Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
In the past few weeks, I've been joining Jester and his friends for badminton. Jester and his friends formed this badminton team, called Team GNR8, two years ago. We would normally play on Sunday evenings and so far, I have joined them playing at the Centrepoint and the Dar Takaful IBB Building. The Centrepoint badminton hall has good lighting and atmosphere, but the badminton mats are old and the court lines are not aligned anymore. The badminton hall at the Dar Takaful IBB building is newer, but the lighting is not that good and it is hot in the hall. Just being there for a few minutes makes it feel as if you're in a sauna. There are no badminton mats; rather they have wooden flooring. The lines on the court are white and sometimes it can be quite difficult to see the lines. I have never played at the PGGMB building but apparently it is the best place (which is easily accessible to general public) to play.
Last Sunday, the team organised the Second Team GNR8 Badminton Tournament. The first one was held almost two years ago as a farewell tournament before Jester left for UK and I was working in Bintulu at that time. A total of thirteen players took part, giving a total of six double teams. Why six? It was because one person had to leave early and had to be replaced. Each double team would play the other teams, thus playing in five games. Playing five games was not easy; by the time we all played the third games, everyone was already tired. I had not had lunch or dinner before the tournament and by the second set of the second game, my tummy hurt, probably because it was empty, and I had to rummage through my bag to find something to eat. In the end, all matches were completed just after 11.30pm! I was dead tired by the end of the evening, but I could not really sleep as probably adrenaline was still pumping through me.
The tournament was won by Jester's brother, Aziri and Hj Besar. Second-placed winners were Hazri and his father-in-law, Hj Bahar. Jester and his partners won the third place. I and Manon came in the fifth place (out of six teams).
Here are some pictures.....
Some of Team GNR8 members
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a long overdue post. I wrote a series of posts, charting that period of my life when I was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma.
So here it goes.....
So I was told that an appointment was set with the oncology specialist at the National University Hospital, Singapore on the immediate Friday. I was in the middle of a training session when I was called and told about the news. I bid farewell to my friends and colleagues, not knowing when I would be seeing them again. That evening we had a doa selamat and solat hajat.
The mood at the Airport the next day was somber. It had been a while since I left Brunei with tears in my eyes. I could not remember if there were any dry eyes that morning at the airport too. I left Brunei with my parents and my sister. On a different trip, this could have been a happy occasion, but not at that time. The two-hour flight to Singapore felt long.
During the appointment the next day, I was explained more about the disease. I recall the doctor expressing his surprise that I was diagnosed with this, as it would normally hit older men. The doctor also explained to me the treatment that I would have to go through. As the disease was quite rare, the doctor was opting for a more aggressive treatment. I would have to undergo seven courses of chemotherapy of increasing strength and the last course was expected to be so strong that it would probably kill most of the cells in my body making me very weak and very susceptible to infection. I would have to be isolated in a room for about two months with minimum human contact. The doctor was also planning to harvest my stem cells in between the courses of the chemotherapy. The idea was that they would try to harvest as much as stem cells as they could, which would later be given to me after the final course of chemotherapy. One permanent effect of the chemotherapy would be that I would become sterile. I was to see a reproductive system specialist to discuss on the options of storing some sperm samples.
During the first consultation with the oncology specialist, I passed along my medical records which I had brought over from Brunei. However, the doctor told me that I should have brought the more important item, i.e. the samples of the lumps that the doctors in Brunei had removed. Also, the doctors in Brunei had not completed scanned my body (using CT scan). So he ordered me to go for another round of CT scan, which I learned later to be quite unnecessary if only the doctors in Brunei ordered it. Apparent--ly. I would have had chemotherapy if these were available.....
To be continued....
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Here's a National Day greeting to all Bruneians, wherever they might be.
In the twenty-five years after Brunei's independence, how much have we all matured? Have twenty-five years changed the way we live our lives, the way we think and the way we act?
As JFK said, '"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
Happy Independence Day!
Follow it here.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Following my post yesterday, I was told that there were some mistakes in our random facts.
1. In addition to having 18 children, my mum also had two miscarriages.
2. There are now 18 bedrooms, not 20 as I stated.
3. My mum's cousin have 16 living children and one daughter was died when she was small.
The latest addition to our family is this tiny, beautiful girl. Nur Daania Arisyha was born just over a month ago, a few weeks too early from expected date. Now she weighs just over 3kg.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
After reading Reeds' blog entry about blogging, I finally plucked up the courage to properly use Windows Live Writer to post onto my blog. And yes, what a breeze it is to post. If you haven't used it at all, I'd advise you to do now.
Anyway, moving on to today's post....
A while back, I downloaded this television programme from UK's Channel 4, entitled The World's Biggest Family and Me, in which the host was searching for families with 10 children and more. In this programme, the host managed to meet up with families with 10, 18, 15 and 84 children. Except for the one with 84 children (which is obvious!), the rest all come from one mother. One thing that I find interesting is that these people have many children as they follow what has been preached to them (either through Al-Quran or the Bible).
I find this television programme interesting as I myself come from a big family. I am the tenth child, out of sixteen. At the last count, the total number of people in my family was 48 (dad, 16 children, 8 children-in-law and 23 grandchildren).
Here are some random facts about the family:
1. My parents were both single child of their parents. Well, my dad had a sister who died when she was a small girl.
2. According to my dad, one of the main reasons why they chose to have many children was that they were lonely when they were small and they did not want their kids to feel the same way.
3. My mum actually bore 18 children, but one died when he was less than 2 years old in a drowning accident and one died when he was two days old.
4. My mum's cousin also has sixteen children.
5. My parents have 10 daughters and 6 sons, and I am the tenth child and fourth son.
6. Everyone in the family has a name which starts with 'Su', except the two deceased brothers.
7. Our house first started as a five-bedroom house and now after a few renovations, it boasts 20 bedrooms!
8. If everyone is at home and seeing the number of cars parked outside, people had mistakenly thought that we were used car dealers or we were having some functions at home and were entertaining guests.
9. At the moment, 8 of my siblings are married: 5 sisters and 3 brothers. That means another 8 are not yet married: 5 sisters, 2 brothers and myself!
10. We were once featured in the Malaysian TV3's Nona programme when they had a special feature on Brunei, back in 2002. We got featured as Nona wanted to showcase a big family, living under one roof. We were also once featured on Brunei TV.
Friday, February 20, 2009
So far, two monthly matchdays were played; one each in January and February. And guess who was one of the winners in February? It's none other than yours truly! I was partnered by Jester and we won all our games. Here's the picture of us with our trophies.
Since everyone is partnered with different players every month, I am not too sure if I could retain the Challenge Trophy in March. So, for the time being, the trophy is sitting proudly on my desk, greeting anyone who comes to see me. And it makes a good conversation piece too!
Read more about the mini badminton league here.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Manchester United's next Premeir League match will be a home game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, 21 February. If Manchester United wins this game, Liverpool would be eight points behind Manchester United by the time they face the Blue side of Manchester on the following Sunday. Another exciting match this weekend will be third-placed Aston Villa's home game against fourth-placed Chelsea.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire is a feel-good movie of 2009 so far. The storyline is original; it's not something that you might have seen or heard in other movies. It is a story of how one could find his/her true love, regardless of the many obstacles and difficulties one might encounter. It is also a heartbreaking and tearjerking story of life in the slums of Mumbai. You get to see the life of the street children and how they grow up in the slums.
I would highly encourage you to watch it. I bet you will not regret spending two hours watching this film. I hope this film wins more awards, to add on its four Golden Globes and seven BAFTAs.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Manchester United maintained its march towards a 5-trophy haul this season by advancing to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. United beat Derby County in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup last evening, with goals coming in from Nani, Ronaldo, Gibson and Welbeck. Apart from Nani and Ronaldo, the other two names are members of the Reserves team, who are now breaking their way into the First Team. Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a changed team from the last game at Upton Park, with seven different paleyrs started the game at Derby Park. Manchester United will play either Swansea City or Fulham in the Quarter Finals.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Just as well, then, that it's only a legend - otherwise the little imp at the end of this rainbow would have found himself squashed by a 4x4 on a busy motorway.
While many of us have seen a rainbow, few have been lucky enough to witness where it actually ends.
Even fewer have caught the moment on camera.
This rare picture was taken by amateur photographer Jason Erdkamp as he travelled along a freeway in Orange County, California, in the rain last Sunday.
And it does seem to have proved lucky for him.
'There was no pot of gold,' he said yesterday. But I did win $25 that night on a lottery ticket.'
Rainbows occur when sunlight is refracted through rain droplets to create an arc-shaped spectrum of colours in the sky.
This particular rainbow was caused by a storm last Sunday from a cold front moving through California's Santa Ana mountains.
Mr Erdkamp photographed it using his Apple iPhone as he travelled along the 241 toll road in Orange County.
He even managed to estimate how fast the rainbow was travelling as it moved northwards.
Speaking from his U.S. home, he said: 'Rainbows seemed very dynamic in movement when you are near their base.
'The speed of movement across the ground was about 20 to 30mph as the base of the rainbow moved with the storm. It lasted for about five minutes.'
Friday, February 13, 2009
During the audit, I realised it more that how close knit we are in the department. There were times when the auditor would pose questions to one person. Later, the person being interviewed would be joined by some of his/her colleagues and help to answer the auditor's questions. There was also an instance when the auditor inquired about a statement in one of our documents and later I saw at least four of the staff poured over the document, trying to find this statement to show the auditor. It really showed how the people here would do their best to help each other. It was really a sign of a good team.
Anyway, I am glad that the audit was over and the result was good. Thanks to everyone who helped in making the audit an easy and reasonable exercise.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Apart from the sms'es that you may get from either of the two mobile phone operators, this blogsite also does its public service by detailing the areas that might get affected by floods and landslides.
This is perhaps one of the early warning systems that we all need in times like this.