Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome to Mylife - Simple Plan

Never could appreciate this song until recently. I have always thought that this group couldn't properly sing apart from making loud noise and banging their drum set annoyingly. But recent occasion made me realize that they're being real. Or perhaps did I mature very late. I'm so tired that I'm very reluctant to elaborate more on this issue. Anyways, my point is, I couldn't agree with them more.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trapping Termites

Many had asked the same question and I repeated my answers many times...so the next one who ask I'll ask him/her refer to this blog. My study is subject is termites. Very simple, capture them, count them and kill them. Let me show you some illustrations.


Few months ago, I inserted some wooden stakes into the ground. All the stakes are inserted approximately 1m apart and close to the building known for being attacked by termites. This is one of my selected location.

Periodically I'll unplug the stakes to check for termite activities. If there is, that's a suitable place for an in-ground station. Picture on the right shows the wooden stake eaten by termites.






Then I'll dig a hole, to fit the station. The feeling is exactly like digging my own grave except the size is smaller. The hole was dug in the middle of the location where the infested wooden stake was.



Of course, the whole point of digging the hole is to fit the coffin, that's the box and wooden block was placed in the middle as food for the termites. Wood used: Jelutong, Dyera costulata one of the termite most preferred wood (Ngee et al. 2004).


What I did next was dampened the wood and soil around. That is to draw termites into the station and feed on the yummy wood, it is believe that certain level of moisture tend to promote termite activity (Su et al. 2003). Anyways, don't bother to understand. 




And finally the easiest part was to cover the station to minimize possible disturbance. I'll update when there is result, hopefully there is.



References:
Peng-Soon, Ngee, Ai Tashiro, Tsuyoshi Yoshimura, Zairi Jaal & Chow-Yang, Lee. 2004. Wood Preference of Selected Malaysian Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae, Termitidae). Sociobiology Vol. 43, No. 3, 535-550pp
Nan-Yao, Su, Helena Puche. 2003. Tunneling Activity of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Sand with Moisture Gradients. Journals of Economic Entomology 96(1): 88-93pp

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Me work is out there facing the world!!!!

Though I can hardly lift my eye lids to the extend of seeing things properly, I feel that there is a need to at least update this blog a bit. It has been a few days I recommended some songs or even publish a fresh post. Anyways, I'm quite happy today after finding my research done was presented in conferences.
The first presentation was about termite and was presented in USA by my current supervisor Dr. Lee Chow Yang. It is about termite distribution mainly. I did sent him the data and graphs but I have no absolute idea whether were they presented. I certainly hope he did. The second presentation was done by my B. Sc final year supervisor Dr. Zary Shariman Yahaya. It was about worms in the American cockroaches. Look at page no9 of this website. Even though the presentation was not done by me, but these two great man owe my deepest gratitude for revealing my findings.
It is a nice feeling to have our hard work made known to the scientific society and mankind. It feels like contribution to the advancement of the human civilization. Maybe the impact is not that huge, but certainly it has changed my views towards research and publication. In the near future, I would like to make my own presentation and have papers publish under my name.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Displine

Ever since I was small, my parents bred me to sleep at 9.30 and wake at 5.30. Eat on time and watch   tv on time. Nothing less nothing more. For a kid, I feel like being imprison for a long long time. 



Source: http://whyisthispopular.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/discipline-1.jpg


Actually, it's not that bad. I just made it sound pathetic so that can grab your attention :P. But my point is, whatever we do, discipline is there, future is there. This afternoon I have just attended the talk by USM bioschool saying the importance of alot of craps regarding survivalship in doing a post graduate studies. All those longwinded stuff can be summarized into 2 words; determination and discipline.


At trading, the work I come across most after "long" and "short" is DISCIPLINE. I wonder, to which extend do we need to be "disclipline". 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Education System

In my opinion, the education path of a human being should be like this:

Primary School
  1. I think there's nothing more important than teaching children more basic lessons and skills that requires plenty of time to practice and improve on. Things that should be concentrated are skills that will only develop through time. The subjects should be like this:
  2. Communication skills (languages plus the way to use them)
  3. Math (most important subject)
  4. Human values (instead of morals, we should learn about being a human rather than memorizing words)
  5. Logic 1 (learn about what is outcome of certain action and best solution to certain problems...problem solving), in another word, learn about common sense lar. 
  6. Gaming (let them feel the importance of being competitive)
  7. Money management 

Secondary School
  1. Science (this is the best time as thinking is more matured and brain is more developed).
  2. Math (no replacement for this subject)
  3. Logic 2 (learn about historical human act and their outcome, learn from it but not memorize it)
  4. Research (telling them about why apple falls from a tree is spoon feeding, it is important they should find out by themselves. There are libraries and internet)
  5. Communication (soft skills, persuasive skill, presentation and speaking appropriately)
  6. Gaming (bring it to another level, away from computers and console like in sports or organizing big events)
  7. Survival skills (who cares about plotting graphs and reading charts? We read them only a couple of times a day but we need to survive every seconds of the day right?) 
  8. Investment  and economy (this field is needed by everyone, and it's most crucial)

Pre-U
  • Throw them out in the working society for 2 years. Let them explore which field is best for them. Let them mix with the cruel society.

University (10 years)
  • Specialization in the line of work. This is the best time to teach them about science, the art of law, building and etc. Intensify the lesson on politics and trading. At this age, everyone should have know about managing their money, investing the correct stocks or commodity no matter you're an engineer, doctor, artist or even a professional swindler. 

Exams will all be in the form of practical. No stupid essay or multiple choices. Those only test memory and ability or operate the pencils.  Example of university exam would be, a student have to access the current economy and does his own investment. A 80% and above return will get an A. Deficit will results in a failure. Practicality of a lesson is always more important than theory. Of coarse, all these are hyphothetical.

Dinner @ SOHO

Had my dinner at this place yesterday...It is SOHO at Autocity, Penang.

The entrance alone sure look impressive.

Once we stepped inside, the renovated restaurant (or pub) looked totally irish to me. To the left is the bar with traditional layout. Seating are available in the middle and to the platform on the right, and at the very end of the middle is where the live band would sing.
                                      
First look when we were in there...

My gf highly recommend this place. So, if it's good food, how can I miss right? The pricing on the main course menu looked reasonable enough to me, so I ordered Roasted Herb Chicken and my gf ordered Homemade Burger.
With only RM7.80 this was what we got...

                          

The burger was huge and soft. Look carefully at the fork poking the bread, not at all like KFC. The chicken came with mash potato bedding the massive drumstick. For a slightly less than RM8 dinner (excluding gov and service tax), the portion definitely justified the price. However, when we browse the drink menu, I was shocked by the price...


                                  
What the fuck? The oranges were planted in Mars (RM9)? They shouldn't call that sky juice, it should be heavenly juice. I'll pay max RM2 for sky juice.I guess they want their customer get drunk because the beer is relatively cheap. Anyways, this was how my plate looked after 15min...

                                   

To the right is the RM9 Mars-Planted-Orange juice. Every sip is worth at least 50 cents. I drank it as if it is red wine. Anyways, the food is good, the environment was conducive and romantic. I only paid RM24++ for the dinner and returned with a full and satisfying stomach...ok lar. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why do you trade?

     I used to put all my hope into trading. I believed that trading will make me rich. When I finally have an account and start losing money, it feels like the world has crashed. All hopes were gone and my life was over. So, this is my advice to every trader out there, if you jump into the trading pool thinking wanna grab a bunch, you'll only find yourself getting drown.

     Then I took a break from the market and diverted my mind off to somewhere else. After a couple of months, I dip myself into the water again. This time, I do it with passion. Making money doesn't really matter. What matter most to me is to find out whether can I beat the market. Every night I trade the market just to see test my analysis skills. Just like Fred Tam said, the market is made of hundreds of experts. To beat them, I have to be at least equal or better than them.

     Making money and being rich has no longer register its meaning to me anymore. Now it's the passion of trading. It's a feeling I cannot explain.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It'll always be my fault

     I guess it's the Malaysian custom to blame someone when ever a problem arises. It's almost a ritual to follow whenever something happens, some one aught to be scolded. At least that happens in the company I work at. I received a call from office saying that one of my subordinate did a mistake. And the message continue with "investigate who did that and scold him". Why did scolding has to be associated with problem solving? I simply cannot see the logic behind.   In the end I managed to solve the problem without even knowing who did the mistake. Or rather, I solved my problem without bothering to know who did that. 

     The way I see things are simple, I always look at the bigger picture. It's always true that we have to take care the bigger problem before solving the little ones. So, I did a simple psychology experiment. I asked the coordinator (the person who makes the appointment and arrange the operation schedule) to make the first appointment which usually she's quite reluctant to do. As predicted, she refused just like the way I predicted. So I blew up the case and made it looked like a big issue. The following day, the boss arranged a special meeting with the whole department and told us why we should not ask her to call the client for the first treatment. 

     For me, it's the matter of a simple appointment. What is the use of a coordinator when she can't coordinate? The biggest issue is, the employer is giving reasons on behalf of the employee's incompetence in front of the managers. That's like hitting your wife in front of your child. It's so wrong. 

     I think solving problem is a simple matter of setting the appropriate mentality and priority. It's is not about making anyone feel bad. Neither is it about punishing anyone. It is about improving the situation. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Market Emotion

      After trading for sometime, I have concluded that the forex, stock or futures market is the best place to grind our emotional strength. Trading the market is like playing with the snakes. Our objective is to control the snake but first, we need to over come the fear. It moves is such a way, we're often whipped and squeeze out of profit burning what ever we have previously made. The price may soar sky high make a sharp u-turn to scare us shitless before continue the trend. Anyone without any balls will be trapped in this emotional swing.

     Despite the spikes and thorns in the market, we are tempted like drugged due to the volatility. We believe, with persistence  and determination, we'll make it to the scarce cream group of successful trader. Little did we know, without rock hard discipline and proper ice cold analysis our losses often continue to streak. So I guess it's not as simple as buy or sell only.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Which Millionaire?

     Grab a stone and throw it on the street. Most probably the one you hit is a millionaire. Which mean, very likely you'll get sued for that. lol. Anyways, my point is, there are far too many millionaires out there. Their species has grown, from scarce o dense. Just like graduates. Stab anyone with a knife and most probably you've killed a graduate. So, just how much is one million? 
     During the 80's, you could basically buy Langkawi with that amount of money a probably import some prostitutes from china for business. With one million you can basically own anything other than the nation. Back then, money was small. Only millionaires own car, and if you parked your car at a double line, the traffic officer would probably to awe to write you a summon ticket. But today, cars are abundant than hookers on the streets. In another words, we have insufficient prostitutes to go round. We see BMW more than police cars on the road and the people that are driving the BMWs' are getting more and more ruthless (assholes!!!). If millionaires are so common, do we still wanna be millionaire? Why not be billionaire? 


     Last week, I was with this annoying client, no doubt filthy rich and filthy arrogant. Save the how insolent part, that's not what I'm trying to discuss here...this is what he said to me " young man, make sure after I signed this deal, I don't want to see even 1 ant. When your phone rings and it's my number, you better be here". And this is what I replied "unless you're the devil, when we sign this deal you don't own my soul". A serious awkward long pause follows. 


     I deduced that that there are 2 types of rich bastards. The A grade bastards inherited their wealth from the parents and are too ignorant to care about how other would feel. B grade bastards worked their ass to wealthy and appreciate our every effort to survive. When we call the A bastards and they're not answering the phone, they're fucking a hooker and having a erectile disfunction problem. When we call the B grade bastards and they're not picking up, they're also most probably fucking the hookers. But they return call when they're done. Anyways, both A and B are bastards simply because they're millionaires and I'm not. If I have a million, I don't mind being a bastard. If you get to choose, which bastard would you want to be? A or Be? 

Automated Trading

      Is there such thing as money coming into our account without the need of effort? Recently there are so much debate over automated trading in Forex and stocks. The technology of trading has developed from shouting over the counters, to clicking the mouse at home. To enhance the situation, robots are developed to "trade" for us.


      Initially we'll make money from the market. Oh man, the blood rush, the adrenaline. I'm sure any F1 driver would find this more exciting. then come the first losing trade. And another, and another. And.....we have no more losing trade because there ain't any left in the account. We're in hell. The night is long and sleeping seem more difficult than constipation. Why did recession comes to us way before the experts predicted it? 







     And comes a friend telling us about robots, we roam around the web for robot with the most probable winnings. Then just like god sent, a few robots are available for us at a small price to pay ($97-$149). All of them have great review from many folks reputed to be great traders who's name we have not even heard before, the heck with it, who cares who they are? They're making money. They're rich. The statement displayed shows win after win with almost insignificant losses. That's when we believe we have found, the Holy Grail. Small losses, good review plus cheap price...we asked ourself "what the fuck am I waiting for?". Hence, we pulled out our credit card and enter the digit into the computer. Viola!!! The download link is sent almost immediately. Professional is indeed completely different!. When we order a Honda, there's a waiting list, but over here, there isn't. We put all the hope along with the limited money we have in the account and wait for riches to find us. We imagine, seeing our account fatten as we wake from our sleep. As we work, it continues to grow just like a colony of termites. The robot knows no rest. Easy life was just around the corner.


      Imagine yourself going to a book store, grab the thickest book in the medical section about neurosurgery. Read the whole book and can you call yourself a surgeon? Would you leave your brain to someone like that? Similarly would you leave your money in the hands of people whom you have never met? Most robot developers will not disclose their trading strategies to you. Their so-called profitable robot will ended up trading less frequently as said, less probable as stated and we started to mail them asking silly questions.


     Ya...I admit, I'm one of the millions out there who wish desperately to change my life. But I've learnt the hard way that, no Holy Grail is out for sale. If there is, it won't be cheap. I feel that every novice trader should read this, trading requires constant learning, improvising and most important of all discipline. To be profitable in trading, we must respect the market. There is no gain without sufficient effort right? To be a real trader, we need to analyze the market constantly, aware of any updates and strike at the precise moment with the highest possible accuracy. There's no room for emotion! So, being a trader is just like being a doctor. Every market condition is different, that's what makes trading fun. It's the joy every time we make the right decision and profit. It's about the disappointment every time we make the right decision and the market tricked us. And it's about how hard we want to win. Above all, it's the journey where we try to defy the overall losing population. 


     So, is there such thing as easy money? Unfortunately for me, that a No-No. Ultimately, at an overall picture, trading isn't hard at all. All we need to decide is whether to buy or sell. When to get out will be decided itself (only a true trader will understand this sentence). 


Happy trading! Luck is not required. 

Tears and Rain




How I wish I could surrender my soul;
Shed the clothes that become my skin;
See the liar that burns within my needing.
How I wish I'd chosen darkness from cold.
How I wish I had screamed out loud,
Instead I've found no meaning.

I guess it's time I run far, far away; find comfort in pain,
All pleasure's the same: it just keeps me from trouble.
Hides my true shape, like Dorian Gray.
I've heard what they say, but I'm not here for trouble.
It's more than just words: it's just tears and rain.

How I wish I could walk through the doors of my mind;
Hold memory close at hand,
Help me understand the years.
How I wish I could choose between Heaven and Hell.
How I wish I would save my soul.
I'm so cold from fear.

I guess it's time I run far, far away; find comfort in pain,
All pleasure's the same: it just keeps me from trouble.
Hides my true shape, like Dorian Gray.
I've heard what they say, but I'm not here for trouble.
Far, far away; find comfort in pain.
All pleasure's the same: it just keeps me from trouble.
It's more than just words: it's just tears and rain.

Toy Museum

     It was my girlfriend's birthday yesterday, when I have finally decided to bring her to Toy Museum after never ending nagging from her. Apparently there are 10 million toys displayed in that place. We were so excited, we forgo shopping in gurney just to make sure we had enough time to feast our eyes onto the toys before our dinner in E&O.


     As I walked into the museum after paying a hefty RM10 fee, I realized, we made a terrible mistake coming to this place. The racks are roughly placed, the toys are not properly organized and they're all in aquariums (at least, that's how it looked). We found "fung wan" cramping together with "Victor" from Corpse Bride. "Apparently" Tim Burton wrote both stories according to the museum director. The path was like a maze, except in a maze, you could walk properly and in this museum, you concentrate on not to trip on the uneven floor rather than enjoy the toys. The only toys available there are all cartoons or movies characters. I was kind of hoping to see classical cars, control vehicles, guns, rifle, gundams etc...etc...and etc which are all not there. I bet we find better arrangement and toys in the supermarket departmental store.


      There were indeed almost 10 million toys but I rather see 10 thousand specially selected toys than all the millions stuffed together unorganized. We saw a live sized Alien, which is beheaded left lying on the stage, kissing the floor with the sponges bursting out. Arragon looks like he's kicked on the balls and Lara Croft in the museum went through a tits reduction treatment. The live sized Darth Vader was holding a broken lightsaber. If I were him, I would say to the manager "Now your failure is COMPLETE!" with american accent and style.


      I'll be very straight in this, UNLESS YOU WANT DISAPPOINTMENT, DON"T GO! I'm a photo addict but it sucked so much, that I don't bother to even post any photo at all! (forgot to bring camera actually). The most interesting thing about the museum is the free toilet where we can pee into the belly of the egyptian sculpture.


     So, if I were the owner of the museum, what sort of arrangement I would have? That's very basic, what people want to see is what they did not expect to see or happen. Have a live sized Freddy Kruger  and Jason greeting behind as the door open is a good idea. The element of surprise is very important if we want to create massive impact; remember pearl harbor? And I'll have guns, planes and model control cars for rent at an expensive fee. Destroy them and you pay double the price. All the Aliens would crawling on the walls of the museum but only visible as we see them from the second floor. They'll appear as if they're attacking the visitors on the first floor. 


      Entering the T-Rex mouth we'll go into Jurassic Park, everything is for sale. From dinosaur eggs to the mammoth testicles. What's the point if the museum is not making any money? After all, it's a giant toy shop. The most important toys are displayed in the toilet; sex toys. I think they're the best sellers. 

Syphon Coffee

"What would you tell the waiter when you want a cup of decent coffee?" asked Terry Beh, the owner of Coffee Lane at his newly opened shop. "Kopi cit poey" some said. "Or Peng" I said. And many others answered in various local slang which only Penang folks understand. But according to Terry, if you are a coffee lover, or if you tell that to the foreigners, the Japanese would say "baka", you'll make the Italian laughed to tears and our unique way of ordering coffee certainly raise a few eye brows in France. 
In Terry's Shop, or rather Coffee Lane, the coffee served are guaranteed to be freshly brewed. It's so fresh, the coffee beans were crushed at the very moment you order a cup or else, it would have lost it's freshness. So, what's syphon coffee anyways? It is a coffee brewing technique pandemic to Japan.  








One brew may serve only 5 small cups taking heavy consideration about water amount, bean weight and also water temperature (90°). 


It's almost standard where the first step is, boiling the water. After almost reaching boiling temperature, the upper funnel containing the coffee powder of the set is inserted into the water. Of course, high grade coffee was used in this process (from Italy hehe). The pressure resulted from boiling will push the water from the lower bulb into the upper funnel. Upon hugging the coffee powder, the aroma was diffused into the almost boiling water, giving us none other than temptation. Using what he called as Magic Cloth (which I hope is clean), Terry bewitched the brewed coffee into the lower bulb again. And the last action left was to pour it into cups. 


We can tell the freshness by looking at the bubbles; just like urine, bubbles in the cup means fresh!


What happened next was, us, grabbing free cups of coffee and pretend to appreciate it....We were "adviced" to gulp them without sugar!!!!





Terry Beh's expression was as if he had won a million in the coffee competition.


So, what's syphon coffee to me anyways, for me, it's a longwinded way of making a cup of coffee. But for Terry, every cup means effort, perfection and passion. For his customer, it's satisfaction, warmth and nevertheless, money. lol
Ya, I know, there are many coffee addicts out there dying to know where you can find this place. See below (lazy to describe, many say I bring madness to anyone asking me for route).


Name: Coffee Lane
Add: 10B King Street 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 04-2610625



(click on the photo to enlarger)
Ok, this is about as much I'll say about his coffee. Anyone needs more information, you may click here.


Oh ya, he serve every customer personally. You may find him charming but unfortunately, he's not available.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stranger on the Shore

Originally played by Acker Bilks in the Bb Clarinet and now Kenny G made it sexy on the Soprano.  I have lost count on the number of times listening to this piece since the beginning of the millennium. Ignore the annoying comment and enjoy.

Simple yet Beautiful

Anything can be beautiful. Provided we look at it at the right angle. This was proven by my technician who owns a D80. With the power of an DSLR with the proper technique, I believe we can turn a cock into a peacock. Initially I couldn't accept the fact that a technician who salary is 1/3 of mine, can afford something I can't. Besides owning the SLR, he mastered it quite well. The heading photo for example, was his produce. Let me share some of his creation that I like;


The Original of the Header





After got inspired, I made my 1st two attempt. What do you think?



Taken from Nautilus Bay




Taken from a worn out park in Midlands Drive. The park looks pathetic and lack of the maintenance it deserved.

Free Hand Artist

     It was by birthday when I finally appreciate paintings, colors on papers have always bore me. As we were walking past various stores in Batu Ferringhi, crowds of viewers was concentrating on this particular kiosk on the pavement. Although I have no idea whether his painting are running out of his stall or not, but definitely we witness a flawless drawing performed using the free hand style.

His wife helping him on the arrangement




May look complicated but this was drawn within seconds


How fascinating these people actually make a living using only their hand and some simple tools. I think my bosses were inspired by my photographs and they decided to paint the shutter door of the new office instead of printing the ad.

                               

Drawing a mosquito without reference, using only 1 brush with different color
Unlike many artists I have met, these two artist are not gay.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mona Lisa Of Business


Let’s forget about studying management and all the bombastic courses, through interview and meeting a lot of successful business during the downturn of the economy I have the privilege to rendezvous with countless bosses and managers. And also after working in several organizations, I couldn’t help but to notice no matter which industry it is the company can be segmented into 4 general departments;
1.       The Management: brain of the organization.
2.       The Marketing: mouth of the organization.
3.       The Operation: not the muscle but the limbs.
4.       The admin: the body that connects all.
Let me write briefly about each and every section. The management of course is the most important of all for setting the goals, making sure every department head towards it and also takes care of the big show. The marketing is as written above, the mouth that brings in food (money) to make sure there is sufficient fuel to run the company. The department is the most hardworking mainly because the pocket of the members are directly affected by the stream of activities of the department. Fuel consumed will be channeled to the limbs to perform. Therefore, the operation department is basically the company itself. It’s all talk until we see the operation perform, there’s no deny to that. And the least important is the admin that connects everything together but yet, they are necessary. The job of the admin department is to make sure everything is organized especially when the tax consultants are here for audit.  
These are simple truth that many bosses failed to see. A business that runs smooth needs to be as simple as possible. A boss that runs the business needs to look view the company as an overall picture. Just like looking into Mona Lisa, we grab the feel and message Da Vinci was trying to tell us by ignoring the detail and mistakes he made. If we scan the painting brush by brush, we are not enjoying, we are scrutinizing. Yes, we need to be critical to our own set up and ideas but to observe every detail is a big mistake. Handling business is just like trading the market; we follow the market trend by looking at the overall picture. Looking at every single tick often brings us nothing but losses. It is very important as owner of the company to define the responsibility of each department. For anyone stupid enough not to know let me simplify for you;
1.       Management (including the boss(es): scheming
2.       Marketing: get more business
3.       Operation: serve, product, whatever
4.       Admin: Paperwork
Let’s imagine you’re a restaurant owner. Do this; ask your chef to serve the customer, ask for their opinion does everything other than cooking. Let your cashier do the cooking and ask your waiters to send fliers. What will happen? Your kitchen got burnt, client got slapped and god knows where your waiters are. I cannot stress more on the idea of simplicity and the importance of looking at the overall big picture. They are who they are simply because they are who they are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Serious Aid Needed

     It's rather pathetic that my very first post on this blog is begging for help on the setting. But seriously guys. I need help. There are several issues that I wish to restructure on the layout. My blog width is very narrow as you can see. Any way to stretch it? How to use a photo as the background? Your help is very much appreciated. Thanks