The Rammifications of Thought

So what's on your mind?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How intelligent are you?

Today while waiting for my turn to use some equipment at the production floor, I took an IQ test for the sake of easing my boredom.

IQ, or intelligence quotient, was created as a tool for evaluating the mental maturity of children. The median value for IQ level is set at 100, with the 'normal-range' around 90 to 110. Which means, if you fall out of that range, you're either an idiot or a genius (or both, depending on circumstances). Interestingly, half of the world's population have IQ levels less than 100.

Though the results from the test may not be conclusive enough to serve as a formal reference (it is an internet quiz after all), I think all employees in my company should at least give a shot at it, just to let them know where their intelligence levels are. It could serve as a filter for potential hires. Heck, it could even be used for appraisal purposes.

Engineers with IQs of less than 80 should be fired instantly (and I know there are a bunch of them who are that intelligent). In between that and 110, perhaps leave them with some unimportant tasks and let them remain as a grade 1 engineer for the rest of their lives. Slightly higher than that? Ok maybe promoting an extra one or two low level managers wouldn't hurt the organization.

Those who are above 130...these are the people that the company should be taking care of. Shower them with lavish gifts, annual bonuses in the 6 figure range, infinite allowances for any category they can come up with, bungalows, maids, mistresses whatever's out there that the rich people are having. Now that would be what we call 'tapping into human resources'.

Plus all of this could be determined in a less than an hours time. No more annual goals and appraisals. No more office politics to see who can muscle their way to the top. No more bickering between the smart and the stupid.

Think of how much the management will profit from this. The entire company will be one big peaceful organization and prosper til time infinite.

By the way, I scored a 130 :D


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Selling your soul to purchase a car

My friend and colleague is planning to get a new car soon. He has a Vios in mind. Sometimes when I hear him talking on the phone about obtaining bank loans and all that financial stuff, it makes me feel envious and sad for him at the same time.

Fancy a Vios anyone? Now available at an irresistable price of selling your soul.

No doubt a car is a guy's ultimate dream toy. The average male species would tell you that if they had one wish, they'd ask for a Beamer or a Benz with sunroofs and DVD players over a hot babe with a sweet smile and sexy curves. In some cases, maintenence for a car may be even less compared to keeping a girlfriend. Having a fast car may help you hitch a girl or two, but having a wife definitely will not give you any benefit when purchasing a new automobile.

So you want a Beamer eh? Make that three souls and 10,000 karma points.

Of course, I'm a fan of cars myself, and dream of getting my own imported Japanese-branded vehicle one day. I actually owned one back in my secondary days, but how about getting one with four wheels this time instead of two? Personally, I like the Honda City with Modulo of the hottest cars for that price range, IMHO.

Let's be realistic and stick to something I can a couple of decades time.

But then, imported cars in Malaysia are so darned expensive. I could work my ass off repaying my car loan when my friends in the US or UK could probably buy a Mazda with cash. If you work out the maths, a RM80,000 car would set you back RM900++ a month for 7 years, given that you pay 10% of the price as downpayment.

900 freaking dollars. Some cops don't even earn that much for a living (and yet some are happily driving Camries and Accords). It really burns a gaping hole in your pocket but most guys, being guys, cannot resist the ego masturbation they get when they sit in their shiny new vehicles.

Logically thinking, I'd rather buy some property rather than pay for something that runs on four wheels. But alas living in the city means I need a car in good condition, and in a few years time, I doubt my trusty Iswara will serve me as well as it is doing now. And I really need something that does not involve any usage of the clutch whatsoever...Hey, it's the Klang Valley I'm living in.

Let's hope the company will do well and revise the annual pay increment and bonus giveout. If all goes well, and I strike the lottery or something, that City might be nearer than I think ;)


Monday, September 25, 2006

Fifth anniversary

Five years ago today, on top of a misty mountain, a boy asked a girl to be his girlfriend. The boy was deeply in love with the girl, and did all he could to prepare for this moment. Alas, the girl refused, thus leaving the boy alone in the dark. Heart broken, the boy took one last look at the girl as she walked away and whispered her name softly before taking a plunge of death into the deep ravine before him.

But no worries, that's just an alternate version of history that could have happened to us. Have been watching too much of The Triangle lately and all that alternate dimension/parallel universe theory.

So this is what I made for Gurl.

If you think the drawing is childish, the colouring bland and in general, the card sucks, I would agree with you. But it's not for you, is it? So bug off, art critics.

The reality is, the girl accepted and they remain a couple to this very day.

Happy 5th anniversary, Gurl!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

DIY gift card

I decided to make a card for Gurl in conjunction with one of our important dates. It's been quite a while since I've done some hands-on artwork and I had to crack my head thinking of the design. Circuitry design is easy for an EE but it's a different story when it involves artistic design.

Being on a rather tight budget (I had other costs to bear in mind), I tried to keep the cost of making one under RM15. But with my art kit left at home, I had no choice but to fork out some extra money for the tools and material.

Gift cards for lazy people rule number 1: You don't have to start from scratch. There's always the option of buying a ready-made card, though you need to find a suitable one to match the theme and layout of what you're planning to do.

Got the card from Living Cabin, fancy papers from the local stationery store, which added up to RM8.80.

Fortunately I had some basic tools with they don't count into the cost except the box of colour pencils which cost me RM7.50. I never knew they were so expensive cos I was previously using the set which I got during primary school!

A good start is to have a sketch of your idea. I tried to put it down on paper just to get a rough idea of how it'd turn out. After being satisfied, the real work began. I decided to use a cartoon theme this time (hence the colour pencils) to give the card a cute look.

After much, drawing, cutting, pasting and colouring (and getting my table dirty), my DIY gift card was done! Total cost: RM16.30. It took me about 2 hours from conceiving the design to actually making the card. It wasn't too fancy, definitely not one of my best but I was kind of satisfied with it.

How does it look like? I can't disclose it before it has reached the hands of the stay tuned to find out :)


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Autograph books: Hidden art

I was in Muar last weekend, basically doing nothing but eating and watching some TV, all the while staying at Gurl's place.

It's not always that there's an extra guy to help around the house, so Gurl grabbed the opportunity and started the long-postponed task to clean up her bedroom. Figuring that it was my responsibility anyway, I obligingly (gladly?) chipped in my efforts to help.

A girl's room, a guy's nightmare.

While clearing up her stuff, we came across her old autograph book, dated back to her primary days at Convent Muar. Taking a break I flipped through it to see what pre-pubescent girls had in mind when they were on the verge of graduating from primary school. Well it's not that I didn't have gal friends of my own back then, just that I was from a chinese school and chinese-educated gals can be quite conservative at times.

Yay autograph book!

The moment I opened the book it had me in stitches. I recognized quite a few of the people who left their traces on the pages...Sheena, Michelle, Shi Yan, Pei Jie and Vicky to name a few. It was really funny to see what these full-grown ladies were writing 10 years ago. You could not imagine the fun I had going through all those entries, trying my best to hold back the tears (of laughter of course).

My favourite poem went like this:

[Name] went to to town,
Sitting in a taxi,
Drinking a Pepsi,
Wearing a maxy,
Amboi, so sexy!

It's amazing how 'creative' kids were then. Though not making any sense whatsoever and obviously a copy-and-paste work, they did rhyme. What the heck is a maxy anyway?

Among all the colourful, doodle-ridden entries, I did manage to find a few that were somewhat unusual. One of them went like these.

Dear [name], I have nothing to write. Just STUDY HARD. May God bless you.

Straightforward and to the point. Now that's a girl who matured at the age of 12. I wonder if she's writing summaries for news articles now.


Monday, September 18, 2006

The Bull

I have an insanely annoying colleague who happens to sit near my cubicle in the office. A brief intro/rant about him, whom I shall call Bull, is here. Of all the 200 cubicles in the office, he gets the cube next to about shitty luck and bad karma.

Bull is new to the company, like me. He's had some experience in the industry, working for a number of companies before he decided he'd ruin my present company. Bull has pissed me off way many times ever since he set his stinking foot into the office. One of the very first was this.

One of the most dreaded things I dislike about him is the way he talks. Apparently the previous companies that he worked for were not very conducive toward his command of English. I can hardly comprehend what he puts out of his mouth, though the way he does it the entire office is able to hear him. As if language was not enough a problem, the guy seems to talk unintelligeble crap for most of the day, bugging the hell out of people and wasting productivity.

And that's just the start of the hate list I have for Bull.

Hell he could be a washroom cleaner and nobody would question his IQ at all, but for someone with an engineering degree it is unbelievable how dumbfucked one can get from the stupidness displayed by him. Honestly, I didn't expect an engineer to turn out like how he turned out. If my kid were to be like that I'd fucking kill myself. Actually I'd put a gun to his head before killing myself, that'd do more justice to mankind and mother earth.

Sometimes I really wonder how my boss, who has a team of great engineers, managed to be conned into hiring this little prick. Maybe he was blackmailed, threatened...who knows. But Bull definitely does not belong here in this office.

The earlier that Bull gets bored of his job and move on to another company, the happier I'd be. Meanwhile, I seriously need to consider taking up anger management classes.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

A guide to expletives

I'm going to shed the goody-two-shoes blog image for a while here. Kids, stay out.

Being brought up in a multi-cultural country sure has it perks. For one, our choice of vocabulary can range from our mother tongue to tons of other words from different languages and dialects.

But what's the fun in language without certain words or phrases to spice it up? Here are a few "language stimulators" from my daily dictionary that I'll be sharing with you.

Fuck - Pronounced as a short, distinct mono-syllable word, often as an exclamation. One of the most versatile swear words ever to be created. Used to express surprise or disbelief, usually in unfriendly circumstances. Also a way to express anger and hostility toward unbearable idiots or situations. Other known phrases include whatthefuck, fuckyou.

"Fuck! There's a police block up in front."

Diu - One of my early expletives picked up in primary school. Cantonese version of fuck, usage is similar to the situations described above. Often scattered in my conversations with hometown friends, and only limited to guys. Also used to express sarcasm and contempt.

"Who the hell does he think he is...diu!"

Niama - Another Cantonese classic, literally translated as 'your mother'. Usage can be quite subjective and covers a wide range of situations. Most often used when I'm extremely dissatisfied with someone, including morons behind wheels. Sometimes used with 'diu' as a prefix resulting in a longer, more insulting swear word that would piss anyone off.

"Niama...stay off the fast lane lane lah you turtle."

Mahai - Translated as 'your mother's private part' and often pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable. My personal favourite for the countless retards I encounter on the road everyday. Variations include 'machaohai'. Sometimes teamed together with previous two expressions to form...the ultimate swear phrase.

"Mahai...this fucktard just can't stop bugging me."

Cibai - Ah, a contribution from the Hokkien I believe. Personally, coming from a place where most people are Cantonese, I seldom use this expression. Being a lousy Hokkien speaker, I can only pride myself in pronouncing this word without flaw.

"Cibai kia!"

Well, isn't language a wonderful thing indeed?

So full of air

I'm having a flatulence problem. This is a follow up (and a relief, I'd say) to the previous day's stomach upset which I didn't expect to be that bad at all.

Saturday was like hell. My stomach was like an overloaded washing machine, ready to churn out whatever that went in. The worst thing was, I was fucking put off by food. Appetite was at an all time low. My whole body was zapped of every ounce of energy and resulted to burning fat as a result of the tummy not getting any solid food. Carbs and protein were lacking from my diet that day and I guess my brain was running on fatty tissue alone.

And I am that lucky to get this on a Saturday. Hell why didn't it happen on a Monday, or any other weekday that I could probably skip work on medical leave? On the bright side, I experienced the comfort of home rather than being stuck in cold, lonely KL.

My hypothesis of how/why it happened? Friday night, 3 packets of Mamee (don't you love this shit, grown-ups?), a meal at home, a 500ml can of Heineken, a packet of chips dipped in absurd amounts of seasoning, a packet of chrysanthemum drink, and topped up with a packet of peanuts.

Mix and digest, and you've got yourself a perfect excuse for not doing anything. People who are on a mission to slim down, take note, though it might cause some discomfort compared to the usual (but slower) way. Oh, and you're taking it at your own risk.



Friday, September 08, 2006

UTM 37th Convocation Part 3

As I went into the queue, for the first time I observed closely how the procession on stage was to be. Walk up the stairs, step onto the dots, wait for your turn, bow and take your scroll, and finally walk down the stage along the dots. How hard could it be?

After what seemed like ages, it was finally my turn. Stepping carefully so I wouldn't trip and embarass the hell out of myself, I moved closer to the vice chancellor. Then, I could vaguely hear someone's name being called (I assumed it was mine) and I stepped forward. It's funny how all your senses are dulled during these important moments in life.

It was surreal. I didn't even look at the guy's face. After receiving my scroll, I muttered something that sounded like 'thanks' hurriedly and brought myself back to solid ground. The entire process was over in like 30 seconds.

5 years of blood, sweat and tears just for that fleeting moment. Trust me, if you really value that half a minute of fame that you're about to have when you graduate, you better stick your head into those books and never pull it out. Me, I'm just lucky I had a rather easy time at school.

I guess this must be one of the rather unusual posts about convos where tons of obligatory pics are NOT posted. Did I bore you? Like I'd care. Anyway, I'll let the photos do the talking now.

Ah, I've graduated. Finally.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

UTM 37th Convocation Part 2

Correction to my previous entry: And I slept like a baby...for about 5 hours. When the alarm clock went off, I could barely open my eyes. This is going to be a long day, I thought.

With all the reluctance of a toddler being coaxed away from his favourite toy, I dragged myself up and prepared for the big event. Coat, check. Tie, check. Graduation robes, check. Making sure it wasn't the wrong day, check. And it was off to UTM.

I'm seldom seen donning shirts and slacks, given that the dress code at my company is smart casual. And by that I mean the t-shirt and khakis type smart casual. As long as you don't show up with singlets and a pair of thongs, it's fine with them. So you could guess how different I looked in full formal wear.

Well, smart, of course :p

No pics to show here so work your imagination.

At 7.30am, the campus was already swarming with graduates and their family members. The main hall and waiting area was like huge gob of pollen attracting all these little bees that came in all ages.

I noticed that many of the parents were busy making their children look good. A nip here, a tuck there, did they seriously think that the son/daughter is going to look any more handsome/prettier? Bah. I did all the dressing myself.

Before going into the hall, we had to register first at some counter that was set up for that purpose. One poor girl unfortunately was barred from registering cos she couldn't understand the dress code given in the invitation letter, and wore slacks to convo. Apparently, girls wearing slacks aren't too well received in public universities. I dunno what happened to her in the end, but I hope she made it.

Cameras were not allowed, but what the heck.

After some 3 hours of waiting impatiently to receive our scrolls, it was finally announced that graduates from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FKE) were next. I was hyped. Though I looked cool, my fingers were fiddling the edges of my robes. So it was time.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

UTM 37th Convocation Part 1

Over the last weekend, three significant events occurred that made a great impact on me: the Malaysian carnival sales came to an end, I went on a road trip with my family, and it was UTM's 37th Convocation.

Usually the photo-snapping-happy me would have lots of pictures, but due to some reason I didn't have the urge to shoot away during the course of events. Maybe it was it was my big day and I was having the pre-convo jitters. Or it could be because I desperately need a new compact camera. Blame it on the ego.

Anyway, I did have a good time with my family. Trips with all family members participating are getting rarer nowadays, and even though the car was a bit heavier, it was fun.

We stayed at the Zon Regency Hotel by the sea (formerly known was Eden Garden Hotel). Why is it spelt "ZON" and not "ZONE"? If it's an effort to promote the use of the national language, it sure is a dumb move. With the dodgy and dirty streets, tourists have other things to remind them that they're not in Singapore anymore.

Initially I had the impression that it was a 5-star hotel, making it a good place to stay, albeit the longer distance to Skudai. I realized that I was dead wrong when I was greeted with this.

Snakes on a Plane? Try Cockroaches in a Hotel Room!

I could see the little ones crawling onto the bed when I was about to sleep, attempting to challenge the much-larger species for bed space. Without mercy, I did my very best to annihilate them. Damn buggers. It was like a scene from Starship Troopers.

Other than the crappy room, the hotel was ok. They have this open space where you can see the lounge and listen to the live one-man-band from the corridors, if you're too cheap to actually get a drink at the lounge.

The other consolation that we got was the duty free shoping complex that was situated right next door. It used to be quite a rundown place without many visitors, and even after the refurbishing and renaming of the place, it still seems a bit desolated during the weekends.

Got myself a pair of Hush Pups, adding to the existing two pairs that I have. All merchandise there are sold at RM10 cheaper on top of the discount, woot!

Another puppy in the family.

Beers were selling cheap but the prices for other alcoholic drinks didn't seem to be much different. I bought a bottle of Bacardi Lemon and a couple of beers, which I downed the night before my convo. And I slept like a baby.

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