Thursday, July 26, 2007

We Are Sold...

I need some gripe water, but I'm too old for Woodwards…  This is my griping day.  Let me just wallow in it.


Continental takes over Siemens VDO

Upon approval by the Siemens Supervisory Board, the Siemens Corporate Executive Committee has decided to sell Siemens VDO Automotive AG to Continental AG. Prior to this decision, several alternative offers had been intensively reviewed as numerous companies and investors had signaled their high interest in the takeover of Siemens’ successful automotive supplier group immediately after the official announcement of Siemens VDO’s planned IPO.


No more Siemens' name on our cards after this.  Pity, we just got used to Siemen's style…

Well, to us in the rank and file, what's the difference?  We are in the 'damned if you do - damned if you don't' category.  No big deal.  But for those who get paid in millions whether they do or they don't, of course, it's a whole different story. 

Heck, maybe now we have to deal with new policies, new slogans, another set of consultants, who knows what's next?  How about some VSS?  These new guys deal in tires and brake systems.  That's what I learned.  Maybe we get discounts for new tires?  Big deal.  My tires are still new.  Brakes also new.  And the longest I intend to stay around…nah… I don't want to discuss that anymore.

I feel tired…

Meanwhile, we've just been introduced new paperwork for process equipment buyoff procedures.  The kind that will ensure those equipments will never get approved even after 5 years of running mass production.  I can say that because experience tells me there is no perfection in any new production line.  But those who draft the checklist have to go by the rules and list all the details.  Those itsy-bitsy things which make it impossible for the equipment fabricators to fulfill in one go.  We don't have R&D, remember?

You even have to keep pushing for basic improvements, not to mention foolproof systems.  One work-order can take up to two years to fulfil.  By then some products are ready to phase out.  Hence, the saying, 'If you delay it long enough, you don't have to do it'.  Everyone's over-loaded except those who dream up new procedures.  Bah!

Gripe gripe gripe… I need a shhtraight shhhot.  Without ice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Flat On The Myvi

Gee...this happened to be the second time I suffer a flat tire early in the morning.  Thought I noticed a tendency for the car to veer slightly to the left while on the road home last night, but I forgot about it when I arrived.  That's normal.  Lucky thing, I noticed it before I backed it out of the porch this morning.

So, what did I do?  I switched on the lights in the car porch and got out my jack.  Then I realized I had to install the spare into the rear wheel first before I transfer the rear tire to the front.  The flat was on the front left.  The spare for the Myvi is made smaller to fit into the bottom of the boot.  That kitchy-pie thing is only suitable for the rear wheel because of its smaller width and higher inflation pressure.  Fixing it on the front wheel would make driving at normal speeds dangerous.  That's what the Myvi manual says.  And that means a double job, and also double the time to fix it.  And normal speed means at least 110kph on the highway.  I wasn't about to take that risk.  Besides, two other lives are involved.

The last time I had a flat tire on the Iswara, I changed it in five minutes.  That was my personal record.  But this one looked like it might take a little too long.  And it's almost our 'departure' time of 7.00am.  Meanwhile, my carpool gang had just arrived, so in order not to be late for work, I went for the 2nd option.  Get a replacement driver.  Postpone solving the problem till after work.

If there's another good thing about our carpooling, this is it.  This is on top of the RM300 each of us has saved every month since 1995 (we had 4 partners then).  Less a few cars on the road, less 13 liters of fossil fuel being burnt daily and 2 guys relaxing with the non-stop music while the driver for the day tackles the crazy traffic (especially Monday mornings & Friday evenings).

Try carpooling, folks.

My word, I sound like the gomen network TV.  LOL.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Laziness Has No Teacher

A young man wanted to learn the art of laziness.  He asked around the country and was finally told that there was one master living on a hill, who could teach him that 'skill'.  So he set forth to go up the hill.  By the time he got to the little hut at the top of the hill where the teacher lived, it was almost sunset. 

The teacher said to him, If you want some food to eat, I have only some leftovers from lunch.  You'll have to prepare your own dinner.

The young man said, It's fine.  I'm hungry and will eat anything, even left-overs.  He proceeded to eat some of the teacher's food.

The teacher then lighted a lamp for the night.  They sat talking after dinner and the teacher said, since it's already night, there's nothing we can do for today.  We'll start your lessons tomorrow.

Teacher went to lay down on his bed.  He told the young man to make his own bed out of some dried grass and old clothes. 

The young man said, It doesn't matter.  I can sleep next to you on your bed.  I only take up little space.  He went to lie down on the bed next to the teacher.

The teacher said, Alright, but please put out the lamp before you go to sleep.

The young man did not bother to get up from his reclining position.  He reached for his slipper and threw it at the lamp, knocking it out. 

A moment later the teacher said to the young man, Young man, you can go home as soon as the sun rises, tomorrow.  There is nothing I can teach you.  You are already lazier than me!!!

If you decide this is a joke, you're probably right.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Divert Your Course, Please...

Divert Your Course, Please...

If you think MIGHT IS RIGHT, think again….

This has nothing to do with US bashing.  It's just a moral lesson taken from another forwarded email.  A classic situation in which someone who is so used to flexing muscles from a position of power, and the intimidation of lesser mortals who stand in his way is a matter of routine, he forgets to look at an even bigger picture than the one in which he exists.


The following is the transcript of an actual radio conversation in October 1995 between a U.S. Navy ship and the British authorities off the Scottish North coast. The transcript was released by the MoD on the 10/10/95.

BRITISH:        Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision.

U.S. NAVY:    Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

BRITISH:        Negative.  You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

U.S. NAVY:    This is the Captain of U.S. Navy Ship, I say again, divert YOUR course.

BRITISH:        Negative, I say again, you will have to divert your course.


BRITISH:        THIS IS A LIGHTHOUSE….(four-letter words deleted)

Friday, July 20, 2007

If You Don't Want to Die.


They're opening up the old can of worms again. It's the one about poisons in plastic containers. Someone asked, Why do you still use recycled water bottles? You're not afraid the chemicals in those bottles may kill you? I said maybe the guy who warned everyone about the use of recyled plastic containers has some interests in the tupperware business. I say this because I remember when those PET mineral water bottles hit the market, they all went back to their day jobs. No more invitations to tupperware parties. But after the forwarded email warning about DEHA in those water bottles first hit the internet some years ago, tupperware dealers came back to life. They started partying again.

Well, let me tell you this. If you don't want to die, stop smoking. That's the obvious one. Yet they still puff away billions of dollars worth in tobacco around the world each year. If you don't want to die, stop breathing…. Maybe.

If you don't want to die, then don't eat vegetables. You know how much chemicals they pour into the ground as fertilisers? You know how much pesticides they pump into green leafy vegetables to keep them from being devoured by worms and bugs so that they come to your dining table fresh, whole and perfect without holes in them?

If you don't want to die, don’t eat fish. You know how much chemicals they pour into the rivers that flow into the sea? If you don't want to die, don't eat meat. Find out what kind of stuff they feed to farm animals nowadays, especially with the 'factory farming' practices. You'll decide to stop eating them if you look deep enough.

If you don't want to die, you can't eat anything. You'll die sooner.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Ramblin' Prose I

A teacher wrote in my autograph book during my final year in school, "Know yourself and live accordingly" before our parting of ways.

It may not even be close to the teachings of the Great Teachers, but it did set me to thinking about my priorities in life.  That, of course was after I'd managed to learn which end's up.  That statement became one of the beams of guiding lights that helped show the way through my life.  If I had been a bad boy then, perhaps the teacher wouldn't have written that in my book.  I'd have just as well followed that advice accordingly and became a notorious bad guy.  But by being a good guy, I made myself invisible.  Not that I have any wish to be noticeable, but being a bad guy sometimes has its uses.  People think twice about talking too loudly in your face or threatening you.  But then I noticed trouble seems to follow these people wherever they went.  Alas, being invisible is one of the common traits of good guys.  We want to get far by treading softly.

I'd just made up my mind that I wanted my life to be as simple as possible.  I had no wish to make it complicated by the trappings and other sophistications.  Maybe I was lucky I got my wish.  I noticed how some people seem to get their lives complicated or screwed up by the spouses or the friends that they chose.  No matter how rich they got owing to their choices, I had no wish to trade places with them.  Maybe sometimes I envy their freedom to spend it however they want, but I don't seem to see any happiness in that.  You must think I'm strange but I don't even think I'm missing anything.  No, I just get scared handling too much money.  Robbers are everywhere out there.  They can smell money a mile away.

Success is an over-subscribed and over-hyped word.  Too many preachers of that philosophy simply link it to getting rich.  Big cars, huge homes, trophy wives, endless dining and exotic holidays.  They must find it better to preach and easier to sell than just health, happiness, goodness and virtue, a nice home-cooked dinner care-of a loving wife and friendly kids.  Somehow, these things that don't make you rich don't sell.  By insinuation they link them to losers.  Mediocrity. 

I'm not sure if the teachings of the Buddha in original Pali language were translated into English precisely enough, but they always seem to confuse me.  I wish they'd just made it plainly and simply how one should live a life and behave towards everyone else in the world, period.  I decided long ago I'd just live by the guidance of my conscience.  That's how things can be made simple, I believe.  Of course you can also hear a lot of politicians say the same things about their conscience being clean after a hue and cry about their alleged corrupt practices.  These folks have a way of using the same good things and polluting them without batting an eye or a trace of guilt.

I think the teacher knew that her advice to me would be taken very well and followed religiously.  Funny though, the last words said by anybody before our parting of ways always seem to have that special impact on me, because I tend to recall those words clearly whenever I face any situation that reminds me of that moment. 


Kenasepak (got kicked)


After our football team was trashed mercilessly

Someone designed a new logo for the Football Assoc. of Malaysia

Very creative.

For those who must know, here's the translation:

Bolasepak = Football

Persatuan = Association

Kenasepak = Got Kicked (as in the behind)

My opinion:  High time we take politics out of the game.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Outlaw the Cane?

How many remember when life was simple enough that we could differentiate between good and bad in terms of white and black?  But we have become civilised and progressed so far that we seem to have turned all that simplicity into so many grey areas.  The pages of history as well as current mass media are strewn with many examples of bad guys whose parents swore they were good kids, who meant no harm to others even as they were indicted as robbers, rapists or killers.  And it's up to the lawyers with their mental acrobatic twists and turns to prove them guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

And now they even think caning a kid for bad behavoir is called 'corporal punishment' and the practice should be banned. 

Try wishing back the days of black and white.  You can't appreciate the brightness of daylight without knowing the darkness of the night.  Everyone has to be shown what's good and what's bad and understand the difference.  Or he has to learn it for himself, the hard way.

In bringing up a kid, I believe there's a time to use the carrot and there's a time when you need to use the stick.  If a child is told in no uncertain terms he's done wrong when he breaks the rules, and he's punished if he continues to do so, he gets the message sooner or later.  Of course, it has to be done with his welfare in mind.  But if he gets the mollycoddles all the time and nobody demonstrates what it means if he does wrong, then he gets the message that he can get away with anything.

Unless he's intelligent enough to reason like an adult, (and there are kids who can do that), he's going to be as confused as the pit bull which killed an old lady and wondered why everyone's so fussy about it.  He was just acting naturally.  The old lady looked threatening to him.  And nobody said you can't attack old ladies!

The old malay proverb about shaping bamboo while it's still young applies universally.  Since we think kids are smarter now, we have to start them even younger.  Parenting is no "walk in the park".  And I would add that there's no standard response to standard treatment.  What's good for the goose doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the gander.  You have to use your intelligence.  And the bonus is, if you're intelligent, your kids will be even better if you bring them up right.

So, if you look forward to a peaceful walk in the park without having to pull your kids off the throats of other kids or flower beds they're trying to wreck, then do your job first.  Doesn't matter if you do it your way.  Just make it clear to your kid what's good and what's bad.  And do it with love.

I believe kids are resilient enough to outgrow the 'mental scars' or other excuses that child experts use to discourage "corporal punishment" (using the cane), unless you whip them half to death with a steel pipe which happened to be in your hands.  That's not punishment.  That's venting your own anger.  That's self-centered.  And that's destructive.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bombed Out

Another family get together, another story to add to this blog.

LKK, now a retired driving instructor, used to get 'invitations' by the road transport department to attend courses and seminars in such far away places as Pangkor or Langkawi. On one of those trips which lasted 3 days/2 nights, he had to put up with an instructor from another state. The two guys shared a room in an apartment. The atmosphere in the beginning was amicable.

As middle aged guys most of them had windy bellys. But they were veterans at keeping their wind-breaks under control during the daytime lectures, which was considered a feat. But at night in their rooms they tried as best as possible not to intrude into each other's space or hearing range, so both maintained their decorum like they tried to do in the lecture rooms. Only problem is, when one is tired and sleepy, the ability to control the belly's wind from going at full throttle is near to impossible.

It so happened that when the other guy who went to sleep facing away from LKK, he inadvertently let off one full blast of foul air in KK's direction.

Bloody hell, I can control, you cannot ah? KK thought to himself.

Summoning his old tricks, KK let off a 'warning' blast to remind him of the protocol. The other guy took this to be an answer to his challenge. He came back a few minutes later with another hearty blast. This riled KK tremendously. He decided that the situation required an all out declaration of war. He immediately returned fire and thereafter timed his shots to roughly one blast every ten to fifteen minutes.

The air bombardment lasted until way pass midnight with most shots coming from KK. The other gentleman finally conceded defeat. The deterioration of air quality and the noise pollution did get to him. He couldn't sleep at all. He evacuated his bed together with his pillow and blanket into the hallway and spent the rest of the night there.

The next day the news went out among the whole gang of driving instructors from every state in the federation, how KK bombed his room-mate out of the room with not only both hands down but also lying down. He wondered loudly how anyone could manage to have so much air-pressure in his belly within such short intervals.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Isn't that why I always wear short-sleeves?

Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male
Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve