Real sin

"Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand?"
"When you kill a man, you steal a life," Baba said. "You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a life, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?"
"If there's a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend than my drinking scotch or eating pork. Now, hop down. All this talk about sin has made me thirsty again."

- "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

Dave's Deli @Atria

Dave's Deli 1

I've been meaning to dine at Dave's Deli ever since I looked at its menu at its outlet in One Utama. However, since I wanted to help my parents to buy a particular muesli at Atria's Village Grocer (which, as it turns out, they don't stock any more!), I went to the outlet there instead.

Food were all pre-cooked and so I got mine immediately. I had to order and collect at the counter, similar to fast-food restaurants. Guess that explains why there was no service charge.

Dave's Deli 2

I had their Dave's Original 1/4 Roast Chicken (RM19.60 nett) which came with mashed potato, salad and coleslaw. I also ordered a glass of warm filtered water (RM0.50 nett).

Dave's Deli 3

The mashed potato was smooth and tasty. The salad (well, it was strictly only lettuce) and coleslaw were quite normal but of generous portions. The chicken was unfortunately a little dry despite it being made up of drumstick and thigh part. Imagine how dry the breast part would be. However, that was sufficiently compensated with delicious gravy.

Overall, it was a filling and quite good value-for-money meal. I would try other dishes if I dine there again.

Overwatch: Junkrat

Junkrat is one of my favourite heroes I use mainly for King of the Hill (KotH) maps and some Capture Points maps when on defense. In fact, for the competitive mode, I only use Mercy, Lucio, Junkrat and sometimes D.Va.

His Frag Launcher, with no cool-down, throws out grenades. He can throw out 5 grenades before needing to reload. It has both direct and splash damage (the former is bigger). Due to its splash damage, it takes less aiming than, say, McCree or Soldier 76 but on you still have to learn to aim at a certain area to hit them as those grenades would bounce maybe twice before exploding on their own. Since I'm not a good FPS player, this suits me better :)

He can also throw Concussion Mine (with cool-down) and manually explode it to damage enemies. It does the same damage as the direct damage of his grenade but with an additional effect: it bounces enemies up in the air. It's great to change the direction of enemies' shot especially then they're using ultimate. Imagine doing that to McCree when he's about to trigger his shots during Deadeye :)

The mine can also be used to let Junkrat jump high up in the air (without hurting him) in a particular direction depending on how his movement at the point of detonation. I actively use this to quickly get away from enemies that are dangerous to him (e.g. Winston, Symmetra).

The last non-ultimate ability is to lay down a Steel Trap (with cool-down) that damages any enemy who steps on it. It partially sinks into the ground and so enemies need to actively look for it to avoid being trapped. Once trapped, there is no way of getting out for a few seconds, not even Tracer's Blink and Recall. Once triggered, I would be notified and I can try to finish off the trapped enemy.

A favourite tactic is to also lay down the mine in it and detonate it as soon as the trap is triggered. That will certainly kill any squishies. Another favourite use is to use it to alert me of enemy trying to get to me when I am, say, lobbing grenades from higher ground.

Junkrat's ultimate, Rip-Tire, can kill anyone with its direct damage and all squishies with its splash damage. However, it has only 100 hp and can be destroyed. So it's better to take indirect path to ambush enemies.

Finally, even in his death, Junkrat can kill his killer: upon death, he drops 5 grenades. That's more than enough to kill any squishies. So do get closer to enemies when nearing death :)

I have recorded, to date, 13 highlights/play-of-the-game and here's a selected few:

Unlocked the achievement "Roadkill": kill 4 enemies with a single use of Junkrat's RIP-Tire in quick or competitive play.

I thought killing Bastion in his tank mode with rip-tire was worth it. Mercy was a bonus :) Remember, Bastion is a priority for your team to kill. Game lasted only 3.5 mins. I had ulti only once.

One of my favourite places in Dorado map. Together with a team mate or two, I killed enemies with grenades and mine.

A successful kill of Reinhardt-Bastion-Mercy combo.

Upgrade to Windows 10

As I mentioned in the passing in this post, my laptop's OS qualified for free upgrade to Windows 10. Since Microsoft will stop (or has stopped already) supporting Windows 8, I really don't see the upgrade as a choice and so I upgraded.

It was quite a fast and painless experience. Dell made it easier by telling me my Alienware laptop was ready for the upgrade without issues as they had checked and tested the model. As usual, I searched the internet and changed some settings to suit my personal taste as well as minimise privacy intrusion (especially information passed to Microsoft via Cortana!).

Upon completion of the upgrade, this was what I got on the screen:

Upgrade to Windows 10

Okkkkkk. Good to know, I supposed. But wait a minute: why would they want to insert this message?Does this mean in previous upgrades, some files were moved?

Atlas Reactor: Asana (incredible!)

Atlas Reactor Asana 838 Grey 316 others 500s

For almost two weeks, Atlas Reactor (still in beta) was open to everyone and it was great to see many new players trying this game. Even better, I personally heard some players planning to buy or had already bought this game after trying it out for a few days. Awesome :)

In the midst of this open access period, they also introduced a new Freelancer: Blackburn, a firepower. So I, along with many people, was keen to try him out. Unsurprisingly, there were duplicates regularly and sometimes I was forced by the game to choose another Freelancer. Seeing that my team didn't have a frontline, I chose Asana whom I've been actively leveling up recently.

This game was spectacular for a couple of reasons:

(1) We had no death! Yes, we won 5-0 on turn 15. Mind you, I didn't think we were stomping over the opposing team. I suspect that we somehow did more focus firing than them. At the end of the game, our Quark player was amazed that no one died - a first for him as a support :)

(2) My Asana had the highest contribution among both teams: 838. The lowest was 316 by enemy's Grey. The rest had contribution of about 500+. Yes, I did exceptionally well :) Noticed that despite being a frontline, I did the most damage, with team mate Lockwood came in a close second.

Advertising reduced discount?

Confusing discount

Such a curious advertisement. It appears to say that previously you saved RM11.80 but now you save "just RM1"?

Of course it's not meant to be that way but I can't make head or tail out of this. What do you think it should be and how it should have been better stated?

Atlas Reactor: Radium Quark

My Quark has finally hit the max level of 10! I then get to unlock what I think is the best skin (Radium) that can be purchased with in-game currency.

Atlas Reactor Radium Quark

The default starting skin is Xenon, which is not bad looking.

Atlas Reactor Xenon Quark

This level 6 skin, Radon, is too garish for me lol. So I never use it:

Atlas Reactor Radon Quark

This level 8 skin, Neon, is the next best in my opinion although someone did say that it makes him look like a candy @@.

Atlas Reactor Neon Quark

Oh, I also started using a different modifier for his ultimate ability Positronic Surge. Previously, I used the default modifier, Power Surge, which grants allies might for that turn. However, at times this was a waste because my allies were running away instead of dealing damage to enemies. This is not surprising though because Quark's ultimate ability heals allies and so I try to use it when healing is needed for multiple allies.

So now I use the modifier Luminosity which heals allies for 5 health a turn for the next 2 turns. I believed this is more consistently useful than the default modifier. As usual, I prefer consistency :)

Atlas Reactor: Asana (part 2)

Atlas Reactor Asana Retribution (finishing blow x2)

This is one of the longest games I had in Atlas Reactor: 32m 27s, 34 turns, score 9-8.

I wanted to level up my Quark to 10 (which I did so a few days later, yay!) but game asked me to choose another because there was already a Quark in the team. It automatically suggested Asana. I do not know whether it did some sort of calculation to suggest that or it was purely random, but for certain there was no Frontline character in the team (1 Support, 2 Firepowers). There are 3 Frontline freelancers I'm comfortable playing: Asana, Garrison and Rask. I chose Asana (as suggested by the game) for reasons I don't remember now :P

Game was very close but hilarious at times due to exchanges in the "All" chat.

At score 4 - 4 (remember that 5 kills by turn 20 is a win):

Enemy's Grey: ggwp
*Followed immediately by our team mate's death and thus the score became 4 - 5*
Our Gremolition: Or is it?
*Followed by a death on enemy's team and so equalising the score to 5 - 5*
Enemy's Grey: what?!
*plenty of lol hehehe*

This happened again at 5 - 5, with enemy's Grey thinking they had the sudden death win over us but we equalised again, with our Gremolition voicing out, "Or is it?" again hahaha.

However, at 6 - 6, enemy's Grey thought they lost ("We lost.") because one of them was clearly going to die but once again our Gremolition said, "Or is it?!" followed by a death on our side, bringing the score to 7 - 7. Some players exclaimed how close this game was.

At this point, unfortunately, enemy's Garrison disconnected and thus taken over by a bot. What a bummer.

Remember Asana's Retribution ability? I believed I used it quite well in this game (probably explained the 3rd highest damage overall!). Twice it caused 36 damage to Garrison because she was hit by his delayed Missile Barrage as well as one other ability during the same turn. The first time, he winced in pain (i.e. pointed in chat the huge amount of damage he received) and the second time she killed him. This was on top of the damage she did with another ability (it's a free action to activate Retribution).

One funny moment was when enemy's Gremolition, already low in health, dashed away from beside my Asana when she had Retribution activated. Gremolition Dash ability deals damage to nearby enemies at the location where he left and at the locations where he land. I did anticipate he would do that and was expecting him to drop dead soon after dashing.

However, if you recall, each turn goes through 4 phases: Prep, Dash, Blast, Movement. So even though my Retribution dealt more than enough damage to kill him by the end of Dash phase, the game was smart enough to calculate that there might be a change he could still be alive if he somehow received healing during remaining 2 phases. So the score wasn't updated until game was certain that no amount of healing was going to keep him alive. When it did,

Enemy's Grey: Huh? How did you die?
Enemy's Gremolition: Retribution


All hail the Angel of Vengeance!

Atlas Reactor: Asana (part 1)

Asana is a frontline freelancer and the squishiest of them all, but luckily she has some abilities that help her survive better.

I think she's the second frontline freelancer I tried after Garrison. Including Rask, she's the least successful among them in terms of win rate. She's classified as "medium" difficulty and I agree that she's a little harder to use compared to Garrison (who's classified as "easy"). Still, she's still fun and effective.

Atlas Reactor Asana 1st ability

Her main ability, Whirling Blade, damages nearby enemies in a 270 degree arc. Default modifier, Swordmaster, increases the damage by 3 per enemy hit (oh yes, that's an increase of 9 if you hit 3 enemies). However, my innate playstyle is defensive and so I choose the modifier Leech Blade which gives her 5 health per enemy hit.

Hence, this ability allows her to deal lots of damage and heals quite a bit when hitting multiple enemies.

Atlas Reactor Asana 2nd ability

Her 2nd ability, Rebounding Charge, allows her to dash and damages enemy hit that way. She will then automatically chase that enemy for that turn i.e. during movement phase, she will move to where the enemy moves (normally there's no movement phase if you use Dash ability). Interestingly this dash can bounce of walls and so she can get to places (or enemy) that other freelancers cannot.

Default modifier, Fleet Footed, increase the range of each bounce and thus allows her to do some spectacular Cirque du Soleil-like bounces lol, and reach unimaginable places. However, due to change in modifiers of other abilities, I have to unequip this modifier.

Atlas Reactor Asana 3rd ability

Her 3rd ability, Stand And Fight!, causes damage to and root enemy at medium range. Very useful to stop enemy from fleeing, or from advancing closer to your squishy allies.

Default modifier, Atomic Edge, increases the damage substantially. I retain this modifier.

Atlas Reactor Asana 4th ability

Her 4th ability, Retribution, is a free action Prep ability which grants her shield and deals 12 indirect damage to enemy who deals direct damage to her.

Default modifier, Iron Will, increase the shield strength by 5. However, I choose Immolation which increases the indirect damage by 50%! Hence, I activate this ability only if I'm fairly certain there are at least 2 enemies who will hit her. If I anticipate correctly, that's already a total damage of at least 36 plus damage from whatever other ability I use (usually 1st or 3rd ability).

Atlas Reactor Asana ultimate ability

Her ultimate ability, Guardian Angel, targets an ally (or allies), and grants shield to you and that ally (or allies). That's just during Prep phase. During Dash phase, she teleports to that ally (allies) and damages all nearby enemies. So it increases her survivability due the shield and the teleportation (away from danger). If in good health, she can also use this to protect allies and body block fatal shots for them.

Default modifier, Saviour, allows her to leap anywhere on the map. Too good not to use it!

Opportunities in disasters?

My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.

- Boris Johnson

Lol. The first part sounds like a a cliche but the second part is hilarious and partially true.


Spotted this at Family Store @Rasah Jaya:

Shark at Family Store

First time seeing a whole shark at a supermarket. My father said people do eat its meat. Didn't know that.