Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Review

A quick review gives me this for 2008....

Career - Better.
There are lots more things to learn and experience as compared to my job in 2007.

Finance - Better.
With the new career of 2008, and further tightening and monitoring of expenditure, there are more savings this year.

Health - Worse.
The new job of 2008, as well as personal experiences are still causing a lot of pressure and stress, which does lead to more asthmatic counts.

Happiness - Same.
As compared to 2007, where there are some happiness and some sadness, this year, there are a lot of happiness and a lot of sadness, so it still remains the same on the scale.

Intelligence - Same.
Though I've been exploring methods and manners to at least view a sense of intelligence improvements, I don't have any proof of any increment.

Emotions - Worse.
2008 sees me slowly losing grip of my proudest emotion: patience. I'm less patience and have more temperament.

Family - Undisclosed.

Knowledge - Better.
Of course. If a whole year goes by and there are no new knowledge acquired, something must be totally wrong with me.

Ambition - Worse.
There have been no movement on my ambition. Therefore, with the rising age, and non-moving ambition, I deem it worse for 2008.

Ethics - Same.
Work and personal ethics remain the same.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Connection to Fate

In this world, in your life, on your way to fulfilling your destiny, there are....

One who brought you into the world
One who shows you the world
One who picks you up when you fall
One who ensures you don't get up
One who motivates you on your path
One who stops you from your dream
One who gives you hope, when you stop
One who stops you, when you move
One who makes you soar wildly
One who keeps you grounded to reality
One who remains a friend, though far
One who remains an enemy, always near
One who straighten your winding path
One who creates crossroads in your motion
One who gives you the knowledge you need
One who modifies it into wisdom for your usage
One who takes it back, for you are not ready
One who deletes the knowledge you already have

In all of the above, one or several individuals constitutes the 'One'. He/She may be of a different person at different times in your life.

Remember though, that none of the above are negative. There are reasons to why they are who they are to you. The only person who can bring negativity, besides evil itself, is you, the

One who has the power to decide.

With the guidance and effect of the collective "One"s, may your destiny be fulfilled.

The above, albeit not at all complete, is inspired by each and every life that has touched my existence.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Anger Management: Revisited & Children Emotional Education

I feel the need to talk about my anger management. Subconsciously, my anger management is controlled by 3 things.

1. My respect for Mahatma Gandhi's life of pure tolerance, peace and patience.
2. Prophet Jesus's (pbuh) claimed quote of "If anyone slaps on your cheek, show him your other cheek too."

I'm not a saint. The two above only constitute less than half of what controls my anger. The 3rd thing that controls my anger is...

3. My amusement of what anger can do to a person, and how much energy and time can be wasted by just feeling angry.

In psychology, my main interest is in emotional psychology, as I've written in a previous post titled "Test". Growing up, it was very interesting to note how unscrupulous drivers can cause my mum and dad to be so affected that they only talk about how careless the driver is for at least a half hour long, while we know the driver does not even have a five second thoughts of my mum and dad. I've also seen my friend, MG chased a car who cuts right in front of him for a whole 30km just to cut that driver again. I don't see the benefit in this.

I've written also maybe two years ago that, being angry to a person is like being in love. That person takes a huge amount of your mind at that time, and energy is spent on thinking of vengeance or "what I would have done differently if I can turn back time." Frankly, sincerely, truthfully, I think I have made a great advancement on my own personal anger management. When a person gets angry at you, they want you to get angry too. We do realise that if the other person doesn't get angry, or just say "whatever", it makes you just more angry, right? I enjoy doing that, sorry to say. I don't say "whatever", but I just drop it. No sense in getting affected.

This had led to me being termed by a good friend, AS, that I have an emotional switch I can just turn on and off. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. All I know is that when someone gets angry at me, or try to provoke an anger in me, there would be an instantenous evaluation of the situation on whether it's even worth a cent in me being affected. If it doesn't, then I don't give a damn.

A simple situation is this morning whereby a cashier chided me for not telling my orders properly. So what? I just paid and left. Within two steps walking away from the counter, all thoughts of the cashier left my memory.

I just failed to realise something though. When I'm alone, I can do that. When I'm with others who knows me, that's when there is a different variable that comes into play. If my son sees me getting scolded for an honest mistake, and I walk away, what kind of impact will that create? Will that say "Oh, we must just not care about anger." or "My dad's a coward." or whatever it is.

What I know is that when someone gets angry at my loved ones in the past, yes, I get affected because my position is as a protector. But when it's directed at me alone, I just lift up my simple anti-emotion shield and move on. Surely, when people get angry at me, and my loved ones are nearby, they would feel affected, and this is one thing that I failed to realise and would now need to formulate a better 'dealing with the situation' should it arise again.

I give myself and you readers this situation. Imagine you're walking with your parents, and you tripped over a wire that a workman lays across the floor of a shopping mall, and the plug comes out of the socket. Before you could cuss (or whatever it is you do when these things happen), and find someone to blame, a workman who was drilling a small hole into the wall suddenly snaps at you. "Hoi! Blind ah?" and he proceed to walk to the plug, put it back in and as we walks back to his stairs, he gives you an angry glance. What is your reaction?

If I'm alone, yes, I'd just walk away. No sense in putting sense into someone who's already stupid enough not to tape the wire securely to the floor. Again, I'm not a saint. A saint would go to the management and tell them the danger of the wire that may trip a much elder person, etc etc. Now, besides the above, wouldn't you start getting angry and say "What blind?! You're the one who didn't secure the wire properly. What if my mother step over it??" bla bla bla, and shouting ensues, etc etc,... 10 minutes later, you fumed off, the workman continues his work in anger.

Two hours later you're still fuming. At home, the dinner table topic is about a stupid workman. Next day at work, the breakfast topic is about the stupid workman.

In the end, how does this benefit you? You traded time and energy for anger, and you didn't get a single cent from 'loving' this workman. I'd rather use my mind to think of so many other stuff than just anger to a workman.

But that's just me. I guess the new formula now would be to pretend anger and scold the person, and continue to throw anger blows at each hurtful comment, just for the fun of it. Seriously, that would be fun. Ok then, that's my new formula.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Current Danger In Life: December 2008

I Talk, But I Don't Do. When I Do, I Do Out Of Desperation, Not Out Of Choice. May This Change.

Friday, December 19, 2008

RM75,000 Test

Usually, when I conduct a test, I never really thought that consequences could turn out very bad! This was my latest test. I wanted to see if a 'good' news which I want to keep secret would really leak out.

So, I ended up telling TWO friends that "Guess what?!? My friend bought a lottery ticket, but he borrowed my money for it. In the end, he won RM150,000 so he gave me half! Crazy ha?! But I can't use the money, therefore I'll just keep it until I know what to do with it." I told five other people (friends of these TWO friends) whether they've heard anything new from the two friends or not... and to wait a few days to see if they get to know anything from them.

It turned out to be that the TWO friends are trustworthy! It didn't leak out at all. So, what's the problem?? The problem is the unexpected (or half-expected lah actually) consequence. From being totally stable financially and have never had problems buying expensive food from Dome, both of them suddenly faced a financial situation! One said that he was trying to borrow RM5,000 but only have gotten RM2,000 so far, for some reasons I don't need to put here. While another said he's getting married, and the wife's family asked him to fork out RM12,000 within a month's time.

Both of them could easily borrow from the bank. No financial situations have ever been brought up to me before in my entire time having them as friends, but just as soon as they see surplus in my coffers, they suddenly develop a "hey, share lah, friend!" attitude that comes so subtly they themselves would not have realised it.

So, the love of money, huh?


I have two passions in my life. Chess is one of them, the other I do not wish to mention. To many, chess is just a game. To me, chess is a dedication of time sacrifices. When I look back into my past, I remember in 1993 - 1995, having my school holidays waking up at 9am, and then from 10am till 10pm, I'm sitting alone with a chessboard in front of my face practising, analysing and studying moves ALONE.

Sounds superbly nerdy, but all chessplayers who are passionate about the game do this. In soccer, an entire team practises, albeit having a strict coach, at least there are people. There's a place to socialise. Even in badminton. But mind games like this, either you're alone, or you're analysing amongst two or three like-minded 'nerds'.

The one reason I bring along chess with me into my present, though I hardly practise anymore, is that I know I have dedicated a LOT OF TIME in training to improve myself in the game. I am not going to just let go of two years of dedication of time and effort.

I am happy that my company won the recent chess competition, and I myself am elated that at least I am still having my competency in the game. Chess is a game to many, but to me, it's a passion. Ask any other players around me what I do when I play the game. I'm too focused to notice anything else, and my eyes gets red. That's what the game do to me. Is it natural or not? I don't know. I have not read studies on chess players to see if I'm as common as any other passionate players, or I'm different. All I know is that even an old chess friend of mine, who claims he has given up the game professionally, still shiver when he plays. Shivering moving pieces shows a sign of passion, as they're really scared that the move is the wrong one. As if it will snap their hands off.

I'm like that too, but I don't shiver. I will take the defeat into mind three to four hours after, which is not good for the mind actually. I know others who are dedicated to a game they have passion in, understands that the 'game' they play is not merely a game to them.


I was just listening to my boss's story about one relative who keeps giving excuses on getting a career. She has just finished her degree, but have been staying home for the past 7 months. She's an excellent straight-A's student, from elementary to university, but according to her, the companies are not accepting her for the job. They've did a few research, and found out that instead of the companies not accepting her, she's the one who actually turned down offers.

In my personal opinion, this is a psychological issue. You are the best in school, the best in university. Therefore you want to maintain that excellence, but, you know that, once you step into the working world, you're joe average. You will have to start ALL OVER AGAIN to build yourself, because this time, instead of competing intelligence amongst people your age in the same education line, you are thrown into a world of pure complexity. I believe, that she is suffering from the fear of letting go of her protected little world.

Every stage in life, we sacrifice, downgrade or postpone something. When we step from the education world into the working world. We sacrifice protection. There are no more guides from teachers, some guidance from parents, but mostly, the workload, stress, pressure, timelines will mold you for your furtherance of existence. Your annual future will no longer be from a week of exams from 3 months of cramping yourself with information, but purely your skills, attitude and accomplishments to what your job entails of you. It's a totally different ballgame.

When we step into marriage, we either sacrifice, downgrade or postpone passion and individual hobbies/dreams. When we step into parenthood, we sacrifice or downgrade great ambition that we have not yet achieved. The reason is simple, with every step into more responsibility, you face several losses that you used to have; time, freedom and energy. They are divided into your now added responsibilities.

The keyword here is ready-ness. You do not move to the next facet in life unless you are ready for it. For as long as you're not ready, and you move into the next step, you would usually find regret. However, READY have a deadline. You HAVE to be ready for work by the time you're 30. You HAVE to be ready for parenthood (if you want children) by the time you're 50, or else you'll find a huge gap between your age and the children, where on one side we have an agile monster while the other is currently weakening.

Be ready, or else, force yourself to be ready. To push yourself into the next stage in life without being ready will only cause regret further on in life. With every step into new responsibilities, you find yourself losing a few things; time, freedom and energy. These are divided into the added responsibilities of your life, and either you have to accept them, or, accept that you would need to sacrifice creating a rift in family relationships due to neglect.

Friday, December 05, 2008


It has come to my attention that too many people are thinking that I'm not sincere when I befriend them or even talk to them, because they believe that whatever I'm asking or talking about it purely about learning psychology. In basic terms, too many people think that I love to 'test' people.

Granted, I am highly passionate in what makes an individual ticks. If you watch Heroes series, I'm actually Sylar (without the power of course). I like to see reactions from emotions. I like to know what different people do when faced with a similar situation. I like to note body languages, face expressions and words people use when faced with situations.

What I don't do is purposely testing friends by creating emotions in them. I do not say "I love you" simply to a girl just to see and test her reaction. I don't say "Oi, F**k you!" just to learn how different friends react to it. With friends, colleagues, families, I do not 'test' psychological responses, but I cannot help myself if I naturally begin to learn about the person's profile and psychological self as the friendship grows. This is common with all human beings, that they will eventually learn about another person, so I'm not doing anything different in that. Every friendship that I have, it is truthful and sincere. None are for 'test' subjects. So, if I were to say something about the person, whether I think their dressing is not tasteful to my eyes, or even compliment, it's sincere and truth, not a test.

There are two exceptions on the above! My children are 'part time' test-subjects because I really want to study about psychological development in children, and they're the closest kids that I can learn from. Basically, my goal is to understand the milestones of knowledge growth according to exposure and age. The next exception is I am given a task, or for some vengeful reason or that I really have to know about a person's profile for some reasons, then I'd go into my questioning and testing mode, and this is very rare. It's usually against colleagues more than anyone else.

My test subjects?! Strangers! And people I know under controlled condition. For example, just a month back, I told my colleague "S" that I want to ask him some questions for psychological understanding, and he's ok with it. Exact thing I texted through Yah*oo Messen*ger is "I'd like to learn how a person come out from a "self-conscious" and "low-esteem" to someone confident."

Questions that came out were: -
  1. Would u categorise yourself growing up between 12-18 as..... a) Geek b) Hunk c) Nerd d) Athelete e) Normal guy
  2. Do you have a problem chatting with a pretty girl? Describe why if you have.
  3. Have you ever had a strong inclination to approach a pretty stranger to befriend? If so, how often? And how often the feeling has been so intense that you linger around trying to gain confidence?
  4. In your life, how many times have u approached a pretty stranger to befriend her? (I'm not interestsed if fail to befriend or not).
  5. How many times in ends up that the stranger is not what she seems? (ie, not as interesting as you thought she would be)
  6. Where is the best place you think is the safest to approach a stranger for friendship? What is the most common for you? (ie. LRT station, cafeteria/restaurants)
  7. Does making friends get easier the more you're experience?
  8. Which of the feelings below actually affect you in approaching a stranger if you're not confident? May pick more than one. 1. Fear 2. Unworthy 3. Panic 4. Self-unaware (as if you're not yourself and you're looking at yourself from above) 5. Shy/Ashamed 6. Others (pls define)

This is what I do to friends, tell them that I would like to ask some questions on psychology because I want to learn something.

Strangers??? Anything under the sky, according to what I want to learn. But my main interest has always been reactions to emotions. When I'm in public places and there are squabbles, or something happy (ie two families suddenly bump into each other), or whatever that emotions transforming event, I'd be a busybody and watch and learn using my peripheral vision. This is natural learnings and studying. When I see people toting a baby, after I've done toting the baby myself, I watch the other's reaction, facial expression, and then you can tell at least a little about how compassionate a person is, what's their liking and disliking towards children, etc.

Direct intervention towards learning includes me really talking to them, or creating an emotion transforming event (ie giving real sincere compliment, giving real sincere comment). Basically, I do not fake it. Yes, there are times that I can be naughty, but to me it's still a study process. A real example is learning about curiosity, whereby I stood in the middle of public, looking up towards a window of a building. I DO NOT exaggerate by pointing fingers. When at least about another 3-5 people walking by looks up, I stop and move away. But it creates a ripple effect. Others who saw these 3-5 people also looks up, and within 2-3 minutes, a lot of people look up for no apparent reason. It gives me a statistics on who's curious and who doesn't care.

What do I really get from this?? Am I gonna be a psychologist? No, not really. It is a never-ending research for why people do what they do. When there's an ant on the table, I flick it away. But I see people who have no qualms pressing their thumb onto the ant. I wonder what makes murderer slit people's throat as natural as a mother slices butter to make a sandwich.

Whatever it is, when there are various and so many different reactions towards a same event, experienced by so many different individuals, I get to learn this. There are a lot of different choices in this world. There are a lot of different actions in this world. It's what makes variety. It's what makes a human a human. It's what makes me realise, we are totally alive.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snippets of My Childhood (Birth - 11 Years)

These are video images I seem to have in my mind, replayed once in a blue moon, that I'm putting down to words now. Since last year, when these images comes to mind, I took note of them until I collected enough. They range from birth until Primary 6. The term VM means Video Memory.

1. When my sister had her ears pierced for the first time, it was in Jaya Jusco Taman Tun Dr Ismail with my mother. I remembered covering my fear and feelings of crying by saying I want dinner in KFC. My tears did come out when she had the piercing. We had dinner at KFC. :D

2. The rambutan tree that's growing well, was planted by my father on an evening when I was a lot younger (maybe about 7 years). After planting the seed (or small tree??), he watered it and placed small stones in a circle around the area. I was the only witness and 'helper'.

3. I remembered a vague memory of peeing in pain with bandages around my "privates" in a hospital, after I was circumcised. My mother stayed overnight with me. I was about 3-4 years old.

4. I suffered from bad asthma that led to blocked nose until I was hospitalized, at least twice. My VM is having to bend down over a pail of treated hot water to clear my nose. In 2007, after a visit to a specialist, I found out I had a nose-bone-movement surgery which , after a phone call, is confirmed by my father. It was due to that blocked nose problem. So, if I was to pour water in my nose, my right nostril can hold more water. Hahaha...

5. I was Linus of Charlie Brown in my early years, for at least 3 years. My blanket follows me everywhere.

6. In an anger fit between the ages of 5-8 years, I jumped on the bed while the maid was mending some clothes, and as fate would have it, the scissors and my feet met. Pierced into the sole of my foot. I was later told that all limbs was held down by hospital staffs while the doctor sewed my wound. My VM is when I was jumping on the bed and seeing the scissors 'jumping' as well.

7. I was asked for a four digit number by an uncle when I was in Terengganu, which later I knew it was to buy 4D. I forgot which uncle is was. My VM is at my uncle asking me numbers while he was outside the car and I was still sitting at the passenger seat with the door opened.

8. My father tried introducing me to a hobby, which later went costly, due to 'volunteers' that keep breaking the propeller of the remote control helicopter. This was when I was between 9 - 11 years. My VM is jumping across the huge 'parit' to get to the clear area where the helicopter is to be launched.

9. I chickened out of an Annual School Show, as one of the oar-men in an Ulit-Mayang rendition in my primary years. Lucky I wasn't one of the main characters. Watching the video and only see 3 people with oars made me sick in my stomach, till now. My VM is of watching the video.

10. My primary 4 teacher is the most beautiful teacher in school but the fiercest of all. A lot of Monday MCs due to my fear of seeing her in school, which led to voluntary forced cough in the mornings, that eventually led me to really being sick by vomiting and getting asthma. My VM is the mornings vomiting in the toilet with my father watching.

11. My first crush was with a Y--g E-L---e back in Primary 1. We're still friends now. My VM of that moment is her turning back to talk to her friends.

12. In Standard 3, I remembered buying 5 cents by paying 10 cents because I was a freak at collecting 5 cents. My VM is a friend giving me two 5 cents in exchange for my two 10 cents.

13. In Standard 3 also I cried in class, telling the teacher that an "Alex" (classmate) is going to kill me by black magic. Hehehe... hilarious. My VM is of that crying moment and pointing my finger to Alex who was dumbfounded.

14. In Standard 2, I tried to outdo someone's antic by doing something too embarrassing to write down here. My VM is doing that 'antic'.

15. In Standard 5, I found out that the father of the girl I had a crush on was my favorite Malaysian race driver. My VM is of a Ken Ming showing me his profile in The Star.

16. In Standard 1, I remembered being the "Wolf" at the game "What is the time, Mr Wolf?" and not catching anyone of them. My VM is of walking towards the fence while the others are following behind me.

17. In Standard 2, a good friend named Jonathan Lim was my speed partner in school sport races. I can't remember who was faster. My VM is about going to Taman Titiwangsa together. I don't know where he is now.

18. In Standard 2, a mother of a Victor Lim came to school, gave me a good scolding, and told me never to lend my mechanical pencil to her son again. I lost contact with him. My VM is of his mother at the door, half-shouting at the teacher and to me waving the mechanical pencil in her hands.

19. In Standard 1, when I was still unable to converse in English, a girl by the name of Aileen talked to me in Malay. My VM is of her talking to me, and I can still recall her 7 years old self. I have since lost contact with her.

20. One VM is sitting at a road side stall with my father drinking Teh Halia in Terengganu back when I was below 7 years.

21. Another VM is following my father to the kitchen in the very early mornings where he would cook 'ikan bawal' to eat.

22. My sister and I mimicking the actions and conversation of He-Man and She-Ra when they met.

23. My first bike is a blue BMX bought at Jaya Supermarket by my father. My VM is having to ride it from the shop to my father's car. In my early secondary years, again when I bought a bicycle about a KM away from my house, he asked me to ride it home while he followed behind.

24. One of my earlier found interest was spraying Ridsect at a lit match to make a flamethrower. I later learned that I was lucky the Ridsect can itself didn't get affected. My VM of it is when I was flame throwing in my parent's bedroom.

25. The bests of origami is creating Thundercat's Thunder-Tank, a wide-winged paper air-plane that has good glide time and a four-bladed shuriken. I can still make them now.

There are other VMs that I have before the age of 12, however, they are best not worded here. One thing that I have been proud of is that I have found most of my lost friends from my Primary Days. I'm still looking for those I mentioned above.

Destructive Power of Love

True story. One skeleton in my closet. Only two persons ever knew, one is a witness, and one being the victim of love. This shows how destructive 'love' is to a person. This shows the danger of 'being in love'. I have had always questioned myself if the fault is mine, even until today, but the conclusion has always been "it's fated to happen", but then I keep re-questioning it.

Back in 2004, when I was working in another state, I was partly a project manager, partly an IT trainer. My project and training of 40 village kids for them to be Village-IT-Trainers went extremely well at the end of the project, whereby after I left, the village IT Center was still run until late last year when the last 'teacher' left the village. My only mistake is I couldn't create another IT Trainer to teach trainers from these 40 kids.

Among the 40 kids, which in the end turned out to be only 22 strong ones, were the Top 5 students of the Top Form 6 Class in a nearby school, as well as another Top 3 students from the 2nd Top Form 6 Class. I also had some Form 5 top-of-the-class in my center. I didn't choose them, it was purely on a voluntary basis, so I was glad that these top students wanted to take up voluntary work to learn IT and thus teach IT to the village masses.

The best student of the best Form 6 class, let's call her "N". We'll put in another person, a normal Form 5 student of the top form 5 class from the same school,... we'll call her "A".

Ok, start of story. I'll try to totally shorten it to main areas only. I wish to first humbly apologize for not being humble at all during my story-telling. Ok, here goes. My work started in Jan 2004, within the first three weeks, I already noticed A started to show some signs of infatuation to me by giving a passport sized photo of herself. This I placed at the back of my Business Card Book which contains some another photo of my best friend and her girl best friend. I was prepared for this "chances of student liking teacher" scenario. So, I established a professional relationship with A straight away and as of today, we're like an acquaintance, just once in a while sms-ing each especially during Hari Raya, just wishing each other's family.

I never noticed N. Because by the time I did, N was already faltering in studies. By August, I found out from N's friend that N is having problem coping with studies coz she's been hiding her infatuation to me. In April's STPM trial exam set by the school, she was still top in school. By June, she was 3rd best. Damage control was not easy. I couldn't just ignore her because I am the trainer. I cannot talk too much with her because I don't want to provoke further heighten of emotions in her. Even establishing a professional relationship was not possible, as she viewed it as a cold treatment when I could be fun and funny to other trainees. So, I did the best I could, that is to continue treating her same as the others in the class, ignoring the fact that I knew she likes me, and that she knew that I already knew. We have never talked about her infatuation, only my attempt to bring it to a professional level which she felt and told her friend.

By the time I left in January 2005, I stopped all contact with her, and only respond or reply when she calls, and being the shy girl she is, she never asked any infatuation-type question. We have never had any conversation about it. By mid 2005, I found out she failed her STPM.

I looked back in time, was there anything I could have done? I looked back at myself also. There's none. Love will either make you stronger or destroy you. When I went deeply infatuated with a school-mate from 2002 to 2006, she actually made me stronger. I wanted to so-called prove myself to her. Because N never told me to my face of her affection, I never talked about it. So maybe that's a wrong decision?? But to even bring it up first, I believe is wrong. I don't know, this is totally my viewpoint.

I don't know already what happened to her. All I know is that, my presence in this world had created a negative impact on one person. And that's not easy to live by, because one part of your memory will keep it for life.

Istanbul #1

There's a famous joke in Istanbul. It goes...

Question: Istanbul?
Answer: I'm not sure, I think Tan is on Horse year, not Rat or Bull.

No,... no such stupid joke there. I intend to write about Istanbul in the next few blogs. It'll be more of a diary kinda entry, instead of a descriptive describation describingly described about Istanbul. But before that,... another post of the past.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Last Choice

What's interesting about life is the continuous development we faced physically, mentally and socially.

What's interesting is that we are faced with new knowledge daily, new skills adopted daily, new actions we take that leads to consequences minutes, or ever years later, new crossroads of decision-making that spans from easy-peasy to impossible (at least to our own ability).

Crossroads are an integral part of any living being. It is where few more doors open and few other doors close never to be opened again. Not many are able to stomach this, especially when it involves consequences of future impact that can only be realised many years to come. Animals make split second decision and live that future; humans, even after making a decision, the other decision haunts them until that 'realisation' comes to be, to confirm whether it was a right or wrong decision.

Due to higher intelligence, humans have always one more choice whenever they reach a crossroad. When choice A and B are heavily weighted, that leads to known consequences of dire conclusion, and they know they cannot stomach it, that it will never leave their memory, where the lost is too great no matter which decision is taken, they go for the last choice,....



Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Child Turns Three / Language

My firstborn turned 3 years old a week ago. If there's one thing I notice in him, it's his ability to use proper grammar in his Malay language and his memory. His English is nowhere near "natural", and I guess for this year it has to be a change of language for our home use.

Amazingly, I did a non-motivated research on this ability. A psycholinguist, Pinker, from Massa*chusetts Institute of Technology says that a three-year-old toddler is "a grammatical genius"--master of most constructions, obeying adult rules of language. Peter Freeman, a fluent six-language speaker states that "In the first 3 years of a child's life, they acquire most of their native language, and they do it with no textbooks, no drills, no flashcards, no explanations and no language software. They learn by interacting with people and their surroundings."

Research has shown that there are First Language Acquisition and Second Language Acquisition, however, since this research was done in a single-language speaking world (ie. USA), we'll change it a bit to Mother Language Acquisition and Secondary Language Acquisition. Purely via observation, in Malaysia, if you're a malay, you learn malay at a high successful level and english at various level (depending where you live) by the age of 12. For Chinese, in the Klang Valley, at 12 they are fluent in Chinese (and/or dialects of their parents), ok in Malay and quite bad in English. Amazingly, for Chinese who pushes English language as an important aspect to their children, the child ends up being fluent in English, ok in Malay and ok in verbal Chinese (and/or dialects) but are usually unable to read/write chinese. I have not enough experience with Indian compadres to make a conclusion of my observation for them.

Is a new language really hard to learn? I think most research are true, that if you want to learn the language, you have to live where the language is being spoken, and nothing else. You learn Chinese in China. In Malaysia, even if you live amongst Chinese, you will not learn as fast because you'll be going through a "translation" course with your Chinese, while in China it's a Do-Or-Die situation whereby both don't speak the language. I mean, of course there are English speaking chinese, but I'm pushing more towards the really non-English speaking ones.

Another is being in love with the language, most common example is loving to watch Japanese anime and slowly learning the language due to repetition... and it's good, because then you'll learn the normal speaking of the language and what phrases are usually used. If you were to use a book, it would be too formal. You wouldn't want to talk in Malay "Apa kamu buat di situ?" instead of "Kau buat apa kat situ?" or "Apa kau buat tu?". So, these videos are quite a good source of learning, though it's also quite slow.

My favourite method of learning, since a non-English speaking friend is almost non-existence in Malaysia, is to listen to their phone conversation. At least then you can see how sentences are structured, how words are used differently provided you do have a little bit of experience in SOV vs SVO.

SVO is Subject - Verb -Object which is commonly used in English, such as "I hate this". Most common used in the world are SOV - Subject - Object - Verb, such as in Chinese "I, this, hate!" which would sound a little like Yoda, though he actually uses OSV like in Star Wars's "Your father, he is" or if you were to pull his whiskers, he'll yell "Die, you will" and cut you up.

I'm not gonna post about languages here, just enough to note that while learning a language may seem difficult, like a friend says, we usually just use less than 1200 words, and actually use less than 300 different words on a daily basis. (I can't find a source to prove it during the time of this blog, but I've read it somewhere before). But I think, after learning words, and the SOV, SVO, etc.... in just a few weeks of common repetition, we can make a decent conversation with it.

Which is why I don't understand the hoo-haa about mastering English to get a good job. The Japanese (incidentally I received an email from Japan today asking to meet up about my job), doesn't mind bad English, as long as the message gets through. So I really think that as long as messages get through, there's really no need for a superb English speaking employee unless they're involved in producing white documents.

Back to my son,... he'll start English. Poor him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

True Friend

I like that saying "A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn we f****d up!!!"

Last week, on Wednesday and Friday respectively, I met two true friends. One I've known for 16 years and another for 14 years. It was like an audit, on how we've grown and what we've achieved the past 10 years, and sadly, I'm way below par. But at least I realised that, and I'm happy I did. Audits like this, only true friends can do it. Pure direct no-filtered comments. Take it with stride, and you know deep inside, they do care for you and that's why they're very strong with the remarks.

I have to admit, I know one fault about myself that I never mentioned aloud, but was mentioned aloud by BOTH of them! Talk about knowing me! I have the problem of not completing what I started. I start too many things without completing what I've started before, then I'd have multiple incomplete projects. TL, one of them told me to just take in 2-3 things and complete per year. LS on the other hand, brought up a very interesting theory. My inability to complete what I've started may not be to the fact that I'm afraid that my completed project will not be up to par. She said that it's not that I may not be good enough to complete the project with success, but I may not be good enough to even complete it in the first place. That's a nice eye opener. I somehow cannot argue with that. Looking deep inside, yes, I think there is a fear that I fear that I'm not good enough to continue the journey to completion. Which is VERY bad.

What I've learned from them. You know, I tried to be 'cool', or go with the flow of what 'cool' people say... especially on new years resolution. I've not had any new year resolution since 1994! This stems from people's comment of "Why wait to new year?? Resolutions can be made on any day." That's the problem. The "any day" never came up. So I start off something at the spur of the moment without having a good resolution to it.

I've known all along that Goals must have Expected Outcome and Deadline. But everything that I started have an Expected Outcome but no deadline, not even a milestone, and that's the wrong way to go. Now I'm feeling hypocritical, coz' while I thrive on goals within my blogs, I'm not properly setting my own goals.

With the two meetings with my two true friends, I revisited my projects, and really have to be adamant that I need to shelf quite a lot and only concentrate on 2-3 at a time. As hard as that may be, to shelf projects, at least 2-3 gets done. Doing too many things at once, nothing gets done.

I learn something great last week. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I'm writing in after I've collated a lot of stories and advices on control. While there are many issues on Control (ie. controlling of project, career, children, own life, etc), I'll write more on the control of life and things that affect life.

An auntie told me that when you have an employee working for you, you set the first basic rules and limitations, and then you internally put a control over it, by constant monitoring, etc. The moment it goes out of control such as the employee coming to work late, on that day itself you set it straight to tell the employee that he/she's late for 5 minutes. If you don't, within two months, he'll be half an hour late. This is a normal human nature taking its course. Not really the employee to be blamed if productivity of the company goes down, but the one who's supposed to be in control, who's not controlling the situation.

In life, it is the same. Things come to you which you don't want. To reject, you might be too kind-hearted to hurt someone. To accept means to tolerate. If you cannot tolerate, then you'd really have to reject. While it might be confusing, what I wrote can be applied to life in general and even work. There is no sense in living in hurt and depression with the so limited time we have in our life. I'm already looking at "waiting for monthly salary" as a total waste of 30 days of your life. So, in this kind of situation, whenever something that you do not want comes into your life, you take control, and either reject, or put a control over it if you have to accept it. Tolerate with control. The moment it gets out of control, and you don't take any action, it will engulf you.

As stupid as an example I put here, think of Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde. He has no choice but to accept it, therefore he tolerated it and do his best to control it.

Aww... I am called to work. Haha... okay, laterz.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Two Seas: Revisited

Back on 23rd August 2007, I wrote regarding the two seas where the contents do not mix with one another. It's true, in that post, the two seas are very much described in religious scriptures. Today, I've gotten another email on two seas not mixing again, and I decided to do another round of research.

Seems that there IS another area where two seas mixes, however, in this one, there are more Islam*ic anecdotes on it and no Chris*tian comments on it. Of course, in this situation, I highly agree that God Al-Mighty who creates everything also creates the chemistry of the world to achieve this. Jet-Stream, Earth-Magnetic Sphere (I forgot the true name of this), etc... are all God's wonderful creation.

Okay, let's start the explanation. This is a picture that's widely used everywhere to explain the amazing division of the ocean.

I cannot source this picture, as it's widely used. Sorry.

So, is the picture above REALLY true? Yes it is. Here's what happens underneath...

Source: Marine Geology, Kuenen, p. 43, with a slight enhancement by www.islam-guide.com

Along the Straits of Gibraltar, there are two oceans separating Europe and Africa, whereby one of it is Atlantic Sea and the other Mediterranean Sea. Without needing to explain too much, as can be seen in the picture above. The area where the Gibraltar Sill is at the highest point, the depth is anywhere between 300metres to 900metres (from so many various sources). Where the ocean meets, the higher salinity of the Mediterranean Sea Water goes under the lower salinity water of the Atlantic Sea Water.

As the Atlantic Sea Water enters deeper into the Mediterranean sea, it's salinity start to increase as they average each other out and becomes part of the Mediterranean sea. Same goes for the higher salinity that dives under the Altantic ocean's waters, where the higher salinity decreases in the mixture and averages each other out before it totally becomes of Atlantic's salinity.

A quick post this time, just to explain that above. Thanx. :D

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I'm not sure if everyone will get what I'm writing below.

1. What this guy did earned him the title of National Hero!! What Peggy Whit*son did is "just my job".

For every action there must be a foundation, and there must be a continuation! What happened above is like an JK Row*ling writing only Book 4 and be done at that. There's absolutely not even an ounce of foundation ready to start thinking of the above, and not an ounce of research that's done that can be considered an element for continued research. I don't get it. It's purely a publicity act.

2. Dropping a car down onto North Pole in 1998 was a proud moment!! What the hell??! Spending so much money to drop something that's totally useless in that environment?!

Another weird one. It's stated the reason is to show "the quality and strength of the car". With a parachute like that, any other car with the same weight and weight distribution will land as good. And why not check what tyre was used and what suspension was used, could've been made from other people. Another publicity act.

It's time to start showing by example than nonsense publicity.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Life Currency

When we are born, we only have one currency to barter, and that is Time. As we grow up, we barter time against knowledge, as well as increasing value of time for certain skills.

Compare someone who's been using the computer for 10 years, against someone who don't. If somebody were to offer RM5 per page typed of his hand-written manuscript, the dude who can do a 100 words-per-minute can earn a lot more as compared to the one-finger typist. That's easily a RM500 in 4 hours against RM20 in 4 hours. No kidding.

After we've so-called bartered our time against knowledge, with money which our parent's bartered their time with (or you barter your future money when you take study loan), we will start to barter time against tasks.

You apply for a job, and you say "Yo, Mr Employer sir, I'm offering you time. My skills will increase my value of time in your specific task, thus making your own money vs time invested more meaningful. So, sir, I believe my time to your task is RM25 per hour. Do you accept?" And Mr Employer, after evaluating and confirming that investing money in your time will earn him more money, will offer you the job.

That's life currency. Simple and sweet. We invest money in the bank, with time on our side and we don't do anything at all, we'll earn a measly sum back. By investing our time towards tasks needed by employers, we earn more. But if we invest time towards customers' needs, we'll barter their money (which they've exchanged for time) with our products that we sell. If you look at it from another angle, every single person in this world is trading time!

Sadly, we sometimes throw time away. This is very common in the middle of the month, where the mind is set on saying "Just two more weeks to my next pay check." We do not have unlimited time, and those who are not healthy have even less time to barter with, but still we want our only currency to waste away without trading it properly with quality. We mope at home, complain, bi*ch, etc.... throwing life currency away for absolutely no value.

I think it's time to re-evaluate the value of your life currency, and see how best to barter it with something you really need and want.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Contempt / Humility

The average 'emotional impact' that can stay with someone is as short as two days to as long as three months, and some for life. This is purely my view, I don't have any proof.

That's why we humans are so interesting. One minute we go "I'm really very humbled over this incident." and the story will go on for days to different people. And then, three months down the road, all that humility goes.

Same goes for those who achieved greatness and start to look at others in contempt. "You know, I now realise I'm actually this great. One class above the rest." and in three months time, "Err... do you think I can make it?!".

These emotional impacts that changes your character for a short while is like an adrenalin boost. Like a drug intended to make you be someone else. You can be like Piras Holtin who made a fool of herself saying "I'm humbled by my experience in jail." and totally returned to her old self within a week, or just take in the humility/contempt and do something great about it.

So how do we really utilise this alter-ego that sticks to us for two days to three months?!

When you are humbled, do good deed. Basically, do for people what you think will benefit these people. Again, since you're humbled, no names, and don't make them remember you or your face, or your name. Just approach, do a good deed, and leave. Why?! Coz' you won't be like this again the next time you're back to your old self and meet the same person who recognises you. Better remain a saint in his/her eyes, and disappear. When you are humbled, do something for the people.

When you are in contempt, er.. wait, some of you may not know the meaning. Okay, contempt is the feeling of regarding others as beneath you, inferior, or even worthless of being even in the same room as you. Okay, back to being contempt (the intensity varies in different people). When you are in contempt, you lost your doubt and fear, and you feel invincible and immortal. So, just jump in front of a moving car. No, just kidding. In this state of mind, you have total confidence. So, do the opposite of humlity. When you are in contempt, do something for yourself. Whatever you dreamnt of doing but were too afraid (should I say chicken?) to do, now's the right time to do it. Yes, there's still rejection, but you'll be too zoned out to even think that there's the slightest chance for rejection. This feeling will make you try even if it's 1% possible to even begin with. Go get to know that girl you've been eye-ing. Go challenge yourself in that event/task that you think you will fail in. A word of warning, DO NOT go and do something that takes a long time. "I'm feeling contempt! Hmpph... I'm gonna take my 5 years Ph.D. now! Grr...." That's not gonna work. In three months time you'll wake up saying "What the heck??!" If you were never ready to take a Ph.D., feeling contempt cannot make you take it. 5 years is too long to continue feeling contempt.

So, what do you do when you're back to your old self? Review how you approached situations before, if you like it, then try as best to change yourself and adopt what you liked about yourself. It's when you're totally normal again is when you can re-programme yourself to have a change in character.

CT, just in case you're wondering, no, I'm not going through a humble state or contempt state right now. Three of the people I know are going through a humbled state right now, it's good if they stay that way. But being humans, I have a gut feeling within 3 months they'll be as they were before their incident happen. Sorry to be thinking negative, I'm just looking at common basic human trait. It's true that leopard cannot change their stripes and zebras cannot change their spots. It's true that pumas cannot change their whiteness and polar bears cannot change their blackness. Hahaha.... and Dragonball Z characters cannot keep their tail hidden forever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Scam: Bonanza Form

I've just received a phonecall with the communications as follows: -

Stranger: Hello, is this 01#-### ####?
Me: Yes
Stranger: I'm calling from Migrant Marketing (sounds like that). Did you fill up any form in Giant, Tesco or Carrefour in the past few months?
Me: Not that I can remember. Maybe or maybe not, because it's usually in a rush to leave, so maybe I did.
Stranger: Ok, because I received your form here. Your form was chosen to win two prizes, one is a 5 days stay in any hotel within Asia, and a RM350 shopping voucher for oen hypermart in Malaysia. Don't worry, this is not a sales or tele-marketing. We won't ask anything from you, only that you come over to get your voucher and stay for a 45 minutes talk.

Now, I'm familiar with this approach. They will try and convince you to purchase some kind of tourism package, or whatever package during that 45 minutes talk. Some talks are filled with thugs, some are not, but in this situation, you have all the power to request the talk to be held at cafes. Why? If they say that they need to use projector, say that you can just view with them at their laptops because all insurance and unit trust agents nowadays are already doing that. So why not these packages?! Also, right before you say "Ok", you must ask "The talk is only for me alone anytime?", if they say "Yes", later they cannot say "Oh, you must sit in a meeting room because others are joining you." Back to conversation.

Me: This talk, what are the times to attend?
Stranger: You can come anytime and straight away just sit for the 45 minutes talk and then collect your voucher.
Me: Okay, maybe I'll come during the weekend.
Stranger: That's good, ok, we just need a few information from you.

This is the place where the spider sense tingle. Earlier ones I don't mind so much coz I have friends who went for the 45 talk and walk out with voucher, albeit being scolded and pissed by the 'company'.

Me: What kind of information do you need that's not on the form you received?
Stranger: Like your full name?
Me: What name did I put on the form?
Stranger: It's not clear, so we need your full name.
Me: So, the only thing that's clear on the form is my phonenumber?
Stranger: Yes.
Me: Ok, please fax the form back to me and I'll write it clearly and fax back to you.
Stranger: It's ok, we can just take it via phone.

I knew then that this company simply call any phonenumber to start the scam, therefore I can easily lie about who I am. They don't even know my name!

Me: I'm a lawyer, so this involves some legality issues. I need the fax.
Stranger: The fax machine is in another department.
Me: That's ok. I'll wait.
Stranger: Ok, we'll fax back to you later in the day. I'll call you back after we fax. Thank you.
Me: How can you know my fax number when only my handphone can be seen clearly?
Stranger: *Hung Up*

Beware of random dialed calls. I think the next time, ask them your name and your address if they claim that you won something.

How To: Get Hard To Get MP*3

This is my first How-To. A general background first, I'm one music listener who's not totally concern over a superb quality of an MP*3 to enjoy the music. As long as the music is good enough, without any interruptions and clear enough to hear the entire song and lyrics, just like listening to the radio, then it's ok.

I acknowledge that the best place to get old songs (and new ones) is from You*Tube. You can search for really old songs from Abba, all the way to overseas songs that generally does not enter the international market (i.e. France FIFA 98 song, MYMP Philippine band songs).

So, how do we download You*Tube movies? The EASIEST way is to download the freeware RealAl*ternative (which is a free RealP*layer) which does not affect legality in anyway. By downloading that software, whenever you place your mouse pointer on the movie, a "Download This Video" tab comes up. Then just click on it and download. (See Picture below)

You can actually see the video just using RealAlternative instead of getting Freeware FL*V Viewer (but up to your taste actually).

Next software to download is the Freeware FL*VExtract (searchable on goo*gle), downloadable at http://www.moitah.net/. Also free since it's Open Source, so no legalities issue to have the software. When you run this software, the window below appears.

You can click what to extract, so since this post talks about extracting MP*3, just tick on Audio, and then drag and drop the file onto the window. Straight away the MP*3 will be extracted into the same folder as the file.

Bear in mind that the MP*3 will be about 1.5MB (compared to a good quality at 5MB). For me, to have it in the phone to listen during leisure moment is good enough. Quality is not a major factor as long as it's listen-able.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leader or Follower: Psychology in Slangs

This is a question I was wondering about when I was driving to work. This post will end with a very open question, free for anyone to take up to make a research out of it if anyone's up for it. But please give credit to where the ideas came from, if it indeed came from this post.

When I was in Sabah, I continued my usual english speaking slang as I do in KL or any other places, but when it comes to speaking malay, I ended up trying (unconsciously) to imitate their slang, in bahasa baku and in their speaking intonation. At the back of my mind, I know they're not pleased with it, but somehow, try as I might, I always swerve back to their intonation. I guess sub-consciously I am trying to speak their way in fear that they might not understand if I am speaking the normal bahasa slang I speak in KL, albeit not much of a KL slang either.

Then I remembered speaking to a chinese national, whom I know he understands english very well, having listened to bombastic English presentation by an Indian professor and an English one. But, due to his slang and inability to conjure proper English words to articulate what he wants to convey, I ended up speaking like a kintergarten kid, choosing the simplest of words and semi-consciously and purposely includes broken grammars.

And then again, when I remembered speaking to some mad sailors, I mean mat sallehs at conventions, seminars and talks, though I don't speak the slang, I tend to also want to use bombastic words according to the words they use in their sentences. There are so many other times that I really find myself emulating the words they use, or the intonation that they speak.

Amazingly, I never stop to take note or realize whether they do the same thing when they're talking to me.

So, psychologically, am I a follower?!? No leadership to control my own personal manner of speaking?!?

Worth a study.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Paintings for Sale (Frames not included)

Not many people know that I can paint.

This post is purely a commercialised post in trying to find buyers for my paintings. Please note that the paintings done are not the joe-average kind of paintings like painting of a house with the title "House on a Hill", or Koi fishes with title "Koi Fish Pond #1".

Nor are my paintings so detailed like those who likes to paint the ocean or paint horses and trees. It complicates the mind when they try to look at so many details. Consider my paintings as a relaxation method, to just enjoy the simple scenery that it brings albeit the modern-art-like names of the painting.
Consider the paintings like an aroma therapy, but for the eyes instead of the nose. Absorb it's simplicity and relaxes and sooth the mind.

From February until end of April of 2008, the painting is yours for RM75 only (original price can be up to RM200+++) but it comes with the canvas only, frames not included. Shipping costs another RM25 within Peninsular Malaysia and standard rates apply for shipping overseas. Insurance of the painting will cost more.
Only 4 Paintings for now. Please see below the paintings I have for sale.

Painting Title: Midnight in a Charcoal Mine

Painting Title: Camera Flash In Snowstorm

Painting Title: The Darkness Of Black

Picture Title: Step Into The Light To Heaven

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Complaint Letter

I was just clearing my emails when I came across a complaint letter I wrote back in 2005. I seem to notice that I really cannot keep out sarcasm whenever I write a complaint letter. My format is alway very similar: -
1. Explain the situation
2. Explain how the situation affect me
3. Blame the establishment / system
4. Give guidance to improve situation / Forgive (sarcasm part)
5. End by reminding to improve situation

Most of my parking ticket complaint (whenever the meter is not working) usually contains "Saya memaafkan kelemahan sistem pihak tuan. Dengan itu, saya memulangkan surat saman....." and I will be writing one to soon.

Anyway, below is a cut & paste (censored) of a complaint email that I sent in 2005. The email was replied by the GM of the restaurant, and then the COO of the corporation who owns the chain of outlet. I won't publish that email, but suffice to say that if we exert our rights as customers, we'll get what we want. We are lucky that we manage to get an email that we may print and give to any outlets who might cause problem, or else give him a call.

Dear Mr (censored),

This email is not to seek retribution for our bad experience in (censored), but to suggest that what happened to us does not repeat itself to other patrons. Please place yourself in my shoes while reading the remainder of the email.

(Censored) is our 'place', where my wife and I had our first date. We frequent (censored) at least once a month, and we save every one of our receipts dining at our 'place'. We have our own favourite food, my wife's being (censored).

My wife is now pregnant with our first child, and being pregnant, she would have cravings. Last month, she craved for (censored) and French Fries, so while at (censored) branch, we requested if we could have (censored) with a mixture of tortilla chips and fries. The manager was kind enough to grant our wish, stating that fries is cheaper than chips, therefore it was alright to mix the both, except that we're not allowed to top-up for more chips. We thank (censored) very much for that. We have a receipt to show our mixed order.

Today, 21st March 2005, my wife had the same cravings since noon. I requested an early leave from work to bring her to (censored), however, this time we were told that such a request has never been allowed. We argued stating that we were granted this wish before, but it was not allowed. My wife and I were too distressed with it, that she promptly canceled her order, and I did the same for mine, except that we've drank, therefore had to pay the RM18 for the two drinks.

This is not about the money. Tears shed today is something I will not forget. It hurts us too much. Her cravings were totally destroyed, and had no more appetite to eat. I'm very sorry that (censored) have lost a regular patron, as the hurt cannot heal. I don't mind if this happens at any other times, but not when my wife is pregnant as she is.

I do not blame the manager on duty today, nor the manager on duty the other day. I blame your establishment's system. Please standardise your rules and regulations. If specialised orders are totally out of the question, make it known to all managers that no requests is to be entertained. If all managers are empowered to have their own judgment and decisions, please tell them to state that "I cannot allow such a request during my shift as a manager here. I'm sorry." rather than "We don't do such thing." because I have a black & white proof that there were such thing.

I'm writing this email in hope that no other patrons face the emotional hurt that we faced today, especially in making their loved one, during a sensitive and emotional stage, felt so depressed and hurt. We wished that we were never allowed such a request previously, at least it won't hurt as it did today. We also wished that we're at least given one last chance for such a request.

Good luck in your business.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Son's Name

A shoutout to KB. No worries about what transpired. It was an honour to me that you're comfortable to that level. Alah, macam a younger cousin je lah kan?

I'm trying to see how to detail out this post without really revealing my son's name, which will be difficult. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, just as long as I don't spell his name outright, 'google' will not be able to find it.

I knew that one day people will start having problems pronouncing his names. Just yesterday at a CNY Open House, it was difficult for anyone else to pronounce his name properly. So here, for my memory, and everyone's understanding to why his name is that, I'll list out the history of how his name came to be.

Early in the marriage, I'm already told that my wife would like a name that starts with the 'z' sound, but not wanting the name to be listed last in any alphabetical list. Therefore, we decide on a 'dz' beginning. At the same time, we don't want common 'dz' names like 'Dzulkarnain', 'Dzulfikah' or 'Dzulkifli'.

Therefore, instead of finding a 'z' sounding name and adding a 'd' in front, I've decided to find a 'd' sounding name, and put a 'z' sound at the front. So, names like Daniel, Darren would sound like Zaniel, Zarren, however they sound too awkward. I went through a whole list of 'd' names and settled on the name my son now have.

I am totally aware that without adding the 'z', it totally coincides with the name of the boy in Omen 1,2 and 3. In fact, when I first thought through the list, that name really came from the movie. However, it's just a movie, and just too unlucky that they decided to name the son of Satan with that name. At least I didn't name my son Lucifer.

Anyway, so that's how we arrived to his name. His second name is consciously picked out from arabic two-syllable words. We just changed the spelling to place another 'z' sound at the end.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

I acknowledge, understand and support the usage of KPIs in anyone's career, as it is a good tool to gauge a person's competency over time. However, I feel that while it helps give a clear 'goals' that lead to a 'bigger' goal for the company, there are one setback I faced a few days ago during a discussion. This setback does not bring to a disadvantage to a company, but it does lessen the overall result of what a company may get.

As a real example, few days back we formed a team to do a specific task. Now, this task involves meeting some people with the hopes that they meet up with us, and thus invest in us. This huge event have several teams set-up, and while our work do not overlap other teams, the results may. For instance, another team is in charge of a bigger scaled picture, to get huge organisations to meet up, and then to invest in us.

Our team, is supposed to go to 'other' places and secure a meeting and hopefully they invest in us. The problem here is, the sentence of "Team A has secured 'number of meetings' and 'amount invested' as their KPIs". This means that should we have the meeting, just because we're in the same company, the meeting number or the investment goes to Team A. To try to focus it down to just "Our KPI will be meetings and investment from organisations in this 'other' places" cannot work, because they may meet with us now. Then they take their sweet time, and six months later approach the organisation as a whole and Team A gets the KPI.

So in the end we dropped the KPI, and concentrate (and try to find other KPIs that other teams did not include into theirs). I find this lessen the earning power of the organisation, but for the sake of having a value placed on the team, it has to be done. Or else the team do the work, but it is never reflected as another team takes the results we obtain, then at the end of the day, our team gave 'nothing' to the company. Also, shared KPIs cannot be accepted anymore as our team was one of the last to be formed, sort of an afterthought.

Now, that s*cks. Hehe.... finding unique KPIs is quite a challenge.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eldest Daughter (with 2nd eldest also a girl)

Disclaimer: This post is PURELY by observation and experience only.

I acknowledge that I exudes a certain kind of aura that makes me untouchable. No, not untouchable as in "invincible", but people tend not to touch me. Maybe I look too serious, or I really emit some kind of message saying "don't touch me". I've noticed this for a very very long time. Some girls who tend to laugh at a guy's joke and hit him. Some guys like to lean their elbow on another's shoulder or back to look at computer/newspaper together. Some people pat each other on a job well done, or to perk someone up, etc etc. There's a lot of touches in a single day. However, I do notice very well that at times before a certain pat comes, it's held back. It's like they think "Hmm... maybe I shouldn't pat him." or something. Anyway, this is not an issue to me. So be it.

Ok, what's this about eldest daughter?? I wanted to write a post about this since middle of last year, but thinking about last Friday's incident, I think I'll just write about it. Why? Coz' eldest daughters (who has a younger sister) seem to be immune to this 'aura'. But I guess, it's in built in them. For brevity sake, I'll call these people EDWYS (Eldest-Daughter-With-Younger-Sister).

My first experience in noticing this EDWYS syndrome (haha, no lar, not a syndrome lar) is during a lunch meet I had back in Dec 2005. I think it was at DeliFrance, The Weld. I was halfway eating (with soup and all) when she suddenly said "Taste a bit!" and just plopped her spoon into my soup and tasted it. I was shocked (but didn't show it lar). As I got to know her better, ya, it seems that she can actually ask any men looking at her in the LRT "Yes, what are you looking at?" and these sort of things which usually other girls will just tend to ignore.

Then I met another two EDWYS, who seem to be able to treat me like a buddy rather than having that distance between male-female relationship. Like one of the boys, kinda-feeling.

Then, last Friday, haha... Queen Bee, I guess you'd never expect I'll write about you here. Anyway, last Friday, at a cousin-in-law's engagement lunch, this EDWYS who might be tired due to her pregnancy, leaned her head against my shoulder. This was a first! Eh, KB, I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. Of course in my own opinion, KB would have already summed me as a close cousin since I married her close cousin. However, I doubt any other girl cousins or cousin-in-laws whose not EDWYS would have done the same.

So, then, I did bring it up to KB, about whether it's true that EDWYS tend to have a different mindset when it comes to guy-girl relationship, a different kind of boundary within the friendship. That, guys are not so distant after all to EDWYS, and that they can easily be buddy-buddy with any guys. She recalled to having a friend who's also EDWYS, and is somewhat 'braver' in this kind of situation, be it with guys or life in general.

Anyway, this is just my view on EDWYS. Now that KB realises that I commented on Friday's incident (she doesn't know why I suddenly would bring it up the other day), don't be too conscious the next time you're being yourself. The other EDWYS is so conscious about me commenting on her "tasting of my soup" that she's even afraid to ask for a taste of what other food I eat the next time around meeting at lunch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Weakest Human Trait

I have to say, that the weakest human trait is their destructive imagination. It is so ridiculous. We take so much effort imagining the worst possible things that could happen to our lives and never put the same effort to imagining the best. And when we imagine the worst, the worst happens, thus a self-fulfilling prophecy or meeting the "Law of Attraction" like in the docu-selfhelp video "Secret". I'm not indulging in that last sentence anymore in this topic.

But seriously, why do we think so lowly of ourselves? We do we explain a situation by putting the worst in our mind?

"Hmm, the interviewers went out to discuss my asking salary. I'm sure they're laughing about it now. Nevermind, when they come in, before I'm humiliated, I'll tell them that I want less RM500 from my asking."

"He just wrote a blog about pity-monger. Does he mean me?!" - Hey, I'm serious. At least three people asked me whether I was writing about them.

"I've always been having breakfast with my buddy every morning. Why is it that this morning he even refused to talk to me, and then went out of the office for breakfast with another colleague?! What did I do to him yesterday?"

"Why even bother trying to get myself certified? It's not like I'm going to have a change of luck if I do. I might even fail, and that'll make me feel worse. Better just stay the way I am."

"There's no way I'm making the sales call to that guy. He'll surely close the door on me."

"That girl is cute. I thought she smiled at me just now, but I'm sure she saw a friend of hers behind me. I'd like to approach her, but nevermind. I'm not worth her time."

The destructive nature of humans imagining the worst is why I adopted Nike's "Just Do It" in my life since 1995. Instead of waiting for the right opportunity (where time will allow for more negative thoughts to settle in), Just Do It.

Real case scenario, approaching a complete stranger just to befriend coz' she looks pretty decent, and her looks ain't bad at all either, and doesn't matter what the future will be. That was a do or die scenario, coz' it was in a hotel lobby and she just checked out. So, Just Do It. Looking back at it, I didn't give myself time to stall and think negative thoughts coz' of the other motto I hold "If you think you can't, you've lost without even trying." and smaller motto that I used to tell a Johor friend "If you don't try, there's 0%, if you try, even on a 0.001% chance, you can hit." For anyone who really did try without planning or stalling, you'll notice that when you're 'doing' it (as in doing whatever that you fear), you see yourself from far. It's like, it's not you doing it, but someone else and you're actually looking at him from above. Zombie-like feeling. Anyway, to cut this story short, we became long term friends, even until now.

Real case scenario 2, my interview in the latest company. It was superbly difficult to go through two interviews sticking to my asking salary because I knew it was a ridiculous jump from my previous job, and I knew once they hand it over to the HR to process my application, further reduction is to be made. So, why reduce it willingly during the interview. But that question "Your asking salary is ###, isn't that high?" is really a killer, at least to me. But heck, my foul mood helped me not willing to negotiate. Hahaha... hmm... mood plays a factor in confidence and blind bravery, but that'll be another post.

I think we really cannot stop ourselves from this weakness. We will always, even for generations to come, will always have the tendency to imagine the worst possible outcome for any event. And I think sometimes that's good to plant your feet firm on the ground. If you're too aloof, thinking yourself too highly, you'll see those people in American Idol who are superbly confidence in themselves that they totally bluff themselves blind! And when they get thrown out, they fuss and cuss. That's an even worst way to grow up, to be supported blindly and love blindly by family and friends, no honesty and no critisicm. Back to the topic.

What I hope is that, we minimize this weakness. We need to balance it properly against real wisdom, things that we know, probabilities on a similar situation. Those who balance probabilities and accepts them do well. Just like a salesman who happily faces rejection because he knows that by the 99th rejection, he'll get one sale. At least he gets rejected, than stalling and retreating.

Hope the best in your life against this weakness, and if possible, use it to your advantage, however that is. Believe in yourself, and share with others.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Decisions Decisions Decisions

In the current mixed thoughts and feelings after reading Paul Arden's "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" thoughts (for the 6th - 8th time), as well as Wyclef Jean's lyrics to Sweetest Girl, I decide to just write another blog here.

First of all, we get rid of Wyclef Jean first. The beat of his song really caught my attention on radio, especially the "dollar dollar bill yall" call during the chorus, which I thought earlier was "yoller yoller bill yo" (as in, hollering out for a guy named Bill, duh!). Lyrics are good, quite deep. Interesting choice of a life situation to sing about, but I guess it only happens in the USA and other countries with neighbours not doing too well. I suggest you find his song on youtube, and check out the lyrics on any lyrics site.

Ok, to Paul Arden. This specific thought he placed was interesting to read at first. Just as a summary, he stated that there's no wrong decisions. Everything in life is about decisions, so whatever decisions we made, it's the right one. Why? Because if it's the wrong one, we would not have chosen it. He quoted "Everything we do we choose. So what is there to regret?". Why I revisited it again and again is because I feel there's a flaw somewhere in that logic. It's true that we choose to make a decision when we're at that crossroads. Then we make selective judgment according to our experience, knowledge and intuition. When we made it, there's no turning back. That's true. I agree. Nothing to regret.

This is true when it comes to current decisions and long-term impact-type decisions. Like what course to take. We cannot take law thinking that we might wanna do medicine. Whatever study decisions we've made in the past, cannot be undo and restart, unless you really don't mind another 3-5 years studying. Some people restart, and they do fine, but majority don't. Whatever choices we've made, we must stick to it, and eventhough we might think it's "the wrong decision", we can right it by continuing our focus on it. Stepping back will really kill our choice, and we might just think that the other decision is worst and come back to the first one. How much time would we have lost?

In The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (Hahaha!! I can't believe I found one life's lesson in this show), anyway, in this show, the Jap dude (I don't care about his name) was looking down on a lot of people at the crossroads, and said something like "Look at all those people. They're letting fear lead them.", and when the white guy asked "What happened if they don't?", and the Jap guy answered (though totally out of the question), "Life is simple. You make choices and you don't look back." Now that's a way to go through life. At a decision crossroad, make a choice, and never look back.

But then many gurus say "You need to look back to know if you've made the right decision." I'm not gonna debate with myself on this. It's simple enough to note this fact. Back in 2003 when one Renault driver (I forgot who) tried to make sure Coulthard did not pass him in the Spain track, he actually went slower two seconds per lap. That shows that looking back, you move slower in front. I think, look back when you've hit a wall, or you see something that will bring you to a complete halt. No mouse runs halfway in the maze and turn back before reaching a dead end, so should we. What's a little challenge? Some people think the littlest of challenge means we've made the wrong decision.

I won't talk much on that, I guess the above pretty much sums it up.

The flaw in Paul Arden's thoughts?! A decision that involves another human, do generally brings to a 'wrong choice'. We see a woman chasing a man holding a handbag. It could be the man is the thief, but then again, he might be the hero, picking up the woman's handbag and continue chasing after the thief in front of him. We see two suitors for a girl, she chooses one; and who would have thought the one she chose was a faker, only intending to inherit her riches by giving all the false evidence of romantic and gallant poise of a gentleman. Decision that involves another being can usually be the wrong choice. That's my opinion.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ethical Advertising & Cost of Luxury

I was waiting for my colleagues to clear the check-in at Sabah's terminal, to go back to KL. Then I saw this bubbly kid, maybe about 4-5 years old running to a candy shop. Holding the RM5 in his right hand, he approached the counter guy and asked for "Chip" (the only word I could hear). He was going to buy Famous Amous cookie, and I knew that it costs RM6.90 for the first 100gm. As expected, the counter dude said something, and he pulled back his RM5 and clenched it in his fist, somewhat embarassed. He walked away still looking at the chip, and then an airport lady approached him. I heard words like "You going to be ok?" while she adjusted his backpack. Ok, I knew he was travelling alone. Someone wherever he's flying off to will meet him there. After speaking to the lady, he looked at cheaper candies to buy. What transpired next is to your own imagination.

That episode reminded me of a very unethical advertising done by either KFC or McD in the late 90's. It was about having a meal for only RM4.99! In the advert, it even showed one kid approaching the counter with the RM5 in the hand. Funny thing is, he got what he wanted. How about that 5% government tax?!

It's a wonder how the advert got onto the air at all. So many parties would have noticed the mistake (or consciously midleading claim), but I guess all wanted their share of the advertisement money that nobody cared. That time I was wondering if there was ever any kid who go to the counter and got disappointed because the real price for the meal was RM5.24 after tax.

Cost of luxury, as what hit the little kid who thinks that RM5 could have bought that cookie. Another friend from Kedah got into a shock when he bought two scoops of ice-cream from Baskin Robbins. My friends and I were too late to stop him when he approached the counter. It seems that major cities and major brands are a dangerous boon to unsuspecting people who places value of products from what they are used to. It's sad when it happens.

Another memory (back in 1994) of such a cost of luxury is seeing a mother of two kids (girl and boy) who bought 3 beef burgers (that time was RM1.99 each) and shared one drink in Ampang Park's McD. Yet another memory (back in 2003) seeing one poor child's request to TV3 was just to have KFC for the family.

I think I've repeated many times. What is common to us is a luxury to a massive number of people. I hope everyone, little kids, big kids, old folks, can experience their wish, and be happy, than be disappointed most of the time, due to the only limitation being $$.