Coffee.. anyone?

September 12th, 2014 by kamkuey

Coffee.

For the past couple of years, independent coffee cafes have sprout all over the Klang Valley like lalang grass. The boom in people having a deeper interest in good quality coffee have increased tremendously. To these people, chain cafes like Starbucks and Coffee Bean does not cater to their palate. They crave something a little bit more personal, a coffee which entices their palate instead of the same old chained coffee pulled from standard operating procedures or baristas trained to operate the coffee machine in a certain way.

These people want a better coffee.

So what’s a better coffee?

Well, for sure it is not about the name of the shop serving you coffee. It certainly is not about how nice or extravagant the coffee art is. Is it about the coffee itself? Is it the bean or where is it’s origins? Maybe the year or the month the bean was harvested? Or could it be the skills of the barista in handling the coffee and the coffee machine. Is it in the cup? Or is it the cup itself? Or maybe the temperature of the cup, or the water used? Speaking of water, does it make a difference in a cup of coffee? Maybe distilled water brings out better coffee?

Well, to tell you the truth, this is just the beginning of my coffee journey. Can I tell you that this coffee is better than the other one? No, I can’t. But I can tell you if I enjoyed that particular cup of coffee or not. That cup of coffee might be made from the most expensive bean, pulled from the most expensive machine by the most experienced barista, but if I did not enjoy it, it’s going to be bad coffee to me.

Similarly, that photo of a nice cup of coffee from Jementah, I had it at a coffee shop and it was one of the most enjoyable coffee I had to date. I am sure it’s  not the best bean used. But it was tasty, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is the other one which I particularly enjoyed. It’s an instant latte. Empty the sachet into a cup, and add hot water.

The instant latte came with this, a little tube to sprinkle some chocolate powder over your latte. Nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

And here’s how I usually like to enjoy my coffee, with a nice piece of cake.

But… my days of consuming standard coffee may be numbered as I venture deeper into the ‘premium’ coffee world. Or maybe i should just remain where I am now, contended with standard coffee. Well, maybe the occasional premium coffee or two. Premium coffee is not cheap with a standard ‘black coffee’ being a standard RM8 a cup compared to RM1.60 for a standard ‘black coffee’ at the kopitiam.

By the way, there’s a difference between black coffee and the ‘black coffee’ served at premium coffee cafes. Something about the way the coffee is prepared. But that we leave for another time.

In the mean time, bring on the coffee and cakes!!

The Apple iPhone

September 11th, 2014 by kamkuey

So, Apple just lifted the veil and introduced their all new iPhones. This time, they revealed 2 different models, namely the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The first being a 4.7” smartphone while the Plus features a 5.5” screen. Both are identical in terms of specifications. Of course, for both models, you have a choice of storage capacities.

Oh.. and they too launched the all new iWatch. But we shall leave that for later.

But here lies the issue for Apple, their hardware specifications are actually quite behind in terms of progress. While most of their competitors are already sporting similar specifications back in 2012, Apple is only now introducing the same level of specifications now, a whole 2 years later. What kind of specs? Well, namely the dual core processor, the 1GB RAM, and the 750p screen resolution of their 4.7” iPhone 6. The Nexus 4, launched in 2012 had that specs. And while the rest of the world is leading 1080 FHD screen behind, the 5.5” iPhone 6 screen is the first FHD screen smartphone from the company.

But let’s view it from a practical point of view.

Apple has been producing quality products since its first started, with a few exceptions. But iPhones are not the exceptions. Oh.. well.. the latest batch of iphones are not the exceptions anyways. I particularly like the form factor and the build quality of iPhones. They fit in the hands well, and they are the most solid and well built phones ever. Granted they might be heavy for their size, but that shouts quality. The 4” screen of previous iphones have been relatively small compared to the huge screen sizes of their competitors, but they really do fit in the hands pretty nicely. Remember that it’s still a phone, not a tablet. Most manufacturers now blur the lines between phone and a tablet, with some calling the huge smartphones a phablet instead. Samsung first introduced their Galaxy Note smartphone, and a lot of people say that it’s too big, but it has been a huge hit amongst users, with their latest Galaxy Note 4 sporting a massive 5.7” screen. Nokia pushed it even further with their Lumia 1520 with its 6” screen. Massive device.

So anyway, I see the iPhone 6 as a whole new category by itself. I personally would buy and use the iPhone purely for it’s simplicity. Also for it’s design and build quality. The only thing stopping me getting the iPhone is it’s cost. It’s ridiculously over priced.

Wait.. let me rephrase that; it’s over my budget for a smartphone. Keyword : my budget.

It may suit your budget, then by all means go get the iphone. In terms of functionality, I still prefer Android-based phones. But those functionalities are not extremely crucial for me, so I can still use the iPhone runing iOS. It’s does what I want from a smartphone. It does social media, it takes photos, and it runs all the chat applications I am using. And it has Waze, something I use very often.

So it does not really matter what the specifications are. They maybe only running a dual core processor and a 1GB RAM, but it does it’s job. Put it to you this way, why are you still driving a car with a 1.6 (or 2.0 or 2.4) 4 cylinder engine when there’s a 6.2L V12 engine? Different requirements, different expectations.

You have to remember, if not for Apple pushing out their smartphones, the rest of us would probably still be using standard phones with keypads. Surely others have introduced smartphones before the iPhone, but it was the iPhone which catapulted the need for a touch screen smart phone which launched the race for better smartphones.

So give it a break, the iPhone (iphone 4 onwards… ) is has one of the best smartphone implementations around. It’s just that the fanboys that over glorifies the phone, and tries to give excuses for the lack of some specifications or features which gets to me.. and to most people.

Fanbois, no need for excuses. The iPhone speaks for itself. Of course, for the hardcore fellas, the iphone is tremendously lacking. But for the the majority of smartphone users who has no need to root or load custom ROM or massive processing power, it’s one of the easiest smartphones to use. Too bad it’s not the easiest on the wallet.

 

An Alternative View

September 3rd, 2014 by kamkuey

I recently came across this article which was rather interesting. It gave an alternate view of us as a whole, in terms of religion, believe as well as the entire concept of evolution and life itself.

This article did not shake my faith in God. Neither did it manage to affect my believe that God made the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th day, or that God made Adam and then Eve to accompanying Adam. I still believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was sent to earth to save us. So as a Christian, my faith was not shaken.

But the article is an interesting read. It could be what is happening. Could be. None of us can absolutely say that it’s not, because none of us has ever witnessed or experienced what happened after we die. Surely there’s people who had died, went to heaven and even taken a walk with Jesus. But that’s their story, not yours and definitely not mine. Surely you may choose to believe their experience. Nothing wrong with that. That’s called faith, you believe in something which someone else told you about. Just like the faith you have when they told you God created the universe, or when you were told of the story of the Man from Nazareth, who healed people, fed thousands with just some bread and fish and walked on water. That is faith, believing in something which you do not have physical evidence, or believing without seeing.

I want to say again that my faith in God remains steadfast, but the following article is a rather interesting read.

The Egg – Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did. It gave me an alternate view of how things could be. Keyword is COULD. This is not how things are, but could be.

 

about


Nothing much to know about myself. In a nutshell, I manage a little call centre, but I was trained in IT. Now more like I am in the service industry cum IT support. Anyways, on the side, I like motoring, photography and sometimes fishing. Anything else you can ask me direct la.

search

links

navigation

archives

categories