One of the malls here holds a flea market every Sunday. It's an array of assorted second-hand stuff that the average collector will surely love. They've got almost everything. From old stamps, old coins, old paper-bills, old phonographs, pocketbooks, cassettes, LPs, cassettes, CDs, and more.

Whenever I'm there on Sundays, I always go to the old hippie guy selling second-hand CDs and LPs. Hoping I could find something I'd like. The last time I went there I was able to buy a Third Eye Blind cassette. I had an amazing find yesterday. I chanced upon this:

Yup, it's an original 1992 Tears Roll Down album of one of the greatest bands of the 80s: Tears For Fears. I remember this album during my college-days when I was able to borrow the cassette from a college buddy. I can honestly say that this album is, shall we say,
sulit. Sulit in the sense that I know AND like all the songs in it. Finding this album has always been at the back of my mind ever since but then I never really had the time (or memory) to buy it. Who would've thought that I would be able to see it here, on a second-hand stall?

The CD-cover is not in mint condition but the original owner still took care of it, preventing from getting it teared or smudged. Needless to say I bought it for 20-ringgit (around 300pesos) off the original 22-ringgit tag price set by my old hippie seller. Why not a pirated or download a copy from the 'net, you might say? Well, some things are just not right to be pirated, especially this one.

It's quite nice to buy something used. It's like I've inherited something. As in the book "Second Hand" by Michael Zadoorian, "Secondhand. The word says it all ---other hands have touched that object.....Think of all the stuff you've ever owned, that's ever passed thru your hands, where it all might be right now."


"Don't.......you'll ruin it"

I went to my favorite [pirated] DVD shop earlier today. It's been quite a while since I last bought some so I thought it was high-time to replenish my [pirated] DVD collection. I bought 2 films, one of which was entitled A Lot Like Love which starred Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet.

Well, I loved it. I loved it so much that I can't wait to watch it again with the missus. As Charlie Arceo of the now-defunct Movie Magazine would say, I give it "ffffayb ishtarsh!"

What can I say? I'm a sucker for romantic-comedy films. I can't agree more with what my Dad often says, "Bakit di tayo [mga Pilipino] makagawa ng ganyang pelikula 'no?"


I think the mosquitos here are immune to the anti-mosquito sprays. For as long as I’ve been here, I’ve bought ALL the sprays available in the supermarket to kill these irritating varmints ---but to no avail. They seem to be either immune or have access to the use of micro-size gas masks.

Ever had the experience when you think you’ve been bitten by one of these critters but when you look, nothing’s there? It’s as if they were invisible, or their dead coming back for revenge. It’s really irritating, especially here on the couch.

I have to convince the missus to bring in some Raid-brand mosquito sprays when she arrives this week (yup they don’t have Raid here). I have this theory that *maybe* these blood-suckers are immune to the local brand so they may get the shock of their lives when they inhale something new ---hopefully bringing fatal results. Secondly, I can honestly say that Raid IS more effective than the other brands from experience.

I remember when we were still living in an apartment in Makati we’d have infestations regularly (cockroaches, mostly). I night’s spray of Raid kills almost all the stupid bastards by the next morning ---to the screaming delight (or horror, that is) of my younger sisters.

Bottomline is that I think the mosquito-sprays sold here are more of fragrance-sprays (“sissy-spray” is more applicable). They don’t really have that fatal punch to exterminate this little sons of b*tches.

Crap! There goes another "invisible" mosquito-bite.


You Don't Say?

It's been a long a time since I've heard about Pat Robertson. When I was young I remember having to wait for The 700-Club to finish since the next program was any one of my awaited cartoons of the week: Voltes-V, Mekanda, Daimos, Granddizer, or Mazinger-Z. I'd wait patiently everyday until the government decided that anime was bad for kids so I ended up with Sesame Street instead.

Anyway, I was watching CNN last night when I heard the anchorman say "Pat Robertson" in his news report.
In case you didn't know about it, he mentioned something very....oh how shall I put it....stupid...towards Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As mentioned in the news:

On Monday's telecast of his Christian Broadcasting Network show "The 700 Club," Robertson had said: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Very unbecoming, don't you think? As PK, an officemate, would say:

"D*mnnn stupid M.F."



Nothing much to do today so I decided to change my blog-banner (nice ey?). I found the default header-design too dull. Anyway it has served its purpose for the past few months so it was high-time for my site to get a nose-job.

Last night I was flicking through the tv-channels hopelessly so I turned it off and grabbed my acoustic guitar from the cabinet and strummed some chords. I *may* have come up with a song but no lyrics yet (the rhythm was just being accompanied by my ridiculous humming which I think the neighbors may have heard). That's why today I surfed the 'net hoping to find an audio-mixer so I'd be able to record this on mp3. And eureka, I found it (the internet is such a wonderful world of free stuff, don't you think?)! (grin)

I may have to reduce my rice-noodle intake since the scale-pointer HAS NOT MOVED from my weight last Saturday (damn it). Let me tell you that even weighing on the damn scale stark-naked didn't make it budge. So yep, you're right, it must be the food. And I've got the rice-noodles as the culprit. Take note that I'm only *reducing* the volume of those deliciously prepared pork & wanton dry mee. Mmmmm....

Sigh....this so-called diet is getting ridiculous.

Stuck In A Moment

I got this from a former officemate. An old ad, but definitely hilarious.

size: 656kbytes


The Ride

With the stationary-bike in front of the TV, I was watching "Along Came Polly" on HBO last night. Even though I've watched the movie sometime ago, I just can't resist Jennifer Aniston (who wouldn't?).

Anyway, here's a memorable line from the movie said by Reuben's father:

"It's not about what happened in the past, or what you think might happen in the future. It's about the ride, for Christ's sake. There is no point in going through all this crap, if you are not going to enjoy the ride. And you know what... when you least expect it, something great might come along. Something better than you even planned for. "

It kinda hits something in the chest, doesn't it?


Somewhere in Shaw...

To my delight, this morning I received Z's email containing our 2 studio-recordings ("Cumbersome" and "Name").
Not bad for a first try, especially "Name" when we had to scrap off "Home" by Dishwalla at the last minute since we found it difficult to play.

I was awed and privileged to have experienced studio-recording. It wasn't easy as I predicted. There were a lot of retakes on "Cumbersome," for example. And Z had to "copy/paste" the guitar-part on the intro of "Name" to perfect it, plus he also had to add the lead-guitar part. Need I say that Mang Mando, the studio technician at the time, was a genius with the mixer-controls.

Well, we hope to record Z's original composition when I meet up with them again. But that'll take a while.


Back to the beach (Day 6)

The past 6 days have breezed by without a hitch ---except for a gang of choco-mallows being obliterated from the face of the earth. I have to admit, I'm guilty of 12-counts of 1st-degree choco-mallow slaughter. They simply had no chance. They were all strip-naked, in batches of course, and suffered the most gruelling of fates. Guilty, as charged.

Yeah yeah I have a penchant for sweets, and choco-mallows seems to be "up there" on my personal list. I remember when I was still dating the missus, I would fetch her from her office at the Citibank building in Ayala. I would park the car at one of the side-streets and wait for her. Sometimes I would come early so this gave me the chance to do my covert-op. I would leave the car and walk towards PCI-Bank building were my accomplice, let's call her Mrs. Fibisco, or Fibi for short, is waiting.

She sells smuggled(?) choco-mallows and chocolate-crunchies at a cheaper price since they don't have the package-wrapping yet. But the taste is still the same (magnifique!). I think it's a dozen mallows per bag. I'd by one bag (or two) and go back to the car where I "sumptuously" wait for the missus.

Fast-forward to the present (or 30 or so pounds later). For the past 6 days I haven't eaten rice (except on one occassion when my favorite noodle-stall was closed and I was left with chicken rice for lunch). I've only eaten fried fish, sandwiches, salads, and noodles. Add to that 20mins a day (for 3 days so far) on the stationary-bike and a pitiful site of abdominal crunches (yup it was a real pitiful site, me on my back trying to reach for my knees...arrrghhh).

Actually the missus argues that the noodles I've been eating are, in fact, rice noodles (doh!). "But they don't LOOK like rice," was my contention. So I can say that I'm not eating rice, per se. (wink)

I guess my so-called diet is working coz when I tipped the scales this morning, I *seem* to have lost 4lbs. I inserted the word "seem" since our weighing scale is of the cheap-type, those that when you weigh yourself 10 times you get 10 different readings. I think the deviation for error is big, so I'm not that enthusiastic of the 4lb-loss.

Anyway I'll keep on with this, as the missus has put it, "change of lifestyle." It's a battle of the bulge, it seems, as the missus has bought one of those sauna-belts that you see on home-tv-shopping. They say it reduces your waistline without any effort whatsoever. The missus seems to believe so. After her first try, she said she lost an inch after 50-minutes on it (yeah right, and I can write this blog without the use of my hands, hehe).

The only way we'll be able to see any improvement is when I fetch her from the airport early next month. Any response similar to "Wow pumayat ka!" will do nicely. Until then, it's gonna be the Bike versus the Belt.


Absolute Reality

Since the creation of Survivor there has been a steady flow of reality-shows on TV. The missus, in particular, is an avid fan of The Amazing Race, American Idol, and recently, Rockstar INXS.

I've heard of the bandname INXS before but I'm not really familiar with their songs. Is it right to say that they were of the same era sa Duran-Duran and Spandau-Ballet? Kita mo na di ko sila kilala. Not until their TV-commercial had "New Sensation" playing on the background that's when I said, "Ahhh INXS pala ya-un!"

It's a good 3-fold gimmick for the band, actually. First and foremost, money. I believe they have a share in the profit from the worldwide text-voting. Secondly, recognition. People get to be familiar with the band's members and songs. Lastly, they get to pick their new vocalist voted by the majority of the tv-audience. This means more band following since most have become "attached" to these contestants.

Take the missus, for example.

The missus has all her chips on Mig Ayesa, a Filipino who migrated to Australia (as many other Filipinos would do if you see the politics going on there, but that's another issue). For once, a Filipino has a good chance of winning it. He's good, actually. But I think it will be a battle royale between him and Marty Casey in the end.

I can imagine the missus will be totally disheartened if Mig loses. I can recall the time Bo Bice lost to Carrie in American Idol 4. She could totally not believe it (among other die-hard Bo Bice fans). She never drifted from the issue for a couple of weeks ---actually, she's still disappointed by it until now. The only way Bo could ask for her forgiveness is for AI to hold an Asian Tour which I expect the missus will be insisting that we watch. I can already hear her, "It is a matter of life and death that I should watch Bo live!" Translation: It'll be my death if we don't watch it. Hehe.

Yes the missus is a die-hard Bo fan. May I say that she has even MEMORIZED Bo's every move from the songs he performed on the AI show (I was *forced* to download the video-files from the 'net). I can remember the time I grabbed my acoustic guitar and started playing some tunes from our 1000 songs songhits (Yes, 1000. Only in the Philippines). Anyway, I came across "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" which was sung by Bo during one of the AI episodes. As I sung the first line ("I can't light..."), I can swear that she blushed! "Kung maka-blush ka akala mo ex-bf mo si Bo ah!" I retorted. We were both laughing at the incident.

My friend BN had already watched the show with his wife in Dallas. She too is a Bo fan so much so that she deleted ALL OTHER pics (which may have included their vacation pics) in her digicam just so she can accomodate all of Bo's pics in the digicam's memory card. Married life....ah yes.

Except for Fantasia Barrino, the missus has so far had a string of losses with regards to her favorites on these types of shows. The Twins and The Clowns lost in Amazing Race, and Bo Bice lost in AI. I can imagine the "disaster" she'd feel if Mig doesn't win, and I'd surely be hearing about her loss over and over like that time with Bo.

Oh well, life is often unfair.

More Coffee?

Another one from allposters.com (same source where I got the brain&bacon earlier this week). Good thing I switched from cafe mocha to iced chocolate, hehe.


It's a small small world

My so-called career has been revolving on the telecoms world since 1995. I'm currently on my 4th job, jumping from vendor to operator to vendor and now to operator. For the past 10 years I can conclude that the telecoms world is very small that the chances of working again with an ex-colleague is very high. I've made the table below to stress my point:

The table summarizes some of my ex-colleagues and the companies that they've worked for and are currently working in. As an example, Guy 1 (obviously me) is reunited with Guys 16-19 in Operator M (they met previously in Operator G). Side note: there must be something wrong with Vendor A and Operator G since all the guys listed from there have left for another company. Hmmm....veeeewy inteh-westing.

It's nice to know that all my ex-colleagues from the different companies will eventually meet each other when they move to different companies since, as I said, the number of telecom companies are limited. Of course we also have to assume that they don't change their field of expertise (from telecoms to nuclear physics, for example, but that's a long shot).

Moral lesson? Never burn bridges. One way or another, the [telecom] world will conspire for you to meet again.

It's a small world after all...
It's a small world after all...It's a small world after all...It's a small...small... world.


Back to the beach (Day 1)

After a week of gluttonous pleasures, I've decided to go on a diet ---South-Beach style. Actually I'll modify it to suit my needs since I'm not supposed to eat foods that will further increase my uric-acid and cholesterol levels. So it's not going to be as South-Beach as it will be. No salty or fatty foods so I'm wondering now what THE HELL am I left to eat?

I was able to do Phase I of the SB-diet early-December last year. I lost about 8lbs for the two-week period, much to the despair of the missus since she only lost 2lbs (which I believe was caused by a calibration error on the scale, so she may not have lost any weight at all). Unfortunately the next two weeks ushered in the Christmas season with Santa Claus' sack full of lechon baboy, lechon manok, hamon, etc. so the 8lbs came back with a fury....with a few more pounds added for good measure.

I weighed in this morning to the tune of 170lbs on our cheap bathroom scale which we think is actually -8lbs of my real weight. Anyway, the important thing is to use the same scale after 2 weeks so that I see the improvements, if any.

I started off breakfast this morning at the cafeteria. So far, so good. I had a boiled egg, 2 pieces of sardines, about 4 spoons of boiled veggies, and a small-carton of orange-juice. Add to that a small bottle of mineral water which I drank all morning.

Well let's hope for the best. I'm actually thinking of the Choco-Mallows that I brought back. They are nestling quietly in the ref, their soft white mallow-internals protected only by their chocolate-skin. It only takes a few seconds for the carnage, unwrapping their aluminum clothes before I give in to the munch.

Arrrrggggghhhh....this is gonna be tough.


The Verdict

Well we got the blood-test results yesterday morning. I was in "normal" range for sugar and thyroid levels although I got a "high-score" on uric acid and cholesterol, as I suspected. All that food-intake has finally caught up with me. At least I'm not (DEFINITELY NOT) as heavy as that Zuce guy on the news. First thing I'll do once I get back is to watch that "Supersize Me" DVD again for motivation.

The missus was normal on all tests except for cholesterol and thyroid (T4) ---to her delight. Well, as fast as you can say "thyroid-pills" she went to the doctor to ask for the prescription. According to the internet, expect "sudden weight loss" after taking the said pills. "Iiwanan ka na sa kangkungan" was the missus' dare to me on our race to reduce weight.

Unfortunately, even before she showed the doctor the results, the doctor said she doesn't have a thyroid problem since she didn't have any of the symptoms. I guess we'll both have to do the diet and exercise then.

Last night was my sister's birthday so there was a sumptuous dinner at CPK. Mental note: the Apple Crumble was heaaaven!

I might as well scrap the diet 'til next week....we've yet to have dinner at JT Manukan (Bacolod Chicken style) and there's a CPK outlet at Tomas Morato. Hehehe.



Yesterday, the missus and I went to Unilab to have our blood taken for tests. Sugar count, cholesterol, uric(?) and thyroid complete the set of tests. It's not that we're feeling anything weird. We're just doing it to reiterate to ourselves that we n-e-e-d to lose weight. But I doubt how long we'll be able to sustain the momentum since food is really our vice.

The missus, in particular, is somehow hoping that she tests positive on the thyroid thingy. She read from somewhere that being overweight may be due to thyroid deficiency. Most who take thryoid-level correction pills will experience weight loss ---something that the missus hopes will happen to her. I can imagine her reaction if the results come back as negative: she wouldn't know if she'll be relieved, or depressed that all that weight needs to be removed without the aid of medication, i.e. diet and exercise.

Yesterday afternoon the clinic called us and said that they need to draw blood from us again. The missus and I could not stop laughing when we heard the reason why. According to the clinic-personnel, our blood was too "milky" that it could not be tested. Malagatas to be exact. We were able to conclude that the culprit was my Mom's kare-kare that we had for lunch PLUS her Mom's special bulalo that we had for dinner the day before. Ahh yes, there's nothing like the taste of Mom's home-cooked meal. It was a deadly combination of fat and yumminess that eventually had nowhere to go but into our bloodstream.

So earlier today we had to face the needle again, something that the missus doesn't want to look forward to. She hates the sight of needles piercing the skin. We only had small portions of pakbet Iast night so I hope the blood taken today would be to the tester's satisfaction.

I think after this vacation of mine I'll start the South Beach diet again. It's too early to start today since we still have a lineup of restaurants that we still need to pillage and conquer.

By the way, we headed to Tapaking after the clinic. ;-)


I'm leavin'....on a jet plane...

So far this week, the missus and I have been runnin' around the malls for last-minute buys before our trip. Just a few hours ago during my lunch break, I fetched the missus and headed straight to the mall to buy some more stuff ---bilins to be exact. R, her friend, asked her to buy two packs of Cadbury 3-in-1 Choco drinks. Nothing wrong, right? Except that I think I've seen those being sold at Landmark (do correct me if I'm wrong, baka nalingap lang ako) so I don't see the logic getting it from here. I think she just wants the thought that she's getting something 'imported.' Well if that's the case then I should've bought her a Kilometrico ballpen instead.

My luggage is about 40% full so there's still a lot of room left. I'm thinking of putting in my badminton gear just in case some friends would invite us to play. Btw, last night EM joined me, the missus, and my officemates for badminton. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't good either. He was all over the court desperately chasing after every shot, much to my amusement. He kept saying that my tall officemates had better reach but it may just be the simple fact that he needs to do more strategy (90% mental, 10% physical right?). I do forgive his performance since it's the first time he played against our group. Of course, me creating a lot of errors myself was unforgiveable, losing to the missus and her teammate 17-14, after my team led all the way and got stuck at 14.

I might meet Z tomorrow evening. He's not finished with his composition yet but I might come over to see the new Ibanez guitar he got from Japan. Heck, I might as well pack in my bass and amp in the car and do some impromptu open-air jamming session.

Lately I've been receiving news from some friends and some co-workers that they've resigned and moved on to other work. I guess it just goes to show that there's no such thing as "Company Loyalty."

Enjoy the weekend!


Got Milk?

It was during one of my afternoon tea-breaks when my officemates asked me if I could teach them some Filipino words. I told them that some Filipino words are similar to Bahasa Malaysia like putih, aku, and kanan.

Looking at the chocolate-milk carton on my hand, I told them that the Malaysian word for milk has a different meaning in Filipino. Here's the front and back view of the carton:

I think all you guys will agree that the translation is correct since milk comes from breasts. Of course there were some reservations among my officemates.

A few minutes later our female officemate sat on our table with, guess what, a milk carton on her hand. So imagine all my "students" saying things to her like:

"Ohhhh so you have susu."

"Let me help you open your susu!"

Does the susu taste great?"

"Hmmm I guess I'll buy some susu."

She was a sport so there was no harm done. We were all laughing on the way back to our office spaces.

I guess that's the last time they'll ever ask me for translation.

Getting Ready

Whew! What a weekend! We had the missus' sis and her in-laws come over for a visit and we took them to the usual tourist and shopping spots here. Needless to say that the missus and I crashed into bed after sending them to the airport last Sunday. The missus, in particular, was more tired than me coz she had to travel with them to see the sights in Singapore (more walking and commuting there). Well at least we had the satisfaction knowing that they enjoyed their brief visit here.

There was still more walking last night as we bought last minute pasalubong. I think we bought too much since one of our two luggages is half-full already. Hope everything squeezes in by this week.

Z has sent me the lyrics for the original-song he's doing ---arrangement to follow. Hope it's something as melodic as songs by Dishwalla or Blind Melon. But, more importantly, hope we get to record it as planned. As I told Z, I've been listening to the cover-song we're gonna do ("Home" by Dishwalla) for at least 30 times since I got it and I think I've got it right on the lyrics. I'll need to grab my bass first chance I get so I can tackle the bass-line.