My blog. My class.

October 31, 2006

Blog Break

Taking some blogging break here up to Sunday. As indicated in my previous post, I've been training with my officemates on rowing for our dragon boat team for the past two weeks. This coming Saturday is our company's family day event; our goal is (at least) to be able to get into the finals. Hopefully, our strong team will be able to accomplish that.

Meanwhile, many things come to my mind lately that sent me thinking, and thinking more pensively. I'll not tell anything for the moment. Most likely I'll resume back on Sunday.

Again, hopefully.
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Happy Halloween to all!

Yeah right, as if Halloween is largely celebrated here in this island when this event is purely an American holiday fare. Just like back in the Philippines, Halloween is rarely observed by the "masses" except those that live in posh subdivisions or those living in areas for the class A & B people who know much about American culture.

What I am going to miss this year though is our traditional visiting of our departed lolo and lolas buried in South Cemetery, Makati and another in Manila Memorial Park.

October 24, 2006

The (U)Nano

The title suppose to be a pun on the Apple IPod Nano that I own. It's the Filipino word for "short person" (pronounced as oo-nano).

Yeah this looks like a shameless plug on the black IPod Nano that I have, but bear with me, I got this on a whim after my almost four-year old Creative NOMAD MuVo (64 MB)suddenly stopped working without any warning (sort of a sudden cardiac arrest for machines). Even its plain functionality as a data storage has stopped working. Whichever PC I try to connect, it doesn't light up and is unrecognized.

IPod Nano in black straight jacket

Call this one as (another) review of IPod Nano.

Good thing a COMEX 2006 IT and Consumer Technology Exhibition was held last September at EXPO Convention Center so there was an excuse for me to look around and search for a replacement of my humble mp3 player. Out of all the MP3 products shown during the exhibition, only two caught my attention: Creative MP3 players and of course Apple IPod. The deciding factor was the popularity and good reviews of IPod over Creative that made me decide to choose the latter. I personally do not like the plain looking interface of the white IPod, so the promo girl offered me the black one instead. I liked it very much. I chose IPod Nano because, even though it's smaller in terms of storage capacity than the regular IPod, I think it has enough memory to contain all my available MP3s that I would listen to daily during long bus / MRT trips and office hours. The promo price during that COMEX day was enticing too (about SG$199.00). Regular prices shot up to SG$240-250+ (from what I know). I don't have 20,000 plus songs at hand plus it's quite impractical for me to lug around something that has that much MP3s which I would not be able to listen to all of them. Repeat: all of them, in a day?

I forgot to mention - Happy 5th Birthday to IPod. Before I was dismissing the idea of purchasing my own IPod, having contended with my Creative MuVo to entice my daily trips from home to work and vice versa. Now, being the proud owner of IPod (Nano), I can say that I have bought a good product in terms of quality music and efficient functionalities.

My only qualms of the product were the following:
  • Beginners would really find it strange to navigate inside IPod's menus by softly touching the pad in circular motions. It took some time for me to get used to this. Though I would rather have the normal way of navigating menus by clicking buttons up or down or left or right (not up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, start, you silly boy). If you try to navigate in a circular motion, you have to slow to stop precisely at a song or option that you want. Sometimes you tend to skip over a song or option because you moved around with your finger fast.

  • Why doesn't this have a simple button to open and close IPod Nano? You have to press the down button softly for 2 seconds or more until the screen dims out, signaling that IPod closes. Sometimes when I press over the down button, IPod seems to not respond afterwards and still runs. I fear if I press down harder I might wear and break the down button in the long run. This is bad user interface design.

  • Be careful with using the USB connectivity cord accompanied with the product. There are times the USB connected device will not recognized by the computer it is attached to (the drive letter would be missing). Maybe this will help to solve the problem.

* * * *

My frequently played MP3 song is "How To Save A Life" by The Fray. The song was forwarded to me by my officemate. Until now, I can't help but be pensive and emotionally stricken every time I listen to the lyrics of the song, matching the haunting vocals of the singer.

Listen to it and you will agree that this is one beautiful and powerful song.
* * * *

Next post: delving into dragon boats.

October 18, 2006

Exhibitionistic Blogging

I have already made myself clear regarding why I blog and maintain this blog, as I have specified a year ago.

Blog exhibitionist

So why do I revisit this post again? Well, I stumbled across this website about a local television program on, what else, but blogging, particularly in Singapore. And there is this interesting quote by Xue Ling in the website on her calling bloggers as exhibitionists that really made me rethink about blogging.

Well, yes, bloggers are basically exhibitionists - they show to the entire Internet community their inner-most thoughts (and some dark secrets) either through weaving of intricate sentences or posting colorful pictures. The old notion of keeping a secret diary or black book is gone and now replaced with overly seeking attention web logs from across nations mostly written in common English or sometimes written in their native tongue.
I remember around 2001 when I had this itch to learn about web designing after being exposed to well-designed Philippine websites of which I was surprised to learn that these were created by even teenagers. While browsing through these websites, I came across Mark's blog. I remember laughing my head off after seeing the website's banner Click Mo Mukha Mo! written inside a speech balloon pointing to an image of a well-known Filipina actress (forgot the name, and not sure which one). At first, I dismissed the website as a personal homepage by the creator. What surprised me though was each week the homepage would be updated with a new set of writings from the website's creator. And that's when I learned about the idea of blogging. I read voraciously the blog's past posts. I laughed and learned new things from it. I visited other linked blogs and was exposed to other Filipino bloggers who not only had the verbal wit and humor to write online essays but also had the knack of designing their personal blogs. I confessed I was hooked with blogging afterwards. And the rest was history.

Exhibitionism or not, I still plan to continue on blogging. I like to share what's on my mind (even if I have no guts to tell others personally). Maybe what I have shared in the past, written in the present, or will divulge in the future would make one reader out there laugh, cry, emphatize, or learn something (even just a tiny bit of information).

October 09, 2006

Hazy Day

Here's my contribution of shots of last Saturday's notorious "haze-filled" day. I thought last Friday's smoke-filled night was already strange to me, but Saturday's almost entire day of thick haze was stranger (and unhealthier for everyone here).

Tree Mist

Sing to the tune of the song "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". No really, this is what I stumbled upon passing through a tree-sprawled shortcut towards the nearby East Coast bay. Smoke, haze, mist. All grayish air around the vicinity.

Another haze / mist in the woods

Another picture of the hazy woods. Nothing much to notice here. Go figure.

Shoreline Haze

Three degrees of air quality last Saturday. It is quite bad on that day, as shown by this picture.

Relaxing In The Woods

Still, nothing stopped some people in doing what they had planned on that day, like idling in the woods, strolling along the sandy beach, and jogging on people-barren pathways.

October 01, 2006

Pinoy Band At GasHaus

Invited by a friend and officemate, I tag along with other friends to support and watch him playing along with other Filipino bandmates in their gig at GasHaus (114 Middle Road, Singapore).

God Knows Who Does Not Tip

This sign at the bar reminds me of the ubiquitous signs me see back home in the Philippines inside jeepneys of which the version is like this "God know Judas not pay" (Judas is pronounced in our native tongue as Hudas or like saying "who does"). Get it? Hehehehe. Ok, not funny. Move along.

GasHaus Wall Paintings

Wall paintings. I find GasHaus too dark inside. With a few oversized photographs and leather couches inside. Nontheless, these wall paintings add some color inside the dark music cafe.

The Launchbox band

The band - Launchbox. Made up of Filipinos main Mau Obciana (main vocals), Ivan Cunnan (doing the bass) and Titan Mercado (at the guitars). Sessioning with them were Ogie Camat (guitars, from band Mr. Brosnan?) and Glenn Ordinario (drums, from band Mesh Potatoes). This is what I call bayanihan among Filipino music lovers. Rock on!

Launchbox - Singers

Close up of the gals - the singers. Most of the songs the band covered were rock singles sang by popular rock bands featuring female lead vocalists such as another Filipino group based in the US, Moonpools and Caterpillars (though I was hoping they would have chosen the band's breakout single Hear which I loved the most; I wonder what happened to that Fil-Am band), and Cardigans (My Favorite Game). I was surprised they also sang "Paint It Black", a favorite of mine during the days of the hit TV series, Tour of Duty.

Launchbox - Guitars and Bass

Close up of the guys. Serious guitar play here.

Efren 'Bata' Reyes On Screen

Well, well, well... while the band was playing, the TV show projected above the walls was a recorded match of Efren "Bata" Reyes. I took this as a souvenir shot - opportunities pass by and you have to grab it before it's gone.

Here are some YouTube videos I uploaded. Go see them:

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