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.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Independence? Hah!

It is ironic that on the day we Pinoys commemorate our independence, my colleagues and I find ourselves forced into overtime by a client from overseas...through no fault of our own.

Happy independence day...but I doubt nowadays there's anything to be happy about.

Maybe I should be a mechanic...

Ever since I got my car, scratch damage and all, I've always wanted to address the blemishes it sprouted on its rear end. One of these was the cracked right rear taillamp, obviously held together by a repair job of glue. Not only that, but I also wanted to increase my car's visibility at night by adding to the lit surface area of my car's rear end. The lower third of the stock taillamps remains unlit at night and just acts as a dim reflector.

My friend Jobert from Jazz-City United just so happened to get rid of his "rare" LED taillamps for the pre-facelift Jazz. He wanted to update his Jazz's rear end to look like the facelifted version, so I bought his old units for a song. I got the pair for PhP5,500---cheaper than buying just one non-LED taillamp from Honda itself.

A few months ago, I had downloaded the Fit/Jazz electronic shop manual thanks to a link provided by the Jazz-City United crew. I thought it would be a waste not to use it, so the taillamp install became my very first DIY job on my car.

So off I went, screwdriver in hand, dismantling the rear bumper of the car, then proceeding to dismount the stock taillamps. Due to not having the right wrenches, one of the surprisingly soft taillamp mounting nuts (which I had to reuse for the LED ones) gave in under the force of my hand on the open-end wrench I used. At this point I was afraid I'd turned DIY from "do it yourself" to "destroy it yourself." Luckily, Jobert offered me a hand with his tools the next day, and with his sockets and tighter wrenches the stripped nut finally loosened.

It took a little longer than expected, but now that familiarity has set in, I figure I could do the whole job in under two hours. My fingers ached and my thighs got tired after the lengthened install, but they couldn't remove my pride from my work, installing taillamps that will never burn out and will shine much brighter than ever before.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


My biggest concern these days is my growing belly and my increasing weight. Before I knew it I had gained at least a couple of inches and ten pounds. Oddly enough, it happened while I carried out my vow to return to the gym and become fit again. No matter how many inclined crunches I put in at the ab bench, or how many minutes of non-stop jogging at a steep 6% grade on the treadmill I puff through, the pounds and inches refuse to go away.

At 172 lb. I am now officially overweight. My main concern is I no longer know what to do to keep the weight in check, because what I've done so far hasn't helped. Sigh.

Friends say it doesn't really matter, but I've always obsessed about having a trim stomach because ever since I was young, I was always convinced it looked so damn glamorous to have six-pack abs. Realistically I've accepted it's not going to happen to me, but growing more belly than my existing apron of "baby fat" is sort of an insult. Must have been my slow metabolism finally giving out, then.

Que sera, sera.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rediscovering TV

Thanks to that week-long bout of vertigo, I've basically stayed away from the home computer over the past couple of weeks. Initially it was for fear of having my head spin again, but now I can say it's because I've seen the shows I was missing the whole time I was drowning my time online.

In addition to "House" I'm now following "Chuck" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The first series is endearing and funny, while the product of James Cameron's imagination makes for pretty interesting television, too.

I'm discovering a few hidden gems, too. I've often looked down on the Ultraman series for being predictable, but "Ultraman Nexus" has changed that. For once, here's an Ultraman series that doesn't consider our familiar red-and-silver giant as an automatic ally. The TLT Night Raiders task force in "Nexus" considers the silver giant just as dangerous as the space beasts he fights against. There's an atmosphere of distrust, paranoia and conspiracy in "Nexus" that makes for very interesting watching. The Ultraman elements are there, but it's much less of a "monster-of-the-week" sort of thing and more resources are devoted to developing our characters and story over many episodes.

And, despite not watching the series, I found the "Sex and the City" movie well-written and entertaining enough to watch it in the cinema twice.