Monday, July 22, 2013

"15 days Later"

"15 days Later"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Bank District, London.

“Remind me again why we are doing this?” the armor clad man said as he shot at the oncoming zombies, three fell as his rounds hit them. “And while you do that pass me some ammo will ya?”

The other man threw him another magazine and fired a couple of shots at the unending monsters flowing out of District one. “We are going to rob banks! Pounds my friend. All those precious pieces of paper rotting in those vaults.”

“The damn Britons weren’t saved by those damn things , I mean look at us we’re bound to be fucking killed by those things.” The first man said as he broke off into a run.”Lets head for higher ground”.

“Come on Matt , if we do that now we’re going farther from our goal” pulling the first man down as he spoke.

“Well my goal is to stay alive Arian! According to the reports we got most of the Infected  from District One are all neatly clustered up in this place. Right between the bank district. Fancy that huh?!”

“Well that’s why we have all these bullets with us now don’t we?” The man named Arian peeked out of their cover to see that most of the infected had stopped  running toward them. They seem to be going toward one of the buildings on the northern side. “That’s our cue to get out of here man. Follow me!”

Matt thought it was crazy. Crazy but he knew that Arian was right. If they were able to get enough of that money out they would be rich enough to start life again. He would never ever want to go into another stinking hospital again. No more filth from these people. Probably in the tropics where he can work on his tan. Even as he thought of it , it sounded selfish in his head. He knew why Arian was doing this and it just wasn’t to survive. Since the destruction of District One he has not been able to contact his family. A family he knows that must be worried about him. A family that needs all that he can get here.

The plan was simple. Go into the banks set off explosives and take as much money as possible. They started out with 7 people and now here they are at two. The Rage virus really is efficient. They weren’t ready for this , all of them were nurses at the District One medical center until the army decided to carpet bomb the place. It had been 3 weeks since they had been fighting to survive. It was Arian who found that supply depot that saved them all. He was also the one who got most of them killed with this crazy plan , but Matt reasoned that everyone knew the risks upon joining , Arian didn’t force them into something they were not fully aware of. Matt was aware that as he followed Arian, he was distracted by the infecteds rattling of the northern building.

“Someone must be in there…”Arian started to say and was cut off by Matt.

“Oh no you don’t , you were the one who said we shouldn’t get sidetracked remember? And besides we’re not the fucking army! They should be the ones doing the rescuing. If we get all torn up there the others would have just died in vain.”

“I know…sorry man. When this all works out lets give the guys a proper funeral service ok? Now here’s the bank , lets hurry and do this.”

Arian thought of the other 5 guys who were with them. Honest and decent people left here by the army , truth be told if the army ever came back it wouldn’t be to rescue them but to exterminate them. That was what the CMO told him in case an outbreak could not be controlled and yeah they weren’t able to control it big time. The whole District One affair was a mess.

 “Stay Sharp Matt , keep your eye on the door. I’ll go set up the explosives ok?”

Matt nodded as he took up a position near the entrance. The strong wooden door was long gone , probably from the original outbreak when the whole city went into a rampage and decided to kill everyone. The whole Bank was full of garbage; Skeletons lay on the floor and he saw Arian move warily toward the vault where he knelt and he set up the C4. He didn’t ask how he knew about those things. Arian seemed to know a lot of things. He must make it a point to ask someday when this is over. Suddenly Matt noted a change in the movements outside, the mob seemed to be moving toward them.

 “Arian, you better hurry up with that, the ghouls outside seem to be wondering what we are doing in here.” He aimed his gun at the entrance. The wide window on the right of the door burst and it was pouring infected into the floor. Matt started firing, the window on the left burst as well and soon the growling masses were just a few feet away from where Matt was firing. “Things are getting sticky here man…are you done yet?”

 “Take cover Matt! Over here!” Arian motioned to a nook on the left side of the vault. The infected were gaining on him. Arian waited for the last second when Matt was clear into the nook and then he detonated the C4. The explosion rattled the bank. The nearest infected were blown away to pieces. Those farther back succumbed to pieces of falling debris.

 The two men coughed out dust and tried to hold their heads as an endless ringing seemed to begin. They held on to the wall to balance themselves and as they did, they began to laugh at everything that happened. Arian took his first step into the vault and started to stuff the money in bags. “This is it. When we get back to the Philippines we’ll be filthy rich! You’ll get that tan you’ve always wanted Matt! Matt?”

 Arian turned around afraid of what he might see. He saw his friend writhing as blood spurted out if his neck, an infected’s teeth deep into it still. He knew that at any moment he would turn. At this close range he had to take his shot. Matt had died and he wanted to make sure that he didn’t die in vain. He fired his gun at the two things in front of him. They both fell to the floor. He let out a sigh. It was finally over. He can take the prize and hide.

 Suddenly he felt it, a stinging in the eyes that seemed to stretch an eternity. He saw all the blood that covered him. Somehow some got into his eyes. He felt his body twitching then spasm uncontrollably as the Rage virus multiplied rapidly and destroyed every fiber of his being. He knew he was being broken down, his memories starting to fade, his body feeling numb, his sensations dying, he knew he would never need to eat or sleep or drink or fuck ever again. He would neither love, nor care. Only one thing mattered; only one thing screamed in his brain. Rage.


Editor's Note: This story occurs 15 days after the carpet bombing of District One in the movie 28 weeks later.

Originally posted in Effective Communications. A Big thanks to Patrick Racho for that.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Commander Stage Mother Syndrome (AKA Coach Jawo Syndrome)...A lethal disease..."

"Ganito gawin mo ha...."
"Commander Stage Mother Syndrome (AKA Coach Jawo Syndrome)...A lethal disease..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

St , one of my friends told me about the Commander phenomenon known as the Commander Stage Mother...

Stage mother. noun. Someone who keeps telling you what you should have done last turn, this turn, and the next. Ex. "Rakdos player ka ba talaga? Attack lang ng attack. O, bakit pinass mo lang ang turn. Patay na sana siya. Ako na lang nga maglalaro. Tabi dyan!"

I was rolling in laughter about this before I realized that this is really something serious. I was rolling while sitting down.I have seen this phenomenon a lot of times in both casual and tournament play. This is also known as the Coach Jawo Syndrome. Yes it is like a disease. Yes it is communicable and yes there is no known cure because Magic players by nature always have something  to say about decisions of another player regardless if it is the best move or not. Some players believe that there should be a real life Mind slaver so that they could control a pivotal turn...for some other player. 

Here are some of the things that you might have heard over the course of playing:

1) "Patay na ba?" "Di pa?" "Hina mo naman"... Classic Coach Jawo syndrome(CJS)...You should start naming all of your opponents Allan Caidic...

2)  "Kung ako yan..." - Classic Mindslaver moment...And yes like a gentleman you should let the CJS sufferer play in your place...otherwise ikamamatay niya...Help save a life...

"Hay Mindslaver...sana totoo ka na lang..."

3) "Wag ka na nga mag Blue/Black/Green/Red/White...di ka marunong gumamit..." He who has not misplayed in any game cast the first stone...Clue stone daw ba?

4) "May ganyan ka pala eh...Bakit di mo ginamit yan?" And the proper response would be? Kibit balikat aka Shoulder Shrug Maneuver.

5) "Dapat talaga ganito yun eh..." Yun naman pala eh...

As annoying as some of these players can be we just need to understand that they mean well and it is at some of these "Coaching" moments that we actually grow as players and learn to be more accepting and tolerant of others as they are of us when we are afflicted with the same incurable disease. Out of all the diseases that I have seen this is the only one with a really cool upside. It makes you better.

The disease will continue to spread because Magic is an ever growing game with a myriad of approaches to any given situation. Let us hope that no one develops a cure for the imagination and endless creativity that Magic players bring with them everywhere. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Monsters University: Going back to School"

"Monsters University: Going back to School"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Plot: We get introduced to  Michael "Mike" Wazowski as he is introduced to the world of Scaring and how he dreams to make it big as a Scarer in the future.

It also looks at the early relationship of Mike and Sully which starts out on the wrong foot.

It rated really high on the Aven Rating Meter (She was well behaved through out the movie) and it rated high on mine too but it did make me feel a lot older. The plot was nothing new and I've seen it a  lot of times in classics like Revenge of the Nerds. When I told my wife this I realized that Aven and her would not be able to relate to me at all because they would never have the chance to view this movie. Sigh.

Now on to the review...

The Good:

- Mike's first step unto the scare floor , Monster University and the human world...

- Mike facing his doubts and winning...

- The Scarer cards...truly collectible...

- Like in the revenge of the nerds , the differences (Strengths) of the team Ozma Kappa determined the outcome...

- The Scare games!!!!

- Squishy appearing by the bed side of a child and scaring the life out of it (It was a dummy) without even moving...

- Sully scaring 6 full grown adults!

- The scare tactics...who knew there were so many methods...Mike surely knew...

- The giant snail librarian!

- The giant snail rampaging on the football field!

- Nathan Fillion (Frank Castle) as Johnny! Nice sound bites...

- The Laundry Initiation scene...Hilarious...

- Overall the Monster designs were great! 

- I noticed that one of my classmates in my Review class looks like Bob...From sales!!!

The Bad:

-Getting expelled...while lately success stories have come out about people who did not finish school but came out on top they should always be considered as the rare exceptions to the rule and not the one's who set the standards. I had a long talk to my daughter about this.

The Ugly:

-Abigail Hardscrabble , insectile body,dragon wings , she really is the stuff of nightmares. I was not really surprised that she held a scare record. She half looked like a consuming aberration in Magic. 

- The Monsters in the hall of fame in Roar Omega Roar , the paintings had a lot of that black ink that made it somehow more scary.


There is a lot of things going on for this movie. It is in part a feel good movie , an origin movie and at heart a childrens story.

I like the message that Hard work will get you places and the never say die attitude of Mike , the honesty of Sully and the over all feel that even in hopeless situations there is always a better way out. 

"Pacific Rim: Cancelling the Apocalypse is so much fun..."

"Pacific Rim: Cancelling the Apocalypse is so much fun..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.


For years the Jaegers (Gigantic Robots) were humanities only defense against the Kaiju( Gigantic monsters) who came from a dimensional breach below the Pacific and who's attacks have been constantly growing in strenght as the years go by...Now after predicting that the Kaiju's would be making their final push to end all of human existence and the Jaeger program almost wiped out we find ourselves finding new heroes and old ones to make a stand...

The Good:

- First I'd like to say that Manila was the 2nd major city to be attacked and I'm sure that scored quite well with the pinoy fans big time...It makes me wonder what we would do if we ever were attacked by a Kaiju...our tanks and planes are old...really old.

- The whole feel of the movie was a mix of Evangelion and Godzilla and Ultraman!!...Cities being destroyed , monsters trampling everything , Humanoid robots stopping them...Yup...It looks like Ultraman on steroids!!! Yeah!!!!

- The whole category system...The Kaiju's sound like storms...Oh no its a category 4!!! Oh no its a category 5!!! Expect moderate to heavy rain showers of Kaiju guts and brain matter...

- This was how robots should be treated...Majestic...Towering...Colossal things that are full of power...minimal parts that don't need all of their screws and hoods transforming...

- The cinematography here is superb...all the fight scenes deserve such high praise...

- The scene where Beckett reached the Alaskan shoreline with his Jaeger and it collapsed...I nominate that for best Robot Collapse scene...if there will ever be such a thing...

- "Today we are cancelling the apocalypse..." that is going to be my battle cry for awhile...too bad that when Idris Elba was uttering it someone decided that they could'nt hold their bladder anymore and decided to pass by...ruining the moment...

- The self sacrificing and her worship that abounds in the film...beautiful...

The Bad:

- The loss of so much Jaegers and the insistence of the world that a wall could be the only protection against those big monsters...

- The short sightedness of world leaders in scrapping the Jaeger program.

- It took them 5 years to unlock the puzzle of the breach...they needed to have a Kaiju genetic code..they needed a mindmeld to find that out...

The Ugly:

- Ron Perlman coming out of that baby Kaiju's belly at the end of the movie , I like the guy but he still is ugly hahahaha....

- It didn't seem right not to see a Japanese as a pilot of one of these Jaegers because Mecha is pretty much their territory when it comes to story telling and style. Out of all the babelicious Japanese to put on the screen they had to choose Miss Bangs as Mako. Her acting was great but they could have put in more of an eye candy in there. Come on , there are tons to pick from!


This has got to be the best Robot/Giant Creature film that I have seen in a long time...It didn;t rate high on the Aven meter...she was only behaved on the fighting scenes and I must admit after seeing the Jaegers in action you can't help but wish the movie was just more of them and less talking but the build up was still nicely paced...Now that the breach is closed would there be a part 2?