Sir Mon’s Weblog

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Thoughts on Regina, Part 1!/photo.php?pid=1580906&id=1248603277&fbid=1542089152684

An Excerpt from Dawson’s Creek Season 1. Episode 13. May 19, 1998.

Grams: God has a plan for everything. For your grandfather, for me, for you. Now sometimes we can’t understand it, we can’t see it, but this is when prayer is most important.

Jen: How can you have so much faith in prayer? Just because you pray doesn’t mean it can change God.

Grams: Oh child you’ve got it backwards. Prayer doesn’t change God. Prayer changes me.


July 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wacom Bamboo Open Box from Best buy

Just got a Wacom Bamboo Pen – actually Pat and Jon gave it to me via a laptop bag which I exchanged for the open-box tablet. Installed the driver on windows vista. Installed Corel Painter essentials. And went to a quick tutorial.

First impressions: For some reason, I can’t get the sensitivity that I remember (from a couple of years ago with the Wacom Graphire- I had lost the pen that’s why I opted for this one.)

Hmm… Rica kept saying that perhaps that’s why the previous owner returned it – because it was defective.

I persisted. Opened up Corel Painter Essentials and sketched a realistic Manga female from the Mark Crilley youtube videos ( Major fail. It appears the pen had 2 – perhaps 3 levels of sensitivity rather than the advertised 512. This made it difficult to vary the darkness and/or thickness of the line. Tried a number of different brushes – no go. I don’t think Wacom would release such a product – so I’m gonna go back to the store and wait in line again and get a new wacom tablet this time.

At the dublin store, they also had the Wacom Bamboo Craft for $130 and the Wacom Bamboo Touch for $70. I’d like the Craft since it can handle both touch and pen, but my budget only allows for a Wacom Bamboo Pen for $70. Oh well – so much for my attempt to save $7.

Once I get this, I should be able to render a bunch of quick drawings. One of the first attempts would be a speed painting like Benjamin did on the anime/manga show in france. And he did that on a wacom as well. Not sure of the application though. Then, I need to configure Photoshop (CS3) to recognize the different pressure sensitivity of the Wacom. We shall see. Wish I had a Cintiq like Sacha (

The review shall be continued once I get a model that works as advertised.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lichauco Family Tree

Right now, the canonical Lichauco Family tree is a Work in Progress.

I’ve got basic descendant charts going at: but even that needs a lot of work. Clicking on the root box brings you up the tree. Clicking on the lower boxes makes that person the new root and regenerates the tree. So far the responsiveness has been snappy. So I’ll keep this structure right now without any caching. TODO:

  • Add Multiple marriages to level 1 I’ve taken care of handling multiple marriages in the level 0 (root level). But I need to extend this to at least level 1 (children of the root). You can see how this works by going to Macario was quite a guy.
  • Add handling of dupes There’s been a fair amount of intermarriages within the clan. Cousins marrying cousins. Uncles marrying their nieces. The display of this leaves a lot to be desired – the obvious effect is that when viewed from one side of the union, the children are seen, but from the other side, the children are not seen. This to-do is supposed to ensure that the children can be seen from both sides.
  • Honoring tree-hints. Multiple marriages or unions can be distracting and embarrassing. Some marriages carry more weight than others. The user should be able to configure the rendering of the tree to eliminate distracting unions and data while it is preserved in the DB.

This application makes extensive use of the Sitemap.css developed by I’ve seen the way does the “family” type presentation but I rather like mine better. It’s more compact and lends itself more to large extended families. In subsequent posts, I’ll expound on the data model used for my angkan software.

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Source and Configuration Files…

I’m writing some family tree software which I’m GPL/Open Sourceing. It’s the angkan project in Sourceforge.

While developing, I use a directory for running programs and thus I require real DB credentials. I don’t want to commit these credentials to an open source repository but the size of the project does not warrant a deployment script (yet). Thus, if I were to use the same directory as a repository root for svn, I would be compelled to make the DB credentials generic.

Taking a cue from the way WordPress retrives configuration files, I’ve come up with the following.  I create the config file with the REAL credentials in a directory ABOVE the repository root, while the one in the repository root contains GENERIC credentials. The REAL config file contains just the defines. The config file in the repository root contains code which runs the REAL config file if it exists.

The directory structure will be something like:

+ public_html
+ REAL_ConfigFile
+ project directrory (svn root)
+ GENERIC_ConfigFile

In GENERIC_config.php, prior to setting the db credentials, it first checks to see if a site specific file REAL_config.php exists in the directory above (which will not be committed into the source tree) and if it exists, it “includes” that file. If not, then some default db credentials will be used which can then be cusotmized by those using the software.

For instance a good config file will be something like the following:
if (file_exists( dirname(dirname(__FILE)) . ‘/REAL_config.php’ )) {
require( dirname(dirname(__FILE__)).’/REAL_config.php’ );
} else {
// put default db credentials were
define( ‘HOST’, ‘localhost’ );
define( ‘DB_NAME’, ‘changeme’ );
define( ‘DB_USER’, ‘changeme’ );
define( ‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘changeme’ );

There may be more elegant ways to do this. But I thought I’d share this particular technique.

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAD Chaos at the Carlos Household. BOLTS WIN!

Talk about being all over the place. This blog has had posts about Politics (The case for Gordon Bayani) , about Computer Gaming (Word of Warcraft), about Anime (Naruto and Sakura), about Writing (NaNoWriMo) – what next…
WELL… Instead of keeping to the topics I’ve already ranted on, let’s add a new ONE. YEY. Bolts win. But they did it with mediocre running. LaDanian Tomlinson had  but 50 yards on the ground. Rivers didn’t even have 300 yards passing, but some of the passes were spectacular. There’s this tendency of the bolts to go long on third and long – rather than go for a higher percentage pass that’s shorter. For the most part, it works out for them. For Rivers – and I don’t know how much of this is luck, the percentage of 3rd down conversion does not seem to be related to the length of the pass.

Still, the bolts appear to be flying under the most peoples’ radar. Some early odds makers ( and are making them nearly touchdown favorites in the game against the Bengals this week. That’s insane. I don’t really think the bolts have covered well when they’re heavy favorites. They’ll win. But the touchdown seems too much to give up. Especially when the bolts tend to give away late meaningless touchdowns.

In the end, it’s good to note that the Bolts WON without significant injury. That, more than covering the spread is what’s really important. I didn’t notice if Hardwick played – but I’m certain Jamal Williams wishes he could play right now. This team seems like it’s headed for the matchup with Indy.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reminiscing on lessons learned from World of Warcraft


It’s impossible to convey to those who never played warcraft or, even for those who did, for those who had it “easy”. When the game was balanced and success in a dungeon meant excellent play from ALL involved, when one person could have ruined to well coordinated work of 4 or 9 or 39 other friends, then winning was akin to playing in a symphony.

I spent a few minutes looking at my old notes from my World of Warcraft addiction days. While I loved the BC and Northrend expansions, I really enjoyed the legacy pre-Burning Crusade runs. There was a lot of skill involved – and runs didn’t always end up nicely.  In the middle of 2006, I kept track of some of the dungeon runs. I thought I’d share some of my notes from back then. I don’t know if people even run UBRS (Upper Black Rock Spire) anymore, preferring instead to head off into Outlands and level up faster.

I haven’t played World of Warcraft in almost a year. And I did cancel my account in March of 2009. But reading through these notes, it’s obvious how much time the game took from me. each dungeon run took about 1,2, sometimes 3 hours. The teamwork required to get things done was one of the best things I ever experienced about the game.

Since I never did go into Ulduaar or any of Northrend’s endgame instances, I can’t reflect much on that. I daresay, when the level cap was 60 and when players’ fire resist armor was under 100, getting past the mutli-headed hound, Magmadar, in the molten core – that was an achievement.

* (08/28/06) 535g UBRS. good run w/ Morri,Kerri, etc.
* (08/24/06) 500g UBRS. good run with Bellum Gero MC. just killed LUCI. wiped on MAG
* (08/23/06) 500g DM East twice with Bronakan and Malcastero. Got book. got +6mp5 mace.  Bad UBRS with Jadenn.
* (08/23/06) decent Live Strat with Fann. got her SC shoulders.
* (08/22/06) 470g  DM West with bratkat,prozenz,fenix,kold +15 Shadow resist neck dropped. +15 FR cloak w/+4 health dropped.
* (08/21/06) 440g did MC but still need Shazz wiped at Rend in UBRS, good Live Strat run. +1 orb, bad BRD Jailbreak run.
* (08/17/06) 412g ONY. halo of transcendance dropped. rolled crap.
* (08/14/06) 410g FR116 but used only FR111 did LBRS. AQ40 – failed. ZG – killed venoxis
* (08/09/06) FR116 bought onyxia scale cloak
* (08/07/06) 425g FR107  1 of 2 Scholo (had to leave the first time), MC up to Sulfron, 3x died at ony
* (08/03/06) 445g did live strat. thearsenal. forerunner.
* (08/02/06) 430g DM East.
* (08/01/06) 420g OK Live Strat. kerri, anarah, sentia, neok. 2 LBS. 1 Righteous orb.
* (07/31/06) 411g got boots of prophecy. base mana is max: 7030.
* (07/27/06) 350g have Argent Crusader. base mana is like 6.8k.
* (07/21/06) couple of DM tribute runs. Pretty tame.
* (07/17/06) finshed jandice and batman. Killed Domo again.
* (07/11/06) got Tooth of Gnarr,
* Mon: UD Strat, UBRS, Bad Live Strat, good ONY
* Sun: UD Strat, UBRS
* Sat: 2 bad UBRS
* Fri: MC
* (07/04/06) 7k buffed mana. 2 good LBRS runs. Got trindlehaven twice. passed on second time.
* bad Jandice-based run in Scholo.
* great MC run. head and belt prophecy set dropped.
* (06/29/06) really slow Scholo run. Got to rattlegore. no farther
* (06/28/06) DM East Book Farming.
* (06/26/06) base mana up to 6.3k, good UBRS run. got devout mantle. bought bracers
* (06/25/06) good Scholo run. Wiped a couple of times from bad pulls
* (06/19/06) * have about 5.6k Mana
* (60H) 06/12/06 failed UBRS. Group disintegrated before emberseer (oobiteme)

* (60) 06/22/06 Good UBRS run. wiped once at drak. Dropped Mage chest. got cape.  ran by: krakk, felbane, heavenstouch
* (60) 06/21/06 Failed Live strat run. failed after the canoneer. imagiciani, khora
* (60) 06/19/06 Failed UBRS. failed after the beast. did not engage drak., Good LBRS. Got Wyrmm gem.
* (60) 06/12/06 Failed UD Strat. Baron at 11%. striphe, sugar, a few others
* (60) 06/11/06 Scholo run which I had to leave after I got my goal. sheepnbeauty. got jandice, UBRS run which wiped at rend
* (60) 06/08/06a good UD Strat run. irenthia. deadra. beefeater. kand. seal of rivendare.  time: 1:27
* (60) 06/08/06 good UD Strat run. oneiros. traxs. nehia. dreadmist pants.  time: 2:00
* (60) 06/07/06 Aborted UBRS run. people left after wiping on FF, ok BRD run. 4 man. Deadra. manguish. norq. Did ironfel.
* (60) 06/06/06 Good UBRS run. Mage chest dropped off drak. Got faithhealer boots.  dorabkul, shadai, genecide, other onibatsu time: 2:00
* (60) 06/05/06 ran three instances: UD Strat x 2 and BRD x 1 UD strat: 1/2. BRD: 1/1, One UD Strat went well: time: 1:45.
* (60) 06/01/06 good scholo run. jessamine. deadra. beefeater. chaospawn. deathseer mantle. will likely vendor.  time: 2:00
* (60) 05/31/06 guild run UD strat. RagingHorn, Manguish, Deadra, Founddead, Bugs. Died at Ramstien
* Stats for May: 5/15
* Live Strat   2/5
* UD Strat     0/1
* Scholo       1/3
* LBRS         1/3
* UBRS         0/2
* BRD          1/1
* (60) 05/30/06 failed scholo run. I need to learn to keep myself alive more.  got epic mount.
* (60) 05/24/06 advanced love potion quest
* (60) 05/23/06 good LBRS run. got wyrmm.  have MC quest. have rend quest.  got dreadmist bracers for manguish.
* (60) 05/22/06 bad LBRS ran. tank left.  good live strat run. no devout gloves. got bal’s head.  manguish. raging. gizmo and wrathofzues. got 4 orbs.
* (60) 05/21/06 2 unsuccessful runs of Live Strat. Deadra. Superhuevos. Died at Archivist.
* (60) 05/18/06 turned in hydraxis quests – got emberser ubrs quest BRD run (2.5 hours) did bar. screwspigot. thunderbrew recipe.
* (60) 05/17/06 Got to “of love and family” live strat quest bad live strat run – failed before timmy.
* (60) 05/16/06 aborted BRD run. nothing accomplished.
* (60) 05/14/06 ran live strat to completion. 4man. moktini, chunmai, stier.
* (60) 05/10/06 scholo. Got SS deed. turned in. Ran with Spyt. Mage quit early.
* (60) 05/09/06 decent Live Strat run. Got a few mobs past the canonball. tokimin (Warr).
* (60) 05/08/06 lousy weekend. 2 bad ubrs runs. still got spiritshourd legs
* (60) 05/04/06 done Blightcaller bats, lord ranger’s behest and Living Rot, did Scholo. 2 hour run. Jandice (failed the quest). Nehzra, haderdash, suehprom.
* (60) 05/03/06 done with Tirion Fording initial quests. demon dogs, bats, carion grubbage.
* (60) 05/01/06 guild run Live Strat. 2.5 hours. got to Canoneer.  some bad pulls lead to wipes.
* (60) 04/30/06 just farming stuff. doing nathanos quests, etc.
* Stats for April: 3/11
* Live Strat   0/2
* UD Strat     2/4
* Scholo       0/1
* LBRS         0/1
* UBRS         1/3
* (60) 04/26/06 Did a leisurely UD strat run. BS bracers, WH pants dropped.  Got to Baron in 1:30. no one died at all. conservative pulls.
* (60) 04/25/06 ran Live Strat. Failed after Cannoneer. Shammy left. Ronakha, Spyt, Knowsh
* (60) 04/23/06 couldn’t get in on the Leviathan MC run. ran UD strat up to the baron. failed due to no mage. got soulseer mantle from Ramstein.
* (60) 04/22/06 did LBRS with Leviar and Dannith. Good run until Leviar D/C’d
* (60) 04/21/06 aborted run of scholo. and WSG. RagingBovine FTL.  ran ZG with ED.
* (60) 04/20/06 UBRS full run. Got Drak in 3 tries. FastRedIron led.  Outhealed by Vassina by about 6%. Nothing Dropped. Time: 2.5 hours.
* (60) 04/18/06 gunning for tier 0.5 bracers. 7/15 venom. silithus.
* (60) 04/17/06 LBRS. Got Important Documents but failed before Wyrmm UD Strat – aborted run. wiped before the spider boss. UBRS. Decent run. but failed on Drak. Last failure was on me mobs repopped on top of me
* (60) 04/13/06 great UD Strat run, about 1 hour. Ressa, Zenka, icenine, inarra. got seal of rivendare.
* (60) 04/12/06 3 hour UD Strat run with Dorabkul, Zarizari, Iron-something. Have UD Strat key.
* (60) 04/11/06 3 hour scholo run. Got up to the boss before gandling. Not significant drops.
* (60) 04/10/06 got the seal of Eldre’Thalas (from Holy Bologna) shadow laced handwraps. blue gloves. 5-man barron run in under an hour.
* (60) 04/05/06 caused a wipe of a full UBRS run at Drak
* (60) 03/31/06 did scholo up to Ras. Alina’s embrace (epic robe) dropped. lost the roll to a lock
* (60) 02/24/06 LBRS. did not finish. cripples. mooshy venzulu
* (60) 02/17/06 rend run. no drops for me.  Kill on sight Incendious
* (60) 02/17/06 ran 10 man scholo. easy group. no loot for me. Phrenzy. Soullessfire.

* (60) 05/16/06 finished shy-rotam. Farmed a bit over an hour in Burning Steppes. 17 Thor. 3Gold. 8 Mith. 10 DarkIron
* (60) 04/27/06 farmed for an hour. got 6 thorium, farmed again 0.5 hr. Got 4 essence of water. 2 globes of water. sold 3 essences in the field for 25g
* (60) 04/26/06 15 min: 5 Thorium. 2 dark iron. 2 truesilver.
* (60) 04/25/06 farmed Burning Steppes and blasted lands.  30 min. BS: 8 Dark Iron. 4 thorium. 30 min. BL: 6 Mithril
* (60) 04/24/06 * farmed for volatile rum and thorium 2 hours farming = 9 thorium (ungoro), 8 volatile rum, 5 greens
* (60) 06/27/06 OK Scholo run. w/ Yoz. Blazingchiem. Got Kirtronos done. Lots of leather.

* Stats for Aug:  bugs      oobiteme     bit
* Live Strat      0/0        0/0        4/4
* UD Strat        0/0        0/0        0/0
* Scholo          0/0        0/0        2/3
* LBRS            0/0        0/0        1/1
* UBRS            0/0        0/0        3/5
* BRD             0/0        0/0        1/2
* DM              0/0        0/0        4/4
* ZG              0/0        0/0        1/4
* AQ40            0/0        0/0        0/1
* MC              0/0        0/0        5/5
* ONY             0/0        0/0        4/5
* BWL             0/0        0/0        0/0
* over all        0/0        0/0       25/34

* Stats for July: bugs      oobiteme     bit
* Live Strat      0/0        0/0        1/2
* UD Strat        0/0        0/0        3/4
* Scholo          0/1        0/0        2/3
* LBRS            0/0        0/0        4/6
* UBRS            0/0        0/0        3/6
* BRD             0/0        0/0        1/1
* DM              0/0        0/0        2/2
* MC              0/0        0/0        4/5
* ONY             0/0        0/0        1/2
* BWL             0/0        0/0        0/1
* over all        0/1        0/0       22/32

* Stats for June: bugs      oobiteme     bit
* Live Strat      0/1        0/0        0/0
* UD Strat        3/5        0/0        0/1
* Scholo          3/3        0/0        1/2
* LBRS            1/2        0/0        0/0
* UBRS            2/5        0/1        1/1
* BRD             2/2        0/0        0/0
* over all       11/18       0/1        2/4

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gordon and Bayani 2010

So. Bayani has finally declared. I applaud him and Richard Gordon for the guts to try to set things right without waiting for the “right” moment.  I know it’s stressful. It’s even stressful for the family (the Carloses) for Bayani just to declare. Yet… the chance to make a difference.

What I see is a team who will make intelligent decisions putting personal gain subject to what’s good for the country. What I see is a team who cares not so much what people think of them now, but how historians will jugdge them decades hence. I see a team who will focus on the greatest good for the greatest people and might thus draw the ire of the elite. I see a team who will support whole heartedly the efforts of Efren Penaflorida without considering for a minute how they might leverage that to their own goals.

There’s a lot of work to be done to mold the Filipino Psyche into one unselfish. To truly guide our country into the path of enlightenment where the common man/woman/child, the masa, thinks not just of himself but of the greater good. I see a team who can INSPIRE.

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Sucked into NaNoWriMo

Who can I blame for this…? I don’t even know how it started. Clicked a link (on twitter I think), followed it, and blam. Before I knew it I had signed up – and now that I’ve started, ideas/images/story-lines are streaming unbidden (and fairly incoherent at the moment) to get this “novel” done.

It got me thinking about the novels and stories I had read or watched. What I liked about them. Here’s a short but spoilery one-sentence-synopsis – so DO NOT READ THIS if you don’t wanna be spoiled – about:

George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire Series, Star Wars, Ender’s Game(not the series), Hegemon (The series), Naruto, Avatar: The last Airbender.


What makes for an interesting antagonist… Lemme see

  • Why would the antagonist want to keep pursuing the Main Character?
  • Why do I find flat antagonists so unappealing? (See Voldemort in JK Rowlings Harry Potter Series, or even the Harkonnens in Dune, or Nazis in Indiana Jones)
  • Star Wars (A New Hope): Darth Vader was after the droids because of their knowledge and the advantage it gives to the rebels. The story is eventually about redemption but it didn’t begin as such.
  • Storm of Swords(not the series): Mance was fighting the night’s watch because he was running away from something (yet to be fleshed out) even more terrifying.
  • Ender’s game: the various antagonists were jealous of ender’s success. The buggers tried to reach out to him before he annihilated them!
  • Hegemon: The antagonist was some super genius rival of Bean.
  • Saga of Pleiocene Exiles: Tanu, Firvulag, the exiles and Marc Remillard –  factions had difficult and conflicting goals.
  • Naruto: Antagonist is a misguided friend out for revenge and needs enlightenment.
  • Avatar: TLA: The Antagonist is a power-mad firebender – but the main challenge was Aang had to find a way to beat him without losing himself.

Ok. That’s enough for this rant. But the “novel” I come up with (within 3 weeks) needs to have the depth of the books I hold dear.

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sakura’s confession rant (Naruto #469)

…Might as well get this out before #470 gets out.

Had to comment on a number of posts:

The gist is: if Kishimoto intended for Hinata to play a major role, he would have started building on her back story. He hasn’t.

Furthermore, the parallels between team 7 and the 3 sannin have been strengthened. No need to draw the connections here. But the failed romance between Jiraiya and Tsunade will probably be brought to closure in Naruto and Sakura. And the implication is Sasuke will die. But as to whether  he die by being subsumed into another being like Orochimaro/Kabuto, or will he end like Annakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, I would wager that Kishimoto himself does not know.

The adventure remans how Kishimoto would write NaruSaku and make it consistent with the characters he’s painted so far. I, for one, will wait with ‘bated breath.

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ugh… so hard to get momentum…

Getting things moving from a dead stop is always the hardest. Sometimes, even moving the other direction is better. And requires less effort to tweak the course constantly and slightly to finally head to the right direction.

I remember saying this to myself in my teens. I used the notion as a way to maintain passion. ‘Tis good to remember that…

Those were the days when I thought I’d be doing something like this: at this point in my life. Still…

I think it was a gambling book where I read it. Lyle Stewart (I’m not taking the time to research lest I lose sponaniety in this post).

“You’re not dead until your ass is cold. And maybe not even then.”

October 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment