AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Moving on-- Farewell to a Blog

Let's move on to Is AlwaysWoW becoming more serious? I don't know but may be a new platform deserves a more serious approach? Actually, I don't think so. AlwaysWoW means to have fun in doing things, looking at things differently as well, challenging old thinking and including and learning new ones.

But serious: I had fun at Naively, I opened the account back in January 2002 – so now, I am a three year member of Blogger.

I did so because at that time, I opened a lot of accounts in the Internet, most of them for free. The account wasn't used for a long time, but one day in June 2003, I sat down to write something about a great restaurant that I visisted with my family, which employed really boring waiters and waitresses.

Writing words without thinking much (has it changed at all, since?). Innocent as I was, it didn't work straight away in the very first beginning. Since my thinking was such that I thought Blogger knows all, they will also know my challenges and come back to me without I asking them. That was my thinking, and of course, nobody came to help me. But normally they responded when I faced a problem or challenge. Sometimes they helped me straigthen out my blog again - thanks, guys!!

It took a while before I wrote more frequently, and well, my interest in customer experience shaped my thinking and how this blog developed. It took a very long time for me to also start manipulating the template, and to integrate a visitor counter for example, or Haloscan – recently I already changed my old profile to the current one. I did so once, and hey, it messed up my blog so badly that I didn’t change anything for a long time. The nice piece, however is that I learnt or re-learnt a bit of HTML. I am sometimes sitting with books and study and change and test and retest. Awesome. But I digress.

Sometimes in beginning of this year, I discovered Petaling Street and naturally, I wasn't able to post things first.

Thanks to Aizuddin, who helped me in the beginning by explaining how to post posts I was able to post. From that time onwards, I wrote more entries. But from the beginning I planned to have an upgraded service. Blogger always replied to my respective inquiries that such service is planned, but it never came. Over time, I discovered other, great blogs in the US and elsewhere and realized that I want my own upgraded blog more and more. I started by registering alwayswow as domain in May 2004, not too late since about a week later, someone reserved the .net version.

All I all, I wrote 223 entries in the Blogspot post – and according to my profile, this makes a total of 66,442 words. On average, I posted one article per week, but than, my blog was dormant for a long time. And oi – I just discovered that since I have a profile on my blogspot 391 visitors looked at it – and this is one that has only be recently made available.

Now, again, it is time to move over – here we come I have to apologise to those that link to me but would like to ask them to change their links to this new location and follow me to my new experience.

Continued at


Strong quake strikes off Indonesia's coast?

Another one? I just found this in the China Post.

It says:

"A 5.6-magnitude earthquake has hit near the site of last week's tsunami-inducing quake off Indonesia's coast, the Hong Kong Observatory said Thursday.

The latest tremor, recorded Wednesday night, was centered about 110 kilometers (70 miles) west of Banda Aceh, the capital of the Indonesian province hit hard Dec. 26 by a 9.0-magnitude quake and resulting tsunami, the observatory said.

It wasn't immediately clear if there were any casualties from Wednesday's earthquake."


Bush donates US$10K in Tsunami Aid

Donating is fine. It is known that Americans like to donate a lot of money. I believe that this is okay, since they are living in the richest country in the world, and I appreciate it.

I also believe that it is important that corporations and politicians open their wallet and donate whatever they can. Goodness, in the end, this is for their own sake - if the countries affected by the Tsunami overcome the crisis quickly and the population starts having a living again - in hotels, hawkers, souvenir shops - business will profit as well.

There is an article in Yahoo that celebrates Bush for donating US$10,000. Great - thank you. It will help, no doubt about it.

But than there is this one little piece in the setting that makes my stomach feel sour:

"Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, told reporters traveling with Bush to Illinois that the president — himself a multimillionaire — has written checks to several organizations listed on a Web site set up to direct Americans to various reputable charities collecting private contributions for tsunami relief."

Thank you, Mr. President, for your generosity. US$10,000 might be a lot for many people, but considering your pocket, I believe a larger amount would have been nice. Well, may be it is coming, after a further assessment by the President. Remember, the US only pledged US$35 million in the beginning, only to quickly increase the sum tenfold after being criticised by the international community.


I was criticised that I criticise the President for giving so little from his big pocket. Aizuddin says: "What disturbs me is that the size of individual and organizational (corporate) donations in aid for the victims of the tsunami have become an issue. So-and-so has not done enough. So-and-so has done so much. My donation is bigger than yours. My donation is more worthy."

That is true - my comment sounds like a non-WoW. But such is life. I believe that sometimes, it is okay to give a lot of money, and that money can move mountains. President Bush is a leader and leaders set examples. He could have shown that despite all the negative criticism that is thrown at him, he is able to open up and give a lot of what he can give. He could have set some records straigth. But first was the case that the UN had to criticise the US for the small amount of donations, before financial assistance started to flow. And now, secondly, the President stays behind. I wrote before in another entry, that some get it, some don't. You chose which one President Bush is.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Fine, Mama

Latest since Allan Pease and Barbara Pease published their book "Why Men Lie and Women Cry" do people know that men's communication structure differs dramatically from women's. Well, many people knew it before but they got it confirmed scientifically.

My boy doesn't differ too mcuh from this - only that he is able to ask lots and lots of questions. So, on Monday, when he sits in the car with my wife, he starts to ask her:

"Mama, how are you."

My wife responds.

"Mama, what did you do."

My wife responds. And he keeps talking but after a while he gets quiet. Than he says.

"Mama, you haven't ask me, how was school today!"

My wife asks: "And, how was school today?"

My kid responds: "Fine."

My wife asks: "What did you learn?"

My kid responds: "I don't know. I forgot already."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tables and desks remain empty

I mentioned it two days ago that there will be the realisation that desks or tables remain empty, when school is starting. That kids in schools that were in holiday with their parents are dead or that employees won't return.

It is happening.

"We know whole families are missing from this school, children from this school are missing," she said. "We know we will have empty desks in classrooms next week, and we want to make sure we have the support in place. All over Bromma it is the same, you can feel people's pain, everyone is affected. Children are clinging to their parents, and mothers, myself included, are holding their children very close to them these days."

This is a very emotional article reporting about the situation in Sweden, from where many holidayers came to have fun in Asia.


After the Tsunami - What can be done next?

Sham has a great post over at JoyJuiceWizard and it raises the question, what to do next. We donated, some have helped, for better or worse.

The governments around the world try their best, but food alone, clothes and so on might not be enough. There are people that need more to get over the crisis.

  • Professional life have been destroyed in the form of hotels, resorts, or fishing utilities. In the wake, there are those that were employed by those facilities, resulting in an economic multiplier effect.
  • Kids, but also adults are traumatised by the event. Imagine, you have been close to the waves or even in them. Fighting for your life. Seeing your kids or parents swept away.

I believe those are the victims that need to get back on their feet:

  • What about consulting services to get them the assistance to get moving again?
  • What about cheap bank loans with very little or no interest rates, with a longer repayment period? I actually just read that Thai banks do provide that.
  • Where are the psychologist that talk to children and adults alike to get the over the trauma?
  • Where are the construction companies that offer to rebuild houses for free, at a speedy service, or at least for a lowered sum?
  • Where are the white good and the brown good companies that offer goods for free to the victims? It doesn't need to be the largest TV screen or the most modern aircondition set, but something, something - hey, a stove would be nice or a microwave
  • Where are the mega markets, supermarkets, food traders that offer rice supply for the next 1, 2, 3 months, dependent on some criteria?
  • Where are the schools that don't require fee payments for the children of the victims?
  • Where are the clothing stores that provide school uniforms for free?
  • Where are the telcos that install telephone lines for free or provide free service for a certain time?
  • Where are the mobile communications providers that give away handsets for free? I heard that Thai cellular companies do something in this area - anybody has comments?
  • Atiza commented that there is no electricity in many of the affected areas. Stupid me. But let's say, we could start with some generators to be donated. Hello Tenaga Nasional, hello IPP. A chance for promotion and marketing!!

There is so much more to say to this - any company can do something. Step forward, I say!!

I read in The Nation (Thailand), December 29, 2004 edition that "Banks and private companies have donated hundreds of millions of baht as well as goods and services ranging from water and food to free telephone calls to help victims of the tsunami that battered Thailands southwestern coast." Sounds like a good start

I somehow have the feeling that it is only the people who provide their means - and that we are still waiting for the manufacturers to get moving.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Talk about the power of the blogs

Church of the Customer has this very interesting write-up about a blogger who went to become a book author after a publisher stumpled upon her blog.



Some get it, some just don't

Call me emotional, call me anything or flame me if you want.

But while it appears that more and more nations get together to help out in the ongoing effort to clear up the damage of the Tsunami and to help those that struggle to get their life back to a somewhat normal or livable basis, others just keep doing what they did before - not realising that they fall more and more out of step with the so-called "world community."

On the one hand, we will have a summit (whatever good that is for) on the Tsunami: Asia Prepares for Tsunami Summit; Thailand Wants Warning System

And than we have news such as this: "Suicide Bombing Kills at Least 23"

or this:

Egypt demands Israel pullback to 2000 lines

or this

Despite pullback pledges, Israel rolls tanks into Gaza

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Back to school

My kid will be in Standard 2 from tomorrow onwards. That means, my time of getting up a bit later is over. It is back to 5.45 AM, the yawning, the challenge of getting my kid ready, the dread to be on the road for one endless hour before I be in my office.

I don't like it!!! But I will have my fun. Listening to the radio, singing songs, exchanging ideas with my wife and kid, "cursing" other drivers.

But what I realised is the following scenario. There were many people that went on leave over Christmas. They might have been to places where the Tsunami hit, but nobody in their office knows. Imagine the scenario that they are expected back and their desk remains empty. It will happen and it is scary!


One week after the Tsunami - are we moving on?

It's about a week since the Tsunami struck many countries in Asia. The first shock is over, the emotions that we first felt are slowly subsiding. Instead of people running away from the water, we see the destruction of the areas and observe and comment how people try to get on their feet again.

We sigh a relief that the first helicopters are landing, that emergency food supply is somewhat secured and that the world is donating a lot.

The newspapers and the media will report another week about the Tsunami, and than, other news will start to take over the frontpages of the papers, the ongoing reports from CNN, our Malaysian TV and BBC will be replace by hourly reports in the news and even here, the description will be shorter and shorter.

But it is not over yet. Please don't forget that there are hundreds of thousands of people that will still face the consequences of the Tsunami. Diseases are eminent. There are those whose livelihood has been destroyed, may be forever. Children will still be without parents, and parents in many areas will have lost their jobs, families have been decimated.

It is easy to move on - tomorrow, holidays are over for many, school is starting in Malaysia, and it is easy to forget. But please keep on donating. Please remember the victims. Unicef still needs donations and I believe they are not the only ones.


Thanks Peter!

Found help already, thanks to Peter.

But man, Movable Type is a toughy!!


I am totally 150% frustrated with Movable Types

I nearly give up. I want to move to a different service - Movable Type - but somehow, everything is now messed up. Is there anybody out there who is able to help me with it? I really would appreciate some help!!

Thanks so much.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Service - the little things that make a difference

Recently, this blog focusses on services provided in hotels. Actually, it started off by comparing two hotels in Kuala Lumpur that look the same, and which are located side by side.

Following this was the situation, in which a receptionist in the Pangkor Island Beach Resort Hotel called my sister-in-law "stupid woman", when the she put down the telephone receiver, but was still audible.

Instead of going to Pangkor, we drove up to Cameron Highlands (yeah, yeah, I know, I made a spelling mistake earlier - thanks for telling me).

The hotel we booked was the Equatorial. They provided a different experience altogether.

We drove up the mountains and weren't quite sure of the way. My wife called the hotel and they explained the details to her. The receptionist said good-bye in a special way: "You take care and have a nice day!"

The hotel is divided into two sections. One section contains the main building, while the other contains apartments that can be rented. However, they smelled - probably haven't been occupied for a while - we were suppose to say there for a night and than move to the main building. So, up we went to the reception to ask for a different room.

There was no problem in getting two rooms, for my sister-in-law's and my family. What was nice is that the magnetic strip card (sorry, I don't know the right word for it), was set to function in both room, as if there was only one room.

We still moved to different rooms the next day - both rooms were connected to each other. Again, the rooms were connected.

Small things, naturally - but it is the small things that make the difference. Hotels are in the business of renting rooms to people. This is the entry ticket to running their business. Based on their target group (is there such thing, still?), hotels target different types of travellers - think of budget hotels to the most luxiourous hotels.

The rest is what makes up the experience for the traveller - the little things, as I mention. Those that make your place stand out from the rest. It is so easy to entice or thrill your customer, isn't it?


Chomel and Kentum

A long time back, there was a cat called Grey. When he died, in late 2003 (we put him to sleep) he was about 18 years old. All his life he lived in the house together with members of my family. He ruled the house and he ruled his area. He came in by climbing up the bars at the kitchen windows and squeezing through a small open gap on top of the window.

He was a beautiful cat, but in the end, without teeth and lower control of his body movements he was sometimes badly hurt by rivals.

However, he made his mark. Our area is full of his descendants. Some that look like him and some that only resemble his original beauty.

My kid and my niece have adopted three kittens - well, by now, they are a bit bigger than kittens already. The little ones love the cats, and well, the cats love them - especially the food that the kids give them.

It is great for kids to be in together with animals to learn to take care. My kid wants a cat on his own, and may be, some day, I will get him one. But not in the condominium, I am staying in, not, as long as all the plants that he is suppose to taking care of die sooner or later. But may be, one day!!

Here is to Chomel and Kentum.


Happy New Year 2005

Official celebrations were cancelled in Malaysia. I am not sure if there were any in Indonesia or Thailand or anywhere else, where the Tsunami hit - I doubt it.

I want to wish my family, my friends, and the readers of this blog -those that come here regular, those that just pop by today, those that came here after the catastrophy and those that were here earlier (gosh, what a lengthy writing), - a happy and successful year 2005.

Yesterday evening, I sent a lot of SMS to friends and colleagues (both frequently the same). I wasn't even sure in the beginning if this was appropriate. It is not a happy start to a new year. Let's hope it will get better soon.

The combined efforts of the nations to battle the crisis is a good sign. I heard yesterday that in Sri Lanka, long term foes, the Tamil Tigers and the government, cooperate closely. I heard that in Aceh in Indonesia, there is no sign of rivalry between the rebels and the government. Let's just hope that working together in this catastrophy makes foes realise that the guy working beside you is a human. Just like you and me. With family, children, beliefs and hope.


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