Limited Edition Shell V-Power LEGO Collection 2015

Shell LEGO 2015

LEGOs! I just love them. I started out with the classic LEGO bricks when I was growing up and I’ve always enjoyed building stuff with LEGO bricks. I never lost my passion for miniature toys, when the Star Wars prequels came out in 2005, I bought the Darth Vader sets. It sat on my office desk as a proud testament to my love for LEGOs.

Building LEGOs

My better half and the kids adore LEGOs as well.


I always make it a point to buy the kids LEGOs during their birthdays (and even when it’s not) so we can all play together as a family since it’s something we all enjoy. It’s one of the few things the kids like to do besides playing with iPads and such so it’s always a good thing when we can spend quality time together.

Build LEGOs

I feel that it’s better than pacifying kids with electronic devices. Playing with LEGOs is a fun and positive family experience and I can’t stress enough on how much it has helped us keep the kids occupied.

Ferrari LEGO

Thus, it is with great delight when I found out that Shell is doing another LEGO collectible run with Ferrari as their partner. I hungrily lusted for them and managed to get the entire set of 7, which we built together as a family during the weekend.

LEGO Ferrari

The Shell V-Power LEGO Collection comes out every Sunday from 1st November 2015 to 13th December 2015 and features:

LEGO Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ferrari F12berlinetta
This is Ferrari’s fastest ever road car, which debuted in 2012. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 730 BHP output. This LEGO model is built with 44 bricks.

LEGO Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138
The F138 is the 59th Formula One car built by Scuderia Ferrari for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. It’s the last year they used the V8 engine before switching to the V6 and this car was driven to two Grand Prix victories by Fernando Alonso. The name comes from the production year and the 8th and final year they used the V8 engine in F1. This model is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO
This is one of Ferrari’s most legendary GT (Grand Touring) cars. There are only 39 ever produced and it debuted in 1962. The 250 GTO is one of the rarest and most sought after vintage Ferrari models in the world. This Ferrari 250 GTO is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 512 S

Ferrari 512 S
This 5 litre V12 GT racer was produced in 1970 and debuted that year at the 24 Hours of Daytona before going on to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring 4 overall wins and 2 category wins. There are only 25 Ferrari 512 S ever produced. This LEGO model has 49 bricks.

LEGO Finish Line and Podium

Finish Line and Podium
This playset includes a Start/Finish line, winner’s podium, Scuderia Ferrari Engineer LEGO minifigure, pit board and chequered flag. I love this minifigure – it comes in a Ferrari uniform and is a precious addition to our collection. The set has 63 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Station

Shell Station
This playset is modelled after the Shell station at Scuderia Ferrari’s Fiorano track in Maranello and comes with a Shell Fuels Scientist LEGO minifigure. I highly recommend this one if you collect minifigures too. The set has 79 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Tanker

Shell Tanker
Shell Tankers transport fuel to more than 40,000 service stations worldwide each day. You’ve probably seen one on the roads or in a Shell station. This model is a limited release model and it’s the only vehicle in the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection that doesn’t have the pullback motor. This is built with 93 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Race Track

Yup, we built every single model during the weekend. It was a lot of fun, everyone made at least one and we played with them in various scenarios. I even had a cardboard cutout race track with 3D pop-up elements and we tried racing on it. Haha.

Shell VPower LEGOs

This is a great way to build awesome moments with Shell. Get your hands on the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection by popping in to your nearest Shell station. They range from RM 9.90 to RM 13.90 and you can get it with a minimum RM 40 purchase of Shell V-Power or Shell FuelSave or a 4 litre purchase of Shell Helix motor oil.

Shell V-Power LEGOs

What better way to spend the school holidays than building a LEGO race track and Ferrari model cars with your kids?


You can also share them on social media with #ReadySetBuild – our photos of the building moments and finished LEGO models are there too!

Shell LEGOs

My dear and I have even started up a blog and Instagram account dedicated to LEGO minifigures called – you can read about our Track Days project featuring the limited edition Shell V-Power LEGO 2015 collection by clicking the link! :)

A night spent wardriving

Damansara Utama

Okay, maybe wardriving is the wrong definition, but it did bring back memories of doing exactly this back in the early 2000’s when WiFi hotspots were hard to come by. You’ll be surprised at just how many unsecured WiFi Aps there were back then. Back to the point, I have armed myself with an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile SIM card and the Open Signal app to see how the network performs.


I was quite surprised when I started up the new iPhone 6 and saw the coverage was just limited to 3G at my home.


(I later found out that this was untrue)


Not to be deterred, I started my adventure by going to Damansara Utama and was puzzled to see it was *still* in 3G in an area I know has 4G coverage.

U Mobile 3G

A quick check with Open Signal showed that the download speed was 9 Mbps. That’s more than most HSPA+ speeds and it’s the fastest of ALL 4 major telcos! I was flummoxed for a very long time until I got this message:

LTE Active

Mystery solved! It turns out that it takes a couple of hours before 4G LTE is enabled when you first use the SIM card.


I went to TTDI to check the entertainment outlets near boatHouse and found out that the Taman Tun Dr Ismail area is covered by 4G as well with a very commendable 12.92 Mbps upload.

U Mobile Speed Test

I swung back and went to Mutiara Damansara and monitored the coverage map along the way.

Mutiara Damansara

Yes, there are gaps in 4G LTE coverage, with 3G only areas in between, but for the most part, the densely populated and built up areas are all 4G.


The Sunway Giza area in Kota Damansara is also covered by U Mobile’s 4G coverage so I thought it was strange that my place (which is just opposite the mall) is not.

U Mobile LTE Kota Damansara

It turns out that my home is also covered by 4G – not that I’ll need it much as I have WiFi at home. My primary Internet connection is quite fast as Open Signal shows:

Home Fiber Speed

This sounds right according to the U Mobile #datastrongnetwork media briefing I went to.

Umobile Data Strong Network

U Mobile has completed the first phase of their 4G LTE network ahead of schedule with 1,000 new 4G sites. The coverage is not just limited to Klang Valley, but also Putrajaya, Seremban, Port Dickson and Johor Bahru. I’ve heard the top brass there share their philosophy on the 4G rollouts and it’s quite solid.

Umobile Event

They plan to implement 5,000 new 4G LTE sites over the next 5 years, with a concentration on urban areas. I thought that was a good plan as people would want to have high speeds at places where they’re most often at during work and play and that means high density coverage in high density areas.

U Mobile 4G LTE Speeds

I’ve also been loaned an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile prepaid SIM card to test it out for myself and the results of the tests are very promising. The areas I’ve driven too has faster Internet speeds than most people have at home (discounting myself, I’m on a very expensive high speed fiber line). I see areas around me having up to 17.60 Mbps speeds (!!!) and that’s A LOT faster than 90% (maybe even 99%) of most home broadband solutions.

iPhone Hotspot

It even rivals my 30 Mbps home fiber line!

Personal Hotspot

I even tried using it as a Personal Hotspot in Mutiara Damansara (coz at the time I didn’t know my home had 4G LTE) and it loaded everything on my notebook fine. It’s perfect for data-on-the-go – U Mobile has truly solved their teething problems and become the only data-centric telco in Malaysia.

U Mobile 4G

It was quite an enlightening experience. I learned that there are lots of places with 4G LTE coverage around me. I know the U Mobile 4G coverage is good in KL but it was nice to find out that the 4G areas extend to the outskirts of Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.

U Mobile 3G 4G Coverage

I verified it for myself during the late night real world testing – the data was fast and reliable with low latency.

Personal thoughts:

When I started out, I didn’t expect much from the U Mobile network. I have heard some negative things about it (these were all a couple of years ago) so I took it with a grain of salt when they said all the overload issues in the past has been resolved. I am pleased to report that this is actually true – the U Mobile 4G LTE is extremely fast and consistently comes in as the top performer of all four major telcos (as shown in Open Signal).

I have since used it for close to a month and have been very happy with my experience with the U Mobile data network. I tend to use a lot of data from gaming (play a lot of Hearthstone) so I want a fast and reliable data service when I’m not on my premium connection at home. To be honest I thought I didn’t need a fast and reliable network when I’m out and about but it turns out that expectation (or lack thereof) is a learned behavior.

Ever since I’ve been on the 4G LTE network of U Mobile, I have raised my standards and expect my data to be fast even when I’m out. I want the smooth YouTube streaming I’ve been getting for the past month, the seamless loading of Facebook, the fast Instagram refreshes and all that. I’ve learned not to expect it with my previous telco but now that I’ve been exposed to real speed, I am expecting it now and that’s why I’m using U Mobile as my primary line.

Lok Lok

I also found out that lok lok trucks are still around at 3 am in the morning. I was hungry after all that driving and ran up a RM 16 bill here. Seriously though, it was a good strategy for U Mobile to loan the phones and SIM cards for testing, personally I’m impressed with the network and will switch over to the Hero P70 package to save myself from the current prices I’m paying with another telco.

The best way to combat haze (and sinus problems)

Sharp Air Purifier Haze Mode

We have a huge haze problem every year due to the forest fires from a neighboring country. Schools have been closed, airports shut down and lives disrupted due to the haze. Therefore, it may seem puzzling that our API (Air Pollutant Index) seem to be much lower than Singapore’s PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) – especially if we can see and feel that the haze is really bad.

Sharp Air Purifier

There is a reason why you should not believe publicly available figures of API – it’s an outdated method of measuring pollutants over a 24 hour period. There is no accounting for highest level of the day or very fine particulate matter, which is why we’ll have a reading of say, 99 API when it’s actually 200 API at the moment.

Sharp Air Purifier Haze

This method of “averaging” the hourly API readings over a 24 hour period will “dilute” the readings and give a better forecast than it really is. Worse still, our government uses the archaic PM10 (Particulate Matter smaller than 10 micrometers) instead of the newer PM2.5 (suspended particulates smaller than 2.5 micrometers in aerodynamic diameter).

Sharp Air Purifier Assembly

Thus, the API readings in our country are balderdash compared to Singapore, which has PSI readings for the past 24 hours, 3 hours and past 1 hour, with the highest reading displayed and used. However, just coz we can’t change policy doesn’t mean we can’t change the way we live – I have the new Sharp Mosquito Catcher Air Purifier!

Sharp Mosquito Catcher Air Purifier

This is really an awesome device, the first in the world and launched today, on the 30th September 2015. I was lucky enough to be furnished with a device one week before and tested it out with my better half. This Sharp Mosquito Catcher Air Purifier has a Haze mode which features a high density Plasmacluster ion technology to powerfully and quickly remove airborne particles.

Glue Sheet

It’s also the first unit in the world to have an integrated Mosquito Catcher – this is developed in conjunction with Japan and it’s the reason why the unit only comes in black. Black apparently attracts mosquitos and the better air flow of the new Plasmacluster ionizer and air purifier sucks any pesky mosquitos into the unit and onto a glue patch.

Mosquito Catching

I’ll show you how that works:

Mosquito Tray

1. There is a Mosquito Tray which you assemble (easily done) to fit into the back of the unit

Mosquito Catcher

2. The Glue Sheet goes on top of it and catches all mosquitoes that comes into the unit

Sharp Plasmacluster Mosquito Catcher

That’s basically how the Mosquito Catcher function works but it involves more than that – the UV light attracts mosquitoes, the direction of the air flow “catches” flying mosquitoes and directs them into the glue sheet and trap. It’s actually quite complicated but for the user (that’s you and me) you only need to do a few quick folds and it’s done!

Sharp Air Purifier New

Best of all it’s 100% non-toxic and safe for the family!

Sharp Air Purifier Settings

The new Sharp Mosquito Catcher Air Purifier works really well – it can provide ionizing and air purifying benefits to a room 30m2. There’s also a HEPA filter with a 2-step dust collection system which is meant to filter haze and particulates (in addition to bad smells and odors). We’ve been keeping it on 24 hours a day and it works very well in providing restful sleep.

Sharp Air Purifier HEPA Filter

My better half has sinus problems and tends to wake up sniffling (due to dust) and I have to pat her forehead to get her back to sleep or else she’ll really go into a sneezing fit and wake up with a runny nose. I heard her sneeze *once* the first night it was on and she stopped sneezing after that.

Sharp Air Purifier Mosquito Catcher

I’m a firm believer in the Sharp Mosquito Catcher Air Purifier after witnessing that. It not only deals with haze you can see and smells you can well, smell, but also invisible particulates which causes sinus problems.

Sharp Air Purifier Sleep Mode

There’s a Sleep Mode which turns down the lights too (although I quite like the lights as it doubles as a night light) and it just runs on 3.5W when it’s in that mode so you won’t get a shock when the electricity bill arrives.

Our Mid-Autumn Festival 2015

Mid-Autumn Festival

I was out with the kids last week when we saw a shop selling lanterns for Mid-Autumn Festival. These are the newer cellophane type lanterns instead of the paper ones we had as kids.

Mid-Autumn Lanterns

I remember the bigger one got a similar type during Mid-Autumn two years ago – it was a dragon and she wanted the *same* one for this year. Haha.

Godzilla Lantern

We all chose one and in the end she went for a dinosaur (looks like a baby T-Rex with wings – Godzilla?)…

Goldfish Lantern

…while her younger sister went for a goldfish.

Rooster Lantern

I made my better half choose a rooster coz I thought it represented our Zodiac, but I was wrong, we share the same star sign in Western astrology, but different ones in the Chinese 生肖.

Elephant Lantern

I got myself a jumbo elephant for no particular reason.

Mid-Autumn Lantern

We played outside the house and the kids were so afraid of burning down the lanterns (coz a similar thing happened in 2013) that they ended up playing with the candles instead. :)

Playing with Candles

It was a lot of fun though and we also had a whole bunch of mooncakes. I’ll get on it, the annual mooncake roundup is coming up tomorrow!

The new Sharp AQUOS Ultra HD 4K Android Digital TV

Sharp AQUOS 4K AndroidTV

I was just thinking of getting a new TV for my better half. Knowing that she would love to explore new technology, I was looking at getting her something contemporary instead of a conventional TV. My place is actually quite near the Sharp-Roxy Sales & Service Company’s showroom, I dropped over last week to look at their latest AQUOS range and while I was browsing, I was introduced to their latest Ultra HD 4K Android Digital TV. These are the sets that just launched on the 10th of August 2015.

4KTV Games

This is the top-of-the-line 65″ UE630X series with 4K/UHD resolution and their proprietary 4K Master Engine Pro chipset. The colors are immensely rich with deep reds and vivid greens – there’s a 14% improvement over their previous flagship 4K offering and you can visibly see the difference!

Android 4KTV

The 4K TV is also powered by Android but it’s not the previous generation Android that was made for phones, and thus looks like a smartphone interface. I’ve seen that system and it had a lot of problems with some apps since it was made for a smartphone instead of a TV. Now, the new AQUOS LED 4K TV runs AndroidTVTM which is tailor-made for a TV experience.

AndroidTV OS

This is very important as the interface is MUCH slicker and easier to use with the provided remote (which also has a combination touchpad in the middle). You can log into Google to instantly see the latest videos, songs and games you’ve played right as your Favorites and on top for ease of access.

Smartphone TV Remote

Best of all, you can connect your smartphone to the Sharp AQUOS 4K UHD TV and it will act as a remote control!

Android Cast TV

The user interface is also improved and the experience of navigation is very easy and intuitive with the new AndroidTVTM OS. This is made for television and it feels like it was made for your remote (instead of a smartphone) – bigger icons, better organization, slicker navigation.

Smartphone TV Voice Search

I love how the Sharp AQUOS TV remote also has a Voice Search. Yup, this is the very same Google voice search so it already recognizes your voice. I just had to press a button and say “NOFX” (it’s pronounced “No Eff Ecks”, as in “No Effects” not “N-O-F-X” and the Voice Search got it right the very first time and showed me the YouTube videos of my favorite band.

AndroidTV Remote

Check out more of what the Sharp AQUOS TV remote can do in this video:

I can also use a third-party controller to play games. This is hooked up via Bluetooth and it works perfectly while I’m playing Google Play Games.

Mi Bluetooth Controller

Your smartphone can also be used to view photos and videos using Android Cast. You just need to connect to your home WiFi for this media server feature. This mirrors, or rather, casts the content of your smartphone to your TV so you can view it in a larger format. You can cast just about anything from YouTube videos to the pictures you took using your smartphone.

Smartphone Connect TV

Yes, this also includes the stuff you have in Google Drive and Dropbox – it can stream files in your cloud storage too. The Google Cast feature is not just limited to Android smartphones but also to iPhones and other iOS devices like your iPad!

Android Cast 4KTV

You get the benefit of full 4K resolution when watching YouTube videos filmed in 4K and play games at 4K resolution too.

Android Cast

The premium UE630X Sharp AQUOS TV comes in three sizes – 50″, 58″ and the 65″ you see in the pictures here. I love it, I’m planning to get one…after our Bali and Japan trip. :)

Android Cast YouTube

If you’re interested in what Sharp AQUOS have got to offer, check out the links below:

Sharp AQUOS Facebook page:
Global 4K Android:

Saturday Night Fever The Musical 2015 in KL (and backstage tour with cast!)

Saturday Night Fever KL

I was at the opening night of the Saturday Night Fever The Musical in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday night. This is not the original or Revival version, the song list is similar to the 2014 UK Tour Production that premiered in Bath, England with different casting. The main character Tony Manero is played by Brandon Rubendall, who pulled it off perfectly.

Saturday Night Fever Kuala Lumpur

I got to meet him and Carla Guevara-Laforteza at the end of the musical during the backstage tour.

Saturday Night Fever Backstage Pass

Yeah, I was lucky enough to get a media and backstage pass, courtesy of Nuffnang (thanks Jack and Samantha!) and it was an awesome performance by the cast overall. A lot of the cast came from Broadway backgrounds in New York.

This is the second time I’ve seen Saturday Night Fever and during the first, I never heard the word “spic” and was quite surprised to hear it here.

Saturday Night Fever The Musical

That word is considered a racial slur nowadays, along with the n-word (though the latter did not make an appearance due to its offensiveness to every single culture). My theory is that not many Malaysians are familiar with the term – interestingly, the term is missing from Strictly Ballroom The Musical, but IIRC appears in the movie version.

Saturday Night Fever Merchandise

I managed to get an official Saturday Night Fever The Musical fridge magnet for my dear.

Saturday Night Fever 2015

The opening night of Saturday Night Fever The Musical was slightly marred by bad weather – it was flooding in some places and visibility was down to almost zero but it started more or less on time. There were constant interruptions in terms of people who came in but I thought the ushers did a pretty good job in waiting until musical numbers were done before getting the late-comers seated.

I actually didn’t know that we could take photos or I would have brought my dSLR. We were allowed to take photos and videos not exceeding 2 minutes during the first four (4) numbers. I managed to use my better half’s iPhone to do it, my apologies for the quality.

Saturday Night Fever Stage

The seating was perfect too – the tickets we were allocated were VIP tickets so it was right in the middle of the action. Istana Budaya has pretty good acoustics too and I thought the cast did a really good job.

I was impressed by the special effects too – there was a sequence which simulated a train going by right after the death of a character (don’t consider this a spoiler since everyone knows the plot by now) and it did so very realistically with the video screens, strobe effects and the metal scaffolding of the bridge, which we later got to see close up.

Saturday Night Fever Backstage

There is no rape scene in this production though so I thought it was a bit confusing to new viewers for continuity and the end scene isn’t as impactful because of that.

Saturday Night Fever Props

We got to go for a backstage tour after the musical too – it was led by one of the cast members and we got the see the props and set up close.

Here’s a video of the backstage, cast and interesting facts about the production.

Saturday Night Fever Call Board

I loved the backstage tour, I thought I’ll give everyone a glimpse of the magic that goes into a production so here’s your backstage pass!

I got a photo with the lead character of Saturday Night Fever The Musical – Brandon Rubendall (Tony Manero)!

Brandon Rubendall Tony Manero

He was nice and kind enough to do the signature pose with me, which prompted another guy to ask me to re-take a photo with him doing that as well. smirk

Saturday Night Fever Backstage Tour

Saturday Night Fever The Musical runs from 4th – 13th September 2015 in Istana Budaya, KL. You can get your tickets from Milestone Productions by calling 03-9222 8811. Tickets starts from RM 138. I highly recommend it if you like musicals and if you loved the original movie featuring John Travolta.

I accidentally joined the Bersih 4 protest rally

Bersih 4

With hindsight, I should have suspected something was amiss. None of my fellow compatriots spoke a word of Thai. I was more than a little puzzled at their t-shirts saying Bersih 4, since I didn’t know what that meant.

Bersih 4 KL

All I know is that I woke up on the 29th of August and drove to join the PAD (no, that’s not a transcription error for DAP – it actually means People’s Alliance for Democracy or พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย) – the yellow shirts.

Bersih 4 Media

I didn’t know how long I was driving but I got stuck at Kelana Jaya so I stopped my car and went with the sea of yellow to board the LRT.

Bersih 4 Malays

I saw them getting off at Pasar Seni LRT and went with them, expecting to rally against Thaksin.

Bersih 4 Kuala Lumpur

I thought it was great that there were so many foreigners with us, it seemed like the royalist movement is really gaining some serious momentum!

Bersih 4 Police

The crowd got stopped by a veritable wall of police at the barricades around Dataran Merdeka so we walked up the highway flyover.

Bersih 4 Barricades

There was a huge police presence with ballistic vests all loaded up in trucks. These personnel carriers are all full of our dutiful men in blue at the back, and even had drivers at their seats, ready to deploy.

Bersih 4 Protest

Of course, I thought it was slightly perplexing that the emblems spelled “POLIS” instead of “POLICE” but I didn’t give it much thought at the time.

Bersih 4 Speakers

It was, after all, a beautiful day and I managed to go all the way to the front of the stage where the speakers were.

The speeches were a little confusing to me since there were bits I didn’t quite understand – keywords like “1MDB”, “Najib”, and “USD 700 million” were being bandied around. Baffling! I honestly don’t know what that had to do with Shinawatra.

Bersih 4 Me

I sat down in front and absorbed the bewildering and unfamiliar atmosphere, mulling and brooding over what was going on.

Bersih 4 Crowd

Suddenly, it dawned on me – this *wasn’t* about Yingluck…

Bersih 4 Dataran Merdeka

It seems that in my haste, I had driven all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I was at the banned Bersih 4 protest in KL!

Bersih 4 Rally

Words cannot describe how shocked and dismayed I was to have mistakenly participated in an illegal rally, since I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen.

Bersih 4 Protestors

Thoroughly disgusted with myself, I immediately left the prohibited gathering with my Thai Patriots Network shirt. It took me 34 hours to drive back to Bangkok, indignant at my inadvertent blunder. smirk

Microsoft Surface 3 with Docking Station Review

Using Surface 3

I’ve been using the Surface 3 for a couple of months now. I have the works – the Microsoft Surface 3 128 GB unit with 4 GB RAM, Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, and even the Surface 3 Docking Station!

Surface 3 Working

As someone who just started my own company, having a portable notebook is very important to me. The Surface 3 has basically replaced both my conventional notebook and tablet since I only need to bring this to meetings and while working on the go. It’s truly an all-in-1 device to replace your notebook, PC, and tablets.

Surface 3 Multitasking

The processing power of the Surface 3 is more than sufficient for work…

Surface 3 Games

…and play.

Heroes of the Storm

I can even run Heroes of the Storm on it! The quad core Intel Atom x7 processor inside the Surface 3 allows you to run all native Windows applications, which is the point of this device.

Surface 3 Starcraft

Think of an app you want/need to run – Photoshop, Word, or Call of Duty. The Surface 3 can run it without problems since it runs ALL Windows programs, not just a pared down app. Of course, you can still use your favorite touch apps but what’s unique about the Surface 3 is that it runs all my essential desktop software smoothly.

Surface3 Work

I frequently work at cafes where I can get my daily caffeine fix and use their WiFi to reply emails or write a proposal. I’ve often encountered conversations like these:

Stranger: OMG! Where did you download that app?
Me: It’s not an app, it’s the full program.
Stranger: What do you mean? You mean the program has been made into an app?
Me: No, this is the original desktop software.
Stranger: That’s not a tablet then? *stares at me and the device suspiciously*
Me: It’s a complete notebook – anything you can run on a PC, you can run on this.
Stranger: No way!

Surface 3 Video

They then proceed to examine my Surface 3 with great interest and dragging me into a conversation I didn’t plan for, thus undermining my work time. I think I’ve been a great evangelist for the Surface 3 though. :)

Surface 3 Review

I can use my Surface 3 as a tablet or a notebook (with the Surface 3 Type Cover). I usually require the keyboard of the Surface 3 Type Cover to work as my line of work entails doing a lot of typing and I’m just used to a physical keyboard.

Surface 3 Tablet Mode

However, tablet mode is great for reading ebooks and news – which I usually do on the porcelain throne in the morning. No worries, I haven’t dropped it so far. On a serious note, the Surface 3 Pen is really awesome too, especially if you’re using it as a tablet. I’ve already written about that in a previous post

Surface Docking Station

The Surface 3 is even more useful to me now that I have the Surface 3 Docking Station. The Surface 3 is equipped with a USB 3.0 port but I need more than that so I have to use a 4-socket USB port/extender when I come home to insert all my external hard disk drives, wireless mouse and smartphone charger/data cable.

Surface 3 Office

This is the thing that I needed to turn the Surface 3 into not just a tablet and notebook but a full-fledged PC! I can connect it to a HD LCD monitor, use the Gigabit Ethernet port for a more secure connection to my network, play music on the home speaker setup with subwoofers that I have with the audio out, and utilize the 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports.

Surface 3 Docking Station

The Surface 3 Docking Station is really ideal for people wanting to get the most bang for their buck and using the Surface 3 as a notebook, tablet and PC. It also automatically charges the Surface 3 when it’s docked and there’s a Mini DisplayPort video output which you can use for a larger monitor (or in our case for watching movies).

Surface 3 Movie

I’m not kidding, sometimes you download movies which has video or audio codecs which your television doesn’t support. You can use the Mini DisplayPort video output to go straight into your TV and not risk the Surface 3 from running out of battery coz it’s charging at the same time.

Surface 3 Pen Holder

There’s also a magnetic side that doubles as a nifty storage solution for the Surface pen so you don’t lose it as well as a security lock slot in the Surface 3 Docking Station, but so far I haven’t found any use for the latter. I don’t have any light-fingered friends or family but if you’re in an office environment it could be useful for you.

Surface 3 Heroes of the Storm

I’ve been very happy with the Surface 3. It’s been in use on daily basis and has replaced my notebook, tablet and PC with just one single device. It’s fast and the Surface 3 Docking Station was the final detail that allowed me to use it exclusively and relegate my old and slow PC to a cloud storage system. I only wish I can keep it coz it’s so integrated into my lifestyle now.

Yee Leng & Wing Fei’s 9-course Wedding Dinner @ Jaya Palace

Jaya Palace

I’ve been to their pre-wedding dinner, become a heng tai (brother) at Wing Fei’s Chinese wedding door games, and now it’s the night of the actual dinner at Jaya Palace.

Jaya Palace Restaurant

My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it smirk).

Jaya Palace Wedding

Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.

Wedding Money

There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.

The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!

Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw

Scallop Fish Maw Soup

I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).

Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus

Steamed Estuary Grouper

One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.

Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn

Pepper Salt Prawns

The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom

Braised Sea Cucumber

Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom

Steamed Glutinous Rice

This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.

Special Fancy Pastries

Special Fancy Pastries

These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.

Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus

Tong Sui

I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.

Wedding Photo

Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)

My teeth stopped hurting!

Ill Fitting Aligners

I’ve been having problems with my teeth lately…or more specifically, my gums. I’ve been on Invisalign for several months now and I noticed that the back of my jaw hurts whenever I put the aligners on.

I chalked it down to the Invisalign treatment working its magic and ignored the pain each and every time I had to put them back on after I finish my meals.
It makes sense that aligning your teeth would sting (at least a little) right?

Cutting Aligners

However, it started getting worse and the next time I was at Imperial Dental Bangsar, I told my orthodontist about the discomfort. She told me it doesn’t sound normal at all and after showing her where it was tender, she immediately isolated the problem.

It wasn’t the Invisalign treatment that was hurting my gums after all – it was due to the very back of the aligners pressing *into* my gums! It turns out that everyone’s teeth is sized differently and the standard set was a little too large for my molars so it impacted the gums.

Cutting Invisalign

I didn’t even realize it was my gums that were sore, I thought it was my teeth!

Thus, the good people at Imperial Dental Bangsar helped me to custom cut my bottom aligners. The back of the bottom right side was taken off quite a bit – scissors were used to make a sideways L cutaway so it won’t touch my gums. I tested it and found out that the ache on my right was gone but my left side was starting to smart.

Cutting Invisalign Aligners

Heh! It turns out that BOTH sides were in contact with my gums but since the right side was much more painful so I didn’t even realize that the left side was in distress!

It takes a very good orthodontist to be able to isolate and treat conditions like this. I felt comfortable talking to the people there, or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I’ve always thought I had a high tolerance to pain and tend to suffer in silence.

Fixing Invisalign

Good thing Dr. Salma and Dr. Stephanie (my orthodontists) diagnosed what was wrong and fixed the bottom aligners on both sides by cutting it to my teeth size and sanding it down so the edges aren’t sharp. They helped me cut and sand the next few aligners too, so I don’t have to do it myself – they all fit properly and painlessly now.

Invisalign Fix

It’s little details like this that gives Imperial Dental Bangsar the good name they have (really, ask anyone who’s been there about their service) and I’m glad they’re the ones taking me through this 2 year journey to a perfect smile. :)

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