Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leng Lui Spotted

Tell Me she ain't pretty and i will not post her pic in my blog anymore.

At 5.5months old, standing at 65cm tall and weighing a slim 7.65kg, She is non other than my lovely daughter.

She is ultra cheerful and i am starting to take downpayment now for potential suitors.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday DU - Putrajaya Lone Express

Start time : 0600
End time : 0900
Total bike time : 2:45
Total distance : 79.5km
Ave Speed to Putrajaya : 28.3km/h
Ave Speed Total : 28.6km/h
Max Speed : 63.4km/h

Decided to do my own solo ride. It was between Damansara Utama (DU) to Genting Sempah and back or Damansara Utama to Putrajaya KLIA toll and back. I reckon i should be able to get about 70km.

That would beat me going around DU-Hartamas-Kepong 4 times to get the same distance.

Initial ride were supposed to start at 5am. But Ryan woke up and i felt bad just leaving wifey to tend to him. He can be very demanding when he wakes up at those ungodly hours.

I only managed to leave by 0600 and headed towards SPRINT highway and subsequently to Kerinchi Link. I cycled a short distance through Federal Highway before going into the East-West link (that would be Fed Highway to Cheras). I entered E20 (Putrajaya Highway) at Exit 2202 after the SMART tunnel entrance from Cheras.

My initial worry of not finding the entry of this highway kinda puts me off a bit and that was the reason why i considered Genting Sempah. But at those hours, Genting Sempah would be totally pitch black and won't be any fun either. (Hats off to Heckler, who pedal through this portion at 0630 for his 90km bike ride to Janda Baik).

So, between total darkness (and possibly bumping into things that only comes out at night/early morning) and uncertainties of finding the entrance to Putrajaya Highway, i took the Putrajaya option.

As expected, this route has enough flat, climb and downhill almost similiar to the undulating Langkawi Ironman route.

I took the opportunity to fine tune The Devil a bit. Raised the aerobar angle before the ride and fine tune it midway at the toll plaza.

Too Steep, not compfy and had to reach out further

It was almost magic when the ride suddenly became so comfy and i stayed aero throughout my ride, except stopping at traffic lights and climbing really steep route. Previously, i had the bar too flat, resulting in me stretching a bit further and puttinf strain on the shoulder. Yesterday's experiment goes to show that minor adjustment would do wonder.

First 35km average speed

Whole 79.5km average speed

Maybe that explained the faster overall average? Usually, average speed will decline over time as you get more tired. But yesterday's trip was a surprise as i managed a much better average then when i was fresher and stronger.

I also turned the left shoe cleat in a bit, allowing my left foot's toe to point slightly more inwards towards the pedal. I think i managed to correct some biomechanic of my riding with that adjustment as well. It felt more comfy and i definately feel i had more juices left in the remaining of the ride.

I did not see anyone taking on this route yesterday. The weather was great. The sun was friendly (meaning warm to hot , but not so badly burned). The traffic was low (except on the return journey when passing Taman Desa and Federal Highway to Section 17 PJ). Only setback was this one particular chap that i supposed was one of the off duty highway authority that keep asking me to get off the highway. At one point, i was worried he will rob me and i was ready to pounce on him and give him one flying kick. He was seen with the highway patrol at the toll plaza, that was why i deduce that he was one of them.

Other than that, the ride was great. I will certainly do it again. If i cycle from Shazly's place, it was only a 6km distance more, which i could easily made it up by cycling pass Hartamas, instead of going thorough Section 17.

And doing it alone was sort of nice too, since there won't be any chances of me cycling with someone in the IM race.

Do it again factor? Very High. Just need to wake up earlier to finish on time to get to work by 0830.

Belated Birthday Celebration

The thing about my wife is that she tends to surprise me most of the time. She puts in a lot of thoughts into everything and although she tend to over-analyse at times, she has never failed to amaze me.

She threw a "almost" suprise party for Ryan. And because my birthday wasn't very far off, she decided to incorporate that in as well.

She organised the buffet lunch and catering. She took care of the inviting (mostly families). She ordered the cakes (yes, that is plural, not a grammatical error).

Here is the cake she gotten for Ryan.

Her instruction was "make it colourful, and skip the pink"

It was a big suprise, isn't it? The cake itself was almost a work of art. It was pre-cut and decorated one piece by one piece.

She then ask me if i am ready for my cake.

All she told the woman was "please include Swim, Bike and Run".

Well, technically she got the bike wrong, but the whole concept was nothing less than perfect.

The event went well, as expected. Everyone were there to catch up. The gifts were nothing short of great. Ryan was in love with some of the item - the tricyle and a pair of Crocs in Tigger print, which he wore to sleep that night (we did not wear it for him, he slip it in himself).

As for me, some of the gifts are already put into good use when i went cycling yesterday.

Thank you all for coming. Thank you wifey, for organising such party. You are nothing short of being simply amazing.

And i know you know that.

Love ya!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Malaysia Got New Flag

Got this from a friend, and it is in today's Utusan Online.

As it is in Utusan Online 20th November 2008

Someone is definately sleeping...or we have some new flag design we aren't aware of!

Ryan's Birthday Celebration

My boy turned 2 years old on 18th, as you all know. Wifey took him out for some free and easy at the local mall.

Gave him all the chances and freedom to ride any kiddy ride he ever wanted.

And we were disappointed as he did not show any interest in any of those rides! (phew!).

We went for a dinner at RSC and i was surprised to see my mum eating more than she usually does.

We then adjourned back home and wifey bought Ryan one birthday jelly cake.

And it is like he knows it is his cake, he stood up on chair, i lighted the candle and he was like so excited.

We sang Happy Birthday and he was like clapping and singing along and he then blew out the candles.

I can't help it but to light it up again and sing him anohter round and he blow them off again.

It is such joy to see your own son doing that, really.

And did Nadia got jealous?

Of course not, she can't stop laughing looking at the brother!

Love you both!

Self-Cleaning Toilet Seat

This was installed in my company's office in Milan. Yes, i know, I am damn kaw Jakun!

Could this be indeed, the answer for women to spend less time lining their toilet seat in public toilet???

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Ryan Boy

You know despite your naughtiness. Despite you doing what you are doing. Despite you causing me and mummy sleepless nights entertaining you at 4am in the morning, we love you very much.

Today is your birthday and i know you are too young to read still, but have a good one.

Mei Mei Poo Poo la - smelly

Mummy says she will take you out for the day and let you go crazy.

Papa promise that he will come back early today to spend more hours with you today.

Love You boy.

I am Ryan, hear me Roar!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ad Re-Direction Sorted out

Some stupid GRABMYADS application has sort of redirected my blog to some stupid place...and hence, taking my traffic away.

My eyes almost drop out when i saw my readership went from the usual high 200s to a low 13!

I've since removed the grabmyads application and has sent it to oblivion.

If you have this application, my advice is to delete it.

Having said that, i'm back in KL. Currently catching up on work.

Be back in a jiffy with more updates.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's My Birthday. I am 32 Years Young.

It is my birthday today.

The meeting today was long and tiredsome, but we were all rewarded by the Milan office boss to a classic Italian dinner.

From Incoherent Ramblings

The higher management guys

Rissoto, penne pasta and blue cheese in carbonara sauce as starter. Main were
grilled baby squid and beef cooked rare, served with potatoes.



Dessert were TIRAMISU and I tell you…it was damn heavenly and it tasted like those mille crepe that was sold in Sect 17.

It was top off with some lemon liquer that was half frozen in the freezer.

Jet Lag starting to come in and I figured by the time I am used to the biorhythm, it’s time to head home!

I might not be able to update much after today as Internet is not cheap and the meetings doesn’t allow me to get connected. But I will do my best to update with more pics when I have the chance, so come back for more.

OK, it's almost 0130 here in Milan. outside temp is about 5 degree C and wind is at 9km/h. It is forecasted to be raining heavily later today and that would meant it will get colder. News has it that Northern Italy already snowing. Will i be lucky to see snow before i leave?

And thanks in advance with the wishes! (damn kaw perasan right?)


My Italian Experience

SQ738 was sort of a relief for me. I tried hard to sleep and I finally did at 2am Malaysian time. I made it a point to at least sleep until 8.30am Malaysia time, by then; there are only 4 more hours to Milan.

I took the aisle seat, with only one more Spanish woman sharing my row and she took the window seat.

The leg space was a good change from those Air Asia or Firefly experience. My legs could breath. Only irritating portion is one American man behind me which has the bad habit of shaking his legs and it shook me up every time he does that. Then I have this other Spanish couple in front which the husband loves to jump on the seat.

I finally reached Milan at 0530. Milan airport reminds me of Subang Airport. Malpensa looked really run down, but nevertheless interesting.

I went to the train station and the automatic dispenser did not want to accept notes, only coins. I went back to the terminal and nothing was open until 0630.

I then walked back to the train ticketing station and noticed some notes in English…

How am I to know when everything is basically in Italiano?

I no speako italiano, si?

Anyway, my first encounter with Milan wasn’t really pleasant. I spoke to a few travelers and they sort of told me I don’t need to buy a ticket to take the train and I can pay onboard – just pay extra Euro2 (from now onwards, Euro will be denoted with E).

The thing is, I can wait, but the train won’t go. The bus is also on strike and those expensive looking Taxi won’t move either.

Somehow, at 7.30 am, the ticket counter open and I bought my tix.

“mumble mumble E1.00?”, the ticketing fella asked.

“Sorry, I not speako italiano, si?”, I answered.

I do not have small change, smallest was E10. That fella said something or should I say some phrases that I no comprehendo and threw (yes, threw) the change in front of me.

How rude.

But that’s how Italians are, si?

The train ride took 40 minutes and I reach Cardona Station (which is basically the middle of the town). I came out and managed to stop one taxi (VW Golf) and again…the Italians take it that everyone “understando englishi”.

“Atahotel Fieramilano”, I try to say it as best as I could.

It was the most expensive 6 minutes ride that I ever had – E6.60

Walked into the hotel and request that I check in. To my horror, I can’t do so until…1400 hours!

It was about 0830 that time and I was thinking what I am supposed to do for the next 6 hours. So, I asked for a map and used the GPS to mark where I am (so, I could find my way back), set the NORTH on the map and went exploring. The GPS is only as good as the Map installed, and I do not have any Italy Map installed, let alone those POIs (Point Of Interests). But having a digital compass and a map should suffice.

Well, that is until I got all confused with the Italian road names.

Via Cardona. Via Dante. Via Matteo Bandello. Corso Magenta. Piazza S. Ambrogio. I can go on and it won’t make any sense.

And the building all looked the same after some time.

My Milan Adventure took me (imagine the map as a clock) from the hotel at 11 o’clock to 6 o’clock (and only realized that I was lost!) and to 5 o’clock. I walked a total of 20 odd KM yesterday – with my laptop with me (hoping to find Starbucks or Coffee Bean to surf for free)…

And no one told me there is no Starbucks or Coffee Bean in Milan.

I think I’m just stupid. I’m in the country of Cappuccino. Country where they drink coffee in small little cup (which will angers any Chinamen for ripping them E1.50/cup/shot) and i am looking for overpriced designer coffee??? I got to be joking, si?

Anyhow, by stroke of luck, I found Santo Marie D.Grazie Church…or Church of St. Mary the Great – the very same place that Last Supper painting sits.

Of course I am excited!

Look, I’m no Christian to start with, nor am I even a Catholic, but I felt the connection as my wife and kids are Catholics. So, it’s only natural for me to go into the church and seek blessing.

And was I bowled over.

The church was beautiful. Those paintings on the WALL. Those architectures, those Renaissance feel in the air. I was humbled.

I went to the shop and managed to get some Rosaries for wifey and family. I thought the spiritual gifts would be more relevant compared to say…overpriced tourist T-shirt or Quirky magnets. And those Rosaries aren’t cheap either…but they have the authenticity by having the word ITALY embossed behind the cross. I just hope those aren’t Made in China. :P

To make it even better, i managed to get the Father to bless the rosaries...in Italian!

I hope when i bring it back to KL, language won't be an issue... (LOL!)

I then walked towards Cardona station and came across a bakery or café. They sell pizza by the weight. Check it out.

As you would have guessed it, it’s my lunch. The dough is not "jelak" like those Pizza Huts or Dominos or Shakeys. It was perfecto. The cheese gave it more flavour and the whole package, though bought from some cafe, was delicious. It is true that there is no such thing as bad food in Italy!

After that, I walked to a Castello (or Castle) in the middle of the city. I tell you, it is totally different to be seeing a real life castle in front of you. The sheer size of it. The imposing structure. Your mind immediately goes back to those knights day and you could almost imagine the soldiers firing their arrows and slinging those catapults into the enemy, pulverizing them. I could almost imagine the draw bridge and the water surrounding the castles. And then, right at the front gate, there were blacks, plying their trade selling fake Prada’s and Gucci bags, damn kaw spoil the scenery man!

I entered the castle and I was felt so small compared the sheer size of the castle. Unbelievable.

Here are some pics of the castle.

I exited the castello and I saw two Chinese couple (and I guess they are from China as they looked every bit and spoke every bit and dress every bit of them). They must be some really effluent Chinese from mainland that could afford to fly to Milan to have their wedding pics taken, and they have a Bentley limo taking them around! WTF!

I cross the street across the castle and came across this café selling gelato. They are everywhere in Milan, but I am yet to taste any of them. It was also then when I saw something that turned me instantly into some teenagers in heat.

Sports Shop.

I almost went crazy inside.

Luckily, I am limited by my own budget, else, trust that I will be checking in 2 luggages on my return journey.

I think the control must have come from going to the church.

From there, I headed to Via Dante. That is like the most fashionable street in Milan. Some of you are probably right. No one dresses badly in Milan. But I guess that is because they only know one shade – dark.

The women wear knee high boots, which is totally relevant with the weather (high of 14 and low of 7). The men are usually in their leather coats or overcoats. At the end of the street was the Post Office. I went in there and headed to the counter to buy stamps. FYI, stamps collecting isn’t the hobby of the young. In the post office special counter/shop, old people are collecting them like trading cards. I bought about E14 of stamps for a colleague that collects them.

Exiting the GPO, I turned left and saw the most imposing Cathedral I’ve ever seen.

The Duomo.

This must be the equivalent of Trafalgar Square in UK. Time Square in New York (?) and Dataran Merdeka in KL (NOT!)

Inside the Cathedral was even more impressive than the Santo Marie church I went to.


I reckon at least two 747 plane could fit inside with no problem.

Here are some pics of the Cathedral.

I then headed to Galleria Vit Em II. Which is basically where all the branded stuffs are sold. Even McD has to ditch their Red color scheme and settle for GOLD.

From Incoherent Ramblings

Gaya eh?

I then bought myself some food for dinner. It was some bread with loads of meat slices in between.

After that, I headed back to the hotel, I reckon a good 5km walk from Duomo to Fieramilano.

It was almost a recovery “walk” for me after PowerMan.

I was back in the room by 1900 and it was already very dark. Because of the weather, I did not break a single drop of sweat. It was unbelievable.

I took a shower and headed straight to bed. Technically, at 1900 hours…it is 1am in Malaysia!

That summed up my Day (and maybe the ONLY day) i get to know Milan!