April 1, 2013

psychology 101

I see many people in my workplace (or my previous workplace, for that matter) decorating their work cubicles or office with all sorts of stuff. I’ve seen one who collected keychains over the years of travelling (and there were shitloads of them)… one with airplane models collection that he probably missed too much when he was a child… one with banners all over it telling people that he’s a Manchester United fan (whooooo gives a fuckkk???) and the worst of all, one with family photos of the whole fucking generation adorning every inch in his office workspace. It is a sight all too common to many of you, I believe.

You know what? Big mistake. NEVER, EVER, FUCKING, DO THAT : Decorating your cubes. It should be in fact, left as bare and empty as it can be. I understand that some people may just want to get comfortable working by personalizing their workspace, but trust me, it is not worth it. And you’re not suppose to get comfortable working. Reason is simple, let me quote you a few examples.

1) You have some change that you want to dispose of very badly, and there are 2 beggars in front of you. One emaciated with torn rags, and the other is a fat fuck wearing a sweater. Who would you give it to?
2) You wanted to organize some charity work. Maybe paint a building or something. You have a choice to choose between a run down orphanage with fungus all over it, or a spanking new old folks home housing a bunch of old farts telling dirty jokes. Which would you choose?
3) You have a thick need to get laid. You have a choice between 2 hot chicks with great bodies. One a drunk demanding you to pay for her next drink, and the other demanding you to do it to her at least 2 hours or she’ll die of cancer. Who would you give it to?

You’d choose the one who needs it most. If you don’t get the gist of it, you’re probably retarded and should fucking take a dive into a toilet bowl.

Your boss sees the same thing. He sees a choice. When a boss runs a department, he runs it like a business (if a boss is claiming otherwise, it’s bullshit). It’s all about statistics. Every year, he’ll have to figure out who gets the raise, and who doesn’t. The distribution curve, he is governed by it. He has to pick the top and the bottom, doesn’t matter if he likes all his employees or not. But things do get easier if he hates everyone who works for him though – he can just do it with no qualms, you know, to select the bottom guy in the curve. It gets a bit complicated, however, if he is cool with everyone who works for him. In such situation, everything will matter in the complex equation of determining who gets the pay snag. Letting him know you’re comfortable with your job, is one of them. When he sees that you have a very decorated and personalized cube in the office, you’re telling him this – “Don’t worry about me. I am comfortable with my job and I am happy with what I have. I’d stay here for as long as I can, even with no raise.”… and your boss is going to give the raise to the guy with the most empty and lifeless cubicle, because his cubicle just told the boss that he’s prepared to leave anytime if shit doesn’t get any better. By doing that, he’d more likely get to keep the happy employee and the unhappy one (who’s about to get happy with the raise). It’s a situation he needed to address, and logic tells him it’s the only way.

Me? I never decorated my workspace in my life. It’s as bare as a hyena’s bunghole in an open savannah. A lion can never tackle it. It’s unintentional, however. It was actually a habit I picked up when I was working for Company X, which had a tradition of shifting its employees’ workspace around a few times in a quarter, and I worked out the fact that the less things I have, the less fretful I’d get when it comes to that. It was a blessing in disguise though, and I continue to tell people that I don’t hate to never decorate their cubes.

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | Comments Off
March 17, 2013

Toyota Prius (FAQ)

I’ve owned the Prius for close to 7 months now. Been getting a lot of questions about it from people around me. From the questions that I’ve been getting, I can deduce that most people have set a similar negative reservation about the hybrid car in general, which I suspect they learned from their empirically knowledgeable family mechanic, or perhaps an old person in the family – which mostly aren’t true. Here are the most commonly perceived myth about the car (all are real questions/doubts I’ve gotten before), and my answers to the doubts.

A hybrid car / Prius is an underpowered piece of junk.
If you’re comparing to performance cars with twin turbos under the hood, yeah it’s underpowered. Otherwise, it is as normal as any 1.8 cars you can lay your hands on. Prius has 3 driving modes to choose from, depending on your needs. With a push of a button, the modes will change the accelerator’s sensitivity accordingly. Eg. if you need to go somewhere pronto and need the car to be as fast as possible, you can select the ‘Power’ mode. It’ll blow your mind away (at least it has blown mine). If you need to save some cash and pissing people by driving slowly isn’t an issue, select the ‘ECO’ mode. It’ll blow your mind away too, with the amazing fuel consumption (haven’t tried it before though, this mode). Otherwise, get a mix of both worlds by not selecting anything (the normal mode).

Air-conditioning also stops working when the car stops.
On a Prius, the air-conditioning would still work when the car stops. That’s because the air-conditioning system uses an electric compressor, just like your household fridge. So when the engine goes start-stop mode, the compressor would still be functioning. Well, unless your car’s air-conditioner is fucked up. Get it repaired. However, I can’t comment on Honda Insight though, as I do not own one. It uses a belt driven compressor like a conventional car, so I guess in a certain mode, the air-conditioning will turn off if the engine stops.

The battery needs to be replaced every now and then, and it costs a bomb to have it replaced.
EVERYTHING needs to be replaced every now and then in a car. And it does cost a bomb to have them replaced. But I think having saved on the low fuel consumption and the lack of need to replace belts – it’s a reasonable trade off. (it costs about 9 – 11k to replace the battery I heard. Cheaper than a gearbox.).

The car gets better fuel consumption in traffic and by braking, than driving in the highway.
That’s a fucked up notion propagated by guys who suck their own dicks. No car in this world saves more fuel/energy by being in traffic, and by braking a lot. Regenerative braking is a way to salvage the lost energy when you try to slow the car down. The best way to get optimum fuel consumption, is by braking less (or not brake at all), and to drive every drop of your fuel at about 80 – 90kph (city driving speed). If you get traffic, your fuel consumption is going to spike up no matter how hard you fucking brake.

The electronics in a hybrid car are annoying and mostly redundant.
Quite contrary, I think it makes the car fun to drive. Apart from the auto headlights, auto wipers, track charts, and shitloads of other screens, there’s this particular ‘summary screen’ after each drive, that gets to me every time. It’s like a scoring system for your journey. It makes you feel compelled to plan your route, and study the physics behind the drive (uphill, downhill, acceleration, traffic, et al) to get a better score in your next drive. So much so, that it turned into a fetish – in other words, it makes you plan to be more efficient, without you realizing it. I think it’s a good thing (that’s at least better than you switching off your lights to save the Earth or some stupid shit like that).

It’s inconvenient for me to charge the fucking car because I live in an apartment
A hybrid car does not require to be charged from your 3 pin plug socket you numb nut. It charges itself automatically when the petrol engine turns on, or when you brake. That’s why it is called a hybrid.

Prius is too quiet that it endangers the pedestrian.
Fuck the pedestrians, but it is not a quiet car. It does get eerily silent when it goes into full electric mode, yes, but it still emits some strange buzzing noise. But then, it escapes me why would anyone get concerned about this. Just honk at the motherfucker, he/she will know you’re coming.

The low fuel consumption isn’t good enough to justify the cost of the car.
Get a fucking bicycle. It’s cheap and it doesn’t use fuel. (nothing justifies the cost of a car in Malaysia).

A diesel car has a better fuel consumption without needing a battery.
Well, what can I say, it’s true. Get a diesel car then. But have you considered a bicycle? It doesn’t need a battery either, and it’s ZERO fuel consumption. How about that?
(Prius gets about 4.8 liter/100km, that’s about 21 km/liter, just by driving normally. If you use techniques, it can get as low as 3.8 liter/100km or 26 km/liter. My previous ride? Best I ever got was 10 liter/100km, or 10km/liter.)

Toyota service sucks and even suckier to service a complex Prius.
If any of you think Toyota service sucks, you suck. You obviously have not experienced what really is ‘suck’. Try to get a Chevrolet, a Proton or a Naza car. You’ll learn what ‘suck’ means. I personally think Toyota service is good as it is and they’re definitely good enough to service a Prius (which, by the way, is serviced like any conventional petrol powered car).

Email me if you need to know anything more about my Prius.

michaelooi  | automobiles  | Comments Off
March 11, 2013

“Dredd” (2012)

Oh man, it’s been some time since I’ve written a review about a movie. Not that I’ve stopped watching them, but, just plain old laziness bug.

Anyway, those of you who knows me well enough should be able to tell that I dig movies with guns, gore and girls. And if the plot – be it simple or complicated – manages to keep me glued to the flick for the entire length, it will get inducted into my book of ‘must watch’ list. This flick ‘Dredd’, is one of such flick. It has guns, gore and girls. Plot’s simple, but interesting nevertheless. For those of you who does not know what ‘Dredd’ means, it’s actually the short for ‘Judge Dredd’. It’s an adaptation of a violent comic series that revolves around a futuristic era that is so rife with crime that law enforcement is overseen by individuals who act as an enforcer, a judge and an executioner (hence, the tag ‘Judge’). Go wiki it you fucks.

So there’s this judge called Judge Dredd. He pretty much goes around ruining every bad guys’ shit, as appropriately intro’ed in the beginning of the movie. Instead of flying around with a hover bike (like that first lame instalment back in the 90’s starring Sylvester Stallone), this one made it gritty on wheels. He is all good and awesome, until he gets assigned to assess a trainee female Judge – which means, babysitting and dealing with crappy judgement of a noob (but this female rookie possesses some psychic abilities that allows her to read minds). And as if it is not enough, his next assignment is to investigate a triple drug-deal-gone-wrong-murder case reported in the nastiest mega tenement cum slum in the city. The ultra cool Dredd, along with his rookie female colleague (who is, by the way, quite hot), then stumble into a massive lockdown by the drug lord during their assignment… The drug lord, a sadistic, violent and scarred ex-prostitute-turned-boss called Ma-Ma, is trying to prevent both of them from leaving with one of the murderers – which is Ma-Ma’s marketing man or something, and she is afraid he might cave to interrogation and bring unwanted attention on her flourishing drug business. Shit then goes bad in the lockdown, that entails the most awesome ass kicking ever seen by yours truly in years.

What really blows my mind about this flick is, the way it manages to capture the emotion and feeling of every scene. In other words, the flick is so good that it makes shooting someone’s brains out beautiful. I love the slow motion and that psychedelic effects of people on drugs. If you love gun battles and gores like me, go watch this flick. It’s damn fucking good.

7 out of 10 (would have scored higher if not for the main actor whom I think is not tough enough to play Dredd)

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | Comments Off
February 26, 2013

do not judge a book by its cover

When I first saw my boss’ boss – let’s call him Vlad for conveniences’ sake – I thought he looked all too familiar to me. He is bald, dressed very informally, and is emaciated. Seriously, had he not been introduced to me as the boss’ boss, I would have mistaken him as the parking attendant or something. If he is trying to not look like a boss, he’s definitely doing it at the Oscar level well.

Anyway, that was six months ago when I first joined Company T. The feeling of him looking awfully familiar eventually faded away… until the other day during our regular meeting, when my wilting memory suddenly hit me like a freight train, on where I might had seen Vlad before. It was in the school magazine, many years ago! I didn’t know him, this Vlad, but I recalled him being one of the top scorers in the A levels back when I was in my primary years, and his picture was plastered in a page, dedicated to high performing scorers basking in fame. I wasn’t sure at first but, I confirmed it after excavating for the said old school magazine and found the page I was looking for. It was Vlad in his old glory days, the same person I saw years ago on the school magazine.

Now, there were hundreds of such individuals (top scorers) in the stack of school magazines I own, one would probably ask – what makes it so compelling to remember his face, even after all these years? (for the record, I don’t remember anyone else other than Vlad) Well, it was for the same reason – the doubt I had when I first see him. The picture of Vlad being a top scorer was as unbelievable as when I first learned he’s the boss at Company T. I was like “What? This guy? Top scorer? He looks like a burglar!”. For real. Who would have thought, after 20 over years, I’d meet this guy in the most unexpected way, and to have the same deja vu feeling of “What? This guy?”. Shit can get pretty weird sometimes.

And as I found out, he turned out to be a great guy.

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February 18, 2013

school nowadays – schoolbags

The next great big change I noticed about school nowadays, has to be the schoolbag. 9 out of 10 schoolbags that I saw at Regine’s school, have wheels on them. You know, just like those luggage bags you see people lugging along on a vacation. It appears that the shit kids have to carry to school nowadays are so fucking heavy, that they won’t be able to lug it without the wheels. I’ve seen a couple of scrawny Indian kids who defied the fad by being conventional, they carried their bags with shoulder straps. Let’s just say, I foresee that they won’t grow very tall.

That prompted me to wonder, why do kids have to carry so many books to school nowadays? It was fucking mind boggling. Shouldn’t the school be teaching them how to be efficient instead? The energy exerted by them kids lugging the damn bags could have been used to grow a little more intelligence in them, but instead, we’re churning out mindless fucks that only know how to complain about life. Just look at the suicide rate nowadays. It’s sad, really. And all this could have stemmed from the need to carry a fucking heavy schoolbag.

Like most parents, I decided to get my Regine a trolley bag too. Costed me a hundred over bucks. Was it worth the money? Fuck no. But then I had no other choice.

michaelooi  | rantings  | Comments Off