Thursday, July 21, 2016

I want Happy Ads

I have had a pet peeve for quite a while but I cannot keep in in any longer.

Can all the big companies stop with all the weepy, sad, sentimental ads for every festive occasion - Hari Raya, sad ad. Chinese New Year, Sad ad. Deepawali, Sad ad. I am sick of these ads. We are already depressed with all the crazy stories in the news, stress at work, inflation, economy and so on.

I blame the late Yasmin Ahmed. She was an amazing film maker and I liked her ads but she started a trend which shows no sign of ending.

PLEASE, PLEASE make happy, funny, uplifting, motivating ads the next festive season

Please share if you agree.

The only funny festive ad in ages

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why I like vintage watches?

This was a question in Quora which made me think about the watches I collect.

I cannot really explain but there is a certain charm about old watches - even the cheaper ones. It depends on your taste but I like the hand winding steel watches with doomed plastic crystals. I also like the unique and eccentric watches like the Tissot stone watches and brands that do not exist anymore like Favre Leuba and old Indian HMT watches. I like reading about their history and sometimes wonder about the guy who once used the watch to tell time.

When I was a kid, my father used to wear a cheap solar powered Bular watch and I really liked it. It is now in my collection with the crystal all cracked but I really like it because of the sentimental value.

I have also noticed that there is a nostalgia among people for everything vintage or classic and have noticed the classic Casio gold digital watches on the wrists of a number of stylish millennials. Of course, the watchmakers have realised this phenomenon and many including Seiko, Omega, Tudor, Tag Heur among others have all recently reintroduced many of their old designs, of course with a modern take.

Coming back to the question, different people like vintage watches for different reasons. Many collect them as investments, some collect them for aesthetic reasons, others for sentimental reasons, etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Are millennials to blame?

When people talk about millennials, most of the time you never hear any thing positive. Often people will be complaining of their "attitude problem", lack of interest, not hard working, no initiative, cynical, lazy, disrespectful, etc. - the list goes on.

Though there is some truth in this - I wondered what made them like that - what makes them different from previous generations and are they really that bad.

The former questions are harder to answer but the answer to the last questions is clearly a big "No!". These young people can be really passionate about a number of issues affecting society. Often it turns out, it is the Baby boomers and X-gen who are the cynics.

The millennials grew up with scandals, corruption, and an extremely competitive World. I was shocked when I learnt that only kids with 8 As in their STPM or  4 flat A -levels could enter University of Malaya. People say kids do not play outside anymore and blame gadgets but I realise that now kids do not have time from homework and tutions, piano, swimming and taekwondo lessons to go out and play. Many parents in the city do not even let their kids out of sight for fear that their kids might get abducted and I think about my childhood where I could just go out and ride my bike and roam around the neighbourhood for hours.

I recently met up with one of my ex-students and was shocked when he told me his salary in a well known MNC. It was just RM 500 more than what I used to get in my first job after my MBA 15 years ago. That's right - salaries have not increased in the last 15 years. Prices of everything has gone up several times and in fact several businesses here are taking consumers for a ride blaming everything from petrol prices to GST and of course the Government. But the fact is that for many their profit margins are way over the top. For example, it is crazy that Bananas are cheaper in the UK as compared to Malaysia. The bananas in the UK come from the West Indies or South America and is cheaper than in Malaysia which is a tropical country and where Bananas are grown.

Employers continue to complain that Millennials are not loyal and lazy Blah! Blah! Blah!

You pay them peanuts while expecting them to work like dogs like we used to several years ago - leaving the office only in the evening after the boss leaves with no overtime. You expect them to continue working in high pressure environment without complaining while you drive around in luxury cars which can buy a medium cost link house.

Talking about houses, many of these millennials have no hope of ever owning their own house in the Klang Valley unless they have generous parents who buy it for them or at least help out with the initial down payment.

No wonder the Millennials have an "attitude problem".

Monday, February 15, 2016

Zika virus, Microcephaly and Larvicides

According to a group of Argentinean doctors, larvicides and not the Zika virus is the cause of Brazil's Microcephaly outbreak. According to 'Physicians in Crop-Sprayed Towns', the outbreak is due to a chemical called Pyriproxyfen, which was sprayed into water supplies in various towns in Brazil in 2014 including the state of Pernambuco where the malformations were detected first.

Read the article in Tech Times here.

Monsanto was not happy with their name being linked to the outbreak and released a response on their blog saying "Neither Monsanto nor our products have any connection to the Zika virus or microcephaly."

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Gated communities and Nepali guards

Right outside our front gate we have 2 Nepali security guards manning a temporary gate. There is another one patrolling the neighbourhood on a motorbike. And right across the road, there is another security guard, from another company, also Nepali, guarding a shop lot which is currently under renovation.

The security guard were hired by neighbourhood security committee with most families in the neighbourhood contributing to a fund. We are not unique and it looks like the whole Petaling Jaya in Selangor is full of gated communities.

To be honest, I do feel much safer and feel that we made the right choice to rent this house. However, I wonder what happened to Malaysia while we were away for nearly 8 years. It was not like this back then before we left for the UK. There were a few gated communities but they were rare and meant for guys in a different social class altogether.

Is the security situation so bad that we need to have guards in every neighbourhood? Isn't it the role of the police to take care of public security?

Looking at the bright side, reports of crime has reduced and the situation has led to the growth of a massive industry in Malaysia - the security firms. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Adele Hello video memes

Adele won't stop calling me.

Calling Mr. Bean

Calling Lionel Richie

The best. Ellen

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Advice on buying watches below $500

As some of my close friends and family members are aware, I am a big fan of watches - mechanical or battery powered, analog or digital, it does not matter. A lot of people also come to me for advice on buying watches and most are interested in good quality affordable watches. And of course I depend on the various watch blogs and forums out there, besides advice from some knowledgeable friends who are also watch fanatics. Some of the sites I frequent includes the famous A blog to watch, Hodinkee and the Watchuseek forums.

Recently I found out about another watch blog called Rob has written a post called 'Best Watch Brands under $500: Affordable Timepieces Made with Actual Craftsmanship'. I found the article to be well written and quite balanced. Some actual good advice. So if you are looking for an affordable watch, I suggest you go through the article before buying one. 


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