Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Xmas from Endless Horizon...

It's wishing everybody out there a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays... i'm tired today after accomplishing many tasks, so would like to have an early rest later for my exercise routine tomorrow. Have fun and take care...Ho ho ho... ;)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

5th Penang International 12 Hours Walk 2010 Updates

I guessed by now those of you that have heard about this event will know that it'll be on the 9th to 10th January 2010 at the Esplanade area from 8:00pm to 8:00am the next day. I just made some extra efforts to find out a bit more about this event and would like to share out with everyone. Here are the changes of this year's event from previous years:-
1. Change of organizer - This year's event have been taken up by Mr Jordan Lee and his team in continuing the event. Thank you Mr Jordan!
2. Change of timing system - NO MORE timing chip will be use for the time tracking. It will be done MANUALLY! So expect some confusion during the first few hours of the walk especially when there are so many people still actively walking. The best is to slow down at the check point(s) so that officials can see you with your bib clearly and note them down :)
3. Change of entry fee as well as prize money - Previous years, it was rm40 per entry, now it's rm20. The champion of each category gets rm300 last time, but now it has been reduced to rm200. Only top 6 finisher of each category gets the cash prize. My personal opinion is, since this event needs great effort for walkers to compete for 12 hours, the prizes should extend to top 10 of each category instead of only top 6.
4. Entry dateline - The previous dateline was set at 15th Dec, which has now been extended to Christmas Day on 25th Dec. Do register fast if you are interested to avoid any disappointment. Words I heard is that the organizer is not targetting many people and they intend to have around 500 people for better coverage and management. I support them :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Schumi is back with Mercedes in 2010 F1 season...

Schumi is back !!! This time is for real...

7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher has signed a Formula 1 contract with Mercedes-Benz and will be making his much-anticipated comeback to the sport next year, according to German media reports on Tuesday.

Although an F1 return for Schumacher has been rumoured for some time, Daimler - Mercedes' parent company - hinted last week that no confirmation for its second driver would arrive until the New Year. Nico Rosberg is already signed for the team carrying the same nationality, as the 2005 GP2 Champion makes the switch from Williams after spending his first four seasons with the Grove outfit.

Although Sabine Kehm, spokeswoman for Michael Schumacher, is still unable to make any comment regarding her driver's imminent future, German newspaper Bild reports that a 1-year Mercedes deal is in place which also presents the former Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari man with an option for extension, should the 2010 campaign prove successful.

Let's hope this old man of Formula One still have the fire and desire in him for competitive racing. Hats off from me for coming back Schumi...all the best!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Petronas ties up with Mercedes in F1

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has inked a five-year agreement with major auto-manufacturer Mercedes, to become the title partner to the Mercedes GP team, the reigning Formula One world champions.

The team will from 2010 be officially known as the Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team.

The national oil and gas company said in a statement that the partnership would allow related business arrangements with Mercedes that would support its international business expansion efforts, particularly in the global lubricant business.

The company said the exclusive rights as the title partner and association with the premium, internationally-renowned Mercedes brand, will further enhance Petronas and Malaysia’s ongoing global brand positioning efforts.

Petronas would also be able to continue to leverage on the extensive international exposure offered by the sport to grow its existing business activities, it said.

The partnership also presents Petronas with the opportunity to utilise and leverage on Mercedes’ long motor sport heritage to further supplement its talent development initiatives, as part of the contribution towards the development of Malaysia’s motorsports industry.

Tired Monday again...

As usual, Monday is always a tired day after the weekend. Especially today is so freaking hot out there just now during lunch :( I'm supposed to have a relax weekend thinking or rather assuming that Sat's morning hike as well as the evening badminton session will be cancel due to lack of people last weekend. Turned out that Sat's morning hike was ON as usual even though there are only 4 of us. It was a long weekend since Friday is Awal Muharam holiday, thus whole Ayer Itam was jam packed by the time I finished hiking and went to Bukit Jambul to changed my house's water tap.
I didn't take my afternoon nap that day thinking that I can have a good rest at night, but somehow last minute my badminton buddies called and said they are there waiting for the session, so rushed to badminton and played 5 tough games with only 4 of us...that night after the game and all the dinner and bath, my battery level was flat!!!
Yesterday was a bit better even though morning went out searching for butterfly clip to attach the fluorescent light tube to the ceiling, and then whole day fixing and installing the fan and light at home...
Right now, my wish is to go home and stick to my bed and have a good sleep, so sleepy after lunch + the hot weather...yawn yawn...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today is 'HOLIDAY'...but not me :(

I was wondering what am I doing waking up early today? It was supposed to be a holiday today, meaning no work and can rest at home or continue busy with my house renovation or my wedding preparations. It's Awal Muharam today, which many companies and government departments are observing as holiday, EXCEPT for my company...
Well, Christmas is round the corner, meaning next Friday is off for everyone, and then we have New Year coming the following Friday, so today should be the last working Friday for many people. 2009 is coming to an end very fast, 2010 is looming. Have you achieved what you've set out to do in 2009? For sure, 2009 has been a super busy year for me, but I'm taking it with open arms and looking forward to starting my new life with my dearest love come 2010...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SEC Warehouse Sales III 18 - 20 Dec 2009

Event: SEC Warehouse Sales III
Date : 18th to 20th Dec 2009
Time : 11am - 9pm
Venue : SEC Warehouse Batu Maung

Yes, the SEC warehouse is back again as usual. Maybe it's because I didn't pay attention or notice last time, but somehow I realized this year that SEC is having lots of warehouse sales, roadshow, clearance sales everywhere here in Penang. I might drop by again tomorrow, but again not with high expectation as the price at SEC is just so-so in my own opinion :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Penang Starwalk 09 (13th Dec 09) Results - part3 (Men's Junior, Senior + Diamond Veteran and Women's Junior + Senior Veteran)

Finally, here's the last part of the Penang Starwalk 2009 results. Thanks for all your patience. In this final part, we have the Men's Junior, Senior and Diamond veteran category results. Not forgetting, we have the Women's Junior and Senior veteran category as well.

Men's Junior Veteran

Men's Senior Veteran

Men's Diamond Veteran

Looking at their time, these elder generation really put younger generations to shame...haha. It's not their strength are superior or what, but somehow I feel that they are much much better in their mental strength and determination.

Women's Junior Veteran

Women's Senior Veteran

To everyone that tried hard but didn't get among the medal winners, try again next year. Persistence and hard work will pay off one day :)

Dell offer VSS to 700 Penang staff

Am I reading this wrong? Again??? The last time I heard was only for those whom have work more than 5 years...

Computer maker Dell Inc is offering a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to 700 of its Penang workers in a bid to cut costs and stay lean.

The company yesterday announced that it will stop shipping its notebook computers from Penang to the US, Canada and parts of South America.

Dell will, however, continue to export its laptops to Australia, New Zealand and South Asia from its Bukit Minyak facility on mainland Penang.

Besides Penang, Dell has eight other manufacturing plants scat-tered around the world.

In Asia Pacific, Dell's manufacturing plants include those in Xiamen, China and Chennai in India.

Apart from making notebooks, the company also produces desktop computers, servers and storage products, which are manufactured to orders for global customers.

"The 700 affected staff will include production operators, supervisors and managers," Dell Malaysia senior manager for corporate communications Jasmine Begum told Business Times.

Dell, whose investment presence in Malaysia spans 14 years, has a total headcount of 4,500 and two facilities in Penang - one in Bukit Minyak and the other in Bayan Lepas on the island.

The company also has a global business centre in Cyberjaya.

Jasmine said the affected employees will begin to part ways with Dell beginning January 2010 and the company expects to conclude the VSS exercise by the middle of the year.

"We will however continue to hire here," she added, "in line with the Malaysian government's call to enhance its employee base and take them up the value chain."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Penang Starwalk 09 (13th Dec 09) Results - part2 (Men's Open and Women's Open)

All right, here comes part2 of the Penang Starwalk 2009 results. This time we have the men's open and women's open category. The winner lists are top45 for men's open and top35 for women's open.
I'm not sure about women's open but again in men's open category, there are a lot of cunning cheaters. Why can't they play it fair? You win a medal based on your capabilities, not by cheating and be proud of it !!! During the walk, when they see the officials standing by the side jotting down numbers, they quickly stopped and back to walking mode, but the moment they turned their heads back to see the officials not looking at them, they start running again!
The official a.k.a. Walk Judge did managed to caught 3 or 4 Indian guys cheating but somehow, when the winner list is out, I'm quite disappointed that the 2 obvious cheaters are in the top 20 positions. A1250 and A1017, you can tell all your friends how proud you are, but the truth is you are just a dirty cheat with unsportsmanlike tactics. It's so disgusting watching them cheat all the way during the walk and yet still managed to get away with a medal !!! Shame on them...

I'm happy getting no medal from this event as long as I play it fair and will be happy with my whatever timing.

Apart from the Boys, Girls and Men's Open category, I do not see or managed to see any other walkers from other categories cheat during the walk. Many of my friends are in the Women's Open top 35, so congrats to them :)
ps: stay tuned for the last part of the Starwalk09 results series, which will be the Veteran categories...

Metro Jaya Warehouse Sale 16 Dec 2009 - 20 Dec 2009 @ Penang

Event : Metro Jaya Warehouse Sale
Date : 16th to 20th Dec 2009
Time : 11am to 9pm
Venue : PISA Penang
Looking for good bargains for your household items? The metrojaya warehouse sales is back again in Penang. I went for the previous time and seems like it's really getting great responses, which is why they are back doing it again :)
Some items like bedsheets and pillows are going as low as 70% discount. GO have a look if you are free, I'm sure there will surely be something that you will need once you see them :) Good Luck !

Monday, December 14, 2009

Penang Starwalk 09 (13th Dec 09) Results - part1 (Boys and Girls)

Boys Category Winner List
Here you go, the first part of the Starwalk 2009 results held at PISA yesterday. The attached results are for the Boys and Girls category. The rest I will post in part2 or part3, so stay tune for those...

Girls Category Winners List
As usual, only top25 for Boys and top15 for Girls will be getting medals and prizes. Sadly to say, both these 2 categories have a lot of cheating people running during the event when you are supposed to be walking ONLY! I really hope the PAA can have more officials to stationed as Walk Judge....150metres per judge instead of ~300 metres.

Kudos to all the fair walking winners !

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New points system confirmed for 2010

Formula 1 governing body the FIA has confirmed that the new top ten scoring system will be in place from the 2010 season onwards. The scheme, which will award Grand Prix winners 25 points, also includes an increased margin of five points between first and second positions.

With the latest scoring system in Formula 1 having been introduced in 2003, handing out points for seventh and eighth positions in order to allow smaller teams a chance of scoring, the latest change comes as the grid increases in size from 20 to 26 cars prior to the 2010 championship.

The 2010 points system is as follows:
1st - 25
2nd - 20
3rd - 15
4th - 10
5th - 8
6th - 6
7th - 5
8th - 3
9th - 2
10th - 1

Hehe, this is becoming like MotoGP format...hopefully next year will be an interesting year with this kind of new scoring format :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Geminid meteor shower on Sunday night, 13th Dec 2009

Astronomy buffs who want to catch this year’s Geminid meteor shower should look to the skies this Sunday night.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Astronomy and Atmospheric Science Research Unit lecturer Associate Prof Dr Chong Hon Yew said the annual shower would be visible in the night sky to the naked eye in any direction.

This year’s shower should peak at 1pm local time on Monday, and be visible to western hemisphere observers such as in North America and South America.

“However, the Geminid shower has a broad peak of about one-and-a-half days and so, with good weather permitting and a waning moon, many meteors should be visible on Sunday night,” he said.

The Geminid meteor shower occurs every year between Dec 9 and 19, reaching its peak on Dec 13 and 14.

The annual Geminid meteor shower, which peaks the night of December 14/15, is typically one of the best of the year. Occurring less than a month after the Leonids, the Geminid shower generally features brighter meteors.

The Geminids are so named because, if you trace all the meteor trails backward, they would meet within the boundaries of the constellation Gemini the Twins. This point, called the radiant, lies approximately 3° northwest of the 1st-magnitude star Castor.
If I can stay up so late on Sunday night, I will look upon the skies :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Penang Starwalk 2009 route

As usual, this year Starwalk's route is the same like previous years. I'm just wishing that this year I do not miss the starting trigger like last year, ended up chase like mad guy. Also hope to get lucky draw...haha...wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

AirAsia to explore US :)

THIS IS SUPER GOOD NEWS !!! If MAS cannot do it, please do let it go and let AirAsia explore the opportunities...

AirAsia has set its sights on the US market.

Aviation experts here said AirAsia could easily fill the vacuum left by national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which recently discontinued flights to the east coast and closed its office in the Big Apple.

MAS however, still maintains its operations on the west coast, with flights to Los Angeles.
Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia chief executive, told Bernama here recently that he was ”working” towards establishing a regular service to the east coast.

“We are very keen to enter the US market which has good business potential,” he said adding that he hoped to start flights to an east coast airport, either New York or New Jersey, in 2010.

Since MAS stopped its service to the east coast, Malaysia lost an important connectivity with that part of the world.

“There are many foreign national carriers, which despite losses, maintain operations to this important international service point. “It is that proverbial pennywise-pound-foolish decision that is likely to haunt MAS because by withdrawing it will find it extremely difficult to come back and re-establish its position,” said a New York-based aviation expert who wished to remain anonymous.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2010 World Cup Groups

There you have it...the draw is out, the group is being set and of course the group of death will be none other than Group G which comprises of Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea...

France, England and few more giants are having it much easier to make it to the 2nd round knock out phase. 7 more months to the show piece event of the world :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

FIFA World Cup 2010 draw...

The draw is going to happen in less than 30 mins! Who will be group against who? What about the group of death, which team will be in it? I'm sure all the participating countries delegates are a bit nervous about the draw. After all, team strategies, tactics and a bit of drawing lucks comes into play to determine who will win the pretigious world cup :)

The venue of the draw is Cape Town International Convention Centre. We in Malaysia can catch it live through Astro live broadcast. Good luck to which ever team or country that you are supporting ...

2009 Annual Blessing Ceremony @ PISA : 26th Dec 2009

THE Penang International Sports Arena will be brightly lit with 10,000 lamps and candles during a grand musical concert on Dec 26.

The 2009 Annual Blessing Ceremony titled ‘Purity, Great Love, Innumerable Meanings, Musical Sign Language Performance Concert’ will feature 1,108 of performers during the two-hour concert.

Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merits Society Malaysia president Koay Chiew Poh said 500 people would be performing sign language, 500 on choir and another 108 performing drama.

“The lighting up of the lamps and candles signifies the world to be free of disasters and for peace. We’ve chosen Dec 25 as it’s public holiday which makes it convenient for members from outstation to join us. On Dec 26, the concert will be open for members from Penang,” he said.

“Attendance is by invitation only and free tickets are available at our headquarters in Macalister Road or through our members,” he said.

“One of our main objectives for the concert is to create awareness on the need of a more caring society,” he said during an interview recently.

Their charitable work include community service like emergency relief work for fire or flood victims, free dialysis service and interest-free study loan programmes.

This is a really very meaningful event. Keep up the good and loving hearts...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Penang Pesta Open Dragon Boat Race : 12th and 13th Dec 2009

Date: 12th and 13th Dec 2009
Location: Bandar Sri Pinang, Jelutong Expressway
Time: 9am to 6pm
Penang Pesta Dragon Boat will be held on 12th and 13th December 2009. 9am to 6pm.

For the first time in our 30 years history, 2009 Penang Pesta Open Dragon Boat Race will be held at Bandar Sri Pinang, Jelutong Expressway.

We are pleased to announce that 27 teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Philippines and Malaysia will be taking part in Men, Women & Junior races for 200 meter, 500 meter and 1,000 meter.

Do join us at the promenade and enjoy 2 days of thrill and suspense as we expect this race to be a close race among the 27 teams.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Streamyx offer to woo existing customers

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd, the country’s dominant fixed-line phone company, has launched a new campaign to woo existing Streamyx customers to upgrade their packages as well as to make them stay longer.

Under the terms of the “Super Upgrade Deal”, existing Streamyx customers who upgrade their package will get to enjoy higher speed without paying additional subscription fees for the first four months.

Streamyx still can go ar? They are facing tough competition from Celcom, Maxis and P1 Wimax. I saw an advertisment just now that they are waiving the activation fees for new subscribers. That good? But really the connection speed is not on par with the money we paid monthly...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PBIM09: My post race reflection :)

It’s dusted and settled. My last run for the year 2009 (that is if I do not register for any more runs :p) – Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009 (PBIM09) which was held last Sunday 22nd November. This will be my 4th year joining the run, which is of course in the Men’s Open Half Marathon with the distance of 21km (I’ll not up to the standard of full 42km…hahaha )I’m glad it’s over and so, I would like to share a few words to all my readers.

Before the race
I didn’t really have ample time for training this year. In fact, prior to the PBIM09, I stopped running/jogging for 4 months due to my house reno, work and wedding preparation stuffs. I only started training around 3+ weeks before the actual day. My running partner, the great Champ Mr J (let’s call him Champ) was in great spirit for the run this year. He even scheduled and arranged out his training schedule in a Gantt Chart, that’s really motivating. I tried to follow and run together with him as I know without training, I’ll be looking for trouble during the race. I didn’t really managed to follow exactly Champ’s planned schedule, just about 75% of it. I really enjoy the 3 weeks training and running with him at the Sungai Nibong field.

The race day
My last training was on Monday on the race week, it was just a 10km relax run with Champ. The next 6 days are just rest days for my body and legs. Champ estimated and calculated our checkpoint time based on our pace over training and that really gives me pressure to run… I went over to my Sg Nibong house to overnight on the race day, woke up at 2am and get myself ready for the race. Met with Champ at around 250am and together, we walked towards the starting point gathering area. Saw many of my ex-colleagues there (KH, KK, KA etc) We quickly went to ease ourself at the mobile toilet and was just in time 5 mins before the race start. At exactly 3:30am, the race was flagged off for us.

It was a crowded start indeed – 6000 people reported registered for the half marathon category. The initial 2km was just a slow jog for us as we do not really have space to run freely. Once entering the straight of the coastal highway, we are able to run on our usual pre-planned pace. The water supply this year was great. We had lots of water, sponge, isotonic drink 100 plus and of course banana ! Somehow, the organizer should have give out water in paper cup rather than the whole 500ml bottle for everyone as it’s really wasting throwing away the whole bottle after only a few sip! Right on target, we hit the bridge after around 22mins, it was a really nice feeling and cool breeze running on the bridge.

Not long after entering the bridge, there were volunteers by the bridge side distributing something. Not to be miss out, we went for it as well only to find out that they were giving out bananas! So early in the race? Each of us took few bites and then continue on running. Champ constantly reminding me of the time we have spent running. The road leading to the u-turn was actually not that short, and we mis-calculated the distance, hence it was off our targeted time when we turned back towards the island. Once after the turning, we are running uphills again to the middle peak of the bridge. My legs soreness starts to creep in and both of us are complaining to each other that we felt something at our legs.

Once we were at the top of the bridge, we are moving downhill again. Sensing that it will be easier to run downhill, we increased our speed with the aim of catching back some lost time during the middle span u-turn. We did and arrived at almost exactly on our targeted time at the turning down from the bridge. Now we are heading towards e-Gate. Managed to overtook one of my ex-colleague and called out to my school friend whom was there taking photographs. Right on target, we turned back heading towards Queensbay Mall for our final ~5km run. A foreigner was using us how long more distance to go, and I just replied approximately 5km more to go. I guessed he must be one of the full marathon runners since I didn’t take note of his running bib. Met my school friend again, only this time we slowed down for him to capture and record down our evidence of running the PBIM09.

Sensing the near end of our run, we are happy but at the same time our legs starts to feel the muscle pulling, so both of us took out and applied the muscle relief cream. On and on, we carry on running and giving each other encouragement that we are almost there. At the turning besides Villa Emas condominium, we can see the 40km signboard, which means only 2km more to go. Hooray…! We speed up from jogging to faster running and after the roundabout, my right leg muscle slightly pulled up. Champ wanted to push me for the final 1km sprint, but I told him to go ahead as I do not want to suffer any cramp. So he did with his personal mission of overtaking one of the foreigner in front of us at that moment.
Post Race
In the end, I crossed the finish line some 30 seconds behind champ. I was sandwiched between an American and a Singaporean in front of me and then a Nigerian behind me. I didn’t show any happy face across the finishing line, but I smiled inside my heart as I have achieved my personal targets of running the whole distance and having cramp free. My time was not very great compared to many people out there, 2:11:23 is my net time, which puts me at position 300+ in the mens open half marathon category. This is by far the the best ever half marathon for me to date. We rest awhile, went over to take countless drinks at different stalls and then Champ decided to go home without wanted to wait for the lucky draw. Logical move actually, because it was not even 6am at that time! I joined my ex-colleague after that, hanged around the area to have more drinks, and then went to have roti canai as breakfast. Yummy!

We arrived back at the finishing area around 9+am, and then sit down to wait for the lucky draw. No luck with the lucky draw as this year’s sponsors are significantly a lot lesser compared to last year. The whole event finished at about 10am, so me and my friend walked back together to take our vehicle and head back to our respective home to rest. There you have it, my PBIM09 half marathon run. I really felt satisfied with my performance this year compared to my last 3 years. Hopefully can improve more in years to come…hehehehe.