Sunday, August 16, 2009

Game Time Recap

Hah! This is another draft that I forgot to post!

Here's the continued recounting of events surrounding our TV game show experience, which began here.

========================================

July 21, 2009

GAME DAY

  • Kei and I leave early to pass by GMA to claim her wallet
  • We arrive at GMA at 10am, as scheduled
  • We were directed to the dzBB building across the street
  • We wait for the contact person
  • We meet him, and he takes us to another building where we wait again

  • Susan Enriquez comes out of the building; she is interviewed by some college girls right there at the building's entrance

  • The contact person comes out -- it IS Kei's wallet!

  • We proceed to McDo at Q.Ave. to wait for Ma
  • At the table next to us is Leo

  • Ma arrives at 11am, as scheduled
  • I order lunch
  • We wait for Joe-e

  • 12:45pm, and still no Joe-e
  • Ma says we should wait outside
  • Joe-e arrives at 1pm
  • Quick! To the trike!

  • We arrive at ABS-CBN
  • Aldwin is already inside
  • Again with the thermal scanning

  • WE'RE IN!
  • There's that familiar-looking guy again

  • We all go to the dressing rooms
  • We're given forms to fill up
  • We strike up a conversation with some college students from Pampanga
  • Aldwin's mom learns that taping starts at 5pm!
  • We go out to eat
  • There's that familiar-looking guy again
  • He runs up to us, and introduces himself as Cholo from the Folding Water book launch! So that's where I saw him! That was just 2 weeks ago, and I already forgot!
  • Turon!
  • Joe-e buys bottled water for the college students from Pampanga
  • We go back to the dressing rooms

  • We all go to the studio, where the players for the 1st episode are already suited up
  • The set is being tested
  • All the reserves go up the stage for a briefing about the set
  • The 1st episode begins!
  • Yellow team, a team of middle-aged sisters, wasn't able to answer and wasn't eliminated and will return next episode
  • After the Taranta Round, all reserve players were called to the dressing room, where the next set of players will be announced
  • We hoped to be picked for the next episode, since the 3rd and last episode would end near midnight
  • We weren't picked. Among those picked were Cholo's team, another team of UPD alumni, Lou's team and Leo's team
  • Mmeal stubs were distributed and we ate dinner

  • We go back to the studio to watch the 2nd episode
  • Cholo's team gets eliminated in the Elimination Round
  • Yellow team, a team of middle-aged sisters, wasn't able to answer and wasn't eliminated and will return next episode -- again! Also, Lou's Green team
  • Leo's team gets eliminated in a Taranta Round tie-breaker

  • We're called back to the dressing room to wait for the next selection of teams
  • Reimbursements for transportation expenses!
  • We heard that the UPD team, Violet, won
  • Some players were joking around, asking whether anyone was willing to take on the UPD guys
  • Announcement of selected teams: WE'RE IN!
  • I was telling Aldwin and Joe-e that I hoped we be assigned Black team, so we'd have generic looking jackets we could take home
  • This was around 9pm

  • We suit up! We were assigned ORANGE

  • Joe-e and Aldwin put me in the middle, so i'd be the one to answer
  • We test the set
  • One of Grey team's buzzers is broken, and they had to replace it, after taking too long to repair
  • The waiting makes me nervous

  • Episode starts!
  • Thriller dance FAIL

  • Eliminations!
  • 3 teams already qualify, only 1 more team will be selected
  • Joe-e and I bang against the metal barrier which dropped too late -- that hurt!
  • Yellow team gets eliminated
  • We're the 4th team to get in!

  • More briefing
  • Joe-e and Aldwin chose me to answer in case of a tie breaker

  • Taranta Round starts
  • Seat is not ergonomic, my back hurt when we were lowered
  • The question is: Mindanao cities?? Bummer!
  • I get picked to answer first!
  • Water in the face (and glasses) sucks! Couldn't read the choices for around 2 seconds
  • "Digos!"
  • Violet team makes a mistake: Jolo is not a city!
  • Joe-e and Aldwin answer correctly -- WE'RE IN!
  • Lou's Green team gets in as well

  • We were given towels to dry ourselves, and they powder us up a bit
  • We get on the thingies, and we test sensors -- I don't really get when and why swipes don't register somehow.. I decided to bend my knees a bit when I swipe

  • Diskarte Round starts!
  • Joe-e answers first
  • I make the 1st mistake! Sucks!
  • Lou gets the 10K! *gasp*
  • I send Lou Back To Base!
  • Lou passes question to Aldwin, who has yet to answer -- Aldwin knew the answer! Q: US president during Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 -- A: JFK
  • Joe-e passes question to Ayean, Q: which philippines peso bill has "Saligang Batas" -- Ayean answers P100, which is wrong! A: P20
  • Joe-e makes Aldwin advance
  • Joe-e and I are maxed!
  • Lou makes a big mistake -- he didn't send either of us Back To Base!
  • Joe freezes Lou, and maxes Aldwin
  • WE WIN!

  • Break, then briefing about next round
  • Companions and reserve players are sent out of studio

  • We play a mock Jackpot Round -- I sucked! I didn't say "Sure na!", I didn't put my hand back to my chest

  • The real Jackpot Round starts!
  • Aldwin is quick on "Mine!", gets first 3 questions!
  • We pass on the 4th
  • I answer the next question, an NBA question
  • Jjoe-e answers the next question, on fashion
  • We bonk the last question: Aling laruan ang inimbento ng isang karpintero sa Denmark noong 1932?
  • We answered train, despite knowing it was wrong.. We just knew that we were running out of time
  • Joe-e immediately turns to me and asks: wasn't it Lego?
  • Edu reveals that last question first: the answer is Lego!

  • WIIIIIN!!!

========================================

Maaan! Remembering it now still makes my heart beat a little faster!

Yo, Joes!

Kei and I watched G. I. Joe with Joe-e and Aldwin yesterday, Saturday, at Gateway.

[Spoilers ahead?]

Some thoughts:

1) Mike already pointed this out last week: ice is not supposed to sink. So I kinda caught someone utter "tons of ice and metal" when the icepack was blown up. They did say that lots of tunnels and stuff ran through the ice. Is that enough metal to bring down humungous chunks of ice?

2) A lot of movements are messed up! Skidding a speeding jetski to a halt within just a couple of meters?

3) Snake Eyes' mask has lips! What the--?! Taking after Optimus Prime?? Doesn't work.

4) Why the heck was Storm Shadow teary-eyed in the plane?

5) Will there be no Baroness for the sequel?

6) Submarines move like water is air -- WTF!

7) Scottish accents are always welcome!

8) Maybe it was because I watched The Ballad of G.I. Joe before the movie, but I was kinda biased against the movie cast. Come on, it's hard to top The Ballad.

9) I agree with Kei's comment: "ang daming olats moments ng G.I. Joes!" For a team of elite soldiers they sure screw up a lot.

10) Great action! But it didn't feel one bit like G.I. Joe. You could've called them "Alpha Team" (like they did half the time) all-throughout, and it would've still worked. No tinge of nostalgia nor patriotism was invoked.


Friday, August 14, 2009

This Is Just Wrong

Seen from Ayala Ave. at Bench at Glorietta 5:


They want you to "Fight the Economy"?! What?? Isn't the economy starting to recover already? They want to bring the economy down?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why I Still Need To Get A Clear Copy Of Our GKNB Episode

(I wrote this 5 days ago today, way back in August 8, 2009, Saturday. I just saved it as a draft, and I only remembered to publish it today. *rolls eyes*)

1) A lot of our friends still haven't watched it! (Kei's officemate's friend who stays in Singapore recorded the TFC broadcast and uploaded it YouTube! Here are links to Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.)

2) Kei and I missed it! August 7, 2009, Friday, was the date of Iselle's wedding, which I wouldn't miss: Kei was singing (for the bridal march and the contract signing)!

3) My immediate family missed it! As early as 9am, something went wrong with the local cable provider (in LB). They had to do some repairs for most of the day. Kuya Paul quickly thought of buying a TV antenna, but they still didn't get good reception. They had to settle for extremely grainy images. They tried watching it streamed online but, lo and behold!, it was the perfect time for the Internet connection to go erratic! Wel spent a lot of time calling the PLDT hotline yet again.

...

So I need a HIGH quality version of our episode, if only for the sole reason of my parents' eyes not being able to take poor quality streaming versions. (As of August 10, 2009, Monday, my boss gave me a DVD of our episode that he recorded at home! Thanks, Sir Steven!)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Old Faces

I'm home in LB for today's holiday.

Just because I felt like going out, I went to Robinson's at around 6pm, right after I asked Ma if we needed anything from the supermarket.

Since I wasn't in any hurry, I tried to think of what I could do or where I could go to pass the time. I then remembered that, after several years, the arcade is back at the lowest level of the mall, so I went to have a peek.

It was.. mm.. nothing special. I walked around and saw it only had 1 Tekken machine that supports 2 players, and it was Tekken 5. There was this Tekken Tag Tournament machine, but it only had 1 set of controls. I went to the token booth and bought some at 6-pesos a-piece. I played with a bunch of tall kids who I'd guess were in high school. After my last game, one of them went up to me and asked me a question I didn't get at first. I looked up to his face and he repeated the question:

"Kuya, kayo yung sa Vega dati?"

I remember the guy! :-o

"Kami yung mga bata dun dati."

It was one of the twins that used to hang out with Ford back when the arcade at Vega Centre was still in business!

I left shortly after. I went to the supermarket, and on my way to pay at the cashier, another familiar face passed in front of me. It was our History I professor back in our very first semester in UPLB, Prof. Diestro, looking *exactly* how he did 11 years ago!

It was pleasant to have seen faces I didn't really take notice of after so many years, especially since these past days made me get into a reminiscing kind of mood.

(UPDATE) Look, Ma, I'm On TV!

Due to ABS-CBN's near-whole-day coverage of the late, former-President Corazon Aquino (R.I.P.), GAME K N B? was not aired today. This means that our episode will be aired one day later, on August 7, 2009, Friday.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It's (Almost) Game Time!

Here's a recounting of the events that transpired from July 16 to July 21, 2009.

I won't be posting the entire account -- yet. =p

I'll be updating this once in a while, until I've added all the details I can remember. =)

LET'S BEGIN!

========================================

July 16, 2009

  • Joe-e receives call from Aldwin. Aldwin was picked for the screening for Game K N B? and he was looking for teammates. The screening was on 9am the next day.
  • Joe-e asks around the office, I stay silent
  • Joe-e asks me, I think about it
  • I agreed!
  • We arrange to meet at 8am at the Q.Ave. MRT station

  • Kei's wallet is lost! :(

========================================

July 17, 2009

  • I wake up at 5:30am
  • I arrive at McDo below the Q.Ave. MRT station at 7:30am
  • I have my breakfast while reading Folding Water
  • Joe-e notifies me that Aldwin has arrived at 8am
  • I get up to meet Aldwin
  • We wait for Joe-e
  • A group of people are at an adjacent table, 3 of them get up and go. I assumed that they were also going to the screening
  • Joe-e arrives. It was already 8:45am.
  • It's raining outside!

  • We take a trike to the center gate of ABS-CBN
  • A LOT of people are packed under tarp tents inside the gate.
  • We wait a bit.
  • People arrive in groups of 3. Players, too, obviously.
  • We get in and seek shelter under the tents
  • there's this guy who looks veeeery familiar. he also looks at me like I looked familiar.
  • We wait some more.

  • Eventually, we move to yet another tent, nearer to the studio gates.
  • We fall in line for thermal scanning.

  • We walk to Studio 9, where Aldwin, as texter, goes to a separate queue for registration
  • there's that familiar-looking guy again
  • We're in the studio!
  • We fill up info sheets
  • We are given a written test: part 1 is a 10-item IQ test, part 2 is a 10-item trivia quiz
  • We submit our papers. They tell us that we can wait for 30 minutes or so for the results
  • Very weak cell signal inside the studio -- but Joe-e can GPRS!
  • Joe-e researches the answers to the tough trivia questions -- we have 3 definitely wrong answers!
  • They announce those who passed the test. We passed!
  • The others were sent home. We were told to go have lunch and be back for the mock games at 1:30pm.
  • We were the 1st batch, and there were still a lot of people waiting in line
  • We had lunch at The Loop.
  • there's that familiar-looking guy again

  • We went back to the studio gates at 1:30pm
  • there's that familiar-looking guy again
  • We got in again, and waited by Studio 9 with the passers of the 2nd batch
  • we were waiting for the last batch to come out of the studio. turns out they were the 3rd batch.
  • after the studio was cleared, we went back in by batch
  • when they saw that there were a lot of passers, the 2nd batch was sent home
  • several names were called from the 3rd batch. they were teams who came from provinces (tarlac, pampanga, laguna). the rest from the 3rd batch who were not called were sent home.
  • the provincial teams were given a choice whether they would stay or go home early. work was already suspended early due to heavy rains.
  • the provincial teams were advised to stay, so their trip would not be wasted. they stayed.
  • a lengthy briefing
  • start of mock games! but just for the diskarte round. i thought we would use the actual set. instead, they marked the stage with masking tape to indicate the "bases".
  • two teams at a time were called to play a mock diskarte round, until they reach 10 questions or, more, until each player has successfully answered a question
  • several personalities already stand out in the mock games, including Leo (and his cleavage) and Lou (and his booming "Sugod Ako!")
  • in between games, more briefing on the mechanics of the other rounds
  • Joe-e noticed that most of the first to be called were those from the 3rd batch
  • and, yes, we were only called near the end

  • question #1: saang UAAP team naglaro si Chris Tiu?
  • I clapped first!
  • And I forgot the answer.
  • "La Salle?"
  • WRONG!

  • question #2: anong US TV show ang host si supermodel Heidi Klum?
  • I clapped first again! I must redeem myself!
  • "America's Next Top Model!"
  • WRONG AGAIN!

  • on with the game...

  • on with the rest of the teams..

  • a bit more briefing
  • each player can bring along 2 companions
  • they say that we'd be notified 2 days before taping, and expect it in around 2 weeks

  • we go home
  • it was almost 6pm

========================================

July 18, 2009

  • I am at Kei's
  • Joe-e calls
  • We go back to the studio on Tuesday! call time is 1pm!

  • I txt Ma

========================================

July 20, 2009

  • Kei is granted her leave!

  • Kaye informs Kei that Francis heard on the radio while in a taxi: someone found Kei's wallet and surrendered it to GMA/dzBB!

  • Vic wishes me luck. WTH

========================================



Monday, August 03, 2009

Look, Ma, I'm On TV!

This week is GAME K N B? week.

Starting tomorrow, August 4, 2009, Tuesday, until August 6, 2009, Thursday, you can watch Kei and Ma join the show's studio audience!

On August 6, 2009, Thursday, watch as Aldwin, Joe-e and myself nervously and awkwardly play through our very first TV game show!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Technorati Blog Claim

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birthday Eve

I just took my first spoonful of lunch in the office pantry, when Wilma called (received by May) to say that a Red Ribbon delivery just arrived at our building's reception area. I was pretty sure someone was trying to kid me. I went back to our office and asked Wilma about it, and she just said that that's all she knew. Still very much startled, I got my wallet and went down to see what the deal was.

Sure enough, there was this Red Ribbon box on top of the receptionist's desk. I approached it and saw the delivery man hand over some papers that I should sign. It was indeed addressed to me! I looked at the other sheets and saw the order form: it was from Kei! I was laughing in my head! The delivery man pointed to an envelope attached to the box and I took out the note inside. Kei says the cake's an early treat for me and my office buddies. I was feeling reeeaaally giddy on my way back up!

RAAARRR!!!

That's a Coffee Walnut Bavarian from Red Ribbon. It was very delicious! it wasn't too sweet and the flavors were mild but still distinct.

I'm still feeling quite high, right now! ^_^

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Internet Chores

One of Arnold's musings was about one of the major issues I have with the Internet: having to maintain over a dozen "networks".

I just felt like replying:

Good news: No, you're not the only one who cares. :)

Bad news: There isn't an elegant solution for that, for now. :(

There are services out there who try:

1) Ping.fm (http://ping.fm) -- you can update your Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, etc status all at one go! You can also post on several blogs. The problem is that you HAVE TO post using Ping.fm.

2) Mechanical Plurk (http://mechanicalplurk.com/) -- Update your Plurk timeline when you update your Twitter status!

3) Plurk's connections to other networks (Twitter, Multiply, Facebook) -- 'Nuff said! Also, you can harness the convenience of phPlurk (http://phplurk.com)!

Currently, I use the combination of Mechanical Plurk and Plurk's connection to Facebook. The bulk of my online friends are on Twitter, Plurk and Facebook, so I feel that that's enough to cover any updates I make. :)

My usage is:

a) When I'm at work and on my workstation, I post status updates on Twitter, which get posted on Plurk, then on Facebook.

b) When I'm on the road, I txt phPlurk, who posts my update on Plurk, who in turn posts it on Facebook.

Yeah, I know Twitter's left out when I'm mobile -- GPRS access is still usually clunky in the SLEX. Sadly, Twitter's SMS interface isn't available locally yet.

Good luck to us! :D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Week

(Late post, I know.. But this is me..)




Wednesday, Feb 11

Kei and I had a GREAT monthly celebration dinner at John and Yoko in Greenbelt 5. Unfortunately, we don't have any pics of our visit. Inee recommended the place some time last year, but we kinda forgot about it.

I was reminded of it during one of our lunches at the office pantry, with Joe-e recommending a particular dish. I suggested the place to Kei and we were excited about having a new restaurant to try.

We arrived at around 8pm, and I got worried when I saw that the place looked packed. I was still a bit apprehensive even after we were told that there were seats for two. We were seated at the corner nearest the kitchen, and it felt cramped. It was a square table, with one wooden chair on one side, and a short bench that was against the wall. I sat beside Kei on the bench. The seat, although cushioned, wasn't that comfortable. It felt like either the bench was too high (without a back-rest! the wall doesn't count!) or the table was too low.

Our drinks came first. We were milkshake fans, and we've been craving for Cafe Breton's chocolate milkshake for some time, so we opted to try the Choco Godzilla. It was more expensive, and it almost got it right, and our choco milkshake craving was solved. We also had one of those colored iced teas, the blue one. Having different varieties of iced tea was interesting (someone mentioned that each of the red, green and blue iced teas were flavored differently: lime, calamansi and dalandan, although I can't remember which was which).

Next up was the Big Star Salad. It was good, though we've had better. =p

On to the main dish!

First, a bit of backtracking. The entire time we were walking from SM Makati to Greenbelt 5, I was trying to recall the dish that Joe-e recommended. But I couldn't. When we were browsing the menu right after we got seated, I laughed a bit, and I pointed to the menu, suddenly remembering what the dish was, the Japaella. Kei asked what was so funny: the name of the dish that kept popping in my head earlier was Japancit.

Anyway. *ehem* The Japaella. I loved it! We were totally missing World Topps' Paella Valenciana, which has been phased out of their menu for several months now. Having the Japaella was one heck of a way to kick that other paella out of my taste buds' memory! It had just enough toppings of shrimp (they could have shelled them completely, though), chicken teriyaki and chorizo, and the rice had just the right level of savoriness. They say it was good for 3 to 4 persons but (hey, I was starving!) you seem to forget how much you've eaten once you see your plate is empty and the serving plate isn't.

We didn't get any dessert when we first ordered, and it was a smart decision! We were stuffed!

We wiled the time by watching the other customers not finish their food, the waiters passing our table-by-the-kitchen, and a couple of the staff preparing sushi.

After scanning through reviews of the place online just a while ago, I regret not having any pictures taken! When we left the place, my lame excuse for it was that it was too dim anyway..

I also didn't regret it too much, since we agreed that we'd definitely come back.




Thursday, Feb 12

We watched Push -- it was good! It had the same feel as Jumper and Wanted. But as Vic said, the plot lacked "the bigger picture". I particularly liked the expert Mover's fighting style. Dakota Fanning isn't as cute as she used to be, though.. =p




Saturday, Feb 14

We spent the day at Kei's house. =) I was supposed to reformat their PC, but my installer CD copies were busted. That sucked. We made mango-banana shakes a while later, and that cheered me up. =)

They had a Valentine's Day event at their church, and Kei was hosting a game segment. It was Family Feud, and we spent the previous weekend making the game board that would be shown by a projector. I took it as an opportunity to learn more about jQuery (yup, the thingie was done in HTML and JavaScript). =D

Earlier in the day, Kei and I exchanged gifts! =D

Goodies were what I got! Goodies!



Goodies!





*glomps*

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I'm Sorry (But Not Really)

Angel's last blog post says:

Browse through Nikki's Reader Shared Items (feel sad that there's only a few of them)

and:

Check Nikki's Reader Shared Items (feel sad that there's nothing new just when I thought I needed them most - to help me procrastinate)

...

I'm sorry that I let you down..  =p

But I'm not that sorry since I've cut down on sharing stuff intentionally.  I've, so far, succeeded in staying away from Mike's Shared Stuff (which has also shrunk significantly, recently  =p) during workdays.  I've also unsubscribed from a number of feeds since December.

I'm trying to keep off the flooder/spammer label I've had last year..  =D

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New Gmail Look

(sneaky blog post from work!)



New buttons! =D

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cool Astroboy Jacket!

I was on my way to work sometime last week, and I was surprised when this popped in front of me:



Yes, you can really see Astroboy's insides. And it's not a plain print -- it's the kind where you get a different image when you shift your angle of view (paano ko nga ba dapat i-describe, ha? =p)!

(I searched for "astroboy jacket" and I found it here: AstroBoy 3D Hologram Jacket! =D)

PSP Tekken - TV Out using iRShell

I tested the latest iRShell release's new feature: TV Out for the PSP Slim!

Before the iRShell update, I tested using the FuSa plugin. FuSa worked well enough for all the homebrew apps I tried and for some games. The biggest disappointment with FuSa was that it couldn't handle Tekken! Tekken was extremely slow..

The news of AhMan returning to update iRShell came out last week, but I only had the time to test it now. And Tekken works with almost no lag!!! I've yet to see how multiplayer mode fares, though..

One thing FuSa had over iRShell, however, is full-screen display on the TV.

---

I would have like to show how an arcade match performed, but I was home alone and nobody could hold my cellphone for me while I played. My phone had to be held quite close to the TV for the display to show some detail. But the video showing decent framerate is good enough for me (FuSa's framerate really sucked!). =D

Pet Peeves

Vehicles that are "For Registration"

COME ON.  Your car isn't licensed yet -- you CAN'T drive it now.

The only way this should be excused is when it's on its way to actually get registered. But I've spotted "For Registered" *plates* on lots of vehicles stuffed with passengers and baggage -- were they going to camp at the LTO?

~~~

It's been pointed out by a lot:  words keep getting shortened, these days.

Not that I don't abbreviate ever, and I admit that I sometimes find it amusing ("Ped Xing"? Really? Who thought of that?!).

But, sometimes, it just gets in the way of understanding what you read.

You get used to it, too.  I remember, just a couple of weeks ago, reading "how apt" as "how apartment"..

~~~

Aren't you annoyed that Wolverine's claws in cartoons are USELESS in combat?

He's supposed to be this violent, uncontrollable beast, but when he's supposedly on a rampage and he's about to swipe at someone, that guy catches his hands?!

Reminds me of how I felt seeing Leonardo's katanas always missing or getting blocked..


Dreamy

Sifting through the stuff that have accumulated in my pants' back pocket, I found a sheet of paper whose contents I wrote during the last days of 2008, after I woke up feeling extraordinarily refreshed.  Written all over it was:
===================
2008-12-28

I HAD A DREAM

- I was in a light mood.

- I watched events with interest.

- I could act childishly, speak tactlessly without any regret.

- I could run out the door without my stuff being fully-packed, and I would be skipping because I haven't put on my shoes all the way.

- I would skid over gravel and sand with my new shoes and, partially stumbling, I'd get my arms all covered in dust -- even if I'd just washed my hands less than a minute ago.

Oh, man.

How great it felt!

Now, that's one dream I'd like to see fulfilled.

===================

Don't sweat the small stuff
-- but that doesn't mean they should be ignored

Stop overthinking stuf!
-- I haven't seen a worry-wart that's sooo happy, too.

Write stuff down!
-- You know your memory's bad.

There is ALWAYS something to laugh about
-- Find that little bugger!

===================

Don't read Mike's Shared Stuff (and Plurk?) until 6pm (5pm?)

===================

I want:
- PC RAM (+2GB?  or 2x2GB?)
- PSP Memstick (8GB?)

===================

- It's not good to hold it in!

- I regret being so regretful!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Recap

It's the New Year and recap posts are in season!  =D  I've already read Jae's, Cel's and Peppy's.

I haven't written anything in months, so this should make up for all those missing posts.  =p

~~~

Weird Work Hours

In the middle of last January, I was assigned to work the mid-shift at the office.  It was an interesting idea at the time.

The benefits of working mid-shift were obvious from the start.  What wasn't obvious was that those benefits didn't really suit me since sometimes I'd rather do without them, and that the un-obvious cons would usually prevent me from doing something I like.

I didn't have to wake up early, since I only needed to arrive at the office at 2pm.  I also didn't have to contend with the rush hour crowds when commuting to and from work.  When I did wake up early, I then had time to do some cleaning up in our apartment.  I could also pass by the malls that have just opened, so they still weren't crowded.

However, if I got to work late, it also meant that I was going home late (most of the time, early the next day).  I wasn't able to pass by the malls at night anymore (which was when the arcade players were flocking).  I was also spending more on taxi rides to our apartment when I get out of the office at 2am or so -- the cost of one taxi ride would have covered jeep/bus rides for almost the entire week.  I wasn't able to join movie nights-out, dinner get-togethers and geek events/meet-ups.  Kei and I had to both go out of our way just to have dinner dates!  Breakfast dates were interesting at first but, after a dozen of those, I really longed for the more casual dinner dates where we didn't have to hurry to our offices afterward!

Link Sharing

2008 was the year of link spamming and flooding Google Reader shared items!  Sometimes, I just.. get carried away.  Apologies to those who have now opted to ignore all my shared items.

Raving About Ruby

I learned Ruby (and Rails).  I felt very comfortable writing Ruby code.  I found it more intuitive to write with than Java!

Credit goes to Caesar who first introduced me to Ruby almost two years ago.  That eased my re-introduction and my actual immersion to the language.  He also showed me a lot of tips and tricks and Ruby coding idioms, which I wouldn't have figured out by myself.  I tend to go through a very steep learning curve when I'm forced to view things some other way.

Linux Workstation

Along with the new programming language, I also got the chance to feel at home with Linux.  In order to avoid any problems working on our Ruby on Rails project, we were asked to work on Linux, since there were stuff that we needed that didn't have workable Windows ports.  We needed Linux just to make the darned thing work.

My teammate Aries, who has been working for around a year on the project, took it upon himself to setup my Linux workstation.  He installed XUbuntu on it.  He preferred it since its XFCE desktop manager was specifically made to maintain a small memory footprint.  It was the first time I heard about it -- but, now, I love it!  The first thing I did was to make the interface work for me.  For an Ubuntu installation, it now looks too much like Windows XP.  =p

One thing I got from being given a Linux workstation is that I got to keep my Windows one, so I have 2 PC at work!  I feel spoiled.  =p  I hope I can still keep 'em, despite that previous project being over.  =D

PSP

On February, I finally got my last pay -- four months after I resigned (that's relatively quicker than usual, mind you..  XD)!  I awarded myself a PSP.  =D

I mentioned a couple of months before that Tekken by itself makes the PSP worth buying.  There was a time when I was really serious about that.  =p  However, after several rounds of reviewing the PSP, I found that it being a well-rounded portable entertainment device was MY reason to get one.

Tekken 6 At The Arcade

Having the malls real close and on only a slight detour when going to work means that I can have quickies at the arcade!

I was able to get back to playing Tekken at the arcades.  Luckily, the newest installment, Tekken 6, was only more than a month old.  I saw other players still getting familiar with the new stuff, just I as I was.  We were learning off of each other and that made it, not only more enjoyable, but more effective in training ourselves.

Gimiks And Reunions

Despite my new schedule, I wanted to find the time to go out.  Since I'm not free on weeknights, that means that I can only go to get-togethers on weekends.  But since I stay in Makati on weekdays, I try to reserve a day to spend at home.  That drastically cut gimilk time.  Special events were planned a couple of weeks ahead of time, so I won't be too stressed out trying to figure out last-minute schedule changes.

I had to skip some get-togethers that I wanted to go to but, overall, I still got enough gimik time to not feel shackled by my work sked.

I'm really glad I got to go to:
1)  lots of kiddie birthday parties!  We didn't have kiddie parties when we were young!  I don't think I could remember all the kids we partied with, but I could surely remember:
  a)  Mark and Hannah's Sam at Shakey's SM North EDSA [pics of Sam's 3rd Birthday from Mark's Picasa Web Albums]
  b)  Frank and Ria's Miggy at Timezone Glorietta
  c)  Kei's cousins Aaron and Viane at Imus
  d)  my nephew Paolo and my niece Niña at Ate's house here in Los Baños

2)  reunions and mini-reunions!
  a)  Kei's high school friends -- funny guys!  =D
  b)  our 4th-year high school section -- it turns out that these guys actually got together quite frequently!
  c)  our high school batch's reunion, 10 years after graduation! -- I missed a lot of the people I hoped to see there, including PAL and Joshua.  I got to see Pierre and Ivan again!  It was amusing when I realized that people still seemed to be so much like how they were back in high school.  =p

3)  personal meet-ups of online groups
  a)  PhRUG -- this seems like cheating on my part, because the only 2 meet-ups I attended were both held in our office..
  b)  The Mafia Gang -- this group is basically an augmented Dota Gang.  However, I was only able to join their meet-ups for a couple of months, when GameCrab was still newly-discovered.

I opted out of a lot of other invitations from different groups.  A group that sticks out as one I declined too often is our LB barkada.  Sorry guys, better luck this new year.  Everything was just bad timing, as meet-ups always ended up being scheduled over my prior commitments.

Vacations

I have to say that vacations are now an important part of my year.  I can't imagine how dull and bored I would feel if I don't get a fun and relaxing vacation within a whole year!

I still haven't caught up with the number of places Kei has been to.  Her previous office outings have taken her to Boracay and Dakak!  But as long as we're together when I'm vacationing then that's fine by me!  =D  The core of our vacation group include Kei's college friends and former officemates.

I had two beach trips:  Camiguin in June, and Batangas in November.

Our CDO-Camiguin vacation was the longest I ever had, at 5 days and 4 nights.  We all felt that we left too early.  =D

Our Baguio trip reinforced my new vacation motto to not hurry, to take things slow.  Vacations are for relaxing and you shouldn't worry that much about not being able to visit every tourist spot no matter how famous it is.  =)

Going to Tali Beach in Batangas was a one-overnight office outing.  It was Kei sitting this one out.  There were lots of food and booze, I was so drunk I fell asleep on the floor.  My officemates are good people for not taking pics.  Unlike some other people.  XD

Plurk

Plurk is a micro-blogging service, where you can post short messages that other people can reply to.  It takes away your urge to write long paragraphs as you can only post messages up to 140 characters.  I'd say it's a cross of Twitter and Multiply, as those two are the most popular status update and social blogging services among my friends.

When not managed properly, a sufficiently-networked Plurk account is a very effective time sink.  You have to have it in you to use the Mute and Mark All As Read functionalities, especially if you have more important things to do (personally, I don't use the Mark All As Read thingie.. I just put off reading some Plurks until I get home).  Also, beware opening it at work.

Sore Eyes++

I got sore eyes just as December began.  Sure, I had two weeks off of work.  But I was advised to stay at home!  I always said that if you get the chance to skip work, it better not be because you're sick.

It sucked to not be able to stare at a monitor for long without my eyes aching and tearing up.  It sucked being contagious -- I couldn't go out to meet with Kei!

Then there's the stupid complication where my cornea got affected and my left eye's vision has become clouded.  It's gotten better since then, but until now I still can't say it has recovered 100%.

Concerts

Kei and I went to Gary V's previous anniversary concert (held on May every year), but we had to skip this year's.  It was regretful because this year marks his 25th.  Luckily, he had a lot of follow-up performances, so we were able to catch two!  =D

The first one was a short set in Glorietta's Activity Center.  He was promoting his new album.  We had our picture taken with Gary V!  =D

That's a pic I took with my phone's camera of a newly-claimed printed pic.  I sent an MMS to Kei right after I got the print.  =D  Ako ang inakbayan ni Gary V!  =p

Near the end of his Glorietta performance, he announced that he'd still have another set of major anniversary concerts in Araneta in November -- and we had to attend that!  We were lucky enough he did that extra set of concerts, and we felt a lot more grateful after his phenomenal performance!  =D

The other concert I went to was, of course, the Eraserheads Reunion concert, with my high school buddies and some.  Everyone knows how much that rocked.

UP Centennial

I gotta my-ah hoodie!
Yeah!

Other Achievements

1)  Contact with Noel Singidas -- he didn't seem as excited as I was, though..
2)  After Miggy's birthday party, Mark had us do the Escalator Spin
3)  GameCrab memory #1: Free Steak
4)  I was on the credits for a TV documentary on the situation of the residents of Mantigue Island in Camiguin for suggesting the topic to Howie Severino
5)  I was a part of a song and dance number?!  This was for our office Christmas party presentation -- we won 2nd place (among 4 groups)!  =D

~~~

I hope my 2009 will be much more eventful, fulfilling, meaningful, life-improving, and lots-more-positive-adjectives-y than 2008!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  =D