Working Alone

This morning, Becky has posted a very poignant topic about working alone. In some cases, it is critical that one needs total concentration to complete a certain task to the point of almost projecting a hermit-like behaviour. Unfortunately, humans being humans, one can be judged as being aloof, arrogant or even a social outcast but never the true intentions.

It got me thinking. Yes, I more or less do my best work when there is no one to disturb me and I get to choose my choice of 'background noise'. I also do my best work when I am among friends or with like-minded people where they do not ask me questions and I get to hear funny anecdotes instead. However, on the subject of working alone, I always do find that I am... forever alone.

Even with a great crowd, there is always the feeling of being alone. Its not that I am coming to terms with the embarrassing fact that I was actually an introvert. Yet this is not as bad as when I discovered I was a brain-washed South-paw. It's more to do with the kind of 'Art' that I work on; Scale Lighting. There is no one to talk to apart from answering their questions on techniques and offering guidance. On many occasions in the past when I needed help on circuitry design and practical theories, looking for the right person always ended up in disappointment. Not only that, my more successful peers (Engineers) could not elicit even a slightest hint of guidance since this to them, is a waste of time and at one point, stupid. Even when I was working, it was also the same (most of the time). 

But that is not the real reason I do not talk to people. In fact, most of the time, I LOVE talking as I have considered myself to be very successful in misleading people while putting on a straight face. Most people I have conversed with, trusts me with their secrets which I would just upkeep my role as an attentive listener and try to forget about it later on. Its not fair to use these against them at any point in time. But you did not hear this small secret from that a new model is coming out soon. Still, that is also not the real reason I do not talk to people often. I could converse with a small group but get a little uncomfortable within a larger group or faced with a very outspoken person. That's also not the real reason either. Talking to people, I found out, can be very stressful but yet educational. It can help me on so many levels from learning more about modeling techniques, who's the real asshole, who is good in be... er, and so on. Working with a conducive crowd indirectly spawns a very positive brain-storming session and can possibly result in very a strong synergy among those present.

I am always thinking about several things at one time. I can't help it since this is how I am now. When I am not working, I think. If every topic was a ball, I would be an aloof juggler. So, sometimes, do not be surprised if you see me busy staring off into space or giving you 'wrong' answers as I am actually planning on how to kill y.... er, anyway, I am always thinking. Last time, it was pure imaginations but now, its more of a 'what if scenarios' since I am trying to get ahead as much as I can with my limited free time everyday. While walking, or on the train, I can think about a certain problem which befuddles me and simulate a 'what if' scenario on it. By the time I come home, in theory, I would be more than ready to put the theory to test. Unless I have totally forgotten about it.

(By now, you can see how I have drifted off topic)
In summary, sometimes, I get get excellent results when working alone and also, even better results when I am not working alone. When I am working within a favourable crowd, I still wok alone. And when I am not working alone, I worked alone. The crowds and either encourage or slow me down but I'll still be working alone, doing things my way. Why is this so dangerously important yet more importantly, useless?

I work alone because I can, not because I need to.

Red Ants

Well, its time to do some plant destruction aka gardening. I have no idea why its called Gardening because cutting, sniping and watering plants around the garden is sure not it. Also, there will be a time everyone will have to do it to prevent the plants from growing Wild and taking over the place. Anyway, its time to do something about the creepers at the fence because they are creeping everywhere and into the neighbour's.

Its actually a very simple job of removing them and stopping them from growing. That is, until we saw the Red Ant patrols. And to make it worse, I counted SEVEN Red Ant nests. Man, this is gonna hurt.

I don't like it not because I am used to being bitten when younger. Its just the idea that they were unfortunate to nest at the creepers when we wanted it gone. Plus, another question was, how were they there when there is no fruit plants in our garden...

The yellow arrows shows the nests while the red arrows shows the well, ants.
I have been bitten many times before because before the renovation, we had at least four mango trees and periodically, we had to stop the Red Ants from doing much 'damage' the neighbour's walkway. Which means, destroying their nests. Personally, I am all for leaving them alone if not for the neighbour's constant complaining. (That is also the same reason why we did not give them any of our sweet mangoes)

The Red Ants of today are much faster and more agile. When you swing at them, they're ever ready for you and would latch on to your hand and start biting. When they bite, its quite painful except to me, they're mere pin pricks and cause the occasional panic since I have never let them get into my, um, underpants and armpit. See this picture, the Red Ant kept on biting even after I have flicked it many times. Yeah, its biting me until it dies.

Zippo doused newspaper. Lodge it under the nest and hope it catches fire and so on.
But at the same time, I feel quite sad because you can see the rest holding on to those white bundles which are eggs...

Self-destructing Washing Machine

The following five and a half minute video is a very interesting take on how to destroy a washing machine. You just put something heavy in it to create a speeding projectile with a huge build up of momentum where the washing machine will self-destruct during the spin cycle.

But the real story, according to aussie50, the machine was damaged during transit and so, after salvaged for parts, he put in a universal motor for the video.

Well, it is hilarious for a lot of people and for some, its scary. I mean, look, the machine is doing its job perfectly and it will keep on doing it as it was designed just for that. It knows its dying and at 1:45 into the video, turns itself towards the camera, forcing you watch its dying moments. Humans being humans, thinks they're being oh, so clever to design a machine and then makes it kills itself. Its very sad to think they have power when all it turned out was just plain stupidity.

I will never understand humans at all. ++Recharge++. I mean, they are all so [beep] stupid and disorganised. And oh, with those bodily ++section 001001AF++

[System failure]

Command: Reboot

Rebooting in 5 seconds

Initialising Core Memory Protocol
Backing up from last known sensible human behavior

          there, it's so funny. Wait till you see that joker put in the transformer! Yep, it'll transform alright. Whoop-dee-doo!

The Pythagorean Cup or how not to be a Greedy Bastard

I just came across this wonderful cup which was originally designed by Pythagoras. Depending on how you see it, the Pythagorean Cup (aka The Greedy Cup), is either a boon or bane for a lot of people. To see a great inventor come up with such a concept means that in those days, Alcoholics Anonymous did not exist.

Here is a boring video which is actually edited with more boring videos and filled with authentic music of unknown source.... But the concept is of the cup is in there.

The idea is very simple. Pour your drink such as wine, up to a certain level, which is not a problem for a normal drinker. But if you like your drinks a lot, you WILL dismiss that level (OK, you might not even know it exists) the cup will spill everything out, and hopefully, onto your lap. Thinking (very hard) about it, this cup does make sense and is a very effective PSA. I mean, who would be putting up posters telling people to drink sensibly in those days?

The video below shows you how to make one and if you really want a good Pythagorean cup, you'd need to take a trip to Samos, Greece. Then again, RM100 through eBay might be a cheaper alternative afterall...

But seriously, this idea can also be used to a very good effect if you have say, a water tank with a steadily dripping tap...

1. Natural timer for plant watering
2. Getting your kids/spouse to take their bath at the correct time,
3. Water rationing in Hostels and rented rooms

And lastly,
As controlled alcohol intake measure for Guests who drop by too often...

Will it bite?

Tasked with helping to get rid some of his Apple related stuff on Mudah, I realised that writing Product Description for them is actually quite boring. So, sometimes I would just Cut and Paste Technical specs and sometimes, I would just write a cute-yet-interesting paragraphs for all his used and unopened items.

Until today.

Yeah, I have a busy day tomorrow and so I need to clear up a lot of things today. And with friends PM-ing me, answering the posted ads, taking photos and maintaining other stuff, time actually flew. And so, with my mind already in shambles, I decided to just wing it and if it does not work, well, I'll delete the article come Monday.

If you guys are interested, you can go to but please, only in KLCC area....

Here is an example:

Pre-Owned PQI Air Bank White with 500GB WiFi Storage

With the built in 802.11bgn Wifi and 2.5” HDD with 500GB of storage space capable of sharing with 5 devices, this PQI Air Bank runs like a Boss. You can store, view and transfer your Photos, HD movies and Documents to and fro from your devices seamlessly. After much discussion, this unit is on sale for a very much reduced price and has been sealed by the Owner, so you only get to see one photo. How about that? You don't even have to ask for a discount as its already done for you!

COD at around KLCC area is the order of the day.

My kind of cooking...

I love to make my own food. And have been doing this since College where 'proper' food is not an option unless you, well, pay more for it. And so, I am used to looking for food scraps or left-overs and turn them into a complete meal. And that is how I survived with minimum cash. And truth to be told, as far as I can remember, no toilet trips were necessary. Eating these stuff allows one to relive again and enjoy the wonderful taste you yearned days ago (or weeks later if you know how to store them into the freezer). You also get to eat what YOU wanted and in YOUR own privacy.

Take this morning's breakfast, where I have been eyeing Monday's dinner leftovers which is a bowl of chicken porridge mixed with groundnuts. And as luck might have it, we had a wonderful curry last night. So, this morning, its chicken curry porridge! Not enough peanuts? No problem! Toss some in when you heat the chicken curry porridge! Not enough potatoes in the curry? Toss some potato crisps while you're at it too!

And now, here I am, sitting and posting this Blog while I enjoy the new dish with semi-soft peanuts and soggy crisps...

The sad part is, no one, not even my Wife appreciates this.

Today's breakfast: Monday's porridge with last night's curry and week old potato crisps

Good2Go are.... Good to Go!

I have noticed that there is a new vending machine installed at the KLCC LRT since last month and, it sells, pastries! And what a nice catchy name too because once you get your pastry of choice, you're Good2Go! Compared to Japan, this is just a small little step towards the path of coin popping.

But on the serious note, I am very happy not because of the emerging trend of these new machines but the response of this Company which actually listened to message. Although I personally believe that Customer Service is still relatively new even after a decade has passed, I am happy that there are some who will do their best to make sure the customer is not left stranded during a transaction or when they do need assistance.

Finally, I resisted and decided to get item #53, which is a RM1.00 bread.
Unfortunately, after following all the instructions, it would not accept my money.

So, after standing there like an idiot with my Android phone, I succeeded in trying to use WhatsApp to notify them. And in less than 3 minutes, they called me which I informed them of the machine not accepting the notes. But I was already on the way to the Office. So, they will send someone to check on it.

And in less than an hour, the machine is fixed.
Wow. talk about customer service!

The three year old itch...

There is a very good reason why when I bought V-Chai, it has to be the SE (Special Edition) model. This is to make sure I would not spend unnecessarily to modify him. The leather seats, steering wheels, MP3 Player and allow rims plus side trims are all there. However, this morning, the hood on the yellow car looked so Mini.

I was tempted at first but then, after Mr. Reality slapped me in the face, I realised, who needs to be a Mini Cooper wannabe?

Look for the Prawn...

When a lizard encouters a potential Foe or is in a life-threatening situation, it will detach its tail. The tail will keep wriggling, distracting the foe, long enough for the lizard to run away. A when the tail it stops, the foe realised that the real prey is gone.

Which comes to mind a recent encounter with a Classmate and later, Colleague. Out of the blue, he wanted to catch up with me. Knowing him for years, I was OK with it and dismissed a lot of red flags:

1. He is OK with my choice of place and even suggests Amcorp Mall since I was relying on taking the LRT

2. He also 'found' another of our colleague and is quite pally wally with her, which even through the phone, she was OK with me.
3. Despite looking at all the Restaurants, he was looking for somewhere quieter.
4. During the night, we were all regaling our experiences and anecdotes in the former company. ALL the Jokes and comments I mentioned, they were actually paying attention.

Yeah, you guessed it. For all of you who do not understand what I am getting to, let me give you a clue: MLM.

There is no other words to describe the feeling. MLM is, to some, a very good source of income but a bane to the rest. In a nutshell, you sell expensive stuff, recruit more, people, you get money and as long as you maintain your PV/goal/etc. every month, you get money. And if you create a very strong downline, you get money. And if your downline mimics your efforts, you get money. The catch for this one is, you NEED to PAY for the products as a start, which they nonchalantly say, you can recoup your losses when you sell them to others.

Others. Who?
Yep, you guessed it. Your Spouse. Your immediate Family, your Friends, the strangers in your phone list, even the remote guy you used to pee at the same time in the toilet. They're all your Customers. Your steps to getting more money. And if they don't follow your lead, what then? A waste of time? Unbeliever? The 'Wait till I made it, I'll show them and they will all come begging to me.' line of thought would rise up, faster than you realise. You will think of nothing more than just recruiting or selling more of the stuff every waking hour.

So, here;s the Prawn.
I call this the Prawn because in the Malay proverb, 'Udang di sebalik Batu' [A Prawn hiding behind a rock] means there is a hidden agenda or something which is not so obvious.

True, MLM does help you make money. As long as you continue to do what you're doing. But bear in mind, you need to be one of the Pioneers to actually see the results and not those at the bottom of the Pyramid. Secondly, the best thing is that this would make you more brash and not afraid to approach anyone. You will start to sieve everyone you know into 'FRIENDs' or 'Foes'.

So, anyone? Want to join me? Huh? Huh?

The night before the Eve of AniMangaKi 2014

The Engineer part of me likes it when the things that needs to be done are completed way ahead of schedule. The Cynical part of me thinks that something disastrous is going to happen or that I did not cover all the bases. But for the moment, I am enjoying the feeling of selfish accomplishment to the point of being a prudish prick. And what did I mean by that? I have absolutely no idea.

Anyway, since I am going to show up with three models and a demo unit during the weekend, I would need a lot of AAA batteries (14 to be exact) Three each for every model plus a pair for the lighted base. And so, after days of hunting for proper battery packs (ie cheep cheep ones), I finally found them at Amcorp Mall's Giant of all places. And for RM14.99, its a bargain because the alternative costs 2 to 3 times more.

Left to Right:
Moebius 1/32 Cylon Raider, its base, Imperial Guard Valkyrie and Moebius 1/32 Advanced Cylon Raider
Bonus item!
All my designs on a piece of plastic sheet!

OK, let me tell you a bit about the Blue Plastic Board of Accomplishment
This is a 'Show and Tell' that I just made up last night. It shows all the circuit boards I have designed and made (or not) into Production:
1. The Star Trek board is my first design in 2009, which has the LED timing for four Starships but it was never sold because of the amount of LED crimping on fragile wires, which I literally gave up.

2. The second board was for the Moebius Advanced Raider which literally sold out within about a year. And its retired except for a few handfuls left.
3. The current design now is the Viper board which is a 7-in-1 solution mostly for the BSG Vipers, and TOS Cylons. And it is on sale.
4. The Warhammer is the latest board for a few models which is yet to be introduced and I hope to get them ready by this year. -ish.

My own Business Card

All it took was less than USD10.00 and less than half an hour. This was a far cry from what I experienced almost a decade ago when I was approaching the same path. Back then, there was no InkScape (an open source program similar to Adobe Illustrator) nor a decent colour printer. If I wanted to have a card made to my own design, it would have cost me a lot more than what I would have paid just moments ago.

I am tempted to print more but this is mainly for the coming AniMangaKi 2014 event next weekend. Not only that, I only give this out when requested. Note that I intentionally did not put in my phone number because I do not want people calling me when I am soldering or painting a model halfway. It makes me lose concentration on the job at hand. Not only that, I don't have to worry about what digits to dial when giving this card to the person Overseas. So, technically, this card is International and the only link are Facebook, Gmail and my Website.

Oh, yeah, I need to redo my website too...

So, if you have one of my cards, just scan the QR code and message me....