Happy Birthday, Kaelynn!

Today is Kaelynn's first birthday and luck was on my side because my Johor trip was postponed to next week. In the end, I get to go home early and get to annoy the heck out of my neighbour by parking in front of their house. While waiting for everyone to come home, I decided to go for a haircut since my last visit was three months ago. But because it was already half-past seven in the evening, there were a lot of customers and those girls were rushing. Anyway, in summary, as I was the last of the two remaining customer left, I had a good head/scalp/shoulder massage from a Sarawkian girl who tries to speak Cantonese in different intonation (a day later, no bruises showed up but it was painful as heck.) and still got to read last month's FHM.
[Question: If Rick cuts other people's hair. Would you call him Barberick?]

By the time I arrived back home at 9PM(I calculated that my hair cut was about 1 1/2 hours long), everyone had gone out about their business. Being Kaelynn's Daddy, I performed the necessary ceremonies to tell the World that Kaelynn is now 1 year old and is still not toilet trained. (Oh, but she is starting to take things apart.) And I still get to re-park my car again just as my neighbour was driving in. Kristine fed Kaelynn some cake and they did not fight nor shout about. So, its still a nice day afterall.

This is Kaelynn's Birthday cake. Please excuse the missing cherry

Both girls ate the half of each cherry and put back on the cake

Mommy helping Kaelynn cut her first Birthday cake

Kristine fed Kaelynn some of her Birthday cake

Sci-FI Prop

There is one fact which I cannot ignore: I am a menace with tools. If I have a soldering iron, I tend to either burn myself or someone next to me. If I had a cutting knife, I would cut a lot of things except for the intended object. Anyway, since I was ealy in the office, and after testing Soundwave, I decided to continue with the Sci-Fi Prop project. Last week I found my rotary tool and made a hole big enough for the micro-switch.

As the original push-button is now out of the question, I had to go for another switch. This was because the thread of that switch was not long enough to be secured from inside. It is also too long and this means it keeps knocking into the battery compartment. And since the piezo buzzer was too big to be placed anywhere else inside the pepper mill, I did the next best thing. The piezo buzzer will now serve as the top of a flat push-button switch. I’ll worry about how not to let it pop off later.

So, now the two screw holds the flip cover more securely. And I used
the piezo button as a top cover for another flat push-button switch

On second thoughts, now the flap cover makes it look so bulky

Takara Soundwave Part II

I had to hide this from everyone so that I can open it in private. Months after moving to the new house, I realised that there is no privacy (unless I hide in the toilet). In the end, I had to come into the office early to inspect my ill-gotten prize and I still had to hide in the toilet. One thing to note here is that when you're in the toilet, make sure the floors are not wet and there is ample space for you to spread your things out (I mean the other things, not your thing, OK?). This is so that ther are no flowing water that sweeps your stuff into the drainhole or you accidentally dropping them into the toilet bowl. And once the area is secured, you can open your box/pizza/toy/underwear, etc. And boy, I was a bit disappointed. Because the box had no English words on them when I was at the shop except for a few words like MP3, WMA, 1GB and miniSD, I assumed that not only does it play MP3 in 128kbps, but it also accepts WMA. And stupid ol' me also believed that a 1GB miniSD memory card was included too. OK, I am now extremely disappointed. Still, I have yet to test the player and/or go to their website (www.takaratomy.co.jp). Maybe in a few months time when I have the extra cash to buy a miniSD card which costs another RM140 or so, then I would get the chance. Until then, its going to the back drawer somewhere and I hope that I will still remember it when I have some extra cash.

And the overall feeling I experienced? Its like finding a boxful of rare 1950 chewing gums (that is still edible, la) and delivered to your desk the first thing in the morning while you're celebrating your Birthday in front of your Bosses in the meeting room. Then you realised you're a Civil Servant working in Singapore, next to a Police Station.

OK, that was a bad example. How about this?
You found a RM1000 note and while picking it up, your bulging wallet containing RM3000 fell out and into the stormdrain. (RM1000 is not legal and you’d have to take it to the bank to change it)

OK, OK. This is more relatable:
Your Black belt Karate Wife and Body Building Mistress found you making out with your friend Pamela Anderson look-alike whom you drooled after like a wolf on heat for months. After they successfully taught you a lesson in fidelity, you just remembered that your friend had terminal Herpes and is going to be one very late friend soon. And you also remembered where your friend worked part-time at: A test subject at the Gorilla HIV testing lab.

You know, even if there are no miniSD cards inside, it would have been fun if Takara designed the miniSD equivalent of the micro-cassettes Ravage, Laserbeak, Rumble and Frenzy just for old times sake.

Here he is, standing on my salvaged PC power supply. When fully transformed, Soundwave is quite tall. Apart from the white headphones, Soundwave comes with two extra pair of hands.

In the middle, you just slide the rectangle and out pop its head. Also, on his right shoulder,
there is a 3.5mm headphone socket where you plug in the headphones. And when you're
not using it, you can block the hole with his rocket launcher. You know, since Soundwave
only use one AAA battery, Takara could have made him a little bigger and then turn the
shoulder rocket launcher into a battery compartment instead. And when Soundwave is a
little bit bigger, then they could have put in an LCD display with a mirror-like screen just like
those new Motorola or Sony Ericsson mobile phones. And also put in one or two miniSD
transformer as well while they're at it. Anyway, just like the original Soundwave, there is an
"eject" button. In the cartoon, he will press the eject button and out comes those micro-cassette
Transformers. So, I press the "eject" button and .......... shit........... there is no miniSD card inside.

And one other little thing. Since I do not have a miniSD card, I cannot test its battery
endurance. And where the battery compartment is concerned, Takara has opted to secure the
cover with a screw. Reminds me of those cheap China made toys which have screws to secure
the battery compartment. Dammit.

Transforming Soundwave is quite easy. Just make sure you do his legs first.
But here is one part I hate about Soundwave; In order to make sure that he
stays in the MP3 player shape, Takara have used these annoying plastic tabs.
And I can tell you that if you transform him too often, the tabs would either wear
out or snap off prematurely.

Takara Soundwave Part I

This is going to be a very bad habit of mine. I am starting to get Mr. VISA to help me more and more. I should not be doing this. I should be looking for more things to do to make more money. But when I saw it, I just lost it, you know. With just one swipe, my journey to financial damnation gets closer. But my heart said, "Ah, who the hell cares. This is important."

It all started when the usual mailing lists from XL-Shop, Shioktoys and HLJ arrived at my inbox. One of them mentioned a Transformer that can play MP3. And it had to be the Decepticon, Soundwave. In the 80's, Soundwave is actually a silver blue walkman or mini-compo or something. And inside its chest, lies four/six cassette tapes which transforms to Buzzsaw, Rabrat, Lazerbeak, Ravage, Rumble and Frenzy. And the Autobot equivalent was the red and yellow mini-compo, Blaster, which my favourite and he also has cassettes Steeljaw, Ramhorn, Rewind and Eject. Although he was created c to Soundwave, but he just did not last long in the TV Series. But my dream at that time was to get him and then actually stuff a radio inside. Well, that was the plan because a that time, MP3 does not even exist yet. But because my pocket money was not enough, I eventually forgot about that idea. Anyway, twenty years later, Takara introduced the latest (or upgraded) Soundwave which is now an MP3 player (thank goodness he was not updated to be a Laserdisc player). And I just happened to visit a customer at Amcorp Mall where Ultimate Toys and Toys were. Since Ultimate Toys has a habit of opening in the evening (except for the 1-Utama outlet) I decided to drop by Toys. And they were in the middle of unpacking some limited edition Optimus Prime toys. However, when I saw Soundwave, I just went, you know, nuts.

There are two versions of Soundwave on sale. One is the White version which looked so deliciously cute but in the end, I chose the Blue Spark version as he looked more like the original Soundwave. After walking out of the store, I realised on thing, "My God! What have I done!!! I don't need another MP3 player! I already have my iPaq and the new wireless car MP3 player!". So, how am I going to hide this little sin of mine?

Just the box alone makes the toy so exclusive. But I stopped at buying the Transformers headphones which turns to Rumble and Frenzy. People would think I am wearing earrings instead. Well, OK, the real reason is that Rumble and Frenzy are both micro-cassettes stored inside Soundwave’s chest. They are a part of him.

But if you do not transform him, then it would look nice, Something like a early version or an iPod, I suppose. In the background, you can see an White Optimus Prime truck with its trailer which serves as iPod cradle and speakers. And and it is coming soon. But since I do not have an iPod, it is useless to me.

And so, this is what it looked like when you open the front cover.

There you go. Soundwave with extra 2 pairs of hands, some
kind of missile launcher, a plastic sci-fi toothpick and a pair
of white headphones.
(Actually, I was hoping for those sound cancelling types)

At the back of the box, this is the White version of Soundwave. So, he looked kinda weird.
And not only that, in the original toy, his calf was the other way round. Now, this is the
opposite but it still looked better. I mean, you'd look weird with a huge bump on your

But if you do not transform him, then it would look nice, Something like a early version or an iPod, I suppose. In the background, you can see an White Optimus Prime truck with its trailer which serves as iPod cradle and speakers. And and it is coming soon. But since I do not have an iPod, it is useless to me.


After more than six months, I finally got back to visiting this customer and looking at the condition of the battery, its not good news at all. The customer admitted that they have dismantled the compressors for the air-con which resulted it in blowing warm air for months. They just totally forgot about the blower unit. But I am not sure if this is the main cause. So, the battery needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

This battery is full of energy

And as you can see it, bursting out of the seams

Sometimes, when things get too excited,

You just can't hold it anymore

[Update: Days later, the very same air-con caused a trip which affected half of the office]