Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Press Release : Fragrances Festive Promotion from KL Sogo and Parkson

James Bond 007 for Women (eau de parfum 75ml) is the latest dangerously seductive female fragrance from the captivating world of James Bond! 
Available only at KL SOGO Department Store, receive a 3-pc gift set (inclusive of a jewellery case), with the purchase of a 007 for women eau de parfum 75ml, and a body lotion 150ml. *

Also specially from KL SOGO Department Store (a pre-order now on-line at, and available only after July 7, 2015), is the latest female fragrance from GUCCI : GUCCI Bamboo EDP 75ml. The choices of packages can be seen below.

Just for the festive season, for every purchase of any 2 large-sized GUCCI fragrance (inclusive of the new GUCCI Bamboo EDP 75ml), you will receive a beautiful complimentary floral arrangement. *

Gucci Bamboo EDP 75ml & Gucci By Gucci Pour Homme EDT 90ml (RM775)
Gucci Bamboo EDP 75ml & Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia 100ml (RM849)

Gucci Bamboo EDP 75ml & Gucci Made To Measure EDT 90ml (RM766)
Gucci Bamboo EDP 75ml &_Gucci Guilty Black EDT 75ml (RM862)

* gifts are available whilst stocks last. Visuals are for illustration purposes only. Bathroom gifts may vary according to availability. 

The GUCCI Bamboo EDP 75ml is however, available at all Parkson Department Stores nationwide, effective June 18, 2015. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jabra Rox Wireless Review

Taking the Jabra Rox Wireless for a quick review as I received this together with the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless. The initial plan for this was to pair this up with my office laptop and I use it for my conference calls or as general use for my office "softphone" (via Microsoft Lync). However, as I later found out, I can't download the Bluetooth driver to my office laptop (administrative locked) and hence, this unit was paired to an iPhone 6. This unit retail for RM549 in Malaysia and available at all Jabra reseller outlet. 

The unit I received was a test unit and it came unboxed already. The Rox, as it's called, is available in white and black versions. The test unit I received is black with red marking (L and R). Like the Jabra Sport Pulse, the cable connecting the two earpieces is thick, and at the right length for me that it will not tangle when stored inside the provided bag. The bag provided fits the unit and the USB cable (for charging) sufficiently without bulk. 
Similar to the Sport Pulse, there is a box that hold all the other items that includes the spare gel-bud and wings for secure fit. Jabra spell out come of the key selling points on the box as well (as you can see above - Massive Wireless Sound. It sure is a big promise). The Rox from the photo below, shows it is a full function mobile-enable Bluetooth device that is dust and water resistance (read : splash proof, not submersible or water-tight/waterproof) that will provide up to 5.5hours of music or standby time of 18hours (because you do not need to ever switch it off after pairing - read on). It comes with various fittings to ensure a good fit, which is essential for music delivery especially those low keys/bass notes.
The Rox pride itself with amazing sound clarity with peerless build and durability. The box comes with the Rox, USB (micro) charging cable, FitClip (the clip that hold the cable in smaller loop), 4 sets of EarGel and 3 sets of EarWing for that customised and secured fit. 
Having done the fitting for the Sport Pulse, it did not take long for me to find the best possible fit for my ears. The only thing I wish they will share better is were is the best position for the EarWing relative to the earphone driver. A good fit ensure good noise isolation, or minimal interference from the noise outside.
Manual says to align the EarWing "L" to the Rox "L"
The unit itself is very well built (as mentioned and claimed) and it is about 19grams in total. Once you wear it, you would not feel it there except the music it is delivering.
About a thumb width
The Rox has magnetic earpieces and inline remote control (with)microphone that let all three components snap together neatly when not in use. 

This conveniently keeps the cable from tying itself in knots, and it also serves as the default Power On/Standby switch; when the magnetic earpieces connect, the headset powers down.
Red LED on left unit. There appear to have two LED lights - which was actually reflection from the EarWing.
The left earpiece houses the microphone, an LED status indicator, and a snap-off cover that protects the micro USB connection for the charger. 
Just flip the magnetic cover open
The Left side has a longer stem - which houses the microphone
The inline, three-button remote control is located near the right earpiece. The Volume Up/Down buttons control your volume, while the central button serves as a combination Play/Pause, Track Forward, Call Answer/End control. You can also redial the last number you called with just two taps of the multi-function middle button. Double-clicks on other in-line remotes often control track navigation; it was pretty easy to accidentally call your last dialled/answered if you press wrongly. 
Metal portion of the inline controller
This same inline controller is NFC (or in laymen term - radio communication) enabled meaning you can slide your NFC device over the button side to "pair". Otherwise the usual Bluetooth pairing is easy to execute.

The multifunction keys
The Rox is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, Pairing an iPhone 6 was quick and simple. Now here is where it gets interesting - unless you need to charge the unit, the unit automatically power down when you place the two earbud together (photo with the Red LED above), and the Rox automatically connects when powered up (assuming you paired them already). There will be a Green LED (searching) and then a Blue LED when "connected".
Power Off/down when the two bud stick together
Then it shows Green LED when you first separate it...
And Blue LED when connected to the paired device
The unit with and without the free Jabra Sound app (with Dolby Digital Plus audio processing) were very significantly different. I tried this on my Android 4.2.2 and it doesn't work (the app), lucky for me, the iOS version worked like a charm and it totally blew me away. As if the unit at it's "flatest" response weren't impressive enough (on par with the Sport Pulse, which is way more expensive because of the HR function), the Sound app brought some of the "lows" and "highs" to life. 

Love the Bass
The Jabra Sound app requires a "code" to activate and it is available together with the purchase of the unit. I guess this is one way Jabra ensure that this were available only for legit Jabra owner. 
One of the Equaliser option
Art is subjective and so is music and how it sound. So, do not take my words for it as you may possibly prefer a flat sound (as how the sound engineer records them in the studio?) or you, like me, prefer something more dynamic. 
Current Travel Companion
The Rox delivers a crisp, clear, loud and because it's water resistant, allow me to be used in the gym when using the bike, stepper or weight (as I would prefer the Sport Pulse if I run on the treadmill to capture my run). Because of the better than usual music and sound delivery, plus the good noise isolation, I strongly suggest you do not use this when running or cycling outdoor. You will not hear the traffic coming behind you!
- Awesome music delivery
- Wireless and light; liberating compared to wired to phone setup.
- comfortable fit with many options to customise your left and right ear
- Magnetic power off-on and this meant you do not need to physically switch off the unit to save power, or "reconnect" all the time.
- Used for calls, the sound quality was good. Good noise cancellation when I spoke to someone with fan directly blowing into my face.

- The EarWing falls off easily. Unlike Sport Pulse where it has grooves to sit the EarWing more securely to the earphone unit.
- Pricing could be steep for many Malaysians. 

Note: This unit of Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless is courtesy of Jabra Malaysia via their PR agency. Retailing at RM549 and is available at most IT stores. 

Visit Jabra Malaysia Facebook and give them a LIKE. This review is my own personal opinion and not influenced by Jabra Malaysia, or their affiliated companies.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day from Dolce&Gabbana

June 21, 2015 is Father's Day. Being a father myself (and a typical Asian), it is not often celebrated as I would say the best celebration would always that the kids remain healthy and obedient to the parents. I believe fathers are often underrated, they aren't as involved as the mother. Being traditional in both thinking and action, fathers are often seen as the breadwinner in the family. This also meant they do spend most of their time away from home. Growing up, my father leaves for work at 6.30am and only come back past 7pm. He works on weekend to earn that extra money so me and my sisters could live a bit more comfortably. He is always my first hero and I will always remember how he held my hand and the gentle firm squeeze he gives as we cross the road - assuring and warmth! Thank you Pa, for the sacrifices you gave, often ignoring your own want and needs.

For this Father's Day, Dolce&Gabbana shared with me (via their PR) two sets of interview questions by two very well known actor that are the brand ambassador. Colin Farrell is the face for Dolce&Gabbana INTENSO and Matthew McConaughey, the face for Dolce&Gabbana The One for Men. Both of them are father, and here are their take on being father.
Colin Farrell – Father’s Day Q&A
What is the most important thing in your life?
The most important things in my life are friends and family and not of course 
necessarily in that order. Family is kind of everything you know –it is such a complex idea, such a complex concept. And yet there is something
so simple that can be derived from spending time with your family that’s just 
incredibly life affirming and rewarding. Family means a lot to me.

What are your preferred moments with your children?
All of them, there is no unpreferred moments with my boys. I find, that with 
being a parent, being a dad you just wish you had a greater understanding, 
comprehension of how to do it right, how to steer them in the right direction, 
how to love kindly but not smotheringly, how to discipline with compassion and yet strength and honesty and fairness.My days usually start and finish with eachof my boys which is a pretty majestic way to live.

Has becoming a father changed your life?
Yes, becoming a father has changed my life for sure. I mean I wouldn’t know 
how becoming a dad has changed my life; I wouldn’t really know how to 
quantify it. There is an enormous relief in finally having some very physical and very tangible understanding of how you are no longer the centre of your own universe. That you are not the sun anymore, you become a moon that revolves around the lives of your children and they become the sun. So that is kind of self-servingly one of the most beautiful things about being a dad.
Do you celebrate Father’s Day?
This year I was very aware of Father’s Day because there was texts coming 
through and I actually bought into it, it was really sweet. I don’t know if I 
maybe feel more comfort in being a dad or what it was, but this year a lot of 
my friends were texting Happy Father’s Day and I was texting them back and 
then texting other friends of mine who have kids Happy Father’s Day and it 
felt like I was part of a club that is not the worst club in the world.

What do you like about being a father?
It is an extension on the idea of family - in one hand it is incredibly complicated I find to be a father. I haven’t read any books but I know that if I did they would just confound me even more, that 
there is no direct science to it, that like art and like life it is an exercise, the 
most extreme exercise in trial and error because the consequences are so great.For the first time in your life you are not the most important thing in your world.For the first time in your life you know you really have an understanding of whatit is to love unconditionally and it is a pretty extraordinary gift.

What are your intimate moments?
My intimate moments are moments shared with family and friends. I have deep friendships and very deep connections with those family members I have in my 
life, particularly my two sons and my sisters and my brother and both my 
parents are still alive. The simple things; we hike a lot –I get out in nature a lot. I do love the city but I like to vacillate between heavily populated areas and as I said the kinesis and the chaos and the noise and the 
energy of the city and then into the silence and the tranquillity of just your own solitude in nature. 

Father’s Day Q&A Matthew McConaughey
What would be your perfect Father’s Day present?
My perfect Farther’s Day present is what we’ve done the last couple of times. 
The kids and my wife all come in and bring me breakfast in bed, we hang out, 
and then they bring their breakfast, and we eat so we don’t get out of bed, 
usually, until 10.30.  Get up kind of late, even 11am.  Then we usually do 
something with the family around the house. 

Usually we’ll just go eat outside, and take the top off the hot tub, put on some music, and then I’ll manage stuff for lunch, then we’ll spend the whole day just outside, all playing around together.  Until we get to the evening, and then we 
usually cook again.  In the evening, open up a bottle of wine.  
And we spend the day together.  

What’s the best thing about being a father?  
Father was the only thing in my life that I ever knew I wanted to be.  When I 
was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be a father.  I thought I maybe wanted to be a Washington Redskin running back, but I grew out of that.  I always 
know I wanted to be a father.  For me, it’s always been the ultimate 
responsibility.  The beginning of the ultimate shadow a man can leave in his life - his children. 
What is the most important thing to your father thought you? 
A few things. Take responsibility for yourself.  Self-reliance.  Don’t say can’t.  And don’t lie. Now, it’s okay to bullshit, but don’t lie.  
What every day things remind you of your father? 
I’ve got a great picture of him, right when you come in the house, of him 
dancing in his underwear.  He loved to dance. 
And that’s always a fun reminder. The kids know exactly who he is, and 
understand he’s no longer physically here, but he’s papa. He was Captain Fun. 
He loved being the host.  He loved to cook, and have a beer, and dance, and 
socialise. He also was a sticker for ‘if you start work at 8am, and you work till 
6pm, that doesn’t mean you show up at 8 am. That means you’re on the phone working at 8am. So if you show up at 8 and you’re on the phone at 8.02am, 
you’re two minutes late. He was very strict about that. And so he instilled a 
very good work ethic in us.  

What is the most important thing you want your kids to remember?  
The one thing that our kids know, that they’re always going to know, is that 
they’re loved.  My mother had a great line: ‘I love you, I don’t like you like that’.So when we got in trouble, we never thought ‘but you don’t love me’. And she 
used to say: ‘no, I love you, but you’re in trouble right now, because I don’t likewhat you just did’. 

Did becoming a father change you? 
Sure. A man gets better peripheral vision when he becomes a father, because 
everywhere I go now, I'm here and I’ve got my wife and my two kids in my 
pocket. So everything I do is a representation back to them.  The way I take 
care of myself, the way we take care, we stay out of trouble, to my own self 
survive, I'm the king of the household, I'm the dad, I'm the father.  

Are you a strict father?
Strict disciplined.  We have fun, but there have to be clear rules and we stick to them.  My wife and I are on the same page. We don’t play good cop bad cop. 
We’re on the same page, we’re very bottom line as to how we parent, we’re 
very clear.  The kids know it’s clear so we’re in sync. I wouldn't say strict but disciplined. Rules, you’ve got to follow them, if you don’t follow them, there are 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ironman Malaysia New Course Announced

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17 June 2015 – IRONMAN® Malaysia, Langkawi which returned to the global race calendar last year, will have a whole new race experience in 2015.
The swim will be relocated to the stunning tropical beach lagoon at Pantai Kok with clean protected waters greatly enhancing the athlete experience. The popular and challenging bike course continues to cover most of the spectacular island whilst avoiding the high traffic of Kuah town. A unique new addition will be the location of transition 2 to the indoor and fully air conditioned environment of the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre and finally, the run will take place in the resort area of Pantai Chenang with a spectacular finish line along the palm fringed beachfront of the Meritus Pelangi Resort & Spa Langkawi.
Organisers are keen to build on the successful return for IRONMAN® Malaysia, Langkawi which attracted a strong international field of participants from more than 40 nations in 2014. ”We are thrilled to be announcing these course changes and believe that they will definitely enhance the athlete experience greatly,” said IRONMAN® Asia-Pacific Director of Operations, David Ray.
”Langkawi is a stunning tropical island and this new course truly encapsulates its scenic beauty and at the same time makes significant race day improvements for participants and the local island community.”
The changes have resonated with IRONMAN® Asia-Pacific Ambassador, Cameron Brown, a 14-time IRONMAN winner.
”I enjoyed IRONMAN® Malaysia for sure last year and Langkawi is a fantastic spot.  But I love the proposed changes with a much improved swim venue at a beach resort and far fewer high traffic areas” Brown said.
”The only problem I see is that, it might be tempting to stay rather longer than you should at T2 in that air conditioned hall” he joked.
Key partners involved in supporting the course changes are The Danna Langkawi and Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi who are owned and managed by Tradewinds Corporations Berhad. These resorts offer truly world class accommodation and hospitality options for athletes and their families and will host key functions including a sunset awards ceremony on the beach.  
IRONMAN® Malaysia, Langkawi will be held on Saturday 14 November, 2015.
For more information, visit

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Skechers GoRun Strada Unboxing Review

I first came across Strada about a year back at Skechers HQ in Malaysia and it was a hush hush inclusion at the in-house showroom. We (Team 2ndskin) were told that the shoe was choice of Meb as trainer. Fast forward 12months later we received a message from Skechers HQ to "collect early Christmas present" in June. Three colors were shown and I was torn between Blue and Red (with third choice to be Grey). On same afternoon, my teammate Deo went to collect his and shown it off. 
Deo with his Baby Blue Strada
Unboxing First Impression
Two days later, while taking advantage of a late start at work, I headed to Skechers and got my US11 Strada. I now officially need an US11 shoe. I believe this is due to me being on Skechers past 3-years and my feet expanded due to the more natural feet splay. 
GoRun Strada - Red-Lime US11
In the box was new marketing catalogue which has all the new shoes. I flipped to the Strada page and it showed all the color available for both men and women. I am however, unsure if all the color will be available locally.
On the opposite page was a man, wearing the same Red-Lime version I have - sockless
Glad I won't need a windbreaker to run
When I first wore it for size, I noticed the insole is fixed to the bottom like GoMeb. Not too surprising as this shoe were designed and made for Meb as a trainer. Perhaps the stucked insole were to reduce slippage when (and if) you run faster than usual. Removing the insole will not reduce the drop (details below)
Insole is non-removable
Second thing I realised was the shoe is significantly padded compared to the other GoRun I have, this also meant the weight of the shoe would be increased as well. Not very typical of Skechers that I know.

300grams per side, close to 10oz
Flipping the shoe over to see the sole, it's obvious that Strada lacks the pods synonym with GoRun series where each pod provide feedback to your run and landing. This has been replaced with a dual-density (read : hardness) foam material which is propriety to Skechers - the Resalyte and Resagrip. 
Resagrip were harder and does not compress as much when I pressed it
Resalyte were easier to compress as seen in the photo
The array of the foam material runs from big toe to the outer heel (for the left side as shown below). This meant those that over-pronate may find themselves with this layout to favour their landing and potentially reduces the wear and tear. While this is my own theory, it will be interesting to see how the Strada sole hold up over the course of me running with it.
Smaller pods (white) with Resalyte and larger blocks with Resagrip (black)
What this may meant is the higher wear and tear area received the Resagrip (black) foam and the Resalyte with mini pods (white) continue to be present and provide as a base to the shoe. What you should feel and get is a firmer ride minus the "bump" feel and the pods pressing on your sole (if you are first timer user of Skechers Performance series) of your feet.
Newer pod design with chevron - aiding with traction
The shoe is a 8mm drop with the heel at 25mm and front to be 17mm. Removing the insole will not reduce the drop. I must admit that I felt taller in the shoe and the thickness overall did reduced the "road feel". It is the tallest Skechers I've worn since Ultra.
25mm heel pad/counter. Again, White is the Resalyte material offering superb cushioning while the black (sole) is Resagrip, giving a potentially longer wear and tear
From the photo above, you can see the heel cup is very structured and harder than the other GoRun series. The collar however is soft and smooth microfiber material. Not expecting any issue with blisters on the Achilles.
Strada tongue not sewn down
The tongue and collar of the shoe were well padded. The tongue wasn't sewn down and it has the lace loop to keep it in place. The lace that came with the shoe were flat laces and the additional/spare lace were not as attractive (white).
Photo showing how much padding the heel collar and the tongue were
I checked the inner part of the Strada and the edges where the stitching meet are smooth as well. Not expecting this to be an issue as I was doing this more for QC check and to look out for loose stitching/thread.
Moving to the outer upper part of the shoe, one can see that it consist of the multi-mesh typical of the GoRun series (3 and above).
Multi-layered Overlay. Note the MStrike and how the heel counter curves up to help with midfoot and forefoot landing
Additional to this are the overlay that gave the upper a lot of structure. You can see from the series of pics below how they were stacked. One thing to note is that these overlay does not effect the flexibility of the upper of the shoe.
The Mesh and overlay providing support
Closer look on how the overlay goes over the mesh for more structured built
The front of the toe is wide and provide a lot of space for the toes without feeling overly roomy. It is reinforced by an overlay to protect the toes in case you kick into something while running.
Does looked like GoRunUltra - if not because of the Lime piping and extensive overlay
Usage impression
I took the shoe for a short run on my usual route. The fit was good as mentioned and the upper were snug and provide more than the usual support for the arch without me feeling it's biting into my arch. You know how some shoes gives you the uncomfy feel that you will get a blister there.
Inner side view of the left side. Note the higher arch than the usual GoRun
For this review, I wore a pair of socks to see how hot it can be due to lesser surface mesh and thicker paddings. Also, to ensure I do not have any blisters as I need my feet to be blister free with the amount of walking and running I will be doing the next two weeks.
My first km with the Strada was a mix feeling. I wasn't sure if I want to compare it against the Ultra or the RunRide FitKnit : mainly because of the cushioning. It also felt stiffer - and it reminded me of my previous pair of Brooks Ghost5 and Nike Triax10+. However, it is definitely not as heavy as the more traditional trainer but heavy when compared with the lightweight GoMeb3 and GoRun4. At closest comparison, its a structured GoRunRide(4). However, it lacked the feedback on landing and taking off. Significantly different when you are used to the pods giving you the feedback at run and toe off.
Taken with my JVC Adixxion XA2
The stability of the shoe may not be a favourite with those used to the minimalist approach of the other GoRun and it will favour those looking for a replacement and wanting to try a Skechers Performance shoe.
The shoe was responsive and it bounces well thanks to the Resalyte and Resagrip combo (without taking the shoe lack of feedback). It did not feel hot despite the socks and tarmac radiated heat at 12noon (Garmin recorded 30degC that felt like 35degC). I will provide a recap of running it without socks in next two weeks.
Toe off were good despite thicker foam
Non issues with midfoot and forefoot landing as the Strada keep with the proven design (upcurved heel counter) that minimises landing on heel. For severe heel strikers, the only way to fix it is to reset your running techniques. It is not something impossible as I have managed to do that. I have also shared with many how I managed that via this blog.
Good traction but lack the "feel"
As much as I am perceived to be biased to Skechers mainly because they have been very supportive and tuned to runners need with a lot of different models to suit different runners' need. I am not afraid to say that this Strada will need some getting used to and I have in my agenda to clock in the mileage exclusively with this Strada. I hope I would be able to provide better feedback to the Skechers Malaysia team and give my perspective to you dearest readers on this pair. If you are looking for a pair of mileage trainer, this could be an option.

- trainer suitable for longer mileage/durability
- padded tongue and collar provide good comfort
- good arch support and general structure similar to traditional trainer

- lack of feedbacks while running. Felt like you have a piece of rubber on your feet (but they are foams!)
- heavier than other variant of GoRun (except Ultra)

Earlier comments in Instagram
Note: This pair of Skechers GoRun Strada is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair of GoRun Strada retail (Peninsular) for RM399 (Women) and RM419 (Men), and (Sabah/Sarawak) for RM409(Women) and 429(Men) and is available at all Skechers store starting June 17, 2015. Price is inclusive of GST.