Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Things That Eventually Disappear In Our Life Time

The Post Office
Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills. I still remember the time on festive season I received greeting cards from friends all over the place. Oh I miss those times. Now I received only E-card or SMS/MMS greetings. This probably true that post office will wipe out from the surface. 

The Cheque
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business. I never have my cheque book but to transfer a lump of big figure I usually use bank's cheque/bank draft. My old folks still using cheque to make a transaction that involve large figure.  

The newspaper
The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.This is happening now. Major newspaper publisher in Malaysia now implementing the online newspaper. Hmm, how we gonna wrap our things when we're moving out to another house? Every now and then, the newspaper paper provides great service to the household not only limited to just reading it.

The book

You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book. Muslim can now download the holy book of Al-Quran in the tablet or smart phone. 

The land line telephone

Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes. Same goes to the public land line telephone. I wonder who are still using them? Oh the advertiser..

The Music
This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies." 

The Television

Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery.. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix. I don't buy this, people will always need television. The only part that change is the outlook. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cukup-cukup lah

Bulan ni memang buat poket aku berlubang besar. Last week, kereta aku over heat lepas je anta anak aku ke Nursery. Nasib baik dia over heated selepas tu..kalau sebelum tu memang masak.

Problem kat cooling water system kereta aku ni memang sejak aku beli kereta tu lagi, sejak 3 ke 4 tahun lepas. A few months after beli tu, kereta aku over heated on the way nak ke Genting (time tu abang aku pinjam). Expansion tank pecah. Abang aku setelkan. Orang duit banyak takde hal. Dia kene cekik sampai RM 1,200. Padahal expansion tank kalu tuka dekat kedai yang selalu aku hantar baru RM 700. Sejak dari tu memang aku dah perasan, yang piping dia pun dah mula ada rusty or karat-karat dekat joint. 

And then last year, kereta aku dapat satu simptom di mana bila kau over rev or bila naik bukit enjin akan lebih panas. Aku anta kereta ke workshop di Gombak, buruk workshop dia, credit card facility pun takde, tapi kat dalam semua BMW, Mercedes dan seumpamanya la. Ada la jugak kereta-kereta kebanyakan. Workshop recommended by forummer, susah jugak nak cari location for the first timer. Aku suruh die setelkan ada crack sikit kat expansion tank. Dia tuka expansion tank baru, servis radiator, tuka thermostat semua dalam RM 1,200. Tapi masalah cooling water system tu still tak setel tapi simptom tu hilang. Then aku bawak pulak pegi workshop kat Kelana Jaya, recommended by my friend. Mechanic dia cakap ini kene tuka the whole system (including radiator, hose semua) baru boleh setel. Dia quote harga paling kurang pun RM 2k lebih or maybe mahal lagi tapi tak sampai RM 3k. Aku suruh dia hold dulu. 

Last week selepas kejadian tu, aku terus suruh driver towing tu hantar kereta aku ke kedai yang selalu aku hantar kat USJ. Petang datang amik bayar tokey dia RM 1950. Problem solved. Radiator baru, hose sampai 5 jenis sume tukar baru, thermostat baru, almost the whole system la baru kecuali expansion tank tak tuka, dia kata OK lagi.

Bernostalgia aku kejap, before ni kereta yang sama buat hal kat air-cond system. tetiba air-cond tak sejuk. Kacau betul la. Kebetulan aku dekat Bangi time tu bawak kete ke satu kedai corner lot, besar bole tahan jugak. Budak malay sume. Aku suruh dia check kenapa, abes sume die geledah, ke compressor ke relay board just nak tau ada current ke tak pegi ke compressor tu. Susah payah aku tengok dia check kete aku tu. Lepas sejam dia come out dengan solution, tuka compressor baru. So dia quote Calsonic RM 2,200 siap pasang. Aku suruh dia hold, sebab takde duit. Malam tu terus bukak forum, cari satu india yang buat servis air-cond. Workshop dekat PJ belakang Shell. Aku bawak kete aku dia bukak hood, terus check compressor pakai some sort of multi-meter. Dia kata takyah tuka the whole compressor, just one part of it. Dia quote RM 400 je. Setel problem aku. 

Last weekend, aku anta another car of mine ke satu workshop kat Putrajaya, owner malay, mechanic malay, sume malay kot. Suruh service and check kenapa enjin gegar. Dia tanya nak pakai minyak apa, aku kata minyak apa-apa lah. Kereta ni dah lebih satu dekad umur dia, dalam 13 tahun kot. Dia kata ni kene tuka mounting, aku cakap dekat dia kalu sure itu cause dia so tuka la mounting tu. Bila dah siap dia call aku cakap ni kene tuka throttle body pulak kalau tak gegar tu tak ilang. Damn it. Malas aku nak bertekak aku cakap takyah buat. Aku pegi amik and baya RM 620 including RM 200 manpower. Peh, aku dah lama tak pernah nampak manpower charge kat dalam resit kalu bende kecik2 macam ni. Ini sampai RM 200. Last 2 months aku anta kereta yang sama servis kat workshop cina dekat-dekat opis tak sampai RM 100 and takde manpower charge pun. oil engine RM 65, oil filter RM 15 and bulb lamp RM 5. Itu aje. Yang workshop ni, oil engine RM 103 (Petronas Syntium), oil filter RM 15, gearbox oil RM 30, 4 mounting bracket RM 250 dan selebihnya manpower charge. Selama ni aku anta kete kat usual workshop aku takde charge manpower pun. Haha..

And kenapa pulak engkau nak pakai Petronas Synthium kat kereta aku yang dah lebih satu dekad tu? Damn it betul la. Bende ni macam kau beli satu selipar Crocs yang harga RM 100 semata-mata untuk pegi pasar.

Lepas ni memang aku tak anta situ lagi dah. Tobat!