Monday, November 28, 2011

Cbox outing @ Beng Hiang

Bullythebear had a lunch outing on Sat 26th Nov 2011. It had been quite some time where we had a gathering with the guys/gals from the cbox community. Anyway, thanks to Neophyte who initiated it and passed the baton over to me to handle the rest of the logistic. Not to forget sfry who sponsored the lunch though we had never met. It was always the kindness that we experienced from strangers that we will always remember deep in our hearts. Had a great time that day from 'our' restaurant Beng Hiang at Amoy street.

Here's all the dishes, in chronological order. Sorry for the first dish, I forgot to take pictures until we're deep into the dish, haha!

Are you expecting to see people's faces here? Nah, I'm too smart for this. Anyway, it's a unwritten rule that no pictures of faces are taken during the outing. Interesting to see how the faces match up to the online personality, haha!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Starting a new friendship with an old friend

Today I went to Sitex (the computer exhibition at expo) with a new friend. Rather, he was an old 'new' friend because I've known him for many years but perhaps this time round, I really treated him like a friend. Kind of sad, but I'll always say it's better this way then never. You will never know the unintended consequences when you sow a seed into the universe. In my case, the seed is me getting a flat, renovating it and eventually moving out of my current home into it to live another sort of life. The known consequences are the drain into my financial resources, and of course the time and effort needed to ready the flat into a livable and homely place for me to start a family. The unintended consequence of this seed is that I started to know a friend all over again. Unintended is not necessarily bad, it's just...something that is not known in advance until the event happens. This new friendship that I started is, by no means, bad, of course.

This is my new Xerox printer that I got from Sitex 2011

So we went around Expo getting the things that I needed to get the new flat ready for my move-in. Firstly, I needed to get a broadband connection so that I can access the internet at the new flat. Since during computer fair, there's usually a good discount or extra freebies for new sign ups, I wanted to go there early to queue (if necessary) in order to get the good value plans that I wanted. Eventually, when we reached there, there wasn't such a promotion for the plan that I was looking for, so I didn't even queue for it. But for the few days before Sitex even started, my friend and I began discussing different possible set ups in my new flat. He is used to (and still is) tinkering around with his computer, ever since he got one maybe like 25-30 yrs ago and had been an avid computer hobbyist ever since then.

After getting my printer, we went over for lunch at Lerk thai there, where I treated him to thai food. It was a rather strange feeling because I can't remember having lunch with him in a restaurant for ages (maybe never, sad-ctually). We never really have a close relationship and I would so like to begin one right now. What better time than now, because we're never going to get any younger and more energetic than we are today. With that thought in mind, I also went to book a tour with him and his wife, even though I hated those guided tours and much prefer to go free-and-easy. In guided tours, you are more like having a work schedule with a fixed agenda every day, rushing from one tourist hot spot to the next, snapping this photo and that, buying the must-eat snacks and visiting the must-visit localities. It doesn't feel like a holiday at all; it feels like work.

But for them, I'll do it. It been a while since I went to a tour with them. The first time was a trip to Genting Highlands when I was 15. The next was a trip to HK when I was in my early twenties. This up and coming trip would be the third. Three pathetic trips in over three decades of us knowing each other. I think I can and should do more.

After all, they are my parents and I am their son.

(Thanks smol and ak for their blog posts so that I was suddenly 'jolted' to spend more time with my parents. My parents are still younger and I'm younger still, so there's a good many years to begin a fresh new relationship with my parents - to know them as friends.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My reshuffled priority in life

I realized as I sat in my new home, that setting up a home is financially draining yet at the same time is very satisfying. As the furniture slowly trickles in and your house transforms into your home, with all the little imperfections that you will come to appreciate and all the weird corners that you can stand on to view the home that nobody knows but you, an immense sense of fulfillment fills me up. A place that you can truly call your own is such a powerful feeling to have. I think the feeling would be multiplied many times if the next month is the last month that I have to pay the mortgage loans.

Is it worth so much money? I think, so far, it's a resounding yes. Except for a few parts that I think could be further improved (I realized quite early in this renovation game that there's no such thing as a perfect design - there's always this little corner that you can do better on and that little space that you regretted doing...ah, the perfect vision of hindsight), I'm overall satisfied with how the whole thing transforms an old dilapidated resale flat to the present renovated and modern look.

I'm sorry if readers coming in to the blog to read some financial stuff about making money in the stock market have to endure reading me talk about housing and renovation. It's just that such things are taking a bigger part of my interests now. I've little patience for the market these days and I loathe to spend so much time on it. Interesting how life turns out eh? haha!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The last few ticks of my to-do lists

Finally finished the bulk of my work year! The rest of my work schedule are just some 'stragglers' from the graduating batch and maybe a few students for the preparation in the next academic year. I always said that I've never worked so hard before in the previous years, but I've to say that again this year too. Now that the bulk of it is over, I can finish settling some issues in my personal life.

1. Need to settle my housing once and for all and get ready to move in. This housing project had been dragging on for ages, perhaps starting around June/July and lasted until now. I really have no time to put my energy and effort into it, but no excuses now. I'm hoping to move in towards the end of the month. I've still got a few things to settle, mainly just the buying of the things I'll need to use when I shift over to the new premise and setting up some infrastructure to start a classroom. Sounds like fun :)

2. Catch up on my social life. Life of a tutor is pretty much like the life of a bus driver, or any service oriented staff. Ask yourself the next time you're shopping on a weekend or on a public holiday. Who's the one driving the bus? Who's the one serving you food in the restaurant? Who's the one serving you when you are buying stuff in the shopping mall? Well, the nature of my work is such that I'm busiest when others are not and vice versa. As such, I missed out on a lot of social occasions that I need to go but couldn't. It's time to play catch-up on those. Sorry people, if you've not been hearing from me, you'll do so soon :)

3. Shares? Market? Don't know if there's anything that needs to be done in this area because my cash is mostly drained out from the various bombs that hit me in this year and the last. I'll need to boost up my cash reserves first, so it'll take some time. I've already upped my savings target for this year to 55k (though it's no big deal because this year, I didn't take into account the money that I've to pay for the mortgage of the home loan). Still, I'm proud of the fact that I can keep a cool financial head despite all the turmoil happening around my life. I can handle the storm as they come. Next year I'm not sure if I can maintain my 50k savings (this time round, it'll be 50k after mortgage payment....gasp, a big big target), though I'll do my best to do it. Already did some back of the envelope calculation on how to get an income of 10 (actual target is 12k, but it'll take some time to achieve that). All I'm left to do is to execute it. No buts, no ifs.

4. Got to catch up on my reading. My perennial target of 52 books per year is still not hit yet. Not many days left to the end of 2011, so I better buck up on my reading. Left a few more chapters before I can do the review that I've promised on a book that I'm currently reading. Oh, need to finish up some drawings that I did too. I hate to leave work uncompleted - that'll always be a nagging feeling that makes me uneasy.

Probably will start blogging more often from now on. Can't leave my readers wondering what's happening right? haha!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Adult quitting

When kids quit, they just stomp their feet and leave the game. The quitting is physical and mental at the same time. When we're adults, we can no longer quit physically because we either need the job or we can't afford to sour the relationship. So adults quit mentally. They would just stay in droning mode and do what is just needed in order not to quit physically, but their mind had already been switched off. They would do what is needed just to get the job (barely) done, but don't expect too much out of it.

I wonder how many people had adult-quitted at least some aspects of their lives? Perhaps most likely it's their jobs that they had quitted mentally. It's not necessarily a bad thing actually. When you can't find a job that fulfills you but you still needed to pay the bills that comes at the end of the month, you just have to suck it up and play adult quitting, until the next better thing sails along. Actually, I kind of think that the next better thing won't sail sort of have to sail towards them incrementally. But that's another story altogether.

But adult quitting harms you spiritually. It is like a leech that sucks your energy, making you harder and harder to wake up in the morning just to do the job that you hate to do. You get less and less motivated and eventually this sort of quitting can affect other aspects of your life too. It's ultimately an energy sucking vampire. May I never be in such a situation in my life.