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2006 December

  • New Year's Eve

    It's around 7 PM on the 31st of December. Around this time it starts to become dangerous to walk upon the streets of Metro Manila. In fact, I would never go out on the streets after dark on New Year's Eve. People are starting to throw their pyrotechnics around, and no matter what community you live in, there's a chance of some reckless kid carelessly tossing some dangerous firecracker somewhere in your direction. Around 9-10 PM it will be impossible to walk the streets. I also have this irrational fear of getting hit by a stray bullet on New Year's

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  • The Rock Says

    I was going through the bookstores at yesterday's sale day at SM North, hoping to find some bargains. I found a copy of The Rock's book, The Rock Says going for the bargain basement price of 50 pesos (roughly 1 US dollar). What a steal! In case you've been living under, well, a rock, you're probably aware that The Rock was one of the most popular, most electrifying men in professional wrestling, lovingly termed "sports entertainment." As a wrestling fan, such a book is a real page-turner for me. It details the story of Rock's childhood, his football days in

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    # / / blog / #books #pop-culture / 264 words
  • 8-Man Drafts on MTGO

    One of the nice things about Magic: Online is the concept of "Nix Tix". Basically, for a few days during holidays, 8-man drafts no longer require the usual 2 tickets to play. You simply need the product used for the draft (3 booster packs) in order to join an 8-man draft. And since the payout is also in booster packs, distributed as 4-3-2-2, you can basically keep playing 8-man drafts for free as long as you get at least two wins per draft. I just finished the fourth draft off an initial 3-booster pack (12 dollar) investment, so I basically

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    # / / blog / #mtg / 137 words
  • My mother told me it's so they don't try to take home anything from their shoes. She said she heard it from someone who works at SM, supposed to be some kind of standard procedure in department stores. So yeah, I have no idea if it's true.
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  • Via : Apparently, DQ IX coming out on the DS is a big deal over in the land of the rising sun. And the fact that the combat system will be action-style instead of turn-based. Did they really expect the game to keep doing the same thing again and again forever? Anyway, the DS is a better platform for it... Square-Enix already has one flagship RPG series on the consoles (Final Fantasy), and none yet on handhelds, so why not just move their second-oldest title there?
    # / / blog / #gaming / 87 words
  • The Next Generation of FAQs

    Something I didn't expect from the Youtube phenomenon: apparently, FAQ writers can now link to instructional videos for difficult to describe game walkthroughs. If you don't have any idea what I mean, an "FAQ" is a document that helps someone to do a particular thing by providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions. In my case, I most often read FAQs for video games to help through the difficult spots, usually from GameFAQs. (Prideful Disclaimer Note: I usually only look for FAQs after I've finished a game once, so I can see what stuff I've missed... Final Fantasy XII is the

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    # / / blog / #gaming / 154 words
  • Awesome article in The Escapist titled The Rise and Fall of Troika, which gives a good view of the problems facing game development studios with regards to production/publisher issues. I got the link from the blog at which I've been following for a while now. I find the articles about the indie gaming field very enlightening, and I have to say going the route of an indie game developer is much more appealling to me especially after reading about all the issues game dev studios have with big-time publishers. Am I still thinking about getting into game development? Maybe,

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    # / / blog / #gaming / 164 words
  • The Meaning of Christmas

    When you're a kid, the days leading up to Christmas are full of wonder and anticipation, and you eagerly await that time when the gifts under the Christmas tree are finally handed out to the recipients and you tear open those packages with such enthusiasm and disregard for the effort put into wrapping it. As an adult, the days leading up to Christmas are filled up with days of overtime as you struggle to meet year-end targets, constantly having to attend gathering after gathering, and worrying about whether you've gotten the right presents for people. In my case, since people

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    # / / blog / #job-hunting / 370 words
  • Spare Time

    Today is the first day of my four-week hiatus from week, after an exhausting three-day overtime streak I basically collapsed into bed last night. Over the past week people have been asking me why I would take a month-long break from work. Am I going somewhere out of town? Sightseeing? By sheer coincidence I was also looking over a copy of The Little Prince, and one of the chapters there echoed perfectly my sentiments about all these questions: why are all you grown-ups so worried about so-called "matters of consequence"? I just want to take a break. Isn't that reason

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  • I remember looking for the signs that would tell me where to find the A11 bus that could take me to North Point. My instructions were to find the McDonald's inside the airport and look for the exit nearby. Sure enough, the signs pointed me to the bus terminal. I bought a ticket, and as I arranged my luggage for easier carrying I didn't notice that I had dropped the just-purchased ticket to the floor. A pretty Caucasian girl picked it up and smiled as she handed it back to me. I smiled back and gave her my best "Thank

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    # / / blog / #travels #hong-kong / 369 words
  • ... on the PSP. How sad that my all-time favorite console game is getting a bunch of spiffy new features on a handheld I chose not to support. =( At least we are getting a Dragon Quest release for the DS.
    # / / blog / #gaming / 41 words
  • Magic: 2006 Gold Rush

    I made it back to the country just two days before the last big Standard event of 2007, and I had no deck ready. On Saturday morning, I quickly cobbled together a RGB off the obvious theme of hating Islands. Minor land destruction theme (4 Cryoclasm, 4 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss), Elephant and Solifuge beats and always going for the Demonfire finish. The black was in the main only for Hit // Run, my answer to Akroma and Bogardan Hellkite. Sideboarded Nightmare Void against control. Ridiculously huge turnout, over two hundred people participated, meaning the event would play out for a total

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    # / / blog / #mtg / 464 words
  • The More They Stay The Same

    One of the difficult things about my three-week sojourn is that I had almost no internet access; the one internet terminal we could use at the site was unbearably slow, and even when it was free, it was hard to slack off reading Slashdot when there were several other people busily working nearby. Being without internet is like living under a rock apparently; you have no idea what's going on in the world. So I needed to catch up to about three weeks worth of news and blog posts, missed downloads, episodes, etc. Conveniently, I just marked as read all

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  • Back from China

    Yeah I know, Hong Kong is technically a part of China, but my feet actually did manage to walk some non-Hong Kong Chinese territory. Too many stories accumulated in three weeks to tell in one post though, but to say the least I actually got to experience a bit more of Hong Kong this time, as opposed to the five-day almost-all-work schedule that I had last time. Unfortunately, I did not get to experience any kung-fu in the streets, although I did manage to get a picture with Jacky Chan.

2006 November

  • I'm Going to HK Again

    So much for my nefarious plan to take it easy until I can get a Christmas break. I leave on the first available flight Thursday, and they plan to keep me there for around three weeks.
    # / / blog / #travels / 36 words
  • Dark Tower VII

    What a long, arduous journey it has been for Roland of Gilead, last gunslinger, in his inexorable quest for the Dark Tower. And now that I've read the final volume of Stephen King's magnum opus, I find out that it is an even crueler fate that awaits him at the end of the seven books. I dare not spoil it, though Wikipedia has a nice summary, say thankya. Save to say that Stephen King seems to be correct -- the ending of the Dark Tower series does seem to be the "correct" one, despite some disappointments in writing. All in

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  • I'm a Moron

    Yeah pretty much. I feel really stupid right now. Gar!!!
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  • Same deck as last week. Round 1: 2-0 vs WUb Sliver-Mill. I asked him afterwards why he didn't show me any Traumatize, he said it was only in the board. Round 2: 2-0 vs Solar Flare Game one he only gets four lands, he manages to animate a Skeletal Vampire, but Glare taps the blockers and pushes the kill. Game two he gets nothing but ten lands and a Remand. Round 3: 2-1 vs UW Draw-Go Game one I push hard and fast, bringhing him down in eight swings. Game two he gets the controllish upper hand and ends the

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    # / / blog / #mtg / 489 words
  • I predict that eventually, "don't", "won't", "can't" and the like will eventually become their own words, dropping that weird apostrophe they have. A few decades after this happens, some people will wonder what "wan't" used to stand for.
    # / / blog / #opinions / 38 words