Wednesday, 28 August 2013

China's Bodyguard in Training

China opened its door to its first private bodyguard training company in Beijing. The Tianjiao Special Guard Company (GSA) offers rigorous training course which includes aquatic training, martial arts, vehicle safety training and other necessary skills.

With the rise of Chinese multi-millionaires, there are a sharp demand for the service of bodyguards. Whether the need is for safety purpose or as a status symbol no one really cares. Many are lured into becoming bodyguards because of the high income. Even women are attracted to join the trainings since there are also demand for female bodyguards.

The whole rigorous training covers a period of 13 days. Hmmmm ... isn't it too brief? How much can you learn in this 13 days to be a full fledge bodyguard where your employer's safety depends on you.

Source from ChinaDaily.

Below are more photos of female bodyguards in training.

Source from Reuters.

Food: Delicious Kaya Swiss Roll at Lorong Yap Ah Loy

If you happen to pass by Lorong Yap Ah Loy, you will see an elderly lady with a simple pushcart stall set up at the corner. She sells one of the most delicious kaya swiss roll in town. In KL town, there are lots of good food to be found at every nook and cranny if you know your way around. Apart from her famous kaya swiss roll, she is also selling egg tarts, kaya puff and individually packed kaya in a container.

Here's the aunty selling her kaya delicacies. Look how sweet and joyful she is. She is a very friendly lady and always ready with a smile. I joked with her about her appearing being featured in a chinese daily and she was laughing that it was a compliment from one of her customers. She proudly move aside the wrappers for me to capture photos of her delicacies.

During this visit, I bought a whole loaf of her kaya swiss roll (RM14) to be enjoyed with my family during dinner. Her stall is opened daily from 8am to 3pm (closed on Sunday and holidays) and usually by after 1pm, there won't be much left since most people like me buy her swiss rolls in bulk.

Here's the kaya swiss roll neatly wrapped in plastic wrap and later protected by another layer of mahjong paper. The loaf of the swiss roll is quite huge and it's already pre-cut into 12 slices for the convenience of her customers.

The swiss roll is soft and rich in texture. Every bite you will get the aromatic taste of her homemade kaya. Her swiss roll is quite filling since it is very dense and it is great to go with your cup of coffee or tea.

I will return to try her egg tart and kaya puff another time.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Trying out the Cyberbike for SmartTV Edition at Samsung Roadshow

After the sumptuous meal at Halia Restaurant, we head on down to Ikano Power Centre (IPC) for some light shopping. I needed to get some replacement parts for my Black n' Decker grass cutter from Ace Hardware. In the meantime, there's a need to walk off all those food that I stuffed into my tummy.

I was glad that the usual traffic jam heading towards Mutiara Damansara was clear but lo and behold. I spoke too soon. I guess all the traffic were in the car park fighting for available parking bays. I think I spent almost half an hour circling the car park before landing myself with an available parking bay.

Our first stop was ACE Hardware and I got my B&D replacement part and a load of other stuff. After that we just stroll around IPC and we came across Samsung Roadshow at the concourse area in front of Cold Storage. 

There were a bunch of kids surrounding an exercise bicycle and I was curious about it. Was told that it's the Cyberbike for SmartTV. It's an exercise bicycle connected to the Samsung SmartTV. The app is pre-installed together with the TV.

Description from Cyberbike website states it as:
Exergaming at home! Shape your body with this true home exercise bike and its fun fitness games.

CYBERBIKE introduces a brand new way to do sports in your living room.
This is a complete Fitness program using a home exercise bike and game content playable on your Samsung® Smart TV.

Sebastian wanted to give it a try and I asked him to get on the bike. The Samsung promoter was helpful and demonstrates the game to us.

This is the 55" LED Samsung Series 8 that is bundled with the Cyberbike. They are having a promotion at that time. A free Samsung Note 2 together with this TV and the Cyberbike. 

And there goes Sebastian on his gruelling exercise. It looks quite fun and exciting. The game that he tried was cycling in a mine. The game is connected to the exercise bicycle and you need to cycle faster or slow down base on the incline route in the game. The exercise bicycle uses magnetic system to control the resistance.

The Cyberbike is quite responsive in my opinion. Every turn is reflected on the screen almost instantaneously. At this point, Sebastian is getting tired from all the cycling and he's starting to slow down.... LOL. 

Finally he gave up after pedalling continuously for approximately 15 minutes which is quite long. That was a good exercise for him. Since there's still time left on the game, I got on the exercise cycle and tried it out myself.

It's not easy and you got to really pedal when you reach a steep incline and if you need to jump over a huge gap. I pedalled for a good few minutes and I can feel my body warming up. Not wanting to break a sweat, I stopped. It was an interacting game and a good way to enjoy your exercise.

This is a good piece of exercise system to have but at the price tag of RM 15k for the Samsung TV and Cyberbike, I would rather get myself a Playstation 4 or Kinect for XBox 360.

Music Lesson for Child Development

I'm thinking of introducing Sebastian to music classes for skill development and also hopefully to occupy him with a hobby that he will like. Previously he attended drum classes but it only lasted less than a year due to my work commitment during weekends. He had to stop his drum lessons which he enjoyed.

I'm thinking of introducing him to music lessons again and I asked him which instrument that he would like to learn. He told me that wanted to learn drum, guitar and violin. Hmmmm ... that's quite a handful right. Hahaha. I narrowed down and asked him to choose between drums and guitar and he chose guitar.

A question then pops into my mind. Is he too young to learn guitar? He's 6 this year and I'm wondering if its suitable for him to learn at his age. Will he has the hand dexterity to change chords and the concentration to learn. Previously during his drum lessons days, he showed limited concentration and at times could not last even past 1/2 hour.

So what would be the suitable age to learn any music instruments?

There are many benefits on music in our child development. The child would be able to improve on their creativity and taking up music skills will be useful for them throughout their lives.

The many benefits of music skills that helps child development are:

Improve coordination - since it requires hand-eye and even leg (for drums) coordination to handle an instrument. This will develop on their motor skills.

Enhance concentration - a child will be focus on an activity for a period of time will slowly develops concentration and helps them focus their attention on any other activities.

Help relaxation - music is for the soul. Music is the best therapy to help anyone to relax. By enjoying certain music, it will help one to relax.

Builds self-confidence - being able to accomplish a piece of song plus the encouragement from parents and teachers is a boost for the child's self-confidence. This will help the child to be more self-expressive and creative in their lives.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

GO GREEN: My plants are thriving from the coffee ground compost

After using the eco-friendly method turning coffee ground into compost to be used as fertiliser, my flower plants are thriving. You can find my previous post on the benefits and methods to recycle your coffee grounds here.

Previously, my flower plants was not growing at all and the leaves look dishevelled and dry. Don't even think about the flowers blooming. It was not a pretty sight and I was contemplating in throwing this plant away. This plant is known as the 'little bird flower' plant and its scientific name is Pedilanthus; origin from Indonesia.

Look at how my baby is growing now ever since I used the coffee ground compost. Look closely and you can see the black soil + coffee ground compost in the flower pot. The leaves are a healthy luscious green and the little birds are blossoming.

Even my 'fu gui hua' is benefiting from the coffee ground compost. After a week since I fed them with the eco-compost, they are flowering nicely. At this rate, I've got to replace their pots for them to grow bigger.

Try out this DIY home eco-freindly fertiliser for your plants. You have nothing to lose since coffee grounds are available at any coffee house for free or at a minimal charge. Your plants will appreciate and will return their thanks by blossoming healthily beautifying your home.

Recycle your coffee grounds.

Food: Halia Restaurant Weekend Hi-Tea Buffet at Sime Darby Convention Centre

Yesterday we went to the Halia Restaurant at Sime Darby Convention Centre (SDCC) for my wife's birthday treat. Halia meaning ginger in Malay, is nestled away from the busy bustling city but yet conveniently accessible for all. It's connected to major highways and a short drive from anywhere within Klang Valley.

From the website, Halia, our modern and trendy restaurant offers local, asian and western cuisine. Favourites such as Tauhu Goreng Telur, Nyonya Popiah and the Oriental Barbequed Lamb Rack will keep you coming back for more. Not to be missed are the popular daily Churrasco BBQ and the Weekend Hi Tea.

Halia is located on the first floor at the same floor as the SDCC's Grand Ballroom. At one end is the Halia and at the other is the China Treasures restaurant.

Once you enter, you will be greeted by the cashier at the counter on the right at the waiting area. Since I've made prior reservations, we were brought to our table by their polite servers.

Mummy and the boys. It is very hard to capture a decent photo of the boys nowadays. LOL. Max as usual will show his monkey faces and Seb more often will not want to have this photo taken.

We are seated at the front of the restaurant where the buffet line starts where the salad, lemang, ketupat palas, rendang chicken, soup and beverages are. Behind the glass partition is the rojak buah.

The salad bar. The leafy vegetables of the salad are not very fresh and it is very dry.  

Move on to the back of the restaurant, we have more local cuisine such as nasi briyani, briyani chicken, roti jala, and a selection of dim sum.  

There are more seats at the back of the restaurant next to the local and dessert section.

The dessert corner has a variety of local kuih, cakes, cookie, pudding, ice-cream and many more.

You can expand your creativity by making your own ais kacang masterpiece with their wide array of fillings of cendol, jellies and fruits.

At the far corner, they have a selection of fresh local fruits which is refreshing starter before you hit the buffet line.

There are few stalls outdoor that serves fried and BBQ delights. There are keropok lekor, goreng pisang, curry noodles, kebab, mexican enchilada and satay.

At this point, I'm thinking how am I going to fit all this delicious food into my stomach. Everything looks so tantalizing good. I guess I just have to dine selectively and give up on some. Below are a series of some food that I captured.

 Their delicious and refreshing rojak buah

This is one of their best dishes. The lemang, ketupat palas, serunding and ayam rendang are just too hard to resist. I went for two servings of this. 

The chicken and beef satay with their hot peanut sauce. Yummy. Wish I have a bigger stomach to house more of their satays.

Nasi and ayam briyani with a serving of black pepper prawns and roti jala

This is my curry noodle creation. Underneath, there are more large prawns hidden. 

After the heavy meal, I wonder if I still have room for more. Well, maybe a little for dessert. I ordered fried ice-creams and my boys were wondering how ice cream can be fried. Not many places serve fried ice cream and this is certainly a must have. The golden crispy pastry enclosing the ice cream and once cut, some melted ice cream starts oozing out. Ahhhhh ... heavenly.

And what better way to finish off with this good hearty meal. A cup of freshly brewed long black and another cup of espresso.

Just when we thought of calling it a day, we had another surprise. SDCC arranged for a clown to entertain their customers and visitors.

Mr Clown and Sebastian.

Max giving Mr Clown a hard time with his barrage of never-ending 'whys'. Max was initially scared of the clown and hit under the table. But he slowly warmed up and began talking to Mr Clown.

Mr Clown made a cat for mummy which Seb laughed and said it looks like monkey.

Mummy and her cat?

The boys got their guns and sword that kept them occupied for a while.

The view overlooking the KLGCC golf course from the balcony. So nice to see such nice serene view with all the greeneries.

The SDCC is a great place to visit. Their parking spaces are plentiful and beautiful lush landscape. 

Halia restaurant is wonderful place to dine if you want a quiet and relaxing place to dine. The whole of SDCC is fully Wi-Fi and air-conditioned. I would rate their food a 4 out of 5 but definitely a 5 star rating for the comfortable ambience.

Location map of SDCC