Sunday, January 23, 2005

What Do I Do?

Its boring reading about someone's life, especially of a stranger who has not achieved anything significant in life and who have not contributed to the improvement of human lives. Its OK if that someone is close to you or someone you know or even someone you used to know. But a stranger that is something else. You read a few lines and you move on.

Me? I am retired but I find it wonderful that someone invented or shall I say discovered the Internet. And retired but I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Its a wonderful toy for an old man like me. I know many old men who are retired like me will say that its a waste of time but to me its a wonderful experience and a beneficial time spent. Its a toy that I can share with people, with fellow human beings, young and old. In fact I am using some of the blogskins designed by someone as young as 15 years old, and its a girl from the neighbouring country. And I saw a few on the Net whose age ranging from 10 years old onward, and they might even design their own blogskins. Wonderful these kids are. While some old men (and women) - in Malaysia - will not even touch the key board, don’t know what a ‘mouse’ is and even scared to touch the ‘on’ button for a computer. What a waste!.

Years ago I was a real computer illiterate but when someone (my employer) put a PC on my desk at the workplace I have to learn to operate and use it. I am glad I learned and now I find that its so useful that I don’t know how in all my young years I have not used a computer. But of course in my young years computer did not exist. I remember as late as 1966, I learned how to do simultaneous equations and some mathematical integration and differentiation using a computer whose equipment filled up half a class room and we had to plug wires in and out of a switch board before it could even work, and looking at the results in graphic form in an old CRT. But since then a PC of today have the memory of a computer of a size of an acre of land if using the old equipment.

What else do I do? Well, I have to make a living. Here in Malaysia we do not have the dole like in some countries, so if you are not on a pensionable scheme, then you have to work to earn to live. I am not on a pensionable scheme. I could have but I lost my patient and I resigned from the Government services before reaching 55 years old, or if you are 50 years old you can opt to be pensionable. I was neither in the service. I left the services when I was 40. Many of my friends are on pensionable schemes so they do nothing and at the end of the month they get paid their due pension, until they die and the pension payment then goes to the spouse. Wonderful scheme. For me since I am not in the scheme, I have to use my professional qualification to earn a living. I do electrical installation inspection and I certify them. If they are safe to be operated I certify them to be in a safe condition and if they do not meet the Safety Regulations or if they do not have the installation operated following good engineering practices I will inform the owner. In all cases I have to report the matter to a Government Dept. which is in control. This is where I use my PC. I have to write the reports in a PC. And these reports are almost repetitious so a PC is very handy. Of course with a printer and all that. Imagine if I have to type all these in a typewriter, it will take me days and also I might make so may mistakes that I have to keep on typing. In fact in those days that was how they wrote such reports, so they employed typists. Well now typist are unemployed, or are there such qualification as a Typist? I do all my own typing since even when I was working in a Department. In fact I did all my filing and everything else without employing a Secretary.

Back to the Internet, I found it very useful when communicating with others (those who are in the Internet of course). You can communicate with hard wired telephones or even by hand phones, but with a PC its much more convenient, I think. You sit at your desk and type out everything and if you have a camcorder attached then just show your beautiful face in a camcorder, and if you have a microphone attached to your PC as well then you just speak into the microphone. Wonderful stuff. You see and you talk. But if you have neither then you can use instant message (IM) facilities and you can chat. And there are many parties offering these IM facilities. And most recent they even have software (virtual) secretary who will remind you of almost anything or even type letters for you through a PC. Just be careful that your wife (if you are a man) does not get jealous of your virtual secretary.

And lately blogging is like a hobby to some people, at least to me. The good thing about the blog is that you can almost say anything you like, well almost anything, and you can transmit, well almost, anything. And when you read other people’s blogs then you wonder why all these while you do not think like those other people. Many people think out of the box, ideas that one can never postulate unless one thinks out of the box, or dare to think out of the box. You have to be careful here, for in some countries thinking out of the box may get you into trouble or you may be accused of being antisocial or even you may be considered as mad. In Malaysia for example we cannot have the Hyde Park Corner sort of ideas/speeches or you may land yourself being charged under the ISA. But even in the USA you may get yourself charged under the "ISA" if you are too liberal, endangering the state they call it.

I have found out in blogging that all young people are mostly concerned with love, the bit older ones with problems of life, goes older with sex and the old ones like me with the nostalgic of life. And the women, the everyday family stuff, the gossip and the family quarrels. And of course the ones away from home traveling or fighting battles will talk about their dilemma in travel or war, they either are for the war or against it. But all have that fear of being lost, maimed or killed. And the spellings bloggers use, each region seems to have their own way of spelling, either in English, standard and pidgin or in their own language. I cannot read Chinese so I do not know what and how they write.

I like looking at the photoes sent through the Internet. These are mostly of family and friends but there are also some who send ‘dirty’ photoes. These ‘dirty’ photoes I don’t look at very much, as they say ‘you see one you see them all’. But its these family and friends photoes that fascinate me. The amount the love shown by people is a wonder. All these photoes show mostly love of mankind, of none another. Many are also of animals, must be their pets which they love. Of course in a less advanced country such love for pets are rare but from those I saw from those countries in the West, I see many photoes of pets which seemed to be well look after. And I see very few photoes of cruelty, if any at all. But when I see one I normally go to other sites quickly.
How much do I spend in front of my PC a day? Quite a few hours really. Beside of course I go for my morning walks, an hour or so a day when I can and weather permitting, I visit friends when I can, not much but I do spent a few hours a week visiting and socialising and probably having meals with friends and their family (and my family when they are available), and a few hours at work to earn my keep. But I do care for my life and my religion, I probably spend a couple of hours a day practicing what I have been taught about my religion. I am not that religious by nature but I have to believe and practice something spiritual before I loose my directions. Don’t debate me on that for I won’t get into a debate about religion. The other thing that I wont get into a debate are about politic and race. These are sacred to me.

Food wise I used to be very liberal but of course I don’t smoke or drink. Surprisingly my son smokes, not in front of me at least. I am a bit old fashioned in this area. Drink? Well I have had my days when I was a student in the UK and some when I was young but no more. I have not touched liquor since years back, lost count now its too far back. Food wise I like Western dishes like Fish and Chips, Steak, Pizza and anything Western. Eastern foods are either too starchy or too hot (chilly wise) so I only take them with the family when I have to, or when with friends who take them in their houses when I am invited. But there are also wonderful local dishes, which I dare not count here but I would classify them into rice and curry, of all sorts. These are wonderful food but they are either too oily, too sweet or too hot (chilly wise). So these are not my favourite, but I take them because they being traditional. I sort of am forced into them. Drink? Cold water is best, cold mineral or distilled. Pipe water in Malaysia is not suitable for drinking unless you have strong stomach for them. Tea or Coffee? Yes, tea only. I cannot stand coffee, though I take them when offered if being a guest at a meal. Sweet? Not much, I am a diabetic. Fruits? I love them especially apples and oranges. Local fruits are too rich for me, they are full of sugar.

Well well, its a long story about myself, a sort of self reflection really. A boring life if you were to take it that way, but interesting if you think really about the wonderful happenings in our lives. Remember Cliff Richard film "Wonderful Life"? That was shown during my time as a student in the UK. I recollect that very well.

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