Monday, July 27, 2009

My Phone for the whole family

Wow, My Phone mobile phones sure are making waves these days. I first heard of these Made in China phones a couple of years ago. They were phones with cool features (TV, 3G, camera, mp3/4 player, touch screen, dual sim, etc...) at a fraction of the cost of the same features in say, a Nokia or Sony Ericsson. The only issue then was that if its made in china, then it must be bad. Cheap sure, but not good for the long haul.

I'm still not sure if its durable or not, but they sure stayed in the business. In fact, I could say they grew over the last few months. Now they're even bundled with cheap plans from all major telcos. What actually caught my attention are the new line they're advertising in the LRT 2 hand-straps.

They actually have one for each member of the family:

1. For the "workaholic" dad...

A background noise selector that masks the beer house away! It even has dual SIM for the dual wives!

2. For the stay-at home wives

Here's something for those warm lonely nights when the husband is doing "OT" (see no. 1)

3. For the "outgoing" sister

Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

And my personal favorite...

4. For the geeky brother

The stalker special.

Pretty neat 'eh? Somehow I feel drawn to no. 4.

N.B. Not a paid advertisement, nor do they even know I'm doing this. Of course, people from My Phone, if you feel like sending me one of your phones for an actual review, feel free! Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clipart

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter 6: The half-baked film

I just came home from watching Harry Potter 6, and I must say that I didn't enjoy it much. And its not because of the rather unexpected twist that most people were complaining about either. I feel that this installment is second only to Harry Potter 2 (which sucked so much they change directors after) in terms of quality or rather lack of it. And the only reason this is better is because this at least had the actors acting; in part 2, apart from the central characters, they basically relegated the other roles to mere flower vases or furniture status.

I realize that in stories like these the book tends to trump the movie primarily because of time constraint. There's no way you can show all the intricate details of the book without taking a day or two of reel time. Especially not for a book as carefully crafted and as well nuanced as this one. This is why I avoid comparing them if I can--although this is virtually impossible since there's no way for me to respond to the film as if I've never read the story or don't anticipate the story's direction. Yet, however much I forgive some of the things the director took out from the film because of time issue, I can't help but feel that he took away more than he should have. It would've been ok if time was the main reason, but I sometimes doubt this because he left in quite a number of unimportant scenes as well.

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't seen it and wish to see it first before knowing more, please skip to the last part of this entry. If you want to read it, feel free to highlight the seemingly blank space that follows.

The Quidditch tryouts could easily have been done away with since it wasn't central to the story anyway. I also felt that some of Malfoy's scene working out in the Room of Requirement were unnecessary since he didn't really appear to be mending the cabinet and seeing as we were informed what he was doing in the end anyway. A couple of them would've been just about right or maybe just showing him entering a number of times without actually showing us what were virtually incomprehensible things he was demonstrating in there.

I particularly didn't like how they removed the DA's (Dumbledore's Army) participation in the entire film considering their importance in HP5 and eventual importance in HP7. Including them would've given us the exciting ending I was anticipating, and taking them away basically left us with the weak and unsatisfying ending we received. I also hate the treatment of Dumbledore's death. Here is a main character, universally loved and valued highly, who dies so unexpectedly to be tragic, yet all they could manage for him was a wand raise? I think not. This was utterly weak and lackadaisical. It also made Harry Potter look like a wimp because he apparently hid down there while his mentor and protector was defenseless in front of his very own enemies. His subsequent attempts at avenging Dumbledore was pitiful at best.

If you're a fan of the book and plan to watch it, please don't get your hopes up. If your planning to watch this on IMax, don't bother. It's definitely not worth your money. On the other hand, go ahead, I suppose IMax might offer you a better experience that what the basic movie has to offer. I imagine I could mention dozens of other things wrong with this film if I set my heart to it but I won't. I have decided to re-read the book and use that to set the story straight in my mind.

I felt cheated. I think that this was a lazily done film, boring on most parts and whose only redeeming value is that it gets us to the next stage. I feel that the director took too much liberties in the shaping of the story and I suspect that he might not have even took the time to read the actual book. I hope somebody else does Harry Potter 7a and 7b, because if this is all I have to look forward to, I might as well skip 7a and hope that 7b remains as exciting as the author intended it to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You're the 1, Goldilocks

How to raise a picture perfect baby: A Goldilocks experience

I was told that I wasn't always the easiest baby to take a photo of.

But it wasn't long until they found something that catches my attention instantly.

It is said that from that day on, I became a happy child.

Taking baths was no longer a chore as I simply sat there mesmerized.

I even learned to walk just to be able to get to it!

And finally, I did... can you guess what it is?
My very own, mom-customized, goldilocks chiffon cake! Happy birthday to me!

You're the 1, Goldilocks because you've been there for me since year 1... (and 2... and...)

...and for making me give the cutest smile when I was still considered cute!

See? A great service to mankind huh?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Transformer 2: 2 out of 5 stars

Hey have you seen Transformer 2? Oh come on don't roll your eyes, I won't think you're a loser if you haven't. No? Ok, that's up to you. See that kind of thinking was what actually got me to see this awful film. It sucked so much it got a 19% rating in the Tomatometer. To put that score into perspective, that's even lower than what Alien VS Predator's 22 and Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl's 20. Think about that for a minute.

Yeah yeah, so a lot of people love it. I know, I'm a guy, I'm supposed to love movies where I get to see Megan Fox half naked and gigantic cars that turns into humongous robots. Still, I'd love to watch a movie where some of the stuff that goes on actually make sense and where everytime I'm awed by a honda jazz turning into a robot, I don't go "What the heck is he saying?!". But thanks to part 1, I actually enjoyed this film. See my mistake in the first one was that I went in expecting some intricate plotline and engaging twists without realizing that's beyond Michael Bay's line of expertise. In this one, I came in fully expecting nothing intelligent and crass humor to go along with it, and my expectations were more than met.

Am I contradicting myself here? Nope. It's still an awful film, enjoyable sure, but definitely not something I'd go watch again. The visuals were certainly stunning, Megan was a sight to behold, and the robots were still robots. I only wish I didn't actually go and saw this film during its opening weekend. Gateway's theater area was packed! I had to line up for an hour before I can actually get a ticket whose screening time is 2 hours away because all the other screening times were sold out. This considering all their 10 cinemas were showing this same film.

I suppose my only consolation is that even celebrities needed to line up to watch this film. Yep, that's Kenneth Duremdes (boxed face) right there lining up to watch Transformer 2.
Stalker mode!

Yet, as bad as these 2 were, I'm pretty excited about the third one. I'm itching to watch it, but only if it gets shown on 2011.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A potpourri of stuff

Just a few things I've been meaning to write about but kept putting off.
  • Ace Hardware now uses Biodegradable plastic! Wow right? What's a biodegradable plastic exactly? I've no idea except that its supposed to be good for the environment (Check out this wiki for more info).
I hope more establishments use biodegradable plastics because really, plastic is more durable. And I hate having to bring a canvass bag everywhere I go.

  • Del Monte has released 2 new flavors of its Fit 'n Right juice drink, blueberry-grape and grapefruit. Both are actually good (and contrary to my expectations, the grapefruit flavor's taste wasn't offensive at all--not like the fruit hehe), not too sweet, and perfectly refreshing. And what's more, its actually 30calories lower than its predecessors. So if you drink 3 bottles a day, you save 90 calories, which is the equivalent of 1 cup of rice (or half-cup here in the Philippines--what can I say? we love rice!) or 1 slice of white bread.
Not that I believe that L-Carnitine actually helps you lose weight, at least that claim is not backed by any randomized control trial as of yet. It has a host of other benefits though, so why not? (Here for more info).

  • Can anyone tell me what this is? Is it a butterfly? A moth? I wanted to capture it, but im not sure its safe to touch it.
Saw this on the corner of one of our windows. Its dimension is about 4x4.

  • I see this eatery a lot and always thought about giving them a try and maybe get a taste of their super pares. After all, they claim to be the home of the original right? That and they sure have a curious name. I'm a sucker for these things I guess. You wouldn't believe what they answered when I ordered their pares. "We don't have it." "You mean it's all sold out?" "I mean we don't sell them anymore."
The old home of the super pares... it has moved on to bigger and better things.
  • And finally, if you're into trading in the local stock market, my good friend Lester has started his own blog chronicling his daily transactions and the thought he put into whatever decisions he made. He also entertains questions if you're a beginner. Check him out at
  • And oh yeah! Happy anniversary to certain friends of mine who shall remain nameless until I find out if its ok to actually say their names. Good times!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Taking on the 7-Eleven's Big Bite Hotdog Eating Challenge!

I've always been a competent eater. In fact my family calls me "The Captain" because during the dying minutes of the game (massive dinner) when all seems lost (as in money down the drain because we can't finish the food), I pull out all the stops and literally eat the competition. Of course, that's always been a private thing. I've never really had a chance to join a formal competition so I'm not sure I'm any good at it. Truth is, aside from a couple of eating relays back in high school which I lost both times despite my best efforts (definitely not my fault, had incompetent teammates--well 1 in particular), I've never really had the chance to join one.

A few years ago Don Henrico had this pizza eating contest, but it didn't really appeal to me. To be quite frank, I don't like pizza all that much--just glorified bread in my opinion (of course, I've been known to change my mind). So to make the long story short, here I am in my midlife and haven't really done anything to distinguish myself... enter last Saturday!

You read that right! 7-Eleven just launched their 1st Big Bite Hotdog Eating Challenge.

Wow! Hotdog! Now that's something I can eat. And 7-Eleven''s BigBite Hotdog are not bad at all!

Yummy! Oh, but don't worry, you won't have to eat all of those. To qualify, all you need to do is eat 5 hotdogs including their buns not necessarily together at the fastest possible time. (Read the mechanics.) Top 20 goes to the semifinals! Time to beat as of July 5 is 2:58 mins. to enter the top 20, and 2:06 mins. to be no. 1. (You should also check out the leader board periodically).
ll you have to do is purchase a this box which contains 5 Jumbo Hotdog Sandwiches of a variant of your choice and 946mL of Big Gulp for P150 (you don't have to finish the drink, just the hotdogs) . The fastest eater gets to participate in the main event on August 29 at the Trinoma for a chance totake home P500,000!

Elimination round is from June 26 to August 15, 2009 at any 7-Eleven store. You can make your attempts as often as you want during Fridays 12nn to 7pm and Saturdays 10 to 5pm. Oh, and make sure you bring your friends so you have people cheering for you.

So the question is, is it really doable? 5 dogs in 2 mins.? I wasn't so sure, and I'm sure a lot of you are skeptical. So they actually flew in a competitive eating champ to give it a go.

That's the champ right in the middle, Tom "The Goose" Gilbert who downed 10 hotdogs in 3:20 mins. 10 ladies and gentlemen! Meaning he could easily do 5 in plenty under 2mins. So yes, our current no. 1 can be beaten, and can be beaten by a large margin at that.

So the question now is, do I go for it? Am I ready for fame and fortune? Am I willing to risk humiliation and hardwork? Will I finally overcome years of ignominy and obscurity? Will I carry my title "The Captain" to national fame?
In the immortal words of one Barrack Hussein Obama I respond: "Yes, I can!"

You wanna join to? Let me leave you a clip of Manny Paksiw's training for this very event under the tutelage of Freddie Roots: