Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye to Randy Pausch

Though I didn't know Randy Pausch in person, it was with sadness that I read about his passing on today. You can read articles about him here, here and here.

I first got to know about Randy I think around late last year. The original version of his "Last Lecture" was on Google Video, and though it took a while to download, it was well worth the wait.

It was heartbreaking that he left behind three young children, but they can be proud that their dad also left behind a legacy for millions of people.

Many people said they have been touched by his story - some stopped feeling sorry for themselves, some decided to "Seize The Day", others took courage from it.

Someone had assembled a tribute video to him on Youtube:-

A full version of his lecture (be warned, its 1 hour 15 minutes long):

Monday, July 21, 2008


Two weeks ago, my wife's colleague had her handbag snatched near her office in Jalan Semantan.

A day later, my babysitter's purse was snatched in the early morning at Pusat Bandar Puchong.

The day after that, my wife's eldest sister was injured and hospitalized after a snatch thief grabbed her handbag as she walked towards her home in Simpang Renggam.

And what was the police busy doing during that time?

Where is the compassion to help citizens in need, to ensure they have safe streets to walk on? Where is the urgency to go after those who are the real threats to our country's security?

Instead, much manpower and effort are wasted to serve political masters to achieve their selfish agendas, not to mention inconveniencing millions of people.

I appeal sincerely to your conscience - WHERE ARE YOUR PRIORITIES? Or do you not have any conscience left?

I do not currently support PR to overthrow the government, but it seems BN is trying very hard to make me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Debate

I switched on the TV when it was already into the second round.

And there he was, as eloquent as ever.

It has been 10 years since I last heard him speak, and he continues to be a mesmerising speaker. There's no denying Anwar's charisma. The way he confidently carried himself, sure but without a hint of arrogance. The sincerity dripping from his voice.

I have always had mixed feelings about Anwar. On one hand, I regard him as a very intelligent and rational person, tempered with compassion. On the other hand, I wonder if there is deviousness, greed and a gigantic ego lurking behind them.

But I suppose it is unfair for me to expect perfection from our leaders when none of us in this world is.

So, as I listened to him calmly and somewhat humbly express his well thought out views, my mind vaccilated between wishing this man is now our PM, and thinking how this guy might be one of the greatest actors in world.

So, I think the actual question on my mind is, is he for real, or is he just like Obama, a great orator but not much else?

Malaysia sure needs a courageous leader right now. Pak Lah is a good man, but all he has are mostly just good intentions. And you know what they say about good intentions.

Sigh. I don't know. I just have mixed feelings right now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Olympics Ramblings

The other night as I went to pick up my daughter with my wife, I boasted to her that I could name all the Olympics venues in at least the past 30 years. So, off I went. Then, for some strange reason, I couldn't get 2004. I racked my brains, but it wouldn't come. Finally, I decided to Google it there and then on my PDA.


Gosh, was Athens so unmemorable?

I remember the rest for one reason or another:

2000 - Sydney
I remember it was at the end of the year to coincide with summer in Australia. I had just started in a new company at the time and there wasn't much to do initially, so me and a few colleagues took to surfing the Olympics website every few minutes :)

1996 - Atlanta
Made an impression because of the security scares.

1992 - Barcelona
Was in Uni in UK, some of my uni mates actually went to see it.

1988 - Seoul
Theme song was "Hand in Hand". Was also the Olympics where my faith in it was shattered - Ben Johnson was my idol and I was devastated that he cheated.

1984 - Los Angeles
Peter Uberoth helped put on an amazing spectacle for the world. Most memorable for me. I was in Form 1 afternoon session, hence I got to catch a lot of the broadcasts in the morning.

1980 - Moscow
The year of the boycott, due to Afghanistan. I still couldn't get over the fact that Malaysian football qualified to go, but couldn't as Malaysia joined the boycott.

1976 - Montreal
I had a set of stamps commemorating it! :)

1972 - Munich
The hostage tragedy.

1968- Mexico
The famous long jump record.

This year, China finally has the honour of hosting the games. Let's hope politics and scandals will be kept to the minimum, and let sporting drama prevail instead.

TM Customer Service Story

Every once in a while I like to rant about bad customer service in Malaysia, but I thought should give credit where credit's due when improvements do happen.

My Streamyx went on the blink last Friday. I gave TM a call on Sunday night to report the problem.

Surprise number 1 - With the new menu system, I was able to select talking to a person with three buttons.

Surprise number 2 - A person picked up the phone within 2 rings!

Surprise number 3 - they did not blindly ask stupid questions, but was willing to listen to my summary of the problem and acted accordingly.

Surprise number 4 - When I called back after trying something and it didn't work, I was able to get back a consistent customer experience!

Surprise number 5 - the problem was fixed within 24 hours, no hassle.

Surprise number 6 - I received TWO calls from the technical department to confirm that my problem is fixed and that I was happy with the resolution.

I still have complaints about Streamyx's inconsistent speed, but their customer service has definitely made a significant improvement. Syabas!

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