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Showing posts from March, 2005

Cleaning out my PC....

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Had to replace a fan and clean out my PC at home, which was kinda getting dusty on the inside. Kinda messy and crowded, don't you think? :-)

Crushes, courtship and the stupid moron....

When Aaron, my eight year old son was spending his vacation with me last week, he told me about a girl at school that he had a crush on. My son...not so long ago I was still holding his hand while he was learning to walk...now, he's interested in girls. :-)

The girl's name is Felicia, and my son gave me a long winded story...without even stopping for breathe... about how he would look at her and then turn away when she looked back, and despite the fact that he had a crush on her, he was annoyed with her sometimes because she seemed to have this habit of always teasing him. I asked him "So why didn't you tell her that you like her?" Instead of replying, my son would grimace and squirm uneasily or cover his mouth as if telling the girl the he liked her would result in some fate too horrible to even speak of. Perhaps similar in a way to Hogwarts students' reluctance in mentioning Voldemort's name ("He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," "You-Know-Who"…

New Mouse Pads....

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Carpal tunnel syndrome has become a scourge among today's active and computer literate population. Men, especially, are becoming afflicted with this serious health problem.

To help stamp out carpal tunnel syndrome, new mouse pads have been devised to assist men in their computer operations. Ergonomically-improved mouse pads such as these will enable men to avoid the pain and suffering associated with this serious health concern. Samples are below.

Orders may be placed on line.
What will these people think of next? :-)

The 20,000 Peso PC....

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On several occassions, friends have enlisted my aid in building a new PC for them to use at home. More often than not, they only know how much they're willing to spend for it, and what they want to use it for. A typical newbie with very light computing requirements would generally be satisfied by a PC costing around P20,000.00 (roughly 357 USD) to build. Of course, hardcore gamers and power users may spend up to more than P100,000.00 (roughly 1,786 USD) and still not get anywhere near top-of-the-line performance, which for the most part, is considered the holy grail of PC construction.

For purposes of this post, let's talk about an inexpensive, 20K home PC for a newbie who only plans to use it for paperwork, very light gaming, maybe watching a few DVD movies now and then, CD burning, browsing the internet, and email. More or less, here is a typical setup for such use:

CPU: AMD Sempron 2200+ (boxed, with fan) - P3,400.00
Motherboard: ECS K7S7AGL - P2,500.00
Memory: 256 MB PC333 DDR…

10 Things You Don't Know About Love

10 Things You Don't Know About Love
by Louise Jarvis

Love is patient. Love is kind. And it keeps you healthy, happy and wrinkle-free! Check out these and the other amazing advantages to adoring your family, your friends and even Fido.

1. Love is like chocolate.

There's a reason newlyweds can't get enough of each other: Love is a kind of chemical addiction, says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., an anthropologist at Rutgers University, who scours MRI bran scans for the secrets of love. Falling in love activates the "pleasure" centers of the brain and increases production of the feel-good chemical dopamine, which plays a key role in addictions. And eating chocolate affects the same brain regions, which is why it's hard to stop at one piece of candy. How? A surge of dopamine is part of a chemical cocktail that boosts your mood and energy levels, and sharpens your ability to focus on. Is it possible to feel that rush even after you've been married for years? Absolutely. "…

Debbie Gibson poses in Playboy....

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Remember Debbie Gibson? She was a pop phenomenon in the late 80's with two top ten albums, Out Of the Blue and Electric Youth. These albums produced a number of hits including Only In My Dreams, Foolish Beat, Shake Your Love, Electric Youth, and Lost In Your Eyes.

By the early 90's her popularity had significantly waned. She made a few more albums, which were only mildly successful, appeared on a production of Les Miserables, and changed her name to "Deborah" in order to project a more mature, more adult, image. Despite her best efforts, she never did reach the level of success and popularity that she easily attained with her earlier work.

She recently posed nude in the March issue of Playboy magazine which hit the stands last February 11. The pictorial also coincided with the release of her new single Naked. Will she be able climb her way back to stardom? Would posing nude in Playboy jumpstart her career? We'll just have to wait and see.

You can read her Playboy in…

Vatican official attacks "The Da Vinci Code...."

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Father Raniero Cantalamessa, officially known as "Preacher of the Papal Household," while officiating a Good Friday mass at St. Peter's Basilica, lashed out at Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, calling it an example of "literary and artistic parasitism" in a sex-obsessed society.

Father Cantalamessa was quoted as saying:

"In an unending stream of novels, films and plays, writers manipulate the figure of Christ under cover of imaginary and non-existent new documents and discoveries. This is becoming a fashion, a literary genre."

"Our time, obsessed as it is with sex, seems unable to portray Jesus in any other way than as a homosexual, or as one who taught that salvation is to be found in uniting with the feminine principle and gave the example by marrying Mary Magdalene. The passion and the crucifixion of Christ? All later inventions of the Church!"

"Yet if in some extreme cases believers react and phone to protest about t…

The Easter Bunny...Murdered?

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Sorry about that, just couldn't resist...:-)

Praise God for Closed Doors....

We need to learn to thank the Lord for closed doors as we do an open door. The reason God closes doors is because He has not prepared anything over there for us. If he didn't close the wrong door we would never find our way to the right door. Even when we don't realize it, God directs our paths through the closing and opening of doors.

When one door closes, it forces us to change our course. Another door closes, it forces us to change our course yet again. Then finally, we find the open door and walk right into our blessing. But instead of praising God for the closed door (which kept our butt out of trouble), we get upset because we "judge by the appearances." And in our own arrogance, or ignorance, we insist that we know what is right.

We have a very present help in the time of need who is always standing guard. Because He walks ahead of us, He can see trouble down the road and HE sets up road blocks and detours accordingly. But through our lack of wisdom we try to te…

He is Risen!

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Fra Angelico's "The Resurrection". Mary and Mary Magdalene approach the tomb, and find that the stone in front of the door has been rolled away. An angel inside tells them, "Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here; behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you."

- Mark 16:6-7

Happy Easter everyone!

Coffee with a friend....

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar e…

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series review....

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Warning: If you are not into Star Trek, skip reading this post. Personal (b)log. Stardate [-4] 82231.06.

I always wanted to start a post with that. :-)

It took me several months, but last night I finally managed to finish viewing all the DVDs of my Star Trek: Deep Space Nine compilation. The last episode, What You Leave Behind was well thought out, and was a fitting conclusion not only to a story arc which lasted more than ten episodes, but a series which lasted all of seven seasons.

There's no way around it, so I'll just say it. I've seen virtually all of Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:TOS), Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) and Star Trek: Voyager (ST:VOY), not to mention the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise (ST:ENT). As it turns out, and surprising even to me, I actually like ST:DS9 and Captain Benjamin Sisko more than any of the other series, or any other commanding officer. Surprising because I actually held th…

Pieta

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Giovanni Bellini's Pietà – Beweinung Christi (circa 1460). The dead Christ supported by the Madonna and St John. Generally considered to be one of the most moving paintings in the history of art.

A blessed Good Friday to you all.

Mini Poll Results....

The poll question for the past couple of weeks was:

Are you happy with your love life?

Results:

It's great! - 50%
It's ok... - 30%
It sucks - 0%
No love life - 20%

Around 80% find their love lives satisfactory, with around 50% overall really satisfied. It would also seem that most people would rather be alone than be in a bad relationship. More or less a validation of my last post. :-)

Thanks to those who participated! Now check out the new Mini Poll! :-)

Moving on versus getting over....

Last night I had a very interesting conversation with a friend. We talked about a lot of things, including some topics that I didn't really prepare myself for. Sometimes you can learn a lot about yourself by seeing how you answer questions that you didn't expect to be asked. I guess without the benefit of premeditation and forethought we have no other recourse but to speak from the heart. Hmmm...I guess I'm in for it now. Baring one's thoughts is child's play compared to baring one's heart. You have no choice but to drop your defenses. Well, as I am so fond of saying, some risks are definitely worth taking.

I would like to think that the conversation was fruitful and insightful in more ways than one. During our talk we came across a rather profound observation. We talked about the differences between "moving on" and "getting over." It appears that the vast majority of people, her friends, and my friends alike, seem to consider the two terms i…

Last Supper

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Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper is the ultimate pictorial representation of the most important event in the Christian doctrine of salvation - that is, the institution of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. There is no other painting which dominates our imagination and perception of the Christian faith like this one, which has been universally accepted as the most authoritative representation ever of this momentous and significant event.

As of late, interest in this painting has more or less escalated as a result of Dan Brown's best selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, which presupposes the existence of a latent code in da Vinci's works, especially this one. But that is best discussed in another post.

May God bless you all on this Maundy Thursday.

Altered Echoes....

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A short history of my very brief musical career. :-)

Music has always been important to me. As far I could remember, I've always loved music. I was even a soprano at my elementary school glee club so many years ago. At first, I was content just to listen to it...then in the latter part of my life, not so long ago in fact, I received a calling of sorts and for a time, with the help of some friends, I actually started making it.

In 1998, at the ripe old age of 26 (well, as far as singing or playing in a band is concerned), I started out as a backup vocalist for a no name hobbyist band at work. By sheer coincidence, one colleague at work was into drums and had a drum set of his own. One played the bass, and another played lead guitar. Another officemate was the vocalist, and he sort of dragged me along for the ride. The performance was rather forgettable, but making music seemed to strike a chord with me (pardon the pun), and everything just seemed to fall into place. At the time we …

Suntok sa Buwan

Another case of last song syndrome...and the lyrics seem to be spot on...:-)

Suntok sa Buwan
Session Road

Hindi mo ba alam
Damdamin ko'y pinagtakpan
Makasama ka'y suntok sa buwan

'Di mo nga alam
Mundo mo nga'y iyong tignan
Kung ganyan, walang pupuntahan

Hindi ko 'to gusto
Pero 'wag kang lalayo

Itanong mo sa akin
At tatanungin ko rin
Kung ika'y aamin
Lahat ay gagawin

'Di mo napapansin
Kailangan mo akong dinggin
'Di habang buhay ika'y aantayin

Ito'y aking hiling
At sana naman ay tanggapin
Ng puso ko'y 'di nabibitin


Bass line: Verse: A-D; Refrain: B-D; Chorus: A-F#-E-D; Interlude: A-C#-D

If you found this helpful, please feel free to leave a comment. :-)

Analogies....

The buzz word in today's business world is MARKETING. However, people often ask for a simple explanation of "Marketing." Well, here it is:

SUPPOSE: You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed," That's Direct Marketing.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fantastic in bed," That's Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed," That's Telemarketing.

You see a guy at a party, you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

You're at a pa…

Holy Week....

Holy Week is a time to commemorate the suffering and death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. During this time, not only do we remember the joyful celebration of his triumphant entry into Jerusalem as well as his resurrection, but we also remember his suffering, humiliation and death. We should not forget about his sacrifice, and the promise of eternal life.

A blessed and meaningful Holy Week to everyone....

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

- John 3:16

Kung bakit di na nagyoyosi si Shine sa Snaqz....

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Photography by xtnag. :-)

Pride of the Philippines falls....

Manny "The Pacman" Pacquiao, fighting tooth and nail despite suffering a bad cut over his right eye, lost his non-title bout against the Mexican Erik "El Terrible" Morales in a unanimous decision (115-113) which belies the intensity and fury of the fight which went the distance, lasting all of 12 rounds at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

A gallant and courageous stand by the Pacman, nonetheless.

Links:

PACLAND - Where PacMan fans around the world congregate
MSNBC : Morales wins battle with Pacquiao

Thanks! (I think....)

My former college buddy and fellow campus journalist Nao just made a special post on her blog just for me. Honestly, I don't know what to say, except that don't people say nice things about you only when you're dead? Am I dying? Hahahaha...:-) Kidding aside, why don't you take a look? Let me know what you think. :-)

http://chard-nao.blogspot.com/2005/03/and-on-my-fingertip.html

Thanks Nao! I appreciate it...:-)

On the fast lane....

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It's been a long time coming. But finally, I'm on DSL (Digital Subscriber Link). I applied for a PLDT myDSL account last week, and only a few hours ago, a PLDT technician dropped by to install my ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Link) modem. It was installed quite painlessly. A data/voice splitter (a small plastic box only a tad larger than a box of matches) is plugged to my phone line, one end of the line goes to my phone, the other to the ADSL modem. The modem is plugged to my PC's ethernet (LAN) port and is powered by an AC adaptor plugged in a power outlet. An installation CD was then inserted in an optical drive, the installation program started automatically, and the login name and password were entered. That's it. Fired up Firefox and now I'm browsing the internet at up to 384 kbps, a far cry from my peak connection speed of 53.3 kbps (at best) on my dial-up modem.

DSL works on the principle that only a small portion of the potential bandwidth (amount of…

Regrets...stay around

Reposted from Lady...White Spirit 's blog, Fallin'... Thanks LWS...

There are times when we are timid and shy about expressing the love we feel. For fear of embarrassing the other person, or ourselves, we hesitate to say the actual words "I love you." So we try to communicate the idea in other words. We say 'take care' or 'don't drive too fast' or 'be good.' But really, these are just other ways of saying 'I love you, ' 'you are important to me, ' 'I care what happens to you, 'I don't want you to get hurt.'

We are sometimes very strange people. The only thing we want to say, and the one thing that we should say, is the one thing we don't say. And yet, because the feeling is so real, and the need to say it is so strong, we are driven to use other words and signs to say what we really mean. And many times the meaning never gets communicated at all and the other person is left feeling unloved and unwanted.

So.…

Three things in life are certain....

The madam opened the brothel door to see a rather dignified,well-dressed good looking man in his late 40s or early 50s.

"May I help you?" she asked. "I want to see Valerie," the man replied. Sir, Valerie is one of our most expensive ladies. Perhaps you would prefer someone else," said the madam. "No. I must see Valerie," was the man's reply.Just then, Valerie appeared and announced to the man that she charged $1,000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled out ten one-hundred dollar bills, gave them to Valerie, and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left. The next night, the same man appeared again, demanding to see Valerie. Valerie explained that none had ever come back two nights in a row--too expensive--and there were no discounts. The price was still $1,000. Again the man pulled out the money, gave it to Valerie and they went upstairs. After an hour, he left. The following night the man was there again.

Everyone was astounded …

Warning Signs....

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An officemate recently brought to work a new potted plant for her desk to replace another which was not growing very well. A picture her new plant is shown on the left. One of the first things that I noticed on the plant was the presence of a teensy weensy sign sticking out from the soil. It was, rather ingeniously, constructed of a bent paper clip and a post-it note.
Upon closer inspection, the sign turned out to say: Pls. don't put your ashes here!
ASSHOLE!
Hahaha! It turns out that the sign was intended for me, since I sometimes use her earlier potted plant as an ashtray of sorts. :-) Correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't ash make a good fertilizer? Isn't that the reason why farmlands near active volcanoes tend to be fertile, because of all the volcanic ash? And I thought I was doing her plant a favor...:-) A close up picture of the sign is shown above...a bit blurred though. Camera phones apparently lose focus when taking extremely close shots.

I suggested she put more signs…

Unrequited Love....

Eyes wiser than mind,
Reveal emotions once blind.
For they that saw,
Predicted this flaw.
Incomplete but concealed,
Hopeless yearning now revealed.
Unanswered love forbidden,
Words and dreams are hidden.
Still my fate is undecided,
Heart and mind divided.
To deny my heart's will,
Nothing would fulfill.
Longing, dispair,
Unjust, unfair.
Waiting in vain,
Accustomed to this pain.
Unrequited love is all it could be,
Regardless of how I plea.
Impossible to find reason,
Agony I deserve for this treason.

- Victoria Lawrence

Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory

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This is a remake of sorts of Salvador Dali's 1931 masterpiece, The Persistence of Memory (read my earlier post here). After two decades, Dali has made a number of significant changes. Though it carries virtually the same theme as his earlier work, that is, the annihilation of all humans through war, the theme has been taken even further to take into consideration advances in science and technology. By this time, humans have already successfuly harnessed the power of the atom to make weapons of mass destruction. It was these weapons which brought to a close the war in the Pacific seven years earlier, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The landscape which used to be just barren, has been blown apart. The clocks, which used to be melted, are now also ripped apart as well. The moving rectangular blocks and rhino horns are allusions to atoms which are always in motion.
This painting came to be known as Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.

All in all, this work is a very powerful statement…

The State of Philippine Criminal Affairs....

A funny take on criminal apprehension in the Philippines...:-)

The NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), and the PNP (Philippine National Police) get into an argument over who is the best at apprehending criminals.

The President decides to test them. She releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it.

The NBI goes first. They place animal informants throughout the forest.They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigation, they conclude that rabbits do not exist.

The AFP goes in. After two weeks with no leads, they burn the forest, killing everything in it. They make no apologies: "The rabbit deserved it."

The PNP goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling, "Okay, okay, I'm a rabbit, I'm a rabbit."

The Persistence of Memory

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The Persistence of Memory is probably Salvador Dali's most well known work. Portrayed in a surrealistic style (a style in which fantastic visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used with no intention of making the artwork logically comprehensible [definition from ARTCYCLOPEDIA]), it depicts melted clocks strewn across a landscape devoid of life.

What does it mean? The thing with surrealist art is that it is very rare that it's meaning be so obvious to the viewer. Of course, it's meaning should not be limited to the intent or motive of the artist. Indeed, such works may be subject to a multitude of different interpretations. For example, if I remember correctly, the original interpretation for this work is that it is meant to represent the world after all humans have ceased to exist...probably because we ended up annihilating each other due to our forgotten memories of past wars. The memories will still remain...even after we have all faded from existence.

This interpre…

Radical Idea Rundown....

Thanks to PhilHealth.tk for endorsing my blog on his site (again). It's indeed an honor. :-) Until I started using various referrer utilities and web statistic counters, I never actually realized that a lot of people have been dropping by and reading my posts. I have my friends to thank for this, a lot of whom I've known personally, and a fair number of whom I have met online from all over the country, and even from around the world. Some have even requested me to write articles on various subjects they find interesting, and I already have a list of articles to be written and posted, some just simmering on the back burner, in the draft stage, awaiting final editing and posting. Its a bit embarassing at times, since for some reason I tend to make new posts faster than most visitors can read them, so a lot of articles tend to just get stored in the archives. It's because of this, as well as PhilHealth.tk's generous endorsement of my "radical thoughts" that I am…

Surfing on a public computer....

I have been on the net since 1996. And yet, for almost ten years, I have always logged on either at home or at the office, or on occassion on a PDA or a cellphone. I know this isn't a big deal, but this is actually my first time to use a public computer at an internet cafe'. Hmmm... it kinda feels weird...pointing and clicking and typing while all sorts of people are talking and walking all around you. I guess I have to make sure I log out all of my accounts before I leave this PC. Hahaha... *sigh* :-)

Family Problems....

Two men met at a bus stop and struck up a conversation. One of them kept complaining of family problems. Finally, the other man said: "You think you have family problems? Listen my situation."

"A few years ago, I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter. We got married and I got myself a stepdaughter. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter, my step-mother. And my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law."

"Much later the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father's son. But he was also the son of my wife's daughter which made him my wife's grand-son. That made me the grand-father of my half-brother."

"This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the half-sister of my son, my stepmother, is also the Grandmother. This makes my father, the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife, I…

Lakeside Serenity....

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This one of my favorite pictures of my son. I call it "Lakeside Serenity." Of course, you can't see his face, but that isn't the point of this shot. In it my son sits quietly while gazing across the expanse of a tranquil lake. If you look at the date at the lower right corner, you would see that it was taken almost five years ago. My son was just three then. That year was very tumultuous for me, for lots of reasons. Maybe this picture best describes the inner peace that I so longed for at the time. Things have gotten a lot better since, but on occassion I just look at this picture to remind myself how truly difficult it can be at times to find peace in your heart. Sometimes the search never really ends...though you know that it can only be found from deep within one's self.

Parallel Universes....

Check out this blog by a Filipino doctor who goes by the name Dr. Emer. It's is called "Parallel Universes" and covers medicine, politics, and other issues of interest. A pretty good read.

No Comment...?

It seems that for the past day or so Blogger's commenting system seems to be on the fritz. Any attempt to post a comment results in the following error message: "The blog you were looking for was not found." Virtually all of the blogs on blogger that I have visited using the default commenting system have the same problem (those using 3rd party commenting systems, such as HaloScan, are not affected). Fired up an email to Blogger, this is their reply:

From: "Blogger Support"
To: "Ronald Allan"

Hello,

Thank you for reporting this error. We are working on getting the comment pages up and running normally again as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Sincerely,
Blogger Support


They seem to be on top of things. Well, I guess our comments will just have to wait until Blogger sorts this out.

UPDATE:

As of this posting, the comment pages seem to be running ok now, well at least on this blog.

Power of Two

A somewhat old song that I like. Seems so appropriate somehow. And it brings a smile to my face. Not really sure why though...:-)

Power of Two
Indigo Girls

Now the parking lot is empty
Everyone's gone someplace
I pick you up and in the trunk I've packed
A cooler and a two day suitcase
'Cause there's a place we like to drive
Way out in the country
Five miles out of the city limit we're singin'
And your hand's upon my leg

So we're ok, we're fine
Baby I'm here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I'm stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
Look at them together then we'll take them apart
Adding up the total of a love that's true
Multiply life by the power of two

I know the things that I am afraid of
I'm not afraid to tell
And if we ever leave a legacy
It's that we loved each other well

'Cause I've seen the shadows of so many people
Trying on the treasures of youth
But a road that…

Tuyo, Itlog at Kamatis....

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Tuyo, Itlog at Kamatis
(Dried Fish, Eggs and Tomatoes) I enjoy eating. That probably explains why I’m a “couple” of pounds overweight. (Ok, maybe ten to fifteen pounds is more than a couple.) Of course, I’m trying to lose weight, but that’s a subject for another post. I’m here to talk about food. Yeah, you heard me right. Food. Not just any food. The cheap kind you can prepare at home. :-)

In all my years (not that I’m that old, mind you) I’ve tasted a variety of foods. Some mundane and typical, some expensive and extravagant (like fancy steaks, caviar, abalone, or strange, smelly cheeses), some local (most Filipino food), some of western origin (burger and fries?), far eastern (Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai) some even exotic or perhaps downright disgusting (adobong salagubang [beetles sautéed in soy sauce and vinegar], deep fried balang [locusts, fried crisp, dipped in vinegar] or tapang kabayo [horse jerky] anyone?). Yet, there are times, actually it happens more often than I realize, tha…