Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Here we go again :)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

This happens every time, tomorrow is the first day of school for Matt, and guess what… he spent the penultimate day chucking up after breakfast, supper and bedtime. I think he has another case of the stomach virus, only this morning I’d even made a comment to your mother that Matt looked slightly off, I felt you were slightly lethargic.

Right now, at eleven pm, the washing machine is working full pelt, one king size sheet, a single size duvet, a pillow case, a blanket and lastly an under sheet were all covered with your supper, poor you baby, I do hope you get better soon. You have no idea how your mother and I are feeling now, stomach churning anxiety doesn’t even touch it.

We are also afraid that little Marcella could be coming down with the same thing, your mother said this morning she was also a bit lethargic too, we’ll just have to wait and see.

So tomorrow there will be no school for Matt and no nursery for March, however there will be a whole day of fun filled sleep and some television :) love you baby, get well soon.

PC Part Picker (www.pcpartpicker.com)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

Just got back into listening to the various podcasts, Maximum PC, PC Per, this week in tech, among others keep my mind awake through most of the day :) it was only a matter of time when I would want to put together another PC, lol.

pcpartpickerWhen the first (and was also the last) box was put together Matt was still a couple of years from joining us, lol. Right now people are saying desktop is a sunset business, with most of the customers moving to either notebooks or tablets, that may be true, but honestly there is nothing like having a huge black box humming away next to your 31 inch 4K display :)

There are a couple of sites that suggest a range of components for your box, my favourite are PCPER’s hardware leader board or MaximumPC’s best of the best. As I’ve been away for about 2 years from following any hardware news, and that is like an eternity to the power of 99 in tech years, it took quite a few podcasts and a whole lot of reading to catch up again.

4K 31” panels have just started splattering across various review sites, Haswell LGA 1150 is the latest CPU (yet another new socket, lol). I don’t think selling our small car to buy the new Asus 4K panel would sit well with your mother, lol, so that is out of the question (for now… who needs a car now a day anyway :) ).

For my original box umpteen years ago, the preparation work was much longer than the time spent putting the system together. Reading various review sites, making sure all parts were compatible with each other, putting it all into an excel sheet (very tedious but enjoyable), then lots of footwork walking the floor trying to find the parts (not all parts were available in Thailand at that time, so alternative had to be decided on the spot and I hated every second of it).

After listening to PCPER’s podcast, they mentioned ‘PC Part Picker’ (www.pcpartpicker.com), wow what a revelation, the whole process is a billion time more enjoyable... I have the component list compiled in less than 30 minutes, it was fast with a clean design, simple, elegant and to the point. Their filtering system was second to none, with enough variables to pin point my search in seconds, now all I need is a Thai version of Newegg and your mother’s permission :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Policeman, Fireman, what …man baby?

Dear Matt and Marcella,

Papa: “Matt what would you like to be when you grow up, baby? Policeman, Fireman?

Matt: “Superman, Papa”

lol.

6400, really baby? :)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

Please do me a favour baby, if you play with the main camera, please try not to leave it in iso 6400. Otherwise all the following shots will look like the sun was just about to crash into this world of ours :)

To discovered in lightroom that all of the afternoon session photos were over exposed was just a little annoying to say the least, well, not as much as to have also discovered that there were only 5% left on the battery metre when I was taking the photos in the first place… haa haa haa, :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Call Centre Scam, a personal experience

Dear Matt and Marcella,

I have only heard of this scam (through TV and the Press) but have never faced one myself, until today :) The call was quite convincing, and it didn't click until about 2 minutes into the conversation that I was being conned.

It all started with an automated message saying that my bank accounts have been suspended pending investigations, then you were directed to press a number to go through to this call centre.

Call Centre ScamShe began by introducing herself (full name) with an over emphasis that she was calling from the HQ of this Bank (name withheld) (she had mentioned this about three times). Then she began her well rehearsed lines, by asking if I had received the document that was sent to me regarding 'all' my bank accounts being suspended, of course I said 'No'.

She then apologised then excused herself to check with her 'system', after a short pause she came back asking for my name and that all my bank accounts were going to be suspended. Of course I'd asked why, and it was because somehow a bank account have been opened in my name in one of their far away branch, and it has over 1.2 million THB in it, because of this I am now a suspect in being involved in a money laundering scheme (this was when the penny dropped).

She asked me to hold the line while she transfer my call to the 'Crime suspension department at the national police headquarter', really... :) I'd wished I'd had time to play along to the end but unfortunately I had to go back to work, shame, shame... :)

So I'd posted the number that was shown on my mobile to FB, just to let the rest of the gang know and be aware of this particular mobile number... They were really convincing when I was on the call, but with hindsight there were loads of small things that were not apparent at the time of call. It should have clicked much sooner especially when they didn't know my name at the start. Because they should have lots of information, especially when she'd pretended to be calling from the bank, so naturally they should have all of my information including my underwear size, lol.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud ReaderDear Matt and Marcella,

I was dearly hoping for this even before I knew it had existed, and to have found out that it does exist was amazing :) Kindle apps have been installed on everything imaginable that I own, having the ability to pick up the closest phone, tablet, notebook... etc and start reading is by far one of its strongest point.

It is not possible to install kindle app on my work notebook (understandably of course, they had to lock it down for essential programs only), so I went to Google to find a way to read my kindle books, and the search result did not disappoint :) Kindle Cloud Reader was pretty much the first thing on the result page.

Just like signing into web mail on any browser, a second later I was in and reading the book, apparently, it works off line as well :) lunch break have just become more interesting... of course I could just pick up my mobile to use the kindle app :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Start them young… again… :)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

By chance March discovered the small camera we bought for Matt a couple of years ago, so Matt was super excited to be reunited with his old pal, and I was over the moon that she’d found it, I have been looking everywhere for this small camera.

Little PhotographersThe plan was to go to the park this morning (which turned out to be a afternoon visit, lol), Matt was more than ready for his first photo walk, haa haa haa, another good thing is that Marcella is copying Matt in almost everything so she may just be hooked on photography as well, lol.

Talking about having no inhibition, just one example of many cases, Matt wanted to take a photo of a cyclist, so naturally he walked up real close to a kind cyclist and simply took a photo… already a better man than me my boy :) and by the way, you (Matt) took one amazing photo of the sun shining through the branches of a tree, will try to post it later on this week :)

He also used the camera to take a photo of all the places we parked today, knowing that I am forever wondering where on earth is my car??? Thanks Matt.

Just as I’d thought, once Matt put down the camera March was all over it… now the wheels have been put in motion, when March is old enough (probably next month, lol) she will have this camera, then Matt can have my current NEX and it will be my turn for something new… haa haa haa (evil laugh), when the time comes there is no way your mother can argue with this logic :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mother’s day 2013

Mother's day 2013-09046-EditDear Matt and Marcella,

12th of August is Thailand’s Mother’s day and our Queen’s birthday, luckily it fell on Monday this year, meaning a luscious long weekend :) so many have left BKK for somewhere assumably better, leaving BKK gloriously empty for the rest of us :)

Going against the norm the both of you were not up before sunrise :) in fact your mother and I were up way before you did, so breakfast was later than usual. Then the air conditioning in the main bed room decided to turn itself into a waterfall that is why Marcella is now sleeping on Matt’s bed, and Matt sleeping on the floor next to Marcella :)

Right off the bat your mother decided to take you to ‘Train Park’ (a direct translation, it could be because the park belongs to our National Train company), getting to it was a laugh, the GPS was telling me the way but somehow it was lost in translation in my head, ended up getting lost a couple of times along the way. We didn’t leave the house until eleven-ish, so it was almost twelve when we parked at the park.

 

Talking about boiling hot… but the park was quite cool (very much unexpected). Since the days of CCF (combined cadet force), and for some unknown reasons, I always have a groundsheet in the car and today was the first day it came in useful :) But I think we were the most ridiculous looking family in the whole park, there was enough room for the whole platoon :)

After a quick walk around the park, to me it was nothing short of a marathon simply because of Marcella refusing to walk nor sit in her pram :) We had such a great time it was way passed two when our wheels once again turned, the traffic was light and driving in BKK was fun for a change.

Our very late lunch was at Central World, Matt wanted to have lunch at Sizzlers but when we asked we were 8th in the queue, because it was touching on three O’clock  we just couldn’t wait, so See-Far it was. Lunch was quick and both of you ate well.

Both of you were still in high spirit but it was time to come home, Marcella had her heart set on the big bath again (our bath is huge), and how could we tell? Well she decided to go commando as soon as we walked through the door :) The both of you were in there for over an hour (with swimming goggles) haa haa haa haa haa. Marcella speaks one word clearly, and that word is ‘NO’ and she said it with such passion when I asked her to come out of the bath (followed by the word ‘Bye’… haa haa haa haa haa).

Matt’s fingers had gone all wrinkly and that was how I know it was time for them to come out, just as supper was on the table and my parents, auntie, cousin and her daughter walked through the door. Matt thrives on having visitors but Marcella decided to turn on her waterworks (tears were like Niagara falls).

Your mother had to go to a meeting at the condo this evening, one of those tenants’ meeting, have I told you she is a member of the committee? She’d left around half seven, and have just walked thorough the door at ten :) with loads of interesting stories to tell :)

Turned out be quite a good day baby :) well… back to the desk tomorrow…

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In the beginning… :)

Work spaceDear Matt and March,
In the beginning… the desk was clean, haa haa haa, let see how long it will last this time. Instead of taking the usual stuff to the office, I have decided to leave everything in storage and took nothing but a picture of you two (that was printed out last night :).

I’d actually created two versions (thank you Photoscape) but using the same set of photos.


For Office 2For OfficeMy preference have always been the full body (or as much of it as possible), cropping in makes me feel like I am loosing part of the story, of course that is ridiculous but hey each to his own right :)

But in the end I’d decided to go with the left photo, I just prefer the layout of that template, somehow it just felt easier on the eyes (less structured) and the crop photo turned out alright :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coming out of hibernation

Dear Matt and Marcella,

Immediately on the following day after we were back from Cha-am, I had to go back to work. For the past couple of months I've been helping out my old boss with a project that he and his team was working on, original I had thought after the project was 'acquired', my involvement would come to an end.

As time went on the project became more and more interesting, and unexpectedly the old boss offered a full time position back at T…, the initial knee jerk reaction was to decline the offer,  and that was purely because I was now hooked on the time spent with you two, not to mention time with my parents (which were a long time in coming).

During the eight months or so of hibernation, there were a fair few interviews but none seemed to click (they didn’t want me or I didn’t want them (more of the former than later that I must admit, lol)), while working in the family business there wasn’t much motivation in going back to the eight to five kind of a life.

Anyway, it was easier to jump back onto the old boat and I am now really looking forward to getting this project off the ground. I’ve been back for three days now, and initially have totally forgotten how busy the undergrounds and the sky trains are in the morning and after work, wow… :) Looking at the photo, it looks like I needed a bra… haa haa haa, time to loose some weight then :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

More fun in Cha-am :)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

We've just got back from spending 4 days in Cha-am, one of the main reason for going back was the opening of Black Mountain Water Park (Matt has been going on and on about this place since I'd shown him the photos on the net). By the way our first day here was terrible, nothing went right for most of the day, but of course you two didn't feel a thing :)

Last Sunday we'd left BKK around eleven-ish, usually we would head straight for the hotel to check in and then leave for lunch but this time we had switched it around. So we arrived at our usual 'side of the road' restaurant by about one, they took the order and prepared the food in the usual efficient manner but this time delivered it to the wrong table.

You two were starving and that made your mother even more p^&&ed, Gio ended up having to go to their kitchen to chase up our order (which they have totally forgotten). Not long after, we'd left the place with most of our food in the foam boxes, there was not a single word of apology and to put the cherry on top, the prices of the food had also gone up, haa haa haa, your mother said she wasn't coming back here again, well that really meant 'we' are all not coming back here again.

After we'd check in and were shown to our rooms, there was another 'Oh no they didn't' moment for your mother. Gio had made it clear that she wanted two connecting rooms, and she was promised it during the booking. But they ended up giving us two rooms which were the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, let just say it wasn't connected.

Now, I don't know what happened next because I was too busy playing with the two of you, by some magic (as Matt would put it, but I think it must have been your mother's magic that did the trick) we were given better rooms at no extra costs.

After all that 'first world' problems it was time to put it all behind us and head to the beach, the sky was heavy, very overcast and the wind was picking up but luckily the rain held out. Marcella hated walking on sand, grass and stone floor, well that was pretty much ninety nine percent of the hotel, haa haa haa haa, while Matt shot off like a cheetah that had just been released onto the plains of Africa :)

The remaining of the first day was all sand, sea and pool, Matt and March was full of buzz, the new scenery have done a world of good for the both of you (not to mention your mother and I too :).

 

More fun in Chaam-08717-Edit


Day Two...

Our second day was pretty much the same as the first (apart from the shi^^y bits), very early breakfast then a swim. By about ten March went off for her morning sleep while Matt and I played on until lunch time.

After lunch we made it to another new place that had just opened, 'The Venezia Huahin', as retail space goes, it was fairly well executed, the layout and buildings were quite well done, but the contents (the shops) were very generic and could be found anywhere in Thailand. I'd guess one of the highlight is the so called canal that ran through the facility and it came with a bunch of gondolas. I didn't think much of the canal, it just looked like a long crooked swimming pool running under a few bridges (they should have used stones to build the canal).

Although it has been two months since it was opened, but some of the shop spaces were still empty and it just looked abandon, perhaps we were there during the week, there was just no life to it. However I feel once all the tenants have moved it and the crowd picks up, this could be another interesting places in Huahin. By the way we ended the day with another swimming session... (what a surprise, haa haa haa).


Day Three...

The third day started horribly, the rain was heavy and there was no sign of letting up. Matt has his heart set on Black Mountain, so after breakfast we decided to drive to it anyway (just to see where it was). When we arrived, the place was deserted, I would have gone in if there was just a single person who was mad enough to play in that kind of weather, but there was none. Sitting in the car with the screen wipers going full pelt, we'd decided to drive into Huahin to find some indoor entertainment for the both of you (Matt was full of tears...)

After a quick visit to the mall and a quick lunch, finally the sun broke through and Black Mountain was on the card again... The full price was 900 THB per adult and 600 for a child over 5, but there was a campaign on, where the adults were now paying 600 THB and a child admittance was 300 THB.

Matt and Marcella were not disappointed, the crowds were light thus one didn't have to wait for the rides, and more importantly the slides were deadly, this was the first time I had to wear a helmet and sit on a swim-ring to go down a slide. The 'Bee' slide almost gave me a heart attack, Matt and I were on the dual swim-ring (just imagine a number 8 swim-tube), Matt sat in front, I sat at the back with my legs under the Matt's arm, effectively locking him in place. We were pushed into the tunnel, which I swear was not a water slide but a functional wormhole :) It was so fast... haa haa haa haa haa.

Matt was over the moon, 'Papa that was the coolest' he said it to my pale face... 'Can we go again?', how could I have said no... and that was just our first slide. I'd wanted to go on the fast single person slide but the opportunity did not come up...

Your mother was besotted with the 'Wave' swimming pool, the waves were amazing. I have never seen Matt and March so excited, it was definitely worth it, 3 hours just washed by and soon it was time for supper.

I’d ended up taking only one photo at Black Mountain, there was no way I was going to miss out on all the fun… haa haa haa haa haa.


Day Four...

The check out time was noon, again after an early breakfast it was pool and sea time once again. We ended up leaving around one, the drive back was uneventful (just as well, lol).

I don't think we have another choice for Matt's half term break in a few months... Black Mountain here we come... :)