Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Sexy Bossini Jeans

I am a conservative person in nature and I have never wore anything that is at the forefront of the fashion or anything anywhere close to the word 'sexy'. Today, finally I wore something 'sexy', although a bit out of my free will.

The story started on the first week of Great Singapore Sale and Bossini had a 40% discount on men's jeans. How could I miss such a good deal? Then I got one for myself and today is the second time I wore it.

In the afternoon, I fell a bit more chilling than usually on my right thigh. As I ran my hand down my right thigh, I found this 'sexy' hole on my jeans. For about 1" in length, the thread is totally gone, and the seam of the jeans is broken. As I walk, then sometimes you will see my bare thigh, sometimes you don't. Isn't it very sexy?

OMG, I swear I will never buy another piece of clothes from Bossini. They have disappointed me more than once. The last time was a T-shirt. A S$30+ T-shirt, and it started to deform after a few washes. The quality control there needs some serious improvement.

Another Setback

Today is the very last day of June and June is really not my month. Bad news one after another, and some past mistakes keep coming back to haunt me. Very happy this unlucky month has come to an end. However, the setbacks are still there and they won't just disappear on its own. My goals, something I have envisioned, will become totally unotainable right now. I will have to take at least one step, if more, back from my original plan, and may even have to change my direction, taking my dreams, my vision, my goals elsewhere.

Even Emperor Han-wu had to wait for a long 8 years before he could continue his own plan, to start his own chase of his dream, so my setback is really nothing. A detour may actually lead me to a path more beautiful.

My Photo Portfolio

Here is a collection of my works, presented as a portfolio of mine for people who may want to engage my photography service :) And yes, I am interested to work with people (models/talents) who want to do TFCD :) If you are interested, you can just leave your contact (email or msn or phone number) as a comment to this blog, I will get back to you asap. Both guys and girls are welcome, and couples are super welcome.

This is one recent TFCD that I did with a nice young chap. He actually did the post-processing for this photo and I like it. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Building Collapse

Just saw in the news that a new residential high-rise building in Shanghai collaped, causing one dead.

Looking at the scenes on TV, the building's foundation looks very weak. Most probably it is just another one of those poor quality building project.

It is scary to know that flats at that building was selling at RMB10,000/sqd meter (~US$1400.00/sqd meter), and it is considered to be a higher class residential property.

With all those negative news, how can one have trust or confidence in China? Sigh...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude

Title: Sucess through a Positive Mental Attitude
Authors: Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone
Publisher: Pocket Books 1987

This is one of Napoleon Hill's motivational books, so it teaches you how to get yourself motivated and keep a positive mental attitude towards obstacles in life.

In general, it is quite a readable book. The message is clear- We need to keep a positive mental attitude. It shows you what kind of wonder a positive mental attitude makes.

However, this book is a bit short of the actual steps, or concrete actions that people can take to achieve a positive mental attitude. As we know, having a positive mental attitude for a while is easy, but keeping such an attitude for life is itself a challenge. Positive mental attitude is like fire, without fuel, it will extinguish. If this book can draft out more concrete steps to take in daily life to keep a positive mental attitude, it will be much more useful.

As Napoleon Hill is a dedicated Christian, inevitably there is a lot of mention of the grace of God, and how praises of God. Some readers may not like this, although it is done in a very sensitive manner.

For myself, this book is quite an eye-opener for me. It opens a new door, new opportunity.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ice Cream Boy

A young chap selling ice cream came knocking on my door tonight. He said he is from a low-income family, selling ice cream to earn some money to pay for his school fees.

I declined. I didn't buy anything from him. Afterwards, I asked myself, why didn't I buy from him, but from that ear pick guy? Is it because that guy is more handsome or what?

I thought about this question, then I realised something, sales is an art. Some subtle stuff will just make or break your deal.

1. The ear pick guy speaks confidently; ice cream guys speaks timidly
2. The ear pick guy shows me what he is selling, at what price, what it can be used for; ice cream guy didn't show me any samples, or price, only tells me he is selling ice cream. He didn't tempt me with the attractiveness of ice cream
3. The ear pick guy keeps calling me "大哥" (big brother) in Chinese, he repeats that more than 5 times during his introduction; ice cream guy addresses me as "sir", and he only says that once.

I guess if you want to be a door-to-door salesman, better prepare something visually attractive to introduce your products. Speak confidently and loudly. Somehow that gives people very positive impression, while speaking timidly gives people a fishy feel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Currency Trading

Title: Currency Trading and Intermarket Analysis
Subtitle: How to Profit from the Shifting Currents in Global Markets
Author: Ashraf Laidi
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc 2009

This is a book by a well-known currency trader and analyst Ashraf Laidi. It explains the financial history, how did we get where we are today.

I didn't finish reading this book, as I couldn't comprehend well the contents. For the first few chapters about the financial history, from the turn of the 20th century, to where we are now, are informative and understandable. As it gets deeper and more financial jargons are involved, I am kind of lost. In addition, currency trading is an arena completely greek to me.

I probably should just KIV this book, and read it when I have more basic knowledge about currency trading.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Taking a Break - From Photography

I decided to take a break from photography. I am not going to abandon this interesting hobby completely, jsut taking a break. If Dr Leslie Tay organizes another around of his food photography workshop, for sure I will sign up at the very minute I get the news. However, for other photography stuff, I may just forgo the opportunity right now.

It it that fatigue setting in. If you photograph people or things day in day out in the same or similar manner, you will get very bored. With my current budget constraint, I can't achieve or try something that I would like to. And I don't want to do all the old stuff anymore. The best option I think is to take a break.

I will shift my focus to developing some other skills, soft and hard, that will be benefitial in the future to achieve my photography goals.

Photography is the same as other important skills in life. You need to feel good to produce something good. At the moment, I have lots of internal conflicts, my different body parts are demanding completely different things. I need to make all of them happy :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Investment Journal

Dr Van Tharp advises that every investor should keep a personal investment journal. In the journal, you should record down all the related information about your investment, including why you buy into this counter, how much is the risk, how much is the reward, and then finally when you exit that counter, did you exit with profit or loss.

Such a journal sounds very trivial, but in fact it is very useful. When you do your periodic reviews of your investment, in particular, when you want to detect and correct mistakes you made in the past, and not to repeat the same mistake in the future.

There are things you will never realise if you don't keep such a journal. For example, when I look at, I found that I bought into the same counter, at about exactly this year of the year one year ago. And I lost money in both cases. This means I might be repeating the same mistakes time and again, without realising it.

Keeping a journal hence will help me break this cycle, prevents myself from going in a circle of mistakes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Next Generation Broadband Networks

Just got to know that Singapore is rolling out the next generation broadband network, using fibre optics, I supposed.

I checked its availability in my area, OMG, my area is only scheduled for installation in late 2011. Wait long long...

If you are keen to know, check it out here: http://rollout.opennet.com.sg/

Hopefully it will not take a longer time to come to your place :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ear Picks

Someone came knocking at my door today, to sell me 3 ear picks at S$5.00. I have seen those ear picks before, made of bamboo, and selling at a very low price back in China. I don't need them, even less willing to buy them at an unnecessary high price, yet, I still bought them.

Why? Somehow I admire that guy's courage and persistentce. He claimed that he is from Temasek Poly, and he has 1000 such ear picks to sell, to fulfill his dream of something that he didn't tell me. It is known that door-to-door salesmen usually get lots of rejections. This young guy then still has the guts to do this, and continues even after rejections. He talks well, he knows how to address his customers to make them feel pleased.

I remember during my university days, I went with a group for this newspaper collection activity. I had to knock at doors to ask people to donate their old newspapers to us. I was so shy, and felt so bad after I had been rejected. I was not as cheerful as this guy.

And, just like many people, some might not even know me, supported me in different stages, different occasions in my life, I might as well give this guy a small token of encouragement, so I bought the 3 ear picks.

I put one of them on my desk, to remind myself that I should be just as hard working, and persistent as that guy. He is my role model :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Anthony Robbins

Someone put up the video of Anthony Robbins' motivational talk at YouTube. Wow, a complete 3-hr talk is available free.

I watched the whole talk. While I was doing it, something kept proping up asking me to watch the video clips on 'the truth about Anthony Robbins', clips that dispute Anthony's teaching.

I have never attended Anthony's motivational talks before, but based on what I saw on the video, what he teaches is a form of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), also advocated by Dr. Van Tharp, a trader's psychology guru, and successful trader/investor.

Personally, I think NLP is useful & effective. It helps you to condition yourself on the positive side, helps people to get better results. However, just like anything in this world, there is no such thing as 100% guaranteed. NLP may not work on some individuals, especially people who have no faith in it in the first place. It won't work on people who have a closed mind, either.

You need to have a bit of faith, a lot of open-mind for NLP to be successful. And equally important, you need to be someone who will take actions, not just sitting there, listening, and then forget about it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Most Liveable Cities

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survery revealed that Vancouver is the most liveable city in the world, followed by Vienna & Melbourne.

For Asian cities, Singapore ranks 54th, Hong Kong ranks 39th.

I have serious doubts about the accuracy of this survery.

How can it be possible that Hong Kong ranks higher than Singapore? It is not that I am biased because I live in Singapore, but the undeniable fact that most Hong Kongers live in match-box like flats. I had been to my aunt's flat, and also one of my friends' flat. They are both ordinary Hong Kong residents, making a decent or ordinary living in Hong Kong. The size of their flat? About 40-50 squared meters. The washing machine has to share with the toilet. Everything is so small.

Beside small flats, the environment is not that good either. Air quality in Hong Kong is forever in the unhealthy range. Sky is hardly blue.

For the five categories that the survey looks at, stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, & infrastructure, I don't think Singapore lags behind Hong Kong in any of them, other than culture.

Ok, it is just a survey. It is good to know that we are lagging behind, time for our government to put in some more efforts to make this tiny country more liveable. :)

PS. Oh, I just saw that Sydney ranks in No. 9, tied with Zurich. My foot, man. I strongly disagree. I spent a year in Sydney, I only feel everything is over-priced there, city streets are narrow and dark. Life is boring. Personal safety is in doubt. This survey is really unbelieveable.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kill Yourself - For the Sake of the Environment

Reading an article somwhere saying that taking public transport may not be a good idea to reduce carbon emission. Public transports have lots of hidden carbon emission, and it may not be effective at all in reducing CO2.

I would like to know who are these people actually. What are their backgrounds. A possible suspect is that these researches are funded by people who will benefit from people who not taking public transports.

Well, you can argue whatever you want, and it is actually possible that public transports still have a large amount of carbon emission. But, hellow, please, unless you go to the kitchen now and grap a knife and kill yourself, you won't reduce carbon emission to 0. CO2 is a natural part of the air, and its existence has a purpose. Too much CO2 is bad, but then as long as we can strike a balance, then nobody will get hurt. You can't ask everyone to die so that the earth can be saved. If that is the case, what is the purpose of saving the earth? If we need to kill all the babies in the world so that we can have a better world, what is that so-called better world for?

The so-called environmentalists sometimes are insane. Humans no doubt need to care for our mother nature or she will take her revenge, but we have to be realistic as well. Taoism promotes the balance between Ying & Yan and the world will be in peace. You have to strike a balance too. And then some hypercrits just want to make use of environmental issues to work for their own benefit, making a fool of the rest of the world.

I have enough of those stupid idiotic research findings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

City Wandering

Yesterday, after attending CMC's trader's psychology seminar, went over to Chinatown to have fish-head rice noodle (mee hoon) at the coffee shop opposite CK departmental store. Heard that that coffee shop is a famous one, for their Cantonese style congee.

Anyway, I still ordered the rice noodle instead of congee. The taste is not too bad, especially the soup.

Once stomach is filled, I wandering over to Orchard to take a look at the sales at Robinson's at Center point. Wow, a lot of people. The queues were long. Bought a T-shirt for my Dad. For the first time ever, I stood in the long queue to pay for the item. It was quite insane, but somehow this time I did it.

Opposite Centerpoint, the new shopping mall - Orchard Central, has already opened its doors to welcome visitors, although unofficially. A handful of shops are open, while the rest are still doing their renovation work.

The place is quite fanciful. Heavy use of glass panels. I always have this phobia that people will just break the glass and jump off to their ... And also I always worry that the glass may break, people may fall... All the pessimistic & weird thoughts, haha....
Orchard Central has a nice viewing platform at the top level. You can have a good view of Orchard Road and its surrounding areas. All you see now is just construction sites and the air-con units at the roof-tops :P

Somehow I have the feeling that Orchard Central will be a disappointment. Looking at the layout, it has the similar concept as the Central Mall. Small alleys, winding walkway, giving people this feel of being squeezed, a sense of insecurity, and most importantly, inefficient use of floor space. I hope my feeling is wrong.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Orchard Linkway Re-Opened

After a long long time, the underground linkway between Orchard MRT station and Wisma Atria has finally re-opened.

People now can go to Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City without going up to the ground level, avoiding the sun & the rain.

Trader Psychology

Attended a trader's psychology seminar organized by CMC markets this morning, with Henry Pek as the speaker.

The seminar is from 9am till 1pm, lasting for a full 4 hours, including half an hour tea break. This 4-hour long seminar, however, only touched superficially about trader's psychology, just the superficial part, although they are all very important and they are essence of trader's psychology. Then in such a short seminar, with a couple hundred people in an auditorium, the messages being sent to the audience, I am afraid, will not be strong enough, and will not get to the people who need it most.

Well, once someone told me that I should attend as many workshops, seminars, talks etc as possible. You won't learn a lot from any one workshop or seminar, but as long as you learn something, it is already good enough. So today, what I learnt is this:


And also some quotes from the famous Kungfu star, Bruce Lee:

Knowing is not enough, we must apply; willing is not enough, we must do!

Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Financial Freedom

Most people have the perception that if a person achieves financial freedom, he/she then will live in the lap of luxury. And for that reason, it is very difficult to achieve financial freedom. I thought so too, until I read Dr. Van Tharp's book on financial freedom.

His definition of financial freedom is just your passive income is enough to cover your daily expenses and your lifestyle. If you lead a frugal life that does not need a lot of money to support, then it is easier for you to achieve financial freedom.

For example, if a person only needs $100 to survive for a month, isn't it obvious that he only needs to find a passive income that gives him at least $100 a month? Comparing with someone who needs $10,000 to survive for a month, don't you think it is much easier for the $100 guy to achieve financial freedom than the $10,000 guy?

Life is full of choices, financial freedom is also a matter of choice. I constantly remind myself that my goal is to achieve financial freedom, not living in a lap of luxury. You don't need a well-paid job to survive. A job you don't like will only tie you down, make you unhappy everyday. If you can step back, there may be a much great world awaiting you, a much happier life waiting right there for you. Keeping your current job may not be everything, losing your current job does not mean you lose everything either. It may only mean one door is slammed right in your face, while many doors are wide-open for you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Electricity Bill Going Up Soon?

Just watched the news, which said that our electricity tariff might be going up soon. Oil prices has gone up to about US$68/barrel from its low of US$38/barrel?

OMG, price increase again, just when the weather is getting hotter and hotter day by day. I thought recession will bring price down, but not this one. This current recession is one of the worst I have seen. Prices don't go down, they go up. A meal used to cost me only S$2.50? Then S$3.50? Now it is inching up to S$4.00, sometimes even S$5.00.

I firmly believed that after this current recession, there will be hyperinflation. All commodities will go up in price, as they are getting mroe and more rare. But then I say only lor, no action one. Don't even dare to touch the commodity ETF, so volatile. Weak heart will sure get heart attacks often. :(

Monday, June 1, 2009

Carbon Footprint Calculator

I read in the newspaper that you can calculate your own carbon footprint at this site: http://www.mycarbonfootprint.sg/.

Out of curiousity, I gave it a try. Here are my opinions.

1. They should as an English language teacher to check the grammer. Mistakes such as "does you & your family..." are aplenty in the questions.

2. Carbon footprint, to me, is something intangible, and all those calculations, at best, are guesstimates. The calculator asks you lots of questions to give you an estimate. For your reference only, don't get too upset about it.

3. What I don't like the most is at the end of the questionaire. They ask you for your NRIC number, email, name, etc, before they will proceed to give you the guesstimate of your carbon footprint. Hello, what are you trying to do? Why do you need to collect my personal information? If you want to compile an emailing list, fine, give visitors an option to opt in or opt out or to subscribe. (If you don't want to give out your personal details, just fill in some rubbish there)

The intention of the website may be good, but then please put in a bit more effort to make the site at least look more professional. Good intentions need good results to back them up. You can talk the talk, you have to be able to walk the walk, too.