Saturday, March 31, 2012

Speech Day: Educating our Young

This morning we braved the rainstorm to go to our daughter's school. It was speech day and she was there to collect a prize for academic excellence. I think all the kids and their parents were happy for their achievements. The school leaders' were unstinting with praise. My view? Dangerous and superficial. It is the system that is producing the type of elite recruits for accelerated progression to leadership positions in our nation's key organs.

It is frustratingly hard to persuade a child to take the road less traveled, to cast her sight further. What's the big deal to bag a prize for academic excellence? All the talk I heard in school and I often read in the papers are so self focused, which is just a foil for deeper self centredness.

I have been trying to persuade her that the purpose of education is to protect and advance freedom. Firstly for yourself and family and then the wider society and globally. I have countless examples bolstering this point. My last example, the day before she collected her prize was Isaac Newton. Coincidentally she is reading a book on him.

We were riding in the car and I said the freedom to travel in this manner would not have been possible without his laws of motion. In fact many more characters had to contribute to the freedom enhancing knowledge to make this possible, especially thermodynamics.

We really cannot afford to just think of what we want to do for ourselves, discover our passions which are directed at our satisfaction, building up our self image. I wish Viktor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning" is compulsory reading for all our kids. The present system is based on a few winners and uncountable losers. Ultimately a self defeating system.

She has ways to mature. More time is needed for her to connect academic excellence with freedom. I hope she has that luxury of time before it becomes too painful. She is not keen to achieve and qualify for next year's Speech Day awards. Meanwhile many high achievers are making great strides for all the wrong reasons. Most were baited like the Serpent had with Eve, and they went on to build the Tower of Babel, which turned out to be a fiasco.

Our freedom is precious. If we take it for granted, we deserve to lose it.

The God-man was not born with striking handsome features in a palace. He had nothing, not even supportive siblings and his parents never understood him. What he had was a very good education. As a 12-year old he had astounded the leading teachers of his day with his learning. He needed that because he would go on to not just gain but define what freedom is. He would take out that Serpent who since the beginning had abetted us to take the wrong track.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thumbs up to MOS Tan Chuan Jin

MOS Tan Chuan Jin has no reason to regret. In fact, I think he has every reason to be happy and all of us along with him.

The persistent worry of a democracy is the tyranny of the majority. Approaching governing the way he had done helped to restrain the majority from imposing their will on the rest.

The objective of a good government is to grow the majority within the law and with honesty; not trying to run people's lives but in the background and without articulating it, get each group closer to the time tested Golden Rule.

He has done well. I have been critical of many ministers and I am glad for this opportunity to have positive things to say.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zero sum game in property

Property has become a zero sum game here. Unfortunately for the government it is also closely tied to politics.

Government now has to decide who to reward and punish. Without more land to build and especially with the runaway prices of the past how could you not be caught in a bind and cruel trade offs between asset appreciation, new house owners and electoral support?

In the end the government will do whatever is needful to retain and earn voters' support. Let's not kid ourselves about the long term. To this government there is no long term if they are out of office.

The key and swing voters will be the young and they need to be able to afford their first property. Every  consequence and collateral damage to existing stake holders is acceptable political cost.

In the long term we must be cognizant that "safe as houses" will eventually turn out to be fool's paradise. There is no historical evidence to support the long run wisdom of your live-in property as an asset. For now owners look clever. Only for now. Therefore the wise owl need to cash out earlier than most, and he is likely to do so too early. Except by luck, this can't be helped. Too early and you could lose big too. Now loss aversion would suggest that most will do nothing and one day ride the market down with everyone.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Education of a high flying civil servant.

I hope Karen Tay will in a couple of years time come to appreciate that this is not a "..even more exciting to be working in the service..."

People's lives are at stake here. It is too serious to be exciting or fun. Yes, you will be excited, have fun and be seriously challenged but the sense of responsibility and the seriousness of the task may not make you always feel excited because you cannot be playing with people's lives.

Karen will probably make it to the admin service. I hope by that time her superiors would have taught her the right perspective.

The trouble with all these young high flyers is that they are too focused on their personal achievement and career building. They start their careers on the wrong track and must be guided toward the ethos of service. They were too young to learn from Dr. Goh about 'holy orders'

All well and good but I think also too idealistic. We can only guide as many as possible in the path of service. Far too many cannot be persuaded or trained but yet their talents are needed. Therefore the standards of governance must always be kept high. Voters must keep standards high and be difficult to please.

I expect a busier CPIB in future. Can't be helped in a environment with a corrupted sense of what is success. I applaud Peter Ong, the head of the service on his message on weeding out corruption.

Update: Found this as a I turned the pages of today's ST. This is better than nothing. Of course if you tell these scholars that they will need to spend much time on the ground, I wonder how many might choose not to take up the prestigious scholarships. In this sense our education strategies have failed, but in mitigation almost all other societies have also not succeeded. Precisely history is littered with tragedies of revolutions because their best and brightest were too self seeking.....I am afraid now they will be inventive about appearing as servant leaders. Appearing only. Voters must be educated and not be conned. Don't forget that bad apples keep good apples away, but we get the leaders we deserve.

The Disappearing Mr. Car Wash

Is this an annual occurrence? Mr. Car Wash has disappeared again. He hasn't been washing our cars since last Friday. I have given waiting for him and went for the $5 wash at Caltex instead.

Errant iPad Facebook App

How could we have known that deleting the facebook app on the iPad would lead to freezing the device? That was exactly what happened last night. Stayed up late to fix it. Had to do a time consuming restore.

Apple's reputation has exceeded its performance but it has so many followers that have caught its religion. Without the evangelistic Steve Jobs, their great high priest this is not sustainable. The competition will definitely catch up.

Had to delete an reinstall facebook on iPad because it had inexplicably chewed up more than 600 Mb of memory. Badly written app but the Appstore team couldn't catch it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teachers as Pedophiles

This is terribly trust destroying for the education service. If an award wining and model teacher could actually be a masked pedophile, how are parents and children going to tell which teachers can be trusted?

There are no easy solutions to this problem. Most likely, it has been with us for a very long time; the difference is they are more easily caught now.

Predators go where the prey are. Schools are particularly rich hunting grounds for these miscreants. New measures must be introduced even if they cannot completely eradicate these black sheep. Parents, especially of young children have not choice but be vigilant.

Monday, March 26, 2012

P1 Registration: S'poreans First

Finally they are righting this after so many years. This is an important moment for locals. PRs who want to be treated similarly should consider if they are prepared to make the commitment to this place as citizens.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amazon's Web is a mess

I don't know what's the matter with Amazon over the past few days. Their site is all garbled. I wonder how many users are enduring this. The pages render well in IE 9 though. May be I should be blaming Chrome instead? But it was working alright earlier.

Update: I had no problems with IE or Chrome on two other machines. Might have to reinstall Chrome on the i7.

Update: March 29

Problem solved. Just clean up the cache, browsing history etc., and sanity returns.

Philips IPS LED Display

This year is indeed the asset recapitalization exercise. We are replacing so many of our equipment and gadgets. I hope this new and wonderful LED display ($229) would at least be good for the next three years. That is as long as I expect my i7 Notebook PC to last. Both are covered by three-year warranty.

This 21.5 inch display has immediately taken my computing experience to a new level. The Dell display it is replacing lasted about five years or more. It is still working but I expect the single stuck pixel would shortly be joined by others.

Pre-ordered Star Wars Kinect

Pre-ordered the Star Wars Kinect at Challenger @ Funan Centre this afternoon. We also bought an Exercise software with Tai Chi (wifey's choice) and the Zoom gadget.

The family is looking forward to picking this up on April 3 when it is officially launched at Plaza Singapura. I hope they enjoy the Star Wars game since I gave up game playing long ago. I still like to watch others play though.

I bet they will retire the Nintendo Wii. We have had it for at least 5 or more years now.

Healthy Breakfast

Except for the days when I join wifey for breakfast, this will be my morning fare for a long time. Wheet Bix is not only good but also very affordable. Fairprice keeps putting them on offer!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lost CL tutor

How unfortunate and what a pity to lose a good CL tutor.

We were hoping she would be able to return to continue with the CL tuition. Here's hoping that her dad will recover.

She has been taking our girls in CL for so many years.

No more gifts of red pens on Teacher's Day; no more novel gifts from China from her yearly trip; no more abalones for her during CNY.... Suddenly my daughter felt the loss. It is like a guise of death because it was so sudden and unexpected.

Isotropic Stones for the New Jerusalem

An old friend share this on his facebook page. Just fascinating.

I do not believe you can and should use science discoveries to prove the Bible, but I am just amazed about the isotropic properties of the twelve stones designated for the New Jerusalem in the Bible.

For a long time I had wondered why diamonds were not included in this new city. Well with a little additional knowledge, it would simply be less beautiful and harmonious.

Sunrise at Bedok Jetty

Took a walk at the East Coast Park this morning with wifey after sending the girls to school.

Sunrise at the Bedok Jetty.  No lack of opportunities getting a pic with an airplane.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Posting a new clip

Just shared this with the mailing list and facebook page. In a way I am happy that Topica have reinstated the mailing list, but since I don't have any communication with them, who knows if they will remove it again without warning again.

It is sad that my friend Glenna will not see this clip I have prepared. She passed away last year. She had been fighting failing kidneys for sometime. The site has so many of her poems turned into such short clips. They have been inspiring and encouraging many people for so many years.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quality Phone Cases for Galaxy W

The six cases for our Samsung Galaxy W arrives today. Paid only US$ 9.58 on eBay for them :-) High quality. Exactly like a white one we got for S$8 from a shop in Clementi Central - our first one.

Five Cars, Three Rooms

These had been prophesied long ago isn't it? If you are from the past you will see it rightly as stupid. However in today's context, it might not be. So relative.

My take? This is for fools, but I know given time and it wouldn't be very long, the market will prove that I am wrong. At least for the persistent temporary.

Financial repression everywhere. Holding cash is stupid until it isn't. Nothing is forever. For players, only the relative matters in the markets.

If cash turns out to be absolutely stupid, it will be the end of the world as we know it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The end of SEO as we know it

What is taking you so long? I have had to fend off so many people telling me how stupid I was not to sign up to SEO, i.e, search engine optimization.

But Google today isn't like it was yesterday. "Don't Be Evil"? That's getting harder as they grow into a behemoth and the $$$ at stake in any decision is so huge.

Just like the poor are unlikely to kill each other over money and power (do they have any?), it is De rigueur among princes fighting to succeed their father on the throne.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The sort of company to work for

This is probably the sort of company to work for. Publicly quoted company are so hijacked by the financial markets, it is hard to imagine how one can find the work purposeful.

Lots of people learn it the hard way that money is the worst reason for working. Fear, tied down to a big mortgage, supporting a lifestyle that is not negotiable keep them there. They will die with regrets.

If you are a believer in the Way, you must allow room for grace to work in your life. If you imagine you are in control, it's a matter of time that life will teach you that you aren't.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ngiam Tong Dow's March 14th Speech

Transcript of Ngiam Tong Dow's speech made available by

Sharing from experience, I have to agree with him. I recall that I used to complain to some of my colleagues how senior managers are so selfish and their actions are making our lives difficult when we succeed them one day. They spent all their time protecting their turfs, thinking about their golf handicaps and how to make themselves secure and comfortable. No thought for the future of the organization and its young employees at all.  Not even customers. This is especially pernicious among the GLCs and for a while I was working in one.

The leading MNCs are better but they could not preserve their culture against the onslaught of hyper competition. One particular noteworthy casualty was HP. I have quite a few friends from that firm. The HP today is so different from then. The HP way gone away and HP Invent, invents nothing.


Petrol keeps going north

I finally noticed a jump in price I had to pay for petrol when I filled the tank this afternoon. Looking at the receipt more carefully, I noticed that Ron 92 is now $2.18. I don't recall any news report about price hikes.

I went to Google petrol prices and discovered this informative site: Petrol Watch Singapore.

So the media have stopped reporting price changes? It has been going up since the start of this year with three increases recently

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My first visit to Din Tai Fung

Late lunch today at Din Tai Fung @ Raffles City with wifey before we went shopping for her clothes.

I was told this was one of my late dad's favorites. My brother had taken him to the outlet at Bishan Junction 8 quite often when we were living in Dubai. Sadly we didn't get to do it together when we returned. He was too unwell by then to make the trip.

Today was my first time at Din Tai Fung. It was always well patronized but it is always far easier to seat two than a family. They are good.

A Thomas Kinkade Birthday

Thomas Kinkade! Lovely work. The last time I got a Kinkade card was during Christmas. All the way from Griffiths in Indiana :-)

I bought this card intending to send it to the same chap last year. I haven't heard from him for a long time.

Pricey card. Much more affordable in the USA.

Bo Xilai's downfall

Ching Cheong's analysis triggered many thoughts in me regarding the fall of Bo Xilai. In a sense, it is not difficult to read the Chinese. They constantly replay their history; to be specific, the script of past power struggles have been reprised.

Ching Cheong suggested that a coup might have been nipped in the bud. Well, this is troublesome as it suggests that the purge have ways to go!

But my thoughts stray further than all these. It returns to Singapore. The place and practicality of idealism. The tension between the possible and the ideal is eternal. You don't want the pendulum to swing to the extremes or at either pole you could be stuck in chaos.

In Singapore many of  the detractors of the PAP are idealists. To me they lack practical sense. You say they have good hearts and intentions. Up to a point I agree, but if you look at it through the lens of the Gospel and Paul's letter to the Romans, the answer has to be no.

To survive we gotta to get real and that's a world where you cannot separate the wheat from the weeds.

Let the tension remains or we will make hell of ourselves here once more.

Friday, March 16, 2012

'Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs'

I imagine this letter written by a former Goldman Sachs ED for the NYT is now reprinted in every worthy newspaper throughout the world. Such is the Zeitgeist.

However Goldman wouldn't be worried about how their clients feel. Rightly or wrongly too many of them believe they are not stupid. Never mind they actually were often clueless. Their image and ego is at stake here. This is the stupidity of it all in the financial world.

Would GIC or Temasek admit that they had been conned by Goldman? Massive loss of face. Also we will never know. There isn't enough transparency and never will until they are dead institutions.

James Dimon at JP Morgan has been astute at warning his bankers not to capitalize on Goldman temporary misery.

Goldman will not go out of business because clients flee from them. That's naive. They can go out of business the usual way, i.e., like Bear Stearns, Merrill, Lehman. Alternatively but less likely the SEC, the Fed, DOJ close them down, Salomon Brothers, LTCM script.

Be wise and understand the fire. If you can't understand it, stay away from it. Really what you do not know can hurt you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Changing Digital Habits

I was reading with my Kindle when I used my smartphone to snatch a picture of the page I had read earlier to send it to my former boss. We were discussing a fund of private equity funds by Temasek days before.

My digital life is starting to change. Like many, there is a gradual shift away from the PC.  Mobile devices are coming to the centre.

Unnecessary Suffering

Over and over again I see people suffer unnecessarily. Some are my close friends and I just can't help them because they just don't get it. Some have high IQ but it is not helpful here. I got to understand better why people are like this from the work of folks like Kahneman. 

It all trace back to the fiasco at the Garden of Eden long ago. Never mind if they even believe that they are born again Christians. I fear too often the Christians may have become the new Pharisees.

And you just watch helplessly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keeping Data Safe

I bought this 1 TB external hard disc for about $330 before we relocated to Dubai. We dumped into it many videos but we didn't view a single one the time we were there. It had also served as a useful place to back up my data especially the photos and home videos.

All these years, I have kept the box. Today I retired it to where it had came from and put it aside in the recess of one of our cabinets. I might have to come to this blog if I cannot remember where it is kept!

Three more portable discs collected over the years. I retire them before they wear out to store multiple copies of family data.

I think we need to update one of them and send it to the safe deposit box. No amount of money can replace lost family photos and videos.

The Encyclopedia Britannica

I have fond memories of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I was willing to pay for it from my savings but my father decided to buy it instead. I remember that it was $1750, a huge sum in those days.

It was my science teacher who told me about this set. I was always asking her questions which she can't or have no time to answer.

After 244 years, the company that publishes this glorious tomes have decided to finally call it a day. Henceforth it will focus only on the electronic version. I think they are too late The prize has gone to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Edusave Character Award

This is a story from TNP I found in AsiaOne yesterday. Kinda of reminded me of my brother.

He has made it to the news because of the new Edusave Character Awards that would be given out for character achievement or should it be attainment.

I agree that Le Yong deserves it. I am not as sure of many of those who would come later who would see the award as something to achieve rather than an unexpected recognition of good work done.

I agree completely with Sandra Davie. Cash for character just demean this (Economics of Good and Evil : The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street has an excellent treatment on this subject).  Again we are making the mistake of reducing everything to dollars and cents.

Beyond the good suggestions of the writer, giving opportunities for leadership and influence to help others emulate such good examples is far better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's Love?

My God! What's love? Once I didn't understand a thing, then God intervened when I was eleven but I didn't know his name until thirteen and then for many years his personality, his heart and of course his inscrutable ways are still beyond me: He makes Joseph Stories.

This entry has appeared in view of my tangential thoughts arising from my previous write up on finance. Everything in life is connected even if the links aren't obvious.

I have spent all my life understanding the wheat-weeds mix in our world, in myself. I was stunned by the connection and clarity that Mother Teresa was able to make in such matters. The clearer you are allowed (I didn't say able) to see this the closer you get to the person, that is Christ. Religion dies and relationship replaces it. As Egypt educated Moses, so we are also mysteriously nurtured in the bowels of religion.

There is a love that is stronger than death which is available to us now by God's grace, but for our pride it is almost universally rejected. Hence the people I missed and the pain Paul had felt in Romans 9.

Agape is the crowning love, which if rejected will yield the wheat-weed kind like in the song embedded here. This is the sort that haunts all of us and can only be overcome by the Lord's love. You don't love lost love less, but more. You conquer it with greater love. It comes from a growing personal relationship with the Lord. Faith in Joseph stories.

The Parable of the Weeds from Matthew 13:24-30
 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
   27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
   28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
   “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
   29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Finance: the moral vs the legal

FT on Sunday March 11, 2012.

Makes me wonder how it is with ours. For sometime there is a yawning disconnect between the moral and the legal here. This is most exaggerated in finance where senior officers know their actions aren't moral, much less praise worthy. Nevertheless they broke no law and so duly went ahead. In fact that is the entry price to continue to be in business.

Singapore is a price taker. It can be very costly morally, socially and eventually politically.

We are not a godless people. Religion is alive here, but the god that is worshiped here is $$$. However we do not call this god by its name. There are no rites or ceremonies around a deity so that we might continue with our professed religions; be it Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism...

At some point God must run out of patience with us, but probably not before the last godly person does. That could be a long way away. That's amazing grace.

It is clear the world over that the leaves on the trees are changing their color.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New WD hard disc at IT Show

About time to replace my 500 GB WD Elements portable hard disc with a new WD Essential one ($159).

I have been keeping my data on a portable drive. This way if my machine goes down, my data is protected. As a rule I do not use a hard disc in this manner beyond two years. After this service period it becomes an archive disc.

The most important data are family and friends photos. They are irreplaceable if lost.

Wifey got herself one for one these retractable ear phones at IT Show today. I also got the Notebook vendor to replace my cooling pad as the fan wasn't working. The experience didn't inspire confidence. Two new cooling pads he tested also didn't work. Then he disappeared into the room for a very long time and finally showed me one that works. I imagine he must have avoided embarrassment by testing several pads beyond our sight.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Japan disasters a year later

Even as she tries to be cheerful, I cannot but feel her pain and lost. This is a good photo. Great messages are like that. Her words represent her determination and courage, but her facial expression speaks of her grief. I have seen published Natgeo photographers with such shots. It is great story telling that invites the viewer to empathize with the subject. Great shot Joyce Fang.

Has it been one year already? The cable is full of new programming for that disaster.

Acer after sales service

I have always had very positive experience with Acer after sales and technical services. I have used them countless times.

Late last night I emailed them. This is a weekend and their email response came the next day :-)

I was working very quickly. In times like this the mind tend to focus very narrowly and I had confused product registration with product warranty. I quickly shot them a service request. Later I figured out where I went wrong. Their response showed that my thoughts were correct. I didn't have time to look at it earlier. We had to be present at our girl's school.

Good that I am using an Acer again.

Enigma Page on Facebook

I have been so busy over the last few days to keep up with current affairs. There is some buzz over the PAP and WP in parliament. Issues of plagiarism by WP MPs...

I found Enigma on Facebook this morning. Very communicative but of course must be careful as they tend to oversimplify.

Good mental placeholder for me to come back and read up later or has the train left the station?

I notice a lot of politicians have 'like' this page.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Acer Notebook from IT Show

Bought this Core i7-2670QM Notebook by Acer at the IT Show yesterday. Spent practically the whole day there.
Compare the CPU benchmark performance of this new speed demon versus my four year old desktop. A world of difference.

i7-2670QM @ 2.20GHz at 6797 marks


E4600 @ 2.40GHz at 1374 marks. That is almost five times faster.

I surprised myself how quickly I got this machine customized for my needs. Faster than migrating from one smart phone to another. It helped that the desktop PC is still limping. This allows me to move stuff between them.

Closure of McDonalds @ East Coast Park

This is the first entry I am writing with my new Notebook PC.

Yes, I know they have been here for the last thirty years. I remember taking my first gf in the drive through. They were the first in Singapore.

I took the kids here after school to have one last meal before they are gone. The store assistant manager told me the government want to take the land back. I kinda of remember reading the same in the ST sometime too.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kindle with Adverts is nicer

I am glad that with the Kindle Touch, I bought the advert sponsored version. Not only was it cheaper, but the advertisements are often beautifully done. The author portraits of my Kindle 3 were downright ugly.

I had my Kindle 3 for about fourteen months before giving it away to my daughter for the Touch. I wonder how long this one would last. They change and improve so quickly. The key learning point is not to pay too much for any of these devices.

Chinese Language Tuition

This is the only subject the kids have tuition.

Received a call from the tutor yesterday that she needed to urgently return to China. Her father is gravely ill. She might be away for as long as a month, and had used this occasion to give me a fuller update of my daughter's progress or lack of. Her elder sister had done well under her mentorship, but this younger girl is just unmotivated to work at it. The tutor believes there will be a moment of turning for the better. I agree. What we do not know is when. Many parents would be worried that it comes too late, but like incubating an egg you can't hurry these things. It is very hard to make it better and very easy to make it worse.

Growing up is about letting go and letting God. And letting go entails more work than engaging it actively. It is one of life's paradoxes.

I am clear where my circle of competence and responsibility lies. Faith triumphs.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Diff between a Smartphone and a PC

Spent so much of today figuring up and setting up my new smartphone. Really reminded me of moving from an old to a new PC. Should have known. The OS now are almost as complex as those of earlier PCs not that long ago. At this rate users would eventually become less enthusiastic about upgrading, just like I had my copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview but hasn't install it yet. The amount of work on the system just puts me off.

We discovered that one of the phones data packet service wasn't working. Would have to take it to Samsung at Plaza Sing tomorrow to get it fixed.

LOL, Windows 8 Preview

LOL, at the moment this is the furthest I have got to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I was just trying to get some feel of this thing beyond just looking at the DVD I had prepared with the iso image I downloaded from Microsoft.

Gotta back up the system first. Too much of a bother. I want to hear the experience of others first before going ahead.

Bought three Samsung Galaxy W

Have not eaten here in years: Hans @ Far East Plaza. We were here last night for dinner. Afterward we hopped across the alley to WhyMobile and picked up three Samsung Galaxy Ws. For the first time in our family all of us are using the same model.

We traded in our X10 and Ace for $180 each. I got my Ace a year ago for $198 since I just missed the IT Show offer then of $148.

The Galaxy W was selling for $390. This is more than a hundred bucks less than the street price elsewhere.

Perhaps I shall trade in my Galaxy W to the telco later this year for $200 and top up for the Galaxy S2. With the advent of the S3, I hope to get a very competitive price for it. WhyMobile is asking for $705 now.

So much optimization. I love stretching the dollar. These are small money but it is reinforcing the good habit that matters. We had overpaid $68 when we bought our first Galaxy W a couple of weeks ago. She needed the phone soonest possible then.

Linksys network adapter (PCMCIA)

Wonder why I kept this for so long. The notebook meant to be used with this PCMCIA card had been traded in for a newer notebook long ago!

It is now in the trash. Not sure how to recycle this thing.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Niece's excellent A levels results

Just heard a phone recording my brother sent me via Whatsapp that niece has got her 4As. She was so happy that I can hear her tears. No problem for her losing $600 to her younger brother betting she wouldn't achieve such results.

I had thought of inserting the recording here but decided against it. It is now part of family history. Where should I keep it without losing it?

Update: August 2012
She is now training to be a doc at NUS. So bashful about it, didn't let us know until I saw her facebook pics.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Psychopaths aplenty on Wall Street

Not surprised having been with a big Wall Street firm before. Now people like to write about and remind some of us over and over again.

Of course the afflicted are blind to their condition.

And we have brought many of them to our financial district in the last ten years...if you ever wonder why it is less friendly here now.