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The suiting thread


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Even when these were assembled in May of 1993, they look of a bygone era. The remarkable thing is, Alan Shaw continues making speakers in this design till today. It's as if all the decades are inconsequential. Fashion is inconsequential. When you pick up speakers like these, you are struck by their heft, their workmanship, and their comely proportions. There is the strong sense you are holding something of heirloom quality. The front of the speaker is in the ratio of the Golden Rectangle, 1:Phi. The cabinet itself has the proportions 1:√Phi:Phi.

Notice the seven circular velcro pads? They're to hold on to the sponge dust cover. That's right: The grille is just a 3mm piece of open cell foam. Even in 1993, this is seriously old fashioned. 

I replaced the rubber surrounds of the woofer! After 30 years, they've hardened, which affected the bass response. Here is the woofer with the old surrounds removed:


And here with the fresh new surrounds in:


Now, these speakers sound as new. Which is to say, you're left in utter amazement as to how it is possible for such sounds to come out of these old little boxes. 

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Just received a call from someone with perfectly good English with an Indian accent. 

He seemed surprised and mildly annoyed we are not open. Does it mean other tailors are closed too? he wanted to know. 

It's about a bit of alteration to a police uniform, he said. I wonder if exemptions can be made for that, he floated the idea. I said we're definitely closed until allowed to open again. 

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We dealt with the back today. You're looking at half of a back. The little scye at the left is part of the neck hole. Connected to it, the shoulder seam. The long white stitches at the top indicate the center back---the vertical seam that divides the back in two. 

The point of the picture is the ridge, or ripple of cloth at around where the shoulder blade would be. That ridge of cloth was created just to contain the shoulder blade. 

How on earth did we create a ridge of cloth in the middle of a piece of otherwise flat, two dimensional cloth? Through many machinations! Collectively known as ironwork. 

But, this is mostly not relevant to you if you get suits tailored locally. No Malaysian tailor makes that ridge for your shoulder blades. At any price. They just don't. They don't know about it, and if they do know about it, won't do it. In Malaysian tailoring, the back is completely flat and quite without ironwork. 

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Ah, now I remember. That bulge of cloth is properly called "fullness". 

Through the cut, some moisture, a hot iron and wily manual manipulation, fullness can be created in the middle of what appears to be flat cloth in order for the cloth to accommodate protrusions of the body. 

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Yesterday, the Mayang boy went for his second vaccination, so there was no work done on the jacket. 

Today, we continued with the back. 


And we reinforced the front edges with strips of Egyptian cotton. 


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When one looks at the back, one sees ridges/bulges in two areas: around the upper back, and at around where the ass would be. 

The first is to accommodate the shoulder blades and associated musculature. The second is to contain the ass. 

There is another area that is not flat, but looks flat. The back armcyce has been "drawn-in", i. e. has been shrunk, by about 3mm. To secure this shrinkage, that is, to prevent it stretching back out again, the armsyce has been reinforced with strips of interfacing. 

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The front edge reinforcements in shirting fabric offcuts were not simply laid down flat and sewn. 

At mid lapel, they were used to "draw in" the lapel. That is, the lapel edge is compressed, by about 3mm. Further down the jacket, where the front edge curves to meet the bottom, the reinforcement again shrinks the curve by 3mm. These small measures subtly improve the appearance and function of these areas. 

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I've been observing this Wong Chun Wai for several years. He's a longtime staff of The Star, and formerly its Group CEO.

He is one of those with a pronounced ability to come across as kind, reasonable, respectable and responsible. He gets along with people. He's likable. He spent his whole life cultivating his people skills. 

Unfortunately, he's not smart. He's not sharp. Totally not original. As a journalist, I rate him a solid D. Really, he's hopeless. A respectable, worldly appearing mediocrity. 

He's also a lousy interviewer. I watched him interview Rafidah a few days ago, and am left scratching my head how this intellectual mediocrity ever became CEO of the biggest newspaper in the country. 

Until, that is, I reminded myself of how inoffensive he is. That is his only strength. Inoffensiveness. 

When you battle with him, his strategy to winning is to simply appear more responsible, more "grown up" than you. I've known many like him over the years. 

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6 hours ago, "6" said:

This is how JT Tailor secures its steady young intern workforce. 

You really think providing top-of-the-line vintage sewing machines would really make such a difference? 


Made the hip pockets today. The pocket flaps are ALSO not flat. The corners have been made to have a tendency to curl inwards. 


Hip pocket! 

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Mayang boy selfie. 

Today is weekend so nothing happens to the practise jacket. 

We did however do a Zoom fitting session with a customer in Brunei this afternoon. Tomorrow, we do 2 video fittings with local customers. One is ending his semester break and is flying back to the US to resume classes. The other leaving for Germany. 

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A landmark event happened today. My neighbour came calling. 

"I got a packet of rice for you. There were 500 packets for Bukit Tinggi," she said. 

Finally, the government/local council has brought out the big guns. After decades of paying various taxes and levies and duties and stamps and fees and fines, in your moment of need, when you have been confined for months at home by decree, the government gives you a packet of rice in return. 

I ate the spoonful of cucumber+carrot salad. I ate 60% of the nasi minyak. I poked at the chicken to see if its edible. I decided to leave the chicken for the dogs. The rest of the rice has been flooded with this red oil that was part of the chicken gravy. This oil is the source of diabetes in the country. Not sugar. It's the oil, idiot. So, I shall discard the oil-soaked rice. 

Landmark event today. Fed by the government. 

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Time for a real meal. Which comprises the above in a single saucepan with 5 tablespoons of water and maybe 15 mins of heat. With brown rice. No added oil. No salt, no sugar. 

It's just cabbage, green beans, seaweed, walnuts, frozen green peas and dried goji berries. 

(I'm still alive without all that chicken people seem to think they need. And oil.)

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I really like the lack of ostentation in that bungalow. It was arranged to bring joy to the inhabitants, not to awe visitors. Lots of homes were designed by interior designers to impress. I don't think a home should impress. It should be very natural and likable. 

Also, the plot is 21,000sft but the buildup is only 5500ft. The rest is... grass. Open air. The outdoors. Sun. Again, not something most people do. They want maximum buildup area for resale value. 

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So those medical personnel who work in vaccination centers are mostly vaccinated. The center in Shah Alam has 88% of the people who work there vaccinated. 

They wear PPE when they work. Scrubs, masks, gloves, disinfectants. They are the model of an SOP-compliant group. 

The place they work in, presumably a hall, has great ventilation. And frequent sanitation. Cost-no-object.

Yet, 204 out of 453 of them caught the virus. 

Basically, it is no longer possible to avoid catching the virus. 

The upside is, if vaccinated, symptoms are mild and deaths uncommon. 

But it does mean Malaysia will not be out of a lockdown until a very substantial percentage of the population has been fully vaccinated. 

Be prepared to stay home for a very long time. 

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I've not received any vaccination appointment. My entire family has been fully vaccinated. My friends have been vaccinated. Their families have been vaccinated. My employee and his entire family have been fully vaccinated. 

I was beginning to think I am on some persona non grata list of the government's. To be vaccinated last with leftovers of Sinovac. Then detained for questioning. 

Turns out it works differently in a rural village. Today, my neighbour told me to register myself with what she calls the "village watch". After a while it dawned on me she meant the village head, i.e. Ketua Kampung. It appears the Chinese call it "the guy who watches over the village". Village watch.

I was not aware there was such a person here. I drove around the village and along a road I rarely use, I see some activity. I asked someone there if this is the place to register. Whereupon I shot the video above. 

From 26th till 29th July, the dewan serbaguna will be converted into a vaccination center. The entire Bukit Tinggi gets vaccinated in those four days. 

There are no notices anywhere about the registration or the vaccination. It's purely by word of mouth. All very kampung. 

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I just exited my family's WhatsApp group. 

The most prolific poster of that group is my father. He gives me a clear window into the neurotypical mind. It is a pathetic mind. 

He would forward all kinds of stuff he gets from other people. A large portion of it is obviously misrepresentations of reality with the intention of creating fear, anxiety and tribalism. A lot of hate, too. But it works. People think it's real. They forward it. 

Malaysia, due to neurotypicals like my father, who is just an example of a typical human being, is heading down to a racial clash. It is inevitable. 

The Chinese look down on and hate the Malays. 

A clash is inevitable. There is too much hate and resentment. 

The Chinese will lose. Nobody seems to realise this. If you're going to keep building resentment in yourself in anticipation of a showdown, you should ask yourself who is more likely to win. 

Having done that, ask yourself your position after you have lost. 

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An Indian man owns this small fruit farm (primarily durians) of maybe 2 acres. I walk past this place all the time. Only once I saw the owner---he was raking leaves in front of his house. 

The unusually political home furnishing choice suggests he is not reliant on the farm for income. In fact, I think he could afford the farm because of his party affiliations. 

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I was in a grocery shop just now and thought I'd get some eggs for the dogs. 

I could only find one tray with 7 eggs on it. One of the eggs was visibly cracked; another had a dark discolouration, indicating possible staleness. I asked the shop owner if these are to be sold or are they reject eggs? He says those are all he has because he is not stocking eggs. 

"Eggs are very expensive now! So I'm not stocking them! You get yourself some nice horse grass eggs from the stalls! These are normal eggs!" 

I said these are for my dogs. 

"Eggs are very, very expensive now! One tray used to be, what, seven or eight ringgit? They are now ten plus ringgit per tray!" 

I calculate a 50% price increase? 

I predicted inflation, but this is more than I had expected. I wrote a few weeks back how inflation must necessarily happen even to basic necessities. This is because, of the few companies allowed to operate, only 60% of their workforce are working. To make things worse, to maintain output, they are sometimes reliant on vendors who are not allowed to operate. So, output is low. 

But demand for eggs remains the same. 

Supply is lower. Demand is unchanged. Price has to go up. 

But it goes up at a time when people's incomes are dramatically down.

It doesn't affect me personally. Because I do not eat eggs. And because eggs are too cheap---they can cost 5x as much and I still wouldn't notice. 

But I know it matters to a large percentage of the population. For them, life is not worth living without chicken and eggs. 

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