Thursday, December 17, 2009

Today's 1Joke : 17 Dec 2009

This news is easy to read, but difficult to understand. Our PM, Mr N asked our footballers to play with 1Malaysia spirit. I tried hard to interpret but still do not understand how this can be achieved. It is easier to understand if he wants the players to play with "Malaysia Boleh" spirit. What message is he trying to convey?

Need to wait for the next edition of Kamus Dewan to learn the meaning of the word of the year; 1Malaysia. Apa tu??

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Designed LRT Stations

LRT has been an important transportation mode for me during my Uni days when I was an active travel walker. Both the STAR and PUTRA lines were equally important to me. The STAR line brought me to Bukit Jalil, where the Commonwealth and SEA Games were held in 1998 and 2001 respectively. While PUTRA line transported me to the city centre and sometimes connected me to the other lines, such as STAR line at Masjid Jamek or KTM Komuter at KL Sentral. I can proudly declare that I have been to almost all the LRT stations on the PUTRA line and most of the stations on the STAR line. This mean, at least getting out of the LRT and stepped on the platform.

Based on my observation, I would nominate the best designed stations to PWTC and Bukit Jalil stations of the STAR line. Both of them are elevated stations, and come with aesthetic design yet functional elements.

1) PWTC Station

PWTC station is the only station that was built over a river, which is Sungai Gombak. It is an important station, more so when the UMNO delegates converged to the PWTC for their annual Perhimpunan Agung (General Assembly).

> PWTC Station

2) Bukit Jalil Station

Bukit Jalil station plays a very important role in ferrying sports enthusiasts and fanatics to the different sports venue, namely the National Stadium, Hockey Stadium, and Stadium Juara. Besides, the venues were also often used to hold concerts of international pop stars. Its location is so strategic that I thought it was very well planned and built.

> Bukit Jalil Station

Bukit Jalil station has the reputation of making an appearance in the Hollywood movie, Entrapment that was starred by Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones. However, fame had to come with sacrifice as it had to take up a "stage" name by the name of Pudu.

Note: STAR line has been renamed as Ampang Line, and PUTRA line as Kelana Jaya line ever since it was managed by RapidKL in 2004.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Aston Villa : Match 15 & 16 result

Villa has been waiting for this moment since 1983, and they got it yesterday after a long 26 years. At last they got to beat Man Utd 1-0 in a league match, and much swetter at the Old Trafford . So far, this season has been a good one for Villa, as they have successfully defeated or drew with the top teams.

In yesterday's match, Gabby Agbonlahor was our hero again, heading in at the 21st minute after receiving a cross from Ashley Young. Even with the talented triple strikers Rooney, Owen and Berbatov, Man Utd were unable to break the tight Villa defence marshalled by Luke Young, Richard Dunne and Carlos Cuellar. Not to forget our steady last man, Brad Friedel.

With this victory and the previous 3-0 victory over Hull City, we have elevated to P3 this week behind Chelsea and Man Utd.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Other Events KL Can Offer To Runners

Running is one of my favourite past time. Not many people like it because it may be monotonous if they did it on the same route and track each time. But to me, its a kind of test on endurance and self-discipline. I used to be serious in running few years back, where I can run 21km Half Marathon non-stop and yet ending the race still feeling energetic.

The Federal Territory Amateur Athletics Association (FTAAA) is an active sports body who takes the responsibility in organizing running events throughout the Klang Valley region. There are many running events in KL, and most of them are on flat grounds around the city centre. However, it may not be known to outsiders that KL also offers some interesting running events that could be unique to this city only.

1) Tower Run (KL Tower International Forest Towerthon)

It consists of running on hilly road and stairs. The run is flagged off at the car park near the main entrance gate, and runners are supposed to run almost 800m uphill towards the base of KL Tower. They then need to climb up 2508 steps before finishing at Tower Head 03 at the height of 288 metres from ground or 382 metres from sea level. The runners are released by batches, as not many people can squeeze into the tower at a certain point of time. This is going to be the most difficult run for novice. Based on my experience, they will sprint from the word go and tend to use up all their energy before reaching the first step of the tower stairs.

2) Office Attire Run (The Edge Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Rat Race)

This is a charity run event open that allows companies to sponsor their staff to participate, and one condition is to require the participants to dress as formally as possible. It covers 4.5 kilometres through the commercial heart of Kuala Lumpur starting from the Bursa Malaysia building, and there is also a 1-km race for CEOs held simultaneously on that day.

This is a one-of-a-kind of running event, where formality and hierarchy does not matter. The runners participate in a cheerful and sporting spirit, where company top management personnel mingle around, executives run with their ties on and in slacks, companies coming with big groups of supporters, and company mascot joining along the fun.

3) New Highway Run (Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKETHON)

Another type of running event popular in KL is the new highway run that might be held only once in a lifetime. Usually the highway owner or concessionaire organizes the race as a way to introduce their highway to the public before they are officially open to use. It is a rare chance for runners to be allowed to run freely on a highway and breathe on the fresh tarmac smell.

4) Staircase Run (Batu Caves Tanggathon)

This is another stairs climbing event that was held many years back, but discontinued for now. It was organized by Selangor AAA at the famous Batu Caves, located slightly outside KL. The starting point was at the bottom of the stairs, and runners need to tackle the 272 steps almost immediately after the gun. Based on my experience, this is another challenging event, as runners don't have the opportunity to stop and it was just jumping and speeding up. Anyone trying to stop or slow down will need to have a strong footing as a glance downwards may make the legs grow weaker.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today's 1Joke : 8 Dec 2009

I think this piece of news is funny. It appeared in The Star online today.

I doubt that Bak Kut Teh can be easily accepted by the Malays, especially those who are so used to hot and spicy food. Mainly because they are not used to having herbal soup, eating rice with soup, eating Tau Foo Pok, eating Yau Choy, eating soup-dipped Yau Cha Kueh, and the main issue is having "doubt" on the "Bak".

It's like asking me to eat Budu or Tempoyak with rice.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What I Saw When I Walked From Sentul to PJ

I did this stunt back in 2000, where I walked for 4.5 hours from Sentul back to my house in Petaling Jaya. The main reasons this idea came up were due to my interest in seeing Kuala Lumpur on foot and the curiosity I had on my patience level and sustainability. At that time, bringing camera was not a trend, and therefore, I could only capture the moment in memory and share out in this blog mostly in words.

The journey started with an LRT ride from Masjid Jamek station of the STAR LRT line (currently known as Ampang line) heading north towards Sentul. I had not been to Sentul prior to that, and I got off at Sentul Timur station (last station). It is located at a residential area, where the surrounding consists of mostly apartments, squatters and schools. All I knew about Sentul was that it used to be one of the main train depot centre in KL, apart from Brickfields, and this is evident from the depot-like KTM Komuter Sentul train station, or when you view it on Google Earth.

I started my walkathon at 9:00am after alighting from Sentul Timur LRT station, and walking eastward towards Jalan Pahang. Nearby along Jalan Pahang, there was a Roman-styled building by the name of Kompleks Galleria but it seemed like an under-occupied and under-utilized building. What a waste to this beautiful building. I'm not sure how it is now, either still standing there or it has already transformed. The famous SRJK (C) Chong Hwa (chinese primary school) is located just further down the road.

> Kompleks Galleria

The walk along Jalan Pahang was interesting on a weekend morning, as I saw cars zoomed past me at high speed. On weekdays, Jalan Pahang is a very busy road, and it is choked with cars each day especially at Bulatan Pahang that serves traffic to/from Jalan Pahang and Jalan Tun Razak. It used to be a tolled road, with the toll booths located near Tawakal Hospital that collected RM0.50 from motorists heading back to KL city centre.

It also has one of the earliest drive-thru McDonalds restaurant. Towards the end of Jalan Pahang, I walked past the Hospital Kuala Lumpur (General Hospital) and also the tallest hotel in KL, Grand Seasons Hotel.

> Grand Seasons Hotel

This road met with Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman at Chow Kit area. Chow Kit was not a new place to me, as I had passed this area very often during my school days when Bas Mini Wilayah still existed on KL roads. With my slow walk that day, I reached Chow Kit at 10:00am.

I took a break at the Chow Kit market, which was located off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and had some Malay kuih and Sirap Bandung. I got my first experience in tasting Sirap Bandung with Pink Cendol here. It had a slight tinge of salty taste from the santan, but the sweet rose taste of the sirap made the drink very flavourful. I did not stop at all while strolling along Jalan TAR, knowing if I had stopped to shop at Pertama Complex or Sogo, I would surely abandoned my plan to continue the walkathon.

Then, I proceeded straight along Jalan Raja Laut towards Dataran Merdeka and Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, and connected to Jalan Sultan Hishammudin where the Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and KTM Main train station were located nearby. The old National Art Gallery (formerly known as Hotel Majestic) was situated right next to the KTM head office, and it was closed down and shifted to the current one at Jalan Tun Razak in 1998. Meanwhile, the KTM Main train station still functioned at that time, acted both as train and express bus hub. However, KTM Main train station had later handed over its main transportation hub role to KL Sentral.

> National Art Gallery

> Main train station

It was a lonely walk along Jalan Damansara, Jalan Travers and Jalan Bangsar, as I did not see people walking along with me at that time. I saw the majestic Muzium Negara (National Museum) at Jalan Damansara, and I had an urge to visit it. But I chose not to, as I was determined to complete my mission first.

> Muzium Negara

By the time I reached Pantai it was already 12:30pm. I took the shorter route in going through University of Malaya from the KL gate. Within UM, the quickest would be going towards 1st College and then 2nd College, and exit through PJ gate at Jalan Universiti.

On the more familiar Jalan Universiti, I only took 40 minutes from UM to reach my house and ended the journey at 1:30pm. All in, the walkathon took approximately 4.5 hours,and I was lucky the sun was not at its peak at that time. Until today, I still think this was a big achievement.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

World Cup Mild Fever Sudah Mari

The World Cup 2010 mild fever has started, and there is another 187 days before it peaks into full blown fever. The draw for 32 teams into 8 groups was unveiled few hours ago at Cape Town, South Africa. In each World Cup, there is surely a Group of Death. If not, there won't be any excitement and gossips, and jersey won't sell that well.

This time, the Group of Death is Group G, in which Brazil is the seeded team, and he has dark horses Ivory Coast and North Korea, and distant cousin, Portugal as companion. Wonder if it will be possible to have 3 Ronaldos on the pitch at the same time when Brazil meets Portugal.

> "Old Ron" Ronaldo Luis

> "Mid Ron" Ronaldo de Assis

> "Hot Ron" Cristiano Ronaldo

In terms of world ranking, this group is having one of the lowest aggregate.
> Brazil: P2
> Portugal: P5
> Ivory Coast: P16
> North Korea: P84

The other 28 teams are grouped as below:

The World Cup ball "Jabulani" was unveiled by Sepp Blatter ahead of the draw. The name carries the meaning "to celebrate" in Zulu language, one of the official language of South Africa.