Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yamaha...In Your Face!

I did not say much about my trip to Melaka last weekend. Well, that is because there was nothing much to say - except for the fact that I really enjoyed Amma's cooking. The reason for the trip was to purchase the new drum set for the Church. I arrived in Melaka at 11.00am and contacted David (City Music) to enquire about the status of the arrival of the drum set. To my shock, he had not received any call from Yamaha pertaining the issue. He has been trying to call them so many times, but to no avail. I was extremely pissed off because Appa had planned to bless the drum set in Church during service the next day. The cheque was made ready and everything was sorted out - just waiting for the new drum set. David told me that the Sales Representative in Yamaha, Jackie Klassen was in charge of the delivery. Now, I called Ms. Klassen - who was very rude over the phone and worse, she hung up on me. I tried calling her back, but no answer. I sent her a sweet sms and told David to cancel all orders that I had with Yamaha. It is sad that Yamaha lost a huge sale just because of 1 idiotic person. Anyway, I went and spoke to David personally, went through some catalogs, checked out some kits on the Net and I've decided to purchase the Tama Superstar. All other parts of the drum remains the same. The Tama Superstar is the top of the range as far as the rock series of drums are concern.
We will be getting it sometime mid October. This time I have decided not to rush David, since Appa said he won't be in Melaka over the next 3 weekends. Hope to get it as soon as possible.
Melaka was fine. Service went on well. I played the piano for Amma, she led in P&W. In fact last weekend, the Women's Fellowship of Christ Church conducted the entire service. It was nice. After that there was good breakfast as well. Got back, slept for a while and then got ready to leave. Rems arrived at about 4.15, had lunch with me and then Amma packed some food for all of us. There was briyani rice, mutton perattel, rassam, fried chicken, mix vege, appalams and not forgetting some nice pickles. We left Melaka at about 5, stopped at the Seremban rest area for a cup of tea and reached KL at about 7.00pm.
At night met up with Rems to watch the Man Utd v Chelsea game - @ t-Club. Good game, I must say - Glory Glory Man Utd!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Slow Down Culture....

The article below was sent to me by a special someone. An interesting reflection, please read.
Slow Down Culture....
At Swedish company, Volvo any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Scania, SAAB, Ericsson and Electrolux, are some of its renowned companies.
Volvo supplies to NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, neither the second nor third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we parked far from the entrance even when there were no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think?"

Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing.

Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being".

French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British.

Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!"

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time.

Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, happier, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists.

We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment.

As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Drum Kit....

I will be going back to Melaka this weekend. Tasha and I will be taking the bus there, but Rems will be picking us up on his way back from Batu Pahat (he is attending a wedding). Anyway, the reason for my trip this time is because we are purchasing a new drum kit for the Church. The Church is in the process of revamping the musical instruments in the Church. So, we will start off with the drums first. The condition of our current drum set is deplorable. It has served faithfully for the past 15 years. Yeah, it is about time. Anyway, I have been looking around, doing my own research on the Net and of course speaking to a few drummers. I have made up my mind in getting the Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage Nouveau (as shown in the picture above). Now, this is just the drum kit. I have chosen the Sabian B8s and the Pearl throne. I can't wait for the entire kit to arrive at the Church. According to David from City Music Melaka, there are 2 available colours, the regular black and an amber with a mahogany finish. Yes, that is what we will be getting.

Anyway, this trip should be good. I will be posting some pictures of the new kit soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Eating Out….Healthy

This entry is from an article I was reading of the N.Sunday Times. It struck me immediately. Why? Being away from home (Melaka), my eating habits have always been bad. The tendency is to always eat food which is yummy and of course easily available. Working the hours I am working (10pm to 7am), I don’ really have much of a choice. It is either the mamak (which I am already sick of) or the regular fast-food joints (A&W, McDs & Burger Kings – oh yeah not forgetting KFC – the Jalan Universiti one is 24 hours now). Anyway, there are ways to enjoy such occasions without losing sight of my long-term healthy eating goals. I have begun an enjoyable exercise routine (with the help of my personal trainer, Jay) which includes a 15 minute cardio workout and a 45 minute weights regime. I had started this routine about 2 weeks ago. So, the deal is to eat more fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish. Now this does not mean to say I am totally avoiding carbohydrates and saturated fats, but I am careful with the size of the portions. Since I am following this method of eating, I thought I might as well share it with all of you:-

Choose Healthy Options
When eating out you need a strategy that will enable you to fully enjoy the experience without losing sight of your healthy eating habits.

Ordering Starters
When deciding on a starter, first consider whether you would eat one at home. It might be better to skip the starter, especially when you plan to have a big main dish. If you really want to have a starter, then have a salad as your main meal, or better still share a starter. Deep fried starters are high in calories, so they are best avoided.

The Best Main Dishes
Use eating out as an opportunity to choose main dishes you might not cook. Grilled, baked or roast poultry and fish are the best choices as they are low in fat. Opt for curries with a vegetable or dhall base. If you are still hungry even after the main dish, order extra vegetables and salad.

Enjoying Desserts
For a healthy refreshing dessert, have a fruit salad or fresh fruits. Avoid desserts with coconut milk, tarts or ice-cream. Also avoid pies.

Clips of the article ‘Pick The Right Food When Eating Out’ courtesy of the Malaysian Dietitians Association

So briefly, those are the guidelines one can follow.

Sometimes, we have no control over the food served when friends and family invite you over to dinner – well at least I know I don’t. But remember, you can still limit how much you eat or drink. Increase the intake of poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits and ask for small portions of the desserts.

Always remember, assuming you eat more than how much you are supposed to eat, you can always offset the calories by taking a walk or visiting the gym during the day. Increasing activity level will help you burn the extra calories you are likely to take in. Exercise increases your metabolic rate and may help you control how much you eat too.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What's The Difference Between Flirting and Cheating?....

I was going through a few articles while I was at work on the Net and I came across this article from Men's Health. This is an article that will interest both men and women. This is a question I ask myself at times. What constitutes flirting and what is cheating? This author, David Zinczenko gives a good explanation of the differences. A good read, I must say. Enjoy.

Looking At Another Woman - Flirting or Cheating?
It's one thing if his tongue drops to the floor in your presence; that's just plain disrespectful (though 80 percent of men have admitted to looking at other women even with their wives or girlfriends around). But cheating? Hardly. Men think there's a huge difference between thinking and acting. "We have two sides -- the committed husband/boyfriend and the 'check out the hottie' side. In men, the committed wins out, but the checker always exists," says one man who responded to the Harris poll I used when researching the book. (And ladies, don't even try to tell me you haven't had more than a couple of thoughts and conversations about whether McDreamy or McSteamy is hotter.)

E-mailing An Ex - Flirting or Cheating?
The e-mail exchange per se isn't a cheat (depending on exactly what's exchanged, of course). But, for many people, any contact beyond a few truly platonic and innocent "just catching up" messages is a relationship-killer-not because of the act itself, but because of the potential act that may follow. About 60 percent of guys consider dinner and drinks with an ex as cheating. Looking her up online? Only 20 percent of us would classify that as a relationship no-no.

Hanging Out With The Women At Work - Flirting or Cheating?
Here's the real relationship danger zone: About 50 percent of guys consider having dinner and drinks with an attractive co-worker as cheating. But the more troubling stat for you may be this one: One in five men says that he secretly loves his platonic (for now) coworker. Just look at Jim and Pam on The Office, and you know exactly what I'm talking about. That's not meant to scare you-more just to make sure you keep your eyes open (as if you don't already) and intentions honorable.

Kissing Another Woman - Flirting or Cheating?
Some guys may try to wiggle out of a drunken kiss with a stranger (or coworker, in the cloakroon, at the Christmas party) as a one-time-only event. But the true test about whether a guy thinks something is cheating is whether he'd be ok with the situation reversed. Guys don't want their women exchanging lip balm (or any thing else physical) with another guy, and nearly 90 percent of guys agree that their own drunken hook-up with a stranger is indeed off-limits.

Going To A Strip Club - Flirting or Cheating?
The good news for those of you who are anti-exotic dancer: Half of men think that visiting a strip club is cheating. The other half? Going to a strip club is like going to a sporting event-there's lots of entertainment, lots of excitement, and lots of interest in watching the most talented players in action. In the poll, many men said that they feel there's no harm in once-in-a-while visits since there's no emotional attachment and only temporary, artificial physical attraction. "Sometimes, to be blunt about it," one man responded in the poll, "it's just a bit of art appreciation, and it's nice to see another woman naked."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

John 3:16....

When I got into the office, I was browsing through my emails and I came across this email from Shaun. It is hardly ever that Shaun emails me, but whenever he does, it is always something special that he wants to share with me. This was no different. If you ask me, there can be no other better analogy of the verse John 3:16 than what is explained in the story below. I have been touched by the story and I would like all who read this story to be touched as well.
God Bless.
A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner - the people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many papers. He walked up to a policeman and said, "Mister, you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and its awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay." The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16 and they will let you in."

So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said, "John 3:16." The lady said, "Come on in, Son." She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: John 3:16...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.

Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?” He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food," The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full. She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16... I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out. The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ...I don't understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.

The next morning the lady came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face. "Do you understand John 3:16?" she asked gently. He replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it," She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: John 3:16 -- don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe. You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life' John 3:16

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pics From The 50 Hours Non-Stop Drumming....

This picture was taken before the event started. The stage in which it took place.

I'm seated on the drumset at the extreme left

As you can see, were only past 10 hours

This is a picture taken while I was at it. I am enjoying myself on the drums.

As you can see the quality of the pictures are not good. I have been told by the organisers that we had an official photographer and a videographer. Yeah, I remember clearly as the photographer was taking so many shots of us playing. Once I get a hold of them, I will post it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We Made It....50 Hours Non Stop Drum Action

Yes! We made it! About 35 drummers took part in this feat. We were on a mission to create a new record as far as the Malaysian Book of Records was concern - and by God's grace we made it. It started @ 4pm on the 7th of Sept 2007 and it went on until 7pm on the 9th of Sept 2007. My shift was from 12.00mn till 6.00am on the 8th of Sept and from 6.00am till 12.00noon & 12.00noon till 7.00pm on the 9th of Sept. Boy was it tiring. It was a huge task. When I went for the briefing on the 7th at 1.00pm in Sg Wang Plaza, I was wondering if we could actually make it. But when I started meeting all the other drummers, I knew for a fact that we will be making history. It was an absolute honour and pleasure to be in the midst of such God-fearing and dedicated boys and girls. The average age of all the participants is about 21. We had at least 15 teenagers - all with such strong zeal to create this record.
This is how it went. There were 3 drumsets on the stage. At any one point at least 1 drummer must keep playing. The drum action should never stop. Assuming one of the drummer gets tired, then he/she would have to alert the Stage Manager who would then ask any other drummers on the particular shift to step in. It was really fun, because in all 3 of my shifts I had the chance to play with wonderful groups of boys and girls. Whenever we played, we always changed the beat according to the mood of the crowd, we rolled in sync and we also allowed each other to give solo performances. It was a nice jamming session that we had. No one was trying to out-do each other. It was pure fun and entertainment.
We were privileged to have Jerry Felix as one of the drummers. Jerry Felix is a rock legend as far as the Malaysian rock scene is concern. It was a humbling experience to be able to back him up and then take over when he was 'signing off' the first shift I started.
My thanks and appreciation to my dearest Tasha who stayed with me throughout my entire first shift, yes she did. She stayed with me from 12.00mn till 6.00am. She supported me all the way. Throughout the entire 3 days of playing I played approximately 220 minutes (3 hours and 40 mins). I would also like to thank Teo and Philip (my office colleagues) for making time at 12.00mn on the 8th and coming to support me. To my dearest Akka (Brenda), thank you very much for taking the trouble to come over on the 9th at 12.00noon, amidst all the traffic jam and the heat - just because this means a lot to me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I will be posting some pics of the event soon. So, do check it out in a days' time. Since I was playing the drums most of the time, I could not take any pics, so I got Tasha to take them for me. She took some pics and a video (reasonable quality) as well. I will post it soon.
To God Be The Glory!

Monday, September 03, 2007

50 Hours Non Stop Drums Action....

I will be attending the event above from Fri (7/9) till Sun (9/9). This is an event organised by DRUMMERFORCHRIST.COM - an event commemorating our 50 years of Independence here in Malaysia. About 50 drummers from all over Malaysia will be participating in this 50 hours of non stop drumming - in a process of creating a new Malaysian Record. I was honoured to be chosen to be a participant as well. So, if you guys are free, please come. My slots are as follows :-
8th Sept 2007 (Sat) 12.00am
9th Sept 2007 (Sun) 6.00am
9th Sept 2007 (Sun) Between 12.00 noon and 5.00pm
You see the thing is, all of us will be taking turns. So, please come on the times above. As I start the session on both Sat and Sun.
I will be posting some pictures on Mon, after the event. Please pray for good flow during the event, good weather, good turn-out and a success in creating history.
God Bless!

Bug Fest 2007

Last Saturday, the Beetle Club of Malaysia organised its annual Bug Fest. It is an event where all the bugs around the Klang Valley and in fact some from outstation come as well to participate in this show. It is a Beetle Show. Well, I missed it last year as I was back in Melaka, so I had to go for it this time. It was fun. We (Myself - VW Beetle 1200 1973, Rufus - VW Beetle 1300 1968 and Risberg - VW Beetle 1600 1972) convoyed to the venue - Summit in Subang Jaya. It was a decent turn out. I did not expect that many people to come. But I met people of different backgrounds, who had different stories to tell about their Bugs. The funny thing was I saw a whole load of ‘A’ plated cars – all my Ipoh-mali fellows la. So, it was nice to meet some old friends as well.

Can you imagine, for such an event, I forget to bring my camera. @#$%^&* Yeah I know! Anyway, I was glad Foong brought his new phone, so he was my camera man. He took some decent pictures.

There were many categories:-
1. Best Restored 67 / 69 / 72
2. Best Paint-Job
3. Best Engine
4. Best Interior
5. Best Sound System
6. Best Car of the Bug Fest 2007 [Overall ]

We did not participate in any of the competitions as we're still in the process of pimpin' our rides. It will take a while. Then again, we're in no rush, but we hope to be able to participate in the 2010 Bug Fest in JB.

We left Summit at about 8pm as we had our jamming practice in USJ as well.

'VW For Life'
Selma chillin' by the side

A glimpse of all the cars that were there

Interesting paint-job

This is my favourite car of the entire event - The Classic

And there she is again......

Not bad as well

Nice black though

This is known as 'The Thing'

Best Restored 1967

The owner of Concept Auto Supplies' car

This is an interesting picture because all the pre-war hats of the German Army are displayed behind the back seat of the car

Best Sound System.... why, see pictures below!


I know, I don't even know half of what is in there

A cute Half-Kombi

I don't know what was the objective of the owner

Beautiful 1954

There she is again

California Look

Check out the visors

Very clean and nice white walls on this fellow

Yeah, the Best Restored 1967 again.