Saturday, December 31, 2016

Starlight in Hello Kitty World: Enchanted Forest Teaser

Here is a follow up to my last update in the mobile app game, Hello Kitty World.

As time goes by, the game releases new items every month for players to store new decorations or use them to blueprint in their digital world. I have accumulated so much decorations over the years that I was finally making progress within my Starlight World.

Still Unfinished. A work in progress

Above picture is the breathtaking Enchanted Forest of Starlight. It is located right next to Hello Kitty Kingdom - beyond the magical Hello Kitty water fountain. 

My story unfolds into another magic portal that greets you with a sign of Welcome. The first character to meet you in the Enchanted Forest is My Melody. She is the keymaster to the secrets of the forest. While it may not be her world, she takes her many jobs seriously. They all do. Sanrio characters love their job to entertain and bring joy to everyone. 

Only with My Melody's permission will the secrets of the forest be revealed to you. After exiting through the My Melody's Lair of Leafs, a mysterious giant of chocolate cake appears before your very eyes. What a sight to behold because there are little Santa elfs maintaining the chocolate that is coursing down a path at the bottom of the hill. 

One of the Santa elfs are dancing around and one elf indicates that to leave the area, you must slide down on what seems like a chocolate slide with marshmallows to help cushion you from falling sideways. As you are ready to slide down to the bottom of where a river of chocolate awaits you-- they make you sign a digital release form that states you know how to swim. As soon as the dotted line has been signed, they literally give you a push down the slide.

Whether you are ready or not, these Santa elves are not messing around. 

For those who are curious as to what happens if the answer is opposite of knowing how to swim. Well, the very energetic and "helpful" elves will take you by your arms (both of them, mind you - they are in rush...) and escort you to a nearby Snow cake. And, yes, there is an icy slide with marshamallow rails. Once you slide down to the bottom, the soft covered snow will cushion your landing.

Even when you land to your new surroundings, you have little helpers waiting on standby to hurry you along on your journey. Residents who are able to swim go to the left of the map, whereas Snow sliders are guided to take the right side of the map. 

To be continued onto next year. Still need more decorations to complete my Enchanted Forest. What will come next in my Starlight World?

To join the game, more info can be found here and here.


Collectors of all genres, I am here to warn you about this one storage facility company called Life Storage.

You should beware of all public Self Storage facilities, but I wanted to share my bad experience with you about Life Storage.

This is my second time renting a storage unit and never had a problem with storage facilities until this past year. In 2015, this storage facility was managed and owned by Magellan. It wasn't until earlier this year that this Magellan location was bought out by Life Storage.  

801 E Commercial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

When they changed owners, I didn't think there would be any problems and continue as normal. The first sign should have been that they did not directly change their names to Life Storage until near the end of the year. From Magellan Storage, the building was changed to Uncle Bob's. The tenants were not given notice that the facility was going through a change of ownership. I thought it was a funny thing that tenants were not told in advanced.

I should have paid attention then because if I had done any research, I may have learned of past break ins or any information regarding the new owners.

What I did not know is that in the next few months that someone would be rummaging through my personal property that I had entrusted in the hands of Life Storage.

One or two times, I had a suspicion that something was moved, but I figured it was my imagination. It wasn't until recently that I noticed something misplaced and moved to a spot where I have never place items. I advised the storage manager, Mike, of my suspicions and the plan to add a second padlock on the unit. At the time, I wanted him to do something to help ease my worry and one of it would be is to scan the recorded footage. When I moved into this storage facility, they had camera footages of all areas. Mike proceeds to tell me that they have no camera footage of where my unit is located in the building, when in fact, I know there is a camera near my unit.

His whole attitude about the cameras was off putting, to say the least. For one thing, I did not believe him. 

Less than a week went by and I received a call from a so-called "worried" Mike telling me that I had "forgotten" to push the lock slider closed when I added my TWO padlocks. He made it seem that it was my fault. I had just recently informed him that I was going to add a second padlock and he was turning it around on me, which made me very suspicious because he wasn't acting right -- for a manager. Managers are supposed to help you in situations like this one. 

I arrived at my storage unit to find one of two padlocks were cut off with a bolt cutter and is now missing. My other padlock (which I purchased from the storage location) was still left behind untouched and in a locked position. We went to report the missing padlock. Before Uncle Bob's took over, their security cameras were all working, but now some of their camera feeds were conveniently blued out. 

Again, Mike was very suspicious because he acted like he did not care about my situation or apologized for any inconveniences that it may have caused. After filing my police and insurance claim, I learned there were other burglaries at the same Life Storage location. 

I was angry to learn that Life Storage never bothered to send out any advanced warnings to their tenants. It also raises my suspicions of an inside job when I heard from someone that "they" knew it was done by a guy. 

In the end, I realized change of owners should have been a red flag of concern because I should have researched on the new owners. I misplaced my trust here. They let me down. 

Here are few TIPS when researching for Storage facilities

  1. If you learn of past break-ins from your research, do yourself a favor and prevent yourself from a heartache-- rent a facility that has alarms in EACH unit! Remember what you pay for is what you get. You're paying for your personal belongings to be secure and protected!!
  2. Another big factor: NO EXTENDED HOURS. Once the facility is in lock down, it helps prevent burglaries from happening. 
  3. Beware of change of ownership. The facility changed their names TWO TIMES in a short span of time.
  4. Google them. Do your research. Life Storage owns another location in a different state where there was reported of burglaries - inside jobs do happen. I read online that owners conspire with auctioneers to steal your stuff that can be sold for a lot of money. Read up on it.
  6. Keep an Inventory list with pictures or descriptions (I had a list on a few of my bins which was taken off - they were hoping that I wouldn't notice such things). I had all my bins filled up and now, they were not full. Things that I had recently bought was placed inside my bins, where I had never moved them before. They were re-arranging my items to prevent me from thinking that items were missing. Another thing to look out is that theives leaves things clean. What I mean by that is if you have items in bubble wrap, they will take it off. If item is worthless to them, they will leave your item in the bin and throw the bubble wrap for you. Remember, they want you to not catch on so that they can continue to spy on what you are storing.
  7. Don't buy locks from facility storage owners. You never know if someone has a master key or not. Research on the lock to see if it can be easily opened.
  8. Thieves are looking at collectors to make big bucks like MINT Barbies. Do not store expensive jewelry or electronics, unless you want to draw attention to your unit. For storing expensive jewelry, rent a box at the bank.
  9. Be on a lookout for people to rent a unit to case out the joint.
  10. Ask if police patrols the area or if they have any communications or relationships with the police.
  11. Call nearby police stations to see if there were any reported break-ins at that facility
  12. Take pictures before you close your unit. Check your unit when you open it. Refer to your pictures.
  13. Do not rent from Life Storage and Magellan. Magellan did not give us any official notices of changed ownership.

Good luck to fellow Collectors out there renting storage units.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pochacco Nails

The last two years, I have focused only on Hello Kitty when having my nails designed professionally. I have decided that it was Pochacco's turn for this year. 

When October came around, I wasn't in a mood for Halloween nails, but to start a simple black and white style as an introduction to Pochacco.

Here is my take on Pochacco. 

I call this Black Tie Pochacco

When I was browsing Instagram for nail design ideas, I figured that my theme would be black and white as Pochacco's face is like a white blob on the nail. Usually with a white center, you need to correlate it with a different color to create a nice contrast.

Since last year's Hello Kitty Xmas lights nail design, I have been in love with the idea of adding rhinestones, pearls, or gems. For this nail design, I went for combining styles while adding a touch of simplicity. It's not too bad, right? 

I think my favorite has to be the middle finger with the criss cross pattern - along with Pochacco, of course. With a clear background, the black lines overlay the white lines, making it a nice style. Adding a bit of stones gives it a complete finish. 

My fascination with rhinestones carries over to this year's Christmas design. 

I loved last year's Christmas design so much that I wanted to replicate it, but with Pochacco as the character. I call it: Santa Baby Pochacco.

Since Pochacco was wearing a red Santa suit, I wanted my nail theme colors to be red and white again, but with an added touch of black. When I was choosing styles, I realized I could add one finger nail style as a stand alone center. Last year's design had the same star accessory and I wanted to keep it for this year's design. 

Below is a closer picture of it. Half silver chrome and the top half is black, with a star as the finishing touch. This nail style represents the New Year coming. 

After I had my X-mas nails done at Marie Nails, I think I was going for a more "busier" nail art. I have seen pictures of kawaii nail art in Japan and I never liked how most of it had too much art going on the design. I didn't want to go too simple as well. This is my version of how I like it -- in the middle. Not too simple, nor too extreme.

Until next year - Merry Christmas