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Archive for December, 2017

Starting your Starbucks Card Collection [Yoda Style Jedi Training] (December 31, 2017)

12/31/2017 Leave a comment
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Clockwise: Just some of 30+ cards that I have in my personal collection. | My last Frap for the year…and until November 2018 for that matter.  They got the spelling of my name wrong but it’s all good.

During the latter part of 2017, I noticed that I’ve slowly amassed a stack of Philippine issued Starbucks Cards.  It was never my intention to collect them–it just happened.  But I am getting ahead of myself; for you guys to understand the genesis of this collection, we need to go back to the beginning.

2013

Four years ago, I purchased the first two local card designs released in the country with the intention of maximizing their new My Starbucks Rewards Program.  The rewards program offered a number of enticing incentives such as a free drink–of the patron’s choice-when they registered their Starbucks Card over at www.starbuckscard.ph; a free Grande drink for every accumulated twelve (12) Beverage Stars; the option of pooling all of your future Starbucks Cards into a single account; and a free slice of cake during the registered card holder’s birthday[i]. Read more…

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Not a popular opinion: My take on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 13, 2017)

12/13/2017 1 comment
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Star Wars Movie Night: We caught the 4:00 pm showing on Day 2 of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. | The Skywalker Genogram: Prior to watching Episode VIII, I explained the lineage of Ben Solo with the help a Genogram.  In hindsight, I should have also put in Anakin’s Mom–Shmi Skywalker Lars and her husband Cliegg Lars.  If it were to be even more detailed, Owen (Cliegg’s only son with his late wife Aika) and his wife Beru would also be included.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, don’t read any further.

Are you sure you want to know what I think?

Well, you have been warned.

The Internal Debate

Before I begin, I just wanted to say that this was probably one of the most difficult posts that I’ve ever written to date. Largely in part to the fact that I’ve broken the first rule in blogging—I stopped writing solely for myself and have taken into account what others may feel about my opinions on the film.

And there have been many. Read more…

Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (December 12, 2017)

12/12/2017 Leave a comment
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My favorite photo: One of Uncharted 4’s many new features is the ability to take in-game photos.  The game is filled with a number of stunning visuals from places like Italy, Scotland, Madagascar, etc.  However, this framed photo (from inside the Drake house) is arguably my favorite.  It simply resonates with me.

So…what ever happened to moving onto Uncharted: Among Thieves (2009)?

Well, life happened.

Outside of a few games of NBA 2K18 with my uncle, my PS4 had sadly gone into semi-retirement.

That is until our US vacation last November wherein I had some downtime and was able to try out a few levels of PS4’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016). Needless to say, I was quite impressed with the little that I saw: Improved gameplay (e.g., For instance, Nathan Drake can now use a grappling hook and (as the game progresses) a piton to scale those hard-to-reach places); seamless transition between the aforementioned gameplay and motion-captured dialogue scenes; and—what was probably the highlight for me—top notched writing[i]. Read more…

That Steady Starbucks Diet: Procuring that 2018 Starbucks Planner (December 10, 2017)

12/10/2017 Leave a comment
2018 Starbucks Planner

Ready for 2018: Pictured are large and pocket-sized 2018 Starbucks Planners and their Special Edition debt cards. They are housed in the brown pouches that came with the 2017 Starbucks Planner.

As I write this entry, I am immediately reminded of Michael Coreleone’s (Al Pacino) famous line from Godfather III,

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Granted, Coreleone was referring to his waning attempt towards legitimize his business and professional affairs, but I have always felt that my annual quest to procure yet another Starbucks Planner (or two) resonates just as loudly.

Every year it is the same story and—for better or for worse—it usually results in the same outcome…with just a different year on the cover.

The thing is, as much as I like the annual planners, I know that this cannot go on forever.  There is only so much joy (and calories) that a watered down Green Tea Frappuccino and Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shitake Mushroom sandwich[i] can bring. Factoring in the financial cost, it makes it just that more difficult to sustain indefinitely. Read more…