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(30-09-2013, 11:49 PM)swakoo Wrote: [ -> ]
(30-09-2013, 06:46 AM)Jon-san Wrote: [ -> ]To be able to read Mandarin is a help. Alternatively, the handphone cam is prob one of the more useful tools you can utilise. Just take a picture of the food you want to try, whether it is at the shopfront or at the malls, and use that as a guide to ordering your meals. FYI, many local eateries do not provide picture menu, only worded menus. So it is useful to learn the japanese names of things like prawn/shrimp, squid, meats, noodles, etc.

In the near future Tongue
Google glass translates menu as you read

Cool! Cool

All we need now is for Google to come out with "Google Ear" and "Google Speak" to help us translate for our listening and speaking purposes, so that we can communicate in any languages...Big Grin

In the meantime, perhaps it'd help to learn,

1. Japanese alphabets of Katakana (used for pronouncing foreign words eg. above pic of menu by 'swakoo') and Hiragana (used for pronouncing Japanese words). For the Chinese, their Kanji should be easy to understand as it usually have the same meaning as Chinese characters. However, most will not be using the simplified character set.

2. Learn a few basic Japanese phrases eg. To ask for directions, order food,.... With the internet and YouTube, there're lots of free resources out there. If not, use your handy mobile apps to help you out of difficult situations.

Another thing that's not widely known is, the Japanese actually studied English as a 2nd language in school.... IIRC, for at least 10 years! The problem is whenever they hear English being spoken, their brain goes into seizure and they're unable to understand a single word... Try to speak slowly and use words only a pre-school kid can understand. When it come to speaking, they're unable to produce many sounds due to their own Japanese phonics set being of only 5 basic sounds... a, i, u, e, o. So, in the worst case situation, just use simple written English sentences to communicate.

IMO, part of the fun of the travelling experience is to communicate with the locals, not in English, but a mixture of spoken, written, gestures,... Big Grin
It was late afternoon and I'm inside "THE" famous departmental store.

The elevator girl took me down to the basement food court.

I walk around the stores and was dazzled by the beautiful chocolates, tidbits etc on display.

Then, I saw a satay store (please, don't let your imagination run wild, it's not Singapore or Malaysia type ok.... this is Tokyo).

I decided to buy two sticks to satisfy my salivary mouth...

I pointed to the satay on display and show my two fingers.

I thought of eating these satay when I'm browsing around.

Not bad idea, huh!

Then, I saw the sales girl, seriously wrap my two satay carefully into a nice gift package...

There goes my desire to eat... I just couldn't bear to ripe that apart... I hold on to them until I reach my hotel.
Japanese satay for you:
[Image: 2782638563_40dc770069.jpg]
Picture googled from internet.
Quote:Relax... Imagine that you're in Japan. Cool

Thou you felt strange sitting in a classroom, but you are comfortable.

The classroom tables and chairs are very similar to your primary school style and that familiar setting makes you feel relax.

The teacher is mumbling and as usual, you are looking at your fellow classmates.
They are all Japanese some wearing coat.
Strangely, all of them have their earphones/headphones on.
Why is that so?

You shift your attention back to the teacher.
He is a Caucasian, speaking with a strange accent.
He is either a British or an Australian.

The teacher cracks a joke and you can not control yourself.
"Ha! Ha! Ha!", you laugh out loud.

Then, you stop abruptly because everyone is sitting tight and keep very still.
Your laughter seems out of place. "Pai-say"... you feel apologetic.

Two seconds later, the whole class broke into a roar!
Everyone was laughing out louder than you!

Huh Happy Everyday...
[Image: tesassets%5Cimages%5Cresources%5Cpop1_124_Japan.jpg]
Picture googled from internet
I'm a AA life member and I love to read it's Highway magazine.

Today, I read about Anita Teo's 30D29N fly&drive Cross Japan with awk!

What made you finally decide to sign up for an Autoventure?
The tour caught our eye as we had been to Japan at least seven times in the last four years, but on those occasions we got around using public transport.

What were the most memorable sights?
There were so many! Ashikaga Flower Park, around 80km north of Japan's capital Tokyo, has breathtaking wisterias of every imaginable colour, while Cape Kamui on the northern island of Hokkaido's Shakotan peninsula has beautiful views of the deep blue sea and craggy cliffs. Also in Hokkaido are Tokinouse Park and Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park. At both, you'll find shibazakura or moss pink blossoms, spread over 100,000 square metres of undulating hills - a sight to behold! The colours of this flower range from the purest white to dark vibrant pink and purple - imagine a whole mountainside blanketed in these flowers of all shades!

Were there any difficulties adapting to the Japanese roads and driving culture?
The road signs are mostly in Japanese so you often don't know where you're going, especially when driving in the bigger cities like Tokyo or Sapporo.

Have the both of you been on other road trips previously?
Which places were highlights for you?
The most interesting was our first time driving along Costa Blanca (Spanish for "White Coast") in south-eastern Spain in 2006. It was a challenge to navigate the winding roads there while being distracted by an amazing view of the mountain range - sometimes dotted with Spanish-style homes called hacidendas - on one side and the spectacular Mediterranean Sea on the other. But the most scenic drive was along a stretch in New Zealand's South Island. It was springtime and both sides of the roads were lined with colourful wildflowers. And in the distance, you could see a rich turquoise lake and snow-capped mountains.

Do you ever have disagreements on who should be behind the wheel?
Not in Singapore - we have our own cars which we sometimes swap. I drive an Audi A4 while Bobby has a BMW 523i, which we have owned for around three to four years now. But when overseas, I'm happy to let Bobby drive all the time. I'll take over when necessary though, like when he's tired or if he's had a few drinks.

[Image: Japan-Shakotan-Peninsula.JPG]
Japan Shakotan Peninsula - picture googled from internet.

Heart Love Compassion

I woke up and feel the violent shaking.
I was sleeping on my bed and I woke up by the shake.

I'm in awk for 10 seconds.

I'm in Kyoto, 5 mins walk from main train station.

I know the SOP is to hide under the table,
yet, I stay on my bed and do nothing.

Not even praying.
Just stare blank.

When the shaking ended, I glance at my iphone.

The train to Osaka was cancelled.
The road to Osaka likely blocked too, the bridge - the lady train station attendance says.

I return to my Kyoto hotel and seek help from the reception.

1:30pm The reception approached and told me to go back to the train station.
Shinkansen is open for business traveller from Tokyo.
Buy a non-reserved ticket and you should reach Osaka in less than 30mins.

The subway at Osaka is down and taxi queue is very long and taxi is not anywhere in sight.
The bus schedule is rare and only after a long squeeze that we managed to get somewhere near our hotel.

As I use the iphone to navigate to Conrad Osaka,
that I realised that I had just reached within 100m of the earthquake epi-center marked by Google map.

The rest is history.
I doubt anyone is watching the Penguin taking off,
or I'm wrong?

Looking closely at the chart,
what do you think?
[Image: uc?id=1VTysVOZOwNQ0a6CjlAeawcVsyct49QiQ]

The first thing that I noticed is the latest result did not signal the uptrend.
Just look at it's revenue and you know it's not pretty.

However, look just a few line down the P&L shows a completely different story.
The profits are excellent!

Further digging shows that the inventories were moving 
and the coming SCDF delivery looks extremely promising.

Why didn't our valuebuddies who is strong advocate of PIL realised?

Could it be, like what K says to apenquotes in Sarine Technologies:
who possess insights but do not share

In any case, you're encourage to pay attentions to the turn-around story of PIL.

Thanks for reading.
[Image: IT5bHnu_.jpg]

Kyoto Fushimi inari-taisha shrine is a must visit.

Very easy to reach, directly in front of a train station.
However, you'll need to cater for at least 2 hours to walk.
A talll mountain and for the extremely rush rush visitor, 
just go for 30mins instead of climbing up the hill.

But, since you're going to Japan, why rush.
Just take your time and spend 2 hours there climbing up and up and up.

Oh, the Kimono Girls?

Most of the places you go,  (I assume you are a tourist)
you will see the Kimono Girls.

When you wanted to take a photo with them,
you will have a awk moment.

Most of them (90%) are not Japanese.
Erh, where are they from?
China? Malaysia? Hong Kong? Singapore also.

Thou it's very expensive to rent a Kimono,
I thought it's something different.
It comes with the make up and the Japanese slipper too.

During FY2018, Group revenue increased 13.8% to a record S$65.1 million from S$57.2 million in the previous year. 
While growing the Group’s top line and the value we create for our customers remains a key priority,
we have also been working tirelessly to maintain a strong GP margin by focusing on various strategies,
such as 24/7 Machining, IT automation and department integration to improve efficiency and operational effectiveness.

#1 24/7 Machining
Since Chris has just gotten his best ceo award,
I thought of re-playing a video clip on his vision on 24/7 machining.
Mind you, it's a more than 5 years old video 
and his vision is still as sound and relevant today.

{as a minor exercise, I will leave it to fellows valuebuddies to figure out why I think this is a vision statement instead of a technology requirements}

#2 FY18 revenue growing 13.8%.
The strongest growth is of course, non-other than US.
[Image: uc?id=1n3Fir8uxCeecbh_rP5fpmnDrLepA-4R0]
{again, as a minor thinking exercise: when will USA overtake China as #1 revenue contributor?}

#3 4Q18 R&D result - expected revenue to stream in from 1Q19 onward.
California team completed development of a critical part used in  the wafer-fabrication process.
Singapore team produced proprietary materials for 10 nm and below device geometries.

{question: should be called nano mechanics instead of micro mechanics ... kidding)

Kyoto is famous for temples and old town.
One can find a Starbucks housed inside a ancient building.

I stepped inside and ordered an EMF.
What? no EMF? I couldn't find the item on Starbucks menu.
What should I do?

I talk to the cashier.
It's basically a Matcha with 2 shots of Espresso.

The cashier explained.

Well, I had my EMF in Ninenzaka, exactly the same as in Singapore.

[Image: 595b5fe544e5a326008b4e9b.jpg]

I am very happy to see MW coming back.
Out of his current portfolio, we had 3 stocks in common.
Straco is my #2 largest holding and ifast is #3.

So coincidental.

Unfortunately, he did not hold any Micro Mechanics.
And I wonder why?

Anyway, with the FY18 result, there are something's that's not correct.

1. Growth rate had slow down quite a bit.
Yes, no doubt, MM is still growing its revenue, but slow down in term of %

2. Capex increased quite a bit in FY18 too.
Yes, again, no doubt, these Capex is needed to lead the industry.
Another 6m in FY19.
Are we expecting continuously high Capex moving forward?

3. Dividend policy is at least 40%.
At current rate of dividend paid, is it sustainable?

4. Trade war will directly hit MM's raw material cost.
With a increase in raw material cost, will MM have the pricing power?

5. Exchange rate tip towards US$.
Will current MM's hedging policy sufficient to weather out the exchange rate volatility?

Many questions...
Did Paul Chew addressing anyone of them in his 28 Aug 2018 
Consumables provide resilency report
[Image: IMG_6514-L.jpg]

Bamboo Forest is a must visit especially for those who like to walk.
Lakes with swam of fishes, dashing at a sight of slightest danger.
Restaurants lying besides the river, filled with good looking and tempting foods.

Its a discovery that convenient stores like 7-11, offers excellent pre-pack lunch at the cheapest price.
Heat up, if you want it to be served walk.
Sitting at the exit of Train station, admiring at the crowd.
So soothing.
So happy.
So relax.

[Image: uc?id=1d7VlCh-wVPt5-3IxLJGr0GD8Zz8cUsBC]

Nara Park (奈良公園 Nara Kōen) is dotted with lovely deers, so lovely that kids and adults love it so much.
Make sure you include Nara if you're going to Kyoto or Osaka.

In the middle of the park, there is a small 7-11 like shop.
It has a glass door to keep the deer out.

That's what it suppose to do... keep the deer out.

An innocent looking deer approached the glass door 
and use it's nose to touch on the door handle,
and the door opened wide.

The owner come out with some buskuit 
and spread it under a tree.

So beautiful.

Life is great!

Be positive and re-wire for success... behappyalways ...

A serene place with enough energy to be felt.
Spend at least 3 hours walking around the hill if you're not on the rush.

[Image: uc?id=13XthE4xaaGa2dAFDO9EcMnH72DzBvlLK]

12 Oct 2018 Fools Sudhan P. wrote about customer concentration risk of Micro Mechanics.

I got his point and agree on the fact that nine customers contributed 29% of 5DD's FY18 revenue.

However, I disagree that this is a risk that we should be overly concerned.
My point is 5dd looks ok relative to those high tech manufacturing companies listed in SGX.

If you look carefully, try to identify the country that top growing customer and 
you might be able to answer the question on whether 5DD benefits from Trump's American First policy.
In addition, you might be able to guess whether US revenue might overtake China.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend.

Micro Mechanics AGM
29 October 2018 @ 2pm
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