Monday, December 27, 2004


It is done. I have caved in and succumbed to the temptations of the pure (or semi-pure) evil one. I feel so guilty.... sigh...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Temptations... again

I hate some people... I'm not naming them (or HIM), but I do hate them. It is evil to tempt others with lovely 17 inch monitors going at super-tempting prices. It is unkind to show others that 19 inch Ultrasharp LCD monitors are going at S$677. Sigh. I hate some people.

Meet the Fockers

MTF is a really funny show. Caught it today with my brother and it was hilarious. If you're looking for a comedy to start the new year, this should not be missed.

I also caught Kung Fu Hustle the other day. HIGH Points: Good effects. Undoubtedly, because of an American company backing him, Stephen Chow was able to put in a HUGE amounts of effect shots. And the standard of the effects was pretty good. All the swirling and jumping and kung fu shots were pretty well done and quite impressive. Was the show funny? Yeah... it had the requisite Stephen Chow moments: the sexy ugly gal, the nerdy guy, the obnoxious bad guys, the gay character.. There were also LOL moments. Quite funny. LOW points: I think Stephen Chow was so happy with the extra budget that I felt he went overboard with the effects. At some point, I started thinking 'Oh no... more of the same?'. The story was also weak. Not as interesting as Shaolin Soccer.

On the whole, KFH is quite good. Personally, I think Shaolin Soccer is a better movie.

With the new school term starting soon, KFH and MTF will help to bring the year to a hilarious end. Catch them if you can.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Chaos

Woke up today and decided to go watch Phantom of the Opera. It's one of my favourite musicals and I thought, what the heck, let's give the movie a shot, despite it getting like 1.5 stars or something from 8 days (or was is Straits Times? Nvm) Anyway, the movie started with some fake yellowish-old-film type scenes... and went on to show an auction scene in an opera theatre, pretty much like the musical. So, ho-hum... no big deal. But just as I was letting my apathy catch hold of me, the familiar PTO theme started playing. And the movie scene started getting 'colourised'. I tell you... I could feel chills down my spine. It was really quite good. The CGI together with the haunting tune really went along well. To cut a long story short, I did enjoy the movie after all. For those who've heard or seen the musical version of PTO, it's pretty obvious that the singing in the movie version can't match up to it, so don't even bother hating the movie because of it. Taken on it's own merit, PTO: the movie is not a bad musical movie. If you hate musicals, please don't watch this. You'll be bored stiff.

After the movie, I decided to take a risk and go down to Orchard Road to get some stuff and feel the Christmas atmosphere. I knew that transportation would be crazy and crowds would be scary but decided to try anyway. I wasn't wrong. It was a crowded mess. But I must say that STPB, together with the group of churches, did do a decent job of 'christmastazing' Orchard Road. The decor and the atmosphere, did feel a little more christmassy then usual. Of course, it was expected that the whole Christmas thing did feel more commericalized as well. Well, to all those who might read this blog, may the true spirit of Christmas touch your lives.

On my way back, I went past J8 and saw the Grant-a-wish booth set up by some students from NUS. I thought it was a very nice idea. They had collected wishes from children from different family service centres and then put it up on a board. We could then look at the wishes, then if we wanted, go and purchase the items to fufill the wish of the child. Interesting items. There were requests for Billabong wallets, school bags, an addidas soccer ball, discmans and gameboys. There was even a request for a 6-inch thick mattress for someone's baby. Well, maybe it was my conscience or something, but I decided to get some of the items for the children. There was another lady there who also decided to purchase bicycles for the children. Hope the few items I bought brought some christmas cheer to someone.

To everyone who reads or visits this blog, in the spirit of the season, here's wishing you blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

WOW!!! Looks like I was suckered into buying the Sony PSP! This picture was posted on eBay of the SORNY PSP. Looks even better than the Sony PSP! I can't wait for it to be launched.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Anime Overload

I've spent the last two days catching up on some Anime watching & DVD watching. Think my eyeballs are like tired from the visual overdose.

First, I finished watching through CSI Season 3 which I had borrowed. I realised that it was difficult to watch more than 3 or 4 episodes at one go. The stories were interesting but I think after 3 or 4 episodes, the gore just starts to get to you. It's just very depressing to watch murder after murder, autopsy after autopsy. Kinda makes me scared to visit Las vegas again. I've been there a couple of times and they've been quite fun. But CSI makes it look as if a murders happen all the time there. The cast of CSI are pretty good. I've tried watching CSI: Miami and I think it really pales when compared to CSI. I'm looking forward to watching CSI: New York. I think the cast sounds promising.

Next, I finally started watching some of the Anime which I had piled up. Started with RahXephon: The Motion Picture. I think this is a pretty interesting Anime with a SciFi/Fantasy element. Basically something to do with ancient civilizations, giant robots, music harmonics, alien possession, etc. Sometimes, makes you wonder how the Japanese can come up with these storylines! Anyway, I think the movie is pretty good. There was a lot of human drama, and the finale was almost tear-inducing. It was one of those 'OH NOOOOO!!! IT CAN'T BE!!!!! HOW COULD THEY!!!!' kind of endings. I've not started on the VCD TV series of RahXephon yet, that might be more interesting.

And finally, I finished watching episodes 9 to 24 of Full Metal Alchemist (xb, if you are reading this, shaddup). I've not been so hooked on an Anime since Evangelion. The story in FMA is really engaging and deals with some very thought-provoking and emotional themes. The animation is top-notch and the humourous parts really make you laugh out loud. I can't wait for the next few episodes to be released. However, I must say that the english subtitling is really bad; the grammar is terrible and the names keep changing. The main chracter is Edward but it's translated as Edowardo. Another character was named Siren (I think) and it wass translated as Thilian. heh. But well, it's better than no subtitles/mandarin subtitles.

Ok... less than two weeks to go before the start of the term... Must persevere and finish watching more stuff!
Went to Sim Lim on my weekly visit... (during the holidays, almost twice weekly), and I found two of the game shops displaying a PSP in their counter. I overheard them speaking to a customer who was examining the PSP and apparently, they were selling the PSP for over 800 bucks! I paid about 420 bucks for mine. Wow... talk about a price hike! Makes me even more glad that I bothered to line up for it in Japan.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Catching up on movies

I've been catching up on the movies which were released while I was away in Japan.

First, caught National Treasure at Suntec Eng Wah cinemas. I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: Digital Cinema is really great! As I sat there watching NT, I'm just awed by the sharpness of the picture, the cleaness of the image (no scratches or funny wriggly lines) and how vibrant the colours were. Even the subtitles are sharp! I don't know how anyone can choose to watch normal film over the digital versions. For those of you who aren't too sure what Digital Cinema is all about, you can take a look at this link:

Back to National Treasure. Before I say anything else, I have to say, I enjoyed the film. It was nice to watch a treasure-hunter-type show pretty much in the same spirit as the Indiana Jones series. There was sufficient action and the special effects were ok. However, I find it a little hard to accept Nicholas Cage as an Indiano Jones type character. The downside of this film is that it's pretty obvious that it's a Da Vinci Code rip-off. It's trying to capitalize on the current craze over the Da Vinci Code book. There are references to conspiracies, cover-ups, and of course ancient groups of people like the Knights of the Templar and the Free Masons. It's all loosely tied together with a flimsy storyline, but like I said, it was all a pretty good package. Watch this film.

The other film I'd watched was Ocean's Twelve. I had high expectations for this film as I had thoroughly enjoyed Ocean's Eleven. With the same cast and the same director, I'd thought things would probably be at a similar standard to the first movie. On the upside, watching the cast interact was fun. This big cast really do have chemistry working together. You can see that they are having fun throughout the movie. I was however, disappointed with the story. It didn't have the slick heist in the first movie and the twist at the end of this one was really quite contrived. Kinda like an easy way out to tie everything together at the end. There wasn't really any major heist through this movie too. Just a few small ones which aren't really impressive to watch. Don't watch this film if you expect a smart storyline. Watch it to enjoy the chemistry of the cast.

That's it for now. I'm looking forward to catching Blade Trinity, Alexander and The Phantom of the Opera over the next few days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here's the queue which I joined at 5.00am on a cold Osaka morning for the PSP. This is taken at Yodobashi Camera Shop at JR Osaka Station. When I joined the queue, there were already about 200 people ahead of me. By the time the shop opened at 6.00am, there were probably about 400 people in the queue. I think the temperature was about 5 to 10 degrees celsius. It was freezing and I kept hands warm by holding on to a bottle of warm tea which I bought at the vending machine earlier. As the queue moved slowly forward, I must admit I was a little worried that all my lining up would be for nothing as I wasn't sure if there would be enough PSPs to go around. Well, thankfully, there were more than enough PSPs and I'm now the proud owner of one of the 200,000 PSPs that were launched on 12 Dec 2004!
And here it is... the Playstation Portable...aka.. PSP! It took me 2hours of lining up in the early morning but I finally got my hands on one and let me tell you... I think it's worth every cent (or yen)! The graphics are superb and the machine just oozes with coolness. Those of you who don't know much about the PSP (sigh... which planet are you from?) can visit to find out more about this awesome piece of equipment.
Here's something I'm really glad I found in a toy shop in Tokyo (at Ueno). They are different scenes from the old Mario Bros games for the Nintendo. I saw these in a magazine a while ago and wondered how to get them cause I thought they were cool. The squid, mario, mushroom are all magnetically attached to the scene so they can be moved around. They cost about 300 yen each (about 5 dollars), and come sealed in a box so you kinda randomly choose the boxes and hope you don't get the same ones. There are six scenes and luckily, I pciked 3 boxes and they all ended up being different. Phew.
Back from Japan with a whole load of meaningless stuff again! Japan is really full of cute stuff. I was reading somewhere that this has become some sort of an 'export' for them. I mean, everywhere you look, there is something 'cute' or 'kawai-i' associated with something. Anyway, I got suckered into buying these swaying flowers. They are solar powered and basically sway from side to side. Yep. That's about all they do. Cool, rite? One costs about 714 yen..about 11 dollars. I had to buy 3. Thought they'll look coller swaying together.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Tomb Raiding

I have this funny obsession with Tombs. Yesterday and today, my main areas of visit were tombs. Japanese Tombs. Maybe this is kinda ike a replacement for deciding not to go Egypt. So, instead of visiting Egyptian tombs, I'm visiting Japanese ones!

Yesterday, I went to Sakai to visit the tomb of Emperor Nintoku (hope I spelt it right). It's a huge key shaped tomb bigger than the largest pyramid and the Emperor Qin Shihuang's tomb. The sad thing is that it's pretty much considered sacred, so no one can step foot on/in it. SO I could only stand from afar to view it. I then visited the Sakai museum to take a look at artifacts recovered from around the tomb and a mock-up of the tomb based on historical records... it was quite awesome. Funny thing is, I then realised that I've been to this museum abt 4 yrs ago! But I never realised that there was a tomb nearby.

Today, I travelled all the way to the outskirts of Osaka, to a place called Kiishi. I went all the way there, took a bus and walked through a park to visit the Chitsuka Asuka Museum..which basically is a museum about... TOMBS! heh.. The Museum is built at a mountain where there were many tombs all around it. The tombs were built around 6th Century (I think). This museum had even more artifacts and best of all, it had an English Language commentary! It was soooo good to listen to English. I then travelled another 45 mins or so further away from Osaka to another old city called Asuka which had plenty of unearthed tombs. There I rented a bicylce..yes, I can ride a bike... and went around to a few of the tombs and museums.

I think I've had enough of tombs for this trip.

Now on to more interesting stuff... the PSP is launching on 12 Dec. I know it is near impossible, but I am still hoping that by some miracle, I can purchase one here. I don't know how I'm gonna do that coz it seems that it will probably be sold out almost immediately. I don't think I am prepared to go and queue up overnight for it. Sigh.

I also found the SONY VAIO VGN-U750P here. For those who don't know, this is a beautiful full feature laptop which is just about 1.5 times the size of a paperback book. I'm so tempted to buy it coz it's so much cheaper here than in Singapore. The price back home is about S$3799 and here... it's only about S$2800. So much cheaper! It's such an extravagant thought... If I can get the Sony PSP... then I'll probably not thing so much about the laptop...otherwise... die lar!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Aching Feet

My feet hurt.

It`s been a long day of walking, walking, walking. This morning, I went up to the Shin Umeda City Tower...where a lift brings you about 143m up to the roof top where you can see the whole of Osaka. Frankly, I`m not a big fan of heights. I`ll admit that I was grabbing on pretty tightly to the railing in the lift as it zoomed all the way to the top. It didn`t help that the lift was the see-through kind... to allow you to see yourself rising above the ground. The view was fantastic. But I almost wished I needn`t take the lift down again. Going down was funny. There was another couple in the lift ant the girl immediately squatted down with her head to the floor when she entered the lift... she was too afraid to look up. I guess I felt the same way, but couldn`t show my fear like that!

In the afternoon, I found out there was a Star Wars exhibition at the Osaka Maritime Museum. It was quite good. Pity I wasn`t allowed to take photos. They had many of the original costumes and props on show. It was a little expensive.. about S$25, but I think it was quite worth it.

Spent the rest of my time at Den Den City... the Electronics centre of Osaka. Sooo tempted to buy stuff but had to practice some self-control. Will write more later, my internet time is up at the cafe.

Monday, December 06, 2004


I'm off to the Land of the Rising Sun... Japan for a couple of days. The two countries I love to visit most: USA and Japan. I admit it, I'm not really a nature kind of guy. I do like looking at mountains and fields, but frankly, if I see too much of them , I get pretty bored. I still need the excitemet of the city, of the high-tech stuff to keep me interested.

It's a tough fight between Japan and US when it comes to high-tech stuff. I love to wander through the electronics places and just see what are the latest gadgets and gizmos. In Tokyo and Osaka, there's the famous Akhihabara and Den-den town. In US, you have the electronics megamarts like Fry's and CompUSA. It's also very cool that I will be in Japan when the PSP launches on 12 Dec. I am soooooo tempted to go and queue up for it. But frankly, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak... very very weak. I don't think I can tahan queuing overnight with temperatures going down to around 5 degrees celsius. But it would be exciting to see the atmosphere at the electronics shops.

Friday, December 03, 2004

One down...

Just finished playing Sly Cooper and the Thievous Racoonus on the PS2. I know it's an old game, but I found it surprisingly good. It wasn't too difficult and it had enough variety and action to keep me hooked. And the levels were not too long, so they could be completed in a reasonable amount of time. The best part? I paid only S$25 for it! heh... Some games are really cheap in the US.

I read about Sid Meier's Pirates on, sounds like a really fun game. I saw it at Funan today but I really couldn't bring myself to buy it. Firstly, I'm really worried I'll get hooked, and Secondly, if I'm not wrong, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth is coming out next week!

For those who know me, please don't think all I do is play games. I totally enjoy gaming, but unfortunately, I only have time to do it during the school holz. That's pretty much why I seem to be talking about games all the time. When the school term starts... sigh...
This is a pic of a pc which someone (whom I shall not name... let's just call him HP for now... ) is longing for. Tacky isn't it.
Hmm... the PSP is supposed to be portable.. I wonder which giant would be privileged to own this version of it.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Singapore Idol

Sylvester lost..... I am very sad.....