Quietly, my family celebrated Qing Ming again this year. I use the word "celebrate" because this is how we observe this festival. 清明节 or Tomb Sweeping Day is, after all, a celebration of life, as well as a commemoration of our loved ones who are not with us anymore. And an introduction to the next generation to their forefathers, whom they have never met before.
It is a time for all of us to gather as an extended family to reflect and remember, regardless of our religious beliefs.
Even Faith, who has autism, knows to look for Ye Ye's niche at the temple, and to touch the photo of his face in recognition.
(Read the full post and see more photographs at brown.exposure.co or view the embedded version below.)
I spent last week in Chicago, on the invitation of Apple, to check out their new education offerings. The event took place at Lane Tech High School in the Windy City, and we got to see a new entry-level iPad with Pencil support, in addition to the new school-based ecosystem that Apple made to make put Apple back into the classroom again.
Cheaper Chromebooks have made inroads into school environments, so this was a needful move on Apple's part. Besides making the Apple Pencil available for non-Pro iPad users via the cheaper new iPad, the Apple Schoolkit and other school apps aimed to make life easier for teachers to manage their classes, issue handouts, manage grades, and mark scripts digitally.
I will leave it to Kim Huat to give you the overview of the event via this video:
It was cold here but I had the right clothes. 0ºC to 2ºC at night, and surprisingly, 8ºC-12ºC during the day on the days I was there. Which is warm by Chicago standards.
The kids have been asking me for a pen-based device to draw and create stuff on. The iPad Pro was too pricey to be given to the kids. And a Wacom tablet would mean being tethered to the iMac at home. This new entry-level iPad with Pencil support came at the right time.
In early January, I visited Tohoku to experience all the best that Iwate and Miyagi prefectures had to offer. I was given missions to complete. From dining, to onsens, to snow activities and more. You can check out my experience there in the link below.
Then check out Mission 2, where I get to play in the snow of Appi resort and entered Chusonji Temple and Motsuji Temple, filled with centuries of history.
My legendary feat of consuming all those bowls of Wanko Soba in Morioka is also in this video. I really ate all the bowls you see in the video. No editing tricks were used. I thought it was going to be just for show, and I would be asked to eat a few bowls only, but they kept refilling my bowl and kept on filming.
In Mission 3, I was made to try the gourmet delights of the region, and I did not resist! The beef, oh my goodness, the beef. And the sake!
And no visit to Miyagi is complete without a boat ride around the Matsushima Bay.
I also visited Sendai Castle, to see the famous statue of the first daimyo of Sendai Domain, Date Masamune. You can see Sendai's cityscape from here too.
Do watch the videos of all the other folks from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand, who also visited Tohoku too.
As for me, you know it won't be my last time. I will return!
Kim Huat looks for a hot CNY date, Part 2. How did Kim Huat's date go? Did Premium Ah Lian come to see him? Watch the video to find out! And Kim Huat has a special promo for you to celebrate CNY. Click http://bit.ly/2nUO8C2 to find out more. Don't say bojio!
For those of you who have been asking me, "When is the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE version coming to Singapore ah? When is the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE version coming to Singapore ah? When is the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE version coming to Singapore ah?", you can stop bugging me now.
Here it is: The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) with the new Explorer watch face. This watch face is only available on the Cellular series and yes, it’s finally here in Singapore.
The only catch? You can only currently get it with a NumberShare plan with SingTel. Oi, the other telcos, why you no support Apple Watch eSIM? I’m looking at you, M1. The reason it is not available with the other telcos is entirely in the hands of the telcos. So please go bug your telco if it hasn't rolled out Apple eSIM plans yet.
The Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) allows you to operate it without your iPhone on you. The number is the same as your phone’s. You can take calls and messages on it (the non-cellular models can too, but require the iPhone to be nearby) and here’s my favorite part: you can stream ALL your Apple Music on the Apple Watch without your iPhone. Your entire music library, and the rest of the world’s, inside your Watch. Amazing.
If you have not tried using the Apple Watch to make calls, you are missing out on the most scifi thing to do. I feel like I am living in a Dick Tracy world. The mic on the Apple Watch is able to send my voice clearly to the other party, despite the ambient noise. I used to be skeptical but I take my calls on my Apple Watch a lot more now. It just works.
Battery life is similar to the non-cellular Series 3, assuming about four hours of LTE use. When the Watch is near your iPhone, it will use your iPhone to connect, and only when it doesn’t detect your iPhone or a familiar Wifi spot, will it switch to its own LTE connection. This saves battery life. You’ll see four green dots on the Watch to indicate that it’s using its own cellular connection.
Now I can go swimming with my Apple Watch Series 3 LTE and not worry if I will miss any calls or messages while my iPhone is in the locker.
On the 7th of July, 2017, about six months ago, I quietly rebooted the mrbrown show on the Anchor podcast service. On the same month, my youngest daughter, Joy, made me this mrbrown show keychain for my birthday. Which I thought was serendipitous.
It was small little project, something I restarted because I missed the days of doing audio podcasts. So I just did it without fanfare.
I was not sure if I was going to keep doing it, so I didn't make a big announcement about it on my blog. I figured, if I could not sustain it, then I would just let it go.
But here we are. 100 episodes in.
There is actually more content on the, er, new mrbrown show besides "Kim Huat reads the news", like sketches, interviews and talk cock sessions with Marc Nair, my family, and Mr Miyagi. But "Kim Huat reads the news" remains the anchor of the new mrbrown show. Oh look, a pun.
I did the show daily at first, seven days a week, but eventually realized I needed to do other things with my life too, like see my children and sleep. It is currently a show that happens a few times a week. I suppose you can call it the (Almost Daily) mrbrown show.
I was so serious about doing this show as frequently as I could, that I brought a mini recording studio with me.
Below you see what I used on a trip to Japan in July 2017, a kit created around the Shure MOTIV™ MV5 microphone, that looks like a little golf ball.
Below is a photo of my gear on a trip to San Francisco in September of 2017. I used a Shure MOTIV™ MVi interface with an ElectroVoice dynamic mic.
At home, I created a small recording space, complete with mic and all, in case I wanted to record something for the show, and was not free to go to the office studio.
I know, it is a little obsessive. But I love making the show and I love serving the fans who listened in loyally.
If you want to join the merry band of listeners who tune in every time I post a show, you can do so in a few ways:
1. Download the Anchor app, and follow my station: mrbrown. If you have the app, you can tune in and listen to current shows and older episodes this way.
2. Subscribe to the podcast. The show is also available on iTunes and Google Play as a podcast. All the shows are there, because Anchor helps me to put it in the podcast library: