Friday, November 30, 2012

Mixed feeling prior to year-end

On a short notice (again), I was on an assignment, which should be pretty tough.

At first, I thought it's no big deal. As I was diving through the details, it's then all the complexity discovered.

So it's HPHT, severe/total losses anticipated, PMCD + CBHP, Statically UB mud, perhaps dynamically UB mud at some points. Whatever, it's gotta be a good opportunity to learn stuffs. Hopefully it's a blessing in disguise.

Excited but nervous! FML...

Knock off to bed. All is well.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The empire state of trip...

Out of the blue, my boss had wanted me to sign up a course which would be conducted in Houston, Texas, US. It did take me by surprise. Immediately after that, I had to go offshore for a job, which lasted for about 3 weeks.

As I got back to KL, I was running here there, trying to expedite my visa application, or else I wouldn't go nowhere. I had less than 2 week of time allowance, and fortunately it went on without a hitch, although the visa approved for me is a single entry one, as opposed to most of the others' 10 years multiple entries. Anyway, it's just doesn't matter.

I flew Qatar Airways, had my transit in Doha International Airport. The long haul flight was of no fun. They served Middle Eastern Food, which I didn't quite like it. I finished up to like 5 movies or something.

Touching down Houston Intercontinental Airport in the morning, felt lethargic, and of course the jet lag (12 hours deviation) was ain't helping at all. Checked in the Sheraton North Houston Hotel, which is just next to my training center. Another colleague of mine, Nisha was there too. She had got a truck and she drove us around abit. 

The course (Drilling Engineering) went on for two weeks. Good to get to know some colleagues from Aberdeen, Brazil and also US. Although it's kind of introductory stuffs, but I certainly have taken home lot of input. Glad I came! We always want to go back to the basics, and it's so important to have a good basics (I thought). Apart from it, we had great deal of fun visited few interesting places around Houston such as Hard Rock Cafe Houston, Space Center Houston, Kemah Boardwalk, Premium Outlets Houston, and the neighborhood of Sheraton North Houston.

Had an examination in the morning on my second Friday in Houston and project presentation in the afternoon. I pulled it off. After that, went with the colleagues to Midtown Houston for dinner, and of course the party. We were hopping from a club to another. I think  we visited like 5 of them. It's so much fun. All of us got so drunk. I came back to hotel early with Adam (Brit). I remember the scene where both of us taking the dustbin located at two side of the lift at the hotel and puking. That's hilarious, because he didn't know that I was so drunk and vice versa. That's at 2.30am. 

What's more classic (to me) was that I had to check out the room at like 3.30am to go to the airport and heading for New York City (NYC). Apparently I was having a really bad hangover. How I managed to get myself from Houston to Atlantic Airport to NYC was impressive, to me myself. You know all the procedures in the airport, checking in luggage, clear custom, finding the boarding gate and so on. 

Touching down Newark Airport in the afternoon. Checked in Sun Bright Hotel located in Chinatown, Manhattan. It's absolutely a budget hotel, It has such a small footprint that a single bed and my luggage already took up 80% of the space. It was within walking distance to the Canal Street subway station, which is like few stations away from 42 Street, The Time Square area. I bet almost everyone will be amazed by the neon lit advertisements running all over the buildings along the streets and almost every corner. It's just vibrant and energetic!

We bought the package of combination of New York Pass and bus packages to gain access to couple of places of interest such as Empire State of Building, Top of The Rock, Madam Tussaud's. In addition to that we had to get ticket for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour. 

NYC 's skyline is simply breathtaking (especially at night) with some remarkable buidings, at least three major suspension bridges and of course the Statue of Liberty from afar. Having to view it from the Top of The Rock observatory deck at night, at observatory deck of Empire State Building at noon, and also from Semi Circle Cruise in the evening, all were just keeping me more and more interested about the city.

Went on Brookyln City Bus Tour, but was stuck at lower deck of the bus, and eventually I fell asleep like for most part of the tour. Waste of money as well as time. Went on the New York City Night Tour, which was informative as well as amazing. Right before we made a round back to Time Square, the guide turned on the song "empire state of mind", which was way awesome. The ambiance of it was just good. The whole place is like representing freedom, dream and the likes. Indeed Terrific.

Moreover, visited the Wall Street, the Trump Tower, the Ripley's Odditorium, the Manhattan's Bridge, the Ground Zero and so on. I guess we had covered most of the places of interest around the city. It's tiring but it's just fun.

Wanted to go to the Central Park on the fourth day, but it was drizzling all the time. So got stuck at Manhattan Mall and Macy's, leading to more damage to my broken account!!!!!'s just joyful though.

One more thing worth a note. It's the time during which I did so many online purchase, from flight booking to hotel booking, camera, book, New York Pass and so on. All of them worked!

Looking forward to my next trip already. Cheers...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Of the beers I've got

I am no big drinker, not at all. I guess I drink as I want to socialise and it's actually part of my job. Lol. Further than that, it's one of the things which I wanna do to expand my life experience, much like traveling to different places, learning different cultures, and so on. Hilarious tough, most of the beers taste about the same to me, but some are smoother than the others.

Here's a list of beers I had tried, (not following any chronological/preference order):

1. Carlsberg, Danish

2. Heiniken, Dutch

3. Beck's, German

4. Chang, Thai

5. Singha, Thai

6. South Pacific, PNG

7. Corona Extra, Mexican

8. Stella Artois, Belgium

9. Hoegaarden, Belgium

10. India Pale Ale (IPA), English

11. Budweiser, American

12. Shiner Bock, Texan (American)

13. Tiger Beer

 Of course, the list if not exhaustive. Guess I will need to come back and update it over time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In the middle of ocean

I was asked to come back from Bangkok to standby for few days before flying for the next job. I did, but for just less than 24 hours, I took off to Labuan, stayed for the night, the next day before the day broke dawn, I was on the chopper setting out to the rig. Forgot to mention, I got such a short notice on this, I had to pack my beg while the taxi driver was already waiting for me at my condo. Great achievement. Hehehe...

Has been out here in the middle of ocean, offshore Sabah. I am onboard a tender-spar rig, standing in a water depth of about 1300m. I came here with another engineer, who is of my age as well, but a bit more experienced. Thinking of it that the two of us had to run the job without a supervisor, it's definitely a crazy arrangement. Luckily, things have been going fine, and everybody is happy so far. The rig should be drilling to the total depth today, and hence I should be anticipating an relieve in a week time or so.

Being my first time offshore, I am certainly feeling bored already after a week. Got not much to do after installing and commissioning my equipment. Anyway, it's good that I have picked up a lot. Hopefully the learning curve hikes more...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outstation at Siam

Last week I was asked to fly to Thailand the next day. It's on a very short notice, but hey man it's city of Bangkok, and here I'm.

This is my first time in Bangkok. I was fast to like the city. Friendly people, pretty girls, and fluid Thai language, and of course the food. Thai the english, it sounds too funny. Something like HelicOptErrrrrr, hAAAve...

I checked in Oakwood Service Apartment. The room is good, undoubtedly one of the best hotel rooms I've been to. It's of walking distance to my office, at Citibank Building, opposite to Station 21, a pretty established mall.

Have been working my ass off though. Work, eat and sleep, work eat and sleep. Got wasted last friday night. The night club was awesome, conducive ambiance for party with DJ's. Traveled along the Chao Paya river, dropping by at Wat Pho temple, Grand Place, and China Town. Yea, just to check out the places and satisfy my want-to-know-ness. Pretty interesting places, loads of tourists, all kind of nationalities. Also, another act of solo traveling.

Back to room, got a bit of rest and I guess I will still need to get a bit of works done later. Hope I am getting my second weekend in the city before leaving to Songkhla.    

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A new take

Few days ago, boss approached me for a new role whereby he wants me to focus on a particular piece of technology the department is providing. Essentially, we are seeing increased interest in the technology, and they need a dedicated person to be "babysitting" all projects that use it, including resolving issues, analysing data and so forth. I guess it's gotta be big for a budding fellow like me. What I am almost certain is that there will be a big gap which I have to close.

"If you take it, it's yours, you're always my first priority, otherwise I will have to go to the others!"  A rather big compliment I guess.

In light of chance/change, indecisiveness and hesitation creep in. Yes, the role is tempting. It is exactly what I would wanna do, perhaps 3 to 5 years down the road, but it's presenting NOW. I am getting something and I am giving up something too. Always two side of coin. Again, my capacity will be put on test, big test I would assume.

German Autobahn: so fast so furious...

It's a new take. Things are going to be fast like the "german authobahn". I hope I will pull it off, always embrace optimism. There may be a cut in my allowances, and travelling, but I am anticipating the revision and how things should fare. Keep hope alive!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Evolving perspectives towards life

Came across this article which I find very interesting yet meaningful.

Primarily, it says about the three distinct spectrum of perceptions one seeing things throughout his/her life.

Spectrum #1: See mountain, perceive it as mountain; See water, perceive it as water.

People in this stage have always been sheltered from the storm. They are naive. They just have not been taken through a bumpy road yet, just yet!!! Life is seemingly a bed of roses. They do face shits in life, but somebody else has paved the road for them. They are still very much clean and clear. They are just ready to cross a river where there are bloody crocodiles in existence. They are carefree, tend to be a trouble maker too, but it's all right, because there will be someone else to cover the ass for them wilfully. Majority of individuals who have not stepped into society belong here, although there could be some people who been part of the society for some time.Of course, there are cases of exception.

Spectrum #2: See mountain, perceive it NOT as mountain; See water, perceive it NOT as water.

People in this category have been through a lot. They know the fact that they are riding on a bumpy road. Say they are crossing the river, they know that there are bloody crocodiles right beside or ahead of him/her. It's either they take the crocodiles down or they avoid the crocodiles to make it though or to pull it off.

They are trouble-averse. They tend to be sceptical, insecure and high on their guard. They could be masking themselves in the name of hypocrisy. They would rather choose to stay out of trouble than anything else. They may be pretentiously cool, pretentiously fine although they are not really so. They may find themselves lost in the capitalism world. They try to race with others, race with time, race with the space. At some occasion, they forget about what really contributes to the wellness of his/her life. 

I am here!!! It's time to move on.

They see river, and heck that they think it's Amazon River, it'd be deadly.

Spectrum #3; See mountain, STILL perceive it as mountain, See water, STILL perceive it as water.

These are the group of people who has great piece in mind. They can take out relationship between outside world and themselves. However the environment, the surrounding, the outlook fare, he/she is not bothered and has got very little interest . They have come to a point where nothing else matters except for what really matters for him/her. They have got things sorted out pretty clearly. They know what is really important for them. They go after their own interests are, rather than interests what most people going after.

Most of the time, this group of people are financially strong, or they have got  a good financial planning.
However, people who are as rich as millionaires may not necessarily be in this category, unless they are ready to curb the desire of wanting more.

They see mountain, and heck that they know it's Everest Mount or something, but so what, they are just hiking near the ridges, rather than heading to the peak like most would want to do.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Talks over the lunch

Was in a lunch with couples of white men, when two Americans started a conversation about the time they spent in China and their experiences.

American 1 said one of the most perceptible things about the Chinese is that they don't value personal space. In the train station, you sat down there and have your beg sitting down right beside you, one of the fellows would come up and got your beg on the floor and sat down right next to you. He went on commenting that it's as if the beg wasn't entitled to be seated. Then he went on saying in China, not very sure which part in specific, he would go to one of the international hotel chains, rather than any the local hotel, because lacking of the perceived security, comforts and cleanliness. Also, he made it sounds like such a big deal as no one speaks English or something like that.

The other guy said that he would just go to McD or KFC because the local restaurants don't have an English menu and there's no picture attached available to depict the food/dish.

Well, of course I just briefly captured their conversations above. They talked like as if it's all craps in China. It kind of getting me pissed a bit. It looks like there is misunderstanding or lack of understanding or cultural shock or their sheer superficiality. C'mon gentlemen, don't you know that when in rome do as the romans do! Yes, US has been a super-major since long. China has recently climbed up on top as second largest economics in the world too. However, this is not even the point to argue with. Please respect the differences and diversity, which really make the world all more wonderful, ain't them. No single country is perfect, every country has their own set of strength and weaknesses, or opportunity and threats.  

I hope this bunch of morons or anyone on the line will soon get it and stop expecting everybody to act/be like a US and of course stop preaching about their superiority. Because, it doesn't matter from where you are, you are only superior when you have a breadth and width of knowledge in today society, in my point of view. Of course, be respectful to the others too.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Stepped into one of the world least explored places, PNG.

Again, I'm currently out-stationed for job. It's my first time at the rig site, all way in a remote jungle in Papua New Guinea. Rumor has it that this place has got cannibalism which is kind of freaking me out at first. I still remember that my culture anthropology lecturer said that there are some tribes in the country who have a very interesting practice whereby the guys will receive cements from elder guys to become an adult. Not sure how much truth in it though. Anyway,I've been here for closed to two weeks. It's not that tough an environment to adapt to than one which I'd imagined it before getting here.

Be it as remote a place in a jungle which is accessible via only helicopter, it's still an oil and gas industry where the common language is still English, which I can comfortably use. Communication is really not much a problem. It's a mixed community here, 70% the locals and some foreigners. I am in for night shift. I've made many friends. One of my acquaintances is Sutowo, the rig tool pusher from Indonesia who is humble and has helped me a lot in understanding the rig system. I'm more than thankful to him.

The operation that my company/department is providing has pretty much been over when I got here, so I've been on the standby. The operation is drill stem testing now, whereby they produce the hydrocarbon at some 2000m beneath to surface and flare it to evaluate the commerciality of the reservoir.

The flare is totally rocking. It's so loud that it annihilates off the noise from the helicopter, which is already deafening by which I am constantly disturbed during my sleep daylight. Believe it or not, the flow of the hydrocarbon through choke (the restriction) to flare is so strong that it literally is shaking up the whole area. I'm feeling all the vibrations at the desk, room, and etc. Apparently, there is so much of energy down at the reservoir to push the hydrocarbon to surface at such a speed. It is no doubt the strongest fire I have ever encountered in my entire life so far.  

The flare when the choke was at about 50% opening in a misty morning. As of the time of doing this post, the choke is fully opened, the flare is awfully ferocious and loud. I guess it's measuring about 40ft, translates into 4 storeys of height. Yes, it's a big eye opener, but then it started bugging me, or perhaps everybody (except the company reps) a lot now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I had always wanted to go climbing Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak in Southest Asia. A couples of things had hampered me to proceed, like gathering a group of hikers, availability and etc. 

Just so happened that a friend of mine needed a replacement for his group as someone withdrew herself. I was kind of tied up to work at the time, but I just carried on joining them to conquer the mount. It was just a week prior to the climb that I got informed about the replacement, and my leave was approved right the day before the climb. 

Things were happening swiftly. I didn't make much preparation, didn't go on any kind of stamina training, plus I didn't really take with me all the the items/gears which would come in handy during the adventure, reason being that I wasn't really thinking about the climb which would otherwise turn out to be a huge challenge. 

The climb was tough, which yields a big satisfaction. We started off climbing up thru the Mesilau Trail, which is about 8km in length. As we proceeded half way, the weather turned on us. It's pouring. The rocky trail became a mini waterfall, and we kept going up, as the day was getting darker and darker. We had to reach the rest point by 6pm. We were drenched wet and the ambient temperature was like 5 deg C. My feet were like ice-bathed and got kind of frostbitten. Thanks to the strong mental, I reached there, the first in my group, and swearing all my way through. Bearing all the exhaustion and suffering the spasm, I just kept going on. Come to think about it, it's definitely one of the toughest things I had ever done in my life.

Had a buffet dinner, got some rest, and got up at 2am the next day, the rain hadn't yet stopped, but it did at 2.30am. We started climbing uphill again to the peak. It's wet and freezing cold, about 3 deg C and the air was thin. We had got another perhaps 4 km to complete to be at the low peak. It took such a huge efforts just to make a few more steps. I thought few steps away was already far. That's how exhausted I was. We did make it to the top slightly pass 6am. Sun was a little up already. The view was magnificent. All the hardship paid off, although we were still suffering the extreme coldness.  

The climbers. We didn't come here camping. We climbed to the peak.

Whatever, I've what I wanted to do since long. Great achievement, great experience. Hope to have another adventure similar to this again soon.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Being away and ....

Have been away on business for quite some time already. Previous trips din't shoulder me with much of a burden, but this one, when I am the one in charge. Sounds good, ain't it? Glad that things are still pretty much under control thus far, am hoping for a terrific completion. Of course, I have got three amazing co-workers, and again I just got to meet them for this project, just like any other projects I went to, I met new faces. I guess this a pretty interesting environment the job offers to me whereby I get to not only meet up with new faces, but also to work with them as a team. Be a team leader or team player, just get into it and make things really work.

Anyway, I've had good sleep for most of the nights (some were tipsy nights of course) but tonight. Many things are popping out on my mind. I guess exciting things are awaiting me already at some corners. Hahahaha...Sense of over-optimism...

So here am I, in the blog space. I find it a magnificent tool to beat the sleeplessness. Am I saying blogging is boring? hahaha...I tried it couple of times in university and it worked. So yes, I 'm getting a zzzzzzzzzzzz...Good night...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My first call for Stop Work

Coming back from work yesterday, I observed someone working at height without getting protected adequately. He was doing cleaning for the air conditioner outside the window at Level 4 or 5 without putting a safety harness on, the least of which that could prevent him from falling to his death or loss of physical ability and the likes.

It is easy to immediately associate the act lacking of safety and choose just to let it be, as if it’s none of my business. For what i know, it does no good at all if no intervention is taken. 

I went up to the hotel receptionist. I talked to her about my concern for the risk of which the guy might have fallen down for whatever the reason is. I told her my company put great deal of emphasis in safety. If the guy were to continue working outside there, I would make a report to my boss, which would also mean that the hotel might risk losing business with my company, a significant client for sure. 

I went back to my room, took a shower and followed up the progress. The guy was actually still up there. I told the receptionist again that I had already taken a photo and demanded her to raise a stop work immediately. 5 mins later, I went outside the hotel to check whether the guy had gone back in yet or not. And yes, he did.

This is my first Stop Work. It may well means a difference between live or death imagining the guy were to fall down. Such thing is not something fresh in the news. 

Feeling proud of myself, do the right thing, take leadership in safety. What I could tell is that the receptionist did not perceive the kind of risk I associated to. Yes, she did feel that it's unsafe, but the sense of seriousness just ain't there. She was kind of thinking that the guy would have finished the work fast and come back in safe and sound. However, we all just have no clue could have happened, even just the next second. Accident is odorless, silent as well as abrupt. 

Indeed a GOOD DEED! My colleagues were kind of surprised by me on this. Well safety culture is ON anywhere anytime.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lynas - A NO GO!!!

In a bid to curb the dominance of the world rare earth supply by China, who mines 95 - 97% of the global supply, Lynas, an aussie mining company, has been setting up the world largest rare earth refinery plant here in Kuantan, Malaysia. Interested with the details, read here and also here.

The issue is under the spotlight recently. There is so much of sentiments spilled over this. Many people took a "Stop Lynas" photo and posted them on fb, also the interactive animations and of course the media coverage, People even brought it to the street last weekend. Not why, simply because we are being risked to put on the line of FIRE triple combo waste, thorium (radioactive, toxic and acidic) as a by-product from the rare earth refinery plant.

There used to be a rare earth refinery plant in Bukit Merah, Perak. From the hindsight, there have been quite a number of  health related issues as a result from the plant operation and also the produced waste which were handled haphazardly/recklessly, There was outbreaks of leukemia and also birth defects. Interested with details, read here. In my opinion, the ultimate extent of damage caused is difficult to assess, as radioactive substance doesn't die out fast, it has to half its life over many cycles to be infinitely insignificant to be hazardous.

Check out this video, feeling heart-wrecked after watching.

Some big men in the country tried to give us some forms of rhetoric that the plant will be run safely that it will pose no health risk. I have no clue what his comments based upon, but what I do know though is that he must have got a handsome "undertables". We all pretty well aware of the whole corrupted system going on behind the scene.

So yea, this is something which we cannot/should not put up with. Thanks goodness, there have been many voices up against setting up the plant. If the authority insists that the plant to be carried on, I guess our best shot will be to punish them in the forthcoming general election.

"We should not bring to our shore what have been rejected by people"!

Namawee has come out with some thing too. Still the same him, vulgar.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bukit Tabur Checked

Finally I check-in Bukit Tabur. I have always wanted to do so but somehow the plans didn't materialise until recently. It turned out to be a blardy awesome climb. I've read a bit about it, to which I immediately got interested by the sort of slopes the mountain has to offer. As a matter of fact, it exceeded my expectations. I really love its wavy ridgeline, ascending a slope on one side, descending on the other side of it, cross over to another up-slope and then repeat the same procedures of ascending, descending and crossing over. Some are drastic enough to bring about some adrenaline rush of you.

There were some other groups of people climbing with us too. But yea it wasn't that crowded than I had expected. We still had space to rest, camwhore and what not. The air was amazingly fresh. The bird view wasn't spectacular particularly as the mist was kind of thick. I was nearly deceived into thinking that I was hiking in my dream at first. It's a beautiful sunny day. All converged to an enjoyable climb.

We started climbing at 730, when the sun was already half way hanging up in the sky. Nope, we didn't get up from bed late. We just thought it'd b safer to walk without having our vision impaired in a region where we've barely known of. We made a round trip in 3.5 hours, didn't rush for anything. The climb was not  without risk. The rocky ridge can get very narrow at some stretches. Also, there are high degree of inclinations to go up against. So, pay close attention to every steps you take, I'm pretty sure the risk is virtually nil. We did suffer several minor cut though. 


A group of 4, easy enough to manage

A misty morning

Bukit Tabur, definitely an awesome spot for a little adventure around KL. I'm in love with hiking even more thereafter. =)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A working sunday

Back in the office today, despite it's a sunny sunday. Luckily we mobilised the equipment yesterday as the weather was just nice. So my working trip is coming to an end. Supposedly going to the rig site but I have no intention to forsake my cny celebration and trip to china-macao, so I "withdraw" myself from going to the location at Kalasin, north-eastern part of Thailand, which should be quite an interesting place to check out too I suppose.

Anyway, it's been a nice experience working in this yard. Despite the communication barrier, works were done as desired and on time. People here are helpful and friendly, which means a lot.

Hope to come back here again some time, but let me have a break first...