Category Archives: Personal

Opinions and thoughts about things

This Meandering Life

November 20, 2013 11:32 PM

High school home room photo

In high school I was really good at chemistry and trigonometry. I was quite the low-rent savant – I can picture chemical equations and, shapes and angles in my head. But then graduation came upon me and I didn’t know what I wanted to do in uni. So I chose what my father did: electrical engineering. Except of course, that required that you be good in physics and calculus. I sucked at both. But I chose to do a second degree concurrently: commerce, which I loved. Not only because there were more females in those classes but because the units made more sense to me and weren’t as abstract as Fourier transform and solid state physics.

And then it was final year and I had to choose my final year thesis and project. Nothing on offer appealed to me so I chose the one offered by the lecturer that I know loves to spoon feed his students. I basically did experiments that confirmed the preordained results. Did I learn anything? Nope. But I graduated. Hah!

My photo in the uni graduation year book

Woohoo, now comes my first job. Because I was such an average student, it took quite a while to get my first job. And won’t you know it, the one place that was willing to take me SUCKED balls. The senior engineer wasn’t willing to share his knowledge and assigned me meaningless drudgery like noting down the test results of electrical motors. Tests that were conducted by qualified electricians who know more than me. Nope – my morale and sense of self-worth was not very high at that time.

So I thought fuck it. If they weren’t gonna teach me anything, I’m gonna find something to do at work on their money. I taught myself basic C programming and tinkered with the office network and computers. The latter was what I ended up doing more of. One year into the black hole of morale that was this job, my uni friend Phil asked if I was interested in an entry-level helpdesk job at the software company that he was working at. I jumped into it and gave my one-month notice.

I had the best time in this second job. I had on the job and external training, with most of them being in Sydney. It was the heady times of the IT boom before the 2000-2001 crash so the pay was excellent. I was once paid a bonus of one month’s salary just to be on call during the Y2K transition, ie. over Christmas and NYE. And as you’d know, nothing happened! Sweet stuff. I was even sent once to the Tokyo office for 2 weeks.


January 2001 came along and boom – I was made redundant. I was out of work for 6 months before mom encouraged me to run a little restaurant. Running a small business was stressful and tiring. The upside was that I get to meet lotsa people including the lovely waitresses who worked for me. But one does not make much money in the initial stages – one aims to break even which we luckily did.

So I was doing this for 1.5 years before my friend Phil (yup, the same one) offered me a systems administrator job in his software startup. I passed the restaurant to my brother and I went back into IT once more. This was where I’d learn most of the knowledge and skills that I’m using today: stuff about maintaining and configuring web and email servers. I was here for about 4.5 years when I basically hit a ceiling in terms of advancement in pay and knowledge.


I then thought about moving to Singapore. I didn’t find anything that I could apply for and was quite dejected. I am glad that didn’t happen though because I ended up meeting most of my close friends now during that time.

When I saw the ad for a position at Ilisys, I went for it. I’ve been with them ever since, even though it was bought out by MYOB on my first day on the job early 2008, and then in July this year by Uber Global. And the latest change? An offer to move to Melbourne. This offer was always present but it was always gonna be me doing the same job but in Melbourne, and I wasn’t gonna give up my family and friends here for that.

This time though, it will be a horizontal move – less support and more systems administration which is where my interests lie. My CEO said that a job contract/description will be sent in 1-2 weeks time. And if everything goes smoothly, I should be in Melbourne sometime in January. Right now, I’m ambivalent about it. I’m very rooted to Perth but I’m willing to give it 1-2 years purely for the chance of gaining marketable skills and knowledge. If I get really home sick, I can always come back to Perth. 🙂

I’ve said this before,

The road of life is funny like that. Forks and turns are expected, and a detour is not necessarily a bad thing.


And cheers to that. 🙂

Work / Getting Rich / Life

October 6, 2013 4:50 PM

In Britney Spear’s catchy song “Work Bitch”, she sings that if you wanna be rich and fancy then you have to work for it.

You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti?
You want a Maserati? You better work bitch
You want a Lamborghini? Sip martinis?
Look hot in a bikini? You better work bitch
You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion?
Party in France?
You better work bitch, you better work bitch
You better work bitch, you better work bitch
Now get to work bitch!
Now get to work bitch!

Not only is it catchy but it is also a life lesson. :mrgreen:

Turn it around though and think about it. If you spend a lot of time working just to sustain an artificially high standard of living, then something is not quite right; if you spend so much time working that you don’t have enough time to enjoy the nice things that you have bought yourself, let alone to spend time with family/friends then something is not quite right; if you are stressed more than happy most of the time because you have to work so hard then something is not quite right. Or if you are working hard and earning enough but still feeling poor? Then something is really not right.

One works to live and not the other way around. Does one really need all the nice toys and material things in one’s life? Nice if you can afford them but not so nice when you have to work your ass off for them. 😉 - I work too damn hard to be this fucking poor.

Changes are afoot

August 22, 2013 9:24 PM

I’ve been the proud owner of 330 square metres of dirt for about 4 years now. And for that long, I have been paying land and council taxes on empty space. So about 2 months ago I decided that I’m going to finally get a house build on top of it. I even went to the bank to ask how much more I can borrow and I had started looking at designs that I can afford with it. Just when I was about to take the plunge and call up my mortgage broker to organise the finance, my job situation changed and that put the kibosh on it.

Towards the end of July I was told that MYOB was spinning off the division that I’m working in and it is being sold to a company whose primary focus is what our division does. That sounded good on paper because we now have a corporate parent in the same industry. We are no longer a web hosting division in a company that makes accounting software – we are now part of a big web hosting company.

However as with any corporate acquisitions, there is a certain amount of uncertainty that is involved. Our new CEO had indicated that there will be a probationary period from now till January. This meant that I no longer felt comfortable taking on more financial burden. I was bummed out.

My team in Perth will be moved out of the MYOB office, probably into a swanky serviced office closer to the CBD which is a bonus. But I will miss talking to the pretty girl in the office. Double bummer.

Amidst all this uncertainty and maybe because of it, I suddenly have the thought of trying out life in Melbourne for at least a year. My boss and my team there have also been gently encouraging it for the past few years. However, having a mortgage plus rent in Melbourne to pay will mean that I won’t be saving a cent. It might even eat into my savings and that is daunting and scary. Although, it might just open up some doors in my career and in my personal life. I really love living in Perth but maybe it’s time for a change whilst I’m still free and single and moving is easy. If I don’t like it, I can always come back here.

When is this happening? When things with the company acquisition settles down and I still have a job come January. Then I will have a serious think about it.

p.s. I will miss talking to the pretty girl in the office. Oh wait, I said that already. 😉


Monday bloody Monday

August 12, 2013 10:41 PM

Tech Support, what I actually do
(source: weknowmemes)

Things that ran through my head today …

Let me fix your problem or continue to get mad at me for not being a mind-reader. Your choice.

Spend half the call complaining about the wait times. Thanks. You just made the next person wait even longer.

Email reminders are sent out for a reason. Use that knowledge wisely.

No, I don’t know why bank transfers take longer than credit card payments. It just is. Like gravity.

I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems with your ex-wife but you chose her to be your lawfully wedded wife at one point in time, and you also made her the account holder. Bummer, dude.

Fax? Hahah. No.

Be nice to me and I will bend over backwards for you. I will even give you discounts and freebies. And we both end the call smiling. Now, wouldn’t that make a nicer Monday for all of us? 🙂

If you can read this, your life is pretty damn good

August 1, 2013 9:06 PM

First world problem: having to wait for water
(source: loljam)

In Buddhism, the path to enlightenment requires that you let go of your wants and desires, and your attachments to people and things. It is a very logical idea. If you don’t crave for something, then you wouldn’t feel greed, envy or jealousy, and you wouldn’t feel depressed or angry if you do not get it. In practice though, it’s a difficult goal to reach. Feelings and yearnings are hard to tune out. And also, life is a lot more dull without earthly pleasures and the highs and happiness that they bring.

However, when things don’t work out the way you want them to I find that having empathy and perspective helps a lot to temper the depression and disappointment. If you can imagine yourself living the life of those who are less fortunate and putting things in perspective then maintaining a positive attitude becomes easier. If you have enough to eat, and you can stay warm when it’s cold outside or get cool when it gets a bit hot, then you are already living a better life than a lot of people on the planet.

If you can access the Internet and you are reading this on a computer or a smartphone, then you know what? Your life is pretty damn good so quit yer whining! Seriously, have a Coke and a smile. 🙂

Overthinking it vs jumping in and screaming all the way down

June 5, 2013 10:23 PM

Overthinking shit

Recently I had advised a friend to not over-analyse something and to just go ahead and do it. Perhaps I was projecting what I want to be myself and I had said to him,

Just do it now and worry about it later. What’s the worst that can happen?

In hindsight that was probably not the best advice. After all, I had nothing to lose so I can afford to be reckless. Sorry buddy! Hahah!

In life, there are two extremes in how you can approach any situation:

  1. Analyse it to death, or
  2. throw caution to the wind and consequences be damned.

In other words, you can over-think it and then end up not doing it or you can jump right in and scream all the way down. In the past I have tended to over-think about everything. I’d project a situation four or five steps into the future like I was a playing a game of chess. But there is a reason why we fear the unknown and want to know as much as we can before we do something – it’s a survival instinct.

Most of us lie somewhere in between, the happy medium. Although sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith and hope that you land softly. Even if you don’t, at least you have a story to tell after, right? 🙂

I am a lot of things but I’m definitely not like this guy’s friends in this clip. 😉

Nipped / Tucked

May 12, 2013 2:02 PM

I’ve had my R33 Skyline since 2001. The car was made in 1994. For a few years now, I’ve been contemplating about getting a new car. Then I decided to put the money towards a deposit for a plot of land in 2009. And now, I’ve decided to finally start building on it. So there will be no new car for me in the foreseeable future. What’s a guy to do? The front and rear bumpers were damaged and cracked anyway so I decided on the next best thing – a nip/tuck.

Before (when it was brand new and wasn’t damaged and cracked):




I’m pretty chuffed with it. Not bad for a car that’s almost 20 years old. :mrgreen: