Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

2009 is coming to an end. Many things has happened, most of which I've forgotten thanks to the ailment called aging. The best part of what I remembered was in the final quarter of 2009.

Like my first attempt on hamster breeding, which is quite successful now, now that I have to sell the babies at bargain price as they breed faster then I can sell them. I also Got myself a personal current account so that I can issue cheques to buy my first property, a small apartment unit not far from here. I didn't want to blog about it just yet until I get the keys to the unit which will be somewhen March twenty ten.

And one of the thing which I conveniently forgot was my 2009 resolution. I had just that one resolution to make sure that I have enough time to spend on it, and not giving any excuses for not achieving it, like "too many resolutions to follow up". I've achieved my resolution during the final moments of 2009. And with 24 hours left to spare.

yes, I cheated.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Finally!


Self explanatory.

This is one of the biggest drawback for being an MW muscle player. With just 200 energy leveling up is way too slow. Now that I've completed boss tier, leveling up via jobs should be easier, with a +2 energy reloaded every 4.5 minutes then the regular +1 energy. Time too unlock the 120 skill points from mastering jobs in Cuba.

Macro Madness

I hope its not too late to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Happy holidays! Picture somewhat related.

Monday, December 21, 2009

As Easy as Mudah

About two weeks ago, I've posted advertisement in LYN and petfinders to sell off the baby hamsters. The response wasn't that good, with only one reply from the post in LYN and one enquiry from petfinders about a week after the advertisement was published.

I've given up the LYN advertising space since its too tedious, having to bump the sales thread everyday to get some audience, even so, only one respondent for so much clicking.
I still retain the advertising space in petfinders, after all it's a place for pet owners, and I think with some changes to the advertising details, I can get better response. So, I half the selling price to RM5 per hamster and instead of putting the word 'sale', I use a more pet owner friendly term, "hamsters for adoption". Also I put the cutest picture trying to get some marketing leverage.

That was more then 3 days ago, and not a single respondent.

Yesterday, I gave mudah a try. Mudah means easy in malay. As the name of the site suggest, everything is made easy, from posting of the advertisement, to selling it. My only grunt is the limited amount of pictures allowed per advertisement. I'm only allowed 3 pictures in mudah. Almost no limit to that in LYN (since its forum based) and there's no mention of limit for petfinders yet as I've loaded seven pictures with options to upload more. Anyways, within minutes of the advertisement being published I got a respondent via e-mail. We are still in the midst of negotiations for a suitable location to meet up. Then I got three SMSs and two calls form five other respondent within the same day. One of the caller has made arrangement to meet up tomorrow. Its that easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do You Have a Reservation ?

The one thing that I really pantang when patronizing a store/shop/workshop/restaurant is being denied of service. Most of the time, because no reservations was fore made.

There was one time, more then five years ago, I dropped by a dentist at Kepong for an unscheduled appointment. In fact, its not my regular dentist, I just happen to came across the clinic with some spare time and I thought to myself, "it's been a long time since I last had scaling done". So, I went in. I was greeted by an elderly chinese lady at the counter. The first thing she ask was "Do you have an appointment?" my obvious answer is "No". Then she told me that the doctor/dentist will not see anyone without an appointment. I was irked, so I left without making any appointments whatsoever. In fact I never again went back to that place.

My other impromptu dentist visits was somewhat accustomed to my expectations. I entered a clinic at random, and ask if the dentist is available for scaling. The receptionist will then check the dentist's schedule and see if there is enough time allocated for a walk in customer. If the dentist is occupied, she'll ask me to wait for a while for the dentist to finish up, or at least told me how long the wait is going to be and if I'm okay to wait.

Then there's Proton service centers at their so called center of excellence. Everything is done by appointment only. I was once turned away even with the engine mounting at breaking point, only to have the repair to be scheduled the following day after I protested on the initial one week waiting. I can probably forgive Proton as they have a sheer amount of cars to repair/service daily, so uninformed visits will be unfair to those customers who are already waiting in line. However, they should have an emergency team to deal with urgent repairs, especially when it's a product recall.

Probably its the old 80's ways of business when you enter a shop, you are granted service almost immediately. Unless of course, the shop is packed and you'll need to wait for your turn. But having turned away for not having reservations eventhough there's seats available, is something that I can never get used to.

Feeding Time


Nom nom nom...

Monday, December 14, 2009

B Lui Sea Food

This place was recommended by Sweetheart's colleague for 'cheap' seafood. Although the place is in Kepong, the very place I work, I have no idea where it is. The business card of the place is useless as the address is no where near the intended location, and google maps placemark missed the spot by a considerate distance. In the end we manage to find our way there by calling the boss directly (number on the business card) for directions.

It's located in Kepong Baru, the food court directly behind KTZ desert stall along the infamous Wai Sek Kai. This place is very familiar to me, just that when they start giving chinese names of places as landmarks, as opposed to road names, I'm as good as lost. Anyways, I've marked it clear red circle for those of you who are interested in this venture.

Along with Sweetheart three other girlfriends, we went there for dinner. And when I say stall, I wasn't kidding. B Lui Seafood is actually a stall in a food court, the Kepong Baru Food Court. Rather run down, with an open air concept in the middle of the food court, (also means no roof).

We were given the menu with this picture as the front page. Celebrities who visited their stall, as I was told by one of Sweetheart's friend who recognized who that celebrity is. The menu on the other hand is just photograph of the dish, and with the name of it at the bottom, which unfortunately is in Chinese. Again, with the help of Sweetheart's friend, help us translate the dish name. After minutes flipping through the menu, we decide that it's best for the boss to recommend their best selling dish.
Their signature dish, Kam Hiong La-La. Its meant to be spicy, but since we have friends who cannot stomach spicy dish, we requested for a milder version. Although mild, its still rich in flavors and the lala clams cooked in perfection, not over done, eventhough served in sizzling hot plate. With the rich mix of flavors and spices, it doesn't smell fishy, an important lookout for some people who cannot stand the fishy smell.

Second recomendation is Taiwan Styled Crab. The creamy gravy is delicious when hot, but not as nice as it cools down.

Lastly is the Kam Hiong Crab. Same frying style as the lala clams, but it taste a bit different on crab meat. On both crab dishes, the crabs are meaty.

Total cost: RM196!!! At RM55/kg of crab, it's no where near cheap. The food is good, be prepare to pay for it. While writing this, B Lui reminds me of Williams (near old LimKokWing), not much of an ambiance, but serve good food at a price not everyone is comfortable with.

Too Old For Gaming

Last Sunday, like the previous Sunday, Maxis ISP decides to take a holiday and left me with no internet connection, at all. Nada, zip. I can't even access facebook like what I did last week. So, Maxis decides it's okay to charge the same rates as Streamyx, for the same connection speed, but it's for Monday to Saturday only, Sunday will be internet free day. Good way to kick the fat internet potatoes off their sagging computer chair out of the house once in a while. Yes, I'm complaining at the lack of internet connection, but also quite agree that it might make a healthier lifestyle by forcing people out of their homes by shutting the internet down for 24 hours.

So, I got out of the house, and instead of reading a book under a tree or go for a jog, I went to the nearest cyber cafe with my brother. LOL, to play this:

Left 4 Dead 2, the second installment of the co-op zombie survival horror, Left 4 Dead (L4D).

I like the new cast, they are funnier then the first, and thank you Valve for not screwing up the M16, I really liked that weapon and grown fond of it. I had many good times taking pot shots of zombies scaling the fence to the container lift where I camped after pulling the leaver in the first L4D. Then I soon realized that I'm not that fast as I were. The only time where I made kills when I played L4D2 yesterday, was when the zombies are making a beeline towards me on a narrow corridor. When I'm out in the open, I'll be shooting zombie shadows as the crosshair trails the zing-zagging zombie across the screen.

And something happened which never happened in my history of gaming. I entered the state of panic when being mobbed by hordes of infected. Getting pinned into a corner wasn't so bad, just empty the magazine taking down as many zombies as possible and accept my fate as they comes gnawing through flesh and bones. What really set me into despair was being left behind by my three other so called comrades as I limp with less then 30 health trying to catch up in the dark abandoned shopping complex and occasionally mistaken mannequins as zombies, and vice versa.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Shopping

Its that time of the year again, the Year End Sale (YES) in conjunction with the Christmas holiday and the coming new year. I've got myself a pair of pants from Camel Active during the start of the sale. Yes, only one pants, and that's it. So much for contributing to the economy. XD
And I wasn't sure what to spend on during this promotional period. So I did some window shopping online and I found this:



Light saber chopsticks!!!

This will make awesome collection to the arsenal of kitchen utensil, especially for Star Wars maniacs. At RM40/pair it's way too expensive for a pair of chopsticks since I can get stainless steel ones for Rm10 or less if I were to buy from those China goods warehouse store. Even at such high price, it sold out fast. Fans will be fans.

WPM 6239 STOLEN!!!


Missing Since: Morning Dec 11, 2009
Last known location: Sri pemaisuri, cheras.
Car: Satria Neo metal grey, WPM 6239

A friend of mine had his ride stolen. so please be on the lookout for it. They might have change the registration plates, but I doubt they would trouble themselves on the vehicle registration sticker/road tax. So, if you see one metal grey neo parked, do take a peek at the road tax. Contact your nearest police station if you happen to spot it. Thanks

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mafia Wars: Bangkok

Meh!

I'm not looking forward to this at all. I hardly set foot into Moscow, and only completed only one tier in Cuba. In fact, I've yet to complete NY jobs as I'm still stuck as the near impossible to compete Boss tier. At 1% job completion per click, the job seems like a real chore. And it's not even half as rewarding as fights. And lets not forget that I only have 200 energy for a player who has been playing since the game was first launched as a bug ridden clicking game where almost all the people in the fight list are either iced or too weak to fight.

Zynga is really rewarding energy whores. Where is the challenge in clicking 'do job again' button again and again and again and again??

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mafia Wars: Not so New Fight Log and Fight Algorithm

This is nothing new, just that I didn't want to blog about another Mafia Wars update, but I guess it can't be helped.

Quite some time ago (sorry, I've lost track of time) when Zynga was tweaking the new fight log, there is this change in fight appearance which not only is more eye candy, but also serves a function. Do take note of the fight log below.
The fight log shows that I've won a fight. And it listed my Attack stats, Attacking weapon score and number of mafias, same goes for the opponent, just that the defense stats is unknown (???). Noticed that my attacking equipment score is 3287points lower then the opponent as it's in red. However, I won the fight, meaning that a fraction of my attack stats multiply 501 is greater then the opponent.

Another scenario where I won fight based on equipment score is higher then the opponent by at least 6414 points eventhough he has higher defense stats (more then 571)

The situation above is somewhat similar, where my attack stats is greater then the opponent defense stat, but my attacking equipment score is much lower then his defensive equipment score by a whooping 15455. It also shows that A&D stats carry much less weight then equipment score. Furthermore, with this color coding fight log, I question the usefulness of combat calculators.


Anyways, I finally caught news (old information actually) that the new fight algorithm is as follows:

Attacking
one percent of(attack stat X mafia size) + equipment (only the attack score of weapons, armor & vehicle)

Defending
one percent of(defending stat X mafia size) + equipment (only the defensive score of weapons, armor & vehicle)


I'm rather skeptical about the formula above.

Applying that formula in my first situation above, where I won the fight even with a total equipment score 3287 less the the opponent.


My attack score = 0.01[attack stat X mafia size] + total equipment
0.01[571 X 501] + 46576 =
2860.71 + 46576 = 49436.71

Opponent defense score assuming is one point lower then mine (since he lost)
49436.71 - 1 = 49435.71

deduct his equipment score of 49863
49435.71 - 49863 = -427.92

It's impossible to get a negative number for [defense stat X mafia size]. Since his mafia size is 501, the score should be at least 501 even if his defense stat is 1.

so, lets revamp the formulation to 0.1[attack stat X mafia size] which is ten percent instead of the earlier one percent posted in the mafia wars facebook discussion board.

My attack score = 0.1[attack stat X mafia size] + total equipment
0.1[571 X 501] + 46576 =
28607.1 + 46576 = 75183.1

Opponent defense score assuming is one point lower then mine (since he lost)
75183.1 - 1 = 75182.1

deduct his equipment score of 49863
75182.1 - 49863 = 25319.1

finally, a positive number, means that we are on the right track.

so, if we work the equation further
0.1[defense stat X 501] = 25319.1
[defense stat X 501] = 253191
defense stat = 253191/501
= 505

His defense stat should not be more then 505 otherwise I would have lost the fight. The fight result shows that my attack stats is higher then his defense stats since the numbers are in green, which telly with the amended formulation.

Lets try again with a different fight log, this time the second fight, where I won, even with lower attack stats then his defense stats.

My attack score = 0.1[attack stat X mafia size] + total equipment
0.1[571 X 501] + 46636 =
28607.1 + 46636 = 75243.1

Opponent defense score assuming is one point lower then mine (since he lost)
75243.1 - 1 = 75242.1

deduct his equipment score of 40222
75252.1 - 40222 = 35020.1

0.1[defense stat X 501] = 35020.1
[defense stat X 501] = 350201
defense stat = 350201/501
= 699

Since his defense stats is higher then mine (my attack stat is red) therefore his defense stat is between 572 to 699.

Note: Attack and Defense stats here refers to the sum of Stat points with Top Mafia bonus and boost.
e.g. attack stats of 571 = 560 (attack) + 11 (Top mafia bonus) + 0 (no boost)

The amended formula is just a guesstimate based on the red/green fight log that I've been getting. I've never lost to any fights where both my attack stat and equipment score is higher then the opponent. Neither have I won any fights where both my attack stats and equipment stats are lower then the opponent. And since its fight log against opponents who are strangers that I'm attacking, the results are not as concrete as those other experiments done with multiple accounts under controlled environment where stats and equipment are tightly regulated.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Day Without Google

Yesterday was one of those lazy Sundays where we'd just bum around the house, cuddle, and surf the web. Something different from our normal weekends of shopping, window shopping, watching movies at the cineplex, or simply just to have lunch at a restaurant.

But there's one problem. For some unexplained circumstances, Maxis ISP was unable to connect to Google. It wasn't a problem the day before, but for that entire sunday, Google was out of reach. Weather it's the Google website, or Gmail or Google Maps, Blogger, youtube, even Gtalk was unable to establish connection. However, it wasn't a problem connecting to Facebook, although there are some slowdowns when accessing the applications like Facebook games. Local content which are hosted on local servers seems to be unaffected, and I can even download form 4Shared at a remarkably good speed, at 125KB/s then the usual 60-80KB/s. Just that the mighty Google was inaccessible along with some other international websites like explosm.net autoblog bbc which i visit almost everyday.

So, I was paralyzed for a good portion of the day. The places that I'd like to visit online became inaccessible. And I soon realized how dependent on Google I've become.

Later that afternoon I had a meeting with the 1/6 action figure buddies at Old Klang Road, a member's house who I've never visited. His address and Google Maps was the only reference tool that I have to find that location. Lucky I was ferrying Henry, and he has a GPS enabled phone and manage to direct me to his place with little fuss. Little fuss, not none. Either I was driving too fast (60kmh, seriously!) or the GPS phone was too slow, I missed several turnings which resulted me to U turn a number of times. And I've also realized how poor my sense of distance really is. I've over shoot a turn 200meters away twice and simply because I wasn't using the trip meter on the dashboard and relied on counting lamp post which I assume are distanced 50meters apart.

As much as I hate to admit it, I've became part of the Google generation. When coming to searching online content, the first place I'd go to is Google, infact the only place I'd go to is Google. There's Yahoo, or MSN search and Altavista but I've never use them since I got to know about Google before the start of the new millennium.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What I Missed Most, About Blogging

For the past couple of months, my laptop screen was nothing more then this:



Or this:



Or this:



And lately, this:



Going through my 100 plus blog post in blogger, the blog post that I think its worth reading was way back in February, my rant on undergraduates during my year in UM. Yes, I missed those kind of expressive content. Nowadays I'm blogging about game updates, what I've been playing, how many hamsters I got, what other parts needs replacing in my aging car.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Be Fruitful and Multiply

1 Dec 09. Quarantine gave birth yet again. 18 days after her first litter, here's another litter. This time the litter is much smaller in size then the first and it's a 6 minus 1, unlike the first litter where all survived. I've to separate Goldie, the father to prevent another baby boom, along with her current litter as they are still suckling (don't want them to compete with the new born) eventhough they are already 18 days old and are very capable of solid food since 4-5 days ago.