Learning at the expense of others.

Food for thought: when you get the opportunity to learn something hands on, are you depriving someone else near you of a learning experience?

Or do you think it of it as a chance that you held onto with both hands, rather than watch it go unfulfilled?

What-ifs, what-ifs.

Anticipation: the close and the start.

It’s funny how quickly things end and begin sometimes.

Come March, mum’ll be here. With that, Operation SAHD comes to a close for a while. It’s been a gratifying seven months of experience, endurance and patience, without which I would be a much lesser person. Once again, I am thankful for having had the chance to grow together with Elly, and to have a shot at understanding my little girl that much more. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but one does one’s best even through the tough patches. Appreciation and thanks would have been good, but all I ever needed was the belief that I was doing the right thing for her.

Come March, I’ll be flying off to the States once more, this time with V. A long holiday is something we have been looking forward to, and at the same time I’m hoping to grow myself further with the opportunity to attend a C’s game as a member of the media. New learning opportunity, new growing opportunity. Gotta love life for giving fun opportunities like these.

Come April, it will be time to look for a job once more. I’m hoping to bypass the dreary interview route, so if you hear of something that could be good, please let me know. Everything is an option, literally everything. I’m not really picky on jobs, the criteria is usually no excessive OT and no overly stupid management. You can only take stupidity that far before you blow your top. It seems like a long while since I have been in a full-time job, but reality says it’s only been seven months – not too long ago. I’m sure I will not have any problems in adjusting back to full-time work, but that’s just me talking; reality could be otherwise.


Elly’s word of the day. The moment I corrected her pronounciation enough for her to get the hang of the word right, she was happily going “COOKIE. COOKIE. COOKIE.” the entire afternoon.

’tis a funny and happy day when your kid learns a new word. Most other kids start with dada, papa, mama and so on. Not mine, she learns the name of our dog.

Priorities huh?

The recipe for a blowout loss.

Have four guys in a game, add exhaustion and stir well. Final score, 50-12. I think this is likely the worst loss we have had since I joined. We were trailing close at the half, but the second half just killed us. I can’t speak for everyone, but I was seriously gassed. Took a ton of layups (five at least if not more), hit a baseline jumper, and that was it.

To be fair, we weren’t exactly seriously playing later on when it became evident we were not going to get back into the game. Josh suggested practicing the pick and roll instead, and man. I have to say, running the P&R 4-on-5 and with everyone not in sync is seriously tough. This is like the first game since forever that we actually ran the P&R multiple times. It’s something that I really like, but I reckon we need more practice to get it down pat. There were many instances when I drove in waiting for someone to cut and get the pass, and it did not happen. After that, it became a matter of forcing the layup, something I did really badly today. Fault’s still on me, but I’m confident we can get this sorted out with practice. Kudos to Josh, Gaz and Danny for playing the game out.

I have to sort of agree with Gaz on the point that missing Tsun is taking us out of the D grade level. This is something I have been thinking about for a while; having a player who makes 70% to 80% of your points is not the best recipe to long-term success. The moment he’s unavailable, it’s crash and burn time. Josh thinks we could do better with six guys in a game, but we have been through those situations before and most days it’s either a close loss or a loss. Either way, a loss.

I have to say, taping my ankle’s probably the best decision ever. It’s a bitch to do before every game, but the level of support it provides is unmatched.

Ultra Ever Dry: Getting wet is but a distant dream.

(Great share from Stan tonight.)

Ever thought about waterproofing something so thoroughly, water droplets literally fly off the surface?

This is it. Ultra Ever Dry is seriously something unbelievable. Seeing is believing, so I direct your attention to the video below.

As awesome as it looks, there are certain caveats as stated on the FAQ. It’s not suitable for underwater environments, it does not come as a transparent variant (yet) and it cannot take high heat (or resist fire – this shit is potentially flammable.).

I’d love to see this as an application on car windscreens or as a car wax, or how about eyewear? Having these on the inside surface of goggles could be pretty cool too. It’ll be funny if the exterior walls of buildings were sprayed with this; imagine the faces of those graffiti kids when their spray paint just slides off the walls without leaving a single mark.

So many damn possibilities, I’d love to see this how the market uses Ultra Ever Dry.

Review: How Celly makes you look less retarded.

Ever get the feeling mobile IM (e.g. WhatsApp) is a real PITA at times? Everyone’s hunched over their smart phones, furiously thumbing away like a bunch of morons even when they have a computer in front of them. Fact: an integrated chat experience would really be helping in salving our collective dignity, if not convenience.

So I had a go at this new mobile app named Celly, which looks to be a snappy instant messaging replacement for WhatsApp – if your friends are inclined to make the jump. I was bored enough to participate in a round of tests with NZ, so read on to find out what we thought of it.

The good:

  • One big draw is definitely the interface; the cute cartoon avatars, attractive UI and easy-to-read font makes you want to jump on board right away.
  • Another positive is the integrated desktop/mobile app approach Celly takes. You can chat on your mobile and hop onto your desktop to continue the chat seamlessly without any loss in messages, the message history looks to be stored on their infrastructure. Privacy-conscious freaks, go wild here.
  • Curated chats are essentially moderated chatrooms. You have to approve the messages before they go up. Good if you are hosting an environment that demands moderation.
  • Interesting features: encouraged use of hashtags on messages (akin to Twitter), the ability to conduct polls in a cell (or group), and message scheduling. Wouldn’t have expected to find these features in IM.

Partial screencap of the Celly desktop experience.

From a usability perspective though, several kinks came up:

  • Lack of multimedia support: there goes image and video sharing.
  • More chats, more woes: the mobile app’s navigation utilises horizontal tabs, which could be slightly unwieldy if you have twenty tabs.
  • Cannot use emojis: no elaboration required.
  • Email notifications are enabled by default: there is no easy way to disable this on the mobile app. None that I could see at least. There is an “email off” option on the desktop screen.
  • Cannot change message timestamp’s time zone: all messages were stamped in US time zones, you cannot select international time zones. Celly is focusing on the US market for now, because there is an SMS invite feature that only caters to the US too.

Screen capture of the Celly Android mobile app UI.

To call it a social networking tool is stretching the definition some. I would call it an instant messaging client, period. That being said, it could be really good with a richer feature set.

The main perk it holds for me is its ability to offer the use of a desktop browser for chat. Being able to type in peace on the laptop makes me look less like an idiot who hammers incessantly on his smart phone because all his friends are chatting on a mobile app. Merging the lines over here, a huge plus.

Check out Celly on the official website, Google Play store and iTunes.

The blue versus the white.

It might have been a result of my first job being overly hands-on, but I noticed people who worked exclusively in white collar jobs held a slightly different mindset on work, compared to the principles I was schooled in. Of course, it could be the fact that I had a very good mentor who taught the right ideals, but life is frustrating when the world I live in clashes with the rules I believe in. Time is wasted, things do not get done.

How different? For starters, office politics. I’ve observed that life in the office inevitably results in idle chatter and gossip; some of it harmless, some of it negative – I call it backstabbing. If you have something to say, say it to the person in their face and give constructive feedback. Why start with the fake snarky smiles, the sneaky talk behind someone’s back and all the scheming to get ahead with the “every man for himself” mindset? Where exactly is the teamwork, the team spirit?

I sometimes think etiquette is overrated, and we should just reduce it all to one single rule: If there’s a problem, you guys need to sit down and talk. Everyone else, eff off. Problem not solved? Keep talking and work the problem out.

Obviously there are exceptions to this, but it feels like the office has a tendency to breed unhealthy and selfish relationships more than productive ones, simply because the company never treats two employees exactly the same. Different salaries, different perks, different roles, different tasks, different KPIs and so on. If you do not look out for yourself, no one else is going to do so.

There’s always your manager of course, but we know the top reason people quit their jobs – it’s more often than not, the manager. Not everyone is suited to a managerial role, but few workplaces profile the worker when it comes to promotion. Hence, shitty managers.

How about the actual work? I like to think that the blue collar emphasises a workman-like mentality on getting the job done. That’s the job, let’s go get it done period. The white collar however, seeks to protect the self. There is a wariness of doing more work than what is required, and a constant need to clarify job boundaries. Granted this is a consequence of bastards in the corporate environment (refer to earlier point), but this unceasing urge to draw the line kills productivity. It cuts both ways. If you do extra without griping, you lose your life, the company wins. If you keep drawing those lines, the company loses, and you turn into a whining cynical bastard whose sole purpose in life revolves around an overwhelming need to not do too much work.

I like to think of work as “getting it done”. If you are here to work together with other people to get something done, you’d better damn well be helping each other.

Out in the field, you’d be damn sure your workmates have got your back, otherwise work is going to be tough for everyone. Like shit up your head tough. There’s no desk to hide behind, no emails to be sent, no meetings to attend. Everyone is together, it’s do or die. If it works, your job is done. Otherwise, it’s not. If you’re an electrician, you don’t lay the carpet. If it’s two of you at the job, you two better get the job done or stay back together. It’s as simple and clear-cut as that.

When all is said and done, I much prefer working on the site over a deskbound job. The corporate environment –especially large offices– is unhealthy. Say what you want about the perks and so on, but I’m a simple kind of guy. My role is to get the job done, and you pay me for it period. Any kind of waffling in between is either a nuisance or a necessary evil that has to be tolerated.

I like clean, simple lines. If there’s a problem, I ask why, and we get to the source right away and fix it. If you want to tell me your needs so that I can tell someone else in exactly the same words about your problem so that he can fix it, that’s a waste of time right there. Talk to the guy yourself, seriously. Problem, solution – the end. Sorry but I’m not a human walkie talkie, technology has come up with enough innovations to do the job.

End of rant for today.