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Why Dads Should Use ‘Please’ Sparringly. And You Too.

‘Please’ is such a simple and unobtrusive word, when it comes to negotiations, and I couldn’t have realised the power and weight that it carried until my Dad threw it on me this afternoon.

In a good way of course.

I’ll get to that story in a while, but first let me reiterate its most common usage and that is within the service industry, such as one that I’m in.

I print stuffs, and occasionally have the opportunity some creatives and on-site events or advertising installations, with plenty of communications and miscommunications to go.

Not surprisingly a huge chunk of my time is spent negotiating, renegotiating and killing off a dead negotiation.

So I deal with customers on topics such as time and costs, applications or installations, effectiveness, and validity, and the actual list that I negotiate daily, can probably be quite lengthy, and whatever the topic may be, and case in point — I negotiate a lot.

So much so that I use the word ‘please’ in obscene amounts, and most probably in trying to come off as polite and unobtrusive but mostly in trying to win the customer’s agreement by appearing subtle and inviting when I begin conversations with that word.

I was quite wrong actually, because I realise that utlising please in such a construction is like begging for attention.

And beggers are usually the ire of society, and when you’re begging, you lose authority.

BUT, use it correctly, and it transforms from mere begging, into an authoritarium ultimatum that is wrapped in firm persuasion yet inviting at the same time.

Case in point, where my Dad used the word at the end of a question for the first time, after bugging me with ‘Will you follow us to Tioman Island during March’s holiday?’ for the last few days.

You see my Dad don’t use that word so often with me (All Dad’s don’t beg with their children right? They like to appear strong, and my dad, he is a little bit brash, stubborn, defensive and strongheaded, but in fact he’s one of the most polite and gamely gentleman that I have the pleasure of ever knowing.) and it hit me unexpectedly when he used it on me earlier this afternoon.

I didn’t have any intentions of going to Tioman Islands, at all, ‘cos I didn’t want to spend 3 days commuting in a rush within a foreign land with limited internet access, but most importantly of all, I didn’t want to be spending at all on leisure activities.

I’m currently on a self-imposed budget-appreciation mode at the moment. Something that I’ve picked up from playing plenty of Poker games, where I learn that with cards that you’re dealt with in life, you gotta learn when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

And I was prepared to fold 99% when it comes to a Tioman trip, but from 99% of not wanting to go, it became 99% of I had to go, simply because my Dad said this: “Follow us, this once. Please?”

Mere words, but so provocative.

I would have declined his invitations had he used the ‘Please’ at the start of every invitations, but something about using it just once during this whole episode makes me feel like I’ll be turning down a great cause if I didn’t go, and that it carried for more weight and persuasion than it should have.

The usage of that word came off authoritarian yet mildly inviting.

I wouldn’t have expected it, but I’m going to Tioman in 2 weeks time, when just days back I would vehemently decline any invitations at all — which I actually declined when Dad initially posed them to me many times, days earlier.

My Dad used it sparringly, and I definitely could take heed in that during my ‘negotiations’ at work.

Where I used to bend and submit to customers’ demands and requests, I’ve slowly growned into someone who’s taking control of situations at work, and controlling them instead of the other way around when I first started out.

I’ll probably still use ‘Please’ at the start of conversations with newer customers, but I’m definitely going to use it less often now.

And when I’m losing control of the situation, perhaps I’ll employ it as a last ditch effort to tilt negotiations in my favour.

So long story short, moral of the story is that ‘Please’ can be a massive gravitational pull in your favour.

To all Dads, if you’re in a protracted negotiation with your sons (and daughters), then instead of appearing to beg with ‘Please’ at the beginning of statements or questions, try using it sparringly.

Will you? Please?

Rationale Portrait Of The Mastermind & the Jung Typology Test

How coincidence is that of 1% of the population that’s in this so-called group of thinkers, the Masterminds, that Dils and I are in the same boat.

Well I took a Jung Typology test, only because Dils insisted me to, and it turns out that I’m an ‘Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging’ person, and if you’re just as confused as I am, here’s some enlightenment.

Much like how the fortune teller seeked to entertain my afternoon, taking the test served to be much more entertaining, although not of the action-packed kind, if not the same.

Reading through it’s narrative comments of the ‘suggested’ characteristics of mine, it somehow widened the tunnel vision of my recent disenchantments, and perhaps allowing me to understand a little better now as to why I’m constantly unsettled with possessing that sense of  comfort and the thought of being average.

And then the tests lists a few career choice for Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging’ persons, and it happens to be some of the stuffs that I would certainly enjoy making a career out of, such as a computer programmer, among others.

Very geeky, I know, but it just feels good to know that I’m a geek that’s among the 1% of the populaton.

But I know very well that all these are a little bit of fun stuffs, other than analytical profiling, that really means nothing if one doesn’t work hard and grabs the opportunities that knock on their door.

Oh well, so I quote Morpheus’ words to Neo, in the Matrix — ‘Now that the door is shown, it is up to you to walk through it.’ (I think that’s what he said right? Right?)

Anyway, go take the test, and find out what person you are.

Can’t play WoW/DOTA/CoD:MW2 on Apple iPad or Install Ur Favourite Windoze Apps?

Then go get a Macbook Pro or an Alienware laptop, just quit complaining.

The iPad’s an expensive, toy that excels beyond doubts in whatever it is that it does.

It’s like how Micheal Jordan made basketball look easy, or how Tiger woods made driving at holes into more than just a game.

So for Steve Job’s sake, get this: the iPad’s supposed to be a filler for the void between a handheld mobile device and a netbook, something like kindle’s ebook readers, but as always Apple does it so much better and way cooler.

Go take a look at Kindle’s ebook reader or Sony’s ebook reader.

Then play with the tablets on offer and then give the iPad a quick view.

I’ve seen other tablets, even had the opportunity to fiddle around with them, but something about watching youtube videos of Steve Jobs demo-ing the iPad that tells me that this is going to be a big hit,  not sooner but much later.

That’s right, much much later.

Sure, people may say it’s just a glorified iPod touch/iPhone, but back then when they were first unveiled, similar reactions surfaced.

Today the iPhone and the iTouch seems to be in everyone’s clutches, but propose this scenario 3-4 years back, when the iTouch made its debut and you’ll be called silly and naive.

So yeah, I’ll be silly and naive and state how silly and naive it is to consider that the iPad is going to be a big hit and in almost everyone’s clutches in 2 to 3 years from now.

Anyway, I’d like one. = )

Feeling The Love

There’s something magical about this month, and it’s not just because my birthday falls on it, nor is it because of the PAD/PAE (Post Avatar Depression/Effects).

Okay, maybe it’s mainly due to these two, but I’d say that they occupy about 50% of the mojo that’s causing me to have this ‘feel good’ factor within.

Granted, ever since the last few months, I’m still waking up around 9am-9.30am daily, even if that’s actually supposed to be the time that I reach the office, switch on the comps, clean up the table and then go out for breakfast, which usually comprises of 2 half-boiled eggs (yummy!) and iced milk tea.

Coming in after 10am seems to be my routine these days, and though I’m not proud of it and try to wake earlier and go off earlier, it seems as if I’m stuck in a ‘groundhog moment’, but strangely neither do I feel bad about it, that there’s an air of nonchalance lingering around.

Granted work’s beginning to pile up into late nights, stretching into weekends even, but I’m smiling.

There’s no discussion of bonus nor stipulated no of days leave for the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays, but I’m still all smiles.

There’s a mountain of unpaid bills and fees, and I’m not even going to rush into paying them all off.

No, it’s not that I don’t care, I care, but I’m just not worried, and it’s bugging me that I’m not worried — because the consequence of not feeling any worries, is that one will become a slacker!

The only way to make slacking seems cool is when you’re a cat, where the world is out to serve you and pamper you.

Unfortunately I’m not a cat, so I guess I’m exhibiting slacker material.

AND strangely too, I’m feeling the love around me.

There’s this unexplained ambience of love and concern going around me, which I’ve not seen for a long time, not since… well I can’t remember.

It’s like suddenly you’re getting attention, even when you’re not looking for it nor seeking it, like how I got interviewed by a Wall Street Journal reporter regarding my sick obsession in-depth knowledge of the movie, Avatar.

(Link here: As “Avatar” Sets Box-Office Record, Fans Make Return Trips to Pandora. There’s a certain Mar Larsen *That’s me! Moi! Aku! Gue!* being quoted within the article, and it’s does feel a bit weird to read an article quoting my own words, yet likable!)

And then there were the birthday cakes and treats at work and at home.

Then there were all those well wishes coming in from places you least expected, even my newly fond poker buddies from Facebook’s Zynga poker.

An unexpected and surprise convo with Nura, my super duper long time primary school, where the last time we spoke to each other was… decades ago, I think.

Anyway, it’s just such a joy, to be in this month, and though a freak calf injury prevented me from spending time with dils on my birthday, I think it’s been good times thus far. *Slacking rulez*

So does slacking allows your mind to slow down and actually take notice that others are taking notice of you, unlike how when one is uptight and rushy and one where things tend to blur away quickly?

I suppose I’ve spent 28 years of being on-the-ball, maybe it’s time to slow down a little bit, where even my idol Steven Gerarrd seems to be shifting a gear or two down.

Nah, on second thoughts, I think it’s too early to go fully into ‘Slacker’ mode, so perhaps I’ll treat this month as a bonus month, and come February, well maybe then will my 2010 begin.

Ooh, February… a month for more lovin, right? I think it’s gonna be a month of more slacking resting for me.

De-Evolution of Mar.sg: Warmth And Fuzzines Sets In.

A German  seven year old boy, when stopped by the German Police, admitted that he didn’t possess any driving license as he got out of the vehicle. Like duh~

*Chic*

Anyway (and back to Mar.sg) in the end, the theme ‘Firebug’ was just too buggy for my chaotic brain to comprehensively debug and take control of.

There were scripts that didn’t work in harmony with the codes and some things weren’t appearing the way they were intended to.

An Xmas phantom spooking moi? Nah, I don’t believe in one, until I see one. =D

So I liked Firebug (WP Theme) a lot, but alas it didn’t like me back — eh, isn’t that all too familiar in this world we live in?

So here goes Mar.sg back to the ‘ole faithful Notepad Chaos theme, and until a new theme crops up, where I’m looking at something less chaotic, and one which screams ‘Inner Peace’ at first glance, then the chaos is here to stay.

Sometimes it’s good to go back to where we were, like returning to a point in history and continueing from there.

It’s good to even take time off and consider a given situation, pondering if it’s a boon or a bane if you were to wet your feet further, when it’s been dry and nice all these while.

And when you’re back in familiar territory, suddenly everything feels warm and fuzzy inside and you’re happier.

Happier because you know that you’re in a territory where things work the way you want them to.

Happier because you know that you’re back in a position where everything remained reliable and dependable.

For now, with this Notepad Chaos theme, everything feels all warm and fuzzy inside.

So are you all warm and fuzzy? No? Then go watch Avatar, the movie. = )

The Evolution Of Mar.sg

The Evolution Of Mar.sg

I honestly have zero recollection of when I started this babbling blogging thingy. Maybe during my poly years or NS period?

My enjoyment in reading and writing made blogging into a sort of neccessity for me, like how a footballer has to jog and train out of necessity, or like how a President has to go to a protracted climate conferences, in a country which is really popular for its beer and mermaids, even though it is a light year shot in trying to get a hundred plus stubborn country leaders to singularly agree on a disagreement.

I recalled how I used to spend hours and nights just tinkering about with my Blogger.com’s (which I’ll refer to as Blogger, with a capital B) layout and blog designs. It’s like a thrill ride everytime a layout suits the blog (and suiting me in the process), and tiny tweaks will be made here and there, before I finally settle on a layout.

I have witnessed the evolution of HTML, the advent of CSS, the popularity of PHP, the death of ASP and even the decline of FLASH (websites), no thanks to the perceived commercial value of SEO.

But I’m not to talk about the evolution of web development, just Mar.sg.

These days anyone can create a website. Anyone can instantly change the look of a website at the touch of a button. Anyone can be considered a web developer. It’s only a matter of how good, how bad or how cheap.

Thank goodness I didn’t commit myself into that line, or I’ll lose diversifying myself.

mar.sg--blogger

This was really my only snapshot of how my blog looked like a few years back. I remembered how Dil mentioned how gothic the motifs on the side made it look and the question of ‘why so green?’ abounds. I was on the Blogger platform, and back then it sufficiently fit my expectations.

Blogger or Blogspots were cool back then, as it had everything a blogger needed and for a long while Blogger and bloggers worked harmoniously in tandem with each other.

And then Blogger got acquired by Google and drastic changes, some excellent, some good, some messy and some complexly confusing.

Changes were imminent and I thought that I might as well started looking around for a scalable, more robust bloggin platform.

Livejournal, Drupal, Movabal Type, Typepad, Tumblr, Mambo (and then Joomla) even caught my radar but WordPress intrigued me most of the lot. It was like a mysterious, alien being that beckoned me to venture further along with it, as I kept punching WordPress.org more and more often.

Notepad-chaos--Wordpress

The WordPress bug hit me but it wasn’t until this layout from SmashingMagazine.com did I really settle down and went along the blogging ride.

WordPress had everything I required and with control over its data files, I got hooked. It baited me like a fisherman would bait a certain Norwegian mermaid with something like a $10 Billion pre-nuptial agreement contract at the end of the line. Note to self: Don’t do a Tiger Woods — that is just don’t crash a car or it’ll all spillover. Badly.

Anyway, WordPress was simple and complex at the same time. It suited me and its web dashboard was way cooler than Bloggers’ so a switch was a no brainer. It certainly wasn’t as powerful as Joomla as a CMS but it wielded enough prowess to convince me that this is the platform to rely on.

Firebug--wordpress

And fast forward to today, the firebug wordpress theme echoed me, though not quite perfectly but amply amplifying the inner me, sufficiently to my liking.

But Bangau doesn’t like it. “It’s as if the big bold words and erratic font sizes makes me wet my bed,” were words which he did not actually say. Haha, and specially for that Kane has two words for ya (and no, the words are not Tiger Woods).

So just like anyone and everyone in this world, there’s this little dark corner/space with bright floating bubbles of hope within ourselves that we keep stacked away queitly, modestly and hush-hushedly.

Okay so maybe it’s everyone except Tiger Woods. Maybe Ris Low too, and good luck with her dreams of a  ‘National Grand Pageant’.

The Firebug WordPress theme is that little space for me.

It’s not flashy, it’s not chaotic, it’s not nearly filled with bright floating bubbles, but it’s sober enough and has enough shades of pastel.

It may even look like a de-evolution BUT most importantly of all, I like it, even if I’m not yet done with the polishings and the tweakings.

And that’s where I feel WordPress’ strength lies, currently the best choice for me as it sufficiently meets my needs.

It works.

It performs.

It’s good.

The evolution continues.

Which is more important?

Money. Health. Work. Friends. Family. Self.

Now which ones would you prioritize over the other?

It’s just so mentally attritional and I’m just trying to balance out everything though I guess that the truth is that there is never a correct answer, but merely a suitable answer.

Hmmm, food for thoughts.

Sadako: Why She Won’t Crawl Anymore.

You know who Sadako is, and you truly know what she is all about and how she glamourised the crawling out of tv scene with ‘The Ring’ movie.

Apparently she has made it clear to any would be directors that any crawling-out-of-tv scenes, well she’s not going to do them anymore.

She said that she’s sick and tired of watching youtube video parodies of her signature moves, which are clearly not as good as hers.

Anyway, I wish her luck for her next feature film, but here’s a quick question:

Why won’t our lovable Sadako crawl out of TVs anymore?

..

..

..

..

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Because she saw a 100inch LCD and really, she only has to practice her catwalk from now on.

= )

No Palpitations

In less than 9 hours, the fate of Skopet Invicta will more or less be decided then.

Lose, and we’ll probably occupy third spot in the league.

Draw, and we leave our fate in the hands of other teams.

Win, and no doubt we’ll grab bragging rights to be called champions, all in our maiden league appearance.

Postpone and the agony of not knowing stretches for another week.

I’m hoping that the rain will learn to stay away from our gaming slot, unlike the previous weeks when instead of kicking off, we’re getting the rain-off from the organisers.

You see, I’m all geared up for this game. I couldn’t be more prepared physically for this game. My cough’s close to non-existent. I’ve had so much sleep that I couldn’t sleep anymore by the time it was 6am this morning. I’ve already loaded with plenty of carbs last night, and mcdelivery’s supposed to arrive with my hotcakes and sausages anytime soon now.

Oooh, I forgot to mention that I’m hoping work goes smoothly too. I hope I don’t have to stay late so I can leave for Bedok Green Secondary early.

Bring the game on, Buffalos. I can barely wait.