I’m right, you’re wrong

Says in Wikipedia:

“Vehicles will often come into conflict with other vehicles because their intended courses of travel intersect, and thus interfere with each other’s routes. The general principle that establishes who has the right to go first is called “right of way”, or “priority”. It establishes who has the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who has to wait until the other driver does so.”

You know what they are, don’t you?  If not (and I do hope you don’t have a driver’s license if this is the case), I’m giving some examples of right-of-way rules:

1) When two cars reach an intersection at the same time, the one on the left yields to the one on the right,

2) In roundabout roads, a.k.a. rotundas, those who are already in the road yield the right of way to those who are just entering it,

3) Intersection again, but this time three vehicles get to it at the same time. The “right-side” rule no longer applies. Instead, the two cars who are facing opposite each other have priority over the third.

 There’s actually a lot more, but this post isn’t a tutorial on basic right-of-way rules. At any rate, no matter what the rules are or how different they are from one country to the next, there’s an instruction common to all countries:

DO NOT INSIST ON YOUR RIGHT OF WAY.

Which makes a lot of sense, really. What if you’re against a drunk driver who couldn’t see you if your plate number is five inches away from his face? Insisting on your right-of-way would almost certainly end in disaster, right?

Sadly, though, as a long-time observer of traffic in Metro Manila, I could say without reservation that the “not insisting on your right-of-way” policy doesn’t apply here. Why? Two reasons:

1) The few who have been schooled on the right-of-way rule usually only remember the “do not insist” part. Of course we would, that’s an instant loophole to get our way of the highway. Since you’re not supposed to insist on your ROW, the other motorist would expect you to do this and therefore try to get one up over you. How many times have I seen this happen: running full throttle into an intersection to get the better of those motorists who looked first before proceeding; turning left on unprotected intersections without regard to oncoming traffic; merging into traffic without regard to motorists who have merged in before you. And when accidents do happen, the one who’d be adjudge at fault is not the one who proceeded without a right-of-way, but rather the one who insisted on his. Maybe in the Philippines, we should be required to insist on our right-of-way, because the opposite is turning out to be ridiculous. Like, “Officer, it’s his fault because he insisted on his right of way!”  How stupid is that?

2) Second reason much simpler. As evidenced by the way drivers behave on the road, an estimated 6 out of 10 drivers do not know what a right-of-way is.  Two out of 10 do not care. And 1.9 out of 10 think they’re always right.

I know someone who rear-ended me while I’m at full stop, and she still thinks it’s my fault.

:rolleyes:

When you make something up…

A plot element that could be killed by common sense is a bad plot element. Consider the following in a movie I glimpsed: pompous rich girl on her way to Baguio, driven by a chauffeur in a brand new Nissan Xtrail. The car broke down in mid-trip – a plot element intended to cross the rich girl’s path with the leading man of the story. The driver said the car broke down because of a ruptured fuel line.

What is wrong with this picture? It’s a brand new car. Fuel lines, oil conduits or water hoses don’t just rupture in brand new cars, especially in luxury models like the Xterra (with leather seats to boot). The only way for this to have happened is if the part is defective coming out of the dealer – in which case the damage would have manifested way before the point of it being even considered for use in a trip to Baguio; or someone intentionally sliced it – a major plot element in itself which should have been shown to the audience.

Problem: the writer didn’t think this plot element out, maybe because he/she is too focused on the scene where the girl and her leading man would meet as a result of her needing to take public transport. Either the writer forgot, or worse, didn’t know from the start (in which case the person has no business writing stories) that fiction writing falls under the category of creative writing because he/she needs to be creative, to at least avoid sudden and unpleasant show-stoppers on the audience’s suspension of disbelief. The writer would have done much better if he wrote, for example, a jeepney clipping the Xtrail’s fender (which happens quite a lot). But no. “Paano sila magkakakilala? Ah, masisiraan siya ng kotse.” To hell with believability.

A story’s main power has been and will always be in its believability. You take that away, you’re left feeling robbed with a contrived story that accomplishes nothing but insult your intelligence.

I might end up killing myself tonight if…

If I’d insist on going boxing. Yeah yeah, there’s something to be said about consistency (and I learned a hard lesson after skipping two sessions and going on the third so tired that I only managed three rounds of mitts), but not even Manny Paquiao dives into the grit after an all-nighter. Haven’t slept a wink yet(again), so if I’m going to box, I might as well play basketball with cinderblocks attached to my legs. And my legs are heavy enough as they are… Huhuhu…

Random thoughts again:

  • Nice to hear strangers laughing at my jokes. Last Saturday at the Subic Tiger Safari, while checking out the crocodile pool I called our tour guide and asked if any of those crocs are running for congress, bwahahaha (gets nyo)?
  • You owe it to yourself to try. Even if failure is an almost certainty, it’s better to have tried and failed than chicken out and then look back and wonder what would have happened if you tried. The shame is not in failure, but in cowardice.
  • I’d have to be the most egotistical ass in the world if a girl offered friendship and I suspect in return that she wanted more from me, just because I’m the spitting image of Justin Hartley (which I’m not, not by a parsec, but hypothetically speaking…)
  • Was looking at the Friendster photos of a former friend, and in between my snickers for observing that she and her boyfriend don’t look good together and cringing to an attack of sheer corniness at the sight of the pic of their intertwined hands, I just realized that I haven’t really forgiven her yet. I want to, really.  This chip on my shoulder is baggage I could certainly do without. But maybe it’s true that some offenses are hard to forgive unless the offender explicitly says sorry. But I doubt she would…
  • I admit to planning on watching some movies just to criticize them. Haven’t gotten around to lambasting X-Men 3 (which some described was the best movie of 2006 – please! It’s the worst X-Men movie, fer cryin’ out loud!) yet. Now there’s Frank Miller’s “300” that I have to work on as well.
  • Going out of my comfort zone. Not something I’m looking forward to, but it is something that I need to do.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 is chock-full of cut-scenes, which is turning out to be a bad thing because it’s starting to get boring. On the other hand, when I do get into a fight, the enemies seem to come at me endlessly! Luckily, I have my AR Max, hehehe.
  • I might hold another grand videoke session at home. It’s just a little sad that I couldn’t expect some of the same people I invited last year to come. Oh well…
  • I need a new pair of boxing gloves…
  • … Or maybe I should upgrade to freeform martial arts…
  • NBA 2K7 – the PS2 game: I HAVE CREATED A MONSTER! A pair of them, actually. Combine Dwyane Wade with a full 99 5’9″ point guard created player (whose name you probably know already, hwehwehwe) and you get the deadliest backcourt tandem professional basketball has ever seen! Too bad it’s just a fantasy (oh-woh-woh-woh)
  • Notwhitstanding my cat Dang’s excessive feistiness, I just realized she’s one hell of a pretty cat. If she were human, she’d be Angel Locsin =p
  • And last but not the least (since the original post was written 3/28), Belated Happy Birthday, Trisha 😉

When a pretty girl lies, do you think pardon or payback?

Five-day leave, plus a normal two-day weekend. Then come to work for two days. Then another five-day break (three holidays sandwiching the weekend). This taught me that it’s possible to get too much vacation time, and I realized this when I went out tonight to pick up my wife at her weekly badminton game – getting out in the open could be such a rush after all! There wasn’t anything new, it just happened that during the last loooong weekend I got cooped up in the house and did nothing but flex my abs (by stuffing it with food, hehehe), cuddle with the PS2 and hit the online jungle. So bored I actually planned to crash at Mike’s place with Markku and the HR ladies +1 (what +1? ask Markku, hehehe). Alas, none of them would consent, for various reasons.

So what else did I do during this lengthy break? My three most favorite pasttimes, of course. Think, mull, and contemplate. And here’s what I reasoned:

  • Picture an NBA team with the following roster: Dwyane Wade, Kirk Heinrich, Ben Gordon, Ben Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Andris Biedrins, Damien Wilkins, Mike Miller, Steven Hunter, Shane Battier, Eddie Griffin, Daniel Ewing. What do you think would happen with a team like this?
  • People seem to put more credibility to pretty faces, don’t you think? Like, if Jamie King claimed Terry Crews was stalking her and the latter insisted that he doesn’t even come within ten feet of her, who would you believe? (Got this one from LN)
  • Okay, combine this item with the one above and slightly sharper minds would conclude that one of the things I did during the break was chug that Wayans riot-fest White Chicks. One of the little but good things that came out of that heap of comedic mess (that made of roffle just the same) was doing away with image stereotypes. I’m talking about Latrell Spencer (played by Crews), a burly hoopster brutha who couldn’t shoot a three-pointer to save his life, singing along with the cutesy teen-pop Vanessa Carlton song A Thousand Miles. Like, we really could learn from this bit of gag: if you like a song, don’t pretend to get all goose-bumpy just because the song is Hello Kitty pink and you’re a boyz-in-da-hood wannabe. Be true to yourself.
  • Conversely, I despise Pinoy Big Brother in all its mundanely gimmicky, desperately-grovelling-for-viewership forms. But I think it’s unfair to label me as a conio Am-boy just because. I hate it, period.
  • BLACK GULAMAN IS DA BOMB!!!
  • I’m proud to say that when my circle gather round for lunch, Hana’s pastry treats or to feed tigers with dressed chicken, we don’t instinctively talk about or make fun of other people. We only talk about and make fun of each other =D (just don’t let anyone sing Lifehouse’s You and Me – that ruins my day completely)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: the video game, at one point speaks of the stereotype role-conflict element that says “Don’t freaking tell me what to do. You’re at home base, I’m the one in the field. You have no bloody idea what it’s like to be in my place.” Trite, but nevertheless true. None of us have a right to tell another person what or what not to do when we don’t have the tiniest inkling of what it’s like being in the same predicament. Two things to avoid: (a) being judgmental, and (b) being self-righteous.
  • “If I could do that to someone I love [drive an axe into the person’s skull], imagine what I can do to someone I hate.” — Tarik. From the movie The Jackal. Which about sums it all up. I care about you, yes. But don’t push your luck.
  • “Lets not kill the Karma, lets not start a fight. Its not worth the drama for a beautiful liar” — Beyonce (this is the answer)
  • American Idol season 6 is fast turning up to be like season 3: one contestant is poised to win in a landslide the way Fantasia Barino did. Melinda Doolittle simply pwns them all, hands down. Personally, though, my favorite is Jordin Sparks. Not only because she’s a very good singer, but also because she’s perhaps the more adorable AI contestant ever. I could only agree wholeheartedly when Paula Abdul described Jordin as a joy magnet. Still, the music person in me says Doolittle – to date – outsings her at every turn. But what the hell, still nine weeks to go. And Ryan Seacrest is also rooting for Jordin, so nyah =)
  • When your friend is in love, smile. Don’t roll your eyes. We all fall in love.

“I’m a mess. You’re a disaster.”

Case #1: Along the Timog-Tomas Morato rotunda, right beside Padi’s Point stood my favorite “Italian” restaurant, Napoli.  A few years ago I had dinner there with my then-fiancee and some friends and naturally, we ordered Puttanesca, among other things. Friend A didn’t partake of that sumptuous pasta dish because according to her, she simply doesn’t like it. Friend B then remarked “What a weird person.”

Of course, it was meant as a joke – as I’m sure you’d all be thinking how intolerant Friend B was for cracking such an intolerant remark seriously. But then, how many times have we seriously thought about other people as “weird” just because they don’t think as we do?

True-to-life story: someone had stopped talking to me simply because I told that person that I don’t watch Pinoy Big Brother.

And another said I’ve got some serious issues just for declaring that The Da Vinci code isn’t good.

How should we react to people who, upon hearing others express their personal opinions, tell them to keep their opinions to themselves?

Case #2: Ever encounter someone who’s been cheated on and feels so helpless that all the person could do was talk, just to avoid blowing up? How did you react to that person? Do you listen to him/her all the while setting a limit on how long you’re going to listen? Ever express your disgust for what you perceive as that person’s stubborn refusal to help him/herself?

Or how about someone who’s got a serious liking for another who’s already attached?  Would you nag at that person for being a potential “relationship-wrecker”? Or would you assume that the person already knows what’s right and wrong, and so couldn’t do jack about his/her predicament other than pour out his/her frustrations by talking? Do you trust your friends this much?

Case #3: Ever had a friend who attempted suicide or did drugs because he/she couldn’t deal with a crisis? Do you extend understanding to this person or walk away because he/she didn’t handle the situation the way you would have handled it had you been in that person’s shoes?

Ever land judgment on a person for reacting badly to a situation that you have never experienced yourself?

How many times have you been surprised in eventually finding yourself in a similar predicament and doing the exact same thing that you’ve judged others for doing when they were in that same exact rut?

I’ve been guilty of all three. And believe me, the eye-openers have been anything but pleasant. In fact, some of them were downright painful.

Ironically, those people whose different opinions I didn’t tolerate, those that I’ve called wussies and unethical people simply because they vocalized their feelings, those that I’ve criticized for doing stupid things that I so pompously declared I would never do… they’re the ones who stood by me during my times of crisis… when I committed or came close to committing the very same things that I bragged I would never, ever be stupid enough or immoral enough to commit.

It was a very humbling experience.

Lesson learned: a little tolerance goes a long way.

I wasn’t supposed to click on THAT link >(

You shouldn’t spend hours on the keyboard and then get your hands wet afterwards. Carpal tunnel is the least of your worries. In my case, spasm on my hands caused my fingers to click on a link that I’m not – by any circumstances imaginable – supposed to click on. Shoot, issue na naman ito.

Like last Saturday. Googling something about fighter jets, for some reason a link to what I perceive to be a porn site appeared in the search results. Bad: With the site I wanted just above it, I accidentally clicked on the porn site link. Realizing my mistake, I immediately clicked on the Back button.

Worse: Too late. The comp restarted. And when I booted up again, I realized that spyware has already invaded my system. So I spent the next two hours doing a full system scan. Found nothing. But the spyware warning messages were still appearing. Worst: Whenever I start IE, it crashes and causes a slow down of the entire system.

Question 1: Barring the Ten Commandments, is it okay to murder programmers of spyware?

Question 2: Any tips on how to fix my comp?

Thank you…