Joey @ theBabyKangaroo

This is me! This is my life!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A speech that reaches way further than just the ears....

This excerpt was picked from an email I received... I find it special therefore here I am sharing it with the wider world out there... Maybe all of us do need speeches like this once in a while, during some point of our life... Read on...

This was a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen at the graduation ceremony of an American university where she was awarded an Honorary PhD.

'I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't Ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life.Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus,or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul. People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter's night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume:
I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So here's what I wanted to tell you today:
Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how ared-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.

It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned.

By telling them this:
Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived'.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Test Subject 001 - Diveyak by Sevylor

Those of you who know this Baby Kangaroo will know the limited amount of experience I have with water-based activities. Yeah, have probably done a bit of swimming, kayaking, jet-skiing, white water rafting and that's about it! Diving is one sport which have yet to make it's mark into my water-based activities list.

Nevertheless, somewhere in the beginning of 2008, I had the opportunity to test out the Diveyak ST6699 by Sevylor. For those of you who wonder what exactly is a Diveyak... here goes...

This is my description:
Sit-on top, inflatable kayak made for divers.

Anyway it's really a great piece of diving gear to have. The diveyak is nice and wide and sits very well in the water, great in calm situations. Not too sure about choppy seas though. The day we brought it to test at Pangkor Island, the area we were paddling did experience some rather strong undercurrent. Paddling was rather difficult... but not too sure if it was because we overloaded the 2-seater Diveyak with 4 pax or it was because 3 pax was sitting on the kayak on top of it being heavily loaded with fishing gears there was another dude hanging on to the tail end and snorkelling along.
Anyway... to cut a long review short... here are the final scores:
Performance: Good
Appearance: Good
Quality: Good
Ease of use: Good
Value for money: Ok (Not sure how tough and lasting the materials will be)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Record breaking feat at 2008 GE 30km

Record breaking feat, yes... but not those which become the proudest moments in some athletes racing achievement! The GE 30km held at Taman Tasik Perdana, KL on 20th January 2008 marks the brand new racing year for 2008.

Yours trully here looking for the next tree to run to...

Scoring a timing of pass 4 hours definately made me review my options for the upcoming KLIM 2008. The lack of training would definately call for a switch of category from the full to the half, which means I will have to pick another event to pursue my full marathon for 2008!

The efforts to complete the total 30km was hampered by two busted knees; one at the 15km and the other pass 20km mark. I had great encouragement from my significant other from 20km all the way to the finishing point! For that I only have two words for my dear Malcolm "Thank You"! Thank you for sharing the embarassing moments with me when we cross the finishing line after taking ages to complete the race and for towing me all the way back despite my constant thoughts of taking the ambulance!

Here are some pics which my dear Malcolm snapped along the route. Next time it'll be my turn to carry the camera okay... ! Then I won't have to publish pics of myself looking all tired out and sweaty!

We met Leong here... boy I was tempted to grab his number (for 20km category) and make a dash for the 20km instead of the 30km...

Then along came the top 30km runners from our Serdang running group, PK and Teacher.

Poor Malcolm was accused of "paktoh-ing" on the route instead of serious racing when he stopped to snap this picture, of course yours trully was just a step behind him as he was doing so.

Thomas, another 20km runner on his route back!

Yong and Uncle Chow, the veterans on the 30km route... somewhere pass the Hartamas U-turn... hmnnn.. looks like everybody have a running partner eh!

And finally along came yours trully ...

Next race: KLIM 2008 Half Marathon - Aim is to complete the 21km within 2.5 hours. Achievable? We shall see!

A Quickie On Tabur Hills - My Last Hike for 2007!

Tabur Hills (Bukit Tabur) also inaccurately known as Bukit Melawati by some local hikers (you guess it right!), is located near Taman Melawati, almost 20km from the city centre. The Klang Gates Ridges were gazetted as a wildlife sanctuary back in 1936. This quartz ridge was recently gazetted as the longest quartz ridge in the world, measuring 16 kms long and 200 metres wide. It is also recognized as the world's single largest quartz dyke. Recently, local authorities recognizing the need to preserve such a unique piece of national treasure had included the ridge as part of the Selangor Heritage Park established in 2005.

Located at the fringe of the city, Bukit Tabur commands a spectacular view of both the city skyline and the water catchments area of the Klang Gates Dam, making it an ideal place for a short breakaway.

If catching the essence of a sunrise is in your agenda, be sure to be there early... Otherwise when the sun is higher, you may risk developing overexposed shots as most parts of the ridge are exposed!

How To get There: Head for Taman Melawati, entering from the junction of Jalan Genting Kelang-Middle Ring Road or the “main” entrance near Zoo Negara. Continue until you reach the Bulatan Mas roundabout and take the Klang Gates Dam turning. The narrow road will lead to the Recreation Garden. There is a small trail leading to the ridge’s summit. It is advisable to get an entry permit from the Pejabat Hutan Daerah Selangor Tengah before reporting the trip to the nearby police station.

Some quick bytes I took on my recent hike. I wouldn't claim it's the picture perfect way to show this national treasure to the world though... but enjoy it anyhow. Promise there will be better shots next time! Stay tune!

Be prepared to use all four limbs on certain parts of the route! Malcolm unexpectedly posing as my model hiker for this shot.

And on certain parts of the more challenging stretches, it's a near vertical climb! This is a shot of PK as he tackles the vertical limits!

And more action as both of my male models for the day compete for the best cliff-hanger photo award!

And at the end of the ridge, the terrain changes from pure rocky cliffs to one which is more sheltered.