Tuesday, June 27, 2006

2006 06 26

Quite a nice number huh, and it is her number. Happy Birthday from Blue Dragon.

So, what is the plan?

Sunday Night: Burnt mid night oil to finish my work to make way for her celebration.

Monday Morning: Wakeup in a blurred state

Monday Afternoon: Late Lunch at Jogoya, nice ambience, but the quality of food seems to had dropped since my last visit (or izzit because it is a weekday).

Monday Evening: Crazy Karaoke session, better than expected. When you sing without worry, when you create your own song, when you sing your own tune, and when you sang something you never quite sang before, it is all great fun and laughter. My personal best solo singing performance is here :)

Monday Night: Went to the Wonderland of Lights, plenty of opportunity for her to flash her camera.

I always say is the companion, not the event nor the place (though a good one might help). I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. Tired, but with Joy :)

What need to be done next? Her belated birthday gift.

Jogoya Lunch. RM 150
Karaoke Session. RM 30
Entrance to the Wonderland of Lights. RM 5
A birthday celebration with Love One? Priceless.
The belated birthday gift? A token of memory.

Photo Link: Mei Ru's Picasa

Life in the fast lane, or izzit imaginary fast?

There seems to be so many things going on, and I don’t have enough time in a day to finish my work and backlog is piling up, and I don’t get to work on my dreamy ideas. Sometimes I wonder, izzit I don’t have enough time, or I am not good at utilizing time efficiently.

Perhaps it is a discipline or procrastination problem, or izzit because I am a perfectionist? I guess there is always up and down in life, we can’t be expected to be good or productive all the time. More importantly, I am trying to find the balance line whether I am pushing myself too hard, or giving myself too much excuses to be lazy. I am afraid that the later might hold more truth.

Anyway, lately I realized a few things
  • I think I had somehow subconsciously burnt the bridges to go back to employment life. 1st of all, my cousin had invested heavily in The Skill Academy and somehow expect me to help her run the IT Department, and I can’t quite do that under employment and I wouldn't want to disappoint her. 2nd of all, I found it is hard to sell myself as a good employer at my current state (I am not sure what I am good at? It seems like running a business had made me a more valuable overall, but not great at any specific task). 3rd of all, I think I had too used to the flexibility and innovation opportunities I enjoyed.
  • I realized that freelancing is not really my passion, but more as a means to put food on my plate. What is my passion then? Trying out new ideas for my venture, Malaysia Most Wanted. It holds a lot of excitement and promise for me. It had potential, and manages to spark the moment of joy in me.
  • Though I do teach children nowadays, but I think I am not passionate about it. I can do an averagely good job, but not a great job. It doesn’t excite me nor sparks a lot of idea in me. I fail to be creative or felt the excitement in it.
  • I still didn’t manage my time and procrastination very well. Besides I was never quite a person with great discipline, need to find ways to work around it.
  • Last but not least, I need to work with a team (part-time will do as well). Working as a lone ranger is pretty demoralizing at times, while having a team member have creates more accountability and get the job done is a timely and fun manner.
  • And also, izzit possible that I am a good programmer with crappy business idea? I mean, I did fail at 2 Cradle applications, and I know of people who are suckier than me or with lousier business idea manage to get the money (though their project didn’t take off as well). The point which might be hard to gulp, but definitely demoralizing to be pondered upon.

Venture Voice

Since I have chosen the entrepreneur path, perhaps it is good to learn from those who are still trying but ahead of me, and those who already succeeded.

I suddenly remembered about Venture Voice, a site about entrepreneurship which distributes their material in MP3 format (pod casting). I never quite grow on this site because the MP3 take quite a while to download, and perhaps it is a bit time consuming as well since each interview is about 50 minutes. Anyway, I decide to give it a try. The quality is pretty good, and suitable for people on the go with an mp3 player (perhaps it is a good reason to get one as well)

At first the “Failure” post caught my attention, as I believe sometimes the media over glorify entrepreneur success and discarded their dirty failure. Entrepreneurial Terror is quite a terror, as it seems to be a norm for people to fail numerous times and lost all their money before they found their success. It sounds pretty scary as I had only tried and failed once, and this is my second. And loosing all my money and become bankrupt? OMG!

Then I was led to the interview of David Sifry of Technorati. Basically, this is probably the 4th venture for David, and he is an entrepreneur freak (meaning he will keep looking for new idea to venture, no staying too long with the same thing). Basically, it is his passion to turn nothing into a usable service wanted by others, while being “something to prove” is secondary for him. He believed the primary for a company to exist is to make money, like oxygen, without it the company will suffocate. But as in life, we could do more besides breathing. Besides focusing on what should be done, he focus on what should be done as well (it seems to be an important mantra nowadays, to focus in don’t as well as do).

He said, “If I am not the founder, I’m not sure if they will hire me”. I kinda worry about employment as well. Somehow entrepreneur skill doesn’t quite seem so sellable to future employer. It is a common believe that building a Technology is about the Technology, but it might seems to be a common Myth as well. According to David, is all about building a great team that can churn out wonderful stuff. I believed I read it many times, only through a great team we could achieve greatness. One interesting point he made is, “If I found someone who is better than me in doing what I do, I shall employ him to replace me and move on to my next venture. But sometimes, you shall believe that you are the best person for the job”. If we don’t believe that we are great, how could it be possible for us to achieve greatness?

It seems there is no eternal happiness, but only moment of joy. Basically, the entrepreneur path does not guaranteed happiness, but it does bring in moment of joy. Last but no least, a last word of advise from David, “No matter what they said, if you believe in yourself, in the market, in your service, just do it. I have a lot of respect for entrepreneur, as it is tough, but rewarding”

I hope I did learn a thing or two. Sometimes we already knew or understand a specific idea or concept, but we just need repetition to reinforce it. I once saw a book, “Things I already know but keep forgetting”

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Good Business Idea

What makes a good business idea?
  • To solve one person’s pain (according to Joel)
  • To able to make tons of money out of it (according to VC and Businessman)
  • An idea isn’t important at all, it’s the implementation that count (Einstein: Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration)
  • A good business idea is something that’s proven successful by others
  • A good business idea is something unique, not thought of or used by others yet
  • A good business idea is the simplest idea in our everyday life (Pet Sitting, Cleaning Service, Delivery Service, etc)
  • Something which you are passionate about
  • Something which target the niche market, where competition is non-existent
  • A idea which is no unique, that it could not be copied or replicated easily
So, what do I think of my idea?
  • It solves a major pain in Property Sale & Purchase decision
  • We might be able to make some money out of it
  • We have quite a lot of competitors, but I wonder how much money are they making as well
  • The idea could be copied with moderate effort, but we are banking on first mover advantage and customer loyalty (as long as we continue to do a good job on it, people will stay with us). Besides, we should be moving faster and more innovative than others
  • It is an interesting idea and it had not been done before
  • I am passionate about it, it gets the adrenaline pumping
I met with Simon today (my ex-boss) to share my business idea with him, and to get him into my team as well. Basically, he kinda agreed with the idea, but worry on how we are going to make money out of it. Nevertheless, it is still an interesting idea to try on.

What does Simon worry about?
  • How are we going to make more money from it? Advertisement, but how much? Hmm, Google made billions from advertisement alone. The theory is as long as you have something which the public want; the traffic will come followed by advertisement. So, I need something which the public want badly and it would be hard to get it from somewhere else.
  • How are we going to do the marketing? Yup, I admit we are still pretty new in this. Email and SMS Spam (ops! Forbidden word), online advertisement, individual contact and fair/exhibition. I admit, we are still pretty new and inefficient in this.
  • The market might be a bit too small and local. Yup, it might seem so, but there is a lot we could venture into the future, once the brand name is up. Basically, our business is business archival: effective search on business offering.
  • Why people would like us or use us? Because we have something which they want and it is not available elsewhere yet?
Basically, I don’t have all the answer. All I have is faith and confidence, believe and passionate about the idea. If I know how to make a million, I am already a millionaire. Nevertheless, though everyone have different perception on the same simple idea, I believe it is workable and worth the try.

What would I loose? Time and Money. What would I gain? A dream come true, or just the chasing part.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gunung Rajah Day 2

Day 2, as more adventures unfold.

The morning isn’t very cold at the 1st camp site, and we were greeted with porridge with mini oyster and beans for breakfast. It is pretty good in fact, probably the best porridge I had ever eaten. We spent some time doing our morning business; we pack our stuff, keep out camps and tents, and ready to roll out. For all responsible campers out there, please don’t leave your rubbish in the jungle. Nature friendly please, Peace!

Wakup in the Morning Tent

Somehow the weight of the bag seems heavier, though we had eaten a lot of the food. No more flat land walking, the trail is pretty steep all the way, among the woods. As usual, all the sweat cover my face and eyes along the way, probably lost a few liters of water. After an hour, we reached a mini hilltop. The view is quite excellent here, slight windy with a very popular tree for climbing.

We are in front of the peak of Gunung Rajah

Tang on the popular climbing tree

After some rest, we continue trekking to the next challenge, wall climbing. It is not actually a wall, but it is pretty steep until ropes are required. It is still manageable, not as bad as those walls back in KK. After the wall, we need to fill up our water bottle for further usage at the top (yup, no water at the top). This stretch of trek is pretty nice, as the land is soft with some pretty special grass. It is kinda misty and cold as well, so it kinda has a mysterious feel.

The Mystrious Grass

When we reached the top, it started to rain slightly. Get the rain coat out and cover our bags with plastics. We quickly setup our camp, and the chef start cooking before it is dark. There is limited space on the top, and it can get quite windy at times, lucky our tent is quite protected from the wind. Since we lack of water supplies, me and Ah Seong volunteered to go down to get the water. It is supposed to be an hour of journey, I think we made it within less than 30 minutes. Ah Seong is quite a runner and mountain climber, and can hardly keep up with his pace.

There is a pretty nice stone platform at the very top, where we could see a lot of mountains, beautiful sky, the town of Jerantut (I think) and Genting. The weather changes pretty fast up there, one moment is it foggy, the next it is cleared. Nevertheless, the view is magnificent and it definitely feels good to stand on the top of the world.

Mich with Matrix Style on top of the world!

We had another great dinner up there, thanks to the master chef, Ah Fong. We had Lap Cheong (腊肠), Sei Dai Tin Wong (四大天王), Onion Egg, Salted Fish (super delicious), Soup and Rice. We had dinner at the top of the world, and it is absolutely one of the best moments in life. A sunset dinner at the top with my love one beside me sharing the small bowl of rice, what more could I ask for :)

Our absolutely delicious dinner

At night, it rains again. More people have to move into the closed camps, while less people can fit into the open air tents. We have Fan Shu Tong Sui (番薯糖水) for the night as well, but the weather is very cold. Luckily we had the Jacket, Sleeping Bag, Floor Mat and Head Cover. We played some games just like back in Survivor Island with Tang; she is good, but not very active in asking relevant questions.

After we fall asleep, another group of Malays came up during the middle of the night. Thus, we had to make some space for them, since real estate is rare up there. Actually it is pretty dangerous of them to climb during the night, and inconvenient with no place to camp.

That’s all for Day 2, and Day 3 is downhill all the way.

Picture Links: Mich's Multply 1, 2 (Tang's Camera)

Video Links: The Journey Continues, The Next Morning, Top is Cold, Night & Day, at the Top or ALL

Tioman Part II: The Forgotten

Hmm, it had been so long and I can’t quite remember what happened on day II. Perhaps just a quick and short one.

We went for snorkelling, where this time we are more experienced. The corals here are much more beautiful compared to Pulau Tiga’s Survivor Island back in Sabah. They are abundant and colourful accompanied by lots of pretty fishes as well. We get to feed the fishes with bread this time, and the feeling of being bitten by a whole lot of fishes is scary at first, but turn out to be an interesting experience in the end.

Hand in hand, snorkelling, hehe

Later we get to visit a white sandy beach and have lunch there. The beach is absolutely marvellous, with fine and white sand. It’s like paradise by just lying down on them. We did some simple swimming and snorkelling here as well, with less corals but lots of fishes (as long as you have the bread).

Sand Man and the Bond Girls

Fine White Sands

Then we visited the Marine Park, where the water is deep but milky (pretty scary) with lots of big fishes. I saw one of the bigger fish try to chomp my finger off when feeding them. Besides the jetty, big floating platform, bigger fish and scary ocean, the place is pretty much boring. Perhaps too much snorkelling for the day.

The last stop is dunno monkey bay or donkey bay, a shallow bay with lots of corals. A very relaxing sight and we played around on the boat and took lots of photo. On the way back to the island, we get to sit in front of the speed boat, absolutely superb!

Why this female captain so manly one?

Basically, we didn’t do too much during this trip. We missed the diving, waterfall and some land activities. Perhaps should really do diving if there is a next trip, should be pretty cool. The trip is fun and relaxing, and the companies are really great.

Lion King

We had dinner, with a nice sleep, take the speed boat back to Mersing, drive to Batu Pahat for overnight + Karaoke, and on our way back to KL, just in time for my computer class with the kids, and treat Wynn a nice dinner for her kind hospitality.

Photo Link: Mei Ru's Dropshots 3, 4, 5 & 6.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Latin Dance Exam Afterthought

Last Sunday was my Latin Bronze and Silver exam, and it sure is exhausting.

At 1st I wasn’t very serious or nervous about the examination, as I had too much thought in my mind and too much work in my hand. I didn’t attend much of the Wednesday round of practice, and didn’t even have the time to practice with Mei Ru during the weekend. I just attend my usual dance classes, with a few supplementary classes. I didn’t even get to practices solo dancing much as well.

My Class

I had this dilemma. I didn’t practice much as I am busy, but the rest seems to be hard at work. So, seeing everyone very anxious about the exam and working hard kinda make me worry. Besides, I see some of them are getting much better than me. Perhaps it is a choice I had made.

Let's Fight!

Don't Kill Me

In life, with limited time, we can only choose to be good at a few things. In school, I just take sports as leisure (no talent, no competition), and concentrate on striving in academics. This let me to realize one thing; it can be a painful journey to be damn good at something. If I take sports seriously, I would need to train vigorously. Though I might be very good at it, but there is a price to pay, the sweat and time. Perhaps taking things easy and enjoy sports as it is would be much better. So what if someone beat me in a game, I just wanna have some fun and sweat a bit.

After the Exam, dont't we look good :)

The same goes for dancing, I have no intention to be a great dancer (neither do I have the talent if I planned to). I just wanna enjoy dance as it is, a weekly activity, and perhaps sometimes go to some dance party to enjoy myself. And probably when I grow old, I can still manage to dance with my love one. I once heard the president of KLDA (Kuala Lumpur Dance Association) said, “Let me dance as it is, just to enjoy it, not to win nor to show”

Our Examinar, a nice lady

BTW, the dance examination goes pretty well with both my partner, Mei Ru and Michelle. No mistakes and I think we did pretty well. This is probably the best performance in my life, in my own heart at least :)

The Class of Al Chifar

Photo Link: Mich's Multiply, Mei Ru's Multiply and Tang

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In The Moment

It had been 2 months, she says,

In the moment whisper becomes a stirring ... I think of our secrets.
You are my confidante.

In the moment when laughter becomes abandon ... I think of our compatibility.
You are my friend.

In the moment when attraction becomes surrender ... I think of our passion.
You are my lover.

In the moment when glimmer becomes radiance ... I think of our future.
You are my tomorrow.

In the moment when ascent becomes triumph, I realize love transform the ordinary - and ours is an extraordinary love.
You are my forever.

and I replied,

PS: Though I am a lousy poet with bad English, but I can always try :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gunung Rajah Day 1

It seems to be a common ritual nowadays that after every trip, there shall be pictures, video and blog (and they are extremely time consuming, especially the later two).

Went to Gunung Rajah last weekend for 3 days 2 night mountain trekking and camping. Gunung Rajah is supposed to be part of Banjaran Titiwangsa, and the starting point for the climb is at some waterfall near Bentong.

Super Heavy Load

We wake up super early to meet somewhere near Batu Caves before driving to Bentong for breakfast, and start conquering the mountain about 9 plus. I think our baggage weight between 10-15 Kg along the way. The first 10 minutes is extremely steep, as it was supposed to be a shortcut compared to a 30-40 minutes walk. Mei Ru felt some cramp on her old injuries last week at Angsi, but luckily she is alright. We trek on a normal mud path for about an hour, before moving into a jungle trail filled with leeches. Everyone got 2-3 leeches on average, and I got sucked at two spots. Ah Fong a.k.a Ah Lian is most afraid of creepy crawler, and she can shout until the sky tremble and had an eagle eye for leeches.

Photo Time!

Happy Moments

Along the way you could see the water stream which forms the waterfall at the foothill. It is nice to hear the sound of water along the way. The trekking took around 5-6 hours before we reached a nice water spot for rest. This place had a vast rock place to rest and dry your cloth, and extremely cold water for a simple swim and natural water Jacuzzi (extremely powerful). The water is way too cold, and the warmth of sun manages to ease it a bit. This is a nice spot to rest and relax after a long journey of tiring climb. The water is clear and sweet, much better than bottled mineral water.

Don't pull me

You know how to use sunblock or not?

After about 2 hours of play time, we hike for another 1 hour to reach our 1st camp site of the night. This place is nothing too magnificent, in the middle of the jungle near the water stream. We quickly setup our camp and tent before the night fall, and Ah Fong the master chef starts instructing her minions to prepare to food. We had a cold water bath as well.

Wet Girl

We had a great meal for the night, with nice warm and fluffy rice, salted chicken, onion omelets and soup, and vegetables as well. We had a great chef, and brought a lot of food up (it explains all the extra weight we had to carry up to afford such luxury). We even have Fu Juk Yi Mai for dessert, great huh? At night, we had wine and Roasted Chicken Slice. Is like heaven on earth, ahhh. Mr. Up Down (Xiong Ha) and Ah Fong are funny people with lots of jokes under their sleeves and cheer everyone up for the night. We had a great night.

Master Chef at Work

The 1st night isn’t too cold. The weather is just nice. Too bad there are too many trees and the stars manage to hide among them. We slept under the fly ship and on top of the ground ship, laid out our floor map and tuck inside our sleeping bag and hug each other to sleep.

The trip is much manageable than I initially thought, which is absolutely great!

Video Link: Morning Call, Ladies & Gentle, Start your Engine, Amazing Water Rest, The Journey Continues or All

Photo Link: Michelle's Multipla

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gunung Angsi

In preparation for the Gunung Raja (King of Mountain) climb, we had a practice run at Gunung Angsi last weekend. Initially I thought Gunung Raja to be a relaxing weekend getaway, but it turns out to be a much tougher climb than Gunung Kinabalu, perhaps twice as hard. With limited training and average fitness, let’s hope for the best.

This time we get to meet a lot of Tang’s friends, who happens to be regular mountain trekkers. We have Xiong Ha (上下, roughly translated as Up-Down) the man, who speak very loud and joke a lot. Then we have Gu Wen (顾问) the Feng Shui consultant, who is a funny and caring person. Other new friends include Chu Ling Ling (Xiong Ha’s niece, who happens to look like a friend of mine, Ting – tall and fair, even the hairstyle and behavior is slightly similar) and Freddy (Mich’s friend, rugged and sturdy, and somehow had a common face which look like all the not so famous stars)


Gunung Angsi is situated at Ulu Bendul, some kind of forest reserved park. It had a water stream and a fairly challenging track for weekenders. The climb would take 2-3 hours, and the path become pretty steep and challenging after the first hour. The view is just average, nothing too special or beautiful about it. Wynn felt uncomfortable during the journey, as she had not exercise for a long time. I think this ex-sportswoman will pick up her pace again pretty fast.

Rest & Photo

Wynn, pull harder!

The top of the mountain is quite a disappointment, with just a small piece of grass land with another average view. This place is fairly crowded, with almost 100 people resting, eating, playing and chit chatting. We have a nice rest here, with satisfying and energizing Milo and snacks. There are 2 routes to the top; we took the longer 2-3 hours path, while the other only takes 1 hour.

Lunch at the Top, Picnic Style

As usual, the path going down is painful due to the constant pressure on the legs, and yet has to beware of our steps. I wonder how others could travel down at a much faster speed, perhaps I am being too cautious, or I am just not fit enough. Anyway, everyone have their own pace.

Group Photo

The foothill of Gunung Angsi seems to be quite a popular picnic site, with shady spots and clear and cool water streams. The entire place is flooded with people like a public pool on weekend. We have our fair share of cool water bath and are on our way home.

Wynn had a massive headache, while I came down with a slight fever (I already felt slightly sick in the morning). I spent a night at Mei Ru’s place as I felt too tired and dizzy to drive home. Let’s hope next weekend Gunung Raja Trekking and Camping would be much more exciting and fun. One thing for sure, it shall be a very challenging climb (be prepared for a lot of muscle pain and psychological challenge). Why do we like suffering?

Video Link: 1, 2, 3 and All

Photo Link: Mei Ru's Multipla

Busy Busy Boy

Life had been extremely busy, and yet still has to squeeze the limited time I have in life for work, relationship and fun. Probably these are the 3 biggest time pie of my life at this current moment. Isn’t it sad we spent so much time in our life working? Hmm, what should we do then? Travel the world and have fun most of the time I guess.

I wonder is there a way to enjoy life without working an unhappy job (not really unhappy as well, but how about an absolutely happy job). I mean is it possible for all to be fun and enjoyment, including our work (working as our interest and adventure, rather than worry about money), relationship (more good times, less bad times) and having fun (absolutely). I think it is possible, I just haven’t figure out how. Ya Ya, it is all in our mind, but how? (Show Me The Money! Ops, The Way)

Perhaps our purpose in life is not to enjoy life, but to go through life (and sadly, the package had more than happiness to offer). Do we need a balance of all the good and bad elements in life? Perhaps only through mistakes and sadness that we will learn, grow and improve. As usual, there is no perfectness and extremism is not welcomed.

While waiting for my email attachment (which take forever to upload), I wanted to blog about my recent trip to Gung Angsi (since I have the videos as well), but end up bloging about this and felt like talking philosophical crap again. But I am already too tired and sleepy, so perhaps next time when priority in real life hasn’t taken too much precedence.