Monday, October 17, 2011

Lunch with the Chief at Manhattan Fish Market one day:
Chief: Ok, I'd enough. The rest is all yours.
Janvier: No lah, you can eat some more one, you just say that because you think I don't eat enough...
Chief: No. It's all yours.

The Chief then pushes all the remaining rice, chips, prawns, squid and fish over to our side of the large square pan.

We push some of the rice and fish back over to The Chief's side.

The Chief pushes some of it back to us.

We push the chips to form a line right in the middle of the pan.

The Chief gives us a look, and then proceeds to use the chips to make an arrow pointing directly at us.

We rearrange the chips to make the Chinese word, 'no'.

The Chief shoves all the chips back to us and say, "You eat."

And that was that.

So we did finish everything but given the amount of food we've been eating the last few days we had to take a quick siesta at the restaurant while the Chief played games on the iPhone.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crafter's Block

We're having crafter's block. It's like writer's block except that this is in the context of our making birthday cards for the Chief's upcoming birthday celebrations.

Sidenote: attempts to plan the Chief's birthday party early has been met by uncertain RSVPs (ie "wah so early ask, I'm not sure free yet or not") so in the end it all ended up going back to the usual last minute emails, postponing and swapping of dates with different groups.

And now, we haven't a clue what to design for the Chief's birthday card. Well actually just as we started typing this we thought of something, but it's gonna need some thinking out how to get it done as we done have the proper resources to do it...

We've been doing this every year now but we're wondering if we can keep the card themes fresh without resembling something already done (except for certain recurring things like space for the group photo and an area for everyone to sign the card).

Actually, it's possible, just that we need to dump in more money getting more embellishments, and perhaps diversify into stamping or embossing, and more time to learn how to properly do so.

For now, we've got to finish this card tonight!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buzz Buzz Buzz

You know, if this was perhaps a few years back, we would have probably did a sort of timestamp post, e.g.:

1.27am: Welcome to our waiting room!
1.28am: Welcome to our waiting room!
1.30am: BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ
1.30am: Janvier: Fuck you.

But after going through this experience a couple of times, we're trying to be more patient about this. Also, we'll try to multitask to distract ourself from pulling out our hair when we finally get in only to be foiled halfway when something goes wrong even before we'd even filled in the flight guest details.

Sigh. Even as we're typing this we just lost some good tickets as the promotion price just disappeared due to some bloody error.

Patience.

So instead of just clinging onto the laptop waiting on AirAsia's bogged-down website, we just let it load on the iPad while we work on our other projects.

The experience is almost similar.

Probably the only difference is that we can't multitask on the iPad (ie surf other websites, YouTube) but we've more table space to work with now!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Final Final Destination?

We guess we were expecting a fair bit from Final Destination 5.

S'been such a long time since the previous Final Destination aka "The Final Destination", which we recall was in 3D (and yes we watched that in 3D), and honestly the show is so formulaic that we never realized that this is the sixth Final Destination movie, actually (and we watched this in 2D).

Only the first movie actually made any impression on us - because of the sinister way everyone died (they actually highlighted that there was a sinister force at work leading to the deaths rather than it being totally coincidental!) and the way the cast tried to figure out who's the next victim etc. The other movies in the series...well, just before the end credits of Final Destination 5, they showed snippets from all the previous movies, and that helped jog our memory.

In Final Destination 5, it starts out the same: the main hero gets a vision of impending doom where everyone dies graphically, panics and creates a scene, then he and some others escape and cheats death, only to mysteriously die one by one later on.

The death of the first survivor, that was a treat. The way it focused on so many hazards really had us wondering just how the victim would die! The way the victim died, though, had us scratching our head as we can't really see it happening in real life - it was rather Happy Tree Friends. The second victim received similar treatment, focusing on different hazards that had us all guessing.

After that...everything seemed a blur as if the movie couldn't kill the victims fast enough.

Anyways, somewhere near the end of the movie we had an aha moment (let's not spoil it). What further made it an aha moment was when we realized something else that caught our attention just before the first survivor/victim died.

This aha moment was further reinforced at the end of the movie, but it's such that not everyone would realize why. So we felt like checking up to see if we were correct regarding our aha moment.

Hence when we got back home, the Chief and us started watching Final Destination 1. It turned out the Chief couldn't remember watching the movie so we watched the beginning till the point when the plane exploded, and onwards for a couple of creative deaths before calling it a night.

And yes, our aha moment turned out to be correct. And we're hoping this means that there will be no more Final Destination movies!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I WANNA GO SOMEWHERE FOR RAYA

So says the subject of the email thread that was initiated by lad last month in preparation for the long weekend.

So in the email discussions throughout August it was planned for a hike to Chiling Falls (at least we think it was Chiling...we opted out off as we already went hiking with them a couple of months earlier and didn't feel like going hiking again so soon), a day for lunch at Coliseum and boardgaming, a barbeque and potluck dinner and a trip to Sunway Lagoon!

Gosh.

We didn't even need to pack or get stuck in any sort of traffic jam.


So for us the holidays started with a trip to Coliseum for their Chateaubriand Steak. It's been a while since we've been to Coliseum, and fortunately for us the place was opened on the first day of Raya itself! A good start to the day with steak and beer.

After that it was over to esteban's house for some boardgames - we tried this game called Wits And Wagers, where players try to answer American trivia and then bet on the answers they feel closest to the actual answer. All the answers were number based and you'd to bet on the nearest answer without going higher than the actual answer. Mechanic-wise the game was okay, being short with only 7 questions, but American trivia can be a tad limiting for us over here.

After Wits And Wagers, we moved on to That's Life! It's been quite a long time since we've played this game and somehow there wasn't that sense of analysis paralysis as we used to remember from our early games...

After That's Life!, lad decided to start his test-run cooking of siew yoke for the upcoming BBQ. Lad paid RM60 for two large chunks of raw pork from Tesco, and rightly so wanted to test out the recipe he found first. After an hour of roasting in the oven, with some airing now and then and lots of getting rid of the oil that seeped out, lad had a winner recipe! It was absolutely crunchy and yummy! So good, that before anyone thought to take a photo the entire piece was cut up and finished in minutes.


Barbeque night was another night of fun! This time it was decided that everyone had to make something for the potluck - no one was to bring along take outs. We suppose quite a number of people were adverse to KFC. Still, there was quite a lot to expect! There's the chicken wings, sausages and meatballs provided by otousan, the host, lemon provided a carton of beer, the Chief made soya cincau and a jelly dessert, NJAPF brought a salad with chicken in her special secret sauce, 'Vin brought borsch soup, Puddy made nanchos with melted cheese, Stewardess Sal and her Banker Boi supplied lemang with beef and chicken rendang, lad brought more siew yoke, esteban made ravioli, and Stewardess Sue and her friend made a banoffee pie. Us? We scrounged Tesco, MBG and Cold Storage for assorted fruits to go with some Tip Top ice cream.

The verdict by the end of the party?


1. Everyone bringing something tends to lead to a LOT of food. So much that some force feeding may be required.
2. 'Vin says NO MORE SOUP. This because the previous potluck saw a pot of spinach soup left untouched and this time because 'Vin inadvertedly made two big pots of rather sweet borsch soup.

By 10pm everyone was dead tired and the party ended.

And next morning, Sunway Lagoon!

It's actually our first time at Sunway Lagoon. To be exact, our first time visiting the theme parks in Sunway Lagoon as opposed to going there for some event (and Sunway does well when it comes to providing food and entertainment for their events!). Only 6 of us ended up going: lad, esteban, otousan, 'Vin, lemon and us - in this case six was the optimal number: 2 lockers can fit our belongings, the Congo Ride (a water slide where you slide down on a mat) had 6 lanes, allowing us all to race each other down, not to mention an even number meant we could share tubes to ride down the Phyton Ride.

We spent the day at the wet park and at the wildlife park after that (because it was the nearest, we suppose). We wouldn't have mind spending the entire day at the wet park if they had had more rides, rather than 3 main rides. Since we weren't around the wave pool at the right time to experience the wave (instead we caught sight of couples lined up along the wall face sucking like there wasn't anyone else there) we found ourselves at the wildlife park watching the interactive wildlife show (where a macaw did tricks, a wee German girl got to hold a phyton and kissed it, and everyone wanted to touch a rather fat civet cat, including us), walked about looking at all the animals and then spending half an hour hoping to see the arapaimas being fed (we left in the end after a no-show by the fish).

Left around 4ish as everyone only had breakfast and were starving by then. Will we go back again? Not too sure. The last time everyone else went there were years ago, we're thinking it'll be years again when we would go there again, and it would probably with everyone's children by then. Lunch/Dinner was at Hartz Chicken Buffet (again, this is another place that would be visited once in a few years somehow) before everyone left for home.

On the weekend the Chief and us visited the IT Fair at MidValley (for the auctions again, and once again left empty-handed), did some looking about at Low Yat and Sungei Wang and Pavilion, watched Final Destination 5 in the cinema followed by Final Destination 1 and 4Bia back home,


Come Sunday, the Chief and us celebrated the last day of the long weekend by heading down to Klang for a bah kut teh breakfast.


Reaching home we spent the morning eating John King egg tarts and eating soya cincau ice lollies (the Chief had an extra tin of cincau and carton of soya milk!) while finishing up Final Destination, which we initially only intended to watch the beginning (we had an aha moment watching Final Destination 5 and just wanted to check something) but ended up watching the entire show.

We'd suggested tapau-ing some pork home for lunch with Nissin noodles, but decided against OD-ing on pork and so ended up with herbal salted chicken from Damansara Uptown instead. The Chief deboned the chicken first while we cooked the noodles, the Chief was the lucky one with the wishbone, and yes, there was excess chicken so we packed the remaining chicken for breakfast the next day.


And now...after almost a week on holiday, the backlash is TERRIBLE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Office Communications

Colleague: Hello, [company].
Janvier (mechanical voice): [Colleague], zhao an!
Colleague: Shi me zhao an? Shi wan an!
Janvier (still mechanical voice): Ah! Dui bu qi! [Colleague], wan an!
Colleague: Wan an!
Janvier: Ni hao bu hao?!
Colleague: Wo hen hao? Ni le?
Janvier: Wo ye hen hao!
Colleague: Hen hao hen hao!
Janvier: Wo yao wen ta ni...
Colleague: Ah, shi me?
Janvier (normal voice): It's about the end of this year, when are the dates that we're supposed to be coming down...

Yes well we told our colleague we'd have to use Google Translate if we wanted to speak in Mandarin any further.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Road Rage

Right this has to be jotted down before we procrastinate any further.

So yesterday we decided to break the routine and head to FF 1 Mont Kiara instead for Klevin's Pump instead of the usual cardio classes, and on our way there we had a rather unpleasant encounter with what would be a road bully. Unpleasant in that, after a day of nothing but good things and laughter thanks to Foxtrot and The Japanese Tradition YouTubes, this one bit soured up the rest of the day.

Start with us heading down Jalan Dato Abu Bakar towards the T-junction where one would turn left to Phileo Damansara or right towards Bangsar and Hartamas. Along the way, this white Mitsubishi on the right lane makes a good show of showing that he's the kind of driver that drives aggressively, cuts into other people's lane without signaling and cutting it real fine short of causing scraped bumpers and blares his horn at you for signaling to move into the left lane just because he's currently in said lane and speeding his arse off to beat the traffic lights.

Oh well since this is Malaysia, it's quite likely that many people may have started off as good, safe drivers, but given how aggressive the drivers are over here anyone who didn't learn to drive aggressively as a form of defense against other aggressive drivers would end up spending hours on the road due to giving way to callous drivers cutting into their lanes, forcing them to drive oh so very slowly, and waiting ages in a long queue as others instead choose to drive as close to the bottleneck before cutting back into the already congested lane...

So anyways this road bully started off at us by trying to cut into our lane when he drew level, or was perhaps just a couple of inches ahead of our car. You know, that kind of cutting-into-other-people's-lane-by-edging-in-slowly-and-forcing-the-other-car-to-slow-down-or-move-into-the-next-lane-or-else-get-into-an-accident method. Soon enough he realizes that he wouldn't be able to cut in that way and so he cuts in behind us.

That kind of overtaking could be expected on the road, really.

Then later on as we arrived at the traffic lights at said T-junction, we were on the leftmost lane, just slightly ahead of the left exit to Phileo Damansara. Said road bully so happens to be behind us and wants to take the exit.

Instead of waiting for a green light, so that we could move ahead and he could head his own way, he decided that he couldn't wait and honked for us to move forward and make space for him to squeeze into the exit lane.

(We understand that this description is not easy to picture unless one is rather familiar with said location.)

Anyways. Fellow honks us to move forward. We can't move forward unless we want to knock the bumper of the car in front of us, so we didn't budge. Fellow honks again and for longer.

And the next thing you know said road bully decides to go ahead and squeeze in, and somehow manages to squeeze between the curb and our car...

...And proceeds to wind down his window and hammer on our front passenger window, before driving off down Phileo Damansara.

Whoa. That's a first.

Since he had to squeeze his way through, we had enough time to whip out our iPhone and jot down his car plate number. We then proceeded on to 1 Mont Kiara, and after a quick chat with the Chief (via Whatsapp) and a gym friend, it was agreed upon that this would count as road bully behaviour. However, we weren't sure just what we could achieve by reporting this incident as we weren't hurt and Aidan wasn't damaged (save for the road bully's oily smudge of his knuckles on the window).

So after gym and dinner, we headed off to our nearby police station and made a report. We thought it best to give ourself a measure of protection - if we should cross paths with him again and things took a turn for the worse, we would have a report to back us up. Also it would be good to help others - we're thinking that if someone else falls victim to him then our report might confirm his behaviour.

Armed with his car plate number, we walked into the station to make our report. Sitting at the counter, the officer took our statement, we showed her using our iPhone Maps where the incident took place, and then proceeded to open Notes to show the information we took down.

Before she looked at the note, the officer wanted to see the location again (she probably wasn't too familiar with the area), hence we switched back to Maps. The iPhone was on the table facing her. Once she was done, we switched back to Notes - only we had accidentally touched the screen somehow and was about to send the note as an email - the draft screen appeared.

We wanted to cancel the draft, and at the pop-up asking us if we wanted to delete the draft we tapped the red 'Delete Draft' button...

...only...

...our note seemed to have disappeared as well. Somehow the note got deleted as well. And we couldn't remember the car plate number save for a couple of letters (which was why we wrote the note in the first place).

The disappointment, despair and embarrassment we suffered at such misfortune! To be let down at the last minute!

In the end the officer did continue on to finish the report, and then provided us with the station's telephone number in case of anything. So we guess, this is the best there is for now.

At least we're thankful that it didn't lead to any fights nor damage to our car!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Parents vs Grandparents

We've heard it said that parents discipline their kids while grandparents spoil their grandchildren. Something like that.

And in the case of our niece, this is proving to be slightly true. Not that her parents are strict on her (goodness for parents to be strict disciplinarians to a wee toddler?) but with her grandparents the dotage is far more obvious (in addition to the usual attention babies get!).

For in addition to her usual meals, she's getting McDonald's soft serve ice cream to snack on while her dinner's cooking and Cupcake Chic cupcakes for tea time. Her grandmum even had us searching at three Starbucks branches for eclairs for her next day breakfast. When we told our sister about our hunting for eclairs, she commented that bread and butter would have sufficed for her breakfast.

Of course, the reason for our hunting for eclairs was because there wasn't any bread in the house...

Anyways it's probably a good thing that our niece is still too young to fully appreciate that she's being pampered loads by the grandparents, otherwise our niece's parents will have a heck of a time when they get their daughter back!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spa-cation

Now during the last MATTA Fair, the Chief and us spent a bit of time getting some vouchers. This inlcuded vouchers for Lavender Spa in Sri Petaling, which we decided to use on a day where we'd nothing planned.

Now, our expectations of the place were rather, frankly, that it was of the kind that you might see in the Hong Kong TV serials (of the rich family / business tycoon variety) where the actors would at some point be meeting at a spa and the scene would be at the jacuzzi area, only in our case we wouldn't expect the spa to be posh to the extent that there won't be anyone else.

No way would we expect a Balinese haven where the entire day would be spent in some flower scented hot tub or milk bath followed by a 2 hour aromatherapy massage, facials and other such delights.

Hence, we were rather impressed that Lavender Spa's setup was far more, well, modern and well-maintained than we gave it credit for (we're rather cynical of photographs - half the time they never turn out as shown). It did well to allay our concerns of spending the entire day in a run-down dingy spa.

The lockers were secured using not one but two keycards (one assigned to us and another by the locker supervisor), although the downside of it is that it's a bit more of a hassle to access the locker whenever we wanted to. We'd to change into some oversized robe and shorts that could definitely look better, comfortable as it may have been. It certainly put us in mind of hospitals and prisons in a way.

The entire place was clean, there were massage chairs each fitted with a tv screen and headphones, the cafeteria for free food (although they state that they would charge us for any excess food left unfinished), a sort of AV room for movies, a massage area, and even a hair salon. Oh and let's not forget the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and some sort of hydrotherapy pool where you can be blasted by jets of water far harder than the regular jacuzzi.

Occassionally the staff would come up and ask everyone if they were interested in getting their hair washed and blown, or for the massage.

Our vouchers included a massage and a hair wash, and well, we won't say our experience of the massage was good. Not because the Chinese lady didn't know how to give a good massage (meh) but because she spent most of the time lamenting the fact that we didn't understand Mandarin. Since we could still doze off and since we didn't need to pay anything extra, we tuned her out and left her to get on with it.

As for the rest of the day...

Eat (and watch Animal Planet).

Play Tiny Towers (the game was just released not long ago then and we'd just downloaded it befoe heading to the spa).

Watch Animal Planet while lounging on the massage chair.

Eat (and watch Animal Planet).

Watch Animal Planet while once more lounging on the massage chair.

Use the jacuzzi and hydrotherapy thingamabob (and watch Animal Planet).

Shower.

Eat and play Tiny Tower (while taking a break from Animal Planet).

Have our hair washed while our phone charges on one of the power points usually meant for the hairdryer (because Tiny Tower is one hell of a battery sink).

Overall, it was an ok experience that didn't have us raving to go back for more, and if we didn't have our iPhone and didn't bring any other form of entertainment we would have been stuck watching Animal Planet the entire day. Waitaminute, we almost did spend the entire day watching Animal Planet (not that that's a bad thing, AP's actually rather interesting).

In some way it was like taking a little break without having to go far or spending a lot, unlike our other trips. And we certainly did manage to just chill for the entire day. Chalk it up to having to spend the entire day cut off from the outside world.

Of course we could also almost experience the same thing (to a lesser degree) by spending the entire day at The Curve - we can chill at Starbucks at Borders in a sofa with any book we want, we could take a shower at the gym, and head to iKea and chill even more in the concept rooms. Only thing missing would be the free flow of food, though...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

'Tis a term we learnt only a couple of months back but something which we are familiar with.

And so it happened that when the iPad 2 was finally launched here we sort of found ourself arriving at MidValley at 9am to queue up together with NaanBleu.

Now, there are some things in life that we think we should experience at least once before we find ourself unable to do so. Bungee jumping is still someone on that list, we think that we'll only be able to experience such when our wallet is as elastic as the bungee rope.

Queueing up to get a hyped-up item is another. But we do draw the line at queueing up for over a day (we were tempted to start queueing up at 11pm the day before, though, as we were driving past MidValley around the time...) but we don't see how we can actually stay in a non-moving line for over half a day, really. What if you need to answer the call of nature? Will others in the queue be good-natured enough to let you keep your spot? What about meals?

Anyways we opted to try arriving at 9am - thankfully parking was still plentiful and the queue, well, the queue was only halfway around the corridor.

Joining the queue, we realized we made one mistake: while we pretty much reminded ourself to bring along a fan, we ended up leaving it in the car. And central air-conditioning in MidValley doesn't start till after 10am. Thankfully we arrived before NaanBleu so we texted her to bring a fan for us, else we'd be sweating like mad the entire morning.

Before the store opened, staff from Machines were walking down the queue, asking everyone in line how many iPad 2s were they looking to buy (a maximum of two) and for which model and colour. Overall, we think they did this quite well, it was well organized. They had cards corresponding to the number of iPads of each model and colour, so once they'd run out of cards for a particular type it meant that said type was sold out.

Well we admit throughout the entire time we were queueing and before the fellows from Machines got to us, we were still in two minds as to whether we wanted to get an iPad 2 or not. We could pretty much justify our purchase one way or another (the Chief had, in a moment of exasperation after trying to disassuade us from getting one during the days prior to the launch, accurately observed, "If you really want it you will find all sorts of reasons to get it.". Mind you, the Chief was probably using reverse psychology but it wouldn't have affected us, we were still undecided about it till launch day...)

Even when it was finally our turn to decide on a model (which was easy: white 16GB wifi-only), during the entire time queueing up till we reached the cashier we were already facing buyer's remorse.

It's interesting. Feeling buyer's remorse when we haven't even paid for the iPad 2 and could have asked anyone else in the line if they were interested in having ours.

But be damned if we would give away the iPad 2 after queueing up for it! So buyer's remorse it was.

The queue progressed fairly slowly, even once when we were at the entrance of Machines. It's a good thing we came with NaanBleu for this, we kept each other company and occasionally chatted with others in the queue, asking others if they were going to get casings as well, or data plans, etc. We even bumped into Caipifruta's Awesomeville Aaron who was there with his dad, the lucky bugger - his dad was getting him a white 64GB (can't recall if it was the 3G or wifi model)!

Once at the entrance they had staff acting as bouncers, slowly letting the line trickle through, and when we got in we realized why...

...there was another queue once inside Machines! By this time it was nearly 1pm and our feet and legs were letting us know that they've been holding our weight for some 4 hours now.

And soon it was all over. We paid up, got the iPad 2 in a big Machines plastic bag, made our way out and started window shopping for casings while NaanBleu bought screen protectors and had the staff fix it on for her. We had ours activated within the store, and after that we headed off to McDonalds for brunch and to get off our feet.

Now this, we found the experience to be slightly tiring but it wasn't all that bad. Machines had it pretty well organized, even though with 4 cashiers payment was still terriby slow but we'd say that there weren't any bad moments to the entire experience. Would we do it again? Probably not, haha, but you can never tell so far with Apple and their magical revolutionary marketing.

Now, the Bon Odori, the idea of having to head out to get all sweaty isn't putting smiles on our face (even though it was a fun experience) but the Chief has not been to the Bon Odori before, and, well, it's almost 5 years since our last Bon Odori...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spring Cleaning 2011

Perhaps more like Summer Cleaning by the time we write about this. Basically this was what got us thinking about how much of a hoarder we are.

And it all started with just one drawer.

From the beginning we had designated a drawer for electronics - old music players, chargers, cables. And in the beginning, the drawer managed to fit everything in with no problem. This was, of course, some 7 years ago. We could dump in everything and still have plenty of room.



Fast forward to the now, and that drawer is full to the brim. If we only kept cables and electronics that we rarely use in there, then we wouldn't bother about it so much. But as we keep our chargers in there too, we dip into the drawer almost every night (given just how often we Whatsapp and check our Facebook/email/feeds, we actually need to charge our iPhone 3GS twice a day).

So sometimes, things get tangled up in there. And there are cables that we're not too sure of their origins, whether they are mini-USB cables that came with our Canon iXus or with our Sony Minidisc player, that kind of thing.

So, we thought, it's time we tried to organize things.

We admit that we sometimes get rather lofty ambitions sometimes (like trying to get our bathroom to look like one of those rather posh hotel bathrooms, not possible but is something we kinda like to dream could be achieved without any sort of renovation...). We blame iKea for this.



But with just one single drawer we pretty much had a practical idea what to do about it: go get some plastic baggies to organize the stuff nicely.

Now this goal is rather straightforward and ought to take not more than an hour, really...
Step 1: Get a fair number of bags from Daiso.
Step 2: Empty out content of drawer.
Step 3: Organize stuff into bags.
Step 4: Neatly pack bags back into drawer.

Except in our case, we also had a few other stuff in said electronics drawer. Some of it, we are well aware of like our collection of playing cards, but we then came across a traveller's pouch that had some old stuff like a confirmation letter and receipt from a B&B that we stayed at in the Lake Gardens District, not to mention a receipt from the old Malaysian Embassy in London, and oddly enough, Sporeland coins. Also, we find a wee envelope of old passport photos.



So we basically emptied out almost everything from the drawer, and started sorting it all out...

And quite likely because of that traveller's pouch we started looking for where some of the contents of said pouch should go. Starting with the coins.

That got us looking in our wardrobe for a couple of camera film containers we know were somewhere in there, because we thought we kept some coins in them. We couldn't remember what currency, though.

And the search for that began our spring cleaning essentially - as certain things were left untouched for a long while now and have not only built up a layer of dust, but have also herded in a bunch of dust bunnies as pets too.

Generally most our spring cleaning tends to happen in the middle of the night - and at a time when we don't really expect to be doing spring cleaning. We'll pick up an object, note the heavy layer of dust, get a tissue and make it wet, wipe said object clean and trash the now-dirty tissue.

Then, we find that said object (in this case the film containers) we just cleaned isn't really what we were looking for, and now we try another object (this time, a large plastic container with more assorted coins in it).

Repeat cleaning process with a couple more tissues.

And find out now that we have souvenir pressed-penny coins from the US and UK in those containers, mixed together with coins from all over, and it should all be more organized.

Sigh. Now remove all Sporeland coins from both film and plastic containers, and try the coin pouch. Dump all Sporeland coins into coin pouch, and when that is full, the overflow to go into the Sporeland wallet as quick accessible change.

Once this is done, we notice that certain stuff we've not touched in ages have dust all over, hey, that Swatch iRony should go back into its box since we're not wearing it, rather than collecting dust...

More cleaning, more dusting, more taking out old stuff and rearranging things within the wardrobe.

Hey, we've sort of abandoned our organizing of the electronics drawer now.

OK, there's still those receipts et cetera from UK, those should go into the box of UK Memorabilia, bring that out, and then we're reminded of birthday cards over the last couple of years that we wanted to file away in the bigger box of General Memorabilia. Start on that, now...

And it's probably some 4 hours later when we've finally organizing the electronics drawer. Some things made it into the trash can all right but most would have survived for another day...



We didn't make more space, but then again the aim for the baggies was to make it easier to pull out the bag containing all our Apple cables and power adapters!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hoarder's Horde

Right.

We confess, we're pretty much a hoarder - stuff from our youth have followed us through the ages till now. A wallet from our school days, coins from all over still stacked inside those cylinder camera film containers, ATM receipts from Glasgow (of all things to consider as a souvenir), our student cards (and the lanyards too), and the boxes from all our gadgets and gizmos (even if said gadget is no longer with us!).

And stuff just keeps adding up!

We find cables that we're not sure goes with which device, mp3 players we don't use any more (alas, Sony, Apple's taken over...), old mobile phones (alas, Nokia, Apple's taken over...), card games, old VCDs and DVD games that we don't play any more (alas, Nintendo and Apple's taken over...).

And the thing is, the thing about all these old keepsakes, is that...

...it's so hard to let go of sometimes!

For some things, like old mobile phones and music players, it's more of because we paid quite a fair bit of money for it, hence we find it hard to accept that if we were to sell it, it would probably only fetch a meagre ten to twenty percent of the original price.

While we guess old electronics may be acceptable, the empty packaging boxes, empty glass honey bottles, 5.25" diskettes, old pens from drug companies, paper bags (kept, unused ever again), angpows from years past are a bit hard to explain...

We'll just have to wait till a cleaning fit comes over us and we start deciding what stays and what goes!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Touch Fighter

Okay, we're pretty much a Street Fighter gamer and SF4 had us excited because it marked the return of the old roster of fighters in a rather pretty package. Great graphics, still great gameplay, new Ultra/Super/focus attack mechanics, and... bugger, still a blood cheap boss at the end.

Then SF4 came out for the iPhone, and even with the virtual joystick, the simplified controls worked extremely well. There wasn't the need to do the full motion of controls to perform a special move, now we just needed to push forward and press the SP button. Viola! Instant Dragon Punch.

Combos just got easier.

Only it wasn't really so fair, because for the fighters with charge moves like Chun-Li and Guile, as you'd still need to charge in one direction for a couple of seconds before you can execute the move.

Then came Super Street Fighter 4 for the 3DS, and boy, things got even more simpler (and much more impressive!). Now we have the entire roster of fighters available in Super Street Fighter 4, there's all that alternate costumes and colours, nothing's missing from the game, and they've made all the buttons customizable (and included four more buttons on the touch screen)!

With all the buttons being customizable, now it's even more easier to perform ridiculously difficult-to-pull-off combos!

But yet it all works for the mobile gaming platform. Quick simple fun, anywhere, anytime.

It's just that...we're so spoilt now with the simple controls that we're not sure we can play SF4 properly on the console or arcades any more...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Super Dynamic!

Oh looky. Blogger has gone and made some new viewing modes called Dynamic View. So now instead of the usual style (which we had spend a fair bit of time years ago deciding on a theme, and switching twice so far to this current theme), we can go...

Flipcard

Mosaic

Sidebar

Snapshot

Timeslide

It's Super Dynamic Viewing Time!

Generally the new Dynamic View gave us that feeling like when Apple introduced Cover Flow for iTunes, and then for their iPods and iPhones: we need to post up at least one photo per post.

But here's the thing.

Us, we use the NewsRack app to download blog updates to read (the problem with NewsRack is that sometimes trying to comment isn't easy as using Safari itself).

Others use Google Reader. Or probably the sidebar of a blog where the latest posts show up.

And while we do have bookmarks to blogs we keep up with, it's bookmarked for the usual site. So we'll have to manually edit it to get the Dynamic View, but by then we would be too busy reading the post already.

So, uh, Dynamic View, anyone? We guess it'll look pretty if you use your favourite blog as an interactive desktop wallpaper, though.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To All The Girls We Loved Before I

Dear M.

It's has been a long time since we've met. But we hear you're coming back to town! We're excited and can't wait, really.

We remember, we were only twelve when we first met the gang: you, your friends, not to mention your sister and father. A popular bunch, known by many. It wasn't long before we both hit it off, though. We were really taken with your grace, and your coyness at times as you like to hide your face like some shy kitten.

Oh, how we admired your bravery, challenging your father's decisions at times.

When we first met, well...those were good times. Most nights we spent together, time slowed down for us indeed.

Of course, we had our differences. Like your choice to wear magenta hued clothes, and the murderous glares you gave us when we suggested you try on green once in a while as it was our favourite colour. Hey, little did we know then that your sister's bodyguard (rich family that you are from) that you disliked wore green.

Then, a few years later, you disappeared. You and your sister. As you were always fighting with your dad, we knew better than to ask him. Your mum didn't have news about you, too.

We left the gang, not having any way to keep in touch with them as they moved on to further popularity.

Sad to say the few times we could meet up with the gang, you weren't around. Especially some 12 years ago now, when the gang fell in with the '3D graphics' hype, you weren't there to celebrate. We wondered if you were cut off by then, deemed not popular enough. In our heart we knew this could not be true, and the gang, well, the competitive bunch would never offer any answers. Well, once again, it was only much later when we found out you were still around but by then we never did get to see you...

But you came back! 7 years ago you came back!

And you looked gorgeous, M! It was the best we've ever seen you.

We even heard that you were featured in Playboy. Don't worry, we weren't jealous of you. We were honestly glad to have have you back with us.

Those were happy days again. We would come back from work and you would even demonstrate your new martial art skills to us, and while we prefered the speed you performed Ying Yeung stances, you chose to go with the more graceful and powerful Mian Chuan style.

Well...both of us had moved on since. We did meet up once in a while, but rarely.

But we hear you'll be coming back to visit us again. We can't wait.



We do hope this new Mortal Kombat won't be a bomb. Come back and entertain us once again, Mileena!

We still liked you best in Deception, followed by MKII.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Tea Snob

Us. Admittedly.

All thanks to the Chief who graciously procured for us an electric kettle for our own use in the office.

And it's not as if we have no hot water in the office! There be one of those filter machines that dispense both hot and cold water, not to mention there are the coffee machines that we could just use to heat up water in case the filter machine is switched off. However, being a tea snob, we would prefer to use boiling water for our tea.

Yes! For tea is to be steeped for 3-5 minutes in boiling water! After which, the leaves are removed and we will add in honey and a lemon slice!

Well. We have ran out of tea leaves and will have to make do with tea bags of tea dust at the moment, and the lemons here do not look appealing, hence we currently only have our tea with leatherwood honey, which is delightfully flavourful.

Now if only the steam rising from the kettle will stop worrying us with setting off the fire alarm somehow (memories of how sensitive the fire alarms were in James Blyth Court come back to mind!).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Suspicious Manna

...from heaven, so far. Causing us some confusion.

See, today as we were doing some online banking, we noticed that one account had a sudden noticiable increase in balance. Surprising and noticiable because we rarely do much with that account.

We called up the bank and was not able to trace the source of money - customer service informed us that it was their policy not to reveal the source. The best we got was a vague assumption that it was either some form of salary or dividends.

Not that we know of any of that sort going into that particular account, no. And the description on the transaction made no sense to us too.

The Chief denies having anything to do with it. We've yet to check with our parents, however, if it were from family we would have been informed of it earlier. Oh, not to mention for the family it's normally through a different bank. And we've not joined any contests from any banks or anywhere, and for those we should be getting some prior notification.

So here we are with a little bounty. And next thing you know, we get word on Facebook that the Nintendo 3DS has landed on our shores. Limited stocks and all that. Prices out and confirmed.

mmm. We're tempted. Confused and tempted. We could go on a spree, only to find out much later someone coming to lay claims about that cash, like our mum probably suddenly telling us that we should be expecting some paid dividends or interest in our account soon, that's actually belonging to our aunty, please help withdraw and pass it to her, or something to that extent.

Sigh. Admittedly if it was the announcement that the iPad 2 has launched and is available right now we would have probably gone and get one on impulse.

For all we know this could really be a little present to us for us to take and enjoy, and here we are doubting it!

Update: There's something wrong with the WYSIWYG on IE9, hence we'd to reedit everything via HTML!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Breakfast At Janvier's

Last weekend. Woke up to the sound of someone playing Cooking Dash in our room. The sound alternates louder and softer, as the Chief brings the iPhone nearer to and further away from our ear.

Freshen up, head downstairs, halve scones, plop scone halves into the oven, take butter out from the fridge to warm, decided on Lipton tea instead of the lemon scented Twinings tea, drop in sugar cubes into two cups and pour in hot water, get the honey out as well as the honey server, get out the breakfast plates, remove buns from Bread Talk from their wrapping.

Wait for the oven to go ding! signalling that scones are now warm. Apply butter to warm scones, use honey server to apply a bit of honey at the center of each scone halves, press halves back together, place scones along with buns on breakfast plates, set on table mat on the kitchen dining table, remove tea bags from cups, clear clutter.

Simple breakfast is served.

Chief: So we will have breakfast like this when we stay together?
Janvier: Ya.
Chief: Yay!
Janvier: But only if you wake us up.
Chief: ...
Janvier: And only on weekends.
Chief: ...
Janvier: Well you'll definitely wake up before us what!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dangerous Reads I: The Unsatiable Hunger

Last year Junior gave us one rather dangerous book to read as a birthday present.

Julia Child's My Life In France.

Let us take an exerpt:

"The pièce de résistance for the evening was a mammoth galantine de volaille, which took me three days to creat and had been adopted from a recipe in Larousse Gastronomique. First you make a superb buillion - from veal leg, feet and bones - for poaching. Then you debone a nice plump four-pound chicken, and marinate the meat with finely ground pork and veal strips in Cognac and truffles. Then you reform the chicken, stuffing it with a nice row of truffles wrapped in farce and a fresh strip of pork fat, which you hope ends up in the center. You tie up this bundle and poach it in the delicious buillion. Once it is cooked, you let it cool and then decorate it - I used green swirls of blanched leeks, red dots of pimiento, brown-black accents of sliced truffle, and yellow splashes of butter. The whole wasthen covered with beautiful clarified-bouillion jelly."

Goodness!

When we first started reading the book we immediately had to stop after a few chapters, when Julia Child started talking about her arrival in France.

She has this passionate way of writing and describes food with such detail that, if we were not hungry or eating, we would be while reading her book; and if we were eating a meal and reading her book, we would still get hungry because her meals sounds so much better.

Either way, we lose.

Which is why, while we had this book since last year and Junior's waiting on us to finish the book so he can borrow it, we've yet to finish it (and us being able to finish a book relatively fast). It's like, um, having to lick envelopes to seal them, with the adhesive being salty that for every envelope you lick and seal, you have to stop to drink lots of water, and unable to continue for a while.

We really wonder how to finish this book.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dispensing With Automatic Impulse Buy

Just during the weekend we'd to rush into Tesco to grab some vanilla ice cream, ice cream cones, and a bag of ice for a potluck event, and we chanced upon this as we headed to the ice cream aisle.

Dettol now has an automatic handwash dispenser, that runs on batteries. We'd only time to snap a photo, check a bit of the details, then head on to get what we came for.

So during the potluck, we had the chance to tell the Chief about the handwash dispenser, and our interest in getting one.

The Chief was agreeable when we said that we were interested in getting one until we clarified that we wanted to get it for ourself, to be placed in our bathroom, rather than for use in the office.

The Chief then gave us this look that covered the entire range from Got So Much Money To Burn Ah?, You Very Itchy Fingers Ya, Whatever For?, Waste Of Money, and probably Like That Also Fun all in one, and had us bursting out laughing. We aggravated it some more by miming washing our hands.

But seriously we might just get one, depending on just how efficient it works!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Auction Awareness

There's just somethng about the PC Expo auction that had us being slightly reckless and needing to consciously keep ourself in check. Thank goodness the Chief was with us, really, to help figure out a limit to how much we were willing to spend on the items we were interested in (it was either the Garmin Nuvi 1350 GPS, the desktop, the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Panasonic 42" LED telly).

Of course, the emcee would first inform us of the normal retail price and the promotion prices of the item to be auctioned, to make sure we were level-headed enough to not bid over the normal retail price.

Initially we never did plan to buy anything from the PC Expo, and then we saw some things we were interested in. So we planned to just take part in the auction, with half a mind to bid just for fun.

Bearing in mind, of course, that unlike playing some boardgame with elements of bidding (where sometimes the idea is to hike up the price of some item to an unreasonable price just because you know another player desperately wants it), if we bid too high a price in this auction, we were going to have to pay for it if we end up winning the bid.

And then somehow the Chief thought that we should actually try and bid for the GPS - we might be able to get it for, perhaps, around RM350 (normally RM545), or at the most, RM450.

And so the bidding began!

Everyone took part in the fun because the emcee enforced a minimum RM1 and maximum RM50 bid, rather than let some bloke bid a price that would just shut everybody else up, turning it into a game of The Price Is Right instead. And we must say that for items not too expensive, having everyone participate can be rather fun.

Because everyone would bid initially, and the starting bid of RM1 would just go up, and at some point most people would drop out, leaving only those who were actually interested to continue.

This was what happened to us! At some point past RM350, it came down to only us and another bloke bidding for the GPS. It's quite a feeling, when you realize everyone's stopped bidding and are watching you and your opponent duke it out.

And with a competitive streak, it's hard to stop sometimes! There we were nicely suggesting a price we were comfortable with paying, and then this other feller starts bidding at RM10 higher! Indignantly we would then raise the bid by another RM10 (because raising it by RM50 would only bring it much closer to the actual price which isn't our intention), and this will go own until we nearly lose track of how much we were willing to bid the item for.

Imagine:
RM1.
RM50.
RM100.
RM150.
RM200.
RM250.
RM300.
RM310.
RM320.
RM330.
RM340.
RM350.
RM360.
RM370.
RM380.
RM390.
RM400.
RM405.
RM410.
RM420.
RM425.
RM430.
RM435.
RM440.
RM450.
RM455.
RM460.


And we let the other fellow have it at RM460. Or RM470. Towards the end when we were both bidding at RM5 increments there were longer and longer pauses as both of us were considering if we should keep raising the price (competitive as we were we managed to keep ourself in check), and while the both of us were at opposite ends we had a clear view of his anguished face every time we raised the price, forcing him to deliberate if he could afford to pay another RM5 more.

And no, we didn't stoop so low as to bid just RM1 higher. No patience for that!

Anyhow it's interesting because when we first entered the PC Expo, we never had the intention to get a GPS! See just how dangerous auctions can be? One minute we're walking in, figuring out a budget for a new desktop, next thing we know, we could have been happily forking out RM500 for a GPS!

Oh well. As for the rest of the items, we lost interest when the bid went higher than half the original price, and saved ourself from an impulse buy.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Year Of The iSlow

This weekend proved to be somewhat tiring, or perhaps we're slowing down, but it's certainly noticeable that the moment we reach home and head up to our bedroom, we can actually just lie in bed and fall immediately to sleep without changing or taking a bath.

Friday night saw us around Cheras after work, so we decided to head to Leisure Mall for our workout and dinner before heading to Old Town Kopitiam Cheras for some boardgaming. We'd no problem getting to Leisure Mall due to some handy directions on taking the back roads rather than going through the main highway, but it was our journey from Leisure Mall to OTK that was a navigating nightmare!

We left Leisure Mall at 9pm only to reach OTK at almost 10.30pm!

Got home around 2.30am, knocked out straightaway when we laid down in bed.

Saturday now, we had the Chief drop us off at Midvalley for a quick look-see at the PC Expo (the Chief already visited the Expo on Friday didn't join us as it was too crowded).

Less then an hour and we were out of there, having made a quick skim and taking catalogues of what we were interested in. Then we headed down to Subang for pork noodle at Pomander before mooching over to Subang Parade, where we managed to get a pouch for our iPhone and a present for our niece (a good shopping experience aided by a bargaining-savvy Chief!).

After that the Chief brought us for dinner at Betty's Midwest Kitchen at Aman Suria!

There's something about us eating at such porky establishments...prior to this we dined at Blue Cow Cafe at Plaza Damas, and now at Betty's Midwest Kitchen, we order as if we were never coming back to the establishment and wanted to try everything in one sitting.

Hence we had the Classic Meatloaf as recommended, the Pig-In-A-Blanket, Crispy Bacon, the Roasted Chicken and Onion Soup, and the 'Dog Food' (fries in cheese and gravy). While we had to wait some 10-15 minutes to get a seat, our order was taken while we waited and upon sitting at our table all the dishes came almost immediately! We suppose most of the dishes were already prepared and just needed some heating up - especially because of the bacon.

The bacon turned out dry and crispy and not really salty, while we were actually expecting fried oily bacon with the fatty bits still on it, the whole thing crispy and oily and salty enough to cause our arteries to panic as we enjoy the sinful bit of meat.

Stuffed ourselves silly and, once home, napped a while before summoning up the willpower to go shower and change and catch up on our Cityville before sleeping.

And on Sunday, we had two performances to attend! First up, the Tribute To John Williams by the MPO.

A great and lively performance! Theme music from Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Memoirs Of A Geisa, Close Encounter Of The Third Kind, Hook, Jaws, Yes, Georgio and E.T., and for the encore, the march from 1941.

Then we'd to rush off to find St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church after that! Just earlier last week we came across a Facebook event for a performance of Faure's Requiem, and we were keen to watch the performance. Turns out that it wasn't just any performance, but a tribute to the late Armando Chin Yong too, performed by Cantus Musicus.

We had some issues, although we're not a professional singer or musician...small issues like certain Latin pronunciations and the little mishap during a repeat performance of Agnus Dei at the end of the performance, where the organist and the sopranos/altos got jumbled up due to a miscue. The biggest issue we had was with one of the tenors, whom we nicknamed Mr Expressive. His face! Goodness he had his eyes opened wide and focusing so hard on the conductor, and his mouth always forming an O either 2 beats before he's supposed to sing (so we know when he's going to sing if we didn't already know the requiem) or when he's pronouncing certain words. It's amazing, even when pronouncing the 'em' in 'requiem', his mouth forms an O.

His singing was good but it was very, very distracting watching him. It was better after we took off our glasses.

Immediately after the performance it was back to MidValley for the auctions at the PC Expo! Arrived just in time for the auction, and was only interested in the bidding for the Acer desktop, the Dell laptop, the Garmin Nuvi 1350, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. In all cases we didn't win the bid, although we were close with the GPS as it was within reasonable limits (we stopped at, what, RM460 for the GPS, which we were told costs RM545?).

This time we weren't as tired as the past two days, but still we found ourself dozing off the moment we were horizotal!

This may be the year of the iPad 2, but it's also the year where we start slowing down!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

iGaming

It's a bit of a predicament.

With our Nintendo DS, our games were basically limited by, firstly, our wallet, as games here are not cheap (easily anywhere between RM150-RM200 each for a popular game, goodness we've sunk quite a fair bit into this), and secondly, there aren't too many games so we can basically just focus on what we want most (which would mainly be the Mario and Zelda games, can't go wrong with those, and we must say the Castlevania series on the NDS were entertaining enough with better replayability than the former in our case).

Since we've gotten our NDS (good gosh, when was this? Late 2004? Mid-2005?) it's earned the title of Most Valuable Gaming Asset - trumping PC gaming and all the consoles whatwith the ability to play games anywhere, anytime, even before going to sleep.

Then the iPod Touch came out, and the App Store in all its infancy never did have much games that would cause us to impulse buy. Yes, well, much later on as the App Store started growing and we started using the iPod Touch for more than just mobile surfing we deliberated lenghtily before buying anything on the App Store (because it's in USD and not RM!). The most expensive app we bought back then was probably ToDo, at USD4.99, after trying a few other free to-do apps. Motion-X's Poker Quest was probably one of the first few games we ever bought, too.

Then Tap Tap Coldplay came along and we didn't deliberate for very long. Tap Tap Coldplay's probably still one of the best Tap Tap apps, featuring their best songs from all their albums, unlike the disappointing Lady Gaga Revenge which only featured songs from her first album The Fame, hence there were lots of remixes that weren't to our fancy.

Anyways.

Time goes by and the App Store starts filling up with more and more games. There are ports of old games which hit our Nostalgia button and may probably hit our Impulse Buy button at the same time (ie The Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition), there are boardgames converted over to the iOS that we will access before going for the Deliberate Buy (Carcassone being the poster boy of a game well done), and then there are games that, due to their popularity, we may just buy if we like the gameplay (like Angry Birds, which we would never had bought if we never did get to try out their Lite Version beforehand, and Robot Unicorn Attack, because of Erasure's 'Always' admittedly).

We've just counted 71 game apps currently on our iPhone (inclusive of the Inception app). There's more we left on our pc without syncing over to the iPhone, due to us not playing them ever (like the Rolando series) or because we have to play something else first (like Simon The Sorcerer 1 before we can play Simon The Sorcerer 2), or perhaps because we've finished the game (like Beneath A Steel Sky).

The point is, thanks to Touch Arcade (and their AppShopper app), we've been on the lookout for more games! More and more games!

So much so that we've no time to finish all our old games! Both remakes of Monkey Island sit unfinished, especially after we've inexplicably lost our save game files and have to replay from scratch, while we spend an absurd amount of time replaying Devil May Cry 4 Refrain, Street Fighter 4, Seventh Guest and Battleheart!

And the games keep on coming especially when they are either priced at USD0.99, or they go on sale from USD9.99 to USD0.99 (the very unexpected Street Fighter 4!)! App pricing? A topic for another time.



OH MY GAH!

And it's not as if we've stopped playing games on our NDS (asides from the fact that there aren't any new games that would cause a Near Impulse Buy), but The World Ends With You does keep track of when we last played, and suffice to say it's not three times a day. Or even once a day.

After all that rambling...

We're actually considering the Nintendo 3DS. Sold out on day one in Japan. Coming out in US next month. Wondering how much the price tag will be once it hits our shores. Should be higher than our NDS, but will it cost almost the same as our Wii? And asides from Super Street Fighter 4, what other games are there? Will it be worth it? Or shall we drown in more iOS games?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Berserk Button

When it comes to cockroaches in our house, they hit our Berserk Button because we can't abide to think of what they may contaminate with their touch (especially when you have absolutely no idea where they have been). See us brandish rolled-up newspaper and bug spray in search for extermination.

Mice don't really trigger our Berserk Button, even though when you think about it they are terrible pests too: they're dirty, they nibble all over, they leave their droppings everywhere. Perhaps we will end up playing broom golf if ever we bump into one of them in our house.

As for lizards, they may leave the occasional dropping after ransacking our rubbish bag for leftovers, but they scurry away oh so fast. Oh, not to mention we don't fancy dealing with a wriggling tail left behind if we decide to do something to said lizard. And there's the fact that you can already see a lizard's insides, what with a lizard not having the decency to have opaque skin, we were not looking forward to see the insides on the outside.

So tonight, here we were, sitting in front of our desk facing the wall, we turned on the laptop and...

...this great big spider skitters along the wall and stops right in front of our sights.

We spent about 5 minutes just looking at the thing. And yes, even took the time to bloody photograph it. Even went up close and personal, and boy, it had large chelicerae (or fangs or mandibles or whatever thing is related to its mouth) too. The entire thing was huge when compared to the usual wee spiders we come across in our previous house. This kind of spiders we expect to find outdoors, not in our bedroom.

We're not sure where we heard it before that it's the smaller spiders that tend to be the poisonous ones, but hey, small or large, with no knowledge in identifying exactly what kind of spider we were dealing with, we do not cherish waking up the following morning only to be greeted by said spider on our face greeting us good morning.

Only after a while we steeled our nerve and attempted to crush it with a bunch of tissues. And as we moved to the tissue box, the spider sensed our killing intent and scurried behind our rack of boardgames, bags and boxes.

Tissues were no longer an option as we would need to sweep it out. Sticking our hand in would only lead to unfortunate accidents. So we went downstairs to get a newspaper and try to find the bug spray.

We couldn't find the bug spray.

We didn't dare leave the spider alone for too long, as it may scurry into some dark corner and hide till we give up, only to ambush us some days later when we decide to take out a board game or when we stuff clothes into our gym bag. Or if not us, our mum or the cleaner when they go about cleaning the house, or our Wee Wog when she potters about in our room.

Arachnophobia it may be but we weren't going to spend all night thinking of an elegant solution to transport the spider out of our house. Not to mention, we haven't really figured how the bloody thing came into our room in the first place. Open window? Toilet window? Ventilation windows somewhere? Attic?

Some swatting and the spider managed to evade us as we chased it from the corner of the windowsill where it lurked, jumping to our bag straps (boy can it jump!), to skittering about the legs of the rack till it went behind our desk (which was up against the wall).

We really needed that bug spray now. We still couldn't find that bug spray.

Back to our room and we decided we need to shift stuff away and get to that spider before it disappears. Shifted the rack away from the corner, pulled the curtains away to the centre, started shifting boxes from under our desk to out of our room, pulled the table away from against the wall (the table was heavy as we have mountains of books on it, and we weren't keen on scratching the parquet floor).

We jumped more than a couple of times when, for example, the carpet brushed against our leg as we were pulling out a box from under the table.

Oh wait, we think we know where the bug spray is!

Rushed down, found the bug spray, came back up, and started spraying places where we suspected the spider could be. Much to our surprise Shelltox doesn't smell as strong as it used to 15 years ago. Still, we were not going to indescriminately fumigate our room just to try and smoke out a spider we weren't sure would be susceptible to bug spray marketed for killing mosquitoes.

In the end, we found the spider behind our table, fallen to the floor, writhing.

Made us feel like a heel for not being able to give it a quick death, and so we swatted it to end the misery.

Now we wonder just how the fuck does Froggie put up with all the insects and lizards and all manners of creepy crawlies he photographs. Perhaps it's because they're not in his room.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CNY Recap, 2011

And...

This year's Chinese New Year was spent being sick the entire time. Started before eve where we picked up the flu bug of the backdrip variety, which meant itchy throat, some difficult sniffling, and lots and lots of chesty chesty coughing.

We thought it was an okay time to fall sick, since all we had to do was rest and there isn't much one can do during the first couple of days of CNY, hence we thought no problem.

Until the reunion dinner.

Now we think best time to fall sick is after the family dinners is best. Especially since our reunion dinner was held in a restaurant this year - while waiting for each course we had to head to the restrooms to hawk up and all that. Very inconvenient.

But being sick on CNY isn't all that bad otherwise. Sleep, wake up, eat, play Starcraft, play Cityville, sleep again. Stay far away from baby. No need to go anywhere, drive anyone, do anything.

It was a good four days of rest, and then we were back to work on Monday, still sick. Which wasn't all bad because we were the only one at work on Monday, hence we needn't worry about spreading it about.

We got better in time for the TTDI visitations last Saturday - the day was spent gambling at lad's (blackjack), Puddy's (In Between) and TTP's (Texas Hold'em Poker) houses. Texas Hold'em Poker was interesting because Long Leaping actually owns a set, complete with chips, cards and even bought a felt poker table mat!

Unlike gambling at Blackjack or In Between, where we only left the dollar gambled out in plain sight while all other cash remained hidden in the wallet, for Texas Hold'em we swapped money for chips, hence there wasn't so much a fear of losing money. Perhaps because we've already considered the RM10 we've swapped for chips as lost already, and it was a fixed sum (unlike the other games where we can continue playing till our wallet was sapped dry).

Anyways.

It's Chap Goh Meh today and we're still sick with a mild dry cough that probably gets aggravated in cold dry air-conditioned rooms in the middle of the night.

And we've not eaten a single mandarin the entire CNY!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Countering Commercialism

This is the season for florists, and we do remember asking before the prices and one particular florist did actually quote us different prices based on when we wanted to buy the flowers (naturally, with prices on V-day being anywhere up to twice the usual price!). Hence we'd only bought just one rose previously, balking at spending for an entire bouquet (and we think The Chief would have disapproved at the expenditure). No, it's not that we were being cheap, it's just that we thought it's possible to get a nice bunch of flowers at a decent price if we looked.

And then last year as we visited Petaling Street we came across stores and stores of florists! Selling bouquets in all sizes! Hence we made a mental note to come by this Valentine's Day to see if we could get a decent dozen or something.

Last we asked at a florist near home, we were told a dozen costs RM200 (on the day itself). As for our expectations for the prices at Petaling Street, we expected probably somewhere RM120.

Parked at Pasar Seni, crossed the road, arrived at the largest florist with the entrance filled with bouquets and such, and was pleasantly surprised to see that our estimation was actually higher.

We would have gone for the bouquet straightaway but decided to take a walk and see what the other stores had to offer. And asides from the ready-made bouquets, there were also roses, wrapped up in dozens, still with their leaves and thorns, for sale. Also in assorted colours! And as we were walking off, we heard someone ask the price of those roses. Turns out to be only a fraction of the bouquets!

And so in the end we bought a dozen pink roses, a few stalks of white daisies and a vase for only a fraction of a bouquet (although admittedly the bouquet looks nicer compared to our offering)! And the florist even helped us remove the thorns and excess leaves, trim it to a suitable height for the vase, and arrange it before tying it up and wrapping the flowers to prevent damage!

A covert method of delivery was required when it came to personally delivering the flowers, so our next stop was to iKea to grab a box. No need to buy one when there's plenty of used, empty boxes for free near their Customer Service counter.

And here romanticism went downhill as we didn't realise that while we chose a box larger tall enough to fit the vase, it wouldn't fit the vase with the flowers (we estimated too little on this). Hence we'd to carry a box and a plastic bag (opaque enough to hide the fact that there were flowers inside), call the Chief to come out and take the box and plastic bag, and told The Chief that water was needed urgently for the contents.

Hence The Chief had to arrange the flowers into the vase (well, basically undo the wrapping and place the entire thing as-is directly into vase) and water it instead of receiving an already prepared gift.

Sigh. Next year we'll do better.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thirty Years, Birthday Cheers

...because we're running out things to rhyme with 'years' that we could put in context with our birthday party at 42 East (yes well if we wanted to we could come up with something but it might be too sappy or cheesy for us to bear with sometimes).

For all the Chief keeps telling us how stressful it is to plan a birthday party, the Chief does plan well. We were left in the dark as to where the venue was, and quite surprised when we were told that it was actually nearby in TTDI itself. Better yet was when on the day itself we found out that it the Chief pulled some strings to get the entire place to ourselves (almost to ourselves, walk-in customers to the place were served too).

And just as we thought we knew where it was, we found ourself led to 42 East instead. Hey, goes to show how rarely we go that far up the pub street of Taman Tun.

This time, we had the tables set up with half of the chairs actually being wall sofas, so instead of a rather long table with eight people on one side, the proprieter of the place split it to two tables instead. Still meant we had to play Musical Chairs to get to chitchat with every one.

The food was good, although between the chicken and the pork ribs served for the set meals, we must say the pork ribs tasted better. The Chief thought that since we just had pork the night before, we might want a change of taste. Anyways, since most meals with The Chief are shared half-and-half (unless we've agreed not to swap), we got to enjoy the pork ribs too.

And so, Thaipusam lunch was a blast celebrated with our Chief, Alex, Bunny, carpe diem, Jaded Jeremy, Junior, Legolas, Lifebook, Little Prince, Luscious Leesh, nivlac, Ryan, Sinner, SK, and William! Many thanks for celebrating with us and welcoming us to Club 30!

We don't think anyone would appreciate us putting up their photos through the fish lens we got as a present though - but we're using it for our contacts list. And it's causes us a moment's hesitation every now and then when we get a Whatsapp text or a call and a blown-up face stares at us!

Thanks again to our dear Chief for going through the trouble for organizing this party, and to everyone for the effort in coming!

Now let's see the rest of this year through without feeling any older!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thirty Years, Aging Fears

The thing about aging is that you come to miss things when they disappear. Or change. And in our case, this year, as we hit the big three-oh, we noticed a rather obvious change.

Admittedly this change is not something never experienced by anyone else, and we should think it, well, normal, but we must say we rather dread what this may mean for us.

See, during our first birthday party this year, halfway through our fajitas we started feeling sleepy - a sign associated with eating till we were stuffed and ready to start sweating as our metabolism burns off the extra food, and sleep while we're at it.

Only, throughout dinner feeling slightly groggy and full, we never felt the burn. No spontaneous sweating, not until we were all in stuffy George And The Dragon.

Then sometime the following week we celebrated with our family at El Cerdo. There's the three of us, attempting to finish off a baked oyster with bacon bits each (good but we find we prefer raw oysters with lemon and salt), a platter of three large sausages and four mini-sausages (very tasty, mashed potatoes include bacon bits too, yummy!), a pan of seafood paella (the rice turned out a bit wet, disappointingly), and a plate of spare ribs (to die for).

Naturally being small eaters (ahem) the three of us couldn't finish everything and we ended up tapau-ing the rest of the spare ribs, and upon reaching home all of us ended up just sitting on the couch feeling slightly dazed. After which we proceeded to head upstairs, change into our sleeping togs, and hit the sack, sleeping heavily till next morning. Again, during the trip back home, no sign of metabolism burn.

Hence how people normally go, "Once you reach your thirties ah, your metabolism slows down, will get fat."

We is the sad.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thirty Years, Birthday Peers

And the birthday parties this year begins with the weekend out with the TTDIans, celebrating the birthdays for the January babies! This time we celebrated our birthday together with Puddy and Steward 'Suf, at Chilis BSC.

Now usually Chilis is a bit...difficult when it comes to group celebrations because of their reservation policy - from what we understand they have a no-booking policy and the entire party has to be there in order to be seated. And not everyone will arrive exactly on the same time (yours truly here is a prime example of not being able to arrive punctually, sad to say, even with the disciplined Chief who hates to keep others waiting trying to get us going!) because, say, some unforseen circumstances or other. But luckily for us Chilis BSC allowed us to be seated with just five people, half our party! Thumbs up for them for this.

It's been a while since we had dinner at Chilis, especially their fajitas were yummy - our only issue is that they only supplied three pieces of fajitas to eat our mushrooms and chicken with. Instead of being able to apply a sensible amount of chicken strips, mushroom, sour cream, diced tomatoes etc and eating it something similar to a popiah, we end up stuffing it to the point where it's more like we're eating a taco.

Cue Taco Neck Syndrome.



After dinner it was off to George And The Dragon for more drinks!

Unfortunately as some of the other tables were booked we had to make do with a couple of tables against the wall, where, while it could easily seat the twelve of us, was not well ventilated and the lot of us were feeling stuffy not before long, making it hard to chill and enjoy our drinks. Speaking of drinks, we'd the Soft Snake Bite Black, a mix of (if we're not wrong) cider, Tiger, Blackcurrent and Pernod and worked well for us after our meal.

Thus the card-and-present giving ceremony was brought up to speed, starting from the youngest: Puddy, followed by Steward 'Suf and then us (ah, so far we're destined to be the first to have his birthday in any group...).

What did we get?

A new home!

Gosh, we were so excited! Honestly, we just recently went to pay a visit to Setia Alam, and they've got a spanking new development coming up that looks very nice on 3D rendering as well as a rather attractive concept to said development, we're so tempted except for the RM1.6mil+ price tag which will put a crimp in our spending power. Scratch that. It'll put a total STOP to our spending. Period. Here's chicken rice for lunch every day.

Anyways, back to our new home!

It's much bigger than our current home indeed!

And it's twice our current home!

So big that we can actually fit our current home inside!

See since our last Sporeland trip recently we've been toying with the idea for a bigger Crumpler, one that will be able to fit in our iPods (Touch and Video) and a X-mini speaker. So that we don't have to rely on our earphones. Yes, it would be a tad obnoxious if we'd plugged in a X-mini to our iPod Touch, prop it up on the table and proceed to eat lunch while watching some noisy show at near-full volume without a care to what everyone else thinks. But it would be okay if we were in some quiet place or for some music to go with a spontaneous party! All right let's not try to justify carrying an X-mini around...

The birthday babies also got Sticky candies from Germ! Brill stuff.

We were seated in the corner dominated by iPhones, hence there were talk of what's new in apps and games. And the highlights?

Run Like Hell!



It was funny, but the slow response of the gameplay was a bit of a turn-off.

Then we moved on to watching Talking Carl fight with each other!



All in all, it was a great time spent and, well, to all the TTDIans (interestingly it's not as if everyone stays in TTDI), we're gonna be welcoming you all to Club 30!

Thank yous going out to our Chief for organizing this, and to lingo, NJAPF, lad, esteban, 'Vin, otousan, Germ, Stewardess Sal for being part of the celebration, and happy birthday to Steward 'Suf and puddy!