Wednesday, December 20, 2006

780km in 4 days + 2 Days of Racing (My InterState Journey)

Backgrounder

The organising Committee of the Penang Pesta has the Annual Biking event which consist of the Round Island Road Race and the Criterium Race in Padang Kota. This year a few friends of mine had the opportunity of accompanying the LeTua Cycling Team which had participated in the Penang event as part of their training. The only condition set for us is to be able to cycle with the team to Penang and back So, a few of us packed up our bags and got our bikes ready for the journey. The expanded team consist of the PK and family, William Mok, Kimbeley Yap, Valerie and me.

Day 1 - Subang to Ipoh via Tanjung Malim (202 km)

Journey that morning started of from Kampung Subang at 6:30 am and we reached Tanjung Malim at 9:20 am and stop at the restaurant to have Pau.
The LeTua team paced the ride at a slow 30-32km per hour. Had we not accompanied them, they would have paced at a faster 38 to 40km per hour. We had our first break and pushed off for Ipoh at 10:15 am.

Not having the experience of riding more then 100km, i was not drinking enuf nor eating enough at regular frequency to sustain the next leg of the journey. At the 140km mark, I cramped out my legs and stomach and was not able to continue the journey I had to be taken by the support car to Ipoh. We reached Ipoh at 2:20 pm and rested at our hotel to recover. That evening i was really pumping in fluids and carbo so as not to be outdone by the distance again.

Day 2 - Ipoh to Penang via Taiping (170km)

We pushed of from Ipoh to Penang at 6:30 am and the journey was the normal rolling hill type with opportunity of uphill pedalling and recovery in going downhill. The only challenging hill was the 2km climb near Bukit Berapit and we reached Taiping for our normal midway pit stop at 9:00 am.

We pushed of for Penang at 9:5o am after having mee sup and drinks. The journey to Butterworth is a tiring one because of the flat road and construction near Butterworth.
Attacking flat road at a constant 32km/hr means continuous pedalling and very little recovery. The hot midday sun wasn't helping since the road has very little tree cover. We reached Butterworth at 1:00 pm and took the ferry across and reached Penang at 1:50pm. Now time to recover to tackle the Penang Island Road Race which is on Saturday. End of day note to self, when u are tired, be careful of observing which foot u unclip ur pedals and which u wanna put to the ground.

Day 3 - Round Island Bike Race


The race starts at Gurney Drive and the palaethon will then go towards Batu Ferringi and then toward Telok Bahang before attacking the hill climb near the Dam, and circling the Balik Pulau village before ascending the steep hill climb near Jalan Tun Sardon.

The men's open started at 8:30 and went at breakneck speed of 60km/hr and the total distance of 120km. The ladies and veteran started a minute later and has a shorter distance of 60km. Other then the usual state teams, there was also an aggressive team from Singapore.

Although I had registered for the race, I had to stand down and drive the support car for the woman/veteran team. Its quite exciting experience to drive the support car where u have to fight for position for ur rider and provide feeding at opportune moments. The women team were represented by Kimbeley and Valerie and the Shaharin represented the Veteran Team. The team did well, where Kimbeley got second, Valerie got sixth (excellent for first outing) and Shaharin got second.

Exciting end to the day and we set off for our hotels to prepare for the following day criterium race.

Day 4 - Criterium race (Padang Kota)
The scene - almost family day type outing. The atmosphere, exciting and fully charged with adrenalin of many cyclist. The race is broken up into Junior, Senior, veteran and girls and Open. We came in second for Seniors, champion for Veteran and were not that lucky for the girls. The tactics of swarming our riders and drafting them were not exciting to watch. Anyhow, it was good exposure to many of us who participated for first or second time.


Day 5 - Journey Back - Penang to Lumut (172 km)

Left Hotel at 5:45 to catch the 6pm Ferry to Butterworth. Arrived Butterworth side at 6:40 am and push off for Taiping at 6:45 am at the usual 32km/hr pace The journey itself was quite uneventful as we were both familiar with the terrain and pace. Stopped at Taiping for food at about 10;00 am.

Left Taiping heading for Lumut using the road that goes to Beruas. The journey and route was fairly interesting as there are a few climbs and descend. Arrived in Lumut where we decided to stop and eat prior to checking in at the Hotel/Hostels. It was extremely hot day and it is quite a strain on the body and legs. No amount of sun block can help.

Day 6 - Lumut to Subang via Sabak Bernam and Puncak Alam (223 km)

Thinking that it is the last day of the journey, we left Lumut a bit late at 8:00 am. The journey to Sabak Bernam is fairly easy as there is very little hill and many flat road. The only challenge is to keep the cadence going so as to upkeep the speed. We arrived in Sabak Bernam at 11:00 am for brunch near the waterfront.

Left Sabak Bernam at 11:55 am headed for Kuala Lumpur/Subang. The road from Sabak Bernam to Telok Intan and further up onto Tanjung Karang is fairly flat and hence i find it dull. The challenge started to get to me as we turn in nearing Kuala Selangor towards Ijok/Rawang. The road is so rutted that my wrist aches. We then turned into Batu Arang and headed for Puncak Alam.

I was kinda conned by the other riders which told me that there were 3 hills. It seems that they were counting the major ones, Puncak Alam has 7 hill climbs. At this point the group broke out and there were three palaeton.

We arrived exhausted and tired at 4:45 in Subang but a feeling of triumph and excited. It is not the distance that we find challenging but its also the pace in trying to keep it a constant 30-32km/hr.

Conclusion

Finished my full list of checklist of things to do for the year. Began with indoor cycling (RPM), Mountain Biking with PCC/Presidential, Road Riding with PCC Groups, Criterium Race In Shah Alam and Penang and Finally MyInterstate 780 km Journey from KL, Selangor, Perak and Penang.

Look forward to an exciting new year 2007

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chasing Shadows and Checklist

Don't know how to spend the weekend. Well, how about going around the Shah Alam Lake at about 35 to 40km/hr on a hot midday sun chasing a bunch of oldies on a mountain bike and a racer. Fortunately and unfortunately, that's what i just did that today in the Shah Alam Criterium - what was i thinking of.

Having registered myself in the morning in the Junior Veteran for the Mountain Bike and Racing Bike category, the feeling of regret starts to linger as I watched riders from MSN, Selangor, L2A, Terengganu and many other notable and strong veteran riders around the Klang Valley. Resigning to the fact that I had entered this to gain the experience and also to fulfil my checklist of things I wanted to do as part of my health therapy, I went along.


It was a good outing, and competition in some of the categories were extremely strong, we had a few crash outs. Few familiar guys that i saw crashing out (not of their faults, more caused my amateurs like me) were Adli and Shahrin.

What I found interesting/gratifying is that for a competition that you can register for free without any entrance fee in the morning by any individuals, the prizes and prize money can be extremely satisfactory.

Ah well, that nearly closes my riding calender for the year, having participated in PCC Mountain Biking event and this Road Race. Need to plan for next year though.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ole' to this Girl

Give credit where credit is due. My fren Kimberley Yap, to me has done extremely well for the country and the context of it seems under scored by the media. She not only broke her personal record by more then 10 minutes but is faster then her fastest male counterparts by 3 minutes or more for the same triathlon distance.

I was so proud to see her leading the swimming leg and though she stumbled at the transition point and lost time to the Chinese athlete, she nevertheless had to endure the tactical play by the second Chinese athlete in the bicycle leg to finally finish a commendable 7th position. Knowing that she normally does a 61 minute leg for a 40km ride, she wud have been poise and a shot at the medal had it not been for that glitch.

Till her next Triathlon....well done Kimberley.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Absent-minded and Monkey Tanned

Retirement really wreaks havoc with ones mind. I am not as sharp as I should be and my mind must have been going to sleep most of the time. If it had not been for my buddy Jo***e, i won't be able to recover.

What is it with me and basement car parks?. Firstly, i "accidentally" lost my wallet in the basement parking of Menara Axis, rushing for my bicycle ride in taman Tun, and secondly "accidentally" lost my car in the basement parking of KLCC.

In relation to my lost wallet, my buddy managed to trace it back for me. However, in the case of my car, who would have thought that u can have the same brand of car parked beside u but on different floor and me searching for it on a different floor, panicked upon seeing the car and an empty parking slot, concluding that my car was lost. Ironically this same buddy also managed to calm and bring me to my senses so that I can look for my car ;)

Ah well, that was the week before i left for my Batu Arang ride. Went out with the PCC guys and also accompanying a new fren to road riding. She took the challenge of riding her mountain bike in this 88km run and surprised many seasoned riders. Though we did come back tanned except for the eye area and looked like monkeys after that ride, nevertherless an easy comfortable ride. Nice and beautiful scenery though. What a week............

Monday, November 20, 2006

PCC/Proton Presidential Ride - Sunday

The journey

Morning began with me picking up a fren Mantak from his abode in Subang Jaya. I later met up with Isaac at Sungai Way to convoy to Kajang Perdana where we reached at about 6:45 am. Parked our cars and assembled our bikes and gears. This photo is provided by Benny

The Flag off and Ride Format

There must have been more then 650 people (though 650 registered for the ride) at the Flagging off session. Familiar faces there were Kim, JT, Benny and Naeem (from the Kiara Geng), Ashley, Chloe, Stephanie Chok and Zeus (from the Fitness First Gym), Aidid and geng (from the FRIM ride) Valerie, Boon Foo and Lim (Bikepro) and Lim from KSH. Checkout the photo courtesy of Isaac and the one below by Benny.


The Ride consist of 4 Trails. The Trails mainly is design to satisfy rider who like the outdoor with a mix of mountain climbing, downhill ride, obstacles and cross country rides. Flag off was at 8:00 am and there was a stream of rider down the SILK highway before going to the first trail.

The Ride

Trail 1, I think is design to separate the fit riders and the unfit. Due to the masses of riders and the steep (some 50 degree climbs) hill, much of our times were spent pushing the bikes up hill becoz of congestion. This took out some wind and energy. There was also a downhill section where falls were inevitable. Ironically for someone who abhors danger, i think perhaps with the adrenalin pumping, i went thru almost all of these obstacles even down the 500m downhill section. Managed to finish Trail 1 at about 10:00 am and picked up our supplies of water and banana.

Starting Trail 2, JT, Kim, Naeem and me got off 5 minutes later but missed a flag and accidentally went to the "chicken Route" ie back to start. I had to double back to the Start of Trail 2 and lost 20 minutes in the process. Going up the Trail, managed to catch up with the pack consisting of Ashley, Chloe and Zues. We reached Checkpoint 2 at about 12:00 pm. Chloe and Zeus left for the Chicken Trail at this point as Zeus had to catchup with Class. I was quite lethargic at this point and hands were aching. I was quite lucky that I had not suffered cramps like many others do by the trails.

Left for Trail 3 with Stephanie and Ashley, and at this point I had made my biggest mistake of not taking enough water. 2 and half litre of water is not enough for hot midday sun and one of two toughest Trail and by kilometer 6 of the 16km Trail 3, I had already exhausted my water supply and just couldn't keep up with Ashley and Stephanie. The last 10km was the most enduring almost grueling of my life. Images of cartoons of me crawling in the desert and looking for water kept coming to mind. Good Samaritans I met, gave me what ever water they can spare for me to complete Trail 3. This is the most memorable trail I had ever had to endure. There was and almost vertical hill drops of about 30 feet and climbs and endless hill climbs with very technical trails through rubber trees. The fact that U do not know what challenges lies ahead plays havoc on your strength, mind and willpower. I reached checkpoint 3 after it was close and had to proceed back to the Start since the race is already finished.

Addendum and Errata: Here also is a cute video doneup by LingtheMerciless of the PCC ride. U can see some familiar faces here.

By the time we cycled back to the Start point, it was already 5 pm and everybody was about to leave. 8 to 9 hours of ride covering a distance of approximately more then 55km takes quite a toll on the body. I was shivering uncontrollably and quite lethargic by the time I reached my car. Only about 100+ riders finished the full 4 Checkpoint. I had to take 30 minutes of rest and soaking myself with 2 cans of Energy drink courtesy of Isaac and Jason before proceeding to pack my bikes and gears before heading off for home.

As if to greet my failure of non completion, the heavens open up and rain poured heavily closing what was a day of excellent weather. On hindsight, the day has been most memorable as what i set to do was to compete with myself. Nine month ago, i could not even climb a full flight of staircase without feeling breathless, now I could manage an approximate 50km of MTB. I'll be better prepared for next year and I look forward to next years challenge.

The aftermath

I am now suffering aches and pain on my wrist and knee perhaps due to long time spent on the bike and downhill. It is not as bad as I had anticipated though, nothing that Counterpain cannot cure. Now its time to clean the bike and the car, Ciao.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lessons in First Aid

My Life at the moment seems ruled by Cycling. I am so looking forward to a monumental event that will be happening this weekend - the 60km Presidential Ride. In my zest to practice and have company, i had asked a friend of mine R*** to the ride in FRIM. We parked our cars near Sungai Buloh Hospital and started our climb through the trails heading for FRIM.

The approach from Sungai Buloh is a little bit challenging but we made it through to FRIM. In our eagerness to "extend" the ride, we continued on with the rather simple Rover Trails. Going down Rover Trails rather quickly and cutting the story short, R*** slipped and went flying through the air not before hitting the handlebar. This person suffered cuts on the chin, knee and shoulder. Applying first aid, i kinda felt guilty in dragging this guy along to the ride.

How does one apply First Aid to the spirit of the person and also to the guilt of another.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fortnight of Road Riding - Review

Inspired by Isaac, i thought I would do a review of RoadRides that has happened in the past Fortnight or so. He has kindly taken many nice shots and photo and featured in his blog. These are some excerps and review of rides that I have done in the past fortnight:-

KL City Tour

This ride was organized by a friend named PK. We knew that Second hari Raya would be a quiet time in KL and the road wud be fairly empty. We started of from Taman Megah at 8:00am and push off via the LDP and headed towards SS21 and turning right to KL via the highway towards Medan Damansara and heading down towards Parlimen. We went straight into the City via Jalan Raja Chulan and circled KLCC. We had our pit stop behind Lot 10 to have Roti and Milo.

We left the pit stop and push off towards Lake Garden towards the Tugu Negara and headed towards the old PM's office and going down towards Jalan Duta. We then climbed up and circle Jalan Duta mosque before making our way towards Hartamas. We then passed Pusat Sains before making ourself back via KLGCC and TTDI and headed back towards Taman Megah. More detail pictures and review available from here.

Puncak Alam Ride

Now, this was a real screamer. Went out with the roadies to test out what was advertised to us as a 70-80km ride to Puncak Alam. The route - Center Point Bandar Utama to Curve to Sungai Buloh heading towards Guthrie Highway and back. While climbing the Guthrie Highway towards Rawang, it was during this time that the pack broke like a pack of hounds. There was roughly 50 riders, but the pack of 15 of them broke and paced at 30-35km average screaming down the Gutherie Highway. Us the middle pacers were doing 25-30km/hr average had a tough time keeping up with them. It was during this time our group, me , Val, collin and 3 others overshot a junction which leads us to the North South Highway. It was also during this time , Val had a tyre puncture and we were helping her out to fix her tyres when she had another unfortunate bad luck with her second tube also being punctured. during this time, the PLUS Ronda guys stopped by and we packed Val off with the guys to be dropped off at Sungai Buloh while we rode off.

Next km or so, we were stopped by the Cops who wanted to know what we were doing on the PLUS highway without a permit. Due to some quick thinking by Collin, we were gracefully escorted by the Ronda Police to the Sungai Buloh exit. We stopped by Sungai Buloh exit and attempted to patch up Val's tyres again and took her back to CenterPoint via Damansara Perdana. By the time we got back to CenterPoint, we clocked 105km......SH.T. That was one hell of riding experience. Isaac covered it beautifully here with pictures.

Walk like a dinosaur

Being unemployed, i tend to travel using public transport. Last week, I was in Putra LRT, and i noticed this girl listening to her IPOD, but keep shaking her head left and right. Then what surprises me is that she keeps making this gestures using her hands almost imitating a T-Rex dinosaur with hands up and down her chest. I find it quite amusing though.

The train stops in KLCC and both of us got of the stop and so happen we were going to the same destination, the Gym. Later, I found out that she is a new Gym instructor. She was just going through her Choreography to team teach.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mountain Biking Revisit

The Rover trails in FRIM is quite a good Mountain biking trails for beginers like me. After arriving at about 8:30, checkout the map to go into the trails. Decide to go via the entrance near Jelutong lane.

The first part of the trails involve quite a decent climb with rocks and pebbles. There were a lot of Jungle Trekkers there making the climb a slow and careful process. The rain the night before did not help either making the trails very soft and slippery. There was very little traction (remind me to change my tires before the presidential ride) in my tires and makes the climb challenging and falls are inevitable.

The ride down was more enjoyable since the trails are not too technical as those in Kiara. The trails here in FRIM are wider (about 3-4 feet in width) and good for beginers. The only challenging thing I had to do was to go over the fallen tree that was blocking the trails on the way down.

On the way down, met a group of riders who has decided to ride from the reverse side which I think provides better warm up. Nevertherless the trails is recommended for any beginers to try out mountain biking with very little supervision.

The FRIM park itself is very cooling and has a canopy like effect for general outdoor sports. It has long enough tarmac road for those who just wants to do jogging and cycling on tarmac. Even at 11:00 am as I was leaving the park, it is not as scorching or hot if u were in and around in the open.

I would definitely make it as must visit place and would include it as my regular place and trails for my outdoor biking.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Roadie

Exhilirating, you betcha,

Thats what I found out when I went out with the guys for roadbiking at KESAS. Had the oppurtunity to test out my new roadbike on the KESAS motorcycle lane going from Extreme Park to Subang and down to Seri Petaling and back to Subang. Its about a 30 km distance and having wind in your face is extremely refreshing.

Since I was not sure of the timing and this was the first time that I riding out with this group, I rush like hell from my normal RPM class at AXIS to Extreme Park anticipating jam. We set off for the ride at about 8:30pm.

Comparing to the ride normally done on Tuesday which is a rollercoaster ride of climbs and flatroad, this ride is generally a flat albeit with gentle climb. Hence the pace was quicker averaging 25 to 30km/h.

Immediate observation is that there is a stark difference between riding a road bike and riding a mountain bike, and that is not to use the lowest of gears in order to practice cadence.

Ah well, looking forward to next week ride, haze permitting.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Moving On

Its been a week of mix emotion, melancholic in some ways, stressful in others but eventful nevertheless. The amount of stuff one collects at an organization when u have been serving there for 9 years can be quite boxful to say the least.

Till the last day, I was still having meetings with Minister and his representatives in the roll out of a project while safeguarding organizational interest. It can be stressful when you are caught out in between a big brother (Telco Giant) on other hand and you have an opinionated industry player on the other.

Anyhow, rolling out three boxes of book collection and personal items out of the office can be an emotional experience.

On another note, I also had to relinquish some of my "redundant assets" to make preparation for a career of no income. The previous week saw me dispose of my beloved red sports car, my other mountain bike, one of my hand phone and another of my notebook.

I hope my outlook will be more peaceful in the coming month as I deliberate on my next course of action.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nite Riding - PCC

My first night ride together with the Pedalphile Cycling Club group was quite an enjoyable outing. First and foremost, they are a bunch of very considerate bunch of people who looks out for newbie or beginners like me who has never ridden more then 10km. Secondly, riding in a group with them, they do warn u in advance of impending potholes and rocks which demonstrate somewhat their ethics and consideration for teamwork. Not wanting to slow them down, I had trained up for 1 month at Kiara to build up my srength and stamina.

Our rounds starts from TTDI near IBM Plaza and down to NPE Pencala Link, going up the NPE Pencala Link to Hartamas and going straight to Pusat Sains Negara. We then climb up the hill towards Medan Damansara and then pass Manulife to circle Bukit Damansara and back to Medan Damansara. I think we did that twice before climbing a long hill near Manulife (Jalan Beringin - i think) towards the Damansara School and ending up back in Pusat Sains. We finish the journey going down from Pusat Sains to Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club before coming back to TTDI. I suspect, the journey must be close to 25 km.

Though I had a babysitter checking that I am not left behind, i am some what pleased as I am not the last in the group although this is my first time out. We started at 8:30pm and arrived back at about 10:00pm. If someone was to ask me 6 months ago to do this, I would call them crazy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tribute to my RPM Instructors - POEM

Taking RPM class to a new higher limit,
Challenge is the name, u need to survive it,
Watching us doing it with an eagle eye,
Instructor, Mr Wes, oh he is ever so sly.

He is commonly known as Mr Technique,
Correcting my mistake, he is such a critic,
His attempt at humour may not be pleasurable,
But going to his class it is so enjoyable.

Miss Lynn is another challenge instructor,
Her husky voice is quite sexy but it doesn't matter,
She checks on your execution like a headmistress do,
Her energy and fun intoxicate me and you.

Eric Chin is a hell of a big strong guy,
His execution of RPM seems to be on the fly,
His commanding voice and instruction gets attention,
He conducts his track with smooth Transitions.

A group Coordinator by the name of Herny,
Her rendition of the lyrics can sometimes be funny,
As she goes through her routine in an effortless mood,
Making us sweat, though the feeling is good.

Chloe is a small and cute instructor,
Her size and height does not limit her power,
She has confidence and strength belies her size,
Pushing us to ride to our limits thats no surprise.

Ben Sim is a man with extremely strong legs,
As he winds up the load, we scream and we beg,
Going through his routine without breaking a sweat,
He makes RPM looks simple and thats what we dread.

Pat is a young and upcoming instructor,
Her caring and warm approach makes u wanna know her,
As she belts out instructions with that impish smile,
45 Minutes of RPM feels just like a while.

Ashley is another one of the new instructor,
Her life of the outdoor makes her a strong rider,
As she rides and instruct us so passionately,
We follow her guidance and tutorship oh so willingly.

Slightly regimented , Collin is his name,
His approach in teaching, his style is the same,
His tireless reminders for us not to turn down,
In between tracks, he frowns at the sound.

Jonathan Tan is full of energy and is a dynamite ,
He motivates with grunts and scream makes u wanna fight,
He puts in so much effort our legs feel sorry ,
When u finish his class, u burn so much calories.

Watching Ben Sow teach, u get with his style,
His shy and cool approach, supplemented with a smile,
As he goes through the tracks with very little drama,
Rather unassuming in effort and very little trauma.

Spending my weekend going to RPM school,
Thats what I feel when listening to the rule,
Of my school teacher, miss Lillian is her name,
She gets us going, its all like a game.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shopping for Husbands ???

I dont know what to make out of this. Some girl friend of mine send me this and I thot I 'll just publish this for record keeping;

Husband Store

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a Woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE !

There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch . . .. you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband . .

On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor sign reads:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking. "Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework. "Oh, mercy me!"she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor.
There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that Women are impossible to please.

Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I remember When.......................

I thought of doing this I remember when article to demostrate how old I am and how life has overtaken me ;)

I remember when..................

a) Communicating with Pen Pals with mail, and response use to come within a week and how over the moon one would be. I think, nowadays, when one does not getYM response of SMS within minutes, one becomes impatient.

b) Watching TV was a neighbourhood afair. We had a TV, and the neighbour's kids would watch what ever programme that we were watching thru the fence. Now, we have TV in almost every room and individuals will choose what ever programme from a buffet of channels.

c) I would be dependent to learn thru my sets of Book of Knowledge or Encyclopedia Brittanica to find answers to life questions. Now, one cannot live without Google.

d) High speed connection means a Hayes 19200 modem.I would go goo goo gaa gaa when Modems speed wud double every 6 month from 2400 to 9600. Nowadays, its all broadband of minumum of 1 Mbps.

e) Hanging out in the warung and sipping a cup of coffee for a price of 50sen and when the Minister announce an increase of the price of sugar, there was hoo hah about the increase of price of coffee by 10sen. Now, we don't bat an eye paying 10 bucks for a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

f) We play games and do excercise for the fun of it. Now, we pay to get tortured and get someone to tell us how to do excercise and hang around with us to count the reps.

g) Listening to music means lugging around casettes and boom box or leeching it of records and have stacks of record collection. Now, its a case of storing 7500 musics in a small device calls theiPOD which some complaint there are not enough space ;-)

h) Watching movies use to cost 65 cents for u to get a neck strain or RM1.40 for a more "luxurious seat" for better view of the movies and people making out. Nowadays u pay RM10 bucks for a seat in front and get surrounded by annoying little kids, neck strain, and movie commentators in what is called theCineplex.

i) Having to type my thesis, i had to master the use of a typewriter and listening to its clickety click and ring of bell at every end of paragraph. One cannot afford mistakes lest u want to type the whole page again. Nowadays, u use the PC to type, watch movies, and listen to music all roll in one while enjoying a cup of iceNesLO (Nescafe/Milo) - woops sorry, MoccaFrapucino.

j) Crowd around and queue at a payphone to make a call to your girl friend at odd hours of the night. Nowadays, even teenagers havehandphone to SMS and talk from the comfort of your toilet.

k) How collecting Ang Pow or Duit Raya was a godsend affair and packets have evolved from shillings of 50 sen to multiples of RM10. Now, kids just wants to monitor their balance movement in theirMaybank2U accounts.

l) Calling from Penang to Kuala Lumpur use to cost an arm and a leg (RM3.60) for every three minutes. Now, it cost only RM0.30 to call China. U can talk to almost anyone in the world for pittance.

m) One use to pay the RTD (JPJ) for use of the road in the form of roadtax. Now they have made it simpler for us to pay the Govt thru direct and indirect manner. We have to pay JPJ, Customs, PLUS and Police (summons). I am sure one day we will have prepaid summonses.


All this in the space of 10 to 20 years, Malaysia sure has come a long way. I wonder what your experience has been like.

-

Monday, August 21, 2006

So you think you are Fit....

Pahhh....Six month in the Gym and U think that U have made progress. All those back to back classes of RPM, RPM challenge and Body Pump, and U think they have conditioned your body well. Well, think again!!!!

Took my MTB out for a ride near TTDI heading towards Kiara and Hartamas. Damn, I am totally unfit for outdoor activity. After 45 minutes of pedalling, my body was already screaming enough and I had to make a few stops to come back to TTDI where my car was parked.

Lessons learnt, don't get complacent and feelgood if you think that u can do 3 hours of class indoor when the challenge outdoor is far greater especially on your mind as you see hill looming one after the other.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Top 20 Songlist for Mountain Biking


I have just bought myself a new Mountain Bike, a Trek 3900. I took it out a few nites ago and what I found to be complimentary for me was to record some of my favourite Gym songs on my MP3 player to listen to as I ride around. Currently my Top 20 playlist is as follows:-

[BP58]I'll Be Your Light -- Kristine W
[BP58]Stand By Me (Orig Mix) -- Mr Timothy feat. Inaya Day
[BP37] Harden up -- Nicollette
[BP54]Rise (Leave Me Alone) feat. Clark Anderson -- Safri Duo
[BP50]Somethin Goin On (Crack it) -- Boomfunk MC
[BP56]Voodoo Child (12" Mix) -- Rogue Traders
[BP57]Come To Me -- Tina Cousins
[BP55]Olympia -- E Type
[RPM31]Heart Like A Wheel -- The Corrs
[BP58]Hole in the Head -- Sugababes
[BP58]Round And Round -- BodyRockers
[BP57]From Paris To Berlin (Extended Version) -- Infernal
[BP57]Push It -- Garbage
[RPM29]Kryptonite -- 3 Doors Down
[RPM29]Home -- Michael Buble
[RPM28]Freestyler -- Boomfunk MC's
[BP57]Everytime We Touch (Original Mix) -- Cascada
[BP57]Take Your Mama (Mig Vs. Rizzo Remix) -- Scissor Sisters
[RPM25]California Dreamin -- Royal Gigolos
[RPM31]Finally (Classic Club Mix) -- Love To Infinity feat. Charlotte Day

Friday, August 11, 2006

JERUK

"Jeruk" is a food that is an acquired taste,
Much like wine, it matures with time, not be in haste,
As it is sour, it compliments the sweets and the salty,
Much like life, its nature brings a sense of priority.

When u take a bite at the "Jeruk",
U get that tangy sour taste that feels so "teruk"
But as u munch the "Jeruk" little by little,
U get to appreciate it and it can be incredible.

"Jeruk" is sometimes used for medicinal purposes,
In reducing throw ups and nausea taken in light doses,
I love some "Jeruk", the taste it so unpredictable,
Beyond all the taste, the base i find is valuable,

"Jeruk" is a food that is normally misjudged,
Becoz of its taste, sometimes u feel begrudged.
"Jeruk" has to be taken with much respect,
Sometimes aftertaste can be unweildy its difficult to expect.

I like to eat "Jeruk" using my bare fingers,
The longer i nibble it tenderly, the longer the taste lingers,
The longer u taste the "Jeruk", the more u find it soothing,
The coolnest, the pleasure it brings, it is oh so exciting,

--anonymous

Sunday, August 06, 2006

PUSH - Pray Until Something Happen

A new syndromme among Malaysian I suppose. Everyone seems to be in a waiting mode always waiting to be told what to do. Simple example, why are there soo many motorcyclist on the Federal Highway nowadays? Don't we have a responsibility of taking any action against these errant riders who do not want to use the bike lanes?

What about lorries travelling on the Federal Highway during the period of 7:00 am to 9:00 am. Isn't there a curfew for heavy vehicles not to use these highway during these time. Who is suppose to keep these people in abiding the rules (albeit their own concience is not ruled out). The Federal Highways is already congested as it is, and having these monsters during these times does not help.

I suppose until some notable or popular figure gets hurt or had an accident, nobody is going to take any action, such is life nowadays. Let us pray that something does not happen.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Leaving on a Jetplane (Keldai)

I didn't know that leaving an organization can be quite a heart wrenching experience. To date, almost on a daily basis groups of people have been seeing me trying to coerce me to stay. I do hope these friends of mine are not in denial as life has to go on. Perhaps it has to do with timing, but health sometimes has no preference of time.

Although my friends outside has been supportive of my decision, but some friends on the inside cannot comprehend my reasons to leave, citing illogical argument and I should be taking longer breaks.

I had change from being a Civil Engineer to a Computer Consultant and into a Telecommunication Technologist. Imagine that, building Bridges and Jetties in Langkawi to building Computer Networks and constructing Communication Infrastructure Nationwide. Perhaps it is time for me to test out other challenging jobs like driving a taxi or cooking. Time for another evolution - I say.

Laughing on the Inside

I am not sure whether we are quickly becoming a culture of androids. Our means of communications inter person has evolved from the preferred face to face to that of SMS or Instant Messaging. Though I am not a real fan of text messaging (as I have found out in many instances where bridges are burnt unnecessarily due to misconstruction of sentences), I do feel that it is sometimes the most convenient.

However, sometimes what I find to be perplexing is the passion and expression that we show in our text messaging is not a reflection of our facial expression in real life. We could be typing "LOL" but as we type, we maybe "laughing out loud" on the inside but our face draws a blank or at most quirks a smile. There are many other emoticons that we use as we converse in text, but I wonder, have we lost the ability to laugh and giggle in real life?

-

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Leap of Faith


There, its done...
I have taken a leap of faith and throwing caution to the wind, started the motion of setting myself free from the Telecommunication Industry which I have been in for the past 9 years. For the life of me, i am not sure what I will be doing next. Let see what life has install for me.

Ironically, this month alone, quite a few of my close friends has done the same and we do catch on on YM to compare notes of our daily adventures.

I feel as though a huge pile of load is off my shoulder and it has been a satisfying feeling and as though all the pressure got released. WOW..............

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Life Changing - An outlook of Love

Seldom have i been so engrossed by a book especially a self help type of book. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been advised to read thru this book by my "adopted " twin. Having picked up this book on Friday evening, I have not been able to put it down since yesterday. I only took time off reading it when either at Gym or when I fell asleep.

The book deals with
a) Discipline
b) Love
c) Growth and Religion and
d) Grace

The topic about Love really fascinate me. In this area, the author dissect the topic and manages to peel of layers of issues and challenges about this emotion we call love. Being a psychiatrist, he rationalize and explains this topic well using case studies. He also organizes the topic in clearly define areas/sections to support his justification and arguments and to the point that I would call him Dr Love. I didn't know that Love can be articulated in such a rational and almost scientific manner. In fact some of the thought put forward parallels what I have always felt, but I have not been able to organize and contextualize in this manner.

I can relate to many of the examples in this book and see it as a very therapeutic reference, in fact almost like a mirror of one's soul. In fact, i may have used countless excuses to justify my inadequacies. I can only but be thankful to the person who has pointed me to this book. She may have changed my whole outlook of life.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bruised Ego

I was in Body Pump class a few nights ago. For those not in the know, Body Pump is a choereographed group excercise that uses weights. You will be using different sizes of weights for different Track which focuses on different muscle groups. The reps are done to a song which last an averages of about 5 minutes.
Track 1 - Warm up (5 kg per side)
Track 2 - Squats (10 kg per side)
Track 3 - Chest (6 kg per side)
Track 4 - Clean and Jerk (7.5 kg per side)
Track 5 - Triceps (5 kg per side)
Track 6 - Biceps (3.5 kg per side)
Track 7 - Lunges (3.5 kg per side or null)
Track 8 - Shoulders (2.5 kg per side)
Track 9 - Abs
Track 10 - Cool Down


I am still a novice at Body Pump hence the load i use is not that heavy, but with me that nite was a fren of mine (Margaret) and she has been using weight that is slightly heavier then mine when doing chest excercise at 8.5 kg each side. A macho kinda guy standing beside me using weights that was equal to that of mine kept giving her signals to reduce (I suppose thinking that she has forgotten to take of the load) and she was responding, with a "what??...owh I am ok".

Upon seeing her actually lifting those weights and doing chest pump excercise rather easily, u can almost see the despair in his eyes and the change in face expression to that of disbelief, whilst comparing to himself lifting weights that are less then that of Margaret's. You can really see him suffering a bruised ego that nite. I cannot forget that FACE!!!

For me, I am quite used to seeing some of the ladies here using weights of up to 15-20 kg per side for squats.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The weekend That was - 25th June 2006

These was quite a frantic week. Much of my life is generally centered around my Gym session and these week has been very productive. I tend to focus on RPM class and I do an average of a minimum of 1 RPM class per day suplementing with Body Pump on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. To test out my stamina, I did stretched it too 3 classes on Monday and Wednesday tho I was ticked off for doing too much by one of the trainer ;).

These week, having been told to try out one of the visiting trainer (Lisa Jones) class, I dropped by AXIS. Luckily I was there early as the queue started at 5:50 for a class scheduled at 6:30 pm. By the time the registration started which was 6:10, the queue was full up for the 32 bikes. Lisa's class is very challenging having gone above the normal 700 calories that I usually burn in RPM Challenge class and having my HRM recording 98% max heart rate and averaging 87% heart rate. That nite alone, i must have burn a total of 1400 calories. Quite surprising for an oldie like me....

The songs selection for RPM31 is quite nice and are as follows:-

RPM 31

Track List

01. I've Been Thinking About You - Londonbeat
02. Turn Me On (Lenny B Mix) - Kevin Lyttle
03. Finally (Classic Club Mix) - Love To Infinity feat. Charlotte Day
04. Speed Of Sound - Coldplay
05. Round And Round - Rhythm Twins
06. Underwater (Above & Beyond's 21st Century Mix) - Delerium
07. Fading Like A Flower (Extended Mix) - Dancing DJs v Roxette
08. Just Feel Better feat. Steven Tyler - Santana
09. Heart Like A Wheel - The Corrs

I don't know what is it about RPM and me, these past few days, I have been shuffling between Menara Axis and Curve repeatedly. To demonstrate my extremeties, even with a window of half an hour between RPM class which ended at 1:00pm, I was out of Axis and at Curve by 1:20 to attend to the next RPM class at 1:30. Sheeshh..was I tired and stressed.

I was feeling a bit tired and down, until just now having to bump into someone I have not seen for ages as I was going out of the car park to go to the bank after my Gym session. That really got my afternoon going again thus making my day and inspire me to post these two new article.

Techies, Sales and Business

Managing Technical people can be tiring. It is currently only challenged by managing Sales Guys. Making these two groups of people communicate with each other can be very laborious.

You have these group of Techies which are characterized by engineer lost in their world of TCP/IP, SIP and MPLS expounding the features of the bits and bytes of the TCP/IP world and how the packets will negotiate etc.

Then you match these with people who are "Hunter/Gatherer" in nature - otherwise known as Sales people, coming back and describing what the customers wants. Not being able to comprehend technological stuff, some of these people's best desciption is generally based on similies. You will get statement like "Can we have a broadband service like Streamyx?". You end up guessing whether are we to provide broadband that has features such as major downtime, unpredictable performance or does he just mean that customers just want always on connection?

I have seen Business managers and Product Development guys/gals have their hair pullout trying to decipher customers needs to match technologies and engineering services capabilities. I wonder how other MNC manages Product and Capability Development Lifecycle?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Reconciliation of Expectation

Had a small outing with a group of Bloggers who had come back for vacation from Hungary and Australia at laundry Bar @ Curve last week. We were also joined by other local bloggers who was there to watch football.

The conversation centered on the gaps between expectation of what we write on our blogs and our true personality. One bloggers has personality that borders bubbly (almost champagne like) and is not apparent from postings on her blog.

It was an interesting nite out, though compared to the young bloggers, I do need to catch up on that thing call sleep. How do these guys sustain these football month and go through the day without sleep. Have they not heard of that concept and is rest even in their vocabulary? I am now also trying to figure out whether there is an invention of eye props.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wedding Reception cum Bloggers gathering

We were at JATT wedding reception. The setting is quaint if not too formal. Unfortunately, rather then focussing on the bride and groom who must have been sweating it out in the waiting room, we were busy having a conference among bloggers who attended that reception.

There seems to be a pattern even to the color and tint of the drinks. The further away you are from the main table, the lighter the color of your drink. Yusmar (Rainforrest Geek) came with his football entourage, Eugene Moore (Halcyon9) became the official photographer, Rosli (Virtual Stupidity) was the official food taster, Khairul Anuar and Billy (Official court jester)


Khairul Anuar and Billy were friends during our hosting of the Bulletin Board Services before Internet came. Furqan Hamid and Nadio (And I say) were there too. Nadio looks fine having recovered from her bout with leukemia.

The bride and groom (with his Nehru suit) was beaming with delight. Its a good nite out.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Learning to use our heart - Journey begins

What is it with geeks like us?

Do techies and geek lack emotions. Do we think too much with our brains than follow the heart? Do we fear expressing ourselves and reveal our emotion choosing to rationalize our feelings for something or even someone?

I have a friend whom I shall call Kerry at this moment. I know her to be a very technical person. I also know her as a person who does not show (or cannot show emotions). But recently, i found out that she has written a novel and is about to publish her novel. Ironically upon being confronted by me, i found that the reason she writes this novel was as an outlet to express herself and record her fantasies in spite of her otherwise solemn and sombre outlook. I am also pleasently surprised that for someone who looks like a porcelin poker face, she writes with passion. She has even confided to me that after putting her ideas on paper, she has recently found new zest in her love life and has rekindle her husbands' fire.

I find this a paradox as I myself find it difficult to express my true feeling and prefers to hide behind a facade of walls whilst projecting an image of rational and calm person. Though I sometimes get caught out by sometime intrusive but cheeky friends, I find this true with almost all geeks I know. Almost all but a few of my friends has spouses that complains their their partners in life is not impetuas enough and does not know how to live it up.

So how do we geeks learn to follow our hearts then our minds and learn to live it a little. How do we learn to show emotions and have fun rather then being and ole and boring "Ned Flanders"?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Aunt Agony to an Aunt Agony

I don't know what is it with me, but I seem to be an Agony Aunt to almost everyone. Hello people, I can't even solve my own sets of problem let alone even try to solve yours. Is it a look thing or is it the cute cuddly figure thing, but I seem to be attracting the wrong sort of people. I appreciate that I look like a father figure and all, but all this listening to challenges and sad stories can sometime bring you down.

You can't help but sometimes get involve with some of the sad stories that gets told to you and the danger is to cross the emotional boundaries. I didn't know that KL had such a collection of disheartened group of people.

Hmmm....where do I go to tell my story?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Week Ahead

The week ahead is going to be reasonabily hectic. I have my monthly Doctor's appointment which I don't normally like to go since I have to do a blood sugar test as I hate needles. I have to send my car and my daughters car for servicing. I have also many meeting to attend and projects to resolve.....arrrgghhh.

On the positive note, I will be attending the reception of JATT (God willing) and some new frens SPA perhaps.

Looking back on the past week, it has been quite an enjoyable and productive week. Made some new frens who are also my new "RPM kaki". We seem to be bumping into each other almost everyday.

I have also found a new song to hum, ironically this one song that I have found really touching was discovered during RPM class. Usually Group Excercise songs tend to be upbeat and motivating in nature, but this song can really bring you to tears if you listen to the lyrics and i find the lyrics ironic when I am trying to cool down after a hectic 850-900 calories burnout. The song by CORRS called "Heart like a Wheel" perhaps brings back many memories.

Towards a challenging week, till then.......

Places I have been - only 10%



create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Saturday, June 10, 2006

So this is what happens behind the scene


I saw that a blogging colleague/ visitor has some interest in photograph/jpg of the Celcom Adverstisement. So I thought I will just put up a few more on how some of the scenes were setuped in the background.


Its amazing what post production can do to an Ad. I suppose this time its all not in your hands but in these footballers legs and hidden strings. With all the actions, it should make an interesting World Cup if these footballers ever get to perform as they did in these Ads.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Body Pump 58 and RPM 31

Its been almost a week since the new release of Body Pump 58 and RPM 31. Since I was away in Penang and Kedah the past weekend, i got back and was eager (read addicted) to try out the new release. My calender routine was as follows:-

Monday - RPM (Ben Sim), RPM (Colin), Body Pump (Swee)
Tuesday - RPM Challenge (Wes), Body Pump (Swee)
Wednesday - RPM Challenge (Wes)
Thurday - Body Pump (Wes), RPM Challenge (Wes).

My thoughts, the new Pump is very fatiguing, by the time you reach Track 8, your shoulder aches likes nobody's business. RPM31 on the other hand has a more consistent buildup and flatter, though its challenging now in Track 3 and 5.


The tracklist of songs for BP58 are as follows:-

BODYPUMP 58

1. I'll Be Your Light - Kristine W
2. Drop Dead Gorgeous - Republica
3. Love Shack - The B-52's
4. Riding On The Wings (Motiv8 Airplay Extended Mix) - Motiv8
5. Let's Get Down - Supafly vs Fishbowl
6. Stand By Me (Original Mix) - Mr. Timothy feat. Inaya Day
7. Breathe - One More Angel
8. Round And Round - BodyRockers
9. Intuition - Jewel
10. You Raise Me Up - Josh Gorban


Give it a try. ;))

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Enigma of Belief , Culture and Religion

I was sitting down to relook at the movie "Sepet" and it is quite interesting how Yasmin has depicted the cultures and family values to quite a Tee in the movie itself.

This suddenly has made me revisit some of my thoughts and observation on the incidences/event which causes uproar recently on the depiction of a caricature of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as oppose to the "so called attack on the Critistian faith" in the Novel and movie DaVinci Code. It is quite interesting on how each society and belief system tackles the two incidences and how the mass media rallies behind each of the incidences.

Closer to home, the recent announcement about "Misyar" or what I term as A different Terms and Condition to a Contract marriage has been brought up (for what ever reasons) and has cause controversy in certain quarters. Ultimately I think it only benefits the agendas of a few while everyone else gets rile up on the semantic and definition of the word instead of the trying to solve the culture that cud be there within the society.

So, are our reactions and values driven by the concoction of our belief systems and can we culturally change this?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I was an Engineer Once - On Basic Design

When I first started working in a Design Department in designing Jetties, Ports and Harbours, my first project was to design a steel girder bridge linking a concrete pontoon. My mentor then was this brilliant Civil Engineer by the name of Ho Khye Gim.

I remember then that I was this hot shot Civil Engineer with proficiency of Structural Analysis and Computers and I was able to analyze and simulate any structural problem in computer matrix (the then computer programme was called Genesys).

All this was thrown out of the window, the moment I submitted my drawing and calculation to my mentor. Before I got back to my office and sat myself down, the phone extension rang, and my mentor had called me back to "discuss" the design problem. I went to this room and he chuckle to me saying that the steel bridge is under design and I shud relook at my calculation. I was flabbergasted as to how did he determine that in the space of 3-4 minutes (from the moment I gave him the drawings to me going back to my cubicle).

He sat me down and explained his hypothesis and simple beam design theory and showed me that if the tensile force calculated had been as such and dividing it by the permissible tensile strength of steel, one will get the cross member area (which happen to be bigger then what I had calculated).

From then on, I learnt the meaning of humbleness, logic and what practical experience meant and never to assume that computers is a solve all technology.
.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Marvelling the X-Men

Got back from Penang tired, having to stand in for my sis in law to drive her car back from Penang. Didn't go to office instead spent my early morning watching X-Men 3 in KLCC. Not being a real fan of the Comic series, I found myself a bit slow trying to follow the plot. I know I do have "A-D-D", but there was a time in the movie where there seems a little lack of continuity for little ole me.

Surprisingly I find the movie touching in some instances, but as usual, I was more entharalled at Kelsey Grammer's (Frasier) role and "surprising" death of some of the cast members. Some scenes I find it endearingly cute and funny. Good morning outing for RM8.
.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

JATT's Wedding

Took a drive up to Alor Setar and right upto Jitra (a few miles north of Alor Setar). An ole friend Shaizar(Jatt) got hitched with a northern girl by the name of Ckin. These are some of my photo record of the event at the bride's house.
It was a hot day, but nevertherless, this small and quaint wedding reception was quite a memorable one.
The food was delicious, or was it because I was hungry ;).
The bride and groom in their splendour

Thank God for 3G, this post is updated via my trusty N70

Penang is Such a Hot Place

I am now in Penang, taking one of my unusual time off (or what people call a holiday). The hotel Copthorne doesn't have a really good Internet Access (or the Business Center charges 6 bucks for half an hour) thus I drove round the corner to Island Plaza to Starbuck to have a cup of coffee for the same price and an hour worth of Internet Access. Check out the Fitness First here, it quite cool though.

Today I may drop in at Jatt's wedding in Alor Setar. Being in Penang is like going to Buckingham Palace to see the "Changing of the guards", except in Penang, it the "Changing of the Road System - Two way here, one way there".

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Looking for Inspiration

These guys are looking for something to fall from the sky or are they looking for inspiration.

Hi Pressure - Low Pressure

Work is just piling up and I don't seem to have enough time to clear it. There does not seem to be enough hours. I don't seem to enjoy my stay at my work place no more.

The only thing that appeases me and reduces my blood pressure is my morning drive to work via the NPE. That is my normal route to work whenever I am late (most of the time). I'll hit Bangsar and Travers by 7:15-7:30 and sometimes I get a glimpse of sight and situation which calms and soothes me and I do find it very calming though I don't know why.

The moment I reached office, everything changes until I hit the gym again......Arggghhhh

Sorry for this stress relieving posting - Nothing better.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Reprogramming DaVinci Code

Curiosity has got the better of me and since I was being handed a couple of free tickets to the movies, I chose to watch The DaVinci Code one afternoon. Having read the book, my objective in watching this movie was to see how the filmaker's translation of the already action packed style of book writing into a movie and how some of the vivid description is brought to life.

Unfortunately, instead of watching the movie and fulfilling my objective, I was lost in scenaries and "location analysing environment" as some of the scenaries brings back many poignant memories of my stay in Paris some years ago. Having being attached to one of the French Government Agencies to promote collaboration, the scenes of a road side cafe and cramp streets (Rue) does bring memories of my challenging times of my attachment in Paris.

However, I do find the movie average (though I have heard others mention that it is not as good as the book) but exciting and I would recommend if you are the type that likes Indiana Jones type of storyline. Some of the facts may be questionable though , but nevertherless it is a good movie to escape to. Throughout the movie, with all the special effects and reconstruction of facts, I was expecting the personnels from CSI team to be around but alas, I suppose all of CSI was already embedded within Tom Hanks' character.

-

Metaphorically Speaking

What if u were told, u have only about 3-6 month to live, how would u have lived the rest of your life.? That was a question post to me. Ironically, the question has so much relevance to what I am facing that it caught me by surprise.

Yeah, how would i live my live now, if u know your days are numbered?

a) Would I live it up and enjoy?
b) Would I just make preparation for the eventualities and take care of people close to me?
c) Would I even disclose this news from my friends and loved ones?
d) Would I fight and look for ways to survive and recover (if it was even in my control)?

Now,these are question that is currently racing through my mind and it seems to be overusing my brain CPU. So many questions, so little time. Ah well, maybe I shud take one day at a time .......................... at this particular moment.;)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hung up on broadband Wireless Technologies

We are sometimes hung upon technologies that comes our way. We also tend to take news about technologies on face values that we tend to be gullible on its claims. Take the example of Wimax and 3 G,there are so much claims on its speed and capabilities that we sometimes fails to examine them in relation to the laws of physics.

To demonstrate this claim in relation to reality, let us look at the claimed performance vis-a-vis to the reality on the ground. The common claim is that WIMAX will be a solve all technology due to its endless performance capabilities in broadband performance. Let us examine this claim in reality.

Limitation of Spectrum (Frequency).
Transmitters using WiMAX usually is deployed at base station to transmit broadcast signal to the end users for broadband usage. To transmit it effectively in a one to many configuration, the base station will be configured to transmit in a sectorial mode. The operators deploying these base stations will choose how many sectors depending on the amount of spectrum resource that is available to them. Normally, in a typical country, these spectrum resource allocated is around 20 Mhz. If the planning calls for 4 sector to cover the 360 degrees coverage, then the spectrum reserved for the deployment maybe 2 (with adjacent sectors using a different frequency). The client set may opt to use a different frequency band for transmitting back to base station, hence effectively u will have 3 frequency band to be allocated within the 20Mhz spectrum.

That will mean roughly per band you can only have 6 Mhz of spectrum. When U have 6 Mhz of spectrum , there is no way u can pump out more then 10 Mbits of bandwidth per band. It just defies the law of physics (at this present moment).

Transmitting Distance
Another myth is that WiMAX can transmit more then 25 km in distance. Generally this is true if and only if, u have a transmitter that has high enough wattage that may fry the birds (or at least causing hazardous health concern - in regulatory speak) coming close to the transmitter and u are only transmitting one way - to a passive reciever.

What most people forget is that if U are just receiving broadcast from the transmitter that maybe OK, but the client system also has to broadcast back to the base station. With current limit of 1 watt at the client devices, there is no way on earth that the client system can transmit back beyond 5 km (or thereabouts) unless using some high gain antenna. That would defeat the idea of portability, wud it.

So people, lets us not go and repeat this story without realizing the fact and reality on the ground.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Which Cartoon character Reflects Your Personality?

We watch TV and Cartoon Programme and though some of us envisage ourselves to be like Wille E Coyote from the Road Runner Show, some of us also see ourselves as Eric Cartman from South Park.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I am being labelled as a Ned Flanders ( a character out of Simpsons). Duh...that is not flattering. Looking around my blogging colleagues, I sometimes wonder who are the Road Runners, Daffy Ducks or even the Homer Simpson in the Blogsphere.?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Broadband Penetration - Reality of the Matter

Everytime I come across an article about Broadband Penetration, I squirm at the statistics being bandied around. We are always trying to benchmark ourselves with neighbours and regional Economic Tigers when we have not really looked at our own statistics and socio-economic determinant in details. The commonly quoted statistics are , "Oh, we have only reached a broadband penetration of 8 to 10%, we need to do more".

What we fail to examine are the followings:-

a) The number of Copper lines laid down by Telekom Malaysia is 4.2 Million Copper lines of which 2.9 million are household. In Telco speak, there are 2.9 million DEL to home users
b) There is 25 Million people in the country of which the average household members are 5, which means that we have roughly 5 Million household in the country.
c) There are 2.5 Million inhabitant in Klang Valley which translate to roughly about 500-600K household (depending whether if we use 4 to 5 members in each household) just in Klang Valley.
d) Based on the copper cables availability and the limitation of household, the maximum possible number of broadband users in Malaysia at this moment is between 2.9 Million and 4.2 Million subscribers (assuming everyone is a Broadband freak)
e) When TMnet claims that they already have 600K subscribers, my immediate take of it wud be that half of that is from the Klang Valley. (Which in turn translate to almost 50% of the Klang Valley market). The other half have other forms of livelihood that may not require them to pay RM88 per month and willing to settle for RM20 just for dialups.

For all U know, the market for broadband in Klang Valley and almost everyone has an internet account in sofar as Klang Valley resident is concern and the broadband market in Klang Valley is already saturated and not there anymore.

Now if U look at neighboring countries statistics, the population profile is different and the household ratio is different. Singapore (a nation state) may have a population of 4 Million people and household population ratio of 2.3 to a household. This translate to 1.73 Million household. Their DEL (copper lines) is approximately 1.8 Million which means every household has a phone and almost every household has broadband. Even if they have 1.5 Million broadband subscribers, their statistics will look much better then ours in terms of penetration and reach.

I think we need to check and conduct logical arithmetics to review what ever statistics that we hope to claim to promote Broadband.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tribute to iPOD Jockey (new Roman Drummasters)

Remember watching those old movies, like Jason and the Argonauts or one of those Burt Lancaster movies where he is a slave in a ship galley, whipped up by those Roman to row their big ship. You kinda get the feeling of sorrowness and despair for these slaves. Back in modern times, i sometimes felt the same feeling when going to the Group excercise in the Gym, though I know its good for me, but halfway thru, you get this feeling of tiredness and exhaustion. But then again I must comment that those "Roman Drummaster" Gym Instructor are doing an excellent job motivating you to finish and get through the class.

I felt that I owe a bit to these Instructors and their words of motivation especially when they try to sing along on some of the songs. I also term these instructors as iPOD Jockeys though some can sing better then others. One of the most demanding instructor but a great motivator is Wes especially when he belts out wording such as "..we have no fear" from the Song Track Olympia while doing BodyPump.

Another of his other favourite tracks will be a song from the group Garbage called "Push it" which he likes to go over the the lyrics in both Pump or RPM classes which goes something like this " ...this is the noise that keeps me awake, my head explodes and my body aches..." Kinda comical , I thought.

When you particpate in his RPM Challenge class, he dishes out this song called "Why" by DJ Sammy and rhetorically asked us why are we doing this?? Kinda challenging ur mind, doesn't it?

Another instructor Peter has different approach being slightly humourous in his framework but particular in techniques as he belts out command from stage if you get it wrong. One of the tracks that he commonly plays is "From Paris to Berlin (Pumping For Love) by Infernal" as this song is very raunchy and gets you up when you are trying to Pump 15 to 20 kilos continously for more then 5 minutes. The lyrics that he keep us motivated is something like this ".... Patience is a game, ...."

Other enjoyable song in his class will be "Pump it up" by danzel and "Pump It" by Black Eye Pea" more so for his on stage improvisation techniques ;)

My favourite song that motivates me to Pump is actually a song called "Come to me by Tina Cousins". I am not sure what motivates me in this song, whether is it because of its strongs synth bass lines or the sultry voice of Tina Cousins or when it was first introduced in Pump, it was demonstrated by a Drummaster,Instructor Wenisa.

Of course these are some of the instructors that has been highligted though there are other iPOD Jockeys such as Swee, Wayne, Herny, Collin and Chloe. Particpate in their class and see how they motivate U .......

Monday, May 01, 2006

Things are not necessary what it seems

When will our service industry get their processes right? Imagine, when you have people queueing inline for 20 minutes to pay for ones parking ticket, you are stopped by the attendent just as you reached the machine,who wants to service or collect the coins in the parking collection box. Shouldn't you informed the queue that this particular lane will be closed and the people shud carry on the queue in another machine to avoid disgust looks by the patron. This happens at one of the so called renowned shopping complex the KLCC.

I don't know what three quarters the crowd at KLCC do but walk there aimlessly on Sundays blocking the other quarter from reaching their destination. The moment I got off the car park to go to Best Denki and Sports Station, I had to follow people who were walking ever so slowly, aimlessly and seems without purpose, which really cheeses me off. I don't mind the family and the kids, but middle aged person walking around blurred....Come on, get some direction.

I also nearly bump into two "pondans", who happen to have the shapeliest bodies I have seen (even compared to some girls I know). They were looking around for the toilet and the moment they open their mouth, I knew this was no girl. My only predicament in showing them the toilet was whether I had made a right choice of pointing them to the "ladies". But I suppose, had I given the wrong answer, I would have been greeted with a slap in the face. So I bid my exit ever so quickly and silently.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Close of Week (CoW) Rambling

Phone rang at 12:50, my moTher needed a driver to IpoH as my grand aunt passed away. Usually, I would be very hesIStant and especIally on a wedneSday afternoon (normAlly we have management meeting on thiS day). No, Today I packEd my thinGs, told my boss thAt I have to take half day eMergency lEave and away I went back to DamanSara to pick my mom and Sister.

We left PJ At about 1:55 pm and reached ipoh about 3:35 pm, with all the rain between TanjunG Malim and Bidor, I thot I made Good timE to reach Ipoh. The surprise is that I was awake and lively all the way (especially for those who knows me) rather then passing out or feeling sleepy round about afternoon. What with two police car tailing behind with lights flashing - but they didn't stop me though. What was even more of a surprise to me, was that I was ready to drive back at about 5:00 pm back to PJ. We reached PJ after making a brief stop in Tanjung Malim to relieve outselves.

The next surprise was that I had the cheek to drop my mom and sister of and left for the Curve to catch my usual RPM Gym class. I was not feeling tired from all this activities. I was thinking to myself this morning, hmmmm...this is an interesting testimonial to excercise.

I am also using this posting to test a message within a message.
Oh, another thing, before I forget, don't miss the event....

At 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1 in the morning of 4th of May this year...... we'll get....

01:02.03 04/05/06...

never to be repeated in your lifetime!



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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Song Lyrics that bothers me

I guess I have reached the ultimate low for this month, when I am starting to quote lyrics of Song. But I have not heard nor really listen to the actual meaning of this lyrics until one of the radio station played it this morning. The Song is "Eye in the Sky" by Alan Parsons;


Don’t think sorry’s easily said
Don’t try turning tables instead
You’ve taken lots of chances before
But I’m not gonna give anymore
Don’t ask me
That’s how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
Don’t let the fire rush to your head
I’ve heard the accusation before
And I ain’t gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

Chorus:
I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind

Don’t leave false illusions behind
Don’t cry cause I ain’t changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving


I need to switch station in more ways then one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

History of Computing - Lesson Learnt

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. The thing I remembered out of this was, that I bought it from the shelf of a Magazine shop called WHSmith in 1979. I also picked up a magazine and learnt programming in order to use this Sinclair. This was my first encounter with the Programming world. I also remembered that 1K or RAM is not much becoz, as I was typing the listing in, the cursor sort of didn't want to move further.

My Second computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. This came with a 48K RAM (Whoooohh, lotsa RAM at that time - mind U this is a 8 bit machine), and there are lotsa of listing of games. I learnt to create characters out of block figures and it was also my first introduction to gaming. Sprite was only available on "higher"end computers like the ATARI. I think the rubber keyboard gave away within 6 month.

I later "upgraded" to a BBC Micro with 32 K RAM because it was suppose to have a more "superior" BASIC which had structured Procedure calls. This was my first serious Computer as it had Disc Drives as opposed to the Sinclair which depended on Audio Tape Cassettes for Storage ;)

Early on in my working career, I then moved on from desktop computers to Minis and Mainframes. This was my first encounter with Prime Computers and Fortran. I need to learn Fortran to run simulation and analysis on engineering problems. As the programme were run on "batches" (phantom mode), I kinda picked up cracking at this stage as I needed a Super User ID. I used to leave simulated "Login screen" created with CPL scripts just to capture Admin password. The other thing that I picked up during this time is programming dicipline. I had a mentor who had a ruler beside his monitor screen to unsure that the Subroutines and Return statements were aligned for ease of debugging.

My annoyance with the IBM Mainframe and the costly price required to upgrade the DASD (Disk Drive to you and me), drove me to revamp the IT Division to use Novell. This upgrade saves the organization half a million Ringgit. I also remember the stress in trying to churn out application within 3 month, till I discovered a neat 4GL application Builder called Clarion. I was churning out simple apps at the rate of 2 for every week.

Tinkering with the PC, I got wise to its memory management at that time, trying to squeeze every bit of available memory in order to fit the Fat Novell Client. I also saw the war between the Emm386 and XMS386. It was also at this time I picked up assembly language trying to make use of the extended memory area of the PC. I was and still am continously amazed at a programme called Sidekick, (which had a calculator, notepad and a few other utilities) all written under 48K and fits nicely inside a memory space just above the 640.

My most memorable time was the availability of Tools made by this brilliant guy called Peter Norton. I survived and live by his Diskedit and DiskTools having to use it dwell into File Allocation Table and copy protection at that time.

It was also this time that I got myself my next computer which was a PC with 386@33Mhz/387 Co processor and with 8 Mbyte RAM(woooohhhh and Ahhhh) becoz I needed to run AutoCAD. That did not last long as Intel had immediately launch the 486 Chip which revolutionizes computing as we know it. RAMS got bigger and cheaper, programmes got fatter and more complex. The change of pace and rate of change also kill my appetite in chasing technology in so far as keeping up with the Super Chips for my Desktop/Notebook resource. It is also during this time a ran a Bulletin Board and later discovered the Internet.

I remember the Internet nearly drove my life to the ground. I live, eat , sleep on the Net. I also remember stalking and tracing someone on the net at 3 am, while emailing to and from with an acquaintance by the name of MAL (Dr Mohamed Awang Lah).

Looking back, it has been a memorable 27 years of history with the Computers. So much lessons, so little time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hectic - Hectic - Hectic

This weekend has been a hectic one for me. For someone who is fairly quite unorganized (though the sequence of event looks organized), there seems to be a flurry of activities but it was more out of necessity of trying to fill the time up rather then really in a busy situation.

My Sunday morning began with my sending the wifey of to KLIA. She has to go to Brunei for a week on conference (yooo-hoo leading to a Huuuuhuuuu). She also chose the opportune time to tell me that her car was due for service. Trying to be an obedient husband, sent the car duly to her normal garage.

While waiting for the car, being bored, got back to the house to pick my car up for a spin, and for breakfast. Lo and behold, a nail decided to crash into my car tyre and causes it to be flat. Not to be outdone by the nail, took the car to the nearest tyre shop to have both front tyres changed. Funny that a set of car tyres cost the same as your "Nike" that you use in the Gym (I thought to myself)

After sending back my car, went around to pick up my wifes' car which nearly emptied my pocket. That nearly finished half my day. Got out immediately at about 1 pm to rush for my Gym class in KL, when I bumped into a traffic jam which totally cheeses me off. The cause is a broken traffic light near Subang Jaya. I do not mind that it hasn't been fixed for a day or two, but 4 days. This is utterly ridiculous. I am lucky that I cross that traffic light early morning at 6 am normally, but on Sunday at 1 pm, the tailback was horrendous.

While on the subject of Traffic Lights Management, I don't understand the apportionment of time given to the traffic signals. What is the objective of giving more time to the flow, when there is not flow in the first place. In the morning, traffic is outbound from Subang Jaya to KL, why are there more time given to lights coming into Subang Jaya?

On the subject of road design, why are there negative camber design at the exit of Subang Jaya to Federal Highway. This is a bad Design Flaw which can cause car to skid coming out of Subang Jaya. Don't all these design get vetted prior to approval??

Participated in my normal Body Pump class. Tried to participate in Body Jam, Conclusion - Geeks like me have no rhythm. I am out of synch most of the time and the pace is too fast. By the time got back from the Gym, (luckily Menara AXIS Gym was closed due to power outage) was so darned tired, dropped by the Mamak's stall to have late lunch/early dinner. Was nearly asleep at the table and struggle myself back to home by 6:30pm. God , that was one tiring Sunday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Six Month Poetry of Life

In trying to Celebrate my 6 month on the Net, I thought I might want to look back at what had inspired me for the last half year and though how yucky it can be, relook at some of my sentimentalist poems.

a) The month that I discovered that my fren JATT had leukemia. I wrote this as a dedication to him ( Poem for a Fren)
b) I was introduced to new frens and my admiration to their skills (programming and other talents) and how they had given me social support. (Celebrating Friendship)
c) My bump into the Security Specialist Space - Formal and Informal Training/Certification (Ode to Security Specialist)
d) A heart wrenching moment to see my close friend fell out of love (Scarred Tissue)
e) End of the Gregorian Calender, Christmas is approaching - Looking forward to the Holidays (Christmas Carol)
f) Managing mood swing, a reminder to me (Moods)
g) Reflecting on 2005 - Moving forward (2005 in Reflection)
h) The daily sacrifices that we go thru, Celebrating Aidil Adha - We all have our "Korbans". (Korban)
i) An observing friend - a lonely fren who is now about to change her Life (Lonely)
j) A reminder and motivating poem for me to excercise (Journey Towards Health)

I hope in my next six month, I don't write this kinda of yucky and monotonous poems anymore.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Weekend Rambling - Boys and their Toys


Sometimes offers comes at a time when you don't really have cash to spare,but becoz of "nafsu", you just can't pass a good offer. I got a pair of these for a scream of a sum (almost 40% of market price). Not wanting to enjoysuffer alone, I tried to coax close frens to enjoy suffer collaboratively,by smsing them the offer. there were no takers, hence I got myself two phones, one Nokia N70 and the other being the cheaper model, the 6680.

The excuse I gave myself, testing out 3 G service from two major Cellular provider - yeah right. Who am I kidding.

This weekend also was the day I paid my specialist Doctor a visit. The good news is that my glucose level has subsided and my blood pressure is only marginal. The doctor was quite surprised at the results. He took me off the Reductil and just ask me to continue with the Glucophage.

Also went to Starbuck/Borders to catch up on frens after which I drop by PC Fair in my attempt to buy my notebook. All I got to see were the back of peoples head for half an hour. That was one disapointing PC Fair, which puts me off buying my replacement notebook - AGAIN.

All in all, it was a mix weekend, some joyous moment and some not so interesting events. Looking forward to next week.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Correspondingly Tagged - Sil Vous Plait

Aiyah...I was tagged by Nadio to fill up this school related questionaire. It is not that I feel reluctant to do it out of laziness, it is just that I cannot remember my time in school. It has been that long - more then 25 years ago that I can't even remember how my teachers look like. However, in respecting her wishes, below is my feeble attempt to fill up what ever I could muster out of my deranged nuerons during my school life.

How many school did you go to?

3 ,
Standard 1 to standard 4 (Sekolah Iskandar Alor Setar),
Standard 5 to Form 5 (St Michael Ipoh) and
Form 6 (Bukit Bintang Boys School PJ).

If you include Llandrillo Technical Collegue, North Wales for A-Levels, that will be 4. Did my Degree in University Collegue of Swansea, South Wales, UK.

Was I a studious nerd or last minute hero?

I was a studious nerd up until Form 3. I then discovered Tae Kwan Do, Tennis and Tuition Study Group ;). After Form 3,my moto is, "Keep a cool head.What ever you learn, with a cool head, you will outperform other stressed out class mate - or so I try to tell myself". I also depended on funny systems to memorize what I learn (eg - bone in Hand is called Humerus - as it starts with H and Femur s for Feet etc , in history - I just memorized one date 1511, then add 130 for end of Portugese rule and 1641 and add 150 for 1791 end of Dutch Rule etc)

In university, i was a last minute hero. I had hoped to fail the final year, playing hookie 75% of the time, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I passed with a General Degree.

Was I a taiko or a teachers pet?

I was neither, having to choose to sit in middle of class room, bland and inconspicous. I was a follower rather then a leader, very shy and always getting into trouble and getting caught by discipline teachers for being mischevious and getting caught out for not knowing how to lie. In fact in Bukit Bintang Boys School, I was frequently ragged ie having to propose to dustbins and flagpoles.

Best 3 subject

Math (Modern and Add) - I also had to become teachers tutor (Mr Wilson) to teach other A-Level student (other Mat Salleh and Iranian Student)
Chemistry (had a chemistry Lab in the house compliment of my late father)
Physics (Though how I hate Applied Mechanics and memorizing all the equations)

3 Teachers I remember most.

Miss Josephine Wong (English Teacher and Miss Malaysia) - I can't remember what I learn in her classes. All I remember of her was her signature, that has a prominent "W" in Wong. We used to add two additional dots to the "W".

Miss Ho (Math Teacher) - Teacher who gave us sneak peak into adulthood and can sometimes forget/careless that wearing short skirt and reaching or trying to write sentences on the top of the blackboard is a no-no.

Mr Ung Khek Chow (my Math tuition Teacher) - always featured in LAT's cartoon and a mean stomach pincher. He taught me the meaning of doing Math on the fly. Under his tutorship, I not only learnt how to solve Maths problem quickly, but I could solve it in many ways and in the fastest time - lest I wanted a black belt in my stomach.

Ok...cukup le tu....don't wanna prolong suffering on others, hence I won't tag anyone. ;) Gotta watch TV now.
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