A New chapter in New Hampshire

The Holstee Manifesto

I moved to New Hampshire from London 3 months ago.  Long story short, after the dust settled with relocating over, I had a really hard time adjusting to the pace here.  I couldn’t step outside, walk the streets of a city, watch people from all walks of life, eat pretty much any cuisine I wanted.

It was tough. I saw myself slipping into a dark hole, and before tipping over the edge, decided I was simply being such a city snob, snapped out of it, and did a couple of things.

Sometimes I’m thankful there’s such a thing as “years”.  It’s a great excuse to go, “alright, this is a new year, let me do something different, and approach life from a different angle.”

And so I did.

I’m beginning to really appreciate New Hampshire.  It’s a state with just over 1.3 million people.  I live in this tiny town known as Bedford, which has a population of about 21,000.  Yes, twenty one thousand.  London? 8 million. 🙂

I find myself REALLY treasuring the simplicity of life here.  When you live in a massive city, you are exposed to extremes: personalities, attitudes, actions and consequences.  You meet all sorts of people – which is great – but extreme deviant social behaviour starts becoming “normal”.  Moving to a small town from a large city also encourages a different type of creativity.  You can no longer step outside, and get smacked in the face with 100 things to do within a 1 mile radius.

This past week has been great, in terms of keeping busy and having numerous conversations outside of work with colleagues who grew up here.  The conversations have been enlightening, interesting and different, hence spurring this post.

With that being said, I still love a city, and am heading to NYC next weekend to spend some time with my dearest friends.  But my point here, is that, wherever you go, you can always find something to do, learn, explore and enhance your personal wellbeing.

About that poster on the top right, it was put together by the folks over at Holstee and is such a great reminder of how I want to live each day.  As they put it, it’s a “call to action to live a life full of intention, creativity, passion and community”.  Do check out their video below:

You’re typing Russian to me

Salesrep: are you able to set up a way for automatically taking something down (from a submission) through flagging? OK AWESOME, thanks u, and !

(yes the above was all in one sentence)

Salesrep: what do i call our security, that CCS things when u log in, what is that SHIzel

Me: are you able to set up a way for automatically taking something down (from a submission) through flagging? – I don’t think so, you mean if a user flags something? No. But just advise them to use full moderation, i.e. entries/comments will not be viewable until the admin approves it

Me: SSL? haha

Salesrep: ok ok, got it! yea what is that SSL stuff?? soo confused

Me: it’s a security protocol which encrypts information over the internet

Salesrep: you are typing russian to me, idk what htat mes, means, but i know waht to say!

Me: why don’t you call me? on skype or call +44 207 123 4567, i’ll speak in chinese

Salesrep: HAHAHA, loll u little JOKESTER! im listening to John Doe’s call right now, or i totally would

Opening Ceremony London 2012

It was a memorable Friday evening, one I’ll never forget.  I absolutely love sporting environments.  I feel rather fortunate to happen to be living & working in London when this great city hosts the mother of all sporting events, the Olympics.

On the way to the pub in Farringdon around 7pm, we watched in awe as a policeman stopped traffic at a crossroad.  Seconds later, about 10 policemen guided 4 buses full of athletes from Argentina through the traffic.  I guess they were trying to get to the stadium in time for the opening ceremony!  We waved at them in excitement, and they waved back at us with big smiles on their faces.  Goosebumps!

We booked out a rather large table for over 20 of us, and had a nice big screen in front of us.

I wish I could list down every moment during the ceremony my heart skipped a beat, and the hair on my arms stood up,  but here’s a short summary:

Danny Boyle’s direction.  The volunteers.  Queen Elizabeth – I think the pub cheered the loudest during the entire event as soon as she turned around to Daniel Craig.  When God Save the Queen was sung – the entire pub stood up and sang at the top of their lungs.  Singing at the top of our lungs during the pop culture scene. Mr Bean!!!!  I watched this guy a ton during my childhood in Malaysia. A colleague and I were outside taking in some fresh air, and we literally ran in as soon as we saw his face on TV.  Mary Poppins – awww.  GOSH –  the children.

Let me spend a moment on the parade of 204 nations.  I was with a group of people from all over the world, Mauritius, Norway, Canada, USA, Ireland.  We nudged each other in excitement as our countries came out, cheered crazily for each other.  Malaysia came out, I’d never felt prouder in my life,  oh it was such a warm and fuzzy hours.  We watched in anticipation for Mariah, a colleague of ours who was scheduled to walk out holding the Jamaica sign NEXT TO Usain Bolt.  When she came we went all crazy and shouted at the cameraman whenever he zoomed in on Usain Bolt.  Oh well, can’t blame him.

It’s Saturday afternoon right now, and I’m off for a run around Hyde Park, just in time to watch the men’s 250km cycling race come to a finish.

Stay in the cubicle

IM thread between a support colleague of mine and  sales rep

Salesrep: ABC Company

Salesrep: The acct that you set up for me

Salesrep: the tab they were working on disappeared

Support: You broke it already….

Salesrep: i know it had been saved as well

Salesrep: HAHA

Salesrep: maybe…. :$

Support: See, this is why we don’t let sales out of the cubicle except for related meetings…. (facepalm)

Co-worker: hi Ruth. Would you know who have access to edit people profiles? Asking as I need John Doe’s official picture for a blog post

Me: hey err, u mean her picture from admin?

Co-worker: I do 🙂 the official one

Me: but why don’t you just save it from there? right click, Save As

Co-worker: sometimes it´s a wonder how I manage to get dressed in the morning

Me: hahahaha

Co-worker: sorry. and thank you.

Me: 😉

Need images?

Finding inspiration

Getting back into a fitness routine is tough. The trick (at least for me) is finding a motivation before stepping out that door.

And when you’re running that mile, to let your mind wander to beautiful places, anything from..

..the past:  childhood memories, that night you laughed so much, the day you fell in love

..the present: kids playing catch, the playful dog trying to chase the squirrel

..the future: your dreams, that holiday in 2 months, the potential of where your life is heading

Yesterday, my motivation was the women’s French open final & Michael Lazerow’s very personal and touching video he made about fear and taking risks right after he sold Buddy Media to Salesforce. It was a rare sunny day in London. So while running around Hyde Park, I let the sun and scenes around the park take over. If only every day were this easy..

What is encouraging is that there are thousands of inspiration moments and places your mind can wander to.

I hope Lazerow’s video below inspires you as much as it inspired me.

Late twenties?

Turned 27 today. Unbelievable. Late twenties? Oh dear.

Simply put, it was honestly a heart warming day (although it made me realise how nomadic life is). I was working for the most part, but the messages that poured through Facebook, our corporate IM, email, text was touching. Thank you all.

Mom, dad, our video chats always mean a lot. I’m sorry for not being in touch more often as a daughter really should.

Mia, Sara, Siobhan, Steffi, Karynn, Kaysee, Neesha, Thi, we “grew up” at various stages together but are now all over the world, and whenever we meet, nothing changes. Thank you for the love through various channels.

Childhood, high school, college friends, thank you.

Colleagues, the amount of IMs that came in today was really touching, especially those of you who thought “Hmm, let’s not bug her about work today, but we’ll leave it at Happy Birthday.”

Siobhan, Victoria, Kirstine, Courtney & Helena, thanks for the lovely dinner.

And Nico, Nico, Nico, the video below is self explanatory. Not only was there a recording, but a voicemail, and live singing. Ahh.


Evernote, imo, is one of the best paid apps out in the market.

Two months ago, I was looking for an app to organise notes and to do lists. My work Inbox is barely manageable these days, a lot of communication takes place verbally or via IM at work, so I had information all over the place, and would spend 15 minutes trying to find that darn piece of information I needed.

I tried Producteev, Google Tasks, Quick Note, Stickies, but none of them combined note taking, folders, and to do lists. Then, I came across Evernote, and the rest is history..

Check it out…


Sundays and Family

Love Sundays. This is my version of a “family Sunday” with mom and dad who are 7,000 miles away.

Skype rings away…

Mom: I-Liiiii (my Chinese name), are you watching the Australian Open?!?

“Mmm morning mom *lazy stretch*”

Dad (shouting in the background): “Nadal is leading! Last set already!”

Mom: Just woke up ah?

“yess…how are you?”

Dad (in the background): Ruth, how do I update my iPhone apps? (I made the mistake of using my iTunes account to download apps onto Dad’s iPhone)

Dad, it’s about time you used the account I set up for you.

Mom: “I-Li, what are the three things that will make me very happy?”

Haha yes mom, I know, I know.

Dad: “are you taking your vitamins and exercising regularly?”

Mom: Oh Aus open postponed due to rain!! Oh I-Li I’m so excited about our trip to Guilin, doing so much research..want to come?

I would love to, but it’s a bit hard to plan…

Mom: aiya ok la, we plan next family trip in June…

Love my parents, and the Sunday joys they bring every week. 🙂


The other day an engineer was helping us troubleshoot some stuff, and had to provide us with pages and pages of data. He provided us with a web link to pastie.org/1234567890. I was hooked.

Gone are the days of sending notes/content via email, adding to the clutter in inbox, pasting it in a word document, saving it, attaching to email…

Or even worse, pasting a whole bunch of code into IM.

So simple, yet functional. Paste, copy link, send. Done. Try it. He has even gone the extra mile with quirky phrases all over the site.