Friday, December 29, 2006

"We Went Before We Came..."

Things to remember before we ever go for a medical checkup again - there's a urine test involved, and we've to fast for at least 8 hours since dinner the night before. Fasting was fine, since when we called up the hospital to enquire they reminded us. But not the urine test bit.

Firstly urine tests depresses us somewhat, why, no idea. But we're not really happy with it even though it be necessary. Talk about performing under pressure. The only good side to it is that guys have it easier than girls. We wonders how the guys manage in sperm banks, though.

Next, we went for the checkup first thing in the morning after the necessary ablutions, so that we could proceed to the topic of food ASAP. So of course the bladder is nice and empty until we made our first medical checkup stop: blood and urine tests. Wwhen suddenly passed the bottle by the technician, we'd to tell her, "We already voided before coming for the checkup."

She goes, "What?"

"We went before we came."

And after that sentence left our mouth we realized how wrong it sounded. It sounds better than if put the other way around, but still.

Good thing lab tech was rather innocent, or at least a very good actor and told us to take a drink and do it after all the other tests.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Complicated, These Heroes

Gawds. Am reading the rules to Heroes Of Might and Magic IV Collectable Card And Tile Game and I'm thinking - the mechanics don't seem to be worth the effort. As Richard Garfield puts it, there's too much busywork.

And I still don't like IV's gameplay.

Pen-tiful

This is the amount of pens we've picked up in our hospital days, and a few from the retail years that followed:

Those were the contents of 1 venti-sized Starbucks plastic cup. If we had stayed longer in the hospital line we probably would have had on average...2 venti-sized Starbucks plastic cups filled with pens per year. And our few favourite pens among the lot?

A bit obvious - must have cost Pfizer and MSD a fair bit more to have them made compared to the same old, same old. However, our longtime favourite Kytril pen is missing!!

O Fortuna

This, if we remembers well, was our first ever Latin choir song ever sung. First semester in university, for Friday Night - the choir team traditionally kickstarts the event with a song before any other performance.

When we heard it, then we recognized it. Once recognized then it was just a matter of remembering the lyrics. Which, given the time and practise we had, not much of a chance really.

Anyways. Bodycombat had some sort of version of it (Nick Skitz's "Excalibur"), but the lyrics didn't match. We couldn't find the songsheet for quite some time and thought we'd lost the songsheet, but stumbled upon it yesterday when we were looking for cardboard paper for wrapping purposes. So here it is:

O Fortuna

O Fortuna, velut Luna statu variabilis
semper crescis aut decrescis, vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat et tunc curat ludo mentis aciem,
egestatem, potestatem dissolvit ut glaciem.

Sors immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis,
status malus, vana salus semper dissolubilis,
obumbrata et velata michi quoque niteris,
nunc per ludum dorsum nudum fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis et virtutis michi nunc contraria
est affectus et defectus semper in angaria.
Hac in hora sine mora corde pulsum tangite,
quod per sortem sternit fortem, mecum omnes plangite!

Lazyman's Wrapping 104

When we've clothes to deal with and no boxes for easy wrapping, we've got to make do with what's available.

Requires:
Wrapping paper (Ikea ISIG wrapping paper was used)
Plastic bag
2-way tape

First, fold clothing nicely and place inside plastic bag - the ones normally supplied by the clothing boutiques are fairly good ones, retaining their shape without getting crumply. Once clothing is placed neatly inside, fold the bag so that there's no empty space.

Next, measure out enough paper to fold over twice width-wise. Leave about an inch on each side.

Use the 2-way tape to stick the edges. Now it can be used as a pillow until opening day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Minute musings

How much does a person's taste in fashion or what the person wears tell you about that person's personality?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Miserere Mei Deus

Gregorio Allegri's famous piece (think Pachelbel's Canon). First time we heard it was on Civilization IV, although we've had a compilation CD that actually had a version of it much much earlier!

It's an a cappella piece with two choir teams singing with the tenor singing every alternate paragraph. What makes this piece rocks? You could check up Wikipedia for the full story. Highlights include how Mozart, at age 14, heard the piece once and later on transcribed it from memory; how this piece is some 10 minutes long (it could be longer); or that it's performed annually at the Sistine Chapel; or that it's played on Civilization IV (whoops, said that already).

However.

Civilization IV's version doesn't enthrall. "Wahhh!" factor is at 3 exclaimation marks, a good clean full version but unfortunately the parts (SSATB/SSAB) do not stand out in terms of clarity.

Another version we have, courtesy of a classical compilation called 'The Best Classical Album Of The Millennium...Ever!' (yes yes stop laughing already) featured a recording by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. This one has a "Wahhh!" factor of 4 exclaimation marks (no half, half an exclaimation mark is what? A period?) as it is slightly slower, and the clarity is profound where you can make out each individual part. However, this version was cut short. Wikipedia states that the most famous recording is by the same choir but conducted by Sir David Willcocks. We'll listen out for it, hopefully it's the full version.

This is one piece we would definitely want to be part of, if given the chance.

Anyhoo, onwards to the Miserere. Translation? Loosely, read Psalm 51.

Miserere Mei, Deus.

Miserere mei, Deus,
secundum magnam misericordiam, misericordiam tuam

Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum:
dele iniquitatem meum

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea:
et a peccato meo mundame.

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco:
et peccatum meum contra me est semper

Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci
ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris

Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum:
et in peccatis concepit me mater mea

Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti:
incerta etocculta sapi entiae tua manifestasti mihi.

Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor:
lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam:
et exsultabunt ossa humiliata

Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis:
et omnes iniquitates meas dele.

Cormundum crea in me, Deus:
et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.

Ne projicias me a facie tua:
et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.

Redde mihi laetitium salutaris tui
et spiritu principali confirma me, confirma me.

Docebo iniquos vias tuas:
et impii ad te convertentur.

Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae:
et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.

Domine, labia mea aperies:
et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique:
holocaustis non delectaberis

Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus:
cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.

Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion:
ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem

Tunc acceptabis sacraficium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta:
tubc imponent super altaretuum vitulos.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pictures in time...

Camwhoring never existed until blogging became popular. To be more precise, until places like Blogger made it easy not only to blog but to upload pics. After all, not everyone has the know-how to make their own webpage. Anyway, we've a whole boxful of nostalgia under our bedroom table.

We remembers this: when we were thrown into the Editorial team for our student batch one of the few things we remembers is telling the photographer (Mr JA with the complicated equipment) to take as many photographs as possible.

Looking in retrospect, we really, really WISH that digital cameras were already the in thing then.

Sad to say, we were one of those who never really jumped on onto the digicam bandwagon until...we got our own digicam this year. We'd always advocate film cameras. Why? We still remember our arguments against:

"Expensive lar to develop the photos compared to film."

"When run out of memory how to take more pictures? When go long holiday zhia lat la second half of trip cannot take anymore photos."

So while we have a wide variety of pictures of our uni years in Malaysia, it's sad to say that pictures of our time in UK were slightly limited. Well, we were trigger happy, but not as trigger happy as we are now with a digicam, taking shots, deleting shots, retaking shots, going macro, snapping happily at anything and everything. Oh, and when we first got our Nokia 7650 we did go trigger happy but memory confinements limited the pictures we took.

James Blyth Court, taken with our Nokia 7650.

Sigh. If we tabulates our expenditure on film itself, added the fact that we have jerky hands and there's the risk of film exposure (evident in the pictures we took at Glasgow's Necropolis) and that we developed all our photographs taken in Glasgow in 4R instead of standard 3R. And really it was more of pictures taken on trips rather than things closer to home [see Nov 20 entry].

Now, all we have to worry about is hard disk space and file corruption and that once we'd burned the photos onto CD the CD may get scratched, and with it all memories gone.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wow-whee

Quick take on WoW:TCG multiplayer tryouts last Sun:

Challengers were akn the sly playing a spell-happy Warlock, psike of the third person using the item-speffic Ranger, lad the tank with his equipment-chocked Paladin and us the collective with our unhealable mad Priest.

First round: Horde vs Alliance
"So...we got two Horde heroes and two Alliance heroes hor?" *big big grin*
"...well, at least this isn't DotA."

The Priest was Marked for Death early while Alliance heroes suffered from Power Word variants that pinged them for one health each time. The Warlock had his pet to protect him while the Priest focused on making the Paladin go mad by discarding his cards. Unfortunately, having been marked for death the Priest was crushed early leaving the way open for the Ranger to take down the Warlock in a stylish slo-mo arrow-shooting.

Second round: 'It'
We'd brought up the topic of playing multiplayer 'It' the last time we were trying out WoW. During our secondary school heydeys, Battletech was surging on our tables with Clan going against Clan, Clan against House, and House against House. When the full force of 'Nic, Ivan, 'Ward, KE, FuOnn and aycee took to the battlefield there was a need to make sure honour was maintained and no gangbanging skirmish took place.

However, made the mistake of having non-'It' players discard a card from the deck instead of having their hero lose 1 life for each non-attacking round. In Battletech decking non-'It' players worked because to win the game one had to finish off the enemies' stockpile (library/deck). In WoW, even with all players playing a 40-card deck this took quite a long while. Next time, shall try bleeding heroes instead. Should make for faster game.

Results: equipment-dependant Alliance heroes led very vampiric lives healing themselves while inflicting pain elsewhere, the Warlock's final act was to Shadow Bolt the Priest who was (once again) driving the Paladin mad discarding his hand.

Hmmm. Multiplayers are fun, but there're no more WoW:TCG boosters, they're all out of stock. Card collecting to go on hiatus?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Many Many Many Mouse

This is bad for them who enjoy Latin in Final Fantasy, but good for those who always wanted to be able to sing to One-Winged Angel of Final Fantasy VII.

Just go here. Music and lyrics provided.

*For the sake of those too lazy to do an age verification check, here. You'll have to fill in the music by yourselves, tho.

Estuans interius (Burning inside)
[Bells Frogs Bing Cherries]
ira vehementi (with violent anger,)
[Jingle Bells Magic Cheese]
Estuans interius
[Bells Frogs Bing Cherries]
ira vehementi
[Jingle Bells Magic Cheese]

Sephiroth!
Sephiroth!

Sors immanis (Fate - monstrous)
[Swords in my knees]
Et inanis (and empty,)
[Ed peed on this]
Sors immanis
[Swords in my knees]
Et inanis
[Ed peed on this]

Veni, veni, venias, (Come, come, O come,)
[Many many many mouse]
Ne me mori facias (do not let me die)
[Then adore me crunchy love]
Veni, veni, venias,
[Many many many mouse]
Ne me mori facias
[Then adore me crunchy love]

Gloriosa (Glorious)
[Oreos are]
Generosa (Noble)
[Now upon us]

Sephiroth!
Sephiroth!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Retail Therapy For Impulsive Disorder?

Right. We actually meant to talk about this and not really do a review for WoW:TCG.
Now what led to that? Well, we received a call during lunch yesterday to inform that our dear camera has finally been repaired and ready to be taken home. So we popped down to 1U after work.

Once again, one more turn...

And popped into a PC store to see if Hammers of Fate was out. It was. Bang! It's mine.

Then popped into Anime Tech for a look-see if Death Note was available. It wasn't, but they have Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children 2-CD Original Soundtrack. Bang! Mine.

Those, plus the Jamiroquai High Times and Robbie Williams Rudebox and That's Life, unplanned purchases all of them...

It's a good thing the Nintendo Wii is not cheap at RM2090.

And we haven't even started our Christmas shopping yet.

Help.

Like, wow...

Of late we've been heading back to trading card games (TCGs) whatwith the arrival of World of Warcraft (WoW): TCG from Upper Deck Entertainment. We weren't really that interested in the game so much as to rush out and buy a starter to try the mechanic like we did for Lord Of The Rings TCG by Decipher (of course, LotR:TCG was released after The Fellowship movie was screened, and we were still enthralled by the Nazgul at that point) when we upped and bought the Deluxe Starter set.

When a friend bought some starters and boosters for WoW we then had a chance to explore the mechanics and game. First card we'd glanced upon was a Rebecca Guay! Whoa. That made a good impression. The game idea was pretty simple: pick a hero, build a deck based on the hero class by throwing in allies and equipment and quests, whack enemy heroes. Somehow, that's when the nitpicking started...

The game is expensive to invest in. Other TCGs cost on average RM35 per starter and RM11. WoW costs RM57 per starter and RM15 per booster. Plus the fact that the starter contains only 30 cards plus 2 boosters.

The card pool me friend had was limited for deck construction. There were 9 classes of heroes to choose from! So our Undead Priest had only one equipment in the whole pool of cards he could use, but it went against our deck strategy of emptying the opponent's hand. But then again Priests probably don't go around bashing people with their staves all that often, nor would Priests actually be able to do a Barbarian War Cry we guess...

Allies make up the brunt of the army, and thankfully they aren't as limited. Like 'Mechs in Battletech:TCG, they're just aligned with one side and many can fit into your deck. Now if only we had more that helped our Undead Priest but so far the allies we've got somewhat complemented the deck.

Combat is done by targetting individual allies or heroes to whack. Hmmm. Somehow this bit seems problematic, because weak allies probably won't survive to see the light of day (of the next turn) if they're just marked for death each time they show their face. At least in Battletech 'Mech's can only target slower 'Mechs and in Star Wars (by WotC) speed determines initiative irregardless of player turn.

Quests are twofold: they work as resources and card fetchers. But as resources they're not really that necessary, as any card can be played face-down as a resource in the first place. This throws up the question, "Is it still necessary to build a deck of 33% resource?" and we thinks, "Not really. We'll just pick a few quests that fetches allies."

Given the card pool limitations, we had an Undead Priest (Omedus the Punisher) deck that does a one-off direct damage of (7 minus cards in target opponent's hand), very very few cards to cause an opponent to discard, plenty of allies and 9 quests. The deck is pretty much anything goes.

Early playtesting finds that numerous allies, with added fact of the ability to target nearly ally/hero during combat pushes advantage to whoever has stronger and/or more allies in play. Tension is fairly balanced with the choice of playing a card as a resource or holding it back for later. We have yet to do a multiplayer game, and am looking forward to introducing the 'It' multiplayer variant (ahhh Battletech days...).

Damn, it turned out to be a WoW:TCG report. And while we were playing WoW, our minds kept thinking back to Battletech.

Nevermind, onwards with the preview card, next post.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ouch.

Camera shop just called - repair costs for broken Canon Ixus 55 LCD screen is RM220. Sigh. What to do? Cough up the cash of course.

And I Was Not Going To Blog About Work...

It's odd, how my ex-colleagues don't believe me when I tell them about my job.

So since we've changed jobs we'd to update peeps who ask. Of course, how much fun to take them on a more memorable job description. However, those whom I've worked with before took what I said with more than a pinch of salt, while old classmates from various educational institutes took my word for gospel.

As a friend put after clearing the matter up with her on what I'm currently doing: "You see, your friends trust what you say!" Nice.

First time I'd announced I was
changing jobs, I'd sent out this text to friends. This was during the Thailand military coup:


Hi. sorry i didnt tell u that Im moving permanently to Bangkok nxt wk. I dont know how long i am staying there. I will gv u the number, address and new email when i get there. Hope 2 c u b4 i leave? Sorry 4 d short notice. I hv no choice. They hv chosen me as the



Next President of Thailand.....

Heh. Now some friends and me sis recognize this not to be my style of texting, and sis even texted back to say, "Thailand has Prime Minister lah, not President."

Nowadays we tell people that we're working as the cleaning supervisor in Amcorp Mall.

Really.

No joke.

Have to take care of 15 cleaners, 4 floors (shopping mall) plus 36 floors (2 office towers), and even the parking basements not easy you know?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's Supposed To Be A Simple Business Trip...

So why is it when I dump my stuff in the hotel, I have to make 2 trips from the car???

My luggage bag, the shoe bag and Fitness First bag on top of it, a company baggy with loads of materials and papers inside, my Playstation 2 and the laptop.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Want

Oh dear, temptation-by-brain is at it again.

Have just updated phone software of my trusty (albeit cranky) Nok7710 - a phone that gets most people asking, "Is that the Nokia N-Gage ar?" - for the first time since I've gotten it 2 years ago. That's 2 years that I've been tolerating slow applications; cranky, sudden phone resets; phone hanging up on me (without even me knowing most times!); and my alarm not ringing.

Why wait so long for a software update? Because all this time I've been checking the website, there has been absolutely no annoucement of a software update - under 'Applications and Services' or Software and Support for Owners' I just get a lot of 'Try and Buy' games and such. No such news that goes, "Oh, we've heard a number of complaints about the Nokia 7710, here's a patch to make things better."

*not that I complained in the first place, I love my Nok7710 regardless*

Anyways, was browsing in a Nokia store when I happen to ask them if there were any updates for the phone. Fiddling with my phone, the fellow says yes, it's now version 4, yours is version 2.

>:(

That's 1 year past my warranty. Now I've to pay to have it updated.

Took me a while to get it done, because the fellow tells me they're only open at office hours - when I got there they told me they're open till 7pm, even on Saturdays. Bah. And I was down at KL twice on Saturday thinking the place was closed!

Even getting the phone software updated entailed its own risk - the customer service woman gives a once-through on my phone to note down it's current state (so that when I get back my phone I don't go, "Woi! Where this scratch come from?" etc) and I was pleased with her comment, "Wah, your phone still looks new."

*beams*

Then she continued with, "If there's any problem while updating the software, like if it hangs, got different charges ya."

*blink*

Say what?

"Quotation for that is [checks price list] RM270."

Muh?

Dilemma. Risk the bloody thing causing me extra charges, or live with annoying OS? In the end I decided to risk it. I had to spend a good 4 hours or so totally blocked out from communications waiting for my phone. And since I use my phone as my watch as well I had no sense of time.

Whoa. Gadget-dependant, I am.

When I got back my phone it's as if I've just gotten it for the first time (but I have back-up!). And the software update has made things better. Glee. No complains now.

But...but...but...

Brain is pushing to get something new...OMG. I can't afford this. I've just had the software updated so I could still love my current phone! Brain wants PDA as well as nice new phone! Brain is sick of writing texts and wants alphanumeric keypads once more. Brain wants nonbulky phone. But brain wants PDA for organising purposes too so that brain doesn't need to overextend itself remembering too many appointments and to-dos!

The brain wants, but wallet needs a sugar daddy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lazyman's Wrapping 103

This time we've a big prez to wrap. Not keen on taping 2 pieces of wrapping paper together and working from there, I'd decided to go back to wrapping tissue. Unfortunately, this time it's not so quick to finish this.

Requires:
Wrapping tissue
Box
Paper

Firstly, box the present.

Wrap boxed prez in brown paper. Note: Brown paper makes wrapping ugly.

Print out birthday greeting big enough to cover top quarter of box top.

Lazyman's option: Stop here, paste birthday greeting on box and send by courier service of choice.

Else, continue. Paste birthday greeting on contrasting card and stick onto a corner of the box.

Then proceed to wrap with wrapping tissue.

Jump Forever

One -jump-
day -jump-
(hey), -jump-
your -jump-
sweet -jump-
letter -jump-
arrived, -jump-
Reminding -jump-
me -jump-
of -jump-
our -jump-
home -jump-
town. -jump-
My -jump-
thoughts -jump-
drifted -jump-
back -jump-
over -jump-
our -jump-
love's -jump-
memory, -jump-
sweet -jump-
dreams -jump-
of -jump-
the -jump-
time -jump-
our -jump-
hearts -jump-
bound. -jump-

Through -jump-
a -jump-
soft -jump-
veil -jump-
of -jump-
pale, -jump-
shimmering -jump-
petals -jump-
My -jump-
soul -jump-
floats -jump-
away, -jump-
helpless -jump-
in -jump-
passion's -jump-
sway, -jump-
I -jump-
miss -jump-
home: -jump-
you -jump-
are -jump-
my -jump-
home. -jump-
Kokoro, -jump-
once -jump-
lost, -jump-
now -jump-
found.

Hahaha we loves this game in Wario Ware Inc (the first GBA version). And best of all, the English lyrics that appear when you're jumping about isn't a translation at all to the Japanese song that's being sung!

Many thanks to enigmaopoeia for the lyrics!

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Think Something's Broken Inside

I can't see anymore.

It's all bright - and there's a hint of a crack line.

My Ixus.

Shit.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Training @ Starbucks

Bugger. They've lost my bag of just-bought Kenyan beans.

This all started when we first started our new jobbo. Estactic at having a local Starbucks within the same building, we'd made plans to bring our cafetiere (coffee press) to work, and regularly buy beans and a big 20-oz City mug. Upon payment of beans and mug, we'd asked the barista to have our beans ground down for cafetiere use. Her reply, "Do you want to leave your beans here?"


Us: Huh? Leave my beans at the store?

Barista: Leave the bag of beans at the store, each time you drop by, just inform that you have coffee beans there and mention your name. We'll then make your coffee.

Us: Any charges?

Barista: Nope. It's free.

The skies opened and angel choirs sang at that point.

\(^o^)/

We're still in the midst of training our local Starbucks till we can reach the point where they prepare our coffee once we call them.

Currently we've reach the point where some staff members now recognize us upon our entering the shop with our KL City Starbucks mug in our hand. Of course, there're still bumps to smooth out in this bit too, because they only recognize us as 'that customer'.

We call it this way because, working in retail before we come to either love or hate regular customers - if they do their own thing, pay up and leave we don't mind them. If they totally get in our face they become, "OMG, it's him/her. Sheetsheetsheet no one to divert to look for scapeg- Hi! How are you Uncle/Aunty/[customer name]/[no name] today?" followed by the blahs of come what may.

So, we don't wanna know if we're labeled as 'that customer'. we might be 'that cheapskate customer', seeing that we only get a bag of coffee and from then on it's "Make us our coffee, thanks. No, no muffins, no food. Nothing." we don't even drink at the shop, we pack it back to the office. So long as we get our coffee and we don't have to make a fuss.

Hmmm. Things were friendlier back at 1U when we used to work there - but then again we was a (more frequent) paying customer then. And the peeps we knew there are all gone now.

Oh well. Training goes on. Or should we go all the way until they prepare my coffee at 10.30am sharp everyday unless we calls to say we don't need coffee on that particular day?

The Lord's Prayer

Amazing really. Most of us has been singing it now for almost a year, and I don't mean the Millenium Prayer by Cliff Richards (which also rates quite highly with me). In fact, not many of us really realize the first time we hear it that it's the Lord's Prayer!

Here's the original
Swahilian lyrics.

CHORUS
Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu, amina!
Baba yetu, yetu, uliye
Jina lako litukuzwe
(x2)

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, milelea milele!

CHORUS

Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni (amina)

CHORUS

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, simama mwehu

Baba yetu, yetu, uliye (yetu amina)
Jina lako litukuzwe (baba yetu)(x2)

Recognize it yet? The chorus would have already told you where you've heard it (if, provided, you're a gamer with a taste for civilization games).

Yep, the main menu song for Sid Meier's Civilization IV.

Better yet, you don't have to get the game to hear the song, it's available to download for free at the
composer's site. Yes, free. Yes, legal. Yes, it's the full song. No, you don't have to be Christian to enjoy the song. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quotable Quote

Temptation
"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."
- Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

Danged Virgin

This Virgin emails us something regular but this be the first time she scars our heart by reminding us of her man in Glasgow.

http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/cityguides/city/glasgow/ourmanin.aspx

Ticking off the checklist to see what I did do and what I'd missed out. Thankfully with his list managed most on the first half.

To be able to travel near halfway around the world again...

Tricked By Treat

So after work we decided to drop by The Curve - had dinner of claypot rice with pork and no drinks - as we were feeling thirsty. Was juggling between a FruitWorks juice or crashing awhile at FF (hey, we paid for those 100 Pluses okay?). Refillable 100 Plus won, and as we walked past TGIF and Laundry Bar the various waiters in makeup reminded us that today is Halloween. Ah. Even had a coven of pretty witches having their pictures taken.

Asides that, some booths were set up and there was a stage where a couple of hosts were getting contestants to 'Guess The Creature In The Box' near the fountain. Poking our noses we learns that 8TV and various newspapers were having a sneak preview of The Covenant at 10.30pm. Seems like we were just in time :)


Amongst the activities going on then include giveaways (posters and free drinks mainly), live band performances and interestingly enough, a Tarot booth.

But best of all was this fire-eater who decided to fire up the band's act.



Treat me nice or I'll burn you all. Who call you so smart wear langsir bought from Kamdar?

Anyhoo. Movie time. We were aware that the deejays kept asking the crowd, "Who wants tickets? Who wants tickets?" and that we got our free tickets even without needing to handover the Malaysia Today cutout. Our rationale was, "It's a free horror movie that's not gonna be crowded."

It's not a horror movie.

It's...gah. Good points: little censorship (some actress moons the audience! The trailer showed her wearing panties!). Bad points: little censorship (what is the matter with minor foulmouthing?). That's being nice and noncommital on movie reviewing.

>.<

Have to chill out after such a movie. What have we? Scrounging our kitchen to find...

Hmm. If I just use a slice of watermelon mum will complain about us 'always leaving the last piece for someone else to finish and clean up'. Although that's true :P but this time we thoughts we shall make use of both slices.

Where the heck are all our cocktail forks?

And since it's Halloween let's make this scary.

Ahhh bliss nightcap.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Too Good To Last.

The haze is back. The traffic jam is back. Sigh. I only got two days of driving bliss. :(

It's A Mad Mad World.

Last night been to bed with some of me old old magazines - we're talking InQuest 1998 that talked about Middle-Earth's CCG expansion The White Hand and The Duelist 1997 reviewing Battletech's CCG expansion Mercenaries (there's a picture of Anastasius Focht - white hair, black eyepatch but purple robes!).

So when I got a text this afternoon (while still asleep) that goes:

Who wants to be MAD? Got my game, its utter MADNESS. MAD, get committed.

...my first thought was to Magic: The Gathering's expansion Torment, one of my favourite expansions with the game mechanic Madness.

Once we'd woken up tho', it made sense.

If your name is Alfred E. Newman, this game is made for you.

Psike mentioned he owned a Mad boardgame set and he'd finally found it. Ahhh...so finally we could see what the game was all about - lose all your money to win. One thing we were warned about: don't question the logic of the game (there isn't any). Cards like "This card can only be played on Friday," and "Stand up, boo the person on your left and lose $1000" shows up.


The game has it's bits of fun because there are times when you're instructed to change seats with other players, but you don't change money as you change seats! Imagine stockpiling loads of cash and then leaving it for some poor sod who's $500 away from winning the game. Like Psike said, the game ends pretty quick because you lose cash quite fast. So we tried a variant - all cash we lose, instead of going to the bank, goes to the square called 'Tough Luck' (you get all the cash on 'Tough Luck' if you land there).

Still manage to win the game! Rah! Rah! Rah! Counting the total circulating cash by that time...$45000. Gods.

Today be the second time we did Domino's. First time was when I got my That's Life set, and that was 2 large shared by 4 peeps. This time, it's 2 large (same pizzas again, an Extravaganza and a Beef Pepperroni) shared by 2 peeps. Absolute fullness. Best thing be, the operator (by name of Jasmine) tells me that as a frequent customer I got a free gift. First thing that pops into me mind: 1.5l Sprite/Coke bottle? Free gift turns out to be a choice of Twisty Garlic Bread, Banana Kaya Dessert, CinnaStix or BreadStix. Alright...Twisty Garlic Bread it be.

Look, just look at the butter waiting for you to soak your bread in.

Our arteries are panicking.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Guys, Put Your Off-Roads On

With our left sandal finally breaking apart, it was time we moved on. The running argument of what new foot wear to get - loafers, because they can double as shoes; Crocs, because they're funky and comfy; or another pair of sandals?

Over the previous weeks loafers started losing out in the argument as they can't be worn if they get wet and wearing loafers sockless might lead to smelly feet/shoes. What finally led us to settle on Crocs? We has a friend who stocks them - and so we got ours from hers: the Army Green/Orange Off-Road Crocs. She'd recommended this colour combo, and guys, trust gals judgement if you're unsure.

The moment we put them on, our first comment was, "Whoa! Feels like I'm walking 5% faster now!" No Power Threads this but walking does feel much more quicker after I'd put them on in the store. Wow. Plus I'm now a wee bit taller.

Now maybe I should start looking out for some Gloves of Speed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Aieee7!

We're trying out Internet Explorer 7 and yes, it's nicer. The screen has more space whatwith the removal of the large icon toolbars at the top and replacing them with only the commonly used icons; the tabs are sooooo much more neater (less stuff to minimize!); there's an inbuilt RSS feeder; and everything is in ClearType. Of course, we can only play with IE7 in the office as it uses Original Recipe Windows and we need to get used to the tabs instead of different windows of IE. Me I'm waiting for Vista.

Am also itching for a Mac goodness knows why. The compulsiveness, oh! Must keep it in reign. Had a look at iLife as it has everything useful for us in it, but it's a bit of a blah to suddenly have to change blogs to .Mac instead. Must. Control. Spend. Elsewhere.

Sandals have broken. Shall start looking out for lime-green Crocs.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deeparaya in Klang

You probably came from here:
http://aikyong.blogs.friendster.com/hengs_gaming_blog/2006/11/deeparaya_2006.html
If not, read there later.

A quick look-through at the stuff done in Klang for the Deeparaya.

'Nic had texted regarding plans for Deepavali:
7am - Bah Kut Teh breakfast
8am - TI3
12pm - Lunch
1pm - TI3
6pm - Finish

7am. 7AM. SEVEN ay-emm. To avoid risk of sleeping in until afternoon we'd bunked over at 'Nics'. At 2am 'Ward nicely called 'Nic to tell him that he just got back from KL and won't be joining us for breakfast >_<

Early in the morning, 8 o'clock...

After a so-so BKT breakfast we'd started Twilight Imperium (TI3) with four players: 'Nic, Ivan, 'Ward and us. In a 4-player game, each player took two strategy cards instead of one. This allowed me to win the game much faster than we'd anticipated as I got to draw the Imperial card quite often ('Nic, aware of what I was up to, tried to 'nudge' others into taking the Imperial card as well instead of taking it himself, sneaky!) - we'd finish TI3 by 1.30pm. 'Ward, however, was not happy that I'd robbed him of game satisfaction. Next time!

KFC for lunch at Giant Bukit Tinggi, then it was back for different games. NJH joined us at this point (hurrah more players!) and we did speed Puerto Rico with the expansion set buildings. Well, not really speed Puerto Rico but our PR games are getting faster and faster with everyone knowing pretty much what to do with the tokens (refill ship, place plantations etc). Strategy was a bit out of the window since we played with a mix of old and new buildings thus I lost out to everyone else.

Pick a role each turn, build districts and guess who's who...

Ivan then introduced Citadels to the rest of us. Whoa, was this fun! [More playtesting later would show that the game is at its best at 5-6 players.] A medieval setting where roles are chosen player by player, thus making the few last players guess what roles are held by the others. A simple yet mindscrewing game. Lots of laughter as after choosing a role, eye contact will be made, body language saying, "You know I know la I'm Assassin/Thief, you want to be who?"

Building...Construction complete. The House that produces the most spice- oops.

On Monday 23rd we did Siedler von Catan Travelbox followed by Caylus. There's a lot of multitasking in this game as well, where as a master builder you're to help construct a castle. 'Nic explained the game to the rest of us (Ivan, NJH and us) where NJH proceeded to win the game as master builder, leaving me with second as the King's favourite. Ivan, feeling rather drowsy that day, stuck with his strategy of "saboh 'Nic!!!" by being in cohorts with the Provost, first by denying 'Nic his resources and then rushing the build job. A round of Citadels and that was it.

Jeff teaching us Bang!

The heavy for the hols was on Tuesday night...starting at 11pm all the way to 7am next morning! Playing at Long's who kindly hosted, 'Nic finally gets Jeff to teach Bang! Another fun guessing game of Sheriff & Deputy vs Outlaws vs Renegade. Poor 'Nic, as Deputy he was killed by Outlaws early in the first game, and in the second game Ivan (as sheriff) declares, "Chances of 'Nic getting Deputy twice in the row very unlikely!" and promptly kills him before he even gets his turn!

"This...is the world map. Don't get lost."

This followed by Antike, a civilisation game, then Victory II, more towards warfare. Viktory II takes a start from Settlers of Catan, using the same tiles but with more. Loads more.

Fog of war covers the Island of Ca- game of Viktory II.

This game ended rather quickly with only 3 rounds as 'Nic capitol was crushed into vassalage by Jeff while 'Nic decided to say "Hello" to Wai Yan's towns with cannons.

The lighter games that followed: That's Life and Hey That's My Fish.

Us innocent souls thinking That's Life is a light-hearted game...

Analytic Paralytics hard at work trying to isolate competing penguins while saving the best fish for themselves.

Both were rather fun, quick, simple but importantly cutthroat games. So much so that I bought That's Life the day after :)

And that's Deeparaya for us in Klang.

What? Visitations? Food?

Deeparaya

Hah. How was the whole of the Deeparaya spent? Boardgaming, vodka, boardgaming, Bodypumping the PC to Low Yat for a checkup again, overnight boardgaming, afternoon boardgaming...whoa yeah. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Must Grudge-ingly Admit That...

While The Grudge 2 is good, Ju-On 2 still beats it hands down with more creative deaths :) The Grudge 2 retains some of the essence of Ju-On 2 but there are more changes to this one compared to Grudge/Ju-On. Anyways the spook factor is still there. Go watch.

Mo-Ther...Board!

Gah. Me PC's down again - the thing starts up but I don't see the memcheck running (thus com not starting...). Why??? Why???

Ming's first diagnosis was, "Motherboard rosak."

I think his mouth is very acidic.

Shall have to risk visiting Low Yat on Raya to see if anywhere is open to treat da PC.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Retreat! Retreat!

Second game for the day is Ra at Table 3. At our table, Jen Fai, Shaun, Chris and us. According to the Games Allocation table, this is game 7, a 1 hour game which should finish fairly quickly.

RA.
A game in 3 epochs. Objective is to gain the most points.
Tiles are drawn and placed representing various aspects of Egyptian life - gods, culture/civilization, pharoahs, buildings and season (flooding of the river), all earning points in some way. This are placed on the game board to be auctioned off. The intersting part of auction in this game is that each player only have three 'chips' for bidding with a value from 2-13 (or higher depending on players), thus players have to be mindful whenever they bid.

This was an interesting game, very quick learning curve but certain strategies in the game may smack you in the face if you don't keep watch - after the first epoch Chris was left with the 2, 3 and (we think) 6 chip for bidding! And we guess it would be better if a bag was provided for tile-drawing and shuffling. Otherwise it was a fairly quick game played, giving us time to check out other tables, or in Shaun's case, play dominos with the bidding chips.

Watching Samurai going on Table 1, things were quite hushed. Edwin and Jeff were already calculating their wins and losses already before the game has ended! Analyses Paralyses hard at work.

Onto our third game of the day - Table 2, Game 7: St Petersburg. Another 1 hour game.

St Petersburg.
Objective of the game? Earn the most victory points.
There are 4 phases in the game: Workers, Buildings, Aristocrats and Upgrades. Purchase cards revealed in each phase to either earn rubles (cash) or victory points. Workers generally earn rubles, Buildings for rubles and or victory points or even special abilities, Aristocrats mainly victory points. Upgrades allow you to improve cards you have already bought to either earn more rubles or points.

I didn't get to read about the flavour behind St Petersburg, because 'Nic and I were trying to teach Thurn and Taxis to Table 4 (why does Table 4 seem to have all the train games?). Hopefully our explainations were clear enough. Anyways, easy learning curve, heavy strategy punishment. Well, maybe not really. Just not paying attention to what we were buying, plus we didn't realise that, while we could 'take a card into hand' we couldn't 'discard a card from hand' as an action - leading to further point deduction at the end of the game <:( Back to Table 3.


Table 3, Game 4: Pirate's Cove, 90-minutes.

Pirate's Cove.
Objective is to loot different islands for their treasure, fight off any competing pirates on same island, take on notoriously famous pirates or The Royal Navy...all in the name of getting Fame Points.
Lasting 12 turns, pirates secretly choose their destination island to loot for treasure, gold, fame and/or purchase strategy cards as well as upgrades for their ship. Ships can upgrade sails (initiative), crew, cannons (both required for firepower) and hull (treasure hold space). During combat pirates blast each other until one sustains massive damage in any one of the four upgrades or flees.

We started rather slow because we didn't had anyone to teach us the game - Rob had to make do with going through the manual with us and us having mini-trials to ensure we've got the gist of it. Jen Fai has played the game before but that was waaay too long back, so we'd best go through everything again. We decided to sacrifice our hull integrity to increase our firepower might. Unfortunately as encounters prove, for firepower to be really impressive and intimidating, one's ship must be able to manouevre with ease. In the end our ship spent plenty of time at Pirate's Cove doing repairs T_T

The strategy cards may require clearing up on some details. Initially I'd cards that told me I could redirect the Royal Navy elsewhere. As the Royal Navy did not appear in the game I wondered what worth was the card for, until Jen Fai played it near end-game against Rob. Seems like when you play that card, you put the Royal Navy into play to chase and battle other pirates! So Rob had to fight off the persistant Royal Navy, but thankfully he had a card in hand that allowed him to deal double damage (or something). Rob won, got famous. After that encounter, next turn I launched my Royal Navy against Rob who fled ^_^

Which Is Which?


17th - Wee Wog and toy, originally uploaded by Janvier.

Midget has joined the family since February as has grown from the wee thing she was ^.^ Can you tell which is the toy and which is the wog?

[This is a posting via Flickr with the option of uploading a pic at 500px on it's own line. Hmmm. 'Twas too big for my template so had to resize pic in the end.]

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Retreat!

[We can't upload photos again. So we'll just leave the post up and try and upload them sometime soon. What we've done so far is link text to the pics we've got up at Flickr. 'Nic, got a pendrive to get the whole lot of pix?]

Team, fall back!...

...All the way to Awana! The weekend was set for the 2006 Malaysian Eurogames Retreat. Starting at 8.30am Saturday and going alllll the waaaaay till Sunday afternoon. Shoot, should have had more marathon sessions with 'Nic and Ivan for practice. Hope brains don't dissolve before the weekend is over, as once we finished we'd to rush back, finish packing up for my trip to Singapore - we'll be there a week for training and will not be a good sign if brain has melted.

Decided not to take a risk in oversleeping so had kind 'Nic come up to fetch me over to bunk overnight at his place before heading up to Awana. We'd a good start and 'Nic also picked up Jeff along. The more the merrier, everyone was awake and the haze gave way to clouds and cool weather.

Soon everyone arrived and breakfast was underway. Edwin, our organizer did the honours of welcome speech and such and explained how we'd be playing da games. 16 gamers in all, split into 4 tables of 4 players. Essentially the games would be rated thus: Table 1 would be rather difficult games, scaling down to Table 4 with simpler games. As there were loads of games (28 for the event not counting extras for during free time) there were most of us who don't know some games. So those who knew how certain games are played were to teach the others, provided that they're teaching another table to "make sure you don't 'forget to mention' certain winning conditions". Fair innit?


First up, lots were drawn to see which table we'd sit at. Then the prelimenary game - for actual table placement. Heckmeck. A dice game. We suck big time at dice games. Anyways:

Heckmeck.
Objective is to collect the most points in worms.
Using six d6, roll to try and get marks to collect tiles of same mark and score points. Tiles either score 1, 2 or 3 points and can be stolen by other players as well!

This retreat was gonna have quite a bit of Musical Chairs/Tables - after each game, 2 winners will head 'up' a table while the 2 losers head 'down' a table. You could probably keep a permanant seat in Table 1 or 4 if you had the skill.

Anyways, as we're lousy at dice, we ended up at Table 4. No biggie. What's the first game up?

What the-? What is this game doing on Table 4???

Railroad Tycoon.
Objective is to get the most points by the end of the game.
Points are earned by building railroad tracks to send goods from place to place. Completing certain objectives also earn points. Cash is required to build tracks, upgrade train engines, urbanize towns etc and can be gained either by alloting shares or earning points.

Oh no. Heavy game IMHO, shouldn't this be a Table 1 or 2 game? A look around showed that the other tables had heavier games. Anyways, managed to suffer our way through as was slightly familiar with game concepts by now plus we knew what we needed to do during the initial stages of the game. But I guess the deciding factor as to how we won was the fact that KP wanted to win the prize for 'being fourth on the Table 4 in the final round'. That put Shaun and us up to Table 3.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

small pleasures, small gripes

we've found a new pleasure in time-wasting - hanidoku. not only is it your regular sudoku but it's settlers of catan sudoku. and it's giving me a really big headache, an hour into the game and i've yet to place a single number. gotta read the strategies on working out this logic-honeycomb.

there's been a gripe i've had with apple since i've gotten their ipod. previously with itunes store, they'd only the 99¢ per mp3 which was pretty much worth it for them songs we couldn't find...elsewhere. now with itunes 7 there's more games, audiobooks (am eyeing project gutenberg for audiobooks now), downloadable telly episodes and movies as well! anyways. malaysia has no way of purchasing itunes store stuff! gripe gripe gripe.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm A Sucker For Good Goody Bags

Men's Health came down to Fitness First The Curve today, bringing with them girls with goody bags and forms. Thing is, goody bags from MH should actually have things of value. Of course we had to scan the booth for the T&C like must enter contest, make slogan etc.

For this one, one gal explained, "All you have to do is fill in this form, if you're one of the 20 picked you'll have grooming tips classes etc that will take place on the weekends somewhere next August."

Hmm. We gathered that it's basically a way to pick some zhialat fellows and do a before-and-after. The gals took photos of us, dressed in scruffy gym togs for BodyCombat. In the end there was five of us signing up for the freebies - lad, dad, Joel, Riza and us. Dunno if others had signed up before/after us. Chances that we'll be chosen? Hopefully as slim as us. Wethinks by August next year also we would have clean forgot that we'd signed up to do such >.<

Lesse. A Fitness First bottle (yay I lost mine), a Philips towel, a L'Oreal Professionel Liss Extreme shampoo, a Biotherm Homme Age Refirm Eye Force cream, a X-Trail keychain and compass, a GNC pill box, and IMO the star items: a big pink box from Playsafe called Love & Romance - a box of 12 Fit-tex 002 with a aromatherapy set, and...

A Dunhill Pure Eu de Toilette! Wow the waft! Yum...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Devil wears Prada is a must watch - either to learn how to be a devil-boss, or just to watch Anne Hathaway or Meryl Streep or even just to see clothes and fashion galore.

Saturday had dropped by at Games Castle for the boardgamecafe meetup and dragged Paul along as well - as we were early (bugger every single road was jammed! What's wrong with KL this past week?) we started Ticket To Ride: Europe. An observer's take on our game pretty much sum up how a game of TTR:E by first-timers or players without the attribute: Analysis Paralysis play: "Eh how come no one block each other one? Everyone's got their long mission done already!" Ah well.

Somewhere mid-game Jeff, 'Nic and the others have arrived and started Tikal :( Oh well plenty of chances to learn new games. So after TTR:E we'd switch to Puerto Rico. Playing familiar games gives us the advantage of playing games quickly as we won't have to spend time letting information filter into the brain (like the implication of getting certain Operations cards in Railroad Tycoon early). Unfortunately these be new games to Paul so we couldn't zip through the game as we would like.

After 2 games had to rush off for the Les Milles new track launch. Was aiming for 'Combat, 'Jam and Rockstar Bollywood, but arrived late, missing 'Combat. Dunno if that's a good thing, because by the end of Bollywood my body was aching so bad that staying in Igor-hunch-limp-lurch pose felt most comfortable! It's actually quite scary at the launch, about half or more of the group very the 'yat chai' kind one...


Steven was back and was at Settler's doing dinner - which by the way was hosting some birthday function or other, all tables and chairs were taken and kitchen fully harassed. Tried the Chicken Cutlet dish, still find the Footlong the best followed by the Carbonara. Learned that in playing Power Grid you may want players that can bid fast >:P the game lasted from 10pm all the way till 1am!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Highway Dangers

Must take note of the following two highways, the road hazards are simply horrible:
1) Kesas highway
2) that highway leading to Putrajaya/Cyberjaya
Travelling on either highway has a 50% chance of inducing road fatigue/sleepiness, 70% if tired in any way. Travelling on both highways has a 100% chance of causing mental and physical fatigue and highway dreaming. Get a caffeine fix before attempting such journey especially just after lunch.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So Long, Farewell

Our last day at work started off with a bear invading my poisons cabinet. The fact that it was holding a box of Postinor didn't suggest anything good. I'd to tell my boss, "It doesn't work for me one la, take oso period neva come one."

Quite the paiseh really, because it wasn't only a bear-and-tie but there were assorted others from the rest of the staff as well. Touched touched. One of them even gave me a suspicious wooden box. Now when you ever get a wooden box for a present, it's always prudent to hold it away from your face (preferably in front of someone else's if to entertain others) and wonder what kind of bug is inside. In my case I got one with a rat and it was the supervisor who screamed. Heh.

The challenge, of course, was to take everything back (lesse now, my license, various personal effects, the prezzies) in a crowded train.