So…I have taken a 1 year sabbatical from blogging to find my passion again and I’ve recently started to feel the faint stirrings of that. Or maybe it’s just an urge to share my inane thoughts with you all. Haha. Since then, many things have happened. I shall try to condense and distill them in point form.
1. I am into the fitness lifestyle now
Those who follow my personal Facebook will have no choice but to see this, as I’m fond of posting gym photos to my timeline. I do it several times a day even, since my workout routine is 3 hours per day, 9 days out of 10. It’s been more than a year now since I’ve joined the congregation of the Church of Iron and my gains has been coming along. I like being buff. I enjoy displaying my beautiful body and getting compliments, so remember to give me some. Thanks.
2. I have quit drinking, smoking and recreational drugs
This is somewhat related to 1. I have gotten many puzzled questions about this. Did I find God? Did I have a near death experience? Maybe got arrested again? Some other close call? No, no, no and no. I just decided I wanted a change. It’s that simple and boring. I feel that these things usually are. True change comes from just wanting a change, nothing too dramatic. I think change that is derived from those sensational life events tend to be short lived. I even quit Suboxone (my maintenance opiate medication) and benzodiazepines. I really mean no drugs anymore. Suboxone (buprenorphine) was really hard though. Couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks, felt like shit, will tell the story some other day. Been clean ever since. I also stopped drinking. No reason, it’s not a religious or moral thing, I just don’t feel like it anymore.
3. I am single now
Again, no surprise here for people following me on FB. Things didn’t work out and I have been hitting the Tinder scene for a while late this year. Nothing promising from Tinder, although I did have a few hook-ups. Including with a girl half my age! Oh boy, do I want to tell you all that story someday. Hehe. I’m so happy I still have it. Whatever it means. Also, since I’m kinda jaded with the Tinder scene now, I’ve taken to asking people from Facebook for dates. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly get a message from me asking you out for lunch or dinner. It’s coz I find you attractive and I’ll like to know more.
4. I have a cat
I recently got myself a cat. Her name is Chika. A friend of mine told me the stray she’s taking care of has a litter and I picked one. I was initially apprehensive about having a feline companion in my place. Sounds like a lot of work. And responsibilities. I wasn’t a huge fan of either. However, I am really glad I have her. She’s one of those friendly cats. To me anyway. Waits for me when she hears my key in the locks coming back. Sleeps between my legs at night. She’s always beside me. Her warm and furry presence soothes me. I love my cat. Best thing I did this year.
5. I moved into my own place
I bought a condo in USJ and have been living it it for almost a year now. I’m still very behind in furnishings, the only area I can call fully furnished is the kitchen. I cook my meal prep so having a working kitchen is important. The living room is empty. I haven’t even taken off the plastic the contractors put over the living room air con coz I’m always in my room. It’s nice to have my own place though, and I got it for 380k, which is 20k cheaper than the market price. The best thing is it’s above a mall so grocery shopping and gym is just a lift ride down.
I’m struggling to find new things to talk about and since my musings have veered into cats and condos, I should probably stop. I’ll try and update more frequently now.
I haven’t updated my blog in a long time and I want to start off the cycle by writing about something I’ve always felt the need to hide. I’m not even sure why besides a vague sense of it being right, and I’ll explain that the best I can now. I have had problems with substance abuse in the past and I’ve let my misadventures with methamphetamine, heroin and other fun and interesting chemicals define me. I’m the guy who was all for “better living through chemistry” and I wasn’t afraid to say it out loud to everyone who wanted to hear (and the ones who didn’t as well).
However, as I have grown older, I found myself looking askance at people like that. Admittedly there aren’t many people like me, and even less who has built up such an impressive chemical resume as I have. But the ones who have told me straight out that they’re users, I find that I tend to judge them a little. Even though I used to in the past? Especially coz I used to. I knew what kind of deviant I was and I’ll have no part of that. Now that I’ve quit for so many years, I find myself wanting to dissociate myself with other drug users.
My point is, most people have something against substance users, no matter if it’s recreational or a dependency. It speaks volumes about your character that you’re not willing to make your personal life private and maybe that’s why I stopped divulging so much. It doesn’t matter if you pop MDMA once a year or you’re shooting up smack every morning and lunch in the toilet. People don’t need to know.
There is an odd comfort in being truthful though, as long as you’re not shoving your personal politics down people’s throats. I’ve stopped using all illegal drugs for many years. However, a lot of my legacy is still there. I’m still on buprenorphine (Suboxone) and benzodiazepines.
I’ll talk about Suboxone first. It’s a very, very expensive and legal opiate substitute that the government has been pushing for several years. Government? So it’s free then, you say? No, it’s not. It costs RM 40 per 8 mg tablet and I take 2 per day. I used to run up RM 80 daily, RM 2,480 per month, RM 29,200 annually. RM 30,000! 30 fucking k per year! It was ludicrous.
I got on Suboxone as a legal way to get off OxyContin in 2012. I had a HUGE oxycodone problem. I was a monster. I would take 280 mg per day. That’s 14 tablets (one blister pack) of 20 mg OxyContin. It was, strangely enough, about the same price as Suboxone and offers a much superior high. However, it wasn’t legal, since I obtained them via doctor shopping, and that’s why I ultimately chose to switch over to the government Suboxone program. It was expensive but it was legal and I could travel all over the world with my prescription (except Singapore, who considers buprenorphine a Class A drug).
I was happily on Suboxone for several years before I realized I was hooked on it. Yes, that’s how buprenorphine works, it has a STRONGER binding affinity to your opiate receptors, that’s why you don’t crave other opiates like oxycodone. It’s not very pleasurable, but it’s good enough to prevent you from seeking other MORE pleasurable opiates like heroin. The buzz is acceptable, and it staves off withdrawals. Many Suboxone users already know this but I bet the general public doesn’t. Suboxone works by making you dependent on it. That’s why you don’t get withdrawals, it’s coz you’re still on opiates. In other words, you become addicted to Suboxone.
Quitting was hard. It was harder than OxyContin due to the longer half life of Suboxone. I tried once with the help of my better half and I’m not ashamed to say that I tapped out after 4 or 5 days, just when the withdrawals hit me really hard. I’m not embarrassed coz with my life experience now, I know that you’ll know when the time is right to quit. It’s when you want to, above all else, without any other reason, no pressure, no one to nag you, no guilt. You quit coz you want to be rid of it. That’s when you succeed.
I tried cutting down and I got down to 1 x 8 mg Suboxone tablet per day. After a few weeks, I cut it down to 1/2 then 1/4. It’s hard to get rid of that final bit, the “boost” you need each morning and which comforts you, but when you cut it out of your life, it’s a lot better. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner but I know the answer to that. It was coz I wasn’t ready to.
The same thing with benzodiazepines. This is the most insidious drug I’ve ever taken. Not worse than meth, methamphetamine is the worst thing I’ve ever taken, all in all. But I personally think benzodiazepines are more insidious than opiates. You know why? There is no honest “value proposal”. I took benzos for fun at first, then to help with the come downs from meth, then I obviously got addicted to them. The one time I tried to quit was cold turkey, in drug rehab, coz the sick sons of bitches at the center didn’t know anything about benzodiazepines or how dangerous it is to quit cold turkey.
I seized in the jail cell while my ankles were shackled and my hands were handcuffed. I cried, I had multiple seizures, I thought I was going to die, and I wept again. It was a fucking nightmare, going from 10 mg clonazepam (Rivotril), 2 mg alprazolam (Xanax) and 20 mg diazepam (Valium) in a day to complete zero, cold turkey, back in 2007. I’m not sure if I can do it a second time. That’s what I thought for the next few years anyway, since I started taking them again after rehab.
However, and I’m really not sure what the catalyst is, I somehow decided to take less and less starting from last year. I was on 2 mg clonazepam (Rivotril) daily for many years and then I decided to start taking 1/2 of the tablet. Thus, I was on 1 mg. It felt better, and my head was clearer and I was feeling a lot more emotions and I thought that was good. It was. I cut again to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (which is 1/4 of the tablet).
One day, my doctor said he ran out of clonazepam and it’ll take 2 weeks to get the new stock so he gave me diazepam (Valium) instead. It was a 10 mg pill which is about equivalent to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (don’t look at the mg, trust me when I say these two doses are “similar” – think of clonazepam as being 20 times stronger than diazepam) but it wasn’t. I felt significant amount of anxiety and had mild panic attacks but I liked the clarity. Clonazepam has stronger anti-anxiety effects but it’s not as hypnotic as diazepam. I felt sleepier and I hated it coz it felt like I was “going back” on my progress.
I didn’t want to let myself acclimatize so I cut it again by 1/2 to 5 mg. I cut it again the week after to 1/4 of that and within a week I titrated the dose to 1/8, 1/10 and 1/12. Then I switched to 5 mg Valium (diazepam) – it’s half the amount of my previous 10 mg tablet so it’s easier to split for a smaller dose. The doctor didn’t have 2 mg ones. I then started splitting the 5 mg pill to 1/20 until I had to pinch just a bit. It was effectively nothing coz it was about 1/30 of a 5 mg pill – or 0.16 mg daily. Most people take 5-10 mg and I managed to cut it down to zero with my own super fast taper plan. I was essentially clean. The last bit to get rid off was more psychological than anything.
It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t as bad as when I kicked it cold turkey in rehab. I kinda like the new clarity. It gives me purpose. It also made me feel bad about the time I’ve spent “under the influence” (kinda). Now, this is not medical advice, everyone is different and you should never cold turkey quit benzodiazepines coz you might die of a seizure.
However, I have grown to belief that it’s more like US FDA precaution. I’ve done plenty of things which should have killed me. I’ve taken things which I KNOW as a fact that’s over the LD50 (lethal for 50% of the population – everyone is different) many, many, God so many times and I’m still alive. There’s nothing wrong with being on benzos, some people need it for anxiety.
I just didn’t want it anymore. It was a personal decision.
This is probably the last thing I’m going to write about drugs. I’ve said I was off all illegal drugs. Well, now I’m off it all – legal and prescription included. I don’t want it to define me anymore. I just want to write an appendix for the blog. This is it.
This has happened a lot of times before (with other newspapers) and I’m going to email the writer to send them my rates, based on the National Union of Journalists. I’m outraged that the photo had been used in a way that made my watermark moot. There is a clear text overlay stating “FILE” or “(Date of publication)” in all other photos used in the video.
My photo was used in the video for almost 5 seconds (from 2:00 to 2:04) without my permission by The Star, who should know better.
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.
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.
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.
[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]
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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! :)
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!
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
This is actually a very late post – 3 years late, to be exact. Haha! I haven’t done a proper blog anniversary post since April 19th 2012, the year sixthseal.com turned 10. Thus, I’m going catch up by doing *one blog anniversary post per day* until my actual 13th blog birthday on April 19th 2015! It’ll be the 11th anniversary post today and the 12th tomorrow, just in time for this year’s (lucky) 13th anniversary on Sunday!
I’ll do it in the classic sixthseal.com way – a roundup of interesting posts for the “previous” year. For this post, this will mean everything from 19th April 2012 to 19th April 2013 since my blog was created on 19th April 2002.
Also as a tribute to Sesame Street (and also coz I took out a photo in the My Birthday Conspiracy post) our letter today is K.
(It’s the 11th letter of the alphabet, yo)
That photo was actually from this year (2012) and it’s real. This is also the year which I quit all opiates, read on to find out more. It’s actually a very instrumental year in my life.
Here’s my favorite posts of the previous (relative to this post) year in chronological order:
Steyr M9 semi-auto 9mm handgun
6th May 2012
This is a semi-automatic firearm review. I actually have a Category H firearms licence in Melbourne when I was studying there. I wrote about one of my trips to the local shooting range in 2002. I realize it’s a bit dubious having a photo of a loaded handgun so close to the picture above, but oh well, I mean well. Haha.
Couchsurfing in Jakarta – don’t forget your towel
10 June 2012
This was an impromptu trip to Jakarta, which I still haven’t finished writing about. My resolution this year is to stop procrastinating so after my real blog anniversary on Sunday, you’ll see daily updates and more interaction as well as a facelift.
My mom’s battle with lung cancer
14 June 2012
My mom was still alive three years ago…I just came back from her first Ching Ming after she moved on last year. It’s a blessing that we’re with her during her final moments in Singapore, it was hard to see her suffer from end-stage lung cancer and the pain and immobility that came in the end was terrible. She’s in a much better place now.
Only in Germany – beer and bubble tea at McDonald’s!
26 June 2012
A quick post I wrote while I was travelling in Germany. I was in Dresden at the time and they really serve beer in McDonald’s in Germany! There’s no age checks either, but then again I’m no spring chicken. I know they serve beer in other McDonald’s too but Deutschland is the most famously quoted place. You can read the rest of my Germany travel posts but the most recent one is the trip I took with my better half last year, this trip was the trip before that. I’ve actually been to Europe five times within the past 8 years.
Seize the day!
22 July 2012
This was the day I quit OxyContin (oxycodone) which was what I meant by tattooing the date in the post. I went on the government Suboxone opiate maintenance program after that and eventually kicked that too. I had a really serious opiate habit but it turned out that Suboxone was worse in a lot of ways (and more expensive too).
Timothy and Audrey’s Up Themed Wedding in Penang
30 July 2012
This is one of the cutest weddings I’ve ever attended. I had that suit made in Phuket and lost it two years ago while buying chocolates for my dear. It’s a funny story, I was trying to surprise my better half by getting her Patchi chocolates and left my car at the mall’s underground car park, which had a car wash. I took my dry cleaned suit out to put in their lockers…and forgot all about it until several MONTHS later! -_-
11 photos from the Fraser’s Hill trip
19 September 2012
I told you I was travelling a lot during these few months. Hey, I had to do something to combat the withdrawals after quitting opiates, you have to go cold turkey before you can go on the government’s NDST (National Drug Substitution Therapy) program for Suboxone due to the way buprenorphine works.
Helmet diving in Boracay
26 September 2012
This is a fun way to experience the sea if you don’t have a SCUBA diving licence. I did but my travel partner didn’t so we went on this instead, which is my first time!
The Prodigal Son
17 November 2012
The About Me behind the About Me, the one you wouldn’t know unless you’ve been following the blog since it’s inception. I had lead quite a chaotic life. Interesting, yes; and the less travelled path, most definitely; but you pay for the life experiences you get. One way or another, you pay.
The firecracker and the cat
17th February 2013
A funny story about a firecracker and a feline. No, nothing that would cause PETA to come after me, this is actually a rather tame story. Pardon the pun.
Daytime fireworks colored smoke salute cakes!
21 February 2013
Amazing smoke bombettes that flies up and bursts in the air in the form of a fireworks cake. It was the first commercially available daytime fireworks and my only regret was not setting the exposure correctly in the video, coz lighting and seeing the smoke bursts in real life was amazing!
Like I said, this was the best year of my life. I met my soul mate, who kept me on the straight and narrow and I’ve been very lucky to have her in my life. I love the kids and I love my dear and everything I do from this year onwards is reflective of that so that’s the end of shenanigans like ketamine…and the start of being a better person.
I have been busy with moving house lately and there’s so much left to do!
I realized that I have accumulated a whole lot of stuff during my time here. I’ve asked my dear to keep some of the bigger appliances (food processor, coffee maker etc) but I still have a lot of things at home, namely old clothes and books.
I want to keep the books but I don’t think I have the space. As for my old clothes, anyone knows any place which I can drop them off to charity or something?
Anyway, sorry for the lack of updates, I’m just sorting out my new place and will be back soon! Thanks! :)
Water rationing has been lifted, which is a great thing. I remember there being a huge fine for stuff like washing your car. I have missed the simple things in life…like giving my Xperia Z1 a good bath. Haha! I’ve seriously been washing it when it gets dirty, especially when it gets *sticky* in our hot and humid weather.
On a more interesting note, I have brought my smartphone to Germany and France! I’m going to share a couple of great photos from my trip, including this amazing Panoramic Sweep photo I took at the Louvre! It’s such a good thing that the Z1 is waterproof, there are a lot of situations where I can use it to take photos where other people would have to be really careful with their smartphones! :)
This blog has been running for an entire decade! I totally forgot about the 19th April blog anniversary where I usually do my annual roundup until Cynthia texted me all the way from Australia.
This is supposed to be up on the 19th of April each year and has been since 2003. sixthseal.com started in 2002 and this is my favorite post to write as it shows how much it has grown since it’s inception. :)
I was planning to do something a bit special for the 10th blogniversary – the idea thrown out on the SixthSeal.com Facebook page was to write a completely new post featuring everyone’s favorite “guest author” – veritas. However, that idea has been scrapped – I’ve not been active in that scene for a long time except for a couple of discreet incursions and I think it’ll be counter-productive to what I’m trying to do with my life.
It’s filed under Satire/Parody and one of my favorite posts. It’s quite obvious what I’m talking about but I surprised myself by sustaining the metaphor for that long.
Thus, without further ado, here’s my favorite posts from the blog year (think of it as a fiscal year) in chronological order:
Kiwi fruit rice with yoghurt
25th April 2011
This is in here coz it was a major milestone for me. My then-girlfriend moved from Miri to KL to be with me and we’ve been doing a lot of cooking together. This is one of the quirky breakfasts that I make. We’ve broken up but still remain good friends. :)
The best of Northern Rivers in Australia
3rd June 2011
I flew over to the Northern Rivers region where I met people really big on organic food and low food miles and ate at their restaurants. The main event was Casino Beef Week – a cattle extravaganza in a small little town in Australia called Casino. I’ve never been to a cattle auction and street parade before and I loved the experience.
Epic weekend: An impromptu trip to Ipoh, dodgy hotels, losing my wallet and my car bumper
12th June 2011
A little bit closer to home, I went on a road trip with a friend to Ipoh and promptly lost my wallet and the rear bumper of my car. It was totally unplanned, I went out for drinks with Bonnie and somehow we ended up in Ipoh. I’ve cut down a lot on my alcohol consumption since then and while I’m not a teetotaler, I drink quite a lot less than what I imagine a social drinker downs. :)
Driving at the actual Sepang International Circuit!
15th September 2011
My first time driving a car at the Formula One circuit in Sepang. I met a friend which I later met up with in Penang too! The experience of driving at high speeds on an actual competition circuit is exhilarating!
Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Specialists in Hong Kong
10th October 2011
I went to Hong Kong and Macau with my ex-girlfriend (the very same one mentioned in the first recap post). We had a lot of fun exploring with no itenerary and ate at the famous (and cheap) dim sum place opened by a Michelin 3-star chef. Locals wait in line for an hour on average to eat their divine baked BBQ pork buns.
The 2012 Chinese New Year firecrackers and fireworks roundup!
8th February 2012
This is MY SECOND FAVORITE POST to write during the entire year. What I do is get a bunch of fireworks and firecrackers during Chinese New Year – take photos and video it and post it up. I write about the pyrotechnics and if there’s only one post you’re going to read in this entire roundup – read this one! :D
The story of the little gangster that could
10th February 2012
This is a photo story I wrote for my ex-girlfriend’s brother. I was the subject of their high pass photography experiments too and the the photos turned out great. I wrote two versions too – one exclusively for the newly launched SixthSeal.com Facebook page.
My Valentine’s Day
15th February 2012
I got together with a girl I met while having breakfast at TDH. You all know the story.
My girlfriend just moved in with me!
29th February 2012
She moved in with me not 2 weeks after. I was totally in love and thought this was the one, that I’ve finally met someone that I can settle down with.
I even hired professional cleaners to sanitize my studio apartment, something I’ve never done for anyone.
My girlfriend just broke up with me…
11th March 2012
It didn’t work out. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Okay, I’m tired of saying that so I’ll just say that it wasn’t my fault. It was doomed from the start and I was the last one to know about it. It really hurt and it took me a long time to recover from such a short relationship but I’ll like to think I’m wiser now.
You live, you learn. :)
I’m flying high on the trapeze!
18th March 2012
I had a lot of fun at the flying trapeze in Club Med, Phuket. In a few short days, I learned how to do a knee hang back flip and my crowning glory was being a flyer and timing it just right so I can be caught by one of the Circus GOs. It felt like I was an actual trapeze artist in the circus! :)
Happy Easter and the search for God
8th April 2012
I’ll end this with a slightly cryptic post about my spirituality and the changes I’ve made since then. It’s safe to say that it’s not a temporary thing, I am getting some serious things done with my life. :)
It just hit me that one year has just passed by since I last wrote this and I hate to use this cliched term but time really does fly!