Saturday, October 31, 2009

They Are All Gone Into The World of Light - Henry Vaughan (1896)

Maisarah woke up this morning to find her hamster cage is empty. Few weeks ago one of her hamsters went missing. Necklace the cat is regarded as the main culprit and I bought another hamster to replace the missing one. Few days after that another one is missing and this time Necklace was caught in the act. Apparently she figured out how to lift up the door of the cage. This time we tied the door with a piece of string. However, last night Ilyas opened the door to fix the wheel inside the cage and he forgot to tie the door again. But we know Necklace is not responsible this time as we kept the cage inside our bedroom. Apparently the last remaining hamster knew how to lift the door by itself and I assume is currently roaming happily inside the house, or most probably already caught dead by either Necklace or Boyah. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Open House in Kajang

Tok Ayah with the guests

Ilyas, Kimi and Didie

Enjoying the meal

The main dishes - nasi dagang, nasi tumpang, laksam, laksa and murtabak raja

The desserts - labu sira, akok, tapai and ketupat pulut

Today Tok Ayah and Mama Tok held their open house for old friends, relatives and neighbours. The party started from 12 noon until midnight although the last guests left around 10pm. All the meals provided have their origin from Kelantan and even the chef, Cik Yah (Mama Tok's sister), came all they way from there.


Since the death of Fernleaf, Boyah has been able to roam freely in the house. These two used to be buddies but when both got older they became territorial, thus Fernleaf will always remains inside the house and Boyah on the outside. Now it's 'Access to All Area' for Boyah.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Evening at Football Pitch

Ilyas and Irfan

England vs Brazil

Tepen players warming up

ANSARA Taiping are going to play against St. John Alumni Association (SJAA) in the semi final of Piala ANSARA in three weeks time. So today is the first friendly match since fasting month to be held to improve the players fitness and also to try out the new recruits. I brought along Ilyas and his friend, Irfan to the field to watch the match between my team and Introp, a team from Bandar Baru Bangi. There were more than twenty players came to play for my team but unfortunately none of them is the goalkeeper, thus the eventual asking for my service.

The first half was quite unnerving because most of our players are the new recruits and were still trying to get their rhythm and there were lots of chances from both sides. However, our striker managed to capitalise on the mistake by the opponent's goalkeeper and we were leading 1-0 by the end of the first half. In the second half, we replaced all the players (except the goalkeeper of course) with the regular ones and the play was getting smoother. Unfortunately towards the end of the second half, the opponent managed to score through a free kick awarded just outside the penalty box. To be honest I just didn't see that ball going into the net. I think there was an element of a slight deflection but I am not so sure. Nevertheless it was a good practice match and I am looking forward for our next one in next week.

Absolute Sandman Vol I, II, III and IV

Bought in 2009, to be read in 2010?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Visiting Old School

Main entrance

UPM students having activities with the SKS 'special' pupils

SKS Head Teacher, Datin Che Zu

I received a mobile text from Imran yesterday asking me if I'm available on the Friday morning to visit our old primary school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Serdang. I said yes and the next morning we were having breakfast at the 'mamak' restaurant next to the school. Afterward we went to the school and were greeted by its head teacher, Datin Che Zu. She is very happy to receive us and we told her the reason we are coming is to enquire about the school alumni and it's activities. Apparently the alumni is currently not active and we decided to do something about it. As a start we agreed to help them in preparing for the incoming Hari Anugerah by contributing some money to buy trophies for the excellent students. The next step is to formally set up the alumni association so that more activities and contributions can be done to further assist the school in their daily activities.

*pictures by Imran

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gomo Kelate Gomo!

Cousins, bro-in-law and a friend

Can you guess the colour on the other side of his face?

The err.. home supporters

The...ehem... away supporters

Kelantan's only goal

Final score

A few days ago I received a call from one of my cousins asking me if I'm interested to go with him to watch the Malaysia Cup quarter final (first leg) between KL Plus FC and Kelantan FA. I agreed immediately and started to look for my Kelantan jersey from one of the boxes stored in the back room. At 8pm tonight, two cousins of mine, Lan and Yie came to Kajang to pick Enol, my bro-in-law and myself before going to Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium. We met another cousin of us, Apik near Maktab Perguruan Teknik who bought the tickets in advance for us. The ticket costs RM10 each.

We were inside the stadium around 8.45pm, just in time for the start of the match. I was so surprised to see that the whole stadium was packed with Kelantanese supporters. After looking around for a while, I finally managed to locate the section reserved for the home supporters and their numbers are quite pathetic. When Kelantan FA scored the first goal, the whole stadium erupted and fireworks were exploding everywhere even though they are actually banned in the first place. However, a mistake by Halim Napi, Kelantan goalkeeper, gifted KL Plus an easy goal and rattled Kelantan players for the remaining minutes of the first half.

During the second half, Kelantan supporters continuously kept the atmosphere noisy and tense. When one of the linesman accidentally 'assisted' a KL Plus player by heading the ball inside the pitch, he was straight away showered with mineral bottles. Even the FRU personnel were not spared and they had to dodge various missiles and fireworks thrown at them. Towards the end of the second half, Kelantan introduced their star striker, Khalid Jamlus who just got married yesterday, but were held back by KL Plus who definitely did not want a draw. Kelantan however managed to cling for a draw and I think they are quite happy to bring that precious away goal back to the second leg in Kota Bharu.

I dream of Mamee

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meeting Old Friends

Imran and I

Rahayu and Joanna

Three of us used to be classmates

Old and new friends

I have been waiting for this gathering quite a long time, 21 years to be exact. Several days ago I met my old primary school classmate, Imran, whom I haven't met in 20 years. Two days ago he asked me whether I'm available on Sunday night because another old friend of us is having a Raya gathering. I immediately said yes and although the party is supposed to start at 8.30pm, I was already there by 8.15 (the anticipation is like the first date!). The host name is Suhaimi and I still recognised his face and tall figure. The three of us used to attend Sekolah Kebangsaan Serdang from 1983 until 1988. Then some other visitors came to the party and I remembered some of them whilst attempting to recognise the rest and make some new friends. We had good chat and by the time for all of us to go, it was already 11pm. One of us is already planning another party in two weeks time and I hope I will be meeting more old friends of SKS. Looking back at their faces now reminds me of this song, 74-75 by The Connells. I wish I still have pictures of us back in the 80s.

*pictures by Imran

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Open Houses and Bloodshed

It has been a very hectic day. Why? Because we decided to visit as many open house as we can without planning the route carefully. Thus the first house to be visited was in Bandar Baru Bangi before we went north of Shah Alam and then south again to Bandar Bukit Mahkota. After that we went to visit our friends at Batu 9 Hulu Langat before going north again to visit another house at Ukay Bistari near Hulu Kelang. We went out from Kajang at 1pm and only came back around 11pm . By the time we arrived at my parents' house, the open house organised by the Bloodshed Fan Club was already underway. Their stage was set right in front of our house so I don't have to sit outside to listen to their song. I can just simply sit in the comfort of my house and listen to their classics. I've been friend with one of the neighbours for many years without realising that he was the original lead guitarist for Bloodshed. For those who are unfamiliar with this band, here is one of their hits, Srikandi Cintaku:


Joanna posing next to 'kolam' near the entrance to KLCC buildings

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For the sake of it...

One of the main tasks (not necessarily fall under the job scope) that I intend to do once I am back in Malaysia is to recreate UPM tennis team for staff. When I went to the UK about four years ago, I was it's chairman and we used to compete in the Inter Varsity tournament for staff every year. Since then, the team has been disbanded and they did not participate in the last three years of the tournament. I discovered that some of the players have switched job and a couple of them have turned to squash. I managed to contact the remaining members and we are going to start our weekly practise in preparation for the next year tournament in USM, Penang.

However, I've been experiencing pains around my elbow for the past two months and at first I suspected it was just a tennis elbow syndrome. But it's getting worse and today I went to Pusat Kesihatan UPM to have a doctor examine it. The service was quick and efficient, and I was ushered to the doctor's office in no time. He said that there is no damage to the muscle or tendon but he suspected that the problem lies within the nerve. So he prescribed me several drugs which I had to take immediately. The name for the drugs are Neurobion, Cataflam/Diclofenac Pottasium (pain killer) and Norgesic (Paracetamol and Orphenadrine Citrat (muscle relaxant). He also gave me LMS/Menzza Cream if I suffer any pain when playing the game.

In the evening, I went to the court and had a good session with UPM Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tai who used to be my double partner. I was really rusty and my shots went everywhere. The only good things that came out from the session is that my elbow is not hurting as much before.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Double Date at Noodle Station

My meal - springy garlic noodle with mushrooms and egg

The drinks

Today Mama Tok and Tok Ayah went to Chiang Mai for a few days. Everyone is not really keen to cook for dinner so we decided to try the Noodle Station restaurant at Metro Point, Kajang. We sent Ilyas and Maisarah to Tok Wan's house to play with Eela and Lalan had to go somewhere else. So there are only four of us and it looks like a double date. The noodles here are simply delicious and they are playing Awie's rock songs in the background. I must say this is one restaurant that I'm definitely want to come again, but most probably on the special occasion as the average bill is around RM15 per person, which is reasonable if you don't come here so often.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Al-Fatihah - Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Mat Salleh

Today is a sad day for many of us especially staff and students of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who had known personally or professionally, Prof. Dr. Kamarudin Mat Salleh or fondly remembered as Pak Din. At 6.50pm he peacefully passed away after battling cancer for many months. I managed to visit him several days before at the hospital but unable to be at his house today because I got another engagement.

Pak Din was one of the prominent researcher on the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia. And he was actually my first boss when he was in charge of the Herbarium in the UKM in 1998. I just graduated from Lancaster University at that time and still waiting whether my application to become a tutor in the UKM has been approved or not. So I decided to fill in the time by working as a Research Assistant under his guidance and together we updated the filing system of the Herbarium. He was also a close friend of my parents and we have known his wife and his six children since we were little. He was 50 years old. May Allah put you among the righteous and make everything easy for the life in hereafter.

Three Books

Today I went to KLCC to meet my old friend Imran. We used to attend primary school together at Sekolah Kebangsaan Serdang during the 80s. The last time I saw him was in 1989 when both of us were in Form 1 at Sekolah Menengah Sri Serdang, so that was 20 years ago. We had our dinner at the food court and were having so much fun doing the catch up that we didn't realise we are the only two left in the dining area. The area has been closed and the workers are really waiting for us to go! I bought a book from him, a collection of poems (of which some were written by him) titled Salun Eksotikata. Before the meeting, I went to Kinokuniya and bought two books, a Malaysia Book of Records (for my upcoming project) and Odisi Bulan Biru by John Norafizan (my school mate in MRSM Taiping). I think I have bought all five books by John Norafizan but managed to read only the first one. I think I will start reading his second book once our new house is ready, hopefully.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators

My group mate presenting a 5 minutes rocket pitch on our product

Some of the participants

Professor Mark Rice presenting the certificate to one of the participants

For the past four days I have been attending the Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators organised by Babson College, Massachusetts (ranked no. 1 graduate school by The Princeton Review for it's 2010 Entrepreneurial Programs) and Graduate School of Management, UPM. The courses were conducted by Professor Mark P. Rice, the Frederic C. Hamilton Professor for Free Enterprise. It was quite an engaging experience and I learn a lot about entrepreneurship. I like the fact that entrepreneurship is not just about making money by exploring new opportunity, being innovative and taking risks but can also helps in creating a better world, and this can even be applied to a non-profit making entity. This is something that I will definitely use when pitching for something that is not really profit driven but on how you can contribute back to the society.