p pol The Adventures of Carboman: December 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

RIP jamiepang.com & Happy 2007!

jamiepang.com is no more. Seeing that I've left the content dormant for close to a year, there's no point in incurring cost in maintaining a site that's not active. It's demise coincided with my discovery of Blogger and since then the Carboman blog has met my needs for easy and quick publication.
Coupled with the various free hosting facilities such as Yahoo photos, Gmail, Blogpoll and some elbow grease in tweaking the Blogger template, I'm as happy as a lark. Besides, I can use the huge unused space accorded to Runnersmalaysia.com.my to store my race reports.
I've over the months migrated most of my content over to this blog and improved it's interface. This blog has come some ways and looking back at some of my old postings, it's been a blast - truly reflective of life's ups and downs. More ups than downs, which is really a blessing to be cherished. Furthermore this post is beffitingly the 500th posting.  If you ask at which point am I at now, I'd say it's somewhere in the middle but I'm getting strong vibes that things are just waiting to explode - in a good way, in positive ways.
Taking this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and wishing you and your love ones an exciting and healthy 2007.
Here are some of the interesting older postings: 
http://carboman.blogspot.com/2006/05/here-we-go-again.html (I believe this posting recorded the highest ever comments in Carboman's blog)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 In Review

Sometimes to look forward, one has to look at the past. Right, that was a corny line to start with but it's oftentimes true. My 2006 KL International Marathon results was the culmination of the hard work put in when preparing for the 2005 year-end Singapore Marathon. The KLIM was just one of this year's highlights. Read the whole article.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Highly Recommended Running Podcast

If you're one of those who spend some time commuting everyday, chances are you may also be a user of portable MP3 players. However, if you don't have an iRiver, Yepp, MuVo or iPod, there are still ways to enjoy your tunes on the go. Most mobile phones these days, for example, are also capable of supporting MP3 formats while the car stereo have been supporting MP3 and WMA formats for quite a while.

Besides blogging, podcasts are also very "in" these days. Podcasts are basically voice blogs but because they're audio, there are much more to what you can do. There are podcasts on humour, news, nothing-in-particulars, sports and more. Some podcasts are quite basic with the podcaster narrating, while some are very creatively produced, complete with background fillers, guest contributors, music and special effects, just like a radio program.

Unlike many running related blogs out there, there aren't many running related podcasts. But there's one which is a gem and it's the Phedippidations Podcast. Located at www.steverunner.com, the weekly 1-hour podcasts is hosted by Steve (who else?), a marathoner in his 40s who is pursuing a sub-4 marathon. I can relate to Steve in many ways - a similar marathon goal being just one of it. So do check out his website and download the podcasts. The older podcasts are in the Archive section and I highly recommend the Why We Run? chapter.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Der_Father of Pia

The origin of the Spirit of Pia! Enough said!


Hoppity Hop Part 2

The great man was contented to just sit behind Aussie elite Craig Mottram until the final stretch where he just so easily passed the leader. Check out the leg turnover of the shorter man!

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Hoppity Hop Part 1

All the awkward head-bobbing, hopping and forefoot running don't prevent the women's world record holder of the marathon, Paula Radcliffe from winning the 2002 London Marathon.

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Yam Seng!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

How Long Has It Been Since...

...I last went to the movies? I can't remember. That's how long it's been. Which makes December quite a special month because I went not once but twice (!) to the GSC cineplex at the Mid Valley Mall. The tickets were all complimentary - given out during a recent movie-themed wedding dinner I attended. With some leave to clear, I redeemed the tickets for a round of Happy Feet with Carbokid and another for Casino Royale with my insurance agent friend. Happy Feet was just OK and I thought the movie should have ditched the environmental crusade theme on hyperdrive in the last quarter of the animation. An ultra-swimming penguin was just stretching it and if that wasn't bad enough, the humans had to be brought into the picture.
Casino Royale, on the other hand, was pretty good. It was a "re-bonded" (not unlike "re-branded") Bond and I liked the result. From a wimpish agent who relied too much on gadgets to save his skin, we now have an SAS-looking toughie whom you don't wanna mess with. The added ruthlessness of Bond is counterbalanced with some good repartee he shared with the female lead on the train. The new Bond too seemed to be a good sprinter with arm actions reminiscent of those of Robert Patrick the T1000. How not to support a fellow athlete?
The action was realistic and there were no silly "tie-him-up-and-dip-him-in-a-piranha-infested-pool" gimmick. Just plain ball busting torture scenes. I especially liked the Parkour opening scene which had a black Jackie Chan doing some pretty nifty leaps. A cameo by Richard Branson - the CEO of Virgin Atlantic - got me chuckling as he was being frisked by the airport police - what irony. Yup, I still have my treasure-hunting eyes.
The only part where it failed was the lovey-dovey exchanges Mr Bond shared with Ms Lynd. Very stiff exchanges and reminded me of the script spewed by Anakin Skywalker and Amidala. Eva Green looked gorgeous and in the makeup scene in the bathroom, she even looked like Jennifer Connelly. Hmmm...
So that's it for the year - this shall be my last posting until after Christmas. To all celebrating, a very Blessed Christmas to you and your families!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Indignant Behaviour Of xxx Bookstore Staff

I was at the Subang Parade branch of xxx Bookstore with the family yesterday to kill time while waiting for lunchtime hunger to set in. Carbo Kid knew where the children's book section was as it wasn't our first time there. After buying my Sunday papers, I joined him on the floor where he was engrossed with the jigsaw puzzle-book. While he was fixing the puzzle and I was reading the sports section, one of the store assistant roughly took the puzzle pieces from Carbo Kid (who was too stunned to respond) like he wasn't there and proceeded to walk off. I was watching the entire proceeding and I couldn't take it anymore and I let him have a piece of my mind. Unfortunately there was only one parent around us else I'd have made a bigger scene. I told the assistant that he was behaving worst than a kid by simply snatching off the things and to my increasing anger, he had the cheek to tell me off that I should have stopped Carbo Kid from playing with the puzzle/book! I was holding back my temper and I replied with some simmering menace that they puzzle/book was already opened on the floor when Carbo Kid arrived and that if they didn't want anyone to browse, they might was well wrap up all their books. Not satisfied, I lodged a complaint with the Supervisor on duty before we left the store.
I can safely say that yesterday's the last time you'll find me at that branch which is unfortunate because xxx has always been very kids friendly. Their children section are always crowded and the kids are always seen on the floor reading. You won't find another bookstore that allows such level of "abuse" to their books. But this single branch has somewhat tarnished my experience with them and considering the amount of money I spend on books each year, they have lost a customer.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Recent Great Buys

Thanks to the help of Newton, I've recently increased my running book collection. Before you think that I burnt a large hole in my pocket in doing so, read on. You can click on the images to read the information on the books. Of course I won't have the time to read them - it'll probably take me 1 year to go thru all of them but the savings I got out of the bargains will allow me to finally buy my dream shoe. Perhaps...

The Perfect Mile - Neal Bascomb (paperback)
Price at Amazon.com: USD11.62 before shipping charges
Price at the Big Bookshop Warehouse Sale: RM14.90

The London Marathon - John Bryant (hardcover)
Price at Amazon.com: USD14.02 (paperback) before shipping charges
Price at the Big Bookshop Warehouse Sale: RM19.90 (hardcover!)

3:59.4: The Quest to Break the 4 Minute Mile - John Bryant
Price at Amazon.com: USD16.50 before shipping charges
Price at the Big Bookshop Warehouse Sale: RM12

Lifetime Running Plan - Bill Rodgers (hardcover)
Price at Amazon.com: Out of print
Price at the Pay Less Book: RM30 (hardcover!)
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox (hardcover)
Price at Amazon.com: USD15.61 before shipping charges
Price at the Pay Less Book: RM35.90

A Child Called "It: One Child's Courage To Survive - Dave Pelzer (hardcover)
Price at Amazon.com: USD9.56 (paperback) before shipping charges
Price at the Pay Less Book: RM32.90 (hardcover!)

The Battle Of Mogadishu - Matt Eversmann and others (paperback)
Price at Amazon.com: USD25.95 (hardcover) before shipping charges
Price at the Big Bookshop Warehouse Sale: RM12 (paperback)


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Poll Results: Most Likely Excelled Distance

Carboman Asked You: "If you are a world-class runner, which distance do you imagine yourself excelling in?"

You Responded:

Marathon 52.6% - 10  
Middle Distance 36.8% - 7  
Sprints 10.5% - 2  
Total votes: 19

The results are great since I've always wanted to see more taking up distance running. Whether the respondents have run the marathon before is immaterial for now. At least the seed is planted in your minds. All you need is some hard work towards realising your dreams.

I Hear You!

After migrating tons of content into the free MediaMax site (25GB free!), the frequent readers of this blog complained like mad regarding the download speed of the documents. You know, runners are all about speed. So I got cracking and decided to pull the race reports, articles (only those from soon-to-be-defunct jamiepang.com for now), shoe reviews and put them all into the runnersmalaysia webspace. At the same time I made sure that all the documents are in PDF.
Then I logged into the Beta Blogger and removed the Race Reports section on the right nav and replaced them with the following buttons. Clicking on each of these buttons should take you to the respective areas of interest. As there are still links from the PDF race reports and articles - especially those on the left and right frames - that will still be referencing the jamiepang.com site, you may want to check first before clicking on them. If the popup within your Acrobat Reader references jamiepang.com, that means the link should be dead by end of December.
Hope you'll like this enhancement of the user interface better. Note: I've yet to "kautim" the alignment issue in the Race Reports index page.
click to access
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hot Penang!

I found myself back in Penang this week again, this time with the family. The sole purpose is to collect all the necessary "equipment" and foodstuff in anticipation of the January delivery. The relatives and family members had purchased all the herbs, liquor, ingredients for confinement use and with about a month to go, it's time to get all these things ready. My Mom will be bringing the dried foodstuff and remaining items next week. The car was packed to the brim and the boot even had the bathing tub for the baby plus all his clothes. Penang was so darn hot that we checked into a hotel for one night just to escape it - besides it gave Carbo Kid a chance to thrash the pool. It only rained on our last night on the island!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Concept II Rower

I wouldn't mind this in the house! Between a treadmill and this rower, I'd take this rower anytime. Much lower maintenance and really durable it offers who body workouts besides allowing you to reap the benefits of running building strength, VO2 Max and endurance at one go. I'm aware of this rower since they were making the Concept I and now there are more models out there. Hit this link to learn more! Then click the Training & Competition link at the top.