25 March 2006

A Glorious Sunny Morning

What a glorious, sunny Saturday morning. Too bad, I'm at work. Heh.
"If what we are about to tell you is true, as we believe it is, it means that there are men and women dwelling in the continuous present, where the past is dead and the future consists of fear and impossible desires."

'The Serpent and the Rainbow' Wade Davis

24 March 2006

Thundering Typhoons!*

Wheeeee! It's Friday! I'm inspired by some ink sketches that I have seen thanks to Mr Nizz. I will bring out my sketchbooks tonight to sketch! I will also be re-reading the rules to 'Hammer of the Scots'. There are games arranged on the 1st of April.

*Yes, I'm quoting Captain Haddock's favourite line. Hahah.
On Organising A Wargame Session: A Classic Remark from ESB

"Organising a wargame session is even more difficult than getting married. For the latter, you merely need to find someone whose likes and dislikes roughly matches yours.For the former, you need to find 3 others who want to play that genre of wargame, who like that particular game within the genre, who are available for that day and time slot, who have the ability to move to the chosen location .....Given that the number of married couples in Singapore is not increasing, it will be no wonder that wargamers become like the dodo soon :-)"

A classic remark from ESB* after two attempts at organising an Iron Dragon rail game.

*ESB stands for Evil SB. You should know who he is.
"Think of the universal substance, of which thou hast a very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee; and of that which is fixed by destiny, and how small a part of it thou art."

'The Meditations' Marcus Aurelius, 167 A.D.

23 March 2006

Singapore Open Gaming II

Ken Lee is organising the second Singapore Open Gaming session. It should be held at the usual place.

Date: 8th April 2006
Time: 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Place: Block 3, Room 139 Resident's Committee Room, Queen's Road. (Note, this is just off Farrer Road, just below the Westlake eateries).
Cost: Variable. It's a small sum divided amongst the total number of participants. It should cost under four dollars.

Yes, you can bring your own games, food, etc.

If you are interested, do drop him an email.
Chinese Fortune-Teller Wax Model

Here's a wax model of a Chinese Fortune-Teller as one will have seen a few hundred years ago. The Chinese museums in Shanghai have amazingly life-like wax models, perhaps almost on par with Madame Tussads in London?

22 March 2006

Flying Lemur killed by Slingshot (or catapult) Wielders

It is unbelievable. Several men in their forties and fifties were apparently spotted shooting at flying lemurs: http://www.asiaone.com/st/st_20060322_379655.html

They injured one which eventually died.

Savages! Unbelievable. And to think that I saw a man in his late forties or fifties shooting at a cat just last week.

Is this a reflection of this society? I wonder.

Cult of the Feet

The enigmatic Cult of the Feet ventures forth in their eternal quest.

'The Foot shall be brought down, this is the End of Days.'

Illustration Friday theme: Feet
Taxis in Shanghai

The streets in Shanghai are filled with taxis. I didn't have to wait for long when I needed one. A quick wave and a taxi stops. It will appear that all the taxis companies within Shanghai are utilising different models of the Volkswagen Santana with mainly 1.8 litre engines. The Santana, Santana 2000 and Santana 3000. It will also appear that the Santana taxis are running on LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) which is clean and efficient.

I have spotted a Mercedes taxi once when I was there.

Incidentally, one can pay for the fares via contactless electronic swipe cards! (ie cash cards) My trips in Shanghai would cost on average 14 reminbi. The trip to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport should cost no more than 140 reminbi. Of course, one can take the maglev instead!

21 March 2006

Diary of Dreams 'Nigredo'

The work of Diary of Dreams, headed by Adrian Hates, has been often compared to the Clan of Xymox. I do think that there is some superficial similarities but somehow, the musical approach reminds me of Wolfsheim. The sound of the Diary of Dreams is that of sparse electronic coldness and endless desolation.

1. Dead Letter
2. Giftraum
3. Kindrom
4. Reign of Chaos
5. Charma Sleeper
6. Tales of the Silent City
7. Portrait of a Cynic
8. Unmensch
9. Witching Hour
10. Psycho-Logic
11. Krank: Haft
12. Cannibals
13. Mask of Shame

Hotel Rates in Shanghai

Here are the hotel rates at the New Century Hotel at No.1111 Li Yang Road in Shanghai. I didn't stay there, so I can't vouch for the rooms, I only had a large breakfast there. Sadly, I don't know of any subway that is near the New Century Hotel.

The current exchange rates:

1.00 SGD (Singapore Dollars) = 4.96078 CNY (China Yuan Renminbi)

1.00 USD (United States Dollars) = 8.03720 CNY (China Yuan Renminbi)

The rates are pretty affordable. This is not a five-star hotel in downtown Pudong or on Nanjing Road where you would expect to pay between 200 SGD to 500 SGD a night. Bear in mind when the Grand Prix (Formula 1) is in town, you can expect to pay 500 SGD a night!

Breakfast at the hotel is 78 rmb. Breakfast in the hotel is expensive and is not good at all. There is, however, a McDonald's nearby where they serve a decent breakfast (I know, McDonald's has crap food usually but the breakfast is edible) at 16 to 18 rmb.

20 March 2006

First Singapore Open Gaming

Place: Resident's Committee Room No.139. Queen's Road, Block 3.
Time: 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Date: 18th March 2006, Saturday

Firstly a big thank you to Ken Lee who organised the first session of the Singapore Open Gaming, an event that is his brainchild and is from the community.

Secondly, this is a great event without affiliation to any commercial concerns for once, hence no politics, obligations or onerous payments, for instance, to Settlers' Cafe, Mind Cafe, Pitstop, Paradigm Infinitium, Comics Mart or other commercial entities. And you can play any game you like!

The Saturday session was a fun and eventful one. Sixteen or more people turned up. The games played included:

Fury of Dracula
Industrial Waste
Lord of the Rings
Modern Art
Power Grid
Lord of the Rings
6Nimmt! (Take 6)

I played 'Lord of the Rings' with four others but it was an extremely short game. I drew one bad tile after another. We didn't make it past Bree as the Fellowship was wiped out with the Ringbearer and another hobbit embracing Sauron... I think the other players were saying that this is lowest scoring game they have ever played. We scored 10 points.

Afterwards, Keng Ho introduced 'Ole!', a neat swift playing card game which could accommodate seven players and Ivan managed a win. I like this game from Abacus Spiele.

I will definitely turn up for the next session that Ken organises. I will highly recommend this event (if it can remain free of any commercial concerns). As for the fees, we share it for the rental of this room.

My BGG Profile if anyone is interested.

Kal Jerico: Blood Royal (Necromunda)

I read this little piece of pulp SF about a bounty hunter and his sidekicks who prowl the underworld of Necromunda last week. It's great fun.

This novel, by Gordon Rennie and Will McDermott, is quite similar in spirit to the related graphic novel about Kal Jerico.

Kal Jerico is hilarious. He is dependent on his 'Plan W' which stands for 'Plan Wing it'! And he is very vain, and often, in the midst of combat, he would be concerned with his looks. He would often strike a pose, with his great coat and coat tails flapping in the airflow generated by the ventilation shafts! And his allies would berate him.

Hahahah. It's simply great fun.
Face I

A swift ballpoint pen doodle. Heh.

Another ballpoint pen doodle. Exaggerated and stylised faces.


Little doodles done ten days ago at the Book Cafe. Heh. Yes, you can tell that I was bored. Grotesque faces. Heh.