Remedial Training – Day Six

On Thursday, we learnt about this thing called Overloading. It’s a phase in the training where you purposefully overwork your muscles – stressing it beyond it’s usual level. The planned pushing of training limits supposedly will help to increase your improvements. Key is planned and also knowing your limits.
We started the RT with a dose of Smallvile. Yeah the story of young Superman going ga-ga over his love/ex-love/might-be love etc. Before we can really see the end of the show, the lecture started on how we go about doing our training and the different phases of training. Blah blah blah…we learnt about overloading and stuff while I struggled to keep awake.

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That thing called Work

After years of being self-employed / bummer / unemployed … I returned to the normalised world of the 9 to 6 working class. No more late nights, Champions’ League soccer, Halo2 fragging sessions till 2am and big wide-arms welcome to 7 a.m. wake-ups, daily trips cramped in the train and the best thing of all these – a pay check at the end of the month.
About a month and a half back, through friends and the internet, I sent out three applications to three different potential openings – being a Mac Evangelist, a tech consultant in a local telco for a new mobile service and lastly, a project management job in an interactive firm.
Three different opportunities, and all three offers something which I wanted. The first is obvious. Selling Macs. Getting people to switch to Macs. And at a new place which I feel can do pretty well. Somehow, along the way, that offer, yeah I was offered the job, got lost.
That same week, I underwent two rounds of interview with the telco for the tech consultant job. The opening was for a newly announced service offered by the company which though sounds promising, might or might not make it here in Singapore. So, I wasn’t exactly surprise after calling my interviewer, to know that the opening was frozen.
Before these interviews, I met a pal from university who worked in an interactive firm as a Project Manager. About half a year back, met him at Borders who informed me about his switch to a new firm. Long story cut short, asked him about any lobangs at his new office and received some good news about one. It was weeks before I heard from him again, and just after I had interviews with those two firms above. So within the span of two weeks, I had one offer, a second round interview, and another potential offer from the interactive firm. Ironies of life such that when they do come, they come in droves.
At the end of the day, I made the decision to join the interactive firm to work as a Project Executive. A contract position which I gladly agreed. I have been looking for a job of such nature for a very long time. Had an interview almost a year back but wasn’t offered at a firm I did freelance work before. Also had a short stint at another interactive firm for a month for similar opening but ended doing nothing much but content checking.
Been there two weeks and it’s been a rush trying to:
# adapt to working at earthly hours
# get used to working in an organised company
# picking up the fundamentals of project management
# working with other people again
The last point might sounds funny, but being a freelancer meant working mostly with one client, and doing mostly everything on my own. So it is a refreshing change again to work with different groups of people, each with different skills, and I think they are a bunch of smart and creative people.
One thing I’m still not comfortable is the pace of work. I’m more the laid-back and do it with a rather elastic timeline. So a few times during the past two weeks, the worked somehow overwhelm me and somehow, I nearly freaked. The thoughts of quitting flashed across my mind and it must have shown up across my face. And somehow, at different points of time, I got IM asking me whether I can managed. Our office is sort of an open-format kind where there isn’t much partition and everyone can see/hear everyone else. So over IM, I talked to some of them about the job and it was somewhat assuring to hear words of encouragement. Thankfully, all of them are pretty open to me and are patient when I had to query them about work that might sound simple to them.
So two weeks on, I think I’m looking forward to work again. I still have much to learn and with interruptions from Remedial Training, carolling with choir, it will be a long and bumpy road till the end of the year. Hopefully by then, I’ll cease to be a contract worker and become a perm staff.
You’ll know soon.

Remedial Training – Day Five

Somehow, the twice weekly remedial training seems to work. Though I didn’t notice any visible loss of weight, I think I run much better now. Though I still lack the necessary arm muscles to clear the chin-ups, my 2.4km run has slightly improved.
Sunday’s training started off with the usual static exercises. Probably because of the nice Sunday weather, the instructors were also quite relax over the stuff they made us do. After two sets of the exercise, we went down to the tracks to clock some running.
Happy to note that I did improve in my 2.4km run although at 17mins plus, it is still far from passing. Maybe I’ll make it after Phase Two of RT. Maybe.

Catching Serenity

Serenity Two weeks back I mentioned about the movie Serenity not getting a general screening here in Singapore. I managed to get the chance to catch the special screening last night after rushing from work. And I am so glad I did.
I seriously think it is a pity that the rest of the country won’t get to see the movie. The movie, based on the TV series, Firefly, is one of the best sci-fi movie ever. I dare say, I’d rather watch Serenity than the newer Star Wars.
Much darker than the TV series, the movie, with bigger budget, has plenty of action and digital effects that matches the best out there. Although short, the face-off between the Universal Alliance and the Reavers near the end of the movie, was both furious and hectic. Would have enjoyed it more if more time was given to show the utter violent destruction between both fleets. I wonder whether the DVD has more of that.
The story itself is quite compelling. The usual dead-pan humour, spread sparingly within a pretty good script makes it an enjoyable two hour. What works for the movie is that even if you didn’t watch Firefly, within the first half hour you’d have gotten to know the characters and how they are related, and how they behave in the movie. But it was unfortunate that some of the main characters were killed in the show. How to have future spin-offs…off a spin-off…?
Anyway, I said it before and I said it again – Serenity/Firefly – is one of the more interesting sci-fi story ever written ( comparable with Battlestar Galactica, the new one ), it is a pity the TV show was axed, and likewise, no general screening here.
Use whatever means you can to catch Serenity – it is worth the effort.

Remedial Training – Day Four

It was a rush from work to Bedok camp today. Yeah, you heard it right – work. That’s another story. So while nearly held back by a last minute work request, I slipped out of the office and half trying not to nod-off while standing, took the train back home towards Bedok Camp. Thanks to Dad who happens to be on leave, he picked me up from the station, saving me the walk back to change.
Run, fat ass The surprise today was that when I reported for RT, I was told to go to the Auditorium where upon entering, I had Sponge Bob staring straight at me, whining about a snail called Gary. For a moment I was wondering why an auditorium, full of men were watching Sponge Bob, only to realise, that it was time for some lecture on understanding fitness and how to prepare for it. You get to learn about the different types of fitness – emotional, mental, physical, social and health; the types of training plus how to prepare mentally when it comes to RT and IPPT. Hell, the best way to motivate one is to know that if you pass, you’re free of RT/IPPT for a year and you get money.

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Remedial Training – Day Three

my favourite number It was the battle of the bellies yesterday during RT. After last Thursday’s first experience with static exercises, my arms were still aching even though I applied multiple times of those “Deep Heat” muscle rubs.
Yesterday’s session started off with another round of static exercises. We did the usual push-ups, crunches and jumping jacks. Thankfully this time we didn’t have those PT trainees around for the instructors to show-off thus saving us a few repetitions.

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Arrested no more

Arrested Development There’s only eight more episodes to catch the Bluth family in action as Fox decided to axe the show and only put out thirteen episodes in this current third season.
With the lack of quality sitcoms nowadays, the axing of Arrested Development is a disappointment. However is comes with no surprise for Fox to axe shows that has strong followings which somehow weren’t reflected in rating numbers. Ask any fans of the show Firefly.

Remedial Training – Day Two

The fact that I only passed my IPPT almost at the end of my NS life almost ten years back must have set me up for things to come – aka more sufferings getting over IPPT. Cut a story short, I screwed up last year’s test and enrolled in the compulsory remedial training.
Basically there are two phases to the training. First four weeks consist of twice a week training – one weekday and one weekend. Each session will last around three hours and at the end of the first phase, you get to take another test. Pass it and that’s for the year. Fail and you’ll move on to Phase Two. There will be one additional weekday training for another four weeks. There are two tests set during the four weeks and even if you fail them, that is it for remedial training. However, you need to make arrangements to take one more IPPT before the end of your window. Failure to do so means you have skipped the tests and will face paying fines.

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Serenity – not flying here?

Serenity update – received a reply from UIP and they informed me that there will not be a general screening of Serenity in Singapore. Why? Beats me and I so hope to get the opportunity to watch the special screening.
Received a promotional email from United International Pictures Singapore with the tagline – “Serenity — catch the one and only screening in Singapore on December 21 and get an exclusive serenity movie poster with each ticket purchased!”. Seems like they are not going to bring this movie in for country-wide screening.
Serenity is based on the TV show Firefly which was axed even though it had pretty strong following.
bq. Serenity is set 500 years in the future and focuses on space captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew, who make a living with petty crime and transporting people throughout space. After they pick up their latest passengers — a doctor and his mentally unstable, telepathic sister – they realize that they’re now being hunted by the Alliance, an out-of-control government that’s out to bring the rogue sections of the galaxy under control…
I managed to watch the whole series and really enjoyed the part space, part western sci-fi show revolving around the crew of Serenity. Produced by Joss Wheldon, the same guy who brought us Buffy and Angel. Although the tv series was axed eleven episodes into the first season, fans were quick to purchase the DVD that had the remaining three episodes.
I’ve looked through both GV and Yahoo’s Movie page with no sign of the show coming in the months ahead even though it was released in September in the US. But if anyone of you out there wants to catch it, try to get tickets to the special screening.