Monday, October 27, 2014

Sustainability

After 2 years of hard work, stress, negative emotions, black faces, and curses and bitching behind me, I am glad that everything is finally paid off as my project won the "Sustainability Award" today. Hooray!! I guess even my bosses knew how disappointed I was last year when the same project did not even win any award. I wanted to cry when the company nominated this project for sustainability award for this year as it meant that I had to prolong my agony for another year. I was like, "Is there a point continuing something for another year to hope for an award when it can't even win anything for this year's competition?".

Today I am very glad and I am very proud as I am the first one from the company to win this "Sustainability Award" :) I feel like a prick for saying the following but I really would like to thank the bitches who black-faced me when I asked for help for the data mining. Thanks to them I decided not to seek their help for the 2nd year of the project. It was a tiring and lonely journey but hey, now I don't need to share the credit. Yee haa.. And you suckers just lose an opportunity to boast something in your resume.

Perhaps I was too arrogant and too over-confident last year as everyone was saying good things about my project. After that failure, I did not hope much for this year. I was shabbily dressed and tadaaa.. I looked bad on photos. Haha.. I am pretty sure. Deep inside, I think I am a very shy person. Before announcing the result, the MC was giving a short synopsis of the winning project. The second I knew that it was mine, my heart was beating real fast. Yeah I was quite shy. Lol..

Anyway, the greatest glory goes to God as nothing is possible without Him. I would also like to thank the judges for judging that my project is worthy of winning this, the co-leader of the project and my colleagues (some of them are not even with the company anymore) who have directly or indirectly been involved with the execution of the project. Special thanks to my colleagues who had to work harder to cover me during the hours (which amounts to a few days in total) I spent in my computer during the data mining, report writing, and poster designing.

As I don't want to reveal my identity too much, that's all that I want to say. No more details haha.. 28 October is usually an emo day for me as that was the day when my parents dumped me here 12 years ago. Looks like this year gotta be a good one. I hope tomorrow will be a good day.

Lastly, I hope that God will keep me grounded and not to be arrogant just because of this. I know it is not going to be easy because pride/arrogance is one of my weaknesses.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sleep debt

I am sleep deprived this week and things are not going to be better in the coming weeks. 24th Singapore Pharmacy Congress also happened on this weekend. I have to work on next Saturday and Sunday will be company's strategic retreat. T_T The Saturday after that will be D & D which means that the week prior to that will be burnt for dance practice. Haiz...

Because of the strategic retreat, I had to shift my renovation turn with one of my colleague. Thus I did last Wednesday and I stayed back until close to midnight o_0 It was not my turn actually. Friday was my turn again and it ended 1 hour later than initially planned. The only consolation was that I had work to do so that at least I could make use of the time. Of course it was not as efficient as expected with my tiredness. Even the vendor and contractor who are involved in renovation told me on Friday that I looked very much more tired and stressed as compared to Wednesday.

Tiredness aside, lets share some of the better moments. On Thursday, I managed so sell my HG 1/144 Gundam Deathscythe and Deathscythe Hell. It has been more than half a year since the last time I managed to sell anything in April. Clearly I am buying things at much faster rate than things being sold T_T I am actually quite reluctant to part with the Deathscythe as it has the mini Duo. But since my collection at home already has 1/100 Deathscythe, I guess there is no point keeping both. I was actually looking for Deathscythe Hell but I wanted the one with the mini Duo so I don't want this one that does not have mini Duo.

The last thing is a bit of shameless but I guess I will just go ahead as perhaps this will be the only time that I will be involved in Singapore Pharmacy Congress. So my name is listed somewhere in the programme as well as the website. Lol.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends is the finale of Kenshin live-action trilogy. After a great first part and an awesome second part, expectations are high for the third part. As much as I want to be positive, unfortunately The Legend Ends fails to deliver fans' expectations of climactic finale to end the series with a bang.

The root cause of the failure lies with how the movie deviates from the original manga/anime plot. The first hour was an ultimate boredom that even if you fall asleep at the beginning, you still can follow the story later on. The first hour is mostly about emo Kenshin trying to learn the ultimate technique from his master, Seijuro Hiko. After that, it starts to get exciting with all the battles.

As I mentioned earlier, the battles are not as exciting as the original manga/anime. In the manga/anime, the battle against Shishio is not only a fight with Shishio. It is also a battle against Shishio's army: the Juppongatana which is sadly almost made absent in the movie. Kenshin vs Chou is already shown in the Kyoto Inferno and in The Legend Ends we only have Saitou one-shots Usui, Kenshin vs Seijiro, Sanosuke vs Anji, and the final battle against Shishio.

Sanosuke vs Anji battle was like a joke as there is no relationship between the two in the live action. Again, I hate how the director makes Sanosuke as if he is completely useless and lousy in battle. Sano's fight is just randomly hitting like a street gangster. Bleah... The 4-vs-1 battle against Shishio is nicely executed although I have to say it is weird that Aoshi just appeared out of nowhere for this battle in the movie. I know that they don't want to create cheesy special moves like the anime but I think they should at least put in a few moves. The final battle feels rather bland and has nothing outstanding as compared to the other battles in the movie. Even Kenshin's Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki (that the movie spends an hour for him to learn this move on!) gets poor representation in this battle. Lame..

The most memorable part on Kenshin vs Shishio fight is Yumi's sacrifice. Sadly, this part is played down in the movie. Without dramatisation, audience will feel that Yumi is an idiot instead of feeling emotional that this is an act of love from her part.

My last complaint will be how Okina is made dead in the movie. Come on! Aoshi was a jerk who eventually turns around. With Okina being 'indirectly' killed because of Aoshi, Aoshi is not depicted in the good light in the movie.

All in all, I think this is a big anti-climax for all the good things that the first 2 movies have done. This is talking from a fan's point of view. For people who have not read the manga or watched the anime, I guess the movie is still enjoyable and worth watching.

Although the 3 movies can be considered "good" to "very good", I don't think I will be buying their DVDs. Why? I am quite disturbed with the amount of blood. Haha.. I am not disturbed with blood in cartoon (anime) or drawing (manga) forms. But seeing it in a very realistic manner kinda bothers me. Lol.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary

Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary is a full CG-movie based on the Saint Seiya's Sanctuary arc. I was quite disappointed the first time I saw the trailer because the character design is nothing like the anime. I sort of feel that they will somehow butcher the story but I am still hoping for something good after seeing the awesome action scenes and Final Fantasy-ish look of the characters. Sanctuary arc itself is fantastic so even if they somehow butcher it, it would still be interesting to watch.

The movie opened with a bang: a battle among a few Gundams. Oops... It may seem too over the top for some people but I do think that the gold saints flying and shooting colored things really remind me of Gundam battle. Basically the first 30 minutes are awesome with the introduction of the Seiya and friends and their power. It actually made me kinda excited to hope that things would just be getting better.

Sadly, things are going downhill after the first 30 minutes. I hate the new design of the gold saints. In the anime/manga, they are supposed to be in their 20s but in this CG version, they all look like old man. Just ew... They even make Milo into a female. Like whaddafuk.. Things start to get unbearable past Taurus as the story starts to deviate from the manga/anime. With the short 90+ minutes screen time, I know things will get shortened but I expect at least great animation for each of the iconic duels and each of the gold saint's special moves. Obviously these do not happen.  The duels are getting more and more absurd with just flashes of light flying here and there as if the animators are also growing lazy. All these crap culminate in the bizarre climax when Saga merges himself with some rock and becomes a super monster. That really reminded me of the final bosses in Final Fantasy games.

It is said that the modernisation is an attempt to get new audience. That does not and will not happen apparently. I did not see any children in the cinema yesterday. I think the plot is way too crappy for this movie to be able to withdraw the crowd. All the light and fireworks may be visually appealing but it defeats the purpose of action movie when all the action scenes are blinded and hidden behind all these bling bling. 

The modernisation attempt is kinda hit and miss for me although there are more misses than hits. The new cloths make the characters look like tokusatsu characters and you don't really see the shape of the constellations they are representing. The new look of sanctuary has nothing Greek about it. In fact, it reminds me of Asgard from Thor films. You will wonder why there is a need to go through the 12 temples when the saints are capable of flying and teleportation -__- They might just as well fly and teleport straight to the the final temple. The only hit is their transformation scenes. It is a good idea to have them "summon" their cloths from the metal plate worn as their necklaces instead of carrying the cloth box at their back.

People generally find Seiya to be too genki and irritating but I find him okay. Shiryuu always wears his cloth which is kinda opposite from his anime/manga self who always tries to get shirtless in all his fight. Hyoga tries to be cool but fails. Shun is more masculine than I expected. Unfortunately, he is really a wimp here as he does not really fight. Ikki reminds me of Terra (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep) and he is also a loser here. Sadly the brothers are omitted from their duels against the gold saints so basically they don't win any fight in the movie. I actually like Saori's personality here. In the original anime/manga, she is behaving too mature for her age but in the movie, she behaves like how 15 year old girl should be.

Overall, I think that this is a big failure and a big disappointment to old Saint Seiya fans. They might as well call this Saint Seiya: Final Fantasy although unfortunately it is a combination of the bad parts of both worlds.

By the way, I did not know that they had a sneak preview on last Saturday :( I did not know how much it cost but if I went for that, I would get movie premiums such as A2 movie poster, movie cards, plastic folder, and a mini tin box with the same of the cloth box. Haiz.. Anyway I am also upset that the ticket cost me $13. I think since it is an exclusive by Odex, they decide to charge such a ridiculous price lo...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spectacles

After close to 10 years, it is time for me to get new spectacles. For people who doubt the effectiveness of social media advertising, I can honestly say that it works. I came across the advertisement for Owndays PC on facebook which caught my interest for the ability of the lens to cut down up to 40% of blue light from electronic devices like computer, gaming devices, handphones, tablets, etc. I happened to see that advertisement when my eyes were very tired so it was really the right thing at the right time. Before going down, I tried to google for people's experiences with the shop and overall the reviews are pretty positive. After going, it is not all flowers and pretty things so I decide to write about my own experience which I hope is more balanced.

Owndays is a spectacle shop originating from Japan. It opened its first store in Singapore in 2013 although I was never aware of this. Owndays is unique as it displays the frames on the shelves for customers to take a look, touch, try it on, and look at the price. This is in contrast to typical optics where frames are kept inside a glass display and customers have to ask the shopkeeper to take it out. To add to its unique-ness, the pricing is very straight forward and there is no hidden charges. The price that you see include the frame + the basic lens. Just add another $100 if you want to upgrade the lens to a thinner one or the PC lens. The best thing is everything will be ready in just 20 minutes.

I was expecting to wait 2-3 weeks as my degrees are pretty bad. Imagine my surprise when they have all sort of lenses available with various degrees (including astigmatism!). The optician, who assisted me, also showed how the PC lens cut down the light passing through her torchlight to show that the lens is not some gimmick. Sadly, to keep the weight at lighter side, all the lenses are made of plastic. Plastic lenses are generally thicker than glass lenses which make them not very suitable for people with severely poor eyesight like me. The optician was also honest and told me, who have been using glass lenses my whole life, that plastic lenses can be twice as thick as my glass lenses and they won't give as clear as glass lenses too.

The service is top-notch. Although I said that I already had a prescription, the optician still offered to check my current spectacles to ensure that it is indeed the same as my prescription, to check for my degree (which is obviously worse than my current prescription), to check for the astigmatism axes and my focal point. Wow.. From my previous experience, optical shops usually cannot bother to do re-measurement when I just provided them with a prescription.

Style-wise, as expected from Japan, the available ranges are pretty huge, colorful, trendy, and chic. Unfortunately, as expected for their price, a lot are made of plastic and rubbery material which will definitely not last through the test of time. In addition, a lot of their models have nose supports connected to the frame only by a screw. I think that is another minus point since I am looking for something durable. There is a small section for titanium frames but they also feel rather plasticky. I guess that's the downside for their attempt to keep things light. In relation to my high degrees and plastic lens, my choice of frame became quite limited as I had to choose frames which are sturdy enough to support as well as to hide the thick lenses.

My main objective is to get a new pair of spectacles to replace my current one which was bought like 7+ years ago. Lol.. But I am quite vain and I ended up with 2 pairs. Oh em gee.. I chose a titanium frame for my first pair which is going to be my main one and that cost me $298 in total (inclusive the upgrade to PC lens). There is an ongoing promotion for half price for the second pair and thus my second pair only cost me $138 in total. I chose a sporty style and this is purely for vanity purpose as the thick frame will make me look weird for daily use.

I guess I was a bit too excited when choosing my second pair and I did not realise that the back half of the temples (yes that is what the long part of the frame which is resting against your temples are called) is made up of the rubbery material. It feels like the rubbery material for the casing of my Sony Ericsson K800i phone and I hate it. It will get sticky after a few years even when it is not being used. Shit man!

Ironically, my vain pair of specs becomes my main one. Thanks to my weird and non-symmetrical facial features, the temples have to be configured into a very weird position that makes the whole spectacles cannot fit to the box. No choice but I have to wear it. It did not make me giddy and I adjusted to it rather quickly which showed that they did get the measurements correct. My previous spectacles always have something 'not right' as I will feel a bit giddy and need some adaptation when I change to them.

On a second look, the frame actually resembles goggles donned by superheroes so I will call refer this as "superhero" specs. Lol. The thickness of the lens really shocked me! Although the optician had been very honest about it, the thickness was way too thick. It made me really like an old man T_T On top of that, the PC lenses appear blue-ish which means they are really reflecting blue light but this makes the lenses appear even thicker. My my...

Some of you may be wondering if the PC thingy is just a gimmick. I can testify that it is not. Comparing against my 'normal' glass lens, the reflection of white light on the PC lens is blue-ish and much more defined while the reflection of white light on normal lens is white and very light. That basically means most light pass through normal lens. In addition when compared against white paper, the paper appears brownish under PC lens which also proves about lesser light passing through.

I still don't know if I like it or not. It cuts down the glare from computer screens but at the same time, you need sufficient light to be able to see something. The fact that less light pass through makes my eyes feel a bit tired. I don't know if my eyes naturally compensate the "lesser light" by working "harder". It makes looking at computer screens more enjoyable and relaxing when you are doing brainless things like watching anime or youtube videos. At the same time, when you need to focus eg. reading, it is more difficult and tiring.

With the addition of these 2 pairs, I have a total of SIX pairs of glasses now. What the... Hahaha... They are:
1) The one for daily use
I don't think there is any brand for this and I have been using this same pair since my JC days. Either that the quality is good or I just take a good care of it or both. A lot of paint has disappeared but it is still my number 1 pair as it is the most comfortable.

2) The nerdy one
I got the frame for free when I purchased the one for daily use. I only put it in lens with a degree in my university days. Although I like it because it gives me a 'different' look, it is not comfortable as it keeps sliding off. Lesson learnt is to avoid those long plastic temples which are not very bend-able to follow my weird facial contours.

3) The formal one
Red frame and Levi's brand. It is my first branded frame (thanks to my parents!) although I don't know if it is fake since I bought it at Mangga Dua, Indonesia. Lol.. Because of the price tag, I reserve this only for special formal occasions. I don't know why the lenses are damn heavy and the nose pads always leave marks on my nose. This discomfort is what deters me from using this for daily use.

4) Sunglass
This is a sunglass with prescription lenses. The brand is Giordano. Again courtesy to my parents haha... Nothing really trendy about the design but because it is a sunglass with prescription lenses, it has a special place in my heart. Haha...

5) Superhero goggles
I am 'forced' to wear this because it does not fit into the box. Lol.. I have to get the right temple readjusted this weekend as it keeps sliding down. Grr...

6) New-kid-on-the-block
The last one is the new one with titanium frame. I have yet to wear this so it is difficult for me to say anything about it yet.