13 October 2011

I tried to beat the clock and failed

Missed it by a couple of seconds. Oh well. Time to train harder. :)

04 October 2011

In a bid to lose weight and save lives

Update: Unfortunately today I got news from a friend that her mum needs some blood donation for the surgery she is about to take. I am the right blood type but I am not allowe to give in the next 3 months. What bad timing.

Yesterday while walking to the office, I saw the Pusat Darah Negara van parked outside my office building. This usually means that they are going to have a blood donation drive and usually it is organized by Scope International. I think Scope is doing a good job and they on an annual basis do at least 2 or 3 blood donation drive at my office building.

In my bid to save 3 lives (heard in on the radio) and to lose some weight (450 milliliters or 450g or 1 US pint) I decided to go and donate some of my blood away. I have done it before about 2-3 years ago. The last time I tried, my blood pressure was a bit too high and they didn't allow me.

This time around however I got a clean bill of health however I think my blood pressure is still a bit on the high side at 145/89. It is actually borderline Stage 1 Hypertension. They did however let it go and the good thing that came out of this is that when I weighed myself on their scale I weighed in at 81kgs. I did lose some weight after all the jogging I did which is encouraging. After this blood donation it should be 80.5kg. Woohoo.

I had to wait a bit for the doctor to come back from her prayers so that she can ask me if I have HIV or "seks secara rambang" to which I said no and finally I was on the chair for my blood to be drained out of me.

Nowadays the way they extract blood from you is so much easier and so much safer then the first time I donated blood. Last time before they start extracting blood into the blood bag, they have to take 3 samples for testing and what they would do is to use a pair of calipers to block the pipe to the main bag and then take the samples from another tube. Once that is done they clip the other tube and open the main tube. Last time they also didn't inject anything into you, they just spray some kinda cooling spray and put the needle into you. 

A normal medical needle for injecting medicine or taking blood samples is 21 gauge and for blood donation it 16 gauge. The smaller the gauge number the bigger the size of the needle. A 21 gauge needle has an outer diameter of 0.8192mm (sourced from wikipedia) and the 16 gauge needle has an outer diameter of 1.651mm (sourced from wikipedia). Now it may not sound like much, after all the difference is only 0.8318mm. However check this out...

Picture sourced from The Woods Technique
Now you get my drift? This time however, they inject an anesthetic first using a 21 gauge needle and then only put in the big mother of a needle in. When they put in the 16 gauge needle, I still felt some pain but it wasn't that bad. Once it was in, my blood flowed into a small bag first and once that was filled, they just pushed a plastic piece on the tube and the blood began to flow into the main bag. From the small bag, they extract the 3 samples. So much easier and so much safer.

After about 15 min, all 450 milliliters of my blood has filled up the bag and I was made to rest another 20 min. Then I was given 2 packs of biscuits, 1 piece of chocolate bread and a pack of lychee drink and this time something new. A certificate....

To me totally unnecessary but if it gets people to donate more blood, I saw why not. I didn't feel any ill effects or anything from the "weight lost technique" other then a weird lump on my arm where they needle was put into me.

After one day, there is some slight bruising but not as bad as the last time where my whole elbow area bruised and turned purple-ish green. I kinda freaking my parents out a bit on that. After that they told me never to donate blood again. Haha.

Overall, it was another successful blood donation and hope that the blood I have given will save lives in the future. I feel good and while reading up on Wikipedia about blood donations, apparently in Italy the benefit of going to donate blood is they give you a paid day off. Wah if they did it here, confirm we will an over supply of blood in the blood banks and the economy will crash.

02 October 2011

Let the Wedding Season Begin

The wedding season for me began on the 30th of August 2011 with the first wedding which is for Mei Mon. It was kinda funny that Mei Foong's chi mui's we more "kan cheong" then she was. The chi mui's where rushing her instead of the other way around. I think Mei Foong is one of the most chillax brides out there and I think all the would to be brides out there should learn from her.

The morning for Amy and I began by heading to Holiday Inn Glenmarie for the garden wedding ceremony. Initially I thought we would be there for the "cip san leong". However we was told to be there by 930am and when we got there at 9, everything was over already. It was just waiting for the garden wedding.

I have to say for all the chillax-ness of the bride and bridegroom, they put together a very nice and quaint garden ceremony. The decorations were very simple yet elegant and the theme for the day seems to be light/baby blue. In anticipation of the day being hot, the couple prepared some nice door gifts for everyone.

Each of the guest was to get one of these nice little wooden fans in case the day gets too warm. However it was a nice day and I actually didn't see many of them being used. It even came with a very nice Thank You note pinned to the fan.

As you can see the color theme for the day is light blue and then even got similar colored roses.

Not sure if you can see it or not, but in the background of the flowers, you can see the balloon statue of a bride and bridegroom. It was a nice touch and it is the first time I ever saw that. Again for a couple who never prepared much, it is a very good effort.

Before the ceremony started, the wedding coordinator (Sherry Lee) was running around making sure everything is in order. She did a very good job and even sang a few songs for the dinner. Anyone needs a professional wedding coordinator can hire her.

They also prepared some food and drinks for everyone and again, a very nice touch.

They where so pretty, I just had to take some photos of them. It also had a big Thank You note on it and the little cupcakes were made by Mei Foong's sister and brother in law. The big event started with of course none other then the Mei Foong walking down the aisle. I think Holiday Inn did a great job here as actually she started from the restaurant where it was air-conditioned. It kept the bride cool and calm till it was time to walk down the aisle.

Usually, people have this forced smile and you see it alot in photos. However the smile on Mei Foong's face on that day is really price-less. I have known Mei Foong since high school (however never really that close. She was the smart one and I was the not so smart one) and I do not think I have ever seen here that happy before. This is what I call a very very very genuine happy smile. Not forgetting of course the bridegroom. One thing a lot of people miss during this part of the wedding phase is the expression on the bridegroom's face. Everyone is so concentrated on the bridge (photographers included) that they forget the groom is right in front as well.

I always feel that at this point of a wedding, you will see real and raw emotions from both the couple and it is something often missed.

Look at that smile, once again that is a very very genuine and raw smile that is hard to get on normal occasions. 

Yea I admit, I didn't take enough pictures from Mei Foong's perspective. I was sitting on Simon's side hence it is easier to take pictures of Mei Foong. After the ceremony, we tucked into the cup cakes and of course take a group picture.

As the families were taking their group pictures, we walked out of the sun and I tried to take some dramatic pictures as well.

The shadow wasn't what I expected but I guess that has to do without any flash. After we got our group picture with the couple, we were treated to a very nice buffet lunch at the hotel's coffee terrace.

It was a very nice and elegant garden wedding. Good work to the couple and their helpers. Bravo. Hope the Happy couple had a great time during their Honeymoon