Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crocodile? Where?!?

"Tadi ada boya seekor timbul", The uncle gestured as i nonchantly asked him before going into the small sampan with him at work today.

"Ee-Van, becareful, there was a baby crocodile in the lagoon 2 years ago", my colleague's voice suddenly echoed in my ears.

Gosh, by now, it should be some mama croc.

Croc playground

I had to collect some samples today in the lagoon at a few selected places and marked them on the GPS.Specifically i had to take water at high tide and at low tide. I have a 3 hours window to do both of the task.

Come out and play mr croc!

At high tide, the max depth that we measured was at 8feet. At low tide, it was 2.5feet at one portion, and yes, i had my eyes shuffling between taking the samples, which must be taken at 0.5m below water level (ack!! put hand in water???)

Football with Crocs, anyone?

The weather was super dry and super hot today. I drank almost 3 liters of water and was soaked in sweat. I think i walked a total of 10km today to and fro the landed sample points (10 points) and carrying like bucketful of bottles and vials for lab work.

And glad to be with my limbs attached, still

It really doesn't help as the Borneo's paper reported yet anohter man losing his ear to some croc.

Man Attacked by Croc

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miri : Everly - Almost Airport - Everly : 16KM

Yesterday, I went for the run as per planned.

The short hill to Tg Lobang, harder climb on the way back

Route : Everly – Tanjong Lobang – Luak Bay – Kampung Lutus – Jalan Aru – back via same way.

Estimated distance : 16km (drove the car to double check) total.

Time: 1:31:00

estatic, happy, contended

The run started very well. Never felt stronger. Managed to maintain the pace for the first 5km and then my right foot instep doesn’t feel right. Took off my shoe and it was very well a blister forming. My fault for not wearing any socks!

“Pain is a state of mind”, I told myself.

“Carry on with the run, you wanted this”, my mind told my legs.

Blister forming

My initial plan was to run to Miri Airport from Everly Hotel. Zabil gave me the direction. But because I was running on the opposite site of the road, I totally missed the turning, which was Jalan Luak Bay.

I ran on forward until I saw a signboard that says ‘Airport’. Turned left after passing Miri Port Club House.

Jalan Aru - Last signboard for “AIRPORT”

I am still awed by those huge houses/bungalows/mansions along the road, some have 10 feet brick wall of at least 150meters long. Don’t get me started with the road that leads into the house building as I suspect it most probably has it’s own road name! Heck, one of the house on the hill even have a helipad!

If Yip’s here, he would had attempted to run from Miri to Bintulu

I ran along (what I found out later) to be Jalan Aru and reached a left turn which then leads to some shophouses with one seafood restaurant. That was the last AIRPORT signboard.

I did not proceed further than that as by then, I certify myself to had taken the wrong road to the Airport. Not helping with my right instep’s blister getting bigger.

Some string knots caused the blister

So, I turned back and head back. Stopped at one of the mini mart to get a drink and asked the local which is the road to the airport. She told me to either take the Luak Bay road (which by then, I knew I taken the wrong turn, confirmed!) or the Holiday Inn way (ie the road I took).

I decided to run back after that, it was already almost 11.30am and the heat is as bad as 12pm in Peninsular.

I’m quite happy with the run, despite the short lived hope of running to the airport and back, must remember to wear socks in the next run.

The stats as per pic below

Not too bad for 16km run with blister and hot sun

Immediately after the run, I went for a 30minutes swim. Managed to correct my breathing technique and be more conscious about my head position as I draw air into the lungs. Must train more of the swimming and I believe I would be able to swim 1.5km of freestyle soon.

blister burst, about 5 sen size

Oh ya, I found this t shirt in Miri town. Decided to do some walking in the city and visited a few shopping malls. But this T shirt was found in one of the small old fashion store.

I Bike, Therefore I Am

I even found I proper balaclava, RM4.90, at least the store keeper did not ask me if my intention is to rob some banks.


Now I don’t need to fear those mosquitoes buzzing and biting me at work.

Oh ya, this is my current MUST HAVE for dinner. Mideen as the local calls them, it's essentially young fern shoots. Delicious! Crunchy


Sunday, September 23, 2007

One Week In Miri/Brunei

Some random pics i snapped today at work. Yes, the people in Brunei works full day on a Saturday.

My lunch

Some contractor repairing the crusher run access road

Barricades for extra safety for working by the access road

Will be back to Brunei on Monday, meanwhile, i'll just rest as much as i running, swimming and gym-ing tomorrow!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Best 1155Kcal ever

It was great to be able to run today. Nevermind it gets dark in Miri too early and too soon. I managed a decent +/-10km run this evening.

Route: Everly Hotel - RTM uphill - Park in front of Bus Station - Run 5 loops x 400meters - RTM staircases - Marriot Hotel - Everly Hotel.!

And that is how much i miss training!

I've been swimming in the hotel's peanut shaped pool for 3 times this week, surprisingly big pool infact, should be a decent 40meters one lap. Been clocking in 30minutes of non stop freestyle.

Here is the STAT. THE STAT!!!

The Motherfreaking Stat!!!!

I ran to the beach next to Marriot and here is some pics.

Miss me?

Yes, i damn miss running!

Here is a pic of the sunset, with the different hue in the to blue. :)

And here is one with the daunting South China Sea with half a meter high waves constantly!

Yes, i did wanted to swim in the water!

I will run the hill towards Miri Airport tomorrow morning and swim in the Afternoon and perhaps Gym in the evening? Something only people with the same mind like me would understand why i'm doing this instead of vegetating in the room!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I was happily minding my own business at work today and as usual, uses the latex surgical glove to collect some samples, so after each usage, i usually dispose it off. After disposing 3 pairs and threw it on the ground, left the gloves for 5 minutes and it was swarmed with fire ants or kerengga.

Vicious. I had my hair standing on their ends, just imagining how it would be my fingers that they are happily biting, and not letting go off.



Seriously, they don't scares you? How about this up close pic?


Then two of them decided to teach me a thing or two about romance.


I damn miss home. Ryan is up to everything at home and i'm not there to see him.

Sigh. That to me, is more painful that the bite of the kerengga.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lost : In Brunei

Remember Lost : The series. Remember the tree where everyone always run to hide from the black cloudy monster?

I found one of the tree here in Brunei. It's actually known as Pokok Ara. It has roots growing from it's branches, which essentially, once it touch the ground, will be another extension of the tree itself. See to believe.

eerie looking, but at the same time, majestic

As you can see, the trees you see is not a plural tree, but a singular tree! It has like 1001 branches which branches out as roots as well.

all togehter now...waaaaaaaa

And as i go around the tree to do a Step Back 5X5 (Take 5 steps back and think for 5 minutes, before, during and after working) to evaluate the possible hazard, i saw 3 cups, filled with either black coffee or stout arranged in such a way like it's for prayer...and there was 3 jossticks and 2 candles with one plate of offering at one corner of the tree, nearest to where we are supposed to do our hole boring.

How la?

I did the most sensible thing any chinese boy would do...walk to the makeshift altar and spoke in my heart that i am asking for permission to do work, and meant no harm, and asked to be excused as i'm a naive young boy in this world.

strong men from west timor

This tree provide excellent shade for the work to be done today. But i had to bear with the mosquitoes and insects that came swarming like no tomorrow.

best friend in the world

And i figured out since i can't fight the millions of mosquitoes coming to suck me dry, the least i could try to do is to cover myself up as much as possible. So, i took out my t shirt and convert it into a makeshift balaclava.

Nola, not even close to the pic above, i looked silly, as with the pic below.

clashes of colours to make wifey blushes

It was hot and dry today in Brunei and Miri, I finished 3 liters of water just like that.

The next picture reminds me how much i miss Ryan and wifey. It's the same nest we found yesterday, this time, the mummy bird is back and busy tending to her eggs.

Look who's home!

Went for a swim at the hotel pool. It is bigger than what i expected it to be. Finally managed to breathe on both side. Yish gave me a few tips and now i could do a two beat kick and breath every 3rd hand movement on both side. Freestyle never felt this enjoyable before. I pledge to run by this weekend, for at least an hour. I hope. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ryan's 10th Month

Today is Ryan's 10th month.


You have to agree with me. He is damn good looking, isn't it?

And i damn kaw chiak lat miss him.

Times really flies by slowly and he really grows up faster when you are not seeing him on a daily basis.

Thunderstorm in Miri

Woke up to a nasty thunderstorm this morning.

The trees looked like it's gonna take off

It was just 6.30am in the morning and it's bright and it's scary.

Luckily some of my laundry which i did the nite before wasn't wet.

So, work started late today; strict policy of working in bad weather.

And it ended late. I was dead tired by the time i reached the hotel.

Here is some pics i thought would be worthy to be shared with all of you.

Quail eggs, or lookalike"

If i had the Adverlet's badge, i'm sure this will bag me anohter RM50....LOL...but alas, i don't have the badge, or the stickers...anyway, we left this nest undisturbed, it was lying on the ground, admist spider the size of 50 sens, which looked like some baby tarantulas. No sightings of snakes as yet, or crocodile as per claimed by my colleague which was here about 2 years ago.

The rain this morning hit Brunei at about 9.30am and this is what all of us have to deal with at work.

Thank goodness for PCK boots, but mine better, it has steel toe cap

Lets hope tomorrow has better weather and more work could be finished/done.

Zabil emailed me some good stuff about Miri and tomorrow, if time permits, i will run the route he told me. Looks like my training will resume in almost full swing soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Updates! Updates!

Ironically, i get to update the blog only when i'm away this time around.

The new job has been a spin. Here is a quick round up of where i've been missing.

Week 1 : Monday was in the office, then Tuesday to Thursday was sent to a refinery in PD for Groundwater Monitoring Exercise (GME). Friday back to office only to be told that i will be taking the first flight to Penang on Monday.

at PD Refinery with Basic PPE or Personal Protective Equipments

Week 2 : Monday Penang, Tuesday was sent to Melaka for a NIOSH safety induction course with colleagues. Wednesday to Thursday was in office for sessions of Permit To Work (PTW) courses to work in one of the Oil and Gas Refinery in Terengganu.The course comes complete with assesments and test. I passed. Friday was Merdeka holiday, which i was more than thankful for. That was of course, before the Boss told me i will be heading to Lahat and Kampung Gajah next week.

Week 3: I was tasked to go with my colleague, Albert to Lahat in Ipoh for a Enviromental Site Assessment (ESA) exercise. Albert is from Phillipines and taught me a few things or two when it comes to work. I'm green hat what.I was in Ipoh on Monday till wednesday, then from Wednesday till Saturday in Kampung Gajah. If you have to ask me where Kampung Gajah is, then, don't worry, i do not know either. I had to buy a map of Perak to find out.

Week 4: Monday and Tuesday in office was spent organising and reading up on the next week's work. Brunei for ESA and GME. After that, i paired up with Albert again on Wednesday till Friday, this time, to Sitiawan to conduct a ESA and back to Lahat and Kg.Gajah for GME. So, it was Sitiawan on Wednesday and Thursday, then right after that, we drove up to Ipoh for the Lahat work and the next day, drove down to kg Gajah to finish off the GME and back in office by 5pm...and managed to get some work done before heading to Brunei next week.

At the 72 years old station in Sitiawan

Ground water...ground water!!!

Week 5: Hardly 2 days of rest, i found myself taking the last flight out of LCCT to Miri. Lets face it, i'm from Ulu Kelang and i stood up to it's name when i saw immigration counter at Miri Airport. The ULU me took out my passport....hahahahahahaha! and the rest as they say, is history.

Ulu Stupe

I will be here in Miri, travelling daily to Seria in Brunei for ESA and GME with another colleague, not sure when i can get back and it's only the second day and i'm missing my kid and wife already. I think i wasn't away from them since Explorace. Loads of adjusting.

I'm staying in the old Holiday Inn, which is now called Everly Hotel. The room is not bad, sea facing and huge and it has a king size bed, JUST like home...minus wifey and Ryan of course. :(

The room

The View

The Sunset

And here is some pics from work. The site i'm in in Brunei is basically a secondary jungle. So, expect snake, bees, creepy crawlies and loads of mozzies. Thank goodness i'm an ex RMC boy.

This time in bright yellow coveralls, only BND22, it will cost RM250 in KL!

Don't laugh at the green hat, i had to wear it as it's the policy of the OGT here, that new comer to the site need to hat.

These mean men is from Flores, Nice chaps and damn hardworking

From the pics above, you get the rough idea how my work condition is like. I have to collect soil sample and this hole was dug up to 5meters deep. Thanks to these guys in green hat. They aren't new, they just wear the green hat because they have no budget to buy new ones.

This is my senior, he has been here for the past 2 months, and he is fasting, salute!"

Oh ya, i got my second cheque from Advertlets and i'm one of the winner for the RM50 Sticker contest. :) Thank You Advertlets, for being my Cash Cow, really! :) Now more funds are going in to the Stupe's IronMan dream challenge. :)

So, there you go, updates of what's happening in my life for the past 1 month. rest assured, i still managed to squeeze in some time for swim and run. Biking on hold for now, it's too troublesome to lug around the bike, but running gears are simple and light! My only time to trian for run and all is only during the weekend, lets see if i could manage to run from the Hotel to middle of nowhere in Miri this weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bt 18 - Tekala

On Merdeka weekend, when half the world was doing the Interstates ride, i went riding with Shazly and Kam. A so called recovery ride after Desaru tri.

Sofian too, came along, but because he is of a different species, he did Genting Peres and was supposed to meet us at Tekala.

I was riding Shazly's Colnago Dream as the bike was slightly bigger for Kam, so, Kam was on my Colnago and i was on Shazly's Colnago.

Somehow, the sentence above doesn't sound too straight! LOL!

Here are some pics taken during the ride, Thanks Kam!

Backside view

3 stooges


Makan time!

Return time!

On Colnago Dream...and just dreaming on riding it for good...

Kam loves to take backside pics...

I wonder when i will ride again...