Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time out with the kids... Kungfu Panda... and PC Show

I took the day off to spend some time with my wife and the two boys today. The plan was to head down to Marina Square to catch the movie Kungfu Panda, give the boys a treat at their favourite lunch place (yes, the one with the M), do some window shopping and perhaps drop by the PC Show next door over at SICC if time (and my kids) permits. Phew, a pretty ambitious plan and I'm glad that it turned out ok. In fact, I even managed to squeeze in an extra bonus (getting my diamond) so I'm happy.

Jarrett, unfortunately, will have to sit this one out as he is neither old enough to appreciate the movie nor has the stamina to be out the whole day. Sorry buddy! But look on the bright side, you will be having your first birthday bash in just a couple of weeks!

Click to enlarge pictureOk, back to the outing. As it was an early show on a weekday, we pretty much had the whole theater to ourselves. We spotted a few group of teenagers and families but thank goodness there were no noisy kids or crying babies. Since it isn't often that we have movie outings, we decided to let our kids indulge in the full movie experience; Yep, that means popcorn, nachos and soft drinks.

Joel did not take to the popcorn much but Jordan had a blast with it. It was such an adorable sight watching him sitting straight up on my lap, eyes peeled on the big screen in front and little hands reaching deep into the box, grabbing fistful of popcorn and stuffing them into his wide open mouth that is lined with sticky popcorn bits all around. Too bad it was mid way through the movie else I would love to snap a few shots of this messy look.

The movie itself was great and the boys thoroughly enjoyed it. Joel, as usual, got visibly upset during scenes where bad things are happening to the good guys, like when Master Shifu got badly beaten up by Tai Lung, but he liven up and laughed at the scene where Poh was being trained by Master Shifu, especially the chopstick fights. Jordan was fascinated by the kicks and punches that he has been imitating them ever since, luckily not on his Kungfu Panda backpack.

Click to enlarge pictureAfter the show, we brought them to MacDonald's as promised where they wolfed down a happy meal each in double time. How I wish they can eat just as fast when they are at home. This was then followed by a trip down to Toys R Us over at Suntec to grab some swimming toys (the foam tubes that shoot water out from one end) which I promised to buy for them.

By the time we were done with our planned itinerary, it was past 2pm and the boys were visibly tired. But when I asked if they were tired and if we should head home to rest, the answer was a resounding no, which did not come as any surprise. Kids will be kids I guess.

Since we had hit all our (kids) targets for the day, we decided to shift focus and went shopping for some big boys toys instead. To the PC Show we go! Yippee! (Edit: on further reading, it sure sounds to me like this is still a kids target afterall!) It was the first day of the show, coupled with the fact that it was a work day, I was hopeful that it would not be crowded. Slightly worse than expected but still very much bearable, people were everywhere and we literary handcuffed ourselves to the kids to make sure we don't loose them in the crowd.

In terms of offers, there wasn't really much. I was shopping for a new laptop for my wife but the prices were no different from SLS or anywhere else on any other days. Even the freebies thrown into the package were not attractive at all. Lenovo for one is just throwing in a bluetooth mouse (worth say S$50 max?) for the purchase of a T61. What a waste of time.

I was also looking to replace my standalone AIO printer with one that has network capabilities (not just for printing but also can scan and save fax to samba shares). There was a promotion for a new launch model MFC-885CW from brother but alas it cannot do the scanning and fax receiving to network folders without the assistance of a PC. It really bugs me why these devices have network capabilities when they still require an attached PC to function. Granted its now attached over the LAN instead of USB but what is the point in that?

The only gem in the show (as far as I'm concerned anyway) was the launch of the HTC Touch Diamond. Singtel had the most attractive offer of the lot; at S$498 with a two years plan (RRP is S$1098), it was a steal really. I jumped at the opportunity and got the recontract and phone in less than 30 mins. Not only did I get the phone cheaper (Its a roadshow offer only as Hello shops are retailing them at S$798), the transaction also took considerably less time than if I were to buy it from any Hello shop. Hello shops are known to be incredibly inefficient. Either that or they are grossly understaffed.

All in all, it is a nice change to finally have one day where everything just works for you; I bonded with the kids, they were on their best behaviour throughout (well, most of the time anyway), and I get to check out the PC Show and even managed to get a new PDA phone. My kind of day indeed!

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