Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The bitch

I dont know when she turned up at my driveway, but this mongrel had been around my neighbourhood for quite some time already, together with two other bitches. Of course I know they're bitches as I can see the row of pendulous nipples dangling when they walk. And the males are easy to spot too, besides the absence of the mammary glands, their sex is determined by the wildly swinging balls knocking at each other at the rear when they're chasing after cars out of boredom.

One day, my niece, who lives just a shout away, ran excitedly to me saying that a bitch had given birth to three puppies somewhere under the tree in a padang near our house. Oh oh.... I thought, I neednt be a mind reader to decipher her intention. She was going to keep one of the puppy, and Zidan, her classmate living next door (father must be a football nut or a bookie) was to keep the other two.Normally I wont give two hoots to such petty pursuit, but the last time her pet rabbit, and a big fat one too, was ran over by a car when it escaped, I had the grisly job of disposing the carcass, beside cajoling her (my niece) not to cry, without much success. In desperation, I said "Alright, we'll get a puppy for you...."before I finished the sentence, she looked up wide-eyed, grinningly asked "when?"I groaned and "erm...we'll see". That, to a ten-year-old means "Yay! definitely we will be getting a puppy very soon". Sigh....the price one pays for being a favourite uncle.

And so there it was, a whining, whimpering little mass of white furry ball, hardly able to walk and peeing every two seconds onto the floor, pillow, newpapers and goodness knows what next. And worse, I had to drive to the neighbouring sundry store to buy a baby feeding bottle for that critter! And pronto! Wild thoughts must be racing through the minds of the shop cashier, Did his wife just gave birth? But her tummy was flat when I saw her last week? Or heaven forbid: He's a grandfather now? Sheepishly I paid and hurried out amidst what I percieved to be stifled sniggers behind me. Sigh... the things I do for love.

Mercifully, I was spared the chores of feeding the little thing and cleaning up the poop and what nots.

Days passed and the christianing of the puppy had my niece and her mother, my sister, arguing what to call the little bitch. Lobby? Whiskey? Lassie? Aaargh, what a headache! Why dont you just google "names for dogs" I told my niece, Joanne. Don't bother, my sister cut in, just call her "Snowball" And that was it.

By now, Snowball is three months old already, and I'm beginning to like her. Whenever I visit them after work, I just walk over to them and Snowball would leap and lick at me like crazy. If only my wife were so ecstatic on seeing me coming home, I thought. Anyway, being welcomed in such a joyful way can make a stress-out man happy, no? No wonder people in stress prone city keep pets, its really therapeutic.

I know, I should be putting up Snowball's photos up here, but regretably I havent shot her.... err, I mean taken a photograph of her. But its definitely coming up. You're gonna love it. Wait, I'd do better than that, I'll put it in youtube for you folks to enjoy (my way of baiting you guys to visit my blogspot mah!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blog can make money? (Part 2)

Welcome back! Now where were we before we were interupted by the melee around the registration desk masquerading as the hospitality desk and horde of attendees crowding like a rugby scrum exhibiting the worst kiasuism you'd ever seen this side of the South China Sea. Yes, the signing up. I was more eager than a hungry beaver! I did not sign up not because I didnt want to. I did not sign up because my credit eards had exceeded their meagre limit because of of my horrendous record of repayment. But that, on hindsight, proved to be a blessing in disguise, as you will see as I ramble on.

They say procratination is the thief of time. How true! However my seeming lukewarm approach was not without reason. In my three decades of working life, I'd witnessed on dozens of occations during which such "peddlers of dream/fantasies" sweet-talked, hoodwinked, cajoled, and inspired naive, wide-eyed, and, I'm sorry, gullible, men and women into parting their hard earn savings, and often borrowed money into schemes like stocking up cookwares, health supplements (invariably that can cure cancers, aids and solve infertility and so on), get rich quick financial schemes and, gosh, I'm out of breath. You get my drift now?

So how did I, the smart-alec witness for three decades of countless men and women, who had their dreams shattered along the way, got conned into signing up not RM30.00, not RM300.00 but Malaysian Ringgit Three thousand two hundred and seventy five only to attend a one day seminar of electrifying, earth-shattering, life-changing proportion? You know, its really funny, if I tell you a lie one time, you'd wont believe it, fair enough. But if I tell you a lie for thirty years, it became the gospal truth! A battle-hardened old dog finally falling for the bait at last!

One thing you notice about those peddlers of dreams, they are very persistent, and highly motivated and dont give up easily, attributes which I really admire. But I did my little observation too. Look at the Forbes List of the richest people in America. The latest list had just been published and it goes like this, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Sheldon Adelson, Lawrence Ellison, Paul Allen, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Michael Dell, and the Waltons. Notice something? Of the top ten richest Americans, ALL except Buffet, Adelson and the Walton are not into Information Technology. Thats it. I told myself, this is for real. Those dudes are not at the top of the heap by coincidence, they made their bundle riding on the back of one of the most spectacular economic phenomenon history had ever seen: Information Technology. Now would you say I'd be foolhardy to take the plunge into the most explosive money making activity of man since he start to barter along the river banks of Mesopotamia, Nile or Indus?

And why for crying out loud, here I am, a witness of countless weeping men and women who'd lost their shirts, and who most steadfastly vouch for the viablity of modern on-line money making wizardry, and who had already taken the plunge, spurn and denounced the bunch of high priests of internet the like of Stephen Pierce, the Tans and so on? Alright, I would not like to make this whole thing so spectacular and thus taxing your imagination to its limits. The answer is I'm still learning!!! Hey, I know its a whimpering anti-climax, and I seek your forgiveness. Let me make up for that in my next instalment, where the frustration of learning gives way to discovery, where the light at the end of the tunnel flickered and dimmed then flickered again, not bright enough yet, but hopefully will be soon. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blog can make money? (Part 1)

Blah! Gimme a break. I've already been blogging for one year and I'm still driving a car that's been registered last centuty. You think I dont fancy burning rubber down the highway in a Porsche 911? Let me tell you the story why I dont buy that crap.

Let me begin by saying that I'm no computer geek, though I do love surfing the net and read other people's web site, but would never have thought I'd one day be the author of a website, let alone making some bread out of it. So it struck me like a thunderbolt when I read an ad that say something to this effect: Be fabulously rich even though you know nothing of computer by attending a FREE seminar......... Geesh, I wish I could end that sentence with "and the rest is history", but not yet, hear me out as this is not going to take a whole afternoon.

One week later, I was sitting in a meeting room with 40 or so millionnaire wannabes, wide-eyed and lending our ears most gratefully to a thirty something dude from... I cant remember where. As he spoke on the wonder of internet and how thousands of people had make a bundle selling something, we were transported to a fantasy world where struggling to pay home mortgage, car instalment, or whatever debt one has is a thing of the past, and life from then on is the sound of champagne glasses clinking, and family members' laughters beside your private swimming pool on a lazy monday afternoon and so on. However we were brought down to earth temporarily with the announcement that we have to pay Malaysian Ringgit One Thousand Four Hundred only to have the privilage of making this dream a reality, and seat availabity is extremely limited for this three-day life-changing seminars. Simple rationale dictated that an investment of forteen hundred bucks that net untold millions all attendees be falling over each other to sign up. The poor clerk at the sign up desk, she lost four ball pens, had her hair tousled and most certainly missed her lunch, much to the satisfaction of her boss. We were told to congregate again in two weeks time, together with a few hundred of like minded visionaries like us.

Indeed it was a day to look forward to! On the appointed day, there was an air of excitement as about two hundred of us milled outside the conference hall, as the huge mahogany doors of the hall was flung open, triumphant music was trumpeted as we trooped in to take up our seats. Men, women, retirees, teenagers clapping hand and giving standing ovation at the entrance of a group of internet gurus, about ten in all, all expert in their field, blogging expert, search engine experts, adsense experts and all the goblydygook. As the emcees introduce them one by one, our spirits higher than Discovery spacecraft. This it is! We're going to be RICH!!!

Finally, after much fanfare in introducing the speakers and the mandatory round of motivational double speak (which I consider as crap as I was impatient for the real stuff to come out), we got down to business. The first to speak was Raymond Tan, the dude who enticed us to part the forteen hundred for this session. As he spoke, we were again tranported to a world of internet wizardry of making money online. But wait, why is this dude droning on and on with what sound like a sale pitch? Where's the beef, I asked myself hoping that it would come in the end. But nol. The whole presentation was a descriptive on how to make money on line and not a hands-on, show-it-to-you-now intruction. "And to know how to actually hands-on step-by-step make money on line, please go to the sales desk outside this room and report your intention to my assistant Michelle" (or was it Tiffany?) The heck I will sign up. We still have Ben and Adam, and Terence Tan, Fabian Lim, Patric Chan, and the super duper guru of them all, Stephen Pierce, who flew half the globe away from the US.

Next, was Fabian Lim, a Singaporean magician turn internet guru, who tout his achievenmet obtaining a pilot licence in a record time of 30 day(?). Big Deal. But surpringly this guy, I dont know, he must have cast a magical spell on us attendees that by the end of his presentation, a mini stampede was seen at the sign up desk for his course, and each aspirant to his magic formula to wealth must cough up Ringgit Malaysian Two thousand something only. End of Day One.

By now, it had dawn on me that we were actually paying to listen to advertisement sales pitches cleverly disguised in a kind of "Three-day-Seminar". And this was made profoundly clear to me as the "seminar" progressed, as you can see as you read on.

Day two was pretty much the same as one sales presentation follow another by different speaker and everytime at the end of the presentation, another round of melee crowded the sign up desk. Imagine a throng of frenzied men and women crowding a table 4' x 3' and you know what I mean. The kiasu mentality is not the monopoly of Singaporean, I guess we Malaysain share the same gene as them.

(to be continued)