The Episode Sixth Sense Copied

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hey, this just might even be more awesome, and in 24 minutes too.

Today's Good News

Monday, June 28, 2010

Many years from now, doubters will look back to this site and have their heads nodding. I'll gladly wait for you to say "You're right, Jet. Damn, you were right all along."


Seatbelts Are There For A Reason

Friday, June 25, 2010

(also, according to this kid, they make your sex organ shoot rainbows)

I really don't get why Filipinos act all smart whenever they are asked to put on their seatbelts. If they're seated upfront and and they're asked to put on a seatbelt, they'll say "Wala naman manghuhuli" (nobody will catch us), as though the main purpose of having an industry grade safety device around your waist and across your chest is to prevent cops from giving you a ticket and ruining your day. Morons. It's the other way around, actually. For when your brain is splattered across the dashboard, the cop who'll have to file a report and scrape off your misplaced greymatter will have his day ruined - unless of course there's not much to splatter in the first place.

And then there are them smartasses who sit in the back who even ask "Why do I have to?" as though their knowledge of physics has bested years of crash testing by people who spent years studying unfortunate fuckers who had to exit the vehicle via the windshield in the most violent ways possible. Listen: A car is a metric ton of metal and composite material that runs on a hundred horsepowers that can hurl it to ridiculous speeds - and occasionally, ridiculous collisions. A person seating at the back is no less likely to get thrown around (or out) than the guy sitting five inches in front of him. There is no fancy magical barrier between the driver seat and the back seats that tells the 4800lbs worth of force to spare the stupid fuckers at the back.

If the engineers thought we'd be prim and proper at the back even in the event of a crash, they would not have to bother putting belts at the back now, would they?

You know what? Maybe we should go back to the glorious 80s. Back then, seatbelts were still optional in cars, and it wasn't against the law to not wear one. The safety-conscious people can go buy seatbelts and wear them because they know they want to be walking out of an accident instead of being carted off in a black trash bag humpty-dumpty style. Meanwhile, the stupid people who think "it's all good" can go let the law of natural selection pick them off the roads.

And considering the ratio of smart and smartarded drivers we have here in the Philippines, that ought to solve our traffic congestion too.

MMDA, if you can read this, you can just send the consultancy cheque to my business address.

Things a Nintendo 3DS Can Do

Thursday, June 24, 2010

During the recently concluded and unsurprisingly lackluster E3, Nintendo managed to salvage the lackluster show by unveiling the Playboy Mansion of portable consoles (i.e. it contains pretty much everything you've ever wanted) The Nintendo 3DS The following list include both confirmed and (partially) speculative features that the new Nintendo DS is capable of. This list is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive.

- Play 3D-enabled games
- Take 3D pictures
- Shoot 3D videos
- Play 3D movies
- Download games from the internet
- Chat with other DS users via WiFi or the Nintendo network
- Enable GPS-based gameplay (more after the cut)
- Behave like a wiimote with tilt, acceleration, and vibration detection
- Provide Dual multi-touch interface screens
- Surf the internet
- store data organizer details synchronizable with your computer
- balance taxes
- Pleasure your woman
- Make Crème brûlée better than your mother.
- do standup comedy
- run for office of the president
- run for office of the vice president sucessfully
- summon akmodan, lord of the nubian underworld
- accept quarters and dimes
- vend coffee
- mate with your girlfriend (accessories required)
- reproduce asexually

With these features in store, it's safe to say that the 3DS is going to be the SHIT.

In other news, Sony unveiled their Sony MOVE, which is the tech world's equivalent of a shoddily copied homework submitted four days late. What happened, Sony?

Noy you don't.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yesterday, Inquirer ran an article about a displaced bum "political analyst" saying that Noynoy will come up with his own decisions on the cabinet members, and that's a good thing. I'm sure with GMA's "acting on her own" antics for 9 years, and the irrersible damages she's done, everybody else shares the same sentiment.

Two wrongs, however, don't make a right.

First, we should stop acting like first time parents every time Noynoy insists he will not listen to anybody and do his own thing. We aren't his parents so we shouldn't go "Awww, look at him, he's doing is own thing!" Noynoy may look like an overgrown retarded kid but let's not treat him like one because he's not a kid.

"Let him do what he wants" only applies if he knows what he's doing. Letting a kid do his "thing" so he can learn is different from letting a president do his "thing", because ramifications for both cases are as different as night and day. Our president is not a two year old kid and we cannot afford to make him learn by experience at our expense. Advices may sound bad, but they're better than just guessing shit.

Bare in mind that prior to 2010, this guy's greatest political achievement is to get elected three times in a row. That's basically like a student whose biggest bragging rights is being able to enroll himself, or even worse, convince others to enroll for him.

If he will keep on treating every advice coming his way as some sort of STD, we're bound to get screwed again, albeit this time it's less deliberate and more retarded.

We picked the guy, the least we can do is try to see the guy for what we voted him for - somebody who doesn't know the evils of politics - and at the same time somebody who doesn't know pretty much anything else, period.

Too long; Didn't Read (everything)

It's amazing how much an article's meaning can change when you read the title and then skip right over to the last paragraph.

The entire article can be read HERE.

Interview with the guy who invented the Essence of Chicken

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In case you've been wondering what the ESSENCE OF CHICKEN is, it's a kind of a super health drink made of chicken and other herbs and spices designed to enhance your virility (the ability to satisfy a woman sexually) and strength (the ability to knock her unconscious in case you fail). With great power however comes great responsibility, as in the responsibility of having to gulp down one of the most vile substances on the planet. It's basically like acquiring one of the Infinity Gems of the Marvel Universe, but it's shaped like a dildo and you have to insert it all the way up your ass to get its full power.

Yes, I am aware I could have made better analogies. No pun intended.

Anyway, as a service to our readers, we invited for an interview the inventor of ESSENCE OF CHICKEN, who used to be some guy (and we shit you not) who wishes to be nameless for the duration of the interview probably to avoid being hounded by children whose lives were damaged irrevocably by its horrible taste.

So I understand you are British?

Yes. Are you trying to imply something about my nationality?

Nothing, nothing. I'm just surprised it's not made by the Chinese, who have dominated the realm of horrible-tasting product supplements for the last 2500 years.

Okay, one - essence of chicken does not taste as horrible as your saying and two, the stereotype of bad English food is just a lie.

Just like the Jewish Holocaust.

The Jewish Holocaust is true.

Right, and is continually being unacknowledged by denialists. Same thing.


Anyway, enough about that. Let's talk about your product. Essence of Chicken. Why is it called that?

Because it contains the essence of chicken.

And what exactly is the essence part of the chicken?

All of it.

All of it?

All of it. The whole thing. The whole chicken.

So you mean to tell me that inside each jar of that drink you are holding is a whole chicken.

Yes, after we're done preparing it of course.

Okay, what kind of preparation turns a chicken, birds beaks and all into a liquid substance as black as sin?

That's a secret. A state secret.

Is black magic involved? Because I swear I can't -

No. Not anymore for the last 500 years.

Wait did you just -

No. I am in fact a normal 50 year old man. You will continue with other questions now.

... Okay.


So is Essence of Chicken as healthy as people claim? Does it really make people stronger despite its ass-horrible aftertaste?

Haha. In Britain we have a saying, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

And how does essence of chicken do it?

Because it's made of whole chickens.


So there! Very simple, aye?

No. I don't really get it. How does grinding chicken into liquid make it healthier?

The chickens are very healthy and fresh.

Well I don't see how that helps. I can't even believe anybody would want to drink this.

Do you eat eggs, Mr. Redkinoko?

I do.

Well an egg is a whole chicken. An unborn one, so it's fresh too. It's not very healhty too, but I don't see you complaining about that.

But it's an egg!

Well Essence of Chicken is also an egg, after it's hatched, grown a healthy life in the country side and magically turned into a liquid form using our patented secret technique.

Oh god. You make it sound so horrible.

Not really. When I die I want to be turned into liquid also, like how did it in Dune. Like how my friend and co-invented Bert was treated after he died. He's always wanted to give a lot more to the customers.

Wait are you saying that -

Let's leave it at that, the man wants to rest in peace.

Okay. Do you have plans on actually making your drink at least palatable? Make it taste like something that didn't come from the netherworld's sewage line?

I must admit the drink is not for everybody, so we're actually trying to roll out new variations to the brand everybody's loved for the last 1000 years.




Are you going to ask me what it is?

I'm afraid already to do so, but what the heck. Go shit yourself silly.

Strawberry, Lemon, and Banana flavoring. I'm sure you'll love it.

Probably, but only when I'm unconscious.

Did I mention Essence of Chicken also does wonders on your dreams?


Google Suggests

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Google has finally accepted that Redkinoko is something people actually search for in the internet, legitimizing the pseudoname's existence on cyberspace. Now that a search engine has given its blessing, the next step would be to have UN accept it as a sovereign entity and give it the right to place embargoes on other countries.

To be fair, people search for a lot of ridiculous things on the internet - like April O Neil porn (which unfortunately leads many of those tortured souls accidentally into one of my posts about the same character - which does not have porn, in case you're already looking into it).

So I guess in terms of significance of the Google search suggestion, I'm more significant than, say, searching for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sidekick porn, and less significant than searching for Jesus online.

Somewhere in between is always nice.

Priests, Prayers, and Others

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This post is in direct response to that dude who spamrolled my tagboard about suggesting that I post things that actually made sense. So, moving away from our usual topics that either cover random articles and rants about work, life, pretty much everything else, I'd like to go back to a topic I covered before: prayers.

Last Sunday, our parish priest finally retired. To be honest, we all thought it was long overdue. The poor guy was too old for what he was doing. Father could barely deliver a homily without repeating himself, and during the times that he didn't, we barely understood anything that he said due to his weakened voice. It was like hearing the mass entirely in Latin, without the actual Latin involved.

So anyway, a new priest replaced him. The new priest is even more traditional than the one he replaced. The already lengthy 12 minute sermons now get stretched to 22 minute lecturefests. (I counted) Homily is almost always needlessly political (RH Bill, 2 weeks in a row) and grossly inappropriate for the Gospel of the week. The guy insists that more people in the country will deliver us to 1st world status - just like Japan. Yes, that country that started enjoying its best years after its population was decimated by WW2 and is currently enjoying a negative population growth. That Japan. I don't know. Ask him.

He also insists on doing certain "traditions" that take up a lot of time for the church goers, but doesn't bother to explain why we're doing it. Meanwhile, other more assumed traditional practices such as the closing SIGN OF THE CROSS has been taken out of the mass. And yes, you are right, I do not like him.

One additional thing that the new priest instituted are community prayers at the end of every communion which everybody reads/prays out loud. This is actually what I wanted to talk about. I just like to meander and mention about our new priest. Anyway I have three points to ponder for those prayers:

1. I've always thought those prayers were more for the people who said them than God Himself. If you inspect how they're written, they're more of statements that contain things that people might not know and the clergy feels we should know anyway. There are times, like that time we were praying for the automated elections that it felt partly like a public service announcement.

2. And since it's for the community, why do we have to word it so exquisitely? I don't mean to be a dick, but why do our prayers have to be flowery? Will God listen to our prayers more if they're worded like Shaekspearean literature? It's pretty safe to say that half of the people I go to Church with barely understand English, even more so if the words are fancy. What good will it be to ask the people to pray to God in terms they do not even understand?
Actually the same idea applies for songs that are highpitched and choirs that insist on using them. What's the point of singing beautiful sopranissimos if nobody else can sing along what's supposed to be a community effort? Do we really need to show off talents to the Dude who gave them to us at the cost of alienating pretty much everybody else?

3. Lastly, why is it that community prayers are always asking for something. Here are the things we've prayed for, for the last year: Reprieve from the supposedly deadly H1N1. Automated Election success. Rains to cure drought. And even the prevention of the building of some dam that will actually solve the drought problem. If you've been following news, all of those things happened, some of them just days after the community prayer. Call it Divine Will or not, we prayed, it happened. Now that's nice and all, but WHY ARE WE NEVER PRAYING FOR THANKSGIVING? Every community prayer is asking for something and never thanking for what we actually got. Forgive me for acting like a know-it-all, but just this once, wouldn't it make more sense to assume an Omniscient God already knows what we need, and it's more sensible that we just be thankful for what He gives us?

If the Church does really want to preach its flock being the good Christians we are all supposed to be, we can at least start with being thankful to the first one that we should be thanking.

Until then, I'm attending the service, but I'll be praying on my own.

p.s. (If you're atheist, a Dan Brownie critic, or a self-proclaimed agnostic, bugger off.)

Full Metal Alchemist FMA Final Manga Chapter

Friday, June 11, 2010

To those who are still following this epic series, chapter's out.

It's just beautiful. T___T

Years and years of waiting for monthly releases finally culminates in the last chapter of the Full Metal Alchemist Manga. The ending is just as sweet as I expected it, like a sexy lingerie - covers the right parts and leaves enough for the imagination. I won't leave any spoilers here anwyay, just sharing today's delight to other FMA fans.

Also, let's just pretend Shambala never happened. Life's much simpler that way.

Link here:

Should Noynoy Stop Smoking?

Before I start this article, I just want to have one thing cleared. I am not a smoker. I have never smoked in my entire life. I hate the idea of having to share an enclosed space with a smoker, much so a cigar smoker, and I can't count the times I almost got into a fight because of assholes who don't have an idea what ventilation means. But if smokers want to choke up their lungs with tar and have the awkward situation of explaining to their kids why they have to put bits of paper on their mouth lighting the other end with fire, that's their problem. It's a free world.

One of the biggest off-kilter issues as of late about our new president Noynoy Aquino or "P-Noy" (one of the most buttcringingly awkward president monickers in history, next to Sergio "The Sausage" Osmeña) is that people are daring him to quit smoking. Reasons are as diverse as the suggestions on how he should do it, ranging from "to set an example to children everywhere", "to prolong his life", to "avoid affecting those around him".

So let me get this straight.

Our president is taking control of our government after it has been ravaged for 9 years by the outoing president. The budget deficit is even worse than Noynoy's hairline crisis, our educational system's never been so tattered since that time they pulled Batibot off the air, and people are jobless everywhere because somebody thought the world has an infinite need for nurses (hint: they were probably talking about fossil fuel). Crime is everywhere, children are dying, and Vina Morales is still running rampant on TV shows.

In other words, in terms of things to fix, we have a shitload of them. Figuring out the state of the lungs of one particularly overaged bachelor should be the LEAST of our worries.

Do you know the trend that call center agents either pickup the habit of smoking or worsen their smoking rates because of the stress in their job? If you have a friend who falls into that demographic, have you tried preventing these people from smoking on their breaks? You can validate your answer with any bodily injury you may have incurred. In any case, do you think the president's post is any less stressful than that position? I didn't think so.

And it's not like Noynoy is the first president in history to smoke. FVR's trademark are the cubans that might as well be extentions of his mouth. They're always there. Nobody gave a shit back then. It's not like our chief executive is blowing coccaine or something. If smoking will guarantee a better performance from him, then fuck, he can go smoke as much as he wants. I'd gladly light up a stick or two for the guy.

But Jet, what about the children he might influence, you ask me. Let's get real here. A kid will idolize every single thing he sees on TV, from Willie Revillame, to Lastikman, to Kokey. What he will not do is idolize some boring tool everybody calls the president. He doesn't even look like somebody you'd want to look up to as a kid (or granted certain prejudices, as anybody for that matter) If you're not convinced, answer the following questions for me:

1. How many presidents do you think you idolized in your youth?

2. what is the likelyhood of a kid going "I think I want to smoke becuase that bald guy smokes."

There are about a thousand possible reasons for a kid to start smoking (half of them involve his barkada in a variety of alcohol-centric scenarios. None of them involve a president.

My bottomline? Cut the guy some slack. Nobody gives a shit if you eat chippy while doing your desk job, so let the guy do his however he wants it, for as long as he does not drive this country to a brick wall.

And that's what really matters.

Street Smart Vending

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why do street peddlers selling stuff to cars keep on carrying stuff that aren't remotely salable to their targetted demographic? The other day I was driving and somebody tried to sell me a set of broom and dustpan. While I can't say that I will never ever need that, I can't find a situation where I would need a fullsized one like what they're selling while I'm driving. First of all, if you're driving your own car, getting a low priced broom might not be in your priority purchases. Secondly, you know what's awkward to store in a car? A full sized broom, unless you're a witch and your car is in danger of breaking down by the roadside. It's crazy.

Here are other things I've seen being sold on the road:

Silly umbrella hats - only remotely useful to people with convertibles. In any case, it still kind of looks retarded.

Cellphone casing - I guess this is okay, but fitting takes a while so I don't even see how they can sell even to willing customers.

Cellphone charger - You're on the road and you need to charge so I can understand the need, but the type that's being sold are the ones that need to be plugged into a WALL SOCKET. And last time I checked, cars don't have them.

One carton of oranges - Traffic can make you hungry, but you know what's hard to eat while traffic? Fruit that's too hard to peel with your bare hands, if you can spare them from holding on to the stickshift and the wheel.

If it were up to me, I'd start focusing on the market niche. They should get me as a consultant. I'd be recommending just one product that I know will be useful: urination cakes. They'd be very useful during heavy traffic congestions and easier to sell when sold together with soft drinks and mineral water. You don't even have to market it. You just go "Sir, adult diapers po! WHSHHHH WSHHHHH WSHHHHH" until he buys. No person without shaolin training will be able to resist holding his urine while you're doing that chant. Instant sell. Bonus points if there are multiple people who are holding their peebags inside the car.

Focused marketing, that's what I'd call it.

(Heart) Breaking News by Inquirer.Net

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Still asserting the monopoly on absolutely useless news articles in our country, brings you the latest news that affects the state of our nation in no way whatsoever. Kris Aquino brings "CLOTHES" to her brother. What normal sibling would do that?! Scandalous. By scandalous I mean reporters are running out of rock-stupid things to put in the news.

You know, if we really wanted to remove the stigma that we have a retarded manchild for a president, we should stop treating him like a goddamn child star. Fuck.

Book Review: World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

To be honest, I almost feel that this book was specially made for me. I'm a big fan of war history books (about 30% of my personal library) and at the moment, I'm trying to expand my collection of zombie novels. History books and zombie novels. This book is the lovechild of these two interests.

Make no mistake though, this book is not only for pop zombie flick enthusiasts.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a pseudohistorical account of events that have not happened yet, although from the settings and contemporary references used, World War Z will occur sometime within the next few years.

The zombie war is the term used by the author to label a period that covers the spread of an unknown disease that kills infected and turns them into near immortal zombies, the subsequent collapse of society on a global scale, and the eventual adaption and survival of the remaining humans.

The novel is written from the perspective of an investigative journalist, whose presence is limited in the foreword and sidenotes throughout the book. The rest is basically a collection of interviews from survivors on their perspective of the unfolding of events, some of them informed briefers of how events unfolded, others, anecdotal tales of the witnesses. The interviews are both broad and jarringly realistic, with diverse accounts ranging in locations from Russia, Palestine, India, North Korea, Japan, the United States of America to up in the space stations. Characters introduced are both diverse and colorful, from a blind japanese man, a young child, to a US army grunt. Through the smaller picture recounted by the various tales woven in the book, a more vivid, bigger picture emerges - one that could not have been written in any other way without being less vivid.

The interrelation of the various accounts is very tight and at the same time very subtle, allowing you to feel that the stories were not randomly constructed from fictional accounts, but real tales that correlate with each other, without sounding trying hard. Everything feels natural, and the pace of unfolding the events from one tale to another ensures a riveting experience from cover to cover.

As a bonus, to add to the effect of realism, various iconic celebrity figures such as hollywood actors and political icons were figured in although their names were coyly through narrative devices (possibly to avoid legal issues. Nobody wants to be publicized as "that guy who got mauled to death by Zacks, the story's term for zombies)

On top of the human factor, I think one of the best features of this book is how fictional elements are woven in without sounding farfetched. The existence of a zombie-churning virus, although not explained, gets accepted by your system gradually as fictional characters ease you into the same experience of disbelief they had. Made-up new technologies developed during the war are woven into existing ones, making the casual reader not even know that some elements aren't real anymore.

The end product is what might be considerable as a classical masterpiece, were it not covering the popular culture idea of zombie apocalypse. The writing is nothing artistic, but being a fictional account of various everyday people, this lack of lingual mastery is beautifully made excusable.

To keep it short, beyond the shadow of a doubt, World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War is the best and most creative speculative fiction I have read in years. Beyond telling you what happened in World War Z, it will make you live through it, and in the end make you appreciate what you have and what you are - a living human in a pre-zombified world.

World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War is written by Max Brooks and is available in Powerbooks at 665 pesos (fucking worth it I fucking tell you)

One-Liners from Plurk

Monday, June 07, 2010

Oneliners harvested from my defunct Plurk account.

Ninja Turtles = thesis group. Leonadro leads, Donatello does machines. Rapahel is cool, but rude. Michaelangelo is the party dude (drop!)

Insult of the day: "I would like to thank ___, without whom, nothing would have changed in the outcome."

The pride of a car is not on the tracks it runs on, but on the engine inside that's making it possible

A good seed blooms, however rough the field.

Never let principles get in the way of the greater good.

I once cried because I had no shoes - until I tried on platform shoes.

Don't be afraid to go after your dreams. What isn't real cannot hurt you.

I hope politicians would stop saying they deserve to win because they used to be poor. HITLER WAS POOR TOO. IDI AMIN WAS POOR TOO.

I used to wonder why we kept on drawing pink lines along our streets in manila until I realized maybe we just wanted our streets highlighted on Google Earth.

Glow in the dark stickers + dark person = infinite energy.

We should start working on handbags that look like books.Nobody would ever be desperate enough to snatch something that says "Twilight".

Safe na daw yung mga counting machines na gagamitin sa eleksyon. Kasi nilagyan na nila ng condom sa loob.

When you talk of your achievements, never talk in the past tense. Any idiot can get lucky. Character is in consistency.

Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay. tapos habang kumakain sila, batuhin mo naman ng granada.

Best way to avoid adultery: be butt ugly. problem solved.

When we get hurt by the truth, pain tends to last long, because you just know there's no apologizing for that.

Pride is a dagger only you can stab yourself with.

Can't we give storms names that don't sound obnoxious? There's much to be gained by using "Gardo Versoza" at least once a year.

Getting what you want is never as important as who you became in trying to get it.

Nung nauso H1N1, lahat ng tao naging doctor. Dumating si Ondoy, lahat ng tao meteorologist. Pero bakit nung kumalat videos ni Hayden Kho...

The only good presidency is the one that's happened long ago enough for people to forget how bad it was.

Success is not about the profits you make. It's about the losses you did not take.

Eh pano kung necrophiliac yung bear? Wala na.

What is there to regret if not only regret itself? Regret is like urine. Inevitable, but ultimately better let go than kept.

"ibabayad ho ba yung bata?" tanong nung ale. "wag na po," sabi ng tsuper, "hindi ako nagsusukli ng body parts"

Sometimes people get angry at something for so long, they tend to forget what it is that made them angry in the first place.

When a man slaps you, turn the other cheek. His cheek. Fast enough to break his neck.

I once cried because I had no shoes. But then I saw a woman with no feet. Manananggal pala.

People who are allergic to crab meat should pretend allergies too when eating fake crab meat.

Kwentong Kanteen

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sampung taon akong kumain ng pagkain sa canteen namin. Siguro sapat na panahon na iyon para mabigyan ko ng "food critic's review" ang mga pagkain na makikita dito. Pero dahil matagal na akong nakalaya nakatakas nakagraduate, marami siguro dito sa mga pagkain na ito ay hindi na binebenta sa iskwelahan ko. Siguro sa impyerno meron pa rin silang concession, pamparusa sa mga taong di namimigay ng chips pag recess. Anyway, eto ang mga natatandaan ko.


Spaghetti - nakakain ka na ba ng spaghetti ng walang tinidor? Ako oo. Kasi sa canteen namin, kutsarang pang ice cream ang kasama nya pagbili mo, tapos yung spaghetti, nakalagay sa maliit na platitong karton na sa sobrang nipis eh mukhang matutunaw na dahil sa sauce. Pano yun kakainin ikamo? Itatapat mo ang platito sa bibig mo tapos itutulak mo yung spaghetti sa bibig mo. Di ka maniwala pero epektib sya, kundi lang kadiri tingan. (ngayon siguro, pero dati normal lang samin un) Malasa naman ung spaghetti, salamat sa ketchup na nakabuhos dito. Minsan din maasim sya, dahil yung mga nakadisplay, katabi lang ng suka na pinanlalagay sa lumpia. Speaking of which...

Lumpia - Pritong lumpia. Snack pag recess, pwede na rin ulam pag tanghali sa nagtitipid. Isa ito sa mga matitinong pagkain sa canteen namin, wag mo lang itatanong kung anong karne ang ginagamit nila. Ikaw ang bahala kung gaano karaming suka ang ilalagay sa lumpia mo, at kung gano karaming suka ang itatapon mo dun sa mga katabing spaghetti para makabawi sa mga naglagay din ng spaghetting kinain mo kahapon.

Soft Drinks - Tanda ko nung isang beses, humihingi ako ng plastic cup sa canteen at sabi nung isang canteener na 6 pesos daw yung cup. 8 pesos ang coke dati, so ang ibig sabihin, 2 pesos lang talaga ung soft drinks. Tinanong ko kung 2 pesos na lang ang babayaran ko kung wala na ung cup at may sarili akong baso. Sinimangutan lang ako. Yung coke namin, nakakalibang. Mauubos ang oras mo sa pagdedecide kung ano ang mas nangingibabaw na lasa, yung pagkalasang singaw, o yung pagkalasang ipis. Di mo rin naman mapapansin, kasi sa sobrang dami ng mga patay gutom mong kaklase (at di kakilala minsan) na makikiinom, di mo pa nasasabing "Kadire!" ubos na rin ito agad. Awa ng diyos may yelo naman sya, parehong yelo na makikita mo tuwing umaga e kinakaladkad sa sahig ng campus galing sa delivery truck.

Barbecue - Yung barbecue ata nung pumasok ako ng HS, yun pa rin yung binibenta nila nung huling araw ko nung highschool. Di ko rin alam kung bakit, at misteryo pa rin sa akin hanggang ngayon kung bakit araw araw nakikita ko na nagiihaw sila ng barbecue (na muntikan na makasunog ng building namin noong grade 5 ako) pero gayunpaman, lasang luma pa rin sya.

Menudo/Mechado/Afritada - Walang kamatayang ulam na kahit ano pa itawag nila, iisa lang ang lasa. Bawal siguro gumamit ng spices sa school namin, baka kami maging masyadong masaya. Pag di nabenta ang isang ulam, kinabukasan, magttransform sya at iba na ang tawag sa kanya (pero ganun pa rin ang lasa)

Lugaw - Marap ang lugaw samin. Paibaiba rin ang laman, minsan tuwalya, minsan chicken, minsan buhok ng canteener (jackpot pag kulot at makapal). Surprise in every cup, ika nga. Mura lang ang lugaw sa amin, kailangan lang ng 5 pesos at lakas ng loob.

Hotdog Waffle - Yung hotdog waffle namin, siguro Japanese hotdog waffle, kasi yun hotdog sa loob, kalahati lang ng size ng normal na hotdog. Yung waffle batter, wala rin hugis, para siguro lumawak ang aming imahinasyon bilang estudyante. Yung sauce ng waffle, nasa likod ng bakal na grills na nagsisilbing proteksyon ng mga canteeners laban sa mga gutom na estudyanteng nagbabalak magnakaw ng sauce (siguro may nangyari nang ganito dati kaya protektado yung lalagyanan), kaya tuloy, pagdukdok mo ng waffle, kakaskas ito sa kalawangin na bakal at automatic na mafofortify with iron ang pagkain mo.

Solving World Problems Filipino Style

Friday, June 04, 2010

Unless you have a brain more shutoff from the outside world than a North Korean prisoner, you might have heard of the not so recent news of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After several unsuccessful attempts at trying to plug the leaking oil fountain, responsible party British Petroleum (BP) has pretty much run out of ideas and is basically saying "it'll run out anyway so fuck it". Now, the threat is spreading, threatening to enroach the coastal cities of the US and turning them into desolate wastelands. For the first time in years, people are worrying about something other than illegal immigrants, which is good for the immigrants, but bad for the immigrants coming in by sea.


Reports say that the US government's EPA has gone so far as asking James Cameron for ideas on how to seal the well off, in a bizarre case of life immitating South Park. (see Imaginationland episode) This kinda marks a new level of desperation. It's almost a crazy movie plot in the making - "Guy who made blockbuster movie about humans drilling for minerals in an alien planet is asked to help humans drilling for oil on earth." As for credentials, James Cameron has made disaster films before, and as for handling really terrible things, he has worked with Kate Winslet.

Anyway, I think this is one of the few occassions that we, the underdog Filipinos might be the solution they are looking for. Fuck James Cameron, PINOY PRIDE REPRESENT!

Here are three ways to make things disappear in this country:

1. Clean it up.
Oil is hard to clean up. Even if people say we are a nation of maids, let's face it, we're not exactly the best in cleaning bodies of water. We CAN'T even make our tap water clean enough to drink. Drinking tap nowadays has become an extreme sport 10x deadlier than skydiving. (at least in skydiving, if you screw up, you won't end up shitting yourself inside out over the course of 2 weeks. Death will be short and swift) We put POTA in potable.

2. Bury it
While this works for political scenarios and Ping Lacson in general, oil isn't exactly something you can salvage and bury somewhere in Laguna, never to be found until the next Presidential Administration. This is not the way to go.

3. Tell one Filipino it's free.

We don't even need a large budget for it. Just tell one Juan Pedro that there's free crude oil in the middle of the gulf and maybe even put a signage floating in the middle of the fucking ocean and just wait for it. News will spread faster than Hayden Kho scandal videos. We're Filipinos. Free shit is what drives us. You wait three months and we'd practically have built a new floating country on top of the "free oil" complete with a logistics networks that will enable Flips to send the damn oil to their kabayans 13,000 kilometers away using nothing but balikbayan boxes and pedicabs configured for water transportation. A few days later and we'd have suck the shit out of that well. We may be third world, but when it comes to exploiting freebies, every Filipino turns into a rocket scientist.

Problem f'ing solved.

Now we just have to wait for their call.

What Went Wrong

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I'd like to restart this blog by putting a closure on the most recent chapter of my life. Visitors of this site may have noticed that for the last few months (or better part of this year anyway) I really haven't been putting any real effort in updating regularly. That's because I simply did not have either the time or energy to put anything worth reading here. I've always looked at my blog as a place where I can practice my writing by putting my best ideas up in published form so I can read up on them again after I've forgotten what I've written about.

In other words, the primary audience of the blog is me, six months later. If I feel that I'm in no condition to write anything that will be worth reading by my standards, I will not write anything, on the grounds that the future me will cease to be impressed and throw a time travelling chokeslam at me that will render me unable to read my own writing. (See Wikipedia: Chokeslam Paradox; the effects of)

Anyway, here's a short account of what happened with my previous work:

August 2009, my immediate supervisor, Ryan was removed from his position without being given due process. We protested as a team, and was largely ignored. Upper management asked if I wanted to take on his position and if I could. I told them sure, but it's going to be tough. I was assured of a title adjustment and a salary adjustment starting September. I wanted to become a manager and have been training for it, but admittedly, this happened too soon. Hoping to learn on the job, I agreed. Seriously, who doesn't want a bitchin' Section Manager title? So far, so good. (as a note though, even though the adjustment didn't become effective at once, my overtime perk was canceled on the spot. In other words, my salary actually dropped)

Before Ryan left, we did a review of our team for the appraisals. We did our best to create a symmetric bell curve distribution with average and above/below average performers. We gave these results to the team and they were largely happy with the results.

September 2009, The final copy of the ratings was reviewed by HR and upper management. The scores provided by Ryan and me were translated into another scoring system that basically ranked everybody down. In the end, despite our team being one of the most profitable in the company, we got the lowest average score. I personally got an F from a scale of A-H, with A being the highest. And my result is already above average. During the HR review, people were given verbal notices of lack of performance, sometimes exaggerated, sometimes unsubstantiated, and generally depressing. Those lucky enough to get any adjustment got paltry sums not even higher than 1000 pesos per month. (I got 300 peso increase. That's 15 pesos a day. I call it MRT subsidy. Everybody calls it bullshit.)

I talk to management and tell them the team has been demoralized. I explained the error in computing the results. Management admits their mistake, but tells me it's all a done deal so nothing can be done, and that they'll do better next year. (hint: as of writing there isn't even a plan for appraisals yet, which should start this month) I tell them people will leave the company if it does not get corrected. Management replies by promising the realignment/promotion that will come AFTER the appraisals. A comment was made that for those who don't like how things are done, they are free to leave. Seeing that we're not exactly the most overstaffed team in the world, I found the idea ridiculous.

November 2009, nothing happens. I now directly report to the Department Manager Christine, with whom I share inherited tasks from Ryan. More work comes from the client, and requests for additional staff to replace our losses from Ryan's departure are turned down, because we could not maximize staff utilization. (I can explain long and hard here why the utilization metrics is just as flawed, but just take my word for it: it's stupid, and our management actually agreed to it at the beginning of our contract with our client)

December 2009, Management decides to boot Christine from the team as well, to be replaced by Jun, some newcomer who already got rejected by the other team. He promises to turn around our low utilization metrics and upper management falls in love immediately. Once again, we beg that Christine be retained for her familiarity with the client. The protest falls into deaf ears. (at this point, you get the pattern. I won't mention protests as much as possible as I kinda did those every bloody step of the way anyway). I've long suspected that upper management has intended to clean the team of the original management to reduce resistance to their administration so this may be yet another sign. With Christine gone, my last semblance of upper authority vanished.

Personally, I regard Jun as the typical clueless management who will have to be babysitted by those under him since he practically knows nothing about how we do our work. To be fair with him, no matter who they placed in lieu of Christine, I'd have the same opinion.

Before the end of the month, Cristian, one of our best developers, finally resigns on grounds of a really bad appraisal coupled with allegations of negative client reviews, despite the fact that we've had very positive feedback from the client about him (hint: upper management lied, and as far as our theory goes, it's to justify the abysmal salary increases)

January 2010, Jun finally enters the picture. I tell him I have no reason to trust him unless he proves himself useful by fixing the demoralized staff and the billing system. Kenneth, my VB counterpart also resigns, citing the same reasons as Cristian. Jun's recommendation pushes our requests for new staff through, although he later recants the request on the idea that he wants to conduct lateral hiring first to tap into the resources of the other team which until then was not earning as a unit. Two developers are added from the other team, Will and Antz. We also get one developer trainee, Jared. Antz was immediately attached to a special project so we only have Will to replace the manpower lost so far. (mostly from my drop in throughput in development due to management tasks) These additional people had to be trained by the existing, already overloaded staff.

On top of my tasks, I am now burdened with supporting Jun's need to know about the operations, and the tasks Christine used to perform were passed on to me because Jun will also be handling Malaysia and Thailand operations on top of ours.

To recap, upper management took off two of my superiors, demoralized my team, and gave me a manager that I have to "train".

The adjustment/promotion promised sometime last august never materializes, except for the release of the org chart. My title as section manager is adjusted to team leader, which to my understanding is the equivalent of Lead Analyst from our old chart. My responsibilities have not only stayed the same, it also grew since I still could not abandon my Lead Analyst roles on top of my new Section Manager roles. I start dialogues regarding my job description and the promised salary adjustment, although I put priority in the former. I was given the description of the Team Lead role, and it had nothing about project management, which is the bulk of my responsibilities. I ask for a description of the Project Manager role, wich is the role higher than my current. HR replies that it is not yet ready.

Jun "fixes" the billing by moving the job titles of the people "up" but only for billing purposes. Developers are billed as senior developers, without any promotion on the employee's side. Meanwhile, the client starts expecting the developers to act like seniors, putting more pressure to the staff for zero motivation. Still, I call this acceptable and say that I'll be more cooperative from that point on.

February 2010, Bryan resigns from the team, bringing the total number of VB developers in our group down to 1 compared to 5 last year (including Ryan). It's interesting that sometime late last year, upper management threatened to nuke the entire team if they performed badly (they never did). More restrictions are put into place.

March 2010, Alvin and Rhen, two of our Java developers signal that the resignations are now affecting the Java subgroup as well. I implore Jun and upper management to attempt to reverse their decisions, which the two say are still open for negotiations. I make an ultimatum that if the two leave, we will have reached Peak Loading for the team, and any new staff can no longer be trained as replacement due to the heavy loads of existing teams. Jun simply says that hiring is slower than expected and there's nothing we can do about it.

Marock, another developer, also files for resignation. With Rhen, Marock and Alvin resigning, the only staff left for one of our more specialized project groups is reduced from four to one in a matter of weeks.

No new hires could be given in time for transferring the knowledge of the three to new people. Meanwhile, upper management considers the drop in efficiency of the team as unexpected and unacceptable. Management dictates that the team is now required to fill out laborious effort reports every day on top of their duties, to make sure everybody is productive. Irony abound.

Gnet, one of our seniors is asked by Jun to go to the client site to become an embedded analyst. No replacements can be found for her roles. The plan pushes through anyway.

Management finally hears my complaints out after I start sending more demanding emails. They give me an adjustment, about 25% of the expected amount. The retropayment starting August never comes, and I was told I now owe the company a favor for it because they don't usually do that sort of thing (hint: they do). No other teammates get adjustments. My roles are still not on paper and my job description remains unchanged. Upon talking to Jun, he proposes to give me a special "team lead" classification that will contain project management roles, and it will be on paper, although the paper can't be used for public purposes. (in other words, we'll play a game of pretend-you're-a-manager)

April 2010, the entire QA department is dissolved in exchange for a smaller group, and a QC subteam is formed in our team comprising of the former QA members. I become their immediate superior as well. I plan for the QC team to help in analyst work on the grounds that they will no longer serve as QC for outsourced projects from other vendors. That will let developers do what they do best. The client agrees, but reverses the decision afterwards. (so in effect, no effort can be obtained from the new members, and I have more responsibilities now) I request for the addition of the former lead into the team to prevent the further ballooning of my roles, but the QA head does not approve and retains the lead in the new independent QA team.

Jun, probably scared that I am already holding too much responsibility to fail, answers my calls for new staff by proposing to add a new project manager to the team. I will be the technical lead and the new PM will handle the management roles, directly against what I agreed upon with upper management. I disagree to this and ask if the new PM can perform as a senior dev instead. Request declined. I raise the possibility of promoting the senior staff instead. Once again, declined.

By April, the critical load scenario happens. Staff resign without achieving the required 80% knowledge transfer completion. Knowledge transfer eats up productivity and the QC team reintegration further hampers progress. Some projects are dropped wholesale. Management still refuses to acknowledge the bleeding of the team and is furious at the drop of billable hours.

This is the point that I decide that there simply is nothing I can hope for in the company.

1. I am no longer getting promoted. It is already clear that the Project Manager role is reserved to some other person by Jun (who turns out to be the guy responsible for fixing/breaking job descriptions). The threat of demotion is not only demoralizing, it is also a clear sign that I basically have no future in the company despite my overall cooperativeness and significance.

2. Sustaining the team is impossible at this point. The bleeding of the staff has gone beyond the point where it is still possible to conserve team knowledge by transferring information from the leaving employees to new and exsiting ones. In the long run, the operation is bound to collapse and I simply did not want to stay long enough to see 5 years of my work ruined by really bad management calls.

3. My role is already overloaded. Adding a new manager on top of me will simply add more responsibility as secretary of the manager specially since it is impossible to find a manager who is already familiar to the process and whoever is added will have to be groomed by no one other than myself. (I asked Ryan if he could return. He declined ardently) Why would I keep on working for an ever increasing load when I am not getting paid or promoted for it?

4. The company gave its word and blatantly disregarded it. Over and over again with no expression of regret or remorse. I simply cannot work for a company I cannot trust. Not when there are alternatives are available.

Ironically, the day I resigned, Jun claimed that he has the updated job description ready. I kinda waited for more than half a year for that, and quite frankly, I don't really believe it will be anything satisfying. Meanwhile, policies continue to be more draconian every passing day. Just before I left, cameras were installed all over the office, internet was cut off, and the management tracking reports just got more comprehensive.

For the duration of my last 30 days, upper management ceases communication with me. Not a single effort is made in attempting to retain me. The only time management actually talked about it was when I was happy drinking the night away during the outing, and a drunk manager talked to me about it. Of the record. Talk about buzzkill. On the other hand, the client was kind enough to make certain incentives for me to stay, which I simply could not accept given the nature of the proposal. Meanwhile, every person resigning on the other team gets a counter offer, regardless of tenure. Personally I find that insulting.

Hazel, the next most knowledgeable person in a lot of projects, resigned three weeks after I did. The client thinks it's because I resigned. If ever that's the case, given what happened, it's definitely not only the reason.

A lot of the finer details were not mentioned in this account, and suffice to say this account should not be taken as bible truth. It is heavily biased on my perspective, which may be missing or misrepresenting some details. If ever, these mistakes are not done intentionally and I tried to keep the account as objective as possible.

As for my overall opinion of what happened, it's simply heartbreaking that I had to abandon a work that I thought would be my work for a very long time. Pragmatically speaking, however, the cost benefit of staying simply is no longer worth it. I do not have "Saint" before my name and I have no plans of having one added anytime soon, so I ditched the martyr 's role. Work is still business, and I will hold no grudge on anybody anymore. If ever there's something people can bank on when dealing with my personality, I have a bad memory when it comes to transgression and I'm really bad in keeping ill will alive for a long time.

I think what happened is just a case of management simply losing a real perspective of what's going on under them. I won't say that things would've changed if this and that didn't or did happen, because realistically speaking, it takes years to form the judgment of a manager, which will be used to determine how they react to things. To ask a manager to change the call that he made would be to ask him to change his entire thinking paradigm. So what happened simply happened because they did. Best case scenario, management learns from the experience, the company survives, and the team can be rebuilt into a more robust architecture.

Worst case scenario will always be what happens to things that cannot evolve: extinction

All this is behind me now, save for a few calls from the team for technical assistance. I have new work, a new project, and a lot of things to do (like updating this blog) and hopefully with a bit more knowledge on what should and should not be part of sound management practices.

Whew. Now that that's done, ON WITH THE SHOW.


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