p pol The Adventures of Carboman: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Now Reading

With several movie adaptations set to hit the theaters in the coming weeks, I've also been reading up on some of these books. Having completed the listening of the unabridged "The Da Vinci Code" audiobook, I now train my attention to the "One Day In September" on the '72 Munich Olympics Massacre and on the subsequent Israeli revenge operation called "Wrath of God". Spielberg's "Munich" though is adapted from another book called "Vengeance" by George Jonas. I haven't read "Vengeance" so I can't compare both books. In any case, I've found Simon Reeve's book quite compelling thus far. The events were really tragic and it started a vicious cycle. Terrorism certainly gained the attention following the event.
An interesting para in the book that will catch the attention of some bookish runners out there:
"Shaul Ladany ran round to the block housing the US team and pounded on the door of the coaches' room on the ground floor. According to the American marathon runner Kenny Moore, who was asleep on the fifth floor, Bill Bowerman, the US track coach groggily answered. Ladany was standing before him, utterly distraught.
"Can I come in?" asked Ladany in a desperate tone.
"What for?" answered Bowerman with a tired growl.
"The Arabs are in our building," said Ladany.
"Well," said Bowerman, "push them out."
"They have guns," said Ladany, "two people are dead."
His mind clearing quickly at the news, Bowerman pulled Ladany into the safety of the room and called the police.


Click on image to read a preview of the book from Amazon.com

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Carbokid's Day Out

We spent most of the day out, walking about. In essence it was an extended walking exercise. Can't really allow a cold to derail Carbokid's Day could I? The day before he'd got his birthday present from his nanny's family - a Dino block set. Below is a recap of the day.
  • Told him today's HIS DAY, so there's no need to do his ritual of writing, reading and colouring if he didn't want to.
  • Lunch at One-Utama's TGIF. The pasta set lunch wasn't good. It was so creamy and cheesy that my lips, tongue and palate all got stuck together! Carbokid? He slept throughout our lunch!
  • IKEA. Carbokid had ice-cream and played at one of the many playstations. I comforted myself with 2 cups of hot tea. My sinuses were acting up and I closed my eyes for awhile.
  • The Curve. Carbokid had a few rides and played at one of the playstations.
  • Ikano. He played chase with another girl (getting the lowdown on courtship?!) while we rested our feet. He loaded up on some pastries and a little soft drink.
  • Finally bought him a small birthday cake (and it was already the evening!!!)
  • Back home and showered, we finally got down to the birthday ritual of singing and cutting the cake.
We're pooped yet he didn't call it a day until close to 11pm. More photos at the photo album.

Brooks PACM Breakfast Bonding Run

This year saw Klang hosting the non-competitive event. Though the crowd is smaller, the Klang group did a fantastic job. To the uninitiated, the run is where one shares a bib number and runs with another (Dad-Son, Hubby-Wife, Friends, anything goes) and finish together. The set up was good, the directions great (I didn't lose me way there!) and of course the familiar faces made the morning pretty well spent albeit short, for me. Short because instead of reaching there at 7:30am for the start, we got there only at 8:05am when many had completed their 6K jog. We didn't want to wake up Carbokid.

When we got there, the sun was up and it was getting warm. I hopped over to the Brooks tent and ended up RM258 poorer. Photo evidence below. Saw and chatted with the guys - Kenneth, Martin, DK, Cheong and wife, Kelvin, Ajeep and Lim (who was the organizing chairman I think). Everyone chimed in to sing the Birthday song to Uncle Hooi (68 years young), accompanied by Wan Yew Leong's harmonica riffs. Until the recent 2 marathons, I've always ended eating the humble pie. Uncle Hooi never speeds up nor slows down. Like a metronome, he keep ticking along and still finishes most marathons under 5 hours. He also participates in overseas events most recently the Coast-to-Coast Relay in Thailand and the Hong Kong Half Marathon. His accomplishments are even more admirable given that he took up running only in his 40's. HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE HOOI! Wishing you many many more happy miles ahead.

My first Brooks - The Glycerin 4


Friday, April 21, 2006

Carbokid Turns Three Tomorrow!

About 3 years 7 months actually if you count his time in the womb. 7 months instead of 9 months because I think by the 2nd month of pregnancy the foetus will have developed a consciousness - I may be wrong. He's developed by leaps and bounds and he's taken to books in a big way. Carbowoman and I have drilled into him a set of routines such as oral hygiene, washing his hands and feet when he reaches home, relieving himself at the toilet bowl, sleeping without diapers, doing homework, bedtime reading, phonics, and preliminary writing. Presently he's learning up the days in the week and arts and craft. Since he stopped going to school, most of the educational activites were self constructed at home with Carbowoman diligently cutting out the alphabets and shapes for him to glue and match - a low end substitute to a art class. Plenty of effort required but I think no less effective. We've been to enough pre-schools to know some of the activities that can be copied at home.

We have no plans for Carbokid tomorrow but we'll be taking him out for a good lunch and ice-cream and let him pick a couple of books at Borders. So here's to you Carbokid, tomorrow's YOUR DAY! May you be healthy and happy little fella! We love you!

Personal Worse

Thanks to PM1's insistence that the team members renew/attempt their PRs over 3, 5, 8 and 30 laps at the KLCC park, the park saw an increased level of activity the past few days. A number of records were wiped out in the process. Good for the park and of course good for the achievers! It goes to show that to improve, you shouldn't always run within your comfort level, especially in a race. Push a bit now and then, and when in a race, run like there's tomorrow.
I was sulking all the way within as not only I can't run, I'm not able to be there to cheer for them. And while their intentions were hardly malicious or ill-willed, I was riled when PM18 and PM20 called time and again asking if I was running - sorry guys but you know what running deprivation can do to one's mood. Most times I don't have liberty to dictate my weekday schedule. Meetings can be called at the last moment. The company is moving at a breakneck speed. Many FIs are locked in a battle for market share - more than ever before. Project Management is not like what it used to be where 6 years ago we're accountable to only our local management. Now, our projects are being tracked and scruntinized at the regional level and besides project management we have to manage crises as well. After the showering of accolades for my recent project, many more are still in my queue. The year is no longer a marathon but an ultra-multidisciplined event, much like the Raid Gauloises or the Eco-Challenge where running projects are as much a team effort besides the acts of individual heroism. To keep up, you simply need to move fast (talk, walk, type, read, understand) and navigate the course intelligently. My tolerance for feet-draggers and procrastinators have diminished as I can't afford for others to point their grubby fingers at me for being the cause for delays. So at work, it's been that bit more intense but thankfully I'm able to hang loose once I step out of the office and over the weekend, when I'm thankful for the opportunity to catch up with the family and on rest. And a bit of running, of course. A good thing (hey, I'm trying to see some good in the craziness) is that due to the intensity during the working hours, weekdays pass very quickly and before I know it, it's the WEEKEND - LIKE TODAY!!! And I've learnt to slow things down tremendously over the weekend so that I can go through the 2 days very slowly.
Getting back to the subject matter, I decided yesterday that was that, packed up and headed to the track. Soon, I was enjoying the freedom of the outdoors again and though it was drizzling lightly and I wasn't feeling too good (nose clogged from the overly cold air-cond), I wasn't going to give up the run. I didn't bring my ClimaFIT cap and the drizzle was too light for the jacket, the first lap felt cold. Only another person was running but there were a few other walkers. The first lap was OK but I felt the limbs were as tight as knots and there were twitches here and there. Oh well, everything was so rusty and no WD-40 can oil it except to run.
I know that I won't be able to last many laps besides not wanting to expose myself to the elements too much, I had to compensate by gradually opening up the throttle and caught up and passed the other runner who was 300m ahead throughout my earlier laps. As it turned out my absence from the scene hasn't dimmed my fire as much as I'd thought. Sure, my aerobic fitness is presently basement-level, the joints creaky and 5-min pace totally out of the question but as long as the fire is there I know there's no reason to push the panic button. What good is there if you have all the time in the world to run (or for that matter to do anything) if you don't have the desire right?
Lifemou has accepted my suggested war-cry and I think with it, he should be able to get to a 3:50 (but not sub 3:40 as he intends to) for the Penang Bridge Marathon.
Laptimes: 8:23 > 7:49 > 6:46
Total: 22:59 Average lap: 7:39 (5:53/K pace)
NB: How did I end up with such a long posting??!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Tour of Duty" (1987) Quotes

After completing viewing Frasier's 5th and 11th (final) seasons, I'm turning my attention to "Nam: Tour Of Duty". If you remember, this series dealt with the trials and tribulations of a platoon of soldiers of the Bravo Company during the Vietnam War. Led by Capt Rusty Wallace, Lt Myron Goldman, Sgt Zeke Anderson and a kick-ass script, it was very easy to get caught up with the experiences of the soldiers. Nearly always engaging, there were moments where you really feel for the men. The action sequences were realistic and the bantering was often downright witty (as can be attested below). The series won 1 Emmy Award during its 3 seasons.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Six confirmed kills.
Lt. Myron Goldman: Really? Outstanding! NVA or VC?
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Monkeys. They didn't say which side they were on.

Private Alberto Ruiz: What's the matter? Ain't none of you niggers ever seen a spic before?
Private Marcus Taylor: Not an ugly one like you!

[The platoon is under heavy fire]
Lt. Myron Goldman: I think we should attack.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: I think we should wait it out, sir.
Lt. Myron Goldman: Are you sure?
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Well, we could call Gen. Westmoreland right now, and discuss it!

Private Danny Purcell: Father, I just want to know what we're all doing in this godforsaken excuse of a country!
Priest: What we're doing here? Son, I'm here to give you comfort and support, but I'm often as confused as you are.

Major Braun: You will give us the coordinates, or I'll arrange for you to have a talk with my south Vietnamese colleague, here.
Colonel Li Trang: My country important. My life not important. You can't win.
Major Braun: Listen to me, colonel. You have never defeated us in the battlefield. We have superior firepower. We can bomb you back to the stone age.
Colonel Li Trang: You can't win. Unless you want to stay here and eat rice for the next thousand years, you can't win.

Private Alberto Ruiz: Man, you're lying again.
Private Danny Purcell: Yeah, well, I also kill people. That don't make me a bad person.

Private Marcus Taylor: The chaplain wasn't congratulating you for what you did on the field. He was congratulating you for coming back alive.

Private Alberto Ruiz: If you ask me, sir, that's a stupid way to do it.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: The army ain't asking, soldier.

[Sgt. Block kidnapped Purcell]
Sgt. Greg Block: You in my jungle now, boy.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: If you're a conscientious objector, why did you come here instead of prison?
Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: Didn't want to be some lifer's old lady.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You could've gone to Canada.
Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: Allergic to moose.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You didn't answer my question, soldier. Why did you come to Vietnam instead of prison or Canada?
Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: Well, because prison or Canada wouldn't have been positive experiences.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Let me tell you something, out in the field, Charlie can be a very negative experience.

Sergeant Marvin Johnson: We're gonna go down and secure the village.
Private Danny Purcell: Seems like a wussy mission for special forces.
Sergeant Marvin Johnson: VC have been coming down there, collecting taxes from the locals. They haven't been paying so they started terrorizing them. Like it or not, it's our job.
Private Marcus Taylor: You want to talk terrorist tactics? Take a look at what Uncle Sam did to your paycheck.

Private Danny Purcell: Why are we here? Because, we don't mean squat. We are second rate citizens. What about all the other people whose kids don't have to fight the war? Let's face it boys, we're the hicks, the spics and the niggers. That's why we're here.

Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: I don't know what you're going through. But, if you think you're the only one who's hurting, you're dead wrong. What we saw there today... made me sick. If you keep taking those pills, you're putting your buddies at risk, while they're covering it for you.
Private Danny Purcell: That's not it, Doc. You see, I've been here too long. A long time ago, I just stopped caring. I was doing my best to feel anything. But then, I just realized I don't want to feel a damn thing anymore.

Private Danny Purcell: [about a village that was massacred by another American platoon] You guys just don't get it. We killed those people. Even if we weren't the ones who pulled the triggers, we did it! What if it was back home? What if those were your sisters, your brothers, your parents? When I think about it, I want to puke my guts out! But, I can't... I've been here too damn long.

Lieutenant Myron Goldman: You can't win this war by killing every man, woman and child.
Lieutenant Joseph 'Skip' Beller: There's no other way.

[After hearing Susanna's (an officer from a rich family) story about how she joined the army]
Susanna: So, what are you doing here?
Private Alberto Ruiz: The president sent me.

Pfc. Thomas 'Pop' Scarlett: Yet another memorial service brought to you courtesy of communist containment.

Duke Fontaine: This is a war. There's casualties. Once you get past that, you can concentrate on winning.
Lt. Myron Goldman: Winning? Where the hell have you been?

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: [during combat, to VC] I'm the nightmare your mama told you about!

Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: I'm not like you, sir. I never had that many friends and I was never good at making any.
Lt. John McKay: Good at making friends? Lieutenant Goldman's my best friend and he hates me!

[The platoon is upset because of dangerous patrols ordered by Goldman]
Lt. Myron Goldman: So, what do you think?
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: About what?
Lt. Myron Goldman: I... I was just thinking about my father.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You're talking about the first General Goldman?
Lt. Myron Goldman: He was Colonel Goldman back then. He was one tough son of a bitch. It's just that no matter what he did, the men liked him.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Listen to me, it's real easy to get these guys to like you. They'll like you, up until the time the base is overrun. Then there's gonna be only one person to blame...
[pokes Goldman's shoulder]

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: I think she's gonna have a baby. Anybody know what we oughta do?
Sergeant Marvin Johnson: No idea.
Pvt. Scott Baker: Well, my mother had a baby.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Well, I hope so, Baker!

Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: I guess when I'm drunk I can make a little sense of it all. I just want to know what the hell happened to me.
Vietnamese hooker: You get boom-boom. That's what happend to you.

[After a series of explosions]
Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: [drunk] Auntie Em, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

Private Alberto Ruiz: You gotta do it, Marcus! You're gonna get court marshaled, man!
Private Marcus Taylor: What're they gonna do?! Send me to Vietnam?! Nigga, I am in Vietnam!

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Well, well, well. Purcell, you look as clean as a Mississippi sheriff on election day.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Over here, you're either scared or crazy... Or dead.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: What do you think is the difference between bravery and stupidity?
Lt. Myron Goldman: Same thing. Just depends on the timing.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Congratulations! You just discovered the way to deal with the army.
Dr. Jennifer Seymour: Which is?
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Yell at 'em.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You got a big mouth, you know that?
Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: I was born with it.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You could die with it.

Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: This place sucks!

Pvt. Francis 'Doc Hoc' Hockenbury: 500,000 troops in country and I get stuck with F Troop.

Dr. Jennifer Seymour: You just can't go bursting into a major's office!
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: What's he going to do? Send me to Vietnam? Make me a grunt?

[The area behind the platoon is swarming with V.C.]
Lt. Myron Goldman: We got to check our rear.
Pvt. Alberto Ruiz: I'll go.
Lt. Myron Goldman: I can't do that to you, Ruiz.
Pvt. Alberto Ruiz: Don't worry about it, sir. It's like a walk through Central Park... Only half as dangerous.

Sgt. Zeke Anderson: What's wrong, Taylor?
Pvt. Marcus Taylor: It's my leg, sarge.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: Your leg? You're sitting in a hole! How the hell'd you get shot in the leg?
Pvt. Marcus Taylor: That's the thing, I've been sitting here too long. I got the worst charlie horse I ever had.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: You know what, Taylor? Every time I think I heard it all, all I gotta do is talk to you and realize that I ain't heard a damn thing yet.

Capt. Rusty Wallace: Where are you from, Lieutenant?
Lt. Myron Goldman: New York, sir. Queens.
Capt. Rusty Wallace: You don't sound like it.
Lt. Myron Goldman: Thank you, sir.
Capt. Rusty Wallace: Don't mention it.

Major Rigby: Yes, this village is going to be a hallmark of what Americans and Vietnamese can accomplish when they work together. It might ever rub out some of that cynicism of yours, Sergeant.
Sgt. Zeke Anderson: I'm not cynical, sir. I'm just responsible for a lot of men who depend on me being realistic.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Penang Bridge Marathon: Looking For A Hotel?

For those planning to stay near the PG Bridge, the following listed here www.penang-hotels.com/airport.htm are excellent choices. Of course, the Equatorial is a 4/5 star hotel, so expect to pay the price but the other 2 are pretty OK as well. If you crave for a spot nearer town where the post-race food fiesta is, do seriously consider the excellent Gurney Hotel. I stayed there the night before my wedding and it's really a great place - good location fronting the Gurney Drive where you can do you last minute warmups, or your morn/evening walks, some happening party outlets just next to the hotel lobby and more. It's a short drive into town and to the beaches too. Though the price is about RM250, one suite can easily take in 4 persons while the larger 2 bedroom unit can take and additional 2 pax if you want to rough it out a bit.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back On The Road

And boy, was it difficult! I ended trudging a long 10K along the Double Hill route. I believe it took me around 1:10 or so. Oh well, at the end of the run, I was just happy to have completed the darn thing. Both my ITBs protested throughout the day - usual malady when I'm on the comeback trail. Had fun catching up with the club regulars before I left Bukit Aman. On the way out, I spotted PM1 sporting his usual "cinya khang khor" look as he ran past the Lake Gardens traffic lights. It rained heavily in the late afternoon so into the DVD player went the B-Grades - The Cave and The Fog. You know it's a B-Grade by the title, "The Rain", "The Sun", you catch "The Drift".

Saturday, April 15, 2006

What We Did On Thurs & Sat

Hopped over to Genting to enjoy some fresh air on Thursday. Catching up with the family after being immersed in work the last 3 weeks. It wasn't that cool with the temp hovering around 24C. And there were plenty of holiday makers too with most from India.

Just this morning we joined the company on its family day outing at the Sunway Lagoon Resort. I'm not a water person so it's not strange that this was my first time there after 15 years in KL!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More information on the Penang Bridge Run

For information on starting time, route and more, just hit this link http://www.runnersmalaysia.com.my/events/pbr06/pbr06.htm

Note: As I'm sending this out, the web server is encountering some problems, so hopefully by the time you receive this email, it would have been rectified.

Reading List

I'm back with vengeance hitting 3 books at a go. 2 military non-fictions and The Da Vinci Code audiobook. The audiobook is a blessing as I can get some "reading" in while driving to and from work. I'm usually not for hyped up books but one chapter on, I was intrigued. I believe the later chapters will be pretty deep as there will be many references to Christianity that I'm not at all familiar with. Well, let's just continue listening. Came back from a day trip to Genting this morning. Decided to take a couple of days off to spend time with the family after having been pretty much absent the last 2-3 weeks.

Looks like the Penang Bridge Run is getting quite a few fellas excited. Well, I hope they sign up and I'm not only speaking as a biased Penangite but the run (if it retains its standard of organization) is reason enough to make the trip North.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

And Finally...

...the project I've been working on is concluded. The system cutover, the business had their product launched and I can get back to getting a bit of life back. And the running too I hope. I've broken the news of my intention to race the Penang Bridge Run - the marathon category of course - at the end of July and the PJ Half marathon a month before that as a primer.
Racing in Penang is an experience I've not had the opportunity to do since many many years ago (more than 10 actually). The Penang Bridge Run even though by far the most popular race in the country with between 9,000 to 11,000 participants has had to endure an uncertain sense of existence over the recent years. With the increasing traffic between the island and the mainland, the authorities have found it difficult to close the bridge to traffic for the duration of the race. Throw in some political reasons (per rumour) and runners are the ones to miss this event. It's pretty obvious why the event is popular. You have an island holiday destination and the 3rd longest bridge in the region, add a well organized event and a chance to get some pretty good food before and after the race, what's not to like?
My first Penang Bridge Run was completed on a challenge from my father who said that there's no chance in me completing the 22.3K event. I completed it in 2:08 and that was my debut half marathon race. Since then because of my entering the rat race, I've had only another chance to run it. Since then there's been the full marathon category introduced as well. However I've never had the chance to revisit the race. Just when I was ready for it, the organizers did a Houdini act and the event disappeared for 2 years.
Well, this year, I'm not going to let it go and I'm going for the full course, my 7th full marathon. I'll pull myself back to the KLCC park next Monday to hit some rounds and hopefully some semblence of training will return to my life. I've asked PM19 to join me and his remark that he will find it hard to keep up with me is absolutely flattering, and I find that hard to believe. I doubt that I'll ever get to run as much as I did for my last 2 marathons.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Left office at 11pm last night with only a cup noodle in the stomach. It was so late and I didn't have the appetite to eat anything else but not eating more soured my stomach. Since I've no history of gastritis, I didn't attribute it to the problem other than gas. I needed to eat something but before that I gave Carbokid a kiss (he was already asleep) but I was surprised that he turned over, blinked his eyes, looked at me and called out happily "Daddy!". Then he dozed off again. Tears welled up in my eyes.

This morning the nanny discovered some blemishes inside his mouth and brought him to the doctor. It turned out to be mild hand-foot-mouth disease. That explains his loss of interest in milk (favourite beverage), fever and lethargy. Hope he will have full recovery within a couple more days. There's a high possibility that I've to work over this weekend.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Hi all
Would appreciate if the above URL be added to your blogs to increase awareness. We're working hard to add content to the site over the coming 2 months before initiating our activities. These activities will focus on driving new take-ups into the sport of distance running and runnersmalaysia would appreciate whatever help we can get.

The reason is very simple. We all want better quality races, more benefits for runners, competent race organisers and a viable running-related retail environment (we want to see specialty running shops sprouting up! Ones which offer the latest gears at competitive prices and retailers that have the community in mind). For this we need the sport to hit critical mass ie more new runners introduced into the world of running. We as old timers in the sport need to create the demand else we will see the same faces at every race/event. The runners population are ageing and the younger set are too slowly in coming in. If we don't do something about it this sport is running.

There's much we can do to promote the sport and we hope that besides adding the link to our site, you can help us play a role in the future.

Thanks for all your help.