Monday, January 31, 2011

Wow it's almost a full week since my previous entry. Another bad and tough week just passed with rainy weather as the only good thing for me =x

I can't recall which day it was but I felt like a loser and a coward. I did something that ended up 'sabo-ing' other people who were using the lyophiliser. The person who used it before me forgot to turn on the other 2 ports. I thought I was being helpful so after I put my sample and after the pressure went down, I switched on every ports. I nearly cried when other people samples splashed out/got sucked out. OMG! My whole face literally turned red! Sigh.. I decided to switch off the ports back and 'blamed' it to the other guy.. Really a coward! Thank goodness after today everything was clear: it was NOT my fault! Because the person before me forgot to turn on the other 2 ports, the samples melted already. Thus when I turned it on, the lowered pressure sucked the liquid. Sigh.. I feel a huge sense of relief T_T although a part of me actually still feels guilty.. If I did not 'act helpful', perhaps their samples only melted.. With my 'help', they ended up losing.. I did not know how the things end eventually.. But I really feel low :( damn low as a person..

When December came, I was looking forward to the end of it...
Then January came, my agony was prolonged for another month and another countdown began...
Now come February, I NEED TO BE IN THE LAB FOR ANOTHER MONTH!! Oh my gawd!! I just don't know how on earth my drug can just disappear! I already wanna give it up but my supervisor is still curious about it.. I really don't know what's going on or how to explain.. The previous test has proven that the drug is inside! But now the drugs cannot be released even after forced release.. They just disappear T_T

I overestimated my crapping skills and now my brain is on the verge of exploding.. Even though usually I can crap/bullshit/talk cock very well, my skills are not good enough to churn out a 5000word scientific bullshit! Im only 1/3 done and I have at most 2x 24hours left to write.. Oh God T_T The only thing which keeps me sane is that everything is gonna be over in few weeks time..

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bad Project

I don't need to tell long stories to describe my FYP experiences. The video above presents everything 100% accurately! Haha.. Seems like in every part of the world, doing research is the same!! We all share common universal sufferings :(

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

This is a department in which Square Enix never fails to impress. The graphics seem to be the best that a PSP can provide. I personally love the mix of happy colours used. The animations during the battle are also top-notch. At the beginning, it is kinda weird to see Disney characters in 3D. While I still prefer my childhood 2D Disney, the 3D Disney here is excellent.

This quality of graphics is not only for cutscenes. It is throughout the game!

With animations as colourful and exciting as these, even random battles are enjoyable ^o^

Unfortunately, the only FMV throughout the whole game is only at the game title page -_-"  All the cutscenes (including the ending) are using normal in-game graphics. And guess what, more than half of the opening FMV are scenes from the near-end parts of the games. Why couldn't they just  make a proper one and show it before the final battle!

I am not a fan of adventure games in which I need to control the characters to jump and fly through obstacles and if fail, I need to repeat jumping all over again from the bottom etc. This game is not a traditional RPG since it has the adventure games-like feature. Thank goodness, most places are managable. Only Disney Town and Ventus' Cinderella quest particularly pissed me off.

The battle system is enjoyable. It is a hybrid of traditional RPG command clicking (for using skills, which are called Commands here) and traditional hack and slash games for normal attacking, dodging, and blocking. Great variations are incorporated into the command skills where players are prompted to press certain buttons to deal more attacks etc. Instead of using MP system, the use of skills are limited by cooldowns to prevent spamming. While most of the commands are available for all 3 characters, some of the ultimate commands are exclusive to certain characters.

Shotlock commands are unique to this game and I consider it to be the best (most powerful and most useful) commands even for the bosses to a point that they make the game imbalanced. Again, variations are incorporated to make the execution of shotlock attacks slightly differ from one another. Good thing that the use of shotlock commands consumes "focus bar" and this can only be replenished by normal attacks. Thus, no spamming.


D-link system is in place instead of summon. The most useful feature of this is refilling HP to the max upon activation. At the start, D-link provides access to the commands which we don't have yet. But in the mid to end game, D-link is redundant as the players gain access to most, if not all, commands already. The finish commands of the D-link maybe aesthetically pleasing but they can be too slow.. Better to stay with the faster and more powerful Finish commands of the characters. To me, this system sucks! I rather see Disney characters come to aid in the battle as summons.

 D-link with Stitch

So what is Finish commands? Every attack performed on the enemy charges a bar and once it is full, instead of performing a normal physical attack, pressing X will perform Finish commands which are more powerful than normal attack. Various Finish commands can be unlocked by fulfilling certain criteria such as earning certain amount of munny, killing certain number of enemies, or gaining certain amount skill points etc.

After getting certain Battle Style, when the bar is fully charged, there is a possibility of activating a Battle Style, instead of triggering a Finish attack. There are certain criteria to activate different Battle Styles. For example, fire-based attacks trigger Firestorm Battle Style, ice-based attacks trigger Diamond Dust Battle Style etc. They provide boost to the characters as well as provide us with visual treat when activated :p

Levelling seems to be of secondary importance in this game. I beat the game with character levels of 40-50. I don't feel the need to grind. Just by normal playing, the character and skills will gain experiences, just to be strong enough for the difficulty of that point of the game. In fact, I would say the game is too easy (even in the supposedly more difficult Proud mode). The bosses (including the final bosses) are pieces of cake! It is difficult only at the start of the game. But grind to level 5 in the first location and after that, just play normally and it is okay. The exceptions are the secret bosses which are near impossible to beat with their 1 or 2 hit KO attacks.

Levelling randomly increases strength, defense, and/or magic. Frankly, I see no difference in the stats gained. So what about HP? Max HP only goes up upon clearing certain timepoints/story in the game. And HP is shown by green bars, instead of numbers. So yeah, no idea on how to 'quantify' it. The effects of the ability system are also not very obvious in the game, except for abilities to prevent death (for once) once your HP drops to 1 (how do we define 1 here? lol).

Ventus triggering Fever Pitch (battle style)
Note that at the bottom right corner, blue bar represents D-link, green bar represents HP, and orange bar represents focus.

With 3 different storylines, I guess I am forced to replay the game 3 times? Haha.. As an RPG, I guess there is not really a value in replaying the game once you are familar with the story. 

However, the mini-games here can make this game a good time-killer. Firstly, there is monopoly-like Command Board mini-game. The rules are very similar to monopoly: travel to the check points, buy plots, and earn points. The first one to reach the target points and return to the start point will be the winner. This game can be very addictive at first! And by playing this, there is a chance of getting rare commands as well as leveling up the commands. Thus, it sort of helps the main game, not only wasting time.

 Command Board - a creative spin-off of monopoly board game

Secondly, there is a racing mini-game. Well, it's just a racing, no more and no less haha..

Thirdly, there is a rhythm game. Instead of pressing buttons according to certain orders (like Dance Dance Revolution), here we are supposed to remember the rhythm! It can be quite challenging to play, especially since most of the songs are not very familiar. Again, it is not just a time-filler. Clearing it gives Frozen Fortune Battle Style which can be used during battles.

Fourthly, there is a soccer-like game using fruits. Basically we are supposed to hit various fruits to opponent's goals to score. Some fruits have special properties for eg: banana can split and produce banana skins which can trip and stun the opponent, a bunch of grapes can break into individual grape and each scores a point if hitting the goal.

Lastly, there is Mirage Arena. Basically it is a Battle Arena, Colliseum, or whatever other games call it. Here we can fight bosses and difficult enemies etc to earn medals to buy certain commands, to get HP boosts, as well as to get the best Shotlock commands and the Ultima Weapon keyblade. It is meant to be a multiplayer arena. Most of the bosses can be solo-ed though.. 

Wow, it does not sound like an RPG, does it? It sounds more like a 6-in-1 kind of game pack. Haha..

My opinion will be biased here since I don't play any other Kingdom Hearts game except the Chain of Memories. My knowledge about Kingdom Hearts events and terminologies is quite minimum. Thus, I don't quite enjoy the storyline which I feel is not very newbie-friendly, particularly the ending and the secret ending. Too many references to other games, making it sort of a must to play the other games to understand this game better.

The idea of separate story lines for each character is quite well executed. I especially like the times when they cross path. On the flip side, it can be quite boring to 'repeat' 3 times. The main weakness of the game, in my opinion, is that most of the time spent in the game is just FILLER with no reference whatsoever with the  main plot of chasing Xehanort etc. The characters seem to visit the different Disney worlds and run mindless errands there. Seriously, who cares whether Cinderella reaches the ball safely or whether Peter Pan can beat Hook etc. While I generally love Disney's involvement in Kingdom Hearts, it is a failure here since they don't 'directly' related to the story. Rather than they are immersed in the world of Kingdom Hearts, it feels more like Terra, Ventus, and Aqua are immersed in Disney stories.

The theme song sucks. It feels too J-Pop-ish as a game music. Other than that, it is fine in general. Not bad but not fantastic either.

No doubt, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a fun game with the nice battle system (as well as animation) and tonnes of mini-games. I like the minor and unique details such as in some important battles (especially when we are aided by another character in the battle), there is an option to randomly perform a co-operative attacks. It is not a must to perform to win the battle (so no frustration if you miss the time to do it) but they deal lots of damage. A nice addition to really show that the characters are fighting together. The keyblades held by character during the cut-scenes actually follow the current keyblades that we are equipping. Very nice personalisation! Though I find it very funny to see Aqua wielding ice-cream shaped keyblades for the final battle. Lol.

Unfortunately, it fails terribly in the story department. Even Disney magic is not sufficient to save the plot, something which is of utmost importance for an RPG! Reasons being: 1) longer time spent on side-story and fillers than the main story 2) too 'exclusive' and 'newbie-unfriendly.. many unexplained references to other Kingdom Hearts games 3) I just hate it when stories involve transfer of soul (transfer of heart in this case)/immortality and playing with time to 'complicate' the story. But I am sure for Kingdom Hearts fans, who are familiar with the series from start, would certainly be fans of this game too!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ok I am emo again haiz.. Today was tiring. I went for the captain's ball game at school. Sports are just not my thing. I can't believe it that playing games is more tiring than my used-to-be "usual" night jogging. People were saying "I am tired from all the running jumping and sprinting" while I was bloody tired even when doing nothing much. Haha... I think all the jumping was more tiring than the running. Oh well, this is not a game for someone who is vertically-challenged. And I had a bit of problem with my toe nails oso haha.. One of them hit my shoes too much. I worried about some bleeding but it was just the feeling.

I still had to go the lab, even on a Saturday. Sian.. I am really jealous seeing people can stop their lab already. I hate the coming Friday since it will be another time that I would get the "lazy slack no effort" remarks. Haiz.. Looks like I also need to go tomorrow so that I can slack next week. And how on earth I can start writing the report if this keeps going on =x

Church has become an event for alternate weekends XD As expected, due to the lethargy, I fell asleep during the homily. I won't be hypocritical here.. My spiritual condition is more on the dark side lately. Yeah I am just weird. Perhaps I have mentioned this before. When troubles come, normal people would turn to God for help. For the abnormal me, I blame Him for all the shit I have in my life.. Seriously.. Is there any point of praying? Sigh.. And knowing this, why, God, you still throw me shit? You know that I become more religious when everything goes on smootly. Why do You want me to get angry at You?

After napping, all the aches crept in. The worst part affected is my right foot. Looks like all the jumping and landing on one feet feat I did today has taken their toll.. Emo emo emo.. and I am running out of fresh clothes.. No choice but to do laundry on a Sunday tomorrow :'(

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh God, why are you so cruel? I was expecting that I can 'end' my project with a high-note.. Too bad that my drug release results were shit. I really had no idea where the drugs went to :(And NO, I am NOT gonna repeat.. If I think something went wrong because of my experimental skills, I would gladly repeat everything without being told.. But this time, I am sure nothing went wrong.. So I won't repeat..

And to top up my misery, this is the freaking SECOND time that I was "told" that I am a lazy slacker who does not put a lot of effort in my project T_T And for that, I was literally emo-ing and black facing for 4.5days :( It was so bad that I could not even bother to even try to smile or act friendly. Almost all whom I met realised my sudden change of mood... The good thing for me is that I actually have people who are concerned about me.. That means they are caring :p And that also means usually I am not as emo as I think... If people noticed that I was emo/grouchy/blackface, that means usually I am all smiley and friendly (wow! unexpected haha).

Anyway I am super duper ANGRY AND UPSET! How can she compare me with my friend who is doing synthesis! Her reactions take shorter time of course within a same period of time, she could do more trials etc.. Of course she would be in the lab most of the time to wait.. Of course I am not gonna bloody wait in the lab when my stupid things stir for 24hours. My friend can do her NMR and TLC and whatever for free in a short period of time and to get 100% confirmation whether results are + or -. But me: Is it my fault that all the things I need to use (ICP, TEM) are expensive and are time consuming with waiting time up to WEEKS??!! Zzz.. Is it my fault that I am given 5mg of materials to last? I can't do things in parallel or else I run out of stuff! Is it my fault that my filter only came as Christmas present? Is it my fault that the ICP lab wanted to have New Year holiday to delay my readings?? Zz.. Is it my fault that I took days to find necessary info (if there is any to be found) because nobody else could help me and I could not anyhow trial-and-error things due to insufficient materials etc? Seriously, what kind of fair comparison can be made between us!

I am already resigned to the fact of falling to 2nd class.. It's just that I don't know how to face her for the coming weeks.. This project just sucks from the start :( No materials.. No info.. No apparatus.. No help.. Nothing.. And now I have to think how to dislodge the caps and release the drugs etc.. I can already foresee that even my doing so my drugs are still nowhere to be found.. Round 3 of "lazy slack no effort" bla bla bla would follow.. I really don't wish to continue anymore.. This whole FYP thing has been a useless experience.. What practise thinking etc BULLSHIT! Everything that I wanna do is limited by things which are beyond my control: budget, time, materials, etc.. Not really my fault.. It is not that I am lazy but simply, with all the limitations I face, I have to do things "slowly, slackly, and a seemingly not putting enough effort".

Looking back at year 1 sem 1, it feels that the whole 1st Class thingy is just an accident.. God has been too nice for me.. Right from the start, I am meant for 2nd Class.. But why do I have to go through all this kind of shit T_T

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have been busy with 4 interviews for the past few days, not that I prepared a lot of things anyway. Haha.. but I guess it is good to make some reflections. I shall try to make things as vague and obscure as possible for confidentiality. Lol. Since the pharmacy world is damn small, it's good not to say bad things since I never know I will join any of these institutions in the future. Hahaha... The numbers reflect the interview orders, not my priority or any other classification ranking whatsoever.

Site #1
I actually consider this my 'first' choice since long time ago. Perhaps it is because I did a stint here before. The interview was quite fun and enjoyable. It started with standard interview questions and I thought 10mins were sufficient because all the 'normal' interview questions were completed by then. In the end, it went on and on for 40mins. Haha.. We were talking about many (random) stuffs including the meaning of my e-mail :p

Site #2
I had a mixed feeling about this one. For a few times, I had a feeling that I should just call them to cancel the interview because I was not interested. Out of courtesy, I went for it eventually. I clocked an amazing 50mins of interview! Oh gosh! Actually it felt more of a chit chat session rather than an interview. In fact, the interviewer talked more than I did. But she is a very nice person. She knows what the company is doing and she gave a very good explanations on every questions which I posed. And I guess there is an advantage of being a foreigner: the interviewer may be distracted and ask me random things about my background, where I live(d), where I studied, etc. All of us who went there waited for everyone to be over. We were entertaining ourselves outside by timing how long each of us took. Haha..

Site #3
To be honest, I had the strong urge to call the person and cancel this one. I was not impressed with a 3 hour interview plus some stupid group activities. Come on! That's a very stupid way to judge leadership and teamwork. Everyone would just put up a fake attempt to show enthusiasm bla bla bla.. Again, I still went for it out of courtesy. I was very impressed with the hospitality shown by the HR actually. She knew I had another interview later on so she offered me some snacks to fill my stomach. And if it was not because of her suggestion of some flyover, I would definitely be late for my next one.. Anyway, the interviewer said my reasoning for my choices were weird haha.. Oh well, I am always weird! If there is something I took home, it would be from the clinical questions posed. Firstly, it was about malaria (urgh!). Now I know Lariam is to be taken once weekly, starting 1 week before travelling (my guess which turned out to be correct), and to be continued on for 4 weeks after return (I was initially sure about it being 2 weeks! Lol). The second question was drugs for post-MI patients. I don't really care ba.. since I am not interested in hospital haha..

Site #4
This was my trump card! Haha.. Everyone who asked me to prioritise my choices fell silent when I explained that I could not rank because one of my choices (this one!) was a big question mark! And all of them apparently agreed with me. Lol. Nobody knows what is going on here. None of them could tell me any suggestion/input. They could only advise: just go ahead and see how it is. I got called 'weird' for the second time, again for the same reason. But oh well, I felt kinda crazy to actually go for an interview and telling them: if you can't meet my demand, please just reject me. Haha

So how did I decide? To be frank, I had no priority whatsoever because I don't even feel like doing this. But I have no choice.. I need the license so I need to go through this "rite of passage". Making the decision was very tough because none was perfect for me..

If site #4 were to take me, I would accept, partly because I want to know what happen inside. So few people know so I am very curious. Thank goodness they rejected me. I would actually be more worried if they accepted me! Haha.. At the end of the day, I think all hospitals are the same.. And it is just not a place for me. I tried to ask how different this hospital is from other and the person told me long stories, beat around the bush.. the garden.. the forest, and at the end of all the grandma stories, I still did not get the answer. Lol.. come on.. just tell me the truth if the pharmacists were just dispensers over there since you all have no balls to stand against the consultants whatsoever ma... No need to hide it.. Lol.. So yeah, my conclusion is all hospitals are the same.. and so are the people working there..

Site #3 was out from the start.. Haha.. well what did you expect? I did not even feel like going for it. To be honest, I just hate the corporate culture.. Seems like everyone is forced to compete and stab one another kind of working environment.. so that is not my cup of tea..

Site #1 has an option of 4 working days! That is the biggest pulling factor for me! Hell yeah I WANNA SLACK or call it I wanna have a work-life balance.. Site #2 has 5.5 working days (ouch) but to compensate it, it seems that they are very nice people who are really interested in training noobs like me! Plus, everyone who had experience the place is full of praises. I called many people for 3.5-4hours non-stop to decide..

My verdict was TWO! 2 is my favourite number but that is not my reason! It is all thanks to the stupid bitch on my last preceptorship. Thinking of the worst case scenario possible, I would not want to spend time with another bitch, just the two of us, for MONTHS. That is what will happen in site #1. I don't know whether I will get a bitch there, but just be safe haha.. In site #2, even if I get another nasty person, at least there are other people in that branch. Unless I am so unlucky to have everyone at that branch to be nasty. Haha..

I have few other reasons actually. I know I hate hospitals and I won't work at hospitals in the future. I experienced retail before and I know I can take it.. I don't mind doing there in the future.. So I am telling myself, just give a try for another spectrum of the pharmacy career options. Then I would have a fuller understanding of all aspects and next time I can wisely choose where I wanna work for long term.

Actually going anywhere is equally scary.. I don't know what lies ahead of me.. I can only hope and pray that things will go smoothly.. I meet nice people who can help and guide me along the way.. etc.. I know the coming Rabbit year will not be a nice one to me but oh well, life goes on.. Anyway it's just for a freaking 9 MONTHS!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year.. New Image...

Happy New Year 2011!!!

I know I missed the 1/1/11 but who cares.. I can always wait for 11/11/11 haha.. Anyway, there was nothing special with my new year. It is just another ordinary day. Lol.. 

So what about New Year resolution? I guess I can make a lot but let's be realistic.. Exercising? Hmmph... It has been suspended for the past month (despite the past month being holiday!) due to the bad weather.. Well actually the weather was nice :p But I don't like to run before/after rain.. when the road is wet etc.. So yeah.. unfortunately..

My New Year resolution will be simple this time. If I have been super duper emo for the past year (or is it for the past "few years"?? :p), I shall shed the emo-boy image.. The image that I will choose is: CHEERFUL BOY!! Lol.. Okay lets see how long this will last :)

I have been busy settling things regarding pre-reg application for the past few days.. Fiuh.. The whole thing is gonna be over soon. Just the forms and the photos cost me so much money already haiz.. And to be honest, I am still undecided about which place to go :S I don't wanna work T_T