Archive for November, 2012

The High Price of Entertainment

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Movies, Music
Tags: ,

Last Friday, before going home, I passed by one of the music+video stores at the mall. I looked around, browsing their selections of DVDs, VCDs (yes, they’re still selling those) and Blu-ray discs.

Going in, I didn’t have any particular movie or album in mind. But since I was already there anyway, I might as well look for anything interesting that I might add to my library.

Displayed prominently were new movie releases in DVD format. Fancy owning the latest film on disc? It’ll cost you Php 750 at the minimum. You can opt for the “cheaper” VCD format, but aside from the decidedly lower quality, “cheap” isn’t really cheap. For regular employees, it’ll cost about a day’s salary to buy one. Maybe more.

I looked around on the old releases section, where semi-recent and not so recent movies were on display. They were cheaper, some way more, a few not by much, while others not at all. I knew from previous visits that sometimes, they would put some titles on sale, somewhere along the lines of 199 or something like 2 for 299. But those titles are B- or lower-grade movies, and for the extremely unsellable titles, you may find them valued at 99. If you know your movies, you can sometimes find a few gems in there; most of the times, though, they really are actually just garbage.

Local movie titles are even bigger offenders. Even old releases are tagged at 600 a copy. The irony is, some of the lower grade foreign movies in the bargain bin are still leagues away in entertainment value over most of these local titles.

Frustrated, I moved to the music section next. They offer a wide range of genres, with pop culture icons taking center stage. They have a “hard to find” area where selections are high up there in terms of price. I’m really not buying the “hard to find” label, and certainly not willing to pay the high premium just to listen to say, Lionel Richie.

The price tags made me back away from that area almost immediately.

To have something worth the visit to the store, I decided to check if they had any albums from a rock/alternative band I like. No such luck. Not even their “hard-to-find” section offered anything remotely similar.

So I checked the pop section instead, looking at some bands or names I may recognize.

After examining a couple albums and looking at the others on display, it was clear to me – I’m not buying anything. Those prices were really prohibitive! 450 to 550 were the going rate far as I could tell. Those albums that I looked at had a couple of songs that I think were okay; was it worth it to pay the extra hundreds in case the other 8 songs sucked?

See anything wrong here? A title/content may not be available, or if it does, either slap in some retarded marketing label such as hard-to-find or “imported” and jack the prices two- or three-times up, or just straight-out price them ridiculously high. Is this the music and movie industry’s way of convincing people not to pirate content?


The Lumia 710 has a 5 MP camera to the back with no front-facing one. For shots in clear daylight it’s good enough, but take a shot under a shade and you’re in for some unpleasant discovery. Oi, the camera sucks! Big time!

Even the Samsung Jet I owned almost three years ago beats this pos when it comes to the camera.

That said, I discovered something that I at least enjoy when using it…. Panorama shots. I just have to make sure there’s enough more than enough ambient light before snapping pictures.

Here are some shots I took:

A certain comedian-turned-senator is at it again, this time hinting that esteemed JFK is himself a plagiarist.

How low can you go?

The Filipino people is a people that is very forgiving. Whether or not that is a good thing is up for debate. So why has this become such a huge debacle?

I think that the issue took root, not because of the act of copying without attribution itself, but because of the bullish hard-headed stance that the comedian took to save face. Instead of bowing down and owning up to his faux pas, he arrogantly challenged anyone and everyone who dared raise the question on ethical grounds.

Instead of taking the gentleman’s way of admitting that, yes, it was a mistake and it was a wrong thing to do, apologize for it and move on, the jester huffed and puffed, “So sue me!”

He did give a half-,  or was it a quarter-?, hearted apology to the late US Senator’s family, but still not admitting any wrong-doing. It’s the equivalent of the Arroyo’s “I am sorry!” stint. No genuine feeling of regret, no intention of making amends.

Now he’s trying to drag the dead into the whole issue. As a Filipino, I feel so ashamed that a person such as this is sitting as a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.

So I’ve tried the iOS app and it proved to be a nice way to post blogs on the go. Now, I’ll try it on another platform – Windows Phone 7.5 Mango on a Nokia Lumia 710 phone.

Typing isn’t as easy owing to the small screen, but it’s actually quite decent. Not too bad if I set the screen on landscape. Even on portrait mode, I’m surprised that the experience isn’t discouraging. The responsiveness and smoothness with which the characters I enter gets displayed really gives the whole thing a positive spin.

Now to try out adding some pictures…

Hmn, this one is a bit off-kilter. While it’s easy to add photos or videos, I only get the option to put them before or after content.

The photos added are listed on a separate area, and as with iOS, each needs to be placed individually. The difference is that in iOS you can insert a photo and add some more text, then maybe add a couple more pictures and close it down with some final words. It doesn’t seem to be that way here.

And I don’t see a preview button anywhere.

After countless Iron-man figures, hit-or-miss Avengers characters, you think you finally have your collection complete.

But the Avengers franchise is too big a cash cow for HT to let up… Case in point, here’s the latest of the Avengers characters to get immortalized as a collectible 1/6th figure – Agent Phil Coulson.




The figure looks great, but I’m still undecided whether to order one or not.

Trying Out The WordPress iOS App

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Hobbies, Technoloy

It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, but being on twitter sort of gives you the immediate satisfaction of blurting out what you wanna say.

I’ve had this iPad for more than half a year now, and though I’ve downloaded the WordPress app early on, I’ve never really used it. Today the app got an update, and I though why not check it out.

So here we are, three paragraphs on with really nothing to say.

This is the longest I’ve typed on this device, and it’s not that bad. I need to backtrack every now and then but typing on the virtual keyboard is faster than I ever thought it would.

Since I’ve not anything special in mind as I began tinkering on this app, I’ll just post some random pictures off m camera roll…


This is the box of my latest HotToys collection – the Hawkeye figure. No, I won’t be opening it anytime soon as I don’t have a dust-free display cabinet yet. This is my twelfth 1/6 figure.


After more than a month, the only campaign I’ve completed the emblems for on the new Resident Evil 6 game is Chris’. The rewards are virtual figures of Chris Redfield, Piers Nivans, various Bio-Organic Weapons they bested, and this.



This is the Collector’s Edition Uncharted 3 box… The game’s story is epic, the visual aspect pure eye candy… But lack of costumes killed its replay-ability for me.

So that’s it. We’ll see how often I get to post back on this blog. I still prefer working on Windows Live Writer, but for on-the-go blogging, I can see the appeal of this setup.