Friday, September 30, 2005

Indiana Pacers: New Look For New Generation?

Ugh, the Indiana Pacer's new uniforms are horrible! I mean, what's wrong with the last one? The pinstripes looked classy, it had that nice, non-simplistic design. I was thinking about buying one of those. But then, what gives?

At least, maybe they'll sell the old design at a cheaper price.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

iPod Nano

On top of my list of things to buy when I have money to burn is an iPod Nano. I've never really needed a portable music player. I have those in different forms almost everywhere I go. At home, I have my alarm clock radio and desktop computer mp3s. In the car, I could play CD-Rs and audio CDs, or tune in to my favorite radio stations. In the office, I have my PC TV/FM tuner and desktop mp3s. Elsewhere, I have my trusty Nokia 6230 with 512MB Reduced-Size MultiMedia Card (RS-MMC) that would play even without headphones (via loudspeaker). I haven't tried jogging with music (then again, I haven't tried jogging in a long while). I don't travel a lot. I don't trade music a lot.

But can anybody convince me to buy an iPod (color) or an iPod Nano?


Also, these guys at arsTechnica dissected the iPod Nano for scientific research purposes (also, for kicks).

I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!

The title's a joke, of course (and lifted from The Simpsons episode, Team Homer). But I did bowl my best game yesterday at e-Lanes on Ortigas Ave. Here's the line:

6/709/X 9/S8/9/X 7/XXX  

That was a crazy game! I was a freak! See that 10th frame?

'LOST' Season 2, Episode 1 [may contain inadvertent spoilers]

Whoa, whoa, whoa and whoa!

I have seen, and believed!

In the U.S., they've already showed the season premiere of the Emmy-winning show LOST. And soon, the peer-to-peer (P2P) networks were flooded with copies of the show (from TiVo, I presume). Joey (and her brother Miguel) and I had the privilege of having an "advanced screening" yesterday because the suspense was just killing us everyday until they show it on TV (C'mon, AXN!)

Not that watching it removed all the frustration, though. True to the nature of the show, it created more questions than answers.

The show picks up where the season-ender left off. And I'll end by saying that we find out what was in the f-cking hatch, but it doesn't tell us why it's there. Until, next episode...


EntertainmentWeekly has this feature about Stephen King's challenge to the show. In short, he says for the LOST executives to tell the story and end it when it should, instead of racking up the money and alienating its fans. Click the link before the article expires!

Pinoy Big Brother

Speaking of cable shows, the country has caught the Big Brother fever. Good thing I seem to be immune.

Honestly, I don't get it. Reality shows weren't all that bad. In the beginning, there was Survivor, a show fascinating enough to watch before it got too redundant. Then there's that (oh-so) Amazing Race, highlighting different countries and cultures in every episode. It makes you feel like travelling yourself (what a great tourism ad!). American Idol, of course, brought us Jasmine Trias (a few moments of silence, please). The Apprentice, which I also can't seem to appreciate because I'm not one of those management and marketing types. Of course, some trash followed such as Temptation Island, The Swan, Simple Life, etc. That pretty much ruined it for reality television.

So why "Big Brother"? Here's the obligatory DUH! link.

Again, I don't get the show and why people should watch it. Already this show stinks of voyeurism, and the "contestants" even oblige the cameras. I read that it's skipped an episode due to "sensitive" content. Now who couldn't have seen that coming?

Anyway, ABS-CBN is banking on the usiseros and chismosos all over the country (and the world) to support the show either though it's 24/7 pay-channel on SkyCable, it's daily recaps on ABS-CBN or Studio 23, and also its live streaming broadcast on the website.

A nitpick for me: I don't think "Big Brother" is "Elder Brother", and therefore "Kuya".

Then again, who cares?

Hallmark Channel: Tuesdays with Morrie, Hawking

We got our cable upgraded to SkyCable a few weeks ago. Basically, it's HomeCable with Cinemax, Hallmark Channel, Disney Channel, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. Most of us here are TV deadheads anyway, so I guess it's worth it.


I chanced upon Tuesdays with Morrie on Hallmark last Tuesday (coincidence, we think not!). It starred Hank Azaria as Mitch, and the late Jack Lemmon as Morrie. I didn't get to finish it though, and I'm trying to find the next scheduled airtime.

During Holy Week/Easter Season we go to Bulacan and prepare for the way-too-early procession (that starts at around 5AM) for Easter Sunday. Last time we went there, I tried reading the Tuesdays with Morrie book but I didn't finish it either. I fell asleep.

That TV-movie is probably my only chance of finding out what happens (with an attention span as short as mine.)


Off the top of my head, here is an unordered list of books that I started but have yet to finish, as of today:
  1. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
  2. Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)
  3. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Douglas Adams)
  4. The Dilbert Principle (Scott Adams)
  5. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Dragon Sun (Michael Ely)
  6. Killing Hope (William Blum)
Doesn't look like that's gonna change in the near future.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Last Season: A Team In Search of Its Soul

I'm not much of a book reader (except for comic books and graphic novels) but I found a book that I'd like to read in Powerbooks Live!. It's The Last Season by Phil Jackson, detailing the rollercoaster ride that was the Los Angeles Lakers' 2003-2004 season. I didn't buy it though, a hardcover priced at P1205.00 (while the one is discounted at almost half-price at $9.98). That season was one for the shrinks. Even before it got off, it had that "too good to be true" feel to it. I don't think I'll be buying this soon.

My birthday's coming up soon, wink, wink. But I don't want to get lots of copies, so talk it over amongst yourselves :P

Anyway, Phil's back with The Lake Show for another circus season. Who wouldn't watch that drama unfold?

Surviving PAL country

Our country and the situation we're in right now can be compared to a lot of things. Randy David describes his first-hand experience with Philippine Airlines and how it resembles our society. Very insightful, as always.

Cinderella Man

We watched Cinderella Man yesterday in Power Plant Mall in Makati, P151.00 a pop.

Before I get to the movie itself, I want to tell you about this little incident while I was buying movie snacks. A Tale of Two Assholes, which could possibly be an insight on how we Pinoys treat each other. A-hole #1: Snack Dude, A-hole #2: Customer.

So I was buying Nacho Sticks before going in the 2:10 PM showing and there was some commotion about a guy getting nachos instead of potato skins (or chips). The guy was furious about getting the wrong snack. And this is the last part of their conversation (of course, not accurate):

Customer: Potato yung in-order namin, hindi Nachos.

(snack dude, prepares the potato things, customer continues bitching)

Snack Dude (taking it all in, tries to score with a response): Potato po ba yung sinabi niyo kanina?

Customer: Babalik ba ako rito kung tama yung binigay niyo?!

Snack Dude: Nagtatanong lang po.

Customer: Ang sagot dapat "sorry", hindi pa yung kung anu-ano!

(customer storms off with the potato snacks)
Ok, point number one: The customer is always right, even when he's wrong. Point number two: that "rule" was made, I think, precisely to avoid confrontation. In a perfect world, the snack dude should have just apologized for "his mistake" and correct it. The customer for his part, shouldn't have made a scene like that. Now what if one of them was a foreigner, how do you think this would have gone?


Anyway, how good is the timing for this movie? Just last week, the superb Manny Pacquiao victory over who-the-hell-cares-right-now, putting boxing and national pride on top of the headlines for a while. So this movie gets free advertising somehow (if only it had "boxing" in the title).

Without spoiling the movie, I'd have to say, that you shouldn't focus on the boxing part because there's a lot to see in this movie, set in The Great Depression of the 20s and 30s. The human spirit, second chances, desperation, living an honest life. Watch this movie. How can you go wrong with Russell Crowe (who lost weight for the part), Renee Zellweger (who unfortunately had some scenes where she could have blurted out, "you had me at hello"), and the underappreciated Paul Giamatti (THE character-actor)? You could compare this though, with Seabiscuit, also set in the depression era. The difference being, this has real Oscar-caliber acting.

Go watch this movie.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Culture Education

Ambeth Ocampo writes about the degradation of our culture and mentions brain-drain in this article. Of course I totally agree with him in most of everything he says here.

I took his History 165 (old curriculum) in college, and it remains one of the best courses I have attended. It wasn't necessarily the easiest course to pass, but I subscribe to the teacher's idea that grades don't really matter. So if you want to get an 'A', choose another teacher. Ambeth is hardly a textbook teacher. In fact, the only textbook he really required is the "unsanitized" Noli Me Tangere.

The most important part of the course, in my opinion, is how he "made" us go to field trips. We "had to" go to the Museum in Bangko Sentral, the National Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. In Intramuros, we "had to" go to Fort Santiago, Museo de San Agustin, La Casa Manila and that tsinoy museum which I can't remember the name of right now. Needless to say, it was more history than what can be taught in the classroom. Of course it had some importance in the long-term and mid-term exams but, those related questions couldn't have been any easier, practically had giveaway answers.

In the end, it seemed that all we needed was an excuse to go to these places. Sir Ambeth gladly gave us that.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

[I] have been sighted on AXN Asia

Hey, I got this blog on AXN-Asia's website, in connection with the 'Lost' notebook reference. Now I'm trying to remember how I stumbled upon that website. I was either googling for it or somebody posted the address from one of the 'Lost' forums.

Lost replays are on Mondays now, I think. Can't wait for the next season. I wonder when they'll show it here on cable.

I gotta write this down before I forget...

I remember dreaming last night (or early this morning) about London or being in London. It was probably the second part of my night's dream (the first one involved a beach, I recall). I have no idea what London looks like but it had a Manhattan-like skyline. Of course, the row houses are there, typical of a London setting. I rode a bus from the airport and going inside an apartment and wanting to go up the highest floor to get a view of the entire city. For some reason, I was there to look for Eric Idle. So I press one of the top floors on the, ahem, lift, 102nd floor, I think. Then I was talking to this old lady about how expensive things there are, and how relatively cheap they are at home. I walk into this street bazaar and see the pricey merchandise. By this time, it had started raining. I remember going on top of the roof of a tall building that has a tent on it, because of the rain. Neil Gaiman was there and for some reason I thought, Aimee Mann, and Neil was signing autographs for her. Anyway, I was looking down at the building across and my company's opening an office in a simple celebration. By then I had bored myself into waking up, and that's about it.


Ok, so how I did I come up with that? Usually, my dreams (like almost anybody else) come from stray memories and small details. V for Vendetta, the most recent book I read was set in London. College blockmate Nestor went to London and blogged about it. The office sends people to England, but not particularly London. I have deep-down desires of being sent overseas or just traveling and touring. Eric Idle probably because I was thinking about watching Monty Python's Life of Brian

V for Vendetta

Every once in a while, I treat myself by reliving the old habit of buying ... comics! Or, ahem, graphic novels. Last week, I bought myself a copy of V for Vendetta from Sketchbooks in Greenbelt 3. I read this before, borrowing a copy from Ramon, way back in high school, I think. Very dark. Here's what the Amazon summary says:
A frightening and powerful story of the loss of freedom and identity in a totalitarian world, V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate future in which Germany wins WWII and Britain becomes a fascist state. A vigilante named "V" stalks the streets of London trying to free England of its ideological chains.
Next year, they'll be releasing a movie version starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. Alan Moore, the writer of the novel has disowned the movie version so we can't be too sure of the narrative quality since the guys in suits are in charge, or at least the Wachowski Brothers (of The Matrix fame) are.

V's mask, seen on the cover, has Guy Fawkes face. You can pretend you know that name by reading this Wikipedia article.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Congrats to Shelley and Darius!

Just came from a nice wedding in De La Strada Church in Katipunan. The reception was in Bahay Kalinaw in U.P. Had a great time. Music was great. Ate lots of food. Drank lots of wine. I'm sure Shelley has the full coverage. Congratulations!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

2005 Cinemanila International Film Festival - Buhayin ang Pelikulang Pilipino (October 12-27,2005)

On their website is the lineup of movies for this year's Cinemanila (finally). I hope to catch some of them. I missed the Dekalogue showing last month. Sigh. I wish I had all the time to watch these movies.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


This is really a great idea. It's essentially a hard-drive, flash media adapter that connects to consumer devices such as TV, or a HiFi radio. Although a few weeks back, I was able to successfully connect my video card to the TV in case I want to watch videos or a slideshow of pictures. The sound still comes from the PC speakers, though. link is here, which says that 'The cost of the Porta-Cinema (not including any storage media) was about US$150 [in Singapore].' Cool!

Friday, September 02, 2005 Page 2 : This is who I am ...'s Bill Simmons discusses the failure of the WNBA as a viable business, and why it just doesn't work. I can't help but agree. There is nothing in the WNBA I would want to watch. Not the players, not the game they play, not the talent they have. Does anybody even know that it's the playoffs already? I do know that, except that I don't care. Read up and form your own opinions.