Baby steps: one month to go!

So.

Reading the title gives you an idea of what’s coming. V’s gained an incredible amount of weight on the pregnancy path, carrying her went from “bah, easy” to being only able to make guttural grunts of effort. The daughter’s well on her way to the outside world; 2.6kg on the last measure, her head is a tad larger than average according to the obstetrician and we have about a month left before delivery. The last ultrasound scan was pretty funny, we could only see half a face as the baby’s quite squashed up in the tummy, so the photograph the ultrasound specialist printed for us was a solid view of her foot. Very pretty looking little foot but oh well.

For me, the excitement/enthusiasm hasn’t quite kicked in yet. It still feels kind of distant at this point but I expect things to change really soon. The main thing to keep in mind as far as I’m concerned, is to keep an open frame of mind and be ready to adapt to any changes. Problems become ridiculously inflated when you hold a narrow set of expectations and fail to adapt accordingly, so this is quite important.

All this aside, I expect it would feel a little scary, what with all the questions in the head and no good answers in sight. So yes, once more unto the breach dear friends! Naught to do but to forge ahead with courage in the hearts, and hope in our minds.

Other observations made in the course of the past months would be stuff like:

  • The gazillion or so products there are on the baby range. I suspect half or better are largely exorbitant money suckers and belong to the parent ego-pandering category i.e. you feel good buying it for your kid.
    What I think: get it only if I need it. Just like the time when we got Cookie, there was an overpowering and irrational urge to get everything on the shelf. “Oh this looks important! Damn do we need that one?” And so on. Be practical and stay rational, get only what is absolutely necessary.
  • The ton of and-me-downs and gifts from my friend-parent circle. I really really appreciate everything that they’ve very kindly shared. It sort of seems like an exclusive fraternity or something once you become a parent.
    What I think: pass the gifts on soon as I don’t need them. Baby clothes, limited usage window and still look brand new. No point buying new ones, period. Baby markets and hand-me-downs FTW.
  • Reading up on childbirth experiences, especially hearing it first-hand from friend-mothers.
    What I think: Good to know, but knowing too much can be bad. It’s better to go in with a fresh slate and take things as they come. Everyone’s delivery is different, just keep in mind the worst circumstance and you probably will be pleased as punch if anything better than that happens.
  • Handling the wife. I have been really blessed so far, V’s always been an independent sort. Add the fact that she’s only had evening sickness for a bit in the earlier months and these days it’s more fatigue from the additional weight more than anything else. Another good thing, the baby doesn’t act like a drunk at a fight throwing roundhouse punches and kicks inside V, so my life has been considerably easier than some of the other wilder tales that go around.
    What I think: As usual, YMMV so if you could make her life a little easier by making little changes, do it. I’m not exactly model husband material in this aspect, but still did some little things here and there (refer to earlier post)

And yes, her name was chosen months ahead. I like thinking up names; be it company names, product names and of course my daughter’s name is the biggest job to date. Naming a kid wrongly could have irreparable consequences for the next twenty years if they really hate it. It took about a week’s worth of debating but I reckon I did a good job – how does 蔡诗婷 sound? It’s been a solid 100% approval from everyone (friends and family alike) to date so that counts for something. The English first name is going to be Ellein, an amalgam of Ell??? and Kein – a direct influence from Pernese literature in my earlier days, but I like the thought of my kid having both our names. It’s pronounced as El-ain, taking the pronounciation of -ein from my name.

Fingers crossed for the days ahead, and let’s hope she doesn’t hate her name too much!

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Sony PS3: Sleepless on inFAMOUS 2

So I got hold of inFAMOUS 2 at EB Games last Saturday and commenced the usual routine of gaming hard at the expense of losing sleep – a lot of it. Traded the game back today for a full refund, which is something you can do only if you return the game in good condition within a week. So, if you haven’t tried inFAMOUS before this one you should – it’s good training for this sequel. (Tip: PSN offers inFAMOUS as a free download on the PlayStation Store as compensation for the recent PSN outage.)

Basically you’re a superhero (or rather, anti-hero) with electrical superpowers and it’s up to you to save the city. Or to dominate the city, if you’re wanting to be an evil overlord instead of the knight in shining armour. Think GTA, superhero style. With plenty of plot woven into the game, it should keep you engrossed for the next couple of days at the very least.

Some comments on the game:

  • City map is similar to inFAMOUS with two city maps allowing a sandbox environment (so long as you do not trigger the main missions endlessly).
  • I miss being able to recharge while grinding along power cables (from inFAMOUS).
  • The Tesla missile mini-game is a bitch to play, it took me a really long while to get used to the inverted Y controls. Having to do this multiple times just made it more annoying.
  • Sucker Punch came up with an interesting way to make players collect special achievements by linking it to upgrades – no achievements, less power upgrades.
  • BUG: at the Stronghold mission where you have to blow up the militia headquarters with the help of Larouche’s men. Upon beginning the mission, I fired an Ionic Vortex straight into their front gate and a chopper came right up with guns blazing. Looked up at the chopper, fired a few blasts while backpedalling and the screen froze right there. WTF? Turned PS3 off and back on, reloaded the game did the same thing and it happened again. I wasn’t really in the mood to try the game hanging a third time so I tried to make it not hang instead. Curiously enough there was no problem when I moved forward to the intersection turned left and met the chopper over there instead.
  • Tip for fighting the bulky Iceman dude who fires an ice beam while perched on a block of ice: Knock him off his block with rockets, keep at him from a high building with grenades before he gets up and starts beaming you again.
  • Tip for fighting the Behemoth: throw cars at its exposed ribcage, use slow-mo to snipe the exposed pink joints and most importantly, KEEP RUNNING! The pink tentacles from its ribcage guarantees a high chance of death.
  • Tip for fighting almost everything else: run, throw sticky grenades and fire sticky rockets. Recharge, repeat.
  • Tip for fighting hand-to-hand with that tuning fork thing (aka the Amp): Hit on the first enemy twice, then turn the other direction and use your finishing on the second enemy trying take you from behind.
  • The Beast was surprisingly easy to kill.
  • The good ending was uh-what-that-was-it?
  • It’s unlikely that anyone will be unable to complete their grab on the 305 blast shards, since there are so many shards available when you can defuse shard bombs and run after innocent bystanders to kick their asses for shards. Don’t worry about the shard missions affecting your alignment since they make minimal impact. And with Shard Sense coming up near the endgame, it’s almost a guarantee.
  • It’s near impossible to complete the game within a day unless you’re not interested in unlocking achievements – took me four days (with sleep and work) to complete the good ending at 89% completion (I missed a dead drop and couldn’t be fcuked to find that dang pigeon.)