Saturday, December 12, 2015

Birthday Wishlist Closed!

It's been 2 months since my last entry.  Forgive me for I have been too busy that blogging has to take a backseat ... once too often.  This sounds like I'm making a confession.  And Christmas just round the corner ... haha!!

In busyness, time really flies.  Let's see what I have been up to off late.

I am now a half-centurion plus 2 and I am so happy that I have finally completed my half-centurion birthday wishlist.  FINALLY!!!

I pursued my virgin FM (full marathon) in October 2014 in Osaka, Japan but I had failed to complete the run due to a leg injury suffered during my training for TMBT Sabah that was held in August 2014.  One was a first try and the latter a second ... both unsuccessful!

As I have given up on joining the ultra-trail run in Sabah ... ever ... I gave it a second shot to complete the full marathon in Osaka on 25 October 2015.  With lo kong a willing pacer, I managed to complete it in 6 hours 5 minute ... a timing that I am very surprised to have achieved.  I would have been most happy to have just completed the run closed to the cut-off time of 7 hours.

With this medal in hand, I am moving on to other adventures or may be challenges.  Let's see ... the plans aren't in place yet.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Be Inspired To Inspire

"Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others.  And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals."
~ Dr. Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Have you ever ponder about your purpose in this world?  What are you meant to do ... to make the world a little better than it was?  Sounds like a gargantuan responsibility right?

We always say that God created everyone with a purpose but we are left to find that purpose on our own.  It is not easy and at most times many of us got lost, distracted or detoured along the way.  Most of us just go into a monotonous mode repeating the daily rituals of complacent living.

Yet when we started out in search of our life purpose, the first thing that comes to mind will always be to help others in need.  Realistically, how can we even help others when we have just begun to think of our own life purpose?  We are still in our comfort zone.  We need help to kick ourselves out of our complacency first!

Rather than pushing our way into other people's lives bearing our ideals, it would be more effective to apply those ideals onto ourselves first.  Subtly,  let our actions and positive changes become the inspiration to those who want to help themselves.  We'll be pretty much paying it forward.

Naturally, the first step to help us change is to look for role models.  People who have successfully made changes that meet the ideals we have in mind.  

I see many sources of inspiration in the local running community.  I have had the opportunities to meet and be inspired by these ordinary people, men and women alike, who are determined and focused to push their limits through their passion.  These people do not live in the comfort zone.  They continually strive to better their previous achievements.  They've shown me that anything is possible once you've set your mind to do it!

Most of them started running 10km before they move on to half-marathons and marathons.  The more determined ones will move on to ultra marathons that can reach up to 100 miles or even ultra-trail marathons of varied distances and grueling terrains.

Frankly, running isn't my passion.  I run on a 'have-to' basis to keep my diabetes under control.  But being inspired can change the mindset.  I have found my role model and her courage has encouraged me to test my limits outside of my comfort zone.  It is not to say that if she can do it, for sure I can too nor do I want to do exactly as she has.  It is more important for me to emulate her strong willpower, determination and focus to achieve what she's set out to do ... completing various marathons, ultra-marathons, ultra-trail marathons, triathlons and then Ironman.

In my eyes, she is a superwoman and unconsciously she has given permission to others including me, to be as courageous as her.  I am sure this is the purpose God had in store for her.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Perceived Self-Confidence

Someone told me, "You're very self-confident!". But the same person had also said that my confidence can be intimidating too.  Alright I get it! 

I'm a very confident person to the extent that people feel intimidated by me.  Really ... is it my fault?

My confidence is built on a half century's life experiences, knowledge and skills.  You can know my name but not my story.  You can hear and see what I can do but not the journey I've been through to realize them.  I've been to hell and back but I absorbed ... I compromised ... I learned ... I adapted ... I improvised ... I apologized and I forgave.  So please don't be too quick to judge me for you don't know the battles I've fought to be able to put my value on your table.  This is me and do not expect me to change for any lesser.

Somehow it is so easy to judge from afar.  If you were to step into my shoes today and walk in them, you will know the mounting pressure I'm facing as I only have 2 more weeks left to meet my 35km mark in my mileage training.  One week of tapering after that and it's do or DNF!

Being a second try at this annual running event is not helping.  As the day draws near, the confidence is fast waning.  Right now, I must admit I am battling with myself not chicken out into a DNS!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Unmasking The True Colors

People who moves within my circle knows that I am a no-nonsense kind of person.  I am one who will call a spade a spade ... no less and no more.  As such, I will not have any respect for anyone who comes on as being pretentious, superficial or egoistic.

In my opinion, when you are not who you truly are, any false pretenses to be good or bad will never last.  Once you've reached your comfort zone, your veils will be lifted layer by layer.  Each layer depletes whatever respect that I may have for your in the first place.

Call me arrogant but this is just who I am!

For the past 3 months, I've had the opportunity to observe how certain people in my work team have started to reveal their true colors. We are all drawn into a small work pool as strangers and just like a job interview and the subsequent probationary period, people tend to put on a mask either to protect their privacy or to hide their inferiority.  The danger is who will be revealed when the mask is removed.

Today, I've had to console a team-mate who had just completed her 3rd month with us.  She was in tears as she shared the pressure and stress piled on her by a bullying team leader and of late, another team-mate who has chosen to follow suit.  Somehow, dignity at work has been erased!

Where is the team spirit?  The essence of teamwork towards building a successful business!

And there are less than 10 people in this work pool right now.  What will happen when it grows to 100?!

I guess they call it "POLITICS!" ... mind you, the word "OFFICE" has been intentionally omitted as we all work from home!

Anyway, with true colors unmasked, humility gone and team spirit extinguished, can this work pool even survive the next one or two years???

Monday, September 28, 2015

My New Visionboard

My last visionboard was made in December 2011.  It was overdue for an update and I finally worked up the motivation and inspiration to create a new one.   I am very very grateful that all my dreams on the last visionboard had been successfully accomplished and it's time to move on.

Moments are quickly flying by as if Mother Earth is rotating on its axis at the speed of lightning.  24 hours does not seem to be enough these days.  Every new day will bring change no matter big or small.  Therefore, a lot can change in 365 days!

Life goes on ...

While mine has changed aplenty, I believe I need to pump some life into it.  Everything looks a little stagnated at the moment.  As Bruce Lee puts it;

"There are no limits.  
There are only plateaus.  
And you must not stay there, 
you must go beyond them."

I am confident with my new visionboard, new paths will be created.  Paths to new adventures, new challenges and new limits!

Here's my new Visionboard!

Redeeming My Focus

It's undoubtedly so easy for us to lose focus.  It could be a task, an ambition or a dream.  Whichever it is ... losing focus can be a good thing or it can be entirely the opposite. We just need to be adaptable and improvised along the way.

As Doug Larson puts it, "Sometimes opportunity knocks, but most of the time it sneaks up and then quietly steals away."

I for one is guilty as I have lost my focus.  I have forgotten why I had chosen an early retirement when I'm still of value in the workforce.  I have forgotten to enjoy my freedom doing whatever I want, how I want and when I want.

Everything is becoming a blur.  There's just no more zest no more oomph!! 

How come?

Long story short ... I got too comfy and cozy in one opportunity that I have forgotten to open my mind to let new ones in!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Re-Organize & Re-Prioritize!!


1) I love my work but it must not exceed the allocated hours ... full-stop no buts!

2) My home's grown into a total mess, it's giving me the headaches!  A regular cleaning & tidying must be in order! 

3) I'm piling on the weight ... time to get on the exercise regime.

4) Miss Red's piling on the dust ... time to get it on the road!

5) My diabetic control is off-the-chart ... time for regular home-cooked meals.

6) My library needs new books to sustain my personal development.  Time to visit the bookstores.

7) My blog died!  Time to give it CPR!

8) My social life is getting zilched!  Girlfriends, where are you?!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chap Goh Mei!

Today is Chap Goh Mei ... the 15th and final day of the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

It is so quick ... just a blink of the eyes.

Coincidentally my Aussie Boss is in town today.  It is what I call an Office Day ... a day when my entire team of freelancers gather at the office to work and bond with one another.  Most days we work from home.

So today we're going to expose our Boss to the art of 'Lou Sang!' ... the tossing of Yee Sang for increased business opportunities, better health, more wealth, safe travels and good relationships among the team members and clients.

A plate of Yee Sang usually consist of julienned white radish, carrots, turnips and key-lime leaves with red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, chopped Chinese parsley, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds along with a packet of crispy crackers and some spices to mix them all up.  There are other combinations offered in the market though. This dish is eaten with treated raw fish such as salmon, abalone od jellyfish.

Been a great year working with my Aussie Boss and the team.  Here's looking ahead to more successful years together.

Gong Xi!  Gong Xi!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Welcoming The Lunar New Year 2015!

Another year gone by, another year begins with new hopes and aspirations.

Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year with millions of Chinese around the world celebrating and ushering in the Year of the Goat ... the 8th animal in the Chinese Zodiac.

Wishing everyone ... family, kins and friends ... near and far ... GONG XI FA CAI!  A year of peace, prosperity and merriment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Third Time's A Charm!

After such a rocky first attempt, I put another try to get my homemade loaf looking and tasting more decent than before.  Second cry had a slight improvement but still quite difficult to be eaten.  So it ended up into something else ... a bread pudding!

2nd Attempt Loaf
Frankly bread pudding just ain't my thing but it does taste good though for a first try.  It took 2 days to finish. All the extra calories just to recycle my not-so-successful loaf.

Bread Pudding
Just made my third attempt last Saturday and this time it turned out right.  Third time's a charm!
Now I guess I've passed baking my own bread ... a baguette at that!
Finally ... 3rd's a charm!
Next I want to try baking buns ... yup next try my sis' special 'Siew Pau' or BBQ Pork Roast Buns!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My First Loaf ...

My lo kong is not the type to insist that I must cook up his favorite food.  However, many a times he did suggest that I should try baking homemade bread for a healthier diet.

As quick solution, I had thought of buying a breadmaker.  But on second thought, lo kong might be right that it will end up as a decor item ... much like most of my other kitchen utensils.

With a bad hand at baking, I had put off baking my first loaf for a very long time until recently when I found a simple to follow recipe which was demonstrated by a 4 year old.  Yup ... you heard right!

So, how can I go wrong when a 4 year old can do it right?

Since I had all the ingredients in the kitchen, I followed the recipe and steps to the T.  Next was to allow it to stand overnight so that the yeast will activate.

Each time I popped into the kitchen, I'd peer into the mixing bowl to check for any reaction.  Hmmm ... nothing.  Next morning ... still nothing.  Why???

After almost 24 hours and despite my gut feel that the dough will not work, I still popped it into the oven.  Naturally, there was no bread for the day. 

My first loaf is a rock!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Another First ... Nike We Run KL!

I seemed to be rolling out many firsts to my start of the year 2015.

Coinciding with our Kuala Lumpur City Day on Sunday, Nike's We Run Race Series reached our shores.  On its 6th anniversary, this global running series started off in August 2014 in Prague aimed to attract more than 200,000 runners in 18 races around the world.  Nike We Run KL also featured its first 21km race to challenge Malaysian runners to run faster and further.

This was actually my first time running this race and my first local 21km road race.  To top it off, it was also the first time our entire family ran in one race and same distance.  Wow ... 3 straight firsts in a row!

Despite the route being flat as compared to the hilly route of my recent Gammon China Coast Half-Marathon, I struggled.  Yes, it was a struggle not only due to my knee pain but for whatever reason, I had stomach cramps that threatened to turn into diarrhoea halfway through.  I was so scared that I was going to faint at the 18km mark.  Thankfully, lo kong who had completed his race under 2.5 hours had ran back to accompany me to my finish.

The last 3km was a real spirit-breaker.  I am grateful I managed to finished the race in less than 3.5 hours ... a satisfactory allowance before the cut-off time of 4 hours. 

Nick who did not train at all and having played badminton the evening before managed to complete the race within the cut-off time too. 

Based on post-mortems on the race results ... everyone registered running at least 1km more than the race specified.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Fluke Shot Success!

I can cook but I'm no baker!  9 out of 10 times ... end results does not go down well with the taste buds.

Frankly I know where my weakness lies and it's because I'm so lame at following the measurements.  I'm one who searches for the simplest of recipes with the least of ingredients.  I guess that way if I fail ... I won't feel the pinch when all of it goes straight into the dumpster.

9 out of 10 and that one successful round of Oatmeal Cookies has had lo kong bugging me for more.  An additional request was that I'm to help him finish his chiaseed by adding them to the cookies.
Just like cooking ... baking too must not be a drill. 

So yesterday, while waiting for lo kong to reach home after work, I decided to make Chiaseed Oatmeal Cookies.  I had found an easy to follow recipe and I had all the ingredients on hand.  With a little tweak on the method, I managed to bake almost 40 pieces of cookies just under 1.5 hours.  It was just in time to pop a sampler into lo kong's mouth as he walks  in through the front door.

Lo kong gave his thumbs up followed by my other hero, Nick.  I'm personally proud of it as this batch has the best result.  The cookies crunchy, flavorful, healthy and it tastes like my favorite IKO Oatmeal Biscuits.  

9 out of 10 ... this is a fluke shot success but I'm confident I'll still get this right again the next time!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Successful First!

I like cooking but it must not be a drill.  I'll cook when I feel like it or when there's a craving or when there's an inspiration to try something new.  And I don't cook on weekends! 

However, I'll swallow my own words for this one time. 

On Sunday I suddenly decided I wanted  to try cooking lo kong's all-time-favorite ... the ever popular Chinese Roast Pork Belly (Siew Yok). 

Found a simple to follow recipe on the net and followed every step to the T.  Heated up the oven and put in the marinated pork belly.  One peek 2 peeks later, I had to tell myself ... "this is not going to be constructive!"

Putting my mind into my freelance work, the time passed quickly and it was time to remove the pork in preparation for the next level of roasting.  It certainly smelled right as I continued with the roasting with a short prayer ... "Oh please please let it look right too!"

Soon the skin of the pork belly began to pop and looking more and more of a crackling pig skin.  I felt relieved that this slab of meat that cost me RM35 will not go to waste after all.  After a 40-minute constant monitoring and the Siew Yok was ready!  

I waited for it to cool a little with another prayer ... "Oh please please let it taste too!" 

End result was a mouth crunchy roast pork belly which was a tad too salty but lo kong loved it. It's all that matters and I will definitely try again to perfect it!

"A bruise is a lesson ... and each lesson makes us better." ~ George R.R. Martin

Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Challenge Of The Year!

Looking back at my half-centurion birthday wishlist, I have no regrets for not achieving or fulfilling all of them.  I must say I am happy still that I've managed to add and achieve a few unplanned ones too.

I've decided to do away with my wishlist and for 2015, I'm starting afresh!  There's not going to be any wishlist but challenges that will be undertaken in spontaneity.

Yup ... I'm going with the flow.

Last Sunday I completed my first adhoc challenge of the year ... Gammon China Coast Half-Marathon in Hong Kong.

Lo Kong had been overly optimistic about running the Vibram HK100 that he had purchased our air tickets months in advance.  However, since he had not been successful in getting balloted, he substituted the event with a full marathon that was organised on the very  same date.

On the spur, I signed up for the half-marathon even though I'm still suffering from ITBS.  I was worried that I did not have enough training to complete the event due to the persistent pain in my right knee.  Anyhow, a run-walk-run-walk strategy helped attained a medal with a finisher T.  Of course the timing wasn't great but the main focus on my mind was to finish the distance no matter what. 

Another 21km challenge is up next weekend ... Nike's We Run KL.  Fingers-crossed, I can do it again.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Employee Attitude Kills Company Image!

I believe once in awhile I can be allowed to be pissed! I have been so stressed up by this courier service, Nationwide Express since Christmas Eve.  Their website slogan 'A Promised Delivered' only means we will deliver but you have to collect personally at our office!

I am not the only who complained!

I am apalled by the attitude of their delivery man.

My bank which is also one of the worst banking institution in the country, had sent out my redemption coupon to me using the mentioned courier service.  I had no inkling at all that they had tried to deliver to me twice before the notice from my bank as there were no Undelivered Notice left at my doorstep or even my mailbox.  I subsequently made an arrangement for the 3rd delivery directly with the courier service and waited patiently on that day.  I dare not even step out of the house and was still in jammies till late afternoon ... until when I opened my door and an Undelivered Notice fell in.

Wow, the delivery guy had so silently come and go.  No knock on the door and mind you ... I have a door bell that will jolt the hell out of you if anyone rings it.  He dare not even put a time on the notice but only the date ... now we can understand why.  Sneaky right?

Call my bank to complain and a second time because no one got back to me on their next course of actions.  Then they promised to get Nationwide Express to escalate delivery again.  On Monday, the courier service called to double-confirmed my delivery address and if I will be home that day.  I waited and waited with my front door ajar the entire day but till today, zilch!!!

Called the bank again today and I was put on hold for ages while they check.  Then the killer response came ... "The courier service will not deliver after the 3rd delivery.  I have to pick up personally at their centre."

What the .....!  Why don't they tell me that on Monday?!

Not the first complain I've ever wrote to my bank (which I am still loyal to because of location convenience) ,,, let's see what they say when they hear the 3 voice recordings between their customer service officers and myself.

Frankly, there's nothing wrong with both companies ... the bank or the courier service.  It is the people working down the line.  Malaysians!  Many are still not matured to understand about integrity and responsibility as an employee to their respective employers and customers.  They simply don't realised that a business is like a food chain ... unhappy customers go away, less earning for the company and there goes the bonus and in worst situations ... downsizing or close shop!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Curiosity Kills The Cat!

I'm doing a recruitment exercise for my employer.  Our business is growing and we need to get our team ready to absorb more work and responsibilities.

In my 20-something years of human resource experience, I know we will come in contact people of varied characters.  It's never easy but a good laugh over it is the best cure.

I had quite a number of responses to my job ad today.  Many queried about the job out of curiosity even though my ad was very specific.  The glaring message is do not call if you don't fit the entire list of pre-requisites.  But alas ... curiosity kills the cat!  They still called.

Anyway one lady stood out.  I actually like her tenacity but sadly it was inappropriate.  My job ad specified that the candidate must have accounting qualifications and relevant work experience.  Shouldn't that mean working on the books. She had no related qualifications but had worked in an accounting software company as a quality assurer.  She enquired and claimed that I was not specific in my ad. She was even far-fetched to think my job ad was for positions selling accounting software.  I humored her for awhile with her persistence. I had to tell her at point blank that she does not fit the bill in order to discontinue the conversation.

It's good to be determined but not all the time.  There's always the place and time.  However sometimes some people are just plain mental!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Learned From A Silly Mistake ...

I am always confident in multi-tasking.  Yet while trying to blog from two separate gadgets today got me into a sticky situation.

Had a thought that I wanted to share earlier and blogging from my smartphone can be quick & easy.  But the fingers were too trigger-happy that I accidentally deleted my last posting in a jiffy!

I'm glad after spending the last hour recovering my deleted  blog post ... all's well now.  The moral of the story here is 'pick up a lesson or two' rather than getting angry with the situation.

Now I've learned that we can actually recover our deleted post.  All this while I had thought that once it's deleted ... it's gone forever!  Arghhh ... thinking back those times I had to rewrite my postings.

Anyway with Google we can always try our luck finding a solution.  It may or may not work but it's worth a try.

So folks, if you do get into such a predicament as this, know that you can undo the mistake by checking out Easy Methods To Recover Deleted Blogger Blog Post.

Remember ... stay cool don't jump.  If there's no solution in sight the worst case scenario is to just re-do.  Cheers & Happy Sunday!!

Now I've lost my train of thoughts to the entry I had in mind earlier ... gosh!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Bubble Revamped!

After a prolonged inactivity I believe it's time to re-examine and review my blog.  Ideas come ideas go.  Objectives changed.  Focus shifted.  Indeed my blog needs a revamped!

After my retirement, I started my journey in blogging alongside my ghostwriting endeavor.  While I get paid writing anything under the sun for others, on a personal level I'm most passionate about topics on the law of attraction.  Although my focus have since shifted, l am still a steadfast practitioner of this universal law.

The past one year my focus had been more concentrated on experiencing with new playgrounds and money-making avenues. Arising from this, I read so much less and write even lesser.  At this point in time, I can say I don't write any more.  Even to post entries these past 2 days seemed hard-earned.

Reality is ... if I don't read enough I don't get the inspirations to write ... period!

Therefore, I have decided to simplify my blog  as my personal journal.  No more inspiring articles or images but merely to pen my thoughts whenever and wherever it gets triggered.  Sincerely, I hope whatever I have to say here can be of some reading pleasure to someone ... anyone out there.

Let's hope this will post will not get stucked as my last entry for the year ... hahaha!!!

My Bubble: Welcome 2015!

When I first started blogging, my ideas and objectives were so different from what it is today.  5 years ensued and my blog has evolved although it took a backseat for most part of last year.

Yes, that was in 2008.  Today 2015 has opened its door.  Here goes to another beginning to another exciting and bountiful year.  Happy New Year Folks!!!

Exciting? Bountiful? 

Despite my initial apprehension when I  undertook the early retirement, I am pleased that my days since had been more than just humdrum.  Life's been good providing the adventures and excitements and it has definitely been bountiful ... that's according to the measure of my own expectations.

All I can say ...  "there are no regrets to my early retirement."  In fact, I believe I have experienced more, learned more and grown exponentially since.

As one Chelle Thompson aptly puts it, "Each choice we make causes a ripple effect in our lives. When things happen to us, it is the reaction we choose that can create the difference between the sorrows of our past and the joy in our future."

So folks, I hope you will welcome 2015 with open arms and embrace all its challenges and opportunities with fortitude, enthusiasm and gratitude.