Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Gundam Model

OK, I think fate has kinda arranged for me to get a little more hooked on Gundam Model Kits. Plaza Singapura was having an atrium sale and they had some HG kits. Bought this one for only $25. Decided to try something a little bigger coz this is 1/100 scale while the previous one is 1/144.

This time round, I decide to try something a little more adventurous. heh. I decided to use the Gundam marker I bought form Tokyo to try to do some of the lines on the model. I know some of you experienced model makers must be sniggering at my total noobness with model kits. I'll admit that I have never been good at assembling these things and I have never ever painted/marked even one. I had to do some googling to find out a little more of how to use those marker things. It took some effort to overcome the mental barrier of placing the marker on the shiny new parts. Believe me, it wasn't easy. I was so scared I would destroy the part!

Well, in the end, I think the outcome is quite satisfactory... especially for a model noob like me. I really like how the marker can be easily erased with a normal eraser. Makes mistakes pain-free. Below are two before and after pics. I'm quite proud of myself actually.

Next challenge? Maybe I should think of doing some painting. The stickers make the model look real cheesy. But my painting skills are even worse than my lining skills.... lolz. Let's see how things go.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)

This game is so good you have to play it to believe it! I picked it up just last Thursday and I finished it yesterday, which is like only 5 days! Sure, that may be pretty short for a game, but God of War: Chains of Olympus is one helluva ride. This is an action game through and through. Kill stuff, upgrade weapons and skills, kill bigger and cooler stuff and get even better stuff. Ha... I don't need much else. I also love the mythological aspect of the game. Cyclops, Minotaurs, Medusas, Sirens, Greek gods they've got them all. it's always fun to kill giant stuff - gives the game a nice epic feel. Maybe I would have liked the game to last longer. But a part of me feels I might have lost interest in it if it were some super long game. Really good action game. If you like this kinda game, it doesn't get any better than this.

Some actual game screenshots (not mine lar):

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Evangelion:1.0 - Review

Since my return from Tokyo, I've been trying to find time to go watch Evangelion:1.0. Finally made time on Thursday night to catch it at The Cathay.

It's a definite must-see for fans of the original anime. I like the added scenes which help to give a sense of awe and scale to the launching of the Eva units. There were nice little touches and plenty of hydraulic-type noises! heh. I'm so easily sold.

Story-wise, I can see they've made an attempt to tie everything much closer. There is a little bit more back story so that we can understand better where the Eva units came from. Of course I think the ultimate test is how they actually end the movies series this time round. They've decided to make it into a 4-movie series. Part 2 is supposed to be out this year as well.. shiok! I can't wait.

For people new to the series, be prepared for a cliffhanger ending. If you can't take it, then you better wait for all 4 movies to be released before watching the series.

Minor irritation... happened to have some former students sitting behind me at the cinema... a couple of them were making irritating comments through the whole movie... sigh. Spoilt some of the nicer scenes. If you are reading this... shaddup next time. heh.

Tokyo Banana... Little Bites of Heaven!!

Ever since I discovered them in Tokyo, TOKYO BANANA has been a must-buy every single time I'm in Tokyo. So far, everyone I've introduced them to has unanimously agreed that they are one of the best cakes they've tasted in Tokyo. They don't come cheap. About 8 pieces for 13 dollars, which makes each piece about $1.60. But if you like bananas, believe me when I say it's worth every cent. heh.
Here's how it looks stripped of it's wrapper. It's got this lovely soft sponge layer surrounding a creamy banana filling that's not too sweet.
Here's a closeup of the Tokyo Banana with it's filling.

There are other snacks by Tokyo Banana, including wafers and a kueh-lapis type cake. They all taste nice, but in my opinion, nothing beats the original Tokyo Banana!!

Imitations have sprouted all over Tokyo. I've noticed at least two other COUNTERFEITS which taste nowhere as good as the original. There's also been a Tokyo Mango which is actually not under the same company. I bought a box to try coz I love mangoes, but I was totally disappointed.

Tokyo Banana.... just typing this blog entry is causing me to drool.... Don't miss it if you ever visit Tokyo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gaia Gundam Model Kit

For some strange reason, I've been itching to assemble a Gundam model kit the last two months. I think it might be related to the lack of Star Wars Lego available at the moment. I've been putting it off, but this time when I went to Tokyo, I really couldn't resist getting one as I thought the prices were pretty reasonable.

From what my brother explained to me, there were different levels of model kits for Gundam kits.. from FG (First Grade) all the way to PG (Perfect Grade). Yeah, I'm kinda noob at model kits. I remember nightmares when I was a kid trying to put together those airplane and jetfighter models. Those kits often turned out to be disasters. But I digress... Anyway, after considering my noob level, I decided to go for a HG grade, just one grade above kiddy grade I think. After sifting through the mountains of kits available, I settled on the GAIA GUNDAM, not because I knew it's background, but because I thought it looked kinda cool. lolz.

Well, I took out the kit and decided to start on it. I was impressed with how well the pieces were molded (Shows you how long it's been since I've even tried a Gundam kit). But I also realised how small some of the pieces were. It took an amazing amount of finger acrobatics (considering how fat my fingers are) to put some of the pieces together and paste on the tiny stickers as well! Here's a pic of the super small head of the Gundam on my palm. I had to paste the stickers where the eyes are.... It was no mean feat...

Well, it took my about 2 hours to put the whole thing together. I must admit it was quite enjoyable. I've decided not to try any painting or marking coz I'm really scared I'll destroy what I've done. The good thing is, the Gaia Gundam is kinda dark... so the pen markings probably won't make too much of a difference. heh. I think the whole model is pretty cool and I like how pose-able it is. I bought a model stand so that the Gundam can be posed in nicer positions. SO here are a few pics I took.
Front view...
Close-up Front View...
Buttock view...

My hands are kinda itching to try either painting it or buying the next higher grade (I think it's Master Grade) to give it a try. Here's hoping for some Gundam Model Kit sale soon!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tea at the top of the world (actually.. just top of Singapore)

Phew. Busy busy day.

These few days have been pretty busy at work coz I have to finish some outstanding stuff before leaving for Tokyo on Sunday. Will be leading a school tour there. Quite excited coz I'll be covering at least one new place.... Tsukuba Science City. Actually ended up coming home at almost 11pm tonite from office! lolz. Can't believe I'm so hardworking.

Despite the busy-ness, I did take some time off to go for a high tea with some friends. It's literally a 'high'-tea coz we decided to go to Equinox at that tall hotel. I really can't remember the name. Seems to keep changing... I think it's Swissotel now.

The restaurant is 70 floors up and gives pretty decent views of the padang, marina bay (including the dwarf-looking Singapore Flyer) and my favourite Funan Centre. Sadly it was raining so the view wasn't as nice as it could have been. Food there's pretty normal. Not too expensive considering the nice view.... $35++. Had a good meal and enjoyed catching up with my frenz. Here's a pic of the skyline of the CBD area. Pity the raindrops on the window. lolz.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I've always enjoyed comics, manga and anime. But I think I truly became a fan after I started watching the original Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's a really excellent anime although the ending was really confusing. If I remember correctly, I was introduced to the anime by a fellow teacher about 10 years ago! I don't think there has been another robot anime that has left such a strong impression on me. Anyway, the new movie, Evangelion:1.0 is getting released on 13 March. Very excited! Can't wait to catch it!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Dip

It's been a pretty busy week. With the March holiday week coming, my department has got to prepare for the departure of a few groups so there's been the usual swell in work. Although I'm on part time, I've actually been staying pretty late, working till 7.30pm on some nights the past week. So hardworking, I scared myself...

I've managed to find some time to read a book I bought a while ago. As you can see from the book cover below, what obviously attracted me was the byline - ' A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick)'. I have very little patience, so I was pretty glad the book's nice and thin... only 96 pages. But it was a good 96 pages. Although not really preaching anything very new, it gave me a new framework to think about what I've been doing and where I want to go.

In a nutshell, the book is about how the things we do can be translated to the chart below. In the first part of the chart, with more effort, comes more results... very normal. In the middle of the chart, it shows that with even more effort, results suddenly take 'a dip'. The author Seth Godin then asks if we have ever planned to face the dip and if we have planned to push on with further effort so that we can reach a high level of results later on. The ability to overcome this dip or to decide if we should quit this dip even before embarking on the journey, will determine if we are successful or mediocre.

The reason why it caused me to think a little more is I wonder if I have faced my dips or tried to run away when I am in my dip. I've also been reminded to think about whether I am wasting my energy being mediocre at many things instead of being good in a few things.

When I chose to leave RI, the question I was whether I was just escaping from a dip or was I leaving for true legitimate reasons. Now that I am in my current job arrangement, am I happy coz I have settled into a state of mediocrity or should I be challenging myself to work towards and beyond my next dip.

It's kinda hard to be totally clear here coz I dun like to give a wordy review of the book. If you're facing similar questions of whether you should quit (or stick!), then consider picking up this book. At 96 pages, it's a quick and easy read.