09. Newbie at work - Part 2

scribble...scribble...swirling the pencil with my fingers, look left, look right, stare right in front of my computer screen...click this, press Enter, type ...type...type... glugg...glugg..glug (*drinking water*)....click click...scratch scratch (*itchy head*) ..

That's me in the office ever since I started working at here at CV. I'm gettin glued to my seat and my eyes are sored staring at the screen trying to look busy. And thinking hard how to pass time and be "productive"...hahaha...

I had thought my first month here would be busy learning new things on the job. But other than my first business trip to Brunei after joining CV on my 5th day, working life here has been at a slow-mo pace. Brunei trip was a lil rushing, I haven't even get to know everyone in the office or get around settling down, and I had to travel with my proj manager and another colleague working on the new project. The most awkward part is that my travel partners are totally strangers to me! Lucky thing that they were both female. Anyway, they have been quite friendly to me during the short trip. In fact I've quickly got to know both of them in a short period of time considering that we spent the entire time there together (well..of course excluding the time when we go for toilet breaks :P)

Back to office in the 2nd week after my trip, I almost bored myself to death.. X_X Terrible..terrible.. I'm amazed I'm still surviving and sitting right at my desk writting this now.. (just one of the many ways to pass time). At first there were a little work to do, busy preparing some process flow charts and reviewing them with VV. Then they told me I've to take over BL maintenance project. Ok, this is going to be tough juggling 2 projects. That's what I thought. But besides the first handover meeting from BB, there was no further news from that end. Well, well...maybe it's the calm before the storm.

Then VV suggested I attend the briefing on IBM Workplace on last Thursday. I wasn't too eager then. But I was glad that I did go, it was better than doing nothing in the office. Can't even recall when was the last time I went to such briefings (which were quite a norm for us back when I worked in Axis). These events are the "happening" places for developers to meet and socialise, get updated on the latest technologies and products, and also to sit ourselves silly listening to the long list of speakers and yawning at the presentation slides. Boring they may be, but I like to see it as the fastest way to get updates from the industry, familiarised with the products and and also know who the competitors are.

The event was not a big affair, nevertheless, I met one of my ex-managers from GSD, NA and also my college senior there. I didn't think that NA would recall my face, so I didn't bother to say hi. (that's a fact, dude! don't want to embarass myself if NA thinks I'm a stranger). Lucky it was the other way round with my senior, Ku. Besides catching up on each other's news, we also talked about some prospective jobs and how to apply those IBM products for the clients.
Didn't get to enjoy the food much (hey, I'm not that kiasu ok?), though I must say that the apple pie served during the break was extremely delicious! It was a last minute choice, I'm glad I didn't miss that :P

This week in office was starting to get a little unbearable. I tried to be initiative by preparing plans and scope to be covered, reading up project case studies and documentation, and surfing and digging for information on IBM websites. All the while getting blurry-eyed browsing lines and lines of information. (someone help me!! *arms flailing*, I think there's an information overload situation here!!)

My only hope of releasing stress ad boredom is writting nonsense here...at least it keeps my "creative juices" flowing :P Just hope nobody finds me bored to death...gasp...gasp...!! X_X

08. Caught on 3D fever!

3D craze has finally caught me on! Years ago when I received those pictures of repetitive wEiRd multi coloured patterns, I couldn't figure out what were in those pictures. I squinted my eyes, looked from a distance, focus at a near distance, whatever I tried I just couldn't "see" which part of the picture was 3D. It was just elusive from me! Back then, whenever I get those forwarded mails with 3D in the subject, I just press the Delete key and straight they went to my trash.
But finally when sis forwarded me a series of 3D pictures lately, I asked Nix to bring me into the world of 3D. He taught me one of the techniques to view the pictures. I tried to focus at one point, squinted my eyes, view it at a very near distance till it almost touched my nose...the picture was blur right...but no 3D yet! Impatient as always, I was eager and anxious to see the magic with my own eyes. Nix wasn't much help thereafter, trying hard to help me see the magic and didn't spare the opportunity to tease me. I tried a few more times but to no avail.
The next day, all alone this time, I tried again. This time the picture became blurry and suddenly, the magic just appeared before my very own eyes! I saw my very first 3D picture - a birthday cake with three candles on it. And I was hooked instantly. I was immersing myself in this new found interest and the wonderful world of 3D. I was looking at those pictures like I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life! I was so happy and excited that I sent an SMS right away to Nix, and I was a like a little girl again rambling non-stop for few minutes to tell him what I saw.
I was so eager to see more of those pictures and also to polish my viewing skills. I search for more of those pictures on the Internet. And I was happy to find many resources to this craze.
It still amazes me how did we come up with such an idea to produce 3D pictures and how our eyes can be tricked into seeing 3D. But I am sure I will not delete those 3D mail forwards again! Check out some of the 3D pictures here for yourself!
Some links:
Magic Eye - 3D pictures for your viewing pleasure
Optometrist Network - how to see 3D


07. IBM Workplace Briefing at Sunway

I haven't been attending briefings and seminars for the past one year. And this morning I attended IBM Workplace Briefing at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel.

This briefing is meant to give an overview on how IBM Workplace can transform the way people do business and work. The solution consists of a collaboration of multiple services mainly ranging from emailing, scheduling and calendaring, people awareness, instant messaging, web conferencing, document management, team workplace to content management. It was really impressive to get an insight how a workplace can be more collaborated to be more productive. And most important of all, everything's available On Demand.

It's important that people get timely information when they need it, and know where to get it. I guess this is what IBM meant by On Demand Business. It gives an advantage over your competitors, where timely information means money! It's definitely worthwhile to have the organisation's staff to have the collaborative experience and make it a cornerstone for enhancing work productivity and efficiency.

Generally, the solution is about building a web portal for your oganisation, partners or customers. Business applications together with common office applications (eg. mail, calendar, to-do list, reminders) come in customisable portlets which are assembled into the portal interface. Add on the instant messaging, web conferencing and people awareness features, and your organisation can start communicate real time. To facilitate project team and collaborative work, Team Workplace and Document Management System will come in handy as a central repository for project teams' documents, discussions, task assignment, schedules etc. And to round it off, you have the Content Management module to administer and maintain the whole portal without much hassle.

Sounds complicated isn't it? It doesn't at all. You will appreciate the way it will transform the way you work, and you'll be amazed how it makes your working life easier. And I'm glad that I spared my time to attend today's briefing, not forgetting to mention the yummy desserts and nice food served at the briefing :-)


06. Creative Recycling or Harsh Poverty?

Got this picture in my inbox today. What a creative way of recycling old bottles! But it makes me think twice about the picture. Imagine the poverty of the people who have no shoes to wear and have to use any resource they have to replace their necessity.

We are so used to wearing shoes whenever we step out, with few pairs extra to suite the situations and tastes. It's hard to live a day without shoes, so much so that we take it for granted.

The next time you wear your shoes, spare a thought for the people without shoes, more so for those unfortunates that are without feet.


05. Couch Potato or Couch Slouch?

Heard this over the radio while I was driving to work and came across the article again in today's papers.

The British potato farmers were calling to remove the "couch potato" term from the Oxford English Dictionary and replacing it with "couch slouch". Apparently the "couch potato" term is harming the healthy spud's image.

What a ridiculous idea! To think that people will stay away from potatoes because of a derogatory term. And I don't see that there's any trend that points towards a decrease in potato sales. Hmmm.... wonder what's all the fuss about? Personally, the term sounds decent enough and it describes the whole thing perfectly.

The meaning of the term is well known, but ever wonder how did the term come about? It originated from an American slang. And probably potato chips was the top favourites to munch on while slouching on the couch watching the tv. What do you think? Oh, by the way, for the health concious ones, the spud is low in fat and high in vitamin C. (*and I don't mean munching on your favourite Pringles :P)


04. Things that couples do - Part 1

This topic just came to my mind and I thought it will sure invite some silly remarks and laughters... Nonetheless, this would be an interesting topic to write on...
Part 1

Like reading? Reading alone can be boring and monotonous. How about reading it with your other half? Sharing the same reading materials can help your relationship bonding, as both of you share the same knowledge, discuss about views on certain topics, discover things that you never knew about your other half and also provide some new conversation topics to spruce up your relationship.

To get started, just drop by any book stalls, buy a book (*personally i think a mag makes a good read, as both of you can read together). There are few ways to share your reading pleasure... and have a good time!

  1. You could head towards your favourite hang out place like Starbucks, buy a drink and do your reading. You get to enjoy your cup of drink while doing some leisure reading.
  2. If you prefer more privacy, reading together at home on your comfy couch or some bedtime reading is a great way to enjoy your "couple moments" too.
  3. Or...if you really like books, you could also hang out at the bookstore itself. Choosing interesting books to read together, laugh yourselves silly over funny articles, or sharing some interesting things you find in the books.
  4. ....it's up to your creative thinking to share your reading pleasure!

When you run out ideas where to go for movies, dinners & shopping, or you feel like having a quiet and relax time together, you may want to try out the above. Believe me, doing those lil quizzes in the mags together is real fun! You both get to know more about your partner. Another plus thing is, you would save on entertainment expenditures.

(*but if both of you are not the book-loving type, this may not be for you... do check out for the next part on this topic, and see if it suits you! )


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03. Going Javanese at Bayou

Fancy trying Javanese food in a cosy restaurant? Bayou Restaurant at Plaza Mont Kiara is a place to indulge. Had a lunch date today with my friend, Vay (*a very busy lady, but a nice person to chat with).

Vay Posted by Hello

This restaurant looks like old style Chinese kopitiam with wooden furnitures and white walls from the exterior. Step inside and you will be attracted to the interior decorations. There are lil ornaments in every corner, picture frames hanging on the wall, it's like stepping into an old colonial-style home.

The menu was a delight, with appetizers and salads to begin with, and pasta selections or choice of hot & spicy dishes to tingle your tastebuds, and top if off with delicious and tempting desserts.Though I have to mention that the price here is towards the more than average end.

One dessert worth mentioning is the Spanish Chikita. The name sounds cute, the dessert looks simple, and the taste is sinfully delicous! It is a mocha cake with sliced bananas, dried fruits and nuts at the bottom layer, laced with sweet milky sauce (*probably a mixture of milk, yoghurt and caramel), and few dashes of choc powder. This is definitely one of the best dessert i've tried.

What a sweet & delightful lunch! Try it if you do stop by Mont Kiara.The place itself is worth your visit ;-)

Spanish Chikita Posted by Hello


02. Newbie at Work

You are thrilled when you get a new job offer and you can't wait to leave your old job. Doesn't that sound all too familiar?

People have always like new things, new challenges, meet new people, learn new things, see new places...it brings excitement and anticipation. But being a newbie at work can be quite an experience. New place, new colleagues, new bosses, new routine, new rules. Everything can be oeverwhelming.

Working at a new job, you try to settle in to your office and your cubicle, trying hard to remember the new faces and names, understanding your roles and responsibilites, figuring out where to get what you need, and probably most nerve racking of all is coping with job expectations. We all want to perform our best and give the best impression. And of course we hope to sail through the probation period, which comes along with every new job, and hold on to your hard-earned $$.

Ever wonder how we cope with all these "stress"? Everyone has their very own first day at new job experiences. Those who are more sociable settle down quickly and can be quite "visible" in the new office. While some who are the quiet type, may stay Unnoticed, diligently doing their work. The rest falls in between, slowly gaining familiarity and ease at work. Whatever we do, we fall into places somehow, some time.

Generally, people warm up to those who have a pleasant personality and a friendly, smiling face. Greeting your new colleagues may be a way to start. Try hanging around the pantry to do lil chit-chat and having meals together help to foster friendship. Talk about latest happenings (*movies is a great topic!) will get the conversation rolling. There are people who like to offer food/snacks as way to start too! (*Almost everybody likes free food).

Just start talking and smiling, you are sure to hit it off with most of your new colleagues and settle in your new job! =)

01. Geocaching Adventure

Group photo take at Lata Kijang
Posted by Hello

On a beautiful Sunday morning around 8:00am, 7 of us, armed with 2 GPS devices, driving a Ford Ranger and a Honda City set off to
Lata Kijang for a half day of adventure. All were very excited about this geocaching adventure, which was the 1st time for everyone of us except for Johann . Johann has been to many a geocaching trips before this in other countries besides Malaysia.

Journey to the destination took around 2+ hours, winding through the malay kampungs, up and down the hills, bumpy ride here and there on unsurfaced roads, passing by rubber estates, avoiding "gold piles" (cow's dung) on the road...it was like a journey to a well guarded and very "ulu" place. We missed a turning and got lost. Luck was on our side though...an "orang asli" (native people) was kind enough to lead us right up to the destination!

The terrain was getting tougher..with potholes appearing now and then, unsurfaced roads barely wide enough for 2 cars side-by-side, bridge made of logs...at one point, poor Honda City just couldn't take in the rough terrain anymore. We had to "abandon" it at road side, all jumped into the Ranger to continue the rest of the journey. When we came to the end of the road, what awaited us took our breath away. Though nothing impressive like Niagara Falls, Lata Kijang waterfall was still a scene to behold. The fall was almost vertical, the place pristine and mostly untouched. Cameras were busy clicking away, to capture the breathtaking scenes for later story telling moments.

We cooled off in the cooling waters, soaking our tired feet while adminiring the scenic waterfall. Johann and Matt were busy looking for the Geocache goodie bag, but this time luck was not on our side. The goodie bag was no where to be found. Disappointed though, we were not to be bothered. The scene that beheld at Lata Kijang was sweet and precious to savour. We were contented to say the least.

Interested in finding out about geocaching, check out at Geocaching website. This site will tell you all about geocaching and this may gives you ideas on how to have a simple adventure on your weekends and holidays!

"Life does not matter how many breaths we take, it is the moments that take our breath away that matters" - Unknown
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