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Ivan Teoh

Something personal yet public

Today I was doing my competent communication manual project 4, How to Say It. I did not had time to say what I want to say. I admit I did not prepare will enough. My evaluator advised me to practice more and speak in front of a mirror. I should prepare the next speech as early as possible. Below was my speech draft.

--- Start ---

My fellow toastmasters and welcome guest. Euphoria was the feeling I had when I stepped on Beijing International Airport. "Welcome to Beijing." I can see this quote every corner in Beijing, during my trip in year 2007, the year before Olympic game held in Beijing. Are there anyone here been to Beijing? [Pause]

[If got anyone show their hand] Good. If I stuck in the middle of the speech, you guys can help me to continue.

[If no one show their hand] You are lucky.

[Pause] This evening, I'm here to share with you some of my enjoyable experiences in Beijing.

Before this trip, I never been to Beijing or any part in China. In my mind, I thought Beijing is still very rural city. Toilets are dirty and no privacy, we can see other parties that doing the same business with us. Everyone is wearing gray or dark blue shirt and pants with a little red book in their pocket. Everyone is still riding bicycle and spit everywhere.

That is not true anymore. I realise I was wrong when the plane arrived at Beijing International Airport. Lots of transformations for the last ten years in China especially Beijing. Now everybody is wearing modern and trendy. Lots of famous branded boutique everyone. Plenty of them are having LV bag even those were in the bus. Traffic jam was bad during office hours. Not because of the bicycle but the car. It was so bad until the government have to implement an unique traffic scheme, which is called odd-even scheme. If your car's plate ends with an odd number, you can drive today, but sorry you can not for tomorrow.

It was fun to be Chinese in China but not from China. Everybody will think that i am same as them. I remember one time, I was inside a taxi. Most of them love to listen to Beijing crosstalk from the radio. Crosstalk is called 相声 in Chinese. If I manage to catch the joke between two Beijing crosstalk actors, I will laugh. One taxi driver noticed it and started talking to me and sharing his option with his Beijing slang. Most of the time, I wouldn't able to catch what was he trying to say. I will just nod my head. Or say 'yes', [Pause] 'ah', [Pause] 'hm', or just 'smile'. Some of the taxi drivers did notice that I am not local Chinese. The next question, will be "Are you from Hong Kong?" or "Are you from Taiwan?" They never knew that I am from Malaysia. In fact, they were surprised when I said "I am from Malaysia." Must be the "Malaysia" word contains only have "Malay". "Chinesesia" will be different story.

What do you do after your office lunch? Local Chinese like to stand or walk after their lunch. After their lunch, they hardly chat in the cafeteria. They will leave the cafeteria and chit chat at the foyer of the company building. If the weather is good, they will go for a walk. At first, I though it was due to the small size of the cafeteria can't really fix the whole company employees. It is not true. The employees at company next door were doing the same thing. The employees at the company next next door were also doing the same thing. In fact, everybody in Beijing were doing the same thing. Later, I realise that they were doing it. Partly just because of health, good digest, partly because of skies. People who is staying in Beijing will know that the Beijing always gray and unattractive comparing to here, blue and gorgeous. Whenever the sky is beautiful, they will plan some outdoor activities on that day. It has been improved a lots ever seen the Olympic game was held in Beijing. You can see more and more blue skies nowadays.

Although I am Chinese, I feel like a foreigner in Beijing. As a penangnite, I love food. The Chinese food in Beijing is very different from ours. Beside rice and noddle, they also like to eat bun or dumpling as their main dish. Here our bun are normally sweet, such as red bean paste bun, black paste bean bun, corn paste bun, lotus paste bun. I believe all those sweet buns are coming from Cantonese province. In Beijing, the bun is either plain or stuff with meat or vegetable. It is very convenience during rush house. Their dumpling also different from us. Theirs is bigger comparing to ours. They had thicker skin and more meat inside. They are usually sold by weight. Very filling yet tasty.

There is one particular local Beijing food, I would like to share with you guys, which is sugar-coated haws. It is called 冰糖葫芦 in Chinese. You can still find it in modern Beijing. I always saw it in old Chinese emperor movie. These are only sold during Winter. Most of them are fresh from oven. You were able to see the way they boiled the sugar and the method of they coated the haws with sugar. Sugar will harden fast in cold weather. It is also been modernize by local people. No longer just sugar-coated haws. Now, there are also sugar-coated grapes, sugar-coated apples, sugar-coated oranges, sugar-coated kiwis, sugar-coated strawberries. Some even spring with sesame seeds. Yummy and delicious.

To me, winter in Beijing on that time was chilly and windy. It was also gray and dull. I remember the first snow in 2007 is powdery snow. It happen in the early morning. I looked through the window from my bed and I saw everything is covered with a thin layer of white blanket. Since it was not very heavy, I quickly ran out the building and felt the snow felt on me. The snowflake is as light as dandelion. I caught it and studied the shape of the snowflake. From that moment, I know it is definitely not the same as ice in my fridge.

Do you think traveling is an education? Our perceptions changed through these experiences?[Pause] I would said yes. [Pause] How about you?

--- End ---

Today meeting was my first time being a table topics master. I prepared 8 topics. First of all, for benefit of the guest, I explained briefly that table topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of this session is to have members "think and speak on their feet" and speak for 1 to 2 minutes. I pointed to the indicator lights and mention that the green light will be flashed at 1 minute; the amber light will be flashed at 1.5 minute; the red light will be flashed at 3 minutes. The speakers will have 30 seconds to round up the speech. I also encouraged the speaker trying out the word of the day during the speech. Due to the time limitation, below were the topics that spoken by our members:

  • If you got a chance to change one part of your body including your face, what would that be? Why?
  • How do you propose your love one to marry you?

Today, I created a simple favicon for this site. I need to improve this site. While designing, I pick image of 16x16 size with true color and alpha channel (32-bit). This icon was designed with Inkscape and IcoFx applications. After designing the favicon, I need to add this favicon into this site. Make sure this favicon is rename to favicon.ico There are two folders that the favicon had to upload into. First folder will be the main directory of this site. The next one will be at the current WordPress theme folder. In order to support older web browser, the code below is added in header.php.

128-header.php (Source)

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="<?php bloginfo('template_directory');
  ?>/favicon.ico" />

My dream English school would be right in front of the television. It is a television channel that allowing people to subscribe. This school is targeted for all ages students. It is flexible enough that the students can pick the class their interested in. We have different level of English, from kindergarten to adult. With 24 hours of classes, the working class students can choose to attend the class that held in the evening or at night. Mother can let their kids watching kindergarten program in the morning. Student will communicate with the teacher by text message, internet phone and email. Sometime, teachers will organize a chat room meet up, where student will train their communication skill. Through out the year, some writing competitions will held for improving student writing skills. Selected students will participate in English language game show that will held live from the television channel. The fee for subscribing this channel is cheap, since the school will also get profit by advertising some related materials, such as audio books, training books, and novels, to the students. It is educating, entertaining and fun school.

Would you come to my school? Why or why not?

(This is my first post of this series. It is for improving my English writing skill and response to the post mentioned in the references. If you like to improve your English too, welcome to join my English club.)

Since Halloween is around the corner, the club decided to have a special Halloween inspired theme meeting on 20 Oct 2009 evening. It was great theme. Some of the members bought Halloween costumes or accessories, from vampire coat to funny glasses. The meeting started off with Peng Yew explaining the meaning of 'goosebumps' and sharing his personal experience on 'the power of praise'. Next agenda will be project speeches presenting. Three speakers spoke on that day. Yusoff's 'Make our life simple' was very informative; Huy's 'Destine or attitude' was very inspiring; and Lilian's 'Walk' was very entertaining. We had a 10 minutes break before continue with impromptu speech. Usha was table topic master on that day. I was picked to speak on one of the topic. The last session of the meeting was evaluation session. Hock Chye was the first time be the general evaluator. He was doing very good. I played as timer on that day, taking note on all the speeches' time. After the meeting end, we had a group photo taking session. Everybody was leaving with joy.

I got a thank you card today from one of our trainee. His training ended today. Today he acted like a postman cum model. He was busying giving thank you card to all the colleague that he worked with. I did not really have any job related with him. There is a group of colleague in our department like to swim. He and I were in that group. We shared our knowledge on swimming techniques. Great to know him. Now he is preparing himself back to school. New semester will be start soon. "Thank you, Jia Tsing. Wish you all the best in the future. Good in study, great at career and best in life."

Last weekend I went to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for meeting friends and attending birthday gatherings. I reached in KL on Thursday. That night, we celebrated Wee Kiat's birthday dinner at Restaurant Siu Siu Sungai Besi. The curry fish head was very delicious. We recalled some sweet memories in Redang island. Friday night we had another birthday dinner at The Magic Wok Restaurant. This time was Brian. I also met him in Redang island trip at June 2004. On Saturday, we had Dennis birthday lunch at Fong Lye Restaurant, The Gardens. Beside birthday gatherings, we also met Felix, a friend of our, who is currently working in China. He backed to KL for holiday. We chit chat for a short after Brian's birthday dinner. We also tasted some unique foods in KL, such as Ampang yong tau foo and pumpkin porridge steamboat at Taman Maluri were delicious. It was a tiring but enjoyable trip.

I had to say sorry to all my Twitter followers. I decided to sync between Twitter and I searched an automated and easy solution since yesterday morning. I could not get what I want. Finally, I had to do it manually and removed all the old Twitter posts. Although, I know it is not the right way. Twitter does not mean to be this way. Why I want to do this. This morning I realiased my intention was very clear. I guess it is an impulsive act. There is no turning back. It can't be undo. Luckily it is not a huge collection of posts. Now I kept them as below as records.

  • Realise there is open source micro-blogging service, Try it out now.
  • What is RMS in this article, It is an abbreviation for Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).
  • RT @TechCrunch Microsoft Launch WebsiteSpark: Free Software For Web Developers
  • Google Picasa 3.5 awesome. Features: geotag, name tags, face detection, and more.
  • Canon PowerShot G11 will be released in next month, Oct 2009. But I am still using Canon PowerShot G3.
  • I just realise #VisitPenang also in #Twitter. I saw lots of people following it. Any of you follows it? Welcome to Penang.
  • 250GB Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Slim Bundle will be released on the same day (Dec 17, 2009) with FF XIII game in Japan.
  • I won't give up easily. I will do it better next time.
  • "Well done remake. I am watching it second time. So..." read my Hairspray review @
  • "What a twist In the end!..." read my Layer Cake review @
  • "I like the ending. Interesting topic. ..." read my Saved! review @
  • Blog: My Classic Tiramisu Experience: My friend, U, guided me on how to [...]
  • Google Chrome 3 released (out of beta).
  • Gossip girl in real sport world. "He could not go on a date because pictures would be on the Internet in 10 minutes." -
  • "I’m not sick, just a bit unwell" - real life story on Neurofibromatosis (NF) patient. Author: Yvonne Foong. (9834325304)
  • End of day one session in #techinsights09. learnt new things. As always this kind of event comes with free goodie bag.
  • Get ready for two days (today &amp; tomorrow) in depth Microsoft technologies in #techinsights09 at USM Penang. See you guys there.
  • "Great soundtrack. Although it is a simple story, i..." read my The Notebook review @
  • RT @digitalps: Flickr have added a 'galleries' feature - I seldom use Flickr. This info for my friends that love Flickr.
  • Now my #nokia #5800 is with latest firmware 31.0.008
  • Developing .NET application for iPhone using MonoTouch.
  • New way of reading news? Google releases news reading service. Try it out at What do you think?
  • Prince of Tears (泪王子) directed by Yon Fan (杨凡) is one of the selection in Venice Film Festival 2009. Love his previous film, Bugis Street.
  • Tom Ford, who is a fashion designer, is a director now. His film "A Single Man" is one of the selection in Venice Film Festival 2009.
  • Sad news. R.I.P. Patrick Swayze. Must watch Dirty Dancing, Ghost and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. What is your fav?
  • What We Can Learn About Pricing From Menu Engineers from @gigaom Great understanding pricing in general #gigaom_xg4
  • "Hoping it could cheer me up but fail. May be I was..." read my Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Ice Age 3) review @
  • enjoyed area S6 and S7 #toastmasters humorous speech contest. Great experience. I laughed non stop. Will attend next level (Div. S) in Oct.
  • Blog: My Own Disaronno Originale: Finally, I am able to get my self [...]
  • - Windows Twitter client in WPF (.NET framework). It is free and open source. The code is kept in
  • Blog: National Day: Today is Malaysia National Day. I am very [...]
  • is enjoying secret recipe cakes with friends, then movie, District 9. It is how i celebrate national day eve.
  • Raining day again! I am down when I am wet.
  • The rain stopped. Get ready to work.
  • It is Monday. I am getting ready to work. Happy working.
  • Completed Gossip Girl season 2 that my friend lent to me till late last night. Full of drama. My life was a drama once.
  • if txt == text, then twt == tweet (in twitter)?? I twt from #HootSuite now. He He.
  • Blog: First Year Anniversary: One year ago, we started to have this [...]
  • Blog: Fix “The Project Location Is Not Trusted” Using Streams: Sometime “The Project Location Is Not ..
  • Blog: FileAlyzer – File Analysis Tool: From the name of this tool, FileAlyzer, we [...]
  • I upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because curious on what's new in 2.0. #HootSuite upgrade
  • Blog: CCleaner – Optimization, Privacy and Cleaning Tool: Beside cleaning recycle bin, CCleaner can clean a..
  • Blog: UBCD for Windows – Live CD: We like UBCD for Windows. It is a [...]
  • Blog: Virtual CloneDrive – Virtual Drive Software: Looking software that can freely open ISO image [...]
  • Blog: SlickRun – Command Line Utility For Windows: Last week I changed my laptop. SlickRun was [...]
  • Sad news. ( is now in the process of discontinuing service. I like their statistics feature. I need to switch to others.
  • At the UX Bookmark: Printed books on User Experience free to read online
  • Open source graphics and animation library by Sony.
  • Delicious fan. First time sharing delicious bookmarks with Twitter. Having trouble with Avira. Need manual update.
  • Blog: Back to Penang: Back to daily life in Penang. Unpack all [...]
  • What is the first Penang hawker food that I am going to eat this morning after three months in Beijing.
  • Cooling weather in Penang. Short while after I am on my bed. The rain started. This morning, it is still raining. Can't taste my favor food.
  • Since I back to Penang, I am going to unfollow #BeijingAir. But it is good for people who live in Beijing to check the air condition daily.
  • Just finished lunch. Go to airport soon. Getting ready to leave Beijing. Will miss all my friends in Beijing. Keep in touch. Take care.
  • Yesterday, I am happy that my lovely plant is still growing. I gifted it to Jing Hua before I left Beijing.
  • Blog: Sitemap Generator For Non WordPress Site: Non WordPress site, here, means web site that [...]
  • I like the new #twitter site.
  • Blog: Attending Toastmasters Meeting in Beijing: As a toastmasters member, I keep remind myself, [...]
  • Blog: Le Petit Gourmand, French Restaurant in Beijing: Having dinner at Le Petit Gourmand was an [...]
  • Plan to watch Yasmin Ahmad's latest and last film, Talentime, when I back to Malaysia. Interracial love story. Interesting
  • Blog: Visting Huanghuacheng Great Wall: I had a great day yesterday. Since it [...]
  • World Heritage Sites: George Town, Penang 2009 Celebration on 25-26 July. Too bad, I am still in Beijing. Miss home.
  • Yahoo new homepage! Wow. Brilliant idea. Adding favorite sites in one place. Love it.
  • RTM Windows 7 is released... Bye Bye Vista... Welcome Windows 7...
  • Blog: Convert AVI to OGG Using VLC: After video tag supported in Firefox 3.5, we [...]
  • Blog: Visit Friend’s New Apartment: Since it is new apartment, it means it [...]
  • Blog: Visiting Tianjin: Last Sunday, we had a crazy idea during [...]
  • Blog: Lunch at Little Tibetan Vegetarian Restaurant: After shopping at China brands factory outlets (天兰尾货奥特..
  • Blog: Sound Fragment Concert: That day Alan invited me to attend Sound [...]
  • "Vlog",, is a blog that contains video material. New word in Merriam Webster.
  • Now Google Reader is more social. More and more like a face... :s I liked this... You liked this...
  • Blog: WordPress Theme Development 18 – Home Page Template: Do you notice any different on my home [...]
  • Touched by Pedro,, movie about Pedro Zamora,, one of the cast mates in the Real World: San Francisco.
  • Wish Roald Happy Birthday. Feliz cumpleaños, amigo.
  • Blog: Sitemaps in WordPress: After using Google Analytics for few months, we [...]
  • Blog: WordPress Theme Development Checklist: We had been improving this WordPress theme since [...]
  • Blog: Fix Canvas Size in Processing.js: Finally the shape of the circle inside the [...]
  • Blog: WordPress Theme Development 17 – Archives Template: We decided to change the archives template to [...]
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  • Want to be Google mail expert? Read their tips and tricks... Currently I am still white belt... Want to be Gmail master...
  • Final version of WiX v3.0 is released. Check it out.
  • Blog: Twitter Retweet Button for WordPress: Retweet is to forward a post or tweet that you are interested b..
  • Just back home... Ready to shower... Then will try my colleague's home made spaghetti as dinner... I am sure I will like it... He He...
  • Get ready for lunch with friends... Badminton later at 4pm... Dinner? Don't know yet... Eat first then sweat then eat... :)
  • Came across this brave and eye-opening documentary, A Jihad for Love. About relationship between Islam and homosexuality.
  • Blog: What are #hashtags?: I believe hashtags were introduced by Twitter communities. Basically, hashtags a..
  • Watching Mulligans Starring: Thea Gill, Charlie David... Hoping it is a good film. The reviews are good so far.
  • partied last night... woke up early... watched "Le Clan" (Three Dancing Slaves) ... had breakfast... now continue sleep...
  • Blog: Split Sidebar into Two Divisions: I decided to split sidebar into two divisions. So that I can use th..
  • Today is Friday. I wake up very early. :)
  • Blog: CCTV Beijing Headquarters: I was near by CCTV Beijing headquarters. It was blue sky plus I did bring ..
  • Watching "Longtime Companion" (1990) Facing AIDS for the first time in 1981.
  • Blog: Short Visit at Hou Hai Beijing: One evening, I visited Hou Hai (??) on the way meeting my friends. I ..
  • Blog: Twitter Conversation in WordPress Using Tweetboard: Now visitors can twitter me from my site. How? Th..
  • This is my first tweet from tweetboard from my site, Awesome.
  • I am using firefox 3.5 now. Awesome.
  • Blog: Beijing Walk: Qian Men East: Last weekend, Beijing weather was very good. I decided to grab this gold..
  • Requesting an invite for Tweetboard Alpha ( by @140ware, for my site:
  • Blog: Having Dinner at Da Dong Restaurant: The dinner at Da Dong restaurant was great. The food there was f..
  • Blog: Nice Idiom in Beijing Bus: I found this idiom very meaning while I was in the bus on the way to dinne..
  • Blog: Old Fashioned Taxi in Beijing: First time I saw this old fashioned taxi on the road in Beijing. I onl..
  • Blog: Visitng 798 Art Zone Beijing Again: This time was kind of short visit. On the way home from Tang Jie&amp;..
  • Blog: Tang Jie’s Art Studio in Back Street Art Zone, Beijing: It is weekend, I finally got some spare time ..
  • Just committed instead of married in "Kiss the Bride" - I like the first half of the movie. Sweet memories during school.
  • Am I the last person know about Michael Jackson's Death. I miss his song, "Heal The World".
  • Songs in "Were the World Mine" are lovely. I like this William Shakespeare quote, "Parting is such sweet sorrow".
  • Blog: Misunderstand CSS Comma Syntax: Yesterday I did a silly mistake. I misunderstand CSS Comma Syntax. Th..
  • Notice new changes on margin bottom of paragraph causing a white space between the header and the menu. It have to be fixed soon.
  • Reading: Top 10 Reasons to Skip Work and Go See Transformers 2 - I love "7: Lots of things blow up".
  • Reading: AP Issues Strict Facebook, Twitter Guidelines to Staff - Must read the AP policy too.
  • Blog: Adding Space Between Paragraphs: I keep improving my WordPress theme. I need to add some space betwee..
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  • Blog: Fix Error Calling FeedBurner Awareness API: After I’m putting FeedBurner RSS feed to Twitterfee..
  • Now I understand what is Retweet.
  • Trying to figure out the method on combining feedburner to self-hosted WordPress.
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  • WordPress Theme Development 13 – Colour Stylesheet: Colour style sheet mainly to display the site with co.. [Blog]
  • Blog: Blue Sky in Beijing: This evening, weather in Beijing turned good. On the way home after work, no mor..
  • Both this toilet 's walls and my friend's kitchen table are using the same marble tiles.
  • Watching Artemisia, 艾草, by 姜秀瓊. About the generational and cultural conflicts confronting modern families in Taiwan.
  • Update: WordPress Theme Development 12 – Layout Stylesheet: I would say this la..
  • Today I over watered my plant.
  • - This plant is under my care now as my colleague will be away for few days.
  • Update: Hazy Night in Beijing: Beijing is very hazy today. On the way home after ..
  • get ready to leave the office and enter a hazy evening in Beijing.
  • Update: WordPress Theme Development 11 – Reset Stylesheet: This style sheet mainl..
  • Update: WordPress Theme Development 10 – Stylesheet: Now come to the look of the ..
  • Update: Ivan Teoh Feed is Connected with Twitter and Facebook: What is the point?..
  • is testing whether this twitter message is sending over to facebook.
  • None of my friends are using Twitter.
  • Twitter is so hot now. I heard about it every morning in CNN news.
  • almost forgot. Mum, happy mother day to you.
  • is very tired now. Just finished a nice hot shower after unpacking my luggage. Time to bed. Good night to everyone.
  • Today is Wesak Day. I am planning to pray at the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple this afternoon for tomorrow business trip.


My friend, U, guided me on how to do a classic Italian Tiramisu dessert. The steps seem very simple, according to him. He He. First of all, we need to prepare the ingredient. It is almost the same as any other classic Tiramisu that you can find on the net.

  • 500g Mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 pack of Savoiardi ladyfingers
  • 5 espresso sized cups of espresso coffee
  • 1 shot (2 oz) Amaretto liquor
  • 4 tablespoons powdered unsweetened cocoa

First of all, we need to cook the espresso. As time is needed to cool down the espresso. Few pinches of sugar is added for the favor taste of espresso. Amaretto is added after the espresso is cold. Now, we need to prepare the cream. Separate between the egg white and egg yolk as we only need to egg yolk. Some recipes, egg white is also needed. Without egg white will make the cream thicker. Beating both egg yolks and sugar with electric mixer till smooth and thick. Next, adding Mascarpone cheese on to it. Beating them until all is mixed well even. Now, it is time to put everything in place. Deep the ladyfingers with espresso and placing them at the bottom of the container. Remember the sugar part of the ladyfinger is facing down. Then form a layer of cream on top of the ladyfingers. Repeat them for second layer. Sprinkle some cocoa power on the top of layer. Lastly refrigerating them over night. Served them by sprinkling more cocoa power if needed. Overall, it is a great experience for the first time though it is an expensive dessert.


Finally, I am able to get my self a bottle of Disaronno Originale. I tried to get it from Beijing Airport but failed. They said they are not selling any Italian liqueur. I was asking help from friend's friend who was on the way back from UK. They managed getting it from their airport. I just received it this evening. I heard from my friend that this liqueur is one of the ingredients for Tiramisu. Now I just need to arrange an appointment with my friend for teaching me on how to make Tiramisu with this liqueur.