Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In the Web of War(craft)

Yesterday, Duy, Jason and I decided to have lunch and Wendy's and then stop at J&J's afterwards to see if they had any new shipments of the WoW card game like they said they would. Lo and behold, this time they had enough packs for us to get 4 packs each and do a real draft. They were pretty expensive though, something around $5.49 each, so about $2 more than a Magic booster. You still get 15 cards in it, though the rarity breakdown is slighty different from Magic's.

So a bit after we got home, we drafted in the living room. Now, for this game, you have to choose whether to play as Horde or Alliance - you can't mix cards from both. Since we only had 3 people, you can probably guessed what would happen; two people would end up fighting over one faction while the third lucks out and gets to take all the good cards and then some of the other faction. Indeed, Jason ended up going Horde while me and Duy had to fight over Alliance. I would hazard a guess that Jason's deck would also probably be the strongest and most consistent out of the three, though we haven't played nearly enough games so far to tell.

Another big thing that sets drafting WoW apart from Magic drafting is that each must revolve around a hero card. Basically, your hero represents you, and any ability cards (spells) you play must be of the same type as your hero, and any ally cards you play (creatures) have to be of the same faction. Since there are 9 classes, and they have varying degrees of useful abilities, you might want to settle on your hero early to be sure of having some ability cards that your hero would actually want to use. Also, just like in Magic, it seems that any limited deck would also need a lot of allies, so choosing your faction early would be even more important, otherwise, you might have to add in some really subpar cards to make sure you deck even reaches 30 cards!

There's plenty of other differences in the gameplay and rules as well, but those were the two that I think most influenced the drafting and made it feel different from the numerous Magic drafts we've had over the years. Although it's more costly than Magic, the game is still really fun to play, and anyone who has an average understanding of Magic should have no problem picking this game up. In some ways, it's even better than Magic. (And I've played Magic for 10 years, so that should be some pretty high praise coming from me :P) The game seems to move a steady, brisk pace, and you never really are sitting around waiting for turns to go by with nothing to do. The recommended number for a draft is 4-8 people, so the 3 of us were hoping that we could get some other people interested in trying out the game and having a "real" draft. I think it would be a good way to get people introduced to the game, since constructed would require both more time and money to do. So, is anyone up for it?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Greater Gargadon

So finally, all the suspense in waiting for me to blog again has finally ended. :P It seems that blogger has upgraded their technology since I last blogged, so now I'm using this new template that for some reason seems to be screwing up my sidebar links. I've done a temporary solution for now, but it still looks kinda crappy. And I think the width of the posting area is too small. But other than that, I guess it's okay.

I had a couple of interesting convos yesterday, one of them was with Bao, and the other was with Jason and Duy over dinner. I was thinking about posting the whole MSN convo with Bao, but then I realized it probably wouldn't look that good on my new template, and so I'll just link to it:
(thanks sir!)

Because of these talks, I've been motivated to try to accomplish some things in the past that I was never able to do, and also to change more and become more efficient at things and better at communicating. To that end, I'm going to try and blog more often. I dunno how often that will be, since I'm still in the middle of finals and then I have Urbana and a lot of Christmas stuff after I'm done school, but I'm thinking a lot of time I spend doing other stuff like reading Magic sites could be better spent elsewhere.

Also, I was going to practice expressing opinions by giving a review of Tales of the Abyss, or something else, but that will have to wait for another time. I'll give it some thought over dinner perhaps, and then maybe later I deal with some other stuff that's been annoying me. (Why does the hydro company require a $685 deposit? I've already had to pay so many deposits this term. Hope I can actually get them back next year...)

Oh, and I'm pretty satisfied with my new computer. I think I'll give it a 9/7. :P

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Testing, testing 1, 2, 3.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I saw this on Pedellea's xanga and thought it would be funny if I made my own. So here goes. For those of you who know me pretty well, you'll already be able to guess how this turned out without even looking.

Countries I've visited:

create your own visited country map.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Heat Stroke

My esteemed roomate said something to me yesterday which prompted an interesting thought. Since a lot of houses in the Waterloo area don't have AC, and it sometimes gets too hot to want to study, I was thinking that perhaps this might lead to a greater percentage of people failing/doing badly in the summer? :P I dunno, it's probably mostly untrue, but after going through this beastingly hot week and wasting so much looking for places to study that aren't hot, I can kinda see why some people would be less inclined to study in the summer.

For me, this being my first summer term, I've been missing all the fun summer stuff I used to be able to do. Things such as camping, softball, and volunteering at Day Camp, and to a lesser extent, massive gaming. But yeah, I guess being in school this term was still worth it...after all, most of the people I know in UW are on campus this term too. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mouth of Ronom

This blog post is related to my title, but probably not in the way that you might guess. It's not really a 100% fit, but perhaps you'll still see it...

So in the Coldsnap draft we had over here, I ended up with an okay deck. I opened a first pick Stalking Yeti and then got a second pick Zombie Musher, so I was playing B/R again. :P This time, my deck ended up with a lot of stronger creatures, like said yeti and Rimescale Dragon, but didn't see a single Skred or Surging Flame. I had two Chill to the Bones and a Deathmark to make up for it, but that removal wasn't good enough. Thus, I guess my first draft deck would be more consistently better. It was blast playing with Jian, Kevin, and Kenny for the whole day though, so I can't really complain. Now we can all start calling our Ronom Unicorns "Starshine".

Anyways, after I met with a different group of Mormons this morning, me and Jason almost bumped into another group of them while walking towards Duy's house in the afternoon. Luckily, they didn't aggro us, and we took a detour into the plaza. It seems that the Mormon presence around campus has been growing recently. I dunno, but I'm starting to find it kinda annoying, since they always have to stop you and get you to talk with them, and they can't seem to take "no" as an answer. It's worse if, say, you're on your way to meet a friend for dinner, and you really don't have time for that kind of talk. On the other hand, I would feel bad if I just completely ignored them or lied to them by saying something like "I'm Jewish," so I usually let them say the beginning of their speech first before politely declining their invitation to hear more. I wouldn't mind talking to them when I have the time, but I usually don't really enjoy being stopped by a total stranger when I have some place to go. And it's not like I'm being ignorant of what they're trying to say either, I've done a bit of research about them on the net, and I've met with some Mormon missionaries twice now at Betty's place. I just hope that this recent trend isn't a sign of more things to come. I wonder if there's any easy way to get them to understand that you're not interested at the moment?

(Note: This post was not really meant to be a slight against the Mormon faith, just merely the tactics Mormons use in attempts to try and spread their beliefs. Please don't flame me for this. And yes, I know some Christians do the same kind of things. :P)

Saturday, July 15, 2006


So the previous Monday's Smash Tournament didn't turn out as well as the previous one. Every one of us posted worse records than we did before, except for Ambrose, who went on to grab 3rd place. Duy also managed to come in second, after a couple of fairly close games in the finals against a Sheik. I think Duy won about $25 and Ambrose about $15.

Anyways, the big winner of the day ended up being Jason, who found first a $50 and then a $20 as we were walking through the University Plaza parking lot on the way to East Side Mario's. :P He ended up getting more than Duy and Ambrose put together, heh. As for me, my first two rounds were against two people who eventually placed in the top 8, so I got beaten pretty badly. I managed to win a frustrating 3rd round game on Brinstar Depths, which featured both me and my opponent falling through the stage. Afterwards, however, I lost a close match against a Link and was eliminated. Final record: 1-3, which was a lot worse than my previous showing of 4-3. Oh well, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't.

The rest of the week was mainly spent hanging out with Bao, who stayed for the entire week. More memorable activities included the usual Wednesday night badminton, drafting G9G, meeting up with Betty, and of course, buying the WoW board game. :P
Oh, of course, the warrior sucks in that version too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sleeping Potion

Just a while ago, I was playing X-Men Legends 2 with Duy and Jason, and we were going through Act 3. Although I was having fun using Rogue and Scarlet Witch, I was getting pretty tired after playing badminton (and not really doing much studying :P). Thus, I would end up losing my character on the screen or getting stuck, or even zoning out for a little bit here and there. The funniest thing that happen though, was when we decided to stop playing, apparently, Duy saved the game, and then 1 minute later, I went to save the game again 'cause I thought we hadn't saved it yet. :P I'm pretty sure that I realized that I did see him save it, I just had the instinct to make sure that the game was saved before we left, heh...

Turning people into boxes with probability is cool. Oh, and you know a game is easy when you need to actually use a glitch in the game which makes it HARDER in order to make the game challenging. :P (Rogue's Heal bug)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Wow, I guess my latest attempt to revive this blog kinda died out again. Anyways, I finally found some motivation to write something on here.

Yesterday at the Welcome Back Jason draft, a disagreement arose mainly between me and a friend about exactly what constituted "cooking". He was eating some pasta that he had made and brought from home, and had heated it up in the microwave. I brought up the point of how I thought it was cool that he cooked the pasta himself, to which he replied that he didn't consider making pasta to be real cooking. "You just add heat and mix the stuff together, it doesn't take any skill at all," was basically how his argument went. Ironically, the first defintion of "cooking" given by is:
To prepare (food) for eating by applying heat.

So I stand by my point. :P

Now, I know that my cooking skills aren't that great, so stuff that would probably seem cool or special for me to cook probably seem pretty ordinarly to most people. I guess my friend might be used to making more exotice dishes, and thus he doesn't consider making simple pasta and meat sauce to be real cooking. I would agree that simple things such as mixing cereal and milk or preparing a sandwich probably shouldn't count as cooking, (though Tales of Symphonia would disagree :P), but I think that anything which requires the use of a stove or oven should be compmlex enough to be classified as cooking. I guess sandwiches could be considered just "food preparation" or something like that.

Under the above definition, however, Wen pointed out that simply microwaving food would also be considered as cooking. Though I think most people, myself included, would reject the idea of microwaving stuff as real cooking, technically it is. You'd be surprised at how many things can be microwaved and still taste good, even if they say on the box that they're not microwavable. :P I usually end up microwaving a lot of my meals even now. Why? I guess it's just 'cause I'm lazy...and want to have more time to do other stuff. It's not that I don't enjoy cooking or anything, I've probably just gotten into the habit of it, and while I'm at school, I haven't really been living in an environment that encourages me to explore the culinary arts. Duy doesn't really "cook" at all either. We used to cook more when Bao was here, but we only cooked once this year, and that was when we went over to Ambrose's house and had planned to cook stuff together with them. I was supposed to do some cooking with Wen and Duy during exams this term, but then it didn't happen due to time constraints, and we ended up playing more Tales instead. :P Playing through the game a second time, it's a lot more interesting when I notice the foreshadowing and other references to things in the story that they player isn't supposed to know about yet. But that's probably a topic for another entry.

So what do you guys think? Where is the line between "cooking" and just "preparing food"?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Deepwood Drummer and Singing Tree

I've had a bunch of stuff that I've wanted to blog about, but never got around to it. Oh well, I guess I'll write more later if I have the time and motivation. Firstly, what I wanted to do is see how my last two spins of the Divining Top went:

Got two midterms back today
1) CS 436 Distributed Computer Systems
Predicted Mark: 65% - 85%
Actual Mark: 78%

Okay, so I had a really big prediction range here. :P Well, I wasn't really sure how much I had to write for a lot of questions...and so I didn't know if I would be getting full marks for them. Also, I almost ran out of time near the end, so a lot of thigns were rushed, and I wasn't sure how much part marks I'd be getting for some of the more significant question near the end. It turns out that I ended up losing marks mainly for forgetting some details, lost about 3 marks for misterpreting an ambiguous question about TCP commmunication schemas, and 8 marks 'cause I didn't study how to calculate a checksum. All in all though, I think I got a bit better than the mark I deserved. I'm not doing that well in the course though, I tanked all of assignment 1 and most of assignment 2...and assignments are worth 25%. I should try to stop slacking and attempt to get more motivated...even if I do have "a lot of other stuff to do."

2) CS 338 Computer Applications in Business: Databases
Predicted Mark: 55% - 75%
Actual Mark: 85%!!!

Finally...I wrote this exam like... the week before reading week lol. And I finally got it back today...and man, they were really really REALLY generous on a lot of the SQL questions. After I checked the notes once I finished writing the midterm, I figured that I'd get 0 for some of my SQL queries, but I guess the prof was more accepting of pseudocode than I thought. I mainly only lost marks due to forgetting definitions, and a mark or a half on forgetting a few tiny details that I didn't feel were worth arguing about. (such as whether or not you had to explicitly include a "Street" attribute for an "Address" entity, even though the question didn't exaclty say that they had one. I think that the markers were very lenient in general though. What this means for me is that all I need to do now to pass the course is pass the final. I can ignore all the rest of the assignments because of the prof's "best of" marking scheme, which will allow me to just use the midterm and final to calculate my mark. Given my mark on the midterm then, even if I only get 50% on the final, which I have to pass, I'll end up with a 60% overall in the course. So good haha.


So anyways, enough of that Top. Time to set a Pithing Needle to it. Yesterday, I went to worship cell, and Alex Langelo was there. Apparently, he's been very into music sine he was a child, and as such, he knew a thing or two about drumming and singing that he was willing to teach us. So the first half of worship cell was him instructing us on the basics of playing the djembe and the basics of singing. It was pretty embarassing for me, 'cause I suck at singing, and I'm not a good drummer at all even though I'd already had lessons from Alex in an earlier meeting of worship cell. :P When I was younger, I had to be part of a choir in my elementry school, and a bunch of people in my class made fun of me while I was singing, saying that I had a bad voice and etc. I guess those negative thoughts have stuck with me through most of my life; even nowadays at church and etc, I find it really to just sing out to the best of my ability. I always hold back.

As we were going around practicing the first part of the chorus of "Here I Am To Worship" a lot of people were struggling to get what Alex was trying to impart on us, mostly due to the fact that the majority of us had never had any real vocal traning. When he got to me, Alex was like, "You're only using 10% of your volume, you need to give your voice more support when you sing, man." and I replied "I know, I'll try." I guess hopefully, in time, I'll get over my pyschological fear and be able to sing properly. I'm getting a bit better at djembe though...and I'm feeling bold enough to maybe try and play it for worship during next week's CCF. It would the first time that I really did worship leading at all. Though later I found out that next Friday is also going to be a Bible study, which means I'd have to be prepared for that too. It feels like it would be a lot of responsibility to have to do worship AND Bible Study leading on the same night, I have enough stress leading Bible studies as it is. :P But, well, if Betty can do it, then maybe I can too haha. I guess I better ask Chris what he thinks...

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Thanks Wen for helping me come up with an interesting post title to my last post. I was kind of stuck trying to think of one for a while.

Anyways, although I've had a mostly relaxed week this week, I haven't really been motivated to post much. Why? I've had some random thoughts of stuff here and there, but none that seemed really significant enough or practical enough to make into a "real" blog entry. I spent a lot of this past week just chilling out, hanging out with people at Worship Cell and Lifesong, playing through a lot of X-Men Legends 2 with Wen and Duy, and having dinners with them and Alex Chen. Most of my midterms are done, and so I have a small break before my assignments will start to pick up again. Academically speaking, I'm doing "as expected", though I probably could be trying a bit harder.

Lifesong this year was another big drama production, this time featuring Herman's testimony. It was pretty cool to hear him share about his life and how he came to be where he is today. I thought about the people I knew who had lost a parent due to cancer or some other circumstance, and realized that I knew more such people than I had realized. Thinking about it sort of put a new perspective on things; it made me appreciate my parents even more, especially since they usually ended up spoiling me so much when I was younger. There were times when they were super strict too, but in general, I had a pretty good relationship with them, and it got better as I grew older.

Has anyone ever noticed that sometimes when you greet people, no matter if you're just chilling out or passing them in the halls, they sometimes go on autopilot and not really hear/read what you say? For example:
Me: So how was Lifesong for you?
Friend: Oh, it was okay, I had a midterm on Thursday, it went pretty well...
Me: (I guess he figured I'd ask him how his week was...)

2) (Over MSN)
Me: Hello sir. What's up?
Friend: Not bad thanks. What about you?
Me: (That didn't really answer my question...)

At first I thought that maybe the other person just wasn't fully mentally in the conversation at first. I figured it was a psychological thing, that they would asssume that this social interaction would start off like most other social interactions usually do. But then I thought may be it was my fault for speaking too softly. (at least in the non-MSN cases) I've had a fair number of people not hear what I say clearly in converastions, and I've had to repeat myself. Though I might be just exaggerating the number of those occurrences in my mind. Memory is easily affected by our emotions, after all. So what do you guys think? Do I speak too quietly sometimes? How often do I do it? Should I try to talker louder than I normally do to make up for it?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sensei's Divining Top

So yesterday I finally got the results of my STAT 330 midterm back, and now I finally have the results of all 3 of the midterms that I had the joy of writing back on Feb 14. (Strangely enough, my database midterm that I wrote a week before that still seems to have not been marked yet.) It seems that my predicted marks were pretty close to their acutal counterparts this time, whereas in the past, I would have been the subject of some ridicule when my "conservative" estimates ended up being way off the mark. (My 1A calculus midterm being the most famous example)

1) CS 330 midterm, 8:30 AM
Predicted mark: ~80%
Actual mark: 78%

This midterm was expected to be fairly easy, based on what I saw in last term's midterm. It was harder than that, but still not that challenging. It was short answer, 7 questions, you choose 5 of them. One mark I lost because I was going to change an answer from "TCP and UDP" to the correct version, "TCP and IP" but wasn't 100% sure either way, and in the in I was running out of time so I just left it. Near the end of the exam, I had 10 mins left to change one of my answers and do a different question instead, and I finished with only about a minute to spare. The only complaint that I had about this midterm was the first question, which was about ER diagrams. I've been learning about those in a lot more detail in my databases course, and I'd say that the way they were taught in CS 330 wasn't that great. The prof just kind of glossed over a lot of details, and on the exam, the question wasn't worded a bit ambiguously. Another problem is that there's no real objective standard to measure which ER diagram is "better" than another. I ended up losing most of my marks on that question, but since the rest of the exam wasn't that difficult, I guess I can't complain

2) STAT 330 midterm, 11:30 AM
Predicted mark: ~60%
Actual mark: 66%

Whoa...I got actually better than I expected on this one. At first, while writing it I thought I might have a shot of getting maybe about 75%, but then I realized that a few of my answers weren't really that sound, and depending on how generous they were with part marks, I might actually end up with ~50% if they chose to be cruel. Luckily, the TA's seemed to be fair this time, and I managed to do okay. Of course, part of the reason that I did as well as I did is probably 'cause this is my second time taking the course...but shhh..the other ppl in my class don't need to know that. :P Yesterday, my prof did his usual act of being condescending and disappointed in us because the average was barely 60% and around half of the class failed. This caused a bit of an uproar, as several students spoke up to complain that the exam was too hard and there weren't enough practice problems. (This year the prof didn't even bother to put the solutions to the course notes problems in the library) In response, the prof said that you are supposed to know your calculus for this course, and that you should just "sit down and spend time to do the problems, and then you will learn this course". That prompted more complaining from some students about how most of them also have 4 other courses to deal with, to which the prof responded that if you did badly on this test (<66%) then will have big problems with the next one, and you might even fail the course. IMO, the midterm was fair, but the fact that course was taught in such a poor manner would make it hard for most people to do well on it.

3) STAT 333 midterm, 4:30 PM
Predicted mark: ~40%
Actual mark: 45%

Even though I failed this exam, I still did better than I predicted, AND the class average as well I think. (Average was like 13.5/40, according to UWACE) By the time I was writing this exam, I was kinda tired, so I ended up making 2 stupid mistakes that cost me 4+3 = a total of 7 marks. And 7 marks out of 40 is a lot. One of the 3 questions I really couldn't answer, but I guess I put in enough stuff to at least get some part marks. Duy hasn't checked his mark yet, but we calculated that he probably got around 55% only. [Edit: Finished writing this part just before we went to class, and then during class we got our midterms back, and Duy actually only got 19/40] Since the class average was so low, our marks might get belled later, which means that I'll probably end up passing, yay!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Winter Sky

This has been an interesting reading week. I've gotten to catch up on sleep, surprisnlgy. But that's probably because of the fact that I haven't been getting much work done. :P Overall, reading days were kind of disappointing; I got to see and hang out with some people, but not for enough time and some people I hardly got to see at all. Anyways, since I kind of have writer's block at the moment, but still feel like blogging something, I guess I'll resort to doing one of these random surveys, even though I haven't (technically) been tagged...

Four jobs (volunteer positions) I've had:
1. Assistant to Mr. William Pak (Jeff's dad) -this wasn't a real job, I just learned stuff about various software and got paid for it
2. Calculus Tutor -I tutored a bunch of people from church over the summer
3. Summer Day Camp Counsellor's Aide -Moo Chee! Boo Chee!
4. Office Assistant for Pastor Sharon -this was back in summer of 2004, and it was only for a coule of weeks...

Four movies I can watch (and have the potential to watch) over and over:
1. Memento
2. Black Hawk Down
3. Mulholland Drive -must figure out what it's about!
4. Matrix/Star Wars/LOTR -I think I've watched most movies from those series at least twice :P

Four places I've lived (if vacations don't count):
1. Mississauga
2. Mississauga
3. Mississauga
4. Waterloo -haha...this would've been funny had it been 4x Mississauga

Four TV Shows I love(d):
1. CSI - all 3 I guess
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Various TLC shows
4. X-Files

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Michigan
2. Florida
3. Buffalo
4. Newfoundland -I've never been outside of North America

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Pasta
2. Chili
3. Salmon, raw or cooked
4. mild Curry with anything

Four sites I visit daily:
1. this blog
3. -Waterloo's course website server
4. various friends' blogs -mcbc-online is still down...otherwise it would be here

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On a vacation with friends
2. a place with a time machine
3. at a retreat
4. Ravnica -okay, just kidding

Four bloggers I'm tagging (let's see...who hardly updates? nahhh):
1. DB -well, might as well kill two birds with one stone
2. Mason
3. Brose
4. Wenage Zhanger

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Reading week is fun...unless you're stuck at school that is. Good news is that I finally going home today!

Well, I guess being able to hang out with Wen and Duy and play some more of X-Men Legends 2 was fun. Besides that, I've mainly been pretty lazy/tired these past few days. I dunno why, but I've been super sleepy lately, falling asleep at like 8-10 pm and then getting up at 9 am the next day, yet still not really feeling refreshed. Thus, my efforts to study, or else get other useful stuff done have been mostly hindered. I figured I wouldn't have too much work to do this Reading week, with only a quiz on Monday and an assignment on Tues to worry about, but then my STAT 330 prof goes and dumps another assignment on us yesterday. Dang it. Last year, we got 2 weeks to do each assignment. This term, the prof made his assignments about 75% as hard, but then gave us only 50% of the time to do it. Sigh, if only I had passed it the first time.

This term's prof also can't really teach that well. His English is okay, but apparently he thinks this course is "easy", something which the majority of the class and other students I know disagree with. He also doesn't have any enthusiasm at all when he lectures. Granted, the material is pretty dry, but even Cyntha Struthers (my prof for last term) managed to make a joke here and there and keep the class entertained. I even looked forward to going to her class sometimes last term. On the other hand, I usually dread having to visit this class every Tues and Thurs. My current prof seems really diassociated from his students...he's always surprised when we don't find his assignments "easy", and when he asks us "simple" questions in class that no one answers, he says stuff like "Oh my God, how can you have forgotten this?!" and gets confused about "how we passed calculus." That makes him pretty annoying. He doesn't realize that the main reason why people don't have any motivation to answer stuff in his class is 'cause the way he teaches it makes everyone soooo bored and dead. Looking down on the class doesn't really help either.

Anyways, after my like 4 hour nap yesterday night, I ended staying up talking to a bunch of ppl over msn. So I'm reading this word document that's a transcription of another msn convo...and all of a sudden, this alert window pops up in my face and says:

There are too many spelling or grammatical errors in this file to continue displaying them. To check the spelling and grammar of this docuemnt, choose Spelling and Grammar from the Tools menu.

Then I clicked OK, and then Word totally lagged up for like 2 minutes. It's like, "What the?!" Go Microsoft! :P

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Winter's Grasp

Sooo cooollld outside today! Actually, it has been like that everyday starting from the snowday on Thursday, I think. This has been a very interesting weekend: I know that I'm kinda late on writing the first entry of my new blog, but well, better late than never right? :P

So, I had many ideas on how I wanted to start off writing in this blog. I was going to define the purpose of this current incarnation and what I wanted to do with it, but I think I'll have to save that for later, when I remember it more haha. This entry will also be used to respond to Bao's lastest comment in the previous (blogger)entry.

Things I've done this week, that I've never done before:
-talked with Mormons with Alex Lam and Betty Chan
-visited "Westcourt", the unofficial CCF house of UW (and watched Finding Neverland)
-played a 10-player game of Magic with about 6 ppl I've never met
-played a Magic multiplayer "Hunt" variant
-played Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
-stayed at school the weekend before Reading Week
-been the main leader in a Bible Study (okay, I've done this once before)

Okay, so some those things weren't really that special, but they were at least all pretty new to me. I mean, I've learned about Mormon's before, I'd heard of Splinter Cell, and of course I've played Magic, but it's always cool to try new ways of doing things, especially when they help broaden your knowledge and also develop more as a person. Keeping an open mind is a good thing.

It's kinda funny how in my 3.5 years of going to CCF, I've never once been to Westcourt. I almost wasn't going to go, 'cause I found out at the last minute that there was Smash Brothers going on at some other guys' house, and a bunch of other people were going there instead. I was thinking of calling Duy and inviting him over, but I figured that he probably was in the middle of a raid or something, so I didn't.

Finally, Splinter Cell is a very...unforgiving and ninjalicious game. I guess maybe it doesn't help that I've never really played any other games like it before. It was pretty easy for me to get spotted by the enemies, and then I always felt that I had to shoot them so many times in order to kill them. I also didn't like the fact that the game just throws you into the first mission with no story background at all basically. There is a tutorial mode that you can try first, but it's pretty plain and not well-laid out in some areas. It's pretty unimaginative and doesn't really prepare you that well for the real game. The game also has annoying long save/load times, and seemingly redundant status messages. (For example, after saving your game, a message pops up and says "Your game has been saved." and then you have to confirm again.)

In the second mission of the game, you have to find and get information out of this terrorist dude named Jong. And so me and Duy figured that we'd have to just locate him and knock him out. So at the start, we see two terrorist guys talking, and one of them is on the roof, of a short, one-story building, and the other is on the same level as us. So we kill both of them, and then we find out that the guy on the roof was actually the guy we were supposed to interrogate! Whoops...they could've at least given us some way to identify him. :P We retry the level a few times, and try many other methods of capturing the target, such as knocking him out from behind, or using a flash bang on him. Every time, we got the message, "Oh my God, what were you thinking, you killed Jong!?" and we had to restart. How a flash bang kills someone, I don't know, but I thought that was pretty dumb. Anyways, we were stuck until we finally looked in the manual and found out that there was a way to interrogate bad guys in the game. :P (Perhaps something they should've also showed us in the tutorial.)

There were also many times where we'd be walking carefully against the wall, when all of a sudden we'd come under from some unknown location and die within a seconds. So "from where!?" like. Made the game pretty frustrating. So, in conclusion, although I wouldn't mind trying it more, Splinter Cell probably isn't a game we'll be playing much of. :P It's a good thing that you didn't spend that much money on it, Bao.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It has gone full circle...

And so, after some thought over a long period of time, that I've decided that I will try to start blogging again. I always thought it to be a worthwhile activity, though I always got lazy, and never really wrote much of substance usually. I had all these dreams of posting thought provoking and interesting questions and arguments, but I "never got around to it." My 'new' blog might end up like my other ones, but I'm hoping it won't go down the same road. I put 'new' in quotes because I've decided to try and go back to my old xanga site, to try and get a fresh start and perhaps leave some of the bad stuff about this blog behind. Expect to see something up there in time. :)

[Edit]: Hmmm...after thinking about it more and talking with Wen and other people, I've decided to remake my Blogger blog and use it as my main one instead. I will, however, probably end up updating both this one and my xanga at the same time, so that people who only usually check one of them will know that I've updated. :P At least now I don't have to use Haloscan anymore.