Firdaus Tarmizi

Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Eggs are Awesome

In Musings on April 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm

1.  I’ve always had this fascination and curiosity with firsts.  Who’s the first person who ate Durian?  Who’s the first human who actually started to “tumis bawang“?  And, my favorite one:  who is it that first actually ate some eggs?

2.  Just think about it.  Did our ancestors one day, after a tiring day of hunting, stumbled upon a nest of prehistoric chicken eggs and just decided to gobble it up?  And how the hey did they come up with the name “egg”?

3.  Anyway… yeah… eggs.  How awesome are they?  I came to the realization of the awesomeness of eggs during my “bujang” days.  The only days when I had the time, reason and lack of money to actually experiment on those little delicious buggers.

4.  You can fry them.  You can eat them raw.  You can boil and scramble them.  I have scrambled eggs with tuna, with sardines, with anchovies and prawns.  I’ve eaten nothing whole days but eggs in various crazy combinations with vegetables, tofu and soy sauce.  I’ve even once cooked my eggs with protein shake, which ended with a glorious episode of diarrhea and flatulence.

5.  Eggs are awesome.  Eggs are your best friends.  Who is not happy to eat just rice and fried eggs after a day of fasting?  Whoever that can win my heart don’t have to know how to cook some fancy French cuisine or sumptuous Arabic Mandi Rice.  She just needs to know how to make a perfect sunny side up, with the yolk unbroken.


Much Ado About the New Year?

In Musings, Ranting on December 31, 2011 at 11:58 pm

1.  Normally seen at around this time of the year: our Facebooks  flooded with wishes of New Year, Happy Holidays, etc.  There will be jokes about resolutions, actual resolutions, and sometimes statements of regrets about not meeting the resolution of the past year.  I think is all quite  natural.  After all, the enthusiasm in welcoming a general celebration is contagious, so it’s normal to be hyped up into the festivities.

2.  Also normally seen:  our Facebooks flooded with statements condemning the celebration of New Year, ridiculing people who are going out to countdowns and concert events, and personally crafted “words of wisdom” from people who feels proud of being apart from the media-controlled masses.  I think this is also quite natural.  After all, holier-than-thou feeling of superiority after lifting one’s self above others is also contagious.

3.  First, let me get one thing straight.  I do not celebrate New Years, in the sense that I normally do not go out for countdowns and parties.  But not because I think celebrating the New Year is ridiculous, not because I think the Gregorian Calendar’s New Year is not for “true Muslims”, and not because I think only fools are tricked into conformity.  I do not celebrate New Years because I am a secretly introverted lazy bum who get nauseous in crowds, who hate driving in Penang’s hellish traffic to get  to a place just to suffocate smelling other’s sweaty armpits, who prefers to contemplate alone at home what I did wrong in 2011 and what I can do better in the next year.  In short, I do not celebrate New Year simply because I think “Hey, I’d be more comfortable celebrating at home on my bed”, and not because I think I am too good for something.

4.  In fact, I love the fireworks.  I love seeing the smiling faces of people being optimistic of the future.  I love being next to loved ones whom I’ll be spending the next years with.  I love the witnessing the festivities, the live bands, the view of people reveling in the fact that they are given another day (and hopefully a full year) to be alive.  And so I totally understand those who want to in the thick of the celebration, shouting out the countdowns with thousands of others, because I know it’s FUN.

5.  All that said, for the New Year, maybe we all can be a bit less judgmental. Maybe we can feel less tendency to begrudge others their freedom to spend a good time with friend and families.  Maybe we don’t have to be proud of our religion all the time, and the need to push what we think about their stupidity down their throats.  Maybe we can be happy for others for a change, and stop being such spoil-sports / party-poopers.

6.  And so, I wish all of my friends and family a happy new year.  May it be a new beginning for you.  And shout out the countdown on my behalf!



Tadika Mayang Pasir 88/89

In Musings on November 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

1.  I don’t actually remember the exact year I went to this kindergarten.  Perhaps my parents can confirm the year?

2.  Anyway, the reason I am posting this is because I am wondering what the other kids are doing now.  How did they turned out to be,  where they are working/living. 

I might have the biggest head in the class.


3.  Not that I can even remember them.  The kid in yellow in this picture below, for example, was my best friend in kindy, and I can’t even recall his name. 

Kawaaaiiiii Ne?


4.  And the girl at the bottom left was my first ever crush.  At a time when I am still wetting my bed occasionally, I already have a crush.  Go figure.

5.  So whoever is reading this, and have an inkling of who these kids are, just give me a buzz okay?

Job Fair Rant

In Musings on November 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm
1.  I spent half day both Saturday and Sunday last week in PISA, Penang, for the 10th Penang Career and Postgraduate Expo.  B. Braun had a booth there, and it was the second time I joined a career fair as an exhibitor.  Here are some pics of some of the more interesting booths from the expo.

You'd be surprised how much they have to fork up for one of these booths.


But what I wanted to talk about is related to the people who goes to job fairs.  Although my stint as an exhibitor is so far only for two events, I have recognised the pattern, and I think I would be able to give out some basic advice to job seekers.  And since this is a rant, I would focus more on the problematic things I experienced.

2.  Firstly,  don’t simply come to me and ask ” what vacancies do you have?”.  I would always answer by “well, what are you looking for?”.  Isn’t it better to say “Hi, I am a graduate in proctology, do you have any opening for that?” (opening, ha ha), so that I know you know what you want.  Some would come and ask, “what positions do you have?”, which is a more perplexing question because although I know they meant only the open positions available, I am always tempted to answer “Positions?  We have all sorts of positions in the company, but it will be a long list.  Do you have the time to listen to me list them all?”.  In short, those question makes me think that you are just fishing for anything in the sea.  Maybe you can be specific on what you are looking for?


Part of the team - Zul, Faizal, Nazwal and meself. Yes we are all hunks in BMI hahaha

3.  Some candidates would come with their parents to the job fair.  That’s fine in itself, but some of them would have the parents  ask all the questions.  There was this one guy who  just stood there, unsmiling, behind his mom, while the lady bombarded me with this question and that.  And each time I tried to redirect my counter-questions and answers to the guy, the mom would jump in on his behalf.  I know for a fact he was not mute because as soon as they were done, they chatted straightaway while walking away to repeat the same stunt at another company’s booth.
 4.  Connected to # 3, smile-lah when you talk to me.  Isn’t that a basic thing?  You looked like you were forced to be there.  For some reason, this was usually the problem with some of the prettier girls.  Perhaps me being all smiley and polite scared them a bit?
Well, I did look a bit creepy here in this photo.


5.  Lastly, a few people came and berated me with:  “Why-lah, I have sent my applications many times already bla bla bla.  Why you don’t call me for interview?”.  I sincerely find it hard to answer that question without being patronizing, along the line of “Umm maybe because you are not shortlisted for an interview?”.

6.  Also, perhaps it’s better not to come to me and say “I want to apply for a job in your company.  Ummm, what does this company do?”.

7.  In summary, it wouldn’t hurt to do a bit of homework, and research on the company you are applying to, instead of giving your resume all willy-nilly, and hoping one would catch. The employers would take a closer look at you if you can actually impress on them that you are there to the job fair specifically to apply to their company.  Although it might be a lie, you would surely stand out from the pack.

The Road Not Taken

In Musings on November 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

1.  Major decisions in life will always leave you asking “what if?”.  Hell, even a small decision will get you going “Dang, if only I went for the Samsung Galaxy  S II instead of my crappy iPhone 4”.

2.  We can call this the “Road not Taken”, as per the famous poem by Robert Frost.  It existed in multiple incarnations in our lives:  The “that one cute guy that got away” road, The “I wonder how I’ll turn up if I go to a certain University instead of UIUC” street, or The “if only I didn’t sleep with the skank” alleyway. 

I'll choose the one that does not lead to a serial rapist, thank you.

3.  Worse still, if the decision is accompanied by a deep feeling of regret, of wanting to turn back the clock, and the helpless despair of knowing full well that you can’t, that the road is a one way street.

4.  One would assume the same thing happened to me recently, what with my job hopping, and my passage into Human Resource.  One might  ask: What if you stick with AMD?  What if you follow the great path in purchasing, perhaps to a brighter future highway in Supply Chain?  What if you did not resign to take care of your son?

5.  I did sit down for a few minutes to think about it, and surprisingly, this latest major decision is not one of those cases of regret.  I am reveling in my decision of not going back to my previous workplace, and also my decision to reject offers by a few other companies.  And I am totally happy that I took the time to babysit Hamzah, which now might by one of the best times of my life.

6.  To commemorate this realization (hey, it’s not often that I make a totally good decision haha), here’s a collage of pictures of my time here in B. Braun so far.  Let’s pray for more of these to come!

My Compendium of Childhood Games at School (Part 1)

In Musings on July 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Firstly, props to my sister for giving me the inspiration to write about this through her entry about games we used to play as kids.  You can read her entry here.

Come to think of it, I played quite a lot of games, so I guess I need to break the entries into a few parts.  And keep in mind that most of these games might be related more to boys as opposed to girls, so don’t be mad if “main kawin-kawin” is not listed in this list, as it is totally girly and lame.  Although… I did “main kawin-kawin” with my sister and cousins quite often.

O_O …….

Anyway, on to the list!


1.  Bitom (spelling?)

I am quite sure this is totally a boy-dominated game in primary school.  You can play this game with as many kids as you want, but all of them must know who is in the game with them.  Usually, I will play this with my classmates as I know them all quite well.

The objective of the game is this: you are to whack somebody in the back or on their arms.  Sound simple?  Not really.  The game is on at all times you are at school.  You can only whack somebody when he just sat down or just stood up without saying “Bitom!” loudly for others to hear.  If, for example, you are eating at the canteen and you see somebody who is in the game coming towards you (or sneaking towards you), you have to say “Bitom!” quickly before they whack you.

Kidsfight - from

Kid 1: Woi aku dah cakap la bitom!! Kid 2: Tak dengor pun! *WHACK*


So the best part of the game is trying to sneak on someone, or trying to distract someone who going to stand up or sit down from remembering to say “Bitom!” just so that, yes, you can whack them due to their lapse, and you need to remember who’s in the game and who’s not, all while guarding your own backs from vengeful little fists.

I remembered how hilarity always ensued when, each time we need to stand up to greet the teachers in the classroom, the greetings will be drowned by “Bitom!!!” and “Whack!!” and “Adooii!!!””, because like I said the game is on at ALL times.

Of course, once the teachers knew what was going on, they put a stop to the game.  Or at least, while they are in the class.


2.  Main Cop Tiang.

I’m sure quite a lot of us have played this. At least, those whose school has the roofed walkway.  In googling it, I found this great picture depicting exactly how the game should be played:

main tiang 4 -

The "Main Cop Tiang" Diagram


Somebody actually made a diagram for the game!  How cool is that?  Kudos to the author.

Another game that is simple in concept.  5 players, with 4 at each pole and one in the middle.  The four need to exchange places between them, all the while making sure they are touching the poles.  So, the one in the middle just need to grab one of the poles before the 4 pole guards can complete the exchange.  If he managed to grab the pole, the person last guarding it will have to be the person inside.

One funny thing about the whole thing was how you need to kind of hold the hand of the person you want to exchange the pole with.  So, when girls and boys were playing together, we had to wrap our hands with handkerchief or hold a stick so that there won’t be any direct skin contact.  What a bunch of religiously obedient kids we were then, yes?


End of part 1.

In part 2:  Main bom kapal terbang, Main Bola Popiah (?) and Main Kad Tepuk!

Repost: Shortcut to Mediocrity

In Musings on July 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Notes:  This was from my old blog,  Reading it again, I now realize how I was such a verbose pretentious prick muahahaha.

However, since what I wrote below is related to what I am trying to achieve now, I think it would be nice to go back to the me of Tuesday, February 27, 2007.


I firmly believe, despite anything said by motivational speakers who are, at the very core and end, just out to make you buy their next motivational tape consisting of excessively positive mumbo jumbo which has the negative effect of inducing vomit that any individual has a finite potential, a limit, a plateau over which said individual could go no further. Even these positive thinkers are human (the condition, not the species, which would go without saying since even an unbeliever would be shaken by a motivational speaking toad), and although the desire for the “betterment of human condition” might be their goal on the surface, they still have kids to feed, bills to pay. This is by no means a pessimistic statement, but an objective and practical view, which more often than not are being set aside by both the optimists and the naysayers.

The view of unlimited potential is what I blame upon on countless talentless singers who go to various auditions for more-common-than-opposable-thumb-on-primates reality shows. That, and delusion, but those two go hand in hand. Not all has a future written where he/she can jump and dunk a basketball, and only an exceptional few are fated to be a charismatic leader who lead an entire country towards ruination ala Hitler.

But of course, here’s where the objective, all-encompassing view would have to be trained upon. A human is a limited being, but the possibilities of one’s freedom of expression and the way to answer the question of “what am I to be”, between non-existence and the line separating potential and vain dream, are V A S T. The ceiling of human potential, although all too real, has yet to be touched by any. At the very end, this is where free-will is given, so one could decide on how much of the finite potential space to fulfill.

It is perhaps a sin, with the vast and seemingly infinite potential a human could reach, that one would choose not to give his all. Nearly all are guilty of this, but we rationalize our sin by the act of recognizing our potential, saying “I could do that if I want to”, instead of stepping out of the comfort zone and actually reaching it. Perhaps it is the fear of not being able to step down from a pedestal or a ladder rung you climbed yourself, or of having to, till the very end your days, fulfill the demands and expectations of those who already know what you could achieve.

Hence the quote “betulkan yang biasa, biasakan yang betul“, a wisdom of ages only recently brought to my attention by someone really dear to me. So simple, yet intrinsically definitive. At that moment of introspection, the words solidified the immense possibility of learning from anything anywhere, and equate learning with the function of want.

Why the fear of taking that step towards 100%, leaving satisfying ticks next to your lists of things to do?

Why the need to sit back and let others make the first move, creating a safe refuge you could fall back in times of strife?

Why the shortcut to mediocrity?

The Halal Conundrum

In Musings, Religion on July 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

1.  The Halal issue.  Something very sensitive and close to the collective conscience of the Muslim psyche in Malaysia.  Muslims in Malaysia are more afraid of eating pork or other non-halal food than doing other haram activities such as smoking, or gambling.  Just try to offer a pakcik who just came out from Sport Toto while smoking some pork bak kut teh, and you can see his disgust.  Why?  You tell me.

2.  Anyway, after this issue came about, I tried to contact both JAKIM and IFRC Asia to get their explanation.  So far, only IFRC Asia came back to me with this answer:

Halal IFRC Asia

Reply from IFRC Asia

3.  So before we go any further, some questions popped up to my mind.  First, Why the reluctance in getting halal certification from JAKIM?  Are certifications from private companies faster and easier to get?  As a comparison, I was informed by an organic farmer that it takes only one year to get organic certification from an international body, but more than 2 years for get it from a government body (SOM).  Could this be the case also for JAKIM’s cert?

4.  Based on the KPDNKK’s website, seems like there are 3 possible sources of halal cert – JAKIM, private companies and other Islamic bodies, or proclaimed by the business owners themselves.  Of course, inspections are done by KPDNKK and JAKIM to confirm the validity of the Halal claim.  So, where did all these stories about non-halalness came from?  Do these sources have proof to justify their accusations?

5.  How come we rarely question the Halal validity of warungs, nasi lemak sellers and Muslim owned small restaurants without JAKIM Halal certs?  Chinese and Indians and non-Muslims are all out to get us, are they?  No honest non-Muslim businessman out there?  And Muslim business owners are all honest?

6.  In an environment of false reporting and sabotage, do we investigate the rumors going around?  How many of us simply jumped at any forwarded emails or blog posts saying KFC is Haram, Secret Recipe is Haram, IKEA meatball is Haram?  Do any of us actually pick up the phone to call JAKIM for confirmation?  Or a least check JAKIM’s website?

7.  I guess my simple point is, the burden of proclaiming Halalness should be on the shoulders of the business owners and supported by the authorities.  Yes, we are partly responsible, but we don’t need to go out of our way in believing every little story of horror of discovery of frog feet, pig DNA or human scrotum in such and such food source.  Don’t believe too easily in rumors, people.  Or else you are subjecting yourself to an environment of unnecessary fear and irrationality.


The Manly Man’s Guide to Surviving the Mega Sale Carnival

In Manly Man, Musings on July 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

This is a guide for all men out there as we approach the dreaded Mega Sale Carnival.  Of course, it is meant for the times you have to accompany your girlfriend/wife/mom on a multiple hour shopping run, because men should have no problem surviving one hour or less of shopping.  If you can survive shopping more than one hour, this article is obviously not for you.  And you need to examine your manliness anyway.

After 9 years of suffering under the whip of my GF/Wife/Slavemaster, I’ve developed the TUV ASS methodology in facing the Mega Sale Carnival.


1.  T for training

If you are obese or overweight, you simply gotta lose those pounds.  Remember what I said about cardio before?  This is definitely where your running and Elliptical-ling will come in handy.  Practice walking, and stopping, and walking to the place you were before and stopping, and walking again without an exact destination for at least 2 hours non-stop.

Even better, put on a weight vest and carry a dumbbell while walking around, to practice the carrying of shopping bags.

Weight Vest - from

Your minimum training to prepare lugging around her 10 pair of new jeans


2.  U for Understanding

One of the most important thing for you to do is to really understand the reason you are being dragged to the mall.  Because through understanding, come acceptance.

You gotta understand that for women, there is no objective to shopping, because shopping in itself is the objective!  This is as important to her emotional and spiritual well-being as you being allowed  to watch a football game at Pelita at 3 in the morning.

Understand and accept the fact that you will be out there following your women around aimlessly, sometimes doubling back to the store where she had just spent 1/2 hour without buying anything only to, again, not buy anything after trying seemingly everything.

She also won’t really realize you are around except when, yes, she just bought something and want to ask you to carry it.


3.  V for Visualization

Just like facing a big game, you have to employ the technique of visualization.  One day before the event, find a quiet place to visualize the challenge you will go through the next day.

Visualize yourself being relaxed and supportive throughout the shopping, and visualize yourself being gracious and giving helpful feedbacks.

Finally, visualize the reward you will be getting when you get back home for being such a good boy the whole day.

Yoga - from

Mmmm... afternoon delights when we get back home


4.  A for Attitude

This is perhaps the most paramount item DURING the shopping walkabout: Leave your bad attitude at home.

Maintain a happy aura and keep your shopping-game face on (remember to smile) even though you can’t feel your leg anymore and your stomach is grumbling.  Do not even for one second show your true feelings.  If even once you let her see that split second of eye-rolling or hear that disgruntled grumbling, YOU WILL SUFFER.

SBOB - from

How you should look like the entire time


Maintain your focus on her alone.  If you get caught oogling that cute salesgirl or that lady browsing for lingerie at La Senza, YOU WILL SUFFER.

Either she’ll cut the shopping short and you have to suffer the silent treatment the whole way home (or worse, the whole week), or she’ll ask you to go someplace else while she shop, and won’t take you shopping with her ever again.  Either way, YOU LOSE.


5.  S for Supplies

This advice can go to both men and women.  Bring tidbits.  Bring snacks.  Keep your energy and sugar level up to avoid being cranky and moody.  I’ve found Snickers or energy bars to be indispensable.

snickers - from

Snickers - Gets you going!

Drink plenty of water to hydrate, and to have an excuse to get that much-needed smoking break at the restroom.

Ladies, remember not to let your man go hungry.  As an example, after a vigorous 2 hours of shopping, my wife managed to make me survive 2 extra hours by treating (bribing) me to a Brownies with Ice Cream at Secret Recipe, and one cone of Chocotop right after.


6.  S for Safe Answers

Rehearse your list of safe answers.  If you accompany your woman alone, you will definitely be subjected to killer questions such as “Do you think this makes my ass looks fat?” or ” I think I’ve gained weight, don’t you think so?”.

Go for foolproof answers such as “No, I think it looks nice on you” or by perfecting the “Naahh that’s nice”.  “Nice” is nice, “nice” is safe.

Worst case scenario, she might probe further, and ask “What do you mean by that?”.  In that case, good luck buddy, I cannot help you there.  Different answers work on different women, I suppose.


My last advice is to make the trip a fun one for both of you.  God knows she tolerated all of your flaws and quirks, so be a man and do the right thing: embrace hers.

Or you can treat it as punishment for all the times you farted under the covers.