Jan Leow's Press Blog

Out with the old, in with the new or perhaps just same old, same old.

It’s been awhile since I last blog. Year end of 2011 was so super busy with travels and last minute work that I didn’t get the time out to blog or update any of my sites. And the beginning of the year 2012, I was busy playing with some of my new PC gadgets and configuring them that I didn’t have time to do much blogging either. Now that I have more or less done up my PC gadgets and stuff, perhaps I could concentrate more on my website activities.

It is already well a week and half into year 2012, so having a New Year Resolution would be kind of late. I suppose better late than never. I’m not much of a resolution planner. Besides I can’t really follow the resolution anyway. Still it is good to have a goal, as that would generally steer your direction in what you need to do, otherwise you would just be aimlessly doing things that won’t get you anywhere. So to quote the Chess Grandmaster, Mikhail Chigorin, “Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.”

Last year has been a very busy year for me. With baby around, the running around between my house and my in-law house where my mom-in-law is babysitting is beginning to take its toil not just for me but for my wife as well too. The distance between the two house plus terrible rush hour traffic is just not conducive for long-term running up and down. It is very tiring! Still anything for our boy who is very happy to see us when we arrive. Really makes what we are doing worthwhile.

Work wise, it was rather humdrum, not much increase in potential. The world economy was in gloom and doom so it should be expected the local economy would be similarly affected. However the powers-to-be is still sitting in the clouds and looking through rose tinted glasses and dreaming of doubling up the company sales in five years time and projecting a 20% increase in sales every year till they achieve it. I think this is just pure fantasy on the top management. How unrealistic can one get? To even achieve a 3% to 5% sales increase YOY basis under normal economic situation is already a feat. To achieve 20% YOY increase? I think they take the entrepreneur’s “think big” concept a little too far! If I achieve that kind of returns, I wouldn’t be working for them!

On the family members’ front, it wasn’t a good year, seeing the passing of family members; it was tough for my wife side. How could such a thing happen is beyond our understanding and we just have to go by faith with the Lord that there is a purpose to it.

Additionally, it was also a tough year for website owners like me when Google rolled out its infamous Panda update causing many legitimate website owners like me having a tough time. It was really disappointing to see the website traffic drop despite being an authoritative site. Nevertheless, there is still hope to bounce back on this, but it will need more work for cleanups, for this and that. Time would be a factor.

To rub salt into wound, the final bang to a year of troubles, the hired maid ran away and rob us of cash, valuables and many digital equipment including my favourite old Palm Tungsten T3 PDA (despite being obsolete it still functions!) Full time maid can be more trouble than they are worth, perhaps of their lower education and poorer morals is a contributing factor that about 10,000 maids run away from their employer every month in Malaysia!

The worse ones are the Indonesian maids as the government reported that out of these 10,000 runaway maids, more than 80% are Indonesians. Not only do they just run away, they also steal since they know well that there is no way to track them down and so easy for them to cross over by sea back to Indonesia and vice versa. Even if they left their original passport behind, they have no problem getting a reissue (Government Issue or forge versions) and crossing back over to Malaysia, whether legally or illegally. In addition, their government will protect the maid interest despite the maid having committed theft. And thievery, when I last checked is still a crime is it not? Even the local police wash their hands regarding runaway maids including those that steal, concentrating more on serious crimes than these petty thefts. This fourth and final maid that my wife hired was really the last straw. No more monkey maids around the house!

So what would be my New Year Resolution or Goals (which would be a better apt description since no one really follows New Year resolution anyway)?

For starters, better finances through diverse means, ie my website income, rental income, and other odd jobs. Can’t rely just on salary as the cost of living has really been skyrocketing! The last I saw, a carton of milk cost RM4 beginning of last year, now cost RM5. A 20% inflation increase! Pooh-pooh to the government official 5% CPI inflation rate which is so fake.

Reading the Bible. I started out well last year, but fizzled out along the way. I’m going to have to try again. Pastor has given us a chronological Bible reading plan, I think it would be really tough to complete the Bible in a year. So I’m going to try back the NT Bible reading plan once again.

A healthier lifestyle. Age is catching up, with presbyopia setting in (it is rather irritating on not being able to focus near), one must eat healthily. Not that I have not been doing so. So will just have to continue with the program. Also would like to join a few more 10km races which are a good challenge to my stamina. Hopefully I can improve my timing.

Cut down on TV serials which are wasting time, but they do entertain! Thanks to my sis-in-law, I get to watch many good quality TV serials, but they sure do take up a lot of time! Movies aren’t as bad as it just a couple of hours, but TV serials, it takes many days to complete the story cycle. And the worst thing was the TV network show fit to chop the story halfway if they find the ratings not up to par (eg V, Caprica, Event, and many others). So better not waste my time on story that hangs half way!

I could list out more in my resolution plan, but sometimes the trick to sticking on to things is to keep them small to be achievable then move on to other things. However some things are on an on-going process, so it would need a certain amount of conscious focus. And when the routine becomes ingrained, it would sort of become part of your life.

The New Year is off to a slow start. With the Chinese New Year looming around the corner, many companies are finding the local economy rather slow and quiet. And me, having a little fun tinkering with my new gadgets and stuffs. Back to work very soon!

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