french house kl

I was at Maison Francaise a couple of days ago for a launch. The restaurant, literally translated, means “French House”. It’s located on Embassy Row and serves pretty decent Black Angus Carpaccio – thin slices of marbled beef topped with slivers of cheese and finely diced tomatoes.

black angus carpaccio

Oh, and they had really good organic pumpkin juice too but that was not the reason I was there.

headphones

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST Media Launch in Malaysia was the first to incorporate the use of headphones for the entire event. I was quite puzzled when I walked into the dark room and was handed a pair of noise-cancelling headsets with blinking LEDs.

headphones only

I was given a short primer on how to turn it on and adjust the volume and set down for the presentation.

michelin primacy media launch

The headphones are meant to illustrate the “ST” bit of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST – the Silence Tuned part. These new types has a unique tread pattern that makes it run much more silently than all its competitors and the headphones used for the entire duration of the launch is a great idea to showcase this.

headphones wearing crowd

It was such a great idea that when I recorded a video of the interviews done with limo drivers who had gotten an advance set of these tyres, I didn’t realize that I could hear it coz I was on headphones but the rest of the room is silent.

I present to you this video I took. Haha! Apart from the occasional coughs and clearing of throats, the entire room was silent – coz everyone was on headphones. I was on them too and though it was recording as usual, not realizing that there isn’t any sound from the room at all. No worries though, it has subtitles coz the people were speaking dialects like Hokkien. ;)

headphones only event

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres have several advanced features that provides you with silence, comfort and safety:

EvenPeak Technology
Gives you a ride 8% quieter than average of competitors with a greater variation in the size and position of the tread blocks, the noise power is spread across a wider frequency range, making no peaks of noise power.

CushionGuard Technology
Keeps the ride smooth, steady and comfortable. Cushion vibrations when the tread blocks contact the road surface using supple FlexMax compounds and absorbs bumps in the road using shock absorbent sidewalls.

michelin media launch

FlexMax Technology
With FlexMax technology, the tread adapts to the irregularities of the road surface for better connection and grip. FlexMax chamfer prevents the tread block from distorting and losing contact pressure under the centre of tread blocks, ensuring maximum rubber contact with the road when needed most.

StabiliGrip Technology
StabiliGrip technology uses self-locking bands inside the small grooves to minimise tread block deformation, improving handling and cut through water in the wet.

michelin primacy3 launch

MICHELIN Total Performance
At MICHELIN, we don’t just improve tyre performance one aspect at a time, but deliver all performance factors together. This means that you’ll experience the silence, comfort and safety of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres, whilst also enjoying 25% better longevity.

Yup, all the new performance enhancements comes with no degradation of longevity – in fact, it provides 25% longer lasting tyres when compared to the previous iterations. These are not tests done somewhere in Europe, which can cast doubts on their functionality here, but actually done on drives inside Malaysia!

michelin primacy 3 st

The Stabiligrip and FlexMax technology combines to achieve a 1.6 meter shorter braking distance in wet conditions compared to its predecessor and a staggering 2.9 meters compared to the average of leading competitors!

As drivers, I’m sure you all can fully understand the significance of even a single meter – it is a very practical and useful feature which you might thank the heavens for someday.

michelin primacy 3

On to less morbid topics, the new MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST is available in 16” to 19” sizes in Malaysia and distributed at all TYREPLUS and Michelin authorized dealers nationwide. It’s priced from RM 480 onwards.

maison francaise

Surf on over to the MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST site for more videos on how their technology works or Like the MICHELIN Facebook page and see photos from the unique launch event! :)

star interview

I was interviewed in The Star on Monday. It’s in News on page S10 in the Sarawak Edition done by Calvin Yeo. You can also view the entire interview in the link. Cheers mate! :)

Anyway, some updates about today:

Free chicken!!!

free chicken

We just got back from grocery shopping at TCM. She wanted to eat the oyster mee sua at Shihlin. I ordered two bowls and two bottles of mineral water. The person asked if I ordered chicken. I didn’t and told him so.

Nevertheless, he asked me *again* while we were eating and finally put two pieces of takeaway chicken on my table. I was rather puzzled by this since I already have home cooked food from her but well, since they were so insisting… ;)

My FMIL

It sounds remarkably like something rude but the acronym stands for “future mother-in-law”. I hadn’t dared hope to use that moniker but since she called it, I’m happy. :)

tiffin dinner

The soup is from the FMIL. The rice with home made fish cake in the tiffin is done by her and she also baked her trademark lemon cupcakes (hesitate to call them muffins coz a muffin means something entirely different to me smirk).

I jokingly told her that the previous rice box she packed me had a kid-sized portion of rice and she gave me a lot this time. Haha.

I love the lemony cupcakes dear! There’s no spoon this time around though. T_T

1. Sea jacuzzi photo in Sin Chew

sinchew
Photo from http://life.sinchew-i.com/node/2522?tid=16

I just found out about this last week from Twitter. Thanks Jessy! It’s an article about my last trip to Langkawi. I’m the one with the red phoenix tattoo on my chest, holding on to the net with one hand. Heh.

The link above to the post is in Chinese, which I can’t read, so I used the auto-translate feature in Chrome – it’s about the trip, the sea jacuzzi was fun, going to post about that sometime. :)

2. Full 30 minute interview video on Bernama Radio24

I was on Bernama Radio24 to speak on “The Lounge” a couple of months ago – I posted about my interview on radio before but I didn’t have the link to the YouTube video. You can see the entire 30+ minute radio interview below if you missed it the first time round.

It also shows the inside of the studio and me and Gerald’s expressions and gestures – it’s for an hour long talk show segment, this is the entire almost 40 minute interview, the rest of the time are filled with songs and such. Thanks for the link Junsern! :)

3. NuffnangX

I was at the launch of NuffnangX Malaysia and have been using the beta of NuffnangX before it was released. Interesting concept, it makes reading blogs on a smartphone so much easier, as I found out one day when I was waiting for the laundry to open in my car. Heh.

nuffnangx

That’s a customized USB drive made to look like a business card with a personalized “sixthseal.com” stamped on it with the beta version inside. I love collecting USB drives, this is one of my more unique ones.

Follow me on NuffnangX! :)

That’s a wrap for media related news. Have an awesome weekend everyone!

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

1. Got on a talk show on Bernama Radio 24

bernama radio 24

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

gerald radio 24

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

radio 24 bernama

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

2. Spoke at Nuffnang Blogopolis Malaysia 2012

nuffnang blogopolis speaker

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

nuffnang blogopolis malaysia

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

hui wen

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

nuffnang blogopolis speaking

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

3. Watched The Dark Knight Rises Preview Screening

dark knight rises preview screening

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

the dark knight rises preview

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

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

linora me

I was at the Red FM studio this afternoon for an interview session with Linora. She was doing the 2 pm slot and I was intrigued by everything inside. It was a very interesting experience to see how she does things on her show.

linora low

I first met up with Pei Yi in Starbucks who tagged me into the Red FM studio. I didn’t know what to expect but Linora turned out to be a really nice person that really made me feel at ease.

redfm-linora

Notice that they’re using beats by Dr Dre as the studio headphones. I had an encounter with them a while ago. Heh.

I somehow got this idea in my head that I could choose songs to play, but obviously that didn’t happen. I *did* get to intro a couple of songs though, including one where I made a stupid (but hilarious) comment while doing it.

linora

Fun stuff.

Anyway, the interview is about the blog being a finalist in Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards for Best Lifestyle Blog. I was talking about how it got started, went off in a tangent about one of my favorite videos on the blog:

and generally enjoyed myself.

redfm on air

I had to be really careful not to swear – you’ll hear me stopping and thinking for another word for “crap” when I said “I write about all kinds of (crap)”. I ended up using “stuff”. I couldn’t go into a lot of detail about my really colorful life (which most of you might know a bit of anyway) but I had really, really wanted to dedicate this song:

I think it sums me up perfectly. Love the lyrics. And it’s NOFX, hands down my favorite band.

I said something on air about blogging – “It’s an immortality of sorts”…and went on about wanting my (as yet unborn) children knowing who I am.

linora facebook
Picture nicked from Linora while she was updating the Red FM Facebook.

The session went very well. I had a lot of fun.

Anyway, she was asking me about my blog Facebook page and I said I didn’t have one. It got me thinking and I started to create one when I came back just now before I realized that Aud actually did it for me ages ago. I thought she forgot.

…so if you want, join the coolest Facebook blog page – sixthseal.com on Facebook – it has 2 Likes to date (one of them mine). smirk

Hell, I just liked it myself a couple of hours ago coz I never even knew it existed. Heh.

redfm studio

Thanks for having me Linora!

property buyer

I’m in the May 2011 edition of Property Buyer thanks to Lainey bff! <3

property buyer huai bin

It’s a full spread interview about me, my blog and the place I stay (obviously, since it’s a property magazine). I’ve been meaning to write an updated About Me here but never really got around to doing it. Hmm…I guess this is a good place to condense certain bits for it.

property buyer sixthseal

Anyway, if you want to read the entire unedited verbal diarrhea I wrote for the article, it’s here in it’s 2,000 word plus glory. ;)

ON HUAI BIN

I was born on Cheng Beng on 5th April 1981- I’m an Aries, through and through – it was quite unexpected as my parents were living in Kuching at the time and they had come to Sibu to do the traditional grave cleaning. I heard the only delivery clinic in town was closed so they had to wait until after the doctor finished with his Cheng Beng business before I could be delivered.

I spent the first 7 years of my childhood in Kuching, Sarawak before my dad was posted to Sibu. I started primary school here and continued until my parents applied for a New Zealand PR when I was 13. We did our first landing and it was the one of the best and last family vacations I remember as a kid – driving a campervan with another family to tour the North and South Islands of NZ for nearly a month.

It was decided that I was to be sent to Christchurch, New Zealand for my high school straight after I finished my PMR. I was only 15 when I went there and joined a Form Six class. My parents had hoped that I would effectively “jump” two years and enter university 2 years earlier than my peers. However, I picked subjects that were traditionally valued by Asians – chemistry, physics, calculus in the hopes of fulfilling my parents dream of having one engineer and one doctor as children (I have a sister).

Unfortunately, I didn’t do very well in my studies and was more interested in the freedom that being away from family afforded me instead. I hung out a lot, gained a love of travelling and a sense of adventure and got kicked out of high school – in that order.

I came back and went to Australia for college and university. I spent 4 years in Melbourne, first in college and then in Monash University, finally graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. I wanted to stay on in Melbourne but I had a girlfriend back in KL so I came back and started working in KL.

I’ve always loved travelling since our family has a tradition of going on at least one annual family vacation since I started to walk. It was a lot of fun and sometimes my grandma came along and those were the best memories of my life. I also have a great sense of adventure and is completely okay with taking risks.

I’ve gone bungee jumping at the tender age of 13, took up skydiving and snowboarding in Melbourne when I was in university, went cliff diving in Ton Sai, Thailand. I love the adrenaline rush and I also like meeting new people and understanding their cultures.

I’ve been to a lot of different countries and lived in them for prolonged periods of time and I enjoy learning about local customs. I once went on a camping trip with a couple of Aussie friends where we hunted kangaroo and had its tail on a campfire.

I enjoy travelling solo as it allows me to actually get to meet new people and go places where I usually can’t if I’m travelling with a partner. I’ve spent long periods talking and walking along the narrow alleys of the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam and I went to Europe twice within a 6 month period.

The last time was early this year, when I spent almost a month there. I had already visited England, Wales, Amsterdam and the usual suspects previously so I decided to go on a lesser travelled path – Latvia and Georgia.

I decided on the two Baltic and post-Soviet states because not many people have gone there. I spent time in Georgia getting to know the people and the history behind Tbilisi and other states (like South Ossetia – which isn’t a very safe place to visit due to it’s propensity for insurgencies). It’s my passion to meet new people and travel around, despite not knowing the language, going where no man (or at least few) have trodden before.

ON HIS BLOG

I started blogging back in April 2002 – I was still in university in Melbourne then and decided it was a good way to let my friends see what I’m up to instead of emailing each of them individually. I was studying computer science so the first incarnation of sixthseal.com does not have a CMS per se but is updated via HTML (no CSS back then) code written manually.

I changed to Movable Type a few months after and only switched to WordPress recently. I started blogging about basically everything and anything I find fun. I think it was the first blog at the time which had daily updates with photos. I even had a webcam turned on 24/7 so that anyone who logs in can see a snapshot of my room or me every 5 minutes – yes, even when I sleep.

I wanted to experience all that Australia has to offer so I went travelling a lot and I attended a lot of events. I covered everything from the Melbourne Open tennis match to concerts. However, it was during one exhibition – SEXPO 2002 – a sex lifestyle exhibition that I realized the potential of my blog. I got an email from the organizers after I posted the coverage asking for my permission to link my post from their official sexpo.com.au website. They also wanted to give me a media pass for next year so I could gain access to the backstage and get many other privileges.

sixthseal.com is one of the longest running blogs in Malaysia – it has just reached it’s 9th anniversary on the 19th of April 2011. That’s 9 years of blogging almost every day! It has become a way of life to me and more than that – it has become an extension of myself, my most prized “possession”. I have come to think of it as a “son”, a legacy that would carry on, hopefully forever.

I see a lot of new bloggers who are blogging for money but I strongly feel that’s the wrong way to go about it. I have thousands of unique visitors per day but even if I only had 2 visitors, I would still blog because I write for MYSELF and for the satisfaction it gives me.

It’s like a diary – a life journal where I can look back and see what I was doing at what year. I want to be able to show my children that too. In fact, I’ve already found myself doing that – if I can’t remember what date I did something or when something happened – the first thing I’ll do is to search my blog. :)

ON HIS HOME

My home in Sibu is a nice two storey corner terrace that used to have a huge mango tree in the considerable yard. We had rambutan trees at the back too and as kids, I remember eagerly waiting for the season when it’ll fruit and we’ll eat it straight from the tree.

However, all the trees were cut down to make way for an extension – my family decided to renovate and paved over the side, turning some of it into a larger living room and some of it into a covered garage that could fit the 4 cars that we had if everyone was back home.

The house belongs to my dad and we’ve lived in it for ever since I can remember. He owned it even when we were in Kuching but let one of our uncles live in it.

It’s a four bedroom house with a store room and a spare room at the first floor. We only live at the second floor – there’s a piano up there and me and my sister used to share a room until I was about 10 years old and our parents deemed it was time for us to sleep in different bedrooms.

I currently live in a 550sq ft studio apartment in Damansara Heights. It appealed to me because it came fully furnished and I was impressed by how much they could fit into that small space. There’s a full kitchen with fridge, a small hallway, a toilet, a glass shower unit and a small tub flanking a sink with vanity mirror and two glass cupboards.

The bedroom comes after the bathtub which is closed by sliding doors – there’s a double bed in there and a swivel TV cum bookshelf which connects to the living room with the sofa, coffee table and small writing desk. There’s even a tiny balcony where I can look out to nature!

I love how they use glass and how open everything is to make the place look bigger than it actually is. Everything is functional and every unit looks the same since it’s furnished by the developer!

However, it has never seemed like a home to me but rather a nice place to live for one. I’m now living with my girlfriend and space has become a bit of a premium but we can still manage…after I’ve made space for her considerable wardrobe. ;)

There’s a lot of different between the place I’m renting in KL and my home in Sibu. I’ve never considered this studio home. Home is the warm feeling you get when you step into the house and that place is my bedroom in Sibu, Sarawak.
Sibu is also comparatively safe – the neighborhood I live in has a very low crime rate – and the neighbours all know and watch out for each other. There’s just a nice homely feel to living in Sibu.

I don’t know any of my neighbors in my studio in 10 Semantan (except for my ex-gf who used to live in one of the units a couple of doors down – she has since moved out) and although the security is good – you need a tag to enter the car park, to open the doors to each floor and to use the lift. The key card access system is great – you can only access your own floor, the top floor with the gym and the swimming pool, and the car park floors but not any other residential floors.

It would never be home to me as long as I’m renting though. I’m currently planning to purchase an apartment in the Mutiara Damansara area – it would need to have great security and facilities. I love to swim so a swimming pool is essential to the place I live. That’s part of the reason I prefer to live in a condo vs a landed property – the other one being of course, security. Unless you’re living in a gated community, a condominium would be more secure in KL, in my opinion.

I travel a lot and I would loath to come back and find my place burglarized. I’ve actually had this happen in Sibu – but we weren’t at home at the time. It wasn’t a pleasant experience to find your most treasured possession (notebook and external HDD) missing when you come home, I’ll tell you that.

Not to mention the fact that a stranger has rummaged around in your stuff. I ended up washing all of my clothes and found out that the burglar took some of my attire as well. He seems to be quite discerning one as he only took the labeled clothes.

That’s one option – I’m actually looking for a place that’s below RM 350,000 as a first place, if I don’t find it it Mutiara Damansara, I’ll look in other areas but I would prefer to live in Petaling Jaya with access to the SPRINT highway to get to KL easily. I would love to find a place with minimal traffic congestion, but that’s stretching it a bit too far in the Klang Valley, I reckon. ;)

My dream home would be a landed property in Sibu – I don’t plan to live in KL forever – it would be a place for me to retire and raise my kids. I would like a place like the house of my youth – with a garden and lots of trees…and a swimming pool of course.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

I believe being happy is the most important thing in life. It’s not about accumulating wealth, getting caught up in the rat race and having to juggle office politics with work. I like my freedom and I quit a nice paying full time job to pursue my dreams of becoming a travel writer. Maybe one day I’ll take up a traditional job again but if I do so, it has to be something I love – a travel host for example. You spend most of your life at work – it ought to be something you love doing, not something you do just for money, else you’ll end up with an empty life. I also have some side income and it helps keep food on the table – the image of a starving artist is romantic, but ultimately unrealistic. I believe that life is short and you should make full use of it – be happy, travel and get to know the world, and most importantly, believe in what you’re doing. I love my blog and you’ll continue to see what I’m doing on sixthseal.com :)

grace ng

I just got a text from Grace Ng (one of the hosts of Cube on ntv7) a couple of hours ago that the show featuring bloggers which I am on is airing tonight at 8:30 pm. It was filmed in Empire, Subang a couple of weeks back. I still remember something she mentioned when I first met her and commented on her innocent and likable personality. Her reply is classic! =D

richard goh

This is the man who made it all happen – Richard Goh, the producer and an old friend of mine. I’ve known him for years – he is my mentor in some ways but I shall not comment further than that. A very cool guy to hang out with and a bro I can totally click with.

ntv7 cube

Anyway, the show is available for viewing online, just surf over to their website. I missed it coz I’ve been down with the flu for two days, but I’m watching it now. :)

nicole mail

I just came back from a really enlightening conversation about life and relationships in general to a dark house and picked up two pieces of mail – one was for my car insurance premium for RM 1,704.60 (=_=!!!) which I have to pay before next month and the other was a padded largish envelope.

star metro

The writing at the back says “Sorry it took so long, but here you are”. It’s the autographed copy of The Star from two months back with a feature of me by Nicole on sixthseal.com.

star leaf

I have read the article in the online version of The Star and was surprised at the more positive key in the actual paper.

sixthseal

The front page Saturday Metro text has Drug blogger turns over a new leaf” which is a much better angle than the “Former drug blogger comes clean about his past” headline that the online version features.

star metro kissed

I asked Nicole for an autographed copy of the paper and she finally got around to sending it to me. ;) The article is an interview about sixthseal.com and my experience as a drug blogger in the past and how I’ve turned my life around.

nicole auto

Nicole wrote “To Huai Bin, Hope you continue to thrive in life, be happy in whatever you do” on the top of the article…

nicolekissed

…and autographed the bottom with “You’ve been Nicolekiss-ed!!” :)

Thanks for sending me the papers Nicole, much appreciated! I like the article in the off-line version, it’s much more positive.

Harian Metro

Well, at least it can’t get any worse than this. ;)

kfc-ad

I finally managed to get the MSN Live Messenger Blogger gets Twister-fied KFC ad that has the inbound link to sixthseal.com. It took a lot of clicking on the close button and double clicking it from the task bar again to reload the MSN ad though…

kfc-ad-anim

Wah, can get OCD like that wei…

kfc-ad-expand

Anyway, the animated ad is at the bottom of MSN Live Messenger and it expands into a larger ad with text from my entry on the KFC Toasted Twister.

kfc-ad-warp

The cursor is changed to a Toasted Twister wrap and it warps the letters around the text excerpt. There are excepts from two blogs, with the top one being mine and a photo of me eating the KFC Toasted Twister.

kfc-ad-game

Warp is an anagram for wrap. There’s a mini-game where you find all the words – I think it’s supposed to be “Try me now”.

kfc-ad-link

I clicked on the sixthseal.com link in the advertisement and it really links back to the KFC Toasted Twister entry that I did. Nifty. ;)

Toasted Twister = KFC toasted chicken wrap
Twisted Toaster = Home appliance that enjoys toasting your fingers

HDS:

2002: Some mundane post about university life in Australia.
2003: Some mundane post about working life in KL and site news.
2004: Some mundane post about working life in Kuching.
2005: Writer’s block (blogger’s block?). There’s no post for today in this year. It seems seasonal around this time, I can feel it now. ;)
2006: Lunch Box Cafe review with Joanne in Kuching.

kfc the star

I was approached by a media company for permission to use my photos in an online ad campaign for KFC a few weeks back. It was meant to be non-monetary (e.g. free) but with an inbound link to the post in question about the KFC Toasted Twister entry I did a few weeks ago. It came out in The Star (pictured above), MSN Malaysia and MSN Live Messenger this week.

kfc msn ad

I’ve seen it also on the Today screen of MSN Live Messenger. There seem to be two (2) versions of the ads:

kfc SS

Skyscraper unit

kfc LR

Large rectangle unit

The two versions above does not have the inbound link but I’ve heard from a friend that there’s another splash page version that comes out occasionally with an inbound link if you click on the headline (other parts of the ad will direct you to the KFC website).

Has anyone seen that version around? Cheers! :)

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