Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Not the only suckers

Apparently, we aren't the only suckers. When we paid S$400,000 for the name change of Marina Bay to "Marina Bay", at least the name didn't change for something worse.

Now, 2 years later, the Scots have just changed their tourism slogan for US$250,000. From "the best small country in the world" to - "Welcome to Scotland". I bet a 6 year old came up with the idea.

Why do we even bother with jobs when you can earn US$ 250k to change names and slogans?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dollar revaluation?

Some guy is removing US dollars out of circulation by eating them, and getting people to destroy legal tender. This is the perfect illustration of why the market is inefficient - crazy people.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New game!

Let's play Outside!

Monday, August 6, 2007


We've probably listened to thousands of songs in our lifetime. I've listened to the music, the chords and melodies, but it was only recently I realised that, all along, I had not truly understood the lyrics. Because these lyrics could only invoke the intended emotions when we have had, at some point in our lives, experienced them.

I'm amazed mere words can call forth such strong feelings.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

This deserves a post

Man, if anyone can guess what this is in 30 seconds without looking at this link, you get a free drink.

Friday, May 25, 2007

corporate drone

For the past two weeks, I've been busy with my internship at T-Systems. So far only two people I know has ever heard of it. Gone are my delusions of grandeur and expectations of working in huge, reputable banks. At least the pay is good :)

This marks my first entry into the corporate world as well. I was half expecting a dog-eat-dog office environment rich with underhand politics and two-faced colleagues. Quite the opposite actually. I almost feel like I'm back to my childhood at grandma's place with all the aunties around. In case I offend someone, some of them are closer to cousins. Anyway, it feels so family-like, except that now they give you work to do instead of letting you fool around. With my excellent kenging skills, I bet they can't tell the difference if I did the latter.

The first day was data-entry. When I realised that on the second day I was starting to do photocopying jobs, I was expecting my highlight of the third day to be making coffee. Then maybe I'd 'progress' to clearing coffee mugs. I wonder if it was my 'subtle' hints to the boss that did the trick, but I'm doing more interesting stuff now.

On the first day, when I saw that people seemed to reach the office 10 mins late I thought to myself, "This is going to be one slack internship! Yay!" Then I realised they knocked off at 30 mins to an hour after official working hours. Only a handful of people remain after that. I know because I had to stay back till 10pm to finish something last Thursday.

I think my 'sense of responsibility' (or shame) is causing me to stay longer than I should. And the other intern always get to leave earlier than me. Bloody hell! I only beat her once or twice out of two weeks. Anyway, the knock-off time seems to be around 7pm-730pm at the latest. By the time my colleagues reach home by public transport, their kids would probably be starving. It gets worse if they have to rush for a deadline.

Considering that T-Systems is probably one of the more slacker-friendly companies among other firms in this district, this workaholic, no-life corporate culture is very, very scary. What's more frightening is that I think I am getting used to it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Grand Waste of Time

I can't believe I nua-ed at home for so long. In the past week, I'd clocked 64.5 hours watching stuff. That's more hours than what those 9 to 5 people work in a week. In fact, I believe I had watched more TV last week than the people who pore through videos at the censorship board.

Here's the breakdown:
  • The Fifth Element - 2 hrs
  • Donnie Darko - 2 hrs
  • Identity - 2 hrs
  • Lost Season 2 - 24 x 45 min - 18 hrs
  • Lost Season 3 -19 x 45 min - 14.25 hrs
  • 碧血剑 - 35 x 45 min - 26.25 hrs
Total time wasted: - 64.5 hrs

this is how I look right now

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Middle Ages Tech Support

But what do I do when I finish?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Wahaha my exams are over. I shall gloat while I can.

But I think I've mugged too much. You know that when you realise you :
  1. try to use risk management concepts for anything that could go wrong
  2. apply strategic objectives to your personal life
  3. could use personal selling concepts for picking up girls
  4. find investment textbooks exciting
  5. know your professor has made some mistakes in class
  6. see the value of anything in terms of customer equity, brand equity and relationship equity
  7. hear tiny voices in your head telling you to mug
  8. read textbooks for subjects that you are not taking
  9. could actually tell what the textbook is trying to get at
  10. suddenly feel empty for a moment when the exams are over and you don't have to mug anymore
By the way, Heroes is back!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Look Ma, no bowls!

When people tabao laksa without thinking, hilarity and ingenuity prevail.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

personality tests

Aside from the intensive mugging these days, I have just started surfing those damned time-wasting websites on personality types. I realised I'm an ISTP after taking a couple of those tests. Apparently, the type is also called The Mechanic. Crap, that's so low status.

But I've also found a "universal" type :)

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.
Does the above apply to you? If so, you have just provided evidence for the Forer Effect. Be careful which tests you believe in - some are no better than horoscopes.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Thursday, April 19, 2007

to the point

Oh no... I'm going to be relegated to Division 2.

Monday, April 2, 2007

And so I bombed my presentation

Business school is just chock full of endless presentations to prepare for. Sometimes I'm glad it's this way, sometimes I'm just tired of it all.

I glad because I love creating Powerpoint slides (really!). I'm also glad because presenting so often really builds up one's confidence. One almost becomes immune to the jitters. Almost. And because I feel like an actor performing on stage.

When a presentation goes really well, you get a natural "high". That's really the reward for the preparation. And many a times, it's worth it. But where there are much rewards, there's a similar amount of risk.

My worst fear came true today when I forgot what I wanted to say. Think of a stage actor saying his lines and then suddenly forgets what to say next. This increases his anxiety before he realised he could actually improvise.

Imagine looking at the audience anticipating the next word that comes out of your mouth, only to realise that your mind is blank all of a sudden. This must be the second time it happened in this semester. Both at the important presentations.

For now, I'm blaming my lack of preparation and my inflexible way of presenting. I guess missing sleep and preparing it overnight wasn't the best thing I could do. Especially when I aimed to do away with any reference to bullet points. If any lesson can be learnt here, it is to get a good night's sleep before the presentation. Things never worked well when I missed sleep.

I truly admire those who can stand up and do impromptu presentations. You can pretty much rank presentations according to difficulty
  1. Presenting about something you know is easy.
  2. Presenting about something you know and making it interesting is harder.
  3. Presenting about something you don't know and making it seem like you do gets even harder. (I don't mean just bullshit. Impromptu bullshit that makes sense)
  4. Presenting about something you don't know, making it seem like you do, and making it interesting all at the same time is GODLIKE!
Yeah, number 4 is pretty much where I want to be.

There's still one presentation left now. This time I'm preparing to save my own ass in case I venture into lala-land in the middle of the presentation. How? I don't know. Maybe I'd insert some self-deprecating humour about having a memory of an ant or something.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ah My Heroes!

Two days ago, I was on my way home, eagerly waiting to catch the next exciting episode of Heroes. But NOOOO...

The producers just had to put it on hiatus!! No more Heroes for seven weeks! Even the simple pleasure of watching a weekly episode of Heroes has been taken away from me!


On another note, I just happened to go to the Mosaic music festival recently. WB got some free tics to a Tristan Prettyman studio performance and kena flown aeroplane by a girl (haha, don't worry, only initials). And so, as a good buddy with nothing better to do, I went along and I must say the Esplanade's pretty happening during this time.

Unfortunately, Tristan wasn't my kind of music. In fact, I was trying very hard to keep myself awake. She actually told us that one of her audience once replied "coffee" when she asked if there was anything they wanted. I can begin to see why. Her voice is soothing, but so soothing that it puts people to sleep (even with the drums and all).

But I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the opening act by Rai and Jack, the lead vocals of the local band EIC. Apparently, they have got their debut album coming out soon.

There was also a free but insane performance by Jivekustic (I think that's what they were called) at the Nokia Music Station. They performed covers of U2, Police, Snow Patrol, etc, and they were pretty damn good! It was a pleasant experience so I'm glad I went. Thanks man, WB :)

But like what a good buddy should do, I also left him queuing alone for Tristan Prettyman's autograph while I left early to catch the last train. Ho ho ho.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Yesterday sucked. Two disappointments, one law assignment and no sleep at night.

I must have been punished for praying to the Ti Gong only when I needed him. Don't mistake me for being religious — I don't believe he existed the rest of the time. Anyway, UBS chose another candidate instead. Great. Their loss.

It is really ironic how a friend couldn't get into an internship with a Big 4 firm because his resume is too good. He was asked why he wanted to go for an internship with a Big 4 when he could apply for banks with his resume. According to him, the stronger candidates lost out in the end.

I understand how firms would want to hire for the long term, and so might prefer poorer candidates with fewer opportunities that are likely to stick around longer. But if that's how they look at hiring, then all they're getting are just so-so people and everything will be just... so-so. And where do people like my friend end up if for some reason they can't get into banks? When one is not exactly the best, but not just average either, one gets stuck somewhere in the middle and it sucks since you put in effort in return for peanuts. In fact, being the worst is marginally better. Because slacking doesn't require effort.

Didn't get any reply from INSTEP either so my chances of going for exchange is almost nil right now. I guessed going for the summer exchange last year reduced my chances of getting chosen.

How can one compare the two experiences? One is six weeks, the other is six months! I say we get equal opportunity for both. They didn't tell me that I have lower chances for INSTEP if I went Hong Kong. But I guess even if I were to choose again, I would still have gone for the summer exchange. I met some great friends there and the experience was almost life-changing.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I want this job

I had my very first interview for a job (ok, an internship) today. I am proud to say that I have never, ever worked officially before in the twenty-two years of my life! Not even as a McDonald's cashier. No CPF account either. It's quite an achievement considering how hardworking I am *cough*. But that's beside the point.

Front-office investment banking internships are almost impossible to get (I heard the numbers are like 3 out of 3000 applicants). So, I went for mid-office stuff for my Professional Attachment this coming summer.

I applied for some internship that involves doing business unit controls for the FOREX, cash and collateral traders. It sounds important, but who actually knows what the hell they do. When I asked one of my interviewers, she rattled a long string of hardly recognisable financial jargon. Guess I'd have to learn on the job then.

But seriously, the job scope is quite exciting. In the relative sense, of course, since I'm comparing it to an accountant's work. The job would give me a chance to interact with the FOREX traders and pick some of their brains. And maybe I'd get to see what they have traded, how much they have made or lost, and do a bit of investigative work. I don't know why but that just appeals to me.

Other than the reconciliation stuff, I would also get to use my "1337 programming skillz"(I wish) for god knows what. Probably generating analyses in Excel. And I might get to liaise with peeps overseas, though when they say that, it could mean anything from a phone call to MSN chatting. The latter sounds good.

Security is tight. To enter the bank, I had to go through some turnstile with a security pass. They must have some pretty important information in there to protect. Then I took the wrong lift. I took one that took me to only the odd levels, and my destination was on an even level. I thought I could take the stairs down from floor 13, but everywhere except the lift area was considered out-of-bounds-to-non-staff. So I took the lift all the way down to the lobby and switched lifts, barely making it on time.

My interviewers were two pretty ladies around my age or just a little older. So I had no problems with keeping eye contact :) Thankfully, their questions were rather general and they didn't ask any stunners like some of the firms I've heard about ("If you were an animal, what would you be?" suggested answers - puking merlion or horny rhino) Halfway through, I could feel my mouth drying out. I was practically speaking continuously. This almost never happens.

Anyway, I think I should not go on any more lest the people from the bank find out that I'm making a joke out of this and decides not to recruit me.

I'm not being evil here, but I hope the other candidates sucked.

Ti Gong Bo Bi!! Sky God Bless!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another movie review!

I've just watched Ghost Rider. And I think it's lame. Very, very lame. It's not really worth watching so it gives me the right to spoil the movie for everyone.

What's good about the movie are the cool CG effects and Eva Mendes. Actually, this movie is really about the battle between two very hot people, namely, Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes. So while Johnny Blaze (Cage) was trying to impress the audience with his flaming motorcycle, flaming skull and flaming chains, Eva Mendes (I don't even remember the name of her character) has that sexy dress she wore during a dinner date where she got stood up by Johnny. Obviously, Eva beats Cage hands down.

hot or not?

definitely hot

But seriously, I think Ghost Rider's powers are damn lousy. First of all, he can only "chu" power at night, or where it's dark. Secondly, according to some graveyard caretaker/mentor guy, the Rider's strongest power is his stare. I mean, like, WTF is that?

So this guy rides a flashy modded vehicle through the streets attracting attention and stares at people that he finds buay song.

Doesn't this sound oddly familiar?

He is like a super Chao Ah Beng with upgraded staring powers and some gimmicky flames to go along with the "flashy" theme. And he had to sell his soul to the Devil for that.

Even Chao Ah Bengs doesn't need to be in the dark to stare someone down. Usually, the brighter it is, the scarier they look. I'm pretty sure my neighbourhood Chao Ah Beng also thinks that Johnny Blaze is getting the short end of the stick here.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

First post of '07

Ok, it has been really long since I last updated this. I mean, it's February and I'm only writing my first post of the year.

School is as usual - once again, I'm just going through the motions of attending lectures, tutorials and seminars, and if I feel up to it, do some tutorials. Looks like I'm en route to breaking my New Year resolution of pulling my GPA back to where it was.

I having been taking a Muay Thai lessons recently together with a friend of mine and I guess we're losing steam pretty quickly. Laziness got the better of us yesterday and we decided not to go for the lesson.

Reminds me of the numerous Saturdays at home during secondary school while my Boys' Brigade friends marched around in the basketball court and attended sleep-inducing Christian Education classes. Miss Tang was nice enough to pass me so I got a C6 for CCA.

As it's obvious by now, half-hearted attempts at doing things seem to be my forte. Committing whole heartedly somehow hurts too much should I fail. But the flip side is that I would gain huge amounts of satisfaction and pride should I succeed. High risk
junk bonds with crazy returns, or safe and secure US Treasury Bonds with low returns? Just like the answer in finance, it all depends on your investment portfolio and your objectives.

I shall live life dangerously from now on. Do or die. Hold me by my words (I probably won't have the willpower)