Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY 2010 To All!

Remember not to drink and drive too!

No resolution this year as it is more important to achieve what i set out to do 3 years ago; those resolutions are still WIP.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All Of You.

A simple wish to all of you, from all of us at home.

Rev-Up with Revive Isotonic!

70 odd days to go for IronMan 2010 and preparation aren't exactly great. As an amateur triathlete, every little bits count.

While the hard part of the training are underway, the harder part would really be the nutrition portion.

Eating a well balanced meal means to know your A to Zinc of your food that you take. Believe it or not, salt, or rather Natrium (Sodium for you US based people) plays an important role to sustain you throughout your workouts and races.

I've always been a fan of isotonic drink. There are many out there in the market and my current favourite is Revive Isotonic.

Why did i like it in the first place? Well, to start with, it's LESS gassy and doesn't have that "bite your tongue" feeling when you gulp it down fast (due to the gas). It doesn't make you burp as much too unlike some other isotonic drinks.

Revive Isotonic is currently having a contest to REV IT UP! Look for the tab above that says "Rev-Up Contest"

Aptly called, what better way to drink your way and use your creativity to score it big?

Now, what do you think is a "Rev It Up" moment?

For me it has to be :

1. Daily activity performed in an extraordinary way (like walking to the shopping complex instead of driving there)
2. Physical activity (yes, in bed counts too).

Here are some samples from the Rev It Up Facebook page.

Ordinary Activity done in an extraordinary way - Mixing TWO sports into one, why chop tree when you can slam dunk?

or dancing to a new height

Unfortunately both the two great pictures above wasn't submitted to the right page and that meant it is not counted for voting. So, do read the guideline properly.

Both the photo above would had been even more perfect if they have a bottle of Revive in the hand...or next to the radio...or instead of dunking ball, dunk a Revive!

Apart from Still photos, you too can create VIDEO. If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine what a moving picture could do!

Do note that there is a weekly cash prize of RM1000 and a Grand Prize of RM5000 should your entry wins.

How do you win? You have to add Revive Isotonic as your friend in Facebook. Then you Submit your (soon to be) winning entry and you get people to VOTE!

Then you click on the next photo and you will be asked to install the Revive Apps (for Facebook) and you can start submitting your entry and be Voted!

Simple as that!

I don't know about some of you, but with the festivities around and many opportunity for more Rev-Up moments, don't leave home without your bottle or can of Revive isotonic and your camera!

Contest ends January 25, 2010. Don't Wait!

I say, Rev-It-Up!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

They Sure Know The World!

Today i received a confidential parcel from a local consultant with foreign link.

While that is not the point of this post (or divulge what are the 'secret' job that will be happening), i was smiling when i saw the address on the envelope.

Jalan Ee Van. Yeap. There is a street named after me in SS21, Damansara.

I mut had done great in promoting this place (and it's night food stalls) that i deserves such mention.

Then, it i realised how in the world did the courier company managed to send this to me...

1. The office name has changed from ENSR Corporation to AECOM Malaysia. While we have an account with DHL, they were not informed of the name change.
2. i did not receive any call from DHL to my work (mobile)phone (blurred above)asking where the office is at.

How did DHL managed (ever) to send this to me...within 24hours?

Something to smile about. Especially so that there is now (unofficially) a Jalan Ee Van.

Move over Jalan Imbi, i managed to do this without anyone objecting - at least to DHL.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Mayhem

My mum was admitted to hospital this afternoon. Apparently she had appendicitis for the past few weeks and she did not say a word.

This mornimg after marketing dhe cant stand the pain anymore. Apparently she pop 4 ponstan with coffee to stop the pain.

She pop 4 because 2 doesn't work for her anymore.

A simple SOP operatuon this afternoon which wad classified as emergency by the hospital took 90 minutes instead of 30.

Her appendix were severely inflamed and would had burst anytime. Infact it was rotting and was mushy.

Doctor dont even need to clamp the base to cut it and it just came off like that.

A day late she would had bleed to death and we won't know what happened.

Thank you God for ensuring the operation was without further complication. A gynae was on standby in case they need to move her uterus and ovary.

Noe, only worries is infection from inside as there is no gurantee how the stiches could hold up. Doc had to overstich the wound and will be giving her stronger antibiotics.

Bed rest for the next two days were ordered.

I am next to her now and it hurts to see the woman that brought me up looking so fragile. Her lips were pale and her skin, green. Why is that i need to be unpleasant to tell her that if she need to see a doctor, she is insured?

She chosed to trust traditional medical practioners. I got nothing against them if they do not attempt to kill someone along the way.

Doc Chan, the doc that operated on her spoke of this as he came out to brief us. If ever you need your herbs and works, get to Tung Shin! Its regulated there.

I have exhausted all avenue and methids to tell her not to go. She wouldn't listen.

Back home, with my mum in law diagnosed with Lymphoma B, things aren't about to get any rosier.

I am considering to take unpaid leave or perhaps quit my job and stay home full time to sort out the kids and ailing parents. Wifey's business needs to go on and they are in the midst of opening one more branch.

My pay is nothing. I am not shy to say i am not the breadwinner in the family. Just that i feel i have too much talent to be wasted not doing anything, career wise.

If two parents not feeling tip top are bad, my dad that had a stroke 5 years ago developed diabetes just last month. He also have balance issues due to the imbalance liquid in his ears. It sadden me to see someone like him walking and stumbling.

So here i am. Sitting. Staring into blankness if i am not typing this. Wondering what is there more to life.

I have my mother's temper and stubbornness. I inherit her righteousness. My dad taught me loyalty and they both showed me tolerance.

But there is only that much a man can take.

2009 indeed were challenging. And i dont think 2010 will be any better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ironman Is Easier...

Enough said, doing an Ironman, or two or three... Way easier...Compared to working.

Well unless your job is doing Ironman.

And if that is the case, i envy you.

Image thanks to Ultraman Kannan.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Good 66km On MEX

Did MEX with Jason yesterday and felt pretty ok to be the bike, again.

Started a bit late as did not want to wake up at 0530hours. Traffic were a bit heavy on Jalan Damansara before merging with Kerinchi Link where the traffic diluted towards Federal Highway.

It was a slow good leg finding ride yesterday. Was a bit happy that i could push on larger gears (as in big crank on 17 or less) up the hills and maintained about 20km/h.

Pulled back from pushing more than i should as i do not want to set the expectation too high.

2:41 over 66km. Not some super timing but did struggled a fair bit to find the pace again.

As comparison, Emma bumped into us (i said she bumped into us as she was coming really fast from behind) and i betcha that those 70km ride for her was accomplished in 2hours. She must had averaged 32km/h when all me and Jason did was 23km/h...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Enchanced RHB Online Banking NOW!

Online banking nowadays is a norm. For busy people like me that sometimes has to cut short my lunch hours just to attend to some banking needs, online banking is the way to go.

I myself has accounts with a few banks and fortunately they all have their online portal. However, just like human, they are never build the same.

Some online portal are so cluttered that assessing them to do banking is like doing some scrambled words puzzle.

There are only 24hours in a day and with 1hour of lunch period, you would want to maximise on every moment you have for yourself.

When RHB revamped and re-launched their online banking portal, it was almost (i say almost) a blessing.


Locate the LOGON button on the top right corner and you will be transported to a page for you to key in your logon details. What is cool about this (though a bit redundant) is that it has a pop-up...keyboard. Certainly useful if you rather use your mouse than your...err...keyboard?

Once you click logon, you will be prompted to enter a "secret phrase", which i think were in place to prevent bots (or automated keylogger/executer) to log in. Pretty nifty and definately the first i've seen for online banking. This extra steps alone will ensure an extra level of security.

Once you are in and verified, you will be led into the online portal - UNCLUTTERED!

My granma won't get lost here!

One thing that has set this portal away from the others in my opinion is the loading speed. It responds like it is on steroid. One click and you go to the next item. Even when i am doing my favourite activity in any online banking (i.e. PAYING BILLS), the drop down menu for payee could be selected relatively fast.

My favourite payee...if i don't pay, i don't get internet at home

Gone are the need to "breakdown" the category in online banking. Some portal find it a need to categorise payee as "Telecommunication" and then you arrive at a sub-category where you can choose the telcos you want to pay. I find that like someone telling me that a guy can't get pregnant.

RHB aced this by just simplying it. Beautiful.

There is one particular customisation that i find very helpful. It allows me to personalise my online account. Lets say that if you have three active savings account with the bank say one each for yourself, yourself and your spouse and yourself and your mistress (LETS JUST SAY), you can actually rename the account to reflect the account by NAME and not by NUMBER. Hey, RHB just brought Online Banking to be FUN! (or at least you can check your account status and do your banking with some smile)

Certainly helpful for you to know at one glance the status of each and every account, no?

You can be James Bond too if you want, but i stick to my middle name - Handsome

The above are just some of the items you could do with the new RHB online banking portal and there are a few other new features that has been added on apart from the simplicity of usage and ability for customisation.

One of the new improvement that works on predictable bill payments and/or fund transfer is the multiple payment function where you decide who, the amount, the date or how many times and when you want the payment/transfer to be made.

I will give Ryan RM50 until he turns 12. Will reconsider pocket money raise when he goes to secondary school

All the improvement above is really practical from my point of view. I am a working adult that clocks in an average of 50 hours week and that leaves me very little time to do conventional banking the traditional way. RHB online banking portal has sort of make my life a wee bit easier as i do not need to rush having my lunch just to pay that darn Astro or Telekom bill (or risk mutiny happening at home).

It is simple as simple as this blog entry is and it is straight to the point. There is no delayed logon or cases where you can finish half a cup of tea before you are brought to the online portal.

RHB Online banking portal are FAST, SIMPLE and EASY to use.

That is just how i like my the food that are served to me during lunch to be.

Go to the nearest RHB branch and sign up for an account. Use the account to login to your online banking portal or if you are a current RHB credit card owner, you can log on using that as well.

Use them and see if you agree with my write ups above.

Monday, December 07, 2009

And I Stayed In During Lunch For This Entry

Skipping it today as i felt i have neglected this blog for sometime.

For those of you looking for race/training inspiration, i am very sorry to dissapoint you with no updates on any training (secret or otherwise) in this blog.

I've been busy with work. So busy that i feel doing an IM at full 17 hours cut off might be easier. Having said that, i might need a miracle to pull through that 17hours in 2010.

We are now at almost the end of 2009. With just three more Fridays to go, of which each and everyone of them (for me in Selangor, that is) are a Holiday.

That would meant i need to squeeze in more hours per day to make up the time losses. Not an issue perhaps as i clock in extra of 25% and perhaps more than my "only required" 40-hours week (or 8 hours a day).

Things has been pretty turbulence at work. While some of you might digress that i should not talk about work. I tend to agree. Externally, it is no secret that the pent up frustration might be due to me burning out at work and having to deal with ultra demanding client. Ego is a big thing and more so if you are dealing with someone top of their class and are meticolous and hate "unexpected" turn of events (which more of the time, is really beyond my control).

"Damn if you do. Damn if you don't" kinda case. The chinese would say "ghost also you, God also you".

Internally, it has been challenging as well. The program i am managing is not returning any profits but it is not due to any team member managing it any worse. The whole contract were setup about three years ago when all charges back then were predicted not to change over the period of the 3 years. However, we all know that changes are inevitable and the first blow came in when the sub-cons started justifying their cost when the crude price increased. The amount tendered were also on the lower scale and perhaps, the main intention back then were to secure this particular client. No one came close to the pricing and even one consultant could not meet with the basic criteria, leaving only this company and another competitor.

Some of you might ask me what i do for a living. While the company i worked in does environmental work, it is not those environmental work you are thinking. What i really do is to assess a site for potential risk to the environment. Think of it like an EIA, but just more focused and niche. There are ONLY three main consultants in Malaysia that does this and ironically, the other two were started by people that left this company i currently worked in. Staff pinching are a norm and i sometimes question the morality of these people, bringing so much confidentiality knowledge from one office to another.

Obviously it is a dog eat dog world out there.

What these consultants failed to realise is that we (as in the consultants) are being played out by the clients. It is no secret that some client choose to squeeze blood out of stone by proclaiming your pricing to be high when they compared you with the LOWEST pricing from the other bidder.

In business, you win some, you lose some. You can't expect a company operating on overhead to give ultra low pricing and as the client, still demand for top notch quality, right?

A case of having the cake, and eating it. A case of squeezing blood out of stone.

I've been praised and put on the podium a couple of times for jobs well done. Heck, i saved client USD1million this year alone and still counting and i was the first winner of their "Cost Saving Award". I got nothing but emails.

No one seems to remember that for long. I am being judged by the numbers i bring in. At this point of time, with a yearly RM5Mill project which is not returning any profits...numbers don't lie. I did a bad job. Period.

As you can see, i am getting frustrated. I am a passionate person. While the above seems to be minor, i have not reveal the full extend of my frustration. Like some of you would say, it is simply not right la, "not professional". Don't talk to me about being professional when some of them lacks the fundamental behaviour of an executive, let alone be civil about it. Back stabbing is not "ON". Not when you were sincere in your work and gives nothing but 110% everyday. It sort of takes the fillings out of the pie and leaving you with just the crust.

Some of you had came forward and offered me to submit my CV. Give me some time. I am updating them still to be relevant for the things i am possibly applying.

The office senses this too, and just last week, i had a long chat. Long enough for some possibly drastic changes. I am constantly seen as a threat to my peers. I've unseated my ex-manager and has raised over-favour of another more senior staff. And now, i am asked to take over another senior's position in the company's "horizontal promotion". From program management of one client, i am now asked to take charge of all the clients WEF 1st Jan 2010.

This supposedly give me more time to be at home.

This also meant i don't need to deal with the ultra demanding client anymore in the micro perspective.

But is that a good thing?

I hope i am not going to be frustrated again. Easier said than done as now, i am in direct line of fire for ALL programs with the Large Program Director - the very reason for my internal pain. I make no secret in this and i've asked him to remove me if he feel i can't live up to his expectation. he has not done so since and i assume that he find not a single reason to remove me. I don't think he will find any. Call me arrogant. But that much i know that i am that good.

As for life. Losing out to work meant i get less time with the family and for myself. I am mentally drained by the end of the day and i often without purposely doing it, take it out on wifey or the kids. I regret it after that. I love them. No questions about that. But sometimes, my behaviour are less than desirable. I tried keeping them in check. Work is causing havoc in my personal life.

I've spoken to wifey about this many times. She has asked me to quit. She believes with the drive that i have, i will have my talent better appreciated elsewhere. With the drive that i have, i can work for myself.

It feels good to have someone supportive.

But she too know, that i am not one that gives up no matter how bad things become. She knows i am a fighter and i do not bend or made to admit mistakes for others. I am not made for that. She knows that. She also know, one of the reasons i did not want to leave just yet was because i do not want to leave the team in a lurch; not forsaking the project managers and field engineers that works directly under me and leaving them without direction. For that, i believe, i am living up to my "Serve to Lead" concept - something ingrained into me when i was in Royal Military College.

I leave no man (or woman) behind. It is a group effort. Never I, always Us. But as a leader it has to be SINGULAR to take the blame if anything goes wrong. Never put the team's morale into jeopardy. Make them run like well oiled machine. That is priority.

The line between WORK and LIFE, is indeed, a thin, fine line.

I've been missing out on training. I no longer uses the iron level as an excuse. Not when wifey threaten not to let me race. I took a run yesterday alone from home to TTDI. I think i was overly eager and pushed myself a bit too hard. I believed i might had clocked my best 5km distance yesterday from home to TTDI park. The same can't be said about the return journey from TTDI park to home.

I walked in silent pain the last 1.5km. It is never graceful to feel that. At this point of time, finishing IM10 will be a miracle. But i will try. Currently the other Stupe in me is winning and i just need to exorcise him and triumph over him. Races to me are always personal. Personal in the sense that it involve me and myself. I do not use others as benchmark. I do not compare myself with others nor will i openly tell someone how bad they perform just that i feel good, even if it meant a sub-standard race results.

Lately, my mum in law hasn't been feeling too well. I am careful not to tweet/facebook/write/blog/share about this as well. I have to respect my wife's family. I dare to put this up because until wifey told me it is ok to just say "MIL is not feeling well".

Promise me that you readers will keep her in your prayer, a'right?