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  1. Today
  2. Apart from the list of the five functional areas of the shop (previously posted), I just made a No-List. At least, that's what I call it. When Pixar was planning Toy Story, they had a long list of things they never want to see. A no-list. It was so they could avoid clichés. A no-list is a great way to coax yourself into originality. No-list ⦁ Overt theatricality We are in X in 2021, not 19th century London. The space should not look like a recreation of any particular time or epoch. It should look entirely of its time and purpose and geography. ⦁ Lots of installations Installations cost money and can often not be re-used if we relocate. It is best to use economical means. Create the necessary effect through insight and resourcefulness, not money. ⦁ Trying to impress The space should be genuinely likable. It respects the way humans evolved to regard and to use spaces. It should not try to impress; rather, people should be fond of it. ⦁ Sterility and artificiality Spaces where everything is white, or full of gleaming metal and glass, or have large swathes of bold colours are foreign to humans.
  3. Last week
  4. Tomorrow, I have a 24yo guy coming in for a job interview. He has been marinating in the real world all his life.
  5. So the Tenby girl decided this is not an internship for her after 2 days. Many possible reasons why this could be the case. But all the possible reasons boil down to one common factor: It's too real. This is the real world. Now to the possible reasons. a) Jeremy is so dismissive of Esmod and those who work in it. I personally think of Esmod as a joke. It's RM100K in tuition fees and 3 years. At the end, none can actually sew garments for a living. To sew a single seam, they need 20 pins. You think I'm exaggerating. Here's proof, albeit from a Raffles intern at a competitor. https://www.instagram.com/p/CK9Nm-4hyKo/?utm_medium=copy_link Anyone with even mild experience knows only idiots sew with 20 pins. I require 0 pins and do a better job. They need 20 pins to sew a seam without inlays. When a seam has inlays, they are lost. They have no idea how to sew it. Even 40 pins can't save them. Garments without inlays are those you buy off shopee. In tailored garments, nearly every seam has inlays to allow for alterations. To sew one simple garment takes them weeks. I've employed 2 Esmod grads. One was unemployed for 2 years before getting a job at JT. The other was unemployed for 2.5 years. They have almost no commercial relevance. Esmod doesnt do fashion design, nor does it make garments. It is in the business of collecting tuition fees. The lecturers are in the business of not getting fired so they can continue collecting a salary. It tells a fairy tale to its customers (the students). That they will go on to glorious and highly compensated careers. It does so in a Disneyland setting. I told the Tenby girl I hired her for her interest in clothes, not for anything she learnt at Esmod. JT is in the business of making clothes which perform in the real world worn by real customers. We get paid doing that. We don't get paid doing anything else. They have a couple of fashion designers who lecture there. I told her I interviewed an employee from one of them. From his garment output relative to rent, salaries and marketing, I conclude he has never turned a profit. His revenues are a fraction of JT's. b) The piecework compensation at JT is very low It is actually higher than market. On top of that, full time employees get EPF. It is real world compensation. It was set by the marketplace. That compensation is just a start anyway. You're supposed to transcend it over time as you gain insights and act on them. JT has to in turn respect market prices. Every real business has to conform to market prices for its specific offering. This is not Disneyland. c) The police like to patrol Empire City, searching people and cars for drugs and weapons. I told her to be prepared for police questioning in the carpark area. Do not panic or be afraid. These are just petulant people trying to get you to panic. They are trying to figure out if it's worth searching you and your car for drugs. The way to deal with this is to engage with it. Not avoid it. You cannot run away from the real world. Daddy's money can buy you a Disneyland for only so long. Eventually, you have to engage with the real world.
  6. I haven't drafted anything from the book. I used a legacy pattern of mine from many years ago.
  7. How are the drafts from the book? Or compared to the newer MS I sent Nice that the forum is back up smoothly
  8. Any foodstuff you can put in room temperature without spoiling within a few hours contains preservatives. Soya sauce, chilli sauce, kuihs, ikan bilis, cake, etc. If ants and flies avoid them, that's also an indicator.
  9. So, food preservatives kill off some of your gut flora. In particular, they seem to kill off more of the beneficial gut bacteria. Preservatives are every-fucking-where in food. They are often not listed. They are even in fresh and frozen food. They are sold unregulated on shopee. https://shopee.com.my/product/367896690/6993327525?smtt=0.188758506-1632496097.9
  10. I've long noticed that ants and flies avoid ikan bilis. They even avoid it after boiling (as scrap in the production of broth). I also notice that ants and flies avoided the entrails of an ikan kembong I had cleaned. Clearly, these seafood contain antimicrobial preservatives. Humans can tolerate these preservatives but insects don't simply because of our mass. Humans are much larger than bacteria and insects. It would take a great deal of preservatives to have a negative effect on humans. But humans have gut flora. In recent years, our understanding of the role of gut flora has advanced. They are now seen to play a major role in every aspect of human health. I was having a teaspoon of chyawanprash a few days ago while absentmindedly looking at the (very long) ingredients list. I noticed sodium benzoate in it. Damn. Even in health foods you have preservatives. This prompted me to make a Google search. Human gut microbes are susceptible to antimicrobial food additives in vitro Abstract The aim of this work was to test the hypothesis that antimicrobial food additives may alter the composition of human gut microbiota by selectively suppressing the growth of susceptible gut microbes. To explore the influence of antimicrobial food additives on the composition of the human gut microbiota, we examined the susceptibility of both aerobic and anaerobic gut bacteria to sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, and potassium sorbate, and their combinations, using a broth microdilution method. The tested bacteria exhibited a wide range of susceptibilities to food additives. For example, the most susceptible strain, Bacteroides coprocola, was almost 580 times more susceptible to sodium nitrite than the most resistant strain, Enterococcus faecalis. However, most importantly, we found that gut microbes with known anti-inflammatory properties, such as Clostridium tyrobutyricum or Lactobacillus paracasei, were significantly more susceptible to additives than microbes with known proinflammatory or colitogenic properties, such as Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron or Enterococcus faecalis. Our data show that some human gut microbes are highly susceptible to antimicrobial food additives. We speculate that permanent exposure of human gut microbiota to even low levels of additives may modify the composition and function of gut microbiota and thus influence the host's immune system. Whether the effect of additive-modified gut microbiota on the human immune system could explain, at least in part, the increasing incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases remains to be shown.
  11. I left the shop at 10:20pm. I drafted many patterns. There is a specific reason for this urgency: the Tenby girl started work today, and I needed to make sure she has enough work to keep herself occupied. This means patterns must be available for her and the Mayang boy to turn into bastes. She is probably the healthiest-looking female to have worked at JT. Most people don't look that healthy to me. All kinds of either gross or subtle toxicities and deficiencies impair their appearance. Even very young people suffer from this. Both the Mayang boy and the Tenby girl look very healthy. A lot of it is down to not eating the absolute and disgusting crap that passes for food that businesses sell. The Mayang boy packs lunch from home to eat at work. I was surprised to learn the Tenby girl did that too for her first day. Food that is sold for money is not good for you. It's laden with nonsense.
  12. Two jacket bastes in muslin by the Mayang boy. Since we reopened on the 1st, we've been selling on average a suit for each day we are open. The jacket, trouser and vest bastes have all been cut and sewn by him. Me, I made all the paper patterns.
  13. Ah, I remember now. Old Chinese tailors in KL have a name for this sort of standing posture. They call it the "chicken butt" posture. A chicken's rear is "prominent" ---as in stuck outwards. For this sort of posture you need trousers with a long back balance (because the butt is out and up) and jackets with a short back balance (because the spine is concave/arched).
  14. When I look at pictures of my customers in suits, I am struck by how varied the poses are. Tailors in general optimise the fit so strongly for the static upright standing pose. But in real life, 99% of the time the customer is not in the pose the suit was optimised for. Having said that, through its long evolution the suit does very well in poses other than the standing one. But some customers do not stand normally. Some adopt an overly upright pose. When the suit is optimised for this pose, it becomes IMO too deoptimised for the other 99% of the time. I watched a CNA documentary of this youngish Japanese tailor. He said he leaves a longer back balance than the customer's upright pose would require, because 99% of the time you are forwards of this pose, i.e. bent forward to some degree. (People rarely bend backwards.) A jacket with a longer back balance is more comfortable to bend forwards in. So when a customer came pre-lockdown for 2 suits and I saw he is very overerrect (I mean the posture obviously), I did the Japanese tailor philosophy on him. He was severely over-upright. I left 0.75" of excess back balance length. This way the jacket behaves more normally when he is not standing for a picture. It was a mistake. He complained of the corrugation at the back of his jacket. I was trying to figure out how to explain to him that it was a conscious decision. I murmured something about back balances etc. He gave me the benefit of the doubt.
  15. I was sent a couple of nikah ceremony pics by this customer of mine. During the fittings, he would be wearing a vintage Datejust of similar vintage to mine. He tells me he got it from his dad (or was it his grandfather, I forgot). But for this ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental, he brought out the big guns. A Lange. I think Langes go well with JTs.
  16. Earlier
  17. Wearing a customer's Reverso. It is elegant, exquisite and lovely. This is probably in the original Reverso size, because it is quite small by contemporary standards. It's only a few weeks old!
  18. Now all outfitted for the imminent zombie apocalypse with my parang Bentong Bidor original. Hammer forged 5160 high carbon spring steel, individually and differentially tempered.
  19. Looking good I think. Customer somewhat effusive. The tux was paid for by the bride as a "hantaran". He only put it on at the end of the ceremony to model it. For most of the ceremony he would have been in traditional ceremonial Malay garb. I think. I've never been to a nikah ceremony. For his event later in the year where families are invited, I think I'm supposed to make him a red suit. And make his father a new suit. That was the pre-lockdown plan.
  20. I'm in the process of buying this parang. He only just made two. I contacted him about a month ago to buy one, but he was sold out. He sells out very quickly. The way parang makers do things is, they'd buy the blade from a factory. There are several such bladesmithing factories. A pretty well known one is Chop Kwong Yuan Loong in Bidor. This parang has a blade from this factory. However, the blade as it comes from the factory is very crudely finished. This guy would grind the blade to a higher level of finish. He attaches it to a wooden handle and a copper ferrule. He provides a kydex sheath with it. Parangs of this refinement are unavailable to farmers here. They use the plastic handled, crudely finished ones they buy for RM50 at the hardware shop. This parang is RM190.
  21. This is not to say he displays adequate intelligence to operate successfully in a tailoring workshop. A tailoring workshop is a complex environment. I still can't trust him with much, and still have to regularly check on what he is doing.
  22. Jacket baste by the Mayang boy done quite independently of me. It didn't take him 4 days either the way it was with previous employees. I think it took him half a day.
  23. It was immediately obvious to me he is highly cognitively gifted. I asked him if he has ever had his IQ formally tested. He said he did sit for one when he was quite young, but that he thought the results were inaccurate. Why so, I wanted to know. Well, he said, I scored higher than my brother. And my brother studied medicine at Cambridge.
  24. I asked him how he first heard about me. You have a bunch of customers in Australia, he said. I heard about you through them.
  25. An older picture of Tidjane Thiam, once CEO of Credit Suisse. I noticed how the collar points of his shirt are quite visible. In my own shirt collars, I make sure the points are covered by the jacket. You see also the Parisian fish mouth lapel. I saw a young medical doctor today, who tells me he consults in his office in a suit always. It's common in Australia where he trained and worked, he tells me. General surgery.
  26. Trousers for a young Korean man. I find it novel to be making trousers for a Korean. Images of male actors in K drama and of Bntailor's relentless competitiveness come to mind. I had previously pre-lockdown made him some shirts. All these are paid for by his wife as a gift to him.
  27. There is something like 4" of ease in the waist of that jacket. The customer has only a 29" waist. To prevent the wasp-waisted look, I made a much bigger waist than necessary.
  28. Giant. Here you see why the prevalent rule of thumb about the jacket bottom being at the second joint of your finger is useless in some (many) situations.
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