Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trading fairs

We all like the occasional trip to the funfair when it comes round to our neighbourhood. You get to go on rides that may leave your heart permanently in your mouth, shoot hoops all for the sake of winning some ridiculously cheap prizes, and even be covered in that icky, sickeningly sweet candy floss. Still, funfairs are great fun even if you only go home with your hands empty and your head in a spin with all that nauseating rides you were in just a few moments ago.

But, there's another kind of fair my wife and I will try to visit at least once when it happens, and that's a trade fair. Each year in Kota Kinabalu, there's this Sabah International Expo which brings in not only local companies but also companies from other countries. I think such fairs are equally interesting as you get to see all sorts of new products you never knew existed, you get to witness demonstrations of some modern appliance, and you can even sample some of the products when it comes to food. For all this, I think such trade fairs are definitely worth a visit.

Apart from that, visit this kind of event, and you're bound to see all sorts of trade show booths all around the venue. And the way each booth tries to make itself attractive is something else to wonder. You'd see trade show displays of all types with the range of products a company offers displayed in neat panels, and I must say, some of them can prove to be quite effective in getting your attention. But, I say if you're going to make yourself known, you may as well go the full distance and smother (albeit, tastefully) every bit of available space with your company logo and product info, no? I've seen some companies use logo floor mats and hang banners from the truss standing over the exhibit area. That's in addition to the displays they have already put up.

But, I don't mind all that. I find such trade fairs quite interesting and informative, and who knows, you may even find a bargain or two, or it may even be the place that sparks that long-thought-about business opportunity.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A smoother drive?

Let me just say on the onset that I'm not a car expert. I can tell different models or makes of cars apart, but if you asked me how powerful a car was, or what year model a certain car is, I wouldn't be able to tell you. Neither am I an engine expert. If I took apart my car's engine, I might as well buy a new car as I'd never be able to put the engine back together. Oh, and one last thing - I'm in no way affiliated to any of the brands I'm going to mention later in this post, though I wish I was so that I'd get paid megabucks for it.

Okay, now that that's out of the way - let me ask in introduction what petrol brand do you use? When I first got my car about 9 years ago, I was a Shell user through and through. I guess it was because my parents used it and nothing else, so I was just sort of continuing the tradition. Yes, yes...lousy reason, I know but that's what it is.

But, then a friend told me about how Esso fuels were much better - your car had more power, and the drive was smoother. I didn't try it then and there, but I eventually did. And what did I find out? True enough the car responded better, and the drive was smoother. It was almost as if I had just had the car serviced. And ever since then I used Esso almost exclusively. But, just last week I filled up with Shell again as no Esso stations were open on my way to work, and the car was running dangerously low on fuel. And since I'd pass a Shell station on my way, so that's where I filled up. No perceptible difference...


with the tank about half full, I filled up again at Esso yesterday. So, in my tank was half Shell, half Esso. I can't say whether the drive felt any different then, but just this evening, it did - quite perceptibly. The car was quieter, and smoother. I told my wife that it felt just like the first time I filled up with Esso.

So, here's the thing. Each fuel company promotes its own fuels saying how good they are and I suppose each adds their own special formula of fuel additive as well. But, I'm just wondering if mixing those two will actually give 'better' performance. My wife suggested that I try filling up using alternate brands next time. I suppose I'll try just to see if this continues.

Now, I must say that what I've said is just based on my observation and 'feel'. It'd be interesting to know if anyone else has a similar experience. Drop me a comment if you do or don't think that mixing different brands of fuel has resulted in better performance for your car.

It could be just that I'm imagining things.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

P is for Pizza

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Tony's Pizza. All opinions are 100% mine.

Okay, raise your hand if you've never ever eaten a pizza? Thought so. Apart from that other famous Italian export - think long thin rods or strips - the pizza is a firm favourite for a lot of people. That includes me!

But what happens if you get a sudden craving for one late at night (guys get them too, you know!)? The restaurants are closed, and all the delivery guys have gone home. Well, that's when the frozen variety like Tony's Pizza makes a more than equal substitute. Want to feel that gooey cheese and those full-flavoured pepperoni slices tickling all those taste buds at just that instant? Nothing easier than just opening the freezer, taking the pizza and popping it into the oven. Almost instant gratification. Man, I'm making me hungry!

And that's just the savings in time. Those frozen pizzas can also save you some money. Think about it - you don't have to drive your car to the restaurant (saving on fuel and hence, money) and you don't have to pay whatever service charges the restaurant includes in the bill. Lip-smacking food at a lower cost. That's a great combination.

Now, a pizza's nice enough to be enjoyed on its own. But, what if you pair it up with something like bowling? I'd say that sounds like double the fun. And that's just what Tony's Pizza is offering right now - free bowling along with the pizza. Between throws, you can munch on a slice or two and plot your strategy for conquering the lanes. Who knows? That pizza may just be the needed extra boost for your game.

Did I say that Tony's pizzas also great for a movie night? No? Well then...I think it will!

Visit my sponsor: Tony's Pizza

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where has it gone?

Where has what gone you may ask?

Something known as "common courtesy". If you don't know what that is, then my point is proven: common courtesy isn't very common anymore. It refers to your etiquette, minding your Ps and Qs, and treating other people politely. But, increasingly I see this thing called courtesy becoming more and more uncommon.

A very common scenario: What do you do as you push open a door to enter or exit a building? As a lot of people are wont to do, they push open the door, walk through it, and let go of it - and in the process, smashing the swinging door right in the face of the poor soul who happens to be walking right behind them. How hard is it to just have a quick look behind you as you're opening the door, and if you see someone approaching, to hold the door open for them? It costs you nothing, and in return you may even get a thank you and a smile that's sure to warm you right up.

Another example, what do you do when someone kindly signals to you that they are giving you way to turn out from a junction? Increasingly, people just drive on without even so much as a glance at the person who offered the kind deed. Would it be so hard to just lift your hand and smile at the person for being so thoughtful as a means of thanks before driving off? I think not. If it hadn't been for him, you'd still be stuck where you were hoping for some break in the never-ending traffic.

I could go on but I think you can think of more examples yourself. I don't think any of us would like to live in a world where being polite and courteous had ceased to exist. That's why we need to

rock the boat
buck the trend
stop the rot.

Educate our young people on how to be polite and courteous. Don't just tell them, show them. After all, it's often said that action speaks louder than words.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zee Avi Live in Malaysia

Those of you who've been following this blog (all two or three of you...haha) will probably remember that I've posted about a Malaysian singer who made it quite big on youtube not too long ago. If your brain cells have somewhat depleted since then and can't quite remember what or who I'm referring to, here's the link to the post to help you remember again.

Remember now? Well, why am I talking about her again? Well, I just received an email from AirAsiaRedtix.com (in case you're wondering, yes...it IS related to that now-everyone-can-fly airline company) and they tell me that no other than Zee Avi herself is coming to perform right here in Malaysia!

It's about time, I say.

Taken from AirAsiaTix.com

A quick check on the ticket prices and it seems that they have an early-bird promotion going on. For the first 1000 tickets sold, it's RM42.50 for the main deck (I suppose that's like the generic seats that you get on Airasia flights)) and RM80 for the upper deck (I guess that's like the hotseats...). Not too expensive, I must say.

But, for people like me staying 'overseas' on the other side of Malaysia, I think the cost would still be a bit too prohibitive. Another quick check on the Airasia website and return tickets would cost me over RM600. I think I'll take a rain check for this one. But, that doesn't mean you have to, especially if you're on the other side.

Update: I've just found out that every single ticket for Zee Avi's Live Concert here in Malaysia has been sold! Amazing. For those of us who missed it, we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that she'll come by this way again.