Monday, March 26, 2018

Unlucky Aladdin

In February, I went for a splurge for Aladdin figurines. Now I can officially say that all that I bought from eBay ended up in failure and refund. Sigh..
Aladdin and Jasmine Magic Carpet Ride
This is a piece from Lenox released in 2017 so it is still new. The one that I got had a part of the carpet painting came of -_-".
Aladdin Magic Carpet Ride
This is an older piece from Lenox released in 2008. It is so rare to find this is mint condition and the prices in eBay is crazy even for those damaged. So when I saw a listing with one of the carpet's tassel broken (but the break looks clean and I can glue them back) with a reasonable price, I made an offer for US$ 100 and I got it. Sadly when it arrived, the broken piece is not inside and Abu's tail is actually also broken. The seller said that he was helping his friend to sell and he was not too familiar with the item condition. Oh well another full refund.

You can say I essentially got both figures for free. Yes they are not perfect but are still in good enough condition to be enjoyed.

My order for Enesco Disney Enchanting Collection completely went missing. There are 3 figures (Aladdin & Jasmine, Jafar & Iago, and Abu) and the seller was so confident that item was held up at customs -_-" I never had things shipping from UK took so long to arrive. Until now almost 2 months later, I had nothing. With no tracking number, I had a full refund. I want to order again but I am worried if somehow these 3 magically appear and I end up with duplicates. So I shall wait until I come back from Jakarta in April. In addition, most listings for these items are based in UK. I am worried if it is actually the same seller with different user names? Haiz..

Aladdin.. Aladdin.. why so unlucky??

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rental storage space

This cough is damn irritating. Looks like the 1 week of Augmentin was not working although at least I did not have the fever anymore so work and life must still go on. Actually life is affected as I only went to gym 3x this week as I feel that the cough and phlegm is bothersome enough.

After signing up with Extra Space last Saturday, I completed my moving this week. Just nice since my landlord and landlady went to Malaysia from Wednesday to Friday. I do not want them to know I am moving some of my stuff hahaha.. I rented a van via Gogovan and although the distance from my home to Extra Space is quite near, the charge is quite expensive for $35. Of course it is still cheaper than multiple trips by taxi or Grab or Uber considering how big my boxes are. I decided to store all Tsume boxes here since the boxes are so bulky and I do not think I will want to pack back my Tsume statues into the boxes.

For record purpose, the size of my locker is 1.10m (depth) x 1.22m (width) x 1.31m (height). The sizes of the Tsume boxes are Virgo 82cm x 60cm x 49cm, Shiryu 78cm x 50cm x 48cm, Leo 77cm x 46cm x 45cm, and Ikki 48cm x 38cm x 35cm, It was quite pointless planning how to store to maximise the space as on the day itself, everything was not in optimal condition to execute the plan. Firstly my locker is on the upper shelf (for obvious reason the lower shelf is more popular) so it is not easy to maneuver my body as well as these bulky boxes. Secondly I wore my working clothes so it was not easy to climb with my working pants. Lastly the trolley ladder that is available is lousy. It is not stable at all so safety is ultimately the main priority.
So this is the best arrangement that I could have. I just hope whatever is still inside the boxes are not damaged :( I think Ikki has an alternate face, Shaka has an alternate face, and Aiolia has an alternate face and lighting bolt effect. The remaining half of the space will be for Sagitarius and Cancer when they are out. Sigh what a sad life: buy toys => not enough space => rent space => buy more toys => and so on. With 20%, the storage fee per month is $55. I think it is justifiable to have more space and retain my sanity in the room.

An uncle of mine is in Singapore currently for hip replacement surgery. The surgery was on last Sunday but because I was still taking antibiotic, I avoided meeting him. I went to visit on Tuesday after completion of my antibiotic and that day happened to be my aunt's birthday as well. With the current concern of healthcare costs in Singapore, it is quite scary to see what is happening at the private hospital. My aunt shared with me that initially the estimation given was $34k (excluding the surgeon fee and what paid in the surgeon's clinic). My aunt returned to the surgeon as before the surgery, the estimation was $34k for everything. The surgeon made a change in the form and when my aunt went back to admission, the estimation became $14k. Seriously.. they should do something to the providers instead of punishing patients or the insurance holders sia.

Yesterday was my off day so I could help my aunt with the discharge. I had my hernia surgery there a few years ago so I am a bit familiar with the discharge process and how to interpret the bills etc. Since I was already there, I decided to be thick skin to ask my aunt to pass me the cash while I used my credit card to earn miles. Haha.. If only I was not sick last week and I went with them during admission, I could even get more miles.

I do not play FF XV but I am tempted with the artbook. Kinokuniya member sale is finally here and I just bought the book today. Honestly I was tempted to get the Collector's Edition which includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the team. The 1 month wait since the first time I saw the display at Kinokuniya until the sale today allowed me to be more rational. Haha.. Yesterday I tried to find the review and I decided to just get the Limited Edition ($244.50 before sale). I like the cover better than the regular release ($78.50) but shockingly the regular release was already out of stock o_0 Actually it is quite crazy that the price triples simply for a different cover, a packaging box (although it is an amazing box) and 2 art prints. Of course the biggest shock is that the Collector's Edition is exactly the same as Limited Edition except for the additional certificate of authenticity but the price is $468. $200 over just for 1 piece of paper, I am not that crazy thank you very much. Haha.. When I went today, there were only 2 copies of the Limited Edition and the display in the glass cupboard was already replaced with something else. Wow.. I really do not expect this to be so popular leh.
The Art and Design of FF XV

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digimon Trainer

Happy Plant and Thank You Card
Another year has passed and it is time to say goodbye to my pre-reg. After a roller coaster painful ride last year, I am glad that I have a good pre-reg this year. No doubt I am regretful that I did not spend as much time as I should or I wish but I am glad that he is good with the little supervision.

Same as previous years, I am still stubborn and I am not going to give any present or farewell gift to my students as I do not want to 'bribe' them. The pre-reg gave me the farewell gift of Happy Plant which is supposed to be able to absorb radiation from computer screen. The sweeter thing, however, is the thank you card.

The message goes:
Perhaps from a guy to a guy, a card is weird but I am still gonna write it. Haha!
Thank you so much for training me during my time at -------. Sorry for all the stress and incompetencies that I have given you.
Your card was designed with Tai and Agumon because just like them, I have learnt so much from you. You nurtured me like Tai did with Agumon and now I can fight (practice) like Agumon did, alongside you.
It was an enjoyable journey and I have truly learnt a lot from you. Despite the several occasions where you send stressful questions my way.
You are a great preceptor and one who truly cares for his student. Thank you!.
Let's keep in contact and meet up online!
PS: Nurture the plant well, like how you nurtured me >.<

Hmm things like this are more valuable than money and that's why I like teaching. For an otaku, of course I feel happy if people think I am like an anime character and in this case is a digimon trainer wor. Lol..

The funny thing is I just bought Greymon and Taichi G.E.M Megahouse figure earlier last week. After waiting since last year, the discount never came and I decided to buy it for $180. Megahouse is coming out with Precious G.E.M this year with Wargreymon and Taichi as well as Metal Garurumon and Yamato. At $300+ they are not cheap but when I saw them for the first time, I knew I would get Metal Garurumon and Yamato as the posing is unique with Yamato sitting on top of Metal Garurumon. The preorder also just opened on Saturday. After seeing how big Greymon is (and the box) and how big the box is, I was hesitating to get Wargreymon and Taichi especially since the pose is also normal. But because of this card, heck lah okay I shall get Wargreymon too. Lol.. Anyway I have decided to rent storage space from Extra Space as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ace of Diamond Season 2

Season 2 is a continuation of season 1 and there are 51 episodes. This season begins rather slowly with the first 3 episodes are just recap of season 1 but once the recap is over, we go straight into Fall Tournament. For Fall Tournament, there is no division between west and east Tokyo so there are new opponents with different styles which make the matches remain interesting and not repetitive. Unfortunately the match gets a bit boring for the semi final and while the final is still very exciting (despite knowing spoiler that Seido will win, my heart was still beating very fast when watching the episodes 49-50), the final episode is quite anti-climatic.

With the 3rd years graduating, there are new faces to make up the 20 members of the team. I feel that the transition is quite abrupt because from the first season, we do not even know about some of these faces. I feel that perhaps the author does not expect the series to run that long and hence does not really care about the "others" during the first season. It feels quite awkward to suddenly see some of these new faces when they are not really introduced as the second stringer or something.

Finally Eijun gets more spot light as the main character. He gets to learn new throws, he overcomes his yips, and he even pitches for 1 full match. Despite this, season 2 does not neglect the other characters for development. We also get to see how Miyuki has to step up as the new captain, how the team transition goes rocky at the start, and different players have their own spotlights. Kudos because really it is not easy to balance so many characters. Sadly Eijun's childhood friends seem to be forgotten. They came to support him during summer qualifiers where Seido lost in final and Eijun made a blunder but only Wakana appeared for this fall final match. Not to mention that there is not direct interaction between Eijun and her. Sigh..

One thing that irritates me the most is the use of injury plot point. It seems that Furuya has to be injured so that Eijun and Nori get the chance to pitch during official match. Miyuki has to be injured in the final to have him missed a few chances and that makes the match go very close. I mean seriously.. why is it only Seido team members are so unlucky to get all these injuries while the opponents seem to be all healthy. Recall that in season 1, Tanba is also injured so that Furuya and Eijun get the chance to pitch.

There are 2 OVAs which concludes this second season with the graduation of the year 3s. It is quite bittersweet to see them graduate as they play quite a huge role in the series. Nonetheless, Ace of Diamond is really a diamond among sports titles. It shows the struggle of the main character (instead of the usual noob turning into ace or a super ace main character), it is able to share the spotlight among so many members of the team, it is able to carry the story even after the year 3s are no longer playing (usually story will just end after the current match season ends), and finally the main character is able to reach that Koshien dream.

The OP and ED songs are still great and at the end of each episode, the cute illustrations are still there. I definitely will try to find the titles for the insert songs used in the anime because they never fail to make me feel emotional. I know the manga continues with act II and I definitely cannot wait for it to be made to season 3 of the anime (if it will ever happen).

I have a bit of regret of following Ace of Diamond late only after the manga is translated to Indonesian. Now I grow to like the characters and their figures are already out of stock. Haiz.. at least I still bought Eijun's one.

When I was writing for the first season, I could not find any of group pictures showing a lot of characters at the same time. Surprisingly there are a lot of group pictures for this second season. These are actually stills from the OP and ED songs.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Busy like siao

I sacrificed CNY holiday to start planning about appraisal and promotion forms and in the end, procrastinator always procrastinate. Just before submission, I ended up re-reading the whole write ups and editing again. Fiuh.. with everything submitted, I feel that a lot of my burden has been lifted.

This is my first time as a reporting officer to appraise people and it is not easy. I am honest so I do not want to lie. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and the difficult thing is too balance both in terms of writing. It seems that the bosses want perfect people (while nobody is perfect): if I write only the good things I will be lying and I will end up suffering on my own if the weaknesses are not addressed but if I write all the negative things I will end up hurting these people's progression. Another challenge is objectivity. As a perfectionist, I tend to be hard on myself from having too high expectations. I have to keep asking myself if I am being too critical vs the person really needs improvement. The past week had been a nightmare for me to keep revisiting what I wrote and trying to edit them in the most objective and honest way possible without sounding too critical or too subjective.

With all these TPM and appraisal stuff, I ended up forgetting my own responsibility to my pre-reg! The deadline for the pre-reg evaluation was yesterday and I only knew about it yesterday morning because of the email reminder. Without the email reminder, I would definitely forget about it. Luckily earlier this week I already asked my pre-reg to bring the whole file. But yeah, I still had to OT last night to do the evaluation and I had to sacrifice my off day today to do the evaluation. Cannot complain since it was my own forgetfulness. Anyway I got an excellent pre-reg this year so it was a pleasure precepting this year. In fact, I felt a bit guilty that I did not spend as much time as I wanted with him. But on the bright side, he is doing well and does not need so close supervision.

Yesterday I collected Jabra Halo Smart as prize from the National Steps Challenge Completer's Event. It is the prize for the 36th to 55th place (out of 100) so I was not too bad lah hor. Haha.. Of course the greedy me is not too happy for not getting something better or more useful lah. I am not too gadget-y as a person so I don't foresee myself using this kind of thingy. Anyway I am selling it at carousell and I hope there will be a buyer.