Monday, May 06, 2013

My Parallel Universe and the Event Horizon

Up till June 2012, my greatest wish to have the best and most powerful laptop was simply that - a wish. Then Apple unveiled the new Mac Book Pro with the 15" Retina Display, complete with SSD and I-Core 7 processor. It cost just under S$3000 which was a lot more than some of the other top level laptop PCs in the market. But there is something lovely and sexy at once with a Mac. I had given a much loved Mac Book Air which I acquired as a back-up to an Acer T-4810 laptop I used for work presentations back then, and more importantly, to expose myself to the OSX platform. I found the Mac easy to use, except that you can forget about trying to remember all the keystroke shortcuts which Mac veterans will always have an unfair advantage over. In fact, the moment, I approached using the Mac OSX freed from the keyboard shortcuts, all the psychological barriers quickly left. Surely, I did not work on the Mac as quickly as the vets might, but at least I was now able to embrace this whole new eco-system.

Ambitious to consolidate all my laptop needs into this brand new Mac Book Pro, I acquired Parallels 7 and could not wait to install it on the Mac and migrate all my Windows and Office files over. Then Parallels offered the upgrade to Parallels 8 to match the Windows 8 upgrade. I made the bold upgrade to both platforms. For a very brief moment, it seemed like the glorious confluence of all my expectations were met.

Then very quickly, through a series of mishaps and other oddities in performance, I realise what a horrid mistake it was to be an early adopter in this game.

1. Parallels was rather slow, sluggish and lags in performance.
2. Not all the Windows functions and settings worked correctly. The worst mistake was having everything I had configured erased because I tried the Windows "refresh" but on the Parallels Virtual Machine, it executed a PC-Reset. No joke. Spoke to Parallels about it and the engineer (probably from a call centre in Bangalore) sounded indifferent and resigned about the problem I described, "You see," he said, "some of the functions in Parallels will not work like it would on a normal PC." I wished the advertisement on the box and website said so.
3. These things which did not work included: windows and fields which do not function, sluggish and retarded keyboard and mouse cursor sensitivity, program windows which do not respond to clicks, poor integration of plug-ins and such, including download buttons which disappear on webpages.
4. Programs suddenly fail, probably due to faulty PC registry, and installing a registry fixer resulted in another set of other programs (iTunes, in this case), going bonkers with a pop-up warning for it to be re-installed, and when I tried, it all failed to install from the downloaded file due to another error. I have to hack Time Machine and the Intego Bootable Back-up file to extract the program and run from there... which resulted in
5. The default applications folder for Windows going awry and I had to use the Windows.pvm file (Parallels Virtual Machine) to boot up my Windows environment and work from there.
6. Now, I can't tell if I am working Windows 8 and my Office Suite etc from the back-up file in Doc/Parallels or if that back-up file is not working as the default location for all my Windows 8 programs.
Other problems all sorted popping up and now I totally regret:
(a) not upgrading my RAM and internal memory to 16GM RAM and getting a 500GB internal SSD;
(b) keeping the I-Core 5 desktop I had with Windows 7 in it, and working from there, instead of running everything on the Mac. I have given the desktop CPU away since, not wanting to hoard any superfluous hardware which someone might have a more pressing need for.
So now, on another sleepless night, I am forced to make a terrible decision to kill my Parrallels VM, and try to use Boot Camp Assistant to make it all work better for me and my Mac Book Pro.

Say a prayer, that I do know what I am doing next!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Of hypocrisy and truth

We may all be the product of our upbringing, over and above what we as humans are naturally imbued with. Perhaps our natural faculties are much more subtle in the way we perceive "rights" and "wrongs" - to put it simply. The natural understanding of what is right and wrong may have more to do with personal safety, ability to resist, and laughter. The cultural influences that civilisation exerts on our thinking today through beliefs, communal interaction and trade, had built layers over the innate and natural knowledge we possess. So, we can accept the idea of some sort of primitive wisdom and that of a developed wisdom, but essentially all wisdom of any sort is based on the passing on of knowledge from one generation to another.

In Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 21, verses 28-31, there is a very brief parable given by Jesus which is easily overlooked because it does not have the usual poetic form. Instead, this parable seems to be an idiomatic argument to press a point. Here is the quote from the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB):

'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today."
He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went.
The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go.
Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.

Obviously, what we do and how we affect our community with our actions is how we will be judged somewhat. But the kernel of this parable is about understanding what is expected and asked of us, and choosing how we will react to that expectation. Those who understand what the expectation is and deliver are those who act in truth. And those who know what the expectation is and decide not to act accordingly, are plain hypocrites: that is, to say something and other another thing.

There are leaders of all sort in human history who are hypocrites: emperors, judges, priests, generals, fathers and so forth. This free will to act in truth or hypocrisy is so real that it pervades all human behaviour and activity.

Being brought up a certain way reinforces in us this notion of truth and hypocrisy. As a child, my parents will recount at home whom acted this way or that and these would be our own familial lessons with neighbours and people in the news as characters in the parable.

Of course, as one grows up, you realise that a great deal of what is expected of us by friends, neighbours and family is often let down by disappointment caused by a refusal on our part to act according to those expectations. Some of those expectations  are built upon the personal benefits and selfishness of others, and we have a right to refuse to cooperate. Other times, the expectations are intended to hurt another person's dignity or possessions, and again, we are responding to a deeper well of expectations on the morally appropriate behaviour when we refuse to act to hurt another. At the deepest level of our conscience or thinking, we will have to anchor ourselves on where this moral ground is. 

The abandonment of modern society of these classical ideals and virtues as a result of a renewed belief in the "splendour of Enlightenment in the 20th Century" has brought about the rise of "relativism". The consequence is that many of today's young people believe more in their own personal moral compass than that of a commonly held ideal. Oddly, atheism is a leading cause of this belief in the moral self, partly an off-shoot of the Protestant concept of self-revelation and interpretation, partly the development of Humanism in the post 17th Century Enlightenment framework, and the development of modern industry, which made class distinction more painful to the masses as cities grew as a result of bludgeoning trade and infrastructure.

Many people have little trouble saying one thing and doing another. Consistency is no longer a virtue. We are expected to be nimble-minded, liberally inclusive and flexible in how we relate. This is both true and good, as well as terrible and sad.

The reason why it can get so confusing is because of the context. There are times and ways nimbleness, flexibility and inclusiveness are beneficial, and in other occasions, these give rise to hypocrisy and unfairness.

There was a time when the right thing to do meant what would bring about good. But in the minefield of relativism, what is "good" and to whom, simply depends.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Life A New

On Monday, 17 September 2012, at 1130 hrs, I was performing a routine maintenance on my Mac Book Pro's storage and decided to reduce the large storage used by Time Machine on both the laptop as well the 2TB LaCie Thunderbolt drive. Time Machine utilises a great deal of cached space on the main machine, and in my HDD, took up more than 700GB in various time slices.

Granted that I could afford to retain what already has been stored, my focus was to free up any unused space on the LaCie and do some automatic disk maintenance. I was perhaps too Windows PC-oriented... it does not work the same way on the Mac. In running a function in disk utility on the Mac, it immediately (and without warning) removed the partition within the LaCie and destroyed the HDD operating application, which immediately removed the device from my desktop. After consulting with Apple care personnel, the only recourse was to send the HDD back to the agent.

The problem with doing this was that all my content would be vulnerable to being hacked/copied by the agent themselves. We have all heard how content have always been copied by these technical personnel and eventually leaked out.

To be safe, all I could do was erase all my content on the disk by doing a reformat... and with that decision, my whole digital universe was erased. That meant all photographs and personal archives from 1997 to 2011, and 2012. All my Outlook PSTs from that time to last year was erased. This was made worse because during my Mac Book Pro maintenance that same morning, I had put the 2011 and 2010, and Starwood PSTs back onto the LaCie, and these were not backed-up anywhere.

All gone. Including my CVs and other business files, databases and such.

Then while trying to recover these, I continued to be aggressive about my removal of shared or duplicated files. The iTunes update on my Mac resulted in the iTunes in my Windows on Parallels being inoperative and while removing the file, it completely affected the Mac iTunes as well. Which to rebuild in from my iPod and iPad, I had to download and purchase the iExplorer app. Fortunately, the app worked quite well and not exactly to its advertised standards but with some careful thinking beforehand, I copied all the media files into separate folders and then only copied these back to the iTunes on my Mac.

All that effort and cost aside - I had already moved past the point of absolute grief and unhappiness.... after all, these are the direct result of my own actions, regardless of whether these may have been from ignorance or simply misunderstanding some of the technical lingo and paradigm built into the Mac OS.

But having been forced to let go of so much critical information and wealth of reference material including samples of my writing etc. I can only move on as if leaving my world of the past and taking on the future ahead with each present moment I live hence with a vigour and vision anew, all afresh.

So, this is now Day 3 of my new life... either told as one Walking Dead in Zombie land, or just one life, plain and unadorned. I could change my name now and simply be whomever I want.

Looking forward to Day 4 of my new life...

Friday, May 04, 2012

Remembered Today, Always

I awake and look at the clock, and glance about a minute, whispering in my heart my morning prayer. It's 4.15 am and I play around my SkyApp on the iPad, with the model of the Solar System spinning back in time with the orbs and moons rotating backwards... Before long I look at the edge of the screen and it showed 2.15... 4 May. I realized too quickly this marked the precise anniversary of Jordan's accident five years ago. I think of him and pause to pray, and record this down in my blog today. In some ways, I am more inescapable from him because of his accident and death, rather than if fate was to allow him to live on and grow separate. As many other past charges have done so, and many gone on to become successes in their own right. I think of what he have done so well as a person which drew me to him in the first place, and caused me to offer him a chance to work under me, arranging for him to sign up for the IPRS course which in the end, all prospects were cut short. Sure, my own relationship with him was affected by his professional shortcomings. His peers might have been more compassionate than I in retrospect. But the end card was too clear for me to ignore after quite a few lapses were brought to his attention. It seemed for a time that he could not help himself, and somehow his own perspective was askew - or that mine was. I was shocked when MOH called me to say that he cancelled one of their high level Chinese delegation visits without consulting me because it would clash with an event at the same location. He simply could have managed that delegated task bug scheduling huge visit a couple of hours before and have the hospital Customer Relations team run the site visit while he continued with the pre-event preparations. So, when I questioned him if it was because he simply did not want to do it, or that he was coerced to cancel by the hospital, he seemed not to want to reply but said that it was just a decision he made. Unfortunately, it was not a call for him to make... And like a few other instances, bad choices. Still, he seemed impenetrable about the logic for these things. He drew a clear line about after work hours and refused to accept that duty and responsibility extended past 5:30 pm when the need arose. He wanted control over his life and time. Perhaps he was not ready, I thought and had to let him go, for I simply could not be spending time and effort making recovery action from the mistakes of the very junior team of executives I had under me, all three of him had no prior experience in communications work, or institutional processes. But will prove to be that the greatest charity we make turns out to be our Judases. As a result of Jordan's accident and death, one of the other executive, a sensitive young French I was asked to help with a job, offered to explain his own helplessness at work to another HOD citing Jordan's accident as "he took his own life" in a sort of Franglais, which added to his own insinuation that if it was himself, he would "kill himself" if he had to quit this job. Although these were very clumsy and poorly verified statements, the HOD was quick to bring these back to the COO who thought incorrectly I had driven these two executives to the edge. Utter nonsense as it was, I dido think that such a poorly contrived lie was worth defending, and knew it was no longer tenable to continue with a management team that is clumsy and inconsistent. I feel utterly vindicated today with all the consequence from those historical events. That HOD had proved to be as ineffective as ever in his work ethics and while still there, preserves himself because of his brand of "astute" and "unscrupulous" politics, which is reflected in the business he does. As for the COO, he was gone in six months after I left, and I not say more. That organization's dream of branding itself died as soon as new owners with new visions came aboard, and though they use all the same materials I developed in 2007/8, the execution of those ideals are as far from the target as Pluto is from the Sun. Inspite of these peripheral and consequential events, I do not forget how, and why my friendship and affection for Jordan took shape, and within the interactions we shared about work and his future then, I grew to card for him. But how things play out did inform me that our plans ate just easily disposed of, not by the stars or some higher power, but the choices people make and their mistakes as such. I had nothing to do with his riding home in the early morning with his friends and losing control of his beloved Harley, and "killing himself" (which was the expression the French was looking for but used incorrectly in his report). For my last conversation with him was throwing him a lifeline to comeback but only if he committed to change - he said he rather not. A couple of weeks later I had a few missed calls from him when I was away on leave... for my own mother had passed on just three months earlier. I think that was my particular regret, that we did not speak because I didi not return his calls. I cannot say what he might have said to me, but can only guess that he was probably wanting to let me know that he was going to work with an associated company. I would have had no objections and would only have wished him well. Now, all this may be an insignificant memory except to those whose lives and memory he affected, touched and moved. Why should I deny that I had a great love for him to have fulfilled his wish to achieve something for himself, had he lived. As I shared many times with him... at Starbucks Liat Towers or on the bench at Changi beach, I benefited greatly from my mentors investing in me, too. Because of all those good and great things we held in intimate confidence, and for that part of his life which also inspired me and echoed my own - love of the outdoors, climbing - I cherish his memory and will remember his life and the two years ours intertwined. He was laid in his coffin with the Marc Jacob blue silk tie I got him, which was one of his favorites. I miss him, but in his passing, he is with me without my clenching on to his life, always.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Joy at my finger tips

Joy is found in the simplest and easiest of things. A 68 cent cup of Nescafe Expresso, two  dollar plate of vegan breakfast that looks it came from a buffet line, a 90 cent newspaper with your favourite pullout section called Digital Life... It boils down to having expectations and needs and wants all met, without too much effort or cost, and having made the right decision, which was both modest and wise.

My aging Acer 4818T now four years old, was one of the best PC purchases I ever made. Top specifications then, with 4GB RAM and it was slimmer than a Mac Book, although made of thermoplastic. I migrated it to Windows 7 in early 2011 and the installation taught me a whole lot about the dovetailing of hardware with software beyond the mere specifications. The rest of the year meant never going back to Windows Vista, but every now and then, the processor (dual core) seemed to have problems even with the 32-bot Windows 7 Home Premium, and some applications would go awry and simply stall. Sometimes these recover just before I intervene a forced shut-down, and sometimes, it would stall for several hours and not be able to resolve. Worst of all is when it stalls and all applications freeze, including the 3G dongle: I call it "the death, le morte". When that happens, you have no choice but to force shut-down (power button hold) and let the CPU reboot. You know immediately that there is some deep incompatibility patches could not solve and that would be a chronic problem awaiting to aggravate.

In some respects, computers are like people, and the overall behaviour mimicks all the known characteristics of weaknesses in human behaviour. If you get a high specification processor, you will enjoy its yield only until larger and more sophisticated programs come around and beat it to pulp. Then you need to have it replaced. Now, with Windows 7, although it would work on the Intel Dual Core, the processing speed was simply too sluggish and my observations of the CPU core temperature via a Windows 7 widget showed that in running even my 2007 Office applications and some video files, both Cores would flare up to about 80-90%.

Therefore, I deduced that even my back-up AMD processor in the Acer Iconia W500a 32GB + 32GB SD card memory full SSD would not be viable for all the work and video I needed for work and play. The ultrabook craze is just flaring up and will need to go into full swing, as Intel and Samsung make more chips that will encourage its eventual replacement of the laptop and tablet fling. So, I decided to get a custom-build - high specification home business desktop (i.e. sans expensive GeForce Nividia graphics card, which years ago I installed in my last PC desktop and never used it because the X-Box360 followed...). So great dedicated machines built for sleek operation is what works best for me.

At Sim Lim Square, I wandered about for about 90 minutes and passing a workshop via the back corridor, one technician said hello and I paused and spoke to him. It turned out that they had the best value offer anyway, and a later walkabout the 6th floor confirmed that. The slim case CPU featured a ASRock motherboard but with only one slot for an additional card, but includes an Intel HD graphics card (premounted) and the Intel i-Core 5 processor. I threw out the DVD writer as I never liked the whirling vibrations inside the tower anyway. And with Windows 7 Home Premium installed. I had planned to transfer my Office 2007 from the laptop to the desktop and all the other key application software as well. Under two hours later and after a couple of other successful low cost errands (iOS dock extender S$10, LED USB flexible stem lamp S$4 and such), I collected the CPU and left the building. Getting home from that corner of Bencoolen Street and Rochor Road is not that difficult, but lugging around a few cases (I bought a flatbed Epson scanner) with an empty stomach is another. So stopped by a Kopi Tiam for a cooling dessert to bump up the blood sugar and off I went. I found a cab, more easily than expected and in a jiffy was home. I though to do the set-up another day, but I knew that it would be a straight-forward and simple task. As I had some work deadline the same evening, I had my laptop opened in front of me while the new CPU desktop and LED screen backlighting it as I loaded up and tested the new toy.

While the process of setting things up can be tedious somewhat, if you know how things should run and these occur as they should (expectations met or surpassed), there is no sense of disappointment. The new Bluetooth keyboard from Targus was thought to be a great buy because it could work on iOS, Android and Windows, unlike many other portable and slim keyboards and best of all, ran on AAAx2 alkaline with 5 year life. Unfortunately, in practical terms, it turned out to be a nuisance if everything you logged on you have to search for the keyboard and log it in - not always with immediate success - and this was already a five step process, burning up precious start-up time. So I think that keyboard will get into the gift stash for the time being. But it will be great if I ever needed to run it with my iPhone, for sure!

Quickly, everything got set up but the matter of the keyboard remained a concern. So, off I went last evening to the Cash Converter store, thinking to try and check if I could get a simple wired keyboard there instead of buying a new one at S$11.90 or S$16.90, at Popular. Well, there were a good many, and I found a HP original keyboard in great shape. I brought it back, gave it a good anti-bacterial wipe after brushing it clean and removed the price sticker and such. The print on the keys looked a bit faded, so could estimate that these were as old as 6-8 years, but probably were very under utilised, as there was virtually no wear on the keys. I fit the USB into the hub and the worked well. Best of all, was that after so many years of using this type of keyboard, the spacing was so intuitive to me that I could revert back very quickly to blind typing. Even now as I type this blog entry in, I also found that my mind seems to be able to recall where some keys are, as if I had been using this keyboard all along.

Now, I look at the Epson V33 scanner (for receipts, photos and document conversion), the ATake USB 5W speakers, the HP WLAN antenna, the Acer LED 22" HD monitor, this HP keyboard, the Freecom Combo BluRay and DVD read-writer, Memorex optical mouse, my iPhone and iPod Classic, the ComLab i-Core 5 CPU and my trusty Acer Aspire 4818T (now a browser and such with some dedicated software on Windows 7), and my Aztech WLAN with M1 3G dongle, it all fits and falls into place - quite well. And that is happiness. But just paying S$2.50 for that HP keyboard, that was a joy, albeit silly, but still.

It is joy at my fingertips for every keystroke I make, and that can be quiet a lot.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Before deafness, hear great sound

We all grow deaf, sooner or later. My ringing in the ear (tinnitus) caused by a scuba diving accident has finally healed, but with the chronic rhinitis which came on Thursday, the ear drums are back at it again - strained, and singing a high pitch strain - like a cacophony of crickets in perpetual song in the forest. Or being in Tokyo during the summer cricket chirping season. Having realised what frail biomechanical beings we are, and prone to damage and failure, these growing ailments and deterioration of the senses as I age, lend me to think that if you want to use any of your senses, try to get the best out of them - of course, within reasonable means one has. So, after accummulating thousands of songs in my Windows Player jukebox, and for the newer ones, ripped them in lossless format, I found that with with the triple armature Westone UM3X (because I liked the audio tuning best for my taste - part jazz lounge, part acoustic rock), I would easily be transported into my world apart from this world.

The iPhone 34GB has a decent memory for all my songs in compressed AAC mode, which is more energy efficient for the device, but with those earphones, you can distinctly hear LESS. Any audiophile will tell you that the human ear is really quite incredible and idiot deaf geeks might say otherwise. So with the few albums in Apple Lossless on my iPhone, the memory is all used up - more or less. After searching for a suitable MP3 player that can store gazzillion songs (my friend Ian has 6000 in his 120GB iPod Classic), I am quite happy to finally settle for the new silver iPod Classic 160GB which actually only has an allocated memory of 148GB for storage. Now, I can comfortably move my lossless music and listen to them guilt-free.
Of course, Apple geeks are warning that using Lossless means wearing out the HDD faster and using more power, because of the file size. The alternative is lugging around a stack of CDs and using a CD player, right?
Last night I went to bed with my Westone UM3X in-ear and within a few minutes was in audio heaven asleep with Matt Maher's new album brainwashing my dreams.
The new iPod Classic may be cheesey to some because of the click-wheel... but that intuitive device works very well for quick navigation and I don't tire of it. That is very important. Ultimately, it is being able to immediately access my Jukebox with all these newer additions in lossless quality. You have to listen with great earphones, and when you do, your perception is changed forever. It's like a child who has tasted sweet and never wants bland any more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strange Weird Day

Does this have anything to do with it being the Third Day of the Chinese New Year? I awoke at my usual weekday time of 5.15 am and snoozed a while before leaping out of bed and changing up into my workout gear, watered the plants and shimmied out of the flat. When I arrived at the gym, I was greeted by shut grilles. It meant either the gym is permanently closed (as this was the case yesterday at the usual holiday opening time of 8 am, while today was supposed to be the usual weekday opening time at 6 am) or, that they have deferred the opening time to 10 am. Anyway, something was obviously amiss about this gym's branch and if I did want to, I could head down to the city gyms in town instead. But I decided it was best not to hurry downtown and back uptown as I would have a significant client and agency meeting at 10 am, and did not want to rush and get sweaty from the excitement of squeezing in commute, wash and change of clothes altogether. However, as I was very early, I thought to get the newspapers and a breakfast back around my home. Now back from the closed gym to my home convenience store, and it is not quite 6.30 am, the newsdailies have not arrived either. So I detour to the dreadful McDonald's store which begs patronage all through holidays by simply being the only dining outlet around remaining open, and open 24 hours as well. This time, I deliberately avoid the hotcakes and creamer - both of which have trans fat (hydrogenated palm oil ingredients), the syrup for the hotcakes and the whipped margarine being the particularly bad bits. And tea, instead of the ever-damning coffee. After the Big Breakfast, where I have swallowed the toasted muffin halfs with grape jelly down, I worry if these two might have fillers or binders made with trans fat, and then surrender myself to the dread which I cannot do anything about, because all of it was already quite settled down in my gut. I did not think then, but it would have been a good trick to have, if I could be bulimic and let it all out in the toilet. I should have fasted or settled for a real juice drink instead of the S$5.00 value meal. We do not generally make terrific decisions about our meals, even after being reasonably informed about its health-related dangers. The ubiquity and convenience is simply statistically overwhelming in the favour of our imbibing it. Convenience is the tempter's watch word, for sure.

Finally the newspapers arrive and I digest every interesting article I could find, but it is rather measly, perhaps because 2/5 of the World was on holiday break, or simply because the editorial team were. But the Digital Life supplement was included and I enjoyed the products and gadgets reviews in it always. I leave it for the McDonald's delivery riders after I was finished with the papers and sauntered home, pack and change and prepare for nice leisurely ride on the trains downtown. The timing was excellent and unrushed, and I felt prepared, comfortable and leisurely in my commute to the agency at Outram Road. When I do get there, after dodging some buses to get across the main road, I am allowed in and climb the stairs to the mezzanine level where I usually await being attended to.

After a few moments of waiting while the team complete their meeting inside an adjacent room, I meet the senior staff member who tell me he has been trying desperate to call me and had text-messaged me on my phone earlier. I had heard nothing because the phone was inside my bag, and as anyone using an iPhone might tell you, the ringer is really quite soft and completely inaudible if you have kept the phone inside a bag.

It appears that the client has cancelled the meeting and I was asked to call her at her home later on and work the details through over  the phone. Now, for the third time today I have to detour off my scheduled plan, and find myself in the bus for the journey back uptown and home. I get on the bus, get off the bus, get on the train and get out of the train. Then I realised something interesting, that as a result of all my travel in such a brief space of time, that the transit system counted it as one long journey, and some portions of the journey was charged "0" and another just "0.12" until I finally completed my journey by arriving at my final destination. But I was not bothered by then to check what the fare was, as I already knew that it would be much cheaper than if I was charged a new journey for each leg.

I get changed at home and put on casual and comfortable clothes - football UEFA shorts and a nice fresh cotton tee and after checking emails and updating my harddisk with data from the notebook, I head off down to the coffeeshop for brunch. Half the foodstores are closed and I meander a bit to decide what to eat. The Indian fish curry looked very good and I order that, accompanied with spinach and served with basmati-bryani rice, at S$5.00. This time, I was quite confident the meal did not include trans fat, although the ghee in the bryani had much oil, it is natural butter and not margarine. That would have freaked me into a quick heart attack.

I slurp up the hot tea with lemon and feel quite satisfied, and on my walk back home from the coffee shop, figure out in my mind what changes to the client draft I would make, and how I would take the opportunity to amend the structure of the chart as well. I have now done all that, and emailed the amended chart to the client and text messaged her. Now, I just await her call, at any time convenient for her, and wished her children to get well soon. It is already 1.15 pm. My  world awaits. I hope it will be a fulfilling day and no more detours.