The Ballad of the Phone

The following entry used to be on my old Multiply blog.
I thought I'd share this here in light of some recent events (story to follow).

    My dad got me my first phone a few months before college. It was a yellow Alcatel unit with only two lines of CAPS locked text, which I was embarrassed to be seen with that I let it die a few months into freshman year.
    Aside from my dad's business going down around that time and I couldn't afford a new one, I decided  that I didn't like the phone culture developing at the time - the status symbol, the dependency. So a cellphone wasn't a priority for me even as I became one of the more active, most wanted students in the next few yeas.
    On my senior year, when I was president of CASA, my co-officer lent me his old Nokia 5110, which I had  broken before the 1st semester was even over. Come December, three months before graduation, my dad left for the U.S. and I inherited his 3310.
    Then, I started working for events. In one event, I broke that phone's LCD. Two weeks before a major event, I was held up and the phone was taken from me - broken LCD, my sponsors and suppliers' numbers and all. That was hell.
    In early 2006, Dre lent me her old Motorola unit. All I had to do was get a SIM card for it.
    With the phone nearing the end of its life, and with phones and loads getting cheaper, I finally bought my first phone that summer: an 1100. The monochromatic phone and its  flashlight served me for two years until last year when its LCD broke.
    To replace the aging 1100, I got a 1208,  my first colored phone, which  had a flashlight as well. Just last month, my phone laid on the floor as flood waters entered our house.
    Clearly I'm not a phone person. I prefer basic models and I'm careless with them. For me, phones shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.
    So, for my next cellphone, my criteria was that it should have an MP3 player (to also replace the Zen Stone Plus I lost) and can be connected to a PC so I can back up contacts. My budget was P2k and I didn't care if it was a Nokia or other known brands.
    At last month's OGM, I decided to look around SM Marikina. What I found was a Korean brand called eTouch whose phones met my criteria, was discounted at the time, and included a 2gb microSD card. My only issues were that I won't find protective casings for it and there was no way to back contacts up on PC.
    So, I went around more and discovered the Nokia 3110 Classic. When I held it and saw the infra red, the USB connector, and the specs, I knew I found my perfect phone. Except it was beyond budget. It retailed at P4.5k, excluding a microSD card, which would easily swell the price up to P5k.
    The next day, I went to Greenhills to look for more options and forget about the 3110 Classic. I couldn't do it. Finally, I decided "Screw it," and looked for the best price instead. My experience with my Aiptek camera and Blue netbook taught me that I need gadgets with extensive user support.
    I eventually got my Nokia 3110 Classic at P4.4k, inclusive of a 2gb SD card, and I am happier for it. It is now protectively covered in silicon with the plastic film covering the screen, camera and IR intact. I back my numbers up, transfer data between my phone and PDA, and enjoy mobile internet.
    Yes, evolution is nice. That reminds me: There is an eco-friendly variant of my phone called  Nokia 3110 Evolve. Crap.

09/9/21 3:55 pm


Avengers Forever, Comic Odyssey and a lot of luck!

This blog came out some time 2009 on my Multiply account but I'm reposting it here to link to it from an upcoming Weekly Ketchup blog.

Okay, show of hands.
Who here can't tell I'm a fan of the Avengers?

For the longest time, the 12-issue Avengers Forever miniseries had evaded me. I wasn't following the Avengers yet when the series came out in 1999 and I've only been aggressively hunting for back issues and collected editions for the past three years.
Last time I saw the Avengers Forever Trade Paperback was at Fully Booked Gateway about four or five years ago. The book had gone out of print since then, nullifying any special order on the book.
Over the past three years, I've attended every appropriate convention imaginable hoping that a vendor would have the title or have the individual issues. To no avail. What I did turn up, though, were some gems that helped fill up the gaps in my collection.

Earlier this year, Marvel announced that a collected hardcover edition of the series would be released last May. That didn't happen. Bummer.

At this year's ToyCon, I stumbled upon Avengers Forever #'s 1 and 6. I
made thedecided right then to search for the individual issues instead. I also decided I wasn't gonna read those two issues until I have them all.
To that end,  a few weeks ago, I visited every Comic Odyssey and Planet X branch in search for the remaining 10 issues. I think I only saw up to #7. 

Then, Marvel announced the hardcover was going to be released this month.
Yesterday, I finally got my copy from Comic Odyssey Ermita.

But that's not the best part.

Prelude No. 1:
I always get my comics from the Comic Odyssey Galleria branch and had become such a fixture at their events or stall during conventions that, I guess, I've become a familiar face. 
So much so that they give me 10% discount on my new comics.
I guess it's a bit of reward for my loyalty to their store.
However, since moving to a new company based along Roxas Blvd, close to Robinson's Ermita, I haven't been to the Galleria branch for a time and I've been getting my regular fix at their Ermita branch instead where I'm practically a new face.

Prelude No. 2:
I've been saving up for a lot things and managed to get additional income a few weeks ago.
Last weekend, I practically blew half of it on jeans, shirts, shoes, a bag, sock, undies and other stuff. How can I say no to 50% to 70% discount on stuff?
Don't judge me. I don't shop much.

Between shopping, the Cavite trip this weekend, and the fact that the next payday's a week or so away, I was worried about my finances after the much-coveted Avengers Forever HC.
I didn't wanna go to Comic Odyssey Galleria and expect the discount. After all, they were only being nice and generous. It would be abusive of me to ask.

Yesterday, I decided to face the music. I would probably be broke after this weekend but it would be worth it.
So, after work, I excitedly marched up to Comic Odyssey Robinson's Ermita.
Lo and behold, the management of Comic Odyssey, the nice people who give me discount at the Galleria branch, were there. This week's new comics just came in and they were there to arrange everything.
Having recognized me, we started chatting up. I told them why I don't drop by the Galleria branch anymore, etc. They told me that every Wednesday, the week's comics come into the Ermita branch (the main branch) before they get sent to the Galleria and Eastwood branches on Thursday. As it turns out, their supply was delayed so they were a day behind schedule.

Finally, I asked for the Avengers Forever HC and Mighty Avengers #28, and guess what?
They gave me a 10% discount!

With what I paid for both of them, it seems as if I got the Avengers Forever HC for at least P200 cheaper and even got a free comic for it!

I guess, then, that luck is part being at the right place at the right time and part investing in your relationship with other people.


Triple Visions


With the limited number of Avengers merchandise out there (thank goodness), it's great to find ones that feature characters that are unmistakeably Avengers even if I don't see the 'Avengers' brand slapped on the box.

I'm not that big on the character actually but as Avengers go, no one is more associated with the franchise than the Vision. There's the  Big Three, of course, but the Vision is the first character ever developed specifically to be an Avenger (the last being Kelsey Leigh/Capt. Britain/Lionheart, shortly prior to the farce that was Disassembled).

There's also Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, (possibly) even Hank Pym (in whatever identity) and the Wasp.

From left to right: Mini Mate (Art Asylum) - got it from Comic Odyssey just last Sunday. Wanted it so much when I first heard about it; Wacky Wobbler Bobble-Head (Funko) - a discounted find from the recent TAGCOM; Superhero Squad (Hasbro) - from Toys R Us. Actually, Alec and I split the Avengers 4-piece box set - he got the Captain America and I
got the rest.

I actually have a few more Avengers characters (Hawkeye Minimate/Superhero Squad; Ms. Marvel Minimate/Superhero Squad; Scarlet Witch Marvel Legend/Minimate; Wonderman Marvel Legend/Minimate; Ultron Marvel Legend/Minimate) but I just find it amusing that I ended up with THREE Visions in different incarnations.

This blog was originally posted on my Multiply on March 2, 2009