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since 22/06/2000


Sentosa Island (Singapore) 27/01/2003

Taking the Family...a whole new perspective

Sentosa Island (Singapore) Sentosa gets a bad rap from many people for being "commercial" or being "a big theme park", but as a parent with a 4 year old kid, you soon see it in a whole new's torture.... because on Sentosa kids rule. The whole place is set up to get your kids to spend as much of your money as they can...and you will...and that's enough about money. Our day... We started off taking the ferry from the mainland to the Island, this is a very short and uneventful trip. VERY short, so short that you have to wonder why it's there... Anyway we then walked up the path to the Merlion, on first looks you might say.. "No, I'm not going inside that" it looks tacky, but ignore that and get inside, take the lift to the top and enjoy the view over the island, it is worth it, especially on a hot day when you can catch a nice breeze. Then we moved on to the butterfly park, my daughter loved this and was eventually persuaded that chasing Butterflies in Singapore was not a good plan, and then she got totally freaked by the collection of huge and gruesome insects on display. If your not into dead butterflies and insects then skip that and spend all your time in the tropical garden with the live ones. On to the Marine Park...don't miss the giant turtles outside and then into the underwater aquariam walk with the fish, see Seahorses and other weird sea creatures you may never have seen before. There is often a special display on too, while I was there...there wasn't but ...

Top+15 Goalkeeper Glove 27/01/2003

That little Extra Strength

Top+15 Goalkeeper Glove You've had those days in goal, where you've dived long, landed hard, got your fingers to the ball as it was flashing by and you think "YES...what a save!", unfortunately your fingers didn't quite hold up and it snuck into the corner.... Well no more, when I found these gloves this season, I was immediately taken by them, the shop didn't have my size, didn't know when they would get some more, so I took one size smaller and they've worked out well. The strengthened strips in the back of each finger serve several purposes : 1. They add strength to your fingers when making saves that require that "fingertip" touch 2. They stop your fingers being bent back and injured on all parts of your hand 3. They give some protection for stubbing your finger on the ball and from doing damage to your finger tips. Punching is also much more fun, however I've found that the reinforced backings make punching a little more difficult as the backs tend to be rounded off rather than flat, so be careful on punches until you get used to it. Grip is good, both in dry and wet weather, so far my gloves have not worn down enough for me to comment on how the grip acts after continual use. Final words, in door footie these are also excellent, for when you need to go in close up and dive in at players feet giving good protection for kicks and being stepped on. Over the past 4 years I would say these are the best gloves I have bought. I would recommend them for all levels ...

Japan Airlines - JAL 16/02/2002

I'd rather swim to Japan.

Japan Airlines - JAL Maybe I just got lucky and got the worst aircraft that JAL own or maybe I'm just so used to really GOOD Airlines (such as SIA, Thai and Cathy) that I found JAL to be horrific...and horrific is being lets get on with the details... My flight was a 6pm flight from Bangkok to Narita Economy class; it's a 6-hour flight. First the seats, small, very very small, with leg room that an 8-year-old child would find tight. I am not overly tall but I could not put my feet on the floor in front of me if I tried to sit straight in my seat, My knees had to be jammed into the seat in front higher than my own seat, if I sat slightly sideways i could squeeze my feet onto the floor, just. Foot rests, no idea couldn't reach the floor to find out. And so we took off...and then it got really bad...the smoking started. I swear every person in smoking class must have had 4 or 5 cigarettes in their mouths waiting for the "no smoking" light to go out, and as soon as it did the smoking cabin just fogged out. One minute you could see into it the next it was zero visibility. The flight attendants closed off the smoking area with curtains and that slowed the rolling clouds somewhat, but what was really needed was an airlock. The whole plane stank for the whole flight. Hot towel, wow that hot towel that everyone else is raving about arrived, the best one was the one before landing so I could wipe the stench of cigarettes off of towels, so what every airline has ...

Singapore Airlines - SIA 09/08/2000

Fly like a king...Raffles Class

Singapore Airlines - SIA Okay for our trip to Europe this year I decided to splash out and live it up a little and flew Raffles (business class) from Bangkok to Athens. The tickets cost just over 3 times more than economy class and cost about $2500 each. ouch! From the whole 3 week holiday in Greece the tickets cost more than the rest of the holiday put together to put things in was it worth it.... too right it was. Raffles class introduces the luxury of seats that were big enough for my fairly short girlfriend to treat as a bed and snuggle up and fall asleep for the whole flight. With seats that have so many moving parts that you can spend an hour just playing with your seat to pass the time. Foot rests, back rests, leg rests, privacy screen, wrap around head rest, back support rest...the list goes on. On the SIA Megatops they now have Video and Audio on demand...what does this mean, no longer do you have to wait for the next movie to start if you happen to switch on half way through the general showing, nope VOD allows you to select your own movies to start them when you want, to fast forward, pause, rewind and change at your desire...and the same for the Audio that is cool. The food, well... Singapore has good food in economy, so I was expecting something outstanding in Raffles class and to be honest although you get a nice table cloth, real cuttlery and a nice starter, the food is really very much the same quality as economy, which isn't a bad thing as ...

Archmage (PC) 07/08/2000

I tried to like it...and failed

Archmage (PC) I really wanted to enjoy this game, I gave it many weeks and lots of time to get stuck in, weathered the first few set backs, battled through the lower ranks and gradually sank into a routine, of build, get attacked and rebuild which grinds you down to a point where you say, who cares and quit. I like a map with my kingdom games, I like to see who can attack me and who I should ally with and this is a major flaw of many online games and Archmage is no exception, anyone can attack anyone of a "similar" ranking, a person you attack can suddenly fall below your ranking group and you can't finish them off, okay fair enough that means no one ever gets killed off but at the same time it leads to a very pointless game.... The game itself has all the trappings of what could have been a great game, lots of troop types, buildings and a great magic system (the magic system is what kept me playing so long) . You can build up the amount of your buildings which in turn increase defensive powers and decrease troop costs and spell research and so forth. You are limited to the set buildings, there is no place here to use your imagination. As a fan of the PBeM Keys of Medohk I found the whole game to be just pointless after a while, you're just stuck in the mud turning your wheels and eventually you say, bugger it, and walk off never to return, sure they claim to have 5000 players, of which many are controlled by the same people who use them as "allies" to attack other ...

Majesty (PC) 07/08/2000

Rule a Kingdom...kind of

Majesty (PC) What!! Click Click, attack that Troll, attack it....listen fool, aghh no there goes the Market.... it takes some time to realise that clicking on a warrior or Wizard won't send him dashing to attack the creature you have requested, or the fact that when you need for level 10 warrior he's off in some distant corner of the world carrying out a personal crusade against the RatMen... and before you can get him back he's stumbled upon Old Wizard Evil Eye and been turned into toast.... for a AOE fan this game can indeed by frustrating, very irritating and you could end up hating the game before you've done the first scenario...I have to be honest I was left somewhat bemused by the whole experience and yet something kept me hanging in, I'm still not sure what it is.... Majesty is best described as Pharaoh/Ceasar with loads of Combat, I would't put it in the Sim City category and it certainly isn't an AOE clone, it really is a something of a novelty and I guess that's what makes it interesting to play. The graphics are pretty neat though they can get a little confusing when you have a gang of wizards all casting spells at the same time in the same place but in all in all the graphics are clean and catchy. There's a wide range of buildings and unlike your average Build and Kill game you need to build lots of buildings to support an ever growing army. I would have liked to see the ability to build a wall and the ability to control at least the plebs (town guard) and that ...

Arms and Equipment Guide 04/08/2000

Not Quite what I expected.

Arms and Equipment Guide Buying this book I was expecting to find it loaded with the kind of cool stuff that the RoleMaster Arms Law has and was pretty dissapointed to find that in reality all it is is a watered down version of a weapons of the middle ages library book, sure the information is interesting and for players who want to know exactly why they can't use a Lucern hammer in close combat it can be a good educational tool. With the Players Optional Rules series out this book becomes of very limited use for even the rules it does provide and with the 3rd Edition just around the corner it will be obsolete to all players who move to the 3rd edition with its radical changes to the game. Overall I would have to say that this is not a good buy for any player. Get a god historical book if you want information on weapons (do Jane's do a guide?) and for added play value get the Players Optional rules books (Skills and Powers) and the Fighters Handbook.

General: Singapore 04/07/2000

A spot of Tranquility...but the Taxis....!!!

General: Singapore If they moved Singapore to Sri Lanka and dumped Colombo somewhere in the Indian Ocean, then Sri Lanka would be so perfect that I'd just have to move there... Okay I'm not going to rain the huge amount of praise on Singapore that everyone seems to be doing but get into some details. First off coming from Bangkok, Singapore is clean, well organized (too much so for us laid back folks from Bangkok), safe and why is it that the taxis are so BAD? I mean they are TRASH, they are nigh impossible to catch and considering that it's such a small city half of them still try to lead you through the back streets of Kuala Lumpur on the way from Little India to City Hall, and they are TINY..... So we asked a taxi driver. First off, taxis are in service for 7 years and then they are scrapped, the 7 year hitch is coming to a close for the present taxis, so you can expect to see more modern and BIGGER taxis coming onto the streets in bigger numbers very soon.... Where can a Taxi stop...we tried in vain to flag down a taxi Bangkok style...i.e. Anywhere, and where as in Bangkok a Taxi will happily kill two motorbikes riders and a pushbike rider to get to you, Singaporean taxi drivers just drive by you as if your not there....we even watched two Singaporean girls wave down a taxi and then took their spot, 30 minutes later we were still standing there.... well apparently a taxi can stop anywhere that stopping is allowed, they MUST stop if waved down from one of the many Taxi ...

General: Singapore 04/07/2000

The Other side of Singapore

General: Singapore Like everyone else I had a a view that Singapore was the cleanest most pleasant , polite nation in Asia....sterile to the a point of death...then on my most recent visit I hooked up with a few friends of friends...and staggered home at 3am ....... Sure you can plod down Orchard Road, Yawn, or join the rest of the tourists on Somerset and the outdoor bars and restaurants, I can recommend that as a start to the evening but after that grab a cab and head to one of two locations. Mohamed Sultan Road is crammed with bars and night clubs, both member only and open house where Singapores young and trendy hang out and dance and drink away the night, you'll find no sterile life down here with the guys decked out in dress from Tuxedos to jeans and T-Shirts and the girls in the newest and hottest fashion. If you can get in head to Amoeba, owned by ex MTV star Nadia, it's a members only bar so bring a friend with a membership and then hobnob with stars and millionaires... After that grab a cab and head to Zouk and Velvet two mega discos where the queue to get in gets longer as the night gets darker and again having a membership or a friend with a membership is the only way to jump the queue, entry to the discos without a well connected friend is $35 Sing ($20US) and once you're in drinks are all extra at $8 Sing and above. The dance floor of both discos will be packed and even the raised platforms will be filled with young girls strutting their stuff in the latest in reveal almost ...

Invictus (PC) 01/07/2000

A Myth Wannabe

Invictus (PC) If you played Myth and Myth 2 and enjoyed them and you thought the graphics were cool and the sounds pretty neat or if you played Warhammer Against the Horned Rat (I think it was a Rat) and thought the way that your troops carry over from each campaign was cool and the ability to use well layed out combat strategies was good then what ever you do don't buy this game. It will get on your nerves right from the start...and if you do the Tutorial you'll want to remove it from your hard disk as soon as Jason opens his mouth, was this game design to amuse those people with an IQ the same as a Melon? Here's some news for you Quicksilver , NOT FUNNY, not funny at all.... and now onto the bad stuff Strategy , forget it, formations, forget them, detailed control of units in combat forget go off you find the enemy and you send in your troops, if your lucky your archers won't run in too and even troops that you set as "not attack/no bravery" charge in with no concern to for the fact that they have a whole 10 HP left. Combat is so confusing that you're lucky if you can pick out your troops in the melee, maybe it was supposed to be this way, but not since the awful combat of Braveheart have a come across a game with such poor combat control and considering that this is all the game has to is really really sad! Sound effects, Hoo Haa...what sounds effects, you get random shouts from your heros when you give them an order and you're soon left looking for the gag ...

Diablo II (PC) 01/07/2000

More of the same

Diablo II (PC) If you loved the first game then you love this one too, if you found the first game to be a tad repetitive and fairly pointless after a few hours then this will make you feel the same. There are many improvements but very few changes. The graphics are ok, nothing to rave about to be honest, and there are 5 classes of character to choose from each with varying skills and starting abilities. The main new feature is the addition of skills that you can gain each time you rise a level, each class has different skills and many of the skills effect other players as well as the player using it, such as the Paladins heal spells and so forth, the higher the level of a skill the more effective it is and where applicable the greater the radius of effect. The game is very quest based, go here do that come back now do this and so on and so on. So running around the map is part of the game, fortunately they have introduced portals to get rid of this boring factor for the most part... one major irritation with the game is that when you save you are moved to the village and all creatures are regenerated so you have to get all the way back to where you were and kill anything that was in the way all over again...and that sucks. One other new feature is the ability to hire a Rogue and have them follow you around and assisit in combat, you can't give them anything you can't make them better at what they do and you can't make them use anything but a bow, in fact there just good for canon ...

Forbidden City Hotel, Beijing 28/06/2000

Forbidden Atmosphere

Forbidden City Hotel, Beijing Maybe it was the crowds of coached in tourists, maybe it was the amount of dust that filled the air, maybe it was the grubby windows or maybe it was the never ending sequence of empty rooms...but for me the best part of the Forbidden City was viewing it from Jing Shan, the temple Garden on the Hill that overlooks the Forbidden City and all Beijing. Sure it's one of those things you have to see afterall people are going to laugh at you if you say you went all the way to China and didn't see the Forbidden City. But it is just so run down and grubby, when you come across any display there seems to be have been minimal effort put into caring for the display or even making it worth looking at and after you've seen one almost empty room with a vase in it then you know what the other 750 are going to look like. I say 750 becuase there is a section of the City which you have to pay an extra 25 RMB to enter that is worth seeing, the most impressive section is the theatre, it is truely grand and you must see it. Of course to get to it you have to put on your orange shoes...who knows why the floors of this "protected" area are already gone, maybe it's to polish it and save on labour costs? In the same area you have the collection of royal jewelry, weapons, armour, the toys, the theatre clothes and scripts the sort of stuff that you want to see when you visit an historic place, things that make you see back into the past and get a glimpse of what life might have been ...

Tokyo - Narita, Japan (NRT) 27/06/2000 hell

Tokyo - Narita, Japan (NRT) I always thought of Japan as a clean, efficient place with great food, good service and attention to detail.... well the obviously forgot about all this when they opened Narita International airport, granted I have only once used this airport in going to Japan and all other times used it in transit to the USA but now a days when I'm asked how I'd like to fly to the USA I always ask, "which route avoids Narita". The stop over for flights to and from the USA to Thailand is 3 hours plus and for any person who enjoys the small things at airports, like half decent food then this is about 3 hours too long. First you have to get into the transit lounge which can take up to 30 minutes to clear the security gates, then you shuffle past the smoking room which leaks so badly that they might as well not bother having one and just say "smoke in the entry area", the food served in the transit area is foul, I LOVE Japanese food and what they serve in Narita wouldn't make it onto your plate in the worst Japanese restaurant anywhere in the world. If I remember correctly there was one small book store in the lounge selling nothing worth buying and then for entertainment you can do laps of the circular lounge until either your plane arrives or you go nuts....

Singapore - Chang (SIN), Singapore 27/06/2000

Best in the World

Singapore - Chang (SIN), Singapore There is no doubt in my mind that Changi Airport is the best in the world, it's plush, it's clean, it's quite, it's smoke free and best of all it's so efficient that you just want to land here becuase customs work at lightening speed. But lets get on to the good stuff. Singapore has a huge shopping arcade with shops selling anything from fantasy pictures to cigars and kids computer learning aids. The shops are well stocked and have the latest gadgets and stuff that you could ever wish to find in a good shopping centre never mind an airport. As an avid non smoker it's nice to see the smokers get locked away in a non leaking smoking zone where they are free to gas each other. Did I mention the swimming pool and sauna.... yes Changi has both on the top floor so if you're lucky enough to get a stop over in Changi for a few hours and you don't fancy shopping then head for the pool. As with any location in Singapore service is excellent, the staff are extremely helpful and always happy to assist you in any way they can.... what more can I say, flying from London to Madrid, go via Changi, you'll not be dissapointed. There is no airport tax in Singapore by the way. Taxi's and buses are right outside, you can catch a bus to the MRT, which I guess is the only negative thing about the airport...the MRT doesn't start at the door.

Deep Blue Sea (DVD) 25/06/2000

Surprisingly Good

Deep Blue Sea (DVD) It all starts off pretty predictable and you start to lable who's going to die in what sequence right from the start....and then it gets fun, without giving the whole film away and who dies you realise that this film is a little different when Samuel L. Jackson's character does his "Life must go on speach" and how it ends...that for me was the best part of the film. The sharks are animated extremely well and the whole film setting is great, the acting is pretty good and my only qualm with the whole film is why right at the start the helicopter doesn't just blow the cable on the winch like every helicopter in the world can...but then the film would have come to a rather quick end I guess. Overall some good acting, a surprise cast of deaths, and a neat setting.
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