Free Blogging Course

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Published in


It's been two months since I started blogging. I still think I'm a newbie although I have learnt a lot of things. I enjoy receiving comments from readers and fellow bloggers and truly appreciate all their advice.

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

What's The Big Deal With Deal Or No Deal?

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, June 26, 2008 | Published in


Game shows. People just love them.

The latest game show to hit Malaysian TV is none other than Deal Or No Deal.

It debuted on ntv7 as a Chinese version of the original game show and was hosted by Goh Wee Ping. The English version hosted by radio DJ Aanont Wathanasin followed closely. To confirm its popularity among TV audiences, the second season of the Chinese version started off recently with a new host by the name of Owen Yap.

The game show is so popular even celebrities tried their hands to win on this show. What’s more, celebrity blogger Kenny Sia also participated in one of the episodes and this was mentioned in his blog.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really don’t understand what is the big deal with Deal Or No Deal. Having watched a few episodes of it, I still could not fathom the reason for its popularity.

Now if you haven’t been watching TV for the past one year, I’m sorry I won’t explain how this game is played. You can find out by googling it, if you care to. Or click on the link above.

To me, the most exciting part of the game is before the actual game itself. The part where questions are thrown to 6 potential contestants, who will attempt to qualify for the game. The first contestant who can answer 2 questions correctly at the fastest time will get to play the game proper.

That’s the most exciting part to me. It goes downhill after that. Seriously! I mean, what’s the fun of opening suitcases at random and hope none of the suitcases you open is the grand prize of RM100,000? It’s all down to pure luck ... and that’s boring!

Come on, let me see some skills here! At least in Wheel Of Fortune or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, contestants get to use their brain power. In Deal Or No Deal, you don’t really need those grey cells. You just guess and guess and hope you get your feng shui right.

Yet Deal Or No Deal is one of the most popular game shows on Malaysian TV today. I suspect the draw is not so much the game itself, but the Revlon girls that are holding those suitcases! Take away the girls and people will very quickly switch channel! Don’t believe? I dare the producers of Deal Or No Deal to try that for one episode. I’ll bet my top ringgit the ratings will start dropping like nobody’s business.

Recently, I came across another game show along similar lines, but much more interesting. It’s called Identity. Again, I’m not going into length how this game is played, but suffice to say, the contestant is required to guess the identities of 12 people on stage.

The more identities the contestant guesses correctly, the more money he or she wins. However, if he makes 2 wrong guesses, he’s out of the game and whatever money he wins will be forfeited as well. So he has a choice to opt out of the game and take the money he won so far, just like in Deal Or No Deal.

At least in Identity, the contestants need to do some deduction to narrow down the possibilities. It’s not just simply choose a suitcase and pray you make the right choice. I would love to see the Malaysian version of Identity.

Oh, if you like, you can play Deal Or No Deal right here, minus the Revlon girls (I wonder why) and the cash prize, of course!

You can also try your hands at Identity here.

Let me know which one you prefer. My vote goes to Identity.

A True Account By An Insomniac

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Published in


It was a dark and stormy night. I was busy blogging on my computer when I realized it was past 2am. Time to sleep! So I switched off the computer and went straight to bed. The bed looked so inviting so I laid down, closed my eyes and proceeded to sleep.

One minute ticked by, two minutes….then three. I opened my eyes. What’s the matter? I had yet to drift into dreamland. I tossed and turned in my bed. Half an hour later, I sat up, wide awake. Outside the rain had stopped. I did not feel sleepy anymore!

If you think this is going to be a ghost story, I am afraid you will be disappointed. Sorry for the misleading title! Ha ha!

After reading about a blogger suffering from sleeplessness the other day, I thought I should share my thoughts on this topic today. So if you have experienced the above minus the dark and stormy weather, then welcome to the world of insomnia!

Actually, if you have insomnia every night, it could be due to a medical condition and the best way to solve it is to see a doctor. However, if you experience sleeplessness once in a while, then here’s some ways to cure or prevent it. These are just some of my suggestions. They may or may not work for you as each individual is different. But try them no matter how ridiculous some of these ideas may sound to you.

1. Clear your mind before you sleep.
Most of us are pre-occupied with what we need to do the next day. If you go to bed worrying what you need to accomplish the next day, your mind will not rest. So the best way is write down a “To Do” List for the next day before you sleep. Sometimes your mind is pre-occupied with some events that happened during the day. Write down these events and note down what exactly is bothering you before you sleep. Once your have cleared your mind, it is easier to go to sleep.

2. Take a warm bath.
This will help you relax. However, you must take it at least 1 hour before sleep. A warm bath will raise your body temperature and this will prevent you from sleeping. We sleep best at optimum body temperature. After 1 hour, your body temperature naturally drops, so that’s the best time to sleep.

3. Avoid stimulants like coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolates, alcohol and cigarettes.
Coffee, black tea, cola drinks and chocolates all contain caffeine which is very stimulating. Alcohol dehydrates your body and this creates unrestful sleep. Cigarettes contain nicotine which produces faster brain wave, heart rate and breathing rate, not to mention an increase amount of stress hormones in your blood.

4. Have some sex.
Good news for those who like to have sex before going to sleep. A lot of people reported that they slept very well after having sex. So it’s a good idea to have sex with your partner during bedtime. Anyway, your bed is good for only two things - for sleeping and for having sex. Those without partners, don’t fret. Self-masturbation works just as well!

5. Sleep on your back.
This is the best position for relaxing and allows all your internal organs to rest properly. The second best position is sleep on your right side. Let me repeat. Sleep on your right, not your left. This is because sleeping on your left causes your lungs, stomach and liver to press against your heart and that’s not a very wise thing to do. But even if you don’t care much for such positions, never ever sleep on your stomach. That’s because sleeping on your stomach will put pressure on virtually ALL your internal organs, including your lungs, which results in shallow breathing, not to mention causing stiff necks and upper back problems.

6. Get a massage.
Massage helps to you to relax. Of course it must be the slow and gentle, yet firm strokes. Not the vigorous kind that makes you more alert. You must get your partner to do this for you, so if he or she does not want to, then try to have sex instead. If all else fail, just self-masturbate! (refer to Tip No.4)

7. Don’t count sheeps.
I don't know who originates this idea that counting sheeps will help you sleep. The idea that sheeps actively jumping over a fence is in itself not very calming to the mind, so how can it possibly help you sleep? Also when is the last time you see sheeps jumping over a fence? I wonder if picturing sheeps jumping over fences is exactly what keeps millions of people awake at night! Come to think of it, a better visualization would be picturing sheeps sleeping and counting the number of zzz coming out from their heads and floating up the sky!

8. Don’t associate your bed with some active or stressful events.
Some people use the bed to chat on their hand phones, others think about their problems in bed, still others read exciting page-turning novels in bed. When you do these things, your mind associates the bed with anything but peaceful and calming sleep! In hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) this is called state anchoring.

An anchor is an experience, taste, touch, or smell that instantly recreates an emotional state in your body. For example, have you experienced hearing your favourite song and a certain emotion comes flooding to you? That is because, when you listened to that song the first time, you were feeling that way at that point of time and this feeling is anchored to that song.

Similarly, when you read a book or chat away on your hand phone in bed, your actions anchor the feeling of wakefulness to your bed. This makes your mind think that the bed is not a place for you to sleep. So every time you go to bed, you automatically feel wide awake! And you wonder how come you are able to sleep anywhere except in your bedroom!

9. Sleep in complete darkness.
You read this right. I want to emphasize the word "complete" here. Some people like to leave the bed lamp or the bathroom lights on. But this is what keeps us from having a good night sleep. Even streetlights shining in through the windows from outside is not good. The reason for this is simple. Our body produces a hormone called melatonin which is responsible for making us sleep. This hormone is produced only when you are in darkness. If there is light, the melatonin production will be affected, and so will your sleep.

10. Make sure room temperature is neither too hot or too cold.
We sleep better in cooler environment. As mentioned earlier (refer to No.2) we sleep best at optimum body temperature. The room temperature will affect our body temperature so if it's too hot, we won't be able to sleep. However, this does not mean you will sleep better in freezing temperature either.

11. Don’t toss and turn in bed.
Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Tossing and turning will only make it worse. By getting out of bed, you change the pattern making it easier for you to fall asleep later on.

12. Exercise.
Exercise makes your body temperature goes up and makes you feel energetic the whole day. In this way, you will be more likely to sleep easier at night. If you notice, people with more “mental” jobs like office workers have more problems sleeping than people who work physically hard all day like construction workers. However, don’t exercise close to sleeping time, as your body temperature will still be high for the next few hours and will affect your sleep. For this reason, never go for a workout at the gym at 9pm!

13. Have a power nap during the afternoon.
A power nap means a short quality nap that is normally taken during the afternoon. In some countries such as Mexico, it's a custom to have daily afternoon siestas. When you take a short nap during the afternoon, you will be more energetic and fresh throughout the rest of the day. When night comes, you are more inclined to sleep better. However, limit your short nap to no more than 30 minutes. If you nap more than 30 minutes, you will confuse your body circadian rhythm and makes it more difficult for you to sleep at night.

14. Practise relaxation techniques.
The reason why you toss and turn in bed is because you are not relaxed. One way to relax is to imagine you are inside a lift as you lie in your bed. Imagine you are on the 100th floor. As the lift descends, count as it passes each floor. 100, 99, 98, 97, 96 ….and so on. With each passing floor, you feel you are getting more and more relaxed. Hopefully before you reach the ground floor, you are already in dreamland! Of course, if you have phobias with lifts, or associate lifts with ghosts (made famous by the Chinese movie "The Eye") don't use this method. You may opt for other relaxation exercises which are just as effective.

15. Eat a light snack.
Although your digestion slows down during night time, eating a light snack that does not burden the digestive system too much will help. However, make sure you eat at least 1 hour before bedtime. Food such as bread, fruit and warm milk are good choices. Avoid food containing simple sugars and carbohydrates because these will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and causes bursts of energy. Also food that are high in fat or spicy should be avoided as these cause gas and bloating in the stomach. Warm milk is excellent as it contains amino acid L-tryptophan. Research shows that L-tryptophan makes us drowsy and helps us sleep better.

16. Listen to music.
The music should be soft, preferably instrumental songs and not loud, rock songs. Also don’t listen to your favourite songs during sleep. You will tend to concentrate on the song and stay awake!

17. Drink herbal tea.
Chamomile, passion flower or valerian tea is excellent as they are natural sedatives and sleep promoters without the side effects of sleeping drugs. These are herbal teas. Don't confuse with other forms of tea like teh tarik which will guarantee to keep you awake!

18. Sleep with your head facing north.
This is not some feng shui advice from Lillian Too. Although not proven, it seems that sleeping in this position aligns your body with the earth’s magnetic field, bringing your own energies in harmony with earth. No harm trying but if you cannot turn your bed to face North because of lack of space in your bedroom or putting your bed in that position looks really awkward, then just forget it!

19. Develop a bedtime routine.
For example before going to sleep, you fold the laundry, check the locks, brush your teeth. Because humans are creatures of habit, these actions will program your body to get ready for sleep. It’s somewhat like the Pavlov's experiments with dogs. Or this is another form of anchoring (refer to No. 8)

20. Listen to Innertalk "Sleep Soundly" CD.
Innertalk is a company founded by Dr Eldon Taylor who did a lot of research on the effects of mind programming using CDs. I am sure you have heard about the effects of writing down and reciting affirmations to reprogram your mind. However, affirmations rarely work because your conscious mind will reject them as untrue. For example, if you affirm that you sleep very easily at night and you sleep deeply all the way till morning, your conscious mind will reject this affirmation because it knows very well that you have been tossing and turning in your bed every night! What Dr Taylor did was he used a patented technology to hide these affirmations behind music. When you listen to his CDs, you hear only music, but your sub-conscious mind will catch the affirmations that is not audible to your ears! Listen to his "Sleep Soundly" CD will help to reprogram your mind about sleeping.

Well, that's it! 20 ways to cure the insomniac in you! Whichever method you use, take sleeping pills and drugs only as a last resort. Even then, do not take them continuously or you can become dependent on them. And whatever you do, don't mix alcohol with sleeping pills! It's deadly. You don't want to end up like Heath Ledger, do you?

What Are Your Priorities?

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, June 20, 2008 | Published in


Busy! Busy! Busy!

I'm so busy I'm actually doing 4 things right now - writing this blog, eating my lunch, chatting on the phone and sending reply emails!

I can tell you I'm not doing a very good job out of it and you know why? 'Cos I'm a man, not a woman. I'm from Mars, not Venus. Oh, you get it, don't you? That thing about women being experts at multi-tasking and men not so good at it?

Just this morning, my friend who faithfully read my blog since it started called up and asked what happened to me. Why did I stop blogging.

I was like, what? When did I stop blogging?

If I'm not mistaken, my last blog was posted on Tuesday, 17th June 2008 which was just 3 days ago. So what was she talking about?

OK, OK, I know they say if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, you must post daily. Daily! Well, it's not that I don't want to, it's just that I don't have the time!

Now, a lot of people I know don't like that last sentence. Don't have the time. What the crap is that? If you don't have time, mister, make time! It's all about time management, right? Know your priorities!

There are 101 things I need to do in a single day. No kidding. Look, I'm writing down a 'To Do' List for today. Here it is...

My 'To Do' List for Fri, 20th June 2008
1. Write a new post on my blog
2. Reply all emails
3. Drop on Entrecard members
4. Read my favourite blogs
5. Bank in my cheques
6. Mail letter and buy stamps
7. Return call to Mr. Tan
8. Get a haircut
9. Water the plants
10. Buy ink for my printer
11. Watch "Death Note" DVD (must return by tomorrow!)
12. Buy gift for Cheryl's birthday
13. Work out at the gym
14. Visit my dentist
15. Change my bedroom's light bulb
16. Iron my clothes
17. Call my insurance agent
18. Practise my piano (need to perform during Cheryl's birthday party!)

Ok, so it's not 101 things, just 18. Still, that's a lot I need to accomplish in a day, don't you think?
Hello! The above list is what I need to do in addition to my daytime job which is a MUST DO.

So how on earth am I going to tick off every item on my 'To Do' list? This is when I must make use of the Pareto Principle.

A ha!

Well, in case you haven't heard about the Pareto Principle, let me just briefly mention it. Pareto Principle states that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Also known as the 80-20 rule, it was discovered by an Italian economist by the name of, you guessed it, Pareto.

Using this 80-20 rule, you will be surprised to find that...

20% of people in Malaysia had 80% of the money.

20% of the people in your office do 80% of the work.

20% of your customers give you 80% of your profits.

20% of the world's countries control 80% of the world's economy.

20% of bloggers who read my post won't understand 80% of what I'm blogging about.

OK, I'm just kidding on that last one.

Or I think it's more accurate to say that 80% of bloggers who drop by only read 20% of my post today. They are the Touch n Go bloggers, if you know what I mean - and I'm especially referring to Entrecard bloggers. Ha ha!

Anyway, what has all this got to do with my 'To Do' List? Plenty. Simply put, by applying the Pareto Principle, I need only to concentrate on 20% of my 'To Do' List ie. the most important ones. In other words, the ones I give priority to. It all comes back to priorities.

Unless I target the 20%, I can be wasting 80% of my time!

What I'm saying is, you can't do everything! But you can do the 20%! Let's not worry about the 80%. Because by concentrating on the 20%, you would already have made a major achievement. That's why they say average people put average effort into lots of things. Achievers put major effort into key things.

Having said that, does this mean I'll be updating my blog daily from now on?

Unlikely. The reason? I know my priorities, and I can tell you there are more important things in my life besides blogging! Posting every 2-3 days is fine with me and for the moment, let's leave it at that.

Even Superheroes Need To Shave

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | Published in


Even Superheroes Need To Shave! That’s the tagline very cleverly created by Schick in collaboration with the release of Will Smith’s latest movie, Hancock.

Looking at the picture above, you can see that Will Smith clearly needs a good shaving!

Now I’m not here to talk about the new movie. But go ahead! Watch the trailer first then continue reading.

My topic today is, you guessed it, shaving!

As most men know only too well, shaving is one of the dreaded tasks we got to do every morning. Now if you are anything like me, you won’t shave everyday and you will let the hair on your chin grow into a beard if people around you don’t start giving uncomplimentary comments.

"Hey! You want to look like a beggar on the street? Go shave!" said my mom.

"Eh, new style ah? Not bad, very sexy looking lah" said one of my girlfriends. This sounded to me like a complement, I think.

"What happened to you? The stock market crashed is it?" said my good friend pretending to be shocked.

"What’s with the new look? You changed job is it? Hardly recognize you!" said an old friend I have not met since last year.

I even have a friend who had the cheek to say "Wa lau! How you can grow so much hair on your face? You stick it on one ah?"
I knew he’s jealous because he could not grow as much facial hair as me, so I just smiled and said, "Yes, I sticked it on. Bought from Petaling Street. Very cheap. Don’t it look like the real thing? You want?"

So shaving is a must-do. At least just to prevent people from giving comments, although really, it’s none of their business! The only respite I get from this is when I go holiday. No one there will say anything when I grow a beard. No one.

I don’t know about women (maybe they have their fair share of shaving problems) but many men just dislike shaving. One of the reasons is when you shave every single day, your skin tend to burn and develop rashes. So to help my fellow men, here’s some tips on how and when to shave.

1. Do not shave first thing in the morning. Let your skin “wake up” for a while first. The best time to shave is after a warm bath. This softens your stubble or hair and also open up the skin pores for a closer shave. If you don’t intend to take a bath before shaving, then wetting the areas you need to shave with warm water can do just as well.

2. Massage shaving cream onto the area needed to be shaved. The cream will help you get a smooth shave and prevent razor burns and rashes. Let the cream sits on the skin for a few minutes before shaving.

3. Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against. It’s more comfortable to shave this way. However, shaving against the direction of hair growth gives you a closer shave, but you risk getting redness, razor burns, rashes and even ingrown hairs which can be painful.

4. Rinse the blade often in water and use slow short strokes. Do not press the blade too hard on your skin or you’ll get cuts.

5. Use a sharp blade at all times. A dull blade is responsible for many shaving cuts as it drags over your face and catches your skin along with the hairs of your beard.

6. Always start with the side of the face, then move on to more tricky areas like the neck/throat area, bottom lip/chin area and the upper lip/moustache area. Try to stretch your skin a bit to make a flat surface for a closer shave.

7. After shaving, clean your face with cold water. Apply an oil-free moisturizer to soothe and protect the face. If you prefer an after-shave, make sure it does not contain alcohol because it will cause dryness and irritations to the skin.

8. You do not need to shave everyday. Depending on how fast your beard grow, you can actually shave every 2-3 days. Now is that good news or what?

7 Things You Must Know About Your Credit Card That Banks Don't Tell

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, June 15, 2008 | Published in


Credit cards are like symbols of wealth. Almost every working adult owns a credit card nowadays. Some own more than one. Me? I own just one. Why? I’ll let you know in a moment.

Is credit card good or bad? It really depends on how you use it. However, there’s certainly no doubt that it is very convenient and user friendly. Banks are currently aggressively promoting their credit cards. And why not? It’s a huge money maker for them as the interest rate charged are the highest at 18% per annum.

If you are a seasoned credit card user, I’m pretty sure you already knew some of the things I’m going to reveal. But I won’t bet my money on it. That’s because most credit card holders are really ignorant people. And who stand to benefit from this but the banks themselves!

Do you know...

1. You can spend over and above your credit limit?
Yes, it’s absolutely true. And banks don’t want to tell you. The reason? They can charge you RM50 for exceeding your credit limit. So, if your credit limit is RM3,000 and you accidentally spent RM3,015 thinking that the transaction won’t go through if it’s above your limit, then don’t be surprised when you see RM50 charged to your account in the next statement.

2. Banks can transfer funds from your other accounts (eg. Savings, Current) from the same bank to pay off your credit card debts without the need to inform you?
Yes, it’s legal and have been done many times. For example, if you are a Maybank credit card holder and you have a savings account with Maybank. If you owe Maybank RM8,000 in credit card debt, Maybank has the right to take RM8,000 from your savings account to pay your debts. And they don’t have the obligation to inform you! My advice? Don’t open any accounts with the bank that issued you the credit card. But the best option is of course, don’t owe any credit card debts!

3. Banks can increase your credit limit at their own discretions without asking for your consent?
True again. Of course, you can reject, but few people will take the trouble to do so. Once you continue using your card, you are deemed to have consented to the increase in credit limit. I should know because I started with a credit limit of only RM3,000 8 years ago. Today, my credit limit has reached RM14,000! Now you know why I said earlier I only own one credit card? Because ONE is enough. I don’t want to be tempted in spending more than RM14,000 a month!

4. You can choose not to pay the annual renewal fee?
Yes, it’s very true. Because credit card is such a competitive business, most banks usually allow you to skip the annual payment to prevent you from switching to other banks. However, this is provided you call them up and insist that you don’t want to pay the annual renewal fee. Believe me, they don’t want you to call!

5. You will be charged RM10 or 1% on the total outstanding balance(whichever is higher)for late payment effective 1st July 2008?
Presently, the minimum charge for late payment is RM5 or 1% on the minimum payment due(whichever is higher). But effective 1st July 2008, the minimum charge will increase to RM10 or 1% on the total outstanding balance(whichever is higher) (subject to a maximum of RM100).

To compare the old and the new rate, let's say you have an outstanding balance of RM500. The minimum payment is 5% of the total outstanding amount which is RM25. If you pay just one day late, you now have to pay RM5 in late payment fees, but with the new rate, your late payment charges will double to RM10.

On the other hand, if you have an outstanding balance of RM20,000 the minimum payment is RM1,000. If you pay the RM1,000 late, you now have to pay only RM10 in late payment fees, but with the new rate, your late payment charges will increase tenfold to RM100 (the maximum allowed)

6. You can pay lower interest rate starting from 1st July 2008?
This is supposed to be good news and really it is, until you read No.7 below. Yes, Bank Negara will be implementing the Tiered Interest Rate on 1st July 2008. With this ruling, you can lower your card interest rate from 18%p.a to 15%p.a.
It works like this. If for 12 consecutive months, you are faithful in paying the minimum amount on time, your interest rate will be reduced to 15%p.a. from the 13th months onwards. (This is known as Tier 1).
If for 12 consecutive months, you manage to pay minimum amount on time for 10 or 11 months, your interest rate will be reduced to only 17%. (This is Tier 2).
Those that are not in Tier 1 or 2 will be in Tier 3, where the normal 18% interest rate applies.
But this good news is sinking as fast as the Titanic. To know why, read No 7.

7. All credit card holders who don’t make the full payment on their cards will not be able to enjoy the 20-day interest free period effective 1st July 2008?
Don't you think it's too much of a coincidence to have this implemented also on the same date ie. 1st July 2008? I have already mentioned about this ruling in my older post (Read it here). In other words, if you are supposed to pay RM2,000 for last month and you paid only RM1,500, then any purchases you made with your card this month would be charged interest starting from the date of your next statement. Don’t you agree this makes a complete nonsense of the reduced interest rate plan (No.6) above?

So, dear credit card holders, be smart and use your credit cards wisely.

My Very First Blog On Indy Jones

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, June 13, 2008 | Published in


I know. I know. I'm a bit late to do this but I'm going to do it anyway.

Most everyone would have caught the latest Indiana Jones flick by now. I went to watch it only last Wednesday. Since I did not have much time to blog today, I decided to write a short review on this movie.

Well, how did I find it?

To be honest, I was not really happy with the show. It clearly did not match Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, which was my favourite. Well, maybe it's because I was very young that time, or I was having too high expectation after all those heavy promotional advertisements on the latest flick.

Somehow, this time I did not feel the magic. Harrison Ford did not look like a hero to me anymore. Maybe he's too old to be Indy? Surviving the atomic bomb in a refrigerator seemed too far fetched to me especially when he came out of it with not even a slight bruise.

I also found it a bit ridiculous to see Shia LeBeouf (as Mutt) swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan. And not to mention Indy and gang surviving all those bullets and the drop down the waterfalls three times in a row.

But to top it all off, the director (Steven Spielberg) and producers (Frank Marshall & George Lucas) saw it fit to end the show with an alien theme and a huge flying saucer. How predictable can you get! In any case, I don't see how Indiana Jones and ET can appear in the same show! Steven Spielberg was much better off in Jurassic Park.

It looked as if the plot was not carefully thought out and many things were thrown into the movie just to create some kind of excitement.

The only saving grace was actress Cate Blanchett. I thought she was superb as Soviet villainess Irina Spalko. No doubt sometimes I did not know whether she was being serious or making jokes but her presence definitely made the movie watchable. In fact, without her, the whole movie won't be as entertaining.

However, don't get me wrong. The movie wasn't really that bad. It was just bad as an Indiana Jones sequel. It was, in fact actually quite entertaining from beginning to end. Only thing was, it didn't make me rave and praise like what I did after watching Lord Of The Rings.

I definitely won't go for a second round on this one.


Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Published in


Reading a blogger's post on Forgive But Don't Forget today inspired me to write this article.

It's so hard to forgive, isn't it? When someone do you wrong, don't you just hate that person and vow never to forgive him or her ever?

But wait a minute, when you vow not to forgive that person, who exactly is suffering here?

Think about it.

Here's an example to make it clearer for you. Let's say, you discover that your girlfriend is leaving you because she is running off with your best friend.

So in anger, you say, "I'll never forgive you for that!"

Now there are hundred and one reasons why your girlfriend left you. It may be because you did not appreciate her, or she did not find you compatible, or she is money minded and your best friend is more loaded than you, etc. etc. Whatever the reasons, it does not matter, at least that is not what I'm trying to talk about today.

What matters is when you vow not to forgive her, and perhaps even extend that to your best friend, who suffers?

I can assure you it's not them. You are losing sleep, have no appetite, cannot concentrate on your work, and feeling all stressed up. Them? They are probably enjoying themselves and partying all night!

So you see, when you don't forgive them, it's YOU who suffer.

But then, you say "How can I possibly forgive them after what they did? And why should I since I'm the victim here?"

Well, when you forgive someone, you don't have to agree with what that person did. When you forgive her, it does not mean you lost, she won.
When you forgive him, it does not mean he's right, you're wrong.
When you forgive them, IT IS NOT ABOUT THEM.

It's about YOU. PERIOD.

You want your own life to work. You want to have inner peace of mind. When you forgive someone, you let go the burden and you feel free. You are once again in control of your life. Why let the person who wronged you control your life? Hasn't he or she done enough damage to you? It makes no sense to let them prolong your suffering!

Revenge should be furthest from your mind. There is no need to feel spiteful because the nature of things will take care of itself. Haven't you heard about the Law Of Attraction? Or the Law Of Karma ie. what you sow, you reap? Do bad things and bad things come to you? Do good things and expect to receive good things?

So when we forgive others, it does not mean they did no wrong. It simply means we accept that they wronged us, and we move on. We wish them well, and carry on with our lives.

Now that you know this, let me end this with a surprising twist. OK, here goes...


Huh? Scratching your head?

You must be thinking I'm contradicting myself!

Well, not really. Let me invite you to read this wonderful, inspiring story called "The Little Soul and The Sun" by Neale Donald Walsch. I hope you will be further enlightened by the story and perhaps understand why there is no one for us to forgive.

Before signing off, I would like to say thank you to Andrew Matthews for his wonderful book Happiness Now. It's from this book, I learnt about forgiving others. Go get this book - you won't regret it!

If today, there is someone you are still angry with, or someone you have never thought of forgiving, I hope my article here will change your mind. Forgive that someone, because you'll be much better off. I promise.

The Truth Is Out There?

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Published in


It’s scary. But is it true?

It is said that all truth passes through 3 stages.
Stage 1 – It is ridiculed.
Stage 2 – It is violently opposed.
Stage 3 – It is accepted as being self evident.

I am referring to hand phones, mobile phones or cell phones. Whatever you may want to call it, is it true that they are posing a danger to our health?

Recently, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) called for a ban on the use of hand phones. CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said that a research by award winning neurosurgeon from USA, Professor Dr Vini Gautam Khurana had concluded that using hand phones for more than 10 years could double the risk of brain cancer. Download the report here.

Now I know this may be old news and this issue have already been discussed and heavily criticised in some blogs. However, this is a research done by a well known and respected neurosurgeon, not just anyone. So I think we better sit up and take notice.

I mean, people may laugh at the suggestion by CAP to ban hand phones. Who in their right minds would stop using hand phones when they are so convenient? And I’m sure you’ll agree in this modern age, hand phone is a necessity. Not a luxury.

Take me for example. Without my hand phone with me, especially when I’m not at home is like asking me to walk around without my right hand. I still remember once or twice when I forgot to carry my hand phone with me, I felt lost. And nowadays, you don’t want to have your car break down in the middle of nowhere only to discover that you did not have a hand phone to make emergency calls.

At the moment, mobile phone and telecommunication companies all ridiculed the idea of hand phones posing danger to our health. They said the electromagnetic radiation emitted by hand phones is not strong enough to damage our brain cells. They also pointed out that world wide studies showed no link between hand phone use and increased risk of cancer.

Now that gives me enough confidence to continue using my hand phone. I mean there are millions and millions of people using hand phones in the world and surely, you are not telling me, they will all be down with brain cancer in the future?

Well, but here’s the catch. All those studies that showed no proof did not include enough long term hand phone users in their study samples. Professor Khurana did.

What’s more, I went to seek out more info on the web’s top alternate health site, and was shocked to find this true story of a brain tumour victim due to his extensive use of hand phone. Read his story here.

It seems the truth about hand phones is no longer out there.
So should I still use my hand phone? How can I survive without one?

Dinner Buffet @ Eccucino, Prince Hotel KL

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, June 8, 2008 | Published in


Finally, my very FIRST blog on food.

I recently won a contest and the prize was a free dinner buffet for 4 people at Eccucino, Prince Hotel & Residence in KL.

Went there with my family members last Friday. The place was spacious and there were lots of nice looking food!

First I went for the satay. It's quite good although the sauce did not match the ones I ate in Haji Samuri's Satay Restaurants. Then I tried the pizzas. They were amazing! It seemed that the pizza is Eccucino's specialty as they bake the pizzas using wood-fired ovens. Sorry picture didn't turn out well - I forgot to use "flash".

Next were the prawns and oysters. I had several helpings of those!

Then it's to a combination of salmon, quail, beef, keropok, and some vegetables all in one plate.

Sushi and raw salmon was next. I did not quite like the sushi. I think Sushi King is better.

This delicious "pisang pengat" dessert is a must-try. Lots of banana chunks in it.

Here's an assortment of desserts/cakes. Some are nice - I forgot which ones!

Strawberry, marshmallows and other fruits to be dipped in chocolate fondue. This one before I dipped them in.

This one after I dipped them. Delicious!!

Some fine dining here. Not very nice except for the one in the spoon, although not sure what that was!

My favourite chocolate and corn ice cream with lots and lots of almonds! Yummy!!

There were many other food but I did not eat them as I was already full after taking many helpings of the pizzas and the oysters and prawns.

Overall, not bad, but cannot match places like Lemon Garden Cafe, Shangri-La KL or even Sun n' Surf, Sunway Resort Hotel. But considering the price of the buffet at RM79++, and I got to eat for free - that's really worth it!!

What's Your Junk Crap?

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, June 6, 2008 | Published in


With the rising cost of petrol and the cost of everything else that will rise with it, I can see only 3 options.

Option #1 : Earn more money

Option #2 : Spend less money

Option #3 : Combine both Option #1 and Option #2 (the most ideal option)

Now I’m not terribly good at Option #1, but I’m even worse at Option #2.

But I gotta start somewhere. So, today I’m going to focus on Option #2 ie. Spend less money.

It’s actually easier said than done. I notice that before the end of each month, I always run out of money. Luckily for me, I always pay myself first. That means I always save 10% of my monthly income and put it into my savings account which I don’t touch. (Yes, I make sure this savings account cannot be accessed by way of ATM machines!)

But after deducting the necessary expenses like house loan, car loan, insurance, petrol, food, household bills and the like, I am usually left with a small amount to spend. From this small amount, I try to place some money into investments, and then use the rest for other spendings.

The trouble is, my spending always exceed my budget for the month. I just don’t know where I spent all those money!

According to Azizi Ali in his book, The Millionaire In Me, not knowing where your money goes is BAD NEWS! From his book, I found a method where I’m able to trace where my money goes every month. Azizi called it the Money Tracker.

Here’s a snapshot of the Money Tracker from his book.

Everyday, list down what you spend. Big or small. It can be for big items like buying a TV or small like parking charges. List down everything. Once that is done, fill up the Priority Codes.

There are 4 codes, namely:
1 – Mandatory Oxygen
2 – Essential Food
3 – Nice
4 – Junk Crap

For example, petrol and food comes under Mandatory Oxygen. It is for the things that are absolutely necessary for us to survive. Next, books may come under Essential Food if you like to read. Going to the movies and yoga classes may come under Nice. And cigarettes or clubbing may go under Junk Crap.

Of course different people have different priorities. You may like clubbing and place it under No. 2 Essential Food. Or you don’t read books, so spending money on books is Junk Crap to you! Some people are gym junkies so for them, spending on the gym’s monthly fees is Mandatory Oxygen to them.

But really, do re-think your priorities very carefully in view of the escalating expenses. I hope you don’t put clubbing under Mandatory Oxygen and food under Junk Crap! Then you surely have your priorities wrong!

Even for food, it does not mean all food goes under Mandatory Oxygen. For example eating at a lavish buffet in a 5-star hotel surely qualifies under No.3 Nice or even No.4 Junk Crap if the food is lousy.

Thanks to this Money Tracker which I started using 3 months ago (I wished I had started sooner), I am able to know exactly what I spent on. And I have managed to stop spending on those Junk Craps. You’ll be surprise how much money you can save by making use of this Money Tracker.

So, let’s not procrastinate. Identify your Junk Craps today!

Double Bad News For Malaysians

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Published in


GOING UP, UP ... and UP!

I'm not referring to the number of hits my blog received, nor the amount of income I'm getting, nor the direction of the stock market. Neither am I referring to Mariah Carey's voice hitting the glass shattering octaves.

Nope, I'm talking about the price of petrol, or fuel or gas, whatever you want to call it. It's going up like nobody's business.

Just yesterday, it was announced that the Government will allow market prices to determine petrol prices after introducing a new subsidy scheme for the lower income groups in August. (I wonder if I qualify for the lower income group subsidy - I have a heavy feeling that I don't)

I really don't know how they are going to do it, the Government I mean. Imagine we are now paying RM1.92 per litre and come August, we will be paying over RM5 per litre! Are they insane?

And the real trouble here is not whether I should continue to drive or at least cut down on travelling (which I can assure you it's impossible) BUT whether I can survive when the price of everything else (and I mean everything else) rises in tandem with the petrol price.

The way I see it, things are going to get real tough. Perhaps the Government should increase the petrol price gradually. Otherwise, we will see a dramatic rise in unemployment, and robberies.

(Note: At the time of writing, I received this latest news - petrol price increase to RM2.70 per litre at midnight tonight!)

In the meantime, more bad news coming our way. From what I heard, Bank Negara will be introducing the new Tiered Pricing Structure for credit card holders on 1st July 2008.

Under this new structure, the 20-days interest free period will no longer be enjoyed by credit card holders who don’t make the full payment on their credit card bills.

Yes, you read that right.

If you only pay partial or minimum payment, interest will be charged on the day the new purchases are posted on the card accounts.

For example, if your last month’s card account shows an outstanding balance of RM2,000 and you can only afford to pay RM1,500, then sorry to say any purchases you make this month with your credit card will be charged interest starting from the date of your account statement. No 20-day interest free period for you!

Sometimes I wonder if Bank Negara is helping us or actually helping the banks make more money. With only one-third of cardholders in this country settling their credit card amount in full every month, it is easy to see how profitable this new price structure will be to the banks.

Coupled with the increase in petrol prices, Malaysians are in for a really tough ride. Best of Luck, everyone!

Bloggers Anonymous

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, June 2, 2008 | Published in


I'm frustrated! And running out of patience!

I could not log into my Gmail account, could not access the Entrecard website, and could not analyse my traffic at StatCounter. All because of an outage at The Planet data centre?

For the first time since I started this blog, and my very first attempt too, I just came to this realization about myself - I AM A BLOG ADDICT.

It's true. Now tell me if I'm not addicted to blogging. Here are my symptoms:

1. Feeling frustrated for not able to access my Gmail account, Entrecard website and StatCounter as stated above (Those people who are doing everything they can to solve the problem at The Planet better solve it within these few days cos I don't know how much longer I can last in such condition!)

2. Miss my favourite reality TV show Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" just to read a few more blogs. (Who says a blog addict is someone who only likes to write blogs? It also applies to one who likes to read other people's blogs!)

3. I dream about blogging and hitting the one million mark like Tun Dr Mahathir in my sleep every night. (Oh yes, dream on!)

4. I turn down an invitation to a friend's wedding dinner all because I rather spend the time at home blogging on my computer. (Can you blame me if I know for sure a Chinese wedding dinner in Malaysia always start two hours late? Like Lydia Teh said in her book, "Honk! If You're Malaysian" we practise MRT aka Malaysian Rubber Time)

5. I think about what to blog and getting inspiration in the weirdest of times, like when I'm talking to my boring neighbour, sitting in the toilet, walking the treadmill in the gym, making love etc.etc. (you get the picture)

6. I am already late for my appointment with my dentist but I still make a last desperate attempt to check for any incoming comments on my blog although I just checked it 30 minutes ago.

7. The first thing that I do when I switch on my computer is to go straight to my blog. Everything else is secondary.

8. I do not mind delaying a trip to the toilet to answer nature's call just to read up on a few more blogs. (My doctor told me it's not healthy to delay the toilet trips so I better take his advice seriously)

9. My handphone bills have reduced drastically because I prefer to talk less and blog more. (Not a bad thing, I think)

10. I prefer my friends communicate with me by writing comments on my blog rather than calling, sms or visit me in person. And when I do meet up with them , the first thing I say is "Did you read my blog?"

So, am I a confirmed blog addict? You tell me!

Will BA help?

Oh, by the way, BA stands for Bloggers Anonymous.