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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hakone and Fujiyama

Me looking cute on the boat cruise at Lake Asahi.

Me, looking kinda confused.

Cable Car ride. Yipee.

Nature is sure beautiful up here.

Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji without the snowcap.

Tokyo Disney (Wohoo!!!)

Mickey Mouse everywhere! Where am i?

Tokyo Disney, here I come!!

One day passport costs 5800 Yen.

Hunger pangs!

Fries, shrimp burger and a soft drink ... ahh, just like home.

Poor Mickey. Bit part of his ears off.

About to enter SPACE MOUNTAIN.

At the souvenir shop. This shot atken by Abe shows lotsa Chip and his Mom from Beauty and The Beast.

Cinderella's Castle at night. Just about to leave Disney (huhu) and hope I'll be there again someday.

First Stop: Ueno and Shinjuku

Oh great! What am I going to eat and how do you decipher these kanji characters? Well, didn't have anything on the menu.

This is Khairul San pouring the tea. Wearing a Yukata in a Ryokan in front of a shoji screen made from washed paper.

Me posing on front of the traffic in Shinjuku.

And a very tired feet throughout the day ... walking, walking and walking.

Tokyo Part 2

Here are some pics of the trip:

This picture was taken on the feeder flight from Penang to Singapore Changi airport. The flight was quite short but Singapore Airlines seemed to pull it well by serving a full meal. The contents of the meal includes braised chicken noodles, mushroom, chinese greens, a salad and a panna cotta. It was deleicious for a 1 hour feeder flight.

As you can see from the shadow, Singapore Airlines was operating a Boeing 747-412 series aircraft to Tokyo Narita that day. Abe took this pic while we were in the glide slope and about to land. Was just too good to not post. Love the pic!

E.T. Phone Home ... That'll cost you a million yes for the first few minutes :) I was desperately trying to call Mom telling I was safe in Tokyo already.

First stop of the day ... UENO. We travelled by the skyliner (as the Japs called it) to Old Tokyo called Ueno. The cost of the tickets were 1920Yen per person. Journey took about an hour.

And finally, the train. Off to Ueno. See you there!


This photo was taken on the 3rd of September 2007. I was on my way to Tokyo travelling with Singapore Airlines that day. Flew in style ... was in Raffles Class. Nice huge seats, lie flat bed seats and hmm ... the entertainment option was great but didn't see much of it as I needed my beauty sleep more than ever. Anyway, Singapore Airlines ... you're a great way to fly!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Didn't We Have It All?

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog.

What is love? How do you define love? What is required when you are in love? I know I don;t have the perfect answer but what I can say is that love requires two or more ( in this context - person ) to express strong mutual feeling towards each other. Love is when you tolerate each other and accept one as it is. Love is about making sacrifices and forgetting about one's weaknesses and focus on the person's quality that attracted us to it.

I am no poet nor philosoper. I just know that love is when two people care about each other. Wanting to be together eternally. Wanting to build an ever lasting relationship that nothing can shatter.

However, I might have missed the whole point of being in love. Being in love does not mean you have to try your best to make your other half happy. Being in love is all about caring. Why have I missed it. Why have I forgottoen the whole point of it? Was I trying to hard to make things too right? Was I just a lame lover? Was it because I really don't know what love is all about.

I do not know and I don't have the answer. I do know that strong feelings exist and have survived the ups and downs of life.

Shape of My Heart

Baby, please try to forgive me
Stay here don't put out the glow (echo)
Hold me now don't bother if every minute it makes me weaker
You can save me from the man that I've become
Oh yeah

Lookin' back on the things I've done
I was tryin' to be someone
I played my part, kept you in the dark
Now let me show you the shape of my heart

Saddness is beautiful loneliness is tragical
So help me I can't win this war, oh no
Touch me now don't bother if every second it makes me weaker
You can save me from the man I've become

Lookin' back on the things I've done (back on things I've done)
I was tryin' to be someone (trying to be someone)
I played my part, kept you in the dark (in the dark)
Now let me show you the shape of my heart

I'm here with my confession
Got nothing to hide no more
I don't know where to start
But to show you the shape of my heart

I'm lookin' back on things I've done
I never wanna play the same old part
I'll keep you in the dark (Keep you in the dark)
Now let me show you the shape of my heart

Back on the things I've done
I was tryin' to be someone (Trying to be someone)
I played my part, kept you in the dark
Now let me show you the shape of my heart
(Now let me show you the shape of my heart)

Back on the things I've done
I was tryin' to be someone
I played my part, kept you in the dark
Now let me show you the shape of

Show you the shape of my heart

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hypertension Serious in Young Men

You're under 35 and feel fine, yet the doctor says your blood pressure is high and you'd better come back to have it checked again. Being a red-blooded male, you figure five years will be soon enough. After all, isn't high blood pressure an old man's disease?

"Young men are less likely than older men to believe they have hypertension and less likely to go back to the doctor," says Daniel Lackland, DrPH, spokesman for the American Society of Hypertension. "Often these are patients whose blood pressure would respond to weight management and other lifestyle changes, but they're less likely to seek treatment."
Untreated hypertension damages the heart and other organs and can lead to life-threatening conditions that include heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. It's called "the silent killer" because symptoms generally appear only after the disease has caused damage to vital organs.
"With treatment, we can truly prolong life," Lackland tells WebMD.

Understanding High Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is 120/80, 120 represents systolic pressure, or the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart beats. Eighty represents diastolic pressure, or the pressure between beats.

The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) guidelines categorize hypertension as follows:

Normal. Less than 120/80
Prehypertension. 120-139/80-89
Hypertension. 140/90 (130/80 for patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease)
Stage 2 hypertension. 160/100

Hypertension, or high blood pressure (HBP), exists when either the systolic measurement is 140 or higher or the diastolic measurement is 90 or higher. However, in the majority of people, controlling systolic hypertension is a more important heart disease risk factor than diastolic blood pressure (except in young people under the age of 50).

There are two types of hypertension: essential, which accounts for 90% to 95% of cases, and secondary. The cause of essential hypertension is unknown, although lifestyle factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and excessive alcohol or salt intake contribute to the condition. In secondary hypertension, the cause may be kidney disease; hormonal imbalance; or drugs, including cocaine or alcohol.

According to the JNC 7, half the adult population is prehypertensive or hypertensive, and because blood pressure increases age, most people will become hypertensive if they live long enough.

Younger vs. Older Men With High Blood Pressure

Younger men with high blood pressure typically have high diastolic pressure while older men have high systolic pressure. "In young men, the diastolic pressure rises because the heart is pumping harder," says Lackland. "In older men, the systolic pressure rises and stiffens arteries.
"Part of the problem with young men is increased body mass. Ten years ago we wouldn't have seen hypertension in the teens and 20s, but now it's increasing along with rising obesity rates. We're seeing the increase in particular in African-American men, but it affects men of all races."
Lackland, who is professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, says that as with older men, treatment for younger men follows JNC 7 guidelines for lifestyle changes and medications.

The JNC 7 recommends the following lifestyle modifications for people with prehypertension as well as hypertension:

Weight reduction.
Maintain a normal weight with a target body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9.
This can result in an approximate reduction in systolic blood pressure of 5-20 points per 10 kilograms of weight loss, according to the JNC 7.

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan.
Adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Reduce saturated and total fat. This can be expected to drop systolic blood pressure by 8-14 points.

Lower salt intake.
Reduce dietary sodium to less than 2,400 milligrams or about 1 teaspoon a day. According to the JNC 7, a 1,600-milligram sodium DASH eating plan has effects similar to a single drug therapy. The approximate reduction in systolic blood pressure would be 2-8 points.

Aerobic physical activity. E
ngage in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. This can decrease systolic blood pressure by 4-9 points.

Moderation of alcohol consumption.
Men should limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day. A standard drink is defined by the type of alcohol. For example, a standard drink, such as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof distilled spirits, has between 11 and 14 grams of alcohol. Limiting the amount of alcohol to this quantity is expected to result in a reduction in systolic blood pressure by 2-4 points.

When medications are indicated for younger men, one question is what will be the long-term effect? "We've had medications around since the 1970s, but with newer ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers), we don't know," says Lackland. "But the benefit of keeping blood pressure to goal is so great. Without treatment, a man at [age] 30 could be facing end-stage renal disease, stroke, or heart attack."

Another Complication Worth Considering
If the threat of premature death from complications of untreated high blood pressure doesn't get your attention, perhaps this will: A recent study showed that men with high blood pressure were 2.5 times as likely as men with normal pressure to develop erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with prehypertension also had a higher incidence of ED than did men with normal pressure.
Michael Doumas, MD, of the University of Athens in Greece, presented the study at the American Society of Hypertension 20th Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition. In order to assess the link between hypertension and erectile dysfunction, researchers excluded men who had a history of diabetes, heart disease, renal failure, or liver and vascular disease, which are associated with ED.

While the study of men aged 31 to 65 didn't compare younger vs. older men, the fact that more than one-third of the participants with high blood pressure had erectile dysfunction should be seen as another very good reason to seek treatment and follow doctor's orders.

Risk Factors
Young men with hypertension often have what's called "metabolic syndrome," which is known to contribute to heart disease and diabetes. It includes a cluster of risk factors found in an individual and include excess body fat (especially around the waist and chest), high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Studies have also shown that early vertex baldness can be associated with HBP. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea and snoring are linked to HBP in men in general.
Family history plays a role, but whether its importance varies with age of onset is unknown. "From epidemiological and twin studies, estimates range from 10% to 40%," says Ulrich Broeckel, MD, who is researching the role of genetics in hypertension. The goal of research is to subcategorize hypertension in order to improve diagnosis and treatment. "We're not ready for a diagnostic test, but ultimately we'll treat patients better based on their genetic makeup."

Learn to Manage Anger
Managing anger may be more important for younger men than older men, says Charles Spielberger, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "I don't know of studies that look only at men under age 35, but a young man is dealing with a lifelong habit of anger," he tells WebMD.

He says anger involves feelings ranging from annoyance to rage and causes psychological and biological changes. Spielberger developed the widely used STAXI (State Trait Anger Expression Inventory) to assess anger and has studied the role of anger in hypertension. "Research shows it is people who are boiling inside but don't show it who are more likely to develop hypertension."
Anger can also be a personality trait. "Some people feel anger more often across a wider variety of situations. People who do this and hold it in, they're the ones in danger of hypertension."
Spielberger tells WebMD that a good anger management program can help someone lower or normalize blood pressure. It's a three-step process.

First, learn to recognize the anger and the situations that cause it. "A lot of people who feel anger frequently might not recognize it, especially low to moderate levels."
Second, analyze the situation. "If your supervisor frequently makes you and other employees angry, tell yourself 'It's not me. This person is supercritical. I'll listen to what he says, but I'm not going to blame myself for his bad disposition.'"

Third, reduce the anger. "Counting to 10 will distract you, or try muscle relaxation. If possible, avoid the situation."

What About 'White Coat Hypertension?'
If you have a physical exam that shows elevated blood pressure, your doctor might say it could be "white coat hypertension," meaning the stress of seeing the doctor caused the high reading.
White coat hypertension was once thought to be benign, but that may not be the case, says Ulrich Broeckel, who is assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He co-authored a study of 1,677 patients aged 25 to 74. The study, reported in the British Medical Journal, measured structural changes in the heart, which Broeckel says were probably related to stress and the response to stress. "We found a significant difference between people who had white coat hypertension and those who didn't. It suggests that if people have these increases in blood pressure when they see a doctor, they have them in other stressful situations," says Broeckel.

Don't Wait 5 Years
"The longer you have untreated hypertension, the more complications you get," says Broeckel. "We also know patients who had early onset hypertension and developed diabetes at an early age. It makes early diagnosis and treatment very important."

From Pengkalan Kubor to Tok Bali

This is me checking out stuff at Pengkalan Kubor Duty Free Zone located about 45 minutes by car, from Kota Bharu. Here, you can find all sort of quality label goods such as Corelle, Vision, Noritake etc at earth shattering prices. However, beware! You will be excised 30% of your total purchases when you exit the duty free zone if your shopping includes things like I mentioned above. Nontheless, the sellers know what to do so if in doubt, always ask! Be prepared to leave at about 5.45pm as the gate closes at 6pm sharp. If you're trapped inside, you can always leave through the gate but your car whill have to sleep there :) We don't want that to happen now do we?

Too Long ... Too Gone

Too Long ... Too Gone ...

Yes ... yes ... too long and too gone. I guess I've been negelcting my blog for quite a while and I have had comments by people telling me to start updating my blog and to bring back its days of glory. I must admit that I have not been in the mood for writing for quite some time. However, I will change and will try my best from now on.

Sitting here in my room as the rain heavily pours outside, all I hear are the thumping of the raindrops agains the awning. Nothing makes me feels better than the rain heavily dropping down from the heavens! I love the rain, i love the clouds, i love the dark rain clouds and i love the smell that is produced when the slightest drop of rain touches the top of the sun scorched lawn around the house. Weird but I am the rain guy ... although I hate it when I'm out walking or having a good time and without warning, the rain falls.

So as usual, what is new about stuff in my life ... lemme see. Well, I'm still the same ol' me ... teapot style :) and I'm still working and alive and kicking. I will be transferred to Kota Bharu, Kelantan soon and I hope that the transfer will happen soon enough.

I really dunno what to write now. I'll sign off but I promise tonite, I'll cook up something for everybody so your eyes can start to feast on my blog again.

Till then, ciao!