Monthly Archives: May 2012

To Sign A Joke?

With the evolution of technology, the type of infrastructure that we see around us continues to evolve as well, at times merging and blending very well with technology to showcase marketing advertisements we can only enjoy with our jaws dropped and opened wide.

One of the more popular examples would be large and bright LED screens splashed across and around the walls of these skyscrapers. When positioned properly, they can be a real marvel to watch, like the following..

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…and then again, there are those that is quite badly positioned that it really doesn’t seem to serve any purpose at all. Rather, from a distance it looks like a joke…

…like the screen positioned on the highest possible location on the Mines 2 building….

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Kinda makes you seriously wonder who their target audience is, huh? The birds? The sun? LOL

NBA Fantasy League 2012 Summary

 

Although the NBA Playoffs is still on-going, my NBA season for 2011/12 already ended the day my Mavericks failed to get a better positioning in the West, got paired up with on-form OKC and eventually getting swept by the Thunder in the first round. Sigh.

Anyway, on the Fantasy front, В I have to admit that Fantasy NBA is, and I repeat, NOT as easy as Fantasy Premier League or Fantasy La Liga. Whilst I may have enjoyed much success and ranking in bothВ Fantasy Premier League or Fantasy La Liga,В I am still learning the ropes and steadily improving myself (only) in my second season.

With the shortened 66-game season, I managed to total up 9,267 points, averaging 18.76 pts per day. This is a slight improvement from my 17.71 pts/day average in my rookie year. Globally, I have also improved my rankings from 3.221 (2% bracket) last year to 1,732 (0.9%) this year!

Woo hoo! Target of breaking into the 1% global bracket met! 😛

So, what is it that makes Fantasy NBA such a challenge? Well, for one, apart from the All Star break, all teams play EVERY DAY. So we get to make trades on a DAILY basis – timing in making those trades are downright crucial to buy low and sell high..

For me, the learning curve I have yet to fully master is the position limit strategy. In Fantasy NBA, each ‘position’ is limited to the total games in the entire season. For example, in a 66-game season, each position in your roster can only be filled up 66 times. Of course, this does not mean the season itself finishes in 66 days! Ahhh….so some cunning strategy needs to come into play to ensure ALL the roster spots are evenly played to maximise the most points.

I was caught in this position limit trap in my rookie year when I was stuck with several positions in locked status with a couple of weeks left to go. I dreadfully saw my rankings slipped from sub 1% rankings to eventually 2% within days…

This year, I am starting to plot my roster spots better to make sure ALL players get to score points over the season, and of course, not get trapped with players reaching their position limits too quickly. 😛

Have you tried Fantasy NBA?В 

 

 

Star Trek: Klingons – Blood Will Tell

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Book: Star Trek: Klingons – Blood Will Tell

Genre: Graphic Novel/Science Fiction/Comic

Writers: Scott Tipton/David Tipton

Illustrator: David Messina

Thickness: 168 pages

Tagline: NA

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Here is a confession: As big as a Star trek fan as I am, I have never really thought much about its comic books. Not sure if it is the cheesy artwork on the covers or some bias that sci-fi on comics just doesn’t quite add up.

This is the reason why I only started to pick up some of these Star Trek graphic novels (note: some of them are even just a collection of their monthly comic series) at last year’sВ Big Bad Wolf SaleВ when they were selling em CHEAP at RM5 a pop.

However, after reading through some of these, I have to sheepishly admit that I was so glad I bought those ST graphic novels! I wasВ thoroughlyВ impressed by the refreshing writing in their pages. Of course, the artwork isn’t exactly visually stunning, but the quality of the storylines more than makes up for it.

Today, I shall review about one of the ST graphic novels I finished quite a while ago, and it’s all about Klingons. Seriously. Younger Trekkies may not know much about the Klingons but this warrior race was sorta like the main baddie in the Original series, so it’s really worth a look at how much drama they brought to the original crew…

Storyline

Basically, the story starts off on the Klingon home planet where they are undecided whether they should go to war with the Federation of Planets or to make peace. It then zooms in on the protagonist of the story, Kahnrah who has the vote that will break the tie and determine this critical decision.

As he ponders on what his vote will be with K’ahlynn, his grand daughter, Kahnrah starts toВ reminiscent about historical encounters between the Klingons and the Federation. Through these stories, he gains more insight before making his decision at the end of the story.

Writing

The uniqueness of this book is that it recollects classic stories in the ST: Original Series lore where the Klingons featured prominently. The only difference is that all of these stories are now told in this graphic novel from the perspective of the Klingons! How cool is that?!

The Klingon-based stories covered in this graphic novel include “Errand of Mercy“, which is incidentally the first episode that introduced the Klingons to the ST universe,В “The Trouble with Tribbles“, “Day of the Dove” and “A Private Little War“. For those of you who are familiar with the stories mentioned here, you should be able to enjoy this graphic novel more because you’d be able to understand the beauty of unraveling the classic stories again, only from another point of view.

I especially enjoyed this panel whereВ K’ahlynn shrieks in shock “Kirk Again?!!” after listening through some of these stories, where the Kirk’s Enterprise was seemingly always involved in all of them!

Artwork

I have to say although the artwork feels water-colourish at times, it was actually pretty decent. Again, I have to mention ST comic artwork seems to be its weakest department; which is a waste considering its excellent story-telling.

Glue FactorВ (difficulty of putting the book down!)

Well paced wit all Enterprise-Klingon encounters smartly separated in each chapter. And yes, it’s a comic book too, so reading visual panels is always easy on the eyes and speed. 😛

Conclusion

Excellent book to read, especially if you are a fan. I simply loved the way the writer managed to capture the essence of those classic Klingon episodes and spun it from their perspective instead. A superb effort and play on the adage “there’s always two sides to every story”

 

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Writing:

Artwork:

Glue Factor:

OVERALL:

 

Football Fantasy: La Liga 2011/12 Summary

If my improvement in managing fantasy football teams in the Premier League this year is an indication of success, then my maiden foray into the fantasy world of La Liga В is crazily overwhelming with it then!

I started off thinking it would be kinda fun to see if I could manage a team in a league I know so little off. At the end of the season, I had surprised even myself by amassing a total of 1,827.3 points with an impressive average of 48.1 pts per GW! Heck, that’s even higher than my totals in the BPL Fantasy land!:-P

Of course the La Liga is not as popular as the BPL, even in Fantasy League land. With only 200, 157 players worldwide, I managed to place myself as ranked 526 overall, safely in the 0.3% bracket. And to think I started off the season without Ronaldo!!! I only brought CR7 on board from GW7 onwards. One can only imagine where I might have been ranked with both Ronaldo and Messi in my squad from GW1, huh? In addition, with my inexperience in the league, I was only able to raise an additional $8.8M to my team value, which ended with $158.8M

Oh well…there’s always next year to improve on my rankings!В Or perhaps I may even try out my skills in the Bundesliga Fantasy League too! 😀

My Premier League Review Playlist

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Sigh. It’s over. No matter how many times I replay the recently concluded BPL Season 2011/12 in my head, Man City still end up champions (on goal difference also!!!). Sigh.

So instead of weeping my way whilstВ cataloging the season in review the typical way, I thought it would be more fun if I were to review my recollection of theВ entire BPL season as if В it was replayed and reviewed on MY music player….so, the playlist would look like this…

Pre-Season: “We Are The Champions” (Queen)
7 Aug 2011; Community Shield: Man Utd 3 Man City 2: “Rollin'” (Limp Bizkit)
28 Aug 2011; Man Utd 8 Arsenal 2:В В “Unstoppable” (Kat DeLuna)
First 5 games of season: Maximum points. Crushing all opponents…: “Let The Good Times Roll” (The Cars)
23 Oct 2011; Man Utd 1 Man City 6; Humiliated at home: “Bad Day” (Daniel Powter)
8 Dec 2011; Basel 2 Man Utd 1; Knocked out of Champions League Group Stages: “Unbelievable” (EMF)
8 Jan 2012; Man Utd 3 Man City 2; FA Cup. Humiliation avenged: “Redemption Song” (Bob Marley)
28 Jan 2012; Liverpool 2 Man Utd 1; Knocked out of FA Cup: “What The Hell” (Avril Lavigne)
16 Mar 2012; Athletic Bilbao 2 Man Utd 1; Knocked out of Europa League: “We Don’t Care” (Kanye West)
11 Feb – 8 Apr 2012; Scholes returns: “Irreplaceable” (Beyonce)
….and inspires Man Utd’s assault to the top riding on an 8 game winning streak: “The Climb” (Miley Cyrus)
8 Apr 2012; Arsenal 1 Man City 0; Man Utd hold 8 point advantage at top with 6 games remaining:В “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (Celine Dion)
12 Apr 2012; Wigan 1 Man Utd 0; Early signs of choke..: “Bitch” (Meredith Brooks)
22 Apr 2012; Man Utd 4 Everton 4; 2 points dropped after holding 3-1 and 4-2 leads; more signs of choke. Lead dwindles to 3 points..: “Free Fallin'” (Tom Petty)
1 May 2012; Man City 1 Man Utd 0; Title Decider.City go top on goal difference with 2 matches left..: “Livin’ On A Prayer” (Bon Jovi)
13 May 2012; Final Day. Title Deciding clashes..Man City vs QPR; Man Utd vs Sunderland…as it unfolded…
20th min; Rooney scores! Man Utd 1 Sunderland 0: “Keep the Faith” (Bon Jovi)
40th min; Zabaleta puts one past Kenny. City 1 QPR 0: “Damn” (Matchbox 20)
48th min: Cisse equalizes for Air Asia! City 1 QPR 0: “I Believe I Can Fly” (R Kelly)
54th min: Joey Barton’s dark side emerges as he is sent off for elbowing Tevez…: “I Saw Red” (Warrant)
65th min: 10-men QPR shocks City with a Jamie Mackie diving header! City 1 QPR 2: “Top of the World” (Carpenters)
90th min; At this stage, Man Utd would be crowned champions..: “So Close” (Evanescence)
91st min; Dzeko pops in a header off one of City’sВ hundredth (I reckon) corner. City 2 QPR 2: “Don’t Stop Believin” (Journey)
93rd min; Aguero skips past two defenders and clinically smashes home the title deciding goal…:-( City 3 QPR 2: “Heartbreaker” (Mariah Carey)
Final scores: Man City 3 QPR 2, Man Utd 1 Sunderland 0; Lost title on 2 stoppage time City goals vs QPR…: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Bonnie Tyler)
Post Match Blues: “Misery” (Soul Asylum)
Post BPL Acceptance : “Life Goes On” (Poison)
Looking ahead to 2012/13 Season: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (Kelly Clarkson)

I will conclude quoting a tweet from Rio Ferdinand, simply inspiring for all Man Utd fans:

“Our history is built on coming back to WIN…..its what we do best…I can’t wait for the new season already”

 

 

Fantasy Football Summary: Champions Again!

Champs Again! Well, at least in the Fantasy Football land, I have something to worth shouting for joy for, where in the just completed miserable season where in reality, Man City snatched the title with TWO stoppage time goals. Now, perhaps I’d truly understand why they call it stoppage time – the human heart can literally STOP functioning during those anxious-filled period..:-p

So enough about reality (we’ll plot the return of our rightful property next season..), I successfully defended the Number 1 position ranked amongst my friends for the second year running. Woo Hoo! This В year, it’s even all the more sweeter since it involved me clawing back from 5-6th position to 1st position. Extra satisfactory grin there. 😀

On a personal level, it is also an improvement from last year’s achievement where I only scored 1,764 points and ranked 1,341 (0.2%) worldwide. This year, my scores not only improved to 1,773 points and ranked at 789 (0.1%) out of the worldwide total of 536,180 players, I managed to achieve my target of finishing inside the 1,000 bracket. Sub 500 target for next season, I reckon? 😛

On other stats, my weekly average score was 46.7 pts/Gameweek with the scoring spread summarised below:

Highest GW: 97.8 pts (GW 36); Lowest: 12.8 pts (GW 5)

Scoring Spread: >60 pts (6 times); 50-60 pts (10); 40-50 pts (9); 30-40 pts (10); <30 pts (3)

Guess that puts my par estimate at 40 pts just about right. :-)

My team value finished at $172.8M, marking my business profits in dealing and trading players quite good with an increase of $22.8M throughout the season. As expected, the value only increased $1.8M from GW 30. So, major tip for increasing team value is to get it done by GW 20..

So, instead of providing more tips (like I already did last year…they are still valid, y’know!), I would like to reflect on the exciting race in FF land and zoom in key GWs that allowed me to defend my No. 1 position:

GW1: Starting off the season well is always GOOD. With Rooney, Young and Klasnic, I managed to kick off with a super 55.3 pts

GW5: Lowest points EVER at 12.8 pts. Two of my defenders were on teams that conceded 4 goals and one other player had a red card! Incredible stuff. Only silver lining: most people suffered like I did in GW5 too!

GW20: First Double GW featuring Spurs and Everton players. Early planning enabled me to notch up 63.5 pts here. At this stage, I had already climbed up to the triple dogfight in the top 3 amongst my friends.

GW24: Whilst one of my friends, Friend A started to drop points in this pivotal Q3 of the season, Friend P was the front runner and making many good picks with his captain choices. In GW24, I was fortunate enough to pick RVP to captain my side, just like Friend P, and we managed to score 36 pts behind his hattrick in Arsenals 7-1 trashing of Blackburn. An important GW where I kept up with the leader.

GW27: Switching to Clint Dempsey bore much fruits when he scored 2 goals and some assists (apparently on his birthday) in a 5-0 trashing of Wolves. End result: 28 pts and closing the gap on the leader.

GW30: The week where I finally took over the lead. Taking a chance with Norwich’s Grant Holt paid off when he scored 2 goals (but got a red too) vs Wolves.

GW 34: In the final stretch of the season, GW 34-36 was always going to be critical where my friends could either catch up or I could break away. Thus, much planning was put into place especially for this stretch. I remembered GW 34 was almost a ‘half’ gameweek, where only about 10 teams were taking part. I was able to field 10 players here compared to 6-7 players for most other teams. End result: 60.4 pts and more daylight between me and the chasing pack.

GW35: This was a double GW for ‘fighting for survival’ teams Bolton and Villa. Revamping my squad to include Lichaj (Villa) and Petrov (Bolton) paid off with 66.5pts

GW36: This was the biggest GW of the season, with double games for many teams. With prior planning, I managed to squeeze in 8 players in my squad who would be playing twice. Unfortunately Gary Cahill (Chelsea) picked up an injury the week before so I ended up with a whopping 7 players playing twice. with RDV (Spurs) as captain, I amassed a career high 97.8 pts! At the end of GW 36, my overall rankings even surged from 1198 to 737!

Final take-away: a little planning will help the points to go a long way!

Can’t wait for the new season to begin! 😀

 

 

 

Passion to Live!

One thing I’ve got to give credit to the passion fruit in my garden – it’s got plenty of passion andВ perseverance! Hmmm…probably preseverance too…of its life! 😛

Let’s do a quick recap of what happened to my passion tree after my last entry about it about to die and all..

– There was once two main branches, now only one remain

– The leaves from the first dying branch was already withering..

– The head branch of the one that remained snapped a couple of months ago…

And yet, some weeks ago, we noticed some bunches of passion fruits still growing and presenting themselves to be picked!

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How does the passion fruit continue to survive?! I really have no idea.

Perhaps one of its branches has managed to find water source through another root?

Perhaps they are even feeding on the juices of its own fruits (gasp?!)?

Perhaps I have mutant planted mutant passion fruits?!

Perhaps I got the desert species of passion fruits?

Or perhaps it just just too stubborn to die?

Whatever it is, I continue to be amazed at its passion to survive!

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Friday Funnies: Avengers Edition

Do you know if your kids are learning the right things in kindergarten? Do you know if the kindergarten syllabus is safe and solid? Do you know if there aren’t any evil forces at work where you send your kids to kindergarten?

Well…better prepare yourself because today’s blog is bound to send blood-curling chills up your spine…

The other day, I was flipping through my sons apparently harmless looking activity workbook form his kindergarten when I saw this page…

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Scary,ain’t it?

It is scary enough to see the ‘harmless’ activity mention the evil Norse God of Trickery, Loki. When you read the entire page line after line, you get “Loki kata ‘Mari'”, translated, it frighteningly means Loki said ‘come’!

GASP! Quick, we need the Avengers in Malaysia too!