My blog. My class.

August 31, 2005

Brevity, Just A Thought

Being brief is something I have always wondered and tried to practice everytime I communicate with others. Sometimes, the things I would like to say to another can be told in a few words and yet I find myself going around the bush, using unnecessary words to clarify a point.

Maybe because I don't have the confidence whenever I speak up to another person. I used to talk less during my teenage years, speaking up only if necessary. I usually never initiate discussions. Because of these, I would always feel or rather would perceive that another person would not understand my trail of thoughts. Thus, instead of a simple answer to a question answerable by yes or no, I would rather reply with a speech.

If only I've got the power of short words just like... Ernest Hemingway.

August 28, 2005

Blogger Goodies

Looks like Blogger is trying to come up with its own gimmicks and lo and behold, I've discovered some hacks that Blogger is sharing with the community.

As of the moment, I am enjoying creating different mini-descriptions for the blog that you see above just below the title row (found at the black section). Simply refresh the page (or click the F5 button at your keyboard). See the changes with the description. Of course, you need to set your browser to allow javascript or scripts to be executed.

August 25, 2005

An Aging Issue In IT

A friend posted about some job recruiters with an additional requirement for their applicants to be not more than 30 years old. Like him, I know this has been a practice of some recruiters in the IT industry.

I find most of the job posts with this requirement in the classified ads of local newspapers. Some would indicate a preference for a certain range of age which they deem more suitable for certain technical positions like programmers, systems analysts or database administrators. This I find still surprising as if there is an existing standard among businesses to typecast individuals to certain positions by age.

I have been pondering about this since I started looking for potential employers after graduating from college. Full of dreams and full of confidence, I was glad then that I was under the age limit for computer programmers. But then I would ask myself, what if I started late for a college education and soon got my degree upon reaching 30 or so? Local IT employers would find it difficult to accept me then because I have reached their required age limit for starting positions? But where should I go then and where should I start so I could gain a much needed job experience? I could hear: "Too late, because you are 30 (or so), knucklehead".

What? I am now in the league of other chopped livers (as others would say) out there.

On the other hand, moving on to other companies armed with gainful experiences would not guarantee landing a job. Some would still require an age limit to positions such as programmers. But what if before you have been trained by your recent company to be an expert programmer and analyst (you have been pigeonholed to such a position, yet you have the expertise to be the best among programmers)? With such a good background, you could not be accepted because you are growing old to their standards?

Do they think that being in the range of 20 to 30 years of age is the life span of a sound computer programmer or application developer? Well tell that to my US counterparts who are older than me: fathers and mothers (and even grandfathers and grandmothers) who have children of my age.

August 22, 2005

Big Kuya Is Here

Kuya is a Filipino word for an older brother. English does not have an equivalent term for an older brother. Big Brother is not technically equivalent to Kuya since a Kuya can be smaller than you. If that is the case, then it's proper to say small Kuya. Anyway, class, this is not what I would be talking about.

I haven’t seen a single episode of the so-called popular Reality TV game series Big Brother from foreign countries. And now, local TV station ABS-CBN has officially launched its Filipino version (bought rights) of Big Brother yesterday complete with pompous street dancing and a drum and bugle band that could rival any street fiestas.

It’s too early for any assessment as to how successful the show will be, though some people are already dismissing it as will not hold much interest to viewers here (Why? Could it be that the show did not field any popular stars that the masa only watches and idolize?) Only time will tell.

Here’s a drill-down of the participants in the show:
  • a bodybuilder who worked as entertainer in Japan

  • a sexy vamp

  • a Batangueño father *

  • a corporate worker cum Corp commander

  • an ex-councilor candidate

  • a liberated cheerleader

  • a bombshell men’s magazine model

  • a self-confessed badboy now trying to be good

  • a teacher from the province *

  • a half-Filipino, half-Israeli contestant

  • an ex-OFW, single mother

  • a self-confessed jologs father

I marked with asterisks at those contestants who I am rooting for (two to be exact) now. I like underdogs in most Reality contest shows – the way these two presented themselves before the viewers (and during their short video clips) without any air of boastfulness and plain naturalness in the way they talked and acted made big impressions for me to develop an instant affinity towards them. I am not saying that the others are completely negative in character. Those are my initial impressions. Impressions may have lasting effects and yet people can always redeem themselves in the end through display of some hidden good qualities that are not shown initially. As I have said, it’s too early for any true evaluation.

It’s interesting as how things would develop among these complete strangers and how each would interact with one another (interesting to note how our strict MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and classification Board) would handle censorship of scenes deemed too risqué for broadcasting). And just like other Reality contest shows with eventual voting systems for elimination, we would be expecting much backstabbing and friendships/relationships tearing apart. For the contestants, it’s a known and sure-fire way to survive such a contest: form alliances. Think Survivor style here, but this time in a well-kept house environment.

There’s nothing new here, except Filipinos are the contestants. Game n k y sila? (Are they game?)

August 19, 2005

Help me, Mr. Sandman

Waking up from a nightmare is already bothersome but waking up from a night slumber for no apparent reason is truly uncomfortable. You may have this experience before of coming out of a deep sleep minus loud noises or physical intrusions from parents, siblings, friends or strangers.

Last night, I suddenly popped back into reality after 2 and half hours of sleep after I retired to bed at around nine in the evening. I couldn’t remember if I have dreamt anything. I could swear I didn’t hear any loud source to wake me out of my slumber. Everything was clearly silent inside and outside of my room.

I am aware that I have some form of sleep deprivation disorder for the past six years since I started to live in a province so far from the city where I work at. But I don’t have any for m of insomnia. With varying shifts of work depending on a current project, I would (sometimes) automatically wake up at a designated hour in time just before an alarm would go off. Only on weekends do I get a good span of forty winks and yet I still find myself waking up at odd hours in the morning, especially if I have some activities I need to accomplish the next day.

So, what I must I do to go back to my much needed slumber? I picked up my cell phone and started playing my favorite game of gem game. I planned to tire myself to sleep, yet being so engrossed with the game I soon found myself feeling more rested than tired (I was able to beat some old records). Doing this reminds me of the hyped sleeping technique of counting sheep which I tried before but failed to make me sleep. I would lose count or rather lose interest in counting those jumping sheep. To make matters worse, I am more awake than ever. It is really frustrating.

Eventually, I decided to enjoy the temporary moment of awareness and wait for my body to naturally relax back to its state of sleepiness. Slowly and surely, I finally succumbed to Somnus. The more you struggle your way to sleep the more you become tense, perturbed, and awake.

Any other techniques out there?

August 15, 2005

Hymn Music In Reggae

Someone passed me an MP3 version of our alma mater hymn in Reggae. I listened. I was appalled. I listened again. And eventually, I kind of like it (ok, I admit, I get irritated every time I hear the last lines of the song "Tama Na...". I feel, this is really unnecessary and simply pointless).

But it's a good thing I get to hear something new on our alma mater hymn which is really short and simple. So simple that blurting out "Hail, hail, hail" is enough to let others know you graduated from the green university. That seems not right. Um, I mean DLSU.

August 11, 2005

Choco Brushing

Delicious Choco Flavored Close Up Toothpaste
Unilever had launched three supposedly new flavors for Close Up toothpaste - Tangerine / Orange, Lychee and the outrageous Chocolate pictured above. The last flavor is the only one that caught my interest (I would agree that anyone would have an instant liking or curiosity for the flavor for this would be the first time to brush one's teeth with chocolate after eating... chocolate).

Class, and kids out there, if you want and like chocolate, have fun tooth brushing with this. Of course, don't mistake this for real chocolate and start to swallow its contents. Loco-loco.

Ever since I started using this, many of my friends are curious about the product's taste. It tastes minty chocolate. But of course, as soon as you relished the gel and started to brush your teeth, you would eventually lose the taste.

August 09, 2005

Jack And The Stalk

Jack (pseudo name for a friend who happens to have this problem) is being stalked (as in followed anonymously by other people) for he feels he became a "celebrity" because of his blog. I had this short talk with him some time ago and gave him some friendly advices.

Stalking is stalking as long as a person gets unwanted attention from strangers (classic example is following you in places you normally go or taking candid pictures of you from afar). Blog stalking is the same, but this time these weird people start looking for possible victims online via web logs.

To those who also feel being "stalked" or "followed" for any unknown reasons, here are my advices:

  • Always remember that whatever you post online can be used by any malicious person to trace you and possibly know your whereabouts. Even if you deleted your post later on, it is still possible that some Internet spy or search bots could have already remember your posts and eventually still be displayed in search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

  • Try not to use your real name. Use instead a pseudo name, like unstalk_me or please_do_not_stalk_me. You get the drill.

  • Why show your face online when you can always display a different picture to represent yourself? Have it tweaked by using Photoshop, make it abstract or too colorful beyond recognition. Show a face of a celebrity even if you do not look like one. Display a picture of a human being even if you are a dog. Just kidding. Here are stock images of faces you can use - fotosearch.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings wherever you go. Go out with friends or always have a companion with you. Go out with a dog in tow, a fish in a bowl, or a gorilla as a bodyguard. Simply don't be alone.

Any other tips out there?

August 06, 2005

Say A Little Prayer For Him

I was surprised when my officemate told me about his sudden demise last Friday afternoon.

* * * *

Amidst the choas of the times, let us all set aside our differences and political beliefs for a while, even for one day and say a little prayer (in any way we can, however we do it, whatever religion) to this great statesman of our country.

* * * *

As someone pointed out, isn't it too coincidental that there are already two candidates for the presidential elections last year who had already succumbed to natural causes (first was Fernando Poe, Jr.; now, it's Raul Roco)? I don't want to sound creepy, but let's pray that nothing like this would happen again.

August 02, 2005

Wearing The White Band

You may notice the white band over at the right side of this site (hopefully, class, you are using a newer version of a web browser). It's the make poverty history site band that I usually see at some blogs I browse and link to. Curious, I went to its homepage and made some adjustments to add this on to this site as support for their cause. Want to have the same white band? Click here and get the script code in the Support Us Online section.

Could this be some fad again like Lance Armstrong's yellow band that we see others are sporting (in other colors as well), but this time applied inventively to websites?

Hopefully, this effort would flourish and affect others to start doing something about worldwide poverty.

This got me thinking: we have been for years observing the widening gap between the rich and the poor and hearing countless appeals (add to that church sermons) from people fighting for the cause of the poor to help and share items (food, clothing, medicine, etc) to the needy and poor nations. And yet, we could see others wasting time and money showing off their wealth through gaudy parties, media-hyped gatherings and others (oh I see these people in one local newspaper).

I'm not against having wealth if for one's needs, as in necessary to survive each day. But to gather wealth (and simply wasting them) through any means necessary for the earthly pleasures of oneself, family or chosen few while living amidst in a nation where poverty is blatantly present and undeniable, that is what I am against for.

I know. This is a war against poverty that would take years (maybe centuries) if we don't cooperate to fight it as one.

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)