21 September 2006

20 September 2006

First day at my new posting

I reported to my new workplace today after attending a 2 days course. Wow what a change compared to my previous working place.

Firstly, the place is exceptionally quite, why because most of the people are on the field performing their work.
Secondly, the pace of work is totally different. Here the pace of work is like comparing when I was driving a Formula 1 car with driving a Perodua Kancil!
Thirdly, the environment is so tense where I could hardly find something to crake a joke (maybe it's only the first day)

I found my new cubicle right outside my boss's room. He can actually sees whatever I am doing but it's OK, he was my former boss before he was transferred to this place.

What I found most uncomfortable was that he BIG BOSS has decided to revoke my Internet e-mail (he had earlier on revoked my Internet access before I came). Now I am totally cut of from Internet access and Internet mail.

Another rule of the house is that all communication will have to be signed off by the BIG BOSS. Even managers are not allowed to disseminated any communication as representative of the this working place. Wow that's like clipping off the wings that I have grown for the past 10 years. What the heck, it's his domain let him have the final say.

But work is work wherever you go, I would just have to follow the rules laid upon me or else I would not know what will happen to me.

19 September 2006

Accelerated Thinking Skills

For the past two days I have attended the "Accelerated Thinking Skills" which was conducted by Dr Micheal S J Butterworth. I have previously attended a course which was also facilitated by him on "Creative Thinking". I remembered him because of his unique name "Butterworth" where his great grandfather was the first Straits Commissioner where the current Butterworth was named after his great grandfather. He was a linguist and can speak Arabic, Italian, Cantonese, Hokien and Teochew. However I did not know that the course that I am attending would be also facilitated by him.

The last time I attended his course, he was engaged with a company. He has since ventured out on his own and operate under a company called "Out Of the Box1 Pte Ltd". The course was designed to enable Managers to come out with creative and innovative ideas for which are "Areas of Concern" or "Areas of Interest". It uses a tool called "KnowBrainer" to enable us to use both our right and left brain to go about thinking creativity.

What I like about this course is on the subject on how to conduct a brainstorming session. Usually (and currently) when we are engaged in a brainstorming session, it's really a "STORM" where ideas really poured out from everyone and in the end there was no concrete or acceptable ideas being generated. Dr. Butterworth managed to teach us the following methodology to have an effective braining storming session:

Step 1 - Thinking in the Box
All participants are required to write down in a piece of paper all their ideas. They are not allow to divulge to any participants of what they have written.
Step 2 - Thinking outside the Box
Once all the participants have completed writing their ideas, all ideas are compared to an appointed person. The ideas are recorded and similar ideas that have been thought of by other participants are counted. This step will enable the listing of all the ideas of participants and at the same time list out which are the common ideas and which are the original ideas.
Step 3 - Thinking in and out of the Box (provoked thinking)
Using the SCAMPER method(which stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt from other Industry, Magnify or minify for a better idea, Put to other use to come out with a better idea and Rearrange or reverse the use for a better idea) the ideas are analyzed for improvement.
Step 4 - Thinking out of the Box (wild ideas)
Think about some crazy or weird ideas. These ideas may be laughed at but the participant may have a reason for providing such ideas.

In the end, the best ideas are selected where the brainstorming session would prove to be very effective.

Every one enjoyed the course and the feedback obtained indicated that all of us really appreciate the above new way to conduct a brainstorming session.

15 September 2006

2007 Honda Civic Type R

If you remember, I have been following the availability until the launch of the new Honda Civic. Now they have announced that the 2007 Honda Civic Type R will be available in UK in March 2007, it never reach our shores unless the car is brought in by some one rich. Here are the pictures of the car:

Smart forfun2

Wow a Smart car became a monster car, check it out:

14 September 2006

Going away gathering in the office

Today, the office had a makan gathering for the farewell of Edward Lee who is resigning and my going away. The caterer came with her trolley of food and once the food were laid, I was called to start the "ball rolling". I was surprised by Laily who informed that there was nasi dagang. It was what I wished for when she asked me what sort of rice did I wanted for the gathering but the bulk of the rice was nasi tomato.

After everyone had finish their food, comes the time for the souvenir giving and small speeches. I was not ready for the speech and just wish the rest of my staff good luck and told them I would still be around even though I will on a different floor. My ever comical boos, Ephrem Louis presented me the card and souvenir to me. It was pewter ware from Royal Selangor. A very cute name card holder and a pen holder (see picture).

Here some photos of the event:

11 September 2006

Happy retirement Micheal!!

Micheal Schumacher finally announced his retirement from Formula 1 racing at the end of this 2006 season. He made the announcement during the victory interview at Monza. Well, his retirement announcement did not come as a surprise because there were already much speculation on this matter. I think he have realised that he is not getting much younger when he was beaten by Alonso to the championship in 2005. Anyway, it's time to allow the younger driver (and also those who have been racing long but without any podium finishing) to shine.

Ferrari has also announced that Kimi Raikkonnen (my son did not this annoucement) has been signed up for a three year contract and Felipe Massa has also been retained after showing much promises in racing and winning the recent Turkish Grand Prix.

Even after the announcement of his retirement, it's still not over for Micheal because he has to close the gap between himself and Alonso. The difference between Micheal and Alonso is only a mere 2 championship points. Three more races remain before the season end. The three races are all held outside Europe which are at Shanghai, Suzuka and Interlagos. It's going to be an exciting three remaining races to see whether Alonso can still work his way to retain his reign as the champion.

Best of luck Micheal and may you retire with your 8th World Championship !!

Jay Chou's Still Fantasy

Jay Chou’s 7th Album “Still Fantasy” which was scheduled to be released on 9 September 2006 was released earlier by 4 days as his record company found out that there was leakage in the source CD and the songs were available for download via various sites in the Internet (particularly those using bit-torrent). Actually, my daughter told me about the leakage because her friend managed to download the songs.

I went over to KLCC’s Tower Records to get me an original copy of the album which comes along with a DVD of 2 music videos from songs of the album.

Ahhh.. before that I did not tell you all that I am a Jay Chou fan(I have mentioned this in my posting where I wrote above "Fearless"). I kind of like him songs after listen to it when it was played by my daughters. After listening to his songs I bought a VCD of his Taipei concert and I was hooked. Then I bought his 6th album “November Chopin” and it was played very frequently in my car. After that there was the release of his song from the soundtrack of “Fearless”. I bought that too where it comes with the DVD of the music videos of “November Chopin”. Today I bought his latest released album “Still Fantasy”.

Going back to my story of where I bought the album at Tower Records hen I went over to the counter to pay for my purchase, the cashier asked me “Kamu mahu poster Jay Chou tak?”. What is she thinking that I am too old to have the poster of Jay Chou? I replied “Kalau ada poster tentu lah saya mahu, Ada kah anda piker saya telalu tua untuk membeli album ini?. She was taken aback and smiles and immediately handed me the poster. Wah, she thinks I too old to buy a Jay Chou album huh? Hey this old man is still very young at heart and I have not told her that also listen to all the latest hit songs. Even my daughter’s friend was surprise when I tuned to Hitz.Fm from the radio of my car!!

My immediate response from listening to the songs from the album is that that the album was good and a bit mellow down with less rapping. The music video featured Jay Chou next inclination which is directing and acting. I think he got the kick from acting in “Initial D” and got an awards for that too. Overall, my money was well spent on the album plus the DVD of the music video.

07 September 2006

Souled Out 10 Anniversary Carnivale

I had lunch at my favourite hangout, Souled Out today with a friend. I was surprise to see the waiters and waitresses there were in white outfits (they were normally in black). I noticed that they were wearing T-shirts with some carnival picture printed on the back. I asked one of them why a sudden change in their uniform. He replied that would be celebrating their 10th Anniversary Carnivale this coming Saturday.

What interest me was that they have changed the table coasters. Each coaster came with a different design of a mardi gras clown or a character. The waiter who was waiting at my table was kind enough to provide me with a set of the coasters.

So if you are free this Saturday, why not join in the fun at Souled Out( I do not get any commission mentioning this). These are the programs lined up:

5.00 p.m. - Fun Time begins with assorted food, drinks and game stalls.

7.00 p.m. to 9.45 p.m. - Live Entertainment from Malaysia's top ensemble of musicians and vocalists

10.00 p.m. - 10th Anniversary Presentation featuring dance performances, fireworks and loads of surprises.

10.30 to closing - Boogie the night away to SOULed OUT's very own Deejays of yesteryears.

All nett proceeds go towards P.S. The Children a charity organisation.

If you are free and interested, why not hop on over there, but I would advise you to make your reservations before proceeding there, sure there will be big crowd.

Appreciation Card from Seah Yeow Hwee

I got a surprise today on receiving an appreciation card from Seah Yeow Hwee, my colleague at Johor Bharu. I have mentioned in my earlier posting that he was recently promoted for his dedication and good work of maintaining our JB centre. I have told him of my departure from the department and would no longer be able to work closely with him.

I was touched by his kindly and thoughtful gesture of sending me the card. In fact, he has been sending me cards for the festive season like Christmas and Chinese New Year. Too bad I am not a card person (e-cards maybe). The receipt of the card really made my day.

Thank you.

06 September 2006

Japanese Commercial

Nearing to a new chapter

Another seven working days I will start a new chapter of my career in a new division( well my former division). As my time in my present posting is getting nearer to the end, many things have happened since Monday.

I managed to empty my drawers and cabinets of the contents that were kept there since 1996. I managed to fill up three boxes with unfilled papers. Looking back at all those papers, I only realised how much work that I have done for the past ten year. Lucky, the scrap paper man came on their monthly round to collect the paper or else I will have a hard time to shred all those papers.

One sad thing that happened, I got to read some one's feeling on something that was not true and was just the person's own judgment of the situation.

I was touched by some staff who approached me and thank me for recommending them for their promotion. I was touched by their remarks and most of all I was touched by the gift of appreciation that was given to me today. For those who have not approached me to say their appreciation, that does not matter to me since it is my part of my job specification to identify and to recommend deserving staff for promotion.

There was collection of money from the staff to organise a last meal with me before I leave the department. I would not call it a farewell party but rather a departing gathering. Sad to say there was no consensus on the menu of the meal that they are organising, some like nasi dagang while some did not( there's even a debate over whether the nasi dagang should be served with fish or chicken!!!). What to do when there are so many "creative" people working with me. In the end they ended ordering nasi tomato from the caterer.

By the end of the day today, I was informed that one of my staff was not too happy where there was a switch in the job assignment and reporting line. I could help out much since I do not want to meddle in the decision made or any future outcome. I only need to keep track of what will happen after I leave.

I wonder what more thing can happen for the rest of the seven working days left for me in the department.

01 September 2006

Using Nikon Capture NX

I downloaded a trial version of Nikon Caption NX to see how the software fare. The cost of the software is RM450-00 (too bad I cannot find a copy at Low Yat). The software was good to adjust your image especially with the use of D-Light and U Point. Using U point you can perform a variety of adjustments at selected points of your image without disturbing the rest of the image. Here are some samples of the photos that were adjusted using Nikon Capture NX :

Getting transferred, continued

Continuing on my posting of being transferred. Got a call from William Chew a very good friend last Wednesday (30 August) who have heard the news of my transfer. He was shock and did not want to believe the news he heard until my confirmation. It was very thoughtful of him calling and confirming my transfer. We shared the same ideals of our work and the "politics" that are going on.

Today, we broke the news of promotion Seah Yeoh Hwee, my colleague in JB. He was very happy of of the news. I later called him to break the news of my transferred. He too, was shocked and felt sorry for my state.

It was comforting to know that there are many more who came to me and asked me about my transfer. I felt very happy and at the same time sad that they cared and that I will not be working with them.

I took the opportunity to clear the papers that have been placed in my cubicle. To my surprise some of the papers have been placed into the cabinets at my cubicle dating way back to 1997 and 2000 onwards. I managed to placed all the papers into three big boxes. I was lucky enough to get Patricia to call upon the scrap paper people who were on their monthly rounds to pick up all the papers that I have thrown away. Looking back at all those papers, I realised that how work I have done and printed over the past 10 years. But now all the papers were of no use to me since I will be off to perform my new assignments at a new place.

I managed to call upon people who are working in my subsidiary company who were also shocked of my transfer. I have been working with them very well to ensure that problems that they faced in their dealing with the bank is taken cared of. The have offered to put in a word to the "relevant people" to cancel off off my transfer. However, I forbid them to do it because it might spark off some unwanted incidents or the "relevant people" might take a harsher action against me.

Just keep on reading my blog for more news, I have launched a "secret weapon" to see what happen next!!!