The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊) – An Amazing C-Drama

Had I not have watched that many Korean drama involving out-of-the-world kind of time travel storyline, I would have found The Romance of Tiger and Rose far fetched and too weird for my liking.

But thanks to Korean drama, I can no longer be shocked by stories that are … just way too bizarre. When I was young, I was used to scoring well at homework most of the time. Except for that one time when I failed homework because my story was … unrealistic. Now, I can safely conclude that I was born in the wrong era.

Oh yar …

The story starts in ancient China when the third princess of City of Huayuan (the girl in red above) intercepted the crown prince of Xuanhu while he was on the way to marry the second princess. Just to complete the picture, first princess is paralyzed from waist down. Although the second princess is not the real daughter of the queen (or City Owner), she is next in line because … well, the third princess is ruthless, not fit for the crown and the first … wheelchair bound.

In the City of Xuanhu, women call all the shots. They lead the army, go to work while men, stay at home and do housework. Women are the educated ones. It is not a taboo that women visits male ‘musicians’ (more like male courtesans) to seek entertainment. Men are born to obey and it is just weird to watch. In a good way. Sort of like, what if the whole gender bias in the world is … reversed?

City of Xuanhu is the total opposite and needless to say, the two cities are at war.

But that is not the main story, even!

The main story is that this ancient Chinese story is created by a modern day female scriptwriter who has been criticized because … she wrote a love story without knowing what love is.

And then she was teleported into her own story living the character of the third princess, get to fall in love with all her characters!

This is a recipe for a great story. A person travels in time to experience a plot, to attempt in changing the plot, and to live through a life changing experience.

That’s why, to me, this is bar none one of the best dramas I have watched.

PS. Yes, great chemistry on screen.

Chronicon Guides

Similar to my good old Marvel Heroes days, I am keeping track of all the useful guides in one place. Feel free to check them out as you progress in the game. Since I have just started making guides for this game, the content is less at present. But it will get built up over time.

Endgame Build Guides

General Guides

This game is the most fun aRPG I have played in past decades!

Random Post – Bizarre Hello Kitty & Aggretsuko Beer, Hamilton & F1 2020, Henna & Coffee and D3 Season 21

Hello my friends. I have a few random things to share.

Hamilton is Really A Class of His Own

One may say that Formula One is boring because Mercedes wins all the recent championships. I don’t see it that way. To me, it is how the team wins that makes the viewing – or these days, reading (as it is getting expensive to watch a full race) – experience memorable and magical.

Hamilton is a true racer. He enjoys wheel-to-wheel fight on track; he enjoys catching up from behind in a championship. Being a six-time F1 World Champion at the age of 34, many would expect him to equal Schumacher’s record this year.

The stars seemed to have aligned. It is still the old rule and Mercedes dominates in this era. Bottas is still his teammate and unlike Rosberg, Bottas has integrity (i.e. nothing dirty on track). Mercedes even comes up with a brand new technology called Dual-Axis Steering (DAS) this season. This allows the driver to slide the steering wheel forward and backward and alter the toe of the car during racing. This technology was heavily challenged by rival teams.

DAS deems legit this year. But with Covid-19, at one point, it was not obvious if we would have a 2020 championship.

Fortunately, we do. Not unexpectedly, Hamilton lost the first race in Austria on July 5th earning only 12 points finishing at forth compared to his teammate who won and earned 25 points. Since then, Hamilton took three poles and three wins. It was raining on the Styrian circuit and Hamilton took pole with 1.216 seconds ahead of the best of the rest. It was in Britain and Hamilton took the win after a dramatic tyre failure at his final lap.

Some may say Hamilton is a lucky driver. I would say, you can’t be a Word Champion with bad luck all the time. But you can’t win a championship without some serious skill and talent.

To Quote Pyper in My Diablo 3 Clan: “And You Listened to StraightDope?”

For those who are not familiar with Diablo 3 (“D3”), it is an action role-playing game. In a nutshell, you hack-and-slash monsters day in and day out to be more skillful, more powerful.

For those who are not familiar with D3 seasons, it is very much like F1 championship. You start the season from scratch with zero progress. What you are given could be some redesigned items and/or mechanics, complete the season journey (a list of checkboxes), and try to push your character to as far as you can (you could compete with yourself, your clan, or the whole wide world).

D3 has a number of classes players can roll. The two weakest classes prior to season 21 in my opinion were Demon Hunter and Necromancer. This season 21 Trails of Tempests offers two new class sets for the two weakest classes in-game. The expectation was high. Most of the new class sets are great (if not, why bother?). Monk, Crusader, and Witch Doctor’s new sets are still powerful. Barbarian and Wizard new sets while so-so, they are playable and not terrible.

Demon Hunter’s new set Gears of Dreadlands (“GoD”) truly deserves the “Godly” status. When it first unveiled in Public Test Realm (“PTR”), which I participated in, it was terrible. Fans and testers provided feedback and in phase 2 of PTR, GoD has been redesigned and become godly.

Necromancer’s new set Masquerade of the Burning Carnival (“MotBC”) was also terrible when first appeared in PTR. Fans and testers including myself have also provided feedback. But there was very little to be done in PTR phase 2. And I have my theory on why: the failed season theme.

The theme of season 21 was terrible, and still is. The design is that every 90 seconds, a random elemental power would be unleashed. The visual effect is a distraction. The power vast majority of the time does nothing (and when it does – as I assume that it has to be at some point – I don’t notice any impact). There is a buff counter as mobs are killed. I doubt anyone would pay attention to it. This season mechanic is rumored to cause severe server lag and I have certainly experienced that. All in all, season 21 Trials of Tempest is a failure, a total and complete failure. The worst is that – now going back to my theory – it has taken away valuable development time as Blizzard team was trying their best to fix the season theme during PTR, valuable time that could have used to improve Necromancer’s MotBC. In Blizzard’s own words after throwing in the towel right before the start of season 21: With the adjustments coming in for a few past Necromancer sets and abilities, we will continue to evaluate the performance of the new set this season and may make additional adjustments in future seasons if we believe they are necessary.

Why investing time to fix the Demon Hunter and season theme but not Necromancer? It is simple. Everyone who plays D3 has access to Demon Hunter class and can experience the season theme. Only those who own the necromancer DLC has access to the new class set (read: not everyone). That is why.

I have a few words for Blizzard: You have failed the necromancer fans and you disappoint me.

In case you wonder, Pyper is our clan-mate from the US. StraightDope is my real life friend in Singapore, also in our clan. All four of us including my wife were supposed to roll a Demon Hunter and play GoD. But Dope wants diversity and convinced me to play the underwhelming Necromancer MotBC even though I have started my season with a Demon Hunter. When I told Pyper the story behind my choice, his first reaction was, “And you listened to StraightDope?”.

Oh yes, I embrace diversity, I welcome the challenge, and I am having fun … not!

Okay. It isn’t that bad. The struggle is real but that constant push to squeeze extra bits of performance is also real. I feel like I am piloting a Williams in F1.

I Love Hello Kitty & Aggretsuko But Vanilla & Chili Don’t Mix Well with Beer

At Cold Storage, I have stumbled upon cans of beer wrapped up with Hello Kitty and Aggretsuko artwork. The cans while somewhat looked cheap, they drew attention.

So attractive, how not to try?

I am not really a fan of Hello Kitty. But I love Aggretsuko. The former comes in apple and vanilla flavors (described as creamy). The latter comes in chili flavor (described as spicy).

I am an adventurer and I love to try new things. So I bought six cans. Three each. The price tag in the supermarket said – or so I thought it said – S$7 for any two (usual price is S$7 for one). The final bill was somewhat confusing. I ended up having 20% discount over 4 cans of beer and 1-for-1 discount for 2 cans of beer.

Huh?

Whatever.

Let’s start with the Aggretsuko beer. It does have a clean lager taste. The spice makes it tastes weird. Not the bad kind of weird. Just weird, weird. The problem I have with this Hong Kong crafted beer is that, there is a lack of gas in the beer. The beer tastes flat.

As for the Hello Kitty beer, it is a no, no. In my mind, I was thinking of cider beer. After all, we are mixing apple with beer here. But this is no cider beer. In my mind, when I think of ‘creamy’ beer, I think of stout. This is no stout either. It is vanilla mixed with apple flavor delivered in a flat lager base.

Just, no.

My Favorite Topic: My Hairdresser and I

Regular visitors of my site would know the long history of my hairdresser and I that has span decades. So I won’t go there.

These days, our favorite topic is henna. She is intrigued by the fact that I apply henna to my wife’s hair every month and the leftover, my wife applies to my hair every two weeks. She has commented that the color on my hair doesn’t seem natural. Dark red would have been good but mine is orange.

I am actually fine with partially orange colored hair. It makes me look like someone coming out from an anime. In my most recent visit, she has recommended me to try mixing henna with coffee instead of tea.

We did that. And it was strange.

The smell was weird. Tea smells good on hair. Coffee smells funny on hair. And the result? Just as orange.

Yes, it is orange!

I Smashed My Face Hard Onto the Floor (And It Could’ve Been Worse)

This is a story of David versus Goliath. It was kind of embarrassing. And no, I wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or any medication. It was just instinct, reflex. The same reflex that caused me to lose balance and at the same time, saved me from a concussion. It could have been worse.

Our home is clean. My wife and I have spent a lot of effort to keep our place hygienic. When one late evening while we were watching Mystic Pop-up Bar on Netflix with our balcony doors wide opened, a gigantic cockroach flew into our home!

Unlike other flying insects that occasionally drawn to the interior lighting and visit our home at night, I have no idea what draws a cockroach’s attention. For other insects, all we have to do is to turn off all the light inside and leave the balcony light on. They would leave shortly, chasing the next light source.

Cockroaches don’t seem to do that. As one that flew from one side of the living room to another side refused to leave, I have attempted to brush it out of our home using a duster with a very long handle (I clean ceiling beams with that). Instead of flying out, it flew towards me!

I have zero intention to kill a cockroach inside our home for good reasons. First, we didn’t have an insecticide (as we haven’t sighted a cockroach for a very long time, but now we have bought one). Second, it is messy to kill one. Third, I don’t feel like killing anything so long as it peacefully exits our home.

But no, it flew towards me! That contradicts everything I thought I knew about cockroaches – that the primal DNA has dictated them to move to the opposite direction of the imminent threat.

Looking back, I could have stayed still. Let it smashed onto my body, crawled around me perhaps. But no, I retreated. One step backward at a time, till I …

… tripped over the sofa. And at that very instance, I lost my balance, head down to the floor. The very instinct that caused me to lose balance now kicked in to save me. As I fell, I was thinking, if I was to fall on my back, it would be a pretty heavy hit on my head. Perhaps, concussion.

So, at the split second, I managed to turn my body and attempted to land on my hands and avoid the head injury.

But alas. I have grown weight due to the Covid-19 lock-down. I have become heavier. Gravity is a bitch. And I fell faster than I had anticipated thanks to my heavier body. What this means is that I have landed hard on my right shoulder. My head smashed onto the ground. My wrist was twisted.

As I got up, instinctively covered my face, I smelled iron. I smelled of blood. There was blood on my face, blood on my hands, blood on my shirt, and blood on the floor. My pair of glasses laid flat onto the floor, twisted, not wearable.

There was a sharp pain, especially on my face. I managed to open my eyes. At least, my eyes are okay. I then went to the mirror in the living room. There were two cuts on my right brow. One cut more severe than another. Blood streaming from my wound. From my past experience, I needed to lie down and press against the wound in order to slow down the bleeding.

I did not know if I required to be stitched up. But I must say, my first reaction was: man, I looked mean. I looked like a gangster, a bad boy. That’s nice. That was one cool look. I am a tough guy!

My wife dressed the wound. I have got a swollen cheek, a sore shoulder, and wrist. And I didn’t sleep well (nor did my wife as she was worried). Other than that, I am fine. It could have been worse. Much worse.

An artistic view of my two cuts at my brow and a swollen cheek

A Good Night’s Sleep is So Rare for Light Sleepers Like Me But Once in a While …

If I could design my own DNA like an RPG video game, I would want to be a heavy sleeper. Being a light sleeper sucks. It is an arcane gene passed down from the caveman era so that my ancestors don’t get easily eaten by wildlife. Or get robbed and/or murdered in the middle of the night. Other than that, I don’t see why anyone would want to be a light sleeper.

Last night’s sleep was good. It has all the elements of a good sleep. It was uninterrupted and I have slept a full 8 hours. As a bonus, it came with a really good dream.

I dreamed that I was a girl, being framed for something I did not do in a large social gathering, embarrassed and humiliated. My home was harassed. Then, one good friend turned up (also a girl) and she went through a great length to clear my name. I felt vindicated. And then I woke up.

Days like these are hard to come by. It could be the wine. It could be the vegetarian dinner. It could be the lessen of work stress, the K-drama I watched before going to bed. It could be that I didn’t drink that much water before going to bed (oh, I love drinking water in the evening, not sure why), the terrible sleep I had the night before.

Or just a mix of everything.