Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ride The Rollercoaster

Thank You GOD, Praise To The Lord, Bless You GOD for this Amazing Life, this Amazing Day, this Blessed life, this Blessed day :) For the whole month of October, I was basically missing in action because I was on an adventure. Not as in travelling on the road physically. It was more of a self-audit, self-evaluate, self-review & self-reflect kind of adventures.

Comes every November, as we are approaching towards the end of the year, I think it’s a good time to look back and see the experiences that we have gone through earlier on. I actually re-read my first blog post which I started since 24th September 2005 till the current one. All in all – I have already published a total of 828 blog post. Wow…I think I have been through a very amazing journey :) I see myself getting better and improving in many aspects. I went through so many wonderful experiences. Both good & bad which really enrich my life very well. I remembered that I once blog, that the greatest achievement for me professionally will be getting a promotion at work and which I did in 2010 (from Category Manager to Senior Category Manager), in 2011 (Senior Category Manager to Trainee Division Manager) and in 2012 (Trainee Division Manager to Division Manager). Finally, I think I feel like I have experience it all. Complete the circle.

Secretly, I also have a hidden desire to re-start my second career which I am actively looking for. I want to be more into the design of organizations, its culture, its processes, new ventures, its strategy, marketing and branding. I’m with G13 for 5 months now…I don’t know…somehow, something is lacking. Motivation perhaps? Direction…I’m not so sure anymore…but somehow, I guess things didn’t turn up right or as expected. Nonetheless, as long as I am still sitting behind the desk, I will continue to do my job and serve ever faithfully.

For this Thanksgiving month - I count my blessings that I also have been lucky and blessed in so, so many ways. Health, family, friends, career, life, finances…it’s been an amazing 6 years of blogging life. I am very happy with where I am today, with who I am and with what I have. I am contented because no matter how much we have in life, it’ll never be great till the day we feel we have enough. This is how I break down life. In your teens and 20s, it’s a period of exploration. In your 30s, it’s a period of acquisition where you settle down with a partner, get a car & a house. In your 40s, it’s a period of reflection where you stop and ask yourself ‘how did you get here’? I am glad that I don’t have to reach that age to fully understand and appreciate what life is all about.

Additionally, I am truly appreciative that GOD is there with me. There were so many moments that I fell, so many obstacles to overcome and GOD have helped me to pull through them one after another. Sometimes, whenever I face a problem, I no longer freak out because I know that the problem is solvable. GOD will not rain me with problems that are too big for me to handle. This is what faith can do. No matter what your stand in life is, irrespective of where you are or who you are, a simple step of faith in Jesus Christ can turn your destiny around. I will be still and know you are GOD - You’re altogether Lovely, altogether Worthy, altogether Wonderful to me :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

K-Pop Chuego

Oh, this is so cool…Shell, the Petrol Station is running a promotion…all the customers have to do is to fill up their tank with a single receipt of RM40 and pay another RM12.90 on top to get the above Lego car toy :) It comes with a very nice & attractive packaging, colored manual instructions and they are made of good quality as well. These cars can actually speed :) The above are the 458 Italia model and Ferrari 150 Italia model. What a catchy & brilliant marketing strategy and co-branding tie-up - LEGO-Shell-Ferrari. Genius! These Lego set can keep me amused for hours.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Knew You Were Trouble

Let’s stick to Water Gun and Laser Tag :) That’s what I told my Baby Sis…we went and play PaintBall at the Shah Alam Extreme Park! First time experience – totally brutal. Got some sharp shooters in the opponent team and I’ve got shot. Badly. There is a total of 6 very big and painful bruises. 2 on my arms and another 3 more were on my hip & thigh. The worst is on my right forearm. It was a close range. My skin got burn slightly. I really cacatkan my right hand :( I guess I was pretty bad both in attack & defence. I can’t wear any sleeveless or short sleeve tops at the moment. Scared that it will scare people away. Every night, I have to urut the bruises with Minyak Panas Cap Kapak :) No doubt, it was exhilarating with all of the mud & shooting!

Ming On The Red Room

She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway
She's living in a world and it's on fire
Fill with catastrophe, but she know she can fly away
Oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Looks like a girl but she's a flame
So bright she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world
Hottest of the hottest girls say
Oh, we got our feet on the ground
And we're burning it down
Oh, got our head in the clouds
And we're not coming down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Everybody stands as she goes by
Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
But she gon' let it burn baby burn baby

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire
Oh, oh, oh...
She's just a girl, and she's on fire

-Alicia Keys: Girl On Fire-

No matter what they say, what they have commented, what they have critic about me – I am very determine. I will pick myself up again. Like I always have. I will have the courage to say I will try again tomorrow. I will improve. I don’t know if I am walking in the shadow of Jonas but I genuinely want to work as hard as Jonas has. That’s the least I can do. I guess I was so desperate to deliver, to perform, to be perfect for Leonardo…that I ended getting so stressed up and slipping into my bad habits and that wasn’t good for me. I didn’t want to admit I was struggling and unable to cope because I thought that would mean I’d failed. That really has such a bad effect on me and making me so miserable. However, thank GOD – positivity has sets in – and right now there's nothing serious :) GOD, thank you so much for always believing in me, working on me and never let me down.

'I pray a lot. I believe in GOD. I try to be a good man so he can have a bit of time to give me a hand when I need it’ – Jose Mourinho

A Moment Like This

The Church recently held their annual VBS (Vocational Bible School). The team has decided to go with the theme of 'Big Heart Farms: Where God’s Fruit Grows'. Thus, the Sanctuary was transform into a very cute farm. There was the numerous fruit stalls (with real fruits being on display), a watermelon patch, a small pond with ducks swimming in it, a watering hole for the snacks area and many more. It was awesome.

I took up the teaching role. Yeah, I know…it was suicidal :) I also don’t know why I did it in the first place. I have to teach 2 types of fruits – Kindness and Patient. I think I didn’t do very well on my first day. I find my lesson a bit boring and was not catchy enough. On the second day, thanks to Baby Sis's idea – I think the Juniors did enjoy it. Scrambling jigsaw puzzles. Seriously, this teaching thingy is really not my cup of tea. But I am very proud that I actually did give it a try. Perhaps, it’s a confidence thing. Maybe I am lack of it. Or maybe the heart was not into it, thus the laziness & lack of creativity and research arrises. Thank GOD, I still manage to pull through :) Well, for now; I am happy to just show my face around, say Hi Hi & Bye Bye and assisting Baby Sis in her class :)

Diamonds In The Skies

My beloved Grandmother has passed away last month. After a year of suffering (both stroke & immobility), I am glad that the Lord has taken her away and place her in a better & safer place. The funeral was simple and the people (relatives, friends & church members) have been very wonderful & helpful to us and praying for us continually. I am both saddened and inspired all at the same time.

Sadden because I no longer have any grandparent with me anymore. Inspired...because I am trying to bring my parents back together. Nope, my parents are not divorce, but somehow they always bicker with each other every day; over small, tiny & irrelevant things. My mom is not that articulate, thus she is not very good at expressing herself or bringing her points across while my dad’s ego is so huge and refuse to admit that he is wrong. So I want to remind them of each of their positivity, their strength and those good old days that they spent together. They are no longer young anymore; I think it’s time for them to be grateful that they still have each other, to be gracious & tolerant with each other and to forgive each other :) The walls of our immediate family are very important.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Forensic Science

Liverpool 3 – 0 Wigan :)
Good goals from Luis Suarez (a brace) and Jose Enrique. It was an afternoon game full of promising performances and an energetic attacking play in a rare but hugely deserved home victory.

Life Of Omissions

I bought a new pair of Nike shoe. Good bargain too. I love the orange color shoelaces. It's loud & gallant :) The recently ended Al-Ikhsan Jumbo Sale at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam was timely as well as I really needed a new pair of sneakers as my current 2 pairs are quite worn out. Unfortunately, the monsoon season is here…it’s raining all the time…well; have to show them off some other time :)

Cool Guys & Ramen Soup

Pasta Zamai - dinner with Snow Petrol, Singrid, Tyan and Edward. Thanks to Edward who organized this small gathering :) I like Pasta Zamai very much - its uber-cool, city-like, unfussy, cheap and cheerful Japanese restaurant, with cuisine based on my favorite mixed-up of Western pasta and Japanese recipes.

We have such a great time together. All of us have left the French except for Tyan. Edward is into the health business on a freelance basis and Edward is indeed looking good & fit. Snow Petrol went back to the real estate business, Singrid is attached with Speedo. Everyone is doing good. Everyone is juggling, staying active and busy. I like the intimacy that we share that night. In terms of our temperaments and personalities, I believe we’re very different. However, we hardly have any disagreements. We just seem to align so perfectly with each other in all aspects - the relationship, the companionship, the everything…well, it’s just so easy. I’m very at ease and I like it :)

Wax & Wane

Wopex Challenge 2012, 1 Utama New Wing – I didn’t know that Stationery can be so cool. Seriously, I’m an outdoor type of person and my personality is more of a people-person, bubbly, cheerful, child-like and positive. Of course, at times I can be very moody, withdrawn, irritable and devilish :) Therefore, for me Stationery is something that is very routine & stagnant. Handling the Bicycle, Camping, Sports & Nautism categories was great as it suited my outdoor nature. Live Plants & Live Pets were so-so; nonetheless I did enjoy it because out of curiosity and believing that this is the new industry to be in. Furniture was cool too because of the colors, designs & structure. But I love Toys & Luggage department the most because these 2 categories are full of animation and they are so alive. Even though, they are troublesome at times because we always have to follow the trends and these trends keep on changing non-stop which is hard at times to catch up with but this is the upside to it as well because we will always be a part of the new evolution & revolution. It’s never dull. However, I find Stationery to be too static. At times, I get bored behind my desk.

So when Staedtler organize this new activity to get more people to see that a pencil is just not a pencil and is not so boring after all and it’s actually so rich in history, functionality and can be cool too…I went Wham! This idea is so fresh and I have to salute Staedtler for its boldness. They acted independently on how to go about things differently. Some of the activities that they organized was the Wopex Studio (where you get to sample, purchase & experience the latest technology in pencil making), a station for people looking for skate & street stuffs, live sketch demo & graffiti art on a skateboard deck, Wopex doodling corner and they even include the latest craze - finger-boarding. And how these are all related? Well, the Wopex new collection is functional and good enough for sketches and graffiti art, an art form that is currently in the heart of the many urban youth now. They have beat box performance, cheerleading squad, shuffling & street dance, sumo wrestling and many more. Usually, Stationery fairs are very uninteresting – the most common are coloring contest, free pens, ergonomic pens etc. This is really out of this world. A very good first step. I am very sure that Friedrich Staedtler will be very proud of this work :)

Re-boot the Mission

The other day, I had dinner with a very dear old friend of mine – Nithia at TGIF, Subang :) a friend whom I know during my primary & secondary school days. This is our first meeting up with each other after graduating from high school. Oh my gosh, its nearly 13 years…oh my. The one great thing is that we can pick up from where we have left and continue the flow from there. I thought we will actually be tongue-tied because it has been such a long long time. We have both mature, no longer teenagers but grown-ups now. Our interest, opinions, perceptions, attitudes, choices may have been vary. To our surprises, there was no moment of awkwardness at all. Even though there were differences, we manage to find a common ground. And that is good :) Nithia’s patience, kindness and good humor makes her not just a great person but a great friend as well. But one thing I've always appreciated is her frankness and honesty. In life, you need people to tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear. Thanks for being one of those people, Nithia. Yes, we indeed need to try to do this more often as possible and with more people from our past :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

When Lanes Merge

Danga Bay - it was sunset by the sea. We (Faith, Jane & myself) stay at the nearby Tune Hotel. Drop by at Danga Bay for our dinner. Gorgeous view isn’t it? The sun slowly sets. The colors of the world below started to fade from all of the different shades to grey. I loved watching the sun sets. I absolutely love the quiet and the stillness of the sea. It was grand, spectacular and quite romantic. I will miss this :)

Miss Ripley

Welcome to i-City :)

I truly think that i-City is a very cool place and I am very proud that Shah Alam has such a fun & exciting theme park to offer to its local residents and for community building purposes, even though it is highly commercialized right now. It is alright to make money because after all, the company needs the cash flow to finance such a big investment and being sustainable in the long run. It's just that Shah Alam is no longer a boring place after all compare to its counter part of the more exciting and vibrant Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Damansara and KL. The opportunity to drop by was when my fifth & youngest aunt was in town for a visit, so Baby Sis & I rope in our mom to join us too.

i-City is a 72 acres ICT-based urban development beside the Federal Highway in Section 7, Shah Alam. Master planned by the world-renowned and award-winning architect Jon A Jerde, i-City was designed as a fully integrated intelligent city, comprising corporate, leisure and residential components such as a 1.0 million sq. ft. regional shopping mall, office towers, Cybercentre office suites, hotels, apartments, data centers and innovation centre. i-City is a MSC Malaysia Cybercentre where knowledge-based companies with MSC Malaysia status can enjoy the various incentives offered under the MSC Malaysia Bills of Guarantee. It has also been endorsed as a Tourism Destination by the Ministry of Tourism and declared as an International Park by the Selangor State Government where entertainment and other cosmopolitan lifestyle outlets are permitted to operate on a 24 X 7 basis. With 13 million sq ft of approved built-up and a Gross Development Value of RM 3 billion, this gated and guarded development is today recognized as a catalyst in the transformation of Shah Alam into an International City. Although to date, only 20% of the land area has been developed, i-City is already an established MSC Malaysia Cybercentre as well as a leisure hub in Shah Alam attracting 90,000 visitors a week to experience its LED lightscape, Snowalk as well as the various themed attractions. And their latest superstar for this year school holidays is their Tornado of their newly-built water world.

i-City is a one-of-a-kind theme-park where all of the main attractions are made of plastic and millions of bright LED lights. Similar to Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch, during the day, i-City’s artificial forest of maple and pine trees really comes to life at night. Made out of plastic and fitted with colorful LEDs, they put on a light show unlike any other. It’s also a photographer’s heaven to shoot those lovely bright sparkles. Inaugurated in early 2010, Shah Alam’s i-City has already become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malaysia. From rows upon rows of LED-made Chinese lanterns, to LED peacocks, flamingos and LED cherry blossoms, i-City offers a variety of unique sights that are sure to amaze anyone who visits here. SnoWalk is also another 50,000 sq ft Arctic environment attraction with 100 tons of ice sculptures that were shaped by a team of 30 ice sculptors from Harbin, China. At below 5 degrees Celsius temperature and 100mm of snow on the ground, SnoWalk will be a unique family leisure attraction and the snowfall experience will be the 'piece de resistance' of SnoWalk.

I simply love those colorful LED lights :) It was exquisite. It was astonishing. I gasped :) These concepts are also not new. China has plenty of this. As a matter of fact, Guilin is also famous for this but it was in a cave setting. I prefer these outdoor setting better – unintimidating and free :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Swedish House Mafia

Liverpool 1 - 1 Chelsea :(
This is Liverpool's sixth draw. The reality is The Reds are a long way off in the league. They need new players to turn draws into wins. If they don't have that, they have to grow their own. We are way off the mark.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

At Home With Love

Look what I found in Legoland Malaysia – Darth Vader, C3PO and R2D2 – Awesome :) The pictures were actually printed on a t-shirt, so I whipped out my camera and curi-curi take the pictures :) Luckily, the staffs at the The Big Shop didn’t comprehend me. Naughty me :) But it’s a very nice print though isn't it?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Feminine Masculinity

Yes, I’m back to blogging again :) Where have I been for the past 1 month? Well, I have been on an adventure – which I will blog later. For now, it’s Hello November :)

This post will be about my day trip to Kuala Terengganu. I wish I was there on a holiday trip; unfortunately it was another store visit with the team. We went there on a Thursday which is equivalent to a Friday atmosphere in KL. The people rest on Friday and Saturday and starts work on a Sunday. Their system works that way. It’s a very quiet town compare to KL, you don’t see seas of people around, the shops are slightly smaller too but what I like most is the beautiful beach scenery. As the chartered taxi driver drives us around from one store to another store, we pass by the coastal area and the big wide beach was just lying in front of us. It was simply majestic :) How I wish at that moment of time, I was lying in a hammock, reading a good book, jazz music playing in the background and chilling out with a cold beer :) Along the dotted beach line, there were heaps of home stay chalets available too. The beach is itself a statement of distinction and character :) Nope, I didn’t ask the taxi driver to stop to allow me to take the picture of the beach. What would Leonardo think of me?! Leonardo has probably found out that I am the most childish buyer around :) So, as usual – I took the aerial view pictures :)

The Hero from Shanghai

Attended Eloise & Jeffrey’s wedding at the Dragon Garden Seafoods Restaurant in Klang, together with Seth. To our disappointment – none of our fellow former M13 comrades (Boss, Juan, Aurora, Tommy, Nikolai, Stavros) turn up to show support to Eloise on this big day. Another colleague who turns up was Ann. Where is the Semangat Ke-kawanan? Eloise’s working days with M13 was not that long but Eloise was someone that we used to always hang out together, go for Karaoke sessions together, help each other out and telling each other stupid jokes :) In the end, it was a beautiful wedding for this beautiful couple and the food was just simply scrumptious. It was also nice catching up with Seth. It has been impossible in the past few years to have a get together, glad that this time we did :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Return of the vanquished

Carrefour sells Malaysia unit to Japan's Aeon.

PARIS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Carrefour said on Wednesday that it made final the sale of its operations in Malaysia for an enterprise value -- including equity and debt -- of 250 million euros ($323.95 million) to Aeon, Japan's No. 1 supermarket operator. The sale -- effective on Wednesday - is the latest notched up by recently installed chief executive, Georges Plassat, who is seeking to refocus the world's No. 2 retailer on its key markets and cut its debt after years of underperformance. Carrefour is the fourth-largest retailer in Malaysia with 26 hypermarkets, which brought in 400 million euros in revenue in the 12 months to June 30. "The transaction is part of Carrefour's strategy of refocusing on its core activities and allocating its resources to mature countries where it occupies strong and established positions and emerging markets where it has strong growth potential," the company said in a statement. Aeon, Japan's top supermarket operator, which began as a Kimono store in the late 1700s, is looking for overseas profit drivers as its business at home is hurt by a fall in consumer spending, a shrinking population and persistent profit-sapping deflation. Carrefour recently agreed to sell its stores in Colombia to Chile's Cencosud for $2.6 billion. It also plans to shut its Singapore unit by year-end and pulled out of recession-hit Greece in July amid falling sales. Carrefour, which set up its Malaysian operations in 1994, recorded net sales of 400mil over a 12-month period to June 30, 2012. Aeon was established in 1984 in Malaysia. With 29 stores, Carrefour said Aeon was acquiring a leading position in this market. To recap, the Carrefour Group is the largest retailer in Europe, and the second largest worldwide, with more than 9,900 stores under banner in 30 countries and 412,000 employees. It has more than three billion cash transactions per year. AEON Co., Ltd. is the largest retailer in Japan, operating 540 general merchandise stores and 1,502 supermarkets in Japan, and 113 stores outside its domestic market as of end of August 2012. Plassat has made clear Carrefour will stay in Brazil and China, but analysts expect disposals in Indonesia, Turkey, Romania and Taiwan, with proceeds of between 1 billion and 3 billion euros. The Malaysia unit sale talks were first reported by Reuters in September.

3 Years & 10 Months - I am very sad that the journey ends here, it ends today. I will always remember this place.