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2007 December

  • I'm not sure why I keep trying to get the Ubuntu + XP dual boot thing working. I don't really need it, I can do most of the things I want to do in XP. And I can't really play games in Ubuntu (I don't really want to bother with all the crap Wine puts you through). Still, every so often I'm hit with some sort of geek envy where I just want to have an Ubuntu installation handy so I can try out some cool stuff like Compiz or whatnot. After all, I can enjoy both worlds with a

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  • Every year I do an end-of-year cleanup of my stuff. (I try to at least) Somehow there always seem to be so many CDs/DVDs/books/comics to sort up and shelf or sleeve or whatnot. I'm growing tired of it all. The other day I was planning to backup everything on my computer to DVD when I realized I was just adding more to the pile. I'm not sure if there's any important reason to backup all the episodes I've been watching to DVD when I've already watched them all. Of course the argument can be made that it makes it easier

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  • I believe that this year, I have managed to improve my Magic-playing a bit (despite the abundance of embarassing mistakes).I also believe I'm slightly better at Limited than I am at Constructed. TO back up these beliefs, I could point to my DCI ratings. But as a programmer who loves stats, I compiled additional stats for my own pleasure: My Playing Stats. A bit of background: I've been playing Magic on and off since Revised, but only gotten into the tournament scene seriously in 2006. I've played in a few Limited tourneys before that, but I guess I took them

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  • A couple of weeks ago, just before the last PTQ of the season, I was thinking of quitting Magic. Not because I'm tired of it or anything, but because I've run out of people to play with. Unlike last year where we had enough players in the office to occasionally have an 8-man draft, this year most of the Magic players have either switched to WoW or moved to a different company/country. There are only two of us seriously playing now, so our card pool has become so much smaller. That also means less preparation for constructed formats as it's

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  • The last qualifier in the Philippines, held last December 16. I wasn't able to attend the Gold Rush the day before due to prior commitments, so this was my last tournament for the year. I opened a pool with a lot of removal: White 1 Hillcomber Giant 1 Judge of Currents 1 Kinsbaile Balloonist 1 Kinsbaile Skirmisher 1 Kithkin Greatheart 1 Kithkin Harbinger 2 Kithkin Healer 1 Lairwatch Giant Sentry Oak 2 Springjack Knight Blue 1 Amoeboid Changeling 1 Aquitect's Will 2 Deeptread Merrow 1 Drowner of Secrets 1 Faerie Trickery 1 Familiar's Ruse 1 Merrow Reejerey 1 Mulldrifter 2

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  • Dec-2, Sunday. Lorwyn Sealed. The usual location of course, NG Galleria. I find your lack of socks... disturbing I played a couple MTGO drafts the day before but did not do very well, I hoped my luck would be better this time. But my day did not start very well as I found that I had forgotten to bring sleeves to the event. I had to buy some rough-backed Ultra Pros. I hate rough-backed sleeves, my hands are not very good with them. For some reason, I was also stupid enough to come in my sandals, wearing no socks. I

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  • Yeah, I post these late, I'm a busy man. But I want to have a record so here we go. Same deck as the last time , except I removed the 2 grim harvests from the board and put in +2 sudden death (to improve the pickles matchup) Round 1: My opponent had a BUw Mannequin deck, splashing for O-Ring and Blink. He obviously put the deck together at the last minute though. 2-0 win Round 2: Table 1! UW control, but he has bad draws both games. 2-0 win Round 3: B/G Elves. Manny totally crushes aggro decks. 2-0

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  • The first step is admitting you have a problem. I've thrown away games because I played spells without thinking and attacked without thinking. I go on autopilot far too often. It has got to stop. What's the preventive measure? I'll count to 3 before making every decision.

2007 November

  • "Robert suggested we create Facebook accounts, I think in an effort to establish that we were "down" with whatever "new jives" the kids were flexing on the mean streets. I refused. Gabriel buckled, and the bullshit that ensued verified my initial assessment: that maintaining Facebook would quickly constitute another job. Of which I already have several." — Tycho, Penny-Arcade I never really bought into social networking (because I am of course antisocial) But lo and behold! I now have a Facebook account! And I discovered just now that I cannot link to it. You have to search for me there

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  • I don't particularly care one way or another whether Gloria falls out of power or not. I suspect a lot of people don't. And a lot of people probably don't give a hoot about Trillianes either. I am however of the opinion that he is an idiot. What exactly did he hope to accomplish yesterday anyway? The only difference between now and Oakwood a few years ago is that since then he's gotten the pity vote to actually be able to call himself a senator. I suppose he thought he could be some sort of spark that could start some

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  • My single greatest problem with Magic Online is the fact that it's on a computer. Which means that unlike a real draft where I can focus 100% on the draft, in Magic Online I could possibly be doing several other things such as coding, blogging, random surfing, IM, etc. that may cause terrible misclicks such as a first-pick Faultgrinder (true story) I should stop writing this post now and maybe try to salvage the draft.
  • Tournament was last Sunday, November 18. Format was Lorwyn Sealed. I open a pretty good sealed pool this time. Notable cards include Mistbind Clique, Profane Command, Mulldrifter, Cloudgoat Ranger, Oblivion Ring, Shriekmaw and Silvergill Douser. Haven't written up the sealed pool yet, will probably do so later. I play major blue, minor black and white. Round 1: 2-0 win vs BG Goblin/Elf Round 2: 2-0 win vs UB Faeries Round 3 vs merfolk, things start getting interesting. I'm about to win game 3 on my next attack phase as the opponent is at four life, I have a Pestermite and

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  • Tournament was on Saturday, November 10. Format was Standard. I didn't have any good deck ideas this time around (some would argue I never do!), so I played a netdeck. I played the Mannequin deck that originally appeared in US States, as reported by BDM here. I had to change the board around a bit, I went with: 4 Nameless Inversion (to help kill black/artifact critters) 3 Vesuvan Shapeshifter (get random tricks off pickles, and kill legends) 3 extirpate 3 bottle gnomes 2 damnation I had very minimal testing, but I was fairly sure aggro decks were a cakewalk, and

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  • 2 days ago: My brother Alvin and Brian report suspicious activities on the computer in their room. Random Chinese popups appearing, mysterious processes in the taskbar. As needed, virus scans and adware scans are done. Trojans are identified and quarantined, but keep reappearing. Brian plays WoW on the machine despite the issues. Yesterday: Alvin decides to reformat the machine and begins backing up. Brian plays WoW on the machine in my room instead. Tonight, around 8 PM: I'm surfing the ‘net at work before I go for the day, I receive an instant message from Alvin telling me they can't

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  • The format is Lorwyn Sealed. Note here that I they had a shortage of boosters and had to split tournament packs into 3 boosters to be able to accomodate all the players. Decklist/Card pool later, I'm too lazy to type it up. Unfortunately, I failed to learn from the previous mistakes as I got blinded by the shiny again, thinking I could actually cast Horde of Notions, so I went with an almost-five color build, major red-blue-and-green. Yes, no tribal synergy at all. (To be fair, HoN was only a dead card once) Round 1: 0-2 loss vs R/W Ajani

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  • (7:51:16 PM) Roy: I dug into the invasion box to look for fertile grounds (invasion common, reprinted in lorwyn) guess how many I found? (7:51:26 PM) switch: 1? (7:51:31 PM) switch: 0? (7:51:34 PM) Roy: zero (7:51:46 PM) switch: hmmm. that's oddish (7:51:59 PM) switch: then again, it's common in lor (7:52:10 PM) Roy: yes, but I wanted to play with Invasion ones! (7:52:33 PM) switch: oh well (7:52:34 PM) Roy: it may just be that we really didn't have any at all -- I didn't even realize it was in invasion until I say it in gatherer (7:52:50 PM)

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  • I still have no idea what to play for Lorwyn Standard, so I was eagerly awaiting this year's States/Champs results. There are already partial results up at, and I had some time so I did some of my programming hocus-pocus and extracted some fun data. States / Champs 2007 Card Counts The data is of course extracted from top eight decklists, so what we have here are literally the best decks this past weekend. Some interesting things to note: Gaddock Teeg, or the lack thereof. More Tarmagoyfs than mountains! (Although adding snow-covered mountains puts the red land back on

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2007 October

  • One of the qualities that I think make a really good software developer is the ability to solve difficult technical problems. Unless you're the sort of software developer who just sells the same piece of software over and over again, at some point in time you'll to need to find out how to implement some feature you've never tried before. Or you'll hit a problem that's not documented in any official docs and you need that critical functionality. Typically, there are two approaches: Research and Experimentation. Today I'll talk about Research. Research means the internet of course, but what part

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  • I was in Galleria earlier today and suddenly the power went out for a few seconds. It came back up almost immediately, but of course everyone was a bit spooked given the recent bombings at Glorietta 2. Even I felt a bit shaken up I might add, even considering cutting short the tournament (I wasn't doing well) I hate that. Being overcome by fear, even for a very short instant. Hopefully, the authorities would be able to find whoever was responsible for the recent bombings to make the rest of us feel safer.
  • Ugh, I feel like an idiot. Lowryn Sealed card pool: White 1 Cloudgoat Ranger 2 Goldmeadow Stalwart 1 Kinsbaile Balloonist 2 Kinsbaile Skirmisher 1 Kithkin Greatheart 1 Neck Snap 1 Oaken Brawler 1 Pollen Lullaby 2 Springjack Knight 1 Surge of Thoughtweft 1 Thoughtweft Trio 1 Triclopean Sight Blue 1 Æthersnipe 1 Amoeboid Changeling 1 Drowner of Secrets 1 Ego Erasure 1 Faerie Harbinger 1 Faerie Trickery 1 Mistbind Clique 1 Mulldrifter 2 Pestermite 2 Ponder 1 Protective Bubble 1 Tideshaper Mystic Black 2 Bog Hoodlums 1 Boggart Loggers 1 Faerie Tauntings 1 Footbottom Feast 1 Hornet Harasser 1 Makeshift

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