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Sunday, May 9, 2021

THE LOCKDOWN CHRONICLES

 


While we are still in the middle of the pandemic, I expect that we are looking back in five years, saying “Wow, what weird times that were!” Talking to friends, business partners, family and complete strangers, I realise that there are loads of awesome stories that each person has to tell about how they experienced the Covid-19 pandemic.

I know of people that had to wait almost a year to see their new-born child. Others had to postpone flights back home the last minute as they tested positive for Covid. During the lockdown, clueless husbands wandered the empty isles of supermarkets, trying to get the right packet of some bizarre noodle for the family hiding at home. All these fragments need to be preserved. I would hate to see how we lose all these awesome stories about how people had role-play dinners at home or ran a marathon in their homes.

Please send me YOUR story from the lockdown. It can be anything. An account of one day, a month, a sad occurrence, although I rather much want the fun stuff. How did you prepare for the weeks locked up at home. The wild things that you did in order to make it through this unique period of time. I would want to collate these stories, edit and eventually publish them as a collection of “The Lockdown Chronicles”. Anything goes: short or long stories, work related or purely at home or how you perceived the rise of Zoom. I am sure it will be an amazing read. And while I am based in Malaysia, it could be from anywhere in the world. I am not looking for print-perfect language, but YOUR story; how you felt and went about things.

Send your text in any editable format to chronicles@launchpad.com.my

Thanks for your contribution!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

No worries (mate)!

 



Actually, I feel very safe in Malaysia. In some parts more than in others, but generally.... Safe. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Go home tree, you are drunk!


 Well, 7:00 and still hanging around outside. During my party days, we would not allow this to happen. After a night out, we would still go to work, on time, all the time. there is no excuse! What is this Arbor thinking!

Of course we called the nursery to have him put back in his place....

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Too Young to what?

I won't discuss the morality of sugar-daddy / sugar-baby dating apps or whether one man needs more than one partner etc. I have an issue with this:

Most sugar babies are known to be students in their late teens or early 20s who are at a stage where the prefrontal cortex of their brain has still not fully matured. This is the part of the brain that enables an individual to solve problems, control their emotions, understand themselves and make decisions with regard to moral and ethical issues.

AND WE LET THEM VOTE IN ELECTIONS?

https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/living/2021/04/02/sugar-dating-leaves-psychological-scars-on-former-sugar-babies 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

They Usually Ruin It!

 


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Why You Asking?

 


I like to give feedback. Did you know that I am a "Google Local Guide"? Yeah, cos I like to give constructive feedback. Especially, when the place / service / product is one that I really like. Maybe it helps someone else to make a better decision. 

This blog is weird though. It is asking me for feedback as the first thing that I will see when I log on. Well, how would I know without having had the chance to experience it. Needless to say that this is not going to pop up again later on. I would have to come back. But... Ah, never mind. 

Kinda like the same as the packaging for the steaks I buy at the local supermarket: the packaging is fashioned in a way that you could peel off a corner and then tear away the clear foil. Never works. All it does it that the little bit you manage to lift off rips, revealing plastic edges that are as sharp as shark teeth. And that thing bites. You get your steak bloody, but it is your blood on it.

Which makes you wonder: Doesn't the owner / maker of this ever try it him / herself, thinking, "Uh, that don't work as we thought and maybe we need to amend this?"


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Socar the next debacle?

 


Whenever I went to Singapore on business, they where everywhere. Even in the most remote places. ofo bikes. And I really, really liked the idea. Just to remember, here is what Wikipedia says about them: ofo, was a Beijing-based bicycle sharing company founded in 2014. It used a dockless system with a smartphone app to unlock and locate nearby bicycles, charging an hourly rate for use.

In 2017, it had deployed over 10 million bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries. The company was valued at up to $2 billion and had over 62.7 million monthly active users.

In 2018, Ofo announced massive reduction in operations, including withdrawing from most US cities and from several entire countries. By 2020, facing a large amount of unpayable debt, the company was no longer operating bike rentals.

While I liked the idea, I never used any of the bikes. For one, the idea of cycling to an appointment was met with a mental image of me being all sweaty. Better to sit in a taxi. As I have been in a state of panic for the last 20 years, never any money on the credit card, which would have been required to ride the ofo bikes. Add to that the fact that I am usually running around with a phone that has no credit to use data. That is on a good day when I have the battery charged. 

Picture shown here was taken in our compound where I stay now. I was planning for this post for a while, but I was in no hurry, seeing how this vehicle isn't going anywhere. It has been at least 9 weeks since the tyre subimitted itself to the sad state it is in now. 

Note how the car is SUPER-Clean? Yeah, that is because every 2 weeks 2 chaps come and give it a rinse, polish and dusting off. However, I would be sure that the battery is dead by now. My next guess is that the tyre will be changed one fine day and then it is another eternity until someone swaps / charges the battery. Meanwhile, other systems will have issues. Nothing worse than a vehicle that ain't moving about.

Here I am now, thinking: what a great idea, but how is this going to be successful when an asset just sits there and is not only depreciating, but also at risk of damage... Hopefully, these cars will not end up like the yellow ofos that were carted off by the truck load. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Why I have Trust Issues with Online Sales

 

While the world was in a lockdown, everyone explored and hailed e-commerce. Much to the delight of makers of small vans, the pandemic spelled increased sales for them. Never has it been easier to order food and nowadays the whole experience is perfected. I remember Jeroen ordering McDonald's in Singapore back in 2000. When the food arrived it looked like footage from a massacre. Today, the food not only arrives where it should, but it is hot and intact.

I remain somewhat skeptical though. Wanting to buy a new bag for the wife, I came across this one in an online sales. 

Whoever did the listing may need to be trained though. Not in IT, but in measurements. No way this backpack is sized to fit just a cigarette packet. I KNOW you are not going to find a ruler to see how small that thing really is. If I held it, in a physical location, being able to touch it, I could immediately know if this is the size we need... So, I will NOT buy this bargain, as I am afraid it is made for my dollhouse and not for use on a human.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Staff Meal

 


When you are self-employed, every meal in the office is a staff meal. Today I treated myself!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

At the movies

 Ahhhh, movies. Sit down, get transported into another world, educate yourself or just let it wash over you as a form of entertainment. I have been spending money on movies in the local cinema since I was 6 years old and legally allowed into the theater for movies rated accordingly.

I usually want to try first before I make a judgement. But,... in the case of modern superhero movies...Time and again, I am disappointed. What are these about??????? What is it that people like about them? DC or Marvel makes no difference to me. It is all the same. Just glaring colours, loudness, effects and clipped, silly monologues.

Yesterday I watched "Aquaman". What amazes me is that I managed to make it to the credits at the end. 
It might be something others find amazing or enjoy. I did not. Ask me to write a monograph for this and it would be "Fish woman has sex with guy, Bish, Bang, BOOOOOM, Dang dang.... Fatz, Pow!!!!"

The other day put on the "Stargate" DVD. The original movie with Russet and Balder. What a difference. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Today I am Red




You would have to shave every day when serving in the Bundeswehr. A beard was only permitted if you already showed up with one or if it was long enough after a R&R. There were guys taking leave to grow a beard that would not have to be shaved, just so that they could avoid the daily inspections by the drill sergeant. 

I did not really see a need to shave during the last lockdown. No meetings to go to anyway. As a result I now look like the Animal from the Muppet Show. And if that was not hilarious enough... I have been asked to be a model for shavers. Funny to think that soon an entire male population might be looking at my visage when shopping for grooming products... 

Meanwhile, I am having a toast. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Sculptures Everywhere


Malaysia is a country full of arts and crafts. It is not unusual to find a sculpture in a park or along the road. Just like this one by E. Honda, which can be found in Subang Jaya.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

IF this is a Sign

 


The year 2020 was clearly wild and weird. Some may say it was unprecedented, but I would disagree (see my earlier post on that word). 

However, if this sign is an indication of what 2021 is shaping up to be... Well, then good night! I have taken this picture last week and have tried to figure out what the message is ever since... 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

No Time to ... Whatever!

 

As they keep delaying the screening of the latest James Bond movie, media has taken to milking the fact that this motion picture exists in the most bizarre ways. Not a day goes by where we do not learn something about the main character and how / what / where / when something is going down in the movie. 

In one outlet I counted 8 (!!!!) posts on James Bond related items in 14 days on their Facebook feed... 

It is absurd. There is nothing left untouched. Now there are speculations about re-shooting scenes because the products placed by nifty marketers are out of date. Did anyone ever care? I drink Wiskey by the gallon and could not be bothered with the "unique, custom blend and the futuristic bottle " of Blade Runner 2049.

Using this from an internet search: "Information fatigue syndrome – also known as Information overload, intoxication is a term coined by Georg Simmel (1858-1918), a social scientist who postulated that the overload of sensations in the modern world caused increasingly jaded and insensitive people incapable of logically reacting to situations."

Hopefully, nobody will be surprised if this thing flops in the theaters. I don't know about others, but I am certainly tired of the things being surmised about Bond. In fact, my next book will be called:

"1001 Things You Never Wanted to Know about James Bond but were Forced to Find out During the Pandemic."



Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Title

What do you think about the following as a subject for a book I could write:

"Gamification of communication and documentation processes in project teams as internal stakeholders being a contributing factor to successful implementation of ERP software"

Leave your comments...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Bored Pensioners

My parents just told me about their latest plan. They are going to put a beach chair into their garden. Complete with 2 tonnes of finest sand from the beaches of the Baltic Sea. 

I guess they want to create Germany's biggest outdoor cat litter box.

Frankly, a beach bar would be more exciting. Possibly, I would spend more time in their garden then.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Formulated for Success

 


Here at the Stefan Pertz Institute for Useless Information we strive to bring you the biggest nonsense, worthless stuff and gibberish you could ever use to stop any dinner conversation dead in its tracks. Here the latest, specifically geared up to depress the hottie in a red dress (Die da? Nein die da mit dem dicken Pulli an, man!) that initially had a most massive crush on you...

THIS, Laddies and Gennelmen!, is the formula used by the German government to calculate your pension.
Focus.de had this on their website so that readers could make an effort to calculate for themselves how much they would be drawing as a pension.

I ask you: how bored must you be with your collection of spores or dried orange peel to be wanting to do this??? Contact me via email and I can send you 12 suggestions for fun activities to do when you are alone and don't have a stick to dig a hole in the yard. 

Now, this blog would not be among the most popular on the interweb, if there wasn't any value I could ad. So, here goes then: the Pertz'sche simplified formula to determine your pension:

<your pension amount here> = by far not enough

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The MOST HATED word of 2021 - Votes are in!

 UNPRECEDENTED

Not much guessing needed there and I am sure it will be the most hated word this year, even though we have 11 more months to go. Based on research we have done here at the Sockentauschzentrale Setia Alam, we have a verdict. Having scrutinised thousands of documents, we found: Not one press release, article, newspaper article or radio announcement seems to be complete with this never-heard-before expression.

Let's have a look. It means:

"never done or known before."

Now I needs someone to explain to me what it is exactly that makes 2020 / 2021 so extra special with secret ingredient spice that it deserves the use of this particular word in everything mankind is writing, singing or sending in a WhatsApp message. Have not most times mankind has experienced been "never done or known before"? Like, when was the last time that people lived in a totally unchanging time. 

The Jury celebrating another successful, unprece.. SHUTTTT UP!

From an Editor's point of view... the word is so worn out, we couldn't recycle it in any other time that we may face and that we have never done or known before. If we get attacked by three headed aliens that want to make us their sex slaves we have to find another word to describe our situation then. Unprecedented will be unavailable. 

And look here: A list of all the words that could be used instead!
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/another-word-for/unprecedented.html 

Ok, admitted, "amazing" may not cut it to describe a pandemic. But I am sure you get the idea that this could also be unparalleled times or extraordinary ones. 

Why did this un-word of the year have to even make it into "we bring you another unprecedented, historic and groundbreaking bus journey."? ARGH!

Valentines Inspiration


 Wife wanted a clutch. She wasn't impressed when I got her this one....

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Rear Window

 


Certainly not as dramatic as in the Hitchcock movie, but still some story to this. It the view from my home office, where I am being seated most of the time of every day these days. What is there to see? Laundry mostly. Some plants we try to grow and white outer walls of other units in the block.

I don't know my neighbors. I could see some of them if I stepped out there and see them toiling away with their laundry, food preparation or whatever other chores they are busy with. We look at each other in the morning, maybe, but we never speak. 

Sounds are abundant though. There is the clanking of a wok being worked over, crying kids (one kid seems to be in for a world record) and conversations in tongues I do not speak make for a constant wafting of noises. 

When I sit here at 5:30 am, there is already some noise starting. It is not the chirping of birds, but people getting up or even revving up to go to work. Over time, I feel that there are patterns. For instance one resident seems to be playing music on Friday evenings only. Must be getting into the mood. 

The original "Rear Window" is an all time favorite of mine. Having seen it at a young age, the intrigue has always been something that fascinated me. Today, I wonder what happens in all these homes that I can hear, but not see much of. Except for the non-stop screaming kid, everyone seems to be happy with nobody shouting at family members or even trashing places up. Which is amazing, considering that some might have developed cabin fever after all these months at home.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Upskilling

 


After I successfully managing to make pizza at home from scratch, I am now dabbling in cocktails. Gotta keep busy with something while being confined to one's home. Drinking at home also has the added advantage that one doesn't have to worry about roadblocks or dress code. 

Shown above is the result of my first Negroni attempt. The backed oranges were a real hit in this one. I was told though that the Vermouth is to be red. Ok, next time. I promise. In extension of this experiment, today it will be "Negroni Fizz". Cos I still have much of the oranges left. 

The mixture yesterday had us out of order even before the sun set... Doesn't happen often that I am in bed before 21:00 and then sleep for 11 hours. Maybe, just maybe I am just tired. What with the stress and all. But could also be the allohol. Either one. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

I will eat my free lunch AND have it!

I see a massive debate about the new WhatsApp Terms & Conditions and how Signal and Telegram are supposedly better as they do not harvest data to be sold. Ok, so far so good.

The way I see it is that WhatsApp (WA) provides me with a service. One that works day and night, highly reliable and so far never had any glitches. And so far they charged me USD 1.99 per year or so.

Again, it is a service. And therefore, they need to make money. If anything, the servers need to be maintained, salaries paid etc. That can be done via:

- In-app advertising (Shudder!!!! That is the reason why I hate Line and WeChat)

- Subscription fees

- Data gathering and sales of it

When I see people on Facebook / Instagram: they post EVERY move they make. They do that voluntarily. And they have a problem when their data is harvested? Uhm... dunno...

Go ahead, make my data. What is the worst that can happen? That I am being shown an ad for tampons on FB? Which I can simply ignore? This is a  small price to pay for a service that I depend on, that I like.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Why ask?

Here at the Pertzi's Research Center for useless information we just confirmed the following: People have lost the ability to look up things themselves. Instead of spending 30 seconds browsing a website, they rather compose emails to get the information. As examples:

Q: Where is your office located?
A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...

Q: Do you have a current rate card?
A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...

Q: Can I subscribe to the magazines?
A: A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...

Q: Do you have older magazines available as PDF?
A: That can be found on our website, here the link

Q: Is there an office in Singapore? Who do I contact?
A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...

Q: What do the online banners look like?
A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...

Q:What are the specifications for online banners / print ads
A: That can be found on our website, but here it is...


You get the idea. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Hairy!

 


So, this is me (right), finally giving in to the temptation of having a professional shave. After what felt like a year at home I had a professional barber weed out the beard, trimming it neatly. I did not mind the plastic apron and all that at all. What I liked most were the hot towels, which were drenched in something lemongrass. 

Meanwhile, the remaining hair on my head is growing wild. That is for my next post.