# Tuesday, 25 December 2012

For the past year, every few months, this appears in one of the plants in front of my house.

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I seriously have no idea why they choose our house for it, but they've been back more than once already! Today evening my wife mentioned to me that the parent birds were busy chirping and flying around in the foyer. Upon closer inspection we realized that a little baby bird was on the ground trying to fly. We didn't pay much attention to them lest we interrupted their circle of life moment until after a while I noticed that one of the parent birds was constantly peering into the storm drain near the foyer.

The storm drain is covered, but there was a small crack on it. Fearing the worst I lifted the heavy slab of concrete covering the drain, to be greeted by the butt of the little bird peering inside the storm pipe. I still didn't want to interrupt their lesson so I left the cover open and see what the parents would do.

They didn't do much, at one point one of the birds seem like they wanted to entice the little one out with food.

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It was then I decided that I'll screw with the chain of natural selection and scoped the little bird out of the pipe and put it on the ground near it's nest. I think the parental birds approved...

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While I was moving the baby bird I had a chance to take a closer shot of it.

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For those who'd like an EXTRA close look at it here's a Zoom.It version of the original photo.

Eventually the little bird ended up back in the foyer on a shoe.

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The 'training regime' was interesting to see. Basically one bird was closer to the baby bird.

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And repeatedly flew and hovered in front of the baby bird and eventually baby would try it a few times. Meanwhile, the other parent bird would stand as overwatch. Probably keeping an eye out for predators.

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They basically kept doing this.

Guess it worked, since the birds were gone when I came back from dinner. Now there's ONE more little chick left in the nest..


Tuesday, 25 December 2012 23:00:46 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 17 December 2012

I just got myself an Acer W510, while an actual review will be incoming later a quick tip for anyone considering it. The Acer W510 doesn't have a full sized USB port on the tablet. It has a Micro USB sized port in which you plug in a Micro USB to USB socket cable so you can get a full USB port.

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This was actually one of the things which made me pause a bit when considering the W510, mainly because I was worried that this was some funky overpriced Acer cable which you could only buy from Acer. Luckily at the shop I was buying it from had a rack full of plain olde USB Micro to Socket cables. I'm not sure if these are wired for USB OTG or not since it's not mentioned on packaging but after plugging in.. it worked!

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Since this is some brand X cable, this should mean that Acer didn't fudge up the port and you should be able to just buy a simple cable anywhere to replace or act as backup. I myself am planning to get this.

PS : The Acer W510 DOES come with one of these cables in the box in case you're wondering.


Monday, 17 December 2012 23:58:41 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 12 December 2012

As my HTC Radar reseted after WH dropped it hard enough to unsettle the battery, as I was punching in my old school PIN unlock on my phone I realized something.

The SIM PIN Lock is not useful for current day smartphones.

For those of you who have no idea what this is, the PIN Lock is a security feature which prevents the GSM radio from starting unless a proper PIN is entered. In the older times this would prevent people who stole your phone and SIM from accessing your phone.

But the situation has changed now, if ever our phone was lost or stolen. We WANT the phone's radio to be active! If the phone was turned off when it dropped out of your pocket in the theater and someone turn it back on, you WANT the phone to be connected to the network!

Why? Because all the modern smart phone platforms, be it Windows Phone, iOS or Android all have capabilities which allows the users to remotely locate, lock and reset a phone. These features only work when the phone's radio is on and is able to communicate with the central server.

Upon realizing this I quickly set an OS PIN to protect my phone and turned off the SIM PIN lock.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012 23:02:04 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 05 December 2012

After the trip to Legoland Malaysia we went to Universal Studios Singapore the next day!

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If you're planning a trip, here's the first tip. This is the ticketing booth.

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Notice the long queue? Now the tip is that, if you came in through the parking the escalator that brings you up to the Universal Studios entrance is close to where the tour buses park. There are bus ticket booths that also happen to sell tickets for Universal Studios there, there's literally no queue there so just make sure you're aware of the ticket prices for the day you're going and make sure you're not being scalped and buy the tickets from them to avoid the queue.

Immediately after crossing the entrance, I found what I was thinking about after seeing it yesterday in Legoland Malaysia.

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Stroller rental! I saw the same design but in a different color in Legoland Malaysia which leads me to believe that this is a very common thing to have in Theme Parks. Now some of you might be asking If my son is old enough to walk properly, why put him in a stroller? The answer is because your son will not survive spending the whole day walking under the hot Asian sun, if not for him, think about how much hard it would be for YOU to carry him under the hot Asian sun once he is unable to walk anymore!

So we ended up at the first ride which I knew I just HAD to get on.

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The sign out at the entrance said 50 MINUTE WAIT TIME. Which was pretty much equivalent to a death sentence since I had WZ along, and he BARELY survived a 15 minute wait in Legoland the day before. That's when I saw the Universal Express lane, I recalled that certain theme parks had special charges if you want to beat the queue and screw the waiting. I hoped into the souvenir shop next to the ride which CONVINIENTLY happened to sell the tickets, it cost an extra SGD50 for each PERSON to get the express pass. How effective was this express pass? It cut the wait time of 50 minutes to...

ZERO MINUTES

My wife totally impressed with the experience asked me after the thrilling 4 minutes ride in which WZ couldn't figure out wheter to hang on to the guard rail or the 3d specs (make kid sizes man!) and totally freaked out at the drop in the end. "Why the hell didn't you just buy the express pass to begin with?" I replied that I wasn't sure if it'd be worth the money and she'd just be angry that I'd spent extra for something which wasn't useful. "No, you do NOT save money when you can have more fun on a vacation!" So there you have it...

If you want to remember you trip as in playing all the fun rides instead of spending half the day waiting in line... buy the express ticket if the crowd is really big.

In case you're wondering there's a sort of anti abuse control on the Express ticket, you can use it only ONCE PER RIDE, so holders can't abuse it to hog a ride, it's really for people who just want to enjoy the park... seriously we had ZERO wait time on everything!

We came to a double roller coaster which my wife just had to go on.

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I personally don't like roller coasters so I waited outside with WZ

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While mommy went for a ride. 5 minutes later she came back feeling awesome about the ride, as she brushed her hair in excitement she realized her hair clip came off during the ride, and that was her BEST HAIR CLIP EVER!! I was about to console her when she reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out ANOTHER HAIR CLIP! Seeing which I immediately switched from compassionate to sacarsticly curious and asked why the hell does she have a backup hair clip in her POCKET! She didn't even have to rummage through her bag, it was "OMG I lost my hair clip!" and whoosh, backup hair clip is pulled out from the pocket!

We managed to go on a few other rides after that thanks to the express pass, I'm pretty sure everyone in the lines we were walking past was wondering Why the fark those people don't need to queue? Oh... again, one thing to remember is that the minimum height limit for the rides which kids can actually use is 102CM one of the rides WZ just barely squeeze in because he looked up when he was being measured and he touched the minimum height bar. So again.. very important if you want to bring a kid to enjoy the theme park. Make sure they can actually ENJOY it!

One nice thing about the trip was that it was cloudy the whole day, so the sun wasn't roasting us, but as I mentioned in the Legoland post, if the sun isn't out to kill you, then it means...

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Rain's a coming!!


Wednesday, 05 December 2012 02:32:21 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

So after a reschedule on the account of the plague affecting the family, we finally managed to make it to Legoland Malaysia.

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Some might notice that the 18 month old WH is not in the picture. Let me put it bluntly, it's an open air theme park in South East Asia. You're either under threat of sun burn, or a thunder storm, do you REALLY want to bring a small little kid there?

When you first arrive to Legoland Malaysia here are a few tip which I found out when I was there

  • The entrance to Legoland is actually behind a giant mall, if you're parking in the closest car park lot next to the mall, you have to go through it to get to the Legoland entrance.
  • The open air parking lot is an open field multi column affair, when I went there at the time of the post. THERE ARE NO INDICATORS to help you remember where you parked. I wished I figured that out BEFORE I left the parking lot and looked back into the sea of cars and realized... I DON'T KNOW WHERE I PARKED!!
  • Buy your tickets online before hand, you don't want to waste time queuing up at the ticket booth. Do take note that some of the promo free tickets you can get might have some conditions that can't be used with online tickets.

So.. what is there to see in Legoland? Well.. of course there's the large cityscapes and other scenes made with Lego.

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As much as I wanted to take pictures of every last building here, WZ got EXTREMELY cranky after mommy told him to pose for a picture for the Nth time!

Like any theme park, there're a number of attraction zones and rides for you to enjoy.

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Like any theme park on a weekend, the queuing can get CRAAAAZY...

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Especially for the more popular or simple rides where the whole family can go on without restriction.

There seems to be 2 types of things you can enjoy in Legoland which Rides and Experiences. Rides are stuff like the roller coasters, kiddie rides and such.

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Experiences would be the Building camps, driving school, etc. etc. which they talk about on the website and the brochures. I didn't manage to check those out because 1. WZ still couldn't be bothered by stuff like that. 2. WZ was extremely cranky walking around in the heat.

It's important to note that even though you have to buy a child ticket for any kid age 3 and up. Most of the rides require a height minimum of 100CM for the safety equipment to work properly

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WZ is 110CM... The Dragon roller coaster has a height limit of 100CM and an AGE limit of 6 years old. WZ is 5 years old... Moral of the story is that you need to be aware of these kind of restrictions before taking your child to a place like this or you'll be wasting precious time and money.

Aside from the height and age limitations, remember that this is Malaysia so remember this when you want to go to any open air theme park.

If the sun isn't out to burn you to death, it means that a storm is coming!

So bring an umbrella to protect you against the elements, and if it's the rainny season, bring a poncho or something. If not, Legoland is well equipped to save you.

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It was an enjoyable trip. Wished we could play more, wished WZ could be less cranky, but I guess that'll would change in a few years Smile with tongue out


Wednesday, 05 December 2012 01:24:58 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |