Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's That Time Of The Year

Summer always spells damnation on my line of work. This is the time where all the balikbayans and OFW's go back home to the country and build houses. And thus I have to deal with every stuck-up, feeling rich, look-at-me-I'm-better-than-you-cuz-I'm-wearing-a-cowboy-hat persons every single fricken' day.

Me: Good afternoon, how can I help you?
Mofo with Cowboy Hat: ( in an insulting FOB voice ) Yeah, afternoon to you. I'm have two apartments which requires tiles. Understand that I intend these apartments to cater to high-end customers. I want my white friends to be pampered with.
Me: Very good sir. We do have a nice selection of high end tiles just right for your place.
Mofo with Cowboy Hat: HIGH END! PAKSHET! You think I'm made of money?! Show me the cheapest ones!

High class apartments with cheap tiling? At that point, my brain went into idiot mode and just followed the Mofo around while he gestures this and that, trying to show off his "american accent" and fake jewellry. And at this time of the year, I get this variations almost every day. But I also hate lawyers. Especially the cocky ones.

Me: Good Morning Sir! I understand you're a friend of my Dad and are looking for a nice watercloset.
Lawyer: Yes, and I have made my choice. This one, I like it.
Me: Ah, nice choice sir, the La Peral WC, worth P35,000.
Lawyer: So since I'm a friend of your Boss-Dad, you'll sell it to me at 33,000.
Me: ( after a hurried calculation and checking if this is ok with Boss-Dad ) Sure sir, no problem.
Lawyer: ( Smirks ) So how many days?
Me: Days ... sir?
Lawyer: The terms. How many days to pay?
Me: (again, after consulting with Boss-Dad) Sir, no problem! Dad tells me you can pay it in 30 days.
Lawyer: 30 days lang?! Don't you know who I am? Puneta, if you don't give me more I'll look somewhere else.

After another consultation...

Me: Sir, we can extend it to 45 days.
Lawyer: Hmmmph. That would be ok. So, reserve it for me and I'll get it in the next two months.
Me: ( thinking ) Ok, now you're in my all time list of assholes.

But nothing, nothing I repeat, compares to dealing with the Nunnery, or the Sisterhood.

Me: Good noon, Sister! How can I help you?
Sister: What a nice man! Sure, can you help find some good tiles? Just the cheap ones, its for the orphanage.
Me: No problem Sister ( and I proceed to show here some low cost tiles. )
Sister: These are cheapest ones? Understand that we're just a poor foundation.
Me: Yes Sister, I do understand. These are our bargain, promo and net items, nothing is more lower that this. Only cost you 18.75 per tile.
Sister: Really? So how much discount can you give me?
Me: Sister naman, you're joking right? These are bargain items, any more discounts then we have to sell them at a loss.
Sister: Please? It's for a good cause. Can you give it to me at 10.00 per tile?
Me: Er, no. I might as well give it to you free.
Sister: You give it to me free?! What a Son of God you are!
Me: Er, no. That was a figure of speech ( and a sarcastic one, but the nun doesn't get it )
Sister: Oh ( she pouts ). C'mon now, please? It's truly for a good cause. It's for the Lord you know.

And she got me right there. "It's for the Lord". Being raised as a true Catholic, it's hard to refuse. It's either sell goods to earn money, or be excommunicated by the Church. Tough choice.

These stories end in a way. Mofo with Cowboy Hat got what he wanted, a "high end place ( with cheap tiling! ) " and he's ready to show it off to his friends ( although I had a hard time looking for him to pay up his balance, had to resort to calling his daughter and talking with her about it, the dickhead ). The Lawyer never got around to confirm that he wants the La Peral, so I sold it to a customer who was more that willing to buy it now, and in cold hard cash. Manigas siya. The Sister I got off lightly, selling her broken tiles by the sack, since it just cost 50 per sack and telling her you can design the whole orphange using the varied multicolored items. She left with plans of grandeur. At least I didn't get to be excommunicated.

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Work has been piling in great bunches, now that summer is here. While people play and frolic at the beaches and generally have fun, I slave away the busiest parts of the year here at the office. Add to the fact that I lost four of "old" people these past month ( they got better job offers ), I'm currently training new people, and looking for an assistant to help me at least manage my other responsibilities. The company chart just came out, and it seems I'm handling the Main Store sales, the Branches, the Projects and the Installers group. Whoopee do.

And it just gets my thungas that even if I have a desk, I can no longer sit at it since I'm constantly in patrol at the showroom. And just this morning, I can no longer sit and take a rest, so I'm standing 8 hours everyday, with no lunch break. If anything, at least I'll get thin. But that doesn't stop me from being mad as hell. And I don't usually go bonkers but this last one is the last straw. Even up to now I can't sleep thinking about it. I guess I'll see what happens tommorow.

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July is the month to be, with just over two months left till my friends from Manila decided to stop by here and enjoy the food in Iloilo. And I can't wait, it's been a long time since we saw each other, so it's gonna be kinda like a reunion. Line up: Mike and his sister Stef, Masha, Chelly, Joanne, Jr and Ode. With the exception of Ode, they're also my then-gaming group in Manila, playing in Mike's place till the wee hours of the morning.

Had a talk with Ina this afternoon, asking if she can go too. If she goes, that makes us nine. So that makes us ... the Fellowship. Hehehehe.

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Warhammer GT is just around the corner, June 10th. So that means I'm polishing up my Orcs and Goblins for just one last hurrah. I'll be retiring them in favor for Ogres, but then again who knows? The Call of the Waaaaaagh is still strong inside of me. But going to the GT is enough for me, a time to relax and let loose. Besides, I get to see the guys again, and that would be worth more.

"Ere we go, Ere we go, ERE WE GO!"

State of Mind: Simmering Anger
Now Listening: Bullet in the Head by Rage Against the Machine
Now reading: The Year of Rogue Dragons: The Rage by Richard Lee Byers, Forgotten Realms
Looking for: Peace of Mind

Friday, May 12, 2006

Let's Volt Out::Trace Elements of Rain::A Question of Gaming

The most recognized anime series in the Philippines, which started in during the Marcos Era. And who better to sing the Voltes V theme that time than ... Tito, Vic and Joey! Nothing like the original but tangena! Calling Hilot! Bwahahaha!!!

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It rained all day, and that signals that the rain months are coming soon, perhaps even earlier. I'm one of a certain group of people in the world that feeds off the rain. It calms my soul, and perhaps the only reason that I'll drive my car without any music on, just to hear the plink plink sounds in my wind shield. Say what you will about Mother Nature's thunderstorms and arc lightnings, I'm detached to that, like the calm center of a raging storm.

Kinda like a Zen thing.

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Having browsed some blogs, have found this questionaire and just had to take it.

For Gamers Only!

Do you

- remind yourself that you have 20 life?

Only when I don't have damage yet and have to play a risky gamble.

- count your successes?

Nah, the play's the thing.

- love 20s, Fear ones?

Hell yeah! That dragon just might get away if you roll a one.

- always untap your resources, check for upkeeps, and then draw your next bet before doing anything?

Yes, yes and yes. This one's automatic.

- hope your dice explode?

Yup, especially if you're a Kakita bushi on a critical iaijutsu duel.

- remember that even peons can kill daimyos?

Hell, even villagers can kill a king, why not a daimyo?!

- try to make your saves?

Yes. Or else take 6d6 damage.

- delay meeting the first boss?

As always, scout ahead and gather information first. Else feel the wrath of his vorpal sword of decaying.

- love your ribbon?

Ribbon? What ribbon?!

- save your mana?

Conserve Mana. He who splurges like wanton will find himself relying on a rusty dagger. Waste not, want not.

- avoid base contact?

Unless I'm charging headlong with Orcs ... and fanatics!

- count the clicks?

Only in Shadowrun, when taking hits.

- move your dwarves forward?

Pucha, kill them stunties!

- remember that you need the level you're in times one thousand in experience to get to the next level?

And that is why we go hunt scum orcs with rocket launchers in them yonder hills.

- know in you're heart that Gifted plus Skilled isn't worth it?

Nah, not worth role playing when you're both.

- mind your facing? Getting flanked sucks.

Getting flanked sucks and gets you killed quick. Unless you're one of them damn dwarves.

- count your hexes?

Usually, we use the 1 inch = 5 meter rule, for a little "fun factor" in guessing.

- remember that you have your drama dice, hero points, blood-pool, pattern, void-point, notch, or gaeas to fall back on?

Yep. Unless you want to suffer really bad.

- guard your harvesters?

Yup. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one though, so the others can get matter how slow.

-move first, shoot and then assault?

As an Imperial Guard, I'll forego the movement and assault and concentrate on firing, thank you.

- bunny hop?

Bunny hop, skip and jump. Who doesn't in elementary?

- think you're an expert excrement expeditor?

Er, no.

- build as close to your resources first?

Dapat lang! Less travel time, more speed, easily defended.

- kill the pylons?

Of course, unless you play Protoss and why would you do that?

-try to find the best use of your focus and your fury?

Will find that out soon, as soon as I get to play. Hopefully yes.

- rest your tallest finger on W, your thumb on the space bar, your ring finger on A, your pinkie on ctrl or shift, and your index on D, even while typing?

Thank God I haven't reach that stage yet.

- resolve things Last in First Out?


- save on multiple slots?

Unless you want to restart the whole game again for missing that critical piece.

- avoid spiky poles?

Hell yeah! And once avoided, see if they can be taken. Also detachable blades from the floors, arrows from the arrow trap, a vial of slime from a trapped ooze etc. Just make sure you have strength of 20 :-)

Gamers Unite!

State of Mind: Calming Period
Now Reading: Sahara by Clive Cussler
Now Listening: Go!!! by Flow, Naruto Soundtrack
Looking For: More Rain

Monday, May 01, 2006

SBC Packers Version Two::Deep Molar Extraction::A Tale of Desktop Reincarnation

Ahahahahahah! Rex Navarette is the man! We'll pack anything! We're the best packers in the world! What's the number to 911?! Pucha!

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I woke up around 3 am this morning, my left molar deciding to give me his best impression of a nuclear strike in pinpoint precision. Ever woke up because of a toothache? It drove me almost mad, even medicine doesn't work at all. And I keep harboring thoughts of getting a pliers and pulling the damn thing just to end it all.

So it was that I went to the dentist as soon as the clinic opened and, after an excrutiating half hour, pulled out the offending tooth. Pucha, it looked big! Perhaps one and half inch! And the dentist pointed out the problem: there a little bag of gelatinous substance growing at the base of the molar, like a pus of some sort. Gross.

He said it was the right time to remove it, before the bag got bigger and I had to be strapped down just to extract it. I looked to see if he was joking. Nope all seriousness there.

So now I'm don't have two molars in the left side of my mouth, the first one was removed a couple of years ago because of a different problem. Arrrgh.

At least I get to to go home straight after the dentist, if only to recuperate lost sleep.

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Last month, I finally decided to find the time to upgrade my desktop PC, which have been with me for 6 years ever since I first landed in Manila. So many memories, since most of the time was spent right in front of the computer screen, either doing homework, chat some people or play some games. Today I hardly use the Dinosaur, a term well given because of its bulky size and weight, with very old hardware. But it still runs perfectly, until the time before I went to China where it kinda fizzled out in the screen, gave a put-put sound in the fan, sputtered and died. Repeated bangs on the top hood gave nada reaction, a first in my book. Initial reports at the service center indicated that the motherboard had gone menopausal and left me hanging out to dry.

Okay, I guess it was time to move on. But knowing that I will be leaving for China in a couple of weeks, I decided to go for a laptop, first because upgrading the PC now would be useless, better when I come back with new tech around and second because at least I get to carry the laptop when I go to Beijing. So I scrounge up some cash and got me my own Compaq Laptop, on an installment basis. Happy, I prepared myself for China.

A year passed. After getting back from China, I never did find the time to put together a new desktop. So it was that my dead desktop was left alone in desk, sometimes serving as a paper holder, bulletin board or clothes hanger. I had my laptop, contented I could surf the web and update my blog with, only I couldn't play with games because of the limited memory and space.

But my memories keep hunting me, until at last I couldn't take it anymore and decided to take the old girl for a tune-up and perhaps some spiffy new hardware. I bought me a brand new motherboard, hook it up to the system, and turned on the PC.


Ok, its been a long time since I tinkered with one of these, perhaps I'm getting rusty and missed some cables. But there was nothing. So I got it back to the shop and asked the technician to help. After a brief look-see, he annouced I needed a new videocard. Okay, I said, I'll get me one. After installing it, he turned on the power.

Still nothing.

The technician was surprised. He made an in-depth analysis of my desktop, somewhat akin to strip searching. In the end, he shook his head and said I need a new power outlet, a new hard drive, add some more ram ( I only have 256mb ) and get a pinless P4. Oh, and add a new cd drive, since mine was pleading euthanasia.

After a short shock period, I asked him if all those hardware he said are really broken. Not really he replied, just that these are old models, you can't get anything compatible from these, especially with this new motherboard. Even the your old power outlet cable is of different size, and it cannot be connected to the motherboard ( hence answering my question why the damn thing didn't start in the first place...I knew I forgot something ). He showed me the items in question, and yes, it won't connect.

I asked him what if I just change the motherboard, one that would be compatible to all my old models? Well, its possible, he mused, granting if I could still find those, since they're all out of production.


So, a month after that episode ( and repeated visitations to the store for troubleshooting ) I now got my new desktop, this time called Dinosaur II. Not that it looks anything like the original, but continuity is important.

And I'm back to computer gaming.

Laugh all you want, but now I'm busy playing the best games LAST year. Black and White 2, Warhammer: Dawn of War, Warcraft: Frozen Throne and some DnD RPGs. I have a lot of catching up to do. Maybe after this I'll get Doom 3 and Half Life 2 ( yes, snicker all you want but I'm playing the best games last year with TODAY's technology! And that's good enough for me ).

State of Mind: Reeling in Aftermath Pain
Now listening: Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root
Now Reading: Lone Wolf and Cub Volume Three: Flute of the Fallen Tiger
Looking for: Downtime