Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bullythebear AGM 2013

Notice of Annual General Meeting
Bully the Bear Private Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of Singapore)
Company Registration No. 8888168IP4

General information

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 1st Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at a secret location (only to be revealed to people who are attending),on 6th July, Saturday at lunch time.

To be in line with the garmen initiatives of ‘Pay as you use’ scheme (i.e. ERP), attendees of the lunch AGM will be required to pay for their own meals. Yes, we are going Dutch. 

Due to our social ineptness, the number of attendees will be kept at around 6 to 8 people. Please register ASAP to book your place.

If you would like to attend the lunch AGM, please email: 

We will transact the following business activities during the AGM:

Ordinary Business

1. To receive and adopt the Directors’ Report and Audited Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2013 and the Auditors’ Report thereon.

2. To re-elect Mr La Papillion as CEO.
He is from Paris, France. He is the founder of Bully the Bear Private Limited. 

3. To re-elect Mr Patty as IT Director.
He graduated from an atas overseas University and has lots of experience in IT management. He is very knowledgeable in lots of stuff.

4. To re-elect Mr Cw8888 as Finance Director.
He has a trove of experience in planning investment for the company. Using his proprietary “Pillow Strategy”, the company has managed to profit from both the bull and bear! We have consistently outperform other companies.

 5. To re-elect Ms Sfry as Mentor Director.
She graduated from school of itchy hands. She does not come to work often but she gives invaluable advice for the company when needed. She spends most of the time cleaning the company goldfish tanks and extracting information from Kdrama.

6. To re-elect Mr Beary as Toilet Director cum Procurement Director.
He used to be a toilet cleaner at Suntec City. During his stint as a toilet cleaner, he mastered the techniques of how to keep customers by providing 5 stars toilets. After implementing his toilet strategy, the company sales increased by 342%.He is the lobang King and Bao Kar Liao King. With his extensive networks of lobang, the company has managed to keep our expenses down.

7. To re-elect Mr AK71 as Property Investment Director.
He graduated from the school of “Speak Good Ang Moh”. He is in-charge of all REITS investment for the company. He is always hungry and like to ask “Can eat or not?”

8. To re-elect Mr Cory as Business Development Director.
No information is available.

9. To re-appoint ao LLP as Auditors of the Company to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.

Ordinary Resolutions

To consider and, if thought fit, to pass, with or without modifications, the following resolutions as Ordinary Resolutions:

1. Establishment of “Feed Beary” Fund. Our director, Mr Beary, said that he has no money to attend the lunch AGM. We are looking for sponsors to pay for Mr Beary lunch AGM expenses. If you would like to see Mr Beary at the lunch AGM, please donate generously to the fund.

2. To approve the release of Polar Bear, Koala Bear and Panda into the wild.

3. To approve the purchase of 500,000 fishing nets. 

Kind and special thanks to ao who drafted this interesting AGM invitation for our cbox gathering and pretty much organised it. Small lunch, nothing much and don't expect too much. I'll make time for it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reflections on owning a car for 1 yr

Having owned a pre-loved car for slightly more than a year, I wanted to reflect on whether it's a good way to burn the money and also to gauge what's the real cost of owning a car. I did some calculation before buying, now it's time to check back those assumptions and verify it once and for all whether those assumptions are rubbish or not

*Items that are estimated means that I take the amount spent for 1 yr and divide it by 12 to get an estimated monthly charge

One time expenses:
First car inspection before taking the car: $142
Downpayment: $16,000
Major car servicing: $560

Total one time payment: $16,702

Monthly expenses:
Season parking : $65
Fuel : $260 (estimated)
Cashcard: $50 (estimated)
Insurance: $120
Carpark Coupon: $4 (estimated)
Car wash: $5 (estimated)
Monthly installment: $359

Total monthly payment: $863

Even before the new rules set in, I'm already paying 50% down payment and borrowing the rest. I've the money to pay it all down but I just don't think it's wise. Anyway, the total interest is $1.2k over 4 yrs, so I think it's alright to borrow money since it raises my liquidity, which is more impt for me. My wife and I are sharing the cost, so it works out to be half of whatever is calculated on top.

My share of the one time payment is $8,400
My share of the monthly payment is $430

Is it affordable? I think so. A lot of people who say that they can't pay for a car is because they didn't look at the secondary market. If you need to smell the fresh leather seats of new car, then don't complain that the cost of owning a car is so high.

Anyway, these are the cost. In accounting, there's got to be something to balance the cost. Here's the benefits:

1. Less energy wasted taking public transport and walking

This reason alone is good enough to make me want to own a car. After work, I still have the energy to go to other places. It's like everyday I start off with 100% energy, then as I work, travel, walk...I spent those energy. Having a car conserve my energy level and spend it slower than walk & public transport. I'm not spoilt or anything (most of the time, my wife drives instead of me) but having a car will make the journey much less taxing on my energy reserves. It makes me more energetic once I reached my destination, rather than tired and sweaty and generally worn out.

2. Saves time

I used to take several buses that will reach my destination in 15 mins but with the waiting time added in, I've to go 35 mins ahead. The extra 20 mins goes like this: 15 mins for waiting, another 5 more in case the bus is too full or 2 buses come at the same time or the bus arrives earlier than expected. It's a tremendous waste of my time. When you value your time and energy more than money, you know that that's the time to get your own transport.

3. Ability to go several places in one day

I've not had that experience before, since my family don't ever own a car. I could be in one place having lunch, then vroom to another place to get something, then vroom to yet another place for dinner. Just because I can do so. The kind of freedom that it gives me is worth the money. I wished I had bought it sooner, actually.

The benefits do not have a dollar value, but that doesn't mean that it's not important. The cost has a price to it, but the benefits are literally and metaphorically priceless.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Learning to say no

I need to learn how to say NO.

Perhaps it's the up-bringing or the circumstances that lead me to think that being a nice-guy, you have be as agreeable to everyone as much as possible. Even to the extent of sacrificing yourself for the 'greater good'. But experience had told me that there is no greater good to sacrifice, most of the time. Whatever passed off as greater good is just someone's or some group's selfish personal agenda. Hence, whatever sacrifices you made so that there a greater good is served is just pure delusion, mostly on my part, egged on by my false sense of what being a nice guy entails.

I am one who usually don't exert my rights to others. I'll just suck it up. But it's time to change. No point being a nice guy when others don't play nice. AND more importantly, I've to realise that it's okay to say no. I won't become a devil by saying no when I really mean it. I should practice saying no everyday. These are a few examples:

1. Can you help me with this? No, I'm busy.

2. Can you come over at this time because I'm only free at this period of time? No, I'm not available at other times.

3. Sorry I mixed up your orders and added ice to your drink, is it okay for you to take this nevertheless? No, I want it to be replaced without ice, sorry.

I guess part of the reason why others can say no easily is because they are not afraid to exert what is right for them. I always 'system-think' too much instead of exerting my own individuality. I should be more individualistic instead of group thinking too much. Part of learning how and when to say no is also the fact that I become more attuned to what I really want. I want to live a life for myself instead of living someone else's life. I shouldn't take myself so seriously and think that when I say 'no', things will fall apart. Things will most likely carry on with or without my affirmative yes.

Yes, life will still carry on with or without my participation.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The year 2012 viewed in the eyes of books

I always like to note down the books that I've read and note down the ones that I might want to re-read again. By looking at the books that you've read, I'd like to review the year that had passed in 2012 too. It's a bit late, I know, but better than never, haha!

I've read a total of 35 books, way lower than the usual 52 books per year. I know I've said that I no longer want to count the number of books that I've read, but the funny thing is this: when I stopped counting, I stopped reading. Or reading as much. Sometimes the target to always read 1 book a week just makes me scrimp and collect all the weird pockets of time to do some bit of reading. To finish reading a book, you need discipline. As simple as that. A good book will help you to finish it in double quick time, no doubt. However, I realised that before you start to like a book, when the characters are strangers to you and you don't give a shit whether they are alive or dead, you just need to hit that psychological milestone pages before you can get 'into' the book. That requires discipline.

For those parents who dish out ipads and multi-media tablets to kids, beware of raising a generation of kids who can't delay their gratification and who wants instant rewards, especially when it comes in visually appealing graphics and nice sound effects. When you're reading, your mind creates all these itself and there's no need for external stimulus to make reading enjoyable. I feel this is very important to train in the youth these days, especially when it's so easy to get our kicks from the ubiquitous ipads. Something to think about.

Anyway, here's the list of books that I've read in 2012:

Alien Interview - Lawrence R. Spencer
Writing Tools: 50 essential strategies for every write - Roy Peter Clark
Fengshui for the classroom - Renee Heiss
Thick face, Black heart - Chin-Ning Chu
The elements of Persuasion - Richard Maxwell & Robert Dickman
Courage to teach - Parker J. Palmer
The truth about teaching - Coleen Armstrong
Influence - The psychology of persuasion - Robert B. Cialdini
The 22 immutable laws of branding - Al Ries
Guerrilla Marketing for Free - Jay Conrad Levinson
Secrets of building multi-million dollar business - Adam Khoo
The Night Eternal - Guillermo Del Toro / Chuck Hogan
Advertising for Dummies - Gary Dahl
The Fall - Guillermo Del Toro / Chuck Hogan
The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro / Chuck Hogan
I am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Last Colony - John Scalzi
The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
Old man's war - John Scalzi
The bed of procrustes - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The sea of swords - R.A Salvatore
The Silent blade - R.A. Salvatore
The spine of the world - R.A Salvatore
The end of days - Zecharia Sitchin
A Thousand Orcs - R.A. Salvatore
The Cosmic Code - Zecharia Sitchin
Wool Omnibus Edition (1-5) - Hugh Howey
A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin
The Chaos Curse - R.A. Salvatore
The Fallen fortress - R.A. Salvatore
Night Masks - R.A. Salvatore
In Sylvan Shadows - R.A. Salvatore
Canticle - R.A. Salvatore
Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Those at the bottom of the list were books that I read in the earlier part of the year, and it's arranged chronologically. The ones I've highlighted are the top 5 worth re-reading again.

Let's see:

1. Wool omnibus (1-5 books)

This one is by Hugh Howey. I don't really buy physical books, but I will buy his books for keepsake. That's how good his works are. I recently also bought another omnibus, a series of 3 books by the same author from Amazon. If you like wasteland, fallout, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it kind of apocalyptic books, this is for you. That song from Fallout by Inkspots kept playing again and again in my head when reading this...tsk tsk... By the way, my list of books to re-read seldom include fiction. This must be one of the rare ones to appear in the list.

2. Secrets of building a multi-million dollar business

I don't usually like Adam Khoo's books, but I think this one is quite a easy read. It's good for people who wanted to have a brief overview of starting a business. If anything, Adam Khoo is a successful businessman located in Singapore. It's good to see what sort of viewpoints or advice he can give to someone starting out in Singapore too. That's plenty of general advice in other books, but this one is local and so it's more tailored to our unique context. I've read this twice already, and I'll probably read this again. It's still in my list of books to read in the future.

3. Guerrilla marketing for free

A marketing guru - Jay Conrad Levinson is the authoritative voice in this aspect of business. It's good for everybody because we're all salesman in one form or another. It gives you ideas - plenty of it - to think about and to use as you see fit. It's very readable, not like those textbooks for formal studies and I'm pretty sure some of the techniques work good too, because I've tried it myself. Definitely a good book to re-read in the future.

4. Influence - the psychology of persuasion

Oh man, I can't recommend this book enough. I've read this for maybe 2 times? Remember this name "Robert B. Cialdini"...if you see his books, just read it lah, can't go too far wrong. If you notice my books list for this year, I've already read another book co-authored by him, called 'Yes!'. If you ever need to persuade people, and we need to do it on a daily basis, then you should read this book. You should read it per year like me, just to remember the lessons learnt.

5. Alien interview

Usually this isn't a book that I'll recommend...I'm quite sick of reading about aliens. But this book is special because it's about an interview with an alien that survived the crash in the Roswell incident. You can take it as fiction or fact, it doesn't really matter. It's the ideas that count. The theory that is explained by the alien is so mind blowing that I think it can explain all the sort of things that I'm puzzled about. It's like the encompassing theory to tie up all the loose ends about the different religious beliefs regarding life on earth. Mind blowing, I repeat. It's a very short read, so I will recommend this to anyone interested in the mysteries of life on earth, about reincarnation, about aliens and ancient astronaut theories...very very refreshing read. Again, I stress that there's debate on whether this is real or just a work of doesn't matter to me. Either way, I treat works of facts like fiction and fiction like works of facts. The essence is what is important here.

Special mention: Cleric Quintet (Canticle, In Sylvan shadows, Night masks, The fallen fortress and the chaos curse) by R.A Salvatore

The author should be a familar name for those who love fantasy books like the Drizzt series. Having read many books on Drizzt already, I found it pretty repetitive. There's only so much adventure with the infamous dark elf ranger. That's the reason why the Cleric Quintet is so refreshing. It's a very engaging series of 5 books, following Cadderly, the prodigy cleric and his monk wife Danica. If you like the style of writing by Salvatore, this is going to be a great journey for you. Prepared to have nights where you just spent reading so deeply that time seemed to fly past.