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Showing posts from January, 2020

116 apps and counting

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I was searching for an app in my phone when my colleague commented, "wow, you've got so many apps!"  I know I like to look for apps when I want to get something done using my phone but I thought it's a norm that phone are filled with lots and lots of different apps. There are so much you can do with them! I download a lot of them but since my Razer Phone 2 only has 64G memory, I try to cut down on the apps in my phone and remove those I seldom use.  Right now I have 116 apps installed. Too many? Too few? Or a norm?  How many do you have? Oh yes, a shout-out to Quimchee, the webtoonist of I Love Yoo , from where I took my phone wallpaper from as you see in my screenshot above. I love her work! pearlie

A Thousand Words #228

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pearlie

Throwback #2: Mattress Hunting

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I was having lunch with my colleague when the subject of mattresses came up. This was because I was complaining about the mattress in a hotel I was in recently. It was so soft I had to wake up everytime I wanted to change my sleeping position. And I'm lucky I didn't get a back ache sleeping on it. My colleague then commented that she needs to change her Getha mattress she bought 5 years ago which is now too soft for her comfort. I remembered blogging about my experience in buying my mattress only to find out it has been 9 years since I purchased it!  Wow...I thought it was just 3 or 4 years ago. I wanted to buy a Getha mattress too but found a more affordable option - Naturatex . And I did list down some good tips when shopping for a mattress. Go check it out if you are interested. My Naturatex mattress is still in tip top condition. And I'm sure it will last for many more years to come. But just for the record, I've only paid RM1 for each day of the past 9

Conversations in Outlook?

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I'm back at work today, not taking any days off for the Chinese New Year and as I was viewing through my emails in my Outlook, I  nonchalantly thought about how I wished that my emails in Outlook can be in conversations like in my Gmail. But I did an about-turn. And asked myself more seriously, can Outlook actually do that now? I did a search and yes! You can view emails in Outlook in conversation form. Check it out here on how to make that happen in your Outlook.  But being a slow day at work today, I have not had the chance to really try it out. So I'll reserve my comments till when I can really test it out.  A good discovery nonetheless. pearlie

Where's the hook?

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In the recent music workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago, one of the electives I attended was song writing. I picked this because I wanted to attend something new, something I have not ventured in before.  Though I did co-write two songs, both wedding songs, which were presented during the weddings but they are now lost and forgotten.  Anyway, I found the session very interesting and there is this one thing I learnt that I keep trying to look out for in the songs that I now listen to. It's the hook. Any good song has one. A hook is the x-factor of a song: a melodic, rhythmic or harmonic phrase that adds a particular interest to the song. It's the part that makes the song stand out.  Apple Music had this new song in my playlist recently and as I listened to it...there! that's the hook!  Do you hear it? pearlie

A day in the forest

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My hubby and I spent a great day in the forest with family in this awesome looking house in the hills.  It's like my idea of a dream house, which is house-with-glass-walls-on-a-hill, except that it's so much bigger.  And here's my hubby setting up his drone to take videos and pictures like the one above. He had a lot of fun. The weather was cool and nice, in the range of 24°C. Though the skies were a bit dark and the sun didn't show itself... ...giving it a darker side to the scenery. One could really just stay the whole day here and look out to the stretches and stretches of green foliage and white greyish cloudy skies.  It was peaceful... ...except that city people (I assume that they were) do not realise that sound gets amplified quite a lot in the forest and the people occupying the premises opposite us were making so much noise that it became really irritating. We tried not to be bothered by it the

Happy New Year Everyone!

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My father side of the family, or at least part of us, gathered for lunch today and it's so good to see each other again.  Let me wish you: 恭祝大家新年快乐 身手灵活犹如松鼠 比天竺鼠人见人爱 幸福健康机会平安 数不尽,有的藏 In Cantonese: zuk1 daai6 gaa1 san1 nin4 faai3 lok6 san1 sau2 ling4 wut6 jau4 jyu4 cung4 syu2 bei2 tin1 zuk1 syu2 jan4 gin3 jan4 ngoi3 hang6 fuk1 gin6 hong1 gei7 wui6 ping4 ngon1 sou3 bat1 zeon6 jau5 dik1 cong4 In literal translation! Wishing everybody a Happy New Year Body and hands lively like the squirrels Compared to guinea pigs people see people love Happiness, health, opportunity, peace Counting unexhausted there is to keep Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Wishing all of you the best of the new year!!! May we all be blessed and happy all year long! pearlie

Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner

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It has been many years since we've gathered for a reunion dinner at my mother-in-law's home. She has been away most of these years but she's home now and it's nice to gather again as a family. She cooked such a delicious spread and we really missed her cooking!!! Oh so yummy... Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone! pearlie

What are you reading?

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Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I have not been reading much last year and that I wanted to catch up on it this year. And catch up I certainly did. I was so much on the roll that I read 6 books in just half a month.  I began with Bruce K. Waltke's Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? followed by the rest you see below. The sequence is quite logical as I progressed on from one book to another.  Then I wanted something a little lighter and decided to read Tolkien's The Hobbit . I'm still at it. It started off quite good and fun but got dreary as it moved along. The story gets harder and darker. Just like Bilbo, I wished he was back in his hobbit-hole in The Shire. And just like him, I'm good just staying at home with no adventures. And yes, this is how boring I am. As a result of reading NT Wright's The Case for the Psalms: Why They are Essential , I started another reading plan in the YouVersion bible app to read the whole of The Psa

So tired...

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pearlie

Goodbye...farewell and thank you

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We started  Grace Notes since year 2006 and we have been assembling to rehearse and gathering to minister to others in music and songs for 14 years.  And we are so extremely grateful and thankful to Chinese Methodist (Cantonese) Church Kuala Lumpur for their generosity and grace in providing a place for us to practice and rehearse all these years .  But it is time to say goodbye... ...the church will be undergoing renovation work and so we looked for a new place for our rehearsals and again by God's providence, we have been offered a place.  With that, we will be moving and today is our final rehearsal in this location.  I must say, some of us are indeed very sad to go. Goodbye...and thank you. pearlie

Should we eat fast-food burgers?

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I gave up on eating in McDonald's several years ago and I have not eaten fast-food burgers in quite a long time. This was after I watched was it a documentary or a MOOC about food where they did a time lapse video on a homemade burger next to a fast-food one. The latter remained unchanged whilst the homemade one bloomed in white coloured mould pretty quickly.  Until a Burger King joint opened at my workplace. I accompanied my colleagues there and soon enough I was eating it too. I don't know but Burger King burgers seem to taste much better than McDonald's. And they seem more "real"? I may be wrong but it does feel that way to me. And what more, its current promotional deal with TNG is very attractive. Today I chowed down a Triple Whopper, yes triple!, fries and a Coke for just RM9.88. But I wondered if I should avoid it like I avoided McDonald's and so I went hunting for some information and found this very interesting article on the All-Ameri

I need a really good book!

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I have been doing considerably well in reading. Until last year, for I only read 9 books!  That is so few compared to the 30 to 50 over books I have read per year in the past years. I hope for a comeback in 2020. And? So far so good! We are only halfway through January and I have already read 6 books, and quite good reads all of them.  I wanted to keep the ball rolling but I wanted something fun. The 6 books were pretty serious and heavy ones at that.  So I needed something lighter but it has to be really good.  What should it be? I scrolled through the books I have and then voilà!  I found it! The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien What could be better than Tolkien's The Hobbit ?! The only problem, though small, is that I don't have the ebook version.  When I started reading again from year 2011, it was ebooks that got me a back into serious reading. I have never read a print book ever since. And I got so used to ebooks--the convenience, mobility and versatility--that

Very good replacement sofa covers

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I have had my sofas for many years now and I know I have to change them already, until I saw this in Facebook, and with a 65% discount too. When I watched the accompanying video, I like what I saw. And so I checked out the prices... ...and it's going to cost me $58 + $49 for a quad and a triple, which will come to at least RM450 not including shipping.  A triple sofa cover in Ikea will cost about that if not more and I thought maybe it could work. But to make sure, I went online to check out if there were any reviews of the product.  But what I found was that these sofa covers are available in Shopee too! And at a fraction of the price. Notice that they used the same picture too. I order a quad for RM64 ($15) and a triple for RM54 ($13), which brings it to only RM118 ($28) with free shipping.  I fitted them on this morning and it is very good, for the price I paid.  Take a look at my double sofa that nee

Book Review: Jesus, Continued... by JD Greear

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Jesus , Continued... why the Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you by J.D. Greear I read JD Greear's Not God Enough, Why Your Small God Lead to Big Problems in October 2018 and I like his writing so much I am looking forward to reading this one: Jesus, Continued...Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You . And he did not disappoint. It is an excellent book about how one can and should work with God, not for God, through the Holy Spirit. He captured me right from the very beginning: A few years ago a young man sat in my office feeling deeply frustrated with his faith. Although he knew a lot of truths about God, he sensed very little relationship with God--at least, not the dynamic relationship he wanted. God seemed distant. It seemed that everything God had done, he had done in the past: he created the world, died on the cross, and then inspired a Bible to tell us about it. then he gave us a mission and left through the clo

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Two pretty girls: my niece and my mom Happy birthday Mom! Thanks for everything especially your care and your love for us which is in leaps and bounds. Where would we be without you?!!! I love you! pearlie

Throwback #1: Air Fried Pavakka Bitter Gourd

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I just had dinner in my neighborhood mamak store which by the way took 3 long months in renovations, and now they are back in business.  One of the old-timer waiter was so happy to see me again, and I have to say I feel the same. They have been closed for way too long. I had my favourite fried vegetable: fried bitter gourd or pavakka and it reminded me of an old blogpost I have written way back in 2016. Air Fried Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) I have posted the recipe here and reading it again I think it's time I buy some bitter gourd, slice it up and pop it into my air fryer again.  A dry crispy plate of pavakka... yummy .  pearlie

Feels like I just attended a kpop concert

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I had a long and full day today with back to back meetings and discussions and it is a good day. However, I had to find some time to think through a proposal deck, through the storyboard on how to present it to management.  I needed a place quiet enough to sit down and think without anyone disturbing me and so I took the lift down a few floors and walked to Starbucks. But it is no longer quiet. It sounds like I am in a kpop concert. Starbucks's neighbour has undergone massive renovations and the new outlet now plays their music at maximum volume.  I got my Chamomile Tea--since I better not take in any caffeine at this time of the day--took my seat and tried to concentrate.  It was not ideal but it was a productive hour in spite of the loud music. I was quite happy about the results of my thinking.  Back in my school days, I used to listen to Japanese songs when I study. I didn't understand the songs and so it wasn't a distraction but it did help me concentrat

TNG eWallet went berserk today

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I wanted to buy some stuff from Watson's during lunch today but I didn't bring much money with me and so I thought I'd use my TNG eWallet. However I only had about RM70 in it and so I had to top it up. But it tells me that connection is bad and it kept asking me to retry. I have no idea how many times I did that, and before I knew it I had RM670 in my eWallet! I hope it stops there and I don't wake up tommorow morning with the connections improved to have RM4000 in it.  On top of that, 5 minutes after paying for my purchases and leaving Watson's with the stuff I bought, the payment was cancelled and I got the RM110 back. What? I walked back to Watson's in the evening to report the matter but the problem is not solved.  Nothing like that will ever happen with cash and credit cards.  I could not talk to anyone from TNG and the email I sent is still sitting there without any replies. This is not a good thing. For a financial service

After so many years of iPhones, this is a very frustrating phone to use

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Some of you would know that I have always been an Apple person since I owned the iPhone 3G in 2009; followed by the 4 (2011), 4S (2012), 5S (2013) and 6S (2016).  I even became the go-to-person among my friends when they need help on Apple and iOS stuff. I don't know why but I suppose I always make myself available to help them and I'd always try to figure things out for them.  It all changed when I started to use the Razer Phone 2 and Android in 2019, when I run into so many problems I can't solve. Maybe it's more the phone than Android.  Android is alright. I find it hard to compare between iOS and Android because one is simpler and more intuitive while the other is more accessible and practical. I don't mind using one or the other now that I have used both.  The problem I think is my phone.  I keep having problems with it. My latest problem is that I have now lost access to my Internal Storage if I use the native Files app. I can no longer move my files to

Equip Music Ministry Conference 2020 Day 2

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It is good Day 2 which began with a sermon by Philip Percival on 1 Corinthians 14: Singing in Mind and Spirit. The takeaway from the session is that singing is a ministry of the edifying word and when we think about what our giftings are, it will work better if we look at our church and see what needs to be done and do it. And in our song leading, it is an act of engaging the church with Christ. After which the Emu Team gave us a Church Music Masterclass which was very helpful to me. I learnt about harmonic and rhythmic layering and a bit on texture and how to work all the vocals and instruments together to engage the congregation worship in music and songs.  The electives I took today were Songleading and The Ministry of Sound. There were good sessions but too brief to cover everything.  It's a good conference though I wished I was able to also attend the other electives as well. pearlie

Equip Music Ministry Conference 2020 Day 1

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I signed up for the Equip Music Ministry Conference 2020 and headed to Heritage Center today. It is a Friday and I expected that traffic will be bad and so I started quite early. I signed up for these electives, the first two for today and the other two tomorrow: 1. How Do I Know If I Have Really Worshipped? 2. Songwriting 3. Song Leading 4. The Ministry of Sound The conference began with a sermon by Rev Ong Meng Chai on True Worship based on John 4:1-26 and Mark 7:1-8. It is a good sermon that highlights on 3 characteristics of true worship. And if we have not worshipped in all 3 of these, we have worshipped in vain. And it also important to know that when there is true worship, there is also false worship. Firstly, it's rational. It engages the mind, the intellect and understanding. Next, it's spiritual and not tied to any location. He warns us also not to think that spiritual is all touchy and feely but that the Spirit himself is the Spirit of truth and so it

Losing weight!

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I began to seriously work on losing some weight back in September 2016 and I reached my desired weight goal in July 2017 , losing 10 kilos in 10 months. I did it by using the FitnessPal app, religiously inputting my food intake everyday. I limitted myself to 1000 to 1200 calories a day but I don't really deprive myself of the food that I want to have. If I really want to eat something that is higher in calories, I will eat in smaller portions and will have lesser to eat in calories for the day. It's like a daily budget I have.  It worked for me because I don't feel deprived.  But after reaching my goal, I had some struggles trying to maintain it and I did gain back 2 kilos.  But I wasn't going to give up.  I knew I had to change my strategy since my body must have gotten used to my eating behaviour. And since I didn't do anything extreme--I eat like I always do, just in smaller portions--I was able to maintain my eating lifest

Jujubes?

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Do you know what this is? It's jujubes, what becomes red dates when they are dried up. I have not seen it before, have you? It was selling in the supermarket today and so I bought some to try it out.  Surprisingly, there is not much of a taste to it but it's still good and crunchy.  But how does it turn dark red? pearlie

Projects for the new year!

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I have said before that I have stopped making new year resolutions because I will never keep them, and that I will have projects instead. I know. I know. Call a spade a spade. But humour me. I will have my projects for the year.  I started it back in 2016, continued it in 2017 and 2018. Missed 2019 and so now it's 2020. Looking back at Project 2016 : 1. Cooking - never lasted even a few months. 2. Knitting - haha...what was I even thinking, I gave up before I even started though I did purchase all the materials. 3. SketchNotes - been-there-done-that kinda deal but it was fun though. And for  Project 2017 : 1. Reading - met my book challenge of 20 books in the year. 2. Join a technical choral group - I auditioned for one, got through but after one session, it wasn't what I had expected. 3. Learn a new language - started learning Korean and also to improve my Mandarin. And as for Project 2018 : 1. Reading - I did better completing 33 books out of my 25-book challeng

Reading the Bible in a Year

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My church has started a very good communal practice: sign up to read Scripture together as a church.  We have four tracks to choose to take part in: 1. The Old Testament and New Testament in One Year with D.A. Carson's For the Love of God via the YouVersion Bible app. 2. The New Testament in One Year with The Bible Project via the YouVersion Bible app. 3. Table Talk by Martin Luther printed or online.  4. I can't remember what the fourth plan is. It's a light version of an introduction to the Bible and a reading of Galatians in 6 days.  My hubby and I both chose Option 2. I was contemplating to choose Option 1 but I thought I had better not over commit myself. Reading 4 long passages and one D.A. Carson devotional per day is no joke.  So I am glad I picked NT in a Year by The Bible Project. And their videos are very well done. I am very impressed with their introduction video to the New Testament. Check it out here. pearlie

I went to Seoul

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I went to Seoul for a holiday last week, and I must say, it's the best trip I had, ever.  It was a good trip because: 1. I went solo. Not that I don't like traveling with family and friends. I do, just that by being a solo traveler, it's a different experience. And I can do whatever I want and go wherever I want. The thing is I am not a planner and so I don't really plan my trips. I do have a rough plan but every night before I go to bed, I would then decide what to do the next day. So being a solo traveler makes it much easier in that sense. 2. I stayed in a hostel. Which I can only do as a solo traveler. It was my first time and I really like the experience meeting other people. Except that I only managed to meet and make friends with one person from Taipei. We went for lunch once and she was very helpful in directing me to the right supermarket to shop for things home.  3. It was a very reflective trip. Before going on the trip, I read an art

Peanut Cookies!!!

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It's the Chinese New Year again! And I was at my good friend's house today making peanut cookies. It all started a few years ago when she brought the cookies she made with her mom to the office as a treat for us. The moment I popped one into my mouth, I was in total nostalgia. It really brought me back to the good old days when my late grandmother made these exact cookies. They tasted the same. Really. And since then, I have been looking forward to the Chinese New Year to eat these very cookies.  I went to her house last year and since then I've made good friends with her family. I've been there several times both to learn and to make peanut cookies and butter cookies. Her mom called me her extra hands to help her with the cookie making, but they also have been so gracious to allow me to make cookies for myself there in their home. This is a community activity I will never do at home alone. So I'm really grateful for being able to experience the w

Back to Work 2020

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I had a very, very good year-end break and I am glad I took my hubby's advice to go travel and it was one of the best year-end break I ever had. And now I'm back at work. My mom did ask me why I didn't just take the Friday off too and start work on Monday. It's a long story but here I am back at work. Which is a good thing too because I can take a slower Friday to catch up and reorient myself back to work.  Monday is going to be a killer. pearlie

I'm home

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My plane touched down at KLIA 20 minutes earlier than expected and by the time I got my things cleared and luggage claimed, which took me the longest ever of all the flights I have ever taken, I headed to the taxi stand to get me home.  The moment I got home, my hubby drove me out for a good local breakfast. Ah! Something I missed having: roti kosong, teh si kosong and rendang kambing. Hmm...I'm home... When I got home and unpacked everything, I went to bed. I did not sleep much in the plane and I so it's nice that I had a good nap and then a good sleep. I'm home. pearlie

Seoul Day 8: FOOD 음식 eumsik

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Oh no! Today is my final day in Seoul! I don't want to leave! Here is Jessie and I am saying my goodbyes as I am sure I won't see her again today. Thanks Jessie for the stay in your lovely place. You are a superb and excellent host! And isn't she pretty? My flight is at 11:50pm tonight and so I still have some time to hang around Seoul before I leave.  Jessie advised me to take the bus to the airport from the regular bus stop just outside the main road but I wasn't too sure about that. I thought the best way would be the trains or a taxi like back at home.  I am to spend the day with 선영 Sun Yeong today and so I got out a bit early in the morning, and as I walked out to the main road where the bus stop is, I saw some people waiting with a lot of luggage. I had some time and so I walked over and sat down at the bus stop. My KakaoMap app tells me that the bus should be arriving in 6 minutes. Oh good, I get to take a look. The bus was slightly late and when i