Monday, October 28, 2013

Dragon Boating @ Putrajaya

*Long overdue post!

The workplace had the chance to experience dragon boating, courtesy of one of our guest, KL Barbarians, who came on our weekend segment. DRAGON BOATING!

The first thing which came on my mind when I heard dragon boating was... SIBEH TIRED. And yet, how could I say no to such an experience, right? I mean I'll probably come back with aching arms and a sore back, but I'm only going to do this once for the experience, heck! So I asked hubby if he wanted to join me, to which he jumped at the chance :D

It was a good day for dragon boating, sunny and clear skies. Which also means slather on the sunscreen cos you're gonna get burn! After a brief introduction about the activity, the do's and the don'ts, the instructor had us to some warm up exercises to get our spirits pumped up before the real action starts - which also led to some catching their breaths.

On still waters.

Paying full attention.

Paddles up!
Once on water, we were briefed about paddling, and made several attempts to paddle the boat in a certain number of strokes, to see our stance. From 20 strokes, to 30 strokes, to 50 strokes, you get the gist. And because dragon boating is not so much about who has the more muscular members on board but rather, about team work and good synchronization to power the boat forward, this sports emphasizes on collective team work, collaboration, and a good understanding between team members, to work as one.

Possibly the toughest routine we did on that day was, paddling the boat two-on-two. In one boat, we can sit about 16 pax, 8 on each row (excluding the instructor and rear). The instructor had us paddling the boat row by row, two person at a time. Now it might seem easy as we're on water, but damn! It is actually damn hard to paddle and power the entire boat with just two person paddling! Again this was coming down the being in sync with your partner sitting beside you, making sure the both of us enter and exit out of the water at the same time.

One of the longest journey my boat had to do was coming back to the pier, as a colleague of mine was exhausted, so we sent her back to the shores first. And that journey, according to the instructor, was between 500 to 600 meters, which was pretty damn far for beginners to start with (the previous distances we were only doing between 100 to 200 meters, to get the feel of dragon boating).

Move it move it!

In formation everyone!
During the last leg of the workshop, both boats were pitted to a race, covering about 250 meters. It was a very very close race, with a lot of trash talking in between.

Overall everyone enjoyed themselves, and it was indeed a fantastic experience for all, even for KL Barbarians, to get to meet in person some of the presenters and also the team behind everything. Despite most of us being first timers to dragon boat, we enjoyed the 3-hour lesson, sore arms, sore butts and all. I think some of the members are now keen to take up dragon boating more often too. My arms didn't feel sore the next day, that said, it was my shoulders, lower back muscles, and my butt that felt the sore hahahaha!


Thank you KL Barbarians for the lovely photos. If you are keen to take up dragon boating, head over the the Putrajaya marina and look out for KL Barbarians, they are there every Saturday morning from 8am for their weekly practise.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Simplicity

Simplicity at its best.

#1: I sometimes like to make my own garlic butter spread. Simply put the butter in a large bowl, add a generous dose of finely chopped garlic, and a sprinkle of parsley. Mix everything up, roll the butter into a plastic sheet like a bolster, and pop it into the fridge to use later. Buy some baguette, spread the butter, and you have some delicious garlic butter baguette to with your main course.
Get ready for some garlic breath! 

#2: Peel medium size prawns and clean the internals, which means you have to slice them right at the centre. Pat dry, and place into a large bowl. Add a teaspoon of sugar, drizzle with olive oil, chilli flakes and some thyme. Marinate for a few hours for fuller flavour. Heat a pan until it's sizzling hot, add olive oil and chopped garlic, toss the prawns in with some dried parsley and stir fry until the prawns are cook.

Nomming good time~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013

Hubby took part in his first Standard Chartered marathon this year, and being a supportive wife, of course I must go with him lah :P Ok I didn't run, but I was at the finishing line waiting for him hyuk!

Prior to heading downtown, we were actually contemplating driving down, but then we got to know about all that road closure etc, decided against the idea. Then we got to know that there was a special arrangement from Putra LRT, and that there were opening the stations from 3am onwards, to facilitate the event. What better way than to take the train downtown and avoid all that traffic! Plus at 3am, the only folks on board would be all the participants! 

We woke up super early, something like 3.30am, got dressed, had a quick breakfast, drove next door to pick his colleague up, and were on our way from Kelana LRT to Masjid Jamek. A sea of blue and white filled the train as we rode the train down to Masjid Jamek, and took an early morning stroll to Dataran Merdeka. The atmosphere was already pretty intense, as the half marathon was just about to flag off at 5.45am.

The 21KM category waiting to be flagged off.

The group of percussionists entertaining the crowd.
As the time got closer to hubby's 10KM category flag off at Padang Merbok (a short walk away from Dataran Merdeka), he and his friends walked off while I lingered around to see if I could spot any friends. This group of percussionists were at the corner of the pavement, making really exciting music and keeping the crowd utterly entertained :)

At the finishing line of SCKLM 2013.

Waiting patiently for the first few 42KM runners to come back.
About 6.30am, which was the flag off time for the 10KM category in Padang Merbok, I was loitering around when I heard the emcee saying they have spotted the first six runners from the 42KM category, and they were about 15mins away from the finishing line. WTFFFFF?!?

So I waited patiently for the super mutant runners to reach. 15mins wasn't that far away, those guys must have been flying throughout the course! As I readied my camera to film the first person to cross the finishing line, I forgot my camera was set to take still photos LOL! So I missed the first runner, but managed to get a video of the second place runner to come in, who was following very closely behind the winner. Them legs were stretched out to the max...! Watch the second place runner speed through!



And there's hubby crossing the finishing line, achieving a personal best and qualifying for the finisher medal too!
Overall the event is pretty OK, heard there were at least 23,000 participants this year (wow!). Got to know that the company who handled all the timing chip this year was a Dutch company, MYLAPS

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Some Quick Updates

The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy, what with launching a new project, being the internal support for my team members, helping out with some company events. This year has just been a blessing for me, getting to know new friends, experience new things, gaining new knowledge. Despite the odds that were against me last year, this year has been fulfilling and I've been embracing everything new that has some my way :) And I feel good about them, I really do. I'm glad I made the move to move on, I had to lose something in order to gain something. More on that later.

Last month I helped out with two events back to back, phew! It was tiring, but because we didn't engage any third part events company to help us out, a lot of us chipped in and did as much as we could. 

The first event was the BFM Raise your Game Bootcamp, a closed door event which the Sales team had invited folks from the media industry (media specialists and media agencies). The idea of this bootcamp was to share with the media folks about the potentials of BFM, the market that's out there, the type of people we interview, and also listening to some folks speak about their struggle and hardship before finding success. During the intervals, the guests also had a chance to sample some of our homegrown business ideas and products, as we had invited some of the previous guests who had been on our 10am show, to set up their booths. We had products like ice-cream, homemade soap, lotion, coffee etc.

At the opening of Raise Your Game Bootcamp 2013.

A crowd of almost 150 pax. Some speakers were invited to share their story and experience about being entrepreneurs.

The next event on the following week was an annual affair by the radio station, the BFM Enterprise Breakaway 2013. This event was of a larger scale, attracting about 500 participants (I managed to say hi to some ex-colleagues who signed up for this event, thanks guys for the support!). Some of the speakers this year included folks from Catcha Group, Boston Consulting Group, and even a very funny entrepreneur from Penang, Pentamaster. I still recall this quote from him: People always say there is light at the end of the tunnel. What they don't tell you is, that light could be from an oncoming train!

Before the event.

Malek Ali undergoing a grill from the audience.

Rick Ramli from Boston Consulting.

Patrick Grove from Catcha Group.

Bernie from Sketchpost and her lovely lovely on-the-spot sketches of the entire event!
We're now planning for another year end event, which is going to be a heck of a blast! Fancy running up the stairway to the 63rd floor?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pink Ribbon Month

It's October and it's also breast cancer awareness month.


The last time I blogged about the pink month was in 2006, when I want to 1Utama to check out the Pink Ribbon roadshow. You can read about it here.

A good friend of mine has just battled with breast cancer stage 1, and it has been quite an eye opener for me. Not only did she go through a second miscarriage during her second trimester, not longer after that, she discovered she had a lump on her breast. And after getting it checked out, it was confirmed she had breast cancer stage 1. 

Lucky thing is, she has insurance coverage from her employer, so her medical bills were covered. I dread to think what would have happened if she didn't have medical coverage, considering medical bills these days cost a bomb. And because it was at the very early stages, her doctor recommended radiotherapy and chemotherapy thereafter, to completely eradicate all cancer cells. 

She went back to work after a 4 month break, and I hope she regains all her strength to continue living with her family :) She has been such a strong fighter, and she was one of my pillar of support during my down time last year. 

I don't say this much, but I look up to such people for strength. They may be your everyday man or woman on the streets, but when you get to know their story and sometimes hardship, it compels you to think, you're not that weak after all. You just have look deep down inside you to find that missing piece of the puzzle that will keep you going. And it also helps to be surrounded by a good support group, one that will help to alleviate all that pain and pump in some good useful words, mental and emotional strength. All those friends who tell you crap, pretend to know what you're going through and pass judgement, you can drop them like flies and you won't miss a thing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New Sport

Hubby recently took up a new sport: Golf. He was never one to fancy golf, cos it is quite a slow and boring game (to me anyway). Plus he was more a cardio person, preferring to either hit the gym, run or play his weekly badminton. So when a colleague asked if he would be keen to sign up for a 10 classes at a discounted rate, he figured let's just give his a shot and see where it will take him lah.

And so far, he's been liking this new sport. Still learning the ropes and all, and this sport requires different sets of muscles (which involves him forcing his muscles to work at different degrees), and also understanding all the various factors like weather, wind etc, how it affects the game, type of equipment bla bla bla, you get the picture. New knowledge, new skills, new experience. And by the looks of it, hubby has caught the golf bug, and may soon start to hunt around for a set of golf clubs.

Hubby practicing to chip.

Here he is at the Tropicana driving range, practicing using the iron.
He has since got himself a decent pair of golf shoes for better grip.

Hubby's colleague KG, who is a golf payer himself. He dropped by to give hubby a few useful pointers.