Monday, April 28, 2008

One Person Life

Dad and Mum went back to China on Sunday. Their flight was at 6.00 o'clock in the morning. We had to get up at 3am, then reached Budget Terminal at Changi Airport at 4+. The departure hall was already abuzz with all the budget travellers.
But outside the departure hall, all was quiet and peaceful, hardly any living soul was around.
I cooked lunch myself. Only a simple fried LongYaBa (龙牙白), a simple Chinese dish. After being pampered by my parents for one month, I am back to the life of living alone.
Dinner was at Ichiban Sushi at Causeway point. I ordered some Hokaido specialities. The food appeal was not bad, but the taste is just so so. Types of sushi available at the conveyer belt are very limited. And I saw a fly happily dancing around our table during our dinner. I must go to a local food review portal to give this restaurant a fair review. What I don't understand is why there is always a long queue at this restaurant. Hard to understand...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

有求必應黃大仙 Modern Chinese Fortune Telling

Found this application in facebook, where you can ask for your fortune online by a famous Taoist temple in Hongkong - Wong Tai Sin Temple.

You just need to choose which field you want to ask for, then use your mouse to click on the stick holder. A stick will be picked for you.

Here is what I got for myself. The first one is for my career fortune, the second one is for my wealth.

If you are curious, you can give it a try yourself at the link here. Have fun :D

Friday, April 25, 2008

It is the process that matters

Back in university days, our human resources lecturer taught us in any project, it is the process that matters. The process, or the experience that is gained from the process, sometimes is more important than the end result itself. I always have doubts about this teaching.

When I came out to work, my life experiences enforced my view that it is the end result that matters, not the process. Your performance is based on the end result, your promotion is based on the end result, everything is based on the end result.

This view of mine changed only a couple of days ago. Facing another bottle-neck again. All the efforts put in may go down to the drain in the not too distant future. I can blame the customer. I have never seen such friendly customer before. The failure is more due to stupid decisions by some short-sighted persons.

Only then I realised, even if the end result will be impressively bad, I still learned a lot in the process. It is the first time that we work on such products. It is a first for us, and many people are actually very interested in our work. Process is more important. It gave us the opportunity to venture into unchartered fields. The experience we gained is valuable in the future. We will for sure learnt the lesson and move forward.

Thinking this way, the gloom and doom feel that has been lingering vanished with the wind. Yes, it is the process that matters. It is late, but still better than never, that I learnt this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Distance Yourself From Complaining

Distance yourself from complaining, says Ven. Fazhao. Complaining brings only to you negative attitude, negative energy, affecting your ability to view things positively. In addition, complaining strains your relationships with people around, drive away good friends.

Distance yourself from complaining does not mean you don't see flaws in people, in society, in systems, etc, etc. It means you recognize all the flaws in life, all the defficiencies in life, the ugly side of human nature. You recognize them, and you try to make an impact on people's life, on the society, on whatever you think is not good, or not good enough. Instead of complaining, you think of ways to make improvements.

On the one hand, you are content with life; on the other hand, you make continuous improvements in life.

Distance yourself from complaining, so says Ven. Fazhao. It brings to you happiness, luck and fortune. :D

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Kal came back from the states for holidays in Singapore. A rare occasion for us to meet this former colleague in person :D

We gathered at Dian Xiao Er at AMK Hub for delicious duck dishes. Let's take a look at the food we ordered that night. The duck was too popular to be present:)

And here are two of our former colleagues that had been absent from our life for quite some time. See how happy Kal is, after returning from the good old US of A.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is the most popular video at recently. It is a counter-attack to the western media from a Chinese.

Let's all support Beijing Olympics 2008! Slave masters want to take advantage of Beijing Olympics to restore their lost power and privileges.

To our western friends, I understand your sympathy to the depressed, but please be aware what people say and what people actually do. Chinese, as any other people in the world, are peace-lovers, freedom fighters. If we didn't cherish our own freedom, we would not have fought the Japanese, the French, the Germans, the American, preventing them from making China their colonies.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First Dip into CFD

Today is my very first time trading with a CFD account. CFD stands for Contract for Difference. It is a kind of financial derivatives.

Being a first timer, it is really awe when I set foot into the market. So many windows opening in the trading tool, whilst I have not much clue what they all mean. I don't even know how much I am supposed to pay, how to know how many positions I have opened, etc, etc. Sounds really scary, right? The gurus may think I am crazy, the uninitiated may think I am 'brave'.

Luckily I have someone to guide me through. Placing orders, checking positions, everything is easy and smooth-going.

What exactly is CFD then? It is easier to explain using an example.

For example, you place a SELL order of S&P 500 index with a quantity of 1, at 1346 points. This means you 'sell' to someone at 1346, although you don't have the 'stocks', because you bet S & P 500 will drop. This also means someone pays you $1346 for your 'stocks;. Later, you buy back the 'stocks' at 1340 points, which costs you $1340. So you pay $1340, but someone pays you $1346. There is a $4 difference in price, that is your profit. Simple, isn't it? Of course, you don't aim for a $4 profit, but $4 million, or $4 billion :D

For today's test trade, I made a loss of $0.23, ok, as tuition fee, it is not too expensive. In the short term, I don't think CFD is something for me, I have a weak heart :P

Monday, April 14, 2008

With the price of rice doubled over the past two years, rice is increasingly becoming scarce. The poor from all around the world are again at the brink of starvation.

There is this website They have a word game for you to play, and for every correct answer that you make, they will donate some rice to the poor. I don't know how genuine the donation part is, but the word game part is not too bad. It tests your English vocabulary, pretty good for someone like me whose mother-tongue is not English.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Annoying Valued-Added Services

I bought a new mobile phone from SingTel recently, it comes with a 30-day free valued-added services, including winning 4D numbers, EPL news and selected SPH news. I didn't think too much about those services, and was expecting to give them a try. There should be no harm expected.

Then my nightmare came on the very first day my new phone came into use. SingTel actually sent me SMS in the middle of the night! Whenever there was some development in that night's EPL match, they would send me one SMS. This team just scored a goal, that team just won a match, blah blah blah.

The EPL fans should know what time those games are played. At the end, no choice lor, switch off the phone. That is still not the solution. The next time morning, when I switch on my phone, I still have to clear up all the junk.

I don't think I need such Valued-added services anymore. First thing in the morning tomorrow I will get those services cancelled. My gosh...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Chinese Heart

Dig out an old old video recording of 1984 Chinese New Year Eve Celebration. A Hong Kong singer - Zhang Ming-min (张明敏) sang a song titled "My Chinese Heart" (我的中国心).

That was back in 1984, when I was still a teenage boy studying in mainland China. How drastically things had changed since then.

In the past, when one leaves mainland China, he/she most probably won't be able to come back at all, or at most a couple of times during his/her entire life. Now, the new generation of overseas Chinese can go back as often as they can afford.

Let's just share this song for some good old memory :)

Season of Harvest

After a few months, it is again the time to collect payment from all the microstock sites. Not too much, but enough to cover the cost of a 2nd hand Nikon flash. I have set a rule for myself that I will not buy any new stuff for photography until the income from Microstock is sufficient to cover all my photography expensese incurred so far, which is a couple of thousand dollars.

US dollar went down quite a few per cent yesterday, after the de fanco central bank of Singapore, the MAS, changed their guideline on currency exchange policy. To combat inflation, they will let Singapore dollars to appreciate more. US dollar went down immediately from US$1.00=S$1.38 to US$1.00=S$1.358. Analysts are expecting US dollar to drop further to US$1.00=S$1.32 by the end of the year.

In this case, I have to convert all my US dollar earning from Microstock into Singapore dollar at the earliest possible time, to avoid loss.

Anyway, it is always good to have some extra pocket money. Let's have some fireworks:D

Friday, April 11, 2008

iStockPhoto Going Subscription Model

Just received a newsletter from iStockPhoto, announcing they will introduce a subscription plan in late May to their customers, in parallel to their current 'buy as you go' model.

Wow, that is good news for everyone on iStockPhoto. A subscription model allows the customers to buy a fixed number of images over a period of time for a fixed amount. With this model, customers tend to buy more. It will be a win-win-win situation for the customer, iStockPhoto as well as all contributing photographers at iStockPhoto.

However, my optimism is cautious optimism. also has a subscription plan for their customers along the 'buy as you go' plan. My income from 123RF has been dismal. As a matter of fact, my income from their subscribers is less than from 'buy as you go' customers.

Anyway, it is still something good and worth looking forward to. May seems to be the season for change. ShutterStock is expected to announce their new rates in May too.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Switzerland in Asia

I read an article titled "Switzerland in Asia" today. It positively describes Singapore as the Switzerland in Asia. No surprise. Switzerland has long been the role model for Singapore, it is the goal this country has been trying hard to achieve.

But, is it good news for me? To a large extent, yes, it is. A clean environment, literally and with implications, convenient transport systems, safe streets, higher income. All these are good points. However, Switzerland is still a FINANCIAL centre of the world, not an engineering nor a manufacturing centre of the world. You are more likely to bump into a banker than an engineer in the streets of Switzerland.

In Singapore, with the recent emphasis on finance, tourism and hospitality industries, engineering is on a downhill path. Young people don't have interest nor the patience to go into the field of engineering. Rumour has it that intake for engineering has declined so much that a major Singapore higher education provider is going to reduce the number of teaching staff of their electrical engineering school by 40%!

Many practising engineers have changed or plan to change their career to something more fulfilling. This coupled with the fact that fewer young students want to take up engineering as their major in universities, it may force engineering companies, local or MNC, to look else.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Trail of Destruction...of Mobile Phones

I must be getting old. Suddenly I have this urge to list down all the mobile phones I had used before. Most of them did not outlive the 2-year contract with the mobile service provider, making me keep buying new phones, and keep renewing my 2-year contract.

1. 1998 Philips Magix: a phone using NiMH batteries that had memory effect. Quite a pain in the back when it comes to battery life.

2. Nokia 3210: Not too bad, but it died 3 months before my 2-year plan expired. :(

3. Nokia 8250: Outlived the 2-year plan, but it was killed after I put it in my washing machine to have a bath :P

4. Sony Ericcson T23: My first color screen mobile phone. A simple but steady phone, and the only one that is still working till today. Hooray...

5. Sony Ericcson K600i: My first 3G phone, with camera and MP3 player. It died one day after the 1-year warranty period was over. Power consumption was like hell. Daily routine to charge the phone, or the next day, you see blood :D

6. Nokia 6070: I have the worst luck with this phone. On the next day of purchase, the volume control did not work. A couple of months later, it became mute. Then yesterday, it went silent again. It is 3 weeks after the warranty expired.

Just got a new mobile phone today, Nokia again. I simply can't resist the user-friendliess of all the Nokia phones. It is again a 3G phone. The features this phone has make my S$600 Dell Axim PDA look so pale in comparison.

It has two cameras (my K600i had that too), one of them is a 2-meg camera. I don't need to buy or carry a compact digital cam anymore. My phone is my cam. Just 5 years ago, a 2-meg digital cam was still something new and expensive.

There is also a MP3 player, and many fancy features that I don't have a clue what they are yet at this moment. But I like the MicroSD expansion possibility. I like to live a life of abundance. 2GB of storage is just about right for me. Snap snap snap around needs lots of memory, you know. :D

Ah, one more point. Alex bought a 8GB thumbdrive for around S$50. Wah....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to Increase Your Blog's Hits...

I was watching a repeat telecast of a talk show on Channel 8. The hosts and guests were discussing about blogging. The five guests present are all Singapore's successful bloggers, and the most prominent of them of course is the Singapore blog queen - Xiaxue. According to her, her blog has average 10,000 hits per DAY! For 3 years, she has not taken up any conventional job, solely making a living through blogging.

That is not very surprising, considering there are a lot more star-bloggers around the world, they are making equal amount of money every month, if not more. What is the big deal then? What irks me is the fact that she became famous because she bitched about others, ridicules people, stirring up contraversy, to attract eye-balls to her blog.

Ok, I am bitching about her here too. Anyway, the point I want to make is one way to blogging stardom is to stir up contraversy, cursing others. You can even collaborate with someone to start a war of words between the two, or many of you, then everybody involved will benefit from the war. Ah, this is the first time that I know a war actually does have some benefits.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tibet - on Phoenix TV

A series of TV programs on Phoenix TV touching on the subject of Tibet have been compiled and made available at the Phoenix TV's website. Too bad, almost everything is in Chinese, but I think our English, or other language speaking audience should take a look as well.

No doubt there are differences between ethnic Tibetans and ethnic Han Chinese, they have vastly different views on life, and MONEY too. What they need is more communications between the two ethnic groups, more understanding, and more tolerance.

Remember, innocent people sometimes are taken advantage of by political figures. I don't why YouTube removed the video clip of the documentary from National Geography Channel. Before the Chinese entered Tibet, Lamas were the masters, and many ordinary Tibetans were nothing than slaves. This information from some Western literature, which is supposed to be 'objective'. The Kingdom of Tibet that some supreme spiritual leader wanted to establish is just to return to that glory past.

The Links are below:

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Bet

Being not very prudent, I put a couple of thousand dollars into a stock that someone recommended. He had mentioned the counter to me before, but I didn't take any action on it, until today he called again.

Well, I think time for me to take a little bit of risk. No, that is not true, we are taking risks everyday. It is always a matter of how to manage your risk. His recommendation may be a bit too speculative, but it is up to me to manage the risk.

Darly Guppy has written quite a number of books on managing risks in stock trading. Interested persons can visit his website:

All his books are listed at his site, and some of them are available from our National Library.

Anyway, now just keep my fingers crossed and see what will happen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jigsaw Puzzles

It has been almost a week since I last wrote anything for my blog. Haiz... Too busy, too tired to write anything.

Jigsaw puzzles had never been something that I like, even faintly. If the puzzle is too easy, then there is no fun; if the puzzle is too difficult, then people will lose interest. The creator of the puzzle has to have a good grip of the difficulty level.

However, if the jigsaw puzzle is a real life puzzle, then it will be very difficult to even assess the difficulty level. Nobody knows about it, even the innocent 'creator' of the puzzle.

Facing a real life jigsaw puzzle, probably created by me, or my peers, unknowingly! Now the task is to get more clues, put the pieces together, and of course, finally solve the puzzle. Time is ticking... Racing with time... That is kind of stressful... But kind of fun, too.

Wish me good luck in solving the real life jigsaw puzzle....