Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lazy @** end-of-the-year syndrome...

Well, this is about the time when most people would start blogging about the achievements fulfilled in 2008.....what they managed to get through out the year, which items are 'checked off' in their 'To Achieve/Get before 2009' list...etc. Here I am sitting procrastinating at my office desk at the end of 2008 (almost at the end anyway!) trying to get myself together to finish a task due for submission by the end of the week.....alas to no avail! Try as I might, I've been infected with the contagious/customary "lazy @** end-of-the-year" syndrome!!
Heck, I'm even lazy to write any entries...hahahah! Come on brain, wake up and work!!! :p

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Behold, fellow collectors!!.....Toywiz 2009 Warehouse Clearance Sale!!!


Greetings fellow geek collectors!!! How many of us remembered the great Toys R Us clearance sale a few years back? Or the MPH clearance sale which had some great action-figures some time back? Heck, some of us even went to the chaotic mess that ensued during HASBRO Malaysia's warehouse sale!!! Not many toys/action-figures/collectibles on sale nowadays, save for the occassional 'el cheapo' bins that pop up in the middle of the Toys R Us stores every now and then!
Then, this might interest you!!! Toywiz, a toy store located in Amcorp Mall, PJ, is having a clearance sale. Up to this point, I never knew that they even have a warehouse....seems that they're cleaning out their 2008 stock and putting everything up for sale at great prices...some are discounted up to 70%!!! Below are excerpts from their website regarding the clearance sale:

"Toywiz will have a huge clearance sales early on 2009 and you
shall definitely NOT to miss on this one! Our warehouse is full and need space clearance for more exciting toy collectibles coming in from the year 2009, especially Transformers 2 hitting later year.

When/Where is the clearance sale?
It will be held at a 8,000 squarefeet LOT on Third Floor Amcorp Mall (yes, it’s near our Toywiz store, same row as McDonald’s, beside a Korean Restuarant, used to be a Game Centre there).

The sale will start SHARP from 11am - 6pm Saturday 3rd Jan and Sunday 4th Jan 2009 (First weekend of January 2009).

In case someone not familiar where is PJ Amcorp Mall, here is a map link from Streetdirectory or a satellite map. You can take LRT to Amcorp Mall, drop off at Taman Jaya LRT station which is served by the Kelana Jaya Line.

What are the brands and toys you will be having sale?
We carry ONLY branded and genuine toys collectibles, so you
will definitely be assured that you won’t be disappointed! Many branded toys will be discounted from 20% - 70% and starting as low as RM5. You can expect a huge selections of Star Wars figurines and collectibles, Barbie Dolls and Collectibles, Transformers stuff, McFarlane Toys and Neca action figures, Marvel Legends and DC Superheroes Batman, Hot Wheels cars, Disney Cars, Spawn and Movie Figurines etc, we are still digging out stocks form the warehouse and the list goes on….

2009 New Arrivals and Toys Released from the past month will not be on clearance sales but entitled some discounts

Do you accept Credit Cards?
We accept CASH only for the clearance but will accept Visa/Master credit card for purchases over RM1000. There will be a small charge of 3% fees if using credit cards because of the clearance sales.

Who should come to this Clearance Sale?
Every toy collectors will definitely not to miss on this! Spread the news to your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to come along!"
Well, there you have it! Can't say that I want every collector in town to be there at the same time......let it be just me in the morning during the store opening (wishful thinking!).......I pray for a headstart so that I'd be able to loot all the wonderful goodies first!!!! Heheh......

Monday, December 22, 2008

When life grabs you by the......

I was sending some garments to the usual laundry guy the other day on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Stopped by at his kiosk for a while to have a casual chat as usual. For my story-telling sake, let us call him Izzy (real name to be witheld here for privacy sake!). Upon writing the receipt for the laundry, Izzy immediately told me casually that he'll be expecting a busy time over the long X-mas holiday break. I preceded to ask him what on earth could possibly be occupying his time over the holidays. What he described next proved to be too shocking for me to comprehend on that fine, lazy and sleepy afternoon.
"My son got his p**** stuck in between his zippers-lah! That's what he gets for being too hasty to go out to play with his friends! After that he had to be circumcised straight away! Now through the holidays I have to organise a prayer/recital session for him!"
Okayyyyy.......that was very direct, very informative yet proved to be too much for my sleepy head. It got me thinking immediately in a flash really. It's a situation where you're forced to take that decision or else your life might be at stake....well, not always involving a life-and-death situation but you get the point! One thing will eventually lead to another, even if you're not ready for it.

Reminds me of a comedy i once watched.....Tomcats (2001). This film is HIGHLY recommended for laughs! There was a scene where one of the main character, Kyle (played by actor Kurt Busey) had to go for an operation to remove one of his "nuts"; diagnosed as being cancerous. Kyle is portrayed as a playboy who is deemed as a serial-womaniser, hence couldn't stay faithful to any one partner at any one time. But when he had to go for the operation and loses one of his man-ly body parts in the process, he decided to come clean and marry the next suitable woman that comes in his life. Seemed that the whole "life-threatening" incident made Kyle re-thinked his life over.....and the nut-removing operation acted as a catalyst for him to start finding his life partner. In the hospital scene where Kyle was talking to Michael (the lead actor played by Jerry O'Connell)....he can be heard clearly uttering those famous (and freaking hillarious!) phrase...."When life grabs you by the b***s......."
So, in a way, the incident that happened to Izzy's son is a metaphor of the para-phrase "When life grabs you by the b***s...." (no PUN intended, honestly!)....as it teaches us of how certain turn of events will force you to take that next step in life, irregardless of us being ready for it or not. Never expected i could learn lessons in life by visiting the laundry kiosk and by watching a comedy........

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blackburn Rovers: Out goes Ince (thank God, finally!), In goes Big Sam...

*Sigh*.....really hoped to see him achieve great things at Ewood (well, by Rovers' standard, great could either be defined as having reached a top 6 or 7 finish in the EPL! Haha...). His promise to continue his magic touch, as displayed during his tenure with Macclesfield and MK Dons, didn't materialise. Severely criticised as well for bringing in his former Dons' captain Keith "I-can't-play-footie" Andrews into the fold, amidst disastrous results in the past couple of months. Heck, they have not won since September I reckon. Now, that's bad. I can't possibly stand another heartache of witnessing another season of playing with Burnley 'down under' in the Championship. Yup, for those who had missed my (much) earlier post, I am an ardent Blackburn Rovers supporter. Though heavily laughed at, I stand firm in my choice of football club and believe every fan has the right to choose the club of their fancy; and I am, however, a stern believer that one should NOT be a mere glory hunter aka success follower....sadly this is the case with new football supporters nowadays.
For Paul Ince, his mismanagement of the team during his 17 games in charge, with only 3 wins to date and currently being in 19th place; is bad for a club whose been chasing the top 6 pack for the last couple of years. Surely there are 21 more games to go, a long way for any EPL team for that matter, but survival is a game no one should ever leave to chance. At the end of the day, Rovers fans were just glad he's gone.

Now Sam Allardyce has been appointed to replace Ince, one must not forget how this man was severely criticised for employing the so-called unproductive 'long-ball' tactics while he was in charge of Bolton. Well, criticisms aside, Bolton did compete in Europe for the past few years....so if long-ball tactic is what it takes to avoid being in the Championship next season, then long-ball it is!!!

The sorry, pathethic and abysmal state of the Malaysian National Football Team.

Would I be labeled as unpatriotic when it comes to bashing the performance of my national football team? Truthfully, I've never really followed the performance of the team since the mid 90s, back when the 'then' team was still something to be proud of. I remembered vividly the 90s team which consist the likes of Zainal Abidin, Dollah Salled, Mubin Mokhtar, Khairul Azman etc. During the Asian group qualifiers for the '94 World Cup, they did us proud by 'almost' winning a match against the Saudis (who eventually qualified for USA '94) in KL, ending controversially at 1-1. Let us not even talk about the glory days of the 70s/80s......Mokhtar Dahari/Soh Chin Aun/Santokh Singh would cringe to the vast decline in performances between the different incarnations of the national team over the different eras. This is NOT to say that the team has improved over the years.
Now, let us concentrate on the essence of this article. Last night I've read a copy of a local newspaper (well, it was a couple of days old). The sports section talked about how the Malaysian FA was giving the current head coach, B. Satianathan a 'second' chance in spearheading the team. His contract extension, it seems, comes with several 'caveats' (conditions) in order to allow the FA to remove him from the job in the future; should he fail to 'effectively' carry out his duties as head coach. Well, his contract extension runs out in Dec '09 anyway, so not much time there for him to make a massive impact i.e. to get the national team from out of the slums (the recent one being dumped out of the AFC Suzuki Cup in Bangkok)! How many times have we heard the 'top' people in FAM talked about on how the team wasn't up to par, the players weren't ready enough, the coach utilised the wrong strategies, this-and-that....but it never was the fault of the management of the national team? This is really mind-boggling...they should shoulder some of the blame too.
Let me quote some real-life examples from the English Premier League (EPL). We have seen how team performances dip beyond 'worse' when top management people tried to take control of the tactical aspect of the team. Let the managers/coaches do their job. We don't need non-tactical people to give tactical advices. Liverpool, Man City and several other teams in the EPL had to endure bad experiences of interferences from their top management. The worst of it all was when Mike Ashley (owner of Newcastle United) interfered with team affairs and went as far as sacking fan-favourite Kevin Keegan, which enraged the supporters so much. As a result, players' morale were at a low; the team wasn't performing like an EPL-standard team and disastrous match results ensued. Eventually the supporters called for Ashley to give up the club!
Back to the Malaysian national team front, I think that the national head coach has not been given a reasonable time to at least get the players to gel together and perform as one tight unit. This may take years to achieve, but at least it will provide some hope of improvements. At this rate, thousands of Malaysian fans will agree that even in the unlikely event of us getting the services of Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink or Marcello Lippi; as long as there are interferences from non-tactical people, the team will never realise its full potential...ever! B. Satianathan's caveated contract extension will hinder any real progress to the team because if at any one point they're unable to produce the desired results, their head coach will be replaced. Hence, the cycle of adapting to yet another style of tactical play from yet another head coach repeats itself. Time wasted again and again. We start from zero yet again.
How about a massive overhaul at the top management level? Time for a change....time to get new and fresh ideas/perspectives. Is there even such a thing as a life-long president of an FA? Unchallenged! Have we seen the likes of Prince Charles or Prince Harry/William in the England FA Board Members? They should be, as England is a world-class team....but they aren't! Bring back the glory days where we can actually beat south Korea and Japan, as a start. Now these 2 teams are miles ahead, having played in recent World Cup tournaments.
Save our Malaysian National Football team. This football fan has spoken.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Staring straight right into the face of boredom....

It must be one of THOSE days....its not like I don't have any work to do....God knows I do. I'm prettttttty sure most of us have experienced this state of mixed emotions..."I-have-tonnes-of-stuff-to-do-but-I'm-ever-so-lazy/unmotivated-to-do-it!". You just know it that boredom is looming within your subconcious (or sometimes concious!) state of mind when:
- you keep checking the watch and began a special countdown till the end of the official working hours
- you've been on Facebook/Friendster/MySpace since morning with no one else to chat to
- you already felt like forever but it's only 10am (Gosh!!!)
- the assignment sheet entrusted to you is starting to have pencil-doodles at the side of it
- your proposal paper is starting to be pushed aside in favour of the daily newspaper
- dialogues and snippets from all Star Wars & Lord of The Rings movies are constantly being replayed in your mind
- you already ran out of songs for you to hum and tap your feet to
- you've already read most of the online newspaper journals but still search for more reports of the same news
- you browse through the internet to find blogs such as this, hoping to read interesting articles that talk on boredom and ways to beat it.
To cap a wonderful yet brief reading pleasure, here's a few useful websites taken randomly from the internet a moment ago; that conveniently lists down the things we could do to pass time at the office but still remain productive in a certain point of view:




*Oh by the way, wikihow's tip #8 is interesting yet common....I'll give it a try afterwards! Heheh.....

In the meantime, I invite anybody who comes across this article to contribute your ideas on how to effectively kill time...(ooooppsss, did I say kill time?)...err, how to effectively "Properly Manage An Employee's Working Time" to productively maximise office working hours!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It was 40 years ago today: The Beatles' White Album 40th Anniversary

This one's especially to all you Beatles' fans all over the world. Those of you not interested in the band, let alone this historic album, can skip this short article.....or you can join along for the sake of a little bit of music/history knowledge...heheheh. Okay, okay.....I'm about a month late. It's currently December and the landmark anniversary took place last month. But what the heck, I've just read the excellent article in Mojo magazine last night and it got me reminiscing back to the good ol' hey-days of the band in 1968. Before I knew it, I was humming songs from the album. I'll always remember this album fondly, as it was my staple album during my high school days....back when (almost) everybody were listening to the garbage that is pop music...hahah! This album was among THE main catalyst that encouraged me to pick up the guitar. I'm tellin' ya, this double album will keep you awake for the whole night if you're listening to it for the first time. It has many types of genre music; ranging from rock (duh!), vaudeville, ska, proto-metal(?!) and lots of other yet-to-be-defined type of music at that time. For a complete readings on this particular album and the songs within, I'd recommend wikipedia's page. So there's no need for repetitive facts here.
November 22, 1968 marked the date when The Beatles released their ground-breaking album...aptly titled The BEATLES, or as it is famously labelled by fans, critics alike....The White Album. Last November marked the 40th anniversary of the album's release....as usual, I was on the hunt for any magazines that might commemorate this auspicious event, but alas there were not many...save for ONE! I finally found at a well-known backdated magazine store in a shopping complex in town. The funny thing is, fate inter-twined in my quest in finding such a magazine....I got it by accident really! A gentlemen was contemplating whether to purchase this excellent magazine (comes with a great CD that contains tribute performances as well!). And after much hesitation, he finally dropped the magazine back onto the shelf. The thudding sound of the magazine onto the shelf caught my attention and almost immediately i grabbed the magazine and paid for it. Talk about luck....i was just about to give up on finding any...and finally there it was at a bargain price of RM13.90 (USD3.90)!
This particular issue of MOJO magazine talked about all the songs contained in Disc 1 (Disc 2 would be discussed in next month's issue it seems!), the thoughts of each of the band member, trivias on the album, time spent on each songs etc. You get the idea. And interestingly enough, a CD of bands covering songs from Disc 1 of the White Album, just like what MOJO did with Sgt Pepper (another great Beatles landmark album!) last year. Some were great re-imagined versions of the songs.....and some were pretty lame to my opinion. Well, like they always say, listen to the originals folks!

Now, the main highlight that i would like to point out is that, on this album, every Beatle member (that's John, Paul, George & Ringo for those in the dark) began experimenting with their own materials that deviate from the fundamental style of the Beatles. This trend eventually backfired and they only lasted for another 2 albums before finally disbanding. Again, stories of their breakup has been told many many times.....just google it and you'd get literally hundreds if not thousands of articles on it. Nevertheless, they had succesfully diversified their style of music in the album that one might have the impression that it (the White Album) could be a compilation of 32 different songs from different artists from different era! That's how the White Album from The Beatles sound like folks! A whole bunch of different genre of songs all jumbled up in two excellent discs. I can't recall really on how many artists cited the White Album as their main influences to their musical styles. Not to mention the plethora of copy-cat albums from different artists that emulates the format of the White Album. And listening to it, one might start to understand why. A particular song in the album was even touted as the first 'world music' ever recorded by the western world. Which one you ask? Listen to the album and you will find out. Pick the album up (if you haven't)....and prepare yourself for one helluva musical journey.

Happy 40th Birthday, White Album!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jack of all trades OR master of only one (Or NONE)?!

Now this is an interesting topic to talk about. As I sit at my desk over lunchtime, pondering over my future and reflecting on stuffs that I never reflected on before (heheh!)....I suddenly remembered an argument which one of my old school mate used to lash out during our futsal sessions. Yes, it was during those breaks in between matches did the argument blossomed into an hour long discussion (up to the point where it was even discussed while playing futsal as well!).
I can remember vividly that the main jizz of the heated argument was that one shouldn't be too eager to diversify oneself into many areas of job specialisation. What he was referring to were those people who constantly jump jobs like nobody's business. Just don't do it on a monthly basis! Hahah! Its normal for young working adults to consistently switch jobs because they are still in limbo in deciding which specialisation to dwell in. Its safe to say that working adults will start to slow down on the job migration once they have successfully found a job which they love so much....and they will do their utmost to hold on for dear life onto the job.
Being a master of only one specialisation or job can spell disaster to oneself. What if suddenly you're forced to change jobs? Or worse of it all, your current organization decides to 'downsize' certain employees....and YOU are part of that exclusive downsizing list? Hmmm....however I would to highlight a particular incident where I was shunned for trying to be a 'jack-of-all-trades'. Sounds unbelievable ain't it? In today's corporate world, or any world may it be (blue-collared, white collared...etc.), a multitasking employee is the one constantly seeked out by potential employers. But this one particular incident with a particular 'corporate figure' made me realised that the old school of thought of being a master of only ONE job skill still exist in today's globalised world.
I remembered particularly the part when Mr. Corporate-figure lambasted me with his arguments that:

"An employee should only stick to what he knows best! An employee should not
waste their time looking/trying around new job functions to suit their whims
and fancies, because you will only waste an organization's resources!"

This is of course to me....a load of horse s***!!! I immediately told him that as an employee, I will strive my utmost best to ensure that my contributions to the organizational needs are utilised efficiently and without prejudice. BUT once I find that I can't function properly or should I ever feel that I need to move on for the sake of career progression, then so be it. But nobody's gonna make me stay and dwell in a job which no longer appeal to me. Heck, nobody ever said that I need to be in the SAME organization anymore to enjoy a different role altogether. Well, kudos to him, I am now a better person; having seen the unlimited opportunities that lies outside that particular organization......as a result of that historic argument! Always take the positive side of things. Heheh....
I guess that at the end of the day, we all have special skills or abilities, whether we choose to realise it or not. Deep down inside we scream of changes, chances to display our hidden talents and avenues to blurt our inner demands.......All I can say is that, one must be brave enough, sometimes, we must be crazy enough to try out new ideas to achieve that little something which we crave. In my case, it was the need of a new and dynamic environment eventually drove me to where I am right now. Imagine if I had chosen to remain silent and bow down to the ideology of Mr Corporate-figure.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movie; faithful to the graphic novels?...

Okay, this may sound outdated/passe/so-last-month....but does anybody notice that The Dark Knight movie derived most of its' influences from several Batman comics/graphic novels....namely The Long Halloween, The Killing Joke and Batman: Year One?! Being an ardent comic fan myself, I was surprised (and somewhat thrilled!) on how the movie closely resembled the comic elements so much and how it stayed faithful to the mood set out in those graphic novels.
Kudos to Christopher Nolan for succesfully adapting the dark (hence the Title Dark Knight! heheh...) intonation of the stories told by great writers i.e. Jeph Loeb, Alan Moore & Frank Miller; onto the big screen. Though I must say most fans keep asking themselves, "Where the heck did the character Rachel Dawes come from?!!". Personally, after the excellent Dark Knight movie, I'm looking forward to the next on-screen graphic novel adaptation......The Watchmen, directed by Zack Snyder....due to be out by March 2009; that is IF the legal dispute between 20th Century Fox over Warner Bros is resolved by then. Or else, we may never get to see it......darn!