Of mice and men

I've been working overtime because suddenly I'm being swamped with too many projects lately. The last time I count, I got 5x projects, 3 is currently being executed and two on the queue. I'm picking up multithreading skills ( those who know me knew I'm a single threaded guy all my life) and I do feel like I'm growing up, in a certain sense.

Look at my project desk! Don't get jealous ok?

I'm beginning to delve into project managements and coordination which I kinda sucked at. I had a "personal assistant" during university days, and when I come in my company my boss became my personal secretary, keeping track of project schedules and nudge me if I forgot to do something. The only project management that I know of, is to keep track of my lunchtime. Everything relies on technical expertise ( a 5 month project can be finished in a week if you're good enough) and pure luck, and I've been damn lucky so far.

70% of my work delves around this little devil called glow control unit.

99.9% of the time when people ask me what did I do for a living, I say I test glow control units and they gave me a blank stare. I had to start humming "You know diesel engine? There's no spark plug inside, but how they burn diesel? They need a glow plug to heat the engine and ..." along the line.

These few weeks there ain't many nice pictures to show off, but one day I've managed to sneak in my uber cool SLR to take a few pix of my office. Of course there are the mandatory chick shots and whats-nots, but I don't think they're gonna be very happy to be featured here.

I like this pot of flower leaves that my boss plants, it's beautiful and when I told her it's beautiful, I get promotion and salary get raised as well, so I really like this plant :P

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There must be some cockroaches, sewer rats or even human bodies hidden somewhere inside the plant. In my office no less. Many people from other department are wounded when they enter the office it's not surprising some might die before they manage to exit the office.

This drawing is ~10 years old,
I wonder if my dad did this to my drawing when I'm smaller, sigh ~.~

Random picture.
Sony, Like.No.Others.

And we had a farewell/ good riddance dinner to celebrate the two brave colleagues who finally managed to muster enough courage to quit. It was in Teluk Kumbar seafood ( again) but this time I bring my SLR along and managed to take some pictures. Most of them could not be displayed, unfortunately :)

Sunset at Teluk Kumbar.

Craps. I prefer the crabsticks though.
You need so much effort to get to its meat it's almost funny
so many people still want to eat craps,
albeit the effort needed to pry open the shell.

Yucks. Veges to negate the sins we made that night.

The food came too fast I am unable to take pictures of the rest of the foods, because I am too hungry the hungry horde start attacking the food before I'm able to snap the pix, but I managed to snap the aftermath though :P

And what better way to flush down all the toxic with more toxic some god's nectar?

The bill come up rather cheap though, RM26 per head.

Signing off, more work needed to be done and it's a sunday afternoon.

Office politics

side note: If I wanted to summarize what I learnt the last few days, it's really money talks, bullshit walks. No matter whatever ppl say, you just need to flash some greens in front of them and viola, they instantly became whatever you want them to be. No questions asked.

I've been sick these few days, terrible headache, no appetite, and a bunch of other unpleasantnesses. (note to self: No more 10am walks under the hot sun, especially in unshaded area like a dam.) Not helping is the fact that suddenly I'm swamped by work stuff. 2 projects in hand, and one external project to boot. Might have to work til 10pm soon.

Recently alot is happening in the office, two colleagues who is the same batch with me fried the boss. I had been expecting them to do that for a long time, but it somehow made me think of my position in the workplace all the same. One went to sg to toil like a cow, and another purportedly get ~Rm3.8k salary somewhere else. (to put it her way, I wouldn't get her salary even after 2 years working here) Why wouldn't I resign? I don't know. I do not really have a super bunch of colleagues, I stay just because the bosses are a nice bunch. Call me stupid, but I will stay for as long as they needed me or someone offered me a RM4k job. I had difficulty refusing to help someone who needs help, that's my weakness. Right now the department is in turmoil and running away seems ...... lame.

And as they say, bad things comes in pairs, this afternoon I attended a discussion session with the MD, where you got to voice out your concerns to the top management to respond, and when I asked the MD what plans he have for us engineers to improve our technical skills and competitiveness, what he told us wasn't comforting at all. He treated engineers like off-the-shelf parts that can be purchased, just add hot water, no grooming necessary.

It's funny how he, as a typical marketing guy, protects the companies' intellectual properties til the point it became absurd, ( we can't legally bring in floppy disks/ pendrives/ cd burners/ bluetooth devices to prevent us getting stuff out ) when he don't realize the brains that created those intellectual properties are going away. What is left here in the company, is stupid fucks who do not even know how to operate a windows based tester ( fyi it's a one button does everything program) I almost vomit blood every time I face them.

Enough of bulls, maybe I'll leave the company after all. But definitely not within this year, there are things to be done around here.


After going without protection for months finally I relented and go get some protection instead. I have quite a few gigs of photo collection, and bundled with all the old nostalgic stuff which I don't know I'll keep for how much longer, I really do not want them to disappear at the blink of an eye.

I was contemplating to get a full-blown external RAID 0 array (which costs around Rm580 for a full 160GB setup with two mirrored HDD setup) or as simple as 3.5" internal HDD, which I'll use to fill up my porn junks instead of mirror backup. Another option is to buy a full fledged Atom PC which will only cost Rm750 to use as a file server of some sort, but it seems stupid when all I need is just some mirror drive.

2.5" NoTouch HDD enclosure. Sexy? Perhaps.

Finally I decided to get a 2.5" lapdog laptop HDD instead, and try to be disciplined enough to do monthly backup. HDD price is falling like London Bridge and I got a 160GB 2.5" HDD for RM205, inclusive of external enclosure. Darn cheap, I must say. Now one of my eternal worries are gone. No longer I had to worry about lost data and my pictures are now better protected against my own stupidity.

Oh, and my new PC plan would have to be scrapped. I couldn't find enough reason to justify spending RM1k++ just to make my photo processing 1000% faster. It was unnecessary in view of the 'unfavourable' economic condition I landed myself in. Some colleague of mine is looking at his 2nd house and he only landed in his 30's this year. By the time he lay on his death bed he'd be looking at his 25th house I think. And comparing to other, less conspicuous colleagues, a huge , glaring gap is immediately begging to be seen. I don't hope to get a 2nd apartment by my 30's, but I do hope to get a place of my own in a very short time. Some bastard coursemate already paying for a spanking new car and house, and I'm not far off I'm paying for my fourth SLR lens. Ok that is supposed to be a joke if you don't get it. This year I would probably skip buying some new gadgets, including SLR lens. Robin is going to get disappointed :D

It takes some ingenuity to save some dough. Presenting you:

How to Save Money and Save Face
Guide #1.

An iPod, CX300, and Philips pouch and you'll be complete.

Look at this iPod, ain't it cool? Well, it's Rm600 on open market and believe it or not, you can actually listen to one, and almost get audiophile quality audio for next to nothing.

1) Go find a friend who have an iPod Nano(tm). Borrow from them on the pretext of saying you're contemplating to buy one. If you do not have friends who have one, go find a new bunch of friends, what you have now is too cheap and not able to support you. What are friends for if not to help each other?
Tip #1: Go find rich friends, most rich bastards have one iPod. Or more.
Tip #2: You can also go befriend someone who works in Agilent. All new hires for 2007/8 get one iinm.
Now you save Rm600, and it's just a start.

2) So now you have an iPod Nano(tm). You need a better earphone than the plastic thing they supplied to you ( which they called earphone, which is really an insult to earphones. ) You decided to buy IM716 but it's gonna cost you ~RM560. Oh no you don't have to spend so much.
Tip #3: You need to look around the drawer for the CX300 that you left there sometime ago. Don't tell me you didn't have a CX300. If you REALLY don't have CX300, go kill yourself or something. You don't know what you've been missing all these years of growing up, and I'm sorry for you, I really am.
You can use your CX300 and not buy IM716, it's enough to suit your needs.
You save another Rm560.

3) You still miss something. You think for awhile then voila, something hit you right in the head. YOU NEED A TUBE AMP! How could you listen to an audio without a tube amp? > < href="http://www.darkvoice.com.cn/337se.htm">THA337 amp that you loved so much, but at Rm3k it's not exactly cheap either. So what did you do?
Tip #4: You might already know, the iPod comes with Wolfson codec audio output. No, I don't suggest it can beat the crap out of tube amps, but if you're one of the 98% of the population who couldn't differentiate between an earphone and an IEM, you probably don't need the THA337.
Oh holy cow, I just help you save RM3k!!!!!~~

4) Finally, you need a pouch (duh!) for your friends' beloved iPod. I knew you already got that SHE9700 haven't you? It comes with a pouch that fits the iPod Nano(tm) perfectly. Now you don't need to buy whatever protection for your iPod. This is what being prudent is all about. You don't need to buy those lousy Made-in-China protector, and you have a free, cool pouch that every other iPod owners are going to get envy for. You could probably save Rm20 for this cool act alone.

Robin would be happy to see this pic.

In total, I just helped you save ~Rm4k of dough! There you go, the guide to save money and save face at the same time!

30 miles of bad road.
Nothing to do with overall post but,
what the heck.

Side note: If the iPod owner stumbled upon this post, don't get angry and demand your iPod back pls? > <

A collection of seemingly random pictures

Two weeks ago Robin visited penang, and unluckily I became the tourist guide. We went to a few places, snap a few pics, and while he took mostly landscape and hot chicks pics, I took mostly flowers and random objects, so normally we don't need to fight for objects to photograph. Kinda lazy to upload the pictures nowadays, so count your blessings when you saw these pics.

Strangely, most of these pics are taken with 18-250 zoom lens. Robin must've intimidated me with his Ollie but nevermind, Ollie still sux and Sony rules. But I've kinda ignored this lens for few months and it's time for it to redeem itself. And my RM1.9k > <

Flower #1. Love the smooth creamy bokeh in the background.
Pic taken at WOA, iinm.
But the small subjects are not really sharp,
might need a dedicated macro but
currently wanna save a bit dough.

Legend has it that Konica Minolta first developed circular aperture blades which is said to produce better bokeh. Nowadays almost all Sony lens comes with circular aperture blades, which is a nice thing to have. On most lower end (read: cheap) C lens, the bokeh is *not-s0-nice*.

I think this is cat's chin or something. *unsure*

Robin and I, we really had different views on photography. He went through a digicam ( two actually?) taking super pictures with cameras most ppl won't even wanna use. He knows a thing or two on how to use what he have to work the way he want it to be. How many people actually use kitlens and produce works of art? Not alot? Yeah, he's one of them.

Me? It's simple. If it sucks, it's the equipment. If it blows you away, it must be the thing behind the camera. Simple enough to comprehend?

You can't blame me, though. This Sony A200 is really my first camera, discounting the crappy 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor crap I use to call digicam. Though I have access to my brothers' DSC-W1 (it's also a Sony) it doesn't really have much to offer me. No bokeh, no UWA, no true macro, no nothing. But it have a sensor which beats the crap out of T200, T2, T-whatever that Sony is currently offering.

Yellow flower.

The wise one. He seen so much he knew,
the best thing to do is to stay still.

I manage to force convince Robin to have dinner at Tao's, on him. xD Tao is my favourite tho. How favourite? I go to Tao again last week. The only gripe is that we do not have a lot of time there , they kinda rushed everything and we were expected to leave the place at 8pm, while we only arrived at 6.40pm.

Unagi sushi (correct me).
It's so good Robin and I had to order the 2nd time,
and the 3rd.

Interior decor in Tao.
It's so recognizable someone said "u went Tao???!!!" when I show her the picture.

I do admit, sometimes my pictures are kinda emo. Not that I want it to be, but I'd be happy actually, cos it's a work of art, my way of expressing myself. Quote John Rambo: "It's what we do, it's who we are. Live for nothing, or to die for something." Well, might as well make something out of life :P

Don't know why but this thing grab my attention.
Maybe of its round shape,
maybe the way it coiled itself,
maybe it looked lonely.

No particular reason to like this photo.
Just thought it looked above average.

There is more pictures, but I don't wanna overload a post with so many random pictures. Till the next time. Go to robin's blog, I do think some of his photos are damn cool.

Burn Out

These few days had been incredibly hazy and it don't really do good for you. Firstly, the temperature is super hot because the haze traps heat and usually there would not be any wind during hazy days. Then, the view is terribly ugly, luckily it is raining now ( pity my car had to survive the acrid rain ) It really did not do anything to uplift your mood.

Recently a spat of work related issues had been eating into me too...

1) Work is getting routine, no major challenges for me, not that I want any, but, heck, hope you get the idea > <

2) Lack of job security: Lately I'm becoming a pawn over some inter-department battle, and if my dept lose, I'm gonna get more work to do ( which is bad ), and if we win, the boss gets to hire more guys ( which is bad too, ie I lost the only bargaining chip I have ) In uncertain times like now, it's better not to switch jobs if I can avoid it...

3) I have two projects which faces delays which is not my fault ( the designer did not provide proper specification for project I, and for project II, the management did not approve the project til NOW ) and the deadline for both the projects is ..... september 2008, which is 1 month from now. For scaling purposes, a typical project takes 3 months with full technician support, slightly longer if it's a new project ( think NPI ). Now I have 2 projects, both using new approach never tried before, and because of some intra-departmental separation, I did not have any technician assistant. And because of the timing constraint, I simply had no time to redesign the setup using a new approach if it don't work the first time. Sigh, I'm sure it won't look good for me > <

4) Some colleague are so ignorant it almost become funny > <

Despite everything, I still kept my ideals, my boss is still a great bunch, it's just this lingering unease which I began to built over the last few days. Maybe it's time to start saving for the looming rainy days.

Anyway, gotta start posting some pics soon, there's a ton of pics waiting to see the light of day I'm just too tired to sort 'em out.