Monday, March 28, 2005

Graduation Day, and 10 Years After

I was back in Pisay today, to attend my brother's graduation. He's the last of us, three brothers who all went through Pisay. I've never seen the pool up close before today. It doesn't look very deep.

I'm incoherent. It might be because I've been reading the Sluggy Freelance archives since I got home.

The graduation ceremony was mostly boring. I think most are, unless you're one of the graduates. Or one of the graduates' parents. Or one of those CAT guys who stops people with digital cameras from getting too close. Too bad I forgot to charge the digital camera batteries before going, or else we would have actually had more than five pictures.

The commencement speaker was some guy from batch '69 [1] with lots of degrees, awards and accolades. I swear, if I ever become commencement speaker, I'm gonna be really easy to introduce, since I won't have so much crap attached to my name. But you never know what might happen in 16 years [2].

The commencement speech was dull, the usual thing commencement speakers say, talking about the graduate's future, the uncertainty, the excitement blah blah blah. If I was the one giving a commencement speech (I have a feeling this blog post will be a basis for my never ever getting that chance), I'd probably talk less about hard work and more about passion. Hard work is nice, but it's passion, drive, energy that gets you places.

They have this new thing this year, where they don't have a valedictorian, salutatiorian, etc. Instead, they have people with "High Honors" (weighted average 1.50-1.20) and people with "Highest Honors" (weighted average 1.20-1.00) It's like the college system of cum laudes. Except it sucks. "Valedictorian" looks so much better on a resume than "Highest Honors", but if you're relying on high school accolades on your resume to land you a job, you probably won't get it anyway, so I guess it works out. Sort of.

Only teacher who recognized me there was good old Vlad. The guy's been teaching Econ for ten years! Well, okay maybe not. I heard he took time off to either take an MBA or go surfing in Hawaii, maybe both. But judging from the comments in the graduation speech, he still enjoys torturing the kids. Ma'am Serrano might have recognized me, but then again, she recognizes everybody.

The PSHS Gymnasium is an unforgiving boiling kettle of intolerable heat, especially during these hot summer days. I wonder if I will ever step foot in it again.

Edit: I'm a moron. I really was incoherent. I forgot I was going to talk about the ten years after part until I saw the title published on the page itself.

Anyway, yeah. Ten years. It's been ten years since I left Pisay to face the cruel world. And where am I now? No earth-shaking accomplishments yet? It's like when we were graduating, things were exciting, we were going out to conquer a brave new world! Maybe peng was right, ten years might just be too short to "Stand tall and shake the heavens" [3] At least, I haven't heard of anyone else in the batch stunning the world with their brilliance yet, so I guess I'm not behind, yet.

[1] first Pisay batch ever. They had a 5-year curriculum then.
[2] Figure it out.
[3](3 points for getting that reference)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Games: Warcraft III - Rude And Annoying Teammates

[Originally posted to the GameFAQs message boards]

Now, there are rude and annoying people everywhere, especially on the internet. And normally, I don't care, I just ignore them. On, I just let them be, and keep on playing. Every so often however, some guy comes along who just pisses me off completely.

So I play random 3v3, right? It's not the most "skillful" type of battles, but it's fun and I enjoy it. My record's nothing too good to look at, but I wouldn't call myself a newb. I play a game, I get a team with a lvl 27, two lvl 16s (I'm one of them)

Soon as the game starts, the 27 guy (Green) asks us "You guys any good?" Now, some people may or may not realize this, but this is rude. There's no point in asking, I don't think there's any satisfactory answer that can be given. And many people don't like to brag, so more often than not your answers will be along the line of "I guess so", "I'm not so bad", or if your allies are insecure, "I'm sucky." But you almost never get the answer you want. You can check their stats if you want, but why bother asking them if they're good?

Anyway, I normally just ignore these questions, and I did. And smartly enough, my other ally, the other 16 guy (Blue) ignored him as well. I'm not sure why I was stupid enough to do it, but when he asked again, I responded: "I won 12 out of the last 15, does that make me good?" It was true; I was on some sort of streak I guess.

His answer was: "No it doesn't. I hope you guys don't play like level 16, or we're gonna lose." Yeah, like level means anything in random team battles any more.

So we go to harass, and he's all "I don't wanna leave my base, I'm gonna get rushed." And since he wants it, sure enough he gets rushed. We go back, we fend it off, and he's really thankful: "I'm really sick of being rushed, that's why I don't harass. Let's just creep."

So we split up and take the greens. (The map was that 6-player one with all the water. Typhoon? I'm not sure.) A while later, we get a message. His Level 1 Dark Ranger got killed by creeps. He's embarrassed. "OMG! That's so nobish [sic] of me! I'm so embarrassed!"

We creep some more, we run into 2 of the enemy armies, take out a few fiends and grunts before they run back. He sees my army. "OMG mass hunts!" he says, even though I told him early on I was getting hunts and dryads. He must've been too busy whining to himself about his noob teammates.

We decide to hit the orc base. We go in, And the battle is fairly furious, a lot of units die. I get messages saying my allies' heroes go down, so I give the "b" word. We start falling back. Green gets started again.

"OMG pink [me], there's no way you won 12 of 15, you're such a noob! You're a liar!"

Okay, that's it. I could handle arrogant allies, but this one had the balls to call me a liar. I rip into him.

"Listen here. I'm not the one who lost his hero while creeping. I didn't lose any heroes back there. In fact, I killed 3 heroes before we pulled out. What have you been up to?"

That shut him up. Blue, by the way, has been cool all this time, just letting Green be. Anyway, Green starts lagging. I start pumping out archers and dryads to counter the wyverns. Green's base gets attacked. I TP in. We push them back. We head back to the orc base for a counteroffensive.

He's lagging some more. I fire another shot: "You know what the best part is? Your clever moonwell placement has trapped my keeper in the trees."

We hit the orc base, taking out grunts and shamans and wyverns and fiends left and right. Green lags out. Good riddance. We pull out for a bit to regroup. I take control of Green's army, Blue handles his base. We hit the orc base again. Towers and burrows start going down. We sweep, we clean up, we wipe the floor (all without my Keeper, still cluelessly stuck between moonwells. The Priestess misses him so.) Just before the game ends, I tell Blue my not-so-secret opinion: "Green was an idiot."

Sadly, I forgot to save the replay. I don't even remember who Blue was. I do remember who green was however, and I have a message for him.

This is for you, III_III of Lordaeron. Free advice, if you can't be nice to your teammates, or if you can't stand playing with "noobs", either stop playing random teams, or shut the hell up. And it's 14 out of 17 now moron.

Thanks for listening GameFAQs. That is all.

In Progress, But Sleepy

As it may mention in the page title, I'm currently screwing around with the blogger template, so this blog may look a for a while.

I've been wanting to toy around with Javascript hacks to extend the Blogger template functionality. The first thing I did was add some Javascript that allows you to show/hide individual posts on the page. But actually, I don't really like it, I'll remove it later.

I'm also wondering whether it's possible to have a Javascript hack that allows Blogger to have categories? The Category names would have to be included in maybe the post title text or the post body text, then we'd have a Javascript parser that determines the correct categories for each post. Then we could append category names to the URL to allow viewing by category, using javascript again to parse the URL to find which categories need to be displayed.

Seems like a lot of work though. My Javascript is not as strong as I want it to be -- although I have a pretty good idea of how it works, I'm no expert. So I guess working on these hacks would be good practice, but maybe the time would be better spent learning PHP and preparing to move to a paid webhost? (If wasting time is a consideration, it's too late - I've already spent some two hours fooling around with the current template.)

A bit sleepy. After all, it is almost 4 AM. I'll try to fix this thing later.

On hindsight, I should've set up a test blog and toyed around with that instead of modifying this one directly.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Books: Dark Tower series

"I do not aim with my hand.
He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my Eye.

I do not shoot with my hand.
He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my Mind.

I do not kill with my hand.
He who kills with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my Heart."
--The Gunslinger's Catechism

I've finished books 3 (Wastelands) and 4 (Wizard and Glass) of Stephen King's amazing Dark Tower series. The sprawling worlds travelled by Roland of Gilead and his band of gunslingers continues to draw me in; I guess the romantic western atmosphere really appeals to me.

During these two books, we follow Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, Eddie and Susannah, gunslingers-in-training as they forge ahead on the road to the Dark Tower, where the fate of all worlds may be decided. Along the way, they gain new allies, one thought previously dead. They storm across the fallen city of Lud, blaze across the wastelands on an insane sentient train, and finally land in Kansas. It is in Kansas that Roland narrates a tale of his youth, and of his days and Gilead.

It is Roland's tales of Gilead that I most enjoy in the series. Roland's world, the world that has moved on, is a medieval-western hybrid of sorts. A world where people look to gunslingers with fear and respect, a world where a misspoken word in a tavern can get you killed, a world fraught with danger and adventure. In this tale we learn of what happened to Roland after he passed his rite of passage, his first love, and his decision to pursue the Dark Tower.

I look forward to the last three books...all of which are out in hard cover versions. Wizard and Glass ends on much less of a cliffhanger than Wastelands, so I'm willing to wait a bit for the paperback copies to come out, though I hope it doesn't take too long.


Ooo...DSL is fast! Now I need something to do with it...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Schrodinger's Gate

An actual conversation I had this morning, as my brother Alvin and I were on our way back home (by foot) from somewhere. (Paraphrased somewhat, mostly because we don't really speak in English all the time.)

Alvin: Shall we take the shortcut through the seminary? Do you think the gate is open?
Roy: I don't think so, let's just take the direct route.
Alvin: Oh come on, I think it's still open, we can take the risk.
Roy: I don't think the risk is worth it. If the gate is open, we save around two minutes of walking, otherwise we have to spend some extra five to ten minutes walking back.
Alvin: But it's probably open!
Roy: We don't know that. We don't have enough information on the gate's state to determine whether it's open or not. Right now, according to quantum mechanics, that gate is both open and closed, and we can't determine whether we should take it or not until we actually walk up to the gate! It's Schrodinger's gate!
Alvin: Tell you what, when we get to the seminary, we'll split up, you take the direct route, I'll go for the gate.
Roy: Huh? I don't see what your experiment would prove. It makes no sense to compare the travel time of a person taking the direct route and a person going through either the closed or open gate. We know the outcome depends only on the current state of the gate. A more sensible experiment would be to have two people try to go through the gate, but one of them will find it closed, one of them will find it open, and...
Alvin: Let's just do it.
Roy: Okay.

We split up.

When I get home, I ring the doorbell. Alvin answers the door.

Alvin: Ahead by a bit under two minutes. Told ya!
Roy: Okay, you were right, it was open. But I don't see what this little experiment proves, after all, if we were in the same situation again later, this experiment doesn't help us make a decision.
Alvin: Basta. I was right.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Movie-ID puzzle

Boing Boing: Movie-ID puzzle: name the films in these disembodied scenes

Hint: One of them is "Trading Places" That's the hardest one I got so far, after about ten minutes of answering. :D

Friday, March 11, 2005

To the Tale, and Other Such Concerns: The Hunt is On

To the Tale, and Other Such Concerns: The Hunt is On

Check the link for the puzzle, then highlight the box below for the answers. (Answers found with the help of Switch)

Metapuzzle answer: Michael Jackson

Geller Building Puzzle: Answer is Daughter of Elvis - Jacko's ex-wife
Apollo Street: Answer is "John Jay Smith" - One of Jacko's screen names
Club Bubbles: Answer is Men In Black 2 - Jacko had a cameo in this movie

Edit: Looks like we didn't answer in time, the solutions are already posted on his blog.

It was fun, though.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I seem to be slightly more alert in the morning and a bit more agressive throughout the day with less sleep (around 6 hours). Taking eight or more hours of sleep seems to leave me slightly laid-back for the rest of the day. I'm trying to be more aware of my sleep dependencies, as I'm probably going to have to work 12-hour days for a while (maybe up to the end of April) :(

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Books: More Bob Ong

A while back I blogged about Bob Ong's first book. A short while after, I also picked up his next two books, Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Why Do Filipinos Read Backwards?) and Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (Judas' Favorite Book).

"Bakit Baligtad" focuses on the Philippines, its people, its quirks and its problems. "Paboritong Libro" is a lot harder to classify, as it jumps across several topics, with the unifying theme being the chapters named after anagrams of the seven deadly sins. At least I think that's the unifying theme...

"Paboritong Libro" is also the better of the two books. Or at least the easier read, as "Bakit Baligtad" had a tendency to be a lot more serious and preachy, which might turn off people looking for a light read. Also, "Bakit Baligtad" contains a significant amount of non-original material, from the apparently-now-defunct Bobong Pinoy website and from several online forums.

In fact, after reading "Bakit Baligtad", I realized the particular appeal of Bob Ong's books...all of them, including the first one, read like they were written on the internet. Maybe in a blog or something. Each book is like some sort of running commentary on some part of life in general; (the first book was about education, the second about the Philippines; I'm still not sure what the third book was about) That's why it's so hard to pin down, it leaves you with that internet feeling of "hey-when's-the-next-update?"

Both books are generally hit-or-miss though, with a bit more hit than miss, same as the first one. Some good parts, some you'd want to sleep through. They're good for the price they're at. In any case, I'll probably pick up his next book as an impulse buy if I see it.

My favorite part of these two books (I'm not sure which book it was in anymore) was a list of amusing signs found all over the Philippines. One of them is described as such:

on a cracked lopsided wall along Libis, QC: Danger Wall is Falling!

Hehe, that cracks me up, and I'm not sure why. I'd like to see that wall.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My First Nigerian Spam

No seriously, I don't remember having received any before.

Click to view

Edit: Okay, it's the first one that I actually received in my inbox. I don't actually know if Yahoo or Gmail's filters killed one before i saw it.