Friday, September 29, 2006

Panasonic

For months I have been looking for a good land-line phone so that I could take teleconference from home. I wanted to look for a phone with good voice clarity, ability to mute and to have speaker-phone capability. I have failed to find any - not that I really tried.

Anyway, I have decided to stop looking. My handphone has all these capabilities already. And with maxis' 132 option to dial USA for just 20 sen a minute, why would I bother with a land line.

Yay me!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why Some People Have All The Luck

Why Some People Have All The Luck
By Professor Richard Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve?
A psychologist says he has discovered the answer.

Ten years ago, I set out to examine luck. I wanted to know why some people are always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune. I placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and over the years, I have interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them take part in experiments.

The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behavior are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.

I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities. I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. I had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying: "Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50."

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.

As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs.

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. My research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles.

They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

Towards the end of the work, I wondered whether these principles could be used to create good luck. I asked a group of volunteers to spend a month carrying out exercises designed to help them think and behave like a lucky person.

Dramatic results! These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities, listen to their intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad luck.

One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened. The results were dramatic:

80% of people were now happier, more satisfied with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky.

Finally, I had found the elusive "luck factor".

Here are Professor Wiseman's four top tips for becoming lucky:
1) Listen to your gut instincts - they are normally right
2) Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine
3) Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well
4) Visualize yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone call.

Have a Lucky day and work for it.


Thanks, Bahija, for sharing!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ramadan

Today is the first day of Ramadan, where Muslims all over the world fast for a month - to remind them of the hunger and loneliness that a huge number of people have to go through everyday. It was 2 years ago, around this day, that AR, Bahija, Miss Peace and me went for a tour to Egypt. Time really flies. I have not been out for a overseas holiday since. Looking at the state of financial commitment I am having now, it will be a few more years before I go for another hols. I am glad that I made that trip to Egypt back in 2004. Very memorable and enjoyable trip.

So much has changed since them. AR migrated. Bahija found happiness and nourishment to her soul by adopting the Christian faith. Ringgit has a new and happy life with Anne. Miss Peace owns two beautiful Golden Retrievals.

Everyone progressed to the better. Let's not forget the less fortunate and take this opportunity to reflect and be grateful for what we have :)

Remember, complaints erase good fortune. Grateful prayers build happiness for eternity..

Yet Another Team Lunch Saga

I know we are all sick of hearing this. And I am sick of talking about it. Yet I could not resist. I didn't realize that it was already 3 months since I took the team out to the Japanese buffet restaurant in 1 Utama. Time flies!

So, this quarter, I decided to try to keep the budget in control. Hey, I am not paid enough to keep on sponsoring for other people! I have a house and life to sustain, you know. Anyway, so I decided to take the team to a Nyonya restaurant in 1 Utama.

All was well.. nobody was complaining, except this one lady. Let's called her Seller, as she came from the sales background and loves to tell people she's a seller. Seller has problem with her boss. Often, she would talked to me over dinner and asked for advice. I usually gave her very good advice - so she feels that she could trust and be close to me.

When she heard that lunch was at the Nyonya restaurant, she wasn't thrilled. She started telling me that on that same day, the business consulting group is going to this posh Italian restaurant for team lunch and our team is going to Nyonya restaurant. I didn't respond to that as I do not know what to say at that point. In my heart, I am thinking, hey, the business consulting group manager is probably loaded. He/she is probably on sales plan and earn 2 or 3 times more than I do. And he/she was a managers for years - I am only 3 mths in the job (thus explains the poverty).

So I ignored her remark. When lunch was about to start, someone bought a cake from Secret Recipe. This cake was to celebrate someone else's birthday (cost of cake.. rm60.. come out of own pocket, cannot claim, btw). Miss Seller saw the cake and whispered to me, "He he he.. why buy cake? Don't want to allow people to order dessert? Why so "kuu horn" (stingy)?"

That's it. I turned to her and I said, "Seller, sometimes, it is best to be grateful when someone buy you lunch and not start comparing nor criticizing."

She defended herself by saying that "it's just a joke".

"I don't think so, because this is not the first time you brought this subject up. I think you stated this more than 5 times. A joke is only funny once", I retorted.

I am not sure how she reacted after this because she kept on saying that it is a joke and that I should not get offended. I ignored her totally.

I am so pissed at people like this.

They think they deserved it. Hey, if you think the company is not doing enought, go complain to the CEO. Go talk to HR and said that RM25 per person for the lunch is pathethic. Don't expect the poor working manager to fork out extra out of his own pocket. I have 15 staff. Even if I were to fork out RM15 more PER PERSON, that's RM225. That is a lot of money ok! I have to think twice buying a RM119 Apple keyboard for my own enjoyment. What makes you think I wanna spend RM225 every quarter?

Actually, it's not just RM225. There's the monthly cake thingy (RM60). There's events like the recent Club dinner which I have to fork out RM100 to sponsor my staff to go because the these very people refuse to pay rm50 themselves to go for the Club dinner.

Unlike the business consulting group managers who are on sales plan, when their staff worked hard (after the Italian restaurant lunch - as if!), his salary multiplies (note the term multiply.. his salary may doubled!). If my staff worked hard, the most I would get is maybe a few percentage more in my performance bonus. Of course I am not able to afford to take them out to Italian restaurant.

It's not even an apple to apple comparison.

I have to learn not to be affected by comments like this.

As long as I have done my best to my affordability and I could answer to myself, I think I should not be affected by people like Seller.

The funny thing is, this is the very same people who will not even buy you a rm1 ice cream!

Monday, September 18, 2006

2407WFP

The Dell 24" Flat Panel Display arrived today.

No dead pixel...

yet...

I am happy...

What a awesome display!

YUMMY!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

BU12 Part Deux

This afternoon, I arranged with the agent for another viewing of the house I bought. My mother, sister and Anne's parents have not seen it. The general consensus of everyone after viewing the house is that it is all THUMBS UP! Mom was very excited about it. She thought it'd be a very run down place (for the price) but after she has seen it, she felt much better. It is new and clean, is all she said the whole afternoon. All of them like the "pinkist" tile that the owner did upstairs. I didn't really like that very much but they all agreed that it is nice and it would be a shame (and expensive) to tear it down. So all of them have some idea or two of what needed to be done to the house.. I am glad that everybody's happy.

When I think about it, most of my house buying has some areas that we are not completely satisfied with. You see, I'm not rich. Because of the limited amount of finance I could afford, there are not many places I could see. Unless I wanted a far away places like in Bukit Rimau or Bandar Botanic (hehehe, no hard feelings, Bahija), my choices are limited.

Eg, the apartment I bought did not turn out to be the dream place that the brochure painted in my mind, thus I have to sell it off. Our current houses in Menjalara is small, though we have a huge driveway - and it is also near an oxidation pond. So, yeah.. people who are limited by finances have very limited choice in the type of houses/location they could buy.

The BU12, however, is really like a HUGE windfall. The house is big, the location is good, the price is right. Almost everyone who saw it agrees that it is a good buy. Such unanimous opinion is almost not existence with my choice of houses. So, I am basking in the glory of finally making the right decision, this time.

Thank you, Lord! :D

Apple Pro Keyboard

The Apple keyboard is really nice to type. Very responsive. There's a very good feel about it. Makes me wanna type more and more blog just to feel the thing. Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a keyboard. The only thing that is missing is the PrintScreen button because it is relabelled as F14. I used a small little program called SharpKeys from RandyRants.com to change the Windows Registry to map F14 to PrintScreen. Simple and elegant.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Complaints erase good fortune...

"Complaints erase good fortune, grateful prayers build happiness for eternity"

These are words that Anne have drilled into me for many months. After dating her for around one and a half years, I must admit that there are some truth to this statement. Most of my friends would probably attest to the fact that I complained less and less these days. And you know what, I do find that a lot of things in my life has improved - relationship with colleagues, managers, friends, families and even "acquaintances". A lot of things go very smoothly when the "people" relationship improves.

So, people.. don't complain. You will find that life will be much better than before..

And if you could truly say grateful prayers.. and I mean truly grateful.. you will find happiness. I still have not achieve this level yet.. LOL. Anne said that sometimes when she pray, she will be so grateful for whatever it was she's grateful at that tears fall down her face.. Hmmmm... She said, for example, that she doesn't complained "why her parents didn't give her this or that" but instead chanted grateful prayers that "her parents are alive and healthy".. that is why she's always happy and never complained.

We all should emulate her :)

Dell 2407WFP - 24" of goodness

I have ordered a Dell 24" Wide Screen flat panel display. Hopefully there won't be any dead pixels like what I had experienced previously.

Wish me luck..

Because 24" is really huge, I don't think I need to use my ol' faithful Sony 17" monitor. Since I still have a Pentium 3 collecting dust beneath my table, I plan to recycle the P3 with the Sony monitor. I am thinking of getting a wireless PCI card to install it onto the P3. I could then put the P3 upstairs so that the family could also use it. My sis and father could be able to use the Net during the weekends when I am hogging the PC.

So, all I need is a mouse and keyboard..

And this morning, I bought an Apple Pro keyboard. Amazing little thing.. very nice to type (dare I say that it feel even better than a ThinkPad keyboard?) - well it does.. there are two USB port behind the keyboard and I could charge my iPod. This is *totally* cool :)

The keyboard has a volume up, down and mute key just above the numeric keypad.. which is pretty cool.

I just can't wait for the Dell to arrive to transform my whole desktop :D

Oh.. on more thing - you might be curious why I am suddenly so, um, generous to myself? Well, I had a nice windfall.. I received an award - heh.. while it should really go into the new house, I decided to reward myself with a 24" monitor and Apple keyboard. I will worry about the house later. I figure that once the house thingy start coming in, I will not be buying things for myself for a long, long time.. so I had better do it now.

iTunes 7 is out!!

... and it is damn, damn cool:
1. auto download album art from iTMS for songs that you do not have album art

2. ability to browse your song as though you are flipping through CDs.. really nice..


3. new interface when I plug in iPod.. very cool

4. ability to burn mp3 CD from playlist (previously, you can only burn music cd) .. now I can burn all the songs in my fav playlist to Anne. Last time, I had to locate individual files from my hdd to copy to her.

Go download it..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bought!

I finally bought a place in Bandar Utama for rm415K .. yay!

I am happy. That is a very good price.

The owner is an Indian lady doctor. She stays in Damansara Heights so she must be loaded. Anyway, her daughters are furthering their studies in the USA and they needed the cash which was why they wanted to sell the house. I have done some homework prior to putting down the money. Have spoken to 3 neighbours and asked them if there are any problem with the house.. you know, like those "dirty" stuff... they said that the house has always been tenanted and they have not heard of any dirty stuff.. I guess that's good enough for me. My immediate neighbour validated the "daughters studying overseas" story. She said that the owner told her about this and asked her to help sell.. at that time, they were asking for almost rm500k but no buyer.. and they get desperate.. so.. I am very lucky!

Now I have to find money and banks to help me finance the house.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Some people have all the luck

My colleague is quitting. Her husband, who is working with an international bank, managed to get an assignment to London, United Kingdom, for a minimum of 2 years. My colleague is following her husband to UK. They planned to go there in Nov/Dec.

This evening, I heard that my colleague went for a phone interview with my company's UK branch and was offerred a regular job! In one interview! She was jumping with joy. This colleague is a high performer. It's no surprise that she is able to secure a job. I am happy for her!

The strange thing is that just this morning, I interviewed and offerred a job to a Peruvian through the phone and I could also hear the joy of happiness over the phone cables.

I am happy that I could make someone jumped with joy, thousands of miles away. I probably made his day.. and probably changed one chapter in his life.

Now, if only I have such luck...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Register

Yesterday, during breakfast, my mother nonchalantly declared that it was good of me to start looking for a house because I could also start planning for my marriage. I grunted indifferently. She then pressed on and asked me when I am getting married. I said next year is a good year, I guess. She was quite insistent because the third time, she suggested out loudly, why not register first? I was surprised at that statement. My sister was sniggering in the breakfast table.

I looked at her and she burst out saying that my mother and her went to visit Twar Ee (eldest aunt) recently and Twar Ee is trying to influence my mother to get me hooked asap. She said, don't wait for him to decide, if need be, you call Anne's mother directly.

"Wah lau!", I exclaimed, "So desperate meh?"

"With your temper, I scared Anne run away from you," she defended. "Since we are at this topic, I find that she's a really nice girl. She respect old people, she's soft spoken and not opinionated. You should hold on to her."

"Okayyy.."

"And you are turning 35 soon... and she's also not young. You must be fair to people's daughter.."

"Okayyy..," even though I am just 33 and she's just 28... I think my mother IS desperate.

"And you don't want to have white hair only to see that your son/daughter is just 10 year old.. so don't sit on this!"

Wow.

I don't know what to say to that :P

Sold

Last Saturday, I was supposed to make deposit payment for the house in BU12 at 3.30pm. At 11am, the agent called me to tell me that the house was sold. It was sold for RM455K, RM10K more than my offer. Sigh... Perhaps this house is not meant for me.

What are the advantages of CarPlay over traditional Bluetooth?

Readers of this blog knows that I am a die-hard Apple fan - so much so as even appearing cultist and fanboism. They also know that the reaso...