Friday, December 31, 2010
No, I don't believe in the bull crap that the world is going to end in 2012 or any time soon. The only ones capable of destroying ourselves are..... ourselves. Not some alien shit. And this is coming from some one who believed in Ultraman as a boy. Anyway, this is the last day of 2010 and I thought it would be good to do some reflection, look back at some milestones, and perhaps set some resolutions for the upcoming year. Nothing heavy, just writing down my thoughts so that it will be remembered.
Why? Because our memories are so poor. We forget too much, even the critical events that happen in our life, and the important people that cross our path in life. Even important memories fade with time, and time alone changes so many things. We're not the same person from yesterday, and we'll definitely be a different person tomorrow. While many things remain the same, such as intrinsic characteristics and habits, we reach new chapters in life and with these changes, we adapt and evolve. Our goals and visions change, along with priorities, focus, and even values. These determine the actions we take, and in the end decide how we reach the next chapter. And because of the pace that this takes place, we forget the little things that happen to shape our paths, and along with it the experiences that we go through.
Why am I saying all this? Really, it's for myself. To remind myself not to forget. That the one path I'm walking on right now is the one I've chosen, and how I live my life depends on which junctions I wish to take. And of course, to treasure everything that I've come across. Good or bad, my history is part of me. And lastly, to be thankful just to be where I am, who I am, and who I am with.
Right, back to topic. 2010 hasn't been one filled with change, compared to the previous years. It's been pretty smooth I guess, since there wasn't too many surprises and I had control most of the time. Work and family still requires delicate balancing, especially now since I've finally began my part time studies and have just completed my first semester. But no big shakes, that's the good thing. So, perhaps I'll carry on by listing out some of the key personal milestones....
1) Family. Really, everything is in place and I'm thankful that Rena is growing up well and healthy. Though there was a scare where I spent the wee hours at the hospital along with Mabel and her mother, Rena made a speedy recovery and is eating well and sleeping well. Many have asked me when's the next one coming, but to be honest we haven't really even decided whether we want to have a second. I'm not too excited over going through the drills of a newborn's father, nor do I want a son that badly. It would be ideal, but I'm happy with Rena. If anything, another daughter doesn't sound too bad and I already have a name ready, haha!
2) Work. Well, it's a good year in terms of work. A good boss, good colleagues, and a good working environment. Chances to go overseas, progression courses, and enlightening exercises. Good bonuses and rewarding in terms advancement. Got my IPPT Gold and Marksmanship this year (last time was a decade ago). Pretty good stuff so far. Only thing I wish for is more stability in terms of the overall evolution of the entire organisation, and perhaps a better career roadmap. For Mabel she's more or less a full time house wife now, but her Cookie Little venture is doing well right now and hopefully the orders will keep coming in.
3) Studies. Yes I'm slower in this aspect. Back in my earlier days of working, I did apply for a degree program, but I didn't manage to get it going, largely due to work and other commitments. But I didn't want to stop learning, and so in the meantime I got my Japanese language qualification, which was easier since I have the passion and interest. Too bad I've lost most of it due to the lack of practice, but I'm using it more and more these days due to new Twitter friends from Japan. This year, I've finally kicked start an actual degree programme, and one which is recognised by the Ministry of Education. I think I've done well for the semester, and got better results than I expected. Hopefully the next semester will be just as smooth.
4) Hobbies. Besides burning more cash on video games and buying toys, there's little I can say I splurged my money on. I always convince my wife that it's better than smoking or drinking, but I guess sometimes I can get a little overboard with online shopping since they always make it so easy for us to just click and spend. I've given up on modelling and airbrushing Gundam kits, but I've moved towards getting more Super Sentai and Kamen Rider figures as well. Not to mention my PS3 set broke down this year and I got a replacement set, complete with the Move and PS Eye too. But on the bright side, I don't spend more money when I'm home playing Black Ops or Sports Champions. :p
5) Running. The original goal I had earlier this year was 5 medals. I got 9 in the end, with 2 coming from full marathons. It's a good year in that aspect, but I've also got a few nagging injuries due to these runs, ranging from back pains to abrasions. I must firstly say I'm a bad runner and my timings are nothing to boast of. But I get pride from completion, and it feels good to be able to join in and complete races along with so many people. I've also signed up for 2 more upcoming marathons, with the next 2 months away from now in Tokyo. Preparations have began, and fears of the weather taking a toil on me have also inevitably made me nervous. Well, that doesn't stop me from looking forward to it. Tokyo here we come!
6) Twitter. One important aspect which I almost missed out is Twitter. Although I've not been on it for too long, I've made quite a lot of people on it, and a lot of them overseas. It's a great way to know more people, and although I haven't met many of them in real life, I look forward to meeting more people this way. I'm also making arrangements to meet some close Japanese Twitter friends next Feb, so hopefully I'll have more stories to tell. For those of you whom I met via Twitter and are reading this, thanks for making Twitter a good experience and here's to a good Twitter year in 2011.
That's about it for 2010 I guess. Now for some chop chop resolutions.
1) To be a better son, husband, father. I need more patience and less witty sarcastic remarks which I know can make me seem rude at times. Hopefully I can change and not show so much anger at times of frustration. :(
2) To study hard and make sure I clear all those credits every semester. And to do well of course, and to complete the entire programme within the shortest possible time.
3) To ensure I get good feedback from work, and to push forward for better recognition. And more importantly, to ensure that the job satisfaction level remains high.
4) To be faster, stronger, fitter. This year I'm raising the bar by quite a bit. I hope to retain that Gold award in IPPT, and also to join 10 runs this year, along with 3 marathons.
5) Lastly, to dedicate more time to friends since I think I've been neglecting some circles for a while now. It's not easy balancing work, family, and studies, but I believe that friends will make the balancing act easier if I know how to make it work.
Well, these are the main ones. Of course, there are sub-bullet resolutions within these 5 main goals, but I'll leave that to another day. Oh and of course, 1 more resolution is to write more and share more on this blog. So once again, I wish all of you a happy near year. 2010 is done, and it's time to start a new chapter on a fresh page. May 2011 bring laughter, joy, and peace for everyone! Moving on! :)
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Merry Christmas! Once again I've failed in updating as much as I'd like to, and from the usual once a week post I've degraded to more or less a once a month kind of update schedule. It's not that I'm very busy since work is at a low key period and that the semester hasn't started yet. I'm just lazy, and perhaps there isn't a lot to shout about or share these days. It's been a good week for me, since I've received my results and I've done better that I had hoped. Remember the paper I was bitching about? I was calculating how much I'd get and sadly no matter how I figured, I would still fail. Guess what I got a B. Must have been a hell lot of moderation and I'm not too low on the bell curve.
Rena turned 2 late last month, and in the short span of 4 weeks, me and Mabel hosted 2 parties at our place. One for Rena's birthday, and the other for the Christmas day celebrations. Once again, thanks to all who attended. Our place isn't a terribly big one, but I hope everyone found it cosy. It's not easy having to cater to the babies, the girls, and the guys, but it was fun for me, since there's khakis to play Sports Champions with me. And on behalf of Rena, thanks for all the gifts. She's having a blast unwrapping them all :)
Since there's some leave to be cleared during this festive season, I finally found the time (and determination) to break out my PG 00 Raiser model kit and to complete it. It's a gift from my friends at work, and not completing a gift seems to show insincerity. I tried to complete it earlier this year, but could only manage the main body parts and not the add-ons. It took me a couple more days to finish it, complete with panel markings and the spray on finish. I don't do air brushing any more, so a matte aerosol finish would have to suffice. It was quite simple and I'm pretty happy with the results. However, I'm not too sure whether this would re-spark my interest in Gundams, since they take so much time and dedication to complete. Ready made figures are so much easier. And I still have a MG F91 Gundam in my storeroom. Anyone keen to take over from me?
And since I had the camera out, I took a few more pictures around my place, including updated shots of my collection and posted them on my Facebook account. If you're reading this from the blog, feel free to visit my album via the FB link on the right panel. The PG Gundam kit took up quite a lot of space, and I still have 2 more MG Kamen Rider W figures on the way. I really need to create more room soon.
On the gaming front, I've been pretty much busy with Call of Duty: Black Ops at night, and I'm about to reach my first Prestige level. Though, I've been thinking hard and more or less have decided not to go beyond level 50, since I'd like to keep up with the various Challenges, and I don't see the game keeping my interest beyond the upcoming month. Check out a clip I uploaded to youtube, showing you exactly how NOT to plant a claymore in the multiplayer mode.
And so in my haste, I went out and bought a new game: Dragonball Raging Blast 2. From the reviews I knew that as a fighting game, it was mediocre at best. But as a fan of the series, I realised that there's a very high nostalgia factor in this game. 90 characters, show accurate scenes, and what-if scenarios tempted me too much not to invest in it. And while I wasn't too impressed with the interface and the system, it's still pretty fun to re-live moments which left me amazed decades ago, and to be immersed in the world of Dragonball again during this lull period doesn't sound too bad. Not too bad at all.
On other media, a new Super Sentai team has been announced, and since it's the 35th anniversary of Super Sentai, it's going to be a show which features returning characters. The poster you see here showcases all the previous Reds, and it's impressive how much they are going to bring back for this upcoming season. I look forward to this new season with much anticipation. And finally..... since this is likely to be my final post for 2010, I'd like to wish everyone a good upcoming new year, and hopefully 2011 will be a good year for all. Till the next update, ja!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Exams are over! I'm supposed to be in a happy mood now that it's a lull period, but I'm in a kinda pissed mood because I think I screwed up for one of the graphical mathematics exam. I did up the specimen papers, past year papers, spotted questions and got too confident, but got owned when the exam focused on theory instead of practical questions. Analysis FAIL. But the difference between the past paper was absurd. Hopefully they'll moderate the damn thing. Wish me luck.
Rena celebrated her 2nd birthday last week. Time flies with a kid around. Can't imagine it's already been 2 years since Rena arrived. It's not easy being a parent, but at the end of everyday I can't help but feel blessed. Even when she kicks and slaps me and I get angry, I know that she's part of me. Mabel arranged for a photo shoot to commemorate the occasion, and I've compiled some of the photos into a video montage, which you can view here. The rest of the photos will be uploaded to my FB account. :)
Mabel also made a special version of her cookies for the invited guests. I designed the card, but she changed the colour (which I disagreed on). Will revert back to the original colour when I upload it to my Akiba Studio site. Heh. Anyways, since my bonus this year is better than last year, I spent a little more (to cheer myself up from the post exam blues) on the PS3 Move system. Yes I know I've just gotten the replacement PS3 set recently but I can't help but get into the PS3/KINECT hype that's going around. Bought 2 games for it and I've been getting my arms sore from the archery and gladiator duel games. Pretty fun, but I'm still spending a lot of time on the Black Ops multi player games.
I'm in the process of making another video based on the photos taken during Rena's party, so check back here soon. I've already posted a video of her, on her brand new bike and her Kamen Rider OOO henshin belt, but I'm too lazy to upload to youtube. I'll try and make a link here soon, so check back soon! In the meantime, everyone enjoy the festive and holiday season! Ja!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Hi! Once again, it's been a long break since the last update! Well, the work + school + family combination is really taking a toil on me, especially when the assignments started to pour in during the transition of the terms. I made the mistake of being over ambitious and took too many modules this semester, clearing a total of 27 units instead of the normal 20. Still, I'm glad to have gone through it, although I still have 2 upcoming papers consisting of a very nostalgic maths paper which reminded me of my lack of effort during secondary school. :(
I've also signed up for 3 runs in October, starting with the Mizuno Wave Run, followed by the New Balance Real Run, and finally the Nike City Race. All of them are only 10km, so it's not really marathon training. And speaking of marathons, the good news is that I've been selected for the Tokyo Marathon 2011! I heard the application exceeded the slots by 10 fold, and I'm feeling really lucky to be able to participate!
I'm not really a good runner, but I pride myself in being able to complete the events. So, I've started collecting the medals and have already gotten 8 this year. I try to attend the events which gives out at least a running tee and a medal. Of course, there are some exceptions, such as the Nike Run, which actually gave us a happy meal toy which I detested.
For now, I'm just concentrating on the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. I haven't really started anything longer than 10km, and I'll really need to step up the regime within this 3 weeks. Good thing at least is that the working pace in the office is relatively slow this time of the month, and I can afford to dedicate more time to getting in shape. For the Tokyo run, I'll have to invest some money in getting the right gear, since the climate is going to be quite cold, from what I've asked from my Twitter friends thus far. Kinda worried but I guess the excitement outweighs the anxiety.
Well, although it's still exam season I still went again and got myself a new PS3 replacement, since my last one was busted and it's my main DVD/Bluray player. The main reason I got it was because I wanted to play the new Naruto game, and I even got the collector edition just for the DLC. I then realised that the DLC could be manually unlocked, albeit taking a longer time. Well, at least there's the cool box art and limited edition numbered artwork. I'm actually aiming to get the PS Camera and the PS Move set once I clear my papers.
Got quite a bit of my back logged stuff this week as well, including some Kamen Rider OOO stuff. So far, the series has been great, and the plot definitely one of the more interesting ones in recent history. I also got my MG Kamen Rider W figure, which I've also completed in one siting. Wish I had more time for the PG Gundam kit which is still sitting in my room. Rena's been a fan of the new Kamen Rider series too, evident from her screams of "henshin" during the transformation sequences. Such as the one here:
While we prepare ourselves for the trip next Feb, there's a lot of things to consider about especially when it's Rena's first trip overseas. I'll have to get the details right and to plan for a suitable itinerary that's not too tiring for her..... and us. I'll also need to pick up the race kit, attend the race expo, and try to meet up with some friends I've made through Twitter. That will certainly be the highlight, and I hope to meet as many of them as possible. Until the next update, I'll be cramming for my papers, and taking a break every now and then by getting a few online fights on the Naruto game. Till next time, ja!
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Some of you might already know that my wife's now doing her online cookie making site full time. I helped her with the logo design and the website, which was done in one sitting and I ought to find some time to have it improved. In the mean time, do feel free to check out http://www.cookielittle.blogspot.com/. For friends from Facebook and Twitter, I promise to make her give you a discount and I can personally do a delivery for you as well. Basically, she gives a service to provide gifts for all occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and all other celebrations. Here are some pictures we took:
真野恵里菜), called 元気者で行こう！which translates to "Let's go cheerfully!". Until the next update, ja!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
More pictures of Rena and her Goseiger stuff at home! Ever since she began to watch the show I've got for her a few items, namely the 5 Goseiger figures, Gosei Knight, and also the Tensouder. Well, I would have gotten the figures for myself since I collect them, but the Tensouder is definitely for Rena! :)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Rena's been a big fan of the Super Sentai series. Sure I have a big influence on her, but she's been demanding to watch a lot of the shows, particularly Gosei Sentai Goseigers, which is this year's series. It's not really hard to see why, since basically it IS a kid's show. Bright colours, flashy sounds and effects, and catchy songs, are all meant to attract children. It just so happens that Rena has a father who collects Sentai figures that's all :)
Of course, I bought a few of my own stuff as well. Figures wise, just 2 more to the collection (actually I still have a bunch of uncollected stuff from a local store but that's another story). They are Ultraman Zero and Gosei Knight. I'm not too keen on the Gosei Knight design because it looks really bulky and I'd very much preferred if they had introduced a 6th ranger instead. As for Ultraman Zero, I really didn't like the design at first too, but since then the design as grown on me and now I kinda like the 2 horns which he can take out and use as a weapon. Both will go to the collection, but perhaps Gosei Knight will enjoy a few hours out every week since Rena likes to go to my collection and demand that I take out a few figures each week to accompany her. Oh yah I got a few books from amazon too. :)
For Kamen Rider W, the series has nearly concluded and as with recent tradition, the next Rider shows up and is ready for the handing and taking over ceremony. The new rider is called Kamen Rider 000 (that's pronounced Ozu). More info extracted from Wikipedia here: Kamen Rider OOO (仮面ライダーＯＯＯ) will be the twelfth series in the Heisei period run of the Kamen Rider Series, and the twenty-first overall. It is scheduled to begin airing on September 5, 2010, the week following the conclusion of Kamen Rider Double, when it will join Tensou Sentai Goseiger in the Super Hero Time lineup. The series' titular Kamen Rider will have a cameo appearance in the film Kamen Rider Double Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate.
One of my Korean twitter friends (@pinkmelodian) introduced me to the iPhone game "Swing Swing Motion". The lite version can be found on itunes. Turns out she was part of the development team, and I was interested to find out how the game played. It's a game which relys a lot of the motion sensors of the phone, and requires the player to balance the phone in accordance to the rhythm and the music being played. It's not a new idea but it's done very well, as expected from Korean game makers. Do try it out if you have the iPhone, and see if you have a good sense of rythm and as well as hand eye coordination. :)
This is pehaps the first blog post in 3 to 4 weeks. Yeah video updates don't really count. But it's been a really busy period for me, since school have already started and the work place isn't really known for its tranquility too. Especially those tutorials and end of course assessments for my programme, they can be murderous. Still, I've got a couple of updates I'd wanna do soon, including the video I mentioned. Will keep all updated through FB and Twitter. Jya~!