A Whole New World

Posted by: nekogalin Personal
29
Dec

Oh boy, it’s been a really long time huh? This year has been a real roller-coaster ride for me. I left my earlier job of 8 years, spent 2 months looking for a job, and finally found one in the building right next to my old office. Oh ironies of ironies!

I shall not dwell on the reasons that led to my sudden decision to give up the comforts of my old job, since I don’t think it’s ethical to talk bad about your previous employer on such a public place like the Internet. Let’s just say I had great passion for my job, and the 8 years I spent there were definitely the most memorable times of my life. Although I miss my old comrades terribly, I’m more and more convinced that I made the right choice. I was getting too comfortable for my own good. This realization hit me each and every time I went for an interview. I needed more challenges, technically and career-wise. I was also too dependent on my leader of that time, who acted as the big brother for the rest of us, and it was time to learn to take care of myself.

It’s been almost a month since I started my new job. The job scope looked like what I did before, but yet was also unfamiliar to me. The technologies used and the development platform used is totally different to what I was used to. I’m the only female developer in the office, where as the ladies were the majority in my old job. My current team is not as chatty as my previous team, and the company culture was different as well. There are lots to learn and catch up with, but I’m gradually settling in and starting to see some light.

The good thing about being located near your previous company is that you get to meet-up and lunch with your ex-colleagues regularly. The down side of course, is that you’re bound to bump into your old bosses or other people whom you’ll rather not talk about your new job with. But then again, Singapore is a small country.

With all the reading and catching up I need to do, I probably will not be updating and posting to this blog regularly for quite a while. I know some of the links in the Podcasts and Links pages are outdated, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and update them one by one. Please bear with me for the time-being. Meanwhile, you might want to checkout my Tumblr page, which I plan to use as some sort of aggregate site, where posts from here and some my other site will be reflected here. It’s also a place where I can easily share short rantings and musings on the go.

I have to get back to my reading again. Until next time, adios!

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This post comes a little late since I’ve actually had this phone for a little more than a month. But, better late than never, right?

The Samsung Galaxy Note is cross between a phone and a tablet, or as what Leo Laporte likes to call it, a “phablet”. It comes with a brilliant 5.3 inch screen, which is great for web-surfing and watching videos, as well as playing games. The phone itself resembles an over-sized Samsung Galaxy SII, and one of my colleagues have remarked that it’s about the size of a pocket notepad. Yet, it’s still small enough to fit into the front pocket of my backpack. The best thing about a large display is that the keyboard becomes larger too. Great for fat fingers like mine! Not to mention the larger home screen, which offers more room for larger widgets.

The Note is shipped with Android version 2.3, or Gingerbread. Samsung has announced that the update to the latest version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is coming up later in the year, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for that. Still, this is a great improvement for me since my previous X10 Mini only runs on version 2.1 (Eclair). This means I now have access to more apps that weren’t available to me due to version incompatibility.

What makes the Note stand out, apart from its large size and bright display, is the S Pen, which is a stylus built specially for the Note. So instead of touching the display with your fingers, you can also choose to manipulate the screen with the S Pen, which offers more precision, especially for games like Draw Something.

All in all, I’m simply loving this phone! For more features and specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Note, please visit its mini-site.

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Movie Reviews #7: Puss In Boots

Posted by: nekogalin Movies
22
Dec

Synopsis

This movie is a prologue to the much acclaimed Shrek series, but the focus this time is on the origins of the character Puss in Boots. Puss was childhood friends with the (in)famous Humpty Dumpty, and they grew up together in a small orphanage in San Ricardo. Humpty has always been an adventurer and dreams of finding magic beans to get to the magical castle in the clouds to find the golden goose. Puss started out rather shy and reserved, but soon warms up to the outgoing and chatty Humpty. The 2 make a pact to complete their adventurous mission together, but Puss soon gets sick of Humpty’s dirty ways. In a bid to keep Puss by his side , Humpty tricks Puss into becoming his accomplice in a bank robbery. Puss is wanted, and begins leading an outlawed life.

On one occasion, Puss hears about news of the magic beans. Apparently, they’re now in possession of a murderous couple, Jack and Jill. Puss decides to take this chance to get the beans and clear his name. However, his plans are thwarted by another cat thief, Kitty Softpaws. It turns out that Kitty is Humpty’s new partner in crime. Humpty convinces Puss to join him in his quest for the magic beans. The trio succeed in snatching the beans from Jack and Jill and ultimately gain access to the castle in sky and kidnaps the golden goose.

However, Puss soon discovers that all this is Humpty’s plot for revenge against Puss for leaving him behind to get caught and thrown in San Ricardo prison. Meanwhile, the golden goose’s mother comes in search for her child, and pledges to wreck havoc in the town of San Ricardo. In the end, Puss saves the day, returning the golden goose to her mother and peace back to San Ricardo.

 My Thots

If you’re familiar with fairy tale stories like Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, etc, this movie is going to change the way you look at these stories and characters. I’m not sure if I really like Humpty as a baddie, but I sure enjoy Puss as a hero. I must admit, not everyone will enjoy this movie, but if you’re a cat-lover (like me) you’ll definitely love this! My favorite scene in the movie was Puss challenging Kitty Softpaws to a dance fight in the Glitter Box pub. Cats, cats and more cats! That’s my kind of movie! Me-ow!

I also loved watching Puss the kitten, shy and reserved, yet curious and brave when necessary. His entrance into the orphanage sent the entire cinema audience going “Awwwww…”. Baby Puss is simple irresistible!

Overall, this is a movie I’ll recommend, although I probably would not let young children (12 and below) watch this. Meanwhile, I’ll be anticipating this movie’s release on DVD.

Trailer

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Movie Reviews #6: The Muppets

Posted by: nekogalin Movies
15
Dec

Synopsis

The movie starts with growing up snippets of a pair of unlikely brothers in Smalltown, Gary and Walter. While Gary is your typical “normal” American boy, Walter is a puppet stuck at being 3 feet tall. Just as he starts to despair, he discovers The Muppets. The 2 brothers grow up to be ardent Muppet fans.

One day, Gary decides to bring Walter along on a trip to LA to celebrate 10 years of dating his fiancé Mary, much to Mary’s chagrin. Nonetheless, the trio make a much anticipated visit to the now abandoned Muppet Studios. Walter accidentally discovers oil tycoon Tex Richmond’s evil plan to acquire the Muppet Studios, only to tear down the Muppet Theater and dig for oil. Walter and Gary take it upon themselves with the task of saving the Muppets and their theater, and along with a reluctant Mary, they find Kermit and convince him to gather the Muppet family and put up a fund-raising telethon show to raise 10 million dollars to keep their beloved theater, as well as the rights to the Muppets name.

However, the Muppets have been estranged from each other and have not been in contact in a long while. Eventually, the team travels around the globe to pick up all other the members of the Muppet family. They are faced with the reality that their popularity and chemistry have lapsed since their last performance together. Ultimately, they brave all odds to beat the evil villain and keep the Muppet Studios. Meanwhile, Walter discovers the inner Muppet in him and joins the gang as the newest cast member.

 My Thots

I fondly remember spending hours in front of the TV every week watching The Muppet Show, very much like Walter did in the movie. It sure has been a while since they last appeared on screen (big or small), so it was good to see them all again this movie.

My favorite part of the movie had to be when Kermit and the gang sang Rainbow Connection. I was half expecting the cinema audience to burst out in song along with Kermit because I was singing along myself. Ah.. happy memories indeed.

Overall, this is definitely a happy healthy source of entertainment for the entire family!

Trailer

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Life Continues..

Posted by: nekogalin Personal
14
Dec

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s been a while since I last updated. Life has kept me busy, especially with the recent title change that I had at work. Nonetheless, I managed to steal some time off my crazy work life last week to enjoy some quality time with myself.

I’ve been meaning to watch Puss in Boots when it started its run 2 weeks ago, but I noticed The Muppets was coming up too. So rather than taking 2 days to watch 2 movies, I decided to have a mini movie marathon.

Naturally, before the movies started, we were served some trailers for upcoming movies:

We Bought A Zoo

The trailer claims that the movie is based on a true story. I’ve not done any research on this yet, but the trailer does make it look like quite a touching story about love. Love of your family, love between man and woman and love of animals. This sure looks like a movie I might want to catch next year. Storyline and animals aside, I just want to say “What happened to Matt Damon????”. I mean.. he looks so.. matured!! On the hand, it sure is refreshing watching Scarlett Johansson fully dressed for once.


The Amazing Spider-man

Yup, I said Amazing Spider-man and not Spider-man 4. Why we need so many Spider-man movies, I’ll never know. The effects look good though and I already know a handful of my friends who’ll want to watch this. As for me, I’m not much of a Spider-man fan, as you can probably tell, so I might just skip this one.


Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Alvin, the troublemaker, and rest of the Chipmunk gang are back. This time they go on cruise but somehow the 6 furry friends get stranded on a lone island. I nearly laughed my head off when I saw them singing and dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. I may not watch this one in the cinema, but I’ll mostly like catch it on DVD.


After the movies, I popped over to the nearby H&M that opened in Singapore recently to see what’s the fuss. Sure, the apparel is fashionable and all, but most of the items were a little above my budget. I did pick up a knitted beret at a reasonable price though. Not exactly my “go to” place to shop for clothes, but I’ll definitely be back to look at accessories.

I went on to make a brief stop at Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream. I’ve heard lots of good things about the ice cream here, but somehow I was a little disappointed. I had the Cheesecake Fantasy, but the strawberries and blueberries tasted nowhere near sweet and had a distinct “frozen” aftertaste. Maybe next time I’ll just have the ice cream and only mix in extras that I like.

It felt good to relax and recharge for a day, even though I’ve no one to enjoy it with. The last time I did something like this was  on my birthday, which is almost half a year ago! I really should do this more often.

Meanwhile, watch out for my movie reviews coming up in the next couple of days.

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