Friday, October 31, 2008

SE770i : Early Birthday Pressie

I received a Sony Ericsson K770i phone from wifey as an early birthday present.

This will replace the aging K750i workhorse she got for me when we first got married (4 years ago!)

With 3.2megapix CyberShot camera build in, rest assured that the camwhoring/training/racing/incoherent pictures will appear sharper, clearer and more in their glory.


Taken with the K750i 2megapix camera

THANK YOU WIFEY! You know i am excited about the new toy as i only slept at 1.30am this morning playing with all the new features!

I've been swarmed at work, which explained the posting/blogging pattern. But rest assured, once things clear up, i will be back.

I need to blog about:
1. Nadia's baptism.
2. Ryan's ability to talk in sentences.
3. My mum's effort to learn/speak english with Ryan!
4. My dad's health condition.
5. My Milan trip.
6. PowerMan in 2 weeks time.
7. IronMan 2009 travel plan and vision.
8. My SWAT analysis - done by others.

Please bear with me while i get back to work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Morning Run Is Back

One for the boys. Shazly, Zafrul and me ran this morning at 5.45am at the usual Damansara Heights route.

This route has a balance mix of flats and hills. Four Hills to be exact. First one you will encounter is from Manulife to SK Damansara, a good 600m uphill on gradient of about 10 degree. Next one is after SK Damansara Heights up till the traffic crossroad, anohter 800m uphill on gradient of 15 degree. Then it's flat all the way along Hartamas highway towards Sprint before one big climb from Esso Damansara to the Jalan Batai's crossroad, a good 650m uphill on 18 degree gradient. Last hill would be from the middle of the second hill back up to SK Damansara, a last good 300m uphill on a gentle 8 degree slope.

Total distance will not be less than 11km.

This morning, we finished the run in 1:10:32. Average speed of 6:30. We started slowly and ended up running at speed of 5:15 or less the final 5 km.

Clear sign that training has started and everyone meant business.

Work Hard. Play Hard.

Who won't when the CEO of Tune Money is with you and one bad ass trainer is hounding you from behind?



A good run nevertheless, not my best timing over this route, but it could only get better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recession Coming : Dealing With It Part III

Here is Part I
Here is Part II

and here is Part III

10. Eat Your Dinner For Breakfast
Leftovers are not Gameover. More often than not, Malaysian tend to overcook and overeat for dinner, which leads to bad eating habit.

What you can do to reduce any wastage is to keep the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

This way, there will be minimal wastage and you saved at least RM4 for breakfast (apart from having homecooked food, technically).

11. Consider LED Bulbs
LED is the way to go. No, this is not my attempt to change you into an Ah Beng and decorate your house with blinking eye blinding lights like how some of them does to their Rice Cars.

LED typically only consume 1W compared to the normal bulb which takes in minimal of 20W (to be bright enough for you to read without going blind) and it is even more energy efficient than some energy saving bulbs (typically 11W to be bright enough).

They are more expensive to start with, but in the long run, you stand to lose more of your electricity bill and help reduce carbon footprint and save the world!

12. Buy Larger Eggs
Here is a general guideline to egg sizes:

Grade AA = 70 grams and above
Grade A = 65.0 - 69.9 grams
Grade B = 60.0 - 64.9 grams
Grade C = 55.0 - 59.9 grams
Grade D = 50.0 - 54.9 grams
Grade E = 45.0 - 49.9 grams
Grade F = 40.0 - 45.9 grams

And here is a calculation done by a friend of mine in the industry (Thank You Barath Kumar from Kluang!)

" Bigger is more economical, bigger egg will have bigger yolk and bigger(more) egg white. Amount of yolk and white is relative to the egg size/weight.

Example;
30 Grade A eggs x Rm0.30 = 9.00 =2.1kg
30 Grade C eggs x rm0.28 = 8.40 = 1.65kg

2.10kg-1.65kg = 0.45kg
450 grams is about 8 eggs of Grade C

So, if u buy 1 tray of grade A eggs, you will get exra of 450grams, thats about extra 8 eggs of grade C. In Rm value, u spend only 60 cents extra, but get RM2.24 cents of eggs."

13. Fuel Saving Devices
Here is my 10sen (used to be 2sen, but since inflation has set in) worth : Don't believe any of them fuel saving devices!

If it too good to be true (like saving up to 30% of fuel), they are just too good to be true!

Save your money and use it to get better engine oil that will definately save you fuel and lower your car maintaince in the longer run!


For more of these tips (200 and counting), please go to SaveAndInvest.My!


Nike Lunar Trial

For those of you that want to know how the LunarTrainer feels like before buying, here is the opportunity to try them out physically and run with them for a maximum of 3 hours.

Please take note of the time below and go ahead and assess the shoe before buying them!

Date/Time/Location

Friday, 24th Oct/5pm – 7pm/Lembah Kiara Park, TTDI

Saturday, 25th Oct/5am – 10am/Bukit Aman Car Park

Sunday, 26th Oct/7am – 10am/Lembah Kiara Park, TTDI

Just go and Do It!


Monday, October 20, 2008

BRICK + Baking Weekend

Managed to squeeze in a short BRICK workout on Saturday late morning. Ran from home to TBB to collect the Dream.



Managed a good 5:42 ave speed (and had to stop to cross 3 major intersection). I found that my speed improved to a certain extend as i could hold on to 5:00 for at least 2 to 3 km nowadays. That would meant that i should be in a good position to post my best 1mile run timing. Best 1 miler was done in 7min 55 second. That's hardly flattering and i bet that's just below average.

My aim is to shave off 55 seconds, for now.

I reached TBB in one piece, after running along the road with a backpack on (to carry the bike shoe and helmet). It has been sometime since i ran in the late morning/early afternoon and the hot sun shinning down was sort of a change from those early morning dew or late evening humidity.

This next 2 pics is for Barath.


Planet-X Pro Carbon Chrono TT - Size 51

That's my size and that's Barath's size too.


More Carbon that AhBeng's Civic

Got Daniel TBB to qoute Barath the pricing. Seems reasonable for a TT bike and no way anyone will get a full carbon bike at that price (brand new, that is).

So, over to you Barath, i know you are reading this.

After that, i took the Dream back and after those magical touch by Daniel (am not trying to sound gay or to promote his touch), the Dream rides like...a dream. Shifting was positive again, braking was even nicer. Headset that was frozen was smooth as a baby's butt.

The rest of the weekend was spend fairly domesticated at home. I did not attempt to do much as my left foot felt funny. Funny numbness/pain on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th toe. The ball of the foot hurts. I don't recall stepping hard on something protruding on the ground, nor did i slip and fall anywhere.

Walking is a bit painful and i decided that Sunday should be spent resting.

So, in return, me and wifey managed to bake 2 breads and 2 sponge cake.


Getting better

I've been able to get consistently soft and light sponge cake. I've also managed to cut down the preparation time from 20 minutes/cake to about 10 minutes/cake. Add in the baking time, i could churn out one sponge cake every 30 minutes. Not too bad. So, all any of you need to do is to inform me 15 minutes in advance that you are coming over for tea, and the afternoon tea would be served in a flat 15 minutes, no less!

The rest of the weekend was spent partly limping and spending with the family.

And of course, getting that side table for the bedroom for me and wifey.


Camwhores


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Milan And Quality Recognition For Stupe???

Today must be one of the day where i was surpised by a couple of things in the email.

I usually reacts a certain way if i see certain names that send emails to my office inbox (which usually meant i'm in trouble, or i am in bigger trouble).

This is the first email


Details blurred out to ensure confidentiality

Here is the close up



My first reaction was :

I have to spend my birthday this year away from my family??? Where can?

At that point, i was contemplating not to go, no matter what.

But i thought it might be a good chance for me to be exposed to the larger more global colleagues that i can only dream of meeting.

And it might be my chance to shine. Afterall, there is 13 offices in this Middle East Asia region and i'm the only one chosen. Stroke of luck, perhaps.

I told wifey first thing and of course i would had expected her to come along as well, pending approval from my management (and the price of air ticket for her...)

Then, the second surprise came when i got an email from the MD for the region.


Again, blurred portion to maintain confidentiality

Here, don't squint your eyes:


:-)

Best thing is that the email was also Cc-ed to the upper upper management.

What i did correctly was that this particularly hard to please client (unsolicitedly) given some kind words, which completely took me by surprise and was noticed by my office upper management.

Well, i might just be nominated for the recognition award (i came close to it last quarter, but because i am not supposed to be working on that project due to my current commitment to the current client, it is almost taboo for my name to appear in work involving that other client - in short, conflict of interest la - and to think i almost had to cancel the Ipoh Century Ride that very same morning when the phone rang at 2am...) and i might not win the award, but it's good enough as i am finally noticed in this company that has almost 25K people working in, globally.

The hard work is starting to pay off, but it's a long way to go before anything more solid (in terms of remunerations and promotions) to take place.

But for now, life goes on. Work goes on. And i'm still in office taking care of certain issues - at the expense of training and family time just to be recognised as per above.

Worth it?

Maybe. Just Maybe.

Recession Coming : Dealing With It Part II

Continuation of the money saving tips in these trying time.

6. Don't Order Drinks During Meal
All of you would know that even that humble looking chinese tea cost 60sen, a cup of kopi peng cost RM1.60 or more and it's not unusual to be paying RM2.00 for a can drink at the kopitiam.

Skip it. Drinks during meal hampers your digestive system by diluting the acid in the tummy, plus it adds on a few hundred calories to your daily food intake.

And it makes you poorer by at least 60sen.

7. Don't Place Electronics On Standby Mode
Electrical and electronic equipment saps energy even when on standby mode. Just like the phone charger, it could amount to at least those 25% extra on your electricity bills every month.

Don't be lazy, move your butt and switch off the equipment at the plug.

8. Throw Your Electrical Thermos Away
This is one of the biggest culprit in high electricity consumption. No doubt you get hot water on demand and all you need to do is to refill the thermos, but you are also letting this monster consume electricity to re-boil and re-heat the water every time the water dip below a certain temperature threshold!

9. Do Not Rely On Lonely Planet Guidebooks
Believe it or not, this guidebook actually does not help you save. I remember an article about the author did not really go to those places or visited those places and the info he/she got was based on other travellers' experience. Most of the time, we all know these Mat Salleh got conned into thinking that what they got the best deal.

We all know that is not true as these places that was stated in Lonely Planet are most probably overpriced and overhyped joint for Mat Salleh paying what they think is cheap in their currency (for example, paying USD3 for a meal in Bali, convert it over to Ringgit Malaysia, we all know darn well these jokers got conned!)

That's it for today. Wait up for more tips!

Do go over to SaveAndInvest.My to view more tips!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Recession Coming : Dealing With It

This is to echo my previous posting about spending on groceries. Time are bad, and Malaysians are still in denial.

Here are some tips, which i submitted to Save & Invest dot My.

1. Consider Cycling
If you are staying within 5km radius of the nearest amenities, consider cycling. The one time investment to buy a basic bicycle will cost you maybe 3 tanks of Petrol.

2. Bake Your Own Bread
Simple. Healthy. And fun. A pack of bread flour will let you back 3 units of 1kg bread, and it cost only RM3.20/kg of flour. Nevermind those other stuffs you put in, as you only need yeast (45sen/11gram, good for 2 bread), sugar (you got in the kitchen what...), water (hey, first 20cubic meter is free in Selangor) and an oven (ok, that might be a limiting factor).

But if you got the equipment, seriously, you can stop paying for those mass produced, fat laden bread!

And in return, have healthier lifestyle (and save on medical) This is two tips in one!

3. Charge Your Phone In Office
OK, this one a bit over la. I read somewhere that a plugged in phone charger consume power even if no phone is attached. Save on that and charge your phone in the office. :) You potentially save 25% of electricity (if you have been leaving your charger plugged in and switched on, to start with)

4. Cycle To Your Holiday Destination
What some of my friends does is to jump on the bike and let your leg brings you to where you want to go. The correct term is called "touring". It is a cheap and rewarding way to see the country.

And it potentially will make you famous (if you cycle from US of A back to Malaysia like one chap did).

By the end of the holiday, you can claim that it's not the destination, it's the journey that counts!

5. Quit Smoking
I was a smoker and i used to spend RM4.50/pack (yes, that long ago) and now that i am smoke free, and with the current ciggie price fo RM9/pack, it only make economical sense to quit.

Money saved could be used to invest in a pair of running shoes to get healthy again (and lower your risk of death, which the funeral will be costly too!)

More of these tips has been posted and will be posted (in future)at SaveAndInvest.My



Weekend Madness

You know, i start to think that weekend are potentially more tiring than weekdays.

Not only you get to sit less (as compared to office), you get to rest less.

Suddenly last weekend seems to be more overwhelming compared to the usual 12 hours or 14 hours at work on the weekday.

As usual, here is my weekend (with friends and family, no less).

Saturday
The day started at 5am when i woke up for the week's cycling. My Dream is still in TBB, so i had no choice but to bring that evil bike out for a spin. I strip her off her usual legs (ZIPP) and replaced it with the more subtle (Mavic Open Pro) wheels with 9 speed.

I am gonna climb Genting Peres and it will be the first time i am bringing her there for a date.

I am also breaking in the new shoes that wifey got me.

For the first time this year, i started my ride from Batu 14 Ulu Langat and not the usual Batu 18. I am trying to clock extra distance, whichever much i could get. So, hoping that those extra 8 miles to and fro would somehow amount to something.

The ride started 15 minutes late as Abu and Jakull needed to fix their puntured wheels. It was a big big group this time, almost close to 15 people. Along the way, we met Doc Ray, Bernard and Ultra-Yip which were doing Titi, like the rest of the group is doing.

My visa expire at 10.30 and die die i will need to complete the ride by 9.30. So, i could only afford up to Peres' top.

Since i technically will only clock about 53km at most, i decided to push it.

One rider asked how fast i was going. I can't tell him an exact speed as i did not attach my speedometer on the bike. Doc Hisyam is right. When you don't have your meter, the speed and the distance doesn't matters anymore. What is important is to keep hammering the crank and hope the bike will take off.

But it did not (take off), of course.

I finished the 53km ride (my guesstimate - Batu 18-Peres and back is about 40KM and 8miles = 12.8km) in 2 hours flat including rest time with the guys at the top of peres.

I love Peres. But that day, the climb did not give me the burn i was looking for. Maybe the time off from the bike helped to a certain extend i believe.

By 11.30am i was back home.

We baked a batch of muffins and it is turning out better and better each time. At that point, it got us thinking. Baking is not cheap anymore.

A block of butter now cost about RM3.80. What used to be RM2.80 is now a Ringgit more.

Even those premium butter such as SCS which was priced at RM7.50 now cost RM8.60.

We've been stocking up these items whenever it was cheaply available.

Even the flour to make bread increased in price. What used to be RM2.10/kg now cost RM3.20/kg.

Lets not even go into the price of eggs which flauctuate with the KLSE.

Did i mentioned Milo is damn expensive nowadays? What used to be RM22/2kg pack cost easily RM27.50/2kg. Rule of thumb is that if it is about RM25/2kg, don't think, grab it. The deal won't be any better than RM24.99/2kg (round up = RM25).

Heck, Ribena too! How can Ribena cost RM19.99/2liter?

They were a low RM15.99/2liter once!

Anyway...i better stop now before this entry become some domestic grocery entry.

Later that afternoon, wifey told me that we seriously need to go and make another set of curtain for the room. Due to some luck or reasons, the previous curtain we bought tore after one washing. Maybe due to the heavy inter-twined material which sort of separated under heavy load of washing.

So, after dropping the 2 kids with my mum, we headed to Tesco Shah Alam. There is a fabric supplier in the building and we know that is the cheapest place, much cheaper compared to Kamdar.

And while we are at Tesco, there seems to be some evil troll that called us in to shop at the hypermarket.

With 2 kids, we find it inevitable to not check the price of diapers. Lets not go into how many packs we bought, which could last us about 3 months, or more.

And the price of eggs in Tesco is mightly high. RM 9.99 for 30 grade A? Whatever happened to RM7.99????

But despair not, we know that we could get it much cheaper in Carrefour.

And it's on the way back to my parent's house.

So, in goes Carrefour and out comes 2 trays of Grade A (RM8.40/30 eggs) and a couple more diapers...

By then, it was already 9pm and we bought some Pizza for dinner with my parents.

Went back by 10pm, put the kids to sleep and off to bed by 11.30pm.

Sunday
Sunday started at 5.30am and by 6am, i was at Bukit Aman. Menu for the day would be 15km double hill run with Jabir and Chipang. Chips brought along anohter OP Rugby player (Hello Syukran)!.

While me and Jabir slogged it out with the 15km, Chips and Syu clocked 12km. Not too bad for them since Chips has been inactive since PD Tri mid this year. It was kinda jolt-your-body-out-of-complacent for him.

There were others that were running too. But they were simply too hard core to deal with as they are doing MSD runs.

I managed a 15km run yesterday with Jabir. Pushing him on while getting a good workout myself.



15km in 1:32. Not too bad. Average pace was 6:04.

By 9.30am, i was back at home. Me and wifey then baked one sponge cake, which came out softer than usual.

I then rushed to the post office to renew my roadtax and subsequently, get my fuel rebate. I was waiting for a good 30 minutes and the inevitable happened, the system has to go offline, and i am like the next in line.

Went home, played with the kids (or rahter made to run after Ryan)and brought the family to have lunch at the new fastfood joint (or should i say Food Made Fast...not Fastfood) ie Wendy's.

Ryan knocked his head on the table while trying to wrestle out of his pram chair. he cried himself to slepp. Poor boy.

By 4pm, we made our way to the church for Nadia's baptism rehearsal and that lasted about 2 hours, including travelling time. Good thing is that the actual baptism has been postponed by another week, so i could pirate the Mizuno run this coming 19th.

When we reached home, i went to do some banking. Blessing to be staying in Damansara Utama area is that most of the major banks are all around the corner. That made banking a breeze (but the same can't be said for paying those commitments though).

Wifey made porridge for dinner. It was delicious. By 9pm, Ryan was asking for milk and he was more than ready to say goodnight.

Wifey then told me that it is really rare that we get to rest since we had the kids. Afternoon naps were unheard off and when we are not running after the kids, we are running about cleaning up the mess made by them.

Seriously. It is really really tiring to just be at home. But of course, sights of them doing what they are doing make your day all worth it.


Bliss is sharing a ice cream cone with your son and he feeds you calling you "papa, eat"


Happiness is seeing your daughter is a dirty sleeper, just like yourself


Blessed is when they are with you when you are in office for 14 hours a day

Tired? Worth it la.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Morning Run 9th Oct 08

Was supposed to be runnign with Shazly but he called last minute to call it off. Since i am already geared up, i decided to just run.

Route was Home - Bandar Utama - Burhanuddin Helmi - KSH - U-turn - Burhanuddin Helmi - Bandar Utama - Home.

10km. Time, 59Mins



Now, i'm hungry. Breakfast is 2 slices of home baked raisin bread...two big slices, each about 1 inch thick.

And a cup of (compulsory) Milo (7 tablespoon in 350ml of water).

Back to work!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Out With The Old, In With The New











I almost thought that my wife meant that she will replace me with someone better for IronMan 2009 next year...and the words and pictures on the photoframe almost made me believe that she is in that process.

But the photo and words has an another box that comes with it.

And inside the box, was this.


SH-TR50???!!!

I wasn't dreaming.



So, when wifey say out with the old, she really meant out with the old cycling shoe...the one which i spent one whole tube of rubber glue to stick the gaping mouth, sent to cobbler to replace the heel pad, used electrical tape to hold during races...

And apparently, wifey found someone to conspire with...

Someone that told me "basikal beribu, kasut cikai".

Thank you Wifey. It has been a good 4 years since we signed on the dotted line. Here is to many more years to come in the future.

I love you!

Again...


Signed


Sealed


Delivered

Happy 4th Anniversary Darling!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cookie Saturday and Double Hill Sunday

Wifey and me finally start something out of the ordinary. Instead of the usual muffins or cakes, we did cookies.

We used the recipe from Betty Yew's Cornflakes Crunchies but we modified it to our liking.



We added chocolate chips, walnut bits and even raisins, to add to the variety. We made almost 40 pieces of the cookies.



Did it smell like Famous Amos?

Yes, Almost. If we were making chocolate cookies, it will be the same (the smell of chocolate permeating the air...)



Even Nadia (and her imaginary teeth) approve of it!



The same can't be said about her brother though...



We had the cookies for lunch, but of course, that is hardly enough for me or wifey. Wifey went off to work in the shop and came back with a pack of really nice rojak. Now, it's hard to find good rojak, but the one she gotten that day was good.

The sauce was thick and not too spicy and it has all it needs to be called a proper rojak. I've went through so many rojaks in the past and non of them qualified to be called a proper one. There are always the missing piece of tofu, or the lack of cucur udang and most of it doesn't even have that coconut cake! Where can?



Wifey then told me she wants to eat mee goreng...but since indomee is hard to find (and expensive) and mee sedap leaves a funny after taste in the mouth (maybe too much MSG?), i improvised by preparing a plate of mee goreng using a pack of Mamee Chicken Soup Noodle.

I used the flavouring as the...well, flavouring and used the sweet soya sauce to blacken it. I subsitute the oil with olive oil and wifey's special order called for 2 fried eggs with runny yolk...


with a dash of REAL bawang goreng on top, no less

I'm getting hungry just writing this now.

On Sunday, my date with Jabir (RMC Old Boy and Rugby player extraordinaire) starts at 6am and the modus operani of the day was to get him to run more than he ever did (after RMC, that is).

The menu was 10km run, double hill. If he completes it, it will be him running 300% more that his usual running distance.

We started the route at Bukit Aman and ran towards KL Mosque, u turned there and proceed to double hill.


Looking Good at 8km @ Bukit Tunku

As we turned up the double hill, i know for a fact that we will clock more than 10km, maybe 12.

But this chap, being one of the fittest chap in our Rugby team, showed why he was the captain for the team for years.

His initial aim was to complete his first 10km in 80 minutes. I know for a fact he will and can achieve that.



Yeap! He outdid himself and finished 12.6km in 80 minutes! That is a cool 26% more distance for the time he set himself to do for 10km!

Well done Jabir!

As for me, this is a great push start again for my training to IronMan 2009. With minimal training and insufficient mileage, i would be really glad to finish the race within 15hours, like how i did this year.

Don't wait up for me and don't look behind, i will be coming after you during IM09!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Stupe In Motion

This collage makes me smile today.



Which me do you readers prefer? I personally like this one.



Simply because it shows i am fat, and i hope i won't grow that fat to take a pic and remind myself that i will NOT be that fat.

And i looked like some teen with overdrive hormones in this one.



On the other hand, i look like that kid star in "home alone".

But this picture makes me look like my dad very much...



But of course, he got bigger eyes.

Tell me which of the 26 above you guys and girls like...humor me.


Something is wrong with the connection to blogger at work. I can't seems to access any blogspot site via the proxy. I'm doing this via wifi connection, that bypass the proxy. Lets hope this is not permanent, else, i won't be able to blog as often anymore.



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