Thursday, July 29, 2004

Off The Wall Crossovers

More than half the week is over and its close to halfway through my training at my new job. The evening commute home from the office for these past few days are really getting to me in terms of exhaustion. The change in schedule currently makes my blog updates are bit more delayed. But nonetheless I'll press on with what I have on my mind.

Decided to get off the wall and somewhat out of the box with some crazy ideas that percolated briefing in my head. Crazy ideas are the more spontaneous variety as compared to the regular kind that would require some processing time. I'll enumerate them now.

Metal Gear Alias - An interesting mix of characters and intrigue that's the trademark in their respective stories. How about combining both? It may be a bit overkill in terms of the espionage and action but it would prove pretty exciting indeed.

Certain creative liberties are called for to blend the respective plot hooks and characters to have a good blend from their respective stories. Solid Snake ("David") was sent in to the Shadow Moses facility to rescue important people there and assess the capability of the terrorists holding it. Mountaineer ("Sydney Bristow") was sent in given relevant intel pertaining to the terrorists involved and moreso on the retrieval or destruction of a device derived from a Rambaldi artifact that is to be placed inside a new war machine. Given that, their missions will definitely overlap. Besides Mountaineer and Snake teaming up, same goes with Marshall Flinkman and Hal Emmerich (Otacon). The support team would be just as interesting a mix, Father figures Roy Campbell and Jack Bristow for sure. Haven't done the full run down on the roster of characters for the full refit. As to the villains, I would toss it in that the group headed by Liquid Snake is actually sponsored by the Covenant and Julian Sark is present as well to oversee the operation along with Liquid, given that Covenant is well aware of Revolver Ocelot's involvement within the Russian SpecOps and Intelligence communities. Lauren Reed and Sniper Wolf would make a good tag-team of snipers to give a very hard time for Snake and Mountaineer. As to mysterious characters which are actually supposed dead people, I decided to go with Grey Fox and Sydney's ex-boyfriend turned spy/assasin Noah Berg and have them converted as cyborgs under the sponsorship of the Covenant. It would be quite a challenge for Snake and Sydney to take out Metal Gear Rex and a showdown with Liquid Snake and Sark.

Alias McBeal - A really crazy idea of combining the elements from two respective shows. This is just a strange neurotic twist to the basic premise as well as putting some craziness in the routine world that we know. Sydney would probably be visiting Dr.Barnett more often than usual like 2 or 3 sessions per mission called for. Some crazy stuff is sure to happen and Marshall Flinkman would definitely have more comedy done to full effect for it.

That's about it for the meantime. Still have to adjust my sleep patterns to get some creative productive done. Next time. *Spy music playing from the doghouse.*

Monday, July 26, 2004


Going through training here with my new job. I wasn't called through last week. Forced my hand to go to the office Monday and managed to report in and get assigned with a training group and the rest is ongoing, not yet history. It was fun and entertaining training I would say in terms of the introductions among us trainees and trainer as well as the naming exercise we did.

The training schedule and subsequently, the actual job schedule would take some getting used to. But the rewards from the job would make things easier to go about buying things I want to buy and hopefully, acquire.

The creative stuff is not really on strong hold, just only when the right opportunity shows up here at training, then work. Of course, I'm sure enough to adopt the so-called guerilla method of jotting my ideas, though the actual writing task would be done later on when time is available.

That's it for updates for the meantime. I'll just keep on jotting and thinking when the opportunity for it shows.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Watching Mr. Roboto

Just got back from watching "I, Robot" starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Alan Tudyk. Technically speaking, the movie was rather inspired and not adapted from the Isaac Asimov story as misinterpreted by the marketing people of the film, critics and fans.

Seems to me that any movie that supposedly "adapted" from a pre-existing book or other literary work is basically pre-written which may contain common denominator elements to the said work which is "adapted" and promptly go about obtaining the permission and rights to use it with some slight script write changes. The movie basically relies on the kind of brand name familiarity on account of the reputation preceded from its literary namesake. Its rather a common trend to note with most movies that touts to be an adaptation of story by >(any famous author's name)<, especially in this case with fantasy and sci-fi films.

Anyways onto the review of the movie. It has a similiar feel like Minority Report starring Tom Cruise in terms of presentation. The usual slick sci-fi eyecandy to be expected with the usual round of CG addon.

The premise of the movie revolves around the infallibility of the 3 Laws of Robotics which are:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Of course, these three laws known in Asimov's stories later adds an another law, the Zeroth Law, which is basically an extension of the 1st Law where it encompasses humanity as opposed to the individual human.

These laws are hardwired into the construction of the positronic brains these robots use. The infallibility of these laws makes them safe, yes? Not exactly as played out in the movie.

The movie proceeds with Will Smith's character, Detective Del Spooner, investigating a murder scene that possibly involves a robot, after he had brief paranoid episode involving a perceived purse-snatching robot. The murder victim in question happens to be the so-called father of robotics research for US Robotics. (Hmmmmm....first modems now they build robots for the world. ;) ) Detective Spooner gets teamed up with Dr. Susan Calvin, the murder victim's protege and fellow researcher for the corporation. They followed the trail of clues left by Dr. Lanning and later arrived to some startling revelation. Part of it lies in the fact of Sonny's construction and not-yet discovered purpose. The final piece to the puzzle was arrived at with Det. Spooner's arrival at the storage site for the now outdated Ns-4 robots and a clever round of questioning with Dr. Lanning's interactive holographic message prior to his death. It appears that the ultimate conclusion from the 3 laws of robotics would lead to robots overtly protecting man from his own self-destructive path with all means necessary. A revolution, Dr. Lanning puts it to be. That brand of logic is also what prompted the Sentinels in X-Men comics to go overboard with theri primary directive as to protecting humanity from mutants. The movie follows on later with some scene reminiscent of a familiar battle scene down in Star Wars, Episode 1 involving Gungans and Trade Federation Battle Droids. The action near the last 15-20 minutes or so. Sonny, though a virtual actor or synthespian did a really good job in doing robot combat against his fellow NS-5's robots. Pretty slick fighting I'd say. All in all, its can rate as a good popcorn-munching movie on this note.

I'll see about watching it again with my Dad when time allows. *Styx song "Mr. Roboto" playing now from the doghouse.*

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Stumbling Block On The Road to Employment

Start of the week, going about the procurement of papers and things to wrap up my job application to my latest job. Some of the needed documents are present, SSS : Check, TIN: Check, NBI Clearance: Needs Renewal. I need to renew my NBI Clearance since I applied for it back in Nov. 1995, during my initial foray into looking for employment after graduating college then like everyone else.

I had a bad feeling about this renewal business since I figured enough the bureaucratic morass I had to navigate on account of my citizenship that time. Even with those new renewal kiosks that came along with the recent streamlining of the NBI's procedures, I still felt unsure of coming out relieved with this necessary procedure.

After waiting for like 2 hours total, it was my turn and the operator had a hard time having a barcode scanner read the scrambled barcode on my old clearance document. Took 3 times and it went in, sort of. I was subsequently told to report in to the main NBI office to further rectify the problem on my clearance. I had to hold it off till tomorrow since my Dad was busy taking my mom to the hospital for some follow-up consultation I gather after my parents recent medical checkup at the hospital.

The things I do to secure my job application for sure. *Sighs.*

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Job Application

Start of the weekend now. Been much away from formulating any blog entries of late. This entry covers pretty much something I haven't done for a while since I returned to the Philippines. It tackles much on the long-drawn ritual of job application.

This week was about the job application. Basically done in two phases, preparation and execution. Monday to Wednesday was preparation time. Thursday and Friday basically the application period itself.

Preparation basically covers the intelligence gathering matter of knowing what to expect in the interview and other details in the screening procedure. Armed with this knowledge, it provided me with a slight edge as to how to go about the application.

Besides the intel gathering, I also had to prepare my attire and purchase whatever's needed to round up said attire. Luckily, majority of my attire was taken cared of back in Seattle and I get to use it for this occasion. Just a purchase of an undershirt rounded the entire set. Clothes and application inside info, check. All set to go.

My Dad picked up my cousin, Chester, since he's the one who provided us the inside scoop on the application process in the company he's working in and the one I'm applying to. Dad drove me over to the RCBC Plaza Building in Makati. Impressive s looking building on first seeing it meself.

Me and my cousin trooped inside and took an elevator ride to the 18th floor and go through the waiting game. Of course, the usual writing in of forms done in lieu with the waiting. The preliminary interview and screening started around 11:00 or so. The interview was done by one interviewer and seven of us applicants. A rather different method in my opinion. The interview went through fine and since it was a prescreen interview, it felt to me like something out of a reality show like American Idol or America's Next Top Model. The prescreen interviewer, Princess, mentioned me and three others passed while the other three had to be let go. I was briefed way earlier that the interview was actually a test on how good one's English speaking skills the potential applicant has. I have no problem with that along with the diction and accent for it. Survived the 1st round.

Second round was to follow a little later after lunch for the phone simulation test. Lunch would be in order. My cousin gave me the brief tour towards the eating places inside the RCBC Plaza Building. I'm rather impressed that it has a decent foodcourt. Quite a place for me. Lunch done, back to the waiting game till my turn to take the simulation test came up. It was a rather straightforward test involving two readings. One reading involves a set of tongue twisters, which I felt I stumbled at the start but the others were more manageable to pronounce through. The second reading involves reading out the names of the US states in correct form. No biggee on that part.

After the tongue-twisting and state naming, another round of waiting follows for Round Three: the IQ test. The IQ test was rather different since it was conducted on a PC. The drill for it goes about answering X number of questions in a very small time frame of say, Y minutes. It wasn't exactly a big thing I was told by my cousin. So the final interview schedules was set up for us for the following day.

I arrived on time for the following day's schedule though an unexpected twist came about as to my seeming non-appearance when my interviewer, John, was trying to page me in. I decided to play it patient throughout the proceeding in spite my initial projected plans for that day was wrap up the application here and head over to Vinnie's shop in Megamall for some kibbitzing. Of course, given the situation, the second part of the day's activity was rather pushed far back. After around past 2:00PM decided to accost an HR person as to my status for the final interview. Also repeated that around 3:00PM. Luckily it was Princess I inquired as to the final interview. She located John and my interview proceeded in earnest. It was bit of a miscommunication and partly I guess on my preoccupation in reading Peter Hamilton's Fallen Dragon and listening to my CD player I brought to make the long waiting bearable to be the culprit I reasoned. Regardless all the waiting paid off.

I'll not bore you with the details in the final interview. I did well enough in my response to his questions that he endorsed my application to one more HR person, Nico. It was fortunate that Nico mentioned that he is straight-forward person in these interviews and I responded promptly enough since it would be more comfortable and honest enough to go through it without any ambiguity with the interview. Nico was slightly surprised as to my patience as opposed to other applicant who show irritability and impatient in light of things.

I would like to note that when you get interviewed by those who were geeks or have an inner geek inside them, it helps a bit when they mention something of a geeky topic noted in your resume or response like keyword comics, computer games or PS2, then some talk or response on said keyword helps in the interview process as far as the positive reaction modifier calls for. Never thought encountering younger geeks than myself would be of help in the employment process.

All in all, I passed the final interview and now on my way to joining the ranks of the employed, which I've been away for a quite a while. At least a steady flow of economic units into my holding would be nice and moreso of restoring my ability to do the occasional impulse purchasing at Vinnie's shop and other places. It was a busy week indeed.

Friday, July 09, 2004


Took a while to compose the entry regarding my recent weekend. I was kinda tied up playing a comp game called Space Rangers. Other circumstances that kept me from composing was: occasional lapse of I-net service, adjusting sleep pattern and occasional out of the house bit to go to SM Bicutan for some scenery change.

I'll keep you posted for anything to write about.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Weekend fun

My recent Saturday was full of sudden decisions for me, mostly turned out good. I decided to drop by Vinnie's shop to visit and also hearing about the sale the shop's having. I was partially aware about the event called Free Comic Book Day or FCBD for short.

The day later got me loaded down with a lot of freebie comics that Vinnie's shop received for the event. Quite a haul for the likes of me and other people like Dean, Nikki, Carl and others in Vinnie's circle.

One decision matter was sticking around with Vinnie and company for dinner. It was conducted at Dampa Sa Libis. It was feast of lobster, prawn, tilapia and inihaw na liempo (pork), the last item is out of place with the other seafoods but it was a welcome additional for those who may not have the systemic tolerance for it. Anaphylactic shock is a serious thing since I recalled my bro landed in the hospital after failing to notice that the fried rice he ate with his then soon-to-be wife happen to have shrimp, which he was extremely allergic to.

The feasting happened proper after the dispersion of the freebie comics loot among the gang. It would take a bit of reading through to have any reviews about the titles we have received. But all in all, it was a fascinating window to see how the comics scene goes in mainstream and independent publishers.

After the feasting, the gang decided to head over to Double Deck for few rounds of drinking, since its the place with the cheapest beer in the area. Majority of the gang had their beer while I had to settle for can of Diet Coke and Charles had a bottle of Cali Shandy. I just find imbibing alcohol, especially with a very long interval of not ingesting it would be uncomfortable. I usually end up getting itchy, warmer than normal and occasionally get a headache or too though sometimes my thought processes or motor control would get impaired.

As the drinking wears on, the gang gets to enjoy the music from the band Split Point. Andrew got to sing a song as well as Carl given how much the gang wanted to clinch the victory of singing prowess for our table. The musical sparring ended at a stalemate.

After all the drinking and listening to music, the gang called it a night. I was fortunate enough to survive a very early morning commute and a walk home without incident though the fear lingers. The only downside to the entire proceedings was to arrive at the gate of the house with my dad awake and waiting. I figured the delay in communications was my blame as far as initiative is concerned. The other consequence of having to get water two days after that since the following Sunday night's water gathering was scarce.

The following Sunday, I woke up late and was able to catch up with my parents in their room as they were watching a movie, on DVD, called Japanese Story starring Toni Collette and Gotaro Tsunashima. The movie was like part scenic road trip, part character interaction piece and some romance in it. Of course, the movie's ending didn't end exactly in a cheery note on account of Gotaro's character's death due to accidental circumstance, it pays better to look where you jump into a swimming hole. The way this movie plays kinda reminds me enough of the movie, Lost In Translation given such similiar manner of a placing stranger in a strange land kind of deal. As I said earlier, Japanese Story ends in a tragic note.

But all in all. It was a good weekend.