Business & Creativity, Events, Human Nature

Ethical Hacking

Yesterday evening, D and I went to the library to attend a talk about ethical hacking. The topic of the talk made me assumed and expected to see a handful of high school geeks. Imagine my surprise when I saw a large turn out of the older generation. Someone must have done some very convincing promoting.

The 90-minute talk was informative and served as a reminder that we should all be wary of our online behaviours and habits. After the talk, D and I had drinks at the café on site before cycling back home.

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Belgium, Business & Creativity

Bike, Bank & Bread

This morning, D and I hopped onto our bicycles and left the house together. We then parted ways at the roundabout because we have different tasks to take care off.

D went to a bakery over the bridge to purchase bread.

I, on the other hand, proceeded to the bank for an appointment. The ‘interrogation’ was brief and painless because I was honest and direct. No bullshit.

While bicycling home, I kept wondering why a small fish like me got onto the bank’s radar. Do they not have better things to do?

I hope the matter is settled for good, and the bank will not bother me again for the time being. Online banking still has a rather long way to go in this part of the world.

Speaking of an unusual morning, an Asian female with skinny jeans and sun glasses riding a somewhat flashy coloured bicycle must have been an uncommon sight in this town… 😛

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Belgium, Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Food & Drinks, Malaysia, Numbers

Wo Hup

Sliced bread may be frozen for up to six months. The four loaves of bread that I bought today may not last that long, but it is good to know that D and I have till December to consume them.

Today is the last day of business for Francky and Magy. The end of an era. Because the couple are those behind-the-scene people, this city and most of its occupants may not feel the pain of their quiet departure any time soon. By next week or so, people will start wondering what is the matter with their fresh bread…

When I was young, I know of only one bakery in Lahad Datu. My father and our Italian Austrian priest were amongst Wo Hup’s loyal customers. I did not know that there were other (lesser) bakeries in town until the fateful day when Wo Hup burned down. The baker tried to bake his bread in a different location using a different oven, but it was never the same any more. The end of an era.

I wished Magy and Francky a bright future and all the best. The end of an era can mean a beginning of a wonderful phase. You never know, these days.

It has been raining the entire day today. I remember Wo Hup, and the sadness that was linked to the loss of good bread. I tried to recall the taste and smell of those wonderful white bread I had when I was a child, but that was too long ago.

An end of an era, and the beginning of many explorations and experiments in my bread purchasing future.

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Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Simplify

Depend Less

When we need and want less, we spend less. And in this manner, we depend less on those who produce, provide and sell to us.

In the past two decades, I have mindfully set limits on my consumptions. I do not buy cheap ass Made-in-China trinkets. I have a food budget. I wear hand-me-down clothes without shame. In doing so, I limit my dependence on what are usually evil enterprises. I stop putting money into the pockets of those unethical bastards.

My wallet, my health and my conscience thank me for that.

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Business & Creativity, Malaysia, Numbers

Employee Provident Fund

In Malaysia, the EPF (also common known as KWSP or Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja) is a social security institution formed according to the Laws of Malaysia, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 (Act 452) which provides retirement benefits for member through the mandatory contribution from two parties: a portion of an employee’s salary and employer’s contribution on behalf of their workers. ~3E Accounting

2021 EPF dividend has been declared at 6.10%. One of the highest percentage in the duration of five years. Not bad for a developing country, which has to endure a global pandemic.

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Business & Creativity, Events, Numbers

Invasion

An invasion of a sovereign nation started today.

Despite my outrage and sadness in this matter, I have cool-headedly moved some funds around as strategic precaution.

I cannot foresee how this conflict is going to affect and disrupt the global banking system. Better safe than sorry!

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Business & Creativity, Events

Valentine’s Day

Roses are lovely flowers. On Valentine’s Day, they become ridiculously overpriced and overrated. Besides, I really do prefer them alive, still attached to their mother plants and enjoying the sun. 😉

Now that I mentioned the sun, my buy order of a German solar-park shares just got fulfilled this morning. Research shows that renewable energies will be good long term investments. Let’s hope so.

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Business & Creativity, Numbers

Crisis To Crisis

The world had wallowed through one crisis to the next in the past decade. And just when some of us are starting to recover from the financial crisis of 2008, we are savagely plunged into another one – a pandemic, this time – a global health crisis.

Because no one on Earth knows how long this crisis will last, D had decided to pause his eight-year-old, one-man design business when the first lock down was enforced last year. A typical small business needs about ten years to turn around. But heck, try doing that from one crisis to the next!

Taking a pause was a strategic move. Keeping our heads above the water is the smart thing to do. Staying alive is the logic step. Only then do we have a future. A future of plans, actions, results, progress and hope.

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Business & Creativity, Human Nature

Evolving Consumer Behaviours

Covid-19 has and is changing consumer behaviours. And those trends might be here to stay.

Personally, I asked myself these questions before I purchase something:

  1. Where did it come from?
  2. Can I eat it?
  3. Will it last?
  4. Can it be reused?
  5. Can I fix it if it sustains minor damages?
  6. Is it biodegradable?
  7. Is it worth the amount I am paying?
  8. Do I like it?

More funds allocated to filling up our pantries and savings accounts, less to useless trinkets and nonsensical luxuries. And that is not a bad thing at all…

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