Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Maybe Next Year...

Ok, I'm giving up. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm hanging up my gloves. I'm turning in my lance and shield, sell my horse to stud, cover my coat of arms in shame and fall off my sword.

Yep, I'm not joining the Holy Grail of Philippine Literature. I just do not have enough time in my hands, not even for my girlfriend, who's been griping lately whenever we meet that I'm like a "disabled warjack"...or something to that effect. Her exact words were a little more "pointed", and not for the faint of heart.

But not all things are lost. I still have my outlines, and once I get my work done ( estimated time: 11 years, 3 months, 2 days, 17 hours ), I'll probably finish them one by one. Maybe I'd get to turn in one of my works next year.

My desk, taken during break time.

I've been swamped with work. Training new peeps, doing the work schedules, regulating product incentives ... the list goes on. Before the inevitable Batangas, we still have to work to upgrade and redo our banches. And that's tough. Arrrrgh ... I won't talk anymore about work, it just gives the wrong vibes, reminding me of what I still have to do tommorow, the next day, next week.

On a much much lighter note, I finally got a package from the States. Just seeing the damn thing sitting innocently in living room gave me goosebumps all over. Recently, I ask some friends to look for some books outside and it looks like they came through! Haven't made the exact tally of what I got yet, but two books just jumped and caught my attention. Warmachine's Prime and Apotheosis! Nice. Now I have the complete sourcebooks, having bought the second book Escalation when I also bought the battlegroup set. Now I'm just waiting for my figs from Singapore to arrive. ETA: 2-3 weeks.

Life does have balance. At least I have something to look forward to whenever I come home tired and wasted.


Oh, I've decided to update at least two times a week. I'll write just about anything just get things off my head.

However weird it may be.

State of Mind: Haggard, Excited and Decidedly Hungry
Now Listening: Truth by Bamboo
Now Reading: Prime Rulebook by Privateer Press
Looking for: Peace of Mind

Monday, April 24, 2006

Up Dharma Down::One Thousand::Rush Week

Pag Agos

At sa aking pagkubli
hampas ng araw pagdamdam ng gabi
tulog ang iyong mga kamay
di nako makapag antay

isang umaga muling aahon
at sisikat sa mga panahon
na tayong pang dalawa
masayang pagsasama

buong araw ng pag-agos
kailan ang huling unos
di alam kung tatakbo
kusang lalayo sayo

isang umaga muli ng pag-iisa
walang mayakap at makasama
pusong pilit na sinugatan
landas kong karaniwan

Up Dharma Down, last years winners of the NU107 Rock Award for "In The Raw". Been listening to them ever since the album came out. Hell, even before that ever since my cousin ( who's best friends with Armi, the vocalist ) mentioned and touted the group ( At that time I was rooting for Drip, another band that's been making waves ). What makes this band stand out from the others is the totally different kind of music. Some would say Emo, others say its Trip Hop or even Rock Hop. Even the critics are fighting, as evidenced on heated commentary last two weeks ago about whether the group is good or not ( Gotta get me details on that one ). Whatever. For my two cents, they get my two thumbs way up. They give a kind of a different vibe, dark yet soothing. Perfect for rainy days and traffic jams.


One thousand hits. Wow. Thanks! God knows its hard to update at least once a week when you're working around the clock. Now if I only have the time to paint my models...

One week left. It looks like I can't finish my damn story in time because of all the work falling down my ears. Tommorow I'm interviewing at least 15 people, and that means another month of training people. Arrrrgh. To cap it all off, Dad laid out next year's plan, opening up a branch in Batangas. This a two way thing for me. One, I'll handling the training ( duh ) and making frequent trips to that area ( doh! ). Two, I'll be nearer to Manila, which means I might be back to gaming! Woot! Of course, that's just a slim chance since Im handling the branches now. Ah well...

State of Mind: Foggy
Now Listening: Oo by Up Dharma Down
Now Reading: Going Postal by Terry Prachett
Looking for: People with Skills!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Holy Week Thoughts and Getting A New Ihada

Holy Week. Yup, there's still work in the office if you're asking. Not only that, I'm swamped with "take home assignments" that I still haven't done yet. I feel like I'm back in High School. I did have fun last Friday though, the only day we didn't have work, going out for bisita inglisha as we say here in the province. After touring the different old churches here in Iloilo ( we have that in abundance I can tell you ) me and my girl capped it off to a walkathon at Molo Church, the Procession of Saints.

Now, I haven't done that in a longest while, perhaps going back to High School when I was an altar to one of the churches here ( laugh in disbelief, but its true. I was once an "innocent" altar boy, hehe ), but to tell the truth, me and my friends joined up just for "serving" the cute girls and eat the white bread and drink red wine in abundance ( see what I mean? ) Anyways, it was a little mind boggling to think that in the hour of 5pm, all traffic in the city will stop for an two hours, making way for the different processions from different churches to pass by unhindered.

Today is my ihada's baptismal. Her name is Monica Krystel Therese. Her nickname is Allie. Don't ask me why. It just is. And I don't know how Allie is derived from her name. All I know is that she'll have a very hard time writing her name when she reaches kindergarten. Ah well, minus another paycheck for me when Christmas and her birthday rolls around. Hay...

Ever had writer's block? I have that now and its like being constipated in the brain. I can't seem to put down a single word for my story. You get to a certain point and find out that you don't know what's going to happen next. You can't move your characters or the plot forward. Its like being stalemated in chess. And, horrifying as it may be, I might have to start all over again. Days of work down the drain. Arrrrgh...

I've been reading the forums for quite a while, backtracking for late news. GT is still in the works ( hopefully ) so I guess there's still time to concentrate on my writing and foregoing painting for a while. If it ever does roll around, I'm taking two new armies, Imperial Fists for WH40K and Ogre Kingdoms for WHB. Both have the same concept as my old armies, as Imperial Guard is shooty and Orcs and Goblins on the bashy side. The main difference though is the number of models, and that will take some getting used to. Hmmmm, might have to do some major metagaming. Soon ... very soon ...

Speaking of which, I'm getting my Warmachine minis this coming next month and I can't wait. Been doing some metagaming too but I do need see some games for comparison. When will this day come?! Arrrrrgh....

I was chatting with a friend when she sent me this video. Pucha, nasa GMA news team pa kaya sya?

Wha?!What the hell are you saying?!Get a grip!


State of Mind: Headbanging for Ideas
Now Listening: It's You, It's Me by Kaskade
Now Reading: Thud! by Terry Prachett
Looking For: A little more free time...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Long Update

And We Are Live On Fire!

And just this afternoon, a big fire broke out just across a street and a couple of houses away from our office. After the initial shock, what really imprinted in my mind was the fact that people are running TOWARDS the fire, not away from it. And they live well far away from the incident. It just screams "Hey, there's a fire! C'mon, get the kids and let's watch the fun! Don't forget to bring fishballs and some corn!"

Whatever happened to public safety? I swear, I couldn't even count the number of times I saw a kid almost get splattered in the road by a firetruck careening to get to the disaster. They were just roaming around, like leaves in a typhoon, generally making nuisance, "making magulo" in lack of a better term.

And the people! You'd think they'd let the fireman through! You could see in their faces somewhat akin to the face you get when someone cuts in the line to a fastfood joint. "Putang ina, kami nauna dito, hanap kayo saril nyong lugar!"

But what really gets my thungas is the "friendly helpers". You know, the type that lurks in the fire and says "Need help with that TV? How about that radio? Sure, I'll bring it outside, no worries". When the fire is gone, he's also gone. Apparently, his definition of "outside" must be pretty big. Like the next town or island. Goodbye TV and radio.

Painting it Black and Taking On Shin Megumi Tensei

For these past weeks I've developed insomnia again ( or partial insomnia ... I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night for no reason at all ) and thus made to do with it by catching up some games I bought some time ago but didn't get to play ( read: work work work ).

I just finished Black, the best PS2 shooter to date. Plot's crappy and sequences long and play's hard but it doesn't really count when you play a shooter game with the best "realistic effects". The weapons were thoroughly researched and incorporated with the game ( you almost feel the strength of the shotgun ). But even more cool is the effect the weapons have on the enviroment and the enemies. Blast a shot gun at treetrunk and a big chunk blows off. Take a M16 grenade launcher and blow up a room ( sometimes including the walls ). Take a RPG and blast a building and see the pillars tumble. Wow.

Even the enemie's effects were very nicely done. Shoot at his legs and the guy will buckle. Shoot at his arm and you'll see him do a whiplash. Take out the guy on a walkway and see him tumble over the side, arms flailing. If you didn't get him but see him tumble, he'll grab the railings and pull himself after a while. Very nice. But the icing on the cake is the enemy reactions. Throw a grenade at them and they'll shout "Limonka!" which means lemon in English and also means grenade, codeword used by Eastern Bloc armies. Sheer genius.

Now, I'm playing Shin Megumi Tensei, or Digital Devil Saga ( Part One ). It's been in my collection since ages and there's part two out right now so it seems a shame I'll leave it gathering dust. I've been hearing rave reviews about this one and then second, so I checked it out myself. The story is mysterious, the characters a little weird but the gameplay is more than excellent. Kind of like a butchered Final Fantasy, but in a nicely done way. Its about a Clan or group of mercs finding a girl and getting powers in turn. Problem is, every one in the planet has one too. Thin is though, you have to eat other monsters to survive i.e. fellow people. During battle scenes, you have the option of turning into a monster and deal massive amounts of damage or remain human and snipe at the enemies. And you can have combos between human and monsters, so it's a game of discovery and tactics. Nice. I'll let you know when I finish this one.

On the side, I've been playing Duel Masters ( crappy everything, but played it for the cards were intriguing ), Fight Night Three ( Hey Manny, dodge this! ) and Shadow of Colossus ( very deep game...depressing too...been playing on and off on this one ).

Bringing Down the House::Masters of Doom::The Killing Spirit::

I've been reading some good stuff too, mostly during breaktimes and long trips to the toilet. Bringing Down the House is a honest look at card counting and its history and impact on gambling. What drew me to this book is the fact that six M.I.T. genuises outwitted the system and made lots of cash, using only mathematics and a lot of chutzpah. It takes the reader to the card counting system, why it is so effective and why the casinoes hired a lot of security these days. A gripping read.

Masters of Doom is the story of two of the most influential characters in gaming history, John Carmack and John Romero. This is their story, from gamer addicts at 10, to master programmers at 18 to game designers and multimillionaires at 30. If you ever played Doom, Quake and Castle Wolfenstein, this is a must read. It takes you to the extreme personalities of the two Johns, one who played in life and another who live through play. The one who designed the levels and gameplay while the other tinkers the engine. The Whiz Kid and The Ace Progammer. How their legend grew and what made their downfall. Couldn't stop reading this one ( Hence the memo of only taking a 15 minute bathroom break...just joking, hehe ).

The Killing Spirit is different tale, fiction this time. We've all seen the elves and dwarves interact and get on with their lives in Lord of the Rings...but what about the orcs? And the goblins for that matter? This book answers those questions, complete with graphic and bloodthirsty details. It's about the orcs, being wiped out by the humans and dwarves and elves, but with a more gruesome, savage and EVIL point of view. Remember that goblin who almost killed Pippen ( or was it Merry? I keep forgetting ) when they were captured? Ever wonder what he did before hand before being slashed by a Rohirrim saber? This book tells us that story. And its believable. 'Nuff said.

Backbone Done, Work in Progress

I've finished my outline, and will do my stories this Holy Week. With a window of 20 days, I hope I can finished this one with relative ease, unlike Neil Gaiman's wherein everything was rushed. So far so good though. Will let you know when things are finished.

And speaking of Gaiman's contest, the judging will be finished on July, not this April. So I guess that leaves me more time to nibble my fingers and cross my toes.

Maybe I'll post the story here once the judging has been done.

Vacation Needed, Respite Wanted

I need a vacation. My brother got one for himself, spending two weeks in Singapore and Thailand, the latter him meeting up with his girl. Curiously, I kinda miss the guy, even if he does gets on my nerves sometimes. But then again, that's what brothers are for, eh?

Weirdly, I can't think of any place I want to go. There's been offers of course, like Davao, Bohol and, of course Boracay. Perhaps its the dread that when I come back I'll find my work overflowing. Perhaps...*gasp*...I'm getting a little mature and prioritizing work first?!

Arrrrgh ... where are books and toys?!

Seriously though, work has become my life. It's just a question of accepting it peacefully or go down fighting with dignity. In the end though, its still my life. Hay...

Speaking of which...

Reigniting the Gaming Spirit

Hi, my name is Arsenio Rafael and I've been sober of gaming for almost a year now. And that hurts. A lot. I need a gaming fix. Where's my gaming fix?! GAME! GAME! GAME!


Living in the province has seriously dampened my chances of ever playing again. Any game. If you live in Iloilo or Bacolod and feel the need for Role Playing Games, Tabletop Gaming ... hell, anything to do with minitures, message me. Now. Don't wait. It might get brownout. Pucha.

State of Mind: Stumbling Blindly Forward
Song of the Day: Nobela by Join the Club
Now Reading: Trollslayer by William King
Looking for: Reflection Period