Blogging, Story-Telling and Making a Difference
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 30, 2005 Posted: 7:01:22 PM EDT
Our journey is our Life.
The more detours we encounter, the more complete our world-views will be, by experience.
Yes, I think story-telling is catching on and people in the corporate world are trying to get more in touch with 'their everyday wisdoms' or dare I say it, 'the feminine side of doing business'. People are realizing that 'business-as-usual' is not working out for our small world. Greed and oppression are shaping a world order that is alienating a big part of the world's population, killing many in mindless violence and maiming others with physical and spiritual hunger.
I think people want to get back to a more intuitive and nurturing existence. Like the world they knew as a child. Story-telling connects us to our childhood, where our dreams, hopes and our clear sense of right and wrong play out in our imagination and the world around us, with none of the bloody grittiness of our current reality-TV existence.
An excerpt from an email to a friend.
And here's a link courtesy of Danny Foo:
Party at Pangkor
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 29, 2005 Posted: 8:27:55 PM EDT
All of us at XiMnet are heading to Pangkor Island Beach Resort this coming 8th-10th of July.
Yeah, we've been there.
We enjoyed the previous trip so much, we are going to have some serious relaxing done there again, next weekend.
Team Dragon-Slayers, much deserved!
Can't wait. Can't wait. ;-)
Joy Of Work : Touching Lives
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 28, 2005 Posted: 8:25:19 PM EDT
TOWS Dynamics Sdn Bhd ( http://www.tows.com.my/ )
From: Deborah Sze
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 8:06 PM
To: Web Team - XiMnet
Subject: Re: ToWS Dynamics LIVE
Thanks to Lydia. She did up the ground work and guided me.
From: Andrew Ng
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 8:00 PM
To: Web Team - XiMnet
Subject: Re: ToWS Dynamics LIVE
Great job Deb. You're getting very good at coding.
With more practice, you'll surpass even the great dragon lady.
From: Florence Wan
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 7:45 PM
To: 'Bram Tan'; 'Andrew Ng'
Cc: 'Web Team - XiMnet'; 'Wiley Chin'
Subject: RE: ToWs Dynamics LIVE!!
Congratulations again, Bram! It looks FIRST CLASS!
Let the rocking and rolling begin!!!
From: Bram Tan
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 7:40 PM
To: Andrew Ng
cc: Web Team - XiMnet; Wiley Chin
Subject: Re: ToWs Dynamics LIVE!!
I have just had a look at
, Whoo Hoo! its great, my wife likes it too. Cannot wait to show it to customers!
I would like to thank everyone at XiMnet for the teamwork and great effort. I really appreciate how you all have made a great effort to work out what the big picture of ToWS needed and also to iron out all the small wrinkles too.
Wiley, you have some good people with you. I can only hope to have equal personalities working with me in the future too.
Will be in touch to let you know how its all going.
Best regards to you all,
From: Andrew Ng
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 7:24 PM
To: Bram Tan
Cc: Web Team - XiMnet
Subject: ToWs Dynamics LIVE!!
First of all, GRATZ on your new site!
It's now LIVE and loaded.
Check it out at:
Now for that motor ride.... ;)
XiMnet Malaysia SB
Asking for help
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 25, 2005 Posted: 12:53:10 PM EDT
Well, we all have a face that we hide away forever,
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone,
Some are satin, some are steel, some are silk and some are leather,
They're the faces of a stranger, but we love to try them on.
~ The Stranger, Billy Joel
Are you too weak to ask for help?
No, I am not playing with words.
It takes courage to ask for help. Because if you think about it, asking for help indicates you are insufficient by yourself. Saying you are insufficient by yourself to others is revealing some of your vulnerabilities. And as we all know, revealing our vulnerabilities can be a dangerous thing.
I know this seems like a little simplistic framework but I am sure it can hold water within the context of what I am saying here.
How much of yourself do you dare to share? How much of help do you dare to ask for? Have you thought about that?
Do you even know where you need help?
A couple of months ago, I met someone that got me thinking about this thing about 'making it easier for others to help us'. For this instance, it was a friend of a friend.
Tan was a star engineer in an MNC (semiconductor manufacturer, Penang) some 20 years ago, from what I was told. He left the big name and together with a group of friends, started a small company. He's been successful but he's not made millions for himself.
He is in his 50s.
I was asked by my friend to help Tan set up a credible web presence and do some branding groundworks for his company. Competition is getting tough as some companies in China are rapidly catching up and are able to produce some of his products cheaper.
I took at look at what he has online.
His web presence was atrocious. It would have been better for him to have no website than to put up what one of his engineers did. You take a look at the website and you will think he operates out of a backyard factory. But the truth is, he has a high-tech manufacturing plant in Penang.
As expected, Tan was complaining about how the overseas leads are not taking his products seriously. And that he spent many fruitless attempts haggling over prices with them.
I met Tan one afternoon at my friend's office.
The thing about Tan was, even as I was being introduced to him, I could tell he was going to be a difficult person to work with. There was this condescending attitude about him. He was wearing a sneer on his face. It is the kind of look you'd reserve for a aggressive salesman who blocks your path to stop you in a crowded mall and put out his hand to shake yours when you have no intention to be engaged in a conversation in buying something that you don't need.
Now I wasn't really interested in pitching to him. I was asked to help a friend's friend. And I knew beforehand this was not going to pay. I've wanted to do my bit for a friend.
I thought, well, perhaps he will become less defensive as he warms up. So I suggested that I could take him through a couple of slides about what XiMnet does and show him some of our work.
So I did.
Barely 3 minutes into the presentation, (he was putting up a look like I was wasting his time) his fancy PDA phone rang.
Without excusing himself, he answered the call. He spoke in Cantonese with someone I think was his daughter. His gaze was on me as he spoke.
'Ah...wait la, I will be done soon.'
'Wait a bit.'
'No laa...I am listening to someone... what to do...'
'Listen to someone talking Jesus only la...'
If you know Cantonese, you will know that he was being insulting to me. He was using his phone conversation to put me down. If he had said I was wasting his time more directly, I would've been glad to walk away. I could just tell my friend, (who's an investor in Tan's company) that I can't help him because he didn't want help.
But I was offended by his use of the phrase 'Talk Jesus'. It was a cynical Cantonese slang for 'full of shit' or 'talking crap'.
After he put down his phone, I told him directly that if he's not interested in what I can do for him, I am not going to continue with the presentation. I shut down my laptop and packed to go. But then, my friend walked into the room.
You know, here's someone who is having a problem. But he can't seem to empty himself of his prejudices to get the right help.
He doesn't even give others a chance to help him.
Think about it, how many times do we block-off well-meaning people who can and are willing to help us in our lives?
What a shame.
You could have built a better company if you've listened without fear or prejudice.
Think about this...
In our lives, we could've been a better friend, a better colleague, a better spouse, a better parent, a better human-being...if we'd listen a little bit more.
Or have our fear made us bat-blind in our long journey into the dark night, with no hope of dawn?
Does email marketing work?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 24, 2005 Posted: 7:21:29 PM EDT
Does Email-Marketing work?
According to the research below, it does. I think there's a need to distinguish permission-based email marketing from random mailing or spam.
Take a look at it. Email marketing comes up No. 2 in terms of Return On Investment. Low costs, good response rate, reasonably easy to execute.
But email marketing is as much science as it is art. How do you manage the brand perception? How do you create the right buying state?
I think the most important ingredient in email marketing is trust and respect. The customer must trust you and you must respect the customer.
God is in the details...
Read more on eMarketer's website here : http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?1003369
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 24, 2005 Posted: 4:29:59 PM EDT
'Any man who will look into his heart and honestly write what he sees there, will find plenty of readers.'
~ Edgar W. Howe, author and editor (1853-1937)
Picked this up from Brigitte Rozario's website
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 22, 2005 Posted: 2:07:58 PM EDT
Last night, my 9 years old daughter, Li-ann told me she wanted to sleep in my room with me. So at around 11.00pm, I tucked her to bed. As I was tired, I got ready to knock-off too.
I made some small talks with her to get her to unwind and go to sleep, like I usually do. The light was out except for the soft night lamp. And the air-con was humming softly in the background. It was cool and nice and we were both snuggling under the blanket.
Then, out of nowhere, Li-ann asked me;
'Papa, why do people have 8 children a long long time ago?
And why do you have only 2?'
'Umph...', I said.
Let me give you a bit of a background to this. And I am only guessing...
Li-ann loves to read. She has been reading all kinds of stuffs. During the recent school holidays, she had fished out a copy of Pearl S. Bucks', 'The Good Earth' from my library and read through it a couple of times. I don't know how much she got out of the novel but I think she might have noticed people in Old China have a lot of kids.
So, wanting to sound smart and informed, I explained to her that in the old days, people were mainly farmers and therefore they needed extra help to till their land and harvest their crops. More kids meant more help.
I really thought it was a very well good answer.
But then, she was quiet.
And so I got curious. So I asked;
'Do you want to have more brothers and sister, like 6 more?'
'If you do that, I will pack my bags and run away!'
That rejoinder came from under the blanket.
I guess the life of a father has changed a bit, since the days of Old China.
Bill Clinton - My Life
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 21, 2005 Posted: 8:16:45 PM EDT
I am currently reading Bill Clinton's autobiography.
I know what most people think of Clinton. They think of Monica Lewinsky.
And her cigar.
My thoughts weren't that far a way from those above when I saw this book at MPH. I flipped through a couple of pages, mostly to scan through those black and white photos sandwiched in the middle of this thick volume. I enjoyed looking at the photos. Then I scanned the text and read the preface. I'd expected myself to find some mumbo jumbo , self-justifying, scandal-ridden politikus talks.
But I was wrong.
When I started reading Clinton's own narration of his childhood in Arkansas, my regards for him took a 180 degree turn. I was moved by the story of Clinton's biological father who passed away in an car accident ( he died in a ditch, drowned perhaps) when Clinton was a baby. His early life as a chubby, self-conscious kid growing up with his loving mom. His slightly edgy stepfather and uncles. Most of all his unusual maternal grandfather who were way ahead of his nation's conscience in the 50s, down South.
I'd to concede.
Clinton the man is not your regular guy. There's something very special about this man called Bill Clinton. Yes, like there's something very special about this human-being called Oprah Winfrey. That sensitivity, that ability to emphatise with others, the heart-felt mission in life to reach out to help others.
I sat down and read a couple of chapters quickly.
Then I bought the book.
And I am reading it now.
And I can't believe the bad press he'd been getting. Sure, I know he's not an angel. I don't think anyone of us are. But he's definitely not the 'devil' seen on TV.
The man in his own words, what a soulful human-being. Almost unbelievably different from what he was made out to be on TV.
Well OK, if nothing else, he can really write...
Yes, he can.
And you should read him.
P.S. Brian Cracknell of LanguageWorks Sdn. Bhd. came over to our office and told me Clinton is a fake.
Brian asked me 'Can you feel his pain?' He then proceeded to ripped Clinton apart. Brian thinks Clinton is a self-focused, media-savvy, manipulative fake.
A walking hoax!
Oh gee...I sure like the Bill Clinton in the book. Let me finish the book. Then I can decide.
A Father's Daily Prayer
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 21, 2005 Posted: 7:44:15 PM EDT
A friend of mine shared with me this quote about 3 years ago. He is a loving father of 3. He travels quite a bit for his work and currently resides in Malaysia; far away from his wife and children who are in the US. It's a good quote with the right bearing for a father.
This one is for Father's Day 2005.
God, help me to be true to the great priviledge and the great responsibility which you have given to me. Help me to be an example and a friend to my children, and a real partner to my wife. Don't let me get so busy with work and with outside things that I am almost a stranger in my own home and that I take no interest in household things.
Don't let me take all that is done for me for granted, and help me to keep love alive within my home. Keep me from habits, which make the work of the house harder, and from the ways that irritate and annoy, or which get on the nerves of those live with me.
Give me health and strength and work to do to earn a living for those who depend on me, and whom I love so much, but help me to remember that love is always more important than money.
O God, you have given me the name of 'father'; you have given me your name; help me be true to it.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 17, 2005 Posted: 7:11:39 PM EDT
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: 'We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?' They said: 'Of course.' My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.' It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.
More about Steve Job at Stanford Report
HOT Knives Holder
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 17, 2005 Posted: 2:22:55 PM EDT
Apparently, this Kitchen Knives Holder is selling very well among single ladies over 30 years old. There must be a good reason for this mysterious market phenomenon.
Happy Father's Day
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 16, 2005 Posted: 8:01:13 PM EDT
Wicked joke from Manish of CNETG.
Penang Trip - Mission Accomplished. Some photos...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 15, 2005 Posted: 7:07:10 PM EDT
A 6 hours journey, from KL to Penang on Sunday 12th June. Started journey around 10am from USJ and arrived at Penang at 3.30pm.
Checked into Sunway Hotel, Penang. The view from the hotel room. KOMTAR against the sea and sky. After a short rest, we went out makan at Gurney Drive at night.
WorldFish Center, Penang Campus on Monday 13th June. It's a pitch!
By the pond with huge tilapias. And a big big catfish too.
Jalan-jalan after the sign-off. Flo, Lydia and Khoo Kongsi (A clansmen home) caretaker. What a marvellous piece of architecture.
Leong San Khoo Kongsi, Penang.
Flo with the door guardian murals
Lydia inside a hall with beautiful doors. Erm...don't know the name of the place. :-)
I am standing at the entrance of an old building that reminded me of my childhood.
So.., what is so funny?
Mission Accomplished. On our journey home, we drove into a tunnel around 7.30pm and...
Popped-out on the other side and behold, we drove right into the famous Ipoh Nga Choi Kai (Bean Sprouts with steamed Chicken) restaurant. We makan-laa, since we already got there... ;-)
Reached home at about 12.30am, after sending Flo back to Cheras and Lydia to Seri Kembangan.
P.s. We never got to taste Chendol despite hunting for it for 2 days.
Outside the Box
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 15, 2005 Posted: 11:21:10 AM EDT
How can you encourage your child?
Use your imagination...
Click on the link to watch this excellent ad.
Windows Media Player required.
Soliloquy before Penang
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 11, 2005 Posted: 12:47:20 PM EDT
To laksa or to cendol, that's the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous hunger pangs,
Or to take arms against a sea of hawkers' fare,
And by eating end them?
Shakespeare's a Malaysian. Mouseover his portrait for that AHA! moment.
Here's the real thing from that Shakespeare dude: To be, or not to be
Fanatics on the loose...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 11, 2005 Posted: 11:13:56 AM EDT
It's hard to find good staff. It's harder to find good business partners. We have the good fortune of finding a bunch of lunatics, I mean fanatics at Integricity.
Alex Lam, Warren Tan, Jek Tan and their team.
Great team, all under 30. We click like old friends.
We had dinner together at Bernard's, Centerpoint, Bandar Utama. The place was alright, a little loud for a good conversation and the food was not memorable. I had Penang Fried Koayteow. Perhaps I should have tried their Chick Kut-teh.
Check out the review here :
Bernard's, Centre Point, Bandar Utama
The service, I must say, was quite good. Very friendly waiters. But the company last night was great! Mad stories about servicing customers from another world told with great earnestness.
I think Jek can make a good stand-up comic when he gets tired of Data Centers dying on him! Jek?
We had fun.
Flo was laughing louder as the beer hit her after the happy hours. Lydia was saying strange things that got us worried about her 'sanity'. Deborah SMSed Andrew during the dinner. They were sitting next to each other. Yep.
We are planning to do some outdoor stuffs together, maybe white water rafting at KKB or paint-balls at Subang Jaya.
Anyway, I think Andrew had the 'mostest, funtest, smile when he was sleeping' time.
See Ming & Sim Are Getting HITCHED.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 9, 2005 Posted: 7:38:57 PM EDT
A Penang Trip
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 9, 2005 Posted: 7:10:55 PM EDT
We ( Flo, Lydia, Andrew and I ) are heading up north to Penang this Sunday. We have a sales presentation at 10.00 am Monday morning. Something 'fishy' at Bayan Lepas.... :-)
Tell you later laa..
The last time I stayed in Penang and had time enough to do sight-seeing was about more than 10 years ago. I bunked in at my friend's house at Gelugor. Shahridan Faiez, the one who's MIA now. I remember climbing the Kek Lok Si, hiking up Penang Hill, kayaking to a little pulau ( I forgot the name, there was a temple on top of the rocky hill ), eating Laksa at Jalan Gurney, driving along the winding costal roads to Balik Pulau, eating thosai on Sunday morning, savouring cendol with big kidney beans on the roadside on a hot afternoon, etc.
That was a long time ago.
Maybe I get to eat more cendol with big fat kidney beans on the road-side.
What was the name of that road???
Aisey, nevermind, just see laa how...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 7, 2005 Posted: 6:21:53 PM EDT
In our journey through life, we can be a blessing to others or we can be a reason for their sufferings.
We can be a source of evil in this life or we can be a remedy to the ailments of this world. We can be a solution to the strife or we can be the very reason it exists.
We can be the healer or we can be the destroyer.
I've met all kinds of people. Some good, some bad, many are trying to live their lives without getting too involved so they don't have to deal with unneccesary troubles.
A few are mindlessly irresponsible and destructively selfish.
My friends, what are you?
A Prayer, St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Pining wife takes poison
BY R.S.N. MURALI
SEREMBAN: When her husband failed to return to Malaysia, a distraught Indonesian woman poisoned herself with weed killer. She also gave some to her two-year-old daughter.
Reni Wahabi, however, did not take the life of her four-day-old baby.
The baby was found covered with mosquito bites but otherwise unharmed.
Neighbours found Reni and her daughter dead in her home in Kampung Siliau, Rantau, near here yesterday.
Norliza Yunos, 42, alerted the police when the 32-year-old woman failed to respond to her calls.
'I peeped through the door and noticed Reni lying motionless on a chair holding her daughter,' she said.
'I screamed and the other neighbours came,' she said.
Norliza said that, on several occasions, Reni had said that she would kill herself if her husband, also a foreigner, reneged on his promise to return to Malaysia from his homeland.
Acting OCPD Supt Mohd Taib Latif said there were stab marks on the two-year-old child as well.
The remains of both mother and daughter had been sent to the Seremban Hospital for a post-mortem.
Taken from TheStar Online: 7th June 2005
Don't Do A Michael Jackson On Yourself
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 7, 2005 Posted: 3:26:57 PM EDT
'Where on earth but in America where a poor black boy can grow up to be a rich white woman'
I've heard some good jokes about MJ but the one you've just read was the best. Yes, I know a lot of mean things have been said about MJ. I think some of them are very cruel.
And I feel sorry for the man.
I don't know if he really is guilty of all those child-molestation things the papers say about him. From what I've known and read about him, I can emphatise with him.
It's a sad story.
But I want to raise another issue about MJ.
When I was a teen, I remember MJ was this thin black boy with an afro hairdo plus a big happy smile. I remember watching his 'MTVs' (not sure it was Before MTV or After MTV phenom), 'Rock with you', 'She's out of my life' from the Off The Wall album.
I thought he was really good.
MJ is a supremely gifted human-being with so many God-given talents that make people like us look monstrously dull in comparison.
Personally, I can ignore a lot of things MJ has done but I am not sure I can understand why and what he's doing to his own face.
And more than that, I cannot understand or accept why there are plastic surgeons who are willing to operate on him so radically that he's not the person the world knew; that he's no longer the person he was born into this world. The Michael Jackson who sang 'Ben' as a kid, and the Michael Jackson who was a part of Jackson 5. That exciting band who performed Destiny, Blame it on the Boggie, Off the Wall, Rock With You...etc.
Yes, MJ can do whatever he wants to his own face (maybe he has a psychological need for that) but what about those plastic surgeons?
Can they be above their own conscience to do whatever their client (MJ) asks them to do, without questioning their own professional ethics and considering whether their 'works' will affect their client's life. I am sure this must be irregardless of their client's demands and requests.
Do we always have to give in to our clients' demands, especially when we know they are going to do an MJ on themselves?
You know, a couple of times, in the course of my work with my clients, I have come across people who are intent on making an MJ of their projects. And most of the times, these clients display an appalling lack of color-sense coordination, an under-developed ability to understand design harmony and most of all, a wonderfully impaired mind when it comes to accepting the principles of clear communication is not about shouting out loud, blinking hyperactive texts, crass graphics and red exclamations marks.
And if that is not complete as a recipe for disaster, these deficiencies always come with an autocratic sense of what is right and wrong, a frightful need to control the process irregardless of the sacrifices on creativity and human-relationships, PLUS this damning 'I KNOW WHAT I WANT SO JUST DO WHAT I WANT' attitude.
Between the promise of a branded client and a self-destructive human-being trapped like a sad clown inside an adult's body who's going to ruin his own life, his company and ultimately bear the painful consequences of his folly, I do not see the need to be a apart of this circus.
I will not 'operate on a Michael Jackson' in my line of business, it doesn't matter if he's going to make me rich or not. I am in this business to help. Seeing MJ now, I don't think he's any happier than when he was a poor little black boy.
If only he was willing to seek professional help.
His mind, not his face.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 3, 2005 Posted: 8:34:53 PM EDT
Li-ann cried last night.
One of her four gold-fishes died. Of asphyxiation, I guess.
Wesley must have switched-off the water-filter system for the aquarium accidently when he was pushing the furnitures around.
I think the school holidays is the best time for mischief. Restless kids.
Anyway, I got home and saw the gold-fishes swimming close to the surface, half-dead. So I switched on the pump again. Unfortunately one of the four was already gone. It was tumbling all over the place as the water-jet started pumping. It was upside down and swirling inside the aquarium.
It looked so odd, so unnatural, that Li-ann burst out crying. She ran to the dining table, stood on the chair and started bawling, hands covering her ears. I think she was dramatizing the event a little because she said to me;
'This is the first time I am crying for my pet, boo-hoo...'
Her voice wasn't really that sad. It sounded a little contrived. But she had real tears! And she wouldn't allow me to bury it with a flush. As in, drop it into the toilet bowl and flush.
I had to bury it in the garden.
At 10.30 pm.
Wesley felt so bad that he tried consoling his elder sister by wiping her tears away with his 'Play Dough' tainted fingers. A 4 year old kid brother trying to console his crying 9 year old sister.
And at the same time, Christina was saying to Li-ann in all earnestness;
'It's OK, Li-ann. Don't look at the gold-fish, I don't want this to traumatise you and affect you psychologically when you grow up...'
I was trying not to laugh out loud the whole time.
Current Musing of Marina Mahathir
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 2, 2005 Posted: 7:15:55 PM EDT
I noticed that Google return my blog if you searched for 'Marina Mahathir Blog'. If you are looking for her blog, click here : http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/
More things not to do
Some people may recall a column of mine which gained some infamy because I talked about how while Malaysians are misinterpreting what Malaysia Boleh means, they are also not paying attention to what they tak boleh. I gave examples of Malaysians running around trying to make the biggest this or the longest that, none of which enhances anybody’s life, while at the same time ignoring the very many things we cannot do, mostly think and speak.
Well, guess what? In the time since then (not that long ago), not only have people stopped trying to paint the biggest batik sarong or sew the longest selendang, which is a blessed relief, but the list of things that we cannot do has expanded. Now we possibly cannot go to the movies with male relatives or friends unless we put up with them sitting separately from us; we have to freeze every time the call to prayer is heard; we can barely watch any live entertainment at all; there are more and more states where some of us cannot get married unless we submit to a test that we don’t understand and will bring us any amount of grief. The list, as I said, is only getting longer.
What happened? Did we take our eyes off the ball for a second and someone swatted it away? Or did we purposely choose to ignore what was happening, or just chose not to say anything? We’ll pay dearly for it some day.
We have to be aware that the country which we love is changing, and not in a good way. There are more and more un-elected people making policies in this country, few of which are any good to most of us, and we are letting them do it. Why then do we have elections every five years?
I recall that in the last elections, most of us chose a government that promised us more tolerance, more openness and more freedom. We gave a clear mandate to them to do all that they promised because we wanted to be able to express ourselves more, have more opportunities in life, which necessitates more openness and choices.
But we are not getting it. Or at least some of us are getting choked even more while the rest of us are simply ignored. The lovely multiethnic, multicultural Malaysia that is our pride and joy is simply crumbling because, and I have heard some people openly say it, there are people who would like to make it mono-ethnic, monocultural and mono-religious. That’s not the Malaysia I grew up in, not the Malaysia I want my children to live in. Not the Malaysia I love.
What is next? Is there absolutely nothing that cannot be thought of entirely in terms of religion, morals and sex? (As I’ve said before, people who are so obsessed with sex can’t be getting much of it, or have too much of the wrong kind. We should ask for public audits of politicians’ sex lives. That might explain some of the idiocies). Next, we have to have separate compartments in public transport facilities. Airlines will be obliged to have curtained off separate seating for male and female passengers. Or there has to be male-only and female-only buses and train carriages. (I can see them nodding in agreement). Or how about Muslim-only and non-Muslim-only transport?
Since everyone likes to fuss about entertainment, what about sports? What about football? With large crowds of people getting highly emotional about men in shorts, surely this is cause for concern. How about making footballers wear trackpants? How about banning women from going to watch football? But that would mean all-male crowds that may also lead to bad things. How about banning football altogether?
People may say I’m getting hysterical about this. But what’s the difference between these examples and all those people who said that those who don’t believe the state should interfere in our private lives are asking for people to parade in bikinis in Parliament? (If you ask me, the mostly male MPs would love it.) Why is it that only some people are allowed to make giant logistical leaps? At least my leaps in logic are a lot more feasible.
Wake up everybody! If we don’t watch out, this country that we have given so much to, and which has given us so much, will be gone. We have a democracy and we have to hold on to it. Let’s stop allowing people we did not elect make the rules that govern our lives.
Taken from The Star Online ~ 2nd June 2005
Musings by Marina Mahathir
Well said, Marina. Well said.
Death on an afternoon
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 2, 2005 Posted: 7:03:58 PM EDT
I witnessed a conversation about death this afternoon, at the restaurant downstairs my office. It was about 1.15 pm. The place was milling with the usual lunch crowd.
Three men, all around the age of 50-60, were sitting around a table, drinking stout. From their easy familiarity but celebratory tone, they were obviously old friends who haven't met for a while. They were talking agitatedly.
I was waiting for my fried koay-teow from my fave stall. Yes, fried koay-teow, southern-style, with no prawns, no eggs, extra beansprouts and extra cockles. So I was standing nearby, hearing without really listening.
Suddenly, one of the three men exclaimed ( I know him, his wife runs a Pan Mee stall in the restaurant. He is there always to help out);
'Tiu Nia Seng! Ah Ching Sei Chor ah!??' (* In Cantonese, 'What the f***, Ah Ching is dead!??')
His face was red as he turned aside, shook his head vigorously and made a gesture like he's going to spit. The emotions of his face were a crossed between disbelief, disgust and perhaps a little bit of sadness mixed with disappointment. This Ah Ching, who might've been his close friend, is dead.
He couldn't believe it.
That was his tribute to his friend, now dead.
His way of expressing his existential pain, this life, what is it all about...
F*** Life! Such a mystery. Here today, gone tomorrow.
What a poetic send-off.
I wonder if Ah Ching heard that...
Don't take this cup...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 2, 2005 Posted: 12:22:06 PM EDT
Thurs, 2nd June, 2005, 9.00 am.
Flo made a cup of hot Milo.
She placed it on Andrew's table and walked to the pantry to wash a spoon.
Andrew came in fo the morning, all raw and in 'unthawed' glory from a night of violent sleep. He saw a hot cup of Milo (Hot Choc, Ovaltine for you guys there in the US) on his table.
'Hey, it's sooooo nice.... for someone to perk me up with a hot Milo first thing in the morning!'
Flo returned and saw Andrew holding her hot cup of Milo in his hand.
She challenged him;
'Do not take this cup from me'
For a brief moment, the atmosphere was filled with a strange kind of spiritual flourish. Like a cat stopping mid-pace, ears up, eyes darting with sideway glances, audio-scanning the uninspired orchestra of everyday human humbug for a possible encounter with feline transcendentalism and inspired cat-hood-ism. ( I don't know what it means, so don't ask)
...but maybe it's just a false signal...
An unexpected brilliance from an unexpected encounter on an unusual 9.00 am, Thurs morning.
Over a cup of Milo.
Taiwanese BKT, anyone?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - June 1, 2005 Posted: 8:43:46 PM EDT
Andrew, Flo, Lydia and myself went to Kota Kemuning Country Club last night to chill. Andrew 'warmed-up' at the gym before splashing into the swimming pool like a cat fish in need of a mate.
Flo, Lydia and myself chilled in the pool through-out. I swam like, 5 laps?
It was good.
We were totally famished by the time we showered and packed.
McD anyone? Nobody wanted that, not even Chicken Foldover. Fries with Coke? Ugh!
We needed a real deal. Real food!
Guess what, we passed mamak, hawkers' fares and went for, of all things, BKT.
And then we found out it was run by a Taiwanese lady. That's super odd. We had a claypot of BKT, Yellow-wine chicken soup, yam and meat slices and bean-sprouts with salted fish.
It was surprisingly good.
Andrew was eating fast. Extra rice, some more...puberty again?
Maybe we were really that hungry.