The Five (Korean Movie, 2013)

Just done watching The Five (더 파이브)

In a word… Wow!

This is a very gripping and heart wrenching story, that keeps you at the edge of your seat. I found myself wringing my fingers midway during the show. It’s a thriller, no less, with a very dark theme. But very good. So. Good.

In fact, I was so amped up after watching it to write about it. So here it is. Actually, there it was (I wrote a post that accidentally got erased, so this is a rewrite).

Kim Sun A (김선아) plays Eun-ah, the female protagonist. And she delivers an excellent performance that seals the fate of The Five as a successful hit. She was the reason why I would watch a Korean movie that isn’t comedy, go through pains to find it in good quality together with the corresponding English subtitles, and sync them just to catch it in one good sitting.

The story is intricately woven, the plot is tight knit. The cinematography is well done and the show is well directed. Because of the dark theme, very very dark, it’s unlikely that I’d watch it again. But I highly recommend it. Highly. Who knew the story they’d tell in 2 hours could be this good?

It remains to be a show that you’ll catch, even if only once, for the stellar performance and the thrilling plot. The best part? It’ll leave you thinking about your life.

TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔 – Part 3

Hong Kong Drama — TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔

This review contains spoilers.

This part has been a long time coming. I honestly wasn’t keen on writing this post, but still did anyway. It’s been a week after the final episode aired.

After the last post on Captain of Destiny 張保仔 show, for the episodes that followed, I had expected to them to get increasingly exciting. Well, I was wrong. The general plot was OK (it’s not praise). The lines (对白) became a bunch of bull, and worse, delivered poorly. I don’t know whether it’s the lines that made the rest of the drama insufferable or the way the actors, specifically Grace and Tony, chose to deliver them.

The worst part had to be when Grace Chan’s character refused to give Ruco Chan’s character the benefit of doubt, and proceeded to smear the 11th Prince at the prison cell holding 張保仔 and his friends. Even if she was certain that she was right, she need not speak with such certainty that it was the 11th Prince that caused their downfall and smear him immediately after he asked her to give him the benefit of doubt. Incongruency in the character — that spoilt the show.

The drama was definitely saved by Ruco Chan, the only one who was acting of the 3 leads, and the theme of travelling through time. As supporting cast, Joel Chan and Mandy Wong did their part. But Grace and Tony… I wished I had nicer things to say. Even Raymond Wong who appeared in the final minutes of the last episode “spoke” a lot more (with his body language) than all the screen time the other 2 leads had.

More on time travel… The final two episodes were entertaining (in terms of storyline), and they steered the show back on track again, if you’d cut more slack on Grace and Tony.

In the end, I wouldn’t recommend the show. It’s a sad state for an anniversary drama. The beginning was promising, the ending was entertaining, the middle was… a sad state.

TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔 – Part 2

Hong Kong Drama — Captain of Destiny 張保仔

At this point of writing, the drama stands at 21 episodes out of the 32 episodes.

This review contains some spoilers.

Ok, the series warrants an update, because some of the things said before needs to 收返 (be retracted), and some to 补充 (be substantiated).

At this point, the series starts to get exciting, despite a dip in expectations the storyline around episode 15/16, which I had expected to be glued to my seat.

Tony Hung’s (as 張保仔) performance started waning in Episode 18 and 19. He totally cannot give off the “utterly broken” look. Those scenes were a huge disappointment. What a waste of the CGI…

Grace Chan’s (as 黄娣妹) performance lacked luster in Episode 18 and 19 as well. Her use of intonation / emphasis in her lines delved into a pattern, it was like she was just reading her lines for the sake of them and she was not into her role at all. I also don’t know what to make out of the scene where she set sail from 保仔’s ship to blast the cannon stationed at the cliff. What was her character trying to bring out? I have no idea. She was just reading her lines. And that was one of those scenes that’s pivotal to the storyline, meant for her to shine.

I might be wrong but they might have either started filming the series starting with scenes from these two episodes first, or they might have conducted the filming for these two episodes after a very long day.

Another mention, I do not know if this was deliberate or otherwise, but Susan Tse’s (as 淳貴妃, the concubine who was once loved by the emperor but now is neglected. Also the mother of Ruco Chan’s character, 十一貝勒) performance in episode 20 seemed to be less than her usual performance. I’m referring specifically to the scene where the senior eunuch 禮公公 advised her to change her expectations of her son 十一貝勒 (played by Ruco Chan). If she had meant to play it as the audience is expected to interpret, then I did not feel that she did a good job there. It was definitely less than her usual performance. However, if her character had a hidden intention* then I will be changing my views on this. At this point in the series, her intentions still stand as a kind concubine who wants to protect her children, especially her elder son 十一貝勒.

* Just like Mandy Wong’s character 朱淑君 earlier in the series, when she wanted to con Grace Chan’s character 黄娣妹, she put on a “fake front” by acting to be acting. At that time, I was thinking, Mandy’s acting seems weird! Less than her usual performance! But soon, the next episode reveals that she was pretending to be “weak and victimised” to gain support from Grace Chan (黄娣妹). So her performance got her high marks!! I rewatched the scenes by Mandy Wong and I think she delivered it very well. How do you pretend to be acting? It’s convoluted! Not easy at all.

Ruco Chan scores high marks starting in episode 20. The series finally delves more into his character and gives him more opportunities to play a more complex role in more complex situations. I think he will be getting a lot more screen time in future episodes.

My gripes about the series? There are some holes in the storyline I hoped will be explained later, like…

  • Where does 黄娣妹 get money to buy back her gun from a street hawker? She’s so adamant about standing by her principles and denounce the wealth gained from pirate activities, so where did her money come from?
  • 張保仔 says that 嬌姐 treats 黄娣妹 to a meal (hotpot) and requests that 保仔 go grab seafood to 加菜 (add to the meal)… but 黄娣妹 doesn’t have anyone else to turn to, so it’s expected that she’s living and eating off 保仔’s “family”, then why would that be treating 黄娣妹 to a meal?

Enjoy the show!

Domain Name Certification: Scam or Real

This happened to me a few days ago and I want to quickly get this out so that others know about this and not fall for it.


Our client is interested in purchasing [domain name]

He is a professional investor with 23 years of experience.

I located your contact information in a domain name whois lookup and understand that you own the domain name.

Are you still interested in selling?

I work for a hosting company based in UK.

I help our clients to buy and sell intellectual properties.

Do you have more names? Can you send a list?

Are you an experienced seller?

Best Regards,

Aaron Brown

Vice President

123 REG UK

And when you reply that the domain is available for sale, this is the next email.

The buyer is a well known Norwegian entrepreneur and businessman with interests in Internet, mobile phones, television, media, leisure and property.

He offers $12,000.

Do you have a certificate?

He needs this for accounting/tax purposes.

If you don’t have it’s not a problem. You can order it online.

As a professional, he cannot accept it from any agency. Only manual service is accepted.

The certificate must include the following:

1. Independent valuation of the market price. It will show your domain name is not overpriced. On the other hand if the valuation comes higher, he will increase the price accordingly. In the domain name industry, there are many appraisal tools that people use to estimate the value of a domain name. My client does not want to risk and doesn’t accept services that use scripts. If you are unsure about some service feel free to ask me.

2. Trademark infringement verification. It proves your domain has no trademark problems. He would like this verification to be included in the appraisal report. It’s not a problem because some companies include the TM verification for free.

I’m also interested in a good estimate of the market price because he pays me % on each sale.

You can read about certification agencies at (“Domain Broker” is my nickname).

The process is very easy:

1. Go to the certificate agency site and order a certificate. Just submit your domains and let them know you have a buyer with $XX,XXX offer. It will help you to get a better valuation.

2. Send it to me and we will start the sale process. As soon as he receives your certificate he will buy your domain via an escrow service. Any escrow service will be able to pay you via Paypal, Wire, Western Union or any other method you prefer.

He wants to ensure the safe delivery of the funds to you. Furthermore, since this is our first time conducting any business, I believe that using a third-party escrow service can provide a safe, well defined process.

If you are new to the certification process, I can help you with the step by step instructions.

I’ve done some research and conclude that this is a scam, and it’s not the first time they’ve done this.

Take note that the link provided in the email has the domain name and a quick whois reveals that it does not belong to google. It hides behind a Domain Proxy, and Google does not hide behind whois proxies. Take note that it is a .ORG, not a .COM

You most likely made some changes to this particular domain you received the offer for, like transferring between registrars, updating whois contact information.

Links related to this scam:


The devil is in the details. Do some detective work!

If that helped you, reply in the comments below, so you can help others too, like for instance, what action did you last perform on the particular domain (most likely a few days ago.)


Videostream Premium Review

So… I went premium.

I did not need it, I enjoyed the exercise walking to and from the TV to the computer. But for those really short videos (2-5 minutes), the playlist feature was a nice to have.

When Videostream gave an offer on their lifetime version, I took it and decided it ought to be for the better. And voila~ I exchanged my daily, multiple short walks for Videostream Premium.

Well, for starters, they must have quite a fun team working on Videostream. Their thank-you message after I made the purchase was quite funky. Not your usual thank you message. I don’t buy on Google Play a lot, so I can’t tell how much effort went into creating the thank you page.

Diving into the Premium version… I like the playlist feature!

The biggest plus, for me, is even after you close the app, it remembers your previous playlist. And other than serving as a playlist, where it has the usual repeat and shuffle buttons, it also helps by keeping a history of the videos I often watch. For instance, some children shows get played a lot, so I can just put them on the playlist and click on them like choosing from a menu, instead of having to load it over and over and over each time the app restarts.

You can remove individual videos from the playlist, re-order the videos or click the “clear all” button at the top to start afresh.

It’s good so far.

Gripes? I have two.

Videostream Add To Playlist Button
Videostream’s “Add To Playlist” Button covers the Video’s close button

First, the “add to playlist” button at the bottom right corner interferes with the close button of the video that’s at the bottom of the list. Sure I can work around it, like dragging the video to a higher position and then using the close button.

The team works pretty fast so I presume this interface issue is getting worked on as you read this.

Second. My electrical bills are going up! The TV did not get a lot of attention before… but now, it’s almost, always, perpetually turned on and have something playing on it! Nooooo……

Videostream only works with a Chromecast.

TVB Captain of Destiny 張保仔

Hong Kong Drama — Captain of Destiny 張保仔

At this point of writing, the drama stands at 11 episodes.

In short, highly recommended! Watch past the first 3 episodes. It gets fun when the female lead, 特區女警黃娣妹, played by Grace Chan (陳凱琳) travels back in time to 200 years ago.

There are NO spoilers in this review.

The first 2-3 episodes may seem confusing, low quality or having a tasteless storyline even, but as you watch on, the early episodes will prove themselves to contribute to the story in later episodes.

Some of you may already know this, but the chief bandit character 張保仔 has been recast 3 times. First was Bosco Wong, then Raymond Wong, then Tony Hung. Bosco Wong turned it down due to schedule conflicts, Raymond Wong turned it down due to his health and medical condition. Tony Hung is playing the character that the show is titled, 張保仔.

I think Bosco Wong would have played 張保仔 really well, but Raymond Wong …not so.

Raymond Wong makes a particular expression, his hallmark expression, in most of his shows, which I find incongruent with the particular situation he is acting in the show. It’s like, he doesn’t know what expression to put there, so he falls back on this expression. He also makes the expression a lot, enough for me to memorise it. If anything, he does have the “worn-out pirate” look, which might have been why he was cast for the show. He doesn’t have the “comedy” look which the laughing scenes call for though.

I am pleased with Tony Hung’s performance as 張保仔. He is mischievous enough and fierce enough and gives off the first love look, and makes the laughing scenes enjoyable. I enjoy the subtle expressions he gives off, which are not contrite nor exaggerated. He’s natural in this role and performs well as the scenes call for it, so it’s all good.

Grace Chan’s acting though, might draw more attention, given the amount of screaming she had to do in the show. She comes off really naturally in some scenes and in other scenes, either overacting or illogical progression of acting or unnatural acting. Some of the laughing scenes could have been done a lot better, they could have had me falling off my chair laughing, but no, they just got a “HA… yeah that’s funny” from me. Didn’t do the script justice. I felt her performance was a lot better in Raising the Bar 四個女仔三個BAR, and I was expecting more than just this from her in this show.

What I Do Not Have

More often than not, we look at what we do NOT have, rather than appreciating what we have.

Due to the very bad haze today, we decided to cook dinner.

H: But we don’t have vegetables right?

W: Yes, but I’ll try to cook something with whatever we have in the kitchen and fridge (refrigerator).

You find yourself looking at expired coupons and see what deals you’ve missed. You look into your neighbour’s home and notice the bigger TV, the prettier wallpaper, the beautiful rug, the cushier sofa… you get the picture.

Home is where the heart is. And that’s what I have.

Look into your neighbour’s bowl, not to see what they have that you don’t. But to see what they do not have that you can give.



Why Not Get A ChromeCast?

So many computer-to-TV devices!

Out of the list, I picked Chromecast. I took quite a while to decide, checking reviews from other websites, especially technology sites. When I decided to go with it, I felt that it was a good decision. But after I received it and put it to work, I believe I have made the best decision for the use I intended for it.

I wanted to be able to send videos from my iMac to my TV. Mainly, local videos (meaning, they are on my hard disk), and on occasion, YouTube videos.


Chromecast (USD35) apparently could not do that well. But I found a website saying that you could cast a tab with the video in it. So it can be done. Grudgingly accepted Chromecast.

Apple TV (USD79) can definitely do that. And very well. Since I am on Yosemite and Apple TV would stream any video. I could get Beamer too and enjoy HD streaming.

For the additional ease of streaming videos with the Apple TV, I would need to fork out more than double the price. I was hesitant. Plus, Beamer would be additional dollars. It’s a setup that would work for sure, and I would go for it if the price difference wasn’t so great.

For the price and the functionality and the size of the dongle… I went for Chromecast. I knew that for the price, even if we only watched 2 videos a week, I would be satisfied with my purchase.


Since the advent of Chromecast, some really smart people have made plugins and apps available. You can cast local videos with Videostream or on-page videos with PlayTo for Chromecast. Some Chromecast-enabled sites like YouTube would play the videos full-screen without additional effort nor require external apps or plugins. It is wonderful!

With three mentions:

  1. Videostream has a premium version at USD35, which you will not need unless you want to queue a playlist of videos.
  2. PlayTo for Chromecast can get a bit hard to use on webpages with multiple videos on the webpage, since each video will earn a pop-up asking if you would like to broadcast the video to Chromecast.
  3. On some occasions, Chrome may not be able to detect Chromecast. To resolve this, you’ll need to type chrome://restart in the address bar and hit enter.

Other than the above two “catches”, Chromecast works beautifully!

Per the three mentions above, these are the positive side:

  1. If you are playing one video at a time and don’t mind walking to and from the desktop, Videostream will work for you for free.
  2. After getting a hang of the pop-ups, I know which ones to click “play” and which ones to “cancel”. Hint: It’s usually the first one. There is also the option to turn off and on the pop-ups on demand.
  3. It’s easy to restart Chrome with chrome://restart and probably not more than 5 seconds. Plus, Chrome remembers my tabs and reloads them nicely. No loss!

Well, I’ve got mine. And although I was a bit jittery when I clicked the buy button, after putting it to work I did not regret my decision. We ended up playing up to 5 videos a day. It’s convenient, it doesn’t take up space, streaming is smooth, the videos are clear and except for some LoFi YouTube videos, the quality is usually satisfactory. For that price… I love it!

My Man tells me that it’s worth every penny and would pay SGD65 (USD35) for an additional Chromecast if we needed another one.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Price Last Updated 5:32pm, 1st October 2015 (More Info)

Now it’s your turn to make your choice and decision.

Review Disclaimer: I paid for my Chromecast. All opinions are entirely mine. All research is done by me.


What Are You a Master Of?

What is your area of expertise? What is your area of mastery? What are you good at?

If you are looking for your strengths, your talents, your passions and do not yet know which areas they fall into…

You are not alone. I am here with you. I am still trying to put into words what they are. Making progress.

For sure, I … [ hidden ]

What’s your mastery? Share it in the comments below!

(It’s your chance to advertise yourself on GameThat!)

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

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Price Last Updated 5:32pm, 1st October 2015 (More Info)

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to work. At the beginning, that is.

In the book The 7 Levels of Change, which has gone through 3 reprints and sold out, Rolf Smith shares that they are:

  1. Effectiveness. Do the right thing.
  2. Efficiency. Do the things right.
  3. Improving. Do the things better.
  4. Cutting. Do away with some things.
  5. Copying. Doing what other people are doing.
  6. Copying. Doing what no one else is doing.
  7. Impossible. Doing what cannot be done.

For the purpose of our discussion here, only the first item is key. We can shelf the rest for now.

Effectiveness. Do the right thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to work.

I recommend the 80/20 Pareto Principle. When you are 80% ready, just do it. It will take a lot more time to “perfect” the final 20%. If everyone focused on being perfect, nothing much will get done in this world.