Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Bypass That 156MB Company of Heroes (CoH) patch problem

After not being able to play CoH for two weeks because I wanted to recover from my sickness more thoroughly this time, I tried logging in and couldn't because the stupid game wouldn't let me install the patch (either via the p2p or not). So this is what I did:

(1) Go to the Relic page to download the latest patch ( The pain in the ass happens to be the Tales of Valor patch, Company of Heroes 2.601 - 2.602.torrent
(2) Since it is a torrent file, this means p2p, and you got to have a bittorrent software to actually download the 156MB patch. Good news, they are free, and a good one would be µTorrent
(3) Install µTorrent if you haven't a bittorrent software. Else, double click on the patch torrent you downloaded, and it will open the bittorrent software to start downloading the patch.
(4) Patch finished downloading? You can skip this step if you are not as paranoid as me. I recommend scanning the bastard for viruses and other virulent nonsense, legal website notwithstanding. You can never be sure.
(5) Double click on the patch to start the patch installation. If it runs properly, congrats, you can then start your CoH game. It will do its usual login nonsense and you will be able to start playing again.

If the patch installation doesn't run properly, do the following:
(1) Go to Start -> choose "Run..." Type "msconfig" and press "Ok"
(2) It will open the System Configuration Utility. Go to "General" tab and choose "Selective Startup". Unclick  "Process System.INI file, Process WIN.INI file, Load System Services, Load Startup Items" options (if you are using Windows XP OS)
 (3) Go to "Services" tab, choose "Hide All Microsoft Services". You don't need to disable all (for whatever services that remain.
 (4) Restart your pc
(5) Install the patch
(6) Then go to msconfig again and press "Normal Startup" again to restore your settings.

I am also of the opinion that we can actually skip all that nonsense and just restart in safe mode and install the patch.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Swee Choon Dim Sum - Now this is what I call Dim Sum

What do I consider as good dim sum? Tons of variety and very cheap!

Dimsum is usually not very worth my money because usually most items contain shrimp which I don't eat, i.e. limited choices (basically it is the same stupid prawn-pork mixture that gets stuffed into everything and anything and steamed) and very oily and very boring. I like my food pretty too, which is why stupid me keeps wasting my time and money going to dimsum restaurants where I can eat only like 5% of the items, e.g. I was duped into eating at Swatow Seafood because of its pretty Goldfish (which contains prawn-pork mixture *nabei*).

So I was pretty delighted when I walked past Swee Choon again on my way back from my exhausting visit to the hardware stores and saw it packed. It had a closed sign when we walked past earlier in the afternoon. After seeing the shop earlier, I was determined to eat there (my alternative was Ming Chung, the supposedly famous White Lor Mee with the chef with the liberal hand when it comes to salt, because we had parked near it), my limitation of  5% of dimsum items not discouraging my greed.

We had to queue, and were given a order form and a nicely sharpened pencil. Me with an order form is a very bad idea. Growing up with my Vater means I tend to over-order, and B1 has tried to curb this behavior by punishing me with the bill everytime I over-order. The fact that he benefits from this deal is so hypocritical that it has influenced my desire to not feed him at all, I realize, sweltering heat notwithstanding. I used to be very nice and cooked his favorite foods, but I realized he is an unappreciative git who treats me like a kitchen knave. I am evilly thinking of cooking all the foods he doesn't like to eat, but I just realize that I am the fussier eater of the two. 

Swee Choon has an amazing array of food items, ranging from dimsum items, main dish items to even lamian 拉面, a more recent addition (the restaurant opened in 1962) I do believe with the influx of China migrants nowadays and their culinary influence shaping our diets as well. A true testimony to an excellent dimsum restaurant is the variety in Chinese teas it carries, and Swee Choon carries Pu Er, Tie Guanying, XiangPian and a interesting blend of Chrysanthemum (Ju hua) and Pu Er called Ju Pu. It also carries Chrysanthemum. 

I personally feel that for oily Dimsum, Pu Er is the best, but I don't really like the flavor so I chose Tie Guanying (my fav is LongJing, the most delicately flavored of all). 
Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua) + Pu Er = Ju Pu

After a short wait, all the items came quickly, first the wine soaked chicken, then too many items... oops. You don't see the rest of the items in the photos I took, because the table became too crowded later. We had fried dumplings, boiled dumplings, steamed pork and xiaolongbao join us after the "communal" photo, for two of us. I liked the Lo Mai Kai (very excellent) with large pieces of chicken thigh meat, the chee cheong fun was ok (I was disappointing to find that there was no char siew wrapped inside), I liked the steamed chicken (the one that is steamed with imitation crab stick and egg slice), the steamed pork, the century egg porridge. The carrot cake was not bad, but a bit tough methinks (damn worth it, looking at how big the portion is, by contrast to the two miserable pieces of Har Kow). I think because I over-ordered, I wasn't able to fully appreciate the food because I was stuffed to the gills (I still do not agree with the punishment). I had to take away, especially those adorable pumpkins. Will update after I eat them tomorrow for breakfast =D.
At first I was shocked that Swee Choon only gave two items for some orders, like Har Kow, and Siew Mai (so expensive, I initially thought, but I realized that Dim Sum usually costs like that). I will definitely go back there, just for the steamed chicken, and the Lo Mai Kai. Maybe order some other stuff in the menu. I am thinking of bringing Mutter there for her birthday.

The story of how Hoe Kee Service sucks and my Contractor is a Dickface

Today was a supremely awesomely frustrating day. 

After being hauled out of bed to make lunch like some kitchen knave, I was dragged to meet our fucking dickface of a contractor. Forced to make some talk and smile like two fake cows chewing cuds in a pasture, I had to endure an hour of staring at some crazy ass BORING tiles. I now know why every apartment renovated in the same period look the same. Because every contractor bring them to the same shop to stare at the same boring tiles. Contractor and I stared evilly at each other, after he suggested some tiles which I don't like. You see other than considering tile color, I am also limited by the fact that I am not getting rid of those shit ass ugly tiles in my kitchen. Because I am poor, and hacking and replacing tiles even in a small kitchen is suicidally expensive.

To catch you up, the reason why I am dead poor now is because we bought a super expensive resale flat in one of the most expensive places in Singapore, and now bloody S$8 went and made a imperial edict that HDB should just oversupply flats, no more Build-to-order, possibly sharply devaluating flats, and destroying all our CPFs. It's all B1's fault for being one of the 60.1% idiots who voted for S$8 and gang, and then best of all, he voted S$8 in (because he lives in his constituency. I could laugh but it will sound bitter).

So the kitchen bathroom tiles have to have blue overtures or be blue-friendly so as not to blind myself walking from the kitchen to the bathroom. As it is, I imagine my house looking super contrasting and UGLY. The Contractor (lets shorten it to Cunt, which shows the amount of contempt I have for him, and we haven't even started work on the house) kept moaning that we should choose this tile because it looks modern, that tile because it looks modern. HELLO, has he forgotten about those retro shit ass ugly tiles crawling up my kitchen? The last time I checked, retro doesn't go well with modern. I was struggling to go with classic... in the end after he was so annoyed he wandered off to smoke, we finished choosing the last tile.

Guess what? After he finished smoking, he came back in to find us, and he showed us some of the tiles he chose for the other house he was renovating. Lo and behold, it was the same tiles he tried to pawn off on us as being modern. *&^$#
He then escorted us down the road to his RECOMMENDED hardware shop, introduced us to this lady, and sat down and did his own stuff *keke*. The problem is... that shop is crazy expensive. You could tell, because the shop was empty on a Saturday afternoon. And everyone who wandered into the shop walked quickly out within two minutes. It was very depressing being trapped there out of politeness, staring at a toilet bowl we couldn't afford, and I didn't like the hobs they had there. When Cunt rushed off for his next appointment, I tried to get out of the shop but stupid B1 wouldn't let me, he wanted me to finish choosing all the stuff that I wouldn't want to buy from that shop just so that he could have the quotation (so that he could compare prices in the next store he said). I later got into a tantrum because I was tired and angry and frustrated at choosing stuff I couldn't afford. I hate shopping, and I especially hate shopping at places that do not have the things I want to buy. 

So I was incensed. I felt like I had spent hours in the place, but stupid B1 said we only spent like at most one hour. Frankly he was naive enough to be happy by the so-called 20% discount the lady was offering (I am an extremely cynical person by contrast when it comes to $). We got into an argument (while the lady was typing up the quotation in excel) and I stormed out of the shop, heading into the nearest hardware shop because I did not want to waste another second of my precious weekend in a dead end. 

Angry words later, we ended up at Jalan Besar, where we went into several shops. All busy with shoppers (we were discouraged by the waiting and left some of them) and cheaper than the one recommended by the Cunt by 20% even after she gave us 20% discount (It's like shopping at John Little or Robinsons, they mark up the shit by 300%, then during a sale, declare 50% sale, while still overcharging you at 150%, my Accounts teacher told us. She used to do their accounting). This made me even more angry at the Cunt. I told B1 bitterly that he is overcharging us and he is still getting a cut at the shop. And they charge GST to boot, while the Jalan Besar shops all included GST in their quotation.

One of the shops we wandered into was Hoe Kee "Superstore". The service sucked. Seriously. We wanted to get this guy to help us, but he offed us to this disinterested looking ATB. When we asked to take down the item (for the quotation), she just wrote on any old paper and passed it to me. I was like, huh? I told her in Mandarin, that I would like to get other stuff, and could she please help us write? She said that she did not have any more paper, when I could see that guy writing down on an order pad for another family). In the end she passed me a pen and told me to write myself. I asked her if it was because she was a Tecno employee (she was helping us on the Tecno product, and wearing a Tecno shirt). Then I could understand why she couldn't help us. But she said she was a Hoe Kee employee. So what was her fucking problem?! 

I walked back to the guy and asked him to help us when he was done with the family he was helping. He said sure, but muttered he was busy. He said he would get someone else to help us but he didn't bother. Another ATB was arranging the items in the shop and ignored us. On top of that I was further infuriated when I saw the first ATB walk past me later carrying an order pad helping another family write down their order. I just put down the pen and walked out of the shop.Hoe Kee Superstore's service sucks. I am not basing this on one employee. But all three employees.
On the other hand, Royal Fanco's Mr Henry provided pretty expert advice and excellent service. He, as well as Mr Martin from Adamas and Mr Ng from Poh Seng Hardware were very expert in their fields, explaining about the toilet collars and the size we would need, based on the age of our flat and the area it was located. Cunt didn't tell us to get any, and the lady from the recommended shop didn't even mention toilet collars. I came home and googled the shops, thus realizing that Poh Seng and Royal Fanco were well-received by others.

By contrast, there was a super friendly Chinese Mainlander Auntie in another hardware store, she was very pro in her recommendation for the item we wanted to buy.

More about that Cunt. He told us to choose the counter top colors using samples he got from some company. I chose two colors, giving him the model numbers as he requested. I chose a wheatish yellow to match my floor tile in the master bedroom and a white one for the kitchen. Since I was busy working, I couldn't make it home in time when they put the counter tops for the bathroom and the kitchen. B1 who took leave to watch the entire process, was sufficiently alarmed by the color in the bathroom that he called me.

"Did you choose orange?"

"Sure, if I go blind one day."

B1 drove over to my work to show me the color. F*ck it. That Cunt gave me the wrong color. I called him immediately and he said that I chose that color. No f*cking way. Too bad for him, I took photo of the color I chose and the company he showed me the samples from. We argued and I demanded he replace it with the right color. He refused to.

So the next day I took leave and drove to the company that he showed me the samples from. The company was shocked and said they did not take any order for my address. I called Cunt, and told him I was outside the company, and repeated what they said. He was tongue-tied that I would drive into the ulu flatted factory area just to prove the color was wrong, and only said he would give me the number of his supplier.

I usually don't bother with vendors or bad restaurants, but his awful service really broke the camel's back and I threatened to take them both to CASE. In the end I got the cost of the ugly countertop written off, but I have to live with the ugly color for life/ until I redo my reno.

Saturday Munchies 24 - It's getting too hot to argue, let alone cook

You know love has died when your so-called beloved kicks you out of bed at 11am by leaning on the doorbell until you dig yourself out of the seductive comfort of your bed, on which you saw and were incidentally very freaked out by a lizard crawling by your favorite teddy bear just several hours ahead but exhaustion from the heat chiseled away at your resistance and disgust and sleep overcame you...

And demands breakfast as you toss the key out at him.

Since it is 11am, and very hot in the day, there is no way on this hellish Earth I am ever going to stand over a even hotter stove. So I made a very simple tuna salad. I had wanted to make chicken chop, ala IT ROO style (IT ROO being the JB cafe I wasn't able to go last Tuesday with the rest of the office gang because I was burning up a fever in the sweltering heat while making shitty love to a toilet bowl) because I wanted to experiment with potato chips (British style/ Hainanese cooking style). Did they make the chips by boiling/steaming the spuds before seasoning and frying? Or just frying? But for some bizarre reason, there was no potato in the house (and like I said earlier, it was too hot). 

Perhaps to others, it would be unsurprising. But I have grown up in a household where my father keeps a crazy stockpile of food akin to those nutjobs in "Extreme Couponing" (but without putting much mercenary and calculative effort so we are very poor people eating very well). So I am used to reaching into the fridge and pulling out miso, random steaks, homemade belachan (we are a family of food snobs), shrimp of all sizes (an annoying fact because I don't touch the stuff) and frozen potato latkes.

So I found a can of tuna buried deep in the dry goods section of my storeroom, after getting knocked on the hand by a violent can of boiled nuts. I reached deep into the fridge and found carrots (we always have carrots, you would think Bugs Bunny lives here), a Japanese cucumber, red onion (I preferred yellow onions, but Vater likes the red ones and he does the shopping) and some probably very stale quail eggs). After boiling some fusilli (I asked Mutter to buy macaroni last week when I wanted to soothe my fragile tummy with some chicken macaroni, but she bought tri-colored fusilli instead!), I discovered to my horror, my canned tuna was mayonaise ladden. So no Japanese dressing, I dumped some Miracle Whip, salted and peppered liberally and I was done.

Sometimes I swear it's like I am a fucking walking restaurant.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In case anyone's been wondering...

I have been sick since Monday. After a late night meeting (ended at 8pm!), I went home for dinner, and didn't eat much because I was clutching my left side...felt very sick...

Next day. No trip to JB.

You know what is more hell than stomach flu? General Flu ( Just 38.4 degree Celsius) + Food Poisoning. I alternate between delirium + abdominal peace and clear head + porcelain throne conquering. I had to eat 4 types of pills (still lesser than the highest 7 I think I did once).

Just like that. National holiday went past. ZZZ. Two days' mc given the next day, but I couldn't use the second one because my &%$# work forced me to go for some stupid course which is going to result in me doing even more work *roll eyes* 

And now I am going to bed. at 10pm. Winz. I just can't stay awake at all. zzzz

Self-Portrait, Our Landscape

I can never understand why there is a need to publish the kiddies' identification numbers with their other personal information on their art. What, to prove that these are done by actual Singaporean kiddies, and not their maids or foreign talent?

So I blanked them out in black. I was also fairly amused that Plant vs Zombies made it into some of the pictures, though I did not come across Angry Birds, which I thought would be more popular.

Radioactive Furry Creatures

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Top 5 Fave Pieces from the Singapore Biennale 2011

Seriously after visiting both Singapore Art Museum and Old Kallang Airport, I am convinced the latter had the better stuff =D. You know my most favourite would be...

(1) the Deutsche Scheune (German Barn) by Elmgreen & Dragset, thanks to their accessories. *haha*
Need I say more? Click on the above link to see close-ups of the gorgeous Lederhosen Jungen
(2) Michael Lee's Office Orchitect. Loved the wheel one especially. Very nice Michael!


(3) Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Frequency and Volume: Relational Architecture 9 *thumbs up*
This little boy loved to pose. Very funny gestures. He even did the suave James Bond pose as well.
(4) Kyungah Kim's Nagasaki & Hiroshima Mushroom Clouds. Not in good taste considering the situation today, but this is actual HAND embroidery on silk!!!

(5) Ming Wong's (unintended, but seriously hilarious) Devo Partire. Domani. video works (where he reenacts both male and female parts in old classic movies on 5 screens) Unfortunately I was laughing too hard to take any pics.

A meal in Yellow

My love for the yellow color knows no bounds. I fed my family a yellow palette.

With mushroom suppe of course (cooked from scratch, double of course). With 3 kinds of mushrooms, namely King Oyster, Shitake and the little white mushrooms which name escapes me now. I was thinking of pulsing the soup for serving ang-mo style, but I preferred soup with a bite.

Lederhosen Jungen - my twisted fate with Germany never ends *winks*

Singapore Biennale @ Old Kallang Airport
As mentioned, I went to the Singapore Biennale 2011 on its very last day. Thanks to Vater stopping our subscription to the mainstream newspaper due to *censored*, I didn't even know about this event, not even when I went to the Art Museum last Friday. I mistakenly thought that the event was only held at the Art Museum, but turns out all the artworks were exhibited at Merlion Park (didn't go in the end), Old Kallang Airport and the Marina Bay.

I was supposed to go with a friend, but she dropped out last minute because she had to go to work, so I dragged the hapless B1 with me instead. Ah the price to pay for being with me.

Well, I had seen the Singapore Art Museum installations (I just realized that stupid Blogger dropped my last posted entry on the art museum after it went down, have to rewrite and relink...*argh*), and looking through what the other venues had to offer, it had to be the old Kallang Airport. First of all, that place is not easily accessible and not often open to the public, so I couldn't pass up this rare opportunity. Plus they were so totally geared towards children it was cute. There was giant puzzles, free polaroids, free bubble making kits, windmill making, terrarium making, kite making, badge making and... balloons. I have such a thing for balloons (not that kind of thing btw, I mean the innocent kind) that I envied the old man for UP.  I also wanted to go to the flea market, deluded into envisioning that it would be like the Artist Market I saw in Sydney some years back. 
Kite making, badge making, windwill making, you call it we got it!!! The young and the old trying it out
It turned out to be some boring old generic sale of belts and the usual nonsense. LANGWEILIG!!! But the rest of the stuff did not disappoint, though unfortunately, the galleries were FREAKING HOT. Air con was a 20th century invention I cannot live without in 35 degree Celsius heat. 
I hate it when people move, giving me the ghost effect. The ultra boring Flea Market
Walking through the displays in the West Block on the second floor, I happened to look out of one of the windows out of desperation from the heatwave, and realized that was a freaking German barn in the middle of the abandoned hangar. I practically dropped jaw.  Back in the day when I was 13 years old, we were told to draw the ideal house we loved. I drew a 1700s German house (must upload it one of these days =D). 

To see that freaking giant barn in the middle of the even bigger hangar was a delight! I also couldn't help noticing that there were a bunch of girls frantically taking photos some windows down. I was wondering why, since I do not know of many persons who bore the same fascination like me towards old German architecture.

Walking towards them, I looked out from their window, and realized that on the other side of the barn... there were...
What the girls were taking... Notice the Granny at the side
Here's the Granny again, standing near the Lederhosen Jungen *winks*
Hot little boys in lederhosen (minus their cute little blouses). Holy fuck! It is so wrong. I felt like I must go for confession. *haha* You have no idea how much I like the lederhosen. *haha* especially when worn this way. *hahaha*.
A Barn inside a Hangar!!! Look, it's Granny chasing a even younger victim!
The Oh moment

Why is Granny still here? It took me a long time before I reached the display...
Should have asked the boys where they got their lederhosen...What's a man in a uniform vs a man in lederhosen?! B1, you are warned!
The barn and its hidden treasures
Little girl proudly poses with her picture against a backdrop of posturing hardworking boys

There was more than 1 (stuffed) horny goat in the barn when this photo was taken *winks*
I got my pounds of flesh too :D
Times like this I bemoan I didn't buy a DSLR before I became bankrupt. Stupid Stupid B2. I am very convinced I must go to Germany, specifically Munich some day. Not for the bier, not for the Bratwurst, but for die Lederhosen (preferably occupied) *haha*.

Damn where did they hire the boys from? So yummily gorgeous *drool* You don't have to ask me what is my favourite installation for Singapore Biennale 2011.

When Choosing Programming Language for Projects

This afternoon an ex-colleague called me in desperation. He was due to submit a project and he needed help desperately to do the programming work. I was like huh, when he told me what programming language his team chose. PHP?

Face2palm man.

101 when doing IT programming projects. 

(1) Always choose good teammates, those who actually can do the work quickly, not the kind who talks a good game and leeches you. You can observe from the way they do their project work. Of course if you are a bloody leech, no excellent programmer is going to touch you with a ten-feet barge pole. It works both ways, unless you are a babe and/or the guy's a geek and/or you have something/someone that the guy wants. 

(2)  For chris' sakes, choose a language that the whole team knows. If the team is a group of leeches, then for God's sakes, choose a language that all your friends know. In this case, I was like, why the hell didn't you choose Java. Everyone in *censored* knows Java and Javascript. Even I can muster up a thing or two if you give me enough time. PHP? I last had a dalliance with that project when I did my FYP. It's a easy language to learn, but 1.5 month to finish building a project at the scale he wants? No way... not unless I am not working.

(3) Of course, you must choose a language that has the most frameworks, online help sources, and free IDEs, e.g. Java, PHP. Personally I will never choose C# or anything related to the Microsoft Visual Studio, but that's because I am a tight pussy when it comes to programming language. That's also why you will never see me doing iPhone programming. NIEMAL.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Art Museum is getting creepier...

I must say that the displays recently are getting scarier everytime. FX Harsono already made the hair on my arms stand, and now they got some recently art installations that really taunts my fears more. Turns out it is for the Singapore Biennale.

I don't dare to take pics of some of the more disturbing displays, but here's some of the tamer stuff:

this is actually a 3 piece installation =D Bet you couldn't tell from the angle we took it!
Btw this week, every Biennale venue is free entry for the whole weekend!


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