Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thou shall not treat others the way Thou wouldn’t want to be treated

I remember it wasn’t that long that I was an employee who complaint about my company and bosses, and about how incompetent people are and how unproductive things are. That time I was very sure if I am the boss, it would do things right and shall never repeat these mistakes.

Not very long later, I was half a boss, started to employ my first employee, trying to make sure everything is perfect for him while avoiding all the mistakes which my ex-company had done to me. While doing so, I found not many bosses would share the same ideology as I did. Some didn’t feel a need to make the employee happy, while some have no idea what need to be done (or maybe they don’t really care about the satisfaction and happiness of the employee). I on the other hand, is a strong believer that the employee must be happy and satisfied in order to produce good result. I’ll try my best to make sure that they get what I hope to get while I was an employee, to create the near-perfect working environment for them. Why treat them so nice? Perhaps I wanted to be treated so back then, and I would contribute a lot more and stayed longer.

While I was trying to be a good half-boss, I found that sometimes things are not within my control. I can’t really run the company the way I dreamt of running it, as different partners have different perceptions and values. It is like I can’t really sustain the business without them, yet I have to live with their way of running the business. Again, can’t really live with them, neither without them. Perhaps it’s the matter of compromising again, creating a less than perfect environment. Perhaps it’s too easy to be average, very difficult to achieve high quality, and above average is not hard.

Perfection only lies within the eye of the beholder, perhaps sometimes it’s better to step back and look at it in a less serious perspective. Is this denial or a strategy for a good solution? I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it works.

Death and Taxes

An old saying said that only death and taxes (I doubt this though) is certain, but I guess more realistically, only the past is certain (because it had already happened). Why bring out such a thought again? Because the future is uncertain, AGAIN.

Actually, the future is never certain, just depends on how often we thought about it. Not sure what I am going to write today, and definitely the futures seems murky to me. Not a very good way to end a year huh. Seems like a lot is going on and happening, but nothing quite feel like “success” or “happiness”.

Perhaps I am trying to chase for some kind of perfection in life, like doing something I like and still manage to make a decent living out of it. Perhaps I do get a chance do something I like, the way I like it, but I might not be able to make decent living out of it. Perhaps I still get to do something I like, but may not be the way I like it, and have a higher chance to make a living out of it. Or perhaps I don’t chase for something I like to do, yet be able to make a descent living out of it. Some point in time, sacrifices have to be made before reaching the nirvana in life (sipping cocktail on my yacht sailing through Bahamas with millions in my Swiss account). Perhaps I have been imagining about nirvana too much, until I didn’t do enough in real life.

Recently I am wondering a lot about the balance of sacrifices and compromises I should be making, and how I should carry on my live for the next year. What is the optimal recipe (again, seeking for perfection again) for success and happiness?

Perhaps it’s time to review back what I had done for the past year and what I should do for the next. Time seems to be running out as 30 are near.

PS: I was hoping blogging would help me pour my thoughts out, but there are so much in the head and yet very hard to put any words down.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

why don't people talk

I can’t quite remember since when I started to enjoy writing. I don’t remember myself enjoying reading and writing at any point in my life, exept now. Perhaps I pickup new habits along the way, hopefully for the better. Now I seem to write and talk more (might not be really good though). Slowly I realize a lot of people around me actually talk and express about themselves less. Though I feel like “liberating” them, but I know too well it’s part of a self realization process which cannot be forced through (at least I believe so).

Recently got to know a guy who don’t actually talk much, and almost always accept things which come to him. I guess he is a Mr. Yes, yet to learn how to say No. Though he don’t really say “No” from his mouth, but I kinda sense that he is reluctant, and perhaps might just play ignorance and let things flow without any action. Some believe in action, while some people believe in inaction (escaping from responsibility perhaps, where I choose this path sometimes which end up eating my soul badly). I am worry about him. Usually I wouldn’t bother with this kind of stuff, as everyone has the freedom to choose how they want to carry on with their life, and it’s easiest to leave him as he is. But, I might need to get associated in certain cooperation which could potentially affect my daily life in the near future. A business deal. Hopefully I could understand what kind of person is he, but perhaps getting someone like him to open up is not easy, especially when we don’t bond very well.

Well, another small obstacle of life. With complexity of human relationship and decision to be made. Since when do I care so much about the psychology of a guy? Starts to sound a bit dodgy here. I have no choice (no choice in a choice I would have made). Perhaps it’s best to carry on with my part and left him alone, but that doesn’t seems too ideal and beat the whole purpose of things. How much am I willing to compromise and sacrifice?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Travel North: Gurun + Alor Setar

It’s my 27 years old birthday, and we decided to be slightly more adventurous and travel up north. Though we aren’t really doing it backpack style, but we did let a lot of decision making to be spontaneous (and did carry a backpack and drive) and she did some basic research through the Internet.

We book for a luxury package at Pedu Lake, which is extremely far away. Thus our entire journey revolve around our route to and back from Pedu Lake. We decide to visit Gurun, and then spend a night at Alor Setar before going to Pedu.

Kedah is not really a famous tourist destination, with lots of paddy field. Our first stop is Gurun, stop by to visit Gunung Jerai. Gunung Jerai is something like a mini Fraser Hill, 30 minutes to drive up some narrow road to see a resort with lots of greenery and mountains up there. The scenery up there is pretty nice, not exactly fantastic. Supposing it would be quite nice to spend a night up here, but I am afraid we shall be bored to death.

There is an archeology site nearby, but we are running out of time and head for Alor Setar instead. Alor Setar is quite a big town, with a lot of interesting building such as clock tower, beautiful mosque and museum, and a mini “KL Tower” as well. We hit a budget hotel at RM 55 per night, and somehow all the food in Alor Setar tastes pretty good.

The next stop is Gunung Keriang, about 30 minutes away from town, with a crystal mountain in the middle of paddy field, and a supposingly fascinating paddy museum as well. It turn out the museum is quite a disappointment as well, with nothing much except a big and realistically drawn scenery of the surrounding areas displayed through its gigantic dome. Gunung Jeriang is made up of a small park, and a 10 minutes climb to a little shelter on top. The scenery was quite nice up there, overseeing the park and some paddy fields. We was told we could actually climb to the peak and sees some crystals, wind tunnel, funny trees and glowing trees at night, plus a view of the sea. Too bad I didn’t manage to wake up the next morning for the climb, as I was seduced by the cool air and cozy bed.

The 1st day ended pretty well, with about 5-6 hours drive from KL to reach Alor Setar. We missed a few tourism spot in Kedah, including the beach, the waterfall and the archeology site.

Photo Links: Mei Ru's Multiply

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To Dream or not to Dream

Its known when you have an ambition, a target, a dream, you would not be satisfied or be happy until the day you have what you want. Does it mean that we shall no longer be happy if we have a dream? Does it mean that dream actually bring us more pain? Or could be actually do without dream or desire? Wanting nothing else, and be totally satisfied with what we already have? Or we can’t actually live without a dream?

I believe it’s the dream and hope which fuel us, thus we shall always want something which we doesn’t have. But managing a dream and trying to achieve it is another tricky matter. A lot of people have a dream, but they never try to do anything to achieve it. Some people have a dream, and they just do a bit everyday towards their direction. A few people have a dream, and are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve it.

I am those who try to keep things in mind, and will try to do a bit everyday towards my direction. I can’t bare doing nothing about it, but neither could I sacrifice everything just for it. Perhaps I am not meant to do big things or become someone great. Though I don’t hope to become a billionaire, but I do want to become a millionaire in the not too distance future. To me it’s an achievable target, and it’s the way I would want to live my life. Solid financial is the foundation for happiness; I still remember and believe in it. Too much of anything would spoilt our life, thus I don’t see the need to go all out at any cost for power and money.

But will I be unhappy until the day my dream is achieved? I believe there shall be a certain sadness a long the way, as my heart is still not a peace. The war had started and on going, and peace is only possible if we win the war. What if I loose? Never quite thought of that. It is just a matter of time, either sooner or later. One thing for sure, I can’t quite give up the dream. I can try to achieve it one way or another, but I try as much as possible not to become a quitter.

Again, will I be unhappy? Yes. But if I give up, I shall loose my soul and spirit.

I think it’s a bad idea to give up our dream, and it sure feels damn good if we manage to achieve it. Life could turn up to be a vicious spiral or a stream of good things keep happening, as the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Thus it is important to keep the good things happening.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lone Ranger or Gang of Four?

It had been almost a year since I went into self employment. Though I haven’t succeeded in becoming a “Big Boss”, but I sure am glad still surviving and continue planting the seeds for future growth.

When I left my job, the push factor is the job had become too easy with nothing much to do, and the company isn’t progressing, thus I stayed stagnant together with her as well. Though I enjoyed the free time to take on various adventures on my own, but it just doesn’t feels right for the long term. The pull factor? Guess I gave up hope on the company and hoping to try something more exciting and worth my time and effort. Thus I began the journey of a Lone Ranger.

Being a Lone Ranger is pretty exciting; as I could chase any dreams or implements any idea which I thought is good. Basically I have the full control and no bureaucracy, and no communication barriers as there is only me alone. I would say productivity could practically peak at 100%, if I did work hard all the time. Too bad reality isn’t that ideal, as sometimes I become lazy and slack. But the whole process is fun and exciting, but worrisome nevertheless. I still have to find ways to get some business and pay for my living, besides working on my fun and exciting pet projects which I wouldn’t be able to cash in anytime soon. Basically I am earning far less than employment, but what makes me made such an illogical choice? Perhaps to buy a dream and proving one day I could stand on my own feet without the need to wait for a monthly salary.

When I was young, I used to think of starting some kind of business and become super rich. After having tried running a business or being self employed, now I think being able to survive and live a comfortable life on my own effort is rewarding enough. Now I have the most respect for everyone who is running a business, and even tried running a business before. It is difficult and challenging, and can be damn uncertain most of the time.

Life of a Lone Ranger is all mighty powerful with lots of freedom, but absolute power shall corrupt as well. Personally I think I am slacking too much, taking my own sweet time and giving myself too much excuses. Perhaps I lack some discipline, or I could blame it on the environment. Nevertheless, it is something I try to fix all the time – fixing myself.

Soon after I meet up with an old friend who offered me a partnership to join his startup. The idea sounds tempting, as he has the business and the idea of having partners sounded refreshing (I know the fact the good and suitable partners are indeed very hard to come by). I like him as a good person, and I trust him. He offered me a small allowance, a business platform, a healthy pipeline, a group of talents and business contacts. The idea sounds great, so I decide to give it a one month try to evaluate the situation.

After more than a month of rushing and crazy work, I kinda get a feel of the business. I think the company has the potential to grow further, and we have people of different talent and expertise to fuel the business. I am pretty sure the business will grow into a multimillion dollar business within 3 to 5 years. Though the partnership might work out and worth trying, but I wasn’t feeling very happy. It is all very logical, where I don’t feel the excitement or passion or happiness running the business. It’s all about work, delivering one thing at a time, working on a system which eventually might succeed. Another thing is I am loosing my freedom and have go back to into a almost full time office working life, with all the traffic jam and office attire coming back. I know it’s quite a luxury, but loosing that is quite demoralizing at times.

I am unhappy, why? Perhaps I sacrifice my Lone Ranger ability to have full control and run the business the exact way I would like to run it. Now I have to ensure power sharing, taking in other people’s idea which I might not totally agree with. Sacrifices have to be made: where I have to let go of something, and have something else to gain. I do really feel happier and more comfortable being a Lone Ranger, though earning less, but I believe I might eventually make it at the end. I feel like leaving the gang and turn back into the almighty Lone Ranger.

I told my friend what I felt, where he didn’t actually persuaded me to stay but share his thoughts with me. Basically, partnership is all about making compromises for a greater course. When different people are working together, it is impossible for them to have the same thoughts and style, thus there shall always be conflict and disagreement. The rule of thumb is if someone is contributing higher than his irritation level, we could actually compromise as it has more good than bad. As long as we are working very hard towards the same target in the end, we could compromise in between and ignore the small irritation. The path and intermediate approach might be different across individual.

Most business is based on a long trail of ground works, where we could have started planting seeds years ago before the first deal landed. The business platform offered to me is based on years of hard work, and we are slowly reaping the fruit now.

The almighty Lone Ranger might just be mighty in the eye of himself, as he might end up being to egoistic and not able to work with others. There is a limitation on how much a single person could actually work on, and shall soon reach a stage of stagnation. A Lone Ranger can’t really work alone, as he needs to depend on others as well for the business contacts and sales channel. I could produce the goods, but I need someone to help me sell it. There are many smart and successful Lone Rangers around, but they all face the problem of stagnation and difficult to work with. Perhaps the almighty Lone Ranger always command others to follow their way, as there are not willing to make compromises. It’s okay for you to be dumbest people on Earth, as long as everyone is willing and wanted to work with you.

Between an Almighty Lone Ranger and Compromising Gang of Four, which should be the path I would embark next? Each has its own issues, and nothing could be perfect. I hope I can compromise and put my heart all in to make the delivery. No matter what I choose, it shall be a choice with no regrets. In 3 more years by the age of 30, I need to create a stable income stream and fulfilled my dream of a big travel plan to the happiest place, and complete a milestone of my life.

How to learn to compromise and let go at times? That is another long and irritating journey, haha.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What I learn about life

One day I woke out from the wrong side of the bad, with what seems like an easy and harmless day turned out to be difficult and annoying. It all started with a few bad phone calls and my life start turning upside down in order to make other people’s life easy (that’s the objective, though it’s not necessary to work towards that direction).

Then I decide to face these problems with courage rather than sulk on them, thus started to tackle them one by one. Then I realize before I finish solving one problem, another two popup. Thus pressure is built up, until some big trigger push me into the pit of hopelessness, thus causing me to rethink should I continue to pursue what I am pursuing now.

When everything seems too difficult and hopeless, it’s already time to go home and have some rest (perhaps it’s a good idea). Driving home with such despair, I ponder how I should continue with my life. I was hoping someone would be at home for me to show my tiredness and perhaps rant a bit. I was kinda disappointed to find no one was around when I reach home. Luckily my parents and uncle return soon, and then we get to chit chat a bit.

The chit chat can sure do miracle, not to find a solution, but to release it all out and seeking the experience of others. If you ask me what had I concluded from the conversation? Nothing. Nothing is concluded or achieved, but I just felt relieved and ready to move on with life. I felt alive again and no longer in despair. I am ready for tomorrow and able to sleep tonight. It reinforce the importance of having someone at home when I get back, thus it is called a home, not a house.

When I work up the next morning, the vicious cycle started again … until one day when I get used to it, or I give up on it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Miss Autumn Festival Post

Where would be the best place to celebrate Mid Autumn festival? SP Setia’s park at Pusat Bandar Puchong, as I really couldn’t find any place else. It had a nice lake, big park and small crowd. If you know of any better location, do let me know :)

I guess it’s pretty usual for most people to stay at home and do nothing on this day, but I might as well “celebrate” it since I have someone special this year. Picking the spot is quite a challenge, but we manage well in the end. Have been busy through the entire week, not sure what motivate me to go out and plan something. Perhaps just wanna do something to make you happy … too bad didn’t manage to get the lanterns, but the candles are pretty fun as well.

Photo Links: Mei Ru's Multiply

Gunung Ledang (Mt. Ophir)

Gosh! I miss blogging on so many important events due to extremely busy schedule, from Gunung Ledang to Al Chifar Dinner & Dance to Alor Star + Pedu Lake + Pangkor Island trip. Since I don’t have time to write much, so might as well do a photo blog to remember these events (more pictures, less writings).

Among all my mountain trekking experience, Gunung Ledang is probably one of the more disappointing ones. Why? Because the place is costly and too commercialized. You have to pay for parking, entrance, trekking, and also a guide (total around RM 60 per person paid to Taman Negara).

There are about 21 of us (1 guide for 10 person, and we have to take 3, and the extra guide will take care of the little kid we bring along, sigh). It takes 2 hours to reach our campsite, passing by 2 pretty waterfalls. I think this is the 4th station, and this campsite is huge with ample space. We left our big bags here and continue trekking 4 hours up to the peak. The journey is quite challenging as it requires quite some rope climbing, and there are sands along the path and some bonsai look-alike tree near the top.

The top is pretty disappointing as we reach around 4-5 P.M. (we need another 3 hours to trek down and must reach by 7, Taman Negara regulation) which is pretty hot, and it’s hazy as well due to the bad haste recently. So no clear sky, no nice weather, no amazing view, sucks. I was told before Taman Negara take over, we could camp near the top, which is quite cool as we can enjoy the sunset and sunrise, not to mention the pretty stars at night. Guess all these fun stuff are no longer available now, so we would probably banned Gunung Ledang for life.

In total we have to trek around 8 hours on the 1st day and it’s quite rush and not quite relaxing nor enjoyable. Furthermore I didn’t quite get my “reward” at the peak. Then it rains at night before I could have my dinner, and water went in the camp and my sleeping site outside, double sucks. Somehow, it rains pretty often during most of my outdoor trips, sigh.

The next day is super relaxing, just about an hour downhill and get to swim near the waterfall (which is pretty enjoyable).

Gunung Ledang could have been better, but the true experience of mountain trekking is spoilt by Taman Negara (perhaps to cater for more city folks, they have to make it super safe plus constraining). If you are a city dweller that haven’t trek much mountain before, perhaps Gunung Ledang is for you.

Ops, it didn't make it to become a photo blog, I wrote too much ...

Photo Links: Mei Ru's Multiply 1, 2 and 3; Michelle's Multiply; Chim's Multiply 1, 2, 3 and 4

PS: My video production for Gunung Ledang could take forever to come out

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Partnership = Marriage?

Now I am officially a busy man: a man struggling with my own business venture, a man trying to help my cousin with her academy for special children, and now a man busy to run a software business with partners.

Even since I decide to give a try on this software partnership thing, time is against me (perhaps I am trying to do too many things at the same time). I started to felt that partnership is like marriage, where I would want "good" and trustable partners. Yet there is so much fear in it, and yet so much trust is required. No amount of paper work or agreement could make a partnership work, not stop it from failing (though it would help to prevent it from departing miserably).

I would say the business is good, but the process and manpower sucks at the moment. The business grows too fast and it's backfiring, and perhaps further growth is a problem at the moment. I am required to run and streamline the business: to handle the clients, perform requirement study, hire a few good people (this could be tricky, and fun) and set the business up to handle more of businesses in the future. I am required to code at the moment, since the office is not up and thus we cannot hire people yet. The business is in a slight mess at the moment (and it could continue falling into deeper mess if we didn't save it in time), yet it had the potential to become a profitable and sustainable software business (in fact, it is already profitable and had more business that we could handle).

What do I like about this partnership? Partnership is a two-edge sword; it could bring us to greater height or screw us up badly. I had been a lone ranger most of the time and God knows when I am capable of employing people to work for me and find suitable and willing partners to grow my business together. Partnership equal team and I would like to try to work in a team environment. Secondly, the business is already there, we just need to complete the job and collect the cheque (one less thing to worry about). Third of all, the partners seem alright and it is possible to work together. Last but not least, I finally am going to get a taste of employing people, train some protégés and run a software business. Even since I work as a software developer, I had been criticizing the ways local software companies are run. Let's see if I could actually make a different, or sucks as much as the rest.

What makes me to hold back? Like I said, partnership is long term commitment, lots of trust, co-operation and understanding, and is definitely not easy. But neither is marriage easy, yet we still have to go through it. Is like for all or nothing, we have everything to gain or back to square one at the end. Time is of essence here, and I might have too much on my hands. I am not willing to sacrifice my current venture, yet I feel the need to help my cousin with her academy, and this new partnership is going to eat a big pie of my time. Perhaps this time thingy could backfire me later.

Though I do enjoy my lone ranger venturing period, but perhaps it's time to change slightly: to try something new, to take some risk, to have more faith, to be more realistic and start making big money, and start getting very busy. Sometimes it does make me wonder, to do the things we enjoy, or to do something which makes big money? Perhaps I need to money to fuel my "hobbies".

PS: Life has been too busy for blogging lately. I have to write this piece while waiting for the departure of my Gunung Ledang trip, and the computer at the Cyber Cafe got so badly hit with viruses that I can't even post/save my writing (luckily I use Writely which auto save). I finally find the time to retrieve it today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dr. Henry Lee: A Good Man

Saw a pretty interesting show on TVBS’s SUMMIT 101, where the featured Dr. Henry Lee, the forensic science expert. What captured my attentions is not his skill nor capabilities, but him as a person and his characters, and perhaps some of his insights as well.

Lee gave me a very solid feel, someone strong and trustworthy, yet excellent and open minded. Some quick background: I think he was a former police officer who went to US in the early days with just USD 50. Then he worked his way through university to get his PhD and fight for his chance to achieve his life ambition: Police Forensic Science.

I think he is a pretty famous person nowadays, got a few of his moment in the interview which captured my attention.

When he was going for the university, he tried to cram the subjects of 4 years into two. The tutor said he was crazy and wouldn’t allow him to do so. He said, “It’s my fault if I fail. It isn’t my fault if you don’t let me to do it.” Somehow he convinced the tutor and succeeds at the end (after all, this is a success story). So, should blame others for the lack of opportunities to try, as it is us who didn’t try hard enough to try.

The interviewer ask him, wouldn’t things be different if he didn’t venture to US? It’s the person which matter and we just go through different path at different places. Every profession had its peak, and it’s still possible to turn out to be great. I guess we shouldn’t blame on the places we are at, and we still have the freewill to move on.

To succeed in any profession, what is important? A team. You must treat others better than you treat yourself, so that others will be happy and willing to work for you. No matter how great you are, you can’t function without a good team. You need different people to do different things, and it’s the collaborative effort which give you result. Another thing is you must have curiosity and courage. We must be willing to take risk, and don’t take unnecessary risk. I guess I kinda have the second half, but not the first half. I think it’s kinda difficult to find a good and responsible partner, which we could work well together. I co-operate with Simon for a few times, but he is busy nowadays with his son and law degree (prioeity shift). Mei Ru is my best partner at the moment, helping and supporting me whenever she could. Perhaps I really have to look seriously getting people together to venture together, yet good and willing people are hard to come by.

About crime. It is not enough to depend just on the police, but the people's heart. If everyone can do a good deed everyday, the crime would definitely reduce significantly. The state of economy relate closely to the crime level, sounds logical and undeniable. If there is more 1st time offender, it means the society’s education is not functioning. If there are more repetitive offenders, it means the correction system is not working. We should give leniency and forgiveness to 1st time offender and enforce a heavier punishment for repetitive offender. In order to counter crime, we must learn how to prevent crime (society education and economy), stop crime (severe punishment for repetitive offender) and reduce crime (enforcement effectiveness).

At the end, I believe a good character is more important than intelligent, skill, capability or money. It is all about what you are made of, how you carry yourself and how people look upon you. I believe Lee is a good person, at least he gave me such an impression (it maybe be the truth, or he is damn good at it).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is human nature predictable?

Once upon a time, I would like to study Psychology, as if it would help me understand human, or predict them. It sounds like an amazing and interesting course, but I guess it might not be a magical pill in real life.

Today I woke up late, due to constant screw up thoughts and excuses just to avoid getting up from the comfort of my bed. Since the day begun late, I somehow unconsciously decode to screw up the entire morning by watching Ed of Stuckybowl.

Ed is both the owner of Stuckybowl and a lawyer. To cuts things short, Ed somehow was involved in defending a scam artist, Danny Devito. It turns out Danny is not really a “full-time” scam artist, but a psychology with 30 years fo experiences making use of his knowledge and taking advantage of the predictability of human nature. If you were to pick a number between 1 to 4, which one will you pick? (Answer is at the bottom). If you we to choose 2 numbers, the 1st one must be an even number followed by the 2nd one which must not be the same as the 1st one, what would be your choice?

Any, Danny orchestrated a sports betting scam, where he successfully predicated the outcome of 5 wins consecutively, and ask his victim to pay to get the result of the 6th game. How does he do it? As long as you think in the shoe of the scammer and not the victim, you might get it subsequently. (Answer is at the bottom as well).

Probably this episode is all about psychology and predictability of human nature. By nature, human don’t take risk, and they need to feel safe (may be it really safety or just a false sense of security). There is a bowler who want to retire with a perfect score, and dare not to bowl one more time because scared of loosing his perfect touch. There is a women who probably like Ed dare not risk her current relationships just to be with Ed, no matter how hard her heart told her to do otherwise. It is said she knows she already screw up, and dare not to risk it further.

It’s human nature, for not taking risk in such a compulsive and non-logical manner, said Danny. Then the bowler came in the middle of the night to make one last bowl, to finish off the game, to take a risk and sleep tight again. Luckily, he made it and go home with a smile. Thought it’s human nature, but it also means higher probability, and not everyone might react the same, just most people would (miracles could still happen). On the other side, the women decides to marry his current boyfriend because he threatens to leave her. Perhaps it’s the fear of loosing, and she didn’t take the risk.

Human nature predictability and probability, what most of the people would do. Again, there is always some people who doesn’t fall in the norm, thus not so predictable. For better or for worse, is totally unpredictable.

Choose a number between 1-4? Answer: 3

Choose 2 numbers, the 1st one must be an even number followed by the 2nd one which must not be the same as the 1st one. Answer: 67

How to scam people into believing that you could predict the outcome of 5 games consecutively?
Answer: In the 1st game, you set 50 letters saying team A will win, and another 50 letters saying team B will win. If team A wins, you forget about those 50 in team B. In the next game, you continue sending 25 letters saying Team C will win and another 25 saying team D will win. At the end of the day, there would be a few of them which received the prediction for 5 consecutive wins. Imagine you would start with 1000 letters.

PS: At the end, Danny was not found guilty as a scam artist. Why? Because he didn’t cheat or make any false claim. He didn’t claim he can correctly predict the results, he just does his predictions and people assume he can do it precisely. Is it his fault that people believe he can? Or the victims’ fault? It is not illegal, but perhaps morally incorrect to take advantages of the weaknesses of human nature. He is just being smarter. Sounds like some advertising campaign out there, taking advantage of human behavior. Again, the best way to deter scam is being smart and not greedy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Time is Lost

It’s difficult to find time to write nowadays, as time is taken up by love and work. I seem to have a lot in my mind to write about, guess I’ll just have a squeeze in 30 minutes before sleep to write this.

Dancing had been less fun than it used to be, perhaps due to the changes in my working location and my relationships will my dance mates as well. My work is switched from KL to Puchong, yet my dance class is still in KL (I stay because of the friends I have there). I no longer had the time (or convenience) to attend additional classes or practice classes, thus there isn’t some much sharing and synergy going on between us. I felt my feelings towards dancing with my dance mates had been drifting apart, which kinda sadden me at times.

Perhaps it’s just an inevitable part of life, where our priorities shift and I move on. The time where we are close and spent a few days in a week for dancing and dinner and movies and karaoke together are gone. Dancing is just a weekly thing I attend to now (sounds like Church), nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps is my love affair with Mei Ru, thus my relationship with Michelle, Tang and Li Mun is no longer as close as it used to be. I guess it’s inevitable as well, the must be a reason why most married couple are anti-social among friends, and it get worst when you have children. I guess our priorities shift (the way we spent our time), and partly it isn’t that “convenient” anymore. Even though we could make an effort to make things just like old time, but it just wouldn’t feel the same, as things had changed and time passes by.

I guess there is nothing wrong with it, and it is nobody’s fault, and it just seems inevitable and sad. The feeling is lost. Things are no longer the same.

For a moment, I thought of my time at BASS with all my friends just seems like yesterday (and quite sadden by it), but those time isn’t going to come back anymore. Everyone is leaving and move on with their life, the group is broken going their separate ways. There is nothing wrong, just how life is. We gather and we left.

Sad and inevitable, just the way of life?

Friday, September 15, 2006

A few Words

“You could do all the right your entire life, but it only takes one mistake to screw up totally” Life could be forgiving at times, but not always. I believe the life cycle is invented in such as way that it shall give you a few warnings before the bad shit hit you, but it isn’t always so obvious and you must be ready to listen. Perhaps I just don’t believe in total randomness without cause.

“When you dream of someone, it means that someone want to see you so much that his or her spirit leave the body to meet you” – Honey & Clover. Supposed to be ancient Japanese believe, or something made up by the writer of Anime. I dream a lot, but I seldom remember them anyway because they didn’t make much sense (too cluttered and weird of a dream). Perhaps too much thought in my mind, but it does feels good to believe the myth :)

“Fortune favors the adventurous, and reward awaits the persistent” I am holding on to this, believing this could be the way to make exceptional things work. What else could we do but keep trying, as quitting too many times is bad for morale and our spirit. It would to nice to see how things came out if we persist until the end, at least for once in our life.

“If money isn’t everything, why are we working for money most of the time in our life” Perhaps we need good schedule to spend our time? Or are we actually buying a lifestyle? Or we have no idea what else we could do? Or money is most of the things? We live in a world of capitalism, so we kinda accept money as the way of life. Unless we opt for ideal communism such as Star Trek, where everyone work for self en-betterment and can engage in any career as they wish, and currency does not exist.

“Why does the night always seems tranquil” Perhaps it is cooler air and quietness, or perhaps there is something mystic about the darkness. But a night without day wouldn’t make a good night. I guess too much of everything is no good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Animax (Japanese Anime) Rulez

I guess Japanese always have a distinctive taste and innovation. Look at their fashion and style, their porn industry, their robots and automations, their designs and cartoons, their food and culture. It is one of a kind, for better or worst.

Lately Astro introduced the Animax channel and I had been instantly hooked on it. I notice Japanese Anime since the comic days, and I didn’t BT them due to the lack of time to watch them. Anyway it is nice for Astro to have Animax, so I can catch on a few episodes when I take my break.

Not all Anime are interesting and good, but I noticed a few good ones currently showing at Animax.

The 1st one which captured my attention is Brain Powered, with robots with organic form, and the collaboration between human mind and the robot brain (sounds like Evangelion). Anyway, I am a sucker for robots, and organism and a brain of his own just make it more interesting.

Then we have The Law of Ueki, a bunch of children with special abilities and a green theme. They are supposed to fight each other so that their sponsors get to be a god, and they get an ability of their choice as the ultimate reward. The main character is funny and dumb (maybe smart as well), which makes the cartoon more interesting besides the utilization of their special power.

Teenage Goddess might seem pretty boring at 1st, but its world of god is pretty interesting. It had old Japanese styled magical kingdom, with lots of gods and funny mystical creatures (reminds me of Totoro and Spirited Away). I like the setting and creatures.

I kinda dislike Honey and Clover at 1st, at it seems kinda like some boring stories among a bunch of friends. It is about relationship and love, and I slowly kinda like their thoughts in the story, kinda felt meaningful at times (plus some Japanese quirkiness as well). Perhaps it is a good watch after all, just slow and lots of love relationship and inner thoughts.

Chronicles of the Wings is not bad as well, about Sakura (she looks like Sakura the Card Captors) loosing her wings and a bunch a kids with magical creatures and special abilities. Yu Yu Hakusho, Samurai 7, Dragon Ball, Hungry Heart, God(?) Save Our King! is average, Dr Dokkiri could be funny. I am not very fond of Paradise Kiss, Gokusen, Alice Academy, .Hack/Sign, Absolute Boy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ponder: Is life that difficult?

I guess once in a while, I would felt some fear, some uncertainty, some reluctant which immobilize me. Perhaps it’s part of the confusion of what to do with my life, or how am I going to go through it. Too bad there isn’t a quick fix or answer, as I have to gather strength, stand up and continue my journey again.

Sometimes it is really not easy to gather consistent strength. Though I have no idea where I would reach at this moment, but I think it is important for me to keep moving no matter what, at least for the moment. Perhaps I was hoping one day that the clouds would clear and I could see what is installed for me.

Sometimes I look at people around me; I will kinda sadden with their lifestyle. A middle age man drinking coffee alone with a worrisome face and working cloth, an old man drive his trucks around the neighborhood trying to sell some buns, or a 30-ish women going from table to table trying to sell some biscuits. Somehow I felt sadden that their life have to be such, working so hard just to survive, yet the future is insecure.

Am I being too complacent or lazy, or afraid of hardship? Am I worry for my future, or am I asking too much of a lifestyle. I guess I know what I want for the moment and trying to give a chase for it (before I no longer have the energy and determination or luxury to go for it). Sometimes I do forget that I am 27, thinking I was way older. But 27 are neither too young, as time passed by really quickly.

Again, for a better tomorrow :)

Cameron Photo Blog

Kuala Wor - a hotspring river (before going up to Cameron)

Big Tress in Kuala Wor

Lata Iskandar waterfall, a pretty cool place to hang out for a while (remember to climb to the top)

Lakehouse, look very grand and expensive. European style with fireplace.

A lake filled with green plants.

A nursery in Lembah Bertam, a small town.

Bharat Tea House, a must visit. Nice tea, brownie ice-cream, carrot cake and tea hills.

Rainbow Girl in Brinchang

Pasar Malam (Night Market in Brinchang), lots of food and vegetables

Steamboat. This little girl like me very much, yeah!

Chim's House. Talking about how Kok Ming is going to open his birthday present.

Palas Tea Plantation

Some butterfly farm, nothing much. 5 jun bin jui!

Rose Garden, a worthy visit. Cancer in action.

This sunflower boy looked old

Photo Link: Mei Ru's Multiply

XPDC Gunung Challi / Charlie

May it be Challi or Charlie, this is definitely a very tiring mountain to trek (or had my stamina deteorated) and very bad for people who are tall or big sized. The climb start somewhere near the Blue Valley at Cameron Highland, and it’s a 7 hours trek.

Team Charlie

The 1st few hours seems pretty normal and easy, just going through some trees and bushes. The scenery kinda changed after the 3rd hours, where you get some mystic forest feel ala mini Lord of the Ring. It feels kinda cold and misty, and lots of algae and green stuff hanging from the trees, and the land seems softer. The scenery and feel is kinda amazing, and it seems kinda like the little forest for the hobbits.

Misty Forest

Then things get kinda tricky when it started to rain, and we have to put on our poncho. The problem is not just the rain, but the path and bushes. The path is pretty narrow, and short as well. You gonna get lots of branches on both side scratches your arm and tearing your poncho, and to mentioned a lot of big branches on top which make you duck or crawl. Like I said, the path is narrow and short, and full with obstacles. My backpack keeps getting stuck at the branches, and I have to crawl most of the time, which is quite irritating. Not to mentioned the small branches and torn on both side keep scratching me and hang on to me. And the rain does helps at all.

Don't we look good together?

Generally, there are a few types of trekkers I saw:
  • The slow mover, people who really take their own sweat time and move really slow (or they really couldn’t keep up)
  • The enjoyer, people who keep an average pace while enjoying the journey and scenery
  • The rusher, those who aimed to rush to the destination as fast as possible
  • The helper, those who always help others
I guess I am the Enjoyer, since walking too slow tired me out easily, and I am not capable of rushing or helping others too much. I believed there is more than reaching the destination in mountain trekking, but I shouldn’t be too slow either.

Ah Fong the cook came along this time as well, and she is a very serious cook as usual (only when cooking). I dare not come near or help her when she is cooking, since I know I can’t meet her level of expectation. But she is generally a nice person, just need to know what to do and what not to do with her. Muscleman Chim joined us as well, and he can survived the cold without any cloth at the top (no sign of catching a cold either), and he is helpful and felt very enthusiastic about mountain trekking (perhaps his 2nd hobby after fishing).

It's is wet and COLD!

Somehow, when there is too big of a team (around 26 persons), the trekking just doesn’t seems fun. Perhaps there is less bonding, or perhaps lack of someone to glue us together. For a moment, I felt quite uncomfortable with the atmosphere up there, but luckily it didn’t last long. I still prefer the Rajah group, though it consists of pretty much the same group here, but something is different or missing.

The girls get to sleep in the camp, and guys have to sleep under the fly ship, and it is raining. Luckily the rain stop and it isn’t too windy. My sleeping bag is wet, so I am uncovered in the opened. Advice: Always cover your sleeping bag and cloths. Anyway, I never quite like sleeping in the camp, I enjoyed the openness (perhaps this is what I enjoyed most from a camping trip). BTW, Muscleman Chim snore like a train with different tune, and it’s a miracle that I still managed to catch some sleep.

The Reward up there

The top of Charlie is covered by bushes around it, thus it might not be a good spot to enjoy the mountain scenery. It got a misty feel, but lack of openness. Thus the top isn’t too satisfying.

The path down took almost 7 hours as well, and it ain’t pretty. The Charlie track is a dragon mountain, the same amount of going uphill and downhill on either way. So it ain’t a relaxing trip down. Wynn got sick slightly due to lack of sleep, but she managed to survive. The trip down is quite painful for me, thus I need lots of fresh fruit and pit stop.

We have a lot of nice people in this group. Perhaps that’s what mountain trekking is all about, nature and good people. And perhaps to just focus on one thing and forget about our busy city life for a moment.

Photo Link: Mich's Multiply, Tang's Multiply, Mei Ru's Multiply, Wynn's Mutiply

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ponder: What am I doing?

With so many things happening in our lives, haven’t we many times wondered what are we doing? Or rather, what are we supposed to do?

I didn’t ponder upon this question very much when I was young. The one thing which seems to troubled me the most is my studies, and I seems to manage that pretty well (though I have some unaccomplished finishing, but that does really matter, but it did bothers me at times). Sometimes I did think of what I want to be when I grow up, in terms of career of course. I thought of policeman, soldier, businessman, astronaut, scientist and I think my last one is computer expert, and here I am as a programmer.

After following the conventional route to finish college and get into employment, perhaps I wanted to do something fun and useful, never quite thought of making a living. I did get to do something fun and exciting, and troubling as well. But somehow I am unsatisfied with the pay and the bureaucracy which is taking place in the office. Perhaps this world would be better without lousy and irritating managers.

Then I though of perhaps it’s time to be a young entrepreneur, start a business and getting rich all that. But I guess I wasn’t well prepared for that, and had no idea what is installed for me ahead. Perhaps I need to understand the business world more, thus I get back to employment and hoping to learn a trick or two about running a successful software house. Sadly the company I joined isn’t pretty as well in the end. Perhaps the only think good about it is the colleagues in there, but the leadership sucks with no vision and management whatsoever.

Again, I though I can do much better than all those suckers out there. I had an idea or two in my head, and start executing them. What am I trying to accomplish? At the moment, I just wanna flush all the idea out of my head into execution, to know once and for all that will they work, or am I really as good as I thought I am. Though I am earning far less now, and perhaps worry at times, but I am somehow happy at times. Perhaps I had only been this happy in terms of work in the 1st year of my 1st job. I guess I had never been this satisfied and happy ever since. Perhaps my only worry at the moment is how to make a living out of doing what I am doing now.

Again, what am I trying to do at the moment? I am trying to make a living out of doing what I like and the way I like it, and hopefully I would not need to worry about money in the near future. I like the work I am doing now, and I do hope for financial freedom as well, so that I can have an easy lifestyle and helps those around me as well (worry less about money, so to speak). Perhaps in order to make “Money is not everything” meaningful, you need to have a lot of them.

So, what am I supposed to do? Beats me. I guess there shouldn’t be any supposed, just what had I chosen to do, based on my condition, knowledge, awareness and exercising my freewill whenever possible. I had only been through 27 years of my life, and there should be a lot going on in the near future.

Besides work, now I have a girlfriend, which I feel very happy and lucky. Perhaps in life, happiness does come in small packages. If it had always been there obvious, everyone would have gotten it. If it had been that hard, everyone would not find love and happiness. At times we really happy to slow down and ponder for a while, take life as it is before getting busy chasing our dream and ambition again. Though I yearn to achieve my ideal career and lifestyle, I want to bring her happiness as well. So I should always make time for her, and not to mention learn to get along as well. Perhaps there really should be any selfishness in love, or in a pure relationship. We want them to be in good shape, and we don’t mind sacrificing slightly (I am not so sure about big sacrifices, as I haven’t faced that yet). Perhaps is like the love of parents for their children.

Again, for a better tomorrow :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bukit Tinggi Paintball

I got my first taste of paintball war game at Bukit Tinggi, and it’s pretty amazing. As a guy I think I had always had a thing with guns and combat, imagining myself as a commando or sharp shooter. Paintball is fun, exhausting and had quite an adrenaline rush, but pretty expensive as well.

Charlie's Beloved Helpers

I had to wake up freaking early (5 AM in the morning, it had been a long while since I last did that), and I was told later the time had been postponed to an hour later (and no one told me about it; no one look out for my back anymore). Anyway, we meet up for breakfast and 16 of us drive up to Bukit Tinggi. Bukit Tinggi is just 5 km away from the Genting exit from KL, and the sign board is pretty obvious.

We wore our worst cloth and shoes, as we don’t want to spoil the good ones. We have to register with using IC, and we get our gun (with a number on it), a mask and a hand band to indicate our team. Long sleeve shirt/pant, vest and throat protector can be rented. I think long pant is a must (we could bring your own), and their long sleeve is pretty thick and useful. We could do without the vest and throat protector. We go through some briefing, learning that the mask should be on at all time, shouldn’t shoot each other within 30 feet distance and safety first. We bought 3000 extra bullets for our game, which is barely enough for 16 of us in a 4 hours session.

Brothers and Sisters, armed yourself

After a few round of target practice, the first game we had is Capture the Flag (CTF, reminds me of the half-life mod). 2 teams are separated by a border, and we need to rush to the front line to get our flag and return to the base. The trick is to shoot down 1 or 2 person at one side, den only rush for the flag (not too early, neither too late). This game needs a balance of offense and defense. Tang is on offence, a quick runner and a valuable asset for the game. Kenny is quite offensive as well, but perhaps not as valuable. As for me, I stick with defense and do supportive offense.

Capture the Base requires one of our team members to reach the enemy base, and is more favorable to defensive (unless you have a quick runner and element of surprise). The trick is to shoot down a few defensive guards on one flank and rush. This game is more exciting, and quite stamina demanding as well (it is pretty tiring to duck and run, especially when I am tall). Anyway, some evasive maneuver and rolling would help, though I didn’t try that.

Lastly we went for Vietnam Game, where the US team is on offense and Vietnam is on defense. As we had learned from history, the game favor Vietnam. The US need to rush in, capture a hidden flag and bail out. We put the flag on top of the tree, so we can shoot the sucker who tries to climb up and get the flag. Basically the US team had no chance of capturing the flag, thus the only way to win is to kill all of us. The US team all came in through the front, 1st focus on the left flank, den they shift a few to the right flank during the 2nd half, but all of them got creamed with minimum casualty on the Vietnam side. I only get some actions after 15 minutes (waiting is tiring) and manage to ambush a few behind the bath tub and bushes.

Basically, I could only think of 2 ways the US team could win. 1st they need the element of surprise, send 2 person around the Vietnam base and come from the back (they have to travel through some pretty thick bushes, sacrifice, guts and stealth mode required). The US shouldn’t attack too early, as Vietnam is allowed to hide in houses and had an eye at the top tower in the 1st 10 minutes. Opportunities arise after 10 minutes, where the Vietnam team must leave their houses and tower, and can take on offense (which they probably won’t, as it is unfavorable). The front assault team act as cover and decoy, and probably could move the bath tub on the ground as moving shield while pushing forward. The 2 person should sneak from behind and freeze everyone from left and right flank simultaneously. Of course, this strategy needs lots of coordination and some guts, and would probably work very well when used for the 1st time. If the US team wins, it would be such a satisfaction with great bragging right for life.

In the last game of Capture the Base, the enemy team manages to bring down 2 of our defensive guard on the right flank and rush in. Me and tang rush to stop him from the left flank, but unfortunately both our gun got jammed and luck was on their side.

End of War

Paint ball is a whole lot of fun, extremely exhausting with a whole lot of bruises, blue black and some blood (not kidding). And quite expensive too, our game cost us around RM 150 per person for around 7 rounds and 4 hours of play time. Perhaps another game next time, after I made enough money for it.

War Comrads, Battalion 88

Photo Link: Mich's Multiply

Friday, August 25, 2006

Yet Another Productivity Challenge Delay

Last week I gave myself another Productivity Challenge to churn out a good quality web application in the shortest time possible. Among the insane list of things to be finished in 6 days, I only manage to complete 2 and included a lot of stuff which is not in the list (it is not that they are not important, just that it kinda slip my mind).

The first thing I tackle is the feature to allow users to contribute, comment or review. It seems reasonable since I already had the interface to display them, so it’s time to have an interface to feed in the data. While working on this, I have to complete Div folding since I don’t want the data entry screen to obstruct the information display (a toggle button to show and hide the data entry screen). But one thing leads to another, as I need users before data entry. Thus I need to create a user table, which require an User Signup module, which require an Account Activation module, which require ACL for access control and Captcha to counter bot spam, and also a log in and log out module, not to mentioned “I forgot my password” module. Before I could finish my first task, I have to complete all these things under the hood of User Management. Finally I manage to complete my first Comment module just a few minutes ago, and still have Contribute and Review to go (but it should be easier from now).

Day 5-10
  • Comment Module
  • User Management Module: Signup, ACL, Captcha, Login, Logout, I forgot Password, Account Activation (Dropped)
  • More CSS
In between, I found that there are 3 tasks which are extremely time consuming
  • CSS and cross-browser compatibility
  • Learning the CAKE PHP Framework’s in and out when using more and more of its feature
  • On the go bug fixing and testing
CSS is really quite a beast and more of a nightmare when it involves cross browser compatibility. I can only care for IE 6 and Firefox 1.5, and I wonder how it looks like in Safari and Opera. God bless ...

Sometimes it can be quite an annoyance when the new framework lacks good documentation, but luckily the groups is quite active and I can still drill into the codes to find what I want at times. The framework is still young, but promising, though the adoption rate is still considerably low and the future is uncertain. I still have some difficulty finding the right way to do things, figuring how to access certain information and have to build my own module on certain tasks.

I think I read somewhere testing and bug fixing should consist of 70% of the overall time of the project, where coding is just 20%. I do agree the process is extremely time consuming and inevitable, perhaps it’s time for me to adopt some automatic testing tool, at least some unit testing.

So, how much more time do I need to finished the web application for 1st BETA. Probably around 10 days (or more). But lets push the limit slightly, as I would like to complete it before my Gunung Charlie climb next Friday, and I am busy for the weekends with Paintball War. Minus my computer teaching class, I have around 3 days to get the rest of the list up. Maybe not complete the whole things, perhaps until a satisfactory state which allow seamless users participation and contribution.

Next 3 days
  • Comement
  • Review
  • Contribute
  • Submit Links
  • Submit Pictures

Monday, August 21, 2006

My 1st Road Accident

With so many accidents happening around KL and so many accident stories which you heard before, have you ever wonder when will be your turn? Or it had already happened to you?

I have my first major taste last weekend with Mei Ru in my car, and quite a scary one. I was taking a round-about on the outer circle, and a motorcycle hit me on my right as he was assuming I am going to take the turning out. I was shocked with the loud bang on m right, and saw him continue skidding and fall off on the pavement. I was stunt for a moment, and was then awaken by the motorist cried for help in pain.

I get down from my car and approach the man. He is still conscious, but in pain. The first thing which came to my mind was to call for an ambulance, so I check out how was the man’s injury. I call 999 and asked for an ambulance, and then 2 motorcyclists stop to help. I check the man’s injury, and another help to move his bike up to the pavement. Then I thought perhaps it’s better if I sent the man to hospital myself, since he could still move. I cancel the ambulance call, and ask for direction to the nearest hospital, which I was told is General Hospital. I ask the motorcyclists to lead me there, as I am not quite sure of the way, but they said there are still busy with work. We move out after I get a brief direction from them. I think I missed a turning out of panic and got loss again. We asked for a driver’s help at a traffic light for direction to General Hospital, and the kind man decide to lead us there. While on the way, the injured man call his uncle and I called for sister for help and advice.

Soon we reached the General Hospital emergency ward, where there is a critical and non-critical section. The man is categorized as non-critical and has to be seated to wait for his turn. I can't park outside, and have to find my own parking somewhere around the hospital vicinity (I wonder why there isn’t reserved parking for emergency case? Perhaps too many accidents happening everyday and it’s too common until no special treatment for parking can be given). I asked Mei Ru to accompanied the man while I look for parking which are full most of the time, thus have to illegal-park slightly.

When I went back to the ward, the man is still waiting there. It seems like for emergency case, firstly the nurse will check your wound, then you have to register, given a number and wait for your turn with the doctor. We are 7 numbers away, but it took us 90 minutes before we get to see the doctor. There are about 30-40 people around us. There is a sign there which said the standard acceptable time is supposed to be 20-30 minutes, but luckily the man’s injury wasn’t serious. His name is MI, who had been just in town for 6 months to look for a job. So right arm hurts, and have a few spot of scratches over his body.

So, his uncle and aunt arrive to check him out. They seem calm, as it seems his uncle had his own fair share of accidents. The doctor (he seems skilful and experience) check him out , sent him for x-rays, come back for 2nd consultancy, found a minor crack in his bone (not broken), send him for cement casting and collect some medicine. One thing good about government hospital is cost saving. In only cost RM 1 to register, the rest is free (including consultancy, x-ray, cement casting, medicine). It would easily cost more than 1K in private hospital.

Next, we discuss how to settle this incident. Do we want to make a police report and file for insurance claim (which is lengthy and painful), or we settled by a mutually agreeable sum. We went back to check the damage of his bike, which was extremely minor (my car damage more as he bang into me). His uncle demanded RM 1,000, and that amount is too much for a settlement, thus we have no choice but to make a police report.

Somehow, we arrange for a 2nd negotiation outside of the police station. Perhaps we both know how painful and lengthy the process of reporting and claim could take. He brought his cousins along for negotiation, where he had his fare share of motorcycle accident as well (we was so fed up with motorcycle accident that he decided to buy a car instead). We settle for a mutually agreeable sum, which some went for the motorcycle damage and some went for his pain. It is kinda sadden me to see him in such a state, so I don’t mind the little extra and make it easy for us. The shake hand in goodwill and make a written agreement, and end the day and close the case.

Based on the advice I get, it is only worth settling if it is RM 300 or less. Even if I am the guilty party, I shall be fined RM 150. The rest of the payment shall be settled by insurance, and I get to repair my car free of charge as well. Only things that suffer are the NCB, but the victim gets the claim as much as legally possible (from the insurance company, of course).

Frankly, I am not quite interested to find out which party is at fault. I am wrong for being at the outer circle, and he was wrong for cutting on the right side and knock into me. Of course we were more sympathetic which him as he gets hurt.

Anyway, I guess we are lucky in the certain sense in this case.
  • No one got hurt seriously, but it does ache us to see him in pain
  • We are good people with common sense, thus didn’t try to put blame on each other and try to resolve this issue in a civilized manner
  • Material damage could be resolved with money, and it isn’t too serious as well (someone told me problems which could be solved with money is not a problem, but I say that is given that we had a lot of money)
I think this incident will continue to haunt me in times to come. It was quite horrified to felt someone knock into you and see another person in pain. Luckily everyone is safe this time. I have heard of more horrifying experience, with bone sticking out and blood spilling continuously. Perhaps it shall change my feelings towards driving from now on.

I ask myself, how could this accident happen? My carelessness? His carelessness? Fate? Luck? The law of probability? The unsafe round-about? Perhaps a little bit of everything. Let’s pray for everyone’s safety on the road, for whoever next it shall be.

PS: Somehow, I felt thankful with my father for not letting me take a motorcycle license - it is a smart choice. Though motorcycle is cheap, cost saving and convinient, but it's dangerous.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Yet Another Productivity Challenge

Due to the overwhelmed success of my last self-challenge (Ahem!), I decide to give it another try. Since I am the boss, there is no one to watch over me except myself. But I can’t really trust myself fully, thus this blog post shall be my witness.

When I created MMW Property, I took 3 months or more because I developed a lot of the stuffs from scratch, including the Framework and UI (bad move). Now, with a new framework (quite up to speed now), using some free templates and reusing some of the existing codes, I should have better productivity and better quality of codes.

After MMW Property and Software, here comes MMW ProjectX. ProjectX should take around 3 weeks to complete, but I decide to throw in some challenges and make it 2 weeks (around 5 days per week). 4 days had passed, and I got the basic information page up with some pretty cool features. Now it is time to push it further and polished it at the end.

Day 1-4 (Completed)
  • Meddling with the new framework
  • Get the basic Information Page up
  • Playing with CSS the beast
  • Build a neat image viewer
  • Find a neat markup language
Day 5-10
  • Google Map integration
  • Javascript Tag Selector
  • Contribute/Comment/Review feature
  • Identify changes by user & date
  • Intuitive search feature
  • Main page design
  • Div Folding
  • URL Click Tracking
After Day 10
  • Data Mining & Data Entry
  • PR Work
Come to think of it, ProjectX is quite a beast to handle, sometimes it’s hard to keep things small and slick. Wish me luck to finish in time, as I still have a business proposal to rush for September.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Malaysian need to feel safe and shoot the bad people

Denny Crane said, what does Americans want?
  • A safe home
  • Keep the money they earned
  • Shoot the bad people
  • Protect the people they love
I think Malaysians want that as well (at least I do). A safe place where I don’t need layers of iron grills and locks to protect the house, and neither should I worry someone would rob or snatch when I have a walk around. No tax perhaps, as we all want to keep all the money we earned. I guess we didn’t get to shoot the bad people as we are not allowed to carry firearms, but wouldn’t it be great to strike fear into the criminals rather than letting them strike fears into us. Protect the people we loved? I only hope we are capable of doing so in times of needs.

I guess this country pretty much felt like an unsafe place to live in lately, where there are fears among the citizen. Look around you:
  • Every house is grilled up with layers of locks
  • We have easily detachable handbags to keep yourself from being harmed by snatch thieves
  • We panics when we heard motorcycle sounds from behind
  • No one dare to have a walk too early in the day or too late in the night
  • Multiple layers of security is required for our cars
  • We must remember to lock our cars once we get in or get out
  • It is depressing to read newspaper with some many crimes and death happening
  • People are getting killed and raped in robbery incidents
  • More and more dead bodies are being found around the city
I guess we are in the defensive and haunted with constant amount of fear. We need to make this country a safer place to live, where our children can roam freely without us worrying about harms brought by others. We need to feel safe even though we forgot to lock the doors, we need to feel safe even when we don’t have fences and grills, and we need to feel safe when we have a walk with our loves one.

We need a safe country, and more happy news when reading the newspaper. We need to feel safe. We need a safe home, keep the money we earned, shoot the bad people and protect the people we love :)

Gunung Datuk: Quick & Steep with Nice Scenery

In preparation for the Gunung Charlie Trekking, we had a training session at Gunung Datuk near Rembau and Seremban (Direction is here). I somehow missed the alarm clock and didn’t wakeup on time until Tang gave me a rang wondering where I am. So we are late and have to resort to meeting them on the R&R along the highway.

It had been quite a while since my last Gunung Rajah climb, and I didn’t get to exercise much since then (so the stamina kinda deteriorate). Anyway, Datuk is a short and challenging climb, it takes around 2 hours to reach the top, but 1st half of the journey is definitely quite steep. Datuk literally take the breathe out of you, so it should be a good weekend training ground if you wish to build up your stamina for bigger climbs.

Rest and Makan!

Datuk’s mountain top is quite a reward as well. There is quite a large area of flat ground on top for resting and cooking. The scenic views lies on the rock platform, which you’ll have to climb further up with the help of ropes and ladders which is already available there. Since there might be a lot of people, do expect quite a lot of traffic jam (one way path). The view is quite magnificent, windy with a lot of openness. Beautiful greenery, rock platform and able to see some small towns afar. There is quite a few interesting spot to lay back and enjoy your victorious moment at the top.

Sex Predators

Rock Platform (Heaven is up there!)

The Peak and the 3 wise girls


I guess trekking had always been such.
  • In the beginning, you are determined to conquer the mountain.
  • When you start trekking, you start to wonder why you are here and wanted to give up.
  • Then you realize you have not much of a choice but keep going.
  • When you felt that the top is near, you are all charged up and rush forward
  • When you are up there, you finally get your much deserved rest and food (Reward No 1)
  • If you are lucky, there are some superb scenery up there (Reward No 2)
  • Then the feeling that you are on the of the world and have a nice nap (Reward No 3)
  • Then start packing and going downhill, and it isn’t as difficult as going up
  • Lastly, the satisfaction of conquering and didn’t give up (I ain’t no quitter)
  • Then you look forward to the next climb, thinking it would be fun (and totally forget about the pain)
Photo Links: Mich's Multiply, Mei Ru's Multiply