Mar 12 2017

Again, a stroke

Adel Gabot

11:35AM

I had another stroke.

Well, according to the MRI, I’ve had several. Some small ones, and one major one.

Put me out of sorts for a while.

This is why I’ve been out of commission for a while now.

Don’t worry. I’m fine.

This is compounded by some technical disasters. One, my big TV wonked out. On the morning of the Oscars, all I could hear was Jimmy Kimmel talking, I couldn’t see anything. No picture. For another. my big iMac died on me. Bad hard drive. Same with the MacBook Pro.

I revived the notebook. At a loss. I had to give up one of my external drives. One I was using as Media Drive 3. But things are more or less fine now, I”m using it to write this entry.

I donr have the patience to write anymore. An Explore Philippines assignment came in during this period, and I barely finished ir, I barely made it rhrough. i don’t even like writing in this blog.


Dec 15 2016

Rogue One

Adel Gabot

4:23PM

I just came from the first early afternoon screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the Gateway Atmos theater in Cubao. Thought I’d treat myself to a movie and a big bucket of popcorn, it being close to Christmas, after all.

I’d long given up on watching movies in a theater, it being cheaper and more convenient to just torrent them and watch them at the home theater setup in the house. Of course I’m weeks late to the party, as these new movies take a while to surface. I just save particular movies as treats to myself to watch in the classic old manner. The last one I saw (in the same theater) was Doctor Strange. It being a much-hyped Marvel superhero epic, I thought it deserved the Classic treatment.

So Rogue One. Finally, a Stars Wars movie made for adults! Now this is the movie made for the original classic generation that saw the first SW movie in the theater in 1977, and lived through the ballyhooed successive generations of the sequels in real time.

First off, departing from the norm, there are no rolling, up-slanted credits in the beginning. Also, there are no Jedis, no funny droids (save for K2SO), no wondrous aliens, no lightsabers (at least until Vader shows up), no invincible villains (save for Osric), and has plenty of callbacks to the original films, even involving actors who are dead or impossibly old, done up in CG. Director Gareth Edwards even found a way to make his movie dovetail perfectly into the opening sequence of the old first movie, but I don’t want to spoil that surprise for you.

Spoilers incoming! There’s lots of action scenes, and every single one of the team meet their demise in the course of the events in the film. All in all, it’s a nice adult set-up for the first trilogy, even settling that age-old saw about how the Death Star could have such a sensitive spot in its structure that a single proton torpedo exploded in that particular spot could end it.

I daresay I like it even much better than the last SW sequel, The Force Awakens, which was meant for a broader, younger audience. Let that be the last thing I say before I come out with a proper review of Rogue One.

 


Dec 2 2016

First World Problems

Adel Gabot

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8:23AM

I am so struck by how different our lives are, between a first-world developed country like the United States and ours, a third-world backwater republic called the Philippines.

I regularly monitor the tech beat, you know, just to keep up with what’s new in the world, and I am often amazed by the kind of world-crushing problems Americans regularly complain about. Like what internet-connected automated locks they should pick for their front door, or what dishwasher with the best all-around features they should buy, while we here worry about simple things like how to put the next meal on the table.

So I am very, very amused to happen upon this sad sack story about a First World Problem on an American website called Apartment Therapy. The post is entitled “Getting a Roomba For The Holidays? Learn From This Family’s Poopocalypse.”

In short, this family’s Roomba was set to automatically clean the house at 1:30AM every night. Little did they know that sometime during one night, their dog had pooped on the rug in their living room. As a result, their Roomba had run over the fresh poop and then went on its merry way cleaning the whole house in the night while they family was asleep. And spreading the shit all over.

To quote Jessie, the hapless home owner:

It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be on your kids’ toy boxes. If it’s near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house. Our lovable Roomba, who gets a careful cleaning every night, looked like it had been mudding. Yes, mudding – like what you do with a Jeep on a pipeline road. But in poop.

Then, when your four-year-old gets up at 3am to crawl into your bed, you’ll wonder why he smells like dog poop. And you’ll walk into the living room. And you’ll wonder why the floor feels slightly gritty. And you’ll see a brown-encrusted, vaguely Roomba-shaped thing sitting in the middle of the floor with a glowing green light, like everything’s okay. Like it’s proud of itself. You were still half-asleep until this point, but now you wake up pretty damn quickly.

And then the horror. Oh the horror.

So, first you clean the child. You scrub the poop off his feet and put him back in bed. But you don’t bother cleaning your own feet, because you know what’s coming. It’s inevitable, and it’s coming at you like a freight train. Some folks would shrug their shoulders and get back in bed to deal with it in the morning. But you’re not one of those people – you can’t go to sleep with that war zone of poop in the living room.

So you clean the Roomba. You toss it in the bathtub to let it soak. You pull it apart, piece-by-piece, wondering at what point you became an adult and assumed responsibility for 3:30am-Roomba-disassembly-poop-cleanups. By this point, the poop isn’t just on your hands – it’s smeared up to your elbows. You already heard the Roomba make that “whirlllllllllllllllll-boop-hisssssssss” noise that sounds like electronics dying, and you realize you forgot to pull the battery before getting it wet. More on that later.

Oh, and you’re not just using profanity – you’re inventing new types of profanity. You’re saying things that would make Satan shudder in revulsion. You hope your kid stayed in bed, because if he hears you talking like this, there’s no way he’s not ending up in prison.

Then you get out the carpet shampooer. When you push it up to the rug – the rug that started it all – the shampooer just laughs at you. Because that rug is going in the trash, folks. But you shampoo it anyway, because your wife loved that damn rug, and you know she’ll ask if you tried to clean it first.

Then you get out the paper towel rolls, idly wondering if you should invest in paper towel stock, and you blow through three or four rolls wiping up poop. Then you get the spray bottle with bleach water and hose down the floor boards to let them soak, because the poop has already dried. Then out comes the steam mop, and you take care of those 25-ft poop trails.

And then, because it’s 6am, you go to bed. Let’s finish this tomorrow, right?

The next day, you finish taking the Roomba apart, scraping out all the tiny flecks of poop, and after watching a few Youtube instructional videos, you remove the motherboard to wash it with a toothbrush. Then you bake it in the oven to dry. You put it all back together, and of course it doesn’t work. Because you heard the “whirlllllllllllllll-boop-hissssssss” noise when it died its poopy death in the bathtub. But you hoped that maybe the Roomba gods would have mercy on you.

Wow. Wow. But serves you right, you coddled, spoiled first-worlders with your fancy Roombas!

More about this hilarity from Jessie’s Facebook Page.


Nov 27 2016

Watching TV in a live concert

Adel Gabot

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8:28AM

I was rewatching Adele: Live in New York City this morning, and I noticed a curious thing: whenever the footage switched to a combined shot showing Adele in the foreground and a large video monitor showing the live concert in the background, I found myself unconsciously watching the video monitor instead of the more accessible, vibrant foreground of the actual concert.

Eh? What the hell?

I remember catching myself doing the same thing in actual live concerts, and have to consciously remind myself to watch the actual damn show happening right in front of me instead of watching it on a monitor. I didn’t pay an inordinate amount to go to a live show and just watch television in a concert hall, dammit.

I think this is a consequence of our incessant media watching that it’s become an ingrained and unconscious habit to turn to a video monitor and watch when one presents itself. Even when it’s doing a redundant function such as providing better visuals of a live concert to the cheap seats far in the back.

It’s not as if I can help it. It’s an automatic response, a Pavlovian reaction. I don’t even think about it, I just do it. It’s a function of the current technological stage we’re living in that we unconsciously watch a video monitor whenever there’s one around, regardless of the situation or environment at that time. It’s so deep-seated as to be a fundamental instinct.

We have to remind ourselves that there’s a time and a place for everything, and when the actual reason for the video coverage is happening right there, in flesh and blood, breathing and thinking and reacting, singing and dancing and acting, we need to watch that actual thing instead of watching reproduced pixels and phosphors on a bright screen. When the actual thing is long gone, or the actual thing is not happening in front of us and we don’t have easy access to it, then that’s the time we consider watching the footage on video.

So there.

Wala lang. Just ranting.


Nov 23 2016

I forgot—again

Adel Gabot

10:40AM

Here I go again, forgetting that malls now open at 11AM instead of the customary 10AM for the Christmas season. I went to Cubao at 9:58AM (Cubao is my base of operations of late), and realized that, once again, I was an hour early to do anything constructive here. Crap.

Now I have to kill time at the Ali Mall Starbucks. Unlike the mall, they opened at 8. But I wasn’t in the particular mood for coffee; I just had some Barako before leaving the house, and I was still buzzing from it. So I’m just sitting here passing away the time until the malls open and idly writing a blog post.

It started here. Ali Mall began their new one-hour-later schedule last week, earlier than all the other malls, and that was a painful lesson to learn, but I managed to after a couple of days of killing the extra hour off. I just hadn’t realized the other malls in Cubao, and presumably malls all over Metro Manila, had joined the club.

I’m actually here to load up my PayMaya Visa credit card, the only card I have at the moment, having painfully learned my fiscal lessons long ago. It’s actually more of a debit card, and it has to have sufficient funds to buy the stuff you’re ordering first before it lets you buy them. Which is just how I like it: a credit card that doesn’t incur any credit.

It took me a while before I could work off the immense credit card debt I had amassed before, and I wasn’t going through that mess again. I didn’t have the necessary discipline to have a credit card, I guess. I’m buying some stuff online, and need to deposit funds into the card so I could. Which was why I was here.

I could have loaded the cash into the card at the SM Payment Center of their grocery at the basement of SM Cubao; they were open at 8, but I found out this morning that only the Payment Center on the 3rd floor had the ability to load PayMaya cards. So I had to wait for it to open at 11.

So, it’s almost 10 and the mall itself is almost open, and I can walk through the causeway directly to the 3rd floor of SM and finally load up my card. Here we go.

Sheesh, what a waste of an hour.

At least I got to write this.