"Expensive" share?

Sometime back, I overheard this conversation:

Jane: Oh, this share's price is now $32. Should I sell it?
John: How much did you buy it for?
Jane: Think it was $18.
John: Wah better sell. It's expensive now.
Jane: Really? I'm reluctant. Moreover, it provides dividends.
John: Better sell.

Interesting. I was tempted to ask John how did he conclude that the share now is "expensive"?

If, for example, during this run up of share price (probably 4-5 years) the company has increased its earnings in similar fashion, is its share price still considered expensive? This points to analysis of its Price-Earning Ratio (P/E ratio).

Moreover, this particular company enjoys a degree of dominance in the market it is in and has been doing so for decades already. It has wide economic moat. It has not been embroiled in any major failings. This points to fundamental analysis.

Is it really wise to sell its share?

To be honest, I can't answer that from a short-term trader point of view. However, for me, as a long-term investor (as I would like to consider myself to be so), I would have held on and enjoy the dividends since I believed the company will still have its wide economic moat at least for the near-to-medium term.

Tar Chong Mix Rice Restaurant

Recently, we discovered that there's Sukiya (the one that serves gyudon; not the buffet restaurant) at Uptown (Damansara Utama) and so one day, Ban wanted to go there for dinner (rather than our usual choice at Kota Damansara).

We were lucky to get a car park spot nearby. That was when we spotted this mix rice restaurant that was just a few shops away from Sukiya. We decided to check it out.

We were impressed by the variety of dishes (about 84 by my rough estimation). In fact, Ban changed his mind and wanted to eat there (probably because he didn't have chap fan for lunch that day).

I had 1 serving of chicken and 2 serving of vegetables. At RM 5.50, it was probably a little expensive (maybe by 50 cents) but the food was quite good. Ban had 1 meat, 1 egg and 1 veg, costing RM 6.20. Drinks were definitely expensive: chrysanthemum tea RM 1.70, can of Coca-Cola RM 2.50.

About 15 mins later, there were many more customers. Great that they had good business. We probably will be back there in future, especially if we didn't have chap fan for lunch. Their opening hours are 10am-9pm.

Indulge

Recently, I heard this story from a friend.

His brother, mother and 94-year old grandfather were in the Curve one day and they had rented a one-seater electric buggy for his grandfather to use (normally they'll bring him around in a pushchair). This buggy had a normal and a slow speed and he chose the former speed.

You know how common it is for shopping centres to have ad hoc booths or displays along their (wide) walkway or in their concourse? His grandfather drove straight into one of those displays and knocking over some items! Luckily those items were not fragile items.

So what did he do? Did he like "ooops", apologise and perhaps reverse? Nope, he said something along the line of "Who on earth put these things here?" and just went forward and knocking over even more items, while his family members were frantically putting those things back. 

I laughed when I heard this while Ban face-palmed his forehead :)

Well, when you get that old, not only your family members indulge you, so does other people in general :)

Oh, and since then, those buggies are now on slow speed permanently. Even so, this friend's brother said, "Never again!". Guess they'll stick to the pushchair hehehe.

Just-world hypothesis

The belief in a just world can, when taken to an extreme, result in very harmful and dehumanizing doctrines. Consider its logical end point in the statement of an official in the U.S. Department of Education in the early 1980s that disabled individuals "falsely assume that the lottery of life has penalized them at random. This is not so. Nothing comes to an individual that he has not, at some point in his development, summoned....As unfair as it may seem, a person's external circumstances do fit his level of inner spiritual development" (Gilovich, 1991, p. 143). As Gilovich went on to note, "This is not exactly the philosophy that one would want in the upper reaches of the Department of Education, the department that is responsible for overseeing educational opportunities for the handicapped" (pp. 143-144) - but it is the philosophy that invariably results if we refuse to attribute any outcomes to chance.

- "How To Think Straight About Psychology", by Keith E. Stanovich

Coliseum @Plaza33

It's been quite sometime since I last did "try new food each week". One reason is that there weren't any Groupon or Living Social vouchers that offer suitable food for Ban and me i.e. collectively we cannot have spicy, fried or oily food. Another reason is that we have tried whatever restaurants (subject to the criteria in previous sentence) that we came across in our usual haunts.

So by a twist of fate (actually it was due to turning into the wrong carpark hahaha) and hunger, we found ourselves at Coliseum at Plaza33.

When he was young, Ban ate at its original branch in KL (an old shophouse that was "oily" and "dirty").

Coliseum 4

Well, unlike the original, this branch was clean and was quite pleasing to the eyes:

Coliseum 3

Coliseum 2

Coliseum 1

It was bright, clean and spacious.

Coliseum 5

I ordered the Breaded Chicken Chop (RM 23.90).

Coliseum 6

Coliseum 7

The fries were a little soggy. The salad was fresh and of a variety of vegetables. The sauteed mix vegetables (underneath the meat) were fine. The bread crumbs didn't crumble easily when I cut the meat. Another good point was that the meat wasn't dry, something that could easily happen to deep fried food. However, it had a fleeting mild bad taste. Maybe it was the oil used? *shrug*  The sauce had good balance of taste i.e. not overpowering.

It turned out that the amount of food was just too much for me (again, maybe it was the oil? lol) eventhough I had it for late lunch right after gym. So next time, I would try something else. Perhaps what Ban had: Grilled Sea Perch (RM 21.90).

Coliseum 8

Coliseum 9

Ban said it was "ok" (I'm guessing it's alright for him to have it again). The staff, however, forgot to set aside the dressing for his salad.

Yes, I will want to try this place again but definitely not the Breaded Chicken Chop.

Dell-ing for repair

One fine day, the button 'a' of my Dell laptop stopped working properly. I tried typing a whole paragraph from a news article and all the 'a's' were missing half of the time. I was a little dismayed and my friend was surprised that it was broken although the laptop was only 8 months old.

So, it was my first time calling Dell for help, as my laptop is still under warranty (paid extra to extend it to 3 years). The customer service officer asked me whether it was only the button 'a' that was spoiled, which fortunately was the case. She then promptly assigned a technician/engineer to come over the next day to fix it. Wahhhhh.

However, the next day, my phone rang only for 2 seconds before the caller hang up. I tried calling back but then his line was busy. I was a little surprised that he didn't call back.

Now, let me briefly say something about some phones, including mine: the caller may be calling for, say, 6 seconds but on my end, it just rings for 2 seconds. I know of at least one other phone that behaves this way. Do you know of any?

So the next day I called Dell again and what I suspected was true. She then again assigned an engineer to come over (didn't say when but I expected it to be the next day) and this time I requested that the caller to ring for longer (I did explain the 6s vs 2s discrepancy).

Surprise! Surprise! The engineer came over a few hours later the very same day. Wahhhh. Took him about half an hour to replace the keyboard. It was quite scary for me to watch because he needed to open the bottom casing of the laptop and take out a few components to change the keyboard. It was so intricate to me (both the process and the layout of components in it). I was half afraid that some dirt/dust would fly in and short-circuit the laptop hehehe. Luckily nothing of that sort happen *touch wood*

Tested the keyboard before signing off the repair. So far, so good. Phew. So grateful for a relatively fuss-free service. Thanks Dell!

Transformers: The Age of Extinction

Warning: Some spoilers ahead.










"Some mysteries are not meant to be solved," (or something like that) was one of the last few sentences uttered by Optimus Prime at the end of the movie. Oh yes, how apt was that...especially since there quite a few 'mysteries' in the movie itself.

I consider myself to be average when it comes to detecting plot holes in movies/stories. Hence, detecting some would mean how obvious those holes are.

The first "huh?" moment came when Optimus and his comrades grouped up with the humans in Hong Kong, who were trying to deter the bad guys from getting hold of the 'bomb'. He stated it was important that the humans get the bomb across the bridge. The obvious thing to do (at that time) was for the Autobots (and, their allies, the Dinobots) to either take the bomb or escort the humans out of danger, right? Nope. Optimus asked the humans to drive a normal beat-up vehicle by themselves @@

Later, there was an even bigger surprise: Optimus flew into space! Yup, turned out that he could fly. If so, why didn't he just take the bomb and fly away? @@ I think this one is a major shocker to any Transformers fan because in both the cartoon series and the movies prior to this one, none of the Autobots (in robot form) can fly.

Those were my thoughts. Someone else thought of this one: the main human character, Cade Yeager, was an inventor and that sometimes he forgot to have his meals. If so, why was he so buffed? @@

Sushi Tei: Ban's favourite no more!

More than 1.5 years ago, I blogged about Ban and I discovering his one and only one favourite dish i.e. Nameko Sansai Hiyashi Cha Soba.

Unfortunately, Sushi Tei has recently stopped serving this dish. The waiters and waitresses who recognised Ban were themselves surprised when he had to order another dish and were even more shocked when we pointed out that it wasn't in the menu any more. A waitress went as far as consulting the kitchen staff and her supervisor. The latter told us that it was difficult for Sushi Tei to obtain certain ingredient for the dish and so had to stop offering it to customers. What a shame.

So to Ban, Sushi Tei is now like any other eating place i.e. a place where food doesn't cause problem for his stomach and where he needs to eat to live. What a pity.

I, however, still like its sushi at its prevailing price. In fact, Sushi Tei has dropped the price of the butterfish sushi from RM5.30 to RM4.50 (per plate of 2 pieces), which is now the same price for a plate of salmon sushi.

On this particular occasion, I was served with slices of fish that were larger than usual. Lucky :)

Sushi Tei RM4.50_2

Sushi Tei RM4.50

Might & Magic: Duel of Champions tournaments

I blogged about this game more than a month ago. Although I did slow down the amount time spent on it, I am still playing it on a regular basis (almost everyday).

There are two tournaments available online: Swiss and Jackpot.

Swiss tournament is where 8 players completing 3 duels to win prizes. Prizes are given to 1st and 2nd placed player and a lucky prize is randomly given to a player who stay to complete the 3 duels. Within each duel, each player is given a total 7 minutes to perform his actions. You win if you manage to beat your opponent before the 7 minutes is up or your opponent runs out of time before you do. The outcome of the duels do not affect your monthly ranking.

Jackpot tournament resets every 24 hours. During a 24-hour period, you can participate in it and duel fellow participants (randomly assigned AFAIK) but, unlike the Quick Match, you may get opponents with significantly different ranking than yours. At the end of the period, depending on your "rating" within the tournament (which is affected by your number of wins and losses), you'll get a certain amount of the jackpot gold. Oh, the amount of gold is determined by number of duels occurring within the tournament. Your monthly ranking is affected by the outcome of these duels.

The duel format for these tournaments varies each day e.g. Standard, Open, Inferno cards only, Neutral cards only, 39-cards deck, creatures-only deck. I usually aim for Standard format as I'm most comfortable using my Ariana Standard deck. I have, however, tried the Open, Inferno cards only and creatures-only format.

From time to time, when I found my courage (hehehe), I participated in the Swiss tournament to not only win prizes but also to improve my results. I seem to fluctuate around the 4th-6th position. Finally, one a few days, I managed to hit 2nd position 5 times and 1st position twice :) But boy, I feel old as my heart beats harder each time I play in this tournament.

Admittedly, I did all these by strategically choosing the time and day to play i.e. on weekdays and between 2pm to 4pm and 5pm and 6.30pm. Why such period? It's when I suspect the Americans and Europeans are least active and thus decrease the number of players who are way better than me. Yes, I know I'm not that good yet but hey, I do want the prizes and so I'm taking advantage of the time zone differences.

I learned a lot by looking at builds posted by good players, especially those with explanation, and replays. This game is much harder than it looks. It takes skills to go up the ranking higher than where I am now (ELO of 1200+). I hope to acquire them and move higher.

Increased pay for snatch thieves

I'm not sure about the rest of Malaysia but PJ is notorious for phones snatched by motorbikers when the victims are walking along a road while using their phones. That's why I always advise family and friends not to use their phones when walking out in the open along the road. Despite such regular incidents, there are still many people doing so.

I would imagine that this "activity" has become even more lucrative for the snatch thieves with the advent of and popularity of smartphones. Almost everyone, including children, use smartphones nowadays. These phones are larger than the normal phones and so there's less grip for the handler and higher chance for the thieves to snatch. Furthermore, there are now more people using mobile phones (smart ones or otherwise).

Hence,

Number of mobile phones: up
Resale value of phones: up (because of the smartphone takeover)
Number of careless people: not down

So the end result: happier snatch thieves.