Sunday, December 31, 2017
It is the last post that reflects on year 2017 before the clock strikes past midnight. How has year 2017 been for me? First off and with slight tinge of disappointment, some lofty targets set for the early part of the year were missed as we inched forward. There was an ambitious plan to partner someone to launch a business proposal which I thought was was quite unique and definitely one of its kind here but the investors 'did not bite' despite our best presentation effort put forth. Thus, the business idea has to put on back burner for now. 😞
On the event front, our signature run events like Run For Light and Urban Aquathlon were successfully launched. While the bottomline was nothing to gloat about but I enjoyed the whole process for both events. Run For Light and Urban Aquathlon will continue to be featured in year 2018 and of course, I am hoping for a better outing this time. Though we initiated OCC 3Ten Run in 2015 but we decided not to co-own the event which eventually went back to OCC. However, we still managed OCC 3Ten Run 2017 for them as event organiser. At least we do not have to worry about number and still get paid for it.
Perhaps I derived more pleasure and satisfaction from the few team building events I conducted for few companies. The earning was also not that bad either. Had I started to venture into team building years ago, things could be different for me now I did wonder to myself. 😄
The biggest surprise I received for the year is to get re-connected with a dear friend after more than one decade. A surprise 'hello' email from this friend suddenly appeared on my laptop did get me thinking momentarily that this could be a spam mail. Fortunately, it was not. Yes, we have plenty of catching up to do now. 😃
What will year 2018 be like? Admittedly, I am not getting younger anymore and some friends think I am going easy. On the contrary, I am not slowing down and at this age, I am still hoping for a breakthrough in the few things I am doing. Retirement to me means 'it's the end'. As long as I am still healthy and alert, I will continue to find something to do even going into my 70s or beyond. In short, I can ill-afford to retire. I hope the few events that we have lined for 2018 will take us to the next level. Is 2018 going to be a good year? Yes, it is going to be one heck of a year but I have to work hard for it. Year 2018, bring it on! 💪💪💪
Monday, March 20, 2017
Group pic on first day of ride in Balik Pulau
Beaten track with padi fields in between and mountains from a distance in Balik Pulau
We were supposed to have 32 of us including me as the tour leader but one had suddenly taken ill, thus 31 of us at last count. There were few familiar faces in this trip. Michelle and Aaron who did twice with us, Philip and his wife who did thrice and this time, they brought their younger daughter, Amanda along, Ronald, his wife and daughter, Josslin joining second time too. Regular outdoor kakis of mine, power couple Tan & Jane and dainty Fenny were on this trip to keep me company throughout. Among the group, we had a group of 7 fun seeking men who are cycling buddies, 2 lovely sisters in Deirde & Deryne, a father & son team and 3 gregarious nurses. There were also 5 bloggers who were arranged by Star Cruises to shout out through their social media platforms as much as possible. Alas, Xuejing who had been doing the planning since our inception trip did not follow this time and the responsibility fell squarely on me 😓 😓😓.
For the first time, Penang cycling tour specialist from Mata Hari led by SJ mapped out the cycling routes and also provided ground support throughout the expedition. Save for Michelle and Aaron who brought their own bikes, the rest of us just rented mountain bikes from Mata Hari.
Our flight to Penang touched down at about 1130 hrs and by the time, we cleared immigration and customs, it was near 1300 hrs. SJ and his team were already there to meet us. Soon, we were transported to Balik Pulau for our first ride in Penang. Our previous rides in Penang were in the heart of busy George Town but this time, it was a completely different cycling experience. Balik Pulau is located in the rustic southwestern region of Penang island. It was an easy ride where we cycled past padi fields, streams, Malay kampungs and Chinese fishing village with the mountains in full sight. Easy ride aside, this ride also enabled the support team to identify those who will need help in our subsequent rides which can be challenging. We ended our half day ride in a goat farm before being transported to Equatorial Hotel for a good night rest 😄😄😄.
Goat farm in Balik Pulau
Group picture before taking the climb at Mount Jerai
At the summit of Mt Jerai
Huffed and puffed up the slope in Phuket
Group pic in Patong Beach before rolling off
View of Karon Beach from the top
When the ship came alongside the port at about noon time, we were transferred to Queensbay Mall to spend the afternoon lazing around before heading to the airport for flight home in the evening. On touching down at Changi Airport, someone I hoped to see at the airport was there to meet me. Home sweet home!
The four of us at the summit of Mount Jerai
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Nowadays sensation news, be it real or fake will reach to the masses almost in an instance, all thanks to the availability of social media platforms. In the early years where the masses relied heavily on mainstream media for news feed and it means receiving it one day later at the earliest.
How did we manage army mobilisation exercise in the 80s where even pager had yet to make an entrant to the communication sphere? If I can remember well, there were two types of mobilisation, one is the 'silent mobilisation' and the other is 'open mobilisation'. Silent mobilisation posed the biggest challenge to recall personnel back, given the tight time frame and the contrary, activating open mobilisation was rendered much easier. The latter required a core team comprising person overall in-charge to second in-charge, to third in-charge, so on & so forth. The I/Cs will be given a list of people's contacts to get in touch with once the recall was activated. For open mobilisation, the code names of the affected units will appear on national TV and also broad casted via radio stations. Once the personnel got the recall activation on TV or radio, they will then head back to their respective units to be accounted for.
I remember I was the second or third I/C for my group. During our active days, we were activated in a silent mob. The I/C before me will come to my house and then handed a list of contacts staying within 5 km radius of my place. We will then list down the contact details among ourselves and went on with our given tasks. We had to do so within few hours time frame and when the visiting task was done, we will don our number four uniform and headed back to our unit for reporting. I remember I went on foot to the residence of each of the recall personnel to hand them the activation notice. If the person was not at home, someone from the house will have to acknowledge it. I think I was given some 20 contacts to get in touch with. I can't help feeling trepidation of sorts in bid to complete the task within the given time frame. Pager was still not developed yet, let alone smart phone of the present and our means of communication was very much dependent on land line. In the absence of mobile phone and Internet, we can still take comfort that majority of the personnel can still be contacted and made it back to camp in time. This silent exercise was even activated when we were reservists. During our time, we had to do few silent mobilisation including one or two open mobilisation
I now wonder how silent mobilisation is executed in present days. Does silent mob using the old method still apply? I think creating chat group on FB should suffice unless MINDEF feels it is unsafe to do so. 😏😏😏