28 April 2008

You Mean Everything To Me by Neil Sedaka

Tonite at 8:34 on the LiteFM radio station (105.7 FM), my Sweet Darling, dedicated a song to me. Well, from the song selection she was given, she choose the song You Mean Everything To Me by Neil Sedaka.

Thanks Darling.
Love you too!

Now my turn to dedicate you a song.

Could it be I'm falling in Love by The Spinners

21 April 2008

Kevin & Kenneth's Birthday

It is Saturday night. We decided to meet at No Black Tie, a jazz place where live bands perform. My second here and I am still impress with the quality of the performance and the acoustic of the place. Tonight we are here to celebrate Kevin's Birthday, as well as a belated Birthday for Kenneth.

I bought for Kevin a photography book on Composition. Nothing too technical and should greatly improve his photography skills in the near future. As for Kenneth, I got him the Guy's Guide to Romance by AskMen.com. If you asked me, the book is great, like their articles at their website. It is obvious yet funny, informative yet true!

The usual suspects:

(L to R) Leong, Mun Fong, Ee Lin, Evelyn, Kevin, Kenneth & Eric
It was a very enjoyable evening, as Kevin and Kenneth are my buddies for over 20 years. We used to be neighbours. Growing up with table tennis, badminton, roller-blading, roller hockey, basketball and so many other mischiefs. So many memorable and funny moments that we could probably have a whole blog on it!! We should... (hint hint)

Evelyn & Eileen

Kevin pictured here with his specially designed Manchester United cupcakes.

Kenneth with his belated Birthday cake

One of our funny topics that we had for the evening included all the group or songs that we grew up with, in the 90s... (in no particular order)

  • Vanilla Ice

  • 2 Unlimited

  • Ace of Base

  • Tommy Page (hahaha)

  • MC Hammer

  • CC Music Factory

  • etc etc

Who remembered Megahit 3? Anybody still have the tape? I am sure songs from that album will bring back many many memories!
I dedicated the next song to Kevin, to our younger days!!

15 April 2008

Hokkien Mee and Fried Rice

The quest for a great Hokkien Mee (Black Noodles) goes on. Today's Hokkien Mee is the famous one situated at Uptown, PJ. It is the same row as the new HSBC Bank, situated at the end of the row, the corner near police station.

It opens in the evening and only does the dinner and supper business. You won't miss it as it would have loads of tables situated outside filled with people.

Not to worry, their menu are very limited, thus the quick service of food. Within 15 mins, all the food were served.

What would it be silly, if we didn't try their famous Hokkien Mee. It is pretty good, and doesn't have a bitter aftertaste where some place have. It is very tasty, but be warned, it is cooked with loads of Pork Lard!! No wonder it taste so good!!
Next on the menu is their fried rice. Since returning from Melbourne, Australia I haven't had any decent fried rice. One of the best ones I had while in Melbourne is the King of King Friend Rice with Egg Chiffon!

Anyway, back to the task in hand. The fried rice they have is one best I have eaten in KL. Again, it is tasty, with lots of Char Siew with long beans and friend egg. The rice is not too dry and is excellent! Order their fried rice, you won't regret it!
Next we had some vegi. Their menu only had like 2 vegitables to choose from. I believe we order the Choy Thum. No idea what it is called in english. The vegi is probably lightly fried and topped with fried garlic, fried shallots and some oysters sauce. It is good, and not too oily as some other place.
The last interesting item we had for the evening is the Pork Soup. This comes highly recommended. The soup comes with some vegies, fried pork, as well as some lightly fried omelete. The egg, is very lightly fried, meaning it is very thin, almost like the egg chiffon I had from Melbourne. A unique item, and must be ordered if you are eating here.

Ok, the quest for good hokkien mee, was not wasted. The hokkien mee was good but not fantastic. The fried rice however was their best dish, if you asked me. Even my dad who had dinner with me agreed that the fried rice was better than the hokkien mee. The pork soup too was great.

Overall, the food was very reasonably priced. I would give the food at this place a 4 of 5 stars for their overall food quality and taste. You won't be disappointed if you ate here, as all their items was good.

12 April 2008

Paypal as a Payment Gateway

The other day, a friend asked me, "What is the best way to accept credit card payment online?"

Everybody knows that you could organise a payment gateway with the local banks. It only sets you back a few thousand ringgit as a setup fee, and a few more hundreds in monthly fees.

In her business, she only receives a few credit payment a month, so a bank payment gateway is out of the question. I decided to do research and check what is the best and most effective way to accept credit payment, with the lower possible fees.

After a quick research, there isn't any online payment gateway that doesn't have any monthly fees. The lowest charged that I could find was from Paypal, of 2.9% + US0.30. Any other options either had a monthly fee, or a 5% charge!

I knew from the start that Paypal could accept credit card, but it does have some of it's own issues. About 2 years back, Paypal wouldn't accept payment if you didn't have a Paypal account. What it means is that, you MUST sign up, in order to pay with your credit card.

Recently, I read that they allow customers to pay, even if they didn't sign up or have a Paypal account. If that was true, then it would be the perfect payment gateway. The fees are low, and they are one of they biggest online payment system available.

So, I decided to create a "Pay Now" button to test whether it is true. Whether you could pay for it without a Paypal account. I recalled from the past, Paypal literally forced you to join, if you wanted to use your credit card to pay for something.

With the button created, I tested to see whether it was possible to pay without having an account. It was true, my hunch was right, I was unable to pay for it without my Paypal account. I then checked and read all the help files at Paypal, and it constantly showed up, that it was possible to pay without an account!

Hmmm, strange, Paypal openly advertise that you don't need to be a member to use your credit card. I then, decided to Google it and to read some external articles on this topic

I then found out that, it was true, Paypal do allow you to pay with your CC even if you are not a Paypal member. It however only allows this from a list of selected countries. That means, if you are in those countries, the options to pay without being a Paypal member will appear.

Their argument is that, for some "Money Laundering Act", for certain countries you must have their details on file if they were to pay with their credit card. By having an account, they would have your details, thus if there is any hanky-panky, they'll have details!

So that answers the question, Paypal would be one of the better payment options available. It has the lowest rate in the market, with no monthly fees.

The 2 bad points Paypal has as a payment gateway is that
  • Cannot accept Ringgit as a currency (Able to accept USD, Pounds, AUD, SGD etc)
  • Must be a Paypal member (in certain countries, including Malaysia)
If you are able to live with the 2 negative points of using Paypal in Malaysia, then you'll have a good method of accepting credit card payment online.

If you are having issues, withdrawing payment from Paypal, please read my two earlier articles

11 April 2008

Beach Bumming @ Pulau Redang

Last weekend, I was at Pulau Redang. The trip was great spent the weekend with my Darling and her family. I also met two new friends, Mr Chivas Regal and Mr Jack Daniels!!

If you guys don't know where Redang is, check out the following Google Maps

If you guys enjoy the beach, snorkeling or diving, then Redang is the place. From the day I arrived, I did NOTHING, but chilled out the whole day. Loads of alcohol, paired up with a beautiful resort = Unforgettable Weekend!

Anybody who knows me, would also know that I cannot swim. Yes, I can't swim. With the help of a Life Jacket, I went snorkling around the Redang Island. It was way cool, I could see loads of fishes and corals. So excited I was!!

Next I decided to try some Scuba Diving. My darling who is a hardcore diver and instructor decided to take Mr Hippo (me!) on a Discovery Diving course. After the usual briefing and all, I took to the sea. Yes, I was very afraid of the idea of swimming and the possibility of drowning!

Anyway, I did manage to do all the basic stuff and were actually swimming underwater for like 15 mins. It was way COOL. Come on, be as happy for me ok? For someone who can't swim and fear the water, I thought that it was a great achievement!!

The place that I stayed at was the Redang Pelangi Resort. The food was great, the people there were all very hospitable and I felt really at home. Most of the other resorts on the island were a little too commercialise, but somehow the Redang Pelangi Resort made me felt cosy and warm. You can check their website out here.

04 April 2008

Chili Pan Mee

Chili Pan Mee at Kin Kin in the city is one of the more famous Pan Mee around. They claim they are the first one in town with their style of Pan Mee. Now, they have another branch in Cheras area. If you want to try the Pan Mee, please reach there early. They are open for breakfast till like 3pm. But if you arrive late, you may have to wait up to an hour to get your served.

Here we have a photo of the Dry Chili Pan Mee being served. It is served dried with a poach egg on top and also a bowl of soup with some pork and some vegi. From the photos you should be able to see their ikan bilis, which are a decent size and have a decent amount served.

Next you'll have to stir in your poach egg into the noodles. I am not too sure what is the correct way to eat it, but it seems to be what everybody else is doing. There isn't any gravy and just by itself, it doesn't have much taste.

The secret comes from their dried chili condiment. You wouldn't be called the famous Chili Pan mee, if you do not have these special dried chilis. These stuff looks really potent, as you may have mistaken it for an active volcano instead :) Just stir in loads of it until the Pan Mee changes to a Reddish colour.

You can add a little of these lime into your Pan Mee to give it a little sour after taste. I personally think it great, but it is up to your own personal taste. Anybody who knows me, will know that I can't really take anything spicy. By adding some lime, it also makes it a little less spicy...

, now that you have stirred in the chillis, you'll get a really spicy looking reddish pan mee. After your first bite, you'll have no regret of trying this notoriously spicy pan mee. It taste different from the other pan mee. The noodles itself is not fat and thick like the usual pan mee, in fact the thickness of the pan mee and texture is very similar to the spaghetti.

Above I have a photo of the Soup Pan Mee instead. For those who prefer the wet style, please go ahead, but somehow, I felt that it is not as nice as the dry one. With the dry pan mee, you'll be able to taste the dried chili. Overall, I think it is great and unique style of Pan Mee. I will give it a 3.5 of 5 stars. Don't get me wrong, but because, I am not a Spicy food type of person, it didn't get my 4 star that I would have given.

The only regret that I may have is that..... can my tummy take all the spiciness......

03 April 2008

Would I lie to you?

I was reading this article in Clove April 2008 today. Most of its details are... as I would put it... so true...

Immediately the tune of Charles and Eddie's Would I Lie to You played in my head...

Obviously I had used the term "Would I lie to you baby?" once too often :p

I won't go along and tell you how to catch a liar, or what body gestures are a dead give away to liars. I would however say that, most of us do lie... white lies... because we can't bare to see the other person frown... or it most cases "They can't handle the truth!"

Some people argue that, by NOT telling the whole truth, you are indeed lying. I fail to see it from their point of view... as I would see it, I had censored the truth and by not providing certain details therefore I did not lie... hehe...

It is not the same as "I went to a pub with the boys" when you actually went to the strip joint!!

Let's not go too far into this topic... as it might hit too many sensitive arguments...

10 Most Common White Lies (in my opinion)
  • It's a real bargain
  • Of course I don't fancy her/him...
  • I won't tell anyone else - promise...
  • On the way...
  • I promise I'll call you
  • I sent you the email yesterday, have you not received it...
  • I'm having a quiet night in
  • No you don't look fat in that...
  • I never tell lies

02 April 2008

Braised Duck Rice in PJ Old Town

I hope you know where the UOB bank in PJ Old Town is. The Braised Duck Rice place is at the corner directly next to the UOB Bank. They only serve duck rice in the evenings. During lunch hours, its filled with hawker food instead.

As I have mentioned before, these place specialised in Braise Ducks. You better get here early, because on weekends, as early as 6pm you'll see people filling up the tables. You will also notice there are not 1 person chopping the ducks, but 3 person. One person is only chopping for the take away customers.

The Braised Duck is different from the usual Roast Duck that we have. There is a famous Roast Duck place at Paramount Gardens, PJ called Sunrise. But today, we would be discussing on the mouth watering Braise Duck instead.

The duck have been de-boned and sliced up to manageable bites. If you notice, the duck is covered with gravy.... hmmmmm delicious stuff. Paired up with the oily rice and the duck gravy you'll have a potent combination!! Simply out of this world delicious!! Don't take my word for it, drop by and taste it for yourself. I won't even wait till the end of this post to give it a rating, it will get 5.5 of 5 stars on the spot! :)

They have loads more side dishes. The mushrooms are great too. Then again, anything cooked and simmered in the duck gravy would turn out beautifully.
Picture above we have the Kiam Choy. It tastes good and compliments the duck rice well. Please note that is taste excellent too, but this is because it has been cooked with loads of lard.

They too have another nice side dishes, which is the duck's intestines. You'll have to get there really early to taste this, as on most days by 7pm it will all be sold out. Duck's intestines taste different from pigs small intestines. The texture is totally different, so it is a little hard to describe it. Just get there to try it!

Of course if you can't get the duck's intestines, just have the pigs small intestines instead. It is great... then again like I said earlier, anything cooked with the ducks gravy would turn out perfect :)

This place serves the Best Braised Duck Rice available. You'll have to taste it to believe me. Remember get there early so that you'll beat the crowd and save time on waiting for you food. Overall this place serves a great meal. It gets my 5 of 5 stars rating without even thinking twice.

eBay Education Specialist

So everybody is busy advertising that they are a eBay Education Specialist... bla bla bla... guess what, I am used to be one too...

When I first registered to get it done, it was like such a big deal. I payed like $199AUD thinking I would like the only dude with a cert such as that in Malaysia.

When my package finally arrived, I was like wow... great... I hope it is not too hard... Damn... still have to study arr... so old already wor... I hope I don't fail...

After procrastinating for like months, I decided to actually study the notes and take the exam. Little did I realised was that, the course is meant to teach students who are absolute beginners to selling on eBay.

It is targeted at people with no or very little experience. The course is very simple, and if you have been selling on eBay international for like 6 months, don't bother studying for the exams. I assure that you'll pass with flying colours. Even if you did fail, you'll get the 2nd test for free and its the same exact EXAM!! How can anyone fail? BTW I got 100% the first time...

I had forgo my annual subscription for the eBay Education Specialist. I find the details in there a little too simple for the more advance sellers out there. The course was intented to get many individuals out there to promote and advertise about eBay, to get more people interested and selling on eBay.

My purpose is not to get new sellers, but more of how to improve on existing sellers. How to make more money efficiently!