Friday, September 26, 2008

Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer offered travel agents a free ride on the Singapore Flyer. The offer ends on Tuesday so I decided to take the day off and be-a-tourist-for-a-day.

I am generally quite interested in Observation Wheels. I usually give them a try (if they are not too expensive!) when I am travelling. One of my favourites is the one in Tokyo near the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Anyway, I've been putting off trying our own Singapore Flyer coz I guess I couldn't bring myself to spend $30 for a 30min ride.

Below are some of the pics from my ride. You can see more if you click my Flickr album on the sidebar.

The F1 track was closed to cars/buses so I had to take a long scenic walk from Suntec to the Flyer. Quite a nice view walking up to the Flyer. Feels big & kinda grand.

Just before entering the Flyer Complex, I was quite taken by the moorings which were holding the wheel in place. Reminds me of some phaser canons on a galactic cruiser in scifi shows.

And here, we have lift off! Being a weekday afternoon, there weren't many people around. I had the entire carriage to myself. Shiok.

First main sight as the wheel rotated was the F1 complex & Grandstand. You've gotta be impressed how fast Singapore can build stuff! Just imagine, all these structures weren't around a year ago!

Here's a view from somewhere near the top of the wheel's rotation cycle. I think the area behind is the Kallang area where the National Stadium (which never seems to get demolished) is.

Coming down the other side (ie. after the wheel has rotated about 200 degrees or so), I had a nice view of the CBD area as well as the up and coming Integrated Resort (*cough* CASINO *cough*). As the carriage returned to the starting point, there was a nice model of the whole resort. You can see it in the Flickr Album.

And here's the view as the carriage is returning to the boarding point. Whole journey did take about 30mins.

The nice thing about the F1 road closures is that the Flyer actually provided a FREE water taxi from Flyer to Clarke Quay. It was like getting a free river cruise! I think after the F1 period, it will cost $5 to take it. Not too expensive and might be worth a ride to complete the whole experience.

I have only one complain. I was kinda disappointed that they didn't have any onboard commentary in the carriage. It would have been nice to hear some commentary on what I was actually looking at. At least they did try to provide a map-like handout to show us what the main sights were. Better than nothing I guess. I was however quite irritated at the CONSTANT F1 car-revving sounds that was being piped through the speakers. They had an F1 promotional video looping on the LCD screen and the noise did take away a little from the whole experience.

OK, so generally, I did enjoy the Flyer. To be frank, I wouldn't mind getting some membership if they allowed me to take unlimited rides on the Flyer. I think it would be interesting to take it at different times in a day, especially at night. Hmm.. since the travel agent free ride ends on Tuesday, maybe I should try to take another ride on Monday evening.... :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Downtime - Yawn

Tuesday has always been the maintenance day for World of Warcraft. Basically, it means that there's no wow-playing on Tuesdays... usually until 2am on Wednesday.

I recently bought Warhammer - Age of Reckoning (WAR), a new MMORPG to try. The stupid thing is.. they have ALSO chosen Tuesdays to do patches/maintain the server. So, instead of being able to use Tuesday to try WAR, I'm stuck with... blogging? lolz.

Anyway, a few new things I tried recently:

1. Warhammer
Many call it a WOW clone. I've played it for a couple of hours and I think that so far, the game is quite similar to WOW. But for some reason, the graphics dun seem to be very nice on my pc. I don't know if it's coz the graphics are like that or my pc is just no good enough. Compared to WOW, I find that WAR's graphics are a little too blocky and not as smooth. It's hard to beat WOW. I will probably give WAR a few more weeks to see if my interest is sustained. If not, then I guess it's WOW, especially with the expansion set coming.

2. Playstation 3 HOME
HOME is the 'second life' equivalent for PS3. Kinda like an online portal where we can create our own house, decorate it with our game trophies, and wander around to interact with people. I find the graphics really good and there are some nice touches. But since I am only trying out the BETA, there aren't many people around. So not so much interaction yet. The other minor irritation is the slow download/installation when I have to go to new zones. Since this is at BETA stage, I hope it gets better when it's launched.

3. Movies that suck 1 : Mamma Mia!
This is one disappointing movie. Two BIG problems: poor translation to movie and poor casting. I heard that the stage musical is really good. But the movie just doesn't seem to live up to the musical. The story is just feels like old people trying hard not to be old. :S And I think the director has tried to faithfully reproduce the musical for the big screen. It just doesn't work. The fantastic movie musicals like Moulin Rouge and Hair Spray all have interesting adaptations that work on the big screen. Mamma Mia doesn't . And the casting... Pierce Brosnan has lost all credibility after this movie. He can't sing and he just feels so out of place. Meryl Streep is a little better but the one who steals the show is her gal-friend, Tanya (played by Christine Baranski). This show only works if you go thinking that it's a comedy. You will be in for some painful laughs.

4. Movies that such 2: Star Wars - The Clone Wars
Watched this a few weeks ago. This movie is really bad. Only thing that is mildly watchable are the few battle scenes. Other than that, the animation is unexciting and the story is stupid (who cares about rescueing Jabba's son... named Stinky...). And I think I have been permanently scarred by Jabba's transvestite uncle with a texan accent. Please dun watch this if you haven't.

OK.. WAR has finished patching... time to see if the server is up!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WOW... again...

My long silence... is due in no small part.... to... sigh.... World of Warcraft....

Although I don't think I have reached fever pitch levels like when I first started more than 2 years ago, I have been preoccupied with doing some stuff.

Firstly, I spent many days grinding (meaning increasing my level) reputation to get my cool dragon mount. To be more accurate.. it's called a Netherdrake. :P Yes.. I am VERY VERY proud that I finally got my dragon. I think it's very beautiful, yes? Looks cooler than flying around in a half-chicken, half-lion creature.

Second, I decided to try playing some new classes, one of which is a short, female dwarf priest... everything opposite from my main character... which is a tall, male, night elf warrior. For those of you who dun WOW, basically, my main character who is a warrior stands in front of the big monsters and take the punishment by absorbing the hits and pain... My new character is a priest who stands as far away as possible and tries her best to heal the warrior. So pretty much opposite type characters. So far, quite fun actually. And did I mention her name? It's Zekeypoo. Nice rite?