? I told you so.”

If it turns out that a PLA missile hit the plane, rather than it just being the result of CAL’s usual incompetence, I might reconsider. Otherwise, I might just tool around the ol’ renegade province by myself for the duration on my motorcycle.

Speaking of motorcycles, a few days ago I was loitering around the balcony on our floor when I noticed a guy downstairs unloading a large, black motorcyle from his little blue truck. He wheeled it into the lobby and covered it with a sheet. Today they took off the sheet and Lo! it’s actually Kymco‘s answer to the impending arrival of larger bikes following Taiwan’s entry into the WTO. It’s a 250cc V-twin, nice and heavy. I doubt it’s very fast, but it looks nice and solid. I’d probably buy one, perhaps used, as long as it rode ok. I wonder if they’d notice if I took it for a little spin around the island- uh, I mean, block. Oddly enough, the larger bikes don’t appear on the website, nor has there been any advertising or promotion to speak of. It makes me wonder if perhaps the authorities concerned are not planning to change any of the existing regulations, under pressure from the gangsters who run the motorcycle industry, the same gangsters who were behind the original legislation banning any tiring competition for the last 20 years. They’re probably hoping that no-one will notice that they didn’t comply with WTO regulations. Sometimes it feels like the Taiwan Strait doesn’t even exist.

I met Dean at the Ruby Tuesday bar, where he was slurping down part of his new Vodka Diet (Slogan: “A Steak in Every Bottle!”) while we waited for Graham to show up. How could I expose myself to the potential wrath of the manager, you ask? Well, simply put, Planet Hollywood was closed, so there wasn’t much of a choice. Graham did show up eventually after a day of frolicking among the hills and dales of Yangmingshan, and we settled down for a second viewing of Episode II. Unfortunately we missed the beginning, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I have come to the conclusion that Jango Fett is the coolest character in that movie, even cooler than Mace Windu. Jango is a cool name, too. I can see why they named that jazz guitarist after him.

posted by Poagao at 3:56 pm  

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