Saturday, January 03, 2009


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


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.


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 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%.


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!

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!