Tuesday, March 31, 2009

114 and 600: What's the difference?

The figures are obviously different..

But when it comes to naming fishes by L numbers aka Loricade numbers for plecos, it can get a little difficult and confusing!

It all started when I posted up some pictures, of what I thought were of my L600, on a local fish keeping forum, Arofanatics:

The fish is starting to develop red streaks on its fins... so i wanted to know if it is normal will the whole find turn red.

The verdict from the experts there came to a conclusion: the fish is not a L600 but a similar looking L114. Because L600 has smaller spotting coloring rather brownish and greenblack color "eats" in from the inner tail outwards onto the fan tail whereas L114 orange base with larger black spots.black eats in from center outer fan tail inwards...

Wow confusing stuff...

But after I posted up the pictures, my inbox on the forum became flooded with people wanting to buy this piece of L114 from me...

Speak about publicity!

Advertlets replies after being exposed!!!

Advertlets replies to me, some 10 days after I sent an email to me!!!!

See picture :

Note: If you like to see an enlarged picture, there is a clickable thumbnail at the end of this post!

Anyway, if it takes 10 days to reply to an email, one can possibly imagine how long it will take for payment to even reach bloggers!

This time round, Advertlets emailed me to use their info@advertlets.com adress for all future correspondences. However, they requiredme to furnish them with my banking information so that they can remit me the money.

But that means that I would have to pay for the foreign currency exchange at Singapore local bank...

I wonder why should I pay for such a service when Advertlets promised me to pay me via cheque??

Any experts who have encountered this can reply?

Clickable thumbnail:

Special thanks to Ping.sg and The Singapore Daily for their help in spreading the news!

Update: Adverlets took 88 days to pay me... How auspicious!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dinner at CityVibes..

Was at a Japanese restaurant at Cityvibes.. Just in case you did not know, Cityvibes is the newly revamped building that was formerly the old cinema at Clementi along Commonwealth West Road..

Dinner looked impressive:

But it certainy did not leave an impression on the platter:

Starting off with what was supposedly ramen in a small portion... it reminded me of Singapore laksa with its serving of sliced hardboiled eggs and beansprouts....

The appetiser-cum-dessert certainly did not leave much to be expected for... watermelon was a little stale, probably sliced and left in the refrigerator for long till it absorbed the surroundings smells from the fridge, talk about environmental transfer of molecules...

The honey teriyaki chicken was too sweet and the texture of the chicken tasted too soft...without any hint of bounciness..

Next was the fried garlic rice, i was expecting something on par or at least similar to the one I had at Sun with Moon.. But this version rendered to me reminded me more of Nasi Lemak then anything Japanese!!! Firstly, it was not the usual pearl rice used in dishes... and the shredded slices of fried egg really reminded me of Nasi Lemak..
Thus, it is probably my first at last time at this restaurant!!!

Headed to Clementi 328 to look at some fishes and accessories, found out that there is a huge shortage of Hikari Algae sinking wafers, so the lady boss is currently splitting out large 1kg packs to resell as loose to customers... How thoughtful, right???
So bought some from her:

Don't they look like biscuits.. I think I better label the containers I place them in.. lest anyone at home takes them for biscuits!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sights and smells from Tiong Baru Market

A lazy afternoon.... so headed to Tiong Baru Market for lunch...

Took some pics of the skyline from the open air carpark:

Tall skyscrapers against the blue sky..

View of the food centre, which is on the second floor, from the car park:

The place was extremely crowded, lots of people, long snaking queues at the stores. Perhaps, queuing is another favourite past time of Singaporeans. Nearly every store has a queue forming!
Had this famous Pigs Organs Soup from Koh Brothers!!! Delicious!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

I took these pictures, of the block of flats opposite mine,from my room:
As you can see, most of the houses have participated in Earth Hour 2009 by switching off their lights, or perhaps, they are out partying away somewhere.
Seems pretty quiet. Maybe its a success in my neighbourhood?

Perhaps its time to have more energy conservation campaigns going on!

Anyway, some information about Earth Hour from Wikipedia:

Earth Hour 2009 is from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, 2009-03-28.
Currently, 82 countries and more than 2100 cities are 'committed to Earth Hour
2009', a huge increase from people participating in 35 countries for Earth Hour
2008.1 billion 'votes' is the stated aim for Earth Hour 2009, in the context of
the pivotal 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Among the
participants this year is, for the first time, the United Nations headquarters
in New York City.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twitter Followers

I've dedicated a corner of my side column to link all those who follow me on Twitter...

If you have not started to use Twitter, where have you been?

Kick start using Twitter by following me..

Don't forget the Twitter Contest whereby you can win a camera!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Japanese Dinner

This is my dinner...

Chawanmushi, fried breaded chicken on stick (believe me, i looked like satay), Japanese mochi and a yakiniku beef handroll...

Such a set going at $5. I think the recession is really a time when retailers cut on their selling prices!

SPH editors says KIV Advertlets news!

Pretty disappointed by the media in Singapore!!!

I informed a reporter about the whole Advertlets exposed saga and even gave a list of people who have been affected. The reporter conducted studies and planning for the tip off, but upon seeing the editor of the newspaper. The Editor only told the reporter to KIV the whole incident.

I'm sorry I can't include screen shoots of both emails and sms to keep the identity of the reporter anonymous!

This point only reinforces my view of the SPH-Advertlets link!

In times like this, I really wonder who to turn to.

Anyway, I would like to take the opportunity to all fellow bloggers who came up to my blog to share their comments and experiences they had with Advertlets!

Also, special thanks to the editor of The Singapore Daily for featuring my blog posts on 2 days:
25th March 2009
26th March 2009

Certainly hope that this issue will raise more awareness!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Suspicious Internet Activity?

I was notified that my blog had suspicious Internet activity which was verified by Google Safe Browsing:

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 81 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 0 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-03-24, and suspicious content was never found on this site within the past 90 days.
Malicious software includes 134 scripting exploit(s).

Malicious software is hosted on 4 domain(s), including ggoads.com/, xoads.com/, 9u9u.info/.

This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS15169 (GOOGLE).

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, fireopal82.blogspot.com did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

Thank god... no malicious software on my site!!!!! Phew... I am going to remove the coding which I added for an ad company, ggoads!

Info about ggoads from Google:
Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.
Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.

Enough said.... bye ggoads!

Good riddance!

Advertlets : The Link With SPH

I am not too sure if I am slow in this piece of information...

But I stumbled across this SPH Press Release:

SINGAPORE, 6 March 2008 – clickTRUE, the Pay Per Performance online advertising services division of Hardware Zone Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPH Magazines Pte Ltd ("SPH Magazines") is now Advertlets Sdn Bhd ("Advertlets") sole agency in Singapore promoting and selling ads on its blog network which is hailed as the leading blog network in the Asia region.

Online diaries, better known as blogs, are big in the online community and form the fastest growing type of website today. Blogs have already become a mainstay on the internet, with popular blog search engine Technorati currently tracking over 112.8 million blogs.

As the leading blog advertising network in Asia, Advertlets offers advertising in the personal space – where readers and the bloggers come together with their common interests and experiences. Visits to blogs by friends (and fans) ensure that advertisers' messages will be seen and heard by the people who matter.

Through a unique and proprietary platform, advertisers are able to track the age, gender, and profession of the readers visiting the blogs. This allows them to reach out to the right demographic and maximise mileage for their marketing campaigns.

Well, seems like Advertlets does have links with SPH afterall... maybe that is why despite all the complaints from bloggers about Advertlets not paying, there is not much main stream media attention at all?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A vegan diet for my parrot cichlids

Found a new food for my parrot cichlids...

In this video, they are seen here feasting on thawed green peas.

I read that if fishes are prone to constipation (don't as me how to judge if they have constipation though), one can try giving them boiled green peas. A lot of goldfish breeders regularly feed their fish boiled green peas since the compressed and heavily altered goldfish has compressed intestines (which is also the same in the case for these parrot cichlids) that easily clog up without sufficient amounts of fibre. Boiled green peas have saved the life of many a goldfish.

Advertlets: Exposed!

Of all the blog entries that I have written, this is probably the first one that is making me feel not only disgusted, but fuming mad!!

I also hope that this entry will serve as a warning to all fellow bloggers and readers out there who read this!

Just in case you have not known, I recently blogged about how I requested for a cash out from Advertlets in end January 2009 and have not received any forms of payment despite the fact that Advertlets claim that their payments are all processed 30-45 days after the end of the month that you have cashed out from.

I am also attaching pictures from my email inbox of details that show a time log of my conversation (or rather monologue with Advertlets CEO, Josh Lim, because he did not even bother to reply to such mails!)

Take a look at the dates that I send emails to him:
Wednesday 18th March 2009
Friday 20th March 2009
Details of what I wrote to him:

For all of you who have probably known that Advertlets is well known for slow, or even no, payment terms, you might be wondering, what the big deal is this post all about....

Here is the big deal:

An email was sent to Advertlets CEO, Josh Lim, this morning (24th March 2009) at 1147 hours with regards to a business enquiry on Advertisements and our dear Advertlets CEO actually replied not once, but twice at 1155hrs and 1220hrs.

Yes, he values business enquiries a lot... but I do not think that it is fair to not to even reply bloggers on payment issues. This is even made worse when Advertlets, which is a Malaysian company does not have a local branch in Singapore. In such a scenario, whereby bloggers are not paid, is there any government agency that can assist in such frauds?
And of course, I even found out that although Advertlets takes some 30-45 days to pay bloggers, Advertlets actually charges advertisers before payments (which are lower than a series of 4 digits) are run. I am sorry, I cant copy and paste out the details here on my blog, because I think these are secrets to Advertlets, but I can assure you that details of all these are true.
It is therefore disgusting that a company that claims to be Asia's better blog advertising network to operate in such a manner. Advertisers, please check up on the credibility of advertising networks before you actually even commit yourselves! Bloggers, let this be a warning to one and all!

30/03/09 Note:
By popular request, I have included clickable thumbnails here below, you can click on them to view the actual images, all images will open in new windows:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vainpots, take note!

Calling all vain pots and those who dare to admit it... before you reach for the next bottle of facial product on the shevles... you better check out Acne care products Review ! Not only do they have reviews on brands like Dermalogical, Clinique Medical, Dermaquest, Neostrata, Obagi,... they even have many product comparisons on cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliant, etc..

The site is fully focused on bringing cutting edge, anti-aging innovation to our portfolio of premium skincare products that deliver on their promises. Also, it claims to be owned and operated by doctors of a Crescent Health Center!

So do your research before you actually spend your money!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cold yet Warm..

Cold yet warm...
It's been raining since the afternoon..

Headed down to Changi Airport Terminal 2 to enjoy good old local delicacy:

Curry Chicken Noodles, Dumpling soup, and a nice cup of tea!
Looks like a lazy day to just laze around

Friday, March 20, 2009

2 cent payment via Paypal!

Some time back when I was complaining about Advertlets slow payment of more then 45 days to even be confirmed to be paid out. Someone introduced me to this Paid to Click (PTC) programme, called Orangebizs. The programme claimed to be able to cash out its funds every week via Paypal.

So I decided to give it a try, since it was just a simple paid to click scheme, so not much to lose anyway.

Just today, I got an email notification from Paypal informing me of new funds:

2 cents payment to my Paypal account. True the money might not be a lot, that's because I have not been actively using its other functions and I have only logged into my account twice!

I really wonder if such a company can afford to pay out 2 cents, with no minimum cash out, as well as no handling fees (read like the $1 postage costs that Nuffnang has), why can't other Asian companies do the same?


Join the revloution!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lau Pa Sat Satay..

Headed down to Lau Pa Sat for satay with the US gang today..

I think the Newton Circus saga has really made more locals to flock to Lau Pa Sat instead! It was fairly crowded for a weekday night!

We had nice satay at Stall 19, Jumain Satay, the succulent satay and rich peanut sauce makes you forget about your caloric intake! There was a spread of yummy mutton, beef, chicken satay.. and most importantly, I loved the mushroom satay, milk-fed chicken satay, grilled beef tripe on skewers!

Look at the big prawns grilled to perfection... sorry about the blurred pictures... I must have been so eager to eat, I could hardly wait to keep still for the shoot!So... go to Lau Pa Sat Stall 19 for satay and other grilled local delicacies!

Twitter... Twitterring... Twittered


Twitter is just so much fun to use...

And guess what..

I just discovered that there is a contest going on Twitter now...Win an XSHOT .

So have you started to Twitter today???

Follow my Twitter account.. it's available on the right hand side of my blog!!!

It just does not make sense with Advertlets!

Advertlets a sit that claims that advertisers make their message count. Blogger make money doing what they love. It all makes sense on Advertlets.com. Asia's better blog advertising network.

This is apparently not so true!

I choose to give Advertlets a chance by using their platform. I reached a sum of $151.44 with them and cashed out my money on 29th January 2009. Giving them a waiting period of 30-45 days from the end of that month, which should have been the 15th of March 2009, I have yet to receive any notification from Advertlets.

In fact, I have emailed their CEO, Mr Josh Lim, but to no avail.

The fact that this company exists in Malaysia without a Singapore office also makes other forms of communciation then email difficult too!

So, if you are intending to try Advertlets, save the trouble! And till I receive any updates from Advertlets, I shall update here!

I find it disturbing that Advertlets ride on the big names of ST701.com, celcom, starbucks coffee, GAP, Toyota, EMI and yet such things do happen!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Service Starts with yourself at Shell

Was filling petrol this morning at Shell when I came across this: Apparently, the SOP for greeting customers is placed facing the customers. Perhaps they wanna practise the 'mirror effect'?

If you want good service, first treat the staff well?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Durian King

Does this durian pictured below look a tad bit too fake for you?

Well, it's actually a durian donut that I got from Donut empire.
It's apparently made of real D24 durian. However, when I tried it, I found it too frozen (perhaps wrong serving temperature). And the flavour of the durian was not exactly nice and similar to D24.
Interesting product, but please give me the real thing any time!

Free BJ 2009!

Do the words 'BJ' and 'ice cream' sound suggestive to you?

It better not...

Mark this date on your calendar:
21st April 2009!

Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day!

From their website:

Ben & Jerry first scooped up free ice cream all day to thank the community
for supporting them in their first year. Now it's an annual tradition at many of
our scoop shops around the world. It's your chance to try any of our flavors for

After all the feasting, if you have out breaks.. check out Acne care products Review

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I finally got myself a bag for my HTC Touch Diamond... slow...

It fits just nicely.. and I hope this will put and end to accidental termination of lines due to touches on its screen when there in a incoming phonecalls.

Anyway, I took a pic when I was travelling on the expressway... it shows a blur fast moving imaage.. Did not delete the picture cos it kinda reflects my life now, blurry with now direction...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wedding Pet Peeves

It seems that the dreaded question on "When is your turn" is not the only thing I dislike about Chinese wedding dinners.

Today was at another one in town and despite the fact that it stated that dinner will be served at 7.30 pm sharp. The crowd only came in at 8 plus and dinner was only served at the table at 9pm.

Maybe everyone wanted to avoid the ERP gantry? It's really strange that most Chinese wedding dinners in Singapore start so late... and by the time everything ends, the food served finished, the exchange of handshakes with the hosts, it is already past 11 plus.

Another absurd thing is the traditional yam seng... imagine having a dinner in a posh environment and romantic setting only to have a yam seng session, with even sounds of "huat ar" coming from tables. For a moment, I thought I was at a 7th Month Dinner... perhaps today is Friday the 13th? Must scream out loudly to scare away bad luck and misfortune?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saving Pte Anubias

Contrary to what you may think, anubias actually refers to a kind of aquatic plant.

It has been in my small fish tank for almost a year, and its condition is getting from bad to worse.. with not much growth. I think probably due to constant digging from my clown loaches.

So today, I decided to take it out.. place in a glass canister... and allow it to grow by itself in a sealed atmosphere... Actually, i got inspired by this idea when I was at a aquarium shop at Clementi.
Hopefully the plant will recover!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

STOMP: Gay World Hotel name legal?

I guess STOMP is really trying really hard to generate new content.. especially when such a headline makes it to the Top 8. Sex sells?

A STOMPer spotted this hotel in Kallang and wonders if its name, 'Gay World Hotel', is a legally registered name.

He feels that the hotel’s name is odd and thus might not be legally permitted.

In an e-mail, the STOMPer says:

“I was just wondering how this name was allowed to register in Singapore as it is an unnatural name.

“I found this hotel near the Kallang MRT station."

Erm... first of all.. what's wrong with the name? Potraying a wrong image?

Quick check on dictionary.com:
1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.
4. licentious; dissipated; wanton: The baron is a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies.
5. homosexual.
6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.

So are Singaporeans being too conservative??

Anyway, if someone's surname is Gay, then is it allowed then? Same theory...