Involuntary Attrition

Yup. That's what it is. Involuntary Attrition, or IA.

Thankfully, Bain hasn't done IA yet... I heard about IA from a consultant friend.

Gotta love the consulting lingo.

Not thinking outside the box

Here it is, not thinking outside the box... for 16 years! Makes for a good Cold Case episode or something.

HK Sevens!

One of my dreams in life is to attend HK Sevens before I turn 30. (Not.)

Anyway, somehow got my hands on tickets to HK Sevens... here's the scene when I arrived at about 3:30pm (Game started at 10:30am) on Saturday. the stadium already smelled like beer.

It's HKD 1080 for free seat and re-entry all day. So we wandered over the to famous South Stand (you'll see). From the nose bleed seats, I can see everything happening in the South Stand. And of course "No spectator shall pass this point". They forgot to print "you will fall down and die if you do pass this point".

Yeah, here's the typical scene in South Stand. All sorts of weird people dressed up weird and all piss drunk since 12pm.

Here's a not so typical scene in South Stand. My question is, what is he thinking!? As in he in the background... that's a precious look while you just let your friend do stupid things. (The shoe has been passed around a few times... I was too amazed to take pictures the first few times)

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Hong Kong Sevens, Recommended (before you turn 30)!


President fail...

Not quite a fail blog entry... but still...

And I know you are thinking Obama. I'm not. The political price of doing nothing is steep and so he is doing things that aren't going to be effective. Look, there's a reason why we call it a depression... if you can so easily reverse it, why call it a depression? Just call it "some down time"... or "beach" as we consultants call it.

Anyway, in the African island of Madagascar, the military has handed the seat of the president to a 34 year old... except that the constitution only allows someone over 40 to become president. Constitution be damned, people power rule!

Where's the vice president? Chief of staff? Head of House? Where's the chain of command there?

As Leonardo DiCaprio once famously said in Blood Diamond, TIA - This is Africa. (Speaking of which... I posted this on Africa a while ago, and got this comment in response in a different post... still scratching my head)


Pictures from Taipei and Danshui

Yesterday I posted about traveling to Taipei... well, here are the pictures!


Weekend in Taiwan

Spent a weekend with my parents a couple weeks ago in Taiwan. A family friend played host for a day and brought us to 淡水 (Light Water...?), a cute little city to the north of Taipei. I've been there years ago... and my only memory of it was food.

The locals showed us something much better.

There's a geological park with some oddly-shaped rocks along the coastline. The following are all naturally-formed rocks.

Odd, eh? These rocks are formed this way because Taiwan is in an earthquake-zone. Above: When the rocks were pushed up and there was water left on the rims. Erosion was faster there and a ball-shped rock on top remained. Below: rocks are pushed up and the erosion happened at the lower part of the rock. This one, in particular, is best well known to be the "Queen's Head".

Also near 淡水 is the 朱铭 Chu Ming museum. He's most famous for the Tai-Chi series of outdoor sculptures. Unfortunately, it was raining that day and the outdoor pictures didn't turn out too well. Definitely a museum that I want to go back on a good day.

Quite remarkable is that Chu actually owns this museum. He bought land to place his own exhibits, so it's quite a remarkable collection of everything he has done. Of course, the best ones have been sold (Bank of China in Hong Kong has two very nice Chu Ming Tai Chi sculptures)... but this is a very comprehensive collection.

Here's a wooden sculpture of a relaxed business man (hard to find a real one these days).
I think of my job when I saw these copper sculptures. It was raining outside too... so it was a nice coincidence.
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Oh, and there's food too... for another post!


Fascinating artcile on Iceland

Want to understand the global financial crisis? Take a look at this Michael Lewis (of Liar Poker and Moneyball fame) piece on Iceland's quick rise to wealth and fall to bankruptcy within a matter of years. While I'm on Michael Lewis, he also had a fascinating piece of the value of Shane Battier, a marginal basketball players on the Houston Rockets.

(Sorry, don't blame me for putting you into a Michael Lewis time suck... blame him)

Re-post Oscar Short Animation

An earlier post on the Oscar winner of Short Animation was taken down by Youtube for copy right reasons. Sorry about that. Here's the video of La Maison en Petits Cubes again. Nobody took this down for 3 weeks or so, so I hope the link keeps working and you can view it.

Poor old man. He was pushed by rapid economic development, represented by rising water from global warming (how poetic), to give up memories and comfort of his home, even though he never gave up on life. The smoke pipe became his only emotional attachment to his human side as memories of loved ones faded into the water.

Some metaphors I see:
  • the house representing one's social life... which makes a rather sad story
  • the smoke pipe: linked to one only... selfish, material, but real...
  • everything else under water: linked to many, never cherished at the time, material, but real...
  • memories: the most valuable even though you need the above to recall it...
Do we need material things to maintain our sanity in the world? Isn't the life experience with those you love enough? Or do we need to grab something physical to remember?

Highly highly recommended.


煲仔饭 review

Well, I went to this wonderful 煲仔饭 place with my parents on Valentines Day (see? I said it was a horrible festival! Just kidding mom and dad!). 坤记 only took reservations and the earliest time we could get a few days in advance was 8:30pm. So be it.

Keep in mind that this isn't a restaurant for dates. It's in a very old part of town in Hong Kong and they are quite old school. We sat outside the restaurant beside two dumpsters and cars were driving past us every minute or so. One even parked next to us and the driver and his guest came out and went into the restaurant for a meal. So to be on V-day night with filled reservations till late was quite remarkable.

On to the food: excellent 煲仔饭. I can't even describe why it is so good.
  • The rice was burnt a bit but not too much
  • Easy to scrap the bottom of the pot
  • Good crispy rice left
  • Excellent Chinese sausage
  • We also had a very good garlic shrimp dish and leng yu fish ball soup
And it all came to about $100 per person!

Highly recommended.

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Oscar winners

Juanjaime forwarded the winner of short animation to me... much better than Benjamin Button! Very sweet 10 minutes if you have the time to watch it. (Just do it already) Highly recommended.

And I have yet to watch Slumdog Millionaire...