Monday, September 13, 2010

Back From The Dead

Hello all!





First of all, I'm really sorry for the lack of updates, due to some "technical problems". But now, hopefully that problem is all gone and I shall keep this blog up and running in full force once again.

So what happened between my absence in the blogging scene?





I got enrolled into UBD and so far, it's all good. But it keeps me really busy because there are always assignments weeks after weeks and lots of presentations too.

I've realised time passed by really fast. It's like I haven't get to really enjoy the year 2010.

I've had some really wonderful time though, but it's all too fast.

For my much anticipated trip to Taiwan back in July, I had to wait almost 7 months to visit there but now, it is a already a matter of 2 months ago.

Time flies. So don't waste time doing nothing and enjoy doing whatever you can.

As I entered the university life, I realised everything needs money. Yeah, like after all these years. Our daily necessities aren't cheap.

Before I get into university, I never cared about how fast our car fuel will run out.





One day, I was driving with the car in low tank. And so when I went to the petrol station, I found out it'd cost around $10 fill up your tank at least half full. It's not that I don't know the prices of fuel but I never realised how hard it can burn your pockets.

Lunch is another thing. Almost everyday, I'd go out for lunch with a bunch of friends. Each of these lunch would cost another $5 or more.





UBD's too far from home and sometimes we've only got an hour to eat.

Going to gym on a regular basis would cost me another $40 per month. And then there's Easi and b-mobile top-up cards to buy.

Wow. Hard times. I really can't wait for the allowances.





So for now, I'll try to survive. The allowance will come at the end of October, or the start of November, so they say.

I shall update you with my wonderful trip to Taiwan in my next post. So fellow old readers, come back!

Before I log off, I'd like to wish all my Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya! Maaf zahir dan batin!

Regards,
Desmond.

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:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 9:04 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 17, 2010

BSP Attachment - The Working Life

Sorry people for keeping you waiting! I have been too busy with things lately even though I'm done with the attachment.

Alright. I'm gonna continue with my Attachment entry.

So, why do I choose Brunei Shell Petroleum?



Frankly, it's all about the money. There you go! No money, no life :p Then again, comparing other scholarships offered, I think BSP scholarship is one of the best, if not the best. My job is 100% secured legally by a contract for 5 years after graduation.

Also, working in BSP doesn't limit me to office environment, which I'm not so fond of. I prefer activity! I like working in a field environment! Thankfully, BSP is not fully owned by the government, cause I don't like to comply to all government protocols like dress code, hair code, etc. There's more freedom in a 50% privately owned company :D As such, being a globally renowned company, experience opportunity will be vast!



Still, I would be equally grateful if I had gotten other scholarships instead. Bruneians are very lucky to have such lucrative offers for education! So I appreciate what I've got :)

I started out applying for a course in Mechanical Engineering. However, due to the high numbers of Mechanical Engineering applicants, I was persuaded to switch my course. I am now taking Systems and Control Engineering. It is also commonly known as Control and Automation Engineering, but some call it Instrumentation Engineering.



Confused? From what I've gathered during my attachment, Systems and Control Engineering deals with instruments.

For example, when you step on the accelerator in your car, how does your speedometer know what speed you're driving at? The speedometer is the instrument. So, to explain it crudely, I guess my engineering discipline is about maintaining the synchronicity of the instruments with its initiator. I'll find out more when I actually start my course ;)



While choosing my desired course, I must also choose my preferred department in BSP. Meaning to say, once I graduate, I will be working for that particular department. So, I have been accepted to join this department which carries out operations and maintenance.

Now, on to the working life. Work hours in BSP starts from Monday to Friday, from 7-12pm and 1-4pm. As I've mentioned in my previous post, I still had to wake up the same time I used to during school days! And since there are only 2 bathrooms in the apartment, everyone has to wake up extra early so that everyone can bath.



Annoyingly, the apartment's water heater tends to run out of gas! It is not cool to bath with cold water early in the morning.

My breakfast table must have Nescafe! Nescafe is like a drug to me. I cannot live without it :') As for food options, I would normally go for peanut butter bread. Otherwise it would be biscuits. But whenever I felt rajin, I would fry French toast. Yummy!



Oh God! All these temptations is making me hungrier!

Let's stop talking about food.

During my attachment, my assignment was to familiarize with the working environment and BSP's general process flows.

I was assigned to look after nodding donkeys.



I was assigned to study how the crude oil is being processed.





I relayed information from the computer to the field technicians via walkie talkie.



I climbed up two tanks!



I was also assigned to master at least 1 hands on analysis from each of the 6 BSP laboratories.




The attachment was overall a fun and useful experience! Although I gotta admit, sometimes there's just absolutely nothing to do one whole day due to supervisors being too busy. Those days were just boring to death. Makes me wanna jump down from the tanks.

So, to prospective students who are seriously thinking of getting the BSP scholarship, do not hesitate to leave comments here or at the tagboard.

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:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 1:55 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BSP Attachment - The Apartment Life

As you all may have come to known, I had been doing my attachment at Brunei Shell Petroleum Company in Seria for the last 3 months. That is why I haven't been able to update for a century already. It's either I was too busy or too tired. To think that this is only a stint of the working life, I can't imagine how it will feel once I really do work for real. Yikes.


Now that I'm done with the attachment, I will once again do the job of reviving this dying blog! I will divide my blog posts into several parts. I'll start of with life in the apartment.

To start of...

I would usually go up to Seria every Sunday afternoon. And then, after work hours on Friday, I would drive down back to Bandar. Luckily, BSP was kind enough to offer an apartment for the Bandar students to live in. I am not sure if I can tahan commuting up and down Seria everyday!

I gotta admit, driving up and down Seria is kinda fun actually. I mean, I get to see a lot of nice cars! I've seen a couple of Audi R8s, a lot of Audi A4s, an unknown Ferrari model, Mercedes Benz CLS Class, Mitsubishi Evolution X, Nissan GT-R, and the list goes on. One day, I'm gonna get one of these :p



There are a total number of 24 BSP scholars including myself. There are 6 MDians, 5 from SMSA, 4 from Katok, 3 Meragang students, 2 from Maktab Sains, 2 ITB students and another 2 from Jerudong International School. Out of the 24 students, there are 18 boys and only 6 girls.

The 2 JIS students didn't join the attachment as their school term ends in June.

There are 15 of us who chose to live in the 2 apartments that BSP provided for us - 1 for the guys & 1 for the girls. There are 10 guys and 5 girls. Now, I do not want to complain if I could help, but seriously, 10 guys in one apartment!! And only 3 rooms to share between us!



However, the apartment itself wasn't all that bad. It's still livable. I shared a room with Jong Hau of MD, Nigel Chin from MS, and Goh Jien Han from Katok. Yeah, I'm with the Chinese!



Our room is the only room which is occupied by 4 dudes. To make up for this, our room is equipped with a toilet, unlike the other rooms! The other rooms had to share one toilet. Hah!



Luckily, the apartment had a kitchen, which means, we can cut our costs on food! This way, I get to learn how to cook and learned how to cook I did!

I don't want to show off, but I can finally cook rice! Hooray for me!



This is the guy's kitchen...



...as compared to...





...the girl's cleaner and more organised kitchen. I guess boys will always be boys. Being messy and lazy is part of our natural instinct 0=)

But honestly, I actually love cooking right now. The first time I arrived at the apartment, I can only cook instant noodles and eggs. 3 months later, I now know the difference between big onions, red onions, garlics, and gingers! I know how to slice them, and apply them into cooking :p My best recipe yet is the Ginger and Spring Onion Fish! I am proud of myself :')



Our collection of shoes stretch for miles and miles.


Work hours in BSP starts from 7am and ends at 4pm. I still have to wake up the same time I did during school life. Darn it!

So, after work hours, we had 3 options of action.

The first option was to go to the BSRC - Brunei Shell Recreation Club, where we can play games such as badminton, tennis, futsal, swimming, or even work out! We were provided with free 3 months membership in BSRC.



The second option was to cook dinner. Those who planned to cook dinner must prepare early. I don't know if you guys know this, but in Seria, the cooking gas is supplied directly to each households for free. We don't use tong gas here. However, mysteriously, between 6-7 pm, the gas supplied to our apartment is usually too little or none at all. Therefore, whenever possible, we would cook our dinner before 6pm.

The third option was to...



...GAME!! Thank god someone by the holy name of Abu Afiq was kind enough to bring his TV and PS2 to the apartment! If not, we could have died out of boredom. Bless him.

Basically, these were our routine everyday in the apartment. It was such a good experience - being away from my family, being independent, learning new things and making new friends. 3 months passed by in a flash, but 3 very worthwhile months, I'd say ;)



If I'm not lazy, expect my next post in 2-3 days time.

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:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 Brunei Olympic Day Run

It has been years since I've last joined a running event.

In fact, I don't think I ever had. The only ones that I've joined are usually those boring school walkathons which requires us to get on one's nerves with a donation card back in my secondary school years.

Well, that was walkathon. This time, it's different.


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The Olympic Day Run is held every 23rd of June to commemorate the birth of modern Olympics.

I came to the event fully unaware of the distance that I'm supposed to run.

It is open to everyone and is divided into different categories.

In my category, which is for MEN with huge balls aged 49 years and below, I will have to cover 10km. Other categories are for men aged 50 and above, the special-needs, women and etc.


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Before the run began, we have to register ourselves inside a hall next to the indoor stadium.

There, we were given our number and a free t-shirt!


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However, the organisers didn't really do a good job in making sure each person gets ONE t-shirt only.


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I knew a guy who actually queued up in 2 different categories and got 3 t-shirts in the end! How he managed to convince the organisers that he's 50 years old and above, I do not know.


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This is the shirt. Good to learn that McDonald's has been involved with Olympics since the 1960s. I'm lovin' it. ;)

To be honest, I didn't take this run seriously and thought those who'd be joining are n00bs like me.


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See those runners in orange singlets? Them's so cool they don't even need the free t-shirt.

The event is officiated by none other than His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council.


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As always, there's always a warm-up session in events like this. And this one's no exception.


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After the warm-up session, everyone moved on to the starting line, each category followed by another.

When it's my category's turn, I got myself positioned up front, which is the 2nd row to be exact, to ensure that I get a good start. As the buzzer went off, everyone started running.

Barely just after 200 metres or so, already I felt tired and started to wonder why did I even join this run in the first place. I could've been sleeping at home! As if my sucky job which requires me to stand for most of the day isn't tiring enough. Obviously, I can't keep up and subsequently slowed down. Next thing I know, a whole bunch of people overtook me! Wtf!

Damn, must've not stretched well enough during the warm-up and now I paid the price.


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Alright, I wasn't surprised by that throng of people overtaking me actually and I bet neither are you. I have my reasons.

My only breakfast that day was a small cup of coffee. I've got with me my phone, my camera, my earphone and keys all in my pockets. Yes, all of 'em.

Besides, I was wearing a slightly heavier shoe (basketball shoe) that day to run. Oh, why did I???

So you see, everything went wrong right from the very start. Can't blame me for me slow and unstaminaful. *making up excuses*

Note to self: Gotta invest on good running gears when I'm rich.

I couldn't help but notice that whenever I overtook someone, that someone overtook me back. And when I try to overtake him again, he overtook me for the second time! So much for overtaking someone.


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This is how being overtaken looks like.

Every few kilometres, there are people distributing bottles of water. I kinda hoped they'd supply us with 100Plus instead.

There's a problem though. There were no rubbish bins anywhere! So we're basically littering empty water bottles on Olympic Day.

While running, I saw a friend, Ahmad Faisal! We ran and chatted at the same time but I couldn't keep up with him so he got in front of me in no more than 5 minutes.

what was an Olympic Day slowly became a walkathon for me. I knew I had to resort to walking pace eventually, but I never thought of giving up.

Then, as I walked, I met 2 more of my friends! It's Hamid and Abang Hadri! Ironically, the three of us basically just walked from that point all the way to the finishing line. I felt kinda bad because I knew if I hadn't called Hamid, I guess he must've ran all the way to the finish, with Abang Hadri. But Hamid did admit he's too tired to run.

After an hour or so, we reached the brick red pavement of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium where the banner of the finishing line welcomed us.


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There was a guy standing next to the finishing line and he was distributing certificates of participation to everyone crossing the line!

This is what I got.


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Though some details, including my name, were left out of the certificate, I was glad to have it anyway.

10km may be nothing compared to a marathon but clearly, I under-estimated this 10km run. Because of this, I'm starting to respect people who have successfully completed a marathon race which could be more than 3, 4 or even 5 times the distance of this 10km I ran.

As a token for participating, I got treated a bowl of Kolo Mee by my uncle right after that.


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Oh bugger. I must've gained back all the calories I burned during the run. :(

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:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 9:25 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

World Cup Fever

HEY! What's up? It's the World Cup season!

Never thought 4 years passed by so fast!





World Cup 2006 in Germany was great, but should we expect something bigger this time?

As always, the tournament will be held in 10 venues, with the opening and final match held at Soccer City in Johannesburg.





This site is historic as it is the place where Nelson Mandela held his first speech following his release from prison.





The 94,700 capacity stadium is designed to have the appearance of an African pot. The total construction costs USD$440 million.

The official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is Zakumi.






His name comes from "ZA", the international abbreviation for South Africa, and "kumi", a word that means "ten" in various African languages.





We've already seen some big names suffering injuries prior to the World Cup. It's a pity really because this could've been the last world cup tournament they would ever play in for some.

For instance, Beckham is already 35 this year. He'll be 39 by the next world cup.





Probability of him playing in 2014? I don't know.

Rio Ferdinand, the new captain of England, is also out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury following a tackle on fellow team mate Emile Heskey in England's first training session.





Being an England supporter, it was really heartbreaking for me to hear this news because if England win the World Cup, Ferdinand would've been the one to lift the trophy! But now Stevie G had to cover him up as captain for the time being. Horror.

The latest player to join this injury list is Nani!





Another Manchester United player missing out of World Cup. Sigh.

The rest injured for the World Cup include:

Michael Ballack (Germany) - ruled out of the finals with an ankle injury after a late challenge by Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng during Chelsea's FA Cup final win over Portsmouth in May.





Rene Adler (Germany) - Germany's first-choice goalkeeper underwent surgery on a rib injury in May and will play no part in the finals.

Heiko Westermann (Germany) - fractured a bone in his foot during a warm-up win over Hungary.

Simon Rolfes (Germany) - ruled himself out of the World Cup after saying he was short of match fitness following knee surgery in January.

Christian Traesch (Germany) - considered a possible replacement for captain Michael Ballack but is also out after injuring his ankle in a friendly at the squad's training camp in Italy.

Michael Essien (Ghana) – suffered a knee injury at the African Nations Cup in January and has failed to recover in time.





Lassana Diarra (France) – will not play in South Africa after being told he needed an extended rest because of persistent stomach pains which began during France's week-long training camp in the French Alps last month.

Jose Bosingwa (Portugal) – will miss the tournament after picking up a knee injury last October which ruled him out for the entire season.

Jon Obi Mikel (Nigeria) - forced out of the tournament with a badly bruised ankle suffered in Nigeria's first full contact training session in South Africa on Friday.





Miroslav Karhan (Slovakia) - Slovakia's most capped player has a hamstring injury and will miss his country's first World Cup appearance.

Meanwhile....





Players who are doubtful include:
Didier Drogba, Andrea Pirlo, Julio Cesar, Arjen Robben, Harry Kewell, Tim Brown, Humberto Suazo, Lee Dong Guk.

Whereas players who will not be involved in the World Cup are listed here below:
Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, Adriano, Hulk, Anderson, Theo Walcott, Darren Bent, Albert Riera, Marcos Senna, Luca Toni, Marco Borriello, Fabio Grosso, Daniele Bonera, Francesco Totti, Ruud van Nistlerooy, Robbie Keane, Andrei Arshavin, Andriy Shevchenko, Dimitar Berbatov, Lucas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Riquelme, Zanetti, Cambiasso, G. Milito, Lisandro, Lucho, Banega, Aimar, Garay, Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema.

From 11th June - 11th July, don't see surprised to see cafés and restaurants filled with people late night watching the biggest sporting event ever.

What you can do is.. pick a team, don their jersey and support them all the way!

So which team will you be rooting for? I'm going for England.




Rooney! Rooney! Rooney!

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:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 7:43 PM | 0 comments

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Blog shared between Desmond, Edison and Nazrin. Edison is no longer a sleeping partner. What D.E.N. stands for is self-explanatory.




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