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The suiting thread


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On 3/16/2021 at 10:03 PM, kotmj said:

10pm. Cutting a Minnis Solaro, which was provided by the customer. 


I looked up the cloth - 355g / 12 oz. This was what passed for 'summer' fabric in days past, designed specifically for the tropical parts of the Empire.

I reckon it would be like walking around in a sauna if worn here. I saw a full solaro suit worn by an older gentleman during peak summer in Rome, it's glory was forever seared into my brain.


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I just received a call from the fashion designer Khoon Hooi. He said he wanted to do a reference check. A former employee of mine applied for a job with him. This would be Employee #2. What comments do I have about him? 

I said I have no comments to make about him. 

He asked again: I would appreciate your comments about your former staff. Why did he resign? 

LOL. He didn't resign. He was asked to leave. But I didn't want to tell him that. 

I said I am an admirer of my caller's work but I have nothing to say about this former employee. 

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I rehearsed shooting a video today. If I want to have beautiful cinematic shots, it is necessary to be a lot more deliberate and thoughtful in framing the shots than in my previous video. In rehearsing, I find out the best lens, tripod position, lighting and frame. 


It's a massive amount of work. These pictures are screenshots. 


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Just got off a call. The caller has a 60" waist. 

I wonder how one goes about neglecting this aspect of oneself while dutifully attending to the other aspects. Like showering, or cutting your nails, or even putting on clothes. 

Why did he allow himself to become that way? 

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I visited a civil engineer today to listen to his hifi system. He has cycled through countless components. 

To calibrate my ears, I listened first to his Mission 773e. I, too, own these speakers, so it serves as a starting point for me. 

Then, he switched to the Sonus Faber Concerto Domus. OMG. It beat the Missions in every way and I now totally understand what the fuss is all about. 

The sound was thick like treacle and so sweet. 

Then, he switched to a vintage pair of Jensen Monitors, his current "best" speakers. It looked really old, and I was not optimistic it would sound good. 

But it did. I am so surprised such decades-old speakers could sound so contemporary. But, it wasn't on the same level as the Sonus Faber. 

By then I had to leave and couldn't audition the Wharfedale Opus2-3, the top-of-the-line Wharfedales. 

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Rehearsing filming myself working on something. Because of the extreme closeup, focus is difficult to achieve. To make sure I'm in focus, I watch what the camera is filming via an external monitor, mounted on a little tripod. 

So much AV technology and resourcefulness to film something simple. Nobody can help me either since operating all these equipment require intimate familiarity with them. 

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This is just a rough video I put together as part of a rehearsal. The idea behind this is to learn what this type of video requires and do's and don't's. I think I have a list of some 30 things to watch out for when making a video like this. Too many to consciously remember, which means they must become instinctive/second nature. Which means lots of practice making such videos.

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On 3/21/2021 at 11:09 PM, kotmj said:


Interestingly, the IQ test he sat for on Indeed put him in the 60th percentile. I may just invite for an interview, where I get to see the garments he has sewn, and where he sits for a more comprehensive IQ test.


60th percentile in relation to the population.

And what about in relation to the pool of applicants 😛

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The interviewee is currently sitting for the 20-minute IQ test, so I have the leisure of writing this. 

He is a very presentable, good looking young guy. Your typical PJ young guy. Extroverted. 

He has previously worked in 2 tailoring establishments. He told me one of his previous bosses loves complaining about me. He would look at my IG/FB posts and get very worked up. LOL. 

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So he scored 90 IQ points on the test that all job applicants of JT have to sit for and which 4+ million people have taken (online).

His attempts at sewing buttonholes were OK. Not great, not bad. Average. 

I timed 34 minutes for his 3rd buttonhole. It's the first time I've timed such a thing by interviewees. 

His SPM results, which you have seen, is about as bad as it gets. 

His salary expectation is slightly elevated. Mind you it's very low, pretty much market rate. But he has below average achievement levels. This makes him slightly overpriced. 

I don't find him a particularly compelling hire. But I am in need of assistance, and after 2 weeks he is only the second applicant for this opening. 

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Upon further reflection, it is unrealistic to expect IQ 130 people to become sewing tailors. Cutters, yes, but not sewing tailors. It's like hoping to meet a IQ 130 factory operator. 

Maybe I'll hire him after all. This requires further reflection. 

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I've learnt long ago that I need to look at every garment shortly before the customer looks at it. This cannot be delegated. Staff seem not to see anything. They're almost blind to problems in the garment. 

It doesn't matter that I have inspected the garment weeks or months ago. I need to look at it 24 hours before the customer comes to collect it. Many things can happen to a garment even in storage for a couple of weeks. 

I need maybe 6 seconds to look at a garment. But it takes a lot longer to find the right garment to look at. I also look at the invoice, to make sure the whole order is in front of me. 

In earlier years, I often did not have the time to do this. The pace was too hectic. But, by and by, operations became more efficient. 

So, just now, I had to look at a suit and three shirts. The customer is coming to collect tomorrow. Even before looking, I already know that I will need to re-iron one of the shirts. It's pink in colour, and was used on a mannequin under various jackets for months. I recall it being very wrinkled when I removed it from the mannequin to put into storage.

So, I gazed at it. Am I looking at the right shirt? Because the pink shirt in front of me is not wrinkled. Very puzzling. It looks freshly ironed. But it wasn't, yet had spent months crushed by a jacket on a mannequin.

Then I recalled it is from the Alumo Voyage bunch. It's non-iron. 

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Today, I went to a seller of used hifi gear. I intended to buy a highly regarded and relatively expensive set of studio-grade British-made speakers (ProAc). 

So I auditioned the speakers. As the familiar tracks streamed from my phone to the Logitech Bluetooth receiver to the Class A 35W/channel amplifier to the speakers, I listened intently, expecting to be wowed. 

But I wasn't. The speakers were great, but most expensive speakers are. It covered the entire frequency range, it was uncoloured/neutral, and it was transparent, reproducing every nuance in the recording. 

It reminded me of a more polished version of the Dali Spektor 2 which is currently serving up music in the shop. Except, this costs several times more. 

I dislike the Dali. It is a current production, heavily engineered, budget bookshelf speaker. It does everything well, seemingly without any audible weakness. It is very well reviewed. 

But, I find it unengaging. In the 3 months that I've had it, I never marvelled at its sound. I tried getting rid of it. I much preferred my various other speakers. 

I was auditioning its potential successor. And I can't find much enthusiasm for it. 

Right behind the ProAcs were Castles. They cost a fifth as much. I asked the seller to switch to them. 

I was expecting a sound as loose and flabby as old Tannoys or Paradigms. I expected cheap veneer. Instead, I realised I was listening to the mythical traditional British monitor sound. Unreal in-the-room human voices, sweet treble, and truncated in the highest frequencies to prevent irritating the ear with high frequencies. A sound that is coloured, editorialised, manipulated, and as a consequence, smooth, mellow, soothing. It's the kind of speaker you connect to an old AM/FM tuner and listen to the BBC all day. Enjoying, not just the content of the programmes, but marinating in the timbre of the human voices. 

I inspected the veneer. I got goosebumps at how good it is. I shall take pictures to show you. 

The whole evening, I've been listening to the Castles. I'm loving it. They will replace the Dalis. 

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The goal of a speaker designer should not be to produce a technically perfect passive sound reproduction device. Any idiot can achieve this. 

His/her goal should be to produce a sound so sweet and beguiling that the owner switches on his hifi not so much to listen to music as he does to enjoy the sounds the speaker makes. The music is an excuse to listen to the speaker. 

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All hail the Castle Cliftons. Wood grain so rich it makes my solid oak table look dull. 


30-year-old compact bookshelf speakers made in England to a very British hifi tradition. Cherry veneer. 


It makes a smooth, full-bodied, mellow sound you can listen to all day without fatigue. 


It's veneered even at the back. Many British loudspeaker manufacturers don't bother with the back. They paint it black. 


Next to the Dali Spektor 2, which while technically superior in every way, leaves me unengaged. I can stop listening to the Dalis anytime and go home. A great speaker keeps you engaged, reluctant to leave. I shall put the Dalis to TV service in my parents' house. That's the lowest tier of service possible. 


One of the perks of being the ultimate boss is, I can have anything I want at my workplace. I decide who to hire, when to fire, etc. Most people just have to endure. I can *determine*.

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Tall stands for the speakers. The column is partially filled with sand. 

Everybody can see that I use audiophile level speaker cables. Costing RM10/m. It's not entirely due to parsimony. I told the salesman/owner of the shop I bought them from that I'm keen on some premium German cables. He looks at me and says he uses these cables in his demo room, and that there is no reason to buy anything more expensive. So, I took his advice. 

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