Saturday, October 29, 2005

Getting an off day

Has it been mandatory for the employers of Singapore to need a law to give their employee a day off or to compensate in lieu of it? This has been one of those questions that had been raised with the recent headline of a possible legislation to be passed. No, we are not talking about you and me, the happy employee of Singapore which during bad time, will gladly bite the bullet when time is bad in the form of pay cut and CPF reduction while patient enough to see wage rise and bonus as a possibility just because that times might have been good, but they are not good enough.

No, I am talking about day off for maids. The staunch defender of household cleanliness, the nanny of the next generation of young Singaporean, the all-in-one wonders that do your groceries, cooking, laundries and even dishes. And yes, they do windows too…..

For those who slog so hard to make the household livable (trust me, I have no maid and I am the constant receipiant of the pig sty award from my mother) And for some, even going oversea might have been a problem as the maid is suppose to pack her passport for her.

I would think that the next generation of our NS boys would have a hard time unless they are allowed to bring their maid along with them.

But yet, if you just pick up the evening tabloid frequent enough, you would see that the pages have dedicated quite a splattering of space for the maids. In fact, if not for the media frenzy and all the maid related story, our tabloid might just run weekly or become yet another morning news with all the somber news of the day. (Yes, I read that trash and then some, if you have a problem, dial 1800-3825633)
If it is not another case of maids getting pregnant thanks to the friends that they have, it would be how they managed to slice and dice and even burn their employer up, or maids running away or worst, sleeping with their employers, torturing the kids and yes, employers tormenting their maids.

Which if we were to read too much into it, it seems like maids are trouble and the employers are the demon that torments, which made me checked my location if I am in Singapore or if I had sunk to hell without knowing.

Now, we all know that it is the exception that gets into the news; the old adage that dog bite man is not news but man bite dog is applies here. In general the maids are here to make an honest day living just to send off the meager earnings back home while the employers here are just looking for cheap but reliable help to make sure that their house is not in shamble.

Giving someone a day off meaning a day that you do not get to control and that they might be given in to bad influences. If that is the case, I do suggest that the proponent of that point stays home and keep a tap on their maid 24X7. If your maid goes to the market, supermarket and fetch your kids to school and then back, they are exposed to all the other maids, good or bad, given a chance to mingle with the opposing sex which might end up becoming their boyfriends and probably even fuck buddies which might fathered their children.

Or maybe what the employers really feared is that if they were to run lose on their off day, when they actually couldn’t care less what kind of company their maids keep or who they sleep with as long as it is done outside the house and not with the sir of the house.
They are a pragmatic lot, they are worried that their $5000 deposit being forfeited. Believe you me that if they happen to see their maid dead, the only concerns is if they would need to pay for the funeral arrangement and would the 5k be forfeited.

This is nothing new and in fact, being dug out again with the recent legislation of foreign workers, which requires their employer to buy medical insurance for them in the even that they felt ill. The whole idea is to have the amount of this deposit reduced or to be converted to a compulsory insurance premium that could cover in the event when either party defaulted 1 way or another. That however, takes the money away from our coffer and I would be pleasantly surprised if it is not thrown out of the window of MOM together with the person with the audacity to even suggest such idea.

Anyway, I guess it is only fair that if we ourselves are not expected to work 7 days a week and are renumerated when we do, shouldn’t those that work for us be accorded the same treatment?

I guess this is something that the conscience of the employers should answer. If the conscience of theirs worth more than just $5000.

Friday, October 28, 2005

For all its worth

I am glad it is not less....

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

Thanks, Iris...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What am I doing here

Just realised after boarding the bus this morning that I was supposed to be on leave. Heck, too many things left unfinisihed. So I decided to just go with the flow and head on down to office.

Have some time to catch up on the news and back in the office to at least catch up with some of the work still left undone. Only to realised that have another meeting which went on till lunch.
However, still got a call from home and was reminded that I have not decided on the colour scheme, hence theis week will be another wasted week. Yeah, right. Thats really a perk-me-up to have in the morning.

The meeting which did not went too well as the phone system decided not to work on duplex mode but uneventful otherwise. This was followed by a department lunch whereby we get to all sit around to have a little chit chat with our visiting boss from HQ, it was also the same place that another colleague of mine is having her farewell at another table. Just wonder that when it is my turn, will I actually have the fortune to have people which I call friend to actually go for a farewell lunch and not one of those contrived departmental thingy.

Starting to feel like I should have been home only to realised that it is probably better off at work of which I can complete the task that I need to do rather than having to face with some task which I cannot complete and a situation that is slowly unravelling what little patience that I have left in me. Either we get that darn house painted or somebody let up or I am really gonna blow....

It did not get better at the end of the day whereby my mood was fouled for the rest of the night and I am just quietly sulking and typing it all out.

Tomorrow will be a full day seminar at Grand Hyatt before another Saturday back in the office for some unfinished business which could had been done last saturday........

This weeks sux and I think next week is gonna get progressively worst.......


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thrice-born Trinity

Yupe, this is the number of time that I could still recount restoring Triniy due to 1 problem or another. And in case you are wondering, Trinity is not Neo's mainsqueeze in this case, she is my computer. I enjoy giving quirky names to my computer. It was Skynet then Trinity. And if you must know, my wife's PC is affectionately knonw as Volkswagen.

Trinity was grouchy for the past few month, refusing to boot and citing missing NTFS.sys ever so conveniently. I had to do the ultimate... reformat......So far, so good. At least you see this blog coming off Trinity.......This came after I finally fixed up Volkswagen's refusal to boot up... The caus? Speakers that doesn't seems to just speak, but suck out every functional capability of poor little Volks......And to think we were so close to calling it quits and upgrade her.

Just hope that she stay this way till I have enough spare cash to give her a new lease of life with the AMD64 processor, another 1 more GB of Ram and a new graphic card which can render all the FPS in their true glory........

Some thoughts and a new look

For those that only start visitng this page recently, first of all, a warm welcome and hello. For those that had been visiting since day 1, this is actually for you.

First off, thank you for actually bothered to read thoughts that I have, some dark, some satirical. And those who commented, thank you, for words of encouragement and comments to make me write better.

No, I am not closing this down. More likely to tell you about this new look. First off, the words should appear bigger to make it seems that I am writing longer. Actually, the length of entry is about the same as I am normally spent after 1 1/2 page.

I added links to some which had linked tome. If you think there is some link you like to see here, prey tell. I have added the link to which is a business venture of Mr Tomato75 and his partners. The link is just below the advertisment link on top of the Google Ads. And No, Paddy, I am not going to charge you for that, rest assured.

You are always welcome to drop me a mail to talk about anything under the sun. I included not 1, but 2 of my email address, both which I checked regularly if not daily.

All in all, do let me know how I can be better in both my post and to improve this page. And that if you have something to say, just say it, I might not agree but I will not take you to court.

A little bit about myself: I was almost a Poly drop-out which spent too many years for my own good in the military, if you find my english bad, my apologies as I am using this as a way to improve my bad english and sometimes mandarin. Online, I hang out either in SPUG forum or in a online game called Maple Story. Who I am in the forum is no great mystery and who I am in Maple-sea on the server called Aquilia, I will leave that unanswered for now.

Lastly, welcome, enjoy, be comfortable, and don't hesitate to drop me a line or a comment.

Chickened by the flu

Maybe it is due to my sickness, I was very concerned that I might have come down with flu, which I did, after revelation by the doctor. But while what bought me down is nothing more than the common flu, it did set off some small alarm and that I come to realize that despite all the advancement we made, our conquest of Earth and the inner planets, we are nowhere near today as we were half a century ago into ridding the existence the one common bane in life, the brother of Death, Disease.

It is probably ironic that portray in Orson Welles’s work “War of the World”, whereby the invading aliens which destroy cities at will and tearing through the armies like putting aside toys, were to succumb to virus and to die without a fight. That gave the phrase,” The meek shall inherit the earth.” a whole new meaning and prospective. To think that a race far superior to us were to be overcome by something so small and ancient really put our own superiority into a new perspective. And to think that, at the onset of the 90’s, we believe that we mastered disease and that we believe that the advent of antibiotics would win it for us once and all and that we are left to battle aids and cancer and once that done. We would be able to make mortality especially to disease something that is rare if not a chapter in history. How ironic is that what we had almost consigned to history came back and bite us hard and to make that old maxim that history can and will repeat itself.

The greatest threat might not come out of H5N1 or its deadlier, mutated of-spring but our pride and greed. Nations had feared that the revelation of the occurrence of the thread might threaten the standing of their nation and that some poultry producer in Indonesia had even managed to blacked-out the news of the avian flu situation in Indonesia and the whistle-blower was even fired for informing the situation to WHO. This is just one of the many cases that was found splattering over the media when the avian flu was nothing more than an Asian concern. And as long as it remains that, the world can watch on, ban poultry import and just go on with their business. Which raise this question that does nationalistic pride over-rule the well being of its citizen and the influential lobbyists are allowed to let their private agendas and greed be fulfilled at the expenses of people’s life?

But when birds flew northward and westward into Turkey and Russia, things stopped becoming a detached topic on how disclosure would be. We suddenly see that the avian flu is a global pandemic. Medicines such as Tami flu is now being considered necessary for mankind’s survival and that the bottom-line and intellectual property which caused the Pharmaceutical giants gazillions of dollars not withstanding. They need the medicine, they need it now and they need a lot of it. Which make Asian Nations realized that the pills they tasted in the name of common market, protection of intellectual property tied their hands save their own people is now being disregarded by their advocators are bitter and hollow, unlikely to be a cure and now like a placebo in face of a terminal illness. This is not unlike the situation that is being faced by the Aids epidemics faced in Africa whereby countless of children suffered while being paid lip services and all the advanced to fight that deadly plague made little headway in that continent. Which begs the question that is our life cheaper than theirs? And also another question which will be that, should Dengue Fever takes root in Italy and Califonia, would a vaccine and a quick cure be developed due to market demand?

While the world is getting smaller made apparent by virus spreading without boundary, the chasm is widening between those that can move and shake the world and those which had to pay the dear price and sometime with their life in the wake of all the moves and shakes. Advancement of humane being….probably till the bitter end of obliteration.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I know that something was wrong with myself for the past 2 days when my head felt heavier. Today was really bad that I felt groggy and even sounded dfferent.

So, after a while in the office, I decided to call it quits and went to visit the company's doctor. got the rest of the day off as MC. Had a good 3 hour worth of sleep and that, while I still feel like shit, at least I am getting better.

Friday, October 21, 2005

7 points is not enough

It seems like our ongoing needs to improve us has even taken its toll in the arena of free speech and press freedom and that we are now 7 positions better from last year as shown in this report by Reporters sans frontieres.
We should be proud as even the great US of A slide 20 places down.

This makes it a surprise to all during the farewell speech of the outgoing American ambassador to Singapore that we Singaporean should really open up and give us the citizens more freedom of choice and expression. The passage is here:

Singapore has its share of challenges as well. Singapore has flourished over the past 40 years, but is a 20th century model adequate for the 21st century? Singapore is grappling with the definitional questions of what kind of society it wants. Remaking its economy is, in a sense, the easy decision. Shaping a political system to reflect the needs and aspirations of its citizens is more difficult and more sensitive. What are the bounds of expression? What say should citizens have in their government? In this era of Weblogs and Webcams, how much sense does it make to limit political expression? Remember, we have the death of distance. There are no islands anymore. As part of Singapore’s success is its strong international links, it is surprising to find constraints on discussions here. In my view, governments will pay an increasing price for not allowing full participation of their citizens.

This is while the diplomatic immunity card is still in force which practically is a get out of jail free card. Even so, this speech was uttered just before he is flying back to land of the free whereby minority elected president can just sits fine doing pretty much nothing besides going to Camp David, his ranch and also to invade countries which failed to yield Osama and the WMDs. For all fairness, the full test of the speech is here. We can probably write this off as a criticism by a departing friend in good faith or as the current administration which an article in Littlespeck has eloquently put. And which while it’s all quote-worthy, I find this little excerpt rather eloquently spoken about how to actually inspire people.

I close with this excerpt of a review of a book by the late Dale Carnegie: "...Success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to the ability... to arouse enthusiasm among people [by] dealing with them so that they feel important and appreciated...handling people without making them feel manipulated...You can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person's point of view...You learn how people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment. For instance, 'let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers,' and 'talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person'."

But it seems the criticism is not the only voice that dissent our state of affair. Should the words sting, I guess action would more like a slap, and in this case, a slap in the face not unlike a spurned lover walking off in disengagement. The name of this love interest is Warwick University of UK, which spurned the idea of a branch campus in Singapore after the result of a vote by the senior lecturers of Warwick against setting up in Singapore. Seems like our limits of expression as well as reluctance to allow demonstration on campus is a damper. Not to mention that smoking pot will not be granted as a special privilege or as an educational pursuit.
That might really set us back to further attracting the good money we get from the influx of students in the region which we will readily give PR status and jobs so as to reduce the brain drain despite the fact that some may very well view us as a mere stepping board while the natives not recognized as main stream are better off spreading their wings in a land far from home only to be labeled quitters by a country that has no place for them.

Meetings or mindless doldrum

It is something that is unavoidable in working life and in fact, meeting is something that is so ingrained that we have to attend meetings even before we started our working life.
And if you asked to people what is the single factor that they can attribute to as a total waste of time, meeting would top the chart with email as a far second.

Is meeting truly a waste of time? I don't think so, or rather, if meetings being done right should work in solving problem, brainstorming and gathering ideas. I believe in keeping a meeting to the points of discussion and to keep to the timing. Leaving all the other topics raised either to the end or to arrange another session outside should the scope is out. All these are something which I take a leaf from my boss which while believe in meetings in keeping to the meeting to make it work.

However, having attended enough meetings, it is more like siting there listening to others speaking without engaging brains, while some just sit there and zone out. It had happened often enough that meetings are often a mass orgy of blame shifting and finger pointing.

There are also the time tested shouting match to get your points across. Waiting for your turn is so passe.

What I would end this entry is a little verse in mandarin written by someone else. I have no idea who wrote it, so, if you are the one, thanks and my apologies for not able to accord you my thanks for this apt little piece.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

swinging us voters

It is really no big mystery... and all the writings are on the wall.
The election will be coming soon.

How do we know that?

Just look at the papers and you can see a sea of rosy pictures about how employment figures is going up, the pay setting to be increased next year, the prices of COE went down and more precincts scheduled for upgrades. In fact, even the PM has opened his golden mouth that the election could be anytime.

All these are not lost on our dear oppositions, which even started their campaign to garner more votes and also to get funds by selling newsletters and whatnots.

However, I really do think that they are not just lacking in funds... they lack a lot more.

Some of the more common failings:

1). Smile: At this age of GST, do you think your scowl will get us to empathize with you? You might think that you are the crusader that will rescue us from the evil crutches of abject slavery and that we owe you a living, but in truth, we owe you nothing and that it is our vote that will get you into the office. So, please smile more and shake hands, walk the ground and do what politicians since time immemorial has been doing, kissing babies and shaking hands has been the sign of politicians getting close to the people, walking the ground, cliché as it all may sounds, it also shows that you care and willing to connect. . And that is the only way that the second step can be realized

2). listen: Now that we see you, Mr. Opposition. Maybe you will like to listen to us. Listen to the topics that riles us and to let us know you have our interest at heart. While you can still get on your high horse about how Singapore is not so democratic compared to some developed nations and that some polls showed that we have no human rights, get off it and start telling us where the beef is. That is more important. Show us how by electing you that you can get us more goodies and remember those who promise us the bread gets the vote.

3). Work together: We know have that illusion of grandeur and that you are insurmountable, if that is the case, please wake up and smell the coffee, you are probably asleep or should have been sent to the rehab for the last 30 or so years. You guys have been trounced and trounced bad. And if you think that play fair is something that you are entitled to, I will suggest that you not to take up any more election, in fact, you should not even take up any sports and I sure hope that you do not gamble in casinos (IR in Singapore context) because you are playing against the house, and there is absolutely no way that the odds is not stack against you one way or the other. There will always be irrefutable reasons that the election boundary needs to be re-drawn and that more GRCs needs to be formed or get bigger. Your only hope, get together, cover all, and I repeat, all the grounds. Now is not the time to let small things like ego gets in the way of that coveted seat in that place. There is always plenty of time to have infighting and bickering after the contest is won, if you win it, that is.

4). Play Nice: Or appear to do so, using low brow tactics like asking your opponent where is the money or to show you the money is not being nice, especially to the public’s eyes. In fact, it is down right stupid. Saying stupid things without first consulting your lawyer as to if you can get sued for saying that is foolish as well, remember, this is a campaign, not WWE. This is definitely not a No-Holds-Barred contest. Remember high-jinxed antics and shenanigans not well thought out will get you donating to someone’s charity under a judge’s order or spending time in Changi chalet with no hopes of ever contesting ever again.

5). Have Carrots: We are all suckers for freebies and promised goodies, while I know that the coffer is not deep, do give up some goodies that people can use and do remember, you can always promise and that it will only come back to haunt you during the next GE if your cheque bounced.

6). keep it clean: Do remember that all the money has to be accounted for and that by no chance, someone with other than a pink IC should be linked to the funds of your campaign. And make sure that you have no traffic offence, no record of any misdemeanors, did not cheat at the last exam, did not cheat with your maid, co-worker or your best friend’s wife/husband, be even more straight laced then the pope. If there is just 1 blemish in your record, trust me, they will find it and show it for the world to see. On top of that, Do not retain any porn on your computer. If there was, remember, no technology is advance enough to restore a hard disk smashed into 700 pieces and the platter burnt and demagnetized. Trust me, I know.

All I all, I wish you luck in your endeavors, not that I am going to vote for you, in fact, I have not even see that damn thing you called vote since I hit 21.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

X-ditious blogs

It wasn’t that long ago when someone just branded blogging with porn and guess what? Just when we thought that the whole debacle with racist blogger has finally come to an end, some blogs which were a bit racy made it to the press and was given quite a bit of space. No, blogging as a form of expression be it the bearing of one’s flesh or the telling of the more raunchy opinion and sexual conquest be it real or fictional, should not come as any surprise.

But such content be it new or 3 yrs old, will be consider the mother lode of media fodder to be feed to the public. What it does is to post such articles, claiming journalistic right and moral high ground. Those uptight prudes out to save the world from moral decline will spend time to write high brow article to condemn the bloggers which show and tell…. While those dirty old men will gladly pay the newsman to read and to take it all in, articles, bosoms, tirades and all.

And I am pretty sure that those bloggers will most likely be hauled in for their sex-ditious blogs as they probably ran afoul of the law here which will interpret their acts as publishing and distributing objectionable material. That is unless the letter of the law has been changed recently.

However, all I can say is that this is a crying shame. The epitome of entrepreneurships is being snip in the bud all for some letter of law which has seen the better of its day. Do I sound ridiculous, allow me to elaborate.

We are now in the age of knowledge whereby information is power and in a sense, money. Imagine that the press can generate so much hype in Singapore, The hype that they can generate worldwide. All we need to do is to ensure that no minors will incidentally venture into those sites with objectionable content. Rather than removal, I advocate control. Control in the form of age check and verification through credit card which has been an industrial trial and tested method. And of course, nothing so good and having page loads in the range of the Toto jackpot should be allowed free, lets charge them and if this is good, people will pay for it. In fact, they can venture beyond picture and words, they can have live telecast, 1 on 1 “conversation” as well as prodcast of them either talking or engaging in activities. This will certainly spice up the dismal showing of Singaporean’s performance in certain nocturnal activity and probably boost our falling birth rate by a bit. All I am saying is that, if we can legalize Geylang, we can legalize this. And in the mean time boost our GDP as well as to solve our population problem.. Killing so many birds with just a few stones and of course, those bloggers income will be taxable making this a win-win situation for all.
While some find bearing themselves to the world on their blogs gratifying enough, we can always add another dimension by making it more rewarding in so many ways. And to the prudes that will protest, think of the greater common good…….

Did I signed up for this?

It has been more than 4 years since I left my previous job and came to where I am today.

I could still remember the long hours spent in the server room and the odd hours which I require to wake up. Working from 6 to 12 means 6am to 12 midnight.... could still remember how thankless and sometime the feeling of helplessness when facing a situation knowing that it is just 2 different routes to hell.....

Could actually remembers the people who started off colleagues and ended up as friends and people which I regarded highly turns out to be a major disappointment.....And how putting to a place of eminence or duress is the easiest a person shows you what they are made of and their unmaking.

It was that depressing and worst at times to time when it is only by yourself that you have to take up the burden and handle the responsibility. Time when I reached Australia at 6 in the morning with a bad case of flu only to hear that the servers in Singapore that just went production were down and nobody was able to connect to it.

It was also a time that I lamented not taking up offers that came my way which could have seen me away from this shore to a possibility of better prospect.

If there is a few things I was taught in all this.......

Adversity might drown you, but they make you who you are and leave you better of the wear.

Loyalty to people might be a worthy pursuit, selling your hearts and soul to a will always sell yourself short

Do your honest day job and tomorrow will always be another challenge.

To those that I know back then, all the best in whatever you do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


This is the one entry that I shall use mandarin not because of the need to flaunt my minute mastery of my mother tongue, but rather, it is a feel that English might not help to convey some of the more poignant points across. If I can, I will revisit this in English, or someone can help me out and do that.

没有把李总理的演说听完。所以,这篇很有可能跟演说重点有所不同。 但是精英和精华的两极论,只是把一个开埠 以来, 华社所存在的问题具体化。 可能说两极太沉重。 但滋事体大, 叫人怎敢乱言。

精英和精华并非朝夕,两极的厚冰,也决非一日之寒。 即使我也感觉到,这分化已经根深蒂固。 我本身既非精英, 也和精华拉不上关系。英文半桶水, 中文更加不入流。 这一篇是我以我有限的中文打出来的。只希望没把我的中文老师给气死.

我认为,精英并不是指一些英语一流而不通中文,而精华并不代他们对英语一窍不通。 根本的差异其实是在于他们因为家与教所培养出来,在思靠与处世方面,有着本质上的不同。早报就于星期日, 刊登出应磊小姐的一篇感言。

代出了精英和精华在就学时,已经存在的不同。 这种不同,只会在职场上,更加具体化。 只因为,道不同,不相为谋。无法有共同志向或习气的人是很难拉在一起的。



Monday, October 17, 2005

Guess I am a bit batty....


Congratulations! You scored a super 61%!

Cool, calm and powerful. Whilst your actual super abilities may not be
anything too dazzling, you have earnt the respect of both friends and
enemies in response to your amazing fighting skills, strategic combat
and experience.
Luckily you have access to the greens which can fund all your majorly
cool gadgets, vehicles and weapons! Also, you're reluctant but still
accepting to the idea of having a teammate/side-kick, which just makes
everything a whole lotta fun, doesn't it now!
On the down side, you've probably suffered some sort of trauma at a
young age (that's why we don't talk to the old man near the swings,
Similar to the Wolverine, your past is a base for your current
motivation, undertaking some kind of personal vow in search of justice.
All in all though, you're one tough nut. There's not a lot of people
who have the minerals to go up against you, and you're experienced
enough not to get cocky and let the little things like never finding
happiness get you down!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 42% on Heropoints

Link: The Which SUPER HERO are you Test written by crayzee69 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Romantic cartilage?

In case you are wondering, it is still not time yet for you to start calling SANA, and this has nothing to do with joint conditioning and my wife, not me is the expert on that.

This post was actually something which transpires between me and my wife. Nope, no raunchy details here, we were talking.......In case you find it weird, it is something that 2 person or more can do, mostly on a daily basis, it involve using mouth to produce audible and comprehensive sound which we call language. If you still have problem understand all that, I suggest you go back to school.

It was actually in light of the mounting of issues at home that I realized that, there is a simple, relevant analogy to it all. An analogy which my wife understood easily and I hope that most people do gets it. This is actually more in line with a recent thread in SPUG which talks about married man in general not being romantic.

The question which I would like to post back is, would you expect your cartilage to be romantic to you?

Why cartilage? That is the crux of the question. Most of the time, should the married couple stay with their in-laws, normally the father-in-laws are the easier one to deal with. They normally keep to themselves and leave everyone alone or are normally the person which is neither see nor hear. I am no expert in fatherly figures as I did not have 1 throughout much of my formative years.

What I can share with you is the other in laws normally known as mother-in-laws. There had been more material, either in real life or reel life about the conflict between the wife and the mother of the husband. They say that art imitates life, so all the stories in real, reel or books are probably in a way, not too far from actual facts that plays themselves day in and day out in a family near you.

Now, imagine that under one roof, the relationship betweens the wife and the mother is like 2 joint, and right in the middle of it, is the cartilage which is filled by the husband. Not the most enviable position, I would say. And why? The cartilage in this case, plays the roles of the be all and ends all to reduce all friction between the 2 joints. The cartilage is the soft liquid that takes in all the impact between the 2 joint and acts in the best ways possible to prevent the 2 joint from crashing. And what happens when the cartilage is worn out? Let's just say major pain. And that most of the time, it is beyond repair.

Doctors would have told you that the only way is through operations or regular injections of cartilage to ease the pain. But in the case of marriage, it is either that both side rethinks and note of their behaviors or in the case of operations as analogy, to put distance or to separate. Space works wonders as it reduces friction.

So, I besiege the ladies. Be it that you are the wife/in-law. Please, spare a thought for the cartilage that is caught in between.

The need to be made happy easily

It has came to a crushing realization that the scientist is right about happiness being nothing more than some chemicals released into the brain.

As people went on the crusade for the holy grail of happiness, it is startling to realized that the first step to happiness is that, you need to have a low threshold for happiness.

In case you starts to call SANA to bust me for possession of controlled substance to be able to tell you something like that, stop and listen as I will just tell you the simple truth to happiness.

It is very simple. You have to allow yourself to be happy. Sounds difficult?

Just ask yourself; What will make you truly happy?
And then ask again; How do you go about to achieve that?
And now,ask yourself; How does getting it and making you happy has any relation whatsoever?

And if you are stuck at the last question, you will realize that it is not the pursuit of certain thing that will make you happy. But to achieve a certain thing or the sign that you achieved certain thing that will truly grant happiness. Now, look at it this way, I felt miserable for quite a while and sometimes I get angry for not doing certain things or for not having certain things done the way I wanted to. But I allow myself to first, let it go from my mind, to not harp on not achieving happiness or the need to have in possession what I asked for. To let it go is perhaps the hardest part but this is therapeutic. As this allows you to stop and think if you have been on the wrong track all along. It allows re-examination of goals and what perceived as goals could be a fool's errand. To then decide if pursuing this goal is worth your time or not, to have milestones instead of a final goal. Recharge and go forward.

All I can say is in 2 lines,

Happiness is always within reach if you know what you are looking for and not aim for the sky

Pursuing happiness can be miserable as a process and a goal if you got it all wrong.

I sure hope I am making sense to you and hope that you can and will be happy.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The one that got away

It should have been over, or very close to the end of the whole episodes of racist bloggers being hauled to jail for their lack of better judgment, their lack of discretion, their hot headedness and their deviation from the norm and the very words that could be a spark that blows up the so-call racial harmony.

While at it, we have people that called this a season of fear that is used to shut the bloggers up, there are also some that either called for those 3 bloggers blood, the removal of the racial reference in the sedition act, the reference of race to be removed from our identification. And then, there are also some voices that called for the 4th (or the first) blogger to be brought to justice, the scholar whose racial reference that were uncovered, then protected and then being brought to the attention of a nation that were still coming to terms to a bunch of crazy lunatics that rants and bares all on the Internet which is also known as bloggers. It seems like that there is one that got away. As far as most people is concerned, reprimanded by the one that pays your tuition in the form of a scholarship and getting into the slammers is of a world of difference. Why did one being reprimanded as that is punishment enough and those 3 that follows have to have their life going on with a blemish just so to show that the government is serious about people using racial sentiment to stir up trouble and have zero-tolerance for racial slur be it in print or electronically put in words for all to see. And just adding all these, students which blogged about their teachers in a negative light is feeling the heat from the school and probably their parents as well (Yeah right, no internet for you, kiddo)

But yet, I guess once again, we had all missed the point. The one that actually got away, the one that went off on a ride on the wild side, is nothing more than our own intolerance.
How tolerant are we to the other races that allowed such statement to be made to the first place. Were we tolerant to the difference in race and to understand that as long as we are different, there will always to be friction. Does it means that everyone that has something to say about the difference should keep their mouth shut? Am I defending those 3(or 4) bloggers that were extremely intolerant of the people with different skin color and religion? Hell, no. They showed they’re intolerant of others and that they should have realized that they would face the same intolerant of their shenanigans by the order of law. To ask the first (or the last) of the racist blogger to come out and ask for his blood, am I not also being intolerant myself. However, I do believe that someone should make that call (not the 1900…) and the guy should be placed under the same scale under the eyes of law, as I last remember that justice and equality is something that was in our national pledge. But jailing him will no longer serve its purpose. A heavy fine would probably do. But to be cleared before trial is one thing, to not requiring to even to be tried in the court of law is tantamounting to the proclamation that the PSB is even higher than the judiciary and that there are higher order of things, which is hidden to us lowly subjects.  

You might be asking how dangerous is the seditious statements? I would say that the dangers are clear and present. Despite the many years of racial harmony and integration, we are still different races in both letters and nature. You cannot wipe it off by just removing the simple entry in our identification. We still donate to the different self help group and that inter-racial marriage is still something frown upon. We still have people that asked to be given special treatment base on their inherent race and religion and yet frown upon other’s practice. With the growing intolerant of others, all it takes is just the right moment and the right slur of language to screw it all up and set it all on flame. While we are now more cautious to not destroy all the good things that we build up, the many good years has unfortunately soften us and isolate us at times to the point that there is a small barrier between the different ethnic groups. Which lead us to wonder that will we be as tolerant with one another and to work as one united people when the nation is put to the test. I would surely hope so. All I can ask for of myself and my fellows, is to let us all to be more tolerant to one another and that to understand that what is spoken in a moment of anger and differentiate that with the dark muttering of malice to discern the appreciation of our diversity from the slurred remark to divide us.

It is not going to be an easy task, just look at the way that our driver pries the road and how they treat their fellow motorist. It does seems like we have a long and arduous journey ahead.

The World's Shortest Personality Test

Thanksto the student again for this great link.

Anyway, glad that he is coming of age.

We might need to address him as Ex-student

Anyway, something from blogthing, have fun.

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Educate your users...For What ?

If there is a more startling revelation, that would be that users that you support are a lot like your parents. How is that so? You might ask. Allow me to illustrate mine point:

1). You can’t choose your parents and neither can you choose your users. In fact, most of the time, they choose you.

2). They would normally know less about the things that you do, try asking your parent to program the VCR. It is the same in the case of the users. Some of them have problem to even use the computer properly.

3). A strange unknown fear which is largely unfound. Most of my user fear the Helpdesk operator, Just my parent fear the devilish bad influence that is known as the computer game.

4). Being wrong. How many times when you look up to your parent only to realize that a later stage, they are wrong. While I do not look up to my users in the field of computer application, half the time, they are wrong about the ills in their computer.

5). Pinning the blame on you. How many times when it is your best friend next door that started the fight and you ended up paying for it because your parent says that you are the one who taunted the fight. I have users that, by my call to him, place the woes that he faced with his computer, as solely my fault and expect me to pay for it.

You might be wondering what inspired this post. Well, the straw that broke the camel’s back happened when I received a very interesting mail. It was actually a reply of an earlier broadcast that I sent informing them that we had completed the maintenance on some of the application servers during lunch. A very explicit note to contact helpdesk in the event of any problem faced in English (I do know of some incidence that someone actually sent me a written instruction of about 300 pages in 7 different language, none of them in English)

To my horror, I think the user decided that a mail to me was not enough. He sent it out by selecting reply to all. Well, now the entire world knows it and that I was fuming inside while fixing the problem and restoring the service. Maybe in the future, I should add the line (Do not reply to sender) least to say that this was not the most pleasant of experience and that the only thing I can do is to bite the bullet and forward that email to the helpdesk to follow up. So much for email etiquette. I might need to check the user’s mail client and see if the send to function was disabled by some freak accident or explained caused. Maybe the alien abducted it.

While fixing that problem, I had a user that decided to tell me her sob story with the helpdesk and started to ask me what exactly is wrong with her mailbox. Well, to tell you the truth, after 5 min on the line and actually looking at her system on the spot, I will profess that I have absolutely no idea. I also had no formal training on the mail system. All I have is just 5 yrs of experience working with the darn thing and what they call, common sense. Checking the mailbox, it seems like it is about 2GB. Now, I am very much for pushing the limits. I also understand that there is a need to retain all your information for posterity. But this is pushing it. And to expect such a big file to be fine after stuffing it. Well, try choking yourself with big Macs for every single meal for 3 years. Michael Moore did it for 30 days and it almost kill him (It also make him famous)
It goes for mailbox. A physical mailbox can only takes so much, likewise for an electronic mailbox to go before it starts to go haywire.

There are also incidences when the users comeback to us telling us that they do not like to call Helpdesk. As the helpdesk will take control of their system and that they do not have the time. I was hearing it while I was sitting at their desk, commandeered their workstation and working on their workstation. Anyway, I will be damned; I actually started working at the helpdesk when we did not have any means to connect to the user’s computer. Yes, read my lips, no connection. The users had to do what we tell them and that we relied on them to tell us what they see on the screen and tell us what is happening. If the users asked us to go over, it would have been a bit difficult as we are not even on the same continent and they want help, they want it, now! Without a teleporter back then, and without my trusty Spell casting and teleporting for dummies, I would have to rely on a lot of imagination and patience to put myself into my user’s shoe, and to think like the user. Trust me, thinking in the state of brain blank is extremely difficult. And you wonder why all Helpdesk Operators talks like blonde…

And if you are not someone that is in the IT industry and think that I am being unfair, just this little anecdote:

I was an intern manning the helpdesk as a first level operator, my job as with the other intern were tasked to answer calls from our customers and to raise this ticket to our level 2 support. My fellow intern was giving me a look not unlike that of a kangaroo staring into a floodlight. He asked me what to do when the user lost their dinosaur. This got my and our manager’s attention and we proceeded to find out more. Only after 5 minutes into the phone, did we realized that the users lost the dinosaur (Which incidentally is the customized icon) on her own PC and not the terminal that we support and that she called us because they paid for support. On top of which, she is actually the secretary to the top guys at one of our local bank and that we should solve her problem because they handle a lot of transaction on that PC. To top it off, she actually tell us that her in house PC support refused to support as it is against company policy to customize the PC.

Also to note, this is one the longest entry and it certainly took the longest time. It is about 2 days in production that broke my personal record of 30mins.

If you are offended, I am sorry, I still think that you are ok. Just stay away from that PC next to you.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Its alive

The last few day was on a tether as my trusted T3 did not survived her operation which would have given her a longer lease of life, more run time out from her. Yes, I was replacing her battery.

Met with Samson in Micheal's office last Saturday with a small group of like minded individual which decided that T3 is too good a machine to let something like an aging crappy battery to take it out. Hell, if Palm wants us to shell out more mola, they should at least upgrade their model rather than waltzing in a 3 step forward and 2 step dance of upgrade which just tease and fails to deliver.

I was soldering everyone else battery and all except for mine ran fine. The thicker battery made it bounce on its screen with joy and I guess the little bugger is just too happy that she decided to bounce on the screen. Samson claims that it is due to the bulkier and thicker battery but I guess thats the conspiracy to make us think that our T3 does not have a personality and are not alive.

To my horror, my T3 refused to come up,the charges did not hold and so she actually has no recollection and will not power up lease she is hooked up to her life support cradle.

So, back to the drawing board and to Micheal's studio yesterday where a smaller group of us decided to go at it one more time. Toufu had some problemwith his as he decided that the battery foil cram his style which resulted in a battery melt down. Clear masking tape saved the day and prevented Toufu from turning into a nut due to lithium overdose. Samson made record time by single handedly replaced 2 batteries for the guys which did not made it last saturday.

As for me, found that one of the clip came off the protection circuit and that resoldering a new clip with some remaing lead worked for me and Viola, my little T3 (Now must call her T3.5) is back after happily recharging over the night. She almost caused me my sleep as some older application does not agrees with her.

Anyway, she is back now with more power. Hmm......The Wifi SD card looks mighty attractive.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Retire? Let me die young

This is solely base on my opinion. I do not ask you to follow the advice in the following rant. And yes,it is a parody, which means that I am not serious at all.

Was filling up a nomination form for the insurance in the office. It suddenly comes to my realization that, "Hey screw retirement, let me die young."

Why? Make no mistake; ageism is real and rampant in Singapore today. Try getting a job after 40,I can only say good luck and you might just end up as a taxi driver. MacDonald? Yeah, right.

This Miss Boon recently wrote to the ST Forum about her Notice of Termination:

Is it common for companies to sack older workers

I had been a loyal employee of McDonald's Singapore for the past 22 years and had risen from a Trainee Manager to Senior Restaurateur.

I had a reasonably good performance record over these years. In the past 12 months, my performance rating was excellent.

Recently, I was shocked to find myself given a Notice of Termination and was told to leave the company immediately without being given any reason...

And you are telling me that this society in steep in morality and that loyalty is something that is time honored and should be inculcated into everyone? There is a term in Chinese for that: 愚忠 that translate to foolish loyalty. So, at this age of outsourcing and rapid changing corporate landscape which people can be displaced and made redundant easily and it gets more attractive should you served your best years in your company, you are the prime target to be replaced by a newer model which is faster and cheaper so to speak.

So, 1 job till retirement is impossible. And really, is retirement actually possible?
I am afraid not. I have a 25 yrs mortgage that will only be fully served by 57, during this period; my savings in CPF might not be able to even supplement my kids’ (should I have any) tertiary education. And should I get a life threatening disease, it would not just wipe my savings, Medisafe or whatever insurance coverage I have, I risk running into debt and loose my job which does not make my position justifiable.

My medicine to all these woes? Forget retirement, die young. That sounds morbid? Perhaps. But at 40~50, before your company move in on you and render your position replaceable opened to outsource, and that you have a good few years with your kids, watching them grow up a bit. That will be the time.

First off, the house will be covered as I assume that you actually bought that insurance for your house that ensures that in event of death, the outstanding housing loan is paid in full (Provided that you bought it at 100%)

Secondly, insurance is probably just starting to hold cash values. But in event of death, 50K or 100K payout to your next of kins or anyone that you have in your will. (You did have that covered, din you?)

And that's before your kid hit the rebellious teenage years. Imagine that they can't scream at you or yell at you. It is also a few good decades of a good relationship. You don't want it to go sour, no? It s always better to died married then divorce or so they say.

And 1 more thing, after 55, everything goes downhill and I would never want any stroke or cancer gets to me.

So, as it stands, I probably have another 2 and a half decades more to go. I will treasure every minute, enjoy and make the best of it, and since I know how much time I got, why I should I fear death? Should I be gone tomorrow, what is there to fear, all I need to make sure is to get that will and all nominations done and that if it is time, it is time.

And no, I will not take my own life as it is silly and that doing something like that really makes a mess of everything.

So, till then, I shall carry on boring you with my crazy ideas and hare-brained schemes or till they haul me in for offence or another.

*Ok, I am not asking you to die young, those are my opinion on my own life and I believe that I am at least entitled to that. Again, you are not to follow on those advice and thoughts as they are meant for you to read, not to take as advice*

Monday, October 03, 2005

Paradise lost

Paradise lost

It was a sad weekend for those in Bali. A 2 year reprise saw another renew attacked on the paradise. Not 1, not 2, but 3 blasts brought the fire and the bang to the beach that had almost forgotten the terror.

Last confirmed number of fatality was at 27. Still more is mounting. The lament of those who has lost their love ones is probably, why? Was it done in the name of religion and jihad or was there some other forces at work?

I would not write off the political factor to throw the scent off the recent oil price surge. In fact, without any circumstantial evidence, that would be one school of thought, those that is probably in favor by the conspiracy theorists and I do I know a few of them.
IF it was done in the name of Jihad to rid the evil influence of the west and it decadent oppression. Dude, you are aiming at the wrong target. While the number of foreigners that congregate at that spot is probably high, why not try Sydney city center or for that matter, New York, or even better, go the whole hog and remove the white house or Downing street? Too tough for those curs that calls themselves terrorists? I guess they probably tremble in fear when asking them to fly into USA, as they will probably be lynched. Those that died and bringing all those bystanders which those would either like to be branded as the casualty of this war against terror or in jihadi talk, the infidel and the traitors that consort with the infidel, the dead are dead, the maimed scarred and maybe for life. They probably did not even lift a hand in the so call suppression. In fact, their being there helped the economy that would help to get some of the people in that locality a better life and to stay gainfully employed. The three curs that performed this act are a sad example of the genetic semblance of Homo sapiens. Calling them human is an insult to the entire race and should there be a mastermind, hope that he be caught and be sent to deepest pits of hell and be consign there till hell freezes over. Not before he is being pelt and stoned and have all his limbs and flash removed piece by excruciating piece.

As for the dead, may they rest in peace. While I would like to say that they die for a cause, but I am sorry to say that their death was in a way, a bloody and meaningless death that serves little purpose and that their death tell us one thing is that there is no safe place on earth. Not in Iraq, not in Europe or United States and definitely not in Bali or for that matter, any place on this earth. So long as men and their strife not put aside, there be no peace on this land least the price of eternal vigilance is paid. While this is a time to call for the blood of those behind this dastardly deed and for them to be put to justice, this is also a time for mourning and healing. A time to rebuild what is lost, not just in the brick and wooden wall blown up, lifes that was left in tatters, but also, the confidence and also the fibre of the people who face once again a terrible transgression against them. If there was something to be said is that, even paradise is not spare the brutal side of destiny and that it will only truly be lost if we laid it to waste and left it in ruin. Paradise can be rebuilt if we allow the healing to take place. The violence to be reconcile and if need be, to guard it vigilantly against those that by envy or their own deep dark ambition and lust for destruction, tears it to shreds one more time.

This is also a time for truth and to find out the truth behind all these, and to bring them to justice not because it is any comfort, but to prevent them for perpetrating such crimes ever again. More importantly, there is a need for equality even the seeming lack of it, bring forth the thinking and set them to such paths.  

What is more frightening is that, this is all happening not at another corner of the globe but just at our doorstep. It happened at a place which some of us would go to, regularly for some. Would this tide of terror sweep to our shore? Not for their lack of effort though. We were fortunate that one such cell among our midst were removed before they can act. Woes be onto us should there be some that slipped through our grasp and be allow to carry out the act of terror within our shore.  Despite what we want to believe, we are vulnerable indeed and there would be no defence against them except for us to be on our guard, not just for today and tomorrow but as long as terrorism is not a historical term.

Marketing ideas that you can cook

Not everytime do we see marketing ideas that really pushed the boundary.

But I was amazed this morning when I see an invitation that arrived on my colleague's desk. While most invitations might got lost in the mailor be sent to the abyss of corporate junk mail, this will not get lost. The only likelihood is that this gets cooked....and that is not a figure of speach

In case you are wondering, it is a packet of beehoon and a rather sizable packet to boot. The mailing of that packet probably costed more than the packet of beehoon. Not sure about the printing though, but those very well could be done by the office laser printer.

If it wassent to me, I might just very well attend it to see what they have to offer as door gift.... probably the utensil that you can use to cook your invites and eat it.

Caveat : they do tell you that it is not advisable for consumption though.