Sunday, April 20, 2008

New PC

Our 6-year old Pentium 4 mini PC's power supply finally gave up today. This PC was a gift from Cols' mom when we got married. Although its hard disk has been swapped a couple of times and its memory upgraded to 700+MB already, its only now that the power supply conked out. The power supply is non-standard since the casing's form factor is smaller than the usual desktop. So since I don't know where else to buy a power supply to fit this casing, I decided to just go ahead and buy a new PC altogether.

I went to PC Express at Shaw in the afternoon. I bought a new Intel motherboard with a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo Intel processor. It has 6 x USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire Port, SATA connectors, built-in sound system, 1GB RAM and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The built-in video card can now support our 19" widescreen AOC monitor full 1440 x 900 resolution! Unlike the old PC which had to stretch the display to fit the widescreen aspect ratio, this new board can display the proportions correctly. I transferred over the hard disk and floppy drive from the old PC, but decided to go for a new DVD re-writer (since the old PC only had a CD writer).

Total damage to my wallet = PHP 16,000. But the upgrade should make creating picturebooks a better experience on the home PC.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mozcom Bowling Tournament

Mozcom had a bowling tournament this Saturday morning at Paeng's Skybowl in Robinson's Galleria. The employees were grouped into 7 teams (red, yellow, light blue, dark blue, pink, black and green). I was with the red team. A couple of our players begged off due to health reasons. But since Jason del Rosario (a former ISE) was there to accompany Michelle Eduave (of CAG), we was recruited to our team.

We played 2 sets, with Magoo's serving lunch (I didn't know Magoo's sell rice and chicken) in between sets. While our team did not win, we were likewise not at the bottom of the list. Our score placed us just in the middle standing.

The games ended at around 2pm. Then the "special awards" were handed out. Apple (CAG assistant) won the Turtle Awards for having the slowest rolling bowling bowl. Jedi Pena (Marketing) won the Yo! Mama Award for being the most talkative. Danny (Mozcom driver) won the Best Body Language award; while Florence (of Customer Service) won the Best Celebratory Dance award. Kuya Larry (Doc T's driver) was the Most Distracting Bowler.

Here are some more pics taken from Lai de Guzman's camera.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Passport Renewal

Cols and I went to the Dept of Foreign Affairs (DFA) this afternoon for our passports. I was having my renewed while Cols was applying in behalf of Ethan. I availed of the Passport Direct service offered by Pilipinas Teleserv. We called over Steve (Dawal) to drive for us for the day, which was good because traffic to DFA was bad and there was nowhere to park.

Actually, availing of the Passport Direct service turned out to be a good idea. The lines were really long at the DFA, whereas the Passport Direct line was a breeze! We went straight in and skipped all the lines. We were escorted to a group of benches where we sat for about 5 minutes then got called to the counter. We then signed on some papers and I thumbmarked by forms once again, and that's it! We were out of there in a flash! We are supposed to just expect the passports to be delivered in a couple of weeks.

I would say the service was pretty good. The only disappointment throughout the whole experience was the pre-processing with Aboitiz 2GO. Before you can get an appointment with the DFA, the 2GO messenger will go to you first to pickup all your documents and thumbprints. When the messenger went to Peak to get mine, his stamp pad ran out of ink. So he borrowed a stamp pad from our office which had red ink. Turned out that red is not allowed. So he called me later that day (while I was at the barber shop) telling me he had to come back the next day, which caused a lot of hassle in re-arranging my scheduled appointment with DFA. Other than that, the rest of the experience went well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dad's Birthday

I already showered today but I'm not yet 100% back to normal. Cough and cols is still bad. We went to Valle in the morning with dad's birthday noodles. Cols and I got a P10k "ang-pao" each. From Valle, I passed by the Ortigas Home Depot to check on some floor tiles; then reported to work at The Peak.

In the evening, we celebrated at our new favorite restaurant -- Choi Garden at Annapolis, Greenhills. It was our turn to treat out dad. The usual family members where there -- Grandma, Grandpa, Tito Bert, Tita Lucy and Nadia (Nino is already in the US), Tita Car and her brother (Tito Ben is also abroad), Ilene and Kenneth. We had their famous fried pigeons. We ordered a bit too much because Cols thought they were baby pigeons, but turned out to be regular sized. So we had to take home a few pieces.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Catching Up On My Recorded Videos

After suffering from a really bad cough and cold (which I got from the kids and Cols) the past 2 days, my body finally gave up and I came down with fever. There is no work today anyway. Its a holiday today because of the Arroyo government's policy of moving a national holiday to the nearest Monday or Friday. So they moved the April 9 Araw ng Kagitingan holiday to today (April 7).

So anyway, since my body is aching all over, I just stayed home today and caught up on several movies that I've recorded on my personal video recorder. I normally go through the schedule guide of HBO Asia and Star Movies at the start of the month to know what movies to record for the whole month. One of the movies that caught my attention last month was a 3-part mini-series on Star Movies entitled The Lost Room. It originally came out in Sci-Fi Channel in the US in Dec 2006. I did not know what the movie was about other than the short synopsis listed at Star's website. But I'm really glad I recorded it. This is a very good 3-part series!

The basic premise of the movie is the existence of a motel room #10 that seems to be floating in a different plane of reality. The Key can be used to open any door and it will lead you to this "lost" room. Then from the lost room, you can exit from any door, anywhere in the world by just picturing it in your mind. The plot is quite complicated and it will not do any justice for me to explain it by myself. So I'll just provide this link to an entry in Wikipedia about The Lost Room which does a pretty good job is summing up the plot.

Each episode is about 1.5 hr long. So the 3 episodes totaled to 4.5 hrs. But its so engrossing that you would want to watch it from start to end in one sitting -- which I did! But I have to admit -- while I enjoyed the story development, the ending kind of left me hanging. I did not really understand the ending. Since Joe Miller killed the Occupant, and took his place as the Prime Object, shouldn't it also drive him raving mad and live in that detached reality? How did he figure out how to retrieve his missing daughter, Anna.

Reading through the Sci-Fi Channel's forum, it seems that I am not the only one baffled with this same issue. But there are explanations from other viewers, which was supposed to have been explained by the Occupant, and which I probably did not catch. Being the only object with consciousness, the Prime Object can survive room resets and can look for missing persons inside the room. I think I have to watch the last part of Episode 3 again and listen carefully to the dialogue.

Overall, I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes watching Twilight Zone or reading Neil Gaiman novels.