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2008 June

  • This has been a good month for movies. I saw the following in cinemas: Kung Fu Panda -- complete AWESOMENESS. I drank the Kool-Aid all the way on this one. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull -- classic Indy goodness. Incredible Hulk -- Edward Norton is cast brilliantly here, a choice on the same level as Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. And they addressed the issue of Hulk's stretchy pants! Wanted -- The story is decent, although the Loom of Fate weirded me out a bit. But let's face it, you're really here for the kickass

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  • The gist of it is: it wasn't as annoying as I had been led to expect. Frankly, I think it's better than XP, but I might be blinded by the fact that it's very pretty. Visually it's a step up from XP the same way XP was a step up from '95. The XP box at work seems so bland to me now. The file manager (Explorer) is very nice, I like the functionality of being able to navigate the address bar by mouse click (though I never used this back in Ubuntu) and the ability to sort files even

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  • Because I'm a sucker for trying out alternative software, I installed and tried out the latest release of the Opera web browser, Opera 9.5, for a bit more than a week. Opera is neat and all, but I don't see any features that are so awesome that they can't be done in Firefox (with some extensions maybe). My favorite feature is I guess the Speed Dial page; where opening a new tab displays a customizable table of common websites you visit. Opera also provides a function to zoom in or out of any web page (don't know if Firefox has

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  • The tournament was Sunday, June 15. The format was of course Block Constructed. I was playing the same Commandments deck as the day before, except I managed to get the second Mind Spring (taking out the Fathom Trawl). During last minute playtesting on Sunday morning I also decided to take out the Plumeveils from the board (they were redundant with Nameless Inversion) and put in Faerie Macabres to help the Elemental matchup. Here was the decklist I played: Lands 2 Forest 3 Island 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Primal Beyond 4 Vivid Grove 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Meadow 3 Mystic

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  • The tournament was last Staurday, 14-June and the format wasLorwyn/Shadowmoor Block Constructed. I had been having a bad constructed record over the past few tournaments, so I thought I'd play in one of the smaller tournaments before heading into another GPT. I didn't want to play Kithkin (too random) or Faeries (not enough components). I though I would go for control instead and thus assembled the following Commandments decklist: Lands 2 Forest 3 Island 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Primal Beyond 4 Vivid Grove 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Meadow 3 Mystic Gate 2 Sunken Ruins 1 Fire-Lit Thicket 1 Wooded

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  • Google started a treasure hunt about a month ago, releasing four questions (one per week) that covered a range of computational topics. I actually joined the treasure hunt late, the 2nd question was already released by the time I got wind of it. The site says there are prizes to be won for the people who are able to provide complete answers first; I'm not sure what my odds of winning anything are since (a) I joined late and (b) I can only do the questions during the weekends, typically a few days after they are released. Still, for what

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  • Watch it, and be blinded by awesomeness. For added effect, imagine it's really Jack Black doing everything the Panda does.
  • The place was NG Galleria, the format was booster draft, three rounds of Lorwyn-Lorwyn-Morningtide followed by three rounds of Shadowmoor-Shadowmoor-Shadowmoor. I went in a bit confident; I had a drafted a couple of times in the past month with decent results (2-1 and 3-1), so I figured I could probably manage at least a 4-2 here or better. I was quite wrong. For the LLM draft, I went with a Treefolk-based build around Battlewand Oaks. I luckily opened a Bitterblossom in pack 3 so my splash went to black, gaining additional removal from the Morningtide pack. Round one vs U/B

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  • So I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull _last Friday. Two days later I also watched for the first time _Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead of doing a lame movie review, here's a double header feature! (Warning: Spoilers for both movies follow)

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  • Testimonger (noun) -- someone who gives testimonials
  • I added an iGoogle Gadget that allows me to post from iGoogle. Neat huh? But I'm not sure if it's okay to trust the gadget with my blog account details...
  • There was a recent thread over on the Neutral Grounds forums about how Filipino MTG players often "netdeck" or use decklists off the internet. To anyone who starts playing MTG, the ability to build your own decks has always been one of the primary appeals. For this reason, every MTG player would like to think that they have in themselves some level of deckbuilding "skills" and that using netdecks should be treated as a loss of pride in one's own work. I don't feel strongly about this issue; I've used both netdecks and my own homebrew designs in tournaments before.

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  • Above average -- a level of competency at a given subject such that: You are good enough that average people look at your work and tell you "You've got a lot of talent!" You are good enough that you know there's a huge gap between you and those who are truly excellent. I was wondering the other day whether being above average was a curse. It's like being good enough to be in movies, but never good enough to be the star. Everyone around you is happy that they know someone who appears in movies, but deep inside you wish

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