Thursday, July 31, 2008



"You are running dangerously low on disk space..."

...and we know we have a problem here. Currently our desktop has two hard drives, the main HD of 80GB which we regrettably partitioned to two, and an older HD from the previous PC of only 10GB.

Both are now reaching bursting point, and this because of pictures and music (from the iXus and ofr the iPod). We've even burned off some of our photos taken last year onto CDRs (in duplicate for some) but it's not helping.

We've even uninstalled a fair number of games, keeping the nostalgic ones like our DOS games which takes up minute space comparitively, the real-time strategy games and Heroes Of Might and Magic games. Even Diablo II got uninstalled early on!

Nevertheless. Looks like we should be getting a new hard disk. And an internal hard disk instead of a portable one, because the space is used to store our music files and we'll need iTunes to sync that with our iPods.

Sigh, it's gonna be a fair bit of work up ahead...moving files, organizing folders, especially the bit where we move music files from one place to another and need to update our iTunes regarding the file relocation ("The song could not be located because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?")...

Now to make sure the desktop can make it till we get a new hard drive.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Work: Janvier, I need you to go somewhere.
Janvier: Okay.
BodyJam: But don't be late for class!
Janvier: Packed already. Hopefully no ja- we mean traffic.
Nintendo Wii: ...I don't see you anymore hoo...
Janvier: But Wii, you know it's hard when the parents always keep Bravia occupied!
Sony Bravia: I work all day. You bring Wii, I work all night too...
Work: And don't think about slacking off work for Wii's sake.
Taman Tun-nites: TGIF! DotA!
Janvier: Onz!
Nintendo DS: Gimme more love! Touch me!
iTouch: Stop touching him! Touch me!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!
BodyCombat: Lord r u coming to class.
Blog: Can we talk about something else other than Bangkok already?
Janvier: That's what we're trying to do...
iPod: You haven't been listening to anything we say for a long time...all you care for now is iTouch, especially since he's now added on that iPhone 2.0 software.
Janvier: That's not true!
iTouch: Touch me!
Janvier: You're our music player iPod. iTouch is more our PDA!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Rehersal today, don't forget.
Janvier: Oh? Damn. Gotta miss Combat then.
BodyCombat: U not coming for class lord?
Blog: Your last update was yonks ago...
iXus: Have you renamed the photos and backed them up?
Janvier: Damned. And the Bangkok pics are on the laptop, not in the desktop. Thank goodness we've uploaded them already.
Desktop: You know, you haven't played much of that Heroes Of Might And Magic: Tribes Of The East expansion that you bought...
Boardgames: Look! That's how cobwebs are being made!
GameBoy Advance: I can't see! I'm blinded by this layer of dust!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! Memorized the songs already? Start memorizing!
Bloggers: People people let's do dinner.
Taman Tun-ites: Birthdays coming up!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!

Bloggers: Birthdays coming up!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!

Discworld Books: We're all due for a reread!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!

Blogs: Read all of us!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!
DVDs: Watch us!
YKLS: Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!

Ambigram sketches: And we all feel so unfinished.

Honestly, we'd never thought that our timetable would look so hectic compared to last year. Then again, so far the only change to our timetable this year has been that we'd to rush from BodyJam to YKLS on Mondays (and no more BodyCombat on Mondays).

Now, with YKLS's production coming closer, there's more rehersals that'll be taking priority (second priority to the Chief of course) over other things (including gym time boo hoo) but we've to make do as we can. What we find however is that our cave time has dropped rather drastically. It's as time like these when we really wished for more than 24 hours in a day - not so that we could get more work done, but more things done. In fact, cave time has been slotted to midnight till 2am generally, although sometimes it gets later than that.

'Course, the Chief still takes precedence over all else and we don't mean that in a bad way. And thankfully we've both set aside days for just the two of us (bar celebrations or special occasions) so that's not jeopardized.

With choir rehersals soon taking about 3-4 days a week, we did thought of suspending our gym membership, at least till after the production. But heck that's a tough move to make and so far we don't see ourselves missing Jam/Combat still.

The only real part that lost out the most in all this?


Friday, July 25, 2008

Bloggers Bunking Bangkok: Touch Our Body

"Please take off your bathrobe and lie down."

We get on the bed and lie facedown. We didn't need to do anything, for the service, all we had to do was just enjoy the pleasure and sensation.

She started slowly. Facedown, we couldn't see a thing, best to just close our eyes. Pushing the blanket aside from our right leg, she places her palms on our right calf. It was warm to the touch. Her palms alternate as she work upwards, left, right, left, right, until she gets past the thigh.

Then her hands trailed down and she would begin again.

Our limbs melt under her hands. She massages in small circles, easing the tension from the muscles, slowly making her way higher and higher, teasing us to succumb. Soon we feel as if we are floating on clouds...drifting in pleasure, the smell of balsam and rose intoxicating us into a mild stupor.

Her hands then work upwards, towards our back...our shoulderblades...our shoulders. Fingers ran across the shoulders towards our neck before running back down the spine.

Time is...nonexistant. Yet we know we only have an hour with her. Will we finish in time?

And soon enough, it was over.

Well, we do have Team William to thank for finding this gem of a massage parlour. The Royal Natural Spa. Just down the road from Take A Nap on Rama 4 Road.

After three days of walking, it was good to get off our feet and be pampered. Unfortunately, as we went there at 9pm there was only one masseuse for the Traditional Thai massage, so the Chief took that while we settled for the Aromatherapy Oil massage.

A warm foot bath consisting of lime, rose petals and lemongrass together with sea salt scrub, followed by the balsam oil massage, with hot ginger tea and pomelo to end it all. At the offer price of 750 baht then, it was very worth it. We were very much invigorated after the massage that Team PDA continued shopping at Patpong Night Market!

...And slept very very well that night. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bloggers Bunking Bangkok: The Amazing Race

Ideally what we expected of this trip? One big gang of people going around together camwhoring left right and centre, probably with JL being the tour guide waving around a little flag a la Tour Leader and everyone else wearing thematic clothing ie. all with something in green or stripes.

Of course, knowing that there are 15 people, and that this isn't the first time to Bangkok for some of us, it's quite unlikely we'd all go together as a group/herd/swarm. After all, there's some who'd want to go sightseeing, while others just want to shop, and some who wants to tour the dark and humid places. However, once in Bangkok it was quite clear that we weren't gonna be all touring together, but split into groups.

Team Saladaeng
The group that stayed at Baan Saladaeng. Throughout the entire trip we've not seen Team Saladaeng save one night clubbing, bumping into them at Chatuchak, and dinner together on the final night (even then on different tables as they arrived later). Team Saladaeng went the sight-seeing route and went for some Siam Niramit cultural show. The rest of us gone shopping and went, "WTF is Siam Niramit?". Team Saladaeng consisted of:

Subteam Team Paul - with only a single rabid shopping member but yet the apparent leader of Team Saladaeng. Holding the title 'MallBlazer', he sped through the malls leaving other members desperately trying to keep up.

Subteam Team CamClub - consisting of the more trigger-happy members. As far as we know, winners of the Jumping Pose Photoshoot.

Team Tidur
The group that stayed at Take A Nap Hotel. The majority of us stayed here, broken down into subteams and subsubteams...yes, we choose to complicate it slightly.

Subteam Team William - comprising William and his posse. This team had their own itinerary, and won the Chatuchak Chase (being the first to arrive and last to leave). Kudos to this team for winning the the Best Spa & Massage Discovery Medal!

Subteam Team Ottamon - who suggested the Tour A (shopping), Tour B (sightseeing), Tour C (dark & humid) option. Team members were very well-versed in Tour C and takes the Go!Go!Sauna! Award.

Subteam Team Singles - two (currently) singletons on the trip whose plan for the trip was to follow some group or other, one of them holding the prestigious title of SSSS. Team Singles snagged the Happy Tree Friends Tee Bonus.

Subteam Team PDA - name suggested by the Chief. It could be due to the fact that we kept using the iTouch to keep notes, or that we were notoriously stuck together the entire time. Did a fair bit of walking ourselves doing the Mall Run and probably gotten the Highest VAT Refund Total.

Arrival - When Team Tidur left Suvarnabhumi to get their van to the hotel, Team Saladaeng was already in the lead in their taxi to theirs. Confidence in the driver waned when he drove past the hotel without noticing it, but since we'd paid upfront there was no extra charge.

Mall Run Day 1 - Team Saladaeng took the lead, with Team CamClub one step behind Team Paul every step. Team Tidur was already an hour late and thus headed straight to Central World to shop and dine, before all teams met to discuss the Club Cruise Challenge.

Club Cruise Challenge - Team Tidur (sans Team William) arrived first while Team Saladaeng slowly trickled in much later after the shows. Team William sat out of this challenge.

Chatuchak Chase - Team William took advantage of sitting out of the Club Cruise Challenge to get up and leave early for Chatuchak on Sunday morning! The rest of Team Tidur arrived second to be followed by Team Saladaeng. Team Paul deplores Team CamClub's lack of bargaining, and Team Singles snagged some Happy Tree Friends t-shirts! Team PDA decides to head back to the hotel to drop their purchases, rest and freshen up before using the free time to head to Siam Paragon and MBK for dinner and shopping together with Team Singles.

Cultural Show Craze - Here Team Saladaeng and Team Tidur took totally different challenges! Team Saladaeng headed for the Historical Cultural Show (the costumes and puppets kind) while Team Tidur opted for the Industrial Cultural Show (the chicks and ducks and ping pongs and candles and aquariums kind) instead.

Sightseeing Sprint - All teams sans Team Ottamon took part in the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Miscommunication between Team CamClub and Team PDA showed in the texts:
Team CamClub: We're going to grand palace today :-)
Team PDA: We're on the way there. Team William is currently leading. :D
Team CamClub: Where are you guys going today?
...Team CamClub arrived at the Grand Palace after all other teams have left, if we're not wrong.

Mall Run Day 3 - With everyone more or less with their own plans, Teams PDA and Singles headed back to do another Mall Run at MBK and Siam Paragon - with much better results!

Seafood Dinner Surprise - Kudos to Team William for finding out this gem of a place - Lek Seafood. Touted as "Affordable yet delicious," and so we decided to join them for dinner. 'Course, seeing how it's been three days in Bangkok now and both Team Tidur and Team Saladaeng have yet to do something together, we received this text:
Team CamClub: We all should have a final night gathering dinner together, all of us.
We advised Team CamClub to liase with Team William. Unfortunately the seafood dinner didn't turn out to be a full gathering dinner too, as Team Singles and a member from Team Ottamon was stuck in the middle of a massage, and Team CamClub showed up as the rest of us were finishing dinner, and Team PDA had to leave immediately after dinner to head for their massage.

Mall Run Day 4 - Not much shopping save to have lunch and bumping into Team Paul still blazing about in Siam Central.

Departure - Finally, only at Suvarnabhumi Airport did we get to take a group picture of everyone! Thanks to Team Shell (whom we bumped into at the airport!) for being the photographer!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bloggers Bunking Bangkok: Shopping, Scorpions & Sweating

Before heading off for our trip we received a Mandate from Mum: Don't Buy Any More Clothes.

The usual about t-shirt quality being questionable and lack of wardrobe space was brought into play, but heck, even our last trip there we didn't shop much on t-shirts - it's a bit tough if mum goes, "So, what did you buy?" and we hold up a t-shirt that says Oral Me. Asides from the Mandate, we only had mum's request to get some tablecloths for her.

So, our initial stance on shopping in Bangkok was, "Not gonna buy anything." Like real. But it was just that we had nothing specific in mind to buy (save mum's tablecloths), whether in Chatuchak or the malls. We decided to stick to Impulse Buy, although this time we have the advantage of Chief Control (so we don't spend too much).

One day in Chatuchak. A walk down Patpong. One proper round about Siam Paragon and MBK, a quick stint at Central World. End result?

So no t-shirts nor pants. Didn't say anything about DVDs, ties, leather shoes, socks, Boots shower gels or even McDonald's (aka McThai) mugs. Oh, a $15 iTunes Gift Card too (just in time for the new iPod Touch 2.0 update, yay!). The Chief did so much better - incense, leather shoes, glass mug, stationery, pajamas, mat, sauce bowls, a sports jacket for smart casual to formal wear, even a keychain and fridge magnet. Amazing how it all fit inside the near-exploding luggage.

Speaking of DVDs. On sale everywhere was The Phantom Of The Opera and Death Note Box Set. Safe to have had assumed that they were originals, right?

We'd bought our Phantom DVD from this store on the third floor in MBK and noticed some of the DVDs that the store sold were glaringly pirated stuff. It was only when we got back to the hotel and decided to take a closer look at our Phantom DVD that we saw cartoony fonts on the hologram sticker. Cartoony fonts on a hologram security sticker???

Closer inspection revealed The Phantom Of The Opera to be a Scorpion Brand DVD.

Now based on our last trip we sorta knew that going around Bangkok was gonna be hot, and reminded ourselves that for this trip we need to pack light clothings (then again, everywhere's freakin' hot, not just Sporeland or Bangkok). Every time we stepped outdoors, it's only a couple of minutes before we've our own private waterfall while everyone else only had a slightly damp face. And throughout the entire trip, we only bought wet wipes from Boots on the final night we were there. And used probably only 3 sheets in all.

Well, on the upside we'd probably sweated off some 5kg on this trip.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bloggers Bunking Bangkok: Flight Preparations

So happens that some time near the end of last year the bloggers started talking about going on a trip. AirAsia was having their promotions again and everyone wanted to make some sorta overseas gathering. We were a tad noncommital in the discussions because it meant diligently keeping check on AirAsia's site for air flights and ticket prices and dates...something that goes over our head.

So we'd left everyone else who was better at following air fares and the such to plan for the dates and all. Only to receive a text from Alex from out of the blue:

"We've bought our tickets. Go buy yours!"

That...was very quick. And we sorta had a wtf moment because we'd never been to the AirAsia site before, so it took us a fair bit of registering, finding our way around the site...We're not saying that we took a long time to do it, but when you're rushing to buy cheap tickets on AirAsia before they run out every second counts. After all, we were expecting someone else to buy the tickets and we pay back actually. Still, managed to get our tickets in time! We're going to Bangkok!

That left us with the problem of accomodation.

Once again, plans were left in the more able hands of others (thanks JL!) while we adopted the (Mostly) Anything Can method. A very easygoing method so long as the place is clean, air-conditioned, moderately priced and near transport or facilities, we're okay.

'Course, this was all planned last year. Then came this year and it was a bit of a problem for the Chief to initially join us for the trip - the timing of the trip wasn't really optimal for the Chief, plus air tickets weren't cheap any more. Fortunately yet another AirAsia promotion came up and other obstacles were settled, so the Chief could make it for the trip as well!

Happy-nya kita. :P All that was left was counting down the days till the trip.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Video Games Of Our Lives: BattleChess


It's funny how the videogames in our younger days were much simpler, yet more engrossing than some games nowadays. Also, back then we didn't have the 'Net, nor emulators (or PCs powerful enough too!), so accesibility to games were only our trusty computer stores that stock shelves of games in 3.5" or 5.25" diskettes together with manuals. Yes, game manuals! Ah well, most of them would be photocopies but still, you have something to read plus all the instructions needed and most importantly, the passwords for the copy protection. :P

BLOG:\cd chess

Early on when we first got our 386 (with goodness knows how much MB of hard disk space - 8? 16?) we remember days where we would keep ourselves entertained by playing Interplay's BattleChess. 'Course, the only reason we loved this game was for the fight scenes. Not for playing chess - because waiting for the CPU to make a movie takes ages and sometimes they'll freeze up the PC.

So basically we'd just entertain ourselves by playing solitaire chess and causing as many casualties as possible. There's a good mix of serious and funny fights, and entertained plenty.

Then came a time when we were walking in The Mall, and we happened to walk by the electronics department and came across a telly showing a chess screen akin to BattleChess. Caught our attention, of course. Only, there was loads more details to the pieces. We'd only time to stay and watch a pawn move, and we were pleasantly surprised to hear music play when the piece moved! We've remembered the Red Pawn's Theme till now, but we never knew if it was really BattleChess and for what platform. We'd always thought that there was a PC CD version of BattleChess.

Thank goodness for YouTube.

BLOG:\cd chess2

Then as we bemoaned the fact that there's no Chinese Chess version of BattleChess, some time later Interplay made BattleChess II: Chinese Chess. It was beautiful. One improvement that BCII had over BC was better sound support - when pieces moved there was music to accompany them, better sound effects, and not only were we limited to listening to it via the PC's internal speakers, since we had a Soundblaster card the music was excellent.

Learned a bit more of Chinese Chess playing against the CPU, as the CPU response was much better and we weren't left with the feeling that the PC hung up on us. 'Course, didn't improve our gameplay versus the Chinese Chess players in our class then, they whom respond with a move the second you take your hands off the piece you just moved...

BLOG:\cd BC4000

Then came BattleChess 4000. This one got us quite excited, with interesting-looking pieces and a snazzy new look. Robots for Rooks, mad scientist Bishops, superhuman Queens...Of course, the lure of the game was for the fight scenes and not because the game had a better library of movements and gambits to draw from, or better AI. If we wanted a good strong PC chess opponent, Chessmaster or such would have suffice. :P

At that time BC4000 was considered a game that required a lot of specifications ok? The game took 10 diskettes, and we needed to use a boot disk to increase EMS and XMS in order to play it. But it was worth it. The fights tickled us pink...

We'll thank DOSBox for allowing us to replay BC4000 nowadays - Windows XP couldn't run it and left us wailing. Anyways.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Thing That Is Marriage

Somehow there's a different feel to things when a close old friend gets married. Being someone we've known and kept in touch since secondary school days, the steady progression as 'Nic headed towards marriage never really had that sense of gravity until the final step...

Going steady - fine. Not like we see any more or less of him, since we don't meet much save boardgaming sessions and the Klangite meetups. In fact, as the enthusiastic boardgames prophet he'd even got LiL to join in the fun!

Engagement announcement - Whoa. This almost a year back now. It was a whopper of an announcement (although it shouldn't be too much of a surprise since they've been together since college!). 'Course, this triggered the RM50 Collection Call by the rest of the Klangites (we're not too sure how this worked, but essentially since he's the first among our group to get married he's lost the bet and have to pay everyone RM50, a semi-serious joke).

Marriage announcement - Okay. With the engagement announced, it's down to waiting for the Big Day. And an interesting date too, the six-seven-eight. This, we remembered, led to the discussion on dates to get married and stuff, and Webchitect suggesting 10th October 2010. As he goes, "TEN ten ten!" (you know, the chinese-accented way of dramatic sound-making). Still, 06-07-08 was easy to remember and wouldn't clash with the Olympics.

And as the date drew closer we soon had the preview of the wedding cards. Pretty things with lotsa love and effort put in.

Hen party cum zhimui event - As far as we knew, the zhimuis were throwing a karaoke party for the couple at Red Box Pavilion last Thursday, and the hengdais were invited. 'Course, it being Thursday night the Penang Klangite hengdais weren't able to make it and it was up to those of us here to provide 'Nic with backup against the zhimuis.

In the end he'd only three hengdais to help him out with the zhimui event. We were late and turned up after the challenges were over. :P And due to the motto, 'What happens at Red Box stays happened at Red Box' no one except the zhimuis will have evidence of what the hengdais had to go through...

Well, we still helped out with the karaoke and would say that our only tough bit was having to duet 'No Air' with one of the zhimui. And till that day we would say that we'd never listened to No Air completely - we didn't find the song all that nice so when it came up on radio we'd just tune into another station.

Big Day on Saturday - With the six-seven-eight stuck firmly in our head it took a bit of effort to remember that it was the lunch function that was on that date and not the church wedding itself. Starting out from his old house to meet all the hengdais at his family's new place at Ambang Botanic, a quick photo session on the bridal bed, then it's off to Bangsar to drop the flower bouquet (and for the assigned drivers NJH and TTY to pick up the bride's relatives).

Then it was down to Assumption Church for the rest of us to mill about usher guests. Coats were considered optional dress code, as it was gonna be rather warm at the church. In the end, it was coats and no tie for everyone (after all since you guys made suits in Bangkok might as well put them to use right?).

What caught our attention during the church wedding was that Bubbles was there, taking part in the marriage vows. Best man Ivan had to hold on to Bubbles while Bubbles held on to the rings. What also confused us was that Bubbles was wearing a veil. While, true, we'd never ascertained Bubble's gender but we always thought of him as male.

After the wedding ceremony and lunch, the hengdais thought to spend some time together till the open house at night ('Nic refuses to call it a wedding dinner heh). So we'd all milled about at Starbucks after balking at the long queue at MidValley GSC, then heading on to Sushi King to kill more time. It's during this period where we heard gems of ghost stories.

The open house saw us all helping 'Nic to finish some of the 5 cartons of wine that he'd bought, led by Ivan the Best Man and the rest of the Penang Klangites. Given that 'Nic isn't much of a drinker and LiL was there to tag team with him, the siblings Little 'Nic and Elder 'Nic was dragged in to drink up.

Wedding lunch at Holiday Villa Subang - With the Chief in tow. We were slightly absent minded that Chief thought we were still drunk from the night's drinking. Holiday Villa was idyllic, except that we were busy sweating so much that we lost the mood to take pictures even when Chief volunteered to help us take pictures. A good lunch, the three cheers followed by the table-to-table yamseng (while watching 'Nic's face slowly turn a darker shade of red as well as seeing how the wine level in his glass never seem to go down), the congratulating as we leave the hall...

And we'll once again congratulate the both of you for taking off to matrimonial bliss, 'Nic and LiL.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Adventures Of Ms Joelle: The Castrati Cages

This story sorta came up while chatting with Shuku. We actually considered drawing it, but realized that it'll take far too long for us to commit proper work to draw it properly. And we intended it to be just a quick short story, rather than a proper one so what we're gonna just do is cut-paste and edit bits of it.

Shuku: Prettyboys.
Janvier: You're watching prettyboys? Castrati? Locked permanently in a cage. Always having to sing for his meals.
Janvier: Dressed only in a simple white gown...whenever the master comes home...he must sing.

Shuku: Not quite so extreme, thankfully.
Janvier: When the master is lounging in the garden sipping drinks reading...he must continually sing.
Shuku:'re scaring me. I could turn that into a story very easily.

So anyways we've just took what we wrote in the chat, editted it slightly and dumped it here:

"Ah, Ms Joelle. So good of you to visit."
"Of course Monsieur Poe. The Academy is very appreciative of your generous donations."
"Only a trifle."
"But what we find more impressive, Mssr Poe, is your vast collection of castrati chorals."
"Ah. Perhaps you'd like to come in to see? There's no need to chat here by the gates."
"Most gladly!"

As they walk through the garden they are accompanied by voices singing.

"Here. Come into the sitting room."

Mssr Poe sits Ms Joelle in a comfy chaise-lounge, and proceeds to tap a password on the security panel on the far wall. As he finishes, a wall panelling slide back to reveal an iron bar cage only as high as Mssr Poe's waist. The cage is filled full with young boys.

The image of chickens in a coop came to Ms Joelle's mind. The boys look cooped but not uncomfortable. All of them wear white smocks, and looks as if they've been brought up all their life in a cage.

Mssr Poe taps the cage twice with a ringed finger. A boy, someone in the back of the cage, starts to sing.

"Just marvellous, Mssr Poe!"
"Come, Ms Joelle, we shall dine here while my boys sing for us."

Mssr Poe wheeled in a tray, and set a table near the fireplace. The boys continued to sing.

"The dinner is sumptuous, Mssr Poe. I cannot identify the sauce, but I must say the meat is tender."
"A family secret, Ms Joelle. I'm glad you enjoy it."
"One question, Mssr Poe...I noticed that all your boys are of various age, but none seem to be older than twelve..."
"Of course, a voice cracking is horrendoes to hear."
"What happens when they grow up, then?"

Mssr Poe leans forward across the table and smiles broadly at Ms Joelle.

"Why, how are you enjoying your dinner, Ms Joelle?"

Hmmm, some notes about the story:
The children never learned how to speak - only sing.
They have to sing for their meals too. If not they don't get to eat.
There are boys in cages everywhere in Mssr Poe's mansion. Hidden away so that no one else can see the source of music.