Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Once in a newspaper article, the writers says that if you don't have the necessary quality, capability, & intelligence, please don't take up that leadership position even if you are being promoted to by your management.

The consequences of a low quality leader will result in low team morale, loss of fighting spirit, and evetually, the demise of the team.

It is frustrating to see a company, a team to be led by someone who is not really up to mark. Being an engineer, we are supposed to make complex things simple, but then now instead of making things simple, we make simple things complicated, and dig a big hole to trap ourselves.

It is even more frustrating to realise you have nowhere to go :(

Friday, July 24, 2009

Banana - A Silent Killer?

Banana is one of my favourite fruits. There are many reports stating the benefits of this wonderful tropical fruit.

Then last night, I read in quite a horror a book mentioning banana as a silent killer. The book is on Chinese medicine. The author says that banana has a 'cold' property in Chinese medicine. If people eat a lot of banana, it may lead to some bad effects, including leading to mild depression.

For a period of time, banana is the only type of fruit that I ate, persuaded by a friend saying that banana is good for the brain, it provides lots of energy to the body. And then during that period of time, I did feel mildy depressed, under a lot of stress. Luckily I stopped eating banana after that, although I didn't not the link yet at that time.

So today, I am writing this blog entry to caution people who like to eat a lot of bananas. This seemingly harmless fruit may cause depression!

Of course, the effect will still vary a lot from individual to individual. As a general rule, people who are weak, prone to flu/cold, should minimize their banana intake.

Will I eat banana in the future? Yes, I will still eat banana, but only small quantities, and only from time to time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Weekend Reviewers

I have this constant fear of my photos being reviewed on weekends. It seems that there are many part-time reviewers who work on mainly on weekends. They are a lot more strict, or more peculiar about rules.

For example, I have many photos of the same model from the same shoot accepted. Then there are two occasions that photos from that same shoot was rejected simply because the model release was not to their liking. One insisted that I must use the model release from that particular microstock site, although my general purpose model release had been accepted by the same microstock site time and again.

This weekend reviewers phenomenon does not apply to one single microstock site, it applies to almost all the stock sites. Every site has this problem.

The best solution? Don't get your photos reviewed on weekends :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Solar Eclipse on 22 Jul 2009

There is a total solar eclipse on 22 Jul 2009, which is next Wednesday. For this rare astronomical phenomenon, it is lucky that it will be partially visible in Singapore too.

According to a local website, the partial eclipse is visible at the following timings:
Singapore 08:40 09:43 09:11

Well, I have never seen any solar eclipse before, be it partial or full. I have set my reminder and alarm on my handphone. Boss is not around next week, so I should have no problem to sneak out for a couple of minutes to witness this interesting natural phenomenon.

Chinese folklore says that solar eclipse is a bad omen. Disaster may strike... Mmmh.... Let's see how it goes this year. 2009, a year of change!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Market Update Seminar

It is a Saturday, yet I still had to wake up at my normal time as any other work day to attend a Market Update Seminar organized by one of the local brokerage firms.

I always feel intimitating to attend such seminars. The attendees are mostly (>85%) our most respectable senior citizens. Many of them are filthy rich and market gurus with tons of life experiences. Someone at my age is considered to be very young and standing among them, I look like a small kid.

The highlight of the seminar usually is the tea break. All the aunties and uncles will gather all their strength and rush to the food at the earliest time. While the young ones are queuing orderly, the seniors just walk straight to the food and pick up whatever they like, totally ignorant to the long queue. Sometimes I really wonder whether they are really so filthy rich, or they are actually from refuge camps.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Charity Bowling Tournament

Yesterday was our company's annual charity bowling tournament. It was the 3rd time I played bowling in my whole life.

The first time was back in 1996, the score was 80+, then 2nd time was in 2007, the score was 94. Then yesterday was the worst of the worst, lowest score of 59, and then progressively to 80+, but never went past 100 points.

That was quite expected, if you don't practise, then you won't perfect your skills. Some may claim he can do something very well even the first time, yeah, true, that's called beginner's luck. Look at how many gamblers have failed terribly believing they were born to win big in the gambling table.

To achieve something, commitment, hardwork & persistence are the 3 necessary elements. There is no short cut.

17 Again

It is an American comedy except that I don't find it funny in any way. I didn't even laugh, as there were no funny jokes or scenes for me to laugh. Cosy scenes, yes, there are quite a number of it, some it is still not too bad.

The story is quite cliche. Mike used to be star basketball player in high school, and he was about to be chosen for a university scholarship and start a glamourous life in the NBA? Then his girlfriend told him she was pregnant, and for that, Mike gave up his basketball career for his wife and family.

Then for the next 20 years, Mike also blames his wife and children for ruining his potentially bright career, until his wife got enough of it and asked for a divoice.

By the power of God, Mike transformed to a 17-year old and went to high school again, in the same high school as his son & daughter. He then realised how much he had neglected his own family. And blah blah blah... and in the end, he made exactly the same choice again. He would give up his basketball career for his family.

Very predictable, and there is absolutely no surprise.

My rating: 2/5

Friday, July 10, 2009

Internet Clawing

It was reported that someone paralysed some American & South Korean websites in the past few days. Well, they are AMERICAN & SOUTH KOREAN websites, but today, it seems like some sites in and around Singapore are also being affected. In general, internet access time is significantly longer, and web pages load much slower.

This happened during office hour, I thought it was our company's lousy internet connection, but then after I got back home, the internet speed is still very slow. Sometimes some web pages even stall, causing the brower to crash.

This period is an extraordinary period, extra care must be taken to everything, and patience and prudence shall rule in this unusal times.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Work Holiday Visa

Have you ever heard of this thing called "work holiday visa"? Maybe you have heard of it, but do you actually know that being a Chinese citizen, or a Singapore citizen, you can actually apply for a work holiday visa to Australia & New Zealand, if you are between the age of 18 & 30.

I only got to know this last week. What a waste. For Singaporeans, there are a lot more choices other than just Australia and New Zealand. You can choose USA, France, Germany, Hong Kong, & Japan.

Well, I am too old to qualify for work holiday visa anymore, so I can only go for holiday visas :) That's not too bad anyway, all fun no work, provided I have deep enough pockets.

Check this website out, you may find something that may fulfill your dreams:

Riding the Bear

Title: Riding the Bear - How to prosper in the coming bear market
Author: Sy Harding
Publisher: Admas Media Corporation, 1999

This book was published in 1999, discussing the coming bear market in 2000 and beyond. It points out the root cause of the bear market - basically it is a way to curb excess in the market, a natural self-adjustment of the economic law.

The book also pointed out specifically loose credit & heavy debt in the US is going to weigh on the economy. As you read it, basically you will find that whatever people are saying about our current financial crisis in 2008/2009 has been said before, and the same cause caused our last bear market in 2000, and the same cause is causing the crisis in 2008/2009. There is nothing really new in what is happening today. It is just a repeat of history.

The author points to the no moral standard in Wall Street bandits, and the people being put into positions to take care of the country's financial health are the same bandits climbing from Wall Street.

The author also dedicated some pages in discussing LPs, limited partnerships, being sold by the Wall Street bandits to low risk investors. As you read those pages, cold sweat may come down from your head. Those LPs have so much similarity to our REITs, shipping trusts, and of course, the mortage-back securities.

My conclusion after reading this book is that Wall Street and financial industry has failed innocent investors before, and they will fail innocent investors again and again in the future. It really pays to open your eyes wide when you invest your hard-earned money. Some sound knowledge in financial industry history helps too, as the same old tricks are being used under a different name.

The Joy of Success

Title: The Joy Of Success
Author: Susan Ford Collins
Publisher: Quill 1st Edition 2004

In this book, the author shares with you the 10 skills to success.

The 10 skills are:

1. Escaping the success trap
2. Shifting your approach
3. The science of dreaming
4. Communication so powerfully
5. Using other's expertise
6. Updating your past
7. Committing to outcome
8. Shielding your dream
9. Switching back
10. Maintaining your balance

This book brings some interesting concepts. One is about success. It says that Success is about completion, deletion & creation.

Success will only come if you can complete something. It may not be something very great, it can something as trivial as completing your jogging once every week for one year.

Deletion is about removing the people and factors that negatively influence you, or who don't want to be included in your dream.

Creation is you become a creator, to create beautiful, useful things and ideas.

This book is a bit long-winded sometimes, but in general, it is a good motivation book to read. It may change your view towards life.