Thursday, April 29, 2010

Retire young to live longer!

This is an extract from:

Optimum Strategies for Creativity and Longevity
By Sing Lin, Ph.D.

Longevity Vs. Retirement Age
(if you are too busy, just read the recommendations)
... people who take early retirements at the age of 55 tend to live long and well into their 80s and beyond. These earlier retirees probably are either wealthier or more able to plan and manage their various aspects of their life, health and career well such that they can afford to retire early and comfortably.
These early retirees are not really idling after their early retirements to get old. They still continue doing some work. But they do the work on the part-time basis at a more leisure pace so that they do not get too stressed out. Furthermore, they have the luxury to pick and chose the types of part-time work of real interest to them so that they can enjoy and love doing that “fun” work at a more leisure pace.
The late retirees are small in number, tend to die quickly after retirement and disappear from the population of old people beyond the age of 70. Late retirees, therefore, have very little weight on the statistical average life expectancy of the population of “old people” dominated by the early retirees.

Conclusion and Recommendations
However, when you get older, you should plan your career path and financial matter so
that you can retire comfortably at the age of 55 or earlier to enjoy your long, happy and leisure retirement life into your golden age of 80s and beyond. In retirement, you can still enjoy some fun work of great interest to you and of great values to the society and the community, but at a part-time leisure pace on your own term.
On the other hand, if you are not able to get out of the pressure-cooker or the high-speed battleground at the age of 55 and “have” to keep on working very hard until the age of 65 or older before your retirement, then you probably will die within 18 months of retirement. By working very hard in the pressure cooker for 10 more years beyond the age of 55, you give up at least 20 years of your life span on average.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BB and GB Installation

Last Sunday, we have Boys and Girls Brigade Installation in the church. Quite a lot of parents came. Here are some of the photos taken...
March in
Installation ritual
More performance by the BB
This one is good!
Captains and helpers

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Miri City Fan - Long exposure

I have been depending on the high sensitivity of my camera to take many photos in poor light. However, I realised that I missed out a lot of details and richer colour if I could just lower the ISO, close the aperture down and increase the exposure time. So tonight, I experiment with low shutter speed, low ISO of 100 and small aperture and here are the results... all taken at the Miri city fan ... time: 6:35PM to 7:00PM. As it was raining slightly, black cloud everywhere, it was quite dark.
f/18, 6 sec
f/18, 15 sec
f/10, 30 sec
f/10 15 sec. Notice that I halved the exposure time and the difference was not really great.
f/8, 8 sec
I cropped the bridge from the picture above.

Comment welcome.

Front cover photo

This photo is now the front photo of Eastwood Valley menu cover.
Unfortunately, this photo never won any prize in the recent competition. But I have always suspected that winning photos in competition may not always be used for publication.
Eastwood Valley had inadvertently missed out the contributing author name and they informed that the name will be printed for the next printing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is Love?

We have Pastor Thomas who came to preach to us two Sundays ago. He spoke about love. And use the text from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

We all know this too well. However, reading just like that has no real impact because we are like the receiving end. But in reality, we must practice it ourselves first. So, replace [my name] with your name as you read it!

[my name] is patient, [my name] is kind. [my name] do not envy, [my name] do not boast, [my name] is not proud. [my name] is not rude, [my name] is not self-seeking, [my name] is not easily angered, [my name] keeps no record of wrongs. [my name] do not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [my name] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

How was it? Practice it always.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunset tonight

Tonight, we have a rather beautiful sunset. I didn't take many photos but rather doing some experiment with my camera. So, here is the result...
This photo is a combination of 3 shots. I created 3 layers on my photoshop with an image each, shot at -2EV, 0EV, +1EV. Then I combined the three together not using the HDR method. Comments are welcomed.
Remember to click on the picture for a larger view.
At Lutong/Shell junction, I saw this huge tree which is now flowering. Unfortunately, the flower will last for about 3 days only. I have not managed to find time to snap the many flowering trees on the way to the Miri GH. A pity.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random macro

Today, I went to my friend's house and took the opportunity to shoot some macro there...
Pamelo flower
Warp .. what on earth is this fellow doing on the fruit?! The native think that it will lay eggs in the fruits.
This fruit fly is scouting for an ideal place to lay egg... click on the picture to see the tiny semi transparent tip at the back where it will insert it in the fruit.
ya... this is how it will "inject" eggs into the fruit
Flower of star fruit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Words can Heal and Words can Harm

My friend send me this article and I reproduce here only the first 3 paragraphs. Hope you like the message and apply it in our life!

Words are very important. Words can heal and words can harm. Words can hurt grievously and for a long time. The tongue can bless and the tongue can curse. It is very important for us to control our words and tame our tongue when we are angry. Many times, when we are angry we say the most atrocious things. We forget ourselves and become indifferent to what we say. We blast the other person without mercy, although we may not mean those words. But words once spoken cannot be taken back and it takes a long time to forgive and forget. We have to exercise self-control. Many couples are particularly prone to such outbursts when they get mad. But it is not an easy thing to control our tongue when we are provoked, boiled over with anger or have outburst of wrath. It is at such time that we have to learn to hold our tongue and to remain silent. If we can’t tame our tongue, we have to take a break or go for a walk to cool off. It is much easier to control the words before the blow-up than during the explosion.
Uncontrollable words spoken in anger can have devastating effect. Angry words, that are used unthinkingly, such as “I don’t care,” ”I can’t be bothered,” “I don’t need you,” or “you can go to hell” cause pain and feelings of rejection. They give rise to insecurity. The unmeant and foolish words contain full of deadly poison and can play havoc in the mind. The unruly words get churned over for hours on end and create their worst mischief in a difficult relationship. It can take a very long time to forgive what was said. Let us learn to turn away from angry words before they leave our mouth and try to say healing words instead. Father Henri Nouwen said, “It is so important to choose our words wisely. When we are boiling with anger and eager to throw bitter words at our opponents, it is better to remain silent. Words spoken in rage will make reconciliation very hard. Choosing life and not death, blessings and not curses, often starts by choosing to remain silent or choosing carefully the words that open the way to healing.” (“Bread for the Journey,” Sept 5)
We must also be very careful that in our anger we do not label our children with ugly names such as fat, stupid, snake, pig, moron, ‘kay-poh’(busy-body), useless, good for nothing. Such negative words can do harm to them for years to come! Henri Nouwen said, “When we say to someone, ‘You are an ugly, useless, despicable person,’ we might have ruined the possibility for a relationship with that person for life. Words can continue to do harm for many years.” (“Bread for the Journey,” Sept 5) Indeed, we do not want to spoil our relationship with our own precious children. We must always use words to build them up not words to knock them down. Be an encourager not a critic. They have enough people criticizing them but far too few approving and affirming them. So to help our children to fulfill their highest potential we should be their greatest ENCOURAGER. Encourage. Encourage. Encourage on every occasion.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rafting at Borneo Rainforest

At Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort, there are many activities. Today, I just post one on rafting.
I hope to post more soon! With the nice and big lake, I think water sport will be a hit!

Be prepare for the rainy days

A friend related this to me:
His son's friend received a call from the mother asking him to return home immediately because she could no longer support his studies. The father had recently been killed in an accident in Miri. So the son complied and return home. I think this decision was too hasty and she killed the golden goose because she couldn't afford to buy food.
On the other hand, a church friend lost her husband through an accident when she was barely 30+ some 20+ years ago. She had no skill and had no income and he left her with 5 or 6 children. She struggled by making kuih muih (cakes, sweet, etc) for an income. She supported all her children through university.
The question now is, do you save for rainy days when your harvest is still good? If you are not working and suddenly the breadwinner is gone, what is your backup plan?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life like that …

Yesterday, my friend in KL called up. She told me that her relative just passed away at 57! Just retired from the S’pore navy. He was very active, very strong and no sign of any illness.
Suddenly he complained of chest pain and was immediately rush to the hospital. While he was in the car, the pain reduced and then he suddenly pass out. He never woke up again. Post mortem reviewed that he had a massive thrombosis of the right heart, ie, a blocked artery of the right heart, or simply put it… a heart attack.
He was very conscious of his health, seldom ate outside food, cooked his own meals, played games, kept himself active. So, what had gone wrong?
Perhaps, it didn’t matter anymore… the living just need to be “ready” at all time.
Perhaps, we may look healthy but don’t forget to check the health of your heart. Heart attack is a major silence killer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More macro photos

The following was taken using my new Nikon 200mm lens...
I revisited this friend in the jungle once again... I found that his "toes" which are purple in colour are actually sticky! It makes sense because the stickiness must be able to hold on to the prey (or victim)!
Another very interesting tiny spider which doesn't look like spider at all.
This spider has the "horn" fully grown.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BTRR Photo Challenge Results

The Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort 2010 Photography Challenge came to a close last night. As expected, our friend Mr. Hii from Sibu bagged first price in both category. Without doubt, his photos were good. Altogether there were 320+ photos submitted for the competition. Here they are:
First prize entry of Facilities/Building/Food & Beverage - by Mr. Hii of Sibu
First prize entry of Landscape/Wildlife/Nature category by Mr Hii again. This picture is superb!
Second prize entry by Mr. Tong
Second prize entry by Mr. Tong again. This special effect photo is well done.
Mr. Hii (left) with our photo enthusiast from Tutong, Brunei. Finally, for third prize, my bug ...
... similar to this one won me third prize.
To conclude the evening, we were treated for a sumptuous dinner.
There were judges from KL, Kuching, Sibu, Miri. The job must be tough for them. Whatever were the outcome, I think a lot of entries deserve recognition!
p/s: The above was taken off the photos on display. So quality was not as good as there was a lot of reflected light.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

M2 new look

After M2 failed to become one of the shopping centers in Miri, it is now taking a new look. Someone bought over the building and I believe it is going to be a budget hotel in Pelita.
After months of "surgery" and reconstruction, it is finally taking shape. I like the new look - more square, grown bigger, etc. Just in case you have forgotten how it used to look like...
... M2 before the transformation!

Friday, April 09, 2010

A taste of Macro at 200mm

I took delivery of a new Nikon AF Micro 200mm lens today and these are the first two pictures I took. These photos are taken hand held and it was a huge challenge. The lens has no VR but from the photos, I can see that sharpness is without question. However, the depth of field is something I need to get used to.
A closeup of a hibiscus...
Somehow, these two lovers landed on Joshua's hand. So, I quickly got into action and shot 7-8 photos. This is the only one which I think is clear enough. So, I will now experiment more on macro and will post them here whenever possible. For me, a new dimension in photography is now born!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Life today in KL 8 April 2010

Looking out of the hotel room, ...
...the weather was fine. The traffic was moderate. So, we called a taxi to SDMC in Subang Jaya...
Ah Jon has a new procedure as he complained of stomach discomfort ...
He was drowsy after the procedure but then it was not as bad as yesterday.
He wanted to get up immediately but the nurse insisted that he must rest and have some warm drink and biscuit...
The test result was out in about 15 minutes. In Miri, the same test took one whole day. It was negative to the relieve of everyone.

We are in KL

We left Miri on time yesterday and arrived at Subang (SimeDarby) Medical at 2:22PM. After all the paper work, Ah Jon has his bone marrow taken in 20 minutes and then spend the next two hours sleeping under sedation. At the meantime, I asked a series of questions. So, Ah Jon needs to go through a couple of tests today to determine why he has joints ache.
In the evening, we went for a Japanese meal at Rakuzen with friends, who treated us.
So, today, I am now getting ready to go back to the SJMC... Ah Jon has to fast and see how it goes...

I just found that the medicine Ah Jon took cost RM8900 here instead of RM11K in Kuching.

Pray for his speedy recovery. May God's grace be on him.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort

Some more photos taken at Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort...
This morning glory is very special. I saw it outside the hotel room. Taken using my H3D on a normal lens and cropped.
A different angle of the hotel main block to show the greens surrounding the building.
One of the function rooms.
"Flying fox"...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Household Supplies

In the most unlikely place in Piasau Industrial Park, there is this huge "warehouse" selling all type of household equipment. The boss told me that instead of spending thousands on rental in town, he might as well use this place...
The front has this huge containers used as wall and also storage. Stepping inside...
... I found the largest collection of woks... cast iron wok, which is cheap and lasting,
to those which look like zine alloy, which is light. So, if you need a traditional wok, how about try this place!
So if you don't like wok, then there are pans of all shapes and sizes for you to choose.
... stock pot of all sizes...
... more pots and pans...
... or if you need a glass bottle for making enzyme or whatever, they have it here too!
Water dispensers of all sizes to suit your needs.
... and plastic containers.
I found this "traditional" lighter on the left most interesting. It has a cartridge which you would fill it with kerosene. This cartridge is then inserted into the "body". As you press open the lid, it strike a fling and fired the kerosene fill tip. I remember using this thing when I was very young.
Miri Departmental Store used to be in town opposite the fish market. So, it has now moved to this place.
How to get there: Just before the Piasau bridge, there is a set of traffic light. Drive into Piasau Industrial Park. It is the 2nd building on the right.