Recap of January stories

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 11.55pm HKT

Recap of posts published in January 2012 and stats.

* * *


Altogether 35 posts in January:

Yappy Hew Near! Remember me still? | 01 Jan 2012
“I think your posts are really different (in a good way) so it takes getting used to and after some time, I got accustomed to it. You’re subtle about revealing parts of yourself in ways most people … don’t know how to be.”

Personal rating: Most unnerving to read and write.

WordPress review of my blog for 2011 | 01 Jan 2012
The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.



My Geek Code | 02 Jan 2012
Like all things geeky, you’re forced to decode manually there — a Nineties drag in this day and age. Srsly.



Me old looks | 02 Jan 2012
Found two Polaroids of meself the other day.




My honorary balls freeze solid (and fall off) | 05 Jan 2012
If you’ve ever wondered how cold this subtropical toilet bowl called Hong Kong can get, wonder no more.



Total semi-recall | 06 Jan 2012
Friend of mine managed to switch on my unswitchonable ‘idea’ lightbulb above my head and wants me to set the record straight on certain things if I only just write something about them.


Notes: The Man Who Would Be Spy | 06 Jan 2012
You never knew who you’re working with until you knew. Son of a Spaniard and a Chinese, he stood six feet tall, took horseracing winnings that equalled to his monthly salary, and nearly became a spy for the Allies.

Personal rating: Most enjoyable to write.

Liquefied liquidity | 06 Jan 2012
What is the new definition of liquidity in many countries today?




Lifehack: You might be stupid, but the thieves ain’t | 06 Jan 2012
The next time you consider using an electronic appliance, consider these two lifehacks. They could save your worthless valuables or your miserable life.


What’s with me on Facebook | 08 Jan 2012
Well, whaddaya know? Research has shown that The Naked Listener is preferred by young birds 58% more than comparable brands of hilariously unfunny blogs.

Dolce and Gabbana in doofus and gabble | 09 Jan 2012
We don’t mind being dissed by everybody else, just as long it isn’t by haute couturiers — that really hurts us to the shallow core of every single one of us.


Bad moon rising | 10 Jan 2012
We ourselves make our own Soochow Shit for others to pick up after. And then we have the nerve to bitch about others trashing our own place.



Showers and seagulls: the haute couture furore continues | 12 Jan 2012
I avoid making remarks on craptastic incidents, which I think it’s much better left to mainstream media to handle, since they f@#k up so much better than I possibly could any day of the week.


Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad | 14 Jan 2012
My life is one long emergency, so I try to be a couch potato whenever I can. This Venetian snack is long on snob appeal but short on effort and cash outlay. You won’t go back to eating oranges the old way.

Most liked post of the month.

What kind of looter is The Naked Listener? | 15 Jan 2012
More to the point, what kind of looter do you think I am? Click, flick and dick around the poll to find out.

(Image via)


The Agony Broccoli writes (1/4) | 15-16 Jan 2012
I’ve encountered the same kind of concerns many times before when a very nice reader wrote in, so figured those concerns must be typical issues for people thinking about relocating to another continent. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.


Thai-style ginger mackerel with Venetian blood oranges | 16 Jan 2012
Looks like some of you nosey parkers are really keen about what nutritionally challenged food (and foot!) I put into my big mouth. Another low-effort recipe for those hungry nights.


This blog blacks out because of SOPA/PIPA | 18 Jan 2012
Two foggoty pieces of U.S. legislation managed to do the impossible: got the entire Internet to go on strike for 12 hours.



Final post before blackout | 18 Jan 2012
An example of how censored post would look like on this blog.




Blog resumes, hopefully reuncensored | 19 Jan 2012
You didn’t know what happened to the Internet??? You just don’t deserve the unfunny lulz on this blog.



Counterbalancing the SOPA/PIPA | 19 Jan 2012
A brilliant suggestion from a lawyer in Australia to counterbalance the SOPA/PIPA.



Who’s our guardians’ guardians? | 20 Jan 2012
It took nearly 6½ million people to change the minds of just 18 politicians to stop censoring the Internet. And one of the politicians is himself an Internet pirate.



Ratta’s bother | 20 Jan 2012
Somebody in my inner circle seems to be going through a spot of bother at work. Hopefully this post will also give school leavers and first-time employees an idea of working in ‘the real world.’


Year of the Salamander – err, I mean, Dragon | 22 Jan 2012
It’s the Year of the Water Dragon a.k.a. the Salamander With Big Dreams, and Chinese New Year is for everyone, not just for the Chinese.


Brrr! It’s a cooooold choggie new year! | 23 Jan 2012
The first day of the Chinese New Year and it’s freezing in subtropical Hong Kong. And I’m keeping my watered-down Frank Zappa moustache for the moment.



It’s still choggie new year! | 3-part feature | 24 Jan 2012
Yes, folks, the Chinese New Year is a three-day legal public holiday here in Hong Kong. (Are you jealous yet?) Scenes from the second day. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Personal rating: Most enjoyable to read.


Choggie new year again! (More?) | 25 Jan 2012
That’s right, peep’l, we’re finally more brain-damaged than our previous rulers. It’s now colder and wetter in subtropical Hong Kong than it is in temperate London.



Choggie new year follow-up | 26 Jan 2012
Everyone was dying to come out of the woodwork by the third day of the Chinese New Year. As expected, our overimaginative but under-promiscuous womenfolk refused to don anything but summerwear even in the face of wintry conditions.


Disgusting food I eat, enjoyably so | 28 Jan 2012
One of the more brain-damaged aspects about me is that I really enjoy that almost-mediaeval English partiality to boiled meats. And one of my dishes would make a darn good prank too.



* * *


Site updates: About, Testimonials | 05 Jan 2012




* * *


Just to say The Naked Listener’s Weblog Facebook Page has 37 likes so far (one more than in December 2011). Be a sport, gis’us your support, and click the Like button there!

(click on image to go direct the Facebook page)

* * *


My Twitter account is still inactive, that is, cyber-squatting until I get a smartphone. My jetsetting lifestyle and constant partying doesn’t allow me to stay put in one place to buy one.

(click image to go direct to the Twitter page)

* * *


(Ignore, unless you’re a stat wonk.)

Total pageviews:

This month:

Pageviews in January: 7,145 (or an average of 230 clicks daily)
Busiest day: 19 Jan 2012 (292 pageviews)

All time:

Pageviews all time: 70,905
Busiest day all time: 22 June 2010 (505 pageviews)

Total posts, comments, etc:

Posts in January: 35 (34 stories, 1 site update)
Posts to date: 858

Comments to date: 823 (or average 60 comments per month)
Most active comment day: 23 August 2011

Total pages: 13
Total categories: 15
Total tags: 892

Most views, comments and likes:

This month:

Most views in January:
How well do you know your guitars? (640 —> 940 pageviews)

Most views this year (2012):
New party is no party, not new, not with-it (6,153 —>6,445 pageviews)

Most comments in January:
Yappy Hew Near! Remember me still? (8 comments)

Most likes in January:
Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad (6 likes)

All time:

Most views all time:
Week 13 Roundup (11,348 —> 11,361 pageviews)

Most comments all time:
Yahoo removes POP access unless you pay for it (28 comments)

Most likes all time:
Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad (6 likes)

Total shares:

Total shares to date: 112 —> 132 (+20)

Top shared all time:
Facebook security problem (again) (45 —> 53 shares)

Total subscribers/followers:

Total followers to date: 123 —> 132 (excludes RSS subscribers) being:— blog followers: 32 —> 43 (+11) comment followers: 15 (unchanged)
Facebook followers: 76 —> 74 (–2)

Note: RSS subscriber stats are technically unobtainable.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Images via their blogpost links.

Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (3/3)

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 9.50pm HKT

From Part 2

(This finale is a bit late because of being held up by work.)

When you’re fiftysomething like Råtta, losing your job is no joke, especially in a raw capitalist toilet city like Hong Kong.

We give you two final protips and then we’ll take questions.

* * *


When you’re on the chopping block, so to speak, develop an ability to “have it inside you” to “have it in for them” to save your skin.

They’re hosing you down* and giving you the finger**, and that ain’t a shower and a massage.

An alternative 'finger'

* In the American journalistic meaning of ‘to try to stop people from believing in something that may cause problems,’ of course. But you’re free to interpret the phrase according to its more ‘usual’ meaning, namsayin’?

** Meaning a finger pointing at the exit door, but you’re free to interpret the word in its ‘usual’ meaning.

You get one life, and one life is all you got. Why should other people get away with your bad behaviour that you are too gormless to carry out?

Yours truly here is actually a Type A personality, though you probably wouldn’t think so looking at the way I mostly carry on. Many crap situations just aren’t worth the firepower, and not worth ‘the stretch’ in the brig to take things to the next level. I’ve learnt from a young age that polite aggro hurts a helluva lot more than brute-force hacking.

I just lurve seeing people with either faces that have gone pale or clenched fists with white knuckles. Heaven knows others have caused me to have both plenty of times.

But if you let crap people tread all over you (or anyone else), the our gods/Jesus/Buddha/name your favourite deity died for nothing.

Nothing personal, it’s just karma.



Youthfulness is always desirable, especially in old age. (English adage)

Another thing  are you good for your age? There’s an old saying that you should keep yourself in tiptop form even at 60 because you’ll never know when you’ll have to crank up firepower in competition with the young’uns. If you’re a bleeding physical wreck, then life’s gonna rough you up.

Develop an ability to make yourself youthful — even if it’s just doing small tricks to your overall looks. Look smart and lively. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve said this.

It's not that hard, you know

To make yourself look a few years younger isn’t trying to ‘flash’ or ‘glam’ or about some crazy psychological hankering for one’s lost youth.

Honestly speaking, at age 50 or more, you’d probably have forgotten nearly everything about your own youth.

We’re living in the 21st century now. You’re not in Kansas anymore. Looking more youthful is a practical equaliser. I’m telling you, man, ‘old’ is denigrated as society’s flotsam. Oldies are practically and instantaneously replaceable by all manners of young cattle now overpopulating our sordid little world.

Try these for size (from easiest to hardest to carry out):

  1. Change (or merely adjust) your overall wardrobe (easiest)
  2. Have gorgeous locks (depends if you have hair left)
  3. Dye your hair 50% closer to ‘natural’ colour (or blondify it if all grey)
  4. Eat for a beautiful smile
  5. Protect your body from sun damage
  6. Form healthier habits
  7. Keep your brain sharp: play anti-ageing brain games
  8. Learn new technology, even if you hate and detest it
  9. Learn expert makeup (and makeover) tips
  10. Understand health news and shift through the BS about anti-ageing
  11. Create your own anti-ageing product arsenal
  12. Love your heart (hardest)

Average lifespan worldwide keeps rising. Company retirement age constantly lowering. The government keeps jacking up the social security retirement age. Ageism more and more pronounced by the year. Prices rising, incomes falling, jobs disappearing. Ad infinitum, ad flamin’ nauseum.

The worldwide average births-to-deaths ratio is 100 to 1.2 — just how are YOU going to feed, clothe and house your 50-year-old self over the next 15 to 40 years when there’s 100 babies born for every one person + one leg dying, huh?

What else, what bloody else, I ask you, could anybody do other than try and look a bit more sprightly?

Nothing personal, it’s just me.

I said ‘younger,’ not brain-damaged…

* * *


What the hell are you so worked up about, man?

Are you 50-ish, with a mortgage still to run for 15 years, with a miseducated kid who’s too old to spend little but too young to work? If not, then you can’t even imagine Råtta’s predicament.

‘You would rapidly change your mind if it happened to you.’
(English maxim)

But businesses are not in the charity business. Businesses must have freedom to hire and fire as they see fit.

Are you asking a question or just stating the obvious, Captain Kangaroo?

This isn’t about freedom to hire and fire, nitwit. It’s about how to face immediate termination of employment.

Get a job yourself! You’ve obviously never worked before.

Why the advice for causing unpleasantness? They said they’re going to pay her entitlements. You’re teaching people to cause trouble.

My father once wrote in his book, “Hong Kong is the American Dream that America had always wanted.”

Translated, it means Hong Kong is 10 times more capitalist (and capitalistic) than the good ole’ USA. Employers are legally free to cause and watch you squirm, writhe in pain, rot and die.

Employer's finger

Our esteemed government compounds the harshness by invariably siding with employers at the expense of employees on the excuse that employers are ‘investors in the economy.’

Translated, that means everybody else is just fodder or flotsam. (That’s insulting, srsly.) And then ‘they’ complain why people are no longer obedient and submissive or ‘know their place.’

The Labour Department issues various guidebooks on employment matters, but they’re mostly useless. They lift big chunks of the law word for word so unless you’re legally trained, you don’t know what you’re reading.

Our phantasmagorical Labour Tribunal actually bars the use of the phrase ‘non-payment of wages’ (an internationally used term) and instead invents the more innocuous phrase ‘delayed wage payment.’ I actually know people who’ve had wages ‘delayed’ for literally 10 years. Our statute of limitations on civil claims is six years — Sayonara! to those ‘delayed’ wages, baby!

If something simple like that happens, what kind of help can we expect?

Unless you live here, you pseudo-liberal-leaning neoconservative fascist commie, you know fo’shiz jackass about being out of work here.

Wot now with Råtta?

I hate to be blunt, but when you hit 50, life ain’t worth living, job-wise speaking.

Råtta’s 50-something and highly unlikely to find another job that pays HK$14,000 a month (US$1,805 or £1,150).

(See what I mean? These people just don’t make an impact on any kind of bottom line, not even after factoring in that holier-than-holy costs of employment excuse concept.)

Cost of employment … costlier than the
golden parachutes 
for your managers?

Did she know this was coming?

Since the company closed the downtown office last year, Råtta said she felt things wouldn’t be turning out right for her. Hard to explain. The bosses didn’t speak to her in their usual manner. Job duties became odder and odder. The ‘feel’ at work was all wrong, she said.

Truth be told, I had this bizarre dream three or four nights ago about myself getting the pink slip — a job I had in real life 15 years ago. My hunch: the dream was about Råtta’s job instead.

(Yes, I sometimes dream about other people and their goings-on, even when some of these other people aren’t necessarily close to me. Peculiar that, isn’t it?)

Who’s taking over her place?

Gunga Din for all we care.

Råtta’s company is profitable, but the holding company up top is bleeding like an over-menstruating woman on blood thinners.

(So profits are for corporate menstruation…)

Seems like Queenie (a new hire) will be shoehorned into Råtta’s job. But Råtta said Queenie’s getting on in years (nearing 50) and probably won’t be able to handle the ever-increasing (and essentially pointless) workload generated by the four infighting brand and sales managers. The Old Man doesn’t give a toss because he’s way past retirement (70-something) and planning to live the sweet life someplace else.

Methinks the same fate will befall on Queenie, and that too ain’t nice.

* * *


If anyone is interested in hiring Råtta, contact me on this blog
and I’ll send you her details.

* * *

Thank you

Please leave comments for Råtta’s sake.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Dislike button via Digital Trends ♦ White Knuckles (modified) via XyFace ♦ Looking younger via Garmahis ♦ Employer’s finger via NITP ♦ Tips via The Independent ♦ Pink slip via Homeowners Insurance.

Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (2/3)

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 4.51am HKT

From Part 1

So Råtta’s got the sack yesterday on the highly popular excuse of cost-cutting — which I don’t believe for one goddamn minute, even with my highly fragmentary understanding of how her company works.

We continue with more protips on how to face an immediate termination of employment when there’s pronounced ageism in the jobmarket and you’re 50-something, lumbered with a 15-year-long mortgage and a badly schooled half-grownup kid who can’t enter the workforce yet.

(It’s not a happy story, but please do leave comments. For Råtta’s sake if not mine.)

… but only if it loves you too

* * *

It’s not meant to be usable, idiot

3. Råtta was promised a reference letter in due course, spelling out her ‘duties’ etc.

Remark: Some employers (yours truly included) are just plain mean and nasty. They compose a reference letter that basically says everything wrong about you without being defamatory — or factual. You end up with an unusable reference letter. Don’t let this happen to you.

Example (as happened to me before):

“[The Naked Listener] was employed by our Company between 5 BC and AD 375 in the position of Inquisitor Captain-General. His duties were [etc] and he has shown to have a knowledge of English…”

A knowledge of your mother!

I’ve been speaking English since before your miserable existence on Earth even started! You, as a native English speaker, couldn’t even speak native English.

See what I mean about an unusable reference letter?

Protip: This is why I keep telling people till I’m blue in face to actually draft up a reference letter or jobsheet soon after starting employment. Add in job details etc as you go along. We all getting fired sooner or later, and when that one fine day comes, you’ll at least have something to show what you’ve actually f@#king done for the ingrates. You cannot, must not, should not rely on Human Resources after the fact — they’re mostly too incompetent to work out their own jobsheet because of the office infighting they’re usually involved in. I speak this as an employer myself, you stupid runt. Nothing personal, just a business decision.

Protip: They’re NOT going to honour the crap reference letter! It’s only documentary evidence that you’ve worked there before — nothing more, you moron.


They’re just promises

4. Råtta said the termination pay will be credited to her bank account by [date].

Protip: If your continued or prolonged presence is somehow ‘unrequired’ for them, then their continued or prolonged termination procedure is likewise ‘unrequired’ for you. Your request for immediate fulfilment of termination entitlements is YOUR reasonable step to ensure THEIR efficient tying up of loose ends and yourselves’ mutual cooperativeness. Nothing personal, just a responsible business decision. Karma’s a bitch, right?

Protip: The moment you get your pink slip, they’re no longer your employers. They owe you a debt, legally speaking. They gave you only a verbal promise of termination payment, etc. A company that requires your immediate departure whilst apparently able to pay termination entitlements cannot reasonably be expected on the balance of probability to fulfil promises made to you. Request for immediate fulfilment of termination entitlements is reasonable under the circumstances. I do believe it’s called quid pro quo, wasn’t it? Nothing personal, it’s just responsible legal practice.

Protip: Whilst you accept their promise at face value, you are taking circumstantially reasonable steps to ensure the entitlements are received and not just receivable. The fact of requiring your immediate departure can be construed as their possible attempt to delay or avoid (or even inability) to pay entitlements, even whilst measured against your admittedly incomplete understanding of the company’s overall internal situation. Nothing personal, just responsible business decision. Karma’s a bitch, right?


‘Don’t make trouble’ is rubbish

5. Råtta didn’t want to cause a ‘scene’ by hanging around the office any longer than necessary.

Remark: No kidding — as if anybody wants to hang around for senti-bloody-mental reasons. Don’t ferkin’ make it easy! Telling you to piss off right away is itself on balance of probability an action designed to give you a hard time. Stop defending crap people. Aggro can be done politely too.

HDQ isn't short for High Definition Quadrature

Protip: Ditch the ‘please don’t make trouble’ mentality in situations like Råtta’s. You can’t be THIS stupid, can you? You’re being hanged, drawn and quartered! Not asking you to be rude or unpleasant, but realise you owe them nothing now. They’re giving you The Finger, so you should also to them.

Protip/remark: Their requiring your immediate termination is suggestive of a perception on their part that your continued presence is somehow undesirable. Otherwise, there should be no reason for immediate departure. And that immediate termination can be regarded as a defamatory label against you. Nothing personal, just a responsible legal perspective.

Protip/remark: Their payability of termination entitlements in lieu of notice  is consistent with their possessing an ability to keep you on employment until the 30 days’ notice runs out. Otherwise, this reinforces the reason given above. Nothing personal, just responsible legal logic.

* * *


Put in some comments, for Råtta’s sake. It’ll be good for her morale.


Go on to Question Time on Take 3 (finale).


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: ‘Describing the Job’ via UCLA ♦ I Love My Job via Prof. Saleh Al-Jufout ♦ A promise made via Bankrupting America ♦ Hanged, drawn and quartered via The Pogues.

English Legal History

Making English Legal History easy and enjoyable to digest.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China


Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog.

Just another weblog

Shirley Chuk

Chuk Yin-yuk 祝燕玉 of Hong Kong

%d bloggers like this: