Tuesday, November 28, 2006

100th Post

Yesterday, I just realised that I have went pass my 100th post on the previous blog.

Everyone like to make a special speech, when they went beyong 100th post, 1000th post. A for me, I was actually lost count of it. It wasn't until I read one blog, whom the writer exclaimed how he feels about his 100th blogs. After reading it, I look back, and saw I have went pass my 100th blog without knowing.

This morning, I was in such an urge in doing fabrication, that I neglected one thing. That is safety, for myself. I was using the welding torch today, because there is a plastic that requires bending. As a weldign torch is very dangerous, I keep a very sharp look out of where I am pointing my torch. This is because the heat was so strong, you can be hurnt even if someone is 30 centimeters away. After all the burning, I put the torch on the table, and it is a very bad move. The torch topple over, and my body quickly bent over and catch the torch. The torch meets my hand, and gave it a hot kiss. oh duh, I have to went to the tap, and flush it for a long time, and then, bear with the pain for 6 straight hours. Torch are very dangerous, because if adjusted wrongly, it can reverse back to the gas chamber, and it may cause explosion. This reminds me of an accident in Toa Payoh some years back, where a company's couple, bent on saving money, bought second hand welding torch. When they were using halfway, the flame reverse back to the gas chamber, and blow up the whole industrial building, bringing down other manufacturing office as well.

Today, as I was walking along the road, and I got a jump. I hear a horn sound briefly, and then a crush sound was heard. As I turned my head, there was a van, crushed onto a small little car. Perhaps fromt he picture, you see the car hit the van, but on the contrary, it is the van, that crush on the car. One deduction can be that the small car brake suddenly, and the van try to avoid, and kiss the sid butt of the small car. The two drivers got down, and starts talking.

This has got me thinking. Is it really a blessing to have a car, or a blessing to be in a country where public transport is very efficient. There is a research that concluded that Singapore is the most expensive country, to own a car. I have forgotten what says so, because it is many years ago.

Owning a car, to many people, is a dream. But I do not hold such a dream. Are we Slave to the Car, or the Car is a Slave to us? If I own a car, I have to fork out at least $600 for the instalment, and this excludes petrols, and taxes. I have calculated that in Singapore, if an individual is to go from one place to another everyday, a public transport is sufficient for it. I takes a train everyday and it cost $1.45. A to and fro cost $2.90. Every month, it shall be $87 per month. An added allowance, would cost me $100 per month. In Japan, almost all car owners leave their cars at home, and take the railway. The railway is their way of life, because it is so convienent to be in the railway. As I takes the train daily, I can either read, or sleep.Unlike owning a car, I have to put my eye out of the socket, and watch the road.

As I saw this accident, if I got into one with a car, I would have to wait for the tow truck, and may even have to pay for the damages. Whereas in public transport, somehow an alternatives will be provided, and I do not have to scratch my head. So for me, Public Transport is a yes, and unless circumstances persist, then I would rent a car for fun. So far, I hardly do this, because it would cost me $200 to do it.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Automation, Master or Slave?

This morning, as I was praying, I suddenly have a brief flashback, or something that happened last week.

I recalled that in a conference, which I was attending about Enterprise Resource Planning, a speaker was quoted: The program is like that, it is pure automation, and we have no choice.

The word "no choice", have led me to think of one think. Is automation, becoming our way of live, and we are slowly being controlled by it?

In all my life playing with automation, I believe on one thing. That is "I control the machine, the machine does not control me" Yet, in 2004, I suffered my first defeat by one machine. It is a 2.5 by 2 meter machine.

Automation is fast becoming important with the advancement of microchips. They are the foundation of the automation in all field. Be it industrial, food & beverages, or commercial. Communicate in IOs, with these two letters they speak and with just these 2 letters, they can do a lot of wonderful and sophiscated things.

As they are becoming an apple of an eye to the budget tight managers, humans job are gradually replaced, and unless they learnt the way to learn new language, they will not have a stable job. But as humans learnt and improve the automation, automation evolves yet again to a more advance stage. The processors that make another processor, is usually slower than the one created. This is what I noticed in one manufacturing plant I worked before. And when the lifetime is almost up, the machine was sent back, and given an upgrade, so they run smoother, and faster than before.

Automation not only exist in machines, they also exist in cyberspace. Many programmes, loams in cyberspace, and insearch of new programs. One of the most popular is the spider program. It lurks around the cyberspace, and when a new website is created, this program will capture some of the keyword, and report back to the appendation software, which modify another programs.

In commercial automation, software engineers creates software, to track stocks, and purchases. By doing so, anything cannot be leaks out of a commercial budget. It leads to higher profit, and lower losses. There is a catch, however, and that is, if there is a screw, that cost $0.15, and the customer does not want to pays for it, or the receipt was lost, who is going to bear the selling cost, and how is it going to be accounted for. For every assemblies, out of nowhere, there will be surplus screws after assembly. Who is going to pay, and how is it going to be accounted for the surplus screws?

In another scenario, If a screw, is first purchased as galvanised steel, and after installation, It is found that the screw needs to be stainless steel, because of some unforseen circumstances, who is going to pay for the difference in amount?

In the end, we will be controlled by automation one day, and we are the zombie, doing things that the machines plans for us(I am refering to PDAs). Perhaps, that will be the age of the Matrix.
Maybe, there is a way to get rid of automation, that is just to pull the plug and hide it away. But after we pull the plug, we may began to wonder how to live the way of life......
Televisions, a very simple tool, have made humans became a crouch potato. That is what is happening. bosses are beginning to stay in the office all days, watching stocks and news. Some even take a peek into casino on the internet.
While the sobordinates are slaving their ways away, bosses are buying more sophiscated equipment to entertain themselves, and this have happened in one of the place where I used to work in. The Head of Department, furnish the boss office, as if it is a villa. While he scrap and save every single penny, he buy low graded equipments, and withhold money. Subordinates have to buy their own spares, and tools, and eventually, the morale is dropped, and many good talents are wasted away.
I was reading the "SUCCESS" section of the TODAY newspaper on 20th November, page 23.I think John Alexander, president of Center for Creative Leadership spoke wise. He mentioned that "The Higher a person goes up in a company, the more he tends to get cut off from what's happening at the ground level. It is not becasue they are not interested. They simply don't have the time to deal with. Employee engagement is not a top priority for many. We've seen chief executive officers all over the world get into trouble because they were not paying attention to people who were trying to tell them things. It just takes a while to listen - and that effort will make you a much better leader to your colleagues."


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Refrigeration, so called Air-conditioning, is a ver simply schematic cycle.

The refrigerant are pressed to high pressure, until they became part liquidliquid. While they are in liquid state, they went through a condenser, where the refrigerant loss heat, and became 100 percent liquid. After that, they went through a filter, where the impurities are filters off.
Although refrigeration is a totally closed cycle, but during sealing, impurities may be introduced, and it may disrupt the entire cycle. Thus, a filter is installed, so that impurities of any trace can be absorbed.
After the filter, the refrigerant goes to a small little hole, called expansion valve. This is where the refrigeration are sprayed out from the hot side, and enters another series of coils called evaporator. It is so called evaporator, because in this stage, the refrigerant expand so rapidly, it absorbs all the heat from the environment.
It is at this stage, where everyone feels cold, because heat is taken away from the body, and that is what makes us cold. Forced ventilation are usually nearby, to blow the air faster, so that the efficient can be high. After the evaporator, it goes to the compressor, where the refrigerant are compressed again, and the whole cycle is repeated.
It is a very simple process, and yet, when it comes to troubleshooting, it really makes a person scratch their head.
Last week, I was inspecting one evaporator, and I found a evaporator, with ice forming all over the coil. At first, I thought the fan is not working, and check on the fan. A lot of check have been done, only one test was not done. It is a time consuming, because a meter is required.
A closer check in the refrigerant, The result is finally out. there seems to be a leak, and the gas have somehow escaped. Ice forms when the refrigerant is too low. In this way, the gas enters the compressor slowly, and causes ice forming.
Today I was shocked 4 times, and they are all electric shocks. I begins to wonder the test pen. Have you tried this, you put the probe of the test-pen on a live or neutral connector, and then while holding the other end, and your other hand touch any ground surface. You will feel a electric shock. Although it is a small amount of shock, your body may immediately push itself beck, as a reflex. If this doesn't work, I think there is something wrong with my test pen then.
Today, I learnt a really useful skill. It is on painting. Did you know that oil-based glossy paint, doesn't work on cracks? I learnt it the hard way, with my hands painted black today, and I can't cover a crack, even tough I have coated 3 layers. Later, someone commented that I should try Matt finished paint, to cover the crack. It really works, and I go the cracks covered and it dries faster than the oil-based paint. I was so tempted to buy one can home to paint my house. This is because there are so many cracks. But then again, the wall of my house, is air-sprayed, so I should try not to add new coat of paint. It really is expensive to apply air-sprayed paint, because the entire room have to be emptied, and then, the wall coated white. After which, two types of colour paint are gas sprayed onto the wall. After it is dried, there is a feel of the paint, which looks nice.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Doulos, stopped by Singapore

Doulos was purchased in 1977 by Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All), a private, non-profit, charitable organisation registered in Germany.
Doulos visits port cities throughout the world, supplying vital literature resources, encouraging inter-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, promoting greater global awareness, providing practical aid and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.
Constructed in 1914, MV Doulos is the world's oldest active ocean-going passenger ship. During her lengthy career, she has sailed under four distinct names: Medina, Roma, Franca C and Doulos. The ship has been utilised for four very different purposes: freighting goods, transporting emigrants, for cruises, and most recently in her present role as a vessel to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world. During her lifetime, she has twice been extensively renovated and upgraded, and undergone two engine replacements. She has been registered in the United States of America, Panama, Italy and Malta.

It is in Harbour Front. Yup. The ship really look very old, and as the history dictated, it was first built in 1914. The books that were sold, are mostly christian books, and although, you have compared that the book price is expensive, but think of the children that you can help to feed, because the crews aboard Doulos, are mostly volunteers, and they take pride in spreading gospels, and help the needy at the same time.

The ship is huge, and once a luxury boat for vacation, the ship was transformed into a floating bookshop, and sails perhaps forever spreading the love of GOD. This just reminded me. If the ship doulos cross the path of a cursed ship The Legendary Flying Dutchman, will it deliver the Flying Dutchman, and we will not have to fear anymore?

I prays that GOD will give safety to the crews and the ship, and bless it well, so thatmore people will get to know GOD truthfully and heartly. The ship Doulos will be spending Christmas day in Philipines, spreading more gospels, and let's pray that more salvations can be received during the trip.

Harbourfront Shopping center's this year Christmas Theme is: "Have a Beary Christmas"
Thus, there is a giant Christmas tree, and all it hangs are not bells or candies, but BEARS~!
And how cute the bears are, I just couldn't resist touching it. Yup, I love Bears. In fact, I told Xiaolan that if one day, I were to die and lie in the coffin, be sure to put my white bear besides me. And on the day of the cremation, I will smile and show my teeth. Hmm... a bit of horror there.
I was walking through Vivo city, since it is very near, and as usual, the queue for the foods and cinema are really long. The games are very expensive~! I just couldn't pick up my courage to fork out my money to play games, and so is the courage to fork out the money to watch the James Bond movie.
Dong Po Rou
I chanced upon a restaurant called "Dian Xiao Er" It serves the Dong Po Rou, which is a kind of 5 flower meat. It have legend, that the famous philospher Su Dong Po was hungry, and asked his servant to cook this meat. The chef came up with this dish, and he likes it very much. That is why, it became Dong Po Rou. I wanted to taste this, but I gotta hold back the urge, because I have bigger plan for the cash. It costs around $12 for just a small portion of the Dong Po Rou.
Herbal Duckie
Other than Dong Po Rou, Dian Xiao Er is also famous for their herbal Duck, which also cost quite a bit for those who are tight on budget. And for those who are tight on budget, we had to go to the food court, to cure the hunger. And we do walk on the rooftop water pond. Many children were playing in the pond, as if it is a swimming pool. As I walks along the water, I have this idea. What if the floor of my home, is flooded like the one in Vivocity? Just raise the whole floor, and then, coat it with epoxy, and then, add water filtrition, and water pond, and tada, I would be walking on water in the confort of my own home. But a little bit uncomfortable on my water bill, though.


Friday, November 17, 2006

U.S. Number 1 came and go.

Yesterday, The US, United State of America's president dropped off in Singapore. He is on his way to Apec, and have made a stop in Singapore. Eversince his last visit in 2003, this is the second time he come to Singapore.

As a gesture of welcome for him, every motorist are so honoured to give 15 minutes of their time, to give way for the escort. The security was so strict, that only on the radio itself, would they announce which road would be closed, for the convoy. I think SIngaporean should take it as a day, to let of the vehicle for a day or two, or stop, to enjoy the view on the expressway, or traffic, and listen more to the soothing music in the car, rather than complaining and whining about it. It is an honour to have someone important from another country, to come to Singapore, and pay a visit. Likewise, when our leaders went to other country, the same have been done, so that the trip would not be delayed.

Some may grumble why does the TP announce only on radio, and not in advance. If the road are disclosed, some protesters may take an opportunity, to lay in wait on the road, and put up banners. I knew what banner they are going to lift up, so a visitor may not feel good seeing it.

Today, the president have gone to hanoi, to do the things that he wanted to do. Over the news, I see the first lady, telling story to the children. This is something that we are proud of as a Singaporean. A world class national library located in victoria street.

Once again, Mr George W Bush, Thank You very much for stopping by Singapore.
In GOD We Trust. (Imprints in a USA Currency Note)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

One Good Year

This is a show directed by Ridley Scott, written by Peter Mayle. This show is more on humour, and Romance. This show starts by protraying a successful and high profile bond trader called Max Skinner. He is a very successful man in a way that he trades bond. He got a news that one of his uncle and mentor Uncle Henry had died, and he is to inherit all his possession, such as his vineyard that doesn't produce even moderate wine.
He met Fanny Chenal, a long lost, and forgotten girl friend he befriend with when he was young as a boy. Fanny made Max swim in dung pool, and Max forgives her, and help her in the restaurant when fanny was very occupied. Instead of thanking Max, Fanny fired max, but soon fall in love with each other.
After a week in France, Max had to get back to London, and he was given a chance of a lifetime partnership, promising great wealth. Instead of Wealth, Max went for romance with fanny.

This show protrays the yearn of the rich. Many people became rich, but they do not have the romance to share with, just liek the partner of Max Skinner. He is a very old man, but he is lonely and grumpy. Seeing this, perhaps that is what made max leave his luxury life, and pursues the woman he loves. Quite a touching movie.

After the show, A simple. yet head scratching question comes to mind. In this world, Are we, WORK TO LIVE, or are we LIVE TO WORK?

This is what I sees everyday on the train. So many people are taking the train, yet, on their face, they have this sense of uncomfortable, like they are forced to work. And the sad thing, is office jobs are 8 hours sitting on the chair, looking at the computer. Whereas for my job, it have so much interest, because I can transformed into many vocation. From a mechanic, to electrician, to engineering, to drafter, to serviceman, to air-conditioning, to fabricator, to painter, to carpenter, to plumber, to so many jobs. In extreme rare cases, I can be a fireman and a lift rescue team as well. Speaking of lift rescue, I ever opened a lift door, to manually activate a lift door, so as to allow people to exit. And it really is scary, because once I look down the lift shaft, I feels I had a lose of balance. How does a real lift technician managed to overcome this fear?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2 Days work for Doctor, 20 minutes work of Specialist

Condensor trip
Hmm... Today is tuesday. For the past 2 days, I have been scratching my head, over one aircon unit that I cannot repaired. It is a painful experience when I found out the real problem that causes the condenser unit to trip.

Burnt wires
Yesterday, one restaurant called and said their aircon does not seems to get cold. My partner and I, went up, examine the condenser unit. When we saw that it stopped, we strip the condenser unit, and found 2 burnt wires. They are the power supply to the condenser unit. We changed these two wires. After the wires are changed, we close up, and returned. After I returned back to office, I took a meter to check the wire. The wires are found to be linked and not broken. I checked thoroughly, and could not figure out how can it cause the compressor to trip. After that, I threw the wires away.
3 hours later, the restaurant called again, and this time, the condenser refuses to start. We examine the whole condensor, from contactor to the wire. A check with the contactor shows that there is no signal sent up from another place. My partner said it is the compressor faulty. I feels it is something else. But as I was not familiar to split unit, I returned home, wondering what causes it to trip.
Specialist are called in

The next day, after washing the AHU, I went with my partner to check on the condenser again. It does not start. In dismay, we have to call up the officer to contact a contractor to rectify the problem. The contractor check the condenser, and then went doen to check the evaporator. When he opened the drainage cork, I knew what went wrong instantly. IT have happened before. The reason is: The drainage pipe is choked, and water level have reached high level, and the PC card refusaes to send the signal up to the condensor. When the contractor suck the pipe with a wet pickup, a lot of residue were sucked out. After the contractor have done this, the condensor starts running non-stop.
This event have actually happened before previously when I was working in other places. IT doesn't come to my mind, because I was too concentrated, and do not know what are the actual step to take before perform diagnostic.

Last week, I went for a body servicing. So called body servicing that is. Last wednesday, I was passing by a reflexology shop, and I wonder how a foot reflexology test like. I went in for a half hour session. This shop was opened by a catholic, and the person who do the massage are chinese majority. Actually, I wanted to call xiao lan previous week, but she is not interested in it. So I have to go alone.

The foot reflexology is really great, especially you can feel how lively the feet are after the session. Oh yes, the person who massage me is called Ivy. Well, I especially note it down, so I would not forget.

2 days after that, I went to the reflexology center again, and this time, I am not going for the reflexology. I went for the ear candling. This time I went for a 80 minute session, which cost $75 for ear candling, follow by a 40 minutes back massage. I go for ear candling, because I have this block in my ear,t hat I want to get rid of. Before the ear candling, the lady would check and remove any wax that may be in the ear. And after some relaxation masaage, she put the ear candle into the ear. I hear some burning sound, and feels the block was removed gradually.

After the ear candling, there was a back massage, and it really sooth the back very well. A pity, Xiaolan was not here to experience it. After the ear candling, I walked out the reflexology feeling refreshed, and feels better. I think they are professional in this kind of line, because they really did it really well. I think I must polish up my skills of servicing HVAC, so all my units can feels the same way as I do.

If you to have the address, you can check it out. It is called
Tomi Foot Reflexology in
Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road,
#B1-114 and #01-94.
The telephone is 67364292,
and they opens daily from 10am to 10pm.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vivo City

I went to the great Vivo City last saturday, and I just find that it is really too big.
I find the most interesting is the roof top water pond, where people can strip off the shoes, and walk in the water. When I saw something happened, I starts to consider whether it is a good idea to have it in Singapore. The thing I saw is someone spit into the water as they walk. What would it be, if someone who is ill, spit on the water and infect the water?
As I exit out of the NEL, I was astonished to find a lot of people walking, and there are a lot of stalls are not opened. Finding food in the place is really a hard time, because of the high demand low supply, many people are queuing for the food. I wanted to bring Xiao Lan to watch one itilian show, because I read from the papers that the itilian movie is cute and funny, and also a mixture of classical, that is what she like. Looking for the cinema, is really a scratch on the head, because there is insufficient sign board, and although the signboard is found, I couldn't read it because I do not know which side I am facing. If you remember a shape of a three edge boomerang, imagine you are in the middle of the boomerang, with no windows as a reference, or signs indicating where you are facing, and the three sides are shops, how would you be able to judge your direction? I had problem intepreting that map, that I have to explore my way around, and ended up in Harbourfront center, which is entirely wrong direction. DUH.
From the Newpaper, it is said the person who designed the Vivo City is a Japanese. and it is his first time designing a building out of japan. I think it is a very good external design, but I only think of the way of the maintenance going to be in Vivo City.
As I walk around, I realised that there is not much Air Handling Units in Vivo city. most of the air-conditioning is through Fan Coil Units. and these FCUs are located in the shops. I find that using FCUs, it can save you some money in term of running cost. But in term of maintaining or servicing a FCUs,it is going to be a very difficult job. And with the FCUs located in the shop itself, the serviceman have to go inside the shop, to clean and service the FCUs, and it would be inconvienent for the shop, and the customers. Some customers may even shun the shop if they see people servicing the FCUs. How efficient is it?
If we are going to talk about productivity, we pick an example of 800 FCUs in Vivo city. If every FCUs are to be serviced once a month, it would work out that everyday, a team of 2 technicians have to service 26 units, which is near impossible. If there are 2 teams of 2 technicians, it would work out that one day, they have to service 13 units. In my experience, a diligent technician would be able to handle 9 FCUs per day. If the working hour is 9 to 5, with one hour lunch break, that work out to 0.77 FCU per hour. And this 1 hour, does not include the walking from store to another store. The optimum would be 3 teams of 2 technicians, to make the job flows. And to be able to give technician rest, there ought to have another team of technician to act as a buffer, so the other team can take the rest day off. That would make up 4 teams of 2 technicians, and totalled up to 8 technicians, just for Aircon service. A team must have 2 technicians, because when one climbs the ladder, another have to be at the bottom, to hold the ladder, and pass equipments to the other party on top. Also, in case of electrocution, the one at the bottom of the ladder can save him. I have encountered electrocution many time. Now I treat it as a rice eating business. ha ha ha.
Only Aircon
If the technician is gonna be doing only aircon servicing, I think the work will be very boring. And you have to remember one mindset, that some technicians may be lazy, and they will skip the job at hand. It is every organisation's nightmare.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Village Dining

Last week, I went to the Village in The Heeren, to dine in.

As part of the employee in part of the organisation, I get some discount for it. It is a pity it is a low amount of discount.

I had Pork Chop, with soup and 100% fresh orange juice, and a baked potato.

The pork chop is really very nice. That is of course, consider the grill and the chef is very good. Did you know, that the grill cose thousands of dollars? And the amount of the electricity is although amazingly, but effectively.

The pork chop is very juicy and tender. And I am sure that the boss of village, is pleased to hear it. As I worked under him before, he is a man, who is so called Mr Ikea man. ha ha. This is because when he opens an Ikea box of furniture, he would know immediately which parts is for that particular part of the furniture. While I was scratching my head, he knew that particular piece is wrong, and that is why, we cannot fix it up. And he is such a man of humor also. Once, I made a small crack out of the wall, he exclaimed to me that now he have to take down the entire wall to cover that crack. Well, you can't blame me Mr Ikea, I do not have a glass drill to drill a hole on the tile before I hit the wall. Hee haw hee haw

Bringing you back, After eating, I took a short walk around, and found another amazing place in the village. It is a wine room, where empty bottles of wines are kept in, and it is very serene place. We changed place to there, and ordered the chocolate fondue. It is sinply delicious, only to the fact that the fondue is not very thick. It is quite mild, but the chocolate taste is very rich. Praise God for the people who invented this delicacy.


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