Sunday, October 30, 2005

Doom & FF7-AC

Yesterday, I decided to go watch DOOM. Why? I dun really know. I guess the fact that it was based on the game was the biggest attraction. This is despite the pretty bad reviews it has gotten. So, I went all the way to Prince Cinema to catch it.

I am sad to say that Doom was totally dooomed from the start. The acting is terrible, the story is pointless and the characters are forgettable. The effects? Passable, but nothing fantastic. Most of you would know that Doom is a FPS game. Well, the director tried very hard to give it all the feel of an FPS game. But the sad part is that he went so far as to include an actual segment which was filmed in typical FPS style! It's one thing to play a game in first-person. It's another thing to watch a so-called live-action movie in first person! And he included elements like monsters popping up and giving sinister 'heh heh heh' types of laugh before you blow them to bits. It's all really very stupid. Another laugh-inducing segment was when the lead, Sarge, decided to go to the Armoury for more powerful weapons (ala-the pc game). Well, the armoury had only ONE weapon, and the weapon looked like a huge toy. Nothing awesome at all.

It's quite sad to see people make movies like this. It's even sadder when I am gamer and I see all these games being butchered on the big screen. Sigh.

Things improved much more in the evening when I decided to watch my Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children DVD. I liked the FF7 game though I never finished it. I think I completed about60 to70% before giving up. heh. What to do, I was never an RPG fan. To get me to play it for so long already shows how good the game is. Anyway, FF7:AC is a very beautiful movie. The CGI is flawless. Some people say that this should have been the movie which SQUARE should have released instead of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Personally, I liked FF:TSW. I know it doesn't have a strong fantasy element like the FF games, but I thought that as a movie, FF:TSW was very very good. As for this new FF7:AC, I did enjoy it, although I was a little lost at times as I didn't know the characters from the game well enough. But I can see FF7 fans going nuts over all the references and characters from FF7. Almost everyone gets some airtime... including the fan-favourite Aerith. Actually, all the FF7 babes like Tifa and Yufi were animated very very well! Sigh, Japanese animation is really very beautiful.

Oh yah... although I bought this movie from a legitimate DVD shop, this isn't really the official DVD release. I think it's the Japanese release and some one (probably from Korea) did the subtitles. I tell you... the subtitles were terrible. For 80% of the movie, the lead of the movie was called 'Kulawend'. I was like 'HUH?' coz I didn't remember anyone called Kulawend in the game. Only towards the end did I realise that Kulawend was CLOUD pronounced in a weird japanese way.... I guess I shall have to wait for the official US release to watch a more complete version of the movie.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Wow... I can't believe it... I finished Shadow of the Colossus! According to the save file, I took about 12 hours in total to destroy the 16 colossi. It's a thoroughly enjoyable experience from beginning to end! I guess to some people, 12 hours is way to short for a game. But honestly, I think it's fine. I'd rather spend 12 hours totally immersed in a game than play a game for god-knows-how-long and then find myself losing interest in it halfway.

The ending is really sad. I won't spoil it for those of you who might be playing it, but it's a little unexpected but at the same time... expected? I know I don't make much sense... If any of you have completed it, I won't mind discussing the weird ending with you.

Wo1... 12 hours... completed... this must be a record for me. With the holidays around the corner, I've got a few games to catch up on... this is looking mighty fine!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Shadow of the Colossus

Wow, this is one heck of a game! I bought it on Friday as I'd been reading very good reviews about the game in magazines and websites. So, after school, I rushed down to my regular game shop to get it before rushing back for Boarding Formal Dinner. Oh yah, here's a pic of the Token of Appreciation I received for my 5 yrs of service as a boarding master. Phew. Can't believe it. 5 years.

Anyway, back to the main topic. I LOVE THIS GAME! If you have a PS2 and you are looking for a game with a difference, give this one a try. Firstly, there are no enemies to kill! No coins to collect! No secrets to unlock! The game is basically about how you want to save a girl and in order to do it, you have to kill 16 Colossuses (actually.. Colossi...). So every level is like a big boss battle. And it's basically about finding out how to kill the colossi.

The graphics is really good. Although I think it would have been awesome if this game came out for the PS3. It's pretty obvious that it had reached the limits of what the PS2 could do. But nevertheless, the atmosphere is fantastic and the feeling of how large the colossi are is just amazing. Take a look at the pics below, you are actually that little character at the bottom of the screen. And the huge monsters are the things you have to kill!

I think one of the things that I really enjoy about the game is how it makes you feel as if you are really climbing up this huge monster and trying to find the weak points so that you can kill it. It's almost like one of those things you often imagine when you watch those monster shows as a kid. Like, how on earth do I kill the gigantic monster!?

Of course, those of you who re looking for HALO-type frag-fest will be sorely disappointed. No shooting or killing here other than trying to take down the Colossi. So, if you are looking for someting different, give this one a try. It's burned up about 5 hours of my life and I've killed about 5 colossi. 11 more to go!

Thursday, October 20, 2005



Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New Earbud Headphones

Here are my new Earbud Headphones: The Panasonic RP-HJE50

First off, it kinda scares me that those inner ear things really do stick right into your ears. I mean, what if they come out when you try to remove them?!! They'll be like stuck in your ears lor. I tried tugging on them a little before inserting them. Ok lar, quite firm. And they come in three different sizes, so you can pick the right size before sticking them into your ear canal.

When I first inserted them, the first thing I noticed is how they cut off most of the ambient sound! It's almost like wearing earplugs. So you basically don't hear much of what goes on around you and the music is pumped directly into your ears! It might sound cool at first, I found it a little disconcerting after a while because just like ear plugs, you soon realize that you are able to hear your own breathing! heh heh... so in between songs, or when you cough, etc, you do hear a hollow ringing in your ear. It felt weird.

As for the sound itself, I'm not much of a sound critic, so as far as I'm concerned, the sound was ok. I think the absence of ambient noise made the sound a little purer and clearer. But as with most earphones, the sound was kinda thin and didn't have much punch.

On the whole, an interesting experience. But after listening for a couple of minutes, I found myself getting a little disoriented. I think I'm not really used to having things stuck in my ear canal. Maybe it's just my mind playing games on me, but I think I probably won't use them that often. Maybe they'll be very useful when I'm taking a flight. Will try them the next time I go overseas.

Status Update 3

Today has been another good day so far! Had invigilation and some other things to attend to in the morning. Started marking only around 12.30pm. By about 2.30pm, I managed to do a fair bit of marking in between of some chit chat with teachers to keep me awake.

Took a break to go down town for a walk. Thought it was well-deserved in view of my decent levelof self-discipline. heh heh. Bought some 'inner-ear' earphones (I think they're officially called Earbud-Headphones) coz I've been dying to try a pair since I saw them and the new Popular at Bras Basah complex were selling them at about 40% off. Then, went to Funan to see if there were any new games and then had dinner before heading back.

Came back and continued marking at about 8pm. I am proud to say, I've finished all the Sec 2 physics and have started on the Sec 1 physics CT. :-D

I shall endeavour to finish the Sec 1s by tomorrow evening. IT CAN BE DONE!

New gadgets to tempt me (part 2)

Here's another one that caught my eye. It's the new Nokia E70. It's similar to my favourite Nokia 6800 but uses the Symbian OS. Supposed to be launched early part of next year. Oooo... tough choices! Click here to find out more.

New gadgets to tempt me

Wow... Look at this thing of beauty. It's the new Sony W900i. I love my K750i, but I have to admit that this walkman phone is quite breathtaking. Luckily it's only due out at the end of the year... makes me feel less guilty for wanting to upgrade again... See more pics here!

Status Update 2

It's 2am. I'm proud to say that progress has been good. Started marking at about 5pm. Took a break here, a nap there... but by 2am, I have completed a little more than 30% of my total load.

Hmm.. I think there might actually be a chance that I will finish it all by tomorrow night! Then I can also have Thursday for some fun!

Actually, I dunno why I'm posting 'Status Updates'.... I think it's more for me to push on to complete all the marking... Sorry for boring you my life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Status Update 1

It's 10.45pm. The going has been tough, but satisfactory. I hope to go on for at least another 2 hours.

I must press on...
Tuesday, 5pm. And so the marking begins.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gloomy day

Today was just one of those days.

From the late morning onwards, it was totally overcast and rain rain rain rain rain.

It really dampens the mood, dun you think?

Was intending to go out todae, but basically vegetated at home. i think for all you ct-muggers out there, the dreary mood must've made it 10 times more difficult to mug. You have my sympathies.

2 more days. Test papers will come in. No life until they are marked. Sigh.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Caught Flightplan starring Jodie Foster today. I like her acting very much although her recent movies are not really fantastic. They're quite good... just not fantastic. So when I knew she was starring in this movie, I decided to give it a shot.

Flightplan is about this mother staying in Berlin who just lost her husband. So, she decides to bring the husband's body back to the US together with her daughter. After boarding the plane, she goes to sleep. When she wakes up, she can't find her daughter and nobody on the plane appears to remember her coming on board with her daughter. So did she board with her daughter? Or did she imagine the whole thing? Is she crazy? Or is there some conspiracy?

The first quarter of the film is a little slow moving as it tells the back story. However, when she discovers that her daughter is missing, things get a little more exciting. You are kept guessing if she really brought her daughter on board or not. Here, Jodie Foster is excellent as the worried and half-crazed mother. But I think it's too similar to her last major role, which is in the movie Panic Room. I must admit, this is not an 'action-a-minute' movie, so don't go thinking you are gonna see plenty of action. The story is not too bad and the twist is fiarly unexpected. At least I didn't expect it lar. Maybe some of you might be smarter in guessing the ending.

A few good movies coming up... so are the holidays... great!

But of course, all this will take a break from Tuesday when the lovely CT papers come in. Sigh.

(Oh yah, some of you have been asking what the hopeless movie I watched the last time was. Thought I wouldn't dignify the movie by naming it, but guess I might as well tell. It's Deuce Bigalow.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yepz, all's quiet and well. I'm gonna have this for just another few days until 18 Oct when all my test papers come in.. Then, it'll be my time to slave over the papers while the students have their fun.

As far as I'm concerned, I think I should simply enjoy this while it lasts.

I watched a really really REALLY hopeless movie today. It was a total waste of 90 minutes of my life. I had hoped it wasn't as bad as the reviews said they were. After all, I enjoyed the first movie and thought it was really funny and interesting. This time round... it really was boring and obnoxious. The jokes just induced cringe after cringe. Sigh. What a waste of my time.

Oh yah, columbarium had fried 'bee-tai-mak' for breakfast this morning. It was fantastic! Only $1.00 a plate somemore. Excellent!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


These few days have been relatively calm. Everyone is kinda in Pre-CT mode. Students are busy mugging... teachers are busy completing their marking... and everything seems to slow down.

Sometimes, I wonder if this should be how school life should be. Peaceful... slow... quiet.... heh. Life in our school moves at really breakneck speed. In fact, once the CTs are over, the entire engine seems to be jump-started and things move into 1st gear in no time.

Well, until then. I have a couple of dayz of peace. Papers come in next Monday and I'll have to spend the next few days marking until my hands drop. So exciting. yah. sure.

Such is the life of a teacher.

So, how shall I spend the next couple of dayz? Have plans to catch a musical, maybe Peter Pan. The newspaper review wasn't too bad. Sounds interesting. I'm not a huge Peter Pan fan, but I think the story can be quite magical. Will see if I can actually make time for it.

My food review? Today I didn;t get to eat at the dining hall. When I went over for lunch, the students were busy buying food and by the time I tried getting some food, there was pretty much none left. Sigh. So no dining hall food review today. Instead, I made my way to the columbarium for lunch and had a decent Nasi Lemak meal there. Quite good. $2 for rice (huge portion) with a luncheon meat, a fish cake, the mid-section of a chicken wing, and an EGG! I think it's pretty reasonable and tasty too. (Heh, might be scolded for recommending columbarium over dining hall, but I do think it's more value for money than Dining Hall's.)

One more day, then CT starts. To the students who read my blog, Relax & enjoy the ride. heh. All the best!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wow, I don't think I have ever eaten so often in the Dining Hall since the beginning of the year! I'm nt sure how many people read this blog, but here's my honest opinions on the food I bought.

This morning I decided to buy some breakfast from the Dining Hall. They open the first stall (snacks and paus, etc) from about 7am to sell food to those who need breakfast. So I took a look and found that they had some fried beehoon. This brings back warm memories of the bee hoon from Oodles of Noodles which I at almost everyday. So, I decided to give it a try. Of course I ordered it with an added portion of Chee Cheong Fun! However, when I turned to add the sauce, I found that they had changed the sauce to the BROWN type!!! Sigh.. so normal. No more special already. But ok lar, CCF still tastes decent. As for the bee hoon, I was quite disappointed with it. Firstly, the quantity. It was really little. Such a difference from Oodles of Noodles! I mean, the styrofoam container was not even half full! Sigh... where got enough. Taste? Not too bad. Normal lor. BUT I was disappointed that there was nothing to add! No egg, no nuggets, no fried wantons! So the bee hoon was extremely boring. If they are not gonna add extra stuff for me to order, I think I will not eat it anymore.

Next was brunch. Today I ordered the Nasi Lemak. Didn't add any ikan bilis coz I dun eat them. So, I had a generous portion of rice, one barely cooked sausage, one fried chicken wing and three slices of cucumber, all for $2. If you ask me, not really worth it. I think it was closer to only $1.50. Or at least add a slice of omelette lar. To be frank, the Nasi Lemak was not bad. The chili they supplied was quite tasty so I liked the rice with chili. The chicken wing also tasted fairly good. THe uncooked sausage? Not bad, but then again, how wrong can a sausage go? I've given feedback on the price. Hope they lower it or maybe add a fried egg to the Nasi Lemak.

So.. again, food not too bad... but just not complete. Hope they continue working on it. Tomorrow.. hmm.. Mee Rebus? We shall see... stay tuned for further food updates!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Oh Yeah... highlight of the day... BAYLEY IS CHAMPION HOUSE!

I think this is due in no small part to the excellent synergy of the House Exco. Congrats!

(To members from other houses, my sincerest apologies for any mocking you may have received from me... but... Bayley RULEZ!)


I looked around the dining hall today, trying to decide what to have for my brunch. Would it be the supersafe briyani (which I know tastes pretty ok) or should I be adventurous and try something else...

Well, as I was deciding on my course of action, I decided what better way to start of my meal than with two yummy spring rolls. Hence I headed to the first stall (which was virtually queueless) and purchased two crispy spring rolls... YUMMM!

As I munched on the spring rolls, I decided that I would try something different and go for the mee siam. It seemed quite popular and the pot of mee siam soup was like 3/4 empty. I purchased it and found my way to a table where my form class boys were sitting at. I took one mouthful of the piping hot mee siam... and... OMG... it was S.P.I.C.Y.!!! Now, to my blog readers, you must understand that I am not a chilli-eater. I don't mind food which is a little spicy for the taste (like the chicken they serve with the briyani). But I really can't take super spicy food. Well, I gave up after that one mouthful and looked for someone to give my mee siam to.

Don't get me wrong. I think the mee siam tasted ok. But it was really too spicy. If I had continued eating it, the dining hall would have made a fortune from me buying drinks to extinguish the flames on my tongue.

After successfully giving away my mee siam, I made my way to the ice cream stall for a cooling icy grape. Oooooo... the icy chill of the popsicle on my burnt tongue was pure heaven....

I've told the chef that the mee siam should be made much less spicy so that people who like chilli can easily add more. Until then, I'm staying away from the hell-bowl.. heh heh.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Less than a month... & Food Fun!

Can you believe it? In less than a month, school will be over. Yeah, until then, plenty to do, but the fact is, in less than a month, things can wind down a bit. Just a wee bit.

Last week was the first week that we had to get our food at the Dining Hall instead of the the school canteen. Here's what I miss most (in order):

1. Laksa from Oodles of Noodles
I found out how much I loved them only about 4 weeks ago... sob... so sad I didn't have more time with them before their demise.
2. Deep Fried Wantons from Oodles of Noodles
These babies were like droplets of heaven. heh.
3. Wanton Noodles from Oodles of Noodles
This one has been quite a staple of mine. Loved it ever since they started selling it.
4. Fruit juices from Cafe Delight
Sigh, sure gonna miss 美人汁.... and siew mais...
5. Briyani from Kampung Istimewa
Yes, the favourite of almost everyone. Who can forget that thick yummy sauce the chicken drumstick came with..
6. Mee Rebus from Kampung Istimewa
Another one of my faves. Always with extra noodles of course!

Well, after one week at Dining Hall, here are the ones which I think will be my new faves:

1. Spring Rolls
Yes! Definitely the 'wantons-of-the-dining-hall'. I tried them on Tuesday. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Of course, if you ate them later in the day, they'll be a bit chewy, but other than that, their really quite good.
2. Chee Cheong Fun
I love CCF. You really can't make a mistake with them. And as long as they are heated up nicely, they taste great. I love it that Dining Hall sells them and I love it that they use the red sweet sauce, not the brown one. Some people mock me that the red sauce is just colouring. I dun care lar. To me, they taste better! Unfortunately, if you go too early, the CCF can be a bit hard (esp at the edges).
3. Briyani from Muslim Stall
Of course, this can't compare with the Briyani from Kampung Istimewa. But on it's own, I think it's really not too bad. The curry was not as thick, but tasted pretty decent. Of course , can't really go wrong with the papadums too.

OK, so far, those are the dishes I've tried which I think were not bad. My comments above are strictly personal...

Finally, to all who have not tried, please drop by to buy an Icy Cool Grape ice cream. They're absolutely yummy! :-P

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Oooo... Sony just announced the DSC-N1, the latest 8 megapixel camera with a THREE-INCH TOUCH SCREEN!!! Woo hoo!!! Looks like this is gonna be my next big buy!

Monday, October 03, 2005

A day without my HP, weird but in a nice way...

Today I left my handphone at home.

I must say that it was a liberating experience.

I was virtually uncontactable from 7am to 9pm. Wow. The feeling was disconcerting but contradictingly calming.

I admit, the convenience of a handphone is wonderful. But I think it has also become a crutch; a tool to fall back on when we do things last minute all the time.

Maybe I should seriously consider getting rid of my handphone... heh...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Identity Crisis

I've just finished reading DC Comics' Identity Crisis, a 264 page hardcover collection of last year's hit comic mini-series. Although at times, the dialogue boxes are a little hard to follow, on the whole, the art & the story are pretty good. I've always been a sucker for good art. Though this isn't on the level of George Perez or Michael Turner (two of my more favourite artists), Rag Morales and Michael Blair did a pretty good job in showing some gritty realism in the world of superheroes. It's the first time I've seen a rape scene in a mainstream comic book, but honestly, it wasn't graphic coz there wasn't anything visual. It was more implied but equally repulsive. The emotions of the various superheroes and characters are captured superbly and very often, you can feel their loss/panic/frustration.

As for the story, Brad Meltzer crafts a pretty tight tale of how fear can change the mightiest of superheroes. It's heartwrenching to see the difficult decisions made by some of the superheroes, especially when the lives of their 'all-too-human-non-super-powered' loved ones are concerned. The deep dark secret harboured by some of these heroes almost make them as bad as some of the villains they try to fight. The story basically starts with someone dying and how this affects each superhero. It keeps you on the edge as you try to figure out who's the murderer as well as who's the next one to die. Each scene is really emotionally alive and you can't help but feel the pain that each characer goes through. The ending, I must admit was a surprise. Of course, there are a few threads left hanging, so I'm looking forward to future repurcussions.

I love comic collections cause I can read them as a whole without having to wait month by month for each issue to come out. Identity Crisis is one of the best I've read recently. Highly recommended to all DC comic fans out there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I love movies

I love movies. I really do. Watching a movie is really like a wonderful escape into fantasy. But of course, if the movie is c*@p, then it could be a visit to hell...

I can't wait for the renovation & installation works for my sitting room to be complete. Then I'll finally have a proper home theatre setup! Quite exciting. Can't wait to load up a movie and just enjoy the full boom of the subwoofer and the swirl of the surround speakers. Shiok! Just another month and it should all be setup.

Today, I decided to catch up on movies. I think the last movie I watched was almost a month ago. Sigh. So sad lor. I used to catch at least one a week. Now I haven't even caught one in the last month. I went to GV Grand at Great World City, always liked the cinemas there. If only they were Digital. Well, the nice thing is I found out that HSBS credit card holders get one dollar off every ticket. That means, weekend movie watching is $8.50 instead of $9.50. Quite good!

I caught Tim Burton's Corpse Bride first. Quite nicely done. Although the movie was only about 80mins long, I think it was just about right. Any longer and it could have gotten boring. I was reading a review which said that somewhere in the middle, it could get tiresome because there was no clear sign where the movie was headed. Actually, I thought I pretty much figured out the movie after the first half hour. The stop-motion animation was nice and the grey tone of the whole movie was quite fitting. But I must admit that the gruesomeness of the theme got ot me after a while. All the skeletons and dead people dancing and singing... can get quite disturbing. But then again, it's typical Tim Burton. This film is pretty dark but I think I personally preferred his earlier film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Thought that was a better movie.

After TBCB, I decided to catch The 40-yr old Virgin. Since this one's rated M18, I guess most of you (ie. my blog readers) would not be able to watch it. Must say it was quite funny. There was this whole waxing scene which was really hilarious. I think waxing is really cruel. I pity the poor women who go through it. But for a hairy guy to undergo waxing? OUCH! Guess I can't say much else about the movie coz I'd pretty much have to get into M18 territory, so to keep this blog PG, I guess I can only say it's pretty funny, so watch it when you come of age. heh.

There are a couple of other movies I'm hoping to watch, The Myth being one, The Brothers Grimm, Night Watch, and maybe even Dark Water. Don't think I'll have time this week... so maybe next weekend!

Mad Mad Week

This has week has been mad. And the scary thing is, I don't expect it to get any less mad until maybe... mid Nov.

It was so mad, that I actually tried what some of you guys do.. sleep in the evening that get up later to work through the night. On Tuesday, I slept from 8pm till 12 midnight, got up, had dinner, bathed and did my stuff still about 3.30am before giving up and sleeping again until 6.30am. On the whole, not bad, 7 hours of sleep!! But frankly, it screwed up my body clock. Was pretty out of sorts for the next two days. I guess I'm really too old for this. I remember in JC, there was once I attempted an all-night mugging. It was quite funny. I prepared a nice big flask of coffee.. laid all my notes and books on the dinner table... and started piah-ing. I think I lasted till about 4am before giving up. Nowadays, no way can stay up whole night liaoz. Really getting old...

Back to the mad week. We had Prom Day on Tuesday morning. I've always thought Prom Day was a very meaningful ceremony. Though it could get a little long, I think it is important to have this significant handover of leadership. I think it also serves as some form of inspiration for the junior boys as they see the sec 3 leaders taking over from the Sec 4s. Tuesday was quite a mad day. After school, there were like a hundred places I had to be! From phototaking with board, with class, with department, to contact time to meeting with prefects... sigh.. it was really a mad rush from one thing to another. So when the stuff ended at about 4pm, I just sat and wanted to stone. Really, literally, totally stone.

Wednesday was out-of-sync-day coz of my supposed all-nighter (which ended at 3.30am, but nonetheless still an all-nighter to me). We had the Van Project launch. Thought the video was excellent. And I think it did make some impact on the students. Great job to the video crew!

Wednesday night was almost an all-nighter too. Had to finish some work until almost 4am then took a 2.5hr sleep before school. Worse thing? Had 3 lessons the next day. Took all my mental energy to pull me through that day. Then had to settle ice-cream sale. Had to receive fridge, settle stock, etc. Then a teacher gave an excellent idea of asking other Form Teachers if they wanted to give their class an ice cream treat for Childrens Day. While the idea was great, it meant having to organise the orders. More work. Nvm, it's for good cause.

Then finally today, Friday. Things finally took a bit of a slowdown, but it's temporary. I've got a ton of stuff to do this weekend. Nvm, one thing at a time.

I know, life isn't any better for you students. You have my sincere sympathies. At least often, I have a choice. If I choose not to do, at most face the music lor. Dun like.. at most quit lor. As students, cannot quit. Have to do means have to do... sigh. I've always believe there's more to life than work (and study). I guess it's really a question of priorities, of what we think is really important.

For me? Life's too short to be swamped only by work. Don't you think?