Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Frustration and Elation, Then Back Again.

Frustration...

As I have posted a few days ago, I bought my wife a copy of 'The Sims 2'. The graphics is miles ahead of the first game, as well as the things a player can do in the environment. But like all first edition releases, problems are to be expected. In our case, the game would run flawlessly for the first half hour or so. And then without any warning, it would grind to a halt; no activity whatsoever.

I had a feeling that my wife would suddenly forget her marital obligations unless I get this fixed. So what's a man to do? I searched the publisher's website in hopes of finding a solution. Wouldn't you know it, a lot of people seem to be having the same problems. Many of them sound desperate enough to probably be in the same situation as I. Yeah, men can be forced to stop and ask for directions with the appropriate incentive.

No such luck. They were as clueless as I was. Sure there were the staple, "Update your graphics card drivers", etc. But I've done all of those things already, I'm not THAT stupid, just desperate. My final recourse was to man-handle the beast that is Windows XP. After an hour of prodding and testing, I was down to only one step. I made the final adjustment and then ran the game again.

Elation...

It worked! The game ran without a hitch. My wife's quite happy, and so was I. But then I thought, 'She's been playing that game for the last five hours'.

And then it dawned on me, I'm back to where I started.

Friday, September 17, 2004

12 Steps Short.

I knew the day has come when I would have to relinquish lordship over the dominion otherwise known as 'the PC'. Sims 2 has finally landed on our shores and I, in my all-consuming passion to please my beloved wife, rushed out and bought a copy. A 'Special Edition', no less.

For the past couple of weeks, I have had unquestioned control over the computer; indulging in my new addiction, City of Heroes. But with the arrival of the dreaded 'eater-of-time', those days are coming to an end. I will just have to console myself that she has to sleep sometime.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Change...

Several days ago, my wife and I got to watch the pilot episode of 'Joey'. Yeah, Joey Tribiani's back and has moved to the City of Angels to follow his dreams of making it big as an actor. The main theme of that episode is about change, the need to strike out and face the unknown.

The pilot episode was hilarious, save for the performance of Joey's new agent. Funny thing is, her performance was forgettable maybe that's why I can't seem to recall her name. Ah there, thanks to IMDB.com, her name's Bobbi. Maybe I'm just used to the performances of the cast and extras of 'Friends'.

Anyway, here's to Matt and crew. Success and a long run.

And speaking of change... A week or two ago, the giant mall operator, SM, decided to ban all R-18 movies from being shown in their movie theaters. It was a long time coming, but better late than never. This move caused several movie producers and a lot of B movie rate starlets to protest the ban. Sure I like R-18 movies as much as the next guy, but the movies these producers make and these actresses perform in are 'straight-to-video' quality at best, it simply is not worth the money spent to buy tickets.

Several well-known and respected directors have voiced their opinions in support of the SM ban, and I agree with them. It's time for a change.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Anonymous Inc.

I have never been a very social person, contrary to what my wife says. I prefer to be in the company of a small, but very close, group of friends. I feel the same way when it comes to the way I do business.

This afternoon, several mediamen dropped by the Villa. They wanted to do a piece about the place, which will also include my dad's new passion, building hogs (motorbikes). I was ordered by my father to entertain the guests and, if needed, give some taped interviews. He must have seen the look on my face because he added, "You're in the restaurant business, you have to learn how to interact with people. Even the ones you don't like. You have to make them believe that they're your new best friend."

I was thinking to myself,"Maybe that's why I hired a manager to face the guests in the first place." I also gave the manager a standing order not to introduce me to anyone unless I break the 'bubble'. This has always been the case since we first started, and I'm not about to change that for the new guests. I can learn a lot about a person just by listening to how they interact with my people. And if I feel that I have enough information regarding the person, I approach and offer my hand to the guest. That's just the way I do things, much to the disappointment of my dad.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Competition, a Dirty Business

I was just informed by several, and unconnected, sources that I was partially responsible for the closure of several entertainment establishments in my area; my competitors. Although that is good news, I am somewhat bothered by it. On one hand, it will mean more business for me. But on the other, dozens of people have been left unemployed.

I have tried to keep the prices of my products at least a third lower than the competition; consoling myself to getting my profits through volume of sales. In fact, it has been three years since I had a major increase in product prices. But there's no way around it, I will be forced to raise prices once again; the prices of goods have already increased forty percent since 2001.

Competition in business has never been honorable; same way with war or courtship for that matter. The winner gets to gloat, well, until he loses. I have no intention of losing.

Busted...

It happened a few weeks ago. The shop was selling airsoft guns and equipment in a very conspicuous place, a shopping mall. Details are a bit sketchy but several details seem to be pretty consistent.

An undercover agent entered the store and asked to see several items on the display case. And when the clerk took out the items and handed it to the agent, backup arrived and announced a raid. All the items in the store were catalogued and confiscated. The cops said that the shop was in violation of an ordinance prohibiting the sale of equipment for firearms without a permit. Even though the items being referred to were for toy guns, the warrant was still applicable since the cops said that it could still be used on real guns.

And as a result of that incident, several other stores that sell the replicas have become more careful in their dealings with strangers. So far, the gamesites are pretty safe since almost all are held in private properties and no one has complained about them.

Here's to hoping that things settle down as soon as possible.