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2013 - What a crap year

I am glad the year is coming to an end although I know today is not a day where things get reset and start afresh - the crap will continue on in total disregard to this date - but at least, I have survived 365 days of crap.

A month ago, I was talking to a colleague about kids and I remarked on why people want to have kids. My remark gathered a lot of outrageous response such as "how can you say such things?", "they are so adorable", "they may tire you out but it is just physical, can't be that bad!". I believe they don't have a kid like Jane, who screamed (note I use the word scream, not cry) - who screamed 18 hours a day and can drive you insane. If there is any couple who are wondering if they should have kids, come spend a few days with me and I bet you they will start taking contraception really seriously.

In 2013, we had disharmony in the family - between me and my wife and between my wife and her mother - the root of which is a screaming 4 …

Retro

I love the look of this:
These key caps is called Round 4 Spherical (SPH) key caps and it mimic the retro look of old gen keyboards. 
Thanks to Bahija for making this a reality!

Karma and the link within generations

In Buddhism, we believe that the karma you bear is carried through generations. Karma can be bad and good. If you have a good karma, it can be carried to your sons and their sons - 7 generations, in fact. Similarly, bad karma affect future generations too. In Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, we believe that chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo can help you break the chain of bad karma in this lifetime ie you don't need to die and be reborn to get a better life/karma.

With this in mind, and I am not sure if you believe this, but this is what happened to my family.

As a child, I have OCD symptoms. I loved books and I hated it when the spine of my books were broken. So, when I read books and novels, I held them inches apart so as not to break the spine. When I saw books with many lines of broken spine, I cringed in pain. And this would be on my mind and disturbed me, sometimes I may lose sleep over it. And when I arranged my books, I had the tendency to arrange according to height. Or arranged a…

You think your company is cheap..

How's this?

Last year, my company decided to cut cost and remove coffee/tea for its staff. Instead, it installed a vending machine where one have to pay to get our daily caffeine. Then a year later, they increase the price of the coffee/tea, because, you know, sugar price hiked. Of course, we still get free flow of filtered water.. until last week, when the company announced that, in the guise of supporting a greener environment, that they are not giving us paper cups for the water anymore. Water is still there, you just have to bring your own mug.

Well, if you are a salesperson and have no fixed workstation and is mobile, where the heck will you store your mug?!

RIDICULOUS!

Stroke of bad luck...

Last year, at the end of 2012, my home PC motherboard finally burnt. I remember I was enjoying XCOM Enemy Unknown when it happened. I took leave to play the game but the PC kept on hanging. So, I had to buy a new motherboard.

Today, that new motherboard burnt! I cannot restart my PC? It didn't beep. It didn't go into POST. It just hang. Nothing on the display. The monitor was in power safe mode, meaning that it didn't get any signal.

What a sad panda day for me!

No PC means no gaming, not that I have a lot of time for gaming...

Oh well, maybe it is a sign........... I should save money. No year end Steam sales for me!

Poor Service

7 years to go to reach Vision 2020, Malaysia's goal to be a developed country and yet we see this today:

This morning I was in the Touch N Go office beside Damansara Toll to top up the Touch N Go card. There are two counters, one for cash and one for credit card. They sit beside each other.

A woman was in the credit card counter filing a complaint. She was filling up the form and talking to the person behind the counter. Behind the woman was a man, waiting to top up via credit card. I was behind the man. There was no one else.

The man and I waited for almost 10 minute. He asked the cash counter woman if he can top up at her counter. She said no.

And she continue to sit idly while 2 customers are waiting. And I am not sure why she didn't take over and handle the complaint. Or just top up for us, come on!

So we waited and waited.

Where is the customer first mentality!

Positive spin: well, the lady customer was pretty attractive to look at.
SIGH!

Great Day

Last Friday was one of the smoothest days I have ever encountered. By smooth, I meant that many things seemed to happen like a clockwork and I got many things done. I took the day off and so I decided to do a few things - meet up with ZipD and go see a dentist. But I have two things I need to do in addition - go back to the office in the morning to collect the Noppoo keyboard because I finally found a buyer.

So I sent my daughter to MIL house at 8am and the traffic from Persiaran Surian to BU was smooth. Typically it would be quite jam so I managed to reach the office by 8.20am. Grabbed my stuff and went to my mother's house in Kepong. I went for a nice pork noodle mee and then took a call with my boss from 10.30am-11.30am and rushed to Mid Valley to meet my friend ZipD. It's a Friday and many people tell me it is madness to go Mid Valley, especially during lunch time. There was some slight jam in Federal Highway and the moment I went into the parking, just at that moment of t…

The difficulty of being a parent

Yesterday night, Kat wanted to go downstairs to see his mother who was making milk for them. Jane accompanied her down and I said I wanted to make sure Kat is safe. She's 2.5 year old after all and going down our stairs can be dangerous. They both didn't like me coming along and whined about it but I insisted. Then Jane shouted at me to "go back into the room". That pissed me off! I told her straight that I am your father and you don't shout and order me around. If anything, YOU should be going back to the room and I stormed downstairs.

I don't know where she learned this from. It's obviously not from me nor my wife. We don't order them to bed or to the room. As I sounded my frustration to my wife over such a incredulous tantrum, she said that she obviously learned it from somewhere (school or TV or something) and that she doesn't know whether it is wrong or right and it is our job as parents to educate her that shouting and ordering father back …

Disastrous Day

I took Friday off. My father want to visit a very sick uncle in Brunei. This uncle is his brother in law. He's a great person and my father put a lot of priorities on families, so he wanted me to go with him. We booked a flight in Air Asia. Supposed to fly off at 1.45pm. As we drive to the airport at around 11.30am (I know it is a a bit tight but I had a teleconference at work and have to stay on.. but I figured 3 hours.. why not) - I notice that my car started to heat up. The temperature is rising as we drive in Elite Highway. It got so high that we stopped in the nearest R&R and pour water into the engine to cool it down. More wasted time. Then we reached the airport at 1pm and they refused to let us in! Said that we are too late. We appealed to no avail.

So we changed our ticket to the following morning - 6am flight and drove back home. Along the way, it started to pour and we had to stop our car, sit in the rain while the engine cooled. As we reached Damansara around 4pm…

Happiness In This World

This morning as I drove Kat to MIL house, she was pretty talkative this morning and at the same time, I wanted some quiet time to myself to think. I entertained her queries - nodding and saying a few words in response. In that moment, though, an important thought struck me. I love Kat a lot but the feeling of love doesn't overwhelm me everyday, definitely not during that drive as I wanted to think. At certain moments, I feel a surge of love for her. At other moments I have no particular feelings - just neutral and doing my duty as a father. Love is not a continuous flow of feelings. It is not like electricity or water flowing on a river. When you turn an electric lamp on, it shines forever until you switch it off. The electric current continues to flow through the lamp and doesn't stop until you flip the switch. Love doesn't work that way. Similarly, happiness doesn't work that way.

So, why is it that many religions promise eternal happiness? Is this even achievable? …

State of Society

This morning, in the car park, one driver a few cars in front of me was getting really impatient and started honking in rhythm – honk honk honkkkkkkkk, pause, honk honk honkkkkkkkkk, pause and so on – it went on for almost a minute. I could imagine a driver sitting on his/her seat, cursing and hitting the horn in anger and I think to myself, what sane person would do such thing? What would have driven him to behave that way. I get pissed at times too but I don’t displayed it outright or in such a manner. It really showed how impatient fellow Malaysians are these days with all these traffic and rush hours. I am sure he started early (did he?) but probably got stuck in a unexpected traffic and as such he is in such a hurry. Is this society going to get worse? It seemed that it is. Why is it that people are behaving this way?
In last month’s study meeting, we learned that the main reason for this is because people, in general, lack a philosophy in life. Their current philosophy lies aro…

Tweetbot 3 vs Twitterrific 5

This morning marked the release of the highly anticipated Tweetbot 3 for iOS 7. Tweetbot made a name for themselves a couple of years ago when they released one of the best 3rd party Twitter client in the App Store. Their design were outstanding and one of a kind, enabling them to surpass all other Twitter clients. Tweetbot was so good, I paid $2.99 for the iPhone client and also $4.99 for the iPad client. I just can't bear the default Twitter client that Twitter provided for free.

I used Tweetbot for months but when Twitteriffic 5 was released this year, I switched. I switch because Twitterrific introduced a brand new UI which was way radical than anything I have seen. It was smooth, minimalistic, playful via tasteful colour, beautiful. And for $2.99, it was a Universal app, meaning it runs for both iPhone and iPad. And this was months before iOS 7 was announced. Twitterrific set a new bar, they already envisioned the minimalistic approach of iOS 7 and at one point, it already …

Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

I saw this tweet by @SciencePorn today:
According to a study, these are the top 5 regrets of the dying(Just before death) pic.twitter.com/MsyIlCbyOE


I have been thinking about these 5 top regrets this morning. I am not sure if these are the answers I will give in my death bed. I can agree with "I wish I hadn't worked so hard." I am trying not to work as hard these days and I understand that every employee is dispensable. The company won't die because you didn't logon to your emails at night.
But I am not sure of the "I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself" -  what is a life true to myself? If there were no restrictions and no one expects anything of me, what is the life I will live? Stay at home and play PC games all day? That is not exactly what I wanted. I had being single for a big part of my adulthood, so I do have all the time and I while it away on PC games, comics, novels, drinking teh tarik with friends talking nonsense, watching …

Bad Traffic

Today I have a meeting in KL. I dreaded the jam and sure enough, there was an unusual traffic just right after the toll at the Mont Kiara end of NKVE. It's quite bad and I cursed at the traffic and the bad quality of life in Malaysia.

Then, I remembered my positive spin... how can I see a positive side to traffic jams? The reason we have such bad jams is because of the progress the country have made. We may cursed at the corruption of our political leaders but it is also them that put Malaysia in the world map and the progress that we have today - everyone have the ability and wealth to own a car.

If it is not because of progress, I would still be a clerk. Considering my background where my father is a auto spare parts supervisor. But today, my life is vastly different from how I grew up. In my other posts, I said that I grew up in KL but my baby sitter home did not have water pipe and we have to pump water out of a well. Well! That's ancient.. and it was just maybe 35 years a…

Positive Angle

I am going to create a new tag. This tag will be called Positive Angle. The intention is to always find a positive aspect of a dire and negative circumstances that you are in. The glass is always half empty right?

This morning, Jane started crying again for no reasons and was very demanding. Her OCD was out in full force. Her stockings were not aligned and she was upset. So we reflected how come she was ok for the past 3 weeks but her tantrums returned. We think the reason was that Anne was quite moody in the past two days due to exhaustion. I have observed that Jane is very sensitive to how her mother feels and she reacted accordingly. The reason she was fine last 3 weeks was that these were times when Anne just started working part time and have no stress at work. So her disposition was very positive. And we guess Jane picked up that positive vibes.

As we talked, we agreed that Jane's hypersensitivity ensured that we needed to have a positive mindset. We need to have a high life…

The implication of free OS X Mavericks and iWork

For Sale: Noppoo Choc Mini Mechanical Keyboard with MX Black switch

I think it's obvious I love mechanical keyboard. Aside from my blog entries here on mechanical keyboards, you would have notice that I have been blogging more. It's just such a pleasure to type these days that inspiration to blog comes flowing in.

I have 5 keyboards now: Razer BlackWindow Ultimate, Matias Quiet Pro, Noppoo Choc Mini, CODE Keyboard and the latest addition: Poker 2. I only have 2 hands and 2 PCs (one at work and one at home), so at any one time I am just using 2 keyboards. 5 is just too many and too mental.

As such, I am selling the Noppoo Choc Mini. This keyboard is a 75% size keyboard, very compact, very quiet because of the linear Black switch and very good build. It has POM key caps, one of the better keycaps around.

I shipped out of Malaysia - if you are interested, please drop me a comment below with your email and I will be in touch!


Page View

Wow, I didn't expect to see 130,000 page views in my blog! Welcome!!!

On the right shows all the popular posts. These are probably hits from people doing a search in Google and stumble upon my blog.

I need to write more relevant stuff instead of just random rambling!


Cane or Dialogue

Starting October, my wife will start working half time, only in the morning and will leave the office at 12pm. She will take care of Jane in the afternoon. One of the main reasons for this arrangement is that we have decided that we will look after Jane ourselves to relief my mother in law. Also, as my MIL said it, her old method of child rearing is very different from our modern times - not just different but also conflicting - that she felt that she's not able to take care of Jane effectively. 
The surprising thing is, over the past 3 weeks, Jane was very well behaved. The first week was rocky. Lots of crying and screaming, which was usual for us, but my wife was adamant and would not give in to her requests. Jane would test her limits.. but after a few days, she knew her mother is not to be fooled with and in a surprising 180 degree turn, she became very well behaved and accommodating.
At one point, I have always wondered if raising and discipling a kid via dialogue would be mo…

Fly Malindo Air Eat Original Kayu

Interesting!

Don't Ask

Sigh....

(Broke!)


PWTC

Today I took Jane to One Utama. We parked in One World Hotel and walked through the lobby to the mall. As I see her walked, I thought of how, years ago, PWTC - yes, that World Trade building - and The Mall (Yaohan, it was then call) was the only grand thing that happened to KL. And that PWTC has the nicest toilets - it's funny because during that time, all public toilets in Sungei Wang and Lot 10 and even Kota Raya is chargable and free toilet was unheard of!

But now, with all these other new convention centers mushrooming here and there, PWTC has become really dated. When was the last time I went there? I don't think I even remember it!

Old men has no friends

So I grew up wondering why my father doesn't have good friends that he hang out with, unlike me who went to mamak with friends and we have so much variety of topics to discuss.

Now that I am a father of two, I begin to see the real reason my father did not go out. I am not going out as often as I would have liked. The combination of work and taking care of the house chores and two very active kids can really drain any mood that you have to go out and mamak. You just want to lie down and close your eyes for just one moment.

But, fortunately, I have technology with me, which my father unfortunately did not have during his younger times. Sure, he has access to telephones, but real men don't talk to each other on phone for long. We meet up for drinks. But with technology like Facebook, Twitter, iMessage and Whatsapp, real men can now communicate via text messages, not girly phone calls.

While my friends and I don't meet up, we still manage to keep in touch via these technology…

Liberation

The maid has gone home. Back to sweeping, mopping and doing laundry. Tiring. But it is really liberating. It's like one less person to think about, for instance, when we were out for music class and felt full since breakfast, we don't have to stop and tar pau for the maid.

RIP Ah Mmm

This morning, I received a sad news from my sister. My nanny, baby sitter, guardian of many years have passed away today. I called her "Ah Mmm", which is Hokkien for Auntie. She took care of me when I was 5 year old until I turned 14 or 15 years old as both my parents are working parents. She took care of my two younger sisters too.

I have very good memories of the time I spent in Ah Mmm's house. When I was first sent to her, she lived in a kampong - the actual site is where PWTC and The Mall is now. At that time, her house was on stilts because that was a flood prone area. And there was no water - we drew water from a well. Yes, Mr Ringgit, KL boy, has experienced a  village life, living out of well. Can't imagine huh? So I lived with her for about two years when she finally moved to Kolam Air, near Jalan Ipoh now. This house, which she still lived in today, was where I spent most of my childhood.

I remember asking Ah Mmm for 20 sen every evening so I could go to a …

WASD Code Keyboard Review

The CODE Keyboard by WASD Keyboards arrived yesterday! Shipping through USPS took about a week. Not too bad for a normal postal service. The package is pretty normal. Just your normal box within a box. The CODE box is white, with the branding on the box. Even the white box is made of normal recycle paper. Pretty normal stuff. Minimalist. I like it.
The keyboard is protected by a flimsy plastic. No bubble wrapper. Could be an issue if the handling by the courier was rough. But they do have those pink styrofoam stuff to protect.

Unlike the Matias, there was no 'fragile, handle with care' sticker. Maybe those will increase shipping cost?






Underneath the cover though, is one of the most beautiful keyboards I have laid my eyes on. It is pretty heavy, perhaps one of the heavist keyboard I owned, which explained the US$50 shipping cost. The heft gave it a high quality feel. 

This is the BMW of keyboard. Unwrapping the plastic, I finally laid my eyes on it and, wow, it is a beauty. Each of…