30 December 2007

I spent most of the day reading 'The Siege of Mecca'. I would recommend this account of that fateful siege in 1979. A forgotten event.
I usually don't care for the eight course wedding dinners. However, I had the best wedding dinner I had ever had in my life on Saturday evening at the Intercontinental Hotel. He was so nice and he had a menu just for me! Stupendous!

27 December 2007

Horizon



A swift ballpoint pen doodle done during work. Illustration Friday theme: Horizon
It's Thursday! I have another wedding to attend over the weekend. Oh well. There goes the weekend.

26 December 2007

State of Progress: Mobile Weapon Battle Stations PvP Rankings


My PvP rankings. Most of my kills were made over a short two week period about a month ago.
State of Progress:Mobile Weapon: Battle Stations




My current level is 50. This is the state of my ship, which is a level 35 Obsidian Destroyer before I re-configured it. I had two battering rams, a bolter cluster and shield armour mounted.

Siu Hean is level 51. Kuoby is stubbornly clinging onto level 49 when he can be 50. Right now, the universal problem is the shortage of plasma rocks. Plasma rocks for a level 50 or level 55 ship. Plasma rocks for weapons. Plasma rocks for just about everything.


Brian and Dillon have just started out. Brian is already level 18 and he has been sinking quite a number of ships.


24 December 2007

Tree - Unfinished





Ballpoint pen doodle. Unfinished. Heh.

Hand



A ballpoint pen doodle. This one, like the others, is small in size.
Pelikan Stick ballpoint pen. A German ballpoint. I applied a 'light sharpness' filter to the image.

23 December 2007

Hand - Unfinished


Another ballpoint pen doodle. This was another which I drew while manning the cash register. I will probably finish it soon.

I haven't been posting my drawings and doodles but I will do so soon enough.
Gate



A simple ballpoint pen doodle. Business has been rather slow these few days. I drew this with a ballpoint pen as I man the cash register. It was inspired by the two ruined pillars of Nan Chiau School which I saw one rainy Saturday afternoon at Kim Yam Street.

21 December 2007

Borders Coupon

Buy any 3 full-priced books and get 30% off. Cardholders get an additional 10%.

Buy any 4 full-priced books and get 40% off. Cardholders get an additional 10%.

Offer ends on 24.12.2007. Click here.
Obesity kills and more

Fat? Yeah, fat people have short life spans.

Likewise, short people are not any better off.

19 December 2007

I visited Shangri La hotel for the first time in years last night and was surprised at the changes.

18 December 2007

Strangely enough, I had a problem with a thick local accent when I was looking for a Doraemon fluffy toy at the Mini Toons store at Junction 8 yesterday. A salesgirl came up and spoke in Mandarin or Singlish. I could not make out what she was saying as her speech was marked with a heavy inflection and slur. No, I didn't think that she was mainland Chinese, rather, I thought that she was local but she was simply lazy in pronouncing individual words. I could not make out the individual words as she slurred. ARRRGH! I felt like a stranger in my country! ARRRGH!

15 December 2007

Slow morning. Glorious sunshine and all. Here I am, in the office, in front of a screen. Boo!

14 December 2007

Borders Discounts

The discounts will last until the 18th of December which is a Tuesday.

30% off for a full-priced book. Click here for the coupon.

Spend over $50.00 and get 40% off one full-priced book. Click here.

As in all cases, cardholders get a further 10% off.
Oh well, the problem with the computer is intermittent. It is working now. I shall leave it.

13 December 2007

My worse fears, well not really, had come true. I called Wei Yi for a second opinion. The motherboard was dying, hence, the intermittent problems.
Hmm.. the problem is not as straight-forward as I thought. Not HDD apparently. Not CPU or power supply fan either.
Installing a new HDD. Phew!

12 December 2007

Oh dear. What a disaster! A HDD on an important computer has died. No backups.

11 December 2007

Quote of the Year

The quote coming from Kuoby was a classic:

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (1:38 PM):
quite different from pushing products to people who don't need them

Yes, he was in the advertising industry.
A Scalzi Duo

I finished 'The Ghost Brigades' early last week after a blaze of furious reading. In my opinion, 'The Ghost Brigades' was a loose but unnecessary sequel to 'Old Man's War' but it was fun with its Byzantine plotting and swift pacing. This military space opera was somewhat self-indulgent with lots of name-dropping tributes in the form of clone names. And was this a form of referential fandom? I would not know. Surprisingly, the novel had ended with a James Bond-type ending with the master villain explaining everything a la Dr.Evil. I felt that the Heinlein-esque elements found in the previous novel had somewhat disappeared and whether this was a good thing would really depend on the reader at hand. All in all, a swift, escapist read.

Meanwhile, John Scalzi had written an interesting blog post on Heinlein a few days back. For the record, I liked Heinlein and thought that he was far superior to other Golden Age SF writers, say Asimov or Herbert.

'The Android's Dream' was a humourous romp through the galaxy with elements of espionage, dynastic struggles, relentless chases, and clever detective work. The title, of course, offered a very obvious tip of the hat to Philip K. Dick as did the text within. The described computer hacking exploits were, of course, loosely reminiscent of the war-diallers, rootkits and so forth found in descriptions of hacking exploits. Scalzi had done his research. I thought that the over-the-top action sequences with its lovingly-described violence and the gruesome deaths did seem to detract somewhat from the absurdist feel and black humour.

Scalzi's works had been enjoyable being lightweight escapades. What I had liked about Scalzi was his sense of self-awareness and that had come through in his writing, both fiction and blog posts. 'The Android's Dream' would be my penultimate Scalzi title. There was so much out there to read and explore and I would not want to confine myself or devote too much time to a single author.

*Fortunately, I had managed to re-create most of my blog post through memory.
When one does want this fucked up software to save, it saves continuously. And when one needs its autosave feature, it doesn't do it. Screwed!
Blogger is fucked up. I lost another long post which I had spent quite a while composing. Fustrating!

10 December 2007

A slow rainy afternoon. Oh well.
Oh well. I did not get to swim yesterday. It was raining all day and the pool was likely closed due to potential lightning strikes.

08 December 2007

Facebookers facing books

I met with a few Facebookers from the Singapore Network last night. Marcus had wanted to meet up to buy a few books at Borders. Then, since Shalom was going to browse and Wendy wanted a book too, we arranged to meet at 6:15 pm.

Ultimately, Marcus got what he wanted and he rushed off. Wendy also managed to find her book too.

I bought a tome on Chinese military history and one on the business history of Starbucks. Are the two correlated? Heh.
I thought I would never say this but the smashed pea and bean soup at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Forum Galleria is excellent!

06 December 2007

Heavens heavens! It's Thursday.
Surrender all your rights!

John Scalzi has a good article on why one should not submit one's fiction to Dragon magazine. Quoting from his Blog Whatever:

"Note to aspiring fantasy writers out there: avoid Dragon magazine, which has apparently re-opened to fiction submissions. The pay is on the low side of adequate for the genre (three to six cents a word), but the kicker is that for that royal sum, you are expected to give up all rights to your work. Says so right there on the submissions page — in fact, it says it twice, in rapid succession: “In the event we buy your manuscript, you must assign your rights to us. That means that once your contract is signed, we’ll own all rights in your submission.”"

Who is really surprised? It's Dragon magazine.

05 December 2007

State of Progress: Mobile Weapon Battle Stations




I'm currently at level 42.

The game has been highly engrossing. Kuoby, Siu Hean and I would discuss ship armaments and choices. Different strategies and so forth. Siu Hean, Anthony, Kuoby, Yen Lyn, Alex, Matas, Zak (Jackson, Turner) are active and are doing well. Siu Hean is at level 46!

A few days ago, I started ship killing again and racked up over 80 kills. I previously had about 15 kills or so.

"You have: 104 wins, 3 losses = 97.2% Wins"

Evil Anthony has killed my ship twice with his four impact cannons!

Addendum

Kuoby revealed a secret, his ship stats:

Level: 42 (Exp: 1,938,724/1,976,650)
Craft: 1
Gunnery: 90
Navigation: 98
Stats Points: 0
HP: 0/5050
Capacity: 1790/2000
Speed: 223 (+98)

An exchange on Windows Live about this a few minutes ago:

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:41 AM):
You have spare capacity.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:41 AM):
Why don't you mount a crest or something for more hp?

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
that capacity is my NPC attacker config

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
in defensive mode, i only have like 30 capacity spare

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:42 AM):
ahhhh

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
that's with my shield armour on

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:42 AM):
shield armour, 2 rams and gun buster, that's all i have space for

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:42 AM):
ahh... I thought you were dumb.

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:43 AM):
dumb is how your ass feels after a ramming.

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:43 AM):
oops, i mean, numb, sorry you numbskull

Chuang Shyue Chou says (10:44 AM):
Hahahaa

Kuoby (Thuggg) says (10:44 AM):
do i make your blog? do i? do i?

04 December 2007

Personal Favourites - December 2007




Front Line Assembly - Fallout
Clan of Xymox - Heroes
Rotersand - 1023
Edge of Dawn - Enjoy the Fall
Assemblage 23 - Meta
Funker Vogt - Aviator
God Module - Let's go dark
Covenant - In Transit
Mind in a Box - Crossroads
Red Flag - Born Again
Information Society - Synthesizer
Pet Shop Boys - Disco 4
Duran Duran - Red Carpet Massacre
Marc Almond - Stardom Road


This is my current playlist* at the moment. What is your playlist? ie in your CD player, mp3 player, computer, etc? Do share!

*excluding classical music.

03 December 2007

A dreary Monday. Slow slow.
Astounding! Activision is merging with Blizzard in a new entity Activision Blizzard!

According to a BBC report"

"As part of the merger plan, Blizzard will invest $2bn in the new company, while Activision is putting up $1bn.

The merged business will be called Activision Blizzard and its chief executive will be Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick. Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.

Jean-Bernard Levy, Vivendi chief executive, said: "This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector."

02 December 2007

I was at the Doc Green's Gourmet Salad and Grill last night. I enjoyed the salad. However, something was very long as it took them forever to serve their dishes. Salads and sandwiches for heaven's sake. I think they had only ONE chef. Until the service is improved, I doubt if I would be returning.

I swam my usual twenty laps this morning. The waters was cool and refreshing. I spent a lot of time writing my diary and reading 'The Ghost Brigades' today.

01 December 2007

Last night, I was at the City Hall which used to house the Public Service Commission (PSC). It brought back some memories. I wondered if it was still housed there. Heh.

The design event was filled with many people in black clothing. Heh. Tight pants too.