Good tidings for you and for me

The Christmas period was a pretty hectic time for me. There was the thing about meeting deadlines to launch a site before Christmas and with presents lined up under the Christmas tree at work, the mind definitely weren’t there to finish it. Fortunately, so was the clients’. Most were out before lunch and one even asked me to go home earlier. Anyway, by evening, most of us decided to call it a day and gathered to do our Secret Santa gift exchange. Somehow, I got a Tungdom and a box of Oral Sex candy. I wonder why.
Office Gift X'change Party Office Gift X'change Party Office Gift X'change Party Office Gift X'change Party
Besides work, there was carolling. It was a relief that by Christmas night, at Changi Airport, we finally finished our last carolling session and everything worked out just fine for a grand total of 23 carolling sessions, 810 total minutes of singing. Carolling was easy, but managing the singers for those 23 sessions was hell. Though at the end, we pulled through and everyone had great times at all the sessions.
Me and Yann Got Yann a nice little gift for Christmas which I think is three years overdue. But nothing beats having that nice sweet smile in front of me.
So my list of gifts this Christmas – a potentially good job, a potentially exciting 2006 for the choir, a new old iPod, slightly fitter me, and last and most importantly, a happy girlfriend.
Happy holidays everyone.

Please sign up…

For the past few weeks, I have been preaching this line to my choir: please sign up for carolling.
Or the alternative: SLs, please get your section to sign up for carolling.
It’s three days to three of the most busiest carolling days of our history and I am still going – please sign up for carolling.
From 23 to 25 December, we have concurrent carolling sessions at Changi Airport and Grand Hyatt. Such plans are inevitable, especially close to Xmas. Of course I could have said no, but that would have reduce the funds we will have for next year’s plans. And I had the impression back in August, that all 40-odd of my members will turn up for carolling. So when members sign-up for carolling, I am able to have an overview of who’s turning up and so, make my plan so that both sessions are well represented in order to put up a good show.
How wrong can I be.
I have members who are persistently online – playing online games/surfing/chatting/emailing – but somehow, refuses to go to the forum to sign up.
I have members who disappear into the thin air after our last concert, even though our choir works on a yearly basis – members are required to attend performances/activities from the beginning of the year till the end of the year – meaning carolling.
I have members who are always there but yet, not there. Promises of attending this and that, yet, when the day comes, are always absent with one excuses or another.
So, all I want for Xmas this year, is not to receive any complains from our clients about lack of singers.
And for my members, to sign up.
ps – never think/talk/consider issues of such nature prior to sleep. this kept me up later than i thought. now it’s morning and i’m sleepy.

Site and Email disruptions

Just got notified by Dreamhost that they are encountering problems with their servers that houses this site’s pages and emails. So in case the site goes down or emails are not replied, please fret not as it should be back up soon enough.
bq.. Hello Soon-to-be-Unhappy DreamHost Customers,
One of our NetApp filers (the back-end serverst that store all your email and web sites) has crashed. We are in the process of diagnosing the problem and hope to correct it shortly.
In the meantime you may be experiencing downtime with your website and email service. Any emails sent to you during this time should be redelivered after things are fixed. We don’t anticipate any data loss from this outage.
Our apologies and hopefully we can get things back up lickety-split.
That UnHappy DreamHost One-less-filer Team!
p. I like how they send out such emails…someone out there seems not to like Dreamhost lately.

How much to charge?

Came across this article at Creative Guy about how a freelance designer calculate his hourly rates. This is something most freelancers will have problems with when quoting a client as there isn’t a clear-cut way of quantifying how much you charge for your effort, especially for creative work.
His idea is simple, you work backwards. First decide how much you want to get yearly, add in costs like taxes, insurances, overheads like computer/software costs, rentals etc.. and also how much profits you think you want to earn, .then divide that by the number of hours you’ll work a year…
So how much do you think you’ll charge? Read more at CreativeGuy – Designers: How much to charge

Remedial Training – Day I-can't-remember

Since Phase 2 started, I have been attending training three times a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The idea is that the training during the first phase is to get your body ready for more training, especially for those who haven’t exercise for months. Phase 2 is all about improving.
Alot of the training is suppose to help improve those section we are weak in – in my case, chin-ups and the 2.4km run. Almost each session will involve doing chin-up exercises and doing 2.4km runs.
Two weeks into Phase 2, we have the first of the two IPPT tests conducted during this phase. End result remained the same. Got maximum points for sit-up (38), shuttle-run (10.1s) and jumped 216cm. However, I still can’t beat gravity, failing the chin-up. But something I’m quite happy to say is that I shaved two minutes off my 2.4km run. I managed to complete all 6 rounds without walking and clocked a satisfying 15.17min.
Like what the result sheet says – “Try harder next time…”

Sleeper Cell

Sleeper Cell A sleeper cell is a small group of people that belongs to a large organization, usually a terrorist group. The cell “sleeps” (lies dormant) inside a population until it receives orders to act.
That is the basis of a new show on Showtimes called Sleeper Cell. This 10-episode drama follows a FBI agent on deep undercover, infiltrating an Islamic extremist terror cell, right in the heart of LA.
The main difference about Sleeper Cell is that it is not your typical cop/FBI/CSI etc against terrorists tv show. Instead, it focuses on the lives of those in the cell, and how each coming from different background, to end up in the same group with a common will to strike terror in the name of their faith.

Continue reading “Sleeper Cell”

Comd and Control

You realised you spend too much time in front of a Windows PC than on your favourite Mac at home when you start sliding your pinkie towards the Ctrl key rather than using your thumb to press the Comd key when you want to cut & paste at home.

A blogging elegy

Blogging Elegy – written by Edvarcl Heng, a touching reflection from him, who has known Sondra as she is, and not The Idler, fembot or biks, like the rest of the local blogosphere who are now wrangling over what I would consider as something that had good intentions, but poorly executed.
bq.. Browsing her blog for the third time in as many hours, I felt oddly comforted. I wondered if she was still alive somewhere. Perhaps on the other side of a computer. Madly banging away on a keyboard to her unseen audience. The words I see on the screen were her words. Her thoughts. Her life. If Faust believed that his past deeds would keep his name alive, so too would hers. Her blog has become an elegy to herself. Every recorded laughter, every thought, every leaf…
I read my first personal blog last Wednesday; and my friend never really said goodbye.
p. It is a nice gesture by the editors at Tomorrow.SG to want to keep her blog alive as a tribute to Sondra and her writings. I’d stop at that. No to publishing any books and no to collection of funds.
Considering how dirt cheap hosting is now, they should just take the initiative and try to migrate her site/database and host it together with Tomorrow.SG or someone can just donate the space. I would donate some hosting space if need be.
As for the publishing of the book – well, whether they get approval from her family or not – isn’t really the issue. A blog should stay where it belongs, online. Whether her family wants to read it, should be their own decision and not be shoved a book that contains it.
The best thing editors at Tomorrow.SG should do, is to give the fund-raising activity a rest. Just get the hosting settled and let that be her final contribution to our local blogosphere. Her family and friends, will want their time and space to grief, and not to witness or bothered by the mess that is happening online. They won’t want it, and neither, I think, will Sondra.
Do take time to read Edvarcl’s Blogging Elegy.