Category Archives: musings

Life as a working parent

When you’re not worrying about work, you’re worrying about your kids, their health, education, upbringing…

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But what do I know

I used to think that doing projects is about getting things done so that we cam deliver the system and close the project. This project is very much about accounting for delays.

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If at first you don’t succeed…

try, try again?

Just a thought: the difference between persistence and stubbornness is whether you get it done in the end. If you succeed eventually, your persistence paid off. If you don’t, you might be just another stubborn fool.

I was taught one trick to guarantee a win when playing games of 50% chance in casinos. Always double your bet after losing, so that your win will cover your previous losses. If you have bet $10 previously, and lost, bet $20 in the next round. If you then win $20, it will more than cover your initial $10 loss. The trick is to be sure you have enough money to keep increasing your bet, which rapidly increases to $5120 by the 10th try.

If you keep losing after 10 tries, should you continue (and hopefully have your persistence pay off) or should you give up and not be a victim of your own stubbornness?

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Why do people dress up in capes

At a local store’s checkout counter, a plump little boy spent his time deforming bars of chocolates with his elbow while waiting for his parents paying for their purchase in the next aisle.

The couple in front of me glared at him, but in typical singaporean fashion, we tend to keep quiet instead of confronting such people. And so they continue to misbehave because they have no disincentive to stop them, and probably no incentive to change their ways and become better people. But i’m not that typical and i asked him what he was doing, is he going to pay for the damages he did. He tried to ignore me, continue flipping the chocolate bars in a less destructive manner, and later went off to hide behind the next aisle where his dad was still making payment.

I think i had been quite mild. After a long day at work, the frustration of seeing such uncivil behaviour was almost enough to make me shake him until he cried and begged for his parents but i didn’t. Maybe that would help him understand that such behaviour should not be continued and if shocked enough, he will remember for a long time. But i was not sure if i would end up scaring the other customers around me.

Sometimes i can almost understand why people would dress up in a cape, wear their underwear outside and play the role of a vigilante.

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When the police comes for your dad

I saw Chee Soon Juan at a food court during lunch time today, eating with what looks like his wife and children. After lunch, he turned around and joined the next table, seemingly holding a conference.

Some of my colleagues commented that he would have to depend on his wife to feed the family, especially during the times when he was behind bars for opposing the incumbent government. A different thought went through my mind then: what would his kids think, seeing their dad repeatedly getting into trouble with the law for the work he is doing? Will they see him as a hero, opposing the corrupt government that they will grow up to despise? Will they respect him for his high ideals and for sticking with his political battles for years despite the insurmountable difficulties? Will they think of him as an idiot for throwing away his life, and the possibility of a better life for his family because he chose to chase impractical dreams?

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Campaign for real beauty?

The cynic in me will find it easier to believe the advertisements if they were sponsored by a non-profit organisation, rather than a commercial company such as Dove.

A company with shareholders exist primarily to make money (a selfish motive) and is it fair to those shareholders if the company throws money away without expecting some boost to its profits in the end? I’m sure it won’t hurt its parent company Unilever if the feel-good element wins them more customers.

To be practical, non-profits will not be able to afford such a campaign. I can live with some hypocrisy if it achieves some good. At the very least the campaign raises awareness of this issue.

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Do you drive?

First day of CNY:
When leaving a relative’s home, I was asked “Do you drive?” What should I answer? I have a driving license, but not a car. I can drive, but you need to supply me with the car. A truthful answer but not very impressive. Given that the person asking this question is a rich relative with an even richer boyfriend, I felt that the most factual answer may not be the most acceptable.

“I drive, but not today.” I think she might have missed the implications because she went on to tell us how her even richer boyfriend has just burst a tyre in his porsche and had to take her car today, so she travelled around with her parents in their car. She might have thought that I was not able to drive my own car today because it was not available, for some reason. Evasive answer?

Somehow, appearances are very important for the Chinese, especially on CNY. Especially when the relative in question is on the in-laws side and I have to put up some show of strength.

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