Friday, October 31, 2008

mulut celupar

A colleague of mine who is also from KL but works in Hicktown likes to travel back to Hicktown after the weekend back in KL early on Monday mornings. The logic is that she gets to spend as much of the weekend as she can with her family and then leaving KL at 4 or 5 am on Monday morning ensures that she can reach the office by 8 am. Personally, I think it is ridiculous and extremely dangerous.

A few months ago, on a particular Friday, it was 6.30pm and I was going home. I saw her still at her cubicle:

"Hey, aren't you going back to KL today?"

"Yeah, wanna finish some stuff first"

"Go back la. Don't drive so late. Dangerous."

At which point, another girl butted in cheekily with, "Why you so caring suddenly?"

With a grin and without the slightest hessitation, I replied, "Actually it's not that I am caring, but if she get into an accident, I have to do her work for her. So actually, I am worrying about myself."

We all had a good laugh at my assholism, and I went home spending a totally boring weekend in Hicktown.

We received news on Monday morning that that colleague of mine fell asleep at the wheel, smashed up her car real bad, and then went on MC for 2 weeks.

Prophecies can be a bitch.

Two days ago, I went out for lunch with a friend. I was in her car and we were going back to her apartment. From where we were coming from, she needed to make a U-turn to get to the other side of the road.

At the first opening in the divider, there was a large no U-turn signboard. One was expected to go another 100 metres down the road where you could U-turn legally. But, as you would already guess, my friend took the turn at the first opening.

Just as she was doing that, I went:

"Eh, got big NO U-TURN sign there whey."

"You very good boy one hor?"

"Yeah, after police catch, how?"

And there they were, 50 metres up the road - two of them in their spanking white uniforms. My friend was pulled over by the traffic police. We didn't stop laughing - couldn't stop laughing in fact, not even as she handed the guy her license and IC.

Lesson learnt: You should really listen to me when I say something. It's true.


Monday, October 27, 2008

don't buy toshiba laptops

About 3 and a half years ago, while I was still studying in the UK, my laptop got stolen and I was forced to buy another one while over there. Being a poor student and stuff, I settled on a Toshiba laptop that was on a discounted price at PC World, even though the online reviews mentioned that that laptop was prone to cooling problems as it got older.

For the last 6 months or so, I have had frequent problems with overheating and the laptop would frequently auto-shutdown. I took it apart, cleaned the insides the best I could and fixed it back, but the problem still persisted and got worse and worse. I meant to get it fixed, but I never really had the time since I was stuck in Hicktown and all. As of recently, the laptop was even able to overheat even though I used it in an air-conditioned room and with a cooling mat.

Last week, I finally got down to sending it to the local Toshiba service centre to get it fixed since I was in KL for a couple of weeks. I checked it in in the morning and also asked for a quotation for a new battery since the current one is completely kaput and I can no longer run the laptop on batteries. I got the call the next morning saying that the laptop was ready for collection. The technician proceeded to explain somethings to me, but since I was driving, I cut him short and said I would pick it up the next day and he could explain the problem to me.

My conversation with the technician roughly as follows:

"Sir, we found the internal parts dirty so we cleaned it for you already"

"Yes, I know it was dirty, I already cleaned it myself before. Did you change the cooling fan or the heat sink?"

"Er, no we don't have the spare parts. But we tested the laptop the whole day left it running, it didn't overheat"

"You tested it in an air-cond room, correct?"

"Should be okay sir, we cleaned the heat sink already"

"Fine. What about the new battery? How much?"

"Sir, we cannot replace a battery because we don't have spare parts."

"Can you order it?"

"Cannot, sir. Because you bought this laptop in UK and we have an agreement we cannot sell the parts for them."

"I don't understand this. It's a Toshiba laptop. You are Toshiba. Why can't you order from UK?"

"Cannot, sir. It's agreement. Like that one."

"So, what do I do now?"

"Er, cannot do anything sir."

"What?!? Look, I don't care if you charge me a bomb for it. My laptop works fine. I just want a battery so I can bring it around. If you have to order from the UK and charge me 500 bucks for it, I don't mind paying."

"But sir, I told you, we cannot do that. We cannot order parts internationally. It's like that everywhere. If you buy from Malaysia and go to Saudi Arabia, the branch over there cannot order parts"

This is where I get annoyed and start raising my voice, and people around me start looking....

"So, you are telling me that if I want to buy a laptop today, and I get a job in UK or Dubai or whereever, I shouldn't buy a Toshiba laptop because I can't get after sales support?"

"Oh, that one different. We can help you claim international warranty"

"Okay, and after your ONE YEAR warranty period is over and it breaks down, I can't get spare parts?"

"Oh, cannot sir"

"Look, my laptop is no longer a laptop. It's a desktop now you know. I have to use it in an aircond room otherwise it overheats. I can't use it while watching TV because the battery is dead, and you can't do anything about it. So why on Earth should I buy a Toshiba laptop anyway?"


"If you tell me that repairing it costs a bomb because you have to order parts from overseas, I understand, but at least then I have the option of either repairing it or buying a new one. So, go tell your management that they have a ridiculous policy, and that I will do everything in my power to make sure everybody I know doesn't buy one of your laptops anymore"

And so, this is where I am. I don't know if any other supposedly international brands practice such a dumb policy, so if you know of any, please let me know since I am looking to buy a new laptop sometime in the next few months. No matter how good a product you have, it counts for ballocks if your after sales service is piss poor. Good for Toshiba, they sold me a product once, but I guarantee I'll never buy another product from them again.

In the meantime, spread the word, especially to people who are going overseas to study or work. Loads of students going overseas purchase their laptops here and bring it with them when they go abroad. After the one year warranty period ends, you are a sitting duck because if anything breaks down, you can't repair it, no matter how much you are willing to pay.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

election talk

From today's The Star:
Bring down power tariffs, Tenaga urged

PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Berhad has been urged to lower electricity charges in tandem with the drop in fuel prices.

In welcoming the Prime Minister’s announcement on lower fuel prices, MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee urged TNB to reduce its rates by 14.8% as the petrol price had further come down from RM2.45 to RM2.30 a litre.

"Since TNB is one of the government-linked companies involved in the national privatisation project, it should provide good services to the public with reasonable charges," he said in a statement yesterday.

"If TNB is not willing to lower its electricity charges, the Government should consider liberalising the market," he added.

And further quotes from the actual press statement:

MCA Wong Nai Chee: "Government should consider liberalizing the electric industry"


Sdr Wong Nai Chee who is a member of MCA’s Central Committee said, “compared to June 14, 2008 when fuel prices were increased to RM 2.70 per litre, yesterday, the government reduced the fuel prices to RM 2.30 per litre. This shows that fuel prices have dropped by 14.8%. Therefore, it is appropriate that Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) should also lower its electric charges in tandem.”

While MCA welcomes the government’s commitment to fulfill its pledges based on the international market crude oil prices and adjust domestic fuel prices accordingly, Nai Chee pointed out that there was also a hike in TNB charges owing to the spike in crude oil prices in June 2008. “Since, fuel prices have currently decreased, therefore, TNB ought to lessen its electricity charges.”


As TNB is seen as monopolising the entire electricity market in West Malaysia, Nai Chee then suggested that, "if TNB is not willing to decrease its electricity charges, the government should reveal TNB’s monopoly of the electric industry and take into consideration the liberalization of the electric market. Let other competitors participate in electric field, and enable these independent power producers (IPP) to compete with TNB."

Dood, either you are seriously ignorant and hence have no business being a politician and so-called 'serving the people' or you are taking a leaf out of the Anwar Ibrahim book of crapby talking rubbish in order to gain popularity.

Firstly, if you didn't pay attention in Science classes in school, our power plants do not run on petrol or diesel. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find power plants anywhere in the world that run on either. The majority of our power plants run on natural gas, with a further sizeable amount running on coal. And while the global crude oil price does affect the price of natural gas, the prices are irrelevant when compared to petrol prices in Malaysia.

In any case, natural gas price on the NYMEX is currently around RM22 per million British Thermal Units (mmBTU) while the power industry only pays RM14.31 per mmBTU. Quite a sizeable subsidy won't you agree?

And secondly, asking the IPPs to compete with TNB is laughable to say the least, and comical at best. But sadly, there is nothing funny about our politicians' ignorance on one of the biggest leeches in our economy. The IPPs are leeching off TNB (and Petronas) by getting cheap gas and having the right to sell all the power generated to TNB, no matter how inefficient their plants are and no matter if there is any demand. He makes it seem as if the IPPs are at a disadvantage here, when they are in fact the beneficiaries of this ridiculous system.

I know it is election time and everybody feels the need to say something popular to gain attention and put themselves in the spot light. But when you end up talking out of your butt, best you keep quiet in the first place.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

generation gap

My parents and I went to check out this new restaurant the other day. Food was so-so, ambience was chick, overall experience was enjoyable, but that is not the story I am here to tell.

As we were ordering the food, we had a chat with the waitress and learned that the place had just opened the previous week. Anyway, the food came, and we tucked in to enjoy, while talking about the usual stuff one would expect families to talk about during chow time.

Just then, a bunch of 4 yuppies waltz in and start barking their orders around like how you would imagine yuppies do. When their food arrived, instead of attacking the food, they opened their bags, whipped up their SLRs and started a picture taking frenzy. I let loose a wry smile of amusement as I usually do when I see people like that.

My dad sees me smiling and turns round to see what so funny. He takes a look and then comments:

"Wah you see this restaurant so new already got journalists come to write about it"

"Er, no dad. Those aren't journalists"

"Yes la, you see their camera so high tech"

"No dad, trust me, those people aren't reporters. They are bloggers."

"Like that Raja Petra type ah?"

"Oh this one a bit different. They take pictures of everything they eat, and then put on the Internet"

"For what?"

"Er...no reason. Just for their friends to see. Look, I don't really get it either."

"Siao ah? Ciak pah boh mi kia zhou ah?"

*literally translated: Crazy is it? Eat full full already nothing (else better) to do is it?

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

vincent's words of wisdom, episode 15395

A few days ago, as I sat reading stupid blogs, reading about people bitching about their hollow lives, complaining about the injustices of life, on how the economy is bad, on how they had nothing to do with it yet they are the ones suffering, complaining on how the government(s) screwed them over, my mind started wondering to an incident a few months ago.

At the office we were preparing for sort of a family day event and we were packing goody bags for the kids. In each goody bag was an assorted pack of chocolate bars and sweets. Halfway through, we realised that we were short on Milky Way chocolate bars and it was a hassle to go out and buy more.

The girls started panicking:

"What do we do? What do we do!?!?"

And then I came out with the most awesome solution, ever:

"Don't care la. Pack the remaining packs with whatever chocolate you have left. The last few packs that don't have chocolate bars, we compensate by giving them more sweets"

"But that's not fair! Kids would want the chocolate bars, not the cheap Kopiko!"

"So what? That's a good thing. We are teaching kids from a young age that life is not fair."

I left everybody speechless. I think I would make an awesome boss.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

selamat hari raya

Wishing all my Muslim friends and readers:


Please drive safe, where ever you are or where ever you are going. A friend of mine died on the Karak highway a few days ago on his way back to his hometown. Instead of celebrating Raya, his family are burying him.

Don't add to the statistic.

On a seperate note, the last time I was down in Singapore, I went clubbing with a few friends. There was free cover charge if we gave them our business card. Since then, I have been getting regular emails from the club promoting their latest events.

I usually delete those emails as they come in, but I got one on Monday that was just hilarious:

Clearly, our Singaporean neighbours are confused over the concept of Hari Raya, nevermind the puasa.