Friday, January 4

Crisis Averted

EDIT: To clarify the situation yesterday, my iPhone didn't just spontaneously go crazy- it seemed to have been caused when my Mac restarted after an update download, and something weird happened with iTunes (though I didn't update iTunes). Afterwards, when I synced, that dreaded yellow bar of consumed but inaccessible space took up the whole bar of my iPhone's memory. With no other recourse, I had to attempt a restore, using firmware I downloaded and an app named INdependence. The process of reactivating the then-restored but locked phone was straightforward and easy, which just steams me up when I remember how I paid about 2K for the service from a tech in Greenhills, and they even made me think that it was frickin' hard to do. Bastards. In any case, I feel that yesterday's bungle was a blessing in disguise, since now I know I can restore my phone whenever something like this happens again.

Anyway, it took me until midnight, but I managed to get my phone customized and loaded with apps again, which is great. Everything's cool once more, and the iLife goes on. Wonderful!

Just before lunch today, out of the blue, my Apple iPhone suddenly goes bonkers. My videos and music disappear, but the space they consumed is still unavailable and unusable- kind of like someone having a bad case of gas. I could still use the phone features and apps, but as an iPod the phone was kaput. It was the kind of error/screw-up that required nothing less than a Restore, which, basically, returns your device to factory settings. For iPods, this is nothing more than an inconvenience. For our country's hacked, unlocked iPhones, it's a bit more trouble. That's because we can't simply restore our phones and have everything go back to normal. Nope, if you just restore from iTunes with the default settings, Apple will make sure your phone becomes a very expensive-looking brick.

Months ago, my first reaction would have been to pace around like a headless chicken, do something drastic and rush all the way to the nearest hacker/tech to fork over the several thousand peso-fee to restore the device to working order. Luckily, I had done some homework and had the software and files needed to do the deed without much trouble. I was able to restore my phone to factory settings, then activate it once more.

Things aren't back to 100 percent just yet- the phone's working fine now, with all my contacts (saved to iCal, thankfully so I didn't have to re-input everything by hand again) and media back and available. However, all my third-party apps and games are gone, so I have to work on installing them and customizing the darn thing again so it looks like the cool, slick myPhone of yesterday. Nothing a good hour with a stable WiFi connection shouldn't be able to fix.

But man, that was scary for a while. I got through it though and things should hopefully go better now that I've experienced a second major breakdown and survived. You really gotta have quite a bit of nerve to own a hacked iPhone, but darn... just one look at the device makes it all worthwhile. Heh.

Wednesday, January 2

High Resolution

So, it's the New Year. What about some resolutions on how I'll be going about things from now on? Well, let's see...

For starters, I resolve to blog more often and blog better this year. I have to admit... the MADness ran thin last year. I miss the good ol' days of Ants in the Scanner, the Taxi Driver with a Frog's Voice and the Cellular Phone Theft MRT Incident. Now, I don't plan on encountering criminal scum ever, but I'll try my best to post more interesting, funny, entertaining, insightful, informative or just plain MAD rants and raves to tell you all as we go along. I owe it to all of you who take the time getting your retinas seared by my page's crimson coloring.

I have to watch my back. Literally. From now on, I have to make sure to take frequent stretch breaks and walking time at The Salt Mines. Every hour, every so often, I have to just tear myself away from the keyboard, the laptop and the desk and just let the body move naturally. It'll save me sleepless nights contorting in The Sanctum, pain lancing up and down the spine and lower back. Maybe I should get an hourglass or something to keep me updated on the time. We'll see.

More Comics. Mangaholix Presents is still on my plate this year, but I do plan on publishing my own stuff as well in 2008. It may be something familiar, but then again it could be something totally new. I'll keep you all informed right here. Yeah, I do intend to draw it as well as write it. Okay then.

That's enough for now. It's all just for starters. Small steps, but I think they're gonna go far in making sure that 2008 is cool as school. I don't want to make big promises I can't keep. We'll see if the year proves me right or wrong. Or can I count on all of you for that? Let's get moving then.

Tuesday, January 1


What's past is prologue! This year looks great, and I for one am glad it's here. We just had a simple but perfect New Year's dinner last night, and after the meal we watched the fireworks from the front yard and greeted each other Happy 2008. I am looking forward to more MADness, rants and raves for this hopeful time ahead. I'll talk about resolutions in a while. Then it's on to planning what to do. Oh, and tomorrow, back to work. Oh well.

Monday, December 31

Looking Back at 2007

It's been a hell of a year. Looking back at my past Rants and Raves, I realize that in the past year I had...

Discovered the Apple iPhone, and spent the next several months lusting after it, trying to forget it by turning to the 02 XDA Flame, but ultimately ditching the world of Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile for it. With the most lovely and big screen, a revolutionary touch screen, video playing that puts to shame all other mobile phones and a platform for apps that still continues to grow, it has since become my best cellphone to date. I still have it, and look to still have it into the New Year and the foreseeable future. But then, the only thing constant is change...

I discovered the sweet and double-edged pleasure that was Krispy Kreme Donuts, considered by some as a vice, others the nectar of the gods. I don't bring home boxes of the stuff regularly anymore, but it can't hurt to have a glazed or two every now and then. I think.

This was the year when I got my Playstation 3. Yeah, I got it too early I guess... the big games that I really got it for are only coming out THIS year- Tekken 6, Soulcalibur IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII. Of the two uber-consoles, the Xbox360 had more titles and saw more playtime (but ultimately caused more trouble thanks to the frickin' 3RL crap). Still, I can't say I didn't enjoy all those hours of Virtua Fighter 5, and that one afternoon of Heavenly Sword. Well, games on the PS3 haven't been that great YET, but it's still a kick-ass media thingie and looks SOOOO Star Trek.

To coincide with the PS3, this was the year I made the leap into HD, finally and irrevocably leaving behind standard-definition TVs and buying my first LCD HDTV set. It's probably my most significant and enjoyed acquisition of the year, along with the iPhone and Cable DSL. It's been a widescreen world for me since then, and there's really no going back now.

On my HDTV I watched shows like Rome and Heroes. Rome was a bloody classic, although I still have to muster watching the second season. Heroes was enjoyable in its first season, but word of boring episodes, uneven storytelling, crappy new characters and even creator Tim Kring apologizing to fans for failing has made me dread looking at the second season. Oh well. At least Ghost Hunters is still creepily cool, and has new episodes and a spin-off in 2008.

If it was one show that I truly waited for and enjoyed this year, it was Avatar: The Last Airbender. The final season aired towards the end of the year, rewarding long-suffering fans with even more thrilling elemental action, deeper character moments and some big-budget battle scenes. And the darn Book of Fire is only halfway through! 2008 should see the Avatar's quest finally end, but hopefully this world and setting will live on in another form.

Comicspace arrived and seemed to be a great place to show off pages and interact with other comic people. But it soon fizzled out as got forgotten as other sites came in to populate cyberspace with pics, posts and flying sheep... from MySpace, Friendster, Multiply and... gasp... Facebook.

Comics were hit and miss. Civil War was pretty good, as was Infinite Crisis and 52 (eventually). Joss Whedon proved to be gold on the comic writing biz with his brilliant Astonishing X-men. Coming in later in the year were more pages of graphic goodness in Alex Ross' Justice, Adam Warren's Empowered and World War Hulk. However, all these goodies can't erase the unmitigated crap that was Amazon Attacks. UGH.

Speaking of comics, I wasn't too productive in the Indie front- no self-published work, but arguably what I DID do this year reached more people than ever before... thanks to my work on my secret "C.I.A." comic book and my new partnership with Groundbreakers Inc. for Ninja Girl KO! in Mangaholix Presents. The New Year will see a new issue out, so things look great coming into 2008. In the past year, I came together with Elbert Or and Carl Vergara to pass on our experiences to the next generation of artists and comic creators in Ateneo. However, I'm not quite ready to retire anytime soon. There's always a possibility of another K.I.A. book, and that Angel Ace story is still in the gray matter, somewhere. We'll just have to see.

This year seemed to mark the real beginning of CG movies as serious fare, with the CG and Sandals epics 300 and later Beowulf striking the box office at the jugular. First it was all-CG settings. Then it was all-CG EVERYTHING. Adult animated movies are beginning to move in. If you thought Hollywood stars looked airbrushed-perfect before, you haven't seen anything yet.

Still on movies- it was a year of Sequel-Busts like Spiderman 3 and Shrek the Third. The Simpsons Movie was a nice diversion, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was properly dark and brooding. I kinda liked Pirate of the Carribbean: At World's End and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer though, but I can't seem to find anyone else who shares these views.

Work went well for the most part- I'm still at The Salt Mines, where I've been working for the past three years or so. And I don't have any plans of leaving. Things look good, and God willing, they'll stay that way.

All in all, 2007 was a good year. It had it's ups and downs, but for the most part, it was coasting along nicely. What I think though is that it was mostly buildup for the year to come. The optimist in me is thinking that next year- THIS year in a few hours- is going to be even better in so many ways. I can't wait. The Future looks bright, indeed.