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I’m heading to Singapore this coming Monday for the Snow Patrol concert (woohoo!), and thus there was a need to finally renew my international passport that’s expiring next month (the fact that you can’t use it anymore 6 months before expiration date is dumb)

So I went on imi.gov.my just to check what I need to get it done, and that’s when I discover that you can actually do it online. Which is quite baffling since we’re supposed to be a 3rd world country and our government services were mostly still operating with 80s mindset – “system down! besok mari!”

passport renewal
a bit of photo editing skills go a long way to save monehh

Anyway, all you got to do is put in your IC and passport number, the system will then pull up all the information from your previous record, and you can edit them if there were errors. Then the process is simple:

  • check to make sure information is correct
  • upload passport photo
  • pay via online banking/credit card
  • choose the immigration office you want to collect your brand new passport from
  • collect after 2 hours

And it was really as simple as that. My faith in Wawasan 2020 is back! Now if every department is half as efficient as these guys…

Pro tip: I just asked my colleague to snap a photo of me using my phone, and then with some pixie dust and magical moves via GIMP I made my shirt dark (a requirement), the background blue (another requirement), and then crop the photo into their preferred dimension.

Pro tip 2: Remember to bring the printed receipt and your old passport and IC to collect the new one. I forgot the receipt the first time so had to go there twice, the 2.1 hour was a lie.

At the time of writing, the world human population stands at about 6.77 billion (source: wikipedia). So when someone tells you that you are “one in a million“, he or she is necessarily saying that you are exactly the same as almost seven thousand human beings. Not so special after all, heh?

With the world population expected to increase to 9 billion in another 30 years, being able to separate yourself the other jokers out there will be that much harder. So how do you not lose yourself in the crowd?

How do you differentiate yourself? By getting noticed in photos would be a good start, and here are 8 ways to do it. :D

KY at primary school
be at the highest point

Well, sometimes it helps to start young. For example, when taking pictures, make sure you stand at the highest possible point, especially if you were height challenged like me. Interestingly Horng‘s method of positioning himself at the lowest point with a 100plus works pretty well too.

KY primary school hello
stupid gesture works too

When that is not possible, having a silly and stupid gesture will also help make you stand out in a photograph. Look at me saying “OHAI EVERYONE” while the cameraman snapped this picture. Smashing isn’t it?

tiger_standout_3
stand in front of everyone

Sometimes being vertically challenged has it’s advantages. For example, in this picture taken at my schoolmate’s farewell party (who migrated to Australia), I had the opportunity to stand in front of everyone. Oh, wearing a different color from everyone else helps too.

Again, Horng tried to steal the limelight with his food in mouth action. Not terribly effective, I suppose. Location, location, location!

KY st. cloud state dorm
having a different hair style

Here I was in the dorm at my beloved alma mater quite a few years back. The two mat sallehs are Nick and Kyle who stayed with me on the same floor. I rediscover some of these jokers via facebook years after I graduated.

See, the different hairstyle (some said tragic) that I had definitely put me as the awesome one in this picture. Yey.

KY Resident's Advicer
be the boss of the floor

Apart from physical attribute, another way to stand out is simply be the boss. At our dorm, I was the Resident’s Advicer taking care of 50 university kids. I had to make sure they don’t consume alcohol in their room, not be noisy, doesn’t get into fights, etc etc. (please ignore the bottle on the previous picture)

When you are the boss, you stand out, people pay.. er.. respect (usually in the form of free beer and house party invites). It was awesome.

KY moody shirt
wearing a funny shirt

Sometimes an interesting T-shirt gives you the competitive edge when it comes to standing out. This picture was taken in Melbourne, and the T-shirt bought from Reflections Hotel during the trip to Bangkok with Mellissa. That’s RM 20 well spent.

KY and Kimberly at Nuffnang Party
or maybe an interesting pair of pants?

If the T-shirt isn’t enough, there’s always the pants. Here again I present you my awesome Moody pants I wore to Nuffnang Music Bash earlier this year. Although I must say that Kim’s Village People outfit might have been a bit more outrageous in this case.

Then again, I could wear this pants to KLCC, I doubt Kim would dare to go there with a fake mustache and construction hat. Emmm..

KY Mellissa at Grill'd
have a good looking girlfriend

Last but not least, if you’re not terribly blessed when it comes to facial features and physical built, having a girlfriend who is extremely easy on the eyes will make you stand out too! Having her dozing off your shoulder while enjoying a huge burger at a busy place like QV in Melbourne certainly raises your credit.

So there you go, now everyone will look at your pictures in facebook and find you before having to go through all the tagged names! :D

Weekends looming, and Mell is coming back in a week, wheee!

In this part of the world, we are accustomed to having chili peppers as one of the many ingredients that make up our dishes. In fact, it is one of the most important spices in the local Malay and Indian cuisine, most notably in curry dishes. The Chinese too, have curry mee, laksa, char kueh teow, and many dishes that utilize the properties of chili to give the dishes a kick.

However, do you know your Chili Peppers?

Chili Peppers: Habanero, Thai Chili, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno
Clockwise: Habanero, Thai Peppers, Bell Peppers, Jalapeño

The three most common types of chili we consume are the Thai Pepper (Chili Padi), Red Pepper (Cayenne), and Bell Pepper. Most people would correctly identify that the Thai Pepper is the hottest of the three, with Red Pepper slightly milder, and Bell Pepper not hot at all. But did you know the hotness of any particular type of pepper is rated?

Enter the Scoville scale. The idea is simple, a score of 100 in Scoville scale would mean that the extract of the pepper has to be diluted 100 times in sugar water before no hotness is detected. However, modern tests (HPLC) is a bit more technologically advanced and the human factor is removed.

Turns out, while the bell pepper has a score of 0, the red pepper is rated between 30,000 – 50,000. The Thai Pepper though, is rated 2-3 times more, at 50,000 – 100,000 on the Scoville scale. The Jalapeño found in many Mexican food is at 2,500 – 8,000, while Tabasco sauce at 2,500 – 5,000.

If you want to get a bigger kick, try the Habanero, rated 100,000 – 300,000 with the Red Savina variety up to 577,000. I once cooked a pack of Maggie noodle with one of those and ended up feeling like my lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach were burning. It didn’t feel too great going to the toilet 2 days later either.

It was an experience, I didn’t believe it was the pepper at first, and did a confirmation experiment a week later, it wasn’t exactly pleasant to confirm my findings.

You can get Habanero peppers from Cold Storage at Bangsar. I’m not sure if they are readily available anywhere else.

Tips: I find that Chili is usually milder when precipitation level is high while hotter during dryer times. This is probably due to the growth rate of plants.

Don’t you always feel very sien (frustrated/bored/pissed, sien is a very versatile word) having to stand in the LRT with dozens of sweating bodies right next to you, for half an hour just to get to the office? I feel for you, and hence let me teach you this awesome method of always getting a seat. Devised by yours truely after using the LRT for a couple years.

Taman Bahagia LRT Station
you can see the Kelana Jaya Station from Taman Bahagia’s

Here’s the easy-to-follow, step by step instruction:

1. Instead of boarding at the first station, Kelana Jaya, take the 2nd, Taman Bahagia. As it is very difficult to get a seat even from the first station, why? you might ask..
2. From Taman Bahagia, instead of taking the train to town, go to the other side of the track and take the train that is going back up to Kelana Jaya
3. When the train reached KJ, everyone (except the smart asses like me) will go off, and you’ll get an empty seat. The train will now go to KL.

Taman Bahagia LRT Station
crucial moment, when the train is/isn’t going to change track

The three easy steps mentioned above is sure enough, simple to follow, but there’s a catch! At Kelana Jaya station, the staff will sometimes make everyone go off, and then have the empty train go to town, skipping several stations to pick up passangers whom otherwise will not get a chance to board the trains that get filled up by the 3rd or 4th station. In this case, you’ll be stuck at KJ waiting for another train, which defeats the whole purpose of getting up from Taman Bahagia.

Of course, there is a solution. If a train is left empty, the next one will not. So, at Taman Bahagia, never take the first train that gets there. Let it pass, and look at where the train stops at KJ (it is close enough for naked eyes to see). If it is on the left side of the track, it will be left tempty, you can board the next train. If it is on the right side of the track, skip the next train as chances are high that it will be the empty train next.

Taman Bahagia LRT Station
Red path – empty train, Green path – normal train

Petrol is now RM 1.92 per liter, use the public transportation wisely. You don’t have a reason not to, now that you know the secret of getting a seat. Happy train-ing

Disclaimer: his only works for Taman Bahagia LRT station going to town. For other stations and routes, you can try to not bath for 2 weeks, I’m sure you will have an empty car all by yourself.

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I’m sure some of you, like me, read non-work related books while commuting to and from work. Now reading is a good habit and all, but sometimes it gets in the way of looking professional carrying your favorite story book with you walking in and out of the office (especially you tend to read on morally questionable topics.) Worry not, there is a solution in few simple steps.

fakeplan book cover
just 4 simple-to-follow steps

1. locate a hardcover personal planner that looks professional
2. take out the original content
3. slide in your favorite non-work related book
4. pwn!

fakeplan book cover
perfect disguise!

So you see, now you can carry your favorite book everywhere and still perfectly blend in to the office environment.

Extra bonus – when you “snake” home earlier, you look like you’re going to a meeting.
Extra extra bonus – when the meeting is boring, you can read your story book while appear to look extra productive!

Have a nice week!

p/s: does not work if your colleagues read this blog.

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