Found 46 blog posts with tag: sidhe

Dominionated

Wanted to play badminton after church on Sunday but I guess because it's a public holiday, the courts were locked up so we ended up going to Matt's house nearby and playing Rock Band, Raiden 3, and even Boggle.

I went over to Richard's house on Monday to try out his new board game - Agricola. The silly game took us four hours to complete, but it was kinda fun nevertheless. Maybe we'll be faster when we get better. I also snuck in some table tennis with Hsin Yao and of course the family pool and also the piano were well used that day. I led everyone in a rousing chorus of "The Tide is High"...

The next day, the rain came.

Despite the wet conditions, I met up with my workmates at Sun World in Newmarket for a delicious yum char. The place was absolutely packed and for good reason too; the food was tasty and the variety was fantastic, and all for a very reasonable $19. Jono and Charlotte went their separate ways but the Sidhe crew met up again at Bryce's house where we played Dominion and Cranium! Fun times.


End of Line

The Sidhe Christmas function this year was a two part extravaganza, the first part being Tron: Legacy and the second part being at the Ballroom, a pool lounge.

I went into Tron expecting "terrible" and I got "average". I was anticipating lying in my seat, writhing in agony but it wasn't actually the case. It was a mildly entertaining film with pretty graphics (bar Jeff Bridges in CGI) and an enjoyable soundtrack. Final verdict: not the worst two hours of my life. I have to say, though, movies aren't very social events. You're all focused on the screen and can't talk with anyone, so if we could avoid yet another movie for next year's Christmas do, that would be great. (Last year, they had 500 Days of Summer, but I was unable to attend that due to my flight to Malaysia ":(")

Following the movie, we had about an hour to kill and Surya really wanted to go to Strawberry Fare, so we gathered a small group and went. I was astounded at the number of new desserts I hadn't tried... there was a strawberries and cream one, a gooseberry dessert of some sort, the key lime pie was back, and there was a cranberry and white chocolate cheesecake, which I ordered. Absolutely fantastic.

The rest of the night was good. I played two games of pool with Jordan against Damon and Rob C, in which we were owned, twice. The remainder of my time there was catching up with various people, drinking, scoffing some pizza, just chilling and relaxing really. Being a Thursday night, there was some self-control to be exercised so most people started drifting away around 10pm so we could at least turn up to work the next day...

The last day of work was pretty uneventful, and I was just cleaning up my scripts and committing my code to the repository. We submitted the Zen Puzzle Garden update to Apple, so hopefully it'll go through review soon. We said goodbye to four of our artists by having dinner at Harem, and we learned of some surprising resignations for next year. Gasp.

The past week has been pretty hectic in terms of finding a flat to live in. After turning down the Mt Victoria property that I mentioned in my last post, we were kinda desperate to really wrap up the flat hunting situation before the end of the week. It so happened that we found another place at the bottom of Brooklyn Hill that Charlotte and I loved, and it also turned out that the landlord really wanted to get the tenancy sorted before the end of the week as well. So all in all, things aligned perfectly and now we have a really nice flat about 20 minutes walk from work and we are paying the same amount of money for it as the Mt Vic property.

Thank God for that.


December

It's December already and it is slowly hitting me that yet another year has almost gone by. Things are already starting to wrap up for Christmas, with farewell parties for people "leaving" work and a few birthday celebrations here and there. I still have photos dating back to Guy Fawke's night, I really should upload them sometime soon... Lately, I've been at Siem Reap (Friday dinner with workmates), Cha (End of year homegroup on Wednesday), Hede (Tyler's farewell), New Kor + Karaoke (Mike's farewell). I feel like going back to sleep but apparently there's some fundraising food at the Indonesian Embassy so I'll be going to that with Surya and Andrew.

Badminton is still going strong with some punishing games today; I've never felt so knackered in my life, and I don't suppose my current state of health helped at all. Even on Thursday, I had chronic hiccups which drove me insane (and probably all the people around me as well). All seems to be on the road to recovery now, so I'll sit tight and take more drugs. Bleh.


Zen Puzzle Garden



PikPok's latest game exclusively for the iPad is Zen Puzzle Garden, a game originally done for PC by Joseph White of Lexaloffle. The idea of the game is to rake the sand in the garden, but there are three rules to adhere to:
  • You will keep raking in a straight line until you hit an obstacle or the other side of the sand
  • You cannot rake over previously-raked areas
  • You must be able to rake all the sand and step off the garden at the end

I've thoroughly enjoyed working on this game, despite the various challenges that the iPad's touch screen poses to developers and game designers (maybe I'll elaborate on this another time). I've learned an immense amount from watching people play-test the game and found it interesting to compare people's natural intuitions when trying to complete the gardens.

Again, the small project team size meant I was able to have my hand in several different game domains; I was responsible for input, UI, level editing and serialisation and game logic. You can even find some hot A Star action in there somewhere. Definitely one of the highlights of my year.


Blood Driving

So after a wonderful 8 hour drive with Bryce (and Vaughan, for half the trip), I finally have my car in Wellington. The weather was sunny with a bit of cloud as we made our way down State Highway 1. At one stage, a bird flew right in front of the car and it HIT the bonnet and bounced off my windscreen >_> Survival of the fittest, eh?

This week has also been quite busy in my social calendar. James, one of our game designers, left for Canadialand today, but I caught up with him at Monsoon Poon on Monday for all-you-can-eat Firecracker Chicken (YUM!) and the Blood Drive launch party yesterday.

Blood Drive?

Blood Drive is the action-packed zombie killing game with "motorized death steeds of steel" (according to Activision's marketing team). Having been on the iPhone team for the past year, I didn't actually contribute to the game at all, but despite its idiosyncracies and the fact I don't really play driving games, I think the game looks nice and there's no doubt that the team worked incredibly hard on it. Last night was for them to celebrate its completion and to have a good time.

It was an optional-costume party, so it was entertaining to see the many zombie and zombie-hunter costumes around. I myself went as a zombie tourist (a tourist who takes pictures of zombies, not an undead tourist). Pictures in the gallery!

Today, it was Andrew's birthday so he shouted us a lunch at Leuven. Surprisingly, no one ordered mussels, but instead our meals ranged from steak and lamb rump to the fish of the day and some gigantic lamb pie in a bowl that actually looked quite impressive.

This weekend, there's Guy Fawke's on Friday, badminton and a barbeque at Charles' on Saturday, music on Sunday and all-round relaxing!


Alcohol

Alcohol is weird. I've heard it tends to amplify whatever emotions you're feeling, which might be true to some effect and certainly I've noticed this. But what I find weird is that my overall mood depends on the crowd I'm with. Last night, I was feeling pretty snarky (this could also be attributed to the stupid girls at the table next to us who were dressed like Lady Gaga clones and sounded like vuvuzelas at higher, screechier frequencies) and everything seemed to annoy me. If I had gone out for drinks with my workmates, I think I would have been a lot more jovial and social.

Anyway, it's been pretty busy for me. In among the Starcraft II achievement gathering I've been doing, I've also been writing tools for the impending Black and White release sometime next week, as well as working hard on PikPok's latest game for the iPad. It should be done soon, so uh..watch this space! ¯\(º_o)/¯

Last weekend was all about the Japanese. Friday night was the first Friday of the month, so it is customary we hang around with the other iPhone developers of Wellington at Hashigo Zake. Sunday was the Japanese Cultural Festival, which amused me greatly because I recognised so many elements just from watching Anime. There were mandalas, mochi, taiko drumming, tea ceremony demonstrations, lots of food and lots of people. Photos in the gallery whenever I can be bothered.

On Monday, being the first Monday of the month, Monsoon Poon have a deal where they serve unlimited plates of Firecracker Chicken (at least, until they run out. They ran out of 40kg of chicken in under two hours) as well as naan bread, white rice and a beer. Firecracker Chicken is a delicious dish of crispy, juicy chicken smothered with a tantalising spicy sauce. So good!


So June has gone...

It's time for the half-year status check.

I've been pretty busy with Psypoke, helping to rewrite the news system and the admin panel, both running on code written six years ago by 18 Year Old Noob Jeremy, and also the GPCT code and marketing materials which I am very proud of, for the record. That intro flash is epic <3.

Since my last blog update, we've had Queen's Birthday where Richard and his girlfriend come down to visit, as well as Jono's girlfriend and her sister, and in amongst the typical sightseeing and random Disney singalongs, we went to Strawberry Fare for a night of delectable desserts.

Sidhe celebrated its 13th birthday with a night out at the Lanes on Wakefield, where we gathered in our drunken stupor to somehow make the bowling balls and pins connect. It was a great night with fantastic food - I just could not get enough of the seafood platter of prawns, scallops and mussels. There was also breads, dips, pestos, ribs, chicken drumsticks, mini cheeseburgers, squid rings... so good.

We've also been given the first hard copies of Shatter for PC, as well as the greatest game of all, Rugby League 3 for the Wii!

Our success with Flick Kick Football continues as we hit the #1 paid app in the UK store last week, as well as good rankings in other countries. In celebration, we were taken out to Little India for lunch on Friday, as well as showered with Haribo gummi bears. Tech planning for my dream project also kicked off last week, with lots of things to do to prepare for the core programming, so we'll see how things pan out as time passes.

I've been spending an increased amount of money on food lately. We've had a few visitors from out of town and friends organising dinners and drinks...all adds up. Last week we went to Strawberry Fare on Monday. Friday was Satay Kajang and Motel. Saturday was Foxglove, One Red Dog, Hashigo Zake and the Library. Today...well, today was nice and simple, we bought lunch from the supermarket. But still! Food and friends are great.

I've updated my Gallery with photos dating as far back as May, so check them out.

And finally, I need to find accomodation within the next three weeks. ¦[


Goooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaalllll

While it's not yet officially done, we have announced the latest and hottest game for iPhone hitting the App Store sometime this month. Pik Pok Games proudly presents a thrilling and exciting game that channels the adrenaline and emotion of the Football World Cup 2010: Flick Kick Football!



Yay. It's what I've been working on for the past eight weeks or so, and while the basic principles of the game remain true to Flick Kick's branding, we've included more features that will distinguish it from the previous three Flick Kicks. A must-have for all the football nuts out there.

Also, I cannot for the life of me appear to be able to win a Starcraft match. Sigh. ._.


Power Cut

A maintenance fault cut power to most of the CBD today, resulting in mass panic and chaos as we could no longer do our work. As a result, I declared marshall law with my nerf gun and went around shooting people, only to face a posse of rogue bandits armed with their own guns. Nevertheless, their inferior spring-loaded guns proved futile against my pump-action gun.

With nothing else to do, we hunted down a ping pong ball, a two paddles, and set up the table on level 9.


This Week's Releases

Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver


Firstly, the fabled remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver are out in the US today with the Australian and New Zealand release 10 days later. Of course this means it's busy time for me and the Psypoke staff Mike and Stephen. In the past few days, our HeartGold/SoulSilver section has had several guides added to it, including game maps, TM/HM locations, a walkthrough for 16 badges, and touched up a lot of naming changes to various pages around the place. It has been a very productive weekend!

Shatter PC


Shatter, Sidhe's revolutionary brick-breaking game, is out on Steam, with my name making a brief cameo under the Special Thanks to the original Shatter team. Go and get it!

Rugby League 3 Wii


And finally, on Thursday, the long awaited Rugby League 3 is out for the Nintendo Wii. Featuring slick menus, awesome player and team customisation, and of course some classic rugby league action using the totally unembarassing Wii Remote controls, why WOULDN'T you want this game? (sorry Americans, this game is not for you)


Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year to you all, and wishing you wealth and prosperity in the year of the tiger! A bunch of us from Sidhe had yum cha at where else but Majestic Cuisine, where we proceeded to devour plates of dumplings, rice noodles, tarts and buns. Of course, I made everyone have the durian tart, and much to their surprise, it was tolerable! It was unlike anything else they had ever eaten...

It was good that Chinese New Year was yesterday and not today, because today was Epic Fail Monday. Fail #1: car rear ends another car in moderately heavy traffic outside the bus stop. Fail #2: I spent the entire day trying to get a build done to our level designer, only to have the machine have a major spazz and refuse to work. Sigh.

Nevertheless, I did manage to complete a build and deliver it, at approximately 6.45pm. It means I wasted the whole day on this instead of finishing my prototype which needs to be done by Friday... SIGH.


Sevens Weekend

Last weekend was the famous Wellington Rugby Sevens tournament, so of course the city was buzzing with lunatics in crazy costumes and whatnot - fortunately I boarded myself up at home like the antisocial programmer I am, and had a quiet weekend.

Best Sevens costume I saw:



It almost felt like summer on Sunday, so we went up to beach at Waikanae and had a jumping good time.



In other news, Flick Kick Field Goal, which is an American Football-themed version of Flick Kick Rugby and Aussie Rules was put on the free app list to coincide with the Super Bowl in the United States. Downloads skyrocketed, with the game reaching #2 in both the US and New Zealand top free apps! That's the one where I'm listed as the only programmer ^_^


Wellington, City of Eternal Winter

Arrived safely into New Zealand yesterday afternoon after a shorter-than-normal flight - it was less than 10 hours, and during that time I managed to sleep, watch the remainder of Bolt, see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Aristocats, enjoy a Nasi Lemak and horde some Ferrero Rocher.

I was surprisingly quick through New Zealand customs despite being questioned by three airport security staff. They all asked the same thing: can I see your passport (I guess...), what's in the box (an LCD monitor), and how much did it cost (dirt cheap). Was picked up by Reuben and we went to Cornwall Park to catch up with the rest of the church, who had conveniently decided to have a picnic that day.

Spent the rest of the afternoon with my sister and had dinner at her place before she dropped me at the airport for my flight back to Wellington. Unfortunately for me, Wellington had decided that summer sucks so it shrouded itself in dense fog, preventing the plane from landing and, an hour after we were supposed to land, we had to divert to bloody Palmerston North International Airport (I didn't know it was an international airport...) where Air NZ kindly put us on a very air conditioned bus back to Wellington.

Stupid city.

First day of work for the new year and not too bad really. It was really hard waking up this morning and until about 1pm I was quite groggy and not concentrating well. I think my colleagues appreciated the love letter rolls, the green tea and lemon lollies and the mango chewies. It's Spicy Food Tuesday tomorrow!


Safe and Sound, but Melting

Arrived safely last night at just before 8pm local time into the humid awesomeness of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The flight was quick, only 10 hours, and felt shorter by the fact so many good movies were on! I watched 101 Dalmations (nostalgia), G Force (adorably cute), Up (entertaining and heart warming) and half of Bolt (got cut short by the end of the flight). There were so many kids on the plane though, it was really annoying. This kid in front of me kept looking back and throwing his toys on the ground so I had to pick them and I just wish I could have backhanded him, or something. Sigh.

Anyway, the work Christmas party was on Wednesday at Park Road Post out in Miramar, and while I couldn't stay for very long, it was cool just chilling out and having some delectable snacks (eg, grilled prawns) and a bit of wine to accompany. I had to leave before the movie, but I was told it was 500 Days of Summer.

And yes I have Internet access, yay! So I'll probably be online in the mornings while I'm waiting for things to get in motion for the day.


Sidhe's Latest iPhone Games!

Introducing FlickKick Rugby and FlickKick Aussie Rules, the latest in Sidhe's iPhone lineup under the brand PikPok!

Yes you will find my name there under the credits. I made a small contribution in programming the camera (i.e., the field of view, the ball tracking, etc) as well as other miscellaneous bug fixes. Download it from AppStore for NZ$2.59 or US$1.99


FlickKick Rugby

FlickKick Aussie Rules


Site Woes

Since the other website I secretly work on is down, I thought I should come crawling back to this thing and post some stuff. I have a lot of photos on my phone I need to upload as well...

Anyway, something is definitely up with IGN's webservers because it's been down for the past two days. We found some malicious scripts in two of the PHP files which I managed to remove, but who knows what else has been compromised. Sigh. In any case, I can still work on it I guess, it's just that there's nothing to show for it.

Let's see, in the past three weeks:

There was an awesome fireworks display over Wellington Harbour on Guy Fawkes' Day. It was damn cold and really windy, but we were sitting by the back end of Te Papa so it slightly sheltered. We got to lean back against the concrete wall and watch the spectacular pyrotechnics in the sky.

There was the All Whites Victory Celebration and the Santa Parade. It was boring. There were three things that interested me: Snoopy, Pikachu and the adorable corgis. Oh, and I'm really happy for the All Whites, but I don't care much for soccer sport in general, so meh.

Sidhe celebrated two shipped projects (Madagascar Kartz and Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5) and two submitted projects (Rugby League 3...and one I can't say but it's for iPhone and I worked on it) with yet another ethanol-filled night at Red Square. Lasers were included, as well as a generous bar tab, thanks to securing more work for us. Yay employment!

Got invited out for a wonderful lunch at this couple's house in Titahi Bay last Sunday. I totally miss home cooked food. The wife is a magnificent baker - the Tiffany cake is for royalty. Besides that, it was cool to listen to their stories. They've certainly had some fantastic experiences, including a three week voyage over the Pacific Ocean from Auckland to Miami (back in the days when air travel was super expensive). A few years ago, they even got a photo with the then junior senator of Illinois... Barack Obama!

After a big lunch, we went for a walk on the beach. The sand was so perfect and untouched, I felt the urge to write in it.



Of course, this led to discussion about parabolas, trignometry, differentiation...all part of a normal day's work.


Labour Weekend

Phew!

I love long weekends. Not only do you get more time to goof off and do non-work related activities, it also means the next weekend comes closer. Four day week yay!

Anyway, I got given some camera work to do on Sidhe's latest iPhone game - just making sure the camera clearly displays all the necessary game objects. Interesting stuff! Stay tuned for the big reveal.

Mat was down for Labour Weekend, mostly for the Formula 1 exhibit at Te Papa, but of course to visit me and catch up. Apart from Te Papa, we also went up the Cable Car and walked around the Botanical Gardens, as well as went to Strawberry Fare on both nights he was down, and visited Wellington Zoo. Pictures in the gallery!


It's Still Winter

We've been having a bout of rather inclement weather, with heavy rain and chilling winds still present in mid-October. Nevertheless, I've still had time to go out and socialise with various people along the way, so all is good.

Last week, I was up in Wadestown wat Katrina and Carmel's for their combined birthdays. I love going to their house, with their awesome selection of teas (I had feijoa tea!) and fantastic home-made goods like Doom Cookie (contains chocolate chips, grated chocolate, rolled oats and delicious), pesto and freshly-baked bread. The weather wasn't fantastic so the fireplace was on. So magical.

Charlotte was also down that weekend, and being the cute fuzzy animal lover that she is, we went to visit the pet store in Thorndon where she proceeded to baby-talk the adorable puppies there. Mmmyeah.

We had a farewell party for one of my workmates, Chris, who's leaving to be with his wife girlfriend in Australia, last night, at Matt, Pete and Owen's. Pete and Owen were doing a 24 hour video game marathon to raise funds for kids with cancer, so they were the centrepiece in the lounge. After watching them fail miserably in Devil May Cry, Megaman and Ninja Gaiden, we busted out Super Smash Bros Melee for the next five hours. At 5am, it was time for Chris to say his final farewells, so we left and dropped him at the airport, before dropping three others in town. I was peckish...well, I was starving, so I picked up some breakfast at McDonalds before heading home and passing out.


October

It's finally October and the year has gone by so quickly. Winter is technically over, but today's blustery conditions tells me otherwise (Thanks Wellington). Even typing this now, I can hear the wind howling outside, bringing a chilly southerly to sweep the streets of the city.

Anyway, Hot Wheels™ Battle Force 5™ has supposedly been sent out the door, which means we're just sitting tight and waiting for feedback. We're still playtesting this - it's really good and I like the story mode, but it's easily clockable in a few hours. The theme music is cool though! Rugby League 3 on the other hand is still there, just waiting for publisher dramas to resolve. Meanwhile, most of the programmers have been pulled onto research and development projects.

On the Pokemon front, HGSS was released a few weeks ago and I've been busy hacking away. Apart from the standard Pokemon stats, attack information, level-up attacks, breeding moves, trainer information, etc, I've also managed to learn from Eevee at veekun how to parse sprite data, which is something completely new for me, and provided a good challenge over the weekend. There's still things I don't know but I'm learning!


Quiet

So yeah it's been pretty quiet at work, with us just waiting on issues from the publisher to be resolved. I haven't been doing many things, just fixing French translation bugs as they come through, random asset drops, whatever. So finally today, I got told I'd be moving to a new project! Finally, something to do.

Last Saturday there was a rave party at Matt, Pete and Owen's. With lasers and glowsticks. And there was a smoke machine too, but unfortunately that was not working. Party was good until about 11.30pm when it got a bit awkward, but I had music practice the next morning so I didn't stay too long after that.

Raymond and Nancy are down for a visit, so I'm meeting them for lunch tomorrow with Peter and Laura. Maybe we can organise Strawberry Fare as well! Yay!! I'll be home alone this weekend so it'll be a good time to cook some good food. Today, I made tom yum with loads of prawns and mussels!

And finally, the other big news is that Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver are out this weekend, but I'm lurking at /v/ to see if there are ROM leaks. For research. Really.


Over Overtime

It appears that overtime is slowly phasing out, so tentantive rejoicing. The game hasn't shipped yet because we're still waiting for some issues to be resolved on the publisher's side, so in the meantime, most of us are just sitting at work, testing and playing the game and fixing bugs as they come through.

Boooorrrrrrring.

Derek's last day at work was last Thursday, so we farewelled him with lunch at Viva Mexico, and then Friday Starcraft, Friday drinks (2 for 1 at Blend lol) and Karaoke at New Kor. While it was all really fun, I prefer my karaoke to be a bit more "structured" per say - I can sing, but I can't yell and it pretty much turned into an alcohol-fuelled yelling match. Which was not optimal, but hey, we had some good group singalongs with Eye of the Tiger, Bohemian Rhapsody and A Whole New World.

I was involved with the Youth Band at church last Sunday, where we led the service. They sound really good and just need some polish for perfection. I switched music teams, so this coming Sunday I'm on the piano again (for the third Sunday in a row). Not that I mind, I just lose that extra hour of sleep on Sunday mornings!

Oh yes, I'm also looking to go back to Malaysia over Christmas/New Year's because my grandparents are celebrating their 90th and 80th birthdays in January. It's going to be great, I haven't been back to Malaysia since the beginning of 2003, and I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to taste all the delicious food back home.

Speaking of food, thanks to no overtime, I've been able to cook for the first time in what seems like a month. On Saturday night I had steamed tofu, stir fried bak choy and carrots, and apricot chicken! And because I could, I bought some bacon and had that for lunch on Sunday. By bacon, I mean the deliciously crunchy kind, not the soggy types you get on burgers or whatever. Soooo good.


And The Game I've Been Working On....



For the Nintendo Wii, due out sometime within the next few months! Look at my beautiful Team Options menu. *tear*


Shatter released!

Shatter is now available on the PlayStation Network for download. Be sure to check out the cool soundtrack too!

<a href="http://sidhe.bandcamp.com/album/shatter-official-videogame-soundtrack">Kinetic Harvest by Sidhe</a>

And also, thanks to Matt:



TEEHEE :D


Latest Gaming

In anticipation of Starcraft II's release at the end of the year, I decided I should take up Starcraft again, so I began from the very first mission on the original Starcraft and have begun working my way through each chapter in the Terran campaign. I'm currently up to the one where you have to destroy the Ion Cannon, if those Starcrafters can remember how far along in the story that is.

I've also become increasingly addicted to iSketch, an online Pictionary game where you're given a word from a themed word bank, and your friends guess what you draw. I've been playing with my friends at Psypoke, so we've gone for the Pokemon theme, naturally, where we have proceeded to draw the most horrifying and mangled 4-bit coloured Pokemon you could ever see. Observe my Koffing doing a Smog attack:



Yeah.

On Friday, while waiting for our Beta build to finish, I played my game for the first time. And even though it's not really my kind of game, I had fun (gasp). I have to say, I prefer the GameCube button combinations more than the Wiimote movement, simply because the tactile feedback is immediate and you know exactly when you've executed a particular move. Because we support GameCube controllers, up to eight people can play at once, so I do recommend it..but yeah, I still can't tell you what it is.

We had some people over on Friday night just to hang about and play some games. Sunni brought her PS2 over so I got to play a RETAIL COPY of Rugby League 2, World Cup Edition for the first time. I watched the credits (yay) and did the magic unlock all cheat to view the photos we took during production. Overall the game wasn't too bad, of course there were lots of improvements that could have been made (especially that customisation bug, Peter) but Dave and Chris seemed to enjoy it anyway.

Andrew and Mel had their combined farewell dinner at Mac's Brewery on Saturday night, but for some reason I was feeling rather antisocial and didn't really want to talk to anyone. I mean, the atmosphere was good and the food was pretty good too, but I just didn't feel like opening my mouth to converse. I was lucky Chris gave me a ride home, otherwise I would have had to bus through the dark, wet, cold Wellington night to go home early and sleep.

And finally today, Andrew and Sunni got baptised in our apartment pool. I'm really glad for them, but it just seemed weird for Jono and Matt to officiate it and have it in our pool. I guess I'm used to seeing it done in a church pool..haha. Nevertheless, a baptism is a baptism and I support them in their decision to declare Jesus as their Saviour, so congratulations to you both, if you ever get off Facebook and read this.


Moving On Up

We've moved up in the world and upgraded from the Fortress... to the Villa.

Yes that's right, we are now residing in what we have nicknamed the Villa, which is an apartment block 50 metres down the road from the fortress. We pay $30 more each week but in return we get a nice modern apartment, definitely feeling the warmth, and it comes with a dishwasher, fridge, dryer, carpark, and free access to a heated indoor lap pool and a gym. So awesome. We spent all of yesterday shifting our belongings in the cold, wet, windy Wellington weather, but with much help from Jono's family friend who had a Hilux, we were able to spare ourselves total freezing by piling all the big stuff into the boot and carting it over.

All's well that ends well.

And certainly it ended well with a night at Strawberry Fare! I met up with my home group at 8pm, I was totally starving after not eating since lunchtime, and I greedily ordered a garlic bread for myself while the waitress took our dessert order. Turns out she didn't give our order to the kitchen until about 30 minutes later, and she was so apologetic about it and felt really bad, so she gave us a round of FREE HOT CHOCOLATE, YAY!! And on TOP of that, we had an entertainment card worth 25% discount, so a garlic bread, hot chocolate and a lemon chocolate cheesecake came out to $11.75 for that night.

On Friday night we celebrated Sidhe's 12th birthday with an open bar tab at Red Square. And I got totally hammered, I had something pretty bad and got a headache around 10pm, incapacitating me for the rest of the night. So damn embarrassing. When the bar tab ran out, we relocated to the Terrace for yet more drinking. That's two weeks in a row! >_>

This week coming up is our last week before Alpha, so it's going to be pretty full on. At the end of it, I can enjoy a nice three day weekend in Auckland over Queen's Birthday.


May

Time sure flies by when you're doing overtime two or three days a week. There's a lot of work to do at work, and on Monday we'll be officially four weeks to Alpha. Following that, another four weeks to Beta and another four to Gold Master, so there isn't a lot of time at all before the game ships. No I can't tell you what it is yet. But on the brightside, things are settling down, we've got a very clear indication of exactly what needs to be done, it's just that in our time frame, things are going to be quite hard pressed.

Anyway, that doesn't meant I've been at home all the time, I've been out socialising. Tuesday nights have become our drinks night, so we pick a pub and hang out for a couple of hours there. Two Fridays ago, in celebration of Dave and Andy's birthdays we went to the Southern Cross for dinner (although Jono and I went to HK BBQ to supplement our meals) and the next day, to Castle Point for a one night camping trip.

Castle Point's a small community about 2.5 hours northeast of Wellington. It's on the east coast just out from Masterton, and boasts some magnificent scenery, some interesting rock structures and a working lighthouse! The best parts about the camping trip were firstly, the drive up where we just sang along to epic Disney songs, and secondly, the weather was fantastic (as opposed to the cold and the rain south of the Rimutakas). Lots of fun, and of course there are photos on the way.


I'm Not Dead Yet

I've been incredibly busy with lots and lots of things.

Firstly, my Pokemon website Psypoke got a huge overhaul with a completely new template and a new backend that hopefully futureproofs the site for Generation 5, if that exists. The Great Refactor was an idea I had in November that actually carried through, so the code is nice and tidy, and the template has been sitting there for six years or so, so it was nice to have a fresh new look for Pokemon Platinum's release.

Secondly, I've been doing a bit of overtime at work - two weeks ago, I did four days of overtime with both good and bad meals to compensate. Microwaved food is seriously disgusting. The meal I had was named "Delicious Chicken Breast" and it should have been called "It's A Trap". There's been a huge amount of indecisiveness over the way that the menus and the UI are designed, and the UI coders suffer as a result. We're getting so much work piled on us, we'll be doing three days of overtime next week and three more the week after.

Thirdly, last weekend, I went with some friends to the 'Naki where we stayed at someone's grandparents place, only to get up at 7am the next day and scale the steep heights of Mt Taranaki. And omg, it was one hell of a climb. I was so incredibly unfit, I was struggling each step of the way. What made it really bad was a section of the mountain was just scree (loose rocks) so you'd take a step and slide down. I kept complaining about negative progress and whatnot, but four and a half hours later I was standing on top of the mountain, over 2.5km above sea level. The view was shrouded by clouds but in the gaps there was the splendour of the New Zealand landscape, seeing as far east as Central Plateau itself. My annual exercise for the year can now be checked off and I can mark this as an achievement to be proud of.

We had some spare money in our flat account, so we hit the town and went to a classy restaurant on Cuba St called the Matterhorn, where I had an awesome steak and shared some Bordeaux wine with my flatmates. Steak is my hero, it makes me calm.

A few weeks ago, we also had the annual Newtown Fair, where I bought some delicious ginger fudge, that I still haven't touched because I feel bad for eating so much bad food :(

And finally, I am officially a New Zealand citizen. Take that Winston Peters!


Friday Fail

Okay yeah, I've been pretty much working on the BIG SECRET EXCLUSIVE SITE every night of the week, so of course that means blogging gets pushed out.

Anyway, Friday Fail is a term used by our senior programmer, Steve, on Fridays when we meet for our daily meeting at the couch area at work, and browse FailBlog. Steve left us on Tuesday, and now there is a failure of Friday Fail, and as a result, team morale was lower than usual and heaps of things ended up breaking.

Last week, in recognition of Steve leaving, we booby trapped our game for his last Show and Tell. He demonstrated our progress on the game and spoke about the various changes we made. As he wrapped up, we got him to go back to the main menus and *bam*, we sprung a picture of him in his "underpants costume" from Halloween (this was from his old work place), accompanied by Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On". Needless to say, his mouth gaped open for a good half minute and he scurried off stage. We'll miss you, Steve.

Show and Tell usually happens on a Friday, but as you're all aware, last week was Waitangi Weekend, so immedately after Show and Tell I had to rush to the airport and catch a flight back to Auckland. As tradition stands, I made a beeline to Momo Tea in Mt. Albert, and hung out with my youth group, having some hearty food and some delicious drinks.

Friday morning I had music practice, and following that, Bob's unsurprise barbeque at Ray's place. This pretty much lasted the whole day, with some awesome food and lots of Rock Band. No Stephen, this was the PS3 version so we didn't play Still Alive. We played some outdoor badminton too, until we started getting attacked by the mosquitos. Towards the end of the night, we hung out for more drinks at EasyWay and played last card, until we were pretty much sick of last card and headed our seperate ways.

On Saturday I pretty much lazed around, but in the afternoon I met up with Mat and Will and took a stroll around Albert Park, just observing the lanterns and inhaling the wonderful aromas of the roadside food. It was a gloriously hot day, and I am often reminded about the surprisingly large temperature difference between Auckland and Wellington.

I spent Saturday night with family for our reunion dinner, which I would say was the main purpose of the trip. I dunno, I kinda feel very sentimental about these things, I was a bit disappointed about missing Chinese New Year last year. Family's important to me, and reunion dinner is just one of those symbolic meals that you share with family, a bit like how Christmas is so important to some people.

Sunday was pretty much church and lunch at (where else) Ha Long, before I caught up with my sister, who insisted on showing me various painted windows, her coffee table, her new laptop and her photo board. And before long, it was time to head back to the airport and start the journey back to Wellington. Sigh.


Google Friend Connect

I installed Google Friend Connect for my site, which took 10 minutes, and spent another few hours or so thinking up some creative ways of displaying it on the site. It problem is that its minimum width is 200 pixels, but my right navigation bar on my blog is 160 pixels. So I tried to float it and have some animations for it to pop out onmouseover, and blahblah, those didn't go so well, so I settled for the immediate effect and that works quite well. What's surprising is that I didn't have to tweak it for IE at all.

Anyway, in the past week, I've been to Momo's three times, been busy at work doing menu and UI coding, played a pretty good amount of DotA and generally slacked off with that secret website that I am working on.

There's two more weeks until I leave for Auckland. It's going to be an awesome Christmas time \o/


November News

Okay I haven't died yet, it's just been pretty boring on the news front for the blog.

Let's see, I've spent the last two weeks practically home alone: two flatmates in the South Island, one in Australia for a week, means one Jeremy at home cooking delicious food for himself, and playing absurd amounts of DotA. Not that either of these things are bad. I brought DotA to work on my iPod in the hope I could attract some interest and get my workmates to play as well.

I had a flatwarming for three of my workmates last night too. They live about 20 minutes up the road from me, so maybe I'll see them on the bus or walking home or something. But it was a pretty cool party, got to hang out with people and socialise and stuff. Woo~. Got caught by the rain as I went home, but luckily the bus was on time and I managed to minimise the wetness.

I've been doing a lot of web development lately. I fixed some spam bot problem with my Shoutbox a few minutes ago, and I thought I'd blog about something that's been infuriating me for the past few weeks.

The majority of the world have this program installed on their machines and actively use this malicious application. I do not know the exact numbers, but whatever the statistics are, it is far too much for people to being using such filth every day.

I am, of course, talking about Internet Explorer.

Who the hell at Microsoft decided to make a substandard browser with so many security flaws and a blatant disregard for web coding standards just to piss developers off? Morons. Absolute bloody morons.

In this site I've been working on (You know the one, Stephen :O), I have this search box that appears onmouseover, and it disappears when you click outside the box, but should remain visible when clicking inside the box. The easiest way to implement this was to cancel the bubbling effect that events have, that is, clicking inside a table will trigger its onclick, its parents onclick and continue up the chain until there are no more onclick handlers.

So, if the table onclick is specified and the event.returnValue parameter is set to false, I can use this value to prevent subsequent calls to the onclick handler. Thus, when it gets to the body onclick, inside the handler, I just return prematurely if event.returnValue is false.

Yup, that's all great. Works wonderfully on Firefox. This behaviour also works on Internet Explorer too...oh, wait. Hold on a second. By specifying that the event's returnValue is now false in Internet Explorer, all onclick handlers no longer work. That means onclicks for anchor tags and submit buttons. What kind of stupid system is that?

I resorted to using the following code:


<script type="text/javascript">
var eventHandled = new Array();
function myFunction(event) {
    if (eventHandled[event.type])
        return;

    eventHandled[event.type] = true;
}
</script>

<body onclick="myFunction(event); eventStates = new Array();">

<table onclick="myFunction(event);">
    <tr>
        <td>No Click</td>
        <td><div onclick="myFunction(event);">Click</div></td>
    </tr>
</table>


Clicking on the innermost <div> with "Click" calls myFunction. myFunction sets eventHandled["onclick"] to be true, and prevents bubbling up by halting execution of the onclick in the <table> and <body> tags. Finally at the <body> tag, the states are reset to ensure that the next onclick can be processed. Phew!

Stupid Internet Explorer.

(PS: I should look at getting some syntax highlighting...)


In Stores Now!



Buy your copy now, and I'll autograph it for free!


Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

As the poem goes, the city of Wellington celebrated Guy Fawkes Day with a fantastic display of pyrotechnics streaming from the harbour.



But for some, these fireworks meant more than watching a myriad of chemicals combust in the sky. These fireworked heralded a change. A change that attracted the interest of the entire globe as we followed the US Presidential Race during the later hours of the afternoon, until its pinnacle as Senator Barack Obama claims the 44th Presidency of the United States of America, defeating rival John McCain, 338 electoral college votes to 156. It is certainly a phenomenal landmark in the history books as America gets set to crown its first African-American President.

But of course, my project team and I were busy discussing important matters at our team meeting.



¬.¬


Photo Dump!

Time to clear out some photos from my phone. As I said on Monday, we celebrated the announcement of Rugby League 2: World Cup Edition, my first game at Sidhe Interactive. The company took us out for some nibbles and drinks. Meet the team!

The whole team


Some of the coders


Those Wellingtonians seemed pretty happy that they beat Auckland for that Ranfurly Shield, so they held a parade for the players.



I was owned by the bus strikes on Wednesday and arrived at work 30mins late, so that night, I planned to stay at the Hub and walked to work the next morning. Good weather for it as well! On Friday night, I met with Jono and Dave at this Malaysian restaurant where we had the awesomest grilled prawns. A bit pricey, and not very big portions, but delicious.



Today, music at church - daylight savings meant I had to get up at what was really 7am. Then I met Laura for yum char at Majestic. I need to stay awake and not nap to keep this sleep schedule intact.


SHIPPED

We got the announcement that the game we've been working on for the PS2 finally got the green light from our publishers.

So that means that at the end of October or the beginning of November, you can go out into New Zealand stores and buy a copy of my first game.

That's right, you can play the game, flick to the credits and point and shout when my name appears on screen.

While personally, it's not my kind of genre, I wholeheartedly endorse and promote this game to give you a fantastic gaming experience.

And without further delay, Sidhe Interactive presents...


Bad Start to the Week

Some things I forgot to mention last week: I saw Hamish Carter, Olympian, Gold Medallist and Auckland Grammar old boy, at the BNZ Food Court. He was buying sushi. I wanted to say hi to him but I was too shy and he was talking to someone else and it would have been cool to get a picture with him in retrospect but there were so many people around I would have looked really stupid and touristy and Azn.

Speaking of Azn, I got interviewed by some Azn magazine so if you see my mug somewhere, you'll know why. She asked me if the Government should be spending more money on the defense force.

Anyway, it has been a pretty bad start to the week. Yesterday I spent the whole day battling with freaking Metrowerksfail over some stupid access paths problem. Apparently, if you have two files of the same name but in different directories, and each of the directories are in your access paths, they are treated as duplicates. What a load of fail.

Following that, I played pretty badly at badminton. I was just smashing the shuttlecock in anger most of the time :p

Today I was just fixing some stupid sound problem and it boiled down to nothing to do with sound, but rather the directories in which the resources were located. Blah.


Misconduct

I slept at work today :O Legitimately, you could say. Basically, we're shifting the place around so that people in project teams are closer to each other, and it's easier to communicate or whatever. Anyway, shifting means unplugging computer; unplugging computer means I can't do work; if I have no work to do... I sleep :O



After work, I met up with the others at Char Bar for the pub quiz. We didn't do too badly this time round: our name was In Soviet Russia, Quiz Answers You!. And we weren't DFL either, so that was great.

We decided to end the night by having rock melon milk tea with pearls at HK BBQ.



Balloooons

Someone on my project team left the company on Friday, so we had a thing for him to celebrate his time at Sidhe. As usual, we had our obligatory company trivia quiz, and since he was from Norway, the inevitable question was "Who created the fjords in Norway?". No, my team didn't get it right. Yes, I'm sorry.

Anyway, here's a photo of some of the events that transpired that night. It was a balloon popping game.



On Saturday, I binged on a $6 bag of sour gummi lollies, including sour apple rings, sour watermelon rings, sour peach rings and sour coke bottles. And two mega snakes. Insert diabetes here.

On Saturday night we went to the other flat for a cultured wine and cheese night. To some people's dismay, there was more cheese than wine, but Bjorn didn't seem to mind. It was a really good night, despite the cacophony that was John and Matt talking in French.

Today I went with Jono to Central Baptist for a proper service, and yeah it was really good. I think I'll stay. I even managed to slip in that I was interested in the piano ¬_¬ And we're looking to join a home group as well. I guess we'll see how that goes.


Easter

It was indeed a fantastic time catching up with friends and family as I travelled back to Auckland for Easter. I left for Wellington Airport at around 10.45am to catch the bus from Wellington Hospital at 11.15am. I arrived at the airport with about an hour to spare so I just lazed about and walked around. The flight left early and only took 45 minutes, so I was out of Auckland's domestic terminal by 2.15pm. Shereen picked me up and we headed to the Hunua Falls.

We didn't do much on Friday. It was basically unpacking, team and cabin allocations, team building exercises including a blind obstacle course, some brain teasers and a team chant. I was the leader of my team: the Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Raymond and Quan were our guest speakers.

Saturday was a rotation of four activities: kayaking, raft building, high ropes course and random games. I was stupid enough to wear my glasses while kayaking and as a result, they're sitting somewhere at the bottom of the crater lake where the waterfall spills into. Sigh. But anyway, I did have fun the rest of the day, despite the fact it was the second time I've lost my glasses in two months. We also had a guys' discussion and had some "manly" games. I can't believe how stubbornly competitive I am.

On Sunday we had a treasure hunt, a Burma trail, a barn dance, theatre sports and epic Mafia. My apologies to the committee for being so cynical during the Burma trail, haha. But yeah, it was a good night, I got to roleplay Phoenix Wright (to a certain extent) and of course, the other activities brought a smile to my face.

Yesterday we cleaned up the site and Debs and I left early to go to Burgerfuel for lunch (despite the 10% surcharge, it was so worth it), and then I dropped by home to see Dad and my sister.

So today I stumbled to work; tired from four days of fun, blind from no glasses and limping thanks to..um... certain manly games. It was a really nice surprise to see an Easter goodies box sitting on my desk: two Moro bars and two Cadbury Easter eggs. I shall add this to my collection.


Epic Long Weekend

Let's start chronologically. You'll never guess what I did on Sunday.



Yeah, there were four of us: me, Laura, Laura's friend and Laura's friend's friend's boyfriend's friend.

Anyway, after that, we went to Mt Victoria - pictures in the gallery. It was such a windy day, we kept getting blown around. The view was awesome though, however it was a pity we couldn't see the South Island. We saw quite a few planes going in and out of the airport - it's really weird when you're walking by the mountain and suddenly you see a plane at the same altitude as you.

This week was the last week for our sprint (Basically, a task period) at work, so we were trying to finish off all our tasks. I think I was pretty productive this week, I managed to achieve a lot of things that I didn't have any idea of a week ago.

Yesterday I celebrated a friend's birthday, but I also mourned the loss of a family friend. It really was a hilly day yesterday. My heart goes out to all those affected... I'm sorry I can't make the funeral and I guess it's just lame timing.

Tomorrow.. I leave for Auckland at 1.15pm, arriving 2.15pm. It'll be awesome seeing everyone again, and I know I'll have a great Easter camp with my youth group.


A Week to Go

It's less than a week to Easter, which means I get to fly back to Auckland to visit my youth group and my parents. It also means our current sprint for work is wrapping up, so I'd better finish all my work!

Today we had a flat barbeque, for no apparent reason whatsoever. But it's always good to have a flat barbeque. At least there wasn't any dancing this time. Rather, we played Mafia! Hooray. We had a twist on the game where we only two of the sheriff, doctor and sniper would be active, but it would be random and no one would know which one had been left out. So it makes it interesting when someone attempts to pass themselves off as something they aren't. Yeah, it was quite intense, but Jono kept making the wrong decisions and I think the Mafia got away with a lot more than they should have.

Oh yeah, as a followup to my last post, the three most common responses to the story have been:
3. Sleeping? And listening to your iPod? Let me note this down
2. So, the bridge you say? I think I'll go check it out some time
1. You said WHAT? You should have said "I'm taken, but here's my friend's number!"


It's been a while

Yeah, been busy. Kinda.

Firstly, I finished Apollo Justice, which was great, because it means I'm not staying up past 1am playing the cases. Final verdict: Mmm, good game, good story, but still not as epic as Phoenix Wright. The characters might take a while getting used to, but overall, not too bad. I'll get the fifth game when it comes out.

Secondly, Debs was down in Wellington last weekend with Denise for my birthday, which was really nice. We had some much-missed Burgerfuel for lunch. Yes, we drove all the way to Lower Hutt. It was so worth it. Check the gallery for some pictures.

Let's see... I got an umbrella hat, a "There's no place like 127.0.0.1" shirt, some comfy house slippers for winter and a screen protector for my phone. Apart from the umbrella hat, all very useful presents. ¬_¬

Since then, it's just been work, work, work. Yesterday we got cake and cookies. Today, I almost fell asleep in a meeting, I was so tired. I'm glad it's the weekend \o/


Sidhe Interactive

Today kinda reinforced how cool my job is. I mean, apart from the gaming and the coding (which are two of my biggest passions), we get perks. Perks like...

1. Free soft drinks. Our soft drinks fridge was restocked today. I had a Schwepps ginger beer, and it was so good.
2. Brownies. We got brownies today. And they were delicious. Absolutely delicious. Being near the food table means I have ready access.
3. Ice cream. We got ice cream on a cone today. And it was hokey pokey and neopolitan. It was a pretty hot day, and ice cream is pretty awesome on a hot day.

Sidhe is awesome.


Walking Home

I walked home for the second day in a row. It was a really good walk..until it started raining. Then it became a run. A not-so-good run. But at least I ran home in time to play DotA, which is always good. Yesterday, though, I stumbled upon this cute little thing:





It was so cute. I clicked my finger and it bounded towards me, all happy to see me, so I patted it...while trying to take another picture. It wouldn't face the camera though, but you can see my hand extending out to scratch it. So cute 8d

I finally got put on a project at work. So starting Monday, I actually have some hard-out things to do! Hooray. No more extensive reading of the Intranet Wiki. I also got to know some of the QA Team on the 9th floor. One of them has this:



Epic, epic win. It's so cute T_T.

Anyway, we also had a company quiz after work, because one of the guys was leaving. We didn't do too badly, we came second out of five teams. One of the categories was "Wellington" -.- and another category was "Southland". In the end, our prize was $15 to spend at a bar of our choice, and we gave that to the guy who left in the spirit of..his..leaving. Or something. Yeah.


First Week

So it's the end of my first week at work. Good week, I'd say. Still training...I've been working on this application that animates shapes, just to get used to the company style of coding and its conventions, and all that. It's a bit slow though, because everyone's busy and all, and no one really has time to assess my work immediately, as such.

Anyway, I was introduced to everyone at show-and-tell on Friday. It was a "We have a new person, Jeremy Lai, he's standing over there" and a "...Hi..." in response. Eh. But show-and-tell is great, I got to see a bit of the projects currently in progress, and I can tell you now that they're really awesome. If I had a console, I would buy those games :O </shameless plugging>

I also had dinner with Ritu on Friday night, at an Indian restaurant. And that was nice, because she's like one of three people I know in the city. I should have taken a picture of what I ate (because that seems to be the thing with my CS friends) but I forgot. I had mango chicken, with a spicy level of "Indian hot", as opposed to "Kiwi hot". Yeah, it was pretty hot :p

As I walked around the train station, waiting for Ritu's train to arrive, I saw this epic failure:


Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing you all a safe, prosperous and peaceful year of the Rat in 2008!

Anyway, I finally got my new pair of glasses today from OPSM. They feel very light and...omg I can totally see everything now -.- So for future reference, in case I forget, my powers are 150 left and 100 right.

Also, I walked home today. Health++;
In jeans. Comfort--;
Via a scenic route. Health++;
With lots of hills. Comfort--;
But it was nice and sunny (a huge change from the last few days) so overall, it was a good walk. I doubt I will be doing that again, at least not in jeans.

Anyway, it's nearing the end of my first week at work. I'm still training - I've just been programming a competency test and revising/refactoring my code so it conforms with company standards, and also learning how to make it well structured and extensible and all that jazz. Got to meet a few new faces today (because I have to report to the HR Manager tomorrow with their names).


PROPER INTERNET

Well yes, it’s been a really long time now. When I last posted, I was paying 1c per kilobyte (Thanks Vodafone!) for using my phone as a modem. As a result, Vodafone think I owe them $150, but I’m certainly not paying and I intend to sort it out once and for all after Waitangi Day (Yes I have tried calling 777). BUT YAY INTERNET AT HOME!

Anyway, yes I did arrive safely in Wellington. It did indeed take us 10 hours from Auckland. We stopped over in Taupo for a quick toilet break (The lake was a beautiful rich blue colour), Turangi for fish and chips, and some random long drop on the side of the road about an hour out for Wellington (Ugh. I was lucky I had a blocked nose). Yeah, blocked nose. I ended up suffering from exhaustion and then a cold upon arriving, which was not ideal, but hey.

So yeah, I settled in alright, got everything set up. My parents were with me on Thursday morning and we took a quick ride up the cable car, went to the optometrist, explored Cuba Street…then they took off for Taupo (overnight stay, then Auckland on Friday). For the rest of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I was just wandering around Wellington. Lots of interesting people were walking around for the Sevens. Went for a walk around the Botanical Gardens, went to Te Papa, saw the Beehive, walked around the city. I had Nasi Lemak at K.K. Malaysian Restaurant, Wellington :3 Sunday I just lazed at home (too much walking) but my flatmate Bjorn took me to church that night.

I walked in to the church with Bjorn and it immediately reminded me of WCCC. Very large, lots of people. I’d say almost everyone was under 30, and I was probably one of three Asians. We were a bit late, so I only caught two of the worship songs, but the second one we sang was “I stand in awe of you”, which was reassuring and comforting for its familiarity. I remember sitting in the chairs, listening to the sermon, feeling very reclusive and thinking about how I miss the friendliness of KCC, and how it’s nice and small and simple and so welcoming. I mean, it’s great that everyone’s so enthusiastic about God and worship here, but it just kinda creeped me out. I really want to find a small community church…I guess I feel less intimidated. Anyway, we didn’t stay long. I had a big day the next day…

Yeah so Monday was my first day at work. Sidhe is a really cool place. I walk in, and there’s people doing some hardcore programming, people in team meetings, people who have put aside their computer and instead are playing around with their creations on a Nintendo Wii. Like, seriously. We get to play with what we write :D I spent most of the day reading documentation and company policies and conventions and stuff like that, so it was kinda boring, and I was falling asleep towards the afternoon. But they sorted me out, and the next day I was completing a competency test (an extension to what I did when I applied for the job) just to make sure I had practice using the naming conventions and commenting styles. I was also given some homework, so I really should be learning all about C++ Templates and STL.

Anyway, I’m really glad I finally have Internet access. It’s like a connection to the world, to friends and family back in Auckland. It feels a little more relaxing and it certainly helps me to settle in better. I think once I get my new pair of glasses on Thursday, I’ll feel more confident too.

Pictures of Epic Win: