Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vessel of Worship....

Greetings all music lovers - Vessel of Worship (VoW) are back!
Yes, it has been a long time! By God's grace, VoW is slowly being recognised as a band. As some of you know, we took part in the Penang heats of the Global Battle of the Bands held on the 11th of October 2008. We won the Penang heats and we have qualified for the National Grand Finals which will be held at Planet Hollywood on the 13th of November 2008. According to the Organisers, the function starts at 9.30pm, but please be there early to get your tables as this is a national event. It is expected that a lot of music lovers all over the country will be present.
The band has been rejuvenated by the presence of a few new faces. Here are the band members:-
Devanandan Palmer Batumalai - Lead vocalist & Pianist
Rufus Aston Bexel - Lead guitarist & Back-Up Vocalist
Bernard Kam - Drummer & Back-Up Vocalist
Darmen Krisnan - Tabla & Mirrethengum Maestro
Winston Edward Palmer - Percussionist
Jeffrey Francis - Bassist & Back-Up Vocalist
Hari Kumar Mangaram - Rapper & Beatboxer
To know more about our performance in Penang, kindly view the articles below.
An article in the STAR on the 15th of November 2007 - Click Here
A posting by Joanne Brokaw on her blog - Click Here
We will be posting more updates on our next performances/gigs soon. But, everyone, please do come for the Global Battle of the Bands Finals in Planet Hollywood on the 13th of November 2008.
VoW

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BOLT....


Yup, the Fastest Man on Earth - Usain Bolt. As many of you know, I was at the Beijing Olympics last month and I was very blessed to have watched many heart stopping moments. One of which was Usain Bolt cracking the World and Olympic records for 100m and 200m - and of course being the 3rd runner of the 4x100m team which also won it in World Record time. He instantly became an icon as far as the Olympics and World Sports is concerned. I was the only one who kept telling everyone that this 22 year old will be the one to watch at the Games. No one really gave a s**t, cos' he was underrated. I watched him equal the World Record in the Reebok Grand Prix in New York and since then I have followed his progress to his amazing achievements at the Olympics.

I have reseached for some material on him below. Do read. I do hope to get more soon.


Usain Bolt
(born 21 August 1986) is a Jamaican sprinter. Bolt holds the Olympics and World Records for the 100 metres at 9.69 seconds, the 200 metres at 19.30 seconds and, along with his teammates, the 4x100 metres relay at 37.10 seconds, all set at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Bolt became the first man to win all three events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984, and the first man in history to set world records in all three at a single Olympics. His name and achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname "'Lightning' Bolt". Bolt distinguished himself with a 200 m gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships, making him the competition's youngest-ever gold medallist. In 2004, at the CARIFTA Games, Bolt became the first junior sprinter to run the 200 m in under 20 seconds with a time of 19.93 s, breaking Roy Martin's world junior record by two-tenths of a second. Bolt also set competition records at a number of other junior events.

Bolt turned professional in 2004 but missed most of his first two seasons due to injuries; he was eliminated in the first round of the 200 m heats at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2007, Bolt beat Don Quarrie's 200 m Jamaican national record with a run of 19.75 s. In May 2008, Bolt set his first 100 m world record with 9.72 s, improving upon his personal best of 9.76 s made earlier in the month.

Bolt was born in Trelawny, Jamaica, on 21 August 1986 and grew up with his parents, Jennifer and Wellesley Bolt, a brother, and his sister Sherine. His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area and Bolt spent his time playing cricket and football in the street with his brother, later saying, "When I was young I didn’t really think about anything other than sports". As a child, he attended Waldensia Primary and All-age School and it was here where he first began to show his sprinting potential, running in the annual, national primary schools' meeting for his parish. By the age of twelve Bolt had become the school's fastest runner over the 100 metres distance.

Upon his entry to William Knibb Memorial High School, Bolt continued to focus on other sports, but his cricket coach noticed Bolt's speed on the pitch and urged him to try track and field events.[8] Pablo McNeil, a former 100 metres Olympic athlete, and Dwayne Barrett coached Bolt, encouraging him to focus his energy on improving his athletic abilities. The school had a history of athletic success with past students, including sprinter Michael Green. Bolt won his first annual high school championships medal in 2001, taking the silver medal in the 200 metres with a time of 22.04 seconds. McNeil soon became his primary coach and the two enjoyed a positive partnership, though McNeil was occasionally frustrated by Bolt's lack of dedication to his training and predisposition to practical jokes.

Bolt announced that he would double-up with the 100 metres and 200 metres events at the Beijing Summer Olympics, and the new 100 m world-record holder was the favourite to win both. Michael Johnson, the 200 m and 400 m record holder, personally backed the sprinter, saying he did not believe that a lack of experience would work against him. Bolt qualified for the final with 9.92 and 9.85 s in the quarter-finals and semifinals respectively. In the Olympic 100 m final, Bolt broke new ground, winning in 9.69 s. This was an improvement upon his own world record, and he was well ahead of second-place finisher Richard Thompson, who finished in 9.89 s. Not only was the record set without a favourable wind (+0.0 m/s), but also he visibly slowed down to celebrate before he finished and his shoelace was untied. Bolt's coach reported that, based upon the speed of Bolt's opening 60 m, he could have finished with a time of 9.52 s. Following scientific analysis of Bolt's run by the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo, Hans Eriksen and his colleagues also predicted a sub 9.60 s time. Considering factors such as Bolt's position, acceleration and velocity in comparison to second placed Thompson, the team estimated that Bolt could have finished in 9.55 s had he not slowed to celebrate before the finishing line.

Bolt stated that setting a record was not a priority for him, and that his goal was just to win the gold medal, Jamaica's first of the 2008 Games. Olympic medallist Kriss Akabusi IOC president Jacques Rogge also condemned the Jamaican's actions as disrespectful. Bolt denied that this was the purpose of his celebration by saying "I wasn't bragging. When I saw I wasn't covered, I was just happy." Lamine Diack, president of the IAAF, supported Bolt and said his celebration was appropriate given the circumstances of his victory. Jamaican government minister Edmund Bartlett also defended Bolt's actions, stating, "We have to see it in the glory of their moment and give it to them. We have to allow the personality of youth to express itself." construed Bolt's chest slapping before the finish line as showboating, noting that the actions cost Bolt an even faster record time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thank You VofW....

It was a fun filled weekend, I must say. Sat was spent resting, well, for the most part and then I went to meet my cousins. It was nice of the cousins to organise this reunion. It has been a long time since we last had something like this. It was a reunion - where only cousins meet. No bfs, gfs, husbands or wives - just the cousins. We managed to catch up on all that we've been up to, our recent endeavours (holidays / trips / activities). Ruf & I had a lot to talk about - they asked me to share about my Beijing trip, Ruf and I then spoke to them about how VofW is slowly moving forward. All this while, we have only been jamming and playing whenever we're invited for small functions. But of late, we have been taking it one step further.

The Attic has been a very platform for us to be heard. Here I must thank Ms. Brenda James and Mr. Llew Marsh for the opportunity to perform at the Attic. That is where we started. We would not have got anywhere without that oppurtunity. From there, it has been a steady journey of learning. Anyway, that was just a little of how far we have come.

We heard news that we could perform at Waikiki Bar in PJ yesterday. I got the call at approximately 5pm asking if we could perform later that night @ about 10.30pm. Immediately, I called the guys and we met up at our 12 Records Studio for an hour of jamming and then headed straight to Waikiki for the performance. It was such a humbling experience - why? We were in the midst of such talented musicians - Bala, Sherman & Vishnu, just to name a few. As far as the bar scene is concerned, these are heavyweights. To be able to perform alongside these guys, it was a true experience. I do hope to play there often. If everything goes well, we will be playing there on Sundays (during the jam sessions). But this is of course, subject to approval from the organisers. We did 3 songs - Black Horse & The Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall, I'm Yours by Jason Mraz and Gimme Hope Jo'anna by Eddy Grant. It was amazing, because the entire crowd was dancing the night away. We rocked the crowd @ Waikiki.

I have to specially thank all the boys of VofW who were with Ruf & me last night. We did not have the entire band as some were unable to make it. A special thanks to the following guys for making it last night:-

1. Hari - Beatboxer
2. Bernard - Drummer
3. Kenry - Step-in Percussionist
4. Jeffrey - Bassist
5. Mark & Mag - For the support
6. Jason Alistair - Sound-Man
7. Bald Vick - For the support

Thank you very much all of you. By the way, a lot of pictures were taken by the official photographer of Waikiki. If I get my hands on some of them, I'll post them on here as well.

With the love of music,
Devan & Ruf
(on behalf of Vessel of Worship)

Friday, September 19, 2008

GBOB Challenge 2008....

This is something I am really looking forward to. In fact the entire band is looking forward to this. As most of you'll know the Attic's Got Talent competition has been postponed till further notice. I will keep all of you informed once the new date is confirmed. But we have got ourselves attached to a new gig.

This is the Global Battle of the Bands Challenge 2008 (referred to as GBOB hereafter). We have missed 2 of the heats - one in JB and the other in KL. There will be 2 more heats - 11th Oct 2008 in Penang and 25th Oct 2008 in KL. Vessel of Worship will be travelling up north. Yes, we will be up north from the 11-12th of Oct 2008. The heats are on the 11th. For further details do visit the site below.

We have also been featured as the Band/Artist at the competition. Do check us out @ the site below. I do understand that this is a major gig - international standard. But I believe this is a good platform to actually judge our own standard. I have always wanted to gauge ourselves in the eyes of professional musicians. I'm not saying that all this while, we have not been in the company of professional musicians, but it is just that at this event, we will be judged by music directors, international music celebrities and producers. If you're free during the abovesaid weekend, do come by to CityBayview Hotel Penang.

One of the most interesting parts of this competition is the fact that we are only allowed to perform our own songs. I like this idea. Although we are comfortable doing covers, we have decide a long time ago to start working on and producing our own stuff. I have written some stuff and I want to be able to perform them live. Some of you have heard our songs - so do come by to listen to more of them.

For further details do check out the sites below:-




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Damn, Has It Been Long....

Yes everyone, I know it has been very long since my last post. In fact, ever since I got back from Beijing, I have not had the time to write. I am glad to have found some time to write now. As most of you know, I love to write - so now I am going to write at every chance I get. Work has been good, the boys (Caesar & Vasco) have been well, VofW is progressing - we're preparing for our next major gig, the Global Battle of the Bands Challenge 2008 and of course the finals competition at the Attic (hopefully at the end of October).

A lot of people have been asking why I have not been writing, well, as I said, time had not permitted me to do so. But from now on, I will try my very best to write at least once a day.

Thank you for all your support everyone and do take care. Hope all of you have a wonderful week ahead!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

21 August 2008....

Today was no different from yday. Got up early, headed to the Coffee House for bfast and then left for the venue. I had to be here early today as it was out last day of events. I got in to the CAU Gym @ about 1030hrs, headed straight to the OVR room - had a lot of reports to sort out from yday's events. And then was working on the current day's events. Today among the competitions held were: 66kg, 74, 86, 92 and 120kgs of freestyle competition. Now, we're on the bronze medal match of the 120kgs competition. The night should end by approx. 2000hrs.

I was blessed to have met a lot of people today. Met friends from Poland, Russia, Armenia, HK and not forgetting all my China mates. Had a good session of meeting and greeting. We have taken down all our contacts - I do hope I can continue to keep in touch with all of them.

Some of the guys from AO in my hotel are planning to go out tonight. I have not been going out with them for the past 3 days as I was working out and I was working late as well - and of course I had to wake up early to work. But I am glad work is over for me after today. Thought of going to some interesting places soon.

Vicky and I have planned to visit the following places:-
(1) Beijing Zoo and Aquaria
(2) Olympic Games Domain Ground (Bird's Nest, Water Cube, etc) - tour

I was given tickets to go for the water polo match today @ 1700hrs, but it was pity I couldn't go cos' I was working. I have tickets for the Women's Basketball Bronze and Gold medal matches. That should be good - although I'd prefer to watch Men's Basketball Finals (an absolute cruncher, it would be) - but this is ok. The tickets are actually very expensive, so I can't complain. Hope to take a lot of pics @ the arena. Now, I have decided that it is getting very difficult to upload the pics from here, so I will be uploading all the pics when I return to Msia.

More updates tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20th August 2008....

Today is my second last day of work. I have been busy for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Events almost everyday. But these last 3 days will be hectic. All the final events for freestyle will be completed by tomorrow. In fact all women competitions have been concluded - just the men's freestyle ones left. I am @ the venue now - was here since 10.30am. Got up @ 8.30am, had bfast and then took the subway to the CAU Gym. Upon getting here, sorted out all that I had to do and then the events were under way. We have stopped for lunch from 1200 to 1600. Competition will commence after that - we have D.Schwab (USA) vs S.Kumar (IND) as the first bout and then a few more before the Gold & Bronze medal matches. Today's bouts should be good.

Anyway, I should be able to get back by 8pm today - after dinner. Thought of heading to the gym again today. After that possible meet up with the guys for a night cap and then sleep early as well. I have an early day tomorrow. I have to be @ the venue by 1000.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing Re-Visited....

Yes I know I have not been updating my blog or uploading any pictures. I have been having some issues with that. But trust me I will be uploading em' soon. I have been really busy for the past 5 days. As you can see below the last update on the blog was on the 14th of Aug 2008. I have been really busy with work. Got in today and I told myself that I have to update and report of what has been going on here.

15th August 2008
I was off today and guess what, I got tickets to go and watch the semi finals tennis matches. Only woke up @ 2pm and then headed straight to the Olympic Greens Domain in the Games Village. The first match which was between James Blake v Fernando Gonzales started @ 4pm - that was a treat, then we (Vicky & I) watched the women's semi finals between Jelena Jankovic vs Dinara Safina & then the finale' - which was an absolute treat: Rafael Nadal (World No. 2) vs Novak Djokovic (World No.3). It ended @ about 12ish mn and then we headed back to the hotel for dinner and then for a few drinks. Got home and slept.

16th August 2008
Did not do much. Called in to my Manager and informed her that I was not coming in to work. Rested @ the hotel. Worked out for quite a bit in the gym - oh yes, that reminds me I need to go in to the gym today. Had dinner with the guys and then went out with Alex Kofi (Germany), Alexandre (France), Tanja (Serbia), Marianne (Germany), Bernard (Austria), Priyanka (India) and Marcos (Brazil). It was a very nice night as we were all from different parts of the world - and what can I say, alcohol unites everyone. It was a cool night as we were all telling each other how differently we all drink in our own countries. We had supper and got back by 3am.

17th August 2008
Took the day off to go out for a bit. Had lunch and the took the train and visited the Tian'men Square and the Forbidden City. Then went into WangFuJing Street for a while, bought some souvenirs there and then headed back to the Silk Street Market - to get some more stuff. Then, Derrick met us and we got back to the hotel. Did not plan to go anywhere, so I headed to the gym, worked out, had dinner and very much just chilled in my room watching the Olympic highlights. The guys wanted to go out for a drink, but I decided to rest as I had to be up early the next morning by 6.30am. I had made reservations to go to the Great Wall of China. The tour included a visit to the Great Wall, Ming Tomb, Jade Factory, Dr.Tea Tea Shop and finally a foot massage by the Tibetan Herbal Doctors - which was very good. Anyway, got back and rested

18th August 2008
I was up by 6.15am, showered, got ready and headed to the Coffee House for bfast. Met Lukas & Anna (Poland) who were supposed to come with me. After bfast, the van was waiting for us. Got in and headed straight to the Great Wall (Bandaling route). The thing is there are many routes to the Great Wall, but this is the most scenic and most challenging route. We headed there and then by 8am we started 'hiking' the wall. It was tough. It was 3.5 steps in normal steps to 1 step on the Great Wall - what an experience. On my way down the wall, I got to a Certificate Shop and got a cert done for me - A Hero Card ( a card to prove that I have scaled the Wall). Trust me, it was not easy - it was a very complete cardio workout.

A brief history of the Great Wall:-
1. It took the Chinese 273 years to finish the entire wall
2. The entire wall is about 6,000kms long
3. The reason for the wall was to protect China from Mongolia
4. Every Emperor in China was an engineer in the continued construction of the Wall

After spending about 2 hours there, we got down and then headed to the Jade Factory - a very interesting experience for me. I have never known the value of jade. I saw how they carved, polished and created beautiful pieces of jade jewellery. Then we headed to the Ming Tomb. The for lunch and then to the Dr.Tea Tea Shop and then for a nice Foot Massage by the Tibetan Herbal Practitioners. By the time we got back from all of that it was 5pm. Just had a light dinner and then rested in the room. I was working the next day and I had to be @ the venue early and the bouts were starting as early as 9am in the morning. So, just rested. Did I want to go into the gym, of course I wanted - could I take the tiredness? Hell no! So, I'd thought I'd pass gym and just chill out in the room.

19th August 2008
Got in to the CAU Gym by 11am. Got all the results verified. Women's competition was over, but the Men's freestyle had just started. Went through all the documents to ensure there were no issues. Everything was going according to plan - by God's grace. Went for lunch, headed back to the OVR Room (On-Venue Results) and now we're waiting for the next rounds of competition to start again. It should begin by 4pm. Will tell you all about it tomorrow - or if possible by tonight.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Do Divers Shower?

I have been watching a few sports in much detail. Some of which I really enjoy are: swimming, diving and athletics (15th Aug 2008). So till the 15th, the only sports I have been watching are swimming and diving. AND of course, the wrestling - I am working in the venue, remember. Do any of you'll know why do divers shower right after they finish a dive? In fact, they will only be able to see their results while in the shower. Have you ever wondered why?

The explanation below will explain it. The following excerpt is from Yahoo! Sports:-

After completing a dive, competitors swim to a ladder, climb out of the pool and head immediately to a bank of showers that sit adjacent to the diving boards. Then, in full view of the crowd and NBC cameras, they shower off. Divers keep their suits on, of course, usually appearing only to rinse off their hair and arms. Oftentimes, the divers will receive their scores while still showering off. What's the purpose of this?

Theories have ranged from 'to get the chlorine off' to 'they want to have fun' -- seriously, that last one is a direct quote from NBC's diving analyst, Cynthia Potter. Neither are the reason.


Divers shower in between each dive to keep their muscles warm after getting out of the pool. The temperature of the pool water and the air are usually different (the pool is usually around 80 degrees, with the air temperature between 68 and 72 degrees). This difference can cause muscle tightness. To combat this, divers warm up in either the showers or a hot tub.

So now we know!

13th August 2008....

Well, today was very much like yday. Got up early (7.30am) headed to the Coffee House for bfast and then left for the subways with Simon and Vicky. We walked to the Agri. Exhibition Ctr station and took the subway to our venues. In fact they were off today and they were going visiting. They got off half way but I stayed in the train. Got off at Zhichunlu and then changed to another train to Wudaokao. From Wudaokao, took a walk to the bus station and then got a bus to my venue. Arrived here @ the CAU Gym @ 10.30am. The event for the day only started @ 12 noon. So I had some time to check my mails and to go around the venue and meet the officials to ensure everything was running smoothly.

Had lunch @ the cafeteria and then got back to work @ 1pm. The event started and from then on it was continuous events all the way until 8pm. After the final event, Greco-Roman 70kgs, which was won by a Georgian who beat the local hero from China, I headed home. Took a bus to my stop, walked to the subways and I was back @ the hotel by 9.30pm.

I was not going to head to the gym today, so I had my bath and wanted to chill & watch tv in my room. But the guys (Vicky, Simon, Derrick & Priyanka) called me out for a drink and a light walk. So, we took a walk to Solana Mall and had a drink at Starbucks. Chilled there till about 12mn and then took a slow walk back to the hotel.

As soon as I got back, just had a bath and the next thing I knew, I was knocked out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

12th August 2008....

Today was the first day of the wrestling event. Woke up early headed to the Coffee House for bfast and then got to the venue by cab. I didn't want to be late. We were told whenever there were events, we had to be @ the venue 2 hours before it started. The usual setting up and ensuring nothing fails and so on. I had to meet the Venue Results Manager as well to confirm some minor details. My IDS Manager was also present, so we conducted all tests and everything went on fine.

All events went on very smoothly. Everyone now and then, whenever an interesting bout was going on in the Field of Play, I could just walk in to the arena and watch it. It was interesting. As I mentioned earlier, there are 2 types of events: Greco Roman (only Men) and Freestyle (Men & Women). Today we had completed 2 weight categories: GR 55kg and GR 60kg. Tomorrow we will be having the 66kg and 70kg. It should be more interesting when the freestyle event starts. It is more physical and a lot more tougher for the competitors. Anyway, had lunch at the venue itself and left the venue @ about 6.30 and headed back to the hotel. Took the subway back - I have got so familiarised with the subway that I am actually teaching people in my venue how to move around. I like learning new routes, so I was glad to have learnt all the ways to get from one place to another.

Upon arriving back to the hotel, I went to the receptionist and confirmed by booking for the Great Wall tour on the 18th. Vicky and I have decided to go to the Forbidden City and the Tia'Men Square on the 15th. Upon confirming it, I got changed and headed to the gym. Worked out for a good 1 hour and then had a bath and slept. I was supposed to have gone out for dinner, but I was too tired I guess.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

11th August 2008....

Well, I am off today. Today is the draw day at my venue - the wrestlers will come in for their medical check-up, doping exercise and the weigh in session. Upon doing so, they will be picking their draw for the competition. As there are not too many wrestlers, most of them got the 'bye' to the next round.

Anyway, since I am off, I decided to go around Sanlitun (Street Malls) and after that to the Silk Market. Had bfast @ the hotel and then left for Sanlitun with Simon (AO Msia), Priyanka (AO India) & Suzanne (AO Holland). We took a walk to Sanlitun, checked out the biggest adidas store and then walked around the malls. Upon doing so, we took a taxi to the Silk Market aread. Suzanne left as she had to go to work. So we arrived @ the Silk Market @ about 3pm, walked around, bought a lot of stuff and then stopped by Subway for a sandwich and a drink. We were waiting for Quiss and Vicky who wanted to come and join us as well. But, I was feeling tired so I headed back to the hotel. The guys continued shopping till about 7pm. Anyway, I got back and so did Priyanka - we met up for dinner with Alex (AO France). Oh yes, how can I forget, I found this Punjabi Restaurant in Beijing. So, I decided to take both Priyanka (she was very very pleased) and Alex to this restaurant. I made the discovery when I was just walking around town sometime last week. Very good food. Anyway, this time I had aloor prata, mutton vindaloo and some paneer curry thingy (very tasty). Had to have the kulfis for dessert and wash it all down with a cold mango lassi, YUMMY! It has been a while since I had good Indian food, so it was a very good dinner.

After dinner, we headed for a pub crawl. People these days call it pub hopping, but to me it was a crawl, because we stayed rather long in each club. The first one we went to was The Corona Bar. They have Corona parties every Sat - from what I heard they are really good. Should go for the one this weekend. This is a salsa club. Good live band playing salsa and latin music. Had a few beers there and then left for the China Doll Club. I have never seen a club so posh (not even in England or Sweden). Extremely nice decos and beautiful. Anyway, we found ourselves a place to sit and the ordered their cocktails. Very nice, I must say. On the other side, where the dance floor is, there were girls in extremely skimpy outfits dancing on raised platforms with a pole. Now, that was a sight.

We were there till it almost closed actually - almost 5am and then we headed back to the hotel. I had to wake up at 9am for bfast and then head to my venue as tomorrow is the first day of competition @ the wrestling arena (CAU Gymnasium).

So for all those watching the Olympics on tele, do look out for the arena. I will be in the Field of Play (the mat area) most of the time. From what I heard, the last event finishes @ 8pm tonight, so I guess by the time I get back it should be about 9pm. I will tell you'll more about it tomorrow once the event is over.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

10th August 2008....

Today was rather quiet. I woke up @ about 7ish and got ready and headed to the Coffee House in the hotel for bfast. I had to get to work by 10am. Upon having bfast, I was suprised to see a heavy downpour in Beijing. Nice. It has been terribly humid ever since I arrived here on the 3rd. The temperature has been an average 33 degrees. But today with the rain it was a manageable 28. Not too bad. I couldnt walk to the subway station because of the rain, so I took a cab to my venue - regretted doing that, it cost me whopping 50RMB (approx. RM25). Anyway, work was easy today. We were just testing all the systems to ensure that the production on the 12th is smooth flowing. Our first day of event is on the 12th. Tomorrow I will be off as it is weigh in and doping exercise day. The atheletes will be at the venue to weigh in, get their doping tests done and to pick their draws. The whole exercise starts at 9 and should be finished before lunch.

I'm back @ the hotel now. Got changed and visited the gym. I have been steadily working out as I have no other exercise besides the regular 20 mins walk to the subway station. Will be meeting up some guys and gals from Belgium and Holland for dinner later tonight.

Tomorrow I plan to re-visit the WangFuJing Street - where the street malls are. There is also a huge shop selling Olympic souvenirs. Hope to get some souvenirs there. Thought of also going to the Beijing Zoo before that and then possibly leave for WangFuJing @ lunch time. I have to see the pandas. From what I heard you can carry the baby pandas and take pics with them. Hope to do all of that tomorrow.

Will be updating it again tomorrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Opening Ceremony....

I'm sure most of you watched it last night. Yes, it was a sight indeed. The amount of work that was put in is amazing. I am glad to have been able to watch it live here in Beijing. As the tickets for the Opening Ceremony were all sold out and no tickets were assigned to anyone of us @ AO, we were able to watch it live from the Olympic Green Common Domain - which is just outside the Bird's Nest Stadium. It was still awesome. We could see everything that the people in the stadium were seeing, but only standing or sitting on the greens. It was much more fun as the domain area was a party zone. Everyone was eating, drinking, dancing and shouting and cheering their countries.

I was off for 2 days (Thurs & Fri), so I took the opportunity to walk around town. Went to a number of places. Solana Mall, ZhongGuanChun (IT Malls), WangFuChing (Street Bazaar) and of course the bars around every corner of Beijing as well. It was quite an experience. Initially I was alone, but later on Vicky came by and joined me at the Solana Mall.

Came in to the venue (CAU Gymnasium) today as we had some testing exercises to ensure that all systems were running smoothly. Our first day of competition is on the 12th of Aug 2008 and it runs till the 21st of Aug 2008. ZhaoXin (my Manager) has given me some days off whenever the draws are done at the venue. So I will be off on the 11th, 15th and the 18th of Aug 2008. So I will be taking the opportunity to possibly visit the Great Wall on one day, the Beijing Zoo on another and the Tian'Men Square and the Forbidden City on the last day. I really wanted to visit the Tian'Men Square and the Forbidden City yesterday, but it closed as everyone was to watch the Opening Ceremony.

Anyway, after the ceremony had ended we got ourselves to the nearest McDonalds and I had to have the Hamburger. It was good actually. Then, we took a train to the Agricultural Exhibition Centre which is our stop for our hotel. From the station it is a 15 mins walk to Yong-An Hotel (where we live). Upon reaching the hotel, I was hungry again, so I dragged Vicky along with me to the Busan Restaurant (Southern part of China) - very spicy food. We ordered fish and potatos and vegetables. It was good. Then, walked back to the hotel, had a warm shower and slept.

Today, I was working, so I got ready as early as 8am, had bfast and then left for the venue. I am still @ the venue. I will be going with ZhaoXin after work this evening for high tea - I am looking forward to it as we're going to a Tibetan restaurant. Will tell you all about it on my next post.

Till then, more tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Beijing 2008....

I've finally settled in here in Beijing. Yup, arrived here on the 3rd of Aug @ approx 5pm. Oh by the way, for those of you who didn't know, I am here in Beijing for the Olympics. I was chosen to be a member of the IT team with Atos Origin (my current employers) @ the Olympics. Atos Origin is the Worldwide IT Partner of the Games - and they have been so since Barcelona 1992. The flight was good, I slept throughout the flight actually - so it was nice. Upon arrival, we had a driver pick us up and send us to the hotel. I am staying @ the Yong-An Hotel in Beijing. It was nice to have walked around and checked out some of the places around the hotel area. I will be here at Beijing for 3 weeks and 4 days. I leave back to Malaysia on the 26th of Aug. It is a very unique and learning experience.

I am in training now in the CAG Gymnasium. I only got in at 2pm today as the Manager was covering the morning shift of things. Oh yes, before I forget, I am based at the China Agricultural University Gymnasium - what do you think the sport is? Nope, not gymnastics - but Wrestling. There will be 2 types of wrestling events, namely: Greco-Roman (only Men) and Freestyle (Men & Women). My position here is Venue IDS Manager Assistant, so I work very closely with the Manager - Zhao Xin, who is really sweet. She is very helpful and she has been guiding me with all that I need to know. I will be the Back-up Manager in the event she is unable to attend work. Work is fun, as it is sports oriented and it involves sporting terminologies. I am thoroughly enjoying my stay here in Beijing. I will be updating my blog, if possible on a daily basis. I would like to update some pictures as well.

That's all for now, more tomorrow. I will be into work @ 9am tomorrow. There is a lot to do tomorrow. The wrestling event only starts on the 12th, but before that there a lot of testings and other issues that we need to look at. It will be interesting and I will keep all of you updated.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friendship....

One of my friends in Ashford (England) sent me a home made video of how beautiful a thing friendship is. I have taken the message embedded in the video and put it in words for everyone to read and enjoy the true meaning of friendship.

This post is dedicated to all my friends around the world. I am so grateful to God for giving me a lot of beautiful and very special friends. In my life, I have met a lot of people - some became friends others best friends. This post is to all my friends. Thank you Nicole for the video.

Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.


Friendship is one mind in two bodies


If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with them, I would be at the bottom to catch them


Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart


Promise you won’t forget me, because if I thought you would, I’d never leave


A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out


A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad



My personal favourite is....
If you should die before me, ask if you can bring a friend

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Damn It!

I hate the way I feel right now. It has been approximately 2 months and I have been feeling the same. Work is not as good as it used to be. My creativity has diminished for my music - I have always been the creative and adventurous one in the band. I almost lost many friends - and these are good friends by the way. I am leaving for Beijing for the Olympics in 4 days time and I am not even slightly excited about it.

I have been keeping myself busy with whatever I can think of doing, but honestly, I feel like shit. I don't know why? I don't know what is the reason, but I know there are so many contributing factors to this feeling. I have never felt this way before.

I do hope I come out of this.

@#$%^&*!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Showcase Performance @ The Attic....

I know... I know it has been a while since I posted about Vessel of Worship ;) - so here goes!

We (V of W) were invited by the Organising Committee of the Attic's Got Talent competition to perform on the 23rd of July 2008 (Tue). It was a unique experience because we were given a 45 mins slot for the night. Now, V of W have never done any show for 45mins - anywhere. To make matters worse, we did not even have the time to practise. But we took everything in a stride. I suggested that we'd do an acoustic performance. Since we did not have the full band with us (Mark is away on work and Dharmin is away on performances), we invited 2 other musicians to session with us. Edwin (leads) and Jeff (bass). Unfortunately, Jeff could not make it for the night and I only knew about it on the night before the show. Anyway, by God's grace we made do with whatever we had. I got Ruf to play the rhythm, Risberg to play the bass and Winston to play the congas. Edwin did the lead work for the songs and I sang - but I played the piano for a song as well.

We (all the patrons @ the Attic) were blessed to have Nick Davies perform a line-up of his own songs for us. He had his violinist back him up. He has got a very soulful voice - I'd like to call him the new generation of India Arie / Corrs. He gives every song a Corrs feel to it. Very nice. Anyway, it was very nice of him to invite me to jam alongside him on his last song. It was a freestyle number, but we jammed and we got the mood started for the night - thank you Nick.

Anyway, there was a 30 mins break and then Vessel of Worship got ourselves ready and started performing. We did a good set of 45mins. If I remember correctly, we did take a break in between the entire set - but that was the band. While they took a break, I sang 'Chariot' and played the piano. And then we came back for our final 20 mins of the entire set. During the last 20 mins of the set, I invited Hari (beatboxer cum sangeetham specialist) to come up and join us in our rendition of Psalm 23. It was a song I wrote with Rufus sometime last year. I still feel that was still our best song that night.

I am very grateful to all the people below who made the performance at the Attic on the 23rd of July 2008, very special to us (V of W):-

1. Juliet, Ann and Luna (Attic)
2. Vikhram & Aylia (who rushed right after work)
3. Vick (who came for the entire performance and then rushed to work)
4. Gopi & Kogilah (who have never missed any of our performances)
5. Sherril Louisa Jeanne' Netto (a dear friend)
6. Sheila, Noel, Rajan, Antho & Serene for the support and cheering :)
7. Edwin for helping the band with the leads at the last minute of asking
8. Sir Surin and Ms. Brenda for their never ending support
9. Last but not least, all those who came and supported us..

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!

We do not know when our next performance will be. But I will keep everyone updated on fb and on the blog as well. Tentatively, the finals for the Attic's Got Talent competition is on the 30th of Sept 2008 - however, I will let you all know if there are any changes.

Here are some of the pictures that were taken that night:-

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MISTAKE....

More often than not, for some of us, we make mistakes. Now, whether or not the mistakes made turn out to be absolute moments of brilliance or otherwise - it is very truly conceived as a mistake nonetheless. I have made many mistakes in life - some of which I am proud of and of course some of which ... well, lets not get there shall we. I honestly believe that whenever we make a mistake and we accept the mistake and learn from it, we are better human beings. I know, it is very crude to say something like that, but lets ponder that for a moment.

For example, I used to be a smoker. I consider that a mistake I had made when I was much younger. Unfortunately, I got addicted to it for a while, but I am glad that I am totally out of it now. It is not only the fact that I realised my mistake, but the fact that I know how much more I can reap by correcting myself.

I got in to work today and met up with Devika (hereafter referred to as Akka) for lunch. Upon doing so, I had to rush in to work as it was getting late for me. Akka sent me an email which was rather brilliant. Well, I consider it a creation by someone who is very articulate. The title of the email was Mistakes. So, enjoy:-

If a barber makes a mistake,

It is a NEW STYLE


If a driver makes a mistake,

It is a NEW PATH


If a engineer makes a mistake,

It is a NEW VENTURE


If parents makes a mistake,

It is a NEW GENERATION


If a politician makes a mistake,

It is a NEW LAW


If a scientist makes a mistake,

It is a NEW INVENTION


If a tailor makes a mistake,

It is a NEW FASHION


If a teacher makes a mistake,

It is a NEW THEORY


If our boss makes a mistake,

It is a NEW IDEA


If an employee makes a mistake,

It is a MISTAKE!


WHY! WHY! WHY! (My humble contribution to the article)


Friday, July 18, 2008

Vessel of Worship....

V of W will be performing again. Yup! We have been invited to perform at a Charity Carnival at SeGi College in Kota Damansara. We've never done anything like this before, so I jumped at the very idea of performing for a good cause. However, we will not be having all the guys with us on Saturday, but the basic 3 will be there. Ruf Ruf on the guitars & back-up vocals, Risberg on the drums & congas and Winston on the percussions. We hope to be able to find a bassist by today as our bassist (Mark) is away in England on work assignment. For all those reading this, please pray for us. We're short of practices and we want to put on our best show.

We hope with the final practice today, we will be able to finalise 2 solid songs for the evening. The details of the event is seen below:-

Event: Charity Carnival
Venue: SeGi College, Kota Damansara
Date: 18th July 2008 (Saturday)
Time: 12.00noon - 5.00pm

Hope to see all of you there!

God bless.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

TAMIL-ians....

I am huge fan of Russell Peters (The Stand-Up Comedian). For those of you, who have not heard of him, where have you been all this while? He is one of the most respected comedians of our time. I rank him along the names of Eddie Murphy, Cedric The Entertainer, DL Hughley and Kat Williams. Watching him for the 40th time (Russell Peters Live In LA), and then reading an email that Rohan Annan sent me, made me write this post. It is about TAMILIANS - well, I would bravely say, every Indian in Malaysia, India, Singapore, England and in any part of the world will concur in the habit and attitudes below. Enjoy:

You arrive one hour late to a party and findout you are the first one to arrive

You think it's perfectly normal to call someone who's 30 years younger than you 'Annan'
just because he's behind a counter

You wear a suit to a wedding... and you are only 3 years old


The wedding takes an hour and the group pictures take five hours

Your mom and sister together own more jewellery than a Chinese jewellery store


Your parents' idea of a vacation is to go down to the temples in India


You talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone's house

The second your guests leave the house, your parents start talking about them

You rent a cassette from the grocery store, it's been dubbed 6 times... & you return it 3
months later

You go to a Tamil Cultural program only to find one barathanatyam and six hip hop shows

You are somehow related to every new friend you meet


Your remote control is still in its plastic packet


You get a 95% on a test and your parents ask, ‘what happened to the other 5%?!'


You stare at Tamil people when they walk by


You see married couples kissing on TV but have never seen your Mom &
Dad get within 3 feet of each another

Your parents never address each other by name


When you get your first part-time job, your parents expect you to give them half

Your mother has a minor dispute with her sister-in law and doesn't talk to her for 10 years


Your parents say Swiss instead of Switzerland, Germany is German and England is London


You go to a party and your aunt comments on how your skin color has changed


You watch a Tamil wedding tape and all the songs from Roja are dubbed in it


When the teacher took attendance and there was a sudden pause, you put your hand up and said 'here'


You shortened your name to make it sound Anglo


You have dinner at 10pm


It's normal for all the relatives to bathe the groom on his wedding day


You KNOW that your promiscuous second cousin on your father's side is pregnant even before she does


Your aunties tease you about a particularly eligible cousin... & you like it!!!


You serve all your guests tea with milk and 5 spoons of sugar


You only stop putting more rice on your guest's dinner plate 7 times after they tell you to
stop

Anytime you speak back to your parents, you get: 'I toiled my life for you, and this is how you repay me?!' - 'Naanga eppadi khasta pattathukku nee ithuvum solluvae ithukku melayumsolluvae!'

If you are a girl, you are expected to come home before dark - however if it's a son, 'OK rasa, jaakirathaa poitu vaa...'


Halfway through your shower you realize that your Head & Shoulders shampoo is gone and has been replaced by Siyakkai shampoo

You walk in to another Tamil family's house and they have the same furniture and dining set as yours

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Well Known Phrases & Practices....

It has been a while since I checked my mails. Ever since I got back from Kuching I have been really busy - catching up on all my pending mails and tickets. Sigh. Anyway, after wrestling with it (work) for the past 2 days, I have somehow managed to resolve all my pending mails. So, today, I had the time pleasure of going through some of my mails. While I was at it, I came across an article or rather, an observation of interesting phrases and practices which were apparent ever since the 14th century. So do, enjoy the read:

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "The Rule of Thumb"

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden"... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone

Coca-Cola was originally green


The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000


The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer


The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments


111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321


Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
- Their birthplace


Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?

- Obsession


What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

- All were invented by women


What is the only food that doesn't spoil? - Honey

Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
- Father's Day

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon

Customer Service....

Working in an IT support environment, at times I do come across some really difficult users. However, we are contracted to be as nice and courteous as possible. One of my colleagues sent me the article below. I just wished I could use some of the sarcasm in the story below to deal with some of the users I face. Interesting - check it out:-

For all who work with rude customers, shame we can't actually do this! An award should go to the Virgin Airlines desk attendant in Sydney some months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded Virgin flight was canceled after Virgin's 767s had been withdrawn from service. A single attendant was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, 'I HAVE to be on this flight and it HAS to be FIRST CLASS'. The attendant replied, 'I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out.' The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, 'DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?'

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: 'May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please,' she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. 'We have a passenger here at Desk 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Desk 14.' With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, 'F... You!' Without flinching, she smiled and said....

(I love this bit)

'I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too.'

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rainforest Music Festival....

Rainforest Music Festival - Kuching, SARAWAK

I have been planning to do this for a while now. I missed the last few years due to work commitments, studies and other functions. But I did not want to miss it this time. Last year Jam & I went for the Miri International Jazz Festival - which was so awesome. This time for the RMF, I will be going with Vick (a long time friend). Of course Jam will be there too, he leaves today with 3 of his other friends.

I will be leaving for Kuching on the 10th (Thurs) and I will be back on the 14th (Mon). The event is from the 11th till the 13th of July. I will be updating the blog with all the pictures and stories once I get back. There will be so much to do in Kuching. I thought of getting my 2nd tatt as well. we'll see how it goes - reason being the artists in Borneo are way more artistic and talented compared to the ones you find here. They are natural artists' - I hope to get my 2nd one there.

Will update soon. Take care and wish you all a blessed week ahead.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pics Taken @ The Attic - SemiFinals....

Me' (V of Worship)

Rufus (V of Worship)

Darmin (V of Worship)

Daniel (V of Worship)

Hari (V of Worship)

Nick Davis

Anna Anthonia

Arjuna

Suzie

Wei Lin

Fraddy

Winners of the Semi-Finals - Vessel of Worship & Nick Davis

Winners of the Semi-Finals - Vessel of Worship & Nick Davis

Nick Davis, Arjuna & Me' (Vessel of Worship)

Eddy, Savvy & Nick Davis, Juliet, Arjuna, Me' & Llew

Vessel of Worship

Vessel of Worship

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're In The Finals....


We (Vessel of Worship) went into the semi finals at the Attic's Got Talent on Tuesday very confident of ourselves. However, we did not know what to expect from the other contestants. I was glad we went prepared. It was a fun evening. The boys were there by 7pm for the sound check. I was glad we did that. All the equaliser records were written and kept for our performance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Llew Marsh for all the help and support he gave us throughout the night - sound check, setting up before each performance and for introducing us to the crowd very specially. "Thank you very much Llew". We (V of W) are also very blessed to have a Manager in Ms. Brenda James. We thank you very much Ms. Brenda for all your support, encouragement and your constant words of wisdom which always gives us that extra boost to do better everytime we perform.

The competition started at approximately 9.30pm. The line up was as follows:-

1. FRADDY - solo
2. SUZIE ELANIE - solo
3. WEI LIN - solo
4. NICK DAVIS - duet
5. VESSEL OF WORSHIP - band
6. ARJUNA - solo
7. ANNA SIGAMONEY - solo

It was a well mixed group of people. I enjoyed the company of all the contestants. We (V of W) were glad to have won the semi finals. The songs we performed at the semi-finals were Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall and Gimme Hope Jo'anna by Eddy Grant. The second song was an absolute cracker as all those present were dancing away. It was nice to see people enjoying the songs we played.

The finalists were:-

Vessel of Worship
Nick Davis
Arjuna

All the practices, the hours and hours of ensuring the sound was perfect, the keys were in tune and the singing was in the right pitch - all paid off.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who came and supported throughout the night:-

My dear fiancee, Tharsani Krishnasamy
All our friends from:-
CSA (Kamal)
HELP (Faeizal & Ram)
Atos Origin (Vikhram, Aylia, Liyana & Paul Michael)
HSBC (Bald Vick, Gauri and Rufus', Mark's and Hari's work mates)
VATS (Peter Michael, Calvin & friends)
Rohan Annan & his lovely wife Devika Akka

....and all friends from near and far.

We've made it to the finals and the gratitude goes to everyone above, but most importantly the boys of Vessel of Worship....

Rufus Aston Bexel - Rhythm, lead guitars & back up vocals
Risberg Dass Bexel - Drummer
Winston Palmer - Percussionist
Mark Pravind Daniel - Bassist
HariKumar - Beatboxer & Rapper
Darmin - Mirethenggum Maestro

....and me, Devanandan Palmer Batumalai - Lead vocals & pianist.

We've come this far boys, lets go all the way!

'LETS CONTINUE TO MAKE MUSIC & GLORIFY HIS NAME'