Thursday, June 09, 2005

Minor Inflection Point.

Am still in Singapore. The previous second-stage interview fell through even before it happened as they have already hired someone internally. I have no more job leads on hand.

Been almost a week since the last entry.. of which provoked an unusually large number of lengthy comments. A thank you to those who expressed emotional support, as well as those who felt I needed a kick in the butt to get out of the thinking mode into the doing mode.

I cannot remember if it was Machiavelli or Clausewitz (or maybe somebody else) who advocated being very cautious and extremely detail-orientated when in the planning decision stage. And so when it came time for action, the response could be bold, aggressive and overwhelmingly unhesitant. In any case, I like that philosophy.

Basically I am still in the thinking mode. My decision horizon is still a couple weeks away, so no reason to rush it. Offline, my thinking processes are often hidden from most, so I apologise if documenting the tedious process online in words has annoyed any readers for inflicting on them such whiny and indecisive thoughts. But yes, I also sense that the time has come to finish with all the painfully-agonizing thinking and shift more towards the doing.

One things has become rather clear - or at least less murky - over the the last few weeks of inaction and analysis paralysis.

I am leaving for Australia (likely, Perth) in the next couple months.

Exactly when I do not know. Exactly what next I have no idea. Exactly how I can afford it I have no clue. I do not even know for how long I should plan for. But one thing is for sure: I fully intend to be based out of Australia before Q4 this year. The only two exceptions to that would be either I land a good job here in Singapore; or if D. changes her mind and convinces me that it is a supremely bad idea.

Desire must come first. So I do not consider the confusion of the last few weeks as wasted. For me, the why must precede the how. The fear is, of course, omnipresent. But the confusion has subsided by quite a bit. Now all that remains is to figure out a route from the here to the there..

[ On a sidenote, D. commented that the "make it up as we go along" style by which I am handling the visa and emigration process is very unlike my usual methodology of obsessive planning followed by apparently flawess execution where everything seems to luckily fall into place. The way I am dealing with emigration is just so totally not me. ]


So what has been going on the doing side of things for the last week or so?

D. is now on broadband. The setup process was suprisingly painless. Having worked in that area and seen all sorts of issues in getting a data pipe to work smoothly, there is always a part of me that is constantly preparing for the worst. Still some minor stuff (user education, automatic updates, system optimisation, minimising possible interference) to tweak but she is definitely no longer constrained at 20-30 kbits per second.

Spent a couple hours working on the physical layout of D.'s computer setup. The CPU box and printer was previously lying the floor with the tangled mess of wires and extension power strip. Used to drive her nuts because she could not effectively clean around the area. Now everything is neatly on the desk, with the ports (relatively) accessible. Speakers and cheap made-in-China test microphone connected and tested. Power strip mounted against the power point on the wall. Cables sorted out and neatly cable-tied. Was tempted to even start labeling all the connectors, cables and plugs.

[ The long version: See Computer Upgrade for how the last two items relate to the emigration process. The short version : Skype. ]

I am quite proud of the setup. At least it now looks neat and comfortable enough to work on for extended periods, rather than the eyesore mess that defied easy maintenance. Should not be too painful to add a webcam at a later stage, if necessary.

Does anyone have recommendations for a good computer microphone? Looking for something with a standard computer line-in jack, with a mount/stand and must be able to pick up a normal conversation voice from a couple metres. Preferably under S$100.

On the personal front, I have also prepaid for my (personal) email account all the way to August of next year. The amount was not much but well worth it for the peace of mind. Will need to transfer the broadband account to my siblings as well (if they want to keep it). I have had my service provider turn off the data pipe when I missed a couple payments previously. For someone who virtually has an Internet data conduit plugged directly to his brain, I was upset to return after a long business trip to find myself offline. Upset was to say the least.

DIMIA has sent a confirmation receipt and reference number for the visa application package received on 30 May. Now we wait for a case officer to be assigned, and the front-loaded requests for medicals and police clearances.

D.'s exams are over today. In order to let her try to concentrate on her exams, we have avoided serious in-depth discussions about how we can cope with the impending period of time physically apart. In fact I have not even seen much of her recently as she has been so busy preparing for the exams. Now that the exams are over, we need to spend some quality time together.


And most importantly, I am starting to build to-do lists in my head. At this point there is still a lot of thinking and not so much of the doing. The point is, the type of thinking has shifted more to the whats and the whens and the hows.


Blogger Laughingcow said...

For me, the why must precede the how.

Well said, and I hope it all works out! :)

June 10, 2005 5:35 AM  
Blogger Patricea Chow said...

Hello Knight, been ages since I came by due to my self-inflicted packed schedule. You - so much time with nothing - are the opposite of me - so much to do in so so little time.

I'm sure you've been reading about what's been happening on my side. All I can share is that I've been through my bad year in 2002 to 2003 and I only started crawling out in 2004, and I've only reached the top or rim of the hole a month or so ago. It's a long and painful process but really, the only way is up.

All the best and may Oz (the country where I want to settle in one day too) be the place where all your dreams and hopes come true.

June 10, 2005 11:18 AM  
Anonymous tangawizi said...

Pentacles, u are no different from an economic migrant from say Southern China in the last century going to San Francisco for the gold rush. How does a heartlander flourish in a different place if there isn't an edge to his survival? Take heart of your forefathers!

June 10, 2005 9:56 PM  
Anonymous bohemianlisa said...

KoP, you know you can get in touch with me once you are in Australia. We can even catch up if I'm over at Perth!

All the best with the moving!

June 11, 2005 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin Tan said...

For the sake of your grandchildren, press on!

You should really file all these reflections up and show your grandchildren when you are a 100 years old and say,

"You know why you are living your life in Australia compared to your peers in Singapore? It is because 70 years ago, I struggle through all these decision processes before I finally decided to get out of Singapore!"

You might get a "Thank you grandpa for taking that brave decision!" =)

June 11, 2005 12:06 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

I'd just get those cheap Labtec or similar headsets with a microphone that you pull down, similar to what telephone operators use. Maybe cost about twenty bucks...

June 11, 2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Thank you all for your heartwarming feedback and good wishes.

Will do. Thanks.

kelvin tan:
It is an appealing image, but we are childfree by choice (at least in Singapore). Not sure if that would change in a different environment.

I have one of those headsets. The combination of a good microphone and speakers would allow use of Skype while physically wandering around a room without being tied down in front of a computer.

June 12, 2005 4:11 PM  

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