Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Free The Steak

Last Saturday was my 3rd visit to GameCrab (http://gamecrabcafe.com/). I particularly wanted to go back because of something I saw in their website:

How could I NOT take them on? =D

And so I did!

The rules of the challenge are:

  • The game of the month is Super Boggle (a 5x5 letter board).

  • Declare a challenge, and pay P15.

  • Play 5 rounds of Super Boggle, where only 5-letter words and above are counted.

  • Scoring, per word:

    • 5-letters: 2 points

    • 6-letters: 3 points

    • 7-letters: 5 points

    • 8-letters and above: 11 points

  • Beat the GameMaster's total score.

  • Claim your FREE steak! The steak regularly costs P99!

  • One challenge per person per day.

Upon arriving, I was already feeling nervous (as I always do, before competitions). I couldn't get into my "word-finding mindset".

After quite some time (of looking around and sizing up the GameMaster from afar), I overheard someone else asking about the challenge. I was panicky, thinking that someone had beaten me to it. I watched as the GameMaster explained the rules to some guy -- who, lucky for me, was really just asking! The guy left right away -- and I approached the counter soon after!

We took the tables at the center. It was a bit chilly and my hands felt really cold. They were shaking, too. The cold was a welcome excuse for the shaking.

Round 1. As the challenger, I shook up the blocks, let them settle and handed the set to the arbiter. The arbiter puts it down, opens the cover and flips the sand timer. It's on! And I couldn't find any 5-letter words! It took me until one-third of the timer had elapsed before I could write my first word. At the end of round, all but one of the handful of words I could jot down was cancelled. GameMaster Sef, 6. Nikki, 2.

Round 2. It was almost the same story, only slightly worse. GameMaster Sef, 10. Nikki, 2.

Round 3. I was all "What the heck! I suck! I lose!" I didn't quite absorb the rules earlier. I thought that it was a best of 5 match, and if I lost this third round, it was the end of the challenge. I was muttering, "Arrrgh, last round.."

Yes, I am scowling. I got pretty distracted, when I noticed the gang watch. I waved them away, and at one point I even covered my face. I try to excuse myself, saying that I was distracted. GameMaster Sef try to call back the gang, in jest.

I'm sorry, peeps -- I'm at my most anti-social when I'm under pressure..

It ends. GameMaster Sef, 13. Nikki, 6.

I let out a sigh of relief -- relief that it was, at least, over. Then I was told that we weren't done yet! It was explained once again that we were to play out all 5 rounds, and the winner was to be decided based on the total points over those 5 rounds, that I could still catch up! I was saying that it was hopeless anyway, that I had no chance of coming back. But I still played.

Round 4. I forgot about the scores. I forgot about what round it was. I was just.. ready. The timer is flipped, and the game starts. As before, I couldn't figure out any words. I was merely staring at the letters. Until, when almost half the timer had passed, I started tracing a word that snaked across the board. Then, the words just came out.

Behind me are Chester and Edge, spotting lots more words

True relief!

GameMaster Sef, (something). Nikki, 20.

My first word was THIRTEEN -- an 11-pointer!

I couldn't believe it! It was all going too fast!

The score was recorded every round, but I didn't know the running totals. I didn't know how much more I needed. The next and final round started too soon.

Round 5. Again, I didn't start writing early. But after some time, like in the previous round, the words, they just came out. When the round ended, it strangely felt that it ended at just the right time.

We had almost the same number of words written down. Mine were scored first. I had barely cancelled anything on his list. But, it turned out that most of his words were not on the dictionary they were using (most being colloquial words)! I was feeling really hopeful at this point. The scores were totalled.

At the left are GameMaster Sef and Mikong Aguilar (from PhRUG!)

GameMaster Sef, 42. Nikki, 44!

I closed my eyes, tilted my head back and raised both my arms. Aahhh, yes. I missed that feeling.

We shook hands, and he asked me if I was open for a rematch the next time I visited. Of course, I was! =D

I learned that it was his first ever loss. The other Super Boggle GameMaster had already lost once. That made me the second person to win the challenge.

I was told that I had to write on their bulletin.

He pointed at the lower-right corner of the page, and I wrote my name. I was almost finished, when I was interrupted. It seems that I wasn't supposed to write my name! Just a tick on the tally. I felt really dumb.

So, there's the long tally of challengers who lost (lower left), and just two ticks for the challengers who won (lower right) -- and, look at that! That's my name right there!

(photos courtesy of Tin, http://blackstrung.multiply.com/)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Google Reader Friends List Is Gone!

Where'd the friends list go?!

Now I can't just check what Randell shared. Now MY Friends' Shared Items will be flooded by Mike's! And my FRIENDS' Friends' Shared Items list will be flooded by MINE! XD

Oblé On My Money!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Old Cartoons

Bananaman Intro --- didn't really watch this (it didn't get aired here), but I remember reading a couple of issues of the comic book

SuperTed Intro

Danger Mouse Intro

Inspector Gadget Theme

Fraggle Rock Intro

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Opening

Thundercats Theme --- I've always thought something didn't look right about Tigra's retracted whip..

Ulysses Intro --- "Ulysses, UlysseeEEees.. ... UlysseeEEeeEEeeEES!"

Jem Opening --- I remember catching this just for the intro.. >_<


Anybody else miss the FILMATION intro clip? (I did something like that for our very first CompSci project for TurboBASIC.. ASCII animation FTW!)




The Disney stuff kinda stand out to me mostly because, not only were they plainly fun to watch, but for kids' shows they were really well-rounded and the stories were (relatively) well-told. I mean, I'd really feel sad during sad parts, and I'd really get excited during action scenes. The conflicts were much more compelling than in.. Thundercats!

Gummi Bears

Duck Tales --- "Duck Tales! oooOOOooo!" Gizmo Duck FTW! "Blathering Blatherskite!"

Darkwing Duck Intro --- "Let's get dangerous!" I also liked how Launch Pad (and, occasionally, Gizmo Duck) crossed over from Duck Tales!

Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers Intro --- "Ch-ch-ch-Chip N Dale! Rescue Rangers.." I was most affected by this show's dramatic moments, where one of the characters would go off on his own..

Tale Spin --- did someone just fire a GUN?! in a Disney cartoon?!

The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh --- Just the most adorable theme song evar!

Man, I hate the crappy new Mickey Mouse cartoons in Disney Channel (House of Mouse?! WTH)..


Top Cat credits --- My favorite among the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons! The theme and the stories were pretty much grown-up..


A bit off-topic, just something I stumbled onto in YouTube:

Power Rangers VS. TMNT Part 1

Power Rangers VS. TMNT Part 2

..ninja turtles too goofy, clulmsy, jumpy -- like they're clowns or something..

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Micro-blogging is interesting.

I used to be a Twitter-er, but some (unrelated) technical problems lead me away.

I am currently enjoying Plurk.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Watches The Watchmen?


I mean, "We will!"

See the first full-length trailer at http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/07/17/must-watch-zack-snyders-watchmen-trailer-absolutely-stunning/.

The world will look up and shout, "Save us!"

And I'll whisper, "NO."


(UPDATE, 1 minute after posting) I'm baffled by the stand of the original author Alan Moore that he wouldn't watch any film rendition of the Watchmen..


(UPDATE, 3 minutes after last update) How many times should you see that trailer before you'd get tired of it?? I'm guessing-- YOU'RE NOT GONNA GET TIRED OF IT AND YOU'LL KEEP WATCHING IT UNTIL THE MOVIE COMES OUT.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Eyes..

..they're trying to leave me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Spider-Sense Is Tingling



I've felt it coming for several months. A lockdown of some sort.

Thus, I am rethinking. Reconsidering.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Spinning Around

Mark and I did the escalator spin!

Leaving Miggy's kiddie party and the high school batch meeting right after, Mark asks us if we knew about the online video of someone spinning on a pair of escalators.

I didn't!

So we tried it out for ourselves. :D

It was really, really fun! I didn't know what to expect, and I was really surprised at how it felt. I also had a hard time getting off the escalators. =p

Mark has a longer video of himself spinning -- hope he uploads it, too. :)

Here's my video: Nikki Spins on an Escalator

Waste of Space

I've griped about this for too long: I think that the new lobby at the Smart Tower is a huge, huge waste of space!

They have no seats and there're these large mirrored columns.. It's quite a looong stretch of tiles that doesn't even get that filled up!

Pic of a Pic

Kei and myself with Gary Valenciano!

Sometime last June, in Glorietta. =)

Friday, July 11, 2008


Why does Rick Astley still look like how he did 20 years ago?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sad Story, Comic Comments

I don't follow the Hans Reiser story, and I'm not really familiar about Reiser himself.

Mike shared a link to a Slashdot article and noted that there were very interesting comments.

And I found some funnies:

The link to Wikipedia shows:

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Installing Gnome2 IPMessenger

IPMsg (http://www.ipmsg.org/index.html.en) is a staple application here in the office. When I was given a Linux workstation, I then had to run IPMsg for Windows on Wine. However, it pops up a series several error messages on startup.

It was annoying the first time. But I somehow got used to it. But, still, if I could get rid of it, I would.

Then, yesterday, Randell thought of running IPMsg on his laptop which was on Fedora. He said that he downloaded IPMsg from its site, to be sure that he had the latest version. I was also reading around about running IPMsg on different LANs and I found out that IPMsg is open-source and cross-platform! So I took a look at the official site.

There were indeed various versions for different platforms (and languages! there's a Tagalog version?!)! I readily picked GNOME2 IP Messenger, as it was the UNIX version that was most recently updated (2008 at that! version as of writing is g2ipmsg-0.9.5).

A few things about GNOME2 IP Messenger (g2ipmsg), though.

Make sure you have all dependencies installed:

  • libxml-parser-perl

  • libgnomeui-dev

  • libpanel-applet2-dev

(UPDATE 2008-07-06 2:35AM -- additional dependencies)

  • gettext

  • intltool

How to install these depends on the Linux distribution. The easiest way is to use the graphical Package Manager.

(MAJOR UPDATE 2008-07-07 5:27PM)
Randell reported that he couldn't find the dependencies in Fedora -- I was surprised! I did a search and found out that libxml-parser-perl was perl-XML-parser in Fedora! I suppose that the rest of the dependencies are only for Debian-based distros. Randell said that he'd look up the rest, and post a Fedora instructional soon. With that, I'm slapping the apt-get command back into the list below.

After assuring that you have the above dependencies, you can do a conventional build and install from source. Assuming that the current working directory is where g2ipmsg-0.9.5.tar.gz is located:

$ tar zxf g2ipmsg-0.9.5.tar.gz
$ cd g2ipmsg-0.9.5/
$ sudo apt-get install libxml-parser-perl libgnomeui-dev libpanel-applet2-dev gettext intltool
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ sudo g2ipmsg

Make sure to execute sudo g2ipmsg right after installation. You'll only be able to run it without the sudo after a reboot -- I don't know why, though.

I suddenly posted something like this because while researching specifically about this, the search results with definite instructions were non-English sites.