Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thought for the Day

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.

You don't blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the government.

You realize that YOU control your own destiny.
- Albert Ellis

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Winners v/s Losers!

Winners Have Dreams
Losers Have Schemes

Winners See The Gains
Losers See The Pain

Winners See The Present
Losers See The Past

Winners Make It Happen
Losers Let It Happen

Winners See Possibilities
Losers See Problems

Winners Makes Commitments
Losers Makes Promises

Winners Are A Part Of The Team
Losers Are Apart From The Team

Winner Always Has A Programme
Loser Always Has An Excuse

Winner Says "Let Me Do It For You"
Loser Says "That Is Not My Job"

Winners Say "I Must Do Something"
Losers Say "Something Must Be Done"

Winner Is Always A Part Of The Answer
Loser Is Always A Part Of The Problem

Winner Sees An Answer For Every Problem
Loser Sees A Problem For Every Answer

Winner Sees A Solution To Problem
Loser Sees A Problem To Every Solution

Winners Believe In Win/Win
Loser Believe For Them To Win

Winner Says "It May Be Difficult But It Is Possible"
Loser Says "It May Be Possible But It Is TooDifficult"

Winner Makes A Mistake And Says "I Was Wrong"
Loser Makes A Mistake And Says "It Wasn't My Fault"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Childhood, what every child deserves

When I look back at my childhood, god, do I feel blessed.
I had a mom who educated and nurtured me for the first 12 years of my life.
She made sure that all 3 of us would be well-rounded in every way, education, sports and activities like music etc.
She encouraged me to try new stuff, to explore and to travel.
She once had a big argument with my dad, because I wanted so badly to go to Singapore by myself (when I was 9!) and my dad didn't really approve. She fought for me.
It was drilled into my mind that although we should always put academic excellence as our top priority, but what makes you a better being is to be able to express yourself and to appreciate what life is really about.

I now think that my children are deprived of the childhood I had, and although I may not be able to give them the piano lessons, sports coaching and other finer things, the one thing I can give more is my time.

In Taiping, a different world away from the cities we know, a child can go fishing in the brooks, swim in freshwater pools under a cascading waterfall, hike up the hill and do so many outdoor activities which city kids are unfamiliar with.

I'm working towards a target where I'll be able to spend more time with them, to see them really grow, and to expose them to books and music I grew up with.

Godwilling, I will be able to do this by July next year.

In case you don't know how a child's mind works, here's a clue.

The world is an adventure,
there's so many things to see,
the search for buried treasure,
climbing high up in a tree.

Finding shells along the seashore,
playing marbles in the sand,
skipping stones across a pond,
throwing as far as you can.

Playing a game of hide and seek,
way back out in the woods,
pretending your a robber,
and stealing all the goods.

Wading barefoot in a creek,
and trying to catch a frog,
or going to your favorite park,
and playing frisbie with your dog.

And as I sit and wonder,
it comes as no supprise,
how little things can seem so big,
seen through a childs eyes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I've been reflecting on the past 15 years.
The crossroads I have encountered.
The various turns I have taken.
Although it's a principle of mine not to look back with regret, there's always that bit of thought lingering around, "hmm, what if......?".
Then when I visualise the road taken via the other route, I know that I wouldn't have done it any other way.
Now, there's another crossing coming.
Do I go on straight and continue on this path?
Or do I take the less stressful one?
I don't doubt that either path will take me up higher, but it will just be a matter of when.
To make the decision, I will have to narrow down the few major factors in the equation.
Will the extra money matter for the time I will be putting in?
Am I going to be neglecting my 3 children in the meantime?

The last question has been gnawing on my conscience. A lot.
And the way I see it, I've been doing things everyday without realising exactly how much progress am I making.
Reminds me of this quote from Much Ado About Nothing.
Yeah, from my fav writer Bill.

Oh what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do, not knowing what they do!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

An Irish blessing for everyone

Looking at the budget, I wonder how much of it trickles down to the ordinary man in the street.
Come what may, I wish you all this:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
The rain falls soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Airline livery design hits bottom

As if MAS doesn't have enough bad press on its share swap.
Now even the design "kena kutuk" by a top pilot like Patrick Smith.

 Ask the Pilot

Airline livery design hits bottom

OK, I can't stand it anymore. Has airline livery design at last hit rock bottom?
Yes, I think it has. Presenting the new look of Malaysia Airlines.
Hey, wow, a swooshy thing. How original. It's two swooshes, actually, squashed and scribbled together like tandem shark fins in a peculiar and wholly unattractive pattern.
When I say "swooshy thing" I am talking specifically about the "Generic Meaningless Swoosh Thing" or GMST, the concept that, over the past 10 years or so, has become the lowest common denominator of airline brand identity, seen worldwide from Aeromexico to El Al. The term was coined by Amanda Collier, a graphic design veteran, quoted in one of this column's earlier livery discussions. Said Collier, "the GMST is what happens when any corporation gathers senior management, their internal creative department, and a design agency in order to develop a new logo. The managers will talk about wanting something that shows their company is 'forward thinking' and 'in motion,' and no fewer than three of them will reference Nike, inventors of the original Swoosh. The creative types smile, nod, secretly stab themselves with their X-Acto knives, and shit out variations on a motion theme until everyone gets tired of arguing about it."
What makes Malaysia Airlines' swoosh so tragic is that it supersedes one of the classiest palettes out there. Malaysia is, or was, one of the few carriers to retain a classic "cheat line" -- the horizontal, nose-to-tail striping once very common on jetliners. The blue and red cheat, tapered at the stern, was handsome, distinctive and dignified -- exactly what a livery should be.
The only thing that saves the revised look from total abomination is the retention of the indigenous Wau kite on the tail. Few airline logos are as iconic and long-lasting.

True story:
In 1993 I was in the city of Kota Bahru, a conservative Islamic town in northern Malaysia close to the Thai border, when we saw a group of little kids flying Wau kites. At the time I didn't realize where the airline's logo had come from, but I recognized the pattern immediately. It was one of those airline/culture crossover moments that we aerophiles get all emotional over.
Indonesian carrier Garuda, on the other hand, has taken a tragic step backward by removing a similarly iconic logo from its tails. Gone is the abstract head of the Garuda eagle. Borrowed from ancient Sanskrit, the Garuda is common to Buddhist and Hindu mythology, and one of Hinduism's animal-god trinity. This was seen as too meaningful, apparently, and the airline switched instead to this idiotic blue blur.


Patrick SmithPatrick Smith's Ask the Pilot, a long-running feature on Salon, is the Web's most trenchant and insightful source for all things air travel, from safety and technology to airline culture and airport security. Send questions to and look for answers in a future column.