Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nothing better to do

Tmn Aman Bball Team in Carlsberg cup 2008 ended with less than a fizzle. 2 weeks ago we lost to a team named "Waterboy" 46-61. I scored a fluke ass 3-pointed that didn't mean a thing. We had lousy movement, no aggresiveness. Once again out-rebounded by a shorter team cos our tall players don't know how to box out or see the floor well. We don't have training, so with a losing record, we did think it was expected. Maybe that's why we don't play that hard. Next match against Kepong Bball team was to be on 27th Dec, after X'mas.

23rd Dec, had buffet dinner with my watch-school mates and Sir at Jogoya Starhill. Honestly, it wasn't worth the money we paid. We did had a fun night tho. The blardy line to Haagen Daaz ice-cream was long. Some peaple scoop ice-cream for their whole table, hence holding up the line. Was a bit of a waste of time lining up, felt that New Zealands ice cream was tastier. Haagen Daaz is just overpriced and promoted better, thats why they have a better market. We went back to hostel all bloated,full and sleepy. Been a long day. Bathe, talk cock with Alvin then sleep.

24th Dec - Half day at N.G. Hayek Watchmaking School, suppose to be 8.30am-12pm. Clean up day. Took apart my lathe to clean the rust out with rust-removing liquid. The liquid smells like the loo, probably has some ammonia in it. After that was done we vacuumed, mopped,wipe everything that potentially had dust on. That done, hands hurt and sweating we waited for Sir to say "go home". Had a pep-talk, QnA session and then its off for a 10day holiday. 25th Dec 2008 til 4th Jan 2009. Had a feeling of sadness leaving the workshop for 10 days, and its just 10 days. Maybe I realised I have nothing to do at all, but it is fun in the workshop. The day before i just made my Winding Stem, altho not a good one in my eyes, I'm happy i made one.
After that it was back to the hostel for a shower and suppose to go watch movie, but Sorpor was lazy, so just end up playing with Mika Chuah Mikmik the Toy Puddle.
Christmas Dinner was at Aunty Alice's place, she makes good lamb stew. Had a nice dinner there, some wine that made me dizzy real fast. Then it was time to dish out the gifts. Seeing i was wearing red, (the same shirt i wore for a 2 Christmases), I became the choice for Santa Claus. Minus the white beard,round tummy, kit, hot young elf lady, I still enjoyed being Santa. Was thinking bout getting real Santa Claus outfit for the next Xmas, but think the heat,stuffiness and humidity in KL will kill me.

25th - had lunch with SorPors family n aunty, quite filling. then it was buffet dinner while i was still not feeling hungry. Ended up with indigestion, lost 2kgs in weight due to lack of appetite. Still feeling the effects of it and appetite hastn't really returned yet.

26th, Went shopping in KLCC and Capsquare. Capsquare has cool auto doors that open outwards instead of sliding. Still wasn't feeling well, went back at 8pm and slept from 8.30pm to the next day.

27th- suppose to play the last match of Carlsberg cup, but wasn't feeling good, so told captain i'm out. Found out the team lost 56-99 to Kepong Bball team. Everyone expected a loss, so... i guess there wasn't much fighting spirit as usual. It takes more than one player to make a diffrence, if the team doesn't function properly, your hopes are all gone.
While the team was playing, i was watching Ip Man, it is a kickass show, R-E-S-T-E-C-P to the man, Ip Man, but duno was Miura actually beaten like shit like that. Hopefully more la. Kudos to Donnie Yen for a good performance. I'd watch it again.

Finding something to do in my free time. But without money, can't even go out for coffee, anyone wants to treat me?

Friday, December 19, 2008


I got an SMS recently from my uni lecturer, saying that my paper has been accepted and will be published soon. Thinking he sent the wrong person a message i called him to find out. Turns out my Final Year Project report was submitted to some Chemistry research body and it was accepted. Wonder what kinda ammendments were done to it. As far as I know I wrote a really crappy report.
So now I get mentioned in a journal, does that qualify me for a chance at pursuing a Masters in Chemistry? Wonder if my ex-uni has part-time Masters program for busy people like me.
oh yeah btw i almost forgot what my FYP title was, something along the lines like umm...Electro-analysis of Zinc Sulphide Thin Films in Varying pH ranges...or something, could actually be a longer title if I remember correctly...nuts...
again...yippie yay yay! It feels good altho not as good as finding out I got accepted into watch-making months ago...that was more exciting.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carlsberg Cup Dec 2008-report

Last night i played in the Carlsberg cup basketball competition in USJ something, court 8 i think. My team was from Tmn Aman, i was an import to fill up the bench :) Bench warmer la, with all my gas coming out, sure the bench is warm.
We got the early for warm up shots. had a pep/team talk then the game started. Up against a team name "Friends", we had a height advantage over them. 6-4 Franklinstein and 6-3 Vinod. and a host of other players. For the first 5 minutes of the game we looked like a very organized team. Positions were being played well on offence but still lacking on defence. We had the opening basket with a lay in by Vinod, his hoisting the ball high and letting defenders smell his armpits, or bump into his big belly. What happened after that was anyones guess. "Friends" got the lead with a 3-point shot, and stretched that lead to 6 points up to the half time.
After the half time break, we manage to keep within 10 points of the opponents, but at the 4th quarter, it all went downhill, two 3 point attempts (i think) by the opponents stretched their lead over us to 10. And they maintained it til the end.
Physically we were the bigger team, but with lack of game knowledge and proper movement we were screwed over by a smaller sized team. They should be laughing at us by now. Guess we have to buck up and prepare ourselves better for the next game on Saturday 8pm.
I intended to scare them with my superior quickness (yeah right) and jumping ability, but i was running too much that my team-mates couldn't find me to pass. And i made bad plays. Out of 40 mins, i play about 5mins. So much for that. Will try to play better on Sat. sorry no pics. bleh

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What do i do in a watch-making school?

The other day, Alvin made a comment that started my rubbish thinking engine running on overdrive. He said, there was ice on the polar side of Mars to which i said, we also have polar ice caps, does that make us aliens too? What I said to stress the rest of them out is as follows

Me: Humans actually came from Mars, does to pollution and wasting all resources of Mars, and practically driving Mars to destruction, the Human race built huge ass space-ships to haul (evacuate) the people of Mars out of the doom planet. The destination would be earth.
Due to the rush in designing the space-ships, proper QAQC was not done and most of the space-ships were destroyed along the journey to Earth.
Then the landing systems were screwed and the space-ships that arrive at Earth crash landed in various continents. The White ship in Europe, Red ship in North America, Brown ship in South America, Black Ship in Africa,Australia, and the Yellow ship in central Asia.

The Cyprus opens his mouth and calls me a whacko, which makes him my next target. Cyprus has that weird hand coordination where both his hands can do diffrent motions relative to the other. something like the pat-head-rub-tummy-then change orientation experiment/game.

Me conts: Cyprus was one of the pilots of themothership with  his superior skill in hand eye coordination, but being arrogant he started wanking and shot his load onto the control panel, short-circuiting the ships electrical systems and causing most ships to crash land and destroy everyone on board.
The crash was so traumatising to everyone that no one could remember a thing. The great people of our times are those alien intellectuals who have sort of flashbacks that give them ground breaking theories and inventions to help develope the human race into an advanced race, Its just that they don't realise they have previous experiences in another life.

I don't know where i was going with this story but basically we are Martians, and we are destroying Earth and also trying to get back to our home planet, Mars. Just do a proper QAQC the next time we have to evac and don't let Cyprus drive, or keep him under strict supervision at all times.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We're in the Star

Extracted from "The Star" newspaper

In the nick of time

Photos by BRIAN MOH

The Swatch Group comes to the rescue of the Swiss watch industry in the face of increasing global demand for Swiss timepieces and limited watch specialists.

AT THE risk of sounding ironic, it looks like time could be running out for the watch!

Findings by the Swatch Group have revealed a critical shortage of watchmakers and skilled technicians in the face of a rise in the demand for mechanised timepieces in more recent times.

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On the dot: Precision is required in watchmaking.

“We realised that there was a global shortage of watchmakers more than 10 years ago,” Swatch Group Malaysia general manager Bernard Yong revealed recently.

“The entire market has changed. Watchmaking is no longer a trade passed from father to son, and not many people are interested in repairing watches although more people are acquiring mechanised watches – Swatch Group’s global sales alone increased from 1.85 billion Swiss francs (RM5.7bil) to 5.94 billion Swiss francs (RM18.3bil) last year.”

Statistics reveal that the number of watch specialists employed in the Swiss watch industry has been fluctuating since before the 1970s.

In an article by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH in 2004, it was reported that during the 1970s and early 1980s, technological upheavals, i.e. the appearance of quartz technology (see story on P6) and difficult economic situations resulted in a reduction in the size of the industry, causing the number of employees to fall from some 90,000 in 1970 to a little over 30,000 in 1984, while the number of companies decreased from about 1,600 to about 600.

The decline, says Yong, was also the result of competition by Asian countries banking on the quartz technology invented – though ironically, not highly regarded – by the Swiss.

He adds that following the formation of the Swatch Group in 1983 and the success of the Swatch revolution, the number of people working in the Swiss watch industry increased to about 50,000 presently.

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Steady does it: Repairing a watch is tricky business, requiring patience and steady hands. The more complications the watch has, the trickier it is to remain accurate. Note the minuscule-sized watch parts at the left background.

Yet, the situation remains rather precarious.

“Even if the number of watch technicians or watchmakers do not drop, it is still not enough to service the increased number of watches. We are in need of more of these specialists to support the market,” says Yong.

To illustrate the direness of the situation, let’s assume that the 25.9 million timepieces exported out of Switzerland in 2007 are representative of the total number of watches sold in a year.

“If 1% is returned within the year for repairs and half of this percentage requires the attention of skilled watch technicians, we are then talking about 1.295 million watches. Let’s assume that 80% of these watches can be repaired at service centres located outside Switzerland, which would then mean that 259,000 pieces need to be sent back to factories in Switzerland for servicing,” says Yong.

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Class in session: At the recently opened Nicholas G. Hayek Watchmaking School located within the Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation (UCTI, formerly known as APIIT) premises at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil.

“We further assume that the same estimate applies to watches sold over the last five years – this means as many as 1.295 million watches may have to be sent back to Switzerland for repair, and this assumption does not include watches which are more than five years old!”

Swiss watch owners, particularly those within this region, who have suffered the misfortune of a watch malfunction can only understand the frustration of waiting for their watches to be repaired.

“The more complications in a watch, the more chances the watch would not be so accurate,” acknowledges Swatch Group SEA country manager David Ponzo. “And so repairs would generally entail a long wait because the watches need to be sent back to Switzerland or Germany. That can be frustrating.”

Crisis management

Something had to be done to avert a potential crisis in the horlogerie industry.

Enter the Swatch Group and its noble (though admittedly profitable in the long run) move in setting up watchmaking institutions to arrest the situation. Its active endeavours to “save” the Swiss watch industry saw the setting-up of five Nicholas G. Hayek Watchmaking Schools in the world: Shanghai, China; Glashutte, Germany; Secaucus, the United States; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and, in the very near future, Pforzheim, Germany.

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Trusty: Some of the tools used in the watchmaking trade.

Nicholas G. Hayek, incidentally, is the chairman of the Swatch Group.

Overall, the company has spent an estimated 1.5 million Swiss francs (RM4.57mil) to set up of each school, says Yong.

Thanks to the support of the Sapura group and partnership with the Watchmaker of Switzerland Training and Educational Programme (Wostep), the school in Malaysia was finally set up barely three months ago with a total of eight pioneering students supervised by technical training director Jacky Wong from Hong Kong.

At the moment, the school is situated within the premises of the Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation (UCTI, formerly known as APIIT) at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil.

The school, says Yong, ensures that the maintenance of the Swatch Group watches in the Asian market will continue, particularly at a time when watchmaker services in Malaysia are below expectation (there are only six qualified watch technicians under the Swatch Group in Malaysia).

“Our objective is to recruit Asian youngsters who are determined to join the watchmaker profession and to train them adequately in the face of the increasing complexity of mechanical watches,” he says, adding that the Swatch Group is the most active organisation in establishing watchmaking schools.

The programme, thanks to Wostep, currently the only independent watchmaking institution in Switzerland offering a watchmaking curriculum in English, takes about 3,200 training hours, or two years.

The collaboration between UCTI and the Swatch Group is the first and only one in South-East Asia and promotes watchmaking as an alternative career path.

“We want to recruit locally to lessen repair time for our watches,” says Ponzo.

The course commenced last month, and is spread out over three training modules which will enable graduates to repair all mechanical watches, including chronograph.

“Upon completion of the course, the student qualifies as a level 3 watchmaker. Repairing a simple mechanical watch can cost about RM2,000. A level 3 watchmaker can fetch about RM2,500 to RM5,000 a month, depending on experience,” says Yong.

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Close supervision: Nicholas G. Hayek Watchmaking School Technical Training watchmaking industry. director Jacky Wong supervises as 22-year-old Cyprus Choy performs a delicate manoeuvre. Wong is currently the only teacher and principal of the school.

Ponzo adds: “A master or chief watchmaker can get a basic package of RM300,000, besides starting their own timepiece brand. There is long career development in this path.”

Here’s the best part: the course – inclusive of meal allowances, accommodation, tuition fees, repair tools and insurance – is fully sponsored by the Swatch Group. Scholarship applicants need only have Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level education and basic English communication skills; no watchmaking experience is required.

What’s more, successful applicants are guaranteed of a job due to a four-year bond with the Swatch Group at selected areas in the region.

A quick note to future applicants, though: the selection process is more stringent than you think. Although the basic criteria are rather loose, applicants are selected based on the success of their interview, patience and steadiness of hand.

There is no stipulated age limit although 40 years seems to be the unspoken ceiling; the current batch of students from Malaysia (2), Singapore (2) and Hong Kong (4) range from 21 to 30 years old.

For the moment, classes will remain small.

“We were overwhelmed by the unexpected number of applications, especially since the art of watchmaking is still not known here. Nonetheless, it’s tough to increase our intake from the present eight because finding teachers is tough! Our capacity for expansion depends on how many teachers we can find. Right now we are in the process of finding a second teacher,” quips Ponzo.

Come to think of it, the future is looking brighter after all, on all counts. Swiss watch owners – in this region, at least – need no longer endure a lengthy wait for their watches to be repaired once the current crop of Nicholas Hayek Watchmaking Schools students graduate.

And if they stick it out, graduates can look forward to plenty of dough and, perhaps, their own name on a timepiece in future.

Swatch on hand

THE quartz technology was invented by the Swiss to be used mainly in vehicles which rely on very accurate time-keeping, such as airplanes, trains and ships. A vast majority of prestigious Swiss watch manufacturers refused to venture into mass production using the quartz technology as they felt that wrist watches should remain hand-crafted, thus creating an opportunity for Japanese firms such as Seiko, Citizen, Casio and a variety of unknown Asian brands manufactured in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

By 1978, quartz watches overtook mechanical watches in popularity, plunging the Swiss watch industry into crisis. It reached a critical point in 1981.

And then the Swatch Group (it was called SMH Group until 1998) stepped in: 1982 saw the launch of the first Swatch prototypes. Swatch was instrumental in reviving the Swiss watch industry, mass producing quartz watches and popularising them through creative marketing concepts.

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Saving time: Nicholas G. Hayek played a key role in the revival of the Swiss Close supervision: Nicholas G. Hayek Watchmaking School Technical Training watchmaking industry

In 1983, Nicholas G. Hayek (chairman of the Swatch Group) merged ailing Swiss watchmakers SSIH and ASUAG, giving a clean bill of health to the timepieces under both labels (which included Omega, Longines and Tissot), as well as propelling the development of the Swatch Group to what it is today.

The achievements of Hayek have been widely recognised in Switzerland and beyond, and his innovative strategies have served as an important model for the Swiss watchmaking industry as a whole and played a key role in the revival of the industry. – Source: Swatch Group Malaysia and www.swatch.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Watch-making is my thing

Oh yeah, I've been studying watch-making a month now, under Swatch. Which is cool. The program is called WOSTEP (Watchmakers  of Switzerland Training and Education Program). Of Switzerland, the syllabus is from Switzerland, but I'm stuying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
My classmates comprise of 2 Malaysians (inculding meh), 2 Singaporeans, and 4 Hong Kong-ers. All of us being guys, we do talk crazy stuff, most of them coming from me. I think i'm getting on their nerves tho. Or they may think I've a loose screw in my head.
No pictures yet, i can't seem to find the time to steal my dads camera. As soon as i get some pics I'll post some up here. Dunno how much is confidential, but will try to post the same things Mags and newpapers do. General stuff.
Things are interesting, getting cooler by the day. There's so much to learn in this field, I would probably take at least 6 years to learn the basics of everything, and even longer to become a kick ass pro in the field.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Proton Sucks!

Right after my 2 years warranty on my car expired, things started going wrong. The power window motor broke (2nd time in 2 years), air con relay was burnt (so i get hot air). Cheap quality car, don't expect much.
Just recently I notice my tail-pipe was hanging low. Wondering what was up I gave it a shove with my foot. It was loose. Turns out the nut and whatever metal tubes the tail-pipe was welded to had rusted out. After a few shakes the tail-pipe came out. So now i drive around with a rusted exhaust pipe sticking out. I feel like its a leper car...stupid crap
The only thing Proton engineered well was to have it break apart right after the warranty is over. So that they don't have to replace anything for free. Evil shits.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Work or study?

Few weeks ago I was deciding on my future and thought that when I had enough cash, I could get some books bout watch-making and maybe somehow learn to repair watches or even make my own watch. Couple of weeks after that thought came into my mind I saw an ad for a scholarship in watch-making from Swatch, I thought that was a stroke of luck so Icrammed my head thinking of a nice attention grabbing cover letter to send to Swatch.
I sent the letter on a Wednesday evening, and got a call the next day, asking me to go for an interview with Swatch. I was so damn excited I was smiling non-stop, i think my face was twitching the next day. muscle spasms (don't smile too much, its bad for your face muscles)
Day of the interview arrived, I got there before time but there was no parking at the building, so i had to search for parking in other buildins adjacent to Swatch. Made the interview and was too excited to think clearly.I knew its just a first interview and had to proove i was worth it, I was even thinking to myself what I needed to say if the interviewers asked me why should I deserve it. When that question came, I was just stunned and went abit blank, and said a stupid thing. "Because I really want the scholarship" when all the time I was preparing myself to say "I will be hardworking, and if I get the chance to create my own watch I draw inspirations from everything I see and encounter" but I choked and didn't say it.
This is the first time the scholarship is being offered in Malaysia. There will be 8 students for this intake, they are only looking for 2 local students, 3 from China and 3 from USA. I don't know what my chances are, but I really hope that I get this scholarship. Just a few people have applied for it, thats what I was told.
The second interview will be in June, they will call me in March '08 if I make the cut, then there is also a test in the June interview. If I impress them enough, I'll be accepted for the intake which starts in September, which is a long wait and also a lot of anxiety to deal with.
In the mean while I need to get a job and I'm still applying. :)
Hope my luck is good this year...

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008, its a new year, a new leaf? Leaf Monkey perhaps...

I graduated in Dec 2007, finally after all those failures in Natural Products and Industrial Organic Chemistry i managed to pass my subject. Failed that subject 2 times, then the third time the syllabus was reduced by half and it became somewhat easier to memorise. Only the Industrial Organic part though, Natural Products part remained the same (which is enough of a killer, damn it!). The exam was still terrifying, considering the parts i could answer were mostly Industrial Organic which makes up 65% of the paper, the remaining 35% was Nat.Products and i still find it overwhelmingly difficult to answer it. (Improper preparation and laziness is the answer, which is also why i failed the other 2 times).
Waited a week for the results to come out, so i went online and saw that i passed. Didn't really have any particular feelings going through me then, probably more of relief that i didnt fail. No elation, happiness, excitement etc. Probably bcos i was having an argument with my GF then.
Then the next few weeks i would be in Sarawak for a family reunion and Christmas too.
This isn't really updated, but quite backdated. Lets see when i have the time to post those pic from Sarawak.