December 6, 2017

BackAlley ChickenShack restaurant

So, Bill the restaurant owner of BackAlley ChickenShack hired someone from the corporate – a middle aged lady named CrookedNippleRing – to take over managing the day to day activities of his busy restaurant. One of the very first change that CrookedNippleRing introduced, was the kitchen helper’s duties.

You see, the job of a kitchen helper in BackAlley ChickenShack is not an easy one, being understaffed and all that. He had to support the chef and prepare the ingredients, procure the raw materials for planned menus and even to take out the trash (now that Arun the janitor had been fired). So CrookedNippleRing went to the chef, and the following ‘discussion’ took place:

CrookedNippleRing: “Chef, from now on, all assignments that you have for your kitchen helper, is going through me. If you need assign some chores for your helper, you’ve got to fill up this form and drop it into that box right there.”

Chef: “So what do I do with my helper then??”

CrookedNippleRing: “You no longer need the service of a helper. I’ve got a big team of people handling all your stuff from now on. *smiles* Bill will give those helpers a handsome severance package”

Chef: “WHat the fuck!? So if I want a chicken de-boned and have some carrots julienned, I gotta submit a fucking form to you now?? How’s this going to work out well for all of us??”

CrookedNippleRing: “My team will go full time processing job requests from that box. It will be a first in first out basis. The key idea is ‘streamlining’, chef. When things get streamlined, we’ll be able to quantify how much job are we wasting our resources on, and identify the critical path of the process. From there, we can drive for process improvements to increase our workplace efficiency and reduce idling.”

Chef: “Answer me bitch, if I need someone to take out the goddamn trash, I gotta fill in a form and drop it into the fucking box as well??”

CrookedNippleRing: “Yes you fill it up and drop into the box. My guys will take care of it.”

Chef: “So, how long do you reckon any shit’s going to get done around here??”

CrookedNippleRing: “Like I said, it’ll be first in first out basis. There’ll be a queue and data entry involved, but the guarantee is, every job request is going to get done within 2 days”

Chef: “2 days!! The trash is going to stink up the whole kitchen!”

CrookedNippleRing: “Well, get busy filling forms then, my dear friend.”

As a result of the ‘efficiency drive’ initiative, BackAlley ChickenShack’s staff then swelled up to 3 times the size (none of them consist of a kitchen helper), and also registered a sharp increase in office supplies expenditure. The kitchen became a big mess and there were even injuries recorded due to unregulated foot traffic around the kitchen area (revolving the form box). Frustrated with their work, all the chefs then conspired to rage-quit the restaurant, and until now, CrookedNippleRing is still setting up a task force to look into what went wrong, while the restaurant takes an indefinite hiatus from operation.

michaelooi  | imaginations  | Comments Off
December 3, 2017

life changing defining moment

I caught someone asking a question the other day – “Have you ever experienced a life changing defining moment before?”

It got me thinking… hard, as I’ve experienced a lot of life changing defining moments before in my life. But if I were to cite none but one, it has to be that morning in July 2011 when I first saw my mom’s face when we found her in her car, after searching all morning for her. A couple of medics were onsite, there were measuring devices around her, and I could see that they were doing some assessments of sorts. But that didn’t matter. I knew my mom was gone. Dead. I knew a face of death when I see one, and that was when it hit me hard – that my life will be different from then on. Everything was changed, just like that, and it felt surreal. I was sad but, I could not eke any emotion out of myself. I think I was in shock, and it was so intense that, I felt dizzy.

I locked gaze at my mom’s face through the windscreen of her car, and walked towards the medics. One of the medics, then turned to me and said – “I’m sorry, your mom’s not with us anymore. There’s no pulse in her, and we reckon that she’s been like this for some time”. I, of course, already knew, and that confirmation sent my wife and sister crying. But I just walked away and sat at a nearby ledge, random thoughts started to flood my mind – what am I going to tell my daughter? why did my mom kill herself? what the fuck just happened? Is this real? Who the fuck are these people? What the hell am I suppose to do now?

It went on like that through the day, while I managed to keep my shit together to deal with my mom’s body and subsequently, her funeral arrangements. I was on autopilot mode. I did things physically, but my mind was not in it. I couldn’t remember most of the day, but kept thinking of how she looked when I saw her that morning. I went through the day by dealing with the police, claiming her body from the morgue (there was an autopsy involved), getting the paperwork done, talking to the undertaker, and ended up sleeping on the stone bench outside the funeral parlor that night, after the guests were gone from the first night of wake. And I had a dream that everything that happened that day, was a nightmare. It was such a relief that I told myself in the dream – “I KNEW IT! IT HAD TO BE A NIGHTMARE! I WONDERED LONG ENOUGH WHEN AM I GOING TO WAKE THE FUCK UP!”

And I woke up to find myself lying on the bench back in reality, looking at the edge of the roof of the dilapidated funeral parlor, sat up to see my mom’s portrait in front of her casket at the funeral parlor, and then the life changing defining moment hit me the second time, this time, permanently burnt into my consciousness.

michaelooi  | personal  | Comments Off
November 19, 2017

“Annabelle: Creation” (2017)

People have been talking about Annabelle for some time, like it’s the dopiest horror movie ever created (the demon doll only made a brief appearance in The Conjuring, and people have been hoping for a spin-off since then). So it finally came out in 2014, The Conjuring spin-off called “Annabelle”. I watched it with high expectations, but came out disappointed. It was boring and not scary at all. And perhaps that lowered my expectations a little when I laid my hands on the prequel to the 2014 Annabelle – named “Annabelle: Creation”. So this was supposed to tell how Annabelle originated and came to be such a defective product.

The plot was alright, wasn’t very creative, but fared fine to my lowered expectations. It all started with a couple who lost their daughter in a freak accident, and when they prayed for a chance to see their daughter again, they got more than what they asked for. Their weak in faith, paved way for a devil to manipulate their belief, and manifested itself as their daughter and asked for a permanent residence in Annabelle the doll (why would the devil need to ask? I wonder…) whom they welcomed in their everyday life like she was with them. Then one day, the mom accidentally saw the ‘daughter’s’ actual self through the reflection of the mirror, that it was actually the fucking devil itself! Freaked out, she tried to banish the devil with a lame ass wooden cross (bad idea), the devil clawed the shit out of the mom’s face and she became like Harvey-Norman-2-face-Batman-villain-lookalike. Shocked at how shit escalated so goddamn quick, the husband got some priests over, and contained the demon doll in a closet with some holy water and printouts of the Holy Bible (instead of say, burning the doll into obvlivion).

Things got a lot more calmer after that, and the couple soon came to terms with their daughter’s death. Then many years later, the couple offered shelter to a bunch of orphans, and that was when Annabelle got up to no good. It was like watching a high budgeted hide and seek game. Scary for the children, entertaining for the adults. (Oh, that Marilyn Manson lookalike Nun made an appearance in this movie too. I like that guy but, I don’t know how the hell he fitted in the story, it just didn’t make a lot of sense. It’s like you’re watching a family movie then suddenly BAM! Dick scene).

For some weak hearted people, this might be the ‘scariest movie they’ve ever watched’, but for me, I’d say it was below average as a horror movie. It was pretty lame for a devil’s standard to be able to just kill only a couple of people throughout the entire movie. There were a lot of senseless scaring, and very little violence. Some of the acts were non-value added and could’ve been done without. Had the devil used a wee bit of common sense, he’d have killed more children with less effort. In my book of evilness, the devil failed in his job (read more about my opinion about haunting here) and fared even lower than the humans. We need something stronger guys! This is lame!

4 out of 10 (ok plot, poor haunting, felt like a PG13 instead of R rated)

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | Comments Off
November 14, 2017

panic mode

I was driving cross state to a wedding dinner with a colleague, when my phone rang in the car. I have one of those bluetooth rig ups which I can speak through my car’s audio system totally handsfree. I answered the call, it was from my wife Emily.

Emily: [panic] “Oh shit dear! I forgot to bring out my key! What should I do? Shit shit shit”

She was out before I left the house, and she forgot her house keys. I was just beginning a 1.5 hours journey, it could be at least another 3 hours before I could get home. That was why she was in panic mode. When she’s in panic mode, the physics of this world will make no sense to her.

Me: “Relax dear. I’m on the speakerphone with my colleague. I guess there’s nothing I can do for you now, as I’m already on the highway. I can’t turn back. Can you just hang out at one of your friends’ till I get home?”

Emily: [panic] “Oh shit oh shit can I just break the locks with a hammer or something??”

Me: “Calm down. I’m on the speakerphone with my colleague. Don’t break the lock please. Just go to your friend’s house, ok?”

Emily: [panic] “Maybe I can fashion a long stick to hook out my bag or maybe… maybe…” [+ some Wile E. Coyote ideas]

Me: “No that won’t work. Just calm down. I’ll be back by 11pm, I’ll try to bail the dinner earlier, ok?”

Emily: [panic] “Ok ok” [hung up]

I turned to look at my colleague. He had a look of silent understanding while looking down at the car mat… most likely thinking “here’s a moment of silence for another of our fallen comrade…”. We never talked about what happened throughout the night.

michaelooi  | 2-of-us, dialogs  | Comments Off
November 5, 2017

flood

There has been a spade of flash floods in Penang. A lot of people think it’s due to the global warming, weather change, act of God, etc.

But I have my own idea of why it happens. It’s due to urbanization (duh! but wait for it). I am not an expert in these kind of things but, it’s all common sense. It’s simple to illustrate, really. I’m going to write this in ‘Buku Nota Sains’ format to illustrate my point:

1) First, you need to get yourself a large plastic bag, then cut a hole about the size of 5 cents coin at the bottom. Pour a glass of water into the said plastic bag and observe. Water is going to leak out of the hole, right? Given enough time, water in bag should be gone just fine. (Yeah it should, otherwise your stupidity would have defied the laws of physics.) Just take note how long does it take to leak out all the water in the bag.

2) Then you pour 2 glasses of water into the same bag, simultaneously and observe. Water is still going to leak out of the hole, right? Note the rate of water leaking out of the bag, it should be identical to (1). You’ve just doubled the amount of water in the bag, but the rate for it to drain out is still the same. The amount of time it takes to drain out should be pretty much near double the time it takes in step (1).

3) Now, try with 4 glasses of water, then 8 glasses, and keep adding exponentially. You’ll realize that draining the water through that minuscule hole is no longer effective because the volume that goes in is way more than it comes out. Emptying the bag is not possible unless you stop pouring water into the goddamn bag, and allow the bag enough time to drain the water off.

4) The bag is your housing area. The hole is your drainage system of your housing area. The glasses of water, is the amount of rain water the earth failed to retain (from cutting of hills, deforestation, etc). If there’s development in an area over an existing set of old drainage system, then naturally, there will be more water to drain off. Then you multiply that to the number of projects that got erected in the area over the years… the amount of water for the old drains to handle will be tremendous, but is it too much to handle? (Note: I’m not talking about the drains at the new housing area, I’m talking about the main drains that all the areas converge at the lowest point of the area. See my point?).

So, there should be a calculated capacity as to how much water a city’s drainage system could handle, and when that capacity is exceeded, you get BAM! flood. Water do not have enough time to drain off, and it keeps coming in (rain). It’s all mathematical, really. I’m all for development, but I just hope the nincompoops who’s in engineering have an inkling of what to expect when the population increases at an exponential rate. Every big city has this problem, but do you have what it takes to resolve this? (we don’t just need bigger drains, but also a play of land elevation to smartly divert water flow). To date, we’re in a minus C grade.

michaelooi  | thoughts  | Comments Off