About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chapter 3: When I was growing up and now ..... Beano, Dandy and a Coke - salted, not stirred

Do you know who the cartoon character above is? His favorite food as you can see him eating was Cow Pie - yes with the horns and tail intact. Desperate Dan was the main character in Dandy comics. And Beano had some other characters.

If you do not, you're too young, go ask your mom or dad to buy you a beano or in this day and age, show you one online.

When I was growing up, it was a weekly treat to go get a comic book at the magazine vendor in Sri Intan in Pulau Tikus, Penang. It costs perhaps 15cents to 30cents, but the old man would always buy it for us.

And sit there and go through the magazine with a coke, salted, not stirred.

If you have not had coke from a bottle with some salt in it, try it the next time.

These were the days when you'd go out with parents to eat a 15 cent roti canai or a 15 cent thosai. Idli was not my thing.
There was a fried mee/mee hoon seller in Fettes Park that sold a plate for 20 cents.

And you would down that with freshly squeezed sugarcane water.

It probably had bacteria but we lived.

The plates, those famous melamine plates, not plastic but not glass. Some even served on bended aluminum plates.

We were out a lot, we seemed to have a lot of time.

Our parents were not always there for us. In fact, I think parents are more conscious about this quality time thingy nowadays then they were then.

They did not know what quality time was ..... the just did quality time when they had time.

Thus we are left with wonderful memories imprinted in our minds.

But as we grow, the big ego starts to be the devil's advocate.

And God get's set aside.

Money from the root of all evil become the root of all happiness.

Happiness becomes having the fanciest car, the fanciest phone, the fanciest gadget.

Sadness become lack thereof.

The world has become a sad place. You see it everywhere. People complaining about one thing or another.

The simple pleasures in life are not there.

People do not drink coke with salt anymore.

Now even coke is coke zero - emptiness like their lives have become.

You want happiness?

Seek simple pleasures, praise and glorify God daily, be grateful for each and everything in your life including the fact that you are breathing.

Do not over-indulge in heavy sweet desserts and a heavy fat laden meal and then order a diet coke or coke zero. Instead, have a salad and have a coke, salted, not stirred.

You still want a 50cent roti canai when everyone else charges a dollar? Come over to Bangsar, behind TMC, the best roti canai I have had.

Get away from that computer, from that facebook page, leave your phone at home and go out for a walk in the park or even to the nearest coffee shop and relax and observe others.

Get a Dandy or Beano or any of the newer comics (check out http://www.facebook.com/sheldongohart) and buy some new comic book.

We are all blessed, so be blessed rather than blur.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 2: When I was growing up and now .... Television

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't. George thinks he will, but I know he won't.

When I was growing up, my dad was a very busy man. He was in a commodities import and export business which kept him in the office until close to midnight. By the time he came home, we would be asleep. And by the time we went to school early in the morning, he would still be sleeping.

He was a rather strict man, so we would be afraid to make noise and quietly slip away to school.

We did see him in the weekends and I remember many wonderful trip in the weekend, picnics at the beach or the botanical gardens or the hill station. Watching a movie - in premier class seat up in the balcony. Meals outside. Ice cream floats.

While we were the first to have a colour tv at home, in Malaysia itself, color tv only existed since 1979 when Tun Hussein Onn was the Prime Minister (my year is estimated). So we had one of those relatively huge black and white tv's with the speakers built in and 4 wooden legs and a shutter covering the screen when not in use. I still have that tv in my storage, likely still works.

My dad also had a small portable black and white tv, perhaps 12 inches at max, looking similar to the one above in his room.

The only channels we had were RTM 1 and RTM 2 and they were good truly 1Malaysia channels then, showing shows and movies in English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil as well as Hindi. Pretty much every show had an English or Malay subtitle.

Despite how busy my dad was, there were 2 television events he would never miss. He would even take his portable tv to the office if these events happened to be during the office hours which for him was like 10am to midnight.

The first even was any World Heavyweight Boxing match, and those days when Muhammad Ali was king, there was only 1 type of heavyweight title. His office mates would crowd around to see Ali fooling around with the opponent whether it was Bugner or Frazier or Foreman. In fact, the quote from Ali above was with his match with Foreman when he taunted Foreman of being so slow that he would not even see Ali.

Ali was a boxer but he was a showman. Like a circus in town or Russel Peter's nowadays. He entertained crowds, not just boxed.

Ali truly was the greatest of them all, he was the undisputed king. Many have come and tried, Holyfield, Tyson and few others but nobody comes close to Ali.

Another big even in my dad's tv watching was the yearly budget. He would be glued to every word of the finance minister. The finance minister during the black and white days that I remembered him really glued to the budget was always Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Finance Minister from 1976-1984).

Razaleigh was another entertainer, another person whom you could admire. Someone who was candid yet serious.

Of course, for my dad, the budget was important for business and to see if taxes and duties increased or reduced and what that would mean for the commodities that he was dealing in.

But nowadays....

I have no bloody clue who the World Heavyweight boxing champion is anymore. The last time I heard, there were now three different world boxing organisations and likely there are 3 unknown champions.

And to be honest, I bet most of you reading this also do not know who it is. Some will likely Google it. But for me, boxing has reached to such a boring state that I am not even bothered to Google and see who is the champion now.

And the budget.... don't even get me started on the budget. I was working from home the other day and decided what the attraction my dad had to watching the budget. Watching Jibby speak, I fell asleep.

The budget too has become so boring, so mundane, the same old promises, extravagant government spending, some ikan bilis (anchovies) thrown out to the public and like Bleh Bleh Bleh ...... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So, what memories will we have of this generation? What memories would our kids have of us when they are our age?

Likely, oh my mom and dad were glued to Facebook, how old school is that.

And they would browse Internet for all information like it was God's truth.

Owh, and they watched satellite tv, through a dish, with Astro .... they would flip endlessly and watch stupid reality shows that were not even real.

Our parents may have been busy, but they showed us the great outdoors. When was the last time you took your kids out for a picnic or took them out to the nature (not the mall)?

Anyway, such is life. There is time to make a change, to be memorable, but do not wait thinking winter is still a long time away and there is still a lot of time.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man on the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."
Take care and be well.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chapter 1: When I was growing up ..... and now: A perspective from the aged.

I have not written for some time but lately there has been some direction and some inspiration that I may start writing again.

I have been writing some snippets of how somethings were whenh I was growing up and how things are now, some personal stories and some just stories.

But a good start to these would be a reflection of an old man that someone had sent to me recently and I have shared in Facebook.

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly

and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young,

just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago,

and I wonder where all the years went.

I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams...

But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...

How did I get here so fast?

Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well...

seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people

were years away from me and that winter was so far off

that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...

But, here it is...

my friends are retired and getting grey...

they move slower and I see an older person now.

Some are in better and some worse shape than me...

but, I see the great change...

Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...

but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks

that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day!

And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory!

Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so...

now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared

for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability

to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...

this I know, that when it's over... its over...

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...

things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.

It's all in a lifetime...

So, if you're not in your winter yet...

let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.

So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly!

Don't put things off too long!!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today,

as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so,

live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things

that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life is a gift to you.

The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

Make it a fantastic one."

Live it well.

Enjoy Today.

Do something fun.

Be happy, be thankful.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I have not written since April 13. Now is June 27. This is not really a post.

I apologize to those who have been following me.

Changes in job, in life have resulted in me losing my writing abilities where I seem to have a block of ideas and also I am just lacking time.

I hope one day this blog will be active again.

Until then, God bless you all, I love you, I thank you, I am sorry, Please forgive me.

Take care and be well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Manage from the Inside Out

Continuing my blog on Greatness, today's blog is not from Robin Sharma's Greatness Guide but from another book by Laurie Beth Jones titled Jesus CEO (Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership).

Most modern organizations have the alpha management style or the beta management style. Alpha using more authoritative use of power and beta more cooperative use of power.

However, the Omega method of management incorporates and enhances both alpha and beta. And most religious leaders including Jesus used the Omega method, perhaps maybe created it too.

If you think about it, He is one person who trained 12 humans who went to influence the world to the level that the time itself is now recorded as BC and AD - before and after his existence.

He worked with staff that was totally human, not divine and some of them who were illiterate, questionable backgrounds, feelings but they still went to accomplish His tasks that He trained them to do and they only did this for one main reason, to be with Him again. Is there any manager or boss in your life of working where you would go to all lengths to just be with the person again?

And the best of all, His omega leadership style is intended to be used by any of us.

Among one of his methods was that he managed from inside out, from the people closest to him.

Many companies have a sprinkler phenomenon of management, like a water sprinkler, so much energy is usually put in watering the outer reaches of the lawn that the grass closest to the sprinkler head is usually dead or yellowing.

Many managers and companies often overlook the people closest to them despite all good intentions. Most company receptionist are not aware of major functions or visitors to the building. I remember once where the functional MD of one of the businesses in the company was waiting for his sponsor to collect him from the receptionist and the receptionist was even unaware of a major function by that MD. Similarly, while many preachers and pastors talk about shepherding and finding lost sheep and sowing the fields, many preachers' kids are notorious for their own lack of it.

The author herself gives an example of a osteopathic hospital that spent millions on educating people about osteopathy on television, media ads etc. But 75% of the hospital's own staff had no idea what the word meant, the cooks, the security, the clerks and cleaning crew had no idea of the meaning.

You may think, "So what if the security guard knows more about the hospital mission?"

It means plenty, to the bottom line when the staff are more informed. Because they will communicate this to their friends, and this communication influence will be worth more than any millions you may spend on advertising.

Jesus understood this, of educating and informing his people first.

He depended on small circles to spread into bigger circles, like a ripple effect.

Jesus looked at the crowd and said, "Phillip, how shall we feed all these people?"

Phillip suggested that they be send home so they could find their own dinner. But Jesus was concerned and knew many would faint along the way. So He enlisted Phillip to help in solving their hunger and He taught Philip to empathize with people the way He did.

He made sure His staff knew what was going on at all times. Even when He was going to ascend, He said the Holy Spirit will guide you until I return. He kept the grass closest to him green, He managed from inside out.

How about you? Do you sometimes overlook the people closest to you? If so, can you correct that?

What is your system to making sure your staff is constantly informed about the facts as well as emotions or spirit of any situation?

Think about it.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life lessons from Sponge Bob Square Pants

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea
"Spongebob squarepants"
Absorbant and yellow and porous is he
"Spongebob Squarepants"
If nautical nonsense be something you wish
"Spongebob Squarepants"
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish
"Spongebob Squarepants"

I usually read 4 sometimes 5 books at a time. A few pages or chapters, a few minutes or an hour.

Current reading list includes The Greatness Guide (Robin Sharma), Fooled by Randomness (Nassim Nicholas Taleb), The Bible (some 200 authors perhaps), Micro (Michael Crichton) and MAD (Making a Difference) Culture.

Why do I read so much? Well, some people like to watch history channel, some like to watch the cartoons, some all the reality shows. Most people maybe read only the newspaper or perhaps some pop-culture magazine.

I like to read.

But that is not what today's blog is really about. Today's blog is from the excerpt on one of the things I read in one of the books above.

I like to watch cartoons. And while many of us adults would consider Sponge Bob Square Pants one of the stupidest mind blowing cartoons in the world, there are life lessons we all can learn from Sponge Bob.

Be the eternal optimist
Sponge Bob always sees the best in every situation. Our thinking really does shape our reality. When you look for the best, you find the best. When you look for worst, you get worst.

Value People
He values his friends even the crankiest of them. Always respect and put people 1st.

Be an Original
He is one of a kind, himself. Many of us are afraid to be ourselves and easily give up on our dreams and start to follow the crowd. Once we have courage to be true, the greatest you, then we will be the greatest us.

Laugh and Have Fun
Sponge Bob knows how to have fun and laugh. There is no point being successful but sad. Reach the mountain top but enjoy the climb as well. Life is not an ordeal. Laugh and Have fun.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everbody's beautiful in their own way

I am unique. As I am beautiful. And so are you.

Remember you are beautiful, everybody is beautiful in their own way, under God's heaven.

Take care and be well.

Friday, April 6, 2012

So what did I do when I was 43?

Eat. Bangkok Lane, The Lil Wine Place, Tree Monkey, Mansion 32, Kopitiam, Euro Deli, G, Penang Road Chendol, etc etc
Laugh. with wife, with friend, with the world
Drink a little. Tom Yum Martini, Dirty Martini, Dry Martini and Edwinger beer, wine, water, juice.
Catch up with a old friend.
Shop. In Gurney plaza, elsewhere, Spice Garden
On a Good Friday. Celebrate 43.
Church, on Easter Sunday. In Pulau Tikus Church of Immaculate Conception.
Eat. Or did I mention eat already.

Owh Penang, how wonderful to come home again after nearly 18 months.

Take care and be well