Monday, October 29, 2007

Gaming vs Reading

I was a gamer and still a gamer. Teenage life was a lot of visits to the arcades and spending nearly 16 hours in front of the computer playing online games. I still cringe seeing my online account stating that I've played 4000++ games (where each game is a minimum 10 minutes length). That's like a few weeks down the drain. I know that gaming does not lead me anywhere (unless I'm in Korea and I'm a good gaming strategist), so I view it more like a hobby, a sort of entertainment, but 16 hours of entertainment per day is bad.

So now, I still game, up to 2 hours per day and as little as 10 minutes a day. I have to suppress my gaming habit. And then there's reading. I've just finished a 800++ pages book on fiction, and I'm 200 pages into the 2nd book of the trilogy, but then it gnaw on me that... hmm... finishing this trilogy will also not lead me anywhere. Therefore, is reading fiction same to gaming?

In my mind, I just try to note the positives and negatives of both activities. Gaming (the kind of game I play at least) involves quite a bit of strategic thinking and not just pure click click click. So I guess it helps in thinking on my toes, as oppose to click click click where people claim it improves hand-to-eye coordination. But then again, it doesn't really help in securing jobs or create income. Online games however, I do notice that if you're social and professional enough to make sincere friends with those you meet online, it does help business (rarely, but it happens). These friends who I met online are also gamers with family and career responsibilities. Not purely teenagers. There are a few fathers, some high-level execs and others, but in my opinion the most advantageous in knowing them is that should you visit their country, most of the time they willingly welcome you to the extend of wanting to meet you at the airport.

Ok, back to topic. Reading, while it improves imagination (how does that help in life improvement?), it helps in sentence structuring and vocabulary. So, while I'm being entertained, subconsciously it helps me be a better writer. And that's the thing.... since I'm reading a lot, I SHOULD use that education to earn some income, as an article writer or even an author (if my imagination is good enough or I remember factual experiences).

So there, just a hanging post this time.... just thinking if reading brings me to the same level as gaming. I think they're of the same level, it's what you do with what you learn and how you're entertained I guess.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I have three topics in my mind to write, but when I'm on the second paragraphs on all the three topics, I stop there. Can't seem to continue. One is a movie review, one is about friendship and the other is a story. I'll try again when the writer in me wants to come out.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Personal View on Life Insurance

I had this insurance discussion twice, and the latest was with someone just two weeks ago, and I think it's worth sharing my opinion.

The following are purely my own opinion on life insurance (and other human-related insurance) and what I've taken (with regards to insurance itself) from my own perspective, a logical perspective with superbly limited knowledge on financial dealings on this topic. Insurance to protect purchases and loans (ie car insurance, fire insurance and MRTA) is not included in this post.

My personal view is that Life Insurance is purely to continue supporting those I'm responsible for during the duration that I'm no longer able to sustain an income for these people. They include my parents, my wife and kids. Therefore, I take life insurance so that, should I return to God earlier than expected, there will be money to continue what I could have given them myself if I'm still working.

That being said, when I get approached by insurance agent asking me to get insurance for my wife and kids, here's my thought about it.

Wife: Though I love my wife dearly, I do not think life insurance is needed. Should she return to God earlier than expected, the ones who would actually need additional support I believe would be her parents. I think I can take care of myself and I can take care of my kids. With that in mind, I think that my wife's savings and ASB is able to take care to support her parents.

I then only took insurance for critical illness insurance including a 3-female-killer diseases (a lumpsum payment to be received should she be fated to contract them), whereby these insurance will support the medications and whatever else during her life.

Kids: I'm very uncomfortable when insurance agents ask me to get a RM100k life insurance for my child. Though they claim it's a lot cheaper to begin with (coz' he's not smoking, etc), to go for a RM100k insurance for my own child is like wishing for him to die so that I can take that money. I sincerely will not trade his life for a RM100k. What?! Do I really need a RM100k support should he return to God early??

No, so, the only insurance I took is hospitalisation and medication insurance for him. That is, in this modern time it's quite often that children gets sick and has to be hospitalised. At least the insurance then cover the room cost and some medication costs. Again, the insurance here is during "his life".

Therefore, in a very short summary, I believe that when God calls me to go 'home', I leave money for my kids' education, my wife's future spendings should she wish to retire early, and for my parents for their old age's spending. For others in my family, the most important thing for an insurance is to take care of the unexpected costs during their 'living'.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Of Colleagues, Acquaintances and Friends

This post is dedicated to all work mates in my life. Though there may be those that I've not the chance to properly get to know, I cannot deny that at least a part of their aura of influence have touched my life.

I have been working for more than 7 years already in four different companies (one being on 1-year contract). Though I’ve not worked long enough, I've noticed quite a similarity in all of them.

On the first day of a common employment, everyone you see at the workplace is your colleagues. Then acquaintances start to form, usually due to being in the same vicinity, department or related work matters. Here, I'll take my experience in the latest company I worked in as an example.

The first person you see is usually the HR Manager, who then introduces you to your boss you're working for. Your boss will then get his assistant to introduce you around your department. In this case, the first person I really got acquainted with was the assistant. After that, your first task is given, and in my case was to finish up a proposal with a newly introduced colleague by 5pm the same day. Another acquaintance here.

Fast forward, as the first week go by, you'd have at least 5-10 acquaintances. You would have asked them questions, lunched with them, and casual talk as well. Out of this 5-10 people, sub-consciously the third level of the 'hierarchy of needs' starts kicking in; your social needs and sense of belonging. Psychologically you begin to seek like-minded people, looking for that personality click which brings to another level; friends.

I'm not sure with some of you, but in my experience, within two years, I would have no more than three to five friends from the company. The others will remain pure colleagues or acquaintances. A "friend from workplace", in my definition is that, someone I do not attach the word "ex-colleague" when I mention them. That is, I'd use "Oh, my friend said the same thing last time" rather than "Oh, my ex-colleague said the same thing last time." A friend is someone who has reached the level where you don't associate the company with him/her anymore, and they tend to be someone who's still in contact with you long after either one, or both of you have left the company.

In my experience as well, there'll always be some colleagues who I've not even spoken to at all in two years. I blame that on being introvert. Haha. Anyway, here's the difference between just colleagues and acquaintances. Acquaintances are those you have their mobile phone numbers in your hand phone, but to contact colleagues, you usually call the company line.

The point here, being human, you cannot escape the cycle of friendship, even though you’re in a non-social place. At the same time, being in that non-social place, you would not have enough time or energy to befriend everyone, without disruption to your own productivity. Thus the communication topics will relate around work or sometimes just a chat of opinions about current issues, and hardly are there questions about each other’s life. Lastly, there also will always be those you would recognize the face and sometimes name, when you see them in public, who you would just raise your eyebrow or smile to acknowledge them, but no words would be exchanged.

Such is the complexity of relationships. :D To all my friends (whom I got to know from my workplaces), keep in touch, and wey, bila nak jumpa for makan lagi?! To all my acquaintances, together we'll put the effort to keep in touch, but my sincerest apologies should Time splits us up as pure ex-colleagues again. To all my colleagues and ex-colleagues, good luck in your life and God willing, we'll meet again.

To everyone out there, thank you for being a part of my life's history.