Wednesday, March 30, 2005

... a sign??

Arriving back from visits on Easter weekend, I was vegetating in front of the tv when I caught a news article about yet another quake off of Sumatera. The seismic map shown seemed to indicate that Malaysia was pretty much "protected" by Sumatera itself, so I didn't think twice about it.... until a day later, when I finally unearthed my handphone from my bag, and saw sms'es from my brother and mom about how the apartment building in PJ was SWAYING and that they were evacuating the building...

oh my....

The impact on Malaysia/KL occurred around midnight - in a way that was an ideal time... After all, if it had struck during the daytime, ALL high-rise buildings, including the world's tallest twin towers, would have been choc-full of people... I can just imagine the panic that would have ensued within KL's Golden Triangle! At least with it striking late night, families could escape together - no kids stuck at home with a maid who freezes in terror, y'know?

Oh - and at least this quake did NOT create a tsunami to go with it...

Once again I must state that I am surprised at Malaysia experiencing such tremors... It's so rare for us to feel them, and now it's what - 2 in 3 months?

And what *is* it about that faultline that has shaken us twice in three months?

And how about this - for those who want "signs": One struck the day after Christmas, and this recent one just after Easter, which happen to be the main "Christian" events. Is "God" trying to tell us something?

For those who picked up on it - yes, I put Christian in quotes - you know why, right? When the roman Emperor Constantine attempted to consolidate his power base through Christianity, some "reverse engineering" was done to superimpose Christian events on preexisting ones. After all, so long the common people still had their few festivals and days of cheer that helped alleviate the drudgery of life during those times, it didn't really matter *which* deity was officially worshipped.... Quantity was more important than quality.... hmmmm, that sounds soooo familiar....

1. "Christmas" - it's NOT Jesus' birthday... if you remember that December 22nd is the shortest day of the year, and if you can put yourselves into the shoes of the people of ancient times who did not know about earth spinning around its axis and around the sun, every year around this time they saw the days getting shorter and shorter (and of course the nights getting longer and longer) and they would wonder it the end of the world was coming... then december 23, 24th would show that the days' decline wsa reversed - days were going to get longer again, whoohoo, so they would end up having a huge festival to celebrate the triumph of the light over the dark... THAT is what is celebrated, not Jesus' birthday... Oh - a side note - nowadays it's referred to as Krismas in Malaysia, but I still remember when I was younger, it being called Hari Natal.

2. "Easter" - there is the resurrection story... which just so happens in the start of springtime... when the earth shrugs off the last feelers of winter, and the process of greening the earth happens... the time to celebrate rebirth, copulation, fertility... and the festival is actually named after Eostre of the Dawn, tho there is also a Hindu deity Usha with a similar function. The symbols associated with Easter - eggs, rabbits - are all fertility symbols. btw - did you ever wonder about the practice of providing "bunga telur" at Malay weddings??

I hope I taught some people something new today....

Peace.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

yes, i'm alive... and I need your feedback please!

it's been quite a while since my previous posting... my apologies to my reader(s?), and hope no-one was actually worried about me! I actually have about 5 different ideas for posts in draft form, but i didn't have the mood to push them into actual postings... I'll process them in due time, or deem them irrelevant and just move on :-)

and talking about moving on: it is with great reluctance that I will be getting back to Malaysia in about 2 weeks' time. My almost 6 months here have been great, although the weather put a stop on my ideas of travelling well before I could even begin! If nothing else, that gives me a reason to return soon, during the WARMER months, to do just that :-)

And that means that no, I am still not looking for a job, whether in malaysia or elsewhere. I must say, however, that at least my 6 months of joblessness has started my healing process... I'm no longer bubbling over with anger and frustration when I think of my past job (especially the last 2 years of it) - whoohoo! I do recognise, however, that I've been so burned out trying to make a difference and seeing NO RESULT that right now I can't see myself working in any field at all - not for the job itself but for the people I'd need to deal with.

I think that one of the things I need to do now is do something that has guaranteed rewards: something that is not that complicated, where I put in some effort, and I get results in proportion to the effort I put in. And it should be something that kinda primes me to get back into the workforce one day. So, how about something relatively structured, with a set syllabus, exams at then end, plus opportunities for extra credit?

Yeah.... I'm thinking that I am finally ready, mentally, to start looking at options to further my studies. I'm guessing a second BSc would not be as useful as a Masters', eh?

The next question is: what area to pursue?

Despite a paper qualification in Chemistry, most of my career has been in Change Management. In fact, I believe if I were to do a Master's in Organisational Behaviour, I'd only add frosting to what I've already picked up in 7 of my 9 years of work. BUT... do I really want to get myself a degree in that field? Getting a degree in Change Management / Organisational Behaviour would pretty much condemn me to the rest of my life in the field that burned me out...

I've had positive feedback on my writing: both in terms of style as well as content. Should I look towards something in journalism?

It's at times like these that I think people who have interacted with me have a better idea, or at least can come up with suggestions I may not have come up with alone.

Remember that I'm one weirdo who loks for job satisfaction, and gets off on knowing i'm making a difference. I'm not one who wants labels like General Manager, and neither am I one who looks at the pay before anything else (although so long the pay is enough for me to survive, I'm happy!).

So, dear reader(s)... if you could spare a few minutes to suggest what I could pursue, I'd be delighted!

Many thanx.

Peace.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Hills are Alive...

It's a sign of the times...

I suppose I should be happy that Yahoo has imposed numerous rules to reduce spam and other abuse originating from their accounts… but it was *SO* frustrating the other day: there I was, groaning delightedly at a punny e-mail I felt was worth sharing with everyone… so I composed my message, and proceeded to select most of my ex-colleagues in my address book; then I clicked “send”.

Yes, I myself label that as spamming… but it’s not really a true spam, since I’m sending the joke to people I know! Anyway – can u guess what happened next?


ERROR: YOUR MESSAGE HAS NOT BEEN SENT was the message on the screen – in red - instead of that usual “message sent.” Ugh. It seems Yahoo now puts a limit to the number of recipients OF THE SAME DOMAIN NAME in any one e-mail message. And since I was e-mailing my ex-colleages at their work e-mails… of course they were all addresses of the same domain name! Ugh!

Fine.

Since the error message didn’t state just how many of the same domain name WERE allowed, I figured I’d just send the same message to smaller bunches of people instead. So I only did about 20 (instead of the almost 100 or so) recipients, and hit send. Yahoo! No problems with that!

Then I did the second batch, continuing with another 20 or so recipients.

I hit send.

ERROR: YOUR MESSAGE HAS NOT BEEN SENT.

Omg what now? Can you guess? It seems I had now reached my “sending limit for the hour”!!!

>>>>>>> “sending limit”?????? “… for the hour”??????

What, are we allowed to only send two or three messages per hour now??

No way in hell was I going to putter around online just to wait for an hour to pass by before trying again to pass some groans/laughs to my friends and colleagues!

So here it is: The joke that led to the discovery of new and restrictive anti-spamming Yahoo practices. You tell me if it was worth it:

~~~~~~~~~

Bob Hill and his wife Betty were vacationing in Transylvania. Driving in a storm, they had a wreck. Both were hurt, especially Betty. So Bob carried her to a nearby farmhouse. A hunchbacked man, Igor, answered the door, and called to his master, a scientist. The Hills were taken to the lab downstairs, where they were placed on tables. Despite the scientist's best efforts, both died. Disconsolate, the scientist went upstairs to play his piano. Igor, cleaning the lab, noticed that both Bob and Betty were moving. He ran upstairs. "Master, master," he exclaimed, "the Hills are alive with the sound of music!"
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