Sunday, May 31, 2009

More birthday greetings....

Here are three birthday greetings......

Happy Belated Birthday to our third sister, Jana, which fell on Friday.

Happy Birthday to a niece, Farisya, who celebrates her third birthday today.

And finally, Happy Advance Birthday to a niece, Nur Sabrina, who celebrates her tenth birthday tomorrow.

To all birthday celebrants, moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Britain's Singing....

So far, I know four acts which have qualified themselves for the final of Britain's Got Talents. Two of them are dance groups and the other two are singing acts. I can't say much about the dance acts; I'm not a big fan of dancing. 

Susan Boyle was first to qualify after a soulful and stunning rendition of Memory for the musical Cats. It was even much better than 'I Dream a Dream' from Le Miserables, which she sang during the audition round.

Click here for Susan's rendition of 'Memory' and here for 'I Dream a Dream'. Did you notice the audition video has attracted more than 63 million viewings on Youtube? And that does not include the viewings from other sites and it was reported that hundreds of million of viewings took place, which is apparently an internet record.

Shaun Smith qualified from the second semi-final show, after being saved by the judges. He sang 'With or Without You'' by U2. I thought his audition was much better than this. 

Click here for Shaun's version of 'With or Without You' and here for 'Ain't No Sunshine'.

Jamie Pugh, who impressed the judges during his audition with the story of his stage fright, could not help himself to go to the finals. He was even told by Simon Cowell that he should realise that show business might not be for him.

I really hope a singing act wins the talent show. I would think there could only be so far that a dancing acts could go to. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Kings of Europe

So the better team won. Congrats to FC Barcelona.

I was bitterly disappointed with the game last night. There are a few things that bugged me:

1. Manchester United dominated the opening 10 minutes, but could not find the net. Yet, FC Barcelona scored on their first shot at the goals after 10 minutes.

2. Perhaps the players were marked doggedly and could not find much space to move, but the players were looking tired and performed well below par. Perhaps, some of them could have benefited from playing the last league game against Hull City?

3. When Manchester United were one goal down, they were playing defensively; which would have been fine if they were protecting their own lead, and played behind the ball all the time. There was no urgency to attack.

4. Many passes were wayward and inaccurate.

5. The defensive line of Manchester United were shaky all the time. Gone were the days of rock-solid defence. The defence last night reminded me of the blip that Manchester United had when they were beaten back-to-back by Liverpool and Fulham. The two Barcelona goals were the results of defensive lapses; no body marked and challenged Messi for that headed goal.

Without taking away much of the hardwork put in by Manchester United in the 56-odd matches season, it was still a season to remember. Put as a favourite to win the league in December, then had a blip in March, giving hope to other teams to catch up, and then the final run-in that saw them lifting the English Premier League trophy for the record-equalling 18th time, Manchester United still proved that they are the dominant side in English football. With many youg players coming through and the more senior players providing guidance, the team could only get better. And get better it will. Here's for another title.

And, if I am asked to choose between a team that win the domestic league and lost in the Champions League final, and a team with a manager who is a sore and an ungraceful loser, I would still choose that the former.

And to those people who support the other teams and hurled abuse as Manchester United lost to Barcelona, please ask yourself where your team ended up at the final league table. It can't be above Manchester United, can they?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And tonight, all roads lead to Rome....

In the early hours of the morning, the Champions of England and the Champions of Spain will meet at the Champions League Final at the Stadio Olimpic in Rome. Kicking off at 2.45am Brunei time, I shall be hitting the sack soon (it's only 8.45pm now!) and I have set my alarm clock for later.


Manchester United is hoping to defend the Champions of Europe title which they earned after beating Chelsea last year in Moscow. If they do, they will become the first side to win back-to-back European title.

Manchester United has been drawn as the away team and has opted for the white jersey. The last time these two sides met at the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, Manchester United beat Barcelona 2-1. 

They are going to be many great battles in this match, but none will be greater than the Messi vs Ronaldo battle. Will Ronaldo prove that he is the worthy World Player of the Year? Will Messi prove that he should have won that World Player of the year title?

Go on Manchester United. Go on to greater glory! Glory, glory Manchester United!

Come on now... We're gonna go! go! go! to Italy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Then it was flu, now it is haze...

Do you realise how hazy it is getting lately? 

We received the N95-rated facemask a while ago, which was supposed to be used in case the Influenza A (H1N1 strain) spread in Brunei. So I guess I will use it one day for the haze. 

During lunch today, we initially sat outside and we could actually see the ashes from the nearby forest fire floating about in the air. And air quality was definitely not good, so outdoor sports may not be a good idea. I'm sure if the forest fire gets worse, the Lumut-by-pass road might get closed. And if it does, it's going to be a headache to commuters.

So whatever you do, please do not burn outdoors indiscriminately. The Earth is fragile enough as it is.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


Many congratulations to a brother and his wife on the birth of their second child (who is also a boy!). He's sharing his birthday with one of his aunts.

Now Abdul Hadee has a brother to play with..... 

Happy Birthdays.......

Happy Belated Birthday to a sister who celebrated her birthday yesterday.......

and Happy Birthday to a sister and a niece who celebrate their birthdays today........

(this is from last year's celebration)

Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki. And hope the birthdays are good!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arrr.... Try me out....

Facebook now has a nifty new 'language' that you might want to dabble with. Go and try use English Pirate. It is quite interesting to see how it changes your Facebook page.

Facebook in 'normal' English....

Facebook in Pirate English.....


There's a big question that I've been asking myself....

Why do friends fall out?

Usually it takes two to tango.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cola Warning....

A health warning to all cola lovers out there.....

Excess cola can cause super-sized muscle trouble

A steady, litres-per-day diet of colas can cause serious muscle problems, doctors warned in a study Tuesday.

A review of clinical cases showed that super-sized doses of soft drinks loaded with processed sugars and caffeine can cause potassium levels in the blood to plummet, giving rise to a condition known as hypokalaemia.

Small changes in potassium levels can profoundly effect the functioning of the body's cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems.

Typical symptoms of hypokalaemia are decreased muscle strength, cramping, palpitations and nausea.

In more extreme cases, potassium deficiency can lead to heart trouble and profound paralysis.
"We are consuming more soft drinks than ever before and a number of health issues have already been identified," including tooth decay, loss of bone mass, and diabetes, said Moses Elisaf, a doctor at the University of Ioannina in Greece and main architect of the study.

"Excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia, causing an adverse effect on vital muscle functions," he said in a statement.

The study reviewed cases studies in which patients drank two to nine litres of soda beverages per day, including two pregnant women admitted to hospital with dangerously low potassium levels.

One of the women complained of fatigue, appetite loss and vomiting, while the other -- who had been drinking up to seven litres of cola per day over the previous 10 months -- suffered from muscular weakness.

Both patients made a rapid and full recovery after they stopped drinking cola and took oral or intravenous potassium, reported the study, to be published in June in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

The study suggests that hypokalaemia can be caused by excessive consumption of three of the most common ingredients in cola-type drinks -- glucose, fructose and caffeine.

"The individual role of each of these ingredients in the pathophysiology of cola-induced hypokalaemia has not been determined and may vary in different patients," said Elisaf.

"However in most of the cases we looked at, caffeine intoxication was thought to play the most important role," he added.

In a commentary, published in the same journal, Clifford Packer from the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Centre in Ohio said doctors should take note.

"Cola drinks need to be added to the physician's checklist of drugs and substances that can cause hypokalaemia," he said.

In 2007, worldwide annual consumption of soft drinks reached 552 billion litres, the equivalent of 83 litres per person per year, according to the study. That figure is expected to climb to 95 litres per day by 2012.

In the United States, average consumption last year was 212 litres.

Read more here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Double Birthday Greetings

May is the most with the most birthday celebrants at home.

We first started off with the birthday of a brother-in-law last Friday. Happy Birthday!

And on Sunday, a sister, who was pictured here with her son, celebrated her birthday. She is currently pregnant with her second child, who is expected to be born in August (I think!). Happy Birthday Sis!
To both birthday celebrants, Happy Birthday. Moga panjang umur dan murah rezeki!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just one word describes it all....


2008/2009 Barclays Premier League Champions!
Record-equalling 18 Top Division Titles
Record 11 Premier League Titles

Glory, Glory Manchester United!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Rafa said.....

Some may call it courage. Some may call it defiant. But for me, I call it disillusional.

On the eve of the day when Manchester United could win this season's Premier League, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez declared that the title race was not over yet. He even tried to fire up Arsenal players by challenging them to beat Manchester United. Knowing the animosity that exists between the top four clubs, I tried hard to see how the Gunners would be motivated by his call and I somehow do not think they would be. True that Arsenal have nothing to play for and the novelty of beating the eventual Champions might spur them on, but even if that single point is not won tonight at Old Trafford, there is still another chance next week for Manchester United when they visit relegation-threatened Hull City. It would quite unthinkable that Manchester United fail to win a single point, but it will not happen. And Rafa seems to forget that Liverpool may still lose any of the remaining two games; tomorrow night against West Bromwich Albion and next week against a much tougher opponent in the form of Tottenham Hotspurs.

All I could say now to Rafa is.... please accept defeat graciously and give credit where credit is due. There is no point rueing missed chances or unfortunate injury. And better luck next year. And yeah, we've now matched your 18 league title record!

Read Rafa's babbling here....

Weekend Plan

So there are three choices of things to watch tonight:

1. The DPMM FC vs Young Lions game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. It's the first DPMM FC game after their first loss this season and it would interesting to see how they react to that loss.

2. The final of Akademi Fantasia.

3. The Manchester United vs Arsenal game. If Manchester United picks up at least one point in this game, the Premier League title is theirs. And since this is the last game of the season to be played at Old Trafford and if they win the title, the Premier League trophy will be presented to them today. And getting it in front of the loyal Red Devils and in your home stadium is the best thing to end this exciting and often heart-stopping season.

My pick is that simple: Of course I will be watching the Manchester United-Arsenal game! And I want to see the Premier League lifted aloft in Old Trafford for the eleventh time.

Perhaps a midnight movie to catch? And no, I don't follow Akademi Fantasia! 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Crazy Week

I am really glad to see the start of the weekend. It had been such a hectic week at work. Something that I would consider quite important was dumped onto me (and a colleague who was looking after a project for us) and it meant that I needed to put a lot of effort and time into it, which also meant that I had to drop some of the 'less' important tasks this week. It also took a toll on me physically and mentally. Physically as we had to do an impromptu walk in the 'mini' jungle near BLNG in the middle of a hot and humid morning, and mentally as we had to prepare some paperwork which would determine if the project would proceed as planned or if it had to be delayed.

It also tested my patience. I guess I need to apologise to Prez as there were some times when I must have lost my patience a bit and argued some points a bit too aggresively. Let just say I was quite passionate about this project and I just did not want us to make the worng decision.

I am glad that we managed to finish off the draft paperwork just before we left the ofiice this afternoon. Now I could really enjoy the weekend.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just one more point now!

Yes. Now it's just one point that separates Manchester United from the record-equalling 18th league titles.

Manchester United overcame an early goal at the JJB Stadium to beat Wigan Athletic and strengthened its pole position over Liverpool. A goal from substitute Carlos tevez and a screamer from Carrick took Manchester United closer to the Barclays Premier League trophy.

With the win against Wigan Athletic, now Manchester United requires just one point from a possible six from the two remaining games of this season's campaign. That one point may come in the home game against Arsenal. If it happens, then the Barclays Premier League trophy will be presented to Manchester United at Old Trafford in front of the Red Devil faithfuls.

In the latest 'will he or won't he' saga, Carlos Tevez reminded the club that he still had a lot of things to show and contribute. His second-half introduction changed the pace of the game and it could not be more fitting that the equaliser came from him. Sir Alex Ferguson has openly admitted that he would love to keep Carlos Tevez, but remained tight-lipped about the Argentine's future. He also said it was more difficult to deal with a non-football party, as Carlos Tevez's registration was being kept by a sports management company. All we have to do is to wait and see where Carlos Tevez ends up at the start of next season's campaign.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hold on to your eggs!

There are many ways to tell your favourite clubs or players that you are not happy with their performance. Real Betis fans came up with something interesting. They threw eggs and hurled abuse to Real Betis players as the players left the training ground in their cars on Monday. 

Speaking of bad performance, I think I should retract back what  said about Hull City at the beginning of the football campaign. I had said that Hull City was the surprise package of the league this season and they could stay up in the Premiership. But a bad run of form that started in January had moved them from the dizzying height of fifth place to a place just above the relegation zone. It is made worse as they will be playing Manchester United in their final game and no one expected them to overcome even a weakened Manchester United side.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Something that you don't see everyday.....

Look at the picture below.....

Can you see something weird? Why was there something lodged in the engine?

Apparently a Japan Airlines was grounded at the Los Angeles airlines after a stray cargo container was sucked into the plane's engine. We normally hear birds get sucked into the engine, but a big, metal container? That was amazing! 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just another four more points!

With the Barclays Premier League just a few games away from the end, Manchester United took a huge stride towards retaining the trophy for a consecutive third time when they beat their local rivals, Manchester City 2-0 at Old Trafford. Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez sealed the three points to regain the top spot from Liverpool, who leapfrogged Manchester United after registering their own win over West Ham twenty four hours earlier. Manchester United still holds a game in hand and they will be facing Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.

With his future still remains undecided, Carlos Tevez let his football do the talking. It remains unclear if he would stay or leave the Red Devils at the end of this two-year loan period. Judging from the reception that he got from Old Trafford, he remains a favourite at the Theatre of Dreams. Ronaldo was substituted in the second-half which he was not too happy about. He pulled a strop, but it definitely was not the sign of him being unhappy at the club. Many people saw that it was a sign of him wanting to leave, but I hope that does not happen.

After the weekend's round of football, the table remains unchanged. Manchester United needs just four points, from a possible nine, to win the Premier League trophy and equalling Liverpool's record of 18 league titles.


Manchester United's remaining games are against Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Hull City.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mothering Sunday. A day to celebrate the love and everything else that Mothers give to their children. 

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there. 

(by the way, we don't have to wait for Mother's Day to show them that we love them....)

Yesterday, 9 May would have been my mother's 63rd birthday. Of course, memories of her came flooding back. It is not helped either knowing that today is Mother's Day. There's nothing much I could do, but to offer my prayers. She left left two and a half years ago and my memories of her are still strong. I remember the time when I spent time in the hospital and she insisted to stay overnight. She did not even return home in the day and she would spnd her days in the hospital looking after me. When I was seeking treatment in Singapore and the doctors could not speak in Malay, she insisted that my sister explained everything to her in Malay. Whenever I was away from home, she would call me and ask where I was. My friends always joked that I might have been the youngest in the family and I was 'anak manja'. Whenever she cooked chicken korma which she knew was my favourite, she would keep some for me, even if I came back home late after sports. She always insisted that we had dinner; if we were not coming down to the dinner table, she would bring some plates of food to our rooms. 

Babu, moga roh mu dicucuri rahmatNya..... Al-Fatihah.....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The poser over visiting hours

Reed wrote an interesting blog entry today; he wrote about visitors who come to visit patients at the hospital.

I agree that something needs to be done. It is worst at the RIPAS Hospital in Bandar. Visitors tend to stay way past the end of the visiting hours. I know that at the KB Hospital, the announcement comes at 9.30pm on the dot. It is duly followed with the switching off of lights and the visitors take it as their cue to leave. So why doesn't it happen like that at the RIPAS Hospital? 

Corporate badminton event

Last night, the corporate's badminton team hosted a friendly match against the team from Royal Brunei Airlines. It was our 'home' game; the 'away' game was played early last month. The managing directors from both BLNG and RBA led their own respective teams. 

I was made captain of team B. I was quite pleased my pairings, though one player rebelled against my arrangements and changed it without even consulting me. I was not pleased with that. There were reasons why one player was paired with another. 

At the end of the evening, we won more games than RBA did. Now, it's time to organise with other teams, so if your company or department would like to play friendly match against us, please let me know. 


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Coming Soon.....

UEFA Champions League Finals 2009

Manchester United

27 May 2009
Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy
8.45pm (Central European Time) / 2.45am (GMT +8)

Go Manchester United!

Visit the official website of UEFA Champions League here.
Visit the official website of Manchester United here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No bar and into the finals....

Oh, lets start on a good news. Remember that yesterday I said that blogger, blogspot and wikipedia are not accesible from work? It's not anymore. These sites are now accessible and I am celebrating it by posting this entry from my work PC!

And now onto a much better news..... Manchester United is in the Champions League final for the second year running. Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1, for an aggregrate score of 4-1, at the Emirates Stadium early this morning. Two early goals, each from Park Ji Sung and Ronaldo, were enough to settle the match for Manchester United. Another goal from Ronaldo basically sealed Manchester United's passage to the final. Arsenal scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot, which resulted from a Darren Fletcher challenge (which I think he was incorrectly sent off for).

Many expected that Arsenal would make it difficult for Manchester United to win. With the return of some regular players, a drama was expected, but it fell significantly short. At the end, Manchester United trumped Arsenal at their home, proving that the match was actually a match between men and boys!

The other semi-final will be played later between Barcelona and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The first leg ended with a goalless draw and Barcelona is the hot favourite to meet Manchester United in the final, following their demolition of Real Madrid last weekend.

The Champions League final will be played on Wednesday, 27 May (or early morning Thursday, 28 May) in Rome. I've marked 28 May to take my leave!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Restricted at work.....

Most of my posts are done from work. I was busy at work yesterday and hence could not update my blog. Today, I was alerted by a friend that access to blogger and blogspot have been barred from work PCs. And these two are not the only recent casualties to the blocked access list, wikipedia is also blocked. The only reason why these sites are blocked is that these sites are considered to be personal pages. 

Now, it looks like I would have to post my blogs from home, either early morning or after late afternoon. So, I let me apologise in advance for the delay in updating the blog or if the blog is not updated at all.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Manchester United: 6 points to Glory

Manchester United continued its gentle walk towards its third successive Barclays Premier League title with a comfortable 2-0 over relegation-threatened Middlesbrough. A goal each from the newly-crowned PFA's Player of the Year, Ryan Giggs, and Park Ji Sung sealed the three points to increase Manchester United's lead over second-placed Liverpool to six points, with both teams having played equal number of games. Liverpool will tonight face Newcastle United, another Premier strugglers who are fighting to stay at the top tier of English football.

Now, everyone, who follows Manchester United, will turn their focus to Tuesday's Champions League second leg semi-final game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The Red Devils has a one-goal advantage over the Gunners. The semi-final tie should have been killed off at Old Trafford last week, only for the Gunners' keeper to keep them in the competition.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

SMARTER Charity Walk

Over this weekend, the President of SMARTER Brunei is leading a group of volunteers on a 67-mile (or 107km) walk from Kuala Belait to Bandar Seri Begawan. This walk was organised to raise fund for SMARTER Brunei to purchase a new building to run its activities at. Why 67-mile walk? 67 years is the average life expectancy of an autistic individual. 

The group set off from the SMARTER ASD Centre in Kuala Belait this morning and is now making their way through the searing heat for this noble cause. There are eight stops along the way, at which the group will rest before continuing on. The group will stay for an overnight stop at the Tutong Hospital. The group is expected to arrive at their destination at Giant Hypermart in Rimba on Sunday at around 4.00pm.

You would have to applaud their sheer determination of these people to raise money for the association. I believe that the President's son is autistic and it could not be more touching to hear the effort and the love that one father has in order to provide all the necessary lessons in life that could help his autistic son to live like an ordinary child. 

Perhaps it is too late now to register to join in the walk, but I would not think they would mind if you tag along. If it proves too physical, perhaps you could donate to SMARTER Brunei. Donation can be made at each of the eight stops along the walk. If donation is not possible, perhaps we could support and encourage them if you happen to be at the place where they are going through. Applaud them. Honk your car horns. And let them know that you care too.

More info from Read about autism here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Labour Day!

Even though we do not celebrate Labour Day here in Brunei, there should be nothing to stop me from wishing all a Happy Labour Day, right?

Happy Labour Day to all.