Pool's Closed, Day 2

Friday, August 29, 2008

Last night I was at the Chai Wan pool again, making it the second day in a row. There were fewer people and this time I was with a couple of friends. If I failed to mention it before, the pool area is conveniently located at the side of a freaking mountain accessible only by foot, so long before you dive into the pool, you're already borderline fainting from exhaustion because of the climb. This is probably one of the few pools where people get cramps before they even get wet.

I personally didn't think I'd make it to the pool. My body was still aching from last night's session where I was able to squeeze out 6 laps in an hour (yeah yeah, I suck). Those six laps included doing barrel rolls and other dodging techniques because of the crowded lanes. Speaking of crowded, I'm still unsure whether the pool is heated or the pool water is just warm because of the people inside. So yeah, my body already felt like it had lead ballasts around it, but I've always heard that the quickest way to remove muscle pain brought by exercise is to follow through with more exercise.

Call me slow, but I only lately learned that the governing principle behind that belief is that if you exercise more when you're dead tired, you're bound to die. Dead people don't get muscle pain.

I also tried the diving pool last night. A diving pool, so you know, is a pool that's usually smaller than other pools but much deeper. A diving board or two is in place and you get to practice there the fine fine art of entering the water with as little accompanying pain as possible.

See, apparently, water is only fluid when you're already in the water. Water has this property we call "being a jerk" which allows it to harden like cement when it sees you hurtling toward it at very fast speeds generously sponsored by gravity.

To be honest, I don't really know jack shit about platform diving, or just plain diving for that matter. Half the time I can't even enter the water properly while jumping off the side of a normal pool. Last night was my first time doing an actual platform dive.

I actually thought it'd be easy, but in the end I got scared of jumping and then hitting the plan on my way down, I forgot to realign myself properly so that you "pierce" the water with your feet or arms and not fall flat on the water surface like how they do it in the cartoons.

Apparently, I have a natural affinity for things cartoonish. My chest hit the water first. If you want to know how it feels, have three guys punch you in the left and right side of yoru chests and then your abdomen simultanously, then have yourself thrown in deep water. Shit just knocks the wind out of you, I swear.

If you're going to ask me whether or not I'll be doing that thing again, I probably will.

But maybe it'll have to wait until I can move other muscles in my body that's not involved in typing out this article.

Pool's Closed

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I just need to get this out. A lap pool called a lap pool because some people need to do laps. Not everybody in the swimming pool park is in there to soak up and engage in contests about who can hold their breath the longest.

So anyway, last night, I finally got to swim again in the Chai Wan water park. There were a lot of people, presumable for three reasons.

1. It's still summer and there are no classes in school.
2. The entrance is free because of the Beijing Olympics.
3. I'm going to be there.

In order to avoid the much more crowded and generally more unsavory "anything goes" pool which was partially populated by children who still fancy urinating without getting out of the water, I just had to go to the lap pool. The lap pool in this place is something akin to the expressway. People follow the lanes and swim from end to end without stopping for rest every two minutes. On more crowded days, you can find yourself swimming behind somebody and have another person swimming behind you on one lane. Yeah, pressure. It's tough to swim in this type of pool, but hey, getting tired beats swallowing urine-water any day. Being of standard olympic depth, there are fewer kids in this pool.

On my third lap last night, I was doing a brisk breaststroke run when I felt my feet land on something solid after I frog kicked. Since I was in the middle of the pool and not on one end, it could not possibly have been the wall. I looked behind and saw a kid thrashing in the water, presumably in pain, either that or he likes to dance the wiggler underwater.

As it turns out, the kid in his teens had crossed the pool sideways just after I had passed him, causing him to end up where my legs are supposed to kick to give me the thrust. I can't really confirm if he broke a rib but he looked like far from dying. The kid left the pool promptly and I continued my run. Okay, he didn't leave the pool. His hauled him out. Was it really my fault?

You know, people don't cross EDSA haphazardly for a reason. IF you jump into a steady stream of fast-moving people who are utilizing every major muscle in their body while swimming you CAN get seriously injured.

Sometimes I think the reason why some people float easier is that they have bubbles of air where their brains should be.

In other news, left shoulder still feels numb.

That is all.

Pokemon: The Golden Years

And so it came to pass that Ash finally caught all those gajillion pokemons people rap about after so many years of running around the world. Nowadays he's just bent in getting rid of other things he caught along the journey - hernia, diabetes, and a really bad case of scoliosis.

Video of President Arroyo's Outburst

Friday, August 22, 2008

The tape basically contains a 10 minute view into President Arroyo's outburst after arriving at a taping to find out the cameras weren't ready yet. From what I've heard, she was supposed to deliver her statement regarding the fighting in Lanao Del Norte.

More than seeing our dear leader pissed, I find it more interesting to find just how many people can be found in this video standing around and doing nothing. Maybe one or two of these guys are security detail, but looking at the faces of some of these guys, they're too old to be doing security. It took three men to replace the goddamn logo behind the desk for fuck's sake. Everytime a question is thrown, like how long will the setup take, the question bounces off at least four people before somebody gets an estimate.

Worst bit? We're paying for these assholes who wouldn't last a month working for a privately owned studio. That's right. We're using up taxes from the salaries that we earned by acting professionally to hire morons who wouldn't know rapid deployment from lose bowel movement.

Typical government.

Where is Indian superman when we need him?

Indian Superman

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'll just leave this here...

Points to ponder (Gabay sa Pagaaral):

- More than 10 years before DC and Marvel superheroes clashed in DC vs Marvel, we find here Superman trying to sex up Spiderman, dancing with him in the air in what would only appear to look like a Kryptonian mating ritual. Strangely enough, Spiderman looks like a woman, but I don't think such trivial matter should be given more attention, because Superman is gay.

- Apparently even superhero positions can be outsourced to Indians. Next thing you know, gangster rap videos will be staring Punjab too.

- Even Superhero Films doesn't escape the bollywood treatment. Superman just has to SING (or supersing for that matter) and DANCE. And by counting the number of backup dancers he has, this has got to be the most sociable superman in film history.

- When it comes to the "most" records, this superman also has the biggest "S" symbol. Whether or not he's compensating I'd rather not know.

- This film is actually very very controversial. Kissing in public, and specially on film is an Indian taboo and this clip is one of the few instances you see indian people kissing on scene. Maybe all that dancing is their way of sublimating emotions? Take that interpretive dancers!

- Looking at how Superman looks here, I'm not really surprised why Travola never got the role as the superman in any of his films.

Conversations In My Head

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Many people wonder where I'm getting all the stuff I write here. Some people suspect that I have an army of smuggled slaves at the basement of my house writing random shit everyday. They're wrong though, the slaves aren't there for writing, theyre there to keep my house from getting flooded, but I digress. I actually have a bunch of personas in my head talking to each other all the time about the randomest of things and do nothing else, kinda like corporate bums without the cup of coffee in hand. A typical convo would go something like this:

Pubes: Dude. What's with the names?

Titiks: Don't ask me man. At least yours is still a bit discrete.

Pubes: Still not something I can go brag about to my future children.

Titiks: It'd go like "Kids, you know where my name came from? Shag rags. Shag bushes."

Pubes: Shagbush. I like that. Sounds like every American-hating terrorist's wet dream.

Titiks: Uhh I'd rather not go there.

Pubes: Anyway why are we here, instead of a coherent post?

Titiks: Coherent is something I haven't seen or heard around this place for a very long time. Like God showered the world with coherence and this place turned into the Sahara of Coherent thought.

Pubes: "Welcome to Public Static. Surrender your remaining IQ to the big muscular guy at the entrance."

Titiks: ... You know what ticks me off? It's like every other person who stumbles upon this site manages to misread the title into pubic static.

Pubes: If there's such a thing as pubic static, I imagine it to be God's way of punishing frequent masturbators. Masturbate a lot, pubic static builds up. Next thing you know, you get electrocuted for being so lecherous.

Titiks: If we can just tap that energy and we'd have solved the energy crisis of this country.

Pubes: If wanking off produces electricity, Japan would probably be able to supply electricity for half the world.

Titiks: Next thing you know, America's raiding the country for attempting to enrich weaponized porn.

Pubes: I'll never look at Bukakke the same way again.

Titiks: Or the common carrot.

Pubes: What?

Titiks: Nothing.

So yeah, ideas ahoy.

Wall-E : A Movie Walkthrough

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Instead of the usual review format, I'd like do something else for this movie. It's called a movie walkthrough. I'll be making comments about various parts of the film in the same manner you hear the know-it-all jerkoff behind your seat, making snide remarks while watching the actual movie. (yes, dipstick, we don't care if some things in this show are impossible. It's a fucking cartoon.) This time though, you're not watching the actual movie, so nobody has to stab anybody. Oh and yeah, in case you still don't know, there will be spoilers.

Anyway, on with the show.

The cinema is dark, the trailers have been shown. Movie opens up and we see Wall-E. The first part of Wall-E is a digitized remake of Resiklo, we have an old, clunky creature (Wall-E/Bong Revilla) trying to do what they're expected to do with their lives (recycle/suck ass). Now before I completely derail this article by ranting how much Resiklo sucked, let's just continue.

One thing noticieable by oldfags watching this movie is that Wall-E looks like the aborted fetus of Johnny Five from the 80s movie ShortCircuit. It's a nice nod to a classic robot deisgn. Maybe the guys at Buy 'n Large were movie buffs, but I don't see how that's relevant.

Enter EVE - a robot that looks like an egg, if in the future iPods learned to lay eggs. Armed with lazers, and lots of LED for eyes. Her die-rec-tive to find life forms on the planet. Wall-E falls in love with her at first sight, because come on, 200 years without tang won't really leave you picky.

The two get to know each other and Wall-E manages to make the girl fall for him using the only way most guys of our time know. Wall-E gives EVE the plant, which instantaneously knocks her out. Hilarity ensues. Did I say hilarity? I meant date rape.

You can argue all you want, but if making a girl dress up while she's unconsicous, taking her places, forcibly prying her hands from her cold hard casing against will (or lack there of) doesn't consitute "taking advantage", I don't know what will.

Anyhoo, a big ship takes EVE in for a ride and Wall-E bravely tags along. We are then presented with the world-ship Axiom, which has turned into a space fatfarm after floating around space for years.

In the ship, nobody ever walks around anymore. Everything is automated, and made easy from liquid food to built-in Google within the floating chairs of the people. The rest of the jobs are managed by robots, including the piloting of the ship. At this point, the movie is posing a very strong position against people living sedentary escapist lives, with allusions to the internet and solitary living. Kinda ironic since a good handful of people will be watching this on the internet, in front of their computers, alone. (hint: it's still showing at the cinemas)

Towards the end of the film Wall-E manages to stage an uprising (kinda like resiklo) against the totalitarian robots who have been preventing the return of humans to Earth, still looking blue and brown. Wall-E's antics manages to convince people that robots make bad drivers and that they should return to earth, ushering another era of large beasts roaming this world long after the dinosaurs have died out. Oh and yeah, people finally own up to the mistakes of their ancestors and start cleaning up and stuff, which is probably the most unrealistic aspect of the movie since PC nerds are the hardest people to convince when it comes to cleaning. Ask your mom if youre not convinced.

Anyhoo, Wall-E gets returned to his home shack and gets fixed up by EVE, and they live happily ever after, or whatever it is that robots do when they hook up.

As for my take on the movie, I think it's nice to see that you can actually send a message about staying healthy and doing something for the environment without sounding like a snobby asshole like Al Gore.
All in all, the movie was well worth a second viewing, and warrants a good recommendation, specially to fat friends who like to hang out in front of computers all day.

Now if you don't mind, I'll return to my daily routine of whoring out the internet.

Bright Headlamps aren't.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Here's a theorem for all you sad motorfags:

Bright lights are only used by drivers who aren't.

Let me begin with the fact that I never really understood people wanting to "customize" their cars beyond practical function. Rear spoilers were meant to improve tire grip, but I don't think they work with cars that spend 80% of their time on the road in bumper to bumper traffic. Those overlarge mufflers, too, have long since been proven to be ineffective in making your car perform better, or compensate small penises for that matter. I'm also against the trend of putting ornamental drivers behind the wheel, specially when they have the thinking capability of a week-old potato salad.

For quite some time now, there's this trend where people change the bulbs of their headlights into something helluva bright like xenon and halogen and then use them at night high-fucking-beam. Reasons for doing so range from the seemingly practical "so I see shit better" to the more mundane "because it makes me look cooler".

You know, those engineers over at the safety section of the car company that made your car didn't choose the current light bulb settings in your car for the heck of it. Maybe, we should consider for a moment that, like, maybe these guys actually spent hundreds of hours trying to balance out your ability to see better at night and the ability of cars ahead of you to not develop eye tumors by seeing your headlamps from 5 kilometers away.

I know I don't have the best eyes at night, and yes, on particularly rainy evenings, I have to turn on my optional halogens. What I can't really get are the assholes who use them even when they're cruising on a full-moon night on a highway with perfectly good road lighting. Is it for safety?

Consider how safe it is to walk in a sidewalk where there are blind cyclists. Now imagine the cyclists weighing around a ton and moving about at around 100 km per hour, because that's what bright lights do to a driver seeing them on the wrong end - they fucking blind him. And unless cruise sonar gets invented for cars, or we evolve echolocation using our cackles, blind drivers are about 100x more dangerous than second hand smoke when applied directly to your chest.

And it's not like our local traffic bureau is helping. Shit, they can't even implement catching vanity plate users. (Yes, moron, it's illegal to not display your standard license even if you have a vanity plate available). A few years ago they banned "stainless" owner-type jeeps from the road because they blind people at night. I get the feeling that the reason they thought it was the jeep that's causing the blindness was that there's some dipstick with halogens behind the jeep reflecting all that light on the shiny surface. Talk about missing the root of the problem huh?

Yes I am well aware that we do have drivers that can't see well in the dark enough to drive properly. You'd think for this case, they're allowed to use bright lights. WRONG. If you have a driver's license, you should check the back part where they specify special conditions. I.e. if your license has these, you will not be allowed to drive under certain circumstances. And for the circumstance that you can't drive at night when it's dark, there's condition C.

Daylight driving only!

There are times I just wished our government didn't forget to implement the very same regulations that they give to the road users. Maan. Fuck the halofags. And fuck the government for letting them get away with it.

My Personal Commuting History

This post is just a random collection of facts I managed to salvage from the failing memory blocks of my youth. The topic? Transportation in general.

- I first learned how to commute from my school to our house at age 7, when I was in Grade 2. Back then the minimum fare was 50 centavos, and it was actually possible for you to get enough money for the trip by returning a cokebottle or two at our school canteen.

- I studied in Parañaque and lived in Bacoor, Cavite. There's roughly 18 km distance between the two. While I knew how to commute from my school to my house and did so rather regularly, I can only remember less than 10 instances when I had to commute from my house to school throughout my gradeschool years.

- Traveltime to and from school ranges from an hour to an hour and a half. If I had enough guts to cross the coastal road highway just beside our school, it would only take 25 minutes. The number of students killed while doing this, however, is more than enough to discourage me from doing it often.

- Running out of money for even traveling back to my house is unlikely, but not impossible. Happened to me at least five times. I've done 123 (riding without paying), begged strangers for money, and walked when my money could not afford the whole trip. I also walked when there were no jeeps to ride which happened almost once every month. The farthest distance I've had to walk was from Pulanglupa, Las Pinas to my house in Bacoor Cavite - while hauling a very heavy schoolbag.

- When I reached highschool, I literally went places just to look for good places where I can rent gaming consoles/LAN-ed computers. The farthest place I went to play PSX is Binakayan, Cavite, another 10 kms from my house on the opposite direction of my school. (so coming from school, I first had to travel 28 kms just to be able to play Castlevania without fear of getting caught by my parents.

- The average departure time of schoolbuses that picked me up is 615. When my sister started driving at the age of 14 however, she liked to leave at around 530 to avoid traffic. Either way, I always woke up around 4am.

- I first learned how to drive at age 11 after being taught by my dad in the beaches of Saudi Arabia, but I didn't get a license until I was already 16 and in college. For my first car, I drove an '81 model Isuzu Gemini with a 2.0 diesel engine, 3 years older than me. It's the type of car that still used heaters, and it took a minute to start up. Back then, my average weekly spending on fuel was less than 300 pesos. Interestingly, today, that's roughly the cost of fuel spent on one round trip from Manila to Cavite on a gasoline vehicle with the same engine size.

- That same Isuzu Gemini is still being driven around today by my relatives, 27 years after it was first used.

- Hitchhiking sounds fun but I've never tried it. Yet.

That's about it for the more interesting factoids. I'll just update this post in the future when I remember other stuff.

Recah Trinidad

Friday, August 15, 2008

I've always been critical at the approach Philippine Daily Inquirer took in reporting news. I don't like the idea that most writers doing the online news are only focused on bagging the higher Google ranking by reporting as fast as they can, no matter how wrong the news gets. I don't like their sensationalist style of reporting. And I don't like the idea that journalism and blogging are sleeping in the same bed. Shit sucks, but hey, that's their style.

And then came Recah Trinidad.

Yesterday afternoon I was browsing through the inquirer articles about the Olympics in the inquirer.net website, trying to look for the results of olympian Tañamor when I saw this article:

Team Philippines: Who’s the biggest flop of all?

I think my mind broke down several times trying to digest the article. If you read some of my more rant-ridden articles on this site, you will notice that I don't have a lot of respect for other people's beliefs either but Christ, this guy just sucks at what he's doing.

I remember Anna saying when I talked to her about this, that sometimes for you to stand out, you have to sensationalize your work, even to the point of controversy. I agree on that, but Recah Trinidad went past the realm of controversy and made a mabuhay-miles roundtrip to the realm of retardation. If you can even comprehend what's written on the page, you'd have a strong suspicion the writer is either drunk, high, or mentally defective.

Okay, the premise of the article is criticizing how pitiful our Olympians are in the world arena. Got it. From my experience in this site, banking on a premise that's naturally LOL material is already jackshit easy to do. Insult comedy is the easiest comedy; ask any gay comedian in a comedy club. But the thing is, even with a good premise, Ricah still manages to fail at being funny (or at least visciously witty) in the article, and wholly misses the point of his own writing style.

That's the thing about insult comedy. If you're going for insulting people to get laughter, you absolutely have to make people laugh and make the pain worth the gain, or else you will be the next sacrifice. In more religious terms, if you're going for human sacrifice, there better be pussy raining from the heavens afterwards. For Trinidad's pitiful case, it's raining stupid, by the bucket, and nobody's finding it amusing.

I'm sure his style of journalism will earn him at least some following, even if it's just a group of people trailing his ass for the opportunity to kill him and stop his genes from being passed on the the next generation. What I don't understand is why a publication like the Philippine Daily Inquirer allows a bad apple like this guy mix in with the other, generally more respectable journalists. Suffice to say the quality of journalism since the breaking of the cyberspace age has gone dramatically down and people like Mr. Trinidad are the cancer that's speeding up the process of killing intellectual thought online.

At some point in the future this page will get indexed and will be one of the front page results when googling and Recah might be able to read this. That'd be nice.

Recah Trinidad, your writing style and attitude has serious problems. Find a new way of attracting attention, or find another career. I heard the construction industry is currently expanding their manpower pool. Nobody will complain there if you can't be funny while manually mixing cement.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

One of the things that I never really got to experience back in Highschool is having my own locker, a small lockable storage of sorts allocated to you at the start of a quarter/schoolyear where you can store your books and other belongings. You'd think at this day and age, a private school would already have this sort of convenience that probably existed long before many other inventions like the automobile and textspeak.

No, we didn't have those. It was actually forbidden to use such tools of satan. We asked our teachers why the school admin refuses to let us keep some of our books in school, you know, so we don't look like homeless people who carry around everything we own in our backs, they had a simple answer: carrying books fosters diligence and teaches us the values of hard work.

I swear to God they really said that. The only thing fostered by carrying some 200 kilos worth of schoolgear everyday is a hunchback the size of a regulation-sized volleyball. And for somebody like me who has to commute everday some 20 kilometers from Paranaque to Cavite, I probably could've done summer jobs as a beast of burden.

Like many things in highschool however, the problem is only as intolerable as one's inability to find "workarounds". If my memory serves me right, there were four primary ways of circumventing the problem of having to carry a very heavy bag to school:

1. Tearing the book into sections and brining to school only what's needed - A generally good idea if you are a single kid who doesn't have a brother who will need the book as a hand-me-down, but a definite bad idea when the teacher asks the book to be submitted, if in case it's a workbook. Good luck trying to explain the anorexic state of your book.

2. Borrow books from another class
The beauty of highschool education is that normally, no two classes on the same level take the same subject at the same time. That means books not being used by the other class can be borrowed by a class currently taking the subject. Smuggling books in between classrooms can be quite a bitch however, because students are rarely allowed to loiter outside in between classes.

3. Not bringing anything at all.
This method is not for the weakhearted. Practitioners are often dubbed "Scholar ng Bayan" for some reason I never really understood. The best bet I can think of is that scholars are too poor/smart for books. It takes balls to face a teacher who asks you where your book is and "bring it" by saying "I didn't bring it."

4. Hide the books in school
The most popular method, people resort to just finding nook and crannies to hide books. Some of the more popular locations include, but are defintitely not limited to:

- Under the teaching platform in front of the classroom
- Houses of friends who live nearby
- In between the trusses of the scaffolding behind the blackboard
- Among workbooks that are kept in school for exception
- Between newspapers during newspaper fund drives (sometimes they get accidentally donated)
- Inside other people's bags (typically, people who don't study at home and hence don't notice their additional burden until the following day when the book is retrieved by the owner)
- CAT Room, though for officers only
- Inside teacher's desks
- Under the chairs (for the very lazy people)
- Abandoned coca-cola shack behind the Church

While not exactly capital crime, hiding books in school is discouraged, frowned upon, and punished with different penalties ranging from a deduction in the student's conduct ratings. confiscations of the found books, and putting hefty fines per book (20 pesos per piece at the time was heavy indeed)

Book raids were conducted every now and then by the class advisers so hiding books was a constant game of cloak and dagger, with its own set of sympathizers, traitors and the like. Sometimes though, books just take a life of their own and turn themselves in. There was one time my professor was writing on the blackboard when he hit the board a bit too hard, presumably because we were being the inattentive dicks we've always been. Three books promptly fell from behind the blackboard.

Classrooms were definitely hard places to hide in so books were often stored outside classrooms but within the school grounds. One big problem that this posed though, is that books that get stored this way tend to get hidden a bit too well, by that I mean "stolen". I remember losing my Algebra book and Biology book that way. Since it was midschoolyear and I still needed to get educated somehow, I did what any normal student in my school would.

I stole somebody else's.

There are days I think of going back to my school and telling our teachers and school admin the effects of their policies, but then again I get to think, it's not all too bad. If we did have lockers in the first place, I wouldn't have learned a lot of life's lessons and skills I will need to survive in the real world.

Like hiding things, and making sure nobody fucks with them.

911 - Pinas Style

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

[localized post. come back tomorrow for something in English]

Hindi maipagkakaila na masayahin ang mga pilipino. Gusto mo ng patunay? Isipin mo yung 911 hotline. Sa ibang bansa gaya ng States, pag nagdial ka ng 911, kahit ano pa problema mo, sunog, krimen, sakit sa puso, sakit sa sunog na krimen, may darating agad na tulong, mabilis pa sa alas-kwatro.

Dito sa Pilipinas, pag may emergency tapos ginawa mo yun, pag tumawag ka ng 911, may reresponde rin ng mabilis na mabilis. Pero imbes na tulong ng ambulansya o firetruck makukuha mo, ang darating sa bahay mo e lalaking nakamotorsiklo.

Taena, wala ngang papatay ng sunog, pero at least may pizza ka diba? 30 minutes or less yun "or your next pizza is free"! Pag may palm card ka may libre na isa pang pizza saka pepsi max. Ayus. Kulang na lang yung component ng kapitbahay, pwede ka na magjamming. Yun nga lang, pag sakit sa puso yung itinawag mo medyo sa langit mo na uubusin yung stuffed crust kasi dedbols ka na. Pero at least happy diba?

Walang ganyan sa States!

Some Changes

For various reasons, this blog will now be releasing articles in both English and Filipino. Articles in the vernacular will be labeled as such.

Sa kadahilanan na hindi ko alam, at hindi ko balak alamin, magsusulat na rin ako ng mga Filipino na entries dito sa aking blog. Lalagyan ko na lang ng babala yung mga kwentong Pinoy, para na rin sa kapakanan ng ating mga porenjer na nagbabasa (kung meron. meron ba? meron yaaaan.)

Estoy para mas itech, que me sulat ng chuvanacius in English ets Filipino. Me chenes in Pinoy a chikadees itchen. Charing?

Chocolate Hills

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One reason why I'll never become a narrator for any Discovery Channel Special.


Monday, August 11, 2008

So as I mentioned earlier, I went to our company team building last weekend held at Bohol. For non-Filipinos, expats, and geographically retarded people, it's an island just southwest of Cebu, in the middle of the region known as Visayas.

I did not openly say that I am going to Bohol beforehand because sudden detours might cause me to end up somewhere else (like, for example, the bottom of the ocean, if the airplane decides to join a stop-dance contest midair). If that had happened, we'd be talking about the finer points of dying while screaming at 30,000 feet. It didn't, so I'll talk about the wonderful island of Bohol instead.

Here are some things that I learned about Bohol on that trip:

- Contrary to my previous belief, Bohol's population is mainly comprised of normal Filipinos who aren't practicing cannibals. The main staple food of people there are Peanut Kisses (peanuts with lots of sugar coating) and bananas (which seem to be so abundant everywhere).

- On a particularly clear day, from Bohol's beaches, you can actually see the island of Australia. Very small, of course*. It's slightly to the right of the island of France.

- The chocolate hills are not edible. They will not fit into your pocket either. If you look at them hard enough though, you'd see lots of boobs (that are coloured elf-green)

- When it comes to natural resources, Bohol has the country's 3rd largest deposited amount of fully exploitable Korean Tourists, right next to Boracay and Malate - a resource which can be further refined into koreanovelas and/or Kimchi.

- Tarsiers are very lazy animals. Like any full-blooded Filipino, they go back to their open cages only because there's free food and free photo-ops.

- Dolpins are also abundant in Bohol. Their main source of recreation is to swim in groups and see how many gullible toads/humans they can bring out into the far side of the sea while making them seasick in the process. Bonus points for a dolphin who is able to lure a tourist far enough over the ledge of a boat to make him/her fall off (also known as a touchdown)

- Whistles on lifevests don't attract dolphins. They are, however, very effective tools to let other people in the boat know that you are mentally handicapped.

- For urine to actually work on people who step on Sea Urchin, it has to be applied on the area of the wound and not on other parts of the body, including the victim's face.

- Starfishes are cool creatures. They just sit on top of the bottom of the beach and don't do anything. At least not until you take them out and throw them like ninja stars (during which they become deadly weapons of mass isda-ction.

- I like puns.

Bohol is awesome. That is all. Have a nice day.

*+10 points for the movie assholes who got the Titanic movie reference here

Notice of Absence

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'll be on leave from tomorrow until Sunday for our company's annual team building exercises. Rest assured however, that we have substitutes working on articles while I'm gone.

Or not.

I wish

I wish 胸の十字架をにぎり 朝は
希望があなたにふりそそぎ 夜は
やわらかな光が あなたを包み込み

A Quick Review Of Class Officer Positions

We've all been through electing, or even getting elected as a class officer in our lives. Sure, we never really understood what these positions were for, but hey, making a mockery of what election should be is any kid's right. Anybody who's been able to at least reach up to the first grade should be able to relate to this. And if ever you went through your education without encountering any of these officer positions, you're either a wudan shaolin monk, or a retarded kid taking SPED. (imagining shaolin monks spending time on the net to read my blog sounds awesome though.)

Anyway, here's how I remember the different class officer positions.

1. President.

El Presidente. For my case, the guy who takes the president's spot is either the alpha male of the class who has the highest chance of getting laid by the most number of women or the guy who was voted into the position for the sake of having a president. Either way, the president gets to represent the class in a lot of things, including but not limited to student council meetings, first friday mass offerings, schoolfights, and first friday student council school fights. The president also may take the responsibility of being the teacher's personal butler in class, and occassionally the class police (by listing those tho are Talking, Playing, and Standing (TPS), the capital offences of our younger years. Exposure of this position is very good, though having to collect homework for the teacher can be a bitch (specially if you're the only guy who didn't do his)

2. Vice President

Somewhat a progenitor of our government's vice presidential position, nobody really knows what Vice President is for, outside replacing the president in the event he gets sick, imprisoned in city jail, or dies from canteen food poisoning. Of the various positions, the vice presidential position is possibly the sweetest position to have since you get the title but you have no real responsibility to worry about.

3. Secretary

The only distinctive feature of the secretary I can think of is that the elected student is usually female, or in the absence of such a biological gender (such as in my school), a guy with really really effeminate handwriting. The secretary is no more a secretary than he is a scribe, whose sole function in life is to write, and occasionally decorate the various bulletin board with cut out felt paper lettering and/or pictures of dead heroes. Being a secretary sucks, but still it pales in comparison to our next position...

4. The treasurer

On one hand, whoever gets elected to this position can say an entire group of people are able to trust him enough to give him money and not expect him to waste it on less important things like bad canteen food and hookers. On the other hand, when was the last time did you have a treasurer who people actually found cool? This guy is an accountant, a kubrador, and a safety vault all rolled into one. Most of the time the guy who accepts this sort of position is a masochist who just loves pain. Collecting any money in highschool, even if it's just a peso for the teacher's lecture photocopy, fieldtrip fees, or forced concert ticket payments is about as hard as robbing people of their kidneys without any tools.

5. Sergeant at Arms

I never really quite understood what these people are for. Kids who get this position are often large people, but they never do anything. They're fierce contenders of the vice president for the most useless spot in this list. My girlfriend told me these guys are supposed to arrange students in line and keep them behaved but in my 10 years of studying in gradeschool and highschool, I've never really seen this in action. Usually the guys who get elected for this position are even bigger assholes than the other students, so I really dunno.

6. PRO (Public Relations Officer)

This position isn't really a standard for all classes, and most of the time the PR thing is handled by the president, further reinforcing the idea that PROs are useless. Usually the last position to be filled up during the elections at the start of the school year, and because nobody really knows what PRO people do (I mean, I didn't really even know what PRO stood for until very recently.) people just elect somebody who first crosses their mind, like maybe their seatmate. So for this position, the winner is usually the guy with the most number of seatmates (and as a corollary, the guy who has the most number of asscheeks for seating purposes)

50,000 Visitors

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'll take this opportunity to act like a self-centered asshole by congratulating myself for being able to lure 50,000 gullible intellectually persuadable readers to visit this site. By comparison, the second most visited website I've made for myself only peaked at 7,000 before I treated it the same way I would treat a comatose patient - I gave it away to some stranger I met online. To be fair though, back then (late 90s) there were fewer gullible intellectually persuadable visitors on the net, so the value can be adjusted for inflation, or something.

In any case, thank you for keeping on visiting/stumbling upon/stalking and then cursing this site. Bring your relatives next time. The stuff here will make better topics than how fat you've become since the last reunion. (also it'll give you a sense of high class commonly associated with sponge washing car windows by the roadside)

Commemorative 50,000 Vietnamese Dongs.

I wish I was making this up.

Declassified Chatlogs

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Here's a collection of "gemstone" chatlogs I found from my archives from almost four years ago. Holy shit. It's been that long huh? Anyway, since this guy is no longer working for the company I no longer work in either, I can now safely post these without fear of getting arrested at the airport on my next trip to Hongkong.

Episode 1: Chinese characters, not the Chinese
hi jet
hello alan
i took a look at the deployed version but it seems the chinese are corrupt
don't worry, that's the same problem in our country too.

Episode 2: Alan is asking for my teammate, Chu
hi jet
i just want to ask
is chu left?
as far as i know, she's right.

Episode 3: Brokeback Server
hi jet
i cant replicate the bug that you're talking about
heheheh I see.
could you please attach your log to me?
my what?

Episode 4: Feelin' Strange
seems the bug is gone now :)
but i feel strange and i dont know why
why are there still entries in the logfile?
The logs that are appearing are coming from another debug patch.

One thing you quickly learn when working in a multinational company is that misunderstandings will happen, and more often than not (as long as nobody dies because of it) it leads to much laughter.

Blogging and History

Sunday, August 03, 2008

(I have a very important piece to write tomorrow so I'll have to release my post for Monday one day ahead. If you're reading this and it's still Sunday, pretend you didn't read anything, at least until tomorrow. article is labeled semi-serious)

I was scanning the referral information of visitors who go to this site earlier when I noticed a certain trend. A lot of people have been reaching my site because they were trying to look for details about Magellan and how he landed into Limasawa. Yeah, I know. The last place you'd want to get information on the subject is a site that is run by a mildly insane person, but they wouldn't really know, would they?

Incidentally I do have an article or two about Magellan and Limasawa. The only bad bit about it is that most of it is fictional and I have, multiple times in the article, mentioned that it's all fiction (nobody would believe for a second that Lapulapu and Magellan were beerbuds, for example).

Theoretically that's the end of the problem. However, we're talking about the a generation of students who grew up with txtspeak and tagalized everything. People are bound to misread things. Even I admit that I glance over certain "details" sometimes when I'm in a hurry to get the info I need for a report so I can go watch streaming porn (or whatever was available back when I was still a student) and masturbate furiously like a jungle monkey in heat. Assuming half of students are guys, yes, people will be bound to make mistakes.

If you're asking why I brought this up, it's because something like what I thought has already happened before. See, I also wrote about another historical Filipino character - Januario Galut, the supposedly traitor of Tirad Pass. The article appears as the third or fourth entry in google when you search for the name so people are bound to come across it. In the article, I just said Januario might not be a traitor after all. Two months after writing it, a guy contacted me if it was all true or not. I said it's just speculation on my part, and he in turn was surprised as hell, like what I had just said was bible truth.

And so I come to my point. For as long as some people assume that everything online is veritable, and for as long as there are people like me who haphazardly send info online without explicitly labeling things as true or false, people will start believing in whatever is placed online, even if they're wrong.

At least one kid who believes what I've written here will pass the knowledge on to people. While some of those people do not believe the new detail, if just one does, it could get passed on again. Information is passed on and history is changed bit by bit in the memories of people. And all because I thought it was fun to write something about Lapulapu one sunny day.

I had a friend once who planned to try and make a fictionalized historical hero in Wikipedia and see how long it would take for Filipinos to absorb it as truth. The friend may or may not have been me. In the end, the project was destroyed by laziness and the fear that it just might not work as planned, or worse, work as planned.

With this article comes the realization that the internet is now a very powerful tool for altering what would've been solid facts in books. The control over what gets passed on to the next generation is no longer in the hands of academics who are sometimes biased or just as misinformed as the people they try to educate. We're the authors now and the world is a better and worse place for it.

p.s. Don't fucking blame me if Lapu-lapu and Magellan start getting gay cowboy fanfiction stories. It's not my fucking fault people like to inject sick imaginative bullshit into every male-male friendship they see online.

Cuil "the google killer" Search Engine Review

As a background to this article, I'll tell you a bit of my personal history with search engines. I belong to the generation of internet surfers from the era where Yahoo! was the premiere search engine which is approximately between after the Marcos administration and up to the late 90s. Everything else that had to compete with it sucked ass (yes, you altavista).

Yahoo! however was a bitch to use, being practically in monopoly, they only put your link up if it was established (i.e. you're a corporate entity), if you passed their rigorous standards (i.e. no porn, no radical titles like thebestpageintheuniverse.com, and you're willing to PAY to just get listed) Smalltime website owners like me didn't even have a chance. That meant so many others didn't either, narrowing the search range down, and kinda defeating the purpose of having a search engine. Yes, fuck you yahoo.

Then came Google. Google didn't bullshit you with all that big brotherly control over your searches. You didnt have to submit your site to their engine, their engine sought out your website, and indexed its contents. It was like somebody figuring out how to attach and engine tot the wheel. Sure, Google has its own issues (i.e. they store your search data, so they will know which one of you Public Static readers searches for horseporn on weekends) but overall, life was so much easier with Google.

And now there's Cuil. Cuil says it works three times harder than google, indexing three times as much as google. That means if I publish this page, after two hours, it should have been glanced through by Cuil already. Theoretically anyway, but we'll get to that in a bit. Another claim of Cuil is that it ranks pages differently from Google. I admit Google's pagerank has already been rendered useless because people know how to SEO it to hell. A month-old blog can appear to be more authoritative a relatively old news website, for example, just because many bogus sites link to it, no matter how irrelevant they are. In this light, I like to put faith in Cuil's promise to eliminate that problem.

As for the actual test, I "cuil"ed myself, searched "redkinoko" using the search engine. The resulting pages on the front page are as follows:

www.cracked.com/members/redkinoko/ - hardly active. This doesnt even contain anything about me other than my name.
www.fanfiction.net/u/526682/ - somewhat relevant, but again, it doesn't contain anything about me outside what I like to write every now and then.
www.fanfiction.net/~redkinoko - this is actually the same page as the one above, with a different URI binding. Do I see a potential problem here?
cc.domaindlx.com/redkinoko/conv.htm - A compendium of a series I made YEARS ago. It's no longer relevant, but it's here.
- That and three otherlinks to ragnaboards forum, from songfics to poetry to idle talk that seldomly mentions my handle.
- I don't even know why this is here. It doesnt contain ANY mentions of redkinoko.

Noticeably absent in this list are my homepage (hosted on google-owned blogger), my videos page (hosted on google-owned youtube) , my wikiquote page, or even my personals in Friendster. For that reason this test is a complete failure for me.

I'm sure Cuil can perform better for other more mainstream topics like "breast cancer", "iraq war" and "paris hilton's snatch" but the thing is, most searches we make in Google aren't really mainstream. One reason I used redkinoko is that it's a good example of something we'd like to know about but isn't really popular enough to warrant a full analysis of the rest of page content, concepts, inter-relationships and the page coherency.

There are other finer points for Cuil, I'm sure, and maybe in the long run they can start tweaking their engine and indeces to turn out better results, but as for the question people are asking now "Is Cuil the Google Killer"? The answer is "No, not right now and possibly never."

Sometimes when something is good for being simple, trying to beat it by going more complex will just end up in utter stupidity. Cuil, try harder.

A Blog From The Past

Friday, August 01, 2008

(normally I don't like to put content by other people online, but since this blog post is no longer available elswhere online, and it was written long before the internet, or the ballpoint pen was invented, I might as well post it here. And yes, this post is colored brown, because back then lots of things were colored brown too)

El Publico Statico by - Champiñón De Color De Rojo

August 1, 1898

Did you see the news on TV the other night? Probably not, since we won't be having TV in this country for another 40 years. Anyway yeah, I heard America's planning to have a war with Spain? Can you fucking believe that? I'm like, "Do they know most of their best wrestlers and pop singers come from Spain's colony?" This war can't last long, not after they start running out of really spicy burritos.

There's also rumors of Rizal finally being jailed for his writings. Pfft. Bloggers. I never really liked crack pairing fanfics anyway. I heard that a bunch of his other friends tried to stage a rally and shit at the mendiola bridge. I think most of them drowned after trying to cross the bridge without realizing there's no mendiola bridge yet. 100 years into the future, will Ateneo still produce lots of arrogant asstards? They should create a school for them to bicker with every sports season and color it green, because blue is so 1880s.

Back in Cavite, looks like people have started declaring independence. T
he flag design's pretty okay, I guess, but if it were up to me, I'd put a fucking lion somewhere there, not because there are lions in the Philippines but because I just want to make the lives of students who're tasked to make a Philippine flag miserable. (take that, my future descendants!) I must admit though, it looks even better as body paint. I'd biak her bato, if you know what I mean.

Fuck yeah, independence
Speaking of independence, I wonder if in the future our country will be independent enough to make its own shows? All these Spanishnovelas are boring the hell out of me. And it's not like having a bunch of guys stand at the back of the teatro and do voice overs is making things any better.

The price of hay has risen up again. The kalesa drivers are like, staging transport strike already. Talk about going back to the stone ages huh? There's talk about a water-powered Kalesa, and the inventor is saying he's just not getting funding from the Ayuntamiento. What an idiot. All Ka
lesas are powered with water. The so called Khaos TurboKabayo is in the market too, but if you ask me, it's just a sharper whip, and it'll just injure the horse in the long run. Well, I just hope gasoline technology will finally become mainstream, so we can start getting free Ferarri models in the gas station.

Anyway that's about it. Writing's a bitch when you're using feathers and ink. You can't even spellcheck on this shit. But I'm not complaining, it could be worse. I could be using an Apple (read: mansanas).

Oh and yeah, I have this pic too:

me and my homies, chilling in front of El Greenbelto Tres.
Wish we had more girls, shit would've been so cash.

El Calzador Champiñón

ngs to do:
- Find a fucking pen that actually has ink inside.
- Look for an in
ternet shop. I heard there's one at the next barrio.

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