Thursday, September 11, 2014

(Re)Built My First Coil Ever! Rebuilding the Aspire Nautilus BVC... Almost!

Building coils for any atomizer is something I have yet to venture into. I recently bought my first rebuildable dripping atomizer, the Mephisto (clone) and I have yet to build my own DIY coil for it, instead of having a local vape shop do it for me.

This evening, I got tempted to attempt to rebuild one of my dead coil heads for my Aspire Nautilus. I have been using the Bottom Vertical Coils and my first one died out on me. From the vape shop the other day, I got less than a foot short .28 gauge Kanthal and a cotton ball. The Kanthal wire had about 8 wraps already, since I was told to practice wrapping at the vape shop.

So I thought to myself, "This should be enough gear for me." I started watching a YouTube video by Rip Trippers (video below) about rebuilding the Aspire Nautilus BVC coil heads. Then I realized that there are some things I'm just not going to have; like enough Kanthal wires, Japanese Organic Cotton (Koh Gen Do Pure), a 1/16 drill bit and a torch.

I ended up having to use regular organic cotton that I got from Walgreens. I have tweezers and scissors and a couple of tiny screw drivers. 



Nautilus Mini Bottom Vertical Coil Build by Rip Trippers

Just by following this video, and with enough tools (or lack thereof), I was still able to rebuild my BVC coil head! The only problem I had was the airflow. I had some congestion on the airflow since cotton got in the center of the coil.

But I hit my target resistance: 1.8 Ohms! That's the resistance my Vamo v5 was reading. Now many people know that the Vamo's resistance meter can't be trusted so easily. But it's all I have, until I get an actual Resistance Meter.

Mephisto RDA clone
I tested it anyway. It worked fine! It was a very restricted draw as Rip Trippers mentioned on the video, but it worked! I have NEVER built a coil in my entire life! Not even for my Mephisto RDA clone. I guess I got to start somewhere, since I'm slowly getting into vaping with mechanical mods and RBA / RDAs.

I still have the coil head, but I disassembled it since I can't seem to fix the airflow problem. Other than that, I know I can do it again! Maybe next time, I'll go down on the resistance to 1.4 Ohms. lol

I'm going to go shopping for some tools, and I'm going to be ordering some Kanthal .28 gauge online. This challenge was very satisfying to know that I was able to do something I didn't have any experience in doing.

One of the things I've been wanting to do ever since I started vaping was to DIY things, from rebuilding coils for drippers, rebuilding atomizers and making my own e-liquids. It's been 60 days since I started vaping and maybe I have much more to learn. I'm also planning to blog about it, too!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ok, Fine! I'll Write Something: Re-cap and Spoilers of What's To Come!

Sorry I abandoned this site again. I've been very busy lately as far as work, band, anime conventions, etc. I've been meaning to write about many things, mainly my personal experiences at the recent anime / comic conventions I have been attending. Also, I have been wanting to write (brag) about the fact that I have quit smoking, and talk about my new expensive hobby of vaping.

Here are a few conventions I will be blogging about (all entries will be backdated):

  • Comicpalooza 2014: I volunteered for the first time ever, as a part of the First Aid crew.
  • A-Kon 25: I'll be talking about how my band Otaku Acoustic got our first ever "Special Events" recognition.
  • San Japan: Samurai 7: I will be blogging more about my awesome personal experience.
  • AnimeFest 2014: My band's busiest, yet satisfying gig to date!



Other things I will be blogging about soon:
  • How I was able to quit smoking cigarettes...
  • What made me get into vaping and electronic cigarettes
  • What anime I've been watching during the Summer 2014 season
  • How I'm doing at work
  • ...and more!




Soon, I'll have some time to write stuff on this blog. I won't be talking much about my band on this site because I should be blogging about all that stuff on the band's website at www.otakuacoustic.com. I'm also planning to start a video blog, which will be using this site as the archive and feed for every time I upload one on YouTube.

I'll keep y'all posted!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Video Blog Test, Killing Time at Work

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't updated my blog for a while now. I've been meaning to post a few entries about my convention experiences from Comicpalooza and A-Kon 25. It's not that I've been lazy lately. It's more like I really haven't had the time to type stuff up. But I think that's going to change soon.

Anyway, I'm experimenting on video blogging all over again. Since I have been bringing my laptop along with me at work, I can do a lot of editing while I'm on standby between my deliveries.

Here's the video blog that I recorded and edited earlier:


Video Blog Test: Killing Time at Work

Though my laptop can't run Sony Vegas Pro 12, which is what I use on my desktop to edit the Otaku Acoustic music videos, I still have Windows Movie Maker on my laptop (don't laugh). Windows Movie Maker is capable "enough" to do what I need it to do, and my laptop has "enough" power to handle it. It's not like I'm working with multiple audio & video tracks, and will be rendering the video at 1080i. I'm going to keep my video blogs simple.

After experimenting on editing the raw video file using Windows Movie Maker, I uploaded it to YouTube and experimented on a few more things there like annotations, closed captions & subs, and more. Here I am thinking, maybe I can start doing this to kill time in between my deliveries. The only problem I'm probably going to face here: what to talk about..

For now, I'm happy with what I came up with. I'm so behind, because I'm barely doing what many have been doing for years. But I have a YouTube channel. I shouldn't be afraid to use it!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Same Faces at Different Places (Part 1): Everyday People

When I meet people at certain places like at work or in my social life, I have a tendency to associate them with the place or setting where I meet them. But when I meet some of those people at another place, I have a tendency to not recognize them. This causes me to either re-introduce myself or to awkwardly pretend I immediately recognized them. Sadly, I have gotten too good at doing the latter (thanks Lifehacker lol).


Is this weird? Is this a problem that only I have?

It doesn't happen often, but I feel like it happens more often than it should. It makes me feel like a jerk, as if I didn't remember them or forgot who they are. Bad enough, I am not the best at remembering people's names. That is something I'm still practicing until this day. After all, the best way to initially compliment somebody is by remembering their name."

I meet a lot of people due to the nature of my work. When it comes to my social life, I tend to meet a lot of people through my many friends. I also make lots of friends fast at anime conventions. Cosplayers are a different story, since costumes, wigs, make-up and masks are involved. I'll have to write about in a separate entry about them later.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

OtakuAcoustic.com Launched

Today, I bought yet another domain just for my music project Otaku Acoustic. Since we frequently get asked by people "Do you have a website?", I went ahead and created one on Blogger.com, and pointed the domain otakuacoustic.com to it.

The project only took about 2 hours to complete, and another hour just to add some content to the blog. Though I don't really mean to create a blog as a band website, I will figure out ways to make it look more like a website, as soon as I can find more content to add to it.

The website will include schedules of our appearances, announcements, videos and photos. Some videos and photos will be posted exclusively on the website and not on our Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, or our Twitter Feed. Ok, maybe on our Twitter feed.

Go check out the website! I'm open to suggestions, recommendations and constructive criticism.

This only costed me $1.17!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Otaku Acoustic: Live @ Anime Matsuri 2014

This weekend, my music project "Otaku Acoustic" attended Anime Matsuri 2014 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX. There, we played over 25 anime cover songs, most of which were songs we recently just learned.

Here's a very short clip of us playing the "Pokemon Theme" with the crowd singing along:

Otaku Acoustic - Pokemon Theme (LIVE @ Anime Matsuri 2014, Houston, TX)
Video provided by AAC Studios

We had lots of fun playing for the anime convention crowd, probably the most fun we've had so far! The convention staff was very accommodating to us, since we were granted permission by the convention chair a week prior to the event. And as always, the people that attend Anime Matsuri are always welcoming to new ideas.

Of course, we are very thankful to all those who left us tips and gave us compliments and constructive criticism. We're always open to suggestions and song ideas.

Check out the Otaku Acoustic Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/otakuacoustic

Please come visit our Facebook Page as well: http://www.facebook.com/otakuacoustic
(Don't forget to click "Like" and tell your Facebook friends about us!)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

When it Freezes in Houston...

Image taken from KHOU.com
It is very rare for Houston to have a Winter Storm involving icy roads. Now I am no meteorologist or an expert in driving on ice, but as a delivery driver who spends a lot of time on the Houston roads and highways, I'd like to share a few things that I have learned to do when Houston experiences a Winter storm.

Because of how rare Houston experiences these ice-cold conditions, many commuters in this city will tend to underestimate Mother Nature. Let's face it Houston, we don't know how to drive on ice. I'm a very experienced courier in Houston, and I'm first to admit, I suck at driving on ice! Northerners can laugh all they want. Just brush it off and think of your survival (or the safety of your pocketbook)! So, in this blog entry, when I say Winter Storm, I'm not talking about blizzards or an avalanche. I'm talking about ice on freeways, which I'm sure is normal to many folks up north.

Recently, on January 24th, the Houston highways experienced some icy freeways, causing over 200 accidents. This is unfortunate to many commuters in the city, but consider the fact that no casualties were reported. Unlike the Winter Storm of February 2011, there were over 800 accidents, including at least one reported casualty. Remember that day?


Monday, January 20, 2014

Twee - San Francisco

This is an original song that my friend Twee wrote and composed on her guitar. It's called "San Francisco". The lyrics were written by Twee.

  • Vocals / Lyrics / Guitar: Twee
  • Guitar: Duane "Roger" Perez (me)

Please visit my YouTube Channel to see more videos of Twee.

Twee - Tonight's The Night

This is an original song that my friend Twee and I composed. It's called "Tonight's The Night". The lyrics were written by Twee. I composed the music and the arrangement.

  • Vocals / Lyrics: Twee
  • Guitar: Duane "Roger" Perez (me)

Please visit my YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/callmeroger

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Otaku Acoustic - Pokemon Theme (cover)

This is Otaku Acoustic's version of the Pokemon Theme.
  • Vocals: Melanie Jackson-Perez
  • Guitar: Duane "Roger" Perez (me)


Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/otakuacoustic

Otaku Acoustic - Sailor Moon Theme (cover)

This is Otaku Acoustic's rendition of the Sailor Moon Theme Song!!!
  • Vocals: Melanie Jackson-Perez
  • Guitar: Duane "Roger" Perez



Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/otakuacoustic

Anime Shows I'm Currently Watching...

Despite the fact that I haven't had much time to watch anime, I still manage to find time to catch up on my favorite simulcasts anime shows, while trying to watch other anime shows that has finished airing long ago. This season of anime, Winter 2014, has a great line-up, while I'm still enjoying some on-going shows from the previous season of Fall 2013.

Here are some shows I'm currently enjoying via Crunchyroll Simulcast:


Kill La Kill (episode 14 screencap)

Kill La Kill

(currently at episode 14)
At first, I had very little interest in watching this show. I understand that this was created by the same folks who brought us Gurren Lagann. Because of that, I was like "I don't know if this show will live up to the exaggerated epicness of Gurren Lagann." Of course, with the absence of Attack on Titan, this could be a substitute, for now. People are buzzing about it. It's what made me shy away from it... until finally I gave in.

I watched the first episode, and I could NOT "not like" it, even if I tried. I couldn't turn away from the show. The next thing you know, I was 6 episodes in. I was addicted!

Watch it on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/kill-la-kill

-------------

Golden Time  (episode 14 screencap)

Golden Time 

(currently at episode 14)
It wasn't my idea to watch this show. My wife got me watching this show. The whole "law school" part of Crunchyroll's synopsis of this show interested her.

Though I am not as hooked on this show as I am with Kill La Kill, I could use some romance drama anime. Oh, the love triangles and the "friendzoning" in this show reminds me of my younger years. Koko is also the type of girl that I try to avoid dating: possesive and stalkerish, even when I ended up with a few girls that are just like her.

Overall, I ended up liking the show enough for me to keep up with each latest simulcast. Love triangles are very unpredictable in my experience, and those types of stories keep me on my toes to see what will happen next.

Watch it on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/golden-time

-------------

Chuunibyou REN (season 2 episode 2 screencap)

Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions! REN 

(currently at season 2 episode 2)
Of course I would watch this! I've been waiting since the first season ended. Even though I haven't seen the movie yet, I just had to jump into watching this season!

I love how they act out their delusions. Even I find myself doing the same thing, and I'm 34! So for me, I can relate to this show very well.

A new character has been introduced recently, I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Watch it on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/love-chunibyo-and-other-delusions

-------------

Recently, My Sister is Unusual (The Cake to Boobs Scene!)

Recently, My Sister Is Unusual

(currently at episode 3)
I first watched this show at work, without wearing any headphones. BIG MISTAKE! Luckily, no one was in my office. But wow! I don't know why I'm watching this show. It is very funny, and very ecchi. Ok, I'm watching this because it's ecchi. lol 

Watch it on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/recently-my-sister-is-unusual


Other Anime Shows I'm watching:

  • Nisekoi
  • Hajime no Ippo
  • Super Sonico The Animation
  • ...and more
I'm slowly making my way to watching more of these simulcast shows on Crunchyroll. But my time is very limited nowadays due to my work. For a more comprehensive version of shows I watch, check out my MyAnimeList page: http://myanimelist.net/animelist/CallmeRoger

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Where No Egg Has Gone Before...


This morning, while I was cooking some eggs for breakfast, I couldn't help but think of the Star Trek logo when this fried egg took shape on the frying pan.

That is all.

My Car is 288,000 Miles Old Already!

288,000 Miles Driven on my 2008 Civic Si.
I've had this car for 6 years now. And it already has 288,000 miles on it! It's a 2008 Honda Civic Si. It's what I use for my deliveries; contract, sub-contract or independent. I wonder how many cars, '08 and above, have this many miles already...

When I bought this car, I knew that it's main purpose is for work. The braking system, suspension, power, and what I call fun factor was evidently in this car. Basically, I made "working" or "doing deliveries" fun for me! This is also where I spend more than 80% of my time working.

 Some people think that my car has lasted this long without anything majorly wrong happen to it. Most of them say "Honda cars will normally last that long." But some of my closest friends know what happened to this car over the years:

  • Transmission failed on me during my deliveries at 189,941 miles. It took two weeks to repair and about $4,700 to repair. 
  • The alternator was recently replaced, at 287,900 miles. If it was replaced before, I don't remember, nor do I have any transaction records of it.  Ok, this was a surprise to a few of my friends. I do remember replacing the starter back on November 2012.
  • Exterior: The back bumper, and both left and right side panels, have been replaced during Winter of 2013, after getting side-swiped and hit on three different occasions at one of my delivery sites. The total cost of repairs came out to $4,800. All of which was paid for by two different major companies that were responsible for causing the damages.
Until this day, my car is still fun to drive. And this is why I love my job as a courier. This car is also my second home. When I'm on standby between deliveries, I spend a lot of time in here. If ever I have to be away from home again, like during my intercity or interstate deliveries, my car is a good place for me to sleep, eat, etc. (except use the restroom... lol)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Otaku Acoustic: Reloaded

Our music project, Otaku Acoustic, will be visiting Ushicon (Round Rock, TX) on February 8th, 2014. It has been a long time since we have done a live acoustic cover performance.

We are very excited to get back on the scene, now that we have completely revamped cover song list. We have been working on new song additions that has been requested by many of our friends and fans, and we're very excited to play them for you!

The last time we visited an anime convention was during AnimeFest 2013 in Dallas, TX. Our last live appearance took place during a Hatsune Miku B-Day Celebration, hosted by the Houston Anime Meetup Group. Both events happened during September of 2013. During our hiatus, we brainstormed plenty of times about which new cover song we should learn and play for you.

We sure look forward to hanging out with you! See you at Ushicon!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Now Serving: Pearland, TX

I've been temporarily assigned as a standby courier at an emergency center in Pearland, TX. For the type of work that I have to do, this assignment actually pays decently. And on top of that, I'm somewhat able to keep my current contracts at the Texas Medical Center. though I have to be extremely careful about working both jobs at the same time.

Yesterday was my start date. I did experiment on doing my little covert operation and despite the difficulty of combining the two jobs. I know very well that I won't always be as lucky, and the emergency center can call at a bad time. Luckily, my wife was willing to help, by going on standby for me at the medical center, just in case I'm stuck at Pearland and unable to go to the Texas Medical Center.

My contractors told me that I will most likely be doing this for a month, and there's a possibility that if the driver I'm covering decides not to come back, I will be able to keep the route for myself and to continue with both contracts for as long as I'm able to perform both of them with no problems.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Graveyard Shift On-Call Deliveries

It wasn't too long ago when I made an unprecedented decision to work overnights to do hot shot deliveries. This decision was an indirect result of the "Thanksgiving Ultimatum" incident that I engaged against my contractor's operations team. But because my biological clock got totally screwed up, I took my chances on the dispatchers that worked the night shift.

Maybe later on, I'll delve more into details regarding that "Thanksgiving Ultimatum".

Here are some pros and cons when I'm doing hot shot deliveries at nights:

Pros:
  • The commission rate seems to double at nights (from 7pm to 7am). If they aren't doubled, the pay for each delivery is still significantly higher than the commission rates during the day. This does not apply to daily orders and route coverage. Just the on-call deliveries.
  • The roads and highways aren't as busy at nights. The freeways are certainly wide open and free of traffic jams, especially after midnight.
  • I feel a better sense of peace and quiet. Driving becomes less of a job, and more like a relaxation.
  • I go home when I want to go home. 
Cons:

  • I don't always get the deliveries. Depending on my location and the delivery's Point:A, if there's another driver closer to that location, dispatchers call them.
  • There's always that one or two hours of unpaid standby time. Sometimes, I can be out there for 5 hours, and not a single job is dispatched to me. This is annoying, even when I'm standing by at home.
  • It gets unbearably boring and lonely at times. 

For two weeks, this is what I did. I slept all throughout the day. Got up as late as 3pm. Started my M.D. Anderson delivery at 4pm. Went home at 7pm. Spend time with my wife and daughter while I'm on standby at home. I normally got dispatched out when my wife was getting ready for bed. Sometimes earlier. There were times when I went straight to working the night-time hot shots right after my M.D. Anderson route. 

There were two dispatchers that normally ruled the night time board. I became really good friends with one of them. I almost never turned down any jobs she sent my way. But we did have a good rhythm going. I liked the way she dispatched, and the way she covered each region of Houston. If there was a part of town she did not have covered, I played the pinch-hitter and covered the void.

Two weeks later, my supervisor gave me a list of routes where he needed coverage. Many of my fellow drivers by day are taking days off or going on vacation. But for the money, I agreed to it. I'm back at the day shift again, covering routes and special assignments. 

It won't be until further notice when I will be able to work overnights again. But I do miss being nocturnal. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Sword Art Online II - 2014:Activated

Last night, I got to watch Sword Art Online - Extra Edition, thanks to the simulcast by Crunchyroll. Even if I'm not a big fan of flashback episodes/feature, SAO Extra Edition did not fail to deliver a great amount of fan service and an underwater adventure that was quite entertaining. The special episode is about 100 minutes long, so it's like a movie.

Coincidentally, I was watching the English dub version of Sword Art Online at work, and almost did not remember that the Extra Edition episode was airing. I'm glad I remembered yesterday. But while I was making sure I know where to find it, I googled it and ran into a teaser video that officially announces Sword Art Online II! My first reaction to it, I whispered to myself: Gun Gale Online? Yes, it is!

Here's the video:


I'm so excited, I can't wait!!! Some folks are already saying that it will start airing during Spring 2014. 

For more info, check out: http://www.swordart-online.net/phantom/#!/