This Post Has No Title

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The past few days of inactivity of this blog has got to be the longest time I haven't posted anything since my Europe trip last year so I might as well give an account of what's been happening.

I'm currently in Hong Kong. When I'm in Hong Kong, I get my internet from our office in Manila. That internet line's been down for more than two weeks now so simple math tells you I don't have any here too. There's net at the flat we're staying at but since people share that connection, I decided to just let others who probably need communications (and Flo.Rida music) more use it instead.

The first day was hell, I swear. 8 hours of office doing nothing but real work was a bitch. Nevermind that I actually worked much faster and ended up finishing in three hours what normally takes a day or two, you know, like a real normal average employee (which is not really my style). It just made things worse. I was bored and there wasn't much to do. I started reading old chatlogs, email, anything that will keep me entertained. I even solved a stupid 3-hour puzzle that's worse than sodoku (I'll post the details of the problem soon). And then I chanced upon this:

GM*Fatima: Now I dont know what's worse. Being trapped in a room with you or completely lost in the jungle.
Nards: Either way, I'm still around. I don't see why you have to make such a big fuss.
GM*Fatima: Operative word is worse. Either way, I'd rather not be in any of the two.
Nards: You're saying it like me with you a bad thing.
GM*Fatima: Remove the word "like" and you're on the money.
Nards: Speaking of money, you know, getting lost like this has given me time to think.
GM*Fatima: Why the need time for something you dont do anyway?
Nards: Meanie. I'll prove it to you.
GM*Fatima: Feel free to debunk my observation about you.
Nards: Okay. What do you see?
GM*Fatima: Jungle. Lots and lots of uncharted jungle.
Nards: I see opportunity.
GM*Fatima: I see that we're completely lost.
Nards: I see potential customer base.
GM*Fatima: What.
Nards: See, if we open up an advice booth right here, we can guide other people who are lost to safety. Then we'd make money off the people who get lost here and become rich. I can see it now "Nard and Wife's Jungle Guides"
GM*Fatima: There's no way in hell the jungle fever did that to you. It must be genetic.
Nards: You know, why do you always have something to complain? My plan is flawless.
GM*Fatima: YOURE PLAN IS FLAWED! DONT YOU GET IT? WE. ARE. LOST. Even we can't find the way out, because like hell if I could, I wouldnt be idling around here talking with you!
Nards: Which is why we need an advice booth here. For lost people like us.
GM*Fatima: How the hell can the blind lead the blind?
Nards: A seeing-eye dog.
Nards: From the pet store, silly.
GM*Fatima: *breathing heavily* I can tell that this conversation is not going anywhere.
Nards: Funny, you should say that.
GM*Fatima: Why?
Nards: Because neither are we.
GM*Fatima: The gods must really be hating me a little bit too much the past few days.

(for those of you not familiar with the series, it's one of the skits of Conversations)

I realized that before, I was also in the same position as I was now: netless and wanting to do anything but work. So I decided to do something that I did a long time ago. I wrote. I tried to recall details for the library fic I mentioned here a before. I didn't remember all the names so I put in placeholders instead.

And it's funny, when your brain stops doing other things and focuses on one thing, it just overdrives, making you perform that task much easier. Same goes for writing. Whence before I wrote at a pace of 2,000 words per week, I've beaten even the NaNoWriMo average of 1800 words a day and started blasting with 6,000 words the first day and then went for the daily average of 3,000 words per day.

I didn't even have to think about what to write. I stared outside and just wrote what my mind "saw". Characters came to life, acted things out. I just wrote my descriptions of the scenes down. All head planning came into fruition. The story followed the path I wrote down before, but taking on a form I myself couldn't have predicted. I was once again enjoying writing stories.

I love writing and I still do, and it took me a week without net to tell myself that. After a few days I finally got to check on the same stuff that I did back when there was still net. I realized how much of those things weren't really what I wanted to do, but how they're just something I do out of habit.

Even some places I used to hang-out in looked very different, with the realization that the reason I had when I joined those hangouts were no longer the reasons why I was staying. I was wasting my time and it was just made apparent. I used to wonder why writers stopped hanging out where I've been doing so for the past five years. Reasons just comes to you eventually, as with many many things in life.

This experience is temporary. I'll probably slow down my writing pace soon, but not in the same sluggish pace I had before, and I'm cool with it. When I get back to Manila next week though, things may become a bit different. Some things are more important and time is a luxury I don't have much of.

Of course I will still keep updating this blog as often as possible, as I have my reasons for doing so well above just loving doing so (and I do). Kayo pa? Lakas nyo sakin eh (you know who you guys are. Fuck if you don't).

Oh and in case you're wondering how I managed to post this, I'm in the process of mastering the ability of speaking to a Chinese ISP using modem bleeps over the phone. Backspace is a bitch. Trying to get to broadband speeds gives me sore lips too.

Whatever works though, works.

Worst Named Production Cars Ever Sold In The Philippines

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Car design is admittedly no easy task, specially if you're just a programmer who happens to enjoy wasting time writing silly articles on the internet. Just one model takes many years of labor, conceptualizing, and engineering. What I don't get is how you can get a team of professionals to get so many things right in car production, from the design of the pistons down to the drag coefficient of the paint - and still screw up the market label of your car. Here are the five worst named cars ever sold in the Philippines.

Suzuki Jimny - We start off our list with the Suzuki Jimny, probably the only car in this world named after a Disney character. I'm not really sure what our guys at Suzuki was thinking when they named a distinctly masculine car after a cricket from Pinocchio, but I am sure the result sucked ass. To make things worse, Jimny isn't even the original name for the Jimny automotive lineage. A few years before Jimny appeared on the market, everybody called Suzuki's 4x4s the Samurai. 10 out of 10 people I never asked nonetheless agreed, Samurai is pretty badass for a name, if you can overlook the fact that real samurais have a bad habit of killing themselves when they can't do what they're told to do. Still, between Samurai and Jimny, fuck Jimny.

Isuzu Crosswind - Our next car is an AUV from Isuzu. The Crosswind. The name itself sounds pretty awesome at first hearing, until you realize that you have a vehicle named after wind that makes airplanes very dangerous things to be on during landing sequences. That's right. Our guys at Isuzu thought it was cool to name your vehicle after crosswind, a dangerous impediment to airborne travel. If that's not a case of being tasteless, I don't know what is. Next thing you know we'll be having a new line of disposable cars. The Isuzu Terrorist: "We'll blow you out of the road!"

Daewoo Racer/Kia Pride - We have a tie here in second place: two cars that I largely suspect were named such for the value of irony the names will have on the cars. The Daewoo Racer is a sub-compact that has 97 horsepower. I'm not a man who's got passion in racing but 97 horsepower is too high for kart racing and too low for decent car racing. Daewoo has a lot of cars with higher HP ratings but they just had to stick the label of "Racer" to their slowest car. You gotta love their audacity in being able to do that. The Kia Pride is in just the same position for.. well.. just think about it. When was the last time you rode a Kia Pride and was especially proud about it?

Everest - Our last car is rather common. If you take a look at Ford's naming convention, they have this thing for names starting with E, not all cars, just most of them. And like the amazing retarded kid that they are, they named their SUV after Mount Everest, defying every possible explanation one could possible come up with. To my knowledge a good vehicle is mobile, fast, safe, and comfortable. The Mount Everest is immobile. A few million years ago it tried to cross Tibetan borders to get a cup of coffee from Nepal. It's still crossing that border. This is because Mt. Everest is slow, moving at about a few inches a year. Yeah, sure, name a car after that. As for safety, Mt. Everest is not exactly the epitome of safety. It likes to kill people who think their penises will be big if they climb it. Nobody fucks with Everest. Need I go on? Yeah, I thought so too. Fuck Ford Everest.

The Emperor's New Posts

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If you're thinking I've been idling out too much because I'm not posting these past few days, you're wrong. Only the pure of heart can read my blogposts. No, I don't know what the pure of heart would want to read in my site, that's just the way those guys roll.

To complete the randomness of this post, have a picture of Stonehenge that I took last year. I learned three things about Stonehenge during my trip that I could not have learned about in books:

- Stonehenge is in the middle of nowhere.
- Middle of nowhere means you're surrounded by nothing but stalls selling fish and chips and film for your digital camera.
- Birds like to crap on the stones.
- Birds occasionally change routines and start crapping on people.
- The grass around Stonehenge are filled with sheep dung.
- You can't cast end of the world spells without paying for the 12 Pound entrance fee
(roughly 1200 pesos) and even if you do, you still can't stand in the middle.
- Summoning satan is a bitch when you're just standing on the side alongside other tourists and they keep on yelling "Oy, move yo ass down tha layn" in perfect Salisbury accent.

Somebody over a two thousand years ago obviously had waaaay too much time in his hands.

So obviously we travel halfway around the globe to take pictures of the end product.

Always look on the bright side of life

Friday, May 09, 2008

Life is hard, and full of sad things.
But sometimes all you need is a smile,

a bit of imagination

and some crayons (or photoshop).

And this world just might be a better place to live in. :)

My Mom

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Here's one joke from my mom.

A guy was handing out fliers for Singles for Christ by the church entrance last Sunday. My mom waited for the guy to see if he'd give her a flier. He didn't. After that my mom turned to me, "Too bad they don't have fliers for Queen-sized for Christ."

I lol'ed.

1010: Library Of Hearts

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My latest working story is finally out, but currently only in Ragnaboards. You don't have to register to read, but comments are for registered members only. (but then again you can always comment there)

I'll try to workpace of releasing at least 1 chapters a week. My link list will be updated as well for a quick reference. The story is about a library that has magical books that contain people's sentiments - and a boy whose life will be changed because of the library's power.


Worst Commercial of The Year

So there we were, my girlfriend and me, sitting inside the cinema watching trailers before the IronMan flick started showing when BAM! Like a sudden surprise turd missile, this commercial hit us in the face. I didn't even have time to react. By the time we realized it, there's enough proverbial shit from premiere to balcony.

The commercial starts with a very important socioeconomic question.


Music reminiscent of Resident Evil starts playing like a prelude to some horrible consequence of the rice shortage. But we never get that. Instead we're treated to probably the weirdest looking rice-service guy ever.

Look at him. It's like the only reason he's enjoying feeding the customers is that because he's bound to eat them afterwards Hansel and Gretel style. And no, the creepy music did not help.

And let's be a bit objective here for a second. How tasteless should your marketing campaign be to find the threat of a looming national food crisis as an appealing come-on line for your food outlet? It's like seeing Baygon ads trying to reach out to emo kids who want to kill themselves. (Not that many will disapprove, but you get the idea) No rice? What the hell.

No, thank you . And fuck you.

In the interest of protecting the restaurant's rep, I will not say its name here. Just because the commercial sucks doesn't mean the food there sucks too. I'll leave it to you guys to find that out for yourselves.

All I can say is, this year will be a year of commercials ruled by this NO RICE?! commercial.

Good show.

Iron Man: A Review

Sunday, May 04, 2008

This post may or may not contain spoilers.

Ironman has always been my favorite guy in the Avengers group of Marvel superheroes. Tony Stark is smart, rich, is a womanizer, has no real superpowers, is an alcoholic and a sociopath. We're kinda similar in some ways (the alcoholic sociopath joe-schmoe part to be specific)

Ironman for me is the technical geek's superhero - a proof that you don't have to be lucky, or born from a special family, or effortlessly predestined for something great to actually do great things - like have raunchy random sex with beautiful reporters, and save the world every now and then. You just have to be fuck smart, which is a trait most geeks think they have anyway and makes them a step closer to realizing their superhero dreams, and their "getting laid" dreams before they die of old age.

That said, of all the superhero movies I've seen the past few years, this one movie about Ironman has gotten me hyped up more than any other. And now that I've seen it, I feel it's only natural that I give my take on it like any generic self-righteous blogger asshole who thinks he knows movies more than anybody else.

Let's stick with the good points of the movie first.

- Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for Tony Stark. For one, he's a real drunken asshole IRL, so that part he doesn't have to act out. He'd just probably go to the set loaded and take it from there.

- The integration of Ironman's origins with the current situation in Afghanistan is pretty apt. Originally, Stark was supposed to have been injured in the Vietnam war. Sticking to that will make it sound stupid, and unfitting since most people who will be watching this film are too young to even remember stuff like the Tet Offensive that happened long before they were born.

- Hugh Hefner is in this movie, even if just in a cameo. Yes. That Playboy Mansion guy.

- Seeing THE ironman in his live-action glory is just too sweet. The technical guys of the film actually made sure as much details are made realistic as possible. ArcReactor bit was somewhat new, but it was a nice explanation that did away with Stark's mandatory daily charge phase. The addition of Palladium as a hydrogen absorbent for the power source will really make you think it's all possible. And yes, seeing Stark being chased around by F22s is pretty awesome too.

- The movie itself is nicely paced, with no real slow bits, very much unlike the wrecks that are GhostRider, Daredevil, Elektra, Spiderman 3 and probably many other failed Marvel movies.

So yeah. There are a lot more good things about this movie but it's far from perfect. Here are my negative remarks on the movie, and probably the assholes who watch the move too.

- The Ironman is bad ass. He's state-of-the-art, created by an unrivaled genius that is Stark. And then who does he get to fight in this movie? Osama fucking bin Laden. Desert rebels that have probably the fanciest terror group name I've ever heard of. Ten Rings? What the fuck Hollywood. So he beats these guys with AK47s up in a makshift suit. And then he goes on to beat more of the bad guys up for a second round with some tanks involved with the upgraded suit. And then for a final enemy, he has that genteel guy from Mr. Deeds who isn't too far away from being Stark's dear old grandpapa. A GRANDFATHER AGAINST A RAGING TECHNOMACHINE?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Suffice to say this movie is all about pitting an overpowered hero against pretty much everything weaker than him - which isnt very heroic to me.

- Some of the scenes are just preposterous - like "building an armor while being monitored and getting away with it" preposterous. Nice work in turning the Afghanistans into a retarded bunch of desert wanderers, assholes.

- At one point of the movie, the rebels gain military powers because Stark Industries sold them weapons - including tanks. Tanks. You'd think smuggling those things out of the country would come by noticed. I can't even bring a tub of hairgel on board a goddamn airplane.

- The worst bit of this movie isn't even part of the movie. I'm talking about the fanboys. You'll never run out of assholes who will keep on saying how it's not possible to escape a hail of rifle fire with just thick armor plating. Or that Ironman's flight prowess looks clumsy and should include vector thrust. Or that he shouldn't be able to shoot out photon beams out of his reactor. You know what? Let it _slide_. This is a movie that came form a comic book. The fact it's all half plausible is nice enough an add-on. It doesn't have to be 100% realistic, otherwise, we'd have ironmen in Iraq right now instead of bomb-prone humvees. Aight? Keep your MIT-grade smuggery to yourself.

So there.

To sum it up, the movie is great, fun, and all around awesome if you don't think too much about the technical aspects of the film. It's also extra fun if you have a penchant for seeing old men getting ass kicked by people half their age (not me). All factors considered, this probably will be one of the best hero movies of the year (yes, there are so many hero movies nowadays they have their own genre).

Unless, of course, Action Hank gets his own movie.


Writing Woes

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Okay, this is supposed to be a personal blog right? Mind if I talk about something not funny for a while (and intentionally)? It's about story writing. In case you didn't know, even long before I started writing retarded articles for this site, I've already been writing stories both short and long for years. I've always managed to keep my writing output for both article essays and prose at a steady balance, but lately this has changed.

I kinda stopped writing stories as much as before. I even have two botched up collabs pending because of my laziness. Sorry Addy, Nerva. m(-_-)m. It's like after I wrote the 70-chapter Wanted:Full-Support Priestess story, I just lost drive to write anything longer than 3,000 words.

I do have story ideas, whole plots, detailed to the scene but I just havent found the drive to jot them down into something that wont leave the people I talk to with light cases of brain mashing. Call it a writer's block. Nothing good gets out. Even the last story I churned out three weeks ago reeked of forced narration.

But I've decided enough is enough. I will be making changes in my routine and ensure I can do better to fix this problem.

1. I'm consulting too many people. Back then I only talked to Riina on a regular basis about my story. These days it's like I'm trying too hard to get people's ideas. This is my story now, I appreciate your input but for now I have to do this myself.

2. I will be reading books again. Fictional books. My vocabulary well is almost going dry. I gotta do something about it before I.. uh... what's that word again? Nevermind.

3. I'll start writing. No more fuckbull procrastination. Well, right after I post this entry. Yeah, serious this time. No more fucking around - after this entry. Promise.

4. I'll stop berating my own work. I can't remember when I got this habit. It's a new habit so I can still do something about it. My work ain't perfect but fuck it. I like them as they are. Fuck you if you disagree (but I'll listen to your comments anyway)

The 1010: The Library Of Hearts will push through. I've decided to post updates in Ragnaboards like before. It's easier to get opinion there.

Oh and just so I don't forget what I write here about next, school haircut inspections. Yeah, those. We all have those.

And yes, for the last time, I haven't forgotten about the top #1 sucky cosplay stereotype entry too.

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