Crowded and Choked

My hard disk is currently crowded and choked with files. Mostly video files because all I do these days is just download anime episodes and "other" video files. I even removed all of my ripped mp3s from my computer to free up some space. Speaking of mp3 files, my mp3 player is almost full as well. I knew that 30 GB won't be enough for me. Hopefully, I can save some money by November for a portable external hard drive, and for a new mp3 player next year.


Comics -To- Animation

I've been zealously practicing with some guitar exercises (courtesy of John Petrucci's Guitar Discipline video) for almost a week now. However, the exercises involves a lot of finger stretching. It's quite tiring and can be a little bit too much for a rusty guitarist like me. So, when the cramping and aching starts, I take breaks and watch episodes of the Justice League instead.

The Justice League

Justice League is one of my favorite comics-to-animation. Even though the creators of the series didn't actually play it as close to the books, the changes they made were welcomed. One change that I like is having Hawkgirl as part of the team instead of Aquaman. While the king of Atlantis is a real bad ass, he's still a fish that can't hang in a base that's orbiting in space. Plus, Hawkgirl adds gender diversity to the team. Another change, and the most interesting one, is the flirtations between Batman and Wonder Woman. I never thought it's possible that Wonder Woman, an amazon princess who thinks less of men, and Batman, a lone warrior who considers women as distractions, could actually have a "thing" for each other. I guess opposites do attract.

Anyways, here are some of my other favorite comics-to-animations:
  • Batman: The Animated Series - I can't afford any comics back then, so I don't know Batman that much. This cartoon, however, introduced me to Batman and made me realize that he is best fictional character of all time.
  • Spawn - This was on HBO when I was still in college. This is one serious animation and, plus, it's Spawn. Need I say more?
  • X-Men - This was a very cool cartoon series. It showcased a lot of important events from the comics, such as the Phoenix Saga. It even showcased an ending where the X-Men actually graduated from Xavier's School.
  • X-Men Evolution - Another X-Men cartoon in the early 2000, that is loosely based on the Ultimate X-Men (I think). Most of the X-Men are still in their teens and Wolverine is actually one of the teachers in the mansion.


Shaking off the Rust

I woke up early today and tried the new amp. I was blown away by what the little thing can do. It's packed with some nifty features. It comes with 4 channels (1 clean and 3 distorted) and 6 effects (chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, echo, and reverb). Each channel comes with a preset sound but I didn't like any of them. So I tried to fiddle around with the knobs to find my own sound. Although I wasn't able to find a fat and round distortion, that I used to with my Marshall Valvestate 8020, in any of the distorted channels. The clean channel, however, produces this thick and warm sound that I really love.

Plugged and Played.

Anyways, I think I'm getting comfortable with the sound of this amp. So I started downloading some basic instructional videos, that I found in the internet, to get me started again. Hopefully, going back to the basics will shake the rust off of me and will eliminate some bad habits. I also want to learn the song "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden just to get into the whole theme.
"I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run." --Rusty Cage, Soundgarden



I was thinking of getting a new hobby these past months, and for some reason I decided to delve into the magic of photography. My mind was so set on it that I started conceptualizing themes, subjects that I can photograph, even without a Digital SLR camera. But, last Wednesday, when I was finally holding a box of Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT I asked myself: "why buy a $600 camera?" and "why photography?". I couldn't answer it. So I gave the box back to the store's clerk, before reaching the checkout counter, and just went home.

Back at home, I watched TV, unconsciously flipping through channels, while I pondered on why I should take photography as a hobby. I tried to answer it but, somehow, my answers just brought in more questions. So, I finally resigned and dismissed the idea of getting into photography. I was about to do same with my search for a new hobby when a TV ad for Guitar Center went up on the screen. Suddenly, serendipity came knockin' on my noggin. I need a guitar amp.

It was always at the back of my mind, the guitar amp. So I figured out that I should get one for my birthday instead of a camera. Of course, I asked myself the question again: "why?". But only a resounding "why not?" came in response. Yes, why not? Albeit my skills had already atrophied for years of stagnancy, and my guitar is all dusty and its strings are all rusted, I still know guitars more than a camera. Besides, a guitar amp is much cheaper than a Digital SLR camera. So I hastily went online and started browsing for, and reading reviews of, several guitar amps. An hour later, I was done looking. I wanted a Line 6 Spider III Modeling Amplifier.

Amp Sweet Amp.

So today, after my birthday dinner party, me and a couple of friends headed right to the nearest Guitar Center to pick up my guitar amp (a $200 damage to my wallet). I didn't had a chance to fiddle with it at the store since they were already closing. Afterwards, we went to another bar to celebrate more of my birthday. It was almost 1:00 AM by the time I got home. I didn't try the amp because I know the neighbors won't be too happy. So, unfortunately, as of now, I only took out the amp from its box and turned the power on to see if it's working (and it is). Anyways, I'm really glad that I got it. I'll try it out tomorrow and maybe write a review about it sometime soon.


Album Review: Way of the Fist

Five Finger Death Punch - Way of the Fist
(8.0 of 10)

I'm currently listening to this new band, that was put together by former U.P.O. guitarist, Zoltan Bathory, Five Finger Death Punch. I must say that the band's name and the title of their debut album, Way of the Fist, really speaks for their music: no flairs and colors, just a ferocious iron fist blow in your face. The album is dense with heavy riffs, pounding rhythms, and an angry vocal assault. However, the songs are also infused with melodic and smooth verses to give the listeners are brief respite from the aural onslaught. If you're looking for a raw and straight up metal record, I highly suggest Way of the Fist.


Upcoming Players

My sister's birthday is fast approaching. So I started browsing around for a gift. I was thinking of giving her a small mp3 player with a voice recorder (either a SanDisk Rhapsody or a Creative Zen V) so she can use it in school. But since holiday is just beyond the horizon, tech companies are already announcing their new line of toys. That includes mp3 players from Creative Labs and Apple.

The newest, sexiest, mp3 player from Creative.

Apple's line up are pretty much impressive. The iPod Classic's storage capacity is now pushed to a whopping 160GB, the 80GB version had its price cut down to $250, and the iPod Nano is now shorter, squatter, and can play videos. Creative's new player, however, is flash based (which comes in 4, 8, and 16 GB). So it really looks sexy, much sexier than the iPod and less chunkier than the Zen Vision:M. While it can't store files as much as the Vision:M, Creative added one nifty feature:
"...Creative is tacking on one surprising extra that we haven't ever seen in the Zen line: an SD card slot for adding more memory."
Pretty nice, pretty nice. Although I'm quite disappointed at Creative for going flash-based. Now, who's going to compete with the 160GB iPod. Anyways, these players are still too expensive (except for the 80GB iPod). But I'm considering the new Zen (4GB) for my sister.


Laptop or Desktop?

I mentioned in my earlier posts that my current PC needs to be replaced, and that I might head back to college again. So, last night, I started looking at some computers (laptops and desktops) just to get an idea of how much money will I need to save. Here are some rigs that I might consider:

College Boy Set-up

Home Boy Set-up
I'm definitely going with the first option (College Boy) once my application at school is accepted. The Asus laptop seems to be packing some power. So, I'll be able to work and play with it. The second option is very cool too. Especially if you're a serious gamer. I'll get it if somehow I won't make it to college next year, or if I have enough extra money (which is unlikely).

But anyways, it seems that I need to save, more or less than, $2,500 by next year for either set up. I can also get everything at Best Buy (with the exception of the Sennheiser Headphones) which is good because I like their financing options.


Back to School?

6 more months until my education benefit, from the hospital I work at, kicks in. So I'm going to take advantage of that and go back to school. That way, If I fall in love with a beautiful doctor in the near future, I'll have my education and prestige to hold my self-esteem together. I'm not sure what to take though. But it's either Medical Technology or Pharmacy (a lot of people are suggesting that I should take Pharmacy) since I like working in a hospital but don't like to deal with too many people.

But going to a good university will cost a lot of money and time -with, or without, any education aid. I'll still have to work at least 3 days a week to maintain my benefits and, of course, for allowances. I may have to lessen, or even stop, my gaming activities in order to save time and money. But I can't live without a hobby, it'll make me a dull boy. I guess I'll just pick a new hobby that doesn't consume much time like gaming. Maybe I'll go back to playing guitar, or delve into the art of photography.