Saturday, December 16, 2006

Reality Crumbled

I have absolutely no excuse why I didn't update my blog timely... but if I DO HAVE, it'll be the lack of leisure time since working part-time equals working full time (placing all schedules on the days I do work) and the other non-working day was on processing my business.

It is Saturday morning now, and I feel better. The memory of yesterday is still here, but not the affect of having such a memory. What I felt yesterday afternoon was totally different.

We humans have this ability of creating reality out of what we perceive from our experiences, our understanding of the way things work and from what we gather through our senses. Without writing it bluntly, here's how a part of my reality crumbled.

I have a friend, a mother of two, to which I've known for nearly two years. We communicate quite frequently, well, yeah of course, since we're also colleagues. Colleagues usually cannot be friends, but those that do are very few. For me, I only have two colleagues I consider a friend. Now, having a friend, we conjure a reality on that person, based on our interactions with that person and whatever else we assume them to be.

Well, that reality crumbled. A totally bizzare act that she did totally caught me off my toes. It affected the other friend as well, but the other friend faced it more like a shock. For me, it totally wiped out 'respect' and affected me in a way that I totally lost the appetite for lunch, and the memory of it haunt me right into last night.

Jealousy?? No, if you're thinking I'm jealous, change your assumption. The knowledge of her act and the confirmation of it made me turn around, look around, wondering what other realities that I conjured that may be false. What other reality that is going to crumble as well. Making a quick check that my stronger convictions of my conjured reality are still intact and solid.

To describe how the reality crumbled, I have to give examples. It's like a parent who has a grown-up child giving monthly finance from his/her job in another state, and everyone commended that he/she's a very discipline and kind child. Reality conjured by the parent is that of a responsible and hard-working child, and when reality crumbled, the child is actually good yes, but the monies are collected from doing vice.

If you watch the show Prison Break, it's like the wife thinking that her husband is still not back from war, when he's actually in prison. It's like how some parents perceive the 'good' in their maid from what they see physically, but the maid turns out to be a demon.

Take care of the reality you conjured...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Value of "Time with Family"

Definition: "Time with Family" is my definition is the time that I have family within my vicinity, not necessarily means that I must DO something together with family. Driving to go somewhere with family in the car is also considered time with family. So is lining up at the bank with family is still time with family.

This is another answer to the question that people have asked before, "What's the difference between being single and being married?".

I have been approached by a company who is offering me about 50% increase than my current pay. I'm more interested in the challenge than the pay actually. Apart from cleaning 'dirty laundry' from previous failed personnel whose place I'm suppose to take over, the deadline is very tight and that's part of the challenge that made me interested. At least I can put another notch to one part of my skillset.

Since they did ask me what I want to ask for salary, I began to think properly on the value of losing my night time with family. Deadline will always mean either staying back at work or bringing work home. Bring work home IS time with family, but I'd consider it more of a veiled time. So, tabulating the distance, the toll cost, lack of night time with family and stress level, I asked for approximately 130% increase from my current salary. Even then if they agree, I'd had to rethink if the extra money is really worth it. But they didn't get back to me, and its been two days. So I guess their decision is made up. And my decision is made up too should they really come back.

I'm happy where I am currently. That's another key difference between being single and having a family. Being single, I want to get the best value for my services and willing to travel a lot or staying back late, but not anymore. Those who are married understands this, and those who are still single, you will find this a very pleasant feeling to be part of your married life.

Please pray that I'll be like this eternally. :D

Thursday, October 12, 2006

She*l, you sux!

Dear She*l Management,

I came across your advertisement on tv as well as the newspapers, where you are advertising about your superbly fast petrol kiosk fuel-up service, especially with the usage of credit cards. It showed that the parking attendant was just about to wash the windscreen when the car sped off. I was so elated that I drove to one of your kiosk to fuel up. Since I don't really need to fuel up, I put in just RM10 worth. Here's what I did.

I stopped my car. Pulled out my wallet. Called the attendant to wash my windscreen. Took out my card and slot in the card reader. Authorised and then I fueled up. To my utter amazement, he finished washing my windscreen even before I pressed on the pump!! I got a little disappointed, but then I thought, maybe your system was a little slow today.

The next day I went back to the same petrol kiosk, and again I did the same as the above. Same result! This time I was only a little bit faster, that I was at RM2.00++ when he finished washing my windows. What gives?! I was getting angry, but I cooled down. Okay, maybe this kiosk is not as efficient as the others.

A week later, I went to another kiosk. Same story. Again I went to another kiosk, same story also. Altogether I went to 8 different kiosks and I have failed on all occasions to drive off before the attendant manage to place the 'washing rod' on my windscreen! I've even tried changing my method, by asking them to wash only after I've placed the pump into the car. But no,... before I could place the pump back, they're done washing.

Then it dawned on me that the only logical explanation is that your company have deliberately lied to its customers, and on national tv and newspaper!! What a shame on you, She*l!! A totally misleading advertisement!

I hereby demand my money back for a total of RM160.00 which I must receive within two weeks time. Failure to do so will cause me to write a letter to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and take you to court for damages multiple times of the RM160.00 that I lost.

I expect to hear from you.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sorry Readers

Dear readers,

I'm sorry to inform you that currently I'm still working on a 3-day week in my company, while the other two days are used for personal and company-registering/planning time which gives me hardly any time for leisure on the net for blog updating.

Should be back blogging by October's end. For now, there will only be entries that come very sparsely.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Haunted Painting

If you had been a constant Ebay lurker back in the 2001-2002 time, you would have came across a "Haunted Paiting" being sold on Ebay. I have always been mesmerised by this painting due to its hollow and eerie nature, as if the picture shows the essence of life being cast away. Anyway, I thought I'd share this picture with you since I have always been taking a look-see at it again nearly once every three months. The owner of Ebay halted the auction as there was a huge public outcry that 'evil' is being sold.

In Ebay, the picture is described as follows: -

When we received this painting, we thought it was really good art. A "picker" had found it abandoned behind an old brewery. At the time we wondered a little why a seemingly perfectly fine painting would be discarded like that. (Today we don't!!!) One morning our 4 and 1/2 years old daughter claimed that the children in the picture were fighting, and coming into her room during the night. Now, I don't believe in UFOS or Elvis being alive, but my husband was alarmed. To my amusement he set up a motion triggered camera for the nights. After three nights there were pictures. After seeing the boy seemingly exiting the painting, we decided, the painting has to go. Please judge for yourself. --- Warning: Do not bid on this painting if you are susceptible to stress related disease, faint of heart or are unfamiliar with supernatural events.

The post includes several other things such as questions on how to bless the house once the painting is gone. There are also several warnings that says "Don't put the painting as your desktop wallpaper" and several other comments that claimed "Don't look too intensely into the painting because once the girl turns her face towards you, death will come to you." Well, yeah, it does sound scary because the girl does not have an eye in the eye sockets.

Now, from my own appreciativeness of the art of the painting. It shows a boy, real human boy, with a girl who has a sad face, and missing eyes from the eye socket, and there are hands behind the glass frame behind the boy trying to reach out. On one hand, it looks as if the boy is 'hypnotised' in a city of ghosts, on the other, it's like a human life that exist amongst undeads. But in all honesty, I cannot 'feel' any message that the painter tries to potray, but it is really a good imagination of the artist to produce such an artwork. Just appreciate the beauty of it, but turn your face away once the girl starts turning her face towards you. :P

The real story is this: The painting was painted by William Stoneham in 1972. According to him, "When I painted the Hands Resist Him in 1972, I used an old photo of myself at age five in a Chicago apartment. The hands are the 'other lives.' The glass door, that thin veil between waking and dreaming. The girl/doll is the imagined companion, or guide through this realm."

However, in Stoneham's own words, there were 'cases' related to his painting that happened, such as the owner of the gallery where this photo is shown and art critic who reviewed the show were dead within a year. He says it's just a coincidence. Anyway, the original painting has been sold during the show, and he has no idea where the painting is now.

There,... just to share a piece of artwork that caught my attention since 4 years back.

p/s: Did the word "hantu" come from the word "haunt"?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Food Review: KFC New Variety Bucket

Verdict: Not Worth It At All. Don't Try It.

Photo 'borrowed' from

What you get: -
1) 3 pieces OR chicken
2) 3 pieces Hot & Spicy chicken
3) 2 Regular Whipped Potato
4) 8 Chicken Fingers
5) 1 Large Potato Wedges
Price: RM27.50

How much does it cost ala carte?
3 pieces OR chicken - RM7.90
3 pieces H&S chicken - RM7.90
2 regular whipped potato - RM3.00
8 chicken fingers - RM7.60
1 Large Potato Wedges - RM2.80
Total Price: RM29.20

That's a total of only RM1.70 difference. Not worth being called a package deal. Totally unlike (real example here) Dominos Pizza whereby if you order a large pizza only, you get a regular free... and a regular costs more than RM10 for sure.

What's bad? ONE: The chicken fingers are totally below par. You can get a better and cheaper chicken fingers by buying frozen ones from hypermarkets and fry them yourself at less than half the price and better the taste. There's totally NO chicken filamen/strips in the fingers. Too much starch. TWO: We all know that potato wedges is useless without the cheesy stuff. It's like eating satay without the peanut sauce, or eating roti canai without the curry/dhal, or eating cornflakes without the milk, or drinking teh 'o' ais without the straw.

Again, in short, not worth due to the two reasons above.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


When you first arrived, you were so fragile. I had to take notice of the yellow spots on your nose when I couldn't find any other marks on you when I spun you around, looking all about your tiny body, so that there's no mistaking that you're the one we bring home. After the prayers into your ears, and have you sent to the nursery for your first therapy, the photo-therapy, I prayed with tears thanking God for giving you to us.

First Day Home

The first few weeks were very tiring but funny. Many times mommy and I fell asleep feeding you at your three-hour interval meals. You really changed our lives, having someone to go home to, and really changed our sleeping times too! Hehe.... and you will not remember this, but your first few weeks you were taken care by Atuk and Nenek as well as your Opah, and your first 5 months of your life, you were taken care by your Pak Long and Mak Long. Next time you can go back and thank your Mak Long for taking care of changing your diapers, and having Mak Long's kids doting on you a lot.

From your fifth month, you started to go over to Opah's house and some times Atuk and Nenek drops by in KL to take care of you. Your Opah had a funny 'ritual' of making sure you're
colic-free by saying "kepala - buntut, kepala - buntut" while making her hands move from your face to your behind, in hoping the air will come out as soon as possible. We think it's the super-heaty milk powder S26 that kept your colic away, but you sweat profusely with that milk powder. Now that you're on another milk powder, you're ok... and currently we're only facing with the problem of you 'releasing' yourself, need more fiber in your diet.

You can sit well on Atuk's lap, just looking at cars go by at the parking lot of our place. You are afraid of Grand-dad (we'll see what we can make you call him later ok?) because of the way he likes to tickle you, but when he's not doing that to you, you really make an effort to chit chat with him.

With you mommy, you like to bite and lick her nose, her knee, her cheek, and that
really makes mommy ticklish and you just laugh whenever she tries to avoid you. With me, you like having yourself lift up high a dozen times and having to hold my hands while you train to walk. Your favourite song with mommy is mommy's own composition, while with me it's "Polly Put The Kettle On"... and with your Pak Cu it's "Row Row Row Your Boat" since it's the only song your Pak Cu knows how to sing, hehe. Of course you like to listen to other children songs especially in the car. One thing you might not remember, is that you sleep nearly everynight with suara orang mengaji in the background.

Your physical advancement went very well. You were flipping over by the time you were 3 months old, holding your heads up by your 5th month, crawling by your 7th month and pulling up to a standing position by your 9th month. It seems you like odd-numbered months of your life for your milestones. Just three weeks ago today you started to walk, and now, you can
already fast walk and even pick yourself up to walking position. You babble a lot in the car when I send you to Opah's house, were you singing to the children song?

Among your habits is putting your fingers or hands in every item that has hole, from containers, to glasses, to even mommy and my ears! You like to pick
up items from containers and fling it behind you. You also started to like moving to music, especially from Dora the Explorer's Musical Episode that we switch on for you nearly everyday for the past three weeks. You like to move your tongue a lot while making the sound "la-la-la-la-la". You also like to open your mouth making sure there's bubble created there. You seem to have stopped "blessing" things and people by blowing your saliva out. You like remote controls, and what we cannot catch on video is your tendency to switch the channel from mommy's favourite CSI show to that of Forum Perdana or an arabic channel. You like mommy's phone a lot. You seem to have stopped making everything a car, pushing and dragging things like cds, containers, books around the floor. You like to listen to your own echo by making a lot of noise in lift lobbies and car parks. One thing that stands out, you stopped using the pacifier when you were four months old.

Your first shopping complex I cannot write here as it indicates where we live. I will only list a few firsts you have and others will be shown in our own memory-book okay? Your first big-family holiday was to Port Dickson. Your first holiday with us was to Cameron Highlands where you wore your first Baju Sejuk. Your first clothing we bought was a blue Poney clothing.

First Clothing We Bought Before You Were Born

You had your Cukur Jambul in Terengganu during Hari Raya Haji. There goes your birth hair which was already thinning, and from bald, now you have rather long hair that covers your ear but mommy don't want your hair cut. We still keep your birth hair, and you can ask mommy or me to see it. We are also keeping your tali pusat.

My wish for you is to grow up at your own pace, for which I'm sure is mommy's wish as well. Mommy and I will support you in what you want in life. Remind us not to force you to do things against your will, but we will drive you to be a good person.

p/s: Posted One Day Earlier But Date Is Correct, Coz On Real Day Will Not Be Coming To Office. Out To Celebrate With Loved Ones.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Special Place In Time

I'm not sure about many of you, but I find that there is always a special place in time where we can retreat to, just to be away from current situations. Somewhat like taking a holiday, if you will, but instead of going on a real holiday, you retreat to a favourite moment in time. I'm sorry to say that I don't retreat to my marriage day much, though that should be the most favourite moment in time, I guess it's because it's still current, still new, still ongoing.... maybe when my kids are in college, then marriage will be a moment in time to retreat to.

My special retreat is back in 1989 - 1991 times, from the time I was in Std 5 to Form 1. Those years are the best place to retreat as a kid, though I received some sort of recognition in 1993 - 1994 in school, that's still not the best. 1989... that was the time of utter bliss. Enjoyment to the max, also the time when I started taking English language seriously and then able to enjoy and understand all the english story books, heavily english-texted computer games, etc.

The retreat is simple. Songs and music. Come to think of it, I think in terms of music choice, my wife still wonders why I sometimes retreat to songs of She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals), When I See You Smile (Bad English), Another Day In Paradise (Phil Collins), Winds of Change (Scorpions), and others. I won't name those romantic ones coz' they don't really make me retreat such as The First Time (Surface). That one is just a feeling of "Hey, nice to hear that song again." Anyway, while songs make me relive the past for a moment, nothing is better than having to listen to music during the best times of the memory.

For me, sadly and pitifully (some people will say), are music from games. No lyrics, just the music. Two musical pieces (I wouldn't call it pieces, since it's not composed by a known composer, but well, no other words for it) are Stones from the Ultima series and Monkey Island theme song. These are the kind of music that can just release me from current situation, ie the office, and release all tension and be a kid with no responsibilities again. To just enjoy the moment in time. To just lean back and listen to that music,... aih... dunno if you all know how that feels like.

Anyone care to share their special place in time, and how they go about reaching back that place?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Borrowed Time

Some people believe that life itself is a borrowed time, that we actually borrowed the time from God before God takes it back. I don't look at it that way. I believe that God gave us LIFE with an expiry date. Borrowed time is the time given after that expiry date. Some borrowed time is given to rectify their lifestyle, such as, a second chance in life, or some borrowed time is just for a very short duration, to meet loved one for one last time. The latter is what I will write about today.

Most death that happens after an admission to hospital or within the hospital itself usually had a borrowed time. There are just too many instances that when a person is dying, he/she suddenly makes a remarkable recovery for about a few hours, just to suddenly pass away the next hour, or the next day. There are also instances whereby a person in a coma wakes up, but too weak to do anything else but to just stare at you and then tears start flowing out of the eye. This experience I have had, to see someone who refuses to close her eyes and let out her tears flow out. I never knew that it means "It's time", and within a few hours later, she died alone on the hospital bed. Not a relative, just an experienced I have had.

The problem is, we will never know who is on borrowed time, and who's on the journey to recovery. I think the safest and correct perception is to view EVERYDAY of a person's life who had just recovered from a serious and critical condition. At least if it is borrowed time, you get to spend one last memory with him/her before they go 'home'. If it is not, then it IS your realisation to really cherish the person whose time is not expired yet. What's worse is those who don't have a borrowed time at all and just pass away at the most unexpected moments, just as what we've been reading in the papers nowdays. A normal day passes by just to know someone close to you have gone 'home'. That's something I don't want to have it happen to anyone at all.

Nothing much to say, just suddenly thought of it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Item of Value

As I've tendered my resignation, there have been a lot of things to do especially keeping all the reports in order and training new staff to take care of the works I've done and how to proceed after I'm gone. Anyway, that is not an excuse.

One simple question: If your house is on fire, and you have time to only take out THREE items from the house that's carryable by one hand (per item), what would they be? Also, if you want to take out any additional item at 10% risk (for every item) that you won't get out alive, are there more items to take out against that risk?

I'm asking this question specifically to understand the value we place on our possessions. Some men have it in this priority.... 1) Car 2) Wife 3) Children 4) Playstation 2 etc... while others may have 1) New sports rim 2) Laptop 3) Children 4) Mousepad .... 23) Wife... etc.

Being a married man, I guess the three items I will definitely save will be our passports (I consider this ONE item since they're placed together), my wallet and a file of documents (containing important documents) and get the hell outta there. If my son is in the house, my son alone will be it.... forget the passports and wallet, dowan to risk him getting burned. Seriously, I have absolutely no other items I consider of importance that I would risk even a little burn on my body for. I believe, with God's will, my mind, body and ability/skills are enough to get me through the entire event and rebuild what it lost.

Okay, let's forget that question. Now for another. Let's say your house is robbed, and the robber being so kind says "I will take EVERYTHING from your house, but will leave behind 3 items. What will they be?" Now it's a different story huh? You can remake your passport, can remake your IC in the wallet, bank books, etc. What will that 3 items be that you won't let the robber take away? Momentos from your past?

For me.... 1) My external HDD (this is where the backups of all family movies, pictures, archives of work, stories, etc is kept). 2) Wedding rings (this is a momento that I wish not to part with) 3) File of documents (in this file also exist momentos and receipts of my family).

If I were to be asked this question when I was single, it'll be 1) My external HDD 2) Most expensive item in the house 3) Second most expensive item in the house. :P

What would your choices be?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Journey Home

One of our family car was sent for repair for two weeks, therefore either I send my wife to her workplace and drive to work myself or vice versa. Most of the time, it's the former. On Friday last, my wife sent me to work and since morning I was thinking it'll be a wonderful time to try walking home, which I did.

It's not too far at all actually. When I drive it takes 15 minutes because I calculate from time of exit from my apartment, and the time I clock in. This includes going down lift, start up car, wait for engine to warm up, driving out, show fists to incorrigible drivers, tag card at parking entrance, say "Morning boss" to car park operator, etc...

Anyhow, I left the building at 5:30pm. The following photo is the ONLY photo I can show you though I've taken a lot of photos along the way. This photo is taken by the new state-of-the-art, highest selling and superbly designed SE P900. :P

Walking gives you a time to reflect on lots of things, which I didn't really do since for now there's nothing to reflect upon. Quite happy with life. So I took the opportunity to take photos of buildings I walk past, and any other interesting things to snap. No chun girls though. :(

At one area, it started drizzling!! Crap I thought. Luckily it stopped, but by the time I reached home, the drizzle became light rain which was ok. So, time home was 5:58pm. Just 23 minutes of walking, quite short when you compare to driving a car. The only reason why the car cannot be a lot quicker is due to one way roads in KL which cannot be accessed using the road I took.

Overall it was a nice walk. Quite worried someone would snatch my laptop bag, but I consciously held on to it pretty tightly and notice motorists or people walking past. Sweated a bit, so that's my exercise for the day,.. er.. week, err... month! One thing I was superbly proud of, haha... okay, not proud, but quite amazed was that I was 'singing' (I can't sing well at all) a song, repeated over and over until I reached home. Being an english-song-listening-dude, I have no idea why I sang the song "Liga liga Malaysia..... (own created lyrics)... masuk, jangan tak masuk, masuk, (own created lyrics) kami juara", a Malaysian League advert sang by Spider. :D

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'm so busy sampai tak sempat nak update blog pun. :( Will try to soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pwoer Of The Hmaun Mnid!

Broefe I bgien, tanhk you so mcuh for the tons of cnmomets on my pvuerois psot. :P

I wnot be tlaknig aubot the fcat the hmaun mnid can uendrsadnt waht is bneig wtrietn hree, but aoubt smoetnihg esle. Yes, at fsirt glcane you mghit tnhik taht its ipmiosslbe to eevn raed a sngile snetcene, but hree you are sltil raednig thugoh a ltilte solw tahn uausl. Raed auobt tihs phomnenoen yuorslef.

Tlaknig aoubt my son aiagn hree. Wehn I calp my hnads, he calps his hnads. Tihs is bsuceae he can intendfiy taht my hnads are the smae as his hnads as he can see btoh his hnads and mnie bineg sliamir. But how deos he idfienty taht he can shaek his haed wehn I shaek mnie? I maen, he cnat mkae a dciret cmorapiosn taht my haed is his haed, scine he cnat see his haed! How deos he konw taht wehn I oepn and cosle my muhot, he has the smae muhot taht he can oepn and csole?

It's aaminzg taht a clhid can konw taht smoetnhig ahntoer prseon has, he has as wlel, and eevn konw the lcaoiton thguoh he cnat see it. I gsues tehre are a lot of oehtr tnihgs a hmuan can do whit tiehr mnid taht no cmoptuer, eevn in the dtsnait frutue, can eevr cmoe cosle to dinog.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dictate A Life

I'm removing flooble (the chat box) as it's hardly used and has become a wastage of space. I will be putting in Categories column so that people who wanna avoid reading about ghost can read other categories. All these, I hope can be completed by the end of the week.

Would love to get some comments on today's post!! Be it from new parents, or anyone at all.

When should parents stop dictating the life of their children? As your children grow up, you are dictating what they should eat, what school they should go to, and so on and so on. The first freedom a child has is 'choice of friends' when they first enter Kindergarten, and then the 'choice of food' which they can buy from their canteen. However, parents still dictate the child when they're at home, what time to sleep, what time to study, limitations of tv and entertainment, checking of report cards, etc.

Now, from my casual observation, the first choice a child makes about their future comes at the end of Form 3, where they can choose several paths in Form 4 and Form 5. Some parents still choose for the child, while some give the freedom to the child. I'm the latter. Further on, after Form 5, the second big choice in life comes to a child about their future, which career path to dedicate their remaining academic teenage life to choose. Yes, some children have all the freedom, some are 'advised' by parents while other are purely forced to take a certain path. Sorry to say this, but quite a lot doctor parents force at least one of their children to trod the medical line. I'm happy enough that I'm the first, given the freedom to choose.

After studying, the third choice of life, what company/industry to work in? For lawyers, doctors and other professionals, it's a no brainer unless they don't like what they studied. For others, it's quite a huge choice out there. Accountants and business students can practically work in any industry, while engineers and tourism students has some limited scope, still, there are tons of areas to venture into. At this age, MOST parents do not dictate what their child should do. Of all the freedom that I've gotten since Form 3, my career path was the 'second' dictation, that is, I am 'advised' to work at a certain company/industry by my parents, well... a parent actually.

And then we work, and then the fourth choice in life comes in, choosing a mate, but that's another story. Back to the series of choices regarding careers, I have had 3 career changes in my life, and only one of them was on personal freedom, while the other two was 'advised'. In other families, parents don't give a hoot what and where their children work, as long as they work and be a responsible salary earning citizen. While in some other families, whereby the parents are running their own business, the children is forced to work under their industry to learn their trade. What's your thought on that?

My personal opinion, at least for now, for the betterment of my children's future, I can only teach and let them observe as much as they can before they are 15, before letting them free to choose what they want from life. Yes, I will need to guide them. Can't give too much freedom or else "Dad, I wanna work as robber lah, can get RM10 million overnight if don't get caught." Guiding them in their career path I think it's good, that is to show them the positive and negative sides of the industries they wanna go in, but still, it should stop before the "short list" stage. Let them short list what they want, and then let them decide what they want. We can only support, not dictate anymore. Still, as a human being, it's not going to be easy to be someone who have cared so much about your cute lovey dovey child that you stay up to kill mosquitos, to release them into the cruel world of decision makings... but that time will come, as it did your own parents, and your grandparents. It is the responsibility of a parent to support a child's decision, after you've filled him/her with the knowledge and wisdom he/she needs to grow up well.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The World Is Heavy

I personally believe that lying is a sin, not a great sin, but a sin nonetheless, and there's no such thing as a white lie. A lie, black, blue, red or magenta, is still a lie.

People in sales, marketing and promotions lie all the time! It's just too sick to notice that. Take me for example. When a potential client wants to rent an office in my building, I'll give them the price. When they negotiate a cheaper price, I'd normally need to take out my script, turn to the relevant page, and reads out "I will check with my landlord on your proposal and get back to you tomorrow". Kidding about the reading script part. Anyway, the reality is that I do not even talk to anyone. I just use TIME as a factor of negotiation, and the next day I will accept or reject their proposals according to what power I have as a negotiator, following landlord's guidelines.

One hotel called me up, saying "We have randomly selected employees from your company and you are one of the lucky ones who can sign up for our interesting package!" What a load of crap. This, in fact, was yesterday's phonecall. They asked me if I'm in Company A or B, and I said A and they said, "That's good, coz' eventhough company B is your subsidiary, we are not giving it to them." Little do they know I'm not in BOTH companies and have moved since 3 years back.

A belardy sheet real estate company (this is true story) has even advertised "From RM151,000 up for a 22x75 double storey house in Klang!". You know what?! That company has managed to convince the developer to totally reduce one house's price to RM151,000 as a bonus for the final buyer of the development, and it's right in front of TNB power station. The next lowest price is RM215,000. People who have gone there for that cheap price were taken aback at the use of lies. Well, it's not a lie, but you know what I mean.

Siluet 40, a product on that Kayla Beverly Hill... showing a cream that says "Lose 2-3 inches in just 40 minutes!" is another con job. Once you buy the product, you'll read the instructions as "Apply cream in your fat area for 40 minutes, once everyday for a month. Within the month, you should be able to see changes in your measurement, at least an inch." Yesss... Lose 2-3 inches in just 40 minutes of rubbing and applying, but result after 2 months.

Caveat Emptor a.k.a. Let The Buyers Beware is getting to be too dangerous in the world today. We need a subject in school now called "Legal Con Tricks". Insurance agents have the same problems as well. Those really bad ones do not lie, yes they don't, but they don't give the whole picture. They can say "You will be able to get cover from critical illness, medical, death and total disablement with this comprehensive package" but they fail to tell you that if you have claimed for critical illness, the package voids itself. Comprehensive package to cover all, but once used ANY, the policy voids.

And... many con job in this world, or let's say,... any agreements of transactions in this world nowadays happens AFTER giving the money. Seriously! Hotel people who promises tons of things will only give you the package and agreement after you pay, and if you have disputes over what they promised verbally, you cannot fight at all legally. Insurance policy comes AFTER you pay for the insurance. Buying a house requires you to put in 2% with just a receipt, and only later when you pay additional 8% you can sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement. If you want to pull out, a portion of that 2% will be taken away.

I think for adults, we really need to get back to the standard of reading an agreement first, then sign on the dotted lines, and then only pay up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Going To The Doctor

People Who Kacau Me Today
1. Sharifah for Holiday Villa Resort Package - Polite
2. Sue for Melia Hotel Package - A bit pushy, but polite
3. Rozi for Orient Rewards (also holiday package) - Most annoying. 20 mins call, blab blab blab. Phone number 016-2753215. Salesman, please go bug her.

Another break from Amuk.

In Malaysia, there are some doctors who, while they are skilled in their work, have lost their ability to think logically. IQ rendah gitu. I am bringing up this issue because this is quite common in Malaysia, and the way to actually solve this issue is that, if ANYONE has to stay home because they're sick, another person who can drive must also be late to work, or take half-day leave. Doesn't this affect both the sick and the driver's work?

The issue: "I can only give you an MC Hammer if you come in the morning." While it's easy for a child to get MC since one parent usually take leave, an adult getting an MC is a lot more difficult. If my wife gets sick and not recommended to drive, logically I should be sending her to the doctors. With my working hours starting at 8:45am, and the clinic opens at 10:00am, doesn't that mean I have to take half day coz' surely it takes about 10mins to see doc, then 20mins-30mins to send home and another 20mins-30mins to reach work. This will be vice-versa as well, but some jobs just cannot have you suddenly demand a half-day just the day before.

Not all clinics practise this, but there are some that do. They say if you come in the evening, they can only issue an MC for the following day. Now I'm thinking of my aunt-in-law. If she gets sick, not sick enough that she needs medical attention, but weak enough that she cannot focus if she drives, and ends up in bed for two days, there goes two days of pay because on the 2nd day evening she will get MC for the third day. I mean, sigh... can't believe some clinics really have problems thinking logically.

The doctors working in these clinics should get sick until evening when they're able to drive, and issue themselves MC only for the following day. Memang takde otak.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Memory Of World Cup

Taking a break from writing about Amuk, and taking a cue from KookyCookie's post, I have my own Memory of World Cup 2002.

Group Match
Croatia 2 Italy 1

Round of 16
South Korea 2 Italy 1

Sigh.... stupid one-man-striker team. That's like 4-5-1?!? See if this World Cup's Italian coach is any better with their 4-3-1-2.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Amuk (Part #2)


Encik Daud, a father of two children, an adult son of 22 and a teenage girl of 17 years was watching the "Top 20 Fifa Greatest World Cup Moments" with his wife and daughter when the doorbell to his apartment rang. From the peephole, he can see a pizza delivery guy. "Sigh... Pizza again. That boy never asks us what we want, instead always ordered straight away to his likings."

The moment he opened the door, he was pushed back. A trick! Three men came in, it seems that the pizza guy has also put on his mask. If only En Daud can remember how he looked like earlier, but he only remembered the pizza company cap. His son, who just came out from the kitchen after his dinner was not spared. Confronted by two knife wielding men and one gun-armed man, he followed their demands.

As they were being tied up with tapes over their mouth, two of the robbers looked cheekily at each other and looked back at his daughter. Fear! What are they planning to do!? The one with the gun ordered the one to ransack rooms while the other stand watch, while he himself pulled the girl into one room. Then there was a click indicating the door was locked. "They are going to rape my daughter!"

Anger! The ropes, though tied well behind his back, left some space for the wrist to breath. Muffled shouts heard! More anger! And at last berserk! The ropes cut into his flesh as he pulled at them. He can feel as it he's tearing his arms away from the wrist, but there's no pain. There's only vengeance! He can feel finger bones breaking, but he went on.

Free! He lunges at the one standing guard. The robber had absolutely no time to react, the only thing he felt was his hands being knocked and then two, no, three stabs into his chest. En Daud had no reaction, he didn't even realised he just took someone's life. His aim is now at the door. The other robber came out, saw what has happened, and fled for the main door.... and he escaped. En Daud threw himself at the door, but his subconscious defense mechanism didn't allow full strength without hurting himself with the knife to his body.

He threw the knife down. Again, screamed to the top of his lungs, and threw himself at the door again. The door gave way, it swung open, and then... gunshot! There was no pain, he looked about the room, saw his daughter's shredded clothes, saw the gun man kneeling near the bed. Berserk went up another degree. He jumped, and then another gun shot, and again there was no pain. Now the gun man is under him, and he used the only lethal weapon an unarmed person, the strongest muscle in his body. He bit hard, chewed hard on the gun man's face, cheeks, neck,... tore off some skin, he hears screaming, and yet he continued shredding at the skins with all the strength of a berserked man. Noticing his daughter's flower vase on the floor nearby, he grabbed it, smashed it against the face of the gun man, it didnt break. He continued hitting until all was quiet.

He picked himself up, looking down at his body to see where the bullet punctured. No blood, save the robbers. Not even a scratch, perhaps the robber in his panicked state aimed very badly. He looked at his daughter, now he sees blood. The first gun shot was straight into his daughter's head, the gun man was tearing at her clothes putting the gun to her head to stop her from fighting back, and when the door burst opened, the shock triggered the gun. En Daud slumped, cried, screamed, crawled to his daughter, held her close and cried.

Minutes later, his wife and son was freed from their binds.

Berserk saved his daugther from rape, but did not save her from death. In his own words, "I still say this is fated. It's better than she died than to live her life in emotional torment. My wife thinks otherwise, that is better to still have her around than not having her at all anymore. What is done is done, the berserk was a natural reaction to fear and anger, to someone we love."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Amuk (Part #1)

Amuk, is known in english as 'runamuck'. Before I get into further details about amuk, I would like to say that I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't smell gum,... in shorter terms, I have not been in any position whereby I do not have 100% control over my actions, other than sleeping, being too sick and yes, being in 'amuk' condition.

Amuk, by personal explanation, is a state of being whereby there is no right or wrong. There is only actions. There is no cause or effect or consequences, there is only now. Amuk has only one aim, and that is to "desperately alter or change the current situation one is in, either by destruction or fleeing". I have had been in twice the former (destruction) and once the latter (fleeing). The consequences, once realised, is very regrettable. We're not indulging my experiences here, let's take a look at similar amuk cases in the newspaper lately.

I still very much believe in that Star Wars words "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering." Most of the newspaper cases show amuk that are stirred purely by fear. An example is the man fearing ah longs coming after him that he asks his wife for money and when refused, he stabbed her. Some have to commits crime that brings them to jail so that ah longs don't go to jail to find them.

To those who have never been in an amuk state of mind, my best advise is that when things start to get out of hand, especially due to fear or anger, and cannot be changed by you, flee. Your sanity and the non-existence of a dire consequence is far better than entering amuk state whereby you will never ever know what you're capable of. As mentioned, it is a state of 'action' and 'now'.

If you have ever been VERY nervous for an interview or to perform on stage, and when you finally start doing it, you really feel as if you're not there. Someone else has taken over your body and it's like you're looking at yourself talking in the interview or performing. Same goes for amuk. You see yourself, but you cannot stop yourself, because you don't want to stop yourself. The mind has entered a state of total serenity, relaxed and calm during that period. It has started an auto-destruct sequence and just decides to lay loose and watch what happens. It's a "Let what happens, happens". Not a care in the world.

Tomorrow's post is a further dive into "Fear leading to anger".

Home and Workplace

I have had so many colleagues and ex-colleagues who chosed to buy a house near where they work. The reasoning is, it's closer to their office. I have a personal opinion that people should only buy a home nearby where they work if: -
  1. They're happy and gonna continue working for the same company for the next 15 years.
  2. They know they will not get retrenched.
  3. They know that the company will not go bankrupt.
  4. They know that the company will not suddenly wish to relocate somewhere else.

Besides the collective reasons above, buying a home nearby a workplace is a very unhealthy practise. It's putting priority on the workplace, and then buying a home to accommodate that priority. Gold Medal - Workplace, Silver Medal - Home.

I believe that when one chooses to buy a home, they should consider the neighbourhood (and of course financial health) and the factor of workplace should not even be in mind at all. Look at it this way. At 6pm, I drive from my workplace in KL to my home in KL and it takes me 30 minutes due to the traffic jam. In the morning it's only 10 minutes to work. That same time gets me from Puchong to Damansara which is a lot further from KL to KL. So, realistically, no matter where you live, there will be traffic jams, so choosing a house should not factor in workplace at all.

On the other hand, for those who do not have high ambitions to work only in specific company, it IS healthy to find a job nearby where you stay. That way, your home is number one, and workplace number two. Nicer equation. Still, lots of those real estate slogans "Why rent when you can buy?" pushes people to buy a home near their workplace, rather than rent first, and then decide when to buy a home when they do need or meet one. I think renting is totally fine, as long as it's not too expensive. If you're from KL, and you work in Johor, and you still wish to retire in KL, it's better to rent something cheap in Johor and then come back to KL to buy a home. What if you already bought a home in Johor and ended up quitting in 10 years? You still have 20 years to go to pay for the home. Okay, one thing good is the appreciation of that home, whereby you can sell for a higher price. There is a risk of non-buyer, guaranteed. If there's always a buyer, the daily classifieds will be only 2 pages big, and not 10-20 pages as it is today.

Seriously, neighbourhood is the main factor to choose a home, not the workplace.

Monday, May 29, 2006

MSN Webcam

I chatted with a friend of mine today who stays in the USA. Since it was morning for me here, at about 11am, her time there would be either 11pm or 12pm, I have no idea on that daylight saving thingy. So anyway, a webcam can scare you. Yes, the moment I accepted her webcam, I saw a green face staring at me! She was wearing face mask!

No, kidding. Anyway, I know she does come online at this certain time, only today I just decided to buzz a 'hi'. So she was asking about my family and stuff, talking about careers and stuff when I noticed someone walked behind her heading into a room. So I said "Hey, I just saw your housemate back there. He comes back so late?!". She turned around, and then she looked back at her keyboard and wrote "Haha... good one. I'm renting this apartment alone lah. I'm all by myself." So, in order not to scare her further, I stopped talking about what I saw and just said "Hahaha... thought I could get you there."

So I probed further, "You don't have a boyfriend at all staying at your place or something?" and she said "No, I'm not like that at all. I meet them all outside. Only me and myself have the keys to my apartment. Stop trying to scare me!" and she stood up, went to the other room, went to the kitchen, the front door and just as she was coming back to the computer, the same guy walked passed her on her right. She got back to the computer and said "I locked everything tightly, no one here."

So,....what do you do if you are in my position, and you keep seeing him for at least another two times walking behind your friend, as if he's just going about his own chores in that house and even once looked into the monitor from her left shoulder and left to go back into that room. Would you think she's lying, or is she living with something she doesn't know exist? I hope I don't see such things like I mentioned here on her webcam.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lifestyle Living

In tribute to two friends of opposite spectrum in 'living' their lifes.

In my opinion, Lifestyle Living is fueled by two sources, commercialism and pride. I will just create a story, non-biased or stereotyped; the settings is purely for purpose of the story. I have all the respect for kampung and urban folks.

My name is Ali. I've been in KL for 2 years already and my net worth is currently about -RM20k. Yes, I'm in debt of RM20,000. I'll start at the beginning.

I worked as a sales executive in a small town, but living some 10km away into the heart of my kampung. I went to work on my father's old motorcycle. My family is very simple. We do not buy magazines monthly, only when there's some interesting stories to be read. My mum, who's a housewife cooks a lot in the morning, be it meehoon or nasi lemak and then at lunch, she'll just add another dish, be it chicken or fish to be eaten with the left over morning breakfast. Since I stayed just nearby my home, I went home to eat my lunch.

For dinner, it's a feast! Rice, vegetable dish, fish and cold syrup, or orange, or lychee for drinks. We ate together right after dusk prayers. In all, I earned about RM800 on a fixed salary, and I only spent about RM300 per month, inclusive of my prepaid phonebills and my phone was a cast-off from my sister who I payed RM200 on a 4 months installment. Every evening, I played soccer with the kampung kids.

Then a miracle happened. My performance in the company is so good that they have decided to give me a raise and send me to KL, to work in a bigger branch. They believed that I will bring more benefit to the company in KL. So, I told my parents of my increment to RM1,800 but still a sales executive, but this time I'll be working in KL. My parents were so proud we had a kenduri kesyukuran where we invited the whole kampung.

When I first stepped in KL, I was elated! Big buildings, people always walking about rushing to something important. It felt so lively, so professional. I rented a small room in a 2nd floor 3-bedroom apartment unit at RM200 per month. It was okay, walking up and down 2 flights of stairs was no biggie. Then I started work.

On the first day, my manager took me around, introduced me around and even took me out to lunch. At lunch he explained how life is to be in KL. Firstly, he said, "You need to get a car." I have always thought of getting a car, so I said "Ok, not a problem. I think I should be able to afford a Kancil with my new increased salary." "A Kancil?! My boy, you're doing sales, people will look at you, and do you think they'll trust in a product that the sales executive tries to sell driving a Kancil?! I suggest a Proton Wira or above, but Wira suits you enough, as a well-to-do young sales exec." The next few weeks, I got some monetary help from my dad and got myself a 2nd hand Proton Wira at RM40,000. My loan is RM30,000, and I am paying RM520 monthly for 7 years.

One morning, my colleagues told me there was a rip on my shirt. I said "Oh, I didn't realise, I guess the shirts getting old. Will buy some new ones next week." "Where do you buy your shirts, all can't tahan long one?" "Pasar malam nearby my apartment, more expensive than those I can get at 'bundle' shop back in my hometown." There was silence, a smirk and as they're walking away, the start to laugh amongst themselves. I got angry, called them back and ask them what's wrong. They said "How cheap can you be?! Buy at pasar malam for business suits?! We all buy from departmental stores, they last longer." I said "I know, but pasar malam is about RM15 can last 9-12 months but department shirts are like RM79 and last about two years." "It's about brand, friend. They see you wear Durban, Crocodile, they know you have taste, and you're successful." And so that day begins me conversion from pasar malam clothes to departmental clothes.

Then it began. Social lifestyle, meeting of clients and clients asking me why I'm not up to date on phones. Friends started to invite me to their homes to relax and play console games. They say "Renting at RM300++ is very logical for execs like us" coz' of better environment, security and pride. Meeting of friends,... either it be at mamak at nights, or restaurants at lunch. "Mamak is for night times, not lunch! Let's go Secret Recipe instead." My first week whereby I packed lunch at RM3.20 and drink water in the office is now a RM8 to RM12 daily. My phone now has a 3G, cost me RM2,400 but hey, it was on a 12 months installment with 0% interest!

However, I'm successful. In the past 2 years, my performance was very good that now I'm earning RM3,500 per month. Next week I'll start paying for my new apartment. At first I wanted to settle for something below RM150,000, but my friends said "Hey, why so cheapskate. That one for low to middle income lah!" So, my apartment is RM320,000 and I'm going to pay RM1920 per month for the next 30 years. I'm also on 0% installment for my new LCD TV and my stereo systems ending in the next 6 months. My two credit cards has reached about RM6,000 in debts each, so I'm sourcing for another one very soon.

Just last week, a friend who owed me money since kampung time met up with me, to pay me up. I lent him about RM1000 for his studies, and now he's in KL as well, working as a financial advisor. He told me he'll do a free check up on my financial health since I helped him a lot!

Then he showed me something I've never thought I'd see, and right before he showed it to me, he said "Friend, you're spending more than you can earn. A lot of people do that. As they earn more, they spend more. It's a 'reward' thing. They think 'Hey, I got a raise, therefore my reward is a better lifestyle.' They don't realise that the 'reward' is actually their doom. It's a drug, to have these rewards. You just can't have enough of them. They will start changing handphones yearly, buy bigger things, expensive tastes, and so forth. And they'll never get out of debt."

He showed me my assets. My RM320k apartment which is now RM335k in market. But in the past two years I've paid RM1920 monthly (RM46080 in two years) only to service an interest of RM39,993 and only paid about RM6063 in loan debts. I'm still owing RM281937 after two years! Just the house and car alone is RM2440 out of my salary of RM3500 per month, and that has not included my other 0% installments.

He advised me to live within my means, change the car and the house, get a more modest ones, but I cannot. Pride has taken over. I know I live above my means, and that's the way it's going to be. No way will I downgrade myself. All I need to do is just work better and get better increment. This is my life now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Though I don't condone anyone drinking alcohol, unless they have to (i.e. caught in snowstorm in South Pole with only tonic or spirit around to keep warm), I cannot help but find that wine tasters are experiencing extraordinary journey of senses.

Basically we have the usual Five senses; touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell. Babies at age of 4 are already using these senses to the max. However, we're not going to talk babies here. Let's talk about how commercialism market products through senses.

A wine taster will usually have the wine poured in some artistic manner, using sight. Anyway, then they pick up the glass, swirl the wine around, a sense of touch there of the water moving, then a smell and lastly a sip, for taste. No sound however, unless you wanna consider the sound of the wine bottle hitting the glass during pouring.

Another product which seriously market nearly all the senses is Coke. Watch any ad. Stimulation of the sight looking at drink flowing between ice in the cup, the hearing of the fizzy sound, the touch of the cold glass and finally the taste of Coke. No smell here though, coz' I don't find anything interesting about the smell of Coke. That's why Coke (or Pepsi) do very well though it's just coloured drink with gas and sugar and some taste-product.

Cigarettes, smell yup, sight yup, taste yup, touch... err.. not really and no to hearing, unless you can hear smoke. Pringles, the priority of marketing is the hearing "krup krup krup" and then the rest. Handphones, competitors are purely marketing on the looks (after customers already compared the specs), no smell there unless your sweaty friend has just used the phone.

Basically, at least one sense is made a priority in marketing of any products or services. What do you see when people buy shoes or badminton racket? The first is actually the sight, and then the touch. Imagine if a kid buys a badminton racket saying "I like the smell of this one!". Whatever it is, majority of products, thanks to media, are promoting products firstly on the sight, followed by others. Radio tries to project the image of the product, say Coke, by the sound of the first fizz when you open the Coke can, then the sound of glup glup glup, and then that duh "ahhhhh...." sound. Aromatherapy markets using the sense of smell.

Which product then, actually prioritise the sense of touch or taste FIRST? I don't think there's any. Surely it's the sight, the hearing or the smell of a product is the first stimulation for interest. To close a deal by taste yes, "Abang, jangan beli lagi, rasa dulu." You will never face anyone saying "Tutup mata dulu, rasa ni, lepas tu decide." Ya right, would you trust a stranger putting something into your mouth?

Seriously, what product prioritise touch or taste? Massages? I hardly think so.

Monday, May 15, 2006

What Have I Done?!

With no mention of religion, this is a letter for families who are strong in their religion. Those who are not may not get the gist of the emotions of the letter writer. Anyway, I don't want to delve too much on emotions within the letter itself, it's up to the reader to really put themselves into the life of the letter writer. What would you do in the same situation?

Dear Mr Javalier,

I'm writing this just to get things off my chest. I have a loving husband, and three children. The older two are boys, aged 7 and 5 and the youngest a girl, aged 4. Ever since my eldest was born, people have been asking us why he don't look like any of us, to which I always say that one day he will. All babies look alike.

Then when my second child came, there's always a comparison, especially amongst my relatives stating the differences in the two boys. Worst yet, when my daughter came, everyone started to talk behind us, some saying that I must have done 'something' before I got married to my husband. I'm happy that my husband understand the predicament.

Two months ago, I had a birthday party for my second child. The party went terribly wrong! Most of my friends who have not seen my first child kept going to this boy, asking him how old his brother (who is actually my second child) is today. When he told them they had the wrong person and pointed to my eldest, they showed a shock in their faces.

To make the story short, these shocked faces pushed my husband and I to approach the parents of the boy. Our hearts were beating so fast when we were told of his birthday, which is the same as our eldest. They are also facing the same problem with their relatives who are asking about their son. As scared and shocked as we were, we decided to go for a DNA test, just to prove things wrong; but as expected, our two boys were switched at birth!

After careful discussions, the other family gave us an option, as they cannot make their decision. To switch back to our real sons, or to remain as it is. And that dilemma has greater roots than a simple switch. I have raised my eldest son, for the past 7 years, in a loving family, in religion and in culture. I cannot for the life of me allow this boy, who looks at me as his mother, go back to his real family, to live in their life, their culture and their religion.

At the same time, I cannot for the life of me, to allow my own blood, to remain where he is, especially to be of different religion. How can I answer to God for that? Own life-blood flowing in him, to allow him that way.

Two weeks ago we made our decision. It was heart-breaking. I let my son go, who I've raised for 7 years. He was crying, shouting in fact, and all I could do is to hug him and tell him to be good to his real family, and to always pray. God will watch over him and lead him to a proper life. My other siblings are angry with us, though we've explained to them over and over again that he's their real brother. And our son, real son now, is not talking to us at all. He doesn't understand our culture and our religion, or even our family love. And we cannot force that on him, we can only let time allows for his love for us to grow, only then can we educate him on our culture and religion.

I still keep the photo of my eldest son, I mean, the boy who grew up with us for 7 years. At times I wished I never made that birthday party. But it was destined that I meet my real son again... but, now I've actually 'sacrificed' the life of a boy who calls me mum, who wants to be with our family, who wants to be no part of his real family. I know it's the same for my real son, but I believe that 'blood' is more important, and I hope this is the correct choice in God's view.

My son, or my ex-son has contacted me several times, but whenever he calls I have to hang up the phone on him, as was our agreement by both parents, to allow things to settle for at least 3 years. I hope what I did is right. God, I really hope my decision is correct.

Devastated Mother.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MLM - Revisited

As illogical that someone like me would even consider revisiting Multi-Level Marketing, I've decided to do so. Firstly, a background. I was in a MLM before back in 1998, I hated it. Full stop. These MLM seminars always have people meeting up and asking "How you doing?" and it's always on the high spectrum of "Marvelous" or "Splendid, ol' chap". Not those common "Not bad..." and it seems sooo fake. That's not the main point why I hated it. I hated it because of the way it destroys relationship. It is VERY unethical for their strategy in getting new members by approaching someone and coaxing them and coaxing them and seriously, it does affect any relationship, be it friends, relatives and such. My involvement lasted only 2 months with one downline who has one downline.

So why revisit?! A few things are driving me to revisit MLM. Firstly, I acknowledge that this is a business whereby after being hard-working say about 1-2 years, you can basically sit back and relax and money comes in. It goes the same with mamak restaurants (I know one who plays golf daily while his workers get him RM20,000 per month from the restaurant). There are only a few businesses that allows the owner to relax and earn.

So what really drives me to revisit?! What's the difference between 1998 and 2006?! In 1998, I'm a student who has money given by parents, therefore the value of money has not hit me. In 1998, I'm a student who has quite a lot of time freedom who can play games as much as I want. In 1998, I only spend about RM200 per month. In 1998, I CANNOT afford the first few months of cost that I need to take out to survive the MLM business.

Lately, a few friends are slowly getting involved in MLM, even QueenBee. It seems interesting to revisit. And so I did. There are many out there. There are some that sells ONE product, but their business comes from the constant selling of the 'fuel' to that product. This one is really not for me. There are some that has 20 products, all health related, but it does not go well with those not health-conscious people. The one I joined, I find it rather stupid, because I need to meet a quota per month to spend on, and with their product like a shampoo saying "you just need to use 20 cent size to shampoo your hair". Hello, that takes 3 years to finish a bottle and I have to buy products I don't need monthly just to meet a quota, or else I don't get commission?!

I'm happy to note that today MLM has slowly moved up from the sleazy "Hahah, you have to buy product and stock up your house with useless things!!" to a "You give us brand loyalty, we give you a business." Seems ok now, as long as the brand is really in quality. But still, the 'selling point' of skipping distributors, retailers and such is bullsh*t. It costs a lot more than what you can find in carrefour for the same product type. Of course I cannot mention the quality lah, some of these MLM products are really high in quality, but do you want to use a handsoap that cleans your hand off oil, or a handsoap that cleans your hand off oil, moisturise it, remove wrinkles, shines the fingernails, takes care of discoloured skin, etc?!?

Anyway, I have chosen a MLM to join, not out of desperation or out of choice. I do not need this, nor do I choose to have this. It's not an act of desperation, not an act of emotional motivation. It's because I'm driven for a long term goal. Why am I paying RM400 to someone who have the joy to spend time with my child(ren)?! Shouldn't that joy be mine and my wife's right? My long term goal (or I would say my Conservative Goal) is to have my wife be unemployed but earning within 3 years and I do the same within 5 years. My expected goal is 1 1/2 and 3 years respectively. Good luck to me, and good luck to you too who are new or even those who are revisiting this line of Financial Freedom.

My choice of MLM, is due to several factors. The team on top of me, up to 5 lines above are very encouraging and even invites every downliner to makan-makan. The system is very stable, and I believe it's the same for every MLM there, whereby it's no more "You must sell!!" or "You must reach quota!!" but more to "You just use our product, in replacement to ones you are using, and your downlines do the same, and the company pays you for product loyalty." Even if you don't reach the quota, there's no penalty. Thirdly, there are 200 products, and even some big companies who are partnering with this specific MLM company, therefore, if I buy a Canon Printer, I'll get something back, on top of the discount I will already get being a member.

So that's it. I will stick to my personal opinions on ethics to NOT coax anyone to join the bandwagon, but again, next time someone might just come and say "Bloody h*ll, you didn't even share with me about this!", so to avoid that, here I am giving an open invitation to anyone who wishes to know more about owning a business whereby you don't need to sell, but just need to use it as you would your normal monthly products (ie detergent, supplements, food, etc).

I will update on a quarterly basis coz' it's a norm that quite a lot of people get themselves into MLM and 90% quits. Let's see if my drive will allow me to quit.

Oh, lastly, there is a business that will begin (as my posts on entrepreneurship last time) within 2 months time. This is not MLM, this is really an entrepreneurship tryout for me, and my wife.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What is Savings for?!

This is a short post. Basically it's this. Most of us, when we finish school and start working, we're already in debt, either on study loan or on car loan, and some even with housing loan.

Anyway, one day in the future, we can manage the debt very well and we even have RM10,000 in Savings. And then we continue working, and then we have RM20,000 in the bank. Still we continue working, and then we have RM50,000 in the bank. And we continue working and then we even reached RM100,000 in the bank.

The question is this. At what amount of savings will you really quit your job and start up your own cash machine (ie business, investment, etc)?? Will you really end up quitting your job and risk using RM50k for a business, or would you still continue working where you are even if you have RM200k in the bank, of course placed in various 'investment vehicles'?

At what amount of money that you own that's easily liquidable (ie bonds, stocks, unit trusts) will you actually dare to tell your boss bye bye, and then leave for riskier but brighter future? Or will fear grip you, hold you and tell you to just let the money build up, continue working forever?? Because should you lose that 50k in a 1 year business, and then heads back to employment, they might not pay you as much as you have been paid.

Seriously, savings for investment should have its limit, and then it should be savings for a better life. What's your savings limit to get you out of your job?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sincere Rejection of Offer

With my work getting a bit messed up, I can hardly find any time any more any how any days these weeks to update the blog, but here it is. Five entries in April is very depressing. Anyway, on with today's topic.

I now know the MOST EFFECTIVE way to reject those hotels offer that I've been getting a lot lately, and it all happened when I sincere request for more information, whereby the telesales person themselves say "Oh, never mind then." Hehe... this was what happened.

I got a call from Lonusbink (u know the real name lah) the other day, they're introducing a personal insurance cover for Lonusbink customers. Though not free, it seems to be a very low premium and I *was* interested to know more. Anyway, what's with these companies all starting to introduce insurance in their membership?!? Yaja Cusjo also intro-ed insurance. A few other companies also doing the same. I'm waiting for my favourite mamak shop to intro a health insurance so that if kena food poisoning from their food, can get compensation.

Back to topic, I actually requested that they send the proposed insurance cover via fax so that I can read and then agree. I mean, this is money, what happened if they say they cover up to RM100,000 but in the end you get a policy stating coverage of RM10,000. And then the reply that I never expected to hear came "Sorry sir, we don't do that. bla bla bla." In short, the phone conversation was as follows (not direct quote lah, how to remember word for word what was being mentioned).

Me: Can you just fax the proposed insurance coverage to me so that I can read it first?
Telemarketer: Sorry sir, we don't do that. We only conduct transactions via phone.
Me: Oh! So how will I know that I will get exactly as you explained verbally?
Telemarketer: It has been our business like this, sir.
Me: Sorry, I've been involved in a lot of legal cases lately , so I will actually need it in black & white with your company letterhead offering me the insurance. I cannot accept verbal agreement.
Telemarketer: Sorry to hear that, sir. We really don't fax anything to customers. Anyway, have a nice day.

Duh! And so happens that the very next day, Bayview Beach Resort Penang called me for the THIRD time each time different telemarketer and another hotel calling me for the second time, and I said....

Me: That's an interesting package. Can you please fax the package information over to me, and also include that you are giving me those "bonus" that only for me that you mentioned. I just want to make sure the "bonus" is not already part of the package to begin with coz' I'll be checking with my friends who have taken your package.
Telemarketer: Err... err... actually the bonus was just introduced! I can fax you the information list of the package, or I can email you.
Me: Well, just a cover letter with your company name stating that you'd like to introduce the package, along with the pricing and information, signed by your sales manager.
Telemarketer: We can only send the package list, we don't usually send a cover letter. Anyway, our sales manager is on leave today.
Me: No problem then, when your sales manager come back, just tell him or her that I need a cover letter with your proposed package. Can ah?
Telemarketer: It's ok sir, we really don't fax over these things. Do you have any friends who you'd like to introduce the package? (She knows she can't persuade me, not trying my friends?!)
Me: Well, if you can give me the letter, then I can help introduce for you.
Telemarketer: No no, I'll need to call them in person.
Me: In that case, you send me the cover letter and the package information first, then I'll give the numbers to you.
Telemarketer: Alright sir, nevermind. Thank you. Have a nice day.

I played too much with that phonecall from Penang. Ya lah, three times cuba to get me to purchase the package. The other hotel telemarketer, I was more straight forward.

Telemarketer: Bla bla hotel, bla bla good price, bla bla you won't regret, bla bla you can also lay me, bla bla as long as I get sales, bla bla. (kidding about the last two part. :P)
Me: I'm quite busy right now. Can you actually send me a fax of the package along with a cover letter introducing the package, signed by your sales manager?
Telemarketer: Sorry sir, we only do phone call transaction.
Me: I insist on seeing black and white from your company with an authorized signature. Can you do that?
Telemarketer: We can't sir.
Me: That's okay then, I'm not interested.
Telemarketer: Ok, have a nice day sir.

So, now, for the benefit of customer's safety against false promises, I suggest all of you to ask for a black & white fax of the proposal. In case these hotels finally get their wits to use faxes, you still have the rights to turn down, ALSO in black & white. :D Bagi nampak sikit that you are seriously turning down the offer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Intelligence: Ability To Adapt

Quote of the day:
"There's no such thing as fair or unfair, there's only unfair." - Pessimist

With agents who have no decency to make appointments at least one day in advanced, and having FOUR agents saying "I'll bring my client there in two hours" and TWO agents saying "I'm on the way", I have no peace in rushing for a perfect viewing of the office buildings. Due to that, my time to blog was taken away. :(

Before I begin with the story, Blood Donation today! Ya, in my building. Hope no more blood donation scare that I had last time. Not talking about business lately as the 'search' for location is still ongoing, and the business world have been quiet except other than the CIMB (actually BCB) giving VSS and some of their security staff have been asking for a job here, as well as the amazingly ridiculous HSBC advert on tv showing a dude half-squatting watching another dude putting his hands in and out of his pocket. It actually looks more like the dude is watching his butt. Anyway, that's another story.

It's interesting to watch the way my son develops intelligence according to cause-and-effect. After pulling propping himself up holding to something, and later falling down backwards hitting his head on the floor and crying a few times, he adapted by letting go of his footing before he falls, so that he falls sitting instead of falling backwards. And then, while falling in sitting position holding the side of the crib, and always hitting his forehead at the crib, he nows pushes himself away first before falling to a sitting position. That's quick. Never knew intelligence start at a very young age.

Lately, there's a "test the waters" intelligence too. That is, before propping himself up holding something, he ensures that the 'something' can really hold his weight before really standing up. So, he ends up putting some of his weight on the 'something' and then pushing the 'something' to see if it's stable, and when all is right, only then will he stand up. I wonder what other things he'll learn by himself within the next one month. Short post today. :D

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Oh, that's the ghost!

I think some of you would have seen the video on two guards in Singapore who saw a pontianak (female vampire) during their night shift. It's been circulating the internet for quite some time, and many have dismissed it as fake, myself included. Just in case you've not seen it, click the link below.

At first, I thought the 'ghost' is that white 2-dimensional thingy that appeared halfway through the video beside the gate. And so did everyone else on the internet!! Sure, you can wonder how come that white 2-dimensional board suddenly appeared when the first half of the video it couldn't be seen. I would like to say that the camera angle at the first half of the video didn't reflect the board into the camera, or a light wasn't on to have it reflected.

Anyway, my colleague noticed that I have the video and when I mentioned the fake, he said I've been looking at the wrong thing. Yes indeed. That board is not the ghost. The ghost appeared at the last 10 seconds of the video when the guards started to back off from the gate. Take notice that in the last 10 seconds, a white light started to 'dance' from the bottom left corner of the video, near the security bar, and moved towards the gate and near the end of the video, the light can be seen somewhere near the top of the gate.

Imagine this. Videos cannot capture ghost. If we see white light on the video, imagine what the guards REALLY saw with their own eyes which COULD see the ghost. Creepy! When I watched the video again and see that dancing light, my hairs stood on end. Yup, this is genuine, not a fake video. Sigh... I knew from the scream of the guard it really sounded a 'sincere fear-y scream'... but I was wondering why they feared a 2-D board. Now I know. Eeee.....

Beautiful Nightmare

I had a beautiful nightmare yesterday. It was in a hotel room, and I've just taken a rest on the bed watching tv after doing my work at the work-table at one side of the room. While watching tv, I looked into the large mirror beside the tv and can see that work-table. Amazingly, I see myself at the work-table at the same time I'm seeing myself looking at the mirror too. There's two of me!

But when I looked back at the work-table, there was no one there. So I decided to go to the work-table. Sat on the seat, looked back at the mirror, and see another 'me' sitting on the bed watching tv. It got me scared lah of course, but excited too. So I grabbed my camcorder and went back to the bed. At least now I can record the mirror to show two of myself!

The moment I lifted up the camcorder, it felt really heavy. And my attempt to do a short commentary stating time, where I am, and what the tape is showing seems to be very difficult as if my lips at locked and I can't say a word. So, basically I'm hearing myself saying word-by-word in a very slow manner, struggling to have my voice heard.

Then that other 'me' in the mirror got up from his work-table and approached the mirror, looking angrily at me. Of course then I know that was not 'me' at all, just 'something' in my image. Manage to struggle and wake up in real life twice only to fall back to sleep and continue the nightmare. Then I zoned out (pengsan) as it stepped out of the mirror coming at me.

Overall, a bit duh that I zoned out and dunno what happens next. These texts cannot fully potray how it was, and the hotel room is quite nice too. Should draw it lah, but my drawing skill is pathetic. If I try to draw a scenery, it'll look like a dog. If I try to draw a dog, it'll look like a beautiful scenery. :P

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Son's Memory Diary: Part 1 (Birth - 10th Apr 2006)

Since there was a certain insect that buzzed near me telling me that it's been a while since I've written anything related to my baby (literally), I think that it's high time for me to write something, such as opinions and future thoughts.

My first and current opportunity (that word sounds weird, but everyone says that a 'problem' is an 'opportunity', so I'll call it that) is that my son has started to recognise people and now refuses to be held by anyone who've not been around him on a constant basis. This includes my own sibling, uncles&aunties who've not met him for some time, the garbage man and the Clinique counter salesgirl. I guess the garbage man was too stinko and the salesgirl was too perfume-y. Kidding, no such thing as the last two individuals. As 'sad' as this may seem, since we've met babies who are very friendly who'll crawl at any stranger, I have to respect this as a characteristic that he's developing. Good also that he just doesn't follow any stranger.

Next is that he summersaults! Being able to prop himself to a standing position in the cot, with the cot 'gate' being at a somewhat low level, the top of the 'gate' is at his chest level. There were at least four occasions this week alone whereby he picks up his bolster with one hand, and then proceeded to hugging the bolster with both hands not realising that he has no more support. And taadah, circus act. He falls over the 'gate' out of the cot, luckily onto the bed.

Also, I don't get the idea on why babies 'spray'. It's like he's just done a religious prayer and then started to 'spray' his saliva to 'cleanse' the area in front of him. I've not gone around asking or reading whether this is a normal phenomena, but I guess it is for babies whose teeth are beginning to grow. However, it is an embarassment to have him spray shoppers and items at the shopping mall. At least these people and items are 'blessed'. :D

One thing for sure is that he's photogenic. He's someone who will not look away from any camera or video camera aimed at taking his photo. So it's also difficult to take candid shots of him. Anyway, it's also good that at least I'm not taking the back of his head all the time.

Right-handed or left-handed?! He nearly always pick up things with his left hand. But, he always hit tables, floors, anything that can be hit by the palm using his right hand. Seriously I don't have on the handed-ness, but of course in the future should he be left-handed, he needs to be taught the courtesy of giving and receiving things using the right hand.

The curse of Barney! It is totally weird that babies really do like watching Barney?! What does Barney has that X-Men doesn't have? "I love you" songs, more songs, "I love you", purple in colour and "I love you". Also, teletubbies also hits the right chord with babies. I guess this is the musical stage before they start speaking, so tunes are the way to go for now. Later it'll be Dora the Explorer, my all time favourite Blue's Clues (go figure, I seem to like this duh show), Spongebob Squarepants (I like this show too), and many others like Higglytown Heroes. Only after that things like X-Men, Batman, and all the not-so-cute drawings type of cartoon will come in. Hey, at least he likes watching South Park due to the cute drawings. :P

Baby's first shoes, a product that should be created. We have his first shoe, given by an aunt. The thing is, he's still not walking yet and have only been standing up aided the past two weeks. Why is it that the shoe doesn't fit anymore. This means that the shoe was for 1-6 months or maybe even 1-3 months old kinda shoe. Yes, we did put it on him when he was younger (that's weird to say!) and it fits, but those shoes, I guess it's merely as a decoration then. He can hardly fit in the shoes anymore, his feet I mean, not his entire self.

Uncontrollable weight distribution. This, to me, is a very amusing habit. While carrying a 10kg baby is easier than carrying an 5kg laptop for a long period, the way he distribute his weight is a havoc. At one moment he leans to the left, and I have to follow my own weight distribution to keep the balance. Then, he leans to the right, and as I shift my own posture, he leans to the left. And then he totally bends down that my other hand need to take care of his additional weight. At least it keeps my arm strong to have a firm grip on him and my waist on a constant contraction left and right. Still, I don't think this is a good way to lose weight.

First swim. This is an incident to remember. Instead of buying the swimming diaper, we went straight ahead to the small sized swimming trunk which of course is big on him. Yay, diaper on, ready to go swimming, but first, let's pee on mommy. :P Poor mommy carrying him get soaked by pee from body down to feet. Anyway, first swim was fun with him constantly trying to bend down to drink pool water. Successful twice, and then we really find that holding his head close to the water is dangerous to his health. Otherwise, he enjoys the water.

First mall. Baby's first mall is Ampang Park. 'Nuff said.
First hotel. Sunway Hotel. 'Nuff said.
First hospital. Where he's born lah, duh.
First clinic. Where we go for pregnancy check-up.
First fall. At my parents home, head down first onto the floor while asleep. Lucky there was a mattress and quick reaction from his dad when his mom was woken up telepathically from him calling for help.
First solid food. I dunno whether it was KFC's whipped potato first, or the salt on a french fry.
First drink. Duh!!!
First clothes. Two piece blue shirt and pants from Poney.
First midnight outing. Watching fireworks during New Year 2006.
First car ride. Daddy's car.
First haircut. Night before Hari Raya Haji 2006.

There are a lot of other firsts, but those will certainly push towards a deeper knowledge on family location/information/identity/criminal records/bite marks.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Market Research Weekend

Following up on the olde entrepreneurial posts that I've written, especially on the new year's resolution that some business should be up and running this year, me and a biz partner went out for market research during the weekend. Ended up meeting old friends pun ada.

Anyway, without too much hints on the business idea,... yet,... our first step was actually driving around the Klang Valley to look for that market we're looking for. In other words, Location of Market. No, not the wet market, but market as in the people who would be our clients, where to they reside, where can we find most of them and all that lar. Interestingly enough, we noticed some trends in commercial areas.

Older commercial areas, will nearly always 'die' to newer commercial areas unless that older ones already have a strong 'base' such as Bangsar. Cannot talk about Hartamas coz' it's considered quite new but Bangsar is such an oldie that's doing very well. Simply put, we actually even drove to Taman Melawati where in the 1980s business was booming quite well there. This time, it was rather dead. Only about 30% of the entire commercial area is in operation, however, the newer Taman Permata where the huge Giant complex is, business is thriving. Pity the former.

We checked PJ and new townships as well. New townships are always a risk. We have fresh community who we have no idea how they're like. However, by the looks of other shops and the kind of people who crowd at the place, we can guess what kind of people come to these areas. PJ, such that of SS2 is always full of people, the best place and one of the most expensive places to start a business. We're talking quantity here, of course we can say the best place is Bangsar or Hartamas, but look at what industry you wanna venture in lah. Like us, opening a shoe shine stall, of course cannot consider Bangsar or Hartamas lah. Eh wait, did I say shoe shine?! Eh, no lar. Not that business, though it is an entrepreneurial business. Is it entrepreneural or rial??

One other thing noticed is the different crowd at different hours of the day. In the morning, one area would have older folks walking keeping fit while at the same time in another area, you see children all biking around. In the afternoon, some area are darn noisy with cars in the workshops revving and revving and revving, sometimes u feel like u just wanna hit a gong beside the driver's ear, while at other areas it's soooo quiet you think no one is around, and we're talking commercial district here! Nights are fun. Some areas are dark by 10pm while others have a good night life. Also, differences in areas, one area malays only... other areas are a balanced mix of people in one mamak shop. Nice to be in Malaysia.

We also notice there are two types of ways to enter the commercial retail industry. One is to join the crowd. Oh, there got 3 already open mah, we open one more lor. The other one is to be the pioneer. Eh, let's create a market here. See there, everyone walking with selipar and kasut koyak-koyak, we'll start the first shop here then. Both are risky, but seriously, it's more fun being the pioneer in terms of strategical thinking and planning on how to attract customers without paying umbrella girls to hold umbrella bearing our logo.

Whatever it is, location has been analysed and determined over a week period. Eh, not really, it's been 3-4 months of choosing locations and narrowing them down. Now on to costing....

Friday, March 31, 2006

Guerilla Tactics of a Building Management

Sidenote: While some people might whine on having too much work, for this month it's totally different for me. I am actually unhappy at my performance this month due to not having enough time to complete all do-able work. I wish there's two of me. :-)

Scenario: A tenant has stopped paying rental because of bad business. After two months of not paying the rental, they have decided to write to the management that they want to leave the building. The management has agreed to that and have asked them to leave at the end of the third month (of not paying) and then we will contra with their rental deposit given at the start of the tenancy. But, they say they will require an additional month (fourth month) to get everything in order to leave the building.

In summary, this means that they will still need to pay one month. March 2006 is their fourth month in debt and I have been sending reminder letters to tell them to pay up or we don't allow them to leave. What's a marketing dude writing reminder letters for rental?!? That's another story. Back to this, I guess they think we're stupid to say "No, you can't leave if you don't pay!" which translate to mean "You can still stay there and run your business as long as you're in debt!" Duh!

Today is their last day, and they are removing cabinets, tables, chairs, machines and what-have-yous.... only to be stopped by security saying they cannot use the service lifts to bring out their items. Thus, they contacted the management (which means me lah since I am a marketing who has to do PR as well). Went to meet them, and the following was discussed.

As long as I have not received the final month's payment, they are not allowed to take ANY large items out of their premise (using the service lift). They are unhappy! They say "This is our final day as tenant, why can't we take them out?!" to which I replied "Until payment is received, your items will be kept to minimise losses should you suddenly wind down your company tomorrow and lawyers cannot chase after you if you don't pay." Also, because today is the last day of their tenancy, they cannot run their business in that premise (or else we'll charge another month's rental), and to ensure that, the management will place chain locks around their doors until payment is received and we allow them to take down items.

What happened next?! They defy orders. Their MD instructed the staff to lug tables and chairs into NORMAL lifts. Security did not allow them to, but due to overwhelming number of their staff, they managed to sneak two-three chairs into the lift to bring them down.

So what happened next?!? Security informed me of the case, and I, as Marketing Executive who has no power or authority at all logically, switched to guerilla tactics (which I have seen my previous Property Manager done to other tenants in the past). This company is the ONLY company on that floor. As at current time, which is half an hour since that lugging of chairs into the lift, the entire floor's electricity and aircond has been shut off, and none of the lifts stop at that level and that level's lift buttons (to call the lift) is also disabled.

Newsflash. Just In! Security came again stating that they're lugging the chairs and tables down the fire escape!! I've instructed the security to lock the doors leading out to the Ground Floor (ya lah, look ugly if people see chairs being carried in the ground floor lobby).

Please be aware that as evil as these tactics may sound, they have been in effect twice before and I'm just repeating instructions. As bad as this may seem to the tenant, it is very logical if you sit down and really think about it. Yes, RM30,000 of rental is not little. If we allow them to leave everything except their tahi hidung in their premise, they can just close the company tomorrow and we'll have a big problem explaning the loss of RM30k rental to the owner of the building. However, these are guerilla tactics which I believe laywers will never advice to doing.