Monday, January 31, 2005

Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"



"Complexity is simple. Simplicity is difficult."
-Shinsei's Shrine, Diamond Edition


This is the second law of thermodynamics.


Friday, January 21, 2005

A series of unfortunate occurences

It's been my turn to blog, and it's taken me a week and a half to be able to at least start writing. I actually have a couple of blog drafts already, but I would always not finish writing it - that by the time I would have finished it, the timeliness of the topic has already been passed.

...Like the time my brother's knee got dislocated when he was practicing dance routines for Engweek - so he wasn't able to participate in what he had prepared a year for. And he had to walk around in a cast for five entire weeks. Not to mention the heartache of not being able to do what he wanted.

...Like the fact that there was a Games and Gadgets Show (G2 Con) last Jan 7-9 in Megamall, with a three-day cosplay contest in which I participated twice. The first as Mai yet again, and the second as Cassandra of Soul Calibur 2. The costume wasn't actually finished yet, since the shield didn't have her trademark design, and the sword was ultra rushed. So rushed in fact, that when I ramped a second time and swung my sword, the blade flew off and whacked a poor audience member in the face! ^^;;; Good thing it was made mostly out of styro... I had cosplayed as a group with two of my cosplay buddies, who played Ivy (3rd player costume) and Talim (2nd player costume).

Triple R Combo! Rien as Ivy, Rinoa as Talim, and Raven as Cassandra

Picture taken by Wantan

...Like the fact that Stormcrow and I did a double-Dota session last week. Once last friday night with Alekos and Po, since my brother was conveniently playing in a VS tournament in a nearby hobby store and I was waiting for him to finish. And the second was the following saturday with Alekos and Po again, but with Glenn, and later on Ruben. At the beginning we had an odd number of players so we decided to play a public game. Unfortunately we were creamed by this group of high school guys in a game that lasted for almost 80 minutes! Gah, I was already acting tantrummy by then (that was the second game against them, I think) and I was taking it out mostly on Stormcrow (sorry! ^^;;;). Argh.. So we figured maybe we were thinking of the wrong strategies, coz I think the five of us (Ruben wasn't there yet) were pretty coordinated by that point. Neeeeeeeed more practice!!! Any takers? XD


What's probably delaying my posts are the pressure of following our established pattern, and the fact that we enjoy posting pictures, and preparing pictures take some time. Not to mention the fact that I could only write blog entries at work (since I am forever distracted whenever I am home) and by doing that at work I am wasting precious checking time - like right now! ^^;;; Not to mention that frequent complaint about the loading time of blogger's "Create New Post" page, coupled with the fact that I only have an ancient 33.6kbps modem at home. But the computers at work, even with a whopping bitrate of 10 Mbps, don't help! Mabilis nga, clogged naman yung network.. *sigh*


I notice that I have been neglecting my studies most atrociously, which doesn't bode any good since it seems that I might actually have to finish my masters here. For some reason I can never bring up the energy nor the time to get out there and start applying to foreign universities, so it looks like I might as well finish the masters here, and apply for PhD abroad. But I had a very bad start in my studies, since my advisers deemed it unnecessary for me to take back subjects even if I had shifted courses. So now I'm having a hard time catching up with the concepts where the profs assume certain things that I should have learned had I been EE in undergrad. ^^;;


Not to mention that I feel as if I'm being exploited by my direct superior. Well, yes, they did give me that extra unit credit for the "research work" that I was assigned - which is basically just to develop the syllabus for a new physics subject and the accompanying lab (and experiments - which is actually the difficult part). But now I'm actually spending more time here than I should be, and I am just part time! It's really either that, or bring my work home, which means that I will not get any work done since there are a lot of distractions at home.


Okay, I'll stop there. I need to go home na. ^_^


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Monday, January 03, 2005


When I was seven, someone gave me a zoid for christmas. It was some little dinosaur thing; my dad built it for me. Eventually I stepped on it and it died.


The nice thing about having a salary is being able to afford all the big toys you ever wanted when you were a kid. And, while I didn't have a special affinity for Zoids when I was younger, I was intrigued by the way they're motorized. So a few monts ago, I decided to get Gojulas Giga, an impressive T-Rex type Zoid.

The Box

Zoids are model kits; some assembly is required. Gojulas Giga comes in 138 parts on 19 sprues (plastic frame/sheets), plus 16 loose parts, plus caps, plus a motor. Gojulas Giga is a new design based on the old Gojulas model, so the degree of complexity is greater than that of older zoids. It took me two weekends to fully assemble Giga, though a lot of that was because I relish cutting and shaving the pieces off the sprues.

Here are the parts, still attached to sprues.

The interesting thing about Giga is that he can shift between two modes. "Attack Mode" is classic Godzilla, harking back to the day when dinosaurs were depicted as slow, lumbering beasts. In this mode, Giga's eyes glow green and he makes a stomping sound as he walks.

Attack Mode

"Pursue Mode" is the post-Jurassic Park dinosaur posture. A horizontal back and straight tail imply faster movement. In this mode, Giga's eyes glow red, and he roars as his jaw opens and closes. I kinda like this mode better.. it's more realistic as a predator than as Godzilla stomping Tokyo.

Pursue Mode

The engineering on this zoid is ingenious. The two-legged walk and arm-waving is all controlled by a single rotating axle. The head/jaw and tail each have a separate movement source though.

A closer look...

I was lucky enough to find CP10 in SM North. These "customize parts" were designed for the original Gojulas, but look just as great on Gojulas Giga. The set comes on two sprues with nine large parts.

CP10: fresh from the pack

With the large cannons attached, Giga looks heavily armed and dangerous. A thoroughly enjoyable model kit to build and display.

Armed and loaded

The Stormcrow

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