Posts tagged: omy

Super Aussie Pete to Attend 2012 Singapore Blog Awards – With Undies Inside!

By , July 18, 2012 1:45 am

Source: Aussie Pete

”The time has come”, the Walrus said…

My, how time does fly! And so does Superman… or should I say – SUPER AUSSIE PETE!! – OK, OK… Perhaps I should explain!

Look - Up in the Sky!!!

Look - Up in the Sky!!!

After having ‘stepped down’ this year (the fifth of the annual OMY Singapore Blog Awards), I was watching the hive of activity and keen interest via the blog awards website. In fact, I was following with some degree of sadness and perhaps even ‘withdrawal’ at not playing my part.

Of course, I have been mainly focused on what’s been happening in my category – Best What The Hell Blog – and wondering just who my successor may be. But at the same time, with so many very good friends involved once again, I have been very interested in how every blogger in the Top 10 will fare in their respective categories.

I was hoping all along that I would perhaps be honoured with an invitation to the Awards ceremony, which is always one of the ‘must attend’ events of the Singapore cyberspace calendar. It’s always alive with the “who’s who” of the SG blogosphere – This year will be no exception, and the quality of bloggers looks like the talent will be the best yet to be vying to take out the crowns.

Well, herein lies my complete surprise!! More-so for me then anyone else…

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Some weeks back, I received communication from the Awards organizers, to tell me that I was being honoured (along with four other talented writers in their own right – and very great friends – Catherine, Yong Wei, Eunice and Christine), with a ‘Super Blogger’ award!!

What the??!! – I won an award without even entering?

superbloggers01 (2)All jokes aside – of course I am once again more than humbly taken aback. Being recognized for something that I enjoy doing, is almost like highway robbery right?

According to OMY, I am being honoured with this ‘Super Blogger’ award, for being an “exemplar of the value of information- and experience-sharing via your blog content”. In short, I think it’s kind of the reason behind why so many people seem to enjoy reading my blog. 🙂

So my wish was granted – not only will Sammi and I be attending the Awards ceremony again, but there will be a special segment in which I will receive the accolades.
The Awards this year will be happening this Saturday afternoon, 21st July at the Singapore Food Trail at the Singapore Flyer. The GOH will be Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education and theme is ‘Superheroes’, but like I told the organizers, do NOT expect me to attend wearing my underpants on the outside… eeeewwww – actually the thought is quite gross, right?

Good luck to all of the finalists – remember, you are all already winners!! Look forward to seeing you there.

Following below, are the answers that I gave to the OMY when they reached out to let me know about the ‘Super Blogger’ award. The same responses can also be found on their official blog site here.

How do you feel about receiving the Super Blogger Award?

Of course, I’m absolutely honoured to be recognized as one of Singapore’s ‘Super Bloggers’, but I guess that goes without saying… after a lengthy association with OMY, I have shared in many amazing and exciting adventures online and off – moments that will forever be etched in my memories. After collecting first place in my category in both the 2010 and 2011 blog awards, I thought it would be impossible to top such success and recognition, so opted to ’step down’ in 2012 to allow others the opportunities that I have been afforded. To be recognized as a ‘Super Blogger’ as part of this year’s blog awards and for the impact that I have had on the Singapore Blogosphere over the past five years, although it is very surprising, I think it also reflects the hard work and dedication that I have made over this last half decade – albeit a huge enjoyment at the same time. The biggest honour comes from seeing so many readers coming back to my website day in and day out – I must be doing something right with my content :p

super-blogger-peterWhat did you gain most during these years of blogging? How did you counter-attack any weariness that deters you from blogging? (if any at all)

Aside from the buzz that I get from making friends (once again online and off), some of them life long strong associations, to see my readership grow so exponentially over the years is an absolute blast. Interestingly enough, and many thanks to OMY, blogging over recent years has taken me to different countries, has seen me partake in dozens and dozens of media events, has put me on TV on many occasions – both recorded and live, I have appeared in every major newspaper in Singapore (English and Chinese) numerous times for my opinions and insights, numerous magazines have covered my articles, my family and me, I have filmed vodcasts, participated in too many photoshoots to even count, participated in live radio interviews, I have been guest writer for and been quoted on hundreds of websites and of course, I have been rewarded many times over financially and with invaluable awards and prizes from just about every kind of industry imaginable (and this is just in Singapore – dozens of the largest global media organizations aggregate my work every day, quote my articles and writings and conduct interviews for my advice or opinion). The problem is how to keep up with life as a ‘pseudo-celebrity’, while maintaining a very demanding professional career, spending quality time with a beautiful and loving young family and also dedicating thousands of hours to community volunteer work and grassroots activities.

The answer to this for me, is blogging has always been my ‘escape’… my means to unwinding and de-stressing. My professional life sees me dealing with other regions, so late night work and conference calls are often the norm (and have been for more than a decade) – this has taught me to survive on very little sleep. It may surprise many to know that on weeknights I often don’t sleep until around 3am and arise for the new workday around 7:00am (an average of just 4-hours shut-eye every week night). Then my wonderful wife usually let’s me recharge with a late sleep in on Saturday morning. Blogging usually occurs when everyone else in my household (and many people all over Singapore) are safely snug and sleeping in their beds. Like I said, it’s not a chore… it’s a way to relax – the day it becomes a chore, is the day I stop blogging.

How do you think bloggers can play a part in contributing to society, either in general or in any specific area?

As I’ve written before, bloggers and aspiring writers should always remain true to themselves. Write about what you are passionate about, what you know. There is so much information that everyone has (whether they know it or not) that others may want to tap in to. Share your experiences, offer advice, but always, always – remain humble. Of course, aside from just writing, I cannot recommend enough that so much self-fulfillment comes from volunteer and charity community work.

Given the many other social media platforms available these days, what do you think is/are the most valuable aspect(s) about blogs that the other channels not able to surpass/replace?

Nothing can be as unique as blogging when it comes to social media (at least not with the platforms available today) – Facebook is generally only going to attract your FB friends (unless you are competent with running viral campaigns), Twitter is always restricted to 140 characters, many apps and platforms will keep track of where you are and where you check-in. The list goes on of course, and there is always a place for every platform… mostly the integration of them all. But at the end of the day, a blog is your own personal journal – you own the content, you own the design. it is very personal… and with dedication and a little hard work, you can corner a very real sizeable chunk of the search engine traffic as well as obtain loyalty from regular readers and subscribers base (with your very own website). This can also lead to attention from other websites, other social media users and can offer some amount of credibility from others around what you write, what you think and how you portray it. If having a voice that wants to be heard is your reason for blogging – then you are on the right platform.

If you are a Superhero, who do you think you will be and why? What kind of Superpower do you think you will possess? (If none of the existing superheroes match what you have in mind, create your own and tell us!)

Haha – I’d like to believe it would be someone cool and strong… to be honest, given my ‘dual’ (or even more) personalities and often contradicting activities, I’d have to be a little boring and say ‘Superman’. The reason is that the huge difference between the unassuming mild-mannered Clark Kent and the crime fighting strength and confidence of Superman, perhaps best reflects the difference between a senior vice president in a bank by day, and a sometimes ‘wannabe’ pseudo-celebrity that mixes it up with the very cool people and culture that the Singapore Blogosphere has now become – these are worlds apart. Never do these two personas meet… and any time they do come close, I always do my best to divert the attention. So yes, mild manner Clark Kent and superhero, Superman (but don’t ask me to wear my undies on the outside – eeewww, what a horrible thought) :p

Of course, my wife Sammi is my very own Lois Lane – although she is completely aware and familiar with (and tolerant of) all of the multiple personalities.

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Melbourne… Not Just Footy, Cold Beer and Meat Pies!

By , October 5, 2011 2:09 am

I’ve mentioned before in my earlier posts about Melbourne that this time back home, I saw so many sides to this beautiful culturally-inspired city of which I was not even aware.

Obviously, show me the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and I can rattle off which teams have won the AFL (Australian Football League) grand final and in what year. I could sing for you any of the team songs, and I could describe the wonderful experience of eating a ‘four-and-twenty’ pie while downing an ice cold Fosters beer in the middle of a cold winter’s day.

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I could tell you what kind of bargains you could get at the Queen Victoria markets, where the best places to eat in Lygon or Brunswick Streets are, and what the best vantage point is along the river, to view the New Years’ eve fireworks.

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When I donned a bike helmet and set out on a push bike near Federation Square with four other bloggers and Murray of Real Melbourne Bike Tours, I was to learn that I did not in fact know it all! It’s not just about footy, cold beer and meat pies! Wow – that’s surprising?!

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I don’t need to say much about the architecture or the history of Melbourne dwellings. The pictures alone just leave my mouth agape. But little did I know that there are some very special places hidden within the alleyways. At one point,Murray pointed out a garden area on a low roof top. He then showed us the door that entered into that particular venue – completely unmarked and easy to miss… unless you know about it, you would never think to enter – but this place apparently rocks in the evening. Just knowing about it provided me with a sense of ‘secret knowledge’ that was very unique. As it turns out, there are dozens of such venues and locations hidden all throughout the streets and alleys.

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Click Here to View Many More Pictures Of Unique Melbourne Streets and Architecture

Like I said, I know many of the good eating places along Brunswick Street (Fitzroy), but as a ‘creature of habit’, I had never really before left my comfort zone – so how does one really suggest they know the ‘best’ places, when they’ve only entered a small percentage of the premises? I therefore stand corrected. So many cultures and so much diversity along one short strip of bitumen.

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Click Here to View More Pictures Of Our Bike Tour of Melbourne

I want to round this post up with a huge thank you to the sponsors and organizers for making sure that my weight loss program was tossed out the window… I ate like never before while in Melbourne – whether it was the slow-cooked specialties and wines at…

… ‘The Atlantic’ at the Crown Complex…

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The Atlantic
Crown Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank VIC 3006 Australia
Tel: (03) 9698 8888
Fax: (03) 9698 8899
www.theatlantic.com.au

…dinner aboard the Tramcar Restaurant…

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The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
Tramstop #125 Normanby Road, near the corner of Clarendon Street,
South Melbourne, VIC 3206
Australia
(61) 3 9696 4000
Luncheon – 4 Course Meal 1:00 – 3:00 pm $82.50
Early Dinner – 3 Course Meal 5:45 – 7:15 pm $77.00
Late Dinner (Sun-Thu) – 5 Course Meal 8:35 – 11:30 pm $121.00
Late Dinner (Fri-Sat) – 5 Course Meal 8:35 – 11:30 pm $137.50

… the phenomenal seafood platters at Taylors Waterfront Restaurant on Phillip Island…

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Taylors Waterfront Restaurant
5 Phillip Island Tourist Road
Phillip Island VIC 3922
Tel: (03) 5956 7371
Fax: (03) 5956 6540

… or the fine Italian dining at The Merchant…

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The Merchant
495 Collins Street
Melbourne Vic. 3000.
Tel: (03) 9614 7688
Fax: (03) 9614 7211
http://merchantov.com

The food was absolutely awesome and we were treated to some of the finest cuisine and wines that I’ve ever tasted.

Click Here to View More Pictures Of The Awesome Food and Wines of Victoria

OK – *sigh* – now I’m hungry and thristy…

Real Melbourne Bike Tours
@Hire a Bike
Vault 14 at Federation Wharf, riverside level below Federation Square
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 0417 339 203
www.rentabike.net.au/biketours/

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Amazing Architecture and so culturally diverse:

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Source: Aussie Pete

JETSTAR – A Schoolboy Turned Captain

By , October 3, 2011 10:58 pm

back_to_school_text_building_hg_clr[1]My recent trip down under with the other nine winners from the 2011 OMY blog awards, was sponsored by Tourism Victoria along with the airline partner, Jetstar.

Of course, I wanted to take the opportunity to put forward my experience as a first time traveler with this airline, but also I need to tell you of a very strange occurrence that proves just how small this world is.

So let me do this in reverse order. On my flight back home to Singapore, I was extremely weary and foot-sore from my very late (but quite profitable) night at Crown Casino. After crawling into my comfy bed at the Citigate hotel, I only managed a couple of hours sleep before the wake-up call came in to let me know that I should be getting ready to check out and prepare for the transfer to the airport.

logo_headerold3Given my experience on the way over, I had no doubt that I would be able to kick-back and relax in relative style and comfort on the Jetstar flight. Although I don’t often sleep on planes, and usually seize the opportunity to watch back-to-back movies, the sandman was in this instance waiting for me to sit down and put my head back – I think my eyes closed and I entered slumberland within minutes… but as I sat there, I dreamed that I heard the in-flight crew announce that today we would be flying with ‘Captain Bruce Rattle’… wait a minute… why would I dream of an airline captain from Jetstar with the same distinctive name as a young kid I went to primary school with in Caloundra (Sunshine Coast of Qld) some three decades earlier?

I recalled a discussion I had some years earlier, just prior to relocating to Singapore (I had passed destinies with Andrew Rattle – younger brother of the airline captain of the same namesake), who told me back then, that Bruce was now a pilot and was also living in Singapore.

I knew this must be more than just a coincidence… my eyes were immediately open and all my senses were on full alert – could it be possible that the young lad who was one of my best mates when we were not yet even 10-years old, the same young kid who I remember could run like the wind in the 100-metre sprint, was now flying the Jetstar plane on which I was returning home?

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I asked the very friendly staff if it would be possible to get a message to Capt Rattle, to let him know that one Peter Breitkreutz was a passenger on board his flight. Of course, the cabin crew obliged and told me that I could send him a note once the flight had taken off.

Shortly thereafter I was given a pen and paper, and I scribbled down a brief introduction explaining that I think he and I were once playmates in the old schoolyard – and also that I could remember him as a very fast runner 🙂

The sandman then won the battle again. An hour or two later I awoke, and immediately that same young flight attendant approached me and told me that the flight captain had earlier visited my seat and upon seeing me asleep decided it would be more respectful to allow me to finish catching the Z’s. The attendant was under strict instructions that as soon as I was awake, he was to invite me to the front of the plane to speak with the captain… which I did.

logo_melbourneWow! What a small world – Bruce came out of the cockpit to chat, and immediately upon seeing him, I could remember the little boy who was my friend. Of course, we are both much older now, but we both shared the same sentiment – before we set eyes on one another, we were both unsure if there would be any recognition… But although time ages us, puts lines on our faces and distorts our appearance somewhat, the recognition was immediate. Here were two boys of 7-years of age in the bodies of 40-something adults.

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We reminisced for quite a while, spoke of each other’s families and friends and low and behold, I discovered that another of my best mates from primary school was also living in Singapore, and that Bruce and Jon are both still great friends. We exchanged phone numbers and I pointed out my wife and boys to Bruce after the flight while we were waiting at the baggage claim.

So my thanks to Jetstar – not just for such a wonderful experience on their airline, but also for connecting old friends. This was indeed a most magical moment… Jetstar could not have planned it any better!

Now let me take you through my flight experience (at the airport and onboard) – like I said, I had not before travelled with Jetstar, but as a relatively frequent flyer, I obviously had certain expectations… and let me tell you, the raised bar was met and then some!

Upon receiving my itinerary via email, some 48-hours out from the flight departure I went online to check-in – it’s important to me that I always get an aisle seat (I hate to be one of those people who need to climb over others as they lay reclined and asleep), so I always do online check-in when possible. The process for checking in, selecting a seat and printing boarding passes was extremely simple with Jetstar.

Rocking up at the airport on the evening of the departure from Singapore, the web check-in queue was virtually empty – so 5 minutes later, my suitcase was on its way to the plane and I was all set for some duty free shopping while waiting for boarding. So far, 10 out of 10 for convenience, ease of website use and check-in speed.

Wei Ding from OMY rounded all the bloggers up – he seemed to need to do that a lot while we were away – before we went through immigration. After which, we went our separate ways in small groups for shopping and eating at the Changi airport terminal.

Never-go-hungryArriving at the boarding gate on time, we were almost immediately walking up the gangway and heading for our seats. The take-off was smooth and uneventful, and the wonderful cabin crew provided a very high level of customer service and quality right from the get-go.

The real ‘kicker’ was this – shortly after take-off (on the flight over and back), I was provided with a ‘Comfort Pack’ – a personal blanket and toiletries satchel. Then not long after, the attendant also brought me an inflight video unit. My choice of on-demand videos and TV… for a long(ish)-hall flight like this, I could not survive without a wide selection of movies to watch!

Keep-entertainedThe meals I was given were brilliant – dinner and then breakfast on the red-eye flight to Melbourne, and then breakfast and lunch on the way back to Singapore… I also opted for some snacks (and a couple of alcoholic beverages), which were priced very reasonably indeed.

In all – a great first experience with Jetstar – if their intention was to impress me enough to recommend to others… it worked!! That’s why you are reading about it right now on my blog!

JETSTAR – An airline providing convenience and comfort, professional service – all at choice prices!! And… CONNECTING OLD SCHOOLFRIENDS!!

Source: Aussie Pete Legacy Blog

Coming Home – Colours of Melbourne (The Arrival)

By , September 14, 2011 12:19 am

Colours of Melbourne – Part 1

MY HEART was in my throat. I could literally feel the blood coursing through my veins. The air was filled with an atmosphere of both excitement and trepidation that were in direct competition with one another.

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As Jetstar flight number JQ8 from Singapore touched down on the tarmac of the Melbourne International Airport, it was a cool yet beautiful sunny spring day in this, the capital of Australia’s ‘garden state’.

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As we made our way down the concourse of Terminal 2, along with the other nine winners of the 2011 OMY blog awards, I was abuzz with the expectation of the next few days’ coming adventures, spanning the south-eastern parts of the state of Victoria.

Upon stepping out of the terminal and into the fresh breeze, I couldn’t help but notice that there was not a cloud in the sky. Although the weather forecast had indicated overcast and even wet weather, I personally took this as a positive sign of things to come.

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And I was not to be disappointed!

I was actually unsure how I would react or feel returning to the city which I once called home for more than a decade of my (relatively) short existence. However, as the shuttle bus navigated its way along the streets of the CBD to the Citigate Hotel in Flinders Street, it quickly became apparent that although some things seemed slightly different, the majesty of Melbourne had essentially not changed in the past five years since my last visit to what I consider to be one of the most (if not the most) beautiful cities on the face of this earth.

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As I pointed out some familiar landmarks to my fellow travelers, and we discussed such things as the obvious ‘Victorian’ influences on architectural design and the unique inner-city transport that is the ‘tram’, I was once again grateful for the sunny weather, which enabled me to wear my sunglasses to reduce the glare… the shades also covered my emotions, and if anyone else happened to notice the tears welling in my eyes, I would have needed to explain that there must have been some errant pieces of dust collecting in my tear ducts… that would have been my story anyway, and I would’ve stuck to it.

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It is my intention to break the visit down to a series of articles, because the few days which we spent indulging ourselves in the food, the heart-stopping scenery, some breathtaking activities, the lights and sounds and the unique atmosphere of this Mecca of arts and culture, can definitely not be captured and described in one sitting or reading. Furthermore, I managed to take more than 2,000 photographs along the way, so after I filter through to select the ‘best of the best’ I will post just a handful here and will create links to the online photo albums for some of the best snapshots I have ever taken (even if I do say so myself).

Each of the articles will be posted at my Aussie Pete blog, my OMY star blog, and most importantly at our ‘shared’ blog, ‘The Colours of Melbourne’, where each of the travelling bloggers also will be sharing their experiences and personal insights and highlights from this amazing adventure, with sincere thanks to Tourism Victoria who organized our itineraries.

As an aside it is important to mention that, as expected, along with Jerome and Lawrence who I have had the pleasure of travelling with before, I have made some new wonderful friendships with my fellow award-winning bloggers from Singapore and Malaysia… an absolute great bunch of people, all unique and gifted in their own way – from experience, I can tell you that these kind of bonds are not easily broken and I am positive that we will all remain close friends for a long time, with common stories and memories to lean back on.

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Finally – if, dear reader, you enjoy my series of articles covering our Melbourne escapades, there are some wonderful prizes up for grabs for both you and me… simply click on this link and vote for me on the ‘Colours of Melbourne’ website. Voting opens on 15th September and closes on the 5th October. Voters stand to share in Jetstar travel vouchers among other cool prizes.

Click here to view more pictures of ‘The Arrival’

I’m sure I won’t forget to thank our fabulous hosts throughout the upcoming Colours of Melbourne series of articles, but here they are anyway – the very bubbly and knowledgable, Jenny, and the one and only Tony – a gentleman through and through (although he has some dubious tastes in regards to local Melbourne football teams):

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Source: Aussie Pete Legacy Blog

Global Blog Campaign – The 7 Links Project

By , August 8, 2011 4:04 am

I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea!!

I was invited by a fellow 2011 Singapore Blog Award winner (Best Lifestyle Blog), Bing, from storyofbing.com to take part in a global campaign known as ‘The 7 Links Blog Project’.

The idea, is that bloggers from all over the world list out seven of their top articles in a variety of categories (this is not actually that easy when there are literally hundreds of posts for me to choose from, and everything I write is usually inspired by an emotion or passion at a particular point of time – so how to pick just seven best ones?… Check out my selection and perhaps decide if you agree with me). The project continues by each blogger who has been invited, forwarding the request to three more bloggers to keep the campaign going (once again, out of all of my blogger friends and mates – how to pick just three?)

Anyway, a huge thanks to Bing for the invite and the very lovely words she wrote on her Top 7 Article!!

Without ado, here are my seven entries for this project:

My Most Beautiful Post

OK – so how to define ‘beautiful’? I guess the term is very subjective, and for me, the most beautiful thing in my life is my family… therefore, I have to break the rules (already) and enter three articles in this category – one each for Jaime and Casey and one for my beautiful wife, Sammi.

The one for Jaime was just a short while back – the cuteness overload saw the Singapore national Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao view the YouTube Video and subsequently interview me for a large print article that appeared about a ‘4-year old mixed kid Internet superstar’… how very proud was I??

The article (click to view), was titled, “WTH!? Huge Amounts Of Cuteness Overload – 郑家洋”

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The article for Casey was (of course) the miracle that was his childbirth (on the same date as my dear departed Dad). Click here to view “Miracle of Life – Casey Zheng Jiakai!!”

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Finally – the love of my life (aaawwww!), Sammi… I’ve obviously written numerous articles about the joys of our inter-cultural marriage, so it’s difficult to choose, but I decided on this one (Valentine’s Day last year – which won a prize from Reebonz)… I chose it specifically because it has our wedding video (short version) embedded. Click here to share with us and enjoy our wedding! – “Sharing The Love For Valentine’s Day”

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My Most Popular Post

If ‘popularity’ for this 7-Links project is based on unique visitors and ‘hits’, then without a doubt the winner in this category, is an article I wrote a couple of years back, after much research on the oft-discussed language that is unique to Singaporeans and actually (I believe) culturally significant and something that all locals should be proud of – SINGLISH!

The article was entitled, “SINGLISH – A Language Guide for Foreigners”… Click here to read it.

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My Most Controversial Post

The most ‘controversial’ is once again a bit subjective, given that I’m going now just on the sheer number of emails I received (and still receive) on this article that I also wrote a couple of years back… it was really a ‘test’ at the time to see what the feedback of readers would be, and is not a topic that I would probably broach on my blog these days – I think my writings and musings here at ‘Aussie Pete’ were perhaps much more controversial back in those days as I was learning to feel my feet in a new country.

This title of the post speaks for itself – click to read – “‘Ang Mo’ in Singapore and ‘Lao Wai’ or ‘Gweilo’ in China – Offensive to Westerners?”

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My Most Helpful Post

This one is easy – without a doubt, the article that I wrote outlining our experiences and the processes that a PR (permanent resident) in Singapore needs to go through to purchase a resale HDB apartment in Singapore… it was also picked up (with my permission) and used as a 5-part series at both one of the popular online real estate companies in Singapore, along with Yahoo News – if I counted all the comments and traffic driven around the blogosphere by these ‘rewrites’, I could also say that this article was the most popular AND (for various reasons) the most controversial.

(NB: Due to changes in rules and regulations, some of the information may be a little outdated)

Click here for “Information For PRs – How To Buy A Resale HDB Apartment In Singapore”

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My Most Surprisingly Successful Post

Obviously over the last few years, the content of my blog has ‘morphed’ a bit into what is now known as ‘WTH’ (What The Hell) – I say ‘obviously’, because I have won the award for the best WTH blog in Singapore for the last two years at the OMY Singapore Blog Awards.

The fallout from this, is that now and then I write posts that may be considered by many (including myself) as downright crazy and even disgusting. One such article received huge amounts of (search generated) traffic and is perhaps a good example of how the digusting and perverted can be of interest to thousands of ordinary people.

Click to read about the “Sick Chinese Video Craze – Pretty Girls Crushing Bunnies (Warning: Graphic)”

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My Most Under-Rated Post

Once again, I’m selecting one of my older articles for this… I wrote this one just a few weeks after we bought our car, and I was very alarmed at the speed of motorists in car parks. Two years later, I still feel very strongly about this, and would love to see this post get more exposure to create awareness.

Car Parks – Slow Down or Kill Someone – Click to read about it!

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Post I Am Most Proud Of

So perhaps the actual article link here is not the only one I’m proud of (although it was an awesome experience meeting such an inspiration as Lee Hsien Loong (PM of Singapore)… in general the post is a reflection of the pride and self-satisfaction that I feel from volunteering as a Grassroots leader. To be able to help out in the community in such a variety of ways is extremely gratifying, as well as enabling my family and me to reach out and meet so many wonderful new friends and neighbours in Sengkang West – OUR HOME!!

Click here to read about “The Day I Met The Prime Minister of Singapore”

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Finally, it’s time to pass the baton on – so the three bloggers who I will invite to participate in the ‘7 Links Blog Project’ are (in no particular order):

ALVINOLOGY
http://alvinology.com

“Alvinology is a light-hearted blog maintained by a regular Singaporean dude called Alvin who lives in Potong Pasir.

Like most Singaporeans, Alvin likes to travel and eat. Hence a large number of blog posts are devoted to these two topics. He also likes to read books, watch movies, check out the funny as well as chee ko pek issues online”

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
http://thelongnwindingroad.wordpress.com/

“Once told that it was his destiny to wander through life, the Wondering Wanderer takes a wide eyed view of life’s wanderings through the eyes of the child that he was and blogs about the many things that has captured his imagination through life’s journey.”

FUNNY LITTLE WORLD
http://kirstenhan.me/

“Since moving back to Singapore in 2010 from New Zealand after being deemed “too tall” to play a hobbit (while “too small” for anything else), Kirsten has been working on documentary and film projects.

Kirsten recently won the ‘Best Y Bloggist’ award in the ingapore Blog Awards 2011, and is on far too many social media platforms for her own good”

WTH! – I Won At The SG Blog Awards Again!

By , July 25, 2011 1:43 am

On 23rd July, 2011, the winners of the 2011 OMY Singapore Blog Awards were announced at a star-studded function held at Shanghai Dolly at Clarke Quay in Singapore.

Aussie Pete

As I point out in my interview in the bi-lingual vodcast below, it was both quite humbling and exciting at the same time to have won the top prize in my category for a second year running.

[youtube 2RCZJjangxA]

Up against the most influential and respected bloggers in Singapore as well as across Asia, I was very surprised to be one of the only people to ever have won in back-to-back years in this prestigious competition that has been running for the past four years… it truly is the ‘Academy Awards’ of Asian Social Media.

Shanghai Dolly

Leading up to the event on Saturday, I was not feeling very confident given the high quality of competition this year. Having said that, the winners were determined via public voting (30%), as well as scores given by a panel of 13 professional judges.

According to AsiaOne news website, “Over a period of three months, more than 1000 blogs registered for the Awards and over 70,000 votes were cast to vote for the finalists”.

The judges this year, were Mr Kelvin Tong, movie director; Ms Kuo Jian Hong, Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre Practice; Mr Keith Png, fashion designer; Radio 100.3 deejays, Ah Ken and Anna Lim; Ms. Violet Lim, Founding Director of Lunch Actually and Eteract.com; Mr U-Zyn Chua, CEO of Ping.sg; Mr Samuel Ng, CEO of Marine Parade Family Service Centre; Ms Xiao Han, Director and Lyricist of Funkie Monkies Productions; singers Ms. Tan Diya and Ms. Carrie Yeo; Mr Walter Lim, Director of Strategic Planning, Policy and Marketing Communications ,National Art Gallery; Mr Danny Yeo, theatre practitioner and Mr Low Sze Ping, award-winning photography blogger.

I’m not usually big on acceptance speeches and I know that I might start getting timed-out with music like at the Academy awards, but it would be completely remiss of me not to briefly thank some very special people – so, please allow me to digress for a moment…

Award Acceptance

Firstly, to Alvin, Janet and the team at OMY (way too many of you to name individually, but you know who you are) – you have out-done yourselves in an event that keeps getting bigger and better every year. The environment that OMY has created for bloggers to network, through these awards as well as numerous opportunities for aspiring writers and bloggers to participate in events and competitions is extremely unique. It is no wonder that OMY is the leader of the social networking scene in Asia.

Secondly, to all my readers, subscribers and those who voted for me… both locally and internationally – a large portion of the outcome of the Blog Awards is determined via online voting and I’m sure I could not have won without your support! In fact, it was not discussed much at the ceremony, but when I was with the organizers after the event, I was amazed to discover that I had also walked away with an extra award for achieving a place as one of the five finalists most voted by the public across all of the categories (I’m not sure where I placed – 1st or 5th – it would be interesting to try and find out though).

What The Hell Trio

To the sponsors – WOW!!! Just like the awards ceremony, the prizes just keep getting more huge! The entire process is indebted to your full and ongoing support – as with any achievement recognition, although attaining a place as a winner is enough for many, the prizes and support offered by the sponsors ensure incentive enough for all of the most influential bloggers to participate.

The main sponsors for Singapore Blog Awards 2011 were HTC, Deal.com.sg, Asus, Asia Pacific Breweries’ Get Your Sexy Back, Domino’s Pizza, Tourism Victoria, Jetstar, Adonis and United International Pictures. Other sponsors included Fabrix, 1-Rochester Group, Get Singapore and Night Safari. Publicity partners are Stomp, ST701, Ping.sg, MyBloggerCon and Youth.sg. Venue partners were Shanghai Dolly and Tiger Beer.

Finally… my family! My wife, Sammi, always supports me in all of my endeavours – for this (among other reasons) I love her deeply. Not only is she the one who nominated me this year, she was my number one campaign coordinator… working with my readers and subscribers to rally for votes… communicating through the wide network that is Kaixin (China’s version of Facebook), her efforts were tireless. This is not unique to the Blog Awards either – Sammi is so very tolerant. The hours I put in to my career and ‘day job’, along with the huge hours required by my Grassroots volunteer work and my obsession for everything online (I never have less than a half dozen ‘side projects’ going on at any one time) – these things always ensure that I do not sleep on any given week-night before around 4am. Then I get to ‘sleep in’ most Saturday mornings to catch up and recover.

Aussie Pete and Sammi

For the Awards event itself, thanks to the GOH, Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, for his extremely kind words of his opening speech, in acknowledgement of the work that I do to promote Singapore through my writing locally and abroad as a great place to work, study, live and play. Also for his encouragement for being an active Grassroots leader in my community.

Guest of Honour and Aussie Pete

I would like to finish up with a quick special mention of three other blogger finalists in my category. WTH (What The Hell) can be very broadly interpreted, and each of you has a unique and powerful way of writing – and each of you are truly WTH authors in your own right! I really did think one of you would win the main prize this year.

My other three favourite WTH Bloggers – and good friends!

There really is no need for a title…. / Goh Yong Wei

Yong Wei is a full-time student of ITE, loves eating, never had a girlfriend, hoping to find a rich tai tai

Yong Wei

挑灯夜谈 / Lonely Teacher 寂寞老师

鬼,无处不在;鬼故事,无奇不有。一个有声音的部落格,让嘉宾们和你分享扑朔迷离的亲身经验,让你惊心动魄。你,见鬼了吗?

Willy Wah

Yummy Chrispytine / Chrispytine

Curiosity like a kitten, Google is my best friend on lonely Friday nights. Writing on all things random, when your jaw drops when reading, i have achieved.

Christine

Anyway – Congratulations to all the winners on Saturday – it was well deserved!… and watch this space – there is much more WTH action coming your way on this as well as my OMY Star Blog!!

The Winners

In case you missed it, I have been ‘competing’ with one of my sons this week for the media spotlight. A video I embedded here on this blog of him singing about his love for the National Flag had sparked the attention of journalists from the national Lianhe Wanbao chinese newspaper. This led to an article where they have labelled him as the “4-year old Mixed Kid Internet Superstar” (loosely translated). As you can see from the pictures below, he received more space in the same newspaper (in the same week that I won the blog awards) than I did.

Article about Jaime:

Lianhe Wanbao Jaime Zheng

Article about Me:

Lianhe Wanbao Aussie Pete

A few other press releases and coverage of the Awards (and my back-to-back wins):

http://news.omy.sg/News/Local%2BNews/Story/OMYStory201107232347-262117.html

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Science%2B%2526%2BTech/Story/A1Story20110723-290655.html

http://www.herworld.com/women-now/people/winners-singapore-blog-awards-2011-revealed

http://blog.omy.sg/sgblogawards/archives/1594

Oh – I forgot to mention that the theme of the awards was ‘History Gets Social’ – and prior to the event, I had agreed to take part in a phot shoot where I was representing Sir Stamford Raffles… when we arrived at Shanghai Dolly, we found a (almost) life size standee of me playing the part… although he was much shorter than me and appeared to be wearing a tonne of make-up, he seems very interested in my wife, don’t you think?

Aussie Pete and Sir Stamford Raffles

Click here for mor photographs of the event

Source: Aussie Pete Legacy Blog

Cuteness Alert – Help Pete Get His Aussie Back Campaign

By , June 24, 2011 12:43 am

Up until now, aside from a small side-bar ad, I’ve not done much promotion to rally for people to vote for me in the 2011 OMY Blog Awards. After walking away with the first prize in my category (‘What The Hell’) last year and the amazing activities and follow-ons that have lasted for almost the last 12-months (including the tour of Hong Kong and the now infamous ‘swim’ that I had in Victoria Harbour during my participation in the OMY media team for the HK Dragon Boat Carnival Bathtub race), I think that perhaps I’ve got my work cut out for me if I’ve got any chance to pull out a back-to-back win in the same category in 2011.

Help Pete Get His Aussie Back

Having said that, I am still feeling some (small) level of confidence – perhaps delusional? – based on the fact that thanks to my friends, readers and family in Singapore and around the world, I’m sitting in the Top 3 for the category from an online voting perspective – voting accounts for 30%, while the other 70% is based on the decision of a panel of independent and quite knowledgeable and respected judges.

If the 70% was based on hard statistics alone – eg, SEO, PR, Backlinks, Readership, Subscriptions, search engine rankings etc – the quick research I’ve done shows that I would be the clear front runner… but at the end of the day, the awards are all about blogging and content – not necessarily popularity or page views.

What The Hell?

What The Hell?

Therefore, much of the result will come down to what the respected judges deem to be the right or appropriate content to fit the particular category for which we are finalists. The other finalists in my category are unique in their approach to ‘What The Hell’ subject matter, and I wish them all the best of luck and success for the Awards presentation on the 23rd July!

I’ve really got no idea how much of a chance I stand of winning the OMY Blog Awards for consecutive years, but perhaps I can at least rally some more votes online in a couple of different ways – firstly, let’s take this article as the kick-off of the campaign to “Help Pete Get His Aussie Back”!!

You see, the award winners this year get to travel back to the city in which I spent 10-years of my professional career before heading up into Asia (Shanghai, and now my home for the past 5+ years, Singapore). The city of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia – just think of the value to the other winning and travelling bloggers that my local knowledge and expertise has to offer. 🙂

Jiayou Aussie Pete! - Cuteness Alert

Jiayou Aussie Pete! - Cuteness Alert

Secondly, as a part of the rally video that we recorded at the SPH News Centre (and perhaps this is exploitation of cuteness) – I brought my nearly 4yo son, Jaime, along to join me in the latter half of the video as my #1 fan – for a total burst of absolute cuteness check his cheers for Daddy!… and of course, you will now be obliged to vote for me by clicking here, and then clicking the vote button next to my picture.

Watch the Video (Warning – Cuteness Alert):

[youtube PcmJTvg3h_I]

Once again, best of luck to my fellow finalists – see you all at the awards presentation!!

Don’t forget the campaign – “Help Pete Get His Aussie Back” !!!!

From WTH Blogger To WTH Roving Reporter

By , June 18, 2011 1:42 am

It’s taken me almost a week to get around to writing this article, so apologies to those who have been waiting so patiently for it. I won’t go in to the gory details, so just let me say (to use an Australian colloquialism), I’ve been down with a ‘crook guts’ – after a couple of days at the hospital, all is well now and I’m definitely back on the mend.

Last Saturday, the seemingly mismatched team of which I’d previously spoken – the crazy ang moh, the photographer, the traveller and the cam wh*re – managed to come together like clockwork in the AsiaOne Adventure Race.

My new calling? WTH Roving Reporter

My new calling? WTH Roving Reporter

Although we din’t win the overall race, we certainly managed to show that we are more than just a bunch of pretty faces… the OMY Star Blogger team worked our way through a half a dozen different challenges that tested our brain power, strength and endurance.

The OMY Star Bloggers Team

The OMY Star Bloggers Team

Jerome became our ‘human GPS’, so much so that we did not once need to programme a location into any device. Yet, we did not lose our way at all. His knowledge of Singapore, obscure locations and back streets is quite remarkable!

Jerome was considered as our Human GPS

Jerome was considered as our Human GPS

Having said that, there has been much discussion across social media about what is being referred to as the now infamous ‘Great Fall at Jurong Bird Park’… in short, Jerome took quite the tumble whilst heading to get our picture taken at the Flamingo Pool. Below, courtesy of OMY.SG, is one of the vodcasts of the event, and at around 3:05, you will see and hear a blow-by-blow account of the incident.

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The interview with the team was conducted by yours truly, and I’m thinking that maybe I’ve found myself a ‘new calling’ as a roving reporter. The challenge may be to find more ‘What The Hell’ type of events and activities for which to report.

(In all seriousness, at the time of the ‘Great Fall’, I was very worried for Jerome, as he did tumble quite seriously and did some significant damage to both himself and his expensive camera… and perhaps his pride – thank goodness that he has now recovered well – Jerome and I are very good buddies and it hurt me personally to see him go down like that).

Jerome looks happy but I feel sad after the Great Fall at Jurong Bird Park

Jerome looks happy but I feel sad after the Great Fall at Jurong Bird Park

Of course, kudos to the rest of the team for everyone’s unique set of abilities… Clara, who managed to reduce a potentially lengthy exercise of Origami down to almost a matter of seconds – what I’m guessing would’ve taken the average ‘non-paper folder’ at least 30-minutes to complete, Clara’s hands moved at the speed of light and required no guidance nor instructions to fold a paper crane identical in structure to the guidelines and the step-by-step pictorial.

How to fold a paper crane in a matter of seconds

How to fold a paper crane in a matter of seconds

Then there was Eunice – successfully climbing a rock wall with shoes that had become almost like ice skates from the puddles of water outside. As the other rock climber on the team, I can tell you that under the circumstances, this was no ‘walk in the park’ challenge.

The activities really tested our physical prowess

The activities really tested our physical prowess

My highlight of the day personally, was speeding around the Go-Kart track in the rain, with the ‘pedal to the metal’ – much to the dismay (and perhaps even anger) of the staff, I held nothing back as I manoeuvred my way around sharp corners and S-bends… the drifting that I was hoping to experience was an absolute rush… and the couple of times that I put the kart into a 360-degree spin, although costing me some time on the fastest lap measure, succeeded in pushing the adrenalin up to incredible heights.

Adrenalin Pumped and Drifting at High Speeds

Adrenalin Pumped and Drifting at High Speeds

After getting hosed down to try and remove some of the stubborn mud off my clothes, it took me a good half hour to stop the shaking in my hands brought on by the adrenalin rush…

With or without mud, I was adrenalin pumped

With or without mud, I was adrenalin pumped

Finally, a big thank you to Janet from OMY, who travelled with us as an observer (and photographer) was quite tolerant of our antics, and even joined in the group singing as we travelled from location to location… perhaps it’s saying something about our age, but we were listening to and singing some classic ‘oldies’ – the girls did get a little worried when I began crooning ‘Summer Lovin’ from Grease to Jerome on the drive out to Jerome – I feel blessed that the video cameras were not rolling at that point of the day!!

So what if I get invited to participate in the AsiaOne Adventure Race 4?? – I will be lining up with bells on!! It was such a fun-filled day, and one that I will be unlikely to forget any time soon – I recommend to anybody with a license and is over the age of 25 to apply in 2012… especially any serious ‘What The Hell’ Bloggers – I suspect that each member of our entire team this year had a few WTH moments of their own throughout the day.

For the article and all of the other Vodcasts from the day – click here!!

For more pictures, courtesy of OMY.SG – click here!!

Also – a recent article on the AsiaOne website – click here!!

Thinking about next year's race

Thinking about next year's race

Photo Credits here to Jerome, Eunice, Janet, OMY.SG

Source: Aussie Pete

OMY Star Bloggers – The Crazy Ang Moh, The Photographer, The Traveller and The Cam Wh*re

By , June 10, 2011 2:24 am

OK, so here’s the thing! – When I was first invited a few weeks ago by OMY to be a member of the media ‘Star Bloggers’ team to take part in the AsiaOne Adventure Race 3 which happens this Saturday, my mind – which often works in very mysterious ways – did some very strange things indeed.

Immediately, my hidden desire to one day participate in the popular TV reality show, The Amazing Race (or The Amazing Race Asia) boiled to the surface. Soon after, I started having flashbacks of the most recent instalment of the blockbuster movies, ‘The Fast and the Furious’… However, instead of seeing myself on the streets of Japan ‘drifting’ around sweeping bends, burning rubber while chucking doughnuts and using the handbrake for some radical manoeuvres, my mind was running 100mph trying to consider how I could emulate these skills on the streets of Singapore (without getting myself – or my team – arrested).

The OMY Star Bloggers Team

The OMY Star Bloggers Team

Obviously, there was absolutely no hesitation in my acceptance to participate in this inaugural event.

The first thing I did, was to go online to check out the event’s microsite, to see what the race was all about. On the home page, they have the following information:

“Form a team of four and pit your team against 91.3 DJs Jeremy Ratnam and Adam on June 11 in sponsored cars. Sort out the clues and complete the challenges in a treasure hunt that calls for your brains, brawn and beauty.”

Let me emphasise – Brains… Brawn… Beauty… well luckily for me, my fellow team members and OMY Star Bloggers have got my back on these critical factors.

As a media representative team, we are not in the running for the very attractive prize pool, but we are definitely in the running to secure ‘bragging rights’. You should know by now, that most Aussies are very passionate about their sports and usually extremely competitive!! I am no exception.

The OMY Star Bloggers team, are made up of the Crazy Ang Moh (that would be me), the Photographer, the Traveller and the self-proclaimed ‘Cam-Whore’.

WTH – you may rightly ask… but the way we figure it, we have such a diverse mix of skills we are bringing to the table that we will definitely be a challenge to be reckoned with. We expect to remove the prefix ‘Dys’ completely and end up with a fully ‘Functional’ team.

Before you get too nervous and think that you better stay in on Saturday and tell all of your loved ones to stay clear of the roads, on Tuesday night this week, we attended a pre-race briefing, and my ‘Fast and furious’ delusions were rapidly shot down.

Of course, no event organizers are going to give out sponsored cars to a bunch of ill-bred street racers. It was made quite clear (along with a number of other regulations), that the first rule is to ‘follow the rules’ – the race winner is not determined by the team who arrives at their final destination first. Success on the day, will be measured by a points scoring mechanism as awarded at each of the checkpoints or activities (I think my team can all breathe a sigh of relief).

We were also given two mobile devices by Singtel which will be used in the day, and the kind team from there gave us instructions on how to download and use Apps on these Android devices. Jerome and Eunice have taken them home to charge and familiarize themselves with the technology. We also received a Nikon camera on which Eunice was fully trained on at the briefing.

At this stage, I’d like to offer a huge ‘Thank You’ to my team who were quick to nominate me as ‘Team Leader’ for the OMY Star Bloggers Team – partly because I arrived 30-minutes late to the briefing and the decision was made in my absence. 🙂

The vehicles will be provided by Sime Darby Select, who are the official car sponsors. The other participants all drew out of a ‘lucky’ draw for their car selection – the OMY Star Bloggers and the 91.3 DJ team had already been allocated a vehicle.

Ours is a Volvo XC60 T6! I have not driven a Volvo in my life, so after a quick Google search I found our car – pretty neat huh? I’m not sure if ours will be red, but below is a mock-up with some OMY and star bloggers branding… if you see a car resembling this cruising the streets of Singapore this Saturday, be sure to wave and holler at us!!

Our Sponsored Volvo - Or Something Like It

Our Sponsored Volvo - Or Something Like It

From Aussie Pete

Step Back In Time – Singapore Food Trail

By , March 3, 2011 11:34 pm
Famous Bloggers and Friends: Mint, Cherie, Pete and YongWei

Famous Bloggers and Friends: Mint, Cherie, Pete and YongWei

As is always the case with any event that I attend with Alvin and the OMY crew, the opening media event of the Singapore Food Trail at the Singapore Flyer was an absolute blast… and the local food delights just made this one sensational!

The new Singapore Food Trail, is set in a 1960s style era gone by, with food being served from push carts and decor to match the theme. I could actually author a picture book with the number of photographs I shot on the day, or I could morph into a food blogger and spend weeks reviewing the many dishes in which we delighted ourselves… but I won’t!! 🙂

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Let me just tap into OMY‘s Vodcast of the event, where each of us talks about our favourite foods, our take on the entire themed Food Trail, and of course YongWei’s sense of humour – I notice that someone ‘bonked’ him on the head when he was making faces behind me while I was being interviewed… but one of the highlights of the videos is the very creative way in which he applies his own names to the various dishes… one in particular, he associates with a very private part of a male’s anatomy… I won’t spoil it – check it out for yourself!!

FOR A SHORT GALLERY OF SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS, CLICK HERE!!

[youtube sZSOyo80gCM]

Just a few shots below – for many, many more, check out the gallery here!!

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