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.
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.
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.
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.