Category Archives: Common Sense

How to Freeze a American Credit Card

It is very difficult to be a very SMART credit card user.

About 12 years ago when I returned from sojourn abroad and decided not to go back in spite of the many risks involved (including losing my life on public transport or in a public place like Central Bank of Ceylon-now it is no more public, it is almost private where few cronies make all the decisions, or while watching a cricket match) in Ceylon. 

I had six credit cards and a small saving abroad.

Unfortunately those cards were international and one can use it in this country in spite of the war.

I was without a job and was not hunting for a job wanting to take a welcome respite since the sojourn abroad was lot of work covering for three local doctors who did not want to work where I worked but was a beautiful, place now almost wretched by the recent earth quake.

I was enjoying the welcome respite but I could not resit the indulgence with the credit cards.

One day when I looked at the credit balance abroad and the amount of money I owed and the interest accumulated, and it dawned on me I may not survive even a year.

That night I took all the cards and cut them in half and went to sleep.

I have made a few smart decisions in my life and very many structurally poor decisions (including returning to my mother Lanka and watching absolute corruption at all level including schools, health sector (both public and private) and electioneering.

But this was one of those SMART decisions.

I could foresee the credit market collapse (but not so soon though) even though I was not a financier.

The decision was to live within my means and not bloated like the mega politicians on credit loans from abroad.

I have some information for you how to FREEZE your Credit Card that you got the other day, thanks to the Lifehacker International for sharing their wealth of financial advice with me.

They are as follows

1. Take the card in your hand and oil it with some Sri-Lankan butter and wrap it with a tin foil. It may be useful to swipe a strong magnet over it to demagnetize the inner foil.

2. Buy 12 plastic containers that fit in inside the other and gradually become smaller that would have the capacity to hold a small piece of fish cake sold at Rs.100/= in a super market food stall-For example Majestic City.

3. Now put the credit card nicely foil covered in the inner most container and place other containers on top of it. By doing this you are going to save on the electricity, bill .
The innermost will have the coolest air trapped which cannot escape and the outermost will have the warmest air.

4. Now switch on the freezer and put the lowest cooling rate and place the credit card containing cartooned cartoon deep inside the freezer compartment and put all the reused or rotten food you eat on top with few onions and garlic to sanitize the rotten food.

5. Now you have to pay your electricity bill with cash and not by credit card.

This way you can Freeze your card till you become old enough to say good bye to this world.

Do not forget to put a note inside stating that “I do not owe the bank any money”.

This will stay put and a STATUS SYMBOL for your name since you may the only one under the hot Sun in Sri-Lanka who does not owe anything when you died.

All the rest are pawned for another 60 to 100 years by our caretaker politicians.

The Gadgetmania or a Matter of Choice

There is a Gadget Mania going on unabated in the West.

While in some developing countries having a square meal for a kid is something wanting, the craze for gadgets is something evident, like in the West.

It is not the work the gadget does but it is the status symbol that carry with it that matters.

 

For a fancy iPod or a laptop may costs a lot. The money spent can be better utilized to buy some school equipment to help children’s education but again the money somehow get channeled out.

For example money spent on a flashy Apple Macintosh computer could have been converted to about 25 to 30 OLPS (one laptop per child) but what matters again is the profit per each item sold but not the number of uses or users the item provides,.

This is true in the developing world too, unfortunately.

Following is a summary of gadget mania, I once suffered but somehow I transmigrated this phenomenon.

I have gone through this phase of mania in a mild and moderate manner as a young one.

I had to buy the correct brand , when I buy something new, say a camera.

Then when the camera prices came down I had several and found that if one has a “good camera eye” it does not matter what camera one uses.

One can always catch the moment in a snapshot with any makeshift camera if one is prepared.

In came the video camera, the whole ball game changed.

This was the time I was a bachelor.

The money and choice were not a problem then.

Then came the computer.

They were expensive but I had to buy (Commodore 64-128, Amiga, Atari) what was available.

When the notebooks of old era came I could not afford them.

I thank god for that.

I lost interest in them till Windows came into existence.

We were hooked to it and trapped beyond our control till I discovered Linux and meaning of freedom and correct choice.

Then followed the period of transition in my mind along with struggling with money matters.

When there are money matters there is no choice left, one has to survive preserving only a few of one’s favorite hobbies that included computers to me.

Common sense, pragmatism and rationalization take precedence over the trends, emotions an attachment.

When the comparatively cheap laptops hit the market, I had to make a choice.

My calculations told me I can have there desktops for the price of one laptop. One for me in office, one at home for me and one for the kids, all assembled to my specification with the hardware available at the time.

Now I have 6 out of 7 old computers all doings (thanks to Linux) some useful function at home.

One computer busted while recording Cricket World Cup in 2007.

The rationalization that was, I don’t have to carry any heavy luggage (laptop) on the move.

Then I bought the first laptop (I needed one to test Linux distributions) IBM of course, one third the price in Singapore without an operating system and booted it with Linux at the airport on my return home.

Another second hand laptop (for testing Linux) and new netbook (for my daughter) were added to my armoury without feeling the pinch.

This is my rationalization going berserk.

I carry a cell phone (it is a hindrance to my peace and wellbeing) only when I travel abroad and feel like dropping it into a dustbin in the airport but resisted and gave it to my wife instead.

I boil my transmigration to 3 phases.

1. Choice with lot of spare money in hand

2. Pragmatism with barely enough money in hand to survive

3. Rationalization while enjoying all the intellectual freedom that one get with Linux.

If Linux did not come into existence I would not have known what I mean by freedom of choice.

Human Destiny

If man needs to survive in this planet with dwindling resources and utmost pollution he has to take major steps.

The WHO culpable for its inability to forecast and foretell the emerging trends. I is is also culpable in not having a sustainable strategy.It seems it is dictated by the rich nations funding it and the cronies employed to effect the rich nations desired plan of inactivity.

They haven’t got an estimate of what is the sustainable population in which the planet can produce food (with a buffer stock.for major catastrophe).

They let the market forces decide the events.

With inflation, the price of food is going up and that is no concern for them.

They haven’t got a plan for food security.

Above all they haven’t a slightest of idea of how the global warming would threaten food security.

Their performance is akin to UNO which is impotent in formulating any viable preposition to this planet except for dividing land, countries and nations to a level desirable for the rich nations to exploit economically.

Their pseudo-economic aid make these poor countries more vulnerable and this is happening in Asia and Africa.

They have no strategy to make Africa a food basket of the world.

Asia cannot sustain food security due to population explosion in India and China which are following a death trap of new open economy.

For the first time India was not able to produce onion which is not an essential commodity.

But what about the staple diet. It is no different. Up until now soya had been filling the gap. While supplementing the staple diet it was a buffer for the poor nations.

Now with bio-fuel taking precedence this commodity is becoming the rich nations darling exploits.

Wind up with water security.

It is common knowledge that this planet is abundant with water and even can submerge some low lying nations with glacial melting.

But we do not have ample drinking water.

The man continue to pollute the rivers and their origins and basins with industries that should be banned for the benefit of mankind.

China, India and Ceylon are good examples.

In Ceylon all our rivers are neglected and allowed to contaminate with dangerous agro-chemicals from up country to low country of the North and North East. The rain forest is gradually destroyed and and disappearing fast and some rivers are actually now drying up in dry season.

The government priority was the war and making the economy running somehow but not having a sustainable plan to protect the forest and the rivers that are the live wire of our wellbeing.

In fact we do not have water security.

In the mean time some politicians are getting ready to sell the last resource we have. That is water for money to foreign capital. That plan is still in the drawing board and with two third majority even that is sold to a company or companies for generating money. I am not surprised judging by the level of intellectual capacity in the parliament. It.is possible in the distant future for the water to be be sold to foreign capital, however much they deny that there are no plans to privatize water industry.

That is a big lie!

Spacesuit and its Occupant

Mind this is an introduction for anybody who is running short of an idea to write about in WordPress blogging site.

This is an idea I hit upon by reading a blog writing of a experienced civil pilot not a fighter pilot.

Have you ever thought of the 50 thinks that the spacesuit occupant in space won’t share with his body soul?

You probably have not but I was one who was very much interested in this in my school days and in early days as medical student.

I cannot remember what I wrote then but this is an attempt to revise some of those physiological constraints not in particular order or in any order of merits.

Suffice is to say I get a sickly feeling when I think of space (occupied especially by alien elements).

Imagine yourself trapped in a escalator without illumination (light) and the computer circuit controlling it up and down movement gone haywire and it is going up and down in an erratic fashion.

That is a the feeling I get moment I put on a spacesuit for travel.

That is one thing you must consider when paying for, an enormous amount for a single trip in space.

Is is worth the experience and the money?

Probably not but having said that I have tremendously high regard for those guys who trained for years end on to go to space. They are a dedicated lot and give them the due respect they deserve if you happen to meet anyone of them.

They were the human guinea pigs on space.

I often wonder how many times they felt sick and vertiginous even in their sleep.

Probably many many times and uncountable and that is the feeling I get if I am invited to wear a spacesuit and come hither for a go.

I will list the feeling inside my head with little imagination and some understanding of my own physiology if not of another being.

1. I hate the space constraint. This is the feeling one gets if one has to stay in a tiny hotel room in Singapore overnight due to some delay, cancellation or transit. I have had that feeling once or twice before traveling by cheap air flights. When you fly on a good aircraft and not on a budget or Mihin (Hemin) Lanka

2. I hate heights. Imagine you are in a hotel overnight on the 21st floor room due to flight cancellation. You are well away from a fire exit and there is a blackout and fire drill. You don’t have a pen torch. If you are one floor above you can think of jumping out and breaking your legs but not on 21st Floor. That is why rooms are cheap as you go above. Please pay a good some and ask for a room down below. It is better even if you go to Colombo taking a pen torch with you with these high rising development projects. Born to this earth with feet firmly grounded and ample space to breath pristine air (not now even in Kandy) as an embodiment, getting into a spacesuit is the luxury I do not want to avail myself not even in my incarnation.

3. Now about the daily routines I enjoy. Sleep to begin with. I think I can manage sleep upside down on space inside a spacesuit since there is nothing else I can do there except dreaming coming home. I can do this since I have learned how to sleep standing on an express bus plying from Kandy to Colombo on a Monday morning. I believe all Sri-Lankans are good at this. Only if you do not have money in your back pocket. There are plenty of pickpockets in this country including politicians who pick our vote without our knowledge. They are called pickvotters or even better pickpotters (stuffing the ballot boxes).
These two are new words, I have coined for the Oxford Dictionary with local elections due now).

4. What about food. I want enjoy the high calorie, high protein dehydrated food fads of space travelers especially they are floating about and not placed on a plate with a well laid out nice table. My worry is not the quality of food but how I to partake them in a more sociable way. Not empty them to my mouth from paper carton after paper carton.

5. Coming to spirits (if they are allowed like a commercial flight) and drinks. When I suck (not drink them) a little, I want them to stay a while in the mouth and oesophagus and stomach and not go flushing down like a vacuum cleaner on full throttle to the colon in one go..

6. After meal I want to brush my teeth as my good dental friends tell me with a tooth brush floating in air and the toothpaste all over the face with me trying to reach as far as it goes to the third molar.

7. That also I can manage but how about a quick spend a penny in the loo with my prostrate pushing hard on the correct track inside but the squirt getting between my spacesuit and the underwear. That is my major worry since I will never master my physiology how ever much I train on earth and mid air.

8. Then the master job of course I have decided one last one here and never in the shuttle till I come home and take some constipating medicare one a week before the departure. I do not want my smelly secrets floating in air and taking pictures of me in flight.

No thank you.

9. Last but not least I fear the algae and the fungi I have been accustomed on earth and living with me with mutual understanding all along my life for years taking advantage of the flight and growing all over me. In nails, wind pipe, mouth and all of my privacies.

10. Last of all I love scratching my skin, just for fun and any other accessible point from my crown to the rump. With these fungi floating around and waiting for a breach, I won’t be able enjoy that luxury.

11. As for the rubbish I collect on flight no problem. We are trained to drop at any advantage point in the town and the Municipalities never clean them. I just open the window and drop it down when we are centering round Sri-Lanka with a note stating “coming from space shuttle in orbit no valuables dropped but destined for Sri-Lankans, war heroes included”.

This is why when President Obama invited me for a flight in space, I refused and gave 0ver 100 volunteers from our parliament elected and wanting to get elected. He of course refused nay parliamentarians after the Health bill was bailed out.

Unsophisticated Rural Youth, Disenchanted Urban Folks, Emerging Global Trends and the Digital Divide

Introduction
We are a country never seems to learn from mistakes of the past. This is especially relevant to youth and their activities. Up to the school age young are doctored to believe that if one studies well and get good grades the life is going to be rosy. They are not allowed to question the wisdom of their fathers or forefathers. Leave alone school eduction even after university education only a few are trained to take risks, become creative, be analytical and be able to solve problems without help. Above all, to be independent and emerge victorious in a society which demands skills that are for beyond their potential needs and character.
We tend to promote what I call the Mega Star Image.

How many of them can dream to become a cricketer and represent the national team?

Is there a development program where once the skills are recognized they are nursed with the correct balance of other educational skills including communication and become successful after the retirement instead of becoming a list MP?

Even in a professional training programs they are highly successful in a theoretical problem solving and paper tests, but given even a simple problem in real life the graduates struggle to find the solution.

This is true in IT industry too which I tend to delve deep over the past two decades or so.

This does not mean we do not have creative youth. On the contrary there is plenty. Most of them are untapped since our rigid, structured educational system in primary, secondary, tertiary level and in the university screen them out of the system and hinder their creativity. If you do a study countrywide sample of youth who do computer hardware and software work, over 90% of them never had any formal training in the field while in school. Their shear creativity has led them to the computer field and excel in their field and not due to the massive government school structure and the mushrooming Tuition System run by half baked trainers.

I will start with a simple example of a talented such person. One of my computers suddenly packed up with me being unable setup the BIOS. After three nights of fiddling round I manged to get a warning signal from Linux Console (fast computer) which said in a fraction of a second that the problem is with the cooling system and the computer switched off itself immediately with BIOS turned off. All along I was worried that it was due to a BIOS virus, since I bought a secondhand SATA hard disk and fixed it up, few weeks ago to upgrade its capacity.. Immediately I went to a young chap (now very mature) whom I new for over a decade (one of the first few computer shops that were started in Kandy in the late nineties) and told him the story behind and his younger brother nail it down to the cooler fan and fixed it with few rubber pads on which the processor and the cooler sit and the job was done. Had I gone to a professional shop not only they would have ruined the motherboard, I would have had to pay the workmanship too.

In retrospect what actually happened was an Electrical Surge that went across the UPS and hit the mother board had burned the rubber pads.

I am not at all saying our youth are not talented, quite the opposite but our education system fails them by inaction and lack of proactivity.

Lot has to be done if we want to keep our bright and young remain in this country or to prevent future repetition of calamities.

The introduction is in defense of the youth and not to do patchwork or ad hoc repairs to the existing system or structure that needs reforms well thought of and designed.


That is the job of the administrators holding big posts but my intention is to highlight where we went wrong not only nationally but internationally. I won’t go into the two unsuccessful youth rebellions both in the North and in the South and I believe volumes have been written but lessons not learnt and leave it for a political round table to dilly dally.

Demographic structure of the youth and their migration
The patten of demographic structure is basically dichotomous. In the developing world it is the Rural Youth and the Urban Youth. In the developed world it is the Digital Divide (the disparity between individuals who have and do not have access to Information Technology (Wilhelm, Carmen, & Reynolds, 2002). Unfortunately there is also gender bias in this context and I prefer using the sophisticated youth and the not yet sophisticated youth instead (add English and Ethnic harmony also into this equation for our youth to complicate the matters even worse for our educationalists pondering over this issue) to make digital divide somewhat invincible. The youth who are migrating for education and job opportunities to the commercially viable parts of the city invariably fall into at least two categories. The unsophisticated ones takes the security jobs and the sophisticated ones get to the service jobs.

To this add the group that had been slowly but surely growing. It used to be only drug representatives and insurance brokers who made the bulk of this category. They neither carry laptops nor ipods ( like in the developing countries-I sometime call them gullible vultures) but they wear ties and have a company vehicles. This category is an aberration in the third world and most of them are from rich families who failed both in IT as well as academic capabilities but have powerful vocal cords beyond the capabilities of some of our younger politicians.

They simply do not contribute to the economy and they do not fall under my radar.

For one reason or the other, I sympathize with the semi-urban (not the urban rich who will fall into some worthwhile category including the salesman category above or family business) youth for no faulty of their own victimized and marginalized by the area base selection to higher education and unable to rub shoulders with the new elite to get into the system without some influence. Some of them sell family silvers and go abroad and struggle in their education both financially and due to lack of proper English (French or German) proficiency and do menial jobs to survive and fail miserably in their educational achievements abroad. This was not true when I was abroad. The second generation children fared extremely well compared to the locals some of whom were neonaziists.

Majority of them remain here and they fall into the disenchanted lot. This category percentage wise and in numbers are large and do not fall into the cheap job seekers category above security personal level but the next level of repetitive jobs (nurses and laboratory assistant, clerical). Their dream of going to higher education is muted by the wrong policy of selection and going abroad is aborted by the economic reasons. This makes the bulk of this uneasy lot. If we do not have a system to look after this, lot of the middle class (it is almost non existent now) or the slowly upwardly mobile stratum of the demography we have a big problem in our hands. Simple rhetoric want help them. Either government (I do not see them doing it) or the business community should engineer this potential work force into the national grid in some tangible way. Of course with some prior training in skills appropriate for employing them or absorb them to new entrepreneurship such as mass (material) transport and / or delivery system in a subsystem of big companies, import and export business (call it outsourcing if you may) or new creative ventures outside the traditional system.

Fattening up the 20 to 30 giant conglomerate companies as we see presently will lead to lack of competition and monopoly. Lot of medium size or even better international level medium size ventures with branches abroad should enter inter the market. Failing which this fraction will swell and the reciprocal events that is happening abroad will catch their spirits and their youth.

This category is the one who did not turn up at the polling stations and would not turn up next time around too.

There is somewhat similar category abroad who put Obama into high office and Obama has not got a recipe for them. I myself believe Obama jumped the gun too early and he should have let Mrs. Clinton come into office and with perhaps Mr Clinton in shadow would have taken the country out of the financial trouble what the Republican (the war chest is huge and we have some similarities here but with some difference) have left them The Republicans took part of the American youth to war and remaining subcategory was left disenchanted.

In here too the war took a section of the youth to war front the other sections were left to their own devises. There is a category of youth in America who do not like the war but would prefer the resources would have been better vested and channeled on youth empowerment at a time of economic crisis (that includes the students that come from abroad).

This is why I feel Obama got stuck with the war machine whether he liked it or not, the inevitability of the trap left behind by the previous administration and he should have let Mrs. Clinton do the job of rehabilitation (what Obama has to do now is to disregard the powerful youth movement who backed him irrespective of colour prejudice).
They did a lot of internet propaganda for him to win.

Had he made his presence in the second time round after Mrs, Clinton with youth reforms which was probably in his mind, he would have left a powerful image in modern history but he was too hasty to come to power and now all Republicans and some grumpy Democrats are undermining his efforts. He was put to economic front instead of the reform front and medical reform is not what the youth are worried in their age.

The demographic structure of the Stubborn Old Age
This is where I want to emphasize how in the old generation in the West are pushing through their agenda disregarding the youth. The survival of the aged (unlike in the East) is increasing in the West. The proportion of the pensioners are increasing and some of them want to continue in employment and business as long as possible depriving the youth an entry point. They are the ones who consume most of the health benefits and with the stock market crisis the governments are unable to fulfill their service commitments and pension funds are frozen due to debt crisis.

Who are the ones who makes the decisions in the legislature?

The old people are in the box seat.

They get their golden hand shakes and youth are left high and dry. This is why in France there were protests. But failed. In UK burden of education is put upon the youth and who wins again, the old gentlemen in the legislative. They know youth protests are transient and sooner or later they pass the age of agitation if the old held the momentum long enough for them to succumb. The belief is that there is no coordination in youth activity but the old in the decision making machinery are not only stubborn but powerful too.

My question is how long the old can deprive the youth?
How long the youth will will stay calm?

My answer is simple. Until the numbers are sufficient to make pressure groups powerful enough and will hold the balance of power in numbers in politics. The numbers are going to swell up over the next 3 to 10 years and that is when the problem will emerge in full force. All the current trends are showing this tendency. Cost of education is going up. The repayment of education loans are getting defaulted. Cost of living is going up. The average take home salary is going down. Job satisfaction is diminishing and moving to alternate rich countries are becoming difficult.

Old are blocking the entry points at all level since they are themselves a struggling lot with loans and health bills. The youth are trapped in a vicious cycle.

A good recipe for an uprising in various forms. Early signs are emerging but politicians are complacent as always they are.

Like the bubble burst in 2008 another bubble is going to burst.

This time it is the Youth Bubble!

I do not believe American Youth will have the same backing come nest time round to Obama. However they are patient that is why the wave that is going in UK and France did not engulf America. Unlike Americans the British youth are the inpatient lot and their demographic structure is not very different from us almost homogeneous. Lot of them supporting WikiLeaks and the band wagon illustrates the problem in UK. The WiKiLeaks may be the catalyst they were waiting for. Nobody likes powerful rich governments dictating terms. This happened in China in Tineman Square but but the Chinese changed outlook significantly from that point. Now it is the time for it to happen in Capitalist World. The older generation did not care for the future of their youth except their own greedy agenda.

Current trends and recent Analysis
I did a web search on youth and their activities and to my amazement I could not find a single article highlighting the current trends or any worthy analysis. That is why I thought of penning down my own analysis having been abroad as a young person when things were quiet and both elderly and youth were happy. I want to drive a point of warning at the youth who are emigrating looking for better pastures, the one who is going out without some basic qualifications to support themselves. They should do some basic serious career ground work (if not a degree) and at least lay some minimum foundation before they leave for abroad. With internet providing lot of services that can be accessed from here it is not that difficult unlike 20 years ago. Once you enter the stream of one’s choice in theoretical aspects and minimal practical competence, that is the time one should look for places abroad.

Do not rush and do not let your enthusiasm ruins your future prospects.

Most of our youth are not ready for the hard times. I have personal communications from whom I have help to go abroad (IT industry) for further education. It is not like 10 to 20 years ago. Things are changing fast and cost of eduction is spiraling .up. It is difficult to stem the tide. Everybody is in the rat rate to beat the other.

Rural Youth
Rural youth are in the worst dilemma possible. If they remain in the village their scope is limited. If they move to the city there is no proper accommodation and city life is expensive. They have to either commute to the city daily or to run parallel processes (study while working) to support their ventures which is not easy. Only a few can succeed doing two things at the same time. The lack of English competence and lack of computer competence is to their disadvantage. They just survive the day but progress is slow. Ultimately without any preparation go abroad with a big loan at home. Same disadvantages but at much detrimental level holds him or her to the abject poverty there too. This vicious cycle continues since our education failed to instill the basic survival tricks and needs except passing examinations.

Youth in disarray
I will jot down few of my personal experiences for completeness sake. I should also state that this analysis is not any way comprehensive but a sketch for somebody who wants to delve deep into research of the current trends. It is a waste to go into past and proclaim big and global theories. Youth is a dynamic force. They are able to sustain and overcome any obstacles and mature unlike the adults who are stubborn, inflexible and fails to adjust to global changing needs and challenges. What we have to give them is the correct and unbiased direction..
Not give them same old advice if you get a degree everything is alright.
There are many who do not have degrees from a prestigious college or university but are successful in many excellent ventures.

If you have a dream go for it before you are too old!
Down to Earth Stories
Once I met a cleaning lady (they are called women though-but they do an honourable job) who was sick. She could not stand on he feet. I have already decided to give her two weeks paid leave and went into her story a bit at length. She had a kid under five and she was doing there shifts a day in three different places. She was underpaid and 12 hours over worked. The story is similar with security guys. They also do three shifts and that is why you often find them sleeping in their seats. The story is similar when you talked about the unskilled nurses in the private sector. They are paid even less. No revision of their minimum salary scale for over a decade. This is one reason I left the private sector; the last revision was when I was actively campaigning for them with the little political connection I had.
Other story is a more down to earth. This was a guy who was a drug addict. He came from a village after a some family dispute and was a good worker. Soon the boss who was dealing with both drugs and construction got him hooked to the addiction. All what he earned returned back to the boss. This practice is almost universal now. It is high time sociological students do some qualitative (not quantitative) research hiding their real identity in all the fields I have mentioned under down to earth heading.
I will wind up with some skills that are important for success in any profession.

Skills that Youth should possess
1. Cognitive Skills
2. Technical Skills
3. Analytical Skills
4. Strong Work Ethics
5. Ability work as a Team Member
6. Communication Skills

The cognitive skill is the comprehensive understanding of theory and practice of any skill. The technical skill is the skills each trade or profession excels in practical application of it. Last three are the most important but seriously lacking in both youth and adults. I will illustrate a simple example.
I used to carry in my front pocket a tiny folded schedule card (weekly). In fact this card is like a torn off page of a week in the diary but on a folded stiff paper. It fits in nicely in the my front pocket. Once it is over like in a card deck it goes to the bottom and the new one comes off the top of the pack. Unlike electronic schedule, I never miss an appointment for five years. Suddenly the printer in the Kandy Press stop printing this. Probably I was the only one except the printer himself using this form of weekly schedule. In fact I could say I picked his habit up. I was left high and dry but since I used it regularly for five years and I was less busy
I used to carry this weekly schedule mentally instead on paper. I must say I hate carrying diaries.
Then I was busy again I needed somewhat of a light weight solution. After some search in Colombo, I mange to find one in Pettah. This time with bit of an improvement. I found relatively small (but juts out a bit from top) but with covers of different colours..Red for urgent. Green for current and blue for over an done with it or canceled. This I continued and this year I could not find the red colour cover. I went to the shop (available in Kandy) for three times but I could not find a red one. The printer has decided to prune red edition.
So I was expecting the sales man to say “Sir Giya Awruddhe Cover Eka Danna Ko” (Put the last year’s cover over the new one) and sell another one to me.
This is what I call outsmarting the customer.
I did not. tell him that is what I am going to do now since I get a chance to tease him next time round but bought a brown coloured one and put the last years red cover which was as good as new (come to think about it being an election year I never had any emergency plan of exit). I had a slight problem though. It was a bit tight but I somehow squeezed it through without trimming at one end. Even at the tinniest level there were two elements. One was at analytical other was at the selling (technical) level. The cognitive level has no operative will here. I need not elaborate on all but the correct balance of at least two or three skills are necessary at operational level.
But for completeness sake I should state a phrase I picked up from somewhere. It goes like this. Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress but Working together is success. Sadly that is what is lacking in this country we have become so selfish that working together has become anathema.
It is nice to read “Rich Dad and Poor Dad” for inspiration.
PS.
It looks as the currents trends unfolding in Tunisia and Egypt may be a manifestation of this pent up youth energy. We must not let Americans and the West to manipulate this to their advantage and promote their hidden agenda in the name of pseudodemocrasy!.

Yes Man’s Luck and the Pedigree Dog’s Exit

You might not realize that the pelican’s misadventure with our yes man has resulted in some interesting chain of events.

He turned up immediately at the heaven’s doorstep with a certificate not signed and left blank by our pelican.

It was soon checked to see whether it was authentic and was found to be a true copy given by our pelican.

He had to stay till pelican returned from earth from his routine rounds for further verification..

In the meantime the Maha’s Assistant let him sort out the mail and the documents for the next round of delivery.

His demeanor was very appealing to him and asked the yes man whether he could be an assistant to him for three or four days till pelican returns.

 

True to his nature he said yes, yes.

 

Eventually pelican returned and when he was asked whether he knew about the yes man.

 

Or Yes he is my yes man and when I asked him whether he is ready to die without any hesitation he said yes and that was why he had to abruptly stop his training in mid air.

 

Given some training he could fly any plane anywhere with at least three more pilots provided that he does not manipulate the flying gear but coordinate his actions with the air hostesses at the rear at meal times was his reply.

 

With this recommendation Maha’s Assistant was very impressed.

 

When Maha gave a call from vacation to ask how the things are at heaven, assistant told him the story of the yes man and asked whether he could take some leave and appoint the yes man in his absence.

 

Maha asked why not leave altogether and return to earth and learn some tricks from Paraya dogs so that you can follow suit just like the clever Paraya dog who attained Nibbana with no entry request.

 

Besides. you have been very helpful to me and this is the longest vacation I have had in all my life and you have found a suitable candidate to take your reins, I have no more questions from you and said Good Bye and Good Luck till we see again from earth may be in about 15 years time.

 

Our pedigree dog turned Maha’s Assistant soon afterward call our yes man and asked him whether he is ready to take over.

 

He promptly said yes.

 

Just before he left he told him, you are Maha’s Assistant and nothing more.

 

I knew it from the very beginning Sir he said.

How come?

You never took responsibility and let others take responsibility of your actions and that is the type of job I was looking forward and comfortable..

 

I could never take responsibility on earth and neither in heaven too, he said.

 

You are too good to be here and this arrangement is mutual and when you do come back here I will say yes to anything you ask including the job back.

 

No dear, I now have a better strategy than that but I have to learn the finer points from a Paraya dog.

 

The last Paraya dog whom I met was so clever before I could ask any help he was gone with the wind.

I have to meet some of his relatives in Sri-Lanka and will be back soon in about 15 years.

Till then Good Bye.

As he went he heard somebody saying Yes Sir!

Pelican Story

He was an ex-income tax officer who was seen as good choice for help for Mahanabrahma’s Assistant not only as a Flying Officer but also as a delivery man. Pelicans are known to deliver babies to mums at least when the second one arrives unexpectedly and the first one born asks the silly question from where the hell the second one came.

The pelican come into operational requirement of mothers often in the West but not so much here in Sri-Lanka.

In this context as a delivery man he does not have to deliver babies but all what he has to do is to drop baskets full of documents to sea often containing false declarations made by expectant candidates for their next round of birth and to get favours from Mahabrahma’s Assistant.

 

When he thinks something is cooked up especially coming from Sri-Lanka, the assistant delvers them to the pelican to be dropped to sea so that the ink and all the forgeries are wiped out by the ocean currents ( the ocean can take any rubbish come what it may).

 

On his return pelican has to pick few of them back to heaven and the assistant checks to see if any merits are left tangled with the soggy paper and if not delivers them straight to Appaya (AI) International with a tag number for prompt action.

At AI the soggy paper is irradiated with UV light and then a special black ink is sprayed and that is when all the Papa Karmas are exposed for my equation to take cognizant and automatic reprisal by Apaya authorities.

 

Unlike in the heaven my equation has to be modified when new crimes like that are committed by American investors and speculators are discovered.

Very severe scrutiny is done unlike the Federal Regulators of USA.

The pelican is the go between the Apaya and the Heaven.

In some cases when the documents are landed on high ground or floating ice there is a chance some might escape the sea currents and get a respite but if they are discovered on a subsequent birth it is not the pelican who is punished but the holder of the certificate.

Pelican has no jurisdiction in matters of merits and demerits but only a go between and a mechanism of delaying merits or demerits so that backlog is prevented at the  entry point be that it may be Apaya or Heaven.

 

Pelican navigation skill are considered to be complimentary to the operational mechanics.

 

How he became a trainer Flying Officers was purely an accident by meeting our crab and the tortoise at the lake side.

 

He was offered foreign currency initially by the Air Marshal but when he decided to pay that in Sri-Lankann equivalent of Rupees he really got annoyed since neither Apaya nor Heaven recognize Sri-Lankan Rupees.

 

That is why he deserted the Flying Operations in mid air.

 

I have suggested to remedy this situation soon with a plastic card that automatically converts itself of the credit balance to the currency type moment the airspace of the country is entered but there are few navigational glitches / hitches when the pelican decides to stay in border zones like Palk Straight and the likes.

 

It is currently worn around the pelican neck and it has dual responsibility of location guide and a currency convertor. Once it is tested to Apaya satisfaction it will be used by our pelican and he may decide to return to his substantive post on Earth but that is all at his discretion.