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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

My Dad has cancer.

I'm not sure whether to blog this, but things can only go downhill from here. They might go towards better days. We always want to believe that the best things in life lie ahead of us. But then some of those best things may not come. And so I'll blog about my life, since it is, after all my blog.

Recently, my father had been through a series of shocks. Some two months ago, he complained of blood in the urine. He went to see a urologist, and was told, after an examination, that his PSA was unusually high. It was almost certainly prostate cancer.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy - What can we learn from it.

If you ever needed confirmation that these are tough times, Toys R Us has just filed for bankruptcy in the US. An excerpt from the Reuters report:

Toys ‘R’ Us Inc, the largest U.S. toy store chain, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday, the latest sign of turmoil in the retail industry that is caught in a viselike grip of online shopping and discount chains.


Toys ‘R’ Us received a commitment for over $3 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from lenders including a JPMorgan-led bank syndicate and certain existing lenders, said the Wayne, New Jersey-based company, which also operates the Babies ‘R’ Us chain.

The financing, subject to court approval, reassures its suppliers they will get paid for their Lego building blocks and Barbie dolls that are being shipped for the holiday season.


Toys ‘R’ Us is the second-largest toy seller in the United States behind Amazon, according to consulting firm Kloster Trading Corp.

“What they have going for them is they are the last major player in their market,” said David Berliner, a partner and restructuring specialist with BDO Consulting.

This means that Toys R Us will probably survive this, but why did it happen?

When Toys R Us first came to Malaysia, it was based on the ground floor in Subang Parade. It was a kid's dream come true and was stocked full of wonderful toys.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

We are all born for a wise purpose

Today I downloaded a free ebook called "The Art of Money Getting; or , Golden Rules for Making Money" by P.T. Barnum. In one of its passages, he wrote, "We are all, no doubt, born for a wise purpose." (The whole passage is reproduced later in this article. Scroll down to read it.)

I quite like that phrase, "wise purpose", because it is never easy to discern wisdom in our purpose, and also not easy to form purpose from wisdom.

But I suspect that many go through life without their true purpose. They also bump along life's bumpy roads without a pinch of wisdom. (Although, surviving such bumpy roads may lead us to wisdom.)

Life is a maze, so you should be amazed at it.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Refrain from Anger, and Turn from Wrath

A Biblical Call from David

In Psalms 37:8, David sang, "Refrain from anger, and turn from wrath; do not fret -- it leads only to evil." (NIV)

How many of us get angry unnecessarily? It's true that we sometimes "lose our heads" over petty issues. But when you find yourself getting angry for no apparent reason, scolding others who may not have done anything wrong, you may need to manage your anger.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11

Don't get me wrong. A life without anger is perhaps best for the peacemakers. But sometimes we need anger. Righteous anger spurs the righteous into taking action; or how else do you expect your everyday police officer and law enforcer to do their duty? They need to feel the burn of righteous anger, the need to clamp down on evildoers.

But for the everyday Joe a life filled with anger may be detrimental. It's bad for you, and bad for those around you. If you explode at every little mistake that others do, and if you find yourself clenching your jaws, or even your fists, too often, it's time to take a long hard look at yourself before something bad happens.

Friday, 14 July 2017

If you want something to happen, focus on it.

Focusing means taking time to focus.

When I first heard about Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule, I thought that it was either a brilliant idea or a joke. A brilliant idea because it was difficult to disprove, yet its premise sounded so plausible. It would be one of those ideas that would take a long time to prove, or disprove, just as the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest was in the time of Charles Darwin.

But in today's world, we are forced to learn things, to accomplish things. Learning takes time, and effective learning means focusing on something until you have understood it, grasped it.

Unfortunately, the younger generation seem to lack an ability to focus, because they get distracted very easily. Focusing, in effect, means not getting distracted. It means, putting your efforts into something for a prolonged period of time.