Monthly Archives: November 2007

Unmissable photo opportunity

To me, the best photographs are not necessarily those taken using RM20,000 cameras with lens longer than your arm. Rather, the best photographs are those taken during fleeting moments, photo opportunities that must be taken quickly, for it might be the only chance of you getting that picture. You might even need a fair amount of luck or/and bravery to get such a shot.

The following is an example, my brother even framed it for display on the mantelpiece. It happened during a fleeting moment on 29th March 2005:

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Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures featuring me that can match that, but still I’d like to give it a go ;-)

I was a big Felix AF3 fan in 2005-2006, and on 25th April 2006 Felix’s Fan Club organised a dinner with him at Tang Dynasty:

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Then on 7th January 2007 Atama unexpectedly showed up at a wedding I attended:

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There are some others, but they’re taken so long ago I’d have a hard time tracking them down.

Then there are the pictures taken by certain people but I never received (grrr….):
- with the world’s first computer hacker, Captain Crunch, taken at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur during an IT Security Seminar, April (?) 2004
- with Amy Search, backstage, just before he performed a little concert at Waterfront, KK, August 2004

Badminton: by winning the China Open, Wong Mew Choo has ended a 42-year wait

In world-class badminton tournaments, this is an even more remarkable achievement than Malaysia’s 25-year wait for the Thomas Cup title (1992), the 25-year wait for the men’s doubles title at the All England (2007), the 36-year wait for the men’s doubles title at the Asian Games (2006) or even the 37-year wait for the men’s singles title at the All-England (2003).

The last Malaysian lady to win a badminton tournament at the highest level is Rosalind Singha Ang who won the Malaysian Open in 1965.

And I can’t find any record of any other Malaysian lady who has won an Open tournament OUTSIDE Malaysia.

Wong Mew Choo, 24, world no.8, has done the impossible, winning the 2007 edition of China Open, defeating top Chinese players in their own backyard – that’s the hallmark of a true champion.

Check this out:

Quarterfinals: defeated reigning world champion Zhu Lin 18-21 21-9 21-13.

Semifinal: defeated China Open defending champion and reigning Olympic champion Zhang Ning 21-16, 21-19.

Final: defeated reigning world number 1 Xie Xingfang 21-16, 8-21, 21-17.

Salute

Insurance: another necessary evil?

I was a part time life insurance agent many years ago when I first started work. I was no good at it, perhaps that explains why I never went full time :-)

Having said that, insurance is something that can be perceived as a necessary evil, and insurance agents are sometimes seen as the devil himself. Something like lawyers perhaps.

Whatever it is, I have personally experienced the great power of insurance. When I was a student overseas, somehow or rather I purchased a Home insurance policy from Endsleigh. A few weeks later our house was broken into with quite a lot of electrical appliances being stolen. Thanks to that policy, two weeks later everything was replaced. I paid something like 38 pounds for it, and claimed more than 600 pounds.

Then 6 years back my wife was admitted to a private hospital with a serious illness. I had bought a medical insurance policy a few months earlier for a mere RM200+. Again, that policy came to the rescue, where it helped to pay more than RM10,000 of the final bill.

Hence, I have learnt my lesson: get yourself adequate insurance protection, be it Car insurance, Home insurance, Life insurance, Loan insurance, whatever. You never know when disaster is going to strike, that’s when you need that policy the most!

Soccer: after 18 games as England coach, Steve McClaren sacked

After 15 months and 18 games. Record: 9 wins, 4 draws, 5 losses. Assistant Coach Terry Venables’ contract also terminated.

England failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 1994 World Cup.

Scott Carson’s, 22 nightmare competitive debut for England
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The England captain after the match
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After the loss to Croatia and before sacking, players diplomatic:

Peter Crouch: “I know the players have enjoyed working with him. We will get over it. It is a huge disappointment but if the manager stays I’m sure we’ll get over it.”

John Terry: “I give full support for Steve McClaren. It’s been great working with him. We have thoroughly enjoyed it, really enjoyed it, and we take collective responsibility.”

An England fan’s preview of the match where he predicted England will triumph 3-1:

Click here to see the video

The greatest Kadazandusun music album ever

In my humble opinion, it has got to be Justin Lusah’s volume 1 (1976).

Why? For starters the album has at least 5 total classics: favourite songs of every sumazau music lover – I bet you won’t find any Kadazandusun, young or old, with the slightest interest in local music, that won’t know these songs. Guaranteed available in every karaoke bar, at least in Sabah.

Even after 30+ years, it still towers above all the others.

Just look at this lineup, especially the first 5, it’s a dream team!

1. Sumandak mantad sunsuron
2. Namot nu poingsikul – beautiful refrain repeated over and over again
3. Odu aki – I think this is should’ve been selected as a national song, rather than Jambatan Tamparuli. Perhaps the English lyrics proved to be its undoing.
4. Kada arau monduli – Probably this is the first instance ever recorded of the now ubiquitous keyboard intro riff. This song was rerecorded in Volume 2; but I prefer this more laidback version. Another beautiful refrain repeated over and over again.
5. Oi darling – This features a keyboard riff that was fashionable in the 70s and early 80s. Nobody uses this riff nowadays. This song was rerecorded in Volume 2; but I prefer this more laidback version. Another beautiful refrain repeated over and over again.
6. Sumulok bawang Sunsuron
7. Ralan Kumaa Kinabalu
8. Pitongkiadan Kito do Toruhai
9. Kosusaan Id Piginawaan

Not a single weak track – this is Mr Lusah’s masterpiece. Tracks 6 to 9 seemed rather obscure in comparison, due to the incomparable heights reached by tracks 1 to 5.

This album does NOT contain “Jambatan Tamparuli”: that appears in volume 2, apparently produced in the same year.

Having said that, local album covers during that era usually featured artistes in various poses, unfortunately in forgettable garb, never in an Oscar de la Renta for example…

Technical furniture by Formaspace

Formaspace is a Texas-based company which designs and makes custom technical furniture, accessories & services, specialising in lab, technical, drafting & industrial environments.

Most of Fortune 500 companies are Formaspace clients. Add to that universities, governments, small businesses and of course individuals. These people must’ve pored over Formaspace’s furniture catalog countless times.

All their designs and accessories are backed up with what they claim to be the industry’s best warranty.

So if you are in the US and are looking for a custom Workbench, they can be contacted at 1.800.251.1505 (design services) or 1.512.759.6830 (local).

Quick hill climbing in Kota Kinabalu (Part II)

Another hill around Kota Kinabalu is next to Kg Kopungit, next to the new Penampang highway.

Most afternoons you will be able to see cars parked on the side of the road next to the hill. Most likely they belong to hill climbers:

Somewhere along the road there will be a way to climb up the path, which initially runs parallel to the highway:

After a short walk you will be able to look down on the housing project below. Would you pay RM700K for their 3-storey corner lot terrace house? Crazy price, but that’s another story.

After a while the path isn’t so clear anymore, but just follow the general direction of the hilltop, and you’ll be fine. Just remember that although this is a shorter hike than the previous hill I described, it is more “wild”, meaning there are no steps and no lights.

After a while you’ll reach a place where you can see the sea already. There’s a big rock there:

But that is not the top yet. Going further, a few minutes later will reveal this clearer view of the airport and sea:

There’s a concrete marker there to mark the highest point. The metal pyramid has gone – perhaps already taken by scrap metal thieves.

As you can see from the timestamp, it took a mere 20 minutes to reach the top, at a fast-walking pace.

Information on sudden cardiac arrest

Do you know the difference between a Heart Attack and a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)? What are the risk factors of an SCA? If you are at risk, what are the right questions to ask your doctor?

Every year, SCA causes 325,000 deaths – that’s almost 900 per day.

InsideCardiacArrest.com is a website that contains the answers to all the above questions and more. As Sun Tzu’s Art Of War mentioned, it’s imperative that you know your enemy before you can devise a strategy to deal with it.

Quick hill climbing in Kota Kinabalu (Part I)

There are at least 2 popular places for quick hill climbing around Kota KInabalu. These places are ideal for busy city folks wanting a quick workout while being close to nature and at the same time able to enjoy panoramic view from a peak.

One of them is at Taman Tun Fuad, Bukit Padang. You really can’t miss it; just walk around the jogging track; if you see people going up the hill, most probably they are going there.

The track is wide and has steps – this is good preparation if you’re thinking of climbing Mount Kinabalu. If this is not strenous enough for you, walk faster or run, and do several repetitions. This track is also used by state athletes like Guianus Salagan and gang.

There are 2 parts to it. Once you reach the top of the first part, turn right and keep walking you’ll see this:

Soon, you will see another set of steps, narrower this time:

Once you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful panoramic view of the surroundings. The pics I’ve taken don’t do justice to the actual view:

We couldn’t spend more time at the top and explore the surroundings due to impending heavy rain.

As you can see from the timestamp, it only took about 30 minutes to get to the top at a fast-walking pace.

P.S. This is a more fun way of losing weight than going for thosewieght loss pills.