Plan B and Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul @ Paradigm Mall

Odd name for a restaurant, isn't it? The waitress there didn't know what plan A was and why the name Plan B. I urged her to ask her boss :P


Plan B 1

It used to be that for such restaurant, plain water was free but nowadays, more and more restaurants are charging for water. Plan B still does not charge for it.

Plan B 2

Plan B 3

Ban had the Teriyaki Salmon Soba (RM58++). Yes, trust me, the salmon was in there...somewhere. Ban said it was not bad and not too oily. The salmon was seared properly i.e. there was still some raw bit, rather than thoroughly cooked. The soba and vegetables were well cooked.

Plan B 4

Plan B 5

Plan B 6

I had the Pho Bo (RM22++). Its broth was light in taste, which was what I wanted that night. Noodle was smooth and round, similar to the one used for Seremban Beef Noodle (if I didn't get it mixed up with some other noodle lol). The sliced beef was thoroughly cooked and the beef balls were tasty. Overall, all the ingredient mixed well with the broth. The only odd one out was the sauce given: it was spicy and sour. Definitely not something I like.

Pg Rd Famous Teochew Chendul @Paradigm

After dinner, I tried the chendol at the newly opened Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. I have seen this franchise in Penang but have not tried it there. I've had really delicious Teochew chendol in Penang, at an old coffeeshop packed with people.

This chendol was tasty...and unfortunately, that was its only good point. Its ice was slightly chunky, It was short in ingredient and even then there was a few strands of hard chendol. Goodness. They should have reduced the amount of ice (so that the amount of ingredient looks appropriate) and charge cheaper than its current price of RM4.90. Redonkulous (tm).

Swimming in KL

There's swimming pool at Ban's place. Ever since I moved in 3 years ago, I had been meaning to try swimming there but there were always reasons/excuses not too:

  • Too crowded, especially between 4.30pm and my usually dinner time of 6pm+, and during weekend
  • Too hot i.e. 11am until 4pm
  • Woke up late and so it was too hot to swim
  • Wanted to have breakfast first and time to digest. Too late to swim after that because it was too hot
  • Too cold because it rained. The water certainly felt cold
  • Work
  • Just plain lazy :P
Recently, finally I swam for the first time here (and first time since I swam in OZ in Jan/Feb) and did it again a few days later after that.

Swam around 11am+. To stave off great hunger right after the swim, I had half glass of milk before the first swim and half piece of biscuit before the second swim. Had oatmeal after each swim.

The pool's water temperature was fine by me. Just nice. In fact, the short light shower I had before going into the pool was colder lol. Maybe that helped. It was particularly windy though during my second swim.

There wasn't anybody else for both times (weekdays) and so I had the luxury of uninterrupted laps. Great.

Hope to swim more often. I need to get up earlier so as to avoid searing sun.

The Rise and Rise of Galadriel: Part 3

Previous two posts were on the strategic part of Mount & Blade: Warband. This post is about its tactical part, which is chiefly used on a battlefield and during sieges.

Warband 5

Oh yes, having a shield is so useful, especially against range attack. For melee attack, you still have the option to parry.

Warband 6

My calvaries at the back, my crossbowmen in the middle and...

Warband 7

...my infantries at the front. I generally aimed to have Swadian Knights, Rhodok Sharpshooters and Nord Hurscals. I need to be careful because that means my troop suffers from negative morale if we attack Swadia, Rhodok and Nord respectively for each type of unit. Now that Rhodok is no more, it's a non-issue for the sharpshooters.

Later, I changed my tactic a little: if I'm just aiming to defeat enemies on the field, I'll bring only calvary units as they are clearly superior against other units on the battlefield. If I aim to conquer castles or towns, I'll bring archery and infantry units. Of course, it's not always possible and practical to do this, especially if the holdings of interest are far away and also if enemy interrupts siege and commences battle on the battlefield. So lately, I've been running around with lots of Swadian Knights and mercenary calvary (both are capable infantry units off their horses) and some infantry and crossbowmen. This way, on the battelfield, I have more than enough mounted units to run down the enemies and yet during sieges, I can co-opt the calvary units as infantry without much loss of power.

Warband 8

My fearsome all calvary units in action :) If you look carefully, you'll see a Sword Sister (elaborated later) there running on foot.

Warband 9

Ah, the infamous Sword Sister. It is difficult to train this unit from its starting level: Peasant Woman. There are only two ways to 'recruit' Peasant Woman, One way is to raid villages, hoping to capture such unit as prisoners and then recruit them. Your existing troop will probably suffer negative morale for recruiting them, as with any other recruitment among prisoners. Second way is to defeat enemies carrying such prisoners and then you recruit these rescued prisoners, which then means no negative morale.

Given that I have distaste for raiding villages, I only use the second method. Up until she becomes a Sword Sister, she's generally quite weak, wearing cloth armour until the final upgrade where then she'll wear plate armour. Sword Sister is the only unit in the entire universe of Caladria to wear such armour.

Not only she has the best armour, she's the only unit who can either be a calvary unit (this is her default), infantry or archery unit (when she's off her horse) depending on the situation.

Warband 10

She, however, has a great weakness...

Warband 11

...that is, half of the time, she doesn't wear her helmet! That exposes her to sometimes fatal shot. Gah.

Warband 12

Warband 13

The expansion Warband introduces the Sarranid Sultanate, which is situated in vast area of desert. Definitely a boon for calvary units but not for others as they can't mingle around trees (except where there are oasis) to break the speed of calvary and then to overcome them.

Happy 4th Anniversary!

It's already been 4 years. I believed our relationship has pretty much stabilised (so far) after having living together for about 3 years. Yes, as with any relationship, there were grumpy moments and arguments but thank goodness they have been quite rare. I hope Ban thinks the same hehehe.

So here's wishing Ban and I many more years to come, with much love, manjaness and giggles :)

The Rise and Rise of Galadriel: Part 2

I couldn't resist but capture the castle nearest to Veluca i.e. Grunwalder Castle.

Warband 0

Yes, I (red) was surrounded by Rhodok holdings (green) and bordered with Sarranid (yellow) to the south and Khergit to the east but I didn't have quarrels with Khergit (purple) though.

My main problem was attracting other lords to defect to me. I didn't want lords who were sadistic and quarrelsome, which left me the choice of good-natured (most difficult to attract), upstanding (second most difficult) and martial. It took me very long time and much persuasion to finally have other lords, which I later realised one reason why: I was too quick to award newly conquered holdings to my existing lords. Leaving holdings unassigned increases the chance of attracting lords of other kingdoms to defect.

Warband 1

Warband 2

Conquered Uxkhal, which was originally a Swadian town and so gave Swadia more reasons to declare war on me. Also, managed to capture Ergellon Castle and persuaded 3 lords to defect. Oh, I changed the title "Lord" to "Councillor" as I like Ymira's idea (she was one of my 8 companions) of a council.


The following maps showed the extent of Kingdom of Kelethin after just more than a year after the rebellion:

Warband 4

Warband 3

I didn't want to conquer Dhirim, not then at least, because of its central location and overlapping claims by various kingdoms but my councillors, led by my appointed marshall, had other ideas. Gah. On the other hand, I got lucky because a Swadian lord with an existing castle (Senuzgda Castle) defected to me and it was just next to Dhirim.

As shown above, more castles were added in addition of the Sarranid town of Shariz.

Sometime later, I told Ban that I forsee the emergence of 3 strong kingdoms: Khergit (purple), Nord (blue) and Kelethin (red). Coincidentally all these 3 kingdoms had not directly declared war on each other.

The latest update is that I eliminated the Rhodoks, which was never my intention. I just wanted to crush them badly enough that they would ask for peace but noooooo those stubborn fools would rather lose than to ask for peace. Goodness.

The Swadians are holding on to their one and only holding (with 4 associated villages) i.e. Praven. They did manage to recapture Tevarin Castle back from me but I got it back without a sweat as their 40 troop surrendered to my 160 troop without a fight.

Also, Kelethin added a few more Sarranid and Swadian holdings and one Vaegir holding. By far, the most dangerous rival currently is Nord, which had taken some Swadian and Vaegirs holdings. The Khergit is in a tug-o-war with the Sarranid over a Sarranid town and a castle but it managed to conquer some Vaegir holdings.

Looks like my prediction of 3 kingdoms is coming true.

(to be continued)

The Rise and Rise of Galadriel: Part 1

Inspired by Ban's attempt (and he succeeded in conquering all of Caladria), I started a new game where my main objective is to establish my own kingdom.

Normally, in any game, I usually play a male character. However, I found out that in this game, a female character as an additional means of establishing kingdom: married a lord of an existing kingdom and the persuade him to rebel. The advantage here, as compared to what Ban did as a male character, is that the female character, together with her husband, gets to keep whatever castles or towns they're holding.

So I did that and instead of choosing my husband as the ruler of this new kingdom, I chose myself as the rightful queen of Caladria hehehe. Oh, and my character's name is Galadriel :P Coincidentally, I was randomly given the looks of a blonde.

At first, I was in service of the Swadian king but they were crushing the Rhodoks all too fast and so I switched to the latter. I sieged and was awarded Weyyah Castle, a castle that was claimed by both the Rhodok and the Sarranid - not an ideal holding. Next, I was lucky to persuade the Rhodok king to award the town of Veluca to me, despite having not participated in its conquest (or rather, recaptured from Swadia).

Rhodok went on a conquest spree in Swadia and wanted to do so in Sarranid land too. In many cases, due to my good relationship with many Rhodok lords, I managed to sabotage the marshall's plan of conquest by persuading the lords to go elsewhere instead of following the marshall to siege castles/towns. Hehehe. It's funny to hear my colleagues complaining about the marshall bringing them to "disaster" when they were talking to the saboteur :P

However, there was only so much a gal could do. So, when they decided to siege one of the two (or three) remaining towns of Swadia, I decided to strike it out on my own. It was easy to persuade my husband to rebel as he had bad relationship with the king, despite being a good-natured person. He was awarded only 2 villages (which he couldn't keep once he rebelled), despite getting the most votes among the lords for award of towns and castles.

So the scariest stage began: my kingdom, Kingdom of Kelethin (a tribute to Everquest), had only Veluca town (with its associated 4 villages) and Weyyah Castle (with its associated 1 village) with only my husband and I defending these from angry Rhodoks and soon enough the Sarranids who would love to get back Weyyah Castle. Swadia too had reasons to declare war on me to reclaim Veluca - a Rhodok town that they held briefly. The only reprieve I had was that Rhodok and Swadia were at war with each other, due to the timing of my rebellion.

(to be continued)

Car advertisement

Sometimes when I watch or listen to an advertisement, I take note of its key selling point. For cars, it can be price, size, design, stability, reliability, special features etc.

The most recent car advertisement I heard over the radio is that for the latest Volkswagen Golf. Their selling pitch? It can go from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.5 seconds. 

Really? That's the selling point in a country where the top speed limit is a mere 110km/h? In KL itself, there are even sections of highways/expressways where the limit drops to 80km/h and that too hasn't taken into account the traffic. In fact, I find it hilarious watching some drivers at such roads zoomed for 50m before needing to stop again because of traffic and lo behold, we mere turtles behind them catch up in mere seconds.

Look at the examples of selling points I listed at the start. Would you spend your money in choosing speed over any one of these?

House @ e@Curve

I definitely purchased the Groupon voucher at a significant discount since its worth was RM130. Likely it was about 50%, shared with Ban. It consisted of a starter, main dish and dessert for each person.

It turned out to be a great gastronomic fine-dining experience. Yes, the original price was also gastronomically high lol.

House 1

House 2

Drinks were not included and so since I already enjoyed much discount on the food, I decided to splurge a little by ordering carrot juice with additional request for milk. Ban had orange juice. Both were good although on hindsight I should have ordered without ice. The juice was about RM9++ each.

House 3

Salad was good although they didn't follow my instruction of having dressing on the side. The most delicious part of the salad, upon query (I didn't know what it was), turned out to be the fried turkey bacon. Surprisingly, there were also quail eggs in it. Interesting, isn't it?

House 4

House 5

The risotto (my first one ever!) with truffle and asparagus was tasty, with tinge of pepper. It was very filling, despite the absence of meat.

House 6

Ban had the salmon steak. The salmon was juicy and retained much of its natural flavour (as it should). I happily accepted Ban's offer of the crispy skin (he doesn't eat skin...of any meat!). Every inch of it was crispy, with the right saltiness. The presentation was definitely fitting for a fine-dining restaurant.

House 7

I like the twist in this dessert: sago with gula melaka but with vanilla ice-cream (instead of coconut milk) in a cup. It was rich and delicious but unfortunately, we didn't realise until too late that all the sugar was at the top. It didn't flow down to the bottom.

We also had creme brulee, which evidently I either forgot to take photo of or misplaced the photo. Gah. It had bitter top crust with really rich custard underneath. It went well with the cracker provided.

Will I go there again? At its original price, I probably prefer fine-dining at a Japanese restaurant. I'll definitely be back if there's good discount again.

Update: It was brought to my attention that I neglected to mention the other starter, which was minestrone soup for Ban. I probably forgot to take photo of it (either that or the gremlin photo took it). He finished it, especially since it was tomato-based.

Mistress of the Empire

Mistress of the Empire

This is the sequel to Servant of the Empire and also the last in the Empire series trilogy.

The stake was even higher in this book. In the first book, it was merely the survival of Mara's House, helped by building relationship with various other Houses. In the second book, it was the destruction of a powerful enemy (first tier House), helped by allied Houses, the Emperor and Great Ones. One would think: what would the third book ultimately about?

SPOILERS AHEAD!






Cigarette butt

In our favourite chapfan shop...

I told Ban that I suspected that the man, sitting at a table nearby, just threw a cigarette butt on the floor. One minute I saw him smoking and the next he was without it but a cigarette butt rolled from his table towards us.

Ban took a look at the butt, then the man and then looked around the shop. He walked up to a table nearby, took an ashtray, picked up and placed the butt in the ashtray, and then placed it on the table next to the man with a heavy thud.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the man and the people he was talking with looked towards the noise but went back to their conversation.

Brave.

As for the man, it was really inconsiderate of him for not using the ashtray when it was nearby and not used. There were a few ashtrays at the shop.

Sadly, he was not the only inconsiderate fool. This occurred rather frequently. The shopkeepers tried to encourage them to use the ashtrays by placing them at where the smokers were smoking but when things get busy, the shopkeepers wouldn't have time to do that.