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Mikimoto was here.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Well. It's the end of yet another year, and of course the beginning of a new one. I hope it was a good one for everyone, and hopefully this year will be a very good one again.




I had the usual end of the year soba noodles; topped with grilled nori, egg, ground sesame seed, chopped spring onions and a dash of chilli powder.




And grilled nectarine with melted brown sugar and Disaronno sauce, plus dusting of cinnamon and a bit of whipped cream as a dessert.

As to the so called "New Year Fireworks Spectacular", it turned out to be yet another disappointment. Pretty piss poor effort really, compared to what I will be seeing in a couple of hours on telly. But then again, it's the norm around here, isn't it?
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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Taiko

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Sale

I went to take a look at the Boxing Day sales. Well. I was not impressed. You could get these price from Amazon every day, or so I thought. I end up not buying anything since stuff I wanted were overpriced even after so called "massive" discounts. Yeah. Massive. My bottom. Might as well wait until either I absolutely have to get one to replace what I have because of wear and tear, or wait until I go overseas trip...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Daikoku Teppan-yaki Restaurant

So, bunch of us Dr. CH, his other half, myself, TS, AM and his other half went out for a dinner since it's a Christmas eve. Dr. CH organized the meetup, and we went to Daikoku teppan-yaki restaurant downtown on Quay Street. Well. I dunno. I never warmed up to the idea of teppan-yaki and tonight was no exception. People call this thing "Japanese", and that feels so... Foreign to me. The night started alright, we didn't have to wait for long before started. While waiting for a table, we just grabbed drinks from the bar. Then we sat at the table, and waited for stuff to happen. The salad came, and then the miso soup with this single tiny (I mean 5 mm cube small) tofu and a single piece of wakame that is probably 2 cm square with no negi anywhere to be seen arrived. Fine, it's just a miso soup. Sure thing. Then we waited... For a while. Then tonight's cook for us came to our table and started doing stuff. This is meant to be a little show while cooking; this is the part I always have had problems with this style of cooking. I don't like it much. And this guy who was cooking for us was not quite... Up to the standard. The fella kept stuffing up while doing the showey stuff. I wanted to tell the guy to drop the crap act and get on with the cooking. He was meant to light up a big fire with ethanol in a squeeze bottle; he kept pouring alcohol directly on his matches thus extinguishing the flame. Quite frankly, I was not impressed. Obviously the food is not too cheap in a place like this, and we pay for this showey stuff... I ordered Steak Bazaar with supposedly two different kinds of steak; I saw and had just one kind. Where's my fillet mignon? I'd say... Not enough food for what I paid. To make things worse, there were only 3 waitresses on duty and thus things went real slow. We had to wait ages before grabbing one to ask for our dessert... Damn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Festive Season

So many events to attend. I went to the Faculty BBQ (outsourced to Mad Butcher), the Departmental Christmas party and another barbie at a friend's place. We had a little drinkie today for a little celebration in the lab. Some of us are going out to a dinner on Monday. When do we have time to get things done this month? The university will be shut down so no supplies will come in for some time... Oh well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Scribefire

I'm trying out this Scribefire thing for Firefox to edit blogs. But I dunno... What's the point of using a web browser plug-in in editing blogs when I can easily log onto blogger.com to edit entries directly? Besides... All the tags I need to add by myself, instead of reading the list off from the blogger site... Oh well.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gundam Warriors

I've been a fan of Koei/Omega Force's Warriors series (Musou series). The first one I played was the Dynasty Warriors (DW) 4 on PS2. Then on to Samurai Warriors (SW), DW5 and SW2. I just got Warriors Orochi. It's an interesting concept but to me Koei just wanted to make some quick bucks before they moved the platform, but that's entirely another story...

Anyway. Gundam Warriors (GW) originally came out for PS3; I think it might have been one of the launching title even. It's a collaboration between Koei and Bandai, who owns the rights to Gundam series merchandise. The simple idea is that you do the Musou/Warriors thing but you are a character off from Gundam series on a mobile suit instead of being a historical character. I thought it sounded pretty good; I like both series (obviously). But if I remember it came out as an exclusive on PS3, and the companies were saying that it needed PS3's computational power to make this happen. I guess they were bullshitting since it is now out on Xbox360. So I popped the disc in and started the game. I thought the graphics looked good. Promising, even. Then... Well. There are few problems. First of all, attack/charge attack thing seemed (to me) completely changed, and really threw me off. Sure, it's entirely (well maybe not) new genre in a similar package (3rd person action) so maybe I should cut some slack and get used to it. Then... In SW/DW, you can get on a horse to go round places quickly. After all, you are a historical figure doing the hand to hand combat fighting thing. On the other hand, in GW... You are already on a 18+m tall mecha. And supposedly it can go around places. Well. I'd say not really. It can dash but keep dashing, and you exhaust the dashing gauge thing and it resorts back to walking and running... Can't go around places as fast as I want... Frustration building up some more... Then when you are surrounded by the mob, you can use charge attack, most often C3 in DW/SW to get rid of them relatively quickly. In GW however, the weapon doesn't have enough reach to do this on the initial go! Even more frustrations. The whole point of me playing the Warriors series is the action; one guy making the difference on the battlefield by slaughtering enemies by hundreds if not thousands in speedy actions and combos. GW has been a little disappointing in this department; not very speedy actions. I'm sure it's going to improve as the levels of pilots as well as the mechas improve as I play this game more. But the progress has been relatively slow, compared to previous Warriors series I played. In any case, I'll see how things might improve as I play more of this...


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fujitsu Lifebook P1510D

I've been using this Fujitsu Lifebook P1510D. It's a pretty handy thing to have. Small size is wonderful, is pretty light, the tablet thing is alright (not the greatest as it often is not very accurate) and when I bought it I added bluetooth, 60 GB hard disk and a large battery. All nice and well. It's been good for taking to conferences. The only drawback has been a relatively small memory (512 MB) and I think this was the reason why the machine felt so slow at boot up. I couldn't afford anything bigger at the time I bought this machine. 1 GB memory module was available as an option, but I remember it as about USD800 and also it said "made to order." Wow.

Then the other day I was looking up the web, and found this page. They are selling the 1 gig module for USD130! The online rep of this shop seemed to be good (I always check it before placing an order for the first time), and shipping and handling to the Land of Sheep was pretty reasonable (~USD20 for International FedEx). It took only a few days for the order to arrive (yay FedEx) and promptly I installed the new memory module. Did it work? Well. I am writing this on my P1510D so yeah it worked. Is it running faster? Definitely. Was it worth the hassle? Most definitely. One thing about Fujitsu machine is that it's relatively easy to upgrade memory and hard disk on them. This page described how to do this on a Loox P70R which is pretty much the same as the P1510D (in Japanese). My previous Fujitsu machine, a Loox T60D, was also like that; undo a few screws and there you go.

The successor to this machine, a Lifebook P1610, has already come out, but it has pretty much the same spec to what I have, except for a Core Solo processor and a higher res screen. I didn't think it was worth another USD2000, and now that I have the memory upgrade, I don't think I will be replacing this machine for some time... Now only if the price of SSDs come down...