Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution 2012

1. Get promoted - that is the only way to boost my salary dramatically from the current pathetic level, if I am to stay in the same job and company. I will give it my all for this to happen, but if it does not happen then... then... well... you know the standard BS that comes with it...

2. Investment - I have an amount set aside for this, and I'm gonna set a lowly target of 30% return from them this year. I don't wanna go with the usual BS of diversifying your portfolio. We are not gambling and praying for the best here. I believe you have a better chance of success if you keep all your eggs in 1 or 2 baskets a.k.a focus on 1 or 2 fields and become expert in whatever you are doing. It'd be precious metal and forex for me. Wish me luck.

3. Reduce weight - I'll be transparent, I'm at 102kg now (down from the disastrous number that I see from my scale the moment I came back from US last year, although it was 96 before I left). I'll aim to get down to 90, one way or another.

4. Save even more money - I'm hoping to save enough to buy a house, downpayment, fees and simple renovation. At any rate, I need to get this thing done either this year or next, assuming the world is still intact after 21 December 2012. At my current level, I can only barely manage a medium-low cost apartment, and that depends on whether I get allocated or not.

5. Blog more - Try to blog at least 10 times a month, I've been neglecting this place for far too long, sorry blog =(

I don't want to set any resolution to remain stress free, most likely I will fail that one... zzzzz

Retrospective 2011

I know it's New Year Eve today, and I should be laying my fat ass somewhere else instead of in my room running tests remotely. But fact is fact, I'm working on a pathetic Saturday noon, no point feeling sorry for myself eh?

So, while waiting for the test to run, I figured it would be a good idea to review the past 364.5 days from my perspective, see whether I meet my own expectations or not.

1. Save serious money - RM5000 minimally.
Meet expectation. I think I'm moving along quite well in this direction, not going to reveal how much I have, that's sort of sensitive information, but I'm staring at 2012 with more hope.

2. Investment - read 2 books on investing, increase my gold savings account content appropriately, prepare for investment year 2012. 

I've read 5 books, I didn't put as much money on gold as I would have liked, but that's because of some crazy things happening in the global economic scene. In fact I moved the money out for a couple of months, going to go back in again in the few weeks.

3. Sports - Basketball shooting accuracy to 70% field goal, at the moment it is 30% field goal rate; jog 1 whole lap around the company non-stop (2.5km), now only manage half lap.
I hit 60% somewhere in June, I think. Then it sort of stopped improving, so I switched to free throws and 3-point throws. Guess what, last week I tried 1 round of 5 point shots, I hit 86 out of 100! I didn't jog much though, so am not sure if I can last 1 whole lap now.

4. Turn from Fat Buu to Kid Buu - third time mention, this time must success!!! If I can manage to achieve #3, should be no problem for this.
I managed to get my weight from 104kg down to about 96kg. Granted, that was still some way short of ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) for me, which is 88kg and below, but it was like, what, 8kg reduction in about half a year. And that was achieved without involving extreme workouts and diet ala starving yourself, just regular basketball shooting sessions and not overeating.
Then I went to the US on business trip for 3 weeks in September, followed by another 3 weeks business trip to JB in November. I don't wanna mention what happened after that.

5. Improve EQ - remain stress free (which is easier said than done), and help friends to remain stress free.
Fail, I'm barely able to cope with the stress by sighing a lot to release the steam. And I don't sleep well, waking up at 3-4AM in the morning is the norm for me.

So, what d'ya think?

Friday, December 30, 2011

I used to be quite active in the dating friendship community websites when I was in high school, probably some 10 years ago. This hobby was forgotten after I got into an actual relationship some time in college, and it never really caught back on to me after the break up.

One such site was I know the name sounds ham sap, but trust me, it used to be a very casual friendship community where you look for friends. And I did find quite a few friends there. But that's not the point.

The point is, I received some sort of notification mail from this site just now, and I don't know what possessed me today, but I ended up opening that website again to check how it is doing now. I was given a nasty pleasant shock.

You see, one major agenda for browsing friendship community sites is to check out the photos in girls' profiles (or guys, in a girl's case). 10 years ago, the photos I see are more realistic. I mean, when we decided to meet up, at least 6 out of 10 looks the same in actual and in profile photo.

Today, what I see in this Ahmoi site is, most of the photos in the profiles are of hot chicks and leng luis. And instead of [Looking for: Friends], they are 90% [Looking for: Relationship]. I'm kind of baffled by this. It is my experience that pretty girls are usually not associated with online relationship search. Pretty girls are associated with not having much time to spend on the internet.

Shall I try to put 1 foot into this stuff again and verify if the pretty girls are just pretty photos, or reality has really changed?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plastic Bags

I'm sure many of you have encountered this sign or something similar... in the malls or supermarkets... it is becoming standard practice in Malaysia...

Which is all good... ...... ... according to the hippies and tree huggers, that is...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against being environmentally responsible, I just don't agree with this whole No Plastic Bag fiasco...

If you step back and think hard, or a faster way is to go to your rubbish bin and look at what's in there besides rubbish, you will realize one fact.

We did not stop using plastic bags, we just stopped getting them from the supermarkets. What we used to get for free, now we have to pay some money to buy.

Of course there are some extremists who would argue that they use some other methods to store rubbish in the bins, but generally, I think most people would agree with the above statement.

So you see, by not getting plastic bags in the supermarkets, we did not do the environment much help, and we certainly did not do any good with our rubbish storage method. The only winner here is the supermarkets and shopping malls. They get to look good and save a bunch of money. Instead of spending thousands of ringgit every week on providing free bags, they now charge 20 cents for every plastic bag customers take.

I hate to say it, but unfortunately, our environmentalists and government got it all wrong. They should focus on making degradable bags and force the businesses to use these degradable bags, instead of coming up with a method that cause inconvenience for consumers at the misconception of being able to save the environment with it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas to all you who celebrates*~

I shall be spending some quality time in my dog house cosy room with zhap farn 什饭 and a couple DVDs...

And to all you headed out for Christmas Eve Countdown a.k.a Mess,

Please for the love of God, be considerate on the roads, and drive safe... =)

Monday, December 19, 2011

There's nowhere left to fall when you've reached the bottom...

A simple telephone call would trump no telephone call at all, though...
I miss the good ol' days of boy band music...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

When the only buoy that's keeping you afloat is taken away from you, how long do you think you can resist drowning?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Business Trip @ JB

I have been putting this off for far too long, sorry for the delay, have been busy playing Drag Racing on Android settling tonnes of work that was pending due to my enforced 3 weeks away from Penang.

Anyway, I really do not wish to talk much about this trip. Because the only pictures that I have are those of food, food and more food... >.<

I don't want to show off how much good food I ate. They are just minor compensations for the tremendous shifts we put in when we travel. I mean, really minor.

It pisses me off when I get people telling me things like: "Good lah you, can get to travel, eat good food, stay in hotel, bla bla bla..."

And believe me, I do get a lot of people spewing those shit to me...

Guys, and girls, sometimes you have to understand, when the company sends us for travel, it is not for holiday. There are heavy duty things that we need to deliver, and the pressure to deliver them on time is 10 times usual. Yes we get to eat nice food, stay in nice hotel, but do know that we spend most nights working in the hotel as well.

Really not such a fun experience to travel frequently...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kinsahi @ KSL City, JB

Sorry for the lack of updates the past 3 weeks, have been working, working and working like there's no tomorrow that every night, I got so exhausted. Things that require serious thinking, like blogging, is a task beyond me... but I'm back now...
Couple months back, on my last visit to JB, we discovered the best Japanese restaurant in Malaysia.

It was regrettable that I did not take photos of the wonderful superb awesomesauce fresh sashimi last time round. I was sure to not make the same mistake this time.

Maguro Sashimi, Shake Belly Shashimi

Thicker than your chopstick, I no bluff you one

We ordered like mad the last time round, this time we were smarter, just some simple dishes...

Agedashi Tofu

Torikaraage and Okomoniyaki Stick

Imperial Ebi Maki

Food was still same great as was before, totally justified to coming back again, and again, and again...

Ah Piaw 亚标云吞面 @ JB

This is not the first time I go to JB on business trip, but it is the first time I am driving instead of flying.

And it did not go too well. 100km from JB, the jam began. I underestimated the number of Malaysians working in Singapore.

As a result, it took me 2.5 hours more than expected to arrive. Checked into the hotel at 10pm, and headed out for late late dinner around 10.30pm.

A colleague has been recommending a certain wantan mee shop that he said we must try, and it only operates after 10pm.

So, Ah Piaw Wantan Mee 亚标云吞面 it is...

Mind you, they're really doing serious business. They specialize in just wantan mee, but they operate in 2 shop lots as well as the open area outside the shops. All their tables were full.

We had 1 standard and 1 spicy noodles, and an extra bowl of wantan.

Nice or not nice? Well... I can only say it is subject to the taste of individual people. For the KL taste in me, this one wins Penang wantan mee by 10 streets, but still lose to KL version by a few miles. KL wantan mee FTW!

I also took some pictures of the Taiwanese snack stall that operates alongside Ah Piaw,

No I did not eat these, I just took photos, I swear!!

PS: Wantan = some sort of mini meat dumpling, mee = noodles, wantan mee = dumpling noodles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Straights Quay @ Penang

Straights Quay is a new seafront establishment in Penang island. Well, not exactly new, just much newer than places like Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall. It's part of a bigger development area called Bandar Tanjung Pinang.

I like Straights Quay as a place, during weekdays. There's not many visitors, there's a nice sea view, some nice boats to see, and a few nice places to sit down, have a drink, and relax. Perfect place to get away to when you are feeling frustrated/depressed/confused/any bad emotions.

While I like this place as a place, what I don't like, is the roads and the amount of traffic I have to weave through to get here. Even worse is the exact same amount of roads and traffic to weave through when heading back, which more or less rendered the relaxing session pointless... >.<

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Boring and Mechanical Game

What if I tell you that there is a game that requires you to put $1000 (or RM 3000) to open an account, and allows you to make around $60 in a week on average. That's 6% returns in a week, or more than 300% returns a year.

This percentage, I'm sure, would put all those fixed deposits/investment links/mutual funds to collective shame. And it would render all those salary increments obsolete.

Of course, it requires you to do spend a lot of time monitoring the charts and trends, come up with a set of formulas that you think works, open a demo account that is free of charge, do a lot of stress test to verify the formulas over a long period of time, and then only fork out that $1000 to open the real account, and stick to the formulas for as long as you are playing the game.

Rich Dad said: getting rich is a boring and mechanical process. Most people wants to get rich quickly, and likes to get involved in a lot of excitement.

The moment you feel confident of your so-called skills and try to play the game differently/raise the stakes, disaster strikes.

Your skills are actually the mechanical process that you spent so much time deriving. Once you forsake this process in favour of spontaneous decisions, you're screwed.

It all depends on whether you can endure the boredom if you want to play this game. If you can't, then this game is not for you.

This game, is called the FOREX TRADING.

FYI, I am still in the Demo Account Stress Testing stage. And I have been stuck at this stage for more than half a year. And I still have not have enough confidence to jump to the next step. So unfortunately, I'm still not really making that 6% a week returns.

Monday, October 24, 2011

3 Years

I can only say: time flies...

Without knowing it, the 3 years mark just passed. In other words, it is now the 4th year since I headed up north from home...

Sometimes, actually most of the time, I don't know how this 3 years passed by so quickly. I don't know what I did for myself thus far...

Some say, 3 years is a cycle in the employment industry in Penang. After 3 years, you leave for much much more money better opportunities. Apparently, this cycle is not applicable to me. In fact I just recently signed a 1-year bond with the company for sending me to the States to help out with my counterparts with some real work sponsoring me on a lavish US trip...

But when it comes to mindset, it does look like this 3 years adds up to a cycle...

First year:

I had my first job for 4 months, then quit and became jobless for 4 months, before I got this job. In more ways than one, I was considering myself to be a fresh grad making a fresh start. And 1 month into my new job, the economy downturn hit, the company announced a 35% drop in revenue and increment freeze; 2 months later a 10% pay cut.

These all made me appreciate the nearly last chance to jump on board. Trying to take on as much knowledge and skills as possible, I embarked upon a process of working late nights and working over the weekends and public holidays. I was constantly putting in at least 50% more effort than what I was paid for.

Second year:

For the first half of the year, I was fairly motivated. I got my first increment and promotion. Things were looking very good indeed...

And then my peers in the same company different division, and different companies around Bayan Lepas got their promotions one by one. This is when I begin to feel sort of short changed. You see, when everyone around you gets the big jump in salary that comes with the promotion, and you realized you did not get the same jump, naturally you will start to feel depressed.

I was beginning to question my worth to the company, and my commitment to the company. Is it worth giving that extra 50% or more, in return of getting the same % of increment as my team mates, maybe at most 1-2% more? And the promotion increase is pathetic compared to my peers! This is when the demotivation starts.

Third Year:

I witnessed some sort of a mass resignation within my division. And I witnessed the property price sky-rocketing RM80k - RM100k within the time span of 1 year. And I witnessed inflation going up by at least 15%.

The increments and the bonuses does not even cover these increases in costs. Instead of moving ahead, we are actually moving backward the longer we work.

And then there's news of people who jumped to a new company, and get a massive boost in salary. What the fuck is going on??!! Is seems that the employment system in Malaysia is rewarding the jumpers and not the loyalists!

And then there's some managers in the company who said of the jumpers: "These people ah, they don't know the company is very good to them, they are so greedy one."

What'd you expect, numb nuts? If the system rewards the jumpers, and with the cost of living racing ahead of normal increments, how can you expect no one to want to look for newer pastures?

I've spent the best part of this third year feeling depressed and demotivated about money and the system. Make no mistake, my manager is very good to me. I can feel that he tries to give me as much as he can. Just, there is only so much a lower level manager can do.

Fourth Year:

Just signed a fuckin' bond which will effectively tie me down for the year. Not sure how I'm gonna get through this year though. For the record, I still feel as demotivated as I have ever been...

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Our return flight from LA to Singapore was slightly different compared to last year. We're having the brand new A380 double decker plane!

Same transit airport, the Narita in Japan, nothing much to show here...


That... is the end of my US Trip 2011 =) ... Back to reality, again...

Monday, October 17, 2011

LA: Santa Monica

After a quick tour on Hollywood and Universal Studio, we were ready to head to our next planned destination, Disneyland.

Avis had other ideas though. They gave us a GPS unit that does not have the fuse on the charger. As a result, our GPS died as we were exiting the car park.

With no GPS, it was impossible for us to find a place 40 miles away from LA and feel confident of making it back. At times like this, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, which was: ditch the plan, head somewhere that is easy to go, and easy to head back to our hotel after that.

This means... Santa Monica!

One good thing about Santa Monica is that, there are multiple car parks that provide free parking for the first 2 hours and cheap rates after that. One such car park is located in a shopping area called Santa Monica Place, and this was where we parked our car at...

It was just 3pm when we arrived, still too early for the beach, so we headed in the other direction, towards a pedestrian section called the Third Street Promenade.

This place feels a bit like the 16th Street in Denver, only that it has more street performers.

I even got some videos, albeit not very clear ones... it is from a black guy that claims he is on America's Got Talent, and he specifically told us not to refer to him as A Black Guy in Santa Monica if we're to upload his videos into Youtube... duuhhhh...

He's kind of nuts though... and interesting...

We spent about 2 hours on the street watching the street shows and going into shops. At about 5pm, we made our way to Santa Monica Pier...

The crowds are crazy... Pier 39 San Francisco and Pleasure Beach Blackpool are no match for the sheer number of heads here...

The main reason we come to Santa Monica Pier is because it links to the beach...

What's there on the beach? Well... there's is a saying that goes "What happened in Vegas stays in Vegas"...

There's a new saying now that goes "What happened in Santa Monica Beach stays in Santa Monica Beach"...

Actually, there's nothing much happened here lah, we didn't bring any beach attire, and what we were wearing were not really suitable to hit the sands, so we just strolled along the pier watching the beach. Sorry to disappoint you all...

That was pretty much it... we had a very forgettable dinner, headed back to Avis, returned the car, went back to the hotel, and called it a day...