Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My dear you, 

Happy birthday. 

May you live a long, prosperous and successful life from here onward. I'd pray for your eternal joy and serenity in this world of constant chaos. May you find the happiness you've been searching for; the heartwarming brace of a man you've been waiting for all these while. May your heart will finally be fully mended, and may your tears stop streaming down your soft cheeks in the middle of a silent, lonely night.

Had I the correct words to write here, I would have them written for you to read, for you to understand their true meanings. 

 But I couldn't. 

Memories from the past roar from a distance like an incoming storm does. Albeit all the treasured things in my life, nothing defeats me like the charm of smiles between your lips, and your laughter that filled my otherwise quiet days of weather-beaten times.

Of course they are the things I missed the most. 

Thank you for all the good times we've had, probably the best of memories I would ever get. And probably by chance, one day you would've understood my true feelings for you. But if that day never comes, it will be in my most gratifying sense to say that at least I have said what I needed to say, rather than to keep it consuming my from inside each and every day. Because nothing hurts like words left unsaid do. 

I had so much to say. But then maybe next time. 

Happy birthday again, my dear you.

Yours truly,

Friday, June 15, 2012

In a project meeting sometimes last week:-

A junior colleague was presenting his work on a project we were developing. It included his preliminary studies, feasibility analysis, fundamental and extended calculations, and his current views on the particular matter in discussion. It was a heavy work.

During his presentation, another colleague kept on interrupting him, asking him provocative questions and making improper comments. The questions were mostly irrelevant and the comments were hardly technical. The attacker was aiming to crush the presenter in such a humiliating fashion. Everyone else however kept quiet. The presenting colleague was driven into certain madness from this non-stop attack. He had problems presenting. Confidence fell to a critical level.

Tired with what was going on, a higher principal investigator (PI) level spoke up:

"Do you want me to switch you with him as the key investigator?" he said to the attacker.

"No," the attacker replied. "I was only..."

"Are you able to come out with the same amount of work he did?" 

He didn't reply. All eyes on him now. 

"If you were him presenting now," the PI continued, "can you take his pressure?"

The attacker was stunned, his face changed. Suddenly the table was turned -- the attacker became the one being attacked. 

"Have you ever wondered why he's there presenting and not you?"

Utter silence.

"Have you?" The PI pressed on the attacker again with his sharp questions.


"Then why don't you shut up?" 

The attacker went dead silent. The principal investigator turned to the presenter, made a welcoming hand gesture and said, "carry on."

* * *

Never argue. In society nothing must be discussed; only give results. (Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881)
-- From Law 9: Win Through Actions, Never Through Argument; "The 48 Laws of Power," Greene, R., Penguin Books, London, 2000.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello everyone!

It has been a real long day for me.

My day started off as early as 6.00am in the morning today to prepare some documents for two important meetings that took place at the Mechanical Engineering Dept. from 8.00am onward. If it wasn't for the alarm clock that rang ridiculously loud like some old crazy cat lady, I don't think I would be able to wake up. But I did, and most importantly I did terribly shocked. That thing should seriously be avoided from any cardiac unit in any hospital, really. 

I will use the alarm clock to prank on my colleague later on. 

I took my shower next. The best thing about early morning shower is that, contrary to the fact that the water temperature is closest to that of sub-arctic ocean at that hour, once it hits you you'd be screaming as if you're boiled in a large tubular of superheated steam in hell. That does not take account of the continuous stream of 'bad words' that follow. It is about time the entire housing area to appreciate me as the friendly neighborhood alarm clock in the wee small hours of the morning. 

Well at least the pretty landlord next door did. 

Nothing kicks like a real good brew of coffee in the morning. Previously I bought a ridiculous amount of the single origin Costa Rican and the interspecific hybrid Siborong-borong coarse-ground beans from a local supplier. I specifically prefer the Sumatran Siborong-borong for its super-rich aroma and taste in the morning than the less strong Costa Rican that is best to be enjoyed at night for its toffee-like, slightly caramel notes that often made me feel like a fat kid being offered a box of Mars bar. I have a manual coffee press and an automatic coffee drip here at home, but I usually use the press more than the drip, mainly due to the retention time of the coffee ground in water that can be fully extended to as long as you like. 

A cup of coffee after going through hell in the shower. Perfect situation.

I quickly dressed up and got to the road at 7.00am. I was at the academic block at 7.30am after giving the research laboratory that is located somewhere else a quick visit earlier. When I arrived, there was this old cleaner lady who was staring at a messy trace of bird droppings on the tiled floor of the building. She just stood there and staring at it - I wasn't quite sure why but I guessed she was having her what-the-fuck moment on a cold Monday morning. I wasn't sure which pained me more - the fact that the splattered organic mudpie that looked like as if it had been projected straight down from space just ruined my mood for breakfast, or the fact that the lady who looked older than Jesus had to clean it up while in her age she should have been resting at home.

But that's life I guess. Everyone gets shits sometimes. Worst, someone has to clean them up for you. As if that isn't already shitty after all. 

Update meeting. Progress meeting. Administrative meeting. Technical meeting. You name it. Work life has gotten a little bit too tricky lately that I have to be quite careful with my errands at work. The equipment in the laboratories need re-calibrations. The incoming new units need clearances. The failing cutting blades need replacement. The new set of empirical data needs extended computer analysis. The in-house simulation program needs a trace introductory algorithms. Forms to submit, forms to sign, forms to fill up, forms to collect. And this and that. Good thing was that my supervisor has given me his trusts to run the works without the needs for him to monitor me at all time. 

At 2.30pm the bus was ready.

UTP provided a bus service to Kuala Lumpur for the ICPER 2012 staffs and delegates. But I didn't board it. It was too early for me to leave the office since there were a lot more things to do. So instead I bought an ETS ticket to Sentral KL departing tomorrow at 5.40am in the morning (thanks Ms. K) and will arrive there at 7.50am. Then I will be heading straight to KLCC, but before that maybe I'll get a grande cup of coffee from Starbucks just to get my day started. 

In the evening, I received the name card that I ordered earlier. People I have been asking me a lot for my business card in meetings and conferences and it just ached me to write on a piece of paper every time they did (as well as embarrassing). So I did myself a favor and ordered one set for work and another for my political movement (order two sets can get discount on the second set la towkay!). The digital designs of them are attached below (I removed the phone number and email for obvious reasons). Well now that I am armed with two boxes of 100 cards in each, I guess the embarrassment of not having a business card can now be fully eliminated.

And now I am at home, just done with some simple cooking, mopping the floor, feeding that damn kitten that just doesn't know when to stop eating (and meow-ing) and packing up for tomorrow. I'll be having my dinner as soon as this entry is posted and then proceed with some works I brought back from the office. I have to wake up even earlier tomorrow so I'd better be in bed early tonight. Hopefully the damn alarm clock with give me heart attack again, or else I will be late to catch the train. 

Oh God I have to shower in the wee small hours of the morning again. Yo, pretty landlord! I'll wake you up at 4.30am tomorrow okay!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The next two weeks after that last meeting were by far the longest.

Good thing was that at that time the engineering school where I studied had already opened for yet another new semester. This means that I had the opportunity to leave the big city where I live with most of those bittersweet memories behind and back to the almost forgotten little mining town where the campus was located, and continued with my life. Like always, the beginning of the semester at the engineering school was rather tiring and full with daily activities that I managed to forget a lot of things that occurred to me previously, particularly about my unfortunate events with the famous lady behind the counter. Back-to-back classes, hours-long laboratory sessions and so many other things to catch up with during daylight made me way too busy to even think about my own self then, let alone her, or even us, in which I have to say that I quite enjoyed it – I was free from troubling thoughts of my wasted heart.

But then again when night came and there was nothing to do, I always thought about Min.

The glimpse of her shadows caught my attention every time I brewed some good mugs of coffee for myself using my automatic coffee drip machine at night. Perhaps the bittersweet caramel-and-bark aroma of the steaming hot black beverage in the air had been associated with her since the first day I saw that face, that with every breath I took while brewing the perfect blend constantly reminded me of her. As I watched the coffee dripping drop by drop into the transparent kettle at the bottom of the machine, I’d swear that I saw her affectionate reflection in every drop. And almost as automatically my mind would travel back in time, thinking about just how wonderful she was. Her charming eyes and long lashes, her fair skin and her reddish cheeks, her luscious and pinkish lips, and of course, her ever captivating long and wavy hair that, when blown by the evening breeze, gave the most fascinating sight a man could have ever wished for in his whole life.

I’d do anything, anything at all, just to see that face just for one last time.

Come to think of it, it was funny that Min and I didn’t have any closure after that final evening. But then again, we never really had an opening at all in the first place. Everything happened so quickly, almost like a dream. Everything seemed to be so perfectly imperfect, and imperfectly perfect, depending on how you see it. As I sat down by my window and threw my view outside into the dark, open grass plain while enjoying my ever-bitter mug of coffee, as bitter as my arctic-temperature heart, I saw a couple of lovebirds walking down the long alley, holding hands and exchanging glances with meaningful smiles on their lips.

And it reminded me about that one night.

* * *

“Have you ever kissed someone?”

She placed her palms on top each other on the table and rested her chin on them while pulling a long smile. She raised her eyebrows a few times as if provoking for an answer. To me, she looked like a female cat acting all out cute, especially with that bold, large eyes that splendidly shone out by the reflection of dim, yellow lights in that coffee house. I was in still my casual sitting position in front of her; my left hand resting on my left hip while the fingers on my right hand tapped on the table gently, making a continuous tap-tap-tap sound as they went. I cleared my throat a little to ease my speech.

“Why do you ask?”

She raised her eyebrows twice, still smiling. My tapping stopped.

“Simply,” she said, “just being curious.”

“Well,” I replied. “You think?”

“Hmm,” she let out a thoughtful sigh while pushing her body to lean against the posh rattan-made chair again. She placed her palms on top of each other again and her elbows on the armrests, and her chin sat on her palms again. She stared at me right into my eyes, as if trying to dig out the hidden secret from the deepest, bottomless pit of my heart. She should have tried harder - her stares didn't even move me.

“I guess,” she said before pausing for a while to test my curiosity, “I guess you have.”

I replied her with only a short smile. “Incorrect,” I said.

“For real?” She looked surprised. “I don’t believe you.”

“Yeah, for real,” I said calmly, though I could feel my cheeks were thickening for a bit. “I have never kissed anybody before.”

She crossed her arms together and blew her fringe up and away from blocking her eyes with her mouth. She stared at me in disbelief, and that annoying smile was still there. 

"I don’t believe you, Eddy.”

I took the grande mug of hot caramel macchiato that Min previously made for me and took a few large gulps. My, I said to myself, this is embarrassing. The thick and creamy drink was heavily sugared, again. I deviously hoped that I was to receive a major shock from the sugar rush and that I had to be taken out from the premise into an ambulance or something just so that the subject of discussion could be dropped to no further continuation. I took another large gulp and swallowed with much difficulty – my throat, for obvious reasons, was locked together. It’s time to think for a smart comeback, dear me.

“Why,” I said while giving her the bold stare. “Do you wish to be kissed by me then?”

“Wow,” she let out a big laugh. “That was uncalled for, I suppose.”

I just stared at her; a confident smile was fairly constructed on my face. The card has been drawn; let’s see who’ll game first. She finished laughing with some small chuckles in the end and she took a strand of hair and rolled it around a finger before pushing the finger down slowly. She just looked at me for some time. Not even a word was spoken. The atmosphere around us that night was a little bit way too intensely-charged. Both she and I were playing the calculated game of sensuous dart.

“It was just a mere question, dear Min,” I said after some time passed.

She nodded in agreement.

“A mere question indeed,” she said while playing with her hair again. “And I suppose every question deserves an answer.”

“Precisely,” I said before taking another gulp of the macchiato and placed it back on the table in between me and her. "And I'd be waiting."

She was still leaning back on her chair, her body slightly tilted to the right, showing her curves clearly, wrapped in her plain white tee and dark blue jeans. She didn’t say anything at all but instead kept a preying eye contact. She looked as if she was looking for the ever-anticipated riposte. She then bit her lower lips slowly and smiled naughtily.

"And the proposer didn't even answer my question," she said.

She got me there but I didn't reply. Instead, I gave her a quick nod and that was it. I let her to continue, for the course of the game really depended on her reactions. 

"What made you think I wanted you to kiss me?" 

"I had a simple hunch," I replied. 

"Acting on a hunch again you are, my dear you."

"I definitely did."

"You know you shouldn't have," she said and tilted her head, provoking my ability to counter her argument. 

"Never made the mistake of correcting the enemy when they are making mistakes," I said self-assuredly.

The table was turned. She was having trouble to keep up with the game of exchanged semantics. 

"Well, do you want to kiss me?" she asked with poise.

"That was out of the argument."

"Perhaps the limit of the argument has expanded."

"Perhaps me as the opposing party opt for the otherwise."

The situation grew more intense. The game got more exciting.

"I don't bow to other's requirement," she responded boldly.

"And neither do I," I countered her statement right away.

"And therefore I do not have the necessity to directly answer your question, dear Eddy."

"My sentiment exactly on why I didn't reply yours previously, dear Min."

"And I thought every arrow has a target, and so does a question."

"It does, indeed."

"Well you should have aimed better, darling," she said, thus putting an alternate end to the conversation, since I didn't quite know how to reply. Damn, she's smart alright. I smiled bitterly. 

She was giving me some mixed signals. I wondered what was going on in her beautiful mind. She looked so tantalizing at first but vicious later on. She pulled the rope, and then she let it go, and then she pulled it again. She had cultivated an air of unpredictability. I couldn’t interpret her right anymore. What game are you playing, Min?

"Perhaps you're still waiting for me to answer your question, no?" she asked casually. Her finger was still playing with her hair. I could see the fair skin of her neck from beneath those thick and wavy long hair. 

"Well maybe if..." 

I wasn't able to finish my sentence when, almost as instantly, she extended her right arm to the mug of macchiato at the middle of the table and lifted it up before bringing it to her lips and drank the delicious drink up at exactly where I placed my lips previously. I was entirely taken by unforeseen surprise. She then placed the mug back on the table.

“There,” she said before wiping the leftover cream on her lips with a piece of serviette. “I just kissed you. So sugary.”

Completely dumbfounded by her action, I turned completely into a full retard. My upper and lower jaws were as if made from magnetic materials of the same polarity, pushing each other away as far as possible. My brain was having a massive electrical storm. In no time she pushed her chair backward, stood up and stretched herself up.

“I need to go to the counter for a while,” she said. “I’ll be back, alright.”

I looked at her walking towards the counter before disappearing into the back kitchen. My eyes returned to the lonely mug of macchiato that still had a quarter to go in it. I stared at the mug, my head blanked. I wasn’t quite sure what I felt, but for sure it felt like swimming in an all-you-can-drink ocean of creamed-top caramel macchiato with petals of blood-red roses raining endlessly from the bright blue sky surrounded by ships made out of chocolate chip and pecan nut cookies moved about cheerfully. A rainbow of seven colors of coffee made a perfect background. Before I was getting way too indulged with my imaginations, I came back to the real world and saw a lipstick stain on a side of the mug where she placed her lips just now. I had no idea about what was in my head when I took the mug, placed my lips on the lipstick stain, drank up the entire satisfying brew and swallowed it slowly in small but very pleasing gulps. 

It tasted damn awesome.

* * *

It was almost midnight.

I turned to my bitter mug of coffee after the couple of lovebirds I spied on previously disappeared at the end of the alley. The mug was of the similar size I had with Min that night, only which inside it was a different type of coffee. I closed my eyes for a while and opened them back again, recalling all the memories from that night, especially that stain of pale-red lipstick on the white wall of the mug of macchiato. I brought the mug in my hand closer to my lips and downed all its content in one go. I placed the empty mug on my table before I examined the aftertaste of the coffee in my mouth with my tongue.

And I tasted that lipstick.

Damn it.

...To Be Continued.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


I'm terribly sorry for not updating this blog for quite some time now. I have been quite occupied with stuffs lately that I can't seem to be able to write anything at all (except a series of otherwise neglected compulsory engineering reports). Since the past two weeks I had been attending a few events and visited a few key sites around the states of Selangor and Perak. With the long journeys and this and that, I'd normally hit the bed dead tired after a long day. 

And I'm sorry I haven't been quite able to update on Min too. As we speak, I am currently drafting the next episode. I hope I will be able to update by this weekend.

On other notes, I have been snapping pictures around and here are the snippets of what I have been up to these two weeks. A note on each photo is provided after every image. Enjoy!

* * *

Mesyuarat Agong UMNO SSLK 2012

I attended the Mesyuarat Agong UMNO Seri Setia Lembah Keramat last week as the Youth Wing representative and also the Youth Info Chief. Almost a hundred of UMNO members attended the session which was also attended and officiated by the Gombak UMNO Division Leader Abdul Rahim Kamarudin and the UMNO Division Youth Leader Datuk Hj. Megat Zulkarnain Tan Sri Omardin along with the UMNO Divison Women's Wing Leader, Datin Sharifah Salmah Syed Agil. 

Since UMNO SSLK is among  one of the most active branches in Gombak Division, the meeting has been quite an important one to dictate the movement of the party next in facing the incoming PRU13. The meeting concluded in the afternoon right after the delegates to attend the meeting at the Division and National level were selected. The Youth and Girl movements of the party have been mobilized to a greater momentum especially when it comes to serving the division during PRU13 where their roles have been gallantly placed at some of the most important posts in the Pusat Daerah Mengundi (PDM) DUN Hulu Klang. I myself am the Assistant Secretary for the PDM DUN Hulu Klang in which the aim is to recover the fall in 2008 and claim back Hulu Klang from the ruling state government. 

Sleepy heads

I spent the next day at home with these cubs, among the most useless we ever had in the family. All they did every day is eating non-stop and sleep at odd places. For instance, on this priceless hand-carved Medan-made Jati furniture. But then again their dormant attitude made them all lovable enough to receive an increasing portion of kibbles, rice and fish every day. 

When I sleep at night, they'll sleep at the end of my legs. I used to push them off the bed sometimes just for the fun of it but they'll climb back to their still-warm spot in which the air-conditioning unit blew straight at their direction. And the cats slept soundly all night long, while I found myself stuck in my bed because they lied on my legs, if not my stomach. 

Damn it.

The ever-celebrated oil palm fronds, with leaflets removed

Good news. The Biomass Gasification Laboratory Research has been trying to obtain large, continuous supplies of oil palm fronds (OPF) for research purposes and we were able to secure a lifelong (at least that's what the document says) supply of all-you-can-take OPF from the nearby FELCRA plantation. So far we have plundered almost a ton worth of fresh OPF in which we have processed the nasty, spiky bastards into small chunks of biomass fuel. 

With this collaboration, the biomass gasification research in UTP took another big leap into becoming one of the most vital gasification research center in Malaysia particularly and biomass combustion research in general. As we speak, the laboratory has three working units of gasification reactor and I will be designing another one for my PhD study soon, thanks to the newly-acquired ERGS fund worth RM80,000. 

Thanks, Le Supervisor.

Gold pot, really

I happened to meet a few oil palm plantation owners during the hunt for OPF previously and established a mutual working relationship with them. One time we were having coffee at one of the coffee shops ran by a local residence when one of the boys opened up about the oil palm business. You see, each oil palm fruit bunch may be up to 20kg in weight, and an oil palm can produce up to three fruit bunches per harvest time. Harvest time is done twice a month. Per ton of oil palm fruit is worth, on average, RM500. A hectare of land can accommodate 140 trees. 

So, per hectare, the maximum weight of oil palm fruits per harvest is 8,400kg, or 8.4 tons. In money sense, the entire collection is worth RM4,200. Per month, you get a rough income of RM8,400. Holy shit

Upon hearing this, I am now in the effort of getting my first hectare of prime oil palm trees. Ha. 

Serious business is serious.

It's good to spend some valuable time with the local folks at home. Above is the picture taken during breakfast at Taman Melawati (Visiting Park?) with some of the most prominent figures in the local neighborhood political arena -- the man in the maroon baju Melayu is Datuk Haji Mohd. Kassim, UMNO SSLK Leader and the guy in the white shirt is Datuk Hj. Megat Zulkarnain Tan Sri Omardin, the Gombak UMNO Division Youth Leader, and around them are the branch leaders and secretariat members of UMNO Movement of DUN Hulu Klang. 

We dubbed this as the meeting of the Dons, minus the flashy suits, Thompson semi-automatics and a decorative dead body at the back to lift the mood up a little.

Had a good time with Datuk Megat. One heck of a guy he really is. 

Night view of the Sultan Abdul Jalil Bridge

In the pursuit for biomass, I and a colleague went to Kuala Kangsar to obtain some samples of the oil palm planted there. We wanted to hit Taiping next but it was already sunset by the time we arrived at Kuala Kangsar. So we took a stroll around and I snapped this picture of the bridge with my Lumix. Good thing was that the stream was moving fast following a heavy downpour earlier so the reflection of the bridge on the water surface was presented in the most lovely fashion. 

We ended up with a shopping spree for hand weapons. Axes, curved machetes, long machetes, hunting knife, you name it. If we were stopped by the cops somewhere in the middle of the road, we could have been possibly nabbed for 'suspicious activities involving a large collection of horde weapons'.

I LOVE the greens

I am now back to my routine driving range practice following the winning streak I had with Mr Ang, one of the guy I casually meet at Clearwater Golf. Now that the dry season (not that dry, really) has ended, the greens are back to their original color. And nothing beats the smell of wet, green grasses in the morning. 

That is one very odd ball right there

For some certain reasons, I found that my golf shoes shrank a few millimeters. It's either my feet are growing (for some very suspicious reasons) or, more adequately, the shoes shrank because it has really been a while since I last wore it. I need to replace my seasoned and weatherbeaten glove too. I love that Daiwa. It really helped in gripping the iron tightly, not like my previous glove that made me feel as if I was holding a banana in my hand. And I had problem with iron 3 and 5. Perhaps I have to adjust my posture a bit. 

Ahh I think I just broke my back.

One of the best sunset ever seen this year

Last week too I happened to travel to Jugra of Kuala Langat district in the state of Selangor. I did a few research works there while in the same time enjoying my day out. There's this water gate at one of the fishing village in Kelanang where I happened to stop by one evening after catching a glance at the beautiful sunset as depicted in the image above. 

Freaking awesome.

The smell of salt filled the air as I stood on the water gate while gazing at the beautiful sunset. Fishing boats were docked dead at both side of the river and the mangroves stood still that evening. The only thing that spoiled the entire golden experience was a female cow that happened to stand next to me, enjoying the same sunset, while munching on some rough roots in its mouth before taking a quick dump by the water gate later. 

Don't anybody move now

I went Jugra Hill the next day to pay a visit to the Royal Mausoleum of Sultan Abdul Samad at the top of the hill where the tomb of Sultan Abdul Samad, the 4th Sultan of Selangor was located following his death in 1898. Around the mausoleum were graves of the Selangor Royal Family since 1886, and the whole area is 5-acre in size. I have a lot more pictures of this place taken and maybe I'll share them later on. 

The reason I came here was that, well, my mother is from Klang and some of our family members have served in the state palaces since a very long time ago. The relationship of my mother's family with the palace has been well established, hence their love for the sultan. Therefore, it is not surprising at all to know if my dear mother knows the genealogy of the Selangor sultanate and its bloodline, for she is very fond of the sultans since she was only a young girl. When the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah of Selangor passed away in 2001, she cried so much that she drove my father into unforeseen confusion particularly on the subject of whether she would deliver the similar show when he dies soon. It was really peaceful there. I have plans to come over again when I have the time. 

But I have to admit that it was a bit eerie, since the age of the graves were mostly 50 years and older. When I stood next to Raja Muda Musa's tomb, its enormous gravestone pinned me still on the ground because of its...effects. 

The newer graves are erected at the Royal Mausoleum in Klang, and nobody was buried here after so long. 

Kelanang Beach

The best place to spend an evening nicely is always the beach. Well at least for me. This was taken at the Kelanang Beach. The beach was so windy that sometimes you can catch tiny particles of sands on your wet lips. 

Armed with a can of chilled coffee and a pack of Benson & Hedges, and a *cough* delightful company, my evening was perfect. 

Sunset in Morib

The next day I went to Morib beach. I've never been to Morib for almost 20 years now, and I've been there again for the first time after so long, only to see that the place has changed deliberately over the long years. The food was great there. I had a bowl of Hailam fried noodles and a bowl of cold Lai Chi Kang there and I swear I had never been so stuffed. 

The sea there was somewhat a bit aggressive, although not particularly windy. The beach again awed me with its awesome sunset and great clouds, and I had great time with my camera then. If you look closely, you can see some sea vessels at the horizon there. 

One-Week Challenge

Back in UTP, Le Supervisor gave me a quick project that is nearly completed now. As shown by the image above, it's an assembly of a high temperature and high pressure spraying unit. It was designed, procured, fabricated, assembled, tested, commissioned and operated by me for another PhD student who needs the set for his study. Well if it wasn't because of the good pay, I won't be doing this tedious job, really, since I never really have chemistry with fluids. 

But it was a good experience though. The setup above is yet to complete, since the heating coils and the spray nozzles have yet to be installed. The entire setup costed almost RM10,000, many thanks to the prime equipment such at pressure gauges, multi-stage pump, solenoid valve and the heating unit that all have to work at a temperature up to 180 degree Celsius, hence the high cost. 

* * *

By the way, this is what I will be doing next week. 

I will be presenting as author and co-author for four technical papers in the 3rd International Conference of Production, Energy and Reliability (ICPER)2012  in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on this 12th to 14th of June. My technical session will be on the 13th of June at 8.45am till 10.45am in the morning at Room 306 under the research field of Energy and Fuel Technology as the picture below shows. There are six papers overall and I have written and co-written four of them, which are, in order from top to bottom, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th papers. 

It will be a heavy day for me but soon as I am done with the conference I will be spending my time at the nearby Starbucks of KLCC so if you happen to bump into me there, please say hi and I'll hi back! :D

By the way, to those who left their comments previously on my research particularly on obtaining my research papers for your own research, please kindly drop me your email in the comment section and I will establish contact with you for your next perusals. I have updated the list of my internationally and locally-published academic journals and conference papers, and you can refer to them as the following:

[1] S. A. Sulaiman, F. M. Guangul, R. Elneel, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, ”Estimation of Moisture Content of Oil Palm Frond Through Correlation with Density,” paper under review, Biomass and Bioenergy, 2012

[2] F. M. Guangul, S. A. Sulaiman, M. N. Z. Moni, S. M. Atnaw and R. E. Konda, “Investigation of the Hygroscopic Property of Oil Palm Fronds for Gasification Process,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[3] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “Method of Processing Oil Palm Frond Into Biomass Fuel for Downdraft Gasification,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[4] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A Sulaiman, “Downdraft Gasification of Oil Palm Frond: Effects of Temperature and Operation Time,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[5] S. A. Sulaiman, M. Karim, M. N. Z. Moni and S. M. Atnaw, “Gasification Study on Different Plant-Based Biomass Materials,” paper accepted for presentation, In the 3rd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2012, Kuala Lumpur.

[6] S. A. Sulaiman, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, “Experimental Study of Temperature Profile of Fixed-Bed Gasification of Oil Palm Fronds,” Int. Journal of Technology, Vol. 3, pp. 35-44, 2012

[7] S. M. Atnaw, S. A. Sulaiman and M. N. Z. Moni, “Experimental Study on Temperature Profile of Fixed – Bed Gasification of Oil- Palm Fronds,” In 4th International Meeting on Advances in Thermofluids (IMAT), Melaka.

[8] S. A. Sulaiman, S. M. Atnaw and M. N. Z. Moni, ”A Preliminary Study of Oil Palm Fronds for Gasification Process” In Power and Energy Systems (EuroPES 2011), 22-24 June 2011, Crete, Greece.

[9] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “A Preliminary Study on Synthesis Gas Produced by Gasification of Oil Palm Fronds,” In the 2nd International Conference on Plant Equipment and Reliability (ICPER), June 2010, Kuala Lumpur.

[10] S. A. Sulaiman, S. Balamohan, M. N. Z. Moni, S. Mekbib and A. O. Mohamed,  “Study on the Feasibility of Oil Palm-Fronds for Biomass Gasification”, In 5th International Ege Energy Symposium and Exhibition, June 2010, Denizli, Turkey.

[11] M. N. Z. Moni and S. A. Sulaiman, “Development of a Biomass Downdraft Gasifier for Oil Palm Fronds”, In National Postgraduate Conference on Engineering, Science and Technology, March 2009, Tronoh.

* * *

I have so far 11 published works, 7 more still in writing phase and 6 more to be written soon. I aim to publish at least 10 papers or so this year so that I will be able to end this academic year with a minimum of 15 published works, although I would like to push it up to 20.

Well, there's still more works to do in my field of research. It's the golden age of biomass here in Malaysia, and I'd like to be a part of it. I'm currently pursuing the post of Junior Principal Investigator to merge my scientific research and engineering profession into one whole suit of expertise particularly in biomass combustion and alternative solid fuel technology. 

I envision a fully-operating biomass gasification power plant to be installed here in Malaysia to contribute a generous portion of energy into the National Power Grid for the nation's electricity supply sometime in the near future. With the advancing technology and vast understanding of the biomass behavior under extreme temperature from which the gaseous extract of the carbon-rich fibrous material can be collected, I'd certainly believe that my dream will one day come true.

In the mean time, I'd like to contribute what I can to our developing country, and may my works will one day benefit the future generations in making this world not only sustainable but much cleaner that it already is today.

At work

Thanks for reading my long writing. It really has been a while. I wish you all the best and good luck. I'll write again when I have the time, because it's already 3.50am now and I have to make a move up north in an hour time for another plantation visit. 

Till then, best regards.