Wednesday, October 29, 2008


If you are currently working, one of these days you are staring at the prospect of retiring. Well, different countries has different retirement age (where one stops employment completely), which depends on various factors ie determined age, physical condition or even personal choice.

I was talking to someone who works in the public sector the other day, and he was of the opinion that retirement age (for the public sector at least) should be shortened rather than lengthened. He pointed out that, earlier the compulsory retirement age was 55, which was raised to 56 and now, its 58.

He opines that one should reap or enjoy life while they can (and able), and not just stuck to their desk until 58 years old, which could mean more than half of their life. He also pointed out that without these retiree, they would be less jobs on the market especially in the public sector as their retirement would mean extra posts available.

He agreed that the experience of these near-retirement officers are invaluable, but for some, the nature of their work needs one who is youthful and more physical. Lots of travel will take its toll when one is older. Who am I to disagree, as he is also nearing his retirement age. In conclusion, he proposed that the retirement age is brought forward to 53 or earlier.

So, what is your retirement age? More on retirement? Visit

Monday, October 27, 2008

And light prevails over darkness

Today, Deepavali (also known as Diwali) is celebrated all over the world as the "Festival of Lights", which symbolises the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. Hmm, if only life is that easy and good wins over evil every time :) The battle of good versus evil rages on all our life, from refusing to follow our childhood friends from stealing fruits from the neighbours orchard, helping the old lady cross the road or refraining from taking that extra piece of that moist chocolate cake, hehehe..

So, I am taking this opportunity to wish all my Hindu friends, Rohan, Pri, Vell and everyone else, "HAPPY DIWALI". May the coming year spell greater success in whatever you do, and... refrain from going over to the 'dark' side :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

And the clock goes, tick, tock, tick, tock...

I do not really understand the need to have long meetings. Unfortunately, in the course of my work, meetings seems to form the staple of "things to do". I would like to think of myself as an aspiring scientific guy (the word scientist seems too distant) with some administrative function to boot - they trust me enough to let me run my own department, hmm.

To be given that kind of additional administrative responsibility is not the actual problem really, other than when...

  1. I need to attend a meeting (administrative/finance/operations/etc in nature), that unfortunately...
  2. starts later than the start time stated on the memo, which means...
  3. the meeting will end later than expected, when sudedenly...
  4. some wise guys JUST HAVE TO parrot and repeat what has been said earlier, or..
  5. suddenly went off tangent and starts to regal us with some oft listened grandmother/'when I was younger..." stories, that...
  6. will definitely lengthen the agony of listening to all these which...
  7. has no connections whatsoever to what is REALLY being discussed in the meetings minutes of this..
  8. sometimes ad-hoc meetings which could be done in a shorter time in the first place!

I have had some meetings that spans a whole day (that is not a workshop, mind you, just a normal monthly meeting), meeting held over two weeks (4.5hrs each part) with the average meeting last 4+ hours. Maybe for some people this is normal, but I do think the longer the meeting are, the harder it would be to keep ALL quorum to be genuinely interested in the meeting. Btw, I DO have a short attention span, hehehe. 

I do think meetings is where information are disseminated, tasks are divided among quorum, objective decided, deadlines reminded and updates reported. My own department weekly meeting tops out at 1hrs max, most of the times 30-45 minutes each. Keep It Short and Simple. So, whats your kind of meeting?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I do or do I?

I met a former acquaintance of mine a couple of evening back. We use to work in the same agency, but then he continued his studies and after graduation, he was transferred to the administration arm of the government. Now he is in the parent agency, so we actually seldom met.

Exchanging pleasantries, we catch up on sports matter. Then it takes a slight turn, as he asks me about some personal matter. His wife is a colleague of mine, although not in the same division. Nope, just before you get to conclusions, I am not seeing his wife. But, he is asking me whether I had heard any/some/whatever news of the rumored relationship between his wife and a certain someone.

I told him as best as a friend could, that I do not hear anything on the matter (which is true, as I do think I would be the last person on the rumour trail) and suggested to him that at times, some matters are taken out of context and blown out of proportion especially if its the juicy and seemingly scandalous kind. He also admitted that their relationship has been rocked lately, especially with the rumours running around.

I could only advise him to work on the marriage should they have any problem. Look for kinks in the relationship, and discuss on matters especially something as important as this. Give the benefit of doubt to his wife and be fair to her, as one if innocent until proven guilty. If the marriage take the worst turn, I worry for their kid. The children is the real victim in these situation.

"to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, til death do us part..."  a sacred vow

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Too high a price

I am nearing the magical 100. It was only a few years back that I was on top, with single digit excess. I could always blame schooling and then working, which over the years has taken its toll on the body. Unfortunately, the fact remains that it is due years of my own neglect that allows it to happen.

In a way I was always lulled by a false sense of security, my strength is also my weakness that hides the imperfection in me. The memories of achievement of yesteryears are being played relentlessly, but a part still refused to accept the fact that it was nowhere near the height where it was once.

As the years passes by, rest assured it will be harder and harder. The first few steps are wobbly at best, with failure always lurking, and waiting to strike without notice. Giving up is easier. But I can't and should not be like the few who takes the easy way out and sell their souls. Unfortunately for some, the price has been too high. Too high indeed.

A journey of a thousand miles, starts with the first step...

Monday, October 20, 2008

And the heaven weeps...

Too often we take all around us for granted. We take our families, friends, colleagues, work, relationship even health down that path. Its when we lost them, only we realise that it could have been different if we treat all that matters to us differently.

A few of my closest lost their dearest this year. Sis lost Mama, and recently Lei lost his firstborn daughter, Aleiya. Sis witnesses Mama's deteriorating health over a few month due to a cancer relapse, where just months before the family are enjoying their vacation in Europe. She felt empty and helpless for not being able to do something about it. 

Lei lost her firstborn last Friday due to some complications during birth. I was told that his wife is so happy about the baby, and I do share their happiness. I was shocked to learn this morning that Baby Aleiya drowned during birth and was in ICU until the day she passed away. As much as we sympathized, I can only imagine what both families are going through, losing someone so dear to them.

Maybe as Coach mentioned, hopefully time will be the best healer. I hope he is right. Live life to the fullest with the people that matters the most to you. We have lots to look forward to. Create memories now, rather than wait. A small gesture will go a long way. My heart are with both of you, Sis and Lei.

Al-Fatihah for Mama and Baby Aleiya. May their soul rest in peace.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life. Death.

Death is all around us, but we tend to forget how closely related life and death are, until someone we know are taken away from us.

A cousin of mine succumbed to leukemia last year. He was the baby of the family, being the youngest. Always smiling and cheery, brought up respecting the elders and a good student at school. We are shocked to hear about his condition, and his parents battled hard, but in the end, the love of Allah proves greater. He is called to be by His side, at the peak of his innocence.

In memories of Mohd Haikal bin Abdul Rahim, AL-FATIHAH. May his soul rest in peace.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An adventure of the gastronomic kind Part II

The Eid gastronomic adventure was not confined only towards the weekends, as weekdays are also not spared. Most companies/offices/businesses fete their staffs/clients and some invited guests during the weekdays. Last Thursday, one of the department in our organization held an Eid Open House (err, office would be apt I guest). The Boss, Bab, invited everybody, and in a way did put some pressure on Management as they are 'expected' to organise one for the whole organization.

Yesterday, the Main Office held its Eid Open house at one of the stadiums, from 1100 up til 1630. This would be the fourth time during my service, and the food is almost the same. But the main thing is, the event is a good social (and eating) event as we manage to meet some of our colleagues from some other agencies. I even met my future brother in law there (my sister's bf).

But as with these events where lots of foods are being consumed, it makes you wonder whether all the food are properly prepared as we did find some uncooked food. Maybe trying to cook it too fast? I have stomach discomfort last nite, and needs to be at my solitary 'throne' quite a few times. Nadz are down with diarrhea this morning and on medical leave. Hmm, could it be that its the killer 'otak-otak'?

Monday, October 13, 2008

An adventure of the gastronomic kind..

Yesterday was a busy day... especially for my stomach. With Eid just barely two weeks ago, the weekends are used to have an open house, a local tradition where relatives, friends and acquaintances take the opportunity to visit during the festive season. What is so great about these open houses? What else, the food of course.

With only four weekends in a month, the month of Syawal is filled with invitation to such events, either formally or informally (gatecrashing of course). In total, I got seven invitation yesterday, and I managed to get to five. Started at noon in KL (with Ed and bf), the gastronomic adventures continues until late at night. I even need to plan my eating to ensure i have enough 'space' left for the next house :)

Terima kasih daun keladi, Raya tahun depan ajak lagi...hehehe

ps. I would like to thank Ed, Syahrul and Ruby, Molly and Zaki, Scooby and Firdaus, Nadzrin and Ana and not forgetting Maya and family. Sorry Big, could not attend yours as it was too late to drop by

The week thats filled with two wheels...

Last week was filled with all thing cycling.

As I surf through the vast expanse of the Net, I came across a few local cycling site. I also found out that there is one bike shop near where I live and another one that is located along the way to work. I do need some new brake pads, some inner tubes, tires, new shoes and the list is endless. Maybe a new bike too, hahaha.

I got the brake pads and tubes in Serdang and planned to look for the Bianchi shop in Bangi. Not that I can afford even the cheapest of Bianchi, so its more of window shopping. Bike Xtreme is located in a new phase, and its a bit tricky to get there. Bob and Buji, the managers are friendly and even asked me to tag along for their Friday nights ride in Putrajaya.

As Nick plans to go pick up his bike on Friday, I told him that I wanna tag along. We went after lunch and I spend a little bit more on a patch kit, extra tube and... a new shoe. Does make me poorer by 250 dollars, even after all the discount. Did not I say that cycling is a wee bit expensive in this country? This are my bounty

With Scotty having new brake pads, spare tubes and patch kits its time to ride. What  else to do other than taking up Buji's offer on Friday night ride. If I remembers it correctly, he says they rolled out at 2100h from KTP. Make my way there, but bike groups are nowhere to be seen. No problem, I'll just take a short ride on my own. Its not like I've ever ridden with any group before.

A short one hour ride later, I am back in KTP. As I was packing up to go, a few cars came in and unload their bikes. A car stopped near me and someone asked me if I am going back already. It was Buji. He invited me to join them for a short ride. As it is still relatively early... why not. Seven of us rode, with two cars as the marshall. Got acquainted with Bob, Buji, Am, Nik, Yap and Pijan. Those guys are good :)

It was a good easy ride. They even asked me if I am interested to ride up to GS on Sunday, using the Gombak old road. I declined as I do think I need to put in enough mileage first before attempting something like that. Having said that, I still aspire to ride up GH on a bike. Just a bike. Maybe before I turn 40. Definitely doing that before I am 40. Hmmm...

Going up like a rabbit, coming down like a tortoise..

The fuel price hike early this year, has affected a lot of people. Although the hike is inevitable, the mechanism, quantum and timing of it could be better. For most of us, some kind of adjustment needs to be made ie using (sometimes unreliable) public transport, less eating out and finding alternative modes of transport.

This is one alternative mode of transport I saw a couple of weeks back on my way from office. Way cool eh? I found out that these motorised bikes cost up from 650 dollars. One website says that it could go up to 40kmh. Needs no registration with RTD, just some common sense when sharing the road with other (bigger) user, hehehe... Way cool bro!!

Hmm... I should really start cycling to work again... or maybe I could just wait until the price of oil, goes down further (as at last week below USD85)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

To K & L it is then...

Finally I went to the bike shop yesterday. The story is, I actually went looking for it on Monday but when I finally found it (it was not exactly where it was said to be), it was already closed. So, need to go back there yesterday. Got there around 1845, enough time to browse, hehehe. Lots of stuff but limited selection for roadies. Anyway, got myself two pairs of brake pads and spare tube (never ride without one)

Spend the rest of the night replacing my worn brake pads, cleaning/degreasing and oiling Scotty (some TLC needed) moving parts, and some tinkering with brake settings and hods. Remind me that I would need a new brake caliper to replace the one in front.. its so old school (which I got for free, no complaints)

Met CH at the bulletin board today. He asked me when to start riding together again. We planned for next week on alternate days. Need to check with him on his favorite bike shop next time we meet. That means I got a few more days..

Monday, October 06, 2008

Post-Raya post

The festive season has done its damage. I am tipping the scale at 96.5kg. Thankfully, my tall frame makes me look slimmer (the truth is, the damage is surely showing in the midsection). My Polar is (water) damaged last month during sailing so I would need a new HRM.

2008 Powerman looms next month. I would definitely know in the next 10 days whether I would be ready for it (which reminds me to get my right heel checked for injuries). Nick says he is joining the thing. Hmm, also needs to annoy Lei enough to make him join it. But first, need to drop by the bike shop on my way back to get new brake pads.

And I would need to update this blog more often.