Friday, May 19, 2006

New website

After the long silence, i've decided to move my blogs to one site.

i'm still tweaking the site a little, but most of all previous posts are there. some are even updated! no prize for those who find it though. ;) please also let me know if there are any broken links!

Remember to update your links!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Can I help you with something else?

This is a rant (just so you know). My internet connection in Malaysia is not working. The modem seems to be out. A technician was suppose to come round. He arrived on Monday without letting anyone know. Naturally, Murphy's law dictates that no one was at home to "welcome" him and he left a note saying he was there. Does he expect me to be there 24/7 to wait for him?!!...(click here for the rest of the rant)

He left a direct number which I've called several times, nobody answer. Called the customer service centre, and they tried to call him as well. No answer. Told me they'll assign another technician. I asked them when can I expect him/her? They say dunno.

"Just give me a timeframe"

"Sorry, i don't really know"

"Is it going to be days? Weeks? Months?"

"er... just wait for the technician's call" and for the killer statement... "can i help you with something else?"

I was like, you can't even help me with this and you want to help me with something else?!! No !@#$%ing way!! just go !@#$ yourself.. which translated through the phone as "no thanks." and we hung up.

that was since monday. today, i went to a branch they set up near by, and see if I have better luck there. the branch only deal with sales, not servicing. fine. then there's this big poster saying the services they provide. since i'm looking for a web hoster, i thought i ask what's their going rate. i don't actually want them as a hoster given their track record, but i thought i find out the price anyway.

"sorry, we don't do hosting" and what's the big !@#$ing sign behind there for?!! or streamyx, if you see this, shame on you! to be fair, the people i spoke to were quite friendly.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Have you seen Water lately?

The most understated and most valuable... have you seen Water lately?

I was at a fountain similar to this pic (without such a pose!). I sat at a bench right at the bottom of the fountain, facing a wall with waters streaming down it's rough surface. Around me were kids playing with the water - kids climbing up the wall to get to where the fountain was spurting out; a kid trying to force the spurting water down (exercising control over water?); kids kicking and splashing water at each other - kids just generally having fun. Have you had fun with water lately?...(click here for more)

Sitting there was quite a bliss. The sound of the streaming water, although artificial, was still very soothing. And since I was in a low seating area where the surrounding was walled off, all other noise was cut off, except the "music" from the fountain.

I haven't noticed the beauty of water for a while. When I first got back to this part of the world (Singapore being the first stop), I actually ran in the rain! It was out of necessity rather than planned. We didn't have an umbrella with us and we were already very close to home. It felt really good as you crossed the little streams running through the roads. The warm water streaming down your face as you enjoy one of nature's most precious. I fell ill the next day.

Water, as life giving as it is, it's also a common cause of problems. Forget about the Malaysia-Singapore's constant bickering about it, too much of water is bad for you, too little is not good either.

But there's one thing I tend to forget about water - the beauty of it. I'm not talking about the intrinsic beauty of it. It's the beauty it generates in others. Like the joy it brings to kids and the calmness it brings to adults. Just like water's other cousin - snow.

So.. have you notice water lately? Try giving it some of your time the next time you see it. It's all around you if you are struggling to find it! Like the tap you turn on everyday, the glass you drink from everyday, the shower you take everyday (for some people!), the rain you try to avoid everyday. Maybe it'll give you a different perspective on life itself. Just try not to fall sick! But if you do, I recommend a good antidote... drink lots of water!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

5.30 in the morning...

It's 5.30am. My watch alarm rang. turned it off. and then my other alarm clock rang, which i have to get up, walk over and switch it off. Time to wake up i guess. Maybe i should try the method of how to get up right away when the alarm clock goes off, as proposed by Steve Pavlina. Or maybe it's just too early. But i've made a "date" with my Tai Ji teacher at 6am.

Fumbling about to get dressed and bring water, I slowly made my way to the MRT station (which is Singapore's equivalent of the London tube, only much better!). I've only got 2 stops to go, so I didn't mind standing, but I was surprised that the MRT is fully seated at this hour, it's not even 6am!

Another culture shock for me I guess. I wonder if i shocked them with me wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts while most of them are in office clothings or school uniforms. I know I didn't (shock them) because most of them had their eyes closed and head drooping. Only those standing were mildly awake. Guess the body needs to do what it needs to do, no matter how strong the mind is!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A strange conversation

We arrived at a Japanese restaurant serving one of those conveyor belt type food (yuck! but the wife likes it, sigh...). Someone came over and the conversation went like this...

waitress: Alakar or buffet?

us: er... we want to sit there..

waitress: A la carte or buffet?

us: oh.. what's the difference? ...(click here for the rest of the conversation)

waitress: (handing us the menus for the different options) here you go. Alacar you can choose this this and this. Buffet is anything on the belt.

wife: can we sit there? (the table has four chairs near the converyor belt)

waitress: Only if you have 4 people during peak hours.

me: is now peak hour? (it's 12pm on saturday, i thought i ask)

waitress: yes

me: ok, we'll sit by the conveyor belt. (and after sitting down...) we'll have a la carte.

waitress: i'll take the menu from you. (after a few seconds...) actually if you're going a la carte you can sit at the 2 person table and we can bring your food to you.

us: (looking at each other in perplex, we stood up) ok.

That was (almost) the exact conversation that took place. After sitting down, I did think why the process for sitting down was SOooo difficult. I just want to sit down and eat! I don't want to understand your whole business process and requirements - like designated sitting area, how you price your food, what are the differences between a la carte and buffet, your peak and non-peak hours etc. Of course I could have answered her first question and probably that might be easier. I was thinking more of "let me sit down and decide", which i think is a perfectly sensible strategy. After all, it's lunch time, i would rather grab a seat first!

If any of you own your own business, or if you have the power to influence or change a business design or decision, please... KEEP THINGS SIMPLE! Remember what you're trying to do. Remember what product and service you're trying to provide. Remember what's the main purpose of the product or service. For example, the purpose of a restaurant is to sit down and eat. Not stand, wait, understand, decide, sit, realise wrong "business" decision, understand, rant, stand, move, sit.

And don't get me started on the food... oh, did i mention i don't like sushi?! ;) just the raw stuff. always doesn't sit well with my tummy. I'll need more of those to build up the immune system.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Just park further

I've recently been quite wary of buffet style food offerings (it's about food again!). With the "eat only what you need" mantra in my mind, buffet style seems to go against the very grain of that mantra. It encourages eating a lot, and you don't care what you eat, just so you eat a lot, or try the lot. If you need further reasons not to go for buffet, it encourages waste because you're paying for excesses which most likely you don't need.

Not convinced? How much of the food does it come out the other end? Certainly not the same amount as that went in! much much less. Now.. the food don't just disappear, they appear elsewhere. My tale of indigestion in Bak Kut Teh has said enough about this.

If you need inspiration to start exercising, maybe this post might help you. Still too difficult? Take the public transport! It'll force you to walk a longer distance to get to where you want. Plus, you're helping the environment by having less cars on the road. You don't even have to contend with the traffic. No more cursing in the car.

If you really need to take your car, just park further. At a grocery store today (a place more affordable than Orchard Road in Singapore!), there were plenty of cars contending with the parking space nearest to the store! Those cars were causing a lot of fumes both inside the car and outside the car, not to mention the congested traffic. Just one row down, there are much more car parking spaces, less cars to contend with, no traffic jam. And it's only one row down! So please, just park further, it'll help walk off the extra food if you did go for a buffet lunch/dinner.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A little indulgence

Nintendo revolution. The new Nintendo console. It's going to change the way games are played. Just as how Brain Age is getting popular because of its unique gaming experience, to test the age of your brain! The trick is to have games that everyone can play, not just the regular gamers, but your aunt, your uncle, your nanny, your grandpa, your grandson... And not just play, but play together.

Hopefully I'll have a job to afford one when it comes out. If only i am as "pretty" as xiaxue to merit an invite to a gadget launch and a free gadget!! (she got a free Creative Zen Vision M as a blogger! envious... )

The new console is going to be called Wii pronounced as We. Check out the website.