Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Women (& Men)

A better-than-average email doing the rounds...


40-ish - 49
Adventurous - Slept with everyone
Athletic - No tits
Average looking - Ugly
Beautiful - Pathological liar
Contagious Smile - Does a lot of pills
Emotionally secure - On medication
Feminist - Fat
Free spirit - Junkie
Friendship first - Former very *friendly* person
Fun - Annoying
New Age - Body hair in the wrong places
Open-minded - Desperate
Outgoing - Loud and Embarrassing
Passionate - Sloppy drunk
Professional - Bitch
Voluptuous - Very Fat
Large frame - Hugely Fat
Wants Soul mate - Stalker


1. Yes = No
2. No = Yes
3. Maybe = No
4. We need = I want
5. I am sorry = you'll be sorry
6. We need to talk = you're in trouble
7. Sure, go ahead = you better not
8. Do what you want = you will pay for this later
9. I am not upset = of course I am upset, you moron!
10. You're very attentive tonight = is sex all you ever think about?


1. I am hungry = I am hungry
2. I am sleepy = I am sleepy
3. I am tired = I am tired
4. Nice dress = Nice cleavage!
5. I love you = let's have sex now
6. I am bored = Do you want to have sex?
7. May I have this dance? = I'd like to have sex with you
8. Can I call you sometime? = I'd like to have sex with you
9. Do you want to go to a movie? = I'd like to have sex with you
10. Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you
11. Those shoes don't go with that outfit = I'm gay

And finally.....

A recent scientific study found that women find different male faces attractive depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle.

For example, when a woman is ovulating she will prefer a man with rugged, masculine features.
However when she is menstruating, she prefers a man doused in petrol and set on fire, with scissors stuck in his eye and a cricket stump shoved up his backside.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

England Here We Come

I'm counting down to my trip to England with Lucas on Saturday night. Shame Jackie can't come as she has to look after her Dad who fell ill recently. I'm really looking forward to...
  • catching up with my best pal Paul (and Sam the missus) and drinking the keg of Warsteiner he's hoarding in his house, taking Lucas to Woburn Zoo,
  • going to see Fulham v Portsmouth on 7th October,
  • going to London (a great city),
  • going for some 10-15km runs around Clifton,
  • forgetting about work,
  • a change of scenery,
  • not becoming sweaty within 10 minutes of a shower,
  • shopping for stuff you can't get in Malaysia (which isn't much I must say) and...
  • last but not least...spending some time with Mum, Gran
  • and of course Vicky's wedding...but I'm not particularly looking forward to the speech!
The planned running is my way of getting back into training. I have done zero training since Ironman 70.3 Singapore. Soon I'll have a new "winter/spring" training plan put together once I've thought about my targets for 2008.

Hasta La Vista Vuelta a Espana

The Vuelta is over, so I can go back to sleeping at 10pm+ instead of 11.30pm+. My team ended up 250th out of 500 or so, which I'm pretty pleased with considering that there's a great deal of luck involved if you want to get any higher. You can't forecast who will fall ill, crash or withdraw (this happenend to 3 of my riders, Pereiro, Danielson and the expensive poster-boy Boonen).

My team managed...
  • 8 stage wins out of 21 (Bennati - 3, Petacchi - 2, Zabel - 1, Menchov - 1, Rodriquez - 1)
  • 1,2,7,9 and 16th in the GC
  • 1,2,4,6,10,16 and 20th in Points
  • 1,3,9 and 10th in the Mountains
  • 1,3,7,12 and 13th in the Combination category
Not bad considering that until earlier in 2007 my knowledge of the current roster of pro riders was limited to just the big names.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Tri Blog

I have started a new experimental blog, which I hope can become a useful, informative and entertaining focal point for the Malaysian triathlon community, or even a proper Club! -

Please visit for a minute and give me your feedback.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

You Tubeauty!

I have only recently discovered the attraction of YouTube, and how to post videos on a blog.

I came across this gem yesterday. It is an early 1990/1 track from the wonderful London-based Shut Up & Dance (SUAD) label. I only selected this video as I am quite a fan of several other SUAD records, and had no idea what it sounded like. It turns out to be a fantastic tune - one which I think I last heard 16 or 17 years ago - probably on a John Peel show.

This is the kind of dance music that evolved into what was known as "Hardcore" and then further into Drum 'N Bass.

I do cringe sometimes when I hear dance tracks with silly samples, but even though this one is a good example of that, I love it anyway. Enjoy...early 90's British dance music with attitude (i.e. fast and without pianos or lovey-dovey female vocals)...

"Wicked" by Rum and Black...

A great up-tempo track for running to!

The Wonderful World Of...

...SE Asian Politics and Media.

Since spending most of my life in SE Asia since 1997 I have taken a keen interest in politics and current affairs and the way it is reported.

I find it much more interesting than UK politics.

In the UK, it is a fairly open affair. There's a wide-ranging and relatively free media. Some criticize the Govt heavily, some don't, some sensationalise everything and publish scandalous news complete with sordid details. The views of Opposition parties are widely-reported, Commons proceedings are live on TV everyday etc... but I find it quite boring.

Here is a different story. However I have recently become a bit bored with reading the same old stories in the newspapers. The Star in particular seems to follow a very familiar format day-in day-out...
  • Front Page - The PM offers some words of wisdom or says something positive about the Govt.
  • Page 2 - DPM says something similar
  • Page 3 - Ong Ka Ting says something positive about the MCA
  • Page 4 - Samy Vellu's page.
Recently I found something that has injected a great deal of interest into current affairs - Malaysia Today. Now I'm reluctant to get political in this blog so all I will say about Malaysia Today is that, even if you don't believe what they write, what they undoubtedly do is offer some perspective. A different side of the story, or bits of the sides that nobody else wants to report.

It is very refreshing to read articles from a different point-of-view.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Dear All, I wish to highlight to the World the important news that Melilea International "upholds the philosophy of EXPANDING OUR TRANSFORMATION."

Indeed they do. Absolutely fantastic news! When I want to buy some health supplement, the first thing I want to know is what bullshit (sorry Mum) philosophy the manufacturer has. Thanks Melilea.

Talking of Melilea, I have always been a bit puzzled as I pass under their huge billboard south of KL. It shows a bevvy of very happy looking people (with very narrow, straight and well-defined eyebrows - and perfect skin) holding lovely round juicy red apples.

An advert for fruit, or a healthy lifestyle you might think??

Nope - it's an advert for Melilea's "Greenfield Organic" products. Aha! Greenfield Organic - that must mean a range of fresh-from-the-farm vegetables or fruit!!

Nope - it is for a plastic tub of powder that is "processed by using the latest and most sophisticated technologies".

Processed? Organic? same thing?

In The Good Old Days

Ah yes - this is what they used to look like!......

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I have noticed a highly unusual and sudden development in the appearance of male homo-sapien eyebrows in the last few years. Normally such changes would take place over thousands of years (refer to Darwin - Natural Selection etc...) but this change is very dramatic!

It first started with David Beckham a few years ago. His brows suddenly became very narrow and straight - he looked like a right prat!

Now I see this condition popping up everywhere - like the guy who works in 7/11 on Jalan Gasing in KL, and some astronomer who appeared on BBC World yesterday. I have even become suspicious of my 18-year old stepsons eyebrows - they look somehow different these days.

I wonder if this phenomenon is related to global warming, El Nino or pollution or something like that. Can anyone explain??

Monday, September 17, 2007

RIP Benny

Benny Vansteelant (r) after winning Powerman Malaysia 2006

13-time World Champion Benny Vansteelant died Friday morning in a Belgian hospital after suffering a reported seizure. The 30-year-old Belgian's heart stopped between 5:30AM and 6:00AM after doctors attempted for 30 minutes to revive him.

Vansteelant was hospitalised last Saturday after he collided with a car on a training bike ride in the Flemish town of Hooglede-Gits.

He was rushed to a hospital in Roeselare, West Flanders, where he remained in intensive care until Thursday afternoon. Doctors were unsure he would return to his world-class form but were confident he would survive his injuries and make a full recovery.

Thursday afternoon he was moved out of the hospital's intensive care unit and the hospital said in a statement "the patient had a quiet night".

Vansteelant was the most dominant duathlete of all-time, winning in both short and long course formats. He is survived by his family, including rising star duathlete Joerie, Benny's younger brother.


My man! - Cool as a Cucumber Climber - Dennis Menchov

Despite losing Oscar Pereiro to illness and the two Tom's (Danielson & Boonen) to injury, my fantasy Vuelta team is faring better than my unlucky Le Tour team.

So far I've got 5 stage wins out of 15 (Bennati, Menchov & Zabel - 1 each, Petacchi - 2), and my best riders are placed 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th, 14th and 18th overall. My riders also make up all the points placings 2nd-5th.

However my team rank is still only 312th out of 780 or so! Anyway its money well spent as it adds some spice to watching each stage on TV.

I hope ASTRO show the World Champs at the end of Sept!

Formula Bore

When there's an F1 race on TV these days, I watch the first few laps then go and do something else. Later I'll switch on again to see if I can find out who won.

This is turning out to be a very efficient way of watching all the "action" in a 90 minute race by only actually spending 5 minutes in front of the TV.

Last night the sports channel proudly introduced "Moments Of The (Belgian GP) Race" in the post-race show. The "moments" were...
  1. 2 cars driving very close to each other at the first corner.
  2. 1 car overtaking another on Lap 4.
  3. The winner crossing the finishing line.
So in summary, apart from a hint of excitement on the first corner and one overtaking manouvre on Lap 4 - nothing exciting happened during the entire 90-minute 20-car race, therefore fully justifying my viewing strategy.

Live internet text coverage of MotoGP is more exciting!

Friday, September 14, 2007


The press has reported today that...

Hundreds of curious Penangites gathered along coastal areas yesterday following a tsunami warning...

Excusez-moi but isn't that about as sensible as standing on railway tracks to see if a train comes?!?!?!?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where Are You From?

I am often asked 'Where are you from?" - the last time being this morning. The answer is (in pictures)...

Stranraer, Scotland. South West Scotland. The "Southern Uplands". Wigtonshire. Dumfries & Galloway.

Town Centre, showing the Castle of St. John and the Victoria Memorial.

An old photo of the railway station

The Ailsa Princess Stranraer-Larne ferry. I remember watching these ships leave the harbour and wait for the bough wave to reach the shore. Exciting eh?

The Darnia Stranraer-Larne Ferry. There was the Galloway Princess too.

This RAF Buccaneer based at nearby RAE West Freugh used to be seem flying low around the local bays - dropping bombs onto the beaches (target practice). The Air Traffic Controller Dad!

Killantringan Beach - some nice rocks to climb on, a lighthouse,
and the wreck of the MV Craigantlet. A family walk venue. The wreck left unusual floating "cheese" in the sea and on the beach.

Castle Kennedy - more walking, and gardens!

Portpatrick. The building with the red signs is The Crown, where many a Sunday "Chicken-in-a-basket" lunch was enjoyed.
Dunskey Castle, Portpatrick. Walk here from the town to burn off The Crown lunch!

Ailsa Craig - a granite volcanic plug island off the West Coast just North of Stranraer.

Sandhead beach. I remember the wonderful sand dunes here with tufts of long grass scattered around, and once the sand was almost too hot to walk on (sounds unbelievable for Scotland). The beach had warning flags to warn the public when bombing practice was on.

And finally I was quite shocked to find this piccy on the Web - this is the house our family stayed in from 1970-something until 1983. It's a B&B now! It was a fantastic, huge house - great for hide-and-seek (and parachuting Action Man down the stairs), and had an attic, 13' high ceilings and an old bell system (for calling servants of course!) and a rayburn, upon which I sat in the cold Scottish mornings to warm up my backside through my dressing gown! Believe it or not, our phone number was 3606. That's it folks, not 012345678901234567.......just 3606. And Granny's number was 2696.

Why can I remember stuff like that???

Jocks Hammer The Frogs!

France 0-1 Scotland
By Thomas McGuigan

Scotland's players celebrate at the final whistle
Scotland celebrate their famous win at the Parc des Princes
Scotland secured an incredible Euro 2008 double over France courtesy of a James McFadden strike in Paris.

The French threw everything at the Scots in the Group B qualifier in the Parc des Princes but could not find a way past goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Gordon denied the tireless Franck Ribery and Nicolas Anelka with two wonderful second-half saves.

McFadden stunned the hosts in the 64th minute when his 30-yard strike beat the despairing Mikael Landreau.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Here's a low-res montage of me screaming around the streets of S'pore last weekend. It's pretty rare to get photos of me on the bike so I'm pretty pleased. I might even choose to pay for one of them from My aero position looks quite good but I reckon I could go lower at the front for shorter races.

I think my race report didn't actually state that it was a great race. Expensive, but great, despite some organisational hiccups. I thoroughly recommend it to all for next year (7 September 2008) - so get saving for the entry fee. If I happen to be living there at the time you can stay at my place!

As usual I enjoyed the bike ride the best. Apart from going up and down the Ben Sheares bridge, the route was as flat as you could imagine. My new bike is most enjoyable to ride on flat straight roads so that was good. However there were about 7 sharp bends on each lap and they were quite good fun to speed round, especially the wet one coming off a downhill section!

To compare this race with one of Uncle Chans (that most of my blog readers are familiar with) I'd say that U. Chan's races are like a family meal at Granny's house with lovely home-made food and the 70.3 race is more like a meal in a 5-star hotel. Equally enjoyable, but a whole different experience.

That was my main event of the year, and with Ramadan starting next weekend, I'm winding-down my training routine for a while. I've got a short 10k run race tomorrow, Powerman in November and Phuket Triathlon in December. Apart from that I might start looking into getting into a proper off-season training schedule for some faster performances next year. That'll probably involve alternating 21km runs or long bike rides on Sunday mornings through "winter".

I'm pretty sure I'll do the 2008 KL Marathon too - the full one, not half. Mind you I still have little desire to do a full Ironman triathlon (sorry to Arif, Edwin etc...). I think it's because for me it would be a pure endurance effort and that puts me off. I'm sure I could finish it within the time limit but I'd rather stick to shorter distances and actually try to improve my times.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Daft robber writes name on wall

Graffiti message (Pic: MEN Syndication)
The two youths vandalised a children's campsite
An 18-year-old burglar who vandalised a children's campsite building was caught because he wrote his name on a wall at the scene, a court has heard.

Peter Addison, of Heaton Mersey, Stockport, and his friend Mark Ridgeway of Poynton, Cheshire, smashed crockery and let off fire extinguishers.

There are some pretty stupid criminals around, but to leave your own name at the scene of the crime takes the biscuit
Inspector Gareth Wood

Apart from writing his own name in black marker pen at the Toc H centre in Adlington, Cheshire, Addison also left his gang's name on the wall - The Adlington Massiv!.

The teenager vandalised a Garden Birds of Britain poster by adding "R Gay".

He then left a final message to the campsite owners - "thanks for the stay".

Police found him after entering his name in a computer system.

Inspector Gareth Woods, of Cheshire Police, said: "This crime is up there with the dumbest of all in the criminal league table.

"There are some pretty stupid criminals around, but to leave your own name at the scene of the crime takes the biscuit.

"The daftness of this lad certainly made our job a lot easier."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Just When You Thought It Was Safe... rest and think of a nice relaxing Ramadan...the Powerman website is updated with details of this years race on Nov 11th.

It's on the Sunday, it's 11-64-10km, and it's in the morning!

See you in Lumut!

Monday, September 03, 2007

S'pore 70.3 Race Report

First of all, here's a video of the course. My official result is here.

Lots of photos of me (BIG THANKS to superstar photographer Tey Eng Tiong), and photos taken by me, are here.

Tey's photos, including some of Shahrom and lots of others, are here.


Preparing all the kit is one of the joys of triathlon!! -

Up at 5am, drinking lots, munching bananas, Powerbar & energy to ECP in a taxi at 5.30am. Arrived at T1 with an hour until transition closes. Did body numbering, set up transition. Managed to get hold of a great pump and put 140psi into both tyres. Paid a visit to the mens room (an important pre-race job) and plastered sun cream all over. I tightened up everything on the bike, including the hydrotail that had come loose the day before, and was all set at 7am - perfect timing!

Gunter was buzzing, jumping up and down - excited about the start!

With Shahrom (L) and Gunter (R) at the start.

My wave was one of the last so I got a chance to see the pro's and a few others dive off into the water.


The waves were smaller than Desaru and the current was weaker, so I managed a much faster swim. The whole swim was fine except the main outward leg which was directly towards the rising sun which made navigating difficult. I went a bit left then a bit right so perhaps lost a wee bit of time. I reach the furthest point in about 25 mins against the current so looked good for the planned sub-50min swim.

The return leg was fine and I pushed it a bit towards the end and emerged from the water in 47:47.

Teh snapped me during the 250m run from the beach to T1...

Heading to T1.

All OK except I started running towards where BIKE OUT was shown on the T1 plan, not where it actually was. So I lost a few secs - but only a few.

Cranking it up at the start of the ride.

Away smoothly, everything working. Managed a good pace along the East Coast Service Road heading towards the 4-lap city course. Started overtaking a few of the stronger swimmers. Saw a crash victim after only 5km or so on the uphill approach to the ECP bridge.

Onto the city loop I was loudly cheered by an unknown female (Melody or Adele I thought) but on lap 2 I noticed it was Cort Prois' wife Sandy - she's a great and very vocal supporter! Into Marina area for the first lap another crash victim with bandaged arm spotted, then lots of puncture victims - I was praying for no punctures for me!!

The ride was great. The bike was super-smooth and I was cruising at 33-34kph on the flattest course you could wish for, with some nice sharp adrenalin-stimulating 90 degree corners. The pros were pushing the drafting laws to the limit - at one point a pack of them passed me with them all in single file, 3-4 bike lengths behind each other. Was impressed to see eventual Womens winner Belinda Granger cycling together with the leading men.

I went a bit too fast on the bike in the first 2 laps and my lap splits slowed, something like 33-35-36-37mins for a 2:40 total. I tired on the last 2 laps but my time was still good, averaging almost 32kph for 85km. Are these races ever the correct distance? I'm sure my bike computer is correct.

Left quad feeling a bit sore towards the end - it the same muscle that goes first every time!


Jumped off my bike in my new style, saving 2 seconds in the process, handed the bike to a catcher, got my run bag and changed for the run, just about finding a space to sit on one of the changing benches. Out of T2 in a reasonable 2 minutes despite struggling with socks onto damp feet as usual.


First 5 mins ok but for the next 10 mins my quad was seriously threatening to cramp. I stayed relaxed and thank goodness it went away. After nature called, I was off again on the riverside paths at a fairly slow place but was happy that I had 2h45m to beat my target time.

Then disaster struck. I had to walk and felt like I had no energy. I just couldn't run for more than 1-2mins at a time. Even PowerGel didn't seem to help. I kept running-walking-running and I was only halfway into 1 of 2 laps. There were people cruising past me all the time and I was NOT looking forward to walking for another one-and-a-half-hours to cross the finish line way outside my target. My first 11.5km took 1h25mins. From my HR readings it looks like I stopped to walk about 12 times and my HR dropped to around 140bpm from hovering around 160bpm on the bike.

Then my saviour appeared. I was inspired to drink Coke (flat Coke) and it tasted soooooooooo good! That lifted my spirits and my energy and somehow I managed to run the rest of the way with very little walking. I was drinking like a trooper though (electrolyte-Coke-water every 1km in that order) - goodness knows where it all went as it didn't come out the usual channel!

This helped me do a negative split (a faster 2nd half). I managed the final 10km in a more reasonable 1h10mins, with little walking. In the final few km I began to pass a number of runners which raised my spirits a bit more...

Plugging away on the run.

My finish - through a damp lens!
Swim - 0:47:47
T1 - 0:03:18
Bike - 2:40:25 (85.43km @ 31.95kph)
T2 - 0:02:04
Run - 2:35:21
TOTAL - 6:08:55

Another medal and number for the collection!

The all-important data!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Singapore 70.3 - Brief Race Report

Just a quick one, as I go online to check results online on my way to the Awards Dinner...

Thanks to a decent 47m+ swim and a good bike ride (2h40m+), a horrendous first 11km of the run didn't stop me from finishing in under 6:09:00, 6mins inside my target.

Just found this online. I am near the left, with grey top, just to the right of the guy with the black top. You can just see my head and half of my back...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Singapore Stories


The story so far...

For a Saturday a.m., the LRT station was packed. That combined with 3 empty trains passing, and 2 trains being totally packed, led me to be too late to check-in at KL Sentral. I also forgot my wash bag. So I missed my 0925 flight. Lucky I got on the 1020 SIA flight.

I arrived, left my stuff at Penny's (sis-in-law) place and headed in to town to register. Did that ok. Saw Stephen Bayliss. Registered then sat in Starbucks thumbing throught the race gear. Off to T2 for a look around. I then realised that there was no free bike service the following day and I was counting on that to fix my skipping gears.

So I rushed back to Changi in a taxi, built my bike, changed and cycled back into town. Gears ok now. Phew. Attended the race briefing. Met Simon, a Singaporean who knew me from reading my blog!

Cycled back to Changi and stopped in Bernie's for a nice bit of pepper chicken, then cycled to the apt. Nobody at home so I cycled round 'n round practising a fast dismount (take feet from shoes before stopping, then swing right leg over top tube so both legs on one side). Another 3 milliseconds saved tomorrow! Still time to kill - so cycled to our old place in Tampines Street 81 - still look the same.

Organised stuff a bit then off to beddie-bies about 11.50pm.


Cycled to meet Gunter at The Bayshore. We cycled to T1 and swam in the disgusting sea for about 30mins. Plenty of oily floating stuff and black wood in the sea - horrible! Then we cycled around East Coast Park for about an hour. I checked my bike in at T1 and Gunter went home.

Taxi back to the apt, chilled-out for a while then back into town by bus/MRT to check-in my run bag at T2. Found out that our bikes will be taken by volunteers at the dismount line, and they have benches in T2 for socks/shoes - excellent!

Lunch in O'Briens for 2nd day running. Wandered around a very busy Singapore for a couple of hours. Contemplated the cinema but timing not convenient. Bought pressies for Lucas. Bought a spanner and screwdriver as I'm worried my bottle cages will fall off tomorrow! Eventually headed back to Changi where I have sneaked into a cyber cafe to check my email, check the footy fixtures and write this. Footy is too late to watch, so home to bed in a minute.

If you're interested you can follow my progress on tomorrow a.m.

So far it's been a weekend of surprising faces....

Melody and Adele of Powerman fame were at the registration booth
I saw Danny Feng nearby too
Then Wendy Wong turned up at the bike service
In the evening I saw an old Ho Lee Construction colleague driving a van in Tampines
This morning I saw an old Aussie aquaintance and fellow Wombat (S'pore Aussie Rules Footy Team) exiting the condo as I waited for Gunter.
Then I see Tay at the swim session.
Finally Randy & Ivie pop-up and say hello while I'm sitting down having a coffee in a Mall.
I then see them again 2 hours later in amongst a million other shoppers.

Its a small World. Weird huh?!?