Latest Ride: Proton X70 Premium Spec

After 14 years of driving the old Toyota Vios and finally bid goodbye not long ago, today I just bought my mother her latest set of wheels: the 2020 Proton X70 premium spec!

This was also something my mother and I have been talking about for months, from the time I let go my other ride, the “Brown Cow” BMW F10 5 Series early this year.

Deciding on the X70 was a logical choice from the beginning. I had the benefit of test driving this car when I borrowed two of my friend’s car a couple years back. That was when I knew this will be the next car I’ll get. And here we are.

Never mind the Proton branding; this C-Segment SUV is a rebadge of the Geely Boyue from China. And even with the “China” label, this car proved to be able to deliver: packed with modern day car features, brown Nappa leather seats and relatively luxurious cabin, and a decent 1.8L turbocharged engine.

Good for daily driver. Good for going off roads if and when I need to. While mainly for my mother’s use, I will have my fair share behind the wheel every now and then. 🙂

And if I play my cards right, I can get my sister a new car next year too. Perodua Ativa, maybe?

For now, we both need to get used to driving this… beast around. This is my first time owning an SUV, and feature-wise, it’s got more packed in compared to my previous BMW. It will take a while to learn them and get used to.

Having Fun Creating 2D Cartoon Images With Bing AI

Just a few years ago, I would have paid probably $50 per pop to have these custom caricatures designed.

Now with some descriptive prompting, I can make my own – FREE.

I made these images with

You’re given 15 credits to boost the image generation, and every go gives you 1 to 4 variations. You can still use it even after you run out of credits, but at the expense of longer wait time. The 15 credits reset the next day.

Here’s a prompt I used for one of these images. You can use this as a template and modify it for your own:

“I want a 2D cartoon style portrait of a young adult Asian man with spike red hair and black undercut, wearing a light gray formal buttoned two-row button suit and black collar undershirt, smiling confidently while taking a selfie with iPhone 11, background is white.”

And voila…

Some Drawbacks I’ve Discovered:

1. It can’t read images from third party links for reference.

2. I don’t think you can put in names of public figures, or else the AI perceives it as “bullying”.

3. You can try to put in word titles, but it seems poor in fleshing out long words or words with multiple vowels.

At least that’s what I’ve discovered so far.

That said, here’s another variation I made, this time black suit.

And another one in my regularly depicted profile pic with the blue “Captain America” shirt:

Now this one, I applied the Flecktarn camouflage with Photoshop after the AI image was generated.

Pretty cool, huh?!

Saying Goodbye To My Trusty Toyota Vios

My second car was a 2006 Toyota Vios 1.5G that I bought used in 2009. I was in my early 20s, paid it all off on my own, and good enough for the time. 6 years later, I passed it on to my mother and sister for their daily use.

The Vios may be a Yuppie’s car, but now that I think about it, this was probably the TRUE chick magnet; more girl sat in this passenger seat than in all my previous BMWs combined. LOL

It was also this car that shielded the explosive blast when I rescued a drunkard from a burning vehicle in 2013.

This was also the same car that got me stopped by the cops quite a few times (profiling much?) Heck, it happened as recent as a few nights ago! Thankfully, all without incident.

This morning, I drove this car to the dealer’s to trade in, pending PUSPAKOM inspection.

I’ll be “upgrading” the ride to a Proton X70, although it’s mainly for my mother’s daily drive as she’s just become a real estate agent.

I’ll still drive, though not as often as I work from home most of the time now and thankfully, I live in a rather convenient location where everything we need is 5 to 10 minutes away.

14 years later, and it’s end of the road for the silver dolphin.

Took one last picture, to compare to the first time I got it (2009 vs 2023)

Weekly Webinar Circuit

Since last year, especially November 2022 onwards, I’ve been pretty much running a live webinar every single week.

It took me a while to dial this one in. Initially, it was the “6 hour webinar” model and while I got started on a beginner’s luck, the next 4 runs proved it to be non-viable and not profitable.

In the end, I switched to what is considered “old school” today but it simply works: a free 1.5 hour webinar presentation that leads to a paid weekend class, then to an optional Mentorship upgrade.

In as much as I’d love to front-load on value, the sad reality is: anything given away for free (especially in massive quantity) is usually taken for granted.

And it’s true that those that pay, pay attention. Those that don’t, won’t.

I was stubborn at first, but in the end, I defaulted back to the proven model of first giving previews that in turn lead to weekend paid class.

It’s also a curious choice to my friends in this industry that I’m opting to do it LIVE instead of automating it a.s.a.p.

I will – eventually. Right now, honest personal assessment, I have a lot more to improve in the way I deliver and present. So I prefer to do it live every week, get all the practice I need, hear every single objection and rejection I can, and hone my presentation and messages to the optimum.

Russell Brunson did his webinars live for one whole year, and that was why ClickFunnels was worth $100 M (at the time). Personally, I’d be happy with even a fraction of that. 🙂

And as someone who was running a circuit of live, physical seminars in 2019 – 2020, I find doing webinars to be a lot easier and less effort and stress in comparison, which is why I’m content and thankful. 🙂

Douyin Frog Mascot

Repeated exposure to Douyin froggo on TikTok has turned me into one!

I found this on Shopee by looking up “china frog mascot” and it was shipped from mainland China. Took about 2 weeks to arrive here in Johor.

Interesting back story on how this Douyin frog costume became viral:

A couple years back, toy sellers in China dressed up in these frog mascots to sell their inflatable frog toys. A lot of people find them amusing, and after it was listed as one of the top 10 ugliest products on Alibaba in 2022, that made it even more popular.

The exaggerated salute by the frog also has an origin: because these frog ‘mothers’ are selling away their ‘kids’ i.e. the inflatable toy frogs, passer-bys and Customers often salute them for their ‘hard work’.

Since then, the frog ‘seeds’ have spread to other countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and even Malaysia and Singapore.

Interestingly, I’m far from the first Malaysian to have this. There are already some people dressed as the Douyin Frog in KL, and at least a couple more here in JB. I think there will be more to come, and as a friend of the green, I am happy!