Community Garden

On the web site for the Gurney Wharf project I found that they had a community garden, more or less between Tesco and Quayside.  It is quite small, but built on raised beds.  There was no one around to talk about it when I visited.


The noisiest quietest day of the year

Happy New Year.

At around midnight one hears huge explosions. As firecrackers are set off. It’s Chinese New Year.

The roads are quiet – at least where I live.  Half of the shops in the mall are closed. Which is almost unheard of.

many of the shops in the mall are closed

But at times the clanging of a lion dance can be heard.  If it’s in a hotel or at a shop you can go and watch.

It’s very sunny and quite hot.

A nice time of year.

What ketchup?

Until now Heinz has been my ketchup of choice. Not that I actually eat much of it. One bottle might last a year. But now, instead of sugar they are using High Fructose Corn Syrup. Heinz do produce a ketchup without HFCS, but it costs over RM30 to avoid this substance.

HFCS is cheaper, but blamed for many health issues. Tesco brand ketchup costs about RM2.65, compared to about RM14 for Heinz, and uses sugar as the sweetener. However, looking at the label, some ingredients look suspicious. But it may be less damaging than Heinz’s. And Heinz is packed in plastic, while Tesco’s is in glass – again a healthier option.

As for taste, Tesco’s is possibly a bit sweeter.

So I decided to vote with my Ringgit and try Tesco’s, at one tenth the price of Heinz.

IT pluses and minuses recently

  • Prices for IT equipment are rising in Malaysia.
  • Four years ago we bought a well specified Asus PC for under RM3,000.  Now it seems to cost more than RM5,000 for something similar. Asus is my favourite brand, and this computer is still going well, so it’s a shame they’ve increased in price a lot.  Most PC’s are now a similar or higher price for the specification. MINUS.
  • My five and a half year old Asus tablet is still going strong, if slowly. ( I brought it out again after my Huawei died.)  PLUS
  • As mentioned previously, my one year four month old Huawei Media Pad tablet battery died.  MINUS.
  • I spent RM157 to have the battery replaced at the Huawei Repair Centre – as it was built in and not easily replaceable by consumers – and the replacement battery was no better, and soon the tablet totally died again – but naturally after the pathetic one month warranty for the work ended.  Being broken I thought I may as well open it myself despite possibly damaging it, and I found they appeared to have replaced my dead battery with a several year old battery.  I went to the Huawei repair centre to ask and they wouldn’t answer and never got back to me.  MINUS.
  • Wanting another computer last year – actually a hybrid PC / tablet as I no longer could use the Huawei tablet –  I had to forgo Asus due to the price, and found the best value for a reasonable specification in an Acer, for just over RM3,000, having added four times their standard RAM.  It was a good choice. PLUS
  • Hard disk prices are increasing – and many of them are made in Malaysia. Western Digital is the main brand available here.   In September 2014 I bought a Western Digital 4TB PC internal hard disk for RM468.  Yesterday in the same shop I note that the price is now RM689.  MINUS.
  • By the way,  shops never seem to have disks larger than 4TB, but yesterday I saw a 6TB one – for RM1229. A crazy price. I have never seen a 10TB disk in Malaysia. MINUS.
  • In September 2014 I also bought a Western Digital 4TB external hard disk for RM539.  Now one of the smaller versions that use USB for power is around RM759 from memory.  Although currently you can buy it on special for RM599.  MINUS.
  • The prices of top of the range phones are going up and up with each new model, generally. MINUS.
  • However, the lower and middle price phones are now so good, that you don’t need the top priced phones unless you have some special requirement. PLUS.
  • I installed the English version of Wechat, an app very popular (980 million active users monthly) with Chinese for communicating – and it totally killed my phone. MINUS.
  • I did a factory reset on my phone – which is only about eight months old – and now it works better than ever. PLUS.
  • Google Assistant starts automatically on my phone and interrupts podcasts I’m listening to sometimes. If I try to shut it it immediately restarts.  I’ve tried disabling it, but it somehow overcomes this.  It’s supposed to listen to my questions and commands, so one would expect commands like, “Close Google Assistant” would be easy and effective. It ignores me  and keeps on interrupting. MINUS.
  • I recently discovered that in Windows 10 there is an automatic backup that you can turn on if you wish.  So you can save your important folders automatically to another disk. Go to Settings / Update and Security and choose  Backup from the menu on the left, and you’ll find Backup using File History.  PLUS
  • I have also found a free imaging program that can automatically image your PC so that if the PC dies you can easily restore it from your image and quickly have it working again.  It’s called Macrium.  There is also a paid for version if you want. PLUS.

So, these are my recent experiences.



Chinese New Year – a good time to shop

Chinese New Year is on the 15th February.


Kelawei Road

Gurney Plaza

Gurney Plaza

Gurney Plaza

As we approach Chinese New Year there are many items on special in shops.

Marmite at Cold Storage. And many other items – butter, olive oil…

beer at Tesco

beer at Tesco

electrical items at Tesco

electrical items at Tesco

These are just a few examples.  If you want something big it may be on special – and you can stock up on normal items often at a better price than usual.