Thursday, August 31, 2006

3% disabled!

It's official! I'm 3% disabled. Sigh....

Had to travel to Nee Soon MC in today's pouring rain. Well, at least it ends the many many visits I keep having to pay to the medical centres. Saw the MO, filled in a little medical board form, and wait for it then, I guess.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Misplaced my iTunes

Dang.. can't listen to podcast cos I lost my iTunes. Where did it go?!!

Interesting puzzles!

Some interesting puzzles are listed out here, with their solutions.

The original version of the Random Native puzzle goes like this.
1) You are at a crossroads, and you don't know which way to go. One is correct and leads to life, the other is wrong, and leads to death.
2) There are two tribal natives before you. Based on their dress, they come from two different villages. One of them will always tell the truth, the other will always lie.
3) But you can't remember which is which.
4) How do you, with only 1 question, figure out which way to go?

(The answer is in white font, so you can't see it but you can highlight it!)

Ask either one, "If I were to ask you if the left road was the correct one, what would you say?"

The truth teller would tell the truth, and the liar would lie about lying, so he would also tell the truth.

Now, the Random Native has 3 natives there. One always tells the truth, one always lies, one tells the truth randomly. You have two questions, what do you ask?

Guy Kawasaki: Ten things to learn this school year

This article by Guy Kawasaki is pretty cool, even though it looks more like 12 items. Lol. Anyway, he's a start-up guy, can look him up on google if you want. But some of the 12 items are pretty cool! I like two in particular:

6. How to have a conversation. Generally, “Whassup?” doesn’t work in the real world. Generally, “What do you do?” unleashes a response that leads to a good conversation (hence the recommendation below). Generally, if you listen more than you talk, you will (ironically) be considered not only a good conversationalist but also smart. Yes, life is mysterious sometimes.


7. How to explain something in thirty seconds. Unfortunately, many schools don’t have elevators or else students would know how to explain things in a thirty-second elevator pitch. Think mantra (three words), not mission statements (sixty words). Think time, not money, is the most important commodity. Think ahead, not on your feet. At the end of your thirty-second spiel, there should be an obvious answer to the question, “ So what?” If you can’t explain enough in thirty seconds to incite interest, you’re going to have a long, boring career.

So. What do you do?

A lot of interesting readings...

Yep.. I did some reading in a bit of spare time today, found quite a bit of nice sites to improve self..

First, Greg Mankiw's blog. He's an economics professor, and I went from Marginal Revolution to there because of this article on Inequality and Unions. It puts forward an interesting question on where inequality stems from.

From there I followed his link to Piled Higher and Deeper, which is this awesome comic I first picked up in Stanford. It's about PhD students, and how ordinary (well, maybe not-so-ordinary) students muddle their way through Permanent Head Damage...

After that, it was this article about how, basically, empathy seems to be a choice that we can make - which I agree entirely with!

Some more interesting readings, but I think I'm gonna segment them out so I can say more in detail about each one.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Key's birthday

This was Key during our birthday dinner at Tonkichi. Beautiful, isn't she? She's pounding the sesame for the sauce. Pity, I enjoyed the katsu more without the sauce.

And this was me!

I booked a hotel room in Four Seasons The Regent. It was nice, not bad - but I think next year we'll try something else, get a different experience. This was the room... It was spacious, though. We spent a lot of time lazing here, or in the Regent Club, with freeflow drinks and cookies / snacks.

After the dinner we went shopping at Kino, then tried to look for a pub. The first few at Orchard road were too crowded / noisy, and then later as we got closer to the hotel they were all quite quiet. In the end we went to the hotel bar. Keying got a frozen margarita which was not a match for the Olive Garden one. And I somehow ended up with a chick drink! Next time, I'm only going to have beer. Somehow, everytime I ask for a cocktail it looks like a chick drink. damn sianz.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Waste of electricity

It's 7.30am, and the lights are on.. what a waste of electricity...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

Just upgraded my phone to this nifty one. I'm not really a phones person - all I ever needed before was a phone that can call, sms, and take notes, but when I saw this phone I was like - damn, I want it! Finally, a phone with a decent camera! And so here's two pics from the phone, of myself and my darling Key Posted by Picasa

Lim Siong Guan on leadership

Was at a talk yesterday by Lim Siong Guan on "The Failure of Leadership".

Only really remember a bit of it... Let's see. He started with a joke, saying his slides were pretty much the same if you'd heard him speak before... And the joke went like this:
1. Some guy with a degree in Economics goes back to U to see what the exam questions are like after twenty years.
2. Finds that they are exactly the same!
3. So he asks the professor, how come the questions are the same? Haven't things changed?
4. Professor says, ah, the questions are the same, but the answers are different!

And of course, like in any talk, I can only remember the first thing he said - the 3 failures of leadership, being 1) not learning from the past, 2) not adapting to the present, 3) not anticipating the future.

The talk is pretty much stock, but one thing sticks out in my mind: that it is imperative to change before change is critical. You should change while you don't need to, because then you have some slack to do things well. He gave an example: Suppose someone is not the best fit for a job. You should immediately retrain him or exit him while times are good and you have the resources to do right by the chap - else by the time the company gets into trouble and you HAVE to retrench the chap, you don't have any resources to help the guy move on...

This actually makes sense! Well. So now I gotta figure out why I'm only listening for directions from my boss rather than being an agent for change...

And, to end off with another joke from the talk:
1. Two hunters were out walking. One collapses, eyes rolled up and not breathing
2. The other whips out phone and dials emergency services
3. "Help! My friend is dead!"
4. Operator calmly says, "Don't panic, I can help. First, let's make sure he really is dead."
5. Silence. Gunshot.
6. "Okay, what next."

Read from that what you will!

A long night at work

Sigh.. was working till 4am rushing some work. Flat like pancakes now!

Anyway: from Key:

1. Hm... you're a good finanical planner!
2. Babysit Erin and Emily for a day!
3. blue... composed (sometimes) and organized...
4. your patience with me..
5. the guy who got cut near his eye by his glasses (which broke) during a basketball game.
6. Puppy....
7. why me?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Randomly Lari

And now something for Lari!

1. You're the best poet I know. (Like, as in personally)
2. Get something published!
3. The red of autumn leaves - bright but also faded, somehow. Both that you're so lively and yet reserving a bit of yourself.
4. You're so enthusiastic about other people...
5. OBS, and you and Penny asking so enthusiastically about me and Keying. LoL
6. Puss from Shrek - cute, but sharp... ...
7. Why are you so sad sometimes?

Oh. and to answer Lari's question: I travel a lot because I like travelling, and because I'm lucky.. lol..

Randomly about Key

First random list is for Key, who asked offline...

1. I think you're definitely the more popular half..
2. Try to totally "qian jiu" your mom for 1 week.
3. Orange, bright bright orange!
4. You are so willing to go out of your way to help whoever.
5. That first time when Nekki introduced us on the 151...
6. Dolphin! Dolphin!!
7. When did you first, first, first have the tiniest suspicion I was trying to date you?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

7 random things

Got this from Lari..

reply to this comment and,
1. I'll respond with something random about you
2. I'll challenge you to try something
3. I'll pick a colour that I associate with you
4. I'll tell you something I like about you
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of
7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your blog

So.. if you want me to try it with you, drop a tag or a comment!

And first, Lari's response!
1) He's a basketball fannn!
2) erm.... hahah. Meet me and penny. Lol.
3) Blue, calm and cool ^^
4) You're really creative about your solutions. we couldn't have made it past more than half our challenges without you ^^
5) First and clearest: The guy who gave a real creative solution in our first challenge at OBS^^
6) Monkey - Smart!
7) Why is it that you travel so often?!?!

Back from Florida and New York

So I'm back from the US. Will probably have to post a blow-for-blow if I ever get my pictures uploaded, lol. But as usual, I'm wayyyy too busy to think much about doing anything as mundane as keeping track of what happened.

Part of it is simply the crush of work and 400 unread work emails. Still - I'm glad I went. Managed to spend mucho time traveling with darling Key, and not worrying about things like work and living....