Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Recently I had to move to my in-laws' with my wife and daughter because my room at home was being renovated. The old cabinets were being torn down and new ones were going to be built. We needed more space, the old cabinets weren't big enough. Plus the fact that two more people now use the cabinets instead of me alone, it was definitely time for some renovations.

So right now I'm in my in-laws' house. Been here since last Saturday. We're sleeping over at the extra room they have (it used to be my wife's room when she was still single) and now I realize why my wife was acting the way she was at my house.

You do get uncomfortable in places which aren't your "territory."

I can't move freely here, I can't do what I usually do at home. It's not that they're strict here. It's just that I don't feel comfortable doing the things I usually do at home here. In Filipino we call it nahihiya. Literally translated that means getting shy. But I'm sure you get my drift.

I'm a guest here, no matter what people say. Yes, I'm they're son-in-law, but I'm still a guest. I still have to abide by their rules and I still have to get along with them. It's still their house.

And that's exactly how my wife feels when we're at home. I guess I have to do something about that when we get back home. Make her feel more at home and less like a "guest."

I can't wait to get home. This Sunday at the latest. Maybe Friday night at the earliest. Ideally Saturday, so that my daughter doesn't have to get stressed during the travel at night. She's still a week shy of being two months old.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Its only just recently that I started watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I've got to say, it's pretty interesting. There are times that it does get boring, and there are times when I think it's trying way too hard to be deep and to have some sort of hidden meaning. But overall it's not a bad cartoon.

Here are some observations I do have about anime in general. These things usually are present in almost all anime series I've seen.

  • There's the emo character (In Eva's case, and in my opinion, Shinji). Someone who's quiet, detached, and always standing in the background. Usually that emo character eventually becomes friends with someone and opens up.
  • There's the arrogant one (Asuka - annoying bitch if you ask me). Always super confident in one's own abilities and always trying to be the boss of the group.
  • There's conflict between teammates. Always. And something always happens where they end up working well together and achieving their goal. Afterwards they return to their petty conflict.
  • There's someone looking for approval (Eva = Shinji, Naruto = Naruto). Whether it be from a parent, a superior, or a crush, someone is always looking for approval.
  • There's usually a hidden message in the series. Like environmentalism or conservatism. But you always have to look deep to find it. It seems pretentious to me, if you ask me.
And that's it so far. Those are the things I usually see in almost any anime.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Remember the Rav4

There is this forum I frequently visit online. Rav4World is the site I'm talking about. And I love reading their threads. I can get so much information about different Rav 4's and I can also see what mods people have done with their Ravs.

It's a very interesting site, and I would really love to become a member. However since I don't own any car I don't want to become a "poser member" even if I do get to drive my folks' Ravs.

There are two nice threads detailing the replacing of the stock headlights with newer headlights for Rav 4.3 (2006 - 2011 models) both make the car look better, improve the lighting, and make the car look unique. The first one (from the Philippines, no less!) installed quad HID projector headlamps. Very nice, plus he had it installed by a professional and even followed US / Europe regulations regarding HID's. That's something not too many Filipinos care too much about, they just want the super bright white lights that blind all incoming traffic. But I digress. The second article replaces the headlamps with "meaner" looking headlamps. The "moulding" is black, and he uses angel eyes for his parking lights. Very nice.

These are just two examples of the things I read on the forum, and the things I hope to one day be able to do to either one of the Ravs of my folks, or a Rav of my own.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Adventures of Carlos Pena

Carlos Pena is a 6' 8" 225lbs PF from the Philippines who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

At least, that's what's going on in my NBA 2K11 My Player Mode.

I created Carlos Pena one day to use as a character in My Player, having grown insanely frustrated playing Association Mode. Just a quick side trip, no matter how I adjusted the sliders for Association mode it always ended up either being a win so lopsided in my favor it got boring, or the computer would pull out with a big lead, let me work my way until it was just 2 points, then pull out again. Lather, rinse, repeat. And I got so pissed off at the game I almost snapped the blu-ray disc in half. Although I have realized that I set the difficulty too high (superstar) when in reality I guess I just suck at 2K11 so it's now at All-Star difficulty. I just think it's insulting that I actually suck at a basketball game considering I've been playing basketball games since NBA Live 97 for the PC came out. But my issues with NBA 2K11 are for another post, if ever I decide to rant on that.

So I decided to give My Player mode a shot.

First off, the new 2K11 My Player is infinitely better than the previous My Player. It's not as stupid as the old one. Now, your defensive assignment switches depending on the situation.

It's actually quite engrossing, this new My Player. Now you actually feel like you have a shot at making it to the NBA. I know I did, because Carlos Pena got drafted 18th (I think) in the first round by the Thunder.

Not only that, but he cracked the rotation and moved up from being the 7th man to the 6th man.

And my rating started out at 45. Cool.

So how'd I do that? Carlos Pena's play style (player role or whatever) is rebounding. And that's exactly what he does. Off the bench he's in the league's top 5 in offensive rebounds per game. The entire league, not just rookies.

What's even better about My Player is that there are interviews at the end of the game that you can choose how to answer and it affects team chemistry and your league and local popularity.

Bottom line, I might be requesting a trade soon as I think I ticked off the team and the local fans with some of my answers. Hahaha.


Saturday, January 08, 2011


This year, the weather has been really hot even in the "-ber" months. You could usually count on the weather becoming cooler when September rolled around, but not this year. Even during November when my officemates and I went out for our lunch break, the weather was beach weather, meaning it was hot. Hot, sunny, and a perfect time to go to the beach to get a nice dark tan.

Now that it's January, things have changed. Mornings have become cooler and evenings as well. It's the hot-water-bath season again. Used to be I could take a bath without having water heated, but now it is more of a need than a luxury.

Sure I can still take a cold bath, but it takes a lot of effort to not shout because of the icy cold water hitting my skin. And nothing beats a nice, hot bath on a cold morning and on a cold evening.

For those of you not in the know, most Filipinos don't shower. They take a bath. They fill a pail of water and use that to bathe, using a tabo, or a dipper, to splash water on their bodies to wet themselves and to rinse off the soap and shampoo suds.

I grew up taking this kind of bath, and it is something I dearly miss when I am not in the Philippines. Why do I like it so much? Well for starters, it saves a lot of water. It does the same good job as a shower. The temperature of the water is easier to fix than dialing the knobs of the shower and praying you got the right mix, something that always happens to me in hotels.

Another thing most Filipinos do is bathe twice a day. Once before leaving for work, and again when they get back home from work, or before going to bed at night. Some people bathe more than two times during the summer, if they have the chance. I know I used to do that when I was in college, I'd bathe before every class just because it was so hot and humid.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Wedding Thoughts

In two days time my wife and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. Not coincidentally, on that same day, my good friend Karl will be tying the knot with his fiancée, Jona.

This time last year, which was a Monday, my wife and I tried unsuccessfully in the morning to move some of our stuff to our condo. Sadly due to some unforseen difficulties, we were not able to move our stuff. So we went to do our second task of the day, have confession. I had a haircut as my wife was hearing confession, then she bought us lunch at Wendy's while I was confessing my sins. Afterwards I took her to her house and I went home.

The afternoon was spent playing games on my laptop and getting my clothes ready for the despedida de sultera we had that night at Uncle Mike's condo's social hall. It was a fun time, Ferds and Tanya were there, and we ended around 10pm or later.

The next day Maica and I checked in to the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati. Separately of course. Afterwards I met up with some old college friends, Ben, Karl (yes the same Karl getting married in a few days), and Tep. We spent the better part of the day eating and reminiscing, mostly eating.

We had lunch in either Dencio's or Gerry's Grill. Then we had dessert in Dairy Queen. After walking around for a while we had dinner in McDonald's. We took Ben back to the hotel, Tep left for his house, and Karl and I headed back to my room to hang out. After a few minutes we decided to hit the Starbucks at 6750 while Karl waited for, you guessed it, Jona. Karl and I headed our separate ways around 10pm, him to the MRT station and I to the hotel.

As for the wedding day? That's another story.


Monday, January 03, 2011

The Great Pick-Up Debate...

... Has once again shifted to the Hilux.

I have no idea how true the next few arguments I will give are, but these are the things that caused me to favor the Toyota Hilux once again. It's just such a crying shame that this is all just daydreams because I have no money to actually buy a pick-up truck. Ah well, dreams do come true.

  • Toyotas have better re-sale value here in the Philippines.
  • The Hilux isn't as massive as the Navarra (true or false?), good for narrow roads and tight spots. Something I commonly encounter in the streets of Metro Manila.
  • That Top Gear episode when they brought a Hilux to that volcano in Iceland really showed me how much they trusted the Hilux. Plus the fact that the Hilux they used was the same one their camera crew used when they went to the Magnetic North Pole says a lot about how tough and versatile the Hilux is. Granted, the vehicles were modified. However the base platform, the engine, and the interior were still stock Toyotas. They did not do a total engine swap.
  • Again, have you seen the polar hilux? Do I need to keep saying how great it looks? All the Navarras I've seen so far do look nice yes, but nothing looks as the Hilux. It's just so, for lack of a better word, macho. It looks indestructible. It looks like only a tank could stop it.
And those are the reasons why I've suddenly put the Toyota Hilux back as my number one option for a pick-up. Now where can I find me the money to actually buy one?


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Setting Up the Rav

Given the chance, and the economic flexibility, I would love to fix the Rav4. Either of them. In fact, I'd probably do the same thing to either of them.

I'd replace the entire sound system with a new one. Better quality speakers, an iPod ready stereo, and some tweeters. I have come to realize that sounds are very important in a vehicle. If you're stuck in traffic or going on a long road trip, music will always be a very welcome companion. Right now I can see one big problem with either Rav's stereo - no iPod compatibility. Plus the speakers are okay but not great. I've ridden cars that have tweeters installed and they sound at least ten times better. Maybe even add a small subwoofer just to increase the sound quality. As long as cargo space is not compromised, and as long as extra weight is not added.

The next thing I'd do is get some nice rims. Maybe some nice 17" rims. I've always liked the BBS rims used by some F1 cars. The ones where the spokes fork out. Not only would this make the car look better, but by lowering the profile of the tires a bit the handling would also slightly improve.

One really long shot mod I'd like to do is to install racing style seats for the front driver and passenger side seats. The reason why this is a long shot is because the current seats are pretty comfy already, and because racing style seats are really expensive.

That's it. Those two improvements alone would cost a lot of money, and unfortunately I don't own any car. I just borrow one of the cars my folks have. But I do wish I could have the opportunity to set one of them up.

I can dream, can't I?


Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's "Resolutions"

I've tried making a few New Year's Resolutions the past few years. And I either forget about it or fail to follow through on it. Because I've never been a fan of resolutions anyway.

I am an impulsive person, and most of the things I do are spur of the moment things. So rather than making a new set of resolutions I'll just end up not doing, I've decided to set some goals this year. Goals that I can either achieve or forget about, but at least I'll always have some goals to guide me. And here they are.

  • Break the 100kg barrier. Weight has always been an issue for me, and I've always tried to break the 100kg barrier. I want to go lower than 100kg. I think I can do it this year because the last quarter of last year I started becoming physically active again. I've been playing basketball and eating relatively healthy. Plus now that I've got a child, I want to do more to ensure that I have a healthier life so I can live longer (hopefully) and bond with her more.
  • Make more money. Again, I've got a family to feed. I need to either earn more at my day job, or find a way to make money. I know it sounds so greedy and materialistic of me, but the fact of life nowadays is that money makes the world go round. You can't achieve your dreams without money, and money usually can end up buying you happiness.
  • Improve my people skills. Work related goal, but this will benefit me overall. I've never been a people person, but I have to be one now. I'm getting older, and my responsibilities are getting greater. Plus if I stagnate as "just a 3D artist" then my career is going nowhere.
  • Improve my work related skills. The fire I have for 3D is starting to get stronger again. I hope I can continue to fan the flames and improve my skills. Because if I do stagnate then I might never get anywhere career-wise.
  • Be more positive. For the nth time, I have a wife and a child. Being the old, grumpy, negative me will not get me anywhere. I have to be more positive, and from there good things will happen. It just has to be a conscious effort to stay positive.
And that's it. A few simple goals I have, goals I know I can achieve. Goals that if I can push myself to do so, I might achieve before the end of 2011.

Happy New Year everyone!