Wednesday, December 31, 2008

さらば 2008

This year has been one bumpy ride after another..
Just thinking about it makes me frown..
Personally I'm looking forward to put 2008 behind me..
I'm very hopeful of what is in store for 2009..
Therefore, today I bid さらば 2008 !

Monday, December 29, 2008

No 2: Hijrah

To put it in simple words, 'Hijrah' means migration.. While most people focus on the destination of Hijrah (usually from bad to good or good to better), I'd like to highlight a different dimension - the action..

Migration requires movement.. if we don't move, how can there be any migration or even a realization of the destination? Without moving, the destination will always stay a mirage..

So, let's not waste energy on coming up with the 'right destination'.. Let's just start.. Start moving.. for the end will always be better than the beginning.. ;)


Salam Maal Hijrah 1430

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No 1: Plates

If you have a plate and put your food on it, you would know how to eat that food (as you are comfortable with the portion and know how to handle that quantity).. but if you were given a bigger plate with additional choices of food in it, chances are you’ll only eat what you like and take your own sweet time to finish the remaining (provided that you even choose to finish it)

Many of us have a ‘plate’ that we are familiar with.. but how do we judge the ‘size’?.. Is it too small or too big? Are we spending too much time on doing the things that we like and not what is really important?

Easier said than done.. especially when the ‘plate’ doesn’t belong to us.. ;)

Prelude: 2009

Those who read my blog might remember what I want to achieve in 2009..
Yes, I'm still very keen on that.. but to add on my personal-professional goal, I'd like to finish writing my 2nd book in mid 2009..

What would the angle be this time? Well, I won't tell yet.. it's still in the works.. all that I know is I need to have 99 strong points to be able to have a presentable manuscript.. My current plan is to work on those 99 points as I go along.. so I should achieve that by 31-March-2009, then I can spend the following 3 months to write the final version.. possibly in Bahasa again..

So, for now.. this blog and probably my 'FB notes' will be my scratch pad for those 99 points..

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Time flies....

I believe that everything happens for a reason..
Coincidently, these photos were taken on the same day same date 2 years apart..




When I look back, yes, I've changed a lot.. mostly for the better but some things do remain the same.. perhaps it would take me longer to shake off those.. but the thing is.. I might not want to.. ;)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last one for the year..

Personally I thought I'd never get another chance to sing in a ballroom again after Blind Sight's performance 2 years ago.. but I was wrong.. :)

Final one for 2008.. it's been a crazy year..




p/s: Nazli was the best guitarist from ING.. even the chefs came out to check us out.. haha..

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Come full circle..

6 years ago Uncle Ben told Peter Parker..
"With great powers, comes great responsibility"
Logically I understood what he meant.. but yesterday, I came to understand the statement emotionally..
The reason was simple -- I never had any (or failed to realize I had any) so-called 'powers' before so I could not understand the implications of misusing them.. but recently I realized I've developed a new skill that with the wrong intentions might cause chaos.. Thank God I still have a strong head on my shoulders and still am that nice guy..

Hmmm.. suddenly I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders..

Monday, December 08, 2008

I love this part right here..

Many have asked me, "How do you carry on doing teambuilding programs every weekend?"..
Well, to be frank, I look forward to the dinner.. because every now and then, I get people like Clarence that can join me and Ben on stage to rock... and that just gives me the energy to keep going on...





By the way, the 'party' is actually part of our 2D1N module.. it's about "work hard, play hard" and importance of having a balanced life.. and mind you, I rock clean - no alchohol, no drugs..

Thursday, December 04, 2008

why worry so much?


You Got Me
by
One Block Radius

You Got Me
No need to wonder why.
Don't have to question,
So clear your worried mind

Now I don't wanna lose you,
But I'm tryin' do, what I gotta do, do.
I know the style of my life might confuse you.
And I don't blame you one bit.
I don't even say nothin' when you tripp.
But I thought I told you?
You can put it on my shoulder's, I can hold you.
And I don't care who all believes me, I'ma show you.
Momma it's been a long time.
My leadin', bangin boys about to shine,
All up on my grind.
Gotta get this money what door, just a little crack.
I'm gonna kick it in and make some noise, baby I'll be back.
Gotta keep you movin' ma,
That's how we do it ma,
We chasin' dreams and makin wishes,
I'm your shootin' star.

Now I don't really want to leave you right now,
And I don't even really wanna go.
And I don't even wanna see you cry now,
Baby you should, already know.
Sooo.

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)
((Repeat))

no need for second guess, yes, i know im running late
but ill be right there in a sec,
no stress, no disrespect,ima put my kneck up there for us.
see you can see you and me got that unity and trust.
plus, i know you see oportunity knockin,lately its been poppin for
me, we gona solve these problems,
aint we been through hevier, wearier weather?clearly whatever get
between us, we always seem to put it back together, like that!
no need to snap my love, your boy is comming back.
we scratchin and i scratchin your back,now girl relax!
and put it all on the table and get it all off your chest,believe me
when i tel you ima give you my best!

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)
((Repeat))

we can fly away,
and start another life some how!
i love you every day!
ill never ever let you down!
yaa....
i know that it hasnt been easy
but i need you more than ever to believe me(me)
ima make it good(good)
ima set it straight(straight)
we gona do right!!

so trust me when i say!!

You Got Me, (You know that you got me)
No need to wonder why. ( No reason to wonder why)
Don't ever question, (You ain't got to question)
So clear your worried mind (It'll be alright)
((Repeat))

ima make it alright
you know that you got me
i told told told
so clear your worried mind
((repeat))

--> check out the actual song.. it's really beautiful.. ;)

why I sing with the mic stand...



Bacause we look soooo cool.. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

the 0.001 chance..

Yup.. I went.. I waited.. I sang.. and I was not short listed..

I arrived at the venue from Seremban (had a teambuilding program there the day before) at approximately 9am. The queue was already about 400m long and people were still coming. It took about 7.5 hours before I got my number... it took me another 7 hours before my number was called to the jury room… to my surprise, we had to go in in 5s and the juries were not whom I expected it to be.. we were given 30 sec to sing our heart out one by one.. God knows how exhausted I was.. so at that point of time, I just sang what came into my head naturally – B’z, Calling.. after all 5 of us sang, we stepped out of the room and was informed by the staff that none of us made it to the next round.. not even the ‘maybe’ list.. but I was happy that I gave it a shot.. the only regret I had was not being able to hear the feedback from Paul Moss which was the main reason I wanted to audition in the first place..

Now I understand what it takes to be ‘the one’ and how passionate people can be in chasing their dreams.. I realized that there will always be others who are better than you and if you think you had it bad, there will also be others who got it worse.. and I came out of it being very thankful for what I have..

to those who made it, I wish them all the best.. they deserve it..


The queue..


Half way there...




Buddies - the kid that qualified for AF6 stage 1 but couldn't attend stage 2, the kid that took the morning bus from Tanjung Malim without notifying his parents and the burger seller who's wife wanted him to give it one last shot..



the largest number I saw was 10,270..



the waiting hall...



Just the 2 of us.. the other 2 kids bailed out..




taken at about 10:30pm.. some of them still have about 500 people ahead of them..

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy day

I made someone happy today..
I didn't plan to but it was more of a spontenious thingy..
and in return, it made me verry happy..

Sometimes the best rewards in life are those that come unexpectedly..
so don't be so calculative.. ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

may the 4th be with you...

Introducing sensei's 4th...



Ibanez artcore AF75TDG - semihollow, 22-fret with vintage-style vibrato.. ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

me & my hand



I'm not complaining but this is what I get after 4 days in the sun giving my best to 'engage a team'.. :) of course the participants go back with more body aches than me but their spirit are surely at a new high.. they understand each other better and the team is more energized - improved team dynamics, so to say..

I love what I do.. but at times I can't help but feel lonely watching their bus leave.. perhaps it is true, I am too emotional.. however it still does makes you happy to see that they've achieved the goal - team engagement.. emotional or not, that can only happen with engaged 'sensei's.. ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OIAM3 : Superstar

I'm thinking of doing this song for the auditions.. What do you guys say?



Superstar by The Carpenters

Long ago, and oh so far away
I fell in love with you,
before the second show.
Your guitar, it sounds so
sweet and clear
But you're not really here
it's just the radio.

Don't you remember you told me
you loved me, baby?
You said you'd be coming
back this way again, maybe.
Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby,
I love you.
I really do.

Loneliness is such a sad affair
And I can hardly wait
to be with you again.
What to say to make you come again,
Come back to me again
And play your sad guitar?

Don't you remember you told me
you loved me, baby?
You said you'd be coming
back this way again, baby.
Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby,
I love you.
I really do.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

What is P-A-S-S-I-O-N?

I can keep on doing what I'm doing for as long as I feel good doing it..

I try my best to be honest to myself first.. then I can be honest with others..
because if I'm not true to myself, my heart hurts and that beats the purpose of doing things..
And knowing myself for 30 years, I'll quit when my heart is no longer there..

I believe that with passion comes expertise.. but that doesn't mean that being a jack of all traits is bad either.. I have people calling me "multi purpose".. and I take it as a compliment.. to me, being an expert is boring.. akiyasui mono dakara.. ;)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

the LIST

I'm looking to build a set list of 20 songs that I can performe with the aid of my guitar.. this is somewhat a prep for my goal to be an "entertrainer".. :)

So guys, lend me a helping hand.. please suggest your fav songs and I'll practise on it.. it will be a challenge since I never could memorize the chords to play a full song! :P

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat?

I always loved Halloween.. probably it's because I like to dress up and wear costumes.. :)
Coindicently, I did "Thriller" with Ben a couple of days ago.. It was a complete car crash!
But atleast it didn't end up like this... hehe..



Happy Halloween guys!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

CSI season 9 premier

Warrick Brown had always been my favourite CSI character..



We'll miss him for sure..



p/s: This is the full length song - The Funeral by Band of Horses

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

be a gakusei

I just realized there's this 'follower' feature on Blogger.. so, I've added it under 'gakusei'..
do feel free to jump in there.. ;)

fyi, gakusei = student a.k.a follower ;)



Saturday, October 18, 2008

15 seconds of fame..

sensei's shots on V...

sensei enter frame.. hehe


sensei: Waaay cooool man..


on air in the air




one for the album





They shot for half a day and the segment lasted for about 3 minutes.. imagine how tough editting work is.. but atleast I made the cut.. hehehe





Monday, October 13, 2008

the 3rd V

I'll be on channel V Oct 15, 6:00pm... :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm a jerk..

I'm a jerk because I'm not patient enough..
I tend to give up on things too fast..
I logically understand that it's wrong to do, but emotionally it's not registered in my head..
I could comment that Hull City took about 18 years to climb up to the Premier League from Division 3, but at the same time I gave up on my book 3 months after it was published.. talk about learning from football.. :P

Today I learned that I have to be more tolerant in waiting for results..
but that doesn't mean I should take a back seat and let life runs it's course..

The difference is to have a game plan.. and to ensure that game plan works, I must see to it that there is progress towards the end goal.. and on that point, I must be a bit impatient by doing vigorous follow ups but at the same time, not having too high of an expectation -- basically it's applying the right attitude in the right situation.. something easier said than done.. :P

Saturday, October 04, 2008

30

I'm 30 today.. enough said.. hehehe

Friday, October 03, 2008

29

still on leave.. and still 29..

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

As per..

Salam Aidilfitri
Moga kecekalan hati dalam perjuangan diri
sentiasa menjadi aspirasi
Salah silap selama ini jangan diulangi
agar hidup terus diberkati..
Amin
see you on the flip side ;)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things happen for a reason..

Before I continue, I must say that in order for this post to make sense, you must view both videos fully and in order.. ok? :)

This is "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" by Def Leppard from their 2nd studio album High 'n' Dry released in 1981. Pay close attention to the members as you listen to the song..



For those who may not know, this was one of their signature ballad that help them penetrated US.. it was co-writen by 3 of the band members Joe Elliott, Pete Willis & Steve Clark.. the band parted ways with Willis approximately 1 year after the album was released (I'm not sure if it was him in the video) and Phil Collen stepped in his shoes to continue work on their 3rd album right after..

But a bigger tragedy striked the band in December 31, 1984 when the band's drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident and lost his left arm.. However, he never gave up the role and the band stood behind him.. Def Leppard released Hysteria in 1987 which became their monster hit album.. they still continued to perform and this was taken from their 1988 Hysteria World Tour.. see if you can feel the difference of weightage the same song has brought this time around..



That's probably the last time you'd be able to catch their lead guitarist Steve Clark performing live as he died on January 8, 1991..

And yes, Mariah Carey covered this song in one of her albums with Dave Navaro on guitars..

But the point is - bad things happen for a reason.. and more often than not, the reason is to make you stronger when you bounce back from it.. I feel that the song was much better in the 2nd clip and possibly due to the new arrangements to compensate for Rick's condition and Willis' absence..

You see, if you open up your mind you can use your weaknesses to your advantage.. all you need to do is stop dwelling on the negativity.. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So easy yet so hard..

Today I learned the secret to career advancement..
1) Do what you are asked to do
2) What you don't know, you learn
3) What you know, you teach
That's it! Simple right??

But in reality, people don't do that..

We find ways to not do what we're supposed to do.. we give excuses.. we create reasons for self limitations.. we dwell in petty arguments..

We also don't put in effort to find out things.. we don't even ask.. we assume and keep at it.. we don't see the bigger picture.. we think it's a burden..

We don't share because we fear.. fear of losing the upper hand.. fear that we'll become irrelevant.. we fear that someone can take over our place because we don't see ourselves moving fast enough.. a wise sensei once said, "It is when you have fear, you will never find peace"..

Time to change.. and get to where you want to be.. or else just stay but don't complain la.. ;)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Realization: Time management

I've been working with this company for 1 year 6 months exactly today..
We specialize in time management.. I thought I understood the concept, but now I realize my understanding was wrong as I had missed 1 critical element..

The problem I had was I took time for granted.. I always thought time was infinate.. so there was no awareness towards sense of urgency.. the sense of urgency only arises when faced with a time limit -- deadlines..
In other words,

People only becomes conscious of resources when it's limited

Note: Resources = Man, Machinery, Money, Material, Time

So, in managing time, you must always put a limit and review it.. example, on daily basis, consider you have 16 hours (8 hours for good sleep) and then plan your day the night before.. it creates the sense of preciousness to your day.. then look at your weekly plans, monthly plans, mid term plans (current 3 months), long term plans (current year).. but the key is to take out the time you won't have 1st.. example - holidays, leaves, etc..

Basically its like knowing you only have a 1 litre jug.. you can't bring back the whole ocean even if you know it's there at your disposal..

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lucky? be greatful..

I hear this song for the first time on radio this morning...
It made me smile..
With all the 5hit that's been going around town lately, sometimes we just need a reminder that we should all be greatful for what we have.. ;)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

A student learns once, the teacher learns twice..

It's funny sometimes how people react towards new challenges..
Sometimes it's easy for us to give our two cents worth, but in the moment of truth, do we really practise what we preach?

To be honest, I don't think I do.. and that is something I need to work on fast..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This one I must share..

I read about ways to enhancing afternoon naps the other day, and 1 of the method was to drink coffee before taking a 20 minute snooze..

The logic behind it is that research has shown that caffeine in the coffee takes about 20 minutes to kick in.. and in the first 23 minutes of sleep is when your body actually goes to rest before entering the the deep sleep cirle..

So, by doing this you actually double the effect of a power nap!

I've been having trouble staying awake after buka puasa so I gave it a shot.. and for the last 2 nights it has worked!! I could finally do my work until 1am and still wake up for sahur at 5am and even continue the day like normal..

Maybe you guys who face the same problem as me could give it a try.. ;)

Key note: Wake up before you go to R.E.M. mode..

Sunday, September 07, 2008

HOT.. AIR..

Today I went for a hot-air baloon introduction session with my colleague..

We were supposed to go there and see how this can be included in our future teambuilding programs..


FJ: It's pretty safe to fall..

BJ teaching us the ropes

Stretch it out kids


Goodness gracious great balls of fire!




Up up and away..


Don't look down on me!



But to my suprise, the session was coverd by Channel V for their request show Remote Control!




Marion.......!!



Question: Do you have a working permit Sir??




They went inside the baloon







Not just that, Marion picked us to go up to ride the hot-air baloon with her, and we get to be 'On Air' too! :)




Producer Eva calling the shots


Ready to fly??


Man, this is soooo hot!! -- the burner on top of us that is..


one for the road

Group shot: Flame on!!


:)

Friday, September 05, 2008

1 week later...

It's been a week since Avril's concert at Stadium Merdeka..
Amongst all the newspaper reviews that I read, I think the Star said it the best..
Considering all the restrictions given to Avril & the organizers, I guess they managed to pull off a good show.. Just imagine, no screaming, no jumping, no running and no loud sound system.. I mean, what rock concert is that la?



Note to Malaysian journalist doing reviews: Do your homework!! Don't just simply write what you see..


Anyways.. these are some 'goodies' I brought back.. Enjoy!!



Even the hotel supported the show ;)



The moment finally arrives..





Why go and make things so complicated?



By the way that was not me singing ok..





So much for my happy ending :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BlindSight Reunion Jam

It's been a year since we jammed together..
A lot has changed..
The landmark Hyundai showroom is no longer there..
The mamak stall below the jamming studio has become a mini mart..
James is in Sabah..
Zainy had his 2nd child.. sold his bass.. couldn't make it yesterday..
Jai expecting his 2nd child.. learned programming skills and brought his new laptop so that we could still jam and sound decent..
Paka didn't changed much but was abit rusty with some of the old set list..
Your's truly also didn't prepare well and screwed up most of the songs.. hehe..
but all in all it was a good outing..

Managed to copy a couple of songs from Jai and played around with the video..
Not the best but OK laa.. it's also my first attempt at including lyrics.. Enjoy the song! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homage to another true Olympian..

I know the Beijing Olympics is over.. but I can't help but mentioning about another hero I discovered.. He's name is Jorgen Persson..


You can click on his name or the above picture to learn about his history..

I'm not really a pingpong fan, but when I saw him play by chance the other day, I was really moved.. read this article and you'll understand why...

----

Chinese take record 8 medals

The Associated PressPublished: August 24, 2008




China clinched a record eight-medal sweep in Olympic table tennis Saturday, cementing the pingpong-mad country's domination of the sport.

Sweden's Jorgen Persson, the only non-Chinese player to make it to the men's medal round, was easily beaten by Wang Liqin in the single's bronze medal match.

Persson, a 42-year-old trying for his first medal in six Olympic appearances, opened strongly against Wang, but withered quickly against the high-speed topspin shots that are the specialty of the tall Chinese player.

Later, world No. 2 Ma Lin defeated No. 1 Wang Hao in the gold medal match to complete the haul."They played perfectly to create this perfect ending for the pingpong competition at the Beijing Olympics. I never dreamed it would be so easy," Chinese coach Liu Guoliang said.

The Chinese men and women easily won the team events earlier this week, while the women swept the singles medals on Friday.

Though China has always been dominant in its national sport of table tennis, the eight-medal finish is its strongest showing yet.

China's only other 1, 2, 3 finish was in the women's singles event at the 1988 Seoul Games.A top table tennis official expressed concern China's dominance was hurting the sport, creating ho-hum contests with predictable results.

"We cannot blame China for being so strong, as it is their national sport. Other nations have to become stronger," International Table Tennis Federation President Adham Sharara said before the final. "We do not want to limit Chinese participation, but we need other nations to grow to challenge them."

The men's singles final was played with three red flags of China already prepared for the medal ceremony.

Ma outlasted Wang Hao in a tense matchup that showcased the country's skills. The men tried to outwit each other with dynamic play that ranged from soft pushes to high-speed volleys. Ma won with a score of 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9.

It was another disappointing finals appearance for Wang Hao, who lost to South Korea's Ryu Seung-min in the gold medal match at the Athens Games.

"Last time, I lost to a foreigner. This time I lost to a teammate. To say I don't feel bad is impossible, but it's not as unbearable as losing to a foreigner," Wang Hao said.

In the bronze medal match, Wang Liqin struggled in the first game against Persson but stormed back in the second on his way to sealing the win with a score of 13-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9.

At times, the match turned into the pingpong equivalent of a slam-dunk contest: Persson was only able to feed the ball to Wang Liqin, whose long arm sliced through the air as he repeatedly drilled the ball across the table from 3 meters (10 feet) back.

Play was delayed for several minutes before the fourth game as Persson had his leg massaged by a trainer after it began cramping following a long rally.

Liu, the coach, said he was inspired by Persson's fighting spirit. As a player, Liu foiled Persson's first opportunity to win a medal, beating him in the bronze medal match in the 2000 Sydney Games.


"He's 42, 43 years old, and even when his leg was injured and he was down 0-3, he still refused to give up," Liu said. "We've been watching him play since we were kids. I've been coaching for years now and we're still watching him play."

Persson, who also lost to Wang Hao in the morning semifinal, said it would be difficult to break China's stranglehold on pingpong.

"They are all very good and it's especially very good to be on top when it's a big tournament," he said. "So we have to fight and I hope this can encourage more players. When I can be there, of course young players can also do it."

--

sensei says..

"Motivation is an outcome of emotionally understanding the sweet taste of hardwork's fruitful result"


:)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Next Batman movie?

About 11 years ago, Uma Thurman played Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin...




Then yesterday I saw this girl...


I think she can kick Uma's a$$ :)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now I'm upset...

There are only a few things that can get me upset..
I've been very tolerant with the current happenings and avoided making any remarks -- it's not something I want to step into.. but today, I've had it.. this is just plain ridiculous!
I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll just copy & paste my comment when I first read about the 'rumours' at Galaxie Blog..


Just shows how bad we are at planning.. I mean, we all know that August is Merdeka month.. it's been like that for 51 years.. so, when the organizers proposed the dates (and I'm pretty sure Avril's people has planned out the tour dates months, if not years in advance), shouldn't we be aware of what would happen during that period?? Giving a green light and pulling back in the last minute really shows lack of professionalism on our part.. As far as I'm concern, patriotism has nothing to do with this issue I'm more than happy to flag our Jalur Gemilang during the concert.. ;)
By sensei, 20-Aug-2008



Then this morning, I saw this..




To add on...

I also learned that our Olympian will get a Datukship for 'loosing in the finals'..


Read this article first and you make the call wether or not he deserves it..

--

Amputee inspires in Olympic debut
By The Associated Press
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:44 PM ET


BEIXIAOYING TOWN, China (AP) -- Natalie du Toit pulled herself onto the dock and waited for someone to bring her prosthetic leg. She stretched out the other leg -- the one she didn't lose in that horrendous motorcycle accident -- and chatted with an official about the first open water race in Olympic history.


Du Toit didn't finish where she wanted. Not even close.
But just making it to Beijing was a huge victory for anyone who's ever faced a disability.
Hoping to contend for a medal, the 24-year-old South African amputee fell off the pace toward the end of the grueling 6.2-mile race and finished 16th on Wednesday, more than a minute behind gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko of Russia.



"I tried my best," du Toit said. "I'm not too happy with it, but I'll be back for 2012."
Don't bet against her.
When she walked out with 24 other swimmers to be introduced for the groundbreaking event, it was quickly apparent she wasn't like any of them.
Du Toit hobbled along stiffly on her artificial leg, No. 23 written on her back and both arms. While others bounced up and down to loosen up, she settled for shaking her arms. A couple of times, she walked over to the edge to splash water on her face and goggles, leaning over tenuously with the wooden prosthetic sticking out to the side, keeping her from falling over.
When it was time to race, she walked slowly onto the dock and removed her replacement leg. Someone moved it to the side, and du Toit sat at the edge of the water, her right leg dangling in. When the starter called for everyone to get ready, she pulled herself up, wobbled just a bit and dove in.
She was an Olympian.

"My message isn't just to disabled people," du Toit said. "It's to everyone out there that you have to work hard. I've been through a lot of ups and downs ... but I've seen a lot of good things along the way. I was able to use the negativism in a good light and say after my accident, 'I can still do it if I work hard.'


"You have to set dreams, set goals and never give up."

Du Toit, who carried the South African flag in the Opening Ceremony, hung with the lead pack much of the race, but she had a problem with her cap and couldn't keep up when the pace quickened toward the end of the two-hour ordeal. She finished 1 minute, 22.2 seconds behind Ilchenko, who out-sprinted two British swimmers who led most of the way.



Then again, du Toit's time of 2 hours, 49.9 seconds put her ahead of nine others, including 16-year-old American Chloe Sutton, who broke down in tears after finishing, every part of her body cramping and aching.
"I was swimming next to her and she beat me -- and she has one leg," Sutton said. "It's incredible she was able to do that."



Du Toit was an up-and-coming swimmer who just missed qualifying for the 2000 Sydney Games when her life took a tragic turn in 2001. Returning to school on a motorbike after a training session, she collided with a car and sustained massive injuries to her left leg. Doctors tried for a week to save it but finally had to amputate at the knee.



Instead of giving up on her athletic career, du Toit was back in the water six months later. Swimming made her feel whole again, though she wasn't competitive with able-bodied athletes in the pool, where the legs are vital for starts and turns.
Along came open water, which was added to the program for Beijing. There are no flip turns to negotiate in marathon swimming, which is usually held in lakes and oceans, and the upper body is more important than the legs.
"When I take my leg off and I'm completely free in the water," du Toit said, "that's who I am."
She had found her new calling. Du Toit qualified for the Olympics with a fourth-place finish at the World Championships in Spain this year.
"I find it hard, and I'm a completely able-bodied person," said Cassandra Patten, who won bronze in the race held at the Olympic rowing and canoeing course. "She's an amazing role model."


The race didn't go according to plan. Du Toit caught her skintight cap on a buoy and spent much of the time fiddling with it, trying make sure it didn't fall off.
With the cap occupying her attention, she kept skipping the drink stops along the course and wound up getting dehydrated. By the end, her leg was cramping and searing pain ripped through her bulky arms.

"I couldn't even get out of the water," du Toit said. "That showed I gave my best."


After bobbing on the surface in the finish area for a few seconds, she finally hoisted herself onto the deck. The official came over with her artificial leg, which was stuffed with the T-shirt du Toit wore out for the start. She pulled it out, slipped on the prosthesis and walked slowly toward dry land.


Du Toit has put herself out there for everybody to see, and she's eager to share her story.
"Sometimes you feel a bit awkward kind of asking, but she told me everything. She told me about the accident, what happened, the rehab," Patten said. "She's got such courage. Everyone's insecure, everyone has insecurities. To kind of put that in show and be totally fine with that is totally amazing. I'm going to go and give her a big cuddle."


Du Toit was not the first disabled athlete to compete at the Olympics, or even in Beijing. Natalia Partyka, who was born with a right arm that ends just below the elbow, made the Polish team in table tennis.
Both will remain in Beijing after these Games to compete in the Paralympics. Du Toit will be looking to match the five gold medals she won in Athens four years ago.
No disabled Olympian was more successful than American gymnast George Eyser, who won three golds and five medals overall while competing on a wooden leg at the 1904 St. Louis Games. His left leg was amputated after a train accident.


Still, it's quite unusual for someone with a major disability to compete at this level, especially in a sport such as swimming where the legs provide so much power.
Ilchenko praised du Toit for not letting her disability hold her back. She was right in there battling with everyone else in a race that's often called wrestling in the water for its rough tactics.
"I'd even go so far as to award her a separate medal," the winner said through a translator. "I have enormous respect for her. It is exceedingly hard. Just looking at these people inspires you."
Du Toit did receive a special gift from officials at the rowing basin: a traditional Chinese drawing encased in a wooden box. She doesn't want to be treated any different, however.
"I worked hard to get here," she said. "I want to do everything on merit. This is not just a free ride."

Du Toit didn't get a free ride Wednesday.
She was an Olympian, just like everyone else.

--
What's your view on the 'Datukship++'?

I give up... our dudes are just helpless (read: useless)..

So, guys.. don't 'grow up' to become like them..

Happy Merdeka Day.. ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20-08-2008: Stress Management

I'm a bit stressed out today.. double whammy: auditorium + 100pax
anyway, looking on the bright side of things to come..
atleast I got something to look forward to... ;)






I climb the stage again this night,
'cause the place seems still alive,
when the smoke is going down..
-Scorpions-

Monday, August 18, 2008

For one is silver, an the other is gold...

I won't dwell on Chong Wei not winning the gold medal..

To be fair, he did very well considering the intense pressure by the Chinese spectators -- you could hardly hear the empire on the speakers.. but I guess the dude was just too overwhelmed by the whole Olympic thingy.. and having the RM1million 'golden incentive' is just additional pressure.. I mean, if they seriously wanted the athletes to be motivated, the incentive should have been announced 4 years ago.. then things might have been different... extra investment on individual training might make sense to the athletes..

Simple equations:
Input --> Process --> Output

On the other side, you have someone lile Phelps..
I came across this article and its worth to read -- even to be used as a case study..

---
Built to succeed ... and assume his place in history
Mental strength, intense focus drove Phelps to epic 8-for-8 in Beijing
By Alan Abrahamson, NBCOlympics.com
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2008 9:37 AM ET


BEIJING -- One day last March, at the University of Michigan, where Michael Phelps and several of his Club Wolverine teammates were training, the whiteboard poolside bore a message.

"In business," it said, "words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality."
The quote was taken from a business book, but, in sports, it's the same. And, off his performance this week in Beijing, winning eight gold medals in eight events, the reality is that Phelps, with 14 golds in his Olympic career, is now alone in the history books -- he has won more gold medals than anyone else in Olympic history and more gold medals than anyone else in any single Games.
Four others had been tied with nine golds, including swimmer Mark Spitz, winner of seven at Munich in 1972.
"I'm almost speechless," said Peter Ueberroth, the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee. "He's beginning to set a whole new standard for his sport and for America.
"The United States Olympic Committee is very proud of him, as is USA Swimming and basically every citizen in our country and in many other countries. He's a true athlete and represents what's best about the Olympic movement."
Eight medals.
And, overall, now 16 in his Olympic career, just two shy of the 18 won by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina - a milestone sure to animate Phelps as he turns and sets his sights on four years from now, in London in 2012.
Only performance is reality, and the reality is that Phelps' performances here in Beijing and over the course of his career deserve to be more fully appreciated by the wider public in the way that Tiger Woods' majors are savored.
Why he's not so appreciated is easy to explain.

It's swimming, not golf, and thus part of the American cultural landscape only every four years. Moreover, it's a sport that, unlike golf, doesn't convey emotion well - swimmers are goggled and their heads under water a lot of the time. Moreover, Phelps makes it look easy - even though what he's doing is outrageously difficult.
"I hope people realize," U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Jim Scherr said this week, "just how difficult what he's doing is. We will never see anything like it again."
The reality is in the performance, and in one package Phelps combines physical gifts, mental toughness and a passion for the sport.
That's tough to beat.
To start, his physical gifts are indeed almost freakish. These are perhaps best displayed when he is on the blocks, just before the start of a race, when he wraps his arms around himself, as if he were a condor about to take flight.
This, too, is central to the performance: Phelps loves to swim. Loves it. Exuberantly.
"It's a very happy marriage between someone who needed something like this and this being available," his longtime mentor and coach, Bob Bowman, said in an interview earlier this year.
"I think he still sees the water as a haven from everything else."
Phelps, in one of a number of conversations over the past year, said, "Bob and I both talked about this. When I'm on my best, when I'm training the best, I'm happy. I'm smiling at workouts, I'm joking around, I'm talking. For the most part throughout my career, I'm happy going in the pool.
"If you enjoy every moment at the pool, you're bound -- you're guaranteed -- to train your best and swim your best."
Phelps holds an inordinate appetite for incredibly hard work. In December and again in April, Bowman took Phelps and the other swimmers at the Michigan base to Colorado Springs, Colo., for altitude training.
The others included Peter Vanderkaay, the bronze medalist in the 200m free on Tuesday, and the anchor on the 4x200m free relay. The three-week camps run to nearly 70 workouts.
"I have pretty hefty goals this year," Phelps said in January at a meet in Long Beach, Calif., after detailing a series of four-a-day workouts in Colorado that included three swims, the first at 6 in the morning. "It's going to take a lot to get there."
Phelps is ruthlessly competitive. Poker, spades, swimming -- he wants to win.
Teammate Erik Vendt said, "When it gets to be game time, you can see it in his face: 'I'm Michael Phelps and I'm not going to lose.'
"When push comes to shove, he is going to be there. I have never seen him lose a close race."
"When I'm focused," Phelps said, "there is not one single thing, person, anything that can stand in my way of doing something. There is not. Never has been.
"If I want something bad enough, then I'm gonna get there. That's just how I always have been. If I don't get there, watch out - because it's going to be even worse and I'm going to have my head on even tighter and you will not get in my way."
Phelps is, moreover, possessed of an exquisite sense of awareness and timing about his own body and performance.
For one, Phelps has an uncanny ability to predict his times.
Every year, Phelps shares his goals with Bowman. He used to write them on a sheet of paper; now it's done via computer.
"He hands it to me and I read it. He is right on the money about where he ends up, almost always," Bowman said, and always has been ever since they first making these lists - when Phelps was a teenager, said his goal was to swim the 200m fly in 2:04.68 and then, at the junior nationals, swam the 200 fly - in 2:04.68.
"Pretty amazing. I don't know how it comes about but that's part of it."
Traditionally, Phelps has never said a word about what's on that paper. But now the 2008 version can be revealed:

"It all happened here this week," Phelps said Sunday.
In races, Phelps tends to go out slow and then come on strong.
Does that make sense? It's harder to come on stronger after you've already been swimming.
But Phelps does.
Which is why, when he went out hard in the first 50 meters of Tuesday's 200m free, it was clear he was not just going after the gold medal -- he was after the world record, too, which he himself had set last year at the World Championships in 1:43.86.
"The plan was to take it out and dare them to try and catch me," Phelps said afterward.
The plan probably -- Phelps never shares these things, except with Bowman -- was to break 1:43 as well.
He finished in 1:42.96.
For more than a dozen years now, as he has gone from boy to man, Phelps has submitted willingly if not obediently to Bowman's intense demands.
Bowman, who is something of a student of success literature, said a recurring theme of his coaching and direction is that "successful people make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do." That's it. They make a habit of doing things other people aren't willing to do. And that's our game here."
Finally, as Phelps has gotten older, he has developed an increasing maturity about himself and his place, not only in the pool but in the world around him.
Phelps turned 23 at the end of June. He endured the humbling public scrutiny of a drunk-driving matter after the Athens Games, after winning eight medals in 2004, six gold. He broke a wrist last year in a fall -- an injury that made him focus on what really mattered.
Which is -- testing himself to see what he ultimately is capable of.
Asked this spring whether he believed Phelps was the greatest American athlete of our generation, Bowman said, "My job is to make him be the greatest Michael Phelps. If he is that, all the other things you guys can bestow on him -- or not. My job is to help him go at the end of the day as far as he could go. Dealing with the other stuff is really counter-productive."
Spoken like a true coach.
"I will say he can be the greatest American athlete of our generation," Bowman said a moment later, adding, "If he has a successful summer, it would be hard to not start believing that."

---

Makes you start asking yourself..
"Just how bad do you want what you want?" ;)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yin & Yang

Saw this news on MSN just now..

Invisibility Cloak on the Horizon, Scientists Say
By Steven Musil, CNET news.com


Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that will render people and other objects invisible.
Researchers say they can redirect light around 3-D objects using metamaterials--artificially engineered structures created at a nano scale that contain optical properties not found in nature, according to an Associated Press report.
People see objects as a result of the light reflecting or scattering off them. This new mixture of materials has "negative refractive" properties that keep light from being absorbed or reflected by the object, allowing only the light from behind the object to be seen. Essentially, the material bends visible light in a way that eliminates the creation of reflections or shadows in much the way water flows around a stone.

The findings, to be released later this week in Nature and Science, were made by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Xiang Zhang. The research, which was funded in part by the U.S. Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation's Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center, could have broad applications, including for the military.
But the materials work in limited wavelengths, so they won't be used to hide buildings from satellites, said Jason Valentine, who is a co-author of one of the papers.
"We are not actually cloaking anything," Valentine told Reuters. While the Harry Potter series of books and films has made the idea of a personal "invisibility cloak" popular, he says, "I don't think we have to worry about invisible people walking around any time soon. To be honest, we are just at the beginning of doing anything like that."


This made me to think..
Can we trust the people with such knowledge to not use it in the wrong way?
A wise sensei once said "A little knowledge is dagerours, so is a lot"..
I always believed that there is only 1 source of knowledge but the medium in which it comes varies.. and because of this, the medium has the upper hand in influencing the recepient towards a preception of its choise.. Therefore, intentions are far more important..

We're really progressing in science and almost every thinkable item has somewhat started to become reality..
Remember: In the absence of light, darkness prevails..
The right tool in the wrong hands will always be used the wrong way..

So, what would YOU do it you could be invisible? :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

a K.I.S.S to remember..

Actually I knew KISS long before but never took noticed of them until they came up with the Unplugged album back in 1996.. at that point I thought what the hell, let's give it a listen and actually bought it.. In that album, the song "Beth" grabbed my attention..

Today as I was surfing youtube, I learned that there were actually 2 versions to the song.. one was sung by Peter Criss and another was sung by Eric Carr.. to be honest, I don't know which one is which.. hehe.. but I'll always remember this one..



I liked the fact that as they went unplugged, they also went non-make-up.. ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

From 100 to 2..

I'm too tired to write a long post to explain the above, so I'll try to keep it simple..

Back when I was in school, I'd always aimed for 100% marks in all my exams..
That has somehow wired my brain to always have high expectations on myself..
I only realized this last weekend that it has made me struggled even more as I could not be happy when I get anything less.. even worse is I'd spiral downwards and would take a long time to bounce back..

Then, a wise sensei said to me..
If you get 75 out of 100, why over pressure yourself to get that extra 25 in the next exam?
Why not just work on getting another 2 marks.. it shows improvement, and chances are you'll get more than 2.. but more important is, be happy with the fact that you are improving..

That made me recall a lot of data from the past..
And it made more sense when you understand that the 'exams' will not have the same questions.. so you're not actually getting an extra 2 marks (77) but you already have 152!
And that is 52 better than 100!! Get what I mean?

So, from now on.. I'm aiming for that 2 marks.. ;)

Friday, August 08, 2008

08-08-08

I just had to post something on this day..

When most people say today's a lucky day, I felt otherwise..
almost everything I did today didn't turn out right.. go figure.. :P

Anyways.. a good question was raised today by a colleague that I'd like to share..

If the choise is so clear, then why do you struggle?

Hmmm.. something to think about as my heart sheds acid tears.. hehe..

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy or Unhappy

Let's face it.. most of us are bitter about something in life..

I have heard of the same speech over and over again for the past year or so.. but it never clicked in my head until today.. Today, the dots have been connected.. and now I try my level best to have.....


No expectations


Why no expectations.. well, for one, expectations creates illusions of a perfect picture.. and when you start to have a perfect picture in your head, you start to compare that image with reality.. I once said this before in someone's blog..


Comparison creates unhappiness


When you compare reality and it doesn't match the image that you had hoped for, you start to feel blue.. you start to feel unhappy because somehow you felt betrayed..
but if you think about it long enough, you'll probably see that the image or illusion was created by you.. you betrayed yourself and there is no reason to be angry..

The point is.. why be unhappy when you can choose to be otherwise.. if choose to have no expectations.. and choose to live by the moment.. then life becomes a journey, no longer a destination..

But having said that.. it's not easy to do.. life is a tough journey..

Sunday, August 03, 2008

of Japanese drama..

I was a great fan of Japanese dramas.. well, it's kind of hard not to be one considering that's the only thing you can afford to watch as a student.. :P
But I do believe Japanese dramas has good story line and not too lengthy - average 13 episodes per drama shown weekly, not like those Korean ones that runs up to 100s even when shown daily :P .. usually the ones to look out for (if I remembered correctly) was the Fuji TV Mondays 9pm slot, Fuji TV Wednesdays 9pm slot, TBS Fridays 10pm slot.. I also like the fact that they tie up with great Jpop tunes - win-win situation for the entertainment industry..

After coming back to homeland, I tried to keep up by watching them on VCDs (later on DVDs) but since the viewer's trend shifted to K-dramas a few years back, its been hard to find the good ones on TV or in stores..

Then, a few weeks back 8TV started showing "Propose daisakusen - Operation Love", the interest rekindled.. last time I saw Yamashita Tomohisa was when he stared as Tokiwa Takako's younger brother in Kabachitare! (2001) - I came back to Malaysia before the drama ended.. now he's plays the lead role.. hmmm.. the dude has progressed.. ;)

For those who knows, I've been tided up on weekends and hence not been able to catch the whole show.. But I must say, it has a nice plot and an excellent ending theme song by Kuwata Keisuke - Ashita Hareru kana which I'd personally translate as "Will the sun shine tomorrow?".. this is the clip.. such a beautiful ballad.. wish you all could understand Japenese, we'd have a great time discussing the lyrics.. anyway, enjoy the song...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow..

Because of yesterday, I'm reinforcing my motto today..

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst

Tomorrow I might not be where I am now..
Tomorrow I might not have what I have now..
Tomorrow I might not want what I want now..

but atleast today.. I know I did my best to make a person smile.. eventhough I was just being there doing nothing.. ;)

Life is too short to be unhappy..
Live.. Love.. Learn..

Thursday, July 31, 2008

April in August

Yes!! Avril Lavigne is coming to town!!
Can't wait for that..

In the meantime, I found this on youtube.. I'm not really a fan of Coldplay but atleast now I can listen to the song until the end ;)
I hope she sings this one in KL..




P/s: Just in case you think the title is a typo, 'Avril' is French for April ;)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Introducing...

sensei's NEW V!!









amacam? ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Application..

Past two post I blogged about Steven Tyler & "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"..
Well, today it hit me.. check out this one..



The song is not a typical love song.. it does sound so, but knowing Steven Tyler and his hidden meaning lyrics before this, my bet is he's talking about drug addiction here.. OK la, so maybe he didn't write the lyrics, but only he can pull it off..

And on the second point... check out how he just grab the girl and gave her that killer kiss.. Now that's 'fearless'!! ;)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The answer is in the question..

Few months back I kept asking myself
"How can I make an impact?"
It has worked on several occasions.. and I've also shared it in my trainings..

But last month I came accross a book.. it was on adapting to changes.. and in that book one statement in the form of a question striked me.. and now I try to ask myself the same question all the time..

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

For every love letter written, is another one burned..

I don't know about you guys but I think Steven Tyler is a lyrical genius.. that's why I consider him as one of my 'wise sensei'.. I still remember the first time I heard "Dream On".. had goose bumps.. that line "you got to loose to know how to win" is just classic!

I mean, let's think about it for a while..

The best method of learning is commonly said to be through experience.. Malcolm Knowles eleborated this through 'andragogy' (don't worry, click on the link and you'll know what I'm talking about) but here comes a 16 year old rocker (that was Steven Tyler's age when he 1st wrote the tune) and easily summarized the whole thing in 1 line.. and guess what, you actually do learn faster through observation and reflection - not just from your own experiences but also learn from the mistakes and achievements of others instead of having to go through it yourself.. he got it right.. most of us still don't see it..

A few months ago I started this new concept of "simulation learning" in my training session.. I have this idea that adults might be able to learn faster through emotions stimulated in certain controlled situation by using proper trigger mechanisms.. the theory is based on how we recall certain memories when our senses are stimulated/triggered.. ex. a distinctive smell might remind you of a person from the past, a song might bring back specific memories of an event that happen, etc..

And taking from what the wise sensei said.. if it works on the negative side, it should work on the positive side because it is then up to you to use those triggers to help you counter an emotion and excell in what ever you do..

Don't listen to a sad song when you're down, but listen to a uplifter instead.. get what I mean? ;)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

As I was driving back..

Another piece of my heart went with the last team..

If this carries on with every teambuilding program I do, I might end up being 'heartless' at the end of the year.. ;)



Standard Tuning:

Am Dm G C F B E

Look out [3]

Where it’s at
I know karma’s coming to pay me back
Im with the sweetest thang thats on the map
I broke her heart in 30 seconds flat
In 30 seconds flat

Now how did i
Just how did I become that kind of guy
To look at girl and lie right in the eye
My momma told me willy that aint right
Boy now that aint right

Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break your heart [2]
Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break ya
B b b b break it baby
Look baby
Im a heartbreaker [6]
Im a heart
A h h h h im a heart
A h h h im a

Where she go
I got some things I gotta let her know
To fix the love now its impossible
But baby baby if we take it slow
If we take it slow
We can make it work
We just cant throw the love down in the dirt
You probly think that im a f**kin jerk cause the way I let you down it made you hurt
I didnt mean to make you hurt

Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break your heart [2]
Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break ya
B b b b break it baby
Look baby
Im a heartbreaker [6]
Im a heart
A h h h h im a heart
A h h h ima

Break it down
Lets break it down [roughly 15]

So so so sorry
So so so sorry
A la la la
La la la la
La la la la

Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break your heart [2]
Im s s s sorry
Im s s s sorry
I didnt mean to break ya
B b b b break it baby
Look baby
Im a heartbreaker [6]
Im a heart
A h h h h im a heart
A h h h ima


p/s: What's the opposite word for Heartbreaker?