Monday, June 16, 2008

Ball of a Time

16th June 2008, Monday

It's been a rather intriguing 4 days or so... At one end of the spectrum it was so routine and predictable, at the other end it seems like things just happens on and off like signals off the synaptic clefts.

It began on Thursday which marked the first day the blissful couple at work went on their Angkor Wat expedition. His Beautiness had requested them to load up as much as they could, so we spent the next few days in their absence just routinely put the chips in for scanning.
This freed up plenty of time at work; not that I mind but I got uncontrollably restless since 12th June 2008 marked the global release of the most anticipated Playstation 3 platform game thus far (Square Enix still left us hanging on the release of Final Fantasy XIII), Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
The final chapter of the incredible saga of Solid Snake which propelled Kojima Hideo into unassimilable stardom in the gaming world got the world abuzz especially my game crazy buddies like CS who was blasting me with SMS, to remind us about the release the day before.
We had pondered about holding the horse till the game is more matured in the gaming community before acquiring it.

However on that particular Thursday, with a horde of avid gamers on Game Axis proudly proclaiming themselves as the first few owner of the game was the last straw for me.
I was totally not being my usual composed self and took on the opportunity to apply for an urgent leave; beckoned my buddy, Foo who was on medical leave from his ICT and himself a big MGS follower to join me in search of that elusive game.

In the end it turned out to be not so elusive as I got my copy at Game Score in Funan together with the official guide book which these days an important asset to own in games like MGS4 or Grand Theft Auto 4.
The game was aplenty in both Game Score and the competitor just across while CS easily bought his copy in Funz Center at AMK Hub, our usual haunt.

Funan was characteristically passive for a weekday afternoon but someone just a street away at Suntec Convention Center, the IT savvy Singaporeans amassed for the grand opening of this year's PC show. It was my first destination as I wondered the Sony booth might take the opportunity of the coincidence of date to showcase of MGS4 perhaps at a good price as some proclaimed selling in the Sony Gallery.
It was an abjected showing which dampen whatever expectation I had as there was barely any sight of pushing for Playstation 3 let alone the game.
I did picked up a Maxtor One Touch Plus 4 750GB external HDD for the missus who had been bugging me to get an external HDD for her for backing up her laptop, dwindling of storage space.
For that kind of size, $200 odd might be a steal plus the Security Drill software allow us to "ghost" the entire hard disk profile and files as a backup in case of HDD crashing which I had experienced once or twice now.
But from the review online, I might had made a bad choice...we'll see

Friday the 13th was especially quiet at work..as almost everyone was droid, watching time pass for the weekend to arrive.
The absent list include Shitty Green, our French Supervisor, the couple and even His Beautiness who seem to had plans for every Fridays for the month (some gay orgy perhaps).
Should had retreated early that evening with early badminton session but only turned in by 2 plus or so....
Predictably, I got up groggy with red-sodden eyes next morning at 8 plus with the session beginning at 9 in Clementi.
However my Saturday was brightened up with glowing Oranje when as in Berne, Switzerland, the Netherlands won another emphatic game against the other World Cup finalist, France by 4-1. It surely is the coming of age for the Dutch but I pray fervently that it was not another false hope.

A badminton session without EK was quite unimaginable but this week he indeed left for Batam for some religious pilgrimage while Chan was assigned to bring the rackets.
Karen's newfound best friend, Chiaki joined us for the 2nd time perhaps we weren't that scary afterall for her to make her 2nd appearance.. of course living in Clementi could be a boosting factor.
She also joined the few of us for "Kungfu Panda", the new Dreamworks CG animation. The big furball by the name of Po who was deemed as the dragon warrior by Master Wu Giu was very much like a ball and Jack Black was definitely the best choice for the rotund, gluttony and unwilling hero.
The flow of the story is smooth though predictable. The fighting scene was nicely choreographed with equally adequate cinematography. The oriental-inspired soundtrack builds the mood as well.
The best Dreamworks SKG animation since Shrek the 1st for sure...

After the laughing fit which see the usual suspects like myself and Karen filled the theater with out high decibel laughters, we parted ways as I accompanied Chan down to CSC for his loot collection before heading for Kallang.

It didn't take Foo long to make it to Kallang Leisure Park where we settled for dinner before embarking on that short walk to the National Stadium.

The Grand Ol' Dame will be closing its curtains (for sure?) after this crucial World Cup qualifying tie between Singapore and oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
After the lost at Tashkent last week, we are one foot out of the game but a resounding win against one of the perennial giant in Asian football might turn our mathematical chance into reality.
Another 25K of Singapore fans flooded the gallery despite many were left disgraced after that mauling by Uzbekistan last week.
Our team line-up were rock by the absence of Mustafic (suspension) and Jiayi (injury).
Raddy decided to play Hassan Sunny in replacement of Lionel between the sticks and it was a choice well justified.

For the next 90 minutes, Hassan was on a one-man mission to stop an onslaught of goals from Saudi Arabia...
The horrendous thing is that it wasn't because the Saudi who missed inspirational captain, Yasser Al-Qahtani by the way were as good as the fluid Uzbeks, in fact they were quite awful with lackluster running and at times waiting for counter attack.
The main problem lies in our own boys were not playing their game.
The attacking trio of Khairul, Duric and Indra had no many chance but even when they do they fluffed it like Khairul having a one-to-one opportunity in the early minutes.
It shattered its confidence and he didn't appeared for the 2nd half as replaced by Qiu Li who showed flashes of attacking impetus along with Jon Wilkinson which otherwise a no-show of Singapore attack or midfield Foo and I had paid money to watch.

Hassan despite conceding twice (both legitimate goals which were hard to keep out), thwart the Saudis time and again when his defenders especially Bennett were making silly mistakes. But Precious and Baikkaki did showed an improvement from the Uzbek game....

When the Saudis scored the 2nd late in the game, many were making the exits and I had to agreed with them 'cos this is the kind of performance why the local media were so cynical about... Whenever we made a step forward, we kind of take 2 steps back....
Just hope the lads rebound in future tournaments and winning in ASEAN region is just not enough...

There was a considerably big earthquake rocking the Northern part of Honshu in Japan and the missus was pretty worried about some of our friends in Iwate.
Meanwhile my webpage was suspended due to overuse of bandwidth...I tried contacting the server but to no avail...I think might be time to change a new one...actually kind of thinking of closing it down....will see when the next renewal comes in October.

Japanese word of the day: 球(Ball) As they said the ball is round, anything can happen...

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