Hiking the Bukit Shahbandar “14 Hills” Trail

We’ve lost count the number of times we had hiked up to this Pondok 4 guide pole, started at it for a moment and succumbed to defeat by mere threat of the distance, time and effort it would take for us to complete. Yet on the morning of October 27th the morning when we were only going to hike the usual 9 Hills trail we started at this pole again, the three of us briefly looked at each other — we’ve done this many times except on this day, none of us was going to back down. So here I am, on the eve of my second 14 Hills hike tomorrow, writing about my epic first attempt. Tomorrow’s hike is going to be our largest group hike yet — a total of 13 members.

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More pictures from our first 14 Hills hike on Facebook

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It took the three of us 4 hours to complete 7.39 kms burning 2000 calories along the way. It would have taken a slightly shorter time had Eric and I not stopped between Pondok 8 and 9 for a 15 minutes photography lesson using his Samsung Galaxy S4.

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ADDED on July 17, 2014 GPS Coordinate of the “9 Hills” trail.

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My morning fuel before the 14 hills hike — two eggs, 4 broccoli flowerets, smoked beef, smoked salmon and MrBaker’s delicious Muesli 80% wholemeal bread along with all the healthy grains. Not pictured is my usual shot of CBTL espresso

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The trail between Pondok 4 and 5 poles normally takes no more than 5 minutes. The extended loop between them is a whole different story — distance itself measures longer than the usual 9 Hills.

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Eric snapped this photo of my wife and I as we reached the first of a series of poles on the extended loop. 370M to head back to Pondok 4 and be on the way out or soldier on.

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Once on the extended loop, a view from across the green landscape is the red soil vista from where we had taken numerous group photos, giving us a sense of scale and distance somewhat.

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There are three wooden crossings like this on the extended loop unlike the bridges you’re accustomed to seeing on the 4 and 9 hills trail.

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Eric had asked me many times since we first met more than a year, maybe 2, earlier to give him lessons to improve his photography. No better opportunity and timing to learn and have some fun right at Shahbandar. More on Facebook.

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My lunch at MOD in Jerudong after 4 hours of intense hiking had left me with a significant increase in appetite — Thai cuisine (chicken basil rice and broccoli mixed vegetables).

Stop Facebook from Flooding Your Google Calendar with Birthday Notifications

If you use Google Calendar on your Android smartphone like I do on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and have been victim to Facebook making a mess of your Calendar more than once, here’s a fix. Buried in the depths of obscurity is a Facebook Birthday notification feature that is the root cause of randomly corrupting my Calendar. Before this solution I have had to uninstall/reinstall Facebook app — it had happened numerous times since I got the phone. At the same time I have Google Calendar and Facebook app installed on the iPad 2 and have never seen this happen so I got curious and began comparing setting after setting until I came across the Mobile Push setting.

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A common reaction to this problem is to disable Facebook Sync — this does not work!

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What finally worked — uncheck Birthday Reminder option that’s buried under several menu settingsFacebook-Android-1

Go to Account Settings

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While I was here earlier, I also unchecked Gifts, Activity You’ve Missed and Application Invites .

Stream Video, Music and Photos from Samsung Galaxy S3 to Your Computer

Yes, you read that right. Your Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone just got smarter with the help of a free app called AirDroid. You can now very easily download large number of high resolution images stored on the phone, stream MP3 and HD videos to your Windows PC browser. I’ll spare you the introduction to the App itself and jump right into the app’s screenshots — nothing more convincing than a visual tease.

“The AirDroid Android app should be compatible with most Android devices running Android 2.1 or later. The Web Desktop should be compatible with most modern web browsers, including IE 8 or later, Chrome 12 or later, Firefox 3.6 or later, Safari 5.0 or later. Support for mobile browsers, like Safari on iPad, is experimental.” — AirDroid

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Along with some nice configurable settings, I particularly like how you can predefine a password instead of having to enter a randomly generated especially if you’re going to use this app several times a day.

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You can use AirDroid to send/receive SMS (text messages, if supported by the device), install/uninstall apps, transfer files between Android device and computer/tablet, and manage contacts, photos, music, videos, and ringtones, etc., all in a web browser.

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Here’s a actual screenshot of my desktop with user friendly interface to manage my phone’s picture Gallery – choose a single image or batch download many (multiple images are automatically zipped)

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Just for kicks, I streamed a HD Gangnam Style Live Concert video from the phone to my Dell 27-inch LCD and the QuickTime playback was buttery smooth. While the video was playing I attempted to multi-task by playing an MP3 track and viewing the photo gallery simultaneously – all possible.