Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nike Warehouse Sales

This got to be the first time i am seeing this.

Don't wait any longer.





A community service brought to you by Stupe.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Nadia 10 Months and Walking

Nadia is walking already.

Wifey and Families are gonna have a hard time running after her.

Not only she runs. She climbs. Not only she climb stairs. She climb railings.

I got a potential extreme sports athlete in the family.



She is wifey's baby. She sometimes do not want me to carry her. Ryan sometimes shows extreme affection to her and i am always worried if he will hug her and suffocate her.

But of course, jealousy is still there and whenever i play with Nadia, he wants to be part of it too.

Nadia started walking about 1 week ago where she walked mroe than 2 steps unassisted. Then on the daily basis, her 4 steps turned into 8 steps and now, she could walk the whole distance of the living hall.



Ryan was 11 months when he started to walk.

This princess is a charmer.

And i know i will have an issue fending off suitors in 17 years time (well, at least of legal age la ;-)



Digital Photography- Still On Learning Curve

These two pic must be among the better ones' i've taken when i was in Kuantan over the weekend.


Saw a couple dating on the rock. Must be professing how deep and wide his love was for her


taken in a badly lit shop with ambient or mood lighting. I'm slowly getting the hook on corelating the shutter and aperture

Not the greatest yet, but i'm on my learning curve.

SK loaned me two books by Scott Kelby. All i can say is that this SK (Shazly) is helping me to improve my photog by using the other SK (Scott).

Thank you bro.

3 full days with camera and i've shot close to 1000 pics. :) Of which, 60% are crap.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Of Aperture, Shutter and Simply Tembak

I can't help but to play with the camera yesterday. Was just clicking away anything and everything and experimenting and playing around with the settings. With very little knowledge of corelation between apeture, shutter, lense speed etc etc it will be a steep learning curve for me.

I hope i will get back to this slowly.

I've been taking pics at night...and the camera has not seen the light of day!

Here are some pics i think is suitable to share. Comments would be appreciated.


Taken using a Nikon 70-300 f4-5.6 lense. Mum and wifey having a cuppa after dinner. Mum hates to take pic and this 300mm lense does the trick as i shot her from the living hall


Testing out the 18mm on the kit lens...very wide, compared to what i used to have

I hope the pics above won't be "controversial" la and ruin my chances to run for any political office in the future :P


My humble abode in 18mm


Ryan's school bag. Was playing with aperture and shutter speed and was using flash correction/compensation to reduce a "washout"

I was also introduced to a term known as bokeh. No, it is not hokkien. Bokeh to the photog meant background/foreground blur. It is intended to bring your subject out - giving a 3D like pic, at the expense of other details.


Not very 3D la...loads of work to do!


But wifey like got magic touch



Fail again, intend to focus on the middle fler, but end up focusing on phy-duck

As you see, it is really not easy. Either you are technically very good with the camera, or you are gifted. I am neither. So i have more excuse to shoot more.


Better?


Can lar...

I know i love to take tele shots and also macro shots. Details intrigue me. But i am not equipped with proper macro lense or with a better tele lense. I guess instead of loathing that i need those, i better make use of what i have and make what i have work for me. No point getting all the gears if the pics are not well composed or taken, right?


Taken outdoor. used the flash compensation with manual mode to control shutter and aperture


Stud in the pot. Fler made 2 other guppy pregnant and resulted with the pond filled with at least 17 guppies first time and 8 second time. Taken at 105mm at manual mode with flash correction


"A" mode, f6.3 with -1EV

As much as i like to keep snapping until the middle of the night. I know if i do that, wifey won't be too happy.


Stud's wifey already complaining and cornering him and ask why so cam-whore

I take bad pictures. Here is a proof. And i hate myself for not being able to catch up as fast as others.


Waste of time


A more pathetic effort playing with ISO numbers and without flash

I've taken a lot of pics. Playing with the white balance and stuff like that. But some are just so bad, i don't think it is nice to show. What more, it makes me feel that the shots above are all just fluke - simply tembak(shoot) and cross finger it comes out well.

If there is any consolation, it was only my second day fiddling with it, and just like Nadia (OMG, she is walking - separate post later on this) and her toys, Papa will not get bored with his this new toy.





Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Toy : Nikon D90

I had an EOS 10D before.

It was stolen when i was donating blood about 13 or 14 years ago.

That incident swore me off going near any SLR.

This may sound corny, but i need a closure.

So, after much deliberation, balancing of account, re-organising priorities...

Wifey and myself went and bought a Nikon D90.

It comes with a 18-105 lense. Good enough to a certain extend for me to re-learn photography again. What more, with the camera driven partly by software instead of 100% hardware, i find myself behaving like a kid with a new toy.

Here's a few sample shot. Loads of work needs to be done before i could actually shoot a decently composed picture.


On kit lens with macro mode


On tele lens at 300mm





We went on to get anohter 70-300 lense and a spare battery in case we go travelling.

Are we happy?

Well, lets just say that i stopped dreaming about camera. I'm coming to almost full circle and perhaps, the closure is near.

Can't wait to shoot (as in photograph) the kids.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Xterra Malaysia Officially Launched!



Yesterday marked the historical day in the Malaysia's race calendar when Xterra Malaysia was officially launched in the vicinity of TV3.

It was not an easy task, as how Tengku Zafrul said in his speech, to convince Xterra to give the race license to Malaysia.

We will be hosting the first Xterra race in South East Asia. Closest you can find the race will be in Japan before this.

Now, the race will be just 4 hours away at the beautiful beach of Teluk Cempedak.



Mark your calender for the 6th and 7th June 2009. Sign up for the race at www.xterramalaysia.com. Polish your open water swim. Crank those tires on dirt and sprint through the jungle trail and be prepared for one of the exceptionally different show in Malaysia.



The race was officiated by His Royal Highness Tengku Mahkota of Pahang. He is also the Royal Patron for the race. His Highness graciously came all the way to Kuala Lumpur to launch it (when he could had easily get it to go to Pahang!).

The new deputy Sports Minister was also present, together with the other excos from Pahang.

This race too will see the most sponsors i've seen in many organised races in Malaysia. There were a total of 11 sponsors, maybe more.



With support from fellow triathletes and organised by fellow triatheltes (Tengku Zafrul and Shazly), this will be one race to rival all the other races in the country.

Xterra encapsulate a different aura. Unlike IronMan race where the spirit is in the human tenacity and defying odds, Xterra rides on the oneness with nature where the racers takes on bigger things and hope to triumph over Mother Nature.

While swimming in the sea is staple to some, from experience (Kapas-Marang), even the strongest and more natural swimmer will struggle to overcome the waves and current.

Mountain Biking 30km even if it is XC (or Cross Country) takes a lot from the rider. Put in some technical section and it will appeal to all the hardcores.

Running on the road and trial is as different as day and night. The best thing is you breath no fumes and only purest of oxygen (well, provided the runner passing you did not fart).

Xterra will be the race to look out for. It will be the race to race in.

It bridges the world of triathlon (on road) with adventure races (in the jungle) and give the best mix to appeal to all racers.



Thank you to all that came for the launch!

By the way, did i mention that the Xterra license is valid for a year? This would meant the organisers has planned for a Xterra Race Series, very much like how the Duathlon Series happened!

Stay tuned!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Kapas - Marang Report : My Thoughts.

6.5km.

Sound simple enough. Island to Mainland. Straight line. How to miss it?

Ingredient was simple enough. Open sea swim as the main item. Add in being alone in the sea to marinade it a bit, undulating waves to add some salt, being alone for garnishing and just for good luck, loads of sea current to sweeten things up.

It was a perfect combination for a good open sea swim.

And what was 6.5km, felt like it was 8km, for me at least.

The day started great, but noticeably missing was the dead calm sea you usually see early in the morning where the waves sweep the shoreline gently.

Myself, Shazly, Azmar and Upiq were swimmer designate and Kam was kayaker to escort Upiq in his maiden attempt.

I secretly feel that Kam should escort me too, but it is only 6.5km...should be simple enough for a two time IronMan finisher like that consistently covered 3.8km in 1:30. Technically, it shouldn't take me more than 3 hours. Right?

Wrong.

Dead Wrong.

Not when the above ingredients were mixed in a large bowl known as South China Sea and weather and sea condition changes more often than Anwar changes his numbers of (supposedly) frogs.

I was told by more experienced racer that the current will always be a challenge. So, i was told to target a mountain beyond the horizon (Kam call it Mt. Fuji, for it did resemble the mountain, minus the snow cap), which is on the right hand side of the landing point. From afar, Mt Fuji and landing point looked like it is a good 2km apart.


Click to see in details

Simple. Target to navigate identified, easily viewed eventhough if one were to be under the waves.

At 7.33am, the guns went off and everyone ran into the water and started swimming. There were close to 220 swimmers, we were told by Mr. Chan during the briefing a day before and there will be 6 bouys to mark the distance (every 1KM). But somehow, the bouys all went missing the morning of the race. Nothing was left except one large bouy to mark 6km (you can only see it if you squint your eyes and concentrate - not something you will do when swimming and being thrown in the water).

"Don't worry, there is a BIG BALLOON you all can see!", Mr. Chan says.

My first 90minutes of swim went pretty well. Mt Fuji was still the target i was heading for and i started to feel foolish to keep swimming towards that mountain as the landing point is a distance away.

But stayed on course i did. I was with Shazly briefly, swimming at his pace, following the bubbles from his kick.

Suddenly, i realised that Mt. Fuji was right behind the landing point. That was at hour number two.

I've drifted away. I looked behind and to my horror, Pulau Kapas, which should be technically behind me if i swim in a straight line, or on my left if i have my bearings correct, were on my RIGHT! I am 45 degrees off!


You know you are in trouble if the island is on your 3 o'clock and not 6

What can one do?

I found myself swimming alone between Kapas and Mainland. No swimmer were in sight it seems. No Kayak (which i was told to have numbered in 50) were seen. Into my third hour, i saw the water scooter with the rescue personnels on it.

I swam towards them, the 20meters or so seems to take eternity.

I hanged on to them so i could clear my goggles.

"arus tahun ini kuat sangat", One of them said. (This year's current very strong)
"ramai dah terpesong kat sebelah tu", he added (a lot drifted to the other side)

They pointed towards the south, towards the more open water of South China Sea, away from the landing point.

I was then instructed to swim at 45 degree towards the shore line. I was already in the water for 3 hours, and counting.

Fingers are all getting stiff, skin shrinking like raisins, balls had some chaffing (nope, no petroleum jelly ma'am) and my energy level were dead low.

I wanted to vomit twice. I swallowed enough of seawater that i peed a full 60seconds after the race. My throat were tasting funny, my stomach threatening to spill it's content. For you that do not know, i have motion sickness. I took 2 motion sickness pills prior to the race, which most probably saved me.

But that did not prevent me from feeling all bleachy...(i'm still having the waves movement in my head now, by the way).

The last hour to shore was demoralising. You are still alone out there. No one in sight. The HUGE baloon still looked tiny. The shore still looked a distance.

I thought about quitting. But that's not me. Pulling up whatever i have left, i splashed through the water, i kick for my life, i paddled with whatever my arms could churn.

I almost cried when i reached shore.



SK and Azmar made it in 3hours. It took me another good hour before i managed to come to the shore.

You can see from the pic above that Kapas is NOT directly behind me even as i exited the water and the photo was taken skewed to the island.

I reckon i did at least a 8km swim.

I got more than what i bargained for.

And i'm just glad i survived this.

Congrats and well done to all that even had a guts to start it yesterday. It certainly not an easy show.

Not for me anyway.

By the way, here is Mr. Chan's HUGE balloon.


How i managed to use this to guide me to the landing point, remains a mystery

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Kapas - Marang Swimathon 6.5km

After so many years of racing and so many races i've taken part in, this is certainly one of the few races i've not raced before.

Kapas - Marang Swimathon.

Just a cool 6.5km swim in the open water from Pulau Kapas to Marang.

How hard can it be?

I've not trained (as usual) and i am wondering what swimming past 3.8km would feel like.

Keep tuned to the race/swim report next week.

Monday, April 06, 2009

McRipOff

RM5.95 for a complete meal at McD with no size change?

I knew it is just too good to be true.

They did not change the size right away, but it was gradual.

Do you remember how a full prices McChicken looked like?


Then

Luckily i got one pic before it became too good to be true


YESTERDAY

There were more bread and mayo than the patty!

It is a McRipOff.

If that is not enough, remember Double Cheese Burger?

It is a world wide issue, see here : Double Cheese Burger In States

Here was my double cheeseburger yesterday. More sauce and bread compared to those thin slices of meat!

Dissapointing.



We the consumers are being robbed right under our nose and it wasn't Hambulgar that did that!






Saturday Bike Swim Run

Not so much of a training, but it's a start.

I rode my Fuji mountain bike from home to Royal Selangor Club at Kiara to swim.

Distance as a good 10km using the Pencala Link and i tell you, i was sweating bucket.

I swore i did not go past 30km/h on the flat and only touched 45km/h max on the downhill.

I swore i was cranking past 120rpm on those 36-11 gears to acheive that speed.

And i was bobbing up and down as i was too lazy to lock my rear suspension.

That 10km took me bloody 30minutes - of what usually will ONLY takes 15 minimum.


Survived

I tell you, it's bloody scary to be riding on the road with a MTB. Not only i do not have top speed, the pick up was slow despite the burst of energy. I used to be able to clear traffic, going from right lane to left lane from 30km/h to 40km/h if needed. On MTB, it was goign from 25km/h to 27km/h...

It makes me wonder what an idiot i was last time when i was riding the road on my MTB...and i was thinking i was going fast!

I hit the pool and did my usual 30mins workout. Mixture of interval and stroke correction in the pool. I nowadays feel more "natural" in the pool and was able to roll on my belly (it helps, mine pretty big and getting bigger).

I could easily now do 30minutes of non stop freestyle - something not possible a year ago. Now just have to work on the navigation and i have intention to swim with my eyes close.

The highlight of the day was when wifey brought both Nadia and Ryan to the club to swim.

I was more than happy to spend some time with them.

Nadia wasn't allowed in the pool (by her parents) as she was coughing (with phelgm - it was quite painful to watch her coughing and wheezing).

But Ryan was back to his usual self. I'm trying to get his water confidence back. I guess that bad episode in Desaru last year where i made him jump and he swallowed some water might had put him off from wanting to go into the water again.

Such teribble father i am.


Ryan doing an Acapulco dive?

Spent a good 45 minutes in the water with him and it is really nice. :)


Growing TOO fast

I then went for a short run back home. Decided not to take the highway back as it was burning hot last Saturday.

Took the back way to KLGCC and exited at Taman Tun.


Lonely 2km

The 5km run took me a good 30minutes.

Looked like i'm back at my usual slow self.



The reason why i am so slow was because i am now 82kg with a 34 inch waist. That effectively put me at 18% fat, with a lean body mass of 147.73lb.

I will now need to limit my daily consumption of only 2371kcal to lose weight.

Not very exciting as a banana will give you 300kcal already.

Later that night, i went to celebrate Ultraman Yip's birthday with a bunch of Triatheletes and extreme runners.

To start with, i'm hardly in any of their shape where they are all lean mean machine.

One of them asked me if i am a bodybuilder.

Well, i was into that, maybe a good 14 years ago.

I love weights. Maybe that is to cover my inability to do any endurance sports.

Now, i'm considering if i should "change" sports.

Get bulky again with 17inch biceps? Damn, those were the days.


April 2004


16 going 17...April 2004

Should I?




Nadia now doing triathlons - Crawling - Standing - CLIMBING!


Friday, April 03, 2009

Nadia - 9 Months Standing!

My girl, Nadia, 9 months plus and standing.

This morning, wifey called me and say she is climbing stairs by herself.

Both a scary and exciting development!



She is crawling so fast it is hard to catch up with her at times. She also found out that she could bully her brother by snatching items from him.

She reacts very well to songs and dancing.



Her brother walked at 11 months. I bet it will just be a matter of weeks before she does that too.

She has been reacting very well in her new baby seat. So, it's official, my Matrix has since officially converted to be a family car - with some spare space to place the bikes on top of the roof.

What a wonderful fullfilling life! (nevermind them waking up in the middle of the night or when you least expected them to be and keeping you awake, all zombied eyed - they know you will love to play with them!)



Xterra Malaysia Official Launch



XTERRA MALAYSIA
KUANTAN OFF-ROAD TRIATHLON 2009

Date : 14 April 2009 (Tuesday)
Time : 1.00 pm
Venue : Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya

Come June 2009, the excitement of the world acclaimed Xterra Triathlon Race will make its debut in Malaysia with an inaugural race in Kuantan, Pahang. Malaysia is the FIRST country in South East Asia and only second to Japan in Asia to host this prestigious race.

Now part of the Xterra Global Tour, the Xterra Malaysia -Kuantan Off-Road Triathlon 2009 is sure to see more adventures, thrills and excitement with triathletes competing to complete the challenging terrains of Kuantan.

Be part of the official launch of Xterra Malaysia -Kuantan Off-Road Triathlon 2009 by YB Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister of Youth and Sports. The launch will be witnessed by Xterra Malaysia’s Royal Patron, DYTM Tengku Mahkota Pahang Tengku Abdullah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.

“Time to get dirty!”
RSVP by 9 April 2009:
Ms. Wong Soo Fong (Tel: 03-2079 1315, Fax: 03-2711 1611, soofong@xterramalaysia.net)

For more info, please visit them at www.xterramalaysia.com

Here's some shot from the race Venue

Swim in the blue sea


Bike start - 500m of bridge before leading into the wilderness


Run along the beach to the finish line, no less!




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