Friday, February 29, 2008


One of the staples of Chinese New Year is the giving and eating of oranges. This year when I went to the grocery store instead of getting normal oranges I got something better. Minneola.

They are orange in color and look like oranges but with that weird bump on the top, so they are more pear shaped than circular. But inside they look and taste just like oranges.

Here's the best part about them, their color is actually a richer deeper orange than most oranges and the skin is thick and so makes it very peelable. Taste-wise they are actually very sweet, and best of all, seedless!!!

I did some research and found that they are actually a hybrid of Mandarin and Grapefruit, and currently they are also cheaper than most other varieties of oranges.

I think I'm a full fledged Minneola convert. No more round oranges for me, my citrus of choice is the Minneola.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Now Playing

The Witcher

I raved about The Witcher previously, and I still love the game, but for right now that game is being shelved till May. It seems that The Witcher is so popular that the developer has decided to release a new version with enhanced features in May. What we can expect is some new content, enhancement of existing content and fixing issues like the current load times in game. Best of all is that this new stuff will be available for all those who have already purchased the game as a download. I'm only about 8 hours into the game so I don't mind starting over come May.

Sins of a Solar Empire

In the meanwhile, I just got this awesome new game called Sins of a Solar Empire. I highly recommend this game, its been getting great reviews and got a metacritic score of 89. Its a real time 4X game, which translated means a Real Time Strategy game set in space but with elements of empire building and skill building.

I'll freely admit that I'm soooo bad at strategy and I'm getting my butt kicked by the AI even on easy mode, but I'm having such a blast. I can't recommend this game enough.

Finally, I'm still playing World of Warcraft, and raiding Thursday and Fridays with my guild. My current goal is simply to amass more gold and also collect more Badges of Justice in preparation for patch 2.4 and the Sunwell content.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2 DVD Reviews on Female Authors

I watched 2 DVDs this past weekend. Miss Potter and Becoming Jane. Both about female authors who did not have perfect lives. Miss Potter starring Renée Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, author of the highly successfully Peter Rabbit books, and Jane Austen, the highly acliamed author of English Literature with books like Pride and Prejudice.

Of the 2 movies, Becoming Jane was definately more tragic and heart wrenching. It was also a perfect role for Anne Hathaway and you also see similarities between her life and the main characters in Pride and Prejudice. Miss Potter was slightly more whimsical, Beatrix Potter played to perfection by Renée Zellweger and coupled with Ewan McGregor was fun to watch.

I highly recommend both films, they are fairly light and informative about both author's lives and also highlight the hardships women faced in those days. Entertainment with a dash of knowledge, what could be better.

Here's the Synopsis for both movies:
Miss Potter
Thirty years old and single, Beatrix Potter lives in London with her social-climbing parents, who are exasperated that she has turned down any number of eligible young men. Her only real friends are the animals which since childhood she has lovingly drawn and made up stories about. She finally succeeds in selling a book of the stories, and it becomes Norman Warne's first project. He quickly falls in love with both the book and Beatrix and together they carefully arrange publication. This proves the first of many successes, offering her the possibility of escaping from both her parents' way of life and London.

Becoming Jane
Jane Austen (Hathaway) is a young girl who wishes to be a writer while her mother (Walters) thinks otherwise. Although she is offered many marriage proposals she accepts none until the mischievous Thomas Lefroy (McAvoy) shows up and turns her world around. At first she finds him ignorant and self centered but as she gets to know him, they start to flirt and eventually fall in love. Lefroy became the inspiration for Mr. Darcy in one of Austen's most beloved novels, Pride and Prejudice. Lefroy's relatives disagree with the match and threaten to disinherit him if he marries her. Austen's mother also disagrees with the match for he will not be able to provide well for the family. As a result of this, Lefroy tries to convince his love to runaway with him. Instead, Jane stays with her family and ends her affair with Lefroy and begins to write some of her greatest works of all time.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Movie Review: Jumper

Oh I had such high hopes for this movie. SUCH HIGH HOPES! The premise is that some people are born with the power to teleport. They come into their power at 5 years old and discover they can teleport to any place as long as they have seen the place before. And there are also a group of religious fanatics called Paladins who beleive that only God should have such power and make it their sole duty to track and kill all jumpers.

The story focuses on one boy David (Hayden Christenson) who discovers his ability to jump when he falls thru the ice into a lake. He takes this chance to leave his unhappy home and to finance his new life robs a bank. Fast forward about 8+ years and he's now living the high live in a New York Penshouse jumping to Australia for surfing, Egypt for lunch, and London for some romancing.

Then the paladins come and he has a rude awaking. Here's where I have major issues withthe plot line. A Paladin breaks into his home and almost kills him, he escapes. But instead of trying to find out more about the Paladins or protect himself from them this dumb son of bitch looks up his old flame and romances her to Europe.

I won't list out the rest of the plot, but like I said I had such high hopes for this movie and I can easily see this movie having the potential for sequels or even a TV series with Jumpers vs the Paladins. But no, David has got to be a person with sub-par intelligence. All he cares about is finding his true love and living his life out happily, blind to the danger of the Paladins. Its noted in the movie that the Paladins are a very well organized, run, and funded group that span the world and have very high tech toys to track and kill jumpers and they've been doing it for centuries. Instead of protecting himself, or looking for other jumpers, or trying to organize the Jumpers, this dumb-ass leaves the only other jumper he knows to potential death and makes nice with his lady love. Shallow, dumb, idiotic writing.

If there is a sequel or TV Series, they would do well to forget about the Character of David the dumb and go with a Jumper with some intelligence.

After all my ranting you might think I hate the show, but that's untrue. Its just that this show could have been so much more. It could have gotten a cult following like Highlander or Stargate or Matrix, instead its simply a pop-corn show with a bad character development. All that said it was still a fun movie to watch but I would definitely get it on DVD instead of shelling out $10. Boy am I glad I got discounted tickets.

I give this move a disappointing 3/5


Food Porn: Kueh Sarlat

This is a little local cake. The top is Kaya which is essentially Egg Yolks, Sugar, Pandan Essense and Coconut Milk. Very sweet and yummy. The bottom is glutinuous rice, with some suagr and salt. Put them together and you get Kueh Sarlat a stable in Nonya Cuisine.

I'm not a huge fan of Kueh Sarlat myself, I figure the rice is a waste of stomach space and usually just eat the Kaya on top :) But there are times I really crave the Kaya.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Food Porn: Gyudon

A simple all-in-one “beef bowl” made with thin strips of beef and onion, cooked fairly quick in a savory-sweet Dashi-based broth and served over hot steamed rice and garnished with Beni Shoga, an Umezu pickled red ginger.

It’s one of the most popular fast food dishes in Japan, thanks to chain restaurants such as Yoshinoya and Sukiya. Think of it like this: Where as in the US we have hamburgers, in Japan, they have Gyudon.

Check out Tasty Island for tips on its preparation.

Movie Review - Definately, Maybe

Ryan Reynolds stars as Will Hayes, a 30-something Manhattan dad in the midst of a divorce when his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love. Will's story begins in 1992, as a young, starry-eyed aspiring politician who moves to New York from Wisconsin in order to work on the presidential campaign. For Maya, Will relives his past as an idealistic young man learning the ins and outs of big city politics, and recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women. Will hopelessly attempts a "gentler" version of his story for his daughter and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her father finally married. Is her mother Will's college sweetheart, the dependable girl next door Emily (Elizabeth Banks)? Is she his longtime best friend and confidante, the apolitical April (Isla Fisher)? Or is she the free-spirited but ambitious journalist Summer (Rachel Weisz)? As Maya puts together the pieces of her dad's romantic puzzle, she begins to understand that love is not so simple or easy. And as Will tells her his tale, Maya helps him to understand that it's definitely never too late to go back...and maybe even possible to find a happy ending

Another Valentine's Day and another romantic love story. I'm a HUGE Ryan Reynolds fan and have been since I first saw him in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. In this movies Ryan really starts to flex his acting muscles. Mark my words, he's gonna be big.

Definately, Maybe is not your typical romantic comedy, in fact I would classify it as a romantic movie and leave the comedy part out. That's not to say there aren't light moments in the movie, but overall the tone of the movie is tracking a man's romantic entanglements across 16 years.

This movie isn't fast paced or flashy and a lot is owed to the writer Adam Brooks who also gave us Wimbledon and Practical Magic. If you liked either of those movies then this one's gonna be a hit with you.

Personally I liked the movie, however I can easily see how others (especially those not into romantic movies) would find it a bore. Its an intelligent take on the romantic movie angle and Abigail Breslin appearances and flash backs to the present keep the story moving and from getting too stale.

I give it a 4/5 and a romance DVD must buy.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food Porn: Pineapple Tarts

Welcome to a new regular blog post feature I call Food Porn. Its all about foods that turn you on!

Since its still Chinese New Year (it usually lasts 15 whole days), I thought what better than the Pineapple Tart to remind us of this festive season. Traditionally the Pineapple Tart was exclusively available only for Chinese New Year because its expensive and terribly pain staking to make.

My Grandmother used to make the most delish Nonya Pineapple Tarts but I saw first hand the effort that went into. The Pineapples have to be cooked 2 different ways in batches and the final step was to spend hours stirring the whole pineapple mixture over an open flame to reduce the liquid until the jam was just the right roasted brown color we're used to seeing.

Anyway, I know my mother loves Pineapple Tarts but finding someone who makes a good Pineapple Tart is a HUGE task. So much can go wrong with the tart. The jam might be too sweet, or too sour, or just does not taste like pineapple (a high probability these days because of cost cutting measures by bakers), the pastry shell is another huge problem area, it must be flaky but not too flaky, can't be too wet, too dry, or too sweet.

But its all worth it when you finally bite into the perfect Pineapple Tart.

PS. For those unfamiliar with the Pineapple Tart, each tart is a little bigger than about the size of a quarter. Go Google the recipe and give it a try, or better yet, if you live in South East Asia, just go buy a box of them.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year 2008

That right its the Chinese New Year, and its a special one! This is the year of the Rat, more specifically its the year of the Earth Rat.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Now Playing

Well I got 2 new games this last couple of weeks.
Assassin's Creed

I got this from GameTap, a great online game rental service, it allows you to try out games before actually buying them. A good thing because so many games are failures these days. I got Assassin's Creed because of the awesome reviews it got, and I must say I'm very early in the game but I'm loving it so far. The story telling aspect is amazing and fresh, I don't think any other game has done this before.

The Witcher

The Witcher got lots of super reviews and was billed as PC's best role playing game. I must agree. I've only completed the tutorial so far but this game ROCKS! It literally is a great story and I'm totally hooked.

World of Warcraft

Yes I'm still playing World of Warcraft. Here's an up date on my adventures in Aseroth.
Isale finally hit Level 70! My 2nd level 70 character and all ready for Wraith of the Lich-King.

The guild killed Magtheridon and Astir even got a little souvenir from it. Here's also a group photo of the guild by Mag's head.

Here's little Emyln, my warlock who just hit level 58 this weekend and is posing before he takes his frist step into the portal to the Burning Crusade.

And finally the biggest news of all, (for me at least) most of my guild decided to switch servers so here are all my guys on the Ghostlands server. I don't feel too much regret, Doomhammer had almost nightly queues and I was getting sick of it.

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2008 Upcoming Movies - Till June

Personally, I think 2008 is a super year for movies. In almost every month there's at least 1 movie which I am highly anticipating, and this is only the Hollywood list, it doesn't include Asian films or international movies. Maybe the movie industry is finally getting the idea, content is king.

Jumper Highly Anticipated
This is a kind of superhero movie. About a boy who discovers the ability to teleport and then discovers a cult that is bent on killing people with such abilities.

Definately, Maybe MUST SEE
If you read my blog, you know I love romantic comedies. The trailers for this one looks so good and let's face it Ryan Reynolds is a major part of the anticipation. This once can't come soon enough.

The Spiderwick Chronicles So So
I'm wary about this show because there are so many kiddy inclined fantasy adventure movies now and most of them disappoint. So we'll see

10,000 BC Anticipated

Another very hyped movie. I first heard about it almost 3 years ago. So we'll see if it becomes an epic like 300.

Horton Hears a Who! Highly Anticipated
An animated movie based on Dr. Who? Saw the trailer and I'm instantly hooked.

21 So So
This is termed a Teen Ocean's 11. Could prove to be very entertaining

Never Back Down MUST SEE
OK, this is SO a guilty pleasure. Its billed as a teen version of fight clyb but the reason I want to wacth this movie is for the very eye candy worthy Sean Ferris. Like I said, a guilty pleasure. Helps that the two main leads are HOT!

Nim's Island Anticipated
I don't know much about this movie, but after seeing the trailer and with stars like Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler and being billed as an Indiana Jones for girls, I'm very hopeful. Besides with Gerard Butler in the movie, how bad can it be :)

Made of Honor So So
Patrick Dempsey seems to be the new romantic lead guy. He might succeed Hugh Grant for the title.

Iron Man Highly Anticipated
I'm a superhero geek, so just sign me up for Ironman. Additionally, the buzz on this one is quite good.

Speed Racer Anticipated Failure
Speed Racer was originally a 70's or 80's anime and some one thinks it'll make a good live action movie? I predict it will crash and burn but it might be very fun to see how badly it crashes and burns

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian MUST SEE
I never read the rest of the Narnia books, but from the trailer this one looks just as good (in fact better) than the original. The young kids are more grown up and it looks more action packed

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull MUST SEE
Indy Fan here. So needless to say this is a must see for me and all Indy fan's out there.

Sex and the City: The Movie So So
It was a fun TV series and while not super high on my list, it is registering on my movie list. Personally, I think most of us have moved beyond Sex and the City.

Kung Fu Panda Highly Anticipated
Watch the trailer and you'll know why I consider it a must see.

This is a pixar movie, and the trailer is amazing!!! I haven't even see the movie and already I want a WALL.E plush toy. He's soooo cute.

The Incredible Hulk So so
Edward Norton and Liv Tyler remaking Hulk. Bah, can't suck as much as the Ang Lee version can it?

Get Smart Anticipated
Looks quite fun. I was a fan of the TV series so this is on my list to watch.