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28 February 2007

Sir, You Want To Upsize Your Capsize?

Just when we have the tragedies of the ill-fated Adam Air crash cum ferry sinking , killing almost 1000 people over the new year, we have another ferry disaster and a near fatal Adam Air (again!) "hard landing", barely 60 days later.

What the heck is the Indonesian Gahmen doing? Were the deaths of almost 1000 people not big enough a wake up calls do something about the appalling state of transportation safety?

Have they no regards for the lives of the people?

It saddens me to see tragedies happening almost daily all over the world. However, it angers me more to see tragedies happening so often at one particular place.

Do these people not learn anything at all? 

Surely you think that after one disaster, people (especially in the affected region) would take notice of their shortfall and quickly start to rectify the problems in the hope that such mistakes do not get repeated again. Well, apparently not so for the Indonesians as one disasters follows another, like it was a clockwork routine.

 Natural disasters like the Tsunami a couple of years ago, was most unfortunate and unavoidable. It is after all what is known an "act of god". However, things like airplanes crashes and ferry sinkings are mostly a result of human causes. Time and again we hear of news of ferry sinkings as a result of overloading, compromised safety standards and enforcement and/or shortcut maintenance. Same goes for the airplanes sans the overloading part.

How much more anguish must the people suffer before feeling the pain?
 
It seems to me that these disasters happen so often that they now no longer feel anything. They are numbed already. Sad, really sad.
It seems almost like a fast food restaurant dishing out disasters one after another in quick succession, 24/7. No Hello Kitty plush toy here. Sorry.

"Er... I would like to order the Air Crash Value Meal and a side order of a medium Ferry Sinking."

"Sir, you want to upsize your capsize?"

So, to our Indonesia neighbours. I bid thee good luck. I hope you wake up your bladdy ideas before one day there isn't enough of you to go around.

* Photograph courtesy of Reuters
 - Voxeros

1. spinnee left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 3:05 pm
hahaah you are really darn corny... hahahaha murder king....HAHAHAHAH


2. akk left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 3:43 pm
it can also be 'Sir, you want lives with that?'


3. Pam left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 4:54 pm
hiya... I don't think it's a case of not being able to do anything. I would hope that they would do something about it - more the case of the size of the problem being so huge that it's difficult for the bystander (or indeed the government agencies involved) to see the small changes being made to rectify the situation. It does take time for any change to have a reasonable impact. I think, fortunately, because we live (ed) in a small city state like Singapore, we've become accustomed to how 'fast' some things can take place. Like, changing Ic/passports - it can take a day. Over here, it can take a week (although they inform you to allow for 4 weeks!). Let's hope that there are changes being made to how the transport system's safety issues are being tackled, and hopefully there will be less of such tragedies, soon.


4. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 5:33 pm ::
Spinnee: Ahhh.. Thank you.

Akk: Make that a packet of Fried Lives with extra chilli.

Pam: I agree with you that it is not a case of not being able to do anything. It is a case of not doing anything. Granted for a big place, it takes time to implement anything but seriously, do you think the Indonesian gahmen has done anything since the last tragedy? I highly doubt so.

Unfair to compare them with a small country? Fine. Let's take USA for example. As far as I know, their FAA is one of the most impressive agencies in the world as far as air safety is concerned.

Too first-world you say? Fine. Even Ch1na's air safety standards, granted not perfect, is still miles ahead of Indonesia. Sure, we still have crashes all around Ch1na from time to time. At least it is a case of trying and the unfortunate case of coming up short. At least they tried.

Did the Indonesians even try?


5. Pam left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 1:01 am
well, we don't really know whether the Indonesian govt's done anything. I don't think it's really for us to comment since we're not Indonesians, and since we don't live there, and because we're not the Indonesian govt.

USA's FAA is impressive in terms of air safety...but they also have other sorts of safety disasters, down to human error. How do you know that China's trying and Indonesia isn't?


6. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 10:20 am ::
Pam: Good point and you really got me cornered there for I have nothing to back me up.
Honestly, these are opinion based on what I see and personally observe during my travels. Sure we have crashes in Ch1na and the US but take these numbers and divide by the total number of flights in each country and you will see a very impressive percentage figure.

No one can guarantee absolute safety, we all try our best. Even SQ crashed in Taipei among many other little mishaps that went unreported. My dad was in an SQ plane whose wings slashed the tail of another plane during taxiing. You don't hear that in the papers do you?

Coming back to the Indons. Granted that I am baseless to say that they aren't doing anything but I have even higher doubts if you tell me that they are.


7. Jaslyn left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 11:08 am :: http://precious-jas.blogspot.com
Hahhaa.. I like the murder king thingy. U're darn creative!


8. JayWalk left...: http://jaywalk.blog-city.com Jaslyn: Thanks. Thanks. I will come up with more when I get new inspiration.


9. Pam left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 4:40 pm
well,I'm not going to tell you that they are doing something - but neither can I tell you that they aren't. I think we should just leave it as that, and hope that there are some conscientious bureaucrats within their system who will do something about it...soon. Perhaps our expectations are different from theirs. I was watching Morgan Spulnik's series on 30 days (the guy who did the expose on McDonald's - eating Mc's for 30 days). He did something on an American computer programmer whose job got outsourced to India - so he went to India for 30 days to see what life's like, to see if he could get a job in India with his qualifications. It was interesting to find out that although there was a side of India that was very rich (big flashy buildings), there were so many slums (people begging, living in slums, tin huts etc) it was quite a contrast. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that, our expectations tend to stem from our experiences (so when he first went to India, he was kinda upset that 'India had stolen his job'), but only when you are in the actual situation/context, can you actually see how things work, or don't work - in the Indonesian case.


10. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 9:02 pm ::
Pam: Here's my beef on the whole issue. They just had a plane crash and a ferry sinking. Then barely 60 days later, they have a near-crash (same airline some more!) and another ferry sinking.
More lives were lost.

Complaints against airlines both private and commercial have been around for years, if not decades, which led me to the opinion that they have fallen on deaf ears.

Even if, giving them the benefit of doubt that they had begun doing something about it. It sure is a crappy job at the rate that they are doing and I wonder how many more lives are going to continue to be at such extravagant risk?

I saw the "Supersize Me" docu-movie but not this new one. You have the title? I would like to go check this one out.


11. Pam left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 9:24 pm
it's a whole series called '30 days'. Don't know if you can combine google that and see if you can come up with a weblink. They also showcase issues like atheists moving into homes of church-vicars; pro-choice people hanging out with pro-life; muslims and christians. it's interesting.

I don't think it's statistically significant that these events have all happened in the Indonesian waters/area. Like you said, there are lots of things happening around the world, and we don't even know that they have happened. I didn't know about these events unless I read them here - Conversely, did you know that a train derailed a couple of days ago on its way to Glasgow and an old lady died? Many people have said that the error is similar to the Potters Bar accident a few years ago (nearer London). There was also near-miss plane crash in Ireland a few months back because the pilot was trying to save time and do less of a u-turn. Let alone what happens in the rest of Europe, Americas, Australia, Africa.

What I'm trying to say is, it's very easy to make comments and pass judgements on events that we know very little about and have very little knowledge about the situation and context. So, unless you know an Indonesian goverment official who's directly involved with the transport safety, I wouldn't want to make any more judgement on this. Besides, it's easy to talk and condemn; much more difficult to put things into effective action. Some of things they'd have to deal with include corruption, miscommunication, education levels, lack of infrastructure, lack of funds etc. When these things aren't as prevalent as they are in such countries, things generally get moving quicker.


12. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 9:42 pm :
Pam: Ah yes. The keyword here is "corruption". I was holding back from saying it out loud to see if I could solicit out from you.

Indonesian have the money to make things right but only if it goes to the right places. It is kind of an open secret that the various agencies are paid off to look the other way while the airlines, in the interest of maximising profits, take short cuts wherever they can to the extend of compromising safety.

Things as simple as one life-vest under every seat in the ferry would be a rare find.

I used to travel to Indonesia quite a bit back in the day and I can tell you more horror stories. Some of them not even printable here.


13. Pam left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 10:01 pm
There are many more countries out there that face what Indonesia face on a daily basis. I had relatives and friends in Indonesia too - I think the key word here is, 'had'. They've all left for better pastures...!


14. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 10:36 pm :: 
Pam: Indeed they are and we haven't even cover the African continent yet. As bad as Indonesia may sound, it can still be a place to prosper as along as you are on top of their game. Problem is that there will be that one day where a careless slip would send you spiraling towards the ground. You'd be lucky if you hit zero and not further beyond.

I think your friends and relatives have made a wise decision to get out while still ahead.


15. Rick left...
Wednesday, 7 March 2007 1:21 pm
There's another flight accident involving Garuda airlines at Java Island, Indonesa today...

27 February 2007

Hard Landing


Adam Air hit the headlines again last week and again it was for all the wrong reasons.
If you recall, we had one who flew without navigation back in Feb 2006 . Then it was a horrific crash last month killing 102 people on board.

And now we have one who did a "hard landing" but were lucky to escape without suffering any fatalities. The plane itself didn't fare so well as it was bent all out of shape as a result of the impact.

Now before everybody start the witchhunt and burn Adam Air on the stake, I have to say this. It is unfair to single out Adam Air for crucifiction. AFP was quoted as saying "Public and private Indonesian airlines have been repeatedly criticised over their poor safety records, repeated delays and bad management." It just so happened that Adam Air is the unfortunate one to get caught with its pants around its ankles.

I think this plane write-off liao. Probably take it apart to salvage for spare parts. Either that or quickly repair it with a fresh coat of paint then diam diam sell to some SpitLand airline.

Speaking of SpitLand airlines, HiaoAuntie showed me this blog entry by Cocka Doodle where Spitland pilots ngeh ngeh flew a non-air-worthy plane all the way to Germany, even if it meant using seat belt extension to hold the engine fan blades together.

Wah lao.... win liao.

Anyway, as I had done so earlier, it's time to update Adam Air's logo again.
- Voxeros

1. Jaslyn left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 1:10 pm :: http://precious-jas.blogspot.com
Hahahah.. Love the tagline! U know my friend shoots for Adam Air and they gave him 1yr free ticket. He dont dare to take! hahahah


2. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 3:34 pm :: 
Jaslyn: Yeah. You mentioned that before. Tell him don't scared lah. Adam Air won't crash one. They just land damn hard only. LOL.


3. akk left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 5:35 pm
it should be 'we land damn hard, but at least it din crash this time.'


4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 6:05 pm :: 
Akk: How about this?
"We didn't land hard. The ground rise up faster than we expected."


5. ihawk98 left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 1:59 pm
Adam Air pilots need to review this: B737 Landing Technique During intermediate approach - before glideslope capture

  • Speed is controlled by pitch
  • Rate of descent is controlled by thrust
During final approach - after glideslope capture

  • Speed is controlled by thrust
  • Rate of descent is controlled by pitch
Pitch & Power Settings on Final Approach

  • Use 5deg nose up for initial flap settings.
  • Use 2.5deg nose up for flap 30.
  • For flap 30, start with 55% N1, then adjust as required.
Stabilise the aircraft at the selected approach speed with a constant RoD between approx 600 to 800 fpm on a desired glide path, in trim.

Descent rates above 1000fpm should be avoided. Visual Aiming Point

Aim for the aiming point markers or your desired gear touchdown point if no markers are available. Now adjust the final approach glide path until the selected point is stationary in relation to the aircraft. ie it does appear to move up or down the windscreen.

The approach lights & runway centerline should run between your legs until touchdown, then keep the centerline running down your inside leg. Flare and Touchdown

After the threshold goes out of sight under the nose, shift the visual sighting point to a point approximately 3/4 down the runway while maintaining descent, this will assist in determining the flare point. Initiate the flare when the main gear is approx 15 feet above the runway by increasing the pitch attitude by about 3deg and smoothly bring the thrust levers back to idle. Do not float, but fly the aircraft onto the runway and accomplish the landing roll procedure. Instructors Notes

  • The importance & necessity of achieving a stabilised approach.
  • Use of all available clues - visual and instrument.
  • Do not wait until "Decision" before taking in the visual picture.
  • Below 200ft, the landing is primarily a visual manoeuvre backed up by instruments.
  • The best way to judge the flare near the ground, is to fix your eyes on a point near the far end of the runway.
  • A firm landing in the TDZ is a good one, a smooth landing outside the TDZ is bad - despite any comments from the cabin crew.

6. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 2:38 pm ::
ihawk98: I was told by a commercial pilot friend that landings during wet weather tend to be harder. He said that this is deliberate in order for the wheels to be able to squeeze out all the water underneath. That way, the wheels can gain traction with the runway and not slide off, hence compromising control.


7. ihawk98 left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 2:50 pm
Jaywalk: An aviation enthusiast also told me that the 737 (nicknamed the Pig) typically lands harder because at landing speed, the wingspan and flaps are not broad enough to provide the lift needed to land softer. Who knows...


8. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 9:54 pm :: 
Ihawk98: I wasn't aware that the B737 was nicknamed the pig too. All along I thought that Pig was the nickname of the F111 military fighter jet.


9. ihawk98 left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 1:13 pm
Jaywalk: actually, the B737 has many nicknames, Pig being one of them only. Here they are: B737: Tin mouse, Maggot, Pocket Rocket Socket, FLUF (Fat Little Ugly F**cker), Light Twin, Baby Boeing, Fat Freddy, Guppy, Pig, Bobby (BOeing BaBY).


10. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 1 March 2007 1:25 pm ::
Ihawk98: I think I read it somewhere that the Airbus 319 is nicknamed the Minibus. Cute!
 

26 February 2007

Holy Calamari!!

  

The news reported it and Kevin beat me to it on his blog.

Yup, I was refering to the recent capture of the Colossal Squid off the waters of the Antarctica Ross' Sea. Due to the 2-dimensional nature of photographs, the picture did not do justice to the actual size of the squid, especially when there is a pair of gloves in the foreground, which gives the perception that the squid wasn't really that big.

However, if you were to look closely at the photo, you would be able to spot a guy in the water, wearing a white shirt and red helmet. At 450kg and the size of a bus, that is one huge mother of a f*cking big sotong!!
Ika sashimi anyone?

Click here to read the article over at National Geographic.

Afternote: I just gotten hold of a bigger picture in clearer detail and as it turned out, there wasn't a guy in the water. The "white shirt" just happened to be the white underside of the tentacle. Come to think of it, given that the squid was still alive during capture, it wouldn't a good idea to be in the water at such close proximity to begin with. See below for the zoom in.


* Photograph courtesy New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries.
 - Voxeros

1. aurore left...
Monday, 26 February 2007 7:39 am :: http://aurore.vefblog.net
It's bigger !!! It will be hard to eat him !! sorry my english is very bad ... kiss (AURORE)


2. JayWalk left...
Monday, 26 February 2007 9:46 am :: 
Aurore: I think the squid will be really stinky to even consider eating. Ewwwwwwwwww......... x(


3. Kevin left...
Monday, 26 February 2007 10:33 am :: http://www.the-upperroom.com
Yes, I should have photoshop it and show the contrast. I'll link my reader over. Too lazy to launch photoshop.


4. JayWalk left...
Monday, 26 February 2007 10:37 am :: 
Kevin: I just managed to get hold of an enlarge photo showing the guy in the water in greater detail. Will scan and put it up later.


5. Gary left...
Monday, 26 February 2007 8:00 pm
the scientist say that if want to eat calamari.. it will be the side of a tractor tire.. lol..


6. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:30 am :: 
Gary: We must approach this in the spirit of the Ch1nese people. We eat everything thing! There is an old saying: If the back faces the sun, it is edible.

23 February 2007

Faith & Gabriel

For those who have been following my blog for quite a while now, you would have noticed that from time to time, I put up pictures of my kids.

I wonder if anyone noticed that photos are often Faith or Gabriel but hardly both. Well, that's probably because you can't get one to sit still while you prepare the other to the photo taking.

And that's the easy part!

The real challenge is to get both of them to look at the camera at the same time. One is terribly fidgety while the other is totally spaced out.

Well, for the first time ever, we have them both on camera and posing nicely for the camera.

And they weren't even fighting!!

Enjoy.


- Voxeros

1. OLLie left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 11:24 pm :: http://ooohlah.lah.cc
*melts into a puzzle of essence of OLLie*
Quick bring them back to Singapore leh. I wanna play with them!


2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 1:09 am :: 
Ollie: Should be back in May barring any mishaps. Till then.


3. Jaslyn left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 1:11 am :: http://precious-jas.blogspot.com
I'll love to shoot them.. A challenge tho but they are photogenic!!!


4. JayWalk left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 1:13 am ::
Jaslyn: Faith is easy coz she is hiao by nature. Gabe is the real challenge. Call him no response one. Haiz...


5. Gary left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 3:27 am
last pic is the perfect example of one fidgety and the other spaced out!!


6. sunflower left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 8:55 am
They look so much alike when you put both of them together!


7. JayWalk left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 10:01 am :
Gary: Still not spaced out then but only by a split second!

Sunflower: What can I say? Peas of the same pod. :)


8. akk left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 2:46 pm
ur rite, ur daughter does indeed know her prefect angle, the chin-down-make-eyes-bigger pose like all those msn xiao-mei-meis.....


9. Jaslyn left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 4:23 pm :: http://precious-jas.blogspot.com
Why call Gabe he no respond one? Hahhaa.. Maybe he's just not interested??


10. heather left...
Saturday, 24 February 2007 1:15 am
oh i remember one of photo where they were together! The one where they have funny sleeping style inherited from you! *LOL* :P


11. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 24 February 2007 1:32 am ::
Akk: Not sure if perfect angles are deliberate.. Coincidence probably.

Jaslyn: More like non-interactive. Haiz...

Heather: Yah, they had to be unconscious before I can get them to have a photo together. Haiz Haiz...


12. Jaschocolate left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:43 pm
SUPER DUPER CUTE!!!!! *pinch pinch*


13. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:44 pm :: 
Jaschocolate: Arrrghhh.... the pinching jie jie is back!!

21 February 2007

Bubbles!

Faith and Gabe had a playdate with a neighbour's kid last week. We gave them a bottle of bubbles to play in the front yard.

Fun in the sun!

Certainly beats having the kids glued to the TV all day.






- Voxeros

1. Jaslyn left...
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 2:09 am :: http://precious-jas.blogspot.com
Cute! Blow bubbles must wear apron one ah. Hee..
Gabe is soooo cuteeeeeee!!!


2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 10:33 am :: 
Jaslyn: That's just Faith being hiao and insisting on wearing the Winnie The Pooh apron.


3. OLLie left...
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 10:38 am :: http://ooohlah.lah.cc
Eh I like the apron! I never had such a cute apron till the home econs one in sec school. And that one made me look like a chambermaid instead. =/
I think Faith is getting prettier by the day sia.


4. akk left...
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 1:23 pm
yo! wan shi ru yi! I probably can say now that I currently dun like kids, or I'll be gushing about yours cos they are pretty cute, but I'm sure I did enough gushing 20 posts ago...I guess I like them really really young...hehehe....


5. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 12:49 am ::
Ollie: I had an apron when I was in Sec school too! But it was for technical workshop and it wasn't cute. :(


Akk: Kids are fun and adorable as long as they are not yours since you get to throw it back to the parents after 5 minutes.

As for us, we are still stuck with them after the 5 minutes. Dang.


6. spinnee left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 10:37 am
ur boy raelly look like u lehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhaah


7. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 4:36 pm ::
Spinnee: Yah. Yandao-ness runs in the family. :P

19 February 2007

Blading


 With the Lunar New Year, the factory has shut down for the holidays leaving me with a handful of spare time in the afternoons. Hence, I decided to follow Faith to one of her Roller Blading lessons at the park nearby.

It was a good deal for the lessons as it comes free with a purchase of the skates from them. As many lessons as you want or need, absolutely free.

I guess Faith was having so much fun that wifey also bought a pair for herself.
Guessed that settled her birthday gift for this year. :P

Considered me old skool as I have never bladed before, I am of the roller skates and skateboard (where it was made for speed rather than tricks) era. 

And before everybody starts visualising me like a Travolta grooving on skates, the answer is No. I have never been to a Roller Disco. Ewwww.

Just a trivia here, during the "old days", there was one such Roller Disco at the basement of Goldhill Square before it was converted into a furniture showroom in the 80s. Right about where Cold Storage supermarket is currently occupying.

- Voxeros

1. heather left...
Monday, 19 February 2007 8:40 pm
hehe, so cutee :P


2. JayWalk left...
Monday, 19 February 2007 10:41 pm :: 
Heather: Heh heh. Happy New Year to you!


3. Kimberly left...
Tuesday, 20 February 2007 12:29 am :: http://kimberly-sim.blogspot.com
Ahhh.. So ke ai!! Especially the train one..


4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 20 February 2007 11:07 am :: 
Kimberly: It was fun to watch the kids skate as well as being a great photo op. Too bad, it wasn't a bright sunny day or the pictures would have turned out better.

From this experience, I conclude that the Panasonic Lumix is a far more superior camera than the Casio Exilim.


5. ihawk98 left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 3:04 pm
I took blading lessons too last year and it was a humbling experience when a 5 year old out skates you in the class...sigh.


6. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 5:31 pm ::
ihawk98: Yah man... I saw some of these little kids. They can really blade!


7. Qiaoyun left...
Friday, 23 February 2007 11:18 pm :: http://www.sheylara.com
Kids in rollerblades are too cute for words!! :) Thanks for the cute pictures and happy new year to you!


8. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 24 February 2007 1:34 am ::
Qiaoyun: You are most welcome. More than happy to put the kids pictures up. :)


9. Zhe Bin left...
Saturday, 24 February 2007 5:59 pm
I see Faith likes the colour pink. Pink knee-guards, pink shirt and pink blades. Haha.

14 February 2007

Privilege vs Entitlement

As I travel quite a bit in my work, I am no longer stranger to hotel stays. As my destinations are more or less the same each year, my choice of hotels tend to be the same as much as possible. It is not about being a creature of habit but more rather, I hate surprises during my travels. I prefer to be in control of every element of my itinerary from the prices to the quality level of the hotel.

All with the exception of hotels in Las Vegas where the prices change all the time and also the fact that I am curious to stay at a different hotel/casino each time... within budget of course.

For the rest of the hotels, it has always been the same hotels year in, year out. One advantage of that is that you slowly will get to know each staff as well as they know you personally. Service, as a result, gets more personable and friendly. It is not often you get a smile knowing that he/she really meant it.

Regal Airport Hong Kong would be my default hotel for the night before I fly at 8:30am the next morning. By default, you get a complimentary bottle of drinking water before you have to pay for the next bottle of Evian that is not FOC. I used to go to the airport 7-Eleven stall to buy extra bottles but these days, I no longer have to as a quiet word to the housekeeping department and an extra bottle will show up in the room while I am gone for dinner.

Marriott Memphis is also another regular hotel that I stay on the night I arrive (before I drive down to Tupelo the next day) and another night on the night before I fly out. Earl was my hotel shuttle driver which is a really cool guy and will not say no to me if I ask for a ride to the nearest mall and to call him again when I am done.
Best Western Greensboro is where I stay whenever I am in North Carolina. Not a fantastic hotel but that is the best I can afford given my budget of USD 150 per night. Whatever extras I need from housekeeping e.g. extra towels, laundry bag etc, a little note on my pillow in the morning before I leave for the day usually does the trick.

Now before anyone starts wondering how to get good service, the answer is simple.

Be a good patron.

Before you complain that you have been receiving bad service, first ask yourself if you have been a good customer? I am not saying that we are always the reason why we get bad service. Instead, what I am trying to say is that one should self-reflect before point that accusing finger.

Service providers are also regular people like you and I. Show your appreciation to your service provider. Just because they serve you doesn't mean that they are beneath you. Never treat them in a condescending manner.

Tipping is appreciated, especially in Europe and the US where part of the livelihood depends on them. Other places e.g. where service charge is already in the bill, a sincere "Thank you" does wonders.

Another very powerful tool that you as a customer can use is the power of the written letter. This will go straight into their personnel docket and will be used when they are due for a performance appraisal.

Too often, do we associate written letter with that of negativity i.e. Letter of Complain. The opposite may also be possible as I for one, has written a few complimentary letters to the Northwest Airlines HQ in the US, complimenting their agents in Hong Kong.

Good service is a privilege, not an entitlement.

- Voxeros

1. spinnee left...
Friday, 16 February 2007 9:12 am
Right to the point. Most people are not trained to be good customers, neither they respect the service providers. Afterall, since they obnoxious idiots dun respect themselves, why should service providers respect them too ..


2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 16 February 2007 2:19 pm ::
Spinnee: It is very much a chicken-and-egg situation where one may argue that they would be good customer if they get good service.

The way I see it, I would break the cycle by taking the initiative to be a good customer first. That way, when I am subjected to bad service, I would have every right to take the errant staff to task.


3. Harro! left...
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 6:01 pm :: http://harro.com
Look like a fun CNY for the kids. Happy CNY from the team at Harro! Cheers!


4. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 22 February 2007 1:02 am :: 
Harro!: Harrow and welcome to the blog!! Ok ok.. that was pretty corny. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Happy New Year to you too!


5. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 24 February 2007 9:14 pm ::
ZheBin: Well, she is your typical pink princess. Oh no! Bandung Vader also pink!!! NOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

12 February 2007

Momentum

As some of you may have noticed, I am losing a bit of my blogging momentum. It usually starts when my routine gets screwed up like a business trip or something that would take me away from my laptop. On normal days when I am working, it's pretty easy as I have my laptop on my desk right in front of me.

Whenever, I need a break from my work, I just fire up the keyboard and starts pounding away.

Well, last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic. I just returned from the US with only 5 working days to squeeze in before the factory shuts down for Ch1nese New Year. In the 5 days, I still have customers visiting the plant, deals to close and samples to churn out before the break. As such, I have had very little time in front of the laptop. Same goes for messaging via Yahoo and MSN. I am hardly around to chat.

Anyway, while that is over and the factory is on the break, I may have more time on my hands but ironically, I just find it hard to write anything away from my desk. There are just too many distractions at home keeping me from blogging. Every little thing is like the perfect excuse not to blog.

Being the perfect procrastinator didn't help either.

In fact, I had to force myself to sit down and commit some time to blogging.

Even as I am typing, the first paragraph was most sluggish but right now up to this point in the entry, words flowed easily from my fingers.

The problem is inertia.

Anyway, like I mentioned in the comments of my earlier entry, I want to touch more on the people who served us. Stay tuned.

I have quite a number of entries planned up, including two that needs to be password protected.
If only I can find a way to just find the time and mood to do it.

Wish me luck.

- Voxeros

1. aloe left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 8:18 am
ok. LUCK!! hehehehe!


2. sunflower left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 4:13 pm
good luck


3. spinnee left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 5:20 pm
chey. i've been in the blogging block for nearly 1.5 yrs but oh well.. i guess i'm a saint procrastinator too. XD


4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 8:21 pm ::
Aloe & Sunflower: Thanks and thanks.

Spinnee: Welcome to the club!

08 February 2007

RK House - No Pork

I caught this Youtube clip* before I left for the US when I returned, I realised that everybody is now talking about this nonstop. Somehow, this fiasco exploded while I was gone.

It seems most of everybody got on their moral high horse and start condeming the pair's insensitivity to other races as well as other religion. Seriously, I felt that everybody missed the point in the whole thing which I will address later.

Lexandria claimed that this clip was scripted and as such, it wasn't really a real-life event i.e. it was staged. Still, for the sake of this particular entry, I am going to assume that it was.

The humour in the attempted prank per se wasn't about the religious dig of ordering pork in a Indian Muslim stall but rather the prankster's attempted to elicit an animated response, which they thought was hilarious, from the server because he talked "funny".

Not Funny.
Here's my take on the situation. Religious and/or racial disharmony is just secondary to the root of this particular evil. What particularly bugs up my ass is that we have a pair of bigots who is having a good time making a mockery of an innocent man for simply doing his job.

Yes, a server's job may not be as glamourous nor high paying as a Private Investment Banker for example, but that does not give anyone the right to look down on him/her. The server is a person in flesh just like you and I and to me, it is an honest way of making a living that deserves our respect.

The fundamental basis of respecting a fellow human being is of utmost importance. Race, language and/or religion is secondary.

Season 9, Episode 11 (The Faux Pas) of Everybody Loves Raymond was addressing the same issue when Raymond blurted out to this children to just throw the peanut shells on the floor because "cleaning up is what the janitors are paid to do anyway".

Sounds familiar? It's the same as us not cleaning up after ourselves at the food courts because "that's what the cleaners are paid to do in the first place".

I think it would be pretty double standards when we cry out against the "Elites" for treating us "peasants" like second-class citizens when we ourselves, are doing the exact same thing unto others.

What? Suddenly our society now have a First, Business and Economy class?

* I will not provide a link to this particular Youtube link and that would attract more hits to it. Do you own search if you like.


- Voxeros

1. Everton left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 11:26 am
I always take time to talk to the janitors, food servers and grounds keepers at my university. Some professors think they are better than other people because they have PhD or MD degrees. Shame on them. We are all equal in the eyes of God.


2. akk left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 2:00 pm
religion or not, it's the basics of human nature. animals don't do such things. if you can think, then you can think awry.


3. JayWalk left...http://jaywalk.blog-city.com Everton: I will touch on this topic in a later post. Stay tuned.

Akk: Just when we are created to be a higher being than the rest of the animals, somehow our shameful behavior render ourselves unworthy of this privilege.


4. milktea left...
Saturday, 10 February 2007 8:48 am :: http://headscratch.motime.cim
I saw that video and I didn't think it was funny. I don't enjoy humor elicited at other peoples' expense.


5. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 10 February 2007 10:57 am :: 
Milktea: It was really painful to listen to. I will talk about this in my next entry.


6. Zhe Bin left...
Saturday, 10 February 2007 5:29 pm
I once got into a really heated argument with someone who played with his food and made a mess out of the table. And the reason why I got that angry was because the cleaner was an old auntie. Was damn tulan.


7. Gary left...
Monday, 12 February 2007 12:26 am
i doubt it was scripted.. at the end of the audio, they run away when they asking for the special curry..


8. JayWalk left...
Monday, 12 February 2007 10:34 am ::
ZheBin: About that incident, were you a patron or a staff? If it was the latter, did you get into trouble with management?

Gary: It didn't sound scripted to me either but Lex said so.


9. Gary left...
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 1:14 am
 erm, can i know how in a way is it scripted?? haha.. very curious to know..


10. fred left...
Monday, 12 March 2007 9:45 pm
u dun hav to feel sad about anything at all. anyone i bit smart will know this clip, this conversation is purposely made out to get a laugh from you. u really dun hav to mad about it, even though u dun find it funny. one logic thinking, no one will be such foolish to giv such response to such a dull food order. the indian know what he is doing. he is trying to made everyone laugh. and i think he's done it well enough. that's wat you should concern.


11. JayWalk left...
Monday, 12 March 2007 10:45 pm :
Fred: Welcome to the blog. Come to think of it, you have a very valid (logical, if I may add) point there. The Indian server should not be that stupid to not recognise that the two perpetrators were out to jee siao him.

Still, I feel that it is wrong to prank somebody while the the latter is just trying to make a living. There are a lot of alternative ways to get a laugh.

06 February 2007

Smart Or Stoopid?


Got this "Smart or Stoopid " test from Lancerlord and I thought why not give this a shot.

As it turned out, my score was kan si lang hor pretty good, so of course must post up and hao lian a bit mah.

OK lah... truth to be told, this test is more of a general knowledge test more than one of those IQ test and as such, having a higher score does not necessarily mean that you are smarter.

Just that you know more stuff. That's all.

- Voxeros

1. aloe left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 3:47 pm
sollie.. me no have general knowledge.. whahahahah!


2. spinnee left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 4:45 pm
eh the website wrote:
**The Smart or Stoopid test is purely meant to be a fun quiz to see how your IQ rates alongside the average, based on the scores of other people who have taken the test. Naturally, only stupid people would take it as a true indicator of intelligence, and only intelligent people would take it as a true indicator of stupidity. Or something like that.
O_O...kekeke


3. sunflower left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 9:41 pm
*cough* *cough*


4. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 7 February 2007 3:30 am ::
Aloe: Acquiring general knowledge has been a thing that my folks encourage since young. I love reading and learning about new stuff even though some may be useless but interesting nevertheless.

e.g. If you drop a drop of whiskey onto a scorpion's back, it will sting itself to death.

Spinnee: Like said, this is merely a general knowledge test. Even so, it is not accurate since general knowledge cover such a wide base and as such cannot be represented by a mere 30 questions in a quiz.
There are 1440 minutes in a day.

Sunflower: *pat pat* *stroke stroke*
One can never sneeze with his/her eyes opened.


5. akk left...
Wednesday, 7 February 2007 2:20 pm
i'm stoopid, i gather. i not only took the test, i failed it miserably...


6. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 7 February 2007 6:41 pm ::
Akk: Don't fret. Quite a few questions were american-centric. I just lucky to know when Elvis died and which US President was at the end of WWII, just to name a few.

The correct number of espresso beans in a Sambuca is 3.


7. sunflower left...
Wednesday, 7 February 2007 11:50 pm
AKk, I will fail miserably too.... dont even dare to try....


8. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 6:17 am ::
Sunflower: I think you shouldn't worry so much about the results. If you fail to get the answer right, then perhaps you should try to find out and learn something from it.

The reward from this is not the high score but the fact that you learned something new today. Go ahead and try it!

In the old days, milk tea is prepared by adding a spot of cold milk before hot tea. The cold milk acts as a buffer that would prevent the hot tea from cracking the base of the cold porcelain tea cup.


9. zeenie left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 9:52 am :: http://www.zeenie.blogspot.com
I not as smart as you, only scored 25. I dun do well under time pressure! LOL


10. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 5:57 pm ::
Zeenie: Aiyah, I just a tad luckier lah. *blush*

But you are absolutely right about the time pressure. I think I may have answered a couple of questions wrong coz I kar lang kar bok click wrong answer.

iKanCheong

Barbie's (the doll) full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.


11. Jaschocolate left...
Thursday, 8 February 2007 9:45 pm
Errr... i am the average ppl.. just got 18 right but i anyhow click one :p


12. JayWalk left...
Friday, 9 February 2007 6:47 am ::
Jaschocolate: Maybe that's what most people do. Anyhow click! LOL.
Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse, was actually afraid of mice.


13. Meepoktah Maihiam left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 2:46 pm
Jay - I took the test. I also scored 27. Guess that's why we are brudders !!


14. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 8:18 pm ::
Meepok: Brudder!!! Whem you coming up again har?

05 February 2007

Ride To Airport


 After working non-stop in Las Vegas, it was time to head back to San Jose. It was so tiring that I didn't even get the chance to hit the tables this time. I guessed it's good in a way since it means more money in the pocket for me. July perhaps.

Anyway, we checked out of the hotel and heading for the taxi stand only to be met by a long taxi queue. It was expected since I have to walk by this queue each morning on my way to the market shuttle bus.

Like everywhere else in the world, morning peak period means lotsa people and not enough taxis.

Luckily this Lincoln Limousine pull alongside and the doorman counted the number of us heading to the airport.

6.

So a deal was made that for $10 per person, we get to ride to the airport in the Limo.
We jumped at the deal as we jumped the taxi queue also.

My thoughts on the limo? Well, granted that the seating was comfy and the ride was smooth, it is nevertheless still a bus albeit in the shape of a car i.e. nice to ride in it but not critical enough to want to insist on it.

- Voxeros

1. sunflower left...
Monday, 5 February 2007 4:06 pm
wow.... did you take some pic of the interior of the car?


2. JayWalk left...
Monday, 5 February 2007 6:13 pm :: 
Sunflower: No. I wanted to but too paiseh to take lah. Inside got other people. I wanted to take a picture of the wet bar inside. Glasses, ice, bottles and all. Next time perhaps.


3. lancerlord left...
Monday, 5 February 2007 9:13 pm
At least you get the chance to sit in one. $10 to skip long taxi queue is money well spent. :)


4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 8:45 am ::
Lancerlord: Yeah, especially when it's less then 10 degrees Celsius out there in the morning. Brrr.....


5. ihawk98 left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 3:00 pm
Important question....out of the 6 of you in the limo, got chio bu or not?


6. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 5:05 pm :: 
ihawk98: Got one xmm but then hor, her mom was sitting next to her so, only got see no touch. Haiz...

01 February 2007

Rainbow @ San Jose Airport


Was heading down to San Jose airport to catch my flight to Las Vegas when I caught sight of this rainbow. I don't recall seeing rainbows when I was in Los Angeles and I think it's probably due to the smog there. The air quality is certainly much better.

I didn't think that my camera would be able to capture it when I took the snap. Lucky day for me, I guessed.

- Voxeros

1. spinnee left...
Thursday, 1 February 2007 9:40 am
rare indeed. in the urban world, it's rare to see rainbow nowadays... haiz


2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 2 February 2007 3:37 am :
Spinnee: I was talking to my friends about Hong Kong and Los Angeles about rainbows or the lack of, due to the bad air.


3. Old Beng left...
Friday, 2 February 2007 11:25 am
Swee swee.


4. JayWalk left...
Monday, 5 February 2007 10:11 am :: 
Old Beng: Yeah, funny how we don't see these things anymore. Hmm...


5. Rambling Alcoholic left...
Monday, 5 February 2007 2:14 pm
I left a reply to the comment you left regarding polygamy. Thanks.


6. aloe left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 3:46 pm
I got take before using cam phone leh so normal cam, definitely can take lah


7. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 5:06 pm ::
Aloe: I used the Casio Exilim Ex-Z1000 to take that shot.


8. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007 5:10 pm :: 
Rambling Alcoholic: Welcome to the blog!
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