about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Some stuff I'll miss when I'm working already

After visiting the Job Expo, doing the rounds of the company booths and application forms and deciding to call it a day around noon, I decided to go to Glorietta.

There I decided to have my badminton racket re-strung at Toby’s Sports; I’ve been playing with Aileen and Mabel for a couple Sundays now and I plan on playing regularly again. They said I’d get it back by 3:30. Great, I had a few hours to kill.

Aware of my need for more exercise (having my present waistline is a total bummer), I decided to expend my free games on Dance Maniax and hone my skills on Initial D—the usual. A couple of young hotshots were on the Initial D machines and they seemed to know their stuff really well. MAMMY and D4 (the guys’ nicks on their game cards) were tearing up Akina’s downhill on back-to-back time trials, applying the exotic techniques I’ve only read about on the Internet (such as “eraser” shifting) to shave the last possible tenth of a second out of their time records.

MAMMY had a school uniform on, and he was unbelievably fast on a heavy R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R—a car not known for agility in the game. D4 ran a GDB Subaru Impreza and he was equally impressive on it as he was on his “D1” card, an AE86 Toyota Trueno. Figuring I could get some practice laps, I got into the other machine and ran my Mazda RX-8 for a few rounds against computer opponents.

MAMMY asked if I wanted to race. Why not, I thought. Predictably, I lost by a huge margin which got smaller (though I’m not sure how much I clawed back by my skill alone), but it was my fault as I screwed up at the start.

I asked MAMMY how he and his friend did the “eraser” technique, and the two of us got into a fairly involved conversation. They were regulars on the game and played almost a year; I’ve played for longer but more irregularly. The two hotshots gave me a few handy tips about how I could extract more speed out of my Mazda as well.

D4/D1 had to split to light a few smokes and we amicably parted ways. It was nice meeting them, knowing that there are genuinely friendly Initial D players still around today. Since they seem to frequent the area, I’m looking forward to seeing them again some time.

While I’m at it I might as well ask them what their real names are...

I went back to Toby’s and they told me they didn’t start tensioning the string because they found a crack on the frame of my racket. Taking a closer look it had gone almost all the way through. They offered to continue at my discretion. Since I already paid for the stringing and the labor, I changed my mind and said I might as well get a new racket and have that strung with the strings I already bought.

Fortunately there were a few rackets they were selling at a discount and I got a graphite Slazenger for PhP1,500, complete with towel grip and a gorgeous free badminton bag. The damn thing accepts higher maximum string tension, too; I had mine strung at 22 lbs. I can’t wait to try it out.

Just a couple hours ago I received belated graduation presents from Tita Vik and Nanay. Thank you so much!

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