Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Anyway, I never regretted taking the art lessons. I had won prizes in several art competitions thanks to them. I still believe I have a bit of artistic views in me, that made me look at things in a more interesting way. So here's a tiny tribute to my art teacher... he has actually seen me grow from the little kid in primary school to the adolescent teenager in the end of my high school days. Mr Nick Loong... he always drove a yellow Fiat Coupe. I sat in his car a few times, and he'll VROOM VROOM... Not sure whether he's still driving the same car. The ladies in my family think he's very good looking. I remember the first day I went for class, and my lil' sis (who should only be 7 then) was charmed by his good looks and wanted to enrol too! He should be nearing 40s now... wonder whether he's still not married hahah.
Just so to clarify that I did not randomly suddenly think of my art teacher... here's a news article that came out in The Star today... that brought me back the memories... I wish Mr Nick all the best!
Friday, 23 February 2007
My CA results was due to come out today... I started the morning with a good run... clocked another sub 4:18 average, 36:27.07 for 8.5k... my fastest time since the injury in August last year. At work, I managed to complete most things that have been delayed for the past few weeks. Surely, all these should point to a good day... and results come out at 4pm...
We had a big lunch at Il Padrino, an Italian woodfired pizza place. It was also the vacationers' last day, so lunch was on the manager.
Back from lunch, 3.50pm (don't you just love the Aussie Friday lunches?)... fiddled around until slightly past 4pm, logged onto the CA website and... the website was BUSY! Everyone around the office was anxious... it was 30 minutes past... and still no one could access their results! Finally, someone got hold of the CA number, started calling and we got to know our results off the phone.
Yeah, I passed... pretty relieved that I did but upon knowing that another colleague of mine got a merit... (he also got a merit for the last module), I somewhat felt unsatisfied. Oh well, I did leave the exam in a hurry, and I did spend the 3 weeks before the exam holidaying in Malaysia. And a pass was all I needed anyway... self comforting...
Li-Ann touches down in less than 4 hours time...
Sunday, 18 February 2007
Race rego (registration in Aussie slang) was at 6.30am. Race was at 7.30am. I had a good night sleep at 9.45pm as I was dead tired from shopping and watching Ghost Rider in the afternoon (it was quite good actually, still had cheesy comic book lines, definitely not Spiderman standard) I woke up at 6am, to do my stretches, not intending to eat brekkie as the race was so short, I didn't think I would feel hungry during the race.
Checked in my bike to as near to the swim as possible so that I wouldn't get lost finding it with my poor vision. This is the 2nd time I'm doing this race, so can say experienced lah! I gambled by eating an expired Powerbar... good thing it didn't cause me any problems during the race.
I met a colleague, Craig... he's only starting to take up triathlon. So I said to myself ... Die, die also cannot lose to him. Then I saw UWA Guy, the guy whom I beat at City of Perth OD Tri but I think he suffered bad cramps during the run then. Okay, I'm up for a challenge...
My age group and the junior males were the first to start. The water was really cold, probably that's why they allowed wetsuits to be worn. The swim was straightforward, I positioned myself in front as knowing that swim is my strongest leg, and most elite triathletes don't take part in small races like this. I started off pretty well... can feel myself pulling away from the back. However, the kids were really quick, can see them getting further in front. I felt some soft stuff in the water (yeah visibility was still low)... I avoided immediately, didn't want history to repeat itself as I was stung pretty badly by jellyfish during a race before.
Coming into transition, somehow my limbs felt numb... must be due to the cold water. I struggled to wear socks (yeah, I still do it even though it slows me down... don't want to develop blisters). I noticed a guy (and this guy had been winning races) who puts powder in his shoes... maybe I should try that instead. Anyway, UWA Guy came in soon... followed by Craig, so I thought I better pick up the pace.
Out on the bikes, I was still leading UWA Guy and Craig. 5 laps altogether. I tried looking at my watch to gauge my lap times but after a while, I couldn't be bothered. The race was too quick and too short for me to keep on looking at my watch. Just had to maintain a 30+ kph average.
UWA Guy overtook me at the end of the 1st lap. Like I said, I sucked at cycling. Each and every lap, I see him moving further and further. Craig was closing in too. He overtook me at the 4th lap. Haiya...
In from the bike, out on the run. I ran past Craig the moment we came out of transition. UWA Guy was no where to be seen. I didn't run as quick as I wanted to. Legs still feel a bit stiff. I skipped all the drink stations too. Had a few drinks while cycling already. Then... I saw UWA Guy on the returning lap. Well, he got me this time.
When I got to the turnaround point... I noticed it was nearer than it was previous year. My watch showed 6+ minutes... definitely shorter than 2k, so total would probably be about 3k, not 4k as stated.
Finished the run in 12:26. Came in 18th overall (but the other age groups started later). UWA Guy was already eating watermelons. I took the initiative to speak to him. His name is Rio and he did notice me in the gym, around uni area etc. He's also doing the same CA module as I am. He's intending to do the Ironman at the end of this year... well, so quite in a different league. Craig also came in shortly after that.
I checked my bike speedometre once transition was clear. It showed 16.78k not 15k as originally stated. Well, give and take lah. I averaged 31.3kph too... so was quite happy.
Prize presentation... Rio actually got 2nd in his category! He told me he came in 8th overall. I wonder how many between us were from our category... He won himself a package of hair products. Yeah, the prizes were quite cheap also... but that's not why we're doing this right? There were no lucky draw prizes but there was a box of water bottles and other goodies that the organizers were giving out... it went ZZZzooommm, so no freebies for me.
All in all, an enjoyable race... I can't tell if I met my target because the distances were stuffed up but I made a new friend... can't complain.
For full results, go to http://triwa.org.au/results0607/MatildaBay07.pdf
Saturday, 17 February 2007
Anyway, my performance manager is really concerned about our personal development, so he registered me for a seminar yesterday on "How to become a better communicator". Hey... a day without work, I'll take it anytime.
The speaker was really good. I normally struggle to stay awake during talks and seminars, but I paid attention most of the time (I still can't shake the after-lunch drowsiness). He's from the United States, most of his examples were about former US presidents but were somehow still relevant. He's a BIG guy but he also said that he's on a target to loose 100 pounds and he's already lost 60. He heavily promoted the world's 3rd best selling book, "7 Habits of Effective People" by Stephen Covey. My company only paid for the talk, not the books unfortunately.
Well, I did learn a thing or two. The concepts made sense, applying them would be another story. He talked mostly about conflict resolution. Just to quote some examples... starting with "I feel..." rather than "you..." when giving negative feedback as this would lighten the impact and create less tension. How to deal with different people: director-controller, thinker-analyzer, socializer-promoter, relator-supporter. When someone lashes out at you, you should be saying YEEEAAAHHH on the inside and smile for this would surprise the other person, and gives you time to think to say the right words.
.... This is my second year of celebrating Chinese New Year away from home. CNY in Perth is an uneventful event (excuse my pun). But this year was a lot better than last year as a lot of us are working here now and we don't get to go back for CNY. A friend from uni organised a pot luck dinner party. There were pork curry, potato salad, beef rendang, pork chops, wanton, chicken wings. I bought fried rice, hokkien noodles and crispy noodles. And for desert, there were chocolate cheesecake, red bean soup and custard cream puffs. Needless to say, that we had too much food. I've already brought back some of the fried rice and pork chops.
This was the only picture I could get. The host, Jer Sie and Marc (ladies, he's still single!) No pictures of food or the other guests as they were camera shy.
That about sums my CNY celebration. Unless there are other invitations. On CNY day 1 itself, tomorrow, I am actually doing the Matilda Bay triathlon near my house. Not actually in a very pumped up mood. Feet feels a bit funny too but I could be paranoid. A short race is just what I need to keep me motivated.
Thursday, 15 February 2007
But upon yesterday morning, when I saw a few female colleagues having bouquet of flowers delivered to them... how their faces lit... how other female colleagues crowd around them with excitement (and envy as well)... I thought about how left out Li-Ann might feel.
I really have to make up when she comes back.
Saturday, 10 February 2007
52? Don't you think he looks 25? Hehheh.
Friday, 9 February 2007
So deadlines or datelines? My client assignment for the past two weeks had been... interesting. Not only was it 45kms away, trying to stay awake while driving on the freeway was quite a challenge... we had quite tight reporting deadlines (today) as we were given instructions from Holland.
Now, the client's BIG BOSS also flew in from Holland as we need them for sign-off. They checked on us regularly, asking the status of the audit, whether we can meet deadlines etc. The local client had some trouble meeting our requested information.
But so far everything went on track. We were able to gather the required information, we finished the audit work, we had our meeting with the client and their BIG BOSS to discuss the issues, they were happy, they gave us the final numbers, I drafter the required reports... but just 10 minutes ago, my manager decided that we couldn't make it for the deadline as he hasn't reviewed the work... we would postpone to report next week instead.
So comes to make you think... that no matter how important a dateline or DEADline is... it is flexible, and no one would DIE if it isn't met. Hehheh... good philosophy of work eh? Less stress for everyone.
P/S - I have also decided to register for a short triathlon near my house. 400m swim, 15km bike, 4km run. Just the right distance to keep me motivated after some post-race sluggishness but not kill me for weeks. Targer 1 hour, previous year's time 1 hour 2 minutes.... Oops! I did it again! Can't help posting about triathlons... hey, this is my obssession after all, right?
Monday, 5 February 2007
Sunday, 4 February 2007
Last lap 15:39... giving total 10k run time of 45:20! And my best 10k run alone (without the swim and bike) before this was 44:15... I'm beginning to think I should stick to Mizuno shoes forever...
The elite race started at 11am after that. Athens Olympian Simon Thompson and triple World Champion Peter Robertson to name a few. I guess I should be watching them, maybe I could a trick or two. But I queued up for the free massage... hey, had to make full use of my AUD105 entry right?
Saturday, 3 February 2007
Finally... a race in perth that gives you a FREE t-shirt!... and as usual, some other freebies and discount vouchers that I probably won't use.
What I would be wearing
Bike... my least favourite...bleeargh!
What would be helping me get to the finish line...! Love you, dear...
City of Perth OD Tri tomorrow... I'm pooped... gonna nap...