Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wall Street vs Main Street 2008

I'm no economic expert. Yes, I do read news everyday. There are tons of articles and followup studies of the economic tsunami that happens in these days that can be found in the net. I can't empathize how others are living through these days. I only can tell how it is affecting and going to affect my life.
Personally, my investments tank! Stocks, funds are go down to tube....at least on paper. I wish I should do better to do stop loss sales of my holdings. Now, like many other folks, I stuck with the paper losses. Thank God that I'm not going to retire next year, but it is a lesson that I've to remember in future. Do I still invest? Yes, just doing the monthly saving thing. Hopefully, dollar cost averaging will work out in the long run.
For my job wise, touch wood, it is still there as of I'm blogging now. I spoke to my ex-colleagues today at lunch. My ex-employer just layoff 100 folks in this region, but they told me that there are actually more, including a higher-up guy that I know. What is worrying is not the number of layoff, but the timing of it. With the downturn in job market has just begun locally, a reputable and sizable company like my ex-employer has already take the lead to start firing people in such a high-fashion way. It is not a good sign for the market, cos others will for sure to follow without second thought. I've not heard anything about my current employer, but I should be more 'nosy' to sniff around if there is any similar initiative here. Cos, for folks like us is helpless. Whether we will still have a job tomorrow is sometimes out of our control, regardless how well we do or not. So, I thank God everyday I still get paid and cross my fingers for tomorrow.
Assume things can work out and I still have a job, then actually it is not a bad time to start considering buying a property. As I'm still renting, finally getting a 'nest' for my own is absolutely normal. The housing market locally is getting soft. I'm not looking for those luxury apartments, but a decent 3 bedroom with dinning/living rooms are what I would want. I think next year would be a good time to really look. Cos, dropping an accumulated amount of 30% means a lot of money for the apartments here. That could mean few years of rent! So, I'm hoping.
Before this economic tsunami hit globally, I've never thought about my retirement. Now, under such situation, it really strengthen my thought about my retirement. I.e. I will not retire voluntarily, I will work as long as I can. It may be sad for others, but for me, it is just being practical. What really matter is to stay healthy. Also, picking up skills and accumulating experience along the way are important as well. Who know how long I will live, but just doing things one step of a time is only practical thing we can do.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman

The passing of a great actor. I'm not very familiar with his works. Actually, he is just not the actor that most of my generation familar with. I only saw few of his movies, like The Color of Money that he did with Tom Cruise. His last role of providing voice over in the Pixar movie - Cars did gave an aura to an otherwise forgettable movie.

I don't know why....I just like this guy, just reading some extracts of his life, an actor like him is not just an actor, but also a lot of other things to many other people. I even tried his salad dressing once just because it is in his name. Anyway, I'm sure there will be many kind of commemorable events to pay tribute to this great actor/philanthropist in the States.

For more about this great man, read these:

By the way, I've heard that the best way to learn great moral lesson is to read the biography of famous people rather than reading books of philosophy or theory. I find that is actually quite correct...read what Paul Newman did and said in his life is quite inspiring.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do you love your country aka 愛國?

The local media is getting more and more so called '愛國' - patriotic aka 'love country'. It is very obvious from the selection of news and reporting length of them. My personal point of view is that there is nothing wrong for being 愛國 or patriotic. However, I really don't like many people, particularly those people who have power to affect others to promote their own self-interests in the name of 愛國 or lump many other things under the umbrella of 愛國.

First of all, what is 愛國? The superficial translation of that is 'love' 'country', i.e. love your country. However, if you put into context, both the verb and the noun actually must be carefully defined, otherwise, as I said, people will lump whole bunch of 'ideas' under this umbrella. We could be talking about apple and orange here.

Take 國 out of the context, it can mean 'sovereign country' that you live in, the 'home country' that your ethnicity belongs to, the ruling regime of that country, the people of the country, or even broadly the 'hardware' and 'software' of the country. Hardware includes the natural environment, the historical architecture, the modern infrastructure, material arts etc. Software means the culture, history, arts of the country. So, it has to be carefully defined. E.g for a Chinese American who born in Taiwan and live in the States, should he patriotic to the U.S.? or to Taiwan? or to China? To PRC? What about for a mix, like his dad is Japanese, but his mom is Taiwanese, but he emigrated to Canada for example, which 國 should he love?

When we talk about 愛, it means love. In wikipedia, Love is defined as yadda yadda... I'm not gonna described that in details. However, from my point of view in this context, love can be a form of appreciation, or devotion. But the definition is not the critical part, the issue here is how to prove someone does or does not carry out 'actions' as a result of 愛.

Cos, someone may love something, but hide his/her feeling and didn't do anything. Does it means he/she doesn't love that thing?
Or, someone love and do something. How do you know what he/she did really because he/she love that thing? Does it base on what he/she say? But, how can you tell if someone lies for saying he/she loves or does not love certain things.

That's why, without this kind of precise definition, I think that when A says he is 愛國, but B says he is also 愛國. They may be talking about completely different things. So, when people ask do u 愛國? I would answer them with the question 'what do u mean?'

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My current favorite TV series

While still recovering from my flu. I was able to spare around 45 minutes last night on YouTube to watch the season 3 premire of Heroes. It is one of my favorite TV series. This show can keep going on and on, cos it involves time travel and alternative universe, that pretty means nobody needs to die. Special effect is decent for a TV show and the characters are still attractive. However, I hope they can continue to tight up the script, otherwise, to many characters with broken pieces are somewhat tiring and hard to follow. Just don't know how to fit with each other. Definitely, I will continue to follow up this show if I can.

Prison Break season 4 has just begun. I still have not chasing it yet. I like the first and second season a lot. The third one is a bit lackluster, don't know where do they wanna take to show to in this season. Cos, there is only so much the characters 'should' do. Hope they will end this show in high note.

I've been fan of Terminator films for a long time. I was kinda skeptical of this TV series at the beginning. However, after viewing the first episode earlier this week. I think I've changed my mind. Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles can still be entertaining. However, this show has to be restricted by the boundaries imposed by the films. As it is supposed to take place between T2 and T3. So, here' go. I just hope this show won't grow to be cheezy, especially between the girl terminator and John Connor. Anyway, I will try to stay to view this show since there are only 9 episodes for season one.
Well, there are certainly other good shows out there. Unfortunately, I think I can barely find time to catch up the above. When you have a small stomach, there is only so much you can chew. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Got a flu today

Don't know how I got it, but I gotta ride through it. Still going to work, not sure if I'll take an earlier leave or not. Anyway, it sucks. Nothing is worse than being sick. Being depressed, being poor, being annoyed, being frustrated....all of that I can deal with it. But being sick....it is a battle that make me exhausted, make me feel weak.

I hope I can get well soon, still so much to do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feeling a bit depressed lately....

Regardless who has dug a hole in my heart,
It is up to nobody but me to fill that up.
It'd been like that since I can remember.....
I don't see the difference now or in future.....
I always have to pick myself up.
I can procrastinate, but not for long.....
I've duties to take up, also, the longer I wait, the deeper the hole could get.
So, it's time to lift my chin up, face the road ahead, take a deep breath, and tell myself....
...."Let go....and let's go!"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

探 針 : 一 天 一 杯 牛 奶 震 驚 一 個 民 族


三 鹿 毒 奶 粉 事 件 曝 光 後 , 可 謂 激 起 了 全 民 義 憤 , 其 負 面 影 響 從 國 內 到 國 際 持 續 擴 散 。 筆 者 注 意 到 , 網 路 上 有 一 段 題 為 「 一 個 普 通 中 國 人 一 天 的 幸 福 生 活 」 的 文 字 被 廣 泛 轉 貼 ─ ─ 「 早 晨 起 床 穿 上 假 名 牌 衣 服 , 用 致 癌 牙 膏 刷 完 牙 , 喝 一 杯 被 三 聚 氰 胺 污 染 了 的 奶 粉 , 吃 一 根 柴 油 炸 的 洗 衣 粉 油 條 , 外 加 一 個 蘇 丹 紅 鹹 鴨 蛋 , … … 中 午 用 地 溝 油 炒 一 盤 避 孕 藥 餵 食 的 黃 鱔 , 吃 幾 個 超 標 粉 做 的 饅 頭 , 喝 兩 杯 甲 醇 白 酒 , 外 加 兩 瓶 甲 醛 啤 酒 , … … 晚 上 下 班 回 家 前 用 『 山 寨 手 機 』 給 老 婆 打 個 電 話 , 叮 囑 她 做 好 摻 了 白 蠟 油 大 米 的 米 飯 , 再 做 一 份 敵 敵 畏 泡 過 的 火 腿 小 菜 , 煮 上 一 袋 毒 粉 絲 , 夾 點 臭 水 池 醃 製 的 榨 菜 , 飯 後 給 兒 子 一 杯 毒 奶 粉 … … 唉 , 這 日 子 過 得 可 真 『 爽 』 ! 」 這 「 作 品 」 當 然 是 網 民 的 調 侃 、 嘲 諷 之 作 , 但 不 影 響 它 對 問 題 本 質 的 反 映 。 毋 庸 諱 言 , 中 國 食 品 安 全 問 題 確 已 危 機 四 伏 , 它 對 「 中 國 製 造 」 的 破 壞 力 顯 然 不 可 小 覷 , 而 三 鹿 毒 奶 粉 事 件 只 不 過 是 扮 演 了 一 個 「 揭 幕 」 的 角 色 而 已 , 這 樣 概 括 似 乎 並 不 為 過 。 誰 之 罪 ? 這 是 當 下 需 要 首 先 回 答 的 問 題 , 因 為 一 味 地 譴 責 、 謾 罵 、 嘲 諷 , 包 括 政 府 對 一 些 相 關 當 事 官 員 作 出 撤 職 決 定 、 展 開 颳 風 式 的 大 檢 查 等 等 , 這 些 動 作 都 不 可 能 從 根 本 上 解 決 問 題 , 因 為 它 最 終 逃 不 脫 「 出 事 ─ ─ 檢 查 ─ ─ 再 出 事 」 這 樣 的 「 循 環 」 。
三 鹿 並 非 單 一 事 故
顯 然 , 三 鹿 毒 奶 粉 事 件 並 非 是 一 起 孤 立 事 件 , 事 後 「 有 二 十 二 家 嬰 幼 兒 奶 粉 同 樣 檢 出 了 含 量 不 同 的 三 聚 氰 胺 」 說 明 , 「 三 鹿 」 只 不 過 是 推 倒 了 那 個 多 米 諾 骨 牌 的 第 一 塊 骨 牌 而 已 。 從 這 個 意 義 上 來 講 , 「 三 鹿 」 也 許 扮 演 了 一 個 姑 且 可 以 看 作 是 「 正 面 」 的 角 色 , 因 為 問 題 早 一 天 暴 露 , 就 早 一 天 避 免 更 多 兒 童 遭 殃 , 早 一 天 排 除 有 可 能 更 多 的 食 品 「 炸 彈 」 。
質 檢 部 門 責 不 可 卸
毫 無 疑 問 , 食 品 安 全 問 題 的 存 在 , 從 國 家 到 地 方 的 政 府 質 檢 部 門 負 有 不 可 推 卸 的 首 要 和 主 要 責 任 ! 因 為 企 業 草 菅 人 命 固 然 失 卻 人 性 , 但 毒 奶 粉 能 夠 長 期 存 在 並 通 過 檢 測 ( 免 檢 ) 就 無 疑 是 政 府 的 監 管 責 任 了 。 因 此 , 監 管 不 嚴 、 監 管 缺 位 , 乃 至 監 管 形 同 虛 設 、 可 能 的 官 商 勾 結 才 是 整 個 食 品 安 全 問 題 的 關 鍵 所 在 ! 事 實 上 , 三 鹿 毒 奶 粉 事 件 曝 光 後 , 以 下 這 些 問 題 就 更 加 令 人 恐 懼 , 比 如 其 他 奶 粉 品 種 以 及 其 他 相 關 乳 製 品 有 無 問 題 ? 除 了 三 聚 氰 胺 , 還 有 沒 有 其 他 有 害 物 質 的 添 加 呢 ? 乳 製 品 如 此 , 其 他 食 品 的 安 全 問 題 又 如 何 ? 其 實 , 這 些 問 題 的 定 性 答 案 顯 然 是 明 擺 的 , 只 差 具 體 查 證 而 已 , 來 看 這 段 民 間 說 法 吧 : 「 我 們 在 食 品 中 完 成 了 化 學 掃 盲 ─ ─ 我 們 從 大 米 認 識 了 石 蠟 , 從 活 魚 認 識 了 孔 雀 石 綠 , 從 火 腿 認 識 了 敵 敵 畏 , 從 鹹 鴨 蛋 、 辣 椒 醬 認 識 了 蘇 丹 紅 , 從 火 鍋 認 識 了 福 馬 林 , 從 銀 耳 、 蜜 棗 認 識 了 硫 磺 , 從 木 耳 中 認 識 了 硫 酸 銅 … … 今 天 , 三 鹿 又 讓 同 胞 們 知 道 了 三 聚 氰 胺 的 化 學 作 用 : 外 國 人 喝 牛 奶 結 實 了 , 中 國 人 喝 牛 奶 『 結 石 』 了 。 日 本 人 的 口 號 : 一 天 一 杯 牛 奶 振 興 一 個 民 族 ; 中 國 人 的 口 號 : 一 天 一 杯 牛 奶 震 驚 一 個 民 族 。 」 我 以 為 , 只 有 從 政 紀 和 法 紀 角 度 對 政 府 質 檢 部 門 的 具 體 責 任 作 出 清 晰 界 定 , 方 可 從 根 本 上 解 決 中 國 食 品 安 全 問 題 !

北 方 可 可 大 陸 《 博 客 網 》 專 欄 作 家

Friday, September 19, 2008

Favorite Movies with Great Twist(s) or cuttings

These are my personal favorites, not by particular ranking, they are just good!

1. Wild Things -
Multiple twists, who is mastermind of the whole plot?
Memorable scenes: Threesome, 'teeth'.
2. Vertigo -
A classic Hitchcock with a twist in the middle.
Memorable scene : blond hair looking in the mirror.
3. The Usual Suspects -
Great ending!
Memorable scenes : Harvey looking around in the police office on the wall, the transformation of walk and the sunglasses.
4. The Sixth Senses -
Great ending twist again. I saw this movie 5 times at least. Haley Joel Osmont is awesome.
Memorable scenes : all the ghost scenes, the last 5 minutes.

5. Momento -
The best cutting of a movie that I've ever seen. Believe me, I've seemed a lot of movies. Christopher Nolan is a genius!
Memorable scene : the whole movie, u just have to follow closely the whole movie, otherwise, u don't understand how great it is.

6. Identity -
Great psychological twister. Who is the 'real' person?
Memorable scenes : Something is rolling in the washing machine. The kid's smile.
7. The Game -
David Lynch's less well-know movie. Just like the premise of it.
Memorable scenes - When the car is underwater, the fall, wake up in the coffen.

8. Fight Club -
David Lynch's classic. Is Brad Pitt for real?
Memorable Scenes : the stealing of human fat, the fights, brad's abs.

9. Babel -
Great to see how 3 stories tie together. Love the premise. It shows that the world is flat! How screw up globalization can be.....
Memorable scenes: the shot, the balcony, kids in dessert.

10. The Others -
The twist is a bit obvious, but still the theme is still good.
Memorable scene - playing the piano.

11. 21 Grams
Second to Mememto in terms of cutting. The whole movie is actually pretty straight forward, but how that put together to let u figure out the whole story and relationships of characters are amazing. Don't give up watching after 15 minutes, your patience will be rewarded.
Memorable scenes - the car crash, and many many.

12. 12 Monkeys
One of the best Sci-Fi movie that without much action, explosion, etc. One of few best movies staring Bruce Willis. Brad Pitt's best movie so far. Love this kind of cause and effect kind of movie with the premise of time travel
Memorable scenes: picture of bullet wound, mental hospital, the airport scene.

13. Fallen -
A movie about Soul, an evil soul.
Memorable scene: Soul passing on busy street, the snowy wilderness and the fox/wolf at the end of the movie.

14. U-Turn -
An ironic 'road' movie. Great cast and great ending....as the title of the movie suggests.
Memorable scenes: Every scene with Billy Bob Thorton, the 'shot', the end.

15. Primal Fear -
Great debut from Edward Norton. The end established him as a great actor to come.
Memorable scene: the last 3 minutes in the jail.

16. Pulp Fiction -
This movie introduced me to non-linear presentation of a story with chapters. Great acting from most actors. Sam Jackson's 'cool' icon was established.
Memorable scenes: too many...the dance, killers in t-shirts, the overdose, the katana, the watch, etc

17. Seven -
Best serial killer movie without showing the actual killing. A very dark movie and a trageic climatic ending.
Memorable scenes: the pasta and the fat guy, the 'box'.

18. Sin City -
A great film-noir based on comic novel. Hot Jessica Alba. A cool cool movie.
Memorable scenes: Jessica in the bar, the yellow bastard, Ellijah Wood's nails, etc.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some thoughts on being a dad for an 1 year old boy

Over the weekend, my wife and I celebrated the first birthday of our son. Nothing really special happened, just bought him a cake, took some family pictures, took him out to the mall and my mom-in-law's home, that's it. Since my wife got him a cake, I got him some winter clothes as H&M as gift.
I know that my son is not gonna remember a thing about his first birthday, even if he watch some video clips and see pictures later on in future. That's not the reason I didn't do much for his birthday. My personality perhaps, unlike most people, I'm not into festivals, special dates, that kind of stuff. So, even for my son's birthday, I just don't feel like doing a lot of special things for it. Anyway, I still wished him a happy birthday.
There are a lot of saying that an one year old should be able to do this and that. Of course, that's all about statistics. So, I'm not all that concerned of him able to do certain things slower than others. Cos, if he didn't know how to crawl at 9 months until 11 months, so what? He may not be able to balance well to walk now, but he is good in flipping books....I think one of the reason why he didn't pick up certain skills is not because he is any dumber than average kid, it is just that we as parents, didn't spend as much time as we should on him.
I went to lunch with an old friend who has a 3 years old boy. She left office like around 6:30pm everyday if possible to go home to be with his boy. Yes, everyone has their own pressure that come with their career. Still evenings and weekends should be time to be with family. I think I'm going to spend more time to be with him, to teach him more from now on. Cos, the brain of an one year old boy is like a 'sponge', it soaks everything. I don't want to miss a thing from his growth, otherwise, I would be sorry for that for the rest of my life. Cos, he will grow anyway and would not wait or care whether we notice or not.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Words from Warren Buffet

There was a one-hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet, the second richest man who has donated $31 billion to charity. Here are some very interesting aspects of his life:(以下摘錄自CNBC電視台對世界排名第二的富豪華倫巴菲特所做的一小時專訪,巴菲特目前已經捐310億美元給慈善機構,他對於人生的一些見解非常有趣)
1.He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late !(他11歲開始買了第一張股票,但現在還是很後悔說他太晚買了!)
2.He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.(他14歲時,就用他從小時候送報紙所賺的錢,買了一個小農場.)
3.He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.(他雖然富甲一方,卻仍然住在奧瑪哈小鎮的一棟三房小屋內,那是他結婚50 週年後所買的房子.他說他們家什麼都有了啊! 他家甚至連圍牆或籬笆都沒有!)
4.He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him. (他都自己開車出門,也沒有請司機或保全人員跟著他.)
5.He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.(他雖然是世界最大的私人噴射客機公司的老闆,但卻從來沒有搭私人飛機旅行過.)
6.His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis. He has given his CEO's only two rules.(他公司 Berkshire Hathaway,旗下擁有63家企業.他每年只寫一封信給這些企業的總裁,把今 年的營運目標告訴他們.他從來不曾定期主持或召開會議,他給這些總裁們的守則只有以下兩條
Rule number 1: do not lose any of your share holder's money.(守則一:不要讓公司的投資人虧錢)Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.(守則二: 不要忘記守則一)
7.He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch Television.(他不太跟群眾交際應酬.下班後主要活動就是弄一點爆米花來吃吃,跟看看電視)
8.Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.(五年前世界首富比爾蓋茲第一次跟巴菲特見面,他覺得他跟巴菲特根本沒有什麼共同點,所以他只排了半個小時跟巴菲特會談.但當他們見面後,一共談了10個小時,從此之後,比爾蓋茲開始變成巴菲特的忠實信徒,獻身慈善事業.)
9.Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone,nor has a computer on his desk.(巴菲特不帶手機,桌上有沒電腦.)His advice to young people:"Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself and Remember:他給時下年輕人的建議是「遠離信用卡的物慾, 多投資自己並且牢記」
A.Money doesn't create man but it is the man who created money.(錢是人創造出來的,但是錢不會創造人.)
B.Live your life as simple as you are.(過你自己想過的簡單生活吧!)
C.Don't do what others say, just listen them, but do what you feel good(別人說的話聽聽可以,但不一定要照做,做你自己覺得很棒的事.)
D.Don't go on brand name; just wear those things in which u feel comfortable.(別走入名牌的迷思,穿你覺得舒服的服飾即可.)
E.Don't waste your money on unnecessary things; just spend on them who really in need rather.(與其把錢花在不必要的事情上,倒不如把錢花在真正需要的地方.)F.After all it's your life then why give chance to others to rule our life.(總而言之,這是你的人生, 幹嘛讓其他人來指揮你的人生呢?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Predictions - My son

I'm no prophet or fortune-teller. Since I became a dad, the way I see and think about future has changed greatly. I only thought about what myself and my wife be like when we are older, like in 10 years or in 30 years, that's usually depressing.....cos we are old and I'm not sure if we will be wiser!? For God sake, if we can stay relatively healthy, that's a blessing. However, come to think about my son, that's more interesting. Cos, for us, he is like a blank sheet of picture, there is so much unknown...Yes, I believe in astrology a bit, but that still can't stop me from guessing what he will be like in future.

I'm not trying to guess what kind of profession he will be in, or how much money he is going to make and all that, just based on what I see of him, an one year old boy. I like to make the following predictions of him at 10 years old. If ten years from now, this blog still exists, it will be quite interesting to see if my predictions are correct or off by how much....

1. He has good mathematics ability.
2. He is not that into music, not his hobby, either listening to it or playing instruments.
3. He has bad temper at times. He will let his emotion out rather than hold back from expression.
4. He is ok in sport, like basketball, football, badminton, table-tennis, but not good in swimming.
5. He can paint or like drawing pictures.
6. He loves and good in playing electronic gadgets, like game consoles, or phone, etc.
7. He likes to hang out with friends rather than with his parents, particularly his mom.
8. He likes to spend money on things that he like, he may have learn the value of money saving, but not good in practicing it.
9. He is picky in foods.
10. He is a good kid in nature, but not very obedient, he talks back and challenges adults.
11. He is an active kid, but shy at times, particularly with girls.
12. He likes to do mix and matches with his own clothes. He has idea what he wants to be seen wearing.
13. His ranks middle in his class.
14. He likes to read comic books, novels and magazine.
15. He loves to surf the net.

Let's see in 10 years.

Let's Rock

Ipod is such a successful product that, annual announcement of improvements become less a surprise as they are largely incremental. Haven't check out the video of announcement from apple.com yet, but the detail announcement is widely reported in various websites. If I don't have an ipod, a nano will be a great buy. Ipod touch is also good, but for me, since my wife has an iphone, I've a 5G ipod classic and a 2G ipod shuffle. I doubt I will spend my hard-earned $$ on any of the new product in near future. Nevertheless, I still like what I see from Apple, it really shows that this company is not slowing down in spite of its dominance in the portable music player market.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What is in your 'name'?

I've lunch with few ex-colleagues today. Well, just nice to catch up with everyone as usual. When we were about the leave the restaurant, one of my ex-colleagues, let's call her 'S' pulled out her credit card and told us that she just got her name changed. Of course, that become our immediate topic of conversation. The reason why she got her name changed was because her family somehow had run into a person who suppose to know a thing or two about fortunate-telling, saying that if S changes her name to....let's say 'KY', it will be good for her as well as for her family.

Well, I don't know that's really true or not. S aka KY hasn't noticed anything different. Certainly, a lot of personal ID docs have to be changed as well. That costs $$$. The fortunate-telling session, I didn't ask, but I think that's gonna cost $$$ as well. Anyway, I wish my friend S like her name and really result as what the whole name-changing incident aims for. Good luck to her!

What is about a name? What is in your 'name'? I'm not good with names. Cos, if I don't have vivid encounter with someone which involves something memorable, I don't remember names of people that I met in my life, regardless of their races or gender. I'm just not good linking names to faces. So, don't feel bad if I forgot your name, I can't help it, it doesn't mean that I' m not a nice person! I think I'm a bit better with faces, at least I can tell I met you before, went to school, worked in same company before, or living in the same area before. Just don't remember the names. Perhaps, I've blind spots in my brain about names.

Certainly, the two biggest lessons in my life about names are picking my own English name and picking English and Chinese names for my son. It is not easy if you are serious about picking a name. There are many resources out there that can help, but more choices you have, the more difficult to make your choice. Yes, people can change their names, like my friend S did, but that' s not a norm and a name means something. It usually has a story behind it, for the meaning of it and the creation of it. Thank God that I like my name, given by my dad, and I also like my English name that I picked. I can't tell if my son will like his names, it is still too early to find out. I hope he does. Otherwise, I would be quite disappointed, cos that's the first important gift from me that if things work out, he will carry that around for the rest of his life.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Take it like a man

I'm not talking about one or two particular incidents. I've general feeling that our government officials (many of whom happen to be males) are not taking responsibilities as they should for their wrong doings.

Politicians are simply looking after their own self-interests or the interest groups that elect/support them. Government officials who are paid by our tax dollars are hiding behind the bureaucracy that they have created all these years, when their wrong doings are exposed by the media. I'm not saying all of them, but those who are black sheeps or those who managed their responsibilities badly are acting like a bunch of 'roaches' after the media lifted the 'carpet'. They just flee, or like a deer facing a headlight, just freeze. Responding to the media and the public is such unprofessional manner that. I wish they should go back to do more self-study on public relations and that sort of things, since they have so much time in the evenings as they left office on time everyday.

The folks in power are even worse, they are like 'slick willies' or 'eels', or no, actually, they are even worse than them. They are 'invertebrates'. Homosapians alike, without backbones! They ask their subordinates to face the public to take all the in-your-face criticisms, and only show up in face-saving public events. With such poor showing of governance, I don't care how much 'spin' their spin-doctors can do, the greatest make-up artists can't turn a monster into an angel. Why can't those folks who are in power stand up to face the music? I don't want to sound childish, but the motto in 'Spiderman' is really true: God gives you special power, it comes with great responsibilities! Why can't they stand up, pound their chests and take criticism and responsibilities like men!

What does it mean to be like a man? Just need to be strong when you should, be humble and apologetic when you should, don't dare to say sorry or bow when you should. People will understand and appreciate, though they don't forget. Mistakes are not sin, what's wrong to say 'I'm sorry!'. They think that they are better than the public? The powerless doesn't deserve the apologies from those with power? I don't think so. Well, consider how those with power got their power, maybe it is too much to ask those 'whims' in power. They have power, but they got no respect from the people. If you believe in karma, like I do, they will pay soon or later!