Crazy 28th birthday countdown at 1 Altitude followed by a life time ban from 1 Altitude

It was soon to be midnight and come then I will turn 28. Here I am sitting in the presence of two policemen and a very annoyed bouncer. (he calls himself the head of security for 1 Altitude).

Valerie just came to Singapore again and we agreed to meet up. After bringing her for a dinner of frog porridge and chilli crab,  I brought her to 1 Altitude at the UOB center. The bar was not really interesting, the restaurant was filled with guests from some corporate functions, it was the roof I was most fascinated with. This is the tallest place in Singapore.

Apparently the lady at the entrance of level 1 said the roof was closed due bad weather conditions. But it did not seem like the case at level 62 just beneath the roof. I brought Valerie and merrily walked across the dining area right to the stairway right beside the toilet. While the rooms themselves are private domain, the stairways are public domain free for anyone to enter and exist.

We took a short walk up to level 63 and encountered 2 waitress sitting on the flight of steps chatting away. They stood up and parted for us to walk through. The bar tender tending to the bar at the roof of level 63 let us through as well. So I didn’t think the roof was really that closed. It was open in fact. The 360 paranomical view of Singapore was great!

It was not long before one of the bouncers came and politely invited us to leave the place. Thus we did, this time we took the lift down to level 62. Just when we were about to take the other life from level 62 down to level 63, the HEAD OF SECURITY caught sight of me and bellowed like a man gone mad. So I was escorted into his office, where he started a whole series of verbal abuses which I did not find useful but detrimental to his situation. He thereafter made a call to the police in an attempt to file a complain of trespassing on me.

Meanwhile I requested to be allowed to visit the gents. He got really worked up apparently? Somehow the word gents seems to trigger this really funny reaction on his side. 😛

So I clarified with him, if he will be attempting any of these two things behind closed doors.

  1. Phyiscally assualt me?
  2. Illegally detain me by this basis I meant the deprivation of physiological needs to maintain a proper level of health.

He calmed after a while and got another bouncer to escort me to the gents. It seems he was the only person in this office that was worked up about the whole situation. The other bouncers were absolutely relaxed about this.

Of course the policemen came later and started series a whole questionings. the Head of security for 1 Altitude tried to build a case of illegal trespassing. I meanwhile provided strong counter evidences that the case of trespassing was invalid.

Trespassing will be valid in the two following case :

  1. Entry into private premise from a public domain despite signs about the boundaries of the private premise stating against entry
  2. Forceful entry into private premise from a public domain despite resistance from staff or owner of private premise countering against entry.

My scenario was as thus:

Entry into private premise (the roof level) from a public domain(the stairway) in the presence of the staff of private premise (the waitresses and bar tender) who did not provide resistance against entry. Their action of standing up and giving way to our entry into the roof level could in fact to construed as the act of granting permission to enter in the premise.

Meanwhile I sat in the office of 1 Altitude, waiting for the bouncer to cool down in some other rooms in the presence of the second policemen. Seriously, I think as the head of security he could have done a better job. The security system he had in place to secure the premise of his owner was full of loop holes that could easily be exploited by any hackers (sorry for my use of computer terms in this case, however it seem very applicable in this instance since we are talking about a system).

His choice of location for detaining me was the worst place one could choose from the perspective of security. The office was full of confidential information exposed for uninvited eye. Information such as the contact details of their entire management team, the id and password to connect to their wifi system, the food connosieur they have to told to watch out for.

So after a long long time, the head of security came in with the other police.  I was informed that I was to be banned for life from the 1 Altitude bar. I proceeded this time to clarify the premises of this life time ban. Once again it was full of loop holes. Already there are quite a few major exceptions I could think of that could displace this directive of his.

A simple one would be boking of the entire venue for an events purpose and getting their director to acknowledge the need for my presence in his premise (to pay the bills at least, unless of course 1 Altitude decides to allow me the free use of premise?) 😛

A very familiar prose

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

After many years, I can finally across the above again, this time while reading through the book Dune by Frank Herbert at page 6. The first time I did so was when I went sky diving in New Zealand. There is really great truth to be found in this 8 sentences. Even Sun Tze ever spoke about it, though in another form, popularly known as Sun Tze’s death ground theory.

Take away all the gimmicks that has been flooding the time and space of our age and the underlying wisdom remains unchanged through the ages.  In a sense, as a species though we might have made advancement in terms of science and technology, we did not really progress in terms of other arena.

Then again the advancement in terms of science and technology is much debateable, historians has made findings that hinted at the existance of technologically advanced civilisations that existed prior to ours.

Maybe we have been and will always be doomed to go around in this meaningless cycle. Well at least if there is any consolation to be had from this time and age, we could at least be happy with the fact that unlike those who past before us, we have the ipod and blackberry to keep us entertained while the merry go round continues.

Huge influx of opportunites and the hidden opportunity cost

Suddenly I experienced a surge in the amount of opportunities coming my way these few weeks. Being faithful to the teachings in the topic of Economy during my times in the commerce faculty back in Junior college and in the stream of electronic commerce  back while I was doing my honours in the university, I understood and felt strongly the other side of the equation.

Opportunity cost!

Opportunity cost is defined as the lost incurred when you forego the next best alternative in the process of deciding on one of the available opportunities.

Let me talk in layman terms for your better understanding. Suppose one day you decide to spend 5 hours of your time reading a book in the library instead of spending those 5 hours sitting by the beach and reading the same book. The opportunity cost to you in this situation is the joy you feel when you sit by the beach. In this scenario, the cost is hard to quantify.

Let me illustrate for you a better example which I will draw from a real life situation.

Client A approaches me presenting before me a deal that could potentially make $4000. It requires an upfront investment of my real time of 80 hours. (as opposed to virtual time – aka asynchronous delay or some one else’s time) There exist 2% chance of complications happening. (this we will define as risk)

Client B approaches me at the same time presenting me another deal that could potentially make $10,000. It requires an upfront investment of my real time of 300 hours. (as opposed to virtual time – aka asynchronous delay or some one else’s time) There exist 10% chance of complications happening. (this we will define as risk)

As both clients came to me at the same time in need of my real time immediately, I am now faced with a situation whereby I will need to choose one and forego the other. To a normal person, he would very likely choose the deal that offers $10,000. However on closer inspection, the second deal is not actually a very good deal as compared to the other.

Let me work out the mathetics

Total likely incurrable man hours for deal A – 80 hours X 1.02 = 82 hours
Total revenue receivable $4000
Actual hourly rate for real time sold = $48.5

Total likely incurrable man hours for deal B – 300 X 1.05 = 315 hours
Total revenue receivable $10,000
Actual hourly rate for real time sold = $31.75

Some might explain that the lower rate justifies for the large sum of potential revenue receiveable in deal A. Ok then lets do the math for the other part of the equation still left invisible.

Given this active period in the market, the percentage of closing more deals simlar to A in nature is around 60%. Translated into hours it would be estimated at  (315-82 hours) * 0.60 = 140 hours

Appling the prevailings rates in deal A to this equation, I will get 140hours X 48.5 = $6,790

So if I choose to take up deal A and forego deal B, below are the mathematics:

I will have saved [315 – (140+82 )] 93 hours of my precious time and still potentially make [$10,790 – $10,000] $790 more.

Also since, I have a few channels which I could devote my time to build up recurring  income, this 93 hours extra time available at my disposal could thus be used to expose myself to the effects of the positive black swan, with zero opportunity cost incurred by me. So basically, the net comparison will be as per below :

[$10,790 +++ versus $10,000 nett]

Actually the equation that brought me to the conclusion of never getting myself employed into a full time job and a fix salary per month is almost similar to this. Get employed with a fix salary of $3000 per month and the possible financial situation you will be facing for the next 12 months will likely be

($3,000 X 12 ) = $36, 000 —

  • The minus sign is just in case your boss decides to fire your ass before the year ends.
  • also your maximum potential income has been capped at $36,000

Go about living life as a free bird

$0+++ = ???

  • Don’t worry God is kind
  • you normally won’t die from what you already, it is usually what you don’t know that will kill you.
  • You know what is your base but your upper boundary has no limits!

Life is great live free!!!!!

Surprise popularity of Joomla 1.5 Component Simple Thickbox Gallery

After being frustrated having spent a long time looking for a simple gallery component on the site to display my portfolio, I decided that I should write my own. To do so, I simplying incorporated the jQuery library, the Thickbox library and created a Joomla 1.5 component that required almost zero configurations.

Users simply installed the components, select the section or category they want displayed and Viola! the page was automatically created for them.

I used it for my own company site to display my portfolio and suddenly had an interesting thought. I might as well have it packaged nicely and submitted to the Joomla Extensions directory.

It took me two weeks and some minor changes here and there (mostly paperwork) to finally get it approved.

After a few days I went and had a look at my Google analytics account which I had installed for my company site a long time ago.

I was in for a surprise. Site traffic surged from a daily volume of less than 10 visitors a few months ago to as high as 400 daily visitors these past few days. It was totally crazy. Visitors were mostly from the US and Europe. So I guess my idea of coming up with solutions to solve potentially painful situations does seem to be a very sound.

Currently I have identified a painful situation that is being experienced in SMEs. I am working on coming up with a solution for them via the use of technology. Hopefully it will help them save time, effort and lead to increased effeciency in their work process.

New Zealand is calling!

Pasha went tracking in New Zealand in December and brought back a bone penchant from the Maori’s. It is now hanging off my neck along with the previous one I acquired years ago before I left the land. This new penchant symbolizes a new beginning.

14th of January 2010, inevitably I was brought out of Singapore, if not Philippines then Korea.  I eventually arrived in Korea and dropped by at Mansu’s place. We met when we were back in Auckland for student exchange.

Upon my return to Singapore Joseph another friend whom I met back in Auckland dropped by in Singapore for a visit.

The name New Zealand seems very visible of late. Just a while ago, I saw this advertisement by the New Zealand Government specifically targetted at Singaporeans. It was like an open invitation to drop by in Kiwiland to stay for long if we want to.

The northern winds has been blowing incessantly still, despite the fact that it is now February nearing the end of its season. Strangely, I have always this acute case of wanderlust when the winds from the north come visiting in Singapore.

Over supper, I kept turning these occurrences one after the other in the back of my mind. Is this a sign? Has Fortuna finally shuffled her cards and dealt a card from a new deck. This new path seems so clear all of a sudden and it is beckoning me along. And it seems to be pointing to the land of the Long White Clouds once again. Perhaps the stars have finally shifted. Coincidentally it occurred just when the predestined quest of aiding Alena in Singapore came to an end.

Inshallah as Sean always says. Perhaps I should settle all outstanding matters over here in Singapore and explore what New Zealand has to offer. If there is one thing Alena has giving me during the past one year’s quest, it is the knowledge that while my ascendence is ruled by Saggittarius (one constantly struck with an incessant wanderlust), my house of Sun ruled by Leo (The eternal pilgrim seeking the Holy Grail) deems that I will start craving for a glorious battle when the time comes.

I wonder what is the possibility of setting up a supply chain to New Zealand and Australia?

Already I have set my eyes on this office space which I am planning to occupy soon when the next project comes in.

Exceptions to the case – How to be a skeptic in this superfically optimistic world.

Recently I realised i have become more and more a skeptic instead of the optimist I used to be. Back in the old days, I do just take into consideration the actual path of how things should be and assume the reality would go along those ideal paths. Yup I have failed quite a few times because of these assumption of mine. Idealist be damned.

Nowadays, presented with an idea no matter how bright or beautiful it seems on first sight, I would unconciously test out the concept mentally to check for exceptional scenarios that would cause the whole downfall of things. Thereafter contemplate on tactics on how to resolve these scenarios should they occur. In the event of a lack of resolution put it on hold and come back to it at a much later time. Progress along the path seems slower now than it used to be.

Being a skeptic is indeed a painstaking task and not a role of brain lazy people.

A web that is hard to escape from

I sat by the river of Kallang enjoying the breeze as the sun slowly set over the western horizon. it was the end of the year again and the winds from the north were blowing. The air was chilly. Certain parts of Singapore has been flooded today due to heavy incessant raining. Alena was with me entertaining herself. We sat beside each other, but as is normally the case, worlds apart from each other.

It so chanced across my mind the idea of what constitutes the shakespearen style tragedy during that very instance sitting there by the river with all these around me. In such normal tragedies the main character meets a bad end not because of his flaws but ironically because of his strength. A strength which in that unique instance of a situation becomes a fatal flaw.

Past few weeks the incentive to work for money slowly but surely evaporated like the morning mist with the coming of dawn. I was of the mind to step away for a while and do some journeying. What kept me working was but duty. To avoid no task, but to handle and deliver everything promptly as has been promised and agreed upon. Ironically, it was mainly due to closely sticking to this only mission statement and my lack of incentive for money that causes a contradiction.

My lack of incentive for money wishes that each project that comes in be the last for a while, my close sticking to my mission statement was like a magnet that inevitably attracts more and more projects and consequently money in my direction, additional of which I really have not much need of at the moment. It was hard if not impossible that other elements on this net of karmic cause and effect be convinced that my time and effort be inconsequential and not useful to their cause and agenda without my active involvment in betraying my cause and mission statement.

Metaphorically it resembled a Shakespearean style tragedy. One obtains not what one desires due not to his lack of strengths but exactly because of the existance of such strengths.

I continued sitting on the bench by the river pondering how I ever landed myself up in this web of things?

Leveling up. New laptop, new technological platform Microsoft SharePoint

Suddenly I recalled my younger days sitting in front of the computer playing my favourite game “Unchartered Waters”

A merchant cum pirate cum explorer role playing game. Depending on your choosen character, you start off with with a small miserable ship, the only thing of which you could do with it was to travel from Lisbon in Portugal to Seville in Spain, trading Salt from Lisbon with Porcelain from Seville.

However with each trade if done properly you gain more capital to trade in bigger bulk. Somewhere along the way you gain enough capital to buy yourself one of those floating bastions call Venetian Galleons and then of course you get it modified for the high seas. Once that is done, the ports the world over awaits. Haha!

Recently real life has been starting to resemble this RPG game I was playing since young. The trading side at least, less the adventure side.

Suddenly, running out of capacity and processing power on my current laptop, I bought myself a new one with more memory and processing power than what I currently have. Spent more money than I usually would on anything mechanical.

Well the system specifications are correct and now the microsoft pre-requisites are as they should be. Seems like I am now ready to move into deeper waters. Bon Voyage. 😛

Capitalism : A love story

I just saw the greatest love story ever on Capitalism. It is a must watch, extremely satirical, but accurate and information giving us a good overview of why the US is in the state it is in today.

It is puzzling sometimes wondering how come humans do not conform to the normal behavior of natural predators. It was ever reported that lions, tigers and wolves normally leave their prey alone once they are done with their meals.

Are we really cursed with the inexplicable drive towards converting every known resource on earth into dollars and cents? What the hell is wrong with us?

Why money?

Recently I have been spending alot. More than what I have budgeted for per period time. In reflection though these spendings are not really derived from needs or necessity but seriously due to the lack of answer for this fundamental question? On good food and tonns on books.

Why the hell am I still wasting time working and making money? Seemingly I have made enough money for a long while a year or more perhaps given my predictable spending habits. Any extra money is but just some figures sitting in the bank account.

It seems money as a compensation for effort spent on work is just not really enough past a point.

Even though having spent way more than I should on what I dont really need, I still felt that something fundamentally was missing. I literally walked half of Singapore on foot the other day just searching for that missing answer. Dropped off a bus at fort canning park and slowly made my way on foot to Mount Faber and thereafter on foot back to Clementi traversing through the southern ridges. At some points in time, I did feel as though I could almost grasp at the abstract thing i was searching for however always it remained elusive.

The day after though when I just so happened to step into the National Geographic shop in Vivocity, I was totally blown away. Coming to a wall at the far end of the shop staring back at me was a huge map on the world on the wall, with each and every country and territory clearly demarcated one beside the other. Lying around the place too were photos and books on the exploits of fellow adventures to parts of the world hidden from most.

Yes! This is and remains the only reason as to my motivation for working my ass of making money. Alena’s living expenses aside. Without this goal of traversing the world overland or by boat, life becomes truly meaningless, despite the tonns of money to be made.

That night I made Alena a proposal. We must go to India and journey from the southern parts to the northern parts just south of the Himalayan region, if not Bhutan, Nepal than Kashmir. To go I must!