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Friday, October 31, 2008

The barrier

If God permits, I will be cycling +/- 140km this Sunday morning, together with the JB gang. Route: Kg. Melayu Majidee - Sedili - Kg. Melayu Majidee. For those who know, this is not a flat route for sure.

What, 140km? Gilo apo?

Wow, I'm feeling so much tempted to do it, as much as I feel scared. For Ironman level, 140km is like nothing coz they swim 4km, then cycle 180km, then finally run 42km. Not even like kacang putih for them, maybe just like kacang dal. But for me, this is definitely not equivalent to any kind of kacang in the world. Takut siot!

Scared of not being able to break my own barriers - mentally and physically.

The only time when I cycled more than 100km was back then in the United States. It was only 101.5km if I'm not mistaken. Started early in the morning, bila dah balik matahari dah terpacak atas kepala, and it was during summer time.

The next time I cycled close to 100km was with the JB gang here, few months back. We covered the distance of close to 90km, from Kg. Melayu Majidee to Kota Tinggi waterfall and back. My thighs were badly crammed on the way back. Memang dah gave up banyak kali dah, tapi sebab tak bawak duit banyak so takleh la nak naik teksi balik rumah, kena kayuh beskal jugak. (Note to self: next time, bring enough money for taxi)

But hey, this is 140km man! 140km bukan main-main punya distance wa cakap lu for a rookie like me. Kalau bawak kereta on the same route with average speed of 80km/hr sekalipun, senang-senang boleh cecah dekat-dekat 2 jam. Itu naik kereta dol, bukan naik basikal! Dah la sejak lepas raya I only cycled for 18km, then another 18km, and lastly 24km during the normal Wednesday nite rides. Tak tau la ada stamina ke tak, belasah aje lah.

The JB gang said it will take about 7 hours cruising to cover the distance with a break in the middle. But for me, maybe I will be 'cursing' for the whole 7 hours.

We'll see what is going to happen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Note to self

Good article.....Indeed.

Mr. Narayana Murthy is undoubtedly one of the most famous persons from Karnataka. He is known not just for building the biggest IT Empire in India but also for his simplicity. Almost every important dignitary visits InfoSys campus.

He delivered an interesting speech during an employee session with another IT company in India. He is incidentally, one of the top 50 influential people of Asia according to an Asiaweek publication and also the new IT Advisor to the Thailand Prime Minister.

Extract of Mr. Narayana Murthy's Speech during Mentor Session:

I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week, or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long hours are only temporary. Other people I know have put in these hours for years. I do not know if theyare working all these hours, but I do know they are in the office this long. Others put in long office hours because they are addicted to the workplace.

Whatever the reason for putting in overtime, working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organization. There are things managers can do to change this for everyone's benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors.

My colleagues who are in the office long hours frequently make mistakes caused by fatigue. Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday.

Another problem is that people who are in the office long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who are not working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behaviour poses problems, where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.

As Managers, there are things we can do to help people leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home ourselves. I work with a manager who chides people for working long hours. His words quickly lose their meaning when he sends these chiding group e-mails with a time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday.

Second is to encourage people to put some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find helpful:

1) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.
2) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.
3) Go home.
4) Read the books/comics, watch a funny movie, dig in the dirt, play with your kids, etc.
5) Eat well and sleep well.

This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 enable step 2. Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts.

They are hard for some of us because that requires 'personal change'. They are possible since we all have the power to choose to do them.

In considering the issue of overtime, I am reminded of my oldest son.

When he was a toddler, if people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how long the visit was, and no matter what time of day it was. He would fight off sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid that he would miss some thing.

Once our visitors' left, he would go to sleep. By this time, however, he was over tired and would scream through half the night with nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out.

Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they do not want to miss anything when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening.

That is life! Things happen 24 hours a day. Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap.

Things will happen while you are asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake.

Hence,
'LOVE YOUR JOB, BUT NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR COMPANY BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THE COMPANY STOPS LOVING YOU'

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

30 years ago

1 year ago, around this time...
I was in the States, having my months of technical training upon entering this new company I'm working with now. My new sports life had begun - the endurance sports.

3 years ago, around this time...
I was working in PJ area with the previous company, a Japanese one. Work has started to slow down, less and less design projects to do, lots of business opportunities were lost due to high competition on the global level. My motivation was degrading so much that I started sending out my resume for better job opportunities. As my motivation went down, so did my sporting activities.

5 years ago, around this time...
I just came back from a year of job training in Japan. Motivation was sky high. I could even communicate in Japanese language - both written and spoken. I thought life was just about to start, with me signing up the purchase agreement of a condominium. Not until later I realized that the 'hard life' had just started. By the way, I managed to play volleyball a bit here and there with the company team. Ala, just for fun (and for the company t-shirts, hahaha).

10 years ago, around this time...
I just started my first year doing degree at the university in the UK. Perhaps, enjoying the title as 'graduate students'. Hmm, maybe the word enjoy is not approproately being used here. Anyway, life during this time was pretty easy peasey, with the only thing I focused was to get a degree, as what I promised my dad. My sports life? Zero!

15 years ago, around this time...
If I'm not mistaken, by this time I had just finished doing PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah). I was among the many form 3 students who was first being introduced to PMR, rather than the SRP (Sijil Rendah Pelajaran). My sports life could be considered as very active as I participated in lots of sports normally played at secondary schools like hockey, volleyball, table-tennis, some track n' field stuffs, tennis and a bit of soccer. Life was fun!

20 years ago, around this time...
I barely remember what happened 20 years back. One thing I do remember was that I changed schools a lot. At one point, I changed schools every year because of my father's work nature.

30 years ago, around this time...
A great young mom gave birth to a healthy little baby boy. And the little baby boy was - ehem ehem, ME!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Neck

Let's play a little bit of quiz. How many words do you oftenly heard people associate with the word 'neck'?

Here's my guess:-

Turtle-neck - a kind of collar type associated with clothings.

Bottle-neck - erm, I think you guys know what it means.

Rough-neck - a term used to those people who work on offshore or onshore platform in oil & gas field.

Stiff-neck - this is what I'm feeling since I woke up this morning. Adoi, sakitnya..

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pancit day

Di dalam kesamaran hujan renyai-renyai semalam, aku nekad untuk pergi kayuh basikal bersama-sama geng yang biasa lah. Mungkin sebab keadaan pada masa tu seolah-olah macam hujan tak nak berhenti, tak berapa ramai geng yang turun untuk kayuh. Ada la dalam 6 7 orang je. Kalau cuaca baik bulan terang mengambang, biasanya boleh cecah berbelas-belas orang. Road bikers pun ada, mountain bikers pun ada.

Sesampainya di tempat berkumpul yang biasa, dah ada dua tiga orang yang sedang bersiap-siap. Aku pun join sekali la. Around 9pm, we made the move. Diorang ni memang bagus, bila berkayuh time malam semua orang guna blinkers (lampu merah kelip-kelip) for safety purpose.

Tak habis satu pusingan, sorang mamat ni pancit tayar belakang. Terus DNF (Do Not Finish the training).

Lepas aku dah habis buat dua pusingan, ada orang bagitau sorang lagi mamat pancit tayar. Tak tau la tayar depan ke belakang. DNF lagi sorang.

Habis buat tiga pusingan, aku retired sebab aku dah 'pancit'. Orang lain continue buat 4 atau 5 pusingan.

Sambil-sambil aku lepak tu, nampak sorang mamat berjalan kaki sambil heret basikal dia. Tayar depan dia pancit rupanya. Another DNF.

Tak sampai 3 minit lepas tu, ada sorang lagi telefon bagitau tayar depan dia pancit. Sorang mamat terus pergi rescue dia, bawak pump dan sebagainya. Very supportive.

Begitulah alkisahnya tentang hari ke'pancit'an yang berlaku semalam.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No fuel

Approximately two weeks ago was the first time after Raya where the JB triathletes resumed the weekly night cycling routine. It was happening. Close to 15 triathletes and cyclists turned up.

Most of them brought something new. "Raya" la kononnya. As normal, when Raya comes, new things should come along.

One guy brought new fully carbon bike, some guys brought new frames, some with new water bottle cages and some brought new blinkers and cycling shoes.

And what new thing that I brought? Only the drinking water inside my water bottle can be considered as new. Other than that, nothing's new for me.

I was being idle from training for two months due to work training and fasting. So, a bit of high spirit for me to cycle on that night with the group. But due to lots of work to be done in the office, I departed from my office a bit late. Thus, had to skip my dinner. I did not want to be late for the start of the cycling sebab kalau lambat nanti tak syok nak kena kejar diorang yang laju-laju tuh.

I managed to be in the group of 13 to 15 cyclists in the first loop. Memang meriah sakan beb. Then, on the second loop I got dropped off (as usual lah, nothing new there). By the end of the second loop I felt like vomitting. So, I slowed down on the third loop sebelum apa-apa kejadian yang memalukan seperti termuntah di atas basikal berlaku.

I only did 3 loops that night, not wanting to push my self so hard after such a long time idling. If you attack your body with excessive shock no good maa. Sendiri susah aje. Once I got down from my bike, my hands were shaken. My body was shaken. Even my legs felt shaken.

Then I remembered and realised that I did not take dinner before cycling, and the last meal I had was my lunch which was at around 12pm. The cycling did not start until 9pm.

Now I know, never to cycle even for short distance when you got no fuel in your stomach. Unless you are a mutant la.

By the way, tomorrow is Wednesday and hopefully no rain at night. Jom kita main kejar-kejar on the bike with the triathletes!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chotto isogashii

I'm currently out of office for below reasons:-

- Organizing an university open day visit to the facility [done]
- Attending symposium at the university (jadi tukang jaga booth aje) [just ended]
- Attending training [now ongoing]

Orang Jepun cakap "chotto isogashii".

Orang putih cakap "a bit busy".

Aku cakap "Err, update blog sikit-sikit dah la, tengah banyak keje ni".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adopt a tree, anyone?

I've heard about people adopting a child or children.

I also have heard about people adopting pets.

But, I never heard about people adopting trees. Well, not until today.

If you have a Nokia phone and wish to adopt a tree and monitor its growth via Google Earth, you are most welcomed.

Read about it here.

Err, can we adopt a road bike?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 steps to change your clutch

Di sini akan ditunjukkan beberapa basic steps untuk menukar clutch kereta anda sekiranya anda dapati tiba-tiba anda tak boleh memasukkan gear kereta anda dan menyebabkan anda tersadai di rumah tak boleh pergi kerja seperti yang saya alami semalam (hanya untuk kereta manual transmission, kereta auto aku tak tau).

Step 1: Cabut tayar kiri dan kanan. Lepas tu, cabut jugak drive shafts kiri dan kanan.

Step 2: Cabut bateri sel basah tu dulu. Kemudian, cabut beberapa cable yang bersangkutan dengan clutch sebab lepas ni kita kena keluarkan gear box. Mintak tolong sesapa yang ada dekat situ untuk membantu anda sementara anda mengambil gambar mereka.

Step 3: Oleh kerana gear box tu berat, mintak tolong dua orang yang gagah perkasa untuk menurunkan gear box tu dari bawah kereta.

Step 4: Inilah yang dinamakan clutch housing. Sila buka clutch housing ni dulu.

Step 5: Ini pula ialah clutch plate (if I'm not mistaken la) yang rosak. Kalau anda perasan, boleh nampak sebuah spring yang tersembul keluar di bahagian atas tu. Itulah yang menyebabkan clutch anda tersangkut lantas menghalang anda untuk tukar gear sebab clutch dah tak boleh berfungsi. Maka, gantilah ia dengan yang baru. Benda ni senang di dapati di mana-mana kedai spare parts.

Step 6: Jika anda dapati getah penutup drive shaft anda sudah pecah dan grease mula keluar, adalah elok jika anda terus ganti getah penutup drive shaft tu. Alang-alang dah bukak benda alah tu kan, tukar je terus.

Step 7: Pasang balik segala menda alah yang anda dah cabut dan bukak tadi. Pastikan takde skru yang terlebih atau terkurang.

Step 8: Test drive dulu kenderaan anda untuk memastikan gear dan clutch anda berfungsi dengan baik.

Step 9: Keluarkan dompet anda, dan serahkan kad kredit ataupun cash anda sejumlah lebih kurang RM400 kepada workshop tempat anda repair kereta tu sebagai menghargai usaha murni diorang tolong anda tukar clutch kereta yang rosak. Jangan lupa untuk memberi ucapan terima kasih kepada diorang.

Step 10: Cuba-cubalah senyum walaupun berat hati memikirkan camnela nak recover balik duit RM400 yang aku dah plan baik punya untuk beli road bike trainer lepas raya ni. Anyway, bersyukurlah dengan apa yang ada, betul tak?

Uwaaaa.. rosak plan aku!!!

Sekian, semoga berjaya!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wanna Tri?

I got this message from my triathlete friend in JB. Those of you who are interested to join, feel free to contact him.

TRI-SWIM TRAINING

TO ALL AGE GROUPERS AND WEEKEND WARRIORS

- Improve swimming technique for open water swimming and triathlon races.
- Learn proper open water techniques that will help you during a race.
- Learn how to sight.
- Learn how to draft and pace in open water situations.
- Learn how to adapt in certain situations, big waves or choppy waters.
- Learn proper pulling techniques in the water.
- Learn how to turn at buoys quick and effortless and without breast stroke!
- And eventually learn how to minimize your breast stroke during a race!

Pre-requisite: Must know how to swim basic freestyle, and has recently done around 800 meters or equivalent 20 minutes of swimming.

Time and Day: 7:30pm – 9:00pm, Every Sunday.

Fees: Package 1 – RM 20.00 per lesson
Package 2 – RM 60.00 for 4 lessons

For further information
Please contact Coach Azhar at 013-7833559
or email at tricoachazhar@gmail.com

Home Sweet Home

Alhamdulillah, Raya was over. I safely went back to my kampung in Kota Bharu, safely ate all the traditional delicacies with those extra cholesterols during raya and has safely returned to my home sweet home in Damansara.

Next week I guess we all will resume our 'normal' work life. It must be hard for me to resume work after one whole week spending time with families and friends. Being able to recall and remember the many passwords I need for login to the corporate softwares at office would be a bonus for me. Haha.

Well folks, very limited time to blog for now. Till next time ya!

Hope everyone of you had a great raya wherever you went, and safely returned to your home sweet home.