Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gran Turismo 4 Update and Other Things

Yesterday I mentioned that in Gran Turismo 4 I bought a 2nd hand Nissan Skyline GT-R LM '96, which is basically an R32. Then I mentioned that I upgraded some of its parts. So I raced it last night. I raced in two different categories: 4WD Cup and the Japanese 90s Car Cup. Finished both. Got this experimental Toyota future-car looking thing from the 4WD Cup. And for the Jap 90s Car Cup? A Nismo 400R '96.

For those of you who don't know what that Nismo is, its basically the same Skyline I had. Only tuned. Except my Skyline is also tuned now. So I'm thinking of selling the Nismo (it sells for a little over 25k credits) since I already have an R32 Skyline. But I'm not sure what my chances are of getting another 400R. Selling it will give my funds a much needed boost, since I REALLY, REALLY WANT the Ford GT. But I do have a thing for Skylines too. So maybe I'll just hang on to it a bit longer. Maybe sell it once I have around 130k credits.

Speaking of racing, GT4 offers two new ways to win a race. A-Spec Driver's Mode or B-Spec Director's Mode. A-Spec speaks for itself. You drive the car to win the race. Its fun. Specially since the handling in general of GT4 is a lot better. B-Spec lets you play Jean Todt (Or Flavio Briatore or Eddie Jordan) where you basically just instruct your computer controlled car what to do in general. There are five pace settings, from slow to push. You can command the driver to overtake or pit in. At first try I just left the car in push mode, but that's basically because I haven't done any endurance races (endurance races can only be accessed once you have completed 25% of the game - sucks doesn't it?) where tire wear is crucial.

Oh and did I mention there's fuel involved too? Just noticed it last night. There is a fuel guage in your car, so better watch out. GT4 seems so much better than GT3, that all the creators have to do is add damage and the game would be ultra-realistic.

However Gran Turismo seems to appeal mostly to the hardcore driving fans. Those who take racing lines and races seriously. Those who want to get all gold prizes in the licensing tests. To the not so hardcore racing fan they might find GT4 a bit anal in handling. If you're an NFSU2 fan the handling here is so different from NFSU2. But these two games, despite being both racing games, are two totally different games nonetheless. It's like trying to compare digital photography with film photography. Similar but totally different.

Gran Turismo 4 is still a fun game, even for a not-so-hardcore-racing-fan like me. I'm content with getting all bronze prizes and I may not make the fastest lap times, but I still enjoy the game. Maybe when my mentor and I meet next time I might prove more of a match for him but for now I'm happy that I understand the basics of the racing line and stuff like that.

Besides, I can still beat my mentor in rally tracks in Gran Tursimo, since he doesn't enjoy rally races and i do.

On a different note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, THIRD!!! Hope you and Itin are doing great down under. And I hope we get to see each other again someday. There's always blogging., e-mail, YM, and text anyway. More birthdays to come, and may you always be happy.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Quest for a Ford GT

I recently had my PS2 re-modified with the new Messiah 2 chip so that it would be able to read the latest pirated DVD9 games. Why would I want to do that? Simple. GT4.

For the past few months all I've seen is the intro to this fabulous game. And when it finally came out I instantly bought a copy. Sadly my PS2 couldn't play it since it was a DVD9.

Finally after all these months I got around to modding my PS2. Finally it works. And boy is that game great. So far.

What's so great about GT4 is that the physics seem better. The car handles better than in GT3. I'm still not as fast as my mentor and I doubt I will be, but at least now I'm driving a lot smoother than before. I don't know if its because of the game or whatever.

Another great thing about it is that you can import your licenses from GT3. I chose not to do this, and despite the fact that license tests are tedious they let me get a feel for the game. Plus if you get a license you get a car. Of course, the better cars only become available if you get all gold or all silver.

Plus you can also import up to 100,000 credits from GT3. This is the feature I used. So I had 110,000 credits to start. Plus I sold the car I got from my B license test. Then I bought a used Nissan Skyline R32 (The used cars are also back, another welcome addition) but I forgot its actual designation. I spent around 20k for the car and another 40k for brakes, brake balance controller, suspensions and exhausts. No turbos yet. You see, I'm on a mission.

The Ford GT is available in GT4. It can be bought. Not won, like in GT3. It costs 149k++ but thanks to the feature above it hopefully won't take me as long to acquire it. The GT40 is also available but it can only be won. There's also this souped up GT which you can see in the opening credits. I guess you also have to win that. But one step at a time.

See, here's my plan. I'll try to win as many races as I can with my Skyline without having to upgrade it. So all I need is roughly 100k more to get a GT. Then I can get on with the game.

Unfortunately my GT4 has a problem. The Sunday cup races won't load. So I'm off to the mall to buy me another copy. Can't exchange it since games bought from that store can only be exchanged up to two days after one buys it. Sad. Oh well.

So far my car's been competing in the 4WD races and the 90s Cars Cup. If I win them both I don't think I'd have enough money yet. I'll see. I'm not even sure about selling cars that I win because some of them might turn out to be excellent cars. Its just that right now I choose to be blinded by the Ford GT.

I wonder what color I'll pick...


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I admit it. Our car, the Mazda 323 Familia 1996 model, is a lemon.

It is moody. Sumpungin in the vernacular.

Sometimes it drives like a dream. Fast response, great torque. Great handling. It reminds you of the new Mazda 3 commercial. Y'know, zoom zoom zoom and all the bull.

Oftentimes it sucks. RPM drops, the timing belt is loose, it overheats, it won't start, and a lot of other things. Now I know most of you will think, Hey maybe you and your family just don't know how to take care of a car. Now that's wrong. My dad loves cars. He takes care of all our cars, and I'm proud to say that our oldest car, a '93 Toyota Lite-Ace, is still running well. Maybe the engine needs to be overhauled, but at least the worst thing to happen to the Lite Ace was the heat spikes. Easily remedied by buying new radiator hoses and clamps. But I digress.

The Mazda was well taken care of. When Mazda left we sent it to other casas that supposedly were the "official" service centers of that car. First to Prestige Cars Libis. Until BMW threatened to stop making them the official dealer of BMWs because they serviced Mazdas. Then it was Kia Pasay. WTF??? Don't ask me. Dad makes the decisions. No dice. Service was okay but it was around this time that the Mazda became a pure Shell Velocity drinker. Why? If we used other kinds of gas the engine would misfire. Palyado in Tagalog. Don't know why. Then we sent it to Ford Balintawak once because we found out it was the official Mazda service center. They said we had to change the engine mounts. Plus they made it run great again. Problem solved? Wait.

So we bought new mounts. Next service time we sent it again to Balintawak only to find out that they didn't service Mazdas anymore. Since Mazda returned here they serviced cars. So we sent it to Mazda Quezon Ave (I think) only to find out they don't do engine mount changes there. Plus the Mazda didn't need the mounts changed. Yeah right.

Anyway now even Mazda doesn't service our Mazda. Too old. No parts. Yeah right. Elitist pigs. You don't want to serve old Mazdas. Well I hope you guys bomb in our country. I hope the new Mazda here leaves again so that the owners of the zoom zoom zoom Mazda 3 know what if feels to own a f*cking lemon.

I hate Mazda now. Even if I do like the MX-5 Miata, RX-7 and RX-8. Maybe in the US they're better. But here? Make mine Toyota.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Things to Do During Lunchbreak

Was surfing the net when I found this in a random blog somewhere. Since I ain't doing nothing I decided to try and answer the following questions.

three names you go by:
1. Gani
2. Carlo
3. Ganations

three screen names you have had:
1. Akula_X
2. Lead_G
3. Ganations

three physical things you like about yourself:
1. Hair
2. Eyes
3. Hands

three physical things you don't like about yourself:
1. Beer Belly
2. Flabby Arms
3. Fat Legs

three parts of your heritage:
1. Filipino
2. uh...
3. hmm...

three things that scare you:
1. Giant Spiders
2. Death
3. Horror Movies

three of your everyday essentials:
1. Cellphone
2. Internet
3. iPod

three of your favorite musical artists:
1. Dream Theater
2. Black Sabbath
3. Megadeth

three of your favorite songs:
1. The Silent Man by Dream Theater
2. Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth
3. One by Metallica

three things you want in a relationship:
1. Happiness
2. Love
3. Intimacy

three lies and truths in no particular order:

1. I'm physically fit.
2. Older people are smarter.
3. Nothing really matters.

1. Anything mathematically proven
2. Anything scientifically proven
3. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, yadda yadda yadda...

three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you:
1. Face
2. Armpit
3. Buttocks

three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Computer Games
2. Reading
3. Internet

three things you want to do really badly now:
1. Sleep
2. Play computer games
3. Play guitar

three careers you're considering/you've considered:
1. Car magazine writer
2. Chef
3. Web Designer

three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Ilocos
2. Japan
3. England

three kid's names you like:
1. Sebastian
2. Quinito
3. Gabriel

three things you want to do before you die:
1. Have kids
2. Be famous
3. Own a supercar

three ways that you are stereotypically a boy:
1. Stares at pretty ladies
2. Drops f-bombs and swear words almost all the time
3. Really short nails

three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:
1. ?
2. ?!?
3. ???

three celeb crushes:
1. Angelina Jolie
2. Bianca I-forget-her-last-name - the girl from Breakfast who moved to channel 2
3. Kate Hudson

three people that i would like to see take this quiz:
1. Tsitonats
2. Toyd
3. Ethel

pasensiya na sa inyong tatlo. wala ako'ng maisip e. hehe.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath

It all began Saturday.

What was supposed to be a regular weekend turned to one of the worst, then best, Saturdays of my life.

First the Mazda's battery dies. The car gets stranded over at the weekend market. Fortunately I was not that stressed out because I manage to borrow jumper cables from my uncle. So I drive over to the Mazda with our driver to jump start it. No dice. Jumper cables too corroded. So we had to fix the cables. During that time I get into a nasty argument with Maica. Nice. Perfect. Just what I needed.

Mazda starts. Bring it home. Use Lite Ace to go to Merville to pick up Maica. On the way the Lite Ace's heat spikes. Doesn't overheat. Spikes. Bad. At Maica's place we fill the Lite Ace up with water, AND discover that the radiator hose is leaking. Fine. No aircon. No spike. Fine.

We get the battery. We go home. A new radiator hose is bought.

Afternoon. We take Maica home using the Mazda. Nope. Now the revs are dropping to near zero when the tranny is on drive. Shit. Take the Lite Ace out. No problemo. Take Maica home, pick up the food, go home. All's well.

Dinner. We go to the house of one of my folks' ninong and ninang during their wedding. Friends from long ago. Nice to see them, felt great to just witness the friendship among all of them (other friends, neighbors from Malabon) and their reminiscing. Problem forgotten.

Sunday. Things were fine.

Monday. Rode with my mom to work on the Lite Ace. No gas, go to C5 Shell to gas up. Mom annoyed. Car should always have gas. Never fill up with her in it. We leave gas station. Heat spikes. Again. What the f*ck? Stress levels increase. You can cut the tension with a knife. Bloody hell. I thought the car was fine already. Now this, again? Shit.

What a perfect start to a Monday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Monthly Car Rant

Its that time of the month again when my thoughts turn to automobiles. Either what car I want, or what I want to do with a car. Or both. But usually every month my thoughts focus themselves upon automobiles. Curse all the car magazines. Hehe. Just kidding. I love car magazines and I love reading them for all the info they can give. Specially when I read car comparisons.

Anyway on to the rant. I've always said that I'd like to own a vehicle here, and I lately started requiring that the vehicle I own be either an AUV, SUV, mini-SUV or pick-up. Why? For the simple reason that with the road conditions in our contry today (specially at the base of the bridge from Tenement leading to FTI) nothing beats owning a vehicle with high ground clearance and lots of space.

However with the current prices in oil and the fact that my tastes seem to be turning towards your typical yuppie (not that there's anything wrong with being a yuppie, in fact i think some of my friends are yuppies) preferences. Not the typical boy racer with lowered height and super slim tires and loud bumper. No, I prefer the cute and functional vehicles. I'm talking about the compact cars (mini-compacts? i really don't know what to call them). Specifically, the Honda Jazz, Hyundai Gets, and Kia Picanto.

Yeah I've got a liking for them three. I've even seen some Jazzes set-up. And they look good. Side skirts, ground effects kit, mags, muffler. Cute. Racy. Practical? No. They're already pretty low and you'll even add more stuff to make the clearance smaller. So what happens at humps? A slow moving car moving sideways to avoid the inevitable crunch of the ground effects kit scraping the hump.

Anyway. Yeah I like those three cars. Two of them are really cheap but good. I read a comparison between the Getz and the Picanto on C! Magazine and I really liked what I read. And I woudn't mind owning either of them.

I mean think about it, if you've got money to buy, say, a Vios it would be nice to buy it. Its a Toyota for crying out loud. Best brand to own in this country. However the price of a Vios is enough to get you an automatic Getz or an automatic Picanto. Plus with the change you can use it to "pimp" your ride.

Let me digress for a while. I love automatic transmissions. Sure some of you may think that matics are for girls and stuff. Yeah right. I'd rather just use less brain power while driving. Technology was developed to make our lives easier. And that's why I like matics. They make life easier, so to you manly men out there who only have to use manuals, I congratulate you. But I'd rather drive a matic, thank you.

Anyway on with the rant. If I could choose among the three I'd pick the Honda Jazz with SRS and ABS. Why? Because it looks cute and fast and modern all at once. Plus it has a great safety package. It also has fog lamps and a rear windshield wiper already. And its a Honda. So you'll be almost guaranteed of quality.

But the Honda is way more expensive than the other two. With the price of the Jazz I mentioned above you can already get either of the other two cars plus pay for registration, insurance and everything else needed.

If it was a Picanto I got then I'd even have enough change to replace the wheels, add fog lights, get a new stereo system with CD changer, and add rear windshield wipers. Maybe even add a car alarm and stuff. Lotsa things to do a Picanto given the cash to buy a Jazz.

With the Getz I could probably pay for all the other things I mentioned, and even have enough for either a CD changer or better wheels. Did I mention that the Getz already has fog lamps and rear windshield wiper?

Okay, forget about the fog lamps, since even the Picanto has that option.

Anyway if I was to pick among the three, I'd go with the Getz. I can get more out of my money with it than with the Jazz, since it is cheaper, leaving me cash for buying other things for it. Plus it also has a good power plant, 1.3L like the Jazz. Sure the Picanto is preppy with its 1.1L engine, and I've heard guarantees that a Picanto will easily move me around despite my immense size.

But I like the Getz most. The look is simple, not like the Jazz or Picanto, yet its safe. The warranty is also second best (behind Kia). The performance will suit my driving style, since I'm not fast. And its in between the Jazz and Picanto in terms of cost. Its a solid number two among the three, and with cost as the major factor I'd go for it

Monday, August 15, 2005

Arise, Lord Vader

Arise, Lord Vader
Originally uploaded by Gani.

Finally. Its been almost one year since I last bought my Lian-Li PC-6077 PC case. And now its finally complete. I've finally bought its innards.

The thing I'm most proud of this PC is that my father and I built it. We didn't bring it to any tech support. The work was all ours. Special thanks go out to June, who provided tech support through the phone when I needed it.

And so I present to you my new PC...

"Arise, Lord Vader..."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Random Ramblings and Other Strange Sermons

It's been a while since I last blogged. Maybe because work's been relatively easy. Just working on a game ( and fixing up their models, making alien weapons and texturing. Nice learning experience. But man are the constrains hard. When you have to model characters while being aware of certain polygon count limits it puts a damper to your technique. I know mine suffered at first, but eventually I got the hang of it.

Sadly now I'm back to working on a commercial. At first I thought it would be easy, then things got a bit complicated, then it became easy again. Now it just got harder. Again. I'm hoping the clients change their mind with what they want. No. They should just make up their mind. That's it. And maybe give me a few more days extension. Not that I can't do it in the alloted time, I could. But the margin for error would be quite close to zero, and I don't like to operate in those kinds of conditions.

What else? Well stupidity is still rampant in the Philippines. So is greed, corruption, and lust. So what else is new with our country? Nothing. Hope can still spring, sure. But when it does I'm hoping I'll be a thousand kilometers away from this country living a life I deserve but can't have with all the bull that happens here.

Anyway I digress. Someone nominated my blog to the Philippine Blog Awards (or something like that) and I was sort of touched. But do I honestly expect this blog to win? Nope. With all my negative rants and swear words? Yes. So friendly to readers.

I've finished reading the latest Harry Potter book. The Half-Blood Prince. Nice book, sorta strange though. Now that the wizards and witches have all grown up they now "snog". Ugh. So even the book gets realistic. What next? Humping in the Room of Requirement? Don't forget your contraceptive spell, Spermus Disappearus. Man. I'd like to rant more about the book but others might not have read it so... fnklsd;d,; girp ,jirfsjdfisdfu fhuirlh gr gjffm ff (That was my attempt at writing a spoiler but good thing my conscience stepped in and stopped me.)

Photography's been great but thanks to the rain I've sorta stopped shooting pics. Which was a good thing too since film and developing are sorta expensive. Oh well. At least I've got a macro lens, courtesy of a friend of mine who sold it to me cheap. Maybe I should start bringing my Gundam toys out of the box and shooting them in action poses. Hmm...

Doppelganger's been quiet lately. Although he has tried to appease my anger by doing a few nice things. He's been cool lately, actually. But still. IF. YOU. ARE. READING. THIS. I. FORGIVE. BUT. I. NEVER. EVER. EVER. FORGET. Got it? Good.

Anyway that's all I've got time for. Have fun but don't forget: When it rains, wear a raincoat.

Peace out.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Random Stuff

Someone sent me this link. It is hilarious.

Been a while since I last posted anything. And I think that's a good thing. Things have been positive lately. And stress isn't as high as before. I've bitched and bitched about idiots and I don't think I want to bitch anymore in this blog. Its just a waste of time. Bitching won't lead to anything. Killing will. But since that's illegal, I guess I'll just try to keep a positive outlook. If that's possible.

Anyway, I do have some things which I simply cannot share. This blog is open to anyone, and my thoughts aren't. So I will just keep them in my head. Along with other thoughts.