Saturday, June 30, 2018

Nobita Nobi, lol.

Nobita Nobi-8180585845904Dear Matt and Mar,

[27.06.2018] A few weeks ago, your mother called me up and said that Matt would be needing glasses... at first I was kind of worried, because not having to wear glasses for 46 years and I thought that both Matt and Mar would be the same, haa haa haa.

A couple of weekends ago, your mother was busy so it was up to me to take Matt to the hospital, and I must say the Dr. there was a bit strange, haa haa haa, to cut long story short, Matt does need glasses (probably because of reading with poor lighting), -150.

So last Saturday we popped over to the glasses place just next door, and it went much smoother than I had anticipated, there were several choices of frames and lens, and I had no idea what the lady was talking about so I just said yes to most of her questions haa haa haa. Matt did the choosing and I was just there to make sure it fitted properly and pay, haa haa haa haa haa.

Now here is the issue, you’ll be picking up the glasses today, and your mother have never seen them, she had wanted so much to be there to choose with you (or for you, haa haa haa) so it was up to me, well up to Matt and Mar really... haa haa haa. I am just hoping that your mother will like them, otherwise I’ll be sleeping on the sofa for the next few weeks or so... lol.

[28.06.2018] Your mother liked it... and I even got a couple words of praise too, haa haa haa. Matt, don’t get too cross with me, I think the glasses suits you so much… and to me you look so much like Nobita from Doraemon the super famous Japanese Cartoon, lol.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

36 months? haa haa haa

1528706679641Dear Matt and Mar,

[12.06.2018] Yesterday one of the parents (Mar’s class) sent a few photos to the Line Parents Group, and we all had a huge smile and chuckles, she had managed to dig up the children’s 1st day photo and matched it against photos that was taken yesterday, haa haa haa.

Even I had to take a deep breath, time certainly had flown by, haa haa haa. Only a couple of days ago, your mother and I were discussing that in only 13  - 14 years Matt would be entering into the job market, haa haa haa.

To be honest I do feel that opportunities is just becoming fewer and fewer as time goes by, and I do mean for all levels, from robots taking over intensive labour jobs, right all the way to the top, haa haa haa. We are going to do our best to prepare you both for that, somehow, haa haa haa lol.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Matt’s Annual Performance lol

Dear Matt and Mar,

Once a year your music school (Kita) would arrange a concert at the Goethe-Institut, it has a really nice small stage, the school had announced this year’s event more than two months ago, so we all knew it was coming, but what surprises us the most, was that Matt had put his name down for 2 performances!

DSC05088-01Just like every year, the short piano program was expected of him, but this time Matt had also put his name down to sing, and that was totally unexpected! I could not have been more proud, not because Matt was going to sing, for me it was more than a three or five minutes song, it was all about Matt having enough confidence to step up on that stage alone and perform. Your mother and I were over the moon, the song he had chosen changed a couple of times, and it ended being ‘7 Years’ by Lukas Graham, and it was brilliant :-)

Mar was by far Matt biggest fan, haa haa haa, as soon as Matt walked on stage for both performances, Mar was sitting right up front, and she was the first person in the whole auditorium to start clapping and she clapped the loudest (by quite a long way)!!!! Haa haa haa haa haa, it was a very good day for all of us :-)


DSC05093-01Moreover, the morning was full of tension of another kind too, the performance was on the 3rd of June, but for the past 4 days your mother was working in Paris and she was due to arrive back in BKK at 08:20. The performances were due to start at 09:00 sharp, Matt was queue 15th! Would she make it in time?

I was on Line in continuous communication with your mother, but we have a secret weapon... Khun Ant our driver could have outrun the Millennium Falcon any day of the week, haa haa haa. Your mother lost a bit of time with Custom, but soon she was in the car and speeding towards us.

You would not believe it, in my mind there was no way she would make it to Matt’s vocal performance... but she bloody well did, and with 10 minutes to spare, Khun Ant must have warped time or something... haa haa haa.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Reverend Green :-)

collageDear Matt and Mar,

Parents were invited to join class assembly, Matt’s class was putting on a performance, based on all the things they are studying in that term (I could utterly be very wrong here, haa haa haa).

The theme this time was ingenious, your class teacher Ms. Adams somehow managed to showcase all the things you’ve learnt or learning around a Cluedo storyline.

Main characters being Cluedo suspects, from Green, Plum, Scarlet, Pink and etc, but who was the one who poisoned Dr. Black??? The acting from the main characters were superb, your mother and I have been watching this for over 7 years now, and it went from ‘cute’ to ‘wow’, the amount of emotion and effort by the entire class was first class!

Matt was Reverend Green, I have never heard Matt practices his lines, in fact we didn’t even know the assembly’s performance was coming up or that Matt was taking part, haa haa haa, well it was a nice surprise, lol. Your mother and I kept saying to ourselves how much both of you have grown, only yesterday we were still spoon feeding you, lol.

Definitely #$%*@! by Sony :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

[04.05.18] You may be wondering why the number of blog posts had increased several folds, haa haa haa, a consequence of losing the PS4 (overheating), lol.

A few nights ago, everything was perfect, I was so engrossed in Dishonored 2, so far 17 hours had been logged, and only reaching chapter 4 of the first play through (Emily campaign). I am never the run and gun type, but stealth, well I just can not get enough of that! What makes it so challenging (and slow in playing) is because I try to take out (knocking them out and carry them away) every characters possible while not being spotted, haa haa haa.

PS4P6090058Out of the blue, on the morning of Labour day, I was so prepared for the morning session, your mother did the school run and afterwards she would be having coffee with the other parents, and so I was free for the whole morning (which is super rare these days). There I sat, with a steaming cup of coffee and a huge glass of water, in anticipation of not moving an inch for the next 4 hours, haa haa haa haa haa.

The familiar ‘beep’ of the PS4 was the most welcoming sound... the usual game menu screen came on... I was more than ready to help Empress Emily clear her name and regain her throne from the very evil Duke of Serkonos and the devastating witch Delilah!

Controller in hand, my senses were supercharged, muscle memory ready and waiting to precisely press the required combination of buttons, I was more than ready... ‘Beep, beep, beep’, a puzzle looked came across my face, a minute earlier that beep was the sound of home, but these three beeps were as alien as having cornflakes with water.

Overheating message flashed across the screen, then in a blink of an eye... nothing. My heart literally sank to the central of the earth... and I guess I did what would a normal person would do, I tried to take apart the PS4 to blow off the dust from the cooling fan, haa haa haa. But failed miserably, simply not having the right tools to do it.

Ok, that may be a little dramatic, lol, after having no other option I’d packed up the PS4, put it in a bag and started to search Sony repair shops in BKK, haa haa haa. As this was a public holiday and with you two in school, our plan was to go and see Avengers 3 at Siam Paragon, and there was a huge Sony store, lol.

To fill in the void of time, I did what I had always wanted to do for quite awhile, to attend morning homage at the Temple near my old office at Central World, in a way that was a much better way to spend this Labour Day morning than zombieing out in front of a telly for three hours, haa haa haa, I was contented.

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[09.05.18] Feeling a  little screwed by Sony this morning, finally the service centre called, and what they’ve told me was the last thing I had expected to hear! Apparently the PS4 needed to replace the mainboard! Really? But it still turned on, in fact it was all functioning perfectly, until the screen says ‘Overheat, turning off the PS4’, so for them to come back to me after 3 days and say ‘you need a new mainboard’ just smell of Bullshi#.

It felt like them just wanted me to buy a new PS4, as a die hard Sony fanboy, I am feeling a little screwed, haa haa haa, and I was going to make the jump to the Sony A7iii this seek too, haa haa haa, now I am having second thought on the camera. Anyhow, can not pick up the unit until this coming weekend.

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[19.05.18] A few days after I got back the PS4, I plugged it back in, and started the labourious process of downloading all my saved games, as the PS4 can only be kept on for a few minutes until it shuts itself down. The key was to time it just right, not to have it cut out because it will have to go through some internal diagnostic before it turns on again.

Physically I had to have one hand on the PS4 to judge how hot it was getting, with about 15 minutes break between each download, I had managed to get out all of the most important saved games, the most important being my Dishonoured 2 saves, haa haa haa.

After a couple + of hours, lol, I had a thumb drive full of saved games, I had to make a decision! It was either to fork out for a new PS4 or try to fix this one myself. Even before this I had already placed order for the special anti temper hexi bits to be able to take apart the PS4 (just in case).

So as I sat here this morning, I have the proper tools ready, and after spending a few minutes on YouTube, I began to take apart the PS4 just to see how far I could get before I start sweating, lol, well it was more like an exploratory teardown, believe it or not, it was all rather simple! But I didn’t go all the way and remove the mainboard, simply because from my experience from building my own PC once you separate the mainboard I would need to re-apply the thermal paste which I didn’t have at hand.

My suspicion was confirmed, after stripping down the unit, it was obvious that Sony Repair center didn’t even open up my unit! the warranty stickers were my original one (they needed to be removed to get to the first 4 screws. Moreover, as soon as I removed the main cover, the dust flew out like a volcano erupting! It was so obvious that the Sony repair centre did nothing to my unit.

I feel so strongly that this is just a fan problem, a few minutes ago I went online and ordered a new fan and thermal paste. I am more than ready to carry out a fan replacement, I mean this is hardly an open heart surgery… lol.

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[09.06.18] Well, it happened today, the situation was perfect! Mar had her (catch up) ice skating this Saturday morning so both Mar and your Mother was out for the morning, Matt was occupied by the Switch, so at least I would have 2 hours to get this done.

With hindsight, it could not have gone any smoother... the heart was thumping a little when it was time to remove the mainboard. After replacing the fan, re-apply the Thermal paste, put back the mainboard and the rest of the parts, all of which took no longer than 30 mins.

Plugged in all the cables, there was nothing left to do but just turn it on  (said a quick pray, haa haa haa)... it all whirled up, really couldn’t tell if the fan was working, but after standing up the PS4 on its side it was obvious that the fan was working...

First thing I did was to once again, back up all the saved games onto a thumb drive, and that took over 15 mins, after which the unit was still running... lol. Decided to jump into Amazon Video, watched the Grand Tour with Matt until your Mother and Mar arrived home.

Well, it worked, lol, to be honest I wasn’t even sure if it would turn on, haa haa haa. Just glad we didn’t have to get a new PS4, and just very, very disappointed with Sony’s Aftersales service...

Sony Service Center had obviously lied! Like I said with the dust evidence, they did not even open up my PS4 unit, telling me the mainboard needed replacing was really the ‘bullsh#t wayout’, because the price to replace the mainboard was quoted to me at around 340 USD, I mean a new PS4 only costs 399! Obviously they were pushing me to get a new PS4! What a bunch of ‘ars$’, haa haa haa.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cha-am break, day 3 – Black Mountain.

Dear Matt and Mar,

Oh what a day, the morning started with the usual breakfast, and for the first time in a very long time I had decided to put my eating plan aside... so hello carbohydrates, haa haa haa, oh and it was glorious... and surprisingly I didn’t feel the need to binge... it was just right, haa haa haa.

I was totally expecting Black Mountain to be jam packed (being kind a long weekend), so I was more keen than ever to be there before it opens, but it was all worthless, I think there were more staffs than guests, lol.

With only a handful of people, the water park was super fantastic, and Mar was able to go on all the slides which made it even more fun for Matt too :-) Funny enough, most of the guests there were from our hotel, luckily Jack and Lily, who you were playing the day earlier were there too, so for friends meant more fun, lol.

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To be honest, as this being a rather small water park, we had all the fun to be had by around three, and it was time to come back to the hotel. Khun Ant was coming to pick up your mother at around six, so the timing was perfect.

In fact your mother left around five, and us three were alone once again (just like the last trip to Ramayana, lol). Supper was taken in the hotel, I was too tired to make an effort to eat out, lol.

Cha-am break, day 2 – Rajabhakti Park.

collageDear Matt and Mar,

I got up quite early to spend an hour or so in the Gym, I was back in our room around seven and all of us were out again for breakfast around eight, with nothing really planned for the morning, your mother was happy to let you have fun in the pool.

The last thing your mother and I wanted was to have lunch at the hotel, so off we went to ‘Madam Green’ (almost a mandatory stop for all Bangkokians) then the original plan was then to go back to Blu Port for you to have your fun, but by luck as we were driving to lunch we saw a sign for Rajabhakti Park (huge statues of 7 of our revered Kings), this is one of the latest must visit site in Huahin.

Lunch was superb, so my OMAD went of of the window for that day, lol, from the restaurant it was only a short drive to Rajabhakti Park, and it was amazing, for something that was decided on a whim, that tuned out for me to be one of the highlight of this short break.

Cha-am day 2-04949Cha-am day 2-04946

Essentially, 7 huge statues of our greatest Kings, who played essential part in shaping the modern Thailand of today, and by luck we arrived in time for the free tour to begin, as the entire park was huge, all of us were ushered into a open air bus (don’t really know what to call them). I could have easily spent an hour here just to take photos.

Cha-am day 2-

The sun was overbearing, for the first time I felt like I was being roasted alive, haa haa haa, so as soon got all my shots we all rushed off to Blu Port once again, with a couple of hours spent at the play zone, soon it was time for supper then back to the hotel. I didn’t want it to be too late, for tomorrow it was Black Mountain day.

Funning ending to the day though, Matt was really out of it, I could see it on his face, and as soon as we were back in the room, I asked him to take a nap, well that nap went through supper time and night time, haa haa haa, he wasn’t up again until the next day, lol.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Cha-am break, day 1 – The arrival.

collageDear Matt and Mar,

Wow, that was a short half term, 4 days half term (including a weekend), haa haa haa. Originally your mother and I had planned for a long road trip, to drive from BKK all the way through to Chiang Rai (most northern province), with a couple of stops along the way. But when it came down to the planning it would have been impossible to fit it all in 4 days, and on top of that your mother had to fly to France too.

So a quick change of plan, it had been awhile since we were in Huahin/Cha-am, with the highlight being (yet another) water park, Vananava, which somehow we have yet to pay it a visit.

The hotel was booked in a jiffy, in fear that all would be full since it was a long long weekend (if one took Monday leave, lol, which I did). So it was the weekend, Monday and Tuesday away, however at the last second your mother had to fly to Paris on the Monday, haa haa haa, at least all of us would be together for most of this short half term.

The night before we left, I went online to book tickets for Vananava, but from lessons learnt from our very recent visit to Ramayana Water Park, I went online but instead of buying the tickets, I checked out all the rides suddenly the issue was obvious.

Two of their best attractions neither Matt nor Mar could go on, as you had to be 122 cm tall and 12 year old, haa haa haa, and I went through the same exercise for all of their attractions, and at the end, Mar would have a had a hard time doing the boring stuff, and Matt could only go on some of the attractions.

That night I called you two together, and gave you two options, a) Vannava or b) Black Mountain. To describe Black Mountain, the best word would be Tame and small, haa haa haa, but Mar could enjoy all the attractions but it would be less grandeur for Matt. In a heartbeat Matt chose Black Mountain and so did Mar :-)

So here we are, 4 days in Cha-am, we arrived in the early Saturday afternoon, which was perfect time for a quick swim, and in a blink of an eye you two were off to kids club and the pool (it was raining cats and dogs).

Soon it was time to decide what to have for supper, for the longest time I had wanted to visit Blu Port, perhaps my old job habit is lurking deep inside, retail space needed to be explored, haa haa haa.

Blu Port was great, but as expected it was very quiet, but you two had a great time, after supper we walked around and found a rather fun play zone on the top floor, but as it was getting late into the day we promised you two to come back the following day.

You lost your first tooth :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear Matt and Mar,

[17.05.18] Finally Mar’s first tooth, which had been wobbling for weeks had fallen out! But what happened last night is both very heartwarming and frightening, haa haa haa.

Last night, I must have arrived home around seven-ish, walked through the door to find one very excited little girl, with a tiny tooth in hand, lol. However, I did not expect how the evening would unfold.

After supper as you two were about ready for bed, Matt came to me asking a very cryptic question... ‘If you have a secret, about a body part would it be ok to tell the parents?’ Of course my mind rushed through all the possibilities and all were worst cases (of course), lol.

The reveal was heartwarming, apparently Mar had dropped her tooth down the drain (for a six year old, it was like the end of the world), so her big brother came to the rescue. Matt remembered that I have kept all his teeth in a box, so he got one of the tooth and gave it to Mar, so that she could show your mother and I that evening, haa haa haa.

So how come I had written at the beginning that this was also ‘frightening’? Mar was so convincing, and showed no sign of guilt in showing us Matt’s tooth and pretending that it was hers, haa haa haa.