Archive for the ‘flashbacks’ Category

December 21, 2019

2019 & decade roll up

It’s the end of the decade. In this decade, I lost my mom, life took a 90 degree turn, changed job twice and ended up in Company T. Who would have thought eh? People expected me to be in prison.

Well, fuck you all, I suppose.

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August 15, 2019

horror stories

My mom used to tell me horror stories when I was little. Real horror stories. Kids are such pussies nowadays, that their stories had to be rated. Mine were all real.

One of the worst that mom liked to tell, was about the deaths around the low cost flat I used to live in. Back in the 70’s and 80’s there had been a spate of suicides around the neighborhood, and they were freaky as fuck. The freakiest was this Indian guy who jumped from a high floor, and landed on the concrete right in front the arcade center I used to patronize. The guy landed in such a bad way that his brain was splattered all over the place. Mom said one of his eyeballs, flew off in such velocity that it got stuck right on the door of that arcade center (it wasn’t an arcade center back then. It was a grocery store or something).

So there were blood and gore all over the goddamn place, curious people surrounded the ground zero. They didn’t have cellphones back then so, they just gawked. Then there came this fucking stray dog, who got too excited of what seemed like an open buffet of dog food, ran into the mess and ate the eyeball on the door. And that made everyone retched. It was a story that everyone remembered, trailed by the various sighting of the Indian ghost near the arcade center door without an eye. Everyone stayed away from that section of flat at night… and many years went by and it was forgotten. But my mom remembered, and told me about it. I went in and out that very door many times during my youth, but I’d only seen those pixelated arcade ghosts on CRT screens in the arcade center…

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December 29, 2018

2018 roll up

Life in the 40’s revolve around basically only a handful of things. If you were to crawl through the list of important things over a population of middle aged farts, 2 prominent words will definitely stand out like sore thumbs – Children & Career.

In my case, thankfully, it’s just a child and a measly career. You see, it’s simple. People usually get married in their mid 20’s, and during then, they’d pork and conceive a child (or more). By the time a married couple is in their 40’s, the child(ren) would be in the teens, so… there’s going to be much focus in that area. So is the career. It’ll be about 15 – 20 years into the work life and things are just beginning to spice up.

My daughter Regine hits 12 this year. I started to see her changing into a different person. Suddenly, she could speak Cantonese, and she has a guy-pin-up poster in her room. She watches a lot of Youtube channels now, and she has her own social media accounts as well. She could understand words like ‘hangry’ and ‘shart’. She pointed out words that I missed in my crossword puzzles and now she’s taller than my wife Emily! Just only last week, she had her braces on and with the stress in her mouth, she’s as emo as shit. She already had her orientation this week, and she’ll be starting her secondary school years in the new year. My kid is now an quasi adult and I am still coming to terms with it.

My career – I could say it’s taking a positive turn now. The attrition in the team made the whole affair enjoyable for me, as I had to cover as the lead and I had to code shit myself (and I did not even know how to code!). In a way, I am finally able to change things to the way I wanted it. I told my boss I needed more headcounts, but deep inside me, I am secretly enjoying the work (I think I’m sick). Day in and out, I am damn busy, just like the old times when I was with Company Y. At the beginning of the career in Company T, it wasn’t much of a challenge by just dealing with shitbags. Now, I deal with shitbags, code my own program, run my own team and rig my own hardwares. (I guess that’s why I can’t be successful/a boss – I can’t live without getting my hands dirty).

The travel took us to Italy this year. It was one of the most memorable trip we had (mostly had to do with the experience of driving there). We got wiser now, and made improvements after each trip. The new problem now is that with Regine’s secondary education starting, her attendance at school has just gotten more serious and finding a good time to travel would be a whole new challenge for us. But we’ll manage.

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November 12, 2018

afternoon bus

The smell of diesel and grease. The feel of blackened rusty metal. The odor of sweaty PVC seats. The roar of old English engine. The engagement of an aging transmission. The jerking of a cranky clutch. The rattling of plastic panes. The G in a speeding cabin. The chatter of school children. The sound of chiming bell. The look of tired conductor. The coarseness of recycled paper. The smoothed surface of metal plate. The hissing of pneumatic pumps. The sweat of laborers. The noise of defective buzzer. The cacophony of traffic. The gaze of innocence. The bake of the sun. The breeze of relief. The fading thoughts of uncertainty. The pang of hunger. The silent songs in my head. The city that I love. The sight of my home.

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March 19, 2018

a day in life…

A certain Monday in March.

Validation Senior Engineer, age 40.

0515: Wake up to the sound of my phone alarm. Sometimes I do it a few seconds earlier, before it beeps. Monday is a no-meeting day, so I wake at 0515. If it’s a meeting day, I’ll have to wake earlier.

0515 – 0545: Put the phone to charge, then off to take a dump and then shower. Dumping takes up about 80% of the time, shower takes just a short while. Put the shaving brush to soak and sprinkle some water into my shaving soap to bloom throughout the duration of the shower.

0545 – 0605: Shake off the excessive water from shaving brush and load it up with shaving soap, then give the face a good lather. Shave 3+2 passes. 1st pass with the grain, 2nd pass across, 3rd pass against, and final 2 with criss cross. Baby butt smooth shave.

0605 – 0635: Dress up and grooming, aftershave, deodorant and toilette. Then I’m off to make my first mug of coffee for the day. This is the time I spend on catching up my messages on the phone. I get anywhere between 20 – 100 messages every night. This is also the time my wife wakes up to prepare the ingredients to be cooked for dinner.

0635 – 0650: Off I go to work. Journey takes 15 minutes. Would be shorter if I take the direct route, but usually, I take the freeway route. Reason: Less gear change, and less stop. Longer distance but I get better fuel economy. The route is also flood proof. Guaranteed to make it to work.

0650 – 0655: Get a good parking spot. Most Company T asswipes have not made it to work yet. It’s at least a couple hours too early for them, ergo I always get the good spot. Walk from the huge ass carpark to the lab.

0655 – 0730: In the lab to setup my notebook. It goes to a docking station hooked to various probes. One of the probes requires a reset every time the OS goes for a fresh boot. This is the time I catch up on work emails. I get about 20 – 50 emails a day. Jot plans and priorities for the day on my scrap book. Redundant shit gets tossed out of the attention.

0730 – 0815: Breakfast at the cafe – at this time it is basically still empty. An antisocial colleague usually joins me but we do not usually talk a lot. This is also the time for my 2nd mug of coffee (free by Company T) and for me to catch up on my mobile game – Marvel Future Fight something something.

0815 – 0930: Back to the lab, on my first plan of the day – that is, to prepare for a management review slide that is going to be shared with some big dogs seeking for global support to run some shit in the factory. It requires some reference from a few sources of materials that keeps the shit tight, and simplified to a level comprehensible even by the dumbest cocksucker in a gay den. While doing the report, I occasionally pan back and forth between emails (distractions), making the whole process longer than it should have been (I usually take around 15 mins for a few slides’ worth of report).

0930 – 1030: 2nd objective of the day – to sort out the inventory mess that has been overdue. One of the lab compliance managers started tripping balls, and I’m getting aggravated in turn. Got to dig out some of the chip components off a server platform, and tally the figure with my self tracked record. The record is good, and all the parts are accounted for. The manager can go fuck himself from now on.

1030 – 1115: The server platform with the dug out chip components gets a new upgrade job, in preparation for a design-of-experiment that was committed to another team. The experiment will decide if the new software stack is able to support a bunch of old probes that were used in an older platform, in a desperate bid to save some funds from getting spent upgrading the software. The upgrade job requires inspection of the chips (with a lame ass magnifying glass, courtesy of my management’s stinginess), precision positioning in a novelty custom designed socket and some screw jobs for the platform to be rigged to a customized pan. One of the socket has some grime in it, took me some time to determine that the shit is harmless. The custom upgrade job is left incomplete to make way for lunch (which is more important than anything else).

1115 – 1230: Off for lunch. Any time later than 1130, all will be left are scraps and pieces. Way to circumvent the overcrowding situation is to shift the time a couple of brackets earlier. This is the time I socialize with my team members (not all of them). Also the time for me to whack my 3rd mug of coffee.

1230 – 1300: Back to the lab, I typically spend around 30 mins to dick around – catch up some news and private emails. Sometimes, to continue on the Marvel Future Fight game.

1300 – 1400: The custom upgrade job completes around this time. Before the design-of-experiment job can be started, a baseline has to be establish to ascertain that the platform is healthy with its current config. Hook probes to the upgraded platform (with old software stack). Expected to work fine. Includes a couple of firmware flashes with power cycles, a formatting and then partitioning job. It is an hour’s worth of script run. If installation has issues, it’d have taken longer to debug and get it right. But of course, my installation always works the first try. ;-)

1400 – 1500: Call in to a brainstorming meeting called by a supporting team. Some dudes in the board factory and chip factory need some guides to get shit done right. Much of it involves replying calmly to a series of paranoid questions by people who have no clue what they’re doing. In an honest world, this would have warranted a practice of what we learn in MMA and practice on those guys. I inherited a task from the brainstorm, that is to draft an IKEA like manual to those engineers lest they imagine everything wrong.

1500 – 1515: A colleague panics and requests for help on his server platform giving errors. I verified its power and confirmed that the regulator did not croak, much to his relief (there’s a history to this case). A quick diagnosis, outdated firmware. I drafted a procedure for him to follow for the upgrade, as I am tied to other more important shit that needs to be done.

1515 – 1520: Email updates. Send a cancellation for a meeting that is not going to happen on Wednesday. Shoot off a few emails on some follow up items from the week before.

1520 – 1540: Uninstallation of the current (old) software stack commences. While waiting for that to complete, get into discussion with another colleague about the IKEA step-by-step guide task that I needed to do for the factory folks – tentatively tomorrow. Need his help to hold some of the stuff while I take pictures. It’s a 2 person job. He’s fine with it

1540 – 1630: Uninstallation completes. A pang of laziness hits me, and decided to continue this chore tomorrow. Said a ‘fuck it lets do this now’, whips out phone and started documenting shit for the IKEA guide. Realize that I need to dismantle another platform’s contraption to be able to continue. Dismantled and summoned colleague over “We’re doing this now.” Completed 50% of the work and leave lab for home. Anytime later than 5pm, hell’s going to break loose and going to be caught in a jam.

1630 – 1650: Drive home. Take the similar freeway route, it’s simply the less gay way to drive. I receive an invitation from my friends to join them for a tea break, I have to decline.

1650 – 1740: Today we’re going to fry rice with 1 soup and another novelty dish (pork liver). This is uncommon because we normally dine with 1 dish if it’s fried rice. This is because we need something to fall back to if my daughter Regine doesn’t like the liver. The pot of soup’s already there, prepared by Emily from the morning. I just need to boil it for 2nd leg. For garlic fried rice, I dice a whole bulb of garlic as aromatics, add some diced long beans (by Emily in the morning), and some pork. Then I toss that wok with some rice wine and soy sauce, no egg. Wash the wok, julienne some ginger, sauteed with sesame oil. When the wok’s super fucking hot, add in dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, wine and finally, the pork liver.

1740 – 1750: I still have time to clean up everything in the kitchen, and settle for a quick shower.

1750 – 1805: Leave home to fetch Regine from her daycare class, which dismisses at 1800. Being there at 1805 is advisable according to my inner self, as most annoying parents would have left the place with the kids, making the traffic easier and the whole affair less stressful.

1805 – 1820: Journey back home with my girl Regine. We’d talk about our days in the car, and discuss about the annoying things that her friends did at school. I occasionally dispense some advice that a parent is obliged to give (but never followed them myself when I was her age). At times, we’d discuss about the songs we hear on the radio too.

1820 – 1920: Catch up on my puter. It’s paying bills time, and also some travel planning shit that I’ve had going for sometime, for a vacation planned in November. While on the computer, I’ll have the Marvel Future Fight switched on to farm some of the important things in the game. Emily gets home from work around 1900.

1920 – 2000: Dinner time in front of the TV. We’d play awesome TV shows of yesteryears I downloaded from the internet for Regine. We’d done Fresh Prince, now we’re doing Malcolm in the Middle.

2000 – 2130: Usually I have a choice to either play a game (of a city building simulator that I am currently working on), or watch one of the hundreds of program I downloaded, or read a fucking book. I chose to blog instead, but something about the webhost that impedes the blogging plan – the mod_security rule is making me lost progress and unable to save the draft of this post. Drags for a couple of email exchanges before it gets fixed and this post posted.

2130 onwards: Plan for some light reading before calling it a day, tomorrow will be an even earlier start.

A day in life.

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