p pol The Adventures of Carboman: July 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Time Is Right...

...for the shoe to perform its last feat. I'm referring to my dear old Pegasus. Immortalised on the homepage of www.runnersmalaysia.com.my, I think the Pegs are nearing its active duty. The carbon rubber heel has eaten into the softer heel plug and the shoe felt a little flat on last Sunday's run. When I first got the shoes, it was certainly no Bed of Roses. It certainly felt firmer than the '04 Pegasus, but after considerable breaking in, I've had good times at the races in it, most recently a PR in the marathon. So what better way than to allow it to go out in a Blaze of Glory this Sunday! I've just got to Keep The Faith in it for one last time. Ooooh I can feel it calling out to me "Lay Your Hands On Me!".
This Sunday's Bridge Run marks a full circle for me. I can categorically say that my running "career" took off at the Penang Bridge Run during my early secondary school days. My Dad scoffed at me and said that I won't be able to finish. If I remembered correctly I completed it under 2:10 (not bad eh, for a debut 22.3K). I remembered running well up till just after the Prai U-turn (about 12K, I believe). Then I alternated walking and running all the way back to USM. I don't think my longest training run had exceeded 8K before that fateful day and I don't think I ran more than 3 times a week then. I had zero knowledge about running and all I had was plenty of heart and determination. Come to think of it, that was Der Spirit of Pia! See what it can do for you?
Fast forward to this year. I'm going to be 36 come October, nudging ever closer to the 40 mark and in a few more years' time, I'll be dedicating every K of the marathon to my 42 years! Isn't that a scary thought? This time around, I'm not at my running best and I've ran even less than I did on my debut Bridge Run. I'd be lucky to hit a weekly mileage of 5K (all done in a single day!) and my one and only long run was last Sunday's 20K. However one thing is certain. It will be an emotional outing for me, my Pegasus (Giddy-up! Yee Har!) and once again I'll call upon Der Spirit of Pia to see me through. It will be an enjoyable run.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's Friday So Here's Something To Laugh About

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Band Of Brothers

The brothers that I'm referring to are the 3 asics models that I had the chance to try over lunch time just now. The KLCC Studio R stocks limited models, all at high-end prices. They have on the shelves the Kayano 12 (RM599), the 2110 (RM480), 1100 (RM399), the Cumulus 7 (RM) and a few spikes. Of the running models, I like the 2110 best, followed by the Cumulus. The 1100 are OK too except that the SPEVA midsole insert seemed to make the shoe rather flat in the forefoot. These properties make it an excellent shoe for folks who like a bit more responsive ride. The Cumulus and 2110 felt really plush. These are the shoes you'd want to bring along for the marathon and ultras.

        Cumulus 8                                      2110

Monday, July 17, 2006

Of Movies, Running and The Pregnancy

Been catching up on quite a few movies of late, many of them political-conspiracy theory themed.
- Constant Gardener (testing of drugs on 3rd world countries)
- Syriana (oil politics and how it ties with the issues of terrorism)
- Lord of War (explores the world of illegal arms dealing)
Though such dramas are heavy and pretty depressing in nature, they're gripping in most parts. Hollywood aside (they claim that the 3 films are based on real stories), I believe the astounding issues tackled are real. And sadly the events in the 3 take place in Africa and the Middle East. There's no end in sight to the world's problems.
To maintain some sanity, I had to balance the above by watching some pretty ridiculous shows such as the first 3 installments of the utterly inane and stupid Scary Movie. Also loaded into the DVD player is the Season 3 of Spongebob Squarepants (I enjoyed Season 2 the most) and the Season 1 of The Unit. I was a little apprehensive about The Unit but it proved me wrong. Created by David Mamet, it packs enough action scenes and sub-plots to keep me interested. Based on the book "Inside Delta Force" by ex-Delta operator Eric Haney, the viewer learns the challenges of what the operators and their families go through every day. Having some hot-looking women as cast helps too. I'm looking forward to Season 2.
On the running scene, I learnt that I'm no longer the morning person that I was. I've been finding it increasingly difficult to tear myself from the bed every morning. I don't believe it's due to tiredness, though I tend to feel it more than ever these days. I put it down to low motivation to run. As such I'm just going to let it wash over as there's no use to fight it. Motivation can't be forced. When the drive was there, tiredness is of no consequence. Rain or shine, night or day, I have no problems fulfilling my requisite runs. I've registered for the Penang Bridge Run, the Putrajaya Half as well as the Mizuno 10K. Unless something urgent comes up, I will not skip these events. I've already revised my expectations and will not be disappointed with whatever times I run (note: I'm not using the word "race"). Besides, it'll be a good opportunity to catch up with the guys.
We recently had our second visit to the gynae and received that results of the earlier anomaly had proven negative. The development of Carbo Kid 2 is also according to schedule even if he or she seems to be a little tall. The doc and us could see that the fella/fellete (Is there such a word?! No? Then I claim to be the inventor!) is pretty active, kicking up a workout in the womb - building an endurance base perchance?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cinya Tired

It's been an exhaustive week, in an exciting kind of way. Not from logging 100K weeks but being in full day project meetings and conference calls. The downside is that I've been neglecting my BAU job functions. I'll have tomorrow to clear as much of those as possible. I've been listening to Spyro Gyra's compilation album and yet again I was struck with how much joy their music manages to convey. You can almost taste the joy these musicians are having. And because of that, I felt damn happy too. Jay Beckenstein's soprano sax simply soars - how's that for an exercise in alliteration! It's gonna be the weekend again and I'm happy too. Now, back to The Unit!

Monday, July 10, 2006


Was out for an appointment this afternoon and I'd got to the place slightly earlier. With time to kill I decided to give the Ipoh Coffee Bean outlet a shot. Opted for the Cinnamon Iced White Coffee (RM4.90) while reading the April issue of Fortune. The feature article on Phil Knight caught my eye and the article was quite interesting. For example, Knight's office is so private that even some of his close associates haven't been into it. Apparently it's modelled on a Japanese-Zen theme. No shoes, even Nikes, are allowed in.

Knight was also a student under Der B-Man (Bowerman lah!) and there was a picture showing Knight with the other runners on the track, with a youngish Bowerman looking on. When Knight once asked Bowerman for running advice, the man replied "Triple your speed!".

And how about this bit: New employees get a book of maxims when they join. And point 11 states simply "Remember The Man". Now that's one hell of an Employee Handbook! And where the hell is Kenny Moore's book?!

Saturday Run & Work

I've never run the Bukit Tunku way on Saturdays but I wasn't too concerned about the traffic as many of my running friends have tackled the route before. It was to be a group run but because of the rain, I ended up alone. At 6am there were already quite a few cars at the Bukit Aman car park, with many big cars driven by old folks - rich old folks, all morning walk regulars. The rain had stopped, presenting a very conducive environment for running. The run itself was uneventful and since it has been a long while since I ran the route, I wasn't surprised to see that the Tijani 2 project has neared completion. There are indeed many rich people out there. A million bucks no longer cuts it, when your property costs close to 2 million. If it's an apartment around the KLCC area, you probably need to fork out 500 to 600 bucks of maintenance fees every month so if you only have a million, it'll be gone before you say "Invest your money!"

I had just enough time to chat with the regulars from the Beginners group before rushing off to get ready for work. Due to the horrendous traffic and timing, I had my lunch only at 3pm and I was quite pooped when I got home at 5pm. Decided to wash the car before taking my bath and after that we had to go for dinner. Carbo Woman isn't able to tolerate any delays in eating. It's been a very tiring few days. Thankfully I cleared the vacuuming, mopping and ironing on Friday night. I hope to retire very early today.

As I'm typing this now, I'm already sleepy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Printing Spree

Our unit went on a printing spree today, using up to 5 reams of A4 paper. And we're not done yet. Reason? Printing out all the functional specs of the major project we're kicking off. Some of the specs is 22MB and take up at least 140 pages viewing it on the CRT will be detrimental to our ocular health. I'll be doing some reading in the toilet.

In The Car CD Player: The Rippingtons - Curves Ahead

I enjoyed this album so much in cassette format that when the CD format came into prominence, I bought it again. This was many many years ago and I'm still enjoying it today. I'm also on the look out for their Tourist In Paradise album, so if you're going down to Singapore, please let me know!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The World Cup Adventure

Note: I'm sure you can associate with the name parodies. You know how names of players from certain countries tend to sound similar.

After players such as Burrito, Cheerio, Coco, Loco, So-So, Lasso, Lego and Aveo have been dispatched home by the Frenchies, it was the turn of the home team to be sent to lament on what could've been. As Burger, Fiddler, Croaker, Diver, Slider, Sleeper, Error, Dilbert and Hardmann trudge into the tunnels in tears, the players from the victorious team are seen hugging each other and doing victory laps around the magnificent stadium.

During regular play, little separates the two teams. The entire team of first team players and substitutes from the land of leather bags and shoes, fast cars and high fashion are technically very sound. Guided by a canny coach, they prove to be hard nuts to crack and true enough. Somehow they manage to put 2 very late goals against the Masters of Late Goals. Just take a look at the strength in depth of the victors: Ferrari, Myvi, Bikini, Rigatoni, Spaghetti, Vermicelli, Sorry, Tortellini, Zucchini, Macaroni, Lassi, Yippie, Lonely, Suzi, Chilli, Allegro, Siti, Berhenti, Bully...and the list goes on.

Including tomorrow morning's 2nd semi-final, there remains 3 matches left to play. It's still very interesting and difficult to call but the team I dislike ie the Frenchies may just triumph over the midfield quartet of Lilo, Oregano, Dodo and Risotto.

In The Car CD Player: Assorted James Taylor CDs

Typical of artistes during that era, James Taylor was quite a colourful character. I have 2 volumes of his compilations plus the following 2 recent releases. Read about JT here. And I like all of them.

Hourglass: Review

October Road: Review

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

In The Car CD Player: The Composer of Desafinado, Plays

Even though I listen to most genres of music, I'm not going to pretend that I know how to review music. I just know how to appreciate good music. And although I play the trumpet in my early school days, I have to admit that I wasn't Chris Botti and I definitely have forgotten how to wield that piece of horn. So I'm just going to ask you to read the review written by the people who know how to write them. Click here for a brief one on the above album. By the way, bossa nova isn't the type of music you'd want to play while caught in a jam.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Enough On My Plate For The Next 18 Months

It's official. The company is embarking on a major systems project that will span the next 18 months and my team will play the leading role from the start to the end. The project is broken down to sub-systems and the largest portion involving the most business users has been entrusted to me. I wonder if I should start stocking up on Brand's Essence of Chicken with Cordyceps or Cordymax?
Brand's Essence of Chicken. Favorite gifts from mom-in-laws for son-in-laws


After trying out the car for the second time and working out the finances, we finally decided on this one.

I won't be saying farewell to my trusty Kelisa of 5 years just yet as the new one won't be delivered instantly. For all its space limitations, we certainly have fond memories of the terrier (the Kelisa I mean). We've taken it up to the Genting Skyway station a few times, driven to Kuantan in the company treasure hunt (and won!), made quite a few trips back to Penang (including a return trip within a day) and driven into Singapore for last year's marathon/holiday. From before Carbo Kid was conceived up till today when he's past 3 and expecting a baby bro/sis. I'm going to service it (the car I mean) for one last time next week before driving it till the new one is delivered.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bye Bye English

Just sat through 45 minutes (incidentally also my first 45 minutes) of WC football. Both Brazil and France couldn't make the last ball count. Passing were sometimes horrendous with the ageing Cafu guilty of poor distribution. Kaka, Ronaldinho and Fei Chai were seeing little of the ball and towards the end of the hall, it was the French (not a supporter of them) who were threatening and holding the greater of possession. In fact, early in the game I thought it was due to Fei Chai's weight that he couldn't jump to connect a cross! I don't think I will be able to last the next 45 minutes but I guess I would've lasted even shorter if I'd watched the pathetic English finally lose the entire plot and pack their bags.

They overstayed their welcome, are made up of overpaid and underperforming blokes - from Coach to players. Heck, the WAGS probably made better news than the football they dished out. I would've preferred that they played Germany or Argentina for the quarters, just so that both the Germans and Argentinians will be separated (too bad for the Argies). In the end, an injury, a red card, 3 missed penalties and plenty of designer shoes, bags and sunglasses were all they ended up with. Besides the shopping bags, they now have their tails tucked between their legs. Heck, their outing at this WC seemed like a family shopping trip with football thrown in.

It's 4am and I'm going to bed.