3-24 That’s all I have

Today is the fifth day of the Lunar Chinese New Year, the year of the dog. In the past four days, I have managed to meet with some relatives, students and friends over this festive season; sharing and catching up time exchanging news and events in our lives (especially the past one year since the last celebration)

One thing that have caught my attention and prompted me to write, is about their complaints of too much work and how their bosses have loaded them or treating them. According to many, sometimes they have to work till late and buried with work in the office. Some taking them home while some suggesting that their bosses are nuts for asking them to work overtime and on weekends!

Not that I have not experienced these problems, I sympathise with them but I do see things differently though. Those who knows me long enough would see that I am quite enthusiastic about everything I do. Honestly, yes. For the record, I have worked in an engineering workshop during my teenage years; working on many heavy stuff, threading, sawing and hydraulic pumps. Working in a cramp environment that time wasn’t easy at all, but thanking my philosophy that I have kept all these while, I have managed to survived a typical 8 to 7 job. My late uncle, who was the boss at that time, had praised me once for being diligent. I will share my philosophy today, something that I have understood from my own reasoning at the very young age.

In the college soon after, I have studied really well, focusing on my mission to gain a good qualification so that my life and those of my parents would be better. On a typical day, as I remembered, I would put in many long hours understanding and reasoning all the subjects leading to my diploma and a charted qualification. I don’t ever remember complaining to my parents that studying is difficult (which I know they couldn’t help too if I would have tell). I don’t remember. At that time, I knew it was difficult but I know that the only way to get around the problem is to be more focus, cutting out the whining and carping. I made it though and I will share the same philosophy that I have understood. Looking back, I have endured the immense workload, beating the odds against myself; so what have I understood then?

It wasn’t easy too into working world soon after. As I can remember, I am proud to tell that none of my bosses have ever complained about my work. I know a few are reading this though and I hope they can confirm this! I remember, the work load at many moments were terrible heavy and bring home work is a norm, work till late is second nature and I remember on few occasions, I have overnight in the office! I wasn’t complaining that time, neither I remember telling someone about my workload. In certain times, I felt that no one understand my pain! I knew they were my job, it is about being excelling in my job and completing my task. Even the time I have swithched career, the learning curve was so steep that I began picking up the trade as fast as I could. I remember doing new stuff like teaching, marketing, selling, counselling and organising fairs. They were totally new to me. I swear, I have not complained to anyone! Not even to my wife until today how difficult things were. It was really complex balancing so many new trades in exchange for a new lease of life in the career switch. I only hope some would undertsand. I know some of my ex-colleagues are reading this too. I swear, I have not complained! I remember my philosophy well.

Today, at the age past 50, perhaps I could share the philosophy. I have understood two things.

One, I have understood this during my teenage years that I, like everyone has only twenty-four hours a day. The amount of time has been fixed by nature. (I must say that we can do more things within the day with new technologies, but we have not thought about that back in the 70s) Thus the amount of things thrown to us can only be handled within these twenty-four hours. I understood that more things thrown to us not necessarily means that time will be taken away from us. I knew, the more I do, the more I learn; having more things loaded to me was interpreted by me as opportunity to learn. I took them that way in the engineering workshop, I took the same approach in college and repeating the same in my work (till today) and not forgetting applying them in my career switch! I am glad that I have understood that very well. I have only twenty four hours and that modelled my behaviour to accept work as opportunities. Opportunities for me to learn new stuff and sharing my focus on the tasks given. Complaining of too much work really wasn’t me.

The second, we all have three meals a day, I understood that at a very young age. How is this part of the philosophy? Yes it is. I understood that no matter how much or less work you have, you are going to have the three meals (although I skip my meals too!) We are all confined to this time scale, around the clock. In my mind all these while, more work or less doesn’t bother me because we are bounded by these three meals. I focus on the job or tasks knowing that they will be completed within the three meals, No matter how you complain about work or not complaining, the three meals are our routine. We can’t change that. Stop complaining!

In the past four days, I have told some that I have 3-24 (yes, three meals within 24 hours, we all have that, don’t we?). Forget about complaining the workload, your boss or the unreasonable working time. Treat those overloaded tasks as opportunities, something that you can only look back later telling yourself that you are glad that you have taken the opportunities or chances. Believe me, the nature works this way.

At least, I can tell you they are real. The philosophy has enable me to learn so many things that I never thought they were possible. Writting a computer program? Test me!

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Memories Day#5

Breakie at hotel’s cafe with a combo of American breakfast, and Obama coffee too (Tall Black Americano).

Next stop after fulfilling breakfast, is to do some morning marketing at Maharaj Market. Guess what is cooking today? Thee market is a walking distance from the hotel but I see what I can catch from the market.

The Maharaj Market looks big from the outside and really crowded inside with most locals savoring their breakfasts, groceries shopping, buying fruits and fish. Prices for foods here is more reasonable.

Interesting place that is, the Maharaj Market now become memories as we made our way to the Krabi International Airport.

The past five days were filled with good memories and adventures; from long-tail boats to motorcycle carriage tuk tuks and Suzuki red vans.

Good memories. Khob Khun Krap Krabi!

Adios!

From Ao Nang to Krabi Day#4

Today we travelled to Krabi town. The last three days were spent in Orange Tree House because we wanted a much quieter place to stay, although a little further than the happening place. Adios Orange Tree House. We will be missing this place; nice villa and good breakfast each morning.

Today we move in into Krabi town to experience another view of Krabi’s life and culture. Also because she is nearer to the airport, convenient for our way back later.

It was a 20 minutes druve from Ao Nang, our hotel is themed as Seabass.

This town is a little laidback compared to Ao Nang.

Without wasting time we found a tuk tuk, with a bargain 500THB two hours private chauffering; we went to our first stop, Tiger Cave. It was about twenty minutes from the town on a 80km an hour.

Adjacent to the Tiger Cave is the Outlet Village, something similar to JPO or Mitsui Oulet back home. I like the design here, an American feel with the storefront panels in grey and wood panels.

We did some shopping here.

Back to the town and almost lunch time we found our way to the Kanabnam View Seafood Restaurant, a journey by a long-tail boat through the rivermouth; to Koh Klang. The boat took us on a special trip through the exquisite mangrove before reaching the restaurant, which is just about ten minutes away.

The seafood here is cheap but tasted so so, but fresh as this restaurant farms their own fish, lobster, oyster, crabs etc.

Back from lunch and to the jetty, we took a little stroll from the jetty to the Wat Kaew Korawaram; a buddhist temple in the town. It is majestically built higher up a hill, it is white and houses a hall with a statue of the great teacher.

Wow, what a day already! We will just wait fir dinner time, we have the night market in mind. The Krabi Walking Street to be precise. Here is the update.

Food aplenty and spoilt for choices if you are here. Food, concert, games and souvenir stalls line up the night here and practically, the whole Krabi population is here.

A long day that was. Saturday in Krabi. So long.

Leisurely Day#3

Leisure day 3 starts at a slower pace, as today is a Friday here. Breakfast in the hotel came with very nice friedrice, bacon and sausages.

First stop is a visit to the The Hilltop, boasting of a pub and restaurant with the same name. This place only open at 3pm with live music. We were here way early and took some good view over the Ao Nang bay.

Will probably back here for dinner as the BBQ menu looks good. Be prepared to hike up about 20 minutes if you could not get a good taxi driver to sent you. The Hilltop boss said their shuttle can fetch you up from the main road.

Further up ( down I mean) the main road, is shopping street at the Ao Nang Beach. We can see people getting ready for island hopping by the droves.

The view from this beach is nice. 

The weather is good today but the heat is high with 28 degrees. Managed to get a iced latte at my old good mcD.

135B which is around RM 16 with our BN led weakened ringgit. Will be eating here for lunch trying the pork bugger, something impossible in my country. I am typing this is this McD Ao Nang as both princess went shopping.

This is my Angus Beef burger at 255Thb, tasted good. Very much different compared to Big Mac, sweeter beef taste.

The Samurai Pork burger is also taste good, very pork taste!

Another stop here at Lacasa for some green curry and Mango rice. Music is good with raggae! Price is reasonable. They have teh tarik and roti canai here too.

This evening we have reserved a table for some food at the hill top, Lae Lay Grill. Just right time at six just to catch the sunset. This is a restaurant with a view, food and live music. There is shuttle service from the main road up.

The lobster was good and not too pricey, the duck dry curry is somehow excellent, steam fish was a little too sourish with lemon and tom yam was good with fresh prawns.

It is raining here now and we cannot do much except enjoying the soothing music. That should end the leisure day well!

Island Nomads Day #2

Day 2 is for islands hopping, something that no one will not do here. We started early today at nine from the Noppharat Thara beach on a long-tail boat. With four islands to cover, we boarded quick with 17 others, making up all twenty in the boat. 

Our first stop was about 30 minutes off shore, Phranang Beach Cave. The view of the torquoise painted sea and the gigantic lime stone-monolith is something worth the trip here.

There is not much snorkeling to do here until the next stop. The next stop is Chicken Island, probably named after the shape of this lime stone that resembles a chicken head.

The third stop was Tup Island, few minutes across Chicken Island. This island is quite unique where one can literally walk to an adjacent island when the tide is low.

We had our lunch catered by the tour operator here. The final stop is the most magnificent I think, the Poda Island. See for your self here.

I am so amazed by this formation, not because I can see it from so near but it really is. The gigantic size really put you into believe that it was build by someone, some architect? How can it so stand alone? Why was it there?

We were back ashore after some six hours, tiring but mesmerised by the beauty of the sea, part of the Andaman archipelago.

This evening we hit the happening street again. This time we tried so local food. Nang An Restaurant serves good Siamese food by the beach. Price is very reasonable.

And also the old Coke.

Meanwhile the street continues to party.

Krabi day#1

This is my first trip to Krabi, but certainly not my first trip to the land of Siam. I am expecting the same vibrant treatment as those in Bangkok, Pattaya or even Hatyai. Just a moment after landed, her charm has told me that this place is no exception. The spread of the tourists here, whether they are back packers, families or even group tourists; has given me the thoughts that this island town isn’t going to sleep.

The hotel is quite secluded but is well maintained. Chalet type with an outdoor bath!

 

Soon after checking in to the hotel, we took a journey on a truck heading to the most happening place here, the night bazaar and the famous row of eatries. It was dinner time here when we checked in.

The ride there was adventurous.

The town is filled with happy atmosphere and happy hours; bars, pizza parlours, plenty of Family Marts and 7-Elevens, western food joints. It is party time here You can see people buying groceries, food and souvenira; tattooing too!

We had BBQ dinner here this evening, a favorite place it seems; 499B per person. Worth the price though with beef, chicken, kebab, sushi and aplenty serving of desserts.

Friendly people around.

Managed to get some coconut ice cream after dinner, authentic local coconut that is.

More adventure tomorrow with day #2 on island hopping. Bought a package for three at 1050B inclusive of lunch. More pictures tomorrow!

Cheers.

The Architect in Me.

I have completed yet another project. In the pasts I had been working with models of 1:100 to 1:250, yet this one is different because it is 1:64. My expectation, like many other modelers do, is the level of details required when working with such scale. I put in a little twist here with some colors in the model. This is the first time I was working with this scale.

I have started this model about eight weeks ago, something I did to prove some points. Firstly, as a inspiration to a younger audience, especially my daughter. I wanted to lead by example to create some interest and do-able activities in the house itself. Secondly, I wannted to challenge my level of discipline and motivation. Not that I am not a discipline person, I just wanted to see how I am keeping my schedule despite my heavy day and weekend jobs! I wanted to more also, just to motivate myself to push the boundary further.

It wasn’t easy right from the thoughts of doing it! I try to recount here the journey that I have taken.

The thought of doing it.

The first thing was doing research on McDonald’s restaurants around the world. The most useful tool here is the internet, searching on how a common McDonald’s restaurant looks like. I wasn’t keen on the fancy types, the nostalgic feel, the strange looking type and those futuristic ones posted by so many people. I am more keen on a more representative one, one that is easilt recognizable as “McDonald’s”.

Searching for the right color schemes had enlightened me (honestly), with cherry red, black, grey, white, dark green and even yellow-orange colors seemed to be used in McDonald’s world wide! I was careful in using the colors to make the model real, downloaded most of the colors from Google image. Next was the logos; 20171016_180215ranging from the legendary “M”, “McCafe” and “McDonald’s” (all rights reserved by McDonald’s Inc); pretty interesting to note that they were necessary to keep the model real. (in this finished model, the “M” came from a fires box I cut)

Also, size matters. I did some research on a typical size for a McDonald’s restaurant. In Malaysia, they ranges from a thousand to three thousand five square feet. I have planned (from the begining of a three thousand four hundrred square feet. In scale of 1:64 would be a dimension of 12″x9″ (the completed model measures 13″x10″, something like three thousand and seven hundred square feet built up)

Giving a rustic look, I have planned to include some brickworks on the exterior, which turned out so well. In the finished product, I have used a pattern fill from the Powerpoint, clever ya?

Sourcing

Sourcing took me a few trips to places that I knew may help but I found what I want  from a shop furthest from my house. I have found some materials that was easy on the pen knife and not so time consuming to cut by hand. Yes, the entire model was build by hand. I found some PVC board that costs RM16 a piece measureing 3.5’x 2′. The tickness was about 2mm, easy on the pen knife. The  entire model has used one piece with some insignifican left over.

A pen kife, a good one with a matel body costs RM15. Over priced, but OK for an investment.

Planning

Planning wasn’t easy when you are working with scale models, everything you visualise will be 64 times smaller! I dis simple draft of the model I have wanted, believe me I am not even a draftsman. But using my eyes, I manage to figure out the necessary components of a McDonald’s restaurant; from the kitchen, sitting area, outdoor, drive-thru etc. I was quite an experience and fun doing it.

I have also planned a couple of features, including a section 20171017_171711for community involvent. An open space for the community and an opportunity for McDonald’s to engaged  themselves in. More like a space for the community interaction. In their corporate website, McDoonald’s is constantly promoting community involvement.

 

 

 

In sustaining the environment I have also planned the usage of solar power to harness the solar heat from the roof. 20171017_172441The 250 Watts panels, all 78 of them, are capable of supplying at least 4,000 kWs; something like 20% energy savings for the restaurant.

The tower (red one here) that also houses the signage has been intended to be rainwater harvester and can store and clean rainwater for restaurant cleaning usage. The tower is planned exceptionally large to store thirteen thousand gallons at any time, a great recycling opportunity for McDonald’s to save 40% of general cleaning water. (12’x12’x15′)

Two windows for a drive thru experience was planned, nicely tucked in a the rear of the restaurant. The challenge here is to make the real, I have to plan some contours to the building, planning where to put the brick walls and strategically placing exterior glasses.

Building

The model building is the bigger bulk of the work, of course. Measure and cutting the PVC board by hand really require accuracy. With my older pair of eyes, it was really stressing my focus but the excitement and enjoyment of doing it superseeds the stress. Keeping them (the PVC) upright perpenticular to the ground is really a challenge, I have to use some square blocks in addition to my naked eyes. 20171017_175008.jpgThis will make sure the walls looks real. Any slanting bits will have effect on the other parts of the building and I try to minimise those errors.

The most difficult part is the exterior walls and to keep them up straight, I have to put in feeder beans inside to support them. They are enclosed and cannot be seen, but they work!

Gluing them together is not difficult if you use the right type of adhesive, those that neither too liquid nor too tought. I use a lot of weights to keep the locked. LOL, I have used type dispense, a power bank and a heavy laptop battery to keep them glued, sometimes overnight!

Result?

Here  it is (99% completion). Till the next project and of course, I am not an architect (or something near). I hope you have enjoyed the view.

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