My blog. My class.

May 31, 2007

Do You Want To Quit Blogging?

Oh no, it's not about me about quitting. Not yet. I'm still enjoying it. I'm still having fresh ideas for this site and always on the lookout to improve on blogging.

I read this post from Problogger citing a case of a blogger deciding to call it quits. Does he have the right reasons to finally throw in the towel?

The article list down his observations of what might have caused the blog(s) to retire early. What strikes me the most is on the negative benefits of using Blogger and Blogspot hosting. I didn't know about that through my years of blogging since 2001 (which I authored a different blog before; this will be official my second blog). While I have admired and seen the ease of use and the improvements that Blogger has developer, now I'm beginning to have doubts of Blogger's capabilities. I’m still loyal (for now).

Yes, before, I was using Blogger's templates (especially when hosted under Blogspot domain). But the designer in me has always prevailed and soon I started to change my blog's layout with my own (I know Mel always admired my layout designs ever since we've met in one collaborated Filipino group blog). So besides blogging contents, my site still exists because of my endless desire to improve it through redesigning and experimenting with graphics and layouts. I refuse to wane my desire to blog and continue on, even if I don't get enough readership. I try to be realistic in my expectations. I don't want to post something in the hopes that someone might Digg it or Stumble it and bait some links from readers out there. Huge traffic and readership is indeed flattering and ego boosting. But sometimes being popular can add more stress to one's life, if not dangerous to some.

This is what I think most beginner bloggers are trying too high to aim for - to become as popular as the god bloggers like dooce, kottke, and others. To get the same (if not more) number of blog readers or fans as what these prominent bloggers have. The difference is most of these popular bloggers do write well, share very helpful tips, and post thought-provoking articles that will put to shame all other newbie bloggers that post nothing but egotistical matters (it's about I, me, and myself without truly interacting with your readers at all). Unless you are Paris Hilton and blogging about your life of mindless luxury (so be it).

Anyway, I'm no authority to state tips on how to write well and transform your blog from mediocre to great. I think Darren has stated enough information in the article to teach what should be done to help a blog become better (and even successful).

Here's some tips I could share: 1) Blog only if in the mood to tell a tale, or share some useful posts. 2) Harden not one's heart if one's blog is nearly dead, remember we do not live to blog. This is not the end of life. 3) Take some time off or vacation from blogging, or not blogging routines will become like chores - cumbersome and stressful.

May 26, 2007

You Can Always Find Beauty

Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the behold. And behold...

Beauty is on the butt cheeks. Beauty of Asia, featuring a tattooed man with intricate Japanese designs.
Shooting pictures at a man taking pictures of another man's b... eauty.

If these are real tattoos, I guess this man had to bear so much pain to attain such a huge colorful tattoo. No pain, no gain(ed tattoo). My brother has a tattoo on his shoulder. I have none. I'm afraid of needles (Asus, tanda mo na). Besides, tattoos are permanent (unless removed by laser). I tend to lose interests easily especially with designs. I'd rather have a henna tattoo which is temporary and can be replaced with another pattern of my liking.

Beauty In Asia. And this showcases a tattoed man.
The beauty of Asia. It says it all (I guess). Which part are you looking at, huh?

Japanese Lady Tattoo
A closer look at the mysterious Japanese lady tattoo. There's no Da Vinci code here, mind you.

May 20, 2007

Commenting On Comments

Here's an interesting article about how the author feels that comments on blogs are abused both for random link loves and spammers.

I do see some blogs (especially those hosted in blogspot) that received several comments which some of these are written by auto-spam bots. I guess these are the comments that start with positive remark on the blog in general but end with a sentence on checking out their site which happens to be an e-commerce site (as what is indicated in the linked article above).

So far, my blog site hasn't received any spam comments (coming from unknown e-commerce websites). Or so I think. I think that the comment settings of my site did a great job in hindering spam commenting (word verification upon sending comments). For those who haven't known this feature, especially to blogspot beginners, I recommend you turn on word verification (go to dashboard > settings tab > comments menu > then click Yes option to "Show word verification for comments?". Might as well turn on (click Yes) "Enable comment moderation?" as well if you have lots of free time to filter good comments from bad ones.

As for those begging for link love, I guess one should be the judge whether to reciprocate in return or not. A little snooping around their site would be better to determine whether they're site is link-worthy, in line with one's interest or just an e-commerce site disguising as one of your blog fans.

On the other hand, reciprocating links is one way to make new friends online, eventually making your site be known to more people to other communities in the Internet.

May 13, 2007

On Mom's Day

It's that time of the year again to celebrate our very cute, cuddly, super special, and lovable moms all over the world.

We all have special moms. By the way, in Singapore, they have "mummies" or "mums" (British term for mommies/moms in the US).

And to my Mommy dearest...


Nothing really beats the special care of our mothers. Even if we've grown up, our mom's loving care and thoughtfulness never cease but continues on. Thank you, Mom, for everything you've done for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, mums, ma's, nanays out there!

(*Giraffe kissing her baby picture from Cute Overload. Awwww!)

May 08, 2007

Makan Tales (Or Dining Adventures)

First things first: Makan is a Malaysian term for "to eat". Food hawkers here in Singapore always ask this to people who approach their stalls. They ask their customers whether they like their food to be prepared for dining at the same place or nearby (thus makan - to eat here) or their customers would rather have their food placed in styrofoam and bagged to be eaten somewhere else. If you want your food to be bagged for home consumption, you would say "for take away" (yeah, take it awaaaayyy....!). I'm used to saying this back in the Philippines as "for take out". I know in America, "to go" is rather replied.

* * * *

Mini Wok Noodle - piping hot soup with fish balls, slivers of meat, crab sticks and egg inside a metal wok with a burner underneath, paired with egg noodles with mushrooms and vegetables
Mini Wok Noodle - breakfast at a nearby 24-hour Makan Eatery

Once during work, I was asked by the local clients here whether I know some Malaysian terms like Makan (seems like it's their first time to meet and work with a Filipino), hinting from their small knowledge that Filipinos had some roots from Malays and Indonesians. I told them no (of course). Though, that would be my first introduction to one of the Singaporean dining terms which comes in very handy if I feel adventurous to try a local cuisine, but always hesitant since I don't know how to communicate verbally in Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, or Tamil. Instead, I communicate physically (turo-turo style as I point this, point that, nod here and nod there).

But there are times the pointing system is not enough to convey a message that I want something that is not on display. And that would mean I have to converse in English which I know Singaporeans (should) have no problem in understanding. Alas, my English accent would always sound way too different from the way locals speak English to the point that some would turn their heads and look at me curiously. A few would mistake me for an American (because of my somewhat American sounding accent) while others readily think I'm a Filipino. Still, a few would be dumbfounded by me and would call on another co-worker in their dialect, asking for help in conversing in English.

* * * *

I once saw the owner of my suking makan place near our office eating a food item composed of noodles and broiled crunchy chicken feet. She told me that this is a new dish which they're planning to add in their menu. She asked me whether I have ever tried chicken feet. I told her yes, and added that in the Philippines these are known as a street food fondly called as Addidas (you know, the well-known shoe brand). Chicken feet = Addidas. For me it makes sense (I know it didn't to her, but she slowly smiled about it and told it to her husband who also manages the eatery). Ever since then, when I chance upon those chicken feet displayed in their glass counters and I order for them, the owners would tell me "Ah yes, addidas!" (emphasizing on the second syllable there). I would always cheerily smile back.

May 05, 2007

Figures And Statues

Astroboy, greeting

Astro wants to greet me with a friendly fist signifying strength or force be with me. Or I think he's giving me his version of a dirty finger. You be the judge. Either way, he seems happy to have his photo taken. I found him in an Astroboy franchise shop in Bugis Junction.

Mickey Mouse - Do not touch

Really, I wanted to give this mouse a hi-five, but the sign says it all. Found him also standing in one of the entrance of Bugis Junction.

Thai statue, greeting

I suddenly remember my Thai trip during the late 90's upon seeing this statue in one al-fresco restaurants along Boat Quay. Women would say Sawadee ka, men say Sawadee krup. These are their polite greetings to anyone they meet. I'll say to this statue, Oy, kamusta na po?

Red god statue, surprised

This statue is really surprised that I caught him in the act of doing something I couldn't really tell. This one I took in one of the Chinese temples of shrines inside Tanjong Pagar.

Vandalized man statue

Look closely and the statue's head has been vandalized by some naughty people. I could accept the santan flower, but not the dried-up pink bubblegum stuck up near his ear. I know vandalism here in Singapore is punished by caning. Ouch.

May 01, 2007

Spiderman 3 And The Neighborhood

Warning. Some spoilers in this review of Spider-Man 3. I know that for other countries like the US, the official showing date is May 4. Here in Singapore, it's earlier. I had a chance to screen the most awaited summer movie of the year.

There's much to be compared with this third installment against the first and the second. The good: better special effects and far more vertigo inducing scenes than the previous movies. Let's see - there are around one, two, three, four, five battle scenes between Spider-Man and three new villains (Sandman, Green Goblin Jr., and Venom). I could say the final battle scene is akin to a tag team wrestling match between the good and the bad guys of the film (ok, without saying much here, pick among the three whom Spidey teamed up with). The entire plot of the film revolves around Peter Parker getting a taste of the dark side (ala Star War's Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark force). Moreover, here you see Peter becoming bloated with ego (loved by his Spider-Man fans) and drowning in wrathful vengeance (against the killer of his uncle). Without knowing it, he's slowly pushing his beloved Mary Jean away from him.

The bad (and annoying): I was hoping that Peter's sinking into the dark side would make him look sinister and cold, a total opposite of his dorky good side. But no, midway into the movie Peter began to show his laughable street moves to surprised New Yorker women. It's more like a joke when you see Parker doing his funky dance moves in the night club, instead of seeing him seriously relishing his dark personality (thanks to the alien symbiotic costume). Either I could remember myself chuckling in my seat at these scenes or was shaking my head in utter disbelief.

Also, if you like to watch "part three" movies cramped with different plot lines, mindless action scenes, overdone "ladies falling from skyscrapers" scenes, or more than one villain to ruin our hero’s lives, then by all means buy your tickets now and enjoy the film. Actually, I did enjoy the movie. It is far better than parts 1 and 2 in terms of CGI effects and action scenes. But looking beyond these, I would have to agree with a part of Gonzalez's review (third paragraph) which makes Spider-Man 2's story better than the current. But unlike Gonzalez who rated the movie 2 out of four, I would rate this movie 4 out of 5. Only that Spider-Man 2 ranks higher, as in 4.5 out of 5.

Fast (spoiler) facts: 1) Someone dear to Parker died in the movie. 2) A new hottie ruins the relationship between Parker and MJ. 3) Stan Lee cameo again (delivering a memorable quote) 4) Bruce Campbell cameo again (this time as a French waiter; oui?)

* * * *

Here are some pictures around the neighborhood:

Food offerings to the gods or spirits
Food offerings to the gods or spirits

Potted plant decorated with trimmings
Potted plant decorated with trimmings

High flats
High flats

New Layout Update

After several gruesome hours of tinkering this site's layout, finally, I was able to upload this one just in time for May 1 (as I have indicated in my previous post).

Looking at assorted sites bearing the ubiquitous web 2.0 look and feel, this blog bears some semblance with the rest (the same old, same old use of the badge, the shadings and use of shadows in the images here, etc).

Smashing Magazine has really influenced me in taking a good look at web designing trends (though professionally, I'm no web designer but an analyst and programmer; this web designing is just a hobby).

Later again. I need some sleep now. I might miss the screening of Spider-man 3 in the afternoon (I can't afford to do that). Good thing today is a holiday here in Singapore (Labor Day).

About Me

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