Manila Office Life

26 July 2005

More Home PC Woes

My computer hates me.

Why do I say this? I had some problems with it before when some really severe voltage fluctuations burned out my PC's power supply. This was, of course, easily remedied as power supply parts are cheap and readily available. The technician who fixed her up advised me to reformat my hard drive and re-install all my software to avoid file corruption. According to him, the PC would be good for a few days (during which time I was supposed to archive my important documents) before giving in to corrupted data packets or some such.

Of course, being an obedient fellow, I promptly archived all of my files (mostly clips of TV episodes I planned on watching when I had the chance) to keep in a safe place. After which, I went through the tedious and laborious process of re-installing Windows XP.

This went on for quite a while. Aside from simple Windows XP, I had to download and install all the hardware drivers for my PC's various components. Having done so (at great trouble, mind you), I proceeded to download and install the necessary tools of the trade for all netizens. Tools of the trade = firewall and antivirus software. Now, I was ready to rock and roll. Everything was going so well until I decided to install my original store-bought version of Neverwinter Nights (NWN).

Now, I'd played the game before with no problems at all on my pre-burned-out PC. I had noticed that the system would hang after roughly 10 minutes running NWN prior to my reformat and reinstall. I assumed this would no longer be a problem.

I was wrong.

Right on cue, the system seized up and refused to budge without a hard reset. Damn. Not a software problem then but a hardware failure. The graphics card perhaps? Or a malfunctioning memory chip on the motherboard? Duh?!? What the hell did a bloke like me know about this?

Now, I have to archive everything all over again (having downloaded some slam bang new stuff) and then send it back to the shop. All that effort just went for naught.


20 July 2005

Which Jedi Are You?

Found this very amusing quiz online.

Check it out here.

The Hump

We always refer to wednesdays as The Hump.

Once you get past a wednesday, it's pretty much an accelerated run to friday, which is probably one of our favorite days of the week, 2nd only to saturdays. We played badminton with our boss last night. It was our first time to see him play and, although he had hinted that he was a varsity badminton player a long time ago, his skill level still impressed us. This despite the fact that he hadn't played in years. Needless to say, he kicked our respective a$$e$ last night.

Just watched Fantastic Four (FF) and If Only. FF was actually an enjoyable movie. I know the critics are panning it but, hey, I'm a member of the viewing public and I had fun watching the movie. I don't really care if the plot was contrived, the cinematography was poor, or the acting was cardboard, I still had loads of fun watching the thing.

The other movie, If Only (Paul Nicholls, Jennifer Love Hewitt), was a sappy chick flick that I watched with some of the ladies from the office. I had managed my expectations on this one, thinking that it was your basic sappy romance movie. I was right. There was very little depth to it and, amazingly enough, I ended up enjoying it more than my seatmates. Managed expectations can be a very powerful thing, after all.

It's been a week that my home PC is nonfunctional. I've been pestering my supplier to get it fixed but he's been way busy with other projects. I'll see if I can find the time to fix it myself. I think I can but I'm just too busy (read: lazy) to do it.

Anyway, we've got couples tonight after a dinner at The Old Spaghetti House. I've never eaten there and hopefully it'll be good. I'll let ya know in a future post.

Back to the grind, people. Ciao!

12 July 2005

More Rallies

There's another rally going on outside our building, at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas.

One wonders what the organizers are trying to prove. From the 15th floor, I can't really hear them but my friends tell me they are asking the President to resign. Fat chance.

What I'd really like to see is all those people in the rally get real jobs and go to work. The reason they have the time to go there is because they are unemployed, after all. Many of these people are paid by the organizers to attend these rallies, swelling attendance and making it seem as if more people are swayed to their cause. You can get a rallyist for as little as Php150 (US$3) a day.

They are blocking traffic and making it extremely difficult for regular workers (like yours truly) to get home after a hard day's labor. Thus, the honest workers are penalized and the lazy good-for-nothings are rewarded. Such a travesty!

On a separate note, I spent last weekend in a relatively quiet manner. The week just past was, after all, full of drinking and partying. We had a big-shot guest from head office visiting, after all, and he was a swell bloke, really. Too much alcohol during the weekdays = relaxed, laid back, very little alcohol during the weekends.

Fairly uneventful times except for the political events. Don't really care for them, myself.


08 July 2005

World in Flux

I woke up this morning to a very different world.

On the international front, London has been hit by terrorist bombs. Details for this can be found here. I will not bother to go into specifics. The news networks have far more information than I and I'm no authority on terrorists or al-Qaeda or whatever. All I can say is that no one deserves this. My prayers are with the victims of this attack and their families. May you find peace in a world gone mad and hateful.

On the local front, things are just as chaotic. For those unfamiliar with the local situation here in the Philippines, find out more here. Again, I won't go into details. The tragedy here, unlike the one in London, is a political one and controllable by the parties concerned if only they would sit down and speak plainly. Unfortunately, I think the politicians here have lost the ability to speak plainly and honestly. Lying is a survival trait among local politicians here. Sad. Sad.

Hopefully, the weekend will bring peace and calm. Again, I would enjoin all readers to pray for the victims of the London bombing tragedy and their families. Pray also for the enlightenment of our local leaders, that they may get it through their thick impenetrable neanderthal skulls that their positions are for the benefit of the people and not for themselves.

I definitely need a beer tonight.

06 July 2005

The Morning After

I will never drink scotch ever again.

Up to this point, my drinking has always been confined to beer and wine. I have instinctively avoided hard drinks (i.e. vodka, tequila, scotch, etc), deeming them too much for me to handle. This was proven right last night when, after a night of drinking wine (our group of 7 people polished off 5 bottles of cabernet), our guest went on to scotch.

As hosts, we had to join him in this endeavor. After a few scotch-sevens, it was basically the beginning of the end for me. I woke up this morning with a hangover the size of Manhattan and got to work at 10.30am (my call time is 8.30am, btw).

Stupendous. I still have a headache. Where's that paracetamol?

Never again.

05 July 2005

Thought for the Day

I've been exploring the blog of this amazing woman. Check it out here and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, one of her entries had a thought that really struck me. It goes like this (and I hope she doesn't mind that I copied some of her thoughts into this blog)...

"Without risk, there is no serendipity. Life would be exceedingly dull. And a dull life is one not worth living."

Words to live by. 'Nuff said.

Of Movies and Sobriety

It's a pretty grey day today.

The weather gods have chosen to gift our fair city with copious amounts of rain accompanied by a dollop of gusty winds. This basically translates to monstrous traffic and a positively inconvenient couples scene. After all, who would want to slog through rain to a bar, have a few drinks, then slog back. The experience of the bar disappears in the sheer trouble one has to go through to get there and back. Ah well, I needed a break from alcohol anyway.

Surprisingly enough, I was sober the entire weekend. Friday found me at a birthday get-together of a friend in the condo unit of another friend. There, we had homemade lasagna, cheese fondue, and chocolate fondue with red wine. All this food was accompanied by viewings of Grey's Anatomy, an amazing medical series that we have recently discovered. Check it out at this site, if you're interested. We finished at 3am and, although we had red wine, I didn't drink much and went home sober.

Saturday night found me watching a movie, Monster-in-Law, with a good friend. We watched the last main feature (10:40pm) which ended around midnight. After dinner at her place, which was delicious btw, we headed over to Eastwood which is located nearby. The movie was surprisingly good with Jane Fonda providing an inspired performance. We decided to skip drinks that night as I (and she) felt that I needed an alcohol break. No arguments there.

I never have alcohol on sunday, unless there's no work on monday.

And so I find myself at work again today, slaving away for the corporate machine. Ah, such is life. Btw, does anyone know of a player that plays AVI files similar to the way an iPod plays MP3 files? Any feedback would be great.


01 July 2005

It's Friday (AT LAST!)

I do believe this is the longest-running blog I've ever written.

So, dear readers, let's give each other a round of applause! *clap clap clap*

Work was fairly hectic this week, what with me coming back from HK and having to catch up with the missed deadlines and all. But then, you don't really want to hear about that boring crap, right?

As far as the week being eventful work-wise, the week was also fairly eventful event-wise. Let's see what happened the past couple days.

Tuesday. This was most hectic as I had just come back from holiday and had to contend with huge amounts of email and work. Nevertheless, I had determined to watch Batman Begins and did so with great gusto. After the movie, we headed to ñ, a hip spanish restaurant that featured paella and other great pica pica style dishes. After eating, we went to Good Earth Roasts just a walk away to have a couple beers. Got home at 2am. Good times.

Wednesday. Got to work late since I got home pretty wasted the night previous. We had a scheduled branch visit that afternoon which would last until the evening since there was some work that needed to be done and we were supervising. Just across the street was an Italian restaurant, Italianni's, where we had food and beers (again, I know). But this was work-related, right? After all, we were SUPERVISING. Got home at midnight.

Thursday. Not much scheduled today although there was an event at Miladay Jewellery that I was going to attend with some friends. The event was mostly for work since our department was sponsoring it and it was meant to highlight one of our products. Afterwards, we headed to Chili's in Greenbelt 1 for a few more beers (do you sense a trend here?) that included more food. Got home at, once again, midnight.

Now, it's Friday. If my other posts are any indication, tonight will prove to be eventful once again. I'll of course be posting a summary of the night's events here soon. Admittedly, I don't get to post as much or as often as I'd like but this is Manila Office Life, after all. This Worker still has to make a living.

And, to quote a wise phrase from a foolish man, "Be excellent to each other!"