Next destination perhaps…

Of late, it seems like I am beginning to experience a growing sense of claustrophobia. On occasions when I was unfortunate enough to land up in the CBD area due to some business issues, I do see myself only reaching home in the wee hours of the night, just as so to avoid all traffic and crowd.

It seemed this place is getting so overcrowded recently. I can’t help but feel totally drained each time I set into to the train stuffed with people. This sardine tin can syndrome seem more and more the norm instead of the exception.

Thankfully Alena is finally settled in Singapore properly. She would be starting work soon. One battle, or I would rather call it a campaign, done and over with. In a sense I do really have to thank my lucky stars. We managed to pull through the past 1 year together without me eventually forced into some full time position, and thereby dragged inevitably into the rat race. Once more I managed to avoid being dragged into the mill where all souls get crushed to smithereens.

In retrospection, I just wondered how it all managed to happen and come together of its own accord. All these deals I managed to close and deliver these past few months. It was like suddenly hopping onto an express lane I previously didn’t know exist. Crossing path with Satheesh and then Peter through Justin.

Oh well, life always have its own store of surprises.

One thing though that was made very clear during these entire few months and further reaffirmed what one of the external consultant lecturers from my Technopreneurship classes as well as my cousin Johnson said is that people will always be willing to part with a large chunk of cash, if they can avoid a high level of pain as a result.

Scams and get rich quick methods don’t really work in the long run, as opposed to common beliefs. The only true way to survive and prosper is really to constantly seek out better and more efficient solutions to relieve the pain felt by other businesses.

Come to think of it, now that Alena is finally settling in, there suddenly is no longer any need for my presence. I don’t see any visible big battles nor conquest ahead of me on this path I am travelling along.

I told Alena that day about my need to drift along. I was surprised with her over reactions. I wonder why? We had our arguments. It is good that she finally come to terms with the fact that she is fighting a losing battle of attempting to tie down a drifter.

Attempt to tie me up and before you know it. I will be long gone. Recently I have been hearing the waves crashing on the shores of the Indian Continent. Perhaps that should be the next place I get myself lost..

Facebook connect performance issue

Last night I was sitting with Satheesh and Jim working on SingaporeRental.com. We happened to talked about ThingsToDoSingapore.com during our conversation in my living room.

Satheesh said that the site was experiencing very very slow loading time. I knew that the site was slow in loading since before I stopped touching it in terms of coding. I have been getting rather busy with my own IT projects recently.

Today finally finding some time for myself I decided to do some tweaking to my favorite pet project. The coding was familiar. I have yet to port it to any content management system. I actually have two systems in mind which I could do the porting to. One is WordPress the other is Joomla.

Given the choice between the two I rather like WordPress better. First off, it is lighter more agile and has this well established PingBack System which could be easily used for generating more Traffic on the world wide web.

Once again on that hosthi server I experienced very slow loading time. Nothing knowing which was really causing this problem I decided to do some split testing. I suspected that it could either be the server running low of bandwidht or that google friends connect was unstable again. So I pointed ThingsToDoSingapore.com to my local testing web server and ran the scripts.

Much to my surprise, the stage when I was experiencing the bottle neck was at ak.connect.facebook.com. So apparently it was the part where Things To Do Singapore gathers content from the facebook server that things start to really slow down.

From my experience, Facebook has been experiencing very bad performance issues the past few weeks. If you went to the site and tried to login, half the time the images do not load properly. Suspecting that it would only affect facebook.com, I was wrongly, apparently it does affect other sites which uses facebook connect as well.

Searching on the web for the possible reason, I identified the denial of service attack on facebook as a possible contributing factor. It is crazy actually that things nowadays are so interconnected that when a hub goes down the spooks get affected too.

I believe somewhere along the way, with all the interconnectedness as well as cloud computing, it will really be easy to bring down the whole world wide web with a touch of the button. Another possible black swan is in the making

More References on the Black Swan

http://samdavidson.blogspot.com/2009/01/black-swan.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

Too much 7s for a birthday!

A few days ago I came across a guy with 3 number 7s in his nric card that jumped. Just before the 7th Lunar month.

And so officially today is my birthday. I have turned 27. Ironically today while walking along the streets there were so many people on the streets making offerings of josh sticks, chicken, incense and josh paper.

Wow.. what a big occasion! Even the gates to hell opened and my brethen ghosts comes forth to celebrate the date of my birth. Mom always joked that I was so Big Hungry Ghost that happened to step wrongly into her womb got given birth into this world while foraging for food during the hungry ghost festival.

Perhaps I am. I must say I have not been really up to any good since the day I was born 😛

Turning 27, what a dark one.

The midnight of August 18th 2009 came and went. Thus I arrived at the age of 27. It was a least impressionable way to age. I sat in front of my computer typing away on my keyboard working on a few projects I have been contracted to complete.

Danger was put at bay for a while. There was a moment of breather. Till I finish these batch of projects, I could put off project hunting as well as the ever dwindling cash flow problem. Come November if all went well Alena should be working in some restaurants and my financial pressure would have greatly eased. Meanwhile the only thing I could do was thread with care with all my financial dealings.

All at home was a sleep. I decided to step out for some fresh air which I did. My cat sat on the ledge just outside my apartment. Seeing the way he acknowledges my presences almost leads me to believe he was somewhat sentient.

Suddenyl I recalled my conversation with Pasha the other night. It was popular in Russia during medieval times for all to gather to witness the execution of prisioners. When the knife went down, the head and body would be separated. Both would be alife for a while before life drips away from them.

I wonder what it feels like to have your head decapitated from your body, your demise definitely assured, with no way for you to negotiate your way out of this deal. Perhaps Fear, perhaps anger, perhaps regret and then perhaps prior to the very last moments before the curtain draws to a close and darkness descends resignation. Perhaps then nothing.

Then what about the body, what thoughts actually go through it during the period it is separated from the head? That we will never understand as well.

Suppose the body does indeed have thoughts of its own during the period of separation, it does raise for me this very very disturbing question. Which part of our body is really an essential core to ourself then?

Suppose we define that which is our absolute core as the part with which we could feel with our nerves. Then in the case whereby the nerves gets servered would not that part seize to be part of our property then?

If you cut yourself and start to bleed, is the blood that escapes from your wound still yours.

Worse yet what about you being in a deep state of sleep? It is obvious you will not feel your body while you are in the ERM stage isn’t it?

What then about life science? Suppose you lost a drop of blood and it got cloned into a whole new you, one which you could not feel naturally as an extension of yourself. Is that still you?

It cant be you, it is a him. So perhaps when you have lost control of your own body through death, then isnt that body a him as well?

What then is the definition of a you?

It was some very dark thoughts indeed for a 27, right before the start of the 7th Lunar month too. The infamous Ghost Festival

Revisit to the bridge

The other day while out wandering the streets in the evening, I hopped off some random bus and took a walk this time east wards. Strangely, I arrived with real intentions finally in the hearts of Tanjung Rhu.

I filled up my water bottle in the condomium area. Strangely I felt drawn to that bridge again. Thus I climbed up that secret stairway as I did before. It was Sunday. I felt goosebumps all over. I needed to face it. I walked along the length of the bridge. There was no longer any sight of that pair of shoes. It has been delivered to where it should belong. I sat along the walkway facing the sea. The breeze was strong.

In place of the pair of shoes was a string of flowers. It was white intermixed with purple. Someone else before me had paid this place a visit. I sat rolling my cigarettes feeling the breeze upon me. Long have I came to associate the wind with freedom. It goes where it will with regards neither for territorial boundaries nor rules. It fears nothing nor needs anything. It is been free fr a long long time.

I finally lit my cigarette and took a puff. What could his last moment have been like, I pondered long and hard. I related the incidant to Pasha the night before. He said it must have been very very dark. I wonder.

I sat there imagining in my mind, trying to see through his eyes the very last moments prior to his departure for the next step of his journey. I drew a blank as the stage of his arrival on the surface of the water.

It was hard to truly understand the intensity of his emotions and the flow of his thoughts from the period he left this sitting position I was in. Goosebumps once again broke out.

I finished smoking my cigarette and left the pack beside the flowers as offerings for him.

Working on Singapore Rental and setting up the master mind group – think and grow rich

I call it coincidence really. It all started out when Satheesh my buddy got himself involved with the MBA challenge and I popped him the idea of setting up a blog to garner more support from the online community.

Before we know it by a stroke of serependity, his site mba.mindneurons.net got all the way up to no 1 on the google search engine. Yes and it was time for a little celebration.

One thing lead to another, before we knew it he got me introduced to Jim who wanted to get more leverage for his existing website SingaporeRental.com. The site has been around for years. If taking the analogue of wines for example. This particular one has been bottled, stored and is now ready to serve. It has huge potential I see that, most especially with what the government is trying to do right at the moment.

Jim has been most helpful with his pointers and advises. I believe it is such the case having read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill when a group of people come together in harmony to collaborate, there will be synergy and their rate of growth will be spurred on. Already Jim has provided me with some really useful insights with regards to SEO, thus further adding to the initial arsenal that Steven from Futureworkz has been so kind to provide me with.

Today Jim pointed me to this blog post which is really useful with regards to search engine optimization. While I have already done 25% of what is on the list for my existing client. I can now provide even more service and values to them. Thanks Jim!

On Benjamin Shears Bridge

I hopped off bus 128 into the hearts of Tanjung Rhu. It seemed quite a nice and quiet place over here.

Its turning out to be an interesting day so far. Jumping on and off random buses I arrived at Punggol MRT station. Followed by a long walk I have managed to arrive at Punggol beach. After watching the sun set in the north I headed down south, that was how I arrived at Tanjung Rhu.

I took a walk around the estate and met up with this German lady from whom I asked how to get onto the Benjamin Shears Bridge. She was walking a dog by the name of Shashy when I asked for directions. She was kind enough to show me to where the secret stairways started.

Secret Stair way to Benjamin Shears Bridge

Thus waving her good bye I set off for the bridge.

Up on the bridge, I suddenly feel this sense of space. The wind was blowing, while the cars zoomed by. It seemed I was the only person in this area that was realyl here.

I looked down at the waters way below. It seemed really inviting, just begging me to jump. I wonder how it feels like to jump off the bridge into the waters. It must be such an adrenaline rush I believe.

I recalled my time jumping off the plane in New Zealand. Then again I suddenly recalled how I once jumped off the quarry into the waters in Pulau Ubin a few years back and really got my balls bruised due to a bad landing on the waters.

From such a height, I believe a wrong landing could really get more than just my balls bruised. I remembered some Hong Kong movies where this action star did a similar stunt from the same height and came out with his brains messed up from the impact. Ouch!

All these thoughts about the inviting water below just kept on coming to my mind while I walked along the bridge. It just felt so inviting to take the leap. Suddenly I noticed a motor bike and then another 20 meters away a pair of shoes. Surprised at first I thought it was too much of a coincidence. It cant be that some one else has just did what I was fantasizing about just a few moments ago.

I went closer and took a look at the pair of shoes. Remnants of Mr Chua Chee Wee

It was an interesting pair of shoes. Nicely laid out beside an empty pack of cigarettes. It must have been left here by someone else. He has no longer anymore need for this pair of shoes I believe.

It must be karma that I chance upon this pair of shoes in the most desert part of a densely populated area in town. I dialed 999. He deserved a better resting place than by the side of Benjamin Shears Bridge Just as well, I completed the handing over of details to the police woman who picked up on the other end. The rest was history. I hurried left the place, with goosebumps all over me.

Dream come true for a friend

Sateesh my buddy has come a really long way for the MBA challenge. I am proud and glad to have had the chance to help him out during this period of time. Buddy you will always have my support. Come to think of it the format of this competition really reminds me of my time doing my technopreneurship minor in NUS. It is always good to crack my brains. Haha

Getting Google Friends Connect to Work with FaceBook Connect

It seeems getting facebook connect to work with google friends connect has been a issue on the minds of most developers and not many of them has came up with an idea solution for it.

After having attended the google hackathon last month and witnessing how patrick got it the two of them to work it got me experimenting with bringing facebook connect and google friends connect to work together for a while now. The site I am working on is Thing To Do Singapore.

Last night I was finally successful at getting the two of them to work together in a somewhat weird kind of way.

Bascially Pages with GFC elements should not be introduced with FBML elements and vice a vice. Such a way would cause it to clash. However since authentication for facebook results in a session storing on the server, one possible method for implementing the two on the same system could be via ajax.

On Things to Do Singapore the default log in is Google Friends Connect. On another page http://thingstodosingapore.com/facebook/ user can log into their facebook accounts using facebook connect.

So once both of these are done, in the event the user generates some contents on the default page, 3 things will happen.

  • their facebook status will be updated
  • their google friend’s connect activity will be updated
  • the twitter main account ThingsToDoSg will be updated.

Additional events that might happen. Suppose the user declares that this entry has more details in a specific blog. The server will automatically do a ping back once the on the server with the blog entry.

In short I am attempting to position Things To Do Singapore as both and aggregator and a disseminator.

Further extending thingstodosingapore.com

Today after having google friends connect crashed on me, I finally decided to start working on facebook connect and extending thingstodosingapore.com to support the facebook connect api as well. Well here goes nothing. Fingers crossed.