Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Step Closer...

Several years ago, it was generally thought off that buying a 3D graphics card specifically for playing games was as close to clinical insanity as one could get. Today, it is an absolute necessity, at least, to have some form of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) in your computer.

As shown by the recent demonstrations in E3, the gaming industry will still have a major effect in speeding up hardware development. After all, gaming is big business: the spending power of gamers born in the 70s and 80s is a force no one can ignore. Don't forget the kiddies, their mommies and daddies also rake in the big bucks. Now, who wouldn't want to have a piece of that pie?

What's in store for us in the next few years? Of course, faster CPUs and stronger video cards and bigger storage capacities (terabytes?). Plus cheaper and fatter pipes to the Internet. Perhaps photo-realistic, fully-interactive (destructible, changeable, etc.) environments will be a few years away. The developments in hardware will make it possible to beef up AI - tougher enemies and smarter teammates. A word of warning, though, the quality(performance) of a number of human players will always remain constant.

Les bon temps roullet!

Getting old and the love of bacon.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been having really nasty headaches. At first, I thought that it was because of the heat and the humidity. A quick check of my blood pressure solved the mystery. I was getting 140/100 on a regular basis.

It seems that eating all that bacon and hotdogs for lunch during high school, Manang's delectable 'inihaw na liempo in college, and tons of dangerously delicious food has finally caught up with me.

A quick blood test for cholesterol and triglycerides ordered by the doctor has confirmed it. My cholesterol count is 220 mg/dl but the good news is that my triglyceride level is on the lower end of the spectrum.

Now, what does this mean? Well, simply put, I'm going to have to watch what I eat from now on. The doctor's also going to put me on medication, probably on statins. And I have to start going to the gym regularly from now on. To think, I just hit 30. Ain't that a steel-toed kick in the cojones?

Anyway, I can still eat some of the stuff I love. Although my craving for the piggy delight that is bacon will have to be curbed, just a teensy bit.


In other news, I am starting a new project for the house. I've been looking around for a better cooking station to replace our old two-burner gas range. I'm strongly leaning towards the one made by La Germania. It has four high-pressure burners, one deep fryer, two convection ovens and a griddle/griller combo section. It is truly a sight to see up close. It's sleek, it's sexy, and it's made out of heavy gauge stainless steel. I can just imagine the possibilities: roast beef, baby back ribs, t-bone steak with roast marble potatoes...

Next up...

Calming down the wife.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Fresh Start?

The computer in our room was slowing down: programs took longer to open, choppy gaming, etc. There was no doubt about it, I needed to do a fresh installation of Windows XP and all the other necessary programs. It took several hours to finish but the computer is in tip-top shape once again. Oh how I 'eagerly' await the next clean-up.

It got me thinking, if only our society was this easy to fix. The crime rate going up? Wipe society out and start again. Poverty on the rise? Go Old Testament on society's ass: Finger of God and all. Drastic? Yes. Impossible? Not really.

Look around. People, who can afford to, prefer to live in gated communities, shielded from the 'bleak' life outside its walls. The inhabitants enjoy manicured lawns, well-lit streets, top-of-the-line security, and excellent recreational facilities and utilities. What's the catch? The trade off is that they have to follow a strict set of rules, ranging from the trash collection procedures to visitor schedules. The good thing is, creating and managing a micro-society is not so overwhelming, yes?

Perhaps the reason why so many housing projects are being built is to address the need for a fresh start - albeit subconsciously. Taglines like "A brighter future..." and "A dream come true..." alongside pictures of a sunrise and a flock of seagulls can be seen in pamphlets and posters advertising new projects.

Maybe it's an escapist attitude. After all, one wouldn't expect to see vagrants sleeping and begging on the streets of Forbes Park or drunks shouting, "PARE!!! TOMA MUNA!!!" while one walks to the village chapel for Sunday Mass.

Perhaps it is my slightly pessimistic nature, but Man always finds ways to screw things up for himself. Then it's time to start all over again.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Me and my pet - A quiet morning in the forest.

Welcome to the World of Warcraft.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Devil Called...

Well, it is official. This place has become hotter than Hell.

How hot is it? I took a shower right after lunch expecting to be hit by a torrent of cool water, but that was not the case. To say that the water was hot would be an understatement, I could have boiled an egg with it.

I stepped out of the shower and dried myself and upon opening the door out, I blast of hot air welcomed me from the hallway. As I walked towards my room, I could feel errant water droplets on my back evaporate and sweat starting to form over my brow.

As I entered my room, I gave a silent prayer of thanks to the inventor of the air conditioner and to General Electric. Let me tell you, they do bring good things to Life.

A Difficult Choice.

I admit, I am quite worried about the proposed wage increase demanded requested by the labor groups.

A P150 increase would really do a great deal of harm to a great number of businesses, especially the small businesses. There are a great number of establishments already struggling to survive in the face of domestic and foreign competition.

The wage boards should seriously consider the ramifications of the decisions they are being asked to make. Of the wage increase, there is no doubt that there will be one. The critical point is the amount. There has to be a balance in all this. The problem, therefore, is how to achieve that balance. Should the wage board give in to the demands by the labor groups and approve a wage hike? If so, how much should the increase be? Too high and businesses cut expenses or close down. Too low and the workers would suffer. If not, what other options can they offer to ease the hardship being faced by the minimum wage earners?

My point of view: It is a wonder; the unemployment rate is quite high, and yet a wage increase is still being demanded at this time. The economy is picking up quite a bit, but how would the wage increase factor in its sustainability? I would feel more comfortable if a buffer were put in place, perhaps a deferment until the unemployment rate is down to more manageable levels. It would be a long and difficult process, but not an impossible one.