The weather seems to be getting better these days after a week of intensive haze that went up to over 400 PSI readings in Singapore. The past week or 2 has made us realize how much we've taken our clean air for granted. Now, it's the perfect time to come out to celebrate clearer and cleaner air. What could more fulfilling than catching up with some good ol' pals over a good meal?
I had the great opportunity of being invited down by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for some breakfast specials exclusively at the Beanstro Takashimaya S.C., which is an American concept, casual dining restaurant by, of course, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The first Beanstro opened in Marina Bay Sands in 2009, which makes the one at Takashimaya the second Beanstro outlet. The company plans to open two other locations under the Beanstro brand in Singapore this year (let's hope they're gonna have it in the West area) and more locations internationally. I met up with Herbert and Vanessa for a brunch at 11am. Turns out, we were all the "laze in bed till afternoon slackers" during weekends. But I find the food choices pretty enticing for me to actually get my ass out of the bed early for some healthy breakfast.
A lot people I know hate their greens. To me, it's actually the most important part of a dish. You'd be surprised at how a simple salad could actually make or break my dining experience. For vege lovers, you'd be glad to know that their greens at the side was consistent across all 4 dishes that I sampled. The 4 dishes that I tried were all very rich in flavour. Speaking of flavour, I'm actually extremely particular about beef. While the beef didn't quite suit my palate, meat lovers will definitely love to know that the beef in the Egg Beef Patty retains a lot of its "beefy" flavour while still being savoury at the same time. In all fairness, it's pretty difficult to suit my taste for beef. So when I say that it's actually not bad, I think my friends will love it - And I think most people will love this dish.
This next dish is probably the one that's gonna entice me out of bed for a weekend brunch. I suppose I'd have no qualms making a special detour to Beanstro Takashimaya just for this dish before work everyday. This dish, Egg Royale, is served with rolled up smoked-salmon slices on 2 poached eggs. As a matter of fact, all 4 dishes are served with 2 poached eggs on 2 slices of toast. The smoked salmon was perfect and I actually thought that there should be more (Well, I'm greedy). I'm glad they didn't, because the portion is huge and I hate to waste food.
I'm a huge fan of salmon, so I had a bit of problem choosing between Egg Royale and Egg Salmon & Asparagus. Both had distinct flavours that really complimented the ensemble of the dish in its own right. This dish was definitely well-thought-out. The asparagus was made bite-sized, so you could actually savour the perfect combination of the smoked salmon and asparagus in one mouthful.
The Egg Florentine adds much freshness to the familiar breakfast classic of eggs, toast and ham. I loved this dish. The ham wasn't too salty, and it definitely went well with the toast. Speaking of which, the toast itself was great. Some toast I eat would sorta leave battle marks on my gums after a meal. This one didn't. Even though I'm a pretty big eater, my stomach wasn't left with much space after the Egg Royale. Unlike other places with small portions, I'm pretty sure that everyone would leave Beanstro full. Especially when there's good coffee to go with, you'd probably leave with a happy and satisfied stomach. I've attached a close up of the ham for y'all to drool over.
With great breakfast like this and awesome company, you'd probably sit your ass there like we did for a few hours. We talked about some pretty cool stuff which y'all will probably come to know of it soon when it happens. Actually, as I'm writing this, I'm kinda salivating at the pictures while recalling the exquisite taste of the dishes. I'm probably gonna drop by Beanstro later for one of these dishes. Guess which I'm getting! Anyway, Beanstro’s Breakfast Special is exclusively available at the Beanstro outlet at Takashimaya S.C, #B1-37, only till 31 July 2013, at $13.00 for the Egg Beef Patty, $12.50 for the Egg Florentine, $14.00 for the Egg Salmon & Asparagus, and $13.50 for the Egg Royale. All prices are subject to 10% service charge and GST. Seriously, y'all gotta try these at least once before this special is over.
Labels: Beanstro, Beef, Breakfast, Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Egg Beef Patty, Egg Florentine, Egg Royale, Egg Salmon & Asparagus, Food, Latte, Poached Eggs, Salmon
updated by Carlsson @ 7/03/2013 06:32:00 AM**
Before iPhone came to Singapore, I watched how Steve Jobs launched the iPhone back then in 2007. The first iPhone was a hit, and many people bought it and unlocked it to be used in Singapore. Since then, the world of mobile has changed. You could see how iPhone has changed the entire mobile industry. iPhone was at its prime at iPhone 4 & 4S, where there were a bunch of people, who claimed that iPhone was the best, but didn't know how to entirely utilize the phone. These same bunch of people recently left for another device, Samsung Galaxy S IV and calling it the best - again not knowing how to fully utilize the phone.
First of all, I'm glad these followers found something else to rave about. These people are the ones that makes the value of products drop. I'm so glad they have left. Next, while Galaxy S4 has better specs than iPhone 5, benchmarks of iPhone 5 are way better than GS4. The camera of iPhone 5 records clearer videos and takes better pictures. Even though there are "features" with GS4's camera, what is the point of that if you don't have a good camera to start with? Videos taken on GS4 are jittery and very amateurish. Next is the battery life. I'm actually quite appalled by this. Because people complain about iPhone's battery life, but the GS4's battery life is much worse. iPhone 5's battery life lasts an hour longer than GS4. Sure, you might boast it's clunky big screen, which makes people who hold it look like idiots and that thing jutting out of the pocket is just so unsightly. Plus, with MEDIOCRE REVIEWS
, tell me, how is GS4 "THE BEST"? Samsung has absolutely NO TASTE. They just throw in things to compete. Plus, they don't even have an operating system. They just build on top of Google's Android. If you followed the trial of Apple VS Samsung, you would know that Samsung LOVES to compare themselves with Apple. Why? Because Apple has set the BENCHMARK, and Samsung wants to be that, or even better. You could read about that here.
While I do claim that I'm a Mac Snob, I have never claimed to be an Apple fanboy. In fact, I'm more of a Steve Jobs fanboy than an Apple fanboy. My love for Apple products is based on its simplicity and outrageously simple user experience. Just give me the great experience, and I care not what you put inside. Samsung boast that their GS4 is with Snapdragon processor, but the truth is that iPhone's performance is much better. Even for photos, I have said this before MANY TIMES: I don't care how much MegaPixels cameras have these days because it's at least 5MP - which is GOOD ENOUGH if your camera is good. So having a 13MP camera DOES NOT equate to a better camera overall. I tried the camera on GS4 and I was not impressed with the slow shutter and response. The other thing that bugged me was its bloatware. Comes with "Samsung stuff" that you don't need (and can't delete) and takes up space that you could utilize better.
While Samsung might still be the best selling android phone or smart phone, sorry I'm not a follower. HOWEVER, I'm starting to like the change I see in Google who finally understand that design plays a huge part. Their GMail redesign, together with Google+ and their apps. You do finally see some aesthetics coming into place for them. I applaude them for that. Make no mistake when I say that I'm ALWAYS ready to give Android a try if they get better. I actually encourage the challenge between Apple iOS and Google Android (even though Android was a ripoff) because it is stuff like that, which pushes the companies to do better and go further. When they first started. it was so raw and pale in comparison with the then iPhone OS. Look at the NEXUS, it just looks so tasty now. In fact, I wouldn't mind trying a GS4 with stock Android with none of the bloatware shit. Even my best friend who's not tech savvy rooted his GS4. Smart move.
So if you bought a GS4, you paid for a cheap plastic and for Samsung's $401 million advertising campaign in US alone
. However, while the GS4 doesn't appeal to me, I kinda like the design for NEXUS 4 that is made by LG, Samsung's rival company in S.Korea. I don't blindly follow things. Nope, I didn't buy the iPhone 5 because I didn't really like the design. I loved iPhone 4 and 4S design though, they are aesthetically pleasing and really nice to use. And it still serves me well till today. I like how competition between tech companies brings the best out of them, but I also hate it when it gets to exhausting for a company that they give it up. I had high hopes for Hewlett Packard's webOS because I thought that it had a lot of potential, but they killed it. If Google ever made their own hardware for their Nexus phones, I'd probably be damn excited about it. It's good to challenge each other in the industry, but don't self-proclaim that you're the best. Samsung is a great hardware company, buy they are a company with no morals. And they really need to keep track of their ethics.
Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there.
Samsung Used Photographer’s Nikon Photo in Advertisement on Facebook.
Samsung busted for paying people to write bad reviews of HTC phones.
This was because the GS4 was getting mediocre reviews and many were pointing to HTC One as the better choice for an Android smartphone.
Samsung Abuses Workers at Its China Plants.
Like what Mic Wright said - "You’re welcome to love Android and hate Apple. Just don’t be fooled into thinking Samsung are the good guys."
Labels: Apple, Galaxy S4, Google Android, Samsung
updated by Carlsson @ 5/17/2013 09:48:00 AM**
I want to sincerely thank those who follow my blog even though my updates are kinda sporadic. I'm not exactly as free as I was a year ago. But I still like to think of my readers and at least update once in a while when I have some time on hand. I was given an opportunity to speak at a huge conference this year but I gave it a miss due to my very restricted timings and various commitments. Nevertheless, things have been interesting for myself and the company from the start of this year.
Chinese New Year was much fun - though not the way I remembered it was when I was young. Call me old fashioned, but I still like listening to some old Chinese New Year songs just after Christmas is over. It does bring up the mood together with those catchy tunes. Probably I won't feel the same after I get married - Cos' I gotta distribute ang pows after getting married. Hahaha... We'll see.
I took my first OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) picture ever. Never had a liking of doing cheesy stuff like that but I thought I'd just give it a shot. Sweetheart took the pictures for me. I was shy as hell but she was quick and very good at it so I was saved from a possibly "red-face" moment. Yeah.. You could put me in front of the Board of Directors and I'd have no problems tackling that. This? Hahaha.. I need more nerves for stuff like this.
I didn't celebrate Valentine's Day with my baby because it's not our style to. We both know it's a marketing ploy to get you to spend more on that day. Makes it so much easier and it's pretty awesome when you have a girlfriend who knows and understands such shit while you see other girls comparing where their boyfriends brought them to "celebrate V.Day" the next day. That's totally not my style. Puh-lease... I could always use some random celebration. That is way better than following the rest of the crowd blindly. We did however, chill out at Fullerton Bay Hotel on that week's Friday - That place has a special place in our hearts so I just thought we could spend the night there talking about anything under the moon and the stars.
My tired nerves were given a rest at a short staycation at Studio M Hotel. It's been a place that we like to go since sweetheart brought me there last year after she did a sneaky survey of which hotels I liked. We went to Club Kyo that night but decided to go back to the room to slack instead. Yeah... Watching TV. That's something I don't do often. So I watched TV while eating in bed. Took the room service an hour though, but food was good. The stay was also good as usual. Nothing beats waking up to the person you love the most next to you.
Life's good - Especially when you get to indulge in small hobbies during weekends or even weeknights. Well, apart from having a keen interest in watches, I love cigars. I love the way the taste and smell varies with different cigars. From the moment you choose your cigar, you already have that connection with it before smelling and heating it up with a torch. That intricate taste of exquisiteness when you draw from the cigar can be very exhilarating.
Of course, it's always good to reconnect with old friends. Just 2 weeks back, we caught up with Sharon and her husband, together with Utt and Egan. Utt was in town for the Earth Hour event, so he thought it'd be good if we caught up and chill over some drinks and pizza rocking over live band's songs.
I was geeking out with Sharon's husband over his Fujifilm X100 camera that you can see on the table. That camera totally looked like a Leica M9. I went into geek mode and started trying out the camera. Takes pretty great pictures under low light. It has in-camera HDR, as well as multiple focus points. It really has an exceptional build quality - extremely solid, yet not too heavy. There I am in geek mode again. But you get my point. It's cheap and good. But I told him that he should just print the name Leica and paste it on his camera and he agreed.
Just earlier this week, I literally squeezed time out for the Adobe® Creative Cloud Launch in Singapore. The event was at Ritz Carlton, so I set my meeting there early in the morning and just headed downstairs once I was done. Met my University mates, Ahmad and Cheryl there. As well as my other geek friends who were present for the launch. Paul Burnett was there with Karl Soule to present and someone new called Michael joined them. Great to see them after all this time. The business plan for Adobe seemed to have changed a little bit. But I guess it's good to know which direction they're headed for.
As of now, I guess I should proceed with my own plans. I'll be back again so in the meantime, take care people.
Labels: Adobe, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud Launch, Cigars, CNY, Davidoff, Food, Friends, Fujifilm, Leica, Montecristo, Valentine's Day
updated by Carlsson @ 3/31/2013 07:07:00 AM**
I managed to get my hands on the review set of the ASUS PadFone 2. The first PadFone had a great concept. But ASUS refined it with the new PadFone 2. It's remarkably easy to slot the phone into the tablet. Upon docking into the tablet, there's a vibration to signal the the phone has been docked carefully. It's something very subtle, but still essentially helpful. The content would then be transferred from the phone to the tablet. While theoretically sounds good. Only a few in-built apps come with this ability. However, do take note that while the Google Chrome app doesn't get transferred to the tablet, you can launch the app on the tablet and continue browsing where you left off.
I was unsure about the Phone not having a secure clutch or something. But shaking the tablet with the phone attached vigorously wouldn't even cause the phone to budge. Unless, if you're careless, I suppose the phone is pretty secure on the tablet.
I usually have problems with Android Phones and tablets being laggy and unresponsive. The Galaxy TAB 7.7 that I have was laggy from the start - pretty much. I believe the ASUS Padfone itself is much better with the new Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait as well as the new Android OS, v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
The screen for both the phone and the tablet isn't scratch proof though it's made from Corning Gorilla Glass so I would advice one to get a screen protector or keep it away from your keys and coins in your pocket or bags. The display is Super IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen with 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.7 inches (about 312 ppi pixel density)
The speakers on the tablet were impressive and beyond what I expected. I played the Man Of Steel trailers, both #1 & #2, and the speech was extremely clear.
Battery life was good. It came to me charged to about 90% but it lasted me through 2 weeks - Both phone and tablet together. When your phone is low on battery, the great thing about the new PadFone is that it'll allow you to charge directly from the tablet itself; saving you from missing important calls and text messages. Any calls that you have, you could just plug it out to answer.
The price for 32GB PadFone 2 is S$848 while the 64GB PadFone 2 is S$988.
The price for the docking station (tablet) is: S$328.
The price for both PadFone 2 + Docking Station is S$1099(32GB) and S$1239(64GB)
Since you need the PadFone 2 to use the docking station, it would make sense to buy it together.
My Verdict: ★★★★☆
It certainly did impress me with its concept and how ASUS have taken it further with their second model. They are probably some things that might need a little fine tuning. The display pixel density wasn't enough for me. The deal breaker for me is that while viewing webpages on the tablet vertically was good, I couldn't hold it longer than 10 seconds viewing it horizontally without my eyes feeling like they are taking a beating. The PadFone 2 is 4G LTE, which pretty common in most mobile phones now. Other than the screen and apps issues, I guess the PadFone 2 itself is a pretty good phone.
So there you have it. The PadFone 2 - Good, not Great. But definitely worth your consideration.
updated by Carlsson @ 2/10/2013 06:02:00 PM**
2012 hasn't been a smooth sailing year, but nevertheless, a fulfilling one. I have had one of the greatest opportunities to learn and grow together with my clients, friends, mentors, as well as my loved ones.
A lot of people think hard work is not needed at where I am. They have no idea. I get a lot of comments saying "You're the boss, so you can just don't bother and leave it to someone else." Damn wrong. Let me set this straight. I work more hours than any of you who take a 9-6 job. I work through into the hours of the night to be sure that everything is alright, that the company is running fine.
People often ask me to tell of my success stories, which bothers me a lot. What would one define success as? What is success? People talk about success all the time but it is constantly varied with a wide variety of explanations. Some people think success is about making lots of money. Some people say it's living life to the fullest (again, that phrase also has a lot of varied explanations). To me, I believe that success is a perceived point of view of an individual who measures it with where they stand in society.
For example, a banker who earns $10,000 a month in Singapore would be pretty happy with his salary. A lot of things would be easier for him to get than most people. And a lot of people (generally in Singapore) would compare it in their current state with their jobs and the money they bring in - and would most likely call him a successful person. But what would a billionaire like Warren Buffet think of him? Would he be seen as successful? Or would he be someone seen as mediocre - just living a normal life like the others?
With that in mind, it doesn't mean the more you have, the more successful you are. It's basically how people perceive these people as. They think, "Wow, this person is really successful." But do they know how much hard work they put in to get there? How much morals they compromised just to get to where they are? It's a state of mind where people convince themselves that they could be in the same condition as the person they look up to. They want to be able to enjoy the "power" they see from what the person exudes. To which, they conclude that the person is "successful".
To these people, I say, "My hard work has got me to where I am today. And I am contented. Always. Because life is about learning. It's the journey, not the destination. If I were to lose everything today, yes, I'd be devastated. Because it's 4 years of hard work. But, I will be glad to be given the opportunity to start all over again with the knowledge I've garnered through the years. We fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves up."
Personally, I don't like listening to success stories. I prefer listening to a person's failure and his or her assessment of their failed projects/ventures. I have more respect for these people. Because they learnt a lot more about things through their failures. Of course, I'm not saying you should fail to learn things. But through the course of failure, your vision gets clearer.
So back to topic. It's 2012. And the World didn't end this year as predicted by some numbnuts (the Mayans didn't predict it please). Well this year, I've had the opportunity to be a part of a new startup that I never thought I'd be a part of. And of course, the brand of this startup has been doing pretty well.
The things I've learnt this year, though harsh, but made me come out as a stronger and better person. Of course, I have been able to have some chill and relax time. I caught up with some old pals even though the year has been busy. I don't have any New Year resolutions though, but as always, I have goals that I plan to reach. Hopefully, better things would happen this coming New Year. With that I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
updated by Carlsson @ 12/31/2012 09:40:00 PM**
My 1st anniversary with baby was a simple one but satisfying nonetheless. For the past one year, like any other couple, we've been through our fair share of ups and downs. Those who love to paint a picture of how perfect their relationships are, are always in denial.
At different points of our lives, we go through different stages and challenges. But we always have each other's back. I don't know what I've done to deserve her love, but I'm tremendously blessed to have her in my life. I don't have to use bombastic words of how much joy she brings to me, because frankly, there isn't a need to. I just know I treasure her very much.
Labels: Carlsson Chee, Love
updated by Carlsson @ 10/22/2012 07:20:00 PM**
The design of this blog hasn't changed since 2010. The fact is I love the design of this current look. Which is why I never made any amendments to the design or structure. However, you might have seen a little updates here and there. First, the logo has changed - nothing much, just refined little. My side bar introduction also has been updated. The biggest update so far...
...is this profile of mine. Click on "ABOUT" on the navigation bar and you'll see this new modal box with a rather simple design. Removed some stuff that cluttered the space, like my Adobe Certifications. Since it's already on the main page, I thought I'd just put a generic badge for that. Updated to pic where I don't look like a kid.
That's about it actually. May update again from time to time but oh well... I'll see if time permits. Adios.
Labels: Adobe Certified, Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe Certified Instructor
updated by Carlsson @ 10/21/2012 05:21:00 PM**
It's been quite a while since my last update; which was a rant on my major unhappiness of some schmucks. Well, many things have happened since, and I couldn't be happier to be back at my personal space to write some of my thoughts down for the stuff that has happened so far. Let's see...
I've upgraded my Adobe Creative Suite to CS6, install OS X Lion 10.8 and updated it to 10.8.2. Love the integration of facebook and twitter - just like iOS 6. However, I dislike the maps on iOS 6. Sure, the GPS system is fantastic, but the maps itself seems crippled. For that reason, I only upgraded my iPhone 4S and not my 3GS.
Recently, the website of Chiffonier Couture
has been updated. It's been having on-going updates to ensure that the shoppers get the best online shopping experience possible. Here's how it looked like before, the 1st redesign, as well as the current design and structure.
The banner now works as a fade slideshow to show more stuff on the front page at the same spot. So customers can have a better idea of what's to come, or what in the new collection. And we'll continue to make improvements for the shoppers.
Anyway, the photos for the Luxe Prestige collection was taken personally by myself, with the fantastic help from Z and lovely. I couldn't have done it without any of them. What I realise many other online shops do is to have the photo go through crazy filters and then post up on their shop with those unrealistic colors. I feel that it's both misleading and kinda irresponsible. So the challenge for this was to make the shots look beautiful but not changing the actual color of the dress. And here's the result of one of the dresses
I absolutely loved how the photos came out. While colors were important, sometimes for ads, we've just got to be a little more flexible. But in this case, I managed to keep to the true colors of the apparels. Here're two of the ads from the Luxe Prestige Collection.
I'm kinda sad that we didn't have enough stocks for everyone. The response was just overwhelming. However, we have restocked the Premium White Peplum Blouse and opened a backorder
for the Royale Bustier Dress. It ends on Monday so hurry if you want the dress! =)
I'll try to update soon again but my schedule's kinda tight. To end off, here's both me and lovely looking real tired after the full day shoot.
Labels: Adobe Photoshop, advertising, blogshop, Carlsche Media, chiffonier couture, Fashion, Photography, Photoshoot, start up, women's fashion
updated by Carlsson @ 9/27/2012 08:34:00 AM**