Archive for the ‘That’s life!’ Category

A word of advise for success

September 27, 2006 1 comment

As some would have known, I’m at a cross road in my life.  In a few months’ time, I’ll be moving on, for the better or worse, I wouldn’t know yet.

Someone asked me for some advise.  I said, “Work hard.”.

He said, “Wouldn’t Work Smart be better?”.

True, I agree.  Only if anyone knew how to work smart.  If I do not know how to work smart, that wouldn’t be very helpful, I argued.  If I do not know  how to work smart, that wouldn’t make much sense and would left me wondering.  If I never figured out, then I would spend a lot of time wondering and left out on working hard.  But if I did figure out how to work smart, that’s definitely good advise.

If anyone work in a thinking way, then working hard is definitely the way to working smart.  I would be thinking, “Wow, this is hard work!  Isn’t there a better way to do this?”.  Figure out a better way to do that, and I have figured out how to work smarter.

If anyone doesn’t work in a thinking way, well then working hard is definitely the way to survival and success.

There are rare cases of accidental successes in this world.  Most successes come from people who are trying to solve problems, who are trying to find a better way to do things.  A smarter way of doing things.  So if you are gunning for success, then work hard.  If you find yourself working too hard, then it’s time to find a smarter way to work.  If you do find one, then there are probably many others in need of the smarter way.

Categories: Filosophical, That's life!

Military coup in Bangkok

September 20, 2006 Leave a comment

Today marks the day when the official news of a bloodless military coup being staged in Bangkok broke, while Thailand’s PM Thaksin was out of the country on political business.

What amazed me was that the military declared today as a public holiday and most people are going to abide by it. Banks, businesses and schools are closed. Just like that. I guess as a working person, tired of the daily grind of a working life, this most unexpected holiday is welcoming indeed.

I have a colleague now stranded in Bangkok. I called him up to check out his situation. He sounded quite excited. His usual cable stations’ signal has been cut. He can’t watch his Star Movies channel, and finally got his news when he finally located the Channel News Asia channel. I advised him to stay put in his apartment until the situation is clearer, but he had plans to visit one of those tanks on the streets because he had never seen one before.

So there’s a Singaporean who is fearless because he had never been exposed to violence? I hope he comes back in one piece.

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

Due diligence in choosing your office location

September 19, 2006 Leave a comment

Today our office building’s old freaky lift broke down again. As far as I know, it is the 4th time in 9 months. To motivate everyone, I termed it Singapore Exercise Day (SED). So it’s SED today. We, IT engineers find this day a necessary day, as we need to exercise the legs and butt that has sat on a chair for too long. If you think that 12 flights of stairs is daunting, then it’s SED time.

But as masters of logic, events must be timely and predictive. If it’s SED today, we must be able to know that it is SED today. So that you as a human, has the ultimate choice to participate in a SED event, or decide to avoid the SED event by staying in bed.

Therefore, due diligence in finding out if the building has any quirks is required while you are sourcing for a location to situate your office. Check out if,

1. The aircon is fine. Not too cold, not too hot, and thermostat is working.

2. Air circulation is good.

3. Water systems (pipes and washrooms) are in good condition. No leaks.

4. Lift is in excellent working condition.

And so on. I suggest that each building submit an annual health report to the authorities, so that potential tenants can get a health report before deciding to sign on a contract that binds them for 2 years or more.

Lastly, the building that’s giving us so much SED time is 110, Robinson Road, Four Seasons Bank Building, managed by OCBC Properties. I hope this report helps you, as a seeker of office space, to decide on whether to base your office in our eventful building.

Categories: Singapore, That's life!

My new bike

September 10, 2006 Leave a comment

I got a new bike. I got it about 3 weeks back through the Internet. This Kevin chap was able to deliver it right to my doorstep, and the price was quite reasonable. So I took the risk.

This time, I decided to get a black bike. It has to be as discrete and unappealing as possible. If it could escape human radar, I would get it.

So Kevin did deliver it. He said that he took the liberty to spray some red on it so that it won’t look so plain. He matched it with silver for the front legs. Ok, someone with initiative. I don’t want to fault him for that. I always believe someone with initiative is a person with some talents and pride in his work. Until I stripped off the thick paper wrapping when Kevin had already left. You could see from the pictures that it’s really a red bike with some black at the edges. Looks like a half-cooked crab. I had second thoughts about his initiative. The consolation is that we’re back to a couple’s bike combination.

Now, I have equipped it with 2 chains.  One big nasty chain at the back.  One wimpy chain that was a mistake, but have to make use of it.  I’m getting very poor.  But if someone managed to cut through that wimp, let’s see him try to wheelie it on the back wheel with that nasty chain.


And a basket at the back.


Looks Ah-Pek enough right? I hope my bike won’t be targeted by anyone else again. It is getting to be very useful after a tiring day of work, and for grocery shopping trips.

Categories: Chatter, That's life!

Weekend of wierd house problems

September 4, 2006 2 comments

A continuation of my recent freaky experiences, now with my apartment.  Well, it can be an apartment take-over advice if you are open to them.

Ever since I moved into my apartment, I had been battling a flushing problem with the toilet throne.  It flushed slowly most of the time, and  could get choked.  My renovation contractor tried to resolve it once, and said that it was choked due to cements.  He removed some of it, but after some time, the problems started again.  So I tried all sorts of methods to get it flushing like a loyal subject to the king of the throne.  Chemicals, compressed air canisters, the good old pump, and even a long spiraling wire specially designed for plumbers.

In the end, my throne ended up in a sorry ugly state.  The chemicals eroded the bottom as I was so engrossed and desperate that I ignored the instructions and left it standing in the throne over night.  There were also scratches from the spiralling wire that I couldn’t remove.  Finally, Mrs and I decided to get a new throne.

On Saturday, the plumbers came with the new throne.  When they removed the old one, we saw a piece of broken tile stuck in the passage hole of the throne!  It was about 10cm in width and that was causing the choke.  How did it ever get in there?  It couldn’t have been flushed down.  It was too big to go through the twisting passage way.  The only way was during the installation of the old throne.  The contruction workers must have deliberately stuck this piece of tile in there.  Damn!

Ok, I have to mention that when such work is in progress, you have to take precautions in making sure that they don’t dirty your place.  The plumbers left dirty hand prints on my newly painted walls.  Double crap!

Once the new throne was installed, it flushed royally.

Sunday morning, the taps flowed slowly.  Water pressure had come down.  In Singapore’s efficiency, our public utilities should resolve this soon.  It’s probably a pump problem.  Off to church then!

We came home in the afternoon, and the water pressure was still low.  A bit disappointed, but have faith.  Come 6pm, Mrs was worried that she couldn’t cook.  I told her to get the water she required to do the cooking before the whole block ran out of water.  She took my advice and ran to own all that she could squeeze out of the taps.

I was more worried about not able to bathe.  I called PUB (Singapore’s public utilities board) up, and was surprised that no one else complained.  Seemed like it was a localised problem.  I wasn’t disappointed by Singapore’s efficiency.  Within half an hour, the technicians came down and did a check.  After removing the water meter, they found the problem to be with the pipes.  Pipes are not owned by them, hence they couldn’t do anything.  But they did contact the Town Council (Singapore’s estate management) to inform them of the problem.  Oh, the water meter was choked too, so they replaced that.

Town Council responded quickly too.  They came, took out the joint with the tap, and there she blows!  It is a localised problem!  Within the joint was this piece of woody kind of stuff.  Almost like a wine bottle cork.  That was what was casuing the choke.

“Did you just move in?”, the plumber asked.

“No… I’ve been staying here for more than a year already.”, I responded.

Both plumbers looked perplexed.  I was curious about how this thing got into the pipes too.  Anyway, after removing that woody piece, water flowed gloriously again.  The plumbers received another call, and they went off to rescue another person without much fanfare.  Two different government departments working seamlessly.  My heroes!

If you take over a new apartment, check those pipes and make sure they flush and flow well.  If you are suspicious of anything, get the professionals in until the problems are solved.  You never know what’s stuck in them.

Categories: Chatter, That's life!


August 31, 2006 1 comment

This morning was a very rainy day.  It’s wet everywhere.

As I was walking towards my office block, I heard this shriek from behind.  Turning around quickly, I thought something big had happened.

Alas, it was this young man’s smoking companion who screamed when he slipped under the sheltered but wet smoking spot.

He dropped a bag of something that he was carrying.  He managed to support himself with his last 2 fingers of the hand holding on to the cigarette, hence preventing himself from a ungraceful fall that could have soiled his white pants.  Amazingly, he didn’t drop his cigarette.

Reflections… We can be so addicted to small little unimportant things in life, sometimes harmful things in life, that under dire circumstances, we’ll still hold on them steadfastly.

Categories: That's life!