Sunday, 28 November 2010

Kalau babah jadi bintang...?

Assalamualaikum friends

This past week has been a tiring one, all in all I was only at my desk not more than one full day, attending meetings and all that, preparing for our 2011 insurance renewals.

Lots of things over the past few weeks, mostly work but a few family ventures...

Exams! and the results.
Alhamdulillah, the Gembo kids passed with good results. Aaeeshah got 8 A's and 1 B... heheh, but in Kindergarten anyone could get A's, but Alhamdulillah, her teacher said Aaeeshah can read slowly, which is good preparation for her Upper Kindergarten next year.

Muhammad improved on his mid year's exam, his average increased from 89% to 91%, and up from 6th to 5th. He was quite said that he didn't get the top three (so no Wii (1st), no iPod touch (2nd), no Nitendo DS (3rd)).

Iman. Whenever we asked her to do revision, she said OK. When we asked her teacher before the exam, she said Iman is the least of her worries. When the result was out, she end up no2 and her average was only 0.03% lower than no 1. She definitely will get her iPod, sadly it ran out of stock when we were in Bandar yesterday. 

3D Movies!!
Last weekend we tried out the 1st 3D cinema in Brunei at the Mall. The kids were restless as they had nothing to do at home, now that the exam has finished and nobody bothered to turn up at school. So we brought the kids to watch the Megamind 3D movie... It was a strange superhero movie, but don't get me wrong - the storyline was great but the 3D effects made it even much better. It's just that the villain end up as the superhero when the real superhero just called it quits! I also didn't realise it was Brad Pitt in the movie too, of course as the superhero and Will Ferrell is hilarious as a villain - I don't think Jim Carrey can pull it off with the same effect.

Meanwhile, yesterday we watched Rapunzel: The Tangled Tale 3D movie... it was a great movie, typical of Disney cartoons with little animal characters and of course, songs. Kids love them, and we did too. The 3D effects are real real nice... I'd recommend you to watch it. Five stars from me!

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Man Utd...  There was a game last night against Blackburn Rovers. We arrived home from the family outing, at 11.15 and I went straight to watch the live game on telly, as well as the usual banter on FB. It was already 2-0 by the time I watched the game, and watched all the remaining 5 goals, oooh by the way, we won 7-1 last nite :-). It was a great result considering Blackburn have always been a resilient opponent to Man Utd for many years... and oh, we're now on top of the Premier League.

Kalau Babah jadi bintang
This morning after breakfast, as Aaeeshah was watching her Spongebob tv show, I asked her a few silly questions heheh... here goes.

Me: Asha, kalau babah jadi aeroplane, Asha mau jadi apa? (If daddy becomes an aeroplane, what would you be?)
Asha: Aeroplane, pasal Asha mau terabang sama babah (Aeroplane, so I can fly with you)
Me: Oooh, sweet... kalau babah jadi bulan? (If daddy becomes the moon?....)
Asha: Asha jadi bulan jua (I'll be a moon too)
Me: Mana buleh, pasal bulan satu saja (That cannot be, cos there is only one moon)
Asha: Buleh, pasal Babah bulan basar, Asha yang kacil (Caaaaan.. cos daddy becomes the full moon, and Asha can be the small one - shaping her hands like a crescent)
Me: Ok lah, kalau Babah jadi bintang? (OK, OK, if daddy becomes a star?)
Asha: Asha jadi 'love' (Asha can be a heart - shaping her hands like a heart)
Me: Kenapa jadi 'love'? (Why be a heart?)
Asha: Pasal, Mama sayang sama Asha (So, mummy loves Asha)

Asha, Babah and Mama loves you so much. You too Iman and Abang, we love you both so much. Well done on the exams!

Mr G

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Words of wisdom to my dear son Muhammad


This morning, after his morning shower getting ready for school, Muhammad came sitting close to me while I was fiddling with my Mac.

I praised him for a job well done with his Ugama school (Religious school) for 2010, despite not being in top 3 (he finished 4th), his average was quite high at 95%. He was disappointed still of not being no 3, as he's got a prize for that last year.

He said "Dimana Muhammad buat salah Bah ah" (Where did I go wrong, Dad?), so I just said "OK sudah Muhammad tu, jangan tah ingau banar" (You've done well son, don't worry). The thing about Muhammad is, he is very competitive.

To cheer him up, I said he's been such a good boy all along, and I advised him only three things, which I said will help him succeed:

  1. Don't forget the 5 times a day prayers - I told him if he do this, Allah will love him, protect him and keep him on the righteous path
  2. Study well - He will have the knowledge to succeed, if he studies well
  3. Be respectful to others - He will be respected, and the Angels will pray for him
This may not be a complete advise, and I am sure most of you would have better advises, but it sure brought the smile to his face - very much like this - as if he's got his candy after a long day of fasting.

Muhammad at 3, at the Empire Hotel. Not schooling yet, and notice the hair, never cut since he was shaved during Aqiqah at a week old

I love you Muhammad. You did well son.... now, we'll see the Primary school results :o

Mr G

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Salam Aidil Adha from the G Family

Assalamu 'Alaikum Warahmatullah


We would like to wish all our friends Eid Mubarak or Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha. May Allah bless all our prayers and sacrifices, and forgives all our sins. Amin.

Let's glorify the night by reciting the Takbir... AllahuAkbar AllahuAkbar AllahuAkbar WalilLahilHamd


Iron Maiden! Winston S Churchill: We Shall Fight on the Beaches...

Friends of mine are now eagerly awaiting Iron Maiden's concert in Singapore next year.
I was really into their music in my teens and bujang days, but have toned down a bit, not driven by Mrs G, but rather by the song requests of the kids during our daily commute.
Anyway, one of my favourite songs is Aces High, which opens with Sir Winston Churchill fine speech to prepare the Brits against Hitler's attack during World War II.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Reached out... beyond borders


I once wrote about blogging to reach out? Well, my Gembo house blog had found me friends in Brunei (mainly friends at work) and beyond borders...

Will not write much about it, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, well here are a few thousands and some....

The Voguers from Singapore...
 From left: Little Ms F, Little Aqil, Shoppermama, Mr G, Kak Pah, Nadh, Raf, Mrs G, Kak Moralle and Ms Pearl. Mrs knew about them from bloghopping Shoppermama's shopping tips and collections, and Nadh's witty posts and the Voguers spirit of togetherness in good and in sadness

The Kecik Family, Malaysian currently working in Brunei
Out of pure coincidence, the 'Not the kecik's dad' worked with my first cousins. How did we find out you asked? OK, look at the white mugs in front of them (pic above), those were extra door gifts to our wedding guests 10 years ago, and before the Keciks even knew about us, they have got a few from their employer (my cousins) to help with them settling down when they first arrived.... so when we served them hot drinks for Sungkai (Iftar) last year, they suddenly said, "Hey, we have some of this at home..." and then that's when the 'jejak kasih' unfolded heheh.... ok here's a closer shot of the mugs...

The mugs... (heheh Mug shots??)
 The one with blue prints were given to my guests (we have separate receptions, prior to the bersanding), and the red prints were given away to my wife's guests

Red Mummy
Redmummy is a professional blogger, she had helped us in our recent travels, mainly to KL and our recent honeymoon to Paris/UK. 

Friday, 12 November 2010

Safety Belt Really saves Lives

Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirrahiim

Looking forward to the weekend? Be safe always...

Anyway, I'd like to share a video being used on the safety screens around our Company's entrance. Very funny but just proves to show that seatbelts do save lives.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

$30 is not equal to $1.44!

Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirrahiim

Raise your your hands if you are an accountant. Good. Now, I need your help.

You see, I am not an accountant, but my job requires me to charge others on a monthly basis for the services that they have received from us. That's fine with me, especially as I have a colleague to do the accounting - I like!

This fellow knows his stuff that he wouldn't have problem reconciling the account every month end, even though I made those charges heheh..... Until one day.... he had to be transferred temporarily to manage other section. 

As a result, I have to do the monthly account reconciliation but thank goodness he was there if I need guidance.

Months had passed and all seems to be ok, referring to the handover notes everytime of course, with possibly a few more grey hairs every time the accounts have successfully been reconciled!

But today, I have spent $30 to find $1.44!

Well, I knew where the $1.44 came from but I spent $30 of my precious time to look for where should go... Oh, $30 is pro-rata of my pay... don't do the maths lah, my salary is just enough to live from hand to mouth :o

What I understand about economics is simple - you spend less to get more, correct? Well, at least that is the general idea where I work (Oil & Gas), no point building a $10M facility to extract $1M of gas! Correct?

So, it is not economical to spend $30 to look for $1.44, right?

Wrong! Accounting as I was told is somewhat different - the accounts have to be reconciled, debit/credit balanced, etc etc at any cost! But having spent well over an hour today looking for the hole to put the $1.44, I had to draw a line and stop the madness. I just couldn't do it any more and will have to concentrate on other 20 items on my to do list. I will need to get the expert forensic eyes of my colleague to look for that hole (FM, I hope you're reading this heheh - don't go on leave yet!)

On the way home for lunch following that futile attempts, my thoughts were with my other colleagues who had to do all these things,the balancing or reconciling thingy, but having said that, they are probably well equipped with proper trainings, bionic eyes, extra brain cells (and lots of patience) than I do.

Oh well..... $1.44.... please come to papa.... please!

Mr G

Ciggies? Or Rice? .... Your choice!

Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirrahiim

Brunei has recently seen a tax hike on cigarettes from 1st November this year, to B$0.25 per stick - so what used to cost $3.10 a pack is now $7.60, and some are $8.50.

According to the Brunei Times the amendments were implemented in the interests of the health and well-being of the people, especially in helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases related to smoking.

Interestingly, a colleague of mine overheard this conversation at a minimart recently, which just shows how effective the changes have been to peoples mindset:

 Mr A: Berapa harga sigup Pirellys? (How much is a pack of Pirellys?)

Shopkeeper: $8.50

Mr A: Adih, mahalnya (Gosh! That's expensive)

Mr B (A Filipino bystander): Tidak guna bali lah boss, harga beras siam tu (You don't have to buy that Mr, that's as much as a pack of Siam Rice)

At the end, Mr A left without buying the cigarette.

You see, a pack of Siam Rice (10kg) can feed a family of 6 for more than 2 weeks, and that at 2 meals a day!

Questions now have to be asked, is it a necessity? Does it bring benefits? Thanks goodness I stopped ages ago :)

Mr G

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Reaching Out... Blogs?

Bismilla Hirrahmaa Nirrahim

I had to work from home yesterday, as my little Aaeeshah had a little bout with food poisoning and also to allow me counter the lack of sleep from her vomitting sessions on our bed the night before. Alhamdulillah she recovered today.

Anyway, despite not working, I couldn't turn down an appreciation lunch hosted by our supervisor (it's only a minute drive down the road from where I stay, and it's Italian, how can I turn that down?), for the good result in the annual feedback survey on how well the leaders treat the staffs, the company's benefits, where not only was our result better that other sections in the department, but also amongst peers throughout the company *clap-clap* well done to us...

Having said that, not one to rest on his laurels, the boss asked what can be done to improve things - apparently our weakest point was communication... 'Reaching Out' to our clients, all 4,000 of the company employees whom our section handled the salaries and pensions, and whose operating assets we insure...

He asked for suggestions? Well, we've got emails, web bulletins in place but the questions begged on how to improve further... We can send out tons of server clogging emails, yet if nobody cares to read them, then what? Web bulletins would be good, but they're bland..... So I suggested blogging - to reach out to 2/3rds of the the population eg Gen X and Y, with the downsides being 1) who would write the blog and 2) would it be sustainable?

Whilst enjoying my pasta, I recalled another department had (yes, had) a blog, yet last I checked a couple of weeks back, the last entry was in June and it was to welcome people to the department blog - that showed it is not even a question of sustainability but just to move forward is difficult enough...

So... question is, is blog the best way to reach out? who knows, but I knew my houseblog reached out and helped a few friends with their house plans, so I guess it depends on what is blogged about, right?

Like I said, I think a lot, so to anyone who cares to read my thoughts, thanks.

Mr G

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

uh oh... important posts that I've missed!

Guilty as charged! I guess that would be the verdict by The High Court of Blogging for me to miss out important posts ~ Birthday posts! and a special visit of an old friend (and well known cartoonist).
My birthday in May

Our hero Muhammad's 9th birthday at the end of May

My beloved wife's birthday in July

Special visit by Cuboi

*Dusting* the blog....

Bismilla Hirrahmaa Nirrahim

Been quiet for a long while - last post I did was on Iman's birthday, and I have not written anything about the Gembo Hari Raya (including our Hari Raya to Kuching)... Not even any entry on our honeymoon trip to UK/Paris...

Could it be the my passion for photography and blogging has dwindled? I don't know, I am somehow too drained when I reach home from work.

Life has been very busy lately, very trying I have to say since the last few months.

Work has been great, enjoyed it enormously, although now stretched when my colleague (my right hand man) had to be moved temporarily to another section since July until end of this month... Look forward to have him back in my team for the busy December period! And Alhamdulillah I will switch to a new role by March 2011... watch this space.

Alhamdulillah, my wife and I have reached the 10 year wedding anniversary in August and InsyaAllah looking forward to more milestones, Amin.

Kids have been well, now in their exam week, but Aaeeshah had been unwell since the last two weeks. She was admitted to hospital couple of weeks back with high fever, and just this morning was diagnosed with mild food poisoning - yes, mild but she vomitted at midnight and at 4 in the morning that I am now suffering from the lack of sleep. Alhamdulillah however that I can bring her home and no overnight stay at the hospital although she will miss two days of her kindergarten exams :(

Aaeeshah at the Ward playground. Note the drip at her right hand

Will this entry spur me to start blogging again? I dunno, but I do hope so. My cameras are nicely kept in the cabinet, batteries charged and memory cards cleared but we'll see. Now.... that took me 25 minutes to write.... we'll see about it.

Mr G