Highs from 4000ft above

27 04 2009

(Long Loooong post :P)

Our lovely cheerleader :D

Our lovely cheerleader ๐Ÿ˜€

The date was 25th April 2009. On this day, 2 very sane risk takers went on a road trip to Segamat, Johor to literally throw themselves out of a plane. Lee Nah, our cheerleader/ photographer/ videographer and future ‘plane jumper’ came along to witness the drama first hand.

It was the perfect day to jump. The sun was shining bright, the sky was clear and the wind was ‘just right’ for amateur jumpers.ย 

Soon it was time for Lenny and I to suit up and tempt fate by plunging from a single propeller plane 4000ft above. ย So with our suits up; altimeter – checked; walkie-talkie radio – checked; helmet – checked; goggle – checked and of course Parachute bag ON, we took our steps of faith to the plane.

All geared up and ready to go!

All geared up and ready to go!

Lenny was to jump first followed by me.ย 

As we were walking to the plane:

Lenny: (starts praying aloud for God’s protection over us)
Land Master: (over the radio) ‘Jumper #1, if you can hear me, raise your hand’.
Lenny: (continues praying – obviously oblivious to the Land Master’s voice)
Land Master: (over the radio) ‘Jumper #1, raise your hand!’.
Esther: (thinking in my head) (Lenny, he’s asking you to raise your hand)
Lenny: (continues praying)
Land Master: (over the radio – screaming frantically) ‘Jumper #1, raise your hand!!’
Lenny: (ends prayer still oblivious to the screams) ย ‘Amen’.
Esther: Lenny! He’s asking you to raise your hand!!
Lenny: Oh is it? (and he raises one hand)
Esther: ….ย 

Thank God the Land Master did not walk over and say ‘Apasal degil sangat ni?!’

The yellow thingy are the static line cables and chords

The yellow thingy are the static line cables and chords

Once we reached the plane, we both hooked on our parachute’s static line chord to the static line chord attached to the plane. It is absolutely vital that the static line chords are securedly attached for the Parachute to successfully deploy after 3 seconds. Failing which, we would have said our last prayers and see you in heaven.
(Just Kidding, there’s always the Reserve Parachute ๐Ÿ™‚ )

The Jump:

1st Jump:ย 

Exit position - on 'Go!' we are to jump backwards into a 'Belly-to-earth' position

Exit position - on 'Go!' we are to jump backwards into a 'Belly-to-earth' position

Plane Exit:
We both stumbled. Whatever theory we were taught at class just vanished from our minds. We did not scream neither did we count the way we were taught which was “1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 2, 3, Check‘. In short, when the Jump Master shouted ‘Go!’, we just threw ourselves backwards and let gravity take its course. Thank God everything went well and we only encountered a common minor malfunction which was the ‘Twist’.ย 

The ‘float’ in the air: Each jumper experiences different ‘float’ time in the air, depending on our weight and the wind condition. The heavier you are, the faster you reach ground. I’m not light but during my first jump, I was actually stationery at 4000ft for several minutes. I kept staring at my Altimeter and it kept saying 4000ft. The spectators below thought I was never coming down. After awhile I gave up and tried looking for Lenny who jumped before me. When I found him, my first reaction was ‘WAH! Lenny is so far away!!’. The wind had blew him over some residential houses and over the radio, I could hear the Land Master directing him closer to the landing zone.

The Landing: Lenny had a good landing where he landed on his two feet. Me, on the other hand, struggled with the brakes coz my arms were already hurting from fighting the wind in mid-air.ย 

My landing went something like this:

Land Master: Ok good good, now, Full Brake! Full Brake!
Esther: (seeing the ground rushing up, frantically pulls only till like 3/4 brake) *Splat* (landed flat on my belly)ย 
Sigh. Weak arms.

My Belly-to-Earth landing :P

My Belly-to-Earth landing. Can see my legs and head? ๐Ÿ˜›

Kuhan's distorted feet

Vicknes' distorted feet

As we were resting and waiting for our next jump, Vicknes and Premala didย their jumps. Vicknes, unfortunately, did not land well and dislocated his ankle. After witnessing that, Lenny and I had to rest even longer as we needed time to wash that negative image out of our minds. It’s scary leh!

2nd attempt:ย ย 

Plane Exit: Was determined to do the exit right and had our mind set on it. But somehow, just somehow, when you are in position outside the plane, you just do not have the time or the reflex to do it right. We once again stumbled. And according to the Jump Master, I hit my head against the plane’s wing. Thank God for helmets.ย 

That's the toggle (brake) that I'm pulling. Altimeter shows I'm below 3000ft

That's the toggle (brake) that I'm pulling. Altimeter shows I'm below 3000ft

The ‘float’: This time I jumped first and very quickly I dropped to 3000ft. Both of us had our cameras tucked away in our jumpsuits and were told that we could only take photos above 3000ft and against the wind. Since I felt that I was falling pretty rapidly, I had to pull the brakes and snap photos at the same time. Not an easy task!ย And while I snapped, over the radio came the voice of the Land Master saying ‘Jumper #2, you’re going too far off, come back, come back!’. I tried looking up to see what was Lenny up to this time. And true enough he seemed to have flown a fair bit off course. (Apparently his walkie-talkie failed and he could not hear the Land Master’s commands. Either that, or he was too engrossed taking video of his surroundings ๐Ÿ˜› . Thank God he was wise enough to know when he’s too far off and turned back).

Bird Eye View from 2800ft above

Bird Eye View from 2800ft above

The Landing: Again, Lenny’s landing was smooth and he landed on both feet. Me, this time round, decided that I don’t want to end up like Kuhan and so I lifted my legs up and landed on my butt. You can say it was a ‘soft landing’ ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

So we both successfully completed our jumps. I loved every part of the jump, even the landing which was pretty challenging. But the best part was the float in the air. It was really quiet and serene up there. And the air was sooo cooling!

Honestly, jumping off the plane, I felt no fear nor was the adrenaline rush as great as a ‘Space Shot’ ride at Genting. One thing I’m sure of; if you have Bungee Jumped, this will be a breeze ๐Ÿ™‚

For what it’s worth:

Sky Diving lesson and Jump: RM 1,250
Road trip to Segamat: RM 200
Overall Experience: Priceless

We will definitely be jumping again – hopefully soon. Free fall jump is our goal. So if you are keen, perhaps we could go together ๐Ÿ™‚

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The demise of a loved one

28 10 2007

To those who knew him, to those who traveled near and far with him and to those who have seen him through thick and thin. It’s now time to let him go.

As I bid farewell to my beloved SLK 2594, would appreciate your little acts of condolences. The ambassador of Wah Lai Toi will soon leave us for good.

dsc01458.jpg

Make no mistakes my fellow comrades, the demise of SLK was not of my doing. Instead, it was the irresponsible action of a 19 year old who had no sense of direction in the state of Melaka that caused SLK to be classified as ‘total loss’. (Yes, it does not seem bad enough to be classified as ‘total loss’ but I’m praying it will be ๐Ÿ˜› ) This 19 year old who was hungry as a ghost at 6.30am decided to go hunting for food in the town of Melaka. Little did this 19 year old realized that the road this 19 year old was on, was in fact a one-way street and this 19 year old was heading in the wrong direction! And coming right up to SLK was a STORM! SLK vs. STORM. SLK could only scream in horror as both SLK and STORM collided.

The idiotic 19 year old survived with 32 stitches on his hand. But sadly, SLK’s injuries was more severe. Whether or not SLK will be classified as a ‘total loss’, SLK will not return to me. SLK has served me for almost 4 years and I will never forget the ups and downs we have gone through together. Just like you will always remember your first love, Small Little Kelisa was my first car.

*sobs sobs* Emotions running uncontrollably. How do you bid farewell to someone so dear?
How? How? How?

*

*

*

Ahh ok cut the crap. It’s all perfect timing. It’s time for a Toyota. Vios? Altis? or Camry? LOL. JK.

Let’s be silent for 1 minute as a sign of last respect to my faithful friend.





Make a difference, Go the distance

7 10 2007

Woohoo!!

Ran my first 10KM run this morning and boy, do I feel goood!!

This charity run in support of the AIDS Foundation was held at the Taman Perhutanan Bukit Cahaya, Shah Alam and it was one hell of a terrain. There were so many uphills!!!!!!! It was really painful having to endure those uphill moments. Your body will want to run up, yet you realize that your momentum is more like walking. It seriously makes not much of a difference whether you run or walk.

Prior to the run, I tried running on trademills for like 5km and out of the 3 times I tried, I failed all 3 times in reaching the 5km mark. Amazingly though, today it was a breeze! Well, not exactly, considering those uphill pains, but it did help that I had a supportive companion to push me along.

Am pretty glad with my result as I clocked in at 1 hour 10 mins. Not a great time but well, it’s my first and I just wanted to see how fit I am compared to the last time I ran the 5KM e-run in Uni. And YES, I can say I’m as fit as a bull now as compared to last time ๐Ÿ˜€

I think these runs could be addictive and I know that this will not be my last 10KM run. I shall attempt to win a medal in 10KM runs before progressing to 15KM runs ๐Ÿ˜€ . Hopefully I’ll win a medal for a 10KM run soon, then I can strike it off from my list of things to do before 30 hehe.

As for now,ย  I can only pray that my legs will not fail me tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜
Will be off to Singapore in a couple of days. Finally, I’m being sent to somewhere out of Malaysia for training! Realized that it’s already October and this blog is still stucked in September. Time is so precious these days.

Till my next free moment,
Take care and toodles!

p/s: They may be wrong, but apparently along the way, us runners did pass by the place where Altantuya got exploded. I feel goosebumps on my skin just thinking about it. Creepy.





Wow! It worked!

26 08 2007

I’m sure some of you would have read the email titled “4 things you never knew your handphone could do”, or something along that line. And one of the four things listed in it was that we could actually unlock our car doors via our handphone! Well, not exactly unlocking with your mobile, but more of using your mobile as a medium to unlock your car when you do not have your keys with you and the spare keys are at your home or with someone else. For those who have yet to read that email, I’m sure the question in your head is how exactly do I do that?

As per the email, these are the steps you should follow:
1. Call the person who has access to your car’s remote control.
2. Place your mobile phone about 1 inch from your car (door).
3. Tell that person to press the unlock button on your car’s remote control.
4. Your car should be unlocked.

It’s as simple as that! And guess what? It works!!

Was in Centrepoint, BU for dinner with Barry, Pot and the man. Was talking about whether this could work and we decided to test it out. So as Barry (without his car keys) went to his car which was parked at the basement in LG, the rest of us waited for his call at Ground Floor. Called he did, and we pressed the unlock button of the remote control over my phone’s speaker. First few times, nothing happened. Then suddenly after few tries, we heard the signal of his car’s doors being unlocked! Whoa! Super amazing weh! We tested it a few more times, lock and unlock cause we were just so amazed LOL. Thank God there were not many people around us cause we were being rather animated from excitement hehe.

If only I knew about this ‘trick’ way back in Uni days when I locked my keys in my car (yes, dumb dumb I know) and my parents had to drive 40 minutes to hand me the spare keys. Getting them to unlock my car over the phone would have taken 5 seconds or less. Damn. But it’s a really handy trick especially if you lock your keys in the car. Or if you went to grab something from your car only to realize that you left your keys at (for example) your office. Apart from this two scenarios, I don’t see how this trick will help, especially if you will need to drive the car once unlocking it. No key, car unlock, what’s the point? Unless you are McGyver la ๐Ÿ˜€

One word of advice though. Barry initially placed his phone about an inch away from his car’s door but it did not work. The best spot to place it would be on your car’s bonnet, as near as possible to the windscreen.

So these steps should work really fine:
1. Call the person who has access to your car’s remote control.
2. Place your mobile phone about 1 inch from your car (door). Place your mobile on your car’s bonnet (driver’s side) as close as possible to the windscreen.
3. Tell that person to press the unlock button on your car’s remote control.
4. Your car should be unlocked.

Happy trying! I find it really cool. Must be some wave transmission over the phone that enables it. Whoever have insights on this, do enlighten me ๐Ÿ˜€ . We were so excited about the testing that our parking ticket expired cause we did not exit within the allocated 20 minutes grace period.

๐Ÿ™‚

And tomorrow is Monday. Have a great one!

Countdown to MERDEKA!! Yeah!





30 things to do before 30

11 08 2007

Update: 29 April 2009

My before-30 checklist: (in random order)

1. Get certified as an Advanced Scuba diver

2. Bungee-Jump

3. Buy a house. Or two

4. Sponsor my parents on an all expense paid trip to overseas – done (Thailand/HK/Shenzhen)

5. Get a DSLR – done (Nikon D60)

6. Climb Mount KK

7. Paraglide/Parasail (Parasailing is too mild)ย Sky Dive – done (25/4/09)

8. Make a snow angel

9. Start a business (A serious one!) ๐Ÿ˜€

10. Visit at least 5 foreign countries – done (HK/Macau – 19/10/07, Thailand – Jan to Apr, Aug to Dec 2008; Shanghai – July 2008; Philippines – 28/12/08;ย  Bali – 1/2/09; HK/Shenzhen – 7/3/09; Melbourne – 29/12/09)

11. Share the good news to at least one friend Work towards the salvation of my closest friends

12. Be a regular in social community work – ongoing (recent one being SOW @ Sg. Kanching – 19/4/09)

13. Sponsor at least 5 children under the World Vision’s child sponsorship program – (1 down, 4 to go)

14. Get a Toyotaย (or maybeย a Mazda/Honda)

15. Laser my eyes

16. Get promoted to a Vice-President rank (assuming I’m still with a Bank) Get out of the Banking line ๐Ÿ˜›

17. Take up photography and be good at it! – still working on it

18. Learn a new skill, i.e. baking ๐Ÿ˜€

19. Be involved in mission trips

20. Go on a 5 movies marathon in a day

21. Complete a 10KM marathon race and get a medal [Completed 2 10KM races and got a finisher medal)

22. Start a Trust Fund

23. Learn to surf – done (Bali)

24. Visit Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak to complete my visit to all states in Malaysia [ Sabah – done, Sarawak – done]

25. Go on a level 5 white-water rafting adventure – (only did at Kiulu River which is level 3 or 4)

26. Be very well insured – as per my definition ๐Ÿ˜›

27. Make a difference in the Animals’ Planet

28. Watch a high quality musical or stage play, if not Broadway – (Watched Beauty & the Beast Broadway Musicalย but don’t consider it high quality ๐Ÿ˜› )

29. Be financially independent – (independent but not financially free yet)

30. Get married ๐Ÿ™‚

Some big, some small, but all realistically achievable (I hope).

So there you have it, my first 30 things to-do list before March 28, 2014.

The clock is ticking…





Your Weekend, Their life…

21 07 2007

When was the last time you were so hungry you ate a rotten banana?
When was the last time you worked your ass off just to buy rats to cook for dinner?
When was the last time you were so thirsty you drank the water from the stream despite it being flooded with Guinea worms?

To every question above, I bet your answer would be ‘Never‘.

And by saying ‘Never‘, you are luckier than more than 850 million people around the world who are living in poverty each and every second of their lives.

For that 850 million people, eating a rotten banana and drinking water with Guinea worm lava in it scarcely explains what they go through to only barely survive each day. A Guinea worm lava could last up to 1 year in a human’s stomach, after which it will crawl down to a person’s leg or feet and form a lump. The worm will then try to find its way out of the person’s leg and will eventually tear through the person’s skin. The pain from the burst of the skin due to the ‘activity’ of the worm is unimaginable. Yet, the children in Africa drinks the water because it’s their only source of water. 4,500 children die each day from unsafe drinking water. How can you help?

Today, I attended the volunteer’s training for World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine Camp to be held on 15-16 Sept 2007. 700 volunteers rendered their support, time and energy to ensure that the 30-Hour Famine Camp would run smoothly. It is indeed the first time I’m participating in such a large scale event and I believe it will be rewarding. We were brought to realization the state of poverty over 850 million people around the world are in. Through videos, games and talks, we were pulled out of our comfortable lives and zoomed in to feel, just for a moment, how these people living in poverty feels each day. Yet, I know that what we felt was nothing as compared to their reality.

30 Hour Famine is a global movement against hunger. Like what it implies, the camp participants forgo solid food for 30 hours. And because this year it is World Vision’s 10th anniversary in Malaysia, the Famine will be held in Bilingual (English and Chinese) for the first time. Previously 2000 participants attended the Chinese Famine Camp while about 600 attended the English Famine Camp. This time around, WV is targeting 5,000 participants.

Throughout the camp, participants will experience hunger pangs like never before. Nevertheless, that aside, participants will set to gain and understand deeper the lives of those less fortunate through activities like games, videos, quiz-shows and short-talks. Apart from that, there will also be a movie screening and a concert at night. Celebrities like Fish Leong, Daniel Lee, Nicholas Teo, Francissca Peter, Juwita Soweto and Sarimah Ibrahim are expected to grace the stage for a good cause. One thing is for sure, the participants will bring home a different perspective on life.

So often we talk about the hunger of the children of Africa. So nonchalantly we tend to say “Think of the kids in Africa” each time someone wastes their food. We know, we pity, yet we act not. Touching nearer to home, it is somewhat hard to believe that 16% of the people in Sabah are living in poverty. 21% of the children there are not given education. The next poorest state is Kelantan. Seeing how much our country has developed (with our 1st – 9th Malaysian Plans to eradicate poverty and all), it came as somewhat a surprise to me. These people mostly live in villages. Not many know about them, not many care enough to know.

30hrfamhome.jpg

The theme for this year’s 30 Hour Famine is ‘Hungry for Hope’.
What can you do to bring hope to the hungry?

If you would like to know more about the camp, or would like to participate, please direct your web browser to: 30 Hour Famine – Hungry for Hope

 

We wake up thinking what to eat.
They wake up thinking if they would eat.

Be grateful for all that you have.

Make a difference, today.

 

 

 





Mix FM Mega Shopaholic

1 07 2007

Yeeeeeharrrr!!! For those in the dark, a little background before I share my excitement ๐Ÿ˜›

Since June 25th, Mix FM has been running this contest called ‘MIX FM MEGA SHOPAHOLIC’ in conjunction with our Mega Sale. This contest is sponsored by Tourism Malaysia and this is how its played. Basically, a shopaholic will be out shopping at any malls in Malaysia and she’ll call in to Mix FM to give hints on her whereabouts. Based on those hints, you’re supposed to hunt her down and ask her this question ‘Are you the Mix FM Mega Shopaholic?’. If she says yes, you’ll get RM 800 if you found her before she revealed the 2nd hint and RM 500 if she’s found after the 2nd hint. Oh and Maxis subscribers get additional RM 250 in shopping vouchers!! Cool right?

It gets cooler. Know why? Coz I WON!!!!!!!!! HAHA!!!

It was a crazy Saturday, on June 30th. With my dear friend Jamie who just returned from India, we both started the day with the intention of hunting for the shopaholic. And boy, we sure did chased and hunted! Was on the way to Subang, and was nearing Shah Alam when the clue from the Shopaholic came on air on Mix FM. She was in Bukit Raja Shopping Centre!! That’s in Klang!! Thank God we were near the Shah Alam roundabout and so I made a spin at it and sped all the way back to Klang. Reached JJ in 10 minutes. Yay! Hopefully no summons. Once arrived at JJ, I parked my car by the road leaving Jamie to manage the car while I ran off inside to hunt for the Shopaholic. Spotted her right on as I already knew what I’m looking for and charged towards her immediately when I saw her. Asked her the question I did and Yippee the rest is history. RM 800 plus RM 250 JJ shopping vouchers. Split the cash with Jamie as it really was a team effort. RM 400 bucks richer in less than half an hour ๐Ÿ˜€ So happy!! If I were a few seconds slower, another guy would have got to the Shopaholic first. Really thank God for the extra dough. Now I don’t have to save money for my Deuter bag. YAAAY!!! hehe.

Shopaholic Close-Encounters:

1. I should mention that I’ve been hunting for the Shopaholic everyday ‘after’ work since Wednesday, June 27. I’ve hunted for her in BB Plaza, Times Square, and almost to Atria but did not get there on time thanks to the dumb jam. I actually found the shopaholic on Wednesday itself! At BB Plaza!! But sadly, I did not trust my gut feeling and did not approach the lady. Else I would have gotten RM 500 on that day. Too bad.

2. Subang Parade on Saturday, June 30 again. This game is played 2 sessions per day. I managed to find her in JJ during the 1st session. And I predicted that she would go to Subang Parade[SP] for the 2nd session judging from the way she asked me how far is Subang from Klang, etc. And so Jamie and I loitered at SP awaiting the 1st hint for the 2nd session. We were sitted in front of Friday’s when the hint came. The hint was ‘ please don’t rain on my parade’!! Subang Parade!! That’s what we figured. And she mentioned she’s at Nike, and opposite Friday’s is Nike!! So we rushed over to Nike but nope, no one was there. hmm… we searched awhile but did not find her. I got impatient and suggested that she could be in Klang Parade. Dang. I was so wrong when the 2nd clue came on air. She’s in Subang!! AARGGHH!! but it was too late coz we were already heading towards Klang. Rushed back to Subang but was too late as someone already found her. Again, failed coz did not trust my gut feeling.

Sigh. I really should learn to trust my gut feeling and use less brain.

But it was a very very fun day and we were each RM 400 richer. So I guess we cannot complain for not winning the 2nd time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before I end, I would like to thank my girlfriends who accompanied me or shared my joy in chasing the Shopaholic. Suet, Nic, Mandy and Jamie. Thanks! It’s the first time I’m being so crazy to actually participate in such a game ๐Ÿ˜€ . But it’s damn fun!! Also to Francis for leading the way to Cheras Leisure Mall albeit we didn’t manage to hunt her down before someone else did.

And the hunt continues…. if she’s around KL city center la ๐Ÿ˜›