elb's hovel of thoughts

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Food for thought

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little bit worse and sell a little bit cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey.

It is unwise to pay too much... but it is also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying alittle and getting a lot... it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."

-John Ruskin, 1819-1900

The above was spotted framed up at a small German shop in Cologne specializing in traditional wooden crafts.

Basically what is being said is that there is plenty of room for cheap versions of a product to be made, all with some sort of compromise. Hence if you choose to purchase a cheap product because its cheap, then its your fault and not the trader's. Also a cheap product might not be able to perform what is expected of it, hence you might lose all your money as opposed to losing a little bit extra when purchasing a quality product.

Truely enough, in reflection of that little piece of thought, the prices of the items on sale at the store were a bit more painful on the wallet than usual, but the craftsmanship impeccable and oh so delicate.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Winds of Change

Over the past couple of months, I have been struggling to decide the path of my future career. I was at the crossroads: which Masters do I want to do? I just couldn't decide what to do. Fortunately my friends reminded me to call on the Holy Spirit for guidance. After so much undecisiveness, I had somehow made a decision: I was going to forsake doing my Masters in chemical engineering and instead, do a Bachelors. I know some are, and were, shocked, especially when I told them 'I'm changing courses'.

Well, its not that dramatic, all I'm doing is changing from a Masters to a Bachelors. Somehow I can feel myself getting distanced from engineering, whereas on the other hand, I seem to be more interested in doing something commerce based. Therefore for the time being, I intend to do a different Masters next year: in management. I've seen doors being opened for me: my father said that he would support (he even encourages me) me to do the MSc in Management. I'm finding the economics and management unit of my course to be enjoyable, even so much more so that my engineering units.

And for my optional unit, I may actually get to do my unit in Accounting and Finance, which my Director of Studies is discouraging me from doing (because I'm too 'smart' for that, being third year and all that mumbo jumbo). However, the lecturer for that course volunteered to speak to my DoS for me. I know I'm on my way to making it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Doran Doran

Friend: 'Let's go to the library and find Doran'
Me: 'Duran Duran?'

p.s. Doran is the author of an academic book, Bioengineering Process Principles.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Jogging shoes

Having recently acquired a penchant for jogging and looking into carrying it into the long term, I decided to invest in a good pair of jogging shoes. The destination was a store called 'Running: Bath'.

Upon entering the store, which is run by brothers, I asked for assitance with helping me choose a pair of shoes.

Sure thing, one of them said, how is your running like?
Cue blur look.
Oh that's alright, we'll take a look downstairs. Follow me.

I was then made to jog down the room, with the intention of striking a foot on a pressure plate from which measurements were made. This took several tries to do successfully, and was repeated again with the other foot. I was then told that my feet tended to 'roll inwards' towards the toes and that 70% of the population did that. On to the shoes.

I was given no less than 10 pairs of specially made shoes to try on. One pair at a time I slipped them on and jogged for 20 metres, testing them for comfort. Eventually I managed to narrow down the selection to 4 pairs (while enduring curious old ladies who peeped inside the store and commented 'That's a lot of shoes over there'), and the next day I managed to come out with one pair: Asics Gel Kayano, which successfully managed to burn a triple digit (in £s) deficit into my bank account. Its supposed to be the best technical shoe there is anyway.

Next thing: to join a gym. Trying to find something cheaper than £20 a month and is located conveniently. Jogging sure is one expensive thing.

p.s. Pictures later, still haven't gotten my personal connection up yet, plus I might be too lazy to upload anyway.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Oven blues

I swear that there's something wrong when you pop a chicken into the oven at temperatures and length of time as per instructions, and it comes out partially raw even after cooking it for an additional 30 minutes. A very empty stomach doesn't help either.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Busy busy

Been busy the past few days, so I have had no time, and still do not have the time to blog. Maybe in a few days time, when my new personal broadband connection in the UK has been settled.