Rafa Benitez must finish what he has started.

Overheard from A Red Thing: Benitez should stay on and finish what he has began, and this is a message to all you fairweather *sic* ‘fans’.

… fans of a club support it through thick and thin, because at this moment these vocal fans who ask for the axe sound more like disgruntled shareholders, except they don’t own any shares…

… one of the main reason that Torres’ full potential is nearly unleashed, that Gerrard decided to stay when Chelsea courted him, and that the mere mention of ‘Liverpool’ in Europe meant a team that’s never to be discounted…

… Liverpool have over the years proven how strong they are when they go into the second half and especially when their backs are against the wall…

And maybe I might add just how myopic these fans are who are simply impatient for the silverware, and don’t they know that success is sweeter the longer it takes and the harder it gets? Maybe I’m too optimistic, but at the very least, I’m the least bit pessimistic — and Pessimists never gets anything done and never achieve anything that they want, because they tell themselves that it’s impossible. I just happen to think that in life, anything is possible.

Likened to an Intention Manifestation Model thingy, but just that much more simpler, believe you can, and you will, but believe you can’t, and you won’t.

My message to Rafa Benitez, if he’s by a one in a Billion chance that he’s reading this, well, you’ll never walk alone. It’s a Red thing.

The Hurt Locker

I had to find my own hurt locker, you know the one where you go to at the end of the day, and slam open or shut the door on its hinge as you let go of that pent up frust from the day’s events?

And inside you’ll find cut up photographs of your ex-girlfriends, or boyfriends (whatever your sexual orientation may be), or your crushes and admirers, along with piles of school textbooks of which you spent your holiday’s pocket money with but never bothered to put them in your bag, because they’re too bulky to be carried around.

Then on somedays that locker becomes your best friend as you know that it’s the one place where you can go to and confide with, without it ever telling you off or analysing how silly your decisions probably were. Heck it probably won’t even say anything, it merely listens, and we all need a listening ear sometimes.

Well I couldn’t find my hurt locker.

Where is my confidant? My late mum was the closest to one that I’ve ever had, and I suppose the next best thing to come along would be, wait for it…  you! Yes, you, Mr and Ms Internet, whoever you are and may be.

Like a hurt locker, you’re anonymous, you’re a noun, and you listen (hopefully~) and I do recognise familiar voices, where at times you leave me with crumbs and leftovers for me to munch on whenever you comment here. So thank you, for that voice. I guess everyone needs that little voice to give them a nudge sometimes. Nobody wants to be alone right?

However most of the time it’s been a solitary journey, yet strangely comforting and arguably it’s one that keeps the engine running and one that keeps the meter running.

I guess that’s my answer should anyone ask me, ‘Do you still blog, and why?’.

Or maybe my answer could be, “I’m hoping that it’ll lead me to my hurt locker, where memories are stored and shared. I hope it gets vandalised with little words or big words, as long as it gets vandalised, where it’s sort of an indication of an entity’s existence. I wish it’s big enough to fit my needs yet inconspicuous to be ‘off the radar’. Most imprtantly, my hurt locker’s not just gonna be about the hurt, but the joys, the tribulations and the jubilations of days passed by.”

I could probably call it ‘The Locker Of life’, or ‘The Scribe Locker’, but I guess ‘The Hurt Locker’ sounds dramatic and catchy. Eh, wait a sec, didn’t a movie with the same name won Best Picture as well? I suppose the locker belonging to the main character of that movie’s can be likened to a blog online eh?

Anyway congrats to “The Hurt Locker’s” team and their victories. Though I still think there was a movie that was much more deserving to have walked away with more recognition than the jibes and snubs that it received. Avatar deserves it’s award, but that’s how hollywood goes, and fans of Pandora will just have to bite the bullet.

Gee, where’s that hurt locker when you need one eh?

The Dota (Game) Personality Test

DOTA is such a beautiful game.

Anyone who’s ever played the Warcraft III mod, Defence of The Ancients, or DOTA, will attest to just how immersively challenging the game can be.

At times, and for a split second, it will suck you in as you forget that it’s all just a make believe world and you get all emotional while playing the game.

Still it is a very beautiful game, but unfortunately one that is tainted by leavers, gamers who purposely spoil the game and wreck the team balance by quitting early or halfway during the game — but mostly due to losing the early stage of the game.

The players who leave are usually those that are killed off after a couple of times, or those that sees no hope within a game.

And leavers are frowned upon with much disgust and hatred within the DOTA community, but the sad state is that it’s a prevalent action and only too common.

I am seriously disgusted by leavers, although I admit I may at have been guilty one or two times, but definitely never the first one to leave and spoil a good game, just because my team is losing.

This evening, my group of gamers bailed on me, as they left game after game, after game, much to my horror.

I mean, so what if our team is losing, cos it’s not over till it’s over — and there are ways to overcome a purple patch, like for example to play defensively when you know the opposing team has the upper hand.

There are tactics to overcome an overwhelming opposing team and sadly, my team today didn’t seem to have the guts to overcome anything.

It was sad to see them quit on me, but mainly because I know that together we make a damn good team.

In my thoughts whenever they left or quitted, I doo sense a lack of responsibility on their part.

It’s just a game, why can’t you just continue and adjust tactics instead of spoiling the game?

Granted there have been tremendously awesome games, where a team is forced to defend and defend and defend but finally clinching victory — and such is the beauty of DOTA, that is there’s always that chance and you are never out of the game.

It’s a team game, and anything can happen, and mistakes DO happen a lot.

The only surest way to lose in dota is when your team comprises of quitters who dump the team in a hurry, and as cliche as it may sound, quitters never win.

I somehow sense that the way they players react during games reflect their characters and personalities — and I secretly wonder if players who quit the game in such circumstances are likely to throw in the towel whenever things aren’t going their way.

Wait no, I’m not labeling my team as real life quitters or losers, but I like to think that there is a portion of them that secretly runs away whenever the going gets tough.

I know it’s easier to talk about it, but I’ve been through situations where one’s endurance and patience are tested to its limits, especially during my NS period, and witness first hand accounts of quiiters myself.

Needless to say, they never achieved much during their tenure and most of the time they end up complaining about their lack of luck or moan about the system.

No, I’m not the strongest or smartest person there is, and seriously I know that i’m not, but I do know my limits and I know that no matter what, it’s just a game and in games, there is always a possility of turning the tide.

And it’s damn satisfying too whenever the tide shifts, but leavers wrecks and disintegrates every meaning of fun from of it.

So instead of quitting to other’s chagrin, I would rather lose gracefully, knowing that I’ve been defeated by a better team.

And I have been beaten by many better teams plenty of times.

So yes, I’ll acknowledge whenever there is a better adversary in Dota, where it is as much a great game as it is a personality test.

DOTA, such a painfully beautiful game.

3 Months To Decide. Hmmm..

It was as if he knew what was going on inside my head, when all of a sudden he gave me a congratulatory/reassuring hug and at the same time stressing how important I am to the company. Knowing J as he is, I know that he’s the ‘commando’ worker who will do anything to get things done. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but at the same time this showcase is barely scratching the surface.

Lately I’ve been, as put by Bangau, jaded at work. Wll I guess it’s true. It has become… work these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love to work but there’s a different air about it for the past months and it’s an air that I’ve struggled to get away from, especially from my earlier company. When this new company started out, it wasn’t work.. it was… a labour of love. Indeed it’s true that people change intentions when it comes to ka-ching-ching!

Yes, the company we began is now very profitable and, may I say it, successful too. For almost a year I’ve taken a backseat, letting the chief boss and J run things around. 2 years ago, J barely had the confidence to meet a client and now I guess it’s the other way round. He’s improved tremendously and I think big boss notices it and even though I don’t get any credit for it, I’m happy for J. He does thank me in private for everything that I’ve taught him, and he realises how vital my presence is, but unfortunately big boss doesn’t see the backend work and regular inputs that I’ve done, and am still doing.

Granted big boss spends most of the time liaising with our clients and tending to production, and not knowing anything about computer stuffs or sales and customer support, which I silently spearhead, his judgement is prone to be biased. When the 3 of us first started out, there were weight in my opinions but not anymore. I get the feeling that him, being the sole director of the company, wishes it to stay that way – but I’ll still remember the day he roped me into the partnership. Dear Internet, at this time please note how important black and white is. Never underestimate it’s value in business. Like NEVER.

Anyway, I’m not so hard done by the fact that I’m not getting any director fees or any recognisable titles, cos I don’t really care about these much. But what I do care for is if my baby, my labour of love is being directed in a way which, simply put, isn’t going the way as we planned it in it’s infancy and I do not have the means of changing anything. In fact, the frust that builds up within me is a consequence of company directions that got decided by big boss and J, but without me. In fact, J regular consults with me before he discusses with big boss, but that’s as far as how much my involvement in company directions has evolved, or dissolved into.

Imagine you’re a baker and someone asked you to bake a cake, and not just a cake but your very special cake, and the first time you did it, you chose the ingredients together, and then somehow over time, you’re no longer within the ingredients buying/deciding stage. Fluctuations in raw materials cost have caused a lot of purchasing differences. You simply bake, and when that happens, do you still need to stay as a baker? Sure, you’ll know which ingredients work, and might silently change it if the wrong ones are given, but for how long can you work that way? How long?

So why is this a big concern for me? Simply because I cannot bring my design/sales team to cope with the workload that I foresee coming with the manpower/resources that I have at hand. Big boss and J don’t feel the strain that I do because they’re busy with production and support. In fact, the workload’s been super crazy for the past month and yet our reaction time has been really slow.

Which comes back to why did the younger J gave me a hug. You see, a heated debate with an old client’s new art director led to J to give me a hug, mentioning at the same time how important it is that I continue staying here. J understands my situation and when he sees me, probably for the first time ever that I’m ‘breaking’, in that debate with the new art director, he shared with me his thoughts.

Actually both these men are good men. They may not be a computer genius or speak fluent English but they are good hardworking people. I respect them and that’s why I joined the partnership 2 years ago. They’ve not lost my respect still and they’ve not hindered my work processes in any way but its just the niggling management part that’s biting pieces of me away. Like a river grinding away at a meander, something inside me is begging me incessantly.

Fact: I love running a business. I’m hooked on it. Working sucks. Big time.

An oxbow lake is forming. This meandering can’t go on forever. I gave myself 3 months to make a decision.

And that was 1 month ago.

Rants From The Upper Lobes

Lobe: noun lowb

1. (anatomy) a somewhat rounded subdivision of a bodily organ or part.
2. (botany) a part into which a leaf is divided
3. The enhanced response of an antenna in a given direction as indicated by a loop in its radiation pattern

4. A rounded projection that is part of a larger structure

I highlighted it in red just so that I can lull myself into believing that there’s bigger things coming. Is there?

Interestingly, I had a banter with Bangau last night about what a business should be.

Before I get to that part, let me bring the debate a little earlier where I mentioned casually of how certain stuffs can be monetised in a certain way (I can’t recall what it was so let’s call it as  ‘certain’ here..) and immediately Bangau quipped that I’m starting to view everything as a business opportunity. Quipping back, I pointed out that that’s only because I see a certain value in a certain item and that this value is potentially harvestable (monetize-able) which could bring about even more value! Now that’s business value!

Of course, Bangau commented that a business should be about profiting the community overall. Something that would benefit socially instead of just for pure monetary gains, and I’m all agreement with this point as well.

Wait, did I mention that before this banter we had an earlier conversation of the methods our prophets used to spread the religion and how the community back then wheeled and dealed. Naturally, Bangau was in a ‘conscientious mind’ whereby what the business receives, it’s given back in some way or another. Profit, or whatever there is left, should be used only to increase the potential/ability of the business.

Now again, I’m mentioning all this off of my head, and not based on some teachings or education which I’ve received ( or never received?) so I do not endorse nor ensure there’s any accuracy, if any, in this post. I’m just a regular guy, doggedly working day by day, by day, by day.. You know~

So who’s right here? Me or Bangau? In fact, I believe, that there shouldn’t be any right or wrong because it all depends on whose perspective you choose to view a business from. Me, I’m only viewing the banter subject from an economist point of view while Bangau chose to see it as a socialist, but we’re still cool. We’re gamers, so everything is debatable.

Anyway, back to this post’s introduction: lobe. ‘A rounded projection…’. My current mish-mash of opportunities and problems? ‘…that is part of a larger structure.‘ My future, or what’s left of it? I’m not sure if it’s really even large but…  I do sense opportunities coming, but at the same time also that the road I’m on seems to be constricting even more. It’s getting tougher, but tell me, what isn’t?

New Divide

As always, whenever it’s Linkin Park, I’ll never get over it without repeating the song for a thousand times and somehow the chorus is stuck in my head and it goes like this:

So give me reason / to prove me wrong / to wash this 
memory clean 
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes 
Give me reason / to fill this hole / connect the space 
between 
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies 
Across this new divide 

[more lyrics here]

I won’t even go into what possible meaning that it has but I thought one of my interpretations that I could connect with occured this afternoon, during a visit at a friend’s wedding.

I think the song is about someone looking for an answer to his experiences of something that’s causing a ‘barrier’ or some sort of ’emotional or conversational gap’ between parties. Perhaps this someone is looking to erase the past ( or dramatically even end relationship ties perhaps?) and is frantically seeking a reason, or any reason that will prevent him from doing so. Like he/she is in a 50/50 mindset where the slightest assurance from a friend or family will bridge the gap, while a stoic response or a nonchalant abandon of concern will burn the bridge away.

Wow, what an interpretation of mine right? I wonder how it applies to Transformers 2? Can’t wait for the show da!

Anyway, I wasn’t about to burn any bridges today, or anytime for that matter, but I was rather keen on bridging the gap. Everytime me and my Secondary school friends gather, it feels like we’re communicationally-challenged, hindering any lasting conversations. It’s like we’re on a different channel most of the time. I’m all about taking things as they come, enjoying the moment and simply staying silly. I’m just not that keen about corporate bureaucracy and unknown jc/uni faces.

I wonder if it has anything to do with me going into a Polytechnic? All my secondary school classmates have now a degree or better, and most of their topics are about university life or JC life — or basically barely 10 mins past without mentioning a topic that involves a university/jc fella or teaching/engineering/researching work.

Fact is, being the only one of a Poly background, I’m lost among their conversations. Granted I love the intellectual exchanges, but I can’t help feeling lost everytime they go into a uni/jc/work related debate and as hard as I try to keep up, I’ll eventually space out. For certain this will never cause me to regret choosing Poly over JC, but I do wonder if the elitist culture of my JC/Uni-ed friends could sometimes float on the same platform with my already imbued laid back Poly culture. 

In contrast to that, during an earlier wedding it was a totally different scenario. This time round it was Juffry’s wedding — my NS buddy. Most of my NS buddies are Poly-educated though many have gotten their degrees by now. I may have spent a shorter timespan being with my NS buddies (malay/chinese/mixed) but everytime we meet, we have a good time! Here noone is trying to outspeak, outmanoeuvre or even appear patronizing. Here noone quips you with a betterment remark. Here we make sure that everyone has a good time, and everyone does have  good time.

I guess everyone connects on so many levels, even though we’re all now on our different life paths of young bosses and dodgy employees (LoL!).  I guess when we’re together we’re simply buddies. Nothing divides us. I don’t insinuate that Uni graduates are such and such ‘cos my NS buddies are Uni graduates too! So nopes, it’s not about I-have-a-degree-I’m-better-than-you mindset, but more of, and of which I’m supposing, the educational culture that we’re brought up in that defines how we mix around in life.

You see, there’s no corporate bureaucracy shenanigans and certainly not much elitist ego in Poly life, while there’s certainly nothing laid-back, nonchalant culture about the driven Uni life. Hmmm, is this the new divide that I’ve been experiencing all along?

Anyway I wish all my Uni-excelled buddies, congrats on your achievements and keep working hard.

To all my poly-trodden buddies, rock on brothers and sisters!!! \m/

Hmmm, do you have a take on this Poly VS Uni culture thingy? If you do, beep me and I’ll include it as a link here! Beep!

Revenge Of The Fallen

Psst. I’ve been itching. Itching real bad. No, not the rashes kind but the intangible kind where you just can’t wait to do something.

I’ve amazed myself this week. I didn’t realise that I could discipline myself to not even go on a Dota rampage in an effort to get as much sleep as I can. Okay, so I did went for a session with Han, last Tuesday, but that’s all. I’ve skipped my late night gaming to get my rest and recharge.

All these in preparation for tomorrow’s league game, which we MUST win. Last’s week’s draw was especially hard on me as I was unable to chip in and help the lads in the second half, when they conceded the equaliser. I’m not saying that with me the team will be invincible, and the truth is not even close to that, but at least had I played then I’d known that I’ve tried to prevent the equaliser from coming in, and even if it came eventually, then I’ll accept it.

I’ve actually felt physically fresher towards the end of the week, unlike previous weeks. Not for a long time have I felt this good, and the last time I felt this way I was on a prescription dose of multi-vitamins and protein shakes. Its Au Naturel this time, and its damn good!

Revenge starts 5pm, tomorrow. Sadly the venue’s nowhere near the west or central, but I’ll persevere.

Ooh, on another note, I’ve been watching and re-watching The Transformers2 trailer! Uber cool! What makes it even cooler is that Linkin Park’s penning the single for the movie’s OST. Its a good song too! Hear it for the first time on my blog — don’t ask how I got it, just enjoy it!

Tripping.

Whoever wins American Idol won’t affect me. No I won’t be shrieking over the loser like these girls (their mom secretly taped their reactions in the 2007 American Idol season), but thinking and considering about the people around me gets me all soft and dewy hearted.

You see, Dad hasn’t been working for more than a year now and even Stepma has been docked at home for the past few months. I’m not entirely sure how both manage to get through with their dailies but its quite evident that they’re working on a shoestring budge, ever since they’ve enrolled for the Haj or pilgrimage package. In fact, they were supposed to go last year, but situations in Arab denied them and thus they’ll have to endure for another year.

Dad part-times but I can see that he’s growing weary trying to make ends meet — and I see him tired and weary most of the time! I try to help him whenever and wherever I can. I never ask him for anything cos I do not wish to add to his todo-list anymore, but I do advise him time and again on starting out on his own, which in a way he did, for a short period of time, with his friends in their KL-Singapore logistics venture. For now, I think he’s just focusing on his Haj plans. Keep it simple, he says.

And then there’s my brother who is preparing for his wedding next year. I help him with his expenses now and then, over the years and I’ve never asked him for them back, because I know its going to be difficult for him to repay them. Not that I really bother about getting them repaid, I just hope he gets through the wedding and settles down sufficiently. If someone dear needs my help, then I’ll help. Whether the loan gets repaid or not, that’s their prerogative. I guess that If I were a licensed moneylender, I’d be out of business in no time.

Like how I financed my sister-cousin’s diploma at MDIS and not really expecting anything in return. Mind you, its a hefty sum but I’m proud that she got through the year successfully and has achieved a decent certificate with her life. Although I am now a little concerned that she’s showing a lack of ambition when it comes to knocking onto any career doors.  You see, there are doors opening but I guess she’s yet to walk through any of them.

I haven’t seen any laudable efforts and maybe that’s why my concern as a brother kicks in. I mean, watching videos of boybands and serial dramas, or window shopping online and regularly participating in forums doesn’t really pay the bills, eh? I’m already doing my part to support her and Godma for a while now and I hope it doesn’t come to a point where I ask myself ‘Is my spoon supporting the future or only feeding for the day’? I’m sure she can do much more and be an inspiration to her younger sis.

And what about my step-sis, who half the time seem to be plagued by her dreary outlook everytime she’s home? She’s finishing her poly tenure mid next year, and despite her moans and complaints about schoolwork, I think she’s going to get on well. She’s got ambitions, loads of it and nothing malign about that, but of which can cripple her capabilities at times. She’ll come to me for advice and help and it seems to me that this one wants to be able to do everything, like me, and to not being able to achieve a target is truly disappointing. However she’ll appear moody when that happens, unlike me who’s hell bent on being positive and to find a lighter, brighter side of things. I suppose I need to teach her how to Dota as an escape?

Wow, I’ve yet to reveal the whole iceberg and I’m already so wordy on its tip. Gee, I’m ranting  like I’ve never ranted before here, and I suppose being squeezed financially makes me blurt. You see, commissions aren’t coming in like they used to. The economy isn’t looking great at all, and still I’m still glad about where I am at the moment, but here’s something that reeks: I’ve been resting on my laurels for many months now and somehow I got a kick on the butt via a song. Yes, a song woke me up. The song’s playing on my blog right now, thanks to David Cook.

You see, it’s a song dedicated to the passing of his Cancer strickened brother, Adam Cook. On my birthday 8 years ago, I got a wake up call with the passing of my late mum. That event led me to being positive and determined on working hard and to continue living against all odds. Today for the first time I listened to the song ‘Permanent’ and quite contrary it strucked me that nothing is really permenant. What if Jacky Printing went out of business? What would I do then? What if my loved ones pass on and I’ve never really got to shower them with the kind of life that they’ve been dreaming of? Then it strucked me again on another level that I’m not even through with the adult stage yet, where marriage and having children kicks in, sweeping you along with all the lovely problems that raising a family could bring. Let’s take things one at a time eh?

Arrghh.. Though I’m not even close to spiralling out of control (and neither are the people around me) I wish life could be… simpler? I’d sure would love to see more pro-active mind sets, firm decision-making, and plenty more smiles to share around. Why make life harder for someone else right? 

Oh well, what a way to introduce my latest project. Tsk. Angry Little Fish. His name is alf. He is a fish. An angry fish. I’ve yet to post any pictures of him, but do peek back for more updates on Alf. 

 I think I have a good quote to end this post, which goes like this. “Why.. So.. Serious?” Bah.

The Rain That Never Rained

As if a calculated prank, I rode in my rain gear, having stopped a few minutes into my ride home to put on the rainjackets/raincoats, all the way home, wet. Wet, not because of the rain, but because of my sweat. It was a stuffy, hot and uncomfortable ride home. So much for the rain clouds and foggy skies. I guess I got punk’d.

Its like there’s this malay saying “Bunyi guruh di langit, air tempayan dicurah”. Loosely translated it means, “Thunder heard in sky, water in vase poured liao”. Well that’s Singlish speaking actually, but I reckon you get the point. It infers to something like someone hearing he’ll be getting a pay raise this month, and he starts spending all his money already. The moral of the story here is, what if the pay raise don’t come?

So how many times have we been caught in this situation? Come on now, admit it. You’ve been in situations where a friend offers to get that thing done for you, and then you carelessly forgot to remind him thinking he’ll keep his words, but in the end he forgots and you end up getting the stick for not getting it done? No? Okay, maybe its just me then.

Anyway, about the earlier situation I wasn’t being careless but rather careful about the impending rain, which turned out to be a losing situation nevertheless. Still, its good to be careful ‘cos I never knew if the rain might suddenly pour on me while i’m in the middle of the expressway. Now getting wet and wild in the middle of the expressway is far worse than being hot and stuffy. Plus it’s really, REALLY cold when you’re drenched and riding along the expressway. Not recommended definitely.

Oh well, it all doesn’t matter anymore now that I’m home sweet home. No more hot and stuffy, just refreshed and comfy at the moment. And thank goodness it never rained. I’d just washed my bike. \m/

HAPPY VESAK DAY!

 

I’m a little disappointed approaching this holiday weekend.

3 Reasons. 1 — that I’m not gonna have a proper holiday as I’ve to come back to work, since my colleagues are all back in their hometown in Malaysia. 2 — that one of my cusomers project got stalled due to my supplier’s ignorance and then proceeding to blame me for not giving proper instructions. Yeah right. And 3 — not being

Read the rest of this entry »