I am balding and I need help!

I Am Balding

Looks fine, right?

No, look again. I’m balding at the top and have heaps of dandruff to boot! I’m 35 years of age. I didn’t expect time to creep up on me so quickly. I honestly thought that my (past) uninhibited and hedonistic lifestyle will kill me before I hit 30 and I’ve said so many times on this very blog. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. I’m still alive.

Dad

Unfortunately, that means I have to deal with certain things about aging. Like balding, for instance. I have male pattern baldness and it’s hereditary. My dad is almost bald and most of my uncles are sporting a shiny pate. I’ll be like that too, if genetics have a thing or two to say about it.

Svensons MV

However, genetics doesn’t mean that you just have to sit back and take what’s coming to you. You can actually thwart genes (like Angelina Jolie famously did) and to a less extreme extent, I have done the same too.

Svensons

I went for a hair loss prevention session at Svenson in Mid Valley during 2011 and that has helped arrest my condition to a large extent. I have seen a lot of good things happen to my scalp and hair during the 10 weeks of my treatment and now I’m back for more!

OxyDH Treatment

I’m on a more intensive treatment this time, involving lots more stuff so I’ll be writing about it as I go along.

My Scalp

This is the latest look at my scalp (2015)

I had a YouTube video of the same process during 2011 and things are getting better but during the ensuing years, I have not maintained optimal hair treatment discipline and things are not looking as good as they should be.

Svenson Mary

Mary is back as my consultant! I’m really glad to have her on board, she’s been giving me great advice about my hair and I love how she’s straight with me – there are no miracles in hair loss treatment, anyone doing that is probably fraudulent, but there are many things you can do to prevent hair loss.

I have gone through a few sessions and it’s nice to meet the same people I have gotten acquainted with four years ago. I’ll share with you the treatments that I’m getting and we’ll see how it all works out at the end. I’m going twice a week and I started with the Oxy DH Therapy.

Svenson Jet Treatment

Oxy DH Therapy delivers 95% pure oxygen to the deepest layer of hair root to enhance blood circulation and assist in the penetration and absorption of their proprietary DH Hair Concentrate Serum – it’s applied to my scalp with 3 miniature jets at supersonic speeds.

OxyDH Jet

This basically peels off the outer layer of your skin at the scalp and removes excess sebum (which causes hair loss).

Svenson Corrective Fluid

There are are 30 vials of Corrective Liquid which is applied after that. You can actually bring home and apply yourself if you’re very busy. This serum is the stuff that encourages hair growth and is the bedrock of all treatments here. However, it’s advisable for the good people at Svenson to do it, for one simple reason:

Svenson Green Serum

You can’t see the back of your head. :) Seriously, they can do it much better than you can at home. Also, in conjunction of Svenson celebration of their 59th Years of Crowning Glory; in the month of June, you can enjoy the Hair & Scalp Rescue Therapy at only RM 59 and you’ll also get a Laser Treatment for free!

Svenson Serum

It’s been great for me so far. You can head over to the Svenson website or the Svenson Facebook page if you want to know more about their treatments. Otherwise, you can also call Svenson’s helpline @ 1800 22 833 for information and make your appointment to enjoy their awesome treatment!

Svensons Treatment

It’s for both males and females. I’ve seen both during my time there and they run the gamut from young to old. I’ll talk more about the advanced Micro Transdermal Therapy I was talking about soon and we’ll see what I look like at the end of all this.

It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure!

Race Against the Machines: The first drone vs human marathon!

Race Against the Machines 2015

I drove down to Putrajaya over the weekend to witness the first human versus drone 6 km run! This is particularly intriguing to me since the concept resonates with the post-apocalyptic genre of movies and books (which I love). The basis of Race Against the Machines is that flying drones chase all the runners and people can control and view the drones on their smartphones to try and kill hunt the runners.

Putrajaya Flesh vs Steel

The 100PLUS Outrunner 2015 runs also feature traditional 12 km and 9 km runs in addition to the 6 km Race Against the Machines fun run.

100PLUS Outrunner Putrajaya

I could feel the energy of the crowd of people gathering around the square beside Putrajaya Palace of Justice – everyone was excited to begin the run and I was kindly furnished with a t-shirt for the run. I also got the new 100PLUS bottles with the contours and bumps at the end to form a better grip for runners.

100PLUS Putrajaya Run

100PLUS is the organizer behind this event and there was a really cool place where you can get a sticker on your face (or any other part of your body) – the transfer was really vivid!

I watched the 12 km race being flagged off to fireworks…

100PLUS Outrunner 2015

…as well as the 9 km race.

Race Against the Machines

I heard the PA announce that the first finisher for the 12 km run came in less than 45 minutes after the race started. The three races all have staggered starts and my interest was towards the 6 km Flesh vs Steel Race Against the Machines.

I got it on good authority that the flying drones were controlled by a 100PLUS truck that acts as a sort of pacer vehicle in front of the pack of runners. People at home who couldn’t make it could also view the runners from the cameras mounted on the drones. I imagine this is what Predator/Reaper pilots (and Wikileaks aficionados) must feel like.

100PLUS

There were obstacles in addition to the flying drones and I saw families having lot of fun – there are participants from fit marathon types to families pushing a stroller and even a gentleman in a wheelchair. The atmosphere was amazing!

Shelter Zone

The runners in Race Against the Machines can also “hide” at designated Shelter Zones. This is when the cameras from the flying drones go “dark” and the runners are effectively hidden from the people who’re trying to hunt them. This sanctuary is very important as the drones fly at a speed of 57 km/h – much faster than a human can possibly run!

100PLUS Drones

The drones are “armed” with powerful searchlights and high definition video cameras that allow the Drone Masters (people at home) to search and hunt the runners. Drone Masters have 25 shots to fire from the flying machines – that means if they manage to take a clear photo of your barcode, you’re “captured” and 1 Life is deducted.

Flying Drones

The barcodes on the front and back of the participants in Race Against the Machines act as an identifier/target – it keeps track of who got tagged by the lasers and who survived till the end and I thought it’s an amazing idea. Each runner had 3 Lifes (a bonus Life is given for those who’re carrying the 100PLUS New Grip Bottle) and they must cross the finish line with at least 1 Life remaining.

100PLUS New Grip Bottle

100PLUS Outrunner 2015 is a great concept that manages to satisfy hardcore runners with the 12 km and 9 km runs and also the highly innovative 6 km Race Against the Machines. It brings casual runners or people interested in the concept of running from a post-apocalyptic army of drones (think Skynet) to push their limits and live a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise.

100PLUS Outrunner

…and that’s always a good thing! :)

Building a rainwater harvesting system in Kampung Jemeri, Kuala Rompin

water for life

I went to Kampung Jemeri last weekend for the Water For Life CSR (Community Social Responsibility) program, which provides Orang Asli with access to uninterrupted water supply. Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin, Pahang is about a 6 hour drive from KL and does not have one of the basic necessities of life – clean water.

kampung jemeri rompin

The entire Orang Asli village has to draw water from a very old pump and when it runs dry, they have to walk half a kilometer to draw water from the well and on days when the water supply was low, they had to make an incredible 5 km trek to reach the nearest river!

community service

Water For Life is a venture of PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to ensure that the 131 families in Kampung Jemeri has a clean and safe water supply. The second phase involves 40 of us from PDB to help them install a rainwater harvesting system.

rompin pahang

I’ve been to quite a few kampungs in my time but never to one where water is such a scarce resource! Long houses for Ibans in Sarawak is usually built close to rivers to that isn’t a problem. However, the Orang Asli here doesn’t even have a steady supply of that!

water tanks

It was quite a pleasure to help them in this – we were all issued heavy duty gloves and a wristband to indicate which of the 4 large 400 liter water tanks we will be assigned to.

water

The large tanks are installed in sections throughout the main dirt road of the 131 Orang Asli families in Kampung Jemeri to provide easy access to water for all.

rainwater collection

The first one was built at the start of the sprawling village and it takes in water from…

rainwater filtration

….two large rainwater harvesting ponds.

cutting pvc pipe

It is then sent up through a system of 100 meter pipes to the other tanks to allow everyone in the village easy access to water – right at their doorsteps.

task station

I was assigned to the very last water tank and we hefted it all the way to the rear of the village and did all the installation to accept the sequential water from Tank 1-3.

blue team

Blue Team!

water harvesting tanks

Hauling the water tanks into the village.

100m pvc

Since we’re at the last station, we had to first run the PVC pipe to the third water tank to hook up with them. I was surprised to find out that behind the dirt road is primary jungle!

primary jungle

I got quite a few mosquito bites from that but it’s all good fun.

toolbox

We also had a toolbox which contains cutters and all the piping necessities to build the rainwater harvesting system. I assigned myself to hook up the piping to the tank itself…

pipe installation

…and also the last mile where I joined the PVC piping to a steed rod and a pipe with a lot of help.

last mile piping

The box of tools has somehow been taken back to base camp, which is at least 500 meters away, and none of us wanted to make the trek back (which would tell you how far the villagers have to go for water every single time they wanted it – and get it back) so I used a huge stone to bang the steel pipe into the hard packed earth.

zip tie pipe

It worked even better than a hammer! The principle is much like that of piling in construction. I hefted the rock and let it go while another guy from PDB held it steady. In a minute or so, we managed to drive the entire steel rod in to hold the rest of the PVC and pipe!

orang asli hut

Orang Asli hut! It’s barely 1 meter tall.

orang asli family

There’s actually people inside, preparing for lunch. They’re peeling bamboo shoots, which grows in the wild here.

rompin water for life

Managing Director and CEO of Petronas DAGANGAN Berhad, Aminul Rashid Mohd Zamzam with Malaysian Nature Society and the village head of Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin.

candy kids

Handing candy out to the local kids.

kampung jemeri

The entire rainwater system with proper filtering was tested and water flowed smoothly…

petronas water for life

…so all that was needed is to wait for the 4 tanks to fill up.

orang asli feast

The Orang Asli villagers at Kampung Jemeri held a veritable feast for us, with local delicacies like ikan tenggiri masak tempoyak. There’s also a fiery sambal that Dina asked me to try and I immediately got hooked on. I ate a lot of that homemade sambal with ulam (raw vegetables).

group photo

However, the best part of the day was getting dirty and sweaty in helping these less fortunate folks get one of the basic necessities of life – water.

orang asli kids

I’ve gotten a glimpse of how the Orang Asli in Kampung Jemeri lived and I’m glad I was part of the Water For Life initiative to help then get clean access to water.

water for life rompin

It’s a very good feeling, doing community work like this.

3 things I did in the past week

I’ve been sick the past couple of days and now that I’m feeling better, here’s 3 things I did last week! :)

1. Got on a talk show on Bernama Radio 24

bernama radio 24

This is an interview with Gerald during the 9:30 pm slot. I was at Bernama’s studio on the 5th floor and appeared on air for roughly 40 minutes.

gerald radio 24

I didn’t know where the time went! I expected it to be quite long and started talking and before I knew it, 40 minutes has passed. Heh.

radio 24 bernama

I also met Jun Sern (tall guy at far right), the man in charge of the English segment and bumped into Nadia (blue tee), who’s the first person I met in Malaysia who knows who NOFX is. :)

2. Spoke at Nuffnang Blogopolis Malaysia 2012

nuffnang blogopolis speaker

Nuffnang was kind enough to ask me to speak at Nuffnang Blogopolis Malaysia 2012.

nuffnang blogopolis malaysia

It’s the first one in Malaysia and it was held at Concorde Hotel.

hui wen

My fellow speaker is none other than Hui Wen – last time I bumped into her was in Singapore so it’s good to be on stage and talking to everyone with her.

nuffnang blogopolis speaking

It was also the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, that’s another thing done from the bucket list. ;)

3. Watched The Dark Knight Rises Preview Screening

dark knight rises preview screening

I’ll not spoil this movie for you but it’s an awesome conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which is much darker than the previous Batman movies. I preferred the second one with The Joker but this final iteration wrapped up all the loose ends nicely and it’s a very long movie – about two and half hours!

the dark knight rises preview

I was hoping there will be a post-credits scene or trailer but we waited and there was none. This is the grand finale of the Nolan trilogy and it’s awesome!

I just watched it a couple of hours ago and I can’t wait to re-watch it – this time in IMAX! :)

Zorbing at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa

zorbing

Zorbing is best described as two people rolling around in an inflated spherical shaped cocoon at a relatively high velocity. It comes in dry and wet variants and I headed down to check it out with Jerine and Becky yesterday morning.

enter

Jerine booked our session at the decidedly Satanic time of 10 am on a Sunday so we all arrived there when most people are still in bed. You’re not supposed to take anything into the orb ball but I took my waterproof compact inside to film the entire jumbled up sequence.

mission

I was first up with Jerine for the dry run (pun not intended). You suit up and head into a globe which is rolled downhill. It is a bit more interesting that it sounds, for the sensation of getting your bearings completely fucked up is something which is usually only achievable by massive doses of ketamine. ;)

setting up

Setting up…

zip

Erm…Becky?

action

Damn action pose

strap

Lock and load!

on a mission

We’re on a mission!

jokes

There were a lot of jokes about getting wet, playing with balls, fisting et al contributed by all three of us. Heh! I can’t remember it all but it was funny.

air

It is fucking hot inside the Zorb ball and the staff had to constantly blow air into the ball as we were strapping up, which provided a welcome relief from the heat.

act cute

Damn act cute not cute one. >.<

I was surprised at the disorientation produced by rolling down the hill.

I was unprepared and my index finger accidentally pressed the Start/Stop button on my digicam several times, thus the disjointed video.

roll down

The staff there pushed the Zorb downhill so it goes rather fast – good old kinetic power combined with potential energy.

me becky

Becky only went for the wet orbing session and there was supposed to be four of us but her partner FFK her so I went twice on the wet orb – once with her and once with Jerine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready when the good people there pushed the ball down so I don’t have video footage of that session.

pour water

Splish splash I was taking a bath!

strap in

However, it’s a good thing I had another session with my partner Jerine. This time I made sure I turned on video mode early and didn’t touch anything. You can see the water sloshing everywhere in this video:

This is a must view to see what Zorbing looks like from the inside – don’t bother with the other two videos, just watch this one if you can only watch one.

enter zorb

Going into the orb is like going back to where you’re born – you stick your hands in and slide inside the ball.

exit orb

Exiting the wet orb is very much like being reborn again – coming out from the womb, with slick placenta fluid, I mean, water, assisting your entrance into this fucked up world.

jerine exit

Less than graceful exit. ;)

hairband

Rebecca, I believe this is your hairband.

wet wet wet

Wet wet wet!

exit zorb

It costs RM 15 for the dry Zorbing session and RM 20 for the wet Zorbing session, which is pretty reasonable considering my head still hurts from bumping into God knows what and my shoulders have bruises from the straps.

wet orb aftermath

I recommend the wet Zorbing session for maximum pleasure – they splash water inside the ball before you go in and it’s a jumble of feet, hands and various other appendages as you roll downhill, with water going into every single orifice on your body.

exit wet orb

…and guess what? The water is brownish and dirty from all the mud and getting it into your mouth tastes something awful.

changing

Hell, we had to change at my car in full view of everyone in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. I do have more interesting photos of the two girls changing but I fear I will be castrated if I post them up. Haha! It was a fun session though – I’m glad I woke up early to do this.

me jerine

Becky told us to suck our stomachs in.

jerine ass

P/S – You’ll get drenched inside the wet Zorbing session so don’t wear white unless you want your G-string to be visible to all and sunder. ;)

big pimpin

One last photo to end the post – the obligatory big pimpin’ pose. Heh!

AJ Hackett G-Force X

photogforcex

AJ Hackett G-Force X is dubbed as the highest slingshot ride in Asia – a reverse bungee jump inside a capsule pulling up to 5G’s, which is more than a MIG-25 fighter plane. It’s also described as an anti-gravity machine. I lost all my photos from Sunway Lagoon but thankfully I went for the DVD package so I still have the video on YouTube. :)

The ride cost about RM 30 (there is a 50% discount for MyKad holders) inclusive of the DVD and a “Certificate of Insanity”. I was in with an Iranian tourist, who looked rather nervous during the ride, but chilled out at the end. I didn’t think the ride was anything special, to be honest. 

It looks much better filmed from the outside – you can see the capsule slingshot up and get a scale of how high the ride is. It goes up to 65 meters reaching speeds of 120 km/h in 2 seconds before a sensation of weightlessness comes over you. It’s a pity I lost the video filmed from below together with the digicam at Sunway Lagoon. This video is ripped from the DVD featuring the camera inside the capsule.

I rate rides by whether it scares me or not and not one has ever put The Fear of God (TM) into my heart. However, it is a ride by AJ Hackett, and it’s worth a try with the discount for Malaysians.

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