Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Watching the scale

The thing about weight is that it is easy to pile a pound than to shed an ounce. I know as I have been trying to shed pounds and so far nothing sticks. I blame it on myself as the will power and inner strengths fail me when it comes to achieving the desired weight. Then, there is this television program called The Biggest Loser (TBL) where contestants from all over the States (US) compete to stay at a ranch and go through a rigorous training to bring their weight down. The person who managed to have the lowest weight loss ratio will win $250,000.00.

I think that this is the best reality program so far! It has influenced most people in the US about the risks and danger of being overweight and that you can go down to your optimum weight by watching your calories and exercising. Though it is hard, but those contestants really did it. I think even if they didn't win anything, they are already a winner by having to lose those fats. I really envy them all. Some lose more than 200 lbs - now that's an achievement.

For me, the biggest lost I've ever charted was 50 lbs - I felt GREAT. I was thinking of replacing my wardrobe, changing my lifestyle and many more. But it didn't last long - not long after that, the fats caught up with me. I was back on my previous weight again. I guess that was the 'after effect' of appetite suppression pills. I stopped taking them after 2 months and tried living a healthy lifestyle without the pills. I guess I was living too 'healthy'.

I am now inspired by the show (TBL) and now beginning a new diet plan. But I'm not trying to be too ambitious - I know myself, I'll start with manageable stuffs first and work my way to a more rigorous plan. So, phase 1 will be, no more curries (there goes Kari Kepala Ikan...), cut down on fried food, slash those carbs, plenty of plain water and brisk walking in the morning. It doesn't seems to be difficult to others, but for me, hey, I need to start somewhere! My target - to lose 70 lbs before the year end, that's roughly a consistent 8 lbs a month for the next 9 months.

So, let it be known that today, 7 April 2009, is the day I take a new step towards a healthier and slimmer life....

May the Force be with me....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reflecting life

It has been nearly 3 years since my last posting in this blog. Since then, many things had happened and most of them are lessons to life itself. I have gained experiences going through these events in life and has taught me valuable lessons. In the past 3 years (well, nearly), I had the opportunity to visit 2 more countries, had another son, performed umrah, great career progressions and involved in corporate politics. Above all, I couldn't be more thankful to be alive and healthy today.

I have now reached the age where new life begins, or so they say. For me, it is more of reflecting the life I have lived. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had the first revelation of the Quran when he was at this age, and so began the new 'life' of Islam and his prophethood. As for me, it is time for me to reflect myself spiritually, and how this can contribute positively to the people around me.

And so begin the new chapter in this blog, where I shall pour my thoughts on my take about life around me.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Crikey... I was in Perth the other day...

I was in Perth for a conference a few weeks ago. It was my first trip there and in fact my first trip to Australia for that matter. Since it was a business trip, I just went there on my own, leaving behind my family for a few days.

The conference was good, the host was very helpful and the hospitality given to us was great. So, enough about the business....

Perth is not that big a city, but it is rather clean and neat. The people are generally friendly lot. There a number of Asians living in Perth and this was evidenced in the number of Asian eateries in the city.

Some of the Asian restaurants in the city

My lunch by the sidewalk

This Seagull came to join me for lunch - uninvited!

It's winter in June but the temperature is just nice during midday - about 19 degrees celcius with bright sun. But it's quite chilly early in the morning and at night, though.

They say if ever you are in Perth, don't forget the oysters - and I didn't. The oysters were really, really goooood. We were taken to one of the best oyster bars in town and those oysters were simply the best oysters I've ever eaten, period.

Anyway, I didn't have much time to do self exploration in Perth (really, there were so much to see and so many places to visit). I wish I had more time to 'soak' in the environment, like having a latte alfresco style in Freemantle or just strolling through Kings Park and Gardens. Maybe someday I'll take the whole family for a vacation there. Maybe I'll catch my latte (alfresco style, of course) then.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Iqra' vs. Muqaddam

Both refers to the teaching approach of reading Quran. During my time, we were tought the Muqaddam way, starting by learning the Arabic letters, then adding the 'baris' to each letters to show how the letters are pronounced. All these are done by following the sequence of the letters.

Then came the Iqra' way. There are altogether 6 stages (or books) in Iqra'. To me, Iqra' employs the a 'repetitive phonetic' concept in learning to read the Quran. It starts with the letters with 'baris' and teach the student how to pronounce the letter (phonetic). The letters are sequentially introduced and when each letter is introduced, the previous letters are repeated in random (repetition).

Now the question - which one is more effective? Muqaddam emphasises in the letter recognition and introducing the 'baris' in the sequence of the letters, whereas the Iqra' emphasises on the pronounciation and random recognition of the letters. To me, both methods have its own strength but the advantage of Iqra' is that one can be introduced to the tajwid earlier on (as early as book 4)

Some argues that Muqaddam is simpler because a child can master halfway through the Muqaddam in a very short time. Those who started off with Iqra' have difficulties in following the Muqaddam. I think that when one reaches book 3 of Iqra', he/she has the ability to move faster than those using Muqaddam. My Ustaz used Muqaddam when he tought me to read Quran when I was a kid. I also saw my friend learn to read Quran (he really can't read Quran properly, then) using Iqra'. Once he finished all 6 books, he was a changed man - he can recite Quran with such beautiful flow.

I argued once with one of my older family members about this. He is a staunch believer in using Muqaddam to teach Quran. I believe in both method, but if I were to choose one, I'll choose Iqra' simply because I think it forces the student to "think" while learning those letters and phrases. It's like doing maths - you have to practice and practice and think beyond the numbers.

In the end, he could not convince me that Muqaddam is better than Iqra', nor he able to understand the concept behind Iqra'. It was, in short, a waste of my latte...

Friday, September 30, 2005

The passing of a friend

Last Wednesday, 28 September 2005, we received a sad news about a passing of a friend, who was also a CIMA Malaysia's SDC committee member, Dr. Unvar Rahman Abdul Muthalib. He had succumbed to the dengue fever which had plagued our city these last few weeks. He was the Assistant Professor in the Accounting Department, UIA. His contributions to CIMA Malaysia, especially through SDC, was invaluable.

It is sad that he had to go this way. We are all saddened by his demise.

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why

Since you'll never be forgotten
We pledge to you today
A hallowed place within our hearts
Is where you always stay

(excerpt from a poem called "If tears could build a stairway" [anon.])

To his wife and children he left behind, we offer them our deepest condolences. May God grant them strength to face the days ahead.

To Dr. Unvar Rahman, we bid you our last farewell, and thank you for giving us the chance to know you and be your friends.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No news is good, or bad?

I had not posted anything in my blog for nearly a month now. I didn't realise it was that long but I was quite busy these past few weeks. I also noticed that Rodie's site is no longer there! I enjoyed reading his posts and now I shall miss them. I wonder whether he has a new site - does anyone know?

It's also relatively quiet these few days. There's not much 'excitement' in the paper and the market is also going sideways (note to myself: stay away from the market!). I guess we are waiting for the budget to be tabled. One thing for sure - there will be a rise in the 'sin' tax. So, expect a rise in the cigarette and liquor price.

So far, Pak Lah has yet to deliver that "punch" that can push up our economy. The oil price increase saw an increase in the price of everyday goods. I used to buy like 2 chicken every week from the Pasar Tani. Now, I only buy 1 chicken every alternate week. I don't think it will ever go down to the level it ised to be. It'll take time to adjust, but I guess the public will soon forget about all these price increase and life will move on. I just hope that Pak Lah will not give any more bad news.

When I was a student (late 80's, early 90's), teh-o-ais costs RM0.50 per glass. Nasi lemak (with 1/2-hard boiled egg) was also RM0.50 per packet. For a RM1.00 - you get a decent breakfast already. Now, teh-o-ais can cost more than RM1.00 in certain places. The price of most things went up more than double, but sadly, our average take-home-pay doesn't. It is something worth pondering....

All this talk about teh-o-ais and nasi lemak makes me hungry, maybe I'll skip my latte today.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Never listen to your emotion

I should've known better - and yet I still did it. I succumbed to my emotion and place a trade order. I reacted when I saw Dow Jones took a hit the day before and expected the market to react the same way. Deep inside I knew I shouldn't have done it. I've watched the trend, read the chart, but I still went and did it. Today, I have to do the right thing and cut my loss - regardless of what will happen in the next few hours. I need to review my strategy again and this time, I'll stick to my plan, period. In this game, the trick is for you to lose a little but win big.

The market is heading sideways these few days. There are a lot of selling pressure and buying support. Volume is good but I'm waiting for confirmation signal whether it's going north or south. Dojis were formed yesterday and the day before and today it opens higher than yesterday's closing. The signals are there, but it pays to wait for confirmation.

It's always a roller coaster ride when you trade in Futures. I need my latte now...