Thursday, December 31

Happy 2010!!!!

Happy New Year from Zazamazu!!! Hope that 2010 will bring happiness and prosperity to all of us. We had a very eventful 2009, and are thankful for all the things that we have now.. family, friends, good health, modest wealth and most importantly, happiness. We hope for a greener 2010, and hope that all plans go smoothly.

Here's a layout of latest Zazamazu picture, plus another layout of New Year Eve celebration 2 years ago at our house. Have a great Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30

Someone I look up to at work

The above pic is a picture of me and my previous GM. His name is Ng Bon Leong. There are veryyyyyyyy feww people that I admire and like at work. I mean reallllyy few. But this old man is someone I look up to very highly. Anybody how knows him will agree he is very knowledgeable, humble and a very pleasant man. I remembered one saying when he was referring to someone else but it instead showed me his character.

"Those who are the most knowledgeable are the humblest"

In TNB, it is a very hierarchical society with more than 28000 workers. Those who are high ranked mingles less with those in low ranks more so if its unrelated to work. It is very obvious and deep in our culture. In my first month of office this old man saw me lining up at the canteen, paid for my meal and followed me to an empty table with his entourage tailing behind. Later I found out at other TNB offices, you will never hear a GM level having breakfast with a 'budak hingusan'.

As far as engineering knowledge is concern especially TNB wise, nobody that I know can top him. Even specialist with national awards when they present and see him in the crowd will be 'segan'. "Betul tak Mr. Ng ?" will be the routine question during their presentation. I have been to outside TNB talks and seen other experts in our field. Every single one of them will know about Mr. Ng and how good he is. Once I approached a speaker (who seemed really knowledgeable) to ask him a question and told him where I worked. He laughed and said, next time you should ask your boss cause thats what I do if I cant find the answer. It also paid off during my Professional Engineer interview when I dropped his name as my boss. Passed with flying pig colors.

He is currently around due to some project as an adviser. He has been on extended contract for more than 4 years (the longest ever in TNB as far as we know). But his current contract ended last september. So he has not been paid since but you will see him every day nonetheless. He was reluctant to tell the story cause in a way TNB wanted him to work but with no guarantee of pay. He seemed not to mind and I asked him why. He said that he didnt feel right to leave yet cause the project is not completed. "How can I show my face to all of you... anyways TNB has given me enough" . I never fail to learn something from this old man.

I can tell you more in detail how great he is as an engineer and how much he has save TNB (financially and operationally) but I dont think most will understand cause I sometimes too dont understand. Just to simplify things, most good things that are working in a way as to with what he did.

i have a theory in TNB that only 10% of its staff is carrying the company while the 90% is just tagging along for the ride. But this old man is a whole new percentage by itself in my opinion. Unfortunately TNB is running out of this rare species but instead filling itself with morons instead. Thats why given a chance I would want to run too mainly due to self-moronic preservation.

Saturday, December 26

Chinese Muslim food hits the spot in Shah Alam!!

To all Shah Alam-ians, I finally found a Chinese Muslim Restaurant located here.... baru je tahu, ketinggalan zaman sikit. But for others yg lagi ketinggalan dan lagi hampeh the restaurants name is Mukmin. Its located at seksyen 19 near Shah Alam Medical Center (not Selangor Medical Center seks. 20.... senang tersilap hospital) on the row of shops kinda facing the old Depalma Hotel.

Food was good at reasonable prices too. Great value especially for this kind of cuisine. Proven, cause their main customers were middle-class Melayu (Melayu kan wassatiahh!!). I noticed cause ramai pakai baju kilang. The drinks... i tell you was superbbbb!! Walaupun hanya soya + cincau together, they made their on soya and it tasted different from ones I had before. As you can see in the pics, the air asam cukup kick with the response of our 'soured' face. But my favorite order of the night was 'air buah kundur dan longan'. Some ustadz made it and it really did what it claimed on the label. I did feel a little fresher. Loved it... we loved it so much that we bought extra bottles to bring back home.

The food was also a hit but we didnt get to try out a lot of dishes.. only 3 adultss yg nak makan, itu pun tak habis and had to bungkus balik. We had the nestum prawn (adik kepada butter prawn) but with a lot more fiber (nak sedapkan my high colesterol hati), ketam masak cili+cari+kicap kot and sayur kailan ikan masin. Everything was wonderful. "The ketam was sooo fressh" said the wife and my mother-in-law (ketam enthusiasts). I really enjoyed the prawns cause of its tender shells. I just had to chew the heads off... full of flavor, Layannnn... Normally it will give me itchy lips but not this time. The only complain that I had was the sayur was too salty. But daaaaa said everybody, its suppose to be cause of the salted fish. Okklahhh.. I was just being concern over my blood pressure.

A little heads up is that this place is good but a little bit crowded, sempit, 'berlengas' , asap kepul, stuffy and not so comfy. Anybody looking for a place to chill out and talk, this is not it. Its a place to really eat. So do enjoy it you get a chance.

ps.. Happy Birthday Mama, hope you live happy and long

Playground sosializing

Yesterday as the kids were playing at Mc D playground, one boy around 6-8 years old went to the glass next to us looking very serious for several minutes trying to get our attention. "Emm.. what does this kid want?" I was thinking. So I gestured at him to ask if he wants some of our food. No was his answer but he gestured something else back:

This is what he had gestured:
  1. Pointed his finger directly at Zareef looking angry. (he was following Zareef as Zareef was coming out from the playground actually)
  2. Hammering his own head with his fist.
  3. Put a hand on his head as though it was hurting.
  4. Pointing back at Zareef.
  5. Looking particularly 'tak puas hati' and vengeful

As I love playing charades, I am 'guessing' this boy wants me to scold Zareef for hitting him. So I kinda did but not so seriously (acting sikit). The boy looked happy at the scolding and satisfactorily grinned walking away. Me and the wife had a good laugh with that.

It isn't as funny when 10 minutes later, I asked Zareef to put on his sandal, he 'selamba' pushed a 2-3 year old girl who was in his way in front of her own dad. I did my routine "sorry parent to parent" talk and scolded Zareef while pulling him away. Have been doing this for more than a couple of years now. God knows how many times I had to apologize to other parents for Zareefs "kasarness". We ask him to turn it down a notch all the time (especially if his excited) but its just his nature. Another bad thing is that its rubbing off on Zara. Based on the "Bibik Report" she too likes to push other kids especially those in the way or in a queue.

Ahhh... heres a good one, this is what zareef said when he saw the playground was full of kids

"Ramai macam ni lah Zareef suka, sebab boleh gaduh-gaduh"

Wednesday, December 23

Jaja's 7th Birthday

Last Sunday our family had a dinner/tea to celebrate Jaja's birthday. She turned 7. It was really one of those joyous occasion. Everybody was laughing and catching up. The place was like a market with our racking. Luckily the place was deserted apart from us and 1 or 2 other tables. The owner is a friend of Along and Kak Yan's anyway.

Those who attended was us the whole family - zara, zareef, maz and myself, Along and the family - Along, Kak yan, jaja, nana, Wawa, broken-armed Mak Lang with Din, Awi and Aishah, the ustazah blue Mak Uda with Pak Uda, Angah, Wani + bf (i dont agree sebab tak kawin lagi), iza and Afiq and Tilla. Not bad atendance I might add. We missed only a few other people. I just wished that my mom would have been healthy enough to have made it (she is currently self-restrained home stay cause she gets real bad migraines in the car)

We had great food cooked by the big mean looking but friendly Bosnian owner. There were about 5-6 dishes ranging from soups, salads to pizzas. The kids were really happy cause Kak yan brought a bag full of balloons and a nice cake. Most of them were more interested in playing rather than eating. The adults on the other hand was buzy talking too rather than eating.

What a lovely day to think back. Its really rare we get together for occasions like this. Along always in Congo, Afiq in flight school, Din shooting, Wani in England, me in shifts (just got back from one that day) and so forth. So I am treasuring this to the fullest.

Kain takleh share lah!!

Its a phase nowadays that Zara likes to 'masuk' in my kain. She can just sit 'inside' drinking happily her milk or watch cartoons. If it was up to her she would 'make camp' and stay the night.

To me its kinda awkward and hazardous. Normally I would layan her a while her but have to put my foot down when my 'other anak2' is being kicked around.

ps.. certain body parts were hurt during the 'event'

The princess story

It is harder to write about Zara when she doesn't speak well yet. But that doesn't mean that she has no interesting story to tell. Even only 2 years old, her characters are way different compared to Zareef. She is soooo ladylike and feminine and so "pompuan". She is sweet like candy and knows to flaunt it. Everytime we get angry or about to get angry, she put on her sweet and angelic face. Who can get mad to that? (now a bit immune, plus she's getting naughtier!)

She just love love pretty things. She loves nice clothes, and now she chooses what she wants to wear, even when she is just staying at home. She likes her clothes bright, cheerful and nice, and it has to match! If she doesn't like the clothes we picked, she refuses to wear them. But if she approves on the clothes (usually pretty ones to jalan2) she sometimes even wear them herself! Not to mention, she loves to 'melaram' too. Sometimes, she tries to put on make-up and love when we style up her hair.

We also noticed that she is very picky and has to follow by the book. She follows her routine strictly, and will make sure everyone follows theirs too. She will be the one who call for dinner, make sure everyone is wearing seat belt in the car and make sure everyone is eating fruits. In summary, everything she does, everyone has to follow. So, when she dances, everyone has to dance, she will make sure of it. Hubby said that she will hold the family together, like 'glue', later on. She reminds me of Alice Cullen in Twilight.. hehe.. (deviate kejap) That's why we were having a hard time potty-training her, because to her, she HAS to wear pampers, it's out of routine to NOT wear pampers. Yeah, we gave up for a while, plan to start again after her birthday.. hehe..

She also has some kind of natural affinity towards music. She will dance to anything, anywhere (even when in her car seat). She knows lyrics to songs, and her favorite songs now is Row row your boat and Twinkle2 Little Star. That's why she really enjoys Gymboree. Not only limited to kids songs, she will dance and sing to any catchy songs on the radio and computer.

All in all, she is a lovely girl.. our princess... always!

Here is layout I did for Zara. The title is her favorite word now.. 'cantek!' hehehe

Tuesday, December 22

A day in the office or 'gua' as we call it

Note: Sorry a little long. Just my nature to bit@h about work.

People keep asking me what I do in TNB. In previous years I would have loved to explain and feel proud about it. Not now though cause it sounds great and important but being treated like crap takes its toll you know. So here is a little on what I do so that it will be easier for others to refer.

I am a Power Grid System Operator working in the National Load Despatch Center (classified as national security center class 1 - but my wife used to walk in dilly dally without a problem) . Its like the flight tower controller but for an electrical power grid. I control operations of the whole transmission and generation of Peninsular Malaysia. Me and 2 others in a shift - 1 of them is the boss and gets away without doing anything which most of them normally do. Yes only 3 people are watching the country at any given time comparing to scores in other countries like Thailand and Indonesia (which is my main concern).

But small blackouts are not under my jurisdiction (for those who keep calling me - kadang2 rumah sendiri nya MCB trip pun blame me). If the whole big area like a city or state yes you can call me. Actually you will be lucky to get hold of me either way. Responsibility and stress is high as anything under the sun that happens electrically in real time bears down on our shoulders. I mean this literally. I have experienced emergencies consisting of explosions, fire, earth quakes, land slides, Jelly fish (Philippines had a national blackout due to this), robbery shootings, terrorist threat and even elephants amok damaging the substations. Unfortunately and very sad it even involves lost of lives.

Making sure continuous supply/connectivity and restoring blackouts arent as easy as I would wish mainly cause electricity can not be stored like water or gas therefore have to be transmitted through long distances in real time and is highly dangerous. A few minutes of electricity disruption has major consequences comparing to communication (TM/celcom/maxis), water or other utilities. Just go ask Namewee here.

So to add to my pathetic work life... VIPs keep coming to our place. I have seen Ministers, Kementerian Keselamatan big dogs, Energy Commission, TNB Board Directors (In the above pics), CEO, SVP, VP and so forth walking in (normally during shitty days - to know the crisis or something important). All TNB power plants put it in the KPI to visit us (but they cant walk in anymore but watch us through a windowed glass - just like in the zoo). This is the platform they normally show their dissatisfaction. All regional transmission people come too to go through our interview to get their competant and authorization person cert. This is when they get to meet the people that instructs them everyday (kalau tak puas hati tu, boleh cam muka lah)

Here is another pic of the most hated thing I have to do everyday. Watch the alarms. Alarms are great to make us aware of the health of the grid. But once you get an alarm every freaking minute and 95% is sh!t you get really annoyed. But once you miss one, you'll get shot down like you just fu@ked the ministers daughter. In this particular pick it showed a important cable tripping Brickfield to Pantai. A big cunk of KL was on the line at the time.

In this pic, as you can see there are a lot of people around. I am the one in the front computer under "whats going on?". To tell you the truth, I was doing 95% of the work while the others were doing 5%. This also pisses me off the most (everything the most lah). Another bad thing was that I knew what to do but given the circumstances nowadays (big scapegoat game) I wouldnt want to take the blame alone if anything went wrong. Thats why i called the GM to be beside me. So that every step I wanted to make I asked his 'ok'. I learned to never be a hero.. you'll never get a reward anyways. Sad right, the integrity of the electrical grid is the receiving end of this stick.

This scenario occurs every other day and you might think I am exaggerating but I asure you that I am not. Just ask the people in the same boat as I am.

Sunday, December 20

Celebrating 6 wonderful years Part II

As a response to my wifes lovely post and to make you all readers vomit more (out of mushiness), I would like to share the few things she says that really makes her my ultimate and only woman, yes she is MINE!!:

  1. Realizing my limited budget, I bought her a nice but not grand gift. I told her I wished I can afford a better gift. Her response was "When you can afford better gifts it would not be as meaningful as what you are sacrificing for me now... I prefer it this way a lot more"
  2. We married very young with what little savings I had working (intending to get married) during my studies and prepared everything ourselves for it. Going to other friends grand weddings I told her that our wedding was really simple by comparison. Her response was "Our wedding was special to me cause you worked harder and did everything yourself"
  3. My mom teased me of not giving enough love to the kids. Hearing that she said "Nobody can give more love than what Ain is currently giving"
  4. Hypothetically, I asked her about an oversea job. It was good money but the family had to stay back. She was really uncool with it and got mad. She said "Whats the point if we dont stay together"

Her values and priority about family even amazes me (her 6 year old partner). One thing I can be sure as the rising morning sun is her unconditional never ending love towards me and the kids. For that I hail you and love your ever so dearly.

Celebrating 6 wonderful years...

Happy 6th anniversary, sayang!! Thank you for the wonderful and happy years together. I can't imagine my life without you in it and am so very grateful for having you and the kids to light up my life.

OK, warning!!! If you cant stand corniness and mushy2ness, please don't read any further!!

I have to say that I am so lucky to have him as my husband. He is a very responsible, understanding and very loving husband. He is really the kind that would do anything for me and the family. He would do a lot of things just to impress me.. Here are a few examples in random order:

1) He is working hard to buff up just so that I will like him more. (You know I love you, regardless!)
2) He reads all Twilight series books so that he can understand my obsession over Edward Cullen and maybe wanna be like him. (OK, Edward does not exists in real world.. nobody's perfect! But you're my version of Edward Cullen! OK- don't puke yet, people!)
3) He wants to pick up a hobby so that we can do things together. Since I am into scrapbooking, he thinks that getting into photography and learning to take better pictures will make me happy. (Of course, I am really happy and touched that he wants to do this!)
4) This is the most important.. he really takes care of the kids, more than what most husband do. And he really love doing it. For that, I am very grateful.

That's only a few.. I dont want to make people puke out of these mushiness.. heheh.. I just want to point out how really grateful I am.. I may take things for granted sometimes, but deep inside I really care and appreciate everything you did. Happy Anniversary dear!

Here is just a snippet of our years together.. since the early college years to now.. that's almost 10 years!

The early days.. 2000..
Right before graduation.. 2003Our wedding.. 2003Our hero was borned.. 2005Bandung.. 20062006Raya 2006Raya 2007 .. pregnant with Zara..2007Dinner & Dance 2007.. Us with our little humpZara is here! 20082008Raya 2008Tioman 2008Reunion dinner.. 2008Our family @ 2008Mr & Mrs Joker.. 2008Zara's 1st birthday.. 2009Zareef's 4th birthday.. 20092009Us now.. and foreverp/s: I love you so much!