Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Chinese Movie Worth Watching (Finally!)

For the past one month, I was bombarded with ads for this new Mandarin movie called "Perhaps Love" headlined by Jackie Cheung, one of the four "heavenly kings of pop" of the 90's. It looked for all the world to me like a tacky musical, so I decided to give it a skip.

But good word of mouth from friends and friend's friends prompted me to drive all the way to Summit last night to catch the movie with my wife. And what a movie it was.

If you're the type who loves melancholic romantic movies, you'll be a fool not to catch this. It was brilliantly mounted, and did not veer into tackiness at all as I've feared. The music was really great, too, and was a very integral part of the proceedings. I plan to get hold of the OST soon.

If you'll like to know more, go to HERE. Be warned, its in Flash and VERY heavy, so make sure you've got broadband.

Christmas '05

Christmas this year was really hectic, I had church service at 10 am, then had to drive two hours to Bahau for a wedding lunch, then rush back again for a Christmas party at 7 pm. To top it up, there was a bad jam on the way back from Bahau due to an overturned milk truck at the Nilai Utara interchange which spilt milk all over the highway!

The wedding lunch at Bahau was a typical hometown style affair, the food as usual was much better than the usual hotel stuff (to all my unmarried friends, take note :) ) Annice looked great, and it was good to see the gang again.

Luckily the next day was a holiday and I got to sleep in, hehe.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

A blessed and joyful Christmas to all :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Singapore Trip

Went down to Singapore for a much needed break and spent a relaxing 3 days there. Here's a few things I noticed when I was there:-

1. Their toilets are clean. VERY clean. I was in a shopping mall that looked slightly run down, and was surprised to see that their toilet is as nice as the KLCC ones.

2. Second link is the way to go if don't want any hassle and jams. I was able to get from Kluang to my brother-in-law's place in 1 hour 15 minutes flat.

3. If you can afford a double storey house there, you are definitely a big shot. If you ever want to see Mercedes, Jaguars and BMW's parked at the roadside outside normal terrace houses, head over to Mandai/Ang Mo Kio.

4. They get a much bigger choice of cars there. I almost cried in frustration after my brother-in-law took me to Alexandra to go car viewing. Damn you, Proton!

5. I can get Miller beer there, yay!! Managed to smuggle six bottles back.

6. Cost of living is actually cheaper there, if you work there and earn S$. A typical meal in the suburbs is only 2.50 on average.

Working Late (Final Round)

Felt refreshed after the trip to Singapore, but found out that the guys did not progress the issues/bugs I assigned them last Thursday. What the... Anyway, boss told me tonight is the last night the project has to complete, so here I am, typing this blog at 10 pm.

At 7.30 pm I overheard the guy who was working with me on this complaining to someone that he's been in the office for 12 hours now. At that moment, I really felt like jumping up and smashing his face in. Where were you when the CEO and me were debugging your crap code until 4 am in the morning??!! Where were you when the CEO and me stayed late four nights in a row trying to get this done??!! He left at 7.45 pm just now, and me and the CEO are still here......

I've really had it up to HERE with these bozos......

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Living Years

The Living Years was a song popularized by Mike and The Mechanics back in 1989 after the death of Mike Rutherford's (the band's main guy) father.

Ever since I came back from UK to work exactly 10 years ago, I began to appreciate my parents more and more. My main regret at the moment is that even as they get older, I seldom see them. Even when they do come down to stay with me, most nights I work so late that by the time I get home, they'll all be asleep, and by the time they get up, I would have already rushed off to work.

My dad will turn 60 next year, a major milestone for a Chinese. Me and my siblings will all be going back to celebrate the occasion.

The problem with most dads is that you don't get to have much close conversation with them, you tend to end up talking about the weather, the economy, China and whatever else except what you really feel inside.

In The Living Years song, Mike Rutherford expressed his regret that he never got to tell his dad how he really felt inside, all the things that hung heavily in the air but in the end never got spoken.

I think I'm gonna give my dad a call soon.

Feeling Useless

This my second night staying back in the office to try and complete an integration project for a client in UK.

I really miss the team I left behind in my previous company. Over here, almost the whole team is new, and there's no strong sense of ownership and responsibility, everyone cabut at 6 pm irregardless of whether they finish their work or not. End up myself, CEO and the system admin guy doing all the dirty work.

I think my CEO is too nice a guy, I still have not seen him scold anyone in the office despite what's happening. Me, I'm getting more and more frustrated by the day. Sure, the pay is good, but working with a bunch of people who don't care and don't know what they are doing really sucks. The worst for me is that no one reports to me, so I cannot tell anyone off, I cannot control whether they come or go, I cannot do anything to them.


Took a walk to KLCC just now to clear my head (no traffic! crossing the road was a breeze). Its been crossing my mind these few days that this might not be a good place for me. My other half is advising me to stick it out. I'm glad I'll away from Thursday to Sunday in Singapore, hopefully that'll clear my mind a little bit.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Good Customer Service (Finally, Another One!)

My friends like to rib me for being one of the few that has a 013 number, but fortunately for me, the customer service has always been quite okay, if nothing to shout about.

Recently, I decided to change my Minutes plan, as I realised that I was using less than 180 minutes a month whereas the package I had was 450 minutes. Due to my recent bad experience with Astro, it was with some trepidation that I called up Celcom customer service at lunch hour today.

To my pleasant surprise, my call got picked up within 2 rings when I requested to speak to the customer service person. And the person did not make a big fuss of trying to dissuade me from changing my plan! After some standard verification questions, all was done. All in all, it took less than three minutes.

Syabas, Celcom! Nice to know that some Malaysian companies ARE making an effort.

On another note, I thought I'll also give credit where credit's due. A few days after my unhappy experience with Astro, someone from Astro called me up to enquire about my problem, and the person followed up again a few days later with another phone call. While I appreciate all this, I still feel that the intial contact point should be greatly improved. Just contrast it with Celcom.

Friday, December 02, 2005

You Are What You Eat

Got news from a friend recently that he's having high blood pressure, in addition to the gout problem that he got previously.

That got me thinking that I'm not in exactly good shape nowadays either. I have gained 10 kg's since last year, and I tend to get stomach upsets quite often nowadays.

When we're young, we put all sorts of stuff into ourselves, and being young, the "engine" doesn't break down. But now that I've reached my mid-thirties, it seems the "engine" cannot take it anymore and I need to watch what I eat.

So, my to do list to be more healthy:-

1. Cut down on bak kut teh
- tough one, this. I've always loved bak kut teh and pork (very bad combination)

2. Cut down on oily food
- yet another tough one. I mean, char koay teow is as oily as it gets and its one of my favourites, too.

3. Eat more fruits and fibre
- Done, thanks to my "deer" who forces me to eat them every day.

4. Exercise more.
- I bought a jogging machine, and I only use it once a week, which is pathetic. Got to find more time to do this.

5. Don't overeat
- Try to avoid buffets. And try to eat less at the numerous wedding dinners happening these few months.

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