Recognise this singer?

I was playing a particular singer's album on my laptop.

Me: Oh, honey, guess who this singer is.

Ban: *listened a while and then* Don't know.

Me: You know that song I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You? *hummed a little of that song's chorus*

Ban: Yah.

Me: She wrote that song. It's Cathy Dennis.

Ban: ...

Me: Oh, oh, you may recognise the next song. Wait ar.

(Few minutes later, the song Too Many Walls was playing)

Me: Do you recognise this song?

Ban: I think so?

Me: *smiled* Look at that face? You think I don't know what you're thinking ar? "If I say yes, then maybe JJ will stop asking me these questions." Correct or not? (went over and kissed him on the cheeks)

Ban: *giggled*

Death by chocolate

Death by chocolate

One day, Ban saw this at Jaya Grocer and wanted to buy it. I suspect it's simply because of its name hehehe. It helps that he loves chocolate ice-cream but unfortunately he can't have it often and much because of lactose intolerant.

However, I reminded him that it was Saturday and so he either had to carry it by hand or pay (is it RM0.20?) for a plastic bag. He decided not to buy, which surprised me .

As we were about to pay for our grocery at the counter, I noticed that plastic bags were used for other customers. It then hit me: it was Friday, not Saturday! It was a public holiday and so it was quite crowded, leading me to think it was Saturday. Ooops.

Despite me telling him immediately, he decided to forgo buying it. Fun discovery, nevertheless :)

Duel of Champions: 17th Swiss win

Shortly after the previous win, I had many losses. There was a sea or orange (orange = loss, purple = win) in my replay manager. Yikes :( My current ELO is down to 1329.

Many of the losses came during the wee hours of the morning i.e. few hours after midnight. Yes, it could be due to my tiredness but I think a better explanation is that many Europeans are active during those hours (around 8pm-9pm their time) and almost all the good DoC players I know are from Europe.

So yes, it was bruising beaten by many of them eventhough our ELO (rank) are the similar. At one point, I was so frustrated, I uninstalled the game. Drama, right? :)

But the next day, I reinstall it because I thought, "Hey, this is a challenge to my mind. With enough practice, I'm sure I can beat at least some of them." My main problem is that I'm not good at deck building. I'm much better at taking someone else's deck, modify it if needed, and practise to master it. Unfortunately, many top players have stopped playing and posting their decks on the forum. Hence, it's a struggle for me to win duels because of new suboptimal decks.

Nevertheless, I kept trying out different decks to determine a couple of decks that I can rely on to win duels in tournaments. To date, it is still Siegfried barrack deck that won me the previous Swiss tournament, and the Kal-Azaar control deck.

This time, my Siegfried deck faced Nightmare Mother (ELO 249), Dhamiria (1373) and Kal-Azaar (1202). The second duel was the longest although it took only a total 6min 5sec (out of a possible 14 mins). On hindsight, this Dhamiria deck posed the biggest challenge to me. Its key cards are Greater Fire Elemental, Warding Pillar, Arkath Wrath and Stone Shield. I guess I was lucky in getting out my barracks early. In fact, that happened in the other 2 duels. Phew!

So with that, the tally now is as follows:

Necro (2) - Ariana on Standard and BS2 format each
Inferno (5) - Deleb probably on Inferno-only format, Kal-Azaar on "minimum 30 spells" format, 3 Kal-Azaar on Standard format.
Stronghold (5) - 3 Kat on Standard and 2 Kat on BS2 format
Sanctuary (1) - Yukiko on Standard format
Haven (3) - Cassandra and 2 Siegfried on Standard format
Academy (1) - Myranda on Standard format

Cracked tooth again! (part 2)

So after the first appointment, I was back for the commencement of the tooth crowning procedure. There were so many steps involved. Please note that some of the procedures were rationalised by me and so apologies to dentists if I get the reasons wrong.

  • X-ray to get the exact position and size of the tooth
  • First mould to get the original size of the tooth for the size of the outsider side of the crown
  • Anaesthesia (a must!)
  • Drilled tooth to make it smaller. Took quite some time
  • Second mould to get the size of the inner side of the crown
  • Created temporary cap (it took about a week for technician to create the actual crown)
  • Fit in the cap, took out to adjust, rinsed and repeated until it fitted it. Halfway through, needed more anaesthesia because it wore off!
  • Adjusted mouth guard
It took 2 hours! This was without waiting time because I didn't need to wait.

I was prescribed some painkiller (Ponstan) and boy, I needed it soon after late lunch but once was enough. Phew.

The 3rd appointment took about an hour for the Dr Mah to take out the temporary cap and fit in the crown. It took many tries (about 10, I think) to fit in, adjust and repeat until it was right (i.e. with very little pressure). I'm so glad that she was so patient and meticulous (I said this before, didn't I?). Adjusted the mouthguard too.

I was given a small tube of Sensodyne toothpaste for me to apply directly on the tooth for 5 minutes twice daily. It did help to reduce the sensitivity gradually.

The 4th appointment also took about an hour but mainly because of waiting time. The actual consultation took only 10 minutes where she asked me some questions, inspected the tooth and adjusted the moutguard.

So hopefully that was the last appointment. The tooth sensitivity is manageable and I wouldn't even notice it if I didn't think about it. Hope it'll get even better.

Cracked tooth again! (part 1)

I was so unlucky that the same tooth that was treated more than a year ago cracked once more. Haiz. This time, it was so unexpected: on a piece of roti planta. So strange, right? There was this part of the roti that was quite hard. I suspect that there was a concentration of sugar at that part.

This happened while I was at Butterworth. Fortunately I had already planned to drive back to KL the very next day and so I made an appointment to see Dr Mah @iSmile the day I arrived back in KL.

Using a jet of air and a small mirror, not only did she check the suspected tooth but all other teeth around the same area. Then she used a digital camera to take a photo of the cracked tooth and showed me a zoomed-in version of the photo. Oh yes, I could see the crack very clearly.

She highlighted her concern that since this tooth cracked before and this new crack was on the other side of the tooth, it could later crack and split in half @@.

I had 3 options:

(1) She could attempt to fill up the crack like what she did previously but the "survival" chance of the tooth was not good i.e. it could split in half especially if I accidentally bite on hard food again.

(2) Crown the tooth but this would need to be removed in future if need to perform root canal. (RM 1,200)

(3) Root canal + crowning. (RM2,000)

Fortunately, my toothache (extreme sensitivity) subsided substantially and so that gave me time to observe and consider my options. Total time spent at the clinic = 1 hour, including waiting time.

During the 1-week observation, the sensitivity decreased even further but was not back to normal i.e. any warm of cool drinks would still trigger the sensitivity although not as intense as it was at the start of this ordeal. In addition, I had to chew food on one side of my mouth to avoid aggravating the pain.

So when I was back for the 2nd appointment, after going through the pros and cons of each option with Dr Mah, I chose option (2).

(to be continued)

Green and Red

One night, after dinner at Paradigm Mall, Ban, his brother and I passed by a Sakae Sushi's booth where they held competition in separating green and red beans (from a bowl that also had rice grains) into two separate bowls within 3 minutes. Only 2 contestants can participate at any one time.

Ban's brother wanted to try but back out after a very short practice session. He concluded it was too difficult to complete it within 3 minutes. I quickly volunteered to take his place and here was the result:

Separate beans

I'm quite proud of myself hehehe. This is especially so given that the way I hold chopsticks is incorrect (was spotted by my late grandmother only when I was 18 years old!), and that twice I placed the green beans into the red bean's bowl and I had to take time to place them into the correct bowl.

I was surprised that they had consolation prize for me: a RM15 Sakae Sushi voucher. Yay!

Umai-Ya @Uptown

We wanted to dine at Hokano but totally forgot that it closed on Tuesday. So we ended up at this restaurant since we parked the car close to it (it was raining).

Umai-Ya 1

Umai-Ya 2

Immediately I was scanning for salmon sushi in its menu but boy it was so expensive: RM11.90! Even if it was for 2 pieces, Hokano's salmon sushi is much cheaper at RM4 each.

So, instead, I ordered Katsu Curry Rice (RM28.90):

Umai-Ya 3

Umai-Ya 4

Oh, and yes, unlike those served at Sushi Zanmai, this one had carrot hehehe.

The chicken was juicy despite deep fried. The curry was mild. The rice was just right: not too wet or dry. There were only 2 pieces of potato. Disappointing.

It also came with a bowl of miso soup that had tofu and seaweed. The soup was not dense but strangely it tasted a little sour.

As a whole, it was very filling. In fact, I couldn't finish the rice. Gave the leftover to Ban, who ordered this soba:

Umai-Ya 5

Umai-Ya 6

He probably ordered fish as well but I can't be certain.

Towards the end of our meal, we were given feedback forms. Generally, it was quite a good place to eat but pricey. Yet, I said "Yes" to the question "Would you visit us again?" (or something like that) because I wouldn't mind trying other dishes (but definitely not sushi!). Ban, however, said "No" because "it was too expensive". Lol, well too bad, Umai-Ya :)

Duel of Champions: 16th Swiss win and personal best ELO

And the surprise was that it was done using a Haven deck! This time, it was Siegfried. Yeah, who is he? He used to be non-Standard. He was reworked and released together with the expansion ToR. Starting stat is 2/0/1 and his hero's ability is that all non-token melee creatures deployed will have an extra hp once his stat reaches at 5/0/3,

There is this Siegfried deck build 5/0/4, posted by VouTeRushei on the forum, that simply works. Licker34 tried to rationalise it and it just boil down to the starting stat: 2 Might and 1 destiny. I guess 2 Might is just 2 step away from deploying Barrack while 1 destiny is helpful in getting to 3 destiny to use cards like Reserve. In a sense, it's better than Kieran's 2/1/0 or Cassandra's 1/1/2, although I would say Cassandra's power should be close. Yet, somehow Siegfried works better. Oh, and yes, there are no spells in this deck.

My deck is largely based on Licker34's version and I was on a 14-win streak including the 3 Swiss duel wins. Hopefully the streak continues when this is posted :)

During the Swiss tournament, my ELO was 1511 (personal best!) while my opponents' ELOs were 1788, 200 and 1241 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd duel respectively.

Although the first opponent has the highest ELO, that duel wasn't the longest. He was using Kat but with unusually higher number of cards (63) for his ELO. Seems like the additional 4 cards were to accommodate 4 copies of Stormrage. Another unusual feature is he has only 8 T2 drops (and no T1 drop), excluding Moon Phoenix.

The second opponent used an even fattier deck (153!) but with Morgan. Although Morgan can (and maybe should) use more than the minimum 59 cards (I myself use 62), 153 is definitely not optimal.

Both the first and second duel took 11 turns and about 8 mins each. The 3rd duel took the longest turn (11) and time (10mins). It was against Anton - a stack deck that is quite luck-based. I, however, was lucky to set up Melee Guard 2 and Range Guard 2 on the front line and was holding up quite well but neither of us made much headway to a win. I believed what broke the deadlock was my Scattershot Marksman who I deployed on the same row as one of his barracks (thanks for the tip, Licker34!). That just helped to kill his melee and melee-shooter tokens. He even used Altar of Asha to kill the markman but fortunately, I could deploy another one immediately. So slowly but surely I chipped away his defence for a win.

So with that, the tally now is as follows:

Necro (2) - Ariana on Standard and BS2 format each
Inferno (5) - Deleb probably on Inferno-only format, Kal-Azaar on "minimum 30 spells" format, 3 Kal-Azaar on Standard format.
Stronghold (5) - 3 Kat on Standard and 2 Kat on BS2 format
Sanctuary (1) - Yukiko on Standard format
Haven (2) - Cassandra and Siegfried on Standard format
Academy (1) - Myranda on Standard format

Update: ELO increased to 1521 after 4 wins and 1 loss in Jackpot tournament Standard format :)

The Coffee Shop

This coffee shop (hehehe) is situated at Aman Suria, near Guardian. If I remember correctly, it opened sometime early this year or late last year.

One day, in a land far far...wait, wrong post.

One day, I followed Ban's family to have lunch there. I was feeling a little adventurous (and yet prayed that my stomach could take it) and so I ordered their Penang laksa:

Coffee Shop 1

Coffee Shop 2

I was surprised by the variety of ingredients it had: long bean, beansprout, fried tofu, fishcake, egg and I think there was sliced chicken breast. They were all good.

The noodle wasn't very spicy but I needed to sip some barley water at times. For some strange reasons, the people there were not eager to take drinks order. I had to try hard to flag someone to do so. Same thing happened when we went there the second time. Sheeesh.

Fortunately, overall the noodle was delicious and hence I had it again during the second visit.

The shop also served Penang prawn noodle, chicken rice, roasted pork rice and BBQ pork rice. I would highly recommend the laksa and according to Ban's mum, the prawn noodle was good too. The only downside is that you probably have to work hard to get drinks.

Their business was not doing well. It was quiet both times (we were the only customers) and yet it was during lunch time where most shops normally get many office workers as customers. Not sure how long this shop will last.

Share Investment Apr 15 Part 2

(continue from Part 1)

Here are the dividend yields on cost for shares that have paid out dividends equivalent to a year:

Share investment Apr 15_1

Except for 4 of them (indicated by the yellow-coloured bars), the rest fulfilled my criteria of 5% dividend yield. I'll observe how SBS Transit will fare especially after the expected sale of infrastructure and operating assets to the government in the next few years. As for the remaining 3 exceptions, I consciously bought them knowing the then dividend yields were above 4% but below 5%. Of course I hope the yield on cost will go up in future with increase in dividend per unit ("DPU").

The overall dividend yield on cost weighted by invested amount is 6.0%. That's good :)

Here's the breakdown of my portfolio according to percentage of amount of investment in each share counter:

Share investment Apr 15_2

As stated in Part 1, I bought more Sembcorp Industries share and so its invested amount % now exceeds 10%. I'll reduce it to below 10% when it's back in the black (just as I've done with SBS Transit previously).

Here is the average cost of each share counter compared to its then prevailing price as at 24 April 2015:

Share investment Apr 15_3

As stated in Part 1, SBS Transit share price rebounded significantly and now it's in the black (i.e. exceeds my average purchase price). Venture's share price has also rebounded but still short of the purchase price. Saizen, Second Chance and Sembcorp are in the red.