Our anniversary: Shark breakfast, Body Shop, iPad mini

vday pandora

I know, some of you might be wondering why we have so many anniversaries. Haha! It’s coz we do the monthsary (monthly anniversary) thing that I think is a great way to show love, affection and keep the relationship exciting! I love the homemade crafts that my better half usually comes up with. I like to cook something special for her too!

ipad mini

Our actual anniversary is coming up though and my dear already gave me a wonderful present – it’s an iPad mini! I had an iPad 2 and was constantly gaming and reading ebooks on it until one day it *stopped working* and my loss didn’t escape the notice of my better half.

ipad 16gb

It’s one of my greatest pleasures to read ebooks on my iPad and I have been missing that coz I don’t like reading on dedicated ebook readers like Kindle, nook etc – I own one and hardly use it – the lack of back-light just didn’t do it for me since I mostly read in low-light conditions.

engraved ipad

She even got it engraved! <3 body shop cny special

I got her something from Body Shop. I saw the Chinese New Year special gift bags, and one was called Oriental Deluxe (RM 128) and featured all sorts of Japanese themed body shampoo and lotions – the cherry blossom (sakura). I thought that it would be nicer than the RM 88 one since we’re planning a trip to Japan!

ling poh

It also comes with a red loofah and it’s more meaningful to us coz of our upcoming Japan trip so I got that for her. I do think that the stuff there is slightly overpriced though – RM 20 for a hotel sized body shampoo bottle! It’s all good though! :)

pandora heart locket charm

Of course, tradition dictates that I give her a Pandora charm. It has become one of our anniversary staples and I want to keep it going since every charm tells a story of our relationship. She had made me this sweet vow exchange in a Pandora box during the previous anniversary – it’s two hearts, she wrote in one, telling me that she loves me and the other is empty for me to write.

pandora ang pow

The Valentine’s Day collection for Pandora is out and there’s a charm in there that’s shaped like two hearts! It’s actually a locket – it’s magnetic and opens up to show a red interior – one says Me and the other You. I thought it was like bringing the wonderful vow she gave me to life, and on a charm!

pandora valentines bag

I also know she’s a big fan of collecting nice ang pows and Pandora has a promotion where they gave out one pack of ang pows for a purchase of RM 888 on a single receipt. I didn’t qualify since the charm I got was RM 295 so I asked the nice staff at Pandora at TCM if they could make an exception.

pandora red packet

They had to call the Pandora Marketing Manager (Mandy? Wendy?) of Malaysia to get her approval and I explained over the phone how my girlfriend was a big fan (maybe it helped that I have a consistent purchase history too – at least once a month) and it would be much appreciated if she can make an exception and release one of coveted the Pandora ang pow packs.

pandora story

She was really nice about it and so was the staff at Pandora in TCM – cheers for that! I reckon this was the best “gift” of all, although I didn’t purchase it coz I had to do so much to get it. Pandora is quite strict about giving them out since it’s tied to the RM 888 promotion so thanks for giving a regular customer one! It totally made my better half’s day!

butter poached shark

I also cooked butter poached shark for breakfast! BTW, these are not the endangered species (contrary to popular belief, 70% of shark species are non-endangered, even according to the most conservative Sea Shepard type estimates and lots of people eat them nowadays in an effort to eliminate by-catch waste). I didn’t think it would be good but the shark surprised me! The meat was surprisingly tender and delicious and it was totally different from the shark meat that I’ve eaten before (either sandy or fermented like hakarl in Iceland).

pandora me you charm

I’ll post up my recipe tomorrow! I’ve got lots to write now that CNY is nearly here, just had my first pun choi session last night too! :D

Guess what I’m doing?

ebanking

I’m not chilling at the couch back home. Well, I *am* doing that, and watching TV but that’s not all I’m doing. I’m back home for the holidays and since I nearly missed my flight, I didn’t manage to do all the chores.

There are some things in life where you just have to brave the traffic and parking woes to get done.

There are other things in life which you can do at the comfort of your own home, wearing comfortable clothes and generally being a slob.

slob

E-banking is one of them. I have never gone back once I started unless it’s to cash in cheques or something like that. It’s just so convenient to use a phone, tablet or PC to perform all your banking tasks. I’ve gotten so used to it that if you asked me to physically go and pay bills I’ll probably just terminate the service.

rhbmobilehd

I personally use the RHB Mobile Banking app on my iPad. You can get it from iTunes – it’s a free download and you can perform all the banking related tasks you want from the comfort of your couch. Very convenient stuff. :D

Anyway, there’s this online game using the Unity engine which is also going to be available from iTunes and the Android Market. It’s called RHB Now Race – Race For a Ducati and you can actually *win* a legendary Ducati bike and other real life prizes from it.

It’s pretty easy to play the game – if you don’t have an iOS or Android phone/tab – you can play the web based version here.

game

You’re in control of a Ducati bike and you need to collect gems for 60 seconds while avoiding obstacles. The arrow keys steer the chopper and the space bar allows you to jump over obstacles.

double jump

Tip: You can press the space bar twice in quick secession to do a “double jump” – twice the height and distance to clear tough obstacles.

It’s fun to play by itself but the best thing about it is that you stand to win a Ducati Monster 795! How cool is that? :D

All you need to do is to be a RHB account holder registered with RHB Now Internet & Mobile Banking. Just perform any RHB Now transaction and you’re set to win the prizes in the game! There’s a minimum transaction of RM 50 but hey, your power or broadband bill probably tops that easy. ;)

prizes

You’ll need to perform a transaction first to lock in your high score. I did 50k easy on my first run but then again I’m a gamer so these things come naturally to me. Now who’s up for beating my high score? A Ducati Monster 795 and other cash prizes await! Heck, even the *consolation* prize starts at RM 7,000.

Race and win here!

Chaos Rings Omega for iPad 2 Review

chaos rings omega

I’m a huge fan of the first Chaos Rings and have grinded on the JRPG (Japanese RPG) on my iPhone 4 for ages. Chaos Rings is an exclusive iOS title by the venerable Square Enix (makers of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts) and their prequel Chaos Rings Omega just came out with the August 2011 Japanese voice acting pack.

itunes

I bought it for USD 14.99 coz I was a little to eager to grab the game – it went down to USD 10.99 to celebrate the release of the voice pack just 2 hours later. -_-

combat

The game play is exactly like Chaos Rings – there’s nothing different at all. Even the environment uses the same textures and most of the BGM is recycled, although we’ve got a couple of new characters this time around. I felt a strong sense of deja vu playing through it – I’ve spent countless hours on the first one leveling up my character so this just feels like more of the same.

gamecenter

The voice acting pack is something of a letdown too – it feels like it was rushed out, the main scenes have voice acting but some of the “less important” scenes lack voice acting, making it feel a bit unpolished. However the combat system is now fully voiced, which can be an annoyance or a treat, depending on how long you play it. ;)

Pros:
Expanded Chaos Rings story
The best JRPG on iOS devices
Voice acting comes as a free update, even for the first title
Game Center support – there are also hidden achievements for defeating the bosses

Cons:
Pixelation is very heavy even on Chaos Rings Omega HD running on the iPad 2 – perhaps coz I’ve played the previous title on the iPhone 4 with Retina Display
Voice acting is not consistent – not every scene has it, and it’s slightly buggy
The price tag is a bit high for a non-universal app, but then again, this is Square Enix we’re talking about

I would recommend Chaos Rings Omega since it’s 27% off for a week right now – but only if you don’t already have the first title or if you’re a die hard fan. It’s just more of the same – even the puzzles use the same mechanics.

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