Monday, November 28, 2005

Trying does not Guarantee Success, but not trying Guarantee Failure

This morning while listening to the radio I heard this phrase supposing said by Bill Clinton, “Trying does not Guarantee Success, but not trying Guarantee Failure”. Sometimes in life we are so afraid or worry to try something new, that we gave up even before trying, because we are afraid of the risk, afraid of failing, afraid of loosing and afraid of the pain. Unknowingly, we instantly fail just by just giving up. By unwilling to try and explore, we seal our fate as a failure.

On last weekend, I watch a Taiwan TV Show “Super Generation”, where the topic is on whether we would like to have kids. On one side they have the parents trying to persuade a few young girls on the happiness of having kids on the other side. These girls (pretty and in their early 20’s) have no intention of having children, with a bunch of fear and excuses. They are afraid of financial problem (thus husband need to be rich), afraid they might get fat after labour, afraid that the child might turn bad, afraid of emotional pressure, found it to be pointless and etc. What they said are valid, but if we are too worrisome, how could we live life normally? We can worry about the sky falling, hit by a car while on the road, or being cheated by a bad boyfriend (does that means you shall not look for a boyfriend?).

A very smart women raised a very critical observation and analysis, saying “On one side we have the parents who are Problem Solver. Though they don’t have all the solutions immediately, but they dare to commit and try to solve the problems which arise slowly. On the other side we have the young ladies who are Problem Avoider. They thought of a whole bunch of problems and decide not to face them instead.” Given the same set of problems, depending on your perception, you could choose to face them or run away. There is no right and wrong, just choices in life. But how many times could we run away from problem? Every time I try to run away, I felt like a part of me is taken away, felt like loosing myself for being a coward (and it shall come back to haunt me from time to time).

Thus, it is important for me to try everything which I am hopeful of, so that I shall know and I shall not regret. I might not have lots of guts, but sometimes I manage to squeeze some out (Guts squeezing need practices). Need to have guts to get out of my safety zone to fulfil my dream, rather than talking and whining about it every now and then. When I have a brilliant idea, I want to execute it. When I found a girl I like, I want to let her know. Whether success or not it doesn’t quite matter, at least I had done all I could. I might have done it wrongly, but aren't we all learning?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Friday Sarsaki + Newway

Since Hip Hop class is cancelled for this Friday, Tang organized a Sarsaki makan-makan trip on Friday. Since Sarsaki is near KLCC and it is a Friday night, I decide to park my car in PJ and take a LRT to KLCC instead (rather than being stuck for 30 mins in a 500m stretch road). But I got stuck in massive traffic jam in PJ as well, where I have to change my routes for a couple of times and switch one LRT station as destination.

Sarsaki is Japanese buffet style restaurant (RM 40++ a head) in a secluded corner of UOA building where all other shops are closed at night (Li Mun promises this to be a very good Japanese meal). The place is pretty crowded, though a few tables are still available (no worry. Tang made reservation, so efficient). Everyone had arrived before me and Kenny, and probably going for second round already. I am not much of a big eater nowadays, so I just went for 2 rounds. One round for the meat and another for the Sushi and Sashimi. Of course I have ice-cream and one peace of left over jelly (no they don’t refill them after that, sucks). The food is pretty alright with me, but I am not very into buffet style nowadays. We had some funny and quirky conversation, and I just remembered laughing a lot.

Somehow, someone challenge Derrick to go for Karaoke, and the challenge is accepted. We went to Newway, for the first time with Derrick and Fion. Derrick is quite a singer and probably can “kill” a lot of girls with his style, look and words. Fion on the other hand doesn’t seem quite into Karaoke. One like dancing, while the other like singing. They left in a sudden as Derrick’s friend is suddenly admitted into ICU. Now only I notice I shouldn’t sing together with Tang, as she sings at a very high voice and my voice is too soft. Since Kenny doesn’t sing Chinese songs, so I have to tag along with Li Mun. Kenny is a pretty good and funny singer as well, and Karaoke-ing with him usually is fun (as he is always funny anyway). I wasn’t quite in the mood for Karaoke tonight. Besides, my singing sucks anyway, and kinda felt I spoilt people’s singing enjoyment by tagging along (they might get really frustrated with me). Perhaps the best I have is still with Dori the Fish, perhaps it is more comfortable then. After a few hours, I kinda feel powerless and no more voice (perhaps it is the mood factor again), thus decide to call it a night for me and sleep aside. The rest continue to enjoy themselves very much for an hour or so before getting the bill. Kenny has to drive me all the way from KL to PJ to pick up my car (pity Kenny) before driving off to Cheras again. I get to sleep about 4 A.M.

Another Extraordinary Saturday (It is no longer the same)

Yesterday I reached home about 4 A.M after Karaoke, and I manage to wake up this afternoon at 4 P.M. I am not sure this is a new record for me or not, but definitely very impressive. I had not managed to sleep until this late for a long time. The weather must be gloomy and cool, as the sun and heat didn’t wake me up.

I had news that my cousin’s mom passed away, and my mom decide to pay them a visit. My cousin is a capable women in her 50’s and not married, she accepted her fate and take the career path rather than marriage path. She took care of her parents during their old age and let them stay in her house. She appreciate her father’s support to let he go overseas to study when she was young, although their family is poor and she is a girl (old Chinese mentality with emphasis on son than daughter). Thus, she is very determined to take care of them (another reason could be because she is still single without much financial burden and commitment). Anyway, her dad passed away about a few years back, and now is her mom. She passed away painlessly, with 2 sons and 1 daughter by her side (a good way to go I would say). During a conversation with a relative (which take place later), she mentioned that my cousin is a good daughter (one of a kind, no kids treat their parents with such care anymore) who took very good care of her parents. But, who is going to take care of her when she grows old? Hmm, really a good question worth pondering.

I take my mom out for dinner. My mood is not very good for the past few days (too much thoughts in my head), thus I decide to eat something which would make me happy (means expensive food). I settle for a Hong Kong café (Hong Kong S.A.R café or something like that). The first thing which caught my eye is that they are showing Shaolin Soccer (少林足球) on Projector TV, goodie. I like to watch TV, I like HK movies and I like Shaolin Soccer, Yeah! Though I watched it many times already, but still found the movie funny and manage to cheer me up. Somehow, this stupid comedy movie really can do magic on me tonight, and I really found it extra good and really enjoyed it. And the food is good and cheap too. With just RM 10, I get Honey Green Tea, a soup, fried rice and a fish fillet. Perfect dinner.

We went to my cousin’s place right after. Quite a number of relative is there, especially my cousin’s brothers and sisters, and their children. The whole event is taken care by Nirvana Memorial, I guess they include everything in a package (ceremony, casket, burial ground and etc). Nirvana is really a very enterprising company; they take something old and taboo-ish thing and make it into something modern, trendy and convenient for people. I guess the death ceremony is not very much of importance nowadays, as most people don’t appear to very serious. People chat and laugh around, talking on hand phone while the Monk is praying or even can’t stand straight while praying. Time had changed, probably no point being too serious as it is a tradition ceremony after all. One thing good about this event is friends and families come from a far just to pay their last respect (some fly overnight, and some drive for hours). Just realized one of my nieces is learning dancing too, and she saw me in one of the dance event I went for. My uncle (her father) told me about that and asked, “So, how is your dance competition?” I was like, huh? I found out later her daughter participates in dance competition, and he thought I was at the same level as her. Perhaps it was the William & Luisa event where I saw her mom, but I didn’t saw her (or I don’t recognize her).

I pick my aunt (my father’s sister) home. On the way back, she told me something about “We are born with nothing; and we shall die with nothing” (来也空空,去也空空). That left a lot more to ponder about. How we should treat life? How serious or casual we should be? How much should we expect or ask for? How much should we give to others?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Push and Pull which make you Quit your Job

Ever wonder why some people felt disgusted about their job, complaining about it everyday yet still stay with the company for a long time? To make you quit the job, you would need to Push and Pull factor.

What we usually see or hear is just the Push factor, where it could range anything from lousy pay and hazardous hours to stupid boss (like the one in Dilbert) and dim career path. Though we might hate or dislike the company, but we haven’t decide on what should we do if we stop doing what we are going. We human can be very toleratable with bad and lousy stuff, as long as we haven’t found or experience something betta. If you haven’t have a RM 35 dollar haircut before, you wouldn’t mind a RM 8 Indian barber haircut for the rest of your life (perhaps this is not a very good example, but it applies to me). Once you enjoyed something betta, you shall never go back to your old self again.

So, what Pull factor do we need? Assumed greener grass and rounder moon on the other side. We need to believe that we found something betta than the shit hole we are currently in, maybe it be a bigger company, better pay, higher position, new challenges or for our dreams and passion. You are like the little mousy to be drawn out of your hole to this little cheese (hopefully it is not a trap). Once you see this cheese, you are outta here.

With Push and Pull, you could quit you job instantly without much worry. That’s why people usually look for better job (getting the Pull factor) once they are dissatisfied (the Push factor) with the company. It is not necessary it must be another job, you could be chasing your dreams or personal interests, or feel like doing something more meaningful in life. With Pull and no Push, probably you won’t quit either, as you still feel comfortable and satisfied. With Push and no Pull, you haven’t found another shit hole which is better than this. No matter how many times you quit a job, you are probably jumping from one shit hole to another. It is not that bad, you might get yourself out of it one day.

Click and you shall be Rewarded

As I was going through life for quite sometimes now, I noticed many things cannot be forced or fast forwarded, though I really like to. Many years ago I wanted to do start my own business, because I am ambitious, passionate, anxious and most important of all, young. I thought I should start a business and get rich while I am young, as we would tends to loose our balls when we grow older. I have the technical skill, but I don’t have the business know how and I definitely don’t have patient. My first venture with a friend fails miserably even before the product is launched, as I didn’t manage to handle our expectation properly, especially in a partnership scenario. Then I move on to freelancing, and manage to get 1 or 2 deals based on recommendation from friends and family and earned some pocket money. But no matter how hard I try, the business just wouldn’t grow. From there I understood, business take time to mature and grow. Unless I have a whole load of money to launch a marketing and advertising campaign, else I would have to wait for the word of mouth to spread and awaits random chances which pop up once a while from people around me. The longer you are in the business and the more people you know, the more opportunities shall arise. If you could bank on these opportunities, your business shall grow. Thus, you need to be patient, stay in the business, meet more people (sitting in the garage working on your top secret project doesn’t help), continue your effort and hard work, and you shall be rewarded with the Millionaire Boys Club membership. It is highly probable we would be tempted with procrastination and laziness, thus we need to constantly remind ourselves of what we want to achieve, and think of new ways to renew our interest and keep the passion burning.

A thousand people could think of the same idea as you did, and only a hundred would execute it, with a handful manage to finish the job while one manage to do it exceptionally well. Thus, the idea is just the beginning which doesn’t carry much weight (it is just the beginning), while execution is the element which separates you from the mediocre, and perseverance shall bring you to success, where skill and experience shall add bonus to your reward. I stop at the idea stage many times, halt at execution stage a few times, manage to finish the job once, and now I want to do it exceptionally well. I am feeling passionate and full of hope again, which is good at my age since I am not feeling too old yet. I hope this time I would be able to carry out the full cycle and prove my worthiness as a great man.

Patient and Perseverance is not just about dream and career, it applies to most of the thing in life, including blogosphere fame and love affair. No matter how many articles you try to churn out per day and how good you write, it is almost impossible for you to be a famous bloggger within a week or months. You need to hang around for quite a while, continues writing more and more good stuff, work smart and applies a few blogosphere stardom strategy based on your personal taste, and the visitor counter shall increase eventually (whether or not the number grows exponentially is very much depends on how good and creative you are). Whatever strategy you apply, it needs patient and perseverance. No matter how desperate you try to rush things, it is won't goes your way. A wise man once said, “Success and Fame come to those who are too busy to look for it”.

Perhaps love affair is another funny thing, where the more you try to rush things, the more chaotic and complex the situation shall become. The more you intentionally trying to make things work, the more resistance there shall be. Personally, I am a more relax guy, where I seldom take mush initiative to move things. But sometimes I am worry I am too relaxed, thus trying to give myself a few mental push so that I would cough up some courage and fight for my happiness. Perhaps what they say is true, love shall find you with fate, and fate shall avoid you if you look too hard (爱情可愿不可求). It is not that we sit back and do nothing, just that we work on a comfortable pace for everyone. It is after all human relationship, and relationship takes time and effort to build. If it is not meant to be, she won’ be yours no matter how hard you try; if it is meant to be, she will come back no matter how far away she is. Probably I should just be myself and let things flow around me rather than disrupting the flow (Lillian Too says you must let the Chi flows smoothly). I still firmly believe Happiness need to be pursued (幸福是自己争取的), just in a different way. Most important of all, don’t do (or do) something that I will regret. I still remembered when I was young, my motto was, “If I wanna do something, dun regret it. If I had done it, I shall never regret it” I guess this motto made me incapable of remorse, haha.

"With Patient and Perseverance, and you shall be Rewarded"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Transition from Friendship to Lovership

When we are friends, we can be so happy with each other. But once we decided to elevate the relationship to couple hood, lots of doubts pop up easily. Somehow, the transition could be quite painful if we don’t have the right expectation. When we are friend, we overlook their weaknesses and just accepted who they are, and we can be very happy and comfortable with each other. We enjoyed each other’s company, we make fun of each others weakness (never really put it in our heart), we have lots of crappy talk and we might even end up liking them a lot, and found all the goodness within them. But once we start considering a serious relationship, out perception and expectation seems to change drastically. We start to worry and focus on their weakness rather than what they are good for. We start to have doubt in everything, from their sincerity, objective to judgement. We start to look at the bad side of things, and we no longer feel happy and comfortable. It seems like we are digging out all the dirt which exist between us since a long time ago, thus that we choose to overlook them. We are more generous and kind when we are friends, but we become sensitive and worrisome when the relationship gets closer.

Perhaps is all about expectation, just like when buying a house. When we look at a house just for fun of it, we didn’t actually evaluate the house seriously. We would have no complaint of the pricing (since we are not buying), found the house pretty pleasant and have a very friendly chat with the salesperson. We would be comfortable and happily look around. When we are serious to buy a house, we shall be very sensitive with the pricing (value for money?). We would carefully examining every corner of the house for pipe leakage, defects, the direction of the rising sun, Feng Shui, the neighbourhood and the surrounding, and even the history of this place. We become sensitive, calculative and dig out all the bad stuff about the house. When ever the salesperson says something good about the house, you would ask. “Sure or not? You want the commission of course you say like that la.” We start to doubt the house and the salesman, in fact, we doubt almost everything, even our own decision. Why? Because we are afraid that we didn’t get the best bargain and would actually make a wrong decision which would haunt us for a long long time. We want to make the best choice, thus we became very picky and annoying.

Sometimes a good house can be sold out easily without the salesperson utter a single world, while a bad house can’t be sold even the salesman speak until he lost his voice. But, a good house and a bad house may just be a matter perception, as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Some people might fall in love with a broken house, as he likes her style and find that she suits him very well. Some people might buy a pretty nice house just to break it down, and renovate and expanding it according to her taste. Some people might decide to buy an empty land and build their own house instead.

I want to be a house where people like me as I am, whether I am a broken one or a luxury one. If you don’t like me, don’t buy me. And I plead to you, don’t buy me and break me down for renovation. If you want a new house of your taste, buy an empty land. I shall house only people who like me, accept me and have faith in me. In return, I shall warm them and gave them shelter. Think carefully before you buy me. I can’t sell myself, you get what you see, and what you perceived of me, nothing more, and nothing less.

The Most Expensive Head of My Life

Since a long time ago I had wanted to have a “modern” haircut, but somehow just didn’t know exactly what kind of style I wanted, or which saloon to go to. Somehow this topic is brought up again with a friend with my weeks ago, and she reminded me about it a few days ago, thus I decide to give it a try.

What kind of style do I want? I have no idea, but my sister told me that a good hairstylist would be able to recommend me a style which suits me. Thus, one problem down and another to go. Which saloon then? There is a new Thomas & Guys Saloon near my place, and it should be cheap (since it is situated in Puchong after all, and I don’t have to sponsor their rent). My brother tags along as he needs a haircut as well, but he is afraid the place would be expensive. I ask him how much is his last not-so-suit-him-modern-haircut cost? He says RM 40. So I said, “If it cost anything less then RM 40, we shall go for it”. He nodded in agreement. When we saw the pricing plate, it was RM 35 for short hair, perfect. They have a cheaper RM 18 haircut by their students, since this is a hair fashion academy as well. I opt for the master (RM 35), since I need his professional recommendation.

One shampoo boy came over and gave me a nice hair wash plus head and neck massage, cool. Then a stylish grandmaster come over and asks what kind of style I would prefer, I said, “Why not you recommend it to me?” He says, “A smart style”. I agree. He added, “Plus a bit of fashion”. I agree again. Smart and fashionable sounds good to me. He began trimming my hair with this “lawn-mover” device, skilfully uses his pair of scissor to cut some layering and ended with a special scissor to sort of thinning the hair. After further trimming and a hair wash, walah! Using some hair wax to shape my most stylish and expensive haircut. Hmm, I am not totally impressed with it as I didn’t say OMG or WTF! But, it was pretty ok, something refreshing and new. The hair is short and spiky, and kinda smooth as well. I feel like touching my own hair now, hehe.

Is the money well spent? Hmm, I am not quite sure about it. At least I manage to fish some compliment from Tang and Florence, so not bad la. When I was young, my mom cut my hair. When I went to college, I go to the Indian barber for RM 10 a pop. When I move in with my brother and sister, I went to the neighbourhood Chinese saloon for RM 20 a pop, but I am not impressed with it. So, I let my mom cut my hair again (her standard is betta than the neighbourhood saloon ok?). Now, I have Thomas & Guy and my wallet would start bleeding from now on. Now I realized how much money I had saved for the past 26 years, muahahaha.

PS: They gave me a loyalty card which entitled me for 2 x 10% discount, 2 x 20% discount, 1 x 30% discount, 1 x 50% discount and lastly, a FREE haircut. I think they have got me to return to them, I am so chippo.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Saturday had never been this Packed before

Last Saturday is a busy one, with activities line up from morning until the next morning. I have to get my sorry ass up on early Saturday morning to see the dentist. The filling on my front teeth had fallen off about two weeks ago, and the clinic was closed on last Saturday. I went to this dentist about a year ago, and she was a cute pregnant mom by then. I arrived at 9.30 A.M and have to wait abuts 30 minutes for my turn (she seems to be fully booked for the day). She is as pretty as I remembered, although with the facemask on. I had my teeth cleaned and polished before fixing my front teeth. I guest dentistry technology had advanced since the last I did the same filling almost 10 years ago (Wow! Didn't know that the filling lasted that long, value for money man). This time she did the usually drilling to clean up some black spot, pump in some soft gel, use a blue dray gun to dry them up and polish it to smoothen the surface again. Her skill is excellent, gentle and not too painful, and the filling blend in perfectly with my teeth (almost not visible at all). Since it had been a long while since I last saw her, I couldn't really recognise her. Somehow I felt she seems younger, perhaps this is another pretty dentist? Anyway, all the fixing and cleaning only cost me RM 70; I am happy and satisfied. I officially proclaim her to be the most gentle, skillfull, prettiest and affordable dentist in the whole of Klang Valley (though she is only the 2nd dentist I went to).

I went for breakfast immediately and rush home for a nap (must cover back all the sleep hours on weekend morning), and I have to wake up at 12.30 noons to go to Karthik's party. I followed his e-mail’s instruction and is doing fine, until Rathi overtook me and I started following her car. We end up making 2 minor mistakes, one before getting down from the car (missed a turn) and another after getting own (going to the wrong party). The houses in Bandar Bukit Puchong are pretty nice and big, with good and wide surrounding with just RM 230K. If you work around Puchong/TPM/Cyberjaya/Putrajaya, this could be a good place for you. Karthik is doing his own business now, freelance Project Management. He and his wife is a Feng Shui follower as well, and they don't plan to have kids. Manage to help Kenny catch up with his Hip Hop's steps, while Yek and Mee Mee bring their baby girl (Ying Ying) to the party. The baby is adorable with big eyes (aren't all of them adorable?).

We went to Rocklon's house to visit his newborn baby girl (Annina), much smaller compared to Yek's one (they said baby grow up very fast). Rocklon's baby is much darker, nevertheless very cute as well, with little fingers and toes. Everyone is busy playing with the baby (Tang), looking at photos (Mei Ru) or reading magazine (Kenny). It started raining so we are stuck there for a while. I need to rush of to my cousin's place for a weekly meeting, and I am very late.

I went home to have a bath even though it was late, and I couldn’t contact my cousin (smell something fishy, maybe the meeting got cancelled or postponed). I reach her place about an hour place later, yet her place is empty. I guess the meeting is off and no one contacted me. Never mind, there is supposed to be a birthday party after that. My cousin gave me a bottle of wine to be given to the birthday boy as gift (Sharon's father, and grandpa). I think the party is meant for family only, but somehow we got invited (because my cousin is close with Sharon, and she is also the psychologist for her son). Their place is pretty big, where the living room is a band room for their son (with a few guitars, a drum set, microphone, hi-fi and big screen TV). Their son is quite a rocker, who can sing reasonable well with rocker attitude, and good with the drums as well (no guitar performances for the night). I found that Indian girl looks very nice and slim when they are teenage, looks sexy and slightly huggable when in the 20's/30's and got bloated massively after that. This is one big happy family, with all the birthday boy's son & daughter, in-laws, and grandchildren. They have a very cute puppy as well, extremely fury and huggable.

I left the party early to pick up Tang and Li Mun for the next dance party at Bisik Bistro, Ampang. Ah Pang invited all the students from Al Chifar to have a good nite out at this new place, rather than the old style De Swan. We really have a lot of outgoing dancers, and some very pretty ladies as well. We have Cha-Cha, half a jive, lots of Samba (which I dunno), some line dancing, lots of disco dance and a Rumba at the end. I try to ask Mei Ru out for dance a few times, somehow I felt she still cannot go all out (let go of herself) in disco-like dancing. Didn't hang out much with Tang and Li Mun, as the girls are busy having their girly time together with Janice. Jeremy come in late, he is not a disco person as well (but he likes ballroom and Latin, a more elegant taste perhaps). The night ended at almost 3 A.M. and we had supper at a Mamak at Jalan Yap Kuan Seng. By then, we get to see everyone clearly. One girl seems to be Ah Pang girlfriend; she seems very cute, sweet and young (I think her name is Elaine or something). Another sophisticated girl is Simone, and Helen a sporting auntie (forgotten about the rest). Mei Ru and Michelle left much earlier before the supper (I thought Mei Ru ask me to send her home instead?). Anyway, I drop the girls home and rush back to sleep.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Is local VC capable of evaluating the potential of an idea?

I might speak out of frustration, and I believe I am still logical and capable of reasoning. I had tried twice to apply for some minimum funding for two of my ideas from a local VC (Venture Capitalist) which aimed to spur the spawning of local entrepreneurs and to create more jobs for Malaysia, where I am rejected once and the other doesn’t sounds like good news to me.

My first idea is a simple and common idea to develop an enterprise software, which I believe had great business opportunity as I am in the industry; I understand the demand, competition and potential. I sent in my proposal and strategy, with detail explanation on how we might to be to capitalise on this product even tough existing competition already exist. There are already very expensive foreign products in the market which capitalise on large enterprise, and the high end market is saturated in recent years. These products are too expensive for the low end market (Small and Medium Business), thus a local made product would meet this demand perfectly as the adoption rate is picking up. Though there are some small local players, but I am capable of building it cheaper and better than them. I have the skill, domain knowledge and properly planning and strategy. The VC is not impressed with my idea, as they thought the idea is too common and not innovative (too many people had done it).

They reply made me jump to a conclusion, that their mantra is Creativity and Innovation. It seems like they have the Malaysia Boleh mentality, where they would only fund projects which had a localized theme, beneficial to local industry, using cutting-edge technology or a brilliant idea no one ever thought of before (or at least, they never heard about it before). They don’t seems to be able to evaluate the business potential of a product based on current market situation, where after all you are using a whole bunch of MBAs who never started a business before to evaluate potential entrepreneurs' proposal. They claim to have a panel of industry experts, but aren’t they wage-earner as well? They tend to focus on business idea which they think is unique or high-tech, rather than profitable ones. They mentality seems to be from the last generation, where you need a brilliant idea where no one had ever thought of before to make your millions. Nowadays, I think the better idea should be how to do it better and cheaper than others. I doesn’t matter how many strong players are there in the market, you could still storm the market with the right strategy. Google and Dell had proven it again and again, where old age giants can be taken down.

My second submission to them is sort of rejected as their reply is “We don’t fund portal project”. If it is so, why you don’t mentioned it before hand? You mean you don’t want to fund potential money making project because it is a portal? You mean all those portal and web services launch by Yahoo! And Google is not your cup of tea? You mean you had lost faith in Internet related services since the last dot BOMB? You mean the same bunch of MBAs still work in the organisation rejecting good business idea? You mean you won’t fund Job Street if they approach you guys many years ago (my business idea almost similar to Job Street, just that in different industry and focus)? You mean none of your investment is bearing fruit and you are still not learning? You meant you are wasting tax payers' money by funding projects you like?

There is a small chance I am being arrogant, as I still didn’t manage to prove that my idea actually works. I guess I shall proceed without their help, just to prove that I could be right. One day if I had succeeded and being interviewed in Time Magazine, I shall named the VC who turns down my proposal twice by giving me some lame excuses.

PPS Co-Author Book: The Voice of Malaysian Bloggers

After reading a post from Mini Minishorts entitled “From Blog to Book” and post 24 hours processing while eating at a new Thai and Japanese fusion fast food restaurant in Low Yat, I come out with a brilliant idea: Why not the bloggers of Malaysia co-author a book based on our best postings?

Why and how should we do this?
  • Co-author is less tedious than publishing your own book, not many people can afford to churn out that much of meaningful text and have a hoard of loyal readers (besides an exceptional few). Thus co-author could be a good idea, as the burden is distributed to many writers, where each could produce their best peace. Successful co-author book I know of is Best Software Writing I (Editor is Joel Spolsky, most probably the most influential guy on software blog) and Game Programming Gems 1-6.
  • We could select the top 100 postings (or 101, 108 or 168, or other commonly used and auspicious number) by various bloggers voted by readers. How could we find or vote for such articles? Probably we could make use of existing infrastructure from PPS and BlogsMalaysia for entry submission, approval by panel and followed by massive voting. I am not sure whether PPS keep track of the popularity of postings pinged to PPS (based on the number of clicks). Probably these articles need to be error-checked, polished and enhanced before going into publication.
  • Probably we could lay down the basic framework of what kind of articles which we would like to publish (based on popularity), and choose a few categories to focus on (e.g. Love & Relationship, Humour, Serious Talk, Blogging, etc).
  • This would be a historical milestone probably for Malaysian Blogospehere, and probably the 1st in the world as well (Malaysia Boleh!).
  • It would bring great exposure of Malaysian Blogosphere to the masses and probably main stream media (from Blog to Book, sounds like quite an achievement to me). This book will like a guide and sitemap (Malaysian Blog Bible) for those not familiar with blogs, to look for their favourite blogs to read and probably be inspired to start their own as well (One Blog for every Malaysian, YEAH!).
  • We can make this into a good cause as well, where the article contributors can voluntarily donate all the income generated from the sales of book to one or more of our favourite charity organization. Fame and charity, sounds familiar.
  • With this project, the is a small little chance we could all afford to turn into professional bloggers and survived just by writing online.
I truly believe this could be a very interesting and meaningful project. Everyone could work together to contribute their little piece, and probably would be the greatest co-operative effort by Malaysian bloggers. Yvonne Foong had experience in book publication; maybe she could give us some guidance. Minishorts seems to write good English and sounds like a capable lady with enormous support and capability, maybe she could somehow bring this project to life. Probably the good people from PPS and BlogsMalaysia could collaborate on this matter, and all Malaysia Bloggers could provide enormous marketing and publicity for this book. As for me, I would like to help out in whatever I could.

Sound good?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Coolest Job in the World

I had know of you could become a full-time or pro blogger, but I dunno that you could actually be employed (job employment ads in JobStreet) as a blogger (an occupation with salary, a job). No shit man.

What is the coolest job in this world? When I was in college, I start reading about World Cyber Games, where you could be a Cyber Athletes (someone like the Athletes in Olympic, except that you just sit there and play games). I was thinking, "This is so cool! We can actually play game and make a living out of it." The first famous Cyber Athletes I know of is former Quake World Champion, Dennis "Thresh" Fong. At that time, he (age 22) was earning about 100K USD per year, won a Ferrari owned by John Carmack (this guy is the founder of id Software, the creator of Quake and DOOM, and is building a rocket into space at the moment) and had sponsorship for various gaming product (including Mouse from Microsoft). This is so cool, and you could get rich by just playing games (to hell with all the books and education, I should be allowed to play games 24 hours a day since 6 years old, muahahaha). I read about this elite group of Korean Starcraft players who actually rent a house and went through one month of intensive training together before to tournament, doing nothing but eat, play games, sleep, play games, and play more games.

Though it may sounds so cool and fun (all games and no work/study, yeah!), but it could get equally stressful when it is done professionally. It is no longer for fun, it is for money now. You need to have more dedication and discipline, training a finite number of hours daily as if it is your job (your bread and butter). Loosing doesn't means just disappointment, but no money for lunch as well. But I still like to be a Cyber Athletes, as playing games (even done professionally with more stress and less fun) still beats sitting in the office doing some boring job and taking orders from some stupid people anytime. But I can't, because I am neither elite nor crazy, I am just a novice gamer who enjoys gaming at my own pace. Perhaps I have no talent as well, but I just like the game.

Now, back to blogging. Though it does not sound as cool as gaming, but it is pretty fun and enjoyable as well. Blogging is almost like being a writer, maybe journalist. For professional blogger, you get to blog about what you actually like, or you end up writing just for the mere pleasure and interest of others. How does blogger make money? Create a blog with a specific topic, which might interest a large crowd, draw tons of traffic to your blog and make money through online advertising like Google Adsense, Yahoo Overture or Chitika. There are tons of posting out there which teach you how to make money by blogging, but whether it works for you or whether you would like to embark on this path is totally another matter. Maybe Kenny Sia is a professional blogger, as he got him fame (top 100 blogger in Technocrati. Ops! He is no longer there!) and getting 6000 hit daily with God Knows how much AdSence dollar. XiaXue (a Singaporean blogger) seems to be doing well and ranked 39 in Technocrati top 100 as of today (seems like a long way to fall off the chart). Like all the fun things in this world, turning pro take the fun out of it and put more pressure in it, but it sure beats some lousy job anytime. I shall stick with being a novice blogger at the moment, as it is still fun. The truth is (who don't wants money), I am not famous and not "professional" enough, but I am happy, thus my blog shall give me happiness and satisfaction rather than cash at this moment.

Mickey found me

I like to nick Michelle as Mickey, because it sounds cute, and also to avoid spelling mistake like Michael, Mitchell, Michelin and alike. Somehow Mich sounds like a guy name (Mitch), thus I don't like to use it. Anyway, I have to officially declare she is the 3rd person (which I am close to) to find my blog, after Mei Ru and Christine.

Mickey know of the existence of my blog sometime ago when Christine wrote about it in her blog and start mailing to everyone she knows. Being her curious self, she starts searching for it. She found an abandoned blog of mine at, "Mind Boggling Thought". The blog doesn't seem to disappear even though I had deleted the blog from Blogspot, and now I have totally no control over it. She seems pretty excited about it, but I just kept my silence. But I did told her it is an old blog of mine, not sure if she get the meaning in between the words. I even go to a certain extend to remove certain links, just to make sure no one find it, even though Blue Dragon's existence is exposed.

Perhaps it is fated that a few days ago, she found my blog while searching for some dance related stuff, William and Luisa to be precise. I had kinda expected people I know to find my blog sooner or later, as the exposure of Blue Dragon is increasing slowly. But I do like to keep Blue Dragon low profile among the people I know, as it is kinda difficult to write about them when I know they are reading. It kinda becomes less sincere and truthful.

In the beginning, I blog without much concerns to others, as it is just me who is reading and writing. After the two Miss 8 (8 婆仔) had found my blog, I practiced certain constraints and tend to blog less about my personal feelings and relationship. Now with the arrival of Mickey, I think I would start using Nick to name sensitive people. Probably I would need to replace some old postings with Nick, rather than using the real name. Anyway, people who know me well enough and read my blog thoroughly will be able to figure out who those Nicks are. So, it is only meant to be known by those who care :)

PS: Mickey, well come to the Club (Mickey Mouse Club?). Ever considering blogging yourself?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Can Ah Kit be the man to clean up Corruption in the Country?

I take notice of Lim Kit Siang blog about a month ago, but I didn't read much about it, as politic is not exactly my favourite topic. But I got to give him some credits and respect for being an old man and politician who blogs frequently (he is the only politician whom I know of blogging). I know him as a verbal person, but blogging? I have to give him extra points for the initiative.

I visited his blog again recently due to his frequent Ping to PPS, which I found his criticisms pretty amusing and sometimes speak the mind of the public. It is like "It seems pretty obvious person XXX is corrupted (everyone seems to think so), why is there no action taken or no further news about it?”

Then I have an idea, since he is a verbal and brave man who are not afraid of people bombing his car or burning his house, why not put him in charge of the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA). I mean he would be the best person, as he keep asking and criticising why no further action is taken on people who are suspicious or guilty of corruption. If he were the head of ACA, he would tell his konco-konco, "Hey you, go and nail this bastard.” The konco-knoco will say, "But, he is the son/daughter/relative/ally of a powerful person", while his replied would be, "So? I already exposed him/her in my blog. I have a reputation to keep, and we must nail him to keep the public happy. Besides, everyone know he is corrupted, Muahahaha!”

Seriously, I think Ah Kit is a good candidate to clear up corruption is this country. Why?
  • He is from the opposition. Thus he would be glad to clean up all the high-ranking government officers, which are mostly from his rival party.
  • He dare to criticise even the more powerful people in public. Thus I assume he is verbal and brave, and not afraid of personal threat (probably he is already immune to death threat).
  • He talks too much already, it is time to give him some serious work to do.
  • Someone need to do the dirty job, and he seems perfect as a lot of politicians already hate his guts.
  • He seems smart, inspirational, charismatic and most important of all, he blogs. As an old politician who blogs, I am sure he is capable of many things.
  • I want to see him as the most feared person in the country by corruptors. Ah Kit, the Corruption Buster. We need a hero, someone mulut celupar and kang ho.
Probably Ah Kit should team up with Jeff Ooi as well, and all the detail of personal indicted by the ACA lead by Ah Kit shall be exposed on his blog (total transparency, start the exposion spree). Among all the politicians, I like Pak Lah the most. I like him as a humble person, and his dedication to stop corruption (which is the root of many evil). Drastic time call for drastic situation. If your enemy is the best man for the job, don't be afraid to use him. Probably my second favourite is Ah Kit, as he is the more intelligent and verbal one among the opposition. I want to see both of them around for a long time.

Is this idea feasible and possible? A shock it might be, but we do need some miracle to stop deep-rooted corruption.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Malaysia is a un-dating-friendly place

While having a conversation with Mei Ru about dating and alike, it kinda reminds me of how un-dating-friendly Malaysia is. Why do I say so?
  • The Guards at KLCC Park will actually caution you if you ever hold hands while dating there, or even issue you a fine if you are found to behave a bit too “friendly”. Someone kena caught and the issue got published on newspaper.
  • There are actually signs in some parks which banned couple from dating there. Personally, I think Malaysian parks are notorious for people who behave indecently at night, until people from the Religious Department have to conduct raid from time to time. Thus the park is not a good place for dating.
  • I still remember I went on a trip to Pulau Langkawi with my ex-girlfriend, where we are supposed to take Ferry from a small town near Alor Setar. We were playful while waiting for the Ferry (she piggy-back on me), and it sort of anger a local Kampung guy and he kinda told us off. From then onwards, I suddenly realize I can’t actually be too playful/intimate in public, especially when in the outskirt (KL is still pretty alright, but watchful eye are everywhere).
  • There is actually a sign in a taxi which disallowed couple from being “playful” in the car.
  • Somehow, I have lost all interest to be close and playful with my girlfriend in the public, as there are too many watchful eyes from guards and religious people. It is not that we like public playfulness, but sometimes certain things just happens spontaneously (the mood just came).
I still remember my trip down Singapore, it is a like a totally different world for dating. No one stare at you (unless you French kiss in the middle of the street), and the street is safe even during the night (a walk under the moonlight is so nice). I can feel comfortable and at ease, not worry about people giving me summons or cautions me for being too “indecent” for their taste. Somehow, you could really sense the open minded-ness and “advancement” of people in both countries. I always thought Malaysia is quite a free and open minded society, until I realise the constraint when I go on dating. But as long as I am aware of the boundary, I should be able to survive the dating endeavor here and try to behave myself (ahem!).

No wonder Malaysian start having sex in toilet (public toilet?). Give us a break and don't make us deprived and turn into a pervert.

Enable Blogger Categories using

It is a fact that Blogger/Blogspot does not support posting categorisation, which is pretty frustrating. I know we are not supposed to complaint since it a free service anyway, but why they wouldn't want to include such feature if so many bloggers had asked for it (or izzit only me?). I am not gonna whine about, but to find a solution around it (more work, sigh!).

Some googling around brought me to How to Use for Blogger Categories. Yup! I had found the magical solution. I created a new for Blue Dragon and start posting my links to it (I manage to post 123 out of 127, 4 articles are missing and not being categorised). is an excellent folksonomy tool which excels at categorisation, and I absolutely love it. The only problem is I have to do the categorisation process manually (extra steps) every time I wrote an article, and I have to modify the side bar if I ever add a new category (no big deal!).

Below are the results of Blue Dragon categorisation (in ascending order in term of number of postings):
- Thoughts. For all my childish and deep thoughts.
- Diary. Like a personal diary of events and activities, about the things and people around me.
- Me & Stuff. About me and some other stuffs things that does not fit in Diary)
- Love & Relationship. My thoughts on love and relationship with the gals.
- Dancing. All the happy dancing memories.
- Review. Review of books, movies, products and etc.
- Serious Business. Serious stuffs.
- Travel. My travel experience.


John told me of Tagrolls which enable automatic display of tags as part of my blog. No more manual updating of tags (Hurray!).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Google Reader to make blog reading easier

Google had recently launch the Beta version of Google Reader, a service which will allow you to read the latest postings from all your favourites blogs, news (and other sites which support RSS feeds) in a single page.

What power does Google Reader bestow upon you?
  • You can find and subscribe to your favourites blogs and sites using Google Reader Search. Else, you could subscribe to the feed directly if you know the exact RSS URL.
  • Once you subscribe to your favourites, it shall show the title of all the latest postings. You could selectively read all of them within this single page (no need to remember all your favourite blogs and keep visiting one by one to check for latest posting)
  • You can group your favourites under different Labels (allow you to group/categorise them)
  • Google Reader shall remember whether a posting had been read by your or not (thus knowing which is new to you, and have a history of what you had read).
  • You can Star your favourite articles (keep as bookmark of the posting so you can revisit them whenever you like)
Learn more about Google Reader at the FAQ. This site offers a flash tutorial on how to use Google Reader. from Microsoft offered something similar which cover a wider area and functionalities, but I think it is still in experimental stage. Nevertheless, this page is pretty cool with major Web 2.0 elements.

I wonder what will be the impact on advertisement of subscribed sites, as no advertisement is shown, thus there shall be no clicks and Ka Ching.

PS: The page might seems a little buggy when used with IE at the current moment, as the result of some actions are not instantly reflected.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Tale about Dori the Fish

Dori the Fish is a conventional girl, not too adventurous in life but very playful. Somehow I believe she is a very kind person, and I said she is a good wife material. Perhaps I have an impression that she might be pure and naïve, as if not touched by the ugly side of human nature. Like a little angel, though sometimes could be naughty and lazy.

I know her for quite a while, and I think our relationship had always been pleasant. I believe she is a capable person, and smart in certain ways. I can entrust things to her, though I might need to keep an eye on her from time to time so that she doesn’t deviate too much, and also to give her some small guidance. Sometimes I might be too harsh on her, thus need to control myself and my volume a bit. I would always like her to be on my team, but we had only worked together once. I believe she had the potential, just that sometimes she might be a bit at lost. Sometimes I felt that I need to give her some advice , so that she can find what she is looking for in work and career.

As a friend, she had always been great. I can only recall all the happy moments, and we are quite compatible with each other as well. We can have a lot of fun together, and we talk a lot of funny things together (notice it from out video together). I think we had countless activities together, and I enjoyed every single one of them. She is someone nice and comfortable to be with, and can be fun and rebellious in her small ways. Whenever I saw her, I can always expect a smile on her face. A happy girl. She is quite active in organising activities for the gang, and I appreciate that a lot. Whenever possible, I will try to be the No.1 supporter for all her activities. I guess she is still young at heart and try to have many fun with friends, so am I.

She is not all that perfect, and no one is supposed to be. I think she is a pampered girl, taken care well by the family and the boyfriend. There is always someone to look after her, to nag her. She never has the chance left home to stay outside, thus not able to experience a bit of independent life. Sometimes she felt at lost, as she have no idea what she wanted in life. I think she is still seeking for the answer, and I hope she will find it one day. I believe I have some influence on her life, advising her a thing or two about dream and life. Sometimes I try to “challenge” her a bit, so that she would dare to take some small steps to take control of her life, to make decision and to be just a little bit more independent. I try to encourage and support her in small little ways, hopeful that she will somehow manage to find herself and be happy of herself. I think she somehow influenced my life and way of thinking as well, to be more sentimental (something which I might have forgotten).

She is a sentimental and shy girl, with many small inner thoughts which sometimes she shares with me. She had been more open with me since the first time we meet, and our conversation had become more enjoyable. We share many things in life and thoughts, which kinda bond us closer. Besides, our sharing does last long, and it isn’t just another short term thing. I am not sure how long this shall last, but I certainly do appreciate it.

If she is all that nice and compatible with me, do I like her? I do like her, as she is really one of a kind. If she is single, I would have asked for her. Actually I am not worry about the boyfriend, but more for her. Sometimes she doesn’t have a strong and determined mind, thus making difficult choices could be quite painful for her. If I offered to take her hand, could she decide? Somehow I am very worry to put her in a very difficult situation. She had a caring and trustworthy boyfriend, a boyfriend who might marry her in the near future. Maybe he isn’t very understanding of her needs and sometimes undermined her, and perhaps a little bad tempered and too serious as well. He is very serious about her, and could easily offer her a lifetime commitment. I on the other hand is a playful child (perhaps just like her), and be viewed as flower-hearted by her as well. I kinda think she felt that I am too “wild” for her, and I am afraid she might doubt my sincerity and loyalty in the future, thus bring her sadness. If she is the one, I can’t promise commitment easily, but I certainly can offer sincerity and loyalty, and the oath to try my best to make her happy. The claim from me doesn’t matter, more important is her faith in me. Perhaps timing is of essence here, I think some time would help us to sort things out. I am hopeful. At the same time, I worry too much for her. Sometimes, we never asked for the one which we cared most, as we afraid that we might hurt her and lost her. She had some complaints of me, but I can only do my best :)

Sometimes the ability to be together and live happily very after is more than just like and love, it requires fate and faith, and perhaps a little bit of courage.

PS: Once she told she might be breaking up with her boyfriend, and I actually felt hopeful about that. I still hope she would make a choice which she won’t regret and be happy.

PS: I really like her gift.

Birthday Celebration with Dori the Fish

I probably had my last birthday celebration for 2005 on Saturday night with Dori the Fish. She is pretty reluctant to plan the event for the night, but I kinda “force” her. She had to pick the spot to dine and subsequent activities as well. This celebration is kinda special, as I am supposed to pay for it. I guess it is alright, is not like everyday I have a chance to go out with her. Besides, she treated me before and I enjoyed the dine out very much. Actually I kinda purposely “force” her to treat me last time, as I felt we never quite dine together, just the two of us.

I pick her up but I was late, sorry. She decided on The Curve, so The Curve it is. She kinda hasn’t made up her mind on where to dine, but no harm exploring a bit. The Curve had quite a number of café and restaurant which serve nice food. After a few round of exploration, we decide on a Italian restaurant (the name 1940 something). We ordered 2 light dishes, so that our stomach had some room for cake or desert later. I ordered Cabonara Penne, while she took The Italian Job Pancake (they ran out Fish pancake). She gave me quite an interesting little present, a magnetic sculpture. It had a magnet base with many little X and O metal pieces, and we could sculpt out many funny shapes. We have a good time with it while waiting for our food, while eating and after eating. I really enjoyed the moment.

My Cabonara arrived first, and it is pretty nice, though not as cheesy and milky as I expected it to be. The Italian Pancake is not very good. It is tasteless, not warm and not special, and too filling. But we did have some good time mixing it up with cheese powder, chili powder and pepper to spice things up. I think we always have a good time dining together, or perhaps we always have a good time together. She laughs easily, which makes me happy seeing her happy.

After the dinner, we plan to walk around The Curve to digest the food a bit while scouting the next spot for drink and desert. It is a nice place and a nice night, with a nice companion. Somehow she spotted RedBox, and recommended that we should proceed the night with it. I was quite reluctant at first, but it sounds kinda interesting as well. There is a always a first time for everything, especially spontaneous karaoke session with her. Why not. Since it is Saturday night, so it is a bit more expensive (RM 44 per person). But since we are in the mood, the money should be well spent. She suggested probably we could go clubbing instead, I was surprised! She said it was my birthday after all. Actually I never had been to clubbing or karaoke with a girl alone. Somehow I decided clubbing probably would not be the best choice for the night, as she might not feel comfortable. Karaoke should be a better choice, as I could be happy at Karaoke. The session is really very fun in fact, much better than a group karaoke. We get to pick all the songs we like, and don’t feel embarrassed to abuse the “Companion Singing” button. Usually our choices of songs are suitable for both, as I like female singer’s songs. She leads, and I just follow. I exhausted all the songs that I ever know of in this karaoke session, and thank god she is much betta than me. We have a great time, very comfortable and very enjoyable. This is probably the best karaoke session I had so far, and it lasted until 3 A.M. We became RedBox member as well, and they gave us two cartons of Justea drinks.

It is a bit wasted to let the night end now and then, so I decide to prolong it with a supper session at SS2. Introduce her to Indomee with Egg (Mata Kerbau style) and Fried Squid. We had a good one hour of chit chatting, but I don’t seem t recall our topics. Perhaps it is too natural and comfortable already. All good things have to come to an end, and it ends at four plus. I think I purposely paid for the Karaoke session as well, so that we have an excuse to go out again (*Evil grin*).

PS: She gave me a very precious present: Truth & Sincerely. Something I thought is lost among people, and I am so happy that I had seen it again.

PS: I owe her something long overdue. I shall work on it this week, I wanna do it right.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I have no Talent

I really believe I have not much in born talent in me, but somehow I manage to achieve academic excellence throughout all the years. Perhaps discipline and hard work had much to do with it, or because I had trapped myself ever since I hit the No. 1 spot in Standard One. Being at the No.1 is quite painful, as there is no room for progress and a whole bunch of people is waiting to overtake you from behind. The only motivation for me is that I don’t wanna loose, as the feelings sucks and it would put too much psychological pressure on me. Though it is painful, but it had made me a much stronger and confident person. Perhaps I have a little bit of intelligent in me as well, giving me the ability to strategise and make the best effort out of what I had and what I know. I am proud of the ability within me, perhaps it is a gift after all.

Who had talent then? I came across a few people which I think they are talented, because they really shine and usually do things out of the conventional box.

The first talented person I came across is Ong You Yang, a senior in my secondary school. He is extremely talented in art, where his masterpiece is really stunning. He can draw wall mural the way I can’t. He can think of ways to enhance his art, and I indirectly learned from him. He is good in his studies as well, probably the best in school for his year. Though I am the best in school for my year as well, but I kinda felt he had more talent and potential than me. He can reach greater heights. I wonder how he is doing now.

The second person I know of is Cheng Mun Wai, my college mate and ex-colleague. Probably the two of us had the most algorithmic intensive responsibility in our Research & Development work. He focuses on Image Processing, while I do Pattern Recognition. Though both of us can accomplish our task equally well, but I do felt he had an edge over me. I was never quite creative, but I do read a lot and try to implement new ideas in my work. Mun Wai probably read even more then me (he sort of inspire me to read and learn more), and he can implement things in exceptional ways. I usually like the simple and normal ways, with a bit of enhancement perhaps. But Mun Wai likes the outstanding way, a way which mediocre people probably don’t understand or can’t even think of it in their life time. He is smart, and probably talented in some ways.

The next person is probably Kenneth Lim. Maybe he is not talented, but I respect his entrepreneur spirit. He is definitely not the best in class, but he had his dream and stick with it. He started a business even during college, and proceeds with even a greater venture after college. Though sometimes I doubt his ways, but he is definitely a greater risk taker with better persistency than me. Another guy probably is Danny, but I don’t know him personally. I get to know him through Li Mun, and he had quite a good establishment at the age of 23. I have respect for all entrepreneurs, and probably they have talent in starting a business.

It is a blessing if we have talent, but we can still succeed without one (just that it requires more hard work and to figure out how to work with what we have). Have faith to get us started, have confidence to support us, have persistent to keep us going.

Old School Learning Trick: Other Subjects

Additional Math, no sure if this subject requires talent or not, but a lot of practices does help. I have pretty bad score with Additional Math during my Form 4, where I score an average of 50 for tests and exams. Though I can’t really recall, but perhaps this is the only subject whom I had failed in my entire life. Additional Math is a very special subject, where some basic understanding of the formula and intelligent would not help you solve the more challenging questions. You can understand the formula and examples given, while stare blankly at the questions and still not able to come out with the answer. You would feel so lost and helpless. When I am in Form 5, I know I need help, a lot of them in fact. Thus, I start taking tuition class. The tuition teacher is very talkative and good in explaining the solutions, and gave us a lot of examples and homeworks. Practice makes perfect is so true for this subject. Experience and practices are very much needed for you to solve complex mathematical questions. The more I do, the better I am. Besides, they can be only so many varieties of Additional Math questions for Form 5 standard, and you could easily spot the similarity and solve the problem based on your past experience. Though I am not the best in class, but I am good at it and manage to score me an A just in time for SPM.

Subjects like Chemistry, Biology, Physics and History does not require tuition. All it takes is a lot of hard work to study the reference books, make notes, memorise the fact and practice on past year questions. Chemistry involves some simple understanding and formula calculation. Biology is all about memorization. Physics require logic and understanding, and basic mathematical skills as well. History is about memorization as well.

Mathematic is pretty simple, as it only involves some logical understanding and some practices. Morale is a tricky subject, where you require guidance from an experience teacher who knows the marking scheme of the subject inside out. You need to know and understand how to score points. I think this subject is absolutely useless, pointless and does more harm than good. Do you actually think you can teach moral with a Moral subject? Someone is bluffing themselves and I curse the stupid person who comes up with this proposal.

Then we have the language subject, such as Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia. Language subjects are the most difficult, as it require a long time to master it and a strong foundation is much needed. I have talked about how I was good at Chinese in the beginning, faced with a slump at a later stage and manage to pick it up again at a much later stage. Everything is possible, given time, some planning, hard work and some help from the right people. For me, I have a quite alright English foundation since I was young (not the best in town certainly, my writings prove it all). My mom is an English teacher, thus she force me to sit for an hour of Ladybird study on every weekday after school. I hated her for doing that at that time, as it brings me much pain (I should be sleeping or playing, haha). But now I have her to thank for giving me such a wonderful gift which help me through my life. SPM English standard isn’t that high, thus I could score an A easily. I think I have a C in my 1119 English paper, thus I am really not up to standard in the elite crowd. Bahasa Malaysia (BM) is a language which a lot of good Chinese student fears, as failing BM would means failing SPM all together. It isn’t a difficult language to be mastered (English and Chinese are more difficult), as long as you know the tricks. I specialized in Fact Telling for BM essay, and only that. I am a very logical person, thus can come up with facts and reasoning pretty easily. My BM teacher is the district SPM examiner for BM paper, thus she gave us a few tips and tricks to counter the paper. For Fact Telling, you would need 5 main points (fact & reasoning) to get the optimum score. Thus, make sure you spent time thinking of the 5 main points before you start writing. Then, you elaborate those points into 5 paragraphs, each paragraph for one point. Also, you have to prove that you are good at BM, thus you need to learn a few bombastic words (I can’t remember them any more) or modern Malay word (English term translated into Malay) to be used in your essay. This strategy manage to get me an A most of the time, and of course for SPM as well.

I didn’t take Accounting for SPM, but I learned it from tuition class in Form 4 (I am in Science Stream and Accounting is not part of the subjects offered). I plan to take 11 subjects in SPM (in 1997, most people took only 10 subjects, and 11 subjects is quite an impressive undertaking, and now you could take 16 subjects!), but I gave up after 1 year. I don’t quite like accounting, though I can do the work. Accounting requires a lot of practices to gain experience as well.

Here is my two cents about tuition classes. We have only so much time in a week, thus we CAN’T go for tuition for every subject. Thus, we need to select wisely which subjects could benefit from tuition classes. I had selected Additional Math, Accounting, English Language, Chinese Language and Bahasa Malaysia. Though I am already getting A’s for English Language, but I guess my mom hope that I could raise my standard further (guessed I didn’t, hehe). Bahasa Malaysia tuition is more like for Insurance purpose, as failing it is absolutely devastating. Actually I only require tuition for Additional Math and Chinese Language. Don’t sent your kids to all the tuition classes which you could find, as doing that will take up all his time and stunt he social and emotional growth. Kids need to have fun and take on other hobbies in order to grow up. Focusing too much on academic excellence would make him or her handicapped in the future. Besides, parents need to play a role as well to help their children grow and learn. Don’t push all these responsibilities to the teacher only. Take this advice from someone who score 10 A’s for SPM in 1997 with minimal tuition classes and still grow up pretty alright. Though I am not the best role modal you could find, but do consider to give some space for them to grow. This is more in life than academic excellence.

Old School Learning Trick: Art

I am the No. 1 in school (academic wise) throughout my entire school-based education lifespan, from Standard 1 until Form 5. Even in college, I graduated with 1st class honours and Best Student Project. Even since I am the best in school during Standard One, I had already trapped myself in long cycle of competition and pride retention. Once you are up there, you never want to come down. It is too much of a psychological and confidence blow to me to ever step down from the top spot, thus I trapped myself. I would feel that many people want to compete with me, asking for my results for every single subjects and start comparing, I hate that very much. Why can’t we all just do our best and don’t bother about others? I guess not, as we human like to compete consciously or subconsciously.

I couldn’t remember much about my primary school years, but I have a pretty good memory of my secondary school years. It is not possible for me to be good at every single subject, but I have to in order to be the best in school. I am weak at Chinese, Art and Additional Math, and I have founds ways to counter them and get some respectable results.

Art, probably something which require talent, creativity and skill, which I don’t have any of them. Though I enjoyed drawing, but I am just mediocre. I know of a few seniors who are extremely good at art, and I try to learn indirectly from them. There is this senior named Ong You Yang, probably the most talented guy I had known off from the entire school. Someone whom I would admire and respect. I still remember I stood outside his class when he was taking an Art exam together with a bunch of student, observing how he skilfully completes his masterpiece. I learned something from there: I need some tools to enhance the Art production. I bought Faber-Caster Water Colour Pencil, Banco Bottle Water Colours with just 8 colour, Oil Paster, Charcoal Stick, Eastern and Western Brush, 2 Colour Plates, 2 Big Cups and Tissue Paper, and a lamination spray. All these will help me to get an A in Art, and it does.

I didn’t go for much Art training, thus I have no skill. I am not born with Art in my blood, thus no talent. Perhaps I have some small creativity, but not very good in executing them. I suck at both Water Colour and Oil Painting, thus I have to figure out a way to solve this. I know my weakness in drawing real-life objects look like real-life (especially human, plant, animal and vehicle), thus I only draw scenery and fantasy (and I specialised in them). I would use the Banco Bottle Water Colour to fill up the base of the drawing, with an extra big bottle of white (as I used it a lot to mix it with other colours to make some light shade effects). Why only 8 colours? I can’t control the colours and shading we well, just 8 is more than enough to do the job to fill up the foundation colour of the drawing. The Eastern brush is good for large background, while Western brush is good to create texture effect. 2 colour plates, so I don’t have to waste time to wash them in between. 2 big cups, one for washing off the colour from the brush, while the other to be used as water for the painting (big so that we don’t have to wash them in between). The essence is the Faber-Caster Water Colour Pencil and Oil Paster, as they will bring my dull painting to life. Since I can’t control the paint we well, Water Colour Pencil gave me the much needed control. I just colour it exactly at the point and use a small brush with water to smoothen the colour. The effect is just like water colour, and much easier to be controlled and mix around to create proper shades. Oil Paster is very good to create a rough and colourful environment effect, as the colour is striking with texture effect, and it can be smoothen easily with tissue paper (crayon can’t be smoothen). Tissue paper is used to suck excessive water off the painting as well, and could be used to create some texture effect if used properly. Lastly the lamination spray is used to make the painting looks more sparkling compared to the others. Art does require skill and talent, but the right tools would help a great deal as well. I score an A for art in PMR (I didn’t take Art for SPM), and the art teacher praise my drawings sometimes (and pin them on the Wall of Fame). Anyhow, the ability to produce a much better artwork does make me happy as well.

Old School Learning Trick: Chinese Language

During a conversation on late Friday night, we talked about our secondary school life. I excel in my academic achievement throughout my entire school education years, where everyone assume I must have high IQ and talented. Somehow, I neither felt intelligent nor talented. I believe I am hard working, and I work in some smart way specifically tailored to help me achieved exactly what I wanted.

I am from a Chinese primary school, where I have good results in the Chinese subject until Standard 5. Suddenly I felt that I am no longer good at it, and having great difficulties to score an A. I scored a B in Chinese essay in UPSR, thus not able to skip Remove class (quite a dissapointment at that time). I still have Chinese subject in Secondary school, and I still suck at it. I found many people around me who are extremely good or talented at the Chinese subject, a level which I couldn’t possibly reach due to my weak foundation. I acknowledge my weakness, and somehow found a way around it. I start working and studying in a very systematic way, thinking of strategies to counter the examination marking system.

I know I am weak in Chinese, especially essay, thus I must choose a specific type of essay which may still bear hope for a weak student like me. Among the options of Story Telling, Fact Telling, Letter and etc, I selected to specialise in Story Telling, and only Story Telling. Why? Because Story Telling can score some points in creativity, required just simple language skill and less vocabulary. At the same time, I started reading Chinese novel to improve my story writing skill, and fall in love with Jing Yong World of Kung Fu (金庸武侠小说) series. I start jotting down some useful word of wisdom, proverbs, famous sayings and etc into an exercise book, so that I can use them in my essay writing to score some points.

In the exam there shall be 5 choices for essay writing, while I would only select Story Telling (in fact, I must, I had put all my eggs in one basket). Most people would start writing almost immediately, while I would spend at least 10 minutes to think of the plot of the story. My aim is to think of something out of the ordinary, perhaps something funny or strange. Imagine the teacher would have to mark through probably hundreds or thousands of essays, and my story must stand out and have not been told by others before. After I have a great story, I would start jotting down those “giddies” phrases (from my little exercise book, I had memorised vaguely about 100 of them) to be used in my story, to somehow prove I am knowledgeable and can apply them well in my writings. I will try to use as much of the phrases being jotted down, as I believe they would score me some impression points. I would try not to write a very long story, as it consume more time and would have more mistakes. I make it short, simple and interesting. My strategy earned me an A in my PMR and SPM, not bad for someone who is weak in Chinese and has no talent what so ever. I feel proud with my achievement, and I can still smile while thinking back. It feels so good to excel in something which I am weak at. It took me about 3 years to pick up my Chinese and refine my strategy, and I have a few good and supportive teachers as well.

With no talent, we will have to do with a lot of hard work, in a smart way. We need to admit we suck at it, and do something about it so that we don’t suck anymore. Tuition will help, but you would need more than that. My friends were very surprised with my techniques, and would probably shrug at disagreement with what I had done. Sometimes drastic time calls for drastic measure, and I am in a drastic situation, as everyone is aiming to compete with me in every possible subjects. Though it does not make me a person who is good in Chinese at the end (a little better, perhaps), but at least it make me a good problem solver and perhaps a little wiser and more experienced.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Lost my 1st Deal

Even since I had engaged in freelance work at the end of 2002, I never lost a single deal and always manage to collect my reward. Today, I lost a deal due to differences in expectation. A lesson to be learned in business dealing.

J contacted me few months back to develop a customized software for his company. I agreed as I have the skill and experience in his business domain. J is a IT graduate who no longer works in the IT line. He happily drafted me a specification and asked me to work on it. Since I already own a product similar to his requirement, I decided to modify the product to suits his requirement, while offering him more features and smoother operational benefit which already exist in the product.

After more than a month working on the project (I was late in delivering, my fault), I delivered the 1st version to him. Somehow he doesn't seems quite impressed with my work, and have lots of complaints. This is understandable, as 1st version usually is quite rough. Usually we would go through a few cycles of changes and bug fixing to get the system up and running smoothly. Though I could sense his dissatisfaction, but he is a patient guy. He uses his QA (Quality Assurance) skill to come up with a long list of bugs and modifications. He is a very perticular guy, wanting changes in even the smallest way to suit his likes and dislikes. From here, I should have known he is a person of strong personal preferences and can't be persuaded easily. I gave in most of the times as he gave some valid reasons, and I also have gave up debating and reasoning with him after sometime (he is even more stubborn than me). He doesn't like the way I deviate from his original design (his design is more like for a console system, while I am developing a Windows system). Though I think the deviation is for a better design, but perhaps I have unconsciously undermined his design which might offended him indirectly.

When I first quote him my price, he said I am not cheap (hinting I am expensive? good. Quality stuff doesn’t come cheap). I believe I charged a reasonable price, and I am ready to offer you flexibility and compromisation in return. The original specification does not covered all that is required for the product (as usual), and most of the time he would ask for something extra. I already anticipated that, thus ready to give a bit of extra to him without charging more. Most clients don't know what they want, or can't visualise all the things they want at one time. My job is to anticipate what they want and factored them in my original price, so I don't have to hike it up the price at a later stage and make them unhappy. Some people out there can charge you a very cheap price, but will charge you extra for every single modification and enhancement which is out of the original scope. While some charge you a cheaper price because they doesn't know how to estimate properly, thus suffering losses at the end or abandoned the project for something more profitable. I have the experience and skill, charge reasonably, flexible, willing to compromise, produce good quality product and provide prompt online support (much betta than most local software house who charge astronomical price for slow support).

Anyway, after a few rounds of bug fixing and modification, we are finally there. Somehow I could still feel he is unsatisfied, probably he is expecting more value for his money. This is a problem of people with IT knowledge who doesn't work in IT anymore, applying the age-old knowledge and experience in the new fast changing IT world. Perhaps he thinks he could do it betta than me, and I am overcharging and under deliver. Or he could find someone else who could do it cheaper and better. If you want me to recommend someone who could do it cheaper and reasonably well as well, I have no one in the list. But I have someone who could do it more expensive.

J is a very safe guy as well. With just a small project, he wants to guarantee his investment (sounds reasonable). Just in case I died or stop doing freelance, he wants my source code as well. Thus he wants to appoint a trustee to safeguard the source code, and pass it to him once I died. I was like, huh? If this is a multi-million investment, I could probably understand and agree. But this is a just peanut, and you just pay for the product and not source code, okay? To satisfy his needs, I quote him for the source code, which he is not ready to pay for it. Source code is Intellectual Property (IP), definitely more expensive that the product itself as it is my bread and butter after all. So, you want guarantee for a peanut project but not ready to pay for it? Then he starts talking about how a professional software house should be and how much safer it would be. Professional Software house don't charge you peanut as I do, and they charge you for every modification you ever raise up (probably 50 times more expensive than my offering, and not guaranteed betta). Then they give you an inferior product, charge you for compulsory support which does not exist and put you through eternal hell, muahahaha. I try my best to convince him with some logical analysis and reasoning, but does not prevail. Perhaps he thought there would easily be a better deal out there, thus not willing to compromise on his demand. Perhaps I could just give in and appoint a trustee for my source code, but I felt there are too many unforeseen complication, risk and unproductive work. He turned down all my suggestions and reasoning, thus NO DEAL. Since I am a kind soul and it is partly my fault for implying I might agree with the Source Code Trustee thing in the first place, I won't charge him for the work (although the work is almost complete).

I had lost this deal, either he found a better deal out there or not. The hardest part of freelance work is not coding itself, but managing the project scope and customer expectations, a.k.a Managing the People. I had seen worst, and J is still an okay case (he is quite patient in certain sense). If only he could believe in his decision in picking me and have more faith in me. But confident is earned, not asked for. We have to satisfied the client's needs (emotional needs as well), while not hurting ourselves. I hope I made a right decision. At least I have less work now, a bit less money to be earned and somehow happier.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why they hang you up in mid air?

When you tell someone, "I kinda like you", the other party is supposed to answer "I like you too" or "I don't like you". As usual, things don’t come in simplistic form anymore. The answer is usually in between like and dislike, and it kinda feels like your poor soul is drifting in mid air, neither could you touches the ground and die, nor could you reach heaven. If you are a super good man, you could (no guarantee) get a yes. If you are a super-annoying idiot, you could (guaranteed) get a no. If you are a normal mediocre person, you get in between, muahahaha.

Perhaps simplicity and straightforwardness doesn't quite exist in the dictionary of Rules of Engagement. I think the last time I enjoyed simplicity in Declaration of Like/Love is probably the first one, where the answer is nice and simple (though not the one I would expect, but it complies with KISS). As we get older, the answer got more complex and vague. It kinda requires more brain juice to interpret them, probably needs the assistance of a few love doctors or shrinks to decode the message. It is all the fault of flowery language, poem and pantun. Or izzit our mind works in different way, a wiser way when we developed more brain cells. Let's analyse this a bit further by coming out with more organised scientific answer (sounds like fun, hehe).

Why they hang you up in mid air? (I shall categorised them as well, goodie!)
  • The Evil Mistress. They like to be adored, and want you continue adoring them even though they don't like you, as long as they feel good about it. You are her pet toy.
  • The Cheerleader. She is after all a popular girl with many options around, thus put you in KIV (Keep In View), just in case she needs you.
  • The Confuse Child. She is totally unsure and uncertain of her own feelings, thus she is lost.
  • The Princess. She awaits her true love, thus she needs to be sure. So you need to put on your shining amour, slay the dragon and prove your worthiness.
  • The Sorcerer. She awaits your sacrifices, thus those who contribute the fattest lamb shall be cast into the lava pit (just kidding!).
  • The Oracle. She is the all-seeing eye (newbie) who tries to look through the purity of your heart (with the help of some tests, perhaps). Given time she shall knows, so will you.
  • The Forbidden Flower. Though she would like to, but she can't. Perhaps time is of essence here to awaits her to fly off and be freed.
  • Miss Brainy. A girl with her own dreams, where she have much to do and accomplish before you.
  • Miss Polite. She is so kind, that she worries you poor little heart cannot take the bad news. Or, she just can't break the bad news to you (she does no evil).
Yup. I had ran out of brain juices thinking of the names and her characteristic. Anyone wanna help me?

100% Truth-proof

When I was young, I always find it difficult to convey a lie. If possible, I wouldn’t want to tell a lie, unless it is a life and death situation (such as lying about lost homework to avoid the cane). Some people tell lies to play prank or fool around, I am not very fond of that either. Anyway, no one kinda believes you will be a very truthful person. Until one day I was telling a friend about something and he suspiciously ask me in disbelieve, "Sure or not? You are fooling me right?” Then another friend stand up for me and said, "You should believe him. He never lies". I was caught by surprised as I kinda feel this guy really is the echo of my heart (sure or not? haha). The sad thing is I can only vaguely remember who this guy is, and I vaguely remembered that he is the minority in school (less popular crowd), which I cared for. That time I kinda like to hangout with the minority crowd as they seems in need of a friend, and I have the tendency to support the underdogs. My mentality at that time is the popular ones (or even the pretty ones) could get help and company easily from anyone else, thus they don't need me. I wanted to lend my hand to someone who actually needs me, someone who doesn't have anyone else. I still remember there is this very dirty kid in school where no one wanna neither befriend nor talk to. He is poor, smelly and neither good in sports nor studies. I like to talk to him, and he always look for me during recess when I am on my prefect watch near his block. Many people surprise why I even border to be close to him, maybe because I sense he needs me and I could be of use to him.

Lets not wonder too far away from truth and lies into the underdogs. If possible, I wouldn't want to lie to anyone (so don't force me!). I always subconsciously thought it is possible to be truthful in all situation (besides saving my own skin), thus I try to be a truthful one. I try to reduce my lies, taking steps by steps towards Utopia. I was awaken by my own words during a conversation with a friend. I said, "Sometimes it brings more pain and harm telling the truth, while telling lies or withholding of truth hurt no ones". I guess we human are given the ability to make judgment and analysis for a reason, so that we can decide when it is best to tell the truth or white lies (a.k.a Beautiful Lies). If it brings more harm to others and me when I tell the truth, is it still logical to tell the truth (unless it is those stupid principal thing again)? Given this statement, I kinda feel that maybe I shouldn't be too focus on telling the truth all the time. Why not use a Beautiful Lies when it hurts no one and make everyone happy? Perhaps I am worry that once you start a lie, the next one would follow on. Once you cannot be truthful, you would start to close up and start hiding, rather than confronting. Once you are addicted to it, you are bound to misuse it.

The fact is, you have to admit it isn't possible to be 100% Truth-proof all the time. But how much truth should we let out? 99.99%? 90%? 50%? Now I am lost. Perhaps my motto is be truthful as far as I could, as long as it doesn't bring others and me (priority is on me) great harm. But sometimes I am stupid and stubborn, thus not be able to make a wise and logical judgment call. For example, Blue Dragon, he is a double edges sword. He can help you to understand me, or he could make you dislike or distrust me. Like a game of poker, you shouldn't open up all your cards, unless your opponent isn't interested in winning, but just to play with you (what is the odds of that happening?). A lot of time it would be really advantages for me to tell some white lies, but I kinda felt it would eat into my soul.

It is not that I am a holy person who doesn't tell lies (probably I did a lot but just didn't quite notice it because it is too common and harmless, hehe). If it is so, perhaps I had already mastered the art of Beautiful Lies. Anyway, I still feel there is a need to be truthful to avoid falling to the dark side (loosing your self), until I regretted it, muahahaha.

His Videos

My videos are finally up and hosted at Google Video (default) and YouTube. Enjoy!

Gunung Charlie + Cameron (1-4 September 2006)

Gunung Datuk (13 August 2006)
D'Paradise Melaka (29 July 2006)
Ulu Langar Lepor Waterfall (01-02 July 2006)
Gunung Rajah (02-04 June 2006)

Gunung Angsi (28 May 2006)

Kit2 B-day - 1 Year Old (19 May 2006)

Tioman + Batu Pahat (08 - 12 April 2006)
Chin Chuan's Wedding (01 January 2006)

XMAS Party (25 December 2005)

Chiang Mai (19-25 December 2005)

Wei Kang's Wedding (17 December 2005)

Outdoor Rock Climbing (02 October 2005)

Birthday Karaoke (22 September 1005)

Kota Kinabalu Trip (25 July - 01 August 2005)

Melaka Water City Trip (02-03 July 2005)

Company Dinner (21 April 2005)

Taman Negara Trip (26-28 Feb 2005)

Google Video Tips
For better viewing quality, click on the "triangle pointing down" icon on the bottom right of the video player and select Original Size (smaller, best quality) or Double Size (bigger, with acceptable quality) or choose Fit to Window with Smooth Video.