Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going Green

Having used V-power since 2006, this will be the turning point to cheaper fuels. I have used regular RON97 previously for experimental purposes, although it claimed to give better mileage, through my personal experiments, V-power gave better milage then regular RON97 by atleast 30km per full tank (40L). Now that the price of V-power has become too taxing for regular fill ups, there's little choice but to downgrade.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weird News: Alba lookalike



The Queen has one, Ex President Bush has one, even Sadam Hussein has one. They have lookalikes for security reasons. My favourite is still the Bush meets Bush gala dinner, simply hilarious. And now, we even have an Alba lookalike. Though it is not uncommon to have celebrities lookalikes, but having one to appease an Alba obsessed boyfriend is something new for me. I wonder if he calls her by her name or address her as Alba? This news definitely worth a chuckle.


A Chinese woman whose boyfriend insisted she wore her make-up like actress Jessica Alba is now planning the drastic step of changing her entire face to look like the Hollywood star.

Desperate to win back her obsessed boyfriend, who had insisted she wore a blonde wig and copy Miss Alba in every way, the 21-year-old woman is prepared to spend a fortune on the very physical make-over.

Chinese surgeons say that changing the woman's face so she ends up looking like the Fantastic Four star can be done, but it will be extremely expensive.
Xiaoqing

Desperate: Xiaoqing, 21, is preparing to undergo cosmetic surgery to look like actress Jessica Alba. She is currently a brunette (left) but wears a wig her ex-boyfriend bought her to look like Alba (right)

However they have revealed that the woman is well off and that 'money is no object as long as the end result is to turn herself into a Jessica lookalike'.

Identifying herself only as Xiaoqing, the woman told the Shanghai Daily that her 28-year-old ex-boyfriend was so obsessed with Miss Alba that he hung photos of her on the walls of his home and carried her image on his mobile phone.

'He was always telling me to do my make-up like Jessica does, even when I'm asleep,' she said.

'At Christmas time he gave me a blonde wig to wear and asked me to keep it on all the time.'
Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba: Xiaoqing's ex-boyfriend is obsessed with the Hollywood actress

But it was that wig that was to bring about the end of their relationship.

As she walked around Shanghai wearing the wig and Miss Alba-style eye-catching make-up she noticed people staring at her and laughing. She was so upset by the public's reaction that she tore off the wig and her false eyelashes and threw them to the ground.

Reverting to her Chinese looks, her boyfriend wanted no more of her.

Now Xiaoqing has said she wants him back - and is ready to change her appearance so that she will look like Miss Alba forever.

'I love him very much,' she said of her former lover. 'That's why I always followed his opinions. I don't want to lose him.'

Liu Qi, an official at the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital, said Xiaoqing would need eyebrow lifting, eyelid reshaping and nose reconstruction to look like Miss Alba.

'There's no worry about the expense and it is technically practicable,' said Liu.

'But the face-lift is irreversible and we hope that she would take it seriously.'

Although surgeons at the hospital said they believed money was no object, Xiaoqing told the newspaper that finding enough money for the operations would be difficult - which was why she had gone public in the hope of getting help from a plastic surgery hospital.

Doctors at the Shanghai Hospital say they will help her, but won't go ahead with the operation in a hurry.

'We want to make sure she is prepared for the risks she might face in surgery and for life afterwards, including people's attitude towards her,' said a doctor.

But Xiaoqing insists she has made her decision and is ready to go ahead with the operation.

'I'm not only doing it for my ex-boyfriend but for myself,' she said. 'I am a psychologically weak person. I want to do something to challenge myself and build a strong personality through it.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1246417/Chinese-woman-undergo-extensive-surgery-look-like-actress-Jessica-Alba--win-ex-boyfriend.html#ixzz0dxXGSxtI

Prison Break and the Pink Belly Hamster

At times I feel that keeping hamsters is more of a task for a prison warden then having those small critters as companions, pets. Last Thursday four baby hamsters escaped from their high rise multi-tier drawer cum apartment. The term 'baby' is loosely used to describe the second generation hamsters, which range from 6weeks to 2weeks from various births of the first generation. Keeping all the babies in one pen is fun to look at as they play with each other, and the best part of all, feeding time. Older hamsters aren't the enthusiastic when coming to food, neither are baby hamsters who live in solitary. These cunning little rodents are smart enough to tip over the running wheel, and use it to climb through 22mm diameter ventilation holes, big enough even for adult hamsters.
Thankfully there's Oddball, who manage to sniff them out. Though she isn't as sharp as those airport sniffer dogs, but she still get the job done after much encouragement. And she works for cheap, a pat at the head and two slices of Gardenia white bread.

On the side note, Goldie became half pink after a falling asleep on wet strawberry flavored sand bath.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Abalone Porridge

Effective Herbs at One Utama is a herbs, condiment and dried seafood retail store, until recently it opened an eatery within its premise.

This place was recommended by my dad. Like most Chinese, abalone is a much craved for delicacy. Like fish to a cat. So, one fine Friday evening, I went there with my sweetheart and buddies for abalone porridge.
RM12 per bowl. For such a price don't expect HUGE abalone but rather tiny baby abalone. And they are quite generous with the miniature abalone too, neatly stacked in the middle of the bowl (in this case, they use a small pot). The portion is reasonably large enough to keep an adult full, and the porridge is never short of flavor as its rich in dried scallop mixed in it.

Then there's desert. Chilled white fungus with with longan at RM6 per bowl. Its not too sweet, and like the porridge, they don't skimp on the ingredients as the fungus and longan aplenty.

Good food are definitely not cheap.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shipment Arrived

A week ago I purchased Deus Ex online from The Software Boutique. 7 days later (today), it arrived at my office. Having bought from other local and overseas companies through online transactions, TSB lacks in one department, up-to-date order status updates. The only notification that I got from TSB was the acknowledgment of receipt of payment, which is within the same hour, that I'd have to take my hats off to them, fastest response time I've ever encountered. And that's the last I've heard from them, no e-mails on when the CD will be shipped, nor waybill number was given.
My past experience with One Sixth Mart (1/6 action figure store) and Lik-Sang (now out of business) gave updates on order status via e-mail. Such as Awaiting Payment, Order confirmed, Awaiting Shipment, Shipped or Canceled. But not TSB. The only way that I can view order status is via their website. And guess what's the status now?

Well, I guess I shouldn't make a mountain out of an ant hill. Just some technical issues that needed to be ironed out. The most important thing is that my purchase arrived, though I've got to complain that 7 days delivery is a little too long for registered mail.

Monday, January 18, 2010

V-Power is now RM2.38/L


The price of premium 'racing' fuel has became premium with the latest hike to RM2.38/liter from the previous RM2.25/liter. Now that my neo has seen the last of its track days, its probably best to retire this weekend racer with regular fuel, regular people use for their regular daily rides.

Speaking of fuel, the government is at it again. The never ending war against smuggling and pilfering of our subsidized fuel. Frankly speaking, its very hard to practice socialistic economics (like fuel cap) in a capitalist world. Currently the price of RON 95 in this country is RM1.80/liter. Our land accessible neighbors Singapore and Thailand is priced at SGD1.847/liter (approx RM4.06) and baht 32.64/liter (approx RM3.32) respectively. With such stark difference, its a no brainer that smuggling very profiting and is still rampant.

On the sidenote, while writing the paragraph above, I researched for the fuel price of Singapore and Thailand which was available online. And to my surprise, there's no up to date fuel pricing for Malaysia. Either there's never such site or Google bots has failed to find one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Keyboard Warriors

I've ended my year long hiatus from LYN weeks ago trying to sell the baby hamsters. At the some time, I even engaged in hamster discussion while slipping my advertisement every now and then, between post, and also subliminal by posting benefits of winter white hamsters over the smellier syrian hamsters.

Like all internet discussion boards, there are self righteous people who preach like a prophet and snide on ideas or comments that doesn't go along with their believes. They are called keyboard warriors. And there are many kinds of them that make up the population of internet laughing stalks, for those who have the eye to identify them.

The first kind of keyboard warriors are the ignorant kind. They are the type that echo information that made the very foundation of their believes. More often then not the very information is misinterpreted or doubtful all together. The most famous 'fact' that these ignorant keyboard warriors would harp over and over again is the harmfulness of sunflower seeds in the diet of hamsters. First off, feeding JUST sunflower seeds and NOTHING else will cause several health problem, that one is a fact. But proclaiming that the sunflower seeds is harmful all together is down right silly. Ironically, hamster feed manufacturers like Habitrail, Living World, Prestige and Vitacraft the very brand these keyboard warriors swear upon also contains sunflower seeds. The keyword here is BALANCED diet.

Then there's the hypocrite. Those who never walk the talk. I have to in some degree 'respect' this person since she wasn't openly hypocrite, but it takes several searches through her online (publicly shared) photo album that busted her double standards. I wouldn't go through all this trouble to disdain someone but she had it coming with being too vocal against syrian hamster owners with small cages and even have the cheek to insist that syrian hamsters ideally require at least 2 square feet of space while she herself has a cage no bigger then my 15" laptop for her syrian.

These people think that they know too well just by reading from books and internet sources which 'facts' is highly debatable. Sometimes things in life doesn't go textbook. Like the discovery of tool use by a cephalopod as reported by BBC.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lo Sang!

video
Although Chinese New Year is a month away, it's never too soon for Lo Sang. The traditional mix of assorted colored rice crispies, polmelo, raw salmon, white radish and sticky sweetening goo (have no idea what it is, really) topped with sesame seed is a must have every year. I'm going to let the video to speak for itself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Value for GP

There are many things that you can do with the GP, from refilling health (what a waste) to buying limited edition loot. But I'm going to talk about the two things that most people are at a tug of war in spending their GP. Stats upgrade or that Limited Edition loot (LEL)?

For 14GP, you can redeem 4 stat points. And these stat points can be allocated in any desired stats, though my most preferred option is always on attack and defense. And that's what I'll mention in this post, using GP points on stats to be used on A&D, since it's a better comparison with LEL which also provides A&D in combat.

There is one thing that you should know when you are going to spend 25GP on an LEL. Buying a Veteran Dog Tag with defense value of 42 will NOT add 42 points to your defense score. You'll need to remove one of your weakest armor first (in my case the bodyguard 25defense). So, in net, spending 25GP on a Veteran Dog Tag will net a +17 defense score.

Equipment is limited to mafia size, think of it as shelves. You only have space to put 501 equipment, if you want to add a newer stronger equipment, you'll have to remove a weaker equipment first.

As opposed to increase defense stats where the value will continue to grow as you accumulate more defense stats. Add one point to your defense stats will increase your final defense score by 50.1 (if you have 501 mafia members).

In short, think stats as this:
One skill point = one rock. The more skill point you add, the bigger the pile become. The bigger the pile, the stronger you are.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Online Shopping @ The Software Boutique

Somewhen last year, out of randomness I was playing old games again, and that triggered my nostalgia attacks. Other then the mentioned Caesar3 and SimCity2000, I've also installed and played SimTower (which was uninstalled within the same day), Quake 2, Harvest Moon, both the original SNES version and PSX version on emulators, flash version of Raiden III and many more which I've forgotten over the months of downloading abandonware and emulator roms.

There is one more itch that I'm dying to scratch for months now, Deus Ex. Due to the age of the CD and since its a pirated copy, its no surprise that my PC failed to read it after being in storage for 8 years. And that's when my hunt for Deus Ex begins. The first place was the usual game shops that sells games at budget price. And to my amazement, these shops being uptodate with the latest Windows7 and Modern Warfare2, doesn't have Deus Ex. Even the bleached hair ah beng with pierced ear that could trigger metal detectors miles away haven't heard of Deus Ex. The old shops which can be considered software museum were closed down during rampant anti piracy raids over the years. So, it was time to go original.

The only place that I can think of when mentioning original software is The Software Boutique (TSB). The first time I went there was way back in 2002 on a hot weekday afternoon after class. It was stuffy as the air conditioned wasn't turned on, probably because there's very little walk-in customers on a weekday afternoon. I didn't expect to buy anything there, but I did, it was an EA classic Lucas Arts Dark Forces 2 that sold for RM30-ish. It was one of my favorite game during high school when I converted the computer lab into a cybercafe and having all 8 students in a free for all deathmatch on a shareware version of Dark Forces 2. So I bought the full copy for the single player content which I later regretted. And that's the last time I set foot in that shop.

Now that I'm in need of Deus Ex fix, and TSB has a copy of it, I was about to reschedule my sunday to include a trip to TSB only to realize that its operating hours is the same with my working hours, it closes on sunday! Thankfully there's an option to purchase it online and so, that's what this post is all about.
Found what I was looking for with a few clicks.
Status: Available, YAY!
I then quickly registered an account with TSB and add Deus Ex into the cart

Check out. Then something caught my eye. Please call to confirm availability. WTF!?!? I thought that the status was available a page back. So I called the highlighted number, and the dude on the other line confirmed that they have stock for Deus Ex. He even asked me how many copies I wanted. Before I hung up I inquire about preferred payment methods and his reply was direct cash deposit, which can be done by either via cash deposit machine or through online banking funds transfer.

After getting verbal confirmation on stock availability, I then continue with the purchase. I'll have the package sent to the office.

Confirmation


Payment method.

Payment was made 5 minutes after that, and I had the bank send an automated e-mail to TSB on the fund transfer. TSB acknowledge payment, and the waiting starts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So, I Joined Nuffnang


Self explanatory title, with a screen cap to boot. Since I'm getting pretty reasonable hits per day (as shown in my feedjit), why not make full use of it?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Does a Boycott Really Works??


Apparently NOT.

Weeks ago, in the month of December, MW veterans and the likes staged a boycott over the changed loot drop during fights. Now loot don't drop automatically, but will need you to post secret stash post on your facebook page to have mafia members to click on them. What's more insulting is the loot are pitifully low grade items, like the above, automatic rifle (4A4D)? Chain gun (16A14D)which can be bought! Black Rose, limited edition loot which was leftovers form the previous Christmas. So much for limited. It's so limited that its available to be gifted for free, once daily to all mafia members, and lets not forget that there's nothing to shout about the stats of the black rose (20A14D). Having one black rose to fill up the profile page is already plenty.

When you already have 4million (and counting) daily players, 10 thousand unhappy players is nothing. Shamelessly speaking, I did break the boycott once to use the energy pack and to level up, at the same time rattle some hitlister. I was taken off the hitlist pretty quick by a combination of high level players and clanners. Guess I wasn't the only one breaking the boycott.

If it was any consolation, automatic loot drop was reinstated, but the tendency of that happening is very very rare. It's much easier and faster to do jobs for loot drop of a specific high level item then fighting and randomly get items which might not be needed at all. What a sneaky way to force bullies to evolve their playing habits.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Mafia Stats


My current stats for the end of 2009. 53786 total fights (inclusive of losses), and I only lost 10% of the time. Win rate of 90% isn't too bad. Death count however isn't that great to shout about, 350 deaths, a good portion of it goes to hit list rides.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hamster Talk

Many weeks ago Quarantine gave birth to a litter of seven. And there's only one post, with no updates on the hamster colors. Now, on her third litter, this is Quarantine's babies, one gold, two whites and a black.
Her first litter of seven was four gold where there are two shade of gold, one with a dark underlying skin, the other much fairer. I've sold all four to one buyer. The other three hamsters color is as follows: Two white and a black. The black turns out to looks exactly like the picture posted in the post below, the winter normal.

All of Quarantine's babies were sold except for Lucky, the winter normal. For some weird reason, Lucky could not get along with the other hamsters, even its own sibling. I've mixed Noisy's babies with Quarantine's to save space, and let the babies interact with each other, plus its much more fun looking at a 13 baby hamsters running about and playing. But as the babies turned three weeks old, Lucky became aggressive and attacked others. When placed back to his parents, Goldie (the father) attached him instead. So, now Lucky is a loner in his own drawer.

The remaining hamsters, all 12 of them were sold through Mudah. The person who contacted me through petfinders is still corresponding with me and she is one really really really picky person. She keeps insisting on a male/female pair pearl winter whites at the same price my other customers at Mudah is paying. When I dropped the price, I also took away some privileges such as reservations. When I first started using Mudah services, I got lots of inquiries and also lots of bookings for hamsters. However, almost none of the booked hamsters were picked up except for a few exceptional serious buyers who took no logger then two to three days from the first call made, to the date of the exchange. That prompt me to revoke reservation privileges to first come first serve basis. And it made selling much easier for me as I no logger have to refer to a list of reserved hamsters to see which is available, which is reserved, and how many people on the waiting list.

Embedding Google Maps into Webpage

I was given the task to add a location map of the office into the company's website. I was about to upload the same gif file that was used over and over again via fax and also e-mail to various people, mostly transport companies who have difficulty finding this place. Its a crudely drawn map, with lots of straight lines and landmarks which catches my attention. The ms paint drawn map is okay when they know about the landmarks along Kepong, but definitely insufficient for those who have never been to Kepong at all.

At the dawn of Google, and with its generosity to allow its Google Maps API to be freely used, its definitely a sin not to take advantage of such great, and free technology. And it's very easy to use, provided you get to the right website that is. I do find the language used in the official Google Maps website a little too technical.

The instructions given by ASP Spider is more straight to the point. However it's also just the basics of embedding the map into a webpage.

Additional features such as placemarks and map behavior along with the basics of embedding Google Maps can be found at developer.com. I wish I have found this site sooner, to save myself of the trouble trying one wrong code at a time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter White Hanster comparison


Found a website with photographic comparison of a winter normal and a winter white-sapphire hamster. So it appears that I have winter white-sapphire hamsters all these while mistaken it as winter normal.
Coming to think of it, the two senior pair I have, Mocha and Coco fur got lighter. Their dark streak on the back is barely noticeable now compared to the days when we first got them. Though I've yet to notice the bluish tint on their coat.

Why is this important? It's much easier to sell winter whites then winter normal. Almost all the calls that I got in response to my advertisement in mudah requested for winter whites. Especially the white color winter white also known as winter white-pearl to some breeders. And winter white hamsters fetch better value. I've came across winter white/pearl being sold for RM22, winter white/sapphire for RM24 and a winter gold for a whooping RM28 at local independent pets store. Winter normal hamsters can be as low as RM16. However, Petsmoe.com chain stores sell all winter dwarf hamsters at the same price of RM19.90 including the much in demand winter gold.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sean

Today I'm going to talk about Sean. Names changed to protect privacy. I first met Sean way back in 2002, we were freshmen in UM. He was in the same hostel I was during orientation week, and remained there for the next two semesters while I declined university accommodation, after all I live no more then 6km away. We have been sort of like course mates for the entire first two semesters.

During the second semester, I see less of him. As chinese new year approaches, he never attended class. Sean was working full time in SS2 as a temporary worker in a shop that sells smoked bbq meat. At that time the demand for for that seasonal delicacy was high, and the economy was strong, so consumer spending power was big, especially during festive seasons. According to Sean, the pay was good. So good that he forsake his tertiary education.

The second year onwards, he never attended university, and I couldn't contact him anymore as his number was canceled. That was the last I saw him, until recently.

Last Saturday, I met Sean. Through a series of unplanned events, he got my number, called me, and we met up for drinks. And I could hardly recognize him at all. At first glance he reminded me of old Biff, the character from Back to the Future, only with a larger nose and zit scars all over the face. Probably due to his thinning curly hair and the way its combed. And he has put on some weight. But what's startlingly different of him is that this new Sean is completely void of any sense of confidence. Back in uni days, he joined the reserve (for the monthly allowance which was pitifully negligible) he walk tall amongst others and when he talk, it's straight to the point, and firm. Now he speaks softly. Unlike soft spoken softies, who speak in soft, low decibels, Sean swallow his words when he speak, and when he wants to say something, its usually a sentence at a time more often then not, eye contact was rare. He is a mess dressed in a neatly pressed stripe work shirt and office slacks.

It didn't take me long to figure out his intentions. So, I just play cool, buy him lunch and we sat for the talk. He need a job, somewhat desperately. Although he didn't mention it, I could tell that the thing that is holding him back is his rather poor academic qualifications. At that moment I fully understood why my parents pushed me through university although there was one time I almost gave up due to several hickups. At this age, getting a job is a challenge when you are not equip with a degree when younger graduates shows much more potential. It takes real character to compete against such odds, and that character is not in him. So, as a friend, the only thing that I can do is to pull some strings, hopefully I have friends that can help out a little. For him to land himself on a desk job with a salary that he's comfortable with is incongruous.

On the topic of impossible feats, he recently went head over heels over an evening news newscaster when he meet her in person at the TV station while job searching. Like a 17 year old lovestruck teenager, he then went on sighing between sips of drink and finally muster up enough courage to ask if I have any friends in the entertainment industry, or know this newscaster who he can't get his mind off. Thank fully I do not watch the news and not know who this newscaster he's talking about or else I would've lost my poker face and gave out a "are you kidding" smirk in response to that question. Instead I just told him to get over it, forget his daydream and concentrate on matters at hand which was rather futile as his distance gaze was unchanged. As our conversation reached to a dead end, I excused myself and we parted.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Twenty Ten

What a way to start the new year with the display of fireworks right above our heads. However, this new year is the first time in many years I went to a concert, and of all performers, Beyond. I'm no Beyond fan, so being the only person there trying to lip sync to a song that I'm not familiar with AND surrounded in a sea of fans singing along with the two Canton artist is weird. Here's the finale which I manage to record somewhere in the middle-end of the VIP pen. The front stage was jam packed with people rubbing against each other. I stayed somewhere there's space to breathe.
video

Do mind the quality. The G400 is not meant to take videos in the dark, nor very loud concerts.