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Sunday, March 29, 2009

SPORTS MARATHON

After some weight lifting and rpm sessions at the gym, the rain started to pour that changed the plan for the rest of the evening.
I picked the kids up from tennis, and battled the rain to KL. Tasha, Joel and Eloise were having a sleep over at Alain & Michelle's penthouse downtown. It was Alexia's birthday weekend and Michelle was bringing the kids to a kids' spa in Solaris for some massages, manicure, pedicure and hair do! Can you believe it, at that age! I warned Tasha that this is a TREAT and not the lifestyle I expect her to get accustomed to. I think she got the message loud and clear.
The highlight of the evening (or so I thought, then) was the squash game with Alain and Franco at Mandarin Oriental. It was so refreshing to play in an air-conditioning court. Something I can get very accustomed to very quickly. The wall was without any ball marks as if nobody had ever played there. I was told that they had a guy who cleans the wall everytime after you finish a game! No wonder they charge what they charge for the membership there.
In the midst of our game, Modesto dropped by to share his concern about the new technology Brawn had discovered that made them win the F1 race. Suffice to say, this Italian was not happy that Ferrari was not ahead in this new discovery!

The shower at Mandarin Fitness Club reminded me of the shower at Westin Hotel in LA - oh so heavenly! After three hours of workout, it was so nice to just stand under the shower which massaged your back and hit some pressure points. I made a note to get one for the home for the next renovation.

Starving we picked Sylvia up from her place and headed to Chicco for some antipasti and pizza. Rudy, the owner wasn't even aware of the Earth Hour. As it turned out no restaurant on Changkat Raja Chulan observed it. Pretty sad, really.

Anyway, the highlight of the evening was seeing the Blues Gang perform at Havana. The last time I saw them live was probably 10 years ago (or maybe more) at Chilli's in PJ Hilton. They still have the same raspy voice (or raspier, probably from the incessant smoking) and man....they are darn good.

Franco and I were the first one to leave at 11.00 p.m. Blues Gang was great but our priority still remained - To be fresh and fit for a round of golf that awaited us at KGSAAS. You just don't compromise on your golf game! Nobody else could understand that, until we met our flight mate, Yon the next day who commended us for being a true golfer....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

QUALITY TIME


It was school holidays last week. Juggling between work and home was tough as it was a busy week for both Franco and I but we somehow managed to take some time off to be with Tasha.
Franco spent Monday and Tuesday with her while I sneaked out for half a day on Wednesday and took a day off on Thursday for a lot of fun in the sun!
We started the day with a round of golf at KGSAAS which was indeed a lot of sun. Lucky for us, the fun factor was also high as Tasha used her driver for the first time and lo and behold...she was hitting her ball like a true champion. Even Annika would have been proud of her!
Hot and hungry, we showered at the Club and headed to Chilli's in BSC for lunch.

We rushed through lunch so that Tasha can maximise her time roller blading. We only started this activity beginning of this year and she is already blading like a pro. Just as well as I am dying to take her skiing in December this year and I think she will be ready for it!

Tired, we went home and put the Slumdog Millionaire on. The movie was good but not great. Tasha didn't seem to enjoy it much. She would have preferred the more girly movie (chick flick) such as Confessions of a Shopaholic rather than the lives in the slum but we watched it till the end anyway!


All in all, we spent some quality time together, doing stuff both of us enjoyed but most of all, just being together. These are the moments to treasure.


video

Friday, March 20, 2009

DEDICATED TO PAUL MULGREW






To my Sifu

You would have been proud of me a couple of days ago.
The Clients were being anal and I decided to tell them as is!

They laughed thinking it was a joke, but they didn't hear me laughing.

The laugh stopped and there was a moment of silent.

Time for digestion and the moment of truth.

I didn't lose my job for I am your Pendekar who has learnt how to survive in the sea full of sharks.

Thank you for the invaluable experience.

Thank you for giving me the courage to tell the Client as is.

THE AMAZING BANGKOK RACE


FIRST DAY
After some head scratching sessions when Mohan gave his talk on HSSE, the first teambuilding exercise organised by our HR team was the Project Runaway. Given what we have to work with (and who) I think the result was pretty amazing!





The first day ended with dinner with the Client where Barry got a bit drunk and wouldn't let go of his potent cocktail.



SECOND DAY
After the the invigorating talks on Procurement Strategies, Cost Management and Value Improvements, Trails of Asia organised an event ala "The Amazing Race" to add some spice to the trip.




We were split into two groups and had to come up with a team dance. We chose to replicate the All Blacks, but instead with the catchy phrase Simply Red, Simply the Best. Our opponent on the other hand, came up with the sissy song " Yellow Submarine" No comparison......


The highlight of the event was when we had to choose 3 bravest team members to take up a challenge that we know would disgust most people. I stepped in only because there was no volunteer and LOSING WAS NOT AN OPTION. How did I do it? All I know was that when the cover of the tray was open, and I was just about to back off, my team leader John turned to me and said those very same words and with that I started digging into the tray.

After traversing Menam Chao Phraya in striking pink life jackets and hustling the Bangkok traffic in the tuk tuk, we arrived at Wat Po for our next challenge.



We were required to build a bridge using straws and transport a vehicle carrying an egg using remote control on the bridge. I was expecting the bunch of enginners I was with to find the task easy, but engineers will always be engineers. They were so focused on optimising the design that they lost sight of the very essence of the bridge being able to support the load i.e. the remote controlled vehicle. So, our bridge collapsed as soon as the vehicle hit the ramp!



While we were laughing our heads off, the Clients were also there to witness the falling bridge and they were not amused.....






Sunday, March 1, 2009

TRIP TO BANGKOK

Everybody in the PMO Office in KL is getting all frenzied about our trip to Bangkok next week. 3 days, 27 participants from 9 countries. I have two slots of an hour each to talk about Strategic Procurement and Value Management. Trying to make the forum more interactive but with such dry topics, trying to keep them awake would be a challenge in itself.
The other half of the time, there will be a SKM Amazing Race challenge. The organisers are not opening their mouths about what tasks lay ahead of us. As long as there are no eating slimy food and no handling of reptiles, then I should be ok. I even asked my secretary to rig the team to make sure I am not in the same team as one particular person whose verbal capabilities can become a distraction! Yes...it gets very competitive I might add.
For the weekend, Franco and Tasha will be joining me there. We did the temples and the palaces the last two times we were there, so, we are quite culturally oriented with Thai's history. This trip, we'll probably visit a tailor to make a dozen of pants and shirts, do the chatuchak market, cruise the menam chao phraya, walk around Patpong and eat and eat and eat.
I am not looking forward to the conference cause that is a lot of work but I certainly can't wait for the holiday with the family that follows.

PRIORITIES

I know of more tennis players now
But the time to play remains the same
Thought about leaving work early
Colleagues will be furious but I will be happy
Hate to do it
But I did it any way
Boss wasn't too happy
Questioning me of my priority
Everything but work
Was all I said
That left him in daze
But that's the truth, I'm afraid.