Friday, March 28, 2008

A Dream Car

In all honesty, the most realistic car I can afford if I stay in the Philippines is a second-hand car. A brand new one seems out of reach, even if I borrow from the bank.

Plus, lets face it, it is really impractical to pay for a car for 3 years or over. Why? Because for most multi-national companies with car plans, if you get a company car now after three, four, or five years the car is turned over to you or sold to you for a really cheap price. Because each year the value of the car depreciates by around 25%. So in other words if you pay for a car for four years, by the time you're paying for it in the 4th year you would be spending on something with technically no value anymore. But I digress.

What second-hand car am I talking about? While second-hand Toyotas, Hondas and other brand cars are available in good condition and also affordable, there is one car I can realistically afford even now. And that car is the Volkswagen Beetle.

No, not the New Beetle. I mean the classic Beetle. When I was young my father owned one. I used to tease my father and belittle the car. But as I grew older I realized how nice that car was.

For one thing, I used to read comic books on it. Yes, on top of the hood. The windshield was my backrest. It was perfect. The metal was strong enough to support my weight. Plus it gave me a chance to work on my tan.

Another good thing about the Beetle is the fact that it is a classic car. It's an icon, something the New Beetle never achieved. The Beetle was the people's car. Everyone used to own one.

I'm pretty sure I can get one of those cars in good working condition (meaning the engine, brakes, transmission, suspension are reliable, the body doesn't have too much structural damage, and the electrical is still fine) for around P50k - P80k. Besides, what makes you think that I'd just buy a Beetle and leave it alone?

I'd modify the car. First things first, I'd probably try to improve the sound system, and replace the generator with an alternator. It doesn't have to be a killer sound system, but it should be enough to entertain me on my trips.

Next thing I'd do is try to improve the lights and wipers. Get brighter halogens for headlights, and LEDs for brake and signal lights. Try to add a wiper to the rear windshield. Maybe even replace the headlight and brake light housings.

Then I'd fix the brakes. If I can replace all brakes with disc brakes, even better. Make sure the brake hoses have steel lining. I know that seems overkill but you'll understand why I'm going for that.

Because then I'd have the engine fixed. Total overhaul, engine balancing, engine blueprinting. I'm going to make sure that whatever engine I get (although I'm hoping it's a 1600cc engine) will be able to perform to it's best. Because I'm going dual-carbs for the engine. Then I'm going to follow my dad's advice and play around with the oil line so that I can have a makeshift oil cooling system, since the Beetle has no radiator.

Then I'd put a short-throw shifter for the transmission. Maybe add power steering as a final touch before I do my finishing touch (outside of a repaint)...

I'm going to buy new fenders, install them, shave off the ends, buy new suspension, buy new wheels and turn my Beetle into a Baja Bug. That's right. I'm turning my Beetle, if I had one, into an off-road capable monster.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ramblings About My Professional Career

This will be a long and rambling blog, as I see it now. It's been quite a long while since I wrote down anything. And before I begin to write about whatever I choose to write, some excuses first as to why I haven't written in a while...

1. Haven't had much time to surf the net. Yes up to now I haven't set-up the internet router at home. My dad says it's just better to get the "modem" (or whatever it is you call that unit to connect to DSL is) from one computer to the other rather than setting up the router and keeping it on 24/7.

2. When I do get a chance to surf I have very limited time to do so. Because now I usually surf the net for about 30 minutes every morning before going to work. Why not at night? Because at night I just want to relax and watch some nice TV shows (and play my PS3 - yes I have a PS3).

3. What I want to write isn't necessarily for everyone's eyes. Believe me, I've been planning on writing stuff down for the past few weeks. But when I do get in the mood to lay down my thoughts I realize that it's not a good idea. These are thoughts that are best kept for myself and maybe for my good friends who can help me out with their opinions. On a side note I realize the dangers of writing stuff down on a blog as I've been quoted before one someone else's blog. And my quote was definitely not G-rated as it was full of swear words and the like. Plus I was not even aware that I was quoted until one day when I decided to Google myself. This made me realize that once I write it on my blog it's considered available to the public. So ever since then all I've written on my blog are the things I don't mind people knowing.

Anyway on to my rant.

It's been a month since I started my new job in a new field. Yes, I still do 3D but not in advertising anymore. It's been a bit difficult, but the things I have learned this past month has been worth it. Not only have I learned how to use a new 3D software, but I have also learned new techniques in modeling and texturing.

I never fully realized how stagnant I was with regards to my skills in my previous job. My skills had stagnated to the point that I had lost confidence in my ability to do 3D. Which was also my wake up call to take it to another level. And I hope I did, and I hope that my new boss will decide to keep me (I'm only a trainee in my new job and they can still get rid of me in the event that they think I'm not worth keeping - but that's just me being paranoid, at least I think so. It's also me preparing myself for the possibility of not being retained. We'll see. We'll see.).

I also didn't realize that I still have a long way to go in terms of socializing with other people. This world is a melting pot of different cultures, attitudes, and whatnot and I cannot just isolate myself to a specific group of people all the time. Maybe this comes with working in a bigger office environment. My new job has 2 - 3 times more employees than my old office, and interacting with people is a lot more important here than before.

This past month has been quite the eye opener for me. And I have to say that it has been a mostly positive experience for myself. Meeting new people, learning new techniques, making new friends (at least I hope I made friends) and just opening myself up to wider horizons has been a breath of fresh air.

And while I have moved on to better things now, I still miss my old job. Maybe because I was just in my comfort zone there. Always content with everything because of the convenience of everything. But that just made me gather a lot of moss, figuratively speaking. Now that I've started rolling again, I feel that the sky is the limit. Maybe more.

So we'll see what happens these next few weeks. As of now, I can only savor the new things I am experiencing. Not only the new techniques and people I meet, but the renewed sense of energy and passion I have for 3D. To be quite honest, it feels almost exactly like how I felt when I started my first job. All excited and eager to learn. All passionate and willing to show people my skills. It feels great. Ups and downs are all a part of the show, and as a good friend once told me, it's how you get up from a fall that counts.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Trivia Fun with YM

On the way to work yesterday I was following a Kia Carnival somewhere in Alabang. The funny thing was, the "C" in "Carnival" was gone, leaving only "arnival." This got me thinking, wasn't that similar to what they called the sauce for taho? Yup. The sauce for taho is called arnibal.

So I put this as my messenger status message: Ano tawag sa sarsa ng taho?

After a few minutes, a friend of mine answered correctly. Then, an officemate. Then another friend. It was on!

I tallied the results of those who answered. 6 out of 7 were correct.

What does this mean?

Well, for one thing, a lot of people know what the sauce of taho is. And for another, a lot of people read other people's status messages. I know I do. And it's really cool that people will give me an answer even if it was just from my status message. Next time I need to know something trivial then I guess I know just where to ask.

So a big thanks to those who answered, right or wrong, at least you guys took time out to help out someone.


Sunday, March 02, 2008


It has been a really long time since I last posted an entry here. And it's not as if I had no plans of blogging or writing anything down. I had a ton of ideas I wanted to write down, some of them I've forgotten about, others I've realized I should not be sharing - yet.

So many things I wanted to do, so little time and resources to see them to fruition. I honestly wanted to make my blogs more frequent, since it seems that my posts per year have been dropping (while my weight has been increasing - but that's another story).

Now that I'm back on the keyboard and actually blogging I have no idea what to write. I'm not in the mood to put down my thoughts. But I have a feeling in a few weeks I'll be posting here more frequently as I am about to face new challenges in life.

We'll see.