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

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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

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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

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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/#!/