Random Things

“Losing a whole year…” Stephan Jenkins’ trademark falsetto rings inside my head. My old and tired sbh40 still works like a charm in terms of convenience, although the battery life has seen better days. It has outlived several earphones through the course of its lifetime though, prompting my brother to tell me to have it replaced. 

“It has survived 5 cellphones though.” I tell him jokingly. I know that I can afford the next upgraded model of this but I didn’t really see the point. I wanted either a new cellphone or that iPad pro I often visit at the mall.

Good old Third Eye Blind, I thought to myself. I loved their first album a lot and knew their songs by heart. It felt oddly arranged as though the songs felt like a story of sorts. Like someone reminscing about a past relationship.

It felt like 500 Days of Summer somewhat. The progression of the narrative moved back and forth through particular times over the course of the relationship. I am thinking that 3eb’s album kind of fit Tom and Summer’s doomee relationship. Well at least, some of the songs there.

I’m looking at her profile again though same way I am talking to her again after a year of silence. I can always count on her to be the same. There is an ache somewhere I can’t describe. London and Motorcycle Drive-by seems like a scary thought. So much so that it feels like The God of Wine will keep me company again, or All Time Low’s Remembering Sunday. 

So many thoughts pile up while I am standing inside the MRT, waiting for my stop. The songs cycling through at random in my 300 or so playlist. Little Missy might be turning in her sleep.

Here goes my stop. Thanks for reading.

All Three Smartphones are dead. Looking for new and cheap ones

Oh Great.  I know officially have a cellphone graveyard at home.  I have 5 units lying there, dead. Repairable, but the costs exceed their 2nd hand value so I might as well grab a new one right?

By the way, I am a sucker for the no-namers and the so-called lower-quality named cellphones.  My choices will always revolve around battery-life and camera power.

I originally intended this page to be a mobile phone review page but it ended up as a site with all sorts of stuff in it, primarily robots, food and art-related thingies.  So I guess let’s do a review for my dead phones.

Starmobile Knight

It was so good (at the time, circa 2013) I actually bought another one after the first one was thrown at a wall.  Too bad they aren’t wall-proof, eh?

Starmobile Knight Spec Sheet

  • 1.2GHz Quad-core Processor MediTek
  • PowerVR SGX544MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card
  • 4.7-inch IPS Display, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • HD Resolution, 315 pixels per inch
  • 18.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with LED flash, autofocus, and BSI
  • 8.0-megapixels front-facing camera with autofocus and BSI
  • Dual SIM, Dual 3G, Dual Standby
  • WiFi, WiFI Hotspot, Bluetooth, HSPA+, 3G, GPS/aGPS
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 2,000mAH Battery

Looking at the specsheet, it now looks like the lower-ended entry models available now except for the camera specs. As a phone camera junkie, this was a powerful phone to play with.  One thing I like about the locally branded phones in the Philippines is their minimal use of bloatware to clog up your phone. I’m not saying that I personally don’t like iPhones, Samsungs and the like, but I am a frugal guy who will always get the cheaper alternative.  This one wasn’t cheap either, but the other phones that it went out with on release were about two times or more pricier with lower specs.

Pros:

  • Awesome Camera.  I have friends that actually ask for my phone when it is selfie time.
  • It can play anything you threw at it. NBA, Racing Games, MMORG games.
  • Access to root, developer and maintenance menus. You don’t need to root it really.
  • Sound was crisp. Not enough to fill a room but it did the job well.
  • It felt like I was holding an iphone. Cold and Sturdy. It had a few major drops and it was okay. My second unit had a crystal case that came with it so I was happy.

Cons:

  • It overheats like mad. I found; through experience, that if you play with it on top of glass, it kind of helps. On more than one occasion I stuck it in the freezer while turned off just to hurry up the cooldown process. (bad idea, really)
  • The audio port though feels a little weak so I ended up using a bluetooth headset for it.
  • The USB port feels flimsy like all other android devices.
  • Can hardly see anything under direct light.
  • It chokes when too many apps are running.  I am a power user, but then again, 1GB RAM seemed to be a standard for the mid-entry market.

Cause of death:

Phone#1. Crazy chick threw my phone at the wall. I always thought she should’ve thrown it at her carpet instead. It was fluffy and soft and might have not cracked the screen.

Phone#2. Door knob rammed it through my pocket, cracking the screen. This was worth about 11k then and second hand models cost around 5k.  LCD screen replacement was estimated at around 5k so I didn’t bother having it fixed.

Starmobile Octa

I was so impressed with the Knight that I took a gamble on the Octa. Sexy phone, really. Sleek and stylish. Cool metal feels really good.  No designated case made for it though but it had a lot of things going on for it. Wireless Charging, NFC capability and front camera LED Flash. Not a lot of phones had those features all in one phone.

Starmobile Octa specs

  • 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor
  • Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch full HD OGS IPS display, Asahi scratch resistant display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB non-expandable memory
  • 18-megapixel AF rear camera with BSI and dual LED flash
  • 8-megapixel camera front facing camera, wide lens with BSI and LED flash
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, USB OTG, NFC
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • Dual SIM, dual standby (micro SIM)
  • 2300mAh battery
  • Android 4.2

It was, as the reviews have often stated, one of the phones in the market with very many features. It was a bit pricey though, but I gambled on it. It lasted for more than a year for me despite falling from shoulder length heights.  The aluminum monocoque body handled it well with nothing more than bad dents and scratches. Camera was protruding though, and it was prone to scratches and smudges and the like.  No casing available. I tried generic cases but it wasn’t the same as it was either too lose or too tight or it covered up a port. It was a phone that you either love or hate. Right up to 2 weeks ago while it was still alive, it was still more than a match for my three other recent phones which were the Meizu MX5 Pro, Asus Zenfone 2 and the Asus Zenfone 5.

Pros:

  • Awesome Camera.  The 8MP Front shooter has an LED flash which surprised many of many friends. (they started borrowing my phone when they wanted to take pictures in very low light conditions)
  • It can play anything you threw at it and more. NBA, Racing Games, MMORG games.
  • Access to root, developer and maintenance menus. You don’t need to root it. It is like a chill girlfriend.
  • Sound was loud enough to fill the room and be heard from two rooms away.
  • Monocoque Shell. Cold and Sturdy. Sleek and sexy. It had a few major drops and it was okay.  Dents will be apparent but it loses no functionality whatsoever. It took quite a beating from me.
  • It survived me for almost a year. That, in itself is an achievement.

Cons:

  • It overheats when playing high ended games.
  • The audio port though feels a little weak so I ended up using a bluetooth headset for it.
  • The USB port feels flimsy like all other android devices.
  • The high and low end of the screen brightness seems similar.
  • Battery life. The phone can’t maintain too much power.
  • It is hard to switch sims as you need a needle of sorts or a sim key to access the port.

Cause of death: saltwater damage. It no longer turns on. The guy at the service center looked at me funny. He probably thought I had porn stored in there.

Meizu MX5 Pro

Oh I loved this phone. I think this was my most powerful phone ever. I saw this in the antutu benchmarking and it was the leader for almost a year too. I was able to play the higher-ended games without sacrificing quality. Sound was crisp and clear and loud. Uber responsive in app switching and loading pictures and stuff. The 21MP camera took 12MB photos in clear daylight. The amount of detail it could pick up was simply amazing. The video and sound pickups/microphone was awesome as well. My only gripe would be the Flyme OS I guess… it took awhile to get used to. The interface was simple enough though, but going through the menus for let’s say… specific app permissions. It took awhile to get used to finding something but it can pretty much augment all kinds of accesses for each app unlike other phone units. Life without a back button was hard though, as I found myself simply closing the app instead if I get to a menu that requires the press of a back button.

This unit was a bit of a splurge on my part as I hardly indulge in flagships.

I want to get another one really… who knows?

Key features

  • 5.7″ 1080p AMOLED display of 386ppi
  • Heavily customized Flyme OS 4.5.4.1 on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, Flyme 5.0 update should be around the corner
  • Samsung Exynos 7420: octa-core processor with 4x 2.1GHz Cortex-A57 and 4x 1.5GHz Cortex -A53, Mali-T760MP8 GPU, 3GB or 4GB of RAM
  • 21MP Sony Exmor RS IMX230 camera sensor with two-tone LED flash, 2160p video recording @30fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage; expandable via a microSD slot
  • Cat. 6 LTE (300/50Mbps); Dual SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou; USB Type-C port, USB On-The-Go
  • mTouch Home button with a fingerprint scanner
  • Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
  • 3,050mAh battery with 24W mCharge 2.0 (Up to 65% battery capacity in 30min)

Pros:

  • Amazing LED Screen. Great variance in brightness. Can still see under the direct sunlight and odd angles.
  • Pretty phone. Sturdy. Big but light. Glass all over the front.
  • The audio jack responded well with my 750W amplified speakers.
  • Bluetooth connectivity was pretty good.
  • It had all sorts of bells and whistles. LTE, OTG, NFC, Wireless charging, Expandable, Dual sim, Fingerprint scanner etc…
  • It’s a flagship. It’s supposed to be good right?

Cons:

  • no dedicated back button. you have to swipe it from the side or the bottom.
  • flyme OS. most of the themes are in chinese. odd interface, but it works.
  • gorilla grass still prone to cracking. still works though.
  • it acts oddly on certain games…
  • the supplied charger is a euro standard power port hugger.

Reason for death:

It fell and had I trouble turning it back on. Front Camera stopped working. Seems to be a motherboard issue of sorts. I was able to power the unit on by forcing the power button or wedging something underneath the power button. Now it won’t turn on no matter what I do. I shouldn’t of have turned off the auto-power on schedule.

I am looking to purchase the Cherry Mobile M1 and the Firefly Aurii as my main phone and the Gionee Marathon M5 as my wifi router phone. I don’t really see the point in keeping multiple phones but it is nice to have backups. The three phones would cost me about 30k or so. As compared to getting a samsung s7 or an ipone 6s, i think i would rather have three phones to play with.

yes, I have 3 accounts playing summoner’s war.

Hanggang dun na lang ba tayo?

Poor Lea. Dinale ng kababawan ng madla. A lot of the reasons why a lot of folks don’t like watching ‘our own’ is because of the shallowness and kababawan of the themes. OPM is dying because producers are only supporting ‘re-makes’ of popular actors/actresses. Almost everything original is dying. Even Gary V’s kid pointed it out. Cynthia Alexander left the country because of lack of support.

And anything seemingly original they make gets drawn out to epic lengths to the point that it loses it’s original vale. (mano po series, enteng series, panday series, that series with jody and the chief). It would’ve been nice if they stuck to their original intended lengths, really. They are using themes too that easily suck the people in with their teeny-boppish, kilig and sexy scenes just for ratings. (ironically, from the bigger “family”-oriented networks)

Kung sabagay, the (mindless) young teens segment is the most profitable age segment in the marketing charts.

Wala nang kalidad halos talaga kahit saan ka tumingin (at least sa entertainment media). Parang kamada na nga actually eh. They are recycling whatever it is they earn to support what they have to make it look like their sales are high. And they even have really intelligent people behind all these with their higher ups asking them to dumb-down really beautiful plot lines just so that the ‘masses’ can understand.

I blame the current education system. It is too long and drawn-out.  (kindergarten, prep 1, prep 2, additional year in high school) arrrgggh.

Innovative books with powerful themes that are written by local authors are ignored over books written by MS3 that primarily deal with relationships, break-ups and unrequited love. I shake my head at the thought that these masterpieces gather dust while that other book became a best-seller.

Oh well. I’d pick Leah and Cynthia and Joey Ayala and all my favorite OPM bands that write their own music any day.  I hope General Luna survives this, too. I’m trying to remember one of his related quotes but I’ll just add that later. I’d probably get shot for this. Haha.

In her now immortal words:
“Okay lang sa akin ang kababawan, pero hanggang doon na lamang ba tayo?”

She wasn’t referring to just one thing. It was for EVERYTHING.

Again, I don’t have the words.

 

Again, I don’t have the words.

How would one verbalize the rawness of emotion? In it’s simplest form: one or two words do it no justice… and no length can properly convey the meaning.  As much as one my try to imbibe in colorful words that prattle on and on, one can really only make sense of things as it throbs in your head. In your heart. Your very soul shudders at the thought.

I don’t seem to have the right words to describe this.

You came very randomly.  Amidst a see of people and faces. Smack in the middle of the loneliest website known to man: Facebook. I was working then. I sent a few messages and you replied a few times and that was it.

Our exchanges were succinct and unassuming.  There was no way we could’ve predicted how much has changed now.

We connected somehow after exchanging text messages. Thousands of them later, you had become important enough to make an impact in my life. Your words were like food and sustenance. It was keeping me going through the madness of my lifestyle. The double jobs. The stress at home. It provided that additional smile and stride of my days.

Truth be told, I still read through our old messages trying to figure out what happened. How I fell in love with you. I can’t really pinpoint the exact string of messages nor the time and date that it did. I remember walking through Baguio with you in my head. I tried to shake it off by going through familiar places. Baguio was no longer a sad place for me. I tried imagining the places you might’ve haunted. I wanted to more about you.

I remember being horribly annoyed you couldn’t come to see me, and the silence treatment I was getting. I hated the feeling. That silence. I couldn’t understand why you meant something to me. I was slowly getting attached.

When we started talking again, I found myself seeing in to the future with you. The more I got to know you, the more I wanted to be with you. I wanted you. I wanted to spend the rest of my days with you. This is someone I’d like to be with. This is someone I am starting to love with all my heart.

I’m being redundant. I still find it hard to verbalize these emotions into something more eloquent. I am hoping I could come up with something better to give justice to what I am feeling right now.

One day, when I hold you in my arms, I will tell you that it wasn’t loneliness that brought us to each other. It is something else… and that something else will keep us together.

I choose you. I will keep on choosing you. I may be quiet at times, but I’ll be by your side.

I won’t have the words, but I’ll be here. I choose you.

Why do we write?

 

It’s a weird thing, really. This need to write. Where there is no other orifice or outlet that can ever be the container for the things that just want to… to explode. to ooze. to drip. (out)  The need to write. The urge. When having two jobs that both require you to write on a daily basis, 18 hours a day. Even when the thought of writing another word makes one sick.  Your fingers even dread the thought of having to type on another key on the keyboard…

But I write anyway. Something about writing for myself calms me down. The thought that you aren’t hindered or restricted to certain guidelines of forms. The only structure you need to be wary of is the structure of your thoughts. The message you want to deliver.

Lately, I have been getting strict with myself. There are times when I scratch a draft out just because it doesn’t really make sense or it doesn’t really answer the questions my mentors told me to ask my piece.

“Why did you write this piece?”

“What is your message?”

“Is your message clear?”

Then again, I keep forgetting the smiles they make when they finally say:

“Why do you write?”

“For whom do you write?”

The last two questions have enough power to cancel the first three guidelines in writing a beautiful piece. Someone important to me reminded me to just post what you feel like writing, really. “Because, you can.”

I realized this over a sandwich and coffee while I lazily read through my drafts. I can always edit them later on, right? There are times when I want to take writing seriously. Though I won’t really make money off this blog… I remembered why I put this up in the first place.  It is my blog.  It’s for me to write in.  Who cares if anyone reads this?  Sure, readers would be nice. Likes and comments are always welcome but… at the end of the day, it is the personal satisfaction one gets after writing something regardless if it means anything or not.

What matters most is that it is out there.  You pressed the publish button.

New Job

Oh wow…  It is kind of mentally draining.  The travel time sucks the soul out of me these past few days.  The intermittent nature of my internet connection is driving me nuts because I can’t be productive on the other one.  I kind of missed this feeling where your brain is so numb it kind of takes away one’s power to write.  My brain is drained from all the new stuff being jammed through my eyes and ears.

I have developed bad squinting moments every now and then.  I fall asleep in public transportation too.  I guess I am lucky I still have my stuff with me.  My dignity won’t waver though.  I chose this over all that senseless dating I spent months and months on end.

In a way… it kind of feels good.  Tired and drained… in a sensible way. In a more fulfilling way.

Let’s see how long I can keep this up.