Friday, January 24, 2014

Goes to Sydney. Again

So I'm up in Sydney for the second time this holidays for work, this time on business instead of leisure. Suffice to say I learnt my lesson and did not miss the plane. However being sent solo to Sydney has it's downsides. For example, the view from my hotel room this time:

This is like, the western side of Sydney bay or something, cannot see anything from the window. I even wrote a poem to describe this predicament:

So alone
Such bored
Much time
What do?

Well seeing as I can't see anything the only logical course of action is to go outside and take a look around. It turns out that the bridge is right next door. In fact that's what you're looking at from the hotel, except well, you can't see the actual bridge.

So going up to the bridge I noticed this...'lane' on the right of the stairs. Not sure if bike lane or wheelchair access.

This is what the bridge looks like when you're running along it.
And if you look to the right, opera house and all in all its glory. They do a pretty good job of keeping it lit.

Finally made it to the other side! Success.
There's a nice little park on the north shore where I took all of these. And a little path along the beach that just keeps going, across the beach, going through these gardens, going and going and...
And then it ends up in someone's backyard :( There was a dude looking at me from the balcony sicne I was running around outside his yard taking photos etc. But I got away before he called the coppers.

The problem with going across a bridge is you have to run all the way back. But the good thing is that sometimes the scenery is different depending on which way you're going.

And the last bit of drama was that I forgot to bring my hotel key (bought my office pass instead). Had to badger hotel staff to let me in. It's actually not that hard to get access to someone's room, all you need to do is provide:
  • Name
  • Room number
  • Email
  • Phone number/travel agent
And you're in. I think this could probably be abused to great affect if you know someone's details, in the right circumstances.

Anyway that's all for Sydney adventures. Next time: misadvanetures in more interesting places.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One for the ages

This is quite atrocious. I mean, really, the last post was December 2nd...that's so long ago. So much has happened in this last month that I've missed writing about.

Lets see:
Also Christmas/NYE happened. Which means it's resolution time, if you believe in such things. Instead of making up my own i'm going to borrow someone elses. But it is Something inspirational.

(Chris Hadfield is such a bro Canadian spaceman, you can watch him here.The powers of modern technology...too bad he's retired now :\)

Too many things I've wish I'd done in the past that I've ended up not doing because I didn't feel up to it, and too many I didn't really wanted to do but felt obliged to it.

What ends up happening is none of the things you want to do get done and you're stuck not really wanting to do the things you end up signing up for. It is useful to be able to do whatever you feel like but I feel in the long run it's

Well,enough philosophisizing at 3am since I have a client presentation tomorrow at 9am which I have to be in the office by 8 for that I still haven't done the final slide for, which will probably take a few hours of research plus more time putting it all down and then dumping it all it on powerpoint.

Back to making slides. Life is good.

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Put me on your next flight to Sydney"

Or, why I will fly 2nd rate airlines that no one generally wants to fly (A.K.A. Qantas) for important business.

Last week I began my great adventure, namely that of getting myself to the airport at 6:00am in order to start a new life in Sydney as a temp White Collar corporate minion. However, little did I know that Monday mornings are also rush mornings at the Tullamarine airport for the multitude of other undoubtedly more experienced people who fly morning flights up to Sydney.

So by the time I got to the departure lobby there was 15 minutes till my 6:30 flight was about to lift off. My Virgin Australia service reps decided against trying to figure out a way to get some random obviously young and inexperienced suit who obviously doesn't know what he's doing on to the plane he was about to miss, which thus left me with no other option but to seek a replacement.

It wasn't that simple though, seeing as there was no space on the 6:45 flight. Or the 7:00 flight. Or the 7:10 or the 7:15 or the...well, you get the point. In fact due to cancellations and overbookings there was apparently no flights until 1pm in the afternoon. This was bad because I needed to be in Sydney by 9:30: being late on the first day was probably not going to help anybody.

So what choice does one have in such a situation?

Qantas to the rescue. Being the airline that no one wants to fly at the moment, they had plenty of seats at exorbitant prices on the next available flight at 7. Which makes sense as there will always be last minute suckers like myself who need to be somewhere and don't care about the price involved. Qantas being the airlines with regular services can then pick up these people and ship them to wherever.

So next time if you need to be somewhere quickly, fly Qantas because no one else will want to fly them and steal all the seats in the event you get there late/get cancelled. Who needs pretty air hostesses anyway.

I was going to talk about Sydney, but not really much happened (besides getting drunk/being thrown out of a restaurant at 5pm and then finding OJ who just happened to be there later). Apparently people who have proper jobs don't party on monday-wednesdays. Until the next post.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On Perseverance and Snails

So being in the middle of exams provides the perfect motivation to update this otherwise much neglected blog. Instead of studying for my exams which is now rather alarmingly, occurring in less than 12 hours, I was on the rainbow candy filled brick road that is the Candy Crush Saga. A tasteless choice of wasting time by any standards, but nonetheless it does the job of being a distraction at hand from exams as needed.

Anyhow so I don't play it very seriously but over time I've wondered why some people seem to be really good at this game. I mean I never bother to plan more than a move ahead and I usually rely on pure luck because if you play the same level enough times eventually the game gives you some nicely placed bricks which kind of all falls in the right place and allows you to clear the level. But being the facebook/social integrated blah blah app that it is Candy Crush always tells you the top scorers for each level and from my obeservation it seems to be the same few people.

So I wonder why that is - could it be that a few of my friends and acquaintances are just champions at placing blocks next to each other? Is there a secret sauce that the general population just doesn't know about? After much thinking and observation (really. I'm like, up to level 120 or something), I have concluded that this might be a case of survivor ship bias.

This survivorship bias means that we observe the repeat winners (Candy Crush Champs) because they are the only ones in the game. Along the way I had a few levels when I was the top scoring player out of all the people I have on facebook not because of dedication to doing so but because of random luck - the game just decided in all its wisdom to give me all the Candies I wanted.

Assuming any normal person would get bored after the first 10-20 levels because it involves the same monotonous randomness that is Candy Crush, that only leaves a small handful of people who are dedicated/unlucky enough to have something even more boring that Candy Crush serves as a palatable diversion (Exam study. Or Law, so I've been told). Hence as you keep on playing the same people will show up again and again because they've had more chances to get a high score because they're playing more. In short, because most people are not on Candy Crush and/or leading actually fufilling lives out there, you see the same people.

Not that I'm discounting the possibility that people can be good - the point is, if you keep at something long after everyone else gets bored of it, you might actually get good at it, because 'good' is relative. Even if you have no skills you can still be good at something. I guess this means in terms of study you should pick a Subject that no one else is studying, and then keep at it.

Now for some inspirational words from Swang:
Me:" Study is going at a snail pace..."
Swang:"Keep going, snails will make it to the end!"

Just hope you make it before the party's over.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

And now it begins

'Jesus rose after 3 days. Spcogg rises...after 3 months?' - OJ

So, the time's finally come for the revival. After many false starts and dead cat bounces, hopefully this is the real deal. I suppose I just have to work to make it so. In short it means we're back in business: wasting time constructively by writing it down, so future generations won't have to. It's always been for a noble cause, nevermind the fact that I've gone the past 5 days of the exam period without writing down a single thing.

After a 2 year hiatus I have been recently released from an ongoing obligation which partially caused the demise of the original blogs (for anyone that remembers/knows about it). This new and improved version will hopefully cover additional topics to keep things fresh and allow me to exercise more creatively and write across more perspectives. Funny how so much can change in two years but also how things still stay the same.

I have been holed up at home reading a book called 'The Great Deformation' by a certain David Stockman. I'll probably do a full review/synopsis of it because of the sheer length of it clocking at over 700 pages, the book itself is a polemic (I had to look that word up) book looking at the current economic state of the US and by extension, the world economy focusing on the role of the government. The opening chapters are on the handling of the '08 financial crisis, and if you ever thought that there was something fishy about the hundreds of billions spent on insolvent banks, the book attempts to explain why. The argument is that the US has essentially stopped being a free market once the government got free rein over the printing press and started to finance its spendings by borrowing money.

The writing style is very much of a rant against pretty much everyone past or present and the arguments do go around in circles sometimes, but overall would recommend for a perspective of how the state of affairs came do be. Whether it's all true or no I can't say, but it is very logical and definitely puts a lot of new ideas on the table. You will need a basic understanding of economics and US history to get the most out of it.

In other news, I won a trivia night for the first time the other night with K, Bill and Marto. Did you know for example, that the days of the week are named after Viking gods. As in, Thurs day is like, Thor's day. That's this guy:

Which they're making another movie about over in Hollywood.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On Names

I think Names are things that other people give you - you don't really need a name for yourself but without them it gets confusing for everyone. There are only so many me, you, it, him, her, they and thems. In addition if you have multiple names then the usefulness also decreases, as if I had two names (bob and steve, for example), people talking about Bob might think that Steve was a different person and hence derailing the conversation. So they're only useful insofar as they allow people to identify you and people have to agree on their use.

It's amazing how many different things people like to call me. Most people know me by a nickname since it rolls off the tongue easier than the real one, but when people have to put it to paper I get the strangest of results.

So occasionally I get called to look at some things which are supposed to have my name on them.

The following photos may or may not be the result of that.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B
Exhibit C

Exhibit D

If you are an internet friend, I challenge you to figure out what my name is from this combination of puzzling renditions of my supposed names. You have a one in 4 chance of getting the first letter right.

Even more interesting (I just noticed) is one of the submissions got not only my name but also the subject code wrong. I suppose the fact that I only realised this now that I'm comparing them side by side doesn't speak well of my attention to detail.

Until Next Time

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A public service announcement

Due to the need to break the all important news: the old blogs is being taken offline.I apologise to my cousins in advance for doing so without their warning, not that that a) they cared or b) anyone read it, especially since it was deceased.

If for whatever reason you still want to read it let me know access may be arrangeable depending on the validity of the reason (i.e. fishing for quotes) for delving into the old blog.

The next update is in the works, but work doesn't really leave me much time to do the next update.