Monday, June 30, 2008

I need (my) oil and my warning light are blinking!

This is what happen on the 4th of June, as I remembered it :)

The latest revision of oil price (and reduction of subsidy) caught the citizen by surprise, either in timing, implementation or quantum. Previously, the government assure us that the oil price will only be revised in August. So, when it was announced in the afternoon of June 4th, to be effective on the very next day, many sees it as an insensitive (and crazy?) move by the government.

The increase in quantum, as explained by The Leaders, is inevitable due to the spiraling price of the commodity on the free market. Unfortunately many citizen are fuming mad as the 92 cents (41%) increase in quantum is steeply surprising. Many would think that a gradual increase i.e 30 cents per revision over some time, could better prepare the citizen for the changes in lifestyle needed.

As the news spread like wildfire, everyone rushed to petrol stations to fill up before the new price came into effect at the stroke of midnight, resulted in long, no, make that very long queues at every petrol station. Everywhere you look, the situation is the same. 

Just my luck, my fuel tank is running empty (the warning lights are on) so naturally I make my way to the petrol stations. but, on seeing the (very) long queue everywhere, just gave up and goes straight back home.  Mana la tahu, tak pasal-pasal kereta mati tengah jalan sebab takde minyak, lagi naya. Disumpah dek orang je.. Belum kira bergaduh sebab ada yang cuba nak potong queue. Sumpah seranah jangan cerita la, berbakul-bakul.

So rather than trying to save some 30 dollars by 'trying' to fill my small car tank full before midnight, I would rather be sleeping at home. A friend who goes to a station to fill up, spends an hour in the car, inching towards the pump. That kind of stress, I could do without.

It makes me think, the powers-that-be who make this (insensible) decision DO NOT actually fill in their own petrol, so what do they know about how we, the citizen are coping?

CampeĆ³nes de Europa

The time is 4:42am, and I'm just finished watching the Finals of EURO 2008 between Joachim Loew's Germany and Senor Aragones' Spain. It was a hugely entertaining match, with both teams displaying attacking flair. In the end, Spain comes up tops, beating the Germans 1-0.

It seems that Germany lost the battle in the midfield (this observation came from a kaki bangku like me, hehe). Ballack and Co does not look convincing enough, while Senna, Xavi and Fabregas pull the strings for the Spaniards, pumping in ball after ball for Torres and the strikers.

Anyway, I do think staying up to watch football is a one off thing for me, highly unlikely to be a regular thing, hehe.. I'd rather watch basketball (patut la aku tengok bola, NBA dah habis...)

The certainty of life (is death)

There is only two things certain in this world, tax and death.

Its funny that as we live our life (and living it to the fullest), we tend to forget that death is all around us. We are faced with death in the papers, telling of news from distant land of war, earthquake and diseases. Sometimes we are jolted by news of crime, flood and accidents nearer to home, that ends in death.

We often felt that we are invincible and indestructible that we forget that death could come on the very next instance, or crept in slowly, getting near with every breath taken. And more often than not, we are reminded of our own mortality when one near and dear are on a deathbed.

The mother of someone dear to me is currently in one of the specialist hospital, fighting for her life. She has end-stage cancer. I met Mama (thats what I call her) two years back, after hearing so much about this wonderful lady. At that time, she just had mastectomy.

Sis is taking it hard seeing Mama fighting for dear life. Even though she knows that sooner or later, she would have to let go, she confided that its easier said than done. Seeing Mama suffer tears her apart, and she's not sure whether she would be able to go through life without mama's wisdom to guide her.

Dear Sis, hang in there and be strong, with God's willing. make her as comfortable as possible and pray for the best as life and death is God's prerogative, and only He knows best.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A sticker do not maketh a person

As i was driving to work this morning (I do work on weekend sometimes), I was caught in a jam at the usual place. Most probably its caused by the traffic light down the hill (and no traffic police manning the traffic flow over the weekend).

As I was stuck, i saw a car adorned with a few sticker about spca, which is an animal shelter, and i thought to myself, there are still a lot of compassionate people out there. After all, God asks us to be kind to all, not only human. These people must be animal lovers, I opined.

So, as we inches forward, and the many lanes of cars are coming to a single lane, suddenly, i was overtaken on the wrong side by the animal lover car, zooming forward without any signals indicating its intent. WTF! 

Cheh, it seems that animal lover DO not have that much respect for fellow human. Sia-sia je letak sticker macam tu. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

How much is gold (medals) worth?

Still on the discussion of a monetary reward to the Olympic medalist, an athlete would need to sacrifice a lot to be at the pinnacle of their career. A world record meant to be broken, but to be an Olympic gold medalist would rank high in any athletes list, if you asked them.

The level of dedication and sacrifice needed from an athlete, since they start representing the school, university up to wearing the national colour would meant staying back after school for training, putting extra hours perfecting their skills, competition on weekends, more time spent training to correct their weakness and away from family. Could you do that?

From being the best in the school, to the best in the state, and nation, each step would mean they have less and less time for friends, social life and family if they really aimed for the pinnacle of sporting excellence. Nicol David does not get to be World No.1 by resting on her butt or blogging (like I do). She did it by hard work, perseverance and meticulous planning up to the minute detail. Could you do that?

If a RM1 million (incentive/bribe/reward) could encourage more people to take up sports, less merempit on the streets, unite the people of this blessed country and generally be more healthy, the benefit far outweighs the perceived excessiveness. Who knows if we won a gold medal in cycling, more people would be cycling and less car on the road. Less pollution, we become more healthy, the effects of fuel hike might not be too bad :)

How much do winners of AF got? Close to a million ringgit. How much do the people spend on SMSes? A few millions more? How much is the benefit of AF to the country? Go figure.

How much do you think a gold medal should be worth?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worth its weight in gold (medal)?

The recent announcement that our medallist at the upcoming Beijing Olympics are to be rewarded handsomely created some debate it seems. A gold would be worth a million dollars, while bagging a silver or a bronze medal would make an athlete richer by 300K and 100K respectively.

Most people think that it is excessive, given the current situation (high cost of living, higher fuel price, perbelanjaan berhemah), but the truth is, IS IT really that excessive? Some say, the athletes are materialistic and not patriotic but I beg to differ.

Sports should be looked as an instrument for unity, and to a certain extent, meritocracy at its best. Only the best athletes are invited to be in the Olympics, and they must satisfy a certain criteria. To satisfy those criteria, countless hours are put in, be it during preparation or training.

We do not send an athlete to the Olympics based on the color of their skin, race, or even their political leaning. There is no quota involved. As long as one are able to satisfy the qualification criteria, any Abu, Ah Chong and Muthu could don the coveted national colour at the Game. 

If you can't satisfy any of the qualifying criteria, the only way you could go to the Olympics is by using (lots of) money. Accomodation, transport and venue tickets does not come cheap, my friend. Thats what I meant, going to the Olympics are meritocracy at its best.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sheer Ignorance or just plain idiotic?

I received an email from a friend, with regards to an 'idiot driver' who apparently parks at the disabled parking bay at one of the local mall. Somehow he manage to park smack right in between of both bays, which will not register the parking bays as occupied (it has some sensor that emits a red light if it detects a car in the parking bay, parked below the light)

My response to him is that, the driver might be handicapped for all you know, which prompts the driver to park there in the first place. If thats the case, it should be no problem but if he's physically able, there could only one explanation...

That respective driver is definitely 'handicapped' up there, where the brain should reside. Aiyoh!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

BYFTO Day (Bring Your Family To Office Day)

Learned from Imah, that the proposed Family Day trip in July to Tiara PD has been cancelled. The reason? Budgetary constraint. Now its going to be held as a Family Day/Sports Carnival event at the field near... The Office. What?!!

IMHO, even if we are experiencing budget constraint, lets go to somewhere else BUT please, do not to hold the event at The Office. Anywhere but The Office. We could even go to Cerakah or even FRIM. Its near enough, but its definitely a change of scenery from The Office.

Even if we want to hold a sports carnival, FRIM has a field to cater to that. It has canopy walkway, an arboretum and a river runs thru it for the nature lover in all of us. who knows we could get the younger generation to be interested in nature.

Maybe I should get more info about FRIM and share with The OC. Maybe I should just do that. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

XII National Games

We have the tendency to build good sports facility, especially for international, regional or national sporting events, The National Games are held once every two years, and this year its in their 12th edition, at the new City of KT.

I was part of The Office team to go there, not on scientific capacity, more as an observer. The limited number of rooms available, means that we are lucky enough to have a bungalow to call our base. I was only there for two days, due to some urgent matters at home, but it was good visit.

The Main sports complex was huge, easily 7-8 stories high at its highest point, more or less modeled after the S.Alam stadium complex, with a nearby indoor stadium for gymnastics among other. The main stadium has a 48 lanes bowling alley and squash courts in its 'belly' to make it a multi sports complex.

Anyway, while I was there, the contractors are busy putting the finishing touch on the running lanes, jumps area and also electronics. It seems like a rushed job, and heard that it still hasn't certified by the world body and no test event has been run there prior to the Games. Quite surprising, but then again the organisers do plan a dry run a day before the competition due to start.

Anyway, two of the thing that came to mind are, the massive maintenance work needed for the sports complex and whether the sports complex (and its facilities) will be fully utilised after the Games. That, we'll just have to wait and see :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Level 2 Brainstormers

In my line of work, its not unusual to have working weekends due to the fact that most sporting event are held over the weekend. But last weekend, I was in Malacca, not for a sporting event but for a brainstorming kind.

It was a Level 2 course, and the CC are finalising the curricula. As I was there in Level 1 last year, i was again invited, which later I realise the real reason behind my invite. It seems that CC are unable to secure Dr Khairi for the pow wow, so I was there with Dr Ong (who never went to Level 1) to try and make sense of the half completed Level 2 notes by Dr Khairi.

It started slowly, as my partner is a bit lost as he has never been to a pow wow before but as we're finishing, with help from our motor learning neighbour, we manage to finish at least 70% of task at hand. Reminds me that translating someone else's work is never easy, especially if its from the national language to English. And our national language is NOT Dr Ong's mother tongue either, so its a hit and miss approach of sort. And to translate scientific term some more?

Anyway, currently I'm helping my partner to finish the last few parts of Level 2, translating two set of questions into our national language. Hope it'll be done by tonight. Cant wait to attend the Level 2 course on the 23-25th June, especially the part that we help compile.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Puteri Resort, we bid adieu :)

Puteri Resort is a nice place actually. It has a big swimming pool, a kids pool, wading pool, jacuzzi, a playground, a tennis cum basketball court and even an obstacle course.

The rooms are big enough and the TV channels are adequate, with sports, movies and kids satellite channel. One of my favorite things (and its not necessarily food) is they have wifi, even if its only at the lobby. On most of my trips, the availability of access to world wide web always ranks highly in my choice of hotels, be it local or overseas. So in a way, this resort scores up there (and the access is quite fast, another bonus point)

The spread at the Coffee House are varied enough, and the dessert corner would be a hit with the patrons, especially with ABCs and free flowing ice creams. The salad bar are a bit out of the way, but its worth visiting as with the noodles section. The Mee Bandung are good. No wonder, coupled with a reasonable room rate, and good corporate package, its almost always full (at least while I'm there).

Some of the pics taken at Puteri Resort, Air Keroh...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Puteri Resort Part II (visits and more visits)

Due to staying up late last night, I almost overslept. Nasib baik tak miss breakfast :) The usual hotel fare but somehow the hash browns are soggy. Alamak, baru nak puji the place for their many spreads.

Anyway, last night called Angel, just to check whether she's in town, so we could hang out. Somehow i totally forgot that she broke her leg a few weeks back, so it seems that a courtesy visit is in order. She also told me that Marsh' baby is also at the hospital due to fever. Definitely two visit later this evening.

After the afternoon session, make my way to town. Actually, I plan to go during lunch break, but decided against it as there are too many cars on the road (don't want to miss any of the brainstorming session, konon) and too short a time.

Upon reaching Malacca GH, call Marsh and check with her the exact location. Hey, its just my luck that I'm allowed to go into the Nursery and see the baby. Somehow the lady at the counter think that I'm related to Marsh. A'qila Izzara(h) is recovering and she sleeps well (she's on her best behaviour, according to Marsh).

After spending some time there (actually I was chased away by the counter lady), make my way to Ujung Pasir, to look for Taman Sinn. Somehow Angel is not too knowledgeable about her Taman, ended up making a few rounds baru la jumpa rumah dia.

Angel is still in crutches, but her operations would are healing nicely. We talked for a while (in a hushed tone) as her mother do not know the exact cause of her injury, she told her mum that its an office accident. Haiyyo! Only could spend a short time there, but at least I managed to visit both Angel and Marsh (and baby A'qila) during my stay there.

Get well soon all of you... (err, we miss your comments at the forum, Marsh)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Puteri Resort Part I

I am in Malacca this weekend for a pow wow with the experts in the field but not going to talk about that, thats too boring. At least, the place we're staying are nice, quite cheap and have nice facilities for the kids and adults too.

I reached there a quarter after 8pm, expecting things to already started but it seems that most of the scientist have not arrived yet and the briefing will only be held at 9pm. Checked in, learned that I'll have the room to myself (should have brought significant other along), met Along at the lobby and he told me to have dinner first. Ceh, already ate along the way thinking that I'll be late. Rugi, rugi!!

Check our the coffee house, not too bad other that its packed. Puteri Resort, Air Keroh seems to be a popular choice for either a corporate course, pow wow or just a family gathering. the food was OK, they even have fried crabs... unfortunately, I was full already (actually I couldn't find an available seat. Hhhmrrppphhh! Go upstairs, freshen up and get ready for the briefing.

Apparently they have wifi at the lobby, so guess where I'll be lepaking? The briefing is short, due to somehow the CC fellas forgot to bring the projector. So where else, the lobby it is. Unfortunately, some other patron managed to get hold of the karaoke system and preceded to butcher some clasic/rock/oldies/pop songs. Me and Along can't help to be Randy and Simon that night...

With wifi at the lobby, i finally retire to bed at almost 2am...