Fight World Hunger

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

watch your back

Not too long ago I was driving along the highway, minding my own business and keeping to the speed limit. It was a nice evening, the weather was great, I was comfortable, and I had good music in the car. Then I hear screeching of tyres. I've grown so accustomed to the moronic elements of our drivers that I just ignore it. But it kept going for more than what I felt was three seconds, and that's not normal.

The thing about screeching tyres is that either the sound of collision follows, or nothing happens and they drive at the speed limit finally. But anything lasting that long deserves a look, and so I check my side mirror, and what I saw was a car, just smoking its tyres trying to avoid crashing into the other car on the fast lane, but swerves behind my car to avoid hitting the car on the fast lane. I just floored it and went. Amazingly that stupid Honda was still skidding when I took off. It was surreal, like some overly dramaticized computer game of driftmaster. I turned around and shot them a dirty 'wtf was that about?' look, although I couldn't see into their cars, but its become an instinctive response for all moronic drivers.

So the lesson here is always watch your back, and you can just walk away from an accident based on reflexes. I would've hated to have my car smashed into. But what if that was really the case? Most people would blame it on bad luck, or fate. Everyone's plagued by an Aunt Agony syndrome. They want to be sad, they want to be unlucky, they want to be sympathized. Perhaps subconsciously we don't care for our surroundings. I know a few people who practice this thing I call walking-into-a-place-you-shouldn't-dressed-in-something-inappropriate, that would conjure up images of miniskirts and dark alleys. Their usual response is 'nothing is going to happen-lah!'. Until of course something happens, then they blame everything, the alley was too dark, the city is too corrupted, I feel so vulnerable, I need to get away from here.

For me, whatever happens, good or bad, its your fault. The map of our lives are based on the decisions we make, at every turn we are presented with options, and with these options, the decisions we make. If we make a wrong decision, we can't blame the consequences, because that is reality. Life is tough, and so should you be.

Just this morning I was listening to the radio, and one of the DJs commented that '...things need to change. We need to go back to the way it was,' in reference to all the violence and terrorism and the negative things that plague our society. But you know what? Things *have* changed. You can't change change, and hope to reset everything back to when terrorism didn't exist. It always existed, we just didn't know it that time. A statement like that sounds foolish to me, because its inevitable, it's happening, and you can't just close your eyes, click your heels and hope that it never happened. But some people do that, they join a society, starve, and hope for world peace. Perhaps that has some ritualistic or religious intonations but that hardly turns anything around. It will draw some level of compassion from people who aren't terrorists (aww, how nice, isn't that nice, dear?), but the best thing you can do, really, is to watch your back.

That's the ugly reality of the new year, and the other new years to come.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the elegant solution

For the longest time I would never walk into the Bose store at KLCC. Why? Sticker shock, perhaps. As with most products I usually go into research mode and start reading up on everything and absolutely every aspect of it. Habit keeps that going, I suppose. That in the end when I do walk into a store like that I know their products inside out, and thereafter the remainder of the time spent would either be used to test the salesperson's depth of knowledge, or to acquire something new that I didn't know, which is absolutely rare.

The thing is I like someone who knows what they're doing, who knows what they're selling. For me nothing builds confidence like a well trained salesperson; not too pushy and intelligent. So the other day after much mulling, I decided to waltz in there and see what happens. In my t-shirt, jeans and black beanie I looked like I was on a yakuza tea break, but it was designed to see if I would be entertained, monkeys not included. Surprisingly our fellow salesman was kind enough to show me around, test a few systems, and knew his product inside out. I liked that but of course, wouldn't be buying anything soon.

Today I went back there again, this time on the company account and was looking for a sound system for our meeting room, which has and is slowly becoming an entertainment portal of sorts. Let me tell you one of the joys of my life now is shopping on the company account, as long as it's logged and logical, I hardly have any issues once its approved by the shareholders. I love it!

After purchasing the system our friendly salesperson decides to push it on a trolley to my car. Very nice but no thanks. The box weighs about 20kilos(yes, research beforehand tells me that), and in reality doesn't really require a trolley. So I decide to carry it, and there is a shocked expression on his face like it was the first time anyone has carried anything out of his store. It was a mixture of, are you sure, and I don't think I've ever seen this before. It was weird, but I figured all the rich sissy dudes buying these things don't want to be bothered carrying their own stuff anyway. For me, I just hate that awkward silence out of the store when you're in the elevator and you're trying to make small talk to pass that excruciating few minutes. I hate small talk.

So tomorrow is a new day, I'm gonna set up the Bose, and its gonna be great. I tested it in the store and the acoustics just blew my mind. Did you know that Bose puts all of its profits back into research? Hence their motto, better sound through research. That makes sense, and it feels good to fund that kind of forward thinking.