Archive for the ‘That’s life!’ Category

Near death experience

November 13, 2008 Leave a comment

I was almost knocked down by a car last night, while I was cycling home.  The car was turning into a side lane on my left, and didn’t slow down to watch for incoming traffic.  As it was raining, and I was on a down slope, my attempts to brake hard was futile.  I was watching the car in alarm as I saw it hurtling on to my right side.  I was thinking that it was going to hit me.  Thank God that the driver slammed on her brakes.  I was 20 centimeters from being crushed by the car.

All I could do when it seems as if we were going to connect, was to croak “Hey hey hey!”.  My life did not even flash across my eyes.

Categories: That's life!

Key to a good session of music listening

January 21, 2008 4 comments

How I wished that someone could have told me that the key to a good session of music listening is a pair of good headphones.  It’s funny that my dad who is a fan of classical music for years couldn’t have told me that.  He tried to invest in a good sound system within his means.  A pair of good speakers, matched with an amplifier and CD player, but it’s no match to a good pair of sound isolating headphones.

So save your efforts and money in trying to create a sound room with expensive setups.  Jump straight into a good pair of sound isolating headphones.  A pair of headphones is going to cost just a fraction of the money that you’re going to spend if you embark on that journey to setup a good sound system.  Anyone who has been to a sound equipment shop will know what I mean…

With that headphones, you’ll be able to tell the difference between a good and badly produced songs/music, be it from the quality of the encoded MP3 to the quality of the hardware used to reproduce the song/music.

Now I’m embarking on a journey to re-encode my CDs into MP3 with a 256 bit rate.

Moving on to a new job

July 3, 2007 3 comments

Yeah, I have moved on to a new job. The previous one is put on hold, until things are more confirmed. It wasn’t moving in some ways, so we decided to get on with new jobs now. Hopefully we’ll be able to pursue our ideals at a later phase in our lives.

So it has been 2 days since I started at the new company. It has been so busy that I haven’t had time to set up my office computer, access emails and Internet, nor write anything. It has been meeting clients and attending internal meetings for whole days, gearing me up to speed. But being busy is good. I need to get used to it after months of working from home.

Now, I am handling the research and product development. We’re building up the infrastructure for mobile payment. I wouldn’t want to go into details, it’s not the right time for that. But I would say it’s a real interesting idea with good business model.

I hope I’ll have more success to show for. 🙂


I’m looking for people who can do Java programming, involving product development.  Anyone interested in working with me again? 🙂

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

Today’s rich kids

May 10, 2007 2 comments

This is what I saw today at a MacDonald’s during lunch time.

A teenage boy made an order at the counter.  As he was leaving with his order, he dropped his change of 3 10-cents coins.  Being aware of his dropping the coins, he kicked them closer to the wall of the counter, and walked away.  He didn’t bother to pick up his change.  The 30-cents was nothing to him.

It just shows how some kids do not appreciate the value of money, nor how hard their parents have to work to earn the money.  It also shows how some parents are not educating their kids the right things in life.  Maybe one day he will learn the hard way.

So what happened to the 30-cents?  I picked them up after my meal, and put them into the Ronald MacDonald’s Children Charity box.  There are some kids who can benefit from them.

The curse of software programming

May 10, 2007 Leave a comment

This is what I think is the worst curse in software programming.

When you feel that you are close to solving a programming issue, or cruising along towards the solution, you are unable to or find it difficult to pause work and call it a day.

I miss the days when I could just continue working until I solve the issues, or until I’m too tired to think. Married, or with kids will know that obligations to the family calls for a “clock-out” from work for a balanced life.

I don’t advocate overtime or over-worked. But I do miss the satisfactions and triumphs over finishing a piece of work on a single track.

That’s why this is a curse. Torn between the urge to continue over a piece of work and the need to balance your life.

I stopped Ebaying

January 29, 2007 2 comments

As the days passed, I started feeling uncomfortable in using EBay.

As I sieved through items after items, the fatigue started to let logic seep in.

My logic went something like this…

Ok, another mineral specimen description with “WOW!”, “Huge!”, “Mint Condition”, “Perfect and flawless”, “AAA==+++++”.  Whatever that AAA to the power of N meant…  with 2-D pictures of the item, I couldn’t really say that it’s perfect and flawless without closer scrutiny.

What the hell am I doing bidding in an auction with a bunch of funny-id people.  It was starting to be uncomfortable participating in something with faceless people, and not having a clue of what type of people they are, and clueless on what was their possible maximum bid.  Could the other participants be real?  Even though the item was listed as “No Reserve”, but are there seller-appointed bogus bidders pushing the bidding prices up?  I think so.  Some of the items didn’t look good, but there’s always someone pushing the bids up.

I know EBay tries very hard to build an auction site that’s as real as it can be, but I just can’t help having that nagging feeling that some of the auctions are rigged.

I know that there are lots of genuine sellers and buyers, and their experiences were pleasant.  I hope one day I can get to experience the same.

Maybe I’m feeling this way because there were some items that I really liked then, but were outbidded outrageously in the last 3 seconds.  As I continued to watch without participating, I noticed that pattern in most of the auctions.

Hopefully my opinions will change in a few weeks’ time, when I receive a cheap specimen that I won.  I hope it looks as good as in the pictures.

But for now, I’ve had enough of EBay.  There’s just a joy to be able to window shop and touch a real thing before deciding to buy.

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

I just discovered EBay

January 23, 2007 2 comments

EBay has been around for a very long time.  I remembered the first time it was launched.  It was during the time of Internet boom in the late 1990s.

But I just discovered EBay.

It was my interest in mineral specimens that made me venture into EBay.  My new office building is located at a place where the Chinese practises their superstition in prosperity, good health,  and smooth business.  Hence there are quite a number of shops selling crystals as the Chinese associate crystals with the energy that can bring such that they seek.

My interest has always been in those natural formations, which are hard to find in Singapore.  There were some specimens in the shops, but most did not catch my eye.  For those that did, they cost exorbitantly.  I did find one, but that’s another story.

I decided to do a search on the Internet to figure out what are the market rates going for the various kinds of minerals, and stumbled on EBay.  Quite a number of the specimens were put up for auction, and the starting bidding prices were usually US$ 0.99.

Intriguted, and naive, I thought I could bid and win a huge sized mineral specimen for US$ 1.  So I participated in bidding for a specimen, and 2, and more.

What made me hooked on was how others were bidding for the item.  Initially, I was comfortable with bidding with a maximum price set with a lot of time left for the auction of the item.  But that pushed the price up as others decided to join in.  Eventually, the price was beyond me.

There were also those that waited by the sidelines and watched the bidding until the last moment, when they submitted their bids just 3 seconds before the closing of the auction, and win the auction by a dollar margin.  With that, the price is usually what they can afford, and the pushing up of the prices by other bidders is minimized.   Although the risk of losing the auction is present, but I believe the winning chances are higher.

I find the last few seconds to the auction to be exciting and exhilarating to watch, even if you are not participating.  Just seeing someone popping in with a last bid to win the auction by a margin, and knowing there’s someone howling over the loss and someone gloating over the win, well, it makes a good story. 🙂

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

A reason why you shouldn’t leave your handphone in your pants

January 18, 2007 6 comments

A California man had his pants caught fire after his mobile phone burst into fire.  He sustained burns over half of his body after his polyester pants, nylon shirt and windbreaker caught fire.  Apparantly the phone malfunctioned after the phone buttons were pressed on too long.

Thank God he’s recovering!

So try not to leave your phone in your pants while wearing tight clothes.

Read the full article from

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

Shingle bells, shingle bells

December 4, 2006 1 comment

I am jobless, and searching the next path. My wife just contacted shingles. So there’s the testy tension in the air. We quarrelled big time last Friday. My apologies for missing the chillout session. It is not a good idea to mix alchohol with bad moods.

I hope you can understand why we cancelled at the last minute. My sincere apologies.

You can read more about shingles here and here. I pray that my wife doesn’t end up with post-herpetic neuralgia. That’s all I want for Christmas.

Categories: That's life!

We’re all winners!

October 12, 2006 1 comment

Yes, we are all winners!

Not over Toto, not over each other, but over millions of sperms!

My friend PK gave me this enlightenment. Motivation thinking by knowing that out of millions of sperm, we are the result of that single sperm that won the enduring race against the other millions sperm to fertilize that one egg. That’s when we are winners.

So each of us is that wiggling winner. 😀

Categories: Chatter, That's life!