Mother’s Day: Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake, Garrett’s gourmet popcorn, Tiffany’s heart pendant

Garrett Mix Popcorn

I wanted to get my better half something she’s never had before so I popped into Garrett’s to get some of their Chicago Mix (sweet Caramel Crisp with savory Cheese Corn) popcorn. I thought she’s never had it before but it turns out that I was wrong. -_-

Garrett Popcorn Malaysia

I got the new Mother’s Day Garrett Blossom Tin coz I knew my dear likes nice packaging (which she will repurpose). It’s a new tin that came out for the season, which I thought was pretty strange coz popcorn is not something I associate with Mother’s Day.

Garrett Mothers Day Popcorn Tin

Go figure.

Garrett Blossom Tin

Interesting fact: Garrett’s was sued over the usage of the term “Chicago Mix” so they call their 1/2 sweet caramel popcorn and 1/2 savory cheese popcorn Garrett Mix now. This took effect in the United States, but stores in Malaysia still uses Chicago Mix for this sweet/savory popcorn mix.

Tiffany Co KLCC

I also got her a pendant from Tiffany’s & Co.

Tiffany Pendants

I had called up in advance to reserve a double interlocking ring pendant. I had given her one almost 2 years ago and I wanted to present her with an updated version from the TIFFANY 1837 collection. I went to the Tiffany’s outlet in Suria KLCC and got the full VIP treatment, which was quite nice. smirk

Tiffanys VIP Treatment

I was seated and given a range of products to look at. However, the item I was interested in was a demo unit, which I didn’t want, so I looked at the other options before finally settling for the Elsa Peretti Open Heart Pendant.

Elsa Peretti Tiffany

This is a double heart design – one heart in sterling silver and the other heart in 18k rose gold. It’s RM 2,600 but money well spent coz she loved it! This actually happened during her birthday but I never got around to posting about that so I’m incorporating it into this post.

Tiffany Double Heart Pendant

Come to think of it, I haven’t had time to post about our monthsaries too, so I’ll do a round-up post soon – 8 things I did for the past 8 months or something like that. Haha.

Haagen-Dazs

Back to Mother’s Day, I also got her a Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake!

Haagen-Dazs Girls

They have a Mother’s Day promo which gave out a free minicup multipack (4 x cups in a box) with every order of a 1 kg ice cream cake so I ordered a Double Chocolate Royale.

Haagen-Dazs Reserved

It costs RM 149 for a 1 kg ice cream cake (pure ice cream only, none of that cake or sponge fingers nonsense) which makes Haagen-Dazs a little more expensive than Baskin-Robbins (you can get a HUGE 9″ cake with ice cream scoops on top for the same price) but I think the former is trying to brand itself as more exclusive.

Haagen-Dazs Custom Ice Cream

However, we always eat at Baskin-Robbins (in fact that was how we met) so I went for Haagen-Dazs for the Mother’s Day cake.

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Cake

I know she’s never had this before and had to book in advance to get the flavor we want (it’s usually Macadamia Nut otherwise) so it’s specially custom made.

Blurry Mothers Day Selfie

Here’s our blurry Mother’s Day selfie.

Double Chocolate Royale

The kids loved it and we had so much fun playing with the dry ice too!

Dry Ice Experiments

You can actually dump dry ice in a tub of water with some liquid soap and it’ll produce lotsa bubbles which pop with smoke (actually CO2) – the kids absolutely enjoyed that so it was a great Mother’s Day! <3

Invisalign updates!

Invisalign Updates

I have gotten my next four (4) Invisalign aligners from Imperial Bangsar Dental! :)

I’ll be heading back to Sibu for a couple of days so I got 2 months worth so I won’t need to go back until July. I’ve been wearing the aligners for more than two months now (going to switch to my 7th set later today) and I’ve gotten used to the routine now…so much so that I actually forgot to take it out a few times!

The worse bit was with my 6th pair of aligners, I drank coffee without taking them out, which stained the aligners a bit, but I used regular toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean them and they’re as good as new. Haha.

I’m actually quite excited about my progress! I know it takes 2 years to get perfect teeth but nothing good comes easy and having a brilliant smile is definitely worth the time.

I’ll be doing regular updates on my progress with Invisalign so you’ll know how it goes. I’m really happy with the results to date – you can see the sides actually straightening from the 3D scans and my better half tells me it’s getting more even by the day (after I forced her to peek into my mouth). :D

PUTIEN Fujian Heng Hua Restaurant

PUTIEN Prawn

I’ve been meaning to check out this Singaporean restaurant ever since they opened up an outlet in Sunway Pyramid. It serves food from the Fujian Province, specifically Heng Hwa cuisine, and I am a proud member of said clan. I’ve even been to China, although not to that part.

PUTIEN Sunway Pyramid

I thought it’ll be something like what my grandma would serve up when I was a kid.

Pickled Papaya

I was slightly mistaken in that regard. PUTIEN is a higher end restaurant that serves up quite artistic plates. Obviously, emphasis has been placed on presentation, something which is lacking in a lot of Chinese restaurants. Even better, the food is actually really good!

Iced Whole Abalone

Iced Abalone (RM 37 per pax)
Whole abalone for RM 30 per piece? Count me in! I haven’t seen that kind of prices since I went to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (which has a lot of cheap seafood). This is one of the appetizers we ordered, it’s an entire piece of abalone served on top of ice. You have to slice it yourself and it looks a little like a certain bit of female anatomy but it’s delicious!

The latter, I mean. smirk

Iced Abalone

It’s surprisingly flavorful, with notes of chilli and other spices with the tender abalone.

Bamboo Herbal Prawn

Bamboo Herbal Prawn (RM 12.50)
This is the other appetizer we ordered. This is a hot dish with a large prawn sticking out of a bamboo tube. The broth is awesome – deliciously prawn-y, with lots of Chinese wine.

PUTIEN Loh Mee

PUTIEN Loh Mee (RM 21.50)
This is their flagship dish and my better half ordered it. I can’t say I was very happy with the results. It didn’t taste really good, it was a bit of a disappointment to be honest. The noodles were rather bland and I just felt the entire dish was very blah, especially when compared to the other house specialty.

Heng Hua Bee Hoon

Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon (RM 21.50)
This is one of the dishes which they are famous for. The signature dish of PUTIEN is made with the only sundried vermicelli milled by hand in Putien. This artisanal product is cooked in a broth of pork bones and old hens. You can really taste the difference in the rice vermicelli, the texture is so different from others – it plays tricks on your palate with its curly, twisty and firm springiness and it absorbs the pork bones and old hens broth so well that I don’t have any other superlative to describe it except maybe legendary!

Hot Yam Gingko Paste

Hot Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (RM 6.50)
We first ordered Pumpkin Cream with Ice Cream (RM 11.50) but the waitress told us that they couldn’t serve it coz their pumpkins were not up to standard. I thought that was really good quality control so we switched to another dessert which didn’t have pumpkin as one of the ingredients which turned out to be this. It was smaller than I expected and probably not as good as a cold dessert but it was all they had.

PUTIEN Us

We both had quite an enjoyable meal at PUTIEN. There are actually set meals with their flagship dishes for RM 104.50 for 2 pax but we could only choose one main. I ordered a la carte coz I wanted to try more than one main and I’m glad I did that coz the Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon was so spectacular while the PUTIEN Loh Mee was so disappointing. The bill for the two of us came up to RM 144.84 inclusive of drinks and the wonderful pickled papaya they serve as an amuse-bouche.

PUTIEN

PUTIEN
LG1.45 Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway
46150 Petaling Jaya

I knew your mom before she knew how to rock

I went to an Offspring concert in Melbourne in 2001. I knew it was before my blog started coz I didn’t have a digicam and got a disposable camera just for that. I also remember someone from #Sibu (the IRC channel on DALnet) who happened to be in Melbourne at the time asking if she could come with me.

Your Mom

Now, this girl would claim later to be very much of a punk rocker. As Fat Mike put it, she should have been on the cover of Drunk & Disorderly (or Maximum Rock’n’Roll). But she wasn’t always like that. Back when she just arrived in Melbourne, she was a timid little country mouse, afraid of everything in the city.

OMG are you sure it’s going to be safe?
Yes, I told your mom. It’s a concert, FFS!

What if they are racists?
I’ve lived in Christchurch, New Zealand when I was 15 and can attest that Melbourne is way more cosmopolitan and there’s not much in the way of racism – I can go to raves and doofs and frequently I am the only Asian there but it’s always fine.

Oh fuck, there’s skinheads over there!
No, they’re just punk rock enthusiasts, I assured her.

I don’t wanna be in the mosh pit!
Now this, this statement really tested my chivalry. There are limits to what I would do for someone I barely know and have just met for the first time in person. This was pushing it, especially since I feel no particular fondness or even the slightest bit of affection/attraction for her. I told your mom I’ll be happy to get her a ticket to the seated area but personally, I am going into the mosh pit.

Oh, please don’t leave me!
It’ll be fine, I told your mom. It’s a regulated concert, not some underground event and I would have said its fine even if it’s the latter. Melbourne is a very safe city compared to most other cities its size.

I’m scared!
Keep in mind that I was not out to fuck your mother. I had no such designs on her fa plus sized ass. I couldn’t have done it even if I wanted to, swear to God, I am not your dad. My first experience with full penetrative sex to completion was at 25 due to a fear phobia of HIV.

Nooooo, you said you’ll come with me…
This is something I did do but in all fairness I did tell your mom that we’ll be having MOSH PIT TICKETS and we’ll be going into the mosh pit. I never knew your mom would turn up in heels (!!!). She didn’t even know what a mosh pit was back then, even though I had patiently explained via IRC and ICQ and told her not to wear anything that can’t be spilled on/torn/ripped the fuck apart.

…and in the end, being the nice guy that I am, I ended up going on the Rod Laver Arena stadium seats instead so we could be seated together. Our seats happened to be just overlooking the mosh pit, with a 2 meter or so drop down via a metal bannister. I could see a few people slipping down into the pit and getting chased by security so I thought I’ll wait till the concert starts.

The opening band (Bodyjar/28 Days) came on and more people jumped down to the mosh pit. Some managed to run/crowd surf *deep* into the mass before security managed to reach them and thus got away, while others were snagged by the long arm of the law mall cop right before they could reach the haven of jumping bodies.

I was one of the latter. I told your mom that I’m going in (Nooooo don’t leave me aloneeeeee she wailed, to no avail, coz the Offspring was on and I was really caught up in the moment) and jumped. I saw the security opposite me say something into a radio and two security beefcakes ran up from behind me – they were previously obscured by the wall so I didn’t know they were there.

I tried to leg it, running as fast as I can to reach the mass of sweaty bodies. One of the security dudes caught my arm and just before he could apply pressure, I flicked it out of his reach.

I saw a few moshers at the pit fringes looking at me and shouting encouragement, hands held out, waiting to pull me in, to where the security can’t reach me…

Offspring Concert 2001

I reached out, my left hand almost connecting with a sympathetic fellow-concert goer, who dragged me into the protective custody of her bosom, wedging me between her sweaty melons and her friend in front while I tried to weasel my way further into the crowd…

…before two tree trunk sized arms grabbed me from behind and forcibly hauled me off my feet and dragged me to the fire exit.

I was given a stern talking to (Do that again and you’ll be out of the stadium) before I was let back to my stadium seating.

It should be noted that the mosh pit tickets are the same prices as the stadium seating, this wasn’t an issue of money but a fire code violation. You can’t have too many people in the mosh pit area in case there was a fire – the amount of people need to be able to be evacuated safely by the existing fire exits, which is also why there’s a queue into popular clubs – something which is foreign here in Malaysia, so I feel like I have to explain.

…and when I re-appeared next to your mom she was so relieved. She thought that I was kicked out and was about to walk out to find me coz she didn’t dare be in the arena alone. In the 2 minutes or so that I was gone, she had a mild panic attack, an existentialism crisis, and did some hand-wringing to boot.

Next time I saw your mom was 5 years later when I started working and in the ensuring time, she had re-invented herself as some kind of rock goddess, the person the song Punk Guy by NOFX was talking about (except she was a girl) and every time she said something, I’ll think back to that day in Melbourne when I first (and last) met her and just had to laugh.

LOL

Palsaik 8 color pork belly Korean BBQ, Mont Kiara

Palsaik

We’ve been meaning to go to Palsaik for a very long time. The concept is quite intriguing – there are 8 pieces of different flavoured pork belly (samgyupsal) in lieu of the standard “beef bulgogi” in a Korean BBQ setting. It’s a South Korea franchise, so it was really authentic too – everything from the beer to the foliage that comes with your meat just feels right. I’ve been to Korea twice and decided to bring my better half here on Sunday for lunch.

Palsaik 8 Color Set

There are only 3 items on the menu and it all revolves around pork so if The Divine Pig is not your thing, this probably isn’t somewhere you want to come. However, for the rest of us who loves oink oink, this is exactly the place to be. The 3 items on the menu are basically portion sizes – there’s a 3Color Set (meaning you can choose 3 different pieces of flavoured 150 gram pork belly) meant for 2 pax, an 8Color Set with the full range of 8 flavors for 3-4 pax, and a Premium Set with everything in the 8Color Set plus grilled deodeok (a root of a plant) for 3-4 pax.

Palsaik 8Color

We chose the complete 8Color Set since we wanted to try every single flavor they have. It’s called Palsaik after all – which I assume means “eight colors”. The pork belly comes in neatly sliced 150 gram pieces in separate bowls on a wooden board with an arrow from left to right indicating where you should start eating – from the mildest to the strongest/most intense flavors.

Palsaik 8 Flavor Pork Belly

The 8 flavors of pork belly are:

Palsaik Ginseng Wine Pine Leaves

Palsaik Garlic Herb Curry

Palsaik Miso Paste Hot

  • Ginseng
  • Wine
  • Pine leaves
  • Garlic
  • Herb
  • Curry
  • Miso paste
  • Hot

Makgeolli Korean Rice Wine

I also ordered a bottle of makgeolli – a milky, off-white Korean rice wine that weighs in at a surprising 14.45% alcohol. It comes in a plastic 750 ml bottle for RM 20, which is quite cheap – that’s the same abv and content of a regular wine bottle. I’ve had this in Korea during my two trips there and an interesting attempt by Seoul to export their culture and food has resulted in this being apparently dubbed “drunken rice”.

Palsaik Premium Set

The 8Color Set also comes with a bowl of seafood soup. This is quite authentic jjigae type dish that comes with *tons* of seafood like crab, prawns, squid, clams, mussels and octopus. We both loved the hearty spicy soup.

Palsaik Seafood Soup

There are servers who will help you grill the garlic and meat and you really just need to sit back and fold the pieces of meat together with the condiments in various types of leaves – from butter lettuce to herbs.

Palsaik Mont Kiara

I quite liked the ginseng one, it started very well. Surprisingly, the wine one was a miss for me, the marinade didn’t work through the meat well and all I got was an overwhelming taste of slightly-off pork. The pine leaves was mild and unique, the garlic superbly done with tons of flavor – they must have soaked that in for a very long time. The herb one was very interesting too. The curry pork belly slice didn’t do much for me, and we were too full by the time the miso paste one was done. The treacherous sounding hot flavor was in fact quite good, with lots of thick hot sauce still sticking to the meat.

Palsaik Us

Palsaik is a nice change if you want a porcine instead of a bovine Korean BBQ experience. We went to the outlet in SohoKL, Mont Kiara but they have another one in Scott Garden. It’s an authentic Korean BBQ chain that has taken Melbourne by storm too. Try the makgeolli when you’re there – it goes very well with the 8 flavored pork. They also serve Korean beer and soju. The bill came up to RM 153.90 for the both of us, inclusive of drinks. Needless to say, this outlet is not halal.

Palsaik Korean BBQ

Palsaik
J-01-09 SohoKL
Solaris Mont Kiara
No. 2 Jalan Solaris
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Freedom of speech does not include bullying

I was a victim of cyberbullying.

I’ll share the details of how it started, how I realized what was happening was getting serious, and how I managed to resolve the issue and start criminal/legal proceedings against the perpetrator.

Cyberbullying can come in many forms on the Internet. It doesn’t just include direct attacks but other forms of harassing behaviour. I wasn’t equipped with enough information about my rights until I did a bit of research, which I’ll like to share with all of you. I’m sure every blogger or social media personality must have run into these things.

However, I’m not talking about the common trolls or haters, but people who have stepped further than that – committed identity fraud, impersonation and libel.

There’s a huge difference between freedom of speech and libel. You can hate all you want but when you step over the line by using other people’s identities and writing libel, you have committed a crime. The Malaysian government does not look kindly upon people committing cybercrime and they’ve taken a lot of steps to prevent that.

In my case, there was a single person (mostly) with a core group of 2-3 supporters, coordinating a libellous personal attack using other people’s identities to comment on my blog and on other blogs to defame me and others.

I can’t talk much about this since there is a police investigation and at the same time, I also plan to report this to MCMC so I’ll just write about the basics.

I first thought it was a common troll, but I realized that this person has gone on other forums and blogs impersonating me (using my name and blog) to make false and provocative statements. I only realized that when I got a bunch of emails asking me about “insider information” for a property.

The person intentionally put my email on a forum and created an account using my name to spread false and libellous statements. I had never even HEARD of the forum, much less commented there.

I got in touch with the forum administrators to get the IP address and other details of the cyberbully.

It was at that time that he started commenting on my blog (usually posting libellous and false statements) first using obviously fake names, and then when I banned him, started using other blogger’s names and email addresses.

He also went to other blogs using *my name* to comment and I realized that after some bloggers got in touch with me to ask about some unusual feedback I was leaving.

The first mistake this person made was that he seemed to have access to email addresses and names of a certain demographic of bloggers, suggesting he is more than a casual reader – he’s either a blogger or someone in the media/advertising industry, or he wouldn’t have access to such a laundry list of personal email addresses so that’s the first break I got while making the police report of a list of suspects.

This second mistake this person made was believing Tor would completely mask his identity. I’m just using the male pronoun for ease of writing, as I said this is going to be a legal case so I can’t put specifics.

The third and most vital mistake he made was that he usually copied and pasted a series of stock comments he had written (probably in a text file) and spammed them in quick succession at very specific and certain times during the day, the first batch of which is earlier than when most people wake up which helped a lot in the investigation.

It probably says a lot more about him that he’s obsessed enough to want to do this several times a day, which takes up his time but not mine (due to my spam filter) and to go further and spam comments on other blogs too. This, the authorities say, is very indicative of a CLOSE and PERSONAL relationship – someone I probably know in real life, gone slightly unhinged due to competition or work related stress/demands.

That was the nail in the coffin, since it narrows the suspects down to less than 5 people, which can be easily monitored for Internet usage and access patterns.

Cyberbullying doesn’t seem to fun when it’s not anonymous anymore eh? Be smart, don’t think that the Internet is the wild west, coz it’s not. The normal rules and laws apply if all the charges are upheld, the perpetrators will have to go to prison and have a civil lawsuit for damages waiting for them when they come out.

…and it’s not just from me, but from all the people they have impersonated so not only is their freedom affected, their future earnings and current assets will be to. Be smart, and know the difference between freedom of speech and libel, fraud, defamation and threats to property and life.

You are responsible for what you do so make sure to be a responsible online citizen. Contribute to the positive Internet experience, the law is very clear about this, as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588 Section 233 (1) (b)) states:

(Anyone who) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address, commits an offence.

The Internet is a wonderful place but some people just seem to think that anonymity can provide them with a license to do whatever they wish without consequences but truth to be told, there’s no real anonymity online. Everyone can be tracked with the digital trail you leave behind.

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue as the suicide of Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier and many others have shown. Don’t be disheartened or feel down if you’re a victim of cyberbullying – that’s just what the bully wants and it can have a very strong impact on you emotionally. I was lucky in that I was mature enough to shrug off the daily barrage of comments (over 13 years of blogging can do that to you)…

…but more importantly, I knew what my legal rights were and how I could get justice. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’m not big on revenge but I believe in personal responsibility so I’m going ahead with the criminal and legal proceedings. I know it’s not easy, especially for younger people, but if you’re a victim, please remember that you’re not alone – find out more about cyberbullying and how to get the help you need at the Klik Dengan Bijak initiative by MCMC.

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Surface 3 Bloggers

I was at a closed door media preview recently when I asked a rather embarrassing question.

Surface 3 Tablet

It was for the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Q&A was going on when I asked when the Surface Pro 3 was going to be released. There was a short moment of silence from the panel of speakers before two simultaneously told me – “It has already been released at the end of last year” – with a look that vaguely suggested that I was reaching new heights (or lows) of stupidity. smirk

Surface 3 Panel

The Surface Pro 3 is the more powerful and expensive brother to the Surface 3 and packs a beast of an i3/i5/i7 processor inside. I’ve been thinking which one to get and hadn’t decided yet at the time.

It got me thinking though…

Microsoft Surface 3 Rep

The truth of the matter is, people don’t actually follow gadget releases with religious fervour. Unless you’re a hardcore tech nerd, you probably wouldn’t be able to recite the latest hardware specifications. Most people only search for and read up on the latest news, releases and reviews when they’re about to make a purchase.

Surface 3 Hands On

This is where I come in. I’ve had hands-on experience with the Microsoft Surface 3 and I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ll be picking up a loan unit tomorrow for review but let me just tell you about the Surface 3 and what it’s all about first.

Surface 3 Demo

The Microsoft Surface 3 is a laptop replacement tablet that’s going to be released in the market soon. It’s a more affordable and mainstream offering compared to the Surface Pro 3 (which is more for power users) and it looks like it’s set to appeal to a wide range of users.

Writing Surface 3

There are a couple of new features in the latest Surface – the Surface 3 is the thinnest and lightest Surface ever! It just weighs a mere 622 grams. I was surprised when I picked it up, this is definitely lighter than I thought a tablet that works like a laptop would be.

Surface 3 Screen

Most importantly, it has a full-size USB 3.0! This allows you to connect a wide range of accessories and it’s what (for me) makes a tablet transcend into laptop functionality. You can plug in stuff like external hard disk drives for increased storage, your smartphone to transfer files (if you’re not using your own WiFi to sync), or even something as essential as a mouse!

(although I would highly recommend using a Bluetooth mouse instead of taking up the USB 3.0 slot, unless you plan on getting the docking station or a USB extender)

Surface 3 Excel

Also, Surface 3 runs all your Windows desktop software so you can use it just like a PC or notebook! That means you can use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and all other desktop programs instead of relying on apps alone. That’s the beauty of the Surface 3 – you can run the app versions when you’re using it as a tablet, but for some essential software, you have the capability to install and execute it like you would on a normal computer.

Surface 3 Pen

The stylus is a thing of magic too – you can click it once to wake the tablet from sleep and double click it to automatically screencap what’s running and open it in OneNote (a feature I’ve found immensely useful in blogging and writing reviews).

Surface 3 Camera

There’s also an 8 MP 1080p rear-facing camera with auto-focus and a 3.5 MP 1080p front-facing camera.

Here are the specs for the Surface 3:

Surface 3 Specs

This is one tablet-laptop hybrid that looks poised to take the world by storm.

Surface 3 Blog

It’s the first Surface to have an Intel processor so you can run all Windows software, it’s the first to forgo the proprietary charging system in favor for a widely compatible micro-USB port so you can use it with your existing car and portable chargers, and it comes with an optional docking station to complete the PC experience.

Surface 3

Head over to the Microsoft Surface 3 microsite to pre-order your Surface 3 now! If you’re looking for a new tablet that has the functionality of a laptop, look no further – you know you want it. I’m really excited about this – the Microsoft Surface 3 has been hailed as a revolutionary change and it really lives up to the hype.

How I save myself from GST – by starting a new company!

GST Lego Malaysia

The implementation of GST effectively means that we’ve all taken a 6% cut to our paychecks. It’s actually slightly more than that, but for the sake of argument, let’s put it at 6%. Your purchasing power is also down by 6% so you’ve either got to tighten your belts or find an alternate source of income.

Just think about it, everyone in Malaysia got a 6% salary cut effective April 2015.

I prefer to be more proactive so I’m not thinking of ways to cut down on my consumption and lifestyle BUT to find new sources of income to negate the 6% cut in my salary. I’m even thinking about *overcoming* it e.g. get more than 6% so that the my net earnings are actually MORE post GST.

This means that I have to do something, and I decided to start up a new company to earn active income to supplement my current income.

Conpany Registration

I’ve seen people take various steps post GST to increase their income.

This is just one of them. It’s not that hard to register a new company, you just need to take some (archaic) steps in my case – different councils will have different procedures but mine involves getting a chop (stamp) before you can take the official form.

The official form is a huge piece of paper that looks like it belongs in the 1980’s (probably was from then) and it specifically states that it must be filled using a typewriting. It can’t be filled by hand or by computer and no one I knew even owns a typewriter anymore (not even two large companies I asked) so I engaged the services of a shop in town that specializes in this kind of thing.

Typing Business Registration

It was RM 10 to type up the document but it’s worth the money I spent coz now I have a new company to engage in various specialized writing and creative services.

It’s called Pulse Consulting and it does everything you think it does, and more.

Pulse Consulting

That’s my unofficial tagline anyway.

Seriously, though, if you want to ask me what I do, just email me. smirk

However, there’s still many other ways to combat post-GST income stresses – one of them is through property investment. But property prices in Malaysia can be very high, so why not invest in property overseas! There’s one coming up that I think is rather promising. It’s located in the resort island of Phuket!

Elephant Phuket

I’ve been to Phuket many times and hotels there can be quite expensive – if you calculate a night’s stay in Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort or Club Med Phuket you’ll find that owning your own property can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you get benefits like golf, spa and boating benefits in Phuket.

Plus, this particular one offers 7% Rental Guarantee for the first year so you won’t have to worry about finding your own!

dCondo Mine is a fully furnished freehold condominium by Sansiri, one of Thailand’s leading property developers.

dCondo Mine

The best part is the price, it starts from – wait for it – RM 250,000 with 50% deferred payment. That’s affordable even for first time property buyers and I’m really keen to find out more about this luxurious lifestyle investment opportunity. You should check it out if you’re interested in expanding or diversifying your investment portfolio with a Phuket based condominium. The property showcase organised by Golden Emperor, a Hong Kong based company will be held:

Venue: Level 4, Starhill 5, JW Marriott KL
Date: 9-10 May 2015
Time: 12-2 pm (English), 2-4 pm (Chinese)

Seats are limited so hurry, RSVP in the form below and start investing overseas now to supplement your income post GST! It’s such an exciting opportunity that I’ll turn up just to see what it’s all about.

You can also check out the Golden Emperor website for more information.

Happy blogniversary – 13 years of sixthseal.com!

13th Blog Anniversary

It’s my lucky 13th blog anniversary! sixthseal.com started 13 years ago on 19th April 2002. It has gone though a lot since then. I’ve actually spent more than 1/3 of my entire life blogging and the number is only going to rise as I get older. smirk

I’ve done one blog anniversary post wrapping up the best of the previous year each and every year except 2007. I was in drug rehab at the time and Internet privileges are something that only exists for rich celebrity rehabs in the US, not real ones in a third world country. I was locked up in a cell in shackles and handcuffs for the first 3 months!

I couldn’t even type if there was a device (and there was none, but plenty of manual labor). You wouldn’t think someone would be able to pluck grass while in restraints and stripped of everything except a sarong (wraparound cloth – it’s meant as punishment) but I can tell you it’s possible, and I’ve done it in the sweltering afternoon heat.

Evil Website
[Title translates to “Evil Website – Computer Graduate Shows How (to be an) Expert Drug User” – this is an article about me with all the photos taken from sixthseal.com by Harian Metro Ahad]

I was actually quite notorious back in the early days of sixthseal.com and got into more than a little trouble with the law for it (trust me, that was the lightest sentence I got off with since I was caught with a lot more stuff than just cannabis).

Lots of things have changed since then – I nearly lost ALL my blog archives prior to 2007 (coz I couldn’t renew my hosting from rehab) if not for the efforts of a kind reader called David from Australia who backed up my blog in HTML. I managed to recover my archives thanks to him but lost *all my comments* since the HTML files were of the posts only. I’m still glad I have them though, even though all the comments are missing prior to 2007.

I came out in 2008 and never looked back.

Tumbling Minis

In the past year, I have also started up tumblingminis.com – a site I manage with my better half to share our passion for LEGOs. That’s why the feature image I put for this post is done with 13 LEGO minifigures, it symbolizes my 13 years running sixthseal.com. The two LEGOs in front represent me and my better half. I guess that makes the cameraman YOU, dear reader. :)

That done, let’s do the the best of the previous year’s posts, in chronological order:

Michelin 2 Star

Our 2 Michelin star lunch at Le Relais LOUIS XIII
25 April 2014
I travel to Germany and France with my better half for our annual overseas trip. It just happens to be our birthdays at the time and I wanted to surprise my dear with a fine dining experience at a classic French Michelin star restaurant – Le Relais LOUIS XIII in the heart of the 6th arrondissement of Paris.

Joel Robuchon

A meal by 28 Michelin star “Chef of the Century” Joel Robuchon at our Paris apartment!
13 May 2014
We stayed at a lovely Parisian apartment overlooking a museum and cooked with fine French ingredients while we were there. It was a lot of fun! We also sampled Apfelwein (apple wine) in Frankfurt. It was a great vacation.

Molecular Gastronomy

Molecular Gastronomy Experiments: Silkie Black Chicken “Soup” Jelly
29 May 2014
This is one of my experiments with molecular gastronomy. I wanted to create a jelly with chicken soup – specifically black chicken soup – and intended for the jelly to be crystal clear so you can see the black Silkie chicken and red goji berries inside. It didn’t turn out as well as I imagine it would but it was a good first attempt.

Moving House

My new place: Back breaking house-moving, wooden floors, dumpling festival
2 June 2014
I move into my new (and current) apartment.

Little Beach Boat House

Dinner at Little Beach Boat House, Port Stephens
6th June 2014
I flew to Australia just a few days after that and visited Port Stephens and other areas in New South Wales. This was the first dinner I had there and I posted while I was still in Sydney. Port Stephens has really fresh seafood too! The seafood platter @ Vues on the Bay, Port Stephens and the artisan beer batter fish and chips at CREST Café, Birubi Beach were spectacular.

Sandboarding in Port Stephens, Australia
13 June 2014
This is one of the best things I’ve ever done. We took an ATV over sand dunes in what looks like a desert (but it’s actually just beach sand claiming landmass) and I sandboarded down a sand dune. You use a skateboard-like device and basically hold on while gravity does the rest.

63 Degree Egg

63 degree egg, PB&J with Nutella and bacon @ Devon Cafe, Surry Hills
27 June 2013
The best breakfast I had ever had, no question about it! This awesome little cafe in Surry Hills serves up a wonderful dish called Breakfast with the Sakuma’s which contains a full sized grilled salmon!

Zumbarons

Zumbarons @ Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
15 July 2014
Adriano Zumbo makes the best macarons in this part of the world and I went to his signature outlet in Sydney to grab some to bring back. I wanted my better half to try them and see how they compare to Pierre Hermé (below) and the Ladurée macarons at Champs-Élysées, Paris. Macarons don’t travel well but it still tastes awesome when I got them back!

Pierre Heme Macarons

Pierre Hermé “Les Incontournables de Paris” macarons from France
18 July 2014
With flavors like Olive Oil Fruite Vert, Rose Petals and Milk Chocolate & Passion Fruit, it’s no wonder this is the best macarons we had in Paris.

One Michelin Star

Dinner by Michelin Star Le Gavroche’s Chef Alexy Fuchs Malaysian visit
18 August 2014
I brought my better half out to a RM 711.10 dinner for two when a Michelin 1 star chef came to KL to cook a limited dinner series for a couple of days. It was the best dinner we had in Malaysia, the chef hails from France so it was a good throwback to our time in Paris earlier in the year.

How to make a tea bag rocket
21 August 2014
I wanted to do something fun for the kids and they loved it!

Adriano Zumbo Tim Tams

Adriano Zumbo limited edition Tim Tams
4 September 2014
Adriano Zumbo partnered up with Arnott’s to release a series of three limited edition Tim Tams – Salted Caramel, Choc Brownie and Raspberry White Choc and I lugged heaps of them back to KL for my better half. I was in Australia at the time and he came out with the new Adriano Zumbo Red Velvet Tim Tams after I left so I got them mailed all the way from Australia for RM 144. It makes for good reading, how I micromanaged the delivery. Haha.

Angry Birds Board Game Review: Playing real life Angry Birds with the kids over the weekend!
6 October 2014
I bought an Angry Birds “board game” to play with the kids – it was crazy fun, this year saw me spending more quality time with the kids and bonding with them more.

Dengue Fever

My experience with dengue fever
17 November 2014
I come down with dengue fever. It wasn’t fun – this is my report on the experience from the moment I fell ill to the recovery phases. It’s not that bad either, but it’s certainly not a walk in the park.

Santan Cooking Course

Cooking a 3-Course Meal with S&P Santan!
20 November 2014
This is a cooking class/course that I took. It was actually a lot of fun! I took a lot of photos and learned quite a lot from my team-mate.

Hat Yai

Greetings from Hat Yai!
24 November 2014
I make it a point to go for one overseas trip and one closer trip each year with my dear and this year the closer trip was to Hat Yai in Thailand. My better half and I spent most of the time shopping and eating local delicacies like pork leg rice and Thai boat noodle soup.

Noodles Inside Coconut

Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles served inside a coconut for RM 33
2 December 2014
My better half came down to Sibu again to spend our anniversary together and I drove her down to Sarikei with my dad in tow to eat the famous Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodle served inside a whole coconut and walk around town.

Christmas Family Photo

8 fun things we did for our Christmas Eve celebrations!
24 December 2014
We have made it a family tradition to celebrate Christmas! I roast our own turkey every year (got a 6.5 kg beast this year) and get all the festive accoutrements like Christmas crackers and eggnog so the kids feel like it’s a special day.

Pandoro

Our Pandoro Party!
30 December 2014
We had panettone the previous year and this year, we had pandoro! It’s a different Christmas cake from the Verona region of Italy and the kids loved it coz it doesn’t have the fruits in panettone but contains heaps of sugar (to look like an ice capped mountain).

Abalone Poon Choy

Our annual poon choy dinner with whole baby abalone @ Hakka Siu Poon Choy
8 February 2015
Yup, it’s our poon choy tradition going on for the second year! I got our awesome big bowl feast from a smaller shop this time so more care was taken into making it – it was so much more delicious than the previous year’s. My better half’s parents also came over and I got some craft beer for her dad and myself to go with the feast.

Fireworks KL

2015 Chinese New Year Fireworks Roundup in Kuala Lumpur
16 February 2015
This is the first year I’ve done two fireworks roundups – one in Kuala Lumpur and one in my hometown of Sibu. It’s quite fun to buy fireworks in KL and let it off for the kids to see.

Huge Fireworks

The 2015 Chinese New Year Fireworks Roundup!
6 March 2015
This is the bigger and better fireworks roundup, the one from Sibu. I purchase the largest fireworks cake I have to date – a 27 kg 333-shot monster that takes 2 people to carry.

Greetings from Legoland Malaysia!
22 March 2015
We bring the kids to Legoland! The hotels and entrance made it even more expensive than an overseas trip but the kids loved it and that’s all that matters. I enjoyed it too, we managed to catch LEGO Friends Live! – a musical with real people!

Legoland Malaysia

My late mom’s first Ching Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day)
31 March 2015
We all flew back for my mom’s first Ching Ming and took care of her tomb, sung some hymns and said a prayer for her. It was good to have the whole family together, I’ve always thought it was more for the living than the dead.

Mom Ching Ming

My other social media sites:
Instagram:
https://instagram.com/sixthseal/
Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/sixthseal
YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/sixthsealdotcom
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/sixthseal
http://www.facebook.com/SixthSealcom

Here’s the list of my previous of blog anniversary posts:
2003: sixthseal.com 1st Birthday
2004: sixthseal.com 2nd Birthday!
2005: sixthseal.com 3rd Birthday!
2006: sixthseal.com 4th Birthday!
2007: I was in rehab. There are (officially) no posts in 2007.
2008: I just got out of rehab. There is no 2007 recap to be done coz there are no posts in that year.
2009: Seven years of sixthseal.com
2010: I was in New Zealand at the time while my mom underwent an operation for lung cancer. I didn’t do one coz I was too caught up with stuff. Time for another retrograde!
2011: Happy 9th bloganivarsary sixthseal.com!
2012: Happy Blogday – 10 years of sixthseal.com!
2013: Happy Blogniversary – 11 years of sixthseal.com!
2014: sixthseal.com turns 12!

It’s been 13 years since I started this blog and I’m going to be doing a few changes around here. The first thing is to commit to a 24 hour schedule as I originally intended – *one post per day* and the second is to do a complete makeover. The categories are hard to find and the archives even messier and I want the experience to be smooth for everyone who comes here.

Rave

Here’s a big THANK YOU to everyone who has passed by, commented or followed me since 13 years ago. I couldn’t have done it without you – thanks for reading everyone! :)

sixthseal.com turns 12!

12th Blog Anniversary

The title might seem a little odd, considering that I just wrote about my 11th blog anniversary yesterday. However, these are events that happened one (and two, respectively) years ago. My blog is actually celebrating it’s 13th anniversary this year and I’m doing a quick spot of catching up! action

This is the part where I collect all the noteworthy posts of the previous (in relation to this post) year, which means 19th April 2013 to 19th April 2014.

Just think of the date today as 19th April 2014 and it’ll make more sense.

Come and jump back one year with me while I go through some of the most interesting posts of the “previous” year, in chronological order:

5 Course Dinner

How to cook kangaroo meat: A kangaroo roast dinner!
20 April 2013
I cook a 5-course meal with kangaroo roast as the highlight with the limited kitchen in our Melbourne serviced apartment. We were at our first overseas trip together and I managed to cobble together a more-than-passable dinner for my dear with a dessert of kiwiberries in white chocolate and caramel during our last night in Australia.

Two Birthdays

My girlfriend’s two birthdays!
25 April 2013
I surprise my better half by planning a trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia without her knowledge. I just told her to bring her passport. :) The boutique hotel we stayed in was awesome – they made a “Happy Honeymoon” sign with leaves on our bed and spread rose petals, had champagne on ice, and even agreed to spring a surprise birthday cake while I got my dear to wait at the swimming pool!

Duck Embryo

Eating pong tia koon – Cambodian balut!
30 April 2013
There was a balut post last year and there will be one this year! We went to Cambodia to try out their version of fertilized duck embryo. They call it pong tia koon and the Khmer style is a lot more delicious than Philippines preparation. They add a lot of lime, chilli and herbs, making this a truly delectable street eat.

Eating Fried Insects

Eating Fried Insects in Bangkok: Beetles, grasshoppers, frogs, crickets, worms, red ants!
13 May 2013
Haha! I even have a video of me eating the various insects while doing a running commentary and review.

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Scam
22 May 2013
I’m very proud of this entry. It was an adventure in hindsight (even though I was quite pissed off at the time) and the best thing that came out of this was random strangers thanking me via the comments and email for letting them know. There were many cases where they were literally inside the taxi when they read my post and aborted their trip. It feels good to write stuff like this and get appreciative notes from people who managed to avoid the scam via my blog post.

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Home made deep-fried Mars bar
26 May 2013
I’m quite chuffed to have made this at home…with EVOO to boot! I also deep fried Twix, Snickers, Kit Kat Chunky and Cadbury Crunchie.

Skeet Shooting

Shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun at Phuket Shooting Range
2 June 2013
There was a firearms post in the previous anniversary post (and also the 1st sixthseal.com blog anniversary post) and I’m proud to continue this tradition this year. This time it’s some skeet shooting action from Phuket!

A trip to the SS2 wet market (pasar pagi)
28 July 2013
The domestication of sixthseal.com. smirk

Rosti Pie

Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney
30 July 2013
I do a spot of cooking. You can find all my cooking posts by clicking on the Cooking category. I’m particularly proud of:
Unagi with Kansas City BBQ sauce and single malt Scotch whisky
How to Make Stuffed Artichokes
Guide to cooking an artichoke
Sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with garlic and mushrooms in white wine
Buttered King Grouper with White Wine Reduction in Bouchees Poissons
Homemade Creamy Broccoli Pesto with Pasta
How to French Cut a whole chicken into a crown of breast (step-by-step with photos)
Wild flower honey and dates marinated free range chicken rice from scratch!
Sweet pineapple + Greek yoghurt sandwich with alfalfa sprouts & beans, vintage cheddar and Chiang Mai strawberry on Poppy seed bread
How to make venison steak tartare
We really cooked a lot in this year, it’s a passion we share together. :)

Fireworks accident: Aerial starburst shell from 3″ mortar explodes on ground after hitting obstruction!
8 August 2013
This has happened many times before, some with catastrophically destructive consequences. This wasn’t so bad in comparison, but it was the only time I managed to catch it on camera as a video clip! What happened in a nutshell:

  1. First shell of the five inside the mortar tube launched
  2. It had such a powerful lift charge the mortar tube shifted
  3. Second shell still left the tube safely and burst in the air
  4. Third shell hit the metal slab and bounced back down and burst one meter away
  5. Videographer (me) shouted “Shit!” in surprise at the force of the blast
  6. Forth shell exploded right in front of me, showering me with flaming debris
  7. I shouted “Fuck!” in a bit of a panic as I saw the mortar canted at an angle towards the house
  8. Fifth and last shell went into the porch and exploded beside a car

Pig Skin Noodles

Pork skin noodles – making noodles out of pig skin
9 September 2013
This is one of my kitchen experiments. It didn’t turn out very well. Haha.

Langkawi Trip

Highlights of our Langkawi trip: A foul madame, Underwater World and chocolates
15 September 2013
I bring the kids and my better half to the island resort of Langkawi for our first family trip outside of Klang Valley! :)

RM35 Sibu Noodles

The infamous RM 35 bowl of noodles in Sibu!
16 October 2013
My dear came back to Sibu with me for the first time! She met my mom and dad, and they both loved her, which was a good thing since my mom passed on not long after this. It’s shocking to think that in the span of a few months, my mom went from fine, to assisted walking (with her stick), to wheelchair, to bed-ridden before she finally left us. I’m glad my mom knows I am in good hands before she went.

Morib Family Photo

Our weekend trip to Gold Coast Morib Resort!
23 October 2013
This is another trip we took with the kids just a month after our Langkawi trip – the smallest one is about to start school so we’re making the most of the time while she still can go. Now both of them are in school so we can only do trips on school holidays.

Berlin Wall

My visit to the Berlin Wall
6 December 2013
I finally write about my visit to Berlin! This is the second time I’ve been to Germany and this trip covers Dresden, Wolfsburg, and Frankfurt too. The Berlin Wall now is slightly tourist kitsch but that doesn’t take away from its historical significance.

Christmas Dinner

Our Christmas / New Year Turkey, Brussels Sprout and Peach Trifle Dinner!
3 January 2014
This is the start of a wonderful tradition – I cook a turkey and we invite her mom and dad over for dinner, it’s a great family gathering with the kids and everyone else.

MasterChef Dinner

Our MasterChef Australia 5-Course Dinner @ the apartment
8 January 2014
This is actually an Christmas present from my dear. She comes up with the best gift ideas. We both enjoyed the dinner immensely.

I found Finnish fireworks for sale in KL!
20 January 2014
You know it’s the start of Chinese New Year when I start writing about fireworks. :D

Poon Choy

Poon Choi @ Restaurant Lee Hong Kee
15 February 2014
This is another great family tradition that we started this year – having poon choy (big bowl feast) together with her mom and dad. The kids enjoyed our two traditions so much that they’ve requested for turkey this year again. I love cooking turkey for Christmas and hunting for a good poon choy during Chinese New Year.

Staycation

10 things we did during our weekend staycation
25 February 2014
I love taking the time out to spend quality time with my soul mate, even if it’s just a staycation at a hotel in the middle of KL, it still feels like a holiday! It’s not about where you go, but who you go with.

Gordon Ramsay Duck Breast

Gordon Ramsay’s duck breast with Madeira jus, tomatillo apple cranberry chutney and parsnip purée
2 March 2014
This is one of my more successful dishes. It’s delicious, if I may say so myself. The other one is the Poached chicken breast with beetroot and nectarine purée.

Mom Funeral

My mom’s funeral
25 March 2014
My dear came down to be with me in this time of need. My mom passed on earlier in the month – it’s a good thing all of us were beside her at the time. We had her wake a few days later. I didn’t post much this month – only 5, the lowest ever recorded in sixthseal.com history, except for the time I restarted blogging after losing everything when coming out of drug rehab (a story I will share in my proper 13th anniversary post tomorrow).

My other social media sites:
Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/sixthseal
YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/sixthsealdotcom
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/sixthseal
http://www.facebook.com/SixthSealcom

Here’s the list of my previous of blog anniversary posts:
2003: sixthseal.com 1st Birthday
2004: sixthseal.com 2nd Birthday!
2005: sixthseal.com 3rd Birthday!
2006: sixthseal.com 4th Birthday!
2007: I was in rehab. There are (officially) no posts in 2007.
2008: I just got out of rehab. There is no 2007 recap to be done coz there are no posts in that year.
2009: Seven years of sixthseal.com
2010: I was in New Zealand at the time while my mom underwent an operation for lung cancer. I’m not sure what happened to the blog anniversary post, most likely I didn’t do one coz I was too caught up with stuff. Time for another retrograde!
2011: Happy 9th bloganivarsary sixthseal.com!
2012: Happy Blogday – 10 years of sixthseal.com!
2013: Happy Blogniversary – 11 years of sixthseal.com!

That’s it! I’ve finished playing catch-up, the timeline is now restored to normal.

Rave

Thanks for reading everyone, and I’ll be back tomorrow for the PROPER sixthseal.com 13th blog anniversary post, which falls on the 19th April 2015! :)

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