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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A cover for my iPad

During my recent worktrip, I had a transit flight to Singapore.  That was when J persuaded me to buy the iPad.  He said that I could read my ebooks on such a useful tool.  Furthermore, my work companions also reinforced the idea by saying that the baby could develop good motor skills with the number of free applications available for babies on the iPad.
On the flight back to KL and while in transit at Changi, I checked out the price of the iPad. The iPad 32GB (wireless only) was only RM100 more expensive than the selling price in the USA. So, needless to say, I succumbed to the temptation. 
Now, what I didn't know was, after buying the iPad, you need to buy accessories to it.  For instance, the screen protector and the iPad case or cover.  Because the screen is bound to get scratches and fingerprints from having such a large surface and you keep tapping on it. After using it for about 2 weeks, I started to research on the available products.

My boss who got her iPad from the USA, also bought an Apple case for it there.  She got her screen protector installed locally at a Machines store. She told me for the 2 items, each would  cost over RM120!  Wah, it's like after buying the cow, you need to buy the yoke.
Anyway, I read reviews about the 2 items, and I found out that the best screen protector is the "Invisible Shield", which is expensive, but it is a horror to put on.  Even local sellers who sell it here will not dare to install for you.  And the official Apple iPad case is actually lousy at protecting the device due to it being flimsy, and also there is no strap or anything to hold the cover closed, and the velvet-like material gathers dust easily.

Then I found this medium-range case developed by More (a Hong Kong company).  The Shocking Case comes in shocking, vibrant colours and the best thing is, a free More crystal screen protector. The cover flips close like a diary and has little magnets to keep it closed. And the company which sells it is based in Sunway and can provide free installation.  The service was very good too.  By the time I brought my iPad to them, the screen was practically smudged all over.  The service staff cleaned it with a cleaning detergent called "Applesauce"  (just imageine the things that can develop as a downstream industry from Apple products).  Then he sprayed some solution on the screen, fitted the screen protector and smoothed out all the bubbles.  It was very professionally done, and I am glad I didn't for one minute think that I could ever do it myself.  All these for the cost of RM175, I count myself lucky for reading reviews first.
Post-note:  iPad launched in Malaysia today (30 Nov) and really good value for money, for the model I bought it's RM150 cheaper than in Singapore.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Camp Outing

Wei and Yuan are going on their first camping trip. It's not a real camp trip like the ones you go to at Taman Negara, but just an urban children's camp where they stay for 3 days 2 nights in a Buddhist society in Petaling Jaya.
They are excited and I am happy for the fact that they will be occupied with some activities besides playing computer games and watching tv. This morning they are all geared up with sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and a change of clothes.
In the camp, there will be a children's workshop, all towards building character and moral values. At the end of the camp which is on Monday, there will be a mini concert presentation on the things that they have learnt.
They're only gone for a day and I miss them already. 

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Property Posts are moving house

For the past 2 weeks I have not updated this blog. There are so many things I want to write but I was overwhelmed with work, and also a little inner struggle. Do I continue to post here like this on my 3 main topics - kids, work and property? Or should I split and post into another blogsite?
When I started in March 2010 with 0 readers, I thought that putting in so many topics will be easy, I would always have something to write. Now I have too much to write and I don't like the disarray of my blog posts - it makes me feel so disorientated. And so for the past 2 weeks, I struggle in writer's paralysis, unable to pen down a word.
Now I have finally decided. I continue to blog here for the love of my children, recording their milestones, and my daily life. I pen down stories from my work and travels. And little trinkets and gadgets that I like.
I have created a new blogsite, Property Dance for all my property learnings and money smart habits. The name is inspired by a wonderful friend who would have a dedicated blogsite soon. If you like my property posts, please follow me to my new blogsite.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

70% Loan-to-Value Ratio for 3rd house onwards

An update following my previous post 80% LVR?
It has finally happened overnight. BNM announced quietly, with immediate effect, a 70% LVR for the 3rd property onwards. See Support for BNM's LVR cap move.
As I have mentioned, this will result in much difficulty for small time property investors like us. However, Renesial Leong, the property guru, had mentioned that we can look at 2 bright points:
1. Property prices may stabilize for a while, or even drop because of urgent sales by investors who want to get rid of their property quickly since it is unlikely to appreciate in the longer term.
2. People who are speculators without sound backing may be out of the game for awhile, resulting in less competition.
So, fellow investors, collect your seed money and be patient, we are investors of the long term and we will be in this game, until the next policy change!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wei's birthday

I came home from a work trip just in time for Wei's 9th birthday. His present, which I picked up from the Zurich airport is a Swatch. It took me 10 minutes to choose it, since there were not many watches that fit my budget, and this one stands out because it also tells the day and date. Wei is very proud of it.